Low Back Pain and The Feet

If you want to build any structure, a strong foundation is one of the key components. The human body is no different. Alignment of the bones in the feet can influence the functional stability of the rest of the body! Each foot contains 26 bones. It takes 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and numerous tendons to hold the bones in place and to allow for proper movement. As a musculoskeletal specialist, your South Elgin chiropractor Dr Tim Schening, is well-aware of the amount of brain-body coordination needed to keep these structures working properly.

Syndromes Related to Your Feet The following is a list of common conditions that are related to your feet, plus recommended solutions from your chiropractor.

Plantar Fasciitis – a painful conditioninvolving inflammation of the soft tissue in the arch of the foot. This condition is usually related to overuse or fallingarches.Icing and rest help to decrease pain, and muscle or joint manipulation can help restore proper function. Orthotic shoe inserts may also help provide structural support and reduce strain.1

Shin Pain – often caused by strain of the posterior and anterior tibialis muscles. These two muscles help give the arch of your foot mechanical support during walking or running. With increased stress due to repetitive use or falling arches, strain on the tendons of these muscles can cause the muscles to pull away from their bony attachments on the shin. This can cause periostitis, better known as shin splints. Improper footwear, combined with increased physical activity, is often the culprit. Rest, ice, muscle manipulation and orthotic inserts can help with this condition.2

Iliotibial Tract Syndrome (IT band syndrome) – pain located on the lateral side of the knee, thigh and hip, related to an inflammation of the tendon of the TFL muscle as it crosses the knee. This is one of the most common leg/hip syndromes found in runners, and it can be related to instability of the foot or pelvic misalignment. It is very often related to over-pronation of the foot, whereby the ankle joint turns inward – usually associated with falling arches. Chiropractic adjustments for the pelvis, foot and knee joints may help, as well as muscle manipulation, reduced exercise, and orthotic inserts to correct for the over-pronation.

Stress fractures – represent incomplete fractures (cracks) in any bone that is under an increased mechanical load. This condition is usually related to a structural imbalance, which creates an abnormal distribution of stress and strain. Rest is often the only treatment that helps mend this problem. Your chiropractor should also check the movement and alignmentof the feet and/or pelvis to help identify potential causes for the abnormal stress patterns.

Nerve Pain/Sciatica – radiating pain from nerve irritation/inflammation can be felt in the feet. Numbness, tingling, burning or aching pain can be a sign of lumbar nerve irritation. Disc herniation is a common cause of nerve root irritation. Chiropractic adjustments are often used to help balance the mechanical causes of disc herniations.

Pelvic Conditions – with respect to the kinetic chain, imbalances in foot bio-mechanics can lead to imbalances in pelvic mechanics. Restrictions or instability in the joints of the feet can lead to recurring symptoms in your pelvis and lower back.3 Common painful syndromes in the pelvis may include SI joint dysfunction, piriformis syndrome, and lumbar facet joint irritation. If your chiropractic adjustments are not holding as long as you’d like, you should have your chiropractor check your feet. Bouts of low back and pelvic pain that follow increased periods of walking, running or climbing may be pointing to the mechanical instability of your body’s foundation.

How to Take Care of Your Feet There are several things you can do to keep your feet healthy.Avoid activities that cause recurring pain in your feet, knees or hips.Wear appropriate, properly-fitting athletic shoes when you exercise. It is recommended you replace your athletic shoes at least once per year if you exercise at least once a week. Orthotic inserts, when required, can provide customized support for your feet in every shoe that you wear. Be sure to have Dr Schening check the mechanical movement patterns of your feet, knees and hips when walking or running. A routine gait analysis can pick up minor imbalances before they create major problems.Active lifestyles are also recommended to stay healthy. The best form of general exercise is walking. A gentle weight-bearing exercise like walking is known to help improve circulation, contribute to weight control and promote overall well being. Be sure to have your feet checked by  chiropractor on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to take you where you want to go in a pain-free way.

