Do You Have a Pain in the Neck? Tingling? Numbness?

Photo by Jacob Morrison

Written by Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

When small nerves in your neck get pinched, pain can run into your shoulders, down your arms, and into your hands if the pinch is bad enough.

On x-ray, we can see the little holes between the spinal bones, and sometimes they appear much smaller in certain places. This is usually where the nerves can get trapped. This pressure on the nerves can also lead to pins and needles in certain areas in your arms or hands depending on which nerve is affected. It can also cause arm and hand weakness.

Misalignments in the vertebrae can affect nerves that feed “down-stream.” Picture your spine as a circuit board that relays nerve information from your brain to your body and back.

Our success with conditions like neck pain, and pain that radiates, stems from our goal of balancing your spine alignment and reducing the nerve tension pattern in the body.

The philosophy is really quite simple, and the results can change your life!

 

Growing up with Chiropractic

By Dr. Jerry Pyrozko B.Sc, DC

Children bump and jar their spines constantly in the first five years of life. As they develop from helpless infants into fearless adventurers, bumps and falls naturally come with your child’s desire to learn everything about the world around them in the quickest amount of time possible.

But even normal, everyday activities can cause spinal trauma with lasting effects. Delicate nerve tissue can be damaged, resulting in interference with the brain’s ability to send nerve impulses to organs, tissues and muscles. Discs, blood vessels and soft tissues can swell and become inflamed. Various systems (immune, digestive, respiratory, etc.) throughout the body may malfunction. In each of these examples, pain or other obvious symptoms may not be present at the time, yet health and well-being have been compromised.

When your child is seen by your chiropractor, your child’s spine and nervous system will be analyzed to determine if a subluxation is present. Often, the doctor will touch the spine and muscles, examine the length of the legs (pelvic misalignment may shorten one leg) or examine your child’s posture (level of head, shoulder and hips).

You may already be aware of the benefits of chiropractic care. You may have experienced for yourself the relief that comes from having a properly aligned spine. If you have not had your child’s spine evaluated, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Like dentistry, chiropractic, when started young, provides your child with a way to attain full-body health that lasts a lifetime.

The Pains of Parenting

By Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC, Founder of Arise Wellness, Vernon

It’s surprising how many parents I meet who struggle to pick up their kids, or even play with their kids, due to some kind of back, neck or body pain. It breaks my heart to know that many of you are forced to pass up on this precious time due to life-limiting pain symptoms.

But here’s the good news—through Chiropractic care, I have helped many parents overcome the pain challenges that keep them from lifting and playing with their kids. Most parents I meet have at least 6 posture or body imbalances causing tension patterns in the spine or body. Forward-head posture, unlevel shoulders and hips, or a rotated pelvis are very common findings, and they can cause a grinding damage to worsen in the joints over time.

Thankfully, a focused spine and posture exam by one of our Chiropractors can often reveal the very imbalances causing your pain, and we can help you correct them.

Until these imbalances are corrected, they usually fester and worsen, making the pain more frequent, or more serious. So if you’re experiencing these challenges, why wait until they become harder to fix? We all know pain drugs are not very good for us and can lead to dangerous side effects and dependence, so maybe it’s time to try an alternative.

Life is short. We wish to help you optimize it so you can relax, play, and have more fun with your kids.

Call today to make an appointment: 250-275-7616.

 

Osteoarthritis Increasing Due to Lifestyle

Osteoarthritis is basically a process of cartilage cells in joints dying. The prevailing theory is wear-and-tear of the joints over the years from living longer and obesity rates. But a new study from Dr. Jan Wallace in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University suggests our lifestyle is the biggest factor. Analyzing over 2000 skeletons from academic institutions and museums across America allowed Dr. Wallace to diagnose osteoarthritic joints. Closer examination of these joints revealed eburnation, a distinct polish that develops on the two bones from them rubbing together due to cartilage cell deterioration leading to bone-on-bone pressure.

