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Nerve Injury

Back Clinic Nerve Injury Team. Nerves are fragile and can be damaged by pressure, stretching, or cutting. Injury to a nerve can stop signals to and from the brain, causing muscles not to work properly and losing feeling in the injured area. The nervous system manages a great majority of the body’s functions, from regulating an individual’s breathing to controlling their muscles as well as sensing heat and cold. But, when trauma from an injury or an underlying condition causes nerve injury, an individual’s quality of life may be greatly affected. Dr. Alex Jimenez explains various concepts through his collection of archives revolving around the types of injuries and condition which can cause nerve complications as well as discuss the different form of treatments and solutions to ease nerve pain and restore the individual’s quality of life.

General Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

 


Nerve Damage Symptoms Chiropractic Back Clinic

Nerve Damage Symptoms Chiropractic Back Clinic

Nerve damage is also known as peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral nerves transmit information to and from the brain through the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Nerve damage symptoms are common in the neck, arms, hands, low back, legs, and feet. Communication becomes weakened, interrupted, or no longer transmits sensation signals. Nerve damage can be a complication from conditions like diabetes or present after an injury. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic recognize the symptoms and can treat the injuries rehabilitating the nerves back to functional health.Nerve Damage Symptoms Chiropractor

Nerve Damage Symptoms

Nerve damage symptoms can happen to a single nerve or a group of nerves that can affect the rest of the body. Damage depends on the severity of the condition or injury.

  • Partially damaged nerves can heal on their own with minimal treatment to ensure they heal correctly. 
  • Nerves are made up of fibers called axons.
  • The fibers are covered with tissues that are a type of insulation.
  • Sometimes only the fibers get damaged.
  • Sometimes a nerve gets stuck or jammed inside a tight space, causing irritation and, over time, scarring.
  • Severe nerve damage can involve the fibers and tissues and often require surgery.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and depend on which nerve fibers are damaged. These could be the following:

Motor nerves

  • These nerves regulate all the muscles under conscious control.
  • These control motor functions like walking, talking, and grabbing and holding objects.
  • Damage to these nerves usually causes muscle weakness, cramps, and uncontrollable muscle twitching or spasms.

Sensory nerves

  • These nerves relay sensory information, including touch, taste, smell, vision, temperature, and pain.
  • Symptoms can include numbness or tingling.
  • There can also be difficulties:
  • Sensing pain
  • Sensing temperature changes.
  • Walking
  • Maintaining balance with your eyes closed.
  • Working with the hands.

Autonomic nerves

  • This group of nerves regulates unconscious actions, including breathing, heart and thyroid function, and digestion.
  • Symptoms include excessive sweating, blood pressure variations, inability to tolerate heat, and gastrointestinal issues.
  • Various symptoms can be experienced as many peripheral nerve injuries affect more than one type of nerve.

Signs

Improperly functioning nerves can cause uncomfortable or painful sensations because the nerves cannot carry the correct signals from the brain to the spinal cord. The signs of nerve damage include the following:

  • Feeling like you’re wearing an overly tight glove or sock constricting circulation and movement.
  • Numbness or tingling.
  • Pins and needles or what feels like mild electrical sensations.
  • Specific body/limb positions can cause or decrease numbness, tingling, or pins and needles.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Dropping objects regularly.
  • Sharp pains in the hands, arms, low back, legs, or feet.

Restoring Function

Chiropractic treatments can help restore function and include:

Therapeutic Massage

  • Therapeutic massage will promote circulation to relieve numbness and tightness and help restore function and feeling.

Chiropractic

  • Chiropractic adjustments will realign the body and keep affected muscles and joints active.

Electrical Stimulation

  • Stimulators can activate injured nerves and muscles while the nerve regenerates and recovers.

Braces or Splints

  • These devices could be used to maintain the position of the affected limb, fingers, hand, or foot to improve muscle function and promote healing.

Exercise

  • Specifically, prescribed exercises will improve muscle strength, help to maintain range of motion, and reduce muscle cramps.

Diet

  • A nutritionist will develop a personalized anti-inflammatory diet to expedite healing.

Peripheral Therapy


References

Chen, Zhengrong. “Progress of peripheral nerve repair.” Chinese Journal of traumatology = Zhonghua Chuang Shang za Zhi vol. 5,6 (2002): 323-5.

Gordon, Tessa. “Electrical Stimulation to Enhance Axon Regeneration After Peripheral Nerve Injuries in Animal Models and Humans.” Neurotherapeutics: the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics vol. 13,2 (2016): 295-310. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0415-1

www.ninds.nih.gov/peripheral-neuropathy-fact-sheet

WEBB, E M. “Peripheral nerve injuries; early surgical treatment.” California medicine vol. 80,3 (1954): 151-3.

Welch, J A. “Peripheral nerve injury.” Seminars in veterinary medicine and surgery (small animal) vol. 11,4 (1996): 273-84. doi:10.1016/s1096-2867(96)80020-x

Damaged, Injured Nerve Roots Back Clinic

Damaged, Injured Nerve Roots Back Clinic

Spinal nerves send motor, sensory, and autonomic signals between the central nervous system and the body and are part of the peripheral nervous system. They are essential for carrying information that controls body movements and sensations to the brain. When a nerve gets injured, compressed, or damaged, it can cause discomfort, increased sensitivity, numbness, muscle weakness, and pain.

Damaged, Injured Nerve Roots Chiropractor

Damaged Nerve Roots

Nerve root pain is often caused by other underlying conditions that have caused compression or damage to the nerve root. Causes of nerve root pain can include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal injury
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Spinal infection
  • Bone spurs
  • Inflammatory disease
  • Spinal tumors
  • Spinal cysts

Spinal nerves impacted by injuries or infection can lose their ability to control the body areas, lose their functional capacity, lose sensation, and die.

Spinal Imaging

Nerve damage can be diagnosed on a neurological exam and correlated with MRI and X-ray imaging. Conditions that MRI can identify include herniated discs, spinal cord compression or fracture, arthritic development, tumors, or cysts pressing on a nerve.

  • MRI images are obtained with a magnetic field and radio waves.
  • MRI shows spine images from the side/sagittal view and cross-sectional/axial views.
  • This allows the chiropractic doctor to see the vertebrae and discs and identify abnormalities.
  • The spinal cord is a gray area in the middle surrounded by the spinal fluid, which appears white.
  • Little white channels on either side of the spinal cord are where the nerve roots branch off.
  • X-rays can show the alignment of the bones along the spine and determine any narrowing or damage to the discs.

It is important to be evaluated and diagnosed for signs and symptoms of nerve injury as soon as possible, as nerve damage accelerates and worsens.

Function Restoration

Sometimes, the symptoms improve by themselves and do not require treatment. Nonetheless, physicians begin with conservative, non-surgical approaches to treat nerve root pain. Chiropractic and physical massage therapy involves specific movements, stretches, and exercises to keep the affected muscles and joints active, prevent stiffness and help restore function and feeling. Treatment can include:

  • Therapeutic massage
  • Manual adjustment/resistance treatment
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy
  • Decompression
  • Traction
  • Joint stretching
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Ultrasound
  • Specialized exercise
  • Activity modification
  • Anti-inflammatory diet

Nerve Chiropractor


References

Liu, Yan, and Huan Wang. “Peripheral nerve injury-induced changes in the spinal cord and strategies to counteract/enhance the changes to promote nerve regeneration.” Neural regeneration research vol. 15,2 (2020): 189-198. doi:10.4103/1673-5374.265540

Menorca, Ron M G, et al. “Nerve physiology: mechanisms of injury and recovery.” Hand clinics vol. 29,3 (2013): 317-30. doi:10.1016/j.hcl.2013.04.002

Shehab, Safa Al-Deen Saudi. “Fifth lumbar spinal nerve injury causes neurochemical changes in corresponding and adjacent spinal segments: a possible mechanism underlying neuropathic pain.” Journal of chemical neuroanatomy vol. 55 (2014): 38-50. doi:10.1016/j.jchemneu.2013.12.002

Stoll, G, and H W Müller. “Nerve injury, axonal degeneration, and neural regeneration: basic insights.” Brain pathology (Zurich, Switzerland) vol. 9,2 (1999): 313-25. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3639.1999.tb00229.x

Ye, Xuan, et al. “Nerve fascicle transfer using a part of the C-7 nerve for spinal accessory nerve injury.” Journal of neurosurgery. Spine vol. 28,5 (2018): 555-561. doi:10.3171/2017.8.SPINE17582

Brachial Plexus Nerve Injury: Chiropractic Back Clinic

Brachial Plexus Nerve Injury: Chiropractic Back Clinic

The body’s nerves are the communication system that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Some nerves transmit messages from the brain to muscles to make the body move, while others relay pain, pressure, or temperature signals. Tiny fibers bundled inside each nerve carry the messages with an outer layer/sheathing that insulates and protects the nerves. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that send signals from the spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, and hands. A brachial plexus nerve injury occurs when the nerves are over-stretched, compressed, torn, cut, or ripped from the spinal cord.

