Why Spinal Surgery is a Bad Idea

Illu_vertebral_columnBecause it takes the smallest mistake to permanently paralyze a healthy individual, a fact that any chiropractor will attest to. There is always a risk of injury involved in spinal surgery.

Almost 80% of the people in the country will complain about lower back pain at some point in their lives. More work days are missed because of spinal pain than any other sort of ailment. This also places it as one of the most common causes of disabilities right after cardiovascular disease.

However, most people would rather seek the services of certified chiropractors than their doctors. Doctors usually prescribe numbing medication or painful surgical procedures like spinal surgery for patients who complain of repetitive chronic pain. But that is hardly a permanent solution and also involves a great deal of risks.

What can go Wrong:

Transitional Syndrome

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the spine has to do with its behavior. Your spine behaves like a chain of repeated segments. Each of the individual segments works as a whole to share the workload that is involved in moving the body by sharing the load along the spinal column. In other words the stress that is imposed on the spine during the movement is shared amongst the segments.

However such a process can only happen seamlessly when the spine is healthy. When one or more of the segments doesn’t work as they should their neighboring segments have to pick up the slack and work harder. The segment that is closest to the dysfunctional one gets most of the stress. This means that the area near where the spinal surgery was performed takes on more stress.  This is what is known as transitional syndrome since it occurs due to the transition of a healthy area of the spine to the fused area.

General practitioners and even orthopedic surgeons can never claim to know what causes pain in the back. To them, complex procedures like spinal surgery appear as handy default treatments. This is not to mention the disastrous residual pain that is caused by inappropriate surgery. Such a complication is more of a possibility after common spinal surgeries, such as laminectomies, in which a disc is removed to give the nerve near the central spinal cord more space to move, or fusion, in which a vertebra is surgically joined to another to restrict excess movement.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Illu vertebral column.jpg

Spinal Disc Herniation – Disc Injuries and Chiropractic Therapy

290644114_fa50ce417a (1)Spine and disc injuries are more common in individuals who lie in the 40 to 60 age bracket. While young individuals who engage in different strenuous work activities (which involve the lifting of heavy loads and operating on machinery for long hours) experience spine, neck and disc injuries which cause great pain. These injuries cause hindrance in the movement of the back and the neck, and are aggravated by continuous involvement in different laborious activities. Spinal disc herniation is a medical condition experienced by individuals because of over-exertion on the back and neck parts of the body. Chiropractors offer different treatment methods to relieve the pain and facilitate movement of the affected individual.

What Is Spinal Disc Herniation?

Spinal disc herniation is a medical condition in which a tear appears on the outer fibrous layer of the vertebra disc, which causes the inner soft nucleus material to bulge and squeeze out from the torn area of the disc.

The tear in the disc is usually attributed to old age in individuals, but may also be caused because of any trauma, straining and lifting injuries, experienced by a young individual, because of different work related and other everyday activities. The nature of the tear in the disc might cause inflammation in the surrounding area, which might put pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain for the individual. The bulging out of the inner pulpous material from the ruptured or torn disc results in a pressure on the spine and disc which causes extreme pain.

Spinal disc herniation is also called a slipped disc condition, though the disc is securely intact in between the vertebra. Individuals suffering from a minor case of spinal disc herniation are able to recover within a few weeks, with suitable rest. But, in cases of extreme damage to the spinal disc, the patient sometimes requires surgical treatment, which does not always provide good results.

Patients with acute spinal disc herniation in the upper, central or lower part of their spinal cord require physical therapy and medications for quick recovery.

Chiropractic Therapy for Spinal Disc Injuries

Chiropractors provide treatment and therapy for the effective recovery of individuals suffering from different forms of spine and disc injuries. They mobilize and manipulate the muscles of the spine and the neck, adjusting the different joints and muscles, to relieve the individual of the excruciating pain experienced because of the different musculoskeletal disorders.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: the neck thing. ouch. no really…ouch! by Beth Punches

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy: The Benefits

7004627103_10658cb981Back pain is a common problem faced by women during their pregnancy. This occurs when pregnant women put on extra weight causing extra pressure on the spine. Receiving spinal treatments can reduce such pains through chiropractic, and pregnancy issues like delivery can be made more comfortable and faster.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a conservative form of treatment that addresses the spinal cord, discs and related nerves without the use of surgery or drugs. It involves the adjustment of spine to align it back to its normal position. This reduces the spinal nerve stress which can cause various other health complications in the woman and later on in the child. Hence, chiropractic treatment addresses the whole body to promote health and well being.

