Relieve Lower Back Pain by Having A Balanced And Level Pelvis

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Many people suffer from lower back pain. They seek pain relief from various healthcare providers such as PCPs, orthopedic specialists, chiropractors and physical therapists. A multitude of factors can cause pain of the back. The pelvis is one area of the human body that can be the cause of a back pain condition. This article will discuss the pelvis and how it may relate to back conditions.

The pelvis is at the base of the spinal column. It is not one solid bone but, is made up of three separate bones. The two bones on either side are called the iliac bones (they are the “wings” of the pelvis). The bone in the center is called the sacrum (this is the tailbone). Between both sides of the sacrum and the iliac bones are two large joints called the sacroiliac joints. The sacroiliac iliac joints are gliding type joints– for instance they glide back and forth when we walk. The pubic joint is in the front of the pelvis. The pelvis and the thigh bones, called the femurs, form the ball and socket joints of our hips.

Many muscles attach to different areas of the pelvis. The abdominal muscles, the buttock and gluteal muscles, the thigh muscles and the hamstrings all originate or insert into the pelvic bones.

If the pelvic bones become misaligned, or if there is improper movement of the joints, problems can occur. Pain can arise from the joints between the top of the sacrum and the lower spine. Discomfort can also occur from affected sacroiliac joints. The hip joints can also be involved.

Any altered mechanical movement patterns of these joints can cause pain and dysfunction. For instance, it is very common for women during and just after pregnancy to experience lower back discomfort. Athletes may find they have back problems with the exertion of their sports. Anyone doing physical construction, landscaping or service work may be hindered due to pain. Even office workers may find they cannot sit required long hours comfortably.

If a person has a pelvic imbalance and altered movement pattern, they may carry more weight on one lower extremity versus the other. Left unattended over many years this could lead to degeneration of the hip and/or knee joint which might require surgical replacement with an artificial hip or knee.

Doctors of chiropractic are healthcare practitioners that specialize in diagnosing structural misalignments, imbalances and faulty and improper movement of the joints associated with the pelvis. Chiropractors can perform a treatment called manipulation which can realign the pelvis, so the patient is bearing weight evenly on both lower extremities. A chiropractic manipulation can also restore proper movement to the joints of the pelvis and hips. This will bring pain relief that may be occurring in the back, pelvis and hips.

The chiropractic profession has been helping patients suffering from these types of musculoskeletal conditions with conservative treatment to relieve pain and resume their normal activities for 125 years.

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Lumbar Disc Protrusions Respond Well To Chiropractic Manipulation

Sciatica
Chiropractic Relief Care For Lumbar Disk Pain

Many people suffer from lower back disc problems. To some, it might be surprising that chiropractic care can help with back pain relief of this condition. This article will discuss disc problems of the back, how chiropractic treatment can help and a scientific study confirming improvement of disc conditions when treated with manipulation.

Let’s begin with some basic anatomy of the lower spine. The bones of the spine are called vertebrae. There are 24 vertebrae from top to bottom. The lower five spinal bones are called the lumbar spine. Between each vertebrae is a lumbar disc. These intervertebral discs function like pads or shock absorbers between the bones.

At times, a problem can occur with the disc, where a portion of the disc may bulge or protrude backwards into the spinal canal containing spinal nerves. If the protrusion is large enough and, in a location where it is impinges upon a nerve it can create a great deal of lower back pain and possibly pain running down the leg, which is called sciatica.

Pain of the low back accounts for one third of all orthopedic outpatient visits and is often related to problems with the intervertebral discs.

A study in the research journal Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, 1987 discussed scholarship in which 517 patients with protruded lumbar discs were treated by manipulative therapy. 84% of the patients responded well to the treatment. The authors conclude, “manipulation of the spine can be effective treatment for lumbar disc protrusions.” “Most lumbar disc protrusions could be effectively treated by manipulation.”

