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Rehabilitation Articles

What is a Pinched Nerve?

A "pinched nerve" is the name given to the uncomfortable sensation, pain, or numbness caused when increased pressure leads to irritation or damage to a peripheral nerve (A peripheral nerve is one that is outside the brain and spinal cord.). Although this condition is often associated with back pain or a neck injury, almost any nerve is susceptible.

WHAT ARE THE FACTORS FOR A PINCHED NERVE?
Anything which increases pressure around a nerve can cause a pinched nerve. Common causes include body position such as leaning on elbows, habitually crossing legs, or poor posture. Over time this may lead to pressure injury to nerves in these regions.

•    Disc herniation or bulging discs and arthritis in the spine can cause pressure on nerve roots which leads to the pain or discomfort associated with a pinched nerve.
•    Weight gain or water retention can predispose people to developing pinched nerves; thyroid disease (especially hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone levels) can contribute to both water retention and weight gain and can increase the risk of certain types of pinched nerves.
•    Pregnancy, which is associated with increased weight and occasionally associated with water retention, is also a common risk factor for developing certain types of pinched nerves.
•    Repetitive activities (typing and using certain tools) can also increase swelling around specific nerves and lead to symptoms of a pinched nerve.
 
WHAT CAUSES A PINCHED NERVE?
Pressure on a peripheral nerve can irritate the nerve itself, its protective covering (myelin sheath), or both. When this occurs, the nerve is unable to conduct sensory impulses to the brain appropriately, leading to a sense of numbness. This inflammation associated with the damage or injury can also cause pain or paresthesia (a tingling or prickling sensation) signals to be sent to the brain. In its early stages, many people may describe this sensation as a body part that has "fallen asleep." However, if nerve inflammation persists, this sensation persists rather than resolving after a few minutes.

Bursitis

What Is Bursitis?
Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between tissues such as bone, muscle, tendons, and skin, which decrease rubbing, friction, and irritation.

What Causes Bursitis?
Bursitis is most often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the area, or from a sudden, more serious injury. Age also plays a role. As tendons age they are able to tolerate stress less, are less elastic, and are easier to tear.

Overuse or injury to the joint at work or play can also increase a person's risk of bursitis. Examples of high-risk activities include gardening, raking, carpentry, shoveling, painting, scrubbing, tennis, golf, skiing, throwing, and pitching. Incorrect posture at work or home and poor stretching or conditioning before exercise can also lead to bursitis.

A Pain in the Butt: 5 Signs of Chronic Hamstring Tendinopathy

Just as your favorite pair of jeans can become worn and threadbare in the knees, your tendons can also develop chronic injury through wear-and-tear.


 There are 3 tendons that connect the hamstring muscles (in red) to the sit bone in the pelvis.


Why does chronic tendinopathy occur?

There are 3 tendons in the back of the thigh that connect the hamstring muscles to the ischial tuberosity (the sit bone) in the pelvis. When people engage in sports or activities that subject these tendons to repetitive motions, the elastic collagen proteins in the tendon become injured and start to break down, causing degeneration of the tendon.

Baseball Injury Prevention

More than 30 million children and teenagers participate in organized sports today. About 288,000 of those are injured each year playing baseball. Today, young athletes face pressure to focus on one sport often playing year round and participating on multiple teams. Without taking time off or changing sports during the year, baseball players commonly experience arm soreness and are likely to develop overuse injuries. If not properly managed, these overuse injuries can lead to more serious problems.

Baseball Injuries
Baseball players most often injure their shoulders or elbows. Shoulder-related injuries range from tendonitis of the muscles that keep the joint (the rotator cuff) stable to cartilage tears within the joint itself. Elbow problems include tendonitis of the muscles on top of or below the forearm and strains of the ligaments on the inside of the elbow.

Overuse baseball injuries
Overuse injuries can include tendonitis, inflammation of muscles, fractures, sprains, strains, cartilage tears, and more. These baseball injuries can prevent players from performing their best and make playing impossible in some cases. Baseball and softball players should condition with exercises to prevent injury and maximize performance.

Baseball conditioning exercises target several causes of baseball and softball-related injuries, including decreased rotator cuff or scapular strength, poor flexibility/ROM, and insufficient warm-up.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

DESCRIPTION

Carpal tunnel syndrome is essentially a pinched nerve in the wrist.  There is a space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel where the median nerve and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand (Figure 1). Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when swelling in this tunnel puts pressure on the nerve.
 

