Getting To The Core Of Back Pain!

Back pain is synonymous with athletes. Equestrians, cricketers, cyclists, hockey players, gymnasts – you name it and all of them suffer from it at least once in their careers. However they say, 'prevention is better than cure'. Here if you have a strong back, the chances of injury are less. And lately, core strengthening or core stability has been substantially associated with prevention of back pain in particular. Many people misconstrue core to be the abdominal muscles only. Here, it's of utmost importance for sports persons to know what 'core' is and how a strong core prevents back pain.

WHAT EXACTLY 'CORE' IS?
Core is like the trunk of a tree which holds the tree upright and holds the branches. Together they work as a single unit. Similarly, in the human body, the core consists of an inner unit and an outer unit. The inner unit consists of endurance muscles. They are located near the spine. The endurance muscles stabilize the spine which in turn gives power to the muscles in outer unit that consist of buttocks, lats, knee tendons, hip muscles and abdominal muscles. Most of us end up indulging in making the outer unit strong but this unit tires very easily!

HOW TO FIND THE INNER CORE?
To find the inner unit, we need to know the location of the following three muscles, train them together and activate the core:

TRANSVEROUS ABDOMINUS (TA)
It is the deepest abdominal muscle. Imagine it as a corset wrapped around the abdomen between the lower ribs and top of the pelvis. To find this muscle, lie on the floor on your back, bend your knees, lay your hands open by your side and arch your spine a bit in the lower back. Use your stomach muscles to pull your belly button towards the floor and up towards the nose forming a 'J'. Do not expand your boney cage too much. Keep your spine at exactly the same position as you breathe. To feel the exact contraction of TA, place the finger tips on your pelvis, it should be a deep tension on the fingertips and not push fingertips outwards.

MULTIFIDUS
Multifidus is located very close to the spine and runs along the entire midline. To find it, stand up with your arms on the side. With fingertips of one hand, feel the spine at your back. Now slide 2 cms away and this is where you multifidus will contract. Now contract your TA as mentioned above in the standing position and raise your free arm in front of the body. The muscles under your fingertips should tighten. Hold this contract without becoming too rigid and continue to breathe.

PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES (PFM)
Till now you have contracted the TA and multifidus, now it's time to rope in the pelvic floor muscles. PFM connect the pubis bone in the front and the base of spine at the back. To contract the PFM, repeat the above but now as you breathe; pull up the muscles from the pelvic region as if you are trying to stop yourself from urinating.

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How To Choose The Ideal Osteopath In Your Area

How long has it been since you had that high level feeling of wellness? In order for you to go back to that stage, you need to have a closer look at your lifestyle and determine those that you need to do away with and those that you need to initiate. Other people may need just a minor diet change and a fitness program to follow for them to get back to good health while some may require osteopathic techniques to get a more effective result. Here are some recommendations you can follow to be able to make the right choice of an osteopath in your area.

It is the intention of osteopathy to ease pain, shrink swing, and to improve body movements. These healthcare professionals will not employ surgery or use drugs but instead use a variety of treatments to ensure the correct alignment of muscles and back to ease muscle tension. Aside from whiplash and back problems, the other kinds of health issues that these health professionals deal with are headaches, posture problems, shoulder problems, tennis elbow, repetitive strain injuries, sciatica, knee pain, shin splints, including musculoskeletal related symptoms from asthma.

The first consideration for you in selecting your practitioner would be educational background. Aside from education, your doctor should also be registered with the appropriate Osteopath organization in your area to guarantee his or her qualifications.

As soon as you are confident of the qualifications and credentials of your practitioner, of course, you would also like someone who practices proper care and concern to his patients. You will desire for someone who understands the pain you are going though and knows exactly how to deal with your condition and is genially committed to finding the most favourable solution that will ease your pain.

One way of finding a professional who has a favorable approach to treatment is to look up for osteopath reviews or comments from patients. You can shorten your list by the experience of other patients under the care of a particular doctor. You can search online for reviews and feedback of patients or you can ask your friends and relatives who have been under treatment before.

Lastly, try an initial consultation. It does not mean you will have to sign up during the first consultation. Take this opportunity to observe the clinic and have a feel of the osteopath's interaction with patients and how he would come up with a treatment. Think of this as an interview with a real professional who could bring back the high level of wellness to your life.

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Neonatal Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is generally employed for adults after acute or chronic injury in order to restore functional and anatomical stability of tissues, joints and ligaments. Although mostly employed in adults, a sub-specialty of physical therapy, pediatric physical therapy is becoming increasingly popular in individuals younger than 18 years of age. According to the research report published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), all Extremely Low-Birth-Weight (with a birth weight below 1000 g) require functional, neurological and medical assessment during pediatric years due to high risk of cognitive and musculo-skeletal issues in childhood years, associated with developmental delays and poor growth.

