Back Pain Relief For Seniors

Get moving with chiropractic care
Chiropractic Care Helps Seniors With Back Pain

Many senior citizens suffer from lower back pain. At a time of their life when they could and should be enjoying themselves back conditions can be a source of ongoing pain and cause great limitations with ability for enjoyment. This article will discuss the most frequent cause of back discomfort amongst seniors, a recent research study revealing data concerning older adult back conditions and a safe, inexpensive, drug-free, nonsurgical conservative care approach to helping this very common malady.

Older adults have usually spent their earlier decades engaging in activities that cause cumulative physical stresses to the low back. Quite a few have had occupations requiring physical labor that affects the back. Those employed in construction work, the trades, nursing, law enforcement and emergency responders and military personnel are all susceptible to back injuries and repetitive stress damage to the back. People employed in sedentary jobs such as administrative assistants, accountants, lawyers, engineers, chemists and dental professionals are not immune to back problems. Likewise, homemakers, whether male or female, who are raising children and keeping a household are susceptible to this condition.

A scientific research study published in Clinics (Brazil), October 2019 reviewed data from 35 published studies involving over 135,000 older adults. The research noted that it’s very common for seniors to experience low back pain that affects their ability to carry out daily tasks. According to the researchers, about one in five adults in their 60s currently have back pain and the risk increases with age, affecting up to 75% of those over the age of 100.

The most frequent cause of back pain for senior citizens is misalignment and/or improper movement of the bones of the lower spine which are called vertebrae. If the vertebrae are not in proper alignment and move improperly, they can pinch spinal nerves and cause irritation of the spinal joints. This is, by far, the most common source of lower back pain.

Fortunately, there is a very simple solution to help this problem. Chiropractic care is the gold standard when looking to help the majority of people suffering from back problems. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate problems of the lower spine. By way of a spinal evaluation consisting of the chiropractor feeling along the muscles of the back for spasm and tightness and misalignments and improper movement of the spinal bones and joints the doctor of chiropractic can determine if a patient is a candidate for chiropractic care. In the event the patient can be helped by chiropractic care treatment can be commenced. The most common method of treatment given by a chiropractor to seniors suffering from lower back pain is a chiropractic adjustment. The adjustment is a very safe, gentle, conservative treatment to realign and restore proper movement to the area of the spine requiring care. Should a patient not be a candidate for chiropractic care the doctor of chiropractic is qualified to refer that person to the best healthcare provider for their specific condition.

For over 125 years chiropractors have been helping seniors get relief of lower back pain. The older adult suffering from a mechanical pain condition of the back would be well advised to consult a doctor of chiropractic.

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What Relief Is There For Pain Radiating Down The Arm?

Pain Radiating Into The Arm
Pain Radiating Into The Arm

Many people suffer from pain traveling or radiating down their arm. This discomfort can range from a mild tingling or ache to an agonizing sharp or throbbing pain. For some the onset is gradual, over time. For others the pain occurs suddenly from an accident or overexertion. This article will discuss pain down the arm, a recent scientific research study describing the condition and what can be done to give relief of pain going down the arm.

There are a number of different types of conditions causing a person to have pain in the arm. A very common category of arm pain is called cervicobrachial radiculopathy (CR). “Cervico” refers to the spinal area of the neck which is called the cervical spine. There are seven spinal bones called vertebrae that make up our cervical spine. “Brachial” is a term that means arm. “Radiculopathy” denotes a pain that radiates or travels. Thus, CR is pain that radiates down the arm with it’s origin coming from the neck.

Typically, the cervical vertebrae become misaligned and pinch upon exiting nerves that travel into the arm. At times, a cervical disc, which is a type of specialized cartilage that sits between the vertebrae, can bulge, protrude or herniate against nerves which causes radiating pain.

A research study in the Archives of Medical Sciences, June 2018 describes pain that extends from the neck into the shoulder and arm. The study found that patients treated by a form of treatment performed by doctors of chiropractic called mobilization, for six weeks experienced improvements in both pain and function. The research team concluded, “our findings challenge the role of pharmacologic versus manual therapy as possible treatments that may improve pain intensity and upper limb functionality in subjects with cervical radiculopathy.”

