Not only is the shoulder the most flexible joint in the human body, it is also one of the most unstable. Among athletes, the shoulder injuries are quite common; the shoulder sustains more injuries that almost all other parts of the body.
One of the biggest keys to your success in dealing with spinal pain or injury is avoiding the painful movements and positions. If you have visited our practice for spine-related conditions or not, this topic relates to all of us, because we all have a spine.
The following information is from a great book meant for the non-physician to help resolve their back problems. The book is by Stuart McGill Ph.D. and is called “Back Mechanic: The secrets to a healthy spine your doctor isn’t telling you.”
“Many back pain sufferers would experience a huge breakthrough in their recovery if they only realized that it was their flawed movement patterns that kept them pain-sensitive. Much like a scab forming on our skin, our backs are constantly trying to patch and health themselves. We, however, by continuing to repeat harmful movement patterns in our daily lives cause re-injury. We are essentially “picking the scab.”
It is unreasonable to expect the body to heal if we continue to provoke it in the same way that led to the original injury. Continued provocation of pain sensitizes the nerves so that the pain is triggered by even less stimulation. Remove the provocative motions, and we can find the solution.
Here’s how pain sensitivity works: people increase their sensitivity through repeated stressful and painful loading. These muscles and joints are loaded with sensors: pain sensors, pressure sensors, force sensors, chemical sensors. Some detect carbon dioxide; some detect pain, some sense histamine for inflammation. Human joints are packed with sensors that relay position and movement information to the brain. These signals travel along the sensory nerves. Along the highway of nerves, there are checkpoints or “gates,” at junctions.
According to the Gate Theory of Pain, the idea is, to flood the checkpoint with “good information,” in other words, signals associated with pain-free movement. In this way, there is no more room for the pain signals as they are crowded out.
Try this: close your eyes and find the tip of your nose with your finger like in a roadside sobriety test. You are using kinesthetic sensory organs that run throughout your arm to navigate. These sensors alert the brain as to the position of your forefinger in relation to your nose. The sensation of this simple pain-free motion dominates the information traffic on your sensory nerves with feel-good kinesthetic sensory information that identifies position, length, and force.
Finding and repeating pain-free motions in your back will cause the remaining painful activities to hurt less. Read the previous sentence again – it really is that important.
By discovering and ingraining positive movements for your back, you will find that the pain often dissipates and then disappears entirely. This is because when we remove pain triggers and stop “picking the scab” we give our tissues a chance to rest, heal and regenerate. Simultaneously our sensors for pain are actually being desensitized. Master this, and you have mastered your back pain.
For those of you that have a known type of injury, a name to attach to your condition, your personal recovery strategy should always begin with avoiding the aggravating posture for your unique spine is key to getting yourself back on track.
In our practice, we highly recommend the Abdominal Brace, Sternum-Up and Power Zone concepts to help protect your spine and avoid injury.
Various symptoms of back pain have a distinct and known cause (although this information is not widely known making this book uniquely valuable). Injuries can be avoided if we avoid the injury mechanism itself. Here’s a recap of some pain avoidance strategies, as well as an introduction of some that will be discussed later. The knowledge in this chapter will provide the foundation that will help you:
- Locate and eliminate the cause of your pain- get an appropriate assessment that provides a specific diagnosis (you will be able to obtain your own by reading chapter 6).
- Increase your consciousness around what movements and postures cause you pain.
- Develop replacement postures and movement that enable you to function pain-free.
- Stabilize your torso, core, spine to remove painful spine joint
- Develop a daily exercise plan that includes walking.
- Mobilize your hips
- Learn to create power at the ball and socket joints (hips and shoulders).
- Learn exercises that on of movement: push, pull, lift, carry, lunge, squat, etc.
Make healthy spine choices when sleeping, sitting, or engaging in more demanding activities.
Lastly, we get many patients, and personal trainers ask us what the best core stability exercises are that are not only effective but safe for the spine. The Core 4 exercises provide that exact combination, and we highly recommend you make this part of your routine daily or at least 3-4 days per week.
To schedule an appointment call our office at 703-912-7822 or you can click the schedule button below.
Dry needling is a effective treatment for muscular pain and trigger points. The doctor places very thin acupuncture needles into the muscle to release the muscular tension or trigger point. The needles are placed into the muscle creating a muscle twitch or contraction. The muscle twitch releases the trigger point allowing the muscle to relax, restoring the muscle function and decreasing the patients pain.
