Many people believe that headaches are caused by loud noise, being tired, or being stressed. While these are many factors that can lead to headaches, the direct cause is tightness in the neck and shoulders. 80% of all headaches originate from the neck. However, there many different forms of headache classified according to the symptoms, or the cause of the headache. Some can be due to very serious disorders (tumors, aneurysms, concussion, dangerously high blood pressure etc.) that need immediate attention but they are relatively less common. The majority of headaches have less sinister causes. Either way it is important to be evaluated by a physician if the headaches persist in order to determine the cause and assess the need for emergency intervention.
Most of the headaches that we commonly suffer from have a muscular, and or joint component. Irritation can happen to the upper neck joints, the muscles in the back of the head, or to the nerves going up to the head. Poor posture, (slouching in front of counter, computer, or TV), sudden trauma, (a fall, missed step, or a car accident), emotional or physical stress can cause the problem. Chiropractic can help by correcting the joint misalignments at the neck, relaxing the irritated muscles, and soothing irritated nerves. Methods used are the adjustment, massage, and stretching. Additionally postural exercises and relevant education for lifestyle changes (ergonomic changes, dietary factors, lighting and reading modifications, etc.) are given to the patient to correct the many factors that could have predisposed the patient to the headache in the first place.
The tightness can cause misalignments in the vertebrae of your neck, resulting in pain. 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. Massage of the neck and shoulder muscles can release tension, and a chiropractic adjustment can realign the vertebrae in your neck. Chiropractic can help eliminate the cause of your headaches rather than offering a temporary relief from the symptoms.
TMJ (temporomandibular Joint disorder)
TMJ is identified with pain in one or both sides of the jaw, clicking or grinding noise in the joints (infront and sligthly below the ear) limitation of jaw opening, and or shifting of the jaw to one side on open or close. A common symptom can also be headache.
The cause of the dysfunction can be gradual or traumatic.
Sudden or acute trauma may be directly on the jaw from a punch, kick, or fall.
Gradual causes are:
Grinding of the teeth and uneven bite pattern
Compensation from some old trauma (Whiplash often affects the jaw but it often gets overlooked)
bad posture (Uneven leg lengths or pelvis can cause compensatory head tilt and uneven opening of the jaw).
A mouth guard or dental work might be needed to correct bite imbalance.
Chiropractic treatment first establishes a balanced stable foundation in checking and correcting occipital and cervical joint function. This may involve longer term addressing of pelvic or leg length discrepancy.
To offer direct TMJ treatment and pain relief soft tissue mobilization / massage is administered to the muscles of mastication (chewing) along the temples, above the ear , and at the angle of the jaw (masseter muscles). The inner muscles located deep and next to the upper rear most teeth can be treated if they contribute to imbalance. The joint itself is very sensitive and also has a small disc. It is best to treat it with gentler traction mobilization techniques. The goal is to decompress the joint, align the disc and balance the musculature to even out bite pressure and restore a properly centered hinge motion.
Improper computer and telephone use, or working in confined spaces with the head in awkward positions (mechanics, electricians plumbers), sleeping face down, and simple tasks like laying on the couch or watching TV the wrong way, can give rise to neck pain, stiffness, and limitation in motion and function.
While medicine can take away the pain it does nothing to correct the mechanics and change the way your neck functions. Chiropractic corrects misalignments in joint motion, helps to evenly distribute stresses to all the joints, relaxes muscles and increases movement. Postural advice and simple stretches and exercises combined with occasional Chiropractic correction help to prevent the inevitable “wry neck” or “torticollis” in the long term.
Automobile Accidents / Whiplash:
Seat belts are important in preventing life threatening injury, but actually amplify the whiplash effect.
The violent snap of the head back and forth tears muscles and ligaments (referred to as soft tissue
damage), or leads to herniated, bulging or ruptured discs, or nerve damage. There is usually a lot of
initial pain, stiffness and swelling. The pain and swelling can eventually subside on their own, but the
uncorrected loss of motion forms adhesions, weak muscles and joint locking. If not corrected you will
suffer permanent stiffness and years of nagging aches and pains. It is crucial to have care early on.
