Listed below are many common conditions that we see and treat. While we do not exclusively treat only these conditions, the list below is a good idea of many of the ailments we see regularly and have much experience with! You can click on one of the body parts to jump directly to that section.
Head and Neck Conditions
Headaches are a very common complaint that we treat at Synaptyx Physical Medicine. There are many different forms of headache ( migraine, cervicogenic, tension, cluster, hypertensive are just a few), headache triggers, and factors that can aggravate and alleviate headaches. The good news is many forms of headache respond very well to traditional chiropractic care as well as postural neck exercises!
Whiplash usually presents itself in the form of head,neck, or upper back pain associated with a trauma like a car accident, when the head is quickly accelerated in a certain direction. While imaging studies aren’t required for diagnosis, in certain whiplash cases they may be necessary. Fortunately, many cases of whiplash injury will respond positively to conservative care.
Cervical Disc Bulge/Herniation
Cervical Disc Herniation is a very common occurrence in middle aged people and usually is characterized by numbness and tingling into the shoulder blades or down the arm, loss of sensation, pain with neck motion, and potentially muscle weakness. This occurs when the cartilage discs that separate the vertebra in your neck begins to push against the nerve roots exiting your spinal cord. A large percentage of cervical disc herniation will heal with the aid of conservative care.
Cervical Muscle Strain
Muscle strains are one of the more common complaints we treat, and they have a fantastic prognosis for healing. A muscle strain can be the result of trauma, poor posture or poor exercise mechanics. We utilize soft tissue therapies as well as chiropractic adjustments for muscle strains with great success.
Cervical Facet Syndrome
Facet Syndrome is characterized by local pain with motion of the neck in many planes, lack of radiating symptoms, and its intermittent nature. Facet Syndrome, while it sounds a little scary, responds incredibly well to chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue therapies.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Disc Disease is one of the more inevitable disorders that we see in just about every aging patient of ours. This degenerative process occurs as we age and the disc spaces between the vertebra in your neck become smaller, sometimes causing pain. It should be noted that degenerative changes found via imaging have very poor correlation to a person’s painful experience. While DDD is probably inevitable for everyone at some point, chiropractic care will keep you mobile and pain free during this process as well as slow down the progression of the degeneration and help you manage the symptoms associated with it.
Osteoarthritis is another disorder that is almost inevitable as we age. However, much like Degenerative Disc Disease, the diagnosis of Osteoarthritis via imaging has very poor correlation to your pain! This means that even if you are experiencing some pain related to Osteoarthritis, the prognosis for your painful experience is great! We treat Osteoarthritis nutritionally, as well as with chiropractic care to improve range of motion, decrease pain, and improve overall function in those with Osteoarthritis.
Torticollis is a common condition in which the head is fixed in a rotated or side bending position and is typically associated with a spasm of the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck. We use gentle chiropractic techniques, as well as corrective exercise to correct the fixation and restore your normal resting posture!
Shoulder & Arm Conditions
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
Shoulder Impingement is one of the most common conditions we see. This is mainly a result of excessive load or muscle imbalances causing pinching of other tendons near your glenohumeral joint resulting in pain, weakness, and reduced range of motion of the shoulder. While some cases may be extremely painful, this condition is very manageable and reversible with proper evaluation and treatment.
Rotator Cuff Tear
Rotator Cuff Tears are a common shoulder ailment especially in tennis players, throwing athletes, and weightlifters. However, rotator cuff tears are also seen in sedentary and even in asymptomatic populations. Your rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles that connect your shoulder blade to your arm. This group of muscles is vulnerable to injury due to the large freedom of motion that our shoulder joint has compared to other joints. While some rotator cuff tears may require surgery, a large percentage of them do NOT! They typically respond well to functional rehabilitation, corrective exercise, and training on proper biomechanics.
The glenoid labrum is a suction-cup like tissue that encircles the head of the humerus, and can become damaged through trauma/dislocations as well as through repetitive injury like throwing. Just like rotator cuff tears, some may require surgical intervention, however many of them respond well to corrective exercise and functional rehabilitation.
AC Joint Arthrosis
The AC joint is where the scapula and the clavicle meet at the shoulder. This joint can develop arthrosis, meaning the joint is taking on too much stress and causing pain. If this process becomes excessive, surgical intervention may be needed, however MANY cases will resolve with the rehabilitation techniques we provide in office.
Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
Frozen shoulder is an idiopathic condition where the joint capsule of the shoulder becomes very stiff and painful for no apparent reason. Frozen shoulder occurs most often in diabetics, and in those who have had their arm immobilized for an extended period of time. While frozen shoulder does take time to alleviate, manual stretching, spinal manipulative therapy, and physical rehabilitation help to improve the overall function of the shoulder while decreasing pain. If underlying metabolic factors are the root cause, those factors need to be addressed first!
Biceps tendinosis (or tendinitis) means that the tendon has been taking on too much stress given its current capacity. This can be a result of excessive volume of high OR low intensity resistance. The bicep tendon near the elbow or near the shoulder can be affected, and although the treatment may look slightly different, improving the loading capacity of the tendon provides the best outcomes for biceps tendinosis.
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
Tennis Ellbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) is an extremely common ailment that affects many avid tennis players, paddle players, as well as those who exercise frequently. Tennis elbow is an overuse or misuse injury of the lateral elbow that is usually accompanied by significant pain, weakness, and tenderness in the elbow and forearm area. While bracing can provide some temporary relief, improving the capacity of the tendon and surrounding musculature serves to reduce pain and improve the functionality of the elbow and wrist!
Golfer's Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis) is almost the same as Tennis Elbow, however it occurs on the opposite (inner) side of the elbow. This injury is common in golfers, baseball players, and weightlifters. The treatment is similar to Tennis Elbow, however the exercises need to be targeted towards the affected tendon and muscles. Improving the loading capacity of the tendon and muscles provides the best long term relief and gets you back to doing the things you love as soon as possible!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a peripheral nerve entrapment of the median nerve. It typically presents as weakness in the wrist, numbness in the index and middle fingertips, and a loss of functional capacity of the hand and wrist. Carpal Tunnel is very common in those who spend a lot of time typing, but can affect just about anyone. Neural mobilization, soft tissue work, dry needling, and functional rehabilitation of the wrist help to restore normal sensation and function to the hand and wrist.
Pronator Syndrome is similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in that the median nerve becomes entrapped peripherally, however in pronator syndrome, the Pronator Teres muscle is responsible for compressing the median nerve. Typically you will experience numbness in the palm and some weakness of the fingers. Pronator Syndrome is common in desk workers, tennis players, and golfers and can be treated conservatively in office with neural mobilization, soft tissue work, dry needling, and functional rehabilitation.
Chest and Thoracic Conditions
Rib dysfunction takes into consideration any form of joint restriction, pain, or discomfort with breathing that tends to occur with the ribcage. These Rib dysfunctions are very common, and are usually thought to be more complex pathologies based off of their presentation. It’s common to have poor posture, pain with deep breathing, and even feel restricted in certain ranges of motion. These rib dysfunctions respond well to our chiropractic techniques, but typically need some rehabilitation to prevent them from reoccuring.
A Thoracic Strain describes a muscle strain that occurs in the mid-back. These muscle strains are common in people that present with overly kyphotic (rounded back) postures, as well as athletes like baseball players, tennis players or rowers. Muscle strains in the thoracic spine area typically respond very well to spinal manipulation combined with some soft tissue techniques and dry needling. Usually, there are a few underlying biomechanical issues that can be improved to help mitigate future risk.
Maigne’s Syndrome or Thoraco-lumbar syndrome is a disorder of the spinal joints in the lower mid back. This can typically present as lower back or buttock pain, even though the problem area is located a bit higher. Maigne’s Syndrome can occur in just about any age group or demographic, and responds very well to traditional chiropractic manipulation as well as rehabilitation of the low and middle back musculature.
Costochondritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the anterior chest wall where the rib cartilage attaches to the sternum. Costochondritis can be scary due to the location of the pain, but typically resolves relatively quickly with conservative care. Physical Rehabilitation, anti-inflammatory supplements/medications, and ensuring proper joint motion surrounding the inflamed area is vital for resolution of Costochondritis.
