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Lincoln Park Chiropractic and Sports Associates: Dr Brian Marion
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Lincoln Park Chiropractic and Sports Associates: Dr Brian Marion's posts

Second Impact Syndrome-It's Deadly! #SecondImpactSyndrome  

With fall, contact sports are in full swing (football, soccer, volleyball) and presence of sustaining a head injury/concussion are much greater now than ever due to the talent level of the athletes, equipment worn, and size of the athletes participating now.  Parents, coaches, and players at all amateur levels need to be aware of the dangers of second impact syndrome (SIS). Second impact syndrome, occurs when a player sustains a head injury or concussion and isn't cleared to go back to play and sustains another hit/impact to the head before the 1st injury healed/resolved itself. Second impact syndrome is a very serious and possibly fatal brain injury with a mortality rate of up to 50%.  Early recognition of the signs and symptoms of head injury/concussion and prevention are 2 keys to limiting this deadly occurrence in your child/amateur athlete.
 
SIS may result in the athlete feeling stunned, resulting in a possible loss of consciousness, and soon collapsing on the field or sideline soon after receiving the 2nd hit to the head.  Proper evaluation of the initial head injury must be made by a licensed and qualified healthcare professional who has experience treating head injuries to determine the significance of the injury.  Often, because children are competitive and they don't want to come out, they may react in saying that they feel ok and that nothing is wrong.  This is extremely dangerous and do not let him/her back onto the field if you suspect a head injury.  If you suspect a head injury, then your child is not to return to the field for the remainder of that game, plus at least 24 hours after the injury. Additional re-evaluation must be performed before he/she can return to the field of play. Also, parents and/or coaches should monitor the athlete closely for any changing symptoms (vomiting, not eating, headaches, vision changes to name a few) over the next 24-48 hours.  Taking these steps will ensure the athlete recovers properly and allows him/her to get closer to returning.
 
If you suspect that your child has sustained a head injury, please have him/her evaluated as soon as possible and don't let them go back onto the field before it's too late!
 
 Stay tuned to next month's blog! Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome...Watch Your Wrists

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the leading overuse and repetitive condition sustained in the workplace.  It accounts for millions of dollars lost in absenteeism, disability, and productivity.  One needs to protect his/her wrists when using the computer for long periods to avoid developing CTS.  Women are more likely to develop this compared to their male counterparts because of the narrowed carpal tunnels in their wrist.  Surgery is about a 50% success rate and the cost of chiropractic care to treat CTS is only 10% compared to medical care which is 90%.  

CTS is most common in the elbow and the #2 location occurs in the wrist.  One should know that sensation is affected in the 1st 3 fingers (thumb, index, and middle) and the inside of the ring finger, not all 5 fingers.  Typically, if weakness and strength are affected in the 1st 3 fingers (thumb, index, and middle), then one must consider this as a possible condition, but should have this evaluated by a chiropractor or other qualified health care professional to come about a diagnosis.

Chiropractic care through manipulation of the elbow, wrist, and fingers in addition to Active Release Techniques to break down scar tissue/adhesions in the forearm, wrist, and hand will help to diminish symptoms, improve flexibility and mobility, and improve function.  Also, having a soft cushioned wrist support at work (its placed in front of your keyboard) can help to reduce the impact and symptoms it may have when using the computer consistently.  Taking these measures will help you recover faster, and improve your function so you can perform your daily activities with less impact and avoid possible surgery and subsequent physical therapy.  

Stay tuned to next month's blog.  Hope everyone had a great summer! 

Golfer's Elbow... Don't Let It Affect Your Game!

Golfer's elbow is a common overuse condition due to repetitive motion when most commonly playing golf, but can occur in other sports that involve a lot of gripping (rock climbing, tennis, weight lifting).  It affects the forearm tendons that attach to the inside part of the elbow, known as the medial epicondyle due to repetitive stress over many weeks, months, or years.  Most of us don't always recognize the symptoms because they can come-and go and are not always associated with sports activity (could involve home repair too).  Typically, one may feel pain at the inside of the elbow, but often, because these tendons go down into the forearm, and wrist, pay may be felt here as well.  This can be treated conservatively (and without drugs) and effectively by a healthcare professional who has experience if evaluated once the injury is noticed. 

Once the injury is identified, treatment involves multiple options.  One of the recommendations is to limit activity if the problems becomes worse.  By stopping and not performing the activities you enjoy, it is band-aid over the problem.  When you do resume the activity (ies), the problem may return because it was never addressed originally.  Treatment typically involves Active Release Techniques to break down the scar tissue that formed within the muscles/tendons in the forearm/near the elbow.  Secondly, giving rehab exercises to stretch the tendons/muscles in the forearm will help to keep the muscles loose.  Thirdly, applying Kinesiotape to the forearm/elbow to help support the muscles/tendons to avoid the injury from worsening.  Lastly, chiropractic manipulation to the elbow can help to limit restriction and mobility in the elbow and to realign the elbow joint to not allow further tension on the muscles and tendons.

Treatment may resolve the injury quickly within a few visits, but it may take longer depending on the length of how long one has had the injury.  If treatment doesn't resolve the injury conservatively, then an MRI may be needed to address a more complex injury such as either a ligament or tendon tear in either the forearm/elbow.  

Ensure that you stretch your forearms before and after or after your activity to avoid this injury.  Hope everyone is staying active and having a great summer!

