Back Pain – Being Prepared for Your First Visit to a Chiropractor

Folks are often faced with this dilemma: I feel discomfort in my back, but it’s probably nothing, right? It’ll just go away in a matter of days or weeks. I probably just need to rest more or eat better.

It’s true that a handful of back pain dilemmas arise from notably bad posture, a poor or inadequate diet, bad sleeping habits or even using bad form while exercising. Unfortunately, the average individual is not qualified to properly diagnose these problems, which can often prove to be fatal down the road.

It may be wise to consult a Chiropractor at this stage; an expert who can provide extensive knowhow and diagnoses into each and every kind of back-related issue. This article aims to prepare you somewhat, so you know some of the things to expect when you visit a Chiropractor for the first time.

In the event that your back pain turns out to be more serious than just symptoms of discomfort or overuse, here’s how a Chiropractor would generally diagnose causes:

Potentially Serious

This can range from conditions like tumors, infections, a local open wound or burn to major neurological problems such as cauda equina – a rare but serious condition nevertheless that’s best described as extreme pressure and swelling of the nerves at the lower tip of the spinal cord. This is considered a serious medical emergency and may need urgent surgical attention.

Other conditions in this category include prolonged internal bleeding and joint infection.

Nerve Problem

In cases where the nerve root in the lower back is compressed or pinched, you experience sciatica. One of the typical causes of this condition is a lumbar herniated disc or spinal stenosis – with age, the general makeup of the spine often changes, leading to degeneration of the bones, muscles, ligaments and discs surrounding the spinal cord. A common symptom of this condition is leg pain. This pain is often accompanied by a tingling sensation in the buttocks and legs.

Non-Specific

This can be categorized as “mechanical back pain” in the lumbar region; also known as axial back pain, this is categorized as either a sharp or dull pain and can be either felt intermittently or constantly. It’s referred to as mechanical since the lower back pain can get worse with certain physical movements such as sports. Or symptoms can worsen as a result of sitting long hours for example. This is also a common type of back pain and is typically non-specific.

Shoulder Sport Injuries and Chiropractic Care

1361740537_7c6bbebfceAthletes and sports enthusiasts suffer from different sports injuries, the most common one being shoulder injuries, contracted during the strenuous activities and efforts required during various sports. Chiropractors provide effective treatment methods to rid the patients of the pain and suffering of a shoulder injury.

How Are Shoulder Sports Injuries Contracted?

Shoulder sport injuries are contracted by professional athletes and individuals who pursue a certain sport as a hobby. The strenuous and exhausting practice procedures, along with the constant exertion on the body, result in acute muscular pains in the arm and shoulder regions, for the sports professionals. In extreme cases, the pain spreads throughout the entire arm, causing sore and stiff shoulder muscles and tingling pain up to the fingers.

The sports which require extensive physical effort like basketball, baseball, football, etc., require the players to engage in different repetitive movements, which sometimes cause shoulder sport injuries.

Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries which are very common among sports athletes and professionals present certain symptoms and signs which help in the diagnosis of the form of injury. A patient with a shoulder pain which persists for a couple of days has a high risk of suffering from a shoulder injury which needs to be treated promptly.

Recurring episodes of shoulder pain is also a sign of a shoulder injury, while inability to carry objects highlights the extent of damage suffered by the shoulder of an individual. In extreme cases, the shoulder injury causes a deformity in the joint and damages the muscles of the shoulder, which leaves the individual in extreme pain.

Shoulder injuries also include bruises and swellings around joints or the arm region of the body, which results in stiff muscles that are difficult to move. In some cases, the patient suffers from a fever and swelling with an infection, if there is acute damage to the muscles and joints of the shoulder region. Some individuals also face difficulty in moving their injured shoulder and experience pain in the area throughout the day.

Treatment Options

Shoulder injuries require prompt and efficient medical treatment, carefully administered, to ensure that there are no further damages to the injured area. Rest and anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed by doctors to bring down the swelling in the shoulder. Various painkillers are prescribed which only serve to alleviate the pain for a short period of time. Chiropractors provide effective treatment for the shoulder sports injuries contracted by different individuals.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Mikko with dislocated should… by Aleksi Aaltonen

Sciatica, Chiropractic and Pregnancy – What to Expect

SciaticaPregnancySciatica – What is it?

