Back Clinic Complex Injuries Chiropractic Team. Complex injuries happen when people experience severe or catastrophic injuries, or whose cases are more complex due to multiple trauma, psychological effects, and pre-existing medical histories. Complex injuries can be serial injuries of the upper extremity, severe soft tissue trauma, and concomitant (naturally accompanying or associated), injuries to vessels or nerves. These injuries go beyond the common sprain and strain and require a deeper level of assessment that may not be easily apparent.
El Paso, TX’s Injury specialist, chiropractor, Dr. Alexander Jimenez discusses treatment options, as well as rehabilitation, muscle/strength training, nutrition, and getting back to normal body functions. Our programs are natural and use the body’s ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, unwanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living.
After a car accident, you may notice neck pain. It could be a slight soreness you think is nothing but take care of. More than likely, you have whiplash. And that little soreness can turn into a lifetime of chronic neck pain if only treated with pain meds and not treated at the source.
Whiplash trauma, aka neck sprain or neck strain, is an injury to the soft tissues around the neck.
Whiplash can be described as a sudden extension or backward movement of the neck and flexion or forward movement of the neck.
Some people will tell you that whiplash is a made-up injury that people use to get more money in a settlement stemming from an accident. They do not believe it is possible in a low-speed rear-end accident and see it as a legitimate injury claim, mainly because there are no visible marks.
Some insurance experts claim that about a third of whiplash cases are fraudulent, leaving two-thirds of the cases legitimate. Much research also supports the claim that low-speed accidents can indeed cause whiplash, which is very real. Some patients suffer from pain and immobility for the rest of their lives.
Chiropractors will use different techniques to relieve the pain of whiplash and help with healing.
Chiropractic Adjustment The chiropractor performs spinal manipulation to move the joints into alignment gently. This will help to align the body to relieve pain and encourage healing.
Muscle Stimulation and Relaxation This involves stretching the affected muscles, relieving tension, and helping them relax. Finger pressure techniques may also be combined with trying to alleviate pain.
McKenzie Exercises These exercises help with disc derangement that whiplash causes. They are first performed in the chiropractor’s office, but the patient can be taught how to do them at home. This helps the patient have some degree of control over their healing.
Each whiplash case is different. A chiropractor will evaluate the patient and determine the appropriate treatment case-by-case basis. The chiropractor will determine the best course of treatment that will relieve your pain and restore your mobility and flexibility.
Many individuals don’t realize that the various muscles in their back help provide functionality to the body. The back muscles help move, bend, rotate, and help the individual stand up straight when they are out and about. The back muscles also help protect the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar sections of the spine and work together with the head, neck, shoulders, arms, and legs to provide mobility. When the body begins to wear down with age naturally, it can lead to back issues that can limit a person’s mobility, or normal activities can cause the back muscles to be overused and develop trigger points to invoke back pain or lumbago. Today’s article looks at the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles in the back, how the lumbago is associated with trigger points, and treatments to relieve the lumbago in the thoracolumbar muscles. We refer patients to certified providers who provide different techniques in thoracic lumbar back pain therapies associated with trigger points to aid many suffering from pain-like symptoms along the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles along the back, causing lumbago. We encourage patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it is appropriate. We designate that education is a great solution to asking our providers profound and complex questions at the patient’s request. Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., notes this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you been finding it difficult to walk even for a short period? Do you feel aches and soreness when getting out of bed? Are you constantly in pain when bending over to pick up items from the ground? These various actions that you are doing incorporate the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscle in the back, and when issues affect these muscles, it can lead to lumbago associated with trigger points. The thoracolumbar paraspinal in the back is a group of muscles closely surrounded by the thoracolumbar spine, where the thoracic region ends, and the lumbar region begins. The thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles in the back have a casual relationship with the body as it requires contribution from the systems requiring movement. Studies reveal that the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles are modulated through communication with the three sub-systems, which include:
The passive system: vertebrae, discs, and ligaments
The active system: muscles and tendons
The control system: central nervous system and nerves
Each system provides muscular activities when a person is bending down to pick up an object or doing simple movements. However, when the muscles become overused, it can lead to various issues affecting the back and surrounding muscles.
Lumbago Associated With Trigger Points
Studies reveal that paraspinal muscle integrity plays a very critical role when it comes to the maintenance of spinal alignment in the back. When the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles become overused from normal activities, it can affect the back by causing back pain symptoms or lumbago associated with trigger points. In Dr. Travell, M.D.’s book “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction,” trigger points may be activated due to sudden movements or sustained muscular contraction over time that leads to the development of lumbago. Atrophy issues in the paraspinal muscles can contribute to lumbago associated with trigger points that cause deep referred pain in the thoracolumbar regions of the back. Active trigger points in the deep muscle group of the thoracolumbar paraspinal can impair movement between the vertebrae during flexion or side bending.
An Overview Of Lumbago- Video
Lumbago or back pain is one of the most common issues that many individuals, from acute to chronic, depending on how severe the pain is inflicted on the back. Have you been feeling pain in your mid-lower back? Do you feel an electric shock when you run down your leg in a weird position? Or have you felt tenderness in the middle of your back? Experiencing these symptoms could indicate that the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles are affected by trigger points associated with lumbago. The video explains what lumbago is, the symptoms, and various treatment options to relieve the pain and manage trigger points that are causing the thoracolumbar muscles issues in the back. Many individuals who suffer from lumbago don’t often realize that various factors can affect the surrounding muscles in the thoracolumbar region and mask other previous conditions from which they could suffer. Regarding managing lumbago associated with trigger points, various treatment options can help reduce the pain affecting the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles while managing trigger points for progressing further in the back.
