Here Are the Injuries You Can Treat with the Active Release Technique!

Here Are the Injuries You Can Treat with the Active Release Technique!

We all know that getting injured is no fun! Fortunately, there are ways to deal with them and reduce pain and inflammation. One such way is the Active Release Technique (ART). Read on if you want to know what it is or how it’s performed!

To put it lightly, the Active Release Technique works by using a doctor of chiropractic’s hands to smooth out the soft tissue surrounding muscles. It has been proven effective for treating various conditions, including tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shoulder impingement syndrome, and carpal tunnel syndrome. So let’s dive into the Active Release Technique!

How Does the Active Release Technique Work?

The Active Release Technique (ART) is a patented method developed by chiropractor Dr. Tim Leahy that uses a technique known as “specific cross-fiber gliding” to make soft tissue more pliable and less painful. 

Most chiropractic doctors treat muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body, while Active Release Technique treats fascia. Your fascia is the thin layer of connective tissue underneath your skin that surrounds and protects your muscles, organs, nerves, and bones. An overabundance of adhesion or inflammation can make it restricting. Active Release Technique can identify this fascial restriction quickly with gentle pressure, resulting in pain reduction.

The Active Release Technique treats the fascial restrictions found in the deeper layers of the body. Almost any type of injury can be treated with this technique, including carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, shoulder tendonitis, and other conditions typically treated by physical therapists and orthopedists. It involves repetitive motions that stimulate the tissue to loosen tightness and adhesions to move more freely. Weak or inactive muscles are typically not treated with the Active Release Technique since they typically do not have adhesions or lesions. 

When it comes to Active Release Technique, the most important thing to remember is that it targets the most usual sources of pain: scar tissue, trigger points, and restricted mobility.

The Injuries You Can Treat with the Active Release Technique

Several negative changes to muscle tissue can occur due to trauma, including swelling, fibrosis, and adhesions. Active Release Technique involves the clinician applying compression, tensile, and shear forces to address repetitive strain injuries, cumulative trauma injuries, and chronic tension lesions. 

Now that you know what Active Release Technique is and how it works, let’s talk about the injuries that can be treated with Active Release Technique! Below are a few of the most common types.

Back and Neck Pain

Active Release Technique is particularly effective for neck and back pain. In one study, chiropractors treated individuals with ART for their neck pain, shoulder pain, and low back pain, which improved the range of motion in the entire spine. The results were present even six months after receiving treatment!

Headaches

Active Release Technique has shown promise for treating chronic headaches. Headaches are often caused by trigger points that form in the upper trapezius muscles, which push on nerves and cause pain to radiate into the head. While this technique is not typically used long-term due to its invasiveness, it can reduce symptoms while other treatments work to treat the root of the issue.

Knee Injuries

Knee injuries have also been successfully treated by Active Release Technique, including conditions that athletes often experience. One of the most common examples is patellar tendonitis, which causes pain around the kneecap. This condition can be treated using Active Release Techniques explicitly applied to this area.

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder injuries are the most common injuries treated with the Active Release Technique, particularly for sports. A study on sixty-one individuals who had shoulder pain showed that post-treatment mobility was increased, and up to 30% of participants noted improvement in their pain levels.

Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow

Tendonitis caused by overuse is another common injury treatable with Active Release Technique. A study following the treatment of individuals with tennis and golfer’s elbow at a chiropractic clinic found an improved range of motion, pain levels, and grip strength after receiving ART treatments 3-5 times per week for several months.

Plantar Fasciitis

One of the most common injuries treated with the Active Release Technique is plantar fasciitis. This condition occurs when the long band of tissue called the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and irritated along the bottom of your foot and heel.

We’re Looking Forward to Helping You at Our Chiropractic Offices in NJ!

At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. After all, our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Contact us to learn more about our chiropractic services! Our chiropractic offices in Cliffside Park, NJ, and Hackensack, NJ, are ready to welcome you! 

Shin Splints Exercises Part 1: What Are the Best Stretches for Shin Splints?

Shin Splints Exercises Part 1: What Are the Best Stretches for Shin Splints?

Stretching may seem like something only athletes do. However, we all need to do it to avoid injury and maintain our mobility on a regular basis.

We need the flexibility to maintain range of motion in our joints, so stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. Otherwise, the muscles shorten and tighten. Hence, when you call upon the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend fully. Those things put your joints at risk for pain, strains, and muscle damage.

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin splints, medically known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, are among the most dangerous conditions an athlete faces. When left untreated and with continued activity, stress fractures could develop. Signs of stress fracture without imaging include feeling a severe ache in the shin while at rest and failure for the taping techniques to provide relief. 

