How can Chiropractic help with Whiplash?

We’ve all  likely heard of whiplash before.  However, if you’ve never actually experienced this type of an injury, you can never truly appreciate the pain and length of rehabilitation that can often be related to it. It is a nasty injury that usually takes a long time to get over.  So what is whiplash? What are the best exercises after you have suffered a whiplash injury and what can your Chiropractic physician do to help speed the recovery process? 

Most commonly, whiplash is an injury that takes place in a car accident, however I have seen this type of an injury take place in other situations such as being hit from behind on the ski slopes or taking a hard fall to the ground. The impact results in a rapid and extreme forward-then-backward movement of the head. If the individual is unaware of the impending impact, the blow puts an extreme force of impact into the joints of the head and neck which results in extreme joint pain, inflammation, and sometimes in extreme cases, fractures.   If the person sees the impact coming they will typically “brace” for the collision, causing muscle strain and/or muscle tearing.  Though possibly less-serious because of the lack of bony involvement, the muscle pain is nonetheless very painful.

One interesting characteristic of whiplash pain is its manifestation. It is common for patients to walk away from their car accident not feeling a whole lot of pain.  While your adrenaline is flowing the trauma to the neck joints and muscles often doesn’t manifest itself until a few days later. It is very common for my patients to be in A LOT of pain 1-3 days or weeks to a month or 2 after the incident, and that pain can last for months to years.

Whiplash is a very common ailment we treat here at the Vector Spine and Sport.  After the necessary steps have been taken, and the neck has been cleared by x-ray it is important to get started in Chiropractic care and when tolerated Physical Therapy right away.  Early movement to the spine, with supervision and guidance by your Health care team will ensure the quickest path to recovery.  Your treatment at Vector Spine and Sport for whiplash pain will generally consist of three major areas of focus:

●    Warm Up – A very important step to prepare the head and neck for increased movement using manual therapy. 
●    Manual Therapy – Utilize a combination of soft tissue massage and gentle joint mobilization to help improve neck motion.  After a whiplash injury, lack of neck movement is the main issue, and this needs to be addressed first.  This is probably the most important part of your treatment initially for whiplash.  Whiplash pain, though initially focused in the neck area, often extends into the upper back muscles and sometimes even into the lower back.  Each of those painful areas needs addressed with a hands-on approach by your Health care professional.
●    Specific Exercise – One of the most important parts of treating whiplash injury is a customized, focused home exercise program. Your muscles and joints are designed to move; after a whiplash injury it’s important to remind them of that fact. Initially the focus should be on stretching and motion and then with time progressing towards postural strengthening as pain decreases.

So what are some of the best exercises for whiplash? Click on the image below to see some of our most-recommended exercises for whiplash injury. Please note that these are shared for educational purposes only (see disclaimer below); in order to achieve maximum benefit you should consult your healthcare professional for a unique, custom plan of care specific to your individual needs.

Click on the image below to open the PDF in a new window

Whiplash can be a very frustrating ailment to deal with.  It requires patience, diligence, and consistency to see significant results. Rehabilitation following these accidents comes with ups and downs, good days and bad, but there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel. Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage and PT can help you get there in the quickest, safest way possible.  So give the Vector Spine and Sport a call or schedule today, and let us help you get on the road to recovery.


From an anatomical perspective, shin splints are a condition where there is pain, tenderness, and swelling along the middle, inside of the tibia (shin) bone. While the cause is debated as to whether this pain comes from a muscle and tendon response to doing too much too soon, the tibia bones inability to handle the stress and pounding from running, or damage to the connective tissue that wraps and supports all of these structures in the lower leg and foot.

The hallmark sign of shin splints is the extreme tenderness along the inside of the shin that seems to improve as a runner warms up, but begins to worsen, last longer, and eventually prevents running as time passes without care. This condition is more better named medial tibial stress syndrome.


Running injury statistics are horrifying, with studies estimating that anywhere from 40-80% of runners experience an injury every year. The fact is that as runners, we run a high risk of injury. It is estimated that 1 in 5 are dealing with shin splints. Since this is such great news, let’s look at some reasons why this injury is so common and who could be at higher risk.

