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Ask the Doctors If Chiropractic Care Can Stop Your Sciatic Pain

Sciatica is an extraordinarily painful condition. The good news is that chiropractic treatment can help. Your Chiropractor knows about the pain of sciatica, the deep discomfort that is constant during your waking hours and interferes with your daily activities.

The path of sciatic pain is usually from your low back, through the buttock(s), and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of your leg(s). Many times, the pain can even radiate into your knee. Motion and sitting, alike, can produce pain. On occasion lying down will decrease, or perhaps momentarily eliminate, the pain. Nonetheless, sciatica cannot be corrected without suitable management, and chiropractic treatment is highly effective.

The clinical diagnosis of sciatica is referred to as “radiculopathy”, a medical term that means simply that a disc has distended from its usual position in the vertebral column and is placing pressure on the radicular nerve (nerve root) in the lower back, which forms part of the sciatic nerve. This type of pressure is extremely painful.

Additional pressure on the intervertebral discs, as well as imbalances in the muscles encircling the spine, can happen during and after prolonged sitting, especially in a improper position. In general, an explicit event or exact injury doesn’t create sciatica. Instead, it tends to develop over time as a consequence of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine. Over time the lower spine loses its capacity to function normally during everyday requirements.

The final result is that the intervertebral disc develops small fissures, or cracks, which then lets the soft nucleus extend the disc outward. If the disc puts pressure on sensitive tissues, it generates the pain that is frequently called a slipped disc. If the disc puts pressure on the spinal nerve, an individual can develop sciatica.

With chiropractic adjustments and therapies, which often includes postural exercises, most disc problems, including sciatica, can be alleviated. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, it is essential for you to seek help as soon as possible. Call your Chiropractor. They are spine experts!

There Is No Such Thing as a “Minor Fender Bender”

Chiropractors, like your Chiropractor, treat plenty of people who’ve been in major car accidents, but all too often,  a check up after a minor car accident is overlooked by those involved. If you drive a big car and you’re in an accident, it’s easy to assume that you haven’t been injured if your car doesn’t look “hurt.” After all, isn’t that the purpose of driving a big vehicle? It’s for protection, right? Then you might be surprised to learn that research has revealed that occupants of vehicles, both large and compact, can be injured a lot more than might be predicted from a minor auto accident. In reality, as far as your body goes, there’s really no such thing as a “minor fender bender.”

Let’s face it, there are going to be repercussions when your body is forced to stop abruptly and without warning. You might be offered a clean bill of health by an emergency room attendant if you haven’t sustained any broken bones, and you may be given a prescription for drugs to relax the muscle spasms that you are no doubt experiencing as a consequence of the structural changes in your neck or lower back that you received from the impact. But, your problem could go from bad to much, much worse unless you’re treated for the bodily trauma you’ve sustained. In fact, quite a few individuals encounter problems years after a car accident due to the fact that they didn’t get the help they needed in the first place.

Your chiropractor truly understands what your body experiences during a car accident.  If you’ve encountered a minor auto accident, she knows that you are likely to need more repair than your car.  Neck and back injuries are not only painful in the regions in which they happen, but they can also generate pain, tingling, and numbness in your arms and hands and create headaches days, weeks, even months after an accident occurs.

Chiropractic techniques include treatment for soft tissue injuries and spinal bio-mechanics dysfunction. Chiropractic care offers a drug-free, natural road back to feeling good again.

What is a Subluxation?

Man thinking in small chairSubluxations are the primary reason for visiting A chiropractor. A subluxation occurs when one or more of the spinal vertebrae move out of position due to injury, stress or chemical imbalances. This can put pressure on the spinal nerves, causing them irritation, and resulting in pain. A chiropractor can locate these subluxations and gently realign your spinal vertebrae to remove the pressure on your spinal nerves.

There is more to a subluxation, however, than simply the vertebrae moving out of place. Chiropractors refer to the state of subluxation as a vertebral subluxation complex (VSC). This refers to five different components of a subluxation that are affecting your body at the same time. These include the following conditions:

* Kinesiopathology – The loss of correct vertebral positioning in relation to the vertebrae above and below. This makes it difficult to bend and turn.
* Neuropathology – An irritation or injury to the spine’s nerve roots due to stretching, compression or chemical irritation from neighboring spinal structures. This disruption to the nerves can cause problems elsewhere in the body.

* Myopathology – Pathological changes to the muscles supporting the spine, which includes spasms, weakness, hypertonicity, muscle atrophy, fibrosis and inappropriate functioning. The scar tissue that results from these conditions results in more frequent subluxations that require adjustment.

* Histopathology – Pathological changes to the spinal tissues, which can cause bone spurs and other abnormal bone growth from the vertebrae and their joints, as well as adhesions and fibrosis of the spinal muscles and ligaments, inflammation, swelling, and dehydration, bulging, tearing and degeneration of the spinal discs.

* Pathophysiology – The biochemical abnormalities that take place in the region of the spine, such as biochemical waste products and inflammatory biochemicals coming from injured tissues.

Among the signs that you may have a subluxation are neck and back pain, soreness or stiffness, headache, joint pain, muscles spasms, and numbness, pain or tingling in the extremities.

A number of things can cause VSC, including auto accidents, alcohol, chemical imbalances, improper lifting, repetitive motion, bad posture, emotional stress and extended periods of sitting. When a person has VSC, it leads to considerable changes in the soft tissue in the area of the spine and also in the other tissues and organs of the body due to the disruption of proper nerve impulses coming from and returning to the spinal cord.