Brachial Plexus Nerve Injury Chiropractor

Brachial Plexus Nerve Injury

The injury involves the head or neck hitting or getting hit and shifting to one side while the shoulder is stretched/pulled in the opposite direction.

  • Minor brachial plexus injuries are commonly known as stingers or burners and are common in sports like football, wrestling, hockey, soccer, and basketball.
  • Severe brachial plexus injuries can cause arm paralysis and usually result from vehicle or motorcycle accidents.
  • Other conditions like inflammation or tumors can affect the brachial plexus.
  • Sometimes babies can sustain brachial plexus injuries during birth.
  • Pressure and stretching injuries do not physically sever the nerve but can disrupt communication.
  • Cutting injuries vary depending on the severity of the cut and because the nerves are in a protective canal that can also be fractured or broken. If the canal remains intact, the nerve fibers could grow back with time.
  • However, surgery is necessary to repair the damage if the canal is broken.
  • A neuroma/scar tissue can develop if left unrepaired, causing pain.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a brachial plexus nerve injury can vary, depending on the severity and location of the injury. Usually, only one arm is affected.

Minor Injuries

Minor damage comes from over-stretching or mild compression.

  • An electric or burning sensation shoots down the arm.
  • Numbness and weakness in the arm.
  • Neck pain.
  • These symptoms usually last for a few seconds or minutes but can linger for days or longer.

Severe Injuries

More-severe symptoms result from injuries that impact, tear, or rupture the nerves.

  • The most severe injury occurs when the nerve root is torn from the spinal cord.

Symptoms include:

  • Intense pain.
  • Writhing neck pain.
  • Weakness or inability to use specific shoulder, arm, and/or hand muscles.
  • Complete lack of movement and feeling in the shoulder, arm, and/or hand.
  • Symptoms in both arms.

Complications

With time, most brachial plexus injuries in children and adults heal with minimal long-term damage. But some injuries can cause long-lasting problems that include:

Joint Stiffness

  • The joints can stiffen, making movement difficult.
  • Healthcare providers often recommend ongoing chiropractic and physical rehabilitation during recovery.

Atrophy

  • Nerves regrow slowly and can take some time to completely heal after the injury.
  • During that time, lack of use can cause the muscles to break down.

Chronic Pain

  • Nerve damage can cause pain signals to be constantly firing.

Numbness

  • It can occur in the arm or hand, increasing the risk of worsening the injury or causing new injuries.

Disability

  • Recovery from a severe brachial plexus injury depends on age, damage, location, and severity.
  • Even with surgery, individuals can experience long-term muscle weakness or paralysis.

Chiropractic Treatment and Rehabilitation

Treatment depends on the severity of the damage. Chiropractic can help realign, rehabilitate, stretch, and strengthen the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, and ligaments to expedite recovery. For less severe injuries:

  • Muscle strengthening and posture exercises help maintain motion.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for pain control.
  • Therapeutic massage will stimulate circulation and keep the muscles loose.

For severe injuries:

  • Surgery
  • Continued chiropractic and physical rehabilitation to maintain thorough circulation, range of motion, and relaxed muscles.

The Brachial Plexus


References

Brucker, J et al. “Brachial plexus birth injury.” The Journal of neuroscience nursing: Journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses vol. 23,6 (1991): 374-80. doi:10.1097/01376517-199112000-00006

Gutkowska, Olga, et al. “Brachial plexus injury after shoulder dislocation: a literature review.” Neurosurgical review vol. 43,2 (2020): 407-423. doi:10.1007/s10143-018-1001-x

Joyner, Benny, et al. “Brachial plexus injury.” Pediatrics in review vol. 27,6 (2006): 238-9. doi:10.1542/pir.27-6-238

Noland, Shelley S et al. “Adult Traumatic Brachial Plexus Injuries.” The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons vol. 27,19 (2019): 705-716. doi:10.5435/JAAOS-D-18-00433

The Role Of Central Sensitization In Myofascial Pain Syndrome

The Role Of Central Sensitization In Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Introduction

The muscles, tissues, and ligaments help stabilize the joints and structure of the spine so that the body can function. These muscles are layered and interwoven in the spine and joints that help facilitate movement. When the body suffers from injuries or traumatic events, the muscles, tissues, and ligaments become affected, causing muscle pain and discomfort. This causes the muscles to be tender to the touch and sensitive. This is known as myofascial pain syndrome. Today’s article looks at myofascial pain syndrome, how it is linked with central sensitization, and ways to manage myofascial pain syndrome. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal treatments to help many individuals with myofascial pain syndrome associated with central sensitization. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

11_Shah Role of Central Sensitization-compressed

What Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

 

Have you been experiencing muscle tightness in different areas of your body? Have you felt your muscles tender to the touch? Or have you been having trouble sleeping? Many of these overlapping risk factors are signs that you might have myofascial pain syndrome. The term “myofascial” is split into two parts. “Myo” refers to the muscles, while “fascia” refers to the connective tissues found throughout the body. So myofascial pain syndrome is where there is muscle pain in various forms, which includes the muscle tissues, connective tissues, or both. Studies reveal that myofascial pain syndrome originates from trigger points in the skeletal muscle, causing the affected muscle to be in pain. The trigger points in the body’s skeletal muscles are the “knots” people feel when their muscles feel tight. These trigger points are challenging to identify because they occur in different areas causing referred pain (pain in one place but in another body area). 

 

How Central Sensitization Link To Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Studies reveal that central sensitization in the body is represented as an enhancement in neuron function and circuits in the nociceptive pathways that increases membrane excitability and synaptic efficacy. To that point, it reduces inhibition and manifests the remarkable plasticity of the somatosensory nervous system. The nociceptor inputs can trigger and manifest central sensitization as pain hypersensitivity when the body suffers from an injury. So how is central sensitization linked to myofascial pain syndrome? Let’s use fibromyalgia as an example. Many individuals dealing with myofascial pain may be potentially involved with fibromyalgia. This is due to fibromyalgia being a chronic condition that features widespread pain, and this causes the body to be more sensitive to pain. Central sensitization linked to myofascial pain syndrome can mimic fibromyalgia symptoms in the body, causing muscle pain and discomfort. 

 


An Overview Of Myofascial Pain Syndrome-Video

Are you experiencing muscle weakness or soreness in some regions of your body? Have you dealt with chronic fatigue or poor sleep quality? Or have you been dealing with headaches constantly throughout the entire day? Many of these symptoms are signs that you might be at risk of developing myofascial pain syndrome. The video above explains myofascial pain syndrome, the symptoms, and the causes that affect the body. Studies reveal that myofascial pain has two types of trigger points:

  • Active trigger points associated with muscle pain without movement
  • Latent trigger points associated with muscle pain with movement

Myofascial pain syndrome can vary in acute or chronic forms and can range from mild to severe while being in different locations, making it very difficult to pinpoint where the pain is localized. Fortunately, there are ways to manage myofascial pain syndrome in the body that can help with the pain.


