There are many types and causes of headaches. Regardless of the cause, if you have a headache, you want it to end. Fast!
This has produced a huge market for medications that cover up the symptoms of headaches. Powerful drugs can numb your nervous system so the pain doesn't register. While these approaches may be convenient, they can cause adverse effects and kidney or liver damage. Worse, they don't correct the underlying cause of the headache.
A cause of headaches can be from spinal bones in the neck that aren't supporting your head properly. They're not moving right. This can affect nerves, muscles and even the blood supply to your head.
Our chiropractic physicians locate areas of the spine that aren't moving properly. The doctors notice spinal curves, looks at your posture and your ability to turn and bend. These and many other examinations can help determine if you are likely to benefit from chiropractic care.
If you're a good chiropractic candidate, your care will consist of a schedule of chiropractic adjustments. These help normalize spinal function, help restore essential spinal curves, improve circulation and reduce nerve irritation. Many patients report fewer and less severe headaches.
What causes headaches?
The most common causes are physical trauma, emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies or chemical toxins. Sometimes there may be a combination of these and other factors. Our examination process helps identify the most likely cause.
Most whiplash injuries occur while sitting stationary in your car. Upon impact, your body pushes deeply into your seat. Your head, momentarily isolated by your neck, delays its reaction while your body quickly reaches the limits of your seat.
Then, your body instantly changes directions, moving forward to the limits of your seat belt. Now, your head starts moving backward in the opposite direction! Unrestrained by a seat belt, your head is jerked back and then forward beyond its normal limits. Everything seems to be happening in slow motion, yet you are unable to stop your head from whipping backward and then forward. First surprise. Then anger. Then pain.
Don't minimize your own injuries because your car has sustained little or no damage. An immediate chiropractic examination is essential. Pain pills won't heal inflamed tendons and ligaments. Muscle relaxers won't heal torn muscles. A cervical collar won't restore a graceful forward spinal curve.
Specific chiropractic spinal adjustments, because they can help restore proper motion and position of individual spinal bones, can help assure proper healing. Our doctors can help you get well and stay well after trauma of a whiplash injury.
Why do I have pain in my arms and hands?
Because the nerves to the arm and hands exit the spine through the
injured area of the neck, numbness and tingling are common. Even lower
back pain can result directly from the trauma or as a reaction to the
loss of proper spinal curves.
Why did my headaches start more than a week after my accident?
Whether you've been in an accident, stressed at work or overexerted yourself in the garden, your body is constantly adapting to the environment. When your capacity to adapting is exhausted, symptoms can appear. This can take days, weeks, months or a year to occur.
Will I ever be normal again?
Many chiropractic patients report improved spinal curves and an end to their symptoms. Those who delay seeking appropriate care often discover that scar tissue and spinal instability require periodic chiropractic checkups.
What causes neck pain?
Your neck is the most vulnerable part of your spine. Not only does it support your 10 to 12 pound head, maintain a gentle forward curve, and permit head rotation, but it must also allow the free flow of nerve impulses to the head, face, hands and the rest if your body. Beside discomfort and annoyance, chronic neck pain is a sign that something is wrong.
Many everyday things can cause neck pain such as watching TV, using your computer, reading a book or falling asleep in a chair or on an airplane. The temporary pain that results can resolve on its own, especially when the offending activity is discontinued. When it doesn't, a more serious underlying problem may be indicated.
A thorough examination can determine if you're a good candidate for chiropractic care. These tests may involve your ability to turn and bend. Muscle tone of the supporting muscles in the neck may be tested. Diagnostic imaging to reveal the underlying structure of the spine may be requested. These and other tests are designed to identify the cause and location of your neck pain.
The most common cause of neck pain is functional distortions in the spine resulting from vertebral subluxations or misaligning vertebrae. These subluxations are seen in cases of reverse cervical curve, whiplash and joint instability. The body responds by tightening muscles in the neck, "splinting" the joint to protect if from further insult. Our doctors care can help.
Will I have to live with it?
Pain is a warning sign. Like the piercing sound from a smoke alarm, the alarm isn't the problem. The alarm has a cause, just like every ache or pain has a cause. Some people choose to cover up the pain instead of correcting the cause. What's your approach?
