It is estimated that 70% of people will experience neck pain sometime in their lifetime. Many forms of treatment are available, but it is sometimes difficult to know, specifically, what will be the most effective method to gain neck pain relief. This article will discuss the most common cause of neck pain and a safe, effective approach to achieve relief of neck pain.
A scientific research study in 2012, which evaluated 272 patients with neck pain, compared three treatment approaches: chiropractic, medication and exercise. Patients who received chiropractic care or exercise instruction reported the greatest reduction of pain. In fact, the researchers found that those patients receiving chiropractic care and exercise therapy had twice the likelihood of achieving complete pain relief than the patients in the medication group.
The most common cause of neck pain is due to misalignments and improper movement of the joints between the spinal bones. The spinal bones of the neck are called the cervical vertebrae. There are seven of these vertebrae. Just as we have joints in the rest of the body, we have joints between the cervical vertebrae. Those joints are called the facet joints. These joints allow the vertebrae to move through a limited range of motion. The joints should move just the right amount. If the joint doesn’t move freely is called hypomobility. If the joint moves excessively it is called hypermobility. If either hypomobility or hypermobility exist neck pain can result. Any abnormal movement of the facet joints is termed dysfunction.
Chiropractors are doctors who are trained to determine whether there is proper motion of the facet joints of the cervical spine. Chiropractic training focuses on doctors of chiropractic being able to feel facet joint movements. It takes many years of training for a chiropractor to learn this skill. Chiropractors also are able to feel if muscles around the facet joints are normal tone or if they are in spasm, which typically occurs if there is joint dysfunction. Other than chiropractors there are very few doctors or therapists of other professions that have the level of skill and sense of touch and feel to be able to diagnose joint dysfunction.
Once joint dysfunction is determined as the source of neck pain chiropractors can provide treatment through a chiropractic spinal manipulation. Spinal manipulation is also a skill that is unique to the chiropractic profession and takes many years of training and practice. Chiropractic spinal manipulations restore proper movement to the facet joints to bring about neck pain relief.
For over hundred 25 years gentle, safe chiropractic care has been considered the gold standard of treatment for neck pain relief.
Several years ago, a patient in my chiropractic office told me she was having pain in her lower back which radiated down the side of her thigh, calf, and foot. She said the pain was excruciating and wondered if she had sciatica and how she might obtain pain relief. This article will discuss the condition known as sciatica and what can be done to obtain sciatic pain relief.
Let’s begin with the basic anatomy of what is called the sciatic nerve. We all know spinal nerves exit between openings on both sides of the spinal bones. Spinal nerves are found from the area just below the base of the skull all the way down to the tail bone. The lowest five groups of nerves exiting the spine merge together at a point that is found roughly where the midpoint of the rear pocket of a pair of pants is located. That merge point is where the sciatic nerve begins. At that location, the nerve is roughly the size of a finger and is the largest nerve in the body. It sends fibers down to innervate various areas of our thigh, calf and foot.
There are various factors that cause irritation and pinching of the sciatic nerve. Some less frequent causes of sciatic nerve pain are tumors, an arthritic bone spur, and direct trauma such as fall directly on the sciatic nerve or from an improperly positioned injection into the buttock. More commonly, sciatica occurs from a ruptured, herniated, bulging or protruded intervertebral disc of the lower back or from a mis-positioned forward slip of the spinal vertebra which is called spondylolisthesis.
When the sciatic nerve is irritated, we use the term sciatica or sciatic nerve pain. So, while the term sciatic nerve indicates a normal condition, sciatica or sciatic nerve pain indicates an abnormality. Sciatica is generally, very painful, and many who have experienced it will state that it is the worst pain they’ve ever experienced.
Fortunately, there is a safe, gentle and effective way to gain sciatic nerve pain relief without drugs or invasive surgery. For over 125 years chiropractors have been able to provide sciatic pain relief. Chiropractors use methods of traction, spinal vertebral realignment through gentle chiropractic adjustments and other therapies to help give patients pain relief from this extremely uncomfortable condition.
My patient who I mentioned earlier in the article, was definitely having sciatica. Although it took some weeks of gentle, safe chiropractic care, she did get complete relief of her sciatic nerve pain and has remained pain free since.
While sciatica can be painful and debilitating, the majority of the time this condition be treated conservatively by a doctor of chiropractic so that patients can gain sciatic nerve pain relief.
Having been self-employed for the last 35 years I have not actually had a boss for a while. But in prior years I had many bosses and employers. While there were certainly some who were less than desirable, most of them were great people. I look back at them as mentors and people who helped me gain maturity. I include not only employers, but even people like my high school sports coaches. They helped me learn discipline, persistence and teamwork.
