Nerve

 

You’ve Got Some Nerve…

Post by Brian Yee, PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT People fall. People get hurt. Injuries usually get better… as we would hope. There are many cases, however, when common injuries that we think would get better over time do not. Here’s a case in which I have seen people have traumatic injuries such as slipping and falling on an outstretched arm, causing wrist and forearm pain. Most people, including physicians and physical therapists, would assume it’s a wrist injury such as a ligament sprain or fracture, and in most cases, it probably is. But let’s say the injured arm now presents with tingling, redness, or swelling. Now what do you think that may be coming from? One structure that is commonly…

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My Numbness and Tingling Continue, but My Testing Does Not Show Anything!

Post by Brian Yee, PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Many times we get patients in our clinic who experience ongoing or unresolved nerve symptoms. This can include things such as tingling, numbness, a pinched nerve in the neck, herniated disc, or burning pain that they know is coming from a nerve condition, such as sciatica. The patient may go through exhaustive testing by MRI, which rules out significant involvement from a herniated disc. Or they could participate in an EMG or Nerve Conduction Study which shows the nerve is conducting fine. And yet, the patient still has nerve-like symptoms. This results in the health practitioner sending the patient to physical therapy to try something like traction, whick does not help long term…

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Nerve Injuries in Athletes

Post by Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT If you know me, you know I’m a big Lakers fan! I was absolutely excited when the Lakers traded for Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns two years ago. Steve Nash has been one of the best point guards of our time. However, last year Steve had a freak injury that fractured his fibula and caused nerve damage in his leg as well. It took him out of a large chunk of games last year to recover. I will be the first to say that I am not his Physical Therapist, nor do I even know the extent of his injury. In this article, he does state that the team’s Physical Therapist…

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Can Strengthening your neck muscles prevent headaches?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT There are different types of headaches. One common type is called a cerivcogenic headaches or neck-related headaches. There is lot of research coming out of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia that has discovered how proper stabilization of the neck muscles can reduce neck pain, whiplash injuries, and cervicogenic headaches. Proper stability of the neck muscles comes first from the smaller muscles closest to the spine. This includes a wafer thin muscle on the front of the cervical spine called the longus colli. A skilled Physical Therapist can instruct a patient how to contract this muscle in isolation and train its endurance. As the longus colli function improves it is important to incorporate…

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What conditions can lead to a ‘groin’ pull?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT ‘Groin pulls’ typically are due to over-compensation and poor mechanics in the legs and core stability. Groin pulls comprise mostly of the adductor muscles of the inner thigh. These injuries usually occur with sports that requie cutting, pivoting and side to side movement  such as soccer, lacrosse, and football. It can also occur in runners and cyclists when the hip is required to be used in situations like uphill terrain. Strength deficits with these injuries are not necessarily in the adductor muscles, but instead from the posterior hip muscles – gluteus maximus and medius. The gluteus maximus and medius are the key stabilizing muscles for the hip to be able to plant and pivot…

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Are there alternative treatments for back pain?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Even though Physical Therapy is not considered as an ‘alternative treatment’, what a specific Physical Therapist provides may be alternative to the ‘stereotypical’ regimen of hot/cold packs, electrical stimulation, traction, and basic exercises to improve core stability. At our facility, we determine the type or category of pain the patient is experiencing as well what factors are contributing to the pain. This can include joint, nerves, or soft-tissue tissue pathologies. We also assess muscle and movement control patterns that can cause undue stress on the back. We then investigate if there are other factors such as vitamin / hormonal deficiencies, food allergies, or other systemic issues that could potentially be a source of back…

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What are natural treatments for nerve pain?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT In Physical Therapy, nerve pain can be treated naturally through techniques called ‘neurodynamics’. According to Michael Shacklock in Australia, a worldwide leader in nerve pain and rehabilitation, there are three major areas to address. This includes the mechanical sites that can compress a nerve, the nerve itself, and the tissue the nerve innervates. First, nerve pain can be caused by a tissue that pinches on it. This could be a herniated disc, a muscle spasm, or arthritic changes in the spine. Such treatments as mechanical traction or soft tissue massage around the pinched area of the nerve can alleviate the nerve pain.Second, the nerve itself can become injured. Physical Therapists use manual therapy techniques…

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Why is back pain such a medical mystery?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Many patients are fixed solely on what medical imaging says structurally about their spine and how it causes their back pain. This includes disc herniations, joint degeneration, or stenosis. Patients should understand that other factors can cause back pain as well. This can include poor muscle control and movement patterns, nerve pain, referred pain from muscle trigger points, and even the fascia around the back can cause pain. Food allergies or internal organ dysfunction can also cause referred pain in your back.Even pain itself is a mystery. Over the last decade there has been growing research on what pain is and how it presents itself, what the medical community calls Pain Sciences. Although we…

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How is a Pinched Nerve Treated?

Post by Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT When treating a pinched nerve it is important to take pressure off the nerve so the nerve can conduct properly. In Physical Therapy, we can use mechanical traction or hands-on techniques to reduce the nerve compression. With these techniques we look for a reduction of pain and intensity. Typically, the further the symptoms go down the arm or leg, the worse the nerve symptoms are. Therefore, any treatment that the patient feels their symptoms are lessening further down the leg or arm means that the nerve is being pinched less. The nerve itself should also be treated. When the nerve is pinched it can become inflamed and irritated. We use techniques called nerve…

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The Nerve of You!

Have you ever experienced back pain with associated sciatica down one of your legs? Perhaps the pain / numbness down your leg and back have subsided, but a few years have gone by and that same leg now just doesn’t feel the same? Likely, the hamstring feels tight, maybe your calf cramps more or your foot now hurts. A possible reason why is that even thought your sciatica and back pain symptoms calmed, the sciatic nerve is still irritated mildly that can cause the muscle, fascia, or other tissues that the sciatic nerve innervated down your leg can now become compromised and aches and pains can begin in sights other than your back and sciatic nerve – that are related…

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Motion Stability