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Chiropractic can help

Are you suffering from any of these conditions?

Headaches & Chiropractic

Photo of a woman suffering from headache painIf you have a headache, you're not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.

Research shows that spinal manipulation - the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic is an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.


Neck pain

Photo of a man suffering from neck painYour neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.

There are many different reasons that people suffer from neck pain. Accidents, falls, repetitive movements at work or at play and even just growing older are common factors that may lead to neck pain.

A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness.

Of course, your chiropractor will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your personal needs. In addition to manipulation, the treatment plan may include chiropractic treatments, massage or rehabilitative exercises.


Low back pain

Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.

A few interesting facts about back pain:

  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain, and that's just for the more easily identified costs.
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.
What causes back pain?

Lower back painThe back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements, for example, picking up a pencil from the floor, can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.

In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, a federal government research organization, recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.


Arthritis

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA), or degenerative joint disease, affects more than 20 million Americans and is more common in women than in men. The disease affects the cartilage, slippery tissue on the ends of bones that meet in a joint. Normally, cartilage helps bones glide over one another. In an OA patient, however, the cartilage is broken down and eventually wears away.

Photo of a man suffering from arthritis painAs a result, instead of gliding, bones rub against each other, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion. Although the majority of patients with OA are 65 and older, recent research shows that osteoarthritis is not a by-product of aging. Family history of OA, being overweight, lack of exercise, and prior joint injuries are suggested as OA risk factors.

Doctors of chiropractic, by the nature of their work, can detect the earliest degenerative changes in the joints. They see the impact of degenerative changes in the spine, as well as in the hips, knees, and other weight-bearing joints. Doctors of chiropractic are also trained to relieve the pain and improve joint function through natural therapies, such as chiropractic manipulation, trigger-point therapy, or some massage techniques.


Sciatic pain (sciatica)

Sciatic painSciatica describes persistent pain felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, down through the buttock, and into the lower leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, running from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. It controls the muscles of the lower leg and provides sensation to the thighs, legs, and the soles of the feet.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

The most common symptom associated with sciatica is pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, from the lower back and down one leg; however, symptoms can vary widely depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected. Some may experience a mild tingling, a dull ache, or even a burning sensation, typically on one side of the body.

Some patients also report:

  • A pins-and-needles sensation, most often in the toes or foot
  • Numbness or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot pain from sciatica often begins slowly, gradually intensifying over time. In addition, the pain can worsen after prolonged sitting, sneezing, coughing, bending, or other sudden movements

For most people, sciatica responds very well to conservative care, including chiropractic. Keeping in mind that sciatica is a symptom and not a stand-alone medical condition, treatment plans will often vary depending on the underlying cause of the problem.

Chiropractic offers a non-invasive (non-surgical), drug-free treatment option. The goal of chiropractic care is to restore spinal movement, thereby improving function while decreasing pain and inflammation. Depending on the cause of the sciatica, a chiropractic treatment plan may cover several different treatment methods, including but not limited to spinal adjustments, ice/heat therapy, ultrasound, TENS, and rehabilitative exercises.


Whiplash

Whiplash is a generic term applied to injuries of the neck caused when the neck is suddenly and/or violently jolted in one direction and then another, creating a whip-like movement. Whiplash is most commonly seen in people involved in motor vehicle accidents, but it can also occur from falls, sports injuries, work injuries, and other incidents.

What are the common signs and symptoms of whiplash?

WhiplashThe most common symptoms of whiplash are pain and stiffness in the neck. These symptoms are generally found in the areas that are "whiplashed." For example, during a whiplash, first the head is lifted up from the upper-cervical spine. This creates a sprain/strain in the region just below the skull, where symptoms usually occur. Symptoms may also commonly be seen in the front and back of the neck. Turning the head often makes the pain and discomfort worse.

How is whiplash treated?

Staying active.
One of the most important aspects of whiplash management is for the patient to stay active, unless there is some serious injury that requires immobilization. Patients should not be afraid to move and be active, within reason. In addition, your doctor will often prescribe an exercise or stretching program. It is particularly important to follow this program as prescribed, so that you can achieve the best long-term benefits.