References and Sources:1. Karl B. Landorf, Anne-Maree Keenan, and Robert D. Herbert Effectiveness of Different Types of Foot Orthoses for the Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 2004 94: 542-549.2. Nawoczenski DA, Ludewig PM: Electromyographic effects of foot orthotics on selected lower extremity muscles during running. Arch Phys Med Rehab, 80:540-544, 1999.3. Dananberg HJ, Guiliano M: Chronic low-back pain and its response to custom-made foot orthoses.Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 1999; 89(3): 109-117.

Chiropractor South Elgin shares intermediate level abdominal exercise.

Involves no equipment.
This exercise works the abdominal, oblique internal/external, iliopsoa muscles.
The purpose is to increase abdominal strength and muscular endurance.
The benefits include improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Begin lying on floor.
Lift knees so that a 90º position is attained at hip and knees. Place hands beside ears. Activate core.
Lift shoulder off floor approximately 6 inches attempting to bring elbow toward opposite opposite knee so that both simultaneously meet.

Return to start position and repeat on opposite side. Continue alternating sides until recommended repetitions are complete.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

KNEE PAIN RELIEF, THIS WAS FOUND INEFFECTIVE

Results of a recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that arthroscopy is not an effective procedure to relieve arthritis knee pain.

Arthroscopic surgery is performed on at least 225,000 middle-aged Americans each year. The procedure requires three small incisions to be made in the knee, through which an arthroscope is inserted to give the surgeon a view of the joint. Debris is flushed from the knee or rough areas of cartilage are shaved from the joint. 180 patients participated in the Baylor College of Medicine study. Each patient was randomly assigned to have the arthroscopy surgery or a placebo surgery, where the surgeons would make incisions in their knees to simulate an operation.

160 patients, who completed the trial, were assessed two years after the study from self-reported scores to measure knee pain and knee function and an objective test consisting of walking and stair climbing.

None of the patients who had the knee surgery reported less pain or better function than the placebo group, at any point of the study.

If you are in the South Elgin area and are suffering with knee pain and want to avoid surgery, please give us a call here at Lifetime Health and Wellness for a free initial consultation. Our medical staff  here in South Elgin have helped many people avoid surgery.

SOURCE: New England Journal of Medicine, July 11, 2002, 347;(2):81-8; New York Times, www.nytimes.com, July 11, 2002; WebMD, www.my.webmd.com.

 

Chiropractor South Elgin shares low back exercises for beginners.

Here is a simple exercises that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the multifidus, erector spinae, transverse abdominus, oblique muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to Increase low back strength and muscular endurance. By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention

Begin lying on your back.
Extend arms above head flat on floor.
Activate core and lift knees above hips and maintain a 90/90 hip and knee position.
Activate core.
Lift one arm off the floor and raise it towards ceiling until above shoulder level while simultaneously extending one leg downward towards floor.
Pause momentarily.
Return to start position, alternating sides.
Core activation should be maintained throughout entire exercise.
Repeat for recommended repetitions and sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Back Pain and Headache Help in S. Elgin

Can Back Pain Really
Be“All In Our Heads”?
Researchers analyzed a survey
distributed to college students to find
out the prevalence of back pain in this
population. The survey revealed up to
38% of the students reported having
significant back pain within the previous
school year.
Of the students with back pain,
researchers found that only psychosocial
factors remained statistically
significant as being associated with the
symptoms. In the end, it appeared that
chronic fatigue or emotionally-abusive
relationships were the most strongly
associated with their back pain.3
Dr Schening your South Elgin  chiropractor knows that
life-stress can be a significant cause of
muscle tension and subluxations.
Chiropractic adjustments help relieve
tension throughout the body and reduce
fatigue associated with it.

