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Aberdeen Chiropractic
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The term “acromioclavicular sprain” means that you have damaged the strong fibrous bands (ligaments) that hold the end of your collarbone (clavicle) to the tip of your shoulder blade (scapula). Another term sometimes used to describe this injury is “shoulder separation.” 40-50% of all athletic shoulder injuries involve the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. AC injuries are common in adolescents and young adults who participate in contact sports, like hockey and football. Males are affected five times more often than females.

Injuries may range from mild fraying of a single ligament to complete rupture of all of the supporting ligaments. Significant tears can allow your collarbone to move upward, out of its normal position, creating a raised bump under your skin. AC joint injuries are categorized (Grade 1-Grade 6) based upon the amount of damage. Grade 1 injuries are tender without joint separation. Grade 2 injuries may be accompanied by a slight separation of the joint. Grade 3 and above will show significant joint separation.

Injuries typically occur following a fall onto the point of your shoulder, while your arm is at your side, or by falling onto your outstretched hand. You will most likely feel pain and swelling on the very top of your shoulder. More significant injuries may produce bruising or a visible “bump” beneath the skin. Moving your shoulder will likely be painfully limited for a while.

Your treatment will vary, depending upon the severity of your injury. Grade 1, 2, and most Grade 3 injuries are best managed conservatively. A sling may be used only when needed to control painful movements. Initially, you will need to limit activity, especially reaching overhead, behind your back, or across your body. The exercises described below are an important part of your rehab and should be performed consistently to avoid long-term problems. Using an ice pack for 10-15 minutes each hour may help to limit swelling and pain.

Some mild separations will heal by themselves within a week or two. More significant injuries can take longer, and disabilities typically range between one and eight weeks. Patients who have suffered a significant amount of ligament damage may have a permanent bump on their shoulder, regardless of treatment. This bump does not usually cause ongoing problems.

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The office will be CLOSED today for Victoria Day. Have a great day off and we will see you tomorrow at 9am!

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Your sacroiliac joint is the mechanical link on each side of your hip that connects your legs to the rest of your body. The joint has a limited but very important degree of mobility. Symptoms develop when one or both of the joints loses normal motion. When a joint becomes “restricted”, a self-perpetuating cycle of discomfort follows. Restriction causes the muscles to become overworked, leading to tightness, compression, inflammation, pain and more restriction.

Sacroiliac problems can happen as a result of repetitive strenuous activity or trauma- like a fall onto the buttocks. Other causes of sacroiliac joint problems include, poor posture, having one leg slightly longer than another, having an altered gait, having flat feet or scoliosis, or having pain somewhere else in your legs. Pregnancy is a common trigger for sacroiliac joint problems due to weight gain, gait changes and postural stress.

Sacroiliac joint problems often begin as a focal discomfort in your back just below the belt line, slightly to one side of center. Your pain can travel into your buttock or thigh. Symptoms are often worse by standing on the affected side. The pain may become more apparent when you change positions- like exiting a chair, car or bed, or during long car rides. The pain is often relieved by lying down.

To assist with your recovery, you should avoid any activity that provokes pain, like standing on the affected leg or prolonged sitting. Our office may suggest a sacroiliac support belt to help stabilize your joint.

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Piriformis syndrome results from compression of the sciatic nerve as it passes underneath a muscle in your buttock called the piriformis. The muscle helps to rotate your leg outward when it contracts. In most people, the sciatic nerve travels deep to the piriformis muscle. When your piriformis muscle is irritated or goes into spasm, it may cause a painful compression of your sciatic nerve. Approximately ¼ of the population is more likely to suffer from piriformis syndrome because their sciatic nerve passes through the muscle.

Piriformis syndrome may begin suddenly as a result of an injury or may develop slowly from repeated irritation. Common causes include: a fall onto the buttocks, catching oneself from a “near fall,” strains, long distance walking, stair climbing or sitting on the edge of a hard surface or wallet.

Symptoms of piriformis syndrome include pain, numbness or tingling that begins in your buttock and radiates along the course of your sciatic nerve toward your foot. Symptoms often increase when you are sitting or standing in one position for longer than 15-20 minutes. Changing positions may help. You may notice that your symptoms increase when you walk, run, climb stairs, ride in a car, sit cross-legged or get up from a chair.

