Dr. Glenn Hyman’s Blog
Question from a real patient:
My name is (deleted) and I’m a member of the (deleted) Triathlon Club. I noticed you are a sponsor and are very familiar with the athletic world who has worked with all types of athletes. I’m in my fourth year of racing Tri, which is remarkable due to a back injury in 2001 that resulted in a bulging disc. In 2006 I had a skiing accident that resulted in an avulsion facture of the L5 vertebrae. I was all healed up and good until a week ago when for some reason, a drive to Breckenridge aggravated my back. This resulted in crawling around for a couple of days. My back is very stiff and the pain is now tolerable. I want to consult your services in hopes of a speedy recovery to get back to training. Can you help me and how?
A patient with this type of injury history is susceptible to aggravations of back pain. These may be severe and these may be minor. Since this patient had no pain radiating into his legs, and no other neurological symptoms, I was comfortable working with him. In this case, a simple move in the wrong direction led to a fairly significant muscle spasm. It’s likely that this person’s existing herniated disc received excessive pressure as a result of his posture in the car. This led to a painful guarding response that stopped him from skiing and doing further damage to his low back. After 2 – 3 weeks of treatment and some reasonable range of motion exercises, this patient should be able to return to full activity. His triathlon training should be normal, but core strength is definitely going to be a priority.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only. Don’t use it to diagnose yourself. See a qualified licensed health care practitioner.
The Question (from a real patient):
You sucessfully treated me over a year ago for tarsel tunnel syndrome. I had my left knee scoped about four months ago to remove torn cartilage. I went through several months of PT and regained reasonable strength (it took me longer than some people because I had lots of edema and the VMO had been shut down for months.) However, I still have tightness, localized tenderness and restricted range of motion when I attempt to get back into certain yoga poses or do deep squats. My ortho and PT suspect that I have some scar tissue. I’ve been receiving deep tissue massage, which is helping but feel I need to do more to recover normal function. Have you treated similar issues before and do you think that ART would be helpful in my situation?
Dr. Glenn’s answer:
Residual scar tissue often follows arthroscopic surgeries. In my experience, the targeted techniques of Active Release are the best way to access and break up this scar tissue. On average, 4-8 sessions are required, but the results are usually good.
I just finished up at the USA Traithlon Coaching
Certification clinic in Colorado Springs. Had a great
room for 2 nights at the Broadmoor. What a place.
But that’s not why I’m writing. During one of the breaks,
a coach from New York asked if I could take a look at
her shoulder. Somehow she had been googling Active
Release and found my website. It was kind of strange that
she knew who I was.
Anyway, she had been dealing with shoulder pain while
swimming for over a year. It hurt to raise her arm
over her head, hurt to put a shirt on, hurt at night,
Fear of needing surgery had kept her from saying
anything about the pain to anyone. She was hoping
maybe I could give her an opinion.
I put her through some ranges of motion and her
problem was obvious. Scar tissue in her subscapularis
was keeping that muscle from firing. This was causing
her humerus to ride a little too high in the joint.
Classic impingement syndrome.
I treated her during the first two days at the clinic,
mostly breaking up the scar tissue in the subscap.
On the third day she swam and reported it was
about 90% better. I referred her to an ART doc in
NY to finish up. She was so excited that she cried.
I love that kind of case.
This was no miracle. Many shoulder problems start in
the subscap. They can usually be fixed. The first step
is finding the right person to help. I’ve treated
hundreds, probably over a thousand.
So, I’m back in the office after the certification.
If you or anyone you know is having shoulder pain,
I can probably help. Call 303.300.0424.
You can read more about shoulder pain here:
One of the best things about being an Active Release provider is fixing patients who are already scheduled for surgery. I don’t keep formal score, but there are at least 2 of these cases a month. And I’ve been doing this for about 10 years. So that adds up to over 200.
Many of these cases involve carpal tunnel syndrome, and some involve rotator cuffs.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs through the forearm and ends at the thumb and first two fingers. In many cases, the pressure in the nerve comes from scar tissue that’s accumulated in the muscles. By releasing the scar tissue with Active Release, the pressure on the nerve resolves. Then there’s no reason to do surgery.
Now, I can’t claim a 100% success rate. Sometimes surgery is indeed necessary. But most patients who come to me are willing to try. I’d estimate that 8/10 cases resolve with ART. It’s proabably higher, but I don’t want to run the risk of over-estimating.
So if you’ve been told that you need carpal tunnel surgery, maybe coming to see me is worth a shot? Check back soon for a video clip featuring a real patient who was scheduled for Carpal tunnel surgery and had her symptoms resolved by me.
We’re back in the office after a nice 2-week break. We
hope you enjoyed your holidays, too. Here are a couple
of things to look forward to in 2009:
1. As you know, Brittany is now running the office. She’s
been doing a great job and will keep doing a great job in ’09.
2. No price increase for 2009. Considering how bad the
economy seems to be, we’ve decided to keep our prices
the same this year.
3. Massage therapy starting February 2nd. We’re presently
interviewing therapists, and are looking forward to offering
massage therapy in the office. If you know of any we should
consider, please let us know.
4. A 1-week extension on the end of the year package
special. Many of you wanted to take advantage of the $50
discount on package renewals at the end of 2008. We decided
extend that discount until the end of business on Friday
5. The formation of the Denver Chiropractic Center
triathlon team (Team DCC). I’m looking for some beginner
level triathletes who are interested in coaching and
support. I’ll become a USAT certified level-1 coach next
week, and I’d like to specialize in working with beginners.
So, if you’ve thought about doing a triathlon, I might be
your guy. You should be willing to commit to doing either
the Buffalo Creek Xterra Short Course on June 20
or the Crescent Moon Sprint September 19
For $300, you will get a complete coaching program with
ongoing support, group training rides & runs, and a super-
cool Denver Chiropractic Center cycling jersey. All
profits will be donated to charity. I’ll accept a maximum
of 5 athletes for 2009. If you want in, let me know soon.
That’s it for now!
So, another blog is born. What can you expect from this one?
Those of you who get the newlsetter know that I like to share information that you’ll enjoy reading. This includes real patients and real problems, like shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and so on. I’ve been practicing Chiropractic and Active Release in Denver for over 10 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of interesting cases.
You’ll also learn about fitness, strength training, nutrition, and more. So make sure you bookmark us or subscribe, and check back often. See you soon!
Glenn Hyman, DC