Insight we can gain from this research indicates there are treatments from pharmacological drugs and treatment from hands-on manual therapy. Medications typically tend to either reduce inflammation or provide pain killing approaches. Manual therapy tends to look at methods to realign misaligned cervical vertebrae and to reduce cervical disc protrusions.

Chiropractors are considered to be experts in providing manual therapy to give pain relief of pain radiating down the arm. A chiropractor will examine the patient’s cervical spine and usually obtain x-rays in the initial evaluation visit. Once the chiropractor determines where the misalignment and/or disc problem is located gentle, safe, hands-on chiropractic care can be given to correct the cause of cervical radiculopathy.

Anyone seeking relief of pain traveling down the arm would certainly benefit from consulting with a chiropractor for this terribly uncomfortable condition.

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Turn Some Muscles On, Turn Some Muscles Off

Chiropractors Spine Health
Neck and Back Pain Relief

As a practicing chiropractor of over 35 years one of the principles I’ve observed is that the body will always try to protect itself. We all know that if we twist our ankle it will swell. The swelling is the body’s way of splinting the joint to prevent movement that could injure us further. If we eat food that is spoiled, we will vomit to expel the toxins. If we hurt our neck or lower back, muscles will go into spasm to stabilize the area so we don’t create further injury. We don’t necessarily like what our bodies do to protect us but, these protective functions keep us from incurring further damage.

This article will discuss protective mechanisms the body takes when our neck or low back are injured. It will also discuss a recent research article detailing a scientific study which further discusses this topic.

Anyone who has injured their neck or back has had the very uncomfortable process of muscles going into spasm. At its worst, this can disable us from doing practically every activity of daily living. At best we might be able to perform normal functions, but the pain can be quite aggravating. As noted earlier when these areas are injured the body will do what it needs to do to protect itself. The muscles and spasm protect the joints of the neck and back from excess movement which might damage them further.

Many times, we undergo what are called subacute injuries. These are usually the mildest form of injury to the neck and back. Typically, they occur from overuse repetitive strains to the body. For instance, someone who sits long hours at a desk and computer may develop pain in the neck and upper back. Or, someone who stands long hours, like a cashier, can develop a chronic lower back pain.

With these chronic subacute conditions subtle alterations of the body occur to provide protection from further harm. In the case of the office worker most people start to develop very tight muscles across the tops of the shoulder and at the rear portion of the base of the skull. In the case of the cashier, the large muscles along the spine become tightened and go into some degree of spasm.

When I see these patients in my practice, I usually approach correction in two phases. The first phase is to correct misalignments and improper movement of the joints of the spine. Muscles that are tight, and in spasm and guarding areas, now will get a chance to relax and go back to a normal tone.

The second phase is to strengthen some weaker muscles to improve posture and support areas under stress. The office worker will be given gentle exercises to strengthen some smaller the muscles in the neck and shoulder blade area. The cashier will be given exercises to strengthen important abdominal core muscles.

I call this turning some muscles off and turning some muscles on. This usually brings the area under stress into balance and allows the body to heal properly.

A study in the research journal, Cranio, October 2019, discusses this. In the study 22 people with neck pain and headaches were compared to 22 healthy subjects. Researchers observed that the deep neck muscles of healthy subjects were normal. However, muscles of the participants in the neck pain and headache group were weak. The researchers suggested that healthcare professionals should keep this in mind when developing a treatment plan for patients with this condition. Doctors of chiropractic, commonly treat patients with headaches and neck pain by using spinal manipulation and therapeutic exercises.

It is important for healthcare practitioners and patients to look at the whole picture as to what’s causing neck and back conditions. Too many times pills or injections are utilized to merely suppress the symptoms. For over 125 years chiropractors have used multifaceted, effective, safe care to help patients with common complaints of neck and back pain.

