Active Care Rehab, Manual Therapy

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a therapy that uses an acupuncture/filament needle to pierce the body and cause a positive effect on the underlying muscles, tendon, nerves and ligaments. The needle can enter the muscle and yes penetrate to the bone. How deep the needle is inserted depends on what structures we are looking to treat.

Many patients that experience dry needling feel immediate pain relief and others feel an increase in range of motion or that their joints and muscles just work better. The common questions we get are; it going to hurt and why do those needles help me so much? Dry needling can be somewhat painful but the needles are more surprising than anything. Many patients do not realize the needling has been put in or taken out and after the first therapy session most patients do not complain that is hurts.

The needles do many things in the body. Most important they effect the site that we needling, the surrounding nerves to the spinal cord, and the brain. At the site of needling vasodilation occurs which means the blood vessels open and allow increased blood flow to the area. Increased blood flow helps facilitate healing and repair. At the spinal cord chemicals are released that help block pain and pain signals in the surrounding tissues. Lastly, the brain releases endorphins and endorphins are everyone’s best friend. They decrease pain, cause relaxation and produce a full body calming effect.

So, if you suffer from trigger points or knots in muscles or chronic tightness and pain dry needling can help release the knots and calm down your muscles. When muscles are free to contract and relax than your joints will have more movement and less stiffness. Adding dry needling to chiropractic therapy can  help speed recover and PUT YOUR LIFE BACK IN MOTION!

Manual Therapy

Reoccuring Muscle Injury?

Everyone deals with an injury at some point throughout life. Most will occur when adding a new activity to their routine (shoveling snow in the winter), doing something they should not (thinking they are 18 again), or trying to go to heavy to fast. These injuries will heal with RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation,  or with a few visits to their chiropractor.

What about the injuries that just seem to always come back, the ones that never completely go away? What causes reoccurring muscle strains or pulls? Why do we seem to always pull the same hamstring or strain the same shoulder? To answer this we need to look at how Active Release Techniques (ART) explains muscle injuries.

active_release_technique

When injuries occur the body lays down scar tissue to patch the site of injury. If enough time and care is given to the site than the body will replace this scar tissue with normal, fully functioning muscle tissue. If we continue to stretch, work, use or even eat inflammatory foods the scar tissue will thicken causing the muscles to become shorter and weaker since they can not contract as they should.

You can think of your muscles like roads. When a hole or divot occurs in a road, the city sends out a crew to patch it up. If it is aloud to dry and become part of the road than the road becomes smooth again. If more and more cars drive over the patch the more likely the patch will change shape and need more asphalt to fill the divot. Our muscles work in a similar way.thDHPAWTFS

When our muscles become short and weak tendons become stressed and tendinitis can set in. Range of motion of joints become decreased, strength is lost, and pain can increase and even occur in others areas. The cycle continues over and over, causing reoccurring chronic injuries.

How do we stop the cycle?

Myofascial release techniques like Active Release and Graston. These techniques help heal the tendons and muscles in pain and help eliminate the scar tissue that has developed causing the pain. So, if you have a recurring injury or next time you just pull a muscle find an ART or Graston specialist in your area and scrap the scar tissue before it really becomes a problem.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab, Manual Therapy

Shoulder Impingement and Rolled Shoulders

shoulder_impingement_intro01The shoulder joint consist of the shoulder blade, the humerus, and many muscles and ligaments. The key muscles are the rotator cuff (supraspinatous, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor), scapula stabilizers (serratus anterior and low-mid traps), and the pec muscles. When these muscles become imbalanced limitations and injury can persist.

Shoulder pain occurs in nearly ¼ of the general population and shoulder impingement is the most prevalent diagnosis in these cases. Shoulder impingement is also called supraspinatus syndrome, swimmer’s shoulder, and thrower’s shoulder and occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become irritated and inflamed as they pass through the joint. The rotator cuff muscles become compressed during movement and the body has to adjust to perform movements.

Symptoms of shoulder impingement are pain with raising arm from the side, weakness in lifting the arm, and loss of range of motion in the shoulder joint. This occurs due to incorrect repetitive motion and faulty posture. These faulty movements and postures tend to cause overuse of the pec muscles, levator scapulae, upper trap, and some of the supraspinatus.  At the same time, weakness of the mid and lower trap occurs. These imbalance leads to increased faulty movement patterns of the shoulder and injury occurs.

 (Photo: erikdalton.com)
(Photo: erikdalton.com)

In today’s society, rolled shoulders or forward shoulders are occurring more and more. This occurs due to computer/desk jobs and the fact that we sit for most of our day.

Commonly when the shoulder rolls forward the pec, upper trap and levator scap muscles become overactive. As a result the shoulder blade elevates and the arm rotates inward. This position places the shoulder stabilizers in a long, weak position. When imbalances occur in these muscles stability is lost and the chance of injury greatly increases.

As the imbalances and faulty posture continues, increased stress is placed on the shoulder, especially the supraspinatus. Due to the rolling and shoulder blade position the space the supraspinatus tendon runs through is lost and the tendon becomes impinged. Over time this compression leads to irritation and inflammation and pain follows.

