Understanding the Problems We Help
Having managed a wide variety of patients and their various Chronic Pain Syndromes here in Mountain View since early 1992, I can say with complete honesty that I have treated tens of thousands of patients. Over the course of the last two and a half decades, I have learned a great deal about dealing with patients struggling to cope with Chronic Pain.
However, I would never hope to try and convince people that I have all the answers. I am just a guy going through life trying to learn as much as possible from every person and situation I encounter, knowing that it will help me to better serve tomorrow’s patient.
By the time MY AVERAGE NEW PATIENT makes an appointment, they have been thru the wringer. Many have spent small (or large) fortunes trying to get help —— yet no one seems to be helping. They cannot seem to get off the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND. You know; tests, MRI’s, scans, drugs, shots, referrals to specialists, more tests, another MRI, another referral, more drugs, surgery, blank stares, insinuations of drug-seeking, etc, etc, etc. It’s a never ending cycle that unfortunately, far too many of you can relate to on a personal level. My goal is to provide you with an EXIT STRATEGY — a way to get off the Merry-go-Round.
No one wants to live a life reliant upon doctors — whether we are talking about MD’s or Chiropractors. While it is certainly comforting to know that medical care is there if you need it, it’s empowering to know that there are numerous things you can do to help yourself. Some of the more straight-forward of these include eating a healthy diet, taking the proper nutritional supplements, and avoiding bad habits that sabotage your health. Oh; and while you are making changes, you’ll want to create new and healthy habits as well (HERE). The problem is that many of the people I see with Chronic Pain Syndromes are actually “health nuts”. They understand these concepts and have put them into action. But they still cannot get past their pain. I understand all of this because I have personally lived it. I know what it is like to be in your shoes.
Having severely injured my ankles numerous times over the past 25 years playing ball, I developed severe foot and hip / buttock (PIRIFORMIS) pain. I eventually got to the point where I could barely do any form of exercise at all, and although I was eating a healthy diet and taking all the right supplements (HERE), nothing seemed to help. Because I truly love what I do for a living, my goal had always been to practice until I was an old man. Unfortunately, Chronic Pain was making me old before my time, and draining the life right out of me. It was all I could do to get through a day, come home, and collapse. The idea of being able to practice into my twilight years……. Forget about it! Fortunately I found my solution, and have dedicated my life to helping others find theirs.
I truly believe that there is someone out there with an answer for almost every problem under the sun short of Rigor Mortis. The tough part can be finding that person. Although I would never even hope to claim to be able to help each and every person who struggles with one or more of the various Chronic Pain Syndromes, my goal is to be “that person” for as many people as humanly possible. If you watch some of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS, you will quickly see that I have been able to accomplish this for lots of people on a consistent basis without long, drawn-out, expensive, treatment schedules (HERE).
Once you begin to understand the difference between SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION and LOCAL INFLAMMATION, and the relationship of both to FIBROSIS (the microscopic SCAR TISSUE and adhesion that occurs in elastic, collagen-based soft tissues such as LIGAMENTS, MUSCLES, TENDONS, FASCIA), you can start to see why my approach to treating my patients, while somewhat different, is often times nothing short of miraculous. Why?
When people injure themselves, they create microscopic scar tissue and adhesion. As I have tried to get across time and time again on my website, scar tissue is bad news because it is different from normal tissue in almost every conceivable way. It is different neurologically (much more pain sensitive). It is different metabolically (less metabolically active). It does not oxygenate properly (hypoxia). It is different mechanically (weaker and less elastic). It is incredibly pain sensitive (allodynia and hyperalgia). It creates restriction, which leads to degeneration and deterioration of the affected area. Ultimately, it leads to a wide variety of Chronic Pain Syndromes. And the final boot in the butt is that in most cases, it doesn’t show up on MRI’s or CT Scans. This is why I typically refer to this sort of tissue as Chronic Pain’s “PERFECT STORM“.
