Arc of Life Chiropractic > Chiropractic Helps

Chiropractic Helps

Auto Accidents

Most people who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents and have experienced whiplash, it is vital to get that checked out.  Whiplash is a sudden extreme flexion and extension of the neck, which tends to tear the underlying soft tissue and damage the surrounding muscles and ligaments.  It does not always manifest as pain immediately following the accident. Instead, it can have a delayed onset of symptoms presenting itself only after a few days later to months or even years later. 

 

With this type of injury, the cervical (neck) bones may become misaligned or subluxated, thus causing nerve impingement that can lead to pain, inflammation, numbness and tingling.  It is important to get checked by your chiropractor to manage and help the underlying tissues properly heal.  If left unchecked, as most people do if no pain is present, the body will form scar tissue (fibrous tissue) that will eventually lead to neck stiffness and pain.  Roughly half of people who experience whiplash report that they still have neck pain years after their insurance claims settled.

 

ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder defined as a “persistent pattern of inattention or hyperactivity/impulsivity”. It is diagnosed twice as frequently in boys as in girls, though studies suggest this discrepancy may be due to subjective bias.

 

It is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children, affecting about 3 to 5% of children globally with symptoms starting before seven years of age. ADHD is generally a chronic disorder with 30 to 50% of those individuals diagnosed in childhood continuing to have symptoms into adulthood.

 

ADHD management usually involves some combination of medications, behavior modifications, lifestyle changes, or counseling and therapy. Although chiropractic cannot be used directly to treat ADHD, chiropractors can most certainly help to optimize the function of the nervous system and improving the communication flow between brain and body by removing spinal subluxations present in the body.

 

- top -

 

Chiropractic and Kids

As parents, we naturally want our kids to grow to their fullest academic as well as health potential.  Besides getting the best grades, doing well in sports, and being free from illness, it is essential that kids get their spines checked.  Studies have shown that by the age of 12 years, children will have experienced up to 400 traumas—both major and minor. 

 

Posture is the window to the spine and it starts from birth.  Did you know that in-utero, the baby’s pelvis and upper back (thoracic spine) curves are somewhat fixed?  The neck curve (cervical spine) and the lower back curve (lumbar spine) are heavily influenced by the cross-crawling motion that the child learns.  If there are any misalignment or subluxations within the spine, it can lead to poor movement and stability within the child’s pelvis/hips.  This can cause a delay or imbalance in the child’s crawling motion, which can drastically affect the child’s spinal curves. 

 

Proper crawling motion is essential because it sets the child up for proper walking and weight balance, which affects overall movement, balance, and coordination between brain stem and body.  If there is any nerve interference, the child could develop poor muscle tone leading to poor posture.  Poor posture leads to poor stimulation to the brain in regards to where the child’s body is in space.  Poor stimulation to the brain ultimately leads to poor communication with the body, and thus health problems like neck pain, back pain, poor digestion, asthma, sinus, allergies, etc… can develop over time.

 

Chiropractic care has been shown to be very effective and safe in correcting the subluxations or spinal misalignments causing poor posture in children.  By maintaining a properly balanced framework, the spine of the developing child may grow to its fullest potential.  Chiropractic care has shown great results in dealing with common childhood ailments such as colic, ear infections, asthma and allergies, etc…. It is important to get your children checked for subluxation as it can influence how well they grow into adulthood.  It has been found that 80% of subluxations actually begin from birth and only get worse as the child develops.

 

Dr Andrew adjusting baby Ewan, with

Mom Angela looking on

Dr Andrew with little Aidan

 

 

- top -

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), or median neuropathy at the wrist, is a medical condition in which the median nerve is compressed at the wrist, leading to paresthesias, numbness and muscle weakness in the hand. The diagnosis of CTS is often misapplied to patients who have activity-related arm pain.

 

Most cases of CTS are idiopathic (without known cause); genetic factors determine most of the risk, and the role of arm use and other environmental factors is disputed.

 

Under conventional or allopathic medicine, the recommendation is usually to undergo surgery to cut the tendon sheath compressing the median nerve.  Unfortunately, this only treats the immediate symptoms or body signals that the patient presents with instead of focusing on the root cause of the problem. 

 

Under chiropractic care, carpal tunnel syndrome is often indeed found to be caused by imbalances to nerve supply due to repetitive stress on the muscles.  Doing repetitive activities such as typing and deskbound work usually causes these repetitive stresses.  By using specific chiropractic adjustments to correct the structural misalignments (subluxations) causing these imbalances to nerve supply, the pain and numbness rapidly diminish.  In addition to the adjustments, specific exercises are also taught to re-strengthen the overused muscles.

