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SIMPLE WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR BACK

If you’ve experienced back pain as an adult, you’re not in the minority. Studies show that as many as 80 percent of people have an episode of back pain that lasts more than three days at some point in their lives. The spine is a complex organ that bears a heavy load, and the stresses on it can result in pain and injury. The good news is that most back pain can be treated successfully with simple methods, including non-prescription painkillers, ice and heat treatments, physical therapy, and Doylestown chiropractic treatments. The more serious cases may need surgical treatment, but most of us are not in that category.

Even better news is that there are simple lifestyle adjustments that can go a long way toward preventing back problems. Here are some things recommended by experts.

Lose weight. Excess weight, especially in the midsection, puts stress on the muscles, tendons, and spinal structure. Shedding as little as five or ten pounds can make a difference, and many people find that their back pain ceases altogether if they lose enough weight.

Exercise. Spending time every day to do yoga, Pilates, or even simple stretching exercises can increase your overall strength and flexibility, which will ease the pressure on your back.

Follow sound ergonomics principles. Many people spend hours a day in front of a computer screen, and that’s a recipe for back trouble. Sitting or standing in the same position for too long weakens the back muscles and can compress the discs in your spine. If you remember to move around and stretch at regular intervals, you’ll have better back health.

If you invest the time in taking care of your back with a Doylestown Chiropractor, you’ll feel better and avoid pain.

CHIROPRACTIC…NOT JUST FOR BACK PAIN

If you tell the average person you have back pain, he or she will probably tell you to go to a chiropractor. If you say you have high blood pressure, most people won’t think of a local chiropractor right off the bat. It’s a fact, though, that chiropractors can help with other ailments besides back pain, although most people don’t know that. Chiropractors are trained in many areas of diagnosis and treatment, including pediatrics, nutrition, orthopedics, and sports medicine, and they can be a valuable part of your health care team.

Chiropractor

Here are a few conditions chiropractors can treat that you might not know about.

Pregnancy pain. Pregnant women have many aches and pains, and some of them are because of improper alignment of the pelvis. Chiropractic treatment can assist with balancing the pelvis, which alleviates these aches and pains. The benefit is that this type of treatment does not require any medication, which is a good thing for an expectant mother and her baby. Studies have shown that 75 percent of women who received chiropractic care during pregnancy reported relief from pain.

Pregnancy-Back-Pain

Digestive problems. Because chiropractic treatment deals with nerves in the chest and abdominal region that are linked to digestion, it can be helpful in treating digestive ailments. Some research shows that herniated discs can cause chronic abdominal pain. Warrington PA. Chiropractors are experts at treating herniated disc issues, so in cases like this they can certainly help alleviate abdominal pain.

digestive-problems

High blood pressure. Blood pressure is best controlled with diet, exercise, and medication, but don’t leave out chiropractic as part of your package of medical care. Some studies suggest that misaligned vertebra in the neck play a role in high blood pressure, and that regular chiropractic adjustments can help to lower your blood pressure.

BACK PAIN WHEN YOU’RE UNDER 40

Millions of people suffer from back pain, but there’s a misconception that this ailment is most common in people in who are 60 or older. Many young people have back pain too, although theirs is usually from a different cause. Here is a rundown of common causes for back pain in people under 40.

Minor muscle strains. Sometimes known as “weekend warrior” strains, they often occur when you strain a muscle that’s not used to being worked. They can be painful and limit your ability to move in the short term, but they usually heal within a few days. A chiropractic adjustment within the first two weeks of a muscle strain can speed up the healing process. If you are getting these types of injuries on a frequent basis you should see the best Doylestown chiropractor to figure out what’s causing the problem.

causes-of-back-strain

Disc Herniations. If you have frequent events where you throw your back out from something as simple as leaning over to pick a pencil off the floor, you may have a disc herniation. This happens when a disc in your spine pinches the sciatic nerve and causes pain, numbness, or tingling in the back or leg. This is a situation where you need to get evaluated by a Doylestown chiropractic physician. The chiropractor can figure out the extent of the injury and prescribe the correct physical therapy to deal with the pain.