Chiropractic can help with both types of injuries. Adjustments and alignments can be performed specifically for those who have been in car accidents and suffered from whiplash. The pressure on the discs and nerves is released when the spine is returned to its proper alignment. Chiropractic massage can be used to help relieve the pain and discomfort from soft tissue injuries. If you have been in a car accident, schedule an appointment with us before relying on pain medications and surgery.
Initial phases of therapy include ice pack therapy and physiotherapy modalities (electrical therapy / ultrasound, etc.) to bring down the pain and swelling, mild massage and stretching to keep the initial loss of motion to a minimum. As spasms subside more stretching, joint mobilization, and Chiropractic adjustments are applied to restore motion back to normal gradually. Rehabilitation exercises are added at this point to strengthen the muscles back to their normal state and allow a complete recovery.
Probably the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorder of our time. I often joke that computers and chairs
are great for business because long use is horrible for our spine. The combination of prolonged sitting and
less activity alone can explain most of our back problems. Bending wrong or too long - especially when
lifting are also common culprits.
Pain along the spinal column or back is usually caused by subluxations, or misalignments of your vertebrae. A small misalignment can cause pain by causing pressure on nerves. Left untreated, these subluxations can cause muscle spasms and increasing pain. Chiropractic adjustments properly align your spine so that pressure on joints and nerves is released. It is a direct treatment for the cause of the pain, not a temporary relief like pain relievers or massage. If you are experiencing back or neck pain visit us today. We fix and help prevent back pain!
Lower Extremity problems (Knee, Foot & Ankle Sprains, Plantar Fasciitis):
Our lower extremities (legs) have to absorb a lot of force since they support all our weight. Yet they also have to be flexible to allow us to move about. Trying to do both is a delicate task and if not done right it can give to rise to a lot of stress, pain, and instability. The kind of shoes we wear and the surfaces we stand and walk on are two very important factors of the health of our feet. Most people do not know the important features of a good shoe or sneaker and as a result abuse their feet initiating a host of problems. A sudden injury, (see Ankle Sprains), can also substantially affect the way our feet and legs function. Not just until the pain is gone but for years later. Over time such injuries or imbalances can act as catalysts for serious problems in various areas of the skeletal or muscular system.
Foot problems can eventually turn into back, neck pain or even headaches.
Foot problems can transfer to the rest of the body. Through the long leg muscles and tendons all the joints in the foot and leg are interconnected and can cause knee pain, or even hip pain. Through the hip the low back can be affected. Once the imbalance is transferred to the back, foot problems can have effects as high as the head and neck. Almost any joint and muscle from the feet up to the head can be affected. Thus depending on how solid and balanced our foundation is, the better we will be able to function above.
Chiropractic care includes initially analyzing the arches of the foot, how they change from not bearing weight, to standing, to walking or even running. Once patterns of imbalance or weakness are identified then specific muscles and joints are checked for proper tension or activity. Overall posture is checked for compensatory changes. The muscles and joints are addressed first to restore proper length, strength, or motion. Then exercises are given to achieve a stronger balanced and proper standing or walking posture. Sometimes heel lifts, shoe inserts, or custom made foot orthotic inserts are needed to completely correct the problem. The patient is also educated on the proper foot wear depending on their activity levels and needs. Emphasis is always placed in addressing the problem area first, then seeing how it affects the whole person and finally involving the patient in a long term resolution.
A sudden injury, like an ankle or knee sprain, can also substantially affect the way our feet and legs function. Not just until the pain is gone but for years later. Over time such an injury can act as a catalyst for serious problems in various areas of the skeletal or muscular system. Our joints have an intricate system of nerves that senses where the joint is in space, how fast or how powerfully it is moving, how stable it is etc.. When that sensor mechanism is disrupted, say by an ankle sprain, we loose a substantial amount of feedback. We are still able to function but the injured area is guarded and unsteady even after it feels healed. Our body reacts to the injury with pain letting us know to rest the area or use it less to allow for healing. Unless that healing is guided properly, the injury heals but the joint position sensors are not fully restored.
Thinking we are recovered then we then go back to our regular activities with an unsteady ankle. That leads to two conditions: 1) the body has learned to over compensate making other areas / joints absorb most of the stress. This creates more wear and tear and eventually injures another area.
