Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Chiropractic

800px-Playing_childrenWhat 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.

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Failed Back Syndrome – The Result of a Failed Spinal Surgery

380px-Spine_of_scapulaFailed back syndrome is a term that is used to define a failed spinal surgery that causes continued pain to the patient. Not much can be done regarding a case of failed back syndrome apart from performing a second surgery. Chiropractic care has, however, introduced means of therapy and adjustment to the spine that can significantly reduce the ill effects of the syndrome with undergoing surgery.

The truth is that outcome of a spinal surgery cannot be predicted precisely.  Sometimes an MRI scan can show an abnormal image which could lead to a wrong diagnosis of the problem.

Causes of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Some possible causes of a failed back surgery syndrome may include:

  • A wrong diagnosis of the patient’s condition
  • Incorrect surgery procedure performed on the patient
  • Surgery performed at an incorrect level of the spinal column
  • A failed spinal fusion surgery that had led to other complications
  • Continued pinching of the nerve despite the surgery
  • Scar tissue formation

Symptoms of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

The symptoms of a failed back syndrome include:

  • Chronic pain that continues even after the surgical procedure
  • Pain around the treated level of spine
  • Slow or no recovery from the surgery
  • Moving around is difficult and flexibility is compromised
  • Throbbing pain in the back
  • Spasms
  • High levels of anxiety leading to depression

Alternates to Repetitive Surgery 

Before undergoing another surgery, chiropractors recommend trying the following:

  • Undergo physical therapy – Physical therapy has proven to be a great method in relieving back-pains of all kinds
  • Try Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation – This therapy is performed by inducing low voltage to reduce pain
  • Take non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines – These medicine can help suppress inflammation which is a major factor in causing pain
  • Get injected with Steroids – Epidural Steroid Injections are a common method of treating inflamed spinal nerves
  • Carry out therapeutic exercises – Exercises help greatly in pain management
  • Have hot and cold compresses – Hot and cold compresses applied on the pain-stricken area can greatly reduce the inflammation and pain

Due to the vast nature of spinal surgeries, it is always best to consult with a physician or a chiropractor to find a solution that is suitable for a specific case.  Professional advice is necessary when it comes to severe cases.

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Chiropractic for Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)

8274285848_a550a961f8_oThe Basics of Chiropractic

Chiropractic involves a hands-on treatment of musculoskeletal concerns by focusing on the structure of the body and paying close attention to the spine. Adopting a high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) therapeutic stance, it is a popular choice for problems of back and neck pain. A high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) involves a short but quick thrust of pressure to a selected skeletal joint.

Chiropractic and the Neck

Several studies indicate the effectiveness of this technique for alleviating neck problems. When seventy patients underwent different treatments for their neck pain, with a handful of them receiving the chiropractic HVLA manipulation, results indicated the success of HVLA thrusts in reducing neck pain when at rest and increasing the range of cervical motion.

Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)

Causes

Car accident is the most common cause for a WAD. At the time of a motor collision, the body is unprepared to save you from the sudden jerk. A sudden head movement results in an acceleration and deceleration of the neck. This can lead to several different types of injuries, ranging from minor strains to permanent damage.

Spillover Effects

When the soft tissues, ligaments, nerves and muscles in the neck suffer any injuries, the pain diffuses through to the shoulders and the upper arm. Several people also suffer from neck stiffness after reading in bed at a stretch. Neck pain can also be caused by a bad posture or an extended period of severe mental stress.

Treatment

Neck related concerns are one of the main reasons people opt for chiropractic care. If WAD is not cared for, it can result in long term health related issues such as severe aches and soreness in the neck. When under chiropractic care, manual therapy is utilized where force is exerted physically to treat the joint structures and tissues for ease and relieve the pain.

With the use of tables that are highly specialized, the patient is made to comfortably lie down and the HVLA manipulation is adopted. The techniques involve applying a specific amount of force to the area of concern or by holding the client’s head to rotate it. Controlled and careful rotation of the neck can lessen the pain, eventually curing the neck condition. Mostly it is advisable to not rotate the neck more than 50 degrees.

During the procedure the patient can either be seated on a stool or might be asked to lie on a specialized table. The table comprises of cushions enabling the patient to lie down in a comfortable position. Based on the severity of the whiplash, the practitioner massages the neck in the direction of the stiffness.

The above is a brief overview of how chiropractic practitioners adopt techniques to reduce neck pain cause by a WAD.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Whiplash by Narih Lee

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.