Treatment for shoulder impingement consist of stretching, Active Release and/or Graston, and functional rehabilitation of the shoulder blade stabilizers, thoracic spine, and rotator cuff muscles. So if you are dealing with shoulder pain see this weeks exercises by clicking here.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Manual Therapy

What High Heels Do To Your Posture

High heels may be pretty or spectacular to some but let’s look at what they do to your posture. First and the most obvious is that they point the toes causing constant contraction of the calves. This places the plantar fascia in a shortened state and causes the feet to become stiff and tight. Contraction of the calves places strain on the knees and weakens the shin muscles, predisposing one to shin splints.

http://erikdalton.com/media/newsletters-online/high-heels-and-back-pain/
http://erikdalton.com/media/newsletters-online/high-heels-and-back-pain/

Due to the changes in the foot position and tightening of the calves, the hip flexers and quads have to contract to keep the body’s center of gravity neutral. This pulls the lower back into extension or into anterior pelvic tilt, giving the illusion of full rear end.  The new position of the lower back disrupts breathing, tightens the back muscles and weakens the glute muscles, predisposing one to lower back and hip pain.

With the buttocks pushed back and the pelvis tilted forward, the mid back has to round out for balance. The shoulders begin to round with the mid back and the head shifts forward realigning itself over the body. The neck muscles tighten predisposing one to shoulder and neck pain along with headaches.

All of these changes occur due to wearing high heels. The center of gravity is changed completely stressing not just the spine but many of the joints throughout the body. All of this occurs just because you wanted to wear those pretty little heels.

Counteracting the effects of wearing high heels is not as simple as taking them off. The effects they have on the body cause long term changes in posture and center of gravity. We suggest 5 activities to start the counteracting measures necessary for high heel wear.

1. Self Myofascial Release-Foam rolling or using a ball to release your own plantar fascia, calves, hip flexors, and thoracic spine can help lengthen the muscles and mobilize the joints that are most effected.

2. Activate Weakened Muscles-Glute, core and breathing exercises are essential in reversing the compensating factors that occur with high heel wear.

3. Increase Ankle/Foot Mobility-Your feet need to move to function correctly. Increasing mobility will increase the proper function of your feet.

4. Retrain Center of Gravity-Exercises like squats and hip hinging will help push your center of gravity backwards were it belongs.

5. Stop Wearing High Heels-The most important and most logical way to counteract the negative effects of wearing high heels.

See exercises by clicking here to get started.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab, Manual Therapy

The Importance of Hip Mobility: The Posterior Hip

In this weeks post we are going to discuss the importance of the posterior hip and what the lack of movement in the hips does to the body.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Posterior_Hip_Muscles_1.PNG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Posterior_Hip_Muscles_1.PNG

Being able to move through the hips is very important in any athletic movement but also in day to day activities. Every time one goes to sit down, squat, or bend over proper posterior hip movement is crucial and necessary for injury prevention.  Without proper posterior hip movement the lower back and knees are put under tremendous stress and have to work much harder than they should.

The posterior hip is made up of primarily six muscles, a fibrous joint capsule and the hip joint. These muscles help rotate the leg and control pelvic stability. When they have to over-work to control the pelvis they become tight and restrict hip motion. Once motion has become restricted, the hip capsule then begins to shrink further limiting motion. Treatment of the posterior hip is a combination of mobilization, soft tissue techniques such as Active Release Techniques and/or Graston, and home rehab exercises.

Individuals that lack posterior hip mobility and have tight hip external rotators commonly have a posture that is termed “Butt Gripper”.  This is due to the appearance that one is squeezing the buttocks muscles together and the flattening of the low back.

The “Butt Gripper” appears to not have a well-defined back side and is aware that they are not very flexible, especially in the hamstrings and hips. Their lower back will be very flat if not rounded and may have trouble finding pants that fit or stay up on their waist. This individual may be guilty of showing off his “plumber’s crack” when bending over or stumping down.

“Butt Grippers” appear to have very strong back, hip and core muscles, but they actually have very weak core and glut stabilizing muscles. This posture and weakness places them at higher risk for lumbar disc injuries and low back pain. If you or someone you know is a “Butt Gripper” check out the posterior hip exercises by clicking here.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab, Manual Therapy

Are you considering expanding your family?

According to the Baby Center, the most births in the United States are in the months of July, August, and September. This means that planning and discussion is well underway. Mother’s consider finances, work schedules, family life, and much more in decision and plans but they forget about one important thing, Their Bodies. We must consider the whole picture.

Is your body ready for pregnancy? Anywhere from 50%-80% of woman report having low back or pelvic pain during their pregnancy and 68% continue to have pain post pregnancy. Many of these women could have decreased this pain if they would have prepared their bodies pre or during pregnancy.

http://www.medicinenet.com/stages_of_pregnancy_pictures_slideshow/article.htm
http://www.medicinenet.com/stages_of_pregnancy_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

What changes occur in pregnancy that increases your chance of experiencing pain? A women’s body goes through many changes in pregnancy but only a specific few are related to pain. One’s abdominal muscles are stretched to their limit, muscle and ligament strength decreases, joint hypermobility occurs (postural changes), and the pelvic floor becomes strained. If these conditions are thought of pre or in early pregnancy, the pain related to pregnancy could be decreased and post-partum pain may be controlled.

How can I prepare my body? It is important to get your body in shape, this is not a strenuous exercise program but a functional rehab program that is simple and is not time consuming. These types of exercises will help decrease the muscle imbalance and weaknesses that occur during pregnancy. Check out the pregnancy exercises.

Manual therapies such as Active Release and Graston can help remove any adhesions or scar tissue that builds up and aid in pain reduction. If you are interested in learning more about reducing pain during pregnancy contact me and/or find a chiropractor/manual therapist that specializes in pregnancy or rehabilitation. See the pictures below for examples of ART on the pelvic ligaments.

 

ART starting Position

ART Finishing Position

 

Remember it is important to plan ahead but women do not forget about your bodies.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand