Today, we are going to talk about AC sprains. We get this question frequently here at Bergen Chiropractic because they are prevalent injuries, especially among athletes. To understand how to treat AC sprains, let’s take a step back and discuss what an AC sprain is.
What is an AC Sprain, and How Do They Occur?
AC sprains, also known as shoulder separations, are caused by trauma to the ligaments that connect part of the shoulder blade (acromion process) and the clavicle (collar bone). The AC joint consists of ligaments connecting the two bones, the cartilage covering these bones at the connection point, and fluid sacks that cushion the weight-bearing forces. If too much force is applied to the AC joint beyond its capacity, damage can occur. For example, this can happen when you fall and land on your shoulder.
What Is the Most Common Cause of AC Joint Pain?
AC sprains are usually caused by falls on an outstretched arm or contact with another individual or object while the arm is elevated above shoulder height. Athletes who participate in sports that involve frequent contact with other players are more susceptible to AC injuries. Collisions during sports such as football, ice hockey, and lacrosse account for many AC joint injuries among athletes.The most common cause of AC joint pain is a sprain (when ligaments tear or overstretch). However, fractures or breaks in the bone can also cause AC sprains. Fractures and breaks require more immediate medical attention than sprains do, as they can produce more severe symptoms, including loss of movement.
What Are the Different Types of AC Joint Injuries?
There are different AC joint injuries, depending on their severity and damage to the supporting structures. For example, a tear on the acromioclavicular ligament won’t cause much harm, but when a tear occurs on the coracoclavicular ligaments, the entire shoulder unit is affected through dislocation or separation.Basic AC injuries are divided into three categories, ranging from minor dislocations to complete separations:
Grade 1 AC Joint Injury
A grade 1 injury involves a sprain, stretch, or partial tear of the acromioclavicular ligament. This causes tenderness in the AC joint that is accompanied by mild swelling. Grade 1 AC joint sprains usually heal within three weeks.
Grade 2 AC Joint Injury
A grade 2 injury involves a complete rupture of the acromioclavicular ligament and a partial tear of the coracoclavicular ligament. Because the clavicle is torn, it rises and results in a more prominent bump on the shoulder. As a result, pain is more severe, and movement of the shoulder is restricted. Grade 2 AC joint injuries could take a minimum of four to six weeks to heal.
Grade 3 AC Joint Injury
A grade 3 injury involves the complete rupture of the acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments. The bump visible in a grade 2 tear is even more pronounced in a grade 3 injury due to complete dislocation of the acromioclavicular joint. Grade 3 injuries are more severe and may even need surgery in some cases. The recovery time for Grade 3 AC joint injuries can take a few months.
Best Exercises for Recovery from AC Joint Injuries
Once you no longer feel pain when moving your shoulders, you can begin exercising to regain joint strength and mobility.If the shoulder’s range of motion has been restricted, pendulum exercises are an excellent place to start. Front shoulder stretches and external rotation stretches can help ease motion back into your shoulders as well.To strengthen your shoulder muscles, you can do a series of isometric exercises, which means contracting your muscles without movement. Using a resistance band is ideal for isometric exercises and can help speed up the recovery.
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However, if you want to go the extra mile on your road to recovery, seeking chiropractic care is highly recommended, as your chiropractor can find the best treatment and rehab procedures to relieve your pain.At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, uses a variety of soft tissue (FAKTR, Graston Technique, Active Release), taping techniques to relieve pain and assist with ROM, rehab procedures to relieve the symptoms and stabilize the region and when appropriate manipulation/mobilization especially to the thoracic spine and scapula. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a hand condition that primarily affects those who perform continuous, rapid or repeated motions. It can come on suddenly or develop gradually, starting with pain in the thumb area and progressing to other hand parts. While it may limit mobility, it doesn’t mean that one should live with it forever. Chiropractic care can help alleviate the symptoms of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis and restore the hand’s normal movement and function.
What Is De Quervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis?
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis (DQT) is a condition where the tendons of the first thumb extensor muscle become inflamed about their point of insertion on the radial styloid process.
The abductor pollicis longus and the extensor pollicis brevis, both responsible for thumb movement, are the two tendons that De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis targets. When the sheaths covering these two tendons swell up, they cause pain and tenderness in the thumb area.