The authors note how important it is for the doctor who is treating the disc protrusion to be extremely proficient in spinal manipulation techniques. Chiropractors are doctors who extensively study and have a great deal of training and experience in treating conditions of the spine. Chiropractors are known for their ability to perform manipulations, sometimes called chiropractic adjustments, to correct abnormal alignments and improper movement of the vertebrae of the spine.

Manipulation or chiropractic spinal adjustments are treatment techniques that involve realignment of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. Treatment also restores proper movement of the spinal bones and joints and relieves pressure of the lumbar disc. Manipulation, when performed by a chiropractor is very gentle and is extremely safe. Most times a series of treatments are needed to complete the healing process. Obviously, the treatment does not involve the use of medication or surgery.

Anyone suffering from protruded or bulged lumbar disc pain and/or sciatic leg pain would be well advised to consult with a doctor of chiropractic for possible lower back pain relief.

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Can My Dizziness Be Helped?

Vertigo

On her initial visit to my chiropractic office a patient asked me if her dizziness could be helped. She had been in an automobile accident and had suffered whiplash injuries to her neck. While I can never promise a cure, I told her that if we worked together as a team, we had a very good chance of improving her condition. This article will discuss how dizziness can develop when a neck injury occurs, how chiropractic care may be of help and recent research supporting the efficacy of chiropractic treatment for this problem.

When a person suffers an accidental neck injury, whether it be from a car accident, fall, blow to the head or other traumatic occurrence, many symptoms can occur. Of all the symptoms, dizziness may be the most concerning to a patient because of how it can limit their ability to move about in their daily routines.

Our balance is mainly a function of three areas of the body that provide sensory information. The first is our eyes. We all know that if we close our eyes, we lose some sense of balance. The second area is the balance mechanism of our ears. This is called the vestibular system. You may have had an experience being submerged for a short time in cold water and then experiencing some short-term wooziness and imbalance when you came out of the water. That was because the ear’s vestibular system was affected by the coldness of the water. The last area that provides balance sensory information are the joints of the body. The joints of our feet, hips and upper neck especially, send balance information to our brain.

In a traumatic neck injury, the spinal bones of the neck, called vertebrae, undergo a whipping action which can cause abnormal position misalignments. This is how the term “whiplash” was coined. It is more a layman’s term than a medical description. Misalignment of the vertebrae can cause significant neck pain but because the joints provide sensory balance information to the brain, dizziness can also be an accompanying symptom of a whiplash injury.

In 2019 a research study was performed in which gentle, safe chiropractic realignment treatments were given to 86 patients suffering chronic dizziness which had occurred from neck trauma. The patient participants in the group experienced an improvement in their dizziness and of their balance. The authors of the treatment concluded that chiropractic care was beneficial in the case of dizziness due to neck trauma.

Chiropractors are trained to evaluate neck injuries. Upon an initial visit to a doctor of chiropractic, a patient can expect to be asked questions about the type of trauma that occurred and what symptoms the patient is experiencing. Next, a chiropractor will perform an examination of the neck area. Objective tests noting muscle spasms, swelling and inflammation, loss of range of motion, abnormal alignment and lack of proper motion of the cervical vertebrae and joints are typically examined. X-rays of the neck are usually obtained to further inspect for trauma.

Once the chiropractor has thoroughly evaluated the patient’s injuries it can be determined if chiropractic care is appropriate. When this is the case, the chiropractor will utilize gentle, safe chiropractic adjustments to realign and restore proper motion to the vertebral joints of the patient’s cervical spine. Specific exercises to increase flexibility and improve strength to the area can also be a great help to the patient. Using therapeutic measures such as repetitive applications of cold packs to the neck, by the patient, can also provide pain relief and hasten healing.

I can happily report that the patient who came to me hoping for an improvement of her dizziness experienced a total elimination of her condition. Her balance problems completely resolved, and she was able to go about her every day activities with no problem. If patients and their doctors of chiropractic work together, with good teamwork, it is possible for the patient, suffering from dizziness, to have a good outcome.