Treatments To Relieve Lumbago In The Thoracolumbar Muscles
Since lumbago or back pain is a common issue for many people, various treatments can reduce the pain-like symptoms in the thoracolumbar muscles and manage the associated trigger points. Some of the simplest treatments that many individuals can use are to correct how they are standing. Many individuals often lean on one side of their bodies which causes the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles on the opposite sides to be overloaded. This causes spinal subluxation or misalignment to the thoracolumbar region. Another treatment that many people can incorporate into their daily lives is by going to a chiropractor for a spinal adjustment for the thoracolumbar spine. Studies reveal that chiropractic care combined with physical therapy can relieve the thoracolumbar back while reducing the pain symptoms associated with trigger points by loosening the stiff muscles and causing relief to the back.
The back has various muscles known as the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles that allow movement and mobility to the body. The back muscles help protect the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar sections of the spine while working with the rest of the body’s components to keep the body stable. When natural aging or actions affect the back muscles, it can lead to various pain issues that can activate trigger points causing lumbago or back pain. Fortunately, some treatments can help alleviate back pain in the thoracolumbar paraspinal muscles while managing trigger points to bring back mobility to the back.
du Rose, Alister, and Alan Breen. “Relationships between Paraspinal Muscle Activity and Lumbar Inter-Vertebral Range of Motion.” Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), MDPI, 5 Jan. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934538/.
He, Kevin, et al. “The Implications of Paraspinal Muscle Atrophy in Low Back Pain, Thoracolumbar Pathology, and Clinical Outcomes after Spine Surgery: A Review of the Literature.” Global Spine Journal, SAGE Publications, Aug. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7359686/.
Khodakarami, Nima. “Treatment of Patients with Low Back Pain: A Comparison of Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Manipulation.” Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), MDPI, 24 Feb. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7151187/.
Travell, J. G., et al. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual: Vol. 1:Upper Half of Body. Williams & Wilkins, 1999.
Tendons and Ligaments: A tendon is a fibrous flexible, strong tissue similar to a rope that attaches the muscles to the bones. Tendons allow for the movement of the body’s limbs and help prevent muscle injury by absorbing muscles’ impact when running, jumping, or performing other actions. Ligaments are bands of solid elastic tissue that connect bone to bone, hold structures together and keep them stable, support the joints and limit their movement.
Tendons and Ligaments
Tendons are strong and non-flexible.
Ligaments are flexible and elastic.
Both comprise collagen and living cells, essential in joints and bones and integral to locomotion.
Tendons allow body movement by transmitting force from muscle to bone, allowing the body to stand, walk, and jump.
Ligaments work by allowing for the full range of motion.
Ligaments are around the knees, ankles, elbows, shoulders, and other joints.
The collagen connective tissue that makes up tendons and ligaments is the same; their patterns are different.
Tendon fibers are laid out in a parallel pattern.
Tendon connective tissue needs to have more elasticity to help move the muscles.
Ligament fibers are laid out in a crisscross pattern.
Ligament connective tissue stabilizes and strengthens the bones’ joint structure.
A tendon that gets overstretched or torn is known as a strain. Common areas affected by strains are the:
Strains often result from repetitive work movements, intense physical activity, and sports. Individuals who overuse their bodies without proper rest and muscle repair recovery have an increased risk of injury. Symptoms include:
A ligament that gets overstretched or torn results in a sprain. Sprains can happen suddenly from a fall, awkward movement, or trauma. Sprains commonly occur in the:
Misstep causing the ankle to twist in an awkward position, snapping a ligament and causing unstableness or wobbliness.
There could be a popping sensation or the feeling of a tear when the injury occurs.
Wrist sprains often happen when reaching out and extending the hands to break a fall, and the wrist hyperextending back.
The hyperextension overstretches the ligament.
Symptoms of a sprained ligament include:
The joint may feel loose or weak and unable to take on weight.
The intensity of symptoms varies depending on whether the ligament is overextended or torn. Sprains are classified by grade:
Grade 1 – a mild sprain with slight stretching of the ligament.
Grade 2 – a moderate ligament tear, but not a complete tear.
Grade 3 – a complete ligament tear, making the joint unstable.
Tendons and ligaments do not receive full blood circulation like other soft tissues. Depending on the severity of the injury, and the slower transfer of oxygen and nutrients, ligament and tendon injuries can take six to twelve weeks to heal, and repeatedly stressing the injured area from overuse can extend recovery. Chiropractic adjustments, and massage therapy, combined with corrective exercises and stretches, will reduce inflammation, decrease pain, improve the range of motion, increase nerve and muscle function, and strengthen the muscles. Chiropractic treatment involves:
Childress, Marc A, and Anthony Beutler. “Management of chronic tendon injuries.” American family physician vol. 87,7 (2013): 486-90.
Fenwick, Steven A et al. “The vasculature and its role in the damaged and healing tendon.” Arthritis research vol. 4,4 (2002): 252-60. doi:10.1186/ar416
Leong, Natalie L et al. “Tendon and Ligament Healing and Current Approaches to Tendon and Ligament Regeneration.” Journal of orthopedic research: official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society vol. 38,1 (2020): 7-12. doi:10.1002/jor.24475
When the body is correctly aligned, the shoulders are the same height, and face forward. Uneven shoulders are when one shoulder begins to raise higher than the other. It usually starts with a slight difference but can turn into a more severe imbalance causing discomfort, tightness, and pain in the neck, shoulders, hips, and back. Chiropractic treatment can bring the body back into balance and alignment through various techniques and therapy modalities.
