Costochondritis Chiropractic Benefits pain

Costochondritis: Can Chiropractic Help?

Costochondritis, also called Tietze syndrome, is often misdiagnosed due to the varied symptoms. It involves the ribs and, depending on the area affected, the pain, discomfort, and other symptoms can mislead doctors to underdiagnose or misdiagnose.

Patients may experience pain in the side, back, and chest which means it can mimic several different conditions, including heart attack, gastrointestinal problems, and lung disease. This can lead to anxiety and increased stress. It is also a chronic problem for some people, causing pain that can range from moderate to intense.

What is costochondritis?

The body is constructed so that the ribs protect the lungs. The first seven pairs connect to the sternum in the front and at two areas in the back along the spine while the lower five pairs are connected in the front by cartilage and in the back along the spine.

Ribs are meant to protect the organs, including the lungs and they are on hinges so that the lungs have room to expand during respiration. Costochondritis occurs when one of those hinges doesn’t work or the cartilage becomes inflamed. The condition is accompanied by pain and sometimes swelling in the affected area.

Symptoms of costochondritis

While swelling may occur in some cases with costochondritis, the primary symptom is pain in the chest area. This pain may become worse when coughing or taking a deep breath and is typically characterized as sharp or aching, although some patients do describe pressure or tightness in the chest area. It often occurs on the left side of the sternum and typically affects several ribs instead of just one. The area is also usually sensitive to touch and pressing on it will increase the pain.

Because the pain occurs in the chest area, many people believe that they are having a heart attack. It is important to note that anyone who experiences chest pain or tightness should seek emergency medical attention immediately in order to rule out heart attack or other life threatening conditions.

How is costochondritis diagnosed?

Usually when a patient seeks treatment for costochondritis, there is no clear cause. However, there are some conditions and activities that have been linked to it and could be the cause or aid in creating the condition. Typical causes of costochondritis include:

  • Physical strain such as severe coughing, strenuous exercise, and heavy lifting. People with bronchitis and pneumonia sometimes get costochondritis because of the intense coughing. It is also common among body builders, caused when they strain to lift extremely heavy weights.
  • Injury such as getting hit in the chest.
  • Joint infection such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that cause illnesses like aspergillosis, syphilis, and tuberculosis can infect and inflame the rib joints.
  • Arthritis such as ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis have all been linked to costochondritis.
  • Tumors including cancerous as well as noncancerous can cause costochondritis. When cancer moves through the body from the lung, thyroid, or breast it can cause inflammation in the rib joints.

People over 40 years old and women are the high-risk categories for costochondritis. Young adults and teenagers are more prone to the connected condition, Tietze syndrome, which is equally frequent in both women and men.

Chiropractic for costochondritis

There is no standard treatment for costochondritis other than managing symptoms. However, chiropractic has proven to be exceptional for managing pain. Chiropractic treatment for the condition involves a gentle approach with anterior thoracic chiropractic adjustments along with treatment for the soft tissue around the affected area and extending along the nerve path.

The chiropractor may also recommend alternating heat and cold directly on the painful areas. Light massage may also work and the chiropractor will show them how to do this at home for continuing self-care. With regular chiropractic treatments and diligent self-care at home, patients can lessen the occurrences of costochondritis and greatly reduce or eliminate the pain.

Give us a call at (780)455-2112 to schedule your assessment today!

Occupational Injuries Chiropractic benefits

Injured at Work? How Chiropractic Can Help Some Occupational Injuries

In 2014, there were 2.8 million occupational injuries. This crossed all industries, but 75 percent were in those that provided a service.

These injuries can lead to time lost at work, decrease in production, depression, and temporary (or permanent) disability. These injuries can be caused by slip and fall, vehicle collisions, electrocution, struck by hazards, and caught in or between accidents. However, work related injury can also be caused by sitting at a desk or hunched over a computer for extended periods of time. Chiropractic has been shown to help workers who have been injured on the job, so they can return to work faster.

Common Occupational Injuries

Occupational injuries are vast and varied with a host of causes and many different symptoms. They can range from minor annoyances to significant damage that can lead to temporary or permanent disability. Some may require surgery while others require extended physical therapy, braces, and intensive medical treatments.