Even though the study took into account statistical variables for changes over time, longevity, and body mass index there was an increase in the prevalence of osteoarthritis by 50% in the last 50 years. If our culture is becoming more sedentary, moving less and physical activity is on the decline and osteoarthritis is a wear-and-tear phenomenon, then there should be a decrease in the numbers as we have become less active over the last 5 decades. Dr. Wallace?s data suggests that osteoarthritis is preventable by loading the joints by increasing the level of physical exercise. He also mentioned that mechanical loading has an accumulative effect on osteoarthritis,  as do pro-inflammatory foods.

When joints are properly aligned, allowing natural range of motion under appropriate loads, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles can grow stronger and thicker, reducing the probability of joint degeneration and decay. Every day you need to get out there and move because the sayings “motion is lotion” and “use it or lose it” applies even more today!

Study: http://www.pnas.org/content/114/35/9332.full

Written by Dr. Deane Studer, DC

Arise Chiropractic, Vernon BC

Your Child’s Alignment is Important

We see a lot of kids in our practice. And we work closely with our in-house midwife, helping pregnant moms and their babies.

Why is it so important to address spinal alignment early on?

First let’s look at Mom. Poor pelvic alignment during pregnancy can cause intra-uterine constraint on baby, not to mention low back and sciatic pain for Mom. Properly aligning her low back and pelvis can mean the difference between a difficult labor and a more easeful one. Even so, most births are considered to be a mild trauma for baby. That’s why checking baby’s spinal alignment following birth is crucial for establishing healthy spine and nervous system development.

Proper alignment is important from birth all the way to adulthood. The tiny bones housing the spinal cord need to be in an optimal position so that your spinal nerves are healthy and able to communicate efficiently with the rest of your body—the recipe for great health.

Spinal pain and arthritis are large contributors to disability as we age. That’s why establishing proper alignment early on is so important for great posture, less wear-and-tear, improved balance and increased energy. Consider a preventative Chiropractic check-up for your kids!

Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

Arise Chiropractic, Vernon, BC

“Doc, I Think I Have a Pinched Nerve!”

I’m sure all doctors have heard this before: “Doc, I think I have a pinched nerve.”

Symptoms like arm or leg pain, tingling or numbness are common when a nerve is pinched, stretched or otherwise irritated. There are other symptoms which can be a result of pinched nerves as well.

The nerves are the communication network of our bodies. So, it is not a healthy situation to have them “pinched.” Alter the communication between the body parts and you create altered body function (dysfunction). Dysfunction causes bodily symptoms which will vary depending on what that nerve controls. If the nerve irritation is allowed to continue uncorrected, the dysfunction may advance to a disease state. If left still longer the disease may become irreversible.

The cause of any “pinched” nerves must be removed. The following analogy may help to illustrate this process. If you took a string and tied it tightly around one of your fingers you would soon notice some symptoms like pain, swelling and discoloration. It will continue to swell, change color and become painful. It may hurt enough for you to want to take a painkiller. If you do and the pain stops, you may feel that the problem has been solved. But then you notice that the swelling still persists so you put it in ice water and possibly try some anti-inflammatory pills. It may make a difference but you know something is still not right. The finger is turning quite dark. You may be tempted to paint it pink. Of course, if you were to continue along this line of thinking, the problem would advance so far enough that there would only be one solution. You will have to have it cut off. And this will in fact solve the problem. Except now you have lost part of your finger.

There is a way to address this problem without the use of drugs or surgery. In this case you should just take the string off. And the result will be much better if you remove it immediately. If left on too long the body part cannot recover. It is always best to find the source of the problem and remove it as early as possible. It is unwise to launch into a program of treating the symptoms as if they were the problem. This may allow things to progress to a more serious problem.

Chiropractic seeks to locate and correct the cause of abnormal pressure and irritation to joints, muscles and nerves. These irritations cause dysfunction and are usually associated with various symptoms and health problems. They can often be detected when symptoms are so slight that they are not yet a concern to you. The correction is primarily by means of a chiropractic adjustment. In some cases other adjunctive treatments may be employed. Remember, chiropractic can help. Just don’t wait too long.

There is a great deal more to say on these health issues and we would be glad to answer questions anyone might have.

