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All About Chiropractic
Welcome to “All About Chiropractic”, the place to find all types of information relating to chiropractic. From what chiropractors do and conditions treated, to chiropractic research studies and education. It’s All About Chiropractic, from a to z.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Be sure to browse through the other sections of our website. Still can’t find what you’re looking for or have any question – don’t hesitate to contact our office for assistance.
Also, be sure to tell family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances about the information available on our site. We enjoy assisting others in their health care needs and always strive towards excellence.
Thank you for stopping by and enjoy!
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – attributed to Thomas Edison.
- Low Back Pain
- Mid Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Sports Injuries
- Auto Injuries
- Children and Infants
- Baby Boomers and Beyond
- Chiropractic Myths
- The Spine
- Work Injuries
If you’re suffering from lower back pain you’re not alone. More than 80% of North Americans will at some time in their life suffer from the disabling confines of lower back pain.
According to experts, lower back pain is the number one disability culprit in workers’ compensation claims and accounts for more than $50 billion annually in the US through medical care and lost production. In addition, the latest research shows most lower back problems which cause low back pain do not fully resolve without extensive treatment and proper rehabilitation, contrary to previous beliefs.
The chiropractic doctor is unique in the health care field in that much of the training in chiropractic colleges is specifically aimed at identifying and successfully treating and managing lower back conditions. General medical practitioners generally lack adequate training in this area and have not learned the skills necessary to most effectively identify and treat most back conditions.
The fast-paced lifestyles of today have taken their toll on the backs of America. Currently, back pain is the number one cause of disability in those aged 19-45 and is the second leading cause of missed work days. Total annual costs for back pain in the US alone are estimated to be in excess of $60 billion.
A number of factors contributing to these statistics, including:
- overall increases in work demands
- overall decreases in physical activity
- increases in prolonged sitting (at the desk, in the car, in front of the television)
- lack of periodic spinal checkups and preventative care
- failure to seek immediate care following injury
- failure to receive adequate treatment for back injuries (i.e. medications only without proper rehabilitation of tissues)
- poor postural habits and lifting techniques
Our treatments primarily focus on the cause of your problems, which not only results in rapid and effective pain-relief, but most importantly, minimizes the chance of future back problems.
To learn more about mid back anatomy, causes of mid back pain, treatments for mid back pain and related articles, choose from the menu links.
Neck pain affects a significant number of individuals. Recent studies have found more than 10% of Americans suffer from neck pain at any given time.
The reason is that the neck region contains many delicate, pain sensitive structures commonly exposed to abuse and abnormal stresses. Incomplete rehabilitation of past injuries, poor posture, prolonged sitting, and lack of periodic spinal alignments are some of the more common factors in the development of neck problems.
Fortunately, most individuals suffering from neck problems will find chiropractic care extremely beneficial. Unlike prescription drugs, most chiropractic procedures address the cause of the majority of neck problems, not simply the symptoms. Best of all, chiropractic care is safe, natural, and noninvasive… no side effects allowed!
Proper posture simply refers to maintaining the body in a position which protects against excessive stresses which cause injury, while requiring a minimal amount of muscular effort to maintain. In other words, a comfortable position which will not irritate your spinal tissues.
Posture plays a significant role in the development of chronic conditions such as chronic back and neck pain. Poor posture is responsible for overstretching ligaments and other supportive spinal structures as well as exhausting spinal musculature, all of which quickly leads to the development of chronic spinal pain.
Learning and practicing proper postural habits will help reduce the likelihood of acquiring back and neck injuries, reduce spinal degeneration, and help keep your spine and body happy and healthy.
Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman’s life filled with new experiences, heightened excitement, mixing emotions, and significant physical changes. It’s also a time filled with many unanswered questions.
The following links provide much of the basic and more complex, yet essential information that can assist the mother-to-be in her quest for a smooth uncomplicated pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Chiropractic care has received much attention in regards to its successful management of sporting injuries. Since the majority of sports injuries are soft tissue in nature and because many of injuries arise from improper body biomechanics and improper sporting techniques, chiropractic doctors have become the doctors of choice – from the weekend warrior to the professional athlete.
According to an article in the June ’98 issue of The Physician and