Archive for back pain

DO YOU HAVE THE STRUCTURAL ADVANTAGE?

Posted in health and wellness, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2014 by chiropracticdouglasville

 

With all the excitement of the World Cup, we get to witness some of the greatest athletes in the world performing and competing with each other. Many of us watching on TV, witness these world class players get the most out of their bodies to win the game. The average athlete that gets to play in these world class games has to be functioning at their optimal levels. With so many skilled players competing any single advantage can mean placing on the team or staying home.
The structure of the body can make huge positive or negative differences in performance for a top athlete and also for the general public that is going about their day working hard and living life. A great example is a car. At the competitive level performance cars are constantly checked for alignment. When winning and losing can be determined in milliseconds, having a structural advantage is something that the pit crew at a race is deeply concerned about. The Structural advantage is very important to professional car racing but the same applies to people driving around everyday. The alignment of your car affects the performance (daily function). If the alignment of the car is off than certain areas (tires, shocks, brakes…) will start to age and breaks down faster than normal. I see this with patients that have certain areas of their body that are wearing down and deteriorating faster than others. Many of such patients have been told, “you are just getting old”. I usually comment with “how old is the rest of Understanding-web

your body and why is it not aging as the area that is bothering you”. After laughing at my comment, most people do recognize that abnormal wear or tear can be because their structure has gone outside of the normal range. The abnormal structure equates to abnormal pressure on the body and this process will deteriorate certain areas faster than the rest.
The misaligned car burns more gas even though it is performing worse costing more too.
This equates for a person that feels they have less energy and gets tired much faster than they used too. For a top athlete all these factors are important to be placed and playing or not. For the average person their structure is also very important for everyday living. At work energy and job performance can equal a raise or getting replaced. This applies to a person’s relationships with their family too. It is hard to keep up with the family and kids if your energy is low and your body is performing like it should. This also applies to fun hobbies and activities. There is no doubt that the average person that is functioning below their body’s abilities is missing out on all that life has to offer. The structural advantage affects all parts of life and allows for a life lived at your full potential.

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ARE YOU SHRINKING?

Posted in health and wellness, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2014 by chiropracticdouglasville

Is it true that you lose your height as you age? Is this something that is unavoidable?

You can observe that many people start to shrink over time and although this is a common thing to happen, it is absolutely not normal.

     To fully understand why the height changes, we first need to understand how  a spine works. There are normal ranges for most systems in your body. There are normal ranges for blood pressure, body temperature and, indeed, the spine too has a normal range. A normal spine is straight from the front and from the side there are three curves. These banana shaped curves are in the neck, mid-back and low back. The whole spine is made up of 24 individual bones (vertebra). In between each bone is a cartilage pad called a vertebral disc. When the spine is within the normal range it has the average height of 71 cm.

    There are many different types of stresses that cause a person’s spine to go out of the normal range. A few of these include the birth process, fall, traumas, accidents, and job hazards including, but not limited to, sitting for long periods in front of a computer, driving for long periods, manual labor, etc.

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The people with a shrinking spine and structural abnormalities will experience many secondary conditions such as neck and back pain, disc bulges, radiculopathy,headaches, arm or leg pain, muscle spasm…. People with these issues are at a greater risk of experiencing height loss.

Although most traditional doctors have focused on treating the secondary conditions, a Structural Chiropractor’s first concern is to examine if the issues are coming from a structural abnormality. This is done by a thorough examination that includes Digital Structural Radiographs,  Bilateral Digital Weight distribution analysis, Functional movement analysis and a Neurological exam. The examination determines if the person’s has structural abnormalities and,  if so, recommends a structural corrective care plan to stop the shrinking process

Don’t Let ARTHRITIS Slow You Down!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2014 by chiropracticdouglasville

Arthritis is one of the most common disorders seen in today’s society and can decrease quality of life and function. Some arthritis is a result of old age, while others result from an improperly functioning nervous and immune system. If left uncorrected, arthritis can cause increasingly painful and debilitating movement as the disease progresses. Although there are many great natural or pharmaceutical options to treat the symptoms brought on by arthritis, improving the structure of the body can actually get to the underlying cause.

