Category Archives: Chiropractic

TEXT NECK: HOW TO AVOID STRAINS AND PAINS

Our modern digital age has brought us many conveniences. BlackBerry devices, iPhones, tablets and e-readers allow us to communicate and be entertained with the push of a button. Technology can improve our quality of life, but it comes with a price: being huddled over devices for long period of times can do more harm than good.

Using certain devices for extended periods of time can easily lead to neck strain, headaches, and pain in the shoulders, arms and hands. Anyone who has used a cellphone or tablet for an extensive amount of time has probably experienced the peculiar strain it puts on your upper body. These conditions even have their own name now: Text Neck.

Here are some simple strategies to help shut down text neck strain:

Take frequent breaks

Taking frequent breaks and looking up from your device can provide your neck with some relief from the pressure of looking down.

Sit up straight

It is important to sit up straight while texting. This way you can maintain good posture, relieving your back and shoulders from the strain of being hunched over.

Hold the phone a little higher

Holding the phone closer to eye level helps maintain a healthy posture and puts less strain on the neck.

Stretch

Be sure to stretch often between long periods of extended use of devices. You can rotate your shoulders with your arms by your sides to relieve tension. You can also tuck your chin down to your neck and then look up – this helps to relieve some of the tension in your neck built from the common forward-down position you adopt when looking at your device.

THE FUNCTION OF A RUNNING SHOE

The function of a running shoe is to protect the foot from the stress of running, while permitting you to achieve your maximum potential. Selecting the right shoe for your foot can be confusing without the proper knowledge.

People with low arches, called pronators, will need a shoe that provides stability. A shoe with good cushioning is important for people with high arches, called supinators.

There are three main features that you need to consider when selecting a running shoe: shape, construction, and midsole.

Shape

To determine the shape of the shoe, look at the sole. Draw a straight line from the middle of the heel to the top of the shoe. In a curve-shaped shoe, most comfortable for supinators, the line will pass through the outer half of the toes. A straight-shaped shoe will have a line that passes through the middle of the toes. These shoes are built to give pronators added stability.

Construction

Take out the insole and look at what type of stitching is used on the bottom. In board construction shoes, built specifically for pronators, the bottom of the shoe will not have any visible stitching. Combination shoes, appropriate for mild pronators or supinators, will have stitching that begins halfway. On slip-constructed shoes, you will see stitching running the entire length of the shoe providing the flexibility supinators need.

Midsole

Most of the cushioning and stability of a running shoe is determined by the midsole. A dual-density midsole provides shock absorption as well as some stability, perfect for pronators. Single density midsoles offer good cushioning but are not great at providing stability, making them better for supinators.

Keep in mind that a chiropractor can help you prevent running-related problems by assessing your gait, as well as the mobility of the joints in your feet, legs, pelvis and spine.

Chiropractic care for pain relief

Chiropractic is a health care system that holds that the structure of the body, particularly the spine, affects the function of every part of the body. Chiropractors try to correct the body’s alignment to relieve pain and improve function and to help the body heal itself.

While the mainstay of chiropractic is spinal manipulation, chiropractic care now includes a wide variety of other treatments, including manual or manipulative therapies, postural and exercise education, ergonomic training (how to walk, sit, and stand to limit back strain), nutritional consultation, and even ultrasound and laser therapies. In addition, chiropractors today often work in conjunction with primary care doctors, pain experts, and surgeons to treat patients with pain.

Most research on chiropractic has focused on spinal manipulation for back pain. Chiropractic treatment for many other problems—including other musculoskeletal pain, headaches, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia—has also been studied. A recent review concluded that chiropractic spinal manipulation may be helpful for back pain, migraine, neck pain, and whiplash.

There have been reports of serious complications, including stroke, following spinal manipulation of the neck, although this is very rare and some studies suggest this may not be directly caused by the treatment.

