May 31, 2008
There are three basic causes of subluxations. Physical causes include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting. Emotions such as grief, anger, stress and fear can cause subluxations. Chemical causes include alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet.
May 30, 2008
A pinched nerve is rare. It is more likely that an adjacent spinal bone irritates, stretches, rubs or chafes a nerve otherwise knows as a subluxation. These subluxations distort the nerve messages sent between the brain and the body. This can produce unhealthy changes to the organs and tissues connected to the affected nerve.
May 28, 2008
Between each pair of spinal bones is a disc. Its fibrous outer ring holds in a jelly-like material. This soft center serves as a “ball bearing” for joint movement. Because of the way it attaches to the spinal bone above and below it, a disc can’t actually “slip.” However, a disc can bulge. It can tear. It can herniate. It can thin and dry out. And it can collapse. But it can’t slip.
May 27, 2008
Can Chiropractors Really Help You with Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)?
Absolutely! How? Most people never think about it, but the ability to speak, chew and swallow or even yawn is a result of the jaw acting as a hinge to connect it to the skull. TMJ is a condition where this joint becomes inflamed or irritated. It can be extremely painful. The opening and closing of the mouth becomes difficult and a grinding or crunching sound comes from the joint. This can be caused things like:
• habitual gum chewing or nail biting
• teeth grinding
• dental problems
• occupational tasks
These events cause the tendons and muscles in the upper neck and jaw area to displace vertebra in the upper neck or displace the temporal mandibular joint itself. The result is further irritation and eventually symptoms such as pain, headaches, earaches, dizziness, muffled hearing, not to mention inconvenience of not being able to move the jaw freely. If not treated immediately, TMJ may lead to severe problems.
A chiropractor can help with treating TMJ in two ways:
1. Providing a Chiropractic adjustment to the upper spine, or jaw
2. Recommend exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes to speed healing and full range of motion
Chiropractors will perform a series of tests and evaluation of the spine, the upper neck area, and the jaw bone. X-rays will be taken to check for misaligned vertebra particularly in the upper neck. They will verify if one or both sides of the jaw are locking up. Once an assessment has been made chiropractors will perform an adjustment to either the neck, spine or jaw itself. This treatment has been very successful for many patients – all without the use of dangerous drugs and surgery.
Chiropractors are concerned with not only treating patients until their pain dissipates, but also assuring their problems are permanently eliminated. Chiropractic care focuses on the total human body, in the belief that is inter-related with both the environment and individuals’ lifestyles.
What are some of the philosophical elements associated with chiropractic care? Among them:
Chiropractors can recommend certain pain relieving exercises that help to relax jaw. Meditation and massage are some of the other methodologies adopted by the chiropractor to treat their patients.
Some people believe pain medication will provide quick relief for their problems. While this is sometimes true, medications only provide temporary relief to pain and do not eliminate the cause. In addition, if covering up the pain with medication delays treatment the TMJ can become more severe and take longer to treat and recover from. Medications may also result in harmful side-effects. The practice of medicine is the third leading cause of death in the United States behind cancer and heart disease!
Surgery is another option for TMJ. But surgery can be costly, time consuming, painful, not to mention deadly!
In many cases, chiropractic care is more effective with treating TMJ than drugs and medicines. Not only is it more effective, it helps patients through care that is gentler, cheaper, and does not include the high risk of drugs and surgery.
May 22, 2008
Chiropractic works because you are a self-healing, self-regulating organism controlled by your nervous system. Millions of instructions flow from your brain, down the spinal cord and out to every organ and tissue. Signals sent back to the brain confirm if your body is working right.
Improper motion or position of the moving bones of the spine, called a subluxation, can interfere with this vital exchange by irritating nerves and compromising the function of affected organs and tissues. This nerve interference can be present whether or not you feel pain. Specific spinal adjustments help move bones back in place relieving nerve interference. Health often returns with improved nervous system control of the body.
May 2, 2008
Headaches plague most people at some time. But what they may not realize is that frequent headaches can be an indicator of potentially more serious problems. Even more surprising to many is that chiropractors may be just the professional they need when suffering from headaches.
