Headaches

How Does Chiropractic Work For Headaches?

Headaches are one of the most common complaints that we see at our office. Although there are many causes of headaches we have found that many different types of headaches originate from mechanical problems in the neck. Some headaches such as migraine and cluster headaches are related to vascular problems. These often include nausea and/or vomiting and can be quite disabling and require rest in a dark, quiet place sometimes for a half or a whole day. Other headaches can be categorized as "tension" headaches. These usually result from tightness in the muscles in the neck and upper back caused from stress, work, lack of sleep, sinusitis, trauma such as whiplash, and others. Pain can be felt in the upper neck or the back of the head as well as in the frontal, sinus region, top or sides of the head. It can vary from a throbbing pain to an ache to just a constant pain.

What most people don’t realize is that mechanical dysfunction of the vertebrae of the neck will cause increased muscle tension as well as irritate the delicate nerves that control blood flow into the head. Improving the movement or alignment of the bones in the neck can relieve the pressure and irritation that results in headaches. How do we get misalignments or dysfunction in the joints of the neck? This can be due to trauma such as falls or car accidents. Repetitive stress such as hours of work on a computer, poor posture or stress can also take a toll over time. In many patients it is a combination of activities that took place often years before which has led to chronic and recurring headaches. The examination evaluates these issues as well as attempts to rule out other more serious causes, which can occur but are more rare.

A thorough evaluation will be performed so headache patients can be properly managed. Treatment approaches include: adjustments, soft tissue therapy (trigger point stimulation, myofascial work), posture correction exercises and other exercises, education about job modifications, co-management with other health care providers, if medication or injection therapy is needed.

Gardening

Gardening

The weather is warming up and many people will spend more time outside working in the yard and gardening. Your body may not be ready for all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, remember you haven’t done those motions in months. It’s not a matter of fitness but of using muscles differently, very similar to changing your exercise program. It feels great to be outside and everyone tends to over do it initially, what you can do comfortably in July is different than what you can do in March. Begin in moderation, take breaks and make sure you stretch and loosen up. Work into longer periods of time as your body gets used to working in the yard again.

Did You Know…

Did You Know…

Your eyes are always the same size from birth but your nose and ears never stop growing.

There are approximately 45 miles of nerves in the skin of a human being.

During a 24 hour period, the average human will breathe approximately 23,000 times.

Chiropractic Care and Discs

Chiropractic Care and Back Pain: Non-invasive Treatment for Bulging, Ruptured, or Herniated Discs

Discs give the spine motion; we are constantly using our discs. Move your back from side to side, you can visualize the give and take of the discs between the vertebrae. Without these discs, your spine couldn’t function and move. Intervertebral discs don’t really "slip", although the phrase "slipped disc" has come into popular usage to refer to bulging, ruptured, or herniated discs. Your discs are made up of the annulus fibrosus (the tough outer layer) and the nucleus pulposus (which contains a soft, gelatin-like center. When cracks occur in the outer layer of the disc, the material inside of the disc can begin to push out. Numerous factors can cause a disc to herniate. For example, there may be too much stress on the disc due to poor posture, repetitive motions, too much sitting, or an injury. In fact, a herniated disc can be caused by a combination of factors or a physical injury. For many people with back pain caused by a herniated disc the problem starts off small and then gradually builds until you start to feel symptoms, such as back pain.

Chiropractic Care and Herniated Discs

Chiropractor care can help address back pain and other herniated disc symptoms. At your appointment, we will go through your medical history, do a physical exam, and perform orthopedic and neurological tests. In addition, if we find that you have advanced loss of strength, sensation, reflexes, and other unusual neurological findings, then you will be referred to a spine surgeon. However, most intervertebral disc injuries are related to a herniated disc, and can be treated effectively with chiropractic care.

Treatment for a herniated disc may include spinal manipulation, and other chiropractic techniques to help ease your herniated disc symptoms. This will be an individualized treatment plan, but it may include manual therapy and therapeutic exercises.

Plantar Fasciitisiitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a serious and painful condition that occurs when the long, flat ligament along the bottom of the foot develops tears and inflammation. Serious cases of plantar fasciitis can possibly lead to ruptures in the ligament. This ligament is called the plantar fascia and it extends from your five toes and runs along the bottom of your foot, attaching to your heel. When you walk or run, you land on your heel and raise yourself on your toes as you shift your weight to your other foot, causing all your weight to be held up by your plantar fascia. Such repetitive force can pull the fascia from its attachment on your heel and cause damage and plantar fasciitis.

Many factors can cause plantar fasciitis to develop. When walking with a normal step, the plantar fascia ligament stretches as the foot strikes the ground. When walking with an abnormal step, or when putting repetitive pressure on the heel, the plantar fascia ligament can stretch irregularly, become stressed, and develop small tears. These small tears can cause the fascia ligament to become inflamed (plantar fasciitis).

The pain from plantar fasciitis can be described as a dull ache or sharp pain. Plantar fasciitis tends to worsen after standing or exercising for prolonged periods or after getting out of bed in the morning. Morning heel pain from plantar fasciitis is one of the most common symptoms. As the person walks, the fascia "warms up" and lengthens slightly, reducing the tension on the ligament and lessening the pain.

