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What is Sciatica?

Watch the video to see some exercises that can help give you relief with the sciatica

Hey, Dr. McNamara here coming at you with the Wellness Wednesday. And what we're going to talk about today is something we see in the office all the time. It's called sciatica, it's pain that comes from the sciatic nerve. And I'm sure you guys have heard this term before, and maybe some of you have experienced this, or know family members or friends that are also experiencing this kind of symptom.

 

So what the said nerve is, it's a big thick nerve. It's about the width of two to three fingers wide, and it stems from our low back. It actually comes from our lumbar spine. It comes from five different nerve roots, and most people, it comes from the L4 L5, S1 S2 and S3 nerve roots.

 

And then I'll pretend like I'm showing you on my left side. Cause we got two sag nerves on both sides, but what it does is it travels and it comes out underneath what the piriformis muscle is. And I'm sure I've talked about this in other videos, that's a muscle that's often irritated. It's involved for external rotation of the hip and then travels down the back of the leg where the hamstrings are located.

 

And then it splits at the knee into the tibial nerve and the common fibular nerve, and then goes down the knee into the foot. So you can be experiencing sciatica. It can go all the way from the butt, all the way down into the foot. And what I'm going to show you right now is just some at-home exercises that we can do that will relieve some of this pain.

 

Now we need to know what's generating the pain to really treat and solve the issue. So it doesn't come back. And in that case, you should see a medical professional that is trained in diagnosing this condition and treating it as well. Such as chiropractors. We do this in our office all the time and these things that could be insulting that nerve, it could be disc.

 

It could be muscle-related that, that piriformis, and it could also just be myofascial adhesions throughout that back of the leg hamstring area. And I'm going to show you the treatment primarily for that third one, that adhesions of that nerve. So the exercises we're going to do is called nerve tensioning and nerve flossing. And I'll do it as if it was on my left leg.

 

I'm experiencing the pain down the left leg all the way into my knee, possibly down into my foot as well. So if it's really, really acute, I would start tensioning on the right side because in our spine, our nurse all come towards the middle of the spine. So if we're tensioning this side, this is still going to get a little bit of treatment, but I'll show you this one first.

 

This is step one. So what we want to do this one is for tensioners. You want to keep the joint. You want to put tension at two joints, different joints. So we're worried about the hip and the ankle gliding. We're going to focus on one. So tensioning first on the opposite side of the symptomatic leg.

 

So you're going to point your toe up, bring your leg up perpendicular to the floor. And then what you want to do is dorsal flex that foot pointed upwards, and then just go straight up until you feel that tension. And then back down, up, down, up-down, and you can do this anywhere from five to about 30 reps, whatever feels best for you.

 

If you want to intensify it a little bit, you can bring the tension up this way. And if you want a little bit easier, you can actually bring the other light up. So that's level one, level two would be the nerve gliding. So I'm going to go back to my left leg. This is the symptomatic leg that we're feeling the pain coming down now for this one, we're focusing on keeping the tension at one joint, but also moving the opposite joint.

 

So this is called nerve flossing. And the way we do this, as you're going to find that point about perpendicular to the floor, if you want to make it harder, you can pull it in. You want to make it easier to lift the leg up, but I'll show you just the regular.

 

And then for this one, we're not going to worry about bringing the toe as much for we're actually going to point it at the top. So as we go up, we're going to point the backdown. So I'm keeping it anchored at the hip and I'm causing movement at the ankle joint, the floss that nerve in between those mild fascial adhesions to break up those adhesions.

 

So I showed you the tensioner on the right side. Then I showed you the level two flossing on the left side, on the left symptomatic leg. Now level three is tensioning on the left side. So it's going to be the exact same as the right.

 

So we're going to dorsal flex that foot and we're going to cause that nerve tension and then back down, same thing as the first one, but this one's on the symptomatic side. This can be pretty intense. So start with the other two before giving this one a try, but if you're experiencing sciatic nerve pain, these should ease the symptoms.

