January 22, 2013
As a nation, America is getting older. According to an article in Harvard Magazine, 3,000 people turn 65 every day, and the number of senior citizens is growing at more than twice the rate of the general population. But just because we’re getting older, that doesn’t mean that we have to feel older.
Chiropractic care is not only safe for the vast majority of seniors, it is also a completely appropriate medical treatment for the kinds of health problems that an aging population faces. Many changes may take place as we get older-our muscles, spinal discs, facet joints and ligaments become less hydrated, weaker, and less able to withstand normal stresses. For many older people, these changes can result in pain as well as reduced strength and range of motion.
In addition to suffering from chronic pain, senior often become more susceptible to injuries as their bones become more brittle and their balance and coordination begin to deteriorate. At least one in four elderly people per year experiences a fall, which can aggravate existing spinal injuries or create new ones.
So what can chiropractic offer the elderly?
First, it can provide a safe, non-surgical approach to spinal care, free of both invasive procedures and potentially dangerous medications. Doctors of Chiropractic in Fremont use proven, gentle techniques of adjustment, manipulation and stretching to realign displaced joints and muscles. This in turn reduces pain and helps restore flexibility and ease of movement.
One recent study compared two types of chiropractic manipulation in 240 men and women over the age of 55: high-velocity low amplitude manipulations versus low-velocity variable amplitude manipulations. The researchers found that the chiropractic techniques produced superior results in relieving chronic lower back pain when compared to traditional conservative medical care. Not only was chiropractic care found to be more effective in relieving lower back pain, the researchers also concluded that the two approaches (the first producing the “cracking” sound often heard during chiropractic manipulations, the second not) were equally useful. Even better, no adverse effects were recorded.
This study is important because it points out that chiropractic care can be tailored to some extent to the age and preferences of the individual patient. While some patients prefer the “cracking” approach and others prefer a more gentle technique, they’re both effective when skillfully applied. This is very good news! Every individual’s situation is unique, and it’s good to know that chiropractors and their patients (including seniors) have many choices when it comes to treatment.
Also, it’s important to remember that chiropractic care isn’t limited to spinal adjustments. Modern chiropractic focuses on improving the patient’s overall state of health and well-being in addition to addressing specific problems. Most chiropractors today can offer advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle choices that is tailored to the specific needs of their patients, whether young or old.
Safe, effective chiropractic care can clearly play a key role in restoring or maintaining spinal function. It can also help promote general health, mobility, endurance and vitality at any age. If you have questions about whether chiropractic care is right for you or someone close to you, please call our Fremont Office at 510-797-4796 or our San Lorenzo Office at 510-783-3754.
June 12, 2012
Chiropractic is recognized as one of the safest therapies you can use to treat joint pain, back and neck pain, headaches, and other conditions. Because no type of healthcare therapy is completely free of potential side effects, however, some adverse effects may occur.
Many patients feel relief immediately following a chiropractic spinal adjustment, but some experience mild aching or soreness in the spinal joints or muscles. This feeling is similar to muscle soreness after exercise. If this occurs, it is usually within the first few hours post-treatment and for most patients (74%) does not last longer than 24 hours after the treatment. An ice pack often reduces the symptoms of this more quickly. Spinal adjustments pose few serious risks, although rare complications include the possibility of a herniated disk or compression of the nerves in the lower spinal column.
Some headaches and neck pains can be treated through cervical manipulation, which are also known as neck adjustments. These treatments improve joint mobility in the neck, restore the normal range of motion, and reduce muscle spasm to relieve pressure and tension. Neck manipulation is known to be a safe procedure, but some patients may experience side effects for a few days after treatment. These side effects include headache, fatigue, or continuing pain.
At the extreme end of risks associated with cervical manipulation, there have been reports that have associated it with a certain kind of stroke: vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) stroke. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of such injuries associated with neck adjustments is extremely rare – about 1 case in 5.85 million manipulations. To put this risk into perspective, this type of injury usually occurs spontaneously, or it happens as a result of everyday activities such as looking up to watch fireworks, turning your head while driving or having your hair washed in a hair salon.
Chiropractic adjustments are safe when performed by licensed professionals trained and to deliver chiropractic care. When you visit your chiropractor, you should be very specific about your symptoms, and about any concerns you feel about any risks. This will help the doctor to offer the safest and most effective treatment for you. Depending on your condition and the specific problems being treated, the chiropractor can sometimes forego manipulation, and instead can recommend a treatment regimen of joint mobilization, therapeutic exercise, soft-tissue techniques, or other therapies.
March 19, 2012
With more and more people taking up recreational running in the US, the number of running associated injuries have also increased. Commonly reported cases include: shin splints; patellofermoral pain syndromes; Achilles tendinitis; flat feet; and compartmental syndromes and stress fractures. All these injuries are a result of cumulative stress reactions to soft tissues and bones. While running, the musculoskeletal system may absorb up to 250-300% of the runner’s weight on the heel strike [1,2,3], and this exerts stress on the body.