What Conditions Can Dry Needling Treat?
Dry Needling can treat the following conditions:
- Neck Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Trigger Points or “knots”
- Tight Hamstrings
- Hip Pain
- Lower Back Pain
- Elbow Pain
- Calf Pain
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
Dry needling is a very effective treatment for acute and chronic muscular pain. The benefits of Dry Needling include a decrease in pain, increased mobility, and increased strength. Typically, positive results are apparent within 2-4 treatment sessions but can vary depending on the cause and duration of the symptoms and overall health of the patient. Another benefit of dry needling is that we can reset the muscle with less pain and get a quicker response to treatment.
How is Dry Needling Different from Acupuncture?
Dry needling and Acupuncture are completely different treatments. The only similarity between the two techniques is the equipment we use – acupuncture needles. Dry needling specifically treats muscular pain and trigger points while Acupuncture is complete healing system that focuses on balancing a patient’s energy or Qi.
If you would like to receive Dry Needling give our office a call at (703) 912-7822 or submit your appointment request by visit us at Chiropractor in Burke, VA.
Most people stretch and hardly pay any attention to it. Throughout the day a person may stretch upon waking or after they’ve been sitting in the same position for a while. They might do some stretches before working out or as part of physical therapy. Stretching often makes us feel better but it might be surprising to discover that it is actually beneficial to optimal body function.
When you walk, more than 200 individual muscles spring into action which includes all of the muscles in your spine and pelvic area. There’s no denying that walking is good for you and very beneficial to overall health. It is also very effective for spinal health. In most cases, walking is an excellent complement to chiropractic care. Here are 5 good reasons for chiropractic patients to get moving.
There is no denying that a healthy diet is integral to overall wellness and staying hydrated is absolutely vital. Every organ, every cell in your body contains water. In fact, when you don’t drink enough water and keep your body properly hydrated, it does not function as it should.
The health of your spine and back depends heavily on whether you are properly hydrated. In fact, if you don’t drink enough water – plain, pure water – it could affect your back, causing pain and limiting mobility.
Preparing, training and competing all collectively make taking part in your sport of choice so much fun. However, the common motions in many popular sports can place a tremendous amount of stress on your neck and back, and while your body is incredibly strong and resilient, it’s important to give your muscles and joints time for rest and recovery. As Chiropractors, we are uniquely trained to assist athletes in preparing for and recovering from the demands of competition. We understand that the stress of training is different from your needs during recovery and we can help you stay on track.
Why it Matters:
As an athlete, you’re pushing and challenging your body to improve your performance. When you’re training, we can help you stay on track by using adjustment techniques that can improve your range of motion while decreasing your spinal stiffness. During your recovery, we use additional techniques that can help with tissue repair, inflammation reduction, and accelerating the recovery process.
- Researchers have found spinal stiffness increases during bouts of back pain.
- Adjustment techniques intended to target soft tissue can help break down nagging scar tissue.
- Improving range of motion in joints can help better facilitate the healing process.
Now, you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to enjoy the benefits of our care. We’ve taken the most effective and impactful techniques and put them together in a way that retired, active, and even soon-to-be athletes can utilize. Whatever your health goals, we want to be a part of the team that keeps you off the sidelines and actively enjoying the game of life. Schedule your visit by calling us at 703-912-7822 or visit us at https://NovaChiroWellness.com.
Does experimental low back pain change posteroanterior lumbar spinal stiffness and trunk muscle activity? A randomized crossover study. Clinical Biomechanics 2016. The Graston Technique: An Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manual Therapy for Back Pain. Spine-Health 2013.
Shin splints is caused by muscle tightness in the tibialis anterior muscle or the tibialis posterior muscle. Where the muscle and tendon attach the bone can become irritated and cause pain. Often the pain will either be felt in the front of the shin or in the back side of the shin, and this is often an overuse injury. If you’re just getting into running for the first time, or you’re increasing your mileage, or you’re increasing your activity or sport, that bump in activity will cause extra tension or tightness in that muscle which will cause irritation to where that muscle attaches to the bone.
So a lot of times what with need to do is we need to loosen up the tension in the muscle and then that will help take pressure off where that muscle attaches to the bone. There are four main treatment techniques we use in the office to help speed up the recovery and to loosen up the tension.