 

It should cause them to come more centralized toward the spine and help out with those kinds of aches and pains as well as hamstring, tightness, rested, lower leg tightness.

 

So that's all we have for you today on Wellness. Wednesday, come see us in our office and we'll catch you then.

How do Chiropractors treat Sciatica?

Treatment Options

Chiropractic Manipulation


The Beginner's guide to Chiropractic If you're watching this video, you are probably curious About chiropractic care and how it can help you and your family. So let's explore what chiropractic is all about and how it works. A chiropractor is a health care professional who specializes in the health and function of the spine and nervous system because of this focus on the spine. Many people think chiropractors can only help with problems such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches. And it is true that chiropractors can often help with these things, but there is so much more to chiropractic than just pain. Chiropractic care is really about total health and wellbeing. It's about helping people to feel great and get the most out of life by functioning at their optimal potential. The spine is there to protect the spinal cord, which is part of the central nervous system. The spine is like a set of armor made up of segments so that it can bend and move naturally with the body. A spinal segment consists of two vertebrae and the joints that connect them, there is a disc between each vertebra that acts as a cushion underneath that Armor a whole lot is happening. Messages travel from around the body, up the spinal cord and into the brain. The brain processes, those messages and sends replies back down the spinal cord to tell the body how to respond. The central nervous system is one big information highway and it carries vital messages to every part of your body. Sometimes the wear and tear of everyday life can impact the spine and cause spinal segments to move in a way that is different from normal in a dysfunctional way that wear and tear can happen gradually, such as from bad posture or it can happen suddenly, which is common with sports injuries and because of the close relationship between the spine and the nervous system, every day strains can actually impact the flow of information and communication between the brain and the body messages may not be delivered to the brain, or they may be inaccurate when that miscommunication occurs due to abnormal movements of the spine. Chiropractic corrects vertebral subluxation or a chiropractic subluxation. You might hear it again from your chiropractor. So now, you know what it means by making fast gentle adjustments to the spine. Chiropractors restore their natural movement. If the central nervous system is like the engine of your body, a chiropractor acts like a mechanic tuning the spine and central nervous system so that your body can run like a race car. Just keep in mind that as you are adjusted, you may hear a popping sound. That can seem a bit strange. In fact, it's completely harmless. It's just the release of gas from between spinal segments. And it's no more significant than any other release of gas from the body. So are you ready to supercharge your engine? There are many different Chiropractic Techniques to perform spinal manipulation. (Check out the technique video too) If you have visited several different chiropractors, you probably noticed there were some differences. This is because chiropractors can study and learn many different techniques. In this video, we will share with you some of these different techniques that are available. It takes many years to learn how to apply these techniques. Well, which is why adjusting the spine is often considered an art form. Remember a chiropractor's main focus is to improve spinal function with a goal of improving overall function of the body. Improving spinal function can be done in many different ways, regardless of what technique your chiropractor has specialized in most will still check and adjust your spine, where they find areas that are not moving properly. What they call a subluxated area of your spine, where they choose to adjust you is not random, or simply because you're in pain. They will be checking for how your segments move and feel. They might poke on a segment to see if it feels tender to you. They might also take into account your posture and how you move the subluxated segment. Often doesn't move appropriately like the other segments do. And they're often tended to touch. You may not even have noticed that they were sore until your chiropractor poked on that part of your spine. Some chiropractors have specialized in other techniques also to determine how best to improve the function of your spine and body. So you may have some x-rays taken or various other scans. They may also test the strength of some of your muscles. Some chiropractors focus on the top of your neck. Only others will check how well your joints are functioning in your entire body, including your jaw, elbows, wrists, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and skull bones. Any one technique is not right or wrong. They're just different. So a chiropractice so try to find a chiropractor that feels just right for you and your needs as healthcare professionals. We want what is best for you and your health. And if that means you go and see another chiropractor,that is perfectly fine with us. When it comes to adjusting you chiropractors again, have many different options to choose from. They can adjust you with their hands and are usually trained in several different techniques so that they can do so effectively and safely. This is a skill that takes many years to master, which is why chiropractors study for five years or more at university level, before they can be registered as a primary health care professional. Not only do they learn about anatomy and physiology and pathology, but they spend many years developing their skills to be able to gently adjust spinal segments to best serve you. Other ways they can adjust you is with an instrument. There are several different types of instruments available, such as the activator or the impulse. Some use these instruments and adjust you according to a set protocol that has been developed over many years. Others use these instruments as an alternative to adjusting you by hand, we know from research studies that the instrument assisted adjustment is faster and even more gentle than adjusting by hand, and that they activate the same neural tissues as manual adjustments or hand adjustments. But we also know that manual adjustments or adjustments done by hand can be more effective at producing results for some people. However, we don't yet know enough about what is best for you at any particular time. One study showed that if you are an acute pain, that you get faster pain relief from adjustments done by hand as compared to adjustments done while following the activator protocol. So if you are an acute pain and want to get out of pain, as fast as possible, you might want to get adjustments done by hand. First, another way that chiropractors can adjust is by using a special table where parts of the table can drop away slightly, but suddenly these special drop piece tables take advantage of the sudden drop where one part of your spine is firmly lying on the table. While the vertebrae above it is not supported on the table. This again, can very gently help restore proper function to spinal segments. Again, there are some who have developed a whole adjusting protocol around the use of such special tables while others use them simply as a means to get the right adjustment done for the personnel. Working with there are still many, many more ways a chiropractor can adjust you. They can use special foam blocks to put under your pelvis by using your body weight. This can ease or stretch your pelvic ligaments. There are also many techniques that focus on correcting poor posture or help improve non spinal joints, such as wrists and ankles and jaws and cranial bones. Your body is one big complex interconnected system. Some chiropractors will give you exercises and stretches to do at home. Some have specialized in nutrition or homeopathy and so much more, no one way is necessarily better than any other, but you may prefer one or more of these various techniques. We want you to get the most out of your chiropractic care by becoming aware of what's available.




