Tuesday, July 17, 2018

New Hamburg Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a treatment modality that has been extensively researched, and clinically shown to accelerate the body’s natural healing process. Shockwave Therapy generates strong energy waves for short periods of time. The energy wave is conducted from the applicator to the desired tissue through the use of an acoustic wave generator (coupling gel). These energy pulses create bubbles (micro-cavitation) that expand and burst.

The force generated by these cavitations penetrates tissue and has been shown to stimulate cells responsible for new blood vessel formation, bone, and connective tissue healing. This stimulus increases circulation and cellular metabolism in the region of injury to enhance the healing capability of the body. This process helps individuals decrease or eliminate pain and improve mobility and quality of life.

Shockwave Therapy is the most effective in recalcitrant (unresponsive to treatment) pathological alterations of tendons, ligaments, capsules, muscles and bones. This includes conditions and injuries such as:

  • Bursitis                         
  • Hip Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Stress Fractures
  • Hamstring Strains
  • Patellar Tendinopathy
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Scar Tissue Treatment
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Plantar Fasciitis & Heel Pain
  • Calcific Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
  
Patients typically experience the benefits of Shockwave Therapy after only 1 or 2 treatments. Literature has shown that Shockwave Therapy when combined with exercise has an 85% success rate for plantar fasciitis, 76% success rate for achilles tendinopathy and a 75% success rate for the treatment of patellar tendinopathy (jumper’s knee).


CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE SHOCKWAVE PATIENT EDUCATION VIDEO



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Muscle And Joint Injury First Aid


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

Physical injury to your muscles and joints can occur with workplace, household, sporting, and recreational activities.  This can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint or muscle, leading to injuries known as sprains, strains, and contusions.  Initial conservative management and first aid of such injuries should follow the P.R.I.C.E. principle (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) outlined below.

PROTECTION:  Immobilize the injured area to protect from further injury.  This can be accomplished with the use of an elastic wrap, brace, splint or sling.  Walking aids such as crutches or a cane can be useful to help you get around.

REST:  To ensure proper healing, rest the injured area and avoid activities that cause pain.  Do not restrict all activities completely.  Other regions of your body can still be used.  This will help prevent physical de-conditioning.  An attempt should be made to return to regular or modified activities as soon as possible provided it does not put you at risk for further injury.

ICE:  Ice cubes, frozen vegetable bags, or commercial ice/gel packs are examples of cold sources that can be molded or applied to an injury site immediately.  Icing will help to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation in the injured tissues.  Ice application should not exceed 10 to 20 minutes at a time.  Allow for skin temperature to return to normal before ice is reapplied.  This cycle can be repeated as often as necessary within the first 24 to 72 hours.  Ice should never be applied directly over the skin for a prolonged period of time as this can damage the skin.  A wet towel can safely be used as a barrier between the ice and skin and acts as an excellent conductor of cold.  Do not apply ice to blisters, open cuts, or sores.  Individuals hypersensitive to cold and those who have circulation problems should avoid ice.

COMPRESSION:  Compress the injured area with an elastic tensor bandage.  This will help decrease swelling.  Do not wrap the bandage too tightly as to cut off circulation.  You should not feel an increase in pain with compression.

ELEVATION:  Elevate the injured area (whenever possible) above the level of the heart, especially at night.  Gravity helps reduce swelling by draining excess fluid.

You should seek immediate medical care under the following circumstances:  a popping sound heard during the injury accompanied by a feeling of joint instability or inability to weight bear; obvious evidence or suspicion of a broken bone, fracture or joint dislocation; or injuries at risk for infection.

By using the P.R.I.C.E. principle after an injury, you can significantly reduce swelling, tissue damage, inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and recovery time.  In the event that you suffer from ongoing muscle and joint pain following an injury, you should contact a licensed health professional who can diagnose your condition and prescribe appropriate therapy, exercises, and rehabilitation strategies specifically for your circumstance.  For more information, visit www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Summer Season Safety Tips For Your Body


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

The summer season is upon us, which for many individuals means spending time outdoors and becoming more physically active.  Whether you’re an aspiring athlete, a serious nature lover, or someone who enjoys fun in the sun, there are special precautions that need to be taken to protect your body during the summer season.

1.    Prepare your body for activity and exercise:  There are many activities made more enjoyable during the summer season such as gardening, walking, running, swimming, canoeing, bicycling, and golfing to name a few.  Prepare your body for physical activity by stimulating the joints and muscles, and increasing blood circulation with a proper warm-up.  If you have been inactive for a period of time, gradually ease into activity and take it slow.