Spinal manipulation” is a generic term used for any kind of therapeutic movement of the spine, but used more precisely it is the application of quick but strong pressure on a joint between two vertebrae of the spine. That pressure twists or rotates the joint beyond its normal range of motion and causes a sharp cracking noise. That distinctive noise is believed to be caused by the breaking of a vacuum or the release of a bubble into the synovial fluid, the clear, thick fluid that lubricates the spinal and other joints. Spinal manipulation can be done either directly by pushing on the vertebrae or indirectly by twisting the neck or upper part of the body. It should be done to only one spinal joint at a time. Chiropractors and other practitioners accomplish this by positioning the body so the force they exert is focused on one joint while parts of the spine above and below it are held very still. Most spinal manipulation treatments take somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes and are scheduled two or three times a week initially. Look for improvements in your symptoms after a couple of weeks.

In addition, a chiropractor may advise you about changing your biomechanics and posture and suggest other treatments and techniques. The ultimate goal of chiropractic is to help relieve pain and help patients better manage their condition at home.

For full article please visit:  http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/chiropractic-care-for-pain-relief

IT DOES A BODY GOOD

Massage

New research finds that even a 10-minute massage soothes more than just the soul.

A dimly lit room. Calming, muted music. Sixty minutes of pure “me time” while stress melts away. There’s no question that a massage is the ultimate good-for-you indulgence; but according to a new study, attacking those knots may pay off even more than researchers initially thought.

The tension-relieving benefits of massage therapy are well-documented, but the new findings suggest that a mere 10-minute massage can also help reduce inflammation in muscles, an underlying factor in chronic diseases like arthritis. The research, which appeared in the journalScience Translational Medicine, showed that when muscles are stretched they receive a signal to build more mitochondria, which are vital for healing — making massages potentially helpful for injury recovery.

After assessing the fitness level of 11 men in their twenties, the study’s researchers at McManus University asked each participant to cycle to the point of exhaustion (more than 70 minutes). The subjects were then allowed to rest while a massage therapist performed a 10-minute massage on one leg. While the massage didn’t help clear lactic acid from the tired muscles — a widely spread exercise myth — noticeably reduced inflammation was observed in the massaged leg.

When muscles are stretched they receive a signal to build more mitochondria, which are vital for healing.

Why? “Anytime we stimulate the nerves we send messages to the brain about the area,” explains Equinox trainer and master therapist Susan Stanley, RKC, FMS, LMT, “the brain then responds in a variety of ways, including nervous and chemical.”

She adds that massage techniques have an effect on more than just muscle. “In fact,” says Stanley, “fascia, a layer of fibrous tissue that surrounds muscles, is probably the most affected tissue and it contains far more nervous tissue than muscle.”

The almost-immediate effects of massage found in the study don’t surprise Stanley. “The inflammation process begins at the moment of insult to the tissue, so the moment that tissue is given a different stimulus, the brain can change its response instantaneously, too,” she says. That said, she underscores that the study was conducted on a small, specialized group.

A typical relaxation massage triggers the parasympathetic nervous system — or relax response — in the body, which stimulates healing and immunity. Lymphatic Drainage massage, an example of very light work, is designed specifically to address inflammation and edema (potentially damaging fluid accumulation), and stimulate the lymph system, which is the body’s mechanism to rid the body of toxins and waste.

Soul-soothing properties aside, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the body-benefits of massage therapy are not to be taken lightly. Something to remember the next time you’re debating whether or not to hit the table.

For full article by Sharon Feiereisen please visit http://q.equinox.com/articles/2012/03/it-does-a-body-good?emmcid=emm-newsletter-1012&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email%20member&utm_campaign=1012&emmcid=EMM-1012QWeekly10122015

GET IN THE GAME WITHOUT THE PAIN

One key to success on the golf course can’t be found at the pro shop. It’s the physical condition of the golfer. Pain shouldn’t be par for the course. Stay in the game by protecting your back.

When you consider the spinal rotation that goes into a golf swing and the fact that the speed of the club can reach 160 km/hour, it’s easy to understand that golf puts significant stress on your body.

Follow these tips to improve your game and prevent the pain.

1. Warm up and warm down

Take a few minutes to stretch before and after your game. Start with a brisk walk — 10 to 15 minutes should do it. Then do some light stretching.

2. Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your game. Remember that once you are thirsty, you are already starting to dehydrate.

3. Push, don’t carry, your golf bag

Pushing or pulling your bag and taking turns riding in a cart can help you prevent back injury. If you prefer to carry your clubs, use a double-strap bag that evenly distributes the weight. If your bag gets too heavy, put it down and take a break.

4. Choose the right shoes

Wearing a golf shoe with good support and the proper fit can help prevent knee, hip and lower back pain.

5. Take lessons

The right swing technique can do more than improve your game. It can also spare you unnecessary pain. Working with a professional is a great way to learn the basics.

To view full article, visit: http://www.chiropractic.on.ca/get-in-the-game-without-the-pain-your-back-health

Flank pain

A patient of mine recently complained of flank pain, which was located in the right side near the lower back.  He trains in the martial arts and is often physical throughout his work week.  Martial arts training often encompasses movements which require the core muscles to be activated (kicking, punching, any type of grappling, weapons work, etc.).   My initial thoughts on a diagnosis were muscle/spinal-related however one must be very aware of other causes of flank pain.

flank pain

What Is Flank Pain?

Flank pain refers to pain or discomfort in your upper abdomen or back. It is located below the ribs and above the pelvis and on the side. Flank pain basically refers to pain in your side and back. Usually, the pain is worse on one side of your body.

Most people experience flank pain at least once in their life, and it is usually short lived. However, constant or severe flank pain may be caused by a serious medical condition, such as an infection in the urinary tract or kidneys, or dehydration. If severe flank pain occurs suddenly it could be from kidney stones. If it is chronic then it could be from several other causes.

Flank pain is often the sign of kidney problems, but it can also point to other medical conditions if it occurs along with other symptoms. If you experience chronic flank pain, it is important to talk to your treating health care practitioner and go over your symptoms.

What Causes Flank Pain?

Various conditions, ranging from serious to harmless, can result in flank pain.

Some common causes include:

  • arthritis (especially arthritis that affects the spine)
  • infection in the spine
  • spinal fracture
  • disk disease
  • spinal subluxation (causing nerve compression in the back)
  • muscle spasm (possibly due to spinal subluxation)
  • kidney infection
  • kidney stones
  • kidney abscess
  • shingles
  • dehydration
  • conditions in the chest where pain is referred to the flank
  • pneumonia
  • pancreatitis and other conditions affecting organs in your abdomen
  • inflammatory illnesses of the bowel such as Crohn’s disease
  • occasionally a heart attack can cause pain in the flank

What Symptoms May be Associated with Flank Pain?

Flank pain may be achy, cramp-like, or colicky—meaning it comes and goes in waves. Typically, kidney stones cause pain that is colicky and extreme. In the flank pain from kidney stones the patient has trouble lying in one position comfortably.

Flank pain may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

  • rash
  • fever
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • blood in the urine

You should call your doctor right away if you experience the following symptoms along with your flank pain:

  • chills
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • blood in the urine or stool
  • prolonged or excruciating pain

Dehydration is one possible cause of flank pain. Seek immediate medical care if you experience flank pain along with these symptoms of dehydration:

  • extreme thirst
  • lack of sweat output
  • dizziness
  • fast pulse
  • dry, sticky mouth
  • headaches
  • constipation
  • decreased urine output

Diagnosing the Cause of Flank Pain

During your appointment, your doctor will try to identify the condition causing your flank pain. Be prepared to answer questions about:

  • when the pain began
  • what kind of pain you are experiencing
  • what other symptoms you have
  • how often you experience the pain
  • if the pain is pain sudden and passing, or constant
  • if you have had a recent a decrease in output of urine or intake of fluids
  • Whether there is pain in other parts of your body

Your doctor may also use imaging scans and blood tests to diagnose your flank pain. Imaging scans—such as an ultrasound or X-ray—allow your doctor to look deep within your body. These scans can reveal problems in the organs, tissues, muscles, and bones. A scan is particularly important in the evaluation of kidney stones to look for obstruction. Your doctor may inject a contrast dye into your vein before the scan, in order to better view any obstructions within your veins and organs.

