Happy Father’s Day from the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield.
Happy Flag Day from the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield.
Tension headaches affect many people and are the most common type of headaches among adults. Sometimes they are called stress headaches. This article will discuss how to achieve tension headache pain relief without the use of medications.
The main symptoms of a tension headache are pain on both sides of the head and/or in the front or back of the head, they are brought on by a stressful event, and the pain is usually throbbing in nature. Women are twice as likely to suffer from tension-type headaches as men.
If a person’s headaches persist more than three months, they are considered to be chronic. Chronic tension headaches may be constant and almost always present although the headache pain intensity may vary throughout the day.
Tension headaches are commonly associated with neck pain. The medical anatomical term for the neck area is the “cervical spine.” Researchers have found that if spinal cervical bones are misaligned or not moving properly it can cause nerve and joint irritation which is the source or cause of tension headaches.
If one watches television, he or she will see no shortage of commercials advertising medications to help with tension headaches. A main drawback of headache medication is the harm caused to the gastrointestinal track stomach and intestinal linings. Many people suffer from ulcer side-effect problems caused by taking headache medicines.
Doctors of Chiropractic utilize a non-pharmaceutical, multimodal approach to help patients achieve relief of headache pain. Cervicogenic tension headaches show marked improvement with treatment of chiropractic adjustments. These adjustments allow realignment and restoring proper motion of the cervical spinal bones. This in turn, reduces pain of the nerves and joints of the cervical spine, resulting in improvement of tension headache frequency and intensity.
Chiropractors may also use other types of care to assist and accelerate pain relief. The use of cold packs, properly applied to the back of the neck helps reduce swelling and inflammation of the area. Deep muscle pressure and stretching of the neck and base of the skull musculature helps release spasms and stressed, tightened fascia. Learning simple corrective exercises to improve upper body posture expedites management for patients suffering from tension headaches.
Each patient is unique. There is no one approach that works for everyone. By discussing the problem with the patient, and conducting a thorough examination a doctor of chiropractic can determine the best method of care, monitor the patient’s progress and ultimately achieve tension headache pain relief.
As a practicing chiropractor of over 38 years, I am asked frequently by my patient’s, what exercises they should do to help get and stay free of lower back pain. I also see patients who have lower back pain and have been doing an exercise program that is deleterious to the back condition they’ve presented with. This article will discuss the do’s and don’ts of exercise if one has a history of lower back pain.
Let me first note that the information in this article is for general perusal and not specific to any person. Anyone who has, or is presently, suffering from lower back pain needs to, individually, consult with their healthcare provider as to proper guidance and activity. The ideas presented here come from my years of experience and are strictly my opinion.
My patients come in all types of different categories. I work with young, very fit professional and amateur athletes who aren’t necessarily in pain but are looking to improve their performance. Many of them are seemingly indestructible. They can exercise, practice, and participate in their sport with almost no restriction. With these people I tell them to recognize the “window of life” that they are in and enjoy it to the fullest. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever.
I mainly counsel them to be careful with exercises that could haunt them later in life. For instance, I tell runners to spend some percentage of their time running on a softer surface like a dirt trail, or a grass field or a track to lessen impact on their lower extremities and lower back. I advise serious weightlifters to limit compressive exercises like squats and deadlifts to one or two times per week.
The majority of my patients are middle-aged or seniors. They may have had injuries to their spine or occupations that have caused wear and tear. Nurses, people who work in construction and people with full-time desk jobs are typical of many of the patients I see.
The exercises I recommend to them are more of a gentle, stretching and strengthening warm-up nature. I encourage these folks to do some gentle stretching first thing in the morning to prepare for more vigorous exertion that their day will bring. The mindset is to ready themselves as an athlete would before a practice or game.
Lower back exercises for this category of patient might include lying face up and pulling one or both knees gently to the chest for 5 seconds. Pelvic tilts to gently strengthen the lower core muscles are also very appropriate. Stretching the gluteal/buttock muscles, which are the largest group of the body, can help immeasurably.
