Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Prolonged Tension That Causes Pain

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder characterized by pressure in sensitive points in the muscles called trigger points. In MPS, the stimulus point of pain is not where symptoms are felt; rather, the pain is referred to other points in the body. For example, a point of tension in the back could be causing pain to be referred to your head and you may think you are having chronic headaches. Many people are familiar with muscle strain or prolonged tension that causes pain, but MPS is unique because the pain will persist and, in many cases, worsen. Fortunately, MPS responds well to conservative treatment modalities, of the kind we offer.

Symptoms of MPS include: 

  • Deep pain in a muscle
  • Pain that gets worse with time, despite rest or treatment
  • Tenderness in the muscles
  • Referred pain 
  • Difficulty sleeping because of pain

Myofascial release and trigger point therapy are two modalities we utilize to help people suffering from myofascial pain syndrome.

  • Trigger point therapy utilizes cycles of pressure and releases from the chiropractor’s fingerprints that get into the knots and release pain. While it is not the most comfortable form of massage, we follow up with a more relaxing hands-on treatment that helps increase circulation in the area, bringing oxygen and vital nutrients. 
  • Myofascial release treats the problem similarly by relaxing the muscles, stimulating the stretch reflex in the affected muscle, and improving blood and lymph circulation. 

These are minimally invasive techniques that can help you find serious release from myofascial pain syndrome. Furthermore, we can show you ways to target trigger points from home or in the office so that you can help yourself next time the pain flares up. 

Find your balance of mood

Mood swings are a common experience that can reflect changes in age and lifestyle. They can seem sudden and extreme, but there is often an underlying reason behind them. Stress, diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors can all contribute to mood swings and create an imbalance in the body and mind.

As we age, our bodies and minds face increasing pressures that can make it harder to achieve a state of equilibrium. However, it’s possible to address these imbalances naturally, without relying on pharmaceuticals. Chiropractic care can help correct subluxation and regulate the nervous system, which is the primary means of communication between the brain and body. By focusing on key lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management, we can work to bring the body and mind back into balance.

If you’re experiencing mood swings and would like to explore natural ways to address them, our office is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start coordinating an action plan for achieving greater health and well-being.

Unavoidable Scar Tissue Has A Fix

Scar tissue is an unavoidable part of the body’s healing process, after traumatic injury, surgery, or even as a response to repetitive micro-traumas (think scar tissue building up in the fingers after years of typing). Much like inflammation, another natural healing response, scar tissue can accumulate to a point where it inhibits normal functioning and causes pain and stiffness. The main problem is that scar tissue is, by some estimates, only 60% as elastic as the tissue it replaces, meaning that the material itself is inherently stiffer. When left unchecked, scar tissue can proliferate and adhere to healthy tissue in the surrounding area, which can restrict the normal range of motion, becoming especially problematic when the area in question is a joint that requires regular movement. 

The happy part of this story is that chiropractic is a modality that seems almost tailor-made for combating scar tissue accumulation. At our office, we utilize modalities such as the Graston Technique, Active Release Technique, and Myofascial Release to break up scar tissue and prevent it from accumulating and interfering with your way of being. Furthermore, scar tissue can actively pull the body, in particular the back, out of balance and we want to prevent this from happening. Trigger point therapy and simple massage techniques can get deep into the tissues and dissipate the scar tissue.

If scar tissue build-up has you in its grips, give our office a call and schedule an appointment so we can start you on a path toward healing today!

Poor Posture and Your Head is Aching

For most people suffering from chronic tension headaches, it may be time to take a look at your lifestyle: headaches are most often a reflection of the foods and chemicals we consume, the activities (or lack thereof) we pursue, and the mental and physical stresses we go through on a daily basis. You may not be able to control the demands of a busy life, but it is more likely that you can control factors such as food intake, exercise, and one more, less thought-of factor: posture. 

Posture is a factor that can absolutely cause headaches and is absolutely within your control. Many of us start the work day with the best intentions sitting up straight but as hours pass by and stress accumulates as do the caffeine levels, our head starts moving toward the screen, the back rounds and shoulders tighten. In this position, the head is no longer centered over the spine and its weight is distributed unevenly; furthermore, neck and shoulder muscles are being strained in the process as they try to compensate for this imbalance. Muscle spasm is a logical conclusion and if the pain is referred to the nerves in your head, you could very well end up with a headache directly caused by posture. 

This is a straightforward example and headaches are anything but; however, it is an analogy that shows how an unconscious factor could be turned to your advantage. At our chiropractic office, we don’t want to let poor posture cause you headaches any longer. We invite you to call our office and schedule an appointment so that we can help you find ways to break the cycles of poor posture and stress accumulation which are keeping you from feeling your best. 

Sleeping Style

What type of sleeper are you?