Ways To Manage Myofascial Pain Syndrome

 

When managing myofascial pain syndrome, many individuals dealing with muscle pain will take pain medication to alleviate it; however, that only minimizes the pain for a short period. One way to manage myofascial pain syndrome is by utilizing chiropractic care as part of treatment. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and often the preferred treatment for individuals with myofascial pain syndrome due to its effectiveness and drug-free approach. Chiropractors are not only good at finding the trigger points, but they are good when it comes to treating them using various techniques. Studies reveal that chiropractors use direct pressure on the trigger points to relieve the pain with their hands or specific tools. Incorporating chiropractic care provides the body with an increase in muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Since chiropractic care is a whole-body approach, it allows many people with myofascial pain syndrome to have a better quality of life and learn healthy habits, which include diet, exercise, and mental health, while living with less or no pain at all.

 

Conclusion

The body has muscles, tissues, and ligaments that help stabilize the joints and structure of the body, so there is functionality. These muscles help facilitate movement since the muscles are interwoven in the spine and joints. When the body suffers from a traumatic event or an injury, the muscles, tissues, and ligaments become affected. This causes muscle pain and discomfort, known as myofascial pain, where the trigger points cause pain in the body and can occur in different areas. Myofascial pain can be challenging to diagnose since it can be on one side of the body but affects a different section, known as referred pain. Fortunately, treatments like chiropractic care can help manage myofascial pain by treating the pain and using direct pressure to alleviate the pain. Incorporating chiropractic care to manage myofascial pain can help many individuals be pain-free on their health and wellness journey.

 

References

Bordoni, Bruno, et al. “Myofascial Pain – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 18 July 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535344/.

Desai, Mehul J, et al. “Myofascial Pain Syndrome: A Treatment Review.” Pain and Therapy, Springer Healthcare, June 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107879/.

Latremoliere, Alban, and Clifford J Woolf. “Central Sensitization: A Generator of Pain Hypersensitivity by Central Neural Plasticity.” The Journal of Pain, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2750819/.

Morgan, William. “Chiropractic Treatment for Myofascial Pain Syndrome.” Spine, Spine-Health, 24 Sept. 2014, www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/chiropractic-treatment-myofascial-pain-syndrome.

Disclaimer

Nerve Interference Chiropractic Back Clinic

Nerve Interference Chiropractic Back Clinic

The neuromusculoskeletal system refers to the nerves, muscles, and bones. Nerve messages flow through the nervous system to coordinate and control every bodily function. Nerve interference causes an imbalance in this system, compromising body function. Uncoordinated or reduced nerve function over time can result in an unhealthy state or disease development. Complex or puzzling symptoms can include:

  • Tiredness
  • Unhealthy sleep quality
  • Stiffness
  • Neck discomfort
  • Back discomfort
  • Sharp pain
  • Irregular digestion
  • Nausea
  • GERD
  • Neuropathy related issues

Nerve Interference Chiropractor

Nerve Interference

The nerves in the body are linked to the spinal cord, and when the spinal joints shift out of position, they can compress or kink the nerves, causing malfunction. Even a minor misalignment can create nerve, joint, and muscle tightness that travels throughout the body. This causes imbalances in nearly every other bodily system, forcing it to change in negative ways and typically becomes worse with time. Injuries from slips and falls, playing sports, accidents, unhealthy ergonomics, and repetitive/overuse motions can cause nerve injuries. Nerve dysfunction or damage can irritate the nerves causing nerve irritation that leads to nerve interference. Nerve damage can cause numbness, tingling, discomfort, and pain.

Dizziness and Mental Fog

  • Nerve interference can cause brain fog, sluggishness, dizziness, and anxiety.
  • If the brain and nervous system’s communication is disrupted by damage or injury to the nerves, mental ability may become confused and muddled.

Negatively Affect Sleep

  • Nerve interference can produce discomfort all over the body, causing sleep problems.
  • During restorative sleep, nerve interference can interrupt memory and cognitive function.

Stomach Issues

  • The enteric nervous system is a component of the digestive system.
  • Damage to the system can affect digestion phases.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms like indigestion, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, GERD, and nausea can present suddenly.

Back Pain

  • Back discomfort and pain can be caused by nerve issues.
  • Nerve pain can be aching, pinching, throbbing, or stabbing in the upper, middle, and lower back areas.

Numbness

  • Nerve signals can get mixed up or sent to the wrong areas.
  • Nerve interference reduces nerve energy circulation, causing tingling and numbing sensations in different body regions.

Recovery Problems

  • Pain could result from a past injury making injuries more difficult to heal.
  • Nerve interference can cause the body to become stiff, immobile, and numb, depleting the body’s energy.
  • Nerve energy transmission is required so the body can react to its surroundings and function correctly.

Chiropractic

Nerve blockage can be cleared through functional chiropractic medicine.

  • The nerve/s that are blocked or restricted are worked on through therapeutic percussive massage, manual adjustments, decompression, and stretching exercises.
  • Therapeutic deep tissue stimulation with or without heat is applied directly to the nerve region to increase circulation.
  • Proper function of nerves is restored and allows for increased blood circulation that provides increased oxygenated nutrients expediting the healing process.
  • Discomfort and pain are relieved.
  • Range of motion increases.
  • Restoration of muscle function and joint stability.
  • Tissue repair improves through treatment and nutrition.

Spinal Decompression Therapy


References

Crawford, J P. “Chiropractic intervention in the treatment of joint and soft tissue disorders.” Canadian journal of applied physiology = Revue canadienne de physiologie appliquee vol. 24,3 (1999): 279-89. doi:10.1139/h99-023

Gu, Xiaosong, et al. “Neural tissue engineering options for peripheral nerve regeneration.” Biomaterials vol. 35,24 (2014): 6143-56. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.064

Mackinnon, Susan E. “Pathophysiology of nerve compression.” Hand clinics vol. 18,2 (2002): 231-41. doi:10.1016/s0749-0712(01)00012-9

Norton, Charles E et al. “Role of perivascular nerve and sensory neurotransmitter dysfunction in inflammatory bowel disease.” American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology vol. 320,5 (2021): H1887-H1902. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00037.2021

T Francio, Vinicius. “Chiropractic care for foot drop due to peroneal nerve neuropathy.” Journal of bodywork and movement therapies vol. 18,2 (2014): 200-3. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2013.08.004

Reflex Pain Chiropractic Clinic

Reflex Pain Chiropractic Clinic

Reflex pain is a complex condition that involves the body’s pain withdrawal reflex failing to turn off after the event that triggered the pain, so the pain sensations continue. This is a neurological condition known as the withdrawal reflex. It occurs when the body and brain undergo a chain of reactions to remove an affected body part from dangerous situations/stimuli. A typical example is a vehicle crash or accident. During the process, the body’s reflex muscle\s in the injured area tighten to protect the specific body part/s from further damage.

Reflex Pain Chiropractor

The reflex can feel like a muscle spasm that goes away over time. However, in the case of reflex pain, the signals keep firing. Reflex pain can occur all over the body as the muscles overcompensate to handle the prolonged pain; secondary injuries often develop. An example could be reflex pain in the ankle caused by injury or problems in the hips and back, where the individual tries to avoid moving the ankle in a specific way to prevent and avoid the pain symptoms. Individuals with reflex pain also experience headaches and referred spine and extremity pain. Reflex pain can become a cycle of symptoms that include:

  • Unusual tightness
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Contracture – hardening or shortening of the affected muscles, tendons, or other tissues.
  • Decreased functional abilities.

Somatic Pain

Somatic pain causes receptors in tissues including the skin, muscles, connective tissues, joints, and skeleton to be activated. Stimuli like force trauma, vibration, extreme temperature, or inflammation/swelling activate these receptors. The pain is often described as:

  • Aching
  • Gnawing
  • Cramping
  • Sharp

Somatic pain is often localized to a particular area that is constant and stimulated by movement. There are two types.

  • Superficial pain occurs when everyday injuries activate pain receptors in the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Deep somatic pain occurs when stimuli activate pain receptors deeper in the body, including the tendons, joints, bones, and muscles. Deep body pain usually feels more like aching.
  • Pain can be confined to a local area or radiate to other areas of the body, depending on the extent of the injury.

