(Sept – Oct 2012 Vol 45) – Pain & glory
In the wake of the London Olympics, many office dwellers are taking to a new-found passion for sports and the active lifestyle. Unfortunately, these untrained masses are also taking to training the wrong way, resulting in many aches and pains, in exchange for a little glory.
We spoke to a chiropractor, Dr. William Choi, who practices at Academy Of Chiropractic Clinic, 30 Merchant Road, #02-27, Singapore 058282, and asked him about the common pains and aches we get.
LW: In your practice, what are the most common joint and muscle injuries experienced by your patients?
Dr. Choi: The most common joint and muscle injuries I treat in my clinic are those suffered to spinal joints known as discs which can cause a variety of muscle aches or visceral disorders.
The knee would be the next most common joint injury site, which can cause swelling of the leg and knee and even lead to muscle atrophy due to the age of the injury.
Although the percentages are very close to knee injuries, the third would be shoulder injuries. This type of injury can cause loss of range of motion/frozen shoulder, numbness and tingling in the arms, fingers, weakness and decrease in muscle tone of the involved shoulder.
LW: Can you describe how common recreational sports may be undertaken in such as way as to injure people who do not have professional coaches or trainers?
Dr. Choi: As a Chiropractor and athletic trainer, I treat the recreational athlete on a daily basis. I call them “the weekend warriors” because your typical recreational athletes are the professional 9-5 working class.
For example, the professional athlete prepares every day of their life for that one event. Their lifestyle is essential for their performance levels. The average “weekend warriors” does not typically implement a properly balanced lifestyle of exercise, diet, and rest.
My personal attitude of teachings to my patients and students is that in addition to chiropractic care, it is essential to have a properly balanced lifestyle in order to combat the daily mental and physical stresses the body encounters on a 9-5 basis.
By doing so, one’s practice of proper conditioning can prepare them for the sport they may choose to engage in on a weekly basis.
LW: What do you do for the 3 most common joint and muscle injuries?
Dr. Choi: Chiropractic care is very essential for the nature of these injuries. Corrective care begins at the spine. The spine is the lifeline for communication between the brain and the muscles and organs of the body. Once we can establish proper nerve function from the spine to the affected areas of the body then we can check for any misalignment of the knee or shoulder and if warranted make any necessary corrections in a specific matter.
LW: We understand that even minute changes in spine structure can have an effect on amateur sportsmen and women. How do these misalignments occur and how do you find out if someone’s got them? What effects do these misalignments have apart from sports performance?
Dr. Choi: These misalignments can occur by major, micro and macro traumas introduced to the body. These traumas can be caused through I collisions, falls, repetitive rotation, awkward twisting and turning. Running and jogging can even cause trauma to the spine. The force of impact of the foot with the bearing weight of the body and opposing gravity creates a traumatic repetitive vibrational force to the joints and spine. Over time this can lead to misalignment.
The bone of the spine known as the vertebrae sits on its disc. The disc is a fibroelastic pad and acts as a container for fluids. When a trauma occurs the vertebrae will misaligned off of its disc causing the disc to swell and protrude. Due to the swelling and protruding the disc produces compression upon neural structures which lead to nerve pressure.
I solely utilize a method known as the Gonstead method. The Gonstead method uses five criteria in order to detect spinal misalignment.
- Instrumentation – like a thermometer it is an instrument to detect heat due to nerve inflammation. Abnormal heat distribution is a sign to the doctor that there may be nerve dysfunction and joint swelling in the spine.
- Static Palpation – running of the fingers over your spine in a static (or stationary position) looking for edema, swelling and tender or tight muscle fibers.
- Motion Palpation – Checking the spine by bending it at different angles. This determines range of motion, or, how easily or difficult each segment of our spine moves.
- Visualization – looking for swelling, redness and any skin or muscle abnormalities in the affected areas.
- X-ray analysis – looking for signs of pathology and fracture, evaluate posture, the joints of the spine and the conditions of the spine. It is also used to visualize what position the vertebrae are in so that adjustments to the spine can be made as gently, specifically and effectively as possible.
These misalignment if undetected can lead to various maladies such as headaches, dizziness, vertigo, menstrual , disorders, digestive disorders, sinus conditions, allergies, asthma, ear infections, pains in pregnancy including morning sickness and high or low blood pressure.
LW: What would follow a successful treatment – preventive measures, and other lifestyle measures?
Dr. Choi: Once corrective care and stability is established to the affected areas, preventative chiropractic care can be recommended weekly or monthly as such problems should just not be maintained.
Depending on your level of activity, the chronicity of pre-existing injuries and the practice of healthy lifestyle choices of diet and rest can dictate any care that you may require following up with.
Livewell, September – October 2012 Vol 45