HAPPY REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY. From the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield.
Recently, I had a patient, Abby, a high school swimmer who came to my office because she was experiencing shoulder pain. She was just starting the swimming season in her senior year. She was concerned that her complaint would cause her to miss competing in her last year of eligibility. This article will discuss shoulder pain, its causes and how chiropractic treatment can be of help with those suffering from pain of the shoulder.
When most people consider chiropractic care they think of back and neck pain relief. While neck and back complaints make up the bulk of problems my patients experience, I also am able to help other conditions in my chiropractic practice of over 37 years. Swimmers frequently experience shoulder pain. In fact, it is so ubiquitous that it has been tagged with its own name called “swimmer’s shoulder.”
Abby’s parents had already taken her to a physician’s assistant who had prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and recommended seeing an orthopedic surgeon. The physician’s assistant said the surgeon would most likely give Abby an injection of more anti-inflammatory drugs and then they could see if she had enough pain relief to resume swimming.
Her parents, looking to find a more natural type of care, and seeking correction of the cause of the pain versus merely suppressing symptoms thought seeing a chiropractor was worth investigating.
During Abby’s initial visit I performed a thorough evaluation of not only the shoulder but of other areas to identify any and all factors contributing to her shoulder complaint. We found that in addition to irritation of her shoulder bursa and tendons she had alignment problems of the spinal bones of the neck, which is called the cervical spine.
A sometimes-overlooked feature of the shoulder is its association with the cervical spine. If the bones of the cervical spine are misaligned and not moving freely it can contribute to shoulder discomfort.
In Abby’s case we took an approach of treating the various factors causing the shoulder condition. Cold pack applications were used to help the bursitis and tendinitis inflammation of the shoulder itself. I performed safe, gentle chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine to improve mobility and alignment. We also gave her exercises to improve poor posture that included rounded shoulders and forward head position.
I’m happy to report that Abby’s shoulder pain diminished rapidly, she said her shoulder felt stronger than ever during her swimming practices and we were able to give her shoulder pain relief naturally, without the use of potentially harmful pharmacologics.
“I don’t get dizzy when I play deck hockey anymore!” is what my patient, Jack, recently told me. I am a chiropractor who has been in practice for over 37 years. When most people consider chiropractic care they think of neck and back pain relief. While back and neck complaints make up the majority of problems my patients experience, I also am able to help other conditions. This article will discuss dizziness, its causes and how treatment to improve alignment and movement of the spinal bones of the neck can bring about relief of dizziness.
Let me tell you the whole story behind Jack’s comment. I’ve known Jack, as a patient, for many years. Periodically, he would come to my office for treatment of lower back pain. During one of these visits, he happened to mention that he was getting dizziness whenever he played deck hockey. Jack is in his mid-40s and plays in, and referees deck hockey games two or three times a week. These games are a considerable source of enjoyment and exercise for him. He was having to either drop out of games when the dizziness became too bad or to refrain completely from playing in some games.
He had correctly visited with specialists to make sure did not have a medical problem such as a cardiovascular condition. He was also tested to see if there might be an abnormality with the balance mechanism of his ears. Additionally, an MRI of his skull was performed. Fortunately, all these tests were negative for serious pathology however, his dizziness persisted.
One thing Jack told me piqued my interest. He said that he only felt dizzy when he played deck hockey and at no other time. It seemed that when he had to turn his head a lot to look for the puck and for other players the dizziness commenced. Once he sat down and rested for a while the dizziness would diminish.
While there are many causes of dizziness, one that is often overlooked is a mechanical problem with the upper spinal bones of the neck. Ideally, these bones should be in good alignment and move smoothly and normally. If there is malalignment and abnormal motion of these bones it creates a problem called “mechanical dysfunction of the spine.” Dysfunction of this area of the spine affects proprioception, the ability to know where parts of the body are in relation to one another, which we perceive as dizziness.
One hospital in Japan found that of 1000 patients who noted dizziness as their chief complaint mechanical dysfunction of the upper bones of the spine was a contributing cause in 90% of the cases.
