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!

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. 

Copy of Can Chiropractic Help With Headaches?

Got Headaches?

Chiropractic adjustments, combined with physical therapy exercises, massage, acupuncture and postural improvement can make a world of difference for those suffering with headaches! 

If you or someone you care about suffers with headaches, chiropractic and/or acupuncture may be just the thing to help them reduce headache severity and frequency! 

To read more about how chiropractic may help with headaches CLICK HERE!

Cupping & Graston, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Techniques.

Most people are familiar with massage therapy and chiropractic adjustments, but not everyone is versed in the application of techniques like cupping (myofascial decompression or MDT) and the Graston Technique. 

Cupping (MDT) methods have been used for thousands of years as a treatment intervention aimed at relieving muscular pain, improving circulation and in some ancient theories, aiding the body in riding itself of disease or illness.

Recently, cupping has gained popularity after the 2016 Olympic Games when a rather well-known swimmer was seen with the trademark cupping circles on his body during competition. 

The benefits of cupping for musculoskeletal injuries include: Improved circulation to the injured tissue, relief of muscular tension and reduction of muscular pain. 

Clean plastic cups are placed on the skin and a pump device is used to pull air out of the cup, creating a negative pressure which pulls the tissue into the cup. This method is believed to help decompress the layers of tissue (fascia and muscle) under the skin where the cup has been placed.

Cupping Techniques

Static on static

Cup(s) are placed and left on a single location over a body region that remains still/immobile. 

Dynamic on static

Cup(s) are moved over the region being treated, using a massage lotion or oil as a buffer. The body area being treated does not move.

Static on Dynamic

Cup is left stationary while the patient moves the body part through a partial or full range of motion. For example: a cup is placed and left stationary on the quadriceps (front of the thigh) while the patient bends and extends their knee. 

dynamic on dynamic

A combination of moving the cup(s) while the patient also simultaneously moves the body area being treated. 

All of these variations of cupping therapy are performed with the ultimate goal of decreasing pain, promoting mobility and improving function. 

So how about Graston Technique? The Graston Technique is an instrument assisted soft tissue technique where a stainless steel tool is used to apply mild to moderate scraping over previously injured tissues. Much like how a stethescope amplifies heart sounds, the Graston tool amplifies the texture of the tissues under the skin. As the provider applies sweeping movements with the tool over the skin, certain regions will feel "grittier" or more coarse than others. This often signifies that these particular regions are where soft tissue adhesions are located and may be the source of altered mobility or pain. 

These effective and safe treatment modalities may be applied as a stand alone intervention but are most often applied along with other treatment interventions such as joint manipulation / chiropractic adjustments, active or passive sports massage and myofascial release techniques and exercise. Cupping and Graston therapy may both be applied to the same treatment area in the same visit. Cupping and Graston are great for the treatment of lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, foot pain like plantar fasciitis/fasciosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee pain and MUCH more. 

To find out if chiropractic care, dry needling, acupuncture or cupping/Graston are the right treatment(s) for you, call the office, email or schedule an appointment NOW! 

5 Ways Omega-3 Consumption Can Change Your Life

Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA are necessary for vital bodily functions and without enough of them, you may run into some major health concerns. EPA and DHA are primarily found in fish. Another important omega-3 fatty acid, ALA, is found in nuts and seeds. While it is ideal to receive adequate nutrients from the food you consume, sometimes that just doesn't happen. To be safe and insure that you are receiving adequate Omega-3, supplementation with a high-quality product is advised. 

 

Here are 5 ways Omega-3 Can Improve your life and Health: 

 

1. Omega-3 Can Improve Eye Health

DHA, a type of omega-3, is a major structural component of the brain and retina of the eye and without enough DHA, vision problems may arise. Adequate consumption of omega-3 may reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24557349https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15812120https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2136947

 

2. Omega-3 Can Promote Brain Health During Pregnancy and Early Life

Omega-3s are crucial for brain growth and development in infants. Getting enough omega-3s during pregnancy has been associated with numerous benefits for the child, including:

  • Higher intelligence.

  • Better communication and social skills.

  • Less behavioral problems.

  • Decreased risk of developmental delay.

  • Decreased risk of ADHD, autism and cerebral palsy.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12509593/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556695https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3988447/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24581674https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9196357https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3046737/

 

3. Omega-3 Can Improve Risk Factors For Heart Disease

Heart attacks and strokes are the world’s leading causes of death. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have numerous benefits for heart health.

These include:

  • Triglycerides: Omega-3s can cause a major reduction in triglycerides, usually in the range of 15–30%.

  • Blood pressure: Omega-3s can reduce blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure.

  • HDL-cholesterol: Omega-3s can raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol levels.

  • Blood clots: Omega-3s can keep blood platelets from clumping together. This helps prevent the formation of harmful blood clots.

  • Plaque: By keeping the arteries smooth and free from damage, omega-3s help prevent the plaque that can restrict and harden the arteries.

  • Inflammation: Omega-3s reduce the production of some substances released during the inflammatory response.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712371/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22051327http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(01)01114-7/fulltexthttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23196815https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22282329

 

4. Omega-3 Can Fight Inflammation

While inflammation is a vital process in our bodies, necessary to repair damaged in the body and fight infection, sometimes inflammation persists longer than necessary without justifiable cause. This type of chronic inflammation can contribute to chronic disease such as cancer and heart disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation and studies have shown a link between higher omega-3 intake and reduced inflammation.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12490960https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16841861https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21784145https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24505395

 

5. Omega-3 Fats Are Good For Your Skin

DHA is a structural component of the skin. It is responsible for the health of cell membranes, which make up a large part of skin. A healthy cell membrane results in soft, moist, supple and wrinkle-free skin. Omega-3s can help keep skin cells healthy, preventing premature aging and more. They may also help protect the skin from sun damage.

EPA also benefits the skin in several ways, including:

  • Managing oil production in skin.

  • Managing hydration of the skin.

  • Preventing hyperkeratinization of hair follicles (the little red bumps often seen on upper arms).

  • Preventing premature aging of the skin.

  • Preventing acne.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335417https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10617994