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Chiropractic care is not just about fixing the problem, but also about learning and understanding the kinetics of your body to help prevent its return. Miller Chiropractic Wellness encourages you to be an informed patient to help aid and speed your recovery process.

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No individuals, including those under our active care, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related condition. Diagnosis and treatment of all health conditions should only be performed by the doctor or other licensed health care professional.

Posted by: admin in Articles on April 8th, 2011

Spinal discs are blamed for many painful conditions, but if it were not for these vital intervertebral “pads,” we could not move about with the ease and flexibility that we do.  The term “slipped disc” is really a misnomer.  Discs are firmly attached to the vertebrae above and below and cannot slip but may become bulged due to misalignment of one or both of their neighboring vertebrae.

A common cause of such bulging and one that can cause indescribable pain is a sudden injury to the spine from a fall, an auto accident, whiplash, strain from lifting, or a blow to the neck or back area. The effects of disc injuries may be very extensive and painfully distressing.  There may be limited motion with severe symptoms or even organic dysfunction resulting from pressure on the nerves that pass between the vertebrae and are adjacent to the disc, thus altering nerve supply to organs and parts of the body located away from the spine itself.

Discs are cushions.  With the exception of the first two bones of the neck, there is one between each two vertebrae (bones) of the spinal column.  They are the spine’s shock absorbers, and when they are healthy, they do a magnificent job.  Abnormal discs can compress nerves and cause pain.  When they bulge due to weakness along with misalignment of the vertebra above and below them, they may press upon the spinal cord or nerves, thus producing pain.  Any kind of persistent back or neck pain indicates a serious health problem.  Like your teeth or almost any other part of your  body, your vertebrae and spinal discs may be in trouble long before you experience pain or discomfort.

True herniation or rupturing of a disc is quite rare.  Back conditions thought to be ruptured are really the result of a bulging disc due to a spinal misalignment called a “subluxation.”  When such misalignment is corrected by chiropractic methods, the disc can return to its original, natural position and resume its normal function, relieving the nerve pressure and accompanying pain.  In severe cases, a disc can actually rupture causing extreme pain.  Causes could be from tremendous traumatic force from a fall from a high level or severe auto accident, or a pathological weakness of the disc, resulting from prolonged altered nerve supply to the surrounding area, possibly from a subluxation and pathological weakness coupled with trauma.  When a pathological weakness is present, complete recovery is not posssible until the disc can regain its natural and normal toughness.  Such pathological weakness is usually preventable or correctable through proper chiropractic care of the vertebrae and discs.

While medical diagnosis uses “slipped disc” as a cover name for most back problems, including those few true ruptured discs, a false impression is given that most all back problems are due to disc problems.  This simply is not true and statistics and results prove it.  The fact is that most back problems, including disc involvement, can be corrected through specific application of chiropractic spinal adjustment.

Posted by: admin in Articles on April 8th, 2011

Do you ever complain that it hurts when you chew, open wide to yawn or use your jaw?  Do you have pain or soreness in front of the ear, in the jaw muscle, cheek, the teeth or the temples?  Does your jaw make loud noises or get stuck or locked as you open your mouth?  If so, you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD.

What is TMJD?

     TMJD is a group of conditions, often painful, that affect the jaw joint.  Signs may include:

  • Radiating pain in the face, neck or shoulders
  • Limited movement or locking of the jaw
  • Painful clicking or grating when opening or closing the mouth
  • A significant change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
  • Headaches, earaches, dizziness, hearing problems and difficulty swallowing

For most people, the pain or discomfort is temporary and often occurs in cycles and resolves quickly once they stop moving the area.  Some people with TMJD, however, can develop chronic symptoms.

What Causes TMD?

  •  Severe injury to the jaw is a leading cause of TMJD.  Anything from a hit in the jaw during a sporting activity to chewing gum excessively or chewing on one side of the mouth too frequently may cause TMJD.
  • Clenching the teeth during times of psychological stress can be a major factor in development of TMJD.
  • Sitting in a dentist’s chair for several hours with the mouth wide open may have contributed to TMJD in the past.  Now, in addition to taking breaks while they do dental work, dentists also screen patients for any weaknesses in the jaw structure.
  • Women experience TMJD four times as often as men.  Several factors may contribute to this higher ratio, including but not limited to, prolonged sitting in the workplace, general posture, and wearing higher heels.

