Monday, October 4, 2010

Common conditions of the student athlete that can be corrected by pelvic stabilizers

1. Lower back pain

How would spinal/pelvic stabilizers help my back? My feet don't hurt!

Your feet are the foundation of your body, and if your feet are not properly supported, you can have problems anywhere from your ankles on up through your neck. Orthotic therapy is essential in restoring structural and functional balance and developing the strength and flexibility to keep your body stable as you stand, walk, or run. Depending on a variety of factors (lifestyle, health, age, weight, sex), your healthcare professional will select the stabilizers best suited for you. Because it is very important to wear your stabilizers all day long, and because most people wear at least two styles of shoes each day, Dr. Piazza may decide that a stabilizer Combo (two pairs) would be best for your low back condition. Check with Dr. Piazza for more specific information on stabilizers.

2. Knee pain

Depending on the diagnosis of your condition, Dr. Piazza has treatment programs to help restore your knee(s) to normal function. Along with any determination of the need for rest or other therapies (ice, ultrasound, etc.), a three-step program is often indicated:

* Mobilization of the joint for proper alignment.
* Exercise to build muscle strength and joint stability.
* Use of spinal/pelvic stabilizers (foot orthotics) to help reduce excessive internal and external rotation, and to help absorb heel-strike shock.

Developing knee muscles helps to stabilize the joint and lower the incidence of further serious injury. Dr. Piazza may prescribe therapeutic exercises to help you rebuild strength in the knee area. Often these exercises can be done either in our office or in your own home.

Balanced support, stability, and proper movement are the keys to a healthy knee structure. Ask Dr. Piazza if stabilizers or therapeutic exercises would help you.

3. Shin Splints

How do I know if the pain in my legs is caused by shin splints?

Shin splint pain starts gradually and usually occurs during and after some kind of physical activity. In its mild stages, the pain is reduced at rest, but gets worse with an increase in weight-bearing activity. The pain doesn't radiate, but can be described as deep seated, dull, and throbbing. However, other conditions (including the more serious stress fractures) can have similar characteristics. The best advice is to ask Dr. Piazza; he can make a definitive diagnosis and start working with you on restoring your health.

How can stabilizers help my shin splints?

Stabilizers help to optimize your foot posture, which helps to reduce irritation to the affected area. Dr. Piazza may advise you to wear special stabilizers which have built-in pads of shock-absorbing material. These pads help reduce stress and provide needed comfort.

4. Ankle Pain

What Causes Ankle Injuries?

An acute ankle injury generally results from a sudden turning outward of the foot while supporting the body's weight, or an external force hitting the body from the side. The quick, extreme pressure placed upon the ligaments around the ankle can cause them to tear. A chronic ankle injury often develops over a long period of time, and can occur if the foot's posture is unstable. This weakens the ligaments surrounding the ankle joint, making them more likely to tear.

What Can My Healthcare Professional Do To Help Me Feel Better?

Much will depend on the severity of the injury, how quickly the injury is attended to, and the results of the examination. The treatment you do receive will generally focus on relieving pain and swelling (if any), restoring full range of motion (ROM), and strengthening the joint to help prevent a recurrence of the injury. The success of your healthcare professional's treatment plan will largely depend on how closely you follow his/her instructions, and how actively involved you become in your recovery program.

As My Ankle Heals, What Can I Do To Prevent Reinjury?

In most cases, patient involvement should begin during the healing process. Dr. Piazza r may prescribe spinal/pelvic stabilizers (also called "foot orthotics") to help normalize foot and ankle motion, stabilize the joint, and protect your feet from what is known as heel-strike shock: That shock is the force wave which travels through your body every time your foot hits the ground. If not properly absorbed, heel-strike shock can adversely affect the treatments you receive, or can considerably slow your recovery.

Why are the proper support for your feet so important?

Taking Care of Kids' Posture

How can I tell if my child has a postural problem?

Your family chiropractor is best qualified to evaluate your child's postural health. Given all the natural growth developments and potentially serious conditions which can affect a child, it is not surprising that a recent study indicated children need chiropractic care for low back pain nearly twice as much as their parents.1 Just like the adult the child should have periodic postural evaluations; every six months to one year is usually sufficient.

What can a chiropractor do if my child has a postural problem?

Your child is a unique individual, of course, so the specifics of his or her care can only be determined by a health care professional — a chiropractor, for example. In general terms, your chiropractor may recommend a postural evaluation, examination of the feet, testing of any painful areas, X-rays (to rule out more serious conditions), adjustments or manipulation where needed, spinal/pelvic stabilizers (foot orthotics), and rehabilitative exercise.

Why is a foot examination important?

The feet are the foundation of the body, and many foot problems can lead to stress or pain in other parts of the body. By about the age of six, the major structures of the foot are fully developed and resemble the adult foot. Before that time, however, your child's feet have undergone some important transformations. During the first 12 - 18 months of life, the structure of the foot is primarily soft cartilage — usually not strong enough to support the body. Around the time a baby begins learning to stand up, cartilage rapidly develops into bone. During the early weightbearing years, roughly between the ages of two to six, the legs and feet go through several stages of development. At about two years old, the bowed legs and "toed-in" feet of infancy straighten out as the child begins to walk. Then at about age three, a knock-kneed, toed-in stance may develop as a result of normal skeletal growth: this appearance usually straightens out by the age of six or seven.

So a child's feet and legs usually correct any postural problems they have by about age seven?

Unfortunately, not all conditions disappear. A recent survey of 52 five-year-old children showed that 92.3% had knocked knees, and 77.9% had hyperpronation.2 While noticeable knock-knees usually disappear by age seven, hyperpronation does not

What is hyperpronation?

Pronation is considered the most common foot problem. In pronation, some of the bones of the foot drop to a less stable position because the foot arches are too weak to keep them in proper alignment. The arches themselves may be unnaturally stretched ("flat feet"), and stress on the entire foot increases. Another common problem — one that is often found along with pronation — is plantar fascitis, a stress irritation to the sheath of elastic tissues running nearly the entire length of the foot. If not treated, either condition can lead to progressive development of foot malfunction and discomfort. Feet can become "tired and achy" or experience a burning pain, and walking can begin to feel "clumsy" as you try to move your foot in a way that avoids further pain.

What can be done to help the feet?

It is important that a child's feet be kept supported and in balance. Custom-made, flexible orthotics (also known as spinal/pelvic stabilizers) slip into a patient's shoes to help support the feet in a balanced, stable position. What's more, they also help absorb damaging heel-strike shock and provide gentle comfort while standing. Ultra Young Soles orthotics by Foot Levelers were especially created to help feet between the ages of five to twelve stay healthy and posturally stable. Young Soles work with your doctor's treatments to help keep a child's body in balance during the growing years. Ask your doctor for more information on Ultra Young Soles orthotics for children, and on Foot Levelers' Posture Protect Program. This program allows you to receive a discount on your child's next pair of Young Soles.