Chest physical therapy is generally employed in babies that are born pre-maturely or after a difficult labor. Moreover, babies who develop complications (or are at risk of developing complications) due to birth trauma can also get benefited from the preliminary assessment and evaluation of neonatal physical therapists. All physical therapists evaluate children on the grounds of the motor and sensory behavior (the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems), cardiovascular system that is also indicative of stress (infants respond to stress and anxiety by changes in the respiratory rate and heart rate), the functional responsiveness and response to external stimuli.

Sometimes birth trauma or childhood injuries that affect the spinal or other vital parts of the musculoskeletal system are missed by parents until symptoms of the primary damage deteriorateate to produce secondary complications. Your child may need an evaluation from a physical therapist if he or she exhibits these sign and symptoms:
– If your child is not gaining optimal weight or growth according to his biological age
– If your child is not achieving essential developmental milestones like social smile, crawling, sitting, walking etc.
– If your child does not frequently tilt his head to both sides of the body or lie on only one side of the body or use one side of the body more than the other side.
– If your child is unable to walk properly (when other children of his age can) or if he walk awkwardly.
– If your child experience frequent falls or show signs of improper coordination.
– If your child has a history of significant injury involving musculoskeletal system that has not resolved completely.

Pediatric physical therapist helps with pediatricians and other nursery care staff in newborn infants who develop moderate to severe complications as part of birth trauma. A physical therapist helps in restoring functional, motor and sensory responses by helping in facilitation of the recovery process, improving sensory stimulation by tilting the head of the baby towards the source of sound and light, helping in restoring functional mobility by programming limb movements, help in tracking the development of baby, educate parents to take optimal physical, functional and neuropsychological care of the baby, help in guiding parents about the optimal positioning of the baby to prevent damage to vital systems and organs.

A physical therapist can work with older children as well who are unable to perform after injuries or as part of a congenital defect or infection. On the basis of the initial evaluation and assessment, physical therapists may introduce some modifications and interventions in the diet, sleeping and external environment like the use of certain aids and accessories for physiological regulation and well-being of the child, advice concerning exercises or maneuvers (depending on the age and nature of injury) to promote fully coordinated, smooth movements, promotion of self-regulated behavior, and advising certain exercises, activities and maneuvers that can improve the functional status and help the child in regaining physical independence.

The treatment interventions employed by pediatric physical therapists include adaptive play activities, safety and prevention program, therapeutic exercises, mobility training and activities / exercises that can promote balance and coordination.

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The Role of Physical Therapy in Cervical Radiculopathy

Some degenerative bone disorders are reported quite frequently in youngger individuals as well as in older subjects. Cervical radiculopathy is one of the common degenerative conditions that primarily affects the elderly population with an overall incidence of about 203 cases per 100,000 in individuals over 50 years of age and an incidence of about 83 cases per 100,000 in youngger subjects.

Cervical radiculopathy refers to the involvment of a nerve root at or around the cervical vertebral region due to compression of the nerve fibers leading to moderate to severe pain (that may be sharp shooting like in character) and associated with loss of sensory or motor sensation involving upper limbs or the shoulder region depending upon the extent and severity of nerve involvement. Other common symptoms that may follow cervical radiculopathy include loss of coordination of muscle movement in limbs, numbness of hands, shoulder or neck (dependent upon the nerve damage) and / or tingling sensation in upper limbs and / or neck and shoulder region.

The involvement of the nerve root in most cases is an ongoing inflammatory or infectious process that affects the integrity of the nerve root leading to pain and loss of function. Most common risk factors in the setting of cervical radiculopathy are a space occupying lesion at the level of spinal joint (that may be a cyst or malignancy), a bony spur produced by long-standing spondylosis, development of cervical osteophytes, cervical compression fractures in the setting of spinal disc herniation and ruptured or prolapsed intervertebral disc due to sudden forceful trauma or injury to cervical spine.

Cervical radiculopathy symptoms can be controlled by pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs; however, the pain relief is normally temporary and symptoms may return after the degradation of active drug molecules. Research conducted by Joshua A. Cleland that is published in Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy suggests that physical therapy intervention may play an important role in the acute management, prevention and rehabilitation of cervical radiculopathy.

Joshua A. Cleland conducted a study on 11 patients (with a mean age of about 51.7 years) to study the outcome of different physical therapy manipulations on the overall safety and therapeutic outcome of pinched nerves (or radiculopathy). He performed the standardized approach by utilizing cervical traction, manual physical therapy, and strengthening exercises for the stabilization of deep neck muscles (especially flexors of neck and scapulothoracic muscle). All the patients received almost 7 physical therapy sessions and along with a 6-month follow-up period after which almost 90% patients reported significant improvement in the symptoms and functional status assessed by the Neck Disability Index (NDI), numeric pain rating scale NPRS) and Patient-Specific Functional Scale (PSFS).

