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Posts Tagged ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’

At some point or another, we have all experienced that familiar “pins-and-needles” feeling that signals a hand or a foot is “falling asleep.”  Few people, however, take the time to ask themselves what this really means.  In most cases, this feeling is the result of a “pinched nerve.” Although a pinched nerve is usually only a mild annoyance that can be massaged away, it can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious problem.  If you are experiencing the numbness, pain, or weakness that can result from a pinched nerve it may be a good idea to come in to the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ so we can assess the cause of your discomfort.  Our Certified Synergy doctors will be able to give you a complete diagnosis and perform therapeutic techniques that can prevent further damage and may even help keep the issue from recurring in the future.

Pins and Needles What to Do about Pinched Nerves

Most of the pinched nerves that we deal with at the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ are the result of repetitive stress injuries.  When we repeat even small motions over and over again, the repeated stress can cause microscopic tears in muscles, tendons, and ligaments, causing the affected tissues to become swollen.  This inflammation effectively squeezes the nerves against nearby bones, resulting in conditions like tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome.   Pinched nerves are also very common in the neck and back, where spinal nerves travel through narrow spaces between the individual vertebrae.  Flat, round “cushions” called intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers between each vertebra in your spine.  As we age and these disks wear out, the distance between the vertebrae shrinks, pinching the nerves between them.  This condition, called a herniated disk, may cause neck or low back pain, depending upon where the nerves are being compressed.  In some cases it may even cause pain that radiates from the neck into the shoulder and arm (cervical radiculopathy) or pain that radiates into the leg and foot (lumbar radiculopathy or sciatic nerve pain).

Regardless of the location involved, compressed nerves are typically best dealt with using massage and chiropractic adjustment. In many cases, our Synergy trained chiropractors and massage therapists will use specifically targeted techniques, like trigger point therapy or foam rolling, depending on the needs of the patient.  These therapies not only help improve circulation while reducing inflammation, but also help bring the muscles and bones into proper alignment, potentially relieving the pressure on the nerves.

If left untreated, the damage from a pinched nerve may cause long-lasting problems, and the earlier you get a diagnosis and treatment for nerve compression, the more quickly you’ll find relief.  If you are concerned that you may have a pinched nerve, or if you are interested in discussing any of the other conditions that we can treat, please contact us today at (404) 352-8900.  When you come in for a consultation, our Synergy™ trained chiropractors and massage therapists can work with you to find the ideal treatment approach for your injury.  Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.

At Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ our certified chiropractors and massage therapists understand that many different conditions can cause pain and discomfort or impair your daily activities.  While the causes of conditions like ankle sprains, ACL tears, or lower back pain are usually obvious, other injuries may be much more difficult to identify.  Some of the most common of these “hard-to-diagnose” issues are repetitive stress injuries.  Although patients often dismiss them as minor annoyances, these injuries are actually America’s most common and costly occupational health problem.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive stress injuries affect hundreds of thousands of workers and cost more than $20 billion a year in workers’ compensation claims and lost productivity.

What Are Repetitive Stress InjuriesMost forms of injury result from a single traumatic event, but repetitive stress injuries are different because they develop gradually over time.  When muscles, tendons, and ligaments are subjected to stress, they suffer damage on a microscopic level.  Normally, this damage heals and the cells grow back even stronger, which is why “feeling the burn” is a sign that your workout is working.  However, if the muscles are forced to repeat the same motions over the course of several days or weeks, the damage that they suffer never has a chance to fully heal.  If the rate of injury is greater than the rate of recovery, the damage slowly compounds over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and diminished strength.

