Macomb County Chiropractor Discusses Extremities – The Other Adjustment


Extremities the other Adjustment

Dr. Bill Pohlen

Total Health Systems of Macomb County

It was BJ Palmer, son of the founder of Chiropractic D. D. Palmer, who said “Look to the Spine to feel fine!” This statement is quite valid and something Chiropractors have been doing for well over 100 years. Up until 2 years ago the scope of practice for Chiropractors in the state of Michigan was limited to the treatment of only the Spine, which means from the neck to the tailbone. Through a change in the laws that govern how Chiropractors practice they are now able to treat the entire body and not just the spine. So what does that mean exactly? Well simply put it means that Chiropractors can now treat other conditions of the body other than those that affect the spine.

So what is an “Extremity”? Well it is very simple and are as follows in the upper part of the body: Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand. In the Lower part of the body it would be the Hip, Knee, Ankle and Foot. So let’s go over some anatomy, starting with the Shoulder. The Shoulder is made up of three bones, the collar bone, the shoulder blade and the upper arm bone, the Humerus. They are all held together by muscles, aka the Rotator Cuff Muscles and have no boney attachment to the rib cage. Four delicate nerves come out of the lower part of our neck coming together forming what looks like a spider web and passes through our arm pit then branching out forming nerves that supple innervations to the arm, wrist and hand. Two most notable nerves that form are the median nerve and ulnar nerve. The median nerve is associated with a more commonly condition known as “Carpal Tunnel” and the ulnar nerve is more commonly known as the “Funny Bone Nerve”. We will talk more about these a bit later.

The Elbow is made up of two different types of joints. A pivot joint which is the radial bone and allows us to rotate our palm from facing up to facing down. The Hinge joint which is the ulnar bone allowing us to bend our arm. Pain or discomfort in this area can be localized or referred into the wrist.

The wrist is made up of two rows of individual bones. The most common condition of the wrist is Carpal Tunnel. Quite frankly it is a very frequent misdiagnosed condition of the wrist. True carpal tunnel is a condition that is the result of overuse and entrapment of the Median nerve. This entrapment causes weakness of the wrist, nocturnal pain ( pain that occurs at night), numbness in the finger tips and general weakness in the grip of the hand and ability to perform daily hand activities. The majority of the time patients have “Carpal Tunnel LIKE “ symptoms, meaning symptoms that mimic carpal tunnel but are not true carpal tunnel symptoms. Treatment would include adjusting the wrist, ice therapy, ultra sound and rehabilitative exercises.

The lower extremities consist of the hip joint, knee, ankle and the foot. The Hip joint is what is called a ball and socket joint and is the sturdiest joint in our body. Just like the shoulder it can also subluxate and can be adjusted.

The Knee is a hinge joint consisting of the thigh bone (the Femur) and the shin bone (the Tibia). It is held together by four ligaments, two on either side of the knee called the medial and lateral collateral ligaments and two ligaments in the middle of the knee joint called the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. We also have the patella tendon which is where we find the knee cap. (On a side note, the knee cap is a very unique bone. It is called a sesamoid bone which is a bone inside a tendon. We can find them at both knees, both thumbs and both big toes.) The meniscus is a pad attached to the top of the shin bone and it provides shock absorption for the knee and keeps the thigh and shin bone separated.

The ankle is very much like the wrist having rows of smaller bones that all work together to make up the ankle and the foot. I like to refer to this area as the “Footings” of our foundation (The pelvis). Our houses have foundations that they sit on and that foundation sits on what are known as footings. If we have problems with our footings, that will translate into troubles with our foundation and then translate into our house. So If our footings ( our feet ) begin to break down, a condition known as Excessive Pronation, more commonly known to you as fallen arches or flat feet, it can affect how our knee, hip or pelvis functions or operates. Treatment for this condition consists of custom made orthotics, along with adjusting the foot and ankle and rehabilitation exercises.

What I have shared with you here is only scratching the surface of the many conditions that can affect our extremities. My goal is to make our patients aware that we can treat other areas of the body other than the spine. So the next time you are in our office and you have been having trouble with your elbow or your foot has been causing you trouble bring it to our attention so we can address the problem and help you feel better.

Macomb County Chiropractor Discusses Extremities – The Other Adjustment

Dr. Pohlen brings over 15 years of experience to Total Health Systems with over 9 years of experience in extremity adjusting.

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