Pelvic Girdle Dysfunction and Low Back Pain

Have you ever had low back pain, hip pain, glute pain that just will not go away? Maybe traditional physical therapy has not helped or you have tried chiropractic care with only mild success. You doctor gives you muscle relaxers and maybe even steroids, but the pain continues to be present. Low back pain can be very hard to treat because of the complexity of the spine and the neuromuscular system interaction that occurs to create the pain. Sometimes the treating practitioner needs to look further into the body for the cause of the pain than just thinking of the lumbar spine.

Chronic low back pain is often a combination of lumbar dysfunction along with pelvic girdle dysfunction. The pelvic girdle involves iliosacral movement, which is how the ilium of the pelvis moves around the sacrum (tailbone), and sacroilial movement, which is how the sacrum moves in the ilium. When the mechanics of either are abnormal, low back pain often occurs along with other pelvic disorders. Dr. Greenman, author of Greenman’s Principles of Manual Medicine, found in his research that people that have chronic low back pain have some common dysfunctions present. He termed these dysfunctions the “Dirty Half Dozen” because there were 6 problems people had in the lumbar spine and pelvic girdle. The problems/dysfunctions that were present included pelvic girdle dysfunctions such as upslip/downslip, pubis symphysis malpositioning, abnormal anterior movement of the sacrum, along with lumbar spine FRS dysfunctions, a shortened leg, and muscle imbalance. Finding and treating the “Dirty Half Dozen” can help reduce pain significantly, but the problem is finding someone to do that.

First you must know what to look for when treating low back pain effectively, so segmental diagnosis is crucial. Segmental diagnosis is basically figuring out which of the “Dirty Half Dozen” are present in the lumbar spine and pelvic girdle. Once the dysfunctions are found, OMT and MET can be easily used to correct the underlying problem and then appropriate exercises can be given to work on the muscle imbalances. At Wright Physiotherapy, I have been trained in segmental diagnosis and how to use OMT and MET to treat out the underlying problem. This has made me very effective in helping people with low back pain, hip pain, and glute pain that just won’t go away. Usually significant changes occur in just a couple of visits. Pain reduction can be life changing!

What is Muscle Energy Technique (MET)

Over the weekend I had a continuing education course for physical therapy to continue my license. The course dealt with using manual therapy, specifically muscle energy technique (MET), to correct problems of the pelvic girdle, sacrum, and lumbar spine. I have taken many courses over the years to learn my specialty of MET and I am very partial to the courses and education provided by Michigan State’s Osteopathic medical school and their manual medicine series. Michigan state has given me the knowledge and skill to treat my physical therapy clients outside of insurance, because of the great outcomes I get. The course I took was not a Michigan State course but it did provide a great review of the knowledge I already have along with reminding me how powerful MET is. Using physical therapy and MET is how I get such great outcomes far and above the norms and is why I can be an independent practitioner and not have to deal with insurance.

What exactly is MET? Muscle Energy Technique (MET) is defined as a form of soft-tissue treatment in which the patient’s muscles are actively used, on request, from a precisely controlled position, in a specific direction, and against a distinctly executed therapist-applied counterforce. The key defining element of MET is the use of an isometric contraction before subsequent stretching or movement of restricted tissues. What this means is if you have a sacrum/tailbone that is stuck in an abnormal position for example, I can put your body in a specific position and use your own muscle contraction to put the sacrum back in place. I can do this with your pelvis and the vertebra up and down the spine.

Using MET not only puts the bones back in the appropriate positions it also resets the normal length of the muscles that are involved in locking the bones into the abnormal position. When bones and joints are in abnormal positions this can cause muscles to shut down and significant pain that can become chronic unless the dysfunction is fixed appropriately.

Using manual therapy and MET takes time when done appropriately. I spend at least an hour evaluating leg length, the pelvic girdle, SI joints, lumbar spine, pubic symphysis, muscle strength and tightness. I then give physical therapy exercises that are very specific to help hold my adjustments in place that are a complement to the manual therapy. Treating by this method, in my opinion, can only be done appropriately on a cash based manner because of the time and attention involved. Insurance gets in the way of the best care I know I can give. In the long run, I am much cheaper than other treatment methods because my clients usually respond very quick and my goal is to have the pain mostly gone within 4 visits.

I am very passionate about what I do and using MET has allowed me to help many people and achieve great outcomes. I am greatly appreciative to all the instructors I have had over the years that have furthered my career and given me the knowledge to help people in pain.

Why Become A Case Of Failed Lower Back Syndrome?