People whose work or hobbies involve daily repetitive hand movements are the most susceptible to De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. For example, gardeners, tennis players, golfers, and mothers often get this condition.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is also known as “mommy thumb” since it often happens in mothers who take care of their children and maintain the household. Studies also reveal that pregnant women are more likely to develop De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, hence the fitting term.
What Are the Symptoms of De Quervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis?
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis symptoms can manifest in several ways. Here are some tell-tale signs to know if you have developed the condition:
You’re experiencing pain around your thumb area.
When performing activities that require pinching or grasping, you might have trouble moving or controlling your thumb and wrist.
The base of your thumb or your thumb area is swelling and tender.
You feel a “catch” or “sticking” sensation when moving your thumb.
When the condition isn’t treated or worsens, it may affect the forearm and entire thumb, causing even more discomfort and swelling. In addition, movements that involve the wrist and thumb might exacerbate pain and symptoms, which can last for weeks or even months.
How Is De Quervain’s Stenosing Tenosynovitis Diagnosed?
If you suspect you have De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, seek help from a medical professional and have them examine your hand. The doctor will most likely perform a Finkelstein test which involves bending your thumb across the palm of your hand and bending your fingers down over your thumb. Then, you bend your wrist towards your pinky finger. If you feel pain on the thumb side of your wrist, then your doctor will most probably diagnose you with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Is a Common Cause of Thumb Pain & Wrist Pain
While the exact cause of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is not known, the condition is mainly attributed to chronic wrist overuse. The tendons found in the wrist and lower thumb are responsible for hand movements like gripping, grasping, pinching, and wringing. Over time, these movements can cause the sheath protecting the tendons to expand and thicken, restricting the tendon’s mobility.
Who Is at Risk for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis can affect anyone. However, research has shown that these groups rank the highest for those at risk of developing De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis:
Individuals around 30 to 50 years old (statistically with a higher concentration around 40 years old);
Individuals who are responsible for child-rearing;
Individuals with jobs or hobbies involving repetitive wrist and hand motions (e.g., carpenters, painters, tennis players, gardeners, etc.);
People who love to text and scroll through their phones the whole day.
Before the age of SMS and social media, De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis was known to have only affected middle-aged folks. However, a recent study has shown that most students who texted excessively were diagnosed with De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.
What Kind of Splint Is Best for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?
A splint is the most common treatment for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. Splints are used to help reduce pain and stiffness. The splints will depend on the nature and duration of the symptoms:
Soft, flexible splints for minor or occasional discomfort;
Moderately restrictive splints for more severe and chronic symptoms;
Firm splint supports that restrict movement for severe and long-standing pain.
Moreover, doctors may recommend that their patients wear a thumb spica splint to help immobilize the thumb. Patients are typically advised to wear it 24 hours a day for 4 to 6 weeks.
Exercises for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
Strengthening exercises have been found to speed up the recovery process and alleviate De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis symptoms. Thumb lifts, wrist extensions and flexions, stretches, and radial deviation strengthening exercises are all excellent ways to get your thumb and wrists moving smoothly again. You will need a rubber band, small weight, putty ball, and an elastic resistance band to get started on these exercises.
These exercises will allow you to improve wrist function and prevent De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis from occurring again. Additionally, by performing these exercises, you will learn how to move your wrist in a way where stress is reduced. If you do the strengthening activities daily, you will see an improvement within four to six weeks.
How Can Chiropractic Care Treat De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?
Chiropractors may recommend rest, ice, and bracing for a patient with De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. Chiropractors will also examine the patient thoroughly and advise lifestyle and habit changes for the patient as they deem fit.
In addition to taking anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs), chiropractors will also recommend that the patient participate in soft tissue therapies, which speed up the healing of the inflammation and pain.
Once the pain and discomfort ease, the chiropractor will recommend various strengthening and stretching activities for the wrist, thumb, and forearm that will help regain full mobility again.
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When you hear someone talk about straining their groin, they’re likely talking about their adductor muscles. These muscles, which athletes and bodybuilders often neglect, are located along the inside of the thigh and work to bring your legs back to the midline. When you don’t strengthen or stretch this area properly, you can strain it with certain movements. Learning exercises for adductor strain and how to heal an adductor strain can help you find relief and prevent this condition.
How Does Adductor Strain Occur?
