What we Treat
Many people dismiss chiropractic as being something only for back pain, but chiropractic treatment can be used to treat a wide variety of physical issues, such as migraines and headaches, chronic pain, carpal tunnel, pain due to injury or muscle strain, and much more.
Many people are surprised to find out that the majority of work injuries are not from serious accidents, but from overuse and repetitive stress injuries. However, there are as many ways to injure yourself at work as there are different occupations, and none of them are very fun. The most important thing when dealing with a work-related injury is that you don't leave it until it requires more serious intervention or leads to an untreatable problem.
Repetitive Stress and Overuse Injuries
As mentioned above, the most common forms of work injury are from repetitive stress and overuse. Small tasks done with poor posture can create big problems over time. Twisting and turning while moving boxes or even continuous typing can cause both acute and chronic pain to arise. Even if you are using correct posture, the simple act of doing the same movement day in and day out can create major problems over time. Here are some of the common repetitive stress injuries:
- Frozen Shoulder
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Back Ache
- Slipped or Herniated discs
The list goes on. Even if you are just at the beginning of an overuse injury, or you are concerned that you may start to develop one because of the nature of your work, it is important to start preventative and early treatment to ensure the issue does not progress to something more problematic.
Whether you have had an accident at work, or are injured from repetitive stress, it is very common for the bone structure and particularly the spinal column to be impacted, and to be the source of the pain you are experiencing. When the vertebrae and other joints become misaligned they will often put pressure on the nerves that pass through them and cause pain that radiates out from the source of the injury to other parts of the body. Furthermore, when the bones are not properly aligned, the flow of communication, blood and oxygen can become impeded, leading to a decrease in your sense of well-being in the short-term, and damage to the related systems in the long-term.
Chiropractic Care for Work Injuries
People experiencing work injuries are often referred to chiropractors because of the high success rate with treating these types of injuries. Chiropractic care offers a gentle, non-invasive first step when seeking treatment. A chiropractor will perform a thorough evaluation in order to assess your condition and find the exact source. Once the cause of the pain has been determined the chiropractor will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan.
The sooner you receive proper care after a work injury, the easier it is to avoid further pain and complications.
Sciatica, which is also known as sciatic neuralgia, is a condition that causes pain in the low back, down the back of the leg and into the foot. It can make sitting and standing for long periods of time difficult and can lead to weakness, tingling and numbness in the leg and foot. It will often come and go throughout a person's lifetime, causing periods of varying degrees of pain and discomfort. If left unchecked, sciatic pain will generally grow worse and the nerve can become permanently injured.
The reason why the pain travels so far, seems to radiate up and down the legs, and back is because it is caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body. This nerve originates in the lumbar spine extends into the buttocks before traveling down the leg to the ankle and foot. When the vertebrae in the low back are compressed, the roots of the sciatic nerve can become pinched and irritated, which is what causes the pain and injury.
How Do You Develop Sciatica?
There are a number of factors that can lead to sciatica. It is most commonly caused by disc injuries and bulges. In this incidence, the disc presses against the nerve root causing the issue. Disc Injuries can occur because of poor posture, repetitive use injuries and accidents. Sciatica is also common when there are subluxations (misalignments) in the spine due to postural issues, pregnancy or trauma. Some patients say they simply bent over to pick up a piece of paper, and they were hit with extreme pain. The reality is that the spinal condition was probably developing for quite some before the triggering incident occurred.
Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
Chiropractors are highly trained to zero in on the source of the sciatica to work with the patient in determining the most suitable approach to treatment. After a thorough assessment of the individual's unique issue, gentle adjustments are made that will allow the body to recover its natural alignment.
Some people respond very quickly while others take more time to recover. It really depends on the condition of the disc or the joints that the chiropractor has to correct. In most cases, the longer the issue persists, the longer it will take to achieve correction. The great news is that it typically takes less time to fix an issue like this than it took to create it. Once the position of the spine and discs are improved, patients often report improvements to their overall health.
The back is a broad term that covers a large area of the body, made up of many tendons, ligaments, discs, muscles, and bones. Without a solid understanding of these different parts, it can complicated to locate and address the source of the pain. The following breakdown explains some of the most common issues, and their identifying features. It also explains how chiropractic medicine can help to resolve them. This is a general guideline to help you in your quest for effective treatment, but we highly recommend that you seek a professional opinion to properly diagnose these issues.
