Chiropractor Olympia shares intermediate level abdominal exercise.

Involves no equipment.
This exercise works the abdominal, oblique internal/external, iliopsoa muscles.
The purpose is to increase abdominal strength and muscular endurance.
The benefits include improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Begin lying on floor.
Lift knees so that a 90º position is attained at hip and knees. Place hands beside ears. Activate core.
Lift shoulder off floor approximately 6 inches attempting to bring elbow toward opposite opposite knee so that both simultaneously meet.

Return to start position and repeat on opposite side. Continue alternating sides until recommended repetitions are complete.

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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.

Kids and Chiropractic Tests

_MG_7609Every chiropractor you meet will say that kids shouldn’t suffer from backaches, period – that is unless they suffer from back conditions. Those who deal with kids and chiropractic services will agree, which is why most medical specialists often carry out the following tests to determine why a child who is in the prime of his youth shouldn’t yell every time he bends over to pick up his favorite toy.

X-Rays – A doctor might recommend an x-ray of the child’s spine in order to make it possible for him to examine it from all angles. The exam will show any potential deformities, vertebral displacements or any other problem that might be causing discomfort to the child.

CT Scans – A CT, or Computed Tomography, scan will be necessary if the medical specialist needs to see a full 3D scan of the child’s spine. CT scans allows doctors to analyze anomalies that might not be visible on 2D x-ray scans. This is also why CT scans are so valuable in assessing complex structures in the spine or any small fractures that will not show up in an x-ray.

Bone Scans – Kids and chiropractic practices also use bone scans to diagnose any issues with a patient’s spine.  This test uses a special substance that is injected into a vein. A special camera is used to see where it is picked up. The test is successful in detecting a number of spinal anomalies such as tumors, infections, inflammations and fractures. Medical specialists will also recommend bone scans if the cause of a backache cannot be determined by an x-ray.

MRI – MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a very valuable technique in diagnosing back issues in kids and chiropractic cases in children. Since MRI scans show both tissue and bone this doesn’t come as a surprise.

Professional chiropractors are of the opinion that pediatric backache does not normally carry a diagnosis so parents need not worry about making their kids go through a plethora of imaging tests. Special tests such as the ones mentioned are only necessary if a child’s condition worsens or if he/she was involved in an accident.

It is also best that parents care about their kids’ well being by educating them on better ways to take care of themselves. Kids and chiropractic practices can only go so far to ensure that your child’s back is healthy enough to facilitate his growth.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Teenagers at Play (6768191473).jpg

Risks of Leaving the Sciatica Untreated

9605942387_6e2293b844Sciatica is very painful medical condition in which the patient experiences extreme pain and tingling sensations in his back, hip, legs and thighs. The pain is caused as a result of pressure exerted on the nerves, either due to any inflammation in the vertebra or the narrowing of the spinal canal. Piriformis syndrome, lumber spinal stenosis and spinal disc herniation are common causes of sciatica pain in individuals. Chiropractic treatment is highly effective for relieving the patients of the painful condition.

Why Is Prompt Identification And Treatment Important?

It is very important for patients to recognize the symptoms and seek professional medical assistance for their sciatica condition. The doctor takes prompt prescribed tests to identify the cause of the sciatica pain in order to focus his attention on the specific treatment required for the condition.

If a patient does not seek medical assistance for his sciatica problem, it may result in exaggerating his condition with the period of time. A number of possible problems can arise for the patient besides the continuous pain in the back and the hip region.

Permanent Nerve Damage

Patients who do not seek prompt medical help for their sciatica run a high risk of suffering from permanent nerve damage. In case of a permanent damage to the sciatica nerve, the patient will experience excruciating pain in the back and legs, which will not be alleviated to a satisfactory level, even with the use of pain relieving medication.

The different treatment methods like water and physical therapy become extremely painful for the patient because of his severe nerve damage.

Paralysis in the Affected Limb

The patient experiences a loss of feeling in the affected limb, which in some cases also leads to difficulty in movement, and ultimately paralysis. The affected leg becomes devoid of all sensation and movement, hampering the patient already troubled with the excruciating pain.

Loss of Bladder Control

Patients who do not get medical treatment for their sciatica problem can experience a loss of control in their bladder and bowels. This adds to the problems already faced by the patient while dealing with his sciatica condition.

