Chiropractic for Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)

8274285848_a550a961f8_o.jpgThe Basics of Chiropractic

Chiropractic involves a hands-on treatment of musculoskeletal concerns by focusing on the structure of the body and paying close attention to the spine. Adopting a high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) therapeutic stance, it is a popular choice for problems of back and neck pain. A high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) involves a short but quick thrust of pressure to a selected skeletal joint.

Chiropractic and the Neck

Several studies indicate the effectiveness of this technique for alleviating neck problems. When seventy patients underwent different treatments for their neck pain, with a handful of them receiving the chiropractic HVLA manipulation, results indicated the success of HVLA thrusts in reducing neck pain when at rest and increasing the range of cervical motion.

Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)

Causes

Car accident is the most common cause for a WAD. At the time of a motor collision, the body is unprepared to save you from the sudden jerk. A sudden head movement results in an acceleration and deceleration of the neck. This can lead to several different types of injuries, ranging from minor strains to permanent damage.

Spillover Effects

When the soft tissues, ligaments, nerves and muscles in the neck suffer any injuries, the pain diffuses through to the shoulders and the upper arm. Several people also suffer from neck stiffness after reading in bed at a stretch. Neck pain can also be caused by a bad posture or an extended period of severe mental stress.

Treatment

Neck related concerns are one of the main reasons people opt for chiropractic care. If WAD is not cared for, it can result in long term health related issues such as severe aches and soreness in the neck. When under chiropractic care, manual therapy is utilized where force is exerted physically to treat the joint structures and tissues for ease and relieve the pain.

With the use of tables that are highly specialized, the patient is made to comfortably lie down and the HVLA manipulation is adopted. The techniques involve applying a specific amount of force to the area of concern or by holding the client’s head to rotate it. Controlled and careful rotation of the neck can lessen the pain, eventually curing the neck condition. Mostly it is advisable to not rotate the neck more than 50 degrees.

During the procedure the patient can either be seated on a stool or might be asked to lie on a specialized table. The table comprises of cushions enabling the patient to lie down in a comfortable position. Based on the severity of the whiplash, the practitioner massages the neck in the direction of the stiffness.

The above is a brief overview of how chiropractic practitioners adopt techniques to reduce neck pain cause by a WAD.

Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Whiplash by Narih Lee

Introduction to Chiropractic

images-8.jpegWhat is Chiropractic?

Being a type of manual therapy, the practitioner utilizes techniques, forces and manipulations that are administered chiefly by hands. The spinal cord is the center of all therapies for a chiropractic doctor. Their belief is that the spine is the central structure as it allows messages from different parts of the body to reach the brain and vice versa. Under the state of paralysis in any part of the body, it is the spinal cord that can make any limb completely nonfunctional.

Spine Manipulation

Keeping the vitality of the spine in mind, D. D. Palmer brought to life the concept of spine manipulation to deal with vertebral subluxation. It is the practice of applying varying amounts of force to the area of concern in the spine to restore normal functioning.  Palmer is popular for applying this technique to a deaf individual (deafness not present at birth) and being successful at restoring his hearing capabilities.

Subluxation

Primarily a chiropractic practitioner deals with a vertebral subluxation. A subluxation is when the spine loses its normal positioning and the neural pathway dysfunction causes a compromise in the functioning of several different parts of the body including the visceral system. A subluxation occurs as a result of a trauma, injury or even a chemical imbalance in the body.

Chiropractic’s Forte 

A thorough examination is undertaken before your doctor performs any chiropractic techniques to relieve your pain. Several conditions are beyond the realm of this care. If you have a neurological condition, then you will be recommended to a neurologist and will not be administered any care procedures under a chiropractic practitioner. Other such conditions that cannot be dealt with manual therapies include tumors, broken bones, osteoporosis and arthritis. Areas that can be called its forte are pain in the upper and lower back, neck pain, and headaches, minor injuries related to sports, asthma, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, menstrual pains and the like.

Neck pain

This is said to be the second most valid reason for paying a visit to a chiropractic practitioner. However, neck pain can be caused by a variety of reasons. Several of which can be dealt with utilizing chiropractics. With cervical disc degenerative diseases, pinched cervical nerve, minor injuries to ligaments, herniated disc disease and the like, chiropractic can be very effective.

