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What is the focus of Spine and Sports Medicine Associates?

Spine and Sports Medicine Associates focuses on evidence-based diagnosis, conservative treatment and rehabilitation of sports, automobile, work and repetitive overuse injuries. We pride ourselves on treating each patient according to his or her individual condition, sport, goals and lifestyle. Our treatment is a unique blend of manual therapy, Active Release Techniques (ART), physiotherapy and functional rehabilitation. Our ultimate goal is to get each patient back enjoying an active lifestyle and equipped with the education and self-care strategies necessary to prevent re-injuries and recurrences.

What is Chiropractic manipulation and is it safe?

A manipulation or adjustment is the act of placing a gentle and specific force through a restricted joint in order to restore normal motion and function in that joint. This force creates a vacuum within the joint causing some of the dissolving gas in the synovial fluid of the joint to release creating an audible "cracking" sound. Manipulation has been well-researched and proven to be a safe, manual treatment for restricted joints. By restoring normal motion and biomechanics, the manipulation reduces pain and local spasm, increases range of motion and improves coordination and performance. Neck manipulation, despite some recent claims, is also proven to be extremely safe and effective when implemented by a trained professional. Our doctors perform gentle cervical spine manipulation on select patients after a thorough history and examination including proper screening methods. Chiropractors are licensed in every state and must pass a four-part examination with the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. and registered with the State of Connecticut.

What is Active Release Therapy (ART)?

ART is a movement-based, soft-tissue technique that focuses on restoring the integrity of individual muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Many conditions are the result of scar tissue accumulation due to acute injuries, chronic postures or repetitive overuse injuries. Problems arise when the scar tissue accumulation is excessive and results in the dysfunction. Neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, rotator cuff problems, knee problems, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, plantar fascitis and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly with ART.

When a muscle, tendon or ligament is damaged from trauma or overuse, the body will attempt to repair the damage with adhesions and scar tissue. This scar tissue is dense, tough, weaker, less elastic, less pliable and more sensitive than healthy tissue. The scar tissue eventually disrupts normal function and leads to abnormal lengthening of the tissue during motion. This, in turn, leads to biomechanical dysfunction resulting in a progressive loss of range of motion, flexibility and strength.

ART is designed to break down this restricted scar tissue and restore normal function to these soft-tissue structures. Every ART treatment is a combination of examination and treatment. Our certified ART providers use their hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. Improvement in pain and function is often appreciated in only a few treatments. Specific corrective therapeutic exercise is implemented in conjunction with the ART treatments in order to achieve the optimum outcome. In effect, we first break down the unhealthy tissue through ART, and then build it back up with therapeutic exercise.

There are over 500 specific protocols unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is an approach that is customized to meet the individual needs of each patient and is not a cookie-cutter approach.

Why do I need Rehabilitative Exercise?

Properly prescribed rehabilitative exercise is essential in achieving the best outcomes. Specific exercise will compliment your treatment and reduce the likelihood of the re-injury or recurrence by improving the mechanical integrity of joints and optimizing the flexibility, strength, stability and endurance of soft-tissue structures.

How much treatment will I need?

This is a difficult question to answer since every patient presents with a unique problem. Treatment duration can generally range from a few visits to a few months. The main factors determining how much care is needed include age, nature of condition, or surgical procedure, length of condition, treatment goals, occupation, underlying medical conditions and compliance with treatment and prescribed exercises. If we do not see measurable gains within a few weeks, we will obtain additional imaging or make an appropriate specialist referral.

Do I use heat or ice after an injury?

This is a common question and a very important one. After an injury like a twisted ankle, pulled hamstring or lower back strain, the inflammatory stage begins and lasts for 24-72 hours. During this time period, ice is preferred. Typically ice is applied for 15-20 minutes and repeated every few hours. If you don't have an ice pack, a bag of frozen peas or corn will do. Immediately after an injury, we recommend R.I.C.E. protocols - which is rest, ice, compression and elevation of the injured area.

Heat is typically applied to an injured muscle, ligament or joint after in the inflammatory phase is over. Moist heat is preferred over dry plug-in heating units. Moist heat application should not exceed 20 minutes per application. Repeat applications every few hours as needed.

What do I do if I am injured at work or in an auto accident?

If you are injured at work, contact your supervisor and inform them of your accident. If you are injured in an auto accident, contact your insurance company and inform them of your accident. Upon contact, they will provide you with the necessary paperwork to document your injury. Each state has a set of laws for obtaining healthcare following a work-related accident. In Connecticut, after an initial visit with your company doctor, you are free to see the doctor of your choice. It is important to be evaluated by your own healthcare professional as soon as possible following a work-related or auto accident. This will minimize any long-term effects caused by your accident. Spine and Sports Medicine Associates specializes in the treatment and rehabilitation of work-related or automobile-related injuries.

Do you treat pinched nerves and disc herniations?

The most common cause of a pinched nerve is a disc herniation. A herniated disc is the most common cause of severe neck and arm pain and low back pain and leg pain (sciatica).

The discs are the cushions or shock absorbers between the spinal vertebrae. When the outer portion of the disc (the annulus), wears down and eventually tears, the inner portion of the disc (the nucleus) seeps out (Herniates) and compresses the nerve exiting the spine. When this occurs, the common symptoms are neck pain radiating into the shoulders or arms and low back pain radiating into the buttocks, thighs and legs. Numbness and tingling is sometimes seen in the hands and or feet as well. If this condition is severe and goes untreated, it can lead to muscle weakness in the arms or legs.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, please contact our office so we can perform an in-depth physical examination and appropriate imaging to accurately diagnose the problem. Our office offers cutting-edge conservative treatments to help alleviate your symptoms and prevent unwanted spinal surgery. Some of these treatments include Cox spinal decompression, Active Release Techniques (ART), Mckenzie Methods and Core/Spinal stabilization.

What is Cox Spinal Decompression?

Cox spinal decompression is a well-researched conservative treatment used for patients with neck pain, low back pain, herniated discs, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, facet syndrome, spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis.

The treatment is performed on a specialized table and administered by a trained Doctor. The treatment is safe and painless and many patients notice relief within a few visits.

During the treatment, pressure is reduced inside the discs which, in turn, allows fluids, nutrients and oxygen back into the disc. The reduction of pressure inside allows the bulging herniated disc to retract relieving pressure on the nerves. When Cox therapy is combined with specialized soft-tissue release therapies and spinal/core stabilization training, outcomes are excellent and 95% of patients do not require surgery.


  • We specialize in the treatment of:

  • Acute and Chronic Neck and Low back pain
  • Whiplash
  • Accident & Work-related injuries
  • Degenerative disc disease and Herniated discs
  • Sciatica
  • Sports injuries
  • Running injuries (IT band syndrome, shin splints, runners knee)
  • Repetitive Overuse Injuries (Carpal tunnel, tennis elbow)
  • Muscle strains/pulls
  • Tendinitis/Bursitis
  • Post-surgical rehab
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome
  • Plantar Fascitis