Shin Splints: What are they? How can I fix them?

September 14, 2022

Shin Splints and How to Get Rid of Them by Dr. Aaron Vela What is a shin splint? To fully understand how to get rid of shin splints, we need to understand a little bit of anatomy. The tibia is your shin bone. On the outside of bone is an important layer of tissue called the periosteum which is involved in healing bone and acting as an anchor for ligaments and tendons to attach. The periosteum also has a lot of nerve endings that feel pain. Ligaments are connections from bone to bone, while tendons are connections from muscle to bone. There are several muscles that attach to the shin bone. In the case of shin splints, usually the culprits are either the tibialis anterior muscle (if the pain is more on the front-outside of the shin) or the soleus muscle (if the pain is more on the front-inside of the shin).   Shin splints are caused when the tendons from these muscles repetitively pull on the periosteum, creating inflammation and irritation to this very nerve dense tissue, creating signals of pain. The reason why the tendons irritate the periosteum usually has to do with a combination of things,...

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What is Scoliosis and How is it treated?

August 20, 2022

What is scoliosis & what are the available options? by Dr. Aaron Vela Have you been told by a healthcare professional that you or your child has scoliosis? What is scoliosis? Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that is seen in a front to back, or back to front, view of the spine. The spine normally has 3 curves that can be seen when looking at the spine from the side. These normal curves are in your neck, your mid back, and your lower back. These normal curves function as shock absorbers for the body. Scoliosis is a lateral curve in the spine or more easily put, a left or right curve in the spine that may lead to premature degeneration, pain, postural abnormalities, and restricted mobility. There are generally 5 different types of scoliosis. Congenital – meaning the person was born with it. Neuromuscular – which is caused by neuromuscular (nerve and muscle) conditions and their impact on the body, such as cerebral palsy. Degenerative – which occurs when the joints between vertebrae in the back of the spine have deteriorated. Functional – which is more or less a temporary type of scoliosis that can be...

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Dentists, Hygienists, and neck pain. The whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

July 10, 2022

Dentists, Hygienists, and neck pain. Dentists and Hygienists spend their careers stooped over patients, focusing on tiny objects in their mouths while maneuvering and manipulating equipment. Their intensity and focus are necessary to doing a great job, with the least amount of pain, but they are sacrificing their bodies, for your mouths. Neck pain is extremely common in dental professionals. Research has shown that 5% of people who suffer with neck pain are eventually legally disabled by the pain. A study published in the British Dental Journal reported that nearly 30% of premature retirements of dentists surveyed were due to musculoskeletal disorders. And in In a study done at UCSF, questionnaire responses indicated that 46-71% of dental students of all four years experienced neck, shoulder, and/or back pain, with more than 70% reporting pain by their 3rd year. It is not uncommon for dentists to wake up one day and wonder how they ended up “like this.” The wear and tear of repetitive work by the dentist or hygienist, leads to a slow accumulation of dysfunction, degeneration, and pain. One day, the straw breaks the camels’ back, and Dr. Molar wakes up in pain. It’s probably not too late...

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How to reduce muscle strain pain in 30 seconds or less.

June 7, 2022

How to reduce muscle strain pain in 30 seconds or less. I have a method that I use when I have strained a muscle. Sometimes it happens when you move the wrong way, sleep on a bad pillow, or lift something too heavy. You feel your muscle start to seize, it’s tight and pinchy, may feel like a nerve, but one thing is for sure, It’s going to ruin your day. When you have this feeling, my recommendation is simple. If you don’t feel it is a medical emergency, then follow the steps below or just watch the video below: find the nearest object you can pick up that is solid, won’t break, and has a rounded edge. A golf ball, a cane, a wooden spoon or even a tennis ball will work. If all else fails, use a thumb. Locate the epicenter of the muscle strain and pain. Take your round object and apply firm, static pressure to the epicenter of the pain for 20-30 seconds Release the pressure. Gently test for mobility by moving slightly. Repeat if necessary While it is not unusual to have to repeat this 3-5 times, typically what you will notice will be...

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Better Stretching with PNF! Hamstring Miracles Happen!

December 20, 2021

PNF stretching - Hamstrings. With Aaron Vela. (207)774-6251

PNF Stretching: A Better Way to Stretch What is PNF? PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and it’s an advanced form of stretching that is very effective for increasing your range of motion. How does it work? The stretching essentially involves 3 basic steps that can be applied to any muscle that needs stretching, especially before and after a physically demanding activity. The stretching utilizes reflexes in the muscles, as well as excitatory and inhibitory signals in the muscle being stretched, and the muscle opposing the stretch. You can think of it as stretching the involved muscle, then contracting the muscle without moving it, then stretching the target muscle again,  increasing your range of motion. The technique has long been used by athletes across the world for improving flexibility quickly, safely, and very effectively. How do I do it? It’s easy. This stretching technique can be applied to any muscle! Just apply these steps. Step 1: Stretch the muscle as you normally would for about 6-10 seconds. Step 2: Relax the stretch, but now concentrically contract the muscle for about 6 seconds (flex the muscle without bending the joint). Step 3: Relax the contraction, but now re-stretch the muscle...

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Chronic Pain: 5 Ways back pain Gets Worse.

