The human shoulder is not as simple as it looks from the outside. It’s made of multiple bones, tendons, and muscles that all work together to give you a full range of motion. The three bones in the shoulder are the scapula (shoulder blade), the humerus (upper arm bone), and the clavicle (collar bone). In this article with will discuss shoulder impingement syndrome.
A group of tightly packed muscles known as the rotator cuff stretches from your shoulder blade to the top of your humerus to keep the humerus sitting comfortably in the glenohumeral joint, or shoulder joint. The rotator cuff is what gives you the ability to rotate your arms and raise them above your head.
However, with so many moving parts packed into such a small area, there are lots of opportunities for something to go wrong. Since the rotator cuff sits between two bones, it’s vulnerable to becoming pinched between them. This is known as shoulder impingement syndrome.
What Causes Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?
Shoulder impingement syndrome can be caused by anatomical abnormalities, such as bone spurs, that limit the amount of room the humerus has to move within the shoulder joint. However, it’s more often caused by overuse of the shoulder or injury.
When the rotator cuff is overused, injured, or irritated, the tendons begin to swell. You’ve probably experienced swelling in other parts of your body before. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s usually not a big deal and subsides within a few days. But since the rotator cuff is surrounded by bone, it doesn’t have room to swell without the tendons rubbing against bone.
The more the tendons rub against bone, the more swollen they become. And the more swollen they become, the more they rub against the adjacent bones. It’s a vicious circle that can be hard to break.
How To Manage The Pain
Shoulder impingement syndrome can limit your range of motion by causing weakness and stiffness in your arm and making it painful to lift, reach, and rotate your arm. But the pain can be managed using a few different methods.
When the syndrome is caught early, physical therapy can be very effective at reducing inflammation, improving your range of motion, and strengthening your rotator cuff. NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can also be taken to temporarily reduce the pain caused by swelling and inflammation. For severe cases of shoulder impingement syndrome, surgical intervention may be required.
However, an increasing number of people are looking into regenerative medicine as an alternative option to avoid surgery and, in some unavoidable cases, recover from surgery. Mesenchymal stem cells offer a potential therapeutic and restorative option to help manage pain, decrease inflammation, and repair damaged tissues. Their paracrine signaling through extracellular vesicles generates a regenerative microenvironment that helps to inhibit scar tissue formation, reduce inflammation, and promote angiogenesis. If you would like to learn more about the treatment options for shoulder impingement syndrome, contact a care coordinator today at Stemedix!
You may not have heard of “text neck,” even if you have it. Text neck isn’t a formal diagnosis but a slang term for a condition caused by the repetitive stress of excessive texting. Holding the neck in a constant downward position when using a mobile device can cause pain and inflammation in the neck and shoulders. A personalized pain management plan can be highly effective in relieving symptoms. Here we will talk about text neck symptoms and how you can help relieve the pain associated with it.
Common Text Neck Symptoms
The symptoms associated with mobile device overuse may be constant or intermittent and mild or severe.
Pain in the shoulders, upper back, or neck is the most common complaint associated with text neck. Those affected may feel a deep ache, stabbing or burning pain in a specific spot, or general achiness throughout the region. It is not unusual for pain to emanate from the base of the head into the upper back.
2. Poor Posture
A prolonged forward head posture may cause muscles to become imbalanced, potentially making it difficult to maintain good posture with the ears aligned directly over the shoulders. Muscle structures in the chest, neck and upper back can end up pulling the head forward, even when one is not engaged in texting or using a device.
Misalignment of the cervical spine, as well as tight, strained muscles at the base of the neck, can spasm or cause headache pain. Long periods of looking at a screen can increase the risk of headache and eyestrain.
4. Limited Mobility
When the muscles in the neck and upper back become tight, they may experience a loss of mobility. The normal range of motion of a person’s neck can become limited, and they may feel like their shoulders are “stuck” and don’t move as freely as they once did.
5. Unable to Flex the Neck
Once the symptoms of text neck progress, even holding the neck in the forward position may become uncomfortable. Looking downward to text or read may cause pain that worsens each time you try to use your mobile device.
6. Uncommon Symptoms
Feeling electrical shock pain or pins-and-needles sensations radiating down the neck into the arms and hands can also occur. Balance issues caused by prolonged periods of holding a forward posture and jaw pain may also indicate you’re spending too much time looking at a mobile device.
What Can Help with Text Neck?
First, limit your screen time. Be aware of your posture while texting or reading on a mobile device. If simple habit changes don’t improve the condition, it may be time to see a health care professional to explore natural, non-invasive treatments that may be able to reduce pain and inflammation and treat musculoskeletal conditions. For more health awareness blogs, please visit www.stemedix.com/blog.
