Trigger points in the infraspinatus

The infraspinatus muscle is one of the muscles that makes up the rotator cuff. It originates on the infraspinous fossa of the scapula, and inserts on the middle facet of the greater tubercle of the humerus. It functions to externally rotate the humerus and to stabilize the head of the humerus in the glenoid cavity during upward movement of the arm. Trigger points in this muscle refer pain deep into the anterior shoulder joint and down the anterior arm. Trigger points near the lower medial border refer pain into the rhomboids. This muscle is often injured during throwing motions.


Is there an actual cure all?

Exercise Tip

No; but exercise seems to be as close as we will ever get! 

Some of you may have heard about how a modified form of boxing is helping patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). If you haven’t, it’s been observed that people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who engage in this boxing-like exercise routine can enhance their quality of life and even build impressive gains in posture, strength, flexibility, and speed. Proponents of the program report that regardless the degree of severity of PD, participants have a happier, healthier, and higher quality of life.

But must it be boxing? Maybe not. A report presented at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in San Diego in June 2015 found that patients with Parkinson’s disease who began regular exercise early into the PD process had a much slower decline in their quality of life when compared with those who started exercising later. The researchers found just 2.5 hours per week of exercise is needed to improve quality of life scores. According to the report, it didn’t matter what exercise the participants did — simply getting up and moving for a total of 2.5 hours/week was reportedly enough (that’s only 20-25 minutes / day)!

Looking beyond Parkinson’s, other chronic conditions also benefit from adding exercise into a person’s lifestyle. Studies show that regular exercise as simple as walking helps reduce one’s risk for memory loss, and it slows down functional decline in the elderly. Incorporating aerobic exercise into one’s lifestyle can also improve reaction time in people at ALL AGES. Exercise has also been shown to improve both physical and emotional well-being in those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease with as little as 60 minutes/week of moderate exercise! Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have also reported less stiffness and less muscle wasting when using exercise machines, aquatic exercise, and/or walking.

Research has shown just 30 minutes of brisk exercise three times a week can help reduce depressive symptoms in patients with mild-to-moderate depression. In a study involving teenagers, those who engaged in sports reported a greater level of well-being than their sedentary peers, and the more vigorous the exercise, the better their emotion health! In kids 8-12 years old, physical inactivity is strongly linked to depression.

Even anxiety, stress, and depression associated with menopause are less severe in those who exercise! So LET’S ALL GET OUT THERE AND EXERCISE!!!

What is Scoliosis?

Your spine is made up of 24 bones that stack on top of each other- normally in a straight line. “Scoliosis” means that your spine is curving from side to side, rather than being straight. Scoliosis affects between 1-3% of the population. Scoliosis may begin at any time between birth and adulthood but is most common during times that your skeleton is growing rapidly. Most cases of scoliosis begin between the ages of 13 and 18. Researchers are not completely certain why some people develop scoliosis, but they have found that the problem tends to run in families.

The curve of your scoliosis may be measured with an x-ray. Although some curves get worse, most do not. In fact, only ¼ of all adolescent idiopathic scoliosis curves will progress. Small curves in mature patients have a low risk of progression (2%), while large curves in younger patients progress more frequently. (70%) Curve progression is more common in girls, especially those with larger curves (greater than 20 degrees). Your doctor may need to monitor your scoliosis for progression by performing x-rays every 6-18 months.

Scoliosis may cause your shoulders, hips, or waist to be unlevel. Most curves are classified as “right thoracic”, which means that the peak of your curve protrudes toward the right. This is often accompanied by a forward rotation of your right shoulder and “winging” of your right shoulder blade. Many patients have a secondary curve in their lower spine that helps to balance their body. The majority of patients with mild to moderate scoliosis have no symptoms, but approximately ¼ report back pain. Unfortunately, scoliosis increases your risk of developing back pain later in life.

The primary goal of treatment is to stop curve progression. While many cases can be slowed or even reversed through appropriate management, it is important to recognize that others may progress in spite of the best care. Conservative care, including spinal manipulation (like the type provided in our office) has been shown to help some patients with scoliosis. Exercise is another effective treatment for scoliosis. It is important that you clearly understand your home exercise program and that you perform it consistently.