Arthritis can be broken down into two basic categories: inflammatory and degenerative. Inflammatory arthritis includes Rheumatoid Arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Lupus, and others. These conditions are caused by an autoimmune reaction in the body that causes inflammation in joints of the hands and feet and may eventually spread to the knees, hips and neck. Degenerative arthritis, on the other hand, is abnormal gradual wearing down of the cartilage within the joint usually from structural abnormalities and repetitive trauma such as work related activity, sports, or from major trauma such as falls and auto accidents. Degenerative arthritis usually affects the large weight bearing joints such as the spine, knees, hips, and ankles but, can also affect smaller joints as well. Degenerative arthritis also produces inflammation but because of wear and tear.

 What are your treatment options?

Traditional doctors have been successful prescribing medicine to treat the symptoms of arthritis and control pain. Although traditional treatment is not correcting the underlying cause of arthritis, it does ease the suffering for a short period of time. As the arthritis progressively gets

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severe enough, surgery may be warranted.

A structural chiropractor, on the other hand, will use safe, effective, and non-invasive methods to manage arthritis. Structural chiropractors are trained to identify and correct primary conditions such as structural abnormalities within the spine that cause secondary conditions like arthritis. A properly functioning spine and nervous system will increase mobility within the joints, decrease the stress placed on them, and restore function to the nervous system.  A properly functioning nervous system has been shown to increase immune system function, which can aid in inflammatory arthritis. In inflammatory arthritis, the body is actually fighting itself because of poor communication between the cells. Since the nervous system is responsible for communication between all the cells of the body, it is it is important to maintain a healthy spine to ensure optimal immunity.

Structural chiropractors can also help degenerative arthritis as well. Degenerative arthritis causes a painful lack of motion in the affected joints, as well as inflammation and neurological interference. The spine is commonly affected by degenerative arthritis and can cause dysfunction within the nerves coming from the spinal cord, itself. A structural chiropractor can help by increasing mobility within these joints and at the same time restoring function to the nervous system so that the rest of the body can function at an optimal level.

 

 

ARE PROLONG PERIODS OF SITTING, INJURING YOUR BACK?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2014 by chiropracticdouglasville

Long hours of sitting over time can lead to many health conditions; including Arthritis, degenerative changes in the spine and pinched nerves. These lead to many other diseases caused by lack of activity including weight gain, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.  The diseases usually take years of prolonged sitting to develop, however, in the meantime, warning signals of damage develop such as  neck and back pain, headaches, fatigue, problems in the arms and hands, and lack of concentration.

When we sit all day, we place a lot of stress on our spines.  Improper sitting to look at the computer screen, phone or TV  all day causes our heads to move forward, and our backs to hunch over. The bad position leads to structural shifts in the spine causing the development of ANTERIOR HEAD SYNDROME (AHS).

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Did you know that every inch our head moves forward from of our shoulders, 10 extra pounds of stress is placed on our spine?  So a person that has an AHS of 3-5 inches is putting 30-50 pounds of extra pressure on their spine. Within 2 weeks of developing AHS our spines start to deteriorate. A deteriorating spine directly affects our nerves, compromising the messages that travel from the brain to the different parts of the body. All communication from the brain to the body happens through the nerves so AHS disrupts total body function.

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It is very important, in order to avoid AHS that we practice proper ergonomics especially if we are going to be sitting for long than 30 minute periods.

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Proper sitting ergonomics include the following, the head should be straight and NOT in a down position most of the time. The back should be straight or tilted 10-15 degrees. The arms should be at 90 degree angles and the wrist should be slightly flexed. The legs should be either right under the knees or a few inches forward. It is a bad habit to tuck your feet under the chair.