When the neck becomes an area of concern, several other parts of the body can suffer the impact. Weakness in the arms, shoulders and hands, the tingling sensation in parts of the body supplied by the neck suffer along with the pain in neck. Therefore, dealing with neck pain with the help of a chiropractic practitioner is a wise decision.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Spine and Disc Herniation by Michael Dorausch

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Sciatica Diagnosis

800px-03042012Ccm_gamosuma_juvenilA231.jpgIf you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Sciatica, it is vital you get them checked in order to determine the root causes of the pain. This will help you understand the severity of your condition and what treatment options you have available.

Diagnosis

Sciatica diagnosis varies, depending on the duration and severity of the pain. It is recommended that you visit a chiropractor as soon as you see any sign of Sciatica, as the pain tends to get worse overtime and can even lead to more serious complications.

A Chiropractor’s Opinion

A Chiropractor will first look at your medical history, and then examine your symptoms. Like other medical problems, Sciatica is diagnosed using various clinical tests, which range from motion tests to X-rays and CT-scans. However, the latter is only needed in case of long term Sciatica or if the chiropractor thinks there is a deeper root to the problem, as the symptoms may signify other diseases as well.

The simplest and of these tests are the range of motion tests. The straight leg raise is the most commonly used test in this category. The chiropractor would ask you to lie down on a straight examination table or floor. He will then raise your legs, keeping your knees straight. If pain is experienced between the 30-70 degree range, it indicates a positive sign of Sciatica.

Other than that, the chiropractor might ask you to walk on your heels or toes to examine any signs of nerve damage. Reflex tests are also performed, using a reflex hammer on the back of the ankles or the knee.

However, in some complicated cases, these tests aren’t sufficient to determine Sciatica and the chiropractor may perform further diagnosis using imaging techniques such as X-rays or CT-scans. This is specially used if the patient has had a history of HIV or cancer. These advanced diagnosing techniques can indicate any tumors or broken bones in the spinal cord, but they usually only indicate long term Sciatica. In most cases of Acute back pain, these tests aren’t necessary, as the pain usually subsides within a few weeks on its own.

Some rare cases may also require some laboratory tests, such as blood count tests. An abnormal blood count suggests an infection or anemia, which can also cause Sciatica. Sedimentation tests can also tell if there is an inflammation present somewhere within the spinal cord. If you or a loved one has symptoms that indicate Sciatica, a chiropractor can be of service.

 

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How Lack of Exercise Affects Health

The_weigh_he_was_-_weightloss_at_Guantanamo.jpgA lack of exercise results in numerous health problems, starting from seemingly harmless weight gain to cardiovascular diseases and a much higher chance of suffering a stroke.  Research has concluded that as many people die because of the effects of lack of exercise as the number that die from smoking.

This is why chiropractic exercises are strongly recommended to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle and avoid all complications that can lead up to a stroke.

The following problems can occur due to lack of exercise:

1. Obesity

Obesity is one of the major effects of a lack of exercise.  Various health problems can surface due to obesity such as diabetes, breathing issues, high blood pressure and a far greater risk of suffering a heart attack.

Besides the physical effects, many psychological effects also accompany obese people.  Low self-esteem that leads to depression can be a devastating experience.

It is no doubt that obesity can result from genetic factors, but a lack of exercise is usually a major reason.

2. High Blood Pressure

Being overweight can lead to hypertension.  The blood vessels clog up which restricts blood flow.  Hypertension exposes a person to various other risks, such as heart attack, kidney failure and many other ailments.  A hypertensive individual is more likely to develop diabetes.

3. Decline in Brain Function

Exercise helps in increasing the flow of blood to the brain, while lack of exercise does the opposite.  A brain that is deprived of blood cannot function normally as it would otherwise.  The brain can also physically shrink due to the lack of blood supply – a research states that this ‘shrinkage’ can be avoided and mental abilities can be enhanced by regular exercise.

4. Reduction in Strength of Bones and Muscles

A sedentary lifestyle can weaken the bones and muscles, thus exposing an individual to a greater chance of injury as well as diseases such as arthritis.  Lack of exercise can make a person more prone to fractures in case of a fall along with knee-joint and hip problems later on.

5. Increased Chances of Developing Cancer

Research was carried over several years and the results show an increased chance of cancer from a lack of exercise.  Also, people who were physically fit when they developed cancer had a far greater chance of survival than those who had led a sedentary lifestyle.

