Tennis Elbow, Lateral Epicondylitis, Sports Injuries

Tennis elbow refers to an inflammation of the tendons at the outside of the elbow. The tendons are known as the extensor tendons and they attach to the lateral epicondyle. The lateral epicondyle is the bump on the outside of the elbow. Usually the cause of tennis elbow is repetitive activity in sports or occupational activity. Racket sports such as tennis are some of the most common causes. Using power hand tools can also be very irritating to the elbow.
The treatment of the acute phase of tennis elbow involves rest and icing the elbow. Once the acute pain has subsided the recommended approach is myofascial release to the tendons at the elbow, Chiropractic adjustment to the elbow and wrist, and range of motion exercise/stretching.
Often corticosteroid injections are recommended for tennis elbow. Studies have shown high initial relief from the condition but long term benefits were no better than a wait and see appoach. Ultrasound treatment also showed little benefit in studies.
In my experience tennis elbow is highly responsive to myofascial release treatment combined with Chiropractic adjustments. Most patients can have significant benefits within 5 visits. Home stretching, ice and rest are very helpful in speeding the progress.

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Trigeminal Neuralgia and Acupuncture

Trigeminal neuralgia refers to a condition of unknown cause that produces pain in the face. The pain is usually felt on one side and is often described as burning, shooting or sharp. The pain often results from a light touch of the face that produces intense pain. Trigeminal neuralgia may come on for no known reason or may be linked to an event such as a whiplash injury. The pain is usually episodic and on one side of the face only. The pain may occur in severe bouts for no known reason. Often the pain may stop for a while and resume as an aching. Usually trigeminal neuralgia does not effect the muscles and is not known to cause muscle contractions of the face.
Trigeminal neuralgia is also known as tic douloureux. The trigeminal nerve is one of the cranial nerves. The cranial nerves originate directly from the brain (not the spine) and exit the cranium directly.
Acupuncture is one recognized treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. Acupuncture treatment for trigeminal neuralgia may involve both needle and electric acupuncture. Most often a short series of treatments is recommended over several weeks. Usually, 5-6 acupuncture treatments over 2 weeks is a good initial trial of treatment.

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Shoulder injuries and Chiropractic

The a-c joint or (acromio-clavicular joint) is the joint between the collar bone and the shoulder blade. The a-c joint is often injured in contact sports following a fall on the point of the shoulder or on an outstretched hand. The injury usually results in immediate pain and often the clavicle/collar bone can be seen sticking up abnormally far on the injured side. More severe separations of the a-c joint will leave a permanent bump over the joint. The standard treatment of an a-c separation is bracing with a shoulder sling. Rehab exercises focus on strength of the deltoids, traps and pectorals. It is usually a good idea to wear some type of padding over the joint for contact sports after a separation.

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Posture, the middle back and Chiropractic

One of the most common problems experienced by people who work in an office setting is pain and aching in the middle and upper back. Usually the pain is relieved by activity and made worse by sitting at a desk.
The cause of this type of pain is an imbalance between the muscles of the chest (pectorals) and the muscles of the back (traps, rhomboids). Additionally the hunched position with the head head in a looking down position is aggrevating as well. The muscles of the chest become chronically shortened and weakness of the muscles of the back especially rhomboids is present.
Chiropractic adjustments and myofascial release are often very helpful in relieving this type of pain in the mid back. It is very important for people who experience this type of pain to also begin stretching and strengthening programs to prevent recurrence. Stretching of the muscles of the chest (pectorals) is very helpful. Strengthening of the muscles of the mid back is very helpful as well. Usually the most helpful exercise is rowing motions with the arms held at shoulder level. The Total gym is one very effective piece of exercise equipment for rowing type motions and strengthening the muscles of the back. Neck extension exercises are often very helpful as well. Modification of the work space is helpful as well to eliminate irritating factors.
Usually a combination of Chiropractic adjustments, exercises and workplace modification is effective for managing this type of pain. Most often a series of 4-6 Chiropractic adjustments over 2 weeks is an effective starting point for treatment. Exercises and stretches are helpful on a daily basis.

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Lower back pain, the disc and Chiropractic

Problems with the lumbar disc are a common cause of back pain. The causes of back pain are commonly described as poorly understood. Most people suffering from back pain related to the disc can expect to recover if they wait long enough. Back pain is generally regarded as a self limiting condition. Chiropractic care for back pain is recommended to reduce pain, speed recovery and prevent development of chronic and recurrent pain. The recurrence of back pain is high (40-85% have a recurrence within 1 year). Several types of Chiropractic adjustments have been proved effective for disc problems including side posture adjustments and flexion-distraction ( a special form of traction). Combined with an exercise program and proper lifting/sitting technique, Chiropractic care offers the best form of conservative care for lower back pain.
Often disc problems are revealed by advanced imagining techniques such as MRI. Disc conditions shown of MRI often do not have a direct relation with symptoms of back pain. Studies have shown that 20-30% of people without back pain or sciatica have a disc herniation or disc abnormality.
Pain caused by disc problems is generally irritated by forward bending or sitting in a slumped position. One study showed almost 40% of back pain sufferers had pain arising from the disc. The disc can also refer pain into the leg. Sciatica is pain in the leg along the course of a nerve. It is estimated that 40% of people will experience sciatica in their lifetime.
Disc pain is also considered to be aggrevated by activity and relieved by rest. Some people with especially irritated discs may have pain at rest as well.

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