Chiropractic Care of Neck Pain
During your visit, your doctor of chiropractic will perform exams to locate the source of your pain and will ask you questions about your current symptoms and remedies you may have already tried. For example:
* When did the pain start?
* What have you done for your neck pain?
* Does the pain radiate or travel to other parts of your body?
* Does anything reduce the pain or make it worse?
Your doctor of chiropractic will also do physical and neurological exams. In the physical exam, your doctor will observe your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, noting movement that causes pain. Your doctor will feel your spine, note its curvature and alignment, and feel for muscle spasm. A check of your shoulder area is also in order. During the neurological exam, your doctor will test your reflexes, muscle strength, other nerve changes, and pain spread.
In some instances, your chiropractor might order tests to help diagnose your condition. An x-ray can show narrowed disc space, fractures, bone spurs, or arthritis. A computerized axial tomography scan (a CT or CAT scan) or a magnetic resonance imaging test (an MRI) can show bulging discs and herniations. If nerve damage is suspected, your doctor may order a special test called electromyography (an EMG) to measure how quickly your nerves respond.
Chiropractors are conservative care doctors; their scope of practice does not include the use of drugs or surgery. If your chiropractor diagnoses a condition outside of this conservative scope, such as a neck fracture or an indication of an organic disease, he or she will refer you to the appropriate medical physician or specialist. He or she may also ask for permission to inform your family physician of the care you are receiving to ensure that your chiropractic care and medical care are properly coordinated.
A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness.
Of course, your chiropractor will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your personal needs. In addition to manipulation, the treatment plan may include mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises, or something else.
Information taken from http://www.americanchiro.org
Research Supporting Chiropractic Care
One of the most recent reviews of scientific literature found evidence that patients with chronic neck pain enrolled in clinical trials reported significant improvement following chiropractic spinal manipulation.
As part of the literature review, published in the March/April 2007 issue of the Journal of
Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, the researchers reviewed nine previously published trials and found “high-quality evidence” that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant pain-level improvements following spinal manipulation. No trial group was reported as having remained unchanged, and all groups showed positive changes up to 12 weeks post-treatment
Many people think that Chiropractic is only for your back. This misconception is easily understood; after all, chiropractors do work primarily on your back. However, chiropractic is about affecting the nervous system, and the way this is done is by adjusting the spine.
Your body is controlled by three distinct nervous systems – the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and autonomic nervous system (which is further divided into the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system). All 3 parts of the nervous system must be balanced so that they can operate in unity and create a truly healthy body.
Chiropractic is great for low back and neck pain, however it works great for many ‘non back’ problems. Spinal joint fixation (subluxation) results in nerve irritation. This nervous irritation (known as facilitation) leads to exaggerated activity of the nerve, resulting in muscular tension, postural asymmetries, and limited and painful motion. Other problems include chronic hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system producing a variety of syndromes.
Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body (pg. 4 -Grays Anatomy). If a subluxation causes a nerve to become irritated, then wherever that nerve goes, that part of the body will also function in an irritated and limited manner. This basic premise has made, and even the AMA admits that, Chiropractic is the number one Alternative Healthcare System in the United States
In our office, we use Chiropractic adjustments and Acupuncture to help your body heal itself. The nervous system controls every cell, function, and process in the body. Adjustments take pressure off nerves and allow innate power to flow properly. Restoring proper nerve flow or impulse allows your body to do the healing. All health occurs from the inside. Along with adjustments, we utilize Acupuncture to assist in the healing process. Acupuncture helps to balance out energy flow and promote healing. Although many people think of needles all over the body when they hear the word “Acupuncture,” there are other ways to stimulate points. In our office, we often treat Acupuncture points located on the ear and see amazing results.
Ear Acupuncture: Also known as Auriculotherapy or Auricular Therapy, Ear Acupuncture is a fast and very effective way to treat many conditions through stimulation of Acupuncture points located on the ears. I hear this quite often in my practice, “How does it work, Doc?”
A Simple Explanation: The ear is a microsystem of the body and contains approximately 200 different Acupuncture points. What this means is that we can treat the entire body through stimulation of Acupuncture points on the ear. The ear acts as a “switchboard” to the brain. By treating very specific points relating to specific areas of the body, we stimulate healing. These ear points send a signal to the brain to stimulate a healing effect to the desired area of the body associated with the specific point or points being treated. There are many methods to treat the ear, including needles, electrical stimulation, seed patches, and acupressure. The effects from stimulating ear points, is often faster, and more effective than treating body points.
Common Conditions Treated: Migraines, Weight loss and Appetite Suppression, Addiction, Sciatica, Asthma, TMJ disorders, Increased Immune Function, Allergies, Stress, Tension Headaches, Musculoskeletal Pain, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Organ dysfunction (i.e. Heart, Lung, Stomach, Kidney, Gallbladder, Intestines), Extremity complaints (Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hand, Hip, Knee, Ankle, Foot conditions), Diabetes, Memory Loss, Spinal Disorders of the Neck and Back, Infertility, High Blood Pressure, Arthritis, and many more.