The nerve-rich facet joints on the backside of each spinal bone are a common cause of back pain. If these pairs of interlocking "fingers" aren't moving right, they can cause painful symptoms.
The discs between spinal bones can be a source of back pain, too. These rings of fibrous tissues act as spacers, connectors and "shock absorbers" for the spine. Trauma can cause the fluid in the middle to bulge or herniate, putting pressure on delicate nearby nerves.
Once you know the cause, you have several choices. One approach is bed rest. But research shows that prolonged bed rest can actually delay recovery and make the problem worse!
Physical therapy is another option. But exercising spinal joints that aren't working right is like continuing to drive your car with misaligned tires!
Another choice is to numb or cover up the pain with drugs. While drugs can offer temporary relief, they can't correct functional problems of affected spinal joints.
The most drastic measure is surgery. A laminectomy cuts off the offending facet joints, leaving the spinal cord exposed! A spinal fusion cuts out the disc tissue and immobilizes the joint. While there may be times when surgery makes sense, it's expensive, risky and more than half of all back surgeries fail.
More and more people are choosing chiropractic care first. Specific chiropractic adjustments can help improve spinal function.
Better yet, chiropractic is safe, natural, and looks to correct the underlying cause of the problem.
Those suffering from sciatica are often in their 40s and 50s. It usually begins as an acute pain in the lower back and then extends down the back of either leg. The pain usually worsens with long periods of sitting or standing.
Like a large river created by smaller streams, five pairs of nerves exit the spine in the lower back to form the two sciatic nerves. The soft, pulpy disc between each spinal bone is often involved. While a disc can't "slip", it can bulge, herniate or rupture. This can put direct pressure on the nearby nerves. The result? Swelling. Inflammation. Pain when coughing, sneezing or with other kinds of movement.
Sciatica often worsens with extended bed rest. Pain pills or muscle
relaxers are unable to correct the nerve compression caused by a bulging
disc. Physical therapy merely exercises the unstable joints. Surgery
often involves cutting away disc tissue or removing bone to make room for
Fortunately, sciatica often responds to safe, natural chiropractic care.
Improving joint motion with a series of chiropractic adjustments has produced results for millions. "Before" and "after" images of the lower back often show improved disc height and spacing. Many patients report that they can resume their lives and that their symptoms disappear without drugs or surgery.
Our chiropractic physicians are uniquely skilled to evaluate and reduce the most common cause of sciatica nerve pain. It's the natural approach to relief and better health. There is hope!
How do you get sciatica?
It's easy to trace some spinal problems to an event, such as an accident. Yet, sciatica is often the result of cumulative damage. Years of bad posture, poor muscle tone, excess weight or countless other causes set the stage. Then, something simple like bending over to tie your shoes can trigger an episode.
Can anything else cause sciatica?
Spinal decay can be another culprit. Instead of disc thinning that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve roots, arthritic bone spurs can intrude into the space normally reserved for the nerve.
Can chiropractic cure sciatica?
Actually, chiropractic doesn't cure anything! Only your body can do that. The chiropractic approach to sciatica (and other health problems) is to help restore the way your spine works, reducing nerve irritation and revitalizing your own healing ability.
How long will I need chiropractic care?
Most sciatica patients are delighted with the results they get after weeks or months of care. Naturally, this varies from patient to patient.
This period of rapid development, hormonal changes, the laxity of
connective ligaments, and shifting of weight-bearing structures, may
cause many pregnant women to experience low back pain.
Chiropractic care can be quite helpful.
Besides helping to relieve the discomfort many expectant mothers experience, chiropractic care helps normalize nervous system function. This is an important component of overall good health.
The benefits of chiropractic care may also be noticed during delivery. Many chiropractic patients report that their deliveries were faster and more comfortable than their deliveries prior to chiropractic care! Our doctors will take special precautions with you during your pregnancy. Modifications to the table or adjusting techniques are made during each stage of pregnancy. Take care of yourself and your baby with regular chiropractic checkups.
Can it be prevented?
Scoliosis is tragic. It causes both physical pain and emotional suffering. This sideways bending of the spine shows up as abnormal posture and then finally, deformity. If allowed to advance, it can interfere with the lungs, heart and many other vital organs.
