Looking for information on thumb pain? Read on.
I saw a lady this month, who’s actual primary complaint was neck pain.
As she was putting her coat back on after her adjustment, I heard her groan about the pain in her thumb.
“What’s up with the thumb?” I asked.
She tells me: “I’ve had this nagging pain in the base of my thumb for the last six months and it’s a real nuisance! My GP tells me its wear and tear and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about this before?” I queried.
“Well I didn’t really think. I didn’t know you treated thumbs.”
“You’ll be surprised what I can help with. Let’s have a look at it.”
The thumb joint, due to overuse is susceptible to arthritis and other types of injuries.
Hairdressers, dress- makers and, dare I say it, chiropractors, are all professions which have a higher incidence of osteoarthritis (OA) or repetitive strain-type injuries associated with the thumb. Granted there are other causes of thumb pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection, but fortunately these are rare. It’s reassuring to know that we chiropractors are trained on how to look out for these things.
If a mechanical diagnosis has been made, the chiropractor can begin to work his magic. Very often treating not only the thumb, but other joints including the wrist, elbow, shoulder and neck which all can play a role in the genesis of the thumb pain.
It is this particular approach that makes our treatment so effective, even for cases that haven’t had good results with other physicians.
After an examination of this patient’s thumb, my diagnosis was of a classic case of osteoarthritis of the base of the thumb. I treated the area using adjustments to her thumb, wrist, elbow and neck, some muscle/ligament techniques and I showed her some exercises to do at home that could help.
When she came into see me a week later, she walked into my room with a whopping-big smile on her face.
“So, how are we getting on?” I asked.
“I don’t know what you did to me last time, but my thumb hasn’t felt this good in a long time.”
If you suffer with thumb pain, or know of anyone else who does, feel free to contact our clinic for a discussion with one of our chiropractors who will be happy to advise whether we can help.
Ah! The Joys of life!
Hugging your children or nearest and dearest, hitting a cracking golf/football shot, a lovely walk in the country, a meal with family and friends, tinkering in your shed. Are you getting the drift? Wouldn’t all the above be somewhat sullied by the feckless appearance of pain?
Pain, one of the most common of symptoms can arrive in our bodies with little or no warning.
It’s not Ebola – let’s be thankful for that but in its infinite variety and corrosive, all-pervasive effect there is little else on the planet to match its devastating impact on so many lives.
In contrast to this, as I tell my patients, pain is good and even beneficial to a certain degree.
“Surely not!”, I hear you say, but pain is our early warning system, the body’s radar alerting us to take action before having to go to DEFCON 3.
It is there to act as a warring shot across the bows, letting us know that if we don’t change course or alter what we’re doing, there could be trouble ahead.
The classic removal of your hand from something hot before you’ve realised it, hobbling down the road with a sprained ankle because the knifelike stabbing pain prevents you from weight-bearing fully and inflicting more damage: reactions like these show the body protecting itself as a result of pain.
What about pain that is not transitory but stays and persists, grinding you down? Pain for which there is often no single, significant cause?
Most of us wing it through life pain-free apart from self-inflicted injuries and occasional toothache, but for some, persistent chronic (long-standing) pain is a daily companion.
The bane of many is osteoarthritis (OA), not quite one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse I grant you, but insidiously this single condition is primarily the result of cumulative trauma over many years and can impede living fully.
If you do have pain, don’t accept it and do the British stiff upper lip bit.
Don’t accept that your condition cannot be helped, that it is a fait accompli.
Do everything you can to ease, moderate and understand the cause of the condition and control its effects.
Remind yourself that many people spend their lives oblivious of their OA so why shouldn’t you?
There are many different treatments and approaches available, chiropractic and physiotherapy being some of the most effective and safe treatments, to advise and help, so you don’t need to rely on the welcome but palliative effects of painkillers.
Keep looking: you might just find a better quality of life.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, SPD. (Sandy Boniface, DC)
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), also referred to as pubic symphysis dysfunction, is a common and debilitating condition predominantly affecting women.
It is usually associated with pregnancy and childbirth, with an incidence of up to 1 in 50 pregnancies, but it can continue after childbirth for some women.
It can also be caused by trauma to the area, sports injuries and in some cases osteoarthritis.
The symphysis pubis is found at the front of the pelvis, and together with the sacro-iliac joints at the back of the pelvis, forms part of the stable pelvic ring.
The joint contains a disc, similar to those found in your spine, and is held together by strong ligaments, which need to function effectively to avoid excessive strain on the pelvic joints.
