Common Workplace Injuries and the Chiropractor’s Role in Recovery

Common Workplace Injuries and the Chiropractor’s Role in Recovery

Sarah worked in her employer’s IT department. The room she worked in had removable floor tiles to allow access to the extensive wiring beneath the floor. One day, a coworker removed a tile to repair then forgot to replace it. Later, as Sarah walked through the area, she stepped into the gap and stumbled. As she fell, her leg twisted at the knee. 

Employers are subject to extensive safety regulations, and most make great efforts to train and educate their employees on how to avoid a work injury. Machinery and vehicles are fitted with safety features, and where needed, employees are given gear such as steel-toed shoes, hard hats, and safety harnesses and vests. 

No doubt, these efforts have prevented countless injuries and saved countless lives. But workplace injuries still happen. Often these incidents cause musculoskeletal injuries. For this, a chiropractor is the one to see. 

Here we’ll look at common workplace injuries and how a chiropractor can provide the most effective treatment for many of them.

How Often Is Often? Work-Related Injury Statistics

General Statistics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 (the last year before the pandemic changed the workplace), there were 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private employers. About 888,220 of these injured or ill employees missed at least one day of work. 

The manufacturing industry accounted for 15%, with cases ranging from “sprains, strains, or tears (28.0%), 16,790 cases of soreness or pain (14.5%), and 15,380 cases involving cuts, lacerations, or punctures (13.3%).”

Occupations

Not surprisingly, the occupations most prone to injury are those where people work with machinery and tools, are on their feet a large portion of their work time, handle heavy objects, or require repetitive motions. Nurses and retail salespeople are not who you might think are on a list with people in construction, but they feature prominently on the list.

Causes

According to the National Safety Council, two of the top three work injury causes are overexertion (21.7%) and falls, slips, and trips (18.0%). 

In previous years, higher percentages were attributed to these categories. However, COVID-19 pushed another category—exposure to harmful substances or environments—to the top. Other typical causes of work-related injury include repetitive motions and vehicle accidents

These cases often result in musculoskeletal injuries that can benefit greatly from chiropractic care.

Injuries

Some of the most frequent injuries are sprains, strains, and tears from slips and falls. Overexertion causes strained or torn muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Back pain is common and may be due to disc injury. 

Repetitive motion injuries include tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, rotator cuff injury, and trigger finger. Vehicle accident injuries often include whiplash.

What Are Advantages to Chiropractic Care for Workplace Injuries?

A chiropractor can contribute significantly to eliminating pain and recovering as quickly as possible. Several studies indicate that a person with a work injury given chiropractic care requires less time for recovery, is less likely to need a hospital stay, and ends up with a smaller bill than standard medical services. In addition, chiropractic treatments can help get employees back to work sooner. 

Another vital advantage of chiropractic care is that it is drug-free. We have been facing a crisis of opioid addiction due to an increase in prescribed pain medications. Chiropractic techniques use alternative, more natural means to alleviate pain. In one study, patients receiving chiropractic treatment for lower back pain were 90% less likely to use opioids. 

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, we often partner with medical practitioners who often refer patients to us. Together, we provide thorough care for quick recovery. Studies show that combining chiropractic treatments and standard medical care for lower back pain affords patients more effective pain relief and less disability than just standard medical care.

What Kind of Work Injuries Do Chiropractors Treat?

Chiropractors treat musculoskeletal injuries to the spine, neck, back, bones, joints, and surrounding tissues. At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, we use various tools and techniques to locate the source of the pain, develop a drug-free treatment plan, and promote a full recovery.

#1: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression in the wrist caused by repetitive motions. We use soft tissue techniques, Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, cold laser, and rehabilitation procedures to relieve pain and stabilize the wrist.

#2: Ankle Sprain

A patient sprained an ankle after an awkward fall on the factory floor. The ankle may be swollen and bruised, and ligaments may be stretched or torn. We remove the swelling on the ligament and use soft tissue treatments and rehabilitation. In addition, we often use taping techniques—developed by our own Dr. Gregory Doerr—for stability and protection.