Other tests that may be performed are:

  • CT (computed tomography) scan of your abdomen
  • cystoscopy—a minor procedure that uses a small scope to examine your bladder
  • urinalysis—a simple urine test
  • urine culture—a test where a urine sample is checked in a laboratory for bacteria

Treating Flank Pain

Rest is the primary treatment for any form of flank pain. Minor flank pain can typically be treated with a combination of rest and physical therapy. Your treating practitioner may also recommend specific exercises you can do for quick relief from muscle spasms.

For pain caused by inflammation—such as with arthritis, a subluxated spine (nerve compression) and infections—the treatment will depend upon the condition. If the condition is determined to be from arthritis in your spine you could benefit from physical therapy and an exercise program. Treatment for any type of spinal subluxation (which may cause nerve compression) can be treated by your chiropractor.  Your physician may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication.   Your physician may prescribe you anti-inflammatory medication. Depending on your examination results, it may also be necessary for you to have a surgical evaluation. If there is an infection you may require antibiotics. Often infections in the spine are very serious and require antibiotics and even hospitalization.

Both kidney infections and kidney stones may require hospitalization. If you have a kidney infection, you will be given antibiotics to rid you of the infection. In some cases, you may receive these antibiotics intravenously. If you have kidney stones, you will need to drink lots of fluids to encourage the passing of the kidney stone and you may be prescribed pain medications. In most cases, kidney stones do not require surgery.

If the kidney stone does not pass then lithotripsy (breaking up stones with high frequency sound waves) may be used to break up the stones within the kidney. Once the stones are broken down by lithotripsy then they can be passed through the ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder). Other surgical techniques may also be used to remove the stone.

Always seek immediate medical attention when you develop sudden and intense flank pain.

A PILOT STUDY DETERMINING THE INFLUENCE OF CERVICAL MANIPULATION ON SPINAL MOTION DURING GAIT IN PREVIOUSLY CONCUSSED INDIVIDUALS

A PILOT STUDY DETERMINING THE INFLUENCE OF CERVICAL MANIPULATION ON SPINAL MOTION DURING GAIT IN PREVIOUSLY CONCUSSED INDIVIDUALS – Copyright by Dr David Rick August 2005

For those in the world of academia, if you are interested in sports and concussion-related studies, please see the work I performed in 2005 which looked at chiropractic manipulation and spinal motion in previously concussed individuals.  The results of the study showed an increase in cervicothoracic motion (neck/upper back) after cervical manipulation.  Although the study only measured biomechanical factors (ie. neck/back motion), I would like to perform follow up studies on blood work which could include any type of hormonal stressors including cortisol, as well as neurotransmitters including serotonin.  Cortisol has been found to increase blood sugar, suppress the immune system, and decrease bone formation – all “bad” things.  Cortisol, when you are under any type of stress (physical, psychological, emotional, etc.), inhibits serotonin.  Serotonin has been thought to be a contributor of feelings of well-being and happiness in humans – “good” things. I would hypothesize that after spinal manipulation, there would be a decrease in cortisol and an increase in serotonin production in the body.  This means that there would be a decrease in the “bad” (cortisol) and an increase in the “good” (serotonin), which would assist the body in any type of recovery process including physical rehabilitation.

Please take a look at the following link where my close friend and colleague, Dr. John Minardi, briefly discusses how a spinal adjustment can affect the body in more than a biomechanical way.

How a spinal adjustment can increase mood and behaviour – Dr. John Minardi, April 2014

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment, I would be happy to answer!

 

 

Rapid Rehabilitation of a Hamstring Strain: A Case Study

Rapid Rehabilitation of a Hamstring Strain: A Case Study.

In 2005 I was treating athletes at the Ontario Soccer Association, where there was a high population of leg injuries, including numerous hamstring strains.  I had the opportunity of writing a Case Study which was published in The American Chiropractor on how to treat a hamstring strain.  If you take a quick look, I still use this methodology in treating my patients today, and I get wonderful results!

Please feel free to comment!