Chiropractic care can help many common symptoms and problems. We have listed some of the more common conditions that you may recognize in yourself or others. If you are experiencing any of these problems, please contact us for an appointment today.
The intervertebral disc is a cartilage pad that is situated between the spinal vertebra bones. A healthy disc has a soft jellylike center contained by layers of fibrous tissues. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. When healthy, discs facilitate normal movement between the spinal vertebra. Intervertebral discs have little or no direct blood supply. They depend upon normal joint motion to bring nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc could in time be comprimised. A healthy disc is flexible. A degenerated disc becomes stiff and impairs the movement available between vertebra joints. A vicious cycle of poor joint motion and disc degeneration leads to poor spinal health.
Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebra above and below it, a disc cannot slip as commonly thought. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, interfering with their function.
While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing conservative chiropractic care.
Whiplash is most commonly associated with riding in a car that is struck from behind or that collides with another object. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments that support the spine and head can be overstretched or torn. The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck and back can get stretched and irritated. The automobile occupants may suffer considerable soft tissue injury even when the car has sustained minimal damage.
The resulting trauma of the spine and soft tissues can cause headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, memory and concentration problems, pain in the neck, shoulders, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and even low back problems. As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear for days, weeks, or even months later.
The goal of treatment following whiplash trauma is to relieve pain and restore normal spine function. Our approach to uncomplicated whiplash injuries involves a Three Phase Treatment Program. In Phase One, treatment is directed as controlling pain, inflammation, and muscle spasm. In Phase Two, treatment is directed at restoring muscle strength and elasticity, and restoring normal spinal joint function. In Phase Three, treatment is directed at improving muscular dynamic function and postural endurance. In this phase of treatment the goal is to improve the overal function of the spine as an integrated kinetic chain that is able to withstand normal activity and postural demands.
Osteoarthritis is a condition characterized by the gradual breakdown of joint cartilage. Although commonly seen in hands, it is most common in the weight bearing joints such as the knees, hips, neck and back. As the joint cartilage deteriorates it can lead to joint stiffness and increased strain on the supporting tissues surrounding it. Although degenerative changes are common with age they do not automatically result in pain. The fact that many people have joints with moderate osteoarthritic changes without pain indicates the degeneration alone is not the sole pain producing mechanism. What can be more important is how the degenerative changes lead to poor dynamic joint function and the resulting abnormal forces placed on the joints other supporting structures such as ligaments and muscle tendons and their associated bursa. Additionally, poor joint function can lead to movement compensation patterns that place abnormal strain on other areas and cause pain or further degenerative changes.
We focus on restoration and maintenance of function by emphasizing joint movement and increasing the ability of the muscles to support and stabilize the affected joints. In addition, we assess how the body as a whole is functioning to uncover possible abnormal movement patterns that may lead to further impairment.
Joints of the body need to move. When this movement becomes restricted and normal motion is altered several problems arise. Most commonly joint dysfunction results in pain, stiffness, muscle tightness, cartilage breakdown/degeneration, and movement compensation leading to undue stress on other areas of the body. Joint dysfunction are common in the spine and the extremities and can occur with injury, poor posture, muscles tightness, scar tissue, or muscles imbalance.
The doctor will assess movement of the joints to feel for areas of altered or restricted movements. Once identified, the abnormal movement can be restored using a combination of chiropractic joint adjustments and therapeutic exercise. Whenever possible, simple home exercises are demonstrated to facilitate and maintain proper motion in key areas. Underlying factors such as poor posture and muscle imbalance often need to be addressed in cases of chronic or recurrent joint dysfunction.
Neck/Low Back Pain
Restricted or altered motion of the joints of the spine are one of the most common causes of neck and low back pain. When normal motion between spinal vertebrae is comprimised the joints often become inflamed when subjected to normal movement stresses. This often leads to local pain, mucular stiffening, and possible pressure on spinal nerves leading to pain, numbness, and tingling extending into arms or legs. Muscle spasms may increase joint inflamation and pain by increasing joint compression. A vicious cycle of joint dysfunction, inflammation, and spasm may lead to a constant state of pain and immobility.
Often times stretching and massage may only temporarily relieve the pain, because the joint restriction has not been addressed. With this type of neck and back pain therapy is directed at restoring joint function so that inflammation can heal and protective spasm subside.
80% of headaches originate from the neck. Usually an increased amount of stress and tension held in the shoulders causes contractions of all of the surrounding neck muscles. When these muscles contract, vertebrae can become misaligned causing pressure on the neck joints and in some cases the spinal nerves. With a typical cervicogenic (neck origin) headache, a person usually feels pain starting at the base of the skull which radiates into the temples, eyeballs, and forehead.
There may be several other causes of headaches, so a proper examination is needed to determine the actual cause.
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve originating in the lower back and extending down the back of the leg. When this nerve is irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, weakness, or other symptoms in the lower back and down the leg. There are several possible causes of this condition. A misaligned vertebra can cause inflammation of the joints, putting pressure on the nerve. Bulging discs and muscle spasms can also cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Several other conditions may cause this symptom, so a complete evaluation would be needed to correctly asses the exact cause.