TMJD Diagnosis and Treatment

To help diagnose or rule out TMJD, your doctor of chiropractic may ask you to put three fingers in your mouth and bite down on them or to open and close your mouth and chew repeatedly while the doctor monitors the dimensions of the jaw joint and the muscle balance.  Sometimes special imaging, an xray or an MRI, may be needed to help confirm the diagnosis.  If you have TMJD, your doctor may recommend chiropractic manipulation, massage, applying heat or ice, and special exercises.  If your docotor of chiropractic feels that you need special appliances or splints, he or she will refer you to a dentist or orthodontist for co-management.  In addition to treatment, your doctor of chiropractic can teach you how to:

  • Apply heat and ice to lessen the pain.  Ice is recommended shortly after the injury or the onset of pain.  Later, you will need to switch to heat, especially if you are still experiencing discomfort.
  • Avoid harmful joint movements, such as biting into a hard apple or candy or eating giant sandwiches, which may have a de-stabilizing effect on the jaw.
  • Perform TMJD-specific exercises.  Depending on your condition, your doctor of chiropractic may recommend stretching or strengthening exercises.  Stretching helps to loosen tight muscles that have become loose.

In some cases, TMJD may not respond to a conservative approach.  For example, when there is a disc problem in the joint itself, it may require dental treatment or surgery.  Remember, however, that surgery and other irreversible treatments should be considered as a last resort.  According to the National Institutes of Health, certain irreversible treatments, such as surgical replacement of jaw joints with artificial implants, may cause severe pain and permanent jaw damage. *

*(Reprinted with the permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

Posted by: admin in Articles on April 8th, 2011

Whiplash is a generic term applied to injuries of the neck caused when the neck is suddenly and/or violently jolted in one direction and then another, creating a whip-like movement.  Whiplash is most commonly seen in people involved in motor vehicle accidents, but it can occur from falls, sports injuries, and other incidents.

What structures are injured in a whiplash?

     Whiplash injuries most often result in sprain-strain of the neck.  The ligaments that help support, protect, and restrict excessive movement of the vertebrae are torn, which is called a sprain.  The joints in the back of the spine, called the facet joints, are covered by ligaments called facet capsules, which seem to be particularly susceptible to whiplash injury.

In addition, the muscles and tendons are strained–stretched beyond their normal limits.  The discs between the vertebrae, which are essentially ligaments, can be torn, potentionally causing a disc herniation.  The nerve roots between the vertebrae may also be stretched and become inflamed.  Even though it is very rare, vertebrae can be fractured and/or dislocated in a whiplash injury.

What are the common signs and symptoms of whiplash?

     The most common symptoms of whiplash are pain and stiffness in the neck.  These symptoms are generally found in the areas that are “whiplashed.”  For example, during a whiplash, first the head is lifted up from the upper cervical spine.  This creates a sprain/strain in the region just below the skull, where symptoms usually occur.  Symptoms may also commonly be seen in the front and back of the neck.  Turning the head often makes the pain and discomfort worse.

Headache, especially at the base of the skull, is also a common symptom, seen in more than two thirds of patients.  These headaches may be one-sided (unilateral) or experienced on both sides (bilateral).  In addition, the pain and stiffness may extend down into the shoulders and arms, upper back, and even the upper chest.

In addition to the musculoskeletal symptoms, some patients also experience dizziness, difficulty swallowing, nausea and even blurred vision after a whiplash injury.  While these symptoms are disconcerting, in most cases, they disappear within a relatively short tme.  If they persist, it is very important to inform your doctor that they are not resolving.  Vertigo (the sensation of the room spinning) and ringing in the ears may also be seen.  In addition, some patients may feel pain in the jaw.  Others will even complain of irritability, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.  These symptoms also resolve quickly in most cases.  In rare cases, symptoms can persist for weeks, months, or even years.

Another important and interesting aspect of whiplash is that the signs and symptoms often do not develop until 2 to 48 hours after the injury.  This scenario is relatively common but not completely understood.  Some speculate that it may be due to delayed muscle soreness, a condition seen in other circumstances.

How is whiplash treated?

     Staying active–One of the most important aspects of whiplash management is for the patient to stay active, unless there is some serious injury that requires immobilization.  Patients should not be afraid to move and be active, within reason.  In addition, your doctor will often prescribe an exercise program.  It is particularly important to follow this program as prescribed, so that you can achieve the best long-term benefits.

