Neck Pain and Whiplash
The most common cause of neck pain is functional distortions in the spine (caused by everyday activities such as watching TV, using a computer, reading a book, falling asleep awkwardly or too much driving) resulting in vertebral misalignments.
These misalignments are seen in cases of reversed cervical (neck) curve, whiplash and joint instability. The body responds by tightening muscles in the neck, ‘splinting’ the joint to protect it from further insult. Chiropractic care can help.
Most of the pain-sensing nerves in the neck are located in the pairs of facet joints at the back of each vertebra. These smooth, interlocking surfaces allow you to rotate your head and bend your head up and down. If these joints become locked or fixated, neck pain can result. Chiropractic care restores proper joint motion.
The disc is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. The soft jelly like centre is contained by layers of fibrous tissues. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer and shock absorber for the spine. When healthy, discs allow normal turning and bending.
Because of the nature of the attachment of the disc, a disc cannot ‘slip.’ Trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to bulge, herniate or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, often interfering with their function. Typically patients suffering with disc related issues experience pain, pins and needles, numbness and/or tingling in the leg and/or foot. Often these symptoms are misdiagnosed as ‘sciatica’ because the pain experienced mimics that of sciatic nerve pain. A chiropractor can usually differentiate between to the two conditions.
Back Pain and Sciatica
Usually begins as an acute pain in the lower back and then it extends down the back of either leg. The pain usually worsens with prolonged periods of sitting and standing. Sciatica is often the result of cumulative damage. Years of bad posture, poor muscle tone and repetitive activities can often set the stage. Then, something simple like bending over to tie your shoes can trigger an episode.
Five pairs of nerves exit the spine in the lower back to form two sciatic nerves. The disc between each spinal bone maybe involved or quite simply, one of the vertebra at the exiting nerve root can be misaligned. The result of these misalignments causes irritation, swelling and inflammation at the nerve root which causes pain in the leg. Pain pills or anti-inflammatories are unable to correct the nerve compression caused by the structures above. Prescribed exercises merely exercise the unstable joint and surgery involves cutting away disc tissue or bone to make room for the nerve. Fortunately, sciatica responds to safe, natural chiropractic care. Improving joint motion with a series of chiropractic joint adjustments has produced positive results for millions.
Headaches, Migrained and Dizziness
A cause of headaches, migraines and dizziness can be from spinal bones in the neck that aren’t supporting your head properly (caused by physical trauma, emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies or chemical toxins). This can affect nerves, muscles and even the blood supply to your head.
Chiropractors locate areas of the spine that aren’t moving properly, assess incorrect spinal curves and posture and the range of motion within the vertebral joints, all of which could attribute to your headaches.
Chiropractic normalises spinal function; helps restore essential spinal curves, improve circulation and reduce nerve irritation. Subsequently these reduce symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Many sports injuries are the result of ongoing alterations in your bodies biomechanics that have not been detected and treated. Joint restrictions in the spine and extremities can restrict range of motion, reduce strength, flexibility, shorten endurance, decrease performance and cause further injuries if allowed to persist.
Chiropractic care aims to restore ranges of joint motion, flexibility, muscular function, control and co-ordination. Besides relieving pain, chiropractic care also helps to reduce inflammation therefore promoting early healing. In order to perform at your optimum your body needs proper joint movement – muscles, tendons and ligaments rely on this to perform.
A lot of professional sports teams now employ a chiropractor to prevent injuries. So whether you run, swim, cycle, play golf or tennis the best treatment for your sports injuries is prevention!
Natasha, one of our chiropractors, is a registered RocDoc which means she has trained in the use of RockTape for a range of sporting applications from injury recovery/prevention and mechanical correction to performance enhancement.
RockTape is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and can be used for lots of common injuries such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow, just to name a few.
Regardless of age, when joint damage (spinal/shoulder/elbow/wrist/hip/knee/ankle/foot) goes uncorrected, the body deposits calcium on the surface of adjacent bones that aren’t moving correctly.