Misaligned Uneven Shoulders
Several factors can lead to uneven shoulders. Misalignments can be caused by:
Often the shoulder on the dominant side tends to be slightly lower.
Constantly using one hand or side for everything.
Carrying a heavy bag on the dominant shoulder.
Structural issues or muscular skeletal imbalances in other areas of the body.
For example, if the ankle or hip gets injured, it can cause an individual to bring their body out of alignment to adjust to how they position themselves and move. Other common causes include:
Overuse of the shoulders
Tight upper back muscles
Varying leg length
Incorrect sleeping position or sleeping on one side
Sports like tennis, golf, and baseball have an increased risk of causing misaligned, uneven shoulders and posture imbalances.
Uneven shoulders can result in discomfort, tightness, and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and lower back.
Continued tightness and pulling in the higher shoulder.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Stress management. mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368
Mitchell, Caroline, et al. “Shoulder pain: diagnosis and management in primary care.” BMJ (Clinical research ed.) vol. 331,7525 (2005): 1124-8. doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7525.1124
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The game of baseball takes a toll on the body, especially when players advance from little league to high school, college, minor league, and the pros. The most common baseball injuries can range from mild to severe, from normal wear and tear on the joints and muscles to repetitive stress injuries, collisions with other players, getting hit with the ball, or bodily trauma. A chiropractor can provide ideal treatment for players of all ages and levels with decreased downtime and expedited healing and recovery.
Although there have been a lot of advances in player safety and health, from helmets with face guards to shin and arm padding, the equipment lessens the impact and risks of injury. The game still involves running, sliding, twisting, and jumping, causing the body to maneuver awkwardly. Players often report sliding into first, feeling a pop or twisting to catch a fly ball, and feeling something snap. The most common injuries include:
Cartilage surrounding the shoulder joint socket, known as the labrum, often gets torn.
The soft tissue keeps the bones in place and provides stability.
Pitching and throwing motions stress the labrum.
With time, the cartilage begins to overstretch and tear, leading to swelling, shoulder pain, weakness, and overall instability.
Rotator Cuff Tears
The rotator cuff structure involves a complex set of tendons and muscles that stabilize the shoulder.
Pitchers are the most vulnerable, but all players are susceptible.
Cases are caused by not warming up and stretching correctly and repetitive/overuse movements.
Swelling and pain are the most common symptoms.
With a severe tear, a player will lose the ability to rotate the shoulder correctly.
Shoulder Instability or Dead Arm
This is when the shoulder muscles become overly fatigued, and the joint becomes unstable, losing the ability to throw precisely.
The condition is called dead arm by players and trainers.
This type of injury is caused by overuse and repeated stress.
Healing involves letting the shoulder rest for an extended period, but treatment, like chiropractic or physical therapy, could be recommended depending on the severity.
A pitcher’s elbow injury is caused by overuse and sustained/repeated damage to the tendons that rotate the wrist.
Pain and swelling occur along the inside of the elbow and forearm.
Wrist Tendonitis and Trauma
Wrist Tendonitis or tenosynovitis happens when the ligaments and tendons become tender, swollen, ruptured, or torn.
This causes inflammation, pain, and weakness.
Trauma injuries can result from collisions with another player, the ground, or a ball.
Knee Tears and Trauma
Knee injuries can be caused by normal wear and tear, overuse, or traumatic impact.
The fibrous bands are what stabilize and cushion the knee.
Overuse and any awkward movement can cause the tearing of the various ligaments.
The bands can develop micro-tears or complete ruptures, causing inflammation, pain, and instability.
Chiropractic Care and Rehabilitation
Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy have been found to help athletes maintain flexibility and range of motion, rehabilitate the body after an injury, and prevent new injuries or worsening of current injuries.
Chiropractic helps stretch and flex the muscles to stay limber and less prone to injury.
Chiropractic is a natural pain reliever for sore muscles and joint pain.
Physical therapy can strengthen an injured area during recovery and educate on proper form and techniques.
Taping and strapping can help support the elbows, wrists, ankles, and knees, reducing stress.
A combination of treatment approaches can help decrease recovery time so players can get back on the field.
Shoulder Adjustment Baseball Injuries
Bullock, Garrett S et al. “Shoulder Range of Motion and Baseball Arm Injuries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Journal of athletic training vol. 53,12 (2018): 1190-1199. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-439-17
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Matsel, Kyle A et al. “Current Concepts in Arm Care Exercise Programs and Injury Risk Reduction in Adolescent Baseball Players: A Clinical Review.” Sports health vol. 13,3 (2021): 245-250. doi:10.1177/1941738120976384
Shitara, Hitoshi, et al. “Shoulder Stretching Intervention Reduces the Incidence of Shoulder and Elbow Injuries in High School Baseball Players: a Time-to-Event Analysis.” Scientific reports vol. 7 45304. 27 Mar. 2017, doi:10.1038/srep45304
Wilk, Kevin E, and Christopher A Arrigo. “Rehabilitation of Elbow Injuries: Nonoperative and Operative.” Clinics in sports medicine vol. 39,3 (2020): 687-715. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2020.02.010
Sciatica pain can radiate to the knee. Individuals with sciatica do report unique/unusual knee pain that was never there and no past or recent physical injuries. Sciatica is the culprit, as the knee muscles are powered and controlled by nerves in the lower spine. Irritation or compression of these nerves can cause symptoms that can include: random back pain, hamstring tightness, weakness in the hips or quadriceps, the development of bunions, and knee pain and/or weakness. Chiropractic treatment can release the compression, heal the sciatic nerve, and alleviate knee problems.