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome – This injury is caused by flexing the shoulder, carrying loads on your shoulders, and extending your arms above shoulder height for a prolonged period of time. It is marked by swelling, pain, dull ache, weakness, or a burning sensation in the affected area.
  • Elbow tendonitis (Epicondylitis) – This injury is caused by forceful or repeated forearm rotation while simultaneously bending the wrist. It is marked by swelling, dull ache, pain, burning, and weakness in the affected area.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – This injury can be caused by several things including vibratory tools, repetitive motion, and secondary factors. It is marked by numbness, pain, tingling, wasting of muscles at the thumb base, and burning.
  • DeQuervain’s disease – This injury is caused by forceful gripping and repetitive hand twisting. It is marked by pain at the thumb base.
  • Tendonitis/tenosynovitis – This injury is caused by sustained hyperextension of the knee, repetitive motion, and prolonged load overuse. It is marked by numbness, pain, and swelling in the hands.
  • Back and neck pain – This injury can have a wide variety of causes from repetitive motion to accident to improper equipment. It is the most common work related injury.

Preventing Workplace Injuries

While a few work related injuries are unavoidable, many can be prevented with a little extra attention and care. The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following practices to reduce the risk of a workplace injury.

  • Get regular exercise. This helps prevent back injuries by keeping your body strong, fit, and flexible.
  • If you do desk work, get a chair that fits you. This means that there should be two inches between the backs of your knees and the front edge of the seat. Your knees should be level with your hips or slightly below, never higher.
  • When doing computer work, use a foot rest for support and keep your knees between a 90 degree and 120-degree angle.
  • If your job requires you to sit for extended periods of time, take breaks at least every two hours to walk and stretch.
  • When you lift something heavy or awkward, don’t bend over to do it. Bend at your knees and hips, squatting as you pick up the object and let your legs do the work and keeping the object close to your body while your back remains straight. Do not let your body twist while you are trying to lift.

Of course, you should also follow all recommended and required safety guidelines for your workstation and place of employment.

Chiropractic for Workplace Injuries

Chiropractic care can help speed your recovery, improve your posture, and restore your mobility and strength. Through various chiropractic techniques, many of the occupational injuries listed here can be effectively treated. Chiropractic is a proven method for managing pain for the back and neck, but it has also been proven to be very beneficial for conditions like carpal tunnel, elbow tendonitis, and knee injuries.

Chiropractic’s whole body approach helps injured workers not only manage their pain and help heal their injury through adjustments, it can also help with soft tissue rehabilitation and other noninvasive therapies that improve range of motion. In short, chiropractic can help workers get back to work faster so less time is lost from work and the financial impact is greatly decreased.

If you or someone close to you have been injured at work and would like to schedule an assessment, give us a call at (780)455-2112. Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Chiropractic Benefits

How Chiropractic Helps Those That Suffer from Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome is a very common injury among runners. If it is diagnosed early and treatment commences immediately, the chances of it becoming a chronic condition are reduced. It responds very well to chiropractic since it involves the pelvis and related muscles. When pelvic mechanics are not functioning properly, the muscle don’t work efficiently which hinders flexibility and mobility. This can lead to tight muscles which may inhibit motion and cause pain. Chiropractic adjustments have been proven to help with the condition.

What is the Iliotibial Band?

The Iliotibial Band, or fasciae latae, is the outer casing of muscle that extends along the outer thigh, from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee. Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when that casing becomes thickened. It is flexed or tight when you stand; it is what keeps your leg straight, allowing the larger thigh muscle to rest.

There are two primary muscles that are involved in iliotibial band syndrome, the buttock muscle, or gluteus maximus, and the tensor fasciae latae muscles. Sometimes Iliotibial Band Syndrome is referred to Tensor Fasciae Latae Syndrome and the two terms can be used interchangeably.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Defined

As the iliotibial band thickens it pulls in the area where it connects to the knee. This results in knee pain due to the application of too much pressure on the bursa. The bursa then becomes swollen, inflamed, and painful. During activity, such as running on an incline, the glutes are heavily involved.

The other end of the iliotibial band is inserted at the glutes so as the band tightens from this activity, it can trigger iliotibial band syndrome pain. Repeated activity further aggravates it, as does running on tight indoor tracks or uneven roads as well as having collapsed arches or running in inferior or worn out running shoes.

Symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

There are several symptoms that can be used to diagnose iliotibial band syndrome. Lateral knee pain (pain on the outside of the knee) is a primary symptom and often used as a key diagnostic tool. Few conditions involve lateral knee pain. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain that worsens after running, particularly after running on an incline, climbing stairs, or climbing hills
  • There may not be any pain until you do something that aggravates it like climbing a hill.
  • The pain may not begin until you are mid-way through a run.
  • The pain can be intense and debilitating.
  • It can accompany a snapping hip, which occurs when the muscles that cross the outer hip may click or snap while running or walking.
  • The pain may be present along the lateral thigh without incorporating the knee, but it is only in very rare instances that it is concentrated on the gluteal or hip muscles.

Iliotibial band syndrome is often attributed to over training. This can mean suddenly increasing hill repeats or doubling your mileage.

Treatments for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

If your iliotibial band syndrome is caused by a problem with pelvic function, relieving the pain from the condition can be difficult. Stretching is not likely to bring relief – and if it does it won’t last long. If the pain from iliotibial band syndrome lasts for more than two weeks even if you are only stretching, your regular exercise routine, and ice and you don’t see much improvement, a chiropractor can help.

Even if the pain is located in the knee, the problem could originate in the pelvis. A chiropractor can assess your condition, check to see that your pelvis is functioning properly. If it isn’t, spinal adjustments and other chiropractic treatments can bring the body back into alignment and make the pelvis more functional.

Give us a call at (780)455-2112 to schedule your assessment or visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our doctors of chiropractic.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Chiropractic Benefits

What Chiropractic Patients Want to Know About Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

You try to stand up from a seated position and feel a stab of pain in your lower back. It may even shoot through your hip, buttock, or down the back of your thigh. The pain may even get worse then you walk uphill or sit for a long period of time. While these symptoms could mean a pinched nerve, lumbar disc herniation, hip bursitis, or degenerative hip disease, it could also be sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

What is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located in the pelvis. It is very strong as it is a weight bearing joint connecting the pelvis to the sacrum. It is surrounded by tough ligaments that reinforce it, providing added support.

There is an SI joint located on each side of the sacrum and they work together, moving as a single unit to act as a shock absorber for the spine and for transmitting force of the upper body. Just like any other joint in the body, the SI joint can be injured or diseased, causing it to become unstable and inflamed, causing pain and limited mobility.

What Causes SI Joint Inflammation?

While doctors have not established how the pain is generated, it is believed that it is due to a change in the normal motion of the joint. This could occur due to:

  • Hypermobility (Instability or Too Much Movement) – This can cause the pain to reside in the lower back. It can also be felt in the hip or both the hip and lower back and may even radiate into the groin.
  • Hypomobility (Fixation or Too Little Movement) – This can cause the pain to reside in the lower back or buttocks and may radiate down one leg, usually in the back of the thigh. It usually doesn’t reach the knee, but sometimes can even reach the ankle and foot. In this way, the condition mimics sciatica.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction typically affects women who are young or middle aged. Older women and men are rarely affected although it does happen.

What are Treatment Options for Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

When SI joint pain is initially diagnosed the treatment is usually fairly conservative. Medication, physical therapy, and injections are used by doctors for pain management.

NSAIDs and other similar medications decrease inflammation and reduce pain, while physical therapy can readjust the SI joint in cases where it is dislocated or immobilized. It also includes exercises that stabilize the joint for pain management over the long term.

Steroid injections directly into the sacroiliac joint can help with the reduction of inflammation and pain while making physical therapy more effective. When steroid injections are effective but the effects are temporary there is another non-surgical treatment that is sometimes used called RFA, or radiofrequency ablation.

In cases where the conservative methods do not achieve the desired results there are surgical options that provide pain reduction and stabilization on a more permanent scale. SI fusion involves fusing the joint, providing relief.

However, there is a treatment option that is non-invasive, doesn’t involve steroids or medications that could have harmful side effects – chiropractic.

Chiropractic for Sacroiliac Joint Pain

There are two chiropractic treatments that are typically used to treat SI joint pain:

  • Spinal manipulation – This is the traditional chiropractic adjustment that is also known as high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust.
  • Spinal mobilization – This is a less forceful, gentle chiropractic adjustment also known as low-velocity, low-amplitude thrust.

Chiropractic is proven to be an effective, non-invasive, gentle method for relieving the pain and inflammation of SI joint dysfunction. No medication, no surgery, just relief.

So if you’ve been suffering from sacroiliac joint dysfunction, give us a call! Our Doctor of Chiropractic is here to help! (780)455-2112 or visit www.ocwc.ca .