Chiropractic manipulation and physical therapyIce and/or heat are often used to help control pain and reduce the muscle spasm that result from a whiplash injury.  Other physical therapy modalities, such as electrical stimulation and/or ultrasound, may provide some short-term relief.  They should not, however, replace an active-care program of exercise and stretching.  Spinal manipulation and/or mobilization provided by a chiroprctor can also give relief in many cases of neck pain.

Can whiplash be prevented?

     Generally speaking, whiplash cannot be “prevented,” but there are some things that you can do while in a motor vehicle that may reduce the chances of a more severe injury.  Always wear restraints (lap and shoulder belt), and ensure that the headrest in your vehicle is adjusted to the appropriate height.*

*(Reprinted with the permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

    

    

 

Posted by: admin in Articles on April 7th, 2011

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most expensive of all work-related injuries.  Over his or her lifetime, a carpal tunnel patient loses about $30,000 in medical bills and time absent from work.

CTS typically occurs in adults, with women 3 times more  likely to develop it than men.  The dominamt hand is usually affected first, and the pain is typically severe.  CTS is especially common in assembly-line workers in manufacturing, sewing, finishing, cleaning, meatpacking, and similar industries.  Contrary to the conventional wisdom, according to recent research, people who perform data entry at a computer (up tp 7 hours a day) are not at increased risk of developing CTS.

What is CTS?

     CTS is a problem of the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand.  CTS occurs when the median nerve gets compressed in the carpal tunnel–a narrow tunnel at the wrist made up of bones and soft tissues, such as nerves, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.  The compression may result in pain, weakness, and/or numbness in the hand and wrist which radiates up into the forearm.  CTS is the most common of the “entrapment neuropathies”–compression or trauma of the  body’s nerves in the hands or feet.

What are the symptoms?

     Burning, tingling, itching, and/or numbness in the palm of the hand and thumb, index, and middle fingers are most common.  Some people with CTS say that their fingers feel useless and swollen, even though little or no swelling is apparent.  Since  many people sleep with flexed wrists, the symptoms often first appear while sleeping.  As symptoms worsen, they may feel tingling during the day.  In addition, weakened grip strength may make it difficult to form a fist or grasp small objects.  Some people develop wasting of the muscles at the base of the thumb.  Some are unable to distinguish hot from cold by touch.

Why does CTS develop?

     Some people have smaller carpal tunnels than others, which makes the median nerve compression  more likely.  In others, CTS can develop because of an injury to the wrist that causes swelling, over-activity of the pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, mechanical problems in the wrist joint, poor work ergonomics, repeated use of vibrating hand tools, and fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause.

How is It Diagnosed?

     CTS should be diagnosed and treated early.  A standard physical examination of the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck can help determine if your symptoms are related to daily activities or to an underlying disorder.  Your doctor of chiropractic can use other specific tests to try to produce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.  The most  common are:

  • Pressure-provocative test:  a cuff placed  at the front of the carpal tunnel is inflated, followed by direct pressure on the median nerve.
  • Carpal compression test:  moderate pressure is applied with both thumbs directly on the carpal tunnel and underlying median nerve at the transverse carpal ligament.  This test is relatively new.

Laboratory tests and xrays can reveal diabetes, arthritis, fractures, and other common causes of wrist and hand pain.  Sometimes electrodiagnostic tests, such as nerve-conduction velocity testing, are used to help confirm the diagnosis.  With these tests, small electrodes, placed on your skin, measure the speed at which electrical impulses travel across your wrist.  CTS will slow the speed of the impulses and will point your doctor of chiropractic to this diagnosis.

What is the CTS treatment?

     Initial therapy includes:

  • Resting the affected hand and wrist
  • Avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms
  • Immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid further damage from twisting or bending
  • Applying cool packs to help reduce any swelling and inflammations

Some medications can help with pain control and inflammation.  Studies have shown that vitamin B6 supplements may relieve CTS symptoms.

Chiropractic joint manipulation and mobilization of the wrist and hand, stretching and strengthening exercises, soft-tissue mobilization techniques, and acupuncture may help prevent and treat this disorder and may prevent CTS recurrences.*

*(Reprinted with the permission of the American Chiropractic Asociation)

Posted by: admin in Articles on April 5th, 2011

It used to be that osteoporosis was considered a disease that affected only the elderly.  We particularily associated osteoporosis with older women whose backs were slightly hunched over or those who could no longer stand up straight.  Today, the truth is that an estimated 20 million American women suffer from osteoporosis, and 80 percent them don’t even know it.

