Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a sprain and a strain? While the names of these two injuries are nearly identical, each impacts the body in a different way. Let’s take a closer look at how sprains and strains differ, their impact on an injured patient, and options for treatment.
Strain vs. Sprain
A sprain involves injury to the ligaments holding the joint together, commonly occurring at the ankle, knee, wrist, and thumb joints. A strain involves injury to the muscle or tendons attaching the muscle to the bone, sometimes called a “pulled muscle.” Strains usually occur in your low back and hamstring but can also occur in your ankles, legs, elbows, and hands. Both sprains and strains are usually related to an acute injury with common symptoms including pain or tenderness, swelling, redness or bruising, and limited range of motion.
How Do Strains and Sprains Impact Our Daily Life?
Both sprains and strains can occur at any age and through a variety of activities, including both work and sports. In fact, sprains and strains are in the top five most common athletic injuries, as well as one of the most common workplace injuries.
In workplace injuries, the most commonly affected area is the back — people not stretching adequately or lifting properly when completing a physical task and suddenly find themselves in agonizing pain. Strains can also occur when a person performs repetitive tasks that overwork the muscles or tendons. Injuries can also occur if a person slips or falls, spraining the ligaments on impact or straining the muscle due to overextension.
In athletic or exercise injuries, sprains and strains are more likely to occur due to overuse, exhaustion, or impact. Overuse is the most common, due to the amount of time athletes spend in training and on the field. Exhaustion can lead to improper form or muscle weakness, which can also contribute to sprains and strains. In contact sports like football, sprains, and strains can occur during player collisions, or if a limb goes one way and the player goes the other.
Both injuries can bench you, either from performing your daily duties on the job or interfering with your training. Neither one of those options is appealing to most people, which makes healing effectively (and quickly) important. These seemingly small injuries can also slow you down at home, preventing you from doing the things you enjoy, like a morning run, playing with the kids, walking the dog, or even just cooking a simple dinner. To help prevent sprains and strains, stretch your body before any physical activity and do additional strengthening exercises to keep your muscles in good shape.
Treating Sprains and Strains: What is Active Release Technique?
If you think you have a strain or sprain there are some easy at-home steps you can take to help the immediate injury before seeing a doctor. Rest and avoid activities that cause pain. You can ice the area, and compress the area with an elastic wrap to help reduce swelling and elevate the injured body part.
In addition to rest, there are other methods you can use to help accelerate your healing and manage pain. Active release technique (ART) is a patented technique that treats many small tissues in the body, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Many conditions that ART treats are due to overuse which can result in loss of normal function, pain, and weakness. Overuse of muscles and other soft tissues can result in tears, spasms, pulls, or hypoxia to the injured area which causes scar tissue to form. This makes it difficult for healthy tissues to move normally, causes muscle weakness, and puts extra tension on tendons.
ART is noninvasive and beneficial for people who have tried other unsuccessful treatments. It utilizes targeted manipulations and tension while the patient performs specific movements. This helps to break up the scar tissue and promote healing. Some common conditions that benefit from active release technique include:
- Lower back pain
- Chronic neck pain
- Tension headaches
- Carpal tunnel Sciatic nerve pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tennis elbow
- And more!
Treat Sprains and Strains with Accelerate Health
If you have recently suffered a sprain or strain, you don’t have to wait around for the pain to stop. Accelerate Health provides sprain and strain patients with a variety of treatment options, including ART. We can help you manage your pain, promote healing and break up scar tissue that hinders your progress. Call our offices today to discuss your options for treatment and set up a consultation.
Have you been considering laser therapy treatment for scars, injuries, chronic pain or acne scarring? Laser therapies have grown in popularity in recent years, as more doctors, clinics and treatment centers recognize the benefits to their patients. Even before laser therapy began to trend as a reliable treatment, it was a steady ally in the mission to help patients heal faster and reduce their pain.
Laser therapy is a broader term to describe a variety of procedures that use light to treat an injury or other issue in a given area. The intensity of a laser will vary, and so will its uses. A high intensity beam of focused light might be used in surgical procedures, while a lower intensity laser (like those used for treatment at Accelerate Health) is used for non-invasive, painless treatment of scars or injuries. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.
