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The owners of Synergy Manual Physical Therapy have decades of combined education and experience. We have consistent and superior results with complex diagnoses. Patients with any of the following disorders should expect great results:

Head and Face

Headaches

Tens of millions suffer from headaches in the United States alone. A multitude of causes include joint dysfunction in the neck/upper back, facilitation of muscles, nerve irritation, vascular insufficiencies, hydration/diet related, poor posture and even in conjunction with menstrual cycles. The key to quality treatment lies in good evaluation of the cause of the headache.

Tinnitus (ringing of the ears)

Ringing of the ear can be more than just a little irritating for those who suffer from it. Tinnitus can be a serious finding and more serious medical disorders should be ruled out. Tinnitus can be associated with irritation of nerves in the upper neck. Successful physical therapy treatment should focus on correcting for any possible joint dysfunctions in the upper neck.

TMJ (Jaw pain)

One of the most undertreated areas, when considering the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the cervical spine. While it is true that the joint itself is a source of pain, what we have to consider is why it fails. Most often posture and poor neck mechanics are the culprits.

Bell's Palsy

The Facial nerve is one that is key controlling the muscles of the face. Bell's palsy is an irritation of the facial nerve before it has a chance to connect with its target muscles. The result is an apparent weakness/paralysis of the facial muscles. The cause is usually viral infection and is treated by exercising the effected muscles and helping the body to heal the nerve.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

BPPV is a malfunction of the balance centers within the ear. The brain gets its sense of special awareness/balance from several areas. Otoconia, or ear crystals, that are housed in some of these areas will sometimes get dislodged, allowing the ear to send false signals to the brain. Treatment is focused on putting these crystals back into their proper position.

Neck area

Disc Injuries

The disc is a spacer type structure that is located between the vertebrae of the spine. The disc gives space for motion to occur and nerves to pass, it acts to transmit force along the spine and is a primary support structure. Injuries to the discs of the neck are very common, and can lead to pain, nerve entrapment and motion dysfunctions. It is important to settle down a flare-up, normalize joint mechanics, and decrease a pain-spasm cycle from perpetuating the symptoms.

Joint Pain

Patients use many words to describe joint dysfunctions. They may say things like "my neck is stiff" or "stuck" or "my joint is out." The fact is that the joints of the neck are painful and cause more than just stiffness if they are not functioning well.

Muscular Pain

The cause of muscular pain in the neck is almost limitless. Injuries such as whiplash, falls, and stress, as well as poor or prolonged postures, are just some of the more frequently seen. Treatment cannot just focus on doing a few band exercises in a gym or a hot pack if it is to be effective. Treating the affected joints and muscles with a hands-on approach, decreasing pain with modalities, and correcting for postural abnormalities or muscular asymmetries, is vital.

Whiplash

Automobile accidents can be very serious, even if speeds are low. Vehicles weigh far more than a human and Mr. Newton's explanation of what happens to the energy of a moving body helps us to understand these injuries. Simply stated the energy from a moving vehicle has to go somewhere once it collides with something. Unfortunately humans are not equipped with the ligaments, muscles, or joints strong enough to withstand such trauma without injury. Treatment is largely determined by the thorough evaluation, which allows the therapist to target the damaged areas and not just treat blindly.

Shoulder area

Bursitis

A bursa is a sac-like structure that fills with fluid, like a heel blister, to decrease friction or stress to a tissue. Bursa sacs are often located where tendons from muscles attach to bones. Several bursas are strategically located around our joints to help to act to decrease stress as abnormal forces arise. To treat the bursitis, you must evaluate why the bursa is inflamed and reduce that particular stress.

Rotator Cuff strain/tear

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that arise from the shoulder blade and attach to the upper arm bone. The purpose of these muscles is to coordinate the motions of the shoulders, as the larger muscles do the major lifting. Damage to any of these muscles decreases the quality and quantity of shoulder motions. Successful treatment addresses weakness, coordination and ROM of the shoulder, upper back, shoulder blade, clavicle and neck.

Labrum tear

The labrum is a gasket-like structure that makes the "socket" part of the "ball and socket" shoulder joint more stable. If damaged the shoulder becomes inherently less stable. The result is a "sloppy" shoulder that is weak, overly mobile, and painful. Strengthening the shoulder is the first line of defense. If surgery is necessary, rehabilitation is vital to decrease the risk of further recurrence.

Bone spurs/subacromial decompression

There is a rule, Wolfe's Law, which dictates that bone grows based on the stresses on it. If the shoulder's mechanics break down, the result is abnormal stress on the bones of the shoulder and a spur develops to protect the bone. Subacromial decompression surgery is often used to remove the spur and a quality therapist will address the faulty shoulder mechanics.

