4 Ways Chiropractic Can Help Those That Suffer From Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common chronic pain conditions in the United States. It is believed to affect one in fifty people in the U.S. alone, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

This condition is very problematic because it is extremely difficult to diagnose. It is also difficult to treat because it tends to be a chronic condition. Many doctors use pain medication that treats the symptoms, but there is evidence that shows chiropractic treatment as a very effective way to treat fibromyalgia, minimize the pain, and even control.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Doctors don’t really know what fibromyalgia is or what causes it, but researchers believe that that the condition affects the way that the brain processes pain, causing it to be amplified and spread throughout the body. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include pain, excessive sleeping, mood swings, fatigue, memory loss, fuzziness, and depression. It seems to be more prevalent in women than in men.

The condition may develop suddenly after severe psychological stress or physical trauma such as infection or surgery. However, it may also develop gradually with no known triggers. Often people who suffer from fibromyalgia also have irritable bowel syndrome, tension headaches, anxiety, temporomandibular joint (TMJ), and depression.

4 ways that Chiropractors can Help Fibromyalgia Patients

There are four primary ways that a chiropractor can help patients with fibromyalgia. Chiropractic focuses on whole body wellness and has been shown to be very effective in treating the condition.

Chiropractic Adjustments. This chiropractic technique helps to realign your body and re-establish the connection between the nervous system and nerves throughout the body. It essentially resets the nervous system so that the brain can process pain more accurately. In fibromyalgia the pain is believed to be caused by the central nervous system receiving faulty or inaccurate pain signals and the result is pain felt throughout the body.

Physical Therapy. This is an important part of treatment that your chiropractor will recommend. Fibromyalgia can cause severe muscular pain and patient stop moving or exercising because it simply hurts too much. When the patient stops moving they lose muscle tone which actually exacerbates the effects of the condition.

Lifestyle Adjustment Recommendations. The chiropractor may also make recommendations regarding lifestyle adjustments. This can include incorporating exercise into the patient’s daily routine or finding ways to control the pain without medication. A patient who spends most of their day sitting behind a desk may be advised to take periodic walks. The recommendations will depend on the patient’s everyday activities and lifestyle.

Nutritional Recommendations. Nutrition plays a large part in every aspect of the body. It can cure conditions and help alleviate symptoms. The chiropractor will often make recommendations regarding changes to the diet and supplements. It helps both the psychological aspects of the condition as well as they psychological ones. This type of treatment is often recommended in conjunction with chiropractic treatments as part of a whole body wellness approach.

Chiropractic treatments have been shown to be very successful in treating fibromyalgia patients, particularly in alleviating pain. Patients report a significant decrease in neck, back, and leg pain after just one visit. Because it provides immediate relief without medication, chiropractic is regarded as one of the best treatments for the condition. When the spine is properly aligned the entire body functions more efficiently and effectively.

One of the most attractive benefits of chiropractic treatments is that it treats pain and mobility issues without the use of medications. In the case of fibromyalgia, because so little is actually known about it, chiropractic is an optimal treatment method because it does work but it does not put an additional burden on the body by introducing medications.

How Chiropractic Helps Those That Suffer from Sciatica

Sciatica is a common back ailment that affects approximately 1 in 10 adults in the United States. It is most prevalent in people between the ages of 25 and 45. Sciatica is characterized by a shooting pain that originates in the lower back and travels down through the hip, buttock and back of leg. The pain can be so severe that it inhibits mobility and can prevent people from working, taking care of their home, or just enjoying their life. Traditionally, doctors have treated the condition with medications and some invasive therapies, but chiropractic treatments have been found to be extremely effective in alleviating the pain and curing the condition.

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition that affects the lower back, specifically pain that travels along the sciatic nerve path. This path originates in the lower back and extends down each side of the hip, buttocks, and down the leg to the feet. Usually, only one side is affected during a case of sciatica.

Sciatica commonly occurs when there is a spinal condition, such as a bone spur on the spine, a herniated disk, or when a condition like spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) irritates the nerve. The result is inflammation, numbness, pain, and stiffness in the leg that is affected.