Osteoporosis is a chronic, progressive condition that steals bone from the body, leading to fractures of the hip, spine and wrist.  Older people can suffer disability and even death from osteoporosis-related fractures.  Alarmingly, one in two women and one in eight men will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture in his or her lifetime.

Many people confuse osteoporosis with arthritis and wait for swollen joints and discomfort before being tested.  Even though osteoporosis is painless until a bone fracture occurs, it is important to find out how healthy your bones are now, and, if need be, adjust your lifestyle to avoid this brittle bone disease.  The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following tips to maintain healthy bones:

  • Start a regular exercise program.  Walking, skipping rope, jogging, playing raquet sports, swimming, and aerobics are all helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.  Exercising for 20 minutes three times a week is helpful.
  • Although weight lifting exercises are generally recommended, the National Osteoporosis Foundation says those suffering from osteoporosis should consult their health care practitioner before beginning a weight lifting program because excessive strain on the bones could result.
  • Those with severe osteoporosis and who have suffered from fractures may find Tai Chi, a form of martial arts, to be a beneficial strength training exercise system.
  • People suffering from osteoporosis should be careful when bending and lifting heavy objects, including grandchildren.  Bend from the knees, not the waist, when lifting, and try to avoid hunching while sitting or standing.
  • Be sure to include calcium in your daily diet.  The National Institutes of Health recommendations are 1,00o  mg/day for post-menopausal women taking estrogen, 1,500 mg/day for postmenopausal women not taking estrogen, and 1,500 mg/day for men and women over 65 years of age.
  • If you are looking for a calcium supplement, try one that is highly absorbable, such as microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (MCHC), or one of the malates, fumarates, succinates, glutarates, or citrates.  But don’t overdo it.  Taking more than the recommeded amount of calcuim may cause kidney stones.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balance diet, including fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.  Try broccoli, kale, collard greens, cabbage and turnip greens.  Experiment with tofu, salmon, sardines, and grains.  Low-fat milk and/or yogurt are good sources of calcium.  (A glass of low-fat milk and a cup of yogurt add 600 mg of calcium to your daily diet).
  • Drink 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day (herb teas, juices, and coffee are not a substitute for water).  Avoid caffeine, carbonated sodas, alcohol, baked goods and junk food.
  • Watch you animal protein intake.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…

Talk to you doctor of chiropractic about ways to improve the health of your bones.  Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and trained to treat patients of all ages and can help people suffering from osteoporosis lead healthier lives.*

*(Reprinted with permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

Posted by: admin in Articles on April 4th, 2011

Sciatica describes persistent pain felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, down through the buttock and into the lower leg.  The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, running from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg.  It controls the muscles of the lower leg and provides sensation to the thighs, legs, and the soles of the feet.

Although sciatica is a relatively common form of low-back and leg pain, the true meaning of the term is often misunderstood.  Sciatica is actuallly a set of symptoms–not a diagnosis for what is irritating the nerve root and causing the pain.  It occurs most frequently between the ages of 30 and 50 years old.  Most often, it tends to develop as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine, typically on one side of the body.

What are the symptoms of sciatica?

     The most common symptom assocaiated with sciatica is pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, from the lower back and down one leg;  however, symptoms can vary widely depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected.  Some may experience a mild tingling, a dull ache, or even a burning sensation, typically on one side of the body.  Some patients also report a pins-and-needles sensation, most often in the toes or foot, or a numbness or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot.

How is sciatica diagnosed?

     Your doctor of chiropractic will begin by taking a complete patient history.  You’ll be asked to describe your pain and to explain when the pain began, and what activities lessen or intensify the pain.  Forming a diagnosis will also require a physical and neurological exam, in which the doctor will pay special attention to your spine and legs.  You may be asked to perform some basic activities that will test your sensory and muscle strength, as well as your reflexes.  For example, you may be asked to lie on an examination table and lift your legs straight in the air, one at a time.

In some cases, your doctor of chiropractic may recommend diagnostic imaging, such as xray, MRI, or CT scan.  Diagnostic imaging may be used to rule out a more serious condition such as a tumor or infection, and can be used when patients with severe symptoms fail to respond to six or eight weeks of conservative treatment.

What are my treatment options?

     For most people, sciatica responds very well to conservative care, including chiropractic.  Keeping in mind that sciatica is a symptom and not a stand-alone medical condition, treatment plans will often vary depending on the underlying cause of the problem.