Because the adductors are responsible for opening and closing your legs, the muscles can become strained when you perform lateral movements. Adductor strain usually occurs when people push off and suddenly change direction. This creates opposing forces in the muscle, which can lead to strain. Rapid acceleration while sprinting can also cause this condition.Soccer players often experience this injury. If they kick the ball and meet resistance, such as coming into contact with another player or the ground. This causes the adductor muscle, which brings the legs together, to experience an abductive force. The muscle can tear as it contracts against the resistance.The lesion commonly occurs at the point where the muscle connects to the tendon. However, it can be located within the center of the muscle as well.
The Three Adductor Strain Grades
Adductor strains are graded by their severity. A grade I strain involves a minor tear and no weakness or loss of mobility. With a grade II strain, you typically have a partial tear that causes some loss of strength and function. A grade III strain is a complete tear, which causes total loss of function and bunching or retraction of the muscle fibers.Not all groin pain is caused by an injury to the adductor muscles. Therefore, it’s essential to undergo a comprehensive examination to determine the source of your pain. At our chiropractic care center, we will assess the alignment of your legs as well as the motion and flexibility of your hip joint and muscles. We will also check for inflammation and pain while performing specific movements.
How to Heal an Adductor Strain
You can recognize an adductor strain by a rapid onset of discomfort in the groin area. Some people feel or hear a popping sensation. You may develop bruising or swelling, and you probably won’t be able to continue the activity without hurting.If you’re wondering how to heal an adductor strain, you should know that rest, activity modification, ice, and physical therapy are essential for your recovery.Stop the activity you’re doing, and don’t perform any movements that cause pain. Using crutches can help you avoid pain while you’re walking around. Compression and elevation can also help in the early stages of the injury.
Stretching Exercises for Adductor Strain
Stretching and strengthening the muscles in the thigh area will help heal the tissue. Adductor strain rehab also helps prevent the injury from occurring again.It’s vital to balance the strength and flexibility of the muscles in the entire pelvic, hip, and thigh region. Strong adductor muscles aren’t helpful if your surrounding muscles are weak. Other muscles may work overtime, leading to further injury if you don’t work them equally.Some stretching exercises for adductor strain that facilitate mobility, flexibility, and healing include the following:
Prone adductor stretch:Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. Allow one knee to relax to the side, opening it up and allowing it to drop toward the floor. Hold it there for several seconds, feeling the stretch in your inner thigh, before returning it to the starting position. Repeat ten times on one side before repeating the motion with the other leg.
Standing adductor strain stretch: Standing with your feet wide, bend one knee and allow yourself to lunge toward that side. Your other leg will remain straight, and you’ll feel a stretch in your inner thigh.
Butterfly Stretch: Sit on the floor, bringing the soles of your feet together to form a diamond shape with your legs. Allow your knees to fall toward the floor, feeling the stretch in your groin. You may have to pull your feet closer to your body or press gently on your knees with your elbows for a deeper stretch.
Strengthening Exercises for Adductor Strain
Some strengthening exercises for adductor strain include:
Copenhagen exercise: Lie on your side on the floor. Your body should be perpendicular to a bench, coffee table, or other surfaces elevated 1 to 2 feet off the ground. Place the inner part of the foot of your top leg on the bench. Raise your upper body off the floor by pushing down with a bent elbow. Stabilize your body, and then raise your hips off of the floor. If you can, pull your bottom leg up toward the top one so that you’re doing a side plank with elevated legs. Slowly lower that leg for one repetition.
Straight leg raise: Lie flat on your back, bending one knee and placing that foot against the floor. Keeping the other leg extended, raise it to the level of your bent knee. Then, lower it to the ground. Ensure that you maintain activation in your abdominal muscles and quadriceps as you perform this exercise.
Sumo squats: Stand with your feet about 24 inches apart. Open your feet at a 45-degree angle. Bend your knees, keeping your body straight. Squat as low as you can, and return to the starting position.
Adductor Strain Recovery Time
It’s best to consult with a professional before doing any adductor strain exercises or stretches. We can help you determine the best time frame for adductor strain rehab treatments.Most patients with a grade I or II adductor strain have no pain after two weeks of treatment. They can usually return to their regular sport or activity after three weeks. However, more severe or chronic injuries require a longer healing time. Severe adductor strain is typically resolved within three months.
