Scoliosis Treatment Part 1: What Are the Main Scoliosis Types?

Scoliosis Treatment Part 1: What Are the Main Scoliosis Types?

Scoliosis is a spinal deformity that causes abnormal curvatures in the spine. Many of the younger population live with scoliosis, from infants to teenagers. And while scoliosis tends to be associated with children, it can also affect adults. 

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), scoliosis impacts 2-3% of the American population – that’s six to nine million individuals with irregular spine curvatures! However, these folks aren’t suffering from only one type of scoliosis. Several kinds of scoliosis are classified by its cause, the patient’s age during the first onset, and its progression rate. So, let’s discuss what these different types of scoliosis are and how to recognize their symptoms.

What Are the Main Types of Scoliosis?

There are four main types of scoliosis determined by the age of onset and its cause.

#1: Congenital Scoliosis

Congenital scoliosis is a rare condition that affects only 1 in 10,000 newborns. The spinal deformity develops in the womb and lingers after birth. A malformation in the spine of the developing fetus is typically the most common cause of congenital scoliosis. 

Because congenital scoliosis happens inside the womb, it is diagnosed earlier than the other types of scoliosis. Some symptoms of congenital scoliosis are:

  • Tilted and uneven shoulders;
  • Prominent ribs on one side;
  • Uneven waistline;
  • One hip is higher than the other;
  • Tilted head;
  • The appearance of the body leaning to one side.

In rare cases, there may be a problem with the newborn’s spinal cord and nerves, which can cause weakness and loss of coordination. Diagnostic tests like EOS imaging, x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are advised to further investigate the condition. Then, a suitable treatment plan such as surgery can be performed by a physician. 

#2: Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Idiopathic scoliosis has no official known cause. However, the most common type, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, could be due to the sudden growth spurt during adolescence. As many as 4 out of 100 children between the ages of 10 and 18 develop idiopathic scoliosis. 

As spinal growth begins to speed up after age 10, the curvature of the spine may be affected, leading to the following symptoms:

  • Uneven shoulders;
  • Uneven waistline;
  • One shoulder blade is more prominent than the other;
  • One hip is higher than the other;
  • One side of the rib cage protrudes forward;
  • One side of the back is more prominent when bending forward.

While the actual cause of idiopathic scoliosis is still unknown, many researchers continue to develop theories and study the root of this condition. Some researchers suggest a genetic link or a hormonal imbalance to be the cause of idiopathic scoliosis. 

#3: Neuromuscular Scoliosis

Neuromuscular scoliosis is a secondary condition caused by other disorders like muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and other neuromuscular conditions. This type of scoliosis can be seen in individuals who use wheelchairs. 

Neuromuscular scoliosis occurs when brain neurons cannot communicate properly with the muscles. The curvature usually progresses into adulthood and becomes more severe in patients who can no longer walk. These individuals who use wheelchairs may have difficulty sitting upright and tend to slouch to one side. 

Some of the underlying conditions that lead to neuromuscular scoliosis are:

The first sign of neuromuscular scoliosis in individuals is a change in posture. For example, they may be leaning too forward or too sidewards when standing up or sitting down. Thankfully, this scoliosis type is not painful unless it progresses into a severe abnormal curvature. 

#4: Degenerative Scoliosis

Degenerative scoliosis, also called adult-onset scoliosis or de novo scoliosis, develops when aging causes joints and discs in the spine to deteriorate. The wear and tear of these joints connecting spinal vertebrae can cause spinal curvature to become more pronounced on one side. It’s been estimated that 68% or more of people past 60 years old have at least mild degenerative scoliosis.

Degenerative scoliosis develops in the lumbar spine or the lower back and forms a minute C-shape. Compared to the other types of scoliosis, degenerative scoliosis can become the most painful. Other degenerative scoliosis symptoms include: 

  • Dull lower back pain; 
  • Muscle fatigue;
  • Radiating pain that runs down the leg;
  • Sharp pain in the leg while walking.

