If you are a little confused about what chiropractic care actually entails, you are most certainly not alone. Many people are confused about the nature of chiropractic treatment and the somewhat poor reputation associated with chiropractic care.
Let's find out more about this highly successful form of alternative medicine that offers relief to millions of Americans every year.
Various forms of manipulation have been used therapeutically for centuries. However, it wasn’t until the 1800s that scientific basis for the practice was instituted, and the word ‘chiropractic’, a translated form of the Greek words cheir and praktos, which essentially mean ‘done by hand’, was established.
Chiropractic care refers to the manual manipulation of the body with the purpose of alleviating problems with the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is comprised of the bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissues that provide shape, support, stability and movement in the body. When there are problems within the musculoskeletal system, it can cause mild, chronic or extreme pain, limited mobility, and difficulty in carrying out our usual day to day tasks.
A chiropractor can treat a variety of spinal conditions and their side effects by manipulating the spine by hand – a process that sounds much more intense and painful than it really is. In fact, spinal manipulation is a precise, swift adjustment that aims to release the pressure on the nerves in your back in order to allow the body to begin to heal itself.
Chiropractic care has been successfully used to treat a wide range of spinal conditions with most problems occurring either in the lower back (lumbar) or neck (cervical spine). Some of the most commonly seen conditions treated by chiropractors include:
Arthritis in the spine
Whiplash, usually as a result of an automobile accident
With more vehicles on the road than ever before, automobile accidents have unfortunately become a common occurrence. Even the most confident and experienced driver can make mistakes that sometimes have catastrophic results. Estimates suggest that there are around 2.35 million auto injuries in the United States every year – more than 6,000 every single day – and while some injuries may be minor, others can have debilitating and sometimes permanent consequences.
Neck and back damage is among the most common type of injury sustained during automobile accidents. This is because the force of the impact overextends and strains the ligaments and muscles in the back, causing injuries including:
These occur when the upper part of the body is thrown forward while the lower body is restrained by a seat belt. When this happens, the vertebrae can be pulled apart, causing them to fracture. In severe cases, the spinal cord may also become damaged by fractured pieces of bone.
The intervertebral discs are sponge-like circular pads that sit in-between the vertebrae. They have several functions, including enabling the spine to absorb impacts without becoming damaged. However, if the outer layer of a disc becomes damaged, the soft, inner gel can seep out and irritate the surrounding nerves.
This condition occurs when a vertebra moves out of place due to force or a fracture in the bone. The displaced bone may then press on the surrounding nerves, causing pain and other neurological symptoms.
Whiplash is most common in rear-end collisions as the impact of the secondary car forces your head to ‘whip’ backward and forwards in quick succession and as a result, the muscles in the neck are overextended.
Lower back pain is an exceptionally common complaint and it is estimated that 80% of Americans will suffer from it at some point during their lifetime. Lower back pain is also a leading cause of absence from work due to ill health, even though more than half of all cases are believed to be a direct result of the patient doing a job that involves continual sitting.
In many cases, the back pain is either not severe enough for the patient to seek professional intervention or it resolves itself within a few days. However, there is a percentage of individuals who suffer from chronic, recurrent back pain and are reliant on pain medication to help keep them comfortable day today.
Fortunately, there is no longer any need to suffer from ongoing lower back pain. Chiropractic care from a trained and experienced professional can help relieve your discomfort and enable you to work, sleep and enjoy life without worrying about back pain.
The lower back, also known as the lumbar, works with the bones of the pelvis to help support the weight of our body as well as to stabilize, rotate, flex and bend the spinal column.
Lower back pain has been attributed to many different things, but experts tend to agree that a sedentary lifestyle, combined with the growing obesity problem, has definitely contributed to the increasing number of people experiencing lower back pain. Posture is also a significant cause of lower back pain. Sitting at laptops and computers for hours on end as well as sitting too long while driving and when watching television are all associated with this type of discomfort.
Occasionally, back pain can be attributed to a medical condition such as sciatica, irritation of the nerve that runs from the pelvis to the feet, or a slipped/herniated disc. Nevertheless, it is often impossible to pinpoint an exact cause of lower back pain and is therefore often referred to as ‘non-specific back pain’ by doctors.
If you are a new chiropractic patient, there are several initial tests that you can expect your chiropractor to perform. In addition to collecting a detailed family and personal medical history, you will likely receive a detailed physical exam to identify any potential issues which should include a spinal and postural screening.
