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Common Problems

foot_1.jpgFoot Pain

In all likelihood you or someone you know is having or has had sharp, stabbing pain in the bottom of their foot early in the morning. Still others will describe ankle pain or toe pain but, by far, the most common (and aggravating) is the one on the bottom of the foot. This is a condition commonly know as plantar fasciitis. It just sounds painful. Where does this term fasciitis come from anyway? Well it comes from the fascia, of course; that magical, slippery, web-like material that surrounds every muscle and organ within our bodies. It is really amazing stuff right up until it gets inflamed and sticky. Then it becomes a great big problem for any of us.

It is surprising to see the number of patients referred to Traum Chiropractic after suffering from plantar fasciitis for 6, 8, sometimes 12 months or more. Many have tried physical therapy and orthotics (not usually recommended here at Traum Chiropractic), nighttime ankle splints or even surgery. I know, it’s hard to believe that there are people who want to cure muscle dysfunction and inflammation by causing more muscle dysfunction and inflammation. Very rarely is it necessary to use a knife to fix fasciitis.

It is truly amazing to see how much improvement one can see after just a few treatments of Fascial Manipulation or Neuromuscular Re-education and a little bit of appropriate supplementation. If all sufferers of such foot pain knew of the therapy found in Fascial Manipulation there would likely be a great exodus of podiatrists from the country. Feet are complex, to be sure, but muscles are almost always the same and Fascial Manipulation is the single most powerful technique available to normalize their pull on the bones of the foot. What we do here at Traum Chiropractic is look first at the muscles of the foot, then the leg, the hip and beyond. The fascial chain is long and full of surprises so we look everywhere and usually with very good success. So if you’re one of the many who are dealing with this sharp and aggravating foot pain, or ankle pain, or even toe pain, then give us a try. My bet is that you’ll be walking better in as few as 3 to 5 treatments.

At Traum Chiropractic, our goal is to keep you out of our office and into the things you love to do at home or on the field.

We live by referrals, not by repetition.

neck_1.jpgNeck Pain

Believe it or not, one of the most common reasons why people are referred to Traum Chiropractic is because they can’t turn their heads due to frustrating neck pain. While upper neck pain is usually associated with stress and is often accompanied by headache, lower neck pain is just as frequent and can be more severe. There are times that this condition can become so irritating to the nerves exiting the neck that patients actually feel a numbness or tingling down into the arms that resembles carpal tunnel syndrome or a herniated cervical disc. These two conditions can be more complicated but they still respond very well to the Fascial Manipulation and general adjusting.

When someone says, "I slept wrong and I can’t turn my head," then you know that they need to be referred to Traum Chiropractic. Often, this type of condition is due to muscle imbalance somewhere in the chest wall, pelvis, and/or lower back.  We’ve even seen it result from imbalance in lower leg muscles after a serious ankle sprain. However, once identified and corrected, the muscles will begin to unlock the tight spots between the lower neck vertebrae and the rib cage. It is usually showing improvement after the first or second treatment and should be 50 – 80% better after 3 to 5 treatments.

At Traum Chiropractic, our goal is to keep you out of our office and into the things you love to do at home or on the field.

Remember, we live by referrals, not by repetition.

elbow_1.jpgElbow Pain

It’s like having a cut on the end of your fingertip. Every time you reach for something or try to shake a good friend’s hand you feel the stabbing pain in your elbow. What was once termed "tennis elbow" could just as easily be labeled "bowlers elbow" or "mouser’s elbow". The elbow is a simple hinge joint but it is very often the loser in repetitive stress activities like typing or mousing at your computer. Many patients are referred to Traum Chiropractic because they experience aggravating pain whenever they work or even when they try to do something as simple as grip their dog’s leash or shake a good friends hand.

Now, the elbow really doesn’t have to do a lot of different movements but it does have most of the muscle attachments to the muscles that control the hand and wrist. Some of those muscles are just not up to accommodating the forces we ask of them in certain activities like throwing or gripping. So the little ones at the outside of the elbow get so irritated that they develop fasciitis and begin pulling the elbow incorrectly. Pretty soon you’re faced with pain that might respond to some anti-inflammatory medication but those medications cannot normalize muscle imbalances.  They only chemically reduce inflammation which, by the way, also stops the actual healing process and you wind up with deeper muscle fasciitis.  Only Fascial Manipulation can start the process of correction because they work by normalizing the way muscles transmit force to each other and to joints.  This therapy results in normalizing the reflex loops found in the muscles and tendons that control muscle firing patterns.  Once that is accomplished, the muscles can start correcting themselves.  No amount of stretching or exercising can do this because the densification of muscle lubricant does not respond to these interventions.  It will only respond to pressure and friction and the localized inflammation that these two factors initiate.

