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Neck Pain

What Causes Neck Pain?

Cause of Lower Back Pain

Herniated/Bulging Disc


A herniated (slipped) disk occurs when all or part of a disk (the jelly between your vertebraes that act as shock absorbers) is forced through a weakened part of the disk. This may place pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord causing lower back pain The disk may move out of place (herniate) or break open (rupture) from injury or strain. When this happens, there may be pressure on the spinal nerves. This can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness. A herniated disk is a cause of radiculopathy or nerve pain. This is a condition that affects the spinal nerve roots. Risk factors for a herniated or bulging disc may include: Lifting heavy objects Being overweight Repetitive bending or twisting the lower back Sitting or standing in same position for long hours Inactive lifestyle Smoking




Degenerative Disc Disease





Spinal Stenosis


Your spine, or backbone, protects your spinal cord and allows you to stand and bend. Spinal stenosis causes narrowing in your spine. The narrowing puts pressure on your nerves and spinal cord and can cause pain. Spinal stenosis occurs mostly in people older than 50. Younger people with a spine injury or a narrow spinal canal are also at risk. Diseases such as arthritis and scoliosis can cause spinal stenosis, too. Symptoms might appear gradually or not at all. They include:

  • Pain in your neck or back
  • Numbness, weakness, cramping, or pain in your arms or legs
  • Pain going down the leg
  • Foot problems
Doctors diagnose spinal stenosis with a physical exam and imaging tests.




Osteoarthritis of the Cervical spine


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine. Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in your joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage absorbs the shock of movement. When you lose cartilage, your bones rub together. Over time, this rubbing can permanently damage the joint. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include

  • Poor posture
  • Being overweight
  • Getting older
  • Injuring a joint
There is no specific test for osteoarthritis. Most doctors use several methods, including medical history, a physical exam, x-rays, or lab tests.




Spondylolisthesis


Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone (vertebra) in the spine moves forward out of the proper position onto the bone below it. Causes In children, spondylolisthesis usually occurs between the fifth bone in the lower back (lumbar vertebra) and the first bone in the sacrum (pelvis) area. It is often due to a birth defect in that area of the spine or sudden injury (acute trauma). In adults, the most common cause is abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones, such as arthritis. The condition mostly affects people over 50 years old. It is more common in women than in men. Bone disease and fractures can also cause spondylolisthesis. Certain sports activities, such as gymnastics, weightlifting, and football, greatly stress the bones in the lower back. They also require that the athlete constantly overstretch (hyperextend) the spine. This can lead to a stress fracture on one or both sides of the vertebra. A stress fracture can cause a spinal bone to become weak and shift out of place. Symptoms Symptoms of spondylolisthesis may vary from mild to severe. A person with spondylolisthesis may have no symptoms. Children may not show symptoms until they're 18 years old. The condition can lead to increased lordosis (also called swayback). In later stages, it may result in kyphosis (roundback) as the upper spine falls off the lower spine. Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle tightness (tight hamstring muscle)
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling in the thighs and buttocks
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness in the area of the vertebra that is out of place
  • Weakness in the legs
Exams and Tests Your health care provider will examine you and feel your spine. You will be asked to raise your leg straight out in front of you. This may be uncomfortable or painful. X-ray of the spine can show if a bone in the spine is out of place or broken. CT scan or MRI scan of the spine can show if there is any narrowing of the spinal canal.




Muscle Spasms


Muscle spasticity, or spasms, causes your muscles to become stiff or rigid. It can also cause exaggerated, deep tendon reflexes, like a knee-jerk reaction when your reflexes are checked. These things may make your spasticity worse:

  • Being too hot or too cold
  • The time of day
  • Stress
  • Tight clothing
  • Bladder infections and spasms
  • Your menstrual cycle (for women)
  • Certain body positions
  • New skin wounds or ulcers
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Being very tired or not getting enough sleep
Your physical therapist can teach you and your caregiver stretching exercises you can do. These stretches will help keep your muscles from getting shorter or tighter. Being active also helps keep your muscles loose. Aerobic exercise, such as swimming, and strength-building exercises are helpful as are playing sports and doing daily tasks. Talk with your health care provider or physical therapist first before starting any exercise program. Your provider or physical/occupational therapist may place splints or casts on some of your joints to keep them from becoming so tight that you cannot move them easily. Make sure to wear the splints or casts as your provider tells you to. Be careful about getting pressure sores from exercise or being in the same position in a bed or wheelchair for too long. Muscle spasticity can increase your chances of falling and hurting yourself. Be sure to take precautions so you do not fall.




Neck pain.....a REAL pain in the neck!