Electrical Muscle Stimulation Therapy


Electrical Muscle Stimulation Therapy or EMS is a comfortable current that is used to:

  • Helps you hold your adjustments longer because the muscles are relaxed
  • Improve joint pain and swelling.
  • Prevents and reveres muscle atrophy (loss of muscle mass/tissue)
  • Enhances rehabilitation of muscles.
  • Increases range of motion for tense muscles or tendons.
  • Reduces stress and discomfort.
  • Improves blood flow and circulation.
  • Decreases pain
It is commonly used by Chiropractors and Physical Therapist. Even some sports team use it as part of their trainers therapy.




Intersegmental Traction


Intersegmental traction gently help you regain the normal ranges of the spine. Intersegmental traction tables also help promote muscle relaxation and reduce muscle spasms. It accelerates recovery progress from a back and neck injuries. The intersegmental table moves rollers up and down the muscles on either side of the spine. Intersegmental traction tables are very relaxing and make for a great healing tool. How intersegmental traction therapy works The intersegmental traction table mobilizes the spinal column while simultaneously stretching the ligaments and muscles. This helps to increase blood flow and oxygen to discs, ligaments and muscles, improving balance, strength and mobility.




Rehabilitative Exercises


Rehabilitative Exercises not only strenthen your muscles, improve your posture, increase range of motion it also reduces pain. Rehabilitative Exercises can be done for all parts of the body. Depending on your injury or your conditioning we start with the exercises where you are at and then progress from there. To make sure we have the appropriate exercise for you we first perform a Funcational Movement Screen. This checks your upper and lower body strenght and flexibility. Every person is unique and different in their need to expercise after a injury or chronic pain. Your progess is measured monthly by repeating the Funcitonal Movement Screen. Check out our 10 Minute Posture Improvement. Watch the video now. https://vimeo.com/202990443




