Chiropractors treat a wide variety of chronic and acute conditions including but not limited to: sciatica, lower back pain, sprains/strains, headaches, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, scoliosis, whiplash, torticollis, herniated discs, thoracic outlet syndrome, shoulder and arm pain, and tennis elbow.
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Many patients originally come in for treatment for a specific problem, thinking that as soon as they start to feel better they will stop the treatment there. However, often people find the care so beneficial and their quality of life so improved that they choose to continue. In the end, it is always up to you to decide how long you want to reap the benefits of chiropractic care. We can tailor our treatments to your desires, schedule and finances, gradually shifting the focus from specific subluxations to total maintenance of your healthy lifestyle.
Chiropractors have a minimum of seven and a half years of post-secondary education. At the end of the program, which includes both the hard sciences of anatomy, physiology and biology as well as the philosophy of chiropractic, we are awarded the degree Doctor of Chiropractic. We master a whole range of techniques that we learn to adapt to each patient’s individual needs.
A doctor of chiropractic locates and removes small misalignments in the spinal column. These misalignments of the vertebrae, called “subluxations,” cause spinal nerve stress and irritation to your whole nervous system. They obstruct the flow of nerve impulses throughout the body, impede the proper functioning of the body and decrease quality of life by causing pain and stress. Since nerves run throughout the body from the spine, by adjusting the alignment of vertebrae, chiropractors can both restore range of motion in the spine as well as get the nerve impulses flowing to other organs in the body. All adjustments are unique. We draw from seven adjustment techniques in our clinic but all of them are accomplished by hand and none of them involve medication — it’s a 100 per cent natural science.
By properly standing and distributing your weight, you are allowing the whole body to work as one. This way you’re not shifting from left to right, while at the same time being able to maintain your work capacity and workload.
Sitting all day, depending on how many years you’ve done it, is considered repetitive trauma. Most people that have been in a prolonged sitting posture for more than 10 years will most likely end up with degeneration of the lower back. The most common area is the L5 S1, which makes up the lower part of the spine. When you sit, you actually lose that curvature in the back. It ends up being what’s called hyperlordosis, a decrease in the curvature, which then stresses out the bodies of the lumbar spine, leading to osteoarthritis.
Strengthening the core is a good way to improve the posture. Proper ergonomics is also important as far as it maintains a good, strong posture. Last but not least, getting up from a seated position strengthens the posture, because it activates the core.
Ergonomics, once again, does play a big role in preventing carpal tunnel syndrome. This is usually alleviated by exercises based on stretching out the hands. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be prevented by decreasing that repetitive movement that you do over and over. You can use wrist guards and braces but a lot has to do with stretching the wrist out completely. If you don’t take care of it, the condition does get worse and if you allow it to get worse, it does lead to surgery.
Work trauma can be any kind of trauma resulting from physical activity at work, or anything that’s a chronic condition due to repetitive use of certain postures. And that can include sitting for prolonged periods of time, not taking regular breaks and not sitting correctly. Ergonomics does play a big role. Everyone spends a lot of money on trying to get the proper chairs and sitting on exercise balls to try to regain some of that core. A lot of these issues can be corrected by just going from a sitting to a standing position and still maintaining your workload.
Treatments to overcome lower back pain depend on a combination of things. First, we look at whether this is an acute or chronic condition and at how long it has been since the pain started. These factors all play a big role in what protocol we actually use when helping the patient out. As far as overcoming the pain, we would most likely start with the same thing: do a proper assessment as far as what needs to happen, and give the patient a series of home exercises. There is another important factor in treatment and prevention: the job a patient does and their position during work plays a big role as far as affecting a patient’s back. So, depending on if your job is physical or if you have a sitting-down job like most people do, the exercises and treatment alternatives will vary. Breaking the routine does play a big role, so going from a seated to a standing position, obviously, will help a lower back condition.
Lower back pain treatments largely depend on the condition we need to treat. We may be dealing with the severity of a bulging disc, with herniation, proliferation, prolapse. Depending on the condition, we treat according to protocol. So, someone who comes in with an acute condition they have not had in the past will usually get treated very conservatively with chiropractics, and that usually involves manual adjustments. For a more complex version, like spinal decompression, we concentrate on the disc to distract it out, depending on the size of the herniation.