A chiropractor can diagnose potential problems by reviewing a patient’s medical history, along with conducting a thorough examination. This is because many headaches begin with a spinal misalignment in the neck, or cervical spine which can produce pain and headaches.
Nerves in an individual’s body carry vital information about pain and the musculoskeletal functions. Because of this, a spinal misalignment can lead to nerve interference and dysfunction. The result is that individuals may experience muscle stiffness, spasms, muscle tension, pain, and eventually chronic headaches.
Specific chiropractic adjustments can help correct spinal join dysfunction created by the various chemical, emotional and physical stresses in an individual’s life. An adjustment is a gentle, specific, push on the vertebra to guide it back into place. It is so gentle it can be performed on children, even newborn babies.
Patients frequently report relief from headaches following treatment by a chiropractor. While some may realize immediate relief, others may take longer to see correction of their problem especially if the problem existed for many years without detection.
There are several triggers that can lead to headaches, which include:
• Chemical stressors (i.e., hormonal changes)
• Physical stressors (i.e., structural problems)
• Emotional stressors (anxiety)
• Even medications intended to relieve headaches can intensify their pain
Regardless of what onsets headaches, they can result in disruption of the balance of an individual’s nervous system. The result is alteration of the spinal column, causing a series of spinal misalignments known as subluxations. Untreated, subluxations can lead to irreversible spinal degeneration.
Chiropractic care can help correct spinal misalignments created by various stressors, regardless of the cause. The result is a more-effective approach to treating headaches and related musculoskeletal problems without painful surgery or medications that may produce side-effects.
Using pain medication to treat headaches is dangerous for two reasons. First it may provide short term relief of pain but the source of the problem is not corrected and the injury becomes more inflamed and difficult to treat. Second, certain ingredients in pain medication put stress on the stomach, the kidneys and the liver. Over time, medication can cause problems with these organs and the headache is still there.
Treating headaches usually begins with identifying the different types of headaches including:
- Migraine Headaches, which usually result in:
1. One-sided pain associated with nausea
2. Moderate to severe pain
3. A throbbing sensation
4. Extreme sensitivity to light, sound and touch
5. Visual “aura”
- Tension Headaches. These usually involve:
1. A steady, dull pain that produces the sensation of wearing a cap
2. Mild to moderate pain
3. Tension in the neck or head
4. Moderate sensitivity to light or sound
- Cluster Headaches, which may result in:
1. Pain near the forehead or around the eyes
2. Excruciating pain
3. Penetrating, throbbing pain
4. A series of headaches
5. Watery, swollen eyes
Chiropractors have a very high success rate treating headaches. Many patients are surprised how simple the chiropractic philosophy is once they understand the chiropractor is simply guiding misaligned vertebra back in place and that is the source of their pain.
May 2, 2008
Lower back pain is never fun. Along with intense suffering, it may also lead to loss of work. It’s possible to do almost anything with low back pain. Walking, sitting, standing, moving the head or arms, and moving the legs are all painful experiences.
There are many causes of lower back pain that include prolonged sitting or improper lifting either as a result of personal or work-related activities, overexertion, trauma, or spinal abnormalities that are a result of genetics. Regardless of the source, lower back pain is something that has to be dealt with both to alleviate problems in the present and the risk of complications in the future.
Chiropractic care can not only help with lower back pain quicker than surgery or medications, it can also be more effective. Surgery is risky and painful, not to mention very time consuming because of the healing process.
Using pain medication to treat low back pain is dangerous for two reasons. First it may provide short term relief of pain but the source of the problem is not corrected and the injury becomes more inflamed and difficult to treat. Second, certain ingredients in pain medication are hard on the stomach, the kidneys and the liver. Over time, medication can cause problems with these organs and the back pain is still there.
An additional cause of lower back pain may be a bulging or herniated disc that puts pressure on the spinal cord or nearby nerve root. These bulging or herniated discs may cause numbness, tingling, or pain in a leg. However, cutting away the herniated disc tissue can permanently alter its ability to separate and cushion adjacent bones. Along with this, the surgery seldom addresses the structural causes of the problem. The other surgical option would be to remove a part of the bone called the Lamina, leaving the spinal cord uncovered and unprotected.