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Risks of Leaving the Sciatica Untreated

9605942387_6e2293b844Sciatica is very painful medical condition in which the patient experiences extreme pain and tingling sensations in his back, hip, legs and thighs. The pain is caused as a result of pressure exerted on the nerves, either due to any inflammation in the vertebra or the narrowing of the spinal canal. Piriformis syndrome, lumber spinal stenosis and spinal disc herniation are common causes of sciatica pain in individuals. Chiropractic treatment is highly effective for relieving the patients of the painful condition.

Why Is Prompt Identification And Treatment Important?

It is very important for patients to recognize the symptoms and seek professional medical assistance for their sciatica condition. The doctor takes prompt prescribed tests to identify the cause of the sciatica pain in order to focus his attention on the specific treatment required for the condition.

If a patient does not seek medical assistance for his sciatica problem, it may result in exaggerating his condition with the period of time. A number of possible problems can arise for the patient besides the continuous pain in the back and the hip region.

Permanent Nerve Damage

Patients who do not seek prompt medical help for their sciatica run a high risk of suffering from permanent nerve damage. In case of a permanent damage to the sciatica nerve, the patient will experience excruciating pain in the back and legs, which will not be alleviated to a satisfactory level, even with the use of pain relieving medication.

The different treatment methods like water and physical therapy become extremely painful for the patient because of his severe nerve damage.

Paralysis in the Affected Limb

The patient experiences a loss of feeling in the affected limb, which in some cases also leads to difficulty in movement, and ultimately paralysis. The affected leg becomes devoid of all sensation and movement, hampering the patient already troubled with the excruciating pain.

Loss of Bladder Control

Patients who do not get medical treatment for their sciatica problem can experience a loss of control in their bladder and bowels. This adds to the problems already faced by the patient while dealing with his sciatica condition.

A pressurized sciatica nerve causes severe pain, tingling and numbing sensations in the legs and thighs, and cramps along with fever. Patients should seek prompt medical assistance for the correct identification and treatment of sciatica before the condition becomes incurable. Chiropractic treatment is considered as very effective for the treatment of sciatica pain in individuals.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Leg pain by The Clear Communication People

Achilles Tendon Sport Injuries And Chiropractic Treatment

800px-03042012Ccm_gamosuma_juvenilA231Professional athletes and individuals with a specific sport hobby suffer from a multitude of different injuries, contracted during the course of their activities. Some popular sports like football, soccer, baseball, golf, hiking, basketball, etc., while highly enjoyable, involve extensive exertions which result in various sports injuries in players. Chiropractic has become a popular mode of treatment for the different sports injuries and medical conditions, like Achilles Tendon injury, dislocated shoulder and spinal alignment.

What Is Achilles Tendon Injury?

The achilles tendon is one of the longest tendons in the body, which is stretched from the heel to the calf muscles of the human body. It assists in the engagement of different activities which require movement and flexible physical activity.

The Achilles tendon is used by sports athletes and enthusiasts for practicing and playing the different strenuous sports, like football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, running, etc. Over-exertion on the Achilles tendon results in swelling and pain in the tendon which hampers an athlete from engaging in different sports activities. If too much pressure and exertion is put on the tendon, it causes it to tear partially or completely rupture.

Symptoms 

An injured Achilles tendon becomes swollen and causes acute pain whenever the leg is stretched. The patient feels stiffness and tenderness in the affected area, which makes it difficult to engage in different everyday activities. If the tendon completely ruptures, then the patient experiences excruciating pain, and is unable to move around.

If an athlete experiences difficulty in flexing his legs or pointing his toes, he might have a partial or complete rupture in the Achilles tendon. Prompt medical attention is required for the diagnosis and treatment of the Achilles tendon injury, before the patient suffers more acute damage due to movement or strain.

Treatment 

Achilles tendon injury requires prompt treatment from medical professionals to ensure that the affected area does not suffer further damage. A patient with a ruptured or injured tendon is required to rest his leg and apply ice to ease the swelling. Patients are also advised to use an elastic bandage on the leg to keep the swelling down.

Anti-inflammatory pills can be prescribed which tend to bring down the swelling of the tendon, and different exercises are advised for keeping the tendon in shape. But chiropractic treatment is quickly becoming the preferred mode to heal sports injuries, especially Achilles tendon injury.

 

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Sciatica, Chiropractic and Pregnancy – What to Expect

SciaticaPregnancySciatica – What is it?

According to chiropractic practices, Sciatica is a common type of pain that affects the sciatic nerve which is a large nerve that extends from an individual’s lower back down the back of each leg. The sciatic nerve also happens to be the largest single nerve in the human body. It is composed of individual nerve roots that branch out from the spine in the lower back and come together to form the sciatic nerve.