By Dr. Jerry Pyrozko, B.Sc., DC

Arise Chiropractic, Vernon, BC

Shoulder, Thorax & Thoracic Spine

The shoulder & pectoral girdle has 3 bones, 3 joints, and 1 articulation. The chest cavity, or thorax, consists of 12 vertebrae connected to 12 pairs of ribs which connects to the sternum in the front of the body. The thorax forms an elastic but firm cavity that protects vital organs. It also generates a punctum fixum (fixed point) for the functional mobility of the upper and lower extremities to transfer forces between the them. Designed functionally to enhance breathing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Our structural architecture provides the vehicle for you to lead your life and the direction it follows.

Anatomy

The shoulder joint or glenohumeral joint (GH) is a ball-and-socket joint between the glenoid fossa of the scapula and head of the humerus bone. It is the most mobile joint in the body and most frequently dislocated. The glenoid fossa is shallow but deepened by a fibrocartilaginous rim called the glenoid labrum and anomalies or variations in size and thickness occur. Comparable to a golf ball on a tee horizontally, the shoulder joint has a fibrous capsule that envelops the entire articulation, but with a laxity which affords both Active and Passive Range of Motion (ROM). Ligaments reinforce the static and dynamic stability of the joint in varying directions and positions. There are many bursae (fibrous sacs of synovial fluid) around the joint in specific locations to protect the tendons which move over bones quickly with extreme forces. The subacromial bursae is subject to irritation causing inflammation and referred to as Impingement Syndrome, which is a specific and localized sensation on the top of your shoulder when you lift your arm up. The pectoral girdle consists of two scapulae and two clavicles. The medial portion of the clavicle attaches to the top of the sternum at the sternoclavicular (SC) joint. The distal clavicle connects to the scapula at the acriomioclavicular (AC) joint. The acromion, a uniquely evolved bone feature of the scapula has three types or shapes formed congenitally (Type I or flat 17%, Type II or curved 43%, Type III or hooked 40%) that can affect the odds of having rotator cuff injury (Type III ~65%) and detected via a x-ray study. The shoulder blade or scapula also moves or, glides, over the ribs or thorax cage via the scapulothoracic interface when lifting the arm upward and out.

Scapulohumeral Rhythm: a 2:1 ratio during shoulder abduction between the humerus and the scapula. As the arm lifts the angulation of the scapula moves at half the rate. Sometimes this can cause a clunk-clunk-clunk sound as the shoulder blade moves over the ribs and may indicate a muscular imbalance. If pain or discomfort occupies your shoulder, don’t wait to get it evaluated. Quick and effective treatment exists within a thorough soft tissue examination and clinical experience.

Thoracic Spine

The 12 thoracic vertebrae create a kyphotic curve, a primary curve in our spine, formed within the womb. The curve is opposite in the neck and low back. Thoracic vertebrae are connected or hinged via costovertebral joints to 12 pairs of ribs (7 true and 5 false). A dozen vertebrae interconnected via multiple facet joints allowing motion. The top 6 vertebrae or the upper thoracic spine rotate and lateral flex due to coronal facets. The lower thoracic spine has less rotation and lateral flexion but more flexion and extension are due to sagittal facets. But keep in mind we are all unique and variations within the spine known as congenital anomalies. Midline of chest is the sternum, the manubrium at the top and the xiphoid process at the bottom. There are 10 ribs that attach to the sternum via costal cartilages and the bottom 2 ribs float in the muscles of the abdominal wall.

Muscles of the Shoulder & Thorax

Muscles of Scapular Stabilization: Trapezius, Rhomboid Major/Minor, Levator Scapulae, Serratus Anterior, Pectoralis Minor

Movements of the Scapula: Depression, Elevation, Protraction, Retraction, Upper Rotation

Muscles of the Rotator Cuff: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Subscapularis

Movements of the Glenohumeral Joint: Internal & External Rotation, Abduction & Adduction, Flexion & Extension

Shoulder Range of Motion

Flexion: 150-170    ~    Extension: 35-45

Horizontal adduction: 130-160    ~    Abduction: 40-50

Abduction: 160-180    ~    Adduction: 20-40

External/Internal Rotation w/arm along body: 60/70

External/Internal rotation at 90 degrees of abduction: 90/70

Postural Awareness: Spine, Chest & Pelvis

If breathing is abnormal, many movement patterns may be altered and dysfunctional. Posture and respiration work together as one functional unit. The thoracic spine needs to be flexible and rigid at certain times. This is accomplished by co-contraction of the pelvic floor, diaphragm and abdominal wall (core), thus maintaining proper stability in order to transfer forces while still being able to breathe. A prerequisite to functional human capacity and quality of life.