Elbow area

Tendonitis

Tendonitis is a word that describes the inflammation of any tendon about the elbow. Several layman's terms are used to describe different tendon groups; golfers elbow, tennis elbow and pitchers elbow are common examples. The key to treatment is to determine why the tendon is inflamed and not forget that the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand all have possible effects on the tendons of the elbow.

Ligament Sprains

Ligaments attach bones to other bones. A fall to an out stretched hand can cause damage to the ligaments of the elbow. Treatment is focused on re-establishing normal joint mechanics, decreasing pain and increasing stability with exercises.

Bursitis

Olecranon bursitis is an inflammation of a sac-like structure that protects the bony portion of the back of the elbow. The bursa can swell due to acute (fall) or chronic (frequent low level pressure on the bone). Treatment is centered on protecting irritated tissues, facilitating healing with modalities and maintaining normal joint mechanics as the body heals itself.

Ulnar neuritis

One of the three major nerves of the upper arm, the ulnar nerve, is vulnerable to injury as it passes through the elbow. Commonly called the "funny bone," this nerve can be crushed in its groove, stretched due to injury or fractioned due to neck, shoulder, elbow or wrist/hand dysfunctions. Treatment includes addressing the dysfunctions of the upper quadrant to unload the nerve while the body heals it.

Wrist and Hand

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The ligaments and bones of the hand form a tunnel, through which, the median nerve passes. Friction, swelling, or crushing of this nerve is possible with prolonged wrist positions, hand injuries or even from nerve tension problems all the way up to the neck. Re-establishing the nerves ability to glide or "floss," normalizing joint mechanics throughout the upper quadrant and educating the patient about ergonomic stresses are vital components for successful recovery.

Fractures

Humans are strongly reliant on our hands. Small bones allow for a great range of flexibility and maneuverability, but are easily damaged or broken with falls or injury. The body does a beautiful job of healing and most injuries should heal in 6-8 weeks. The goal of treatment is to facilitate healing with modalities and progress to life specific skills as the injury progresses.

Cyclist Palsy

Colorado Springs is a haven for cycling. Both road and off-road bikes require the rider to steer via pressure through the hands. A nerve in the palm, the ulnar nerve, is sometimes smashed with the frequent pressures on the handle bars. Protection of the nerve and treatments to facilitate the nerves recovery is the treatment of choice.

Thoracic Spine area

Thoracic Pain

It is very common for patients to describe pain between the shoulder blades or in the mid back. Many times we find the thoracic spine is compensating for areas of the spine above or below it. Lack of mobility in the neck or back or slumping postures can make the joints and muscles of the thoracic spine less effective at stabilizing the region. Correction of the neck or back mechanics in conjunction with correction of the local dysfunction in the mid back is largely effective.

Rib dysfunction

The 24 ribs (12 on either side) are required to move with breathing and during spinal motions. A rib can either move normally, too much (hypermobile) or too little (hypomobile). Treatment of a dysfunctional rib may include manipulations, exercises for the gym and at home, intramuscular needle therapy and modalities to aid in tissue re-education.

Muscular Strains

Muscular strains or pain in the mid back are one of the most common complaints we encounter. Treating the underlying joints, ribs and even nerves helps the muscle to heal. Moreover, a thorough evaluation of the neck or lumbar spine may determine the root of the problem, as stiffness above or below the pain may be the cause of excessive motion.

Lumbar Spine area

Lumbar Disc injuries

Most Americans suffer from low back pain, at least occasionally. Like the discs of other parts of the spine, the discs of the lumbar spine are spacer-type structures and primary stabilizers against the extremes of motion. The space provided by a disc allows for motion of the spine and the dissipation and transmission of forces. The discs of the low lumbar spine are especially vulnerable to lifting, bending and twisting injuries. In the event of an injury to a disc, or a flare up of one previously damaged, efforts must be made to decrease the acute pain, correct for pathological motion mechanics that can perpetuate the injury and re-establish normal life functions.

Stenosis

Stenosis simply means narrowing. Stenosis of the spine is a narrowing of any of the three holes, foramen as they are termed, through which either the spinal cord or the peripheral nerves pass. Several structures can decrease the space around the nerves: bone spurs (osteophytes), disc bulge, inflammation from a disc bulge, spondylolisthesis (vertebral slippage) are examples. The result is compression or impingement of the spinal nerves.

Back pain or stiffness

The spine moves because it has joints, which allow motion. The anatomy in this region is usually less known by patients who are surprised that the lumbar spine has 12 different joints. That said, many problems/pain come from a lack of proper mechanical mobility of the spine. Manipulations prove vital in restoring motion, but must be followed with balance drills and muscular reeducation to make the changes last.