Perhaps the most important type is the sufficient sleeper, the one who gets at least 7.5 hours of sleep (5 cycles of 1.5 hours each), sleeps deeply, and wakes up refreshed. Unfortunately, this is a rapidly shrinking demographic, due to the incursions of technology, the high pace of urban life, and the myriad stresses, both physical and mental, that are natural to humans. What does inadequate sleep do to someone, besides increasing stress and limiting physical performance? At a deeper level, inadequate sleep could be said to negatively affect the most important systems in the human body. 

Are your nerves on edge?

A lack of quality sleep puts your nerves on edge and limits the amount of oxygen that is supplied to muscles during the rest and rehabilitation phase of sleep. Without enough oxygen, lactic acid is allowed to build up, leading to muscle tension that could cause pain or stiffness in the morning, the antithesis of waking up refreshed. 

We strive to help people find a way to derive the benefits of restful sleep while not causing any pain to their bodies. The primary goal of any sleeper should be to keep the spine as close to natural alignment as possible, depending on factors including sleep posture, quality of the mattress, and pillow. Here are some recommendations for sleeping posture:

  • For back sleepers, the primary pitfall of this position is the pressure it can put on the lower back. A small pillow can be put under the knees to raise them slightly and alleviate pressure from accruing in the lower spine. Try to use a head pillow that keeps the spine straight and doesn’t angle the neck up or down. 
  • Side sleepers need to follow the same principle for finding a pillow that keeps the spine straight through the neck. Bending the knees to approximate the fetal position will help remove pressure from the spine as well. 
  • Sleeping on the stomach is perhaps the least conducive position for a good night’s sleep. It puts strain on the lower back and core muscles, encourages an unnatural curvature of the spine, and can leave the head and neck at awkward angles. If it is the only way you can fall asleep, try to prop a pillow underneath your stomach to keep your spine level with your head. 

For help getting rid of pain and finding a restful night’s sleep, give our office a call and schedule an appointment today!

Treating Herniated Discs

Diagnosing a herniated disc begins with a conversation: what are your specific symptoms and how are they impacting your life? From a blank canvas, we paint a composite picture of your condition that includes your medical history, and the findings of a physical exam and several neurological and orthopedic tests. We want to know whether your nerves are sending and receiving messages correctly, whether your reflexes are responsive, and what causes you pain. 

Some herniated discs require more aggressive forms of treatment: surgical intervention or epidural injections, but most will respond well to chiropractic treatment.

The body is attempting to heal itself.

It will do so successfully if we can buy it enough time by reducing the pain and restoring movement to the region. Herniated disc pain is often perpetuated by a cycle of stagnation: the pain prevents you from moving, but the lack of movement stiffens joints and contributes to pain. Chiropractic adjustment returns movement to spinal joints, freeing your back from this cycle. Manual therapy and therapeutic exercises target tissues that may have become damaged or strained during the process.

From a wellness chiropractic standpoint, we want you to rehabilitate as quickly as possible. As your pain lifts, we incorporate therapeutic exercises and gentle stretching of restrictive muscles to return the region to a picture of health.

If you are ready to heal your herniated disc, call our office to schedule an appointment today.

New Alternative to Expensive Liposuction

It’s getting to be that time of year when the sweet treats start coming faster and faster until we think we can’t eat anymore, but then we do.

The eating mistakes of years past keep adding up and stay with us until we put in the effort to make a change. Well this year, the old paradigms of fighting off the pounds have a new tool to help. This new technology for fat reduction is safe and easier than most. A bold claim testified to by thousands of happy patients. It is the new Red Light Technology by Dahlia, it combines three wavelengths of light to create a comfortable, safe, and pain-free way to counter the adverse effects of age-related weight gain. The state-of-the-art technology is more than twice as powerful as competing treatments. No longer will the problem areas of spongy cellulite need to remain covered, because they can be melted away. With summer approaching, the effects are clear and the time is right to feel younger and lighter. In as little as two weeks ecstatic patients are seeing belt-defying results.

Most patients can come in during their lunch break and get back to work with no downtime after their session. The painless therapy will cause no bruising or swelling. When you are ready to start your journey to a healthy body, look in the mirror and find the areas you would like to improve. Then discuss your goals with your clinic to develop a plan specific to you.

Our natural approach is a non-invasive, easier, and safer alternative to expensive liposuction. The medical grade certification 60601 awarded to Dahlia means the US government found no unsafe side effects and no risk to the patient. The most exciting part is you can schedule a consultation right now to learn how you can benefit from treatments. We all have things we want to improve about ourselves, and only the bravest people will find the strength to take the steps necessary to achieve their goals. You can be the person you always wanted to be when you look in the mirror. This year, do yourself a favor and give yourself the gift of health. 

