Neck pain is one of the most common pains that we experience as a population, mostly as a result of our modern day lifestyles. There are several factors that could contribute to neck pain. These factors include non-mechanical to mechanical causes. Non-mechanical causes include stress. Mechanical causes include poor posture, prolonged sitting, slouchhing, and working for long hours at a computer/desk. These factors eventually cause the joints in the spine to lose their normal joint play (resiliency and shock absorption) which is referred to as joint dysfunction. This can be detected through motion palpation, a procedure in which the doctor gently test the joint in different directions and assesses its joint play. When a joint does not work properly, its normal range of movement may be affected, and it can become painful. In addition, a joint that loses its joint play can lead to muscle imbalance and muscle pain. The resulting muscle imbalance can place increased stress on the joint, aggravating the joint dysfunction that already exists.
Joints are designed to move. When they do not, pain and degeneration occur. Chiropractic adjustment is used to correct joint dysfunction, improve flexibility, and maximize muscular coordination, endurance, and strength.
Mechanical neck pain not only creates local symptoms, but also causes headaches and symptoms in the shoulders and upper extremities. Chiropractic adjustment and changes in physical activity and behavior will typically resolve this condition and help prevent future episodes.
Cervical herniated disc may origninate from some sort of trauma/injury or spontaneously from prolonged repetitive poor neck posture. Arm pain from a cervical herniated disc is caused when the herniated disc material pinches or presses on a cervical nerve, causing pain to radiate along the nerve pathway down the arm. This is usually accompanied with numbness and tingling down the arm. In more severe cases, muscle weakness may be present.
The pain is usually most severe as the nerve first becomes pinched. In most cases, the pain from a cervical herniated disc can be controlled by conservative treatments to help reduce inflammation and pressure in the herniated disc. When the pressure decreases, your body can start the healing process. Once the pain does subsides, it's less likely for the pain to return. However, it may take longer for numbness/tingling and weakness to improve. Chiropractic treatments are designed to improve joint function and help resolve the pain and neurological symptoms
A migraine episode can create a severe headache that typically is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite. It can be triggered by a certain food, smell, emotion, or activity. It can also be brought upon by stress or dehydration. Chiropractic adjustment has been shown to be effective for controlling symptoms of migraines and reducing their frequency.
Tension or cervicogenic headaches occur when joints and/or muscles in the neck/upper back are dysfunctional. This can cause pain in the head from several sources: referral pain from the joints in the neck that are not moving properly, referral pain from tight muscles, and/or compression of nerves that innervate the head..
If the source of headache is mechanical in nature, a comprehensive treatment that includes chiropractic adjustment, postural changes, and/or corrective exercises can yield highly successful outcomes.
The most common shoulder conditions include rotator cuff tendonitis/tendonosis, rotator cuff tear, labral tears, impingement syndrome, bursitis, arthritis, shoulder AC joint separation, shoulder dislocation, frozen shoulder, and pinched nerves in the neck (also called radiculopathy).
For those who are actively involved in sports, especially activities that involve overhead movement or throwing (swimming, tennis, volleyball, and baseball), impingement syndromes and bursitis are the most common types of injury. However, more severe injuries can occur such as rotator cuff tear and labral tears.
Shoulder problems are frequently intertwined with neck problems. not only with regard to location, but also in terms of their biomechanical function. Some people experience only neck pain or only shoulder pain, while others experience pain in both areas. Neck and shoulders have muscles that bridge between them, and there are many shoulder movements that require the help of the neck and upper back.
There are 4 small muscles at the shoulder that are primarily involved in stabilizing the joint. Repetitive inappropriate motion of the shoulder can cause a tear in any of the 4 muscles at the tendon areas, most commonly at the supraspinatus tendon.
The labrum is a cartilage cuff in the shoulder joint. The most common symptoms are aching in the shoulder joint, clicking of the shoulder with movement, and increased painduring specific activities. Labral tears are commonly seen in patients who have dislocated their shoulder as well as in overhead athletes such as baseball pitchers, volleyball players, and tennis players. Occasionally, surgery is required to repair the tears; however, small tears can be treated conservatively with specific soft tissue techniques, stretching, and strengthening exercises.
