Symptoms, such as pain, are like the warning lights in a car that go off to stop the onset of a bigger problem (like running out of gas) or to warn of an underlying problem (like low tire pressure). Symptoms are the outside, observable traits that indicate something more serious is going on inside of your body. Whereas medical treatment seeks to treat symptoms, we as chiropractors, seek to treat the underlying causes of these symptoms.
When someone is prescribed drugs or given a surgery, the warning light turns off but the problem is still there. Although one may “feel good,” they are not necessarily healthy. Oftentimes going by how you feel can be a dangerous measurement of health because some symptoms don’t arise until it’s too late, such as a stroke revealing the underlying issue of high blood pressure.
As chiropractors, our job is to respond to symptoms such as back pain, tingling, and numbness and uncover what is going on within the body. Rather than attempting to cover up these feelings and symptoms, we help the body to engage its own natural healing systems to fix the underlying problem.
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body and commonly prone to injuries. Each of the two sciatic nerves is formed by four or five nerves branching off the spinal cord and running down the back of each leg. Sciatica is a severe pain in the leg caused from compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. One of the most common causes of sciatic leg pain is misalignments of the vertebrae in the lower back and inflammation of the muscles, resulting in stress and pressure on the nerve. It can be accompanied by the bulging or herniation of the soft pulpy discs which separate each spinal bone. The result can be an intense pain shooting down either or both legs.
In the past, treatment has involved pain medications, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, and even surgery. The chiropractic approach is to use carefully directed and controlled pressure to remove the interference from spinal structures. These chiropractic adjustments can be quite effective in reducing nerve irritation and its associated pain.
Sciatica, like other health problems that can be traced to the spine, often respond dramatically to the restoration of normal spinal function through chiropractic care.
Typically, scoliosis is usually detected in children or adults from a low shoulder or distorted posture, revealing a sideways curvature of the spine. Scoliosis is a sideways curving of the spine that often gets started in childhood, when the bones of the spine are still growing. In many cases, the exact cause of scoliosis is unknown. It is thought that scoliosis is the result of a hereditary problem or an adaptation to some type of trauma, such as the birth process, or an injury, such as falling off a bicycle. It usually starts with problems in the lower back, but it can be completely asymptomatic in children. Because spinal bones continue to grow well into the early 20s, if left undetected, scoliosis often worsens.
Unfortunately, the most common treatment approach has been to wait and see how bad it gets, resorting to unsightly braces, or eventually surgery, if it progresses too far. The chiropractic approach is to use specific spinal adjustments, often combined with corrective exercises. If detected early enough, chiropractic doctors have had excellent success with scoliosis cases. Early detection and chiropractic care is important for optimum results.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Every day, people who work behind a computer or use their hands repetitively during the day receive micro-traumas to their hands and wrists. Vibration and repetitive motions, when combined with spinal problems and other joint dysfunction, can result in a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. This can be a stand-alone issue with the wrist, but many times problems in the neck can also contribute to additional pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or a loss of strength in the hands.
The major nerve controlling the thumb, index, and parts of the middle, and ring finger is called the median nerve. From the tip of your fingers, it travels through the bones in your wrist, past your elbow, up your arm, through your shoulder and neck, and finally to your spinal cord. Problems can develop in one or more of these areas.
The carpal “tunnel” is formed by bones in the wrist. The median nerve, tendons, and blood vessels pass through this opening. If one or more of the bones forming this tunnel should “collapse”, inflammation, nerve pressure, and painful symptoms can result. The median nerve connects to the spinal cord through openings between several bones in the lower neck. When these spinal bones lose their normal motion or position, they can cause problems in the fingers and wrist.
After a thorough examination, your chiropractic doctor will perform specific adjustments where needed, to help normalize structure and reduce nerve irritation. When given time, conservative, chiropractic care has produced excellent results with carpal tunnel problems—without drugs or surgery.
Shoulder & Knee Pain
Many people are surprised to learn that joint pain in the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, or knee can often be helped by chiropractic care. Joints of the body can lose their normal motion, which alters the function of the joint capsule. When joint function is impaired, there is reduced range of motion, inflammation, calcium buildup, and scar tissue. This can be caused from repetitive motions, improper sitting, overexertion, slips, falls, accidents, and other traumas. Awareness of these types of problems have become more common with terms like “tennis elbow”, “runner’s knee”, “frozen shoulder”, and “carpal tunnel syndrome.”
The traditional treatment of these problems involves splinting the joint to reduce movement, pain medications, muscle relaxers, steroid injections, and even surgery. Today, a more common sense approach is being taken. Joint mobilization and rehabilitation, like chiropractic care for the spine, is being used in the care of knees, shoulders, and other joints of the body. Helping to restore normal range of motion to joints that have become “locked up”, “jammed”, or injured, has been proven to help improve blood circulation, reduce scar tissue, and speed the healing process.