The width of the symphysis pubis is normally about 4-5mm in women (less in men), but can widen by 2-3mm during the third trimester of pregnancy, due to the action of the pregnancy hormone relaxin. This softens the pelvic ligaments, allowing the pelvic joints to widen, and making it easier for the baby to pass along the birth canal. This widening usually decreases within a few days of delivery, but the ligaments can take up to 6 months to tighten up again.
During pregnancy, the increased weight in the abdomen and the weakening of the abdominal muscles, together with the softening of the pelvic ligaments, can lead to instability and misalignment of the pelvic joints, and subsequent pain.
SPD is characterised by pain over the symphysis pubis joint.
The pain can be a mild discomfort or tenderness to the touch, but may become more severe and prolonged, with a burning, stabbing or grinding quality.
It can also be referred to the lower back, the sacroiliac joints, groin, hips, abdomen, perineum (the area between the vagina and anus) and the inner thighs.
Hip mobility, especially moving the legs sideways, may be reduced and painful, leading to a waddling or shuffling gait.
Normal daily activities such as walking, going up and down stairs, sitting down and getting up, getting in and out of a car, turning over in bed, getting dressed, standing on one leg, moving the legs apart, bending down, and lifting may become more difficult and painful to do.
The pain is often relieved by rest, and usually resolves as the ligaments tighten up again after giving birth, but it can be so severe for some women that it affects their quality of life, and can lead to depression, anger and guilt, especially as they may be unable to take care of their baby without help.
Chiropractic treatment can be very successful in improving the function of the pelvic joints and reducing the pain caused by SPD.
Treatment could include soft tissue work, mobilisation of restricted joints, blocking techniques, activator, ice packs to reduce inflammation, exercise advice, and the use of a sacroiliac support belt.
Other advice is to sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees, sit with your back supported and without crossing your legs, sitting rather than standing to perform tasks where possible e.g. getting dressed, go up or down stairs one stair at a time, avoid straddle type movements, keep your legs tightly together when changing positions, avoid lifting, avoid twisting movements, strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, and do not do anything for a prolonged period of time.
If you are suffering from pelvic pain associated with pregnancy and would like further advice or management of your condition, please contact clinic reception for further details. If you would like to request a call back, one of our chiropractors would be happy to speak to you.
Chiropractic Treatment of Foot Pain (Philip J Hehir DC)
Foot pain can wreak mechanical havoc on your joints and muscles.
Foot complaints are a common cause of pain and disability for many of the patients we see at our practice.
There are a variety of different sources of foot pain, luckily the vast majority are mechanical in origin and can be treated without drugs or surgery.
The foot is a very complex structure, to say the least.
The feet form the foundation of the body and if the feet are misbehaving, it is no real surprise that the knees, hips or low back (and sometimes the neck) can also begin to play up.
The foot is compromised of 26 individual bones.
With two feet that means you have 52 bones, which equates to about 25% of the overall number of bones in your whole body. That’s a lot of bones and joints!
Misalignment or reduced movement between any of these bones can be responsible for a lot of foot conditions.
As an example, if the calcaneus (the heel bone) lacks mobility, the Achilles tendon has to work harder. The extra effort induces a gradual strain into the Achilles tendon and calf. Over time, as the muscle gets over-worked it can eventually develop an Achilles tendonitis.
QUESTION: Would we call this a “muscle problem” or a “joint problem?” Correct answer: Both!
The patient has the right to more than one problem.
In a lot of foot complaints, it is not uncommon for several areas to be irritated. It’s only when a chiropractor inspects your foot pain in detail, symptoms can be elicited in areas you didn’t think were hurting.
Typical conditions we see in our practice are:
Plantar fasciitis (a commonly over diagnosed condition!)
Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Our ancestors may have run round barefoot in grassy terrains chasing mammoths, but modern humans wear shoes pretty much from the day they’re born.
We walk on flat surfaces, not bumpy ground. This in essence has changed the way our foot looks, and is the main theory as to why there is such a high incidence of ‘flat feet’ (also known as excessive pronation).
As with any complaint, it is necessary to determine the exact cause of the condition. It is therefore important to make an accurate diagnosis, so the chiropractor can perform specific treatment.
The chiropractor could then provide the patient with all the necessary information to prevent the problem from reoccurring. This can include, for example, exercises or custom-made orthotics (shoe inserts), which our Guildford Chiropractors make on site.
The treatment varies according to the individual patient and the condition.
If you would like to find out about treatment that does not involve surgery or drugs, contact clinic reception. If you would like a call back from one of our chiropractors, this can also be easily arranged.