Neck pain is very common throughout the world. Up to half of all people around the world suffer from neck pain at some stage each year.2-5 For some people, one big problem with neck pain is that it just keeps coming back, or becomes chronic, and may even increase their risk of suffering from a fall. Scientists know that your brain uses sensory information from your muscles and joints around your spine to help control your balance and posture and to make sure you’re moving properly. When your brain takes sensory information and uses it to help guide movements and control muscles we call this sensorimotor function.8 One particular study looked at whether neck pain has an impact on proper sensorimotor function in older people. In this study, the researchers ran a whole lot of tests of sensorimotor function, like how well the study participants controlled the movement of their eyes and how good their balance was, and they took into account their age and other conditions that they suffered from. They found that older people with neck pain were worse than those without neck pain at most of the tests that they performed. For example, the people with neckpain couldn’t control their eyes as well and their balance wasn’t as good as people who had no pain. The researchers thought that in the people with neck pain they had poor communication between their neck and their brain, which meant that they weren’t as good at controlling their balance and other types of sensorimotor function. Remember that your brain uses sensory information from your muscles and joints around your spine to help control your balance and posture, and to make sure you’re moving properly. So, if that information from your spine isn’t very good, your brain will struggle to control what’s going on in your body. The scientists who did this study were saying that the altered information from the neck of these older people who had neck pain was disturbing their brains’ ability to make sense of other sensory information. This in turn potentially affected their balance and increased their risk of falling. Chiropractic Studies We know from many research studies that for people with neck pain, chiropractic care is an effective care option, and it’s also cost-effective and safe compared to other common treatments for neck pain. But there’s more to chiropractic care than just helping people with their pain. Researchers from New Zealand have published research studies over many years that suggest that chiropractic care improves the accuracy in the communication between your spine and brain, which makes it easier for your brain to accurately tell what is going on in and around your body. And that the spinal dysfunction does not need to be so bad that you are in pain for your brain to be disturbed, or for gentle spinal adjustments to help improve your brain’s ability to accurately know what is going on. These scientists have even shown that chiropractic care for older adults improves specific forms of sensorimotor function that are very relevant to falls risk. In one study, they looked at the effects of 12 weeks of chiropractic care on sensorimotor function in older adults. The types of sensorimotor function they looked at were important measures of brain/body communication that were related to balance and falls risk. What they found was that chiropractic care in these older adults improved how accurately their brain knew what their ankle joint was doing even when their eyes were closed. They found that the older adults could take a significantly faster step after receiving chiropractic care and it also helped their brains to process information from their eyes and ears at the same time. In this same study, they also showed that not only did the older adults who were receiving chiropractic care function better, they felt better too. Although chiropractic care does help people with neck pain, it also has so much more to offer, even if you don’t have neck pain. Chiropractic care is all about improving the communication between your brain and body so you can function at your optimal potential. So, whether you suffer from neck pain or have loved ones that do, or you just want to have a tune-up of your brain/body communication, go and see your family chiropractor and have your spine tuned up so you can function at your best.




Poor Posture


Posture is often a forgotten aspect of our health, but it's actually really important. People who have bad posture usually end up with neck pain or headaches and people with neck pain often have breathing problems. This can all impact your daily life and functional ability. And the problem does not end here because the way that you breathe also has very important influences on posture and spinal stabilization,but bad posture also affects other health aspects. For example, a study conducted in the psychology department at the university of Auckland in New Zealand, looked at the effects of upright posture compared to slouch posture on young, healthy people's resilience to cope with a stressful reading task. The study results clearly showed that when these people were held in an upright, good posture, they could cope with a stressful task, much better than if they were held in a slouch position during the same task. In addition to this, the scientists found that good upright posture also resulted in the participants, displaying a feeling of higher self-esteem better mood and lower fear compared to the slumped posture situation. Yes, you heard that correctly. Good. Upright posture is not only good for healthy breathing, but it can also make you more self confident, feel better and reduce your feelings of fear and help you be more resilient. When dealing with a stressful situation forward head posture is particularly bad. You want your head resting nicely and directly on top of your spine. You don't want to head out in front of your spine. A normal sized head weighs about three kilos or six and a half pounds. This is about as heavy as a bowling ball. Your spine is designed to hold that up without any problems at all. But if it's hanging forward, then there's a three Keeler weight hanging off your muscles, ligaments and connective tissues. The back of your neck. This is not a good thing for your spine and increases the burden, the strain and the stress that your spine has to cope with. What is quite concerning is that the number of people who are showing up with forward head posture is increasing dramatically. It is becoming so common that it's been given a name text neck, because many people believe we are seeing so many more young people developing neck pain due to the increased use of smart devices, such as smartphones or tablets studies are showing that developing neck pain is not something that should be considered growing pains. It is not likely to go away by. We know that kids who developed spinal dysfunction to the point of them having spinal pain in teenage years, they go on to become adults with spinal pain problems, teenagers with spinal dysfunction, to the degree of having pain in multiple regions, become adults with spinal pain problems in multiple regions and so on. So the best thing for your children's sake is to nip it in the bud and fix the problem early so that it does not go on to become a lifelong problem for them. The health and function of your child's spine can significantly impact their future quality of life. A simple solution for little kids with smart devices is to make sure they lie on their stomach when they're using them. This makes it impossible for them to hang their heads forward. So keep a close eye on your children and teenagers habits. Talk to them about the importance of good posture and a properly functioning spine for their health. And if you have any concerns, go and see your local family chiropractor.





