Headaches… A Pain in Your Neck

Headaches can start as a nuisance and become debilitating to your daily life.  Most people think of a headache as just that, a pain in your head.  They take medicine to relieve the symptoms and hope that it gets better.  A lot of time those headaches are caused by other issues in the body that results in pain in your head.  Chiropractic care provides the ability to adjust your body back to a normal state, thus relieving the stress and tension on the body that is causing your headache.

One study performed by Hall, Briffa et al, showed a 90% correlation between neck pain and cervicogenic headaches.  Furthermore, the study showed the severity of the headaches impacted the range of motion in the patients’ necks.

If you are experiencing headaches or headache related symptoms, a visit to your local Plano Chiropractor may be just what you need.  We are here to make you feel better and live a happier, healthier life.

Benefit of Chiropractic Care versus Only Standard Care for People Suffering with Low Back Pain

Chiropractic care provides many meaningful benefits to patients.  For those familiar with chiropractic care, you know the medical benefits of utilizing our services.  For those individuals who may prefer standard care and haven’t given chiropractic care a chance, a recent study published by Goetz CM, Long CR, Hondura CR, et al. shows that chiropractic care in conjunction with standard care offers exceptional results versus standard care alone.  The study found “[Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy] in conjunction with [standard medical care] offers a significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical functioning when compared with only standard care, for men and women between 18 and 35 years of age with acute low back pain.”

If you are experiencing low back pain and haven’t given a chiropractor a chance, stop in our Plano Chiropractor office to see how we can relieve your pain.  Our goal is to provide the best individualized patient care to each and every one of our patients.  I look forward to seeing you in the near future.

The Importance of Chiropractic Care to Maintain Your Health

Chiropractor Plano helps sustain your healthYour Plano chiropractor will conduct a complete evaluation of you in order to create a model of care specifically designed for you.  This evaluation will include a medical history and physical examination.  Your personalized plan of care will include chiropractic care focusing on the improvement of the functioning of your spinal column. The plan will also include additional recommendations, such as stretches, exercises, and nutritional planning advice. Your chiropractic care plan may also include suggestions for reducing stress and obtaining proper rest.

As a holistic doctor, your chiropractor has expertise in many areas of health care. Chiropractic care is renowned for its ability to treat musculoskeletal problems such as neck pain, back pain, and headaches. As chiropractic care focuses on the nervous system, your chiropractor can be of benefit in your overall care plan for many other conditions.

Chiropractors can help with many different problems

Chiropractic care helps people to recover from short-term health problems, but not only that, this powerful method of healing can also help people stay well and assists in preventing new problems from developing.

Your Plano chiropractor can treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems. Neck pain, back pain, pain that travels from the neck to the arm and hand, pain that travels from the back to the leg and foot, headaches, and muscle spasms are all examples of conditions that are commonly treated by chiropractic care. Chiropractors also treat exercise- and sports-related injuries. Repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can also be treated by chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can be a valuable addition to treatment for sleep disorders or digestive problems. It can also be of great assistance during pregnancy, in helping to relieve neck pain and back pain and to ease the process of delivery.

The Importance of the Nervous System

Chiropractic care can be highly beneficial for many health problems due to the fact that it directly affects the functioning of your nervous system. Your nervous system, consisting of your brain, spinal cord, and nerves that branch out to the rest of your body, is your master physiologic system. Your nervous system, by sending signals to every cell, tissue, and organ in your body, controls all the other systems. Your heart relies on the nervous system so that it can pump blood at the right time and in the right amount. Your small intestine relies on the nervous system so that it can complete the digestion of food and transmit usable nutrients to the bloodstream. Your white blood cells and other immune system agents rely on the nervous system so that they can quickly identify and destroy foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses.

But your nervous system can break down, in a sense, if spinal nerve interference is present. Such nerve interference, caused by irritation and inflammation of spinal nerves, is caused by loss of full mobility of spinal vertebrae. Limited spinal motion irritates the muscles that move the spinal bones and the ligaments that hold those bones together. Inflamed spinal muscles and spinal ligaments cause spinal nerve inflammation. The immediate result is distortion in the quality and flow of information sent from the brain to the rest of the body. Too much or too little information is sent to the cells, tissues, and organs. The messages they receive are the wrong messages, or the messages arrive at the wrong time. The outcome is decreased functioning and/or inappropriate functioning of many other physiologic systems. Thus, spinal nerve interference is one of the primary causes of the many problems that may bring a person to his or her chiropractor’s office.

Chiropractic care helps reduce and remove nerve interference by restoring increased functioning of your spinal column. The direct result is improved overall functioning of the rest of your body. By directly focusing on your spine and nervous system, your chiropractor can help restore quality of life and overall health and well-being.