Somatic pain can come from a variety of different potential causes that include:

  • Injury to joints or bones.
  • Trauma.
  • Fall or collision that damages connective tissues.
  • Strained muscles from overuse.
  • Bone fracture.
  • Arthritis that causes swelling in the joints.
  • Diseases that affect connective tissues.
  • Bone or skin cancers.

Sometimes these reflexes can stay in the on position and keep the body from achieving full relaxation.

In the nervous system, a body part is stimulated, and the message travels through the spinal cord and into the brain. The information is processed, then sent back through the spinal cord to the level that activates the specific body part. The reflexes transmit faster staying at the same spinal level without having to travel to the brain and back again.

During reflex pain, the body’s muscles are unable to relax, which is necessary for motion/movement. This prolonged contraction generates added pain and causes imbalances that can decrease excitability in the muscles. This can increase the activation of brain receptors that receive pain signals to respond by telling them to shorten and contract.

Therapy

Body misalignment can cause muscles to spasm, causing the nerves to stretch in an awkward way, compress, and get twisted and tangled around other nerves or other tissues. This disrupts communication resulting in pain, illness, and ailments that can lead to other health problems. Chiropractic care can address reflex pain by realigning the spine and improving joint motion and nerve conduction.

Chiropractic restores the body to its full and proper function by activating the natural healing abilities. Manual and mechanical spinal decompression realigns the vertebrae, reducing swelling, blockages, and nerve stress. A comprehensive examination will identify potential dysfunctional areas of the body using palpitations to identify which muscles are involved. Once identified, chiropractic, massage, and physical therapy options can be prescribed to rebalance the body’s muscles, and restore their ability to contract and relax normally.

  • Patient education will be provided concerning self-assessment techniques, instruction on how to treat pain, and an anti-inflammatory diet.
  • An exercise and stretching program will help maintain the adjustments, keep the body flexible, and strengthen the body.
  • Patients are helped to understand how to take control of their pain.

Spinal Decompression Testimonials


References

Biurrun-Manresa J, Neziry A, Curatolo M, Arendt-Nielson L, Anderson O. Test-retest reliability of the nociceptive withdrawal reflex and electrical pain thresholds after single and repeated stimulation in patients with chronic low back pain. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011;111:83-92

Derderian C, Tadi P. Physiology, Withdrawal Response. [Updated 2021 Nov 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544292/

Muir, J M, and H Vernon. “Complex regional pain syndrome and chiropractic.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 23,7 (2000): 490-7. doi:10.1067/mmt.2000.108816

Neziri A, Haesler S, Steen P, et al. Generalized expansion of nociceptive reflex receptive fields in chronic pain patients. Pain. 2010;151(3):798-805

Szynkowicz, Peter, and Anthony Petrucci 4th. “Chiropractic Care of a Patient With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 1 (CRPS-1): A Case Report.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 19,2 (2020): 145-151. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2020.05.001

Yezierski R, Vierck C. Reflex and pain behaviors are not equivalent: Lessons from spinal cord injury. Pain. 2010;151(3):569-577

Claudication Pain

Claudication Pain

Claudication is muscle pain that presents when the body is active and stops when the body is at rest, also known as intermittent claudication. Individuals typically report dull aching, cramping, tingling, and/or numbness. Vascular claudication is caused by circulatory problems like poor blood circulation and peripheral artery disease. Still, spinal conditions can also cause neurogenic claudication caused by problems with the spine and nervous system.

Claudication Muscle and Nerve Pain

Neurogenic Claudication

Sciatica is the usual suspect when thigh, hip, buttock, calf, or total leg pain or other sensations are present; however, it could be spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication. Spinal stenosis is sometimes called pseudo claudication, a narrowing of the space around the low back, which can put pressure on the spinal cord directly and compress the blood vessels around the spine, cutting off oxygen-carrying blood. Pain can start in the lower back and circulate down the legs and cause weakness, tingling, or numbness in the legs and feet. The most common areas of spinal compression include:

The narrowing can occur in any of these areas, with the most common cause being lumbar spinal stenosis brought on by lumbar degenerative disease.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of neurogenic claudication include:

  • Pain in the lower extremities, including the buttocks, thighs, and calf, only manifests with activities like walking or standing around.
  • Pain that shows up equally on both sides.
  • There is no pain when sitting or not walking around.
  • Radiculopathy or nerve pain that radiates down an affected limb. Sciatica is a typical example.

However, the symptoms of claudication and radiculopathy are different.

  • Claudication will be felt all along the length of the nerve.
  • Radiculopathy pain is more localized to the buttock, thighs, and calves and can get worse with activity and is generally present even when at rest.

Treatment

Non-surgical treatment of neurogenic claudication includes medication to help control pain, chiropractic manual therapy, non-surgical spinal decompression, physical rehabilitation therapy, and steroid shots to reduce inflammation. A doctor will recommend stretching, strengthening exercises, and types of activities to help improve the body’s ability to support itself. This could include swimming, walking, and stationary cycling. However, conservative treatment might not be an option for individuals with more severe cases. If conservative treatment options don’t work, surgery could be recommended. A healthcare provider can help explain treatment options. Successful outcomes have been seen in cases that are diagnosed and treated early.


Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Chiropractor


References

Colak, Ahmet, et al. “A less invasive surgical approach in the lumbar lateral recess stenosis: a direct approach to the medial wall of the pedicle.” The European spine journal: official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society vol. 17,12 (2008): 1745-51. doi:10.1007/s00586-008-0801-z

Munakomi S, Foris LA, Varacallo M. Spinal Stenosis And Neurogenic Claudication. [Updated 2022 Feb 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430872/

Cleveland Clinic. (2021) “Claudication.” my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21972-claudication

Nonsurgical Decompression Treatments For Piriformis Syndrome

Nonsurgical Decompression Treatments For Piriformis Syndrome

Introduction

The sciatic nerve is considered the largest in the lower half of the body that helps control sensory and motor functions of the legs. As part of the nervous system, the sciatic nerve resides in the lumbar region of the spine, traveling down to the legs and feet while succumbing to injuries and unwanted factors. When there are injuries or unwanted symptoms that start to affect the lumbar regions of the spine like herniation or a slipped disc, it can press on the sciatic nerve causing sharp, searing pain that can radiate down to the legs and feet. This type of pain can lead to sciatica and dampen a person’s mood if not treated right away. Luckily, there are treatments available for reducing sciatic nerve pain and other issues that affect the body’s lower extremities. Today’s article focuses on a condition that can cause sciatica known as piriformis syndrome, its symptoms, and how decompression therapy can help many people alleviate the sciatic nerve from piriformis syndrome. Referring patients to qualified and skilled providers who specialize in spinal decompression therapy. We guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is essential for asking insightful questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer

 

Can my insurance cover it? Yes, it may. If you are uncertain, here is the link to all the insurance providers we cover. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900.

G-11 - Decompression and Sensory nerves

What Is Piriformis Syndrome?

 

Do you feel muscle spasms occur in your lower back or buttock? How about radiating pain that is traveling down the legs? Do the muscles in the lower body regions feel tender and weak to the touch? Experiencing these symptoms mean that you are suffering from piriformis syndrome. Research studies have defined piriformis syndrome as a condition in which the piriformis muscles in the buttocks region irritate the nearby sciatic nerve, causing it to be trapped. As the sciatic nerve becomes trapped in the piriformis muscle, it can cause sciatica pain-like symptoms that run down the leg. Additional research studies mentioned that since sciatica is a musculoskeletal pain disorder associated with piriformis syndrome, the compressed, irritated sciatic nerve root causes the individual to suffer from painful symptoms that are causing the piriformis muscle to tense up. Piriformis syndrome can affect the sciatic nerve root with or without spinal disorders like herniationstenosis, or slipped discs.

