Blog Tag: Neck Pain

Spine Research Institute of San Diego seminar series…

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Each year there are 3 million new whiplash injuries in the United States. The majority of those go untreated for a variety of reasons. One of the major reasons is because the victim thought that ‘the crash wasn’t that bad.’ Associated pain and symptoms can start anywhere from 3 months to many years later and can lead to debilitating pain and suffering. Treatment to those injuries promotes proper healing to the injured tissues, improve mechanics, and would prevent chronic pain and dysfunction from developing. The Spine Research Institute of San Diego was started by Dr. Arthur Croft, Ph.D.(c), D.C., M.S., M.P.H., F.A.C.O. as a response to the growing incidence of whiplash related injuries in the United States. The research that his team has compiled over the last 32 years is at the forefront of the industry. He has helped improve safety standards for automobiles in the United States since 1980.

Dr. Croft has authored the first book on the topic entitled Whiplash Injuries: the Cervical Acceleration/Deceleration Syndrome. There are over 350 professional research papers that address injuries occurring in rear end, front end and side impact collisions. We are understanding more and more about the various ways people are injured during these events. This enhances our ability to offer better treatment and recovery options to the patient.

The seminar series, offered by Dr. Croft, helps to hone the already qualified tools that the chiropractor has to treat your whiplash related injuries. If you or anyone in your family has been involved in an automobile or pedestrian collision, then we encourage you to seek help for those injuries. Being proactive will prevent the pain from worsening over time. Not all pain from an auto or pedestrian collision is noticed right away. Sometimes the symptoms can be delayed for days, weeks and even months.

If you or anyone in your family has been in a collision, whether it be a minor low speed fender bender to a highway speed crash, we encourage you to schedule an examination with the qualified chiropractors at Shephard Clinic. They will work to find where the spine is injured and get you started on the path to recovery. Please call 503-223-3826 to talk with a qualified health professional, if you have any further questions.

 

(c) Copyright 2009-2012 ShephardClinic, P.C. All rights reserved.

 

Subluxation

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You have more than 200 bones in your body. The point at which the bones come together creates a joint. Movement occurs at these joints through various planes of motion, some more and some less. Spinal nerves exit off of the spinal cord through spaces in-between these vertebrae and control every function of your body. Too much or too little motion, at these spinal joints, can have negative effects on your nerves and sometimes even the spinal cord.

Altered or inadequate spinal motion results in a condition called the vertebral subluxation complex, or more simply, a subluxation.

More than bones and nerves are involved. Muscles can become too tight or too weak. Discs, ligaments and other connective tissues can become inflamed. Fascial adhesions can form causing inflammation to increase. Bone spurs and arthritic degeneration can set in. Subluxations are serious.

However, the most important aspect of a subluxation is its effect on your nervous system. Compromising the way your nervous system controls and regulates your body can have consequences. Changes in the way your brain communicates with your body can cause all kinds of health problems beyond just headaches and backaches.

Your chiropractic doctor specializes in the detection, reduction and prevention of spinal subluxations.

Subluxations can exist in three different forms: physical, chemical and emotional. Physical causes include slips and falls, accidents, repetitive motions and improper lifting. Stress, anger and fear are examples of emotional causes of subluxations. Alcohol, drugs, pollution and poor diet can be chemical causes of subluxations.

Chiropractic is a team approach to better health. Schedule an appointment to get screened for subluxations today!

References:

Patient Media, Inc., 215 Sutton Lane, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.

(c) Copyright 2009-2011 ShephardClinic, P.C. All rights reserved.

Scoliosis

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Observations of posture and its relation to health dates back to the era of Hippocrates. He made the correlation that the presentation of the structure (posture) is very important to health and that abnormal spinal curvature can be detrimental to health. Hippocrates coined the terms scoliosis and kyphosis. He used manual and mechanical therapies to treat these conditions. Scoliosis is tragic. It causes both physical pain and emotional suffering. This sideways bending of the spine shows up as abnormal posture and then finally, deformity. If allowed to advance, it can interfere with the lungs, heart and many other vital organs.

There is hope.

Scoliosis affects boys and more frequently, girls between the ages of 8 to 18. The cause varies. Some are born with this spinal deviation (congenital). Others get it from assuming a distorted head or hip position (habitual). Sadly, in many cases the cause is still unknown.

In the beginning, when it is easiest to correct, there are rarely symptoms. However, an alert parent may notice that a high shoulder or low hip makes clothing fit poorly. Back and leg pains may develop but are often overlooked as merely “growing pains.” Neglect is the biggest danger.

If allowed to run its course, scoliosis can steadily worsen. Early detection is critical. Severe cases can involve surgery. This procedure attaches steel rods to the spine to force it to straighten.

Chiropractic care has helped many young women avoid the unhappy effects of scoliosis. The procedure is simple.

First, a thorough examination helps detect scoliosis in its early stage. Then, corrective action can begin at once. The primary course of care is a program of specific chiropractic adjustments. These help improve the function and structure of the spine. Muscles strengthen. Posture can improve.

Chiropractic care has helped countless young women reclaim their health, posture and their self-esteem.

Lateral curvature, of the spine, is abnormal. The spine should appear straight, when looking from the back. Two curves are present, most commonly, in scoliosis: a primary curve and a compensatory curve in the opposite direction.

