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

Chiropractic is more effective than medication or acupuncture

Dr. Brian Wilmovsky explains that recent studies show that medication or acupuncture are actually less effective than chiropractic.

Contact us for a free exam and consultation 360-786-6322.

Achilles Tendon Sport Injuries And Chiropractic Treatment

800px-03042012Ccm_gamosuma_juvenilA231Professional athletes and individuals with a specific sport hobby suffer from a multitude of different injuries, contracted during the course of their activities. Some popular sports like football, soccer, baseball, golf, hiking, basketball, etc., while highly enjoyable, involve extensive exertions which result in various sports injuries in players. Chiropractic has become a popular mode of treatment for the different sports injuries and medical conditions, like Achilles Tendon injury, dislocated shoulder and spinal alignment.

What Is Achilles Tendon Injury?

The achilles tendon is one of the longest tendons in the body, which is stretched from the heel to the calf muscles of the human body. It assists in the engagement of different activities which require movement and flexible physical activity.

The Achilles tendon is used by sports athletes and enthusiasts for practicing and playing the different strenuous sports, like football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, running, etc. Over-exertion on the Achilles tendon results in swelling and pain in the tendon which hampers an athlete from engaging in different sports activities. If too much pressure and exertion is put on the tendon, it causes it to tear partially or completely rupture.

Symptoms 

An injured Achilles tendon becomes swollen and causes acute pain whenever the leg is stretched. The patient feels stiffness and tenderness in the affected area, which makes it difficult to engage in different everyday activities. If the tendon completely ruptures, then the patient experiences excruciating pain, and is unable to move around.

If an athlete experiences difficulty in flexing his legs or pointing his toes, he might have a partial or complete rupture in the Achilles tendon. Prompt medical attention is required for the diagnosis and treatment of the Achilles tendon injury, before the patient suffers more acute damage due to movement or strain.

Treatment 

Achilles tendon injury requires prompt treatment from medical professionals to ensure that the affected area does not suffer further damage. A patient with a ruptured or injured tendon is required to rest his leg and apply ice to ease the swelling. Patients are also advised to use an elastic bandage on the leg to keep the swelling down.

Anti-inflammatory pills can be prescribed which tend to bring down the swelling of the tendon, and different exercises are advised for keeping the tendon in shape. But chiropractic treatment is quickly becoming the preferred mode to heal sports injuries, especially Achilles tendon injury.

 

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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.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Chiropractic

800px-Playing_childrenWhat is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Being one of the most commonly occurring behavioral disorders, ADHD can be diagnosed at a very early stage. Three main elements namely hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity can be the basis for this disorder and can be obvious at a very early age. Although, it is common for children to be inattentive and run around, the inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity for ADHD comes forward in an exaggerated manner.

To be diagnosed with ADHD, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders- IV (DSM-IV) gives a list of certain signs and symptoms that have to prevail for a period of at least six months. However, care needs to be taken not to engage in self diagnosis or in the process of diagnosing your child yourself. Several times, only certain traits for as particular disorder are prevalent, indicating that a full blown diagnosis cannot be given.

How Can Chiropractics Help With ADHD?

What A Chiropractic Practitioner Does?

Chiropractic is based in the belief that the spine is the central structure and determines the activities and functioning in every other part of the body. Spine manipulation is adopted several times to stimulate the joints and adjust the spine. Chiropractic doctors make use of manual therapies where they use their hands and apply a certain amount of force at an area of concern.

Kids and Chiropractic

Chiropractic is mostly associated with adults who have pain in the back or neck and visit the practitioners for alleviation of the pain. With adults, they make use of high velocity thrust, if the case requires so. However, with infants and young children, they take the sensitivity of their bones into special consideration. With kids, chiropractic doctors avoid every sort of pressure and the pressure applied is equal to a fingers touch.

Spine Manipulation and Chiropractic

The area of the brain associated with ADHD is called the reticular activating system. This area is involved in two other activities of the body – the vision and hearing. Besides the reticular activating system, patients with ADHD are believed to have an under functioning in the frontal lobe, the cerebellum and the right or left hemisphere.

Depending on the side that is your child’s strength (whether he is right or left handed), the particular hemisphere is likely to be under functioning. Based on these issues, the child faces major obstacles in processing and interpreting information. With the help of chiropractics, the spine manipulation therapies can be utilized to activate and stimulate the under functioning areas of the brain. Thereby, treating ADHD in younger children and preventing it from being carried till adulthood.

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Dangers of Spine Surgery: What Doctors Won’t Tell You

800px-Flickr_-_Official_U.S._Navy_Imagery_-_A_doctor_performs_surgery.Low back pain has become a very common occurrence nowadays with over 12 million Americans visiting their doctors with complaints of chronic back pain every year; while over a 100 million visit a chiropractor.

Problems with the spinal column can cause devastating effects on a person’s life. It deprives them of their mobility and flexibility.  Even everyday activities become a challenge in some cases.  With so many of such cases and the advancements in medical science, it is ironic to see a huge number of people being misdiagnosed and prescribed spinal surgery as the only treatment.