Low back surgery is not something you should take lightly and one should understand what back surgery is trying to accomplish.  Back surgery is performed to either decompress and take pressure off a nerve to reduce leg pain or to stabilize unstable joints.  Having surgery completely changes the anatomy and how a normal spine works effecting the appropriate feedback loops into the system for muscle and joint control.  Often people go into surgery thinking all the pain will be gone.  This is not always the case.  Remember, surgery is done to either decompress the nerves or to stabilize the joints.  What happens if the pain that is being generated is not always coming completely from a nerve pinch or the instability of the joints?  In this situation, the pain will often still be present after surgery and the patient experiences failed lower back syndrome.  You don’t have to have surgery to experience a failed lower back either.  You may be someone that has been searching for pain relief without success; trying therapy, chiropractic care, injections all without help.  Often people that experience failed lower back syndrome have certain dysfunctions of the lumbar spine and pelvis that were never addressed properly.  If it is these dysfunctions that were involved in causing the pain in the first place, having surgery does not eliminate them, therefore pain often comes back or never goes away.  People with low back pain often have abnormal tailbone positions along with flexion (FRS) and extension (ERS) dysfunctions of the lumbar spine, dysfunction at the pubic symphysis, hip shear dysfunctions, a short leg pelvic tilt syndrome, and muscle imbalance of the trunk and lower extremities.  These abnormal spinal positions are called somatic dysfunctions.  Often, somatic dysfunctions are not treated by chiropractors or general physical therapy very well.  This is because identifying the somatic dysfunctions takes a very specific type of segmental diagnosis that is performed with osteopathy.  Once the dysfunctions are diagnosed and treated, then a specific strengthening and stretching program needs to be established to help prevent the return of pain and dysfunction.  Many people in society suffer from low back pain and it does not have to be this way.  What is often missing is the appropriate diagnosis of dysfunction with proper treatment with osteopathy.  Don’t let yourself become a failed lower back statistic.  Come to Wright Physiotherapy and get the appropriate treatment. 

Using Manual Therapy To Treat The Spines Of Student Athletes

Over the years I have treated many student athletes for about every injury and body part you could think of.  A lot of them have been post-surgical ACL reconstruction, ankle surgeries, shoulder surgeries along with the typical sprains and strains of every body part.  It is always fun because young adults tend to heal very well and they are motivated.  Post-surgical therapy takes time because you have to let the body go through its normal processes of healing with the inflammatory response, swelling, early stages of movement and eventual strengthening.  I always say you promote the healing process with therapy after surgery, you can’t force the healing process.  You let the body do its job and we as therapist promote and guide the healing along for the most efficient recovery possible. 

I have enjoyed post-surgical rehab but I find it quite simple at this time, and what I really enjoy is treating students that have not had surgery.  I especially enjoy treating students that have back and neck pain that won’t go away or basically an injury to the spine.  I often treat cases that have not responded to chiropractic care or have had physical therapy without much help and meds really haven’t done anything to help either.  Why do I like these difficult cases so much?  Honestly, I like them because they are not difficult cases at all, and as long as you make the right diagnosis, treat the problem correctly, the pain usually goes away very quickly.  Again, young adults heal very well and if you treat with the appropriate manual therapy, they respond quite quickly.  For example, I had a young lady not too long ago that injured herself in gymnastics doing a tumbling skill.  She had pain in her low back into her left hip.  She was walking with a limp and had a hard time standing upright.  This went on for a month or two without much help.  When she came to me all she needed was the appropriate manual therapy with corrections of a rotated sacrum along with abnormal rotations of her lumbar spine.  These dysfunctions were not allowing her to walk upright and were causing her glute muscles to shut down.  Because she is young she healed very fast after the appropriate treatment and a few exercises to engage the correct muscles.  I saw her two visits.  Another case was similar with a young student woke one morning with low back pain and hip pain that would not go away.  He was actually recommended to have surgery on his hip.  He came to me and also had rotations in his sacrum and lumbar spine along with some other dysfunctions present.  He was back to normal after 6 visits.  If he had not come to me who knows what the outcome would have been.  Again he was recommended for surgery and all it really took was the correct diagnosis and treatment to fix him.  Another example is a young man came to me after having pain in his shoulder and neck for years.  He had many kinds of treatment and nothing helped.  The problem was he had not had the appropriate manual therapy of his thoracic, cervical spine and shoulder.  All he had was therapy utilizing strengthening exercises and stretching and chiropractic care many times without much help.  Once I appropriately treated him with manual therapy his symptoms went away.

Next time your student athlete is having pain that won’t go away think about the type of treatment they have had.  If they have not had good manual therapy then that may be the next step to take. 

 

Physical therapy in Newark, Granville, and Pataskala, OH Areas

IMG_0166Are you looking for physical therapy or a physical therapist in Newark, Granville, or Pataskala, OH? If you answered yes to this, then you have come to the right place. Dr. Dan Wright is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a physical therapist in the Newark, Granville, and Pataskala, OH area. He is a specialist in relieving pain and improving movement problems, and he can help you return to the activities you enjoy. Call us today to schedule an appointment 740-707-0354 or to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.