Low Level Laser Therapy
Low Level Laser Therapy, referred to as LLLT, photobiomodulation or “cold laser therapy,” is a painless, non-invasive treatment that can reduce the appearance of scars and scar tissue. The process was discovered and developed in the late 1960s by scientist Endre Mester in Hungary. Mester was actually trying to use the LLLT to cure tumors in rats. After experimenting with LLLT, the treated tumors remained unaffected. While those results were certainly disappointing, there was, quite literally, a bright side. Rats treated with LLLT showed faster improvement in regrowth of fur and their wounds healed better than untreated rats. A new advance in treating scar tissue had been discovered.
Cold laser therapy uses a laser light to help boost the natural reparative actions of the cells in your skin, fascia and muscles. Laser light powers up adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that operates like a trucking company that transports energy across the highways of your body to deliver it to the areas where you need it most. When that light is directed at scar tissue, the reparative function of your body kicks into gear, regenerating and repairing cells or even killing off the cells in the area so that new, healthy cells can take up the job. Patients at Accelerated Health have reported no pain during the non-invasive procedure, as well as improvement in areas of treatment.
LLLT can help patients with:
- Scar tissue such as C-section scars, injury scars, some burns and surgical scars
- Pigment issues such as vitiligo
- UV damage
- Pain management
Class IV Laser Therapy for Injury Treatment, Paint Management and Muscle Tension
Like its Class 3 counterpart, LLLT, Class IV laser therapy provides improved healing and pain management benefits. Class IV lasers are stronger than those used in LLLT; however, they are beneficial in various therapies because their increase in energy does not create the heat generated in stronger laser technology. While it is classified as a “warm” laser, Class IV laser treatment is safe and painless.
The increased energy in Class IV lasers allows their ATP-stimulating benefits to penetrate deeper tissues. The Class IV laser can help fractures heal more quickly, help with arthritis pain, reduce scarring (c-sections, post-surgical) and help soft tissues injuries heal more quickly, among other things. This form of therapy is so beneficial that many professional, college and Olympic athletic teams carry them as part of their injury and pain management regimens.
Class IV laser therapy can help patients with:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Post-natal pain
- Post-natal scar tissue
- Scar tissue
- Soft tissue damage
- Joint pain
- Athletic injuries
- Car accident injuries
- Pain relief
Who Can Benefit from Laser Therapy Treatment?
Are you curious about whether or not your specific case would benefit from low level laser therapy or Class IV laser therapy treatments? Accelerate Health has helped a variety of patients improve with the use of laser therapy treatment. Our patients commonly seek out the following treatments:
- Post-natal: Back pain, C-section scar tissue, neck pain, muscle tension
- Athletic: Sports injuries, bone damage, tendon damage, sore muscles, muscle tension, joint pain, scar tissue
- Workplace Injury: Sore back, joint injury, neck pain, wrist pain, carpal tunnel, knee pain
- Aging: Osteoarthritis, diabetic neuropathy, knee pain, joint pain, back pain, scar tissue
- Injury or Surgery: Scarring, pain relief, muscle damage, surgical recovery
- Car Accident: Neck pain, back pain, scarring, bone damage, whiplash
Accelerate Health: Class 4 and Cold Laser Therapy Denver Residents Trust
If you are interested in learning more about how Class 4/cold laser therapy could benefit your specific health conditions, call today to schedule an appointment with Accelerate Health. We have been providing integrative pain management in Colorado since 2005. We're committed to providing the innovative therapies, including treatments like shockwave therapy, Denver residents need to support them in living lives free from pain. We can help you, too!
Have you walked away from a car accident feeling “fine,” but then struggled for days, weeks, or even months after with debilitating headaches?
You’re not alone.
In fact, headaches are one of the most common symptoms people suffer from after a motor vehicle accident. Luckily, there’s more you can do for your post-accident headache than take handfuls of painkillers or rub in smelly skin creams. Let’s talk about what causes these headaches, what treatments exist, and how the practitioners at Accelerate Health can help you get feeling better…faster.