 

- top -

 

Headaches / Migraines

Headaches are very common and yet very different in their natures.  There are the primary headaches that include migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches.  The primary headaches are classified as being idiopathic, meaning no known cause of origin.  Then there are secondary headaches, or symptomatic class headaches. These usually are a result of head trauma, and brain hemorrhages.

 

Most people readily treat their headaches with over the counter medication, but this only serve to mask the symptom of pain and ultimately not addressing the root problem causing it in the first place.  While sunlight, stress, or even certain foods may exacerbate or aggravate the problem, chiropractic care has been proven to be highly effective in reducing the pain over time by relieving the nerve pressure causing the interference.

  

 

 

- top -

 

 

Low Back Pain

Low back pain is among the most common forms of injuries in adults.  In fact, more than 80% of people will have suffered from back pain at some point in their lives.  Even more stark is that low back pain affects more than half of the adult population each year and more than 10% of people experience low back pain on more than one occasion.

 

Causes of low back pain may be attributed to many types of injuries such as damage to intervertebral discs, spinal joints and associated ligaments, muscles and tendons (sprain/strains).  When the vertebra or bone is subluxated or misaligned, it causes nerve pressure and can lead to pain and inflammation of surrounding muscles and soft tissues.  Stress from excessive activities such as golf, basketball, soccer, tennis, and badminton to simple activities like bending over to pick up a pen, sneezing, or coughing can lead to the same outcome if your back muscles are weak.  If the low back pain is severe enough, pain radiation and/or numbness and tingling to the lower legs may occur.

 

Chiropractic care has been shown to be more effective, cheaper, and having longer-lasting outcomes than any other method of treatment.  In fact, chiropractors go to the root source of the problem, the subluxation, by helping to restore balance and function to the nervous system via postural correction and alignment of the spinal bones.  Other treatments such as pain-killers, muscle relaxants, and bed rest only mask the symptoms and ultimately do not correct the problem.

 

- top -

 

Neck Pain / Stiffness / Whiplash

                  

 

Neck problems are very common in today’s world.  The pain actually arises from many different sources such as prolonged poor posture at the computer, studying at the desk, sleeping on the sofa, car accidents, and other minor or major slips or falls. Whiplash injuries can damage underlying soft tissue that can have a delayed onset of symptoms, manifesting with pain and stiffness anywhere from a few days later to months or even years later. 


All of these causes trigger the muscles, ligaments, and tendons within the neck to become stiffer and tighter over time.  It ultimately leads to areas of misalignment or subluxation of the cervical vertebrae (neck bones).  These subluxations then lead to migraines, headaches, sinus problems, and of course, neck pain.  With chiropractic care, it can help to relieve your pain and it is proven to be a longer lasting and more effective treatment than regular massage or painkillers/muscle relaxants.

 

 

- top -

 

Pregnancy

Pregnancy in itself is a miraculous journey of life and creating that which we call family.  As your body changes with pregnancy, it is also important to note that the center of gravity tends to shift the hips/pelvis forward.  This shift creates a more pronounced lower lumbar curvature, thus increasing the stress on the muscles, ligaments, and joints of the lower back.  So, any pre-existing conditions will certainly be exacerbated or aggravated by this increase in pressure.

 

Many studies have found that at least half of all expectant mothers experience some form of lower back pain during pregnancy, especially during the 3rd trimester where the baby tends to gain the most weight.  This added pressure causes the mother’s body to compensate by shifting her posture in order to handle the extra weight gain.  These postural shifts can lead to instability of the mother’s pelvis and spinal alignment, which is crucial when delivering the baby.  Can you imagine a baby being engaged in a distorted, rotated pelvis versus a normal, aligned pelvis? 

 

Chiropractic has shown great results in stabilizing the structure of the mother’s spine, reducing stress and low back pain, and also in reducing the amount of pain medication taken during delivery.  Another great note is that studies indicate that regular chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can help to reduce labor time.

 

- top -

 

Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)

Repetitive stress injuries are among the most common form of injury to the body in today’s society.  These injuries can be from avid sporting events such as golf, tennis, badminton, basketball, etc…to simple daily activities such as a desk job where typing, using the mouse, and prolonged poor work posture can cause the same problems. 

