Effective Treatments for Shin Splints

Shin SplintsShin splints are also known as medial tibial stress syndrome.

Shin splints is a condition characterized by pain in the lower leg brought on by running or other athletic activity. It can also be caused or exacerbated by ill-fitting or inadequate shoes past their prime. It is an injury that causes inflammation of the muscles in the lower leg including the posterior tibialis, anterior tibialis, and flexor hallicus longus. The muscles are used in ankle plantar flexion—pointing your forefoot downward and is used in deceleration as seen in runners who do a lot of hill work up and down.   Athletes who are required to stop and go frequently, such as in soccer or basketball may also have difficulties with shin splints.  In severe cases, the pain does not stop following the end of athletic activity.  If left untreated, shin splints can prevent involvement in future athletic activity.

Common treatments for this condition are NSAIDs, rest and ice. These treatments are not always ideal. Long term use of anti-inflammatory medication can cause serious health risks. Rest is not always possible during the height of the athletic season, for those who are weekend warriors, work still calls. These treatments will cause a reduction of symptoms, but will do nothing to prevent shin splints from occurring again.

A Chiropractic Approach to Shin Splints

A chiropractic approach allows the patient to treat the shin splints while limiting the use of NSAIDs. In addition, chiropractic approaches can accelerate the healing process, reducing the need for prolonged rest. Shin splints are caused by injury not a disease process, so of course prevention of the initial injury as well as avoidance of recurrence is ideal.

Chiropractic prevention and treatment for shin splints include:

  • running gait analysis to address any muscular imbalances
  • manual therapy of the inflamed muscle to speed up the reduction of swelling
  • ultrasound therapy
  • kinesio taping
  • natural topical anti-inflammatory with formulations including arnica, curcumin, boswellia
  • education about proper fitting shoes

Usually with active care, under professional supervision the condition is reduced in a matter of days and under control in weeks. With proper education it is easy to prevent the recurrence of shin splints.

Stretching lower leg muscles such as the Gastrocnemius-Soleus Stretch will help (30secs X 3 sets).

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Strengthening exercises for the tibialis posterior and tibialis anterior are also helpful.  This done by toe walking and heel walking for several minutes each way 2-3 X per day.

Vijay Patel (77 Posts)

Dr. Vijay Patel earned his doctoral degree in Chiropractic from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois. Dr. Patel is board certified in electrodiagnostics by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. Patel has recently received training in Manipulation under Anesthsia (MUA). Constantly striving to give his patients the most up-to-date care possible, Dr. Patel attends many post-graduate seminars including such topics as neurology, research review, and sports performance enhancement. Dr. Patel has practiced medicine at Advanced Physical Medicine and Therapy in Mt. Prospect, Illinois since 1999. Dr. Patel currently serves as president of the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Chiropractic Society. He is also a member of both the National College of Chiropractic Alumni Association and the American Chiropractic Association. Dr. Patel is fluent in Gujarati. A lifelong runner, he has completed marathons and still competes in triathlons with his college mates.


Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2011/07/effective-treatments-for-shin-splints-mt-prospect/

How the Patel Family Celebrates the Fourth

 

The Patel Family Runners

 

I am so proud of my kids for participating in their runs this past weekend.  While I was running a 10K, my two eldest completed their first 5K.  Way to go!  My youngest son completed a 1/4 mile dash.  It is so great to see my kids enjoying running.  My 8-year-old surprised us all by completing the 5K in 29:32!  Not my typical blog entry, but I couldn’t resist a small parental brag.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2011/07/how-the-patel-family-celebrates-the-fourth/

Migraine Does Not Have To Be Your Normal!

It’s tough for anyone to understand headaches, especially migraine headaches if you have never suffered through one. Migraines effect up to 15% percent of the population and are significantly more common in women than in men.  Those with migraines often suffer debilitating headaches accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light.  For women, migraines are often associated with hormonal changes.  Migraine does not have to be your normal.  In this blog entry I will discuss various conservative treatment options for migraines that are supported by current headache research.
Traditional pharmaceutical treatments for migraines include Tylenol, Excedrin and other caffeine containing analgesics; amitriptyline ( also known as Elavil, Tryptizol, Laroxyl, Sarotex, Lentizol); Topamax and Imitrix.  These formulations provide temporary relief but research cannot confirm that these medications are effective long-term.  In addition,  these medications may cause a variety of side effects.  In many cases, long-term use of the above medications increases headache frequency following discontinuation of use.

