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Holistic Chiropractic Blog 
  • Holistic Chiropractic Blog

    Our blog is dedicated to the description, reduction, or elimination of pain through Holistic Chiropractic procedures, exercise and nutrition.

    Treatment Options for Biceps Tendonitis

    Shelley Coughlin - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    The aches and pains of biceps tendonitis can seriously interfere with your daily activities.

    It is often surprising to people to realize just how much they use their biceps in the course of a day, whether they're picking up a bag of groceries or just brushing their teeth.

    The biceps brachii muscle originates on the scapula (shoulder blade) and crosses both the shoulder and elbow joints, eventually attaching to the upper forearm. Its main function is the flexion and supination (twisting the palm to the front) of the forearm, but it also helps lift the shoulder.

    Weight trainers will be very familiar with the bicep curl, in which the muscle is strengthened through repeated lifting of a weight in the hand through alternately flexing and extending at the elbow.

    Repeated overuse of the biceps muscle can lead to inflammation of the tendon, causing tendonitis.

    People who practice sports with repetitive 'overhead' actions such as tennis, baseball and javelin throwing are at greater risk for the development of tendonitis, as are those with any kind of job or activity that involves similar repetitive movements of the shoulder.

    Bicep tendonitis may also often occur in combination with other shoulder problems such as rotator cuff tears, arthritis of the shoulder, shoulder instability, tears of the glenoid labrum and shoulder impingement (inflammation of the rotator cuff).

    Patients with biceps tendonitis usually report feeling pain in the front of the shoulder and sometimes in the biceps muscle itself. This is made worse through overhead motion and improved by resting the arm and shoulder.

    The arm may feel weak when bending the elbow or turning the palm upwards. If you experience any of these symptoms, it would be wise to visit your doctor or chiropractor.

    Biceps tendonitis is a common condition seen by chiropractors, and your practitioner will want to make a thorough examination of you and your medical history in order to determine whether your condition is tendonitis or some other condition, and if there are any co-occurring injuries. X-rays are rarely used initially, but may be called for later if the shoulder is not responding to treatment.

    If you are diagnosed with biceps tendonitis, a range of treatment options are available.

    Nonsurgical interventions are the preferred first choice of chiropractors. Resting the shoulder and avoiding exacerbating activity may be suggested in combination with other strategies such as anti-inflammatory medication and ice packs to reduce pain and swelling.

    Any co-morbid conditions contributing to the inflammation will also need to be treated. In extreme cases, cortisone injections may be prescribed.

    The most commonly employed surgical treatment for bicep tendonitis is acromioplasty, particularly in cases where shoulder impingement is also a problem.

    Acromioplasty is the removal of a small piece of the acromion (a bony protuberance of the shoulder blade), which gives more space between the head of the humerus and acromion itself, relieving pressure on the tendon and other soft tissues.

    Biceps tenodesis is another surgical technique that may be utilized to treat tendonitis. In this surgery, the top of the biceps tendon is reattached to a new location. The technique has not, however, met with great success in treating tendonitis patients but may be necessary in cases where there is degeneration of the tendon or when extensive shoulder reconstruction is required.

     ....[Read the full post]

    Gluten-Free Diet

    Shelley Coughlin - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Celiac disease is now one of the most common chronic diseases affecting Western countries, particularly in people of European descent. The condition is caused by an allergic reaction to gluten, a substance that is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.

    This reaction causes damage to the lining of the small intestine, keeping it from absorbing many of the nutrients in the food you eat. ....[Read the full post]

    Sports Supplements and Young Athletes

    Shelley Coughlin - Friday, November 09, 2012

    In recent years, the use of performance enhancing supplements has become an increasingly important issue in the teenage population. ....[Read the full post]

    Yoga for Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Shelley Coughlin - Tuesday, November 06, 2012

    If you suffer from the painful effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), you may want to consider taking up yoga as a gentle form of exercise.

    Yoga for Rheumatoid ArthritisPain will keep people with arthritis from being physically active. People who practice yoga have measurably less pain from rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic pain conditions.

    The yoga students report a better overall quality of life.

    A study recruited 47 patients from a rheumatoid arthritis center, 26 of which were assigned to the yoga group, with the other 21 people as the control group.

    Yoga sessions lasted for one hour twice a week and participants were also given exercises to do at home.

    After 12 sessions, both groups were analyzed, and the patients in the yoga group were found to have significant improvements in all the rheumatoid arthritis parameters, including a reduction in fatigue and the amount of pain medication needed.

    Although patients may have trouble doing many things in yoga, the yoga movements keeps the range of motion in the joints and will help the flexibility of the joints.

    A modified yoga program that was developed to take into account the reduced flexibility and other limitations of those with RA was used in another study on 30 sedentary adults suffering from RA.

    The participants reported a significant reduction in swelling and joint pain. Part of this effect may be due to a reduction in the inflammation that is one of the key factors in RA pain.

    A study conducted on 50 healthy women showed that those who were experienced yoga practitioners had measurably less inflammation in response to stress than those who were new to yoga.

    A small study of 16 women found that they reported improvements in balance and had a reduction in pain and depression after taking a yoga class three times a week for 10 weeks.

    There are now many different types of yoga classes offered, many of which are specifically geared to those with physical limitations.

    Check with your health care professional before undertaking any class and speak with the instructor beforehand so he or she is aware of any limitations you may have.