The “Pop” and Pain
Relief
Researchers wanted to know whether
the pop heard during the chiropractic
adjustment really makes any difference
to the level of pain relief perceived by
the patient versus when no noise was
heard during the adjustment.
The researchers enlisted 40
asymptomatic patients and first tested
them for thermal pain sensitivity on
their legs and lower backs to create
baseline values. Then, the patients
underwent a lumbar adjustment. For
some, the audible pop was associated
with the movement and for others it
was not. All subjects were then
re-tested for thermal sensitivity.

The results may surprise you.
Researchers found that there was a
significant reduction in thermal pain
sensitivity after the lumbar adjustment,
whether or not a sound was heard
during the maneuver!4 So, you don’t
need to hear a pop to know that the
chiropractic adjustment is helping you.

References and Sources:

2. Weber Hellstenius, SA.
Recurrent Neck Pain and
Headaches in Preadolescents
Associated with Mechanical
Dysfunction of the Cervical Spine:
A Cross-Sectional Observational
Study With 131 Students. JMPT
2009 (Oct.); 32(8): 625-634.
3. Gilkey DP, Keefe TJ, Peel JL,
Kassab OM & Kennedy CA. Risk
Factors Associated With Back
Pain: A Cross-Sectional Study of
963 College Students. JMPT 2010
(Feb.); 33(2): 88-95.
4. Bialosky JE, Bishop MD,
Robinson ME & George SZ. The
Relationship of the Audible Pop to
Hypoalgesia Associated With
High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude
Thrust Manipulation: A Secondary
Analysis of an Experimental Study
in Pain-Free Participants. JMPT
2010; 33: 117-124.

S. Elgin Chiro says backpacks may equal pain

As parents, we are focused on providing the very best for our children. As we send them off to school, our intention is no different.

We are often told that carrying a bag of books on one shoulder is bad for posture. So, we confidently turn to the 2-strap backpack thinking we are taking stress off the little ones’ backs.

However, contrary to popular belief, these backpacks can be just as bad for the health of your children’s spines. When worn improperly or packed too heavily, even the 2-strap backpack can negatively affect the neck, shoulders, upper back and lower back.1

In a 2003 article published in SpineJournal, researchers revealed that out of 1122 backpack users, 74.4% suffered back pain. When compared with adolescents who had no back pain, adolescents with back pain carried significantly heavier backpacks compared to their body weights. These facts led the researchers to conclude “the use of backpacks, and especially the backpacks carrying heavier loads, was independently related to the incidence of back pain in adolescent students.”2

In another study, researchers found backpack weight was effective in predicting back pain in a sample of 3,498 students in California. They also found that girls and students who walk to and from school were more likely to report back pain. When the severity of pain was taken into account, older age, walking to and from school, and method of wear were all statistically significant.3

Knowing the harmful effects of a backpack on a child’s musculoskeletal health, what can parents do?

According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), the idea is to “Pack it Light, and Wear it Right.” Both the CCA and the ACA agree on the following recommendations regarding the choice, packing, and carrying of backpacks.4,5

1. Choosing a Backpack

An important factor is the size of the backpack relative to the size of the child. The top of the backpack should not extend higher than the top of the shoulder, and the bottom should not fall below the top of the hipbone.

The backpack ought to be as light as possible – made from materials such as nylon or vinyl instead of leather.

The shoulder straps should be at least two inches wide, adjustable and padded. The straps themselves must leave ample room for movement of the arms. The back portion of the backpack should also be padded for protection and comfort.

Backpacks should always include a hip strap or waist belt. This redistributes as much as 50 to 70 percent of the backpack weight to the pelvis, which decreases the load on the upper back, neck and shoulders.

Choosing a backpack with several individual pockets instead of one large compartment makes it easier to prop-erly distribute the weight. Another option is to use a backpack-style carrier with wheels and a pull handle for easy rolling.

2. Packing a Backpack

The total weight of the backpack plus its contents should never exceed 15 per cent of a person’s body weight (e.g., a 90-pound child should not carry more than 14 pounds in a backpack). For elementary-aged children, reduce this number to below 10 percent of their body weight.