Cleland explained that the physical therapy and manual traction helps in stabilizing the muscles and ligaments around the cervical joints, thereby improving the support and strength to the joints. Stretching of the spinal joints as part of traction helps in stimulating position and movement proprioceptors that helps in the restoration of anatomical stability and repositioning of joints and ligaments.

Although, severe cervical disease may require long term physical therapy for relief, the results are generally promising and permanent, as opposed to most surgeries that are associated with a high risk of relapse. A study conducted by Heckmann suggests that over 26% of patients who underwent surgical correction for the management of cervical radiculopathy continue to experience functional and pathological deterioration of symptoms.

There are a number of lifestyle modalities that exert adjunctive action when used in combination with physical therapy and cervical traction. For temporary and short term relief, soft collars can be worn for a couple of weeks to provide temporary cervical traction (it is advised not to wear collars for long due to potential weakening of cervical ligaments and muscles). Corticosteroid injections are employed in cases when the pain is severe and unbearable. These steroid injections reduce pain and inflammation. Narcotic pain killers are employed when pain is unresponsive to traditional pain therapies.

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Chiropractic Therapy for Golfers

Research statistics suggest that almost 25 million US individuals play golf for recreational purposes as well as to maintain their physical fitness and social networking. Obviously, just like other sports activities, golf players also suffer moderate to severe injuries that affect their sports performance and normal daily activities.

The most commonly reported sport injuries (or sports associated complaint) in golfers is lower back pain that is attributed to the character golfer's swing positioning significant stress and strain on spinal ligaments and muscles. The most common causes of lower back pain in golfers include stress fracture, chronic inflammation and / or disc proliferation.

Research data suggest that most golfers seek pharmacological treatment for the management of pain, but due to increasing awareness and rising trend of holistic care, more and more people are adopting physical therapy and chiropractic care for the management of chronic lower back pain associated with golf.

The pain, discomfort and soreness that is most prominent along the outer edge of the elbow is referred to as golfer's elbow. Golfers also develop tennis elbow quite frequently (pain or soreness involving inner aspect of forearm). The pain is most prominently along the base of the thumb and radiates to involve the wrist or even radial aspect of the forearm. The primary pathophysiologic event is the chronic inflammation involving tendons and muscle fibers. The golfer's swing may lead to the tear of rotator cuff muscles or inflammation due to micro-fiber damage (rotator cuff tendinitis) that may interfere with the range of motion and sports performance.

Hamate is a small carpal bone (along the ulnar side of hand) and may get injured in golfers due to position and pressure from the butt end of the club. The fraction of the hook of hamate (a small outgrowth from the hamate) is the most common carpal bone injured reported in golfers. Hallux rigidus (HR) is acute or chronic inflammation of first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) due to persistent stress or strain present as pain and stiffness of big toe.

Spinal manipulative therapies are widely used by athletes and sports personnel to improve their exercise endurance, physical fitness and athletic performance. A research report published by Soraya MV Costa in Journal of Chiropractic Medicine suggests that muscle stretching exercises that are performed with spinal manipulative therapies are helpful in the improvement of golfer's performance and swing. Costa randomly assigned golfers in two groups. The first group with 20 participants received only stretching exercises whereas group 2 (23 members) received spinal manipulative therapies along with stretching. After 4 weeks of therapy, it was observed that the ball range and full swing maneuvers improved tremendously in the second group, with no change in performance and exercise endurance in first group.

In addition chiropractic therapy is also helpful in restoring full range of action after mild, moderate or severe injury. Sports injuries in professional athletes can greatly affect the performance and athletic endurance; moreover, the injuries take longer to heal and recovery is slow and incomplete due to recurrent liabilities (if sports personnel continue to perform the physical activity).

James W. Brantingham presented the case study of a 32 year old professional golf player who suffered chronic injury of hallux rigidus and presented to the chiropractic clinic with a history of pain and stiffness for a period of 7 months. Brantingham performed chiropractic manipulations like graded axial elongation, mobilization of the sesamoids, adjustment of ankle and foot dysfunction, chiropractic adjustment of the first metatarsophalangeal joint, stretching exercises and lastly big toe and foot flexor strengthening exercises. The 32 year old golfer received 17 therapy sessions during a period of 10 months and resumed normal physical mobility and range of motion after just a few therapy sessions.

Chiropractic practitioners offer regular assessment and guidance regarding endurance exercises to decrease the risk of injury and promote physical mobility across the spinal and limb joints and muscles.