 

Basically, these injuries are caused by the repetition of movements done over time that creates micro-tears in the underlying muscle tissue.  Most of the time, these micro-tears in the tissues does not manifest as pain, but over time the body will reform the injured tissue by forming new tissue – creating what we call ‘scar tissue’.  This scar tissue is fibrous and adhesive, meaning that the underlying tissue becomes stiffer and tighter with increased usage.  What is worse is that it can cause nerve compression. As most nerves travel under or through a muscle, this can lead to numbness and tingling of your arms and legs.  Over many months and years, the scar tissue will decrease the range of motion within the individual’s joints causing many mobility problems to occur.

 

Some common problems are frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee and hip pain, and even ankle pain.  All of these problems can be managed by a professional chiropractor experienced in handling sports injuries and soft tissue rehabilitation and mobilization.  By breaking up the underlying scar tissue and allowing the body to heal properly, then strengthening and reconditioning it, and maintaining a properly functioning spine and nervous system, the individual can, over time, resolve his/her problems.

 

- top -

 

Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body, which runs from your lower lumbar region of the spine, through the pelvis, buttocks and down to each leg. Sciatica is therefore pain that stems from irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.  Pain can travel from the low back to the buttocks and also to various parts of the leg and foot.  If the pain is severe enough, it can cause numbness and weakness of the affected leg.

 

It is important to note that sciatica is classified as a set of symptoms rather than being a diagnosis causing the irritation or compression of the nerve.  This is because it can be caused by many different things such as disc herniation, piriformis syndrome, spinal stenosis, pregnancy, trigger points, and poor postural habits.

 

Chiropractic care has shown to be effective in managing patients with sciatica by effectively removing the nerve interference caused by the subluxation or misalignment of the spinal bones.  This helps to reduce the inflammation and pain within the surrounding area of pain.

 

- top -

 

Scoliosis / Poor Posture / Osteoporosis

Scoliosis in Greek terminology means curvature.  This abnormal curvature of the spine is often deemed ‘idiopathic,’ meaning no known cause.  What is known is that it affects about 2% of the population.  Furthermore, scoliosis usually affects girls at least 4x more than boys and begins around the ages of 8-18 (puberty years).

 

Scoliosis usually causes the spine to shift into a ‘C’ or ‘S’ shape in which the thoracic spine rotates excessively causing severe nerve interference (subluxation), thus leading to pain, difficulty breathing and inflammation.  Because of this excessive rotation in the rib cage, it also creates a rib hump, where both sides appear uneven.  Most of the time, this leads to uneven shoulders and hips due to the severe rotation and curvature of the spine.

 

It is also important to note that scoliosis can also be caused by advanced spinal degeneration due to poor posture.  Poor posture puts tremendous compressive forces, in addition to gravity, on the spine.  Over time, this causes the spine to weaken, become unstable, and cause the vertebra to misshapen and curve.  Osteoporosis is the softening of the bones, which usually occur in elderly people. This softening of the bone can cause the vertebrae to bend and shape a curve causing scoliosis and/or kyphosis, which is a hunchback-like stooped posture.

 

Traditional treatment for scoliosis is to observe annually the rate of increase in curvature from the time its first seen to when it becomes a problem.  Under traditional treatments, if the curve is under 40 degrees, the use of a brace is recommended to hold the spine in place.  Curves of 20 degrees or less are thought to be mild, while curves 40 degrees or more are severe and surgery is often recommended.  More often than not, wearing a restrictive static brace can cause atrophy in the muscles, which can lead to worse postural problems over time. 

 

Chiropractic care has been very effective in managing and helping to decrease scoliotic curves over time.  If the scoliosis is detected early, the instability in the pelvis and shoulders can be minimized by correcting the subluxation patterns of the spine.

 

- top -

 

Slipped Discs

Slipped discs are among the most common reasons that people give when they experience back pain.  The truth of the matter is that discs do not slip, but herniated or bulge.  Intervertebral discs are weakest to shearing and rotational forces, especially when bending forward.  Discs actually protrude posterior and laterally from the spine, right into the area where the nerve exits!  This is what causes the nerve pressure or impingement leading to a variety of symptoms depending on where the disc ‘slipped’.

Sharp pain can be present in the neck or back with radiation of pain, if severe, to the arm/hand and leg/foot.  At times, numbness and tingling with muscle weakness may be present.

 

Slipped disc usually affects people from the ages of 20-40; this is when the disc is healthiest.  As you get older (past 40), the disc tends to dry out; chances of disc herniation are less likely.  There are multiple causes of slipped disc such as poor posture, excessive heavy lifting when bending forward, daily wear and tear, and injuries and traumas.  If the disc is already weak, simple actions such as sneezing or coughing may herniate the disc.

