Shockwave Therapy - For Fast Pain Relief and Mobility Restoration

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Active Sports Therapy is excited to introduce Shockwave therapy. Shockwave has proven to be helpful for many chronic conditions.

Who can benefit from Shockwave therapy?

Patients with chronic pain who have been treated unsuccessfully with other forms of therapy may benefit from Shockwave. Conditions such as shoulder pain, tennis elbow, heel spurs, hip pain, knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, calcification, or chronic tendinopathy treated by Shockwave have reported up to an 80% success rate.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy produces acoustic waves with high energy peaks that interact with tissue, causing effects such as accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, analgesia or pain relief, and mobility restoration. New blood vessel formation is caused by the therapy through creating capillary micro-ruptures in tendon and bone, thus triggering repair processes. With Shockwave therapy, reversal of chronic inflammation, stimulation of collagen production and the breaking up of calcium build up can be achieved.

Shockwave Therapy FAQ's

Does the treatment hurt?

There might be a slight feeling of discomfort during the treatment, however, treatments are short and last only about five minutes. As well, the intensity of the Shockwave can be adjusted to make the patient more comfortable.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary depending on each person, but the effects of each treatment are cumulative. Most people will not need more that 4-6 treatments per area. Many people will notice an improvement after their first treatment.

How often will the treatments occur?

Most patients will be treated 1 to 2 times per week depending on their response to the treatment and their tolerance for the treatment.

Will there be additional pain after a treatment?

Most patients experience immediate pain relief following a treatment, however within 2-4 hours after the treatment, there may be some soreness in the area.

Are there any restrictions after treatment?

It is recommended that a patient refrain from physical activity, particularly any activity that would heavily rely upon the treated area for 48 hours post each treatment.

Please give us a call at 403-278-1405 or email us at mail@activesportstherapy.ca to book a consult or treatment.

References: BTL's Shockwave Therapy Complete Edition

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Active Release Techniques - A Very Successful Type of Hands-On Treatment

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]By: Active Sports Therapy

ART stands for Active Release Techniques.  It is a highly successful hands-on treatment method that addresses problems in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.  ART treatment has great success in dealing with soft tissue injuries because it is specifically designed to locate and treat scar tissue adhesions that accumulate in the muscles and surrounding soft tissues.

You can think of an ART treatment as a type of active massage. The practitioner will first shorten the muscle, tendon, or ligament, and then apply a very specific pressure with their hand as you actively stretch and lengthen the tissues.  As the tissue lengthens the practitioner is able to assess the texture and tension of the muscle to determine if the tissue is healthy or contains scar tissue that needs further treatment. When scar tissue adhesions are felt the amount and direction of tension can be modified to treat the problematic area. In this sense, each treatment is also an assessment of the health of the area as we are able to feel specifically where the problem is occurring.

An additional benefit of ART is it allows us to further assess and correct problems not only at the site of pain itself, but also in other areas of the kinetic chain, which are associated with movement compensations and are often contributing factors to the problem. This ensures that all the soft tissues that have become dysfunctional and are contributing to the specific injury are addressed, even if they have not yet all developed pain.

One of the best things about ART is how fast it can get results. In our experience, there are many types of injuries that respond very well to ART treatment, especially when combined with the appropriate home stretching and strengthening exercises. Although each case is unique and there are several factors that will determine the length of time required to fully resolve each condition, we usually find a significant improvement can be gained in just 4-6 treatments.

Here’s a list of common problems that our chiropractors are equipped to treat using Active Release Techniques. You may be surprised to learn that our chiropractors can treat more than just your back!

Achilles Tendonitis, Ankle Injuries,Back Pain / Injuries, Bicipital Tendonitis, Bursitis. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Compartment Syndrome, Foot Pain and Injury, Frozen Shoulder, Gait Imbalances, Golf Injuries, Golfer’s Elbow (Tendonitis), Hand Injuries, Headaches, Hip Pain, Hyperflexion Injuries, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Impingement Syndrome, Joint Dysfunction, Knee and Leg Pain, Knee Meniscal Injuries, Muscle Pulls or Strains, Muscle Weakness, Myofascitis, Neck Pain, Nerve Entrapment, Syndromes, Repetitive Strain Injuries, Plantar Fasciitis, Post – Surgical, Restrictions, Running Injuries, Rib Pain, Rotator Cuff Syndrome, Shin Splints, Scar Tissue Formation, Sciatica, Swimmer’s Shoulder, Shoulder Pain, Sports Injuries, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Tendonitis / Tendonosis, Tennis Elbow,Weight Lifting Injuries, Throwing Injuries, TMJ, Whiplash.

