Neck Disc Injuries – Cervical Disc Prolapse and Chiropractic Treatment

1024px-FEMA_-_32323_-_FEMA_photographer_Mark_Wolfe_working_at_a_computer_in_Findlay,_OH_JFONeck disc injuries are contracted by individuals mostly because of the different body postures, during work. The long hours spent in front of the computer start to take their toll, and individuals experience tingling pain and sometimes a numb feeling in their arms and fingers, which are signs of a neck disc injury. Chiropractic is very effective in the treatment of individuals suffering from different neck disc injuries, like cervical disc prolapse.

What Is Cervical Disc Prolapse?

Cervical Disc Prolapse is a medical term for a slipped disc in the neck of a patient. A slipped disc condition is more common in the back than in the neck, and individuals in the 30 to 50 age bracket are more prone to this medical condition.

The 7 vertebra, the bones which constitute the spinal cord, have discs in between each bone. The 7 vertebra are termed from C1 to C7, and a slipped disc in the neck is more common between the C5 to C6 and the C6 to C7 vertebra.

In cervical disc prolapse, the discs have a tough outer covering which tends to degenerate because of the constant exertion and movement experienced by an individual, especially when engaged in different work related activities like operating  a machine or a computer for a long number of hours. In extreme cases, where there is acute degeneration of the outer fibrous layer of the disc, the soft nerves become exposed, and bulge out of the disc. This results in extreme pain for the individual as the disc exerts pressure on the nerves, causing inflammation.

In some cases, the disc might slip towards the back and the side, which causes extensive pain in the shoulder and arm of the individual. A slipped disc in the neck, or cervical disc prolapse, might also exhibit symptoms like a numb feeling or pins and needles in the whole arm, and pain in case of any neck or shoulder movement.

Chiropractic Treatment for Disc Injuries

Chiropractic is a non-invasive form of treatment, which focuses on the treatment and prevention of different musculoskeletal disorders, muscle strains and disc injuries. Chiropractors provide different treatment methods which include massages, joint adjustment procedures for pain and strains in the back and neck areas of the body. Spinal manipulation is a forte of chiropractic, in which it focuses on relieving the pain of the patient and improving muscular disorders, to facilitate movement. It is gaining popularity as a highly effective treatment method for neck and spinal pains and strains.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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Importance of Blending Chiropractic Care with Back-Strengthening Exercise

Side_PlankBack 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.

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Choose Chiropractic Care for Healthier Living

Activator_II_adjustment_instrumentChiropractic care is a medical system that aims to eliminate the root of a problem rather than just suppressing the symptoms.  Chiropractors manipulate the spinal column along with other parts of the body with the aim of easing pain, promoting the body’s systems to naturally heal it along with prescribing exercise to eliminate postural problems.

This approach introduces a healthier lifestyle for an individual.

Chiropractic Treatment Techniques

Here are numerous chiropractic treatment techniques that are used in treating patients:

Activator

The activator is a device that is used to correct minor misalignments in the spine.  It sends a small impulse that is sufficient enough to move the vertebrae without causing any injury.

Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (BEST)

This is a non-forceful technique that is used to remove blocked energy in the body and allows it to heal itself.
Cox Flexion Distraction

This procedure is a safe alternate to back surgery and is designed to relieve lower back pain by altering the spinal column.  However, it is also used to treat disc herniation, stenosis, arm and neck pains as well as many other complications.
Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology gauges a muscles’ strength or weakness to find an illness.
Thompson Terminal Point

This technique utilizes a special drop table to adjust the full length of the spine.

Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT)

The SOT technique is designed to reduce and sometimes completely eliminate pain in the head, neck, spinal cord, TMJ as well as improve function of many organs.

 

 

Logan Basic Technique

The Logan technique applies a gentle and sustained pressure at the base of the spine, that corrects the balance of the spinal column and releases tension.
A gentle, sustained pressure is exerted at the base of the spine. Correcting the sacrum corrects the rest of the spine.

Nimmo Technique

Nimmo technique is designed to relieve people of their chronic pain, whether in the muscle system, nervous system or skeletal system.

Orthotics

Orthotics focuses design and construction of external devices that help in modifying the structure of the body, such as uneven leg length, incorrect spinal curvature and tilted pelvis.

Emphasis on Exercise

Chiropractors believe that physical exercise is essential for the well-being of the human body.  This is why they prescribe exercises that are easy to carry out at home.  These exercises aim at reducing or preventing obesity that is a major factor in causing heart diseases, diabetes and many other diseases.

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Shoulder Sport Injuries and Chiropractic Care

1361740537_7c6bbebfceAthletes and sports enthusiasts suffer from different sports injuries, the most common one being shoulder injuries, contracted during the strenuous activities and efforts required during various sports. Chiropractors provide effective treatment methods to rid the patients of the pain and suffering of a shoulder injury.

How Are Shoulder Sports Injuries Contracted?

Shoulder sport injuries are contracted by professional athletes and individuals who pursue a certain sport as a hobby. The strenuous and exhausting practice procedures, along with the constant exertion on the body, result in acute muscular pains in the arm and shoulder regions, for the sports professionals. In extreme cases, the pain spreads throughout the entire arm, causing sore and stiff shoulder muscles and tingling pain up to the fingers.