Chiropractors are generally contracted to help alleviate pain and non-specific symptoms associated with running, usually from the gradual onset of regular stress on the soft tissues and bones. If these symptoms are caught early, they can then be effectively managed and reduced in a short period of time . Chiropractic treatment can help excessive pronation , the inward rolling of the hind foot and the midfoot beyond the acceptable parameters of general walking and running; prolonged internal rotation of the internal extremity , the inward rotation of the femur, which transmits stress to the pelvic region; and excessive supination , and those with very high arches who are very sensitive to stress reactions and fractures.
While chiropractic treatment can help with pain and injuries, its biggest advantage to runners and athletes is preventive care. Many runners, athletes and non-athletes may ask – why pay for chiropractic treatment when there is no pain to treat? It’s much easier to maintain good health and prevent injury than to treat somebody already in pain. The danger with running injuries is that they are likely to be caused by repetitive stress and alignment problems that take time to develop, and an even longer time for the pain to start. If our bodies were designed with perfect alignment, then we would be able to cope with the regular stress running delivers. However, very few of us do have perfect alignment, and in many cases those with flat feet or high arches are at risk to extra cumulative stress to the body. 
In preventive cases, a Fremont chiropractor can give a good overall evaluation, teaching the patient how to prevent injuries and maintain good alignment – thereby reducing the chance of injury. For those looking for preventive treatment, your chiropractor can help assess and evaluate your condition by offering scans of your feet, testing for strength imbalances and an analysis of your posture. In addition, the chiropractor can also suggest a program suited to your needs to prevent injury in the future.
 Lutter LD. Foot-related knee problems in the long-distance runner Foot &Ankle 1980; 1:112-116.
 Robbin SF, Hanna AM. Running-related injury prevention through barefoot adaptations. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1987; 19.148-156.
 Cavanaugh PR, LaFortune.MA. Ground reaction forced in distance running. Biomech 1980; 13:397-406.
 Griffith., HJ et aZ Magnetic resonance spectrum of stress injury to bone and ib clinical relevance. (in press) Presented at Annual Symposium of Am Coll Chiro Radiol, 1992.
 Michaud TC. Recurrent lower tibial stress fracture in a long-distance runner. Chino Sports Med 1988; 2(3):78-87. 18. Cavanagh PA The shoe ground interface in running. Symposium on the foot and leg in running sports, n.d.
 Schafer RC. Clinical Biomechanics Musculoskeletal Actions and Reactions. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1983. 21. Greenawalt MH. Spinal Pelvic Stabilization (4th ed.). Roanoke: Foot Levelers, Inc., 1990.
 Subotnick SI. Sports Medicine of the Lower Extremity. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1989:164.
 www.campanellahealthcenter.com, accessed September 2011
February 22, 2012
Good spinal health is built from the ground up, starting with the feet. For years medical researchers and healthcare providers have recognized that problems there can cause posture changes that eventually trigger a variety of musculoskeletal issues in other parts of the body (particularly the ankle, knee, hip and back). Studies have also shown that even slight foot problems can negatively affect athletes’ performance and predispose them to a broad range of sports-related injuries.
How Can Orthotics Help?
Orthotics are shoe inserts that are specially designed and manufactured to correct an abnormal or irregular walking pattern by promoting proper alignment and balance. They’ve improved the quality of life for millions of people, and it’s become very common for physicians to recommend them to address many different patient needs:
- Reducing pain and/or fatigue
- Providing targeted foot support
- Relieving pressure or stress on an injured or sensitive area
- Preventing or limiting deformity
- Improving foot positioning and function
- Restoring balance
- Reinforcing or supplementing other therapies (particularly chiropractic adjustments)
Foot orthotics are medical devices that can significantly change the way a person stands, walks and runs (and therefore the way his or her body absorbs and distributes related forces). For this reason, it’s important that the person wearing them clearly understand their benefits, risks and limitations. It’s also important that the person use them correctly.
What Every Patient Should Know About Orthotics
1. There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer when it comes to orthotics. What works for another family member or neighbor will probably not work for you! Getting the right prescription for your particular needs is all about working effectively with your healthcare provider to define your own goals and develop a complete understanding of your foot’s unique structure and function. For instance, orthotics can be very sport-specific—the performance requirements of a hiker will not be the same as those of a skier or a football player.
2. Not all orthotics are created equal, and the differences matter. The prefabricated orthotics that can be purchased at shoe stores, pharmacies and sporting goods stores are not the same as the custom orthotics prescribed by a healthcare provider. Do not confuse them! Mass-produced products are tailored for the “typical” foot and are unlikely to address problems specific to any one individual’s foot. In some situations, such products can actually make a medical condition worse, cause new problems or increase the risk of injury. So while they’re usually less expensive than custom orthotics, they may not actually solve your particular problem.