Book an appointment today with one of our ART trained Chiropractors. 

*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

What is Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS)

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]By: Active Sports Therapy

Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin. This technique uses needles similar to the needles used in acupuncture to find and diagnose muscle shortening in deep muscles. This technique is great because it has very few side effects.

IMS was developed by Dr. Chan Gunn while he was a clinic physician at the Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia in the 1970’s. He is presently President of iSTOP and clinical professor at the University of Washington’s Multi Disciplinary Pain Center in Seattle. Dr. Gunn has been awarded The Order of British Columbia as well as The Order of Canada, the nation’s highest honor, for his contributions towards solving chronic pain. He has also been elected Honorary Fellow of Peterhouse Cambridge University. Although IMS uses implements adapted from traditional acupuncture, it is based on scientific, neurophysiological principles. The acupuncture needles used are very thin (much thinner that the hollow needle used to inject medicine or take blood samples). You may not even feel it penetrating the skin, and if your muscle is normal, the needle is painless. However, if your muscle is supersensitive and shortened, you’ll feel a peculiar sensation – like a muscle cramp or Charlie Horse. This is a distinctive type of discomfort caused by the muscle grasping the needles. Patients soon learn to recognize and welcome this sensation. They call it a “good” or positive pain because it soon disappears and is followed by a wonderful feeling of relief no longer tight, you no longer feel it. What has happened is that the needling has caused your abnormal muscle shortening to intensity and then release. It is important that you experience this sensation in order to gain lasting relief.

“Neuropathy”- or- what happens when nerves start to go wrong…

Doctors usually have no difficulty in treating pain caused by injury (a fracture, for example) or inflammation (such as rheumatoid arthritis). But they are perplexed by pain that shows no sign of tissue damage or inflammation, such as headaches, “whiplash”, backache, tennis elbow or frozen shoulder.

Dr. Gunn had introduced “neuropathic pain”, to describe this type of pain. Typically this occurs when nerves malfunction following minor irritation. Nerves and nerve-endings become extremely sensitive and cause innocent, harmless signals to be exaggerated and misperceived as painful ones. (This characteristic is known medically as supersensitivity). The result is pain, even when extensive medical tests show there is “nothing wrong”. Until recently, supersensitivity has received little attention in medical circles.

The Effects of IMS

The effects of IMS are cumulative – needling stimulates a certain amount of healing, until eventually, the condition is healed and the pain disappears. Some patients treated with IMS have remained pain-free for over 20 years.

Frequency of Treatments

Treatments are usually once a week (but can be spread out to two weeks) to allow time between treatments for the body to heal itself. The number of treatments you require will depend on several factors such as the duration and extent of your condition, how much scar tissue there is (usually increased after previous surgery) and how quickly your body can heal, the rate of healing depends on the condition of your nerves (young people usually heal more quickly, although older is not necessarily slower). If the pain is of recent origin, one treatment may be all that is necessary. In published studies of patients with low back pain, the average number of IMS treatments required was 8.2.

Treating Neuropathic Pain

Supersensitivity and muscle shortening cannot be operated on and “cut away”. “Pain killers” and other analgesic pills only masks the pain. The goal of treatment is to release muscle shortening which presses on and irritates the nerve. Supersensitive areas can be desensitized and the persistent pull of shortened muscles released.

If you think IMS could be the right treatment for you, please book in for an assessment.

*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  

 

 

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The Common Link in Soft Tissue Injuries

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]By: Dr. David Westmacott

All athletes have one thing in common. Whether they have had one, are currently playing with one, or are at risk of getting one, the dreaded SPORTS INJURY is and always will be a part of sports play. Many question arise with coaches and parents of the athlete: Is the injured athlete doing more harm by continuing to play?  When is it safe to return to play? How can the risk of injury be kept at a minimum? These questions can become a little easier to answer with a basic understanding of the physiology of the injury.

The majority of sports injuries are injuries of the body’s soft tissues. Soft tissues are muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These structures work in harmony to produce movement of the body’s frame. When a muscle or tendon is injured (strain) or a ligament is injured (sprain), the microscopic parts of these structures become deranged in such a way to produce pain, swelling and altered function. The body begins its healing process immediately by repairing the microscopic anatomy by laying down dense, fibrotic SCAR TISSUE. Scar tissue is a gristly, glue-like substance that is resistant to stretch. The normal elasticity of the muscle, tendon or ligament is lost and pain occurs with movement.