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Chiropractic Care Can Give Neck Pain Relief For Seniors

Chiropractic First
Try Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain Relief

In my 35 years of chiropractic practice I have seen patients of all ages who have experienced neck discomfort. In the majority of cases chiropractic care has been successful in providing relief from neck pain. On occasion however, some of my older patients who ultimately obtained relief, were somewhat skeptical when beginning care as to whether they could be helped. A surprising number of them thought they were too old and had been told by previous healthcare practitioners that “nothing could be done for them and they would have to just live with it.” This article will discuss a common cause for neck pain, what can be done to give relief of neck discomfort and recent scientific research pertaining to seniors with neck pain.

The majority of people suffering from a sore neck are experiencing a mechanical condition. In other words, there is a definite physical problem. Let’s first begin with some basic anatomy. The bones of the neck are called the cervical spine. There are seven bones in the cervical spine and each bone is called a vertebrae. There are joints between each of the vertebrae called the facet joints. Facet joints, as with all other joints in the human body, allow a defined amount of movement as we go about our daily activities; not too much movement and not too little.

Moving further into our anatomy discussion, we all know there are muscles of the neck. The muscles in the front of the neck are called flexors. Muscles in the back of the neck are called extensors. And there are muscles on the side of the neck that allow us to move our heads from side to side and to turn right and left.

There are also nerves associated with the cervical spine. The base of the brain narrows down into the spinal cord which is enclosed and protected by the spinal canal of the cervical vertebral bones. On the sides of the cervical spine are openings called inter-vertebral foramen. Peripheral nerves travel from the spinal cord, exit through the inter vertebral foramen and go to various parts of the body. Some of the peripheral nerves of the cervical spine travel to the muscles at the base of the skull. Others go to muscles in the front, back and sides of the neck. In still other peripheral nerves travel down into our upper extremities.

Optimally the vertebrae of the cervical spine are aligned and move properly. However, if there is a traumatic injury or repetitive overuse stress vertebrae can become misaligned and have improper movement. This is the case the facet joints of the cervical spine and the peripheral nerves of the neck can become irritated. This is the single most frequent cause of neck pain. This mechanical abnormality is also the most prominent reason people experience tension and migraine headaches.

A recent scientific study in the research journal Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, December 2019 speaks specifically about seniors with neck pain. It is estimated that one in five people aged 70 and older suffer from neck pain a recent survey of 288 Australian chiropractors revealed that seniors accounted for about a third of their patients, with neck pain affecting roughly half, often with co-morbid headaches. Among responders, the most common treatment approach for older adults with cervical pain included a combination of manual therapies (including manipulation and mobilization), neck specific exercises, and self-management techniques.

As the scientific article notes chiropractors utilize a technique of the treatment called manipulation. Chiropractors also use the term “chiropractic adjustment” interchangeably with manipulation. A chiropractic adjustment involves gently, safely and expertly realigning and providing proper movement of the cervical vertebrae so as to relieve irritation to the facet joints in the spinal nerves. This method of treatment is considered to be the “gold standard” for pain relief for the majority of those suffering with neck pain.

As mentioned earlier I have treated a number of older adults, who were experiencing neck pain, and thought there was nothing that could be done to give relief of their neck condition. However, once chiropractic care commenced, and these patients began to see improvement of their discomfort their skepticism resolved along with their previous discomfort.

Certainly, anyone experiencing neck pain would be advised to seek the services of a doctor of chiropractic for relief of their problem. Senior citizens would also definitely be in this category and should not hesitate to seek this avenue for possible assistance.

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OUR PATIENTS SPEAK– Dawn Wagner

Dawn Wagner
Dawn Wagner & Dr James Schofield

WHAT WAS YOUR CONDITION?

I had neck and shoulder pain due to my work.  I am a nail technician and I am hunched over a desk all day.

WHAT STEPS HAD YOU PREVIOUSLY TAKEN TO GET HELP?

I was taking Advil and using ice and heat, but nothing was working.

HOW WERE YOU REFERRED TO CHIROPRACTIC?

