Radical New Approach To Cedar Rapids Shoulder Pain Treatment

Shoulder Pain in Cedar Rapids Now Has An Answer!

“Rest, ice, pain pills.”

We have all heard these recommendations, some of them were probably prescribed to you by a healthcare provider.  It started to get better and you returned to activity only to find that you are now in worse pain. Stretching and rehab exercises are doing little to nothing.  Let’s be honest.  If you have tried this approach for your pain, and you are still suffering, it’s not going anywhere.

Over half of all injuries, are due to overuse.  Overuse injuries like tennis elbow, swimmers shoulder, runners knee, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints are not caused from one single incident.  Overuse injuries occur after repetitive use and trauma to any area of the body. Micro-trauma to tendons, ligaments, and bone eventually begin to add up and cause pain. Unfortunately, overuse injuries are often misdiagnosed and treated.

Many providers will prescribe the above; rest, ice, and possibly NSAIDs.  This may actually be the worst thing for you and your pain.  Tendinitis is often the diagnosis with overuse injuries.  The diagnosis of “tendinitis” means inflammation or irritation of a tendon.  The problem is those overuse injuries are not inflammatory.  They are degenerative.  Allow me to explain.

With any repeated or sustained movement, there is a decrease in blood supply and oxygen to the area.  When dealing with muscles, ligaments, and nerves, this decrease in oxygen leads to the formation of adhesion.  Adhesion acts like glue in the muscle to prevent proper movement and function.  This is very common, yet highly underdiagnosed.  In tendons, lack of oxygen leads to more degeneration.  Adhesion and degenerative tissues will gradually progress in nature leading to pain and weakness.  If left untreated, degenerative tissues could eventually tear and need surgical repair.

Although the research and understanding of overuse injuries are there, most traditional medical paradigms have not yet adapted.  These methods fail to recognize the pathology present.  So what are you supposed to do?

Treatment must focus on the breakdown of this adhesion while also increasing blood flow to the degenerated area for repair.  Exercises should be implemented only after the patient begins to respond to therapy.  Implementing exercise too soon may actually limit the response to care.  Proper treatment of overuse should aim to keep the patient as physically active as possible.  Only in cases where patients fail to respond to therapy should limitations be placed on patients.  This process may take several weeks to months but is ultimately the best plan when dealing with overuse injuries.

If you are reading this right now chances are you are suffering from shoulder pain, or know someone who is.  Impingement, rotator cuff tendinitis, and bursitis are common overuse injuries in the shoulder.  If you have tried traditional medical treatment, and have received little to no benefit, it is time for a new approach.

In our office, we routinely see and solve overuse injuries in the shoulder, even after traditional medical and physical therapy approaches have failed.  Our approach focuses on the elimination of adhesion and rehabilitation of degenerated tissues.  For more information about overuse injuries and shoulder pain treatment in Cedar Rapids, please call our office at 319-423-0925, or visit our website at www.thrivespineandsport.com.

Shoulder Pain Treatment in Cedar Rapids

Behind low back and neck pain, shoulder pain is the most common cause of pain in the human body. No shocker when you think about all the activity we put it through on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the number one cause of shoulder pain is often misdiagnosed and, because of that fact, often mistreated!

Adhesion is the number one cause of shoulder pain! Adhesion in the shoulder can refer pain to the front of the shoulder, and is often diagnosed as bicep tendinitis, bursitis, or just “inflammation.” Adhesion if left untreated leads to degenerative changes in the joint leading to rotator cuff tears, labrum tears, and arthritis. Adhesion is a REALLY, BIG DEAL when it comes to shoulder pain!

Adhesion

How do you know if you have adhesion? Fortunately, there is a simple test you can do at home! Stand upright with your arms to your side. Raise your arms laterally until your palms touch above your head and your upper arms are touching your ear. Can’t touch your arm to your ear with both palms touching? You can’t have a healthy shoulder if you can’t do this simple, functional movement!

85% Function on Left 75% Function on Right
85% Function on Left
75% Function on Right

Shoulder problems, as mentioned, are often misdiagnosed and mistreated. Far too many people are struggling to find answers to their pain. The solution starts with the proper diagnosis in order to provide the correct treatment. This is done only through an extensive history and exam.

If you or someone you know are struggling to find answers to shoulder pain let the experts at Thrive Spine and Sport help! Drs. Cody Scharf and Logan Scharf are the most experienced providers in the State of Iowa who are Integrative Diagnosis certified to diagnose and treat adhesion! Call 319-423-0925 or click here to set up an appointment => Appointment Request

Thanks for reading!

Why Weak and Tight Doesn’t Mean Strengthen and Stretch

One of the most common misconceptions in health care is this principle – “weak and tight” means “strengthen and stretch.”  If there is one problem or complaint I hear the most it’s, “I’m always tight.”  Usually, in the same breath, the same person will report that they just need to stretch, or they don’t stretch as often as they should.  It usually comes as a surprise when I then tell this person that stretching won’t help them, and if you’re reading this and you always feel “stiff” it probably won’t help you either.

