Posted by chiropam on Oct 5, 2010 in Chiropractic
Now that it is Springtime in the southern hemisphere, it is typical for most people to want to shed the extra weight that they may have put on over the winter months. It has been my experience in dealing with patients on a regular basis, that moderation is key and a plan and specific goals to work toward achieving helps assist in a successful springtime exercise program. The other key to remember is what you eat. Exercise without watching what goes in the mouth, will not bring the health benefits as doing both. Same with only watching what you eat, without exercising. The two go hand in hand.
One big exercise that is commonly chosen is running. I have heard people say that they’ll take that up and get out in the fresh air, and the weight will drop, and it will look after itself.
Wrong! Running to lose weight and/or keep fit can invariably lead to running injuries. I highly recommend educating yourself, doing some ‘homework’ and getting informed on some of the possible injuries associated with running. Then make a wise and informed decision if running is the best option for you.
Many Running Injuries Are Caused By Overuse
When you think about taking up running, or just starting to run, it’s best to learn how to prevent running injuries.
The Most Common Running Injuries
• ITB (Iliotibial Band)
Chondromalacia, or Runner’s Knee is due to wearing of the cartilage under the patella (kneecap) when the patella is tracked incorrectly while running, causing pain in the knee.
Lateral or side knee pain is usually due to Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome. This band runs from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee and inserts just below the knee. The ITB is meant to stabilize the knee while running. If this gets irritated, it can get inflamed and cause pain in the knee or band itself. This leads to ITB Syndrome.
Another contributor to knee pain as well as foot pain, is Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the thick fibrous connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. It’s job is to absorb the shock of the running motion. Plantar fasciitis is when this tissue gets inflamed due to wear and tear, resulting in pain. This can be temporary or a long-term problem.
Shin splints are usually caused by stepping up the volume of training too quickly. Achilles tendonitis can cause leg pain and or ankle pain, and may eventually lead to rupture of the tendon itself.
Running May Lead To Back & Pelvis Injuries
Besides the injuries listed above, some runners may suffer from acute back pain, pelvis or hip pain, groin pain, and chronic back pain. Running can also irritate the discs in the lower back, which may lead to things such as Sciatica.
Running Injuries Take Long To Heal
Running injuries may take months, or even longer to heal, easily putting fitness and weight loss programs on the back burner. There are also the injuries that may lead to other problems that cause long term effects that can irritate other areas of the body. I believe that it is wise to learn about the preventative measures so that we can make better choices and better decisions on the type of exercise we undertake.
Running for exercise is not for everyone – but if you currently run, or are thinking of taking up running for exercise, then the following may be of benefit to you:
Useful Tips For Preventing Running Injuries
1. Strengthen the areas which are vulnerable.
2. Buy and utilize the correct footwear.
3. Use the Correct running posture
4. Warm up before your running workout.
5. Gradually step up your running program.
6. Cool down appropriately to minimize stiffness and soreness.
Check with a health professional such as a chiropractor or sports massage therapist for advice that is unique to your specific needs. Each body is different, so to adopt generic advice is not wise, nor will it assist in prevention or overall achieving of goals.
Preventing injuries involves listening to your body and basic common sense, so make sure that is Number One on your list!
Posted by chiropam on Sep 3, 2009 in Chiropractic
GROIN MUSCLES ON LEFT; PELVIS ON RIGHT
Last week in practice, the ‘special of the week’ was groin pain. It can be related to hip pain, but is different nonetheless.
Apart from hip pain which is usually caused by a specific injury or an arthritic hip joint, most pains in the hip, groin or top of the leg are caused by a mechanical overload from a problem elsewhere. This usually stems from the lower back or pelvis, but can be from the knee or even the foot.
Recurring groin strains are very common in sports people, especially footballers. A twisted or misaligned pelvis is often the root cause of the problem, which causes a weakness and an overload of the muscles and tendons in the groin.
Pain in the groin area often makes walking quite difficult and patients have a tendency to seize up if they have been sitting for too long.
If a chronic groin or hip problem is not treated, it usually causes problems in the lower back as the patients start to adapt the way they walk. Different muscles end up compensating for the weakened area.
‘Wear and Tear’ is occasionally found on X-rays. This form of wear and tear is called osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process in the joints which cause them to wear, and occurs in most people as we get older. It is rarely the wear and tear that causes the pain, rather it is the stiffness and muscle tightness. The good news is that this usually responds very well to chiropractic treatment! Adjustments to the areas that are involved can be very effective.
Whichever term you use:
The reality is that it is a very common muscle strain injury that currently plagues sports like soccer, basketball, football, hockey, track & field and racquet sports.
The groin, described as the junction between the lower limbs and torso, is vulnerable to a lot of different injuries. Hernias, stress fractures, and avulsion fractures are all common injuries that affect the groin. One of the most common groin injuries is groin pull or groin strain.
What is a Groin Pull?
Depending on the severity, a groin pull can range from a slight stretching, to a complete rupture of the muscles that attach the pubic (pelvis) bone to the thigh (femur) bone.
A groin pull or strain specifically affects the Adductor muscles. These muscles are located on the inside of the thigh, and help to bring the legs together.
What Causes a Groin Pull?