What are the ways an individual can work with a chiropractor to improve their back problem? Among them:
- Make an appointment with a chiropractor. Arriving a few minutes early the day of an appointment is important to allow time to relax both mentally and physically. Even a short automobile drive can create tension that may make a patient less responsive to treatment. Taking time to relax before seeing a chiropractor will increase the benefits of treatment
- Don’t skip appointments. Chiropractic visits are scheduled at specific intervals between adjustments. As a result, missing even one appointment will disturb the recovery process
- Follow instructions for self-administered measures such as hot packs or cold packs. Not only can these be applied at home, they help recovery without the cost of another professional visit.
- Daily rest. Successful chiropractic care also involves recuperation. During recuperative periods patients should schedule daily rest periods. These involve lying flat on their back on the floor for 30 minutes. If time is a problem in doing, so the rest time can be divided into two 15-minute periods.
Chiropractors are experts in the care of nerves, muscles and connective tissues, which make up 60 percent of the body. All of the joints in an individual’s body are part of this musculo-skeletal system and its optimal function is necessary for overall good health.
As with any treatment, chiropractic adjusting techniques are also modified based on an individual’s size, weight, and unique spinal problems. Recommended treatments may include specific spinal adjustments, recommendations on exercise, nutritional advice or other conservative methods of care based on health history, age, and lifestyle.
May 2, 2008
Shoulder pain can be a problem not only because of the discomfort it causes, but also because it may limit an individual’s mobility and ability to perform everyday tasks. Actions such as putting on a coat, lifting a gallon of milk or other simple, routine things suddenly become an exercise in pain each time they are performed because of shoulder pain.
Yet, shoulder pain doesn’t have to prevent an individual from enjoying life and chiropractic care is a way to quickly and effectively deal with the problem. Chiropractic care is a preferable option not only because it is effective but also because it avoids the possibility of painful surgery or pain-killers which may produce harmful side-effects.
What’s important to remember for individuals suffering from shoulder pain is to be patient. Shoulder problems can be resistant to even the best care, but over time chiropractic can help. Correcting the problem begins with an examination of the neck, upper back and shoulder to determine if spinal nerve irritation could be causing pain. A shoulder injury may also result from a weakness due to an underlying nerve irritation. Spinal and shoulder joint adjustments will be needed to stop the progression of joint deterioration and help the soft tissue heal. A chiropractor will also lead a patient in strengthening or stretching exercises to help restore the full range of motion to their shoulder.
In medical terminology, a shoulder is known as a “suspension” joint. This type of joint makes an individual’s shoulders very mobile and flexible. But a “suspension” joint also limits the strength of an individual’s shoulder because it has a shallow socket and very little support, thus the anatomy of the shoulder makes it vulnerable to injury.
The result is that both young and old may be susceptible to shoulder injuries for different reasons and at different times of life. Possible causes of shoulder pain include:
- Sports injury (as a result of pitching, throwing, tackling, swinging)
- Car accidents (especially those resulting in whiplash)
- Overuse and/or repetitive motions such as lifting and reaching
- Arthritis related to aging and/or normal wear and tear
- Previous injuries such as those from childhood
- Sleeping in an awkward position
- Long-standing spinal or emotional stress
While shoulder pain is frequently dismissed as bursitis or arthritis, it should never be neglected. This is because it may be a sign of a larger problem that could worsen if left untreated. There are several reasons shoulder injuries should be dealt with immediately to assure even the simplest of problems do not worsen and present difficulties years later. Among them:
- Strains and sprains can result in continued injury to joints even longer after the pain is gone
- Overuse of poorly conditioned tissues can leave shoulder joints susceptible to future injuries
- Assuming that pampering a hurt shoulder simply by not using it can cause more harm than good. Left alone for too long your shoulder can freeze up, a condition known as “frozen shoulder syndrome.”
Here is a successful home remedy that you can try for a stiff or painful shoulder. Fill an empty gallon milk container with two inches of water. Swing the partially filled gallon around with one arm like a windmill – ten times in one direction and then ten times in the other direction. If this is too painful at first, go as far as you can in one direction and then as far in the other direction. Do this with both arms so you don’t create problems that can arise with asymmetric muscle development. Leave the milk container on the counter so you remember to do this twice a day – in the morning and in the evening.
Chiropractic care should always be considered when dealing with shoulder pain because of its ability to restore the strength and integrity of shoulder’s supporting soft tissues, along with keeping joints flexible and working free of pain.
May 1, 2008
The pain may come out of nowhere like a lightning bolt or manifest itself in the form of a constant, nagging ache deep within the hip area. Regardless of how it makes itself known, sciatic pain should not be ignored.
Many people often ignore the early stages of what is a serious condition by neglecting to see a chiropractor who can diagnose and treat the problem.
Sciatica is a term that refers to the painful inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the longest and largest nerve in the body. Sciatica comes from the Latin word which means “hip.” A sciatic nerve may extend from an individual’s buttocks to their toes.
The sciatic nerve forms from five nerve roots in the lower back which join together deep in the pelvis. From there, the sciatic nerve divides into many branch nerves that serve an individual’s muscles, joints, skin and other tissues in the legs and feet.
While sciatica flare-ups may or may not involve back pain, sciatica sufferers frequently have a history of lower back pain. What are some of the causes of sciatic pain? Among them:
• Improper lifting
• Cumulative spinal stress
• Sudden impact or trauma
• A previous injury
• A fall
• Lack of exercise
• Poor posture
• Long periods of sitting
The spine is directly affected by the chemical, physical and emotional stress of everyday living which can result in spinal misalignments that are known as “subluxations.”
Left untreated, subluxations can cause the opening between an individual’s vertebrae to narrow and compress, irritating and stretching the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can frequently be traced to one or more misaligned vertebra.
The most common cause of sciatica is an irritation of nerve roots as they exit from the spine.
Eventually, damaged nerves can restrict joint movement which interferes with the release of lubricants to an individual’s discs.
When unhealthy discs dry out, the result is that the gel-like center begins to bulge out or herniate. The bulging or herniated disc matter can press against the sciatic nerve, resulting in additional irritation. As a result, irreversible damage may occur if the nerve interference is not removed. The consequence is that permanent damage to the musculoskeletal system may have already occurred by the time an individual begins to feel pain or numbness.
Chiropractors can identify the specific misaligned vertebrae and remove resulting nerve irritation. Once a diagnosis has been made chiropractors can use gentle and safe spinal adjustments to correct the underlying causes of sciatica. Patients frequently feel better after a few adjustments and continue care to prevent the spinal misalignment from returning. Chiropractors can recommend changes made to the work or home environment to also help prevent sciatica from returning. Just as a person takes time to take care of their teeth, they also need to take time to take care of their back. Similarly, just as a person needs a dentist to maintain healthy teeth, they need a chiropractor to maintain a healthy spine.
May 1, 2008
Whiplash neck injuries are among the fastest growing health problems in the USA today. The ever increasing number of automobiles rolling onto our congested streets and highways, the increased speed of our freeway systems, power brakes, and more powerful engines all contribute to the growing frequency of the type of accident that can result in a whiplash neck injury.
The research crash council of the USAF has demonstrated that the normal neck can withstand a forward snapping of 50 times the force of gravity before producing a major injury, whereas a backward snapping acceleration of only 5 times the force of gravity can be tolerated. And since an auto traveling at only 25 miles per hour creates a force exceeding 3400 pounds, the impact of a crash at this speed will exert several tons of force on the victim’s neck.
A whiplash neck injury occurs as the result of a sudden backward and forward whipping movement of the neck. This sudden, forceful movement often stretches or sprains the ligaments and muscles which hold the spinal segments within a critical range of movement or position. Failure of the holding ligaments to support the spine allows the spinal segments to become displaced, thus altering the normal mechanical balance of the spine. This increased stress results in eventual degenerative disease of the balance of the disc with ‘spur’ formation and the ‘spurs’ will occlude the spinal nerve openings.