Stretching is the most overprescribed treatment in healthcare, and also the least beneficial.  Now, don’t get me wrong there is a time and a place for stretching – yoga is fantastic – but fixing your stiffness and pain, it’s not going to happen!

Allow me to explain.

Our bodies were not programmed to handle the modern day lifestyle. Whether you work in a 9-5 desk position or work in a factory doing manual labor 40+ hours a week, both will have the same thing in common.  Overuse.  Overuse happens when we sit in prolonged positions or do repetitive activities, if we are not taking care of ourselves.

When we overuse our bodies, and fail to take care of it with proper rest, recovery, nutrients, this will often create a phenomenon called protective tension.  Protective tension is created to help the body adapt to overuse.  The body will make muscles spasm and contract to help protect any overloaded structure from further injury.  Over a period of time, this gradually leads to adhesion formation.

Overuse Cycle

 

If you are unfamiliar with adhesion, adhesion is the most common problem in the human body, but also the most misdiagnosed.  Fortunately, it can be fixed easily with the right diagnosis and treatment.  When present, it acts like glue on soft tissue structures like muscles, ligaments, and nerves.  This glue then binds muscles and nerves together and decreases your flexibility and strength.  Overtime, adhesion leads to altered joint mechanics and pain.  Without the proper treatment, adhesion will eventually lead to chronic pain, chronic muscle sprain/strains, arthritis, and or spinal disc injuries (think herniation).

 

Adhesion

Check out this video below for a better demonstration and explanation.

We have been conditioned since elementary school days to think weak and tight means to strengthen and stretch.  In reality, weak and tight is often a result of a problem!  All of the stretches and strength exercises in the world will not help adhesion, in fact, it may make things worse.  The most important thing that you can do is figure out why a muscle is weak and tight!

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to get some answers!  At Thrive Spine and Sport, we are trained through the Integrative Diagnosis system to provide the most accurate and advanced diagnosis and treatment to chronic pain and overuse injuries.  Many patients of our office have tried numerous providers before finding relief in our office. 

Simply fill out the appointment request on this page, or call our office at 319-423-0925 to start feeling better today! 

Thanks for reading!

What’s Wrong With My Shoulder?

Raise your hand if you struggle with shoulder pain!  Well, at least, raise it as high as you can.

Shoulder pain is one of the most frequently hurt and injured extremities in the body.  If you were to survey 10 of your friends, how many of them would report a shoulder issue?  Seriously think about this for a minute.  While the research can vary greatly with incident rates of shoulder pain, you can expect on average 2-5 to report shoulder pain and problems!  That is an incredible stat right there!

When you look into the mechanics of the shoulder, it is no wonder why pain is so often found there.  The shoulder joint consists of 3 bones, creating 4 joints.  13 muscles are involved in the movement of the shoulder which is responsible for almost 360 degrees of motion.

While there are many different kinds of problems associated with the shoulder (dislocations, fractures, etc), most complications arise from overuse, or repetitive strain injuries over time.  Shoulder pain may start up overnight, but it took weeks, months, even years to get to the point of pain.  Manual labors and athletes alike are no stranger to shoulder pain.

In cases of shoulder pain where overuse, repetitive strain, or previous injuries are present, the shoulder pain is almost always due to a lengthening issue.  The joints have become stiff and the muscles have become tight.  The most frequent cause of this stiffness is from adhesion.

Adhesion is a build up of scar tissue through repetitive motion, prolonged position, or as a result of previous trauma or injury.  Think of adhesion as glue on a muscle.  It binds things together and prevents the muscles from moving correctly.  When the joints and muscle get stiff and tight, it creates friction, pressure, and tension in the area.  This then creates decreased blood flow and sometimes swelling, which promotes the body to lay down scar tissue, or adhesion, to help stabilize the problem area.  Adhesion is one of the most common problems in the human body and fortunately one of the most easily reversible with the right care!

To see if your shoulder pain could be caused from adhesion at-home, there is a very simple test you can do at home.

Stand upright, with your arms and hands to your side.  Raise your arms up to your ears by moving your shoulders in an arc similar to that of a jumping jack.  The bicep should be able to freely touch the ear without any increased tension or pain.  Anything short of this, adhesion is a strong possibility, and may be playing a large part of your shoulder pain.  Regardless of previous injuries, or even surgeries, adhesion needs to be removed.

Stretching and exercises do not correct adhesion unfortunately.  When adhesion is present, it only gets worse without proper treatment, and could lead to bigger issues down the road.

If you are struggling with shoulder pain, try the test right now.  Look in the mirror if you can’t get your arms up to your ears and see how restricted it is.  The further away from the ear you are the more likely you are to suffer a serious injury down the road.

If you are in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area and struggling with shoulder pain, call our office today at 319-423-0925 or fill out the appointment request on this page.  If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me at dr.cody@thrivespineandsport.com.

Thanks for reading!