Frozen Shoulder

This condition starts out as a mild pain, but over time can become a serious concern. Often the pain shows up after lifting something overhead or with an outstretched arm, such as reaching in the trunk of a car. If this pain does not resolve itself in two weeks, it becomes a chronic condition, with the supraspinatus muscle most often putting direct pressure on the supraspinatus tendon, leading to tendonitis.

The inflammation and pain often cause the sufferer to use the arm less, resulting in shrinking of the shoulder tissue or capsule. Our patients often mention they cannot reach behind their head or low back. Over time, this restriction becomes worse until the shoulder seizes up or “freezes,” a condition termed adhesive capsulitis. Medical treatment usually involves anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and if severe, surgery and rehabilitation.

In many cases, I have found that shoulder manipulation, coupled with muscle therapy, can relieve most or all of the symptoms. Muscle therapy is directed at the rotator cuff muscles, as well as other shoulder muscles nearby. After relaxing the muscles, the shoulder is gently moved to increase the range of motion by stretching the joint capsule so it does not restrict movement or impinge on the tendon.

Shoulder exercises along with ice and heat are also helpful.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the support of the arch of the foot, attached to the underside of the heel forward to the toes. Plantar fasciitis occurs in 10% of the population and is commonly associated with long periods of work standing or in heavy people; it is further aggravated by standing on the toes. Pain is usually felt with the first few steps in the morning or after sitting for a while and then standing up.

After time, people with plantar fasciitis commonly experience knee pain because the foot isn’t functioning properly. In advanced cases, an x-ray of the foot might show a bone spur on the heel; it should be noted that the bone spur does not cause the pain.

Putting the heel on ice for 10 minutes a few times a day is the easiest form of pain relief. Sometimes, massaging the calf and stretching the muscles works, as well. It may also help to use NSAIDS such as aspirin or ibuprofen; you should consult your family doctor. Other therapies such as ultrasound have shown value.

Orthotics or foot supports are the most effective treatments for plantar fasciitis. You should be cautious, as there are many kinds of foot supports available and many of them, including foam liners and certain kinds of arch supports, are of little benefit. You should choose an arch support that absorbs shock, supports the arch and is durable. The best orthotics are custom-made and offer a warranty.

Sacroiliac Syndrome

This is the most common back problem for women – it is literally a huge pain in the backside. This is usually a problem in women who have had children; the more kids, the worse the problem. The female pelvis has ligaments which are very light in comparison to men in order to facilitate childbirth, as the pelvis needs to be somewhat flexible and able to open more to allow delivery.

The sacroiliac joint is moveable; this can cause pain when the pelvis is stressed, such as when bending over with the weight on one foot; the normal position of the sacrum in relation to the pelvis is changed. The common symptom is that the pelvic bone becomes flexed and doesn’t return to normal. This is then accompanied by piriformis muscle spasm, which is the body’s reaction to the joint pain wherein the body attempts to immobilize the joint to allow it to rest. The result is an inflamed joint and a muscle spasm, which both hurt.

Some sufferers require bed rest and heavy painkillers, and for many, it can lead to time off work or cause problems in everything they do. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition; some are fine with regular pain pills, while others may find it resolves itself in 2-3 days. Once it has passed the three-day mark, you usually are going to have trouble for two weeks or more if nothing is done.

In the long-term scenario, several issues need to be addressed, with the first being pain. You should start by taking painkillers and icing the affected area directly for 10 minutes 2-3 times a day. Use ice packs from your refrigerator, as deep-freeze chests are too cold. Also, be aware that ice should not be used longer than 10 minutes as it can worsen the problem.

Next, you need to address the muscle spasm; direct muscle therapy is usually very helpful. The muscle is attached to the sacrum and the hip, and is often sore in the centre of the buttocks. The sacroiliac joint, when malpositioned, needs to be manipulated. Chiropractic practitioners are the best at doing this, as they have training and experience. For severe cases, it may be necessary to have an x-ray to rule out other conditions, such as a ruptured disc.

Migraine Headaches

One of the most intense experiences outside of childbirth is the migraine headache. One who has had a true migraine will tell you that nothing is as bad. To find out if a patient is having a true migraine, I often ask, “Would you rather break your arm or have a migraine?” Migraine suffers always would rather break their arm, and there is no hesitation in their answer.

Migraines result from the constriction of arteries and reduction of blood flow to the surface of the brain. Depending on where the constricted arteries are, the patient may feel numbness of the hands, feet or face. In the case of a classic migraine, blood flow is restricted in the visual area of the brain, resulting in temporary disturbance of sight or flashing lights called a scotoma or an aura. This may last from a few minutes to as long as two hours. If there is no aura, the headache is called a common migraine.

The arteries which are constricted eventually relax, causing a rush of blood which leads to a pounding headache. This often lasts for a full day. Some suffer debilitating migraines every day. During the headache, sufferers become acutely sensitive to sound, light and smells, and will often stay in a quiet, dark room and avoid socializing. If the headache is more severe, the person will experience vomiting with some relief after.

Numerous causes have been attached to migraines, such as hormones, stress, weather changes and migraine triggers. Over 25 years, I have noticed a pattern to migraines. For ladies, the week prior to their period is the most common time to experience them. Generally though, I have noted the migraine triggers are a major concern. A brief list: cheese, chocolate, wine, beer, nuts, MSG, tyramines and nitrates. If a person has just one of these, usually nothing happens; two and the patient might get a headache. If the patient consumes three, they will have a full-blown attack. I call this the “Three Strikes Rule.”

The majority of migraine headaches can be managed by addressing the triggers. The most notorious is the monosodium glutamate group. MSG is commonly found in Chinese food, especially in the noodles and soy sauce. MSG is also found in most canned or packaged soups, sauces such as barbecue sauce. MSG may be listed as autolyzed yeast, flavour enhancer or natural flavour.

Nitrates are traditionally found in prepared or deli meats such as cold cuts, sausages, bacon, bologna, wieners and jerky. Tyramines are vasoactive compounds found in old cheese, dark chocolate, red wine and commercial beer.

You should always pay close attention to the ingredients of store-bought items, and ask your waiter or chef about the ingredients of your dish to avoid being sick the next day. Most restaurants will tell you what is in their food, as it is not in their interest to make you sick.

If you suffer migraines, it would serve you well to be tested for food allergies and sensitivities. Many food sensitivities turn out to be things you crave, such as chocolate. In general fresh air, exercise, and a good diet of fruit, veggies, whole grains and fresh-cooked meats help lessen migraines. Carbonated water and ginger ale help to settle the system, as well as green tea. Therapy such as massage and spinal adjusting in the right areas are helpful.

There are many medications for migraines, some that prevent and some that relieve. Ask your MD what is right for you, but remember too much medication is hard on the liver and kidneys. It is better to learn to avoid things which cause the migraine. If at any time you feel your headache is substantially different or “the worst headache ever,” you should head straight to emergency, as you may have a more serious problem. If in doubt always consult a health professional.

If you have any questions or think chiropractic care would help alleviate your symptoms, contact Tina to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shannon.


and Start Feeling Better!