Neck Pain / Headaches. The cervical spine is composed of 7 vertebrae which move independent of one another. If one or more of the vertebrae is "stuck" and not moving properly, you will have a decrease in your normal range of motion (you will have difficulty looking over your shoulder), muscle tension or swelling (usually at the base of your skull, top of your shoulders or mid neck), and/ or headaches. A simple, safe chiropractic adjustment allows the vertebrae to move properly which will reduce the tension, pain, immobility and headache. Relief is usually immediate.
Low Back Pain. Low back pain is a common ailment. Low back pain can range from a general ache across the back to a sharp stabbing pain. The lumbar spine and pelvis undertake significant trauma and tension throughout life. Lifting improperly or something as simple as bending to tie a shoe can cause significant pain if your spine is not aligned properly. By receiving a chiropractic adjustment and realigning the spine, muscle spasm, swelling, and pain will reduce, joints will move more freely, and your body's degenerative process will slow (This means less arthritis in the future!).
Degenerative Disk Disease (thinning of the disk). Thinning of the disk can occur as the normal aging process or as a result of injury. The intervertebral disk is a spongy, hydrated, material that acts as a shock absorber between adjacent vertebrae. Repetitive compression of the disk over time can cause the disk to become less hydrated, less dense and as a result not work as efficiently to absorb shock therefore causing an increase in pain. Another mechanism that causes degenerative disk disease is an injury. If you twist, rotate, subluxate or "injure" your spine causing the vertebrae not to move properly, this also will cause the disk to decay or degenerate over time. The intervertebral disk has no direct blood supply. The normal pumping motion of the vertebrae when you bend or twist is what pushes out the metabolic byproducts or junk in the disk and sucks in nutrients needed to make the disk healthy. If the joint is not moving properly, the disk becomes a metabolic cesspool causing decay and inflammation in the surrounding tissues. By getting adjusted and returning the normal mobility of the joint, pain will be reduced, function improved, and the arthritic process slowed.
Disk bulge (herniation). A disk bulge occurs due to a tearing of the outer part of the disk. The disk is made of an inner jelly like region called the nucleus pulposis and an outer fibrous region called the annular fibrous. From an injury, the outer region can tear allowing the jelly inner region to push through the tear causing a "bulge" in the material. Depending on where the bulge is located, it is common for the material when swollen and inflamed to push on the nerves exiting the spinal canal. When this happens it is common for pain to travel down the nerve causing arm or leg pain. Chiropractic is very effective in eliminating the pressure on the nerve due to the disk bulge and allowing the joints to move properly reducing the swelling in and around the disk.
Nerve pressure (Sciatica, Neuralgia, and Radiculopathy.) Where the spinal nerve comes off of the spinal cord and exists between vertebrae, the nerve is essentially bare. Due to the lack of covering on the nerve as it exits the neural foramina, it only takes pressure equivalent to the pressure a fly exerts on your skin when he lands, to cause a nerve not to work properly. Depending on the amount of pressure on the nerve, you can experience pain, tingling, numbness, loss of strength, or loss of temperature differentiation in the region supplied by that impinged nerve. If the pressure is on the nerves of the neck, it is common to have tingling or numbness into the hand. If the pressure is on the low back this often results in sciatica which causes pain into the glut and down the back of the leg. Chiropractic is very effective in eliminating this pain. By restoring proper joint motion, reducing the swelling around the joint, and reducing the muscle spasm, your pain will be relieved as well as the pressure on the nerve.
Anatomy and Chiropractic. As a chiropractor, I adjust the joints of the body allowing the joints to move properly, avoiding degenerative processes including arthritis. To understand exactly how chiropractic works, it's important to understand some anatomy of the body . . . so here we go.
Your brain and spinal cord are essentially your central processing center. Because trauma to this region would be so detrimental and probably life threatening, it was encased with bone for protection. The brain is protected by the skull and the spinal cord is protected by 24 movable vertebrae plus the sacrum (tailbone). In order for the brain to communicate and coordinate all the functions of the body, it must be able to reach and innervate all the parts of the body. It does this by sending little slips of nerve tissue off the spinal cord and out holes (the intervertebral foramen) located between each 2 vertebrae of the spine. This area where the nerve exists is very vulnerable to pressure since the nerve does not have any covering at this point. If through some type of injury or insult the vertebrae stops moving properly, this causes inflammation in the tissues surrounding the vertebrae. This inflammatory process is toxic to the tissue including the nerve, disk, muscle ligaments, and tendons. This causes pain anywhere the inflammation is touching and can also cause enough pressure on the nerve that it will not work properly. This is why you can have pain in the joint, pain in the surrounding muscle, and pain in and where ever the nerve travels. By simply restoring that normal motion by adjusting the joint, your will find that the resulting pain goes away.
Another common complaint is muscle tension in the surrounding area. Your body is built with a very intelligent protective mechanism which allows your body to protect itself when in a compromised state. If you have an area of the spine which is subluxated or not working properly, the muscles will get tight and tense so that you are unable to further injure the already assaulted area. By receiving an adjustment and allowing the joint to move properly, the muscles will be able to relax instead of being in a constant tight, protective mode. You will also find that once the joints are adjusted, you will have better range of motion since the joints can move more freely.
Wellness Care. Chiropractic is an excellent way to achieve your own personal wellness goal. Chiropractic eliminates any interference on the nervous system allowing your body to work to its optimal potential. By making sure your spine is functioning properly, you reduce the chances and severity of arthritis in the spine as well as more serious spinal conditions created by the degenerative process. Chiropractic physicians can also help you determine which vitamins or supplements would help create an optimal environment for your body.