Chiropractic Education Library
Pendleton Chiropractor | Pendleton chiropractic care | | Chiropractic Education Library
"Taking A Natural Systematic Approach To Healing"
Common Symptoms We Treat?
Because headaches are so common, some people think that getting a headache is just a normal part of life, but headaches are a sign that something’s wrong.
Stress, toxic fumes, certain foods, preservatives, and alcohol are common culprits.
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Sinus pressure
A frequent and overlooked cause of headaches is the malfunction of spinal bones in the neck and upper back.
When bones of the spine lose their normal position or motion it affects sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head and can produce throbbing headaches. Aspirin and medications may cover up these warning signs, but do not correct the underlying structural cause.
Many people experience correction and relief through chiropractic care. If a thorough examination reveals reduced range of motion, loss of normal spinal curves, or mechanical restrictions, chiropractic care should be considered. Specific chiropractic adjustments can help correct spinal joint dysfunction created by the various emotional and physical stresses in our lives.
- Muscle tightness or spasms
- Trigger points (areas of acute spasm and pain)
- Restricted range of motion when bending or twisting
- Sharp stabbing pains from the back, radiating to the front
- Sciatica (irritated nerves causing pain down the back of each leg)
- Distorted rib cage (can cause symptoms that mimic respiratory or cardiac problems such as shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat)
- Knee problems
A common and often unknown cause of back pain is the malfunction of the joints in the spine. The result is often numbness, tingling, or pain down the leg. This can permanently alter the body’s ability to function properly.
The mid and lower back areas are highly reactive and will often compensate for irregularities in the pelvis or the upper neck area. Sitting at a computer or driving for long periods of time are two activities that often result in back-related pain. Back pain can also be associated with a complication from one of the organ systems in the body, such as the prostate, ovaries or uterus.
The chiropractic approach is to help restore a more normal motion and position to affected spinal bones with specific chiropractic adjustments. The simplicity and success of this approach has been documented in numerous research projects and has helped many patients avoid surgery.
Is it hard to look over your shoulder? Is there a constant pulling or throbbing pain in your neck? Do you notice a “grinding” sound as you turn your head?
- Elbow pain and weakness (tennis elbow)
- TMJ Symptoms (jaw clicking when opening and closing)
- Disc problems
- Reducing symptoms – correcting the cause
A popular response to neck pain is taking drugs to cover up the problem (aspirin, numbing medications, pain pills) or treating the symptoms (muscle relaxers, massage, hot packs).
The chiropractic approach to neck pain is to locate its underlying cause. This begins with a complete case history and thorough examination. Special attention is given to the structure and function of the spine, and its affect on the nervous system.
Is the proper spinal curve present? Are the nerve openings between each pair of spinal bones free and clear? Is the head balanced? Are the shoulders level? These and other considerations are used to create a plan of specific chiropractic adjustments to help improve the motion and position of spinal vertebrae.
With improved structure and function, neck pain often diminishes or totally disappears – without the need for pharmaceuticals with harmful side effects!
Collisions that occur during an automobile crash can have a damaging effect on your neck and back. As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear until weeks or even months later.
- Whiplash (sprain or strain in the cervical spine)
- Blurred vision
- Pain in the shoulders, arms and hands
- Low back problems
- Ligament damage
Collision-related injuries to the head and neck are called whiplash. Whiplash is commonly received from 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 supporting the head and spine can be stretched 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 chiropractic approach to these types of injuries is to use specific chiropractic adjustments to help normalize spinal function. After a thorough case history and examination, the doctor will recommend a series of visits to help restore proper motion and position to spinal bones. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized.
Scoliosis is a sideways curving of the spine that often gets started in childhood, when the bones of the spine are still growing. In many cases, the exact cause of scoliosis is unknown.
Scoliosis is detected by uneven shoulder heights, a loss of structural balance, or a change in posture.
More often seen in girls, scoliosis is the result of a hereditary problem or an adaptation to some type of trauma, such as the birth process or an injury. It usually starts with problems in the lower back.
Because spinal bones continue to grow well into the early 20s, if left uncorrected, scoliosis often worsens.
Unfortunately, the most common treatment approach has been to wait and see how bad it gets, but the chiropractic approach is to use specific spinal adjustments, often combined with corrective exercises. If detected early enough, chiropractors have had excellent success with scoliosis cases.
