Whiplash Neck Injuries

Whiplash Neck Injuries

What is Whiplash injury: Whiplash injuries refers to the injuries of the neck which are mainly caused by motor vehicle accident. It happened when the neck is suddenly jolted in one direction and then another. Some of the other causes of whiplash injuries are sports activities, fall or other work injuries. It is actually a descriptive term that defines the mechanism of injury. Whiplash injury can be caused by a strong side to side or backward and forward movement of the neck. Usually our neck muscles, ligaments and tendons are strong enough to sustain injuries but not enough to sustain extremely rapid extension followed by immediate excessive flexion of the neck. Which structures are involved: Whiplash injuries usually involve a combination of muscles, joints, ligaments and vertebral injuries. Sprain-strain injuries of the neck are common after road traffic accident. Our spinal column and head are supported by ligaments that also protect from excessive movement of the vertebrae. The sprain is caused when these ligaments are torn. The facet joints which are the joints of the vertebrae are covered with facet capsules that are common sites of whiplash injuries. Whiplash injuries also affect associated tendons and muscles. Disc herniation and vertebral fracture may also occur in case of severe strain. Signs and Symptoms of whiplash injury: Pain and stiffness in the neck are the most common symptoms of whiplash injury. The pain and discomfort worsen with the movement of the neck. Two third of the people also experience severe headache. The headache can be one sided or sometimes both regions are involved. You may feel pain and stiffness radiating to...
Biohacking for the Running Athlete

Biohacking for the Running Athlete

Biohacking for the running athlete is about finding out the top tips and tricks that can produce substantial changes in your performance.  These nutritional supplements are used by the top athletes in the sport.  When combining proper nutrition, recovery techniques, and exercise protocols you minimize the risk of loosing training time due to injury.  Injuries in running can cost an athlete an entire season especially if the timing of the injury or nutritional deficiency happens when the event is near by.  The risk associated with these supplements and tools are extremely low but consult your physical before starting any new program. Nutrition BaNa-BANa is a hydration beverage that naturally replenishes the body with the liquid it needs for maximum performance. Developed by Dr. Benjamin Yoo, an ER physician, BANa is modeled after saline IVs. By capitalizing on the hydrating properties of sodium*, BANa helps retain fluids that your body has lost. Omega 3 Fish Oil- Omega 3 Fatty Acids are essential to the human body but taken in high enough doses it can have a anti-inflammatory effect. Thorn Research makes some of the highest quality omega 3 fish oils.  During season take 4-5 grams per day. EXOS Research Curcumin-  While some inflammation is necessary to fight off infection and repair broken-down muscle after a workout, long-term inflammation can cause health issues. Curcumin, an antioxidant derived from turmeric (the primary ingredient in curry), has been shown to help maintain the body’s normal inflammatory response while also supporting joint, liver, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular function.* This supplement uses a phytosome-bound botanical extract to ensure maximum absorption compared to other curcumin products.* – UCAN: Generation UCAN...
Does Your Child Have Spear Tacklers Spine?

Does Your Child Have Spear Tacklers Spine?

What is Spear Tacklers Spine?  A spinal condition that could put your son at risk for neurological complications if not corrected before tackling. There have been increasing reports throughout the NFL and NCAA of increased brain injuries as a result of head and brain trauma.  The good news is that spinal research has finally increased the awareness of return to play requirements.  As I was growing up, I experienced this brain trauma first hand while playing football.  When you got your head rattled and couldn’t remember what just happened, you simply got told to shake it off.  There are several important things that can be done in order to still play football but limit your risk of serious injury.  One thing to start with is getting a baseline for Impact testing.  Impact testing needs a baseline to determine when your neurologic testing is back to being normal following a concussion. Without a baseline, it makes it difficult to determine what needs to be done in order to get back onto the field.  The second thing that most don’t realize is the problem of “spear tackler’s spine”.  It is common terminology in football to get what some would consider as a “stinger”.  This is when you hit someone and you would get a shooting pain into the arm and hand.  This occurs due to a sudden stretch of the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves traveling from your neck down into your arm.  The brachial plexus gives nerve supply to all the muscles of the arm and shoulder muscles. A view into my past with my current understanding of the spine allows a complete understanding of what...
Eliminating Stress Fractures

