Neck Pain and Chiropractic

Neck pain is one of the most common conditions chiropractors encounters and treat. According to the National Institute of Health Statistics national survey, neck pain is the second most common form of pain in the United States following back pain. An estimated three quarters of Americans will be affected by neck pain at some point in their lifetime.

The neck begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. The neck or rather the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which weighs on average 12 pounds. The cervical spine is very flexible in which it can move your head in nearly every direction but this feature also makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.

The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Neck pain can be very bothersome, and it can have a variety of causes. Below are the most common causes for neck pain:

  • Injury and Accidents: A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction is known as whiplash. The sudden “whipping” motion injures the surrounding and supporting muscles and ligaments of the neck and head. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash.
  • Normal Aging: “Wear and tear” disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease directly affect the spine.
  • Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion.
  • Spinal stenosis causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, thereby compressing nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness.
  • Degenerative disc disease can cause reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral discs. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that can radiate into the arms.
  • Daily Life: Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms.

Whatever the cause for your neck pain, ProSpine Chiropractors can evaluate and customize a treatment plan to meet your needs and goals. If your issue can not be addressed, ProSpine Chiropractors will refer you to the proper specialist to meet your needs so you can return to a healthy and pain free life. Call today if you have any questions or would like to be evaluated.

It’s All in the Diet! Foods that can Fight Inflammation

What is inflammation? When your body encounters anything it does not immediately recognize, your immune system will attack it. Foreign things such as invading microbes, plant pollen, or chemicals can be under attack by your immune system, which is a process commonly known as Inflammation.

Inflammation is not a bad thing- its an essential process for the body to protect itself from further injury or illness. When the inflammation becomes long standing or rather chronic, it can lead to a multitude of illnesses. Chronic inflammation can cause rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis, colitis, obesity, heart disease, lupus, asthma, alzheimer’s and more.

What causes chronic inflammation? Chronic Inflammation is most commonly caused by the modern diet and lifestyle we have all grown accustomed to. Certain things like processed foods, sugar, hydrogenated and trans fats, stress, malnutrition, obesity, pollution, heavy metals, and even excessive exercise can cause chronic inflammation. The immune system overreacts to these things because it can lead to joint pain, fatigue, and damage to the blood vessels.

Which foods should I avoid? Foods that are generally bad for your health are generally the culprits that cause chronic inflammation. Soda, refined carbohydrates, and processed meats are just a few to name. Here are some foods you should consider avoiding:

  • Refined Carbs such as white rice, white bread, pastries, pastas and flour.
  •  Fried foods such as French fries.
  •  Red meat like burgers and steaks and processed meat such as hotdogs and deli meat.
  • desserts, such as cookies, candy and ice cream
  • Alcohol and sugary drinks, such as soda

So what should I eat? Anti-inflammatory diets promote a reduction in inflammation. A person may be able to reduce their body’s inflammatory response by implementing these healthful dietary changes. 

  • Cold water fish, including salmon and sardines.
  • Dark leafy greens, including spinach and kale
  • Walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and almonds
  • Avocado and coconut
  • Blueberries, blackberries, cherries and dark red grapes.
  • beans and lentils
  • Spices, such as garlic, onion turmeric and cinnamon

Visiting ProSpine Orlando can get you on the right track to a better, healthier life. Call (407) 250-7391 today to see how we can help you with proper nutrition and exercise tips!

What is Sciatica and can Chiropractic Help?

Many people struggle with sciatica. Learn the facts about sciatica, and it may help you understand your pain. The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the human body. It emerges from the lower back and travels through the buttock region, and all the way down the lower legs.

The sciatic nerve provides sensation to the entire lower region of the body, including your thighs and legs and extending to the soles of your feet. When this nerve becomes irritated or inflamed, the pain that is caused is known as sciatica. Sciatica references the numerous symptoms that are directly associated with the irritation of the sciatic nerve, but does not indicate the source.

Sciatic Symptoms

The most common symptom of sciatic nerve irritation is when the pain flows consistently along the pathway of the nerve, especially when the pain is persistent on only one side of the body. There are considerable ways in which this pain can be experienced. Patients may experience a tingling o numbness sensation as well as aching or burning. The type of pain is often associated with the exact location of the irritation. It is possible that a patient suffering from sciatica will feel like they are being poked with pins and needles in their lower extremities, accompanied by weakness in the leg or foot of the affected nerve.

As a general rule, sciatica develops slowly and progressively, rarely beginning with intense pain. The pain is normally exacerbated by prolonged sitting, bending, sneezing or coughing and sudden movements.

Diagnosing Sciatica

The diagnosis of sciatica begins with your physician. Your physician will be able to take into consideration your medical history as well as evaluate your descriptions of the pain. It will also be necessary for you to undergo a complete neurological examination that will place an emphasis on your legs and spine. This includes the assessment of your sensory strength as you perform certain activities, allowing the doctor to assess your reflexes, muscle strength and any pain that may be caused by certain movements.

Treatment Options

In most cases, a conservative approach, such as chiropractic care, can be highly effective. Because sciatica can be caused by a number of issues, the treatments will vary based on the cause. The term “conservative” in this context refers to treatments that are not invasive, which excludes surgical procedures and medication. A chiropractic approach would be focused on eliminating or minimizing the pain by addressing any spinal issues, restoring normal movement and function, subsequently reducing the irritation and inflammation.

Should you have any questions concerning sciatica or how we can help you, please call or email us today.