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Physiotherapy – An Effective Sport Injury Management and Prevention Technique

Sports injuries are inevitable! Players hate them since longer spells of absence can have a damaging effect on their stamina and performance. Most importantly some valuable chances to excel and move to the next levels of the game are lost. Physiotherapy is by far the fastest way to put any sports person back in action. Its therapeutic value has been acknowledged as an independent science to restore physical health. In addition, it is an unparallel preventive technique as well. That's how physiotherapists are now an integral part of sports training entourage.

The expertise and experience of a physiotherapist comes into play when identifying the reasons of an injury, chalking out the treatment and rehabilitation plan.

The Initial Evaluation
The first meeting with sports physiotherapist is an intensive one wherein the physiotherapist seeks answers to a lot of detailed questions to ascertained the reasons of an injury. Basis these answers and other general details, the doctor formulates a complete plan to put an injured player on the road to treatment and recovery.

Treatment and Rehabilitation
The treatment options depend on the problem identified. There are multiple physiotherapy treatments available such as cold or heat therapy, taping, soft tissue mobilization, Tens, ultrasound or total immobilization with wheelchair or crutches etc. The goal of all these treatments is to control the early inflammatory phase, protect the injured tissues from further injury, control pain & swilling and to trigger the healing process. The physiotherapist will use one of these or combination of these techniques depending on the nature of injury.

Once there is no pain, early mobilization exercises like range of motion, massage, strengthening exercises etc are taken up to rehabilitate. The rehabilitation program achieves normal joint movements, restores strength and normal muscle functions.

Preventive Physiotherapy
Once the injury has been healed, the focus of a physiotherapist shifts towards educating and equipping the player to prevent future injuries. The activity plan is now sport specific. Here are a few strategies the physiotherapist will employ:

• Strengthening the core – Core enterprises of the abdomen, obliques and lower back muscles. All these together form the power house of the body and provide force for all the complex movements.

• Improve flexibility with stretching exercises
• Educate the importance of proper warm up
• Correct the posture, the technique required and how and when to apply force
• Suggest the right footwear and sports gear, protective tapping and bracing
• Teach self management that is identify the symptoms and reasons injury and best practices to avoid injury

Physiotherapy is not only about physical well being. It has a holistic approach where in the overall fitness levels of mind and body are improved. A well trained physiotherapist works in tandem with the player to draw out the best in terms of endurance and performance and prevent future injuries.

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Treatment for Vertigo

Many of us will remember that feeling as a child of spinning around and round in the playground until the point of dizziness and even when we stopped turning, it seemed like everything around us is still spinning? That's exactly what it feels like to have vertigo.

Vertigo is a common symptom reported by adults during visits to their doctors. The average rate of vertigo is 3 percent in people under 60 years old and 1 in 10 people over the age of 60 years. The recurrence rate rates between 40-50% within a 5 year period. Almost everyone experiences a few seconds of disorientation at some point- but frequent episodes of vertigo-whether only for a few seconds or days on end-are a primary sign of vestibular dysfunction, especially when linked to changes in head position. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common form of vertigo and is characterized by the sensation of motion initiated by sudden head movements or moving the head in a certain direction. About 1 in 5 people who have dizziness will have BPPV. This number increases in the elderly or in at risk populations. Dizziness is a sensation of light-headedness, lackness, or unsteadiness. Unlike dizziness, vertigo has a rotational, spinning component, and is the perception of movement, either of the self or surrounding objects. Disequilibrium simply means unsteadiness, imbalance that is often accompanied by spatial disorientation.

Vestibular System 101:

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If disease or injury damages these processing areas, vestibular disorders can result. The vestibular apparatus, a series of canals located inside the ear, includes a structure that contains tiny crystals of calcium carbonate. These crystals help the body detect gravity, tilting and speed changes in linear motions like stopping and starting at a traffic light. BPPV occurs when some of the crystals escape from their normal chamber and get into one or more of the canals. Vertigo symptoms are essentially caused by a confusion of signals to the brain.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) Checklist:

– My dizziness lasts only seconds to minutes, never hours or days.
– I can bring on the symptoms by certain head positions.
– It feels like either the room or my body is spinning.
– My dizziness is not associated with a change in my hearing or a noise in my ears.

The causes of vertigo are either central, related to the brain or central nervous system, or peripheral, related to the organs of the inner ear. Central causes are associated with the brain itself such a tumor or stroke or are related to outside conditions which affect the brain indirectly like drugs and alcohol. Other disorders which affect the brain indirectly include heart disease and rhythm abnormalities which interrupt the supply of oxygen to the brain and can cause dizziness.

