Concussions

Over the last few years, around this time of year, concussions have become a major topic of interest.  More and more research is coming to light about just how dangerous concussions really are.  While much of the focus has been done to better diagnose and prevent concussions (which needs to happen), very little has been done in the advancement of treatment.

Rest remains the most appropriate way to allow your brain to recover from a concussion, but what happens when symptoms remain even after weeks and months of rest?

Concussions are a brain injury.  Currently, there are 8 factors used to diagnose concussions.  In order to be diagnosed with a concussion, you only need to experience 3 out of the 8 factors.  Headaches, dizziness, changes in mood, sleep, concentration, personality, irritability, not managing stress, are all on the list.  Surprisingly, neck pain didn’t make the list!

As mentioned previously, concussions are a brain injury, but you can’t get a brain injury without neck (cervical) trauma.  Alarmingly, the spine is rarely evaluated!  What should, and needs to happen, is to find out how much influence the cervical trauma is playing in post-concussive symptoms.  While neck symptoms don’t need to be present, presence of neck pain and symptoms will delay recovery from concussion injuries.

The suboccipital muscles are a group of 6 muscles that attach to the top of the skull and neck.  Some of these muscles attach directly to the spinal cord. These are the most commonly injured structures with any neck and head trauma. Injury to these muscles can directly cause and increase concussion symptoms.  As a result of trauma to the head and neck, adhesion is most likely to appear in these muscles.

As a consequence, adhesion decreases flexibility and pain.  Adhesion in the suboccipital muscles can cause a variety of symptoms including, headaches and neck pain. It can be easily fixed by an expert trained to diagnose and treat this injury.  The only way to know if you have adhesion present is to be evaluated by one of these experts.

Concussions are always individual and each person recovers at a different pace.  If you have recently had, or been struggling with post-concussive symptoms it is vital to know how much of your injury is due to the brain, and how much is due to the cervical trauma!

While most of the recovery and treatment of concussions need to be focused around rest and managing activities, those that still suffer with symptoms weeks and months after need other solutions!  Otherwise, these symptoms can persist years down the road.  Concussions are always multifactorial, changes in diet and psychiatry may also help, but negating to treat the musculoskeletal component of the injury can be a huge mistake!

You owe it to yourself to explore all avenues of treatment to fully recover from injury and prevent long term damage!

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Integrative Diagnosis providers are musculoskeletal experts trained in the evaluation and treatment of neck pain and injury.  If you are fortunate enough to have an Integrative Diagnosis provider in your area, they can help with the recovery and treatment of concussions.  Use this link to find a provider near you => PROVIDERS

If you live in or around the Cedar Rapids area, let the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport help!  If you or someone you know are struggling to recover from a concussion we encourage you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or schedule an appointment at www.thrivespineandsport.com/appointment-request/.

Thanks for reading!

4 Easy Steps To Fix Tennis Elbow!

Lateral elbow pain is more popularly termed “tennis elbow.” Tennis Elbow affects 2% of the general population, and while that sounds like a relatively low number, it will affect upwards of 50% of tennis players at some point during their playing career! Hence the name.

The commonality among tennis players is no mistake. The sport places a tremendous load on the lateral elbow. While it’s incredibly common, resolution of the problem is often frustrating for both patient and provider. The problem with fixing tennis elbow is that the condition is commonly misdiagnosed. Incorrect diagnosis leads to incorrect treatment, and as you may already know, prolonged and worsening symptoms.

Fortunately, fixing this issue can be found with 4 easy steps!

STEP 1: GET THE RIGHT DIAGNOSIS! Tennis elbow is generally categorized as a tendinitis. Classic tendinitis is an inflammatory condition. The problem is that most lateral elbow pain is NOT inflammatory! It’s degenerative! It is actually a term called tendinosis. Treating lateral elbow pain as tendinitis will make tendinosis worse!

Classic treatment of tendinitis, using rest, ice, and NSAIDS or cortisone actually leads to more degeneration and is putting you at risk for more significant injury, like ruptured tendons! It bears repeating, but cortisone and NSAIDS are a REALLY bad idea in this situation!  In fact one more recent study showed that those using cortisone for treatment of musculoskeletal conditions were WORSE than those who did absolutely nothing at all after 1 year.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look at the study here.