Problems We Help with Scar Tissue Remodeling
- CHRONIC NECK or BACK PAIN: I cannot begin to tell you how many people who suffer with chronic neck pain and / or chronic back pain have been helped by what I do in my clinic. Open any anatomy book and look at how many of the soft tissues mentioned above originate on and around the spine. For all my blog posts on chronic neck pain, HERE is the place to go. I even created A VERY COOL POST for those interested in solving their own back pain.
- HEADACHES: Although not all headaches are musculoskeletal (HERE), a large percentage are caused by chronic restriction of Fasical Adhesions in and around the neck or upper back (or sometimes even lower). And yes, Tissue Remodeling frequently helps people who have MIGRAINE HEADACHES as well.
- SHOULDER PROBLEMS, INCLUDING ROTATOR CUFF INJURIES: Unless you are absolutely sure that your cuff is completely torn, try one Tissue Remodeling treatment before you have surgery —- it may be the cause of your SHOULDER PAIN. Be aware that I have fixed many shoulders that were said by doctors to be ‘torn’ (AS DIAGNOSED BY MRI).
- TENDINITIS / TENDINOSIS: In case you missed it, there is a debate over whether Tendinitis even exists. The new terminology is Tendinosis, which is an exceedingly common reason for doctor visits. Find out why the same-old same-old treatments from your medical doctor are not only not working, but often times making you worse (HERE).
- OSGOOD SCHLATTER’S SYNDROME: Chronic knee pain in kids, often with a tibial tubercle (lump) just below the knee cap. Usually found in kids, adolescents, and young adults who have played organized sports. Very fixable in all but the rarest of cases (HERE).
- PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME (PAIN IN THE BUTT): Many people (particularly women) suffer from chronic pain in the upper or mid buttock that they will usually refer to as their “hip”. This can be both a local pain, as well as pain that runs into the leg (sciatica). Piriformis Syndrome is a largely unrecognized epidemic in America’s female population, and according to a 2005 study done at UCLA’s School of Medicine, the number one cause of sciatica in America. HERE are numerous blog posts and video testimonials regarding Piriformis Syndrome.
- BURSITIS: After nearly two decades of experience with tissue remodeling it is my opinion that the majority of what is diagnosed as bursitis is actually some sort of Fascial Adhesion or Tendinopathy (HERE).
- PULLED MUSCLES, TORN MUSCLES, MUSCLE STRAINS: These are extremely common; particularly in athletes. Scar Tissue Remodeling is so effective for these types of injuries that virtually every professional and college athletic team on the planet now employs some form of it for their injured athletes.
- DEGENERATIVE OSTEOARTHRITIS & LOSS OF PROPRIOCEPTION: Be aware that abnormal joint motion causes a loss of proprioception, which is the known cause of degenerative osteoarthritis —– the most common form of arthritis. I know, I know, I know….. your doctor has told you there is nothing you can really do about arthritis other than take drugs. In many cases, this is far from the truth (HERE).
- PLANTAR FASCIITIS: Foot and heel pain that is characterized most commonly by first-step-in-the-morning pain. Be aware that there are likely underlying biomechanical problems in the foot that have to be dealt with as well.
- SHIN SPLINTS: Like many of the problems that I deal with, the fascial adhesions that cause shin splints are almost never at the site of pain.
- MYSTERY PAIN: It is actually quite common for people to have pain of unknown origin (the actual name of this is Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms, or M.U.P.S.). This does not mean that the pain has no origin, but simply that no one has been able to determine what that origin is. Remember, fascia is the most pain-sensitive tissue in the body, and it does not image well on MRI (HERE). This nasty combination will elicit a lot of blank stares, eye rolls, absurd explanations, and unneeded prescriptions from the doctors whom you consult for your Chronic Pain.
- T.M.J. OR T.M.D: Don’t get me wrong, TMJ can be exceedingly complicated and difficult to deal with. But before you go and have a lot of really expensive dental work done (braces, retainers, splints, etc), call me. I have successfully treated numerous cases of TMJ that were nothing more than Fascial Adhesions in the chewing muscles.
