We all rely heavily on our shoulders to perform a big number of activities. There is no one single lifter that hasn’t got problems with the shoulders, and that hasn’t complained at one time of shoulder pain.
The shoulder has a wide range of motion, which makes it the most mobile joint in your body, yet this flexibility also makes it very unstable and prone to injury, such as shoulder dislocation or separation.Shoulder pain may occur in any of the many muscles, ligaments or tendons in and around your shoulder. Once your shoulder starts hurting, it can be hard to concentrate on anything else.
People of all ages can experience shoulder pain. However, people who use laptops, tablets and smartphones for extended periods are more prone to this problem. A number of factors and conditions can contribute to shoulder pain. The most prevalent cause is injury to the soft tissues, including the muscles, tendons and ligaments within the shoulder. This could be due to repetitive use or overuse injury.
Sometimes, the pain is due to some kind of injury to the neck or biceps. Other causes of shoulder pain include arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, bone spurs, torn cartilage, a broken shoulder bone, frozen shoulder and spinal cord injury. You can treat minor shoulder pain at home. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor if the symptoms seem to be worsening.
So if you are having problems with the shoulder pain, here’s what you need to to! I’m going to show you a few home remedies for shoulder pain, including some exercises!
1. Towel Stretch:
– Roll up a towel lengthwise. Hold the towel above and behind your head with the arm that is not sore.
– With your sore arm, reach behind your back and grasp the towel.
– Using the arm above your head, pull the towel upward until you feel a stretch on the front and outside of your sore shoulder.
– Hold 15 to 30 seconds.
– Relax and move the towel back down to the starting position.
– Repeat 2 to 4 times
– Lie on your back, holding a wand with your hands.
– Your palms should face down as you hold the wand.
– Place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
– Keeping your elbows straight, slowly raise your arms over your head until you feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper back, and chest.
– Hold 15 to 30 seconds.
– Repeat 2 to 4 times.
3. Shoulder circles:
– stand up straight with the arms extended on both sides of the body and your feet at shoulder-width apart.
– roll your shoulders behind you in a circular motion for 30 seconds, then change direction and start rolling them forward.
If you suddenly start feeling pain in your lower back or hip that radiates to the back of your thigh and into your leg, you may have a protruding (herniated) disk in your spinal column that is pressing on the nerve roots in the lumbar spine. This condition is known as sciatica.
Sciatica may feel like a bad leg cramp, with pain that is sharp (“knife-like”), or electrical. The cramp can last for weeks before it goes away. You may have pain, especially when you move, sneeze, or cough. You may also have weakness, “pins and needles” numbness, or a burning or tingling sensation down your leg.
You are most likely to get sciatica between the ages of 30 and 50 years. It may happen as a result of the general wear and tear of aging, plus any sudden pressure on the disks that cushion the bones (vertebrae) of your lower spine.
Sciatica is most commonly caused by a herniated disk. The gel-like center (nucleus) of a disk may protrude into or through the disk’s outer lining. This herniated disk may press directly on the nerve roots that become the sciatic nerve. Nerve roots may also get inflamed and irritated by chemicals from the disk’s nucleus.
Approximately 1 in every 50 people will experience a herniated disk at some point in their life. Of these, 10% to 25% have symptoms that last more than 6 weeks.
In rare cases, a herniated disk may press on nerves that cause you to lose control of your bladder or bowel, referred to as cauda equina syndrome. If this happens, you may also have numbness or tingling in your groin or genital area. This is an emergency situation that requires surgery. Phone your doctor immediately.
Diagnosis begins with a complete patient history. Your doctor will ask you to explain how your pain started, where it travels, and exactly what it feels like.
A physical examination may help pinpoint the irritated nerve root. Your doctor may ask you to squat and rise, walk on your heels and toes, or perform a straight-leg raising test or other tests.
X-rays and other specialized imaging tools, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, may confirm your doctor’s diagnosis of which nerve roots are affected.
The condition usually heals itself, given sufficient time and rest. Approximately 80% to 90% of patients with sciatica get better over time without surgery, typically within several weeks. Additionally though, people who experience back pain are 80% more likely to have problems again in the future.
