Dr Joly's Blog


Technology and Injuries



Author: Dr.Joseph J.Joly, Fremont Chiropractor

Here are two things I will confess. I don’t have a single picture of my family in my wallet, yet I have several hundred on my phone. I’ve probably sent 10,000 emails since the last time I wrote and mailed a letter. I’m not necessarily proud of this, but it illustrates how things have changed over the years. In Fremont much like most of the Silicon Valley, we have such a comfort level with technology that it permeates our professional and personal lives at almost every moment.

The changes in technology have also changed my Chiropractic practice. Entering my 10th year in practice, I’ve seen how some injuries have become more prevalent as our use of technology has increased. 10 years ago I saw more low back pain as a result of trauma such as heavy lifting or sports injuries. In the last few years, I’ve seen an uptick in non-traumatic injuries. How many jobs require the endurance of sitting 8-10 hours a day in front of a computer? Administration, sales, engineering, and countless other jobs are done on the computer. That kind of endurance sitting not only puts extensive pressure on the low back, it’s a major cause of neck pain, tightness across the shoulders and the dreaded tension headache. Not to mention Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Migraines.

Another unfortunate manifestation of increased technology has been the repetitive strain injuries (RSI) on children. Hours of video games are leaving scars on our children. It’s no coincidence that I see more children with headaches in June, July and August than the rest of the year combined. When school is out, kids spend more time on the computer or with their game consoles than they do playing outdoors. As a parent, please be aware of this. In my home, we have rules that require exercise in exchange for game time. It has worked out well for us.

The take home point is this. Technology has introduced us to the repetitive strain. RSI is as serious as traumatic injuries. They both affect the nerves, muscles, and bones. However they are treatable and I have made the effort to enhance my own abilities to treat these conditions fast and effectively with the goal to reduce or eliminate the pain while helping the body heal naturally.


Migraine Headache From Both Perspectives



Author: Joseph J. Joly, Fremont Chiropractor

There are a several types and causes of headaches. Despite the cause you want them to end. Fast! This has created a huge market for pain medication in an attempt to cover up the symptoms. While this may seem convenient, there can be adverse side affects and ultimately they don’t address the cause of the headache.
Tension headaches and Migraine headaches are usually classified as cervicogenic (from Latin meaning: originating in the neck). According to the CDC, 90% of headaches are cervicogenic. Examples of non-cervicogenic headaches are: concussions, brain tumors, and chemical headaches from the side affects of medication.

With so many headaches originating in the neck, why not look there first? Well, I do. When one or more of the seven vertebrae in the neck become misaligned, due to trauma or stress, the surrounding nerves initiate the muscles to spasm and the headache symptoms cascade from there.
Tight muscles in the back of the neck pull on the scalp. The scalp pulls on the muscles of the forehead and behind the eyes and around the side of the head. The pounding sensation is the blood being pumped through the blood vessels, under the tight scalp, and around the muscles in spasm.
When the neck injury becomes chronic, scar tissue forms over the muscles and joints of the neck. At this point a headache can be triggered at any time. Sitting at the computer for a prolonged time can trigger it. Sleeping in the wrong position can trigger it. Sports injuries or working out can trigger it. Not to mention inactivity.
My approach to treatment is to locate the misaligned joint, restore its normal motion and gently break up the scar tissue and muscle spasms that came as a result of misalignment. By treating the cause, the symptoms naturally go away. Yes, I have oversimplified this. Be sure that it takes a great deal of skill and fair amount of time for your body to heal.
As a patient and now a doctor, I have found that the use of specific Chiropractic adjustments along with the gentle soft tissue protocols of ART have lead to the best results to reduce and eliminate most headaches.
I know that I’ve become a better Chiropractor because I suffered with Migraines. It has given me great empathy for my patients. I’ve installed dimmer switches in my treatment rooms. If you have migraines you know why. The walls are insulated from excess noise and I wash my hands with a mild, odorless soap. These precautions are a direct result of my experience with migraines and my attention to detail in the treatment of this condition.
Please e-mail me with any questions or comments.


Low Back Pain and Sciatica, a Pain in the A…



Author: Joseph J. Joly, D.C.

Being a Chiropractor in Fremont given me the opportunity to see sciatica and low back pain and their many causes. The truth is that they are all different and need to be treated as such. Whether it’s related to a sports injury, gardening, or comes on slowly while sitting at the computer, or even sneezing or coughing, everybody has their own story and it’s a painful one.

Sciatica is the term used to describe low back pain that spreads (radiates) through the pelvis, down the back of the thigh and down the lower leg. Low back pain is quite common (60-80 percent of the population will be affected during their life) but true sciatica occurs in 5-10 percent of people. Sciatica is often associated with people between the ages of 30 -55 and may be worse when sitting or laying down.

The Sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It is approximately the diameter of your thumb. Its function is to carry nerve impulses from the nerve root (as it exits the spine) to the muscles of the buttocks, thighs and lower legs. Sciatica is a type of radiculopathy (Ra-dic-you-la-path-ee). Radiculopathies are disorders that result from compression or irritation of the nerve roots.
Sciatica often occurs when there is damage to a disc or inflammation of the soft tissues that surround the spine and nerve roots.

The pain associated with sciatica may be severe, sharp, and shooting. It can also have other symptoms such as numbness, tingling and weakness. Many find it difficult to get up from the seated position and finding a comfortable position to sleep is nearly impossible.
The nerve compression or irritation doesn’t only occur at the nerve root. Many times muscles such as the piriformas (in the buttock region) and hamstrings (backside of the thighs) may also cause symptoms as this great nerve passes under/over/through them. A thorough examination needs to be performed to differentiate the cause(s) of the symptoms. Remember that every injury is different and needs to be treated that way.

The medical approach is to give pain killers to cover the symptom or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling. The Chiropractic approach is to look for the cause of the pain or swelling. By treating the cause of the condition, the symptoms will naturally dissipate without drugs or surgery.