Fixations in the anklebones and feet may be the ultimate cause of your pain. Your ankle and foot consist of 26 bones. Proper walking and running mechanics depend on normal motion between these bones. Fixations, also known as misalignments, of these bones will result in their work being put on the neighboring plantar fascia. This results in plantar fasciitis.

Chiropractic adjustments of your feet, ankles, hips and low back will normalize the mechanics of the foot and your gait. Appropriate lifestyle modifications including stretching can help restore function and relieve pain.

Easing The Pain Of Arthritis

Easing The Pain Of Arthritis: Think Natural

Joint pain is a primary cosequence of arthritis, a constellation of conditions that effects an estimated 46 million adults and 300,000 children. Arthritis actually refers to more than 100 different diseases affecting areas in and around the joints. There are some natural, nontoxic approaches to ease your arthritis pain, here are a few simple suggestions to consider:

Moderate Activity : Regular exercise helps strengthen the muscles around your joints, increases flexibility and combats fatigue. Any movement can help but range of motion exercises in particular seeem to reduce joint pain and stiffness.

Good Food: What you eat may play a role in reducing arthritis pain or do the opposite – making the pain even worse. Some arthritis patients experience relief when eating a nutritous, well balanced diet (oily fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and flare up when eating simple carbohydrates and fatty foods. Bananas, sweet peppers and soy products also may help.

Proper Body Mechanics: Body positioning during everyday movements can have a profound effect on joint stress resulting in pain. To minimize the stress on your joints throughout the day, maintain good posture, bend at the knees when picking things up, and be sure your work space provides adequate support for your neck, back, forearms and upper legs.

New Research Depression and Yogurt

A new study suggests that there may be an effective alternative to medication for the treatment of depression: probiotic bacteria found in yogurt.

Researchers suggest that probiotic bacteria found in yogurt may help to treat depression. Researchers found that Lactobacillus – "friendly" bacteria present in live-cultured yogurt – reversed depressive-like behavior in mice by altering their gut micro biome, the population of microorganisms that reside in the intestines.

The study authors – from the University of Virginia School of Medicine – believe it is possible that the probiotic could do the same for humans. "The big hope for this kind of research is that we won’t need to bother with complex drugs and side effects when we can just play with the micro biome," says lead researcher Alban Gaultier, Ph.D., of the Center for Brain Immunology and Glia at Virginia.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day which annually celebrates Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is a national holiday in the Republic of Ireland. The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, Ireland is part of a five day festival with over 500,000 people attending the parade alone. The parade in New York City was first held in 1766 when Irish soldiers marched through the city. In Chicago they dye the Chicago River green every year on March 17.

Healthy Spine, Healthy Life

Guidelines To A Healthy Spine, A Healthy Life

Experts have debated forever as to which habits are best for the spine, and often the arguments go in circles. I’m going to break it down to four simple rules to great spinal health, which will make life a lot easier; when you feel great, and your body works great, you perform better at home, at work, and socially. Basically, it’s the recipe for a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Get Regular Chiropractic Adjustments

Regular chiropractic adjustments are the foundation to the health of the spine. You are able to move because your spine allows it. When your spine doesn’t move properly, you can’t move properly. The spine protects the functioning of the nervous system. When the spine doesn’t move properly, the nervous system doesn’t function properly and you’re not as healthy as you can be. Such regular care can increase optimal performance of the nervous system and the immune system while providing optimal range of motion for better physical function.

Hydrate

Most people don’t drink enough water. The human body is made up of 60 percent water. We need to hydrate appropriately for proper function. The spinal discs (the sac of fluid between each vertebrae) are comprised of mostly water. When you don’t hydrate sufficiently and the joints don’t move properly, the discs shrink in size; think of these discs as grapes (healthy) or raisins (unhealthy). Your spinal movement and overall health is significantly dependent upon the health of these discs

Strengthen

In order to strengthen the spine, the most important group of muscles that must be strengthened is the core. The core refers to the internal abdominal muscles, the deepest spinal muscles, and the muscle at the floor of the pelvis. The core muscles are those that provide the greatest amount of stability for the spine. Even one minor injury to the low back can cause these muscles to be weakened significantly. The core is often very weak because of improper muscle firing due to prolonged sitting and lack of movement.

Stretch

Spend time lengthening your spine and the associated muscles. Stretch often. The practice of stretching doesn’t need to be a long, arduous process. You can build in two-minute stretching sessions while sitting at your computer, or you can stand and stretch in a doorway while talking with a co-worker or taking a phone call. Stretch first thing in the morning; when you get out of bed, do a full reach to the sky and fold over to the ground. If you watch your dog when it gets up in the morning, what does it do? It stretches, let’s remember to do it.

Health can get really complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. Keep these four simple rules as part of your regular routine and you and your health will benefit. If you’re looking for improved function, better performance and a healthier, more active lifestyle, create a happier and healthier spine.