A pinched nerve is just that. When nerves get pinched they become severely inflamed and muscles may spasm, causing even more discomfort. The pain is usually so severe that you can't move that part of the body and it can cause other distressing symptoms as well. There can be several causes of the pinched nerve and a proper examination is needed to determine the exact cause.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
These days millions of Americans have jobs which can have damaging effects on the hands and arms. Repetitive movements which are not performed with good ergonomics in mind can cause micro-trauma to the hands and wrists. This trauma may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. In carpal tunnel syndrome there is compression effecting the nerve that supplies the thumb, index, and middle finger of the hand. Common symptoms include wrist pain, numbness, weakness, burning and loss of muscle function. It often wakes the affected person at night. We have therapeutic programs that are very affective for mild and moderate cases of carpal tunnel syndrome and do not require prescription drugs or surgery.
Mai ntenance Care
What many people dont know is that you don't have to be injured to benefit from chiropractic care. By staying well adjusted with maintenance chiropractic care you can help prevent injury. Some other possible benefits of maintenance care are: optimal nerve output for optimal physical performance, improved posture, decreased stiffness, increased mobility, energy, strength, circulation, and immune function just to name a few.
Everybody benefits from chiropractic a little differently, but one thing everybody has in common is that they just feel better.
Fibromyalgia is a controversial and complicated condition to understand. For proper diagnosis and treatment, a wide variety of factors need to be considered including "head-to-toe" joint and muscle function, nutrition, and lifestyle issues. A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing, as well as other specialized tests, will help to determine the exact causes of your symptoms and your individualized treatment plan. Very often, a comprehensive treatment program addressing all of these issues leads to significant improvement.
Joint and soft tissue manipulation is often very helpful in relieving the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and related conditions. Other treatment options may include ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation, acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, and massage therapy & myofascial release techniques. These procedures, combined with nutritional & herbal medicine, and/or homeopathy constitute a comprehensive, holistic approach. Although researchers are still a long way from finding a "cure" for fibromyalgia, chiropractic care is usually very successful in the effective management of this condition. However, if after examination we conclude that your case cannot be helped with conservative care, a prompt referral will be made.
Our shoulders normally have amazing mobility. The tremendous mobility of the shoulder comes at the expense of structural stability. An important part of the structural stability of the shoulder comes from the proper function of the surrounding shouder girdle musculature. Of particular importance is a group of four muscles collectively called the Rotator Cuff. The rotator cuff muscles provide shoulder movement but also help keep the ball of the upper arm centered in the joint during all phases of shoulder motion. Improper function of the rotator cuff musculature is the most common cause of shoulder pain. The structural integrity of the rotator cuff musculature is determined through examination and, when indicated, x-ray or MRI. We have affective therapeutic programs for restoring pain free motion of the shoulder when surgical intervention is not indicated.
The most common condition affecting the elbow is Lateral Epicondylitis, more commonly referred to as Tennis Elbow. The vast majority of patients presenting with this problem however do not play tennis. Lateral epicondylitis most commonly results from trauma where the wrist and finger extending musculature attach at the outer part of the elbow. The trauma may result from repetitive hand motions or grasping, or simply from pulling weeds in the garden. The outer elbow is generally tender to direct pressure and is typically painful during grasping and wrist bending activities. When untreated this condition can become a very chronic problem and even require surgery. Most cases of uncomplicated lateral epicondylitis respond very well to conservative care when therapy begins within the first 4-6 week of symptoms. Therapy consists of a combination of physiotherapies and therapeutic exercises.
Knee pain may be caused by a wide range of problems. Direct trauma is an obvious cause but may be as simple as kneeling on a hard surface. Other common causes of knee pain include joint cartilage tears and degeneration. These conditions are diagnosed through a combination of history, examination, x-ray, and MRI studies. Cartilage tears that result in pain, swelling, and joint locking may require arthoscopic surgery. Joint cartilage degeneration often leads to joint instability resulting in microtrauma of the surrounding supporting structures. This often leads to intermittent painful knees. On examination the knee will exhibit various degrees of increased joint play. On x-ray the joint space at the knee will be narrowed due to cartillage degeneration. For mild and moderate cases of knee pain resulting from cartilage degeneration instability a combination of therapy and therapeutic exercise to improve muscular tone of the knee often improve symptoms and decrease flare-up frequency. In more persistent cases knee bracing is prescribed to add structural support. In severe cases knee joint replacement may be the only effective option.
More people than not have abnormal foot structure and or foot function. For many people abnormal foot structure and function result in foot pain. When you consider how much weight and movement stresses the feet are required to handle it should not be surprising that so many people have painful feet. The most common causes of foot pain are bunions, plantar fascitis, anterior metatarsalgia, corns and caluses, osteoarthritis, ingrown toenails, and interdigital neuromas. Many cases of chronic foot pain not requiring surgery can be helped with foot manipulation and prescription orthotics to support the foot arches. The feet are examined to determine the source of the pain, and evaluated for structural and functional deficiences. If the individual bones making up the foot have movement restrictions the foot is manipulated to restore motion. Prescription orthotics are made when structural deficiences are found that can be corrected or improved with shoe inserts.