Lumbar Disc Condition

images (24)What is Lumbar Disc Herniation?

Structure

The backbone is comprised of several discs that are fixed between two vertebras. The spongy material can be compared to a jelly donut, which has an outer cover and is filled with a soft jelly on the inside. Similarly, a disk has a strong outer covering and a soft substance as a filling.

The Leak

Several times the outer coating of the disc is ruptured, causing an opening for the inner jelly like substance to seep out. Once out of its protective outer laying, the leaked material interferes with the normal functioning of the spinal nerves. The already narrow spacing of the spine, through which nerve roots runs, is narrowed further and puts pressure on the nearby nerves.

Lumbar Specific Herniation

Lumbar region is found in the lower back and is considered to be the strongest area of the spine. It is said to bear a large portion of the weight of the body. Sciatic nerve is said to be a conglomeration of nerve roots running down from the lumbar spine. Therefore, lumber disc injuries can cause pain in the legs and feet.

Symptoms

As the lumbar region is strongly associated with the leg and feet area, one of the significant signs of lumbar disc injuries includes pain in the legs. Another symptom common to this condition is the tingling sensation in the feet. Feet might also feel weak and numb at times following a lumbar disc herniation.

The lumber region falls in your lower back area, therefore lower back pain is another common sign and symptom. Almost every body part below the lumbar region easily gets affected by lower back disc injuries. A weak bladder or loss of control of bowel movement and pain in the buttocks are considered to be symptoms of this condition as well. Other common indications include muscle weakness, groin pain as well as atrophy.

Visiting a Chiropractor

Considered to provide a conservative treatment, chiropractors can alleviate lumbar disc injuries. A case study of a 26 year old man is a validation for the success of recovery associated with visiting a chiropractor.  Within a period of 90 days, the patient, who suffered from a lumbar herniated disc due to an athletic injury, completely recovered from the condition. Utilizing activator adjustment instrument (AAI), a controlled mechanical force was applied to the location of concern. A follow up after 12 months indicated successful long term recovery.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Lumbar vertebrae anterior.png

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Board Certified Chiropractic Internist
& Clinical Nutritionist
Green Valley Chiropractic & Wellness Center

 

Treating Sprained Ankles with Chiropractic

4851542278_edc36ae122_oSprained ankles are one of the most common sports injuries and can become a rather large hurdle in anyone’s life if left untreated. Moreover, the longer the injury is left untreated, the longer it will take to return to the sport. Fortunately, there is a quicker way around it: chiropractic treatment. By treating your injury with chiropractic rather than conventional methods, not only does your injury heal faster, but the affected area grows stronger.

Initial Analysis

The first step in any chiropractic treatment is to analyze the area and determine the degree of damage. In case of tears or any fracture, the person is usually sent to the hospital. It is important to note that if you do not know how to treat a sprain, we suggest you do not touch the sprained ankle until the swelling goes down. In case of severe pain, a hospital referral is recommended.

Reducing the Swelling

Just like many other sports injuries, a sprained ankle should be treated with an ice pack immediately. This will help reduce the swelling until you can reach proper medical help. In the case of a severe ankle sprain, the swelling does not go down very fast and, in order to recover faster, most people seek out chiropractic help.

Without using any drugs or any surgery, chiropractic reduces the swelling fast using chiropractic techniques such as ultrasound, Kinesio taping and light Graston.

Joint Manipulation

No chiropractic treatment will include joint manipulation until the swelling has gone down. Once it has, joint manipulation is usually performed. Here, the ankle is moved slowly in a variety of motions. This is done to increase blood circulation around the ankle and subsequently reduce recover time. This is usually done to properly gauge the level of damage to the ankle and check for any possible weaknesses.

Rehabilitation Training

Once the swelling has gone down and the ankle can move freely once again, it is important to place the person on the rehabilitation stage. During this stage of chiropractic, an expert trainer will help you do a range of motion extending exercises, usually without any sort of weight/resistance. However, in order to strengthen the body and the ankle, some resistance is placed after a while.