Spinal and postural screening is a test conducted by your chiropractor that can help identify neuromusculoskeletal disorders before any serious issues arise. This test can find spinal alignment and postural positioning that hasn't presented with an actual problem yet, but if left untreated, may cause chronic conditions in the neck or back.
Our bodies are meant to have all portions of the torso balanced. This means that our heads, necks, shoulders, rib cage, spine, abdominal cavity, and pelvis must all be in proper alignment to function at our highest level. When one of these systems is out of alignment, it can have a cascading effect on the rest of our body. When we aren’t in proper alignment, it’s generally the spine that compensates and bends to accommodate our positioning which places additional stress on the spine and surrounding tissues. Over time, poor positioning can lead to spinal injuries or disease. Some of these diseases include:
Strained, sprained, or pulled muscles
Neck or back pain
Furthermore, poor positioning in our adolescent years has a correlation with the progression of arthritis and chronic pain in adulthood. This means that young adults or children may also benefit from receiving a spinal and postural screening from a licensed chiropractor.
The actual screening process occurs in two parts. The first part is the static screening which looks at potential issues while the patient is not moving. The chiropractor will assess several factors including pelvic tilt, elevation posture, and rotation posture.
The second part is the dynamic screening which looks for alignment issues while the patient is moving. This helps to identify how the body compensates for weight in the body while it shifts positions. Improper positioning or poor posture can be determined if a patient favors one leg over the other or if the patient is holding their body in an unnatural position. Maintaining this poor positioning can lead to issues over time.
The dynamic screening has patients perform several moves for the evaluation. These moves include:
Standing on one leg
Attempting a push-up
Standing up from a seated position and then returning to the seat.
Raising your hands above your head
Your chiropractor will also measure your legs and arms to ensure that they are the same length or to identify the reason for any differences. Your head position will also be evaluated. Poor head position often causes neck and upper back or shoulder issues.
At the completion of your screening, your chiropractor will discuss your results. Patients often find that their chiropractor has identified issues that were bothering them as well as several they hadn’t yet noticed. If you have questions about any of these conditions, be sure to discuss them with your chiropractor.
Finally, after you have discussed some of the issues or conditions that you may have, your chiropractor will help you develop a personalized treatment plan. Many plans include spinal manipulation or adjustments, massage, and exercises.
Spinal manipulation will help to restore your spine and joints to their proper positioning, while massage and exercise help the muscles maintain proper positioning.
A chiropractor's priority is to ensure that you receive the appropriate care to help you live your best life. Through initial screenings and evaluations, they can quickly identify any issues and execute the best plan for you. If you think that chiropractic care is an option for you, please contact your chiropractor today to set up your initial consultation.
Chiropractors are often thought of as the medical field that specifically deals with issues surrounding your back, or more specifically, your spine. While they certainly focus on your spine, chiropractors are essentially joint and nerve specialists. And since all your nerves travel from your brain and through the spinal column, if there is a disruption in any part of the spine, it can significantly affect your ability to function normally.
With all the messages that your brain sends through the spinal cord, it should not be a surprise that chiropractic care can offer benefits to several aspects of your life. Below, we have compiled a list of just some of the benefits of chiropractic care.
If you’re faced with high blood pressure, it can be overwhelming to think about adding a medication that has several serious side effects into your daily routine. These side effects include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, and weight loss. Recently, a study has found that just one chiropractic adjustment could result in the same benefits as medications that are specifically designed to lower your blood pressure, and that the effects of that adjustment could last for as long as six months.
If an adjustment can offer the same results as the medications, but without the daunting side effects, it may be the right time to book an appointment with your chiropractor.
It probably isn’t a surprise that chiropractic care helps with pain in the neck and back. However, some studies suggest that 80% of Americans experience some sort of lower back pain in their lives. With costly surgeries, addictive pain medications, and mixed levels of relief, chiropractic is another option that many people just don’t consider. Chiropractic care can help to correct any issues without invasive procedures or prescription medications and may be a viable alternative for your neck and back issues.
Both tension and migraine headaches can often be traced to your back. Spinal issues or back misalignment can create a strain on your muscles as they attempt to compensate. This additional strain can trigger tension and migraine headaches. Chiropractic adjustments can help to align the back and in turn, the muscles can relax, and prevent future headaches from arriving. In fact, there are over 200 studies that confirm these results!