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Although Kinesio taping was invented in the 1970s, it was not widely used until much later. However, the world began to notice it when athletes began sporting the colorful tape during the Olympics. Today, Kinesio taping, sometimes referred to as KT taping, is used by chiropractic care centers worldwide to improve healing and alleviate pain.
What Is Kinesio Taping?
Using tape to support injured or inflamed joints is nothing new. However, traditional athletic tape is meant to immobilize joints. KT taping works to protect joints while allowing them to move and flex. In other words, conventional athletic taping techniques work like a tight bandage or soft cast. KT tape acts as a protective exoskeleton, taking over some of the functions of the internal ligaments to support the affected area.The Kinesio tape is applied to pull gently on the outer layer of the skin, creating a suction that allows space for blood flow and fluid drainage beneath the epidermis. The light touch of the Kinesio tape on the skin also triggers sensory points. When these nerve fibers are activated, the sensations from them reach your brain faster than pain messages.
Benefits of Kinesio Taping
What’s Kinesio taping going to do for you? That depends on your condition. The Kinesio tape must be applied using a precise technique in order to deliver actual results. When a professional applies it at our chiropractic care center, the Kinesio taping method provides the following benefits:
Improves blood flow to affected body parts
Promotes lymph drainage
Supports soft tissues
Relieves heat generated by inflammation
Decreases muscle fatigue
Provides sensory awareness of the area, which may improve posture and positioning issues
Improves range of motion in damaged or injured regions of the body
The shoulders are susceptible to sprains, bursitis, and soft tissue injuries such as rotator cuff damage and tendonitis. Healing from a shoulder injury requires stabilizing the area. However, it’s essential to maintain mobility to protect the joint’s function and strengthen the surrounding muscle.Kinesio taping the shoulder is ideal for managing pain and facilitating healing in this area. Our chiropractic care center is experienced with Kinesio taping the shoulder and will customize the technique for your injury.
Kinesio Taping the Knee
Kinesio taping the knee provides stability and an appropriate range of motion. Some conditions that benefit from Kinesio taping the knee include:
Patella tracking disorder
Meniscus tears and sprains
Kinesio Taping the Ankle
Kinesio taping the ankle provides support, comfort, and stability to this weight-bearing area. You can use the technique after a sprain or strain. It is also helpful for combating pain and inflammation from Achilles tendonitis. At our chiropractic care center, we use a specialized technique that allows for plenty of mobility while preventing an inversion sprain, which can happen when you roll your ankle.
Kinesio Taping for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is often caused by impaired biomechanics in the foot. We use Kinesio taping for plantar fasciitis to support and protect the soft tissues that run beneath the arch. When the tape is applied precisely, it keeps your natural arch in place and promotes the proper function of the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Kinesio taping for plantar fasciitis can help you heal from this painful condition and prevent it from recurring.
Kinesio Taping for Pregnancy
You might wonder what Kinesio tape is used for in pregnancy. Kinesio taping in pregnancy replaces the need for belts or bands. The tape supports the increasing weight of a growing belly, taking some pressure off the soft tissues and muscles in the abdominal and pelvic regions. Kinesio taping can help reduce back pain during pregnancy.Kinesio taping during pregnancy can also be used up to 12 months after delivery to reduce rectus abdominis diastasis. This condition, otherwise known as diastasis recti, occurs when the muscles in the abdominal wall separate during pregnancy. Kinesio taping brings the muscles together, allowing the connective tissue to heal and the abdominal muscles to activate correctly.
Which Kinesiology Tape Is Best?
The best kinesiology tape must be elastic, breathable, and lightweight. It should stay on your skin comfortably, without pinching or tugging. Because the tape is flexible, it moves with your body. As a result, most patients don’t feel it after the tape is applied.At our chiropractic care center, we use the TheraBand kinesiology tape. We have found that this product contains the perfect amount of adhesive to stay in place without irritation or discomfort. In addition, it offers better support than many drugstore brands. It also features XactStretch technology, which gives users a visual reference for consistent applications.If you’re interested in using Kinesio tape for your condition, visit our chiropractic care center before attempting the techniques yourself. An assessment will be necessary to identify the problem and develop an effective treatment plan. With the right approach, you can speed healing and avoid future injury.
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