Category Archives for "Rehabilitation"

Injured at Work? How Chiropractic Can Help

In 2014, there were 2.8 million occupational injuries. This crossed all industries, but 75 percent were in those that provided a service.

These injuries can lead to time lost at work, decrease in production, depression, and temporary (or permanent) disability. These injuries can be caused by slip and fall, vehicle collisions, electrocution, struck by hazards, and caught in or between accidents. However, work related injury can also be caused by sitting at a desk or hunched over a computer for extended periods of time. Chiropractic has been shown to help workers who have been injured on the job, so they can return to work faster. 

Common Occupational Injuries

Occupational injuries are vast and varied with a host of causes and many different symptoms. They can range from minor annoyances to significant damage that can lead to temporary or permanent disability. Some may require surgery while others require extended physical therapy, braces, and intensive medical treatments.

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome – This injury is caused by flexing the shoulder, carrying loads on your shoulders, and extending your arms above shoulder height for a prolonged period of time. It is marked by swelling, pain, dull ache, weakness, or a burning sensation in the affected area.
  • Elbow tendonitis (Epicondylitis) – This injury is caused by forceful or repeated forearm rotation while simultaneously bending the wrist. It is marked by swelling, dull ache, pain, burning, and weakness in the affected area.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – This injury can be caused by several things including vibratory tools, repetitive motion, and secondary factors. It is marked by numbness, pain, tingling, wasting of muscles at the thumb base, and burning.
  • DeQuervain’s disease – This injury is caused by forceful gripping and repetitive hand twisting. It is marked by pain at the thumb base.
  • Tendonitis/tenosynovitis – This injury is caused by sustained hyperextension of the knee, repetitive motion, and prolonged load overuse. It is marked by numbness, pain, and swelling in the hands.
  • Back and neck pain – This injury can have a wide variety of causes from repetitive motion to accident to improper equipment. It is the most common work related injury.

Preventing Workplace Injuries

While a few work related injuries are unavoidable, many can be prevented with a little extra attention and care. The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following practices to reduce the risk of a workplace injury.

  • Get regular exercise. This helps prevent back injuries by keeping your body strong, fit, and flexible.
  • If you do desk work, get a chair that fits you. This means that there should be two inches between the backs of your knees and the front edge of the seat. Your knees should be level with your hips or slightly below, never higher.
  • When doing computer work, use a foot rest for support and keep your knees between a 90 degree and 120-degree angle.
  • If your job requires you to sit for extended periods of time, take breaks at least every two hours to walk and stretch.
  • When you lift something heavy or awkward, don’t bend over to do it. Bend at your knees and hips, squatting as you pick up the object and let your legs do the work and keeping the object close to your body while your back remains straight. Do not let your body twist while you are trying to lift.

Of course, you should also follow all recommended and required safety guidelines for your workstation and place of employment.

Chiropractic for Workplace Injuries

Chiropractic care can help speed your recovery, improve your posture, and restore your mobility and strength. Through various chiropractic techniques, many of the occupational injuries listed here can be effectively treated. Chiropractic is a proven method for managing pain for the back and neck, but it has also been proven to be very beneficial for conditions like carpal tunnel, elbow tendonitis, and knee injuries.

Chiropractic’s whole body approach helps injured workers not only manage their pain and help heal their injury through adjustments, it can also help with soft tissue rehabilitation and other noninvasive therapies that improve range of motion. In short, chiropractic can help workers get back to work faster so less time is lost from work and the financial impact is greatly decreased.

How Chiropractic Benefits Senior Citizens

The aging process can usher in a variety of conditions and health issues that are confined (mostly) to the elderly. Chronic pain, arthritis, loss of mobility, and other issues can occur as a person get older, but senior citizens are finding that chiropractic provides some great benefits for the older demographic. 

Better Range of Motion

Regular chiropractic care has been shown to increase spinal range of motion as well as in the extremities. Limited range of motion can occur due to age or inactivity – sometimes a combination of the two.