Migraines and Chiropractic Care

Latest research indicates the benefits of conservative treatment are at least equally effective and possibly more so than medications such as amitryptiline, Topamax, Imitrix, without the risk of side effects.  In addition, conservative treatment reduces  the frequency and severity of headaches when compared to pre treatment headaches rates.  The same statement cannot be made with pharmaceutical treatment of migraine.  Conservative treatments aim to prevent the headache from occurring in the first place.  As migraine sufferers know, it is much easier to prevent a headache than to stop it once it starts. To begin, I will discuss physical medicine’s role in treating migraines and then I will address nutraceutical  approaches to prevent migraines.
Chiropractic adjustments of the cervical region of the spine provide documented long-term reduction in headaches. A significant number of migraine suffers report a decrease in the intensity and frequency of their headaches as well as decrease in the amount of medication used.  In some cases medication use stopped completely!   Usually the cause for head pain is found in the upper cervical spine.  The research literature documents the effectiveness of chiropractic cervical manipulation to reduce both the frequency and severity of migraine headaches in many sufferers, even after treatment is discontinued.
Deep tissue massage to upper cervical musculature and trigger point therapy is also useful in the reduction of migraine pain. The purpose of trigger point therapy is to release compressed nerves that are involved with the onset of migraine.   This type of treatment is best used in conjunction with other therapies, but may provide relief for the migraine sufferer.

Alternative Treatments for Migraine Headaches

The practice of relaxation techniques and meditation have also shown success in the treatment of migraine pain once it has begun.
Nutraceutical approaches may also be helpful and have shown success in reducing incidence of migraine headaches.  Some of the following treatment regimens are helpful to sufferers of migraines.  You may want to discuss the following options with your health care provider.
Magnesium supplementation has also been found to reduce migraine frequency, particularly migraines in children and in menstrual related migraines. It is important the magnesium be pharmaceutical grade, highly absorbable magnesium.  Magnesium, in combination with B vitamin therapy,  can help reduce and in some cases eliminate migraines, particularly those that induced by the menstrual cycle.
Omega 3 can help provide headache relief.  Omega 3’s reduce inflammatory processes in the body.  Is it any surprise that Omega 3’s help yet another condition?
Feverfew and butterbur are two herbal supplements that have had initial success in preventing migraines.  It is important to check the quality of the butterbur.  Natural butterbur contains alkaloids that may damage the liver and lungs.  Check to make sure you are using a high quality butterbur supplement that has removed these alkaloids.  Before starting these herbals, discuss their use and appropriate dosage with your physician.
As sufferers of migraines know, it is important to know your triggers.  Headache triggers are many and varied.  Some you may be able to control, for example particular foods or lack of sleep may make it more likely to get a migraine.  Other triggers such as hormones and stress, are not directly in your control.  Even these triggers may be modified by exercise, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle choices.
With appropriate choices and treatment, the quality of life for migraine sufferers can be greatly improved!

References:

Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, Marcoux H, Potter B, Ruegg R, Shaw L, Watkin R, & White E. (2011). Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 34(5), 274-89.
Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ, & Russell MB. (2011). Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review. The Journal of Headache and Pain. 12(2), 127-33.
Diener HC, Rahlfs VW, & Danesch U. (2004). The first placebo-controlled trial of a special butterbur root extract for the prevention of migraine: reanalysis of efficacy criteria. European Neurology. 51(2), 89-97.
Dhillon KS, Singh J, & Lyall JS. (2011). A new horizon into the pathobiology, etiology and treatment of migraine. Medical Hypotheses. 77(1), 147-51.
Lipton RB, Gobel H, Einhaupl KM, Wilks K, & Mauskop A. (2004). Petasites hybridus root (butterbur) is an effective preventive treatment for migraine. Neurology. 63(12), 2240-4.
Schiapparelli P, Allais G, Castagnoli Gabellari I, Rolando S, Terzi MG, & Benedetto C. (2010). Non-pharmacological approach to migraine prophylaxis: part II. Neurological Sciences : Official Journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology. 31, S137-9.
Tuchin PJ, Pollard H, Bonello R. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2000;23(2):91-95.
Vijay Patel (77 Posts)