Patients who have neck and upper back problems can do a morning routine of neck ranges of motion, and pectoral stretches to increase flexibility. Gently strengthening the muscles of the back of the neck and between the lower shoulder blades can help with posture and in bringing about chronic neck pain relief.
Most of these people benefit from walking, lightweight lifting, swimming, elliptical machines and other age-appropriate activities. I’ve seen too many people go on YouTube and try to do unsuitable rehabilitation exercises like planks, use of exercise balls, leg lifts and abs of steel routines. These can be very harmful and make my goal of providing spinal pain relief much more difficult.
Exercises to provide neck and lower back pain relief should always be suitable for us at whatever stage of life we are at. The goal should be to help you for a long time to come!
Remember & Honor on Memorial Day from the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield.
Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal which can put pressure on the spinal cord that travels through the canal. This article will discuss lumbar spinal stenosis and how non-operative chiropractic treatment may help.
Lumbar spinal stenosis tends to cause lower back pain, numbness into one or both legs and can refer pain into the hips. It is usually caused by age-related wear and tear causing osteoarthritic bone and spur buildup. It typically occurs during middle age or older. Lumbar spinal stenosis can be quite debilitating, affecting one’s sleep, ability to walk and can impair one’s ability to perform home and work chores.
It should be said that if a person has impaired bladder or bowel control it is best to immediately go to an emergency room and have a neurological examination.
As a practicing chiropractor of 38 years, I’ve had numerous patients tell me that they have had an MRI that diagnosed lumbar spinal stenosis and their doctor told them that there’s nothing, short of back surgery, that can be done for it. Yet, I have many patients with the condition that have little or no pain.
While lower back surgery can be a treatment option for lumbar spinal stenosis it is one that most patients are hesitant to undertake. Certainly conservative, non-operative therapy is preferred for this condition.
Chiropractic evaluation will check the patient’s spinal and pelvic joint alignment. If there is misalignment of the spine or pelvis it can create pain in the lower back. If there is also lumbar spinal stenosis a healthcare practitioner, who is not a Doctor of Chiropractic, may have confusion as to what is causing the patient’s pain and inappropriately decide that the stenosis, not misalignments, is the source of the pain.
Chiropractors can perform pelvic and spinal adjustments to bring about relief for lower back pain. Chiropractors are the preeminent specialists, in the health care field, to provide and perform gentle, safe, effective realignment of malpositioned spinal vertebrae and pelvic joints.
A chiropractor may also work with the soft tissue areas of the area including fascia, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Soft tissue techniques involving pressure point therapy and electrical muscle stimulation can release tension and stress of these areas of the body. Using cold packs appropriately, to reduce inflammation is also frequently helpful to enhance healing and pain relief.
Today’s modern practice of chiropractic allows for people experiencing lumbar spinal stenosis to gain pain relief for this very debilitating and uncomfortable condition.
Please visit here for your local UPMC chiropractor near me. See your McKnight Road chiropractor for neck and back pain relief.
Thank you to all that serve and have served in the Armed Forces from the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield.
Most of us know that lower back pain afflicts many people. Pain can be classified as acute which is pain lasting less than three months in duration or chronic which is pain lasting more than three months. It is estimated in the United States 25% of all older people suffer from chronic lower back pain. With baby boomers (those born between 1946-1964) 51% of all costs (over $10 billion) are due to chronic lower back pain. This article will discuss chronic lower back pain and what can be done to bring about relief of chronic back discomfort.
As a practicing chiropractor of over 38 years, I have treated thousands of patients for lower back pain. Acute lower back pain, which is of short duration, usually responds to chiropractic care rather quickly. A couple visits to a couple weeks of visits usually takes care of the problem.