People often overlook their diet when trying to prevent or manage physical pain. Most people understand that maintaining a healthy weight reduces the amount of stress their joints must endure every day, but did you know that some specific foods may help naturally decrease joint pain? Here we talk about the foods that could improve joint pain (and Ones to Avoid).
Berries and Cherries
The anthocyanin in cherries and berries not only gives them a beautiful purple/red color, but it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation is a major cause of joint pain and other osteoarthritis conditions. Eating red and purple fruits will help reduce inflammation and may also protect you from gout, another source of joint pain.
Brussel’s sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables contain the antioxidant sulforaphane, known to reduce inflammation throughout the body. These vegetables are also recommended for anyone living with autoimmune issues, as sulforaphane also supports a healthy immune system.
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and tuna, both reduce joint inflammation and help joints stay lubricated. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just not a big fan of fish, you can incorporate more nuts, nut oils, and soy into your diet to obtain the same benefits.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation, and whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, and cereals help to reduce CRP levels in the body. High CRP levels are associated with several serious conditions such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and inflammation of the circulatory system.
Switch your cup of morning coffee to a cup of green tea to benefit from powerful anti-inflammatories known as polyphenols. Polyphenols ward off several diseases, among them rheumatoid arthritis.
Foods to Avoid
Don’t worry, preventing joint pain doesn’t require you to give up all of your favorite foods. However, reducing your intake of the following items will help:
Pre-cooked frozen meals
Salt and salty foods
Processed foods typically contain the toxin known as “advanced glycation end product,” which causes inflammation. They also contain large amounts of salt, which increases inflammation levels.
If you’re already following an anti-inflammatory diet and have eliminated problematic foods but are still experiencing pain from degenerative disk disease or other joint issues, there is help.
Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, has been shown to improve many orthopedic conditions as well as neurodegenerative and autoimmune conditions. Stem cell therapy is not guaranteed to help everyone, and each person should consider the available information before making this important medical decision. If you would like to learn more about foods that could improve joint pain or any of the services we offer here at Stemedix, contact a care coordinator today!
Do you suffer from aches and pains due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? The stiffness caused by RA is a nuisance for many patients and it is especially prevalent in the morning. When you awake from even the most comfortable of sleep, your joints may feel painful and stiff for several hours. How can this be avoided?
4 Ways to Reduce Morning Stiffness for RA Patients
Most patients turn to over-the-counter pain medications to ease their RA morning stiffness, but there may be some other alternatives. The following are four ways to reduce rheumatoid arthritis stiffness and start your day off right.
1. Turn Up the Heat
Experts suggest turning your heat up about 30 minutes before you plan to start your day. This will allow time for your joints to warm up and feel less stiff while you take it easy and relax in bed or have your morning coffee. By the time you need to get ready and head out the door, your body will feel more relaxed, and stiffness may be decreased.
2. Take Medication as Soon as You Wake Up
While you’re turning up the heat, go ahead and take any of your rheumatoid arthritis medications. You want to give your medication time to kick in and take effect before you begin your morning routine. This will help ease most of the aches and pains that you may feel in your joints during morning activities.
3. Practice Gentle Movements
Once you are ready to get out of bed, practice gentle movements rather than jumping to your feet and rushing around the house. Simple range-of-motion exercises can help stretch your muscles and loosen joints in the hands, wrists, and feet.
4. Take A Hot Shower
While many people opt for nighttime showers, RA patients may benefit from taking a hot morning shower. Taking a warm shower upon waking in the morning will help loosen and relax the joints, decreasing any stiffness or aching.
If you suffer from chronic pain from your rheumatoid arthritis, you may want to explore how regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, may help manage symptoms. In addition, some patients are discovering help from peptides. These are chains of amino acids, and some may have the potential for those with chronic pain. Alternative medicine does not offer a cure, but for some, it may help improve quality of life.
Achy or sharp pain that radiates to the shoulder, arm, buttocks, or leg may be a sign that you have a herniated disc in your neck or back. Herniated discs occur in any part of the spine but are most common in the lower back. Depending on the location, the herniated disc may cause pain, numbness, or weakness in your arms or legs. Here we will talk about how to manage herniated disc pain.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
Your spine has 33 stacked vertebrae, which protect the spinal cord and nerves from injury. Between those bones are intervertebral discs. The discs serve as soft, rubbery cushions under constant pressure and act as the spine’s shock absorbers.
Intervertebral discs consist of two parts: a soft, jellylike center called a nucleus, and a more rigid, flexible outer ring called an annulus. When the disc tears, leaks, or ruptures, the nucleus pushes out and puts pressure on the nearby spinal nerves. This is known as a herniated disc.