Safe during Pregnancy

Many complications can occur during pregnancy that can be triggered by spinal problems. These complications can get transferred to the newborn, as they affect the nervous system of a mother. Babies can develop colic, breathing problems, allergic reactions, bedwetting, and neural disorders. The Webster Technique is commonly employed for pregnant women to reduce the spinal nerve stress and balance pelvis, ligaments and muscles.

Throughout the stages of pregnancy, specialized chiropractic care plans are devised to suit the patient. Research shows there are no known potential contradictions to chiropractic treatment during pregnancy. Chiropractic professionals are known to adjust treatments to better suit the body of a pregnant woman. They follow tables and employ techniques which avoid unnecessary pressure on the stomach.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Many medical experts recommend chiropractic care during pregnancy as it helps maintain pelvic balance. A balanced pelvis gives a baby more room to move into the correct birth position. This avoids some of the potential fallbacks of delivery. Other benefits include:

  • Reducing back, neck and joint pain
  • Reducing nerve stress to promote healthy development of the mother and baby
  • Relieving pressure from the spine and maintaining better posture
  • Restoring joints to ensure optimum range of motion
  • Reducing symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing time of labor and delivery
  • Stimulates optimal functioning of reproductive organs
  • Preventing potential cases of cesarean
  • Maintaining a healthy pregnancy

 

A visit to the chiropractic clinic begins with physical evaluations, and then a treatment plan is made, involving therapies, nutrition and exercise. Chiropractic care aims to provide comfort for mothers during and after pregnancy, and also ensuring their babies enjoy proper bone and neural development.

Image Used Under Creative Commons Licensing: Profile of a pregnant woman by Jason Pier in DC

Yoga Isn’t What You Think

Plank.jpgAs we talk about “doing yoga” we find that people are either 100% on board and have a yoga practice themselves (even if it has been two years since they hit their mat) or they give you a funny look and say, “That’s where you chant on your head, right?”

Sigh. Yes, I’ve been to yoga classes where there has been chanting. And yes, there have been classes where some students have managed a very respectable headstand. I don’t recall one where both have happened simultaneously, but I suppose it could. But the comment completely sidetracked the conversation where I was sharing the benefits of my yoga experiences with a friend.

As our non-yoga lover left, I watched his back and wanted to sit him down and explain a few things about yoga to him. Since I lacked both the courage and physical strength to do so, I’m going to write down a few things about yoga I wanted to share with him.

And I’ve learned that if there is one person out there with the chanting/headstand opinion, there are likely a few others, so this is for you too.

Number One. Yoga is NOT for sissies. It is truly much harder than it looks. The peaceful expressions on the models in a yoga magazine or on the cover of a yoga DVD might give the impression of this being an easy workout, but I’m here to tell you that you will use muscles you didn’t even know you had. You will also sweat. A lot.

Many who are new to yoga say, “That’s a whole lot harder than it looks!” Those of us who understand, simply smile and nod. Yes, it is. Yoga uses the entire body and even well-conditioned athletes find their first session in a yoga class to be challenging. As a mind-body experience it entails so much more than just telling yourself, “Only five more miles.”

The main goal behind yoga is to make that mind/body connection through a series of asanas or postures combined with breathing techniques to help.

Number Two. You do NOT have to have the ability to stand on your head or put your heels behind your ears before you start yoga. Probably one of the most common excuse for not doing yoga is, “I’m not flexible enough.”

The whole idea of yoga is to become flexible.

Each person who comes to their yoga mat comes as a fresh start. Even those who have practiced yoga for years find a fresh start every time they come to their mat because they may have pain, stiffness, an injury, or even a mental concern. All of these will change your yoga practice.

