We see so many people in our practice with shoulder pain and injuries, and commonly that's a question that we hear often: "How long will it take to get well?" Typically what we find is we have to take in a couple of factors such as the patient's age, their weight, their history, their condition, and what their occupation is.
Every patient who comes into our office with a shoulder condition wants to be out of pain overnight. Most commonly it takes about two to four weeks to get somebody out of discomfort, increase their range of motion, and get the relief that they want. What's most important is the patient who's typically searching for answers has to realize that the condition didn't start overnight and it's going to take some time to heal.
It could take anywhere for two to four dozen visits over six to eight months to get somebody strong, stable, and well.
First, we do a consult with the patient to find out exactly what's going on with them. Then, we do a thermal scan on their back to find, basically hot areas, where there's areas of a lot of activity, or the muscles are really tight. Then, we do a comprehensive exam. And then we follow that up with X-rays. And we take all the information that we get from all these different sources, put 'em together, and that's how we come with a treatment plan.
We normally don't do them the first visit, they're usually done on a second visit where we have their reported findings. This way we go over the x-rays, we go over the exam findings and we answer the patients' questions and then at that point once we take them in as patients then we will adjust them.
It's very tough to go over x-rays, go over exam findings and take care of the patient all at the same time.
We all sit down and put our heads together, so this way we can come up with a really precise treatment plan for that specific patient.
We have a great deal of patients that come in and one of their complaints, in addition to maybe neck or back, because we want to know the whole history, they say, "Oh, by the way, I get headaches." So, part of our consultation is we want to qualify and quantify what about the headache. Is it happening in the morning? Is it in the afternoon? Is it before you eat? Is it after you eat? What is the location of the headache? Is it frontal, on the side, is it on top, does it start at the back? And how long does it last?
We get all the information we can, and that's part of our consultation. The fact of the matter is there's over 137 classifications of headaches. The number one and most common headache is called cervicogenic, meaning starting at the cervical spine or the neck. We want to eliminate that first, since that's the most common. Once we do our thermal scan and our physical exam and then take a digital film, we can see if the vertebrae is out of alignment and if the scan shows up hot, so that we can come up with a type of care or treatment to help the patient feel better with headaches. That could be either traditional, hands-on adjusting, or the instrumentation.
So, the machine I have behind me, which is the Sigma Ultralign, has a specific protocol just for headaches. If you can see, we use the handheld instrument and we put on a specialized tip that works in the suboccipital area, or on the base of the skull, and very gently the instrument will relax the muscles, the suboccipital muscles, increase circulation, push the lactic acid out and help us relieve those headache symptoms.
The study followed 225 adults who had lower back pain symptoms for three months or longer. Participants volunteered for the study and were randomly divided into three treatment groups.
The first treatment group was given custom-made shoe orthotics provided by Foot Levelers. The second group also received the shoe orthotics as well as various chiropractic therapies such as regular adjustments, hot and cold packs, and manual soft tissue massages. The third group received no treatment as a control group.
After six weeks, the first group reported 34.5% improvement in lower back pain and 18.9% improvement in function. The second group which had shoe orthotics as well as chiropractic care related 40.4% reduction in lower back pain and 32.3% improvement in function.
While all three groups reported reduced average back pain after six weeks, only the first two groups described improved function.
After six weeks, the control group was also given custom-made shoe orthotics. As a result, when participants in each group were evaluated again after twelve weeks, there was no major differences between their pain and function improvement reports.
A Painful Domino Effect
In an interview with Podiatry Today, New York podiatrist George Tratchenburg said that he “believes the majority of lower back pain not caused direct injury or congenital problems results from abnormal gait.” Abnormalities in gait and irregular shifts in body weight often create a domino effect, altering the body’s posture and gait, which can result in spine and pelvic misalignments. Shoe orthotics help realign how feet interact with the ground, evenly distributing body weight with each step and stabilizing the spine.
Orthotics at South Orange Chiropractic Center
However, it’s important to choose the right orthotic for your needs. At South Orange Chiropractic Center, our chiropractors recommend Foot Levelers, a specific brand of orthotics. They can provide relief for patients with lower back, hip, or knee pain. Dr. Steven Levine describes Foot Levelers as soft orthotics that have the correction built in, but are also able to move with the foot. “A lot of the old traditional orthotics are hard plastic and over stabilize the foot, and when the foot becomes over stabilized, it puts too much motion in the knee or the hip,” Dr. Levine says. “[Foot Levelers] almost feels like it’s part of the shoe as opposed to a separate insert, so the comfort level is high.”
During an appointment at South Orange Chiropractic Center, our chiropractors use a state-of-the-art foot scanner to take pictures of your feet and quickly diagnose whether or not you may need orthotics to supplement your regular chiropractic care. If there is a critical need for more cushioning or support, we can also take a mold of your feet, send it to Foot Levelers, and provide you with custom shoe orthotics. If you think you may need orthotics or would be interested in having your feet scanned, please call us today at (973) 761-0022 or schedule an appointment online! We’re here to help you get back to life as it should be.
So, part of my background as a certified chiropractic sports physician, I spent years working with athletes. I worked up at Seton Hall University back in the '90's. We saw a lot of track and field people. Not just track and field, but most athletes would come in with a complaint saying that, "Doc, I'm getting these hamstring pulls, or a groin pull. But it's always on the same side. Why is that?" You can treat it at the training room, but if we're not getting to the cause of the problem, which might be maybe one hip's higher than the other, and if the hip's higher than the other, maybe it's compressing the nerve from the spine.
So, the nerve, which exits out of the lower back, will affect the function of the muscles. So, when we take an x-ray, we take an x-ray standing up, not lying down, because I want to see posturally what's going on, and if one hip comes up higher, it's compressing the nerves on one side. And these are the nerves that go into the quads, the hamstrings, the calves and that's why regardless of your sport. We're all that weekend athlete or competing, or just training on our own. Why is one side getting tighter? It might be this, or it might be the pelvis is rotated, and we can see that on film. We can measure the nerve function, and as a result we can come up with a solution.
Video Transcript - What Are Your Chiropractic Techniques?
When a patient comes to our office, we have a number of techniques to address their issues. It just determined based upon age, has the patient had a current experience with a chiropractor. Perhaps somebody comes in and they haven't had a good experience with hands-on adjustment. We might want to utilize our instrumentation. Sometimes somebody's too fragile or acute. The pain is so s-
Dr. Levine describes the surprising signs of having a subluxation
Published Thursday, 27 July 2017
Video Transcript - How Can I Tell If I Have A Subluxation?
You know what? I wish I knew. I wish I knew if I had a subluxation or not. The fact of the matter is that we gauge our health based on how we feel. How we feel is not necessarily how we function. How do you know the difference whether your functioning well or you're not? I mean, I wish I had a red light in the middle of my forehead that lit up that said, "Steve, you've got a sub ... you have a subluxation and it needs to be corrected." Fact of the matter is, is we don't know when we have a subluxation, and that's why checkups are so valuable.
The other question is, what is a subluxation? It's not necessarily a pinched nerve. Because the term pinched nerve has the connotation that there's pain, but pain is always the last thing to occur and the first thing to go away of any disease process. I catch a cold long before my sneeze. Your back problem has occurred long before you feel back pain. Why wait for the pain? Why not treat the problem before the pain comes out? The beautiful part about it is we have technology that allows us to see where the subluxation is before you have a crisis. Would you rather take care of the problem early or late? The answer to the question is, we don't know, but we can find out.