I found Dr. Schofield online.  I needed a new Chiropractor since my last one got out of the business, only to find out he was also treated by Dr. Schofield.  I knew I was in great hands!

IN YOUR WORDS, WHAT DID THE CHIROPRACTOR DO?

He gave me pain relief by adjustments and exercises to do at home.  He made sure I did them correctly to help me heal.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS?

I like to ride and show horses and I work out at the gym regularly.

HOW HAS CHIROPRACTIC HELPED YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS?

I can enjoy my hobbies without pain especially at the gym.  I like to push myself and challenge myself by doing obstacle courses.

HOW HAS CHIROPRACTIC HELPED OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE?

I can work more comfortably and play without pain.

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO OTHERS?

Don’t hesitate to use Chiropractic.  Working together with Dr. Schofield will give you a better pain free life!  Invest in yourself and your health!

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Your Posture Matters

Posture-Good & Bad
Your Posture Matters

As a practicing chiropractor of 35 years I have seen how important good posture is to our health. We all know that poor posture can cause neck and lower back pain. But did you know that bad posture is linked to high blood pressure and even, a shorter life span? This article will discuss bad posture and its harmful effects on the body. Normal posture will be defined. How to achieve proper posture will be discussed.

In 2004 Deborah Kado MD and colleagues published a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that discussed poor posture. She used the term called hyperkyphosis. Hyperkyphosis can simply be described as postural slouching; where the head and shoulders slump forward. She noted that older people with hyperkyphotic posture had a 44% increased chance of dying. She linked poor posture to an increased rate of mortality due to atherosclerosis, which is simply hardening and blockage of the arteries.

In 2019 the Asian Spine Journal released a scientific research paper detailing an increase of hypertension (high blood pressure) in middle-aged and elderly people. The mean average age of those in the study was close to 80 years old but the authors noted that poor postural changes began when people were in their 30s.

Normal posture can be imagined as if we were looking at military person who is standing at attention. Their head and shoulders are back. They definitely don’t have a slouched upper body posture. Their stomach and hips are also back and not thrust forward. If you looked at them from the side you could draw a straight line from their ankle, through their hip, continuing through the middle of the shoulder and through the opening of the ear. They look good! Their clothes fit better. They carry themselves with self-respect.

In my chiropractic practice I work daily to improve the posture of my patients. If their spine and pelvis is misaligned, I use various chiropractic techniques to bring them back into proper alignment. If they entered the office with neck and back pain this almost always brings pain relief. I also show them very simple stretching and strengthening exercises to help them with their posture.

One visualization I like to pass along is to imagine standing as though a helium balloon were attached by a string to the top of your head. Automatically, this brings one’s posture into a much better state. If you stand, walk and sit with this image in mind it can’t help but to improve posture and ultimately, health.

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THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!!

Dr cropped color picture - Copy
Dr James Schofield

35 years ago, on the first Monday in May 1985, I started my chiropractic practice here in the North Hills. It has been incredibly exciting, and more fulfilling than I could’ve ever imagined.

I have hundreds of people to thank but some, definitely stand out.

My Mother, Lucille, was my first chiropractic assistant. She set the standard for all my great assistants that have followed.

My Father, Jack, who always gave me excellent advice, having been self-employed himself.

My Sisters, Patty and Jan, and my Brother, Tom, who have always been a huge help with a potpourri of assistance.

Joan and Dr. Gary Estadt, best friends since college days and treasured masterminds.

Pauline Walton, my insurance assistant, who makes my life easy and Trudy Seifried for keeping the office so clean- especially now.

I must truly thank my wonderful patients! I’ve always said: “I have the best patients in the world.” It is a joy to come to the office every morning!

Lastly, and most importantly, I am grateful and want to thank my creator for all he’s done. My first employer in the chiropractic profession, Dr. Delbert Mahler, told me: “It’s much easier if God is your partner.”

Thanks for the memories and here’s to many more!

Dr Jim Schofield