Strategies to Increase Thoracic Spine Mobility

  • Foam roll upper thoracic spine for improved extension
  • Foam Roll (Upper Back Cat) for lower thoracic spine extension (can also use chair, gym ball or wall)
  • Yoga – Downward-Facing Dog helps with scapular stabilization, thoracic extension, core engagement, and pelvic/chest alignment
  • Mid-Back Rotation: Start on knees and elbows , place right hand on the back of head, place left arm straight out in front, palm down for balance. As you breathe in, lift and rotate head. Eyes follow elbow as you lift and rotate through your upper thoracic spine. No lumbar spine motion.

Written by Dr. Deane Studer, DC

Arise Chiropractic, Vernon BC

Maintenance vs Pain Relief Care

I’ve been talking to a number of patients about this lately, so I thought it would be a good idea to share my thoughts on this. There are 2 camps of people who use chiropractic care—those who wait until they are hurting to come in, and those who come in proactively around a once a month.

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I used to be someone who only came in when I was hurting. I wasn’t going to waste my money on treatment I didn’t need; I would rather use it to go skiing or golfing. This worked for me until my 30s. In my 30s my back pain, which was definitely helped by chiropractic care, seemed to occur around twice a year (snow shovelling and spring activity). It would take about 6 visits each time to clear up. I realized that I was coming in around 12 times a year—what the maintenance program was recommending anyway—it just wasn’t once a month.

Around this tipping point, life also became a little more complicated (you know…wife, kids, more yard work…) and my free time was rare. It seemed that my back flare-ups tended to occur on golf days and ski days. I was getting frustrated. So, I started getting adjustments at the once-a-month schedule and, low and behold, my recreation time was no longer interrupted! And on an even brighter note, over the year my back became stronger. Over the next 5 years small improvements added up, so I can confidently say that my back is stronger in my 40s than it was in my 20s. The adjustments became more than pain relief. It was about constantly taking stress off my spine so that my neck and back continued to heal over the long term. Now, looking back at a 10+ year journey, I can tell you that my back is stronger, less prone to injury, quicker to heal after injury, and it did not take many more adjustments than if I had only focused on pain relief.

The goal I have for myself, as well as for my patients, is to keep our backs and necks strong so we can be physically active in our 80s and 90s. This is achieved a lot more easily if we conduct maintenance care as opposed to only patchwork repair periodically. I don’t want anyone to miss a golf game, a ski day, or whatever physical activity a person loves because their back is too sore. Maintenance care works!

Written by Dr. James Mayne, DC

Arise Chiropractic, Vernon, BC

Dr. E’s Immune-Boosting Salsa & Hummus

Salsa

  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • Small handful of cilantro
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, depending on how much you love your fellow man
  • Hot pepper of your choosing, depending on masochistic tendencies. I add one jalapeno (minimum), but I have also used one serrano, which is quite a bit hotter. Or, if you are feeling frisky, go for one habanero—what the heck. 2-3 Thai chilies also bring a nice kick.
  • 1/3 of a red onion, or more if you enjoy dreadful halitosis
  • Orange juice from ½ freshly squeezed orange balances out the chilies’ heat
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • In a food processor, carefully pulse contents below to bring salsa to your level of preferred coarseness. I like it a bit coarser, not overly pulverized.

Hummus

  • I large can chick peas
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (I know, I am a garlic fiend)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp sesame paste (tahini paste)
  • Freshly Squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Process in food processor on high, adding a small amount of water, until hummus is blended to desired      consistency.

And there you have it—an immune-boosting snack sure to save your life and kill others around you.

