Archive for the ‘Chiropractic Articles’ Category

Back to School and Chiropractic Family Care

Friday, August 12th, 2011

With summer now winding down, many of us with children are beginning to turn our attention to the upcoming school year. Along with getting the necessary school supplies, clothes, and shoes, it’s also a good time to reconnect with your children’s healthcare professionals. Of course, you should have readily available the contact details of your pediatrician and dentist. However, with school sports programs starting in the early fall, it’s also a smart idea to include the phone number of a chiropractor who specializes in family care.

School sports-related injuries have become increasingly common. This certainly includes broken bones due to contact sports such as football and basketball. However, soft tissue injuries affecting muscles, tendons, and ligaments are happening more frequently as children are increasingly participating in competitive sports, and at a younger age.

While some of these injuries will heal on their own by taking the RICE approach of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, others will be more serious requiring the care of a doctor with special training in these types of injuries.

Strains and sprains are the most common types of soft tissue injuries and commonly occur in active children who do sports or just play hard. They often happen due to ankle twisting or by a trip or fall. Symptoms are typically similar to those of a broken bone. If an injured area is significantly painful, bruised, or swollen, it is a good idea to seek medical assistance. In many cases, a splint or temporary cast can support and protect the injured area until it is healed.

Other times, follow-up care that includes specialized chiropractic treatments such as Active Release Technique (ART) can help separate, release, and stretch connective tissue to help restore the vascular and lymphatic circulation of the injured area. The goal is always to increase range of motion, strength, and flexibility while also eliminating pain and discomfort. These treatments can also help prevent re-injury.

Without a doubt, school sports can help children gain confidence and self- esteem, and also help promote long-term health and fitness. By taking a proactive approach when sports-related injuries occur, you can help your child heal quicker while also minimizing the chance of chronic or permanent injuries.

How to Prevent Summer Sports Injuries and Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Summer sports are a great way to enjoy warm temperatures and clear skies, but they can also lead to a variety of sports-related injuries.  Common summer activities like hiking, swimming, biking, and running can certainly increase your energy and make you feel great. But, did you know that sports-related injuries are most likely to occur in the summer? Sprains, strains, dislocations, fractures, and joint injuries do happen, but oftentimes they can be prevented by taking a few common sense steps to ensure safety while you enjoy outdoor activities.

Wear Proper Footwear
Whether you’re hiking Yosemite or hitting the local tennis court, you need the right footwear to prevent potential sports injuries such as ankle sprains and plantar fasciitis. It’s always a good investment to purchase shoes from a retailer with salespeople who take the time to measure your feet and help you choose footwear that fits and is appropriate for the activity that you’ll be participating in. Don’t forget to choose your socks wisely, too. Socks can dramatically affect how shoes fit and how you are able to move in your shoes.  If you exercise on a regular basis, it’s also important to remember that shoes wear out quicker than you think and need to be replaced on a consistent basis.

Don’t Forget the Protective Gear
Activities like rollerblading and biking can be especially fun in the summer.  However, they are commonly the cause of more serious sports injuries including fractures.  While it may be tempting to just hop on that bike without a helmet or throw on the skates without considering knee and elbow pads, they can go a long way to help prevent an unexpected injury that could potentially leave you on the sidelines all summer long!

Stop Playing When Something Hurts
The time to stop playing isn’t after hours of muscling through nagging pain. Rather, paying attention to your body and regarding pain as a signal to stop is the smart way to go. Pain could be a sign of a major or a minor injury. It’s always a good idea to get it checked out by your healthcare professional. If it isn’t found to be serious, take the RICE approach – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  RICE initiated just after a minor injury can help reduce pain and swelling and decrease overall recovery time.

Don’t Overdo It
When temperatures begin to climb, heat-related injuries can occur. Dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all very common during the summer. Your best line of defense is staying adequately hydrated with the right amount of fluids. Of course, your body needs water, but it also need electrolytes, sodium, and minerals, that when depleted, can cause painful muscle cramps and other symptoms. Sports drinks are often the easiest solution for replacing what is depleted during exercise. Of course, you’ll want to avoid caffeine and alcohol which can further cause dehydration. Wearing loose, sweat wicking clothing can also help keep you cool and prevent heat-related illness.

Use Common Sense
Finally, an ounce of common sense can prevent the need for a pound of cure – especially when it comes to summer sports injuries. Allow yourself time to acclimate to heat, and don’t overdo it, especially under the glaring rays of the midday sun. If you feel pain, fatigue, nausea, or just not right, stop exercising and cool off. The goal is to have fun, stay fit, and enjoy the summer. By taking a few preventative steps, you’ll make the most of the season!

ART for Golf and Tennis Injuries

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

With summer nearly here, many weekend warriors are enthusiastically hitting the greens or the court, making the most of longer days and warmer temperatures. Unfortunately, some will succumb to painful soft tissue injuries that are often due to poor conditioning and technique, overuse, or even a lack of pre-exercise stretching. Conditions such as tennis elbow, shin splints, knee pain, shoulder pain, sciatica, and plantar fasciitis are all common in those who play golf or tennis.