 

The Symptoms

When the piriformis muscle aggravates the sciatic nerve, many symptoms can pop up over time, causing painful issues that collide with sciatica and piriformis syndrome. Research studies have shown that piriformis syndrome is a deliberate condition caused by traumatic events, inflammation in the lower back, and spinal degeneration. Most of the causes do hinder a person’s quality of life. Since the sciatic nerve is trapped in the piriformis muscle, it can cause excruciating, burning pain that affects the lower back down to the leg muscles. Other studies have found that other symptoms that are caused by piriformis syndrome are:


The DOC Decompression Table-Video

Feeling a limited range of motion on your hips? How about radiating, burning pain that travels down to your feet? Does it hurt to walk up the stairs? Piriformis syndrome can cause sciatica pain-like symptoms that can hinder your ability to walk and function. Decompression therapy can be the solution you are looking for. The video above explains and introduces the DOC decompression table and how it is used to alleviate sciatica pain-like symptoms that are causing pain to the individual. Decompression therapy can help with low back and leg pain by gently pulling the spine to allow the necessary supplements for the spine and to take the pressure off the sciatic nerve roots. Decompression therapy can benefit many individuals suffering from leg pain and who want to get back on their wellness journey. Incorporating spinal decompression as part of your wellness treatment is beneficial. This link will explain how decompression offers optimal comfort for many people who suffer from piriformis syndrome and get them back to their health and wellness journey.


How Decompression Therapy Can Alleviate Piriformis Syndrome

 

Since the sciatic nerve is trapped in the piriformis muscle and causes leg pain, some treatments handle piriformis syndrome by decompressing the sciatic nerve. Research studies have found that endoscope decompression surgery can help alleviate piriformis syndrome by relaxing the sciatic nerve to ease the pain from affecting the buttock and leg muscles. For non-surgical decompression therapy, additional research has found that decompression therapy helps widen the spinal disc space in the spine while creating negative pressure in the affected areas. This negative pressure allows the sciatic nerve to relax and reposition the intervertebral disc back in the spine. Decompression treatments combined with physical therapy can even reduce the chances of piriformis syndrome coming back and affecting the sciatic nerve again.

 

Conclusion

Overall, muscle spasms around the lower body regions can cause piriformis syndrome to develop and cause havoc on the sciatic nerve. Since the piriformis muscle is close to the sciatic nerve, it can trap and aggravate it constantly by sending sciatica pain-like symptoms to the legs. This condition causes muscle weakness and mobility dysfunction in the legs, making a simple walk on the stairs complicated. Treatments like decompression therapy provided in surgical and non-surgical forms can be beneficial for those suffering from piriformis syndrome and sciatica. Decompression therapy allows the negative pressure to release the trapped, irritated sciatic nerve from causing more pain to the legs and helps loosen up the tight muscles in the lower regions of the body. Utilizing decompression as part of your treatment will allow you to continue pain-free your wellness journey.

 

References

Amjad, Fareeha, et al. “Effects of Non-Surgical Decompression Therapy in Addition to Routine Physical Therapy on Pain, Range of Motion, Endurance, Functional Disability and Quality of Life versus Routine Physical Therapy Alone in Patients with Lumbar Radiculopathy; a Randomized Controlled Trial.” BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, BioMed Central, 16 Mar. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8924735/.

Hicks, Brandon L, et al. “Piriformis Syndrome.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 12 Feb. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448172/.

Hopayian, Kevork, et al. “The Clinical Features of the Piriformis Syndrome: A Systematic Review.” European Spine Journal: Official Publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, Springer-Verlag, Dec. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2997212/.

Revord, John. “Symptoms and Diagnosis of Piriformis Syndrome.” Spine, Spine-Health, 14 Sept. 2012, www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/symptoms-and-diagnosis-piriformis-syndrome.

Ro, Tae Hoon, and Lance Edmonds. “Diagnosis and Management of Piriformis Syndrome: A Rare Anatomic Variant Analyzed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging.” Journal of Clinical Imaging Science, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 21 Feb. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843966/.

Vij, Neeraj, et al. “Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Piriformis Syndrome: A Literature Review.” Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Kowsar, 2 Feb. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8241586/.

Disclaimer

Spinal Stress Nerve Injury

Spinal Stress Nerve Injury

Spinal stress can affect nerve health. Neuropathy happens when disease or damage is sustained in the nerves that transmit messages from the brain through the spinal cord to the whole body. The source of the damage can be inside the spine, where a herniated disc could be squeezing the nerves, impeding or completely blocking blood circulation until deterioration begins to disease or damage nerve receptors. Removing the pressure from the spine and reversing the stress on the nerves can be done through manual or motorized spinal decompression.

Spinal Stress Nerve Injury

Spinal Stress and the Nerves

The peripheral nervous system is comprised of three types of nerves that are directly influenced by the central nervous system, each with a distinct function which is why there is a wide range of symptoms associated with neuropathy. The types of nerves include:

  • Autonomic nerves regulate respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, bladder function, etc.
  • Motor nerves control muscle movement.
  • Sensory nerves receive sensations from the skin like heat, cold, pleasure, and pain.

Spinal nerves contain sensory and motor fibers giving them sensory and motor functions. The spinal nerves receive sensory messages from the skin, internal organs, and bones. Any disruption from a bent, crushed, or entangled nerve group will not allow proper blood circulation and message transmission, causing delayed responses, tingling, numbness, and pain. If left untreated, it could cause permanent damage that can lead to chronic pain. Decompression therapy accelerates healing as it floods the spine with blood, oxygen, and nutrients.

Peripheral nerves originate from the spinal cord and extend a network of lines throughout the body called dermatomes. Injury to one dermatome can radiate/spread out to other dermatomes and the peripheral areas like the hands and feet. Once communication with the brain is compromised, results can lead to sensations like numbness and severe pain. Several factors can result in peripheral neuropathy, including:

Nerve Root Pain Causes

Nerve root pain is usually caused by underlying conditions that have caused compression or damage to the nerve root; these include:


Pain-Free Living


DRX 9000


References

Gordon, Tessa. “Peripheral Nerve Regeneration and Muscle Reinnervation.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 21,22 8652. 17 Nov. 2020, doi:10.3390/ijms21228652

Menorca, Ron M G et al. “Nerve physiology: mechanisms of injury and recovery.” Hand clinics vol. 29,3 (2013): 317-30. doi:10.1016/j.hcl.2013.04.002

Wang, Mark L et al. “Peripheral nerve injury, scarring, and recovery.” Connective tissue research vol. 60,1 (2019): 3-9. doi:10.1080/03008207.2018.1489381

Pinched Nerve Healing Signs

Pinched Nerve Healing Signs

A pinched nerve may not feel like it is healing. This is because of the soreness, aches, discomfort, and tingling feelings/sensations around the affected area. This could be the neck, shoulder, arm, hands, back, legs, and feet. However, when the achiness and tingling move around and shift, it is a sign of the pinched nerve healing.

Pinched Nerve Healing Signs

Amount of Time For Pinched Nerve Healing

Waiting for the nerve to heal is not a recommended treatment option, as most pinched nerves do not fully recover on their own. A pinched nerve usually takes around six weeks to heal with proper treatment. The longer the nerve stays pinched, the more likely there will be permanent damage. To keep the pinched nerve from returning and getting worse, individuals are recommended to incorporate a pre-habilitation plan that involves continuing rehabilitation exercises to strengthen and keep the muscles, ligaments, and nerves loose, and adjusting posture, work, exercise, and diet habits to prevent re-injuring the nerve or cause new injury/s. 

Common Nerve Sites

Nerves run throughout the body, so it’s possible to experience a pinched nerve anywhere. The most common pinched nerve sites occur at joints where there is constant movement. These areas include:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Lower Back
  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Feet

Healing Signs

Individuals often believe that their pinched nerve is getting worse because of soreness, aches and pains, and weird sensations. When the pain stays in one area, that could be a sign that the nerve has not been fully stretched/released and/or that there is still compression taking place. Treatment and healing include feeling the symptoms but in a different way. The symptoms will move up, down, or around depending on where the pinched nerve is. Treatment takes the nerve/s and stretches/elongates them, but the pinch created a nerve crimp, crease, fold that wants to return to the pinched position. This is why continued treatment and stretching are recommended, as a spasm, trauma, or some awkward movement can cause the nerve to re-fold to the pinched position or cause a whole new pinch.

Chiropractic Release

Chiropractic treats pinched/compressed nerves with several therapeutic modalities. These include:

  • Body Adjustments
  • Flexion-distraction
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Traction
  • Inversion
  • Laser therapy
  • Ultrasound

Combined, these methods can help heal pinched nerves and keep them from recurring.


