What is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow?

What is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow?
Indeed, what is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow, aren’t they just for backs? No, not necessarily as a chiropractor I deal with all musculoskeletal conditions and that folks includes an elbow.

What is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow is the question. A common injury I see in my office is Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis/epicondylosis ( the fancy term for inflammation or injury to the forearm muscles attaching to the back/lateral side of the elbow). Tennis elbow, the most common elbow injury gets its name from the advent of tennis in the 1800’s when participants using a single hand back hand shot would strain the extensor muscles on the back of the forearm.

Rarely today is tennis the cause of tennis elbow likely due to better racquet materials and a two-handed back hand, but the name stuck. Tennis elbow can be caused by an acute injury such as lifting a heavy parcel, using heavy hand tools, when golfing and golf or other activities with a forceful strain on the forearm muscles. The condition can also arise from a repetitive or chronic activity, material handling professionals, operators, or any job or activity where the fingers, wrists and hands are used repetitively.

The patient with tennis elbow will have pain and tenderness just above the elbow and into the back/outside of the forearm ( if you are standing with your arms extended and palms facing forward, this is location of the pain.) The person will have pain with extending their wrist backwards, gripping, lifting or twisting.

The condition occurs when there is excessive force at the attachment point for the forearm muscles at the elbow irritating the bone-muscle intersection causing inflammation and pain. There are often knots, trigger points or tender areas in the forearm muscles where layers of muscle have become” glued” down to each other and can’t slide over one another and thus increasing the stress on the bone-muscle intersection.

The condition tends to be a nagging one because let’s face it you need to use your hands somewhat regularly.

Back to our question, what is a chiropractor going to do with an elbow?
In this case part of our assessment will be to examine the area to determine if indeed the problem is due to the elbow or is the pain coming from another area, the neck for example or shoulder or wrist, all can produce pain in the elbow.

If we assume that yes, it is tennis elbow, treatment will involve manual therapy at the elbow and likely wrist, soft tissue massage to the muscles, ultrasound or other modalities, home exercises when pain-free, icing and the provision of brace.

With this kind of treatment this condition need not be a chronic one.
I hope this answers the question, what is my chiropractor going to do with my elbow?
Tennis elbow is but one of the conditions as a chiropractor I deal with everyday.
For more information on elbows http://hollandboneandjoint.com/sports-related-injuries

For more blogs visit here https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca

Careers that benefit from regular chiropractic care: Part 2

Careers that  benefit from regular chiropractic care: Part 2

In my first blog in this series I described how after painting my house for several weeks I was feeling quite sore in the upper back, neck and shoulders and those tradespeople who perform a lot of overhead tasks are at risk for neck, upper back and shoulder pain. So what other careers benefit from regular chiropractic care?

The next group of occupations that can benefit from regular chiropractic care are other health care professionals. In my practice I see a good number of nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, massage therapists and medical doctors of all specialities.

Why would these individuals, already in the healthcare world require chiropractic care?

Let us take nurses for example; nurses are on their feet for their whole shift, standing on very hard surfaces often resulting in heel pain. They are often required to lift, move, restrain patients much larger than themselves; this can result in back, neck and shoulder pain.

Dentists and dental hygienists work for long periods of time in one hunched forward posture with their arms extended, this posture puts serious pressure on the joints of the upper and lower back and rib cage.

In my practice I see a number of medical doctors who just like anyone else can get back pain either from their profession, again long hours on their feet, operating in less than ideal ergonomic positions.

Massage therapists are prone to posture related back pain and repetitive strain injuries of the upper limbs.

Lastly are chiropractors themselves, this is a hands on physical job and often we may work on patients much larger than ourselves and as although we try to manage our posture we too can be in prolonged positions that are less than ideal.

All these professions can benefit from chiropractic care to reduce the pain and dysfunction associated with acute injury and regular ongoing care can help keep them performing at their best ensuring a long and healthy career.

So if you know of or are a healthcare professional who is not at their best, or who would like to continue to perform at their best tell them to give me a call, drop me a line, Facebook message or tweet me.

For other careers that benefit from regular chiropractic care, stay tuned.

Dr. K. Finn

For other blogs in this series go to https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca

Ankle Sprains

This blog comes about due to the recent slippery conditions, resulting ankle sprains. Ankle sprains are one of the most common joint injuries, most people have experienced at least one during their life. Some people have had repeated ankle sprains whether due to sport or as some people will tell me they have “ weak ankles”, more on that comment later.

The ankle joint is formed by the two lower leg bones, the tibia (shin bone) and the fibula (the smaller bone on the outside of your leg) and the bones beneath that are part of the ankle and the heel.

So you’ve just twisted or rolled your ankle, what now? Ankle sprains or any injury to the ligaments ( tough connective tissues that connect bone to other bones) are graded from 1-3.

Grade 1 being the least severe, only some stretching of the ligaments, there may be some swelling and obvious at the end range of movements but no real damage to the ligament. You will be able to stand on your toes and may have a limp for a couple of days. Recovery takes 1-2 weeks.

Grade 2, is more common and involves some partial tearing of the ligaments, here there will be obvious swelling plus some bruising will also appear around the ankle and then into the bottom of one side of the foot. You will limp for up to 2 weeks, you will be unable to hop, run or stand on your toes, there will be pain with most movements. Recovery takes 1-2 months.

Grade 3 is more severe, complete tearing of the ligament, there will be bruising on both sides of the foot, weight bearing is impossible and nearly all movements will be painful and severely reduced. This may require surgery and months of treatment/rehab.

Ok, so when do I need an x-ray, should I go to the hospital? To determine need for an x-ray we follow the Ottawa Ankle Rules. These rules developed by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute are designed to reduce unnecessary x-rays and reduce unnecessary hospital trips. In short the rules recommend x-ray if there is pain on touching the bones of the ankles and foot or there is an inability to bear weight and take 4 steps ( 2 with each foot) both right after the injury and at presentation to the health care provider’s office.

So what now, Grades 1-2 will respond well to conservative care including chiropractic care. Grade 3 will require a specialist consult, but if no surgery is necessary a conservative route can be taken but will require more time.

Initial home care will be for inflammation control (icing 10minutes/hour), rest ( including crutches), protection /compression of the joint ( some form of tensor bandage or brace) and elevation. Regaining mobility early is important, so moving the foot as much as possible in a non-weight bearing position, i.e. spelling the alphabet with your toes.

In the office we can use electrotherapy, ultrasound and hands on mobilizations to improve range of motion and decrease swelling.

As mobility improves and swelling decreases we will begin with strengthening exercises, initially non-weight bearing and then weight bearing.

Lastly, if you recall at the beginning of the blog, some people will say they have weak ankles or sprain them frequently. The reason for this is they have not retrained the ankle’s proprioceptive ability, or simply the ankle and the brain are not communicating properly and your balance is affected. To train for balance we need to stress the affected ankle alone, with one legged standing, hopping and balancing on an unstable surface.

I hope that this gives you a better understanding of ankle sprains and what to do about them. As always if you have any questions give me a call, send me an email, tweet or find me on Facebook.


https://yourpickeringchiropractors.ca     info@drkevinfinnca @drkevinfinn 905-831-3939