Comox Valley Chiropractor – Tips for your Health

Health tips from your Comox Valley Chiropractor

Easing Chronic Muscle Pain – What works? April 29, 2009

INVISIBLE_TEXT

Myofascial Pain Syndrome can be defined as chronic muscle pain. This pain originates around certain points of pain and sensitivity in your muscles called trigger points. A recent study was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics that sought to identify and review the most common treatments for myofascial pain syndrome.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

This study identified many different types of treatment used, and some of them are as follows:

INVISIBLE_TEXT
  • Spray and Stretch – vapo-coolant spray followed by muscle stretch
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Ischemic Compression – compressing the trigger point in the muscle
  • Occipital Release Exercises – a form of massage and mobilization for the occiput (base of skull)
  • Strain/Counter-strain – stretching a muscle and then having the patient contract that muscle
  • Myofascial Release – compressing and tensioning the trigger point while stretching the muscle through its full range
  • Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments
INVISIBLE_TEXT

Immediate (after treatment) benefits were demonstrated with the chiropractic adjustments, spray and stretch, compression, massage and strain/counter-strain. The authors therefore concluded that there is moderately strong evidence to support the use of these manual therapies for the treatment of trigger point pain. These treatments, however, didn’t show as strong benefits as long term solutions.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

Recommendations for other types of treatment for trigger points and myofascial pain syndrome can be drawn from this review.  They are as follows:

INVISIBLE_TEXT
  • There is strong evidence that laser therapy is effective.
  • There is moderately strong evidence that electrical therapy is effective on a short term basis.
  • There is moderately strong evidence that acupuncture is effective for up to 3 months after treatment.
  • There is limited evidence for modalities such as muscle stimulation, interferential current, an other such stims.
INVISIBLE_TEXT
INVISIBLE_TEXT

Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

Advertisements
 

Chronic Foot Pain – Its Plantar Fasciitis! December 7, 2008

INVISIBLE_TEXT
The Plantar Fascia

The Plantar Fascia

INVISIBLE_TEXT

The plantar fascia of the foot is a thick band of connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot. It runs from the heel up towards the toes on the bottom of the foot. Excessive wear and tear on this structure can lead to inflammation and results in pain on the bottom of the foot or heel, which is often worse first thing in the morning or with too much walking. In certain cases, it can lead to the formation of a heel spur on the heel bone.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

In my experience, this condition usually builds up slowly over long periods of time. Excess stress on the plantar fascia due to fallen arches (flat feet), improper footwear or excess time spent on the feet can lead to the development of plantar fasciitis. Treatment is aimed at reducing the inflammation and supporting the arch of the foot if it needs it.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

In my office, anyone presenting with plantar fasciitis receives a low back, hip, knee, ankle and foot examination including gait (walking). Depending on the state of the arch, over the counter or custom made orthotics may be prescribed. Apart from restoring proper motion of the back, hip, knee and ankle, I tend to pay special attention to the movement of the foot bones that make up the arch (navicular and cuboid). I use active release therapy and/or muscle stripping with biofreeze to reduce the inflammation in the plantar fascia itself. Finally, I always end a session with application of Kinesiotape which often works wonders.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

A thorough home stretch plan is very important in this case, as you are on your feet all day. I usually suggest stretching the plantar fascia (pull back on your toes), calf muscles and shins. I recommend icing at the end of the day, which is best done by freezing water in a 500 ml plastic water bottle and proceeding to roll your foot forward and backwards on it. Further self-massage can be done with some moisturizer and your thumbs. For severe or stubborn cases, I will recommend that my patient wear a good supportive pair of running shoes at all times when in the house. Finally, low intensity laser therapy is a great option to boost healing of the plantar fascia especially when recovery is slow.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

I think that one thing all health professionals will agree upon is that you don’t want to let plantar fasciitis go. As with most problems, it is much easier to treat in the early stages. Listen to your body before it forces you to pay attention!

INVISIBLE_TEXT
INVISIBLE_TEXT

Dr Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

 

Laser Therapy for Rotator Cuff Injuries November 27, 2008

INVISIBLE_TEXT

Low intensity laser therapy is a great option for treating rotator cuff problems. The laser therapy system used by your Comox Valley Chiropractor is especially suited to treat the entire joint and provide quick relief. For a quick explanation of rotator cuff impingement and how laser therapy can help, watch the following video.

INVISIBLE_TEXT
INVISIBLE_TEXT
INVISIBLE_TEXT

Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

 

Chronic Shoulder Pain? Probably Rotator Cuff Tendonitis… September 3, 2008

INVISIBLE_TEXT

One of the most common things that this Comox Valley Chiropractor sees in my practice is rotator cuff tendonitis. I’ll treat at least 2-3 per day, sometimes as a primary complaint but usually as an add-on to other complaints. Most often, the problem with be chronic and will have been around for many months. Most people believe that since the pain is not too bad, it will go away on its own. Sadly, it often doesn’t, but progressively gets worse as time goes on.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

The rotator cuff of your shoulder is a group of small muscles which help to co-ordinate the movement of your arm bone in your shoulder socket. When they aren’t functioning properly, the head of the arm bone doesn’t rotate smoothly in the socket and you will get clicking, clunking and pinching of the tendon of one of the muscles. This will result in pain with certain arm movements such as lifting it up to the side, putting on your coat or opening the door. Often it will be accompanied by night pain, resulting from sleeping on the sore side.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