A pressurized sciatica nerve causes severe pain, tingling and numbing sensations in the legs and thighs, and cramps along with fever. Patients should seek prompt medical assistance for the correct identification and treatment of sciatica before the condition becomes incurable. Chiropractic treatment is considered as very effective for the treatment of sciatica pain in individuals.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Leg pain by The Clear Communication People

Chiropractic for Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)

8274285848_a550a961f8_oThe Basics of Chiropractic

Chiropractic involves a hands-on treatment of musculoskeletal concerns by focusing on the structure of the body and paying close attention to the spine. Adopting a high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) therapeutic stance, it is a popular choice for problems of back and neck pain. A high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) involves a short but quick thrust of pressure to a selected skeletal joint.

Chiropractic and the Neck

Several studies indicate the effectiveness of this technique for alleviating neck problems. When seventy patients underwent different treatments for their neck pain, with a handful of them receiving the chiropractic HVLA manipulation, results indicated the success of HVLA thrusts in reducing neck pain when at rest and increasing the range of cervical motion.

Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)

Causes

Car accident is the most common cause for a WAD. At the time of a motor collision, the body is unprepared to save you from the sudden jerk. A sudden head movement results in an acceleration and deceleration of the neck. This can lead to several different types of injuries, ranging from minor strains to permanent damage.

Spillover Effects

When the soft tissues, ligaments, nerves and muscles in the neck suffer any injuries, the pain diffuses through to the shoulders and the upper arm. Several people also suffer from neck stiffness after reading in bed at a stretch. Neck pain can also be caused by a bad posture or an extended period of severe mental stress.

Treatment

Neck related concerns are one of the main reasons people opt for chiropractic care. If WAD is not cared for, it can result in long term health related issues such as severe aches and soreness in the neck. When under chiropractic care, manual therapy is utilized where force is exerted physically to treat the joint structures and tissues for ease and relieve the pain.

With the use of tables that are highly specialized, the patient is made to comfortably lie down and the HVLA manipulation is adopted. The techniques involve applying a specific amount of force to the area of concern or by holding the client’s head to rotate it. Controlled and careful rotation of the neck can lessen the pain, eventually curing the neck condition. Mostly it is advisable to not rotate the neck more than 50 degrees.

During the procedure the patient can either be seated on a stool or might be asked to lie on a specialized table. The table comprises of cushions enabling the patient to lie down in a comfortable position. Based on the severity of the whiplash, the practitioner massages the neck in the direction of the stiffness.

The above is a brief overview of how chiropractic practitioners adopt techniques to reduce neck pain cause by a WAD.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Whiplash by Narih Lee

Benefits of Chiropractic for your Child

Soapbubbles-SteveEFThere are innumerable benefits of taking your child to a chiropractic doctor. Several of very serious and worrisome conditions that your child suffers from can be dealt with under this conservative care. The one major reason why chiropractic is considered a conservative mechanism is that it helps maintain the health and prevents it from unforeseen risks and issues.

Benefits

Several reasons worry you about your kids, and chiropractic treatments are a great way to tackle these reasons. You might have stumbled upon a few of these benefits earlier, however, chiropractic has success stories in a wide array of child related issues. Following is a list of benefits that attract parents to this form of care:

1. Alternative To Medicine– During pregnancy, women avoid all kinds of medication to ensure the safety of their developing baby from any physical or mental harm. Similarly, parents avoid medicines with their infants and young children. Chiropractic services are a healthy and active way of dealing with many issues.

2. Colic- For the first few months of an infant’s life, being in a colic state is one of the major headaches for the parents. With several spine manipulation techniques, this state can be overcome allowing the child to be at ease.

3. Sleep disturbance- Inadequate or disturbed sleep can constantly irritate the mood of an infant. Spine dysfunction is said to be associated with sleep issues and a chiropractic doctor can help alleviate the issues.

4. Bed wetting– Chiropractic practitioners manipulate the spine to adjust the functioning of the body. Running through the spine are nerve roots that carry signal and messages to and from different parts of the body. Spine manipulation can then allow the practitioner to adjust nerves that run to urinary system and treat the habit of bed wetting.

5. Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – A common psychological disorder amongst children, this is often dealt with the use of medication. The medications can have several negative side effects such as loss of memory etc. However, with a chiropractic doctor, the part of the brain that functions poorly can be stimulated through spine manipulation. Thus, conservative care can put forward promising results for ADHD.