Patients with larger curves (30-40 degrees), or those who are at high risk for progression may benefit from wearing a brace. Braces have been shown to decrease the need for surgery in about three out of four patients. Fortunately, less than 0.3% of all scoliosis cases will ever require surgery.

You should avoid carrying heavy back packs and consider switching to a wheeled version, if necessary. Sports and exercise will not worsen most cases of scoliosis, and you should continue to participate in the things you enjoy unless directed otherwise by your doctor. The diagnosis of scoliosis is always discouraging, but you must focus on what it is really most important. Be confident in who you are! Don’t let something like a curved spine (or any other medical condition) define you as a person.

Exercise Tip Of The Month


Women are often afraid to lift weights for fear they will look too “bulky”, but actually

that’s not what happens.


Women can and should do weight lifting exercises if they want to shed body fat and achieve a toned physique. Strength training 30 to 40 minutes twice a week for 4 months, could increase an average woman’s resting metabolism by 100 calories a day, meaning you’ll be burning calories even when you’re not exercising.

Hip Abductor Weakness

One very important job of your hip muscles is to maintain the alignment of your leg when you move. One of the primary hip muscles, the gluteus medius, plays an especially important stabilizing role when you walk, run, or squat. The gluteus medius attaches your thigh bone to the crest of your hip. When you lift your left leg, your right gluteus medius must contract in order to keep your body from tipping toward the left. And when you are standing on a bent leg, your gluteus medius prevents that knee from diving into a “knock knee” or “valgus” position.

Weakness of the gluteus medius allows your pelvis to drop and your knee to dive inward when you walk or run. This places tremendous strain on your hip and knee and may cause other problems too. When your knee dives inward, your kneecap is forced outward, causing it to rub harder against your thigh bone- creating a painful irritation and eventually arthritis. Walking and running with a relative “knock knee” position places tremendous stress on the ligaments around your knee and is a known cause of “sprains”. Downstream, a “knock knee” position puts additional stress on the arch of your foot, leading to other painful problems, like plantar fasciitis. Upstream, weak hips allow your pelvis to roll forward which forces your spine into a “sway back” posture. This is a known cause of lower back pain. Hip muscle weakness seems to be more common in females, especially athletes.

You should avoid activities that cause prolonged stretching of the hip abductors, like “hanging on one hip” while standing, sitting crossed legged, and sleeping in a side-lying position with your top knee flexed and touching the bed. Patients with fallen arches may benefit from arch supports or orthotics. Obesity causes more stress to the hip muscles, so overweight patients may benefit from a diet and exercise program. The most important treatment for hip abductor weakness is strength training. Hip strengthening is directly linked to symptom improvement. Moreover, people with stronger hip muscles are less likely to become injured in the first place.

What patients respond better to chiropractic manipulation versus physical therapy?


In discussions with physicians, we are often asked: “What patients respond better to chiropractic manipulation versus physical therapy?”. This is an excellent question as the emerging healthcare model demands that PCP’s select the most cost-efficient and clinically effective management for every case. Almost all musculoskeletal conditions have a defined “best practice” recipe and different conditions require a toolbox of different specialists.

Some neuromusculoskeletal conditions like a spinal cord injury or post-surgical rehab, are nearly always better managed by a therapist. Other conditions like uncomplicated ankle or knee sprains can typically be managed equivocally by either. But when dealing with mechanical LBP, neck pain, and cervicogenic headache, the research is clear – chiropractic spinal manipulation is the most effective option.

In fact, earlier this year the American College of Physicians published a clinical practice guideline (the ultimate synthesis of research) recommending that for acute or chronic LBP, physicians delay pharmacologic management and consider “spinal manipulation, heat, massage or acupuncture”- with no recommendation for therapy modalities. (1)

Furthermore, a new randomized clinical trial comparing outcomes for neck pain patients treated with manual joint mobilization vs. physical therapy demonstrated that the manual therapy group required significantly fewer treatment sessions (6.1 vs. 10.0 treatments at 52 weeks). (2)

Medical physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists must work together to provide integrated “best practice” care. This means recognizing each other’s strengths and limitations while choosing the best possible option regardless of personal or professional bias.

Our providers understand who to treat and more importantly who not to treat. We strive to employ best practice management for every patient, every encounter. We are proud to co- manage our patients and will work hard to maintain your trust.