Sciatica Pain Can Radiate To The Knee
Spine conditions that can cause sciatica include:
Disc herniation – Where the inside of the discs leak out and compress and/or irritate surrounding nerves.
Bunions form from weakened stabilizing muscles that affect walking, running, and standing posture.
As sciatica pain can radiate to the knee, individuals will usually also experience pain in their buttocks, thigh, calf, and/or foot. The nerve sensations and other symptoms in the knee can be felt through a branch of the sciatic nerve known as the peroneal nerve.
The knee pain will last as long as sciatica does, depending on the type of sciatica, whether it is acute or chronic.
An acute sciatic episode usually resolves after a few weeks, with possible future flare-ups.
Chronic sciatica is a long-term condition that does not resolve independently and necessitates intervention by a specialist.
Chiropractic Treatment Plan
Depending on the diagnosis, a chiropractor will develop a personalized treatment plan to address the root cause and heal the injury. The treatment plan will include therapeutic massage, posture training, and at-home self-care to help heal and prevent future sciatica.
Physical therapy and therapeutic massage will loosen and relax the muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments.
Heat and ice, exercises, and stretches will prepare the muscles and nerves for chiropractic decompression adjustments.
Training will be provided to maintain the back, hips, knees, and feet in proper alignment.
Training on removing pressure from the lower back and restabilizing the rest of the body.
Training on proper body mechanics, safe lifting techniques, and injury prevention.
Training on self-care habits that include healthy weight, core strengthening exercises and stretches for the back muscles, and proper rest for a full recovery.
An anti-inflammatory diet to reduce/eliminate inflammation and achieve a healthy weight and a nutrition plan to maintain overall health.
Surgery is the final option when conservative treatments are not working.
Treating Severe & Complex Sciatica Syndromes
Dydyk AM, Khan MZ, Singh P. Radicular Back Pain. [Updated 2021 Nov 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546593/
Hirabayashi, Hiroki, et al. “Characteristics of L3 nerve root radiculopathy.” Surgical neurology vol. 72,1 (2009): 36-40; discussion 40. doi:10.1016/j.surneu.2008.08.073
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Jeong, Ui-Cheol, et al. “The effects of self-mobilization techniques for the sciatic nerves on physical functions and health of low back pain patients with lower limb radiating pain.” Journal of physical therapy science vol. 28,1 (2016): 46-50. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.46
Dislocations impact the joint and are injuries that force/knock the bones out of position. Dislocations can be caused by a motor vehicle collision, falls, sports trauma, or weakened muscles and tendons. However, less impact/force is needed to dislocate smaller joints. Dislocations commonly occur at the shoulders, ankles, knees, hips, elbows, fingers and toes, and the jaw. The experience causes swelling, inability to move, and pain. A joint dislocation chiropractor can manipulate, reset, rehabilitate and strengthen the affected area and rebalance the body.
The region where two or more bones come together is a joint. Each has a primary function, but their functions overlap. The joints allow the bones to move/articulate the skeletal system. Maintaining the body’s balance requires mobility and stability.
Mobility is the ability to move the body without restriction.
Stability is maintaining equilibrium, healthy posture, and support during movement.
The stable joints do not dislocate easily because their structures are not as flexible.
Mobile joints are at an increased risk, as they can move in almost any direction.
The kinetic chain is a sequence of joints forming an alternating pattern of stability and mobility that create a solid platform for dynamic movement. However, any joint can become dislocated, causing the affected area to become unsteady or immobile, strain or tear the surrounding muscles, nerves, and tendons which are the tissues that connect the bones to a joint.
A joint can be partially dislocated/subluxation or fully dislocated.
Joints dislocated previously have an increased risk of re-dislocating because the surrounding tissues that hold the joint have been torn or overly stretched.
Symptoms vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. Common symptoms include:
Loss of ability to move
Various factors can lead to joint dislocation, including:
Weakness of the supporting ligaments and muscles from natural wear and tear/age or lack of physical conditioning.
Older individuals with poor balance are more vulnerable to falls that can knock joints out of place.
Young children developing have more elastic supporting ligaments and are prone to falls, collisions, and other injuries.
Previous dislocations with overstretched or torn supporting tissues.
Repeated dislocations are likely to follow the shoulder, knee, and hip.
Physical activities like extreme sports, contact sports, or sports that involve quick body shifts, twists, and turns on the feet.
Physically demanding job.
Operating heavy machinery/equipment.
Joint hypermobility is common in children and around 5% of adults. It can be caused by weak or loose ligaments, weak or loose muscles, and/or shallow joint sockets.
Joint Dislocation Chiropractic
Treatment will vary based on the severity of the injury and the dislocated joint. Depending on the location and severity, a chiropractor will perform different movements/manipulations to realign the joint and strengthen the area.
Significant force could be necessary to pull the bones apart to realign them back into their proper position.
The joint may need to be pulled out and rotated slightly before being put back.
The focus is on increasing ligament strength.
Once the joint is back in place, it may need to remain immobile, possibly using a sling or splint to help fully heal the injury.
Physical therapy exercises will be recommended to strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the joint to support it optimally.
Shoulder Pain Chiropractic
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Reflex pain is a complex condition that involves the body’s pain withdrawal reflexfailing 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.
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:
Contracture – hardening or shortening of the affected muscles, tendons, or other tissues.