FAQ about Lower Back Pain


How do Chiropractors treat neck pain?

Cause of Lower Back Pain

Herniated/Bulging Disc


A herniated (slipped) disk occurs when all or part of a disk (the jelly between your vertebraes that act as shock absorbers) is forced through a weakened part of the disk. This may place pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord causing lower back pain The disk may move out of place (herniate) or break open (rupture) from injury or strain. When this happens, there may be pressure on the spinal nerves. This can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness. A herniated disk is a cause of radiculopathy or nerve pain. This is a condition that affects the spinal nerve roots. Risk factors for a herniated or bulging disc may include: Lifting heavy objects Being overweight Repetitive bending or twisting the lower back Sitting or standing in same position for long hours Inactive lifestyle Smoking




Degenerative Disc Disease





Spinal Stenosis


Your spine, or backbone, protects your spinal cord and allows you to stand and bend. Spinal stenosis causes narrowing in your spine. The narrowing puts pressure on your nerves and spinal cord and can cause pain. Spinal stenosis occurs mostly in people older than 50. Younger people with a spine injury or a narrow spinal canal are also at risk. Diseases such as arthritis and scoliosis can cause spinal stenosis, too. Symptoms might appear gradually or not at all. They include:

  • Pain in your neck or back
  • Numbness, weakness, cramping, or pain in your arms or legs
  • Pain going down the leg
  • Foot problems
Doctors diagnose spinal stenosis with a physical exam and imaging tests.




Osteoarthritis of the Cervical spine


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine. Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in your joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage absorbs the shock of movement. When you lose cartilage, your bones rub together. Over time, this rubbing can permanently damage the joint. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include

  • Poor posture
  • Being overweight
  • Getting older
  • Injuring a joint
There is no specific test for osteoarthritis. Most doctors use several methods, including medical history, a physical exam, x-rays, or lab tests.




Spondylolisthesis


Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a bone (vertebra) in the spine moves forward out of the proper position onto the bone below it. Causes In children, spondylolisthesis usually occurs between the fifth bone in the lower back (lumbar vertebra) and the first bone in the sacrum (pelvis) area. It is often due to a birth defect in that area of the spine or sudden injury (acute trauma). In adults, the most common cause is abnormal wear on the cartilage and bones, such as arthritis. The condition mostly affects people over 50 years old. It is more common in women than in men. Bone disease and fractures can also cause spondylolisthesis. Certain sports activities, such as gymnastics, weightlifting, and football, greatly stress the bones in the lower back. They also require that the athlete constantly overstretch (hyperextend) the spine. This can lead to a stress fracture on one or both sides of the vertebra. A stress fracture can cause a spinal bone to become weak and shift out of place. Symptoms Symptoms of spondylolisthesis may vary from mild to severe. A person with spondylolisthesis may have no symptoms. Children may not show symptoms until they're 18 years old. The condition can lead to increased lordosis (also called swayback). In later stages, it may result in kyphosis (roundback) as the upper spine falls off the lower spine. Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle tightness (tight hamstring muscle)
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling in the thighs and buttocks
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness in the area of the vertebra that is out of place
  • Weakness in the legs
Exams and Tests Your health care provider will examine you and feel your spine. You will be asked to raise your leg straight out in front of you. This may be uncomfortable or painful. X-ray of the spine can show if a bone in the spine is out of place or broken. CT scan or MRI scan of the spine can show if there is any narrowing of the spinal canal.




Muscle Spasms


Muscle spasticity, or spasms, causes your muscles to become stiff or rigid. It can also cause exaggerated, deep tendon reflexes, like a knee-jerk reaction when your reflexes are checked. These things may make your spasticity worse:

  • Being too hot or too cold
  • The time of day
  • Stress
  • Tight clothing
  • Bladder infections and spasms
  • Your menstrual cycle (for women)
  • Certain body positions
  • New skin wounds or ulcers
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Being very tired or not getting enough sleep
Your physical therapist can teach you and your caregiver stretching exercises you can do. These stretches will help keep your muscles from getting shorter or tighter. Being active also helps keep your muscles loose. Aerobic exercise, such as swimming, and strength-building exercises are helpful as are playing sports and doing daily tasks. Talk with your health care provider or physical therapist first before starting any exercise program. Your provider or physical/occupational therapist may place splints or casts on some of your joints to keep them from becoming so tight that you cannot move them easily. Make sure to wear the splints or casts as your provider tells you to. Be careful about getting pressure sores from exercise or being in the same position in a bed or wheelchair for too long. Muscle spasticity can increase your chances of falling and hurting yourself. Be sure to take precautions so you do not fall.