  • New Runners – If you are truly new to running. In the process of your body adapting to this new stress, figuring out your form, and slowly increasing your mileage, your body will get to the point where you may or may not get shin splints or not. As you progress through this training, you will find ways to build up your body, more specifically your legs, so that it can handle this new stress of running.
  • Running Biomechanics – The Tibia bone is believed to absorb 2-3x’s your body weight with each step. Take into account that the average runner has a cadence (steps per minute) of 140-180, it is no wonder we begin breaking down at the tibia.
  • Higher BMI/Body Weight – Looking at the last statement, if you have higher body weight, and you are new to running, forcing your tibia to withstand the pounding from running should be a slow process with ample recovery.
  • Training Volume – Just like new runners, if you are a veteran with a solid training base of 30-35 miles per week and you sharply bump up to 55-60 miles per week, you are essentially treating your body like a newbie with a very unfamiliar stress.
    • SIMILAR PROBLEM: Too Much Too Soon & Classic Overtraining
  • Form – Forefoot, Midfoot, or Heel Striker, you efficiency within that form and allowance for adaptation to stress is what either prevents or causes injury.


While the cause of Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome is still debated, with research naming a different cause. It is likely a combination of the factors we are going to cover. This is why, if you have been suffering from shin splints for a month or so and are just trying to run through them, it is important to get an evaluation, a structured plan around your goals, and some treatment to get you over the hump.

  • Weak Ankle Dorsiflexion – Loss of eccentric control.
    • One issue that many believe to be a cause, or at least a contributor to shin splints is poor control of the anterior leg muscles, or weakness of the Tibialis Anterior muscle. This one stands out in newer runners because it is responsible for the slapping sound one makes when their foot hits the ground. This comes from weak eccentric control of the muscle, or the ability to slowly let it down to the ground. Our bodies are amazing, so when one area fails, another area takes the load.
  • Poor Pronation Control & Tight Posterior Tibialis Muscle
    • Let’s first start by reminding everyone that pronation is a normal part of the gait cycle, but poor control of the speed of pronation can cause problems. If we have excessive tightness through the posterior tibialis muscles, either due to overuse or poor adaptation to load, it is unable to respond well enough when the foot hits the ground, causing the foot to crash in during pronation. If this is the case, we see each step pulling on this already tightened muscle, as well as the fascia that wraps it and attached to the inside of the tibia bone (that spot where you are tender), inflaming the area, damaging the muscle, and leading to poor mechanics while running.
  • Bowing of the Tibia Bone
    • To further the case of this mid-shin bone pain where the posterior tibial muscle lies, we have data that shows the Tibia bone actually bowing during running. While our bodies are adaptive and resilient, we believe this bowing to be minimal, undetectable without fancy equipment, but a natural part of our body handling the forces the road gives back with each step. Where this comes in to play is with a young or new-to-running runner who decides to run through their pain. If this goes on long enough, and the runner overtrains, this can lead to a stress fracture injury.
  • Over Training – Too Much Too Soon
    • This is probably the most common reason runners experience shin splints, and most other injuries for that matter. Overtraining is the common factor of the 3 potential causes we mentioned above. As a new runner or an experienced one looking to increase mileage, a plan that not only includes a structured running plan, but strength training, cross training, and rest must be considered.

How to Avoid Car Accidents in Winter

Car accidents can have devastating consequences. Even if you aren’t seriously injured, being involved in a vehicle collision can cause long-term problems for your body, and in particular, your spine. This is because back injuries are some of the most common that occur as a result of being involved in an accident of this type. Most back injuries happen because of the extreme stress that is placed on the spine during the impact. This can cause the bones of the spine (vertebrae) to come out of alignment, the gel-filled discs between the spinal bones to rupture and there may even be damage to the spinal cord itself. All of these can lead to a range of issues from back pain and mobility problems to loss of function in certain parts of your body. Fortunately, most car accident injuries can be carefully treated, through Chiropractic care, massage therapy, Acupuncture and Physical Therapy.

Car accidents can occur at any time, but they are often more common in the winter when weather conditions can make driving more dangerous than usual. Icy roads and poor visibility are two of the biggest hazards of driving in the winter months. To help minimize your risk of being involved in a debilitating car accident, Here are some of the top tips for driving in winter.

Prepare Your Vehicle

It is always recommended to have your vehicle properly serviced before the winter begins. You should also do your own checks to make sure that your vehicle is roadworthy since elements can stop working at any time. Things that you should particularly pay attention to include:

–          Checking that your lights are clean and working.

–          Make sure that your battery is fully charged. Cold weather is harder on low batteries.

–          Keep windscreen, windows and wiper blades clean for the best visibility.

–          Keep your washer bottle topped up with washer fluid, you never know when you might need to clear the windshield.

–          Pay close attention to your tire condition, tread depth and pressure, since your tires are what is primarily responsible for keeping your vehicle connected to the road.

–          Make sure the brakes are working well.