If neglected long enough, the splinting effect can result in complete fusion. This worsening process is called osteoarthritis or degeneration and can occur throughout any joint. Atrophy, permanent nerve damage and soft tissue degeneration are prevalent. Reduced mobility, inflammation and impaired nervous system associated with arthritis can diminish one’s quality of life.
Chiropractic has been shown to reduce the effects of arthritis and can prevent the condition from occurring in the first instance.
This is inclusive of Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hip, Knee, Ankle and Foot pain. There are many soft tissues involved with these individual joints including ligaments, tendons and muscles. Each of these has the ability to be compromised by improper motion or overuse. When a joint is compromised, these soft tissues all work together to create the movement and strength required for proper function, subsequently resulting in joint pain and stiffness.
Your chiropractor is experienced at determining the cause of your joint pain. An in depth examination will be conducted and further diagnosis may be required to eliminate or confirm the origin of your pain of complaint. Chiropractic is an excellent resource to consider for creating a care plan to help you throughout your healing process.
From the moment of conception the body undergoes major postural and hormonal changes during and after the 40 weeks of pregnancy. This period of rapid development, hormonal change, laxity of connective ligaments and shifting of weight-bearing structures may cause many pregnant women to suffer from various aches and pains.
Weight gain, especially in the abdomen, due to the growing baby causes a downward, forward pull on the lower spine. This, combined with changes in your gait and centre of gravity, can set the stage for backache and neck pain. The change in the centre of gravity leads to changes in your sense of balance increasing the risk of trips and falls.
Additionally, as labour approaches your body secretes a hormone called relaxin which loosens ligaments. This may exaggerate the effects of an existing spinal or pelvic problem. The positioning of the baby and its movement as well as expansion of the lower part of the ribcage to accommodate your growing baby can also cause discomfort in the ribs and upper portion of the lower back. Additionally, your increasing breast size in preparation for lactation can create upper back subluxations.
Correct body position during delivery is critical. Any late second stage labour position that denies postural sacral rotation denies the mother and the baby critical pelvic outlet diameter and moves the tip of the sacrum up to four centimetres into the pelvic outlet. In other words, the popular semi-recumbent position (lying down) that places the labouring woman on her back onto the tip of the sacrum decreases the vital space needed for the baby to get through the pelvic outlet.
This delivery position is the main reason why so many births are traumatic, labour is stalled, the mother becomes fatigued and overwhelmed by pain, so the utilisation of epidurals, forceps, episiotomies, vacuum extraction, and caesarean increases.
This is why squatting is the preferred position—gravity works to help and the pelvic outlet can open to a greater degree. Squatting during delivery results in decreased use of forceps and a shorter second stage of labour than the semi-recumbent position!
According to recent studies, Chiropractic care may result in easier pregnancy including increased comfort during the third trimester and delivery, and reduced need for pain medications. Other benefits of Chiropractic care during pregnancy include…
- A more comfortable pregnancy and delivery
- 50% reduced need for analgesics (pain relief)
- 24% – 39% faster than average labour time
- 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy
- Significantly less likelihood of back labour (contractions and sharp pain felt in the lower back during labour)
Even today’s birthing procedures can put tremendous pressures on a child’s spine. And while the injury from forceps deliveries may be less common today, vacuum extraction and eager hands can do even more damage by pulling, forcing and twisting the baby’s young spine.
Without the language to explain, many new-borns experience colic, unexplained crying, lack of appetite, frequent ear infections and other signs of poor health.
A chiropractic examination is essential to determine if birth trauma to the spine is involved. Then if indicated, a gentle, life-affirming adjustment is given. With no more pressure than you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato, nerve-compromising misalignments can be reduced. Almost miraculously, many parents see instant improvements in the well-being of their child.
Regular chiropractic check-ups, just like dental check-ups, are helpful to monitor spinal development as infants sit upright, support their heads, learn to crawl and take their first brave steps.