Rotator cuff problems are fairly straightforward to diagnose with a proper orthopedic examination. Once diagnosed, the goal of therapy should be to restore proper functioning of the rotator cuff and the shoulder joint. In our Comox Valley Chiropractic office, this entails active release therapy for the muscles, joint mobilization and manipulation, kinesiotaping and many home stretching and strengthening exercises. Once the shoulder has regained a full and painless range of motion, it is imperative that the muscles are strengthened in order to prevent the problem from coming back.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

Another option which works well, especially for chronic and stubborn cases, is low intensity laser therapy. Although current research has variable results, I have had great success with laser therapy in my practice. Once specific case involved complete resolution of left-sided shoulder pain in two treatments, and no further recurrence in the last 6 months. What makes this case more remarkable is that the patient had previously had rotator cuff surgery on the other shoulder, and was slated to follow the same course for the left side.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

The most important thing to remember about rotator cuff problems is that the sooner they are diagnosed and treated, the faster they get better. Leaving a rotator cuff for too long can make recovery a longer process, and can increase your chances of developing frozen shoulder syndrome which has a recovery time measured in years. If you have any questions about rotator cuff pain, feel free to contact your Comox Valley Chiropractor.

INVISIBLE_TEXT
 

Summer Sports = Knee Sprains! August 5, 2008

INVISIBLE_TEXT

I recently read somewhere that ultimate frisbee has one of the highest injury rates of all sports. Some say it is due to the fast pace and uneven fields, but I suspect it also has something to do with improper warm-up and conditioning. One of the most common injuries is that of knee sprains, which I managed to bestow upon myself last week.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

Most ultimate frisbee knee sprains can be divided into two categories: MCL or LCL sprains (medial and lateral collateral ligament) or meniscus/ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) sprains. MCL/LCL are usually less severe (this is what I managed to do to myself) and affect the inside or outside of the knee. Meniscal or ACL sprains are more severe as they affect the overall stability of the knee and often take much more time (and sometimes surgery) to heal.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

Thankfully, I have almost unrestricted access to low intensity laser therapy (given that I own the machine), and have been treating the injury daily since it happened. Laser therapy is a great option for injuries such as this, as ligaments are considered a tissue that does not heal as quickly as others (such as skin or muscle). Laser therapy can boost the ligament’s healing rate, and get me back on the field a lot faster.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

It is important to remember, however, that after the swelling and pain have reduced the knee needs to be strengthened in order to prevent re-occurrence and get you sport-ready. The most important amongst these exercises is medial (inside) quad strength, as this muscle will begin to weaken immediately upon injury, especially if you are on crutches or limping around.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

If you have any questions about knee sprains or rehab, feel free to contact your Comox Valley Chiropractor.

INVISIBLE_TEXT
 

Healing Achilles Tendonitis July 24, 2008

INVISIBLE_TEXT

Based on personal experience, achilles tendonitis is one of the worst injuries you can have. Not only does it completely incapacitate you (I went from playing 6 hours of ultimate a week to driving to work every day since walking was too painful), but it takes forever to heal.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

That’s why I read with great interest an article published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine (2008; 36(5):881-887). This study testing the effects of low intensity laser therapy and specific exercise for achilles tendonitis.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

52 athletes were divided into two groups. One group was given low intensity laser therapy and strengthening exercises, while the other was given fake laser (machine not turned on) and the strengthening exercises.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

Results showed that the low intensity laser group had significant improvements in pain and all other measured factors at 4, 8 and 12 weeks after the initial treatment, when compared to the exercise only group.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

This is only one study looking at achilles tendonitis treatment, and so much more research needs to be done. However, it does show some promise for the use of low intensity laser therapy. In fact, it was this treatment, coupled with some acupuncture that finally got this Comox Valley Chiropractor back on the road to health.

INVISIBLE_TEXT
 

Low Intensity Laser Therapy April 29, 2008

INVISIBLE_TEXT

We are excited to be able to offer low intensity laser therapy for sports injuries, arthritis and a variety of other chronic or degenerative conditions.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

The healing potential of low intensity laser therapy extends to a wide range of medical conditions, some of which are listed below.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

This exciting new technology involves the application of light energy at specific power levels in order to penetrate the tissues of your body. These particles of energy are absorbed by a variety of small molecules within your cells, a process that initiates a number of positive physiological responses.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

In essence, light energy is converted into biochemical energy. The result is that normal cell structure and function are restored. The characteristics of the therapeutic light beam permit penetration of deep tissues without affecting normal cells.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

It should be noted that the treatment aims to cure the pathology, rather than control the symptoms, which is the usual approach for the management of pain.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

For more information, or a full list of conditions treated please consult our laser therapy webpage. Or, you can contact us for more details.

INVISIBLE_TEXT

The Advantages of Low Intensity Laser Therapy

  • Non-invasive
  • Highly effective
  • Non-toxic
  • No known negative side-effects
  • Easily applied
INVISIBLE_TEXT

Conditions Treated

  • repetitive strain injuries
  • rotator cuff tears
  • achilles tendonitis
  • soft tissue injuries
  • bursitis
  • osteoarthritis
  • patello-femoral syndrome
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • tennis/golf elbow
  • ligament and tendon tears
  • tendonitis
  • plantar fasciitis
  • numbness/nerve pain
INVISIBLE_TEXT