Dr. Vijay Patel earned his doctoral degree in Chiropractic from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois. Dr. Patel is board certified in electrodiagnostics by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. Patel has recently received training in Manipulation under Anesthsia (MUA). Constantly striving to give his patients the most up-to-date care possible, Dr. Patel attends many post-graduate seminars including such topics as neurology, research review, and sports performance enhancement. Dr. Patel has practiced medicine at Advanced Physical Medicine and Therapy in Mt. Prospect, Illinois since 1999. Dr. Patel currently serves as president of the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Chiropractic Society. He is also a member of both the National College of Chiropractic Alumni Association and the American Chiropractic Association. Dr. Patel is fluent in Gujarati. A lifelong runner, he has completed marathons and still competes in triathlons with his college mates.


Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2011/06/mt-prospect-migraine-treatment/

Plantar Fasciitis Explained

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A common complaint of patients with plantar fasciitis is heel or arch pain. Plantar fasciitis can cause extreme pain when standing or walking. It is often worse in the mornings or when moving from a seated position or non weight-bearing position. People often think a heel spur is the cause of this type of foot pain, however recent research supports that heel spurs do not cause pain.  It is the swelling of the soft band of tissues on the under surface of the heel and the arch that cause pain. This swelling and inflammation is known as plantar fasciitis.

Causes and risk factors included with plantar fasciitis are as follows:

  • problems with arches
  • obesity or sudden weight gain
  • pounding from long distance running particularly on uneven surfaces
  • tight muscles in the calf
  • arthritis
  • wearing high heels or shoes without proper support.

As with all conditions, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Plantar fasciitis is caused and exacerbated by many factors. To minimize your risk of plantar fasciitis try to not walk in bare or stocking feet on hard surfaces. The quality of your foot wear is also important. Choose high quality footwear made of shock absorbing material in the sole of the shoe. Stretch the lower leg and foot musculature using the following two stretches–the Plantar fascia stretch (above) and the gastrocnemius stretch (below).

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If you do have plantar fasciitis, you can reduce your pain with simple and effective treatments. Conservative medicine provides the most effective treatment. Custom made orthotics and better footwear is the first line of defense for both the treatments and prevention of plantar fasciitis. They will help provide adequate support for the musculature of the foot. Chiropractic manipulation of the joints of the foot and ankle can also provide relief for those suffering from heel pain. Other therapies may also be prescribed including myofascial release, therapeutic ultrasound and cryotherapy. NSAIDs can also provide pain relief. I like to accompany use of NSAIDs with a warning that long-term use of NSAIDs can have serious health consequences and should only be used under the supervision of a physician.  In addition, you will want to follow the preventative measure outlined above.

One can expect to experience some relief of plantar fasciial pain in as little as one treatment, but often treatment time can vary depending on the severity of the condition, compliance of the patient to home care and therapy regimen, as well as how long an individual has been suffering from pain prior to seeking care.  Incidence of recurrence is inversely proportional to the patients compliance to home based preventive measures.

 

 

Vijay Patel (77 Posts)

Dr. Vijay Patel earned his doctoral degree in Chiropractic from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois. Dr. Patel is board certified in electrodiagnostics by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. Patel has recently received training in Manipulation under Anesthsia (MUA). Constantly striving to give his patients the most up-to-date care possible, Dr. Patel attends many post-graduate seminars including such topics as neurology, research review, and sports performance enhancement. Dr. Patel has practiced medicine at Advanced Physical Medicine and Therapy in Mt. Prospect, Illinois since 1999. Dr. Patel currently serves as president of the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Chiropractic Society. He is also a member of both the National College of Chiropractic Alumni Association and the American Chiropractic Association. Dr. Patel is fluent in Gujarati. A lifelong runner, he has completed marathons and still competes in triathlons with his college mates.


 

Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2011/06/mt-prospect-plantar-fasciitis/

Exercise helps everything!