Eliminating Stress Fractures

What causes stress fractures to occur?  A stress fracture is an extremely common condition that happens to 1 out of 5 runners (1). This is a question asked by as many as 1,920,000 runners in the US alone that develop stress fractures (2).   There are two primary areas that stress fractures occur in runners.  One is in the foot bones or metatarsals and the other is in the shin bone or tibia.  On occasion, there could be stress fractures that occur in the hip and femur, but this is not nearly as common as the first two. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome / Stress Fractures The classic sign of medial tibial stress syndrome is extreme tenderness over the inner side of the shin bone just above the ankle and spanning over a 4-6cm distance.  The pain will worsen as the run goes on and typically goes away after the run is over.  This is an early sign and one that should not be ignored. The initial belief is that the stress fracture is caused by periosteal fractioning from the soleus and flexor digitorum longus.  More recently, we have found through research that this is not true, as the stress fracture or syndrome involves cortical bone.  One commonality that is found as a possible cause of stress syndrome or stress fracture is a smaller tibial cross sectional area.  A study was performed by Franklin et al that confirmed that runners with smaller tibial cross sectional areas had a greater chance of developing the syndrome compared to their uninjured counterparts (3).   This finding was supported with the work that was done by...
Shin Splint Treatment Guideline

Shin Splint Treatment Guideline

Running injuries effect millions of americans every year which prevents them from attaining their goal.  This goal may be running a marathon or running as a way to lose weight.  The problem with running is that it is a very repetitive task that can cause a laundry list of painful conditions.  These conditions are similar in any repetitive based activity.  Unfortunetely, runners have not yet had an injury named after the activity itself even though they could have several.  Let us take a look at other sports which have repetitive activities in which the injury is named after the sport or activity.  We can start with tennis elbow which is due to the excessive use of the wrist extensors. We also have golfers elbow due to the excessive use of the wrist flexors. Finally we have jumpers knee which is due to the excessive and repetitive force of the quadriceps contracting which causes irritation to the patellar tendon.  Runners get to enjoy a whole bunch of problems due to the amount of joints that are effected by the motion at hand.  These conditions can include: plantar fasciitis, shin splints, stress fractures, IT Band syndrome, as well as conditions like compartment syndrome and generalized knee pain.  The best action for runners to take is injury prevention.  Much of the prevention and treatment is designed to keep the lower leg tension free and to allow the entire leg to be able to handle the stress applied to it apporopriately.  Usually in running related injuries there will be a break down in the motion pattern which puts a greater concentration of force placed on one particular...
A Guide to Shoulder Pain Treatment

A Guide to Shoulder Pain Treatment

Shoulder Pain Treatment Program Rotator Cuff tears are a very common culprit to pain and should have special orthopedic testing to determine if tear is suspected before shoulder pain treatment is started.  These four tiny muscles are crucial for the stability of the shoulder.  Let’s take a look at what the rotator cuff does so we can understand why we need to approach the shoulder the way we do.  The shoulder is a ball and socket joint which means this joint will give up stability for mobility. The added mobility of this joint leaves the shoulder joint vulnerable to injuries. One of the many structures that can get injured is the capsular ligament.  This is a fibrocartilagenous ligament that can tear or weaken.  This ligament is considered one of the static stabilizers of the shoulder.  A static stabilizer is  any ligament or fibro-cartilagenous structure that connects the apposing bones and keeps stability. Another commonly injured structure in the shoulder joint is the labrum.  In the shoulder the labrum is fibrous  and deepens the shoulder cavity by 50% which adds some stability to this extremely mobile joint. Capsular ligament: is broken down into superior middle and the inferior complex. The Inferior is broken into anterior, posterior and inferior. This is the most important static stabilizer. Static Stabilizers of Shoulder= Ligaments / Cartilage Dynamic Stabilizers of Shoulder=  Muscles The 4 Ps of Shoulder Pain Treatment Plans Protector- These are your four rotator cuff muscles and part of you dynamic stabilizers (supraspinatus, teres minor, infraspinatus, subscapularis) Pivitor muscles- all of your scapular stabilizers (rhomboids, serratus anterior, levator scapula, trapezius) Positioner- The 3 different heads of the deltoid Propellor- Powerful movement muscles (pectoralis...
Getting Down To Your High School Weight and Win $500