Fortunately the elbow is one of the quickest to respond to this therapy and you or your friend (or whomever it is that you refer in) will typicaly notice big changes very quickly.  When you consider the fact that most tennis elbow can linger for months, it is amazing to watch it go away with just a few treatments

Low Back Painlowback_1.jpg

The great nemesis of the human frame surpassed in numbers only by the common cold.  It seems that most of us, by the awesome age of 40, will experience anything from a mild ache in our low back to severe, debilitating disc herniation.  But make no mistake about it; Advil or Bayer aspirin will not make long lasting improvements to this dilemma. And don’t forget, every year over 15,000 people die prematurely from internal bleeding that is directly caused by these anti-inflammatory medications.  They have their purpose but they are not the answer to helping the human frame hold itself up properly.  Only balanced muscle activity can do that.

The vast majority of people referred to Traum Chiropractic with low back pain find relief because we evaluate and treat the overall muscle balance throughout the pelvis and legs with Fascial Manipulation, flexion distraction, Activator technique, and manual adjusting techniques.  Without balancing the many muscles controlling the pelvis it is virtually impossible to have controlled, smooth motion in normal activities of daily living.  And without normal, smooth motion in the joints they will inflame faster, the muscles will tear easier, and they will become more fibrotic and spasmotic leading to a cycle that will then lead to long term dysfunction.  You can get adjusted 3 times a week for years but, if you don't normalize muscle function you may never get the problem to resolve for the long term.

Truly, the best means of maintaining a healthy low back (or any part of the human frame) is through frequent, low intensity exercises, proper postural practice, weight management and occasional chiropractic adjustments.  Neuromuscular re-education and Fascial Manipulation are also integral components for maintaining optimal muscle balance throughout the pelvis.  It cannot be restated enough, if the muscles that control any joint are not in balance there is absolutely no way that the body can work to its potential.  We all experience these issues but not all of us know the means to its resolution.  If you (or a friend) are one of the millions who, like us personally, have struggled with nagging and debilitating low back pain, refer yourself (or your friend) in to Traum Chiropractic and we will discuss your options and our philosophy and treatment methods.

Shoulder Painshoulder_1.jpg

Remember when you could reach up over your head to grab the cookies off of the top shelf where your mom used to hide them?  Now, imagine not being able to lift your arm much higher than your chest without sharp pain deep inside the shoulder joint.  Even worse, imagine this condition lasting for 1 to 2 years!!    

You should know that your arm is really just hanging on to your shoulder blade by a few muscles and ligaments that form the very shallow shoulder joint.  And the only boney attachement is where the clavical meets the sternum (breast bone).  It is very weak when compared to its range of motion and the types of activities we ask the joint to do.  Did you know that there are 18 muscles that attach to the shoulder blade and that they control the amazing amount of the shoulder’s range of motion?  But when they are not in balance the WILL pull the shoulder joint apart.  That is why so many great people with not so great shoulders are referred to Traum Chiropractic.  They describe pain waking them up at night or increasing difficulty throwing or reaching for those cookies.

We have found that most shoulder problems result from a pesky group of muscles you may have heard of.  These 4 thin and small muscles make up what is called the rotator cuff and their responsibility is to control the fine movements between the upper arm bone and the shoulder blade.  They are rather delicate, and, since we rarely do any exercises specifically to keep them strong and healthy, they can easily become injured and imbalanced.  The result is painful shoulder movement, or worse, frozen shoulder!  But many other problems are due to imbalances found in the bigger muscles of the chest and back as well.  Often, patients who are referred to Traum Chiropractic worry that a shoulder problem means that they will need to have surgery to correct it.  This is a common misconception and, for the most part, we are all better off avoiding surgery at all costs.  Finally, since shoulders are so complicated, rehab exercises are usually not effective by themselves in the initial phase of treatment.  You need to address the fasciitis and muscle imbalance before exercises can do their part.  In fact, exercises without proper neuromuscular re-education can aggravate the problem by giving you stronger imbalanced muscles that pull harder on the poor joint!

So if you or someone you know is having trouble getting to the cookies, give us a call at Traum Chiropractic so we can get started on those muscles as soon as possible.