Biceps Tendinitis... Watch Your Form 

Biceps injuries largely happen when working out or due to overuse on the tendon. Often, any movements that result in a lot of pulling or pushing repeatedly can irritate the biceps tendon resulting in inflammation.   If the force is large enough, you could end up rupturing the tendon at the MTJ (musculotendinous junction AKA where the muscle meets the tendon) at either end of the biceps.  Biceps tendinitis can result from poor form when weight lifting at the gym specifically to your biceps or shoulders.  This can be corrected by keeping your shoulders back and having your elbows at 90 degrees to your shoulders.  Also, limiting your weight and performing more repetitions at a lower weight will still increase your strength by slowly straightening your arm.  If this is work-related, it may not be easy to change your work-related responsibilities, but you can do some simple things when not working or on break to limit your biceps inflammation and/or irritation.

Stretching your biceps seems easy, but don't forget that your biceps tendon starts in your shoulder, so the actions of the biceps is to flex both the arm and the shoulder. Thus, when stretching it, you need to extend/straighten both the arm and shoulder to ensure proper stretch on the tendon. Moreover, applying ice with barrier when it's a new injury for the 1st 3 days and heat thereafter with a barrier for no more than 20 minutes can help to decrease swelling and inflammation initially, followed by increasing blood flow and loosening the muscle later on. Also, utilizing Active Release Techniques on the biceps tendon and surrounding muscles will stretch the muscles and break any scar tissue that has formed to help this heal much faster.  In addition, applying Kinesiotape to the biceps by inhibiting the biceps from contracting more often can support the arm and shoulder when using it.  Lastly, chiropractic manipulation to the shoulder and mid-back, including appropriate rehabilitative exercises can help to realign the shoulder to lessen the tension on the biceps when using it and strengthening the tissues around the biceps to limit its involvement.  

Following the steps above and seeking out treatment if needed for this injury will shorten your recovery time and limit this injury from worsening.  The next time you begin to have biceps/shoulder pain, don't wait and see.  Get it looked at and watch your form when working out to ensure that this doesn't worsen.  

Stay tuned to next month's blog! Hope everyone is having a nice summer.

Frozen Shoulder... Don't Wait Until its Too Late

Frozen Shoulder, AKA Adhesive Capsulitis, develops after several months of disuse or lack of use.  We've all heard the saying, "If you don't use it, you lose it" and this is very true with frozen shoulder.  Patients typically suffer rotator cuff tendon injuries prior and over time, the injury worsens where scar tissue develops around the head of the humerus restricting the motion in the shoulder.  The trick is to getting treatment and addressing the problem when you initially suffer a rotator cuff tendon injury.  Failure to seek treatment/help can result in frozen shoulder in just a few short months and it can drastically impact your daily activities and your ability to do even simple things as getting dressed or showering.  

The initial diagnosis and subsequent treatment is made based on conservative care for a period of 3 months where the range of motion and flexibility plateau or worsen.  More often, both active and passive motion are lost over time.  The key to treatment is to break down the scar tissue formed around the head of the humerus (arm bone) and shoulder capsule, where many of the rotator cuff tendons attach.  Active Release Treatment (ART) can help to break down scar tissue formed.  It is uncomfortable because the purpose of the treatment is to restore both range of motion and flexibility within your shoulder.  Also, chiropractic adjustments to the shoulder and neck will allow better communication between the nerves and the muscles it supplies resulting in contraction.  Lastly, rehab exercises to increase function and range of motion are critical to the problem resolving itself faster.  Because this problem happened over time, it will take time to resolve.  If symptoms don't resolve, then it's necessary to schedule a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon to try to help surgically repair the shoulder.  This should be utilized as a last resort as getting consistent treatment and doing rehab will help you recover.  

So, as you can see.. Frozen shoulder is terrible to deal with and can severely impact your function and ability to do what you enjoy. If you or someone you know isn't sure if you have this or are currently dealing with it and haven't seen the results you want, then contact me so we can discuss this further to see if I can help.

Stretching... Follow these easy steps

Stretching is an activity that most people neglect, do incorrectly, or don't hold long enough.  Stretching is necessary to increase the flexibility of your muscles and tendons.  Also, it helps to prevent injury because chronic tightening of your muscles can lead to muscle strains and possible tears when performing activity.  Typically, most strains occur when one doesn't stretch, and then one performs a great deal of activity or when a quick burst of activity occurs (i.e walking to sprint).
 
It is most important to note that when stretching to think of your muscles like rubber bands. The longer you hold the rubber band, the greater the elasticity becomes and the looser the rubber band will be.  From most patients that I gather feedback from in my office, they normally stretch 15-20 seconds, maybe 30 seconds at the most.  One should stretch around 45 seconds each stretch and perform these 3-4x per side daily 2-3x per week of any stretch you decide to do.  Just stretching at this frequency at 2 days per week for just 1 month will increase your flexibility by 20%. This translates to less injury, more flexibility, improved performance when playing, and faster recovery time after working out or playing.
 
Proper stretching is critical with activity or to increase your activity, but meeting with a proper healthcare professional to show you how to do the stretches properly will avoid injury and keep you healthy.  So remember... 45 seconds 3x per side daily 2 days per week for 1 month = 20% flexibility increase!
 
Stay tuned to next month's blog. Take control of your health!
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