Most often, gradual, age-related wear and tear causes herniated discs. With age, the discs become less flexible and prone to tearing or rupturing with even minor strain or twists.
Relieving Herniated Disc Pain
Herniated discs usually heal on their own over time, but they can still be painful. However, the following strategies often offer relief from herniated disc pain:
Reduce Inflammation and Tension
When you experience a herniated disc, the muscles around the disc may tighten to protect the area. Heat and cold therapy can reduce tightness and inflammation in the body around the disc, causing increased pain at the site.
Heat loosens muscle tightness, increases blood flow, and improves tissue elasticity. In contrast, cold produces an anti-inflammatory effect.
Try applying heat to your back in the morning, before exercise, or for 10–15 minute periods throughout the day to release muscle tension. After exercise or at the end of the day, apply cold to the back to relieve inflammation.
Exercise and Careful Movements
Lack of movement often aggravates herniated discs, as the muscles will lock up and weaken, providing less support to the spine. Low-impact exercise that your body tolerates may assist with pain relief. Exercises to consider include:
Using an elliptical trainer
Cycling on a recumbent bicycle
Patients with more severe pain may find that water exercises offer the most relief by providing buoyancy along with movement.
Additionally, it’s important to use careful movements while your spine is recovering. For example, avoid standing for long periods, practice good posture, and try not to lift any heavy objects until your symptoms subside.
Myofascial Release or Massage
Myofascial release may improve back pain by manually putting pressure on trigger points. Both physical therapists and massage therapists often use this approach. You can perform myofascial release at home with a lacrosse or therapy ball or with a massage cane.
First, identify points of tension or tenderness on your back. Then, maintain constant pressure on your trigger point for one to two minutes, allowing the muscle to release. After any myofascial release, apply cold therapy to the area to reduce inflammation from the pressure.
If your herniated disc pain persists for more than four to six weeks, causes you to be unable to work, or causes numbness, weakness, or tingling in your arms and legs, you need to have your symptoms evaluated by a physician. If you want to learn more about options you have regarding how to manage herniated disc pain, contact us today and speak with a care coordinator.
Up to 50 million Americans suffer from chronic or long-term pain. Missing work, the inability to do recreational activities, lack of concentration, and poor mental health are all side effects of living with chronic pain. However, one of the last things pain sufferers want to do may be the most effective treatment for chronic pain: exercise, and more specifically, physical therapy. Physical therapy for pain management can increase strength, mobility, and overall wellness for those suffering from chronic pain.
Doctors consider pain present for more than 12 weeks to be chronic pain. Some of the most common conditions causing chronic pain include:
Physical therapists typically focus on building strength and mobility when treating pain patients. Additionally, a physical therapist may work with patients to find safe, functional movements that don’t aggravate their pain.
How Physical Therapy Treats Pain
Physical therapists work to treat pain and its source. A physical therapist will look for muscle weakness or stiffness in areas that contribute to chronic pain symptoms. Then, they’ll treat your pain with exercises that help you move better and ease the pain.
Your physical therapist may choose an activity like cycling, walking, or swimming to amplify your heart rate, increase your range of motion, and provide fluid to your joints.
Your physical therapist may use low weights, resistance bands, weight machines, and bodyweight exercises (lunges and push-ups) to strengthen foundational muscles like your core or abdominal muscles.
Pain Relief Exercises
Pain relief exercises specifically target the source of your pain. For instance, a patient with knee pain may strengthen their leg muscles to support the joint better.
Gentle stretches are a fundamental part of physical therapy, as specific stretches can help to reduce pain, make muscle contraction more efficient, and work to release entrapped nerves.
Maintaining a consistent exercise routine can also help you retain the ability to move and function properly, rather than letting your pain render you immobile.
Further Pain Support
When meeting with your physical therapist, discuss further treatment options to mitigate your pain. These treatments may include massage, heat and cold therapy, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which many physical therapists offer in-office.
Lack of movement and exercise worsens chronic pain. However, you can take charge of your pain symptoms by working with a physical therapist to build strength and mobility while lessening your chronic pain. Some patients are exploring stem cell therapy for chronic pain to help manage inflammation and pain. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are one specific type of stem cell that has the ability to differentiate into different types of cells. They are essentially the raw materials used to generate new tissues. This new alternative option may help patients manage their chronic pain along with conventional methods. If you are interested in learning more about physical therapy for pain management call us today and speak with. a care coordinator.
This website and its contents are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease. Stemedix, Inc. shall not be held liable for the medical claims made by patient testimonials or videos. They are not to be viewed as a guarantee for each individual. The efficacy for some products presented have not been confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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