Scoliosis is a medical condition that causes the spine to abnormally curve. This change in posture can cause issues with pain, breathing, and an overall reduction in your range of motion. While the treatment options are limited for people who have been diagnosed with scoliosis, chiropractic care is generally a great alternative.
When chiropractic care is combined with physical therapy, it has been shown to slow the progression of the disease while improving a patient’s quality of life.
Sciatic pain is caused by an issue in the sciatic nerve that travels down to your legs. Any problems that impair the nerve's ability to function can result in pain in one or both legs. This pain can be so debilitating that it sometimes leads to an over-prescription or addiction to certain pain medications.
Chiropractic care works to help reduce the pressure that is placed on the sciatic nerve. Studies have shown that when patients visit their chiropractor to receive care, there was a reduction in the number of days that they experienced pain as well as a reduction in their pain severity.
Neurological conditions can be caused by a wide variety of reasons. Chiropractic care for these conditions can help to increase both blood and cerebrospinal fluid which, in turn, delivers more oxygen to and removes waste from the skull, allowing the brain to have an increased ability to heal and function properly.
While this list is only a sampling of the many benefits that chiropractic care can offer, you may likely have been experiencing some of these issues yourself. If you’ve been diagnosed or are dealing with any of these conditions, you should call your chiropractor to discuss your options today.
Massages have been used therapeutically for thousands of years, with styles and techniques evolving throughout the centuries. Today, there are more than 100 varieties of massage being used in countries all around the world, helping to relieve back pain and muscle stiffness in millions of patients.
Although chiropractic care is not the same as massage, an increasing number of chiropractors are offering massage therapy to help alleviate pain and rehabilitate injuries in patients suffering from problems with their musculoskeletal system. Most qualified and experienced chiropractors agree that while massage therapy can be beneficial as a standalone treatment, it is far superior when performed alongside conventional chiropractic adjustments.
Massage therapy refers to the manual manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, including the skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. There are many different techniques, with some of the most popular being:
A gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, deep circular movements, kneading, vibrations, and tapping to relax your body and help you feel revitalized.
Similar to Swedish massage, but targeted at people heavily involved in sport, and used to treat or prevent injuries.
With slower, more forceful strokes, this type of massage targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue with the aim of stimulating blood flow to the area so that they can heal.
Focused on specific areas of tight muscle, this massage helps to loosen and relax these areas that tend to tighten with overuse or injury.
Trigger point injections are an effective therapy that is designed to help with issues surrounding myofascial pain syndrome. This syndrome is a muscle disorder characterized by myofascial trigger points that cause significant pain. While myofascial pain syndrome can occur concurrently with fibromyalgia, the two are distinct from each other.
These trigger points are typically located in the trapezius and rhomboid muscle groups in the back. Trigger points in these areas can cause headaches or neck and shoulder pain. In addition to these areas, trigger points are also located in the extremities, but issues here are less common.
There is often a nodule located in the muscle where a trigger point is located. When somebody presses on this nodule, pain can be felt and may radiate or shoot outward from the nodule to the trigger point.
A trigger point injection (TPI) can be administered by several different types of medical professionals in an office setting. The injection is given straight into the trigger point itself and may contain a corticosteroid, a local anesthetic, or both.
Additionally, a trigger point may simply have a needle inserted, but not deliver any medication. This “dry needling” can render the trigger point inactive and relieve the associated pain.
The TPI is typically administered to a patient who is lying on their stomach or sitting on the exam table. Your medical professional will locate the trigger point through palpation. Sometimes they may use an ultrasound to locate the trigger point, though this is not common.
The injection site will be marked and then sterilized with an alcohol swab. Some individuals may also request a topical anesthetic to help numb the injection site. After the site is numb, the injection is made, and the medication is injected. A bandage may be placed if bleeding occurs.
If you experience pain related to your treatment you may opt to take an over-the-counter pain medication that contains an anti-inflammatory.
If you have a painful trigger point that radiates into the surrounding area, it may be time to consider TPI. Individuals that have fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome are ideal candidates.
Pain associated with the actual injection is a rare and relatively minor side effect that some patients have reported which usually dissipates within a few days of the injection. If you experience these side effects, the use of ice, heat or over-the-counter medications can help to alleviate your pain.
