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How can chiropractic care benefit my health?
There are many misconceptions going around about chiropractic care, the most common being that it is only used for making adjustments to the spine. In reality, chiropractors treat the entire body in order to find the root cause of your pain and come up with a treatment plan to solve it.
According to WebMD, 22 million Americans visit chiropractors each year.
With such a large amount of interest in chiropractic care, there must be some great chiropractic benefits?
Of course! Below are some of the top chiropractic benefits that our patients see at South Pointe Chiropractic.
Headaches are one of the most common pain symptoms, 9/10 Americans suffer from headaches that often range in frequency and intensity, some can even cause debilitating pain and nausea.
The causes of headaches are widespread and often involve a “trigger”. These triggers can be a result of environmental stimuli (noise, light, stress), behavior (sleep habits, exercise, blood sugar changes), and foods. Of all headaches, only 5% can be traced to physical problems, with the remaining 95% categorized as primary headaches that are commonly identified as tension, migraine or cluster headaches.
A vast majority of these primary headaches can be traced to muscle tension in the neck. Especially with current social conditions, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than ever before, which leads to increased joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, back and upper scalp leading to headaches.
Fortunately spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function have been shown to reduce pain and stress throughout your body. Depending on the individual case, nutritional advice such as a change in diet or advice on posture and relaxation techniques can also help relieve recurring irritation.
2. Neck Pain
The neck (cervical spine), begins at the base of the skull and is home to seven vertebrae. It is astounding that the cervical spine is able to support the full weight of the head, which is over 12 lbs on average. The cervical spine is what allows full mobility of your head in almost every direction, but this flexibility also makes it prone to various pain and injuries.
Biomechanics hold some responsibility for why the neck is so susceptible to injury. Activities that effect biomechanics of the neck include: extended sitting, repetitive motions, falls, accidents, aging, and everyday wear.
Some of the most common causes of neck pain are:
- Accidents & Injuries: “Whiplash” is a common cause of neck pain, which involves a quick forced movement to the neck or head which results in the neck “rebounding” in the opposite direction. This whipping motion can injure the surrounding tissues of the head and neck. Automobile accidents are seen as the most common cause of whiplash.
- Normal Aging: Aging presents challenges in the form of degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease.
- Daily Activities: Root causes such as poor posture, obesity and weak abdominal muscles have a tendency to disrupt spinal balance which causes the neck to bend forward to compensate. Emotional tension and stress can also cause neck muscles to tighten and contract which is a contributing factor to chronic neck pain.
Research evidence shows that patients experiencing chronic neck pain reported significant chiropractic benefits from spinal manipulation. According to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, the effectiveness of spinal manipulation therapy was tested over one year with some groups receiving chiropractic care while the others received over the counter medication. The results showed that after the year period 53% who received spinal manipulation on its own reported a 75% reduction in pain compared to only 38% pain reduction for those taking medication.
3. Back Pain
Aside from upper-respiratory infections, back pain is the most common reason for a doctors visit. In some cases back pain is sharp and intense, brought on by a injury or incorrect movement which often heals in a short period of time. Other cases involve back pain as a chronic condition that greatly impacts someones ability to work or even enjoy life. Taking into consideration the current social condition and the fact that sedentary lifestyles are becoming more common, back pain has become increasingly prevalent.
In the past over the counter medication has been combined with rest has been a common treatment. In modern times, research supports trying drug-free conservative options for pain management while maintaining a safe level of activity. As of 2015, in recognition of the national opioid crisis, the Joint Commission took charge of the value in non-drug approaches to pain management by adding chiropractic work to be a pain management standard.
At South Pointe Physical Rehab our chiropractic professionals focus on musculoskeletal system and nervous system disorders and practice a hands on non pharmacological approach to back pain management. Back pain is so widely experienced, that relief from back pain is one of the top chiropractic benefits.
4. Shoulder Pain
The shoulder is made up of several joints that combine with tendons and muscles, which allows for the range of motion in your arm. Shoulder pain can arise from a trauma such as a fall or car accident, but may also be present from an individuals movement patterns over time.
Most shoulder pain problems can be placed into the broad categories of:
- Tissue / Tendon Inflammation
- Tendon tear
- Nerve Related Issues
At South Pointe Physical Rehab, our chiropractors have years of experience in diagnosing and treating shoulder pain from many different sources. In most cases, a combination of chiropractic care, medical massage and manual therapies show vast improvement in our patients.
Experiencing shooting pain in the leg? Sciatica may be the issue. This condition is named aptly after the sciatic nerve that stems off the spinal cord in the lower back, running through the glutes and down the back of the leg into the calf and foot. Sciatica has the capability to produce a range of other systems including: tingling, numbness, aching, burning and weakness in the leg. The pain associated with sciatica is often a result of compression in the spine, commonly caused by muscle pressure, disc deterioration or misalignment in the spine.
Chiropractic manipulation therapy has been shown to considerably take pressure off of the nerve and ease pain symptoms. Treatment often includes massage to loose up the muscle combined with physical therapy to address the root cause of the problem.