STEP 2: REST! I know I just told you rest is a bad idea. Prolonged rest is bad. Short term rest isn’t. It is often necessary during step 3.  Also avoid any painful movements during this time and use a brace as needed.  All this helps to unload the injured area.

STEP 3: TREAT ADHESION. Lateral elbow pain is often caused by overuse/repetitive trauma. The most common result of overuse in the body is adhesion. Adhesion acts like glue on muscles and tendons and doesn’t allow things to move like they should. It’s the most common cause of pain and limited range of motion in the body, yet it is also the most misdiagnosed and mistreated condition! Very few providers know what adhesion is. Even less know how to actually treat it. Making sure to find a provider that knows how to diagnose and treat this condition is vital to your recovery!  If you are lucky enough to have an Integrative Diagnosis provider in your area, they are the absolute best at treating this condition.  You can check your area by clicking the link here.

STEP 4: ECCENTRIC EXERCISE. Once adhesion is removed and the tissue is healthy enough for more activity. Eccentric exercise, a very specific type of exercise needs to be started. This type of exercise specifically targets the tendon for repair.

 

If you have been struggling to find relief from lateral elbow and been diagnosed with tendinitis, most likely the diagnosis was wrong! You need a second opinion! You need the help of a soft tissue expert!  Find help, follow these steps, get relief now!

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The providers at Thrive Spine and Sport in Cedar Rapids are certified through Integrative Diagnosis. Integrative Diagnosis is the most advanced diagnosis and treatment system for the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue injury. If you have tried other providers without finding relief, we invite you to call our office today at 319-423-0925 or request an appointment by clicking here => www.thrivespineandsport.com/appointment-request.

Know someone struggling with this issue? Make sure to share it with your friends! Thanks for reading!

Is Kinisiotape or Cupping Right For You?

Have you been watching the Olympics lately? If so, you probably noticed small red circles encompassing some of the athletes bodies. Later this week you are sure to see some brightly colored tape adorning the bodies of even more athletes.

An ancient Chinese practice called “cupping” is responsible for the red marks. Kinisio Tape is the brightly colored tape. So what’s the deal with it? Is this something you should be looking into? Let’s dive in and take a look!

First off, cupping is a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along meridians. The technique originated as Chinese medicine to stimulate energy flow in the body. It is now practiced to increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, and temporarily increase range of motion. Kinisio Tape aims to do the latter through application of tape.

Both therapies application have strong reflexive properties, in which, they temporarily provide relief from aches and pains by overriding the bodies pain signal. While this sounds great, it’s really not. It is also something that can be dangerous to the patient if applied without proper education.

You see, pain is the bodies way of telling you something is wrong. Think of a fire alarm. If it detects smoke, it signals the alarm to go off. You know something is wrong because a loud noise is being made. If a fire alarm went off in your house, you wouldn’t turn it off and stay seated on your couch would you? That’s essentially what you’re are doing with Kinisio tape and cupping. While it’s convenient to stay seated on your couch and ignore it, it’s only a matter of time before you get burned by the fire!

Take for example the case of Manteo Mitchell. Manteo Mitchell was part of the 4 x 400 meter relay team for the USA in the 2012 summer Olympics. During the race he fractured his fibula! In the area where his leg broke, he was wearing Kinisio tape! How is this possible you ask?

When using things like cupping and brightly colored tape, as mentioned, it overrides the body to feel good. This allows you to do things you don’t want to do. In return, it also continues to break down all the tissues that were telling you to stop doing that. Just like the straw that broke the camels back, it’s only a matter of time before you break. This just happened to be Manteo’s time.

What’s this mean to you? If you find yourself in the Olympics, temporary relief for potential glory most likely outweighs the risk for serious injury. Chances are this isn’t you though. Taping and cupping is not a long term fix for pain, ever. You deserve a real solution for your pain!

At Thrive Spine and Sport we put out the fire! We get to the bottom of your problem and offer solutions to fix it! If you have been struggling with finding an answer to your pain or using things like tape or cupping to mask your pain, call us today at 319-423-0925 or schedule an appointment by clicking here => www.thrivespineandsport.com/appointment-request.

Thanks for reading!