Decreased functional abilities.
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:
Somatic pain is often localized to a particular area that is constant and stimulated by movement. There are two types.
Superficial painoccurs 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.
Fall or collision that damages connective tissues.
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 excitabilityin the muscles. This can increase the activation of brain receptors that receive pain signals to respond by telling them to shorten and contract.
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
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Forearm pain refers to soreness, aches, or discomfort between the wrist and the elbow. An injury or inflammation can affect any tissues, including muscles, bones, blood vessels, tendons, and the skin. The causes usually include overuse injuries, pinched nerves, accidents causing trauma, lifting or heaving heavy objects, sports injuries, and fractures. If left untreated, issues like chronic muscle pain and decreased and disrupted blood/nerve circulation can develop, leading to numbness and weakness. Chiropractic treatment can release tension, massage, reset, and stretch the muscles to expedite healing.
The forearm comprises the radius and ulna, which extend the forearm’s length and cross at the wrist.
This bone starts at the elbow and connects to the wrist on the thumb side.
This bone begins at the elbow and connects to the wrist on the side of the little finger.
Several muscles operate to rotate the forearm up/supination and down/pronation and flex and extend the fingers.
Forearm pain can happen to anyone and is usually related to traumatic or repetitive use injury. In other cases, pain may be associated with a benign growth, like a cyst or possibly a malignant tumor. Common causes include:
Pulled and/or strained muscles
Muscle ruptures or small tears
A direct blow, fall, or any extreme twisting, bending or jamming action.
Tendonitis from tennis or golfers elbow.
Tennis elbow is caused by inflammation or tiny tears in the forearm muscles and tendons outside the elbow.
Golfers’ elbow is on the inside of the elbow.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a repetitive stress disorder that affects the nerves and tendons of the wrist and forearm.
The musculoskeletal causes involve issues in how the forearm components operate together.
Repetitive actions like lifting, gripping, and typing can compress nerves and blood vessels throughout the forearm.
Forearm problems like dislocations or sprains can also lead to chronic inflammation and pain.
Traumatic causes include those that result in injury to components of the forearm.
Anything that causes a direct injury to the forearm, including an automobile crash or accident, fall, or a direct hit, can fracture bones in the forearm.
A sprain can twist or stretch a ligament or tendon.
Activities that cause bending, twisting, quick sudden movement or direct impact can result in sprained multiple ligaments in the forearm.
Healing forearm pain depends on the type of injury, location, and cause of the pain. Chiropractic addresses arm pain, tingling, and numbness in ways often overlooked by general physicians.
A chiropractor will perform a physical examination to determine if there are any underlying causes.
They may apply an ice pack to help control inflammation before the massage.
The chiropractor will perform gentle adjustments to the wrist, arm, and shoulder.
They may recommend a forearm brace to help retrain positioning and movement.
They will recommend exercises and stretches to strengthen and maintain the adjustments.
Carpal Tunnel Pain Treatment
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Suito, Motomu, et al. “Intertendinous epidermoid cyst of the forearm.” Case reports in plastic surgery & hand surgery vol. 6,1 25-28. 28 Jan. 2019, doi:10.1080/23320885.2018.1564314
Injury Medical Spinal Decompression: Spinal decompression therapy/treatment can be surgical or non-surgical, with differences in the procedure, recovery time, and results. Individuals who experience compression-related problems can have severe and prolonged spinal conditions that can lead to various health issues. Individuals experiencing persistent or chronic neck, back, or leg pain should know the differences between surgical and non-surgical spinal decompression. Spinal decompression aims to relieve pressure on the discs and reduce stress on the nervesto eliminate the pain associated with compression on the spine,restoring optimal circulation and improving spinal function.
It is invasive, must be performed by a surgeon, and can have a recovery time of up to 6 weeks.
Surgery is usually suggested as a last resort after alternative therapies have not succeeded or when the compression is so severe that surgery is the only option.
Surgical spinal decompression is directed towards removal to reduce pressure instead of adjusting or stretching the discs.
In cases of severe nerve compression, surgery can be an effective option.
Risks include infection, damage to the spinal cord, and blood clots.
Types of Spinal Decompression Surgery
Types of surgeries; spinal fusion could be necessary to stabilize the spine. Common types of back surgery:
This procedure removes a portion of the disc to relieve pressure on nerves.
The procedureremoves a small portion of the bone or a section of the bony arch to increase the size of the spinal canal and relieve pressure.
The procedureremoves theentire bony arch or lamina to increase the size of the spinal canal and relieve pressure.
This procedure removes bone and other tissue to widen the openings for the nerve roots to pass through.
The procedure removes a vertebral body along with discs.
Injury Medical Spinal Decompression
Surgery for a damaged/injured spine is not always necessary. Treatment regimes vary depending on each individual’s medical condition. Non-surgical motorized spinal decompression is a non-invasive back treatment that uses a mechanized decompression table to slowly and gently stretch the spine. The therapy gradually relieves the pressure on the compressed nerve root/s resulting in reduced or complete alleviation of pain.
Oxygen, water, and nutrients circulate abundantly, promoting healing as the discs re-hydrate, and are re-nourished, improving and enhancing spine function. Individuals can enjoy increased levels of mobility, strength in the spine and muscles, and more flexibility.
Descompresión Espinal Con La DRX9000
American Spinal Decompression Association: “Spinal Decompression Therapy.”
Daniel, D.M. Chiropractic and Osteopathy, 2007.
