What are Trigger points?

Myofascial trigger points are points in your fascia around your muscle that feel like a ‘taut band’ or also known as a muscle knot. Commonly, trigger points are sensitive and can become painful when pressed on. The pain is usually described as achy and “sour”. Sometimes it can radiate pain across your back, down your arms or legs and cause headaches depending on where the points are located.

 

Trigger points can also be described as micro-cramps. Similar to cramps, trigger points are small patches or bundles of muscle fibres that have encountered insufficient blood supply. This causes lactic acid and other toxic waste products to build up. Trigger points can be found all over your body. They all start with a nerve placed over a muscle fibre. This area is called the motor end plate or also known as the neuromuscular junction. At the end plate, a chemical signal is sent from the nervous system that tells the muscle to contract. If there is an imbalance in the area (caused by strains or repetitive overuse of the muscle), a trigger point can form

 

It is estimated that 85% of pain which people seek medical attention, is of myofascial (muscle and connective tissue) origin. Trigger point therapy can be done for both active (currently in acute pain) as well as latent (not as painful, from a chronic injury) trigger points.

Here at Healthworks, we help clients with trigger points by performing myofascial trigger point therapy where we isolate and apply pressure to relieve the pain caused by the trigger point. The sustained pressure interrupts the nerve signal causing the muscle to let go, encourage blood and oxygen circulation while releasing lactic acid from the muscle.

 

What are Trigger points?2018-06-07T09:15:06+08:00

Is Chiropractic safe?

Chiropractic is widely recognised as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness, stiffness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current research shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.

Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical manipulation. Cervical manipulation, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Neck manipulation, when performed by a skilled and well-educated professional such as a doctor of chiropractic, is a remarkably safe procedure.

Some reports have associated high-velocity upper neck manipulation with a certain rare kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection. However, evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously in patients who have pre-existing arterial disease. These dissections have been associated with everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon. Patients with this condition may experience neck pain and headache that leads them to seek professional care—often at the office of a doctor of chiropractic or family physician—but that care is not the cause of the injury. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation is extremely rare—about one to three cases in 100,000 patients who get treated with a course of care. This is similar to the incidence of this type of stroke among the general population.

If you are visiting your doctor of chiropractic with upper-neck pain or headache, be very specific about your symptoms. This will help your doctor of chiropractic offer the safest and most effective treatment, even if it involves referral to another health care provider.

When discussing the risks of any health care procedure, it is important to look at that risk in comparison to other treatments available for the same condition. In this regard, the risks of serious complications from spinal manipulation for conditions such as neck pain and headache compare very favorably with even the most conservative care options. For example, the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain—over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and prescription painkillers—are significantly greater than those of chiropractic manipulation.

According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, people taking NSAIDS are three times more likely than those who do not to develop serious adverse gastrointestinal problems such as hemorrhage (bleeding) and perforation. That risk rises to more than five times among people age 60 and older.

Moreover, the number of prescriptions for powerful drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone have tripled in the past 12 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that abuse of these commonly prescribed painkillers are among the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. Overdoses of opioid painkillers are responsible for some 15,000 deaths per year; that’s more than the number of deaths from cocaine and heroin combined.

Doctors of chiropractic are well trained professionals who provide patients with safe, effective care for a variety of common conditions. Their extensive education has prepared them to identify patients who have special risk factors and to get those patients the most appropriate care, even if that requires referral to a medical specialist.

Source: American Chiropractic Association

Is Chiropractic safe?2018-06-07T09:13:46+08:00

Spinal Degeneration

Spinal Degeneration

We are living in the age of modern technology, where tasks at hand can be completed within seconds. The usage of smart phones and laptops has been steadily increasing over the years – without these valuable tools it seems like one would be missing out. The dependency on mobile devices however has led to a regression of spinal health. At Healthworks many of our clients who have neck and low back pain have jobs which bind them to their desks or to their mobile devices for long periods of time.  X- rays often show that many have at least a stage 1 spinal degeneration or a loss of spinal curvature.

What is Spondylosis?

Aging happens to all parts of the body including our spine, but today our spine seems to degenerate faster than we think.  Spinal degeneration also known as spondylosis, usually affects the neck, upper back and the lower back. Early spondylosis is associated with degenerative changes within the intervertebral disc where dehydration of the disc occurs, thus causing loss of spinal disc height and a reduction in the ability of the disc to maintain or bear additional loads along the cervical spine.

Often this leads to a pinched nerve causing nerve symptoms like referred pain down the arm and signs of numbness and tingling. Studies have found that age group that was most likely to be diagnosed with Spondylosis were individuals aged between 45 and 64 (85.5%) – it affects more men than women. Recently however, early degeneration is being seen in younger age groups – especially those who have a desk-bound job. At Healthworks, we have seen early degeneration affecting clients as young as 16.

What are the symptoms of Spondylosis?

Neck Low Back
1) Pain aggravated by movement 1) Low Back Pain
2) Referred pain (back of the skull, between the shoulder blades and upper limbs) 2) Leg pain
3) Pain behind the eye socket or headache 3) Numbness in foot or toes
4) Neck stiffness 4) Motor weakness to lower extremities
5) Numbness and tingling in the hands or fingers 5) Low back stiffness
6) Dizziness and vertigo
7) Poor balance

 

Risk Factors for Early Spondylosis

1) Poor posture: Poor posture creates stress to the structures of the spine (muscles, joints, disc and nerves).  With the abnormal stress that is placed on the spine, it speeds up the rate of wear and tear that is supposed to be natural as we age.

2)  Occupation: Having a job with repetitive movements or spinal loading (twisting, lifting, bending, and sustained non-neutral postures), and whole body vibration (such as vehicular driving) to be factors which increase both the likelihood and severity of spondylosis.

3) Genetics: If people in a family have spondylosis, there is likely to be a stronger genetic predisposition to spondylosis.

What should I do?

Chiropractic and physical therapy are often very helpful in cases of spondylosis. Chiropractors often treat their clients with spinal manipulation to release nerve tension and can reduce the occurrences of referred pain or numbness and tingling.

Spinal Degeneration2018-06-07T08:49:15+08:00
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