A chiropractor will be able to detect where these subluxations are in your spine and correct them with a spinal adjustment either using only their hands or assisted by a hand-held instrument to deliver a quick and gentle correction to the misaligned vertebrae. Correcting these misalignments sometimes takes a little time, as the tissues need to adjust to the new correct positioning of the vertebrae.

Meditation and Your Health-What the Science Says

Young woman doing yoga outdoorsResearchers have found in study after study that meditation can offer both mental and physical health benefits. Doctors of Chiropractic, other physicians and integrative health programs increasingly prescribe meditation techniques alongside traditional treatments to achieve a wide range of health goals, from increasing immunity to lowering high blood pressure and reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. On the surface of things, meditation would seem to offer a variety of benefits-if it actually works. After all, it’s non-invasive, drug-free, and costs nothing. So how effective is it?

Approximately 500 clinical trials have been performed on the health effects of meditation, of which about 40 have been long-term studies. Short-term studies have found that meditation may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, and that it improves memory and general cognitive functioning.

Of the long-term studies, a nine-year study of African-Americans with heart disease found that those who regularly practiced Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day had a 48% lower risk of stroke, heart attack or death than those who had only receive health education. They reported significantly less stress and had 5mmHg lower systolic blood pressure.

Two studies from Ohio State University found that meditation was effective against cancer. The first showed that breast cancer survivors had a lower recurrence of the disease with the daily practice of relaxation meditation. The second found that meditation increased the elderly subjects’ “killer cells,” providing more resistance to viruses and tumors.
Meditation has also been found to cause epigenetic changes by helping to maintain telomere length. Telomeres are the protective sheaths at the ends of our chromosomes, which become shorter as we age, increasing the risk of dementia, heart disease and cancer. A study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry showed a 43% greater increase in activity of the enzyme that regulates telomere length in those who meditated as opposed to those who just listened to relaxing music.

Those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome will be glad to learn that meditating twice daily can significantly reduce symptoms of constipation, bloating and diarrhea. It has also been shown to reduce depression and impart a general sense of calm.

Scientists believe that one of the major benefits of meditation is that it lowers stress. Stress causes the release of hormones such as cortisol, which stimulates the “fight or flight” response, increasing blood pressure and stress on the arterial walls. Although one of the roles of cortisol is to control inflammation in the body, with prolonged exposure to it (which is what happens with chronic stress), the body eventually becomes unresponsive to the hormone. Despite the adrenals pumping out more cortisol to try to keep up, inflammation continues to increase. By lowering stress, inflammation is reduced throughout the body, resulting in a reduction in the symptoms of chronic disease.

The practice of meditation is a simple one that anyone can perform once or twice a day for 10-15 minutes sessions. Sit comfortably cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your spine straight. With eyes open or closed, simply bring your attention to your breath and notice it as it comes in and goes out. When your mind begins to wander (which it always will), just bring your attention back to the breath. Some find it useful to focus on each part of the body, mentally relaxing each muscle as you focus on it.

While there’s growing awareness among the general public that meditation can significantly improve people’s quality of life, there’s also plenty of evidence that meditation can offer specific physical and mental health benefits. If you’re interested in learning more, we encourage you to call or visit our office!

How Chiropractic Care Has Helped Me: Introducing Jerry Rice

jerry-riceFew people put their bodies through the sort of punishment that football players endure every week-during practice and at game time. Former National Football League (NFL) wide receiver Jerry Rice says that chiropractic care has been instrumental in keeping him in good condition, both on and off the field. He was named the NFL’s Player of the Year in 1987 and retired 20 years later, having broken almost every wide receiver record in the NFL. Named MVP in Super Bowl XXIII, he attributes his athletic longevity to “vigorous exercise and chiropractic adjustments.”

“I believe in chiropractic and I know that it works. You probably know about my long and successful career in football, and I’m flattered by the testimonials to my durability. Football is a very rough and vigorous sport,” Rice says. “I took some vicious hits from players nearly twice my size. Thankfully, I had the durability to withstand these tackles, or I would never have succeeded or lasted as long as I did. Chiropractic was the key to keeping me in the game.” He continued, “My first experience with chiropractic care was right before the 49ers were to play the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII. A couple of our players were injured and a chiropractor turned things around. I quickly became a believer, and ever since, I have had the benefit of chiropractic care.” He added, “Chiropractic made football great for me. I was at my best and was always at 100 percent.”

Rice had chiropractic adjustments twice a week while he was training to help him recover from the regular assault his body took on the playing field. “If I had everything in alignment, I knew I could play my best football,” he said. Seeing how it helped Rice, his teammates were soon convinced that chiropractic was better than traditional care involving drugs. “I wanted to set the standard within football,” he said. “I knew if chiropractic helped me put up outstanding numbers, it could help my teammates do the same.”

After his successful football career, Rice then went on to a new physical challenge: learning to dance like a professional. Rice related what taking on this new adventure was like. “‘Dancing With the Stars’ was every bit as exhausting and challenging. Though not nearly as brutal as football, it required many hours of practice I had aches and pains that I’d never had before. Again, chiropractic made the difference, and kept me dancing and in the competition.”

Rice wants to get the word out to as many people as possible regarding the benefits of chiropractic care. He says, “The game of life requires the edge that chiropractic provides. Chiropractic care allows me to lead a very active lifestyle. I have seen its value, both personally and professionally, among my friends and teammates.”