Medical Doctors versus Chiropractors – What are the Differences

Plano Chiropractor and DoctorsLets explain the basic differences between an MD (Medical Doctor) and a DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) so you understand the  role that each type of medical professional plays in maintaining or regaining your optimum health.

Both are fully licensed healthcare providers. They will examine, diagnose and treat patients. Chiropractors usually have trained for more hours in the anatomy of the body while MDs have trained for more hours in physiology. DCs are experts in musculoskeletal health and general wellness. MDs and chiropractors both utilize diagnostic imaging, lab tests, clinical exams and questionnaires in order to diagnose their patient, but the treatment types administered will be different. MDs usually prescribe pharmaceuticals and surgery to treat patients.  Chiropractors normally use a more holistic approach that involves a variety of hands-on treatments along with diet and exercise advice.

Visiting the offices are normally very different experiences. When going to an MD, you will most likely be asked by a nurse or office staff to fill out certain paperwork and provide information about your condition. The doctor will then make an appearance, review the information, and possibly perform a brief clinical examination, and prescribe a treatment. Typically, doctors only take a short amount of time to understand your overall health, and the resulting treatment usually involves drugs and/or different medical procedures.

Chiropractors provide a more personal approach

Patients typically have a more personal relationship with their Chiropractor than with their Medical Doctor.  Chiropractor want to not only learn about your physical symptoms, but your lifestyle as well. Chiropractors will examine you, perform any necessary tests, discuss all of the possible treatment options available, and provide the appropriate manual therapies. Chiropractic treatment methods are usually referred to as “physical medicine”. Treatment may include laser therapy, targeted spinal adjustments, disc decompression, electrical stimulation and hot and cold treatments as well as different structured exercise and stretching programs. Dietary and nutrition recommendations may also be provided.

Generally, musculoskeletal problems are better treated by a chiropractor. However, many chiropractors also develop specialized expertise in other aspects of health as well. Chiropractors will refer you to a Medical Doctor if they feel that diagnosing and treating your condition is beyond their scope of practice.

Radiating Pain and Chiropractic Care

How can your Plano chiropractor help relieve your radiating pain?

Plano Chiropractor treats radiating painWhen pain seems to run down your leg to your foot, the medical term for this is actually “radiculitis”. Although not the most common nerve pain, it causes severe pain and discomfort for individuals who experience it.

Radiating pain is actually caused when a nerve or nerve root experiences pressure. This can be a result of spinal subluxation or from inflammation. For example, a herniated disk creates a radiating pain because it has bulged out of its normal place and may be exerting pressure on a nerve root extending from the spinal cord.

Is it really Radiating Pain…

Radicular nerves run the length of the spinal cord from the neck to the tailbone and branch out to the left and right. When these are injured or compressed, they are more likely to radiate pain than the other types of nerves in our body. With a neck injury for example, pain may radiate down the arm to the fingertips. This may result in the feeling of radiating pain, but the pain is more often than not just due to myofascial trigger points that cause a more diffuse pain that seems to radiate out from one area. This is caused by muscles that are too tense and scar tissue that has built up trapping nerves in the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Active Release Technique (ART)

A chiropractic adjustment can address any spinal misalignments that may be impinging on spinal nerves, helping to take the pressure off the nerve and thus reducing pain. In addition, many chiropractors tend to use additional therapies that can help to free trapped nerves, such as the Active Release Technique (ART).
If you are local and suffering from radiating pain, don’t hesitate to visit your Plano chiropractor. He will be able to correct any spinal subluxations that may have appeared and help relieve your radiating pain. This visit combined with regular chiropractic adjustments will help to correct the alignment of your spine and help your body to function at its’ optimum level.

Ironman Triathletes and Chiropractic Care

Plano chiropractor and chiropractic care for triathletesThe Ironman Triathlon is regarded as one of the toughest races a human can do. Needless to say, the athletes that compete in the Ironman Triathlon have to be in the best shape. Chiropractic care has helped many Ironman athletes in the race and has allowed their bodies to be pushed to the limit over and over again.

The Ironman Triathlon World Championship is held every year in Kona, and many of the athletes qualify for a slot by being among the top finishers in their age bracket at one of the worldwide competitions. Chiropractors are always on hand to treat injuries and remove obstacles that may prohibit an athlete from performing at their peak. A range of techniques can be used, including standard chiropractic adjustments and the Active Release Technique (ART).

Ironman Athlete Credits Florida Chiropractor

Lisa Walker, a woman in her early 50s from Edmonds, WA, credits Florida chiropractor Dr. Dan with allowing her to compete in the World Championships. “I met Dr. Dan in the ART tent the week before the race. I had issues with both shoulders and my right foot. Dan fixed me up so well I went back two more times just to see him about the issue. I really appreciated what he did for me because it gave me back my confidence in both swimming and my run. This was my 4th time in Kona and I ended up with a 7th place AG finish, a personal record (PR) and a Boston marathon qualifying time by 11 minutes on the run.”