Side note: Cilantro can help remove heavy metals and neurotoxins from your body as it is considered a chelating agent.  Lycopene, found in tomatoes, is an antioxidant & cancer-preventing phytonutrient.  Garlic helps lower cholesterol and regulates blood pressure, among so many other things.  And onions are a form of birth control (kidding!!).

By Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC

Arise Chiropractic, Vernon BC

Knee, Ankle & Foot

The lower extremity has a significant impact on your ability to move within your world. A series of moving links (hip, knee and ankle joints) work cooperatively in dynamic and static states. This capacity affords us the opportunity to proficiently move, perform and pursue our passion in life. An understanding of these articulations, muscles, joints and their biomechanics should help in sustaining our quest to stay healthy and active!

Specialized sensory receptors in the body (muscles, tendons ligaments and joints) have a proprioceptive function, meaning they relay positional or spatial awareness to your brain in order to maintain upright balance. This is accomplished through a constant stream of information flowing from our body into our spine and up into our brain. Neuropathways, or somatic sensory circuits, create a sense of self as we move our body parts through space and time.

Joints

The knee joint is the largest, most complex joint in the body designed for stability. It is a modified “hinge” joint that flexes and extends with very little rotation or twisting. Stability is dependent on a complex network of thick, strong ligaments inside and outside the joint. Mobility must exist above and below the knee joint in the hip and ankle joint. If the hips are tight and stiff, the knee joint is vulnerable to excessive motion that can create wear and tear. The patella (also known as the knee cap) is the largest “sesamoid” bone in the body and glides between the two round surfaces on the femur bone with knee flexion/extension. On top of the tibia bone sits two shock-absorbing pads, called the menisci, which help to deepen the knee joint surface area in a figure-eight-like pattern. This meniscus pattern shares connections with the cruciate ligaments and assists in guiding the small amount of rotation in the knee.

The foot and ankle are key focal points of support for total body weight forces. Every day we endure concentrated forces of stress through the ankle, which acts as a shock absorber and distributes those forces into the foot. The ankle joint consists of two primary hinge-type joints, the talocrural and subtalar joints. While upright and in gravity, these joints are constantly adapting to the accommodations necessary to stand, walk, run or jump. The fibula and tibia bones from above, and the talus bone from below, form the talocrural joint, which is a hinge joint. The talus and calcaneus make up the subtalar joint. These complex movements in the human frame require intricate and subtle relationships governed by neuromuscular reflexes, provided by our nerves, spinal cord, and brain.

Ligaments

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL): A superficial, long and flat ligament between the medial epicondyle of the femur and the tibia (4 – 7 cm); stabilizes the inside of the knee joint; resists excessive external rotation and abduction.

Medial Capsular Ligament (MCL): Deep, thick, and attaches to the medial meniscus; shares fibers of the joint capsule; resists inward or valgus stress and medial rotation; stabilizes anterior-posterior movement assisting the anterior cruciate ligament.

Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL): A strong cord-like ligament attaching from the lateral epicondyle of the femur to the top or superior head of the fibula; does not attach to the meniscus; resists outward or external rotation of the femur on the tibia; not injured as much as the MCL due to its lack of meniscal attachment.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL): A strong intra-articular ligament that runs front-to-back (anterior to posterior); fibers are taut with straight leg; prevents the femur from moving backwards or posteriorly on the tibia.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL): An intra-articular ligament that attaches back-to-front (posterior to anterior); prevents forward movement of the tibia relative to the femur and internal rotation of the tibia

Patellar Ligament: Common tendon of quadriceps muscle inserts on tibial tuberosity

Muscles

Quadriceps: The largest muscle mass in the body: Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius. Its action is extension of the knee, flexion of hip (Rectus Femoris only), and tracking of Patella (Vastus Lateralis and Medialis)

Sartorius: A flexor and external rotator of hip joint and flexor of knee joint, and the longest muscle in the body

Hamstrings: Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus & Biceps Femoris. Its action is flexion of the knee, extension of hip, deceleration of leg, stability functions with knee extension

Popliteus: Small muscle that flexes the tibia and rotates it medially

Iliotibial (IT) Band: Tendinous extension of the tensor fasciae latae and gluteus maximus Gastrocnemius. The two heads (lateral and medial) insert above knee; common tendon (Achilles) insets on the calcaneus; influences knee flexion and ankle plantar flexion.