Due to fact that most people have not practiced proper ergonomics, they have already developed structural shifts in their spines. It is the primary purpose of a Structural Chiropractor to locate these structural abnormalities.  Once a structural problem has been found, Correctional Chiropractic Care specializes in restoring normal structure and function to the spine and to all the nerves that control the rest of the body.  The correction of the underlying problem causes many of the structural abnormalities that sitting all day have caused to be resolved and  the entire body functions at an optimal level. When the spine and nervous system are working better, the rest of the body will also work better.

These Boots Were NOT Made For Walking!

Posted in health and wellness, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2013 by chiropracticdouglasville

Foot in high heel x-ray

There can be an absolute correlation between your high heels and developing structural abnormalities in your spine.

The recent research from the Institute of medicine (IOM) shows that more than 116 million Americans are suffering with chronic pain.  That basically says that 1 out of 3 in our community are suffering and has been suffering for awhile. With this sad and alarming statistic it is a must to look for and avoid situations that will have a negative affect on your spine. A spine that is STRUCTURALLY within the NORMAL limit is, straight from front and has three curves from the side. The curves are in the neck, mid back and the low back. The normal curve in the neck also causes a person’s head to be positioned over their shoulders. The head positioning can be observed from the side as the a person’s ear and top of the shoulder should be aligned.

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The normal alignment of the spine develops as the baby starts to grow inside the mother. The research shows that a newborn baby should have the proper spinal positioning from birth. The proper structure of the spine is as important as the foundation under the house, the alignment of your car, etc….if these structures are not in the proper position than those objects will start deteriorating and get permanently damaged. If the foundation of your house is not properly aligned than the doors will not close properly, the windows do not work properly, the roof develops cracks…If your car is not properly aligned than the tires and the parts wear down. The same is happening with an person that has structural abnormalities in their spine. Some of the major secondary conditions cause by a properly that is not aligned spine include degenerative arthritis, pains, pinched nerves, muscle spasms…

So how do these misalignments take place? The simplest answer is because of STRESS.

Stress can be categorized into three different categories. Physical, Chemical and Emotional stress. In this article we will focus on physical stress as it pertains to wearing high heels. High-heels give a women a taller and more slender appearance, and make women’s legs look thinner and more shapely. However, we should be aware that elevated heels will cause your lower back to accentuate its curve. Although there is a normal curvature in the lower back, the heels are increasing the amount of curve beyond the normal limits. This will predispose the person to stress on their joints and misalignments leading to chronic pain overtime. High-heels can be especially aggravating and harmful if you already have a misaligned spine. This increased curvature in the lower back, commonly referred to as hyper-lordosis, will narrow the opening between the vertebrae where the nerve root exits thus causing compression of the nerve roots within that opening (neuro-foraminal compression). It may also cause enough additional disc stress to result in further disc bulging (herniated disc) and subsequent sciatica (pain down the leg) due to nerve root compression.

If a structural abnormality is already present from pervious stress or traumas, than the hyper-lordosis that is made worse from high-heels will have multiple affects. Some of these are:

Facet glide with probable facet syndrome, Nerve root compression within the neuro-foramen (pinched nerves), Further disc stress and degeneration, Possible increase in disc herniation or bulging, Contribute to or aggravate sciatica, Contribute to or aggravate piriformis syndrome.

It is risky to wear high-heels and even down-right destructive if you already have structural abnormalities. This is more probable especially if you wear high-heels on a frequent basis.

HOW DO I KNOW IF THERE IS A PROBLEM

If your not sure high heels cause back pain in your case, the sound advice to follow would be to listen to the voice within. NO PAIN;NO GAIN does not apply to wearing heels.

If pain is increased with high heel use or you feel more back pain the next day or so after their use, then it would be prudent to avoid wearing high-heeled shoes. If your lower back pain seems aggravated by the use of high-heels a negative heel shoe, or what is known as an earth shoe, may be beneficial and should be tried as a possible remedy.

Using negative heeled shoes alone will probably not cure your lower back condition but it could go a long way in helping you manage it. Along with other action steps most importantly to be checked and analyzed by a Structural Chiropractor, this could very well be an important treatment ingredient.

Whether, your high-heels and low back pain go together or not, high-heels do and will put your lower back in an abnormal posture and alignment. This will aggravate an existing lower back pain problem.