SI Joint Dysfunction

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is the junction of the lumbar spine and pelvis. This area has the amazingly strong ligaments and sturdy bones, which should tell us one thing, which is, this area has vital roles of supporting the spine/body. If dysfunctions occur in the SI joint, pain, weakness, inflexibility and often times other body pains soon follow. We often treat SI joint problems in conjunction with lumbar, hip, pelvic, knee or thoracic dysfunctions.

Hip area

Hip Arthritis

The strongest ligaments in the body help to support the hip joint. This should be some indication as to the importance of stability in this region. The "ball and socket" surely does allow for some amazing motion, but the hip is stronger than it is mobile. A "tight" hip will cause premature wearing down of the joints and must be the first target in most hip patients' recovery efforts.

Total Hip Replacements

Hip replacements are common these days. One probable factor is the amount of sitting humans do these days, versus the lack of sitting our pre-industrial revolution ancestors did. Even an active person, by today's standards, sits during years of school, college, work, driving, eating and relaxation activities. Regaining motion, gaining strength and promoting better balance all prove to be vastly beneficial in recovering from the surgery.

Hip Bursitis

A bursa is a benign structure, which all of us have. When problems arise in a joint, in this case the hip joint, the bursa sometimes fills with fluid in a protective effort (like a friction decreasing blister on the heel). Hip bursitis usually owes its cause to hip/pelvis or lumbar spine motion dysfunction. Once these body parts adopt abnormal mechanics, they typically cause a cascade of stress, such as a muscle on bone friction problem. In the later stages the bursa inflames to decrease this stress. Treatment includes decreasing the pain/inflammation at the bursa, increasing joint restrictions or weaknesses and re-educate the body that the changes we are making should stay.

IT band friction syndrome

The Iliotibial band is the common tendon like thickening on the lateral side of either thigh. Several muscles attach here and the fact that the gluteus maximus is the thickest muscle the body has and that 75% of its fibers attach into this band may indicate how important it is. Along with the Gluteus maximus, two commonly dysfunctional muscles, the Tensor fascia lata and the gluteus medius, also have fibers that blend with this thick tissue. The course of the IT band runs from the hip to the knee, thus the focus must be greater than a specific point of pain.

Knee area

Ligament Damage

The knee is extremely dynamic and the ligaments are of utmost importance. Should any, or commonly, several ligaments become stretched, torn or otherwise injured, the patient will likely have strong pain and even stronger lack of stability. Surgery is sometimes necessary, but the end results are quite good. Strength, stability, balance, range of motion and function can often be returned to pre-injury function.

Patella Femoral Syndrome

The patella (knee cap), femur, tibia and fibula make up the bones of the knee. The patella's undersurface is shaped like that of a boat and these surfaces glide within the grooves provided by the femur. The patella lives within the tendon of the quadriceps (thigh muscles) and acts much like a pulley, around which a rope gains more force. If the "pulley" shuts down the rope starts to increase friction, as will the knee in this example. Keeping the patella and its neighboring bones moving well, decreasing the friction and stabilizing these changes with muscular strength is the key to recovery.

Knee replacement

The knee takes an astonishing amount of stress through the course of a lifetime. Couple this stress with injuries of various sorts and you may not be able to make it through life with all of natures original parts. Knee replacements can involve all of the bones (total replacement) or some/portions of them (partial replacement). The biggest key is to obtain a greater range of motion prior to surgery and regaining that motion after the procedure. The strength phase of recovery can be frustrating, but is surprisingly the easiest part of the recovery.

Foot area

Sprained ligament

A "sprain" of the foot or ankle is a ligamentous injury, often a result of a "roll" of the ankle. Some of the most frequent ligament injuries we sustain are those at the front and outside of the ankle. Less used terms like "high ankle sprain" or "strains" help to identify neighboring ligaments or muscles that can also be injured. Healing is something the body does very well, we just try to help facilitate proper, faster and lasting healing.

Fractures

The foot is extremely dynamic and needs several bones to be so. Fractures in the area are sometimes difficult to see, but are nonetheless painful for runners, sports enthusiasts and dancers alike. As with all injuries, you need to let the body do its job in the healing process. This may include addressing faulty mechanics in the neighboring joints, altering a training schedule while maintaining as much function as possible, and making those changes last.

Plantar Fasciitis

The foot has more than just the one arch most people think of, when they describe the foot. These arches act like bridges or Roman arches, both of which support large stresses. Normal mechanics of the foot should allow these "bridges" to pass forces from the foot up to the larger bones of the body. Once the mechanics of the foot break down, the "bridges" can't pass the forces of gravity up the chain and the foot is left to fend for itself. The Plantar Fascia is a thick, leathery structure in the bottom of the foot that can help for a while, but eventually it can fail. Fix the fascia, by taking stress off of it, not by making it stiffer with rigid orthotics.