Over time, people with degenerative scoliosis may lose balance on top of their poor posture. Therefore, older individuals with this scoliosis type must see a physician immediately to undergo the proper treatment.

Can I See a Chiropractor for My Scoliosis? 

The typical course of treatment for straightening scoliosis is surgery – but this is often reserved for individuals with curvatures beyond 50 degrees. Scoliotic individuals with less prominent curvatures can seek chiropractic care to treat their condition.

Seeking help from professional chiropractors can help prevent scoliosis from getting worse and manage the symptoms to improve an individual’s quality of life. In addition, chiropractors can provide a non-invasive and drug-free treatment plan for scoliotic patients and allow their bodies to heal themselves by restoring proper alignment to their spine.

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!

Ankle Sprain, Part 2: What Is the Best Ankle Sprain Treatment?

Ankle Sprain, Part 2: What Is the Best Ankle Sprain Treatment?

Ankle sprains are among the most common musculoskeletal injuries chiropractors see. The ankle rolls or twists, forcibly stretching or tearing the ligaments that hold the ankle in place. Depending on the circumstances, a sprain can range from mild to severe. 

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, we have several techniques for successfully treating sprained ankles. In this article, Part 2 of the ankle sprain series, we will discuss how we treat these injuries. But, first, we’ll give you a summary of the injury grades from Part 1

Ankle Sprains: Levels of Severity

When the ankle rolls or twists out of place, the nature of the cause determines the level of damage. Ankle sprains are classified into three levels of severity or grades

  • Grade 1 (Mild): Ligaments are slightly overstretched, and collagen fibers are likely not torn. There is some swelling and soreness. The ankle can still hold your weight, and you can still walk.
  • Grade 2 (Moderate): The ligaments are partially torn. There is moderate swelling and bruising, decreased range of motion, and instability. It may be challenging to hold your entire weight. 
  • Grade 3 (Severe): A ligament or ligaments are fully torn. The area is extremely painful, and swelling and bruising are extensive. The ankle is unstable, and you cannot put any weight on it. 

Ankle Sprain Treatment Guidelines

Treatment for ankle sprains often adheres to the following guidelines

  • Grade 1 (Mild): Support devices such as casts or splints are unnecessary. The chiropractor recommends exercises that strengthen the ankle.
  • Grade 2 (Moderate): The patient wears a splint or brace to immobilize the ankle. They receive physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the ankle and improve their range of motion.
  • Grade 3 (Severe): The ankle is immobilized, and physical therapy is longer and more extensive than Grade 2. Grade 3 injuries may require surgery.

Traditional treatment guidelines for a sprained ankle include an easy-to-remember PEACE & LOVE acronym. This method includes elements of both rehabilitation and management, emphasizing the importance of patient education in a successful recovery. Here’s a brief summary

  • Protection: minimize movements that aggravate the injury.
  • Elevation: elevate the ankle higher than the heart.
  • Avoid anti-inflammatories: anti-inflammatories reduce healing.
  • Compression: reduce swelling with an elastic bandage or taping.
  • Education: let your body heal naturally. Don’t overdo other treatments.

And:

  • Load: pay attention to your body’s reaction as you gradually return to regular activities.
  • Optimism: maintain an optimistic attitude. Stay confident and positive.
  • Vascularization: increase blood flow to the injured area by engaging in cardiovascular activities that won’t irritate the injury.
  • Exercise: take an active approach to your recovery by exercising. It will improve your mobility and strength.

Ankle Sprain Treatment at Bergen Chiropractic

Your chiropractor is the ideal practitioner to treat any ankle sprain grade. At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our clinicians draw from various evidence-based techniques to design a unique ankle sprain treatment plan for each patient. The right combination of techniques ensures complete healing with fast ankle sprain healing time.

We take a more aggressive, research-based approach to treating and healing ankle sprains. We begin by removing the pain-causing swelling of the injured ligament. Then, we continue with soft tissue treatments and rehabilitation. We only use ice in the most severe cases. The taping techniques developed by Bergen Chiropractic’s Dr. Gregory Doerr stabilize the injured ligaments and prevent further strain while healing. 