Another possible side effect is a skin indentation that occurs at the injection site which has only been seen when the injection includes a steroid. The steroid may cause the underlying fat cells to shrink leaving a small depression.
Some bleeding or risk of infection is also present due to the injection of the needle through the skin. While these side effects are relatively minor, if your condition worsens, you should seek immediate medical attention.
TPI injections can completely resolve the issue permanently when they are associated with minor trauma, injury, or as the result of a motion that will no longer be performed. However, individuals that are receiving TPI treatment as the result of fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome may require multiple injections as trigger points tend to recur when a chronic condition causes them. Injections may be required monthly, but typically occur less frequently. You should discuss your needs with your medical professional.
Trigger point injections can be an effective treatment for many patients that are experiencing trigger point pain. If you believe that this may be the cause of your pain, call your medical professional today to schedule an appointment and discuss your options.
Many businesses today are struggling to navigate the world of health care in order to maintain a healthy workforce. While the markets may be changing, chiropractic care is a stable avenue that keeps employees feeling better, increases productivity, and strengthens retention. Let’s take a better look at what corporate wellness programs can offer your company and why you should consider increasing the options for employees.
It is hard to imagine that any employer would say that they don’t care about the health of their employees, but many companies feel that wellness programs are an excess expense. The companies that cut back on wellness expenses soon find that they have increased their costs in other areas. When employees feel that their health is valued, they are more likely to be motivated to be at work and when they have access to adequate medical care, they can catch illness or injury before it affects their work performance.
Employees with access to health care services are more likely to be well-versed on any issues they may be having as well as seek professional guidance when these issues occur. With this access, employees will feel like they can take control of their health and make healthier lifestyle choices when it comes to diet and exercise. When employees stack the deck in their favor, they are less likely to be diagnosed with conditions that require surgery or are able to look into less invasive options first.
Health insurance costs increase as the number of people requiring expensive medical care goes up. As companies expand their costs in preventative care, education, and incentives – they see an overall reduction in health-related expenses. This can be seen in the reduced number of missed workdays, lack of productivity, and expensive specialists or doctor visits. A recent study even suggests that for every $1 spent on corporate wellness, the companies saw a savings of $2.13 to $10.10 through lower medical costs, reduced number of missed workdays, and increased productivity.
There are several factors that relate to employees seeking other work options. One common issue is that employees don’t feel like they matter to the company. Wellness programs are an excellent option for corporations to directly demonstrate their view on the value of the employee and their well-being. When companies make investments in their employees, employees are more likely to feel invested within the company. The building of strong bonds between employees helps to increase retention which lowers overall costs in training, hiring, and all the issues that are related to the termination of poor-performing employees.
If you are looking at wellness programs for your company, you should consider many of the options that are offered including chiropractic services, which can be especially attractive for employers to add to their package. Chiropractic adjustments are commonly linked to reduced workplace injuries and illnesses and can help to alleviate or reduce the adverse effects of the workplace on your employees. Additionally, your chiropractor may even travel to your company location which will result in an increase in time at work and participation in the wellness program. Chiropractors offer a cost-effective way to reduce headaches, back or neck pain, poor digestion, and many other issues commonly associated with today’s working professionals.
The workplace is becoming increasingly competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent for your company. If you are considering making an investment in your employees, you should contact a chiropractor today to discuss the many benefits that they can offer for your staff. When employees feel that they are valued at a company, they return the investment to your bottom line.
In today’s world, there is a growing group of people who are putting their personal health at the forefront. These people strongly believe that having a positive outlook on their health can increase the chances of reaching their goals and increase their quality of life.
If you are considering making a healthy change, congratulations! Improving your health and quality of life can be exciting and when you begin your transformation, you may want to consider enlisting the services of a health and wellness coach.
A health and wellness coach is an individual or team of people that help you create a vision for your journey. They help break down your overall goal into individual steps and create manageable milestones for you to accomplish on a short-term basis. They also help you to develop a positive mindset around your goals and push you to achieve your vision.
Health and wellness coaches will typically be available to you at every step of your journey and can provide valuable insight and encouragement to keep you motivated to continue to push through barriers.