6. Disc Injuries
The human spine contains 24 discs that can be found in between the vertebrae in your neck and back. The spinal discs act as shock absorbers for your body, due to their soft interior and tough exterior, which helps keep your vertebrae separate when your body absorbs an impact. The pain associated with disc problems are often caused by either injuries or as a result of aging. The following symptoms are common results of disc problems:
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Inability to Work
- Impaired Mobility
- Muscle Weakness
- Reduced Quality of Life
Herniated Disc, often referred to as a “slipped or ruptured disc”, results in the softer material on the inside of the disc pushing through a breach in the tough exterior. This is one of the most common disc problems, which can irritate nearby nerves causing a variety of other symptoms. This disc problem is often the result of aging, but can also be brought on by traumatic events such as falling or improperly lifting heavy objects.
Modern medicine recognizes more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. Over 50 million adults have arthritis in America, making it the leading cause of disability. Common pain symptoms of arthritis may include pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion – with symptoms ranging in severity and length. While their are many different kinds of arthritis, the two most common are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease) involves wear and tear damage over time that effects your joints cartilage. Normal, nearly frictionless joint motion, is achieved because of the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones, but damage to this cartilage causes bones to grind directly on one another. This grinding results in pain, restricted movement, bone deterioration, and inflammation of the joint lining.
Rheumatoid Arthritis differs in the sense that it is not caused by wear and tear over time. Instead, the body’s immune system attacks the synovial membrane, which acts as the lining of the joint capsule. Over time, patients with this disease can damage cartilage and bone within the joint itself.
Chiropractic care is an excellent non-pharmacological way, depending on your individual needs. When treating patients with arthritis, one of the main focuses is to maximize the function of an arthritic joint.
8. Degenerative Disc & Joint Disease
Unlike the name suggests, Degenerative Disc Disease is not actually a disease. It is phrase that is used to describe changes in a patients spinal discs as they age. You’re spinal discs are found in between the vertebrae in the spine, which act as shock absorbers for your spine, allowing flexing and movement. Degenerative Disc Disease can occur on any area of the spine, but it is found most commonly in the neck and lower back.
The natural breaking down of these discs in the spine can result in neck or back pain that often varies in severity from person to person. Looking at two patients with the same amount of disc damage, one may be experiencing sever pain while the other may not be experiencing pain at all. Pain symptoms often appear after a major injury such as a car accident, falling, or even a normal motion such as bending over to reach something on the ground.
When diagnosing a patient with Degenerative Disc Disease, the main goal is often to improve joint mechanics. This is often achieved through improving spinal motion and in attempts to reduce inflammation. Some common techniques used by our chiropractors are: spinal manipulation, instrument assisted manipulation, trigger point therapy, and therapeutic massage.
9. Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash is a common cervical spine injury that is caused by a rapid and forceful back and forth motion of the neck, similar to “cracking a whip”. Whiplash is most common in car accidents, but it can also result from sports injuries or other trauma such as falls.
Although most people will feel better within a few weeks of sustaining whiplash, some may experience chronic neck pain and other lasting complications.
Symptoms of Whiplash include:
- Neck Pain & Stiffness
- Loss of Range of Motion
- Blurred Vision
- Sleep Disturbances
If you believe that you have whiplash from a car accident or other source, it is important to seek treatment immediately to prevent long term complications from forming. Our chiropractors are highly trained in reducing all sorts of cervical spine pain, such as common issues caused by whiplash.
10. Ligament Sprains
A sprain is caused when ligaments, which are bands of tissue that connect bones together in your joints, stretch or tear. The most common place for a sprain to occur is in the ankle, often a result of an injury sustained while hiking, running, and other outdoor activities. Other common areas of ligament sprains are the knee, wrist and thumb.
Some ligament sprains are minor and can be treated at home with a combination of ice, rest, compression, and elevation. Often times though, ligament sprains are more severe and require immediate medical attention.
Common symptoms of a ligament sprain are:
- Feeling A Pop At Time Of Injury
- Limited Mobility
If you have any of the above symptoms of a sprain and normal at home care is not showing improvement, you should see a specialist to assess the severity and help you recover properly.
Our chiropractors help patients recover from ligament sprains often, using a variety of treatment options depending on the severity of the sprain.
11. Plantar Faciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, and is characterized by inflammation. This inflammation occurs on a band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs across the bottom of the foot, connecting the toes and heel bone.
The tell tale sign of Plantar Fasciitis is a stabbing pain that is felt in the morning, and normally decreases as the day goes on. This cause of this condition can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint, but factors that may lead to it are:
- Specific Exercises: activities that place a-lot of stress on the heel and attached tissue. Often activities such as: running, balled / aerobic dance.
- Age: Most common between ages 40 and 60.
- Obesity: Having excess weight causes more than usual stress on the plantar fascia.
- Foot Mechanics: The shape of your foot and arch can effect the stress that normal life puts on the plantar fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common foot conditions that our chiropractors treat at South Pointe Chiropractic, and have helped many patients to decrease pain and increase their quality of life.
South Pointe Chiropractic is your go to source for all of your chiropractic needs if you live in the greater Denver area. Regardless of your musculoskeletal pain symptoms, our highly trained team works with the goal of reducing your pain and improving your quality of life.