One technique is called laser therapy, and laser therapy helps to reduce any pain and inflammation in the area. It also accelerates the healing process. So if someone’s dealing with an acute case of shin splints, it can really accelerate that process and get the patient feeling better faster.
The other techniques are designed at loosening up the tension in the muscle in both the tibialis anterior and the tibialis posterior. One technique is called dry needling technique. With dry needling we insert small acupuncture needles into the tight muscles to help release tension. This technique is effective for treating the deep chronic tension areas where the muscle is really tough to stretch and loosen up.
Often with dry needling the patient will feel a dull achy sensation when we are treating the problem area. The needles are only left in a few minutes. We don’t need to leave them in for extended periods of time like with acupuncture. This technique is designed specifically just to release trigger points or knots that form in the muscle and that are causing any muscular discomfort.
The next technique we’re going to use to treat the tibialis interior muscle is Graston technique. With Graston technique there is a specific treatment instrument we’re going to use to help loosen up the tightness. This technique massages out any knots or tightness that have formed in this tibialis interior muscle. This is more of a mechanical way of massaging out the tightness and helping to loosen the knot that has formed in this muscle.
Often when the patient feels with this technique is she may feel some ridges or bumps as we go over any tight areas that have formed in this muscle here. With each treatment the patient will feel less tightness and a decrease in the patients pain symptoms.
The third technique we’re going to use to help with the shin splint is we’re going to do some Active Release Techniques on the muscle. With Active Release Techniques we are going to put the muscle through a range of motion while contact the muscle. This technique helps to loosen up trigger points or knots that have formed in the muscle.
The biggest side effect of the treatments is muscle soreness like you worked out. This will go away within six to twelve hours after the treatment. Staying hydrated will help decrease any muscle soreness you may feel.
For more acute and painful shin splint cases what we’ll use is laser therapy to help reduce any pain and inflammation in the area. If you are suffering from a moderate to severe case laser therapy will help get rid of the pain. The benefit of this is it can get very deep as opposed to our hands, so again, it can penetrate really deep right where the attachment is and where the inflammation is located. The patient just feels a really mild, warm sensation. It feels really comfortable. Acute cases of shin splints take four to eight treatments to resolve while chronic cases can take up to 12 treatments to resolve, but usually within four treatments patients are usually 50% better or more.
In addition to treating the patient in the office, at home the patient can actually help accelerate this healing process even more. One way to loosen up the muscles at home is use a massage roller like the Roll Recovery R8. This roller or massage tool massages up and down the muscle and the front of their shin or in the back side of the shin and help to loosen up tightness. Very effective treatment technique for shin splints and lower leg or calf issues.
The other thing we’ll have patients do is after they run or play a sport, we’ll have them ice the painful area and we’ll also have them gently stretch that area as well and use the ROLL Recovery. Stretch and roll the tight muscles before and after you exercise or play your sport.
If you’re dealing with shin splints, give our office a call at (703) 912-7822 or you can visit us at Novachirowellness.com.
One common condition we treat in the office is tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is a condition where the muscles that extend your wrist back, where they attach, right above the elbow here the tendon will get either irritated or it can actually get almost frayed. If it doesn’t heal properly it causes pain right at the attachment point where it attaches on the bone there. The cause is a repetitive stress injury such as grabbing a racket, that’s why it’s often caused with tennis. But it can also be just any kind of gripping exercise or anything just repetitive stress that you’re doing on a computer mouse. That can cause tension to develop in the muscle leading up to the attachment point in the elbow.
We will treat the tight muscle in the forearm and that’ll help take tension off the elbow. Laser therapy, that can be used to help heal the tendon where it attaches to the bone. That’ll help speed up the healing, decrease any pain and inflammation. We can also do dry needling on the forearm muscles here to loosen up tension in the muscles here to take the pressure off there. Graston Technique and Active Release Techniques are the two other techniques we’ll apply to help fix the tight muscles in the forearm and take pressure off of the elbow.
Dry needling in one treatment technique we use to fix tennis elbow. This is an effective treatment technique to help release the tension on the elbow. Dry needling loosens up knots or trigger points in the forearm muscles.
Another effective treatment in treating tennis elbow is Graston Technique with the Graston tool. We’re going to take it over the affected area and it’s going to help to smooth out any knots or tightness that have formed in the forearm muscles. The patient can actually feel little ridges or bumps where there’s a problem. We don’t realize how often we use our hands and forearms throughout the day, gripping things, doing various activities on a daily basis. But what happens is it gets to a point where it tightens up, tightens up and then it’ll cause pain right in the elbow there. Graston technique is going to help massage and loosen up any of the muscle tension.
