Dr. MacEwen of Foxboro MA performs DOT Medical Exams
The Department of Transportation requires those who drive commercial vehicles to have a physical exam on a regular basis. Knowing what to expect from them can help you prepare for your appointment.
Importance of DOT Physicals
Having commercial drivers undergo these physicals helps ensure that they’re in good condition and can operate their vehicle safely. Driving commercial vehicles is physically demanding, especially for those who drive large tractor-trailers and those who put in a lot of hours on the road. Making sure that these drivers are physically healthy makes them less of a risk to themselves and other drivers on the road. These physical exams can help doctors detect any health issues that might cause difficulty driving or increase the risk of being in an accident.
What to Expect from DOT Physicals
When you go for your DOT physical, you’ll need to provide personal and medical information, such as your date of birth, contact information, and driver’s license number. You’ll also need to state if you have any medical conditions, such as neurological disorders, hearing loss, vision problems, heart disease, or diabetes, and provide a list of medications that you take.
When you go for your exam, keep in mind that only certified medical examiners are able to conduct it. Dr. MacEwen is a Nationally Certified medical examiner. During your exam, the doctor goes over your medical history and checks your vitals, such as your blood pressure and heart rate. You can also expect to have a vision test to determine whether or not you have impaired vision and need corrective lenses. The DOT requires commercial vehicle drivers to have a minimum of 20/40 vision in both eyes, which can include corrective eyewear, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses.
During your DOT exam, your examiner will also check your ears and hearing, along with your throat and mouth. Your examiner will also do an orthopedic and neurological exam, look over your skin and general appearance, and check your heart and lungs. You can also expect to have your spine checked for deformities or abnormalities that could make it difficult for you to sit comfortably in a vehicle for extended periods of time. Your examiner will also check your abdomen for abnormalities and do a hernia check. You will have your urine tested for sugar, blood, protein and specific gravity.
Bring your Health Records to your exam
If you bring your health records to your exam you will have a better chance of passing your exam and leaving with your medical card that day. If you are diabetic, you will need to bring your most recent office visit notes from the doctor that manages your condition AND you’re most recent blood work results showing your A1C level. If you have a history of cardiac conditions and or surgeries (including stents, angioplasty, bypass, stroke, etc.), you will need to bring your most recent office visits notes from your cardiologist AND the results of any recent tests such as an EKG. If you were diagnosed with sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine, you will need to bring the compliance report from your machine for the last three to six months. If you were diagnosed with seizures, epilepsy, or have suffered prolonged periods of loss of consciousness, you will need to bring a letter from your neurologist stating you are seizure-free, do not take anti-seizure medication and are safe to operate a vehicle. If you regularly take prescribed medications that are considered controlled substances such as Vicodin, Percocet, etc., you will need to bring a letter from your prescribing doctor stating why you need to take this medication and that you are safe to operate a vehicle. If you have an impairment or loss of an arm, leg, hand or foot, you will need to bring a letter from your managing doctor stating your condition is stable and you are safe to operate a vehicle. If you wear glasses/contacts to drive and/or wear hearing aids, please be sure to have them with you for your exam.
After Your DOT Physical
When your physical is done, the doctor lets you know if you meet the required standards for a medical certificate. If you have a condition that requires close monitoring, your certificate might only be valid for a few months or up to one year. Otherwise, your certificate will be valid for two years.
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.
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
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.
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.
Rarely, untreated severe spinal stenosis may progress and cause permanent:
- Balance problems
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 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:
- MRI scanning
- CT scanning
- 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 email@example.com
Tritown Chiropractic Offices in Foxboro MA, Offers Non Surgical Spinal Decompression
Non-surgical spinal decompression involves the use of a special, computer-controlled traction table that sends the patient through planned cycles of distraction and relaxation.
This relatively new technique is already showing tremendous promise as a better way of treating severely herniated discs than traditional methods. It works by creating negative pressure inside the targeted disc that helps gently, over time, “nudge” the disc back into place. It also improves nutrient flow to the injured area. The principles have been used by chiropractors for years – what is special is the computerized control that makes for a more precise application of pressure.
Because this technique is so new, patients might hear that it is unproven – the fact is that the studies have not all come in yet, but the treatment is still shown as effective for herniated discs and sciatica, especially in combination with traditional chiropractic therapy and therapeutic exercise.
Not everyone is a candidate for non-surgical spinal decompression. Tritown Chiropractic carefully screens patients to ensure that only those who will benefit from the therapy receive it. This Foxboro MA chiropractor has been in business since 1990, so they have plenty of experience determining which therapies are best for which individual patients.
They will offer non-surgical spinal decompression as part of a comprehensive plan of care that may include spinal adjustments, a personalized exercise program, ultrasound and other therapies and nutrition advice. Patients suffering from lower back pain should make an appointment for an initial consultation to find out whether they are a potential candidate for non-surgical spinal decompression therapy and what this revolutionary new treatment for back pain can do for them.
