Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a collection of symptoms of pain and numbness that can extend from the neck area to the hand.

Symptoms often result from the compression of nerve and blood structures in the space between the scalene muscles in the neck, collarbone and first rib.

Thoracic outlet syndrome occurs more often in people who perform repetitive activities above the shoulders such as swimming, racquet sports or simply in manual workers. This syndrome is more common in women than in men.

Nerves and blood vessels in the space between the muscles of the neck, collarbone and first rib are often involved in this condition.

A fracture of the collarbone, altered posture, a supernumerary rib or overdeveloped chest muscles can lead to thoracic outlet syndrome.

Symptoms depend on which vascular or nerve structures are compressed. Thoracic outlet syndrome can produce, but is not limited to, pain in the neck, shoulder, arm or hand. Symptoms may also include numbness in the forearm and some fingers. People may also experience a feeling of weakness on the affected side.

Compression of the blood vessels may cause a decrease in blood flow to the arm, resulting in increased swelling and redness in that arm. Symptoms usually appear or increase when the arms are extended, or held high above the shoulders for a period of time. They are often more acute at night.

Your rehabilitation plan, health profile and fitness level affect the recovery time. In most cases, you can expect a full recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome. Recovery will depend on the severity of the compression.

A few days of rest by reducing activities that cause pain may be necessary. A gradual return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercise and mobility and strengthening exercises will allow for better recovery.

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of successful rehabilitation. Your therapist will accompany you during your rehabilitation program to help you regain optimal posture, joint range of motion, muscle flexibility, muscle endurance and functional status.

According to the principles of thoracic outlet syndrome, improving posture and reducing muscle tension would be two important elements for functional recovery. A progressive rehabilitation program over a period of a few weeks is quite common.Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Remember that pain is not always a good indicator of tissue damage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce, in collaboration with your therapist, light and progressive exercises based on your tolerance.

What is CST and how can it help?

What is CST and how can it help?

CranioSacral Technique is now available at Aberdeen Chiropractic!

Dr. Natalie Carriere has come on board offering CST, Karen Specific Technique (KST), Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Dry Needling and rehabilitation at Aberdeen Chiropractic.

What is CranioSacral Technique? What does it treat?

CranioSacral Technique (CST) is a light touch treatment method of relieving pain and dysfunction.

CST releases tension to allow the entire body to relax and self-correct. Using gentle, light touch you are evaluated and treated to reduce pain and physical stress.

Because it is such a gentle technique, it is considered an excellent treatment option for patients of all ages, especially newborn and elderly patients who are concerned with what is seen as traditional Chiropractic treatment.

For more information or to book an appointment with Dr. Carriere please call us at 204-586-8424 or email at info@aberdeenchiropractic.com

Chiropractic: Obesity, Smoking, & Drinking Associated with Low Back Pain.

SMoking and back pain
Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

Chiropractic: Obesity, Smoking, & Drinking Associated with Low Back Pain.

New research presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual meeting suggests that low back pain sufferers who smoke, drink, and/or are obese may possibly ease their agony by making healthier lifestyle choices. A review of data from 26 million men and women found that people who are smokers, are alcohol-dependent drinkers, and/or are categorized as obese are between four and five times more likely to currently experience back pain than individuals who don’t smoke or drink, and maintain a healthy weight. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, March 2015

The Best Sleep Position 

Bottom Line:

One of the most common questions we get from patients is: “What’s the best sleeping position?” Considering you spend nearly one-third of your life sleeping, this is an important question to ask! Top researchers have found one of the best positions to sleep is on your side with your head supported, shoulders centered, and a pillow between your legs. This allows for the best alignment of your spine and reduces the pressure on your neck, low back, hips, and legs – all of which leads to a more restful night of sleep.

Why it Matters:

Sleeping is the time where your body can maximize rest and recovery. Not only can a lack of sleep cause grogginess the next day, but chronic sleep issues can lead to depression, insomnia, and even make aches and pains worse! If you have ever woken up with a “crick” in your neck, you know how taxing an awkward sleeping position can be on your spine. Maintaining a neutral position and keeping your spine in alignment overnight is an essential part of waking up energized and ready to conquer the day. 

  • Chronic sleep disturbances have been linked to depression and many common pain syndromes.
  • Maintaining proper spinal alignment at night can decrease your aches and pains.
  • Sleeping on your side with your head and legs supported is the best sleep position for your spine.