Acupuncture


Acupuncture is a treatment based on Chinese medicine — a system of healing that dates back thousands of years. At the core of Chinese medicine is the notion that a type of life force, or energy, known as qi (pronounced “chee”) flows through energy pathways (meridians) in the body. Each meridian corresponds to one organ, or group of organs, that governs particular bodily functions. Achieving the proper flow of qi is thought to create health and wellness. Qi maintains the dynamic balance of yin and yang, which are complementary opposites. According to Chinese medicine, everything in nature has both yin and yang. An imbalance of qi (too much, too little, or blocked flow) causes disease. To restore balance to the qi, an acupuncturist inserts needles at points along the meridians. These acupuncture points are places where the energy pathway is close to the surface of the skin. How does Acupuncture Work? The benefits of acupuncture are complex. Research suggests that the needling process may produce a variety of effects in the body and the brain. One theory is that stimulated nerve fibers transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, activating the body’s central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain then release hormones responsible for making us feel less pain while improving overall health. In fact, a study using images of the brain confirmed that acupuncture increases our pain threshold, which may explain why it produces long term pain relief. Acupuncture may also increase blood circulation and body temperature, affect white blood cell activity (responsible for our immune function), reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and regulate blood sugar and hormone levels. What is Acupuncture Good for? The benefits of acupuncture are complex. Research suggests that the needling process may produce a variety of effects in the body and the brain. One theory is that stimulated nerve fibers transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain, activating the body’s central nervous system. The spinal cord and brain then release hormones responsible for making us feel less pain while improving overall health. In fact, a study using images of the brain confirmed that acupuncture increases our pain threshold, which may explain why it produces long term pain relief. Acupuncture may also increase blood circulation and body temperature, affect white blood cell activity (responsible for our immune function), reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and regulate blood sugar and hormone levels. Acupuncture is particularly effective for pain relief, and chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting. In addition, both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognize that acupuncture can be a helpful part of a treatment plan for many illnesses. A partial list includes addiction (such as alcoholism or drug abuse), asthma, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, facial tics, fibromyalgia, headaches, irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovarian syndrome, low back pain, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, sinusitis, spastic colon (often called irritable bowel syndrome), tendonitis, tennis elbow, and urinary problems such as incontinence. You can safely combine acupuncture with prescription drugs and chiropractic care. The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture also lists a wide range of conditions for which acupuncture is appropriate. In addition to those listed above, they recommend acupuncture for sports injuries, sprains, strains, whiplash, neck pain, sciatica, nerve pain due to compression, overuse syndromes similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, pain resulting from spinal cord injuries, allergies, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sore throat (called pharyngitis), high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux (felt as heartburn or indigestion), ulcers, chronic and recurrent bladder and kidney infections, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), infertility, endometriosis, memory problems, insomnia, multiple sclerosis, sensory disturbances, depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders.​