Contact Person Name: Dr. Cameron MacEwen DC
Organization: Tritown Chiropractic
Address: 211 North Street (at Route 1), Suite Number 7, Foxboro, MA 02035
Contact Telephone Number: (508) 698-0688
Shoulder Pain Relief Accelerated by Chiropractic in Foxboro MA
Shoulder pain is very common in people of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, most folks experience several bouts of shoulder pain each year. This is due to extraneous activities and exercises, along with stress, anxiety, and even living dormant and stationary lifestyles. For the same reasons that a person can experience pain due to excess activities – people can also experience the same pain due to muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints that are not being used daily. No matter the reason or origin, however, a Foxboro MA Chiropractor can tackle all shoulder related pain and issues. The first step, of course, is by examining the areas in distress, along with taking imaging and scans to pinpoint the exact causes.
How Does a Chiropractor Alleviate Shoulder Pain?
Foxboro Chiropractors utilize a range of techniques to tackle and deal with shoulder pain. Based on your checkup and results, he or she may immediately prescribe pain relievers. Therapeutic massages and weekly rehab exercises are usually included as part of any care plan. In recent years, nautical and hydro-based therapies have also been used to restore optimal mobility, balance, and flexibility in patients suffering from shoulder distress. These exercises, of course, take place in pools – and help alleviate swelling, while restoring proper blood-flow and circulation. The latter is a crucial aspect in eliminating shoulder knots, distress, and even pockets of swelling that may have amassed over the years. In the worst case scenarios, however, surgical procedures may be needed to correct any extensive bone, muscle, tendon, ligament or joint issues in the upper back.
Professional Shoulder Pain Relief in Foxboro
If you are tired of dealing with sharp or steady shoulder pains – now is the right to time to schedule an appointment with an area chiropractor. Local physicians and nurses truly go above and beyond the call of duty to help patients deal with and overcome shoulder issues. One phone call or e-mail is all you need to start getting your mobility and life back today!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Helped by Chiropractor in Foxboro MA
Are you bothered with an all-too-common nerve disorder called carpal tunnel? You should never self-proclaim any illness or pain issues. However, some definitive signs and symptoms point to the possibility that you may be dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, an upper extremity nerve compression disorder.
This disorder is mainly brought about by repetitive movements of the hands and wrists. Injuries to the hand or wrist can cause carpal tunnel. Symptoms can include a few or all of the following. Carpal Tunnel affects one or both hands and wrists.
- Numbness and tingling of the hands and wrists that do not go away with position changes to the extremity.
- Sharp, burning pain in the fingers and hand, radiating up the arm
What Causes Carpal Tunnel?
The median nerve runs through the wrist from the forearm to the palm. The carpal tunnel surrounds this median nerve and protects the nerve. This tube is made up of ligaments and bones situated at the base of the hand. When constant pressure applies to this median nerve pain, tingling and numbness develop. The median nerve is responsible for controlling touch sensations to the palm, thumb, and fingers. The median nerve transfers impulses to the small hand muscles, thus allowing mobility of your fingers and thumb.
When you go to your primary care physician for these signs and symptoms, this doctor may refer you to an orthopedic specialist for surgery or a brace. You may or may not know that a chiropractor can use natural methods to help reduce or eliminate the pain, tingling, and numbness you feel from carpal tunnel.
Before you decide to undergo a surgical technique to address your carpal tunnel, make an appointment to see your Foxboro MA Chiropractor, see if you are a candidate for natural approaches that are pain-free and comfortable solutions to a painful and pesky problem.
This Foxboro MA Chiropractor may institute a few of the following natural approaches to carpal tunnel healing such as,
- X-rays of the spine and neck
- Spinal Manipulation
- Massage Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- EMS/Tens Therapy
- Herbal Supplements
- Vitamins and Minerals
Call your Foxboro MA Chiropractor today for a free consult to see if you are a candidate for natural healing of your carpal tunnel before you say yes to surgery.
Foot Pain Sufferers in Foxboro MA Find Relief through Chiropractic
Most people usually see podiatrists when dealing with foot problems. This includes flat-fleet issues, along with plantar fasciitis and related ailments. However, a Foxboro MA Chiropractor also helps foot pain sufferers with a range of industry-leading techniques. This includes therapeutic massages, which are designed to restore optimal foot flexibility and mobility. Patients may also be subscribed special orthopedic shoes, which help the feet regain proper balance while walking. As always, your chiropractic professional will check the feet for any underlying issues that may be the origin of your overall pain and discomfort.
Plantar Fasciitis – A Growing Problem
Plantar fasciitis has truly become a growing problem across the country. In fact, several podiatric and chiropractic journals have chronicled the rise of this extensive foot problem – which mainly affects athletes. Even if you live an active and healthy lifestyle, this and other foot ailments can seriously curtail sports and overall activities. With years of extensive industry experience, Foxboro chiropractors have the tools to tackle pain stemming from plantar fasciitis. While the latter is essentially inflammation of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes – special shoes may be worn to combat tension and restore overall flexibility and mobility. Pain relievers and special ointments may be prescribed as well. However, surgical procedures are the only way to correct this issue in cases of extensive distress.
Professional Chiropractic Care for Foot Problems
If you are dealing with daily or chronic foot pain, do not wait for irreparable harm and damage to set in. Remember, while most foot pain does dissipate on its own – this is only for general problems that affect people of all ages. For more extensive issues – including toe pain, heel pain, or tissue and tendon swelling and tears – you simply need a professional and experienced hand to help you. Foxboro Chiropractors are genuinely concerned about the health and welfare of all patients. Sadly, many patients tend to ignore foot problems until they become true causes of concerns. Do not let that happen to you and please contact your local chiropractor today!