Conditions We Treat
Many people think that chiropractors are for back pain, and back pain only. While this may be true of some practices, the focus at Positive Motion Chiropractic is on whole-body health. Many of our patients are surprised to learn that we can help with so many different health issues. Below are some of the conditions we treat—be sure to ask if we can help you with whatever is keeping you from living your optimum life.
Low Back Pain
Low back pain comes in many forms: bulging discs, sciatica, arthritis, and muscles spasms, to name a few. What ever form of back pain you are suffering from it is disabling and the pain drains your energy. Our approach at Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos is to find the cause of your low back pain. We will take a detailed history, do thorough exam (including postural analysis, muscle testing, orthopedic tests, etc), and determine if imaging studies like x-rays or MRI are needed. In most non-traumatic cases imaging is not needed. We successfully treat patients with low back pain every day in our clinic. The treatment is always personalized to the patient. No two patients receive the same care because our bodies and our symptoms are all unique. Common treatment approaches include gentle joint adjustments if indicated, muscle work using myofascial release or Graston Technique, ergonomic evaluation, and instruction in home exercises to strengthen your body so you don’t get recurrences of your low back pain. We want you to be pain free quickly and permanently and we will treat you with that goal as our focus.
We see a lot of shoulder issues in our office. From bursitis, to rotator cuff tears, to tendonitis, frozen shoulder, and impingement syndrome. The shoulder is the most complex and mobile joint in the body and it requires exacting performance from more than twenty shoulder muscles. Many times with shoulder pain in our patients we find from our exam that some of the shoulder muscles are inhibited in their function, while other muscles are too tight, many times with myofascial adhesions. Our approach to shoulder pain is simple: figure out which muscles need to be facilitated or “turned ON”, figure out which muscles are too tight and stretch those or use Graston Technique to break up adhesions, and make gentle adjustments to the associated nearby joints when necessary. These can include joints in the “kinematic chain” such as the elbow, wrist, hand, or mid-back and neck. We teach our patients simple home exercises to keep their shoulder pain from coming back. And we use KinesioTape and natural anti-inflammatories to speed up healing and remove inflammation. We love treating shoulder pain: it is a great puzzle that we solve rapidly the majority of the time.
Neck pain can be disabling. Pain in the neck can be a chronic tightness in the muscles in the neck/shoulder region and at the base of the skull. This many times will cause tension headaches in the afternoon or evening. Neck pain can also be extremely sharp, like someone stabbing you with a knife. Neck pain can also cause symptoms that refer or radiate down one or both arms. Sometimes it comes on slowly. Other time we wait up with severe neck pain that seems to have come on out of nowhere. Whatever the cause of your neck pain, we will use the latest methods to determine the factors causing your neck pain. Once we figure out the cause of your neck pain we will go over the many different treatment options available in our office. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos we have been trained in many different techniques so that the treatment of your specific condition can be personalized and effective. We treat neck symptoms every day in our practice using gentle chiropractic adjustments using either an low-force Activator instrument, Drop table, or gentle manual adjustments. These methods to put motion back into the fixated joints can decrease pain dramatically after the first treatment and help the muscles to start to relax. We also will perform a postural analysis because in our modern society many times neck pain finds it origins in our slumped shoulders and upper back posture. With rounded shoulders and poor posture our neck gets put in a compromised position and pain and arm/hand symptoms are inevitable. We work diligently to teach our patients how to improve their posture using guided exercises and stretches. We teach our patients how to use a foam roller to increase flexibility and improve their posture at home. And we use KinesioTape and Graston Technique when indicated to help get rid of patients chronic neck tightness and pain. After a few visits, most patients say “Why did it take me so long to get in here?”
There is nothing worse than a headache. Pain that you just can’t get away from. At Positive Motion we have treated hundreds of patients with headaches successfully. The most important aspect of our treatment approach is determining what is causing your headache. There are a myriad of causes, none of which are a deficiency in Aspirin or Advil. Causes can include neck and shoulder tension, rapid blood sugar fluctuations, food or chemical sensitivities, poor sleep or work postures, and neck joint fixations, among others. At Positive Motion in Los Gatos we take a careful patient history, perform a thorough exam, and run appropriate labs and/or imaging studies. If you are having headaches more than a few times a year, you are living with needless pain and frustration. We would welcome the opportunity to help you find the cause of your head pain and provide the appropriate treatment. Your treatment will be personalized to your specific symptoms and what we discover during your history and exam.