Figure 1

CAUSES

Pressure on the nerve can happen several ways, including:
•    Swelling of the lining of the flexor tendons, called tenosynovitis
•    Joint dislocations
•    Fractures
•    Arthritis
•    Fluid build-up during pregnancy

Lacrosse Injuries, Treatment, and Prevention Tips

Often referred to as "America's first sport," with its roots in Native American cultures, lacrosse is America's oldest and currently fastest growing team sport. Played by both girls and boys of all ages, it is a fast paced, free flowing game. The sport combines elements of basketball, soccer, and hockey, and requires coordination, agility, quick change of direction and contact make for a unique set of injury mechanisms and types.

Common Lacrosse Injuries
As players prepare for their season, it's important to set both position and season goals with their coaches before they train. Because men's and women's rules differ significantly and because injuries and demands may differ by position, it's important for players to participate in an individualized training program that can lessen the risk of common injuries in lacrosse and boost conditioning.



Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, and head injuries a common risk associated with the sport.

What Is Causing This Headache?

Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints; most people experience them at some point in their life. They can affect anyone regardless of age, race, and gender. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that almost half of all adults worldwide will experience a headache in any given year.

A headache can be a sign of stress or emotional distress, or it can result from a medical disorder, such as migraine or high blood pressure, anxiety, or depression. It can lead to other problems. People with chronic migraine headaches, for example, may find it hard to attend work or school regularly.


Causes
A headache can occur in any part of the head, on both sides of the head, or in just one location.
There are different ways to define headaches. The International Headache Society (IHS) categorize headaches as primary, when they are not caused by another condition, or secondary, when there is a further underlying cause.

What is Spinal Stenosis?

In the medical field, stenosis means the abnormal narrowing of a body channel. When combined with the word spinal, it defines a narrowing of the bone channel occupied by the spinal nerves or the spinal cord.

Some people are born with a congenital form, but most develop spinal stenosis as part of the degenerative cascade. A few do not feel any effects of the narrowing, but as part of the aging process, most people will eventually notice radiating pain, weakness, and/or numbness secondary to the compression of the nerves or spinal cord.

While the narrowing may occur at different parts of the spine, the symptoms of nerve compression are often similar. That is why specialists often will perform testing to determine the cause and location of the narrowing.

Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons. This pressure disrupts the nerve's function, causing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness.

A pinched nerve can occur at a number of sites in your body. A herniated disk in your lower spine, for example, may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Likewise, a pinched nerve in your wrist can lead to pain and numbness in your hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome).

With rest and other conservative treatments, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks. Sometimes, surgery is needed to relieve pain from a pinched nerve.

Labral Tear: Common Questions

What is the labrum?
The hip is a ball and socket joint. The ball is made up of the top end of the thigh bone or femur. The socket is made up of the pelvis bone and is called the acetabulum. The labrum is a fibrocartilaginous structure on the rim of the socket which attaches in continuity with the articular cartilage of the socket.


What is the function of the labrum?
The labrum contributes to hip stability by deepening the socket and provides a seal of the hip joint.

Compression Fracture

Compression    =     the application of strong pressure
Fracture           =     a break in a bone

A compression fracture occurs when part of a vertebra, or bone in the spine, collapses.

The bones of the spine have two main section. The vertebral arch is a ring-shaped section that forms the roof of the spinal canal and protects the spinal cord. You can feel the spinous process, a projection from this arch, when you press on the skin in the middle of your back. The vertebral body is the cylindrical shaped portion of the vertebral one that lies in front and provides the majority of structural support. In a compression fracture, the vertebral body collapses.

The most common type of compression fracture is a wedge fracture, in which the front of the vertebral body collapses but the back does not, meaning that the bone assumes a wedge shape.

Shoulder Bursitis

SHOULDER BURSITIS?
A bursa is a tiny fluid-filled sac that functions as a gliding surface to reduce friction between tissues of the body. The plural of bursa is bursae. There are 160 bursae in the body. The major bursae are located adjacent to the tendons near the large joints, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.


Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa. Injury or inflammation of a bursa around the shoulder joint causes shoulder bursitis.

Tips from the Experts

Tips from the Experts

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