Pain, tingling or numbness over the palm and into the first 3 fingers may be caused by irritation to the median nerve at the carpal tunnel. This passageway into the wrist is a crowded one, so proper function is extremely important.
People who work at desks, typing with strained wrist flexion with lack of support are the most common to experience carpal tunnel symptoms. Other professions that require repetitive type wrist motion are also prone to this type of injury, such as chefs or drivers. The first step in combating CTS is addressing ergonomics of the work station. Providing support to the wrist at a keyboard, making sure the chair is the correct height to the desk.
Chiropractic care can aid in healing the injured median nerve and tendons of the forearm by mobilizing the bones of the wrist, hand and forearm. Mobilizing these structures makes sure no adhesion or restrictions in movement are limiting the space available within the carpal tunnel.
Soft tissue structures such as the muscles and ligaments of the hand and forearm are also addressed with chiropractic care. Tight muscles or fascia in the area can contribute to the limited space for the tendons and nerve to pass through. For example lets think of a chef who uses their forearms to chop ingredients daily. This individual could have a more dominant pull of the flexors of the wrist due to the overuse in their daily activities. working to stretch a short or tightened muscle, such as the wrist flexors could reduce the compression at the carpal tunnel and aid in healing the nerve damage.
Modalities such as electric stimulation, ultrasound or cold laser therapy may be helpful in treating this condition as well. The provider will be sure to use all the tools available that have shown positive impact in treating CTS.
Wrist splinting is helpful to maintain space during the day, and sometimes necessary to wear while sleeping if the individual is prone to sleeping with their wrists curled under and toward themselves, clamping down on the carpal tunnel space. The flexor retinaculum is a structure that you might think of as a ceiling to this tunnel. Surgical release of this structure is the end state of patients suffering from chronic unrelenting carpal tunnel syndrome. Ultimately the goal of chiropractic care is to avoid surgery and regain normal function, but in some cases surgery is necessary and we will be sure to refer you to the proper health care provider if this is the case for you.
It is important to pay attention to the extent of injury carpal tunnel can progress to. If you notice your thumb pad on the affected hand is starting to atrophy, or losing muscle tone, consult a medical professional such as a chiropractor or you primary care physician immediately. Long term damage to this nerve is much more difficult to heal, and sometimes function does not return if the damage is severe and prolonged.
So pay attention to your body and seek consultation if you think you might be experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome!
Have you heard of the SI joint? It’s a tricky one.
What is the SI joint?
SI stands for Sacro-iliac. Sacro = sacrum, the big wide bone at the base of the spine comprised of 5 fused vertebrae. Iliac = ilium, aka the pelvic bone, aka “the hip bone”, aka os coxae. You have two os coxae, a right and a left. The os coxae bone actually starts as 3 bones that become fused in adulthood. The ilium, the pubis and the ischium. The intersection of all 3 make up the “hip socket”, the acetabulum where the head of the femur articulates.
The articulation between the sacrum and the ilium make up the SI joint! This joint is a large joint that is planar in nature, meaning the two surfaces slide against one another to create motion. However, it’s not that simple. The SI joint is multi-planar, and simultaneously rotates and translates along three axes of motion! The degree of movement of the SI joint in those plans is very small.
All together the two os coxae and the sacrum create a continuous ring known as the pelvic basin. This along with the low back is our foundation of stability!
What does SI joint pain typically feel like?
For starters, just because you are pointing to your SI joint to identify where you are feeling pain, does not mean that is the structure that is causing the pain!
SI joint pain is typically described as dull, achy stiffness. This does not mean that if you describe your pain differently, that you do not have SI joint pain or dysfunction. Patients usually point to the area around the dimples you might see at the base of the spine. Pain can refer elsewhere in the lower back, pelvis and hip as well. Typically not associated with tingling, numbness, or sharp shooting pain traveling down into the legs or feet (although there is always potential for multiple diagnoses present simultaneously).
SI joint pain can be caused by misalignment, abnormal gait, muscle imbalances, traumatic events such as a fall or car accident, pregnancy related, being overweight, lower crossed syndrome and anatomical difference in leg lengths. SI joints often are not the main culprit, but are affected by compensation caused by another problem area such as a disc issue in the low back.
Muscular imbalances or dysfunction can present like SI joint pain as well. Referral patterns trigger points within dysfunctional muscles can be very painful and can be felt at areas away from the actual sit of the problem.
It is critical to assess muscular imbalances around the SI joint.
There are OVER 30 muscles that attach to the bones that make up the SI joint!
TFL (Tensor fasciae latae)
Rectus Femoris (vastus medius, vastus lateralis)
Biceps femoris (short head) Hamstrings
Biceps femoris (long head) Hamstrings
ITB ( Iliotibial band)
The abdominal muscles:
External abdominal obliques
Internal abdominal obliques
Low back muscles:
and the pelvic floor muscles contained within the pelvic basin!
WOW, that's a lot of muscles!
Sacro-iliac joint pain referral pattern is depicted in the image below.
-How might you assess an SI joint?
Clinical evaluation of SI joints can include palpation, range of motion, and orthopedic exams. Studies have not shown great reliability between practitioners for assessment of these joints. Therefore treatment approaches can also vary greatly from provider to provider.
We believe it is critically important to address not only the SI joints and lumbar spine, but the muscles supporting the joint as well.
