Pain Sciences

 

The Athletic Hip Series: Trochanteric Bursitis

Post by Maggie Gebhardt, PT, DPT, OCS Do you have lateral hip pain that is painful to lay on? If so, then you may have trochanteric bursitis. “What is bursitis,” you ask? Well bursitis is inflammation of the bursa that lies between the IT band and greater trochanter. When the IT band it too tight, it can rub on the bursa causing inflammation and irritation. As we discussed in my previous post, the IT band can get tight from a number of factors but most primarily from decreased strength of the hip abductors/glutes. When the bursa is inflammed it can get swollen and be painful to the touch or even to lie on it. Some people will experience pain when…

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What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Post by Maggie Gebhardt PT, DPT, OCS If a patient comes in with posterior hip pain or radiating pain down their leg, a lot of times they have already self-diagnosed themselves with Piriformis Syndrome. However, Piriformis Syndrome is not as common as most people think. So, what actually is Piriformis Syndrome? Piriformis Syndrome is when the pirifomis muscle is irritated because it is being overutilized. This is usually secondary to weak lateral hip musculature i.e. your glutes… sensing a theme?? The piriformis muscle extends along the back and lateral side of your hip. When it is aggravated it can cause a deep achey sensation in sitting, walking, or running. Sometimes the muscle becomes tight from overuse and can compress the…

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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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The Athletic Hip Series: What is IT Band Syndrome?

Post by Maggie Gebhardt, PT, DPT, OCS IT, otherwise known as the Iliotibial Band, is a common source of lateral knee pain in runners. However, most people do not realize that this is an issue oftentimes stemming from the hip. Pain generated from disorders of the IT band can be present at its origination along the lateral pelvis all the way to the lateral knee. The IT band is usually over-utilized due to poor lower extremity mechanics. Weak hip musculature, primarily the glutes, cause increased reliance on the IT band to stabilize the knee. This scenario can cause the IT band to get caught in a “catch-22”: overuse of the IT band causes increased tightness of the TFL (Tensor Fascia…

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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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Pain? Injured? Get Moving!

Post by Beth Collier, PT, DPT, OCS Did you know that our bodies can produce the best medicine to heal injury and relieve chronic pain? All you need to do to take advantage of this medicine is to get moving! Even gentle movement as performed with Tai chi or yoga or simply deep breathing can block pain producing hormones and aid in the body’s natural inflammatory process. Pain expert David Butler, who the Motion Stability team had the pleasure of learning from last month at a class held in Atlanta, describes this effect as tapping into our body’s pharmacy that is open 24 hours a day- even on holidays! SO- if you have had long standing unresolved pain, get moving!…

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Is Back Pain All in Your Head?

Post by Brian Yee, PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT What a great article from NPR! This article identifies that recurring back problems are not solely from the structure in your spine such as a herniated disc or degeneration or the vertebra, but rather it brings attention to the nervous system itself. Your nervous system, located within your spine, is your main transducer that signals to your brain that you are or are not in pain. This article states: “Research is showing that the pain often has nothing to do with the mechanics of the spine, but with the way the nervous system is behaving, according to Dr. James Rainville of New England Baptist Hospital in Boston.” “This is a different way…

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Runner’s High for Chronic Pain?

Post by Maggie Gebhardt PT, DPT, OCS October and November have been exciting months, especially for our runners… you know who you are! I want to congratulate all of you on achieving a goal that you might have even embarked on over a year ago. Your hard work, sweat, aches, and pains have paid off and we are enjoying hearing the results pouring in from the finish lines of New York, D.C., Atlanta, and many more! I personally feel so privileged to have been able to help you take those final steps across the finish line, so thank you! No matter what distance your run (or whatever endurance sport you participate in), you know that crossing that finish line is…

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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 your Muscles be the Source of your Pain?

Post by Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Here’s a link from the Washington Post that talks about the role of myofascial pain in undiagnosed or unresolved pain. There is a tendency for patients to believe their pain is only from a structural problem such as a herniated disc, but in actuality there is a large contribution of pain that originates from the muscles and fascia of your body or what is called the myofascial system. Trigger points in the muscle and restrictions in your fascia around the muscles and joint of your body are just another tissue in your body that can be a pain generator. It is important to find a health practitioner that understands how to differentially…

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Motion Stability