Neck pain.....a REAL pain in the neck!


Neck pain is very common throughout the world. Up to half of all people around the world suffer from neck pain at some stage each year.2-5 For some people, one big problem with neck pain is that it just keeps coming back, or becomes chronic, and may even increase their risk of suffering from a fall. Scientists know that your brain uses sensory information from your muscles and joints around your spine to help control your balance and posture and to make sure you’re moving properly. When your brain takes sensory information and uses it to help guide movements and control muscles we call this sensorimotor function.8 One particular study looked at whether neck pain has an impact on proper sensorimotor function in older people. In this study, the researchers ran a whole lot of tests of sensorimotor function, like how well the study participants controlled the movement of their eyes and how good their balance was, and they took into account their age and other conditions that they suffered from. They found that older people with neck pain were worse than those without neck pain at most of the tests that they performed. For example, the people with neckpain couldn’t control their eyes as well and their balance wasn’t as good as people who had no pain. The researchers thought that in the people with neck pain they had poor communication between their neck and their brain, which meant that they weren’t as good at controlling their balance and other types of sensorimotor function. Remember that your brain uses sensory information from your muscles and joints around your spine to help control your balance and posture, and to make sure you’re moving properly. So, if that information from your spine isn’t very good, your brain will struggle to control what’s going on in your body. The scientists who did this study were saying that the altered information from the neck of these older people who had neck pain was disturbing their brains’ ability to make sense of other sensory information. This in turn potentially affected their balance and increased their risk of falling. Chiropractic Studies We know from many research studies that for people with neck pain, chiropractic care is an effective care option, and it’s also cost-effective and safe compared to other common treatments for neck pain. But there’s more to chiropractic care than just helping people with their pain. Researchers from New Zealand have published research studies over many years that suggest that chiropractic care improves the accuracy in the communication between your spine and brain, which makes it easier for your brain to accurately tell what is going on in and around your body. And that the spinal dysfunction does not need to be so bad that you are in pain for your brain to be disturbed, or for gentle spinal adjustments to help improve your brain’s ability to accurately know what is going on. These scientists have even shown that chiropractic care for older adults improves specific forms of sensorimotor function that are very relevant to falls risk. In one study, they looked at the effects of 12 weeks of chiropractic care on sensorimotor function in older adults. The types of sensorimotor function they looked at were important measures of brain/body communication that were related to balance and falls risk. What they found was that chiropractic care in these older adults improved how accurately their brain knew what their ankle joint was doing even when their eyes were closed. They found that the older adults could take a significantly faster step after receiving chiropractic care and it also helped their brains to process information from their eyes and ears at the same time. In this same study, they also showed that not only did the older adults who were receiving chiropractic care function better, they felt better too. Although chiropractic care does help people with neck pain, it also has so much more to offer, even if you don’t have neck pain. Chiropractic care is all about improving the communication between your brain and body so you can function at your optimal potential. So, whether you suffer from neck pain or have loved ones that do, or you just want to have a tune-up of your brain/body communication, go and see your family chiropractor and have your spine tuned up so you can function at your best.




Poor Posture


Posture is often a forgotten aspect of our health, but it's actually really important. People who have bad posture usually end up with neck pain or headaches and people with neck pain often have breathing problems. This can all impact your daily life and functional ability. And the problem does not end here because the way that you breathe also has very important influences on posture and spinal stabilization,but bad posture also affects other health aspects. For example, a study conducted in the psychology department at the university of Auckland in New Zealand, looked at the effects of upright posture compared to slouch posture on young, healthy people's resilience to cope with a stressful reading task. The study results clearly showed that when these people were held in an upright, good posture, they could cope with a stressful task, much better than if they were held in a slouch position during the same task. In addition to this, the scientists found that good upright posture also resulted in the participants, displaying a feeling of higher self-esteem better mood and lower fear compared to the slumped posture situation. Yes, you heard that correctly. Good. Upright posture is not only good for healthy breathing, but it can also make you more self confident, feel better and reduce your feelings of fear and help you be more resilient. When dealing with a stressful situation forward head posture is particularly bad. You want your head resting nicely and directly on top of your spine. You don't want to head out in front of your spine. A normal sized head weighs about three kilos or six and a half pounds. This is about as heavy as a bowling ball. Your spine is designed to hold that up without any problems at all. But if it's hanging forward, then there's a three Keeler weight hanging off your muscles, ligaments and connective tissues. The back of your neck. This is not a good thing for your spine and increases the burden, the strain and the stress that your spine has to cope with. What is quite concerning is that the number of people who are showing up with forward head posture is increasing dramatically. It is becoming so common that it's been given a name text neck, because many people believe we are seeing so many more young people developing neck pain due to the increased use of smart devices, such as smartphones or tablets studies are showing that developing neck pain is not something that should be considered growing pains. It is not likely to go away by. We know that kids who developed spinal dysfunction to the point of them having spinal pain in teenage years, they go on to become adults with spinal pain problems, teenagers with spinal dysfunction, to the degree of having pain in multiple regions, become adults with spinal pain problems in multiple regions and so on. So the best thing for your children's sake is to nip it in the bud and fix the problem early so that it does not go on to become a lifelong problem for them. The health and function of your child's spine can significantly impact their future quality of life. A simple solution for little kids with smart devices is to make sure they lie on their stomach when they're using them. This makes it impossible for them to hang their heads forward. So keep a close eye on your children and teenagers habits. Talk to them about the importance of good posture and a properly functioning spine for their health. And if you have any concerns, go and see your local family chiropractor.