Someone said to me in passing, you know exercise helps everything, with maybe the exception of tooth decay. This statement is particularly true of lifestyle diseases: diabetes, asthma, heart disease, osteoporosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, metabolic syndrome, stroke, depression and obesity. Even if these issues are not yours, exercise is a great stress reliever. I am not writing anything controversial here. Most of you are nodding your head and saying “Yeah, I guess I should exercise more.”

I say it too. The other day, my daughter woke me at 6:15 saying “Come on Dad, let’s go for a run.” Now, I really wanted to roll over and catch another 45 minutes of sleep, but what parent can really say no to that request. Afterward she said to me “Isn’t it funny how when you start to run, you don’t really want to and its cold outside. Once you get going though you are really glad you did it.” Out of the mouths of babes.

We all know this. Yet I can safely bet that a large percentage of you are not involved in any regular exercise program. I believe what stops most people is their perfectionism. If you are going to work out it is a project. You have to research a gym. You have to find a trainer. You have to find the perfect bike. What you really need is to get up stop reading my blog and take a walk.

Successful exercise programs have some of the following characteristics.

First, they start small and build over time. Start by assessing where you are now and build from there. What can you do reasonably and safely? Develop a habit of fitness and allow yourself to build your routine from there. I often recommended walking or running to start because it is something that everyone can do without any special preparation beyond a good pair of supportive shoes. Start there, do it regularly for a month and then add from there.

Second, successful programs are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. If you work out at a gym is it close to your home or work? That fancy gym across town is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but if you have to drive 20 minutes each way to get there it is safe to say you won’t use your membership on a regular basis. My gym is right across the way, I am there in two minutes and work out on my lunch hour. Find a place to work out and do it regularly.

Another characteristic of good exercise programs involve something you enjoy. I love to run and it has always been at the core of my exercise program. My mother is a walker and has always tried to maintain a long walk as part of her daily routine. She walks with a neighbor and they encourage each other on the days you don’t feel like leaving the house. A routine you enjoy will be self reinforcing.

Finally good exercise programs often have a goal in mind. Personally, I like to know I have a race coming up. It helps keep me going on the days I might otherwise decide to “skip”. If you have never run a race, start with a local neighborhood race, a 5K. Many allow participants to walk. Many 5Ks are for charity. Pick one related to a charity that you support. If walking or running are not motivating to you, choose another goal. Being able to swim a certain distance, the feeling of well-being or increased self-esteem after a workout are worthy goals. My wife began exercising seriously for the first time after the birth of our third child. It was the only thing she could think of to do to give herself more energy, since more sleep wasn’t an option.

Notice, when discussing goals I did not mention the W word. Weight loss is usually not a good motivator for a regular exercise program. If you don’t lose weight fast enough, you may use that as an excuse to quit. Exercise should not be about losing weight as much as it should be about fitness and health. If you need some concrete evidence about what your exercise program is doing for you start by taking some baseline measurements, your BMI, your heart rate, body measurements all can be an objective way of seeing how your exercise program is affecting/benefiting your health. You may want to consider also your general feeling of health. I always notice an increase in my energy levels on the days when I work out. As an added bonus, I find I often eat better after exercising. That junk food doesn’t look so appealing after a run.

Exercise requires a simple commitment that you will get up and move every day. Make a promise to yourself to be an active participant in your own health and improve the quality of your life. The choice is yours, but it is an easy one to make.

Vijay Patel (77 Posts)

Dr. Vijay Patel earned his doctoral degree in Chiropractic from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, Illinois. Dr. Patel is board certified in electrodiagnostics by the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. Patel has recently received training in Manipulation under Anesthsia (MUA). Constantly striving to give his patients the most up-to-date care possible, Dr. Patel attends many post-graduate seminars including such topics as neurology, research review, and sports performance enhancement. Dr. Patel has practiced medicine at Advanced Physical Medicine and Therapy in Mt. Prospect, Illinois since 1999. Dr. Patel currently serves as president of the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Chiropractic Society. He is also a member of both the National College of Chiropractic Alumni Association and the American Chiropractic Association. Dr. Patel is fluent in Gujarati. A lifelong runner, he has completed marathons and still competes in triathlons with his college mates.


Permanent link to this article: http://apmt.us/2011/05/exercise-helps-everything/