Chiropractic manipulation and physical therapy Ice and/or heat are often used to help control pain and reduce the muscle spasm that results from whiplash injuries. Other physical therapy modalities, such as electrical stimulation and/or ultrasound, may provide some short-term relief. They should not, however, replace an active-care program of exercise and stretching. Spinal manipulation and/or mobilization provided by a chiropractor can also give relief in many cases of neck pain.


Sports injuries

Strains and Sprains

Although bones can sometimes be fractured with acute sports injuries, the most commonly injured structures are the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Tendons attach muscles to bones, and ligaments attach one bone to another.

Sports injuryAn acute twisting or overextension of a joint can lead to tears of muscles and tendons, called "strains," and tears of ligaments result in "sprains." These tears range from mild to severe. In mild injuries, just a few fibers are torn or stretched. Severe injuries, where there is a tear through the full thickness of the structure, are most often considered unstable injuries and frequently require surgical intervention.

Ankle sprains most often involve tears of one or more of the ligaments along the outside of the ankle. Knee ligaments, including the larger external supportive ligaments and the smaller internal stabilizing ligaments, can also be torn. The cartilage on the back of the patella (knee-cap) can also become eroded from overuse, leading to a condition termed chondromalacia patella.

Chiropractic can help with sports injuries by helping to stabilize the damaged areas and restoring natural movement to joints which in turn help to facilitate the healing process.


Tendonitis

Tendonitis

TendonitisIn those who are training too much, overuse of a particular joint or joints in the body can result in pain and dysfunction. These injuries are called "overuse syndromes." A common overuse injury is tendinosis, also called tendinitis. In this condition, the tendon becomes inflamed from repetitive use. In the shoulder, the rotator cuff (a complex of muscles that stabilizes and moves the shoulder) becomes inflamed, resulting in rotator cuff tendinitis. Tennis elbow is another form of tendinitis that occurs along the outside of the elbow, most commonly in tennis players. In golfer's elbow, the tendons on the inside of the elbow are affected.

More than 4 million Americans see a physician each year for tendonitis symptoms. If tendonitis is mainly a disorder of inflammation, it makes sense to find treatments designed to reduce inflammation. Chiropractic is a drug free, hands-on approach to lessening inflammation. With good chiropractic treatment, tendonitis can heal and the person can prevent reinjuring the affected area.


Herniated disc

Herniated disc

Herniated discFor many decades, most back pain was believed to be caused by "slipped" or "torn" discs. We now know this not to be true. Disc problems constitute only a small portion of the causes of back pain and rarely require surgery for pain relief.

What are the most common disc problems?

  • A disc "bulge" results from slight tears in the outermost fibers of an annulus fibrosis. These small tears can be painful for a short period of time.
  • A disc protrusion/extrusion, also called "herniation," is a more significant injury, when the fibers of an annulus are completely or significantly torn and some of the nucleus leaks through. A herniation can also be painful and may even cause nerve compression. In the most severe cases, the spinal cord can become compressed.
  • The most common disc problem is degenerative disc disease. This occurs when the nucleus loses water and small tears develop in it. The body then forms osteophytes (bone spurs) along the edges of the vertebrae, and the disc space narrows. If you have family members who have degenerative disc disease, you are more likely to develop it yourself, although the condition can also be caused by trauma or injury.

What are the common signs and symptoms of disc problems? Common signs of disc problems include, but are not limited to:

  • Back or neck pain.
  • Leg or arm pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Tenderness of the spine and spinal muscles

How are disc problems treated?

  • Most disc problems are easily treated with conservative interventions. Early in the course of an acute injury, your doctor of chiropractic may use several different physical modalities to control pain.
  • Both ice and heat have shown effectiveness in managing the pain of acute low-back injury.
  • Getting back on your feet and moving is critical. Typically, the less time you spend in bed, the better off you are. If you "baby" your back, in most cases, the long-term results will be worse.
  • Chiropractic spinal manipulation has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective tool in the management of disc problems, especially when combined with therapeutic exercise. Your doctor of chiropractic will likely prescribe both for you.
  • In most circumstances, spine surgery and injections are not necessary in the management of disc problems, and they often cause more problems than they're worth.

Pinched nerve

Pinched nerves

Pinched nerveIn our practice , we often see patients that come to our office saying they have been diagnosed with a "pinched nerve", or feel they have a "pinched nerve".

Clinically speaking there is no actual diagnosis of a "pinched nerve".

Instead, the term "pinched nerve" has been used as a blanket term to cover a range of symptoms that are caused by irritation/ swelling of a nerve, entrapment of a nerve structure, or pressure on a nerve.

