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! 

Copy of Webster Technique in Newport Beach

Dr. Pierce offers the Webster Technique in her Newport Beach office! Webster Technique is a chiropractic technique specifically developed for pregnant patients who want to enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy. This technique uses gentle hands on therapy to address imbalances in pelvic alignment and improve pelvic mobility to promote a more optimal delivery. The Webster Technique is aimed at treating not only pelvic (bone) alignment, but goes a step further to treat round ligament tension and pubic region pain. 

Dr. Pierce treats pregnant patients in her Newport Beach office using the Webster protocol as well as acupuncture therapy and simple gentle home exercises. To find out if you are a good candidate for treatment please contact the office! 

Back Pain During Pregnancy?

Lower back pain is a common side effect of pregnancy and affects some women as early as their first trimester. For some, their back pain presents before they even realize they are pregnant!

There are several reasons why your back may hurt while you are pregnant. 

  • Hormones: It goes probably goes without saying that hormonal changes take place during pregnancy! One particular hormone, relaxin, is a major contributor for women experiencing lower back pain during pregnancy. Relaxin, like it's namesake, relaxes or softens the ligaments in the pelvis in order to allow a woman's body to accommodate their growing uterus and prepare them for delivery.  The softening of the pelvic ligaments can lead to back pain because with that ligamentous laxity, there is a great deal of strain placed on the pelvic joints as they are stretched. Some women will feel pain in the lower back, in their pubic bone (front of the pelvis) or even have pain that radiates into their legs. 
  • Biomechanical changes (the way you move) and shifting of your center of gravity: As your pregnancy progresses and your body changes, your center of gravity will shift forward. With that, there is tremendous pressure on your lower back and pelvis. Additionally, the way you perform various tasks may become altered as a result of the way you feel or simply because you can't perform activities the way you usually would because your belly prevents you from doing so! (think tying your shoes or positions you can comfortably sleep in). The methods you adapt to perform daily tasks may put additional stress on your body, leading to pain. 
  • Weight gain: It is obviously normal to gain weight when you are pregnant, however that weight gain can have consequences on the way your body feels. Imagine carrying around a backpack weighed down with an additional 20 or 30 pounds or more. You can't leave the backpack in your car while you run errands or take it off while you sleep at night. The weight gain experienced during pregnancy comes on rather quickly and puts additional pressure on you joints and supporting musculature as well. 

So what can you do about it?

For most of the women who come to my office during pregnancy looking for help with their back pain, the approach is multidimensional. Your body is going to continuously change as your pregnancy progresses, so it's about not only helping you feel better now, but giving you the tools you need to control the severity of your back pain symptoms as your pregnancy progresses.

Chiropractic techniques like the Webster method are aimed at assessing and correcting mis-alignments of the pelvis and it's articulating partners; the spine and hips. The Webster technique involves spinal (sacral) and pelvic adjustments, as well as treatment of the involved soft tissues, namely the gluteal and hip muscles and the round ligaments that suspend your belly as it grows.  

In addition to spinal and pelvic adjustments (joint mobilizations/manipulation) and manual (hands on) soft tissue treatments performed in the office, simple (but important) exercises are recommended that you must perform to strengthen the muscles that stabilize your pelvis and help reduce painful stresses placed on those joints as your body changes to help reduce joint pain due to hypermobility (aka loose joints). 

Most of my pregnant patients experience relief very early on once treatment starts, which is wonderful! For most of my patients, treatments once or twice a week through the duration of their pregnancy help them experience significant reduction, and in some cases, complete elimination of their pain. Every patient's situation is different, so your needs would be based on the severity of your symptoms and response to care. 

Acupuncture and trigger point needling is another safe and effective option for pregnancy related pain I use in conjunction with chiropractic care and physical therapy exercises. 

To find out if the treatments offered at Advanced OC Wellness are right for you, contact us!

WE'VE MOVED! .... To the Second Floor!

Dr. Pierce's office has moved! We are still in Newport Beach, still in the same building as well, just in a different, bigger, better suite! From here on, report to suite 200 for your chiropractic and acupuncture visits!

I will be updating the site and posting pictures soon! I can't wait for you all to see the new space!

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!