Health and wellness coaches can personalize a plan for your needs, but traditional plans will include:
A method for stress management
Tips for healthy eating
How to prioritize your care
Help to maintain your positive outlook
Insight into balancing your schedule
These coaches are typically concerned with the overall well-being of their clients and their interest can offer a valuable perspective on all aspects of your life and how that relates to your health. The more open and honest you are about your personal life, the more tailored a plan will be in order to help you achieve your dreams.
Health coaches have specific training that qualifies them for the specific approaches that they advertise. However, you should not expect a health coach to act as your dietitian or personal trainer. While they may be able to offer some advice, it may be wise to bring on additional specialists to your health team.
Health coaches are also not usually licensed psychologists or therapists. While they can help you to set and achieve positive goals, they are not qualified to work with or diagnose mental health or psychological disorders.
Health and wellness coaches are there to hold you accountable for your specific goals. They will check in with you at regular intervals to see how you are progressing and discuss any setbacks that you may be having in order to help you make changes to your plan when needed. Health coaches may also be able to identify any other issues you may be having and guide you toward professionals related to those issues for advice.
Health coaches are there to pull you back on track when you feel like quitting as well as to help remind you of your day one goal and how you can achieve it. We all have challenging days, but when you have a partner on your side, it makes those days less frequent and more manageable.
Coaching in this market is a blossoming economy that is growing every day. Therefore, it is important to find a coach that fits your needs and complements your goals. If you are considering a coach, you should look at their qualifications, check their reviews, and ask to speak with some of their previous clients.
You can also ask to see examples of coaching plans they have designed for others with needs similar to yours. If you are considering hiring a health and wellness coach, you should call today and set up an initial consultation. There is no better time to start your wellness journey than right now!
Many people who have back pain have been experiencing it for so long that they believe that it’s just a regular part of their life. Even after you have taken pain relievers, used heating pads, ice packs, and maybe even bought an expensive, specialized mattress, your pain can still remain. While all of these tools can be used in an attempt to manage your back pain, the actual root cause of the issue has yet to be addressed.
Many chiropractic patients suffer from conditions that can't be corrected through temporary measures. When you must sit at a desk for eight or more hours a day, your mattress and pain relievers just can’t fix it. If you’ve tried these options but are coming up short in managing your pain or range of motion, you may want to consider a chiropractic adjustment.
If you’re still weighing your options, here are some benefits to consider if you are thinking about scheduling your first chiropractic adjustment:
Some studies suggest that receiving chiropractic adjustments can have the same effect on your blood pressure as some medications that are specifically designed to lower your blood pressure without the side effects often associated with blood pressure medications such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness, weight loss, and anxiety. The study also found that these effects were not just short-term and that the benefits of an adjustment could last up to six months after your appointment.
Individuals that have a misaligned spine or pain in their spine often try to adjust their position in an attempt to reduce pain in a specific area. Unfortunately, this shift in posture can result in poor alignment in other areas. Your chiropractor can help to align your problem areas which can result in better overall posture and reduced pain throughout your back and spinal column.
Scoliosis is a condition that affects the curvature of the spine. The back can curve and twist causing difficulty with mobility, range of motion, pain, and may even affect your ability to breathe. While there are several options available to help cope with scoliosis, chiropractic adjustments have been shown to help treat the disease. When chiropractic adjustments are used in tandem with physical therapy, the progression of scoliosis can even be halted.
Many patients believe that the only way to reduce inflammation is with medication or heat therapies. However, these treatment options are only temporary and can’t correct the underlying problems, but when you utilize chiropractic adjustments, you can often stop the issues that are causing the swelling in the first place.
Since properly aligned joints are not as likely to experience irritation that leads to inflammation, chiropractic adjustments can reduce or eliminate your inflammation as well as eliminate the need for medications.
Sciatica is a condition that many patients experience that causes pain to radiate down your spine and into your legs. This is the result of a damaged or pinched sciatic nerve. Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve which can lead to a reduced need for pain medications and a reduction in overall pain.
Both migraine and tension headaches can be linked to problems with the back or spine. In fact, headaches are the top reason that people seek the help of a chiropractor. A properly aligned spine helps with both muscle tightness and pain which can cause both types of headaches. This means that there is a cascading positive effect of your chiropractic adjustment as an aligned spine does not strain the muscles and therefore won’t trigger your painful headaches.
If you are experiencing pain in the back, neck, or any associated pain it is a good time to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. A licensed chiropractor can review your case to identify the best options for you. Call to schedule your appointment today.