    Yoga is generally a gentle form of exercise, but if you begin to feel any unusual amount of pain during any of the exercises, stop immediately.

    The instructor may be able to suggest a modified form of the posture that is still useful, but less painful.

    The benefits of yoga are many - even for healthy people - enhancing balance, flexibility and building strength, in addition to helping maintain a sense of peace and improved response in stressful situations.

    For those with RA, it is definitely worth giving it a try. ....[Read the full post]

    Symptoms of Sciatica

    Shelley Coughlin - Friday, November 02, 2012

    Often misunderstood to be a diagnosis, sciatica is actually the term for a collection of symptoms, the most pronounced of which is low back pain combined with pain that extends through the buttocks and down one leg. It is one of the most common forms of low back pain and, as such, is regularly treated by chiropractors.

    Sciatica takes its name from the sciatic nerve, which branches out from the lower part of the back and stretches down the entire back of each leg as far as the foot. Deriving from a number of spinal nerves, the left and right sciatic nerves are the largest nerves in the human body.

    The compression or pinching of either sciatic nerve (or the nerves at the root of the spine) is the cause of sciatica, and this can occur as a result of a number of different medical conditions.

    The pain that occurs with sciatica is the single most important factor in differentiating it from other kinds of low back pain.

    Although the pain may begin in the lower back, sciatica is also felt further down in the buttocks, the back of the thigh, the lower leg an even into the foot itself. The left and right sciatic nerves are rarely affected at the same time, so pain that occurs in only one leg is often a reliable indicator that someone has sciatica. 

    Sciatic pain is often described as shooting like electricity or burning like fire rather than a dull ache.

    A tingling or prickling feeling may also occur, often accompanied by numbness and/or weakness in the leg, just as when the leg 'goes to sleep' after you have been sitting on it for a while.

    A combination of pain and weakness can also be felt in the same leg. Sufferers of sciatica usually report that their pain tends to be better when they are lying down or walking and worse when standing or sitting.   

    The level of pain experienced in sciatica can range from moderate discomfort to severe pain, depending on the nature and severity of the underlying condition. In the worst cases, the degree of shooting pain or weakness in the leg may prevent standing and walking altogether.

    The frequency of symptoms may also vary from occasional through intermittent to ever present. 

    If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it would be wise to arrange a visit to your chiropractor. They can examine you properly to determine if you do have sciatica, what is causing it, and the appropriate treatment options for your case.

    Leaving a condition untreated can lead to a worsening of symptoms, so getting an early diagnosis could save you a lot of aggravation and pain.

     ....[Read the full post]

    What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

    Shelley Coughlin - Monday, August 20, 2012

    Damage to any part of the peripheral nervous system can interfere with the messages being sent from the body to the brain and spinal cord, causing a host of unpleasant symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in the affected area. Whether it's damage to a single nerve (as in carpal tunnel syndrome) or an entire nerve group, peripheral neuropathy can cause serious problems.

    Peripheral neuropathy has a range of causes. One of the most common is diabetes; continuous high levels of blood sugar cause at least half of those with diabetes to suffer from some type of peripheral neuropathy. Other causes are an autoimmune disease such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, nerve pressure or trauma, vitamin deficiency (particularly B-vitamins), alcoholism, exposure to toxins such as heavy metals, and other diseases such as that of the liver and kidneys or an underactive thyroid.

     ....[Read the full post]

    Low Back Pain

    Shelley Coughlin - Saturday, August 18, 2012

    Ever since we evolved to stand upright on two legs, the lower back has been an anatomical weak point in humans. Rather than body weight being evenly distributed between both arms and legs, the entire upper torso is supported by the lower back, which rests on the pelvic girdle.

    Although the lower back muscles generally do a pretty good job, sudden twisting movements of the body can cause muscular strain and damage, leading to pain and incapacitation. Estimated four (4) of five (5) people will suffer lower back pain (or lumbago) over their lifetime.  Lower back pain is one of the leading reasons for time off work in the developed world. 

    The lower back is defined as the area below the rib cage and above the sacrum. Anatomically speaking, this comprises the lumbar vertebrae of the spine, L1-L5, and their associated intervertebral discs, which allow movement and act as shock absorbers. Spinal discs do, however, shrink with age, resulting in movement becoming more restricted and injury more likely. ....[Read the full post]

    Choosing the Right Lumbar Support

    Shelley Coughlin - Thursday, August 16, 2012

    One of the greatest contributors to back pain is using the wrong type of chair for your body. Surfaces that are too hard or too soft do not encourage proper posture and do not provide adequate support for your back.   

    Lumbar back support products are designed to help prevent neck and back pain.

    Many of these products are pillows or cushions that offer additional support when you are seated for long periods of time.

    The lumbar region of the spine is usually referred to as the lower back. It is the area just above your tailbone and below the thoracic (middle back) region. The lumbar area includes your spine and all the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding your spine. If your ligaments are pulled or torn, you will experience a lumbar sprain or strain, which can lead to muscle spasms and significant pain in your lower back. ....[Read the full post]

    Chronic Back Pain

    Shelley Coughlin - Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Back pain can be acute, happens suddenly, lasts 6 weeks or less and often clears up on its own.


    Back pain can be chronic, comes on gradually and lasts 3 months or more. 

    Chronic back pain can be particularly debilitating and can limit movement and mobility. 

    About a third of the millions of people who make appointments with chiropractors every year seek relief from back pain. ....[Read the full post]

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