The obesity rates in the United States are among the highest in the world with 74.1% of all adults being overweight or obese. What has gone wrong with us as a population? It can’t be the lack of gyms and yoga studios. It isn’t that we don’t have good food choices available. The answer to living at your ideal weight for the rest of your life is easy and simple. Sound to good to be true? Well, there is a catch. You will have to get educated about how your body utilizes food, what foods are inflammatory, how foods combine, etc. With an education about food and your body you will be armed with the ability to rapidly lose weight and, better yet, keep it off. We teach our Roadmap to Health classes about natural weight loss and help hundreds of people achieve their weight loss and lifestyle goals. Dr. Brant Pedersen (DC) had an “extra 20 lbs” of fat that he accumulated since college that he wished would go away. After the Roadmap to Health program, which he did with his wife, they both were back to the weight they were in college and the healthiest they had been in decades. If you have struggled with your weight and want to reclaim your health and good looking body, then your solution starts at Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos. Our program gets results fast, but more importantly creates a long-term solution to the ups and downs of traditional diet programs.
Sciatica is characterized by pain traveling from your back or hip and traveling down the back of your leg. The pain can be sharp, but most of the time is a nagging, achy-type pain. Sciatica gets it’s name because the symptoms are caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, with such compression usually occurring the gluteal muscle region. Specifically, the piriformis muscle in the gluteal region can cause compression of the sciatic nerve which runs under and sometime though this muscle that causes external hip rotation movements. Care for sciatica at Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos starts with addressing the cause of sciatic nerve pain through a detailed history, physical exam, and orthopedic testing. Most of the time the pain in the low back, hip, and leg are remedied within a few visits. Many times patients experience some immediate relief of their nagging leg pain after their first visit. Depending on the specifics of your pain, care in our office will include gentle chiropractic adjustments to help restore motion to “stuck” spinal and pelvic bone. Additionally we will use targeted muscle work to restore normal tone to the low back and pelvic muscles, this can include Graston Technique. We might also use KinesioTape to help reduce inflammation and speed up healing. Finally, we will teach you customized home exercises and go over postural corrections you can use to make sure you aren’t plagued by sciatica in the future.
There are many causes of hip pain. Common conditions causing hip pain include trochanteric bursitis, muscle strains, tendonitis, snapping hip syndrome, piriformis syndrome, arthritis, labral tears, and stress fractures, among others. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos we will take a thorough history to determine the details of your specific hip pain. Additionally, Dr. Brant Pedersen (DC) will perform an examination of your muscles, joints, and ligaments to ascertain the cause of your pain. If imaging studies appear necessary we can order x-rays, MRI, and/or CT scan. We can’t say that we have been able to help every patient with hip pain, and we advise you to always be wary of any doctor who says they help every patient. What we can promise you is that we will do our best to determine the cause of your hip joint pain and if we think we can help you we will use the latest conservative musculoskeletal medicine techniques to get you functioning better and feeling great. If we think you would be better served by another medical professional we will refer you appropriately.
“A chiropractor helping with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction?” I get that question a lot. Chiropractors, and especially Applied Kinesiologists, are trained on treating every joint in the body, including the TMJ. A person experiencing TMJ dysfunction will complain of popping or clicking at one or both TMJ joints (the joint is right in front of the ear opening). They might also have pain with chewing, and in severe cases with any movement of the jaw. TMJ problems can be caused by trauma (major or minor) to the jaw or head, grinding or clenching the teeth, or dental work, among other. The approach to treatment at Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos for all TMJ problems is to take a detailed history, thorough exam, and then determine how the muscles that move the jaw joint are working. There are four muscles on each side of the jaw that open and close the TMJ. If any or all of these muscles get inhibited, or more commonly too tight, they can cause an imbalance in motion of the TM joint which leads to pain and clicking. The treatment is simple and straightforward: we work on those eight muscles to balance them using gentle muscle work, Graston Technique, and sometimes Activator adjustments when necessary. If the patient is grinding their teeth at night, a condition called bruxism, we will refer the patient to a dentist or orthodontist for an appropriate bite plate or dental appliance.
