Our Patients Speak — Barb Paras

Barb Paras
Barb Paras & Dr James Schofield

WHAT WAS YOUR CONDITION?

I had a pinched nerve in my neck.

WHAT STEPS HAD YOU PREVIOUSLY TAKEN TO GET HELP?

It was so painful.  I could not let anyone touch me for 2 weeks.  Afterwards, I went to Dr. Schofield and he was able to make me feel better.

HOW WERE YOU REFERRED TO CHIROPRACTIC?

Dr. Schofield is my son-in-law’s Chiropractor.  I had been adjusted in the past by another Chiropractor for an issue with my back and felt that Chiropractic therapy would be the best for my pinched nerve.

IN YOUR WORDS, WHAT DID THE CHIROPRACTOR DO?

He did stim and ice therapy and then when I started feeling better, he was able to manipulate my spine to make me feel better.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS?

I work out, cook, work, and love to watch a great movie.

HOW HAS CHIROPRACTIC HELPED YOUR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS?

When I first went to Dr. Schofield, I could not move my head or my left arm.  I could not get comfortable, I couldn’t work, and could not get any relief.  Now I am able to do all of these things!

HOW HAS CHIROPRACTIC HELPED OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE?

I have had back issues for years due to a car accident.  As long as I get adjusted once a month, I am able to do everything that I like to do!

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO OTHERS?

Just take the time to take care of yourself because if you don’t then you will not be able to take care of yourself or anyone else.  No one can take care of you better than yourself and that means taking care of your health with help from a great doctor!  No pills just natural remedies!

Visit here to learn more about McKnight Road back pain relief. See this site for information about a neck pain relief chiropractor near me.

Chronic Back Pain Relief

Back Pain
Chronic Back Pain Relief

Many patients I see in my chiropractic practice have back pain. Some people have  short-term sudden discomfort. This is called acute pain. However, some people have back pain constantly for years or suffer frequent long-term episodic pain. This is called chronic pain. Even though pain may exist for many years it can be addressed and helped. This article will discuss chronic spinal pain and approaches to decrease this very common malady.

When I see a patient with chronic pain of the spine, three areas of consideration can be addressed.

First, we look at a person’s body weight. The joints of the spine are called the facet joints. Spinal discs are like pads or shock absorbers between spinal bones which are called vertebrae. The more weight we place on the discs and joints of the spine the greater the chance that these deeper anatomical structures will begin to fail and cause pain. In fact, when we look at spinal x-rays we see actual signs of wear and tear or degeneration. The discs wear down and it appears as “bone on bone.” The disc space will show a reduction of height as the disc wears out. We will also see a buildup of calcium on areas of spinal vertebrae which are referred to as “bone spurs.”

The obvious solution is to help overweight or obese patients lose reasonable amount of weight. While I don’t offer weight reduction programs in my office is very easy for patient to follow a safe, reliable program. I personally like patients to engage in a keto-type plan to address body weight challenges.

A second area of consideration to be addressed to reduce chronic spinal pain is to introduce appropriate body movement. Anyone who has to sit long hours intuitively knows that if they get up and walk for a while, they feel better. When muscles, ligaments and joints are moved in a safe, reasonable manner they send signals to the brain which naturally, lowers and reduces pain signals. If a person can walk comfortably this is, by far, the best exercise to reduce chronic pain of the back. However, if walking is not possible swimming, riding a stationary bike, or water aerobics are certainly acceptable activities.

The third aspect to address for relief of pain of the back is alignment and proper movement of the spine itself. Chiropractic care is the gold standard for helping chronic spine pain. Chiropractors utilize spinal adjustments, sometimes called spinal manipulation, to restore proper alignment and movement of the facet joints of the spine. Adjustments help to reduce chronic irritation of the facet joints and spinal nerves. For 125 years doctors of chiropractic have been able to help those suffering with chronic back pain to achieve pain reduction and relief.

Anyone looking for relief of their chronic, long-term back pain can utilize one or all of the aforementioned approaches in seeking wellness.

Visit here to learn more about McKnight Road back pain relief. See this site for information about a neck pain relief chiropractor near me.

