COMMON AILMENTS TREATED BY CHIROPRACTIC
Pain along the spinal column in your neck or back is usually caused by misalignments of your vertebrae. A small misalignment can cause pain by causing pressure on nerves. Left untreated, these misalignments can cause muscle spasms and increasing pain. Chiropractic adjustments properly align your spine so that pressure on joints and nerves is released, relieving, hopefully eliminating, your pain.
80% of all headaches originate from the neck. 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. 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.
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. Chiropractic can help with both types of injuries. Adjustments and alignments can be performed specifically for those who have been in car accidents and suffered from whiplash. The pressure on the discs and nerves is released when the spine is returned to its proper alignment.
Sciatica is a condition that results when the sciatic nerve (at the base of the spine) becomes irritated. Bulging discs, spinal misalignments, and muscle spasms can all cause increased pressure on the sciatic nerve. When this happens it causes pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back and leg. To properly treat sciatica the cause of the condition needs to be diagnosed with certainty before being treated. 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.
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, as well as 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.
Your chiropractor can properly diagnose this condition and provide relief. Using specific adjustments for the affected joint can return proper mobility and relieve pain.
Preventative, Regular Care
We have discussed many conditions that can be relieved through chiropractic. The best way to treat these conditions, though, is to prevent them before they even start. Regular chiropractic visits can help to prevent physical problems and injuries from occurring. Other potential benefits of regular chiropractic visits are increased flexibility and mobility, higher level of energy, improved posture, more effective immune system, better circulation, and an overall better feeling of well-being.
Spinal 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 serve many purposes, including allowing movement of the spine, creating space between the vertebrae, and acting as shock absorbers. The jelly-like middle allows the disc to compress and expand based on impact and movement. Trauma to the spine can cause the discs to herniate, bulge, become displaced (slipped disc), 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. By properly aligning the spine, pressure can be relieved on nerves and on the discs themselves. This will reduce, and hopefully eliminate, your pain and discomfort and allow you to live a normal lifestyle.