–          Have the antifreeze tested as this will be what prevents your engine from seizing in freezing temperatures.


Driving In Snow/Ice

If you find yourself driving in snowy or icy conditions, you will need to adapt your driving style to allow for the change in the weather. This includes taking the following steps:

–          Reducing your speed. The faster you are travelling, the more likely you are to skid, and icy/snowy and even wet conditions will increase your stopping distance considerably. Keep your speed down to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident.

–          Reduce your speed smoothly and allow extra space and time for stopping.

–          Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, and don’t steer sharply as this increases your risk of losing control of the vehicle.

–          If you need to brake, try and do so using the engine rather than the brakes themselves. Lift your foot off the gas and drop your speed so that you can select a lower gear, if possible.

–          Leave a large gap between you and the vehicle in front of you – you could need up to 10x the usual distance to safely stop your car.

–          Clear any snow off of the roof of your car before your drive. If you brake, the snow could fall and cover your windshield, preventing you from seeing.

–          Remember that visibility will be poor so use low beams and or fog lights.

Driving In Rain

Driving in rain isn’t as difficult as driving in snow or ice. However, you will still need to allow yourself extra time and space to slow down and stop. Around twice the normal braking distance is usually sufficient. You will also need to plan any manoeuvres in plenty of time. Other important tips include:

–          Avoiding deep water/areas of flooding.

–          If you have to drive through water, drive slowly.

–          Test your brakes when you come through the flood.

Other Driving Conditions

Other potentially difficult driving conditions include low sunshine, high winds and fog. It is essential that you exercise caution at these times too. Use your headlights and fog lights in inclement conditions and don’t tailgate the cars in front of you so that you can see the road better since you will be too close. Keep your music down so that you can rely on your other senses to detect traffic and other problems.

If you do suffer an accident as a result of a car collision, It is important to be checked out by a expert in auto accidents and rehabilitation. Contact us today to start you road to recovery with our expert team and partners.

We are your Chiropractor near you in Millcreek, Murray, and Midvale Utah.

Understanding Pain: Why do we “pick the scab?”

The following information is from a great book meant for the non-physician to help resolve their own back problems. The book is by Stuart McGill PhD and is called “Back Mechanic: The secrets to a healthy spine your doctor isn’t telling you.” I highly recommend the book if you have or are suffering from low back pain. The end goal is to remove the underlying pain and spare your spine with proper movement and strengthening exercises. “Many back pain sufferers would experience a huge breakthrough in their recovery if they only realized that is was their flawed movement patterns that kept them pain-sensitive. Much like a scab forming on our skin, our backs are constantly trying to patch and heal themselves. We, however, by continuing to repeat harmful movement patterns in our daily lives cause re-injury. We are essentially “picking the scab.” It is unreasonable to expect the body to heal if we continue to provoke it in the same way that led to the original injury. Continued provocation of pain sensitizes the nerves so that the pain is triggered with even less stimulation.

Remove the provocative motions and we can find the solution. Here’s how pain sensitivity works: people increase their sensitivity through repeated stressful and painful loading. These muscles and joints are loaded with sensors: pain sensors, pressure sensors, force sensors, chemical sensors. Some detect carbon dioxide; some detect pain, some sense histamine for inflammation. Human joints are packed with sensors that relay position and movement information to the brain. These signals travel along the sensory nerves. Along the highway of nerves, there are checkpoints or “gates,” at junctions. According to the Gate Theory of Pain, the idea is, to flood the checkpoint with “good information,” in other words, signals associated with pain-free movement. In this way, there is no more room for the pain signals as they are crowded out. Try this: close your eyes and find the tip of your nose with your finger like in a roadside sobriety test. You are using kinesthetic sensory organs that run throughout your arm to navigate. These sensors alert the brain as to the position of your forefinger in relation to your nose. The sensation of this simple pain-free motion dominates the information traffic on your sensory nerves with feel-good kinesthetic sensory information that identifies position, length, and force. Finding and repeating pain-free motions in your back will cause the remaining painful activities to hurt less. Read the previous sentence again – it really is that important. By discovering and ingraining positive movements for your back, you will find that the pain often dissipates and then disappears entirely. This is because when we remove pain triggers and stop “picking the scab” we give our tissues a chance to rest, heal and regenerate. Simultaneously our sensors for pain are actually being desensitized. Master this, and you have mastered your back pain.

For those of you that have a known type of injury, a name to attach to your condition, your personal recovery strategy should always begin with avoiding the aggravating posture for your unique spine is key to getting yourself back on track. Various symptoms of back pain have a distinct and known cause (although this information is not widely known making this book uniquely valuable). Injuries can be avoided if we avoid the injury mechanism itself.