Competitors that participate in sports that require a lot of running or rapid change in direction are most susceptible to groin injuries. Other activities like kicking, jumping and rapid acceleration or deceleration also place a lot of strain on the groin muscles. Another activity that puts a lot of strain on the groin is any movement that results in a sudden pressure being applied – such as a fall, landing awkwardly, twisting, or bending while stress is applied to the groin muscles.
How to Prevent a Groin Pull?
The basis of prevention comes down to two simple factors: a thorough warm-up and physical conditioning; flexibility & strength. Firstly, a thorough and correct warm up will help to prepare the muscles and tendons for any activity to come. Secondly, flexible muscles and tendons are extremely important in the prevention of most strain or sprain injuries. When muscles and tendons are tight and stiff, it is quite easy for those muscles and tendons to be pushed beyond their natural range of movement, which can cause strains, sprains, and pulled muscles. To keep your muscles and tendons flexible and supple, it is important to undertake a structured stretching routine. Stretching is one of the most under-utilised techniques for improving athletic performance, preventing sports injury and properly rehabilitating sprain and strain injury. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won’t be effective.
Posted by chiropam on Aug 20, 2009 in Chiropractic
There are certain signs and symptoms that seem to be more prevalent than others at different times. I have been observing this over time in the course of my practice as a female chiropractor.
Upon my daily to weekly reflection, I notice that patients present with a ‘special of the day’. This ‘special of the day’ ends up usually being the ‘special of the week’. Whilst everyone is unique and treated personally, there are similar cases that come in that may not present for weeks to months later.
For example, last week it was hip pain. Hip pain is not lower back pain, nor is it pelvis pain or groin pain. They may be related, but the patient presents with pain in the hip joint proper and possibly surrounding muscles. Usually, these are the physical symptoms and the physical manifestation with an underlying cause.
The power of the mind and how our emotions affect us can be apparent in a case such as hip pain. Hip pain has been linked with a probable cause of fear of moving forward; fear of going ahead with major decisions; fear of nothing to move forward to.
After assessing these people, I found a major common thread in that when I asked them the questions of whether there have been major decisions they have been struggling with, (as stated above) the answer was yes.
It doesn’t always mean that it will be close to the present day of signs and symptoms, it could be accumulating over years.
This happened to me a couple of years ago. There wasn’t just a physical reason for the hip pain, it was an underlying emotional reason that resulted in the pain to alert me. I was grateful for understanding this and for my body speaking to me.
Being aware of these things is the first step in healing. We can assist ourselves in healing when we are aware of what to look for. The body continually speaks to us; it’s up to us to continually listen. The body is like a mirror of our inner beliefs and inner thoughts.
Are you or someone you know having hip pain or a problem with the hip? Perhaps asking yourself if there is something in your life that is holding you back from making a major decision. If not today, then remember this underlying message that may alert you in the future.
Posted by chiropam on Dec 29, 2008 in Chiropractic
Hip pain can afflict a wide range of ages. It is not just a natural part of the ‘aging process’. Pain in the hip can actually be caused by a variety of things. It may originate from degeneration within the joint itself, referred pain from the lower back, or from chronic tendinitis of the gluteal muscles. Hip pain may also result from inflammatory conditions or from improper biomechanics in the knee and ankle or foot.
Making sure your pelvis, low back, hips, knees, ankles and feet are in the proper alignment and moving well may help alleviate hip pain and may prevent recurrent episodes. It is important to first identify the cause of the hip pain, not just treat the symptomatic area. When this is addressed, it is then essential to increase strength and regain mobility in the hip area and help return to previous level of activity.
Degenerative and pathological conditions of the hip can present with a broad range of diagnostic mysteries. For every patient who comes in complaining of pain and discomfort that he or she correctly traces to the hip, there is likely to be another patient with symptoms from the lower back, to the buttocks, to the legs, that eventually can be traced to a hip condition. On the other hand, conditions like hernia, aneurysm, and iliopsoas bursitis, with no direct hip connection, can cause what a patient may perceive as hip or groin pain.
Hip disease itself manifests as pain in the groin that may radiate all around the thigh and even to the knee. Although a significant number of people present with hip pain, the real challenge is making sure that hip and thigh pain really is a pathology of the hip and not a referred intra-abdominal or retroperitoneal pain.”
Some patients may complain of pain that initially seemed to have nothing to do with the hip, but upon closer questioning and examination, had at least some of its origins there.
Contrary to some belief, age-related degenerative conditions are not the only cause of hip pain, particularly osteoarthritis of the hip joint. Osteoarthritis isn’t always the reason -it may actually be the ultimate result of damage done to the hip earlier.
Some of the leading causes of hip problems that actually originate within and around the hip include:
- Overuse injuries and repetitive motion or gait problems
- Acute injuries, such as fractures, sprains, strains to the lower limb.
- Avascular necrosis
- Infections in the joint or bone near the hip -these are usually accompanied by fever, redness, and/or swelling.
After comprehensive examination and diagnosis, the treatment goal should not only be to decrease the patient’s pain levels, but assist in increasing the range of motion in the hip and lower back and restoring proper function. In addition, providing lifestyle options, such as postural changes, core stabilization, how to assume a neutral spine, and home exercises including stretching and strengthening will all assist in limiting stress on the low back and hips.