Lower Back Pain
Whether it was an accident, incorrect sitting or lifting, over-exertion, or just the way your spine developed, lower back pain affects countless numbers of people every single day. Most often, the pain is caused when the facet joints, or the two connecting “fingers” at the back of each vertebra become rough and irritated. Normal smooth sliding for the joint is no longer possible and nerves give off the sensation of pain. If this is the case, surgery will often remove these joints, which leaves the spine unprotected.
Lower back pain can also occur when a disc bulges and puts additional pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. This is what causes a pain down the leg, numbness or tingling, and can again be treated (ineffectively) with surgery. This surgery removes the disc tissue that has bulged, which in turn can affect the discs ability to cushion and separate the bones.Rather than perform these surgeries, the chiropractic approach has been proven both safer and more effective in treating lower back pain. Adjustments of the spine and its discs can alleviate pain and address the underlying structural causes in order to prevent further damage. Each treatment is specific to the needs and spinal problems of the individual patient and works with the body rather than against it.
Have you been ignoring your neck pain or trying to treat the symptoms with an endless supply of muscle relaxers and booked massages? If so, it’s time to stop treating the warning signs and get to the actual problem.
Neck pain can be caused from many different “imperfections” in the body. Whether it is improper spinal alignment and curvature, blocked nerve openings, crooked shoulders, an imbalanced head, or something else, simply covering up the pain won’t solve the problems, a chiropractor will.
At the first appointment with your chiropractor he or she will give you a full assessment of your past, a case history, and an examination of your back and neck. This allows them to figure out the next step in alleviating your neck pain by going right to the source. Once the spines structure and function have been returned to normal, neck pain often fades immediately and does not return.
If you’re finding that your neck hurts when you look around, makes a grinding sound, or throbs or aches, call us today to schedule an appointment.
Some people have grown so accustomed to experiencing headaches that they don’t give them a second thought. Although it’s true headaches may be caused by a number of factors, some of which are untreatable, there are times when chiropractic care can eliminate headaches if spinal malfunction is to blame.
If the bones in the spine are moved out of place or no longer have the correct range of motion, the nerves and blood vessels that carry nutrients and messages to the brain can be damaged. This can cause throbbing headaches and can be treated with a chiropractic examination and a care program.
Oftentimes seeing a chiropractor can uncover a loss of range of motion in the spine, mechanical restrictions, or changes in the typical spinal curve that have gone unnoticed for years. If any of these are found and associated with headaches, an individual assessment and plan of action can most often lead to headache relief without the side effects and expense of painkillers.
Why are countless professional sports teams, Olympic trainers, athletes, everyday runners, bikers, and swimmers employing chiropractic doctors? Many injuries in sports and athletics are related to the spine and extremities and the most effective way to treat those injuries directly is through chiropractic care.
Everything that an athlete’s performance is based upon can become compromised as a result of an injury: endurance, reflexes, strength, range of motion, and more. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons rely on correct spinal function and movement for their performance, and when a spinal joint becomes locked up or moved out of place this performance suffers.
Chiropractic care works to correct these injuries and get you back in the game. Even better, chiropractic care works to keep athletes from being sidelined by maintaining spinal health and preventing injuries before they happen.. Paired with an aerobic exercise plan, chiropractic care can keep you at your best, giving you the strength, mobility, and competitive edge you need to carry out your fitness goals.
Consult our doctor today to figure out the perfect treatment plan designed specifically for you, your age, fitness level, and goals. The best way to stay strong and performing at your best is to detect problems before they arise and constantly monitor your body’s wellness from the inside out.
If you’ve ever been hit from behind or collided with something while driving a car, you probably know what whiplash is. In fact, if this has ever happened to you and you haven’t seen a doctor about it, you’re probably still feeling its effects today.
Whiplash occurs when something causes an abrupt movement of the head to “whip” forwards, backwards, or to the side, such as a car wreck or a blow to the head. Due to the sudden, forceful movement of one’s upper body, everything from the head, neck, shoulders, and back may also be consequently injured. These injuries include, but are not limited to the stretching or tearing of muscles and ligaments; swelling, tearing, or rupturing of the discs between spinal plates; the movement of vertebrae; and/or stretching of the spinal cord and nerve roots.
As a result of any of these injuries, symptoms may arrive on the scene of the accident, or not for weeks later as the body tries to adapt to the damage and pain. Symptoms of whiplash may include blurry vision, pain in the shoulder, arms, and hands, headaches, reduced mobility, dizziness, and lower back pain.
If you have experienced whiplash it is important to see a chiropractor right away so that inflammation and scar tissue can be reduced and the damages done to the neck and spine can be examined. After an initial assessment from a chiropractor, a plan of action will be created to return spinal function back to normal. This plan usually consists of several visits in which the chiropractor works to reposition any moved bones and helps you to restore full mobility.
Accidents happen, but you shouldn’t have to live with the pain from them for years to come. Whether you experienced whiplash last week, or four years ago, if you are having any of these symptoms, come in today for an assessment so we can help you live a life free of back pain.