Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Pain

I've noticed this year (seemingly out of no where), I've has a lot of patients coming to me for treatment for conditions you may not typically expect a chiropractor or acupuncture provider to treat. One example is vertigo, but the most interesting has been patients with pelvic floor dysfunction.  I don't know what it is, but something is drawing them to me this year.

 The human pelvis with some of the pelvic muscles and ligaments represented. 

The human pelvis with some of the pelvic muscles and ligaments represented. 

Pelvic floor dysfunction, simply put, is the inability to properly control the muscles of the pelvic floor (those which support the organs of the pelvis and control bodily functions). Often times this lack of control presents as abnormal contraction of the muscles in this region. Symptoms range from difficulty with bowel and bladder function, sexual issues, pain or pressure in the pelvic region and even lower back pain. In addition to the muscles that line the floor of the pelvis, deep hip rotators and hip flexor muscles, superficial gluteal muscles and ligaments of the pelvis can be involved as well as the pelvic joints themselves. 

This condition is commonly seen in postpartum women, but affects just about anyone, even men - often the result of an athletic injury or after prostate surgery. 

For a long time, people didn't seek treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction. However, it seems the tide is shifting, as it appears recently that more and more people are seeking treatment rather than just living in agony. This is fantastic, because until recently, the idea of pelvic physical therapy seemed odd to some folks, but it shouldn't. If you can have a contracture in your bicep and seek treatment for that, why shouldn't you for pelvic muscle contracture? (Understandably, the region is more vulnerable but the therapists who treat these conditions are professionals. It is important to seek out a therapist's reputation first, of course, and if possible get the referral from a doctor or friend you trust.) 

While I myself do not perform specialized pelvic physical therapy, I have received referrals from those professionals to have their patients get trigger point needling to enhance the therapy they are already doing. And I've seen some great results!  

For many of the patients I've treated, needling has really kicked their rehab programs to the next level - past passive therapy and pain management and onto meaningful active care! THIS IS THE GOAL!!! THIS IS WHERE THE REAL CHANGE HAPPENS!

and it is THRILLING me! 

Don't get me wrong, I love helping all kinds of people with all kinds of issues, not just the less talked about ailments, but, what I find really gratifying is that these patients lives are truly changed in the most fundamental ways when they get this condition under control. The fact my needles can aide that process makes me really happy. It's why I do what I do. 

It should be noted that trigger point needling performed in my office does not involve any internal pelvic muscle treatment or complete disrobing of the patient. Patient's are draped appropriately to their level of comfort and deep needling is applied to the accessible muscles of the pelvic region. I leave the more specialized treatment techniques to the therapists best suited to perform that. 

If you have questions contact us!

Is Plantar Fasciitis your "Achilles' Heel"?

You don't have to be a mythological warrior to have this weakness.

If your first few steps every morning cause the kind of pain that reminds you that you are, indeed, a mere mortal, then you may be suffering with Plantar Fasciitis. 

Plantar fasciitis/fasciosis is an overuse injury characterized by pain in the sole of the foot. This pain is typically most pronounced during your first few steps in the morning and walking after long periods of sitting. People with flat feet or extremely high arches may be more prone to this injury. 

Untreated, plantar fasciitis can become chronic and due to altered gait due to pain in the foot, you may begin to experience pain in the ankle, knee, hip or low back. 

Dr. Pierce has been successfully treating patient's with plantar fasciitis in her Newport Beach chiropractic and acupuncture office for more than 5 years. Some patients reporting complete resolution of their heel and foot pain in as few as 3 visits! Through a combination of manual therapy including Graston Technique, myofascial release, joint mobilizations and rehabilitative exercise, you can get on to the road to recovery quickly. Dry needling is also extremely helpful to effectively reduce tension in the heel and calf muscles, which may be largely contributing to your foot and heel pain! 

Heel and foot pain doesn't have to be something you just "live with". Make your appointment today and start on your road to recovery! 