Every yoga session is done at your own pace. Never compare yourself to anyone else in the room. NEVER! You are an individual, and your job is to combine your mind and your body. Focus on what you need.

Number Three. Welcome help from your instructor. Most yoga studio instructors have over 200 hours of training in addition to a deep understanding of body mechanics. They can see when your pose is working against you and can give you a slight adjustment that makes the entire pose so much easier and better. They are there to help you, coach you, teach you. Use them. That is what is missing when you practice only to a DVD. That is good, but from time to time it is good to have some positive feedback to improve your overall technique.

Give yoga a chance. There is a class available to fit every person out there, from children to seniors. It is a gentle, yet full-body workout that not only tones your muscles but teaches you to also calm your mind.

A Whole New Approach to Migraine & Headache Relief

MiRx Protocol: A Whole New Approach to Migraine & Headache Relief

Each year consumers spend more than $4 billon dollars on over the counter headache medications to try to temporarily mask their headache pain. But anyone who suffers with chronic headaches & migraines knows the frustrations. The relief, if any is short term. The risk of dangerous side effects is high, and OTC pain medications do nothing to prevent the next big headache right around the corner.

That’s what makes the MiRx Protocol so exciting. It’s a whole new approach with a goal of providing fast, safe, long term migraine relief!

FINALLY REACHING THE SOURCE OF HEADACHE PAIN

For years scientists have known that migraine, headache and facial pain is controlled by a nerve cluster called the Sphenopalantine Ganglion (SPG) located in a difficult to reach area of the nasal cavity. The challenge has been, how to get medication or a numbing agent to the SPG to provide immediate headache relief without painful treatments or even invasive surgery. With the MiRx Protocol, the solution is as simple as a nasal spray.

HOW MiRx WORKS – SIMPLE AS A NASAL SPRAYMigraine Relief - Nasal Spray

It starts with an ingenious applicator and a simple nasal spray. Because the SPG is located deep in the nasal cavity, a normal nasal spray cannot reach the desired location. But unlike other nasal sprays, the revolutionary, Tx360™ nasal applicator has a soft flexible extension that allows the anesthetic agent to be sprayed directly on to the SPG.
The result is instantaneous headache relief. The treatment takes less than a minute and most patients report a pain rating decrease from eight to two within seconds.

FAST AND SAFE, WITH NO LONG-TERM COMPLICATIONS

With the MiRx Protocol, you can avoid the complications or potentially dangerous side effects associated with long-term use of prescription medications or OTC painkillers. The MiRx Protocol is even safe for use on pregnant patients. A total headache treatment plan, the MiRx Protocol has been clinically proven to provide long-term results. While some patients can experience lasting migraine relief after just one treatment, those who have experienced chronic migraines or headaches for years may require the full treatment program for maximum benefit.

HOW MiRx WORKS

The MiRx Protocol is a treatment program designed to treat migraine, headache, facial pain, and head pain.  The protocol is made up of two parts.  The first stage of treatment stops  the reaction of the nervous system and alleavates the headache pain.  This is refered to as the medical component.  The second stage of the MiRx Protocol treats and rehabilitates the underlying condition, which is the physical component. These two combined can effectively eliminate the conditions causing your headache or face pain.  These two components work together to provide long-term migraine relief.

MEDICAL COMPONENT

The medical component of the MiRx Protocol uses clinical testing to make sure you qualify for the treatment. The data collected also helps identify obvious triggers of the headaches.

Most patient’s qualify for the procedure and are treated during the first visit.

After the initial exam and free consultation, the MiRx doctor will prepare you for the procedure to quickly alleveate your headache. The procedure targets a nerve cluster with in the nasal cavity called the sphenopalatine ganglion. By using a specialized FDA cleared nasal applicator to deliver medication directly to this nerve cluster headache pain is nearly eliminated instantaneously. Many patients go from a pain rating of 8 to a pain rating of 2 in seconds. (Numeric Rating Scale (NRS-11))

MiRx FAQ

1. Is this Covered By Insurance?
Most insurance plans and Medicare/Medicaid cover this procedure, since the procedure requires a medical doctor or registered nurse for treatment. However, check with a MiRx provider near you to see if they accept your insurance.