Scoliosis affects boys, but more frequently girls, between the ages of 8 and 18. The cause varies. Some are born with this spinal deviation (congenital). Others get it from assuming a distorted head or hip position (habitual). Sadly, in many cases the cause is still unknown.
In the beginning, when it is easiest to correct, there are rarely symptoms. However, an alert parent may notice that a high shoulder or low hip makes clothing fit poorly. Back and leg pains may develop but are often overlooked as merely "growing pains." Neglect is the biggest danger.
If allowed to run its course, scoliosis can steadily worsen. Early detection is critical. Severe cases can involve surgery. This procedure attaches steel rods to the spine to force it to straighten.
Chiropractic care has helped many young women and men avoid the unhappy effects of scoliosis. The procedure is simple.
First, a thorough examination helps detect scoliosis in its early stages. Then, corrective action can begin at once. The primary course of care is a program of specific chiropractic adjustments. These help improve the function and structure of the spine, strengthen muscles and improve posture.
Chiropractic care has helped countless young women and men reclaim their health, posture and their self-esteem.
What's the best time for a scoliosis examination?
As with the case of many health problems, early detection can improve the likelihood of correction. Wise parents consult our office soon after the birth of their child. Then they follow up with periodic chiropractic checkups throughout their child's developing years.
How well do you adapt to stress?
For some, it's an upset stomach. For others, recurring headaches, back pain, or muscle stiffness. Still others respond with nervous twitches, allergic reactions, or sensitivities to chemicals. Regardless of your particular response, the function of your nervous system is involved. That's why chiropractic can be so helpful.
The chiropractic approach is to help normalize the function of your nervous system by removing interferences caused by Vertebral Subluxation Complex or spinal joint dysfunction.
Finding the "weak links" in your spine (the major communication pathway of your nervous systems) and helping restore better function can make a profound difference in your response to stress.
It may not be possible to remove the stress from a busy life. However, with the help of our chiropractic physicians you can respond better to the unique challenges you face.
How does stress affect you?
Stress has been with us since the beginning of time. Every era has faced its share of threatening situations. Today, the stress of work, project deadlines, personal conflicts, and demands on our time and money, take a huge toll on our health.
It may surprise you that your feelings of stress may have nothing to do with the stress in your life. Poor posture, prolonged sitting, an accident, or even an old injury can lead to spinal stress. Chronic pain and muscle tension can cause you to experience nervousness and irritability.
The Chiropractic lifestyle
Our doctors are experts in the care of the bones, nerves, muscles and connective tissues that make up about 60% of your body. All of the joints in your body are part of this musculo-skeletal system and its function is necessary for overall good health. Ask Gillis Family Chiropractic for more information about a care program that may include specific spinal adjustments, exercise recommendations, nutritional advice or other methods of care based on your health history, age, current condition and lifestyle.
Since spinal discs have a very poor blood supply, they also depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring in nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc deteriorates. Like a wet sponge, a healthy disc is flexible. A dry sponge is hard, stiff, and can crack easily. This is how many disc problems begin.
Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebra above and below it, a disc cannot "slip" as commonly thought. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, often interfering with their function.
The chiropractic approach to disc problems is to help restore better motion and position to spinal joints. Besides reducing disc bulging, better spinal function helps decrease inflammation so the slow process of healing the surrounding soft tissues can begin.
Many patients have avoided surgery or a dependence on pain pills by choosing chiropractic care.
The most common disc injury is a small crack or microtear in the tough, outer cartilage material of the disc called annular fibers. This allows the fluid to start leaking out, and the disc begins to wear thin.
The soft jelly-like material in the middle of the disc pushes to one side, forward or backward, and swelling occurs. The nucleus is still contained within the tough outer fibers of the disc, but can still cause pressure and painful symptoms.
The soft jelly-like material from the nucleus in the middle of the disc ruptures through the tough, outer fibers and extends to the outer edge or beyond the normal limits of the disc.
A piece of disc material separates away and becomes a fragment or a free-floating piece.
The disc loses its fluid content and degenerates down to a rough, worn-down or worn-out appearance. This occurs as the bones begin to fuse to each other.