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Ice & Heat Application

Ice is an effective and natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory.

Ice should be applied over the inflamed area in the acute or early stages of your problem. (See below for application)

Whenever you experience swelling, redness or sharp / stabbing pain it is generally considered best to apply ice. Repeat until symptoms ease – usually for 24 – 48 hours.

Following this, you should alternate with ice and heat. If in doubt, contact your Chiropractor.

APPLICATION

Place ice cubes in a plastic bag or use a professionally prepared ice pack.

Place a damp face washer or tea towel over the problem area then place the ice pack on the material covering.

The first application should be as follows:-

10 minutes on
10 minutes off

10 minutes on
10 minutes off

10 minutes on

Then during waking hours, apply the ice pack every 2 hours, or as indicated by your Chiropractor.

Heat is an effective therapy for reducing muscular tension and pain and is best used AFTER the initial inflammation has subsided.

N.B. If you do not have ice immediately available, then use a pack of frozen peas or similar item.

Shoulder Pain

Painful shoulder conditions that limit movement are prevalent and are caused by injuries affecting the shoulder joint, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage.

It is possible to do more movements with the arm than with any other part of the body. The arm is such a useful tool that it’s a pity that there are only two of them!

The bones that make up the arm include the humerus, in the upper arm, and the two bones of the forearm, the radius and ulna, as well as the little bones of the wrist, hand and fingers. The arm is exceptional as it enables the hand to get into all sorts of useful positions.

The shoulder joint in particular, being a universal joint, has a considerable range of movement. The hand can go above the head, behind the back and even across to scratch behind the other shoulder. The elbow works like a hinge joint allowing the hand to come nearer or go further away from the body. The elbow and wrist combined allow manipulation of the hand through more than 180 degrees, i.e. from palm up to palm down, the wrist helps with grip, while the joints in the hand, thumb and fingers allow the dexterity of finger movement.

Since the nerves that supply the shoulder and arm originate from the neck and upper spine, conditions such as Vertebral Dysfunction commonly contribute to pain in the shoulder.

Chiropractors can assist with the following shoulder conditions:

  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Chronic Shoulder Pain and Stiffness
  • Shoulder Muscle Spasm and Tension
  • Arthritis of the Shoulder
  • Diagnosis of Shoulder Pain
  • Rotator Cuff Disorders such as tears and strains
  • Impingement Syndrome
  • AC Joint Injury

To determine the cause of your pain, your Chiropractor will conduct a full physical, orthopaedic and neurological examination of the shoulder, cervical and thoracic spine.

You will be asked to perform shoulder range of motion and muscle strength tests. Where the pain is felt, both at rest and during movement of the shoulder provides important clues as to the cause of the shoulder pain.

Signs of Shoulder Pain may include a restriction in the movements of the shoulder, both active (the person doing them) and passive (the joint being moved by someone else). Upward motion is usually less than 100 degrees (i.e. not far above shoulder level) and the arm cannot be turned outward more than 30 degrees.

It may also be necessary to undergo specialised diagnostic tests such as XRay, Ultrasound and MRI scans.

Treatment of Shoulder Pain

Regardless of the cause, treatment of the shoulder complex requires an experienced Chiropractor who can test the movements and structures of the shoulder and come to an accurate diagnosis of the problem. Chiropractic treatment can then focus on the core problem.

The initial objective of all shoulder injuries is to relieve pain and inflammation.

While many doctors will recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and swelling, the benefit obtained by applying ice-packs can be equally, if not more beneficial.

As your shoulder begins to heal, it is vitally important to

  • Restore range of movement,
  • And later to improve muscle strength to stabilise the shoulder and help prevent further injury and aggravation.

Your Chiropractor will be able to assist you with a suitable shoulder range of motion exercises and shoulder strengthening and rehabilitation exercises during your recovery.

Suffering From Arthritis & Joint Pain?

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a major cause of disability and handicap in Australia affecting people of all ages and walks of life. Arthritis is not a single condition.

Arthritis means inflammation of the joint.

There are over 150 kinds of arthritis, all of which affect one or more joints in the body. The most common types of arthritis are:

  • (OA) Osteoarthritis
  • (RA) Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Septic arthritis
  • (JIA) Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Gout, which accounts for 90% of all arthritis cases.

One in one thousand children is diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, while it is estimated that three in every thousand children lived with the condition but remained undiagnosed.

Arthritis is often misinterpreted as only a disease which affects elderly people, when in fact 60% of those who are diagnosed with arthritis are between the ages of 15 – 60 years.

Arthritis affects 3.4 million Australians, 16.7% of the population. Of the proportion of Australians affected, 60.4% are women. 60% of all people living with arthritis are of working age.

Causes of Arthritis Can Be

Because there are over 150 different types of arthritis, there is no one single cause or list of reasons for arthritis. Often several factors contribute to an individual developing this common problem.

Types of Arthritis

Arthritis causes pain, loss of movement and sometimes swelling. This disease also can affect other parts of the body.

Some types of arthritis are:

Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects joints in the body and is characterised by damage to the surface of the joint. The main symptoms are a pain, and sometimes mild stiffness. The condition is sometimes referred to as osteoarthrosis, arthrosis or degenerative joint disease. The cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joint deteriorates, causing pain and loss of movement as the bone begins to rub against bone.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types affecting mostly women. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of the body’s immune system activity, symptoms such as pain and swelling in the joints and stiffness in the mornings may occur.

