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    Do you have Piriformis Syndrome? Dr. Cameron MacEwen of Foxboro, MA says probably NOT!

     

    If I hear one more person tell me they have piriformis syndrome, I might just jump!!!!  Seriously though, piriformis syndrome is an actual condition but according to medical research it is exceedingly rare and commonly over diagnosed by clinicians, fitness professionals, trainers, coaches, and therapists. Of course the internet would have everybody convinced that they suffer the malady. This results in patients and practitioners focusing on treating the piriformis and missing the correct diagnosis and treatment.

    Piriformis syndrome was originally described by Dr. Yeoman in 1928 as a “sciatica like” symptom caused by compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle. At the time this was an “advance” in identifying the cause of sciatica. It was theorized the the piriformis muscle compressed the sciatic nerve causing pain or abnormal sensation in the buttock, hamstring, or posterior thigh, or leg. Since then diagnostic technology (MRI, ultrasound, EMG) and the scientific method (research) have provided very little support for the frequency of the diagnosis of piriformis syndrome. M. Read (2002) states that the common theme in the literature is that piriformis syndrome is not a common problem.

    I think that sciatica, gluteal and buttock pain is common and that there are many parts of the body other than the piriformis muscle that can cause it. So we ask, what is the pain generator? What is the diagnosis? What is actually causing the pain in the buttock and/or sciatic like symptoms? There are at least ten anatomical structures that alone or combined can produce the symptoms. To name just a few: spinal joint dysfunction, disc derangement, lumbar and pelvic ligaments, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, spinal stenosis, facet joint inflammation, myofascial trigger points in the thoracic and lumbar region, and postural strain. The piriformis muscle is not alone in the gluteal region either. The obturator internus and gemelli muscles, the gluteal muscles, and tensor fascia lata are all muscles that may generate pain or refer pain to the area. Knowledge and familiarity with these possible pain generators is vital in sorting out and arriving at an accurate diagnosis so that the correct treatment can be provided.

    So does piriformis syndrome exist? The answer is yes, but it is just not that common and it is way over utilized as a working and treating diagnosis. What’s worse is that the proper diagnosis and treatment is missed and the patient suffers while the health care business chugs along without a care. All too often in our health care system (or business as it seems to have become), the art of sorting out and arriving at a proper diagnosis is elusive. I can’t count the number of patients I see that have undergone million dollar workups and testing without receiving an accurate diagnosis and treatment. In any case, I truly love the art of sorting out these kind of problems and providing relief. There is no greater satisfaction than relieving my patients’ pain and suffering, so I look forward to treating your buttock and leg pain, whatever is causing it.

    Yours in health,
    Dr. Cameron MacEwen

    Understanding Spinal Stenosis

    Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces or canals within your spine, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves that travel through the spine. Spinal stenosis occurs most often in the lower back and the neck.

    Some people with spinal stenosis may not have symptoms. Others may experience back or neck pain, arm or leg pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. It is a progressive condition with symptoms worsening over time.

    Spinal stenosis is most commonly caused by wear-and-tear changes in the spine related to osteoarthritis. Sometimes acute injuries to discs or spinal joints can cause swelling and pressure on the nerves or spinal cord.

    Types of spinal stenosis

    The types of spinal stenosis are classified according to where on the spine the condition occurs. It is possible to have more than one type. The two main types of spinal stenosis are:

    • Cervical stenosis. This condition causes narrowing in the part of the spine in your neck.
    • Lumbar stenosis. This condition causes narrowing in the part of the spine in your lower back. It is the most common form of spinal stenosis.

    Dr. MacEwen of Tritown Chiropractic Offices will ask you about your signs and symptoms, discuss your medical history, and conduct a physical examination to diagnose spinal stenosis. He may also order special imaging tests to help pinpoint the cause of your signs and symptoms.

    Symptoms

    Many people have evidence of spinal stenosis on an MRI or CT scan but may not have symptoms. When they do occur, they often start gradually and worsen over time. An acute injury can make spinal stenosis more apparent. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the stenosis and which nerves are affected.

    In the neck (cervical spine)

    • Numbness or tingling in a hand, arm, foot or leg
    • Weakness in a hand, arm, foot or leg
    • Problems with walking and balance
    • Neck pain

    In the lower back (lumbar spine)

    • Numbness or tingling in a foot or leg
    • Weakness in a foot or leg
    • Pain or cramping in one or both legs when you stand for long periods of time or when you walk, which usually eases when you bend forward or sit
    • Back pain

    Causes

    The backbone (spine) runs from your neck to your lower back. The bones of your spine form a spinal canal, which protects your spinal cord and nerve roots.