There can be many causes of fatigue. Anemia, thyroid disorders, adrenal issues, improper digestion, sleep issues, and vitamin/nutrient deficiencies are among the more common causes. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos we are trained to take a thorough history, order and interpret laboratory studies, and help you determine the cause of your fatigue. If the management of your case requires an MD we will refer you to the appropriate specialist. We find that with many of our patients that the stresses of modern life can overwhelm their body and that western medicine lacks good solutions to help a patient feel energized again. If this sounds like you, we would be happy to diagnose the cause of your fatigue and, if appropriate, help you find a natural solution to get you feeling full of energy and stamina.
The knee is a straight-forward hinge joint and can cause a lot of problems. Whether the problem is caused by ligament injury (ACL, MCL, etc), patellar tracking disorder, iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome, osteoarthritis, muscle imbalance, or another cause, you can be sure that we have seen it in our office. Most times we are able to get patients lasting relief from knee pain through a combination of treatments including: Graston Technique, targeted personalized exercise, gentle adjustments to the foot/ankle/knee/hip as appropriate, Applied Kinesiology treatments to the surrounding muscles, KinesioTaping, and biomechanical analysis and customized foot orthotics if indicated. As you can see, our approach is comprehensive and based on the specialized Sports Medicine training that Dr. Brant Pedersen (DC) has received. If we can’t figure out how to fix your knee dysfunction and pain then we will refer you to someone who can.
Ankle sprains are one of our favorite conditions to treat here at Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos. Dr. Brant Pedersen (DC) has talk chiropractic students at his alma mater, Palmer College of Chiropractic West, about care of ankle sprains. The reason we love treating ankle sprains? Because most of the time when we address the muscle component of ankle stability using Applied Kinesiology methods we are able to get patients walking around without crutches, have the swelling go down rapidly, and prevent future sprains. All this is usually accomplished within one to two visits. It really is a testament to how conservative chiropractic care with a Sports Medicine comprehensive approach can rapidly get a patient back to work and play, when the traditional medical line is “stay off of it for 6-8 weeks.” You would make our day (literally) if you have an ankle sprain or ankle pain and you let us show you how we can help.
The medical term for this painful elbow condition is "lateral epicondylitis." -Itis stands for inflammation in Latin and therefore the term means inflammation at the lateral epicondyle (the outside part of your humerus arm bone). It can be very painful to grasp things and the area becomes very tender to the touch. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos our approach to tennis elbow is to make sure all the joints in the fingers, wrist, elbow, and shoulder are working properly and perform gentle adjustments where needed. Any fixation in normal joint motion puts extra stress on the muscles and tendons at the lateral epicondyle. Additionally we work on the wrist/finger extensor muscles to remove scar tissue/myofascial adhesions using our hands or Graston Tools. We teach you helpful home stretching and strengthening exercises specifically for this type of pain. We will recommend the best orthopedic brace if we feel it is needed to help speed healing. Lastly, natural anti-inflammatory options will be discussed that can reduce pain and the time needed to heal. Tennis elbow can be difficult to get rid of and we often see patients that have suffered through it for months, or even years, prior to presenting at our office. We have excellent outcomes with the vast majority patients we treat for Tennis Elbow.
Similar to "tennis elbow," but on the inside of the elbow, the pain is caused by inflammation where the finger/wrist flexor muscles attach to the elbow bone (the part of the elbow closest to your body). You can get this pain from much more than golfing. It can cause quite severe discomfort when grasping objects and with everyday activities. The pain and inflammation can be difficult to resolve if their cause is not addressed. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos we determine the "biomechanics fault" in your arm and correct imbalances. We utilize gentle extremity adjusting, specific muscle work using Graston Technique, exercises tailored to your injury, and discussion of helpful bracing and natural anti-inflammatories that can speed up your recovery.