Adjusting the joints feels good, of course. However, if there is muscular imbalance the effects of the adjustment will be short lived. Instead evaluating which muscles are weak, lengthened, or tight and short, and working to regain balance and normal function supports proper alignment of the joint. Muscles were designed to support and move the joint. We also believe it is important to consider if any ligament damage or laxity is present.
Here's a few go-to's to check the function of the SI joints:
As mentioned before, identifying pain coming directly from the SI joint is challenging. Evidenced by the long list of orthopedic tests above. Due to the complicated nature, an approach was developed to increase effectiveness and reliability when diagnosing SI joint dysfunction and pain. The approach is called Laslett's criteria and you can learn more about it by following the link below!
Depending on the individual treatment may include:
Adjusting- Chiropractic manipulative therapy- diversified, Thompson drop table technique
Muscle work, manual, instrument assisted, trigger point therapy
Modalities- Ultrasound, Cold laser
Rehabilitation- stretching, strengthening
Heat or Ice depending upon phase of healing
This information is not all inclusive! If you are suffering from what you think might be SI joint pain or low back pain, call the office and schedule a visit. We can determine the root of your problem and give you an idea of what treatment would look like, and whether it would be beneficial for you!
Fix your swing, decrease low back pain!
There are 26 million golfers in the U.S. and rising. The number 1 injury sustained by golfers is low back pain. Most golfers report back pain developing over time rather than one incident, and the average injury last about 2-4 weeks. Prevention is managed by addressing movement patterns, muscle imbalances, and type of swing used. These factors directly impact the spine during the golf swing, therefore need to be addressed to prevent or rehabilitate the low back injury.
Sports Health Journal identifies early extension of the low back, reverse spine angle during back-swing and reverse -C finish as the top 3 swing faults related to low back pain.
Images: Finn C. Rehabilitation of low back pain in golfers: from diagnosis to return to sport. Sports Health. 2013;5(4):313–319. doi:10.1177/1941738113479893
Core strength, scapular and hip stabilization are important foundations for the swing. Rehabilitation and prevention start with addressing the function of the above-mentioned areas.
Core muscles should be engaged during the swing to stabilize the spine during postural changes and loads. Diaphragmatic breathing is a large component of core stabilization during a golf game, even putting. The multifidus, quadratus lumborum, transverse abdominis, external obliques, hip abductors, all contribute to core stability.
Training of these muscles should be integrated early in rehab and transitions well to on-course application. Exercises that isolate the target muscles are a great starting point and can be prescribed and demonstrated by a health care provider. Core stability training can be heightened by performing on unstable surfaces such as bosu balls, balance discs or physio balls.
The shoulder blades, shoulder mobility and thoracic range of motion in extension/rotation, hip mobility, ankle mobility, balance can all causes compensation patterns to arise. Therefore, should also be assessed and addressed in prevention/rehabilitation.
You can do all of this by working with a professional in the medical field such as a chiropractor or physical therapist to identify faulty mechanics. A golf pro can help you to identify problems you might have in the sequence of your swing for functionality. The medical professional will help to identify and rehabilitate muscular compensations that have occurred and work to establish balance and increase mobility and strength where needed.
Don't let low back pain keep you from playing your best game!
The plantar fascia—most people have heard the term—but what is it and why are so many people complaining about it? Why can the plantar fascia become so painful and irritating? The answer is because the plantar fascia is a structure that is crucial to a human’s ability to walk, and well, we walk a lot.
To break the term down to its root parts: Plantar is the sole of the foot and Fascia is a band or sheet of tissue, primarily collagen, that connects, supports, or separates. The plantar fascia is a structure that supports the sole of the foot, the connections from the heel to all five toes, and separates the layers of muscle. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of this structure.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain but can also cause midfoot pain. It is usually a result of cumulative trauma. It is very common in those who have a flattened medial arch, placing more tension on the plantar fascia, and repetitive micro-traumas. Tight and weak calf muscles, known as the gastric and soleus also contribute to increased strain on the plantar fascia. Hamstring tightness is also associated in high rates with this condition.
Arm pain, tingling and numbness can have several causes of origin. A common one that responds phenomenally to chiropractic care is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome aka T.O.S. Does this sound like you? Let’s learn about #thoracicoutletsyndrome !!!
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a condition that presents with arm pain, tingling, numbness and sometimes fatigue or weakness while performing activity. These symptoms are caused by compression of the nerves, arteries and veins traveling from the neck and upper torso into the arm. The space these vessels travel through is called the thoracic outlet, you can think of it as a tunnel of sorts. The tunnel, when all is well, has no impingement upon the vessels that travel through it. When posture and lifestyle cause changes in the muscles and ergonomics surrounding the tunnel, the tunnel narrows. When the tunnel narrows one or more of the structures passing through it can become compressed. Think of this as a lane of traffic being shut down in the tunnel. Which makes everyone else mad! Depending which "lane" is compressed, will determine how the symptoms present. Depending where the "lane" is compressed will dictate where the symptoms appear.
This 8 month old cutie is crawling and subsequently falling... a lot. So he came in for an adjustment!
Here you see Dr. Holly checking the movement in baby, Graham’s SI joints and low back. The degree of movement in these joints are small, but critical for crawling babies. Dysfunction makes it uncomfortable and difficult for babies to flex their knees to their chest, which is fundamental to moving forward while crawling.
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Dr. Allison Fleming and