Chiropractic and plantar fasciitis

Chiropractic and plantar fasciitisThe subject of this article concerns a fairly common condition called plantar fasciitis. I received the question of whether this condition could be treated in chiropractic. Well yes, chiropractic may be effective in treating this condition.

First, what is a plantar fasciitis? This is actually an irritation of a ligament (fascia, hence the name fasciitis) located under the foot (in the arch of the foot). The fascia attaches on a small area of the heel bone and then expand and attaches again under all the toes. When there is an irritation of the fascia, pain is usually felt under the heel. The pain is particularly intense after a prolonged period of immobility, such as getting out of bed in the morning. Patients often feel like if they have a needle under their heel. It may happen that the pain is also felt in the arch of the foot or on the sides of the heel. Generally, pain decreases as the fascia is warming up (ex: walking for a few minutes).

Causes of plantar fasciitis are numerous. For example, prolonged walking on a hard surface, wearing shoes that do not have a good support (ex: high heels), mechanical problems of the foot, ankle, knee and even the pelvis, excess weight, etc.

If the plantar fasciitis persists for an extended period, a calcium deposit can develop where the fascia attaches on the heel, thus causing a bone spur, also known as the Lenoir’s spur (épine de Lenoir).

The good news is that this condition could be improved through chiropractic care. First, a physical examination is necessary to determine the exact cause of irritation. As mentioned earlier, the problem could be limited to the foot, but it is also possible that an imbalance of the pelvis causes the irritation of fascia (caused by the difference of weight on each foot). Your chiropractor will be able to assess the problem. Once the origin of the problem established, chiropractic treatment usually consists of restoring the proper mechanical function of the pelvis, knees, ankles and feet. Muscle techniques are used to reduce the tension in the fascia. Your chiropractor will also be able to give you exercises to do at home in order to help the fascia regain more flexibility. For example, you can massage the fascia by placing a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot on it. Stretching the muscles of the leg and foot are also necessary to treat the condition. If your chiropractor believes that orthotics might help you resolve the condition, he could refer you to a podiatrist for custom foot orthotics. Applying ice under the foot could also help reduce the inflammation of the fascia.

Typically, this condition responds well to chiropractic care. In the event that the results would be limited to conservative care, other interventions are possible. For example, taking anti-inflammatory or having injections in the foot could be considered (a consultation with your medical doctor will be necessary).

If you suffer from this condition, consult a chiropractor today. Not only the condition might take less time to treat, but you will also prevent the irritation of other related structures such as your knees or even your back.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from your chiropractorHello everyone!

I want to take a few minutes to wish you a Happy New Year! Thank you for letting me be your partner in health.

For 2015, I’ll continue to publish articles on my blog in order to keep you informed of what’s new in the health field. As usual, send me your questions and article ideas and it’ll be my pleasure to answer you back.

Again, Happy New Year! Health and Happiness to you and your family

Your family chiropractor

Dr André Emond
Chiropractor, D.C.

Chiropractic and golf

Chiropractic and golfA lot of people were impatiently waiting for the nice weather in order to be able to play golf. However, before rushing to the golf course, it is important to have some knowledge to avoid some injuries that could keep you from practicing your sport.

First, many people rush to the golf course without having previously made some warmups. Why warmups are so important? Mainly because they help ensure that the muscles are ready to do the exercise and the blood supply will be sufficient in the muscles. They also ensure a proper lubrication of all the joints. To warm up, you can make some golf swings without a ball. In addition to helping your muscles, warming up allows your brain and your nervous system to remember the right way to the golf swing. You can also jump up and do a bit of jogging in place to raise your heart rate. To prepare your shoulders to the effort, you can do some rotations with your arms for 15 seconds.

In addition to warmups, there is something else you can do before playing golf: consulting your chiropractor. What is the link between chiropractic and golf do you ask? In fact, the execution of a golf swing requires a good overall flexibility, good mobility of all joints of your body, good movement coordination, good balance and a precise activation of the muscles of the legs, back and shoulders. The chiropractor is an expert of the posture and of the biomechanics of your body. Therefore, your chiropractor will be able to detect movement restrictions in some of your joints and help you fix them. This way, each joint will be able to function properly and allow you a better swing. If you have posture problems that affect your golf swing, the chiropractor will also be able to help you fix them and contribute to improving your performance. Chiropractic treatments also prevent mechanical disorders that may predispose you to injury.