What Causes Headaches After a Car Accident?
At the base of your skull are four muscles called the suboccipitals. These muscles are primarily in charge of your posture and moving your head and are especially prone to injury in a car accident.
The violent forward and backward motion that happens during a collision puts a great deal of strain on these muscles as you struggle to keep your head upright. The muscles become so tight, in fact, that they’ll form what we call trigger points—little knots or bumps in the muscle fibers that cause spasms.
Suboccipital Muscles and Headaches
In addition, the suboccipital nerve passes through the suboccipital muscles, and will get irritated when the suboccipitals go into spasm. This creates pain that starts on the back of your head and moves forward in a band to right behind your eyes. Sound familiar? It’s called a tension headache. The pain is deep, intense, and often hard to describe.
Up to 90% of people who experience whiplash develop tension headaches, and 30-50% of them continue to suffer from these headaches for more than six months. You deserve to live a pain-free life! If you’re suffering from tension headaches caused by an auto accident 6 days or 6 months ago, Accelerate Health can help.
What can treat tension headaches?
There are several treatments that can be used to treat headaches, including:
A practitioner performs a controlled thrust to your spine to restore joint function and help reduce inflammation and pain.
Soft tissue manipulation:
A practitioner manipulates your muscles, skin, tissues, etc with their hands or an instrument to improve circulation, reduce swelling or pain, and release tension.
Class IV laser:
Using a special light-therapy device, a practitioner delivers a special kind of light to your problem areas that help to reduce muscle spasms, decrease pain, and promote healing. It is non-surgical, non-invasive, and painless.
A trained practitioner uses special silicone cups to create a vacuum over the injured area with special silicone cups. The suction promotes blood flow to help with pain and inflammation.
A trained practitioner in the Graston Technique manipulates the muscle and connective tissue with specialized tools to increase blood flow, reduce scar tissue, and increase mobility.
A practitioner will teach you quick and easy exercises to do at home to help reduce the tension in the muscles at the base of your skull and alleviate pain.
Functional dry needling:
A practitioner inserts thin, monofilament needles into trigger points around the injury to reduce pain and increase range of motion.
It’s important to remember that there is often no one special silver bullet to alleviate your pain. That’s why you should always work with a practitioner who is trained in many different modalities and can combine them to help you achieve optimal health.
How Accelerate Health Can Help
While your practitioner here at Accelerate Health here in Denver will use a variety of techniques in your custom-built treatment plan, one of our most effective therapies is dry needling. Let’s take a deeper look at what it is.
Remember those trigger points (knots) hanging out in your suboccipital muscles, sending pain across the nerves in your head? Dry needling targets those trigger points, helping to heal them and stop the cycle of spasms and pain.
Your provider at Accelerate Health will identify the location of trigger points and insert a thin, monofilament needle into the trigger point and send a small current into the muscle. This current will cause the muscle to contract and reset back to its original healthy state. (Kind of like turning your computer off and then on again). Once the muscle is reset, there will be less irritation hitting the nerve, reducing your headaches.
If it sounds scary, don’t worry. Our Denver auto-accident chiropractors are fully trained and certified in dry needling. In fact, it’s safe, minimally uncomfortable, and proven to be extremely effective.
Please note that dry needling is different than acupuncture. While the tools are similar, dry needling is based on Western medicine and is evidence-based, while acupuncture is based on traditional Eastern medicine.
Once you begin treatment at one of our Denver facilities, it will be common for your headaches to go away before your neck pain does. Don’t worry--all treatment is a process. Suboccipitals respond very well to treatment, helping headaches to resolve quickly. What a relief!
If you’ve been in an auto accident and are struggling with tension headaches, you don’t have to keep suffering! Using functional dry needling and a combination of therapies to best suit your symptoms, our auto accident chiropractors will help you achieve results as quickly as possible. Contact our office today.
One of the main jobs of a pediatric chiropractor is to ensure your child’s motor development and function are working as optimally as possible. With this in mind, your child’s chiropractor assesses your child to ensure they are reaching each and every physical milestone. One of the main milestones that some babies might try to avoid is crawling. So, when do babies start to crawl?
