October 16 was World Spine Day! Get Back on Track – safely! Don’t let back pain, neck pain or migraines hold you back. I can help restore your mobility and prevent pain from returning. I’m doing that while taking extra measures to treat you safely. Reach out if you want to find out more.
We are well into the swing of fall and with that comes lots of yard work as you get things ready for the winter. This month we are discussing Costovertebral joint dysfunction which can be brought on by a lot of activities and can be quite painful.
Costovertebral/Costotransverse Joint Dysfunction- It Hurts When I Breathe!
The spine is comprised of many bones known as vertebra. These bones connect with the vertebra above and below via two types of joints the facet joints on either side of the spine and the discs centrally. These joints are designed to support body weight and enable spinal movement. Each vertebra in the upper back (thoracic spine) also connects to each rib via the costovertebral joint (CVJ) on either side of the spine. Each CVJ comprises of smooth cartilage which lies between the bony joint surfaces cushioning the impact of one bone (the vertebrae). Strong connective tissue also wraps around the bony ends providing support to the joint.
During certain movements of the rib cage and spine, stretching or compressive forces are placed on the CVJ. If these forces are excessive and beyond what the joint can withstand, injury to the CVJ may occur.
The injury can be caused due to prolonged wear on the joint, particularly due to overuse. Repetitive bending or twisting motions (eg. those seen in sports like hockey, baseball, tennis, golf etc.), backward arching movements, or heavy lifting can all lead to this condition. These lesions may also occur as a result of direct trauma/force, or from muscle spasm that causes local joint compression.
Symptoms include sudden pain in the upper back and ribs which can either occur at the moment of injury (during activity), or afterwards (such as the following morning). Occasionally this pain can spread into the shoulder blades, upper arms or the chest area. Rigidity in the spinal or rib area is also common. You may experience some muscle spasms near to the CVJ. Most symptoms are likely to occur along one side of the ribcage and spine. These symptoms, especially pain, can often be worsened with physical activity (twisting, lifting, arching backwards, or bending forward or to the sides), and also with breathing, coughing or sneezing.
CJV dysfunction typically causes a palpably prominent rib and local tenderness. Asymmetrical motion may be noted during breathing and while palpating the length of the rib.
Chiropractic adjustments are the treatment of choice and may be performed in a variety of positions in order to offer the most comfort for the patient.
An adjustment is a specific force applied to a joint to correct its movement. Ice and heat can also be applied to the area to help with the pain, inflammation and associated muscles spasm. The recovery time for this condition varies from patient to patient, but most individuals will notice some relief after the first treatment. The Chiropractor will also prescribe some rehabilitation exercises in order to help strengthen the area and help to prevent future injury.
 Daylight Time
6 Tips for autumns clock change:
- Take advantage of the opportunity to get an extra hour of sleep. Don’t stay up later in anticipation of the time change.
- Eat healthy and keep hydrated. Avoid caffeinated beverages, since too much caffeine can further disrupt your natural sleep rhythm.
- Increase your exposure to bright light and physical activity during the day until late afternoon/early evening to help compensate for the overall reduction of daylight hours
- Get your daily dose of Vitamin D. The two best ways to get the Vitamin D you need are to get adequate sun exposure (15 to 30 minutes per day in summer/southern regions-it’s very difficult to get enough exposure in winter in northern regions because of reduced UV levels), or to take vitamin D supplements
- Drivers should be extra alert- pull over if you’re driving and feel drowsy. The only cure for sleepiness is sleep. Open the window or turning up the radio are not effective ways to stay awake.
- Use the clock-change weekend as an opportunity to make home safety checks. Check and replace batteries in home smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us by visiting our web site at:
Contact us: Phone #: (519) 472-8700 or
 CBC News Posted Nov. 02, 2012