When I examined Jack, I found that he had muscle spasms and restricted ranges of movement of the neck. X-rays were taken which confirmed spinal misalignment.
Next, I performed safe, gentle chiropractic adjustments to realign and restore proper motion to the upper spinal bones and joints. Jack was given specific exercises to increase flexibility and strength which helped with his upper body posture. Using cold pack applications daily helped hasten his recovery.
I can happily report that he had total resolution of dizziness and was able to fully resume his deck hockey activities.
Please visit here for your local UPMC chiropractor near me. See your McKnight Road chiropractor for neck and back pain relief.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! From the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! From the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield.
Many people seek relief of headache pain. Headaches are one of the most common maladies known to man. Some are incapacitated by their headaches while others are annoyed and function at less than their best.
In my 37 years of chiropractic practice, I have seen many patients who suffer from headaches. This article will discuss a common cause of headache pain and will introduce a safe, gentle method of offering headache pain relief.
Headaches come in many forms and varieties. Almost everyone is aware of migraine headaches. We may personally have experience with them or know someone who suffers with migraines. This condition frequently causes a person to have to completely discontinue their activities and seek a quiet dark room where they can lie down so as to receive some degree of comfort.
Tension headaches, while not as severe as migraine headaches, also plague mankind. Tension headaches, also called stress headaches, are the most common form of headaches. People suffering from stress headaches usually “carry on” albeit under mild to moderate distress.
Regardless of the type of headache, the majority originate from the same cause. It has been found that irritation to the upper nerves of the neck is the most frequent source of headache pain.
Let’s take a moment to look at the anatomy of the upper neck so we can better understand what causes headaches and understand how headaches can be treated successfully.
We all know that there are bones making up the human spine. These bones are called vertebrae. The vertebrae of the neck are called the cervical vertebrae.
The brain sends messages down the spinal cord which is protected by the cervical vertebrae. The spinal cord sends nerve branches, called spinal nerves, to various parts of the body. These spinal nerves exit openings between the vertebrae to the right and left.
The upper most spinal nerves of the cervical area are called the greater occipital nerves. These nerves ascend from the upper part of the neck to the skull.
When these nerves are irritated by misaligned upper cervical vertebrae the common result is a headache. For some people this can be tension headaches and for others it is the cause of migraine headaches.
The best approach for headache pain relief is to remove irritation from the greater occipital nerves. This commonly results in substantial improvement in patient’s headache pain symptoms.
Doctors of Chiropractic often utilize methods to reduce pressure on the greater occipital nerves to treat patients with various forms of headaches. Chiropractic spinal manipulations, also called spinal adjustments, have been utilized for over 125 years to bring headache pain relief.
These spinal adjustments are very safe and gentle. Chiropractors spend many years learning to perfect techniques to correct alignment problems causing greater occipital nerve irritation and subsequent headaches.
This conservative approach is preferred by many patients as a natural approach for the problem. No medications or surgery is needed when chiropractic care is utilized for headache pain relief. Patients who undergo chiropractic care appreciate this natural, holistic form of health care.
For over 125 years chiropractic care has been helping give people lower back pain relief. For many years the evidence was merely anecdotal; people experiencing back discomfort felt better after seeing their chiropractor. However, in recent years there has been research proving that spinal manipulation, provided by a chiropractor, achieves better results than other types of treatment, including medication. This article will provide information regarding back discomfort and research substantiating the efficacy of chiropractic therapy.
As a practicing chiropractor of over 37 years, I have had the opportunity to treat many people experiencing pain of the back. Their pain may have been a sudden, short term, acute pain however, many had been experiencing chronic, long-term problems. Whatever the duration most felt their discomfort was not getting better on its own and realized they needed to take action to get pain relief.
Many had tried medications to see if their back pain might be relieved or eliminated. Most found this type of treatment was found to be less than successful. A research study, published in the esteemed journal Spine April 2013, provided evidence as to why.
Researchers conducted a double blinded randomized controlled study to see if patients experiencing back discomfort would respond better to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or manipulation of the spine. The study showed that patients seeking relief for back discomfort had superior improvement with spinal manipulation compared with placebo and NSAID.