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, we use 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, modalities including Radiopulse Frequency (Shock Wave Therapy), and Cold Laser.

What Causes Shin Splints?

Repeated stress on the shinbone and on the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone leads to shin splints.

Other factors may put you at high risk of shin splints, namely:

  • Sporting or training is being started or intensified: People who start a new sport or training regimen are more likely to experience shin splints as tissues respond to increased use.
  • Wearing shoes that don’t provide support: Shoes that don’t offer good support and cushioning—even some running shoes—can be a trigger.
  • Playing sports or running on hard surfaces: This is especially true if you’re doing a lot of foot drills like making a lot of starts and stops or jumping. This can also bring about stress fractures.
  • Running on uneven or hilly terrain: Exercises that force your legs and feet to readjust often cause shin splints.
  • Preexisting foot and ankle problems: The most common are flat feet, high arches, or hyperpronation, in which too much weight falls on the inside of the foot.
  • Running with poor form: Your heels might strike the ground too strongly while running.
  • Tight calf muscles: Your shins may feel extra pressure if your calf muscles are tight.

Best Stretches for Shin Splints

Below are the best stretches you can do to reduce shin splints!

Gastrocnemius Calf Stretch

  1. Stand three feet away from a wall. Step with your right foot toward the wall.
  2. Place both palms against the wall. Bend the right knee.
  3. Keep your left leg straight and your left heel on the floor as you lean forward.
  4. Hold for between 30 and 60 seconds. Do this two times.
  5. Repeat on the other leg.

Soleus Calf Stretch

  1. Stand 3 feet away from a wall. Step with your right foot toward the wall.
  2. Place both palms against the wall. Lean forward while bending both knees. Make sure both heels are on the floor.
  3. Hold it for 30-60 seconds. Let both legs relax. Do this twice.
  4. Perform this exercise three times daily or as instructed.

Achilles Tendon Standing Stretch

  1. Place yourself on the edge of a stable raised platform, such as the bottom step of a staircase.
  2. Make sure only the front half of each foot is on the step by carefully adjusting the feet. The heels should be moved up and down without hitting the floor.
  3. While on your tiptoes, slowly lower your heels as far as you can.
  4. Do this 20 times.

Achilles Tendon Seated Stretch

  1. Extend your affected leg so that your heel is on the floor while sitting in a chair.
  2. Reach down and pull your big toe up and back (away from the floor and toward your ankle).
  3. Hold the position for about 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. You may repeat this exercise twice, up to five times a day.

Tibialis Anterior Muscle Stretch

  1. Stand up and bend your knees slightly. You may want to rest your hand on a wall or other support to keep your balance.
  2. One foot remains firmly planted on the ground. The foot that is to be stretched is placed just behind this stable foot, with the toe of the stretched foot touching the ground.
  3. Keep your toe firmly on the ground, then pull the stretching leg forward, so you feel a stretch from the top of your stretching foot through your shins.
  4. Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds when you feel a good stretch.
  5. Repeat the stretch with the other foot.

Strengthening the Anterior Tibialis

  1. Sit on the floor or a bench.
  2. Loop an exercise band around your foot and secure it around something sturdy.
  3. Turn your toes toward you and flex your ankle toward you to the count of two. Return your ankle to its original position to the count of four.
  4. Do 10 to 20 repetitions of two to three sets a day.

Strengthening the Gastroc-soleus Muscles

  1. Stand and spread your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Raise your heels to the count of two, and lower them to the count of four.
  3. Make sure you’re on the tips of your toes. Use a chair or wall for support if you need it.
  4. Do 10 to 20 repetitions of two to three sets daily.

Eccentric Gastrocnemius

  1. Stand and spread your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Start on the tip of your feet, raise your heels, take your non-painful leg off the ground.
  3. Lower your ankle for 3-5 seconds
  4. 20 to 30 reps per day. 

How to Prevent Shin Splints

By following these steps, you may be able to avoid or reduce your risk for shin splints:

  • Wear athletic shoes that are properly fitted: Shin splints can be prevented by wearing the right shoes for your sport.
  • Runners should have their stride evaluated at a running store: They can help you find shoes that fit your foot structure and stride. Furthermore, you might need inserts if you have flat feet or high arches.
  • Replace your shoes regularly: If you are a runner, you should buy a new pair of shoes every 350 miles.
  • Increase your fitness level gradually: Step up your physical activity week by week. This will help you build strength and loosen up your muscles.
  • Cross-train: You can prevent shin splints by changing your movements. Try swimming, biking, or yoga a few times a week to break up your routine.
  • Consider wearing shock-absorbing insoles: They will cushion the impact on your shins during exercise.

We’re Looking Forward to Helping You at Our Chiropractic Offices in NJ!