2) We keep putting a lot of force on a joint that is not properly positioned or stabilized. This causes more injury to the originally injured joint through repeated improper use over time or by another sudden trauma.
Proper care needs to be applied to avoid these possible consequences. Chiropractic care first restores proper and balanced joint movement through manipulation. Pain and swelling are controlled through physical therapy modalities (ultrasound, electrical therapy, ice or heat). Then muscles and ligaments are stretched or strengthened as needed. Finally the body is progressively challenged during the healing process on specific devices that gradually restore ones sense of balance, sometimes to levels better than before the injury. We always address every aspect of a musculoskeletal injury, the muscular, the skeletal / joints, and the nervous system. Only then can you be assured of complete recovery from an injury and function at your optimum.
Carpal Tunnel (specifically addressed here) and Occupational / Work Related Injuries:
With the steady widespread integration of computers, tablets and smart phones in our daily lives and business a new epidemic has plagued office workers: Carpal Tunnel Injuries. Carpal Tunnel Injuries are a classic example of Repetitive Strain Injuries. Repetitive Strain Injuries are frequently caused by low force but highly repetitive tasks, without adequate rest. What is most commonly also involved is poor postures or joint mechanics.
Repetitive strain injuries arise when the body is stresses longer than the body can recover to a healthy state. When the recovery limits are exceeded over time muscles get overworked and fatigued, ligaments overstretched and less stable, and joints slowly settle out of place. . The Chiropractic approach to these conditions is to initially address the pain and inflammation.This is done by various methods - icing, ultrasound, electrical therapy, joint manipulation (adjustment) etc. Then proper joint movement / alignment is restored with the adjustment, and stability and endurance improved through exercise / rehabilitation. We then educate you to eliminate damaging activities to avoid recurrence. Work stations, tools, equipment, postures etc. are analyzed and improvements are made to optimize the working environment to the worker, ultimately preventing future problems. We are unique with our level of patient education about stretch breaks and proper mechanics and postures since they are an important part of treatment.
Any joint pain can result from a traumatic or repetitive onset. Common causes are: a sudden fall or sliding face first to home base can jam the extremity and shoulder, or puling it out of socket hanging on to a railing avoiding a fall; throwing a ball without warming up, or throwing a ball too many times; weightlifting exercises or working overhead under a car or a sink for a long time.
The mechanism of onset can help predict the injured tissue. Pectoral and or biceps tendinitis are common weightlifting or sport injuries. Throwing injuries commonly bring about rotator cuff tendinitis or tears. Overhead work or jamming the shoulder from a fall, as well as repetitive poor mechanics / postures can bring about impingement syndromes or swollen joints surfaces. In worst case scenarios cartilage tears or avulsion fractures, labrum tears - (shallow cup shape that stabilizes the shoulder), dislocation and or ligament tears Can happen from significant force injuries ( bad fall or car accident).
Tears and fractures, may require more aggressive diagnostic and or treatment course of care (MRI, Cortisone injections, surgery). Most cases, once above complications are ruled out, can be managed conservatively (Stretches, exercises, rest, manual therapy).
First inflammation and pain need to be managed. Applications of one or more modalities may be indicated ( heat, ice, ointments, Electrical therapy, ultrasound). Ultrasound works well with tendinitis since it's the only physical modality found to directly help in prevent / break up adhesions. Electrical therapy and ice help to manage pain and inflammation. Heat helps with later stages of inflammation and helping with flexibility. Relative rest is important. Too much and adhesions and contractures set in. Too much activity, or too early. can aggravate a condition and delay recovery.
Chiropractic care maximizes the benefits of a rehabilitation program by optimizing joint function and nerve flow to the area. This maximizes range of motion, muscle activity and balance and hence restores more complete function.
In addition to chiropractic joint manipulation, the treatment approach depends on the injured area needs. Some might benefit from application of IASTM (tool assisted myofascial work), cross friction massage, kinesiotaping assisted guided rehabilitation and exercise, or neuromuscular / postural muscle re-education. A thorough evaluation is always needed first to diagnose the injury properly and dictate which treatment method or modality is best for you.
Chiropractic can help reduce the severity and the frequency of your allergies.(1) Chiropractic does not work like an anti-histamine as a direct, short term relief from allergies. Chiropractic allows your body to be better equipped to fight against allergies.