FAQ about Lower Back Pain


Frequently asked questions about neck pain

FAQ

Why do I have pain?


PAIN IS IN YOUR BACK and your BRAIN Did you know that scientists have found the feeling of pain is something your brain decides you should experience if it believes there is a problem? Did you know that the scientists now know that the feeling of pain is something your brain decides that you should experience? If it believes that there is a problem, your brain can decide for you that you should feel pain. Even if it only thinks there's a potential threat of tissue damage. This means that even if you have no actual tissue damage, you can still experience pain. We also know from scientific studies that even when there is true tissue damage, your brain may not create the feeling of pain for you. This is called the paradox of pain. It means that the pain that you feel does not always reflect the severity or even the location of your problem. If there is a problem at all, science has shown beyond a doubt that pain is created in the brain. Sometimes pain can be very helpful and informative our brains create for us the experience of pain to let us know that something is not okay. Maybe we are overexerting ourselves or repetitively bending in awkward postures, causing harm to the body. Maybe we have an injury that we may need to be careful with to allow the body to heal and to avoid further damage. The pain can let us know what not to do while the body heals. The problem. This pain is helpful and informative. If we listen to our bodies, these pain experiences are a good thing, but for some people, pain can persist. Even after an initial injury has healed. And for some people, the pain can spread to other areas where there is no injury at all. For these people, the pain has become non informative and non-helpful the pain itself has then become a problem. The brain has learned to be in pain the way the brain does. This is very similar to the way the brain learns. Anything else it's called neuroplasticity or brain adaptations. Did you know that what you focus on actually drives neuroplasticity. This is obviously a good thing. If you're focusing on learning something, because it will help you to learn it. But if you're focusing on your pain, this may actually make your pain worse or persist and harder to get rid of it is therefore best to focus on the good things. Focus on what is working well, focus on what makes you happy. Focus on what you're grateful for this alone can help you heal. Brain scientists who have studied the effects of chiropractic spinal adjustments have discovered that adjustments also change. Brain function. Chiropractic has a neuroplastic effect on the brain in particular adjustments, change function in a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is actually a part of your brain that is very involved in web pain, becomes chronic. This might be why early chiropractic care can have better long-term outcomes. It might be that chiropractic care can prevent pain from becoming chronic in the first place. Neuroscientists believe that chiropractic care most likely helps reduce your feeling of pain by helping your brain turn down or switch off the perception of pain and the brain. This means chiropractors may or may not adjust your spine exactly where you feel that it hurts. They are looking for parts of your spine and body, where there a lack of proper movement, and we'll adjust you there. So don't worry if it's not exactly where you feel the pain is. Remember that the feeling of pain that you experienced is created by your brain and does not mean it's exactly where the problem actually is. Chiropractors are very good at finding the parts of your spine and body that need to be gently adjusted. Research studies have shown that adjusting your spine helps your brain to know more accurately, what is going on in your body so that it can more appropriately respond to what's going on and control your body better. It improves your brain, body communication for more information, go and see your family chiropractor. So you can sort out the pain in your brain.




What can you do about Chronic Pain?