Macario, Alex, and Joseph V Pergolizzi. “Systematic literature review of spinal decompression via motorized traction for chronic discogenic low back pain.” Pain practice: the official journal of World Institute of Pain vol. 6,3 (2006): 171-8. doi:10.1111/j.1533-2500.2006.00082.x
For older individuals, experiencing frequent low back pain could turn out to be a sacral fracture. They tend to occur in individuals over the age of 60 often because there has been a degree of bone loss. Sacral fractures tend not to be the first thing doctors think of when low back pain symptoms are presenting. They are often not picked up on X-rays and are either not diagnosed early enough to take steps or not diagnosed at all. However, they are common.
The sacrum is shaped like a triangle and comprises five segments fused into one large bone. It sits at the base of the spine, between the two halves of the pelvis, connecting the spine to the lower half of the body. It stabilizes the body when walking, sitting, or standing. The nerves in the lower spine control the bowels bladder and provide sensation to the region.
The two dimples that can be seen on individuals’ backs are where the sacrum joins the hipbones or the sacroiliac joint.
The point where the low back joins the sacrum can develop discomfort, soreness, and pain.
This area experiences stress from bending, twisting, reaching, lifting, carrying during physical activities or sitting for long periods.
Most sacral fractures result from trauma, like slips, falls, and automobile accidents. Stress fractures that happen without a specific injury are also called insufficiency fractures.
Types of Sacral Fractures
Low-energy fractures usually happen to older individuals with weak bones due to osteoporosis.
An individual trips on something, lands hard on their butt, lifts a heavy object awkwardly, or over-exerts themselves from some physical activity.
Then persistent back or buttock pain begins to present.
The pain is often centered in the lower back, the hips, and butt.
It is more than just back achiness.
The individual goes to the doctor, and X-rays are ordered.
A lot of the time, these fractures are missed on X-rays.
The doctor may diagnose a sprain, but the pain symptoms do not improve.
Sometimes there is no apparent cause for the pain.
It can be misdiagnosed as a lower back compression fracture or urinary tract infection.
High-energy fractures are due to trauma and are more common among the young.
The individual sustains injuries from an auto accident, has fallen from a significant height, or suffers a sports injury.
It results in severe pain.
A woman who has just had a baby and gone through some bone loss because of the pregnancy can experience a sacral stress fracture.
For individuals that have been to a doctor and had an X-ray that reveals no fracture, and there is no improvement after 5 to 7 days, it is recommended to schedule another appointment and ask for a CAT scan or MRI, which is highly effective at finding a sacral fracture.
Treatment consists of resting the bone but still being safely active in most cases.
Medication is prescribed for pain relief.
Many individuals have been found to do well with anti-inflammatory medications, topical medications, and lidocaine patches.
Older individuals may be recommended to use a walker during the treatment/healing process.
Depending on the severity, crutches may be recommended.
Engaging in regular exercise is not recommended, but too much bed rest is also not recommended.
Too much rest may not allow the injury to heal correctly, worsen the injury, and/or cause new injuries.
Chiropractic and physical therapy are not recommended to let the sacrum naturally heal.
After the pain subsides, chiropractic and physical therapy can be implemented to maintain agility and flexibility and strengthen the pelvic and core muscles.
In some cases, if the bone does not heal correctly or some other issue, sacroplasty could be recommended. This is a minimally invasive procedure that injects bone cement into the fracture. It offers quick and long-lasting pain relief with a low percentage of complications. It is considered low risk and can be done by an interventional radiologist or spine surgeon.
To minimize the risk of a sacral fracture, it is highly recommended to maintain bone strength. This consists of:
Gibbs, Wende Nocton, and Amish Doshi. “Sacral Fractures and Sacroplasty.” Neuroimaging clinics of North America vol. 29,4 (2019): 515-527. doi:10.1016/j.nic.2019.07.003
Holmes, Michael W R, et al. “Evaluating Abdominal and Lower-Back Muscle Activity While Performing Core Exercises on a Stability Ball and a Dynamic Office Chair.” Human factors vol. 57,7 (2015): 1149-61. doi:10.1177/0018720815593184
Santolini, Emmanuele et al. “Sacral fractures: issues, challenges, solutions.” EFORT open reviews vol. 5,5 299-311. 5 May. 2020, doi:10.1302/2058-5241.5.190064
The temporomandibular (tem-puh-roe-man-dib-u-lur) joint TMJ acts as a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. There is one joint on each side of the jaw. TMJ jaw disorders are also known as temporomandibular disorders – TMD. These disorders affect the connecting point between the jaw and the skull that causes swelling and pain in the joint and the muscles that control movement. The disorder can be caused by a combination of factors, like stress, genetics, arthritis, or injury. The symptoms, pain, and discomfort are often temporary and can be relieved with self-care and nonsurgical treatment like chiropractic.
If the jaw is not moving correctly or becomes imbalanced, it can stress the temporomandibular joint. If this happens, the jaw muscles and the neck and shoulder muscles can tense up and over time become fatigued as they overwork to compensate and keep the jaw balanced. The bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disc to maintain smooth movement. Jaw disorders can happen if:
The disc erodes or moves out of alignment.
The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis.
The joint is damaged by impact trauma like hitting the head from a fall or sports accident.
Individuals that have been in an automobile accident.
Other factors include:
Tension or stress can cause individuals to grind or clench their teeth, known as bruxism.
Not all carbs are equal, with some having a more significant effect on insulin levels than others. For individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance, this is important. A food’s Glycemic Index – ranging from 0 to 100 – indicates how a particular carbohydrate will affect blood sugar and insulin levels.