#3: Disc Herniation

A patient had a car accident during work travel and ended up with a disc herniation. Here, the cartilage surrounding the soft cushioning center is injured, and the center leaks out, which can cause sciatica. We use low back traction, rehabilitation exercises, various soft tissue techniques, manipulation, and mobilization to treat disc herniation.

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

The workplace is much safer today than it was decades ago. Workplace safety laws, employee training, and standard safety equipment and measures have tremendously reduced the risk of injury and death. But when accidents do occur, a chiropractor can be the ideal doctor for specific common workplace injuries. 

These injuries can occur anywhere, from a high-rise construction site to an office filled with cubicles. The musculoskeletal type of injuries can benefit from the services of a chiropractor or a combination of chiropractor and standard medical care. 

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 2: What Are the Best Shin Splint Stretches?

Shin Splints Exercises Part 2: What Are the Best Shin Splint Stretches?

So you finally decided to start running again in the hopes of getting back into shape, but alas, you find yourself with a nagging pain in your lower leg after covering a few miles. This pain you feel might be a shin splint and is one of the most common injuries runners get. 

Shin splints, medically known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS), often occur in runners due to the repetitive tiny stress fractures on the shin or extremely tight muscles. The chances of getting shin splints are more likely when you haven’t run for a while and overexert your tight muscles, or you suddenly ran a longer distance than you’re used to without a gradual build-up. 

However, it’s not only runners who are susceptible to shin splints. People who frequently do high-intensity exercise programs can also become plagued with shin splints, especially if they have a weak core and hip. Additionally, individuals with flatter feet or higher arches than average are more likely to experience shin splints.

Although the pain from shin splints can cause you to change your running or exercising habits temporarily, you shouldn’t worry too much about it. There are several stretches and exercises to help you feel better and prevent shin splints from disrupting your fitness journey in the future.

What Are the Best Shin Splint Stretches I Can Do at Home?

Here are some of the best shin splint stretches we recommend to help you strengthen your feet, hips, and lower legs so you can get back on track:

Shin Splint Stretch # 1: Foot stretch

This exercise can help release tightness in your feet.

  1. Stand with your feet together.
  2. Kneel down while keeping your toes tucked under your feet and your hands on the top of your thighs. The pressure should be on your knees and the balls of your feet. 
  3. To feel the stretch more, sit back on your heels while keeping your hands on top of your thighs.
  4. Hold the position for 45 seconds.

Shin Splint Stretch # 2: Straight-leg Calf Raises

This exercise can strengthen the gastroc and soleus muscles, which will help reduce the pressure on your shin bone.

  1. Stand on the edge of a step or an elevated box.
  2. Drop your heels toward the floor while keeping your legs straight.
  3. Push up onto your toes so that your heels are in the air.
  4. Slowly lower back down, repeat 10-12 times and repeat with the other leg.

Shin Splint Stretch # 3: Banded Ankle Inversions

This exercise targets and strengthens the muscles of the inner shin.

  1. Tie one end of a resistance band around something stable, like the leg of a sturdy table or pole, and the other end around your right foot.
  2. Sit on the ground with your right leg stretched out straight in front of you, with the table on your right. Make sure there is enough tension in the band.
  3. Use your foot to pull the band away from the table or towards the inside of your body.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat 10-12 times. Repeat the exercise on your left foot and make sure the table is on the left side.

Shin Splint Stretch # 4: Soleus Squat

This exercise will strengthen the soleus and the quads. These two muscles are essential for absorbing impact when you’re running.

  1. Slide your back down a wall until your knees are bent about 80 degrees.
  2. Push up on your toes, so your heels are in the air.
  3. Hold for 20-30 seconds, and repeat 3-4 times.

Shin Splint Stretch # 5: Step-ups

Step-ups are another exercise that can help strengthen your glutes, which are crucial for absorbing load when running.