The common link between all soft tissue injuries is SCAR TISSUE. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, thus inhibiting normal muscle function. Normal body mechanics is therefore altered predisposing the athlete to other soft tissue and joint injuries. Decreased athletic efficiency and performance is also a result of altered body mechanics.

In order for a soft tissue injury to be completely healed, the fibrotic scar must be broken down to restore the normal elasticity and pliability of the tissue. Normal functioning muscle is paramount to ensure normal body mechanics.

Active release therapy (ART) is a soft tissue treatment system that releases the scar tissue that occurs with injured and over used muscles. Back pain, shin splints, rotator cuff injuries, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

The key to a safe and enjoyable athletic career is a basic understanding of the physiological changes that occur with the athletic injury. An understanding of the importance to rid the body of painful, movement altering scar tissue, will not only get the athlete back on the playing field sooner, but will prevent further injuries and thus increase overall athletic performance.

If you think you could benefit from an ART treatment, please contact our clinic for an assessment from on of our chiropractors.

*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Treatments

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]By: Dr. Corey Finan BSc., DC, CCSP, RMT, ART

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition in which the patient feels pain, numbness, tingling and other symptoms that can be uncomfortable or painful in the hand and arm. It is caused by the compression of the nerve in the carpal tunnel, hence it’s name. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of the wrist. The issue is related to the median nerve which goes from your forearm and through the carpal tunnel passageway to your hand. It is responsible for sensation in your hands as well as muscle function. When this nerve is irritated, or the passageway is narrowed, then we feel the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Causes can range from arthritis and inflammation, workplace factors such as computer work and working with tools where repetitive motion is required. Obesity is a risk factor, and females tend to suffer from this condition more often than men.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will usually start off progressing in a gradual way. The most common symptoms include the following:

Tingling and Numbness – this could be in your hand or in your fingers and is often felt in the thumb, index, middle or ring fingers. The sensation may travel from the wrist and even into the arm. You may feel these sensations when the hands are outstretched doing something such as holding a newspaper or book, or a smart phone.

Weakness – You may feel like your hands are weaker than usual. This could be due to the numbness and the issues that are happening in the median nerve.

Preventative Measures:

Other Things to Consider: 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur in anyone, but there are some things that you may want to look at first before thinking you have CTS.  First, there is a much more common cause for numbness and pain in the hand / fingers, and that is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, which is a nerve entrapment in the elbow where the nerves enter the forearm.  Often repetitive strain at the hand and wrist can cause the muscles in the forearm and elbow to become tight, and thus compress the nerves to your hand.  Another important caveat would be to consider whether conservative care would be a better alternative for you, or if surgery may be the way to go. A trial of conservative care, specifically Active Release Therapy (ART), may prevent the need for surgery.  You can easily determine that by doing a Diagnostic Ultrasound of the Median Nerve at the Carpal Tunnel.  If the nerve is enlarged, you can be certain that it is inflamed at the tunnel.  This would indicate that the decompression surgery typical of CTS surgery would be of benefit to you.  However, if the nerve is of normal size, then you should not do the surgery, and seek conservative care and look elsewhere in the body for the problem.  These are simple guidelines that can help you determine which direction to go.  All of the Doctors at AST can order the Diagnostic Ultrasound imaging and can interpret the results and give guidance as needed.

Treatment From Our Clinic

If you think you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, our clinic has several treatments that might benefit you. Active Release Techniques for one can be very helpful to treat this syndrome. The practitioner will evaluate your mobility and tightness of the area which will usually be due to the presence of scar tissue. By using manual pressure, the practitioner can break up the scar tissue to lessen the pressure on the median nerve, resulting in a reduction in symptoms. Many people can find relief in just a few treatments!  There are several forearm muscle stretches and exercises that we can teach you to help remove some of the symptoms, and more importantly keep them at bay once you improve.  We also provide IMS which can help with pain relief in the forearm muscles, and Graston Technique which is an instrument assisted soft tissue treatment designed to help break down scar tissue and release tight muscles.  Shockwave Therapy and Laser Therapy can also be additional therapies that can speed recovery.  We have seen hundreds of cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome over the years with most resolving successfully in a relatively short period of time.

If you believe that you might be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, please give us call to book your appointment.

*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]