Allergies are a reaction by your immune system to an allergen (substances that normally have no effect on people) resulting in sneezing, coughing, congestion, hives, rashes, and in severe cases, seizure and anaphylactic shock. These symptoms are caused by the histamines your immune system creates in an attempt to protect your body against the allergen.
When your spine is misaligned it can impinge on the nervous system in your body. Studies have shown that the nervous system has an effect on the functionality of your immune system. When your nervous system is under stress and not functioning properly, your immune system cannot work at an optimal level. Chiropractors work with the nervous system by aligning the spine to relieve any stress on nerves. This allows the immune system to work at a higher level, making it easier to fight off infections while recognizing allergens. When your immune system recognizes allergens, it will not overreact to them, or at least not react as severely to them.
If you suffer from allergies, chiropractic can help you find relief. Schedule an appointment today.
Intervertebral discs are positioned between the vertebrae in the spine. The outside of a disc is made from cartilage, and in the center is a jelly like solution. These discs serve many purposes, including allowing movement of the spine, creating space between the vertebrae, and acting as shock absorbers. The gelatinous middle allows the disc to compress and expand based on impact and movement. Trauma to the spine can cause the discs to herniated, bulge, become displaced (slipped disc), or even rupture. Trauma or direct injury to the area is not the only cause, however. As we get older, the discs can begin to weaken and dehydrate. These conditions can put pressure on the nerves around the spine and cause pain.
If you suffer from one of these injuries you should see a chiropractor. Surgery is risky, expensive, and requires recovery time. In many cases, you can experience relief from these conditions through chiropractic. By properly aligning the spine, pressure can be relieved on nerves and on the discs themselves. This will reduce and hopefully eliminate your pain and discomfort and allow you to live a normal lifestyle.
Arthritis is a condition that is caused by the wearing down of the cartilage between joints. Some of the major joints that are affected are the knees, hips, back, neck, and hands/wrist. Arthritis can be painful and can cause the affected areas to not function properly. Arthritis in one area can cause arthritis or other problems in a different joint. For instance, if you have arthritis in your left knee, you may compensate for this by putting more pressure on your right side, leading to right hip problems.
Joint dysfunction occurs when joints become stiff and full movement is restricted. It can be caused by an injury, poor posture, overuse/underuse of a joint, muscle imbalance, as well as other factors. Like arthritis, joint dysfunction can cause pain in the joint and the surrounding muscles, and can also cause problems in other parts of the body due to overcompensation.
One common form of joint dysfunction is sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which occurs where the base of the spine meets the pelvis. It causes low back pain and prohibits movement. This condition is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms are similar to sciatica or a herniated disc.
Your chiropractor can properly diagnose this condition and provide relief. Using specific adjustments for the affected joint can return proper mobility and relieve pain. If you have joint pain, visit us for relief.
Sciatica is a condition that results when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated. Bulging discs, spinal subluxations, and muscle spasms can all cause increased pressure on the sciatic nerve. When this happens it causes pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back and leg. To properly treat sciatica the cause of the condition needs to be diagnosed and properly treated. Your chiropractor can help you do this.
When a nerve is squeezed or compressed it is called a "pinched nerve". This can be caused by spinal misalignments, bulging or herniated discs, or other factors. The increased pressure on the nerve causes inflammation, pain, and sometimes muscle spasms. The pressure on the nerve must be relieved in order to alleviate the pain. An examination can reveal the cause of the pain, and an adjustment can relieve the pain by properly aligning the spine and addressing the cause of the pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This condition is most commonly associated with people who are constantly using a computer / typing, but anyone with repetitive hand motion (musicians, plumbers, electricians) can fall victim. Symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness, or a burning sensation in the palm especially thumb side (pinky involves another nerve). The nerves in the fingertips (branches of the Median nerve) travel from the neck down to the hand through the wrist "tunnel" made of bones and a ligament on top. The Median nerve lays on top of long spaghetti like tendons coming from the flexor muscles that bend your wrist and fingers. Overuse of the forearm muscles thickens the tendons from underneath and the ligament from the top squeezing the nerve and causing the problem.