Having the ability to move easier has many great benefits. It allows seniors to more actively engage with their environment. They can get on their hands and knees to work in the garden, bend down to pick up grandchildren, and improve leisure activities like golfing. Increased range of motion is one of the most common (and appreciated!) benefits of chiropractic treatment.

Decreased Degeneration of Joints

When the spine is misaligned it can lead to other parts of the body becoming misaligned as well. This can lead to unusual and unnatural wearing of the joints. Over time, the joints can become worn down, painful, and cause difficulty in mobility and flexibility.

Chiropractic care is a very effective treatment for decreasing the degeneration of the spine and even other joints. When the body is in proper alignment it no longer has to adapt through postural compensation. This reduces stress on the spine and joints while relieving pain and restoring mobility.

Pain Relief

Chiropractic has long been recognized for its effectiveness in providing drug free pain relief for everything from back pain to headaches to arthritis. While pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs only suppress the symptoms, chiropractic addresses the root of the problem.

Spinal alignments and other chiropractic techniques help to relieve pain for a variety of issues, not just back and neck pain. What’s more, chiropractic does not have the undesirable, sometimes dangerous side effects that drugs can.

Overall Better Health and Well-Being

Proper spinal alignment can greatly benefit a person’s health, well-being, and even their mood. It allows them to become more active so they get exercise. They sleep better and have more energy.

An aligned spine also lets them more fully engage with their family, friends, and the world. They can get out and do things they were once unable to do and when they are active and happier, the entire body benefits.

Improved Coordination and Balance

The aging process can have a significant impact on a person’s balance and coordination. This can have a variety of causes including degenerative changes to the spine, typically in the neck area. Injury to this area is another culprit.

There are special receptors that reside along the cervical spine in the rear of the joints. These receptors work to send vital messages to the brain regarding coordination and balance. When the spine and especially the neck are out of alignment, it can hinder how these receptors send and receive messages to the brain. The result is a condition called loss of proprioception, or sense of body awareness.

As the condition progresses, the patient relies on vision to determine the location of their feet, legs, and other limbs. The worse it gets, the less able the patient is in compensating and can become prone to falling.

Injuries from falling are one of the most common reasons elderly people visit emergency departments each year. Chiropractic can help realign the neck and spine, allowing the messages to move much easier, thus restoring balance and coordination.

Prevents Seniors from being Confined to Nursing Homes

Seniors who are regular chiropractic patients are more likely to engage in exercise that is more strenuous. They are more active, have fewer injuries, and are basically happier and more positive.

The more active and mobile seniors are, the less likely they are to be placed in a nursing home due to medical conditions or the “typical” aging issues. Simply put, chiropractic for seniors changes the way many people look at aging – and places it in a much more positive, active light.

Why Chiropractic Is a Great Choice for Whiplash Injuries

If you have ever had to deal with the pain of whiplash you know how it can impact every aspect of your life. Daily tasks can be painful or even impossible to carry out. Even milder cases can make it difficult to turn your head from side to side. Whiplash can cause chronic pain and keep you from doing many of the activities that you enjoy. 

Chiropractic is a very effective treatment for whiplash that not only helps with pain management; it also helps you heal faster. Your chiropractor can recommend exercises you can do at home between treatments and other lifestyle changes that will facilitate your healing and improve flexibility.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a term that describes an injury that is typically focused in the neck and spine. It is caused when the head and neck is thrown in one direction very unexpectedly and quickly, then is thrust in the opposite direction. The head is whipped quickly, usually front to back. It can be whipped from side to side though.

Most people associate whiplash with car accidents, but even just turning one way while a child tugs your arm in another direction can cause it. Anything that jerks your head suddenly has the possibility to cause whiplash.

What Damage does Whiplash Cause?