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Nutrition and Diet for Scoliosis

150px-Blausen_0785_Scoliosis_01.pngA chiropractor will advise a scoliosis patient to follow a specific type of diet. Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine bends to one side. The lower part of the spine is the most common area in which the condition occurs.

The condition is more prevalent in girls rather than boys and usually happens during puberty when the child experiences a growth spurt. Back specialists recommend an adequate amount of nutrition for children who suffer from the condition. The diet is meant to increase bone mass.

Since the condition is hereditary a proper diet might not prevent the onset of scoliosis. However foods that support bone mass are likely to prevent osteoporosis. In fact, according to the University of Washington Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine osteoporosis can actually worsen scoliosis since it can worsen the curve of the spine when the child reaches adulthood.

If your child suffers from scoliosis it is best that you enrich his/her diet with foods that contain vitamin D and Calcium. Not only do they increase bone mass, they also prevent osteoporosis.

Calcium

Children who suffer from scoliosis are recommended to consume between 1200 to 1500mg of calcium on a daily basis. Just make sure that any low fat sources of calcium do not contain high levels of saturated fats. For example, such a diet should contain food items such as skim cheese or yogurt.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps a person’s body absorb calcium. This is also why your mom nagged you about consuming milk on a daily basis. It is packed with the nutrient. Other sources of Vitamin D include saltwater fish, eggs, cod liver oil and cereal.

The nutrient phosphorous is also responsible for bone growth. The human body also uses phosphorus to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D and encourage proper absorption of calcium.

Vitamin E

Vitamin D and calcium aren’t the only nutrients that can prevent a case of scoliosis from getting worse. After all, a child who suffers from the condition will also need a healthy dose of Vitamin E everyday to build strong muscles to support a compromised spine.

Some of the best sources of the nutrient include liver walnuts, almonds, mayonnaise, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, safflower oil, olive oil and others.

Remember a child who suffers from scoliosis needs a diet that prevents his/her condition from getting worse especially after puberty.

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Top 4 Core-Building Exercises

Plank.jpgThe human body has 29 core muscles located in the back, abdomen and pelvis regions.  They help to give a person a stable center of gravity, while helping in controlling movements, supporting whole of the back and giving out a semblance of stability.

These core muscles form the foundation on which the movement of the body is based.  Strong core muscles tend to resist injury and form a protective cushion for the whole spinal column.

However, weak core muscles can cause a person to develop a poor posture, pain all over the body, and make the individual more prone to injuries from everyday activities.

Exercise on a regular basis can make these muscles stronger, but it is necessary to get the posture right before getting on with the exercises.

Good Posture

Good posture not only makes a person look attractive, but it does wonders for the overall skeletal structure.  Chiropractic practice pays a lot of attention to proper posture.  Correct posture will ensure that a person’s muscles, organs along with joints and bones are in their correct, natural positions.

A bad posture can result in a lot of problems for the body, following are examples of a poor posture:

  • Drooping shoulders
  • Head or neck held forward
  • Lower back arching too much
  • Sitting with a wallet in the back pocket
  • Phone receiver being held between neck and shoulder
  • Drooping forward while sitting

These postures must always be avoided.

Bridge

The person should lie on the back with knees bent.  Then the abdominal muscles should be contracted while the person slowly raises the hips off the floor then holding the position for around 10 seconds.

The hips should then be lowered to the floor and the same method repeated again.

Bird Dog

The person should get down on their hands and knees while keeping the head and neck aligned with their back. The core muscles are then contracted; one arm raised meanwhile raising the opposite leg.

Plank

The person should lie on their stomach with the palms facing down.  They should then slowly start to rise off the floor while resting on toes and elbows.  The back should be kept as flat as possible, core muscles in a contracted position and held for at least 12 seconds before lowering themselves to the floor.

Segmental Rotation

In this exercise, the individual is to lie on the back with their knees bent and the feet should be flat on the floor.  While keeping the shoulders flat on the floor, they should let their knees fall slowly towards the left. After returning the legs back to the original starting point, the same action should be repeated.

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If you’ve suffered a work injury, you should be receiving care from an expert chiropractor like Dr. Perryman. He can help provide relief whether the injury…

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