 

2. Is this painful?
No, in fact many people they don’t notice any discomfort from the applicator or medication.

3. Do I need a referral?
Many of our MiRx providers do not require referrals, and offer a free consultation to see if you qualify for treatment. To be sure, we recommend contacting the MiRx provider near you.

 

4. How long does it take?
The procedure only takes about 30 seconds per nostril. Overall the average time in office is less than 10 minutes.

5. How soon will MiRx work?
Headache pain relief is often times immediate, and typically after the second treatment the pain is not noticeable. In some cases headache pain is completely eliminated with one treatment.

6. How long does it last?
Since we are targeting the nerve cluster that communicates the pain sensation to the brain, relief can last for 24 – 48 hours with one treatment. The MiRx Protocol was clinically tested as a treatment plan to provide long-term relief. The duration of relief will continue to build until completely eliminated.

7. Does the spray burn the inside of the nose?
No, the spray is a mild topical anesthetic and doesn’t contain any substance that will create a burning sensation. Be sure to notify your physician of any allergies or previous irritations.

8. Are there side effects?
There are not any know side effect from the MiRx Protocol. In fact it is safe for use on pregnant women.

5 Common Symptoms of Poor Posture and How to Treat Them with Exercise

Good posture is very important when it comes to a healthy way of living.  Chiropractors help you maintaining one.  A lot of people don’t comprehend the importance of a good posture.  Some experience varying degrees of pain all over the body that gradually turns into major complications.  What people fail to realize is that the root of many of the simplest and even the complex of all health issues are usually linked to the body posture, in one way or another.

If someone is experiencing anything from the following symptoms, it would be a wise idea to get their posture evaluated to see if that is causing any of the complications.  Fortunately, a few relatively simple exercises can help in restoring the body posture and eliminate any problems associated with it.

1.    HEAD

Following symptoms may be felt in the head due to incorrect postures:

  • The person may have frequent headaches, including the ‘throbbing’ feeling
  • It feels that the head may split open
  • It feels as if something is pounding inside the head
  • The individual may suffer from dizziness and a loss of sense of balance
  • The sounds around them may seem way too loud to them along with a ringing sound in the ears

2.    EYES

The eyes may be subjected to the following:

  • The eye-sockets are painful and cause the eyes to feel sore
  • Rolling the eyes causes pain
  • Eyes lose their natural wetness
  • The vision starts to get blurry

3.    NECK

The neck is a quite sensitive area due to the passing spinal cord and is almost always affected by a bad posture.

  • Shooting neck pain
  • Muscle spasms occur regularly
  • The neck feels stiff

4.    JAW

The jaw bone is also affected by bad posture in the following way:

  • The individual may start experiencing TMJ pain
  • It gets painful to chew, and a popping sound is heard
  • The cheek muscles start to hurt
  • Shoulders are also significantly affected:
  • The person may feel pain in the socket
  • It may become difficult to raise arm or when trying to scratch the back

5.    SHOULDER

 

Exercise

Fortunately, before any complicated problems start happening, a chiropractor can prescribe exercises that are aimed at strengthening muscles and bones and help in restoring a proper body posture.  Many of the exercises are easy to do at home and are designed to relax stiff muscles, keep the spinal column in a correct shape and thereby improve the overall lifestyle.

Exercise is also a great way to avoid heart diseases, high blood pressures, diabetes and scores of other diseases that result from

Back Pain – Being Prepared for Your First Visit to a Chiropractor

Folks are often faced with this dilemma: I feel discomfort in my back, but it’s probably nothing, right? It’ll just go away in a matter of days or weeks. I probably just need to rest more or eat better.

It’s true that a handful of back pain dilemmas arise from notably bad posture, a poor or inadequate diet, bad sleeping habits or even using bad form while exercising. Unfortunately, the average individual is not qualified to properly diagnose these problems, which can often prove to be fatal down the road.

