The adductor pollicis muscle is a key mover of the thumb. This muscle has two heads. The transverse head originates on the third metacarpal. The oblique head originates on the base of the second and third metacarpals and the capitate and trapezoid bones. This muscle inserts on the base of the proximal phalanx and ulnar sesamoid. Adduction and flexion of the thumb are the main actions it produces. Trigger points cause an aching pain along the outside of the thumb and hand. Pain can also be felt in the thenar eminence in extreme cases.
Headaches affect almost half of the population. 15-25% of all headaches are referred from the cervical spine and are classified as “cervicogenic”. (1,2) The pathophysiology of cervicogenic headache is debatable, but the anatomical basis is thought to be a convergence of sensory neurons in the upper cervical spinal cord that allows bidirectional referral of pain between the neck and head. (3) More recently, anatomists have identified myodural bridges connecting the dura to the suboccipital musculature. These bridges employ both passive and active tensioning of the spinal cord; with obvious implications for mechanically generated headaches. (4-6)
Two recent randomized controlled clinical trials have highlighted the effectiveness and safety of chiropractic management for headaches.
o “Cervical spinal mobilization increased cervical range of motion and induced immediate headache relief (in patients with cervicogenic headache).” (7)
o “Adverse events were mild and transient, and severe or serious adverse events were not observed. Local tenderness was the most common, reported by 11.3% and 6.9% of the manipulation group and the placebo group, respectively.” (8)
This new data adds to a growing list of support for employing spinal manipulation for headache sufferers. I hope that you will consider recommending chiropractic care for your appropriately screened patients. We are honored to be your partner in co-managing patients and will work diligently to provide tools that resolve problems quickly and safely.
The trapezius muscle is a large diamond shaped muscle in your back and neck. It originates on the nuchal ligament and the spinous processes of c6-t12. It inserts on the scapular spine, acromion process, and the distal clavicle. It’s upper fibres act to elevate the shoulder and rotate the glenoid fossa upward. The lower fibres assist this motion. The middle fibres strongly adduct the scapula. This is the most common muscle in the human body to get trigger points. Trigger points in the lateral upper edge refer pain into the lateral neck and temples. Points in the mid and lower parts of the muscle refer pain into the posterior neck and shoulders. Trigger points in this muscle are a common cause of headaches.
Did you know that tennis elbow and golfers elbow pain can be caused by trigger points? Points located in the forearm flexor and extensor muscles can cause pain, stiffness, and weakness in the elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand. Quite often these trigger point symptoms are mistaken for inflammation of the tendons which is what a true tennis/golfers elbow actually is. Failure to address the trigger points can lead to an incomplete recovery .
This month’s featured exercise will target your hamstrings, buttocks, and lower back.
Begin standing with your thumbs on your rib cage and your fingers on the crests of your hip, making sure not to approximate your fingers throughout the exercise. Stand on one leg with your knee bent only slightly. Slowly flex forward from the hips moving your chest toward the floor, making certain not to flex your back. Return to an upright position. Repeat 15 repetitions on each leg once per day or as directed.
The temps are dropping, but that doesn’t mean you need to drop your workout routine until next spring. Cold weather workouts can be beneficial and even enjoyable if you take proper precautions. You’ll get a good dose of Vitamin D just by being outside in the sun (something we could all use more of during the winter months), and you’ll burn more calories taking your workout outdoors vs. indoors because your body works a little harder to regulate its core temperature. So, if you’re motivated to crawl out from under your warm blanket, take these four precautionary tips into consideration.
1. Have A Plan
Always check the weather forecast before going out to exercise in cooler weather. If the prediction is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit or the wind chill is dangerously low, you might want to opt for an indoor workout instead. Also, to prevent falls, map out your route ahead of time and avoid areas that may be snow-covered or icy.
2. Warm Up Properly
Stay inside for your warm up. Take 10 minutes to stationary cycle or jog in place to help get your muscles warmed up and ready for your workout.
3. Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Although you may not be drenched in sweat in the winter like you are during a summer workout, you still need to drink enough to avoid dehydration. (Plus, cold, dry air leaches more moisture from your lungs, i.e., seeing your breath).
4. Wear the Proper Equipment
Choose the right layers of clothing that will protect your skin from the wind and cold. Depending on the temperature, you might need a tight-fitting base layer (made of compression material to help wick away sweat), a middle layer for extra warmth, and an outer layer for protection from the elements (such as a windproof jacket). Choose synthetic materials for your base layer, and don’t forget about your head, hands, ears, and toes. Hats, gloves, and warm socks are a must.
As with any exercise, listen to your body and don’t push yourself if it doesn’t feel right. Cold weather may mean you have to dial back your effort just a tad until your body is acclimatized to performing in cooler temps. If you experience any pain this winter, whether it’s exercise- induced or otherwise, give us a call. Our team is ready to keep your body comfortable, regardless of the temperature.
Medical physicians and chiropractors are advancing their collaborative efforts as research continues to validate the safety and utility of spinal manipulation for select musculoskeletal disorders. A recent study identified the fundamental values of a successful MD/DC relationship.
Chiropractors who work with medical physicians typically display “an evidence-based approach to patient care plus the ability to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team.” This MD/DC team approach has a direct positive impact on the new metrics of healthcare success:
“Delivery of chiropractic services was perceived to have high value among patients, medical providers, and administration. Patient clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, provider productivity, and cost offset were identified as markers of clinic success.” (1)
As next-generation chiropractors, we embody the evidence-based team approach to patient care. We are grateful for the opportunity to co-manage your cases and will work hard to maintain your trust.