Although viewed as an “Alternative Health Care” approach, Chiropractic & Acupuncture allow your body to work naturally. It only makes sense that Drugs and Surgery should be the ALTERNATIVE! If you have questions contact us today to get your health back!
Dr. Jason Pargeter D.C.
The cold weather brings about the worry of you or your loved ones getting ailments such as the common cold and the flu. With these concerns, and the media constantly talking about flu shots, I am sure it has crossed your mind on whether you should get a flu shot or not.
The Centers of Disease and Control and Prevention states the flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the flu, but this remains a controversial subject. Most flu vaccines still contain a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal, mercury has been linked to neurological disorders, including autism. Autism was first identified as a disorder in Children in 1943 and this was just a few years after a mercury-based preservative was added to vaccine. Coincidence??? There is a far greater cause for concern for autism and other neurological disorders then for the flu and common cold.
Flu strains are constantly changing to adapt and survive in your immune system. They change so the antibodies your body has already produced to fight your previous flu strains, won’t work against the new strain. Therefore, the flu vaccine often does not match the strain of flu that enters the population.
But, lets say that the vaccine actually matches the strain that hits the public this year, is the vaccine really that effective in keeping the flu from entering your immune system? A study found that the overall effectiveness of the flu vaccine entering the elderly, the most common population to get the flu, was 23 percent when the strain matched the vaccine. They found no significant difference when someone doesn’t receive a vaccine and when the matching of strains was poor.
Some say your best defense against the flu is getting the flu. This is because your body will naturally develop its own antibodies against that flu strain and those never leave your body. With this being the case, and the flu vaccine effectiveness unclear, many are turning to alternative methods to develop their immune system to fight the winter viruses. Here are some natural ways for you to develop your immune system and prepare for these upcoming chilly months.
Garlic: Has antibiotic properties and has good effects on allergies, cancer and general immunity. It has been used as a natural medicine for over 5,000 years.
Vitamin C: Can reduce susceptibility to colds, as well as the duration and severity of symptoms.
Echinacea: Has been widely used to prevent and treat colds. Studies on this herb have conflicting results, however.
Tea: Green and black tea has been shown to increase immune defense against bacteria, infection, viruses and fungi.
Stress Reduction: decreases the duration of flu and colds.
Acupuncture: May be effective in preventing and curing the common cold.
Chiropractic: Subluxations (misaligned vertebrae) in your spine are pinching nerves that are traveling to your organs. This subluxation hinders the organ that the nerve is traveling to. Therefore, with some of your internal organs not functioning properly and efficiently, your body’s defense against the common cold and flu is not at an optimal level. This allows viruses, bacteria and fungi to survive and thrive inside your body. So, give your body a chance to fight these unwanted guests this winter and get in to see your Chiropractor!
A strong immune system is the best defense against infectious illnesses. This winter give your immune system a boost the natural way! Use Chiropractic, proper nutrition, supplements, exercise and stress reduction to fight off these visitors and win the battle!
Evidence Supporting Chiropractic Care
Numerous studies throughout the world have shown that Chiropractic treatment, including manipulative therapy and spinal adjustment, is both safe and effective. Many other studies have shown that Chiropractic care contains costs and get workers back on the job in less time than other treatments. The following are excerpts from a few of the more recent studies:
For Acute Low-Back Problems:
“For patients with acute low-back symptoms without radiculopathy, the scientific evidence suggests spinal manipulation is effective in reducing pain and perhaps speeding recovery within the first month of symptoms.” – Clinical Practice Guidelines, AHCPR (1994)
For Long-Term Low-Back Problems:
“There is strong evidence that manipulation is more effective than a placebo treatment for chronic low-back pain or than usual care by the general practitioner, bed rest, analgesics and massage.” – Spine, Van Tulder and Bouter et al. (1997)
“…improvement in all patients at three years was about 29% more in those treated by chiropractors than in those treated by the hospitals. The beneficial effect of Chiropractic on pain was particularly clear.” – British Medical Journal, Meade et al. (1995)
“Manipulative therapy and physiotherapy are better than general practitioner and placebo treatment. Furthermore, manipulative therapy is slightly better than physiotherapy after 12 months.” – British Medical Journal, Koes et al. (1992)
“…patients suffering from back and/or neck complaints experience Chiropractic care as an effective means of resolving or ameliorating pain and functional impairments, thus reinforcing previous results showing the benefits of Chiropractic treatment for back and neck pain.” – Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Verhoef et al. (1997)
“…for the management of low-back pain, Chiropractic care is the most effective treatment, and it should be fully integrated into the government’s health care system.” – The Manga Report (1993)
“Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache.” – Duke Evidence Report, McCrory, Penzlen, Hasselblad, Gray (2001)
“The results of this study show that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches. . . Four weeks after cessation of treatment . . . the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline values.” – Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Boline et al. (1995)