3. Orthotics don’t actually correct foot or ankle problems. They are intended to realign the structures of the foot to improve function, reduce pain and decrease the risk of injury.
4. Needs can change over time and your orthotics should too. The structure and function of the foot can change as people age. So too can people’s lifestyle and priorities. Your healthcare provider can work with you to ensure that your prescription is still the right one for you.
5. Long-term use of orthotics may pose its own risks. Any time that you provide outside help to the structures normally responsible for supporting and moving parts of your body (casts or braces are good examples), you are essentially asking them to do less. And if you provide that help over a sufficiently extended period, you run the risk that your bones, muscles and connective tissues may become weaker as a result. The unintended consequence is that you may actually become less capable and more reliant on your devices to do the work your body used to do. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about how to use your orthotics correctly and manage any long-term risk that he or she believes may exist.
6. Prescribing orthotics is arguably as much an art as a science. Don’t underestimate the role of professional judgment in prescribing orthotics. Experts acknowledge that there are few widely-accepted standards and that we can’t always predict successfully how an individual will respond to a particular prescription. In fact, recent research has demonstrated that individuals with the same condition can respond very differently to identical orthotic therapy. There’s even evidence that the same patient can respond to a prescription inconsistently or can respond just as favorably to two entirely different (even contrary) prescriptions. This means that some trial and error may be necessary to get the results both you and your healthcare provider are looking for and that good communication is critical. Without accurate and timely feedback from you about how well your orthotics are doing their job, it’s impossible for your healthcare provider to make the adjustments that will eventually lead to success.
How Your Local Chiropractor Can Help
There’s a close relationship between the way your feet work and the way the rest of your musculoskeletal system supports your body. So even if your feet themselves don’t actually hurt, they could be contributing to other health problems that you’re experiencing. After your local Fremont chiropractor has examined you carefully and talked with you about your situation, he or she can help you decide whether foot orthotics should be part of your broader treatment plan. Call our office today at (510) 797-4796 to learn more.
References and Resources
Gina Kolata, Close Look at Orthotics Raises a Welter of Doubts. Orthotic Shoe Inserts May Work, but It’s Not Clear Why. New York Times Fitness and Nutrition. January 17, 2011. Accessed August 2011.
Nigg, BM et. al., Effect of Shoe Inserts on Kinematics, Center of Pressure, and Leg Joint Movements During Running. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. February 2003. Accessed August 2011.
Best Foot Forward with Chiropractic. Journal of the American Chiropractic Association. January 2001. Accessed August 2011.
June 27, 2008
If our chiropractors are unable to find and correct the cause of your particular health problem, we will refer you to other specialists who may be able to help. Your health is our primary goal at Discover Chiropractic.
Send your questions to Dr. Hans Freericks at email@example.com. You can also call our Fremont chiropractors at 510-797-4796.
Read what other patients have to say about Discover Chiropractic at this page of our site:
June 26, 2008
Chiropractor patient results vary. At Discover Chiropractic in Fremont, CA, many patients report improved spinal curves and the total resumption of their normal lifestyles. Those who neglected or delayed seeking care often see slower progress. After the initial care plan is complete, patients discover that periodic chiropractic checkups can help avoid a relapse.
Dr. Hans Freericks of Discover Chiropractic can be contacted at 510-797-4796 if you have more questions.
June 24, 2008
Your health affects everything you do and everyone you know. It is your most valuable possession. Yet, each of us is free to place a different value on our health. It’s convenient when an insurance company or third party helps pay the bill for you to see a chiropractor. But be careful. Don’t allow the profit motive of a huge corporation make the decision for you. Find out how we make chiropractic care affordable for just about anyone at Discover Chiropractic.
Please contact Fremont chiropractor Dr. Hans Freericks at 510-797-4796 for more of your questions.
June 23, 2008
That’s changing. Years of prejudice and bias are giving way to research showing the benefits of chiropractic care. Attitudes are slow to change. However, as the public demands alternatives to drugs are surgery, more and more medical practitioners are referring their patients to our chiropractic office.
If you would like to visit one of our Fremont chiropractors, please call Dr. Hans Freericks and his staff at Discover Chiropractic in Fremont, CA, 510-797-4796.
June 19, 2008
No you won’t get any medication for your pain. Chiropractic doctors do not dispense drugs. Because we rely on natural methods, we can show you how to use ice to control painful symptoms. When proper applied, ice can have an analgesic effect without the side effects of pain medications.
For more health and chiropractic care questions, contact Dr. Hans and his staff at their Fremont back and neck care center. The number for Discover Chiropractic is 510-797-4796.
June 18, 2008
Some patients experience almost instant relief after seeing a chiropractor. Others discover it can take many weeks or months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in otherwise good condition? Within a short period of time, most patients sense enough progress to fully carry out their doctors’ recommendations.
If you are in the Fremont, CA area, please visit our Fremont chiropractors at Discover Chiropractic. Dr. Hans Freericks can be reached at 510-797-4796.