Acupuncture for Migraines

If you suffer with headaches, there is a good chance you've tried just about everything to relieve them. Migraine sufferers are usually left with few effective options; sleep it off and/or medications. 

Acupuncture is a safe and often very effective treatment option for headaches, whether they be migraine, sinus or tension. (Or for some people, a combination of these types). 

To inquire about how acupuncture, chiropractic, cupping, Graston technique, massage therapy or rehabilitative exercise may help relieve your headaches, call the office or book an appointment online NOW!

 

 

 

BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY - WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

webster.jpg

Back pain is a common complaint for many women during pregnancy and may occur as early as your first trimester. As your uterus grows, your abdominal muscles stretch out to accommodate your developing baby and belly, and as a result your abdominal muscles become weaker. As your belly enlarges, your center of gravity shifts forward, which puts tremendous stress on your spine. Additionally, there are normal hormonal changes that loosen your ligaments and relax your joints in preparation for the delivery of your baby. All of these factors, not to mention the additional weight you're carrying around, can lead to spinal and pelvic pain as well as tight and achy muscles. 

While lower back and pelvic pain during pregnancy is completely normal and typically no cause for concern, it can be extremely frustrating and distracting, often making is hard for you (and sometimes your partner!) to sleep at night, making your days long and tiring. For some women their back pain may escalate into sciatica (pain that travels into the hip and down your leg). 

During pregnancy, there are very few medical interventions that are considered safe when it comes to dealing with pregnancy related back pain and sciatica symptoms. If your typical response to aches and pains is to grab the bottle of Aleve and go on with your day - that's not happening while baby is on board! That doesn't mean you have to just live with the pain, though. Chiropractors trained in the Webster Technique are competent care providers who know how to safely and effectively treat your pregnancy related back and pelvic pain. 

Dr. Pierce uses not only the Webster Technique to treat pregnancy related back pain, but will also spend time manually treating the tightened muscles around your spine, hips and pelvis causing pain, but educate you on exercises, stretches and daily habits that will help reduce your pain and in many cases eliminate it completely - and naturally. Many patients also benefit from the inclusion of acupuncture and/or trigger point dry needling to treat their back pain during pregnancy. Acupuncture, provided by a qualified provider is safe during pregnancy and can be extremely beneficial for pain and stress relief, pregnancy induced nausea and may help you sleep more soundly. 

What is Dry Needling and what is the difference between Dry Needling and Acupuncture? 

 

WHAT IS DRY NEEDLING?

dry-needling-1.jpg

Dry Needling is a treatment technique where thin filiform needles are inserted through the skin into pathological areas of the muscle known as "trigger points" for the purpose of relieving myofascial pain and muscle spasm. These are the same needles used in traditional acupuncture therapy, they are solid rather than hollow, and no medication is injected.

Dry needling is used in conjunction with other manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercise.

When performing dry needling, there may be a "twitch response" where the specific band of muscle involuntarily contracts in response to insertion of the needle.  Beneficial effects can occur without elicitation of the twitch response.  Sometimes electrotherapy is also applied with the trigger point needling technique, this is referred to as electroacupuncture. If electroacupuncture is considered appropriate, small clips are attached to specific needling locations and a mild electrical current is applied. Electrical muscle stimulation aids in stimulating blood flow, reducing pain and relieving muscular spasm. 

In the State of California, the only providers who can legally perform these types of needling techniques are licensed acupuncturists and medical doctors. A licensed acupuncturist's education and training in needling techniques requires a Master's degree obtained after 3 years of education and training. 

Compared to Dry Needling, Acupuncture, when applied as a form of traditional Chinese medicine, uses acupuncture points on the surface of the body that are located along "meridians" that correspond with the internal organs and the energies associated with those organs. Traditional acupuncture techniques aim to relieve congestion of energy and blood, thereby restoring circulation and reducing symptoms associated with said qi (energy) stagnation.