Body Composition


Skeletal Muscle

Skeletal muscle is a major muscle group. These muscles are attached to the bone by the tendons. Skeletal muscles incorporate nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue to operate as a unit. Each skeletal muscle consists of cells that come together that form bundles of skeletal muscle fibers.

  • Strength training stimulates the muscle fibers. When combined with proper nutrition causes hypertrophy/muscle growth.
  • Muscles contract and shorten to pull bones and joints, allowing body movement.
  • The nervous system signals the nerves in the muscle/s and triggers these contractions.
  • Skeletal muscle helps the body:
  • Maintain posture
  • Generate body heat
  • Stability to the bones and joints
References

Bowley, Michael P, and Christopher T Doughty. “Entrapment Neuropathies of the Lower Extremity.” The Medical clinics of North America vol. 103,2 (2019): 371-382. doi:10.1016/j.mcna.2018.10.013

Campbell, W. “Diagnosis and management of common compression and entrapment neuropathies.” Neurologic clinics vol. 15,3 (1997): 549-67. doi:10.1016/s0733-8619(05)70333-9

England, J D. “Entrapment neuropathies.” Current opinion in neurology vol. 12,5 (1999): 597-602. doi:10.1097/00019052-199910000-00014

Kane, Patrick M et al. “Double Crush Syndrome.” The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons vol. 23,9 (2015): 558-62. doi:10.5435/JAAOS-D-14-00176

Neuroregeneration: Growing Nerve Cells

Neuroregeneration: Growing Nerve Cells

Neuroregeneration could become an option for spinal cord injury treatments in the future. A spinal cord injury or SCI is when there is damage to the bundle of nerves and cells that send and receive signals from the brain and body. A spinal cord injury can be caused by direct trauma/injury to the cord or damage to the tissue and vertebrae. The damage can result in temporary or permanent changes in:

  • Sensation
  • Movement
  • Strength
  • Body function/s below the injury site.

There are incomplete and complete injuries. Injuries that cause limited or no cell death can achieve a full recovery. Injuries that are more serious and/or are higher on the spinal cord can cause permanent damage and/or paralysis. Automobile crashes, accidents, and serious falls are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries.

  • An incomplete injury means the cord can still transmit messages, but there is interference/disturbance.
  • A complete injury means communication and motor function/voluntary body movement is not transmitting.

Neuroregeneration: Growing Nerve Cells

Symptoms

Symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Unnatural or awkward positioning of the spine or head.
  • Pain or pressure in the head, neck, or back.
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Loss of or changes in sensation in the hands and feet.
  • Problems with walking.
  • Weakness or inability to move parts of the body.
  • Loss of movement.
  • Paralysis can occur immediately or develop over time as swelling and bleeding affect the cord.
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control.
  • Changes in sexual function.
  • Difficulty breathing.

SCI Damage Control

A spinal cord injury affects the central nervous system, the body’s central headquarters. Damage can cause complications through what’s called the secondary injury cascade, which is a series of chemical reactions the body activates to help the situation. However, if the chemical response does not stop and stays active, it can worsen the injury. The body recognizes that an emergency has occurred and tries to go into a shut-down mode that kills off some of the cells in the central nervous system. When a spinal injury happens, treatment focuses on stopping the damage as quickly as possible to stop the injury cascade and prevent as much cell death as possible. This act is called neuropreservation, meaning that the team is trying to preserve and save as many nerve cells as possible.

Injury Neuroregeneration Treatment Studies

While current treatment primarily focuses on stopping as much damage as possible then going through physical therapies to maintain spinal alignment and rehabilitate the body, the future of injury treatment is looking towards regrowing and repairing the damaged nerve cells through a process known as neuroregeneration. Repairing nerves that have been damaged could change life for many. Neuroregeneration Treatments being studied include:

Surgery

  • A study in The Lancet Neurology presents how getting surgery as soon as possible after an injury can provide significant benefits.
  • The findings could change all of the guidelines for spinal cord injury.

Medication

  • A study on Riluzole, a medication that has shown promise to slow down nerve cell damage.
  • A team completed a randomized controlled trial for the medication; soon, the final results will be available.

Antibody treatment

Antibodies are being studied in two ways.

  • To stop nerve cells from being damaged.
  • To help damaged nerve cells regenerate.

Stem cells

  • Scientists are studying ways to grow new nerve cells from an individual’s stem cells without the need for embryonic stem cells.
  • Specialized stem cells could also be used to help other nerve cells regenerate.

Electrical stimulation

  • Another approach is using electrical stimulation to restore function in the spinal cord.
  • Therapy that could help a paralyzed individual walk again.

The Future of Neuroregeneration

Aside from early surgery intervention, most neuroregenerative treatments are not ready or accessible yet. There’s still much more research before it can become a mainstream treatment option. Treatment that involves regenerating nerve cells will take longer than a treatment designed to protect nerve cells. However, more clinical trials are expected to be done in the next few years, with stem cell therapies taking the longest. Some of these therapies could be ready to be used on actual patients in 5-10 years.


Body Composition


The Importance of Measuring Body Composition

Most diet and fitness programs focus on weight loss or gain. However, they tend to overlook that individuals have completely different body compositions. Body composition describes the amount of:

  • Fat
  • Bone
  • Water
  • Muscle
  • In the body.

Measuring body composition can tell a body’s unique makeup and help identify areas to work on to improve overall health and wellness. Body composition analysis provides a snapshot of an individual’s health/fitness levels to help achieve health goals from the inside out.

References

Aguilar, Juan et al. “Spinal cord injury immediately changes the state of the brain.” The Journal of neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience vol. 30,22 (2010): 7528-37. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0379-10.2010

Badhiwala, Jetan H; Wilson, Jefferson R; Witiw, Christopher D; et al. (February 2021). The Lancet Neurology Vol. 20, No. 2, P. 117. The Influence of Timing of Surgical Decompression for Acute Spinal Cord Injury: A Pooled Analysis of Individual Patient Data. DOI: 10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30406-3

Chari, Aswin et al. “Surgical Neurostimulation for Spinal Cord Injury.” Brain sciences vol. 7,2 18. 10 Feb. 2017, doi:10.3390/brainsci7020018

Nerve Injury

Nerve Injury

A nerve injury is often caused by a sudden traumatic event, like a slip and fall, personal or work injury, an automobile accident, or a sports injury. Overall stresses of the body from poor posture and being overweight can also lead to nerve pain over time, known as cumulative trauma. Where ligaments and bones are not aligned correctly, nerve pain and damage can occur. When nerve pain presents, there is pressure being placed on that nerve/s. Nerve pain symptoms include burning, tingling, or numbness-type sensations in the tissues controlled by that nerve. Orthopedic and neurologic testing will determine what specific nerve is affected. Chiropractic adjustments realign the spine and relieve the pressure on the nerve, thus eliminating the pain and correcting the problem.

Nerve Injury

Nerve Injury

Too much pressure from surrounding tissues compresses and irritates the nerve and interrupts its ability to function correctly. Pinched nerves are most vulnerable at points in the body where they pass through narrow spaces and have little to no soft tissue protection. Symptoms include:

  • Pins and Needles Sensation
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Weakness

A pinched nerve can decrease the range of motion and cause muscle spasms. If left untreated, a nerve injury can leave an individual with chronic pain and lead to permanent nerve damage.

Tingling and Numbness

Tingling and numbness are unusual or unpleasant physical sensations, most commonly experienced in the arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes. Tingling and numbness come in two forms:

Paresthesia

  • A feeling of pins and needles on the skin or the sensation of the hand or arm having fallen asleep.
  • Paresthesia can be a result of reduced blood flow to the region. This can be caused by external pressure that constricts the blood vessels.

Dysesthesia

  • This is a more persistent sensation resembling itching, burning, electric shock, or tightening pain.

 Injuries to the nervous system can also produce numbness and tingling, even in areas nowhere near the actual injury. Examples include:

  • Neck pain from a neck injury can cause numbness or tingling in the hand or arm.
  • A low back injury can result in tingling in the back of the leg.