While sciatica pain can be severe, the majority of the time the condition is resolved in a matter of weeks without surgical intervention. Some doctors may suggest surgery if the patient experiences extreme weakness in the leg or has problems with their bowel or bladder. Most of the time doctors will prescribe medication to treat the pain and relax the muscles that surround the sciatic path in an effort to provide the patient with some relief.

How Chiropractic Treatments Help Sciatica

Chiropractic has been shown to be very effective in treating sciatica. There are various treatments that a chiropractor may use or recommend. They may be used alone or in conjunction with other therapies.

Manipulation. Spinal manipulation, or adjustments, is the core of chiropractic treatment. It helps to mobilize the spine, freeing restricted movement. It also helps to reduce the pain that is associated with nerve inflammation, particularly that associated with sciatica.

Ice or Cold Therapy. This therapy helps to reduce and control the pain of sciatica, as well as reduce inflammation.

TENS. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a therapy that employs a TENS unit, a small battery powered, portable box that stimulates the muscles. It uses electrical currents at variable intensities to help control pain and reduce the occurrence of muscle spasms. Some chiropractors and physical therapists use larger versions of this device in their offices, but many use the portable units because they are more convenient.

A chiropractor may incorporate exercises and nutritional recommendations into their treatment for sciatica. This often depends on the patient’s individual needs, the severity of the condition, and their lifestyle and habits. A variety of chiropractic techniques may also be used to treat sciatica. Since each patient is different, the chiropractor will talk with the patient to better understand what they do on a day-to-day basis and what may be causing the sciatic pain to occur. From there they will treat the problem from the patient’s perspective, seeking the best, most effective approach.

If you or a loved one is suffering from this condition, please give us a call.

How Chiropractic Helps Improve Posture

How Chiropractic Helps Improve Posture

Your mother always told you to stand up straight – and she was right. Good posture is very important. It is good for your health, your mood, and even how you are perceived by others. Good posture can help you stave off age related conditions and allow your vital organs plenty of room to do their job correctly. 

A Word about Posture

Sometimes though things can happen that impact your posture. Maybe you sustain an injury and your body compensates by listing to one side or you hunch over in an effort to relieve the pain. Other times you may slouch in an effort to make yourself “invisible” in a crowd. Then there are those who just don’t give good posture its due and slouch because they simply don’t feel like standing up straight.

Whatever the case, poor posture can lead to back pain, headaches, increased risk of injury, decreased flexibility, and diminished mobility. It can actually cause you to age much faster. The good news is, in most cases even those with very poor posture can turn it around and stand a little taller. Chiropractic care has shown to help many people regain their youthful, straight, healthy posture that they’ve lost.

Postural Conditions that Chiropractic Care can Help

There are certain postural conditions that chiropractic care is particularly helpful is alleviating, including:

  • Hip or pelvis unleveling
  • Scoliosis
  • Damage to the low back, mid back, and neck that affects its normal curvature
  • Forward head posture (often associated with using mobile devices)
  • Kyphosis or hunchback

Chiropractic Treatment for Posture Problems

When you first visit your chiropractor, he or she will sit down with you and discuss the problems you are having, what your complaints are, when the problem started, and events that may have contributed to the problem. They will take a thorough medical history and observe the way you sit, walk, bend, and move.

Your chiropractor may request x-rays and will assess the alignment of your spine. You may also be asked to have neurological or orthopedic testing done to ensure that there is no underlying condition or injury that is causing your problem.

You will be asked to stand straight and the doctor will take measurements to determine if there is any visible deviation from your optimum posture. He or she will ask you to move and bend while they test your range of motion, mobility and flexibility as well as your muscle strength and length.

A Prescription for Perfect Posture

Once your assessments are complete your chiropractor will discuss treatment options with you. He or she will walk you through the adjustments that will be done and other types of therapies they recommend. You will talk about the best course of action to relieve any pain that you are experiencing as well as get your spine back into alignment and improve your posture.