Here’s a recap of some pain avoidance strategies, as well as an introduction of some that will be discussed later. The knowledge in this chapter will provide the foundation that will help you: Locate and eliminate the cause of your pain- get an appropriate assessment that provides a specific diagnosis. Increase your consciousness around what movements and postures cause you pain. Develop replacement postures and movement patterns that enable you to function pain-free. Stabilize your torso, core, and spine to remove painful spine joint micro-movements. -Develop a daily exercise plan that includes walking. -Mobilize your hips -Learn to create power at the ball and socket joints (hips and shoulders). -Learn exercises that are based on patterns of movement: push, pull, lift, carry, lunge, squat, etc. -Make healthy spine choices when sleeping, sitting, or engaging in more demanding activities. You’re on your way to learning the secrets of a pain-free lifestyle! Let’s make it happen!

We are injury specialists and would love to help you on your road to a better movement patterns. Located near you in Millcreek, UT.

Give us a call 801-456-0352 to start your road to recovery with Vector Spine and Sport!

Do you have D.O.M.S.?

What is DOMS?

Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. is the pain and stiffness felt in the muscles several hours to days after strenuous or unaccustomed exercise. This soreness is typically felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, symptoms of DOMS to watch out for may include: muscles that feel tender to the touch, reduced range of motion due to pain and stiffness when moving, swelling in the affected muscles, muscle fatigue, short-term loss of muscle strength.

What causes DOMS?

High-intensity exercise can cause tiny, microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. Your body responds to this damage by increasing inflammation, which may lead to a delayed onset of soreness in the muscles. It was once thought that a buildup of exercise-induced lactic acid was to blame for DOMS, but this common misconception has been debunked.

Pretty much any high-intensity exercise can cause DOMS, but one kind in particular, known as eccentric exercise, often triggers it.

Eccentric exercises cause you to tense a muscle at the same time you lengthen it.

For example, the controlled, downward motion as you straighten your forearm after a biceps curl is an eccentric movement. The way your quads tense up when running downhill is also an eccentric movement.

What can be done to treat DOMS?


2017 review of several studies found that people who received a massage 24, 48, or 72 hours after an intense workout reported significantly less soreness than people who didn’t get a post-workout massage. Getting a massage 48 hours after workout seemed to work best.

Getting a massage after every workout may not be feasible, but you can try self-massage on your:

  • calves
  • thighs
  • buttocks
  • arms
  • shoulders

To massage your muscles, apply some oil or lotion to the area and knead, squeeze, and gently shake your muscles.

Using a foam roller right after a workout may also help head off a bad case of DOMS.

Topical analgesics

Topical analgesics are products meant to help relieve pain. Menthol-based topical analgesicsTrusted Source and those with arnica may help ease the pain of DOMS. These products can be applied topically to the area that’s sore. Always following packaging instructions about how much and how often to apply.

Cold bath

2016 review of studies found that a 10- to 15-minute full-body immersion in a cold water bath (50–59°F or 10–15°C) lessened the degree of DOMS.

Cold baths have become a popular self-treatment for competitive athletes.

Warm bath

Does an ice bath sound extreme? Try a soak in a warm tub, instead. Moist heat wraps or a warm bath trusted source ease the pain and stiffness that come with DOMS.

Anti-inflammatory foods

More research is needed, but some trusted source suggest that eating certain foods or taking certain supplements may help ease DOMS. Some of the supplements being Tart cherry juice 1oz. per day or 1000mg of vitamin C can help reduce the length and intensity of the muscle soreness.

Learn what kinds of foods to eat after a workout to support optimal muscle recovery.

Do over-the-counter pain relievers help?

According to research published in 2000, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil), don’t do much to relieve DOMS pain.

When to seek medical help

DOMS rarely requires a trip to the doctor. But the American Council on Sports Medicine recommends you see a doctor or nurse practitioner if the pain from DOMS stops you from doing your normal daily activities.

You should also seek medical attention right away if:

  • your DOMS lasts longer than 7 days
  • your urine becomes abnormally dark
  • you have severe swelling in your arms and legs

Sharp pain, muscle spasms, and numbness and tingling are different from the dull ache of muscle soreness. Talk with your doctor right away if you feel any of these symptoms after working out.

Here at Vector Spine and Sport we work with you to recover from pain and injuries that happen to all athletes weather you are just getting into it or if you are a seasoned pro. We love to give you the tools recover and get back to doing what you love. We are your local Millcreek, UT chiropractor. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us or give us a call at (801) 456-0352.