The twenty four ribs in our chest and back region can cause interesting symptoms. Classic rib symptoms that patients present with include: sharp pain in the chest or back that is localized and pain made worse by a deep breath, coughing, or moving in a specific motion with the torso of the body (most commonly trunk rotation or lateral bending). The area around the rib joint, either at the sternum or the mid-back, can be extremely pain. Many times a rib that is “fixated” or not moving like it should will seem like a heart attack and many times patient will see us after they have been to their MD to make sure they weren’t having a heart attack. Diagnosing a rib fixation from a heart attack is easily accomplished with a history and physical exam in our office. However, if you feel you are having a heart attack get to the hospital immediately. The best part about a rib fixation and rib discomfort is that most of the time the relief from a gentle adjustment is immediate and almost complete. Often patients say “I should have come in earlier” or “I didn’t know ribs could cause pain like that.” We treat rib joint fixations all the time at Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos with great success. Many time after the adjustment we will use a specific taping at the affected area using KinesioTape to help the area heal and to reduce inflammation more rapidly.
Twenty-five percent (25%) of the bones of the body are in the feet. On average we walk 6,000 steps per day. If you are a runner or other athlete you could be taking 25,000 or more steps per day. If the joints in your feet aren’t moving properly then those joints, or associated joints (which are compensating and taking more load) will start to hurt. Additionally, if the muscles that support your feet are too tight or if they are inhibited in their function then you will have foot pain. Foot pain can be in the heel, in the arch, or in the toes. Our treatment approach is a comprehensive Sports Medicine approach which involves finding and gently adjusting joint fixations (“stuck bones”) in the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and low back. These elements all can contribute to foot pain because of our gait cycle (walking, running, etc) and biomechanical interactions. We also work on the muscles using Graston Technique, targeted exercise, foam rolling techniques, KinesioTape, and customized foot orthotics, when indicated. We have great success with all sorts of foot pain issues. If we can’t find a solution to your pain we will get you a referral to a health care provider who can.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of those terms you hear any time someone has wrist/hand pain or symptoms. In fact, true carpal tunnel syndrome where the median nerve is compressed within the carpal tunnel of the wrist is quite rare. 90% of the time or more, we find that patients’ wrist and hand symptoms are caused by joint fixations in the wrist, hand, and elbow, with the associated muscle imbalances. We treat the joints with gentle adjustments and the muscles with Graston Technique, myofascial release, and targeted exercises. Occasionally a patient will need a wrist brace which we can size and supply. And we use KinesioTape when indicated to help reduce inflammation, facilitate muscles, and reduce pain. The tests to determine if you have true carpal tunnel syndrome are routine and easily performed in our office. If your hand/wrist/fingers are having pain, are tingling, or feeling weak, come into our office and after a history and thorough exam we can let you know your options for getting back to pain-free use of your hands.