If untreated, the sciatica caused by a herniated disc can worsen, and it can weaken certain leg muscles. In some cases you will need surgery to fix a herniated disc, but in others a combination of therapy and medication can work wonders. If the pain doesn’t let up, you may need cortisone injections in your back. If surgery is needed, the surgeon will remove the herniated portion of the disc to release the pressure on the nerve.

Spondylolisthesis. Another cause of back pain in younger people has to do with a tiny fracture of their vertebrae. It comes in two forms: spondylolysis (a fracture) or spondylolisthesis (a fracture that moves, or slips, forward). This condition is more common among certain types of athletes, such as gymnasts. However, a weekend warrior can do the same thing if he or she overextends the back in the course of a game or workout. This condition can be treated by wearing a back brace to avoid any extreme extension, and also by therapeutic movement and medication.   

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Remember, back pain is not something exclusive to older people. If you’re under 40 and you have back pain on a regular basis, you owe it to yourself to get a diagnosis!

 

ARE YOU A WEEKEND WARRIOR? CHIROPRACTIC CAN HELP THAT

November 18, 2015 Leave a comment

Doylestown Chiropractor Helps Weekend Warriors

More and more people are recognizing that exercise is a key factor for achieving a long, healthy life, and that’s a good thing. However, the demands of a job and family, among other responsibilities, make it hard for people to exercise as much as they’d like to. This results in the “weekend warrior” syndrome, where people try to make up for a week’s worth of inactivity by exercising vigorously on the weekends. Some exercise is always better than none, so in theory there’s nothing wrong with getting your exercise even two days a week. However, the reality is that some people overdo the weekend exercise, and this can be a problem, especially as the years go on. Waking up on Saturday morning and running five miles, or playing in a fast-paced basketball or tennis game, can sometimes result in injuries, especially if you don’t stretch properly before the workout.

The good news is that chiropractic care can help you recover from many of these weekend athlete injuries. Chiropractic adjustment returns spinal segments to their normal mobility. Aided by massage therapy to help the supportive tissues (muscles, tendons, & ligaments), chiropractic physicians allow the injured areas to heal and return to normal function. Along with some rest to help the healing process, weekend athletes will usually be able to return to their activities in a short time. A good Doylestown chiropractor will also be able to show you better strategies for exercise and stretching, so that you avoid these kinds of injuries in the future.

CHIROPRACTIC IS PART OF THE SOLUTION TODAY

November 4, 2015 Leave a comment

These days people are more educated than ever before about health, and they take a more active role in choosing which kind of treatment they want to receive. Alternative therapies are becoming more accepted as people investigate other options besides the traditional medical solutions of prescription drugs and surgery for many medical conditions.

Chiropractic care is one of those alternative therapies. There was a time when many in the medical profession looked down on chiropractors, and in fact the American Medical Association lost a federal antitrust lawsuit in 1987 because it was falsely claiming that chiropractic was harmful. Today, chiropractic is recognized as a viable alternative to surgery for spinal conditions. In fact, the general recommendation from the National Institute of Health is six weeks of manual therapy before any kind of spinal surgery is pursued. There have been numerous studies in the last decade that have confirmed what Doylestown chiropractors have known all along: that the various systems of the body and mind are much more interconnected than we realize, and problems in the spine and nervous system are often manifested in other areas of the body.

There are still some people in and outside of the medical profession who scoff at alternative methods like chiropractic. However, their numbers are decreasing daily. The smart people these days realize that traditional medicine and alternative therapies like chiropractic can work hand in hand for effective solutions to a host of ailments. Even insurance companies are realizing a health care system that harmonizes both approaches is best for everyone. In the long term, it saves businesses health dollar costs. It also keeps employees well, they perform better, and they’re more satisfied and happier.