Other possible causes include:

  • Inflammation that puts pressure on nerves
  • Trigger points in the muscles
  • Enlarged blood vessels
  • Tumors
  • Myofascial adhesions
  • Scar tissue
  • Infection
  • Lesions on the spinal disc/s
  • Diabetes
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse

Chiropractic Treatment

To determine the appropriate course of treatment, a doctor of chiropractic must diagnose the cause of the nerve injury. Depending on the nature or severity of the sensation, the examination will include:

  • Muscle tests
  • Range-of-motion tests
  • Neurological tests
  • Orthopedic tests

The chiropractor will palpate the effective areas and order imaging tests like X-rays if necessary. If further testing is needed to diagnose the source of the nerve injury, the doctor may order an MRI or CT scan. Once the underlying condition is diagnosed, a chiropractor will develop a treatment plan to eliminate irritation, correct misalignments causing pressure, and restore proper nerve function. Treatment plans vary from case to case but can include:

  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Body adjustments
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Heat and Ice

The objective is to relieve/release the pressure on the nerves. Chiropractic adjustments help reposition the muscles and nerves. Deep-tissue massage helps to release tension and eliminate toxins that worsen the sensations. Treatment improves circulation and relieves pressure on the neural pathways necessary to restore normal neural signaling between the body and the brain.


Body Composition


Why The Brain Needs Sugar

The brain needs half of all the body’s energy supply because of its complex nerve cell system. The brain requires glucose for brain cell energy. Because neurons can’t store energy, they need a continuous fuel supply to function correctly from the bloodstream. The ability to think, learn and recall information is closely associated with glucose levels. When blood glucose levels are low, the ability to think is inhibited as the production of chemical messengers/neurotransmitters, are reduced, disrupting communication between the neurons. Natural sugar can boost brain health because it requires glucose for functioning. Sugar is released slowly into the bloodstream when taken naturally from sources like apples and bananas, keeping the energy levels steady, without craving more sugar.

References

Ameh, Victor, and Steve Crane. “Nerve injury following shoulder dislocation: the emergency physician’s perspective.” European journal of emergency medicine: official journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine vol. 13,4 (2006): 233-5. doi:10.1097/01.mej.0000206190.62201.ad

Nichols, J S, and K O Lillehei. “Nerve injury associated with acute vascular trauma.” The Surgical clinics of North America vol. 68,4 (1988): 837-52. doi:10.1016/s0039-6109(16)44589-5

Ruggiero, S L. “Trigeminal nerve injury and repair.” The New York state dental journal vol. 62,8 (1996): 36-40.

Welch, J A. “Peripheral nerve injury.” Seminars in veterinary medicine and surgery (small animal) vol. 11,4 (1996): 273-84. doi:10.1016/s1096-2867(96)80020-x

WOODHALL, B. “Peripheral nerve injury.” The Surgical clinics of North America (1954): 1147-65. doi:10.1016/s0039-6109(16)34299-2

Help Relieve Neuropathy Symptoms With Chiropractic

Help Relieve Neuropathy Symptoms With Chiropractic

Neuropathy is a painful condition that causes tingling, numbness, burning sensations in the hands and feet, and other symptoms throughout the body. Neuropathy can make life difficult. There is no cure for neuropathy, but symptoms can be managed with medications, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and pain relievers. Another treatment option to help relieve neuropathy symptoms is chiropractic.

Help Relieve Neuropathy Symptoms With Chiropractic

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from individual to individual depending on their health condition and how the nerves have been impacted. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Pins-and-needles feeling when touching something hot or cold.
  • Some individuals lose the sense of feeling like clothing on their body, even though it’s rubbing against the skin but feel as if it is not there.
  • Other changes can be familiar objects looking different than usual.
  • Lessened or heightened sense of smell.
  • Negative impact on mood.

Protective Sheathing Of The Nerves

Neuropathic pain is caused by damage and degeneration to the nerves or the protective covering/sheathing of the nerves. Various causes include:

  • Diabetes.
  • Injury.
  • Infections.
  • Medication side effects.
  • Exposure to toxins.

Stages

The symptoms of neuropathy depend on the location and severity of the nerve damage. The stages include:

Numbness and Pain

  • Stage one consists of numbness and pain.
  • Some individuals describe a tingling or numbing sensation.
  • What feels like pinpricks in the hands and/or feet.
  • This stage can last for months, but most individuals recover within a year.

Constant Pain

  • Stage two is characterized by continuous pain.
  • Some individuals may experience shooting pains that come and go.
  • Intense burning sensations around the waistline.
  • Numbness on one side of the body with stabbing pain.
  • This stage can last for a year or more and worsen until the individual is incapacitated.

Nerve Degeneration

  • Stage three is when nerve degeneration sets in.
  • Loss of feeling on both sides of the body.
  • Loss of motor skills like walking and falling over.
  • Doctors treat the symptoms so they don’t get worse.

Loss Of Sensation

  • The final stage is the loss of sensation.
  • This occurs when the nerve endings are destroyed and can no longer send messages to the brain.

Treatments To Help Relieve Symptoms

Treatments usually involve:

  • Antidepressants.
  • Pain medications.
  • Anti-seizure medications.
  • Pain-relieving creams.
  • All can help manage pain and inflammation.

Chiropractic Can Also Help Relieve Symptoms

Chiropractors use hands-on methods to adjust and realign joints, muscles, spinal discs, and ligaments to function more efficiently and bring relief from pressure on the nerves. Neuropathies are often caused by nerve compression in body areas that have been altered by injury or disease that affects ligaments, discs, spinal muscles, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, hip adhesions, leg length discrepancies, etc. These can contribute to pain and numbness in the peripheral nerves that supply the legs, feet, arms, hands, and neck. While a chiropractor cannot cure neuropathy, they can help relieve symptoms, make it much more manageable, and improve quality of life.


Body Composition


Common Cold

The common cold, also known as upper respiratory tract inflammation, is the most common infectious respiratory disease because of its effect on the nose and throat. The average adult will catch 2–3 colds a year, according to the CDC. A virus that causes a cold can enter the respiratory tract directly when inhaling droplets expelled from an infected person or by direct skin contact, like touching the face with a hand that came in contact with the virus. Cold symptoms vary but usually include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Body aches

The duration of a cold differs; however, most individuals with a healthy immune system recover in 7–10 days. However, individuals with a compromised immune system, asthma, or COPD have an increased risk of developing more serious illnesses like bronchitis or pneumonia. Hundreds of viruses can cause colds. Human Rhinoviruses are common culprits and are constantly mutating, which is why there is no cure. Several medications or natural treatments help alleviate cold symptoms; it is recommended to combat the illness effectively through a healthy immune system response. Doctors recommend proper rest, eating a nutrient-rich diet, and maintaining proper H2O hydration to boost the immune system.

References

D’Angelo, Kevin et al. “The effectiveness of passive physical modalities for the management of soft tissue injuries and neuropathies of the wrist and hand: a systematic review by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) collaboration.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 38,7 (2015): 493-506. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2015.06.006

Kissel, Jaclyn A, and Cristina Leonardelli. “Isolated musculocutaneous neuropathy: a case report.” The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association vol. 63,3 (2019): 162-170.

Passioti, Maria et al. “The common cold: potential for future prevention or cure.” Current Allergy and asthma reports vol. 14,2 (2014): 413. doi:10.1007/s11882-013-0413-5

T Francio, Vinicius. “Chiropractic care for foot drop due to peroneal nerve neuropathy.” Journal of bodywork and movement therapies vol. 18,2 (2014): 200-3. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2013.08.004

The Effects of Low Laser Therapy on Repairing The Calcaneal Tendon | El Paso, TX

The Effects of Low Laser Therapy on Repairing The Calcaneal Tendon | El Paso, TX

The body is a well-working machine that can endure anything that is thrown in its way. However, when it gets an injury, the body’s natural healing process will ensure that the body can get back to its daily activities. The healing process of an injured muscle varies throughout the body. Depending on how severe the damage is and how long the healing process will take, the body can recover to a mere few days to a few months. One of the most gruelly healing processes that the body has to endure is a ruptured calcaneal tendon.

