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.

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!

Recommendations to prevent injury if you’re planning to get back to training

Getting back to training

For most of us, January is the best time of the year to get back into a good lifestyle, like eating properly and training on a regular basis. However, few things are important to remember when you are planning to get back to training.

First, choose a physical activity that you really like. It could be walking, training at the gym or even starting to use that Treadmill collecting dust in the basement. If you choose an activity that you really enjoy, you are decreasing the risks of stopping after only a few weeks. The secret is to have fun while doing something good for you.

My second advice is mainly for those who will train in a gym. I strongly recommend that you use the services of a personal trainer in order to select the right exercises for you and to have some coaching on how to perform those exercises. After a few weeks of training, you’ll be able to train by yourself if you want. Some exercises seem easier than they really are.

It is also important to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. If the intensity of your workouts increases too quickly, your body won’t have enough time to adapt and you are increasing the risk of injury.

Warm-ups and stretchings are also important.  Warm-up is usually done before the workout to promote an optimal blood flow in the muscles. The stretchings are beneficial after the workout to relax the muscles and to drain the lactic acid accumulated in the muscles.

To conclude, be careful of the “No pain, no gain” theory. After a workout, it is normal to have few discomforts that could last between 24 and 48 hours. However, pain during the workout or after 48 hours after the workout aren’t normal. If it is your case, consult your chiropractor immediately. Your chiropractor will be able to identify and correct the problem and will help you prevent injuries.

Chiropractic and lumbar sprain

Lumbar pain and chiro

For my first blog, I decided to talk about a very common subject in chiropractic: the lumbar sprain. Many of you probably had the bad luck to experience that problem before. First, we have to know that lumbar sprain is one of many conditions causing back pain. This means that all back pain are not lumbar sprain.

What is a lumbar sprain?

A lumbar sprain represents a muscle or a ligament of the back that got stretched too much. This could happen following an accident, a wrong movement or because of repetitive motions. Few factors like bad posture could increase the risk of lumbar sprain.

What are the other causes of back pain?

Lumbar sprain is very common, but other health conditions are also very frequent. For example, back pain could be caused by a disc herniation (a tear or a bulge in a disc located between two vertebrae), a facet irritation (an irritation of the joint located between two vertebrae), a sacroiliac irritation (an irritation of the pelvic joint)

How to differentiate between conditions?

The chiropractor has the formation to make the difference between a condition and another. On your visit at the chiropractor’s office, a complete physical exam including orthopedic tests will be performed in order to establish the nature of your condition. The chiropractor can also make x-rays to evaluate the condition of your spine. Following the exam, the chiropractor will be able to tell you if you really have a lumbar sprain or another condition.

How to treat a lumbar sprain?

If the physical exam reveals that you have a lumbar sprain, the chiropractor will be able to recommend you the appropriate treatment. Generally, the treatment consists of correcting the movement of the vertebrae where the affected muscles or ligaments are attaching. Also, soft tissue techniques (muscle work) are generally used to decrease tensions.  The chiropractor will also recommend you exercises and postural recommendations in order to increase the healing speed.

What if it isn’t a lumbar sprain?

If the physical exam reveals that your pain isn’t caused by a lumbar sprain, the treatment will be modified to be able to correct your injury. Chiropractic could be beneficial for different health conditions like disc herniation, facet irritation, muscular tension, sacroiliac pain, etc. If the exam reveals that your condition isn’t treatable by chiropractic treatment, the chiropractor will be able to refer you to the health professional who could help you the most.

How long it takes to treat a lumbar sprain?

The healing time varies a lot between a patient and another. Also, many factors could influence the healing speed. For example, a recent injury usually heals faster than a condition we had for a long period of time. The nature of the affected structure also affects the healing time. As an example, a muscle injury heals faster than a ligament injury because of the increased blood flow found in the muscle.

When the nature of your condition will be determined, the chiropractor will be able to give you an idea of the time it generally takes to treat a problem like that. Your implication in your care will also contribute to increase the healing speed.