Foods that digest quickly are high on the index.
Foods that digest slowly are lower on the index.
Foods high on the GI scale, include potatoes and white bread, are quickly broken down. This is what happens when going through a sugar rush that comes crashing down minutes later. Foods low on the GI scale, include sweet potatoes and whole oats, are digested gradually. This results in a steady rise in blood sugar levels. The following factors may influence the GI scale:
The more processed the food, the higher the GI.
Fat and acid content
Foods high in fat, acid, or carbs eaten with fat or acid tend to have a lower GI.
Fiber slows down the rate of digestion, leading to a gradual, healthy rise in blood sugar levels.
Ripened fruits tend to have a higher GI than unripened fruit.
Alcantara, Joel et al. “Chiropractic care of a patient with temporomandibular disorder and atlas subluxation.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 25,1 (2002): 63-70. doi:10.1067/mmt.2002.120415
DeVocht, James W et al. “A pilot study of a chiropractic intervention for management of chronic myofascial temporomandibular disorder.” Journal of the American Dental Association (1939) vol. 144,10 (2013): 1154-63. doi:10.14219/jada.archive.2013.0034
Pavia, Steven et al. “Chiropractic Treatment of Temporomandibular Dysfunction: A Retrospective Case Series.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 14,4 (2015): 279-84. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2015.08.005
Rubis, Lisa M et al. “A collaborative approach between chiropractic and dentistry to address temporomandibular dysfunction: a case report.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 13,1 (2014): 55-61. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2013.10.003
The thoracic spine, also known as the upper or middle back, is designed for stability to anchor the rib cage and protect the organs in the chest. It is highly resistant to injury and pain. However, when thoracic back pain does present, it is usually from long-term posture problems or an injury. Thoracic back pain is less common than lower back and neck pain, but it does affect up to 20% of the population, particularly women. Treatment options include chiropractic for quick and long-term pain relief.
Thoracic Back Pain and Soreness
The thoracic area is vital for various functions related to:
Upper back pain usually feels like a sharp, burning pain localized to one spot or a general achiness that can flare up and spread out to the shoulder, neck, and arms.
Types of Upper Back Pain
General spinal misalignments
Depending on what specific tissues are affected, pain can occur with breathing or arm use. It is recommended to have a healthcare professional perform an examination and get an accurate diagnosis. A chiropractor understands the delicate balance and functions that the thoracic spine provides and can develop a proper treatment plan.
Treatment options will depend on the symptoms, underlying dysfunctions, and individual preferences. Recommendations for treatment often include:
Spine adjustments to improve alignment and nerve integrity.
Posture training to maintain spinal alignment.
Exercise training to restore muscular balance.
Non-invasive pain-relieving techniques.
Plant-Based Diets for Weight Loss
Individuals who follow vegan, vegetarian, and semivegetarian diets have reported and shown they are less likely to be overweight or obese. This can indicate that reducing intake of meat and animal products is beneficial for weight loss. Studies have found that individuals who follow a vegan diet may lose more weight than individuals on a more conventional weight loss diet, even with similar calories consumed, and often have significant improvements in blood sugar and inflammation markers.
Plant-Based Protein and Muscle Gain
Some plant-based proteins are just as effective as animal protein at promoting muscle gain. A study found that supplementing rice protein following resistance training had similar benefits to whey protein supplementation. Both groups had:
Briggs AM, Smith AJ, Straker LM, Bragge P. Thoracic spine pain in the general population: prevalence, incidence and associated factors in children, adolescents and adults. A systematic review. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009;10:77.
Cichoń, Dorota et al. “Efficacy of Physiotherapy in Reducing Back Pain and Improve Joint Mobility in Older Women.” Ortopedia, traumatologia, rehabilitacja vol. 21,1 (2019): 45-55. doi:10.5604/01.3001.0013.1115
Fouquet N, Bodin J, Descatha A, et al. Prevalence of thoracic spine pain in a surveillance network. Occup Med (Lond). 2015;65(2):122-5.
Jäger, Ralf et al. “Comparison of rice and whey protein isolate digestion rate and amino acid absorption.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 10,Suppl 1 P12. 6 Dec. 2013, doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-S1-P12
Joy, Jordan M et al. “The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance.” Nutrition journal vol. 12 86. 20 Jun. 2013, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-86
Medawar, Evelyn et al. “The effects of plant-based diets on the body and the brain: a systematic review.” Translational psychiatry vol. 9,1 226. 12 Sep. 2019, doi:10.1038/s41398-019-0552-0
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Pope, Malcolm H et al. “Spine ergonomics.” Annual review of biomedical engineering vol. 4 (2002): 49-68. doi:10.1146/annurev.bioeng.4.092101.122107
Musculoskeletal Disorders, or MSDs, are injuries, conditions, and disorders that affect the body’s musculoskeletal system. It includes the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, bones, and joints. MSDs are common, and the risk of developing them increases with age. The severity of an MSD can vary. They cause discomfort, recurrent pain, stiffness, swelling, and aching that interfere with everyday activities. Early diagnosis and treatment can alleviate symptoms and improve long-term health. Common disorders include:
The term musculoskeletal disorder is used as it accurately describes the injury or condition. Other terms used are repetitive motion injury, repetitive stress injury, and overuse injury. When individuals are exposed to MSD risk factors, they begin to fatigue. This can start a musculoskeletal imbalance. With time, fatigue completely overtakes recovery/healing, and the musculoskeletal imbalance continues, a musculoskeletal disorder develops. The risk factors are broken into two categories: work-related/ergonomic risk factors and individual-related risk factors.