The Calcaneal Tendon

The calcaneal tendon or the Achilles tendon is a thick tendon that is located in the back of the leg. This muscle-tendon is what makes the body move while walking, running, or even jumping. Not only that, the calcaneal tendon is the strongest tendon in the body, and it connects the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles at the heel bone. When the calcaneal tendon is ruptured, the healing process can last from weeks to months until it is fully healed. 

 

 

The Healing Effects of Low Laser Therapy

One of the ways that can help the damaged calcaneal tendons’ healing process is low laser therapy. Studies have shown that low laser therapy can speed up the damaged tendon repair after a partial lesion. Not only that but the combination of ultrasound and low laser therapy has been studied to be the physical agents for treating tendon injuries. The studies showed that the combination of low laser therapy and ultrasound has beneficial properties during the recovery process of treating calcaneal tendon injuries.

 

 

The study found that when patients are being treated for their calcaneal tendons, their hydroxyproline levels around the treated area are significantly increased with ultrasound and low laser therapy. The body’s natural biochemical and biomechanical structures on the injured tendon increase, thus affecting the healing process. Another study has shown that low laser therapy can help reduce fibrosis and prevent oxidative stress in the traumatized calcaneal tendon. The study even showed that after the calcaneal tendon is traumatized, inflammation, angiogenesis, vasodilation, and the extracellular matrix are formed in the affected area. So when patients are being treated with low laser therapy for about fourteen to twenty-one days, their histological abnormalities are alleviated, reducing collagen concentration and fibrosis; preventing oxidative stress from increasing in the body.

 

Conclusion

Overall, it is said that the effects of low laser therapy can help speed up the healing process of repairing the calcaneal tendon. The promising results have been proven since low laser therapy can help repair the damaged tendon, reducing oxidative stress and preventing fibrosis from escalating, causing more problems on the injured tendon. And with the combination of ultrasound, the calcaneal tendon can recover faster so the body can continue its everyday activities without any prolonged injuries.

 

References:

Demir, Huseyin, et al. “Comparison of the Effects of Laser, Ultrasound, and Combined Laser + Ultrasound Treatments in Experimental Tendon Healing.” Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2004, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15278933/.

Fillipin, Lidiane Isabel, et al. “Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Prevents Oxidative Stress and Reduces Fibrosis in Rat Traumatized Achilles Tendon.” Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2005, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16196040/.

Oliveira, Fla’via Schlittler, et al. Effect of Low Level Laser Therapy (830 Nm … – Medical Laser. 2009, medical.summuslaser.com/data/files/86/1585171501_uLg8u2FrJP7ZHcA.pdf.

Wood, Viviane T, et al. “Collagen Changes and Realignment Induced by Low-Level Laser Therapy and Low-Intensity Ultrasound in the Calcaneal Tendon.” Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2010, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20662033/.

Multiple Sclerosis, Sciatica, and Nerve Pain

Multiple Sclerosis, Sciatica, and Nerve Pain

Multiple sclerosis and sciatica can exist side by side or have overlapping symptoms. The sciatic nerve begins at the lower back, then through the hips into the buttocks, and separates into both legs into the feet. Sciatica is a type of pain caused by a compressed/pinched or damaged/injured sciatic nerve. The sensation radiates across the nerve with frequency and severity at varying levels, depending on the individual’s body position and/or movement. Individuals with multiple sclerosis can also experience sciatica, believing it’s their multiple sclerosis. Neuropathic pain is a common symptom in multiple sclerosis or MS. It is caused by injury or damage to the nerves of the central nervous system and can cause burning, or sharp, stabbing sensations.

Multiple Sclerosis, Sciatica, and Nerve Pain

Multiple Sclerosis and Sciatic Nerve Pain Difference

MS is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the protective layer around nerve fibers known as myelin. This affects the central nervous system pathways that regulate feeling and sensation in the body. It can cause painful sensations that include:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Burning, tingling, or aching in the lower legs
  • Electrical shock-like sensations travel from the back toward the legs.
  • Migraines
  • The painful sensations result from the damaged nerve fibers creating interference in the brain’s neural pathways.

Sciatica works differently

An autoimmune response does not damage the sciatic nerve’s pathway, but an added stress/pressure compresses the sciatic nerve. The pain is usually caused by a quick, jerking, twisting, bending, reaching motion that pinches or twists the nerve. Herniated discs and bone spurs are another common cause, along with being overweight can place intense pressure on the sciatic nerve. The critical difference is that multiple sclerosis causes the central nervous system’s signaling pathways to malfunction.

MS and Sciatica

Most individuals, around 40%, will at some point experience some form of sciatica symptoms. This is from age, and all the wear and tear the low back goes through daily. This is why it’s not unusual for individuals with MS to experience sciatica as well. MS can cause body changes that affect activity levels.

  • Decreased mobility can lead to sitting for extended periods that can strain the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, causing sciatica.
  • There is evidence that the lesions that present from MS can extend to the sciatic nerve.
  • One study compared 36 individuals with MS to 35 individuals that don’t have it.
  • All of the participants underwent magnetic resonance neurography to obtain high-resolution nerve images.
  • The research found that those with MS had slightly more lesions on the sciatic nerve than those without MS.

Sciatica Care

It can be challenging to figure out the types of pain being experienced. Sciatica travels down the length of the nerve uniquely and is often felt in only one leg. The pain, tingling, numbness, electrical sensations can present only in the lower back, the buttock, the back of the leg, hamstring, calf, and foot, or in a combination of all the areas. Treatments for sciatica depend on the severity. They include:

  • Chiropractic
  • Physical therapy
  • Posture exercises
  • Lifestyle adjustments
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Weight loss
  • Cold and hot packs
  • Acupuncture
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Medications – anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, tricyclic antidepressants, and antiseizure medications.
  • Steroid injections – corticosteroids
  • Surgery is a last resort reserved for severe cases that did not improve with other treatments and therapies.

It can be easy to mistake sciatica as a symptom or related condition of multiple sclerosis. Chiropractic can help alleviate sciatica, and although treatment cannot directly treat MS or its symptoms, it can relieve pain and discomfort.


Body Composition


Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetic nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease is the result of mismanaged diabetes. Kidney failure is a severe medical emergency and can be fatal if not treated. Chronic low kidney function results in:

  • Fluid retention in the body.
  • Inability to filter out metabolites and waste from the blood.
  • Increased risk of infections.

Common symptoms of diabetic kidney disease include:

Increased blood pressure

  • This is the result of increased stress on the body.
  • The kidneys can no longer filter out all the metabolites and excess fluid needed to stabilize the blood pressure.

Proteinuria or protein in the urine

  • Chronic kidney damage results in the protein being excreted through urine.

Fatigue

  • Poor kidney function affects every organ in the body.
  • The organs have to work harder to compensate, leading to fatigue and low energy.

Lower extremity edema

  • Fluid retention usually presents in the lower extremities.
  • Puffy, swollen ankles and legs may appear shiny or waxy.
  • This is common in individuals that have severe diabetic nephropathy.

Shortness of breath

  • As the fluid builds up in the body, additional weight can get stored on and around the lungs.
  • This can make breathing very difficult when lying down or when engaged in physical activity.

Impaired cognition

  • Metabolites in the blood can cause brain damage when not filtered properly.
  • Memory loss
  • Mood changes
  • Loss of consciousness
References

Jende JME, et al. (2017). Peripheral nerve involvement in multiple sclerosis: Demonstration by magnetic resonance neurography. DOI:
10.1002/ana.25068

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019). Sciatica.
mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/symptoms-causes/syc-20377435

Murphy KL, et al. (2017). Chapter 4: Neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis—current therapeutic intervention and future treatment perspectives.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470151/

Pain and itching. (n.d.).
nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Pain

Samson K. (2017). In the pipeline-multiple sclerosis neurography, MRI reveals peripheral nerve lesions in MS patients. DOI:
10.1097/01.NT.0000527861.27137.b0

Sciatica: Of all the nerves. (2016).
health.harvard.edu/pain/sciatica-of-all-the-nerve