Weekend Warriors: Are you a FOOSHER?..

We are instinctively drawn to escape the safety of the cubicle or corner office once the 5 o'clock hour rings in the weekend every Friday afternoon.  For some of us that means 2 days of rest and relaxation, while others crave a different type of escape.  Mountain biking, sky diving, hiking, running and the like.

I personally prefer the first option... But, for you adventurous types, here's some advise to keep you moving and out of my office on Monday, or worse, the emergency room.

Common mistake #1: FOOSHING  (What-ing?...)

FOOSH-ING.  Falling On Out-Stretched Hand.  This is a common cause of wrist fracture, ligament damage and all-around bummers.

The Solution:  Roll with it.  If you find yourself on the wrong end of your handlebars fight the instinct to put out your hands in order to break your fall.  Tuck and roll with it if possible.  Tuck your chin to your chest and use your hands instead to protect your head and neck.

Common Mistake #2: Achilles Tendon Tear

Kobe Bryant fans, don't follow in your idol's footsteps.  You may not have the means and the team to get you back in action as quickly as Mr. Bryant.

The Solution:  Warm up and stay hydrated! Throughout the day it is important to drink enough water and replace electrolytes as you sweat them out. Additionally, prior to playing a sport like basketball take a light jog and/or stretch out your calves and hamstrings before you play!

Common Mistake #3: Concussions

Making the mistake of not wearing proper head gear can not only be dangerous, but have long term irreversible consequences.  One severe concussion or multiple small concussions over time can lead to depression or dementia.

The Solution:   Protect your head! If you are biking or playing tackle football, wear a helmet.  During the winter months wear a helmet while snowboarding or skiing.  It could not only save you from a headache, but from becoming paralyzed or even death.

If you do succumb to a rolled ankle, shoulder ouchie or other minor injury we are here for you! Dr. Pierce doesn't just treat spines! With chiropractic care, acupuncture or both, your injuries can heal faster and with fewer long-term problems.  Providing chiropractic and acupuncture care for injuries ranging from headaches, sciatica, knee sprains and ankle sprains, TMJ dysfunction and more to the Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine and surrounding areas of Orange County.

You have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Now what??

If you have experienced pain, burning, tingling, numbness or weakness in your hand and fingers (specifically your thumb, pointer, middle and half of the ring finger), you may be suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition affecting the hand and fingers.  It is caused by compression of, or trauma to the median nerve.  The median nerve passes through the arm to the wrist, where is passes through the carpal tunnel and feeds into the hand and fingers (see the picture below).  Most often, injury to the median nerve is the result of long hours spent at the computer.  This overuse causes irritation, inflammation and compression of this important nerve.

So what can you do about it?

Ignoring the problem and continuing to work through it may cause additional, possibly irreversible damage.  Though sometimes necessary, surgery is a potentially dangerous and possibly ineffective option.  Steroid injections can help short term, but are painful and may lead you down the road to surgery (as doctors will often use this as a means to determine if carpal tunnel surgery is indicated).  Medications like NSAIDs (like Ibuprofen) can reduce inflammation and pain, but are really only a bandage and doesn't  tackle the root of the problem AND can be harmful to your organs with long term use.

So what's left?
(click the link below to read more and find out)
In most cases conservative care should be your first stop.  (don't forget to read the note at the end of this post)

Acupuncture and chiropractic can be a safe and effective option for carpal tunnel syndrome's painful and annoying symptoms.  Acupuncture can be helpful for carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy as well! Your chiropractor will also treat the muscles, tendons,  ligaments and joints of your wrist, forearm, arm, neck and shoulder to address the problem along the whole pathway of the median nerve.  Chiropractic adjustments, wrist and forearm exercises and stretches as well as postural exercises can also help improve the way your body functions, not only helping your pain disappear, but help you prevent it from coming back!  By treating soft tissue and freeing nerve entrapment, followed by exercises you perform on your own, you can get out of pain and stay that way!

**It is important to note that not every case can be managed with conservative care alone.  If you experience significant weakness in your hands or fingers, or notice that the muscles of your palm appear to be withering away, it is important that you consult a neurologist right away.  If Dr. Pierce observes any of these findings, she too will refer you out for further evaluation.

Effective Treatment for Lateral Epicondylitis AKA Tennis Elbow!

Have you ever experienced soreness and pain on the outside of your elbow after playing tennis or other sports?  Maybe after a workout or after working long days at the office?  You may be suffering with Tennis Elbow.  Interestingly enough, you don't have to play tennis to have this affliction. So, what exactly is tennis elbow, and what can you do about it?

