Shoulder Pain Treatment (Philip J Hehir DC)
Looking for shoulder pain treatment in Guildford? Look no further.
In order of frequency, after the back and the neck, the shoulder is the most commonly treated joint by our chiropractors.
It is a very interesting joint – it allows you to move your arm in many different directions and subsequently perform many tasks from day to day. It is a ball and socket joint, which is wrapped up in a relatively loose bag (called the shoulder capsule) to permit a lot of mobility.
Shoulder movements are heavily influenced by the dynamics of your shoulder blade, collarbone, neck, mid back and ribs.
Alongside this, we have the ligaments, which hold the joint together with the muscles that move the joint with great power and accuracy.
The price we have to pay for such a sophisticated joint is that a dysfunction in any of its components can affect the way our shoulders work, which, over time can produce painful shoulder conditions.
This would include, simple sprains and strains, tendonitis, frozen shoulders and many other painful and disabling conditions.
If neglected, like almost all musculo-skeletal conditions, shoulder problems can, over time, deteriorate and lead to compensatory mechanisms elsewhere in the body.
This can in turn cause secondary painful conditions.
Hence why a lot of shoulder conditions seen by chiropractors are associated with neck pain and headaches.
The neck joints can be placed under undue stress because of the lack of movement in the shoulder joint. The neck muscles and joints are being recruited to try and perform the work the shoulder joint would usually do – a task this area is not designed to carry out. Conversely, it could be that the shoulder pain is due to the neck itself being dysfunctional.
Either way a shoulder condition needs to be assessed thoroughly to determine the exact cause of the problem.
Chiropractors and physiotherapists are highly competent in the non-surgical management of shoulder conditions.
Their aim is to determine the exact source of the problem, whether it comes from a weak muscle, a restricted neck vertebrae or a collarbone dysfunction.
A management plan consisting mainly of hands-on treatment, exercises and lifestyle advice, is then drafted out.
The fact is, the longer you put up with your shoulder pain, the more difficult it will be for your practitioner to sort out.
If you’ve had a shoulder problem for a while, and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better, come and see us. We’ll be more than happy to help.
For further information on how chiropractors help with shoulders, or other sporting type injuries, read this article from the British Chiropractic Association.
Sciatica (Alain Michelotti, DC, PT)
So you think you may have sciatica?
Self-diagnosing is something we are all tempted to do.
Whether the symptoms we suffer from resemble the ones we had in the past, appear to be similar to those of a friend or a neighbour, or look very much like those described on medical website, it is easy to convince ourselves of a self-diagnosed ailment.
Do you remember “Three Men in a Boat” and Jerome’s study of the medical dictionary?
Making a diagnosis (labelling a condition) determines the management of the condition and has to be achieved by a process of elimination.
Roughly speaking, when in the presence of a patient suffering from low back pain, the practitioner has to decide if he is dealing with ordinary backache, nerve root pain or something more sinister.
To reach that decision, a careful history and examination are necessary. Sometimes even after that a doubt remains and complementary investigations are necessary.
Fortunately less than 1% of back pain is due to serious spinal disease.
Now, if we go back to self-diagnosing, it is true to say that we hardly ever see back pain sufferers entertaining the idea that their back pain can be associated with something sinister.
On the other hand, we regularly have patients consulting for what they think is a “sciatica”.
This is a word that has been in use from Greek times and is derived from “ischias” or pain around or coming from the buttock and thigh.
It then became “sciatica” and synonymous with pain in the leg and in the distribution of the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica can result from a disc prolapse (also commonly called a “slipped disc”), or the narrowing of the bony channels through which the sciatic nerve roots travel (called “spinal stenosis”).
One of the most common mistakes is to assume that all leg pain associated with back pain is “sciatica”.
The leg part of the pain is, most of the time, not caused by a “slipped disc”. It is due to the painful stimulation of the back muscles, of the little joints situated at the back of the spine, of the ligaments and of an array of other anatomical structures situated in the back.
Only when the leg pain is one-sided, extends to one foot, is constant, sharp, well-localized, and most of the time accompanied by numbness or pins and needles can it be labelled “sciatica”.
So, now that you’ve read this article, are you still convinced you suffer from sciatica?
The UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends spinal manipulation as performed by chiropractors for the treatment of low back pain and sciatica. For further information, visit NICE.
Are we sitting comfortably?
Sitting on the floor, in front of my wife and me, the other night, was our son, bolt upright with that perfect posture only young kids seem to manage, relaxed but not slumping.