Scoliosis is a disorder in which the spine curves excessively sideways and commonly affects young females. Once diagnosed with scoliosis, it’s important to monitor the degree of the curve so that an estimate of the final position of the spine can be made which will dictate treatment. Minor scoliosis usually doesn’t require anything more than conservative care, however if the disorder progresses, surgical intervention may be needed. Imaging is needed to determine the severity of progression initially, but once the patient is done growing imaging isn’t needed as often. Physical rehabilitation, soft tissue work, and traditional chiropractic care can help improve function in those with Scoliosis.
Scherumann’s Kyphosis is a form of kyphoscoliosis that is most common in boys and results in an overly rounded mid back posture at rest. The degree of kyphosis (rounded back position) should be monitored over time, and if it progresses too much may need surgical intervention. In most cases, conservative care can help to improve the function and posture of those with Scherumann’s.
Poor posture is probably the most common disorder we see these days with the rapid increase in usage of tablets, computers and phones. While there isn’t one “perfect” posture, research has shown that staying in certain postures for extended periods of time can have a negative effect on the joints, muscles, and nerves that are being stressed. Spinal manipulation, physical rehabilitation, and soft tissue help to combat the postures that will typically cause pain in most people. When it comes to posture, “Your next posture is your best posture!”, and “Motion is Lotion”!
Hip and Lower Extremity Conditions
Femoroacetabular Impingement or FAI is a bony impingement at the hip joint where either the femoral neck, or acetabular rim has excessive bony outgrowth causing a lack of range of motion, pain, and loss of function of the hip joint. FAI is common in younger athletes such as hockey players, and is many times just an incidental finding
Acetabular Labral Tear
The labrum of the hip acts very similar to the labrum in the shoulder, in that it increases the surface contact between articulating bones of the joint, and provides stability to the joint. Hip Labrum tears are very common in females, athletes such as hockey players, and those sustaining a high level of repetitive trauma to the hips. Labral tears don’t always need surgical intervention, and many times conservative physical rehabilitation and corrective exercise can help improve the function of the hip
Osteoarthritis of the Hip and Knee are very common in many people as we age. Osteoarthritis is diagnosed radiographically from a loss of joint space, extraneous bone formation (osteophytes), subchondral cysts, and subchondral sclerosis. These are signs that that joint has undergone significant stresses without the ability to recover from them, and the joint is beginning to show signs of degradation. However, pain and function have a very poor correlation with radiographically confirmed Osteoarthritis! This means that through the use of rehabilitation, manual therapy, and nutritional considerations, we can help improve the function of the joint and get you back to doing the things you love!
Patellar tendinopathy (jumper’s knee) is a very common disorder of the patellar tendon just below the kneecap. When this tendon takes on too much stress too quickly (ie. starting a training program without a proper progression), it becomes irritated and slightly degenerated and can cause pain. Patellar tendon pain is typically worse with loaded movements such as walking up or down stairs, squatting, and jumping. In the acute stages, activity modification (not deletion!) is important as well as making sure that the biomechanics of the surrounding joints isn’t putting the knee at risk for further damage. From there, physical rehabilitation and some manual therapy will help the knee to be able to adapt to further stresses and perform at your peak.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome ( PFPS) is a non-specific diagnosis that describes a condition where the knee has become painful, but the ligaments, mensicii, and tendons are all intact and not deemed to be causing the pain. Because the knee tends to be at the mercy of the hip and ankle, it’s important to consider the biomechanics of these joints first and ensure proper mobility and stability there. Then, a combination of manual therapy and physical rehabilitation to improve the work capacity of the knee joint and the surrounding musculature is necessary for resolution. PFPS is treated very successfully via a conservative route.
Achilles Tendinopathy is characterized by pain at the back of the ankle, typically made worse by jumping, running, and loading excessively. Like other tendinopathies, one of the most effective treatment strategies is to gradually expose the tendon to increasingly heavy loads. The biomechanics of the surrounding joints also play a huge role in determining why the achilles tendon is taking on so much strain and why it can’t recover from the stresses placed on it. While it does take time, physical rehabilitation and some manual therapy are the first line treatment for achilles tendinopathy.
Plantar Fasciitis is a common disorder in which the plantar fascia (connecting the heel to the ball of the foot) becomes inflamed and irritated from activity. This is most commonly associated with pain that’s at its worst when you step out of bed, as well as during running, excessive walking, jumping or playing sports. Plantar Fasciitis is most common in runners, may involve some sort of activity modification initially, followed by a protocol of progressive strengthening of the foot, and assessment/restoration of the biomechanics of the foot, ankle, knee & hip.