In this animation we look at what chronic pain is, and what you can do about getting rid of it. Experiencing pain as normal everyone experiences pain now, and then pain is supposed to be a protected experience to make sure you stop doing things that may be dangerous, but chronic pain that is pain that has persisted for more than three months is no longer protective nor informative. Let's look at what chronic pain is and what you can do about getting rid of it. All pain is created by your brain because your brain has decided that you are threatened or in danger and need protecting. The interesting thing here is that you don't actually have to have any actual tissue damage to feel pain. And if your brain is not aware of tissue damage, you may not feel any pain at all. Even when you've injured yourself, chronic pain is the second most common reason. People see a doctor and miss work more than one-third of people with chronic pain become disabled by their pain. To some degree, chronic pain can be mild or excruciating. It can be episodic or continuous. It can be merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating. The pain can be from headaches or joint pain can be neck pain, back pain or pain from an injury. Other kinds of chronic pain include tendonitis or sinus pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pain affecting specific parts of the body, such as shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles, or feet. The common thing with all these types of pain is it, the actual feeling of pain is always 100% of the time created in your brain. This does not mean it's not real. It's very real, but understanding that the pain itself is created in your brain has major implications for how you can get rid of it. And because pain depends so much on what you think and feel about the pain, it's very important. You understand pain properly. Your pain experience depends on why your brain has decided you need to be protected. Why it's creating the feeling of pain for you in the first place. It can therefore be very useful for you to try to figure out why your brain may be creating pain for you. What was happening at or around the time your pain started? What makes it worse? What makes it better? Why is this so important? Because we know that the brain can be retrained. So you need to use all the tools available to you to retrain your brain out of pain. Some of the keys to retraining your brain are staying active, staying positive,eating well and sleeping well today, let's look at why staying active is so important, your posture and how you move plays an important role in how you feel and how you experience pain. Even as little as a short walk every day can help. If there are movements you cannot do because of your pain, you can still help yourself. By imagining those movements. We know from neuroscience research that imagining a movement influences the brain in a very similar way to actually doing the movement. This can help to retrain your brain to understand that the movement is not dangerous because imagining doing the movement will not hurt. You can basically trick your brain into giving you back pain-free movement, play with these sorts of things, make movement fun, move in different emotional states. Like when you're happy or grateful, move outside in the sun, in the park with beautiful plants and flowers or moving water. The movement of your spine is also very important. Yoga or simple spinal exercises can be great for this. And chiropractic care may be really important to help you move to the main focus of chiropractic care is to improve the movement and function of your spine. This is so important because the proper movement of the spine helps the brain to know more accurately. What is going on, not just in the spine, but also elsewhere in the body and chiropractic care has already well known in the research literature to help people who suffer from neck pain, back pain and headaches? This is most likely because chiropractic care helps the brain no more accurately. What is going on in the spine and body and may help the brain to switch off the feelings of pain when they are no longer needed. So if you suffer from chronic pain, do your best to stay positive, move often, eat well, sleep well, and go see your family chiropractor to help retrain your brain out of pain.




Does Chiropractic Care help correct Posture?


Posture is often a forgotten aspect of our health, but it's actually really important. People who have bad posture usually end up with neck pain or headaches and people with neck pain often have breathing problems. This can all impact your daily life and functional ability. And the problem does not end here because the way that you breathe also has very important influences on posture and spinal stabilization,but bad posture also affects other health aspects. For example, a study conducted in the psychology department at the university of Auckland in New Zealand, looked at the effects of upright posture compared to slouch posture on young, healthy people's resilience to cope with a stressful reading task. The study results clearly showed that when these people were held in an upright, good posture, they could cope with a stressful task, much better than if they were held in a slouch position during the same task. In addition to this, the scientists found that good upright posture also resulted in the participants, displaying a feeling of higher self-esteem better mood and lower fear compared to the slumped posture situation. Yes, you heard that correctly. Good. Upright posture is not only good for healthy breathing, but it can also make you more self confident, feel better and reduce your feelings of fear and help you be more resilient. When dealing with a stressful situation forward head posture is particularly bad. You want your head resting nicely and directly on top of your spine. You don't want to head out in front of your spine. A normal sized head weighs about three kilos or six and a half pounds. This is about as heavy as a bowling ball. Your spine is designed to hold that up without any problems at all. But if it's hanging forward, then there's a three Keeler weight hanging off your muscles, ligaments and connective tissues. The back of your neck. This is not a good thing for your spine and increases the burden, the strain and the stress that your spine has to cope with. What is quite concerning is that the number of people who are showing up with forward head posture is increasing dramatically. It is becoming so common that it's been given a name text neck, because many people believe we are seeing so many more young people developing neck pain due to the increased use of smart devices, such as smartphones or tablets studies are showing that developing neck pain is not something that should be considered growing pains. It is not likely to go away by. We know that kids who developed spinal dysfunction to the point of them having spinal pain in teenage years, they go on to become adults with spinal pain problems, teenagers with spinal dysfunction, to the degree of having pain in multiple regions, become adults with spinal pain problems in multiple regions and so on. So the best thing for your children's sake is to nip it in the bud and fix the problem early so that it does not go on to become a lifelong problem for them. The health and function of your child's spine can significantly impact their future quality of life. A simple solution for little kids with smart devices is to make sure they lie on their stomach when they're using them. This makes it impossible for them to hang their heads forward. So keep a close eye on your children and teenagers habits. Talk to them about the importance of good posture and a properly functioning spine for their health. And if you have any concerns, go and see your local family chiropractor.