Your chiropractor will also likely talk to you about stretching exercises and things you can do at home in between appointments. They may discuss sleep positions, diet, work area adjustments, exercise, and weight loss. Chiropractic is a whole body treatment, addressing lifestyle changes that affect the entire body and getting it into optimal working order as a whole.

If you have poor posture you can change it, even if you are an older adult – or a senior. Often simple chiropractic adjustments can help improve posture within just a few sessions. Once your body is in alignment you will feel more energetic, healthier, and happier. Your body is an intricate machine and when one part isn’t functioning as it should, it affects all the other parts. Chiropractic can turn that around, helping your body function more effectively so you feel better.

How Chiropractic Helps Those That Suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

How Chiropractic Helps Those That Suffer from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, is a common condition that affects the jaw. It can be extremely painful and many people are turning to methods other than medication or surgery to relieve that pain. While lifestyle changes such as diet may help, chiropractic care has been cited as a viable treatment for TMJ pain

At first, this may seem counter-intuitive simply because it is widely believed that chiropractors only treat the spine and neck. This commonly held belif is not entirely accurate. Chiropractors treat all joints, including the spine and neck. A chiropractor may treat ankles, wrists, knees, and, yes, even the jaw. Sometimes the neck and spine can be contributing factors and they can be treated with chiropractic care as well.

What is TMJ?

The joint that connects your jaw to your skull and allows you to open and close your mouth is the temporomandibular joint. When you have problems with the muscles or joint in that area it is called TMJ, or more accurately temporomandibular disorders, or TMD.

This disorder is characterized by pain and stiffness on one or both sides of the jaw. The jaw may also lock or get stuck in either a closed or open position. Patients may also notice a popping, clicking, or grating sound in the jaw when chewing, yawning, or when closing or opening their mouth. They may also have trouble chewing and even experience swelling.

Doctors don’t know what causes TMJ. It seems to be linked to trauma to the neck, such as with whiplash, but it also can be caused by:

  • Arthritis in the jaw
  • Grinding the teeth
  • Stress that causes clenching of the jaw
  • Movement of the disc, or soft cushion, that lies between the socket and ball of the jaw

Diagnosis and Treatment for TMJ

Many conditions can mimic the symptoms of TMD. After taking a medical history, your doctor will check the joints in the jaw for popping, clicking, or grating sounds. He will also assess the patient’s pain or tenderness level and check for any stiffness. During the exam, the doctor will assess the job and its ability to function properly. X-rays may also be a part of the examination.

If the doctor can pinpoint the probable cause of the TMJ, he may prescribe certain treatments or make recommendations that will help. Medication is one option, mainly stress or anti-anxiety medication to help the patient relax. A night guard or splint is another option. It helps to put the patient’s teeth in the correct position. A splint is worn all the time and a night guard is worn only at night. Dental work is another option and in come more serious cases, surgery.

Chiropractic Care for TMJ

Chiropractic for TMJ is not only common, but very effective. The chiropractor may perform neck or spine adjustment as well as adjustments to the jaw. This means that the patient may experience pressure on their skull, jaw, upper spine, or neck as the chiropractor treat the condition. There are also soft tissue treatments that the chiropractor may perform during the course of treatment for TMJ.

The chiropractor will often recommend lifestyle and diet changes to patients. This offers the patient the opportunity to treat the whole body as opposed to just one area. They may apply cold packs or heat packs to the area, recommend supplements, and teach the exercises designed to lessen the pain and encourage healing. Chiropractic is a safe, effective, and non-invasive treatment for TMJ.

So if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with TMD and/or are experiencing TMJ pain, give us a call. Our Doctor of Chiropractic is here to help!

How Chiropractic Helps Those Who Suffer from Meniere’s Disease

How Chiropractic Helps Those Who Suffer from Meniere’s Disease

Chiropractic has been proven to help many health conditions, including those that seem completely unrelated to the spine. Meniere’s Disease is one of those conditions. A disorder of the inner ear, Meniere’s Disease affects somewhere between 3 and 5 million people in the United States alone. The good news is, the majority of patients, as much as 95 percent, are able to control their Meniere’s with medical treatments. Chiropractic has been found to be very effective in relieving patients of their symptoms of Meniere’s

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