Gout is often said to be the most painful of all the rheumatic diseases; Although it can’t be cured, it can be successfully treated. Gout can affect men of any age. Women rarely develop it before the menopause but may do so as they age. So, with people living longer, there are more women with gout than previously. A tendency to attacks of gout may be inherited from a parent or a grandparent.

People get gout because there is something unusual about the chemical processes that take place within the body. A substance called urate builds up as crystals in the joints, especially the big toe. Fortunately, gout almost always can be completely controlled with medication and changes in diet.

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints of the spine. Spondylitis simply means, inflammation of the spine. As the inflammation dies down, new bone forms replacing the more flexible tendons and ligaments between the vertebrae. Eventually, the individual bones of the spine may link up (fuse) resulting in stiffness of the spine. (ankylosis)

Juvenile arthritis, a general term for all types of arthritis that occur in children. Most children won’t have lasting problems with childhood arthritis. JIA doesn’t turn into rheumatoid arthritis in adulthood. And having juvenile idiopathic arthritis doesn’t mean that your child will go on to develop adult forms of arthritis.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), a serious disorder that can inflame and damage joints and other connective tissues throughout the body.

Scleroderma, a disease of the body’s connective tissue that causes a thickening and hardening of the skin.

Fibromyalgia is a long-term (chronic) condition that can cause widespread muscle pain. There aren’t usually any outward signs of fibromyalgia, but the pain and tiredness associated with this illness are very real, in which widespread pain affects the muscles and attachments to the bone. It affects mostly women.

Preventing Arthritis

As the specific causes of the different types of arthritis remain unclear, it is difficult to say what may assist in the prevention of the development of arthritis. However, listed below are a few steps which may be beneficial in reducing the effects of arthritis.

  • Maintain the appropriate weight.
  • Protect joints from overuse and injuries.
  • Regularly exercise to maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. Regular Chiropractic care is of benefit too, ensuring the optimal spinal/joint range of movement and flexibility.
  • Eat a healthy diet as nutrients are vital for joint health.
  • Hydrate your body. Water makes up 70 per cent of the cartilage in joints and plays a major role in the lubrication and shock absorbing properties of healthy joints.

Suffering From Neck Pain?

If you are one of the many Australians that suffer from neck pain, you will be pleased to know that our proven Chiropractic approach may offer the solution you have been searching for.

One out of ten of us will have neck pain at some time in our life. In most cases, it is not due to a serious disease or neck problem and often the exact cause for the pain is not clear. Most are probably due to minor sprains or bad posture. This comes as no surprise when we consider the activities of modern life such as sitting in front of a computer, watching prolonged periods of television and an increasing incidence of poor posture – particularly forward head posture.

Problems within the neck can also cause a headache, shoulder pain, TMJ or jaw pain, pins and needles in the hands, carpal tunnel syndrome and upper back pain.

We encourage you to contact us for a thorough assessment with one of our Chiropractors if you regularly experience any of the following:

  • In the morning, you may wake up with a sore neck
  • Reversing the car and turning your head, your neck may feel stiff
  • When you turn your head you may hear a clicking sound
  • Neck muscles may ache constantly
  • A sensation of pins and needles in your fingers and hands

With more moving parts than any other machine, it’s not surprising your body occasionally cries out in pain or refuses to do what you tell it to do. After all, there are hundreds of different muscles and joints that can go wrong. Fortunately, there’s an effective way to treat many of the problems you can experience –Chiropractic.

Causes of neck pain

One survey done has found that, of adults aged 45-75 years, about 1 in 4 women and about 1 in 5 men had current neck pain. Types and causes of neck pain include:

By far the most common cause of neck pain relates to the effects of poor posture. In order to understand the impact of poor posture, we must first consider why spinal alignment within the neck is so important.

Coupled with the stresses and demands of modern life, it is no surprise why neck pain is so common. Your head weighs about 5 kgs and in normal alignment, it is very carefully balanced on top of your seven neck bones (vertebrae).

  • Your muscles work very hard to maintain this position and easily withstand short periods of variation.
  • Problems arise when we assume awkward positions for prolonged periods, the fine balance is disturbed and the nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments and discs of your neck become strained and irritated.
  • The tension in your neck and shoulder muscles doubles for every 2-3 cm’s that your head is forward! Over time, the neck strain and pressure accumulates to a point where it becomes chronic and even the smallest changes in posture cause significant effects.
  • Whiplash
  • Arthritis
  • Sporting Injuries.

Because neck pain could be an indicator of various illnesses, the physio will ask all the special questions such as general health, past medical history, weight loss, bladder and bowel control, quality of appetite and sleep and medication usage.

Treatment for Neck Pain

Before any action is taken, the Chiropractor will assess your neck pain, diagnose the problem and help you understand what’s wrong. They will work with you to develop an effective treatment plan that takes into account your lifestyle, leisure activities and general health. Thankfully, Chiropractic offers a very effective treatment for neck pain. Typically, your Chiropractor will recommend the following:

  • postural advice and how to avoid further strain, good posture may help. Check that your sitting position at work or at the computer is not poor. (That is, not with your head flexed forward with a stooped back.) Sit upright.
  • a series of spinal mobilisations to restore proper movement to the neck vertebrae
  • a massage to tight neck muscles
  • neck exercises to encourage improved movement
  • neck strengthening exercises
  • keep active
  • heat/ice therapy to help manage your neck pain
  • recommend a contoured firm supporting pillow seems to help some people when sleeping.
  • advice on how you can help yourself. for example, you may be shown exercises that you can do between treatment sessions