Sciatic arising from piriformis syndrome is one of the most treatable varieties and generally is relieved by the type of treatment provided in this office. You may need to temporarily limit activities that aggravate the piriformis muscle, including hill and stair climbing, walking on uneven surfaces, intense downhill running or twisting and throwing objects backwards, i.e., firewood. Be sure to avoid sitting on one foot and take frequent breaks from prolonged standing, sitting and car rides. You may find relief by applying an ice pack to your buttock for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day. The home stretching exercises described in this handout are an important part of your recovery.

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Workstation Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the science of adjusting your workstation to minimize strain in the following ways:
✓ Maintain proper body position and alignment while sitting at your desk - Hips, knees and elbows at 90 degrees, shoulders relaxed, feet flat on floor or footrest.
✓ Wrists should not be bent while at the keyboard. Forearms and wrists should not be leaning on a hard edge.
✓ Use audio equipment that keeps you from bending your neck (i.e., Bluetooth, speakerphones, headsets).
✓ Monitors should be visible without leaning or straining and the top line of type should be 15 degrees below eye level.
✓ Use a lumber roll for lower back support.
✓ Avoid sitting on anything that would create an imbalance or uneven pressure (like your wallet).
✓ Take a 10-second break every 20 minutes: Micro activities include: standing, walking, or moving your head in a “plus sign” fashion.
✓ Periodically, perform the “Brugger relief position” -Position your body at the chair’s edge, feet pointed outward. Weight should be on your legs and your abdomen should be relaxed. Tilt your pelvis forward, lift your sternum, arch your back, drop your arms, and roll out your palms while squeezing your shoulders together. Take a few deep cleansing breaths.

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“Ligaments” are made up of many individual fibers running parallel to each other and bundled to form a strong fibrous band. These fibrous bands hold your bones together. Just like a rope, when a ligament is stretched too far, it begins to fray or tear. “Sprain” is the term used to describe this tearing of ligament fibers.

Sprains are graded by the severity of damage to the ligament fibers. A Grade 1 sprain means the ligament has been painfully stretched, but no fibers have been torn. A Grade 2 sprain means some, but not all, of the ligaments’ fibers have been torn. A Grade 3 sprain means all of the ligaments’ fibers have been torn, and the ligament no longer has the ability to protect the joint.

Ankle sprains are the most common soft-tissue injury and will affect up to 20% of active people at some point in their life. Most ankle sprains occur because you have “rolled your ankle” inward. Sprains on the outer side of your ankle are much more common than sprains on the inner side.

Ankle sprains cause pain and swelling over the outside of your ankle. Walking may be difficult, and bruising is common. Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience numbness, tingling, or a dramatic cold sensation in your foot, as this may indicate more significant injury.

Ankle sprains can be successfully managed but will require some work on your part. You can help reduce swelling by elevating your ankle by lying or sitting with your foot elevated or by using an ACE wrap for compression. Applying ice or ice massage for 10 minutes each hour may help relieve swelling. Depending upon the severity of your sprain, you may need to wear an ankle brace to help protect you from further injury. If walking is painful, crutches may be necessary.

Initially, a period of rest may be necessary in order to help you heal. Mild Grade 1 sprains may allow return to sport in a couple of days, while more severe injuries may take six weeks or longer to recover.

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Steve Kerr was a fit 49-year-old former professional athlete who regularly golfed and surfed. Then his back started bothering him.

The Golden State Warriors had recently won the 2015 NBA championship when their coach found himself in excruciating pain. It became so bad that Mr. Kerr struggled to walk. He decided to undergo surgery to repair a ruptured disk. Now he regrets it.

“If you have a back problem, stay away from surgery,” Steve Kerr, now 51, said to reporters in April. “I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab.”

-The Wall Street Journal May 13, 2017.

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Your Median Nerve begins in your neck and travels down your arm on its way to your hand. This nerve is responsible for sensation on the palm side of your first 3 ½ fingers and also controls some of the muscles that flex your fingers. The median nerve can sometimes become entrapped near your elbow as it travels through a muscle called the “pronator teres”. Compression of the median nerve by the pronator muscle is called “Pronator Syndrome.”