October 27, 2021

Chronic pain

5 consequences of untreated chronic pain in your back. Chronic Low back pain affects tens of millions of Americans every year. Chronic pain ruins work, vacations, family time, sleep, even marriages. Medications are expensive, often have bad side effects, and sometimes need to be taken forever. Drug addiction, depression, anxiety, as well as reduced quality of life, are all associated with chronic back pain. “Chronic” back pain is often considered to have been present for more than 12 weeks. Acute back pain is new pain. Acute pain, left to resolve itself, often becomes chronic pain. #nobueno Further Injury. Chronic Pain in our back leads to changes elsewhere in the body. Most people call this “compensation.” Our bodies are intelligent and they adapt and change to try to make you more comfortable, to keep things stable, and adapt for the best function and movement possible. As you can imagine, those changes lead to more changes. Think of it as a pebble rolling down a mountain that picks up other stones as it descends and can lead to an avalanche. Structural compensation due to back pain always involves changes in joint function and position. Long term changes joints and movement lead to...

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Car Accident Chiropractor in Portland, Maine – WHIPLASH! HEADACHES!

September 24, 2021

After the car accident, things can get ugly. Most people will be in a car accident at some point in their lives. They happen fast, and if you are unlucky, in the wake of the impact, your body can feel like you were hit by a train. It is very common for symptoms to get worse before they get better, and sometimes symptoms are delayed. Chances are, you will have your damaged car looked at by a professional. You should do the same for your body. Even fender benders can cause whiplash, concussions (with or without head impact) and a host of other symptoms. What should you have checked on your body after a car accident? Your provider should check your neck for muscle, joint and nerve damage. They should check your head for signs of concussion, abnormal neurological changes, and for headache potential.  Your arms, shoulders and upper back and spine should be checked for injury to the nerves, joints, and muscles from the impact. Gripping the steering wheel in a car accident often leads to hand, wrist, arm, shoulder and upper back injury. Your low back and pelvis, as well as your legs, should all be checked.  Broken bones and...

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Drug Free Pain Relief During Recovery

February 18, 2021

The road to recovery is helped with drug free chiropractic and acupuncture care. For pain relief when drugs are not an option, call Dr. Lou. (207) 774-6251

Drugs, Alcohol, Addiction, Chiropractic and Recovery. Pain Relief without addictive medications. For those in recovery, pain relief is limited. Any medication with potential for addiction is skipped over for what are usually simple over the counter anti inflammatory pain killers like Aleve. Surgery and subsequent medications would be risky for a recovering addict, and it’s simply not an option. Why is chiropractic such an amazing tool for those in recovery? Chiropractors make up the third largest healthcare profession after medicine and dentistry. It is a drug free form of healthcare. The entire focus is on the health and function of the nervous system and it’s relationship with your spine and body. Your body has the potential to heal itself. For patients with headaches, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, neuralgia, disc herniations and a host of other issues that cause pain, chiropractic is an effective form of treatment without the use of drugs or surgery. Additionally, by contributing to better brain and nerve control of your body, chiropractic actually makes you healthier, more adaptable, mentally more clear. While little research has been done on the topic, theoretically, chiropractic care could aid in overcoming addiction. Your health depends on staying...

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Concerns about Labor and Delivery?

January 26, 2021

Concerned about labor and delivery in Southern Maine? Call Dr. Lou, board certified pregnancy chiropractor. (207) 774-6251. Portland, Maine. Plenty of parking, 24/7 doctor access. Too good to be true? You don't know Dr. Lou!

What is your greatest concern about labor and delivery? Is it having a natural birth or c-section? Is it pain? Hoping for a VBAC? Birthing at home? We may be able to help you prepare for labor and delivery. Chiropractic care during pregnancy by a board certified perinatal specialist may make your labor and delivery smoother and more predictable. Mounting evidence shows that beyond pain relief, chiropractic care during pregnancy may reduce your risk of a c-section, may reduce your need for medications, and may reduce the likelihood of complications due to pelvic misalignment. All of these would make a home birth less complicated and will take you closer to your goal of a Safe and natural birth with a healthy baby! You have concerns and we have the knowledge to first ease your concerns, then take safe, non invasive chiropractic care to the table to attempt to lower your risk of unwanted issues during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Dr. Lou was awarded board certification after completing advanced training and examinations to work as a specialist with children and moms before, during and after pregnancy. This board certification was awarded by the Academy Council of Chiropractic Pediatrics and The International...

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Most common injuries in drummers. PRMD’s in drummers and percussionists.

November 11, 2020

Drummer injury Specialist. No drugs, no surgery. When you think drummer injuries, think Dr. Lou. (207) SPINAL 1

Playing Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (PRMD’s) Drummers and Percussionists PRMD’s are common in all musicians who play long enough, hard enough, and frequent enough to qualify them as a “musical athlete.” Like other repetitive stress injuries that occur in golfers, tennis players, runners, and swimmers, musicians accumulate stress over time with repetition and at some point, their body can’t take it anymore. In 2019, Nirvana drummer and frontman for The Foo Fighters missed two shows due to arm surgery. “Speaking to Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino at Los Angeles’ Pollstar Live conference, he said: “This is something I’ve had to deal with for a long time and it’s not the end of the world, but I did have to have surgery on my arm because I need it to pay the rent,” he said. “I knew I had to fix my arm at some point and I went ahead and did it.” (Source: APNEWS) For somewhat obvious reasons, drummers and percussionists tend to have more than their fair share of PRMD’s. A study published in September 2020 in the journal Medical Problems of Performing Artists, the drummers studied (polled) were those percussionists who sit at a drum set....

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