Nonsurgical treatment is aimed at helping you manage your pain without long-term use of medications while finding the root cause of the sciatica. You may find it soothing to put gentle heat or cold ice on your painful muscles. If you are going to use temperature treatments like heat and ice, it is important to remember not to do more than 15-20 minutes in an hour. It is also important that you continue to move. Do not remain in bed, as too much rest may cause other parts of the body to feel discomfort.
Find positions that are comfortable, but be as active as possible. Motion helps to reduce inflammation. Most effectively, McKenzie Protocol exercises have been shown to reduce pain for certain types of patients. However, if you are a candidate for McKenzie Protocol, you will be able to find relief in the very first day.
In extreme cases, your doctor may inject your spinal area with a cortisone-like drug. But, you’ll still need to find the cause of the sciatica or it will more than likely come back.
As soon as possible, you should start an exercise routine so you can resume your physical activities without sciatica pain. Your doctor may want you to take short walks depending upon the severity of your condition.
You might need surgery if you still have disabling leg pain after 3 months or more of nonsurgical treatment. A part of your surgery, your herniated disk may be removed to stop it from pressing on your nerve.
The surgery (laminotomy with discectomy) may be done under local, spinal, or general anesthesia. This surgery is usually very successful at relieving pain, particularly if most of the pain is in your leg.
The only problem with the surgery is that you will still have to find the root cause of why your disc was worn out in the first place or you’ll do it again.
Your doctor may give you exercises to strengthen your back (like McKenzie Exercises). It is important to walk and move while limiting too much bending or twisting. It is acceptable to perform routine activities around the house, such as cooking and cleaning if you are in the correct position.
Following treatment for sciatica, you will probably be able to resume your normal lifestyle and keep your pain under control. However, it is always possible for your disk to rupture again.
If you or someone you love is suffering from sciatica, call our office today for a complimentary sciatica screening.
A stiff neck is a common problem. It often occurs due to sleeping in an awkward position, sitting in front of a computer for a prolonged period, or straining a muscle due to bad posture or carrying heavy loads that put too much pressure on the shoulders.
Other causes include anxiety and stress that create tension in the neck muscles, trauma or injury that affects the neck, and some diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer.
The main symptoms are soreness, pain and difficulty moving the neck, especially when trying to turn the head to the side. At times, a stiff neck may cause a headache, shoulder pain or arm pain.
A stiff neck does not usually indicate a serious medical problem, but it can hinder your daily activities and make it hard to sleep. Lack of sleep can make things worse.
This problem usually gets better after a few days or a week. However, you can use some simple lifestyle changes and home remedies to ease the pain and stiffness. If your condition does not get better within a week or if it occurs with a high fever, consult your doctor immediately.
1. Massage is a good option to treat a stiff neck.
A gentle massage will help relax the muscles while increasing blood circulation. This in turn will help reduce the stiffness. Moreover, it will help you sleep better.
Take a hot bath or shower to relax your muscles.
Slightly warm some olive, coconut or mustard oil.
Apply the oil on the affected area.
Massage using firm yet gentle strokes for several minutes.
If you cannot do the massage on your own due to the stiffness, get help from a friend or a professional massage therapist.
2. Neck Exercises:
Performing a series of neck exercises can be highly beneficial for treating a stiff neck. It will relieve tension caused by the tight, strained neck muscles.
Sit up straight, while keeping your body relaxed.
Nod your head forward (toward your chest) and backward (toward the sky). Repeat these motions for a few minutes.
Tilt your head alternately down toward your left shoulder and then toward your right shoulder. Repeat for a few minutes.
Without turning your body, slowly turn your head and look to the left, then look to the right. Alternate this movement repeatedly for a few minutes. End your exercise with a few gentle shoulder rolls.
Note: Avoid doing any neck exercise if it hurts too much.
Tip: To prevent a stiff neck, go swimming on a regular basis. It improves the overall strength of the neck and back. However, make sure that you follow the proper swimming techniques and do not overdo your workout.
3. Cold Compresses:
Soothe a stiff neck with a cold compress. The cold temperature will help numb pain and limit the buildup of lactic acid, a normal by product of muscle metabolism which can cause soreness.