Spinal surgery itself carries around a 20% risk of a failure.  Failed spinal surgeries often result in no improvement, worsened pain, and sometimes, even death.

General Physicians, spine specialists and orthopedic surgeons have proven in many cases that they have no clue as to the root causes of back problems.  In a review of low back-pain causes, Andrew Frank, a physician in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation concluded ‘Up to 85% of patients with low back pain cannot be given a definitive diagnosis because of the poor associations between symptoms, signs, imaging results and pathological findings’ (BMJ, 3 April 1993).

Risks Associated with Specific Surgical Procedures

Apart from incorrect diagnoses, each type of spinal surgery procedure carries its own set of risks:

Laminectomy

A laminectomy requires removal of parts of a bone, bone spurs and ligaments from the back with the aim of relieving pressure on spine nerves.  This procedure can result in a less stable spine, leading to another surgery.

Spinal Fusion

A spinal fusion procedure is the most common type of surgery carried out for back pains.  A surgeon joins the vertebrae together to restrict movement between the spinal bones.  This in turn limits the stretching of spine nerves.

An incomplete fusion requires the patient to undergo another surgery.  Smoking on the other hand, increases the chances of an incomplete fusion to occur.

Foraminotomy

Foraminotomy requires a surgeon to remove a bone from the sides of the vertebrae in an attempt to widen the space for spine nerves.

This surgery can also cause the spine to lose stability.

Disc Replacement Surgery

A damaged spinal disc is removed and replaced by inserting an artificial disk.  The introduction of a foreign object into the body always carries a risk of dislocation or breaking, leading to a hardware fracture.

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Types of Diets Recommended by Chiropractors

4846334195_77c3c91886_oChiropractic Care gives great importance to a healthy and balanced diet.  A lot of ailments and diseases can be avoided just by adhering to a proper diet.  A good diet can help a person to lead a long, healthy life, control weight, blood pressure and heart rate.

It is a fact that Americans are overfed, while being undernourished.  Scores of fast food chains have made unhealthy eating habits a part of the American lifestyle.  Such high cholesterol foods coupled with a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity.  With obesity come a lot of complications including heart diseases and blood pressure problems.

There is no doubt that a well-balanced diet consists of a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, a reduction in caffeine intake and saturated fats.

A chiropractor may recommend one of the following diets based on your body’s needs:

High Protein Diet

A high protein diet is recommended for those who aim to build muscles without accumulating too much fat. High protein foods include:

  • Turkey breast
  • Fish
  • Cheese (low fat varieties)
  • Beef (low fat)
  • Tofu
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Nuts

Heart-Healthy Diet

A heart healthy diet usually consists of a lot of vegetables and fruits along with large intakes of whole grains.  It may also contain low-fat meats, including fish and poultry. Special emphasis should be given to fish as it is a very healthy source of protein, Omega 3 and little fat.

Following combination of fruits and vegetables are extremely nutritious and a healthy choice for heart-healthy dieters:

  • Pineapples
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Watermelon
  • Oranges

Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian diet can be recommended for those who prefer to lead a meat-free lifestyle, for whatever the reason.  Several types of diets are based on vegetarianism:

Lacto-Vegetarian: These diets include no meat of any kind or eggs.  However they do include dairy products like butter, milk, cheese and yogurt.

Ovo -Vegetarian: This diet contains no red meat, seafood, poultry or even dairy products, however it does include eggs.

Vegan: The strictest of all, excludes all meats, fish, eggs and dairy products.

Flexitarian: As its name implies, this diet is flexible. It mainly consists of vegetables and fruits, with occasional consumption of meat, fish or poultry.

No matter which diet is recommended by a chiropractor or dietician, a balanced lifestyle that includes plenty of activities can go a long way in extending the life of a person.

 

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Blueberry Maple Quinoa by SweetonVeg

Dietary Tips

3829063385_8e46d16540_oA Good Diet Equals Healthy Living

In order to live a healthy lifestyle, there are some essential nutrients which need to be present in your diet. A good chiropractor will also include a diet plan in his treatments to reduce the risk of disease. Here are some dietary tips you can use to improve your health.

Avoid Junk Food

Avoid junk foods with low nutritional values and additives such as artificial flavoring and coloring, as most of them contain chemicals that your body isn’t familiar with and can cause certain problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and irritable bowel movements.

Eat Foods with Good Nutritional Values

Let’s suppose a person has a calorie requirement of 1600 calories a day. He can either get these calories from healthy foods with good nutritional values, such as beans, vegetables or salads, or he can get them through unhealthy foods such as bagels, donuts or junk food. The calorie requirement is the same but he would be getting a more nutritious diet by choosing the former option, thus making him healthier.

Add Unrefined and Uncooked Foods in Your Diet

Natural foods contain relatively more nutrients as compared to their refined counterparts. For example, refined flour lacks the fiber and other nutrients that whole grain contains. Cooking can also destroy many of the beneficial nutrients in food, so it is important to add some raw fruits and vegetables in your diet to balance out the nutrient requirement.