Peripheral causes include:

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) – common in seniors, or following head trauma and motor vehicle accidents. BPPV is characterized by a sense of spinning, or vertigo, which occurs with certain movements of the head, and lasts for several seconds or minutes. This is caused by small crystals floating free in the semicircular canals, sending signals of movement to the brain.

Vestibular system degeneration -With age, the function of the inner ear decreases, which can cause problems such as loss of balance, or disequilibrium. This can be complicated by mobility problems such as arthritis, resulting in falls. Good balance relies on three body systems working together: the eyes, the inner ear, and the joints (ankles, knees, hips and neck). Therefore, if one area is under performing, it can be helped by the other two.

Vestibular dysfunction caused by infection (labrynthitis, vestibular neuritis Meniere's disease), ototoxicity (from medicine), barotraumas (such as explosion), vascular insufficiency or acoustic neuroma. The brain receives confusing signals which can result in symptoms such as nausea, or motion sickness.

Head injury, and whiplash are the single most common causes of vestibular disorders in people under 50 years of age.

Aging blessings own own set of challenges to the vestibular system. In many cases, the undering cause of a vestibular disorder can not be determined.

Vertigo is often the presenting symptom in multiple sclerosis. Migraine, a severe form of headache, may also cause vertigo. Complications from diabetes can cause arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which can lead to reduced blood flow to the brain, causing vertigo symptoms.

Treatment:

The most common treatment, called the Epley Manoeuvre, involves rotating the patient's head and body through four specific movements at different times, each held for about 30 seconds. The patient's head and body are manipulated so that the dislodged crystals are moved along the canal and drop back into the correct chamber of the inner ear. The treatment is 98.4 per cent effective after three treatments.
Cognitive deficiencies such as poor concentration, issues with spatial perception and coordination as well as short-term memory loss are known by clinicians to occur frequently among patients with vestibular abnormalities. Vestibular dysfunction has also been correlated with many disorders including ataxia; low back pain; neck pain; cervico-brachial syndromes; ankle instability; knee instability and osteoarthritis.
Medication and nutraceuticals can also aid in the reduction of motion sickness, dizziness and nausea. This may include antihistamines, anticholinergics and benzodiazepines of either a nutraceutical or pharmaceutical approach. Dietary changes may include increasing water intake and less consumption of beverages that contain alcohol and caffeine.

Home Safety Tips:

Get rid of area rugs and anything that may cause you to slip
Install grab bars and shower seats in the bathroom area
Sleep in a slightly flexed position (use extra pillows). This will help prevent your head from resting on an angle that further aggravates your condition
Get in and out of bed very slowly
Walk as if you have a book on your head. This minimizes head movement and helps avoid moving the crystals

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Learning Motion Through Physical Therapy As an Adult

Physical therapy is an important process for those who have gone through a major trauma. Learning to walk and reuse limbs can be a difficult experience. It may be frustrating to have to relearn things as adults. Help will be needed in order to continue to gain all skills that were known prior to the accident. It is important to do the best that you can in classes so that you can regain the strength properly.

Relearning to Walk

Learning ambulatory skills is one thing that can happen. Many people lose their ability to move or walk in bad car accidents. Learning to move again can be a difficult prospect. The starting point for the skills learning classes will depend on where the person is. If you are in a wheelchair and unable to move, these skills learning classes will start out small. You will first learn to move toes, then your foot, then parts of your leg. One you learn these skills, you can get started with walking training. Learning to walk will start out with using bars to hold on to and moving step by step for short spans. Learning may take several months, however, it is a process that will help the legs gain back the strength they need to walk upright.

Learning Speech Skill

When there is any type of trauma to the brain or face, speech or the ability to talk may be affected. Talking requires the use of several different muscles in the face and jaw, and the proper movement of the lips and tongue. Learning to speak again during physical therapy is important. Learning to talk will begin with using the mouth and throat to learn specific sounds, then learning speech skills. Most children learn to speak from watching those around them. Learning to speak after trauma will be different, as adults will need to learn in a way the helps them understand movement and sound.

Re-Learning Hand Movements

Those who have gotten into an accident that incapacitated their hands will have to relearn not only how to hold things, but also how to control their hand strength and movement. Some people start out not being able to hold a Styrofoam cup and have to work their way up in hand movement and strength training. Massaging the hands and arms is a part of this relearning training. This will help to increase the blood flow of the affected area. Along with massages, movements and slight movements of the hard start out at the beginning. Starting out slower is necessary; as a large and wide range of motion will have to be learned as time passes. Physical therapy can help with the effort of relearning a good quality of life.

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What Is a Rotator Cuff Tear and How Do I Know If I Have a Rotator Cuff Injury? 5 Common Symptoms

Located in the shoulder area of ​​the upper body, the rotator cuff is comprised of four tendons, the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. The four tendons join together to form the rotator cuff tendon. The tendons attach to the greater tuberosity of the humerus. The supraspinatus tendon is the most common site of injury for a rotator cuff tear and is identified as the watershed region of blood flow.