Range of Motion

Standing with both feet on the floor (Closed Kinetic Chain) with a straight or “locked knee” creates zero degrees of flexion due to ligaments, meniscus and joint capsule being tight and at maximum tension. As the knee moves into flexion, the knee “unlocks” and the femoral head and lateral condyle externally rotate slightly and the medial condyle glides or translates in the first 15-20 degrees. Rotational movement is greatest between 45-90 of knee flexion. Knee flexion (120-150 degrees) and extension or hyperextension (5-10 degrees).

Ligaments

Medial Collateral or “Deltoid” Ligament: A thick, strong triangular ligament on the medial side of ankle; from the medial malleolus above, it fans out and inserts on three ankle bones (navicular, calcaneus, talus)

Lateral collateral ligament: Three distinct ligaments (calcaneofibular, anterior/ posterior talofibular) and considerably weaker than its medial counterpart; prone to ankle “inversion” sprains

Muscles

Anterior Leg: Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Digitorium Longus, Extensor Hallucis Longus (Anterior Shin Splints)

Posterior Leg: Tibialis Posterior, Flexor Digitorum Longus, Flexor Hallucis Longus, (Posterior Shin Splints), Plantaris, Triceps Surae, Gastrocnemius (superficial and soleus/deep)

Lateral Leg: Peroneal Tertius, Peroneal Longus, Peroneal Brevis

Foot (Dorsal): Extensor Digitorum Brevis, Extensor Hallucis Brevis, Interossei

Foot (Plantar): Abductor Hallucis, Abductor Digiti Minimi, Flexor Digitorum Brevis, Quadratus Plantae, Lumbricles, Flexor Hallucis Brevis, Adductor Hallucis, Flexor Digiti Minimi Brevis, Interossei

Range of Motion

Talocrural Joint: Dorsiflexion (20-30 degrees); Plantarflexion (40-50 degrees)

Subtalar Joint: Supination or Inversion (20 degrees); Pronation or Eversion (10 degrees)

Ankle & Foot Arches

The 3 arches in the foot create support with a suspension-like capacity. The talus bone is considered the “keystone” of support in the arch of the foot. It gives us information for our balance and posture. It allows us to move with precision and power when activities demand it. Strengthening the arches must happen over time and with understanding of proper biomechanics. The 3 arches of the foot are: Medial Longitudinal Arch, Lateral Longitudinal Arch, Transverse Arch.

Squat Test

Perform a squat 5-6 times with good, upright posture (looking straight ahead, feet hip-width and parallel, using a postural grid in the background for reference. You can also take a video or picture (front and lateral views) to check for the structural dysfunctions that may occur below.

  1. Knees move inward of ankles. Right or Left
  2. Inside arch of foot collapses (pronation/Inversion) Right or Left
  3. Foot rotates laterally: Right or Left
  4. Spine flexes forward/dowel angles forward. More than 30 degrees? Y / N
  5. Pelvis shifts or translates: Right or Left
  6. Heels lift off floor: Yes / No
  7. Toes grip floor for balance: Yes / No

Key considerations while performing the squat:

  1. Knees should align vertically above ankles
  2. Inside or medial arch should be maintained. If arch flattens or pronates, this can stretch the soft tissues (plantar fascia/aponeurosis), leading to plantar fascitis or achilles tendonitis
  3. Feet should stay pointing straight ahead and not flare out
  4. Poor flexibility through the ankle and hip joints creates imbalance posteriorly and the upper body will counter-balance by leaning forward respectively.
  5. Asymmetry through old injuries or poor postural habits over the years causes the pelvis to shift laterally or side-to-side, compensating to maintain stability
  6. Tight calf muscles limit the ankle joint in dorsiflex (see #4). When stability is compromised due to body weight moving forward, intrinsic foot muscles have to work hard to resist falling forward and losing balance.

Written by Dr. Deane Studer, DC

Arise Chiropractic, Vernon