Chiropractic Treatable Conditions − We Can Help

While chiropractic care can help with any number of symptoms and problems, we have listed out some of the more common conditions that you may recognize in yourself or others. If you are experiencing any of these problems, please contact us for an appointment today.

Headaches

80% of headaches originate from the neck. Usually an increased amount of stress and tension held in the shoulders causes contractions of all of the surrounding neck muscles. When these muscles contract, vertebrae can become misaligned causing pressure on spinal nerves, and ultimately pain. With a typical cervicogenic (neck origin) headache, a person usually feels pain starting at the base of the skull which radiates into the temples, eyeballs, and forehead.

Low Back and Neck Pain

Subluxations (misalignments of the spinal column) are one of the most common causes of neck and low back pain. When vertebrae are misaligned, they put pressure directly on spinal nerves, causing pain. Muscle spasms may set in, which can increase the pressure further. This extra pressure can cause even more inflammation and irritation, which leads to more pain. And the cycle continues.

Often times stretching and massage may only temporarily relieve the pain, because the cause (subluxation) has not been addressed. A chiropractic adjustment focuses on correcting the cause.

Disc Problems

spine videoThe disc is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. The soft jellylike center is contained by layers of fibrous tissues. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. When healthy, discs allow normal bending and turning.

Since spinal discs have a very poor blood supply, they depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc deteriorates. Like a wet sponge, a healthy disc is flexible. A dry sponge is hard, stiff, and can crack easily. This is how many disc problems begin.

Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebra above and below it, a disc cannot ‘slip’ as commonly thought. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, interfering with their function.

While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing conservative chiropractic care.

Whiplash

Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a car that is struck from behind or that collides with another object. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments that support the spine and head can be overstretched or torn. The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck can get stretched and irritated. While occupants can suffer considerable soft tissue injury, the car may only be slightly damaged.

The resulting instability of the spine and soft tissues can cause headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulder, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and even low back problems. As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear for weeks or even months later.

The chiropractic approach to these types of injuries is to use specific chiropractic adjustment to help return spinal function. After a thorough examination and case history, Doctor Ponzini will recommend a series of visits to help restore proper motion and position of the spinal bones. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized.

Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a condition characterized by the gradual breakdown of joint cartilage, most common in the weight bearing joints of the body such as the knees, hips, and back. It is also common in the neck and hands. As the joint is broken down it can lead to joint stiffness and increased strain on the muscles in that area. Additionally, as joint function changes it can lead to movement compensations and place strain on other areas of the body as well. Although degenerative changes are common with age they do not automatically result in pain. Research now shows that it is not the degeneration of the joint that is responsible for pain but the effects the degeneration has on how the joint is functioning – particularly the stiffness and muscles strain.

At SportsMed Physical Therapy, we focus on restoration and maintenance of function by emphasizing joint movement and increasing the ability of the muscles to support and stabilize the affected joints. In addition, we assess how the body as a whole if functioning to uncover any other movement abnormalities that may be affecting the degenerated area.

Joint Dysfunction

Joints of the body need to move. When this movement becomes restricted and normal motion is altered several problems arise. Most commonly joint dysfunction results in pain, stiffness, muscle tightness, cartilage breakdown/degeneration, and movement compensation leading to undue stress on other areas of the body. Joint dysfunction are common in the spine and the extremities and can commonly occur with injury, poor posture, muscles tightness, scar tissue, or muscles imbalance.

Doctor Ponzini will assess movement of the joints to feel for areas of altered or restricted movements. Once identified, the abnormal movement can be restored using a combination of chiropractic joint adjustments and ART. Whenever possible simple home exercises are demonstrated to facilitate and maintain proper motion in key areas. Underlying factors such as poor posture and muscle imbalance often need to be addressed in cases of chronic or recurrent joint dysfunction.

Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is a long nerve originating in the lower back and extending down the back of the leg. When this nerve is irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, weakness, or other symptoms in the lower back and down the leg. There are several possible causes of this condition. A misaligned vertebra can cause inflammation of the joints, putting pressure on the nerve. Bulging discs and muscle spasms can also cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Several other conditions may cause this symptom, so a complete evaluation would be needed to correctly asses the exact cause.

Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve is just that. It is a severely compressed nerve, usually caused by a misaligned vertebra. When nerves get pinched they become severely inflamed and muscles may spasm, causing even more discomfort. The pain is usually so severe that you can’t move that part of the body and it can cause other symptoms as well.

There can be several causes of the pinched nerve; a proper examination is needed to determine the exact cause.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

These days millions of Americans have jobs which can have damaging effects on the hands and arms. Repetitive movements which are not performed with good ergonomics in mind can cause micro-trauma to the hands and wrists. This trauma combined with joint dysfunction and spinal problems may result in a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve which is affected travels from the tips of the fingers through the wrist up the arm and into the neck connecting to the spinal cord. If one or more of these structures are affected, symptoms of wrist pain, numbness, weakness, burning and loss of muscle function can occur.

Chiropractic can assure that all of the joints and muscles along the path of the nerve are free of obstruction and functioning normally, thus reducing nerve irritation.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a controversial and complicated condition to understand. For proper diagnosis and treatment, a wide variety of factors need to be considered including “head-to-toe” joint and muscle function, nutrition, and lifestyle issues. A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing, as well as other specialized tests, will help to determine the exact causes of your symptoms and your individualized treatment plan. Very often, a comprehensive treatment program addressing all of these issues leads to significant improvement.

Joint and soft tissue manipulation is often very helpful in relieving the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and related conditions. Other treatment options may include ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation, therapeutic exercises, and massage therapy & myofascial release techniques. These procedures, combined with nutritional & herbal medicine, and/or homeopathy constitute a comprehensive, holistic approach. Although researchers are still a long way from finding a “cure” for fibromyalgia, chiropractic care is usually very successful in the effective management of this condition. However, if after examination we conclude that your case cannot be helped with conservative care, a prompt referral will be made.

Maintenance Care

What many people don’t know is that you don’t have to be injured to benefit from chiropractic care. By staying well adjusted with maintenance chiropractic care you can help prevent injury. Some other possible benefits of maintenance care are& optimal nerve output for optimal physical performance, improved posture, decreased stiffness, increased mobility, energy, strength, circulation, and immune function just to name a few.

Everybody benefits from chiropractic a little differently, but one thing everybody has in common is that they just feel better.

Consult SportsMed Physical Therapy before enduring constant headaches, depending upon addictive pain medication, or submitting to surgery.