According to chiropractic practices, Sciatica is a common type of pain that affects the sciatic nerve which is a large nerve that extends from an individual’s lower back down the back of each leg. The sciatic nerve also happens to be the largest single nerve in the human body. It is composed of individual nerve roots that branch out from the spine in the lower back and come together to form the sciatic nerve.

A person who suffers from the condition may exhibit the following symptoms –

  • Burning or tingling sensation down the leg
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • Constant pain on one side of the rear
  • Shooting pain that increases when the individual tries to stand up

The pain that is associated with sciatica usually extends from the lower back through the back of the thigh and down the leg. It often occurs on one side of the body. It can also be debilitating to some. The symptoms of sciatica also vary according to where the nerve is pinched. For example, an impingement in the lumbar segment 5 (L5) can cause weakness in extending the big toe and in some cases, the ankle.

Sciatica and Pregnancy

Sciatica is also a common condition in pregnant women and usually appears during the third trimester of pregnancy. It is caused when a woman’s expanding uterus ends up putting pressure on the sciatic nerve on the lower spine. The same occurrence is also known to cause lower back pain during pregnancy. The reason the condition occurs during the third trimester is due to the fact that the growing baby shifts into the proper birthing position during this time. This makes the developing fetus rest directly on the nerve which causes the mother major pain in the buttocks. The pain also radiates to the back and legs.

The pain can be constant or intermittent depending on how many times the baby changes position. However, the lower back pain may also persist after birth.

Fortunately there are ways through which a person might be able to rid herself of the pain. Some women say that a cold or hot compress to the affected area can help lessen the pain. Just make sure that the heating pad isn’t too uncomfortably hot. Getting off your feet and walking around can also help get rid of the pain.

Chiropractic and Pregnancy

There are also patients who have sought out chiropractic services instead of opting for spinal surgery for cases such as these. It is easy to see why. Chiropractic care is non invasive and relies on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Swanger_vrou2.jpg

Trevo Video

Top 4 Core-Building Exercises

PlankThe human body has 29 core muscles located in the back, abdomen and pelvis regions.  They help to give a person a stable center of gravity, while helping in controlling movements, supporting whole of the back and giving out a semblance of stability.

These core muscles form the foundation on which the movement of the body is based.  Strong core muscles tend to resist injury and form a protective cushion for the whole spinal column.

However, weak core muscles can cause a person to develop a poor posture, pain all over the body, and make the individual more prone to injuries from everyday activities.

Exercise on a regular basis can make these muscles stronger, but it is necessary to get the posture right before getting on with the exercises.

Good Posture

Good posture not only makes a person look attractive, but it does wonders for the overall skeletal structure.  Chiropractic practice pays a lot of attention to proper posture.  Correct posture will ensure that a person’s muscles, organs along with joints and bones are in their correct, natural positions.

A bad posture can result in a lot of problems for the body, following are examples of a poor posture:

  • Drooping shoulders
  • Head or neck held forward
  • Lower back arching too much
  • Sitting with a wallet in the back pocket
  • Phone receiver being held between neck and shoulder
  • Drooping forward while sitting

These postures must always be avoided.

Bridge

The person should lie on the back with knees bent.  Then the abdominal muscles should be contracted while the person slowly raises the hips off the floor then holding the position for around 10 seconds.

The hips should then be lowered to the floor and the same method repeated again.

Bird Dog

The person should get down on their hands and knees while keeping the head and neck aligned with their back. The core muscles are then contracted; one arm raised meanwhile raising the opposite leg.

Plank

The person should lie on their stomach with the palms facing down.  They should then slowly start to rise off the floor while resting on toes and elbows.  The back should be kept as flat as possible, core muscles in a contracted position and held for at least 12 seconds before lowering themselves to the floor.