Wrap some ice cubes in a thin towel.
Hold the compress against the stiff area of your neck for 10 to 15 minutes.
Repeat every 2 hours for the first 48 hours.
Instead of ice, you can also use a bag of frozen peas in the same way.
Note: Do not apply ice directly on the skin unless directly indicated by your doctor.
Tip: You can try making a dixie ice cup for ice massage. Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for ice massage.
4. Heat Therapy:
If you do not get relief after 48 hours of using the cold compress, try heat therapy. Heat will increase the blood flow, which in turn will decrease stiffness.
Apply a hot compress on the neck area for at least 10 minutes. Repeat 3 or 4 times a day until you get complete relief. A hot compress can be in the form of a heating pad, hot water bottle, heat wrap or a hot towel.
Also, stand in the shower and run warm to slightly hot water on your neck for about 5 minutes. It is okay to turn or move your neck while doing this. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
At our Seattle Chiropractor office, we regularly help people with neck stiffness. A gentle adjustment to the spine can significantly increase the range of motion and help to promote blood flow and healing. It doesn’t take many to make a significant improvement. If you or someone you know is suffering or frustrated with their neck stiffness, give us a call today or just stop by at:
Our goal at Seattle Chiropractic Center is to get patients back to moving. Research shows movement is the key for long term back pain relief. We liked this article on exercises for back pain and hope you do to.
You can do these moves virtually anywhere to strengthen your back and core and support your lower back. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing functional training like these exercises two to three times per week for 20 to 30 minutes per session.
Try moving through the routine below, repeating each exercise 2 to 4 times. To be sure you reap all the back-boosting benefits, pay close attention to your form during every movement.
1. Decompression Breathing
Back Strengthening Exercises
A little extra O2 can do a body good—especially when you’re lengthening the body at the same time! Use this move to teach yourself how to breathe deeply and keep your spine long and strong at all times.
Stand with your toes touching and your heels slightly apart. Shift weight into your heels, unlock your knees, and gently pull your heels toward each other. Stand tall, reach your arms overhead, and press your fingertips together. With your inhale, lift the ribcage away from the hips. On the exhale, tighten the core to support the “lengthened” spine. Repeat this breathing process until you feel tall and supported.
2. Founder to Forward Fold
Back Strengthening Exercises
Sticking out your booty might feel embarrassing, but this move is called a founder because it’s setting you up for success in building integrated back and core strength. If a full founder puts too much tension on your lower back, try doing a modified founder with your hands back behind you (pictured below). If you’ve got tight hamstrings, use a prop (such as a chair) to help bring the ground just a wee bit closer to you. Remember—the goal is to reinforce good movement patterns. Use props or modify the full move if it helps you keep a neutral and stable spine.
Back Strengthening Exercises
From the modified founder position, inhale and reach your arms out in front of your heart, keeping your hips back and pressing your fingertips together, with the pinkies pressing in the hardest. Slowly lift the arms all the way up, and keep the core pulled in to maintain a neutral spine. Hold 15 to 20 seconds.
From full founder, float the hands down to the ground as you drive your hips back. Unlock your knees and keep the weight in your heels. When your hands are down to the ground (or on a prop, for people with tight hamstrings) pull your hips back, up, and away, reaching your hands as far forward as possible to counterbalance. Hold 20 to 30 seconds.
To stand up, keep your weight in your heels, slide your hands up your shins, and bring your spine into neutral. Sweep the arms back into Modified Founder position. Press the heels into the ground and bring your hips forward to stand up.
3. Adductor-Assisted Back Extension
This well-known exercise isolates some of the deeper muscles of the lower back and is great for back pain. Add in a little extra support from your inner thighs and some increased activation of the hamstrings, and you’ve got a recipe for building back muscles strong like a superhero’s.
Start on the ground, lying on your stomach. Flex your feet and zip your legs together, keeping just a slight bend at the knees. Press your hips and knees into the ground and lift your elbows up until the hands “float” above the ground. Pull your shoulders down towards your butt while lifting your chest off the ground. Keep your neck long and hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
4. Eight-Point Plank
Back Strengthening Exercises
A plank with your elbows and knees on the ground sounds like it should be easy, but this one sure isn’t. Get ready to focus a bit more on your abs to create some serious support for your spine.
Lie on your stomach with your feet flexed, knees touching, and elbows a few inches in front of your shoulders. Pull your shoulders away from your ears, and gently squeeze the knees and elbows toward the centerline of body. Press knees, toes, and elbows into the mat as you lift your hips up to the height of the shoulders. Tighten your core and maintain a long, neutral spine. Pull the elbows and knees toward each other (as though you’re trying to bring the top and bottom of your mat together), and hold the plank for 20 to 30 seconds. If you begin to tremble, you’re doing this right.
Back Strengthening Exercises
Named after the feisty little bird that tips forward when it hunts for food, this move will strengthen both your butt muscles and your back.
From a lunge position, press through your front heel and stand tall. Lift the back heel up off the ground and reach the arms out in front of your heart. Drive your butt as far back as you can, without moving your knee, until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Your arms will naturally reach further forward to counterbalance. Tighten your core, taking care to maintain a neutral spine, and slowly reach the arms overhead. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
If a full woodpecker is too tough, try keeping your arms back behind you in a modified version while you build up the strength to perform the full version.
Research shows that frequently bracing the core and strengthening your back muscles can be effective in promoting long-term relief from chronic low back pain . Meanwhile, sedentary behavior has been shown to be a health risk in and of itself itself—so next time you catch yourself sitting for a long period of time, stand up and do some Decompression Breathing, a Founder, or any of the exercises outlined above. You’ll give your body a break from sitting, and you’ll be working the muscles that support your spine. With a practice and minimal time commitment, a strong and supple back can be yours for the long haul!
If you find yourself in need of some help with your back pain, give us a call!
One of the most common things people complain of, when the come to see us, is sciatica. When we ask where is hurts, some point to their leg, some to their back and a few to their shoulder. Clearly not everyone is clear exactly what it is, so what is sciatica? Sciatica is not, strictly speaking, a medical diagnosis, it is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. It is a lay term for pain that extends down the leg; pain that can really, really, really hurt!
Common symptoms of sciatica:
Most often it starts in the lower back and travels into the thigh; it can travel further down the leg to the foot and toes
Sciatica is not only felt as pain, it can be felt as a burning or tingling sensation. In advanced cases there can be numbness or weakness of the leg muscles. Sciatica mostly affects one leg, rarely does it affect both.
What causes sciatica?
A bit of anatomy to begin with. Sciatica gets its name from the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from your low back down each of your legs to your toes. It is formed from the nerve roots (nerves that come out of the spine) L4-S3 at the bottom of the spine. All these nerve roots join together to form the largest nerve in the human body; about the size of your index and middle finger together. The sciatic nerves feeds each of your legs with messages from the brain and back again. This allows you to move your legs and walk, feel sensation when something touches your leg, quickly move your leg away when you stand on your kids Lego in the dark, and so much more! In conclusion, it’s a very big and important nerve.
The most common causes of sciatica:
A trapped nerve in the lumbar spine affecting the sciatic nerve
A disc herniation – one of the discs in the spine bulges out to the side (‘slipped disc’) and presses on the lower lumber nerve roots (that form the sciatic nerve)
Piriformis syndrome – the piriformis is a muscle in your buttocks that the sciatic nerve runs under, and sometimes through, and if it gets tight it can irritate the sciatic nerve
Trigger point referral – knots in the muscles of the buttocks or low back, called trigger points, can cause the sensation of pain down the leg (referral) that can mimic sciatica
How do you treat sciatica?
With the causes listed above, in my humble opinion, a combination of Chiropractic adjustments, massage, stretching and cryotherapy (using an ice pack or Biofreeze). With this approach you are addressing any misalignments of the spine and pelvis through the Chiropractic adjustments; this takes the pressure off the nerves and aides the recovery of any disc herniation (‘slipped disc’). Massage relaxes the tight muscles around the spine and the piriformis if needed, this encourages what the Chiropractic adjustments are doing and relaxes any trigger points in the muscles of the lower back and buttocks. The stretching helps between seeing your Chiropractor + sports massage therapist, and the ice pack reduces the inflammation around the nerve, again aiding a speedier recovery.