Avoid Fried Food Items

Though they may seem tempting, a high consumption of fried foods can directly lead to certain health problems such as high cholesterol and heart problems. If you live a busy lifestyle which doesn’t give you time to exercise, fried foods can also cause obesity.

Don’t Use Too Much Salt and Sugar 

Too much salt results in high blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of developing health problems. High levels of sugar can also increase the risk of diabetes. Try to reduce the amount of salt or sugar you use in food items.

Ask Your Chiropractor for Advice

As most chiropractors have information on nutritional requirements, you can ask your chiropractor to advise you further on what you should include and what you should exclude from your diet. A chiropractor can also formulate you a proper diet plan which you can follow to stay healthy.

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Failed Back Syndrome – The Result of a Failed Spinal Surgery

380px-Spine_of_scapulaFailed back syndrome is a term that is used to define a failed spinal surgery that causes continued pain to the patient. Not much can be done regarding a case of failed back syndrome apart from performing a second surgery. Chiropractic care has, however, introduced means of therapy and adjustment to the spine that can significantly reduce the ill effects of the syndrome with undergoing surgery.

The truth is that outcome of a spinal surgery cannot be predicted precisely.  Sometimes an MRI scan can show an abnormal image which could lead to a wrong diagnosis of the problem.

Causes of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Some possible causes of a failed back surgery syndrome may include:

  • A wrong diagnosis of the patient’s condition
  • Incorrect surgery procedure performed on the patient
  • Surgery performed at an incorrect level of the spinal column
  • A failed spinal fusion surgery that had led to other complications
  • Continued pinching of the nerve despite the surgery
  • Scar tissue formation

Symptoms of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

The symptoms of a failed back syndrome include:

  • Chronic pain that continues even after the surgical procedure
  • Pain around the treated level of spine
  • Slow or no recovery from the surgery
  • Moving around is difficult and flexibility is compromised
  • Throbbing pain in the back
  • Spasms
  • High levels of anxiety leading to depression

Alternates to Repetitive Surgery 

Before undergoing another surgery, chiropractors recommend trying the following:

  • Undergo physical therapy – Physical therapy has proven to be a great method in relieving back-pains of all kinds
  • Try Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation – This therapy is performed by inducing low voltage to reduce pain
  • Take non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines – These medicine can help suppress inflammation which is a major factor in causing pain
  • Get injected with Steroids – Epidural Steroid Injections are a common method of treating inflamed spinal nerves
  • Carry out therapeutic exercises – Exercises help greatly in pain management
  • Have hot and cold compresses – Hot and cold compresses applied on the pain-stricken area can greatly reduce the inflammation and pain

Due to the vast nature of spinal surgeries, it is always best to consult with a physician or a chiropractor to find a solution that is suitable for a specific case.  Professional advice is necessary when it comes to severe cases.

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5 Common Symptoms of Poor Posture and How to Treat Them with Exercise

Good posture is very important when it comes to a healthy way of living.  Chiropractors help you maintaining one.  A lot of people don’t comprehend the importance of a good posture.  Some experience varying degrees of pain all over the body that gradually turns into major complications.  What people fail to realize is that the root of many of the simplest and even the complex of all health issues are usually linked to the body posture, in one way or another.

If someone is experiencing anything from the following symptoms, it would be a wise idea to get their posture evaluated to see if that is causing any of the complications.  Fortunately, a few relatively simple exercises can help in restoring the body posture and eliminate any problems associated with it.

1.    HEAD

Following symptoms may be felt in the head due to incorrect postures:

  • The person may have frequent headaches, including the ‘throbbing’ feeling
  • It feels that the head may split open
  • It feels as if something is pounding inside the head
  • The individual may suffer from dizziness and a loss of sense of balance
  • The sounds around them may seem way too loud to them along with a ringing sound in the ears

2.    EYES

The eyes may be subjected to the following:

  • The eye-sockets are painful and cause the eyes to feel sore
  • Rolling the eyes causes pain
  • Eyes lose their natural wetness
  • The vision starts to get blurry

3.    NECK

The neck is a quite sensitive area due to the passing spinal cord and is almost always affected by a bad posture.

  • Shooting neck pain
  • Muscle spasms occur regularly
  • The neck feels stiff

4.    JAW

The jaw bone is also affected by bad posture in the following way:

  • The individual may start experiencing TMJ pain
  • It gets painful to chew, and a popping sound is heard
  • The cheek muscles start to hurt
  • Shoulders are also significantly affected:
  • The person may feel pain in the socket
  • It may become difficult to raise arm or when trying to scratch the back

5.    SHOULDER

 

Exercise

Fortunately, before any complicated problems start happening, a chiropractor can prescribe exercises that are aimed at strengthening muscles and bones and help in restoring a proper body posture.  Many of the exercises are easy to do at home and are designed to relax stiff muscles, keep the spinal column in a correct shape and thereby improve the overall lifestyle.

Exercise is also a great way to avoid heart diseases, high blood pressures, diabetes and scores of other diseases that result from

- Bay Center Chiropractic
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