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.

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.

Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

One of the most common injuries that people suffer from after an auto accident in Orlando is whiplash or sprain/strain. Victims of car accidents often see a chiropractor to treat the pain that results from a whiplash injury.

What Is Whiplash?

According to the Mayoclinic, whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. Think of this like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash most often occurs during a rear-end auto accident, but the injury can also result from a sports accident, physical abuse or other traumatic events.

How do I know if I have Whiplash?

Common signs and symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness and headaches. Other signs include worsening of pain with neck movement, loss of range of motion in the neck, tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms, fatigue, dizziness and tingling in the arms and/or hands. Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes pain medication and exercise. However, some people have chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.

Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash

When whiplash is still in the acute stage, a chiropractor may use gentle stretching, ultrasound and other techniques in an effort to reduce inflammation. You might also be advised to apply ice in order to reduce the swelling. After the initial swelling has subsided and the pain reduces, the treatment will progress to spinal manipulation to restore motion to your neck and exercise for strengthening.

How to Proceed

Unfortunately, there are many distractors today for drivers and lets face it, accidents do happen. We have little control over being rear ended when you’re driving. If you think you may have whiplash, it is important to seek attention as soon as possible. If you’re not in a medical emergency, book an appointment with www.prospineorlando.com so we can assess the situation and get started on the appropriate chiropractic treatment for a swift recovery. At ProSpine Orlando our team is here to help answer your questions.  Please feel free to contact us today.

Most Common Issues ProSpine Can Help You With

ProSpine Orlando chiropractors are capable of treating all types of injuries and more importantly, they recognize and respect the unique situation that each case presents. Chiropractors recognize that car accident injuries may result in symptoms suffered weeks, months and even years after your accident, and that work injuries demand a thorough examination of work station setup or ergonomically appropriate equipment. For any injury sustained, the holistic core of chiropractors lies in treating the whole person.


Here are 3 common conditions chiropractors can help with:

Back Injuries

More than 80% of the population will suffer from lower back pain.  Dr. Bastos and Dr. Saunders are highly skilled and successful in the treatment and management of all back conditions. Many differing tissues can generate lower back pain, but research has shown that the exact tissues causing back pain cannot be specifically identified in up to 80% of individuals and many family doctors lack sufficient adequate training in back pain.

The cost of lower back pain through medical care and lost productivity is astronomical. It is the number one cause for disability and workers compensation claims totaling approx. $50 billion annually in North America. Chiropractors can potentially resolve a lot of this back pain with proper rehabilitation and a individualized treatment.


Neck Injuries

Neck pain is also a severe affliction for many people in Orlando. The neck contains a myriad pain sensitive areas that are easily damaged. It’s hard to maintain proper posture in today’s workplace; prolonged sitting and a lack of monitored and controlled stretching can lead to severe neck issues. Dr. Bastos and Dr. Saunders can assess and treat neck problems you may have and help get you back on track.


Sports Injuries

In regards to sports injuries, focused chiropractic care is second to none. If you’ve ever had a sports injury you know the majority are soft tissue related accidents or body mechanics related. Dr. Bastos and Dr. Saunders are the go to doctors if you are a weekend warrior kick boxer or a professional athlete.

Chiropractors believe that it’s not only about pain relief, it’s about the underlying causes which may include:

  • Muscular imbalances
  • Biomechanical deficiencies
  • Improper techniques
  • Improper conditioning

Contact our team at ProSpine Orlando today to see if we can help you improve your healthcare results.

Back Pain

Back Pain Facts and Statistics

Although doctors of chiropractic treat more than just back pain, many patients initially visit a chiropractor looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, about 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any given time.1

Interesting Facts about Back Pain

What Causes Back Pain?

The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

Research Supports Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation

With today’s growing emphasis on quality care, clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness, spinal manipulation is receiving increased attention. The epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse has also led to wider acknowledgment of the benefits of nondrug approaches to pain.

Spinal manipulation is a safe and effective nondrug spine pain treatment. It reduces pain (decreasing the need for medication in some cases), rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.10

A growing body of research supports spinal manipulation:

Backpain Prospine
  • After an extensive study of all available care for low back problems, the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (now the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality) recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.11
  • A well-respected review of the evidence in the Annals of Internal Medicine pointed to chiropractic care as one of the major nondrug therapies considered effective for acute and chronic low back pain.12
  • According to an article in the medical journal Spine, there is strong evidence that spinal manipulation for back pain is just as effective as a combination of medical care and exercise, and there is moderate evidence that it is just as effective as prescription NSAIDS combined with exercise. 13
  • An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested chiropractic care as an option for people suffering from low back pain–and noted that surgery is usually not needed and should only be tried if other therapies fail.14
  • More recently, the results of a clinical trial published in JAMA Network Open showed that chiropractic care combined with usual medical care for low back pain provides greater pain relief and a greater reduction in disability than medical care alone. The study, which featured 750 active-duty members of the military, is one of the largest comparative effectiveness trials between usual medical care and chiropractic care ever conducted.15

Back Pain and the Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic has led many respected health groups to reconsider the value of a conservative approach to low back pain (the most common condition for which opioids are prescribed). Most notably, the American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest medical-specialty society in the world, updated its low back pain treatment guideline in 2017 to support a conservative approach to care.