    Some people are born with a small spinal canal, but most spinal stenosis occurs when something happens to narrow the open space within the spine. Causes of spinal stenosis may include:

    • Overgrowth of bone. Wear and tear damage from osteoarthritis on your spinal bones can prompt the formation of bone spurs, which can grow into the spinal canal. Paget’s disease, a bone disease that usually affects adults, also can cause bone overgrowth in the spine.
    • Herniated disks. The soft cushions that act as shock absorbers between your vertebrae tend to dry out with age. Cracks in a disk’s exterior may allow some of the soft inner material to escape and press on the spinal cord or nerves.
    • Thickened ligaments. The tough cords that help hold the bones of your spine together can become stiff and thickened over time. These thickened ligaments can bulge into the spinal canal.
    • Postural abnormalities. Abnormal posture and spinal curvature can cause buckling of ligaments, joint capsules, or spinal discs to press on the nerves.
    • Tumors. Abnormal growths can form inside the spinal cord, within the membranes that cover the spinal cord or in the space between the spinal cord and vertebrae. These are uncommon and identifiable on spine imaging with an MRI or CT.
    • Spinal injuries. Car accidents and other trauma can cause dislocations or fractures of one or more vertebrae. Displaced bone from a spinal fracture may damage the contents of the spinal canal. Swelling of nearby tissue immediately after back surgery also can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

    Risk factors

    Most people with spinal stenosis are over the age of 50. Though degenerative changes can cause spinal stenosis in younger people, other causes need to be considered. These include trauma, congenital spinal deformity such as scoliosis, and a genetic disease affecting bone and muscle development throughout the body. Spinal imaging can differentiate these causes.

    Complications

    Rarely, untreated severe spinal stenosis may progress and cause permanent:

    • Numbness
    • Weakness
    • Balance problems
    • Incontinence
    • Paralysis

    Imaging tests

    These tests may include:

    • X-rays. An X-ray of your back can reveal bony changes, such as bone spurs that may be narrowing the space within the spinal canal. Each X-ray involves a small exposure to radiation.
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to produce cross-sectional images of your spine. The test can detect damage to your disks and ligaments, as well as the presence of tumors. Most important, it can show where the nerves in the spinal cord are being pressured.
    • CT or CT myelogram. If you can’t have an MRI, your doctor may recommend computerized tomography (CT), a test that combines X-ray images taken from many different angles to produce detailed, cross-sectional images of your body. In a CT myelogram, the CT scan is conducted after a contrast dye is injected. The dye outlines the spinal cord and nerves, and it can reveal herniated disks, bone spurs and tumors.

    Treatment

    Treatment for spinal stenosis depends on the severity of symptoms. Dr. MacEwen will sort out what is causing your symptoms and decide what action to take in your case. Most cases respond very well to conservative, non-invasive, drug free treatment. As always, the safest, non-invasive treatments should be tried first as these most often resolve the problem and have far less risk associated with them. If you are considering surgery please follow the advice of the best spine surgeons and that is try all conservative measures before having surgery. Dr. MacEwen is trusted by the medical community and will work with top specialists to treat your problem.

    Dr. MacEwen in Foxboro Massachusetts will utilize state of the art diagnostic and treatment modalities to diagnose and treat your condition including but not limited to:

    • X-ray
    • MRI scanning
    • CT scanning
    • EMG
    • Therapeutic exercise and postural rehabilitation
    • Skilled spinal manipulation
    • Non-surgical spinal decompression
    • Graston™ soft tissue mobilization
    • Trigger point therapy and massage
    • Pain reducing modalities such as interferential stimulation and therapeutic ultrasound

    Whatever is the cause of your back or neck pain, sciatica, leg or arm weakness, Dr. MacEwen has helped many people with the same symptoms get better and live their lives to the fullest again.

    Call 508-698-0688 for a consultation, or email us at info@tritownchiropractic.com

    Chiropractor in Foxboro MA Assists in Helping Locals Get Hip Pain Relief

    Can chiropractors help with hip pain? It depends on the cause, but many causes of hip pain respond well to chiropractic care.

    In many cases, hip pain is caused by overuse injuries – routine activities put a stress on the joint which causes inflammation of the muscles surrounding it. A fall, especially in an older adult, can also cause trauma to the hips – even if no bones are broken. Minor falls can cause bursitis, an inflammation of the sac surrounding the hip, which can be quite painful.