The damage that is caused by whiplash is called a vertebral dysfunction. It is the most common source of discomfort and pain that is caused by injuries due to whiplash. There are different kinds, caused by tension and emotional stress, poor sleeping positions, bad posture, weak muscles, and inadequate diet. This type of dysfunction is caused by injury and a chiropractor can diagnose the injury and treat it.

The injury from whiplash is in the neck and spine, but the pain can extend to the head, arms, shoulders, hips, and legs. You can experience frequent headaches, numbness and tingling in your hands, and have difficulty walking or moving about. The pain can range from stiffness and soreness to stabbing and sharp. The injury can affect various nerves, causing blurred vision, dizziness, low back pain, ear ringing, and even problems with your internal organs.

Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

Chiropractors will use different techniques to relieve the pain of whiplash and help with healing.

  • Chiropractic Adjustment – The chiropractor performs spinal manipulation to gently move the joints into alignment. This will help to align the body to relieve pain and encourage healing.
  • Muscle Stimulation and Relaxation – This involves stretches the muscles that are affected, relieving tension and helping them to relax. Finger pressure techniques may also be combined with the stretching to relieve pain.
  • McKenzie Exercises – These exercises help with disc derangement that whiplash causes. They are first performed in the chiropractor’s office, but the patient can be taught how to do them at home. This helps the patient have some degree of control in their own healing.

Each whiplash case is different. A chiropractor will evaluate the patient and determine the appropriate treatment on a case by case basis. Different cases of whiplash have different symptoms. The chiropractor will determine the best course of treatment that will relieve your pain and restore your mobility and flexibility.

Any accident that causes whiplash can result in the vertebrae moving out of alignment. This can damage and irritate the spinal nerves. Even whiplash from years ago can still affect you if you never saw a chiropractor. Your spine can still be out of alignment and injury or trauma from years ago can cause problems that seem unrelated. Whiplash can be far more serious than you may realize.

How Chiropractic Helps Resolve Ankle Pain

Ankle pain and injury are not issues reserved solely for athletes. In the United States, more than 25,000 people deal with ankle sprains or pain every day. Studies show that somewhere around 40 percent of ankle sprains are not treated correctly or are misdiagnosed, which leads to disability or chronic ankle pain. 

When the ankle does not function properly, it can affect the entire body. The muscles on either side of the leg or even under the foot can become sore or painful. This can lead to loss of mobility, an uneven gait, and hip and back pain.

Anatomy of the Ankle

Three bones connect to the joint that is the ankle. The lower ends of the tibia (shinbone) and the fibula (lower leg small bone) meet to form a socket that the talus (ankle bone) sits in.

The bottom of the talus rests on the calcaneus (heel bone). There is about an inch-thick lining of somewhat soft cartilage in the joint, which provides shock absorption for carrying body weight, but it is tough and durable so that, provided there is no injury, it will last for a lifetime.

The bones are held together by ligaments and the muscles are attached to the bones by tendons. When there is an injury, it can impact the bone, muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Treatment for Ankle Injury and Pain

The typical treatment for ankle pain, such as with a sprain, is R.I.C.E., which is rest, ice, compression and elevation. A somewhat newer treatment approach replaces the R with an M, meaning that instead of rest, movement is required instead.

However, it is important that the movement is done safely and carefully. Certain types of ankle injuries can be exacerbated by movement so it should be approached with care.

Other types of traditional treatment include varying methods of pain control from ibuprofen to opioids. Severe injuries, such as a torn ligament, may require surgery. When a patient experiences ankle pain, an x-ray is often used to see if there is an injury and to determine the extent of that injury. Sometimes, though an x-ray is not able to see the injury. In such cases, an MRI may be used.

Chiropractic for Ankle Pain

Chiropractic is very effective for treating foot and ankle pain. The chiropractor will begin by assessing the patient’s source of pain and determine what is causing it. They may use x-rays, MRI, CT scan, and other types of diagnostic tools to help them select the best course or treatment.