High Task Repetition
Many work tasks and cycles are repetitive and are typically controlled by hourly or daily production targets and work processes.
High task repetition combined with other risks factors like high force and/or awkward postures can contribute to the formation of MSD.
A job is considered highly repetitive if the cycle time is 30 seconds or less.
Many job tasks require high force loads on the body.
Muscle effort increases in response to high force requirements. This increases associated fatigue.
Repetitive or Sustained Awkward Postures
Awkward postures place excessive force on joints, overload the muscles and tendons around affected joints.
The joints of the body are most efficient when they operate close to the mid-range motion of the joint.
The risk of MSD is increased when the joints are worked outside of this mid-range repetitively for sustained periods without a proper amount of recovery time.
Unhealthy work practices
Lack of physical activity/fitness
Unhealthy Work Practices
Individuals that engage in poor work practices, body mechanics, and lifting techniques are introducing unnecessary risk factors.
These poor practices create unnecessary stress on the body that increases fatigue and decreases the body’s ability to recover properly.
Poor Health Habits
Individuals who smoke, drink excessively, are obese, or exhibit numerous other poor health habits put themselves at risk for musculoskeletal disorders and other chronic diseases.
Insufficient Rest and Recovery
Individuals that do not get adequate rest and recovery put themselves at higher risk.
MSDs develop when fatigue outruns the individual’s recovery system, causing a musculoskeletal imbalance.
Poor Diet, Fitness, and Hydration
Individuals who eat unhealthily are dehydrated, at a poor level of physical fitness, and do not take care of their bodies are putting themselves at a higher risk of developing musculoskeletal and chronic health problems.
The causes of musculoskeletal disorders are varied. Muscle tissue can be damaged with the wear and tear of daily work, school, and physical activities. Trauma to the body can come from:
Auto accident injuries
Direct trauma to the muscle/s
Poor body mechanics can cause spinal alignment problems and muscle shortening, causing other muscles to be strained, causing problems and pain.
A doctor will recommend a treatment plan based on the diagnosis and severity of the symptoms. They may recommend moderate exercise and over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to address occasional discomfort or pain. They often recommend chiropractic and physical therapy rehabilitation to learn how to manage pain and discomfort, maintain strength, range of motion, and adjust everyday activities. Different types of manual therapy, or mobilization, can treat body alignment problems. A doctor may prescribe medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories NSAIDs to reduce inflammation and pain for more severe symptoms. For individuals with musculoskeletal disorders like fibromyalgia, medications to increase the body’s level of serotonin and norepinephrine may be prescribed in low doses to modulate sleep, pain, and immune system function.
Types of Pain
Pain can be grouped into three categories:
Early Warning Pain
This is most recognizable after having just touched a pan, and the hand jerks away before realizing how hot the pan is, also known as the withdrawal reflex.
This is a protective mechanism that helps avoid danger and is vital for survival.
This type of pain happens after an injury or surgery while the body is healing and recovering.
Inflammation prevents the body from performing movements to prevent and avoid re-injury.
This type of pain can happen after the body has healed, but the nervous system has been damaged.
This is often the case with individuals who sustain an injury and inform doctors that the injured area is never the same.
If the rehabilitation does not correctly heal the nervous system, protective pain measures can generate a false alarm causing pain signals to fire off.
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Muscle spasms also referred to as muscle cramps, are painful contractions and tightening of the muscles. They are common, involuntary, and unpredictable. Temperature drops and cold weather can cause the muscles and joints to contract and tighten, leading to spasms and pain. Chiropractic, physical therapy massage, exercises, stretching, and an anti-inflammatory diet can bring relief and help strengthen the muscles to prevent future episodes.
Spasms are common and can affect any of the muscles. They can involve part of a muscle, all of a muscle, or several muscles in a group. Spasms occur when the muscle/s involuntary and forcibly contract uncontrollably and are unable to relax. The most common sites for muscle spasms include:
As the weather gets colder, this causes the muscles in the body to lose heat, causing them to contract. As a result, the muscles and joints become tighter, stiffer, and decrease mobility and range of motion. This forces the muscles to work harder than usual to compensate. This can increase the fatigue of the muscles, leading to more prolonged bouts of pain and discomfort after physical activity, movement, exercise, etc.
Symptoms and Causes
A cramp can last a few seconds or last up to 15 minutes. During a muscle spasm, the following may be experienced:
Twitching in the muscle.
Pain in the muscle.
Hardness and/or stiffness.
The muscles appear physically distorted.
Because the muscles have to work harder, the cold weather can increase muscle spasms. One of the most common causes of muscle spasms is overuse and fatigue. However, exact causes vary from person to person. Some experts believe that one or more of the following contribute to the spasms/cramps, and they include:
Not stretching the body regularly.
Restricted blood circulation.
Involuntary nerve discharge/s.
Exercising in the heat.
Exhaustion of salts and minerals:
Possible causes for leg cramps at night or nocturnal leg cramps specifically include:
Sitting for too long without moving around to keep circulation healthy.
Sitting with unhealthy posture.
Overusing the muscles.
Standing or working on hard floors.
Dealing With The Cold
One way to deal with the cold is to warm up before any physical activity. Taking a few minutes to get the heart rate up can increase the blood flow and flexibility of the muscles. This will ensure the muscles are functioning correctly and avoid the need to work harder to stop spasms. When a cramp strikes, there are a few steps to try to alleviate the spasm:
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