Next Steps: 

Tonight, when you lie in bed, take a look and make sure your nose and belly button are in alignment. If they are, it’s a good sign your spine is in both an optimal and comfortable sleep posture. Then, take a small pillow and place it between your knees to give your legs and hips that proper added support. Following these quick tips will help you get into the best position to have a great night’s sleep. 

Science Source: 

National Sleep Foundation. http://www.sleep.org 

Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School 2018

Hip Osteoarthritis

Hip osteoarthritis is a condition that can cause stiffness that limits joint range of motion. Over time, certain hip movements become limited, usually causing pain and alteration of normal biomechanics. Your muscles must therefore work harder during movement, generating a feeling of muscle tension.To date, the exact causes of osteoarthritis have not been fully identified. It is completely normal to have a mild level of osteoarthritis with age. However, the more advanced stages of osteoarthritis can affect the ability to carry out daily and physical activities. An exacerbation of symptoms usually occurs during a period when the level of physical activity has been drastically increased. Direct trauma to the hip can increase the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

▬▬▬▬▬

Structures involved

At the hip, the joint affected by osteoarthritis is the ​acetabulofemoral joint,​ formed by the p​ elvic ​bone and the ​femur​ bone. It is mainly cartilage damage combined with the presence, in some cases, of slight bone spurs in the joint that appear to be responsible for the restriction of movement. Over time, some muscles in the hip area may become tighter to compensate for the joint restriction.

▬▬▬▬▬

Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Each person will react differently to osteoarthritis and management will depend on its stage. Hip osteoarthritis can produce, but is not limited to, local pain in the groin area, edema and stiffness in certain hip movements. Repetitive hip movements during walking or other sports activities, prolonged standing and sleeping with direct pressure may cause pain.

▬▬▬▬▬

Developments

Osteoarthritis of the hip is a progressive condition that cannot be cured, which means that the range of motion may decrease over time. An active lifestyle and a rehabilitation plan may however slow the progression of this condition and make it easier to manage the symptoms.1
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Painful episodes

Relative rest is a good way to prevent your symptoms from getting worse. A few days of rest while reducing activities that cause significant pain​ m​ ay be necessary, but it is very important to avoid deconditioning. A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain, joint mobilization exercises and hip muscles strengthening exercises will allow for better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of success. Your therapist will accompany you during your rehabilitation program in order to improve your hip joint range of motion, regain flexibility, muscle strength and endurance, and functional state.

According to the principles of hip osteoarthritis rehabilitation, improving joint range of motion should be an integral part of the treatment plan. A program to improve joint range of motion and flexibility, as well as specific muscle strengthening is common to control the symptoms of hip osteoarthritis.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Keep in mind that pain is not always a good indicator of joint or tissue damage. A significant level of pain does not necessarily imply a more advanced stage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce, in collaboration with your therapist, light mobility and strengthening exercises based on your tolerance. Remember that exercise is an excellent way to manage pain associated with osteoarthritis.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc refers to a disc lesion in the spine, which can cause local symptoms and can sometimes radiate to the legs or arms depending on the location of the lesion. This condition can occur gradually or as a result of a false movement. The hernia is usually located in the neck or lower back. It sometimes appears in the thoracic region in the middle of the back.The intervertebral discs may be damaged due to poor lifting technique, repetitive intense activity or excessive body weight. A combination of several factors can contribute to the development of a herniated disc.With age, the discs lose their gelatinous property, decreasing the size of the disc and the space between the vertebrae. Therefore, the spine becomes less mobile and may become more prone to injury.

▬▬▬▬▬

Structures involved

The spine is made up of 24 ​vertebrae,​ each separated by an i​ntervertebral disc​, a small cushion that acts as a shock absorber during spinal movement. These discs consist of a fibrous ring called the​ annulus fibrosis w​ ith a gelatinous substance in the center called the ​nucleus.​ In a ​herniated disc,​ the nucleus pushes through the fibrous ring, exerting pressure on the nerves​ of the spine.page1image3462661504

▬▬▬▬▬

Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Symptoms vary according to the pressure applied to the nerves and can vary greatly from one person to another. When nerves are irritated, a sensation of pain, numbness and/or weakness in the arms or legs may be felt. A herniated disc in the lower back often leads to irritation of the sciatic nerve, causing acute pain radiating towards the leg. A herniated disc in the neck causes pain in the neck and upper shoulders and may radiate towards the arm.