Ankle sprains are one the most common disorders at the ankle, and are commonly a result of landing on an inverted ankle. When we sprain an ankle, the ligaments that reinforce the bones in our feet become over- stretched or can even tear in severe cases. The ankle will typically swell, and be painful to move for a period of a few days to few weeks. The recovery process includes compression techniques to reduce swelling, and a slow introduction back to strengthening the foot, ankle musculature so as to prevent future sprains. It’s common to feel a sense of laxity and instability in the affected ankle, and if left untreated can lead to further complications down the line. Ankle sprains in most cases should be treated conservatively and recover relatively quickly compared to other more serious injuries.
Lower Back Conditions
The intervertebral discs in your spine act as shock absorbers, as well as provide stability and cushioning to the vertebrae throughout your spine. It’s very common to injure these discs resulting in tearing of the outer portions of the disc, as well as bulging of the central portion of the disc usually in an outward and lateral direction. When the disc protrudes far enough, the spinal nerves can become compressed, causing radiating pain, numbness, tingling all the way down to the feet where these nerves terminate. While disc bulges and herniations can be a very painful condition, not all cases exhibit symptoms. Fortunately, research supports that in most cases conservative care and rehabilitation are the most effective treatment strategy.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative Disc Disease is a condition in which the intervertebral discs start to become dehydrated and lose height over time. Much like disc herniations, these changes in disc height and hydration don’t always correlate to pain and dysfunction, however it’s common for those with a worsening condition to experience some painful episodes. Some degree of “DDD” is considered normal from a radiographic standpoint as we age, and this finding via imaging should not be overinterpreted. Degenerative Disc Disease is commonly found in active and sedentary populations, and responds very well to the conservative care we provide in our office.
Osteoarthritis is probably one of the most common findings that is seen on x-ray, and in a multitude of joints in the body. Specifically in the spine, the facet joints are what allows the majority of our motion to occur in many different planes. These facet joints can become irritated or inflamed from any number of injuries, the most common being Osteoarthritis. While no clinician can stop Osteoarthritis from happening, it is a condition that can be managed conservatively via chiropractic adjustments, physical rehabilitation and soft tissue therapies that we provide in our offices!
Muscle strains are one of the most common injuries to the back that we see in our office every single day. Muscle strains can happen during exercise or activity, as well as from sustained postures that stretch or shorten certain muscle groups throughout the day. Muscle strains usually only last a few weeks at most, and tend to respond very well to conservative soft tissue therapies, chiropractic adjustments, and physical rehabilitation. Many times underlying biomechanical dysfunction can be the cause of muscle strains and should be addressed.
Stenosis means a narrowing of an opening in the body, and can occur in many different areas of the body. In the spine, as we age, the central canal where our spinal cord lies can become narrow due to the build up of bone surrounding the central canal. Central Stenosis is very common as we age, and is usually accompanied by weakness in both legs, early onset fatigue in both legs, a flexed forward posture, and pain. From a conservative care standpoint, these patients benefit greatly from physical rehabilitation to improve the strength and endurance of local musculature as well as manual therapy to alleviate painful symptoms. Foraminal Stenosis refers to the narrowing of the intervertebral foramina which reside on the side of each vertebrae and contain the spinal nerves exiting the spine. When this foramen narrows, the spinal nerve becomes impinged upon and causes numbness, tingling, and pain usually in one leg. Foraminal Stenosis can be managed conservatively as well with very promising results!
Spondylolisthesis is the movement of one vertebra forward, backward, or sideways in relation to the vertebra surrounding it. Spondylolisthesis can be degenerative in nature, traumatic, congenital, or Iatrogenic and is most common in very flexible teenage females, however spondylolisthesis is possible in any age or gender group. The prognosis is variable depending on the type of injury, patient age/activity level, the amount of displacement, and the neurological implications of the spondylolisthesis. In our office, we treat spondylolisthesis with several different conservative measures first including physical rehabilitation and soft tissue work, and if not congenital we identify biomechanical dysfunction that could have lead to the spondylolisthesis to prevent reoccurence.