Do You Have Knee Pain?

Knee pain is a common problem. The location of the pain, as well as what activities aggravate the knee pain are very important in proper diagnosis and treatment of the pain you are experiencing.

Not only can knee pain affect your ability to walk, run, or carry out your usual activities. Knee pain can also really affect your sleep. There may be general aches, leg pain with movements, restricted movements, swelling, sharp pain etc.

So let’s talk about some of the more common causes of pain by location

Back of the Knee pain

Bakers Cysts

Swelling that develops in the popliteal bursa at the back of the knee. This is one of the most common causes of pain behind the knee.

What are the symptoms of a bakers cyst? Small bulge (like a water balloon) behind the knee, tightness and pain behind the leg, pain while walking and kneeling.

Knee Sprain

Knee sprains happen commonly form over stretching one or more of the ligaments or tendons, which can result in a full or partial tear of the tissue.

What are the symptoms of a knee sprain? pain, swelling, bruising, decreased knee movement, pain with passive movements.

Posterior Meniscal Tear

A tear in the meniscus cartilage at the back of the knee. Causes are sudden twisting, a force through the knee or a gradual wear and tear type of injury.

What are the symptoms of a posterior meniscal tear? swelling, locking, pain behind the knee with extension, pain with walking, running, squatting & going up stairs.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

A DVT is a blood clot in the deep leg veins. If it breaks off it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Causes are prolonged inactivity, certain medications, pregnancy, obesity, and genetics.

What are the Symptoms of a DVT? Pain behind the knee or in the calf, swelling, redness, warmth usually only in one leg.

Warning! A DVT is a potentially life-threatening condition. If you are showing symptoms or suspect you might have a DVT seek immediate medical attention.

Hamstring Injury

Overstretching the hamstring muscles can cause pain in the back of the knee. It may also tear the muscles. Causes can be sudden and fast movements such as springing, lunging and jumping.

What are the symptoms of hamstring injury? aching behind the knee or thigh, sharp pain behind the knee. Worse when bending the knee or with acceleration of deceleration movements.

Front of the knee

Runners Knee

This is the most common cause of knee pain from running the diagnosis that is most commonly associated with this is patellofemoral pain syndrome. The problem is that the patella is having problems with its tracking. Most commonly the patella tracks laterally.

What are the symptoms of “Runners Knee”? Gradual onset and come and go depending on your activities. It can feel sharp at times, dull ache, Stabbing, Burning all worse with movements.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB Syndrome)

One of the most common causes of lateral (outside) knee pain. Usually due to tightness, friction and inflammation of the IT band, which is a thick band of connective tissue on the outside of the thigh.

What are the symptoms of Iliotibial band syndrome? Lateral knee pain on the outer side of the knee that radiates up the thigh.

Jumpers Knee

This is the common name for infrapatellar tendonitis. Which is tiny tears and resulting inflammation of the infrapatellar tendon from overuse. The infrapatellar tendon sits below the patella as the name suggest.

What are the symptoms of infrapatellar tendonitis? the area just below the patella “knee cap”, stiffness and knee pain after running, jumping and other ballistic activities.

Knee Bursitis

Around the knee there are a number of bursa, which are small fluid filled sacs that sit between tendons and boney spots to prevent friction. these can get irritated from repetitive actions, which leads to inflammation and pain.

What are the symptoms of knee bursitis? The symptoms are varied depending on which bursa is affected. Typically they include pain swelling, redness and limited knee range of motion.

What Treatments are there?


Chiropractic care is a great non-surgical avenue to pursue to knee pain. As musculoskeletal specialists, chiropractors have great results with treating this type of conditions. Through the use of chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy or muscle work, deep tissue laser therapy and therapeutic exercises we are able to greatly reduce and in some cases eliminate the symptoms.


Acupuncture is another great option that is used to treat sciatic pain. The goal with acupuncture is to calm the central nervous system as well and release tension in the muscles surrounding the spine. Acupuncturists seek to balance the flow of energy pathways in the body through pathways called meridians and reduce inflammation which is can aggravate many conditions.

Physical therapy 

Physical therapy helps to reduce pain through specific exercises to stabilize the knee, hip and ankle and increase function. Here in the office we use rehabilitation exercises to help fix the issues so you can get back to having fun. If we do not have the tools to get you better we have the contacts that do.

Steroid injections 

Steroid injections can be beneficial for short term reduction in pain when it comes to sciatic pain. This can be expensive and is not a good long term option as their are increased risks associated with multiple injections with steroids.

