If you are a little confused about what chiropractic care means, you most certainly aren’t alone. Many people are confused about the nature of chiropractic treatment and the somewhat poor reputation associated with chiropractic care.
Lets 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 established, 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 comprises 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 actual fact, spinal manipulation is a precise, swift adjustment that aims to release the pressure on the nerves in your back. In doing so, the body can begin to heal itself.
Chiropractic care has been successfully used to treat a wide range of spinal conditions, although most tend to occur 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 are an unfortunate but very common occurrence. Even the most confident and experienced driver can make mistakes, and sometimes those errors can 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. While some injuries may be very minor, others can have debilitating and sometimes permanent consequences.
Neck and back damage are 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 the 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’ backwards and forwards in quick succession. As a result, the muscles in the neck are overextended.
Lower back pain is an exceptionally common complaint and 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, although more than half of cases are believed to be as a direct result from 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 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 to day.
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 and 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, with sitting at laptops and computers for hours on end, sitting too long while driving and when watching television all associated with this type of discomfort.
Occasionally, back pain can be attributed to a medical condition such as sciatica, an irritation of the nerve that runs from the pelvis to the feet, or a slipped/herniated disc. Nevertheless, often it is impossible to pinpoint an exact cause of lower back pain, and if this is the case, doctors tend to refer to it as ‘non-specific back pain’.
If you are a new chiropractic patient, there are several initial tests that your chiropractor may wish to perform. In addition to a detailed family and patient history, you will likely receive a detailed physical exam to identify any potential issues. Your chiropractor may also request or perform a spinal and postural screening.
A spinal and postural screening is a test conducted by your chiropractor that can help identify neuromusculoskeletal disorders before serious issues arise. This test can find spinal alignment and postural positioning that may have yet to present with an actual problem. If left untreated, these conditions 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. This 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 in 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 is the static screening. This screening looks at potential issues while the patient is not moving. The chiropractor will assess several factors. These include pelvic tilt, elevation posture and rotation posture.
The second part is dynamic screening. This process looks for alignment issues while the patient is moving. This helps to identify how the body compensates for weight in the body while the body 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. If patients maintain this positioning, it 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 several different issues that were bothering them and maybe several that they hadn’t even noticed yet. If you have any 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.
Chiropractors priority is to make sure that you receive the appropriate care to help you live your life to a higher standard. Through initial screenings and evaluations, they can quickly identify 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 with your back, specifically your spine. While they certainly focus on your spine, they are essentially joint and nerve specialists. It is essential to consider all the 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. We have compiled a list of just some benefits below.
A study has recently found that just one chiropractic adjustment could result in the same benefits as medications that are specifically designed to lower your blood pressure. Additionally, the effects of that adjustment could last for as long as six months.
If you’re faced with high blood pressure, it can be daunting to think about adding a medication with serious side effects in your daily routine. These side effects include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, and weight loss. If an adjustment can offer the same results as the medications, it may be the right time to book an appointment with your chiropractor.
It probably isn’t a surprise that chiropractic care helps with your 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 don’t consider. Chiropractic care can help to correct the 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 triggers tension and migraine headaches. Chiropractic adjustments can help to align the back. In turn, the muscles can relax, and the headaches never arrive. 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 can help reduce the pressure that is placed on the sciatic nerve. Studies have shown that when patients visit their chiropractor to receive care that there was a reduction in the number of days that they experienced pain and a reduction in their pain severity.
As patients are diagnosed with neurological conditions, it’s easy to see that they can be caused by a wide variety of reasons. Chiropractic care for these conditions can help to increase both blood and cerebrospinal fluid. This, in turn, delivers more oxygen and removes waste from the skull allowing the brain an increased ability to heal and function properly.
While this list is only a sampling of the many benefits that chiropractic care can offer, it is likely that you may have been experiencing some of these issues yourself. If you’ve been diagnosed or are dealing with any of these conditions, it’s worth calling your chiropractor to discuss your options today.
Massages have been used therapeutically for thousands of years, with styles and techniques evolving through the centuries. Today, there are more than 100 varieties of massage being used in counties 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 tissue on 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 loose 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 that causes significant pain. Myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by myofascial trigger points. While myofascial pain syndrome can occur concurrently with fibromyalgia, the two are distinct from each other.