Soft Tissue Treatments

After assessing the circumstances and severity of the injury, we build a treatment plan for which we select soft tissue techniques that will yield the best results. 

Graston Technique

The Graston Technique is a type of Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM). It uses stainless steel tools to detect and break down scarring. This technique has been clinically proven to quickly achieve more favorable outcomes. 

Active Release Technique (ART)

This movement-based technique treats muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves restrictions. We use our hands to evaluate the soft tissue’s texture, tone, tightness, and restrictions. Then, we treat the injuries by combining directionally specific soft tissue contacts with several tissue-selective movement patterns.

FAKTR (Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehabilitation, Provocation, and Motion)

FAKTR combines soft tissue treatments, resistance training, and exercises to produce faster results than traditional methods. Patients often report noticeable improvements after their first treatment. FAKTR was developed by Dr. Gregory Doerr, DC, of Bergen Chiropractic, and Thomas E Hyde, DC, in 2002:

  • Neurologically, it stimulates nervous system pathways to normalize over or underactive muscles. It reboots the nervous system to restore proper function. 
  • Structurally, this treatment increases the proliferation of healing cells and remodels injured tissues into a healthy condition. 
  • For vascular and microcirculatory issues, we direct blood flow to the injured and sensitive areas to reduce swelling and bruising. This turns soft tissue treatments into anti-inflammatory treatments.

Taping

Several taping techniques help support the injury and promote faster healing. Again, the technique used depends on the nature and severity of the injury.

  • Kinesio Taping tapes over and around the injured area reducing pain, improving muscular function, decreasing swelling and bruising, and allowing full range of motion.
  • SpiderTech Tape integrates with the body’s nervous system. There are three types of application: neurosensory (stimulates skin receptors and decreases the perception of pain), structural (prevents an injurious range of motion), and microcirculatory (creates pressure to sweep away chemical irritants, swelling, and bruising; improves blood flow).
  • Specific Proprioceptive Response Taping (SPRT) supports the healing injury while allowing a good range of motion. 
  • Functional Taping is Dr. Doerr’s signature method. He developed a testing procedure that gives the chiropractor solid evidence to determine whether taping is necessary and which techniques will produce results.

As always, we treat our patients without the need for medications.

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

Ankle sprains may be common injuries, but while not permanently debilitating, they can temporarily bring you pain and disruption in your life. They can interrupt the athletes’ ability to train and participate in sports.

The Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center offers a wide range of research-based, drug-free treatments that improve patient outcomes more quickly compared to traditional treatments. Through soft tissue treatments, taping, or a combination of techniques, we will get you back on your feet, healed and pain-free, in as little time as possible. 

To give you an idea of how our techniques work, we invite you to watch Dr. Doerr’s demonstration videos:  

Don’t hesitate to contact us and check out our blog if you want your ankle sprain to heal through the most effective treatments.

Patellar Tracking Disorder, Part 1: What Is a Patellar Tracking Disorder?

Patellar Tracking Disorder, Part 1: What Is a Patellar Tracking Disorder?

During a football game, Roger took a tough hit to his knee on his way to the endzone. Later, he felt a popping sensation in his knee as he walked. Joan’s job often requires repetitive twisting motions as she moves heavy objects. She’s been on the job for years with seemingly no problem. But today, she felt her knee giving out, as it could no longer hold her up. 

These two people may be experiencing patellar tracking disorder symptoms. With patella tracking disorder, the patella (the kneecap) is forced out of its normal position. It usually moves away from the body (i.e., to the left in the left leg or to the right in the right leg).

In this article, Part 1, we will discuss patellar tracking disorder, how it occurs, how it’s diagnosed, and how to be prevented. Later in Part 2, we will discuss treating patellar tracking disorder at Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center.