6 Month Milestones
Ideally, at around 6 months, your baby will be able to lift themselves onto all fours and rock back and forth in this position. This skill then leads to the baby propelling themselves forward and crawling on hands and knees at around 9 months. However, for some babies, these skills are more difficult to achieve which might lead them to try and avoid crawling and move directly into standing and walking.
The Benefits of Crawling Are Numerous
For starters, crawling is one of the few movements your child will perform that increases the strength of the wrists and shoulders. While your baby is on hands and knees, the weight they are distributing through their shoulders, wrists, and hands is helping to develop shoulder and wrist stability. In the future, you will see strength in these areas help increase grip strength, ability to use utensils, ability to catch and throw a ball, and so on.
Important Skills that Develop from the Crawling Stage
Another important skill that is developed and strengthened during crawling is hand-eye coordination and general body coordination and awareness. This is beneficial when it comes to activities such as running, riding a bike, skipping, and even getting dressed. Because crawling requires both sides of the brain to work together, crawling can be a key player in both mental and physical development. Other benefits of crawling include strengthening the core, low back, and hips as well as improving visual convergence which is the ability to use both eyes together.
Most babies begin crawling between 6 and 10 months old, though every child works on their own unique timetable. You’ll be able to tell they’re getting ready to crawl when you see them:
- Rolling over from back to front
- Grabbing their feet when lying down
- Getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth
- Arching their neck to look around
- Pushing themselves backward
- Pulling back and then springing forward when on all fours
Once you see these behaviors, you can encourage them to continue moving by holding an interesting object just out of reach, showing them a favorite toy that is hidden behind a blanket or a pillow, or even just praising and encouraging them to come to you.
Remember That Babies Learn at Their Own Pace
Don’t be discouraged if they don’t crawl right away. You want them to be excited and motivated about crawling, so if they become frustrated or upset, quickly move on and come back to it another day. Don’t forget that it’s also important to baby-proof your home as they become more mobile. Pay attention to what’s on the floor, what they can reach and put into their mouth, or any falling hazards. You should always supervise your baby as they crawl and move around to make sure they’re out of harm’s way.
If Your Child Skips Crawling and Goes Straight to Walking, Don’t Worry
While some children have issues with coordination if they miss the crawling phase, plenty of children who went straight to walking without crawling grow up to be very active, fully functioning happy kiddos who can run and skip and ride their bikes without issue. But when the benefits of crawling are considered, it makes sense that this phase of development is important and should not be missed when possible.
If by 10 months, your child can pull up to a standing position, “cruise” around the room by grabbing onto the walls or furniture for assistance, or can otherwise move around on their bottom or tummy, their development is considered normal. Otherwise, there might be physical conditions standing in their way such as:
- Tight hips
- Weakness in the shoulders or core
- Tight trunk or lower back
- Retained newborn reflexes
If that’s the case for your baby, we can help! Our pediatric chiropractors at Accelerate Health are able to address these concerns and assist you and your baby in their ability to crawl before they walk.
Our chiropractors can help treat tension in the low back and hips and stiffness in the mid back and neck. This ensures your baby is free of physical barriers that might be making it difficult for them to crawl. There are also several exercises that we can teach you to work on with your baby to help them feel strong and encourage them to propel themselves into crawling.
Does it Help? You Bet!
Here’s what one of our clients, Leah Brite, said:
“I feel lucky to have found Dr. Perkins at Accelerate Health as she helped get our 10-month-old crawling! At 9 months, he was showing no interest in crawling and would immediately move out of being on all 4s if you put him in that position.
Dr. Perkins did an assessment, gave us a series of stretches and exercises to do with him at home each day, and after a short 3 weeks, he was crawling! I am confident we would not have gotten there anywhere near that timeline without her help. We'd been trying for months to encourage him to start to crawl with no success.”
If you’re concerned about your baby’s ability to crawl, make an appointment today. We’re here to help your young ones move freely without restriction and develop to their fullest potential.