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Have Fun Through The Holidays, But Eat Wisely

Skip The Diet
Eat Wisely Through The Holidays

We should have fun through the holidays. This includes enjoying the great food that comes with the season. It is best, however, to be restrained-we don’t have to go over board. Have only some days each week to splurge. The rest of the time eat healthy. That way we have fun and still get through the holidays responsibly.

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I Can’t Believe My Shoulder Bursitis Is Coming From My Neck

Shoulder Pain
Shoulder Bursitis Can Be Helped With Chiropractic Care

As her treatment progressed and her shoulder bursitis improved, Linda a patient in my chiropractic office, said: “I can’t believe my shoulder bursitis is coming from my neck.” She was surprised that chiropractic adjustments to correct misalignments of the spinal vertebrae in her neck was helping her chronic shoulder bursitis to improve. While Linda was the first patient to express herself in the way she did, she was by no means the first patient I’d had whose shoulder problem was improved by correcting spinal problems in the neck.

This article will discuss how chiropractic care can help shoulder problems, such as bursitis to improve. It will also introduce scientific research detailing a recent study of patients experiencing shoulder pain who benefited from chiropractic care.

A short, simple discussion of the anatomy of the shoulder will be helpful in understanding the condition of shoulder bursitis. To begin, a bursa is analogous to a water-filled balloon with a tough skin. We have bursas in many areas of our body. Correspondingly, they come in various shapes and sizes. Bursas keep two structures of the body from rubbing against each other. The bursa in the shoulder is called the subacromial bursa. It keeps a tendon from directly rubbing against a bone. Under normal conditions the bursa does its job day in and day out without causing any pain. However, when the bursa gets irritated it becomes inflamed. When something in the body is inflamed we use the suffix “-itis.” This is how the term “bursitis” is derived.

Chiropractors are always interested in what might be the cause of a particular health condition. It is very uncommon for a shoulder bursa to spontaneously become inflamed. So, it is important that we look at several other areas of the body as to the source and cause of the shoulder bursitis. Anything that would cause an abnormal pressure, compression or wear of the shoulder bursa might be the culprit.

We all know that there are many muscles involved with the movements of the shoulder joint. If those muscles are causing improper movement of the joint of the shoulder it can create an abnormal wear and strain of the subacromial bursa. However, once again, we must ask what might be causing the muscles to malfunction. This is where we can track the source of the problem back to the neck. The bones of the neck are called the cervical spinal vertebrae. These vertebrae protect the nerves of the spinal cord and allow spinal nerves to exit the spine to various areas of the body including the muscles of the shoulder.

If the spinal vertebrae are misaligned and moving improperly it can irritate or pinch spinal nerves. Those nerves innervate the muscles of the shoulder joint. If the nerves are sending improper signals to the muscles those muscles can cause the shoulder joint to move improperly and abnormally. This can create abnormal stress and wear upon the shoulder bursa, which leads to bursitis.

A scientific research study in the Journal of Back in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, September 2019 notes that when subacromial impingement syndrome occurs it can lead to pain, weakness and reduced range of motion in the shoulder. In a study involving 26 patients with acute subacromial impingement syndrome, researchers observed that those treated with manual therapy for four weeks experienced a significant improvement with respect to pain, function and range of motion.

Doctors of Chiropractic tend to look at the whole picture. Chiropractors examine not only the shoulder but the entire shoulder girdle and the cervical spine. Sometimes specialists such as an orthopedic practitioner might be too specific and only look at the shoulder joint. I’ve seen many cases where an orthopedic specialist gave a steroid injection into the shoulder bursa to reduce inflammation. A significant amount of the time this will give short-term pain relief but once the medication wears off the pain returns because the cause of the condition has not been corrected.

When misalignments or improper movement of the cervical spinal vertebrae are present, they must be corrected to eliminate the cause of the problem and commence healing. As a chiropractor I provide gentle, safe adjustments to the cervical spine to correct abnormalities. I will also utilize physical therapies such as electrical muscle stimulation, cold pack therapy and rehabilitative exercises to assist the bursa and the shoulder girdle to heal as quickly as possible.

By looking at the big picture and examining all significant aspects of a patient, chiropractors are able to help the majority of those suffering from shoulder bursitis.

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