You’re not a golf fan? No problem! The recommendations mentioned above apply to all sports and physical activities that you are planning to do this summer. So for an active and painfree summer, call your chiropractor immediately.

Article inspired by a text published by the Association des chiropraticiens du Québec: “Performer au golf”

How to prevent injuries while traveling

How to avoid injuries while travelingFor this article, I decided to give a few recommendations to those of you who will have the chance to travel during the March break.

First, it is very frequent to get injured after lifting our luggages. To avoid injuries, try to lift using your legs and thighs instead of your back. The muscles in your legs are strong enough for this task compared to your back muscles. Also, remember to avoid doing any twisting movement of your back, especially if you have something heavy in your hands (your luggages). This type of movement creates a big stress on the back, especially on the small cushions (the intervertebral disc) located between the vertebrae.

If you travel by plane, it is recommended to use a pillow, a cushion or a rolled sweater to put on your lower back. This way, your back will be supported even if the seats are not comfortable. You can do the same on the beach if you use one of their lawn chairs, since this type of chair doesn’t provide much support for the lower back.

If you have enough space in your luggages, it could be a good idea to bring your own pillow. Since you can’t control the quality of the mattress you will have at the hotel, at least you will make sure to have a proper support for your neck.

For those of you traveling south, you will probably be tempted to wear scandals more than regular shoes. Be careful because some types of scandals are not providing much support for your feet and ankles. It could be a good idea to wear  a good pair of running shoes  once in a while to give your feet some rest.

Finally, there is no problem to enjoy a drink while relaxing on the beach. Just make sure to drink enough water to avoid any heat stroke or dehydration.

Happy March break to all travelers!

Chiropractic and posture at work

Chiropractic and posture at work

Lots of people spend most of their day sitting at a desk or in front of a computer. It is important to know that the sitting position causes lots of stress on the spine, even more if you are not sitting properly. Without being an ergonomist, it would be beneficial for many of us to take a few minutes in order to make sure our workstation is properly fitted. Here are a few points to consider:

1. Make sure your knees are flexed at 90 degrees.

2. Avoid sitting on the tip of your chair. Your back should be in contact with the back support. Also, it is always better to have a chair with a lumbar support (a small bump in the lower part of the back support that fits the lower back). If your chair doesn’t have a lumbar support, you can always use a cushion or a rolled towel to put on your lower back.

3. Your shoulders should be relaxed, your elbows bend at 90 degrees and your wrist in line with your forearm.

4. Make sure your computer screen is at the height of your eyes. This way, you won’t have to bend forward in order to see properly.

5. It is recommended to have a work desk with a keyboard tray large enough to put the keyboard and the mouse on it. When the keyboard or the mouse are on the top of the desk, your shoulder muscles (ex. The Trapezius muscles) are always under stress. This could lead to different problems like tendonitis, discomforts or headaches and migraines.

In addition to the evaluation of your workstation, it is also recommended to consult a chiropractor for a checkup of your spine. Even if you don’t have any pain or symptom, the prolonged sitting position may have created restrictions of movement of some vertebrae of your spine. The chiropractor will be able to evaluate your spine and correct those problems before they become more important.

The CSST (Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail) published an excellent document on the ergonomy of the workstation. Here’s  the link to have access to the document (this document was only available in French):

http://www.csst.qc.ca/publications/200/Pages/dc_200_614.aspx

What is the best sleeping posture?

What is the best sleeping position?My patients are often asking me what is the best sleeping posture? Maybe you asked yourself the same question. The answer is simple: you can sleep on your side or on your back. You should always avoid sleeping on your stomach. They are many reasons for that. First, when you are sleeping on your stomach, you have to turn your head completely to one side or the other to be able to breath. This extreme rotation of the neck that you may hold for many hours can cause some stress on the vertebrae of your neck and upper back. Therefore, it is possible that this sleeping position creates stiffness or pain in the neck, restrictions of movement or other problems like headaches and migraines. Moreover, sleeping on your stomach may cause some irritation to your lower back or pelvis, especially if your mattress is very soft.

