Not Just For Back and Neck Pain!
Many think that the chiropractor only treats back and neck pain, but this is a small piece of what the profession really is capable of handling. Chiropractors not only treat soft and hard tissue problems such as sciatica and joint pain, but are called on to deal with other significant issues such as fibromyalgia, allergies, insomnia, headaches and many more.
Pain along the spinal column in your neck or back is usually caused by misalignments of your vertebrae, called subluxations, and cause pain because there is pressure on nerves. Left untreated, these subluxations can cause muscle spasms and increasing pain. Chiropractic adjustments properly align your spine so that pressure on joints and nerves is released. It is a direct treatment for the cause of the pain, not a temporary relief like pain relievers or massage.
Discs are positioned between the vertebrae in the spine; the outside of a disc is made from cartilage, and in the center is a jelly-like solution. These discs allow movement of the spine, create space between the vertebrae, and act as shock absorbers. The gelatinous middle allows the disc to compress and expand based on impact and movement. Trauma to the spine can cause the discs to become herniated or displaced (slipped disc), bulge, or even rupture. Trauma or direct injury to the area is not the only cause, however. As we get older, the discs can begin to weaken and dehydrate. These conditions can put pressure on the nerves around the spine and cause pain. Surgery is risky, expensive, and requires recovery time. In many cases, you can experience relief from these conditions through chiropractic.
Whiplash is a common injury for people involved in car collisions. When a car is struck from behind or collides with another object, it causes the neck to snap back and forth violently. This causes the muscles and ligaments to overextend, leading to strains and/or tears. This is referred to as soft tissue damage and can cause stiffness and soreness. Whiplash can also cause structural damage such as misaligned vertebrae, herniated, bulging or ruptured discs, or nerve damage due to the overextension from the violent movement. Adjustments and alignments can be performed specifically for those who have been in car accidents and suffered from whiplash.
Arthritis is a condition that is caused by the wearing down of the cartilage between joints. Some of the major joints that are affected are the knees, hips, back, neck, and hands/wrist. Arthritis in one area can cause arthritis or other problems in a different joint. For instance, if you have arthritis in your left knee, you may compensate for this by putting more pressure on your right side, leading to right hip problems. Chiropractic can alleviate pain by releasing pressure on the nervous system with proper alignment. It can also restore proper joint movement, helping to ensure that you use proper motion so that you do not cause injury to other parts of your body.
Joint dysfunction occurs when joints become stiff and full movement is restricted. It can be caused by an injury, poor posture, overuse/underuse of a joint, muscle imbalance and other factors. Like arthritis, joint dysfunction can cause pain in the joint and the surrounding muscles, and can also cause problems in other parts of the body due to overcompensation. One common form of joint dysfunction is sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which occurs where the base of the spine meets the pelvis. It causes low back pain and prohibits movement. This condition is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms are similar to sciatica or a herniated disc.
Many people believe that headaches are caused by loud noise, being tired, or being stressed. While these are all factors that can lead to headaches, the direct cause is tightness in the neck and shoulders. The tightness can cause misalignments in the vertebrae of your neck, resulting in pain. 80% of all headaches originate from the neck. With a typical cervicogenic (neck origin) headache, a person usually feels pain starting at the base of the skull which radiates into the temples, eyeballs, and forehead. Massage of the neck and shoulder muscles can release tension, and a chiropractic adjustment can realign the vertebrae in your neck.
Sciatica is a condition that results when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated. Bulging discs, spinal subluxations, and muscle spasms can all cause increased pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back and leg. To properly treat sciatica the cause of the condition needs to be diagnosed and properly treated. Your chiropractor can help you do this.
When a nerve is squeezed or compressed it is called a "pinched nerve". This can be caused by spinal misalignments, bulging or herniated discs, or other factors. The increased pressure on the nerve causes inflammation, pain, and sometimes muscle spasms. The pressure on the nerve must be relieved in order to alleviate the pain. An examination can reveal the cause of the pain, and an adjustment can relieve the pain by properly aligning the spine and addressing the cause of the pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This condition is most commonly associated with people who are constantly using a computer. Typing is a motion that, when performed repetitively and with poor posture, can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness, or a burning sensation. The pain in your hands and wrists can be relieved by your chiropractor with concentrated spinal and joint adjustments.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that we still do not know much about, and can be brought on by many different factors. The main symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic pain throughout the body, mainly located in joints. The pain may be achy, sharp, radiating, burning, or shooting and it may be mild or severe. Fibromyalgia has also been known to bring on other conditions like trouble sleeping, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
While there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, chiropractic treatment can help to uncover what may be causing the pain and also provide relief for the pain. Adjustments and chiropractic massage can be used to relieve pain from the affected areas. The added effects of chiropractic treatment such as increased energy levels, better circulation, and a stronger immune system can also help to fight the effects of fibromyalgia.