Activity modification 

Activity modification is another way to reduce pain as well as stay out of pain. In modern day society in general we do not move as much as we should. Making simple changes throughout our day can make huge differences. Research suggests that we should be taking micro breaks through our day so that we are not in one position too long. This can be as simple as standing up and walking around our desk at work or shifting the hips side to side and forward and back while driving in the car.

We at Vector Spine and Sport are committed to helping you get feeling better and fixing the issue if we are able to. If you have questions or concerns please contact us at (801) 456-0352.

Do you have elbow pain?

Elbow pain can have many causes.

Golfers elbow, tennis elbow are the common names for lateral and medial epicondylitis. Which is caused by irritation of the common flexor or extensor tendons of the forearm. This irritation is usually caused by the eccentric contraction which is the motion of an active muscle while it is lengthening under load.

What can you do for epicondylitis?

You can use braces. This is a temporary solution to your elbow pain. It does feel good to have this brace compressing your elbow. If you get some relief from using one of these braces, it is a great tool to use so that you are not aggravating the elbow. But it will not fix the problem.

Using Ice and heat can also be useful for reducing pain and inflammation in the elbow. The research suggests that the most benefit from both ice and heat is about 20 minutes. I suggest alternating between ice and heat. Using an ice cube or freezing water in a small paper cup and using that to massage the elbow using it until it it nice and numb, then using a hot pack or heating pad to heat the elbow up. What does this do to the elbow? The ice constricts the blood vessels and causes some tightening of muscles, pushing inflammation out into the bloodstream and then the heat dilates the blood vessels and moves the inflammation away from the elbow.

Muscle work is also useful when addressing elbow pain. Because muscles are the ones doing the work, they can also be the ones causing the problem. Working on them only makes sense. Using self massage, instrument assisted massage, and massage therapy to reduce pain and prepare the soft tissues to be able to work and strengthen the areas that need to be stronger.

Using a FlexBar to strengthen the muscles in the forearm is going to help fix the problem so that this does not become a chronic issue. The exercise is fairly simple: 1. Hold Flexbar in the involved (hurt) hand maximum wrist extension. 2. Grab the other end of the FlexBar with the Uninvolved hand (uninjured) hand. 3. Twist Bar with non-involved wrist while holding the involved wrist in extension. 4. Bring arms in front of the body with elbows in extension while maintaining the twist. 5. Slowly allow Flex bar to untwist by allowing involved wrist to move into flexion.

What else is there that can help?

Deep tissue laser therapy can help reduce the inflammation in the elbow and reduce the pain. This is safer than taking NSAIDs and it is able to focus the anti inflammation benefits to the elbow more that taking the NSAIDs which once in the system are all over the body. Deep tissue laser works by stimulating the mitochondria of the cell to increase ATP production and bringing heat deep into the body more that the use of a hot pack or heating pad.

If you have any questions about lateral or medial epicondylitis please contact us at Vector Spine and Sport. We are located in the Old Farm Professional Plaza in Millcreek Utah.

Shoulder pain.

When it comes to the shoulder the most common injuries or conditions are sprains and strains, rotator cuff tears, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis.

The shoulder is made up of three bones: your upper arm (humerus), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your collarbone (clavicle). The upper arm bone fits into a rounded socker on the shoulder blade called the glenoid. The combination of muscles and tendons keeps humerus centered in your shoulder socket. These tissues are call the rotator cuff which are made up of 4 muscles: Supraspinatus, this holds your humerus in place and helps you lift your arm. Infraspinatus, This in muscle lets you rotate and extend your shoulder. Teres Minor, this is the smallest rotator cuff muscle and is used to assist with external rotation (rotation away from your body). Subscapularis, This holds your upper arm to your glenoid and helps rotate your arm, hold it straight out and lower your arm.

These shoulder muscles like every other muscle work in combination with one another in all the ranges of motion and keep the joint where it is supposed to be. Sometimes there is a miscommunication or injury that causes you to change the way the muscles fire and how you move. This can cause chronic issues and irritate the soft tissues that support the shoulder.

What are these conditions conditions?


A tendon is the tissue that connects muscle to bone. Most tendinitis is a result of inflammation in the tendon. Generally, Tendonitis is one of two types: Acute, from excessive ball throwing or repetitive motions can lead to this type. Chronic, this is typically characterized by degenerative diseases like arthritis or repetitive wear and tear due to age, can lead to chronic tendonitis.