Car Crashes And Back Pain

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Chiropractic Care for Neck and Back Pain Relief

If a person is involved in an automobile crash, they may very well experience sudden pain in their neck or back. Some individual’s pain will heal naturally, on its own. Others may require treatment to bring pain relief. What may not be apparent is that those involved in a motor vehicle collision may be more likely to have spinal pain in the future. This article discusses auto crash spinal injuries, some recent research about the subject and possible treatment options.

There are various types of motor vehicle collisions. Some are where an unaware person’s vehicle is struck from behind and they suffer the classic “whiplash” injury to the neck. Others may be where the driver and occupants are aware of an impending impact, they brace themselves but spinal injuries to the neck and back still occur. Regardless of the type of accident it is possible that those involved will experience some spinal pain.

When the human body is subjected to trauma from an automobile crash several mechanisms of spinal injury occur. Let’s discuss what happens on an anatomical level. Ligaments are tough, fibrous tissues that attach from one bone to another. They allow movement of the bones but should not allow excess movement. If one imagines a guy wire stabilizing a utility pole this would be a good analogy to the human body’s ligamentous structures.

In an automobile accident, ligaments can be sprained. A sprain is simply tearing of fibers. Sprains are mild tearing, moderate tearing or severe tearing with a ligament is fully ruptured. If ligaments are damaged, they may not heal with normal tissue but, may partially heal albeit with weaker scar tissue embedded in the ligamentous structure.

Weak, damaged ligaments allow excess motion between the bones of the spine which are also called vertebrae. Excess movement between two bones is called hypermobility. Hypermobility over months and years causes wear and tear which is known as spinal degeneration.

On an x-ray, spinal degeneration shows as bone on bone narrowing of disc spaces and bone spurs. This is a classic, objective sign of degeneration of the spine.

A recent scientific journal, Accident Analysis & Prevention, May 2020 noted systematic research review discovered that individuals involved in a motor vehicle collision may be more likely to develop back pain in the future than those who have not been in a car accident.

Doctors of chiropractic, are trained to evaluate and effectively treat musculoskeletal injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents. Upon visiting a chiropractor, the patient can expect to be asked questions about their injuries, pain, and the details about the car crash itself. Next a physical examination will determine if a patient has objective signs such as muscle spasm, range of motion limitations of the neck or lower back and other neuromusculoskeletal tests. Many times, imaging such as x-rays and MRIs are obtained.

If it is determined that chiropractic care is appropriate, the chiropractor will commence with the necessary treatment to best help the patient recover from their neck and back discomfort. Chiropractic care may make the difference between successful back and neck pain relief and long-term healing of the spine, versus those developing chronic, painful, spinal pain from not receiving proper care.

Visit here to learn more about McKnight Road back pain relief. See this site for information about a neck pain relief chiropractor near me.

How Neck Pain, Jaw Pain And Migraines Are Related

Neck, Jaw, Migraiens
Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain, Jaw Pain and Migraine Headache Pain Relief

Practitioners of physical health such as chiropractors (like myself), acupuncturists, massage therapists and physical therapists work with patients who have neuromusculoskeletal conditions. We commonly are able to help give pain relief.

Many times, the patient will present with one problem. However, it is not uncommon for a patient to arrive in our office with several coexisting pain conditions. I have seen multiple occasions where a patient will present with neck pain, jaw pain and migraine headaches. This article will discuss how these three conditions are related, how they can be successfully treated and some recent research addressing this topic.

First let’s look at some anatomy of the human body. Neck pain commonly comes from misalignments of the bones of the upper spine which are called the cervical vertebrae. If there is improper alignment and movement of these vertebrae it can pinch and irritate the nerves and joints of the upper spine leading to a painful neck. This is called cervical dysfunction.

The joint of the jaw is called temporomandibular joint. It is formed from two bones. The lower bone is the jaw. The upper bone is the skull. Excessive tension in the powerful muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joint can cause it to move improperly. With chronic abnormal movement this joint can become painful. We call a painful jaw joint temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

Migraine headaches are excruciating headaches that usually only occur on one side of the head or the other. They are incredibly incapacitating for patients suffering from them.

