Non-Specific Neck Pain and Chiropractic

What is Non Specific Neck Pain?

Everyone feels a certain amount of pain in the neck at some point in their life. There might be a sudden onset of sharp pain where you find yourself massaging your neck and wondering what exactly caused the sudden stinging neck pain.  Mostly the underlying cause is not a disease or a degenerative story; rather it is either bad posture or prolonged strain to the neck.

Symptoms of Non-Specific Neck Pain

Always remember that your neck supplies nerves to the shoulders, arms and hands. This means that any disruption in the neck can cause an equal amount of disruption in the areas that it transfers messages to. Analogically, when a route becomes dysfunctional on the road, it affects every trade that takes place via that route.

With stiffness in the neck, the pain is carried along to the aforementioned parts and can cause weakness, numbness and the like. These symptoms can hamper your everyday functioning. When the passageway for nerves is irritated, the messages carried forward to other parts of the body are distorted with painful signals. Hence, even though non-specific in nature, neck pain requires special attention.

Dealing with the Issue

Wondering why you should visit a chiropractic practitioner for a condition that is harmless? Well. The answer is that such sudden onset of pain can be dealt with under this practice. Under chiropractics, the purpose is not alleviation of neck pain but also providing guidance for preventing neck pain in future. The fact that posture and pain in neck are well connected in nature, your doctor can guide you to maintaining a good posture which will protect you against non specific neck pain.

Without the use of medicine, you can quickly be on the road to recovery with this method.  Utilizing the techniques of spine manipulation, a chiropractic practitioner will first locate the area of concern followed by a careful application of force on the spinal joints.

Why a Chiropractic Practitioner?

Several people believe that chiropractic is a pseudoscience and does not result in successful healing of your neck pain. On the contrary these doctors, if they feel you need attention from doctor with a different medical background, will recommend you further to another professional for proper treatment. Additionally, these doctors make you undergo thorough examinations before application of any spine related techniques.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: sore neck? by Aidan Jones

Rancho Cucamonga Chiropractor shares ankle exercises for beginners.

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the peroneus longus/brevis, tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, gastrocnemius, soleus muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to improve muscular endurance, ankle strength, and proprioception.
By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.


Begin seated in a chair with good posture.
Extend leg.
Attempt to write alphabet from A through Z with toes, moving ankle in all directions.
Repeat for prescribed sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Spondylolysis and Lower Back Pain

Spondylolysis is one of many conditions that chiropractic practices have to deal with. The condition occurs due to a weakness in the section of the vertebrae that is known as pas interaticularis. This is a thin piece of bone that is responsible for connecting the lower and upper portion of the facet joints. These join in the vertebrae’s upper and lower section to form a comprehensive network of bone that allows the spine to move.

The defect can lead to small fractures in the spine that cause certain vertebrae to slip out of place.

Some chiropractic practices say that Spondylolysis is a hereditary disease especially considering infants who are born with a thin vertebrae, a condition that puts them at a higher risk for fractures.   Repetitive trauma to the lower back may also cause the pars interarticularis to weaken over time.

Symptoms

Those who have spondylolysis do not experience any symptoms and which is exactly why they might not be aware of it once it does occur. Low back pain is the most common symptom once the pain from the condition spreads. It feels like a muscle in the lower back has been sprained and usually gets worse with exercise or activity. It can also occur during a teenager’s growth spurt after puberty which is why the typical age of a person who acquires the condition is usually between 15 to 16 years.

The condition usually occurs in 3 to 4% of the population and is the most common cause of lower back pain in children or people below the age of 26. Spondylolysis is more common in kids or teenagers who take part in vigorous activities that over extend their spines such as weightlifting, gymnastics and football.

Treatment

The condition calls for a more conservative approach. Chiropractic care of Spondylolysis would aim to reduce the pain, let the fracture heal and help return the patient to normal activities. Patients are also advised to refrain from any vigorous physical activities such as exercise or sports to help them heal faster. Treatments for severe cases often involve the use of a back brace or support which helps stabilize the back and prevent lower back pain to aid the healing process.

The condition might not be preventable in some cases however certain steps can be taken to reduce the risk of fractures in the lower back.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Spinal column curvature 2011.png

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Chiropractic

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Being one of the most commonly occurring behavioral disorders, ADHD can be diagnosed at a very early stage. Three main elements namely hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity can be the basis for this disorder and can be obvious at a very early age. Although, it is common for children to be inattentive and run around, the inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity for ADHD comes forward in an exaggerated manner.