Chiropractic offers a non-invasive (non-surgical), drug-free treatment option.  The goal of chiropractic care is to restore spinal movement, thereby improving function while decreasing pain and inflammation.  Depending on the cause of the sciatica, a chiropractic treatment plan may cover several different treatment methods, including, but not limited to, spinal adjustments, ice/heat therapy, ultrasound, TENS, and rehabilitative exercise.

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

     While it’s not always possible to prevent sciatica, consider these suggestions to help protect your back and improve your spinal health.

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain proper posture
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest
  • If you smoke, seek help to quit
  • Use good body mechanics when lifting*

 

     

*(Reprinted with the permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

Posted by: admin in Articles on March 31st, 2011

Subluxation is a disease occurring worldwide in epidemic proportions. There are two kinds of subluxations:

1. Acute subluxation-produces sudden symptoms which are of short duration and are sometimes self-correcting.

2. Chronic subluxation-is of long duration, and, if not corrected can cause severe symptoms and degeneration.

The longer a subluxation is allowed to remain uncorrected, the more extreme the resulting condition can become.

Subluxation is the term used by Doctors of Chiropractic to describe the misalignment and/or fixation of bones, resulting in nerve pressure and irritation. Subluxations of the veterbrae of the spine are by far the most common type. Even the slightest misalignment can produce pressure and irritation upon nerves, affecting improper communication of vital nerve impulses to the organs, cells, and tissues of the body. The greater the misalignment, the greater the possibility of it affecting a nerve, and the more severe the discomfort, pain and disability.

A minor subluxation may occur from the ordinary, everyday stresses and strain of normal living, even from such simple acts as twisting or turning. If left unattended, it may become chronic, resulting in severe or painful conditions. A fall or injury often causes major subluxations. They can be produced by any type of shock that overloads the nervous system’s protective mechanism. Even the unavoidable and ever-present downward pull of gravity on the upright body often overcomes body balance and produces poor posture, and misalignment of the spinal vertebrae may result. Abnormal function of cells, tissues, and organs may be caused by the ensuing nerve irritation produced by this condition of subluxation.

What are the danger signals of subluxation? If you are suffering from headaches, stiffness of the neck, pain between the shoulders, backache, pain in the arms or legs, numbness in hands or feet, or general nervousness, you are suffering from one of the eight danger signals that indicate possible nerve pressure or irritation by a subluxation(s). The Doctor of Chiropractic locates the subluxation(s) through orthopedic, physical, kinesiological, and spinal examinations, as well as Xrays. With spinal adjustments, he or she will skillfully and carefully move the veterbra back into normal position, thereby removing the nerve interference. Body balance can be restored, spinal misalignment can be corrected, and the condition caused by the subluxation can be relieved and eliminated. When the correction is completed and the nervous system is restored to normal function, the body will cure itself.

Posted by: admin in Articles on March 31st, 2011

      Participation in sports or exercise is an important step in maintaining your health.  Exercise strengthens your heart, bones, and joints and reduces stress, among many other benefits.  Unfortunately, injuries during participation in sports are all too common.  Often, these injuries occur in someone who is just taking up sports as a form of activity, doesn’t use proper safety equipment, or becomes overzealous about the exercise regimen.

The more commonly injured areas of the body are the ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, and spine.  Remember that you should discuss any exercise program with your doctor of chiropractic before undertaking such activities.

Strains and Sprains

     Although bones can sometimes be fractured with acute sports injuries, the most commonly injured structures are the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  Tendons attach muscles to bones, and ligaments attach one bone to another.

An acute twisting or overextension of a joint can lead to tears of muscles and tendons, called “strains,” and tears of ligaments result in “sprains.”  These tears range from mild to severe.  In mild injuries, just a few fibers are torn or stretched.  Severe injuries, where there is a tear through the full thickness of the structure, are most often considered unstable injuries and frequently require surgical intervention.  The intervertebral disc, a ligament between the vertebrae of the spine that works as as shock absorber, can also be torn, resulting in a disc bulge and/or herniation.

Ankle sprains most often involve tears of one or more of the ligaments along the outside of the ankle.  Knee ligaments, including the larger external supportive ligaments and the smaller internal stabilizing ligaments, can also be torn.  The cartilage on the back of the patella (knee-cap) can also become eroded from overuse, leading to a condition termed chondromalacia patella.