Is Chiropractic Care based on science and evidence based?


Modern healthcare should be based on a combination of research, the clinical experience of your health care provider and your wishes and values. You deserve to know the scientific facts about your health care. So your health care provider should know what the best available evidence is. That's relevant to you, and they should share it with you when you see them, but not all things have yet been studied. So your healthcare provider also has to rely on their own clinical experience. When caring for you at the end of the day, your health care is your choice, and you have every right to make choices based on your own values and beliefs. This is in fact known as evidence-based practice or evidence informed practice. Your health care providers are taught to share with you the best available scientific evidence in easy to understand language without any silly jargon. They're also taught to share with you their own clinical experience, and then to allow you to make your own healthcare decisions. Chiropractic has a great scientific basis that is growing every day. So you can take great comfort in knowing that there has been lots of research done about chiropractic care. We know from many research studies that chiropractic is safe and that people who see chiropractors really love the care they receive. We know from the science that chiropractic care improves your brain's ability to see what's going on in and around your body. This mean you can have all sorts of improvements in your health and function. Other than just the reason you went to see a chiropractor to begin with many people say they experience improvements in things like the way they breathe or their blood pressure, or even their digestion when they get adjusted, irrespective of whether they saw their chiropractor because they were in pain or not. How cool is that? We also know from science that people who have spinal problems such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches improve well under chiropractic care. Let me give you an example. Low back pain may be due to a breakdown in the way your brain is controlling the muscles of your back. So your back and brain aren't talking to each other properly, which may mean that you aren't able to control and stabilize your spine properly and protect yourself from injuring your back. For example, when you move or lift an object, this is where a chiropractic can help. A chiropractor will gently adjust any dysfunctional spinal segments in your back or what they call chiropractic subluxations. They do this to restore healthy spinal movement and to improve the communication between your brain and your body, which may have an impact on the way your brain is controlling the muscles in your back. For many people with back pain, this can result in a big difference to the way they feel and function, and it can help them to get over their back pain and back to enjoying life. The backs this up and tells us that for people with low back pain chiropractic care is as effective. If not more effective than other health care options, more research needs to be done to work out just how effective it is. But for now the research suggests that there's no better healthcare options available. The same is true for other conditions, such as neck pain and many types of headaches. There's also lots of research being done that looks at how chiropractors can help people with all sorts of problems that may be caused due to a breakdown in communication between your brain and your body. It turns out that spinal function is really important for your brain to know what's going on in and around you. So when you see your chiropractor, you can feel secure knowing that the care they provide is backed up by research as well as their clinical experience. But remember, your health care is your choice and you can make choices based on your own values and beliefs. And this lies at the heart of evidence-based health care. So have you seen your family chiropractor lately, if not go have your brain body connection, fine tuned, because chiropractic is all about helping you feel great and get the most out of life by functioning at your optimal potential.




Is Chiropractic Safe?