Pronator syndrome is often brought on by prolonged or repeated wrist and finger movements, i.e., gripping with the palm down. Carpenters, mechanics, assembly line workers, tennis players, rowers, and weight lifters are predisposed to this problem. The condition is more common in people with excessively developed forearm muscles and is also more common in your dominant arm. Pronator syndrome most often affects adults age 45-60 and females are affected about four times more frequently than males. People who suffer from diabetes, thyroid disease, and alcoholism have an increased risk for developing pronator syndrome.
Pronator syndrome produces symptoms very similar to a more common cause of median nerve compression called “carpal tunnel syndrome”.

Symptoms of pronator syndrome include numbness, tingling, or discomfort on the palm side of your thumb, index, middle finger, and half of your ring finger. The discomfort often begins near the elbow and radiates toward your hand. Your symptoms are likely aggravated by gripping activities, especially those that involve rotation of the forearm, like turning a doorknob or a screwdriver. Unlike carpal tunnel syndrome, pronator syndrome symptoms are not generally present at night. You may sometimes feel as though your hands are clumsy. In more severe cases, hand weakness can develop.

To help resolve your condition, you should avoid activities that involve repetitive hand and forearm movements. Perhaps the most important aspect of your treatment plan is to avoid repetitive forceful gripping. You may apply ice packs or ice massage directly over the pronator teres muscle for ten minutes at a time or as directed by our office. In some cases, an elbow splint may be used to limit forearm movements. If left untreated, pronator syndrome can result in permanent nerve damage. Fortunately, our office has several treatment options available to help resolve your symptoms.

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The bone on the outermost portion of your lower leg is called the “fibula.” Your fibula is joined to the larger “tibia” at the ankle and the knee. These connections allow for better function and dispersal of weight (1/6th of your body weight is supported by the fibula).

Proper function of your knee requires natural gliding movements of the tibia/ fibula joint. The diagnosis of “Fibular head dysfunction” means that this joint has been “sprained” or has become “stuck” in an abnormal position. Fibular head problems affect all age groups but are particularly common in young females.
Problems involving the fibular head are often the result of an injury to your leg, hamstring, or ankle. Sports and activities that require violent twisting motions with the knee bent are particularly suspect. Athletes who participate in football, soccer, rugby, wrestling, gymnastics, judo, broad jumping, dancing, long jumping, and skiing may be more likely to suffer this type of injury. Patients who sprain their ankle or slip and fall with their knee flexed under their body may suffer fibular head problems. Sometimes, symptoms begin without an identifiable injury.

Patients with fibular head problems generally complain of pain on the outside of their knee. Symptoms become more intense with weight bearing or when applying pressure over the irritated area. Sometimes, the condition affects both knees at the same time. In more severe cases, you may experience numbness or tingling on the outside of your leg. Be sure to tell your doctor if you notice numbness, tingling, or weakness in your leg or ankle.

In most cases, fibular head dysfunction is treatable with conservative care, like the type provided in our office. Initially, you may need to limit excessive twisting movements and hyperflexion, (i.e. heel to butt.) Taping or bracing may help patients who have suffered a sprain or have an “unstable” joint.

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Neck pain affects over half of the population at some point in their life. Neck pain is second only to lower back pain as a cause of lost workdays. One of the most common causes of neck pain comes from a restricted joint in your neck.

Your neck is made up of seven bones stacked on top of each other with a soft “disc” between each segment to allow for flexibility. Normally, each joint in your neck should move freely and independently.

To help visualize this, imagine a normal neck functioning like a big spring moving freely in every direction. A neck with a joint restriction is like having a section of that spring welded together. The spring may still move as a whole, but a portion of it is no longer functioning.

Joint restrictions can develop in many ways. Sometimes they are brought on by an accident or an injury. Other times, they develop from repetitive strains or poor posture. Restricted joints give rise to a self-perpetuating cycle of discomfort. Joint restriction causes swelling and inflammation, which triggers muscular guarding leading to more restriction. Since your spine functions as a unit, rather than as isolated pieces, a joint restriction in one area of your spine often causes “compensatory” problems in another.

Joint restrictions most commonly cause local tenderness and discomfort. You may notice that your range of motion is limited. Moving your head and neck may increase your discomfort. Pain from a restricted joint often trickles down to your shoulders and upper back. Headaches, light-headedness and/or jaw problems may result from joint restrictions in your upper neck.

Our office offers several tools to help ease your pain. To speed your recovery, you should avoid carrying heavy bags or purses on your shoulder, as this may aggravate your condition. Be sure to take frequent breaks from sedentary activity.
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