Comox Valley Chiropractor – Tips for your Health

Health tips from your Comox Valley Chiropractor

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

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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.

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

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  • 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
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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.

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

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  • 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.
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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

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Laser Therapy for Rotator Cuff Injuries November 27, 2008

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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.

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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

 

Summer Sports = Knee Sprains! August 5, 2008

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Healing Achilles Tendonitis July 24, 2008

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Low Intensity Laser Therapy April 29, 2008

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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The Advantages of Low Intensity Laser Therapy

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