It may be wise to consult a Chiropractor at this stage; an expert who can provide extensive knowhow and diagnoses into each and every kind of back-related issue. This article aims to prepare you somewhat, so you know some of the things to expect when you visit a Chiropractor for the first time.

In the event that your back pain turns out to be more serious than just symptoms of discomfort or overuse, here’s how a Chiropractor would generally diagnose causes:

Potentially Serious

This can range from conditions like tumors, infections, a local open wound or burn to major neurological problems such as cauda equina – a rare but serious condition nevertheless that’s best described as extreme pressure and swelling of the nerves at the lower tip of the spinal cord. This is considered a serious medical emergency and may need urgent surgical attention.

Other conditions in this category include prolonged internal bleeding and joint infection.

Nerve Problem

In cases where the nerve root in the lower back is compressed or pinched, you experience sciatica. One of the typical causes of this condition is a lumbar herniated disc or spinal stenosis – with age, the general makeup of the spine often changes, leading to degeneration of the bones, muscles, ligaments and discs surrounding the spinal cord. A common symptom of this condition is leg pain. This pain is often accompanied by a tingling sensation in the buttocks and legs.

Non-Specific

This can be categorized as “mechanical back pain” in the lumbar region; also known as axial back pain, this is categorized as either a sharp or dull pain and can be either felt intermittently or constantly. It’s referred to as mechanical since the lower back pain can get worse with certain physical movements such as sports. Or symptoms can worsen as a result of sitting long hours for example. This is also a common type of back pain and is typically non-specific.

Back Pain – Understanding Spinal Manipulation Techniques

images (21)The time comes when every home remedy you’ve experimented with simply doesn’t get rid of that nagging back pain, and you’re left with no choice but to get a professional opinion.

Lucky for you, chiropractors are well-versed experts who have been trained in the art of remedying back problems and it certainly pays to get to know some of the spinal manipulation techniques that are employed.

Spinal Manipulation Vs Spinal Mobilization 

Remedial techniques essentially zero in on a common objective – restoring or improving joint function by significantly reducing joint inflammation as well as general discomfort due to back pain. Certain approaches make use of more force, such as spinal manipulation, while others are comparatively more gentle – spinal mobilization.

What originally came to be known as spinal manipulation is referred to by many chiropractors as “high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust (HVLA). Newer spinal adjustment approaches entail a variation of existing techniques and often borrow their names from the chiropractor responsible for developing them.

Specific treatment plans are adapted to meet individual needs of every patient. In order to curb back pain, forceful and less forceful spinal adjustment techniques are administered either in a single visit or multiple ones.

Let’s take a closer look at spinal manipulation and mobilization techniques commonly practiced today.

 Spinal Manipulation – HVLA

The HVLA thrust is the most frequently used technique in spinal manipulation today. Your practitioner uses his/her hands to apply a controlled force that is quick and focused, resulting in an audible “pop”. You will be asked to position your body a certain way so as to target a specific joint.

Spinal Mobilization – Low-force / Gentle Chiropractic Techniques

Certain pre-existing conditions like osteoporosis and patient-specific factors – comfort level, size, pathology, preference – warrant a gentler approach. Also, some patients and even clinics simply prefer going with mild spinal mobilization techniques that leave twisting the body or a forceful thrust, out of the equation.

Apart from manipulation, a lot of chiropractors make use of adjunctive therapy like ice or heat. Other physical modalities include electric stimulation and ultrasound that form part of the overall program. As a patient, you need to discuss your symptoms and preferences beforehand, so that a thorough examination can be conducted to determine an ideal course of action.

Chiropractors are among the most well-trained, learned and experienced health care practitioners who serve as a homing beacon for those suffering from continuous back pain and other more serious conditions.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: chiropractic technique by Michael Dorausch

Kids and Chiropractic Care: How It Can Benefit Them

newborn-220142_640Chiropractic care deals with the spinal column’s important relationship in creating harmony throughout the body.  It works on the principle that even a slight maladjustment in the spinal column can create problems for the individual.  The backbone is home to the nervous system and fine tuning of vertebrae can have enormous effects in reducing pain and help in healing.