Repetitive stress often leads to injuries to the extremities, such as the wrists and elbows or the ankles and knees.  However they can actually affect nearly any part of the body.  Depending on the areas that are being overused, some of the more common repetitive stress injuries can include:

  • •    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrists)
  • •    Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow (elbows)
  • •    Rotator Cuff Tendonitis (shoulders)
  • •    Hip Bursitis (hips/lower back)
  • •    Shin Splints (shins/lower legs)
  • •    Achilles Tendonitis (ankles or calves)

 

Treatment for repetitive stress injuries generally involves therapies that reduce inflammation, such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Kinesiology Taping, or Trigger Point Therapy.  However, the exact course of treatment will always depend on the specific area involved and the patient’s individual medical needs.  Our certified Synergy Massage Therapists and Rehabilitation Specialists can also recommend simple corrections in posture and grip that will give the tissues an opportunity to rest and heal naturally.

Overuse Syndrome is extremely common, but it doesn’t have to stand in the way of an active and pain-free life.  If you would like more information about repetitive stress injuries, or about any of the ways that our expert chiropractors and massage therapists can help you, please contact the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today at (404) 352-8900.  Don’t forget to follow us on social media for the latest news and information about sports medicine and chiropractic care in Atlanta.

Whether you’re a dedicated professional athlete or just work out whenever you can to keep yourself healthy, you have probably experienced a moment when you realized you had pushed your body too far.  Typically, this can manifest as a pulled muscle or a pinched nerve, two of the most common injuries that we treat here at the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™.  Although these two problems may seem similar, and are easily confused, they actually require very different approaches to treatment.  Understanding how these two common injuries differ from one another is the first step to effectively relieving your discomfort and getting you back on your feet.

What’s the Difference between a Pulled Muscle and a Pinched Nerve

Pain and Swelling: Pulled Muscles

A pulled or strained muscle occurs when the fibers that make up the muscle have been overstretched or torn, often as a result of fatigue, overuse, or improper use.  Although strains can happen in any muscle, they are most common in the lower back, neck, shoulder, and hamstring (the muscle behind your thigh).  A pulled muscle will usually start to swell immediately, and will be very tender to the touch.  Patients may also experience bruising or redness at the site of the injury or, when the strain is severe, an inability to use the affected muscle at all.  Most muscle strains are the result of either poor flexibility or a failure to warm up properly before performing strenuous physical activity.  However, chronic muscle strains can also be caused by smaller repetitive movements, like those performed during rowing, tennis, or golf.  They can even result from merely holding the back or neck in an awkward position for long periods of time, which might occur when you work at a desk.  Relatively mild and moderate strains can be successfully treated at home with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE), but severe strains or tears may require a full diagnostic exam in order to determine the correct course of action.  If your pain does not subside after a week, or if the injured area becomes numb, seek medical attention right away.

Pins and Needles: Pinched Nerves

Nerves run throughout the body carrying electrical impulses between the brain and every muscle and organ, but when a nerve is subjected to unusual pressure for a prolonged period of time, those impulses can become partially obstructed, causing a loss of feeling in the affected area.  Nerve compression, commonly known as a pinched nerve, usually occurs in nerves that pass through narrow points in the body between ligaments, tendons, and bones.  Repetitive motion, or even simply holding the body in one position for a long period of time, can cause inflammation in the surrounding tissues, and when those tissues are swollen, they apply pressure on the nerves.  Initially, compression on the nerve causes a characteristic pins-and-needles sensation.  However, if the compression continues, numbness and severe pain can result.  Some of the more common sources of pain and discomfort that we treat at the Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, like carpal tunnel syndrome and herniated disks, occur as the result of compressed nerves in the arm or spine, respectively.  The specific treatment for a pinched nerve can vary considerably, depending on the area affected and the underlying cause.  It may require only a splint or brace to immobilize the area, or you may need therapy exercises that will strengthen and stretch the muscles in the affected area to relieve pressure on the nerve.  In some severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve the constriction and give the patient relief, but one of our goals at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ is to provide patients with alternative treatment options that will help them to avoid surgery whenever possible.  Several patients have come to Synergy when surgery was suggested and, after being treated, were able to opt out of the procedure.

No matter what your age or activity level might be, everybody has to deal with injuries sooner or later, and the expert chiropractors and massage therapists at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute are here to help.  If you would like to learn more about the many different services we offer, please give us a call to schedule a chiropractic or rehabilitation appointment, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.