While rest, ice, and Ibuprofen are commonly prescribed to sufferers of these often nagging, chronic conditions, many find that these are not enough to resolve the pain or permanently heal the injury. Because soft tissues, that are stretched beyond their limits, develop microscopic tears that lead to inflammation and scar tissue adhesions, muscles tighten up – resulting in more pain and a higher chance to reinjure.

Unlike treatments that are designed only to reduce swelling and pain, Active Release Technique (ART) works differently by separating, releasing, and stretching the connective tissue – restoring the vascular and lymphatic circulation to the affected area. This results in increased range of motion, strength, and flexibility. With over 500 specific moves in this patented technique’s treatment protocols, a wide range of both golf and tennis injuries can be both identified and corrected.

 ART can be extremely helpful for injuries resulting from overuse, it can also be highly effective for acute injuries such as sprains or strains. Both types of injuries result in muscle fibers bundling up and adhesions or scar tissue forming. This leads to lost elasticity, weakening of muscles, nerves being entrapped, and the range of motion being reduced. ART literally breaks this cycle by returning soft tissue’s integrity and function.  

ART can treat a wide range of common golf and tennis injuries including the following:

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Back pain
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Foot pain
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Golfer/tennis elbow
  • Hand/wrist injuries
  • Hip pain
  • Ilio tibial band syndrome
  • Impingement syndromes
  • Joint dysfunction
  • Knee pain
  • Muscle strain
  • Myofasciitis
  • Neck pain
  • Nerve entrapment syndromes
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Shoulder pain
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome

If you’ve been suffering from a golf or tennis related injury and want to to get back in the game, contact us today for an appointment. You’ll be glad that you did!

Active Release Techniques for Running Injuries

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Did your last 5K run leaving you reaching for an ice pack and an ibuprofen?  Have you been telling yourself that post-treadmill knee pain is going to go away by itself?  Perhaps it’s time to consider those Active Release Techniques your chiropractor was telling you about!

What are Active Release Techniques?
ART® was created by an aeronautical engineer, chiropractor, and avid tri-athlete, Dr Micheal Leahy, and is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. 

ART® is different from other forms of soft tissue therapy because it incorporates the best of other forms of treatment, movement, stretching, and pressure points.  The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness, and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.   Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. The treatments are aimed at manually breaking up adhesions, the scar tissue that entraps muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves, making it an alternative for some to traditional medical treatments that can range from anti-inflammatory drugs to splinting and surgery.

All fully certified ART® providers learn over 500 protocols.  All providers must continue to maintain their certification each year by attending seminars. This ensures the public that quality of the application of the technique can be maintained.

Why ART® for Running Injuries?

ART® is most successful for “overuse” injuries, and not surprisingly repetitive strain injuries are the most common injury seen in runners.  Sure, you can blame it on poor running mechanics, over training, muscle imbalance, or the wrong shoes, but blame isn’t going to fix it.  Even the hardiest runner with good technique, a good training plan, and proper footwear can still suffer from repetitive strain injuries.

Repetitive stress injuries are usually a result of continued repetition of a movement and/or an overload of stress on muscles, tendons or joints over a period of time without adequate rest.  Just think about what your body does when you are running, your hips, knees, and ankles all repeat the same motion over and over again.  They flex and extend thousands of times during a long run.  The muscles have to absorb two to three times your body weight each time you land.  And most people who consider themselves “runners” do this day in and day out until the pain starts creeping in.

Scar tissue develops as a result of the repetitive stress injury, resulting in a restricted range of motion, a reduction in circulation, increase in muscle tension, and friction.  All of which, if not treated, can result in an ongoing cycle of injury.  The best treatment plan for this type of injury should include Active Release Technology.

If you are a runner, an athlete, or just interested in how you can benefit from ART®, contact us for an appointment today!

Repetitive Strain Injury & Chiropractic Care for Muscians

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Same with elite athletes, musicians put their efforts in perfecting their craft thru endless practice.  These sessions entail long hours of pushing the arm and hand muscles to exhaustion.  Some may dismiss this as simply fatigue and with a few hours of rest will solve the problem.  However, if the pain is persistent and you experience a stabbing pain in the forearm accompanied clumsiness and numbness of hands, it is possible you have a repetitive strain injury (RSI) due to prolonged training without sufficient breaks to properly rest the muscles.Musician Repetitive Stress Injury 266_display

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health said that roughly 50% of the work force suffers from different forms of RSI.  Musicians comprise a part of this statistic as they overuse their muscles in unidirectional movement patterns such as a guitarist.  Other musicians commonly affected by such condition are flute and string players, keyboardists and fretboardists.  This condition is a horror story for any musician as this may dictate the end of their professional career.

Do not let RSI stop your music from playing

Pain even in its slightest sensation is a signal that tells you that there is something wrong.  Oftentimes when musicians feel arm or hand pain, they do not feel worried at all and assume that the pain will go away.  Here are tips to keep RSI away from your playlist:

  1. Watch your playing technique.  Find positions in which you are most comfortable with.  Always keep a correct posture and avoid fixed and tensed positions.
  2. A warm-up routine is as important as in any sporting practice or performance.  Abruptly starting a vigorous activity poses serious risks of injury. (more…)