Kids and chiropractic care have a very important relation – as kids grow, their body experiences a lot of physical stresses.  Any slight problems in the spine can restrict their growth and even cause severe problems.

Due to the curved position which the baby adopts when growing in the womb, many complications can arise at or after birth.  For this reason, a lot of parents get their newborn’s spine checked by a chiropractor.

Other health-related complaints in newborns include difficulty in breast-feeding, sleep problems, reflux and infections that can be linked to the nervous system of the baby.  These problems are the result of misaligned spine which may have resulted either due to the pre-birth curved position of the fetus, or due to the stresses incurred during delivery.

A chiropractor starts off by examining kids and their spines.  A lot of parents are worried about the baby’s delicate body being subjected to the forces required during the adjustments.  What they don’t realize that many chiropractors are specialists in treating kids.  They have the right skills and the touch of delicacy required in handling babies.

Nevertheless, spinal adjustments for kids – especially newborns – require very gentle pressures using only fingers.

Chiropractic care for kids is absolutely painless.  The kid may be sensitive to the touch at points where there is an injury – apart from that, there is no need to worry about pain.

A kid’s spine is far more responsive than that of an adult.  Only a few minor adjustments are required to get rid of any abnormality.  The complete time required for all chiropractic care sessions would depend on how long the problem has persisted for.

Kids have far less chances of suffering any injuries during the spinal adjustment procedure.  A study by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) revealed that only a few children from a figure of more than ten thousand experienced some sort of minor discomfort.

Therefore, it is extremely safe to have kids go through chiropractic care to ensure they do not have any kind of spinal issues while they grow up to become healthy adults.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Newborn Baby Cute Child Portrait Face Little

Cervical Herniated Disc – Disc Injuries and Chiropractic Care

Cervical_fracture_dislocation_C6-C7Individuals, engaged in strenuous everyday tasks of lifting and shifting heavy loads, and operating machines and computers for long hours on end, run a high risk of experiencing spinal disc injuries. Injuries in the spine or neck region tend to cause extreme pain and hindrance in the movement of the back or neck. Cervical herniated disc is a medical condition in which the patient feels excruciating pain in the neck, due to a slipped disc. Chiropractors provide invasive treatment methods for relieving the pain in the neck and spinal areas of the body.

What Is A Cervical Herniated Disc?

It is a medical condition, in which the individual suffers from extreme pain in the neck, and sometimes shoulder region, due to a slipped disc or pressure on a nerve. Cervical herniated disc injuries are less common than a lumbar herniated disc, which affects the lower region of the body. A cervical herniated disc condition is in the neck region of the body.

The 7 applicable vertebra of the spine are termed as C1 to C7, in a descending manner, for medical convenience. Between every two vertebra, a disc is located which serves as shock absorbers for the spine. The exertion and pressure on the neck and spine of the body causes swelling or bulging of the disc which might in extreme cases, even cause the disc to rupture, resulting in severe disc injuries.

The swelling and bulging of the disc exerts pressure on the nerves, which results in extreme pain in the neck and back region, hampering movement of the affected individual. A slipped disc or cervical herniated disc in the vertebra segment of C4 to C5 causes nerve root impingement, which results in pain in the upper shoulder or arm, hindering movement. Any swelling in the cervical segment of C5 to C6 results in weakening the front arm muscles, also called biceps, and causes a numbing and tingling pain in the wrist. It is the most common area in which a cervical herniated disc condition occurs.

The herniation of the discs in the C6 to C7 vertebra results in creating painful sensations in the back muscles of the arm, also called triceps,  which extends all over the hand, causing pain up to the fingers. Any disc herniation in the C7 to T1 region, results in affecting the control and grip of the hand, with a tingling pain and numb sensation throughout.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care and treatment methods are highly effective for different musculoskeletal disorders and spinal disc injuries, experienced by individuals because of over exertion and engagement in strenuous activities. Chiropractors provide services for joint and muscle adjustment and pain relief.

 

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Cervical fracture dislocation C6-C7.jpeg