How Chiropractic Care Brings Pain Relief For Chronic Neck Pain

Chronic Neck Pain Relief

A patient named Tim was referred to my chiropractic practice of 38 years by a coworker for the chronic neck pain he was experiencing. Tim had been experiencing strong neck discomfort for over six years. His pain was constant and was worsened considerably when he spent long hours in front of his computer and with stressful situations. This article will discuss how Tim was helped by chiropractic care and introduce some relevant research as to how chiropractic care can help bring pain relief for chronic neck pain.

Tim’s case was similar to many I’ve seen in my over three-plus decades of chiropractic practice. Like many of us, Tim’s years involved sitting at a desk through elementary and high school, then in college and at his desk/computer occupation. Tim said after five years at his job his neck and upper back muscles felt as hard as rocks. His pain caused him to be fatigued. His tiredness was further worsened because his neck discomfort affected getting a good night’s sleep.

Perhaps most distressing to Tim was that his neck pain condition was interfering with his ability to perform in a local amateur musical theater group that he belonged to. His performances required him to sing and dance as a member of the chorus. He said that rehearsals and shows, although stressful, were normally very invigorating and enjoyable for him. However, as his neck pain became worse the stress of the shows exacerbated his neck pain and caused him to get tension headaches.

Before visiting my office, Tim had resorted to taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications on a daily basis. After experiencing intense stomach pains – a side effect of the medication – he made the decision to seek chiropractic care to correct the cause of the problem. When I initially examined Tim, I found that he had misalignments of the neck spinal bones. This alignment problem caused pinching of the nerves and irritated the joints of his spine. As a reaction the muscles of his neck, shoulders and upper back went into spasm. All these factors were causing his pain.

We settled on a multi-faceted course of chiropractic care to correct his problem. To correct the spinal misalignments we used safe, gentle chiropractic spinal adjustments. Electrical muscle stimulation and pressure point therapy helped to relieve his muscle spasms. Cold pack applications, which he applied at home to his neck, quickly reduced swelling and inflammation. As Tim improved, he was given stretching and strengthening exercises to help his posture. We also talked about how Tim could improve the ergonomic situation of his workspace.

After a few weeks of care Tim found the neck pain relief he was seeking. He no longer having pain at work or while sleeping. He was also able to perform normally with his theater group.

It’s been five years since I initially treated Tim. He continues to do well and comes in occasionally for what we call a “tune-up” chiropractic adjustment if he feels some stress in his neck.

There have been several research studies comparing the use of medications versus chiropractic care for chronic neck pain. All the studies show that medication only works while the patient is taking it. Since chiropractic care corrects the problem, patients maintain their improvement and gain pain relief for chronic neck problems.

Tim’s only complaint is that he wished he had tried chiropractic care sooner. I agreed with him and told him that, unfortunately, I had heard that statement many times before!

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4 Nutritional Tips To Help Manage And Obtain Lower Back Pain Relief

Lower Back Pain Relief

As a practicing chiropractor of over 38 years, I have been able to help many patients gain lower back pain relief. I typically use physical mechanical measures such as chiropractic adjustments, pressure point therapy, traction, cryotherapy and other therapies. Patients who have recent, acute lower back pain will usually respond positively with these approaches. These measures will also help most patients with chronic lower back pain. However, patients with chronic back discomfort are always looking to find other means by which they can manage and minimize future back complaints. This article will discuss nutritional tips that anyone can use to help them achieve lower back pain relief.

All the suggestions I will offer are generally safe and effective. However, each individual has specific nutritional needs. I encourage anyone with questions or concerns regarding this topic to seek guidance from an appropriate healthcare specialist.

When it comes to low back pain, reducing inflammation is a top priority. The entirety of the items I will discuss are aimed at lessening inflammation.

The most important nutritional element we can consider in gaining lower back pain relief is our everyday diet. An anti-inflammatory diet as I will propose should be a top priority.