▬▬▬▬▬

Recovery

Your rehabilitation plan, health profile, fitness level and nutritional status affect the recovery time.​ I​ n most cases, you can expect a full recovery from a herniated disc. As a general rule, this condition may take several

months to fully recover. In cases where the herniated disc is long-standing, the pain may sometimes resurface with no real cause or identifiable false movement and then subside with a return to an active lifestyle.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Early Stage

Relative rest is a good way to prevent your condition from getting worse. A few days of rest while reducing activitiesthatcausesignificant​p​ ainmaybenecessary,butitisveryimportanttoavoiddeconditioning.A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain and exercises to strengthen the stabilizers in your neck or back, depending on the area affected by the hernia, will allow for a better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of successful rehabilitation. Your therapist will accompany you during your personalized rehabilitation program to restore your joint range of motion, muscle strength and endurance, and functional state.

According to the principles of herniated disc rehabilitation, an active approach including the practice of physical activity, regaining a healthy body weight and the use of safe load-lifting principles are important elements for a functional recovery. A progressive training program over a period of a few weeks is quite common. Following that, maintaining an active lifestyle usually helps prevent the pain from returning.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Remember that pain is not always a good indicator of tissue damage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce, in collaboration with your therapist, cardiovascular and strength-building exercises based on your tolerance. Remember that exercise is an excellent way to manage pain related to herniated discs.

How Safe is Chiropractic Care?

 

Bottom Line: 

Safety first. Not only is “do no harm” part of the oath that doctors take, but it’s also a pretty good principle for all of us to live by. No matter how safe you are, there are times when you get hurt or injured, and finding a healthcare option that is safe, provides excellent results, and has high patient satisfaction can be tricky. Or is it? In 2007, SPINE (one of the worlds most respected research journals) looked at data from over 50,000 Chiropractic adjustments given to nearly 20,000 patients, and they found Chiropractic care to be incredibly safe and effective. 

Why it Matters:

Awkward sleeping positions, poor posture, and long hours at a computer can all lead to neck pain. By staying active, taking periodic breaks to stretch throughout the day, and setting up your workstation to minimize the stress on your spine, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood you will encounter a bout of neck pain. It’s great to know that if you do end up experiencing neck pain, Chiropractic adjustments are one of the safest and most effective options to help get you back on track. 

  • Research has shown Chiropractic care to be extremely safe.
  • SPINE examined nearly 20,000 patients and found zero complications.
  • Up to 85% of people with acute neck pain found relief with Chiropractic adjustments.

Next Steps: 

Believe it or not, many people are nervous to start Chiropractic care. The truth is that Chiropractic care is safer than many medications and has far less risk than surgery. Sharing research like this with your friends and family is a great idea. It will inspire them to make a smart decision using the Research That Matters! 

Science Source: 

Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain- A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, Volume 156, 2012 

Safety of Chiropractic Manipulation of the Cervical Spine. SPINE, Volume 32, 2007 

Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults with Neck Pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 37. 2014

Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care. SPINE, Volume 33. 2008 

All About Bunions

Hallux valgus is defined as a deformity that occurs at the base of the hallux, the big toe. This condition, commonly called a bunion, is often associated with joint stiffness and causes a change in the alignment of the big toe. The big toe gradually deviates towards the other toes. It generally causes pain and in some cases an alteration in the normal biomechanics of walking.

The articular limitation of the extension of the big toe or ankle is often compensated by walking with an outward rotation of the foot. Over time, this pressure on the big toe joint causes the symptoms to appear and worsen.

The onset of hallux valgus can be accelerated by wearing narrow, pointed shoes, such as high heels. Structural abnormalities of the foot such as flat feet or an increase in the length of the hallux can also contribute to hallux valgus.

▬▬▬▬▬

Structures involved

In a case of hallux valgus, it is at the ​metatarsophalangeal joint t​ hat the change in the alignment of the joint occurs. Over time, the ligaments of this joint become more relaxed on the medial side of the joint. When hallux valgus is associated with joint stiffness, it is primarily the cartilage damage combined with the presence, in some cases, of slight bone deposits on the medial side of the joint that would be responsible for the restriction of movement.

page1image3421088480

▬▬▬▬▬

Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Each person will react differently to this condition and recovery will depend on the stage of the condition. Hallux valgus can produce, but is not limited to, pain and the appearance of a small bump on the inner side at the base of the big toe, joint stiffness, difficulty with impact activities such as walking and running, and can sometimes cause localized edema around the big toe. The presence of hallux valgus is not always associated with symptoms of pain.