To be diagnosed with ADHD, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders- IV (DSM-IV) gives a list of certain signs and symptoms that have to prevail for a period of at least six months. However, care needs to be taken not to engage in self diagnosis or in the process of diagnosing your child yourself. Several times, only certain traits for as particular disorder are prevalent, indicating that a full blown diagnosis cannot be given.

How Can Chiropractics Help With ADHD?

What A Chiropractic Practitioner Does?

Chiropractic is based in the belief that the spine is the central structure and determines the activities and functioning in every other part of the body. Spine manipulation is adopted several times to stimulate the joints and adjust the spine. Chiropractic doctors make use of manual therapies where they use their hands and apply a certain amount of force at an area of concern.

Kids and Chiropractic

Chiropractic is mostly associated with adults who have pain in the back or neck and visit the practitioners for alleviation of the pain. With adults, they make use of high velocity thrust, if the case requires so. However, with infants and young children, they take the sensitivity of their bones into special consideration. With kids, chiropractic doctors avoid every sort of pressure and the pressure applied is equal to a fingers touch.

Spine Manipulation and Chiropractic

The area of the brain associated with ADHD is called the reticular activating system. This area is involved in two other activities of the body – the vision and hearing. Besides the reticular activating system, patients with ADHD are believed to have an under functioning in the frontal lobe, the cerebellum and the right or left hemisphere.

Depending on the side that is your child’s strength (whether he is right or left handed), the particular hemisphere is likely to be under functioning. Based on these issues, the child faces major obstacles in processing and interpreting information. With the help of chiropractics, the spine manipulation therapies can be utilized to activate and stimulate the under functioning areas of the brain. Thereby, treating ADHD in younger children and preventing it from being carried till adulthood.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Playing children.jpg

Chiropractor Rancho Cucamonga shares intermediate level abdominal exercise.

Involves no equipment.
This exercise works the abdominal, oblique internal/external, iliopsoa muscles.
The purpose is to increase abdominal strength and muscular endurance.
The benefits include improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

Begin lying on floor.
Lift knees so that a 90º position is attained at hip and knees. Place hands beside ears. Activate core.
Lift shoulder off floor approximately 6 inches attempting to bring elbow toward opposite opposite knee so that both simultaneously meet.

Return to start position and repeat on opposite side. Continue alternating sides until recommended repetitions are complete.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Spinal Disc Herniation – Disc Injuries and Chiropractic Therapy

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

Introduction to Chiropractic

What is Chiropractic?

Being a type of manual therapy, the practitioner utilizes techniques, forces and manipulations that are administered chiefly by hands. The spinal cord is the center of all therapies for a chiropractic doctor. Their belief is that the spine is the central structure as it allows messages from different parts of the body to reach the brain and vice versa. Under the state of paralysis in any part of the body, it is the spinal cord that can make any limb completely nonfunctional.

Spine Manipulation

Keeping the vitality of the spine in mind, D. D. Palmer brought to life the concept of spine manipulation to deal with vertebral subluxation. It is the practice of applying varying amounts of force to the area of concern in the spine to restore normal functioning.  Palmer is popular for applying this technique to a deaf individual (deafness not present at birth) and being successful at restoring his hearing capabilities.

Subluxation

Primarily a chiropractic practitioner deals with a vertebral subluxation. A subluxation is when the spine loses its normal positioning and the neural pathway dysfunction causes a compromise in the functioning of several different parts of the body including the visceral system. A subluxation occurs as a result of a trauma, injury or even a chemical imbalance in the body.

Chiropractic’s Forte 

A thorough examination is undertaken before your doctor performs any chiropractic techniques to relieve your pain. Several conditions are beyond the realm of this care. If you have a neurological condition, then you will be recommended to a neurologist and will not be administered any care procedures under a chiropractic practitioner. Other such conditions that cannot be dealt with manual therapies include tumors, broken bones, osteoporosis and arthritis. Areas that can be called its forte are pain in the upper and lower back, neck pain, and headaches, minor injuries related to sports, asthma, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, menstrual pains and the like.

Neck pain

This is said to be the second most valid reason for paying a visit to a chiropractic practitioner. However, neck pain can be caused by a variety of reasons. Several of which can be dealt with utilizing chiropractics. With cervical disc degenerative diseases, pinched cervical nerve, minor injuries to ligaments, herniated disc disease and the like, chiropractic can be very effective.