The Knee before Patellar Tracking Disorder

On a typical day, you may sit down, stand up, walk and run from place to place, kneel to reach that box under the bed, climb a ladder, lift things from the ground, jump over a puddle, get your dance moves on, and so much more. You put your knees to work. 

The largest joint in the body, the knee, is the point where the body’s two longest bones—the femur and tibia (thigh and lower leg bones, respectively)—and the patella all connect. The patella sits atop a layer of cartilage and slides along a groove at the end of the femur as you move your leg. Strong tendons and ligaments hold the knee firmly in place while allowing a wide range of motion from 0 degrees when stretched out straight to about 150 degrees when you touch your calf to the back of your thigh. 

Your knees are subject to a great deal of force. First, there’s your body weight. If you’re standing still, your knees support about 80% of your weight. That jumps to 150% when you’re walking because of the extra force that motion produces. Add the weight of anything you’re carrying while moving around— that’s quite a bit for your knees. 

Knees are made to handle a lot of force. But if weighty forces are applied over a long time, you’re engaged in high-risk activity, or you’re getting older, your knees can become more susceptible to injury.

Patellar Tracking Disorder

What Is Patellar Tracking Disorder?

Patellar tracking disorder is a condition in which the patella is pushed out of place, away from that groove in the femur, when you move your leg. The disorder encompasses several types of movement problems during flexion and knee extension

What Causes Patellar Tracking Disorder?

Repeated high stress on the knee can eventually lead to patellar tracking disorder. It can also be brought about by weak leg muscles or too much tightness or looseness in the tendons and ligaments that typically hold the knee in place. For example, a knee injury from a football tackle can push the knee out of alignment. 

Aging and excess body weight also contribute to the condition. With the former, muscles naturally weaken over time. With the latter, the additional weight puts more force on the knees. Also, repetitive twisting movements can create a problem.

What Are the Patellar Tracking Disorder Symptoms?

Patellar tracking disorder brings with it a wide array of possible symptoms. When you flex your knee, jumping, walking, or squatting, you may experience pain in the front of your knee. You may have a sensation of grinding, popping, or motion in your patella. It may feel like your knee is buckling and can’t support you anymore. It is especially painful if the knee completely dislocates.

Diagnosing Patellar Tracking Disorder

Numerous patellar tracking disorder symptoms are shared by other knee conditions. This makes diagnosis more difficult. Your doctor will examine your knee by moving it into different positions, observing you as you move your knee, and possibly using X-rays or MRI. 

One way to test for patellar tracking disorder is a patellar grind test, in which the doctor applies pressure as you move your knee to evaluate the pain response. The procedure is repeated with increasing pressure.

Preventing Patellar Tracking Disorder

The best way to prevent patellar tracking disorder is to lower your risks. Wherever possible, avoid situations that put excessive stress on your knees. However, this isn’t practical for some people, such as athletes in high-impact sports and people with physically demanding jobs. 

The next best thing is to get in and stay in great shape. Exercises focused on strengthening the knees and leg muscles are ideal for avoiding patellar tracking disorder. 

Another significant means of prevention is maintaining a healthy weight. Remember the earlier example? Your knees support about 80% of your weight when standing still and 150% when you’re walking. The more weight you carry, the more force and strain is placed on your knees every day. 

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

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, we have several options for treating patellar tracking disorder. We use a variety of soft tissue techniques to relieve pain and restore a full range of motion. Our rehabilitation procedures relieve the symptoms and stabilize the region. We also use modalities such as Radiopulse Frequency (Shock Wave Therapy) and Cold Laser.

In Part 2 of this series, we will discuss our various treatments for patellar tracking disorder, including FAKTR, Graston Technique, Active Release, and taping. As always, our goal for every patient is to thoroughly examine the problem, develop and execute an effective, customized treatment plan for the patient’s specific situation, and promote a quick and complete recovery. 

Meanwhile, if you find yourself with symptoms of patellar tracking disorder, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and check out our blog. We can get you—and your knee—back on track!