If you don’t already have a lower back pain condition the chance are great that regular use of high heels will sooner or later cause or contribute to the development of one.

You need to decide for yourself if wearing high-heels is worth it

THE RISE OF THE ‘TEXTING’ EPIDEMIC

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2013 by chiropracticdouglasville

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Everyone is doing it. Look at a crowd and you can easily see several people looking down at their phones and rapidly moving their thumbs. The newest research is indicating that people are texting more than calling each other. The habit of texting is much higher amongst the newer generations but everybody is texting more and more. A person texting is usually sitting with their phone in their lap. The head is bent forward and down while the eyes focus on the phone. The average person will also roll in their hips and sit in a slouched position.

The recent research by Business News Daily reports that we Americans are spending more than 12 hours a week texting. The position of the body and the time spent in that position is creating an epidemic is our society. The epidemic is ANTERIOR HEAD SYNDROME (AHS). A Structural Chiropractors, concerned with the Human spine being in a normal range of alignment, are having to correct AHS more than ever before.Image

As science and technology are advancing, we are able to determine normal ranges of many things in the body. There is a normal range for Blood pressure, Heart rate, Liver and kidney function etc. The research and years of clinical data has also determined the ideal norm for the spin and a range within which the human body functions at an optimal level. The normal for the spine is completely straight, looking from the front and having three curves when looking from the side. In Anterior head syndrome the person starts to lose the curve in their neck as the head juts forward. The primary condition of AHS has many secondary conditions that start surfacing over time. One secondary condition is bad posture with the head moving forward causing a hump to develop in the upper back region. Other secondary conditions include pain, numbness, tingling in the neck and going down the arm and the hand. Long periods of looking down and texting causes a rapid degeneration and arthritis.

Imagine a bowling ball weighing about the average weight of the human head, about 15 pounds. If you were holding the ball on top of your shoulders you could balance it easily. Now extend your arms out while holding this ball. What happens within seconds is you feel the pressure from the ball in your entire Spine. You would start to feel that way just by holding the bowling ball for few seconds with texting you would be doing it for much longer periods of time. The body would start to misalign itself into an abnormal range. It is obvious why there is  huge concern about the time spent texting, the spine and the health of the person who has developed Anterior head syndrome.

PATCH IT OR FIX IT?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2013 by chiropracticdouglasville

One of my favorite educational games for our patients is the ‘rubber band’ game.

The way this game works is that I tie a rubber band around your finger. We now wait and see what happens. Within a period of time the skin starts to change its color and the fingers starts hurting. What would happen if we left the rubber band on the finger for the next hour, day month or longer? Of course the finger would keep getting worse and eventually will have irreparable damage.

At this time I ask the patient, from the solutions I give them, which one would you fix the problem with the finger and which solution would just patch it.

One of the solutions might be to exercise the finger. This might make the finger feel better but it does not correct the cause of this particular problem? No

A person can massage their finger to make it feel better. This can offer temporary relief but again in this situation because it does not fix the underlying cause, the finger keeps getting worse.

Another solution is to put some pain relieving cream or medicine on the finger. Does this help temporarily relieve the finger? Yes, but does it fix the problem? No

Finally we can cut the finger off, it might alleviate the symptoms but the person has permanent damage in their body.

The only right answer is to remove the rubber band. This is the only true fix.

A Structural Abnormality in your spine is very similar. Especially because it puts pressure on the nerves just like the rubber band on the finger. Consider looking at what you are doing with this abnormal health condition that you might have. Many people keep patching up their symptoms and not actively pursuing a fix. In my office we see many patients that have been previously trying to patch up the issues they have with their spine, consequentially because the problem is not getting fixed the spinal condition, just like the finger, keeps getting more damaged. What separates me from the traditional doctor is that we look for the underlying cause of the problem and apply Structural Correction to fix it. The correction of the structural abnormality is how we can remove the pressure of the nerve and stop it from coming back.

So, in your daily life are you pursuing a fix or a patch?Image