A person who suffers from the condition may exhibit the following symptoms –

  • Burning or tingling sensation down the leg
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • Constant pain on one side of the rear
  • Shooting pain that increases when the individual tries to stand up

The pain that is associated with sciatica usually extends from the lower back through the back of the thigh and down the leg. It often occurs on one side of the body. It can also be debilitating to some. The symptoms of sciatica also vary according to where the nerve is pinched. For example, an impingement in the lumbar segment 5 (L5) can cause weakness in extending the big toe and in some cases, the ankle.

Sciatica and Pregnancy

Sciatica is also a common condition in pregnant women and usually appears during the third trimester of pregnancy. It is caused when a woman’s expanding uterus ends up putting pressure on the sciatic nerve on the lower spine. The same occurrence is also known to cause lower back pain during pregnancy. The reason the condition occurs during the third trimester is due to the fact that the growing baby shifts into the proper birthing position during this time. This makes the developing fetus rest directly on the nerve which causes the mother major pain in the buttocks. The pain also radiates to the back and legs.

The pain can be constant or intermittent depending on how many times the baby changes position. However, the lower back pain may also persist after birth.

Fortunately there are ways through which a person might be able to rid herself of the pain. Some women say that a cold or hot compress to the affected area can help lessen the pain. Just make sure that the heating pad isn’t too uncomfortably hot. Getting off your feet and walking around can also help get rid of the pain.

Chiropractic and Pregnancy

There are also patients who have sought out chiropractic services instead of opting for spinal surgery for cases such as these. It is easy to see why. Chiropractic care is non invasive and relies on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

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DAY FIVE

Welcome to Day 5 of the Purification Program.

Just a friendly reminder: corn is not a vegetable, it is a grain and there are no grains allowed on this program.

Also, remember that although something may be healthy (such as beans and nuts), it may not be allowed during the purification program due to other factors (such as potential food allergens).  So, with this in mind, remember: no beans or nuts of any kind.

How Should I Feel Today?

You should be feeling more energetic today and the cravings should continue decreasing.  Many have expressed that they have not only learned to ‘tolerate’ the shakes, but have even come to enjoy them.  Yes, yes, it’s true!

We mentioned yesterday that your sleep should be improving.  You should find that you are able to fall asleep easier, enjoy more restful sleep, and are able to sleep through the night more often.  The good news is that this should continue throughout the purification program and beyond (as long as you maintain some of your newly forming good habits).

Weight Loss

If you haven’t started exercising yet during this program, now is an excellent time to use some of your returning energy and start.  Remember, exercise is an essential part of losing weight during this program.

Reminders

Don’t wait to get hungry.  Waiting increases cravings, lowers your blood sugar level and can lead to fatigue.  Try to have your SP Complete Shake with your Whey Protein first thing in the morning and keep some approved snack foods around to munch on to keep your blood sugar and energy levels up.

Back Problems in Teens

1109px-Heelstretch_PyramidWill a chiropractor ever treat an adolescent during his professional career? Junior took a baseball right in the back. Julie fell off the human pyramid during cheerleading practice and landed on her back. Needless to say, parents of athletic adolescents are usually first in line at the chiropractic office.

Can Teens Suffer from Back Problems?

While back problems are more common in adults, they are a rarity in teens since the latter is more flexible and agile. That is why any backaches that accompany any athletic event (such as contact sports) should be immediately checked by a chiropractor.

Back Conditions in Teens

Back conditions that can affect teens or kids include –

  • Any pain that worsens by performing gymnastic activities such as handsprings or the butterfly stroke in swimming may be indicative of spinal conditions such as Spondylolysis. Younger athletes have more chances of developing the condition than older kids who take part in sporting activities.  The condition is often caused by over-use that causes constant trauma and is one of the most common causes of back pain in kids.
  • This is also why the condition has more chances of occurring during a teen’s growth spurt, which is also why it is more common in boys rather than girls. A chiropractor might diagnose Spondylolysis in teens who are aged between 15 and 16. 
  • Any type of backache that causes compromises a teen’s balance or coordination may be caused by a problem in the spinal cord.

Adolescents and teens might put themselves in dangerous situations more than the average five year old, but the fact remains that they are still kids.  In other words, they tend to be more aggressive in their activities than younger children. A four year old will probably not stick his hand in a light socket if he has been electrocuted once. However an adolescent will have to keep stressing his back especially if he is pressured to make a tackle or prevent a touchdown in order for his team to win.

Parents cannot stop commercial advertising or peer pressure that expects their kids to push the envelope, but they can educate on taking better care of themselves. A teenager can always be grounded if he/she doesn’t comply to the rules, but parents will be helpless if a backache worsens or worse, ends up paralyzing their child.

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Non-Specific Neck Pain and Chiropractic

images (5)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