In tennis elbow, technically known as lateral epicondylitis, the tendons which attach the muscles on the top of your forearm to your elbow at the lateral epicondyle (a bump on your humerus bone at the site near where your elbow bends) experience microscopic tears which cause irritation and inflammation, which leads to pain.  These tiny tears are often the result of overuse and sporting activities.  So, what can you do about it???
You have a variety of options to use to treat this condition.  You may choose to rest and ice the area, which will help reduce inflammation.  You may also choose to consult your physician who may suggest medications, which as you know come with risks.  There are braces that can be used to reduce the load placed on the tendon attachment so you can perform activities with less pain, OR you may seek out the aid of a chiropractor, therapist and/or acupuncturist. 

A chiropractor or therapist will usually perform muscle therapy including stretching and massage of the muscles around the elbow as well as give you exercises and make recommendations to help you avoid re-injury.  A chiropractor will also likely adjust your spine and possibly the joints of the elbow and wrist.  

Acupuncture has been shown to be superior to placebo for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis, resulting in reduced pain and increased function. Acupuncture treatment will include using acupuncture points in the area of pain as well as additional regional and distant points to aid the healing of the damaged tissue.  

At our office, chiropractic, acupuncture and exercise therapy are all a part of the healing process we practice for tennis elbow and many other conditions.  

To read more about Acupuncture for the treatment of Tennis Elbow see this Journal Article

For a consultation or other questions Ask the Doctor

Newport Beach Chiropractor goes Beyond Spine Care

When you think "Chiropractor", you usually think "Spine", and you would be right, but only half way...

Did you know that chiropractors treat all your joints, not just those causing you back and neck pain?  Your Newport Beach chiropractor treats all the joints and muscles of your body from TMJ (jaw joint) to the joints and muscles of your feet!  Have you been having elbow pain getting in the way of your golf or tennis swing?  We can help with that too! Wrist pain from too much typing?  Knee pain after starting a new workout routine? We'll fix that too.

So, next time you experience aches and pains in areas other than your back and neck, remember your chiropractor can help!  By treating the muscles that move your bones and the tendons and ligaments connecting it all, your Newport Beach chiropractor goes beyond the typical spinal pain treatments chiropractors are known for.  As the saying goes, "it's all connected".  Your chiropractor has the education and experience to effectively treat your pain from A to Z.  From Achilles tendons to zygapophyseal  joints (in your spine)! 

Call us today for your free consultation and to find out if we accept your insurance (we accept most).  (949)300-2028.

Can Acupuncture Resolve Breech Presentation?

Breech presentation refers to malposition of the unborn fetus.  Normally, toward the end of pregnancy, the baby turns so that it is oriented head-down toward the cervix prior to delivery.  A baby that is breech will typically present with either their buttocks down toward the birth canal or with one or both feet down.  Common causes are cases of premature delivery, subsequent pregnancies, abnormal amniotic fluid levels (too much or too little) or multiple births-such as twins.

The most common medical solution is to deliver the baby or babies by cesarean (C-section).  However, there are options prior to delivery that may enhance your chances of turning the baby to the proper position in time.
One intervention that has come back into favor in recent years is the use of a technique called external cephalic version.  Simply put, the doctor, usually an OB-GYN, will manually attempt to turn the baby by applying pressure with their hands on the expectant mother's abdomen and turning the baby to the proper position. This technique has good success rates and is relatively comfortable for the mother however, it is not without risk.  It is important that the practitioner be as gentle as possible when performing the maneuver.

Another option is the use of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to turn breech babies and in many cases has been very successful.  Some practitioners will incorporate an herbal medicine called moxibustion with acupuncture treatment.  There are a growing number of people supporting the use of this option for treatment of breech presentation.  Acupuncture treatment is extremely safe and should be considered as an option to aid in turning a breech baby.

How does acupuncture turn a breech baby?  There is a specific point on the fifth toe that is believed to increase fetal movement and encourage the malpositioned fetus to turn to it's correct position to prepare for delivery.  The use of this method has sparked the interest of the medical community in recent years.  Literature reviews and randomized controlled trials are concluding that additional research is warranted to further investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture for breech presentation and that use of this ancient healing art is a viable option for expectant mothers.  A randomized controlled study conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Turin, Italy concluded that Acupuncture and moxibustion is "more effective than observation in revolving fetuses in breech presentation. Such a method appears to be a valid option for women willing to experience a natural birth."
                                        *Read More: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14767050410001668644