We can have numbness or tingling in various locations of our body. Sometimes the symptoms are in the hands or feet. Other times the tingling is in our hips or mid-back. Most numbness and tingling is caused by compression or pinching of nerves. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos we are skilled at determining whether the compression of the nerve is from bones, tight muscles, or disc bulging. After a detailed history, thorough exam, and if needed imaging studies (rarely needed), we will let you know what is causing your symptoms and how we recommend proceeding. Many times tingling in the hands is caused by poor posture and compression of the nerves leading from the neck to the hands. In many cases gentle chiropractic adjustments, muscle work using Graston Technique, postural exercises, and KinesioTape when needed, bring rapid and complete relief to patients numbness and tingling. If we can’t find a solution to your symptoms we will help you find a doctor who can.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease, more commonly referred to as a “bulging disc” or “thinning disc,” is a condition where the discs between your vertebra, either in your neck or low back, are thinning due to the cumulative stresses imposed on your spine. These degenerative changes can be accelerated by trauma, poor posture, and the stress of repetitive motion. While no amount of chiropractic care can increase the thickness of your intervertebral disc, good chiropractic care can improve the movement of your muscles and bones and therefore lead to less wear on the affected discs. We have twenty-four (24) spinal bones, and if some of these joints are fixated or the related muscles are too tight this can cause more stress on the joints that are still moving properly. This increased stress will cause them to “wear out” more rapidly. In health care we term this “wearing out” of joints in the spine as arthritis and degenerative disc disease. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos our patients that present with disc problems are given a thorough history and examination, including orthopedic and neurologic testing. If after the history and exam it is determined that imaging studies are a prudent next step, we can order x-rays and/or MRI studies to further evaluate the area. After reviewing all aspects of your case we will discuss whether we think we can help and what care in our office would involve. We have helped many patients with neck (cervical) and low back (lumbar) disc problems, but there have also been times where we have referred patients for care with an orthopedist or other specialist.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a common diagnosis given to anyone having digestive problems. At Positive Motion Chiropractic we ask “What is causing the irritation to the patients’ bowels?” And more importantly, “How do we return the bowel function back to normal?” These seem like simple questions that any health care practitioner would ask, but we find that many times the cause and long-term solution is overlooked. A classic case would be a patient who had “normal” digestive health and then over 3-6 months had a downward spiral into gas, bloating, upset stomach, loose stools and/or constipation, among other symptoms. The medical course of care is usually antibiotics and avoidance of common “trigger foods.” Many of the patients we see with IBS are having only limited results from this medical approach and are looking for answers and a workable solution.
There are many things that can cause irritation to our digestive system. These can include bacterial and/or parasitic infections, food and/or chemical sensitives, stomach acid irregularities, digestive enzyme imbalance, ileocecal valve problems, among others. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos, we are trained to help you discover the cause of your IBS. We take a thorough history and then utilize tools such as laboratory evaluation of blood and urine, sensitive allergen testing, applied kinesiology testing, and physical examination. We are always amazed by how many patients with IBS have not had a doctor perform detailed abdominal palpation to ascertain which digestive system structures are inflamed and irritated. It seems that in today’s high-tech medical world the simple and effective tools of examination of the patient by hand has been replaced with CT and MRI scans, many times with unimpressive and ambiguous results. We will take the time and steps necessary to help you discover the cause of your IBS and then develop a workable plan that will help you regain good digestive health.
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the upper abdomen and sometimes into the chest that occurs after and/or between meals. We prolonged heartburn you can damage the tissues near the bottom of the esophagus. Heartburn is significantly uncomfortable and experienced by many people in our society. There are many natural solutions for heartburn. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos we routinely help patients who have had heartburn symptoms for years. The diagnosis of the CAUSE of the symptoms is vital and often overlooked by doctors as they are quick to write a prescription for the “purple pill” or other antacids. Unfortunately, long-term usage of antacids has been shown in large medical studies to increase the risk of osteoporosis and deadly gastrointestinal infections. Additionally, using antacids can lead to improper digestive health which can present as gas, bloating, indigestion, and irritable bowel symptoms. Dr. Brant Pedersen (DC) will take a thorough history, run laboratory tests (rarely needed), and perform an abdominal examination to determine the cause of your heartburn symptoms. The solution to your pain is usually simple, effective, and free from side effects.
If anything is going to bankrupt the US healthcare system it is diabetes. We have started to see Type 2 “Adult Onset” diabetes in school children. Uncontrolled diabetes lead to an increased risk of infections, blindness, high blood pressure, heart disease, and lower leg amputation, among others. It is a serious disease that needs to be diagnosed early and treated aggressively. The good news is that there are a handful of clear laboratory and physical exam findings that allow us to diagnose pre-diabetes (aka metabolic syndrome or syndrome X) years before a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes is given to the patient. And the even better news is that there are very workable solutions that we routinely teach at Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos to help our patients stop and reverse the harmful effects of metabolic syndrome. We teach comprehensive classes each month to help patients learn how to easily take control of their eating habits, weight, and blood sugar levels. Additionally, there are some AMAZING natural supplements out there whose ingredients are backed by volumes of medical literature as to their effectiveness in combating and reversing the effects of metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes. Helping patients with metabolic syndrome take back their health using natural means and empowering them to a healthy life free from the horrors of type 2 diabetes is one of Dr. Brant Pedersen’s favorite aspects of private practice.