However, chronic back pain which has existed, episodically or constantly, for a longer period of time, is much different than an acute condition. Chronic back discomfort involves irritated and inflamed tissues such as the spinal and pelvic joints, ligaments, nerves, spinal discs, fascia and muscles.
There is a myriad of treatment options patients face in the treatment of chronic back discomfort. These range from surgery to medication’s to more conservative treatment such as chiropractic care and physical therapy.
Before surgery is attempted most experts agree that a conservative approach is best taken. Medications can be helpful for short term pain relief, but they are not without risk. A research article on this subject published in Scientific American, November 2021, notes: “There is no such thing as a risk free-drug and that goes for most trusted painkillers.” Pharmacologic side effects of back pain medications include gastrointestinal and kidney complications.
Chiropractic care for chronic low back pain relief can be multifaceted. Chiropractic spinal and pelvic adjustments gently and safely help to realign malpositioned joints. This can allow irritated nerves, ligaments and spinal discs to heal. Cold packs applied to the area can help reduce inflammation. Electrical muscle stimulation can bring relief for muscle spasms and pain. A deeper pressure point therapy can help to release constriction and strain of the fascial tissues.
Since chronic back pain has existed in most patients for a longer period of time, correspondingly it may take some treatment time to respond and heal, which may involve weeks or months. It is very important that the patient invest their energy and time to enhance their healing. Treating chronic back pain truly involves teamwork between the doctor and the patient.
Chiropractic care has been a conservative safe effective, source of pain relief for chronic lower back pain for over 125 years. Surely it will continue to play an important role in helping with this pervasive condition.
Back, Neck and Hip Pain Relief
Many times, in my 38 years as a practicing chiropractor, I have had a new patient with pain in their low back, neck or hips come to my office and make the statement: “I have arthritis and my doctor told me I have to live with it.” Yet, I have hundreds of other patients with arthritis, and they have little or no pain. Often it comes as a surprise to those who suffer with osteoarthritis that this very common condition can be helped. This article will discuss osteoarthritis and how one can achieve relief of osteoarthritic pain.
Osteoarthritis is simply degeneration of a joint. It may be mild or severe. A good example of this type of arthritis would be a football player who suffered an injury to his right knee in high school. As he becomes middle age, that knee may have arthritis, but the left knee might be perfectly fine. Osteoarthritis is almost always the result of an injury or repetitive stress that occurs to a joint. It is simply a wear and tear condition.
Although, osteoarthritic pain can occur with any joint, perhaps the most painful and debilitating results of this condition affect the lower back, hips and neck. Fortunately, one can take steps to gain pain relief for the back, neck and hips.
A study published in February 2022 in the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation revealed chiropractic treatments of spinal manipulation and soft tissue therapy is effective for reducing osteoarthritic pain and improving joint function of the hips and spine.
Chiropractors evaluate their patients spinal and pelvic alignment. If there is misalignment of the spinal vertebrae or the pelvic joints, it can create pain in these areas. If these areas also have a degree of osteoarthritic degeneration the pain can be magnified. By performing chiropractic spinal and pelvic adjustments a Doctor of Chiropractic can bring pain relief to spinal, hip and pelvic joints. Chiropractors are the preeminent healthcare specialists to provide safe, effective realignment of malaligned spinal vertebrae of the neck, lower back and of the pelvis and hips.
Chiropractors also have techniques and are trained to work with the soft tissue of these areas. Specifically, muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia respond well to mechanical treatment. There are a number of soft tissue techniques that chiropractors can use to bring relief. Some of these techniques involve using the hands to provide deep pressure point therapy and some use modalities such as electrical muscle stimulation to release tension and stress in the soft tissues.
Today’s modern practice of chiropractic allows for people to gain pain relief osteoarthritis of the neck, lower back and hips. Chiropractic care is safe, gentle and effective and chiropractors are expertly trained to help their patients with relief of pain for spinal and hip osteoarthritic conditions.
Happy Mother’s Day!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! From the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield.