Posts Tagged ‘Surgery

03
Sep
13

Biceps Tendonitis Causes and Treatment Options


??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The aches and pains of biceps tendonitis can seriously interfere with your daily activities. It is often surprising to people to realize just how much they use their biceps in the course of a day, whether they’re picking up a bag of groceries or just brushing their teeth.

The biceps brachii muscle originates on the scapula (shoulder blade) and crosses both the shoulder and elbow joints, eventually attaching to the upper forearm. Its main function is the flexion and supination (twisting the palm to the front) of the forearm, but it also helps lift the shoulder. Weight trainers will be very familiar with the bicep curl, in which the muscle is strengthened through repeated lifting of a weight in the hand through alternately flexing and extending at the elbow.

Repeated overuse of the biceps muscle can lead to inflammation of the tendon, causing tendonitis. People who practice sports with repetitive ‘overhead’ actions such as tennis, baseball and javelin throwing are at greater risk for the development of tendonitis, as are those with any kind of job or activity that involves similar repetitive movements of the shoulder. Bicep tendonitis may also often occur in combination with other shoulder problems such as rotator cuff tears, arthritis of the shoulder, shoulder instability, tears of the glenoid labrum and shoulder impingement (inflammation of the rotator cuff).

Patients with biceps tendonitis usually report feeling pain in the front of the shoulder and sometimes in the biceps muscle itself. This is made worse through overhead motion and improved by resting the arm and shoulder. The arm may feel weak when bending the elbow or turning the palm upwards. If you experience any of these symptoms, it would be wise to visit your doctor or chiropractor.

Biceps tendonitis is a common condition seen by chiropractors, and your practitioner will want to make a thorough examination of you and your medical history in order to determine whether your condition is tendonitis or some other condition, and if there are any co-occurring injuries. X-rays are rarely used initially, but may be called for later if the shoulder is not responding to treatment.

If you are diagnosed with biceps tendonitis, a range of treatment options are available. Nonsurgical interventions are the preferred first choice of chiropractors. Resting the shoulder and avoiding exacerbating activity may be suggested in combination with other strategies such as anti-inflammatory medication and ice packs to reduce pain and swelling. Any co-morbid conditions contributing to the inflammation will also need to be treated. In extreme cases, cortisone injections may be prescribed.

The most commonly employed surgical treatment for bicep tendonitis is acromioplasty, particularly in cases where shoulder impingement is also a problem. Acromioplasty is the removal of a small piece of the acromion (a bony protuberance of the shoulder blade), which gives more space between the head of the humerus and acromion itself, relieving pressure on the tendon and other soft tissues.

Biceps tenodesis is another surgical technique that may be utilized to treat tendonitis. In this surgery, the top of the biceps tendon is reattached to a new location. The technique has not, however, met with great success in treating tendonitis patients but may be necessary in cases where there is degeneration of the tendon or when extensive shoulder reconstruction is required.

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois, a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

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22
Oct
12

Can Chiropractic Care Help You Recover from Back Surgery?


Luckily, surgery is only necessary in a relatively small number of cases involving back problems.  Non-invasive methods such as chiropractic care are available for treating a wide range of spinal conditions, including back pain, sciatica and herniated discs.  However, in some severe cases, particularly those involving fractured vertebrae, scoliosis, kyphosis, and when degenerative disc disease has progressed to a point where the spinal nerves are being compressed and causing constant pain, surgery may be necessary.

Many people ask, “How long does recovery from spinal surgery take?”  The answer varies greatly depending on the extent of the surgery and the techniques used as well as the general physical condition and behavior of the patient.  Recovery time can range anywhere from two weeks to a year, with the average being about 12 weeks.  However, there are some things you can do to help speed recovery, including receiving chiropractic care.

While regular chiropractic care can help keep you off the operating table in the first place, it can also help you to recover from back surgery if it does become necessary.  Despite what you may think, visiting a chiropractor after back surgery does not have to be a cause for anxiety.  Licensed chiropractors are among the most experienced healthcare professionals when it comes to treating spinal problems of all types.  They will give you a thorough examination to assess your particular situation before beginning any kind of treatment.  This examination will usually involve taking a detailed medical history, doing a careful physical evaluation and (where appropriate) ordering diagnostic imaging such as an x-ray or MRI.

Chiropractic care may not be appropriate for some time following certain types of procedures.  For example, a spinal fusion surgery should generally be allowed to heal for a year before having chiropractic treatment.  Consult with your surgeon and chiropractor about the best timing to begin chiropractic manipulation.  As patients who have had spinal fusions often continue to experience pain post-surgery, they in particular may benefit from chiropractic care provided it is delivered at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.

A case report that was published in the Journal of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists in 2009 noted that those patients who reported pain after spinal fusion surgery found relief with a combination of distraction decompression and spinal adjustment therapies.  If you have had spinal fusion surgery, check to be sure your chiropractor can use non-rotational methods of spinal manipulation to treat you.

Chiropractic care for back surgery that does not involve spinal fusion is also a good idea.  After your back has had some time to recover, it’s important to get it moving again, and your chiropractor can help to relax the muscles and realign vertebrae that may have become misaligned from surgery or in the days of recovery following.  Chiropractic adjustments can help to stimulate the flow of fluids to the spinal area, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the spinal tissues and carrying away waste material in order to speed healing.

Your chiropractor can also provide you with exercises you can do at home to strengthen your back and core muscles that will allow you to get back to your normal life more quickly and help to keep you from having to undergo any further back surgeries.

 

Dr P. Dubois, DC, CCSP.

 

Dr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system.Amongst hispatients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levelswho benefited from his chiropractic care.

19
Oct
12

The Latest on Treating Degenerative Disc Disease


Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a very common medical condition that affects a large and growing portion of the population.  In fact, the low back pain that often accompanies DDD is the leading cause of disability in people under age 45.  DDD has long been recognized as a difficult condition to treat, and many patients undergo invasive, expensive and risky surgical procedures every year in an effort to find relief.

Part of the reason DDD can be difficult to treat is that disc degeneration itself is not really a distinct diagnosis at all.  Rather, DDD refers more generally to a breakdown of the spongy cartilage discs that separate and cushion your vertebrae.  This breakdown is most often caused by normal changes that occur as part of the aging process.  While a majority of people will experience these changes pain-free, an estimated 85 percent of the population will show evidence of some disk degeneration by the time they reach age 50.  This means that there are two important things to keep in mind when it comes to DDD:

  1. Most people will eventually have disc degeneration even if they do not have symptoms.
  2. The fact that some degeneration is apparent in diagnostic imaging does not necessarily mean that DDD is actually responsible for your symptoms (pain, reduced mobility, etc.).

WHAT CAN BE DONE—CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT OPTIONS

At the more conservative end of the spectrum, traditional treatment of DDD has usually involved finding ways to manage the pain.  The most common of these is taking non-steroidal painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen.  However, it’s important to realize that this does not ultimately address the cause of the problem.  The good news is that there are other conservative options available.

Many patients have found that manual therapies, such as chiropractic care and therapeutic low back massages can improve mobility and reduce pain without the need for medication.  These approaches center on restoring blood flow, easing inflammation, reducing muscle tension and increasing range of motion.   They can also stimulate the release of pain-relieving natural endorphins.

Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy has also proven to be effective for many patients.  This treatment involves gently separating the vertebrae to reduce pressure on the spinal discs and encourage nutrients and water to flow back into them.

SURGICAL OPTIONS

Surgical options range from minimally-invasive procedures like microdiscectomies to more invasive ones such as laminectomies and spinal fusions (also called spondylodesis).  Under certain circumstances, surgery may help relieve the pain caused by DDD and related pressure on nerves.  While these types of techniques have become increasingly common, they all involve the risks that accompany any type of surgery.  They also involve risks that are more specific to surgery on or around the spine.

Always be sure to consult your family physician and be sure to get a second (and third) opinion before undergoing any type of surgery.  They can help you balance the likelihood of success against the risks and expense.   Most healthcare professionals recommend that patients exhaust more conservative treatment options before choosing surgery.

EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES – A LOOK INTO THE MORE DISTANT FUTURE?

Medical researchers and clinicians around the world are experimenting with other approaches to treating degenerative disc disease.  Two of the more promising candidates include stem cell therapy and disc replacement.  While both of these techniques are in the very early stages of development, they may eventually prove useful for the small percentage of people for whom more conservative therapies have not worked on a long-term basis.

Stem Cell Therapy

Some scientists are investigating the possibility of using stem cells to either restore the integrity of the disk or to prevent the disk’s further degeneration.  Researcher Helena Barreto-Henriksson of the Institute of Clinical Sciences, and her colleagues at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden found that when stem cells were injected into a damaged disc in animal models, they showed some healing capacity.  According to Barreto-Henriksson, “Images taken by MRI showed that the transplanted stem cells survived, that they developed into cells that had a function similar to that of disc cells, and that there was a certain degree of healing in the disc.”

A similar recent study explored the use of notochord cells, which are the precursors of intervertebral discs that are present in all vertebrates, and which have been found to survive into adulthood in some animals.  The study done on adult dogs found that these cells secreted a connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), which keeps cartilage healthy and flexible. If these cells can be found in the human vertebrae, therapies may be developed that would provide a simpler solution to treating DDD than surgery.

 
Dr. P. Y. Dubois, DC, CCSP.

Dr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system.Amongst hispatients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levelswho benefited from his chiropractic care.

 




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