Bursitis Explained

Picture of the anatomy of shoulder bursitisWhile I have written extensively about arthritis in this blog, this is my first post on Bursitis. Similar to arthritis, bursitis is largely about inflammation. While arthritis is inflammation in the joint, bursitis is inflammation in the bursa capsule, which for the most part, is located near joints.

What is Bursitis?

Simply stated, Bursitis is a sickness of the bursa.

Bursas are thick, liquid-filled sacs that provide lubrication and cushioning between bones and other material like muscles and tendons.

As bursa sacs are located near the joints, bursitis symptoms are first experienced as pain at the joints, accompanied by a decreased range of motion. There are over 150 bursas in the body, with most located near bony prominences, such as the elbows, knees, shoulders and hips.  The ankles and feet are also common places for bursitis to develop.  The nature of the bursa is to swell with an acute insult and to resolve slowly and often, incompletely. read more…

Arthritis of the Thumb

Picture of the anatomy of thumb arthritisIf you are experiencing symptoms of thumb arthritis, you are in good company. Joint pain in the thumb is a very common problem and is considered to be second in prevalence only to arthritis in the knee.  But, what is arthritis, really? Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints – the places where 2 bones meet. Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic, autoimmune condition that generally affects all the joints in the body. Osteoarthritis, on which this article focuses, typically affects individual joints and is much more common. Symptoms of arthritis can include joint pain, stiffness, locking and immobility, as well as swelling, tenderness, weakness and joint redness.

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Lower Back Surgery Gone Bad

Basketball is one of my favorite topics and even more so when the Golden State Warriors are crushing it in the play-offs. This post, however, is not about the glory of victory, but about the pain of defeat for the Warrior’s head coach, Steve Kerr.

In June 2015, Kerr underwent surgery to remedy lower back pain. Just 3 months later he had a second surgery to deal with complications from the first. Now, a year and a half later, Kerr’s situation is worse than ever. Along with constant lower back pain, he continues to suffer from severe headaches, nausea and other debilitating symptoms resulting from a medical error, which occurred during that initial surgery. read more…

The Best Turf Toe Remedy

“…As much playing time is now lost in the NFL because of turf toe as ankle sprains, and it has become the most common Picture of turf toeinjury reported by some 600 college players…”   

Sports Illustrated – December 1988

 

A great amount of interest has been paid to “A Fix for Turf Toe”, which was posted in this blog one year ago. Since that time, hundreds of athletes have emailed me seeking help with this problem. Many parents have reached out with concerns about a child athlete’s turf toe. While many inquiries have been from football players, I was surprised to receive numerous emails from athletes in basketball, tennis, soccer and track & field as well.  At the time of inquiry, some of the injuries were fresh, which is my favorite point of entry, but many others were chronic.  For those long lasting cases, most of the athletes had tried conventional treatment methods with little success. So, with Super Bowl #51 in mind, I have penned this sequel, to give you more information about my revolutionary treatment protocol.

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Looking Back – Thinking Forward

These days between Christmas and the New Year allow us a unique perspective into both the year behind and the one ahead. It is a wonderful time to look back at our successes, and failures, our joys and sorrows and our relationships, both good and not-so-good, and consider what we want to build on, what needs to change and what we want to let go of. In looking back, I like to ask myself these questions about the previous year:

How did I treat others? How did I treat myself?

Did I eat well? Sleep well? Manage my stress and time effectively?

Was I able to honor my commitments? Did my brilliant plans turn out brilliant? read more…

A Fix for Turf Toe

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I continue to receive many emails from high school, college and professional athletes asking for help with turf toe. Early detection and treatment make a big difference in these cases and it can completely change the course of the injury. Utilizing an effective treatment protocol also has a huge impact, as I will illustrate with the following examples.

One athlete who contacted me had his turf toe aggravated for over 6 weeks without relief. He eventually decided on surgery. This was after a month and a half of wearing a boot and immobilizing the toe joint. The surgery was successful, according to the doctors, but unfortunately, his toe is still in pain all the time. He is currently considering whether or not to have another surgery. Meanwhile he is implementing my technique of taping and self- treatment and is improving.