So today, National Bosses Day, I want to extend best wishes to those who employ, coach and provide opportunities for all the rest of us. Many thanks!!
In my chiropractic practice I have recently seen an increase of patients experiencing neck and shoulder blade pain. Perhaps this is because in the United States, we are about six months into the Covid 19 pandemic, and many lifestyle changes have occurred that are linked to having pain of the neck and shoulder blades. This article will discuss causes of neck and shoulder pain and how chiropractic care can offer a safe, gentle approach to pain relief.
In the past six months many people are working, studying and taking their schooling while at home. Unfortunately, their home workstations may not provide proper ergonomics to provide optimum posture so as to avoid discomfort. Before the coronavirus, a great percentage of the population were working in their offices or going to a brick-and-mortar school. Their chairs, desks and computer setups were ideal in helping them maintain good posture and avoid shoulder blade and neck pain.
However, working at home might find one sitting on the floor, slouched on the couch, or hunched over a coffee table with their laptop. Obviously, hours spent with poor posture in one of these settings is bound to lead to problems.
Also, in an office or school setting built-in breaks such as lunch time, quitting time and coffee breaks gave many a necessary and welcome opportunity to get away from their desks for a while. However, remote working at home leads some to “power on” with their computers while never taking a break to get up and walk around.
When patients come to my office experiencing neck and shoulder blade pain their history of “remoting” from home tells me they may have caused misalignment or improper movement of the spinal bones of the neck or upper back resulting in their pain. Evaluating these areas by looking at the patient’s posture, checking the range of motion of what should be normal neck movements and gently feeling the muscles of the upper spine and back can reveal malpositions of the spinal vertebrae. X-rays of the vertebral bones of the neck and upper back are also helpful in determining if the patient is a candidate for chiropractic therapy.
Once it is determined that the patient has improper movement and/or misalignments of the upper spinal vertebrae chiropractic treatment is very safe, gentle and effective in providing relief of neck and shoulder blade pain.
“While there is no place like home” might be a popular sentiment in some cases, working remotely can be a real “pain in the neck.” If this is, literally the case, calling for an appointment with a doctor of chiropractic might be the perfect answer for relief of the shoulder blade and neck pain. Remember, for 125 years chiropractors “have had your back.”
Hip pain comes from a variety of sources and causes varying amount of disability for those experiencing the condition. Fortunately, many people suffering from hip discomfort can gain a measure of pain relief from safe, gentle, effective chiropractic care. This article will discuss causes of hip pain, some natural, alternative methods of hip pain relief and how doctors of chiropractic are trained to assess and treat hip pain related conditions.
During my 35 years of chiropractic practice I have seen many patients experiencing hip pain. There is not one single cause for those suffering from this malady. Different patients experience pain of the hip from differing causes.
Some people have hip pain because the hip has arthritic degeneration. This simply means that the hip joint, which is a ball and socket joint, has experienced wear and tear and now is bone on bone. When I treat a patient of this type I initially assess what might be done to help. First, I always check to see if the pelvis is in good alignment and that the pelvic joints have normal movement. If the pelvis is out of alignment and moving improperly, I will perform chiropractic adjustments to correct alignment and movement. I also like to use a soft-tissue technique where I apply gentle, sustained pressure into the muscles and fascia to aid in the repair of these injured tissues. While these methods can’t correct arthritis, they can help reduce inflammation and irritation of the hip joint and help patients to gain a great deal of relief of their hip discomfort.
There are other patients who come to me with what they call hip pain but point to the area where the rear pocket of their pants or slacks is located. This is not the true hip joint, but an area of the pelvis called the sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac joint is located on both sides of the lower back. It is not located in the center of the back but more so off to the sides. The sacroiliac joint is a gliding joint. It glides back and forth as we walk. If it is out of alignment and not moving properly it responds very well to chiropractic adjusting. People with this problem usually respond very well to their chiropractic care.
Sometimes, the hip joint itself can become injured due to trauma or a repetitive stress. If this is the case, we can help the inflamed and irritated tissues to repair with electrical muscle stimulation and ice application. At the appropriate time, gentle chiropractic manipulations of the joint help restore alignment and movement.
Doctors of chiropractic are trained to assess and treat hip conditions. It is important to look at the whole patient and not just the actual hip joint, which would limit all the possible causes and the various treatment opportunities available. Chiropractic care is a drug-free, nonsurgical, safe, effective, gentle approach for patients to gain pain relief.