Chiropractic care is a vital part of the training for most Ironman athletes and without it they would be unable to compete. Without a healthy, efficient spine the body cannot work to its’ full capacity. Having a chiropractor is a huge benefit for any athlete as they can experience optimum spinal health, which in turn will lead to peak performance, the quickest recovery time from injuries and an overall feeling of healthiness.

Facts about Sciatic Leg Pain

Your sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in your body, and runs from the lower back, down through the buttock, and all the way into the lower leg, where it controls the muscles in that area. It also provides sensation to the thighs, legs, and the soles of the feet. When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated for some reason and causes pain, this pain is known as sciatica. Sciatica refers to the various symptoms associated with the irritation, and does not give any indication as to the root cause of the irritation.

Much of the low-back and leg pain reported is sciatic pain, and it is most evident in the age bracket of 30 to 50 years old. It is more commonly a result of general wear and tear, rather than an injury.

The Symptoms of Sciatic Leg Pain

The most obvious giveaway that you are suffering sciatic pain is when it follows the route of the sciatic nerve, as previously described, and is typically apparent only on one side of the body. However, there are variations in how exactly that pain is felt, including tingling, aching or burning. It depends on where the sciatic nerve is being affected. Some patients may also feel pins-and-needles in the toes or foot, or muscle numbness/weakness in the affected leg or foot

More often than not, sciatica first manifests slowly, then increases in intensity, often being accentuated after sitting or bending, or sudden movements such as sneezing or coughing.

Diagnosing Sciatic Leg Pain

This starts with your doctor of chiropractic taking a complete patient history. Your descriptions of where the pain is, how it is felt, when it began, and which activities cause you most pain, are all important in helping to form a diagnosis. It is also necessary to undergo a physical and neurological examination, with a particular focus on your spine and legs. Your ability to perform certain activities will be monitored to assess your sensory strength, muscle strength, and reflexes, and any pain resulting from these activities.

Plano Chiropractor and Sciatic Leg PainDiagnostic imaging, such as x-ray, MRI, or CT scan may be ordered by your doctor of chiropractic if it is felt there may be more at play, such as a serious underlying problem. This may happen if there is no improvement in symptoms following 6 to 8 weeks of conservative treatment.

Sciatic Leg Pain Treatment Options

Conservative care, including chiropractic treatment, is a very effective solution for most people suffering sciatic pain. As there is an array of possible causes of sciatica, treatment plans will be individually tailored depending on what your chiropractor finds in your particular case. When we talk about “conservative”, it refers to the absence of surgical procedures or medication. Instead, chiropractic seeks to rectify spinal problems, thus restore spinal movement and reduce the inflammation that’s causing the sciatica. Treatment may include spinal manipulation and adjustments, the application of ice/heat therapy, ultrasound, use of a TENS machine, and rehabilitative exercises.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

To protect your back, improve your spinal health, and guard as best you can against sciatica developing in the first place, follow these tips:
•    Follow a healthy diet
•    Maintain a healthy weight
•    Exercise regularly
•    Practice proper posture
•    Avoid too much inactivity or bed rest
•    Quit smoking
•    Lift things safely, using good body mechanics

How a Chiropractor can help your Back Spasms

Plano Chiropractor provides relief from back spasmsWhen the muscles supporting the spine are overworked they can cause a back spasm. When the muscles contract near the nerve root it can cause serious pain. Back spasms can inhibit your daily life and you may find that completing the simplest of tasks becomes extremely difficult and painful.

When you overstretch a muscle it can become very tender or inflamed. Sudden movements can frequently cause your back to spasm and can become extremely painful. Among other things that can increase your risk of suffering a back spasm are:
•    Weak stomach muscles
•    Tight hamstrings
•    A tipped pelvis
•    An exceptional curvature of the lumbar spine
•    A back condition such as arthritis or spinal stenosis

Typical back spasm treatments usually involve resting the back first, then as it heals starting to strengthen the muscles that support the spine. Bed rest is not typically recommended for the long term, as it can sometimes increase the healing time. While resting, experts recommend that you lie on your back on the floor with a pillow under your knees, or with your knees bent and your legs resting on a chair. Anti-inflammatory tablets are recommended, such as ibuprofen. However, try to avoid taking them long term as they can have negative effects on your liver. You can also apply heat for 20 to 30 minutes at a time to help soothe the back muscles.
Spinal Subluxations May Be Causing Muscle Imbalances…

After your back has healed and you have an increased range of motion it is a good idea to visit your chiropractor. Your chiropractor will be able to remove any subluxations that may be occurring in the spine and causing imbalances of the muscles. They can also create a rehabilitation plan that will be customized to your personal needs. Regular chiropractic adjustments along with a structured rehabilitation program will help to prevent the spasms and pain from returning.