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Relax Your Nervous System

Male-Nervous-System-ref01The nervous system (NS) is the most sensitive of all the body’s physiological functions. It is also the least understood. Comprised of the brain and spinal chord, along with all the peripheral nerves and neurons that originate in the spine, the nervous system is powered by electrical impulses. Unlike the digestive, circulatory or respiratory systems, which involve the predictable exchange of solids, fluids and gases, the electrical impulses propelling the NS are less structured and more subtle.

The bulk of the NS operates on autopilot. It is called the Autonomic Nervous System and controls all other physiologic functions and their respective organs and glands.   The voluntary, or Somatic Nervous System controls our musculature and is under our conscious command. In this blog we will focus mainly on the Autonomic Nervous System, that which is “automatic” and not typically under conscious control.

The Autonomic Nervous System is made up of two components, which act opposite to each other. The “Rest and Digest” system, commonly known as the parasympathic nervous system (PSN) counteracts the “Fight of Flight” system, otherwise known as the sympathic nervous system (SNS). Together these 2 systems help regulate the other involuntary systems in the body such as digestion, respiration, circulation and the like. read more…

Lifetime Fitness

Getting athletes to stretch is harder then stretching itself. However, it should be clear that stretching is an integral part of long term heath and fitness. Effort to train will be balanced by ease of stretching. Therefore, stretching is a way to increase your chance to play/train for years to come.

How can a hard core, full throttle triathlete use stretching principals to achieve their chosen goal? To simplify the task, let’s expand the definition of stretching to include: awareness of position and alignment to achieve a purpose: something like mind, body and goal. Now, when you are walking, standing, at work, at home, on a computer, on a phone, in a car or on a couch use the same positions you use in training. This will benefit your mechanics and mental focus in all three disciplines no effort. When you improved your mechanics you improve your performance.

Use these tips often.

When sitting lift your upper chest and extend as if you are swimming.

When sitting, pivot at the hips and lean forward with your chest as if you are on your bike.

When walking or standing shift the chest forward as if you are running and elongate the front of the hips and abs as if you are swimming.

When standing find extension in the lower back, us this same feeling and decrease compression when running.

Quality Respiration

Another opportunity to improve your fitness is to add quality to your respiration. Breathing should feel easy and calm. This type of abdominal- diaphragmatic ventilation, as detailed below, will decrease heart rate, cardiac output, metabolic rate, cardio-pulmonary stress, blood sugar, lactate level, and fatigue. It will increase blood and cerebral spinal fluid to the brain, lymphatic flow, digestion of dead blood cells, muscle relaxation, and counter the physical and hormonal stress of training. Finally, as your daily breathing volume increases you will decrease time of recovery. Try this exercise and find the range of your breathing movement.

The idea is to gently expand the ribs and chest when you inhale, a back bend similar to swimming and running.

At the end of the exhale move the abs back so that there is a feeling as if you are starting a sit up. This is the reason sit ups are done on an exhale.

If you have one minute it can help to count the length of your inhale and exhale as a way to isolate the intricate movements of the breath.

This passive breathing should allow for maximum expansion in the ribs and complete deflation at the abdominal area.

At work and home combine biomechanics and the breath. The tendency when sitting is to slouch and compress the disk of the lower back. With standing and walking we tend to stick the stomach forward and the chest back, impeding respiratory effort and digestion. Mom was right sit up straight, stand upright and race and train forever.

De-Stress Yourself

Headaches, neck pain and shoulder discomfort frequently arise from a common source; improper placement of the scapula or shoulder blades.   Our previous blog described the impact of scapula placement on the brachial plexus and explained how an elevated scapula creates tension and stress in the human system. Now, finally, as promised, this article will detail self-care techniques to resolve these issues.

At Dorfman Kinesiology we utilize 3 main tools to help patients feel better forever. The first is biomechanic adjustment.   With regard to the scapula, improper placement is common, yet making the correct adjustment is easy.   Simply bring the shoulder blades down and back. This movement will facilitate an opening in the chest.  Find that opening.   This is the best position for the scapula bones. And it makes an immediate difference by removing pressure on the brachial plexus, which is a bundle of nerves located in between the neck and the shoulders. These nerves branch out through the arms to each hand, as well as up into the neck and head.   Pressure on the nerve leads to tension and discomfort where ever that nerve leads.   Removing the pressure allows the tension to naturally subside. read more…

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