All Posts by Dr. Daniel Leonard

3 Tips For Managing Plantar Fasciitis

3 Tips For Managing Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis typically presents as foot or heel pain.  Patients will often have increased pain in the mornings with the first step out of bed.  It can make it difficult to be on your feet for longer periods of time and wear certain types of shoes.

Options for treatment often include a combination of orthotics, medication, injections, night splints, dry needling, and physical therapy. 

The keys to successfully managing plantar fasciitis are to calm down any inflamed or irritated tissue, improve mobility in the foot and ankle, and restore functional strength and movement in the foot, hips, and core. 

Below are 3 tips for managing plantar fasciitis; the first tip will help calm down irritated soft tissue, the 2nd tip will help improve foot and ankle mobility, and the 3rd tip will help restore functional strength

Tip 1:  Use an ice cup to massage the bottom of the foot (5min 2-3xa day) and use a lacrosse ball to massage the bottom of the foot (1-2min 2-3x a day)  

Tip 2: Perform Runners Calf Stretch  2-3x a day to improve calf mobility

Tip 3: Perform Glute Bridge, Side Band Walk, and Single Leg Heel Tap  1x a day to improve functional strength and movement 

The Truth Behind a Torn Meniscus

The Truth Behind a Torn Meniscus

When you tear your meniscus or you have a torn meniscus in your knee treatment options include medication, injections, physical therapy, and/or surgery.  

When deciding which treatment option or options to go with it’s important to understand a few things.  First off, when the meniscus is injured there are often several other things that occur that will impact your pain and function.  

For instance, there is typically swelling initially in the joint along with tightness and weakness in the muscles that cause pain and decreased function.  Swelling can be managed initially with rest, elevation, and ice.  If swelling persists you can use anti-inflammatory medications and in some cases with chronic inflammation an injection can be helpful.

Tightness and weakness is best addressed with basic stretching, manual therapies, and strengthening.  Typically, if you are able to reduce swelling and normalize mobility and strength, you can function pain free even with a torn meniscus.

We see too many people rush to surgery following a torn meniscus and research is now showing that this is a big mistake.  

The best treatment option is physical therapy where you will get a combination of stretching, strengthening, and manual therapies to help reduce swelling and normalize mobility and strength.  If swelling and pain are the limiting factor in your ability to progress then anti-inflammatory medications and possibly injections can be used in combination with physical therapy.  

In some cases surgery is required to fix the structural damage but in most cases physical therapy will provide you with the best long term outcomes.

Here are a couple stretches you can do help improve mobility in your knee

HAMSTRING STRETCH  

PRONE QUAD STRETCH

If you have any questions or want more FREE knee pain exercises call or text 614-392-2732

Injured at Work? How Chiropractic Can Help

In 2014, there were 2.8 million occupational injuries. This crossed all industries, but 75 percent were in those that provided a service.

These injuries can lead to time lost at work, decrease in production, depression, and temporary (or permanent) disability. These injuries can be caused by slip and fall, vehicle collisions, electrocution, struck by hazards, and caught in or between accidents. However, work related injury can also be caused by sitting at a desk or hunched over a computer for extended periods of time. Chiropractic has been shown to help workers who have been injured on the job, so they can return to work faster. 

Common Occupational Injuries

Occupational injuries are vast and varied with a host of causes and many different symptoms. They can range from minor annoyances to significant damage that can lead to temporary or permanent disability. Some may require surgery while others require extended physical therapy, braces, and intensive medical treatments.

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome – This injury is caused by flexing the shoulder, carrying loads on your shoulders, and extending your arms above shoulder height for a prolonged period of time. It is marked by swelling, pain, dull ache, weakness, or a burning sensation in the affected area.
  • Elbow tendonitis (Epicondylitis) – This injury is caused by forceful or repeated forearm rotation while simultaneously bending the wrist. It is marked by swelling, dull ache, pain, burning, and weakness in the affected area.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – This injury can be caused by several things including vibratory tools, repetitive motion, and secondary factors. It is marked by numbness, pain, tingling, wasting of muscles at the thumb base, and burning.
  • DeQuervain’s disease – This injury is caused by forceful gripping and repetitive hand twisting. It is marked by pain at the thumb base.
  • Tendonitis/tenosynovitis – This injury is caused by sustained hyperextension of the knee, repetitive motion, and prolonged load overuse. It is marked by numbness, pain, and swelling in the hands.
  • Back and neck pain – This injury can have a wide variety of causes from repetitive motion to accident to improper equipment. It is the most common work related injury.

