Category Archives: Rotator Cuff

My Frozen Shoulder (Update)

Six months later…

So it has been about six months since my shoulder began to painfully freeze up on me and about three months since I wrote my last blog about my experience with Frozen Shoulder Syndrome. It is time to give you all an update on my personal journey with this condition.

I decided to go the route of Chiropractic

For me it was the most cost effective route and since I also suffer from migraines which seemed to worsen with the shoulder condition as my muscles were having a lot of spasms along the scalenes and shoulder.

I went twice a week and slowly, very slowly I started so see some tiny improvements such as being able to reach the second shelf of my cupboards. Eventually I could touch the rear view mirror of my car. The Chiropractor and I had agreed that if we were not seeing any improvements he would refer me out to a specialist.

If you research the cranial nerves you will discover that there is a cranial nerve that is associated with not only Frozen Shoulder but also Migraine Disorders and that was what we have been focusing on in our sessions, the Cervical Nerves 10 and 11 were and still are our main focus as my neck does not have full range of motion when turning to the left. I am currently still seeing the Chiropractor weekly.

What I can and Cannot Do

At this time, six months into this condition, I can now reach and adjust my rear view mirror, put my seatbelt on and take it off with that arm, lift the dumpster lid so that my good arm can put the trash in.

I can reach the third shelf of my cupboards, wash my hair and put it into a pony tail (with a bit of struggle,) and I can almost reach the higher shelves in the grocery stores.

I can turn on and off the lights when I leave the room without giving it a second thought, clean, do dishes, and vacuum. I can roll over in my sleep without pain, and I can sleep through the night!

I still cannot close my hatch back with that arm, or put my hand on my hip, I cant reach behind my back or wear a bra that hooks in the back.

My range of motion with the right arm is still very limited but I am pleased with the progress I have been making so far.

 

Yours in Health And Wellness,

Kristeen Anne Smart (Formerly Kristeen Anne Kish)

CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist

 

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Topical Analgesic Review

Topical Analgesic Product Review for Biofreeze, Cryoderm, and Sombra products

Biofreeze image

Biofreeze:

If you have ever been to a chiropractor or sports medicine clinic I am sure you have seen or heard of Biofreeze.

They have several products including gel, roll-on, and a 360 degree spray. The products are easily found for purchase at most chiropractic clinics, sports medicine clinics, and various spas.

The 360 spray is by far their best product, easy to apply even to your own back with a spray can that works even when held upside down.

The roll-on is simple to use for those areas that you can easily reach but due to direct contact with the skin it should only be used on one person.

Gel is the most common products that is used in most chiropractic clinics. For me personally this is my least favorite product to use in massage because the gel eventually balls up while I am working the area (the same can be said for gels from other companies as well,) however, it does provide a cooling sensation and helps aid in the relaxation of the effected muscles.

Pros:

Easy to obtain at various distributors, easy to use, temporary cooling effect and muscle pain relief.

Cons:

Not long lasting, smells like medicated alcohol, gel balls up with rubbing.

Now, onto my two personal favorites!

cryoderm image

Cryoderm:

I had never heard of Cryoderm products until I was introduced to them at the World Massage Festival. They have a number of products ranging from lotions, sprays, roll-ons, gels, and also heat therapy products.

The cooling effect lasts for several hours and far outlasts Biofreeze.

The heating products contain Capsaicin and provide lasting heat sensation, in fact much hotter than expected. This product might be a bit too much for anyone who is sensitive to hot peppers, but it definitely does exactly what it intends to do!

Pros;

Long lasting cooling or heating, effective muscle pain relief, never tested on animals.

Cons:

Heat therapy may be too hot for some people, strong medicinal scent.

If you like Biofreeze you will love Cryoderm.
sombra products image

Sombra:

What is not to love about Sombra? It has a more pleasant smell than the other products, comes in cooling, heating, and even a soothing lemon version.This also comes in a handy roll-on version as well as lotions, creams, and gels.

The cooling effect is effective but not overpowering, the heating effect is subtle but warming. The heating product also contains Capsaicin but is not as intensely hot as the Cryoderm Heat products. A nice happy medium that is long lasting and smells wonderful!

Pros:

Long lasting heat or cooling, pleasant scent, also comes in a soothing lemon scent.

Cons:

I cannot think of any cons.

http://www.sombrausa.com/

 

In summary:

My personal favorite if I want a powerhouse of an analgesic I prefer Cryoderm products, but if I am looking for an effective yet soothing option I prefer to use Sombra products. Biofreeze is good but if given a choice between them all I know which products I would prefer to use for my clients.

It is also very important to mention that no matter which of these products you use always remember to thoroughly wash your hands before touching your face, eyes, or other areas where the heating or cooling sensation might be problematic, I can assure you from first hand experience that getting these products in your eye is not a pleasant experience.

(I was not paid by any of these companies to write this review, the opinions expressed here are from my personal experience with the three products mentioned.) 

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
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“I Think I May Have Torn My Rotator Cuff”

Often times clients come in with shoulder pain and say “I think I may have torn my rotator cuff.

There are many injuries and condition that can effect your shoulder and it is always in your best interest to see your doctor if you suspect a rotator cuff injury.

Lets look at what the rotator cuff is…

Illustration of rotator cuff

Picture of the Rotator Cuff

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© 2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles in the shoulder, connecting the upper arm (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula). The rotator cuff tendons provide stability to the shoulder; the muscles allow the shoulder to rotate.

The muscles in the rotator cuff include:

  • Teres minor
  • Infraspinatus
  • Supraspinatus
  • Subscapularis

Each muscle of the rotator cuff inserts at the scapula, and has a tendon that attaches to the humerus. Together, the tendons and other tissues form a cuff around the humerus.

Most often it is the Supraspinatus that gets torn, often at the tendon connecting to the humerus bone. What is the most common cause of a torn rotator?

http://www.howardluksmd.com/orthopedic-social-media/cause-rotator-cuff-tears-shoulder-expert-series/

Rotator cuff tears are very common.  The older you are, the more common they are.  Why is that? What is the cause of rotator cuff tears?

More than 40% of patients over 60 will have a rotator cuff tear and not even know it

Most people with shoulder pain who are found to have a rotator cuff tear on an MRI do not recall a single, isolated traumatic event.  They may have felt a pop when moving their shoulder, but they didn’t fall or get into an accident.  When we find a tear in this scenario the cause of the rotator cuff tear is usually “degenerative tendinosis”.  Tendinosis is a condition when your rotator cuff tissue simply wore out.  Like you favorite pair of blue jeans … or that sock you just poked your toe through.  Trauma is another cause of rotator cuff tears, but traumatic tears are far less common then degenerative tears.

The most common cause of rotator cuff tears is degeneration of your rotator cuff tissue. It’s an unfortunate consequence of genetics, aging and our cumulative activities.  Trauma can also cause the rotator cuff to tear.

Other conditions that may mimic a rotator cuff tear include
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Frozen Shoulder Syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Rotator Cuff Disease

Your shoulder is responsible for a wide range of motion and as such we tend to put a lot of daily stress and strain on it. Rotator injuries are very common and if caught and treated early you can prevent further damage and possibly avoid the need for surgery.

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Kristeen Smart AKA Kristeen Kish
CAMTC Certified Massage Therapist
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