Intervertebral 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 gelatinous middle allows the disc to compress and expand based on impact and movement. Trauma to the spine can cause the discs to herniated, 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.
If you suffer from one of these injuries you should see a chiropractor. Surgery is risky, expensive, and requires recovery time. In many cases, you can experience relief from these conditions through chiropractic. 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.
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. Chiropractic can be used to help relieve the pain and discomfort from soft tissue injuries.
Arthritis is a condition that is caused by the wearing down of the cartilage between joints. Some of the major joints that are affected are the knees, hips, back, neck, and hands/wrist. Arthritis can be painful and can cause the affected areas to not function properly. Arthritis in one area can cause arthritis or other problems in a different joint. For instance, if you have arthritis in your left knee, you may compensate for this by putting more pressure on your right side, leading to right hip problems.
Pain killers can cause temporary relief from pain and discomfort, but it is not a long term solution. Chiropractic can alleviate pain by releasing pressure on the nervous system with proper alignment. It can also restore proper joint movement, helping to ensure that you use proper motion so that you do not cause injury to other parts of your body. We are not concerned strictly with the affected area, but rather the body as a whole. We aim to restore and maintain proper movement and functionality to increase your overall well being.
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. Using specific adjustments for the affected joint can return proper mobility and relieve pain.
Pain along the spinal column in your neck or back is usually caused by subluxations, or misalignments of your vertebrae. A small misalignment can cause pain by causing pressure on nerves. Left untreated, these subluxations can cause muscle spasms and increasing pain. Chiropractic adjustments properly align your spine so that pressure on joints and nerves is released.
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. 80% of all headaches originate from the neck. 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. Massage of the neck and shoulder muscles can release tension, and a chiropractic adjustment can realign the vertebrae in your neck.
Sciatica is a condition that results when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated. Bulging discs, spinal subluxations, 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 assessed and properly 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. The pressure on the nerve must be relieved in order to alleviate the pain. An examination can reveal the cause of the pain, and an adjustment can relieve the pain by properly aligning the spine and addressing the cause of the pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This condition is most commonly associated with people who are constantly using a computer. Typing is a motion that, when performed repetitively and with poor posture, can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness, or a burning sensation. The nerves in the fingertips travel through the wrist, up the arm, and into the neck. The spine is the center of the nervous system, and the pain in your hands and wrists can be relieved by your chiropractor with concentrated spinal and joint adjustments.
We have discussed many conditions that can be relieved through chiropractic. The best way to treat these conditions is to prevent them before they even start. Periodic 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.