Rotator cuff injuries including tears and tendinitis are common among many athletes and also increase in frequency as people get older due to age-induced degeneration. Engagement in physical activities like baseball, tennis and rowing can sometimes lead to shoulder injury due to overuse.

According to data reported by the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), between 1998 and 2004 over 5 million visits to doctors in the United States were attributed to some type of rotator cuff tear, injury or related problem. This number represented a notable increase over previous estimates and this could have been attributed in part due to changes in demographics with a higher overall percentage of aging individuals in the population.

Here are five common symptoms of rotator cuff injuries including tears:

  1. Pain at night that may be severe enough to wake you up from a sound sleep or prevent you from going to sleep in the first place.
  2. Pain with any type of overhead activity – for example, reaching upwards to put things on overhead shelves.
  3. Difficulty stretching behind your back to reach a shirt button or get a wallet, etc.
  4. Pain on the lateral side of your shoulder.
  5. A dead feeling in your arm during regular daily activity.

The symptoms and signs of tears and tendinitis are very similar. The mechanism of injury may also be similar.

During physical examination, certain physical signs will help a medical professional like a board certified orthopedic surgeon determine whether or not you have a rotator cuff tear or tendinitis. For example, atrophy is not typically seen with tendinitis. Atrophy involving the supraspinatus and infraspinatus fossa is a sign of a chronic rotator cuff tear.

If you have some type of shoulder injury, you may want to get a physical exam from a qualified and experienced medical professional like an orthopedic surgeon .

During a physical examination and evaluation for a shoulder injury, your medical care provider may ask you some questions and explore the following:

  • Do you have pain located over the lateral aspect of your shoulder?
  • Do you have pain with forced external rotator?
  • Whatever you test positive for diagnostics used to evaluate the rotator cuff including the Neer test and the Kennedy-Hawkins test.

Sometimes shoulder injuries can heal over time, without intervention, depending on the type of injury and the severity. As is the case with other medical conditions, if you are struggling with a painful injury, it is advisable to seek professional medical guidance.

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Cemented and Non-Cemented Knee Replacements

When you are in the process of getting a knee replaced, your orthopedic surgeon will have the options of either cementing your knee prosthesis into place or not using cement and allowing the surrounding bone to fix itself to the prosthetic components.

This is something you as the patient wants to be sure you understand and discuss with your surgeon regarding the advantages and disadvantages of both procedures and, what method your surgeon is considering. This also is very important information to know during your rehabilitation process and your physical rehabilitation professional will be sure to have that information in hand while in your recovery.

The main difference when it comes to physical rehabilitation is that with the cemented knee prosthesis you will be allowed to weight bear as tolerated on the affected leg. With a non cemented knee prosthesis, you will be given special instructions on how much body weight you can place on the affected leg.

In a cemented knee prosthesis, the type of adhesive used is a special cement called polymethylmethacrylate which dries very quickly and is stable within minutes. Most knee replacements done today are cemented. The advantages of a having a cemented knee replacement is you are able to get out of bed and walk on it immediately with the aid of a walker placing as much weight through your knee as you can tolerate.

The rehabilitation process also moves quickly as you do not have weight-bearing restrictions to follow. When someone has a knee replaced that is not cemented, the rehabilitation process will be slower due to the extra weight-bearing preceditions. In some cases where I have worked with patients that have the non cemented procedure completed, they may be following non-weight bearing precautions for up to six or eight weeks.

The thinking in considering whether to use a cemented or non cemented knee prosthesis will involve someones age for instance. If you were considered a younger adult, your surgeon may have been tempted to use a non cemented replacement.

The thought being that you more than likely would need a knee revision at some point as you age and will develop wear and tear on the prosthesis. The revision may be easier to perform if the prosthesis is not secured by the strong adhesive that has to be broken loose. Also there was the consideration of cement debris breaking loose and causing or speeding up the loosing of the knee prosthetic over time.

Cementless components have not been used as long as cemented ones have. Conclusive long term use is not absolute at this time. In the short-term both have comparable levels of success however.

Your orthopedic surgeon will have an idea during consultation what method he may prefer to use. If you are looking for quicker recovery after surgery due to work obligations or if you are over the age of 55, consider going with the cemented fixation.

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What Should You Do If You Break Your Arm?

Did you fall and break your arm? Did you encounter an accident and damage your arm? If you did, here are some things you should do to treat your broken arm. This article includes self-care methods that you can do at home.