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and based on a review of randomized controlled trials and observational studies, the ACP guideline cites heat therapy, massage, acupuncture and spinal manipulation as noninvasive, nondrug options for low back pain treatment. The guideline further states that only when such treatments provide little or no relief should patients move on to medicines such as ibuprofen or muscle relaxants, which research indicates have limited pain-relief effects. According to ACP, prescription opioids should be a last resort for those suffering from low back pain, as the risk of addiction and overdose may outweigh the benefits.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain

There are several simple strategies that can help to prevent the onset of back pain. Among them:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
  • Remain active—under the supervision of your chiropractor.
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
  • Warm up or stretch before exercising or physical activities, such as gardening.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
  • When lifting an object, lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
  • Work with your chiropractor to ensure that your workstation is ergonomically correct.
 proper sleeping position

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges you to make an informed choice about your back care. To learn more about how the services of doctors of chiropractic may help you, click here.  You can also search our database to find an ACA doctor near you.

Are you or a family member on Medicare? Click here to learn how you can support ACA’s efforts to expand coverage of chirpractic services for America’s seniors.

** Extracted from American Chiropractic Association website


References:
 

  1. Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 69-116.
  2. Hoy D, March L, Brooks P, et al The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Published Online First: 24 March 2014. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428
  3. Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl1985; 11: 1-98.
  4. The Hidden Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans, United State Bone and Joint Initiative, 2018.
  5. Rubin Dl. Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Spine Pain. Neurol Clin. 2007; May;25(2):353-71.
  6. Sauver, JL et al. Why patients visit their doctors: Assessing the most prevalent conditions in a defined American population. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 88, Issue 1, 56–67. 
  7. Hartvigsen J et al. Low Back Pain Series: What Low Back Pain Is and Why We Need to Pay Attention. Lancet, June 2018; Volume 391, Issue 10137; p2356-2367.
  8. In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD.
  9. Katz JN. Lumbar disc disorders and low-back pain: socioeconomic factors and consequences [review]. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006;88(suppl 2): 21-24.
  10. Time to recognize value of chiropractic care? Science and patient satisfaction surveys cite usefulness of spinal manipulation. Orthopedics Today 2003 Feb; 23(2):14-15.
  11. Bigos S, Bowyer O, Braen G, et al. Acute Low Back Problems in Adults. Clinical Practice Guideline No.14. AHCPR Publication No. 95-0642. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, December, 1994.
  12. Chou R, Hoyt Huffman LH. Nonpharmacologic therapies for acute and chronic low back pain: a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline. Ann of Internal Med 2 Oct. 2007;147(7):492-504.
  13. Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, et al. Evidence-informed management of chronic low back pain with spinal manipulation and mobilization. Spine. 2008;8(1)213-225.
  14. Goodman D, Burke A, Livingston E. Low Back Pain. JAMA. 2013; 309(16):1738.
  15. Goertz C et al. Effect of Usual Medical Care Plus Chiropractic Care vs. Usual Medical Care Alone on Pain and Disability Among U.S. Service Members With Low Back Pain: A Comparative Effectiveness Clinical Trial. JAMA Network Open

You need to know…

How chiropractic care can help you with headaches

Headaches and Chiropractic

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.

Research shows that spinal manipulation – one of the primary treatments provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. A 2014 report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) found that interventions commonly used in chiropractic care improved outcomes for the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain and increased benefit was shown in several instances where a multimodal approach to neck pain had been used1. Also, a 2011 JMPT study found that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, improves migraine and cervicogenic headaches2.

Headache Triggers

Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems. The remaining 95 percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease; the headache itself is the primary concern.

The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck. Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than in the past, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture (such as sitting in front of a computer). This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.

What Can You Do?

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers the following suggestions to prevent headaches:
If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?

  • Your doctor of chiropractic may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:
  • Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.
  • Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
    Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways beyond just treatment for low-back pain. They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.

  • Text from American Chiropractic Association Website

REFERENCES:

1. Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. Evidence based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014; 37: 42-63.
2. Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. Evidence based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2011; 34: 274-89.