2.   Drink plenty of water:  The body’s water supply is responsible for many important functions such as digestion, controlling body temperature, and protecting our joints by providing lubrication and cushioning.  In warmer temperatures, we lose more water from the body through increased perspiration.  The consequences of inadequate water intake/dehydration may include: headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, joint pain, muscle pain and cramping.  Therefore, special care should be taken to replenish fluids lost during the summer season.  Limit diuretics such as caffeinated and alcoholic beverages which actually drain the body of water.

3.    Get just enough sun:  Appropriate sun exposure can provide many health benefits associated with the natural production of Vitamin D.  Avoid sunburn which is a result of overexposure to the sun’s UV radiation and can contribute to certain skin cancers, along with premature aging and wrinkling of the skin.  To protect yourself, apply sunscreen regularly, wear a wide-brim hat and light-colored clothing that covers your exposed skin.  Your eyes should also be protected with UV blocking sunglasses.  Outdoor activities and sports should be limited to the early morning or late afternoon when UV rays are not as strong.  Be cautious on cloudy days, as your skin is still susceptible to burn under these conditions.

4.    Think safety first:  Water sports and other outdoor activities should always be performed with safety in mind.  This means wearing a life jacket in deeper water or if you are not a strong swimmer.  Parents should always keep a watchful eye on young children around water.  Diving into shallow or unknown waters should never be performed to eliminate the chance of serious spinal injury.  Running on pool decks may result in serious slip and fall injuries.  When bicycling, in-line skating, or skateboarding/longboarding, be sure to wear bright reflective clothing and protective headgear.  In addition, wearing appropriate footwear for the activities you are performing will give you balance, support, and protection.

Following the above rules and safety tips can go a long way in protecting your body during the summer season.  For additional information on health, wellness, muscle and joint health, visit our website at www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Everyday Activities That May Be Hurting Your Back


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

80% of all Canadians will suffer at least one significant episode of back pain in their lives.  Back pain prevention can go a long way in reducing the risk of injury.  Below are some tips on how to overcome some of the common everyday activities that can contribute to back pain.

1.    Improper lifting is a risk factor associated with back pain. There are several strategies that should be employed during lifting activities.  Maintaining the natural curve/hollow (lordosis) of your low back is important, as this is its strongest and most secure position.  Avoid awkward postures such as bending, reaching, and twisting/turning.  Whenever possible, you should square your body toward the object being lifted, turn your whole body by moving your feet, and keep the object close to your body.  Contracting your abdominal muscles during lifting, lowering, and moving activities improves spinal stability, referred to as bracing.  You should also bend at the legs and not the waist, lifting slowly and smoothly, not jerking.  Minimizing lift load and exposure, taking mini-breaks, and job rotations can be helpful.  The use of assistive devices such as dollies, handgrips, and pull carts is also recommended.

2.    The physical strain of sitting.  People who sit for prolonged periods of time may adopt a poor posture that includes losing the natural hollow of the low back, along with rounding or slouching of the upper back and shoulders.  These less than ideal positions put cumulative compression and strain on the spine.  Take 10 to 30 second stretch or posture breaks every 20 to 40 minutes to make sure weight is evenly distributed, your shoulders are not rounding forward, and you are not slouching.

3.    Working in stooped positions.  When we keep our backs in a neutral/straight position, the mechanical load on the spine is considerably lower than when your back is bent forward.  Many activities around the home and workplace cause you to bend forward and stoop.  The longer you work in these forward bent positions, the more likely you are to experience back problems.  In order to minimize the risk of injury, you should interrupt the stooped position at regular intervals before pain starts.  Trying to find alternative ways of completing tasks without stooping is ideal.

4.    Smoking contributes to an increase in spinal problems.  Smoking has been shown to decrease bone mineral density and increase the risk of osteoporosis and future fractures.  The reduced blood circulation found in smokers deprives spinal tissues of vital nutrients which can lead to premature degeneration.  Smoking may also provoke disc herniation through coughing.  Exposure to secondhand smoke during childhood may also increase the risk of developing back problems later in life.

5.   Lack of physical activity de-conditions the body.  This makes us more susceptible to cumulative spinal strain and injury.  Regular exercise increases our functional capacity to withstand occupational, recreational, and everyday stresses on our back more efficiently, thereby minimizing the risk of injury.

For some, back pain can be dramatically minimized or avoided; while for others it needs to be managed so that its negative effects on activities of daily living can be reduced.  If you are suffering from back pain, a qualified health professional can determine the cause of your pain and prescribe appropriate therapy, exercises, and back sparing strategies specifically for your circumstance.  For more information visit www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Defining Common Muscle And Joint Injuries


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

Physical injury to your muscles and joints can occur with workplace, household, sporting, and recreational activities.  Common mechanisms of injury include slip and fall or collision-impact type accidents, overstretching a body part, twisting awkwardly, or performing repetitive movements.  This can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint and/or muscle, leading to injuries such as sprains, strains, and contusions.

