Whiplash – Can This Really Happen To YOU?

You’re stopped at red light awaiting a left turn into the grocery store when out of nowhere, you  hear the screeching of tires, you turn your head and look into the rear view mirror and see that you’re about to be hit from behind. Then “POW!”  The sudden force of the impact propels you back into your seat, your head hits the headrest and then bounces forwards, almost hitting the steering wheel.  You feel your body twist due to the angle of the seat belt and your sunglasses fly off and your purse sitting on the seat next to you flies into the dashboard and lands on the floor spilling its contents.  You’re not sure what just happened as it all happened so fast.  Is this a dream?  … Read more…

Fibromyalgia – What is it… Exactly?

There are many conditions that can be attributed to specific causes with a clear origin and means of diagnosis.  However, there are also conditions that are obscure and can only be diagnosed by eliminating other, more common conditions.  Fibromyalgia (FM) is one of those conditions where the degree of pain and disability can be profound and life quality interrupting, yet all the tests come back negative and there are no other conditions to explain the collection of symptoms.  It is at that point when the diagnosis of fibromyalgia is typically made. … Read more…

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) – A “Typical” Case Example

“I’ve been working on the line for 13 years and started noticing periodic tingling in my fingers.  It didn’t last long and I didn’t think about it much.  It gradually became more frequent and wouldn’t go away when I changed my activity or shook my hand or fingers.  It started to really grab my attention when I started to drop things out of my hand and couldn’t open jars as easily.  That’s when I decided to see what was wrong.  I didn’t know who to go to so I went to my family doctor and he diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome.  He gave me a splint to wear at night and some anti-inflammatory drugs that irritated my stomach, so I quit the drugs.  The splint helped me sleep and I didn’t wake up as often.  The doctor was talking about surgery to un-pinch the nerve at my wrist if it didn’t get better soon, but I overheard some co-workers talk about seeing a chiropractor for their carpal tunnel problems and how much better they felt so I decided to try it.

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Self-management Approaches For Your Headache?

One of the reported causes of both migraine and tension headache is cervical muscle tension and spinal joint abnormalities in the neck.   When considering treatment for headaches, whether it’s a tension-type or migraine, there are many choices available.  The question is which of the many options offer the best benefit?  

One study compared the effectiveness of physical therapy (PT) to that of relaxation and thermal biofeedback (RTB). Both groups were treated using one of these approaches, and if at least a 50% improvement was not achieved, the other form of treatment was then utilized.  Results were calculated at 3, 6, and 12 month timeframes.  The PT group of 30 females used standard physical therapy approaches that included: … Read more…

Whiplash – What Is It?

Whiplash is a slang term for an injury to the neck that occurs as a result of a sudden jolt, classically occurring in a car accident though a slip and fall injury can sometimes result in a similar condition.  In a classic rear-end collision, the car is struck from behind and accelerated forward at speed that even if the person knew the impending collision was about to take place, bracing the body prior to impact would not prevent injury.  In fact, muscles can only be voluntarily contracted at around 800-1000 msec. and in a rear end collision, the head is “whipped” within a 300-400 msec. time frame.  Add to that, the muscles in the front of neck are initially stretched with the car is propelled forward leaving the head in a relatively extended backwards position.  Most of the headrests in cars are not properly positioned so the head often goes back much farther than the limits of our muscles, ligaments and joints may allow resulting in stretching and tearing of these tissues.  When the tissues in the front of the neck are over stretched, the “rubber band” effect propels the head forward — overstretching the muscles, ligaments, and joints in the back of the spine.  This “crack the whip” phenomenon occurs within 400-500 msec., far quicker than what we are capable of when voluntarily contracting our muscles. Here is a breakdown of what happens in a 5 mph rear-end collision: … Read more…

Fibromyalgia Diet?

There has been much discussion about Fibromyalgia (FM) regarding the symptoms, various medications, exercise, and more, but there is not a lot of discussion about a very important daily activity – eating!  It’s such a simple thing… so simple it seems to have been overlooked.

One FM diet suggests a 3:3:4 ratio for fats, carbs, and protein, respectively, and, to eat 6 small meals per day rather than 3 larger meals.  The “don’t” list includes chocolate, carbonated beverages and alcohol. The “do” list mandates lots of water consumption – 8 glasses a day, or more.  … Read more…

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) – What Else Could It Be?

In our clinic, we see patients frequently with CTS.  If is a very common condition and usually responds well to the non-surgical chiropractic treatment approaches including hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder and/or neck manipulation, Myofascial release techniques, wrist splint use – especially at night, work station evaluation and modifications, physiotherapy modality use, such as electrical stimulation, low level laser therapy, pulsed ultrasound, therapeutic exercises, as well as other treatment approaches. 

CTS symptoms include numbness, tingling, or half asleep sensations in the hand involving the palm and 2nd, 3rd, and thumb side of the 4th fingers.  Sometimes, there is weakness in the grip strength with frequent dropping of objects or difficulty unscrewing jars commonly reported.  Waking at night and needing to shake or flick the fingers to “…wake them up” is common.  Driving due to holding onto the steering wheel with the wrist bent, holding a book or newspaper, buttoning a shirt, and threading a needle, can all become challenging when the median nerve which goes through the carpal tunnel is pinched.  … Read more…

Neck Pain and Chiropractic Treatment

A 42 year old, female patient presented with neck pain that had been present for 2 months.  The pain came on gradually and without a specific cause.  Her vocation is answering the phone for a busy mail order shoe store.  She works 40 hours a week, 5 days per week and never weekends.  Pain worsens with work, especially by the end of the 8 hour shift.  Other pain producers include driving more than 30 minutes, reading more than 30 minutes, and washing hair with the head back.  Pain improves with resting the head on a chair or pillow, moving the head in circles, 600 mg of Ibuprofen (repeated 3x/day), and a hot shower. She describes the pain as an ache with intermittent sharp pain that is becoming more frequent, “…when I move the wrong way.”  There is no shooting pain into the arms or hands. … Read more…

Have You Lost Work Time Because of Your Back Pain?

“I can’t believe how much my low back hurts! I don’t know if I can go to work with it like this!”  Does this sound familiar?  Have you ever missed work because of low back pain?  Well, if you have, you’re certainly not alone!  In fact, over 80% of the general population seeks some type of health care provision at some point in life because of low back pain and many of those lose work time.  Lost work time is often associated with not being able to tolerate certain positions such as prolonged sitting, standing, bending, twisting, reaching, or combinations of these.  Sometimes, just getting to work is next to impossible as the car ride alone may intolerable!  There is nothing more depressing than not being able to move due to the sharp knife-like feeling in the back every time you try to change positions.  … Read more…

Cervicogenic Headache-Results of Electrical Nerve Stimulation vs. Manipulation

A recent study (Li C, Xiu-ling Z, Hong D, Yue-qiang T, Hong-sheng Z. Comparative study on effects of manipulation treatment and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation [TENS] on patients with cervicogenic headache J Chin Integrat Med 2007;5(4)DOI:10.3736/jcm20070408)  compared alternative treatments for patients suffering from cervicogenic headaches, headaches related to/caused by your neck. Patients will typically have pain with neck motion and also limited mobility. There may also be a history of a neck injury such as a whiplash or head trauma. The study of seventy patients was randomized to minimize bias. Patients either had TENS (nerve stimulation) or manipulations. They were given treatments every other day for forty days (about 20 visits). … Read more…