Tel: (860) 482-5479459 Prospect St,Torrington, CT

Work and Sports Injuries


Work Injuries
Injuries at the workplace commonly involve the lower back, especially with those occupations that require the repeated handling of materials, bending, or lifting. Other types of work-related injuries involving the spine or extremities can be successfully addressed with chiropractic. Your chiropractor can decide when it is safe for you to return to light versus regular duty. We communicate and work with your employer, insurance carrier, or attorney to coordinate care and help administrate your claim. Successful and timely chiropractic intervention will help you return to work sooner and more comfortably.

Accessing chiropractic care for a work-related injury warrants some discussion. In some cases, your employer may direct you to a specific provider or occupational medical center. Although that is often required when initiating your claim, you still have the right to request “your own doctor” after completing the employer-mandated visit. If you wish to seek chiropractic care for your injury, that should immediately be noted to your employer and whatever provider you were sent to for your initial exam.

If your employer does not specify any specific facility to consult for your first visit, you may call Downs Chiropractic directly for your first visit.

In some cases, attorneys will be involved in an effort to administer disputed Workers’ Compensation claims. Dr. Downs has experience in dealing with the Workers’ Compensation system and has attended informal hearings with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner’s office on behalf of a patient and/or their attorneys.

Sports Injuries
Through post-graduate chiropractic orthopedic training, sports medicine seminars, and years of experience, Dr. Downs has treated a wide variety of traumatic sports injuries. Dr. Downs has treated some NFL and NBA professionals, as well as college and high school athletes. Both spinal and extremity injuries are commonly encountered and taping techniques, massage, stretching, exercise protocols, as well as manipulation and physiotherapy methods are all available to return the athlete to action as soon as possible. Dry needling has also been recently added as a useful modality to address soft tissue abnormalities encountered in sports related injuries. As an avid golfer, Dr. Downs treats a number of golf-related ailments, and has treated many golfers over the years. Having a massage therapist available is also a valuable asset in managing sports related problems.

The tendon is the portion of the muscle that attaches to bone. Injuries to tendons can occur from recurrent microtrauma, overuse, strains/sprains, occupational, postural, or age related phenomenon. Deconditioned muscles can render the tendon more susceptible to injury, so strengthening of the affected musculature is an important part of rehabilitation. A proper diagnostic evaluation is necessary to isolate which tendon(s) are injured, and whether the injury is located at the muscle/tendon junction versus the tendon/bone junction. Select massage techniques such as transverse frictional massage, as well as specific stretching and strengthening protocols, are very helpful in resolving tendonitis. Depending upon the degree of wellness and pain encountered with resisted contraction of a tendon, the possibility exists for there to be a complete tear of the tendon, which is a more serious problem. The extent and existence of a tear is diagnosed via MRI, which can be ordered by Dr. Downs if necessary.

Most tendon related conditions respond well to chiropractic treatment, thus helping the patient avoid more invasive procedures such as steroid injection.

Hip Pain
In our experience, hip problems are often overlooked in typical assessments of the lumbar spine and pelvic regions. Many lower back problems have some relationship to a dysfunctional hip, so identifying hip abnormalities can be critical in addressing lower back problems and other sources of lumbopelvic pain. Evaluating movement patterns of the hip will point to arthritic processes or other abnormalities in the hip such as a “loose body” or possibly a labral tear. Many hip abnormalities will respond to stretching of the regional musculature and mobilization of the hip, so even an arthritic condition that is significant can sometimes improve on a functional level whereby there is less limping and less pain. Good hip function is also essential to lower back rehabilitation, so treating the hip becomes an important part of managing lower back issues as well. Dr. Downs also works closely with a variety of area orthopedists to assist patients who may need more invasive protocols for further assessment of their conditions. Exercise regimens to address hamstring and quadriceps abnormalities are also a useful tool in managing hip problems.

Hand/Wrist Pain
There are eight carpal bones of the wrist that typically play a role in wrist/hand pain. Very often wrist/hand complaints are due to a fall on an outstretched hand or due to overuse or other mechanisms of injury. Arthritis can also play a role in hand and wrist pain. A variety of conditions such as sprain/strain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and arthritic pain are all commonly treated at our office. Sometimes splinting can be used as assistance to managing a hand/wrist problem, and a variety of other pain management modalities are very often useful.

Foot/Ankle Pain
The most common mechanism of injury and symptoms involving the foot/ankle is due to “rolling” the ankle whereby the foot turns inwardly and the outside aspect of the ankle is injured. This is known as an inversion sprain and a variety of treatments can be rendered to treat the problem. A variety of splints and supports are available that are often utilized in the acute phase to take weight off the ankle, then various combinations of mobilization, transverse frictional massage, therapeutic modalities, and dry needling are all utilized to reduce pain, swelling, and restore better weight bearing status to the foot. Also important in the assessment of foot and ankle problems is the degree of normalness of the foot’s alignment and arch system, as pronation or supination of the foot can substantially impair proper function and affect the patient’s gait. These problems can also contribute to symptoms and abnormalities which translate further up into the lower extremity, all based upon compensation for poor foot biomechanics. If necessary, Dr. Downs can fit the patient with custom orthotics to reduce the distortion of their foot and provide more comfortable weight bearing, and assist in the rehabilitative process. Other common foot conditions include Morton’s Neuroma and plantar fascitis, both of which can be successfully treated with a variety of chiropractic and extremity treatment methods.