I commented about this to my wife and we discussed how wonderful the young’s instinctive posture is; unsullied by years of poor school seating, lack of exercise and hours spent in front of TV or computer screen.
Any chiropractor will confirm that this upright posture is the best for the preservation and functioning of the spine, its associated muscles and the nervous system.
The body we are born with has all the bits and bobs to develop perfectly well on its own; it’s modern man with our modern ways that disrupt the normal developmental processes.
How can sitting at a desk all day, let alone an hour on the train, be good for you?
We are sleepwalking into an epidemic of spinal developmental problems.
In young children, the curves in the spine need activity to develop.
Running around and climbing trees is far better for your sensory system, cardiovascular system, nervous system, digestive system, lymphatic system, well just about every system you’ve got plus some sunlight to up your vitamin D levels, important for young and old bones alike (rickets is making a come back).
Playing on an X-Box or PS4 may give you some improved hand-eye coordination and strategy-making skills but you’ll get that outside when your friends are lobbing things at you or you’re climbing a tree.
Plus if you fall out of the tree you’ll get a sense of your own mortality, possibly a free trip to the Royal Surrey hospital and a clip round the ear which will improve your mum’s hand-eye coordination.
The ripple out benefits are endless.
We all need to be aware of poor posture. Slumping over a keyboard overloads the disc, which over time can cause a multitude of problems.
In offices get an agreement between yourself and your colleagues that if you see each other slumping you’ll shout “posture!”.
Have some fun and do yourselves some good in the process.
For exercises that could be useful to you, follow this link to Straighten Up UK, an incentive by the British Chiropractic Association to help us all improve our posture. https://chiropractic-uk.co.uk/straighten-up-uk/
“It can’t be tennis elbow, I don’t play tennis!”
Tennis elbow is a painful condition affecting the outside of the elbow, and the muscles of the forearm. It is a fairly common condition, affecting up to 3% of the population, however, only about 5% of cases are linked to tennis. It is most common between the ages of 40 and 60, and usually affects the dominant arm.
Tennis elbow is a repetitive strain injury in which the extensor muscles of the forearm are overused. This leads to small tears developing in the tendon of one of the muscles, close to the bony lump (lateral epicondyle) on the outside of the elbow. These tears result in localised inflammation, and put extra stress on the rest of the arm, making it very painful to perform certain actions.
Although its name suggests that the condition is caused by playing tennis, many other work or recreational activities involving repetitive arm, elbow or wrist movements, can also cause repeated strain on the extensor tendons of the elbow. These include playing some musical instruments eg violin or guitar, excessive playing on games consoles, and prolonged periods of decorating, gardening, carpentry, DIY (especially using a screwdriver), or intensive housework.
The most common symptom of tennis elbow is pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, and in the extensor muscles of the forearm. There may also be some wrist pain, and elbow stiffness, making it difficult to fully straighten the arm. The elbow pain may increase until the elbow becomes too painful to touch.
The pain is usually worse on lifting the arm up, bending the elbow, rotating the forearm eg turning a door handle, opening a jar, or pouring water from a kettle. Grip may also be affected, making it painful to hold a cup or shake hands.
The symptoms may develop immediately after performing a specific activity, or gradually over a period of days or weeks, as a result of periods of unaccustomed intensive exercise or activity, such as lifting heavy boxes when moving house or playing a lot of sport on holiday. Alternatively in some people the condition develops for no apparent reason, and may not be linked to any particular event or injury.
Tennis elbow is usually a self-limiting condition and will often get better without treatment. However, more stubborn cases may require some sort of intervention.
Try to avoid or modify activities that aggravate the pain, especially lifting, gripping or twisting movements.
Apply an ice pack 2-3 times a day for 10 minutes to help calm any inflammation.
Wearing a tennis elbow support to compress just below the elbow reduces the strain on the tendon attachments on the lateral epicondyle and allows them to rest.
Chiropractors can help to speed up the recovery time by using massage, trigger point therapy and acupuncture to the affected muscles, mobilisation or manipulation of the elbow joints, or applying kinesio-tape to the affected muscles. We can also advise on stretching and strengthening exercises when it is appropriate to do them. In most cases this works very well.
If the tennis elbow doesn’t respond favourably to treatment, or if the pain is severe, your GP may suggest a steroid injection into the painful area, or botox injections into the affected muscles. If conservative options still fail to work, surgery may be advisable.
For more information on how Guildford Chiropractic Centre can help you and your family, please contact the clinic here http://www.guildfordchiropractic.co.uk/contact-us/
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