A study in the research journal Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, June 2020 found that among a group of 314 teenagers with TMD, researchers observed that those with comorbid migraines were more likely to have abnormal cervical posture, trigger points in the trapezius muscles, and neck pain.

When chiropractors work with patients who have misalignments, improper movement and poor cervical neck posture it can help give relief of neck pain. Since the muscles of the jaw will also concomitantly relax, relief of jaw pain can result.

Migraine headaches are also commonly related and have association with cervical dysfunction. There is much scientific research and practical experience among physical health practitioners in providing migraine headache pain relief.

Chiropractors commonly use a technique called a chiropractic adjustment to correct cervical dysfunction. A chiropractor will use his or her hands to gently and safely restore proper alignment and movement to the dysfunctional area of the cervical spine.

By performing the chiropractic adjustment, there can be simultaneous relief  of associated neck and jaw pain and migraine headaches.

Visit here to learn more about McKnight Road back pain relief. See this site for information about a neck pain relief chiropractor near me.

Why I Love Cold Packs For Pain Relief

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Use Ice Packs For Pain Relief

In my chiropractic practice the majority of my patients are looking for pain relief. Many times, they wonder whether to use heat or ice for relief of neck or lower back pain. This article will discuss the use of cold packs to relieve pain.

On their initial visits to me many patients will relate that they have been using a heating pad on their sore back or neck. When I ask how it is working, they invariably say it feels good for a while but, overall, their pain is worsening.

To understand the use of cold packs, instead of heat, for pain relief, let’s discuss what happens when there is injury to the body. One of our body’s responses to an injury is to produce inflammation or swelling. If one applies heat it may feel good on the skin and superficial muscles, but deeper down heat will just further increase and exacerbate the inflamed area. Inappropriately using heat during the inflammatory phase of healing causes an increase in blood supply to the already swollen, injured area resulting in an increase of pain.

Instead, when inflammation and pain are present, we should use an ice pack or cold to reduce swelling and discomfort. My experience is, that as long as pain is present, ice is usually more effective and safer.

When we use cold or ice in my office we use gel-filled packs. We put them in the freezer, and they get quite cold. They are too cold to put directly on the skin, so we must use a sufficient layer of cloth between the ice pack and the skin. Any cloth cover will do, but we’ve found flannel is a great material to use between the skin and the ice pack.

The ice pack one uses needs to stay cold long enough to penetrate down to the area of the body where the inflammation is occurring. It is also advantageous that the gel pack is flexible to mold to the body part and is strong enough so that one can lie back on it without the pack bursting for convenience of use.

Where our pain is located will determine how long a cold pack should be applied. For instance, one would apply ice 10 minutes for neck pain relief, 15 minutes to relieve pain of the mid back, and lower back pain relief requires 20 minutes.

The key to using cold packs for pain relief is using it repetitiously. Three applications of ice per day is the minimum required. If possible, optimum usage is five or six times per day.

I recommend patients keep a couple ice packs in their freezer so they are ready and available to conveniently use should an unfortunate injury occur.

Next time, in the event of musculoskeletal injury of the neck or back, grab a cold pack to obtain pain relief.

Visit here to learn more about McKnight Road back pain relief. See this site for information about a UPMC chiropractor near me.

 

 

How Do Chiropractors Provide Shoulder Pain Relief

Shoulder Discomfort
Providing Shoulder Pain Relief

When people find I am a chiropractor they usually imagine me helping neck pain and back pain. Research strongly supports chiropractic care for back and neck pain relief. But what about chiropractic care for shoulder pain relief?

This article will provide information for those suffering from shoulder pain. The anatomy and function of the shoulder will be discussed, research noting scientific evidence for treatment of pain of the shoulder will be introduced and chiropractic care for the evaluation and treatment of shoulder pain will be presented.