  1. Find a step or elevated box a few inches lower than your knees (if you want more of a challenge, make the step higher).
  2. Place one foot on the step and stand up, driving your knee upward into a running position. Be careful not to push off with your back leg.
  3. Slowly lower your foot back down to the ground. Repeat 10-12 times on each side.

Shin Splint Stretch # 6: Toe and Heel Walk

This exercise targets your ankles, calves, and anterior tibialis muscles in the front to help you relieve pain from your shin splints.

  1. Stand with your shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift yourself onto your toes and slowly roll back onto your heels. Do this a few times until you get comfortable with the movement.
  3. When you’re comfortable, raise back up to your toes and walk a few steps forward or until your space allows it.
  4. When you turn around, walk back using your heels.
  5. Do 3-5 rounds.

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

We hope these exercises and stretches will help you with your shin splints. However, if the pain persists, don’t be afraid to seek out help from a professional. Chiropractic adjustments can quickly help alleviate pain in your joints and allow you to function at a grander capacity. Your chiropractor can also tailor a specific set of exercises just for you to help speed up your healing process.

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! 

Ankle Sprain Part 1: What Do We Know about the Ankle Sprain Grades?

Ankle Sprain Part 1: What Do We Know about the Ankle Sprain Grades?

While playing soccer, Janine ran into another player, and with her next step, her foot landed awkwardly. Her ankle rolled. Joe was working on a home improvement project. He slipped on the last rung of his ladder and twisted his ankle. Pat’s Rottweiler saw a squirrel and gave a sudden pull on the leash. Pat stumbled before he could catch up. They all had ankle sprains. 

Chiropractors often see patients with ankle sprains, one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries. Here are a few eye-opening numbers about the frequency of ankle injuries

  • 10 to 30% of young athletes’ injuries involve ankles.
  • About 1 million people each year see a doctor about an ankle injury.
  • About 75% of ankle injuries are sprains.
  • Over 40% of ankle sprains may cause chronic issues.

Ankles have ligaments that connect the bones and maintain a normal range of motion. A sprain occurs when the ankle rolls or twists such that the ligaments are forcibly stretched or torn. As a result, they move outside their normal position and range of motion. 

An ankle sprain can range from mild to severe. It is assessed using ankle sprain grades—1 through 3—to indicate the level of severity. In the first part of the ankle injury series, we will look at ankle sprains and the grades of severity. In the second part, we will explore a variety of treatments for these injuries.

Ankle Sprains: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

Causes 

Numerous ankle injuries happen during sports. Jumping and landing wrong, falling alone or in a pile-up, or getting pushed while running—any number of things can cause an ankle sprain. 

But ankle injuries are certainly not limited to athletes. Stumbling over a child’s toy in the middle of the family room floor, losing your balance on a stepstool, stepping and slipping on a stone while walking outside, or losing your balance on a wet tile in the bathroom can affect all of us.

Symptoms

The first symptom, of course, is pain! Even a mild sprain will hurt. There are a few other symptoms, such as: 

  • Swelling; 
  • Bruising; 
  • Tenderness; 
  • A possibly a popping noise or sensation at the moment of injury.

Diagnosis

The symptoms of a sprain, especially a severe sprain, are similar to those of a bone fracture. Your doctor may require an X-ray or MRI to ensure the injury is a sprain. To determine the severity of the ankle sprain, they will move your ankle in several directions to see which ligaments are injured and assess how the range of motion has been affected. Here, they will identify your ankle sprain grade.

Ankle Sprain Grades 

There is more than one grading system for classifying the level of severity of an ankle sprain. The system we describe here is a traditional, widely used system. 

There are three grades of ankle sprain severity in the traditional grading system. Each grade reflects the amount of damage done, the extent of swelling and pain, and the level of instability and loss of function. The higher the grade, the more extensive treatment and healing time will be needed to recover full function. 