Some of the symptoms of these nerve problems include:

  • Neck pain.
  • Headaches.
  • Spinal pain.
  • Mid or lower-back pain.
  • Shoulder pain.
  • Pain radiating down their arm or leg.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the arms, legs, or even toes.

They may also be experiencing a limited range of motion, trouble sitting for long periods of time, difficulty in standing from a seated position, problems bending forward or backward, and even sleeping in certain positions. An irritated or pinched nerve can even cause muscle spasms in addition to pain. Additionally, because the nerves control and coordinate the functions of the muscles and internal organs, pinched nerves can lead to other health problems.

There are 4 main causes of these nerve conditions:

  • Subluxation or Misalignment
    A subluxation is a misalignment of a spinal bone that puts pressure on, or irritates, a spinal nerve that comes out and controls and coordinates different parts of the body. Subluxations, or misalignments, can cause pain or different types of muscle spasms.
  • Disc Degeneration
    The spinal disc is the cushion or the spacer between the bones, and functions kind of like a shock absorber. When the disc starts to lose its height, or gets thinner, the disc has started to degenerate (degenerative disc disease). When a disc degenerates it makes the hole that the nerve comes out smaller. The hole the nerves exit your spine from is called the intervertebral foramina. As that hole goes from bigger to smaller because of the disc degeneration, it allows less room for that nerve to exit and can put pressure on the nerve.
  • Osteoarthritis
    Osteoarthritis is what they call a degenerative joint disease. Because there are joints on the backside of the intervertebral foramina (the hole where the nerve comes out), sometimes osteoarthritis can cause degeneration or bone spurs which crowd into the hole (intervertebral foramina) and actually put pressure on the nerve.
  • Disc Protrusions or Disc Herniation
    This is when the disc protrudes, or herniates out, and pushes up or comes close to the nerve, and irritates the nerve which comes out and shoots down into the arms, and the legs, and different parts of the body. Normal movements can cause the herniated disc to rub against the nerve causing pain and irritations. The worse the protrusion, the greater the pressure is that is placed on the nerve, causing a pinched nerve. (The graphic to the right shows a herniated disc pressing against a nerve in the spine. Highlighted in red.)

Pinched nerves can result from any combination of these four causes, including all four simultaneously. In just about all four of these causes, due to irritation or to inflammation, pinched nerves may also sometimes result in a chemical neuritis, which means that the nerves can be irritated chemically from the inflammatory process as well.

Chiropractic treatment of nerve problems is designed to find and correct the underlying problem, and not to just treat the symptoms. In our office, from a treatment standpoint, once we have figured out exactly what the underlying cause of the problem is, we put our patients into a treatment plan to correct the problem including manual therapy, exercise therapy and even physiotherapy to stabilize the affected area.


About chiropractic medicine

Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that our body is self healing and self regulating. All of the important functions of the body are controlled by the brain, spinal cord and the spinal nerves.

Chiropractic works by restoring nervous system function and your inborn ability to be healthy. Therefore, Chiropractic doctors by choice do not prescribe medication, perform surgery or suggest any forms of treatment that may interfere with the body's natural healing abilities.

The spine acts to protect the delicate nerves as they pass through the spinal openings to every organ and tissue in the body. Any interference with this pathway can impair the function of your nervous system. Loss of motion or position at any level of your spine can impair nervous system function. Chiropractors remove this interference by adjusting the affected vertebrae, thereby removing any nervous system interference and thus allowing the body to heal itself.

Workplace Ergonomic Evaluations

Our Doctors are available for Informative Ergonomic Talks and Evaluations that can enhance the health of employees and ultimately lead to:

Chiropractic is safe and effective for everyone from newborns to the elderly.

  • Fewer job-related injuries
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Higher performance
  • Happier employees

We will provide an interactive talk and demonstration with a strong emphasis on educating employees about on the job injury prevention.

Give us a call at (403) 282-1166 or email us at info@backtomotion.com to schedule an Ergonomic Talk appointment for your next staff meeting.

Phototherapy Laser Treatment

Phototherapy Laser delivers a safe natural treatment for arthritis, tendinitis, acute and chronic pain, soft tissue injuries, strains and sprains. Patients experience no discomfort during treatment sessions. Multiple areas can be treated simultaneously.

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