Tendinosis

     In those who are training too much, overuse of a particular joint or joints in the body can result in pain and dysfunction.  These injuries are called “overuse syndromes.”  A common overuse injury is tendonosis, also called tendinitis.  In this condition, the tendon becomes inflamed from repetitive use.  In the shoulder, the rotator cuff (a complex group of muscles that stabilizes and moves the shoulder) becomes inflamed, resulting in rotator cuff tendinitis.  Tennis elbow is another form of tendinitis that occurs along the outside of the elbow, most commonly seen in tennis players.  In golfer’s elbow, the tendons on the inside of the elbow are affected.

Stress Fractures

     Some athletes may experience a stress fracture, also called a fatigue fracture.  This type of fracture occurs when an abnormal amount of stress is placed on a normal bone.  This might occur in a runner who rapidly increases the amont of mileage while training for a race.  Stress fractures also occur in people who begin running as a form of exercise but overdo it from the start, rather than gradually progress to longer distances.

Another common injury worth mentioning is the occurrence of shin splints.  This overuse injury is caused by microfractures on the front surface of the tibia (shin bone).  This is most often seen in runners, although other athletes can also be affected.

Diagnosis and Treatment

     Sports injuries are most often diagnosed from the history of the activity that brought on the pain along with a physical examination.  In some cases, xrays are necessary to rule out a fracture.  Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diagnostic ultrasound are also used in finding soft-tissue injuries, like tendinitis and sprains.

Fractures require the application of some stabilizing device, such as a cast, after the bone is put back into position.  Rarely, surgical intervention is required.  There is a relatively standard treatment protocol for most of the other overuse types of injuries.  These protocol involve the following:

  • Rest-Usually no more than 48 hours of rest and/or immobilization is needed, depending on the severity of the injury.  In most cases, the sooner the person becomes active after an injury, the more rapid the recovery.  In fact, long-term immobilization can sometimes be harmful to recovery.  Your doctor of chiropractic will guide this process, as too early a return to activity, choosing the wrong type of activity, or excessive activity can be detrimental.
  • Ice or Heat-Ice may be helpful to reduce swelling and pain and heat may reduce inflammation once swelling has been minimized.
  • Compression-Compression of the area may reduce the amount of swelling from the injury.  You doctor of chiropractic will determine if this will be beneficial in your case.
  • Elevation-Elevation of the injured arm or leg above the level of the heart is thought to be helpful in reducing swelling.
  • Pain relievers-Recent research has demonstrated that some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may actually slow the healing process by restricting the body’s natural healing mechanisms, so they should be used sparingly.
  • Joint manipulation-Recent research has shown us that, in some cases, joint manipulation can be helpful with pain reduction and more rapid recovery.  Your doctor of chiropractic will determine if this procedure will be helpful in your case.
  • A word about prevention-In many cases, sports injuries can be prevented.  Proper conditioning and warm-up and cool-down procedures, as well as appropriate safety equipment, can substantially reduce injuries.  Understanding proper techniques can also go a long way toward preventing injuries.  Sufficient water intake is also an important preventive measure.*

*(Reprinted with the permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

 

Posted by: admin in Articles on February 28th, 2011

Fibromyalgia

     If you or your loved ones have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you may be wondering what the disorder means for you.  The condition still remains a mystery, although an estimated 3 to 6 percent of Americans, predominantly women, have fibromyalgia syndrome.  Even diagnosing the condition can be complex.   According to the National Firbromyalgia Association, it can take a patient up to 4 years to be accurately diagnosed.   Fibromyalgia is typically diagnosed in patients with:

a)  Widespread pain in all 4 quadrants of the body for a minimum of 3 months.

b)  Tenderness or pain in at least 11 tender points when pressure is applied.  These tender points cluster around the neck, shoulder, chest, hip, knee, and elbow regions.