As with the case of many health problems, early detection can improve the likelihood of correction. Wise parents consult our office soon after the birth of their child. Then they follow up with periodic chiropractic checkups throughout their child’s developing years. Chiropractic is a team approach to better health.

References:

Vasiliadis, E.S., Grivas, T.B., Kaspiris, A, Historical Overview of Spinal Deformities in Ancient Greece, Scoliosis 2009, 4:6. doi:10.1186/1748-7161-4-6.

Smith, Dr. Jacqueline; Scoliosis, Is Early Intervention the Answer? Published on 01-15-2010, fixscoliosis.com.

Woggon, BSc, D.C., D. Adult Scoliosis, clear-institute.org.

(c) Copyright 2009-2011 ShephardClinic, P.C. All rights reserved.

Whiplash

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You’re in your car, relaxed, waiting at a stoplight. Suddenly you hear the screeching of tires behind you and the harsh sound of metal hitting metal. In the split second before you can brace yourself, you feel your car moving forward from some unseen force? You’ve been rear-ended.

What happens in these few seconds can have tragic consequences. And what you do about it in the next hours, days and weeks can forever affect your health.

Upon impact, your body pushes deeply into your seat. Your head, momentarily isolated by your neck, delays its reaction while your body quickly reaches the limits of your seat.

Then, your body instantly changes directions, moving forward to the limits of your seat belt. Now, your head starts moving backward in the opposite direction! Unrestrained by a seat belt, your head is jerked back and then forward beyond its normal limits. Everything seems to b happening in slow motion, yet you are unable to stop your head from whipping backward and then forward.

First surprise. Then anger. Then pain.

Don’t minimize your own injuries because your car has sustained little or no damage. An immediate chiropractic examination is essential. Pain pills won’t heal inflamed tendons and ligaments. Muscle relaxers won’t heal torn muscles. A cervical collar won’t restore a graceful forward spinal curve.

Specific chiropractic spinal adjustments, because they can help restore proper motion and position of individual spinal bones, can help assure proper healing. Chiropractic doctors can help you get well and stay well after the trauma of a whiplash injury.

Why do I have pain in my arms and hands?

Because the nerves to the arms and hands exit the spine through the injured area of the neck, numbness and tingling are common. Even lower back pain can result directly from the trauma or as a reaction to the loss of proper spinal curves.

Why did my headaches start more than a week after my accident?

Whether you’ve been in an accident, stressed at work or overexerted yourself in the garden, your body is constantly adapting to the environment. When your capacity to adapt is exhausted, symptoms can appear. This can take days, weeks, months or years to occur.

Will I ever be normal again?

Many chiropractic patients report improved spinal curves and an end to their symptoms. Those who delay seeking appropriate care often discover that scar tissue and spinal instability require periodic chiropractic checkups.

How can I prevent whiplash injuries?

Since car accidents are the major cause of acceleration/deceleration injuries, defensive driving skills can help. Be sure your taillights and turn signals are properly working. Allow enough stopping distance in front of you. When you slow down or stop, always check your rearview mirror to see if the driver behind you is paying attention. Chiropractic is a team approach to better health.

References:

Patient Media, Inc., 215 Sutton Lane, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.

(c) Copyright 2009-2011 ShephardClinic, P.C. All rights reserved.

Disc Injury

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A herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (discs) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine.

A spinal disc is a little like a jelly donut, with a softer center encased within a tougher exterior. Sometimes called a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a herniated disc occurs when some of the softer “jelly” pushes out through a crack in the tougher exterior.

Many patients with back pain, leg pain, or weakness of the lower extremity muscles are diagnosed with a disc injury. When a disc injury occurs, the cushion that sits between the spinal vertebra is pushed outside its normal position. A herniated disc would not be a problem if it weren’t for the spinal nerves that are very close to the edge of these spinal discs.

A herniated disc can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. Healthy discs give you flexibility, allowing normal turning and bending. This movement produces a pumping action that supplies proper disc nutrition and waste removal.

Trauma produces the most common form of disc injury.

Spinal misalignments can cause disc tissue to adapt into a wedge-like shape. This is the earliest stage of disc damage. While this position can encroach upon adjacent nerve tissue, pain or other obvious symptoms may not be present. Even before symptoms appear, chiropractic care can be helpful.

Like a blister, disc tissue can bulge. As the soft nucleus of the disc is compressed, it pushes outward where the disc wall is weakest. This distortion can produce obvious symptoms (sciatica) as it affects nearby nerves. Muscles tighten to protect and splint the joint. Chiropractic care has been known to help.

The most extreme form of disc damage is when the disc ruptures, leaking its contents into surrounding tissues. With its cushioning and separating functions gone, movement is painful and surgical intervention is often involved.

Uncorrected, long-standing vertebral subluxations can make discs susceptible to damage. “I didn’t do a thing” or “I just bent over to tie my shoes” are comments we often hear.

The purpose of chiropractic care is to locate and correct areas of the spine that interfere with the proper nervous system control of your body. Because the intervertebral discs are so close to the spinal cord and nerve roots, disc involvement is quite common in chiropractic cases. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper motion and position of malfunctioning spinal bones, reducing nervous system involvement. If caught before permanent damage occurs, disc tissue often returns to a more normal size and shape.

References:

Patient Media, Inc., 215 Sutton Lane, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.

Herniated Disc, Mayo Clinic Staff.

(c) Copyright 2009-2011 ShephardClinic, P.C. All rights reserved.

 

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