Bursae are small, fluid filled sacs that are located around joints throughout the body. they act as cushions between bones and the overlying soft tissues and help reduce friction between the gliding muscles and bone. Sometimes overusing the shoulder leads to inflammation and swelling of the bursa between the rotator cuff and part of the scapula known as the acromion.


Shoulder pain from arthritis can often cause people to avoid shoulder movements in an attempt to lessen the pain. this sometimes leads to a tightening or stiffening of the soft tissue parts of the joint, resulting in a painful restriction of the joint. Osteoarthritis , may be related to sports or work injuries, or chronic wear and tear. other types of arthritis can be related to rotator cuff tears, infections, or inflammation of the joint lining.

Sprains/Strains/Rotator cuff tears

Splitting and tearing of tendons and muscles may result from acute injury or degenerative changes in the tendons and muscles due to aging, long term-overuse, or sudden injury. The tears could range from minimal strains and sprains to partial and complete tears. In most complete tears, the tendon is pulled away from its boney attachment. The rotator cuff and biceps tendon injuries are among the most common of these injuries.

What treatment options are out there?

Chiropractic care is an option for treating these conditions, in the more serious conditions such as partial or complete tears of the muscle or tendon surgical repair of the damage might be the better option at first. Chiropractic care can use a few modalities to improve pain and function with these through the use of laser therapy, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation, Cupping, and rehabilitation exercises.

Acupuncture is another great option and or co-treatment to help reduce inflammation, increase blood flow and reduce muscle tightness and soreness.

Rehabilitation is what is used to correct the movement patterns as wells as weak or inhibited muscles. Using specific exercises to improve muscle strength and coordination, reduces the chance of reinjury and improves the long term outcomes for the condition.


May is Veteran appreciation month.

Here at Vector Spine and Sport we give back to the veteran community by working as one of the VA approved providers for the VA community care partners. What this means is that for veterans who are seen at the VA medical center who are unable to get an appointment to see the VA chiropractor in a reasonable amount of time, can choose to been seen at a participating chiropractor.

Veterans put their bodies through the ringer, with the training they go through and in the line of duty. Many accumulate lots of little injuries and sometimes large injuries that cause the veteran to compensate to avoid pain which can reinforce poor movement patterns. The changes in movement patterns given time can cause imbalances in musculature that could lead to chronic pain and decrease in quality of life.

Through the VA community care we are able to see veterans who would benefit from chiropractic therapies and massage therapy. We enjoy working with those who have served our country, helping them have a higher quality of life. If you or a loved one have any questions about how to start this process, please feel free to call or message us. (801) 456-0352 or at

Do you have a Sprained Ankle?

What is an ankle sprain?

Ankle sprains are injuries that occur when the ankle is rolls, twists and or turns and the body is not prepared or is not able to correct the movement. This can over stretch or tear the tough bands of tissue called ligaments that help stabilize and hold the ankle together.

Ligaments help stabilize joints, by preventing excessive movement. A ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments are forced beyond their normal range of motion. The most common type of ankle sprain cause damage to the lateral or outside of the ankle.

Treatments for ankle sprains depends on the severity of the injury. Self care measures and over the counter pain medications may be all you need, a medical evaluation might be necessary to reveal how badly you have injured your ankle and determine the proper course of treatment.

Brief video of the anatomy of the ankle

What helps speed up recovery?

The P.O.L.I.C.E. principle is one of the newer approaches to acute injury treatment in general. For many years R.I.C.E. principal to manage acute injuries was the go to, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. A couple of problems with the
R.I.C.E. treatments are that it really hasn’t been proven to work like we think, some experts suggest that ice being applied initially after an injury actually impedes the normal healing process. another problem is that many people take the “rest” phase too far. often after acute injury, a little bit of rest is necessary. But you may feel compelled to rest your injured muscle or joint for far longer than is actually necessary. Long periods of immobilization can lead to decreased muscle strength and flexibility. which could lead to delays in normal functional mobility and activity.

So what does P.O.L.I.C.E. stand for?

Protection: During the first few days after an injury, you should certainly rest the injured joint, ligament, or muscle. After a few days, gentle motion can be started while you still maintain a level of protection for the injured area.

Optimum Loading: While you are protecting your injured body part, gentle motion can, and should, be started. For example, after a ankle injury, you should be able to progress from a few days of rest to passive range of motion, active ranges of motion, and finally, This progressive loading of your injury can help promote optimal healing of the injury, and it can prevent delays in returning to normal due to joint and muscle tightness or muscle atrophy.