- POST SURGICAL PAIN: I cannot tell you how many people I have successfully treated, who already had surgery (obviously unsuccessful) for the very problem they are coming to me for. Case in point, our local property appraiser, Ronnie Webb (now deceased). I have successfully treated post-surgical knees, wrists, shoulders, hips, etc. Surgery itself causes microscopic scarring; and after seeing many of these people get better almost instantly, it is obvious that scar tissue was their problem in the first place (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, or HERE).
- CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME: Carpal Tunnel Surgery consists of surgically ‘releasing‘ (cutting / snipping) the thick bands of connective tissue (mostly ligaments and fascia) that surround the wrist. The thought process is that by cutting any ‘restricted’ tissue in the wrist, it will give the nerve in the tunnel made by the carpal bones (wrist bones), more room. Remember, however, that Tissue Remodeling is for the specific purpose of addressing the restrictions found in traumatically or repetitively injured connective tissues. More on CTS HERE.
- DeQUERVAIN’S SYNDROME: This is essentially a tendinitis (sometimes called a ‘tenosynovitis‘) of the thumb. It is as common as it is treatable. Fancy name for a problem that in most cases, is fairly simple and straight forward (HERE).
- FIBROMYALGIA: If this is your problem, just click the link (or HERE). I promise you won’t be disappointed with the information I provide to help you help yourself.
- TENSOR FASCIA LATA SYNDROME / ILLIO-TIBIAL BAND SYNDROME): The Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL) is a small muscle on the outside of your hip (buttock), that has a massive tendon-like band of fascial connective tissue called the ITB (Illio-tibial Band), that runs all the way to the outside of the knee. ITB Syndrome can be miserable, and is often related to Piriformis Syndrome as well.
- HIP FLEXOR ISSUES: Chronically tight or injured hip flexors are a major issue in many people — particularly athletes.
- PATELLAR TRACKING SYNDROME / PATELLAR FEMORAL PAIN SYNDROME: We often see knee pain that is caused by improper tracking of the tendons around the knee cap. These are the problems that doctors try to fix with a “Lateral Release” and happen to be the single most common reason people seek out “Sports Physicians”. Before you have a Lateral Release Surgery, try having the overly-tight connective tissues “released” with our “Tissue Remodeling” treatment. To see lots of posts on a wide variety of knee problems, HERE it is.
- CHRONIC ANKLE SPRAIN: This is one that almost all of us have experienced. More severe sprains can cause a great deal of scarring and restriction in the ankle. I cannot tell you how many of these we have successfully treated over the years.
- DUPUYTREN’S CONTRACTURE: This is a commonly seen condition that is characterized by fingers that curl up into a flexed position. It is caused by a thickening and tightening of the connective tissue of the hand (the Palmar Fascia. If you have not yet figured it out, we treat Fascial Adhesions!
- SKULL PAIN: Do not confuse this with traditional headache pain. The top of the skull is covered entirely in fascia — sometimes called an “aponeurosis”. If you have ever injured these tissues, you may have head pain that is not related to your neck, but is related to Fascial Adhesions on the skull itself (HERE).
- SPORTS INJURIES: I realize that the term ‘Sports Injuries’ encompasses a lot of territory. The reality is that the majority of what we call ‘Sports Injuries are the very same injuries in this long list — but just happened to occur while playing sports.
- RIB TISSUE PAIN: Just look at the pictures. Ribs are literally “encased” in fascia, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. If you are having chronic rib pain that is not responding to chiropractic adjustments, it’s a problem that can frequently benefit from Tissue Remodeling (HERE).
- INJURED LIGAMENTS: Ligaments are quite similar to fascia, except tougher and slightly less elastic. Ligaments are literally found all over the body, and connect bones to one another.
- WHIPLASH TYPE INJURIES: These types of injuries can cause (or can be caused by) virtually undetectable scarring or adhesion of the Fascia. Yeah, that’s right. Neither MRI nor CT Scans will show these sorts of injuries. That is why your doctor does not believe you, and treats you like some sort of scam artist. If you have ever suffered a “whiplash like” injury, you owe it to yourself to check out this page (or THESE POSTS).
- CHRONIC TRIGGER POINTS: Trigger Points are painful balls of muscles that can occur anywhere, but tend to occur most commonly between the shoulders and the base of the neck.