The other technique we’re going to utilize is an Active Release Technique. We actively put the muscle through a range of motion. And underneath my thumb we’re helping to loosen up any tension, break up any knots or tension that has formed in the forearm muscles here. Often this technique and the Graston Technique patients describe the treatment as a “hurts good” feeling. It feels like we’re releasing a lot of the tension here in the muscles. Often this problem can get so bad that the patients can’t grip anything. Any kind of light grip, even a coffee mug, will cause severe pain right in the elbow there. That’s definitely a situation you need to get treated right away so this doesn’t keep developing into more of a chronic issue there.
For the more severe tennis elbow cases we’ll use laser therapy to help calm down the irritated area. It’ll also help accelerate the healing process in that tendon where there’s a problem. We apply the laser therapy over the affected region. The patient is just going to feel a light, mild, warm sensation where there’s a problem. And we’re going to apply it to the whole area from the elbow all the way down to the wrist. And, again, this is just really powerful because it can get about two inches into the affected area and help decrease any pain and inflammation and accelerate the healing process. We use laser therapy in cases where the pain is moderate to severe. Laser therapy is a very effective treatment when we’re dealing with an acute tennis elbow case.
A typical tennis elbow case will take four to eight visits to resolve. For a chronic case it could be up to 12 visits or even more, depending on how bad the case is. If we don’t see improvement within about four to six visits that is when I will refer patients for an MRI of the elbow to rule out that there is not a more significant tear in the tissue. But usually within four visits patients feel about a 50% improvement and then it just builds on top of that as we get them better. In addition to treatment in the office, patients can accelerate the healing process by doing certain exercises to treat tennis elbow. And one exercise we’re going to have the patient do is we’re going to have them do what we call an “isometric exercise.”
One additional treatment that patients can do at home that will help accelerate the healing of the tennis elbow is Rocktape. This treatment takes a significant amount of stress and pressure off of the injured area and allows the patient to function throughout the day without irritating it. You may have seen people wear these braces right in this region, too. And that’s another option is you can put a strap above kind of right at the top of the forearm here. And what that does is it does a similar thing, it’ll take some of the pressure off the injured area. But this is nice because you barely know it’s there. It’s just another kind of part of the skin there and it’s just basically is going to take pressure off the injured area. Whereas the strap is a little bit more compressive and a little bit more uncomfortable to wear. A lot of times you’ll see tennis players wear that if they’re dealing with an injury. But it basically is acting like a crutch, it’s not actually fixing the problem. We’re going to use this only when the patient is dealing with an active problem. Once we get them better they don’t need to wear this as a long-term treatment. So if you’re dealing with tennis elbow I would highly recommend using RockTape to help accelerate the healing process.
If you’re dealing with tennis elbow give our office a call at (703) 912-7822 or you can visit us online at NovaChiroWellness.com
When people work together as a team towards a common goal, each individual member is able to focus on their strengths. Perhaps the most important hallmark of a great team is great communication. High-level communication is the key that allows everyone to bring their specific skills and talents together to achieve more working together than they ever could alone. And great teams do exist outside of sports and business…have you thought about your healthcare team lately?
Why it Matters:
These healthcare teams are part of what’s known as a “multi-disciplinary” approach – each healthcare provider focuses on their specialty, and everyone works together to keep the athletes healthy, happy, and playing at their best. Chiropractors are considered an essential part of these teams because of our focus on injury recovery and prevention, and overall performance. Shifting treatment away from drugs and medication is also another great benefit of using this team approach.
- A high-quality healthcare team can offer you a more personalized path to get and stay well.
- Research indicates that Chiropractic patients are up to 55% less likely to fill an opioid prescription.
Like any good team, you want to recruit the best players, or in this case – the best doctors. Our practice has built relationships with many top doctors in the area that also believe in a team approach to wellness. If you’re looking for a recommendation, just ask! We’re happy to help you find someone who will complement the active care, rehab, and adjustments you receive in our practice to help you live your best life. Give us a call at 703-912-7822.
Association Between Utilization of Chiropractic Services for Treatment of Low-Back Pain and Use of Prescription Opioids. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2018.