▬▬▬▬▬

Developments

Hallux valgus, often associated with osteoarthritis, is a progressive condition that cannot be cured, which means that the deformity may progress over time. However, an active lifestyle and a rehabilitation plan may slow the progression of this condition and its symptoms.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Painful episodes

Relative rest is a good way to prevent your symptoms from getting worse. A few days of rest by reducing activities that cause significant pain may be necessary.​ However, it is very important to avoid deconditioning. A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain, joint mobilization exercises and strengthening of the hallux muscles will allow for a better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of successful rehabilitation. Your therapist will accompany you during your rehabilitation program to improve the range of motion of your big toe and your leg in general, to restore your flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, and your functional state.

According to the principles of hallux valgus rehabilitation, improving the extension of the big toe and the articular amplitude of the ankle should be an integral part of the treatment plan. A program to improve joint range of motion and flexibility, as well as specific muscle strengthening is common to control the symptoms. Short-term use of a toe separator may be beneficial.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Remember that pain is not always a good indicator of joint and tissue damage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce joint range-of-motion exercises based on your tolerance. It is always better to limit walking to a pain-free level than to stop it completely. Remember that exercise is an excellent way to manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis in the big toe.

Decreasing Tension Headaches

Bottom Line:

Quick question: do you know anyone who isn’t interested in reducing the stress in their life? We’ll give you a minute. Still thinking? That’s what we thought! There aren’t too many of us who couldn’t benefit from reducing the stress in our daily lives. Between family, work, and the latest political thread on social media, the stress can be overwhelming! Chronic everyday stress can also significantly impact our brains and bodies, causing everything from fatigue and depression to debilitating headaches. 

Why it Matters:

Headaches caused by stress are often classified as tension-type headaches. Pain at the base of the skull that starts in the neck and wraps around to the front of the head is common with tension headaches. Research has shown that Chiropractic adjustments effectively treat and correct the cause of these headaches, providing both relief from symptoms and lasting results. In fact, in addition to reducing tension in the muscles supporting your neck, adjustments can also improve your range of motion and reduce your overall feeling of stress. This unique combination of benefits is why millions of people rely on Chiropractic care to help them find relief. 

  • Chronic stress can contribute to tension headaches.
  • Chiropractic care is one of the best ways to reduce stress on your musculoskeletal system and spine.
  • Adjustments have been shown to reduce the frequency, severity, and intensity of tension headaches. 

Next Steps: 

You don’t necessarily need to make drastic changes to your life to reduce your daily stress level. Picking up a new hobby, taking a few minutes to read before bed, or enjoying a relaxing activity like yoga can all help. If you would like to discover even more ways to help reduce your daily stress, we invite you to attend our complimentary workshop coming up soon. We’ll be covering everything you need to know to reduce stress and end your headaches now! 

Science Source(s): 

Do Manual Therapy Techniques Have a Positive Effect on Quality of Life in People with Tension-Type Headache? A Randomized Controlled Trial. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. February 2016

The Connection Between Posture and Headaches 

Bottom Line:

Ergonomics is the study of the posture and positioning of your body. It sounds pretty boring until you consider that millions of people are suffering from headaches every day that are related to their posture! Whether it’s an assembly line, a computer, a tablet, or your phone, you’re likely spending a lot of time looking down. Research has found that up to 20 pounds of pressure is placed on the neck for every inch the chin extends forward or down. This increased pressure can irritate the tissues of the neck leading to everything from premature degenerative changes to chronic headaches. 

Why it Matters:

Maintaining a healthy posture not only helps reduce the stress and pressure on the spinal joints of your neck, it also helps dramatically reduce your headaches. The first step in regaining proper posture is to establish normal motion. This is why Chiropractic adjustments are likely to become your new best friend! Our care is focused on finding the areas of your spine that aren’t moving correctly and gently helping them regain their normal range of motion. After we’ve worked with you to restore proper movement, we can then focus on strengthening the muscles that support your neck and back. This personalized type of care is how we’ve been able to help many people (just like you!) establish better posture and reduce the frequency and severity of their headaches. 

  • Every inch of forward head posture adds up to 20 lbs. of pressure on your neck.
  • This added pressure can contribute to tension headaches.
  • Research has shown that Chiropractic care can dramatically improve your posture and, in turn, reduce your headaches.

Next Steps: 

Take a look around your workstation the next time you’re at the office. Is it set up in a way that’s ergonomically correct? If not, or if you’re not sure, just let us know! We would be happy to set up a time to come to your office, evaluate your workplace, and share our specific recommendations to help keep you and everyone you work with feeling great!  

Science Source(s): 

Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults with Headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 34, Number 5. 2011

Efficacy of Manual and Manipulative Therapy in the Perception of Pain and Cervical Motion in Patients with Tension-Type Headache: A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. (2014) 13, 4-13