Some fibromyalgia experts say, however, that many people may still have fibromyalgia with fewer than 11 tender points if they have widespread pain and several other common symptoms, including:

  •         Fatigue
  •         Sleep disorders
  •         Chronic headaches
  •         Dizziness or lightheadedness
  •         Cognitive or memory impairment
  •         Malaise and muscle pain after exertion
  •         Jaw pain
  •         Morning stiffness
  •         Menstrual cramping
  •         Irritable bowels
  •         Numbness and tingling sensations
  •         Skin and chemical sensitivities

Correct Diagnosis Is Key

     Correct diagnosis of fibromyalgia is very elusive, so if you are diagnosed with the disorder, or suspect that you have it, seek the opionion of more than 1 health care provider.  Other conditions may create fibromyalgia-like pain, fatigue, and other symptoms.  Ruling other conditions out first is very important.  In additon to clincial evaluation that will assess possible causes of your pain, your doctor may need to order blood work to determine if you have:

  •         Anemia
  •         Hypothyroidism
  •         Lyme disease
  •         Other rheumatic diseases
  •         Hormonal imbalances
  •         Allergies and nutritional deficiencies
  •         Disorders that cause pain, fatigue, and other fibromyalgia-like symptoms

If the tests show that you have one of these conditions, treatment will focus on addressing that problem first.  If your pain is caused by a muscle or joint condition, chiropractic care may help relieve it more effectively than other therapies.

Treatment Alternatives

     If no underlying cause for your symptoms can be identified, you may have classic fibromyalgia.  The traditional allopathic approach includes a prescription of predisone, anti-inflammatory agents, antidepressants, sleep medications, and muscles relaxants.  These temporarily relieve the symptoms, but they do produce side effects.  If you prefer a natural approach, the following suggestions may be helpful:

1.  Studies have shown that a combination of 300 to 600 mg. of magnesium per day, along with malic acid, may significantly reduce the number of tender points and the pain felt at those that remain.  B vitamins may also be helpful.

2.  Eating more omega-3 fatty acids and fewer saturated fats has shown promise in fibromyalgia patients.  Limit red meat and saturated fats and increase the amounts of omega-3 fatty acids by including fish, flax, and walnut oils in your diet.  Fatty acid deficiencies can interfere with the nervous system and brain function, resulting in depression and poor memory and concentration.

3.  Improving the quality of sleep can help reduce fatigue.   Watch your caffeine intake, especially before going to bed.  Reduce TV and computer time.  If you watch TV in the evening, choose relaxing, funny programs instead of programs with violent or disturbing content.  Ask your Doctor of Chiropractic for other natural ways to help you sleep better.

4.  Stress-managing strategies can also help address anxiety or depression issues.  Cognitive thereapy has been shown helpful in relieving fibromyalgia patients’ negative emotions and depression by changing their perception of themselves and attitudes towards others.

5.  A traditional gym-based or aerobic exercise program may exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms and is not recommended.  Instead, yoga, Pilates, or tai chi, which offer mild stretching, relaxation, and breathing techniques, may work better than vigorous exercise.

6.  Chiropractic care has consistently ranked as one of the therapeutic approaches that offer the most relief for the fibromyalgia patient.  Your Doctor of Chiropractic can also include massage therapy, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation in the treatment program, which may help relieve stress, pain, and other symptoms.

Your Doctor of Chiropractic has the knowledge, training, and expertise to help you understand your problem and, in many cases, to manage it successfully.  Remember, however, that the treatment program can be successful only with your active participation.  If your Doctor of Chiropractic feels that he or she cannot help you, you will be referred to another health care provider.*

*(Reprinted with the permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

Posted by: admin in Articles on February 15th, 2011

Arthritis is one of the major health problems in our society today.  Perhaps because it is so widespread, often aches and pains that don’t seem to fit into other categories are labeled arthritis.  Since newspapers and magazines and the broadcast media have convinced sufferers that arthritis is incurable, the effect is much like receiving a life sentence.

Then, what often happens is that the so-called arthritic goes to a chiropractor, perhaps to have the back discomfort treated.  Suddenly, the  arthritis is much improved.  How could this happen?  If it happens, the conditon may not have been arthritis at all, but something else that was diagnosed as arthritis.  The arthritis-like symptoms were created by an out-of-place spinal segment (vertebra) which in turn has irritated a nerve.  Restoring the vertebra to its proper position has eliminated the nerve irritation–and with it, the “arthritis.”

There are numerous instances where cases of deafness, migraine headaches, bedwetting,  and other health conditons have improved drastically following spinal adjustment.  This is really a natural sequence of events.  The nerves from the spinal cord extend out from between the vertebrae of the spine to send messages to and receive messages from organs of the body.  It logically follows that vertebrae out of place (and this can occur very easily from a bump or a fall or a strain) can interfere with the nerve and the job it’s supposed to do.  Consulting your Doctor of Chiropractic may help you deal with your arthritis-like discomfort or any multitude of disorders.

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