A Good Alternative To Surgery

Studies have shown that approximately 70 percent of people will have back pain at some point in their lives. With many people the pain becomes so debilitating that they need treatment in order to get relief. A study by McMorland, Suter, Casha,du Plessis, and Hurlbertin 2010 found that over 250,000 patients a year undergo elective lumbar discectomy (spinal surgery) for the treatment of low back disc issues in the United States.

However, there is another way to treat low back problems. Chiropractic treatments have been shown to be effective in many cases. That same study cited above looked at thousands of patients who had distinct one-sided lumbar disc herniations as diagnosed through MRI studies, along with associated radicular (nerve root) symptoms. These were all patients who were candidates for surgery based on the authors’ review of available MRI studies. The conclusion was that 60 percent of the patients who got chiropractic care instead of surgery reported a successful outcome. The other 40 percent ended up getting surgery in order to get rid of their back pain.

What these percentages reveal is that the people who elected to get chiropractic treatment from a Doylestown chiropractor had a 60 percent chance of getting better without surgery, so it was a smart decision by them to try the chiropractic approach before going under the surgeon’s knife.

A more recent study showed that patients with acute lumbar herniated disc pain felt 80 percent better after two weeks of chiropractic treatment from a Doylestown PA chiropractor, with an improvement of 95 percent in three months.

These studies show that for acute lower back pain, chiropractic care is a very good alternative to surgery in many cases, and it’s certainly worth investigating before a patient submits to a surgical procedure.

Doylestown Chiropractor Discusses Text Neck

February 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Just about everywhere you look people are staring at their smart phones, iPads, laptops, you name it. But a Doylestown chiropractor says the constant strain on your neck could be causing major damage.

According to Pew Research Institute, more than half of Americans own a smart phone. Then there are all of the laptops, e-readers and tablets. Bottom line: we are looking down a lot.

According to Dr. Jeff McQuaite he often sees patients with aches and pains that turn out to be related to their technology.   His neck pain patients said that they were playing on their iPads for hours on end, looking down at a computer seven hours a day at work, texting or responding to emails on their phones and, reading on their Kindles.

“I am seeing it a lot, especially in teenagers and even older patients,” he says. “We’re so into our electronic devices, and what we’re doing is holding the device at chest- or waist-level, and looking down at the device. It’s causing neck muscles to be shortened and tightened, and shoulders to be rounded forward.”

When your texting, your turning your whole spine forward.  While the head is angled forward, the ligaments and tendons in the neck and back become overstretched. This overexertion can lead to an inflammation of the muscles and can cause mild to severe neck and back pain. There are increasing reports of “text neck” causing lower back pain, which is often chronic.

Any kind of neck, shoulder, or back pain requires some sort of attention, he says. You can stretch at home, get a massage, see a chiropractor or by simply holding your phone higher when you look at it can make a considerable difference. Now there is an app that can help you prevent ‘text neck.”

And yes, “text neck” is a real thing!  According to Dr. Ken Hansraj, M.D., a spinal surgeon at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, “We did a study on the issue of poor posture and how it affects you, especially when you’re on a cell phone or smart device,” “It’s a lot of load, an amazing amount of weight to be carrying around your neck.”

Just how much load does that constant downward-looking gaze put on the neck muscles?

“When your spine is in neutral position, the head weighs about 10-12 pounds,” he says. “At 15 degrees [forward], the neck sees 27 pounds. At 45 degrees, it sees 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees, it’s 60 pounds.”

Text Neck

That’s 60 pounds of weight stress on muscles and nerves that are meant to handle 10-12 pounds of stress, and that much load can do a lot of damage over time.

When you have such aggressive stressors on the neck, you get wear and tear on the spine or even get a bulging or herniated disc. “There is a big cluster of nerves in the area between the neck and the shoulder, called your brachial plexus” he says. “Any compression, irritation, misalignment, muscle spasms, or tension in this area can cause pain that spreads out all the way down to the fingers.”