Some people are worried about seeing a chiropractor because they think that chiropractic adjustments might be harmful or dangerous. So let's look at the research literature on this topic to see what the science actually says. When we look at the literature relating to chiropractic care, we can see that it's remarkably safe and it's effective. And it's associated with high levels of patient satisfaction. A number of studies have reported that chiropractic care is at least as effective as if not more effective than traditional medical management for patients with a variety of spine related issues. Chiropractic care actually has an enviable safety record compared to most other health care interventions. However, virtually all forms of health care are associated with some risk. So let's look closer at this with a sort of manual or hands-on procedures that chiropractors used in everyday practice. It's logical that there is at least some risk that on rare occasions, some people may suffer from an adverse event after seeing their chiropractor. A number of researchers have reviewed all of the published literature relating to the safety of chiropractic care. According to these reviews, serious adverse events are very rare and most of the time the scientists weren't sure if the chiropractic care actually caused the event or not because serious adverse events are so few following chiropractic care, it's virtually impossible for researchers to accurately estimate how often they actually occur. So there are only rough estimates for serious adverse events. And these estimates range from one in 20,000 to one in several million chiropractic visits to compare this with other types of medical care. We know for example that as many as one in three adverse events can occur. If someone goes to hospital, what is more common with chiropractic care? Is it some people can feel a bit stiff and sore after they've been adjusted, but this usually goes away by itself. So according to the best systematic reviews of all the scientific literature on this topic, we know that being seriously hurt from seeing your chiropractor is extremely rare. In fact, the statistics tell us that you are about 10 times more likely to be seriously injured driving to and from your chiropractor's office than you are from being seriously injured while seeing your chiropractor. Despite all of these studies showing how rare adverse events are with chiropractic care. There are still some people who are worried, a chiropractic adjustment could cause a stroke. This has also studied very carefully in two separate studies. Researchers looked at extremely large patient databases from insurance plans in Canada and America, and compared over 2,600 patients who had actually suffered from a stroke involving the arteries in their neck. And they compared them to people who hadn't had a stroke. They look to see whether the people who have suffered a stroke were more likely to have seen a chiropractor or a medical doctor before suffering from the stroke. What they found was that people who had suffered from one of these strokes were no more likely to have seen a chiropractor than a medical doctor before the stroke occurred. In some groups, they were actually more likely to have visited a medical doctor than a chiropractor before the stroke. So what does this mean? The study suggests that patients who are suffering from a stroke after seeing a chiropractor are probably going to see the chiropractor because they had neck pain or headaches that had been caused by the early stages of the blood vessel damage that ultimately caused the stroke. So they were having a stroke in progress before they went to see the chiropractor. It also means that there was no greater risk of suffering from a stroke. If you choose to visit a chiropractor compared to the risks of visiting a medical doctor. So if you or someone you know, is worried about seeing a chiropractor, you can rest assured the chiropractic care is associated with very low risk of causing serious harm. The risks are so rare that they cannot be accurately estimated. And all of the risk estimates that have been made most suggests that serious adverse events associated with chiropractic care happens, perhaps every several hundred thousand visits like any healthcare intervention, some adverse events do of course occur with chiropractic care. And these adverse events are generally minor and go away by themselves. And don't take away from the high levels of patient satisfaction associated with chiropractic care. So despite what some people think chiropractic has an enviable safety record, and you can rest assured that if you go see your chiropractor, you're in safe hands.




How often should you see a Chiropractor?


When you first see your chiropractor, you may be among the many people who ask, how often do I need to come? Often the answer you may want to hear is once, but chiropractic care, like most things that are really good for us rarely makes a long-term difference to your health and wellness. After just one visit. One reason for this is that it usually takes years for the problem to develop that motivates someone to first see a chiropractor, and it can take many visits to the chiropractor to correct that problem. One way of looking at it is that it can be like the thousand straw that breaks the camel's back. So a problem can build up day after day. As you sit hunched over your desk or bend and twist as you lift or tense up as you deal with your daily stress. And then one day you bend to tie your shoelaces and all of a sudden something hurts. You can rest assured that tying your shoelaces. Isn't what caused the problem. It's simply the thousand straw that broke the camel's back. And that's why you're hurting. There will usually be changes to the way the supporting muscles in your spine. Work that build up over time until the muscles can't cope anymore and symptoms appear. So seeing your chiropractor can be a little bit like going to the gym. It takes time frequency, and follow-up working with you to correct the problem and help your brain and muscles in your spine to communicate or talk with each other again, so that you can regain the stability that you need to function properly and resolve your aches and pains. But how long will this take and how often do you need to be checked by your chiropractor? Well, everybody is different. So your chiropractor will be guided by their clinical experience and what your goals are when they recommend a care plan for you. A new research study was recently published that suggests that in the early stages of chiropractic care, the more often you get adjusted, the better the results you enjoy. And this can also be better for you in the long-term as well. In the study that was conducted by scientists in America, they looked at 256 people who had chronic regular headaches and divided them into groups who either received chiropractic care once a week or twice a week or three times a week for up to six weeks, or they received no chiropractic care at all. And instead were given light massages over the same six week period. Previous studies have shown that people with this kind of headache often respond well to chiropractic care. So the scientists in this study were most interested in how many times per week that it was best for the patients to get chiropractic care. They looked at how many days a week a patient suffered from headaches at the end of the study. And whether any changes in frequency between the groups was still there up to a year later, what they found was that the patients who were seen by their chiropractor the most regularly, so up to three times a week, had fewer headaches than those who were seen once or twice a week. And they were much better than the patients who received no chiropractic care at all. And in fact, after one year, the patients that had been seen three times a week had more than three fewer headaches per month, compared to patients who only received the light massage. So these effects obviously lasted this study was done in people with chronic headaches. So we can't be sure if the same differences occur in people with other problems who see a chiropractor, a similar study in patients with chronic low back pain did find that people who are adjusted more often had the best results, but the results weren't as clear as this study done in patients with headaches,what these studies suggest is that seeing a chiropractor more often, when you begin to care has real beneficial long-term effects to the way your spine and nervous system works. But how much you benefit may depend on what's wrong with your spine when you begin care. So when you go and see your chiropractor know that their recommendations for your plan of care is based on what their clinical experience tells them is best for you. And that the research suggests that more frequent adjustments has the biggest positive impact on your health and wellness.





Chiropractic, Functional Medicine & Wellenss