The sports which require extensive physical effort like basketball, baseball, football, etc., require the players to engage in different repetitive movements, which sometimes cause shoulder sport injuries.

Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries which are very common among sports athletes and professionals present certain symptoms and signs which help in the diagnosis of the form of injury. A patient with a shoulder pain which persists for a couple of days has a high risk of suffering from a shoulder injury which needs to be treated promptly.

Recurring episodes of shoulder pain is also a sign of a shoulder injury, while inability to carry objects highlights the extent of damage suffered by the shoulder of an individual. In extreme cases, the shoulder injury causes a deformity in the joint and damages the muscles of the shoulder, which leaves the individual in extreme pain.

Shoulder injuries also include bruises and swellings around joints or the arm region of the body, which results in stiff muscles that are difficult to move. In some cases, the patient suffers from a fever and swelling with an infection, if there is acute damage to the muscles and joints of the shoulder region. Some individuals also face difficulty in moving their injured shoulder and experience pain in the area throughout the day.

Treatment Options

Shoulder injuries require prompt and efficient medical treatment, carefully administered, to ensure that there are no further damages to the injured area. Rest and anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed by doctors to bring down the swelling in the shoulder. Various painkillers are prescribed which only serve to alleviate the pain for a short period of time. Chiropractors provide effective treatment for the shoulder sports injuries contracted by different individuals.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Mikko with dislocated should… by Aleksi Aaltonen

Causes of Back Pain

10418151535_d230e6de16Back pain may occur due to various reasons; be it a sports injury, pulling a heavy object or a fall/ injury to the spine. If you are suffering from back pain, it would be wise to have a look at some of the common risk factors and causes of back pain before going to the chiropractor.

Risk Factors

The risk of back pain varies in different individuals, depending on their lifestyle. People who work in a mentally stressful job, smoke or go through strenuous physical work are more susceptible to back pain than those who don’t. Other factors such as pregnancy, anxiety, depression and obesity can also lead to this condition. Age is also a factor, as older individuals are at a higher risk than younger ones.

Causes Of Back Pain

Strain

The most common cause of back pain is strained muscles and ligaments, which may be a result of lifting something heavy or a sudden awkward movement. It can also be caused by improper posture due to a bad mattress or sitting position.

Structural Problems

The human body is a complex structure composed of bones, muscle, ligaments and joints. A fault in any of these can cause numerous problems, including back pain. Some particular structural problems that may affect the back are as follows:

Arthritis

Arthritis can cause various joint problems in the hips and lower back.

Bulging And Ruptured Disks

The vertebra in our spine is cushioned by a disk, so a ruptured disk would result in more pressure on the nerves, resulting in back aches. A bulging disk would put even more pressure on the nerves.

Sciatica

A bulging disk can also press on a nerve in the spine, causing a shooting pain through the buttocks and down the legs.

Curvature Of The Spine

An unnatural curvature of the spine can cause the space around the spinal cord to narrow, causing back pains.

Osteoporosis

A vertebra fracture can be caused by the bones becoming more brittle.

Spinal Cancer

A growth or tumor on the spine may press against a nerve.

Infections

Infection of the nerves (shingles) and spine may also cause pains.

Cauda Equine Syndrome

The growth of nerve roots at the bottom of the spinal cord can cause a dull pain, as well as lack of feeling in the upper buttocks.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: There’s pain in my head by Stefan Neuweger

 

The 3 most Common Sports Injuries and How to reduce their Risk

images (20)Over 200 million Americans participating in a sport at any given time, so there are bound to be sports injuries. Every year, up to 5% of the American population incurs a sports injury and has to rest at home while the injury heals. Chiropractors know that this number can be reduced significantly. Here is a closer look at the 3 most common sports injuries and how the risk of attainment can be reduced.

1 – Traumatic Injuries

Traumatic sports injuries are probably the most common types of injuries in sports. They are frequently seen in a variety of contact sports such as rugby, football and ice hockey. Possibly the most common of traumatic sports injuries, the main reason why people see chiropractors, are sprains.

When muscles are stretched beyond their limits, they cause pain. Stretched too far and they can tear. Chiropractors work with people to not only help treat these injuries but reduce their frequency. Using a variety of techniques, they help improve the joints, ensuring they can withstand more stress and perform better as well.

2 – Repetitive Stress Injuries

In many sports such as cricket, table tennis, football, running and weightlifting, players repeat a number of movements and stress the same area of their body. As such, these people are prone to a number of injuries classified as repetitive stress/motion sports injuries. In part, considering the nature of these sports, these injuries are inevitable. However, their frequency can be reduced.

Chiropractors work with athletes of such sports and help them reduce their risk of injury. How? Chiropractors simply use a number of techniques to help strengthen their joints. As a result, a stronger joint is less prone to injury.

3 – Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue sports injuries are regarded as a separate type of injury as they usually occur when a severe sprain has been incurred, usually coupled with a contusion. Such an injury involves localized swelling and the production of a lot of heat. However, chiropractors know that if left untreated for too long, it takes quite a while to heal.

As such, chiropractors work to reduce the swelling as fast as possible, allowing them to properly manipulate the affected area and help reduce pain and enable faster recovery.

In many cases, sports injuries are inevitable. However, according to many medical experts, including chiropractors, their frequency can be significantly reduced.

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