To avoid problems, it is recommended to sleep on your side or back. If you want to sleep on your side, make sure you keep both legs together (like the fetal position). This way, you will avoid creating torsion of the lower back. You can also put a pillow between your legs to make it more comfortable. To assure you a good support for your neck, you should use a pillow thick enough to fill the space between the tip of your shoulder and the side of your neck. This way, your cervical spine (your neck) and your thoracic spine (your upper back) will remain aligned.

If you sleep on your back and you have some back pain, you can put a pillow under your knees to lift them up. This position will remove some pressure from your lower back.

To conclude, make an appointment now with your chiropractor for a checkup of your spine. The chiropractor will be able to recommend you personalized tips in order to improve your sleeping position. This way, you will be able to wake up in great shape.

Chiropractic and kids

Chiropractic and kidsWhen I look at my 11 month old daughter crawling on her stomach, walking on all fours and trying to walk, I can’t help but notice how many times kids are falling every day. Of course, this is part of their normal development. However, the accumulation of all those falls may have consequences in short or long term.

This brings me to talk about chiropractic care for kids. Even if it is rare that a kid will mention pain, it is possible that the accumulation of all their falls creates restrictions of movement affecting the vertebrae of their spine. Those restrictions could be responsible for other problems in the future like headaches, postural problems, muscle asymmetry, etc.  Like any condition, it is always better to prevent the problem than having to treat it. Therefore, even if your kids didn’t mention having pain (or if your kids are too young to be able to talk), it is recommended for them to have a chiropractic evaluation of their spine. This way, the chiropractor will detect biomechanical problems before they start creating bigger problems. It is important to know that chiropractic care for kids is extremely gentle, safe and pain free. Moreover, the chiropractor will be able to make recommendations for your kids in order to improve their health. For example, if you have teenagers, the chiropractor will provide them with exercises to improve their general posture.

If you have kids, make an appointment now with a chiropractor for a preventative chiropractic evaluation of your kid’s spine. This way, you will contribute to the normal development of their full potential.

Chiropractic care, not only for back pain

Chiropractic care, not only for back pain

Chiropractic care is useful for a lot more than just back pain. In fact, the chiropractor is trained to improve the movement of any joint of your body. Here’s an example of a real patient I have seen at the office.

This patient consulted me because of a right foot pain. Two years before, that patient fell on the ice and broke his right ankle. The fracture was bad enough that it required a surgery to install some screws and metal pieces to stabilize the bones. After the surgery, the patient did some physiotherapy treatments in order to improve the strength and flexibility of his ankle. However, the foot pain persists. Sometimes, the pain was intense enough that he would start limping.

In my initial exam with this patient, I evaluated the movement of all the bones in the foot. I noticed that the movement of one of those bones, the cuboid, was particularly restricted. Thus, I performed chiropractic treatments on the cuboid in order to improve the movement. Immediately after the first treatment, the foot pain decreased of 50%. After the first week of treatment, the limping was almost totally gone. For the first time in two years, the patient was able to walk for a few hours without having to sit down.

This is a typical example of what chiropractic care can do for a condition other than back pain. In this case, the patient fractured his ankle but probably affected the normal movement of the other bones in his ankle and his foot.

If you have pain or discomforts affecting areas other than your back, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor of chiropractic. The chiropractor is trained to treat conditions affecting the hips, knees, ankles, feet, shoulder, elbows, wrist, etc.

Welcome to my new blog

Hello and welcome to my new blog. As a partner in your health, my goal is also to give you all the health information you need in order to recover and maintain your full potential. Every week, I will publish health-related articles. I will also answer the most common questions I have from my patients at the office. If you have any questions or subjects you would like to know about, don’t hesitate to let me know. It will be a pleasure for me to share the answer with everybody else.

You can also subscribe to my website in order to receive a notification every time a new post is published.

Cordially

Dr André Emond
Your family chiropractor