Do you feel weakness in a muscle or one of your limbs? There can be many causes of this. Most of the time we are able to find a simple, conservative solution to get your muscles feeling strong again. Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a powerful technique to help balance muscle tone. If muscle work and gentle adjustments don’t help we will determine the cause of your muscle weakness. This can involve imaging studies (x-rays and/or MRI) and labs, if indicated. Sometimes a disc bulge in your neck or low back can be causing your symptom of weakness. We are trained to determine if this is the cause of your weakness. If you do have weakness in a specific muscle or area of your body it is important to get that checked out promptly by a doctor to make sure the weakness isn’t a sign of something significant or progressive and permanent.
Osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease (DJD), or just plain old arthritis. Whatever name it is given, living on a planet with gravity our joints are bound to wear out over time. The trick is to have our joints outlast our lifespan. Injuries and altered biomechanics can cause joints to “wear out” prematurely. Chiropractic and Applied Kinesiology care offer a comprehensive approach to make all your joints last longer and perform everyday tasks without pain. If your not as flexible as you used to be and if your muscles are imbalanced then you will put increased stress on your joints. Whether those joints are in your low back, neck, hips, knees, or elsewhere. Our approach at Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos is to use the latest high-tech techniques to analyze your whole body posture, test associated muscles around the painful joints, and help to gentle release fixations in joint motion where indicated. We teach patients home exercise tailored to their specific presentation. These include targeted strengthening exercises, stretches, foam rolling techniques, and postural exercises. The last thing any patient wants is a piece of paper with 20 different exercises on it. We will give you two or three specific, targeted exercises that will create the biggest improvement with the least effort. Additionally, there are many well researched nutritional supplements that can improve joint health and reduce inflammation. But how much to take? When to take them? What supplements are best and which are bogus? We have the answers and can get you a workable solution. Many of our patients under care for arthritis-type pain state that they feel “better than I have in years.” We would be honored to help you feel the same.
Having pain in between our shoulder blades is an all to common complaint we see in the office these days. Many times the root of the problem is poor posture caused by tightness in our chest and neck muscles from hunching over computers, driving cars, and generally deconditioning our back muscles. The pain can be achy, burning, and/or tingling in nature and can range from uncomfortable to unbearable. The good news is that Dr. Brant Pedersen successfully treats patients with this type of pain every day (we told you it was a common problem). At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos we use gentle adjustments to help the fixated joints of the spine regain motion, Graston technique to help decrease adhesions in the overworked and tight muscles, and instruction on simple home strengthening and stretching exercises to bring lasting relief to our mid-back pain patients. Also, if indicated, we will also go over ergonomics of the patient’s work and home environment to see how we can keep the pain from coming back.
Muscles throughout your body can cramp for various reasons. Commonly patient will complain of foot or lower leg muscle cramping, especially in the evenings. Another patient presentation is cramping of a specific muscle with repetitive use, such as running or swimming. And many times woman have significantly painful uterine and abdominal muscle cramping concurrent to the menstrual phase of their cycle. At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos we have seen and helped many patients with muscle cramping. Many times it is found that the patient has complete resolution of their cramping when we give them specific supplements. These might include calcium and/or magnesium supplements, but there are many different forms of these supplements and the right combination of specific nutrients can make all the difference. Many times patients will say “I was taking calcium and it wasn’t helping at all.” When we get them on the right dosage of the correct type of supplement the results seem miraculous. Dr. Brant Pedersen will determine what the cause of your cramping is through a history, physical exam, and laboratory evaluation (if needed). While supplementation with nutrients can be the answer we also find that muscle cramp when the biomechanics of a joint is compromised and the cramping is muscle is being overworked. Through gentle chiropractic adjustments and Graston technique to help release tension in the surrounding tissues a lasting solution can many times be achieved without taking supplements.