Come To A Doctor Of Physical Therapy For Low Back Pain In Newark, Granville, And Pataskala, Ohio

Dan pic

Who is your doctor? Think about that. When you have low back pain or some other kind of pain the first thing most people do is wait to see if the pain will go away. When the pain does not go away the next action on the list is to call your doctor to get an appointment. This is an “old school” way of thinking in today’s healthcare model, and this is how people with low back pain or other kinds of pain get stuck and never get help. In a study by Fritz and Childs {Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012 Dec 1;37(25):2114-21)} it was determined that only 7% of people who went to their doctor for low back pain were given a referral to physical therapy despite the evidence that physical therapy drastically reduces total costs of care and recovery time for the patient. That is amazing to me! Think about that, only 7% of people were ever given a referral to physical therapy even though the stats show that physical therapy lowers costs and recovery time for the patient. Therefore 93% of people were most likely given pain meds or told to give it more time to see if the pain would go away. This is how healthcare fails.

I am trying to get a change in thinking so that is why I asked, “Who is your doctor”? I am a doctor of physical therapy, therefore I am a doctor. Most of the time when people say they are going to the doctor because of low back pain or some other injury type pain, they really mean their primary physician. This needs to change. As the study by Fritz and Childs notes above, low back pain sufferers are only sent to physical therapy 7% of the time by their physician even though recovery time and costs are reduced with physical therapy. As a physical therapist I am the expert in pain, tissue healing, and musculoskeletal injuries. I have a doctoral degree that justifies me being the first person to care for low back pain and other painful injuries. When I think of going to see a physician it is for broken bones, diseases, or for being sick. When someone goes to the doctor for low back pain or some other painful injury the only action that can be taken is to be given pain meds, which in its self is a problem, or to be given a script for physical therapy. We know based on the research only 7% of low back pain sufferers are given a script for therapy even with all of the known benefits. Going to see a physician is not necessary anymore. In Ohio and throughout the rest of the states, there is something called direct access. This is the ability for someone to come directly to physical therapy without a physician referral. This law is very powerful and very important because it allows the experts in the field of pain, healing, and injuries to work autonomously, which we know helps reduce costs and speeds up healing time. So when someone has low back pain or some other painful injury, why be in the 7%. I am your doctor. I am the expert in healing of low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, and any other musculoskeletal injury. Why wait and see a physician when you can come to Wright Physiotherapy.

Neck Pain Gone Once And For All!

LEVATOR SCAPULA MANUAL STRETCH

LEVATOR SCAPULA MANUAL STRETCH

Neck pain can be devastating to deal with be it from whiplash, a fall, poor posture, or any other trauma. Rarely does neck pain only encompass the neck, but also the shoulder and upper back. It is not uncommon to have pain deep in the shoulder blade or on the inside top of the shoulder blade that is coming from the neck. Physical therapy is often one of the stops along the road of recovery. Traditional physical therapy is not always able to deal with the complexity of neck pain because just doing the exercises in physical therapy can’t take care of the whole problem. What is often needed is the skill of a manual therapist performing osteopathic manipulation and myofascial release. This is because the muscles and joints of the neck, upper back, and shoulder blades need to be released with manual therapy before exercises with help. The sequence of my manual therapy treatment starts at the lower thoracic spine working up to the upper thoracic spine. Then working on the levator scapula muscles and scalenes of the neck with myofascial release techniques. Finally the cervical spine gets treated out with manipulation. The ribs may also need to be treated. This does not have to be the treatment sequence but this is the pattern I follow. After the manual therapy, a few simple exercises should be given for neck flexibility and to improve posture. Treatments involving manual therapy, and then followed up by simple exercises is a much more effective way to get rid of pain. If you want your pain resolved NOW, then give me a call or book an appointment at wrightphysiotherapy.com. Thank you!

Treating high school athletes for improved performance and post game healing

high school football

Stacy Sykora, the designated libero for the U.S. Women?s National Volleyball Team, two-hands a return during an exhibition match against top-ranked Brazil at Clune Arena on the campus of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., June 14, 2008.  Team USA is concluding a three-match 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Exhibition for Volleyball series that started June 11. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rachel Boettcher/Released)

High school athletics are very demanding and can take a toll on the body. A season of wear and tear and injuries leads to underperforming and a less successful season. No athlete wants to underperform especially when the raw talent is present. Performing at the highest level is every athlete’s goal. Most athletes perform conditioning and weight lifting to prepare for and stay strong during the season, but they are missing ONE BIG COMPONANT when it comes to staying healthy. Trainers and conditioning coaches are good at pure strength and endurance exercises but they do not have the education and the ability to evaluate, make assessments, and treat dysfunctions/injuries an athlete may have before and during the season that is limiting the athletes ability to play at the highest level. There is no reason to miss out on the ONE BIG COMPONANT that can lead to a much more successful and healthy season. And what is the ONE BIG COMPONANT? It is having a total body movement evaluation from Wright Physiotherapy to look for problems the athlete may have in muscles and joints that is limiting the highest level of performance. Then the appropriate hands on manual therapy will be performed to correct any dysfunctions that are present. At the end of the session a group of exercises will be given to specifically strengthen the body and deficits that were found. During the season, manual therapy and hands on treatment techniques can be used to heal injuries such as sprains, strains, back pain, knee injury, shoulder injury, hip injury, and injuries of all kinds to keep the player on the field or court throughout the season. Wright Physiotherapy can keep you healthy, so you can be an all-star performer. Give me a call for a healthier and more productive season!