Recovery time for each grade depends on the type and effectiveness of treatment. For each grade below, we indicate a typical recovery time. More time may be needed if other complicating factors are in the picture.

Ankle Sprain Grade 1

This is the least severe sprain. Ligaments are stretched slightly, and there is minimal microscopic tearing of collagen fibers in the ligaments. The ligaments are overstretched, but they have little or no tearing. There is minimal swelling and soreness. While the ankle does hurt, it can still hold your weight, and you can still walk, though perhaps a bit slower than usual. 

Ankle sprain grade 1 recovery time is about one to three weeks.

Ankle Sprain Grade 2

This is a moderate level sprain. The ligament is partially torn, and there is an unusual looseness in the joint. Some collagen fibers in the ligament are torn. There is moderate swelling, and the area feels tender to the touch. The range of motion is decreased, and the ankle is unstable. There is mild to moderate bruising, as the tear has bled under the skin. It may be challenging to put your total weight on that leg. You lose some of your normal function and range of motion. 

Ankle sprain grade 2 recovery time is about three to six weeks.

Ankle Sprain Grade 3

This most severe type of sprain means a ligament or ligaments are fully torn. The area is extremely painful to the touch. The tear may cause an audible popping sound. Grade 3 ankle sprain bruising is severe. Swelling is extensive (more than 4 centimeters around the fibula). The ankle is completely unstable, and you cannot put any weight on it. You might feel like your ankle is broken.

Ankle sprain grade 3 recovery time may take several months.

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

Ankle sprains are common injuries for professional athletes to the average person walking along the sidewalk. When you think about it, ankles are relatively small compared to the rest of our bodies, but they have a tremendous job. They keep us moving—walking, running, jumping, landing, turning, and more—all while supporting our total weight. No wonder they seem to be so vulnerable!

If you suffer a sprain, your chiropractor is the one to go to. This is a musculoskeletal injury—a chiropractor’s specialty. They see and treat these injuries every day. That experience will benefit you; you want to heal as fully and quickly as possible. In the second part of this ankle injury series, we will discuss several types of treatments chiropractors use to treat all grades of ankle sprains.

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 2: What Are the Main Rotator Cuff Injury Treatments?

Rotator Cuff Injury Part 2: What Are the Main Rotator Cuff Injury Treatments?

Imagine being unable to reach your favorite book, which sits on a high shelf, without pain. What if it hurt to reach for a jug of milk in the back of the refrigerator? That friendly game of volleyball is out of the question.

Your rotator cuff connects your upper arm and your shoulder blade. When injured, it’s painful and limits your shoulder’s normal range of motion and your ability to perform some of your daily tasks. 

In Part 1 of our look into rotator cuff injuries, “Rotator Cuff Injury Part 1: What Are the Main Rotator Cuff Injury Types?,” we summarized three rotator cuff injury types—tendinitis, bursitis, and a rotator cuff tear. Here, in Part 2 of the series, we will summarize how these injuries are treated. 

The ideal place to receive rotator cuff injury treatments is a chiropractic care center, such as Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, where we specialize in treating the musculoskeletal system.

Rotator Cuff Injury

Before we discuss treatments, here is a reminder of the three types of rotator cuff injuries

  • Tendinitis: inflammation or irritation of the rotator cuff tendons due to overuse. A common repetitive motion injury.
  • Bursitis: inflammation or irritation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac protecting the rotator cuff. The sac expands, leaving little room for muscles and tendons to move.
  • Rotator Cuff Tear: tears as a result of daily use. This is more common in some older people and professions and activities requiring repetitive motion.

The injuries come with pain in the back and shoulder, difficulty reaching above your head or to the side, and a limited range of motion.

Rotator Cuff Injury Treatments

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, we treat rotator cuff injuries with a variety of techniques. Depending on the patient’s condition, we choose the technique(s) that relieve pain as quickly as possible, stabilize the area, and promote healing.