When an ankle injury is new and the area is inflamed and tender, the course of treatment may include ultrasound, iontophoresis and whirlpool baths. This is in addition to rest, ice, compression and elevation. As the ankle heals, the inflammation subsides and it becomes more stable, chiropractic adjustments to the ankle and foot may be introduced.

Chiropractic for ankles can help reduce pain without prescription medication and the associated side effects. This alone is often a great draw for many patients. However, there are other benefits that chiropractic can provide for ankle pain.

Regular chiropractic treatment can help strengthen the ankle and increase its stability while increasing mobility and flexibility. Often nerves and soft tissue can become damaged. Chiropractic treatments done on a consistent basis facilitates blood flow, which speeds healing and reduces the chance of injury. It also uses a whole body approach so that the patient can get recommendation on diet and lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or exercising.

Chiropractic care is a very effective therapy for treating ankle pain and injury. It is non-invasive and a natural approach to healing that allows the body to heal itself.

How Chiropractic Helps People Who Suffer from Plantar Fasciitis

Feet are important. When you consider what your feet go through, taking 8,000 steps over the course of a day, according to the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association (IPMA), it’s easy to see how 75 percent of all Americans will have some type of foot pain at some point in their lives. Plantar fasciitis is a common and very painful foot condition that can become chronic if not treated. It is also a condition that responds very well to chiropractic care. 

Plantar Fasciitis Explained

Plantar fasciitis is caused when the ligament that connects your toes to your heel (the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed, swollen, and weak. This causes the bottom of your foot or heel to hurt when you walk or stand, especially when you first wake or after sitting for a long time.

The pain tends to be sharp and stabbing. It is the most common cause of heel pain and is more prevalent among middle aged people. However, anyone can get it at any age, especially people who spend a lot of time on their feet.

How Chiropractic helps Plantar Fasciitis

Chiropractic care is a very effective treatment for plantar fasciitis as well as the pain that is caused by the condition. Chiropractic for plantar fasciitis involves a very precise technique that involves adjustments to the feet and ankles as well as spinal alignment. This provides several benefits.

Reduces Stress in the Plantar Fascia – When a ligament is inflamed or stressed the tissue can develop very small tears that cause the pain of plantar fasciitis. Chiropractic adjustments made to the heel and foot take the pressure off of the plantar fascia, allowing it to relax.

Promotes Healing – When the stress on the plantar fascia is reduced through these chiropractic adjustments, the foot can begin to heal. The chiropractor may also recommend specific exercises that stretch the ligament and help it heal. They may also advise the patient of lifestyle changes as well as nutritional adjustments that can help with the pain and condition.

Provides Effective Pain Management – Chiropractic is a very effective way to manage pain throughout the body. Spinal adjustments allow better communication between the brain and nerves, allowing the central nervous system to function more effectively. Condition specific adjustments speak to the root of the problem, not just the symptoms. This means a more effective form of pain management that is longer lasting.

Reduces the Risk of Further Injury – When a person has a condition like plantar fasciitis, they will often adjust their gait in an effort to avoid the pain. This puts stress on other parts of the body and can lead to back pain, sore joints, strained muscles, and other problems. Chiropractic’s whole body approach helps the person realign their body properly so that they stand and walk properly. This helps them avoid further injury and discomfort.

Chiropractic is a Good Complement to Other Treatments

While chiropractic can be an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis on its own, it is also a very good complement to other treatments for the condition. Patients may use chiropractic in conjunction with physical therapy, massage, and even injections to manage the pain and treat the condition. It can also help with speeding healing and helping to provide better mobility.

Plantar fasciitis can take several months to heal, but by adding chiropractic treatments to your recovery plan, you can feel better faster while more effectively managing your pain. Regular chiropractic treatments can also keep the condition from becoming chronic. By working with your chiropractor and following their recommendations, you can reduce your pain and shorten your healing time.

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