Segmental Rotation

In this exercise, the individual is to lie on the back with their knees bent and the feet should be flat on the floor.  While keeping the shoulders flat on the floor, they should let their knees fall slowly towards the left. After returning the legs back to the original starting point, the same action should be repeated.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Plank.jpg

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Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

154017705_083d825445_oChiropractors that are experienced in chiropractic and pregnancy know the importance of proper back care during such a sensitive period. All chiropractors are trained to work with women especially when it comes to back conditions that are associated with pregnancy. This is because chiropractic and pregnancy involves the maintenance of the spinal column, discs, bone geometry and the related nerves without the inclusion of invasive surgery. In other words, the medical practice adjusts the misalignment of joints especially when it comes to the spine.

Any formerly pregnant woman can attest to the muscle strain that is a part and parcel to pregnancy. Researchers say that almost half of all expecting mothers will experience lower back pain at some point during their pregnancy. Spinal surgery is out of the question when it comes to the well being of two lives and this is exactly why chiropractic care is the perfect non-invasive solution for such problems.

 

Why does a Pregnant Woman need Chiropractic care?

The human body undergoes a series of physiological and endocrine changes to prepare itself to sustain a life during pregnancy. No one knows that better than expecting mothers. However, such a sensitive stage may also cause misaligned joints that are symptomatic of –

  • Pelvic changes
  • Protruding abdomen and curved back
  • Poor posture

A woman’s pelvis may not have enough room for a developing baby if it is misaligned. This is also why establishing pelvic balance is such an important task in chiropractic and pregnancy care. A pelvis that is misaligned may also cause complications during the actual birth as well. This may also prevent the expecting mother from having a natural birth and her doctor to resort to invasive c-sections.

Chiropractic care during pregnancy also comes with the following benefits –

  • Ensuring a healthy pregnancy
  • Relief from back, neck and joint pain
  • Prevention of a potential cesarean delivery
  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery
  • Reduce morning sickness

The benefits of chiropractic and pregnancy speak for themselves. This is also why more women are seeking chiropractic care now more than ever before and why health care providers recommend such services to expecting mothers. It is easy to see why. Medical specialists who specialize in back care invest more in the fertility and overall wellness of pregnant women or women who try to conceive.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: pregnant profile III by mahalie stackpole

Chiropractic Video Blog 01-10-11

Dr. Brian Wilmovsky shares with us: How Chiropractic Can Help With Migraines!

Dr. Brian:
Happy New Year for 2011, to friends and patients and people that have followed some of our work. Today I just want to share the knowledge that we have to help people out, that is the goal of chiropractic in our office certainly.

There was an article that we bring out, it’s called Optimal Health University, it is on migraines. And what we seeing with migraines is that people who take migraine medications like Imatrex, or over the counter medication – there is something called “rebound headaches.” Where the more drugs you take, the worse they get. The more drugs you have to take for headaches, it is clinically proven, we have this report here. If you’d like more information, certainly send back and we’ll get it to you from our office.

What we’re finding is the migraines are really the top of the scale of tension headaches, in literally 80-85% of them. A tension that has gotten so bad, so much misalignment in the vertebrae in the neck, so much nerve pressure, that it is now referring headache around. And we agree that results for those (this article shows) the references that show that Chiropractic really helps people who are suffering from headaches and migraines.

A lot of people that have been injured in motor vehicle accidents, that are just taking these drugs. Research is now showing us that drugs are making it worse. The drugs make you need more of the drugs. Wouldn’t be smarter to structurally fix the problem? Allow your body to heal itself.

If you have any problems with this, please let us know. No one needs to suffer with migraines. I’ve had them, chiropractic helped me with them years ago.

I’d like to continue to share the tips and tools I’ve learned over the years as a doctor to help you, your family, and friends.

And I just wanted to say “hello.”

Back Pain – Understanding Spinal Manipulation Techniques

images (21)The time comes when every home remedy you’ve experimented with simply doesn’t get rid of that nagging back pain, and you’re left with no choice but to get a professional opinion.

Lucky for you, chiropractors are well-versed experts who have been trained in the art of remedying back problems and it certainly pays to get to know some of the spinal manipulation techniques that are employed.