A sprain refers to a stretching or tearing of a ligament.  Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect one bone to another.  They help stabilize joints, preventing excessive movement.  One or more ligaments can be injured at the same time.  Common locations for sprains are the ankle, wrist, and knee joints.

A strain refers to a stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon.  Muscles are responsible for producing force and causing motion, whereas tendons are the tough fibrous extensions of muscle that attach to bone.  A strain injury can occur when the muscle-tendon complex suddenly or powerfully contracts, or when it is overstretched.  This is called an acute strain.  Overuse of certain muscles over time can lead to a chronic repetitive strain.  Strains are commonly referred to as “pulled muscles” or "tendinitis".  The shoulders, forearms, low back, and leg regions are common locations for strains to occur.

Contusions are commonly called “bruises”, and occur when small blood vessels in the skin, muscles, or bones are subjected to trauma. 

Sprain, strain, and contusion injuries can exist on their own or in combination with each other.  Initial conservative management and first aid of these injuries should follow the P.R.I.C.E. principle (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).  This can significantly reduce swelling, tissue damage, inflammation, muscle spasms, pain, and recovery time.  With a mild injury you should experience progressive improvement within 2 to 3 days.  You should gradually begin using the injured area after this time.  Mild injuries usually heal completely without any residual consequence in 1 to 4 weeks. Moderate injuries usually require 4 to 12 weeks to heal and may require basic rehabilitative treatment and exercises.  Severe injuries will take longer to heal.  Healing times may also vary depending on a persons age, physical condition and general health.

You should seek immediate medical care under the following circumstances:  a popping sound heard during the injury accompanied by a feeling of joint instability or inability to weight bear; obvious evidence or suspicion of a broken bone, fracture or joint dislocation; or injuries at risk for infection.  For less serious injuries that do not subside, you should contact a licensed health professional who deals in the diagnosis and treatment of muscle and joint pain.  They can determine the cause of your pain and prescribe appropriate therapy, exercises, and rehabilitation strategies specifically for your circumstance. For more information on managing muscle and joint injuries, visit www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Hip Pain And Prevention


By Dr. John A. Papa, DC, FCCPOR(C)

Hip pain often limits physical activities such as walking, running, squatting, and going up and down stairs.  It can also create problems with sleeping and sitting positions.

Depending on what the source of the hip pain is, symptoms can be felt in a number of  different regions which may include:  the low back, deep in the hip joint, on the outer aspect of the hip, in the groin, at the front of the thigh, and in the buttocks.  Listed below are some of the conditions that commonly cause hip pain:

·     Osteoarthritis results from the protective layers of cartilage in the hip becoming worn over a period of time, leading to change in the composition of the bone underneath the cartilage.

·      Osteoporosis is a disease of bones that decreases bone mass and strength, making them more fragile and susceptible to fracture.  Hip fractures usually occur in older individuals after a fall injury.

·     Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue that connect one bone to another.  They help stabilize joints, preventing excessive movement.  Ligament injuries (sprains) can occur when these structures become over-stretched or torn, often during activities where there is a direct blow to the hip or there is an awkward fall or twisting motion involving the hip.

·     Tendons are strong tissues that anchor muscles to bones, and these structures can become over-stretched or inflamed around the hip joint leading to tendonitis and muscular strains.

·       Bursitis can involve several fluid-filled structures in your hip that help provide more cushioning in the joint.  Repetitive hip strain and blunt trauma to the hip bursa are two common causes of bursitis.

·     Injuries and conditions in the low back can radiate symptoms into the hip region.  This includes things such as osteoarthritis, sprains and strains, disc herniations, sciatica, and spinal stenosis.

Below are some useful tips that can help individuals avoid or minimize the chance of hip pain and injury:

1.      Maintain a healthy bodyweight to decrease the overall stress on your hips.

2.    Wear appropriate footwear that supports your activities and helps maintain proper leg alignment and balance.

3.      Prepare your hips for physical activity by stimulating the joints and muscles, and increasing circulation.  This can be accomplished with a quick cardiovascular warm-up and gentle stretching of the muscles in the hips, thighs and lower legs.

4.  Choose activities that are "hip friendly" for you.  This may include low impact activities such as swimming, walking or cycling.  Remember to start slowly and build up the intensity gradually.

5.   Strength, balance, flexibility, and core exercises can train your body to better support your hips and avoid injuries.

If you have hip pain that limits your daily functioning, you should contact a licensed health professional who deals in the diagnosis and treatment of hip pain.  For additional information on hip pain and treatment of muscle and joint injuries, visit www.nhwc.ca.

This article is a basic summary for educational purposes only.  It is not intended, and should not be considered, as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis or treatment by a duly licensed health practitioner.