Disc Bulges and Herniation
Disc bulges and herniation are conditions in which the outer edges of the discs, located between the vertebrae, are damaged. This causes the jelly like center to bulge or be pushed out. This is a surprisingly common issue and it is often, but not always, very painful. Many people who have this condition feel nothing at all. For those who experience pain from a disc injury, the quality and intensity of it depends on the type and position of the herniation. If the damaged disc is irritating a surrounding nerve, the shooting or stabbing pain and weakness in the legs is often severe.
It is important that this issue is properly identified and promptly treated to avoid further damage. Chiropractors will thoroughly assess your back to determine the extent of the issue and the appropriate treatment to prevent advancement of the herniation, and provide relief from the associated pain.
Subluxation is a medical term describing a misalignment in the vertebral column. There are a wide variety of causes, including physical stress, trauma and toxins. Subluxations are often quite painful and can disrupt normal movement. Subluxations are one of the most commonly overlooked contributors to back pain. Chiropractors are trained to identify and correct this issue using non-invasive adjustment techniques.
Muscular Sprains and Tendon or Ligament Strains
Strains and sprains most typically occur when we engage in tasks that our body is not accustomed to, or when we are involved in an accident. Lifting while twisting, or stretching past one's limits are common causes to strains and sprains of the back. These can be extremely painful, and are often accompanied by swelling and bruising of the surrounding area. Strains and sprains in the back tend to involve changes to the alignment of the spine and therefore typically respond well to chiropractic care.
Stress and Back Pain
Chronic stress wreaks havoc on the body, and can eventually lead to hyper-tension and chronic back pain. The back pain is a result of tension and muscle spasms that occur when stress hormones are released. The tension will often accumulate in what are referred to as trigger points. These trigger points can be extremely painful, and need professional attention to resolve. Chiropractors have the knowledge and tools to relieve stress from the trigger points and to deal with underlying nervous system imbalances that may be keeping your body locked in patterns of stress and pain.
Other Issues that Cause Back Pain
Conditions such as obesity, arthritis, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections have been shown to cause symptoms of low back pain. These are all serious issues that need to be identified and treated immediately to avoid long-term health issues.
When the neck is whipped from back to front during a car accident, while playing contact sports such as football, or occasionally from an assault or other physical trauma, a number of things can happen to the spine and surrounding soft tissue. Whiplash describes the initial impact, but the results can include:
- Disc bulges and herniation
- Subluxations (misalignment of the vertebrae in the spine),
- Injured bones in the spine,
- Irritated and damaged nerves
- Pulled ligaments and muscles in the neck
What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?
Whiplash injuries can range from mild to very severe. Injuries tend to be more significant when your headrest is positioned too low. If the impact was quite severe or the headrest was low there is the possibility that bones are broken or tissue is damaged and it is highly recommended that you see a chiropractor and receive a thorough examination and x-rays if necessary. Even if the impact seemed mild, you may have whiplash if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder, upper back and arm pain
- Blurred vision
- Pain when turning the head
- Inability to move or turn the head fully
- Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands and fingers
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty sleeping
As you can see there are a wide range of symptoms, and not all of them may be immediately traceable to whiplash. Even if you have been cleared by a doctor, your pain could still be related to whiplash and you may need treatment to correct the problem. If you have recently been injured it's important to get your spine checked as soon as possible. The sooner that you start treating the issue the less chance you have of it developing into a long term problem.
Chiropractic Care for Whiplash
Because the majority of whiplash incidents impact the spine and the surrounding nerves and tissues, chiropractic care is an excellent avenue for treatment. Chiropractic doctors are skilled in assessing the source of the pain associated with a whiplash injury and determining a plan for effective treatment. Chiropractic treatments are gentle and non-invasive. Through small adjustments, people find great relief from the pain associated with whiplash, and are set on a road to full recovery.
Chiropractic care has a long history of successfully treating headaches and migraines. Chiropractors have extensive understanding of subtle issues occurring in the spine which, due to its connection with the nervous system, is very often the source of pain. A chiropractic treatment starts with a thorough evaluation that will rule out other possible causes of your headache and examine your spine for issues of misalignment.
The assessment will determine the exact type of treatment that is necessary for the specific issue at the root of the pain. Using gentle and non-invasive techniques a chiropractor is able to achieve adjustments to the spine that, although they may seem subtle, can provide almost instant relief and restore your long term health. Unlike medications which treat the problem on the surface level and provide only short term relief, a chiropractic adjustment will address the cause of your headache or migraine and provide lasting results that will improve your quality of life.