Spinal Manipulation Vs Spinal Mobilization 

Remedial techniques essentially zero in on a common objective – restoring or improving joint function by significantly reducing joint inflammation as well as general discomfort due to back pain. Certain approaches make use of more force, such as spinal manipulation, while others are comparatively more gentle – spinal mobilization.

What originally came to be known as spinal manipulation is referred to by many chiropractors as “high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust (HVLA). Newer spinal adjustment approaches entail a variation of existing techniques and often borrow their names from the chiropractor responsible for developing them.

Specific treatment plans are adapted to meet individual needs of every patient. In order to curb back pain, forceful and less forceful spinal adjustment techniques are administered either in a single visit or multiple ones.

Let’s take a closer look at spinal manipulation and mobilization techniques commonly practiced today.

 Spinal Manipulation – HVLA

The HVLA thrust is the most frequently used technique in spinal manipulation today. Your practitioner uses his/her hands to apply a controlled force that is quick and focused, resulting in an audible “pop”. You will be asked to position your body a certain way so as to target a specific joint.

Spinal Mobilization – Low-force / Gentle Chiropractic Techniques

Certain pre-existing conditions like osteoporosis and patient-specific factors – comfort level, size, pathology, preference – warrant a gentler approach. Also, some patients and even clinics simply prefer going with mild spinal mobilization techniques that leave twisting the body or a forceful thrust, out of the equation.

Apart from manipulation, a lot of chiropractors make use of adjunctive therapy like ice or heat. Other physical modalities include electric stimulation and ultrasound that form part of the overall program. As a patient, you need to discuss your symptoms and preferences beforehand, so that a thorough examination can be conducted to determine an ideal course of action.

Chiropractors are among the most well-trained, learned and experienced health care practitioners who serve as a homing beacon for those suffering from continuous back pain and other more serious conditions.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: chiropractic technique by Michael Dorausch

Treating Sprained Ankles with Chiropractic

4851542278_edc36ae122_oSprained ankles are one of the most common sports injuries and can become a rather large hurdle in anyone’s life if left untreated. Moreover, the longer the injury is left untreated, the longer it will take to return to the sport. Fortunately, there is a quicker way around it: chiropractic treatment. By treating your injury with chiropractic rather than conventional methods, not only does your injury heal faster, but the affected area grows stronger.

Initial Analysis

The first step in any chiropractic treatment is to analyze the area and determine the degree of damage. In case of tears or any fracture, the person is usually sent to the hospital. It is important to note that if you do not know how to treat a sprain, we suggest you do not touch the sprained ankle until the swelling goes down. In case of severe pain, a hospital referral is recommended.

Reducing the Swelling

Just like many other sports injuries, a sprained ankle should be treated with an ice pack immediately. This will help reduce the swelling until you can reach proper medical help. In the case of a severe ankle sprain, the swelling does not go down very fast and, in order to recover faster, most people seek out chiropractic help.

Without using any drugs or any surgery, chiropractic reduces the swelling fast using chiropractic techniques such as ultrasound, Kinesio taping and light Graston.

Joint Manipulation

No chiropractic treatment will include joint manipulation until the swelling has gone down. Once it has, joint manipulation is usually performed. Here, the ankle is moved slowly in a variety of motions. This is done to increase blood circulation around the ankle and subsequently reduce recover time. This is usually done to properly gauge the level of damage to the ankle and check for any possible weaknesses.

Rehabilitation Training

Once the swelling has gone down and the ankle can move freely once again, it is important to place the person on the rehabilitation stage. During this stage of chiropractic, an expert trainer will help you do a range of motion extending exercises, usually without any sort of weight/resistance. However, in order to strengthen the body and the ankle, some resistance is placed after a while.

Sports injuries, particularly ankle sprains, can become a big problem for anyone, especially athletes. Fortunately, Chiropractic treatment helps the ankle heal faster but extends the ankle’s degree of movement, allowing it to move more freely than before. Finally, it helps prevent any further injuries.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Homemade Ice Pack by Vince Viloria

- Bay Center Chiropractic
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