Chiropractors: What You Need to Know
Chiropractors are trained and expert health caregivers that specialize/focus on the musculoskeletal system to help diagnose and treat neuromuscular disorders and pains. These experts use non-surgical treatment methods and techniques to help reduce pain or improve the patient’s physical fitness. Commonly referred to as alternative or complementary medicine, chiropractic may be recommended for car accident injuries, arthritic pains, headaches, repetitive strains, neck pains, and most importantly, lower back pain or sciatica. Depending on the condition, a skilled local chiropractor like those you will find at Heart of Texas Chiropractic may choose to use manual muscle adjustment or manipulation, ergonomics, exercise or other therapies to help ease pain and facilitate faster recovery.
Conditions and Signs That You Need to See a Chiropractor
1. Chronic Muscle and Joint Pains
Chiropractors believe that chronic pains are a signal that something is wrong in the body. If you have been experiencing chronic pains in various muscles or joints (and aspirin doesn’t work), then chances are you have a musculoskeletal misalignment. A good example of this is a twisted ligament or tendon, or even a dislocated disc. An excellent chiropractor should be able to run diagnosis to find the root cause of the problem, then fix it if possible. Disentangling the tendon/ligament or just sliding the disc back to its place can help treat the condition for good.
2. Migraines or Tension Headaches
Migraines can have an enormous impact on your productivity at work and your quality of life as well. While even the strongest painkiller may not be as effective on migraines, research shows that chiropractic therapy can help reduce their frequency and intensity. All a chiropractor needs to do is diagnose what could be causing the migraines and try to fix it. Chiropractors believe that muscle and disc misalignment in the neck and upper back could be the main reasons for this. Most patients attest to getting fewer episodes of migraines after several chiropractic therapies.
3. Lower Back Pains (Sciatica)
This is a common condition with seniors and people who spend most of their time seated on a chair. Lower back pains mostly occur due to herniated discs or muscle tension on the back. Although conventional medicine may not have a cure for this, chiropractic manipulation can help reduce pressure and pains from herniated discs. In addition to disc manipulation, the chiropractor may have to use heat therapy, gentle stretching, exercise, and physical therapy to help relieve pressure on the affected nerve root.
If you spend extended periods of time hunched over a phone or keyboard, you are then at the highest risk of suffering from lower back pains, or sciatica. Nevertheless, seeing a chiropractor regularly can help have your spinal column aligned properly to avoid such problems in the future.
4. Neck Pain or Whiplash
Sleeping on an uncomfortable bed/mattress, or moving your neck sideways suddenly often causes neck strain. Some of the symptoms of whiplash include headaches, neck stiffness, and pains, lower back pain, difficulty concentrating and fatigue. If you woke up with a painful stiff neck, your only best and effective medicine would be to see a chiropractor immediately. The chiropractor should be able to fix the problem in no time and get you going in less than 30 minutes. The effects of whiplash may, however, extend for several hours.
Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor
In addition to taking care of lower back pains, stiff neck, and migraines, seeing a chiropractor regularly can have enormous benefits for your body. Some of these benefits are outlined below.
1. Relieve stress
As mentioned earlier, chiropractic therapy involves restoring the body’s normal functions through neuromuscular manipulation. Unlike full body massage (which is relaxing) chiropractic gives you more than that, which reduces both mental and physical stress. This makes it easier for you to handle and manage stress efficiently.
2. Improved posture and faster healing
Car accident victims who take on chiropractic therapy heal much more quickly than those that don’t. This is because chiropractors work skillfully to ensure the patient’s muscles heal evenly and appropriately, and also encourage supportive exercises that promote the same. Regular chiropractic care also helps improve one’s posture and health.
3. Better sleep
Sleep-related issues are very common today. This can be linked to the daily life stresses, pains, and body aches. Chiropractic care however helps improve your quality of sleep by putting your body into proper alignment. “Many of my clients have told me that they sleep much better after a chiropractic therapy, which plays a critical role in their lives as a whole,” says Dr. Marilyn Goodman, BSN, BSA, DC.
Whether you have been a chiropractor due to a certain ailment or condition, it’s important to remember that chiropractic therapy is good for your health. You can actually reap many other health benefits from this treatment method. It would however be advisable to choose your chiropractor carefully to enjoy all these advantages.
Tips to Help You Deal With Lower Back Pain
A lot of lower back pain is fixable. Serious back pain may make it hard to relax, sleep, and live your day to day life. The good news is that there are options, and they will be outlined for you in the text below.
First, know whether or not the pain is an emergency. If you have been injured then you should probably speak with a doctor or if it’s severe enough a hospital trip may be necessary. Tingling in your legs, feeling numb, or having problems with weakness may all be indicative of a serious issue.
For lower back injuries that are not severe but still are bothering you, try to use an ice pack on the area. After a couple of days, it is good to then switch to using heat. Only use the heating pads or ice on yourself for 20 or so minutes at a time just to be safe. If the pain is not gone after a few days, it may be time to see a doctor.