The bursa is a soft tissue structure whose lining is very similar to a joint lining. It is typically located between muscle and bone or between layers of muscle, and just like inflammation of a joint, a bursa can become inflamed and be very painful. While in the orthopedic world this is commonly injected with steroids, chiropractic techniques can more conservatively address these conditions often with very good results.

Plantar Fascitis
Plantar fascitis is an inflammatory condition involving the tendons and muscles along the bottom of the foot. Plantar fascitis is often the result of failure of the arch system in the foot whereby pronation or supination abnormalities can be significantly related to the condition. This condition sometimes requires the use of corrective orthotics or other foot inserts, which can be provided through Downs Chiropractic or by referral to other providers. Plantar fascitis is often treated successfully with ultrasound, massage, cupping, and other extremity mobilization techniques. This is a condition commonly treated by injection of steroids as rendered by orthopedists or foot doctors, so conservative options to address the problem are a welcomed alternative to the more invasive techniques. Although plantar fascitis can be a very chronic and difficult condition, it usually responds pretty well to standard chiropractic intervention.

Knee Pain
Dr. Downs has extensive experience in treating sports/trauma related knee pain as well as arthritic related knee pain. Many elderly patients who are not well suited for a knee replacement, will often seek help in an effort to manage their condition on a more conservative level and to try to avoid knee replacement. Various mobilization and rehabilitative techniques can sometimes reduce pain and improve function, and acupuncture techniques have also proven to be useful for the management of knee pain. Through palpation and other means of assessment including orthopedic testing, it can often be determined whether a condition is related to cartilage damage, internal derangement of the knee, or ligament abnormalities, all of which may require different approaches of therapeutic intervention. Physiotherapy modalities such as electrical muscle stimulation and ultrasound are often utilized in addressing knee problems.

Thumb Pain
The base of the thumb is one of the more common locations for painful arthritis involving the hand. This can be very debilitating and can be difficult to manage. We have had some success using dry needling and special thumb splints to help manage this condition.

Shoulder Pain
Other than back and neck pain, shoulder pain is probably the next most common condition encountered in our office. The shoulder is a complex joint involving the collarbone, shoulder blade, and humerus bone, all of which articulate in a complex manner that needs to be evaluated appropriately. The collarbone interacts with the shoulder blade at the acromioclavicular joint, and with the breastbone at the costosternal joint, and both of these areas can be easily injured or develop arthritis contributing to shoulder dysfunction. In addition, the shoulder blade must glide appropriately on the ribcage and finally the ball and socket must be working properly, and thus all those joints must be evaluated properly. In addition, soft tissue function of the shoulder is extremely important with the rotator cuff being a commonly injured structure. It is essential to pinpoint what tendinous portions of the rotator cuff are affected in order for treatment to be more accurately directed. Perhaps even more importantly, specific exercises are usually necessary to strengthen some of the weakened shoulder/rotator cuff muscles in an effort to restore function. Impingement syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, arthritic abnormalities, and frozen shoulder syndrome are all commonly encountered and typically respond well to chiropractic treatment. If your shoulder problem does not respond in a consistent fashion, MRI may be needed to further diagnose whether there is a labral or rotator cuff tear.

Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow involves tendinitis of the extensor mechanism of the forearm. It is typically provoked by gripping movements of the hands and there are some very specific orthopedic tests that will document the existence of tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis. This can be a very stubborn and difficult condition, but a variety of chiropractic techniques including extremity manipulation, transverse frictional massage, dry needling, ultrasound, and other modalities are usually quite useful in alleviating the condition. Since this condition is often treated with steroid injections by medical providers, it is very worthwhile to attempt to resolve the issue with conservative modalities first.

Golfer’s Elbow
This is also known as medial epicondylitis and similar to its counterpart, lateral epicondylitis, this involves tendinitis/overuse of the soft tissues of the forearm especially those that provide flexion of the hand and wrist. It is characterized by significant tenderness of the bone at the inner aspect of the elbow known as the medial epicondyle, and orthopedic maneuvers are usually very specific in diagnosing this condition. It can be treated with transverse frictional massage, dry needling, and a variety of other chiropractic protocols, and is usually successfully managed in an outpatient setting and this is helpful in avoiding more invasive orthopedic procedures.

Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries commonly involve damage to the bony or soft tissues involving the spine and/or extremities. It is important to rule out fracture in these types of conditions, but these kinds of injuries tend to respond well to routine chiropractic intervention. If a patient who has had a slip and fall trauma is represented by an attorney, we have experience in handling those types of cases and working with the attorney to administer the documentation in the case and provide appropriate treatment for rehabilitation of the patient’s injuries.