FAKTR

FAKTR, or Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehabilitation, Provocation, and Motion, is a treatment developed by Dr. Thomas Hyde and Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center’s own Dr. Gregory Doerr. It uses several soft tissue techniques, resistance training, functional activities, and balance and coordination exercises. As a result, FAKTR reduces pain and restores function faster than conventional treatments.

FAKTR treatment involves three applications and five concepts to provide rapid, effective healing: 

  • Neurosensory: reconnecting tissues to the central nervous system by bombarding the system with stimulation. This essentially reboots the system and normalizes the injured tissue.
  • Pro-Inflammation (structural): creating a local inflammation on the injured tissue to remodel the tissue and reestablish proper connections. 
  • Anti-Inflammatory: pushing out swelling and chemical irritants. This improves blood flow to the injured area.

The concepts are position, motion, resistance, functional positioning, and proprioception (kinesthesia, your body’s ability to sense movement, action, and location).

Graston Technique

The Graston Technique is a type of Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) used to reduce scar tissue. It employs stainless steel instruments in various shapes and sizes to identify and treat areas of scarring and chronic inflammation. Like a stethoscope, the instruments augment the doctor’s ability to find these areas. The Graston Technique produces faster and more complete healing.

Active Release

The Active Release Technique uses a movement-based protocol system. The doctor uses their hands to determine the condition of soft tissue—texture, tone, tightness, and restrictions. The injured area—muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves—is treated with a combination of directionally specific soft tissue contacts with several tissue-selective movement patterns.

Taping

Several taping techniques help heal musculoskeletal injuries, including a rotator cuff injury: 

  • Kinesio Taping: taping over and around the injured area. It reduces pain, improves muscular function, decreases swelling and bruising, assists in proper joint alignment, and allows full range of motion of the injured tissues.
  • Spider Tech Tape: integrates with the body’s natural sensory nervous system. There are three types of application: neurosensory (stimulates skin receptors and decreases the perception of pain), structural (prevent an injurious range of motion, supports good posture, reduces strain), and microcirculatory (creates pressure to sweep away chemical irritants, swelling, and bruising; improves blood flow).
  • Specific Proprioceptive Response Taping (SPRT) – offers greater relief from the injury when moving. It supports the healing injury while allowing a proper range of motion. 
  • Functional Taping: Dr. Doerr’s signature method. Pre-testing is conducted to ensure the correct taping technique is used and that the outcome will be successful. Dr. Doerr has evolved many concepts into his unique taping applications.

Shock Wave Therapy

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) applies a shock wave to injured tissue for pain reduction and faster healing. This is a non-invasive procedure. Results of clinical trials suggest that this technique is safe and effective. It is used after simpler methods have not produced results and is a less invasive alternative to surgery. Treatments may last up to three weeks.

Cold Laser

Cold Laser therapy is also a non-invasive alternative to surgery. Treatment can be in addition to other chiropractic treatments. The aim is to promote the regeneration of healthy tissue. The device does not use heat or radiation. Rather, it uses light, so it does not have the side effects of heat or radiation. In one study, patients receiving physiotherapy and cole laser therapy had better results than patients receiving physiotherapy alone.

Exercise Rehabilitation

Physical rehabilitation consists of procedures and exercises that improve the function and stability of injured areas. In addition, it remodels soft tissues and promotes collagen synthesis. Exercise rehabilitation improves the injured area’s flexibility, strength, balance, coordination, and endurance. Exercise rehabilitation is continued after discharge to prevent re-injury.

Which Treatment Is Best?

The proper treatment depends on the extent and circumstance of the injury. Rotator cuff injury recovery time can take as little as two to four weeks and as long as several months.

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

A rotator cuff injury interrupts athletic endeavors and jobs that require repetitive motion. It also affects your daily life, as it can be difficult to do routine things, such as reaching for something on a high shelf. Fortunately, there are several options for treatment. Surgery is only required in the most extreme cases. 

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!