Shin splint pain may go away on its own if you’re working out often and stretching daily. Return to your regular exercise routine slowly and gradually to avoid reinjuring yourself. Starting with walking is a good idea if you’re a runner. After walking pain-free for a few days, you can start jogging slowly. Always remember to stretch before and after a workout, too.

At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. After all, our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Contact us to learn more about our chiropractic services! Our chiropractic offices in Cliffside Park, NJ, and Hackensack, NJ, are ready to welcome you! 

What Is a Trigger Finger and What Are the Best Trigger Finger Remedies?

What Is a Trigger Finger and What Are the Best Trigger Finger Remedies?

Have you ever experienced your finger getting “stuck” or feeling “locked,” and when you try to bend or straighten it, there’s a painful clicking or snapping sound? It may have happened to you while doing your normal day-to-day activities like typing on your laptop or opening a can of soda. Or maybe it happens to you quite often in the morning, after you just got out of bed. This stiffness in your finger is a condition called trigger finger. And while it can be a bothersome situation, the good news is there’s a way to treat it. In this article, we’ll tell you all about what a trigger finger is, what can cause it, and what you can do to remedy it.

What Is a Trigger Finger?

Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition that causes pain, stiffness, and a locking or catching sensation when you bend or straighten your finger. The loud clicking noise your finger makes when you try to move it has been compared to a trigger being pulled and released, thus the name “trigger finger.” It can affect any finger or more than one finger at a time. However, the ring finger and thumb (also called trigger thumb) are the extremities most commonly affected by the condition. 

What Causes Trigger Fingers?

A trigger finger occurs when there’s an inflammation build-up within a finger, so that’s why every time you try to bend or straighten it, you feel tenderness and pain. The inflammation is often caused by repeated forceful movements of the fingers or thumb. 

Tendons, which are fibrous tissue bands that connect muscles and bones, are surrounded by a protective sheath. Together with a membrane called synovium, the sheath helps the tendon glide effortlessly to allow movement in your hands. However, harsh and insistent hand movements can cause the tendon’s sheath to become irritated and inflamed, generating pain. 

Eventually, the long-term irritation of the tendon sheath can cause scarring and thickening, which affects the tendon’s motion. When this happens, bending your finger or thumb pulls the inflamed tendon through a narrowed sheath and makes it click or snap.

Individuals who do a lot of repetitive hand gripping, like bodybuilders, gardeners, and construction workers, are more prone to developing this condition. Additionally, people with medical conditions, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, are also more likely to develop trigger fingers or a trigger thumb. A study has also proven that adult women are more susceptible to developing the condition, especially on their dominant hand.

How to Treat a Trigger Finger?

Luckily, you don’t have to live with a trigger finger forever. As long as you treat it early enough, you can cure your trigger finger without undergoing surgery. Here are some of the best non-surgical trigger finger remedies we suggest.

Rest Your Finger

Rest is the best medicine indeed. This age-old remedy may sound simple, but it is truly one you should follow. Resting your finger allows it to calm down and try to heal on its own. Make sure to avoid any hand activities that require forceful and repetitive actions. For additional trigger finger pain relief, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or NSAIDs, which help reduce inflammation and minimize pain. You’ll be surprised that after a week or two, your fingers will feel perfectly normal again.

Splint Your Finger

When you’re resting your finger, it’s almost impossible not to move it. Moving our fingers to do ordinary tasks like opening a water bottle is second nature to us, so it’s easy to forget that you’re not supposed to move it. Splinting your finger and immobilizing it can help you avoid movement, making the resting phase more effective and recovery time quicker.

Exercise Your Finger

Doing some light exercises for your fingers is also highly recommended by physicians as these can help strengthen and loosen the stiffness from your trigger finger or thumb. 

If you have a stress ball, squeezing the ball three to four times a day for a few minutes can help strengthen your thumb. 

You can also stretch your fingers by placing your affected hand palm down on a table and using the other hand to lift the affected finger until you feel a good stretch. Hold it for a few seconds and do five repetitions three times a day.

Massage Your Finger

Okay, now who doesn’t love a good massage? Massaging your trigger finger with your other hand can also help provide relief. Use gentle but firm pressure when massaging the affected finger or thumb—massage in small circles for a few minutes, three times a day. However, be careful not to overdo it and always use pain as an indicator. Stop massaging immediately and let your fingers rest if you feel any sudden pain.

Chiropractic Care for Your Finger

Another excellent way to treat your trigger finger or thumb is by undergoing chiropractic care. A chiropractor uses advanced techniques and gentle adjustments that target the spine and extremities to help realign your body and provide relief. 