    In older adults, hip pain is most often caused by osteoarthritis, and while there is no way to reverse the progressive joint degeneration, chiropractic care can slow it down – and thus allow patients to delay joint replacement surgery, with its associated annoyances, downtime and often permanent loss of function.

    Hip pain can also be caused by sciatica – when the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated – or by problems in the joints that connect the hips to the spine. The symptoms of sciatica respond well to chiropractic adjustment. Because there are so many possible causes of hip pain (Inflammatory bowel syndrome and hernias can also cause pain in the hips) it is vital to get a full examination to determine what is causing your problems. Choose a Foxboro MA chiropractor with plenty of experience and who uses proven, research supported methods to resolve pain and aid health. In addition to manipulation, the chiropractor may also prescribe therapeutic exercise and/or postural rehabilitation (working on aspects of your posture that may be contributing to the pain).

    If you are experiencing chronic hip pain, then contact a good chiropractor for a proper examination to determine what is wrong. Hip pain can be a sign of other diseases, so it is very important to quickly establish the cause.

    The Benefits of Spinal Decompression Therapy from a Chiropractor in Foxboro MA

     

    Pain and tension of spinal alignment issues can be alleviated by a local chiropractor in Foxboro MA. No truer is this than when it comes to spinal compression, which stems from damaged nerves or bone density issues. This common yet extensive condition can also result from extraneous weight lifting. In fact, any excessive pressure on the back or spinal column is never a good thing. It can produce a myriad of mobility and flexibility problems.

    With years of extensive industry experience, area chiropractors can restore maximum mobility in patients. In fact, spinal compression care utilizes cutting-edge technologies along with traditional therapies to produce favorable results. This includes therapeutic massages, along with laser or ultrasound heating for patients. While lab tests and imaging will be needed to determine the severity of the issues, surgery is also an option for more serious cases.

    Patients with spinal compression can experience neurological symptoms. Most will also experience pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling of extremities. While there are fewer than 200,000 cases per year in the US, spinal compression is mainly an external spinal cord issue.

    In order to relief pressure and secure immediate solace, pain therapies and medications are sure to be administered. Most of these spinal problems go away on their own; however, some do linger and can lead to other problems.

    Some of the main reasons of spinal compression include tumors, trauma, degenerative diseases or nerve damages. Only a licensed and dedicated chiropractor in Foxboro can determine the exact causes and provide timely solutions. He or she will also recommend rehab sessions, which help curtail pain and allows the spine to heal. One phone call or e-mail is all you need to access the best care services for all spinal problems and issues.

    Tips For Preventive Spinal Care from a Chiropractor in Foxboro MA

    From scoliosis to bulging and slipped discs, area chiropractors in Foxboro MA have the tools and experience to reduce the pain and tension. They also offer a range of preventative spinal care solutions, including weigh reduction and therapeutic massage therapies.
    The spinal column is essential in securing proper balance and posture. However, it is not susceptible from nerve damages, wrenches, and other common or extensive injuries. No truer is this than when it comes to auto accidents or sports-related mishaps. If you are experiencing discomfort or distress, do not wait for irreparable harm and damage to set in. It is advised to see your local chiropractor at once for a full body examination and care solutions.
    When it comes to preventive care, chiropractors examine each situation and patient with true precision. This allows him or her to offer the best solutions, which may include pain relievers, laser therapies, braces, nautical care or even surgical procedures. These care solutions are all designed to reduce pain and swelling, while restoring optimal mobility and flexibility.
    As part of any chiropractic checkup, physicians will also check for arthritis and bone density issues. The latter is one of the main causes of spinal compression and misalignment. Doctors will also take plenty of scans, imaging, and even contract to pinpoint and address all visible or underlying issues.
    Whether suffering from spinal alignment problems or pinched nerves, local chiropractors can resolve a range of issues. In fact, they are genuinely committed to helping you lead a pain-free and healthy life.