Shoulder dislocations are when the ball of the humeral head gets forcefully moved out of the socket of the shoulder, normally through trauma. Dislocation can occur in any direction, but the most common is the anterior dislocation. A shoulder dislocation can be a very serious injury, especially if it is not able to relocate itself on its own. In those casse, the patient should go to the nearest emergency room to have his/her shoulder relocated. A trained chiropractor will be able to relocate the shoulder joint as well. Once the shoulder joint is relocated, it is important to specifically strengthen the shoulder muscles and scapular stabilizers with the assistant of kinesiotape to prevent future dislocation.
Frozen shoulder is characterized by generalized inflammation, scarring, thickening, and shrinkage of the capsule that surrounds the shoulder joint. This results in severe pain and drastically reduced range of motion in all directions of shoulder movement. Long-term immobility of the shoulder joint can put people at risk to develop a frozen shoulder.
There are two types of elbow pain. Pain on the outside of the elbow is referred to as lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow. Pain on the inside is referred to as medial epicondylylitis or golfer's elbow. In reality, these problems are rarely associated with either tennis or golfing. Both conditions are caused by inflammation of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint capsule) at the corresponding areas. Many times, the biomechanical problem is in the shoulder and/or wrist. Conservative management in most cases will decrease pain, improve function, and prevent reoccurrences.
The most common wrist pais are caused by sprained wrists or carpal tunnel syndrome. The most common pain in the hand includes sprained fingers due to trauma, arthritis pain,or trigger finger.
Hand and wrist pain accompanied by numbness and tingling sensation has to do with nerve problems that stem from the neck and shoulder area.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel along with the flexor tendons to the hand. Pressure within the tunnel can compromise the nerve and lead to CTS. The hallmark of CTS is numbness in the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
CTS is common in people whose jobs require daily repetitive hand motions. It is also common in pregnant women. The diagnosis is usually determined through a physical examination as well as a nerve conduction study. Conservative treatment includes addressing other potential causes of nerve entrapment including the cervical spine, thoracic outlet, shoulder, elbow, muscles of the forearm, and the wrist.
If the symptoms persist, cortisone injections can be used for temporary relief. If conservative treatment fails, then the carpal tunnel can be released by surgical means.
Trigger Finger: Also referred to as stenosing tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the tendon sheath that encloses the tendon where it passes through a finger or thumb joint. The inflammation causes thickening of the corresponding tendon sheath that wraps around the tendon. The result is a much more narrowed tunnel for the tendon to pass through each time you flex or extend your finger or thumb, causing your finger or thumb to be stuck at the bend position. Your finger or thumb may straighten out with a pop.
Trigger finger is more common in women than in men, and mre common in anyone with Diabetes. Many patients with trigger finger will respond to conservative treatment including Graston Technique and functional rehabilitation exercises.
Mechanical back pain implies the source of pain is in the spine and its supporting structure. This occurs when one or more joints in the spine lose their normal joint play. This can be detected through motion palpation. Each case of mechanical lower back pain requires skilled and expert diagnosis of the underlying biomechanical issues which caused the weakness that led to the onset of lower back pain. Properly assessing the exact biomechanical causes of your particular form of lowerback pain allows for a faster, more effective, and usually permanent relief from lower back pain. .
Many women experience lower back pain during their pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, the rapidly growing baby causes the mother's center of gravity to move dramatically forward. This change in center of gravity puts stress on joints in the lower back and the sacroiliac joints. Additionally, the body starts to produce Relaxin, a hormone that causes the pelvic ligaments and cervix to relax preparing the body for childbirth. The combination of increased stress and increased hormones is often the cause of pain. Chiropractic adjustment is a safe and effective treatment to help restore normal motion to the joints, so they stop hurting. Adjustments also help to decrease pain, relax spastic muscles, and help to decrease joints and disc degeneration.
Sciatica is characterized by a sharp, shooting, and shock-like pain that radiates from the buttock area all the way down the foot. This is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a disc bulge or herniated disc. For most people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the pain might be infrequent and irritating. Sciatica can also be accompanied with weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot.