Several other issues with which chiropractic care is effective include ear infections, allergies, asthma, headaches, constipation, cold, sore throat, body aches and many more.  The chiropractic doctor utilizes several manual therapies on the spine, and contributes to the healthy development and the overall wellness of your child.

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Introduction to Chiropractic

images (8)What is Chiropractic?

Being a type of manual therapy, the practitioner utilizes techniques, forces and manipulations that are administered chiefly by hands. The spinal cord is the center of all therapies for a chiropractic doctor. Their belief is that the spine is the central structure as it allows messages from different parts of the body to reach the brain and vice versa. Under the state of paralysis in any part of the body, it is the spinal cord that can make any limb completely nonfunctional.

Spine Manipulation

Keeping the vitality of the spine in mind, D. D. Palmer brought to life the concept of spine manipulation to deal with vertebral subluxation. It is the practice of applying varying amounts of force to the area of concern in the spine to restore normal functioning.  Palmer is popular for applying this technique to a deaf individual (deafness not present at birth) and being successful at restoring his hearing capabilities.

Subluxation

Primarily a chiropractic practitioner deals with a vertebral subluxation. A subluxation is when the spine loses its normal positioning and the neural pathway dysfunction causes a compromise in the functioning of several different parts of the body including the visceral system. A subluxation occurs as a result of a trauma, injury or even a chemical imbalance in the body.

Chiropractic’s Forte 

A thorough examination is undertaken before your doctor performs any chiropractic techniques to relieve your pain. Several conditions are beyond the realm of this care. If you have a neurological condition, then you will be recommended to a neurologist and will not be administered any care procedures under a chiropractic practitioner. Other such conditions that cannot be dealt with manual therapies include tumors, broken bones, osteoporosis and arthritis. Areas that can be called its forte are pain in the upper and lower back, neck pain, and headaches, minor injuries related to sports, asthma, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, menstrual pains and the like.

Neck pain

This is said to be the second most valid reason for paying a visit to a chiropractic practitioner. However, neck pain can be caused by a variety of reasons. Several of which can be dealt with utilizing chiropractics. With cervical disc degenerative diseases, pinched cervical nerve, minor injuries to ligaments, herniated disc disease and the like, chiropractic can be very effective.

When the neck becomes an area of concern, several other parts of the body can suffer the impact. Weakness in the arms, shoulders and hands, the tingling sensation in parts of the body supplied by the neck suffer along with the pain in neck. Therefore, dealing with neck pain with the help of a chiropractic practitioner is a wise decision.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Spine and Disc Herniation by Michael Dorausch

Video Blog on Whiplash

Diet for a Herniated Disc – Heal through Nutrition

images (19)Chiropractic treatment plans also include diets for herniated discs. A herniated disc is a back condition that occurs when one of the spongy discs that cushion the vertebrae breaks open or bulges. The condition is also known as a ruptured or slipped disc.

As discussed the spine is made up of 24 moveable vertebrae each of which is separated by a soft tissue like shock absorbers that are known as discs.  A traumatized disc inflames painfully. If it is left as it is it can often lead to disc degeneration or bulging. This can irritate the sensitive nerves that pass through the spinal column and is where the pain is at its absolute worst.

While a herniated disc can occur in any part of the spine it is more common in the back. You can prevent yourself from ever having to suffer from a herniated disc if you include the following in your diet –

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids have the ability to form collagen which the body uses to prevent or repair any damage to cartilage or discs that is caused by inflammation.

Glucosamine Sulfate

This nutrient is naturally found in the body and is important for the repair and maintenance of collagen which is the primary component of discs. It needs glucosamine sulfate to create the chemicals that it needs to repair cartilage, ligaments, tendons and synovial fluid that bathe the spinal joints and occurs naturally in the body.

Fiber

Include this nutrient in your diet and you will do your digestion a huge favor. Fiber smoothens out the digestive process and prevents any strain on discs that may place pressure on the abdomen. It also heals the spine at the cellular level. Super foods that contain fiber include shellfish such as crab, fish, prawns and oysters. Other food items that are rich in fiber include fruits and veggies such as beets, stewed or fresh tomatoes, red peppers, black as well as blueberries. Soy products such as tofu, soy cheese and soy milk also contain a high amount of the protein.

Every type of food you consume impacts your health. Give your body the chance to heal faster by watching what you eat. Your back will be better off for it and prevent any herniated disc from cramping (pun intended) your style.

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- Bay Center Chiropractic
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