Stress Management

Stress comes in many shapes and sizes and doses and it has a precarious relationship with the workplace. While working to make money to live is necessarily one of the largest stressors in human existence, there are ways to manage your stress to avoid becoming entirely spun out. Everyone knows that guy or gal who prides themselves on performing under pressure, but this begs the question: are they actually working smarter or just harder?

We believe in the former over the latter as a formula for success, and we want to help you be proactive in the management of your stress. In our office we can help correct physical ailments that may be causing you pain and, consequently, stress, as well as help regulate your nervous system to optimize your functionality as both a worker and a healthy human. 

Other ways we can help are by helping you find techniques to keep you cool under pressure throughout the day. Here are some simple ways we have found to prove effective: 

  • Chewing gum: studies show that it actually decreases anxiety. 
  • Cooling down: anger and anxiety have a tendency to raise blood temperature which then makes you feel overheated and angry. Placing a cool towel on your wrists is a great technique for managing this. 
  • Squeezing a stress ball: a simple, tried and true method for squeezing out the stress. 
  • Getting outside: if its sunny, a boost of vitamin D is always helpful and a vigorous walk can do wonders for productivity and alleviating stress.
  • Green tea & coffee: Despite what coffee culture would have you believe, caffeine can actually cause more anxiety and interfere with productivity more than it helps. Green tea, on the other hand, contains health-boosting anti-oxidants and a chemical called L-Theanine which promotes calm. 
  • Getting extra rest helps cognitive function and reduces stress levels even in notoriously stressful situations. 
  • Drinking water also helps relieve stress by increasing mental activity which in turn helps solve problems faster. 

If all else fails, take a deep breath. We are here to help you; give our office a call and we can start working on stress management together today. 

Breathe Better

A sub-conscious activity that we sometimes perform in excess of 20,000 times a day? A lot of people would probably jump to blinking, which is correct also, but how about breathing? And while the muscles that control the reflexes of blinking stay in good working order throughout life, this is not necessarily the case for the diaphragm and its accessory muscles. The nerves that power the diaphragm can be interfered with, core muscles can be weakened with misuse and poor posture can subdue our respiratory process, meaning that we are not getting the oxygen our cells need to refresh and respire regularly. This is a problem!

The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates the chest and lungs from the abdomen and is the engine of the respiratory system. Powered by the phrenic nerve, which exits between the C3 and C5 vertebrae, the diaphragm helps to circulate oxygen into the bloodstream, facilitate the exit of CO2 and contribute to the balance of the body and the health of the cells.

70-80% of each breath should be drawn using the diaphragm, yet people are less aware than ever of how to breathe properly. This leads to shallow breath patterns that resemble people suffering from anxiety and can interfere with their quality of life. At our chiropractic office, we are big fans of breathing properly. We keep your spine aligned so that your diaphragm can function fluidly, and help you keep the right muscles in a state of strength so that each breath drawn captures the oxygen you need to thrive. We can also show you proper breathing techniques and how posture affects your ability to breathe as well. 

Foods for Strong Bones

One of the greatest things we can do to combat the bodily degeneration that comes with aging is to fortify our bones! Conditions such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis have traditionally been associated with the elderly, but the startling fact is that with a shift toward a more sedentary society, Americans are facing the onset of degenerative bone conditions at an earlier age than ever. It is time that we start taking this issue seriously and being proactive about keeping our bones healthy and fortified against the incursions of inactivity and age. 

Nutrition for healthy bones centers around two main ingredients: calcium for bone density and support and vitamin D as a supplement for calcium absorption and bone growth. Magnesium is another nutrient that helps with calcium absorption, although too much calcium can actually prevent magnesium from being absorbed. It is all about balance, after all. Here are some delicious food options that will keep your bones strong:

  • Dairy, of the kind that is fortified with vitamin D: Yogurt, milk, cheese, and egg (particularly the yolk) contains high values of your daily percentage for both calcium and vitamin D. 
  • Salmon, while more renowned for its omega-3 properties, also contains almost your full daily serving of vitamin D. 
  • Dark, leafy vegetables such as spinach and collard greens are rich in calcium.
  • Fortified cereal is delicious at any time of day. 
  • Fortified orange juice

Vitamin D is also the sunshine vitamin, so when you can make sure you get out and expose your skin to a reasonable amount of sunlight, without getting burned of course! You don’t need to be a professional in the kitchen or develop a taste for something you dislike in order to recoup the proper amounts of nutrients you need to keep your bones healthy. As your chiropractor, we care about your musculoskeletal well-being throughout life and that is why we practice holistic care that includes chiropractic treatment, exercise, and nutrition. Give our office a call and see how we can make small, yet delicious modifications to your diet that will help you stay proactive about, “getting old.”