Sugar creates inflammation in our bodies and must be eliminated. Sweets like cookies, candy, donuts, and others must be rejected. If one has an insatiable sweet tooth, I will make a concession that they limit themselves to one small helping of ice cream, a couple cookies or a small piece of cake per week, but no more.

The real key to an anti-inflammatory diet is to reduce the amount of starchy carbs that we eat. These types of carbohydrates would include grains, cereals, pasta and bread. Large amounts of these types of carbs increase inflammation in the body which leads to increased pain. I recommend 200g or less of grains/day.  It’s a fairly simple process to read the labels on the food containers to inform you of each products grams per serving. It’s best to stay away from wheat because this particular grain contains gluten for which many people have an inflammatory sensitivity. Rice, potatoes with the skin, and oatmeal are the preferred carbohydrates to consume.

It’s perfectly fine to eat meat, eggs, fish, nuts and grains and olive, coconut, and flaxseed oils. Of course, it’s important to eat plenty of vegetables. I suggest only consuming one serving of fruit per day as fruits contain a degree of sugar.

Another nutritional gem to utilize in reducing lower back formation and pain is to take anti-inflammatory enzymes. If digestive enzymes are taken with a meal, they help to digest food. However, if taken on an empty stomach, enzymes will be absorbed by our digestive tract and go out into the body to break down and reduce chemicals associated with swelling and inflammation. It is important to remember to take the enzymes on an empty stomach.

A third nutritional step to take to reduce inflammation of the lower back and to gain pain relief is to take supplements containing good fats. These are essential fats which our bodies can’t make and must obtain through our diet. Omega-3 is the main fatty acid to be considered. Omega-3 fatty acid is obtained from fish, nuts and seeds, and certain plant oils such as flax and olives. Consuming 2 grams of supplemental fish oil is a good way to obtain a sufficient amount of good fats.

Our fourth step to obtaining nutritional health to reduce lower back inflammation and pain is to have sufficient vitamin D3 levels in our blood. We can have a simple blood test to check the range of vitamin D3. It is helpful to be in the high end of the range. Vitamin D3 can be obtained by getting sufficient sunlight exposure on our skin or through taking a nutritional supplement. There are numerous research studies showing that pain relief through reducing inflammation is a key component of vitamin D3.

Following all or any of these nutritional hints to help reduce and manage chronic lower back pain can have significant benefit. Some of these are quite easy and others may take more self-restraint and discipline. However, the value of a pain-free lower back and the improved  lifestyle it affords is well worth the effort.

Please visit here for your local UPMC chiropractor near me. See your McKnight Road chiropractor for neck and back pain relief.

5 Hints To Manage Your Low Back Pain

Lower Back Pain Relief

As a practicing chiropractor of 38 years, I have been able to help thousands of patients gain relief of their lower back pain. I know chiropractic care is the gold standard in providing pain relief for back conditions. Patients and I work as a team to reduce and eliminate their lower back discomfort. However, once the pain has been eliminated or improved as much as possible, it is their responsibility to continue a daily routine to manage their lower back pain. This article will discuss five important hints I give to all my patients once they have finished care in my office.

Stretch and Start Slowly In The Morning

I read a research paper many years ago that if a person is going to injure their back at work it is usually in the first hour. That makes a lot of sense, the person isn’t warmed up and subsequently hurts their back. Athletes know they must warm up before practice or a game and we should follow that advice. It is important to stretch gently in the morning.

Simply lying on our back and pulling one knee up towards the chest and holding it for five seconds then extending it out and pulling the other knee up similarly several times can be a big help. If one is familiar with yoga, they can perform a few minutes of gentle poses and stretches.

Also start activity slowly at the beginning of the day to let the back warm up. I like to take it easy the first hour after arising from bed. I don’t perform vigorous activities like strenuous exercise, home chores, gardening or grass cutting until I’ve been up and moving about gently for a couple hours.


 The best exercise we can do is walking. The lower back discs, muscles and joints get the movement they need to maintain tissue health when we walk. Stand up straight, swing your arms and walk as long as you like. It’s a good idea to walk on a trail or grass field to lessen the impact on our lower extremities. The uneven surface also gently challenges and improves our balance.