The most common cause is herniated disc in the lower back. Other common causes include a narrowing of the spinal canal and degenerative disc disease. Conservative chiropractic treatment helps to decrease pain and inflammation, improve joint function and surrounding muscle flexibility, and improve muscular function and spinal stability.
Pain in the buttock area is usually due to problems of the pelvis, sacrum, and/or low back and their related muscles. The knees, ankles, and/or feet can also contribute to buttock pain.
Hip joint problems usually involve pain in the groin area. However, the most common cause of groin pain is caused by muscles and other soft tissue that are attached to the groin area. Therefore, it is very important to be precise in the diagnosing of the problem; otherwise, the recovery can be long, slow, and ineffective.
Many problems relating to hip, buttock, and groin pain co-exist and are often mechanically related. What is most important for an effective treatment for any of these conditions, in addition to identification of the pain, is to find out about the root cause of the problem.
Trochanteric bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed. This can occur from trauma to the lateral hip or repetitive stress injuries. Chiropractic treatment can be very effective in reducing symptoms adn restoring full function.
The knee, next to the shoulder joint, is probably the second most complicated joint in the body. The proper function of the knee is essential to our most fundamental activities of walking and running. Knee pain can be of many causes including iliotibial band friction syndrome, arthritis, bursitis, ligament sprains, meniscus injury, tendonitis, knee joint dysfunction, and biomechanical compensation for an injury in the foot, ankle, calf, thigh, hip, or lower back. The intricate structure of the knee make it vulnerable to a wide range of problems and requires good diagnostic skill and biomechanical expertise to correctly assess and treat knee problems properly. For those with knee pain that are not surgical candidates, chiropractic offers a biomechanical and soft tissue approach to help correct knee problems and prevent their recurrent so you can enjoy life again.
shin splints present as pain along the tibia in the muscles. The pain can be on the outer or inner side of the front of the lower leg. The pain is caused by microtears in the muscles that attach to the tibia and usually results from vigorous physical activity. It is most commonly seen in runners. Chiropractic treatment typically can help resolve the problem. If not managed appropriately, this condition can progress to a tibial stress fracture.
Ankle sprain is very common. This occur when the forces imparted on the ankle are too great for the ligament to hold their tensile strength. The most common ligament in the ankle to tear is the anterior talofibular ligament. This occur when we roll or inversion sprain our ankle. Chiropractic management is very important not just to decrease pain and inflammation but to restore function. Kinesiotaping is also helpful to support the ankle during the healing stages. If not treated properly, recurrent ankle sprain is common and each new sprain tends to take a little longer to heal due to gradual build-up of scar tissue. These recurrent sprains eventually lead to significantly weakened ligaments and instability of the ankle.
Achilles tendon is the largest tendon of the lower leg. It is formed by the calf muscles as they insert onto the heel bone. Achille's tendonitis is commonly associated with walking, running, and jumping. The calf muscles job is to propel the body forward when walking, running, or jumping. However, repetitive contraction of the calf muscles on a weakened Achille's tendon will lead to inflammation and pain. The pain usually in the musculotendinous junction of the calf muscles or in the Achille's tendon itself. Achille's tendonitis usually respond well to Graston Technique with the assistant of Kinesiotaping for support and chiropractic adjustment to improve ankle joint joint function.
Common problems involving the foot include pain in the arch, dropped arches, bunion, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, pain or pinched nerve between the toes. Foot problems are usually a result of long term poor bio-mechanics of walking, running, or jumping. Dropped arches are frequently seen in clinical setting and since the feet are the basic foundation of all the structure above them, problems in the feet can affect the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. It is important to address feet problems at its root with specific chiropractic adjustment, appropriate orthrotics support, soft tissue release, and exercise training to stabilize the structure and prevent their recurrent.
Plantar fasciitis is the result of chronic inflammation to a large band of tissue on the bottom of the foot. It is probably one of the more difficult conditions to treat. We put pressure on it everyday when we are on our feet. However, plantar fasciitis tends to respond well when we treat it within the first few weeks of onset. Once the condition becomes chronic, usually more than 3 months, it tends to be more difficult to treat. Treatment of plantar fasciitis includes correcting the biomechanical issue involving the feet with specific chiropractic adjustment, release the soft tissue in the arches and calf, and kinesiotaping the arch for support while it heals.