Secret Weapon for Whiplash

Whiplash is an injury that is common to automobile accidents, but there are many other ways in which this painful blow to the cervical spine can occur. When it does, studies confirm that Chiropractic can provide significant help and long-term healing results.

Plano Chiropractor provides relief from whiplashA whiplash injury occurs when there is an abrupt backward or forward jerking motion of the head which causes an injury to the neck and the back. These cervical spinal injuries most frequently result when a person who is involved in an automobile accident is struck in such a way as to cause the jerking motion of the head and neck to occur. However, this action can also occur when a person is participating in a sporting event. It’s been known to occur when riding on amusement park rides and sometimes as the result of a fall.

“Nearly 1 out of 15 adult Americans suffers from the annoying and sometimes debilitating long-term effects of whiplash injury, usually in the form of neck stiffness and pain,” said Arthur C. Croft, DC, and director of the Spine Research Institute in San Diego, Calif. Fortunately, the results of several studies regarding relief for whiplash show that Chiropractic offers a very high level of help. Here are the conclusions of 4 separate studies sited by Dr. Croft:
•    In a study published in Injury, 93 percent of 28 patients showed significant improvements following Chiropractic care. The help protocol utilized included spinal manipulation, stretching and ice therapy.
•    Study results published in the Journal of Orthopedic Medicine showed similar findings. “Whiplash injuries are common. Chiropractic is the only proven effective treatment in chronic cases,” researchers said in their study conclusions.
•    Finally, two separate studies published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiology and Therapy confirm Chiropractic benefits. “For chronic spinal pain in general, when compared to traditional medical approaches, Chiropractic has generally been shown to be more effective.”

Practicing safe driving and using properly adjusted headrest restraints and seatbelts can go a long way to preventing whiplash accidents. Wearing the proper head gear in sporting activities, particularly for those playing a violent sport like football, can also help to prevent injury.

Ask your plano chiropractor what recommendations he can provide to keep your cervical spine in top condition and help you to avoid injury to the neck and back. Of course, should a whiplash injury occur, Chiropractic is the well established source of intervention and long-term relief.

Best Strategy to Use for Back Pain Relief

Plano Chiropractor provides relief from low back painChiropractic has received an important endorsement from America’s most trusted rating organization. Consumer Reports has named Chiropractic as the top-rated treatment for the relief of back pain in survey results gathered from over 14,000 people.

Low back pain is one of the most common physical ailments with over 80 percent of people in the United States reporting that they have been bothered by this discomfort at some point in their life. For some 50 percent of these people, the pain has severely limited their activities, caused sleep loss, and interfered with their sex life and the ability to control their weight.

The Consumer Reports survey queried 14,000 of their subscribers who had experienced lower back pain in the previous year and had never had surgery for the condition. Some 50 percent of this group indicated that the pain was severe enough to limit their daily activities for one week or longer. Recurrence of back pain sometime during the year was reported by 88 percent of these people.

Chiropractic treatment received the highest endorsement for both pain relief and consumer satisfaction of all modalities surveyed. People who said they were helped a lot by Chiropractic number 58 percent. At 59 percent, Chiropractic received the top marks from people who were asked if they were “highly satisfied” with their treatment.

On the other hand, primary care physicians were rated at the bottom of the survey list with just 34 percent of patients saying they were satisfied with their treatment. Physical therapists also fared well in the survey earning a 55 percent satisfaction score. Acupuncture was just behind at 53 percent.

“For the treatment of back pain, few options are better than Chiropractic,” says the Glenn Manceaux, D.C., who is the president of the American Chiropractic Association. “As shown in this latest survey, Chiropractic spinal manipulation is an evidence-based and effective treatment for lower back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries. Coupled with the high levels of patient satisfaction, patients should turn to Chiropractic as their first choice.”

It is interesting to note from the survey that many of the persons with lower back pain had sought help from five or six different sources in their attempt to find relief. In the end, the majority of these people found the greatest relief and satisfaction from the drug-free, non-invasive treatment options provided by a chiropractor. More frequently than not, low back issues can be reduced or resolved via a combination of Chiropractic manipulation, rehabilitative exercises and lifestyle counseling.

It is actually quite common for a person with lower back pain to experience some immediate relief from Chiropractic. Often this occurs during their first visit to a chiropractor. Long-term help is often achieved when the patient follows a personalized treatment plan developed by their chiropractor who is trained in spinal manipulation, exercise rehabilitation, nutrition and lifestyle counseling.

People with low back issues would be wise to see a chiropractor first. Why try five or six other remedies when Consumer Reports says the best place for real help and consumer satisfaction is waiting in the treatment room of a chiropractor?