Lower back pain may mean that you are not strong enough to avoid hurting yourself. Averting problems in the future may mean that it’s time to work out and do specific exercises to strengthen your back muscles. Just know to start slow and if anything starts to cause you pain you need to stop.
Your posture has a lot to do with whether your back hurts or not. You may think that your parents were just being annoying when they told you not to slouch, but that can actually cause serious back issues. When working, you need to avoid slumping or bending forward as much as possible. Keep your mouse close and make sure your feet are firmly planted on the floor below you.
Do you smoke? Did you know that smoking leads to bone issues that eventually lead to fractures and osteoporosis? Lower back pain has been studied, and it occurs more often in people that smoke regularly. Being overweight is another fixable issue that causes back problems. Try working on a healthy diet and your issue may go away.
Over the counter pain medications should be what you try first before prescriptions. Try buying some ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen sodium. Whatever you get, make sure you speak with your doctor to ask about whether or not it’s safe for you to take medications. Sometimes they won’t mix well with prescriptions.
Some painkillers can be prescribed from a doctor and they are very strong. These are only good if you have severe back pain and don’t have any other options. If you find yourself on a medication that has addiction potential, try to only use it temporarily if possible and find other remedies to avoid serious health consequences.
Some people will say that resting all the time will help fix your issues with pain. But, there have been studies that show you need activity in your life or you’ll deal with pain that gets worse as your muscles get weaker. Even just something like doing a little yoga each day can help immensely.
Purchase a softer mattress if the one you have is firm. There were studies done that found people that were using mattresses that were medium-firm had less pain than those using the ones that were very firm. I mention to my patients to try putting a pillow between your legs if you sleep on your side and under the knees if you’re on your back.
A chiropractor may be helpful to work with if you haven’t gone that route yet. Some people get great results, and those people that do are able to avoid using pain pills for the most part. You just have to keep working with someone and you have to make sure that the person you go to for your low back pain is a well-reviewed professional that has the right education.
There are a lot of people with lower back pain issues that they solved with the above tips. When you start to work on your issues, it makes you wonder why you didn’t get started before! Take your life back and enjoy steering clear of the pain that has been bothering you!
Neck Pain Doesn’t Have to Run Your Life
Do you get tired of neck pain making it hard to live your day to day life? That no longer has to be the case if you know how to properly take care of the pain! Don’t just guess at what to do and try out the following tried and true tips.
Stress is a big factor in how much pain you feel.
When you are stressed out, you tend to tense your shoulder and neck muscles a lot. If you can try to take some time out for yourself, then that can help you relax a little. Having a family that’s always needing something or a job that’s very demanding may make it hard to relax. If anything, try going to bed a little earlier than normal and just having some quiet time to yourself to see if that helps.
Be careful when you get medications to help with pain.
A lot of them are addictive and are not good for you to take for too long. When you deal with neck pain, it’s better to find the source and to fix that issue. A doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist are all people that you can try working with on a solution that doesn’t just involve taking pills the rest of your life. If you find that you can’t stop taking medications without getting sick, it may be due to an addiction and it’s okay to seek help for this kind of issue.
Try to keep your computer monitor at eye level.
Whether you are at work or home, sitting comfortably is a good way to keep your neck from being strained. Make sure you’re looking right at the center of the monitor and not down or up at it. If you’re using a laptop, you should put it on a desk or try connecting it to an external monitor when possible. At work, you may just have to try adjusting your chair if you can’t find a desk that is at the right level for you to be comfortable.
Your smartphone and tablet may be why your neck is in so much pain.
If you are always looking down at something then you can put an excessive strain on your neck. After a while, the discs, ligaments, and everything else in your neck can start to have more and more issues. At the very least, hold your device up to eye level in front of you. Text as little as possible, and don’t use the device to surf the web for hours if you don’t have to. If you talk on the phone a lot, get a hands free device to use so you’re not holding your neck at a strange angle all the time.
Did you know that if you don’t stay hydrated, it can make your neck hurt eventually?
There are discs in the neck that are made of water mostly. If you can keep them hydrated, they tend to be strong and easier to use in general. 8 big glasses of water are recommended every day. If you have a hard time remembering this, you can set your phone with an alarm that goes off every couple of hours until you make drinking water a habit.
Get a different pillow and try using it for a while to see if it helps.
You may want to try lying on your side or your back. Keep your cervical spine in the right place by letting the pillow support its natural curve. Buy a few pillows that let you change positions in the night if staying in one place is too hard. Just make sure you keep these extra pillows on standby because it can be hard to get up to find a pillow and then get back to sleep. Keep a list of what works and what doesn’t so when you need new pillows you know what to get.
A lot of people live with neck pain when they don’t really have to. You can now see that it isn’t too difficult to find help that doesn’t cost you a ton of money. Just make sure you run whatever you want to try by a doctor if you want to be safe.