Spinal injuries can restrict range of motion, reduce strength, slow reflexes, shorten endurance, and decrease performance. Chiropractic care for these types of injuries has become increasingly popular. Professional sports teams, Olympic trainers, and competitive athletes are seeing dramatic results from chiropractic.
Chiropractic care helps restore function to spinal joints that are fixated or not moving properly. Besides helping to relieve pain, chiropractic care can also help reduce inflammation. Muscles, tendons and ligaments depend on proper joint movement for peak performance. Injuries to these tissues can reduce range of motion, decrease blood supply, and literally “take you out of the game”.
Whether you golf, play tennis, bicycle or play football, the best treatment for sports injuries is prevention!
Ask your doctor for a care plan based on your age, condition and health objectives. Find out if chiropractic care can help restore your health, improve your performance, and increase your competitive edge.
Pain During Pregnancy
This period of rapid development, hormonal changes, laxity of connective ligaments, and shifting of weight-bearing structures, may cause many pregnant women to experience low back pain.
Chiropractic care can be quite helpful. Besides helping to relieve the discomfort many expectant mothers experience, chiropractic care helps to normalize nervous system function. This is an important component of overall good health.
The benefits of chiropractic care may also be noticed during delivery. Many chiropractic patients report that their deliveries were faster and more comfortable than their deliveries prior to chiropractic care!
Your doctor will take special precautions with you during pregnancy. Modifications to the table or adjusting techniques are made during each stage of pregnancy. Pamper yourself and your baby with regular chiropractic checkups.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerves (the largest and longest in the body) are irritated by the inflammation of nearby soft tissues. A full-blown sciatic flare-up can involve the entire sciatic nerve path resulting in symptoms of lower pack pain, burning, cramping or numbness that radiates into the thighs, legs, ankles, feet and toes. Pain may also be limited to various points along the nerve such as the buttocks, knee area and calf.
One of the most common causes of sciatic leg pain is a bulging of the soft pulpy discs which separate each spinal bone. This can irritate or put pressure on the sciatic nerve roots as they leave the spinal cord.
In the past, treatment has involved pain medications, muscle relaxers, and even surgery. The chiropractic approach is to use carefully directed and controlled pressure (chiropractic adjustments) to remove the interference from spinal structures. These chiropractic adjustments can be very effective in reducing nerve irritation and its associated pain.
Patients with sciatica often respond dramatically to the restoration of normal spinal function through conservative chiropractic care.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is an overall way of looking at the human body. It's based on the idea that the body is self-sustaining and self-healing. The body is in essence completely controlled by the brain through its connection via the spinal cord and the vast networks of nerves that make up the body. When this system is not functioning at its peak, the overall performance of the human body is lacking.
In the chiropractic world, drugs and medicine are not utilized as a form of treating a patient. While supplementation and nutrition are almost always a part of the bigger picture, drugs and prescriptions can be viewed as band-aids to treat symptoms rather than going to the source and treating the real problem.
While it's often perceived that the chiropractor is solely here to treat back and neck pain, this is simply a small piece of what the profession really is capable of handling. Chiropractors not only treat soft and hard tissue problems such as sciatica and joint pain, but are largely called on to deal with more significant issues. Some of these issues include fibromyalgia, allergies, insomnia, headaches and many more.
What Can I Expect?
Going to the Chiropractor is a new experience for many of us. Maybe we've heard through a friend or have done some research online. It's possible that you are just fed up with living in pain and it's time to do something about it. In either case, your first visit to the chiropractor will really be about getting to know the chiropractor and discussing your history, current condition and goals.
As with any doctor's visit, you'll start by finishing some new patient paperwork. Upon meeting with the doctor, you'll discuss your concerns and expectations as well as have the chance to ask any questions you may have. We will perform a physical examination and most likely take a few x-rays to see what your current state is. Once this is complete, we'll take a look at the overall results of our conversation and the exams. Together, we'll come up with a plan of action which will begin when you are completely satisfied and ready to move forward.
How does it work?
Chiropractic is based on the idea of removing imbalances both structural and postural in an effort to allow our body to heal itself. For this to happen the network of nerves and signals from your brain, down your spinal cord, to the network of nerves must be allowed to flow freely without any interruption. Chiropractors have the ability and skill to remove these interruptions or misalignments and allow the body to perform as it was meant to.