An important final note.
The symptom sciatica can be caused by serious underlying complaints and should be checked thoroughly by a trained physician who performs a complete physical examination of your muscles and joints and neurological examination of your nerves. If you have any change in your bowel or bladder habits (unusually can’t control or go!) or numbness in your ‘saddle’ area, coupled with severe back or leg pain, then you potentially have something called ‘cauda equina’. This is a medical emergency and you should contact the emergency services straight away.
As a Chiropractor it is our job to ensure that the complaint you have is a Chiropractic case. At Seattle Chiropractic Center, we ensure that we give you the best treatment and advice to help you with your sciatica, and in those few cases that we feel that physical interventions like Chiropractic and massage are not the most suitable option, we refer you to the person who is right for you.
Pain in shoulder blade can be brought on by a wide range of issues. Despite the fact that more often than not the torment will leave all alone, there are a lot of home solutions for out for agony that perseveres. Any torment that doesn’t react to home cures ought to dependably be conveyed to the consideration of your specialist.
Your shoulder bone, or scapula, is the triangular-molded gone at the back of your shoulder. Torment here can be very basic and is normally identified with physical action. Understanding the different reasons for shoulder bone torment can help you make sense of how to treat it, and help you figure out if it is not kidding enough to warrant a visit to the specialist.
Reasons for Pain in Shoulder Blade
The accompanying are the absolute most normal reasons for shoulder bone agony. Remember that periodic agony scapular torment is a typical issue that as a rule determines inside a day or somewhere in the vicinity. Be that as it may, persistent agony can mean an indication of something more genuine.
Abuse of Shoulder Muscles:
Just about everybody experiences this sooner or later whether your a golfer, tennis player, or occupational athlete. Utilizing the shoulder muscles too vivaciously or a lot of can prompt muscle strain, and that prompts torment. That agony in the end emanates to the shoulder bone. Exercises that require tedious movement, for example, tennis or golf, can prompt this issue.
Dozing the “Wrong Way”:
Have you ever woken up with unexplained shoulder torment? This could be a direct result of the way you dozed. Mulling over one side for delayed timeframes or dozing your head at an odd point can prompt this issue.
Regularly an aftereffect of a mischance or games damage, this is an intense issue that can bring about exceptional agony, particularly after moving. The region may likewise be swollen or stained.
A waiting issue deserted by the chicken pox infection, shingles can lie lethargic in the body for quite a long time and after that all of a sudden show up, bringing on agony and distress all over. The underlying indication of shingles is smoldering torment in your shoulder bone, more often than not on the right side. It then transforms into a rash and can be joined by influenza like indications, cerebral pains and fever.
The sign of joint inflammation is agonizing, delicate joints. Without ligament there to keep the bones at the joint from rubbing together, agony can come about. Joint pain in the shoulder is uncommon, however it is unquestionably a plausibility on the off chance that you have long haul shoulder torment.
On the off chance that you are managing torment in your shoulder that transmits down your arm, you may have a nerve pinched. A harmed or squeezed nerve in your shoulder or neck can bring about serious scapular torment. You may likewise feel a smoldering sensation in your fingers or hands. This sort of torment for the most part goes on for a considerable length of time or months, and won’t not resolve at all without therapeutic treatment.
Rotator Cuff Injury:
A typical harm among competitors, this alludes to a damage of one or a greater amount of the four muscles that make up the rotator sleeve, a territory in the shoulder. When one of these is harmed, the torment can show in the shoulder blade.
In the event that your torment is focused underneath the right shoulder bone, it could be myofascial. This implies an issue with the tissues that cover the muscles is creating torment. Since the torment is frequently “alluded” – implying that is begins elsewhere – it can be difficult to make sense of where the agony is really originating from.
Determination and Treatments of Pain in Shoulder Blade
Most pain in the shoulder blade will leave inside a couple days. In any case, on the off chance that it holds on, your seattle chiropractor might need to perform an exam, including a MRI or other imaging tests, to make sense of what is happening inside your shoulder. Contingent on the issue, restorative mediation may be required, however there could likewise be home cures and medications that work. Here are a couple that you could attempt:
Stop Activity and Rest:
At times everything you need to battle agony is to take some time and let the zone recuperate. In the event that your agony is brought on by monotonous movement or other muscle damage, essentially giving the zone a chance to mend will achieve alleviation. Rest the territory as much as you can, and swing to warmth and frosty packs if that makes a difference.
Keep Proper Posture:
An uncalled for posture can prompt genuine a throbbing painfulness. In the event that you have issues with stance, try to fix up as much as you can and check whether that helps the pain in the shoulder blade. This additionally applies to dozing the “right path” during the evening. Utilize a cushion to keep your head and shoulders adjusted, and attempt to consider your back if thinking about your side appears to intensify the torment.
Scapular Retraction Exercises:
Legitimate activities can help you conquer the inconvenience and get making progress toward recuperating. Numerous activities result in extending the zone, which helps in adaptability, and most should be possible anyplace. For instance: lift your arms straight before you, holding at shoulder level. At that point round your shoulders, just as you were attempting to embrace somebody directly before you. Feel the muscles between your shoulder bones strained? Hold that position for eight or ten seconds, then let go.
Check out Dr. Bailey explaining about shoulder pain in this video:
Find out about Massaging Techniques:
A back rub can offer noteworthy help to any issues including muscle torment, including scapular agony. Talk with a physical specialist like a chiropractor to guarantee that you are focusing on the right zones. Numerous individuals see snappy help after a couple sessions with a massage therapist.
Treat Potential Illnesses:
On the off chance that the issue is brought about by joint pain, shingles or some other infirmity, your specialist can endorse drugs, practices and so forth to battle the issue. On the off chance that the issue is a squeezed nerve or a break, more genuine restorative mediation may be required.
Our Seattle Chiropractor, Dr. Joshua Bailey, has had a lot of experience treating pain in the shoulder blade and can help you get the treatment you need for your specific problem. Give us a call today for more information at 206-201-0145. Or you can find our office here:
We accept walk-ins and have same day appointments.
Chiropractic, a solution for chronic low back pain?
Chronic low back pain (LBP) is the second most common cause of disability among adults in the United States. The total cost of back pain in the US (including treatment and lost productivity) ranges between $100 billion to $200 billion a year.
In the past two decades, the use of health care services for chronic low back pain (low back pain lasting more than three months) has substantially increased. In reviewing insurance claims information, researchers note a significant increase in the use of spinal injections, surgery, and narcotic prescriptions.
There has also been an increase in the use of spinal manipulation by chiropractors, physical therapy services and non-narcotic prescriptions. The reported utilization of these services for chronic low back pain was only 3.9 percent in 1992 compared to 10.2 percent in 2006. Researchers are not certain if this increase is due to more people suffering from chronic low back pain, more people deciding to seek treatment, or a combination of the two.
Maintenance chiropractic care is well supported in studies for controlling chronic low back pain. A study (SPINE, Vol. 36, No. 18, 8/15/11) written by two medical doctors took 60 patients with chronic low back pain and randomly assigned them into one of three groups: 1) 12 treatments of sham (fake) chiropractic care over a one month period; 2) 12 chiropractic care treatments over a one month period only; or 3) 12 treatments for one month and then chiropractic care every two weeks for the following nine months. They measured pain, disability, generic health status, and back-specific patient satisfaction.
They found only the second and third groups experienced significantly lower pain and disability scores after the first month of treatments, and only the third group showed more improvement at the 10-month evaluation. By the tenth month, the pain and disability scores returned back to nearly the initial level in group two. They concluded: “To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance chiropractic care after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.” Other studies have reported fewer medical tests, lower costs, fewer doctor visits, less work absenteeism, and a higher quality of life when maintenance chiropractic visits are utilized.
As a Seattle Chiropractor, I’d agree with this article and its’ conclusions. The patients that I see who stay healthier are the ones who get regular adjustments. Call our office today to set up a complimentary consultation with me to see if there is something I can help you with.