Trigger points are typically located in the back in the trapezius and rhomboid muscle groups. 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. The injection may contain a corticosteroid, a local anesthetic, or both.
Additionally, a trigger point may simply have a needle inserted, but no medication is delivered. 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, but this is not common.
The injection site will be marked; then the site will be 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 is also 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 but relatively minor side effect that some patients have reported. The pain is usually gone 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. This has only been seen when the injection includes the steroid. The steroid may cause the underlying fat cells to shrink leaving a small depression.
Some bleeding or a 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 immediately seek 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. 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, schedule an appointment with a medical professional and discuss your options.
Many businesses today are struggling to navigate the world of health care 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 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 cost in other areas. When employees feel that their health is valued, they are more likely to be motivated to be at work. Additionally, when they have access to medical care, they can catch illness or injury before it affects their work performance.
Employees that can access health care services are more likely to be well-versed on any issues that they are having. They are more likely to seek professional answers and to feel like they can take control of their health. This means that more employees can make healthy life 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, that 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 that 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. Chiropractic services can be especially attractive for employers to add to their package. Chiropractic adjustments are commonly linked to workplace injuries or illness 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 common issues associated with today’s working professionals.
The workplace is becoming increasingly competitive to attract and keep 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 into your bottom line.
In today’s world, there is a growing group of people who are putting their personal health at the forefront of everything. 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.
Congratulations if you are considering making a healthy change! Improving your health and quality of life can be an exciting outlook. While you are beginning your transformation, you may also 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 can break your overall goal down into the individual steps and create manageable milestones for you to accomplish on a short-term basis. They also help you develop a positive mindset around your goals and push you to achieve your vision.
Health and wellness coaches will typically be available to you for every step of your journey. They can provide valuable insight and encouragement to keep you motivated and pushing through barriers.
Health and wellness coaches can often personalize a plan for your needs, but tradition plans will include
A method for stress management
Tips for healthy eating
How to prioritize your care
Help to maintain your positive outlook
Insight to balancing your schedule
These coaches are typically concerned with the overall well-being of their clients. This means that they take an interest and 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 better a tailored plan will 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 also 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 typically not licensed to practice psychology or therapy. While they can help you to set positive goals and achieve your 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 goals specifically. They will check in with you at regular intervals and see how you are progressing. They will discuss any setbacks or successes that you are having and help you make changes to your plan when they are needed. Health coaches may also be able to identify issues and guide you toward other professional help before you may even recognize the benefit.
Health coaches are there to pull you back on track when you feel like quitting. They help to 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 and growing every day. It’s 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. Ask to see their reviews and ask to speak with some of their previous clients.
You can also ask for some examples of coaching plans that they have designed that are like your own needs. 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 have experienced back pain for so long that they believe that it’s just simply part of how their life must be. After you have taken your regimen of pain relievers, used heating pads, ice packs, and finally broke down and bought a specialized mattress worth several thousand dollars, your pain can remain. Part of this issue is that you have taken a whole lot of steps to stop the effects of back pain, but you haven’t addressed the actual core issue.
Many chiropractic patients suffer from conditions that aren’t 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 scheduling your first chiropractic adjustment today:
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. The study also found that these effects were not just short-term. The benefits of an adjustment could last up to six months after your appointment.
Additionally, chiropractic adjustments don’t come with the same side effects with blood pressure medications such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness, weight loss and anxiety.
Individuals that have a misaligned spine or pain in their spine can adjust their position to try 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 shown to help treat the disease. When chiropractic adjustments are used in tandem with physical therapy you can even halt the progression of scoliosis.
Many patients believe that the only ways to reduce inflammation are through medication or heat therapies. These treatment options are only temporary and can’t correct the underlying problems. When you utilize chiropractic adjustments you can stop the issues that cause swelling in the first place.
Properly aligned joints are not as likely to experience irritation that leads to inflammation. This means that chiropractic adjustments can reduce or eliminate your inflammation and can also eliminate the need for medications.
Sciatica is a condition that many patients experience that causes pain to continue 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. Patients experience a reduced need for pain medications and a reduction in their 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 muscle tightness and pain. When back muscles are in pain they cause both types of headaches. This means that there is a cascading positive effect of your chiropractic adjustment. An aligned spine does not strain the muscles, and these muscles won’t trigger your painful headaches.
If you are experiencing back or neck pain 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.