If you've ever been in a car accident, played a sport, fell down or just bumped into something too hard, it's very possible that you are not functioning at your best due to a misalignment. While there are many potential mechanical or structural causes for misalignment, there are also chemical reasons. For instance, if you smoke or drink excessively or even just have a poor diet, the chemical issues in your body can eventually cause underlying conditions and disease to appear.
Allowing a chiropractor to get you back on track both chemically and structurally will bring your body back to the proper state it should be in to perform at it's peak.
What is Subluatixion?
When a vertebrae becomes misaligned or moves out of its normal position, this is referred to in the chiropractic profession as a subluxation. Subluxations can be caused by a wide range of issues ranging from a minor slip or bump to a car accident or any sudden trauma. When a vertebrae is subluxated, it begins to put pressure on nerves, blood vessels and everything around it. This pressure comes with a price. The subluxation interrupts the natural pathways that the messages sent from the brain need to be clear in order to be completed properly.
As time goes by and a subluxation remains untreated, the spine and surrounding features such as discs can begin to degenerate. This degeneration becomes more difficult to reverse as time goes by as the surrounding muscles, nerves and bones begin to adjust to the new shape. The body is an amazing machine. It will start to accommodate these changes by compensating in other areas. The longer this goes on, the more difficult it is and the longer it takes to get back to near perfect position.
What is Spinal Degeneration?
Degeneration Phase 1
The first stage of spinal degeneration is when there is a minor loss of normal spine balance and spinal curvature. The surrounding features of the spine such as nerves, discs and joints begin to age quicker and are continually more stressed. This stage of the degeneration process rarely is accompanied with any major pain. At this point, there is a good chance that with the proper care, you can return to normal.
Degeneration Phase 2
In the second stage of spinal degeneration, there is a often narrowing of the discs and potentially deformation in the bones. Your posture is often beginning to degenerate as well at this point. As the spinal canal, or opening begins to narrow, there are often significant aches and pains associated. Fatigue and stress are more common at this stage. There is a good chance of improvement at this stage with the proper care.
Degeneration Phase 3
In the third stage of spinal degeneration, there is significant physical and mental involvement due to the level of issues here. There is most likely nerve damage as well as deformation of the bones and discs. There would a significant loss of energy and height at this point. Some reversal is possible.
Degeneration Phase 4
In the fourth stage of spinal degeneration, most damage is permanent including scar tissue, nerve damage and deformation. At this point, the condition is irreversible. Management of pain and discomfort is the best option here.
These simple movements or daily routines can end up hurting you if you're not careful. Make sure to do these simple activities the right way as outlined below:
Posture. Posture. Posture. Make sure that you keep your chin up and don't slouch. If you know that you are going to be standing for a long period of time, make sure that you wear comfortable shoes.
Working at a Desk
Make sure that you are getting up every 20 minutes to stretch. The type of chair you have is extremely important. It should fit you correctly so that your back touches the chair and your feet are on the floor with knees at a 90 degree angle. Try to avoid looking down at your computer screen. It should be at eye level.
Make sure you have a chair that is supportive. When you are forced to sit for a long period of time, for instance at a desk job, make sure to get up and stretch every 20 minutes. Sit with your back against the chair, feet firmly on the floor. Do not cross your legs.
Lifting objects is one of the most common ways to injure yourself. Even if it is a light object, twisting or pulling in the wrong direction when you're not stretched out can have a damaging effect on muscles and the spine. You always want to bend at the knees and avoid lifting anything you know is too heavy.
Overall Physical Activity
If you know that you are going to be working or playing for a while, make sure that you are adequately stretched out and warmed up. Even if it's something light like gardening or just pushing your child on a bike, it's easy to pull something if you're not warmed up.
Talking On The Telephone
If you're forced to use the telephone for a long period of time, a speaker or a headset is a must. By all means try to avoid cradling the phone between your neck and your shoulder as this could cause you to damage the muscles or vertebrae in that area.
Resting or Sleeping
Straining your neck or back while you're sleeping is a very common occurrence. We often fall asleep in strange positions where we are not supported properly or our necks are at an odd angle. Make sure that if you are going to nap or watch TV in bed, that you are in a supportive position.