When the neck becomes an area of concern, several other parts of the body can suffer the impact. Weakness in the arms, shoulders and hands, the tingling sensation in parts of the body supplied by the neck suffer along with the pain in neck. Therefore, dealing with neck pain with the help of a chiropractic practitioner is a wise decision.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Spine and Disc Herniation by Michael Dorausch

Kids and Chiropractic Tests

Every chiropractor you meet will say that kids shouldn’t suffer from backaches, period – that is unless they suffer from back conditions. Those who deal with kids and chiropractic services will agree, which is why most medical specialists often carry out the following tests to determine why a child who is in the prime of his youth shouldn’t yell every time he bends over to pick up his favorite toy.

X-Rays – A doctor might recommend an x-ray of the child’s spine in order to make it possible for him to examine it from all angles. The exam will show any potential deformities, vertebral displacements or any other problem that might be causing discomfort to the child.

CT Scans – A CT, or Computed Tomography, scan will be necessary if the medical specialist needs to see a full 3D scan of the child’s spine. CT scans allows doctors to analyze anomalies that might not be visible on 2D x-ray scans. This is also why CT scans are so valuable in assessing complex structures in the spine or any small fractures that will not show up in an x-ray.

Bone Scans – Kids and chiropractic practices also use bone scans to diagnose any issues with a patient’s spine.  This test uses a special substance that is injected into a vein. A special camera is used to see where it is picked up. The test is successful in detecting a number of spinal anomalies such as tumors, infections, inflammations and fractures. Medical specialists will also recommend bone scans if the cause of a backache cannot be determined by an x-ray.

MRI – MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a very valuable technique in diagnosing back issues in kids and chiropractic cases in children. Since MRI scans show both tissue and bone this doesn’t come as a surprise.

Professional chiropractors are of the opinion that pediatric backache does not normally carry a diagnosis so parents need not worry about making their kids go through a plethora of imaging tests. Special tests such as the ones mentioned are only necessary if a child’s condition worsens or if he/she was involved in an accident.

It is also best that parents care about their kids’ well being by educating them on better ways to take care of themselves. Kids and chiropractic practices can only go so far to ensure that your child’s back is healthy enough to facilitate his growth.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Teenagers at Play (6768191473).jpg

Back Pain – Understanding Spinal Manipulation Techniques

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

Importance of Blending Chiropractic Care with Back-Strengthening Exercise

Back problems often are a result of a bad posture that could cause severe pains.  Restoring the back to its original and natural condition takes time, and a combination of chiropractic care with the recommended exercise can dramatically enhance recovery.

A combination of the two provides numerous benefits.  Exercise keeps muscles in their proper tone, increases blood circulation around the body, improves digestion and develops a better lifestyle all together.

The following back-strengthening exercises complement the healing process greatly:

Hip Bridge

The Hip Bridge exercise strengthens those muscles near the lower back that play an important role in stabilizing the spine.

It can be carried out by lying on the back with the feet flat and about hip width apart; the knees should be bent.   The arms should be relaxed.  The person then squeezes their buttocks as they lift their hips in a straight line towards the shoulders.  After around 3 seconds, return to the starting position, slowly.

Around 12 repetitions are recommended.

Bird Dog

The bird dog exercise aims at strengthening the lower back, hip, butt and thigh muscles.

The person kneels on the floor with both hands spaced out about a shoulder-width apart.  Tuck in the belly towards the spine and raise one leg straight backwards while raising the other hand in opposite direction.

Hold in this position for 15 seconds and then return to starting point, carrying out the same procedure on the opposite side hand and leg.

Side Plank

The side plank exercise strengthens the lower back.  It is done by the following method:

The person is to lie on their right side, straight from head to the feet while resting on their forearms.  The elbow should be directly under their shoulder.  The abdominals are to be gently contracted and the hips slowly lifted off the floor – in the same straight position.

This position should be held for at least about 30 seconds before lowering the hip.

Lunge

Lunge exercises enhance a person’s overall control of their body.  This tends to protect the spine in daily activities, such as walking and running or even stair-climbing.

Starting off with the abs gently contracted.  The hands are placed on the hips; the person then takes a big step-forward using the right foot while sinking the right knee at a right-angle.

The person should then slowly return to the starting position, switch the legs and repeat – 10 repetitions are recommended.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Side Plank.jpg