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Dupuytren's & Other Lesser Known Ailments

A while back I wrote a blog about my treatment approach to Dupuytren’s Contracture. I wrote the blog to showcase that a chiropractor can, and does, do more than “crack backs”.  Of course, if you’re reading this, you’re likely already a patient of mine and, thus, know this already.  But, for the “internet” world, it’s a worthwhile blog to highlight some of the lesser known conditions that a chiropractor, and especially me, treats on a fairly regular basis, including:

 

  • Tennis & Golf Elbow – properly termed Lateral & Medial Epicondylopathy (pain at the elbow).
  • Knee Pain – including biomechanical problems with the knee cap (patella), and the main knee joint (tibio-femoral)
  • Sore feet – including plantar fasciitis, bunions, arthritic toes
  • Shoulder problem – including rotator cuff tears, tendonopathy, “frozen shoulder”
  • Headaches – this is one that I *hope* people already know is very treatable by a chiropractor, but I’ll put it on the list!

 

The reason many are surprised that a chiropractor (or me, in this case) can, and does, treat all of the above (and more) is because chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat the entire physical body, and to consider the psychosocial aspect of pain and injuries.  The mere fact that, historically, many chiropractors do not treat all of the above is more a reflection of their practice style, rather than their competence.  Having said that, once you’ve been practicing a certain way for long enough, your competence to manage other injuries suffers. I routinely meet people who are surprised to learn that I treat the whole body, and not just back pain.  When I explain that the biomechanical approach to pain and injury is fairly consistent through the body, they begin to understand my evidence-based approach to biomechanical injuries.  Layer on top of this the recognition of the psychosocial variables involved in people’s pain, and now we have a better understanding of what “going to this chiropractor” is all about.

 

With that said, a worthy update on treating Dupuytren’s Contracture:  For starters, a quick review that this condition is poorly understood.  We don’t know what causes it, and there’s little to be done medically, aside from surgery to cut the tendons and/or to inject medicine that helps ‘dissolve’ the contracted muscle/tendon.  Dupuytren’s Contracture is when the muscles of the hand (usually the muscles that lead to the pinky & 4th finger) get so tight that they cause the pinky and 4th finger to bend so much that the fingers become unusable; Plus, the contracted state of the finger joints cause pain. When a patient with this condition comes to my office for treatment (a.k.a. “hope”), I take a biomechanical approach to what might be a biomechanical problem.  I use my Cold Laser Therapy in combination with the Graston Technique, Functional Release soft tissue approaches and back it all up with training the muscles to encourage the contracted tissue to “learn” to be longer and less contracted.  Success with these cases has proven to be dependent on the stage of the condition when it presents to my office.  Case in point: Earlier in the summer, a gentleman presented to me with the most severe case I have treated.  He is destined for the medical interventions discussed above, but in my short experience with him, we achieved a minor improvement of his contracted palm and finger.  And, in a separate, ongoing case, I’m helping a woman manage her minor contracted palm and fingers with my techniques.  I’m thrilled to report that she is more than pleased with my approach and the improvement of her hand and fingers.

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