Massage


Massage therapy is a manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. People seek massage therapy for a variety of reasons: to reduce stress and anxiety, relax muscles, rehabilitate injuries, reduce pain, and promote overall health and wellness. Our massages are performed in a warm comfortable room that allows you to relax and recover the battle of daily stresses. Massage is not purely a luxury you get when on vacation it is a necessity for your overall healing and wellness. To show how important massage is to your overall wellness we may include it as part of your care plan to help not only reduce muscle spasms and soreness but also to promote relaxation and stress reduction. Massage may also be used together with Chiropractic Care and even acupuncture or weight loss. Our massage therapist has extensive schooling and years of experience in treating people who have a musculoskeletal issue that goes beyond an occasional sore muscle. Because we view massage as therapy we incorporate it into our patient's care plans along with Chiropractic, exercise, and nutrition. We like to say the massage is the reward for all the hard work you have done. Types of Massage Relaxation Massage - also known as Swedish massage; this is for pure relaxation and reduction of stress and anxiety. The Therapist uses light pressure and longer strokes. Relaxation massage is perfect for stress, tension, depression, a busy mind, or people who prefer a lighter touch or are sensitive. Deep Tissue Massage – also known as therapeutic tissue, or medical-massage. This type of massage is targeted to rehabilitate an injury, reduce pain, release deep muscle tension that is produced by exercise. The Therapist uses firm pressure along with stretches that release deeply help spasms, trigger points, and metabolic waste in the muscles. Therapeutic massage helps with back pain, neck pain, sports injuries, or people who prefer a firmer touch. Sports Massage - Sports Massage is a must for both weekend warriors and elite athletes. It is an essential part of any recovery routine. Sports massage can help improve performance, prevent injury and speed recovery from muscle and soft tissue soreness and the everyday aches and pains associated with sports. This massage focuses on the muscles that the athlete's sports rely on the most and is individualized for each person and sport. If you are looking for enhanced athletic performance, recovery or increased range of motion and flexibility this is a great massage for you. Hot Stone Massage - Hot Stone Massage is a relaxing massage experience. The heated stones are used to gently massaged into your muscles to relieve all of your stress and tension. The stones are soothing and relaxing while providing a penetrating heat that encourages your muscles to relax and loosen. Hot Stone Massage is wonderful for deep relaxation, fibromyalgia, tension, muscle spasms, back, or joint pain. Cupping Therapy with Massage - Cupping Therapy creates a pressure on the skin with the suction of a small cup. The suction is created by a hand pump attached to the cup. This form of therapy has been practiced for thousands of years and is safe, effective, and very relaxing. Cupping therapy releases muscle spasms and soft tissue irritations, draws out excess fluid and toxins, loosens adhesions, lifts connective tissue, and brings relief and blood flow to skin and muscles




Infrared Sauna


What is Infrared? Infrared light is part of the Sun’s invisible spectrum of light that has the ability to penetrate the human tissue. Infrared heat therapy uses these infrared light characteristics to heat the body directly rather than just the air. The experience of an infrared sauna is similar to sunbathing, which gives you the radiant heat that is all your own. The infrared heat penetrates your skin, giving you that wonderful natural warmth. Unlike sunbathing, infrared heat therapy is completely healthy and safe. You can relax in an infrared sauna and it will never cause your skin to burn. Infrared saunas increase the body’s core temperature thus resulting in a much deeper, more detoxifying sweat from the cellular level of the skin where many toxins are housed. Conventional hot rock/steam heat saunas heat the air with steam, which can often be unbearably hot and will cause you to only sweat at the surface of the tissue. Steam also makes the air difficult to breathe. An infrared sauna uses soothing dry infrared heat that is well ventilated and extremely comfortable and relaxing. Infrared heat therapy has also been proven to assist with weight loss, pain relief, improved circulation, and skin rejuvenation. Doctor Recommended Infrared waves, reflected from the Sunlighten sauna to the body, provide concentrated radiant energy, similar to that from the sun. When any tissue in the body is exposed to infrared waves, whether irradiated by sunlight, reflected by specially coated fabrics or panels, there is a rapid increase in warmth which can be shown by thermography. This heat plus the activation of several other response mechanisms stimulates the healing processes. Safety of Infrared You can be exposed to infrared heat for hours and it will never cause your skin to burn. Infrared heat is completely healthy and safe for all living things. In fact, infrared heat is so safe it is used in hospitals to warm newborn infants. The same electrical standards required for the safety of your home are implemented into the electrical system of our saunas. Steel conduits protect your sauna from fire hazard and harmful electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation. Health Benefits of Infrared:

  • Detoxification
  • Pain Relief
  • Weight Loss
  • Lower Blood Pressure
What does the infrared waves from Infrared saunas do?
  • Increase blood flow by promoting dilation (expansion) of the micro-circulatory system of capillaries.
  • Reduce muscle spasms as muscle fibers are heated.
  • Remove toxins from the site receiving infrared waves.
  • Assist in the reduction of swelling and inflammation by improving lymph flow.
  • Reduce soreness through direct action on both free nerve endings in tissues and on peripheral nerves.
  • Improves Circulation
  • Skin Purification





Frequently asked questions about Sciatica

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