Chiropractors typically use a whole-body approach as they recognize that most conditions are not limited to only what appears to be the affected area. These adjustments will effectively treat the root of the pain, allowing your body to have more holistic healing. Chiropractic is a natural way to treat trigger fingers and other parts of your body that you had no idea needed healing.

We’re Looking Forward to Helping You at Our Chiropractic Offices in NJ!

At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. After all, our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Contact us to learn more about our chiropractic services! Our chiropractic offices in Cliffside Park, NJ, and Hackensack, NJ, are ready to welcome you! 

Rotator Cuff Injury Part 1: What Are the Main Rotator Cuff Injury Types?

Rotator Cuff Injury Part 1: What Are the Main Rotator Cuff Injury Types?

Shoulders are more than just a nice part to show off when you’re wearing a sleeveless top. They are responsible for many everyday actions like helping you reach something off a high shelf, throwing a ball, styling your hair, or swimming in a pool. 

The rotator cuff is the most important group of muscles and tendons that allow your shoulder to do all of that movement. It supports and stabilizes your shoulders so you can have a wide range of motion (more than any other joint in the body). 

Unfortunately, the rotator cuff is a commonly injured area, and these injuries can make many routine activities difficult and painful. This article will discuss the main types of rotator cuff injuries, their causes, and symptoms.

What Is a Rotator Cuff Injury?

The rotator cuff connects your upper arm bone (humerus) with your shoulder blade (scapula) by holding the ball of your humerus firmly in your shoulder socket. The rotator cuff is what makes your shoulders one of the most flexible joints in your body. Unfortunately, this flexibility is also its weakness, making the shoulders more susceptible to injury.

A rotator cuff injury can mean many different things and includes any irritation or damage to your rotator cuff muscles or tendons.

What Are the Main Rotator Cuff Injury Types?

Rotator cuff injuries can be acute (traumatic) or chronic (ongoing) injuries that happen over time. These injuries include:

Tendinitis

Tendinitis is inflammation or irritation of the tendons in your rotator cuff caused by overuse. If you have tendinitis, you can feel the pain in the area just outside the joint. Shoulder tendinitis is a common repetitive motion injury for athletes, especially in swimming, baseball, tennis, and volleyball. That’s also the reason why some common types of tendinitis are called swimmer’s shoulder and thrower’s shoulder.

Bursitis 

Bursitis is an inflammation or irritation of the bursa, a small fluid-filled sac protecting your rotator cuff. When your bursa gets irritated, it becomes inflamed and grows in size, which means there is less space in the shoulder for muscles and tendons to move around. This can cause pain and a loss of movement in the shoulder. 

 The bursa can become irritated after long-term repetitive motion, similar to tendinitis. However, bursitis can also be caused by an infection, and the pain will usually manifest with a fever.

Rotator Cuff Tear 

A rotator cuff tear is often the result of wear and tear from daily use. Most tears are partial. Painters and carpenters are more likely to have this condition since their job requires them to move their arms a certain way countless times over. Athletes like tennis and baseball players are also prone due to the repetitive force needed in swinging their arms. 

 A rotator cuff tear can happen to both young and older people, but a complete tear is much more common if you are older. As you age, the muscle and tendon tissue of the rotator cuff loses some elasticity, and due to the inherent poor blood supply to the middle part of the tendon, healing is slow and degenerative changes are often found. Therefore the rotator cuff becomes more susceptible to injuries and is usually damaged while performing everyday activities.

 However, for younger individuals, a rotator cuff tear usually happens after a traumatic injury like suddenly falling on your arm or lifting something too heavy for your body. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Rotator Cuff Injury?

Depending on the severity of a rotator cuff injury, the symptoms can manifest differently. Some of the most common ways that a rotator cuff injury might present include:

  • Dull pain at the back of the shoulder.
  • Difficulty raising the arm above the head or reaching out to the side.
  • A noticeable restricted range of motion.
  • Disrupted sleeping patterns due to shoulder pain at night.

How to Treat a Rotator Cuff Injury?

If your rotator cuff has a complete tear, it can be excruciating and require immediate surgery. However, most rotator cuff injuries are manageable without the need for going under the knife. Aside from physical therapy and over-the-counter medications, chiropractic care can profoundly improve symptoms and shoulder function.

 A chiropractor can design a customized rehabilitation treatment that will meet the needs of each patient’s specific rotator cuff injury. In addition, chiropractic care can help strengthen the supporting structures around the rotator cuff, which will, in turn, speed up people’s recovery time after a rotator cuff injury.

We’re Looking Forward to Helping You at Our Chiropractic Offices in NJ!

At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. After all, our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Contact us to learn more about our chiropractic services! Our chiropractic offices in Cliffside Park, NJ, and Hackensack, NJ, are ready to welcome you!