    The Importance of Proper Fitness in Relation to Chiropractic Care from a Chiropractor in Foxboro MA

    A chiropractor in Foxboro MA has come to know and love would like to tell you that a combination of proper fitness, strengthening, and cardiovascular exercises, in combination with chiropractic care, are very important ways to manage lower back pain. Patients who visit a chiropractor should do a regular amount of exercise every day. Studies have proven that consistent exercise is very beneficial for the management of chronic and acute lower back pain, as well as for the improvement of quality of life, and strengthening of the lower back.
    Aerobic exercise, when combined with care from a chiropractor Foxboro MA is fond of, helps to improve proper digestion, promotes better circulation, and helps to keep your muscles in good tone. Patients that walk briskly for a set amount each day find it to be beneficial for their overall health. Other exercises that promote fitness includes bending over exercises, posterior pelvic tilts, pulling your knees up toward your chest, and bending forward while in a sitting position.
    Combining fitness with chiropractic care is very important for everyone. A chiropractor in Foxboro MA can recommend other exercises that are good for reduction of lower back pain, strengthening of trunk muscles (pelvic stabilization muscles), balance promotion, and overall stretching of abductors, hamstrings and other overly tight or short postural muscles.
    If you have retrained your spine to keep its correct position through chiropractic care, then it is essential to do some exercises that can help your body to hold on to that proper position through exercise. A patient should take responsibility for their body’s care and upkeep so that the adjustments they’ve received are maintained. It is critically important for your spinal cord and backbone to maintain proper fitness so that you can live a life that is productive, healthy, pain-free, and happy.
    After an adjustment, a patient should rise from the table cautiously and slowly. Take several hours to let your body adjust without doing any strenuous exercise. When you are relaxed, start an exercise regime that’s appropriate for your newly straightened spine.

    Learn About Proprioceptive Rehabilitation from a Foxboro MA Chiropractic Office

    Chiropractors employ many methods to maintain and restore their patients’ wellbeing, health, and quality of life. One of the many methods used by a Foxboro MA chiropractor that can help to relieve a patient’s suffering is proprioceptive rehabilitation. Proprioception refers to your body’s capacity to sense movement inside your joints. Your body uses this ability to be able to know precisely where our limbs are located without having to look with our eyes. Proprioception is especially useful when we are carrying out complicated sport maneuvers when precise coordination is of the essence.

    Our proprioceptive system contains many receptor nerves that are located in the joints, ligaments, and muscles around our joints. These receptor nerves are able to sense stretch and tension, and passes this information on to our brain where it’s processed. Next out brain responds by signaling our muscles to relax or contract in order to perform the desired movement. This subconscious system can by damaged by injuries to ligaments and joints, and that means that our brain can receive impaired information.

    Consequently our joints can feel strange and not quite right. Once a joint or ligament has been partially or completely torn, the proprioceptive capacity of an individual may be decreased, leaving them prone to re-injure themselves, and decreasing their coordination during a sport.

    A Foxboro MA chiropractor can help athletes with proprioceptive rehabilitation by offering them a combination of rehabilitative exercises plus physical therapy. Exercise is critically important if a person wants to decrease or be free of pain caused by injury or overuse during daily work, activities, and sports. Exercises may consist of teaching proprioceptive balance training so that your body returns to its most stable, efficient, balanced position for optimal functioning and performance.

    Patients will learn strengthening exercises for rehabilitation of weakened or injured muscles. Patients will also learn how to strengthen their rotator cuffs, exercises to increase flexibility, and core stabilization exercises that will help to train their muscular and nervous systems to coordinate efficient, safe, movements. A Foxboro MA chiropractor has exercises that could be beneficial immediately after an injury or as soon as a patient is able to stand full weight bearing

    Discover The Benefits of Physical Therapy with a Foxboro MA Chiropractor

    Many patients have benefited from receiving a combination of chiropractic care and physical therapy. Chiropractors can address misalignments of bones and any joint fixation. Physical therapy is great for addressing all of your soft-tissue pains (ligaments, tendons, and muscles). A combination of chiropractic care and physical therapy can help you to feel pain relief and help to stop the possible formation of arthritis and degenerative disc disease.

     

    A Foxboro MA chiropractor can help you with physical therapy to feel better quickly. There are many methods he can employ, including myofascial release, taping methods (using Kinesio taping to facilitate your body’s healing process, while at the same time allowing support and stability to joints and muscles), manual therapy, Graston Soft Tissue Mobilization, postural rehabilitation, ART (Active Release Technique), PIR (Post Isometric Relaxation), and spinal decompression therapy.

     

    Spinal decompression therapy is a non-surgical, modern, traction procedure that can relieve neck, low back, arm, and radiating leg pain. Traction may also help degenerative spinal discs, facet joint syndromes, and spinal disc herniation. Post-isometric relaxation places your muscle into a stretched position. Next, an isometric contraction is performed against minimal resistance. A gentle stretch and relaxation follows when the muscle releases.