 

Chiropractic care has been shown to be very effective in managing slipped discs.  Under chiropractic care utilizing exercise, traction, and adjustments, the pressure on the nerve can be relieved by aligning the spine back into its normal position.  This helps to take the pressure off of the disc, thus creating less interference between brain and body.

 

- top -

 

Spondylosis

Spondylosis is degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) of the spinal vertebra and related tissue. If severe, it may cause pressure on nerve roots with subsequent pain or paresthesia in the limbs.

 

When the space between two adjacent vertebrae narrows, compression of a nerve root emerging from the spinal cord may result in radiculopathy (sensory and motor system disturbances, such as severe pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, back, and/or leg, accompanied by muscle weakness). Less commonly, direct pressure on the spinal cord (typically in the cervical spine) may result in global weakness, gait dysfunction, loss of balance, and loss of bowel and/or bladder control. The patient may experience a phenomenon of shocks (paresthesia) in hands and legs because of nerve compression and lack of blood flow. If vertebrae of the neck are involved it is labelled cervical spondylosis. Lower back spondylosis is labeled lumbar spondylosis.

 

From a chiropractic perspective, the rate of degeneration within the spine increases with poor stability and poor integrity of the spinal curves borne by the imbalances of poor posture.  This diminishes the communication between the brain’s messages to the rest of the body, thus decreasing the nerve supply that the body simply demands for proper function.  As the postural imbalances of the spine are further diminishing over months, years, there is a substantial increase in abnormal forces causing more wear and tear within structure of the spine.  Corrective chiropractic care emphasizes on improving the integrity and posture of the spine which can help to slow down the degenerative process, increase nerve supply, and ultimately help to optimize health.

 

- top -

 

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis describes the anterior displacement of a vertebra or the vertebral column in relation to the vertebrae below. It was first described in 1782 by Belgian obstetrician, Dr. Herbinaux. He reported a bony prominence anterior to the sacrum that obstructed the vagina of a small number of patients. The term “spondylolisthesis” was coined in 1854, from the Greek “spondyl” for vertebrae and “olisthesis” for slip. The variant "listhesis" is sometimes applied in conjunction with scoliosis. These "slips" occur most commonly in the lumbar spine.

 

This condition compromises the integrity and postural alignment of the spine, thus causing increased dural traction forces with the spinal cord.  With increased dural tension in the spinal cord, it can lead to severe low back pain and compromised nerve supply to the digestive and reproductive systems.  Under corrective chiropractic care, the aim is to relearn a new posture pattern by focusing on the global fulcrum points of stress causing this increased dural tension within the nervous system.  By emphasizing specific adjustments in these high stressed areas, along with specific posture-based exercises to improve core stability, the prognosis and results can be very promising.

 

- top -

 

Sports Injuries

Sports injuries often occur due to sudden trauma, incorrect use of sports equipment, overtraining, or improper warming up. They usually involve damages to joints and tearing of soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and tendon). There are many types of sports injuries, but the majority will result in one or more of the conditions described in this page. If left untreated, these injuries may lead to chronic problems including restrictive and painful range of motion of the joints and limbs. Early chiropractic treatment and proper rehabilitation of the affected muscles have been found to be effective in treating many sports injuries.

 

- top -

 

Tennis Elbow / Knee Pain / Joint Pain

Tennis elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) is a common cause of elbow pain characterized by pain over the outer side of the elbow, which may radiate down the forearm. Despite the name, tennis elbow does not just afflict tennis professionals. In fact, this common elbow problem is most often associated with work-related activities, although racquet sports players are more prone to the condition and account for approximately 5% of all sufferers. Tennis elbow usually begins as inflammation of the extensor tendons of the forearm as they attach to the humerus (upper arm) bone, just above the elbow joint. Typically this inflammation is caused by prolonged gripping activities such as hammering, driving screws, weight lifting, playing certain musical instruments, canoeing, driving and, of course, racquet sports. If these activities are continued, then the inflammatory nature of Tennis elbow can give rise to a chronic tendon problem that is characterized by pain, weakness and degeneration of the tendon. 
 

Knee pain is a common complaint and there are many causes, including wear and tear on the surfaces of the joint itself; damage to the cartilage pads within the knee; sprains of the ligaments that hold the knee together; strains of the muscles which surround the knee and help it to move; problems with the kneecap due to muscular imbalance; referred pain from the back, pelvis, hip or ankle. Chiropractic care can help to effectively manage and alleviate these joint pains.

 

 

- top -