When you have a broken arm, it is very important to immobilize it. Do not move it and keep it in place. No matter how uncomfortable it may feel you should not move it unless the doctor has examined the condition. You can help yourself stay comfortable with the use of a sling. The only thing that you have to do is to tie a cloth loosely to your neck and hand your arm there. If you do not have a large cloth, you can just tape your arms so you do not move them.

If the area is painful and swelling, you should immediately get an ice pack to reduce the pain that you are feeling. If you do not have an ice pack, you can improvise by putting some ice in a plastic bag or a towel. The ice pack should be applied to your arms for about 20 minutes. It is very important that you do not put ice directly on your skin especially if you have a broken wound. If you do this, you might experience frost bite.

If the area is boring, you need to apply pressure to it. Pressure will keep the blood in place and prevent it from leaking too much. This is very important because excessive bleeding may be bad for your health. Blood still has to flow inside you and you do not want any of it wasted. You can apply pressure by covering the wound with a clean cloth and pressing it gently. However, if you see the bone protruding onto your skin, you should not do anything but cover and sterilize the area. If you try to move the bone, you will make the situation worse.

After you have done this first aid tips, you should immediately see the doctor. Your doctor will likely examine the bones using x-ray. The x-ray results will show how different the bone fraction is. If the bone is only slightly misplaced and broken, surgery may not be necessary. The doctor may just have to put a cast to assist the bone in healing. However, if the bones have brokenly inherited and shattered into several pieces, surgery will be inevitable. The bone has to be realigned from the inside in order for it to become corrected.

Having a broken arm is extremely painful and difficult. Therefore, you need to prevent accidents from happening. If you are doing extreme sports or physical activities, you should make sure that your arms have ample protection if ever you fall or bump into something. Be cautious about your health all the time.

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When Did Dry Needling Start As A Therapy?

Have you heard about dry needling? It is a complementary medical procedure that has started only a few decades ago. Many people confuse it with acupuncture but there is a huge difference between the two procedures.

This kind of needling is said to originate from China, the place where acupuncture also originated from. According to history, it started during the Han Dynasty. However, since the procedures are nearly similar, people did not readily recognize dry needling.

When is dry needling used? It is used for injecting substances in the body. It is like a hybrid between acupuncture and injection. The needles are hollow therefore they have the ability to contain solutions. The process is the same as acupuncture where the needles are stuck to certain parts of the body. It is said that this procedure is used to treat pain especially the ones relating to the muscles and the tissues. The points in the body where the needles are stuck are said to be the trigger points where pain originates. Therefore, the pain relief is faster because the roots are being treated first.

Today, this medical procedure is being used in several countries which include South Africa, Canada and the United Kingdom. Other places like Australia and Switzerland have also started to embrace the practice. However, in some places like the Georgia, Kentucky and other states of America, only a handful of physical therapists are allowed to practice dry needling. This medical procedure is quite new to the medical world therefore not every area on earth knows how to do it.

In addition, dry needling is still highly debatable whether it should be seen as a new medical procedure or just a mere sub-part of acupuncture. Some doctors suggest that medical professionals should be able to practice this procedure because it is part of chiropractic methods where the root cause of the problem is the main issue. However, there are acupuncturists who insist that only people with the knowledge and license in acupuncture should administer this treatment because it is highly technical and difficult. The doctors will then argue that the dry need points are not similar to acupuncture points there before they should not always be related to each other.

People still have their doubts on dry needling. However, if you are asking whether it is safe or not, the answer is YES. It is safe as long as it is administrated properly and if the needles are always sterilized. Only professionals should do it. The treatment is usually done once a week until the muscles is back to their normal state. Bruising may occur during the treatment but that is normal. There are still many things to learn about dry needling but it is certainly a promising medical procedure. For more information about dry needling, consult a dry needling specialist who may be an osteopath or a physiotherapist.

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What Is A Compound Fracture?

There are many types of fractures. Fractures are categorized depending on their appearance and their severity. Some of these types include greenstick fractures – a type of fraction wherein the bones do not break completely but they do bend and break at one side just like a greenstick, internal fraction – a type of fraction where bones break on the inside but there is no open wound and a compound fraction – a type of fraction where the bones break and protrude causing the skin to break open. In this article, we are going to focus on compound fractures.

A fraction is considered compound if the bones get broken and also the skin. It is when the muscles tear apart as well because the bone has protruded and become visible to the naked eye. This type of fraction needs immediate medical attention to avoid infection.

Composite fractures are one of the most dangerous and risky fractures that someone can have. This is because it involves an open wound. You should know very well that open wounds are vulnerable to being infected. Because it is exposed in the air, the wound may catch infection and it can worsen. This is especially true in polluted areas where the air is filled with harmful substances. A person who gets this fracture needs to have the wound cleaned and sanitized as soon as possible. It will be very difficult for doctors to treat it if infections have already occurred.