Getting Down To Your High School Weight and Win $500

A Guide to Get You Back into your High School Clothes Best Before and After Gets $500 Dollar Gift Card This brief guide will be broken down into specifics for a diet promoting weight loss. If you are starting off this program and have an excessive amount of weight to lose then this is the article for you.  The more we can promote and share this free resource and get people involved in this holiday competition the better chance we have at beating obesity and decreasing the risk of obesity related deaths.  My goal is for you first to follow the program until you are within 5 pounds of your goal weight.  Our bodies are built to store fat and we need to put our body into a fat burning state until we have normalized our hormone release and have reduced our body weight to allow our insulin to properly manage our blood sugar levels in the body.  After you get to this stabilized level you can eat a diet that follows a program that is designed for health and disease prevention which will be material in future article. Weight Loss Program Our bodies are designed to store fat as a means of survival.  However, we never need to use this survival trait due to the convenience of fast food and and the ability to get food at a moments notice.  The survival mechanism in our body allows us to use our fat as energy reserve.  This was much more useful when there were times of famine due to harsh winters.  This is what makes losing weight so difficult.  We get...
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Plantar fasciitis treatment is a common pitfall effecting runners and people that are overweight.  Plantar fasciitis involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.  Plantar fasciitis treatment varies from profession to profession but ultimately it comes down to prevention and taking care of your feet.  The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that arises on the bottom of the feet.  This band of tissue can tighten and cause pain on the underside of the feet.  Typically, a person would describe the pain felt as like walking on shards of glass.  The pain would be worse in the morning and usually get better throughout the day.  Lets look at some of the treatment options both for at home and professional options. Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Exercises: Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Splint :  This brace is worn throughout the night and allows you to stretch the fascia when sleeping.  This method does get results but usually is not successful in chronic cases.  If you have had the problem for years, this option would be good to combine with professional care. Lacrosse Ball Massage– The lacrosse ball makes an excellent tool to break up the tight fascia on the underside of the foot.  It is usually best to do this massage while in a chair and perform on each foot for several minutes.  The lacrosse ball makes a great choice because it does not flatten much when pressing down on the ball.  This allows greater blood flow to get to the tissue and...
Tennis Elbow Treatment

Tennis Elbow Treatment

Effective tennis elbow treatment involves a complicated process of finding the source of the problem.  When dealing with chronic tennis elbow, one must act like a detective and figure out all the complicating factors that might cause the not only the pain caused but the problem to the muscle.  To understand tennis elbow we must look at what tennis elbow is and how it starts.  Fixing tennis elbow sounds like all you have to do is avoid the use of your elbow and the problem is solved.  However, there are several complicating factors such as: shoulder movement restrictions, decreased hand strength, as well as functional biomechanics of your swing that could be a culprit to the problem. Tennis elbow is a condition in which there is an irritation due to chronic repetitive use of the wrist extensors.  The symptoms of tennis elbow are as follow: Pain is felt on the outside of the elbow. It is more common for the pain to gradual increase over time. Pain is worse when shaking hands or squeezing objects and can usually be associated with a feeling of weakness. Examples include lifting, using tools, opening jars, or even handling simple utensils such as a toothbrush or knife and fork. Prevention As the name suggests tennis elbow is very common in tennis players due to the repetitive nature of the game.  The best tennis elbow treatment to keep you from getting tennis elbow would to be to follow the exercises listed below.  Tennis elbow treatment is very difficult especially when a player doesn’t want to take time off from playing.  Making sure to do these stretches...
Best Exercises for Low Back Pain

Best Exercises for Low Back Pain

A common question that is asked in our practice is, what are the best exercises for low back pain.   Low back pain is an extremely common complaint that is seen frequently in hospitals, emergency rooms, as well as primary care physcians’ offices.  We have created what we feel are the best starter exercises for low back pain relief and prevention.  Keep in mind that exercise is just part of the problem and without knowing exactly what the structure of your spine looks like, it is hard to determine to what extent this form of exercise will improve your condition.  These exercises are common in physical therapy programs with a focus to increase the stability of the low back.  A commonly misunderstood belief of stretching is that daily stretching is good for keeping the low back healthy.  However, most people fail to realize the importance of keeping motion and stretching certain motions rather then making a gross statement that all stretching is good.  Stretching should be focused on joints that were designed for large degrees of range of motion (hip).  We want a majority of the motion to occur in the hips where motion should occur keeping the low back for stability and endurance. Bird Dog (3 sets of 10 reps) Starting picture above on the left, focus on brining opposite arm straight forward and your opposite leg straight back.  We want this to be a slow process in which we focus on keeping the back perfectly still during the entire time.  Imagine you had a cup of water on you low back and you had to perform the entire process of...