Ice: Applying ice may help to manage the swelling around your injured muscle or joint, and ice can help decrease some of the acute pain that you may be experiencing. The research suggests that no more than 20 minutes at a time is most beneficial.

Compression: While applying ice, compression can be added using an ACE bandage.

Elevation: Elevation is simple for some body parts. An injured ankle or knee can be placed on a stack of pillows while you are lying down. An injury to your elbow or wrist requires that you elevate your entire arm on something.

The P.O.L.I.C.E. principle deviates slightly from the R.I.C.E. method. Sure, ice is still used, but there no rest component. Rather, optimal loading and movement are used. This creates early motion, decreases stiffness, and may help you quickly get moving again.


Range of motion exercises

Range-of-motion exercises begin right after your injury. Try doing these exercises then putting ice on your ankle, up to 5 times a day. These are easy to do while you are at a desk or watching TV.

Try the following simple range-of-motion exercises:

  • Trace the alphabet with your toe, which encourages ankle movement in all directions. Trace the alphabet 1 to 3 times.
  • Sit in a chair with your foot flat on the floor. Slowly move your knee side to side while keeping your foot pressed flat. Continue for 2 to 3 minutes.

Towel curls. While sitting, place your foot on a towel on the floor and scrunch the towel toward you with your toes. Then, also using your toes, push the towel away from you. Make this exercise more challenging by placing a weighted object, such as a soup can, on the other end of the towel.

Strengthening exercises

Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the timing of strengthening exercises for the ankle. Typically you can start them when you are able to stand without increased pain or swelling.

Do 8 to 12 repetitions of these exercises once or twice daily for 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the severity of your injury.

  • Start by sitting with your foot flat on the floor and pushing it outward against an immovable object such as the wall or heavy furniture. Hold for about 6 seconds, then relax. After you feel comfortable with this, try using rubber tubing looped around the outside of your feet for resistance. Push your foot out to the side against the tubing, then count to 10 as you slowly bring your foot back to the middle.
  • While still sitting, put your feet together flat on the floor. Press your injured foot inward against your other foot. Hold for about 6 seconds, then relax.
  • Next, place the heel of your other foot on top of the injured one. Push down with the top heel while trying to push up with your injured foot. Hold for about 6 seconds, then relax

Balance and control exercises

You can usually start balance and control exercises when you are able to stand without pain. But talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the exact timing. Also, don’t try these exercises if you could not have done them easily before your injury. If you think you would have felt unsteady doing these exercises when your ankle was healthy, you are at risk of falling when you try them with an injured ankle.

Practice your balance exercise at least once a day, repeating it about 6 times in each session.

  1. Stand on just your injured foot while holding your arms out to your sides with your eyes open. If you feel unsteady, stand in a doorway so you can put your hands on the door frame to help you. Balance for a long as you can, working up to 60 seconds. When you can do this for 60 seconds, try exercise number 2.
  2. Stand on your injured foot only and hold your arms across your chest with your eyes open. When you can do this for 60 seconds, try exercise number 3.
  3. Stand on your injured foot only, hold your arms out to the sides, and close your eyes. If you feel unsteady, stand in a doorway so you can put your hands on the door frame to help you. When you can do this for 60 seconds, try exercise number 4.
  4. Stand on your injured foot only, hold your arms across your chest, and close your eyes. Balance for a long as you can, working up to 60 seconds.

Stretching exercises should be continued on a daily basis and especially before and after physical activities to help prevent reinjury. Even after your ankle feels better, continue with strengthening exercises and balance and control exercises several times a week to keep your ankles strong.

Stretching exercises

Start exercises to stretch your Achilles tendon as soon as you can do so without pain. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles on the back of the lower leg to the bone at the base of the heel. Try the towel stretch if you need to sit down, or try the calf stretch if you can stand.

  • Towel stretch. Sit with your leg straight in front of you. Place a rolled towel under the ball of your foot, holding the towel at both ends. Gently pull the towel toward you while keeping your knee straight. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat 2 to 4 times. In moderate to severe ankle sprains, it may be too painful at first to pull your toes far enough to feel a stretch in your calf. Use caution, and let pain be your guide.
  • Calf stretch. Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Put the leg you want to stretch about a step behind your other leg. Keeping your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the back leg. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times. Repeat the exercise with the back knee bent a little, still keeping your back heel on the floor. This will stretch a different part of the calf muscles.

Chiropractic Adjustments

After an ankle sprain having the ankle adjusted can decrease pain and may improve your recovery time and function. After spraining your ankle the joint might can be misaligned and a simple adjustment can help increase mobility and improve your pain free range of motion.

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