In general, when lower back pain is present there is inflammation so we should use ice cold to reduce swelling and pain. Three applications of 20 minutes per day will typically bring desired relief of lower back pain. Don’t put the ice pack directly on the skin. Use a layer of cloth insulation so you are comfortable doing the entire 20-minute application.

Good Shoes

The feet are the body’s foundation. Good mechanical foot structure and support greatly aids in lower back alignment and movement. Avoid wearing high heels. If necessary, find a qualified podiatrist to make custom shoe insert orthotics.


Sitting long hours doing desk and computer work is harmful to our spines. It is said that: “Prolonged sitting is the new smoking.” Having a proper ergonomics set up with a home or office setting is important. A good chair, desk, computer screen and keyboard height must be addressed. A set/stand desk can make a huge difference. However, remember that however ideal the aerodynamic setting, we must get up and move about periodically to counteract the deleterious effects of sitting.

Maintaining our health is a responsibility each of us must undertake. Just as a person with cardiac or diabetic problems must discipline themselves to manage their conditions, those with any degree of a chronic back pain issue must be diligent to address daily, simple, indispensable obligations. Conversely, neglecting the basics will unfortunately result in misery.

Please visit here for your local UPMC chiropractor near me. See your McKnight Road chiropractor for neck and back pain relief.

Chiropractic Pain Relief Reduces Opioid Use For A Patient

Pain Relief

I want to tell you about a patient in my office who has been able to gain pain relief from his chiropractic care and maintain a lower dose of opioid medication use.

My patient Ray experienced a series of misfortunes years earlier when he was in several automobile accidents. The collisions were major, involving two of his vehicles being totaled. Ray was transported by ambulance to trauma hospitals with multiple injuries including fractures, dislocations and concussions. Fortunately, the trauma centers were able to save his life, but his injuries required years of rehabilitation to help him return to his home and some semblance of normal life.

Ray was not able to return to his occupation of construction work and was considered
disabled. He could walk and drive and do a certain amount of home and yard chores but had to watch that he not do too much physical activity.

Despite the best efforts of his rehabilitative therapy, he had a moderate amount of pain that he endured from his injuries. Most of this was neck and lower back pain that radiated into his arms and legs. To cope with this, he was prescribed opioid medications for pain management.
Acknowledging the opioids helped him tolerate his pain he found they left him fatigued and lethargic.

Ray initially came to me five years ago to see if chiropractic care could help him with pain relief so that he might be able to reduce the amount of pain medication he was taking.

When I initially examined Ray and evaluated his x-ray and MRI imaging, I agreed with his previous healthcare providers that his injuries were permanent. However, since chiropractic care had not yet been part of his therapy, I was confident that improving the alignment of his spine and pelvis could bring a degree of pain relief.

We set out on a multi-faceted course of chiropractic care in our office. His treatment involved traction to decompress his lower back degenerated discs, chiropractic adjustments to realign his spine and pelvis which had not previously been addressed, pressure point therapy to relieve intense muscle spasms and a daily home stretching routine of 15 minutes every morning.

After a couple months of treatment Ray had a 25% reduction of his neck and lower back pain and 50% less pain in his arms and legs. He went back to his pain management physician and they took a gradual course of decreasing his opioid medications.

While he wasn’t able to eliminate his medication entirely, he was able to reduce it to a minimal level that helped him cope with his pain and permanent injuries.

After we had improved his physical pain level as much as possible with chiropractic treatment, I left it up to Ray to call in for an appointment if he needed further care. In the past five years we’ve found that he typically will call in for a visit somewhere between one to three months. Usually, one or two visits of safe, gentle chiropractic care will give him enough pain relief to be able to carry on with his activities of daily living.

By being on a minimal dose of opioid medication Ray finds that he has much more energy and ability to mentally concentrate. We’re all pleased that using an integrative medical and chiropractic approach helps give Ray pain relief from the lamentable injuries inflicted.

Please visit here for your local UPMC chiropractor near me. See your McKnight Road chiropractor for neck and back pain relief.