When evaluating for shoulder pain it is important to examine the whole person. The human shoulder is a complex mechanism. To be accurate we should consider the entire shoulder girdle which is made up of three different joints. The first is the ball and socket joint which is called the glenohumeral joint. It consists of the bone of the upper arm called the humerus and the wing bone which is called the scapula. The second is the acromioclavicular or AC joint. It is on the top of the shoulder and when significantly damaged the diagnosis is a “separated shoulder.” Last is the scapulothoracic joint which is the movement of the scapula/wing bone along the back of the rib cage.

Additionally, it is prudent to perform analysis of the spinal bones of the neck and upper back. Misalignments and improper movement of the spinal bones are commonly associated with those with shoulder pain complaints.

Chiropractors look to restore normal movement and function to the joints of the shoulder and spine by use of various manipulative and mobilization techniques. Chiropractic care may also include exercise training focused on restoring motion, strength and stability of the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the shoulder region.

In 2010 and 2014 the United Kingdom published research of various forms of treatment for musculoskeletal problems. These reviews noted there is favorable scientific evidence for the use of chiropractic treatment with regards to shoulder related problems including rotator cuff pain, shoulder girdle pain/dysfunction and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).

Many times, in my practice, patients suffering from shoulder pain will come to me after they’ve seen other providers. Frequently, these providers are specialists. Since they only specialize in evaluation of the shoulder their focus is narrow in the only concentrate on the glenohumeral joint. As mentioned earlier, evaluation needs to be expanded in the whole person must be taken into consideration. When this approach is taken success can usually be achieved in providing relief of shoulder pain.

Visit here to learn more about McKnight Road back pain relief. See this site for information about a UPMC chiropractor near me.

X-Rays May Assist With The Diagnosis And Treatment Relief Of Back Pain

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X-rays May Assist With Back Pain Relief

Chiropractors are sought by patients for neck and lower back pain relief. When a patient initially sees me for chiropractic care, I may take spinal x-rays of the area of their complaint. This article will discuss the history of how chiropractic and x-rays are related and the importance of x-rays in the diagnosis and treatment for spinal pain relief.

There is historical evidence that forms of manipulation of the spine for back pain have been utilized for over 5000 years. The modern area of spinal manipulation began in 1895 in America when Daniel David Palmer first successfully started treating patients with spinal adjustments for misalignments. Dr. Palmer soon realized how chiropractic care could benefit people suffering from back and neck pain and started a school to train future chiropractors which became the Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Interestingly, also in 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen is credited with developing the first use of x-ray. In 1901 Rontgen was awarded the first Nobel prize in physics for his discovery. The relationship between x-rays and chiropractic continues through today.

While attending the five years of doctorate training at a chiropractic educational institute, students obtain extensive schooling in the process of taking x-rays and reading and evaluating radiographs. Most people know that an x-ray tech must undergo a rigorous course of study to learn their profession. In a chiropractic college, students are required to obtain a similar degree of tutelage. In fact, at the National College of Chiropractic, the school that I attended, we were trained by certified x-ray physicists and technicians. Upon learning the skill of taking x-rays, chiropractic students then must learn to read and interpret x-ray images.

Chiropractic students have numerous courses of x-ray interpretation which include conditions such as bone fractures and dislocations and pathologies such as cancer, infection and arthritis. Chiropractic scholarship also focuses on biomechanics, which is simply evaluating images for segmental malpositions and misalignments, postural distortions, scoliosis, ligamentous instabilities, etc. Leading scientific research journals have confirmed competency of chiropractors in reading and interpreting spinal x-rays.

The decision to take x-rays on a patient is a clinical call by the chiropractor. This decision is a combination of complaint, history and examination findings.

A research study at the National College of Chiropractic showed the results of a review of all radiographic examinations performed during the 1982 calendar year. The authors of the article stated: “The use of plain film radiography has long been a staple of the chiropractic profession. Radiographic examinations are a valuable tool in the chiropractor’s diagnosis of the patient’s condition.”

There are many benefits for both the chiropractor and the patient to having spinal x-rays to assist in the analysis, diagnosis and treatment of spinal symptoms.

Visit here to learn more about McKnight Road back pain relief. See this site for information about a UPMC chiropractor near me.