Ultrasound treatment as well as, stretching and relaxing the forearm muscles and
tendons, braces, and joint manipulation of the wrist can help. Since the spine is the center of the nervous
system the pain in your hands and wrists can also be relieved by your chiropractor with specific spinal joint adjustments to optimize function to the whole arm and nerve.
Entrapment neuropathy is a general category for various specific conditions. They typically happen in the extremities. Conditions included are:
- carpal tunnel
- forms of sciatica
- piriformis syndrome
- Peroneal or tibial nerve entrapment
- Femoral lateral cutaneous nerve entrapment
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Radial tunnel syndrome
- Tunnel of Guyon syndrome
What they do have in common are of the following:
The nerve is being compressed once it has left the spine.
An overactive / tight muscle, and / or connective tissue adhesion is causing the compression.
In some cases, the compression can be in 2 or more locations.
If left untreated, they will lead to permanent loss of sensation (numbness), or muscle weakness and eventually atrophy.
Treatment concept is the same and will vary on the particular joints/muscle or connective-tissue involved. The poor mechanics or repetitive motion that is previous causing the problem needs to be identified and eliminated. Supports or braces with ergonomic modifications are usually needed to accelerate the process along with avoidance or relative rest. Postural modification is often necessary as well.
Chiropractic treatment administers specific manipulation to the spine and related extremity joints to reduce nerve interference and optimize nerve flow. The site of the restriction Is directly treated by several modalities. Ultrasound treatment helps to break up adhesions and reduce inflammation and spasm. IASTM, Deep tissue massage or myofascial release are applied to lengthen and / or breakup foreshortened tissue that is causing the compression.
Stretches are performed to the patient and variations given for home use to relax the offending tight muscles. As specific set of stretches is given for each particular condition that is called "nerve flossing". It causes gentle sliding of the nerve back and forth across the area of restriction and along the whole nerve. Nerve flossing maximizes reduction of adhesions in areas that are too deep to be directly treated otherwise.
As always it is best to have a thorough evaluation by a properly trained physician to determine what exactly is causing the compression and the best treatment approach.
We have discussed many conditions that can be relieved through chiropractic. The best way to treat these
conditions is to prevent them before they even start. Regular chiropractic visits can help to prevent
physical problems and injuries from occurring. Other potential benefits of regular chiropractic visits are
increased flexibility and mobility, higher level of energy, improved posture, more effective immune system,
better circulation, and an overall better feeling of well-being
Fibromyalgia is a condition that we still do not know much about. There is no specific known cause, and it could be brought on by many different factors. The main symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic pain throughout the body, mainly located in joints. The pain may be achy, sharp, radiating, burning, or shooting and it may be mild or severe. Fibromyalgia has also been known to bring on other conditions like trouble sleeping, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
While there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, chiropractic treatment can help to uncover what may be causing the pain and also provide relief for the pain. The cause of fibromyalgia could be physical, mental, or emotional, so a full examination will be performed. Adjustments and chiropractic massage can be used to relieve pain from the affected areas. The added effects of chiropractic treatment such as increased energy levels, better circulation, and a stronger immune system can also help to fight the effects of fibromyalgia. If you are experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia give us a call to schedule a consultation so we can establish a plan to start you on your road to recovery .
Asthma Like conditions:
- Irritable Bowel Syndromes:
- High blood Pressure:
Nerve Pain: Since Chiropractic can have a profound effect on the nervous system many conditions beyond joint and muscle problems can be affected. Complicated or life threatening conditions that could be the cause of symptoms need to be ruled first to ensure that the patient is not delayed from possibly needed emergency care. The far reaching benefits of Chiropractic can be understood in the following way. Almost all of the body’s functions are controlled by nerves exiting the spinal cord. Due to the close proximity between the spinal joints and the delicate spinal nerves, a spinal joint problem can irritate any nerve and increase or decrease its activity. The adjustment then is an intervention that normalizes nerve activity by correcting spinal joint problems and spinal reflexes. Usually lifestyle, (dietary, exercise etc.), changes are also needed. If the adjustment is effective at least some of the benefit should be seen within the first 4-6 visits. Chiropractic is one of the best and natural ways to achieve optimal health, along with proper rest, diet and exercise.