Pack contents so the weight is evenly distributed in the backpack. Place heavier items closer to the body. This reduces the pulling effect on the shoulder straps. It also makes it easier for the child to maintain balance without leaning forward.

To help stay under the recommended load, only pack items needed for that day. Load odd-shaped items on the outside to prevent them from digging into your child’s back.

3. Carrying a Backpack

Both shoulder straps should be adjusted so the pack fits snugly to the body but not too tight. A parent’s hand should be able to slide between the backpack and the child’s back. Always fasten hip straps.

If you’re still not sure what to do, ask  chiropractor Dr Schening for advice. In addition to helping fix spinal misalignments caused by an improperly fitting back-pack, Chiropractor Dr. Schening of Life Time Health and Wellness can help prevent these problems from happening in the first place.

References and Sources:

1. Whittfield J, Legg SJ, HedderleyDI. Schoolbag weight and musculo-skeletal symptoms in New Zealand secondary schools – Applied Ergonomics2005: 36(2): 193-8.2. Sheir-Neiss GI, Kruse RW, RahmanT, Jacobson LP & Pelli JA. The Association of Backpack Use and Back Pain in Adolescents – Spine Journal 2003; 28(9): 922-930.3. Siambanes D, Martinez JW, ButlerEW & Haider T. Influence of School Backpacks on Adolescent Back Pain. – J Pediatr Orthop 2004;24(2): 211-217.4. Pack It Light, Wear It Right – Canadian Chiropractic Association publication.5. Backpack Misuse Leads to Chronic Back Pain, Doctors of Chiropractic Say – AmericanChiropractic Association.

Sciatica

sciatica-pic
Sciatica can be treated in a number of ways, from spinal decompression to massage therapy.

VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY STRONGLY LINKED TO DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE

A new study published in Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity looks at the impact of Vitamin D deficiency on diabetes and cardiovascular risk, and says more research is definitely warranted.

The study connects the well-known worldwide prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency to rising incidences of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2, as well as cancer, autoimmune and dental diseases.

Reviewing all relevant literature shows plausible molecular mechanisms of the role played by Vitamin D, leading the researchers to conclude that “treatment with Vitamin D supplements appears to be an effective and inexpensive treatment that deserves to be explored.”

The background that inspired the new study states: “Vitamin D deficiency is newly recognized as a common condition of increasing prevalence worldwide. Clinically, Vitamin D has an established role in calcium and bone metabolism and has recently been shown to be associated with increased risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as with cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and obesity.”

The exact molecular mechanisms that connect all the dots are still not fully understood. But the active metabolite of vitamin D regulates numerous genetic effects, obviating its connection to diabetes and other disease states.

Presently, there are no recommendations to screen for Vitamin D deficiency. But there are many known risk factors:

Lack/reduced sun exposure
Nutritional/absorptive problems
Reduced Vitamin D synthesis
Reduced bioavailability
Increased requirements
Medications that accelerate conversion of Vitamin D to inactive metabolites

Although Vitamin D deficiency is frequently unrecognized clinically, here at Lifetime Health and Wellness we know that laboratory measurement is easy to perform and treatment of Vitamin D deficiency is relatively well tolerated and inexpensive, the study says. Rising vitamin D deficiency and the many health-related conditions associated with it suggest the need for appropriate Vitamin D supplementation.

SOURCE: Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity, April 2010 http://journals.lww.com/co-endocrinology/Fulltext/2010/04000/The_impact_of_vitamin_D_deficiency_on_diabetes_and.3.aspx

South Elgin Chiropractor describes intermediate neck exercise

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no exercise equipment.
It works the longus capitis, longus colli, SCM (sternocleidomastoid) muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to increase neck strength and muscular endurance.
The benefits are improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Begin by lying on the back with the head extended off the table, maintaining a chin tuck position.
Slowly extend the head back towards the floor and then raise the head, returning to the initial neutral starting position and repeat as instructed.
Move slowly through the range of motion.
Slowly return to start position.
Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.