This makes sense when we look at it logically. Most cases of discomfort of the lower back result from misaligned and improperly moving joints of the spine. While medication may provide short-term, temporary pain relief the underlying mechanical problem still exists. However, if the malalignment/movement problem is corrected by spinal manipulation the actual cause of the problem is addressed and improved or eliminated.
The chiropractic profession has dedicated many years of investigation to determine the cause of back discomfort and what treatments work optimally to help with this widespread health problem. Chiropractic practice focuses on providing the best-evidence based care for patients.
While chiropractic educational institutions have done extensive research investigating the cause and treatment of back maladies, tens of thousands of individual practice-based chiropractors have also contributed input as to the best methods to correct improperly moving spinal misalignments. These combined efforts have led to various types of manual therapy techniques to correct spinal mechanical problems that lead to discomfort of the back.
Spinal manipulation, as provided by doctors of chiropractic, can be considered the gold standard treatment option for relief of lower back pain.
Please visit here for a same day UPMC chiropractor near me. See Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield!
I recently had a patient, Terri, come to my chiropractic office who was experiencing excruciating lower back pain and sought pain relief. She said she had had mild, frequent episodes of back discomfort for about 10 years, but it had really flared up in the past week. She said that her increased pain had just come on for no apparent reason. She hadn’t had any falls nor had been doing any strenuous activity. As we were discussing her history, she noted that, over the years, a number of people had mentioned her hips and pelvis look crooked. One person said she walked “all twisted, like John Wayne.” When she had her pant cuffs hemmed, her seamstress said there was a big difference in leg lengths. She herself said she always felt like she was carrying more weight on her right leg than the left.
As I further evaluated her and observed her standing posture I saw that she indeed, was “crooked.” Her hips were twisted backwards towards the right. Her right hip looked higher than the left. She also carried more weight on her right leg than the left. Next, I palpated, which means felt with my hands, her lower spine and pelvis. We found she had no tenderness or muscle spasm of the lower spine. However, she had extreme tenderness and muscle spasm in an area call the right sacroiliac joint.
This article will describe sacroiliac joint (SI) pain and the reason why it causes many people to have pain of the back. It will also discuss how SI joint pain can be relieved.
The sacroiliac joint is actually a joint, not of the spine, but of the pelvis. The pelvis is made of three large separate bones in the lower part of the body. They are in between the spine and the legs. The three bones are made up of the central tail bone which is called the sacrum. The two outer wing bones are called the iliac bones. Between the sacrum and the iliac bones is a joint. This joint is a gliding joint. When we walk, for instance, the sacroiliac joints glide slightly back-and-forth. There are strong ligaments which allow the SI joints to move just the right amount. They should move freely, but not excessively. There are also many small and large muscles attached to the bones of the pelvis.
Problems occur when the pelvis and sacroiliac joints becomes misaligned. This can be through a single trauma like a fall or extreme activity like a long period of heavy snow shoveling or an extended period of raking leaves. However, sometimes the SI joints become out of alignment due to an accumulation of irritating factors.
Terri’s problem came from the latter. She has been a caregiver for a couple of decades. Her job entailed helping physically disabled people to get about. She sometimes had to lift and steady people who could not to move well on their own. As a result, Terri sustained a series of micro traumas that eventually caught up with her.
As a practicing chiropractor of 37 years, I’ve seen this condition of back discomfort many times. The solution lies in what is called a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments work to realign the sacroiliac joints and bring about back pain relief. Chiropractic adjustments are very safe and gentle.
I am pleased to report that after receiving a couple of chiropractic treatments a week for three weeks Terri had complete relief of her back discomfort. She was also given exercises to perform to stretch and strengthen her back as well as ideas to minimize stress to her back that occurred from the duties of her job. Needless to say, Terri was very happy and thankful for the pain relief gained and I was happy that she could return to helping others less fortunate.
Please visit here for a same day UPMC chiropractor near me. See Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield!
Happy Hanukkah! From the Pittsburgh North Hills chiropractic office of Dr. James J Schofield!