Oh Cramp! I Got a Spasm!

Differences Between Muscles Cramps, Spasms, and Soreness

Who has ever woken up in the middle of the night with the dreaded charlie horse cramp in their calf?? We have all heard about it but have you ever wondered why it happens? Listed below are the differences between a muscle cramp, muscle spasm and muscle soreness and how to help deal with and prevent them.

A muscle cramp is an involuntary muscle contraction. Meaning that the muscles fires without your control, and usually lasts for a short period of time.  There are many possible causes for muscles cramps such as: dehydration, electrolyte loss/imbalance, loss of sodium, low levels of magnesium, muscle fatigue, and lack of oxygen.

A muscle spasm is a reflex to something else that is going on in the body or trauma. There are two types of spasms that can take place: clonic and tonic. Clonic is an involuntary contraction that alternates between contraction and relaxation. Tonic is a hard, constant muscle contraction that lasts...

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What are Trigger Points

Have you heard of TRIGGER POINTS?

Trigger points are what people commonly refer to as muscle “knots”.  Trigger points are contracted muscle fibers within a muscle.  When muscle fibers are contracted, they are shortened. When the muscle is shortened, it affects the muscles strength and also the range of motion of that muscle.  These shortened fibers can also cause the muscle bundle to pull on its attachments which can cause pain in the joints they are attached to. Trigger points can be treated and eliminated with massage therapy as well as other soft tissue techniques like graston.

Trigger points can also cause referral pain in other areas of the body. It is possible to have trigger points in your back causing pain in your shoulder or vice versa. It is important to get your condition reviewed and examined by your chiropractor to determine what course of treatment would be best for you.

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Inflammation: A Silent Killer

Inflammation is a word that is used often, yet hard to define.  Most of us have a hard time separating inflammation from an ankle sprain vs. inflammation contributing to heart disease and arthritis.  In order to understand how to fight it, it’s important to understand how and why it occurs!

Inflammation is a very common and innate response to an injury, pain or stress.  It is part of our bodies natural defense system to prevent something worse and/or speed up healing time.

Acute inflammation is the first response to an injury or pathogen.  It’s acute because it should only last several days or less.

Examples of what can cause this:

  • Illness (virus, bacteria)
  • Trauma (punch, kick, sprain)
  • Burn
  • Frostbite
  • Allergic Reaction

There are a lot of players involved in the inflammatory process, but the basics are: heat, redness, swelling, and pain.  Thus leading to loss of function.  Acute inflammation is an important part of healing.  Follow...

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Fibromyalgia – Will I Always Be In Pain?

At our practice we run into numerous patients who think they have fibromyalgia, but have never been diagnosed.  I wanted to take some time to explain what fibromyalgia(FM) is and what options there are if you are suffering.

FM is classified as a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain and sensitivity to the entire musculoskeletal system.  Individuals suffering from FM have days of pain from moderate to severe in multiple body locations.  Most people also report some level of fatigue along with the pain.  To be diagnosed with FM, a patient will possess a minimum of 11 out of 18 specific tender points on the body.

It is estimated that nearly 2% of the population is suffering from FM and women are being affected 10 times more than men.  FM is difficult to treat because you are dealing with multiple complaints and concerns, and the best treatment is most often holistic.

Although studies are lacking for the benefits of chiropractic on fibromyalgia...

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Fan the Flames of Inflammation

Inflammation is a word that is used often, yet hard to define.  Most of us have a hard time separating inflammation from an ankle sprain vs. inflammation contributing to heart disease and arthritis.  In order to understand how to fight it, it’s important to understand how and why it occurs!

Inflammation is a very common and innate response to an injury, pain or stress.  It is part of our bodies natural defense system to prevent something worse and/or speed up healing time.

Acute inflammation is the first response to an injury or pathogen.  It’s acute because it should only last several days or less.

EXAMPLES OF WHAT CAN CAUSE THIS:

  • Illness (virus, bacteria)
  • Trauma (punch, kick, sprain)
  • Burn
  • Frostbite
  • Allergic Reaction
  • Stress

There are a lot of players involved in the inflammatory process, but the basics are: heat, redness, swelling, and pain.  These four eventually lead to loss of function as a way to prevent future injury. Acute...

Continue Reading...
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