     

    A Foxboro MA chiropractor can help patients with postural rehabilitation. This is a form of physical therapy that encompasses your entire body. A chiropractor uses manual techniques, specific exercises, and postural recommendations to help patients align their posture and get relief from pain and dysfunction. A chiropractor can do a state-of-the-art soft tissue massage technique that can provide relief for tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and fascia.

     

    A chiropractor can use Graston Soft-Tissue Mobilization, which utilizes a type of manual therapy called soft tissue instrument assisted mobilization. A special instrument is used to scrape and massage a patient’s skin gently. This is useful for breaking down scar tissue that may be associated with a form of soft tissue trauma, like a pulled tendon, fascia, or ligament, or a strained muscle. This technique can also benefit patients by activating certain nerve fibers. In addition, a patient’s sense organs, like proprioceptors and mechanoreceptors, can respond to this type of special treatment.

    Understanding The Importance of Flexibility with a Foxboro MA Chiropractor

    Flexibility is the capacity of your joints and muscles to move easily through a complete range of motion. We need flexibility every day to perform our daily activities – activities like bending over to tie our sneakers, reaching the cupboard’s top shelf to get out some cereal, even simply getting out of our beds. If we’re flexible, we are much more likely to remain healthier and injury free. A Foxboro MA chiropractor knows that there are ways to maintain and improve our flexibility.

    Chiropractors are trained in various techniques including exercise physiology, neuromuscular rehabilitation, and muscle therapy – highly effective ways to alleviate pain and support the healing process. Chiropractic adjustments are an excellent way to both maintain our spinal health and influence proper muscle function and alignment. In addition, adjustments encourage flexibility by helping you to maintain your mobility, decrease the risk of muscle strains and other injuries, improve our posture and balance, enhance our athletic performance, and even increase much needed blood flow to our muscles.

    A Foxboro MA chiropractor sees the impact of a sedentary lifestyle on your flexibility. He knows what weight gain and aging can do to limit the almost unlimited range-of-motion we enjoyed as children. If we lose flexibility, everyday movements become more difficult, our athletic performances are limited, and it takes a longer time to recover from injuries.

    Chiropractic adjustments can target those out of alignment spinal joints that might be limiting your movements and creating pain. Adjustments can help if you’re having back pains in your sacroiliac joints whenever you stand up, and they, combined with stretching, will help you to loosen up your ligaments, muscles, and tendons. A Foxboro MA chiropractor can give you some tips on stretching and posture exercises that can help you to gain more flexibility.

    Chiropractors can help their patients to achieve better flexibility and wellness. They can devise a plan with their patient to improve their quality of life. Chiropractic adjustments can improve the functions of the entire body, as well as providing much-needed pain relief.

    How a Foxboro MA Chiropractor Helps Alleviate Severe Shoulder Pain

    A Foxboro MA Chiropractor is committed to excellence in all pain-management services. This includes shoulder pain remedies, which help restore proper mobility and normal settings. Shoulders are notorious for amassing tension and stress on a daily basis. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why shoulders get hard and tense – especially during emotional or physically exhausting episodes.

    From pain relievers and therapeutic massage to adjustments and acupuncture, chiropractors utilize a myriad of techniques to curtail and hopefully eradicate shoulder pain. As always, scans will be taken to determine the root causes, underlying issues, and severity of your shoulder pain and distress.

    The shoulders play a crucial role in overall and daily mobility. With connected nerves, tissue, and muscle – even the slightest pain can radiate throughout the upper cervical and spinal areas. Pain can also travel down the spine and back; resulting in lack of mobility and sporadic or shooting pains.

    With just one phone call, however, you can access the best chiropractic care and services for shoulder-related pain and injuries. This includes pain relievers and therapeutic massages, along with adjustments and weekly rehab sessions for pulled muscles and other related problems. Area chiropractors understand how mild or severe shoulder pain can be. With this in mind, they offer a range of helpful care plans that tackle and resolve all pain – at all levels.

    As part of any chiropractic examination, doctors will also check for interior nerve or muscle damages. These problems are notorious for causing daily tension and pain the shoulders and other parts of the body. They will also check to see if any pre-existing medical conditions are causing shoulder and bodily distress. If you are tired of experiencing sporadic or constant shoulder pain, don’t wait for irreparable harm and damage to set in. Simply contact your local chiropractor today and get the professional and affordable pain-relief services you need.

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