There are several first aid procedures that you can do to open fractures while you are waiting for doctors to come. You should get sterile gauze and something that will sterilize the wound such as alcohol. Make sure to cover the wound as soon as possible. If the wound is boring, you should apply a bit of pressure to stop to it. If it does not stop, you can apply an ice pack to numb the area temporarily. This will also reduce the pain that the patient is feeling.

Compound fractures usually need surgery for them to be treated. This is because the bone has already protruded and the only way to get it back in place is through surgical or invasive procedures. Recovery time is also a lot longer than the ordinary fractures however it still depends on the severity of the condition. On the average, it takes more than two months for the bone to completely recover after surgery. While it recovers, the doctors may use a cast to keep the injured area in place. The type of cast will depend on the doctor and the patient. You can choose light and durable casts though they may be priced more expensively. It is best to ask your doctor which one is suitable for your condition. These are just some of the things you need to know about compound fractures.

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Broken Bone?

Did you encounter an accident recently and you feel like you have broken a bone? However, you are not sure if your bone is actually broken there before you do are hesitating to go to the hospital. To help you in identifying whether or not you have broken a bone, here are some symptoms you need to know.

One of the signs of a broken bone is swelling. When a bone breaks, the muscles are torn and they become sore. When you feel like the affected part of your body is swapping abnormally, you might have a fraction. You should also look for bruising or bleeding signs. When bruising occurs, there is a high possibility that internal bleeding has occurred.

When bones are broken, they affect the nerves. You will either feel extreme pain or you will not feel anything at all. If the nerves are compressed, the pain will be very severe and it may even be unbearable. When the nerve is damaged, the affected area will be numb and you will only feel a tingling sensation from it.

There are also symptoms that are very obvious. This symptom is the protruding bone. If you see a cut in your skin and you see your bone sticking out, there is a huge chance that the bone is broken. It will not protrude if it is still in place. Another obvious symptom is immobilization. If it is not in place or if it is broken, you will not be able to move that part of your body. You may, but it will definitely become very difficult for you.

If you notice a person who has a broken bone, you should immediately apply first aid in order not to let the condition get worse while you are waiting for the medical team. One thing that you can do is to calm the person and tell him not to move. If he moves too much, he may further worsen his condition. If the person really can not resist moving, you need to put a splint to keep the broken bone in place. If you notice any swapping, have an ice pack ready and apply that ice pack to the swollen area. This will reduce the swapping and the pain. As much as possible, you should not move the person until someone who has knowledge about medical procedures coming by.

Broken bones need to be treated immediately. If they are ignored, they will become worse and they may cause irreparable damage to the affected part of your body. You should contact your physician immediately so he can look at the situation. For mild cases, casts will be sufficient to assist the bone in recovery. For serious damages, bone replacement and surgery may be suggested by your doctor.

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Physical Therapy and Your Mind

After surgery or an injury and, if you are prescribed physical therapy, there is more to the follow-up then just receiving an exercise handout and hoping for the best. There are many factors that can decide a successful exit.

Factors such as your diet intake, how complains are you in taking your medications, are you getting enough sleep and giving your body time to recover, and the quality of education you are getting from your physical therapist.

However of the most important determinants in you obtaining a successful physical recovery and most neglected by western medicine is the use of your mind and, the amount of power it has in getting you back to a full recovery.

In physical therapy getting your body to recover and make the types of quick recoveries that are needed in the world as we know it today of reduced benefits and cutbacks in care, you need all the help you can get in educating yourself and being your own patient advocate during the recovery.

By using your mind and the art of visualizing, you play a big part in determining your successful exit. You literally can control your physical rehabilitation by taking the time before each session to sit back and relax, close your eyes and take a few minutes to picture yourself completely healed and recovered.

It is known that the power we hold in our minds is largely an untapped resource that we have at our disposal but, was never given a handbook on how to use it correctly. Many of today's superior athletes have discovered the potential of the human mind and practice the art of visualization before going on the field.

You as a patient can do the same and get the same results with your recovery by taking a few minutes each day and practicing the art of visualization. Many of us do it everyday in our day-to-day activities and not aware of it.

I suggest to my patients that they take time each day to relax by lying down or sitting comfortably in a reclining chair and to close their eyes, remove any extra noise like a television or radio and imagine their full recovery and what it will look like to them.

It is important to understand that our bodies will not take us to where our minds have never been. If you can imagine it and picture the outcome you want to achieve, you can get it if you take the time to discover the power of hidden potential that you have sitting between your ears.

And the best part of it is that the use of it is free. In today's world of high medical costs it is nice to get an added bonus now and then is not it.

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