Blog Posts

March 16, 2018 Blog

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis typically affects people in their 40’s to 60’s. It is not clear why people develop this extremely painful condition often out of the blue in which the shoulder becomes completely or partially unmoveable. It is thought that the usually flexible elastic lining of the shoulder becomes inflamed and contracted causing loss of elasticity and resulting in pain and stiffness.

The condition usually develops slowly and goes through three stages, starting with pain, then stiffness and finally the stage of resolution where the pain eases and the movement returns. Frozen shoulder is commonly confused with rotator cuff tendonitis. The key difference is with frozen shoulder patients will experience loss of movement and pain in all directions. On the other hand, rotator cuff tendonitis will only result in limited movement and pain in one or two directions.

If no treatment is received the majority of frozen shoulders improve significantly two to four years after onset. For those not wanting to live with the pain for that long there are treatment options available. Conservative treatment should always be tried first. At Harborne Chiropractic Clinic after a history and examination to confirm the diagnosis treatment involves shoulder manipulation/mobilisation, soft tissue work and if appropriate dry needling. While for most sufferer’s conservative treatment does successfully speed up recovery other options involve corticosteroid injections to reduce the inflammation and with severe cases, surgery may be required.

Elizabeth Falco

DC, MChiro

December 11, 2017 Blog

One of the most common questions we are asked in the clinic is “why did my back suddenly go when I picked up a pen?” A surprising number of patients find that the onset of their back pain appears to be due to seemingly innocent movements. The answer to this question is multifactorial but is generally due to the more sedentary lifestyles we now lead.

When we sit in poor postures for prolonged periods gradually the ligaments and interverbal discs in your spine slowly become weaker due to the stresses being placed on them. At the same time due to that lack of movement our muscles also become weaker and less well equipped to deal with day to day activities. For some patients they will notice some stiffness or a generalised ache in their back before the event that caused it to completely go into spasm and for others they have no warning signs that their back is starting to struggle.

As our daily activates tend not to vary much the repeated stress on the spine leads to that inevitable moment when the ligaments, discs or muscles can’t cope any longer and an injury occurs. The reason this tends to happen during simple movements or picking up a towel or putting your sock on in the morning is that it’s reached its breaking point and people are much less likely to brace themselves when picking up such an innocuous object.

Our best advice is to move more during the day to avoid a build up of stress in your spine and always be careful for the first thirty minutes in the morning as this is when your spine is at its most vulnerable.

Elizabeth Falco
DC, MChiro

November 10, 2017 Blog

With the new year now approaching many people’s new year’s resolution is to be more active and running is one of many ways to achieve this. One of the common running injuries that patients present with in the clinic is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, also known as runners knee. Symptoms include an aching pain in the front of the knee or under the knee cap, most commonly experienced after exercise, walking up and down stairs or hills and sitting with the knees bent for long periods. Many patients also report a clicking or cracking sound when bending the knee. Be aware that patellofemoral pain syndrome is often confused with chondromalacia patella (which is a cartilage problem) and patella tendonitis. Generally patients will report similar symptoms but the cause is different and so is the treatment
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome occurs when the patella (kneecap) rubs on the femur bone underneath causing friction and therefore pain. It is thought that incorrect tracking of the patella over the femur is the reason for the increased friction. The initial cause of patellofemoral pain syndrome is likely to be overuse which often leads to muscle imbalances that affect patella tracking.
To avoid patellofemoral pain syndrome the advice it to always increase activity levels slowly. If you are already suffering from symptoms then treatment and rehabilitation is based around identifying the causes and strengthening or re-training the muscles which may have contributed to the injury. The muscle insufficiencies commonly associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome are weak quadriceps, tight iliotibial band and hamstrings and tightness or weakness of the gluteal muscles. Patella taping techniques are excellent for helping control the position of the patella and reliving symptoms while muscle imbalances are being corrected.

October 25, 2017 Blog

As many new mothers can attest, the muscle strains of pregnancy are very real and can be more than just a nuisance. The average weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds, combined with the increased stress placed on the body by the baby, may result in discomfort. Studies have found that about half of all expectant mothers will develop low-back pain at some point during their pregnancies.
During pregnancy, a woman’s centre of gravity almost immediately begins to shift forward to the front of her pelvis. The displaced weight increases the stress on her joints. As the baby grows in size, the woman’s weight is projected even farther forward, and the curvature of her lower back is increased, placing extra stress on the spinal disks. In compensation, the normal curvature of the upper spine increases, as well. How Can a Chiropractor Help? Many pregnant women have found that chiropractic adjustments provide relief from the increased low-back pain brought on by pregnancy. Treatment also aims to increase the space that the baby has to move around in, encouraging your baby to settle in the best inter-utero position. Chiropractic manipulation is safe for the pregnant woman and her baby and can be especially attractive to those who are trying to avoid medications in treating their back pain and has even been shown to help with labour and birth.
Chiropractic care can also help after childbirth. In the eight weeks following labour and delivery, the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten up again. Ideally, joint problems brought on during pregnancy from improper lifting or reaching should be treated before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state-to prevent muscle tension, headaches, rib discomfort, and shoulder problems.

September 15, 2017 Blog

The average person sits for six to eight hours per day according to a recent study, which has been shown to have dangerous effects on your health. Research has found that going for a run after work a few times a week is not enough to reduce the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Those leading sedentary lifestyles have been shown to be more at risk of a number of health issues, including being overweight, developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease, and experiencing depression and anxiety.

March 23, 2017 Blog

Whiplash is a very common injury following a car accident. An impact causes extreme flexing of the neck which then whips in the opposite direction. This mechanism often results in damage to ligaments, tendons and muscles of the neck. The neck is designed to be flexible, as such it is less protected then the rest of your spine making it more vulnerable to injury then your low back.

March 2, 2017 Blog

The joint you’ve probably never heard of! This joint can be located either side of your low back, if you feel your low back now and look for two knobbly bits, that’s the top of your SI joint. This joint constitutes your sacrum and pelvis and it is the primary weight bearing joint in your lower back. This joint is supported by extremely strong ligaments and muscles which keep movement through the joint to a minimum. When there is an injury to the ligaments or imbalance in the muscles that is when people are likely to experience discomfort. This will almost always be one sided and can vary from a mild ache/tension to incredibly excruciating whereby the patient will not be able to walk.

December 19, 2016 Blog

When the cold weather blasts into town winter recreational activities and chores can pose problems for the outdoor enthusiasts whose body is not in condition. Winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding can cause painful muscle spasms or strains if you are not in shape. Simply walking outside in the cold weather without the appropriate layers of warm clothing can intensify older joint problems. As the muscles and blood vessels contract to conserve the body’s heat, the blood supply to the extremities is reduced. This lowers the functional capacity of many muscles, particularly among the physically unfit.

December 19, 2016 Blog

A very common but often poorly diagnosed condition that we see in the clinic is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The vast majority of patients that present with this complaint have been often told they are suffering with carpel tunnel syndrome and have been treated accordingly, as such treatment has failed to improve the symptoms. The reason for the confusion is that both carpel tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome do have similar symptoms but there are key differences between the two conditions that allow for an accurate diagnosis.

December 15, 2016 Blog

BABY carriers can be very beneficial for both parent and child when used properly. However certain types of carriers and incorrect positioning can pose a risk to your child’s safety, health and optimal development. The main areas at risk being the spine and hips.