Sports injuries, particularly ankle sprains, can become a big problem for anyone, especially athletes. Fortunately, Chiropractic treatment helps the ankle heal faster but extends the ankle’s degree of movement, allowing it to move more freely than before. Finally, it helps prevent any further injuries.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Homemade Ice Pack by Vince Viloria

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.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Playing children.jpg

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Types of Back pain

Posterior_view_of_lumbar_region_for_electrostimulation_electrode_placementAs any good chiropractor would tell you, there is no single cause of back pain. This is because back pain can occur due to various reasons, and affect different areas. It is important that you have an understanding of the nature of your ailment before going to the chiropractor for treatment.

Location Of The Pain

Back pain is classified in two categories, depending on where the pain occurs.

Upper Back Pain

Pain in the upper back, shoulders or neck is termed as upper back pain. There can be certain causes of upper back pain, such as stretched tendons or damaged ligaments due to strenuous physical work. Upper back pains aren’t as common as lower back pains, and can be treated by taking pain relievers such as Paracetamol or by visiting a Chiropractor.

Lower Back Pain

Like the name suggests, lower back pains are directed at the base of the back, and occur due to the overstretching of muscles in the lower back or direct injury to that area. This pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as lifting something heavy or bending in an awkward position. Treatment for lower back pains is the same as for upper back pains.

Duration Of The Pain

Besides location, pain can also be classified according to duration.

Acute Back Pain

A short term pain, lasting from a few days to weeks, is called an acute back pain. There may be numerous causes of this pain, the most common being blunt trauma caused by Ankylosing spondilytis, arthritis or other medical conditions.

The symptoms of this pain can range from muscular aches and incorrect posture to shooting pains in the buttocks and back of the legs. Acute back pain can lead to serious problems, but is generally harmless, and most people tend to let it heal itself.

Chronic Back Pain

If the pain lasts for more than 3 months, it is termed as chronic back pain. The cause of chronic back pain can rarely be determined without the help of a Chiropractor or other medical professional. This long term pain gets progressively worse with time; immediate treatment is necessary to prevent further complications.

Now that you know what type of back pain you suffer from, you can act on them by looking up for home treatments online, or doing exercises which may stimulate the back. It is also recommended that you visit your nearest chiropractor who could suggest you treatment options.

 

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Posterior view of lumbar region for electrostimulation electrode placement.jpg

Compassion and Empathy

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There is a lot of talk today about being happy and how to get there. According to the Dalai Lama, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Radio personality Dr. Laura Schlesinger gave advice to people who were seriously unhappy to go out and help other people. Helping others appears to be one way to finding happiness.

What does this have to do with compassion and empathy? Everything. When we practice empathy, that is extending our imagination to where we can experience what someone else is going through in a different situation. Practicing compassion means to be loving and kind toward others.

Some people claim that they don’t feel that they naturally have any empathy or compassion for others. This doesn’t let you off the hook. In fact, it’s a cop-out. Developing compassion and empathy is a skill that can be developed over time. If you want to be happy, check and see where you might be able to improve your compassion and empathy IQ.

Look for common experiences. This is a key to positive and productive networking. But if you’re not genuine it won’t go anywhere. Put some authenticity behind it and suddenly you’ll find yourself very socially connected with people who genuinely enjoy your company. Our sense of compassion actually increases when there is a common connection between people.

Reduce the emphasis on financial reward. We already know that money can’t buy happiness. That also means that money doesn’t buy compassion either. As people climb in social status, their compassion for others tends to decline. Take a look at the monied class (celebrities, politicians, tycoons) to see how out of touch they are with the middle class.

Love Yourself. You thought I was going to say you have to love others, right? Yes, that’s the end goal. But if you don’t love yourself, it’s very difficult to be compassionate and loving toward others. Being gentle with your own human traits and habits is a much faster way to overcome problems than to beat yourself up about it. Other people respond better to compassionate understanding than being bullied too. Try it in the workplace sometime.

Be Present. When talking with others, be sure to focus on that person. Don’t worry about the beep or buzz from your cell phone notifying you of a text or email. Put yourself fully in the moment with the person you’re talking to in order to practice compassion and empathy. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll feel better.

Think back to times when someone has done something compassionate for you. It feels great. That’s a step toward happiness. Thank people who treat you with compassion and empathy and you’ll be on the road to feeling happier than you did before.

Photo Credit:
Hayes Valley Farm
via
Hayes Valley Farm
at Flickr

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.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Heelstretch Pyramid.jpg

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