Preventing Workplace Injuries

While a few work related injuries are unavoidable, many can be prevented with a little extra attention and care. The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following practices to reduce the risk of a workplace injury.

  • Get regular exercise. This helps prevent back injuries by keeping your body strong, fit, and flexible.
  • If you do desk work, get a chair that fits you. This means that there should be two inches between the backs of your knees and the front edge of the seat. Your knees should be level with your hips or slightly below, never higher.
  • When doing computer work, use a foot rest for support and keep your knees between a 90 degree and 120-degree angle.
  • If your job requires you to sit for extended periods of time, take breaks at least every two hours to walk and stretch.
  • When you lift something heavy or awkward, don’t bend over to do it. Bend at your knees and hips, squatting as you pick up the object and let your legs do the work and keeping the object close to your body while your back remains straight. Do not let your body twist while you are trying to lift.

Of course, you should also follow all recommended and required safety guidelines for your workstation and place of employment.

Chiropractic for Workplace Injuries

Chiropractic care can help speed your recovery, improve your posture, and restore your mobility and strength. Through various chiropractic techniques, many of the occupational injuries listed here can be effectively treated. Chiropractic is a proven method for managing pain for the back and neck, but it has also been proven to be very beneficial for conditions like carpal tunnel, elbow tendonitis, and knee injuries.

Chiropractic’s whole body approach helps injured workers not only manage their pain and help heal their injury through adjustments, it can also help with soft tissue rehabilitation and other noninvasive therapies that improve range of motion. In short, chiropractic can help workers get back to work faster so less time is lost from work and the financial impact is greatly decreased.

MOST IMPORTANT MOVEMENTS FOR HEALTH, FITNESS, and PERFORMANCE

As we talked about in last weeks post, being able to move without pain is critical to staying healthy, active and pain free.  And exercise is the best tool for maintaining and improving your ability to move.

So what exercises should people do to best maintain their ability to move?

While there are millions of exercises and forms of exercise you can do the truth is there are only a handful of basic exercises you need to be able to do to maximize your health and performance.

These exercises work on fundamental movements and movement skills that are repeated again and again throughout life.  The same basic movements and movement skills are also found in nearly every sport and recreational activity.

Below is a list of the basic movement skills needed for life, health, fitness, and performance

CORE STABILITY:  Nearly every movement in life (walking, standing, sitting, running, jumping, bending, lifting etc) requires you to be able to keep your spine stable.  Keeping your spine stable protects your low back and allows for efficient movement in the hips and trunk.

POSTURAL STABILITY:  This refers to maintaining the correct position of your head, neck, upper back, and shoulders.  Maintaining good posture prevents neck, shoulder, and upper back pain and allows the upper body to function properly

PUSHING, PULLING, and LIFTING:  These are essential functions of the upper body.  Weather you are required to push or pull a door open, reach up to grab something from a high shelf, start a lawn mower, push an offensive linemen in football etc you need to have the strength and ability to perform pushing, pulling, and lifting movements.

HINGING:  This refers to bending at the hips and leaning forward in the trunk.  We perform hinging movements all throughout the day. Every time you lean forward to do something, bend down to pick something up, or get up and down from a chair you hinge in your hips.  Poor hinging mechanics puts added stress on the low back and other areas of the body

SQUATTING:  Squatting is used to get up and down from a chair and to bend down and pick something up from the floor.  It is also important for many recreational and sporting activities. If squat mechanics are poor you put added stress on your knees, hips, and low back

LUNGING:  The lunge movement is used to go up and down steps and get up and down from the floor along with several sporting activities including running and cutting.

Working on these movements with specific exercises will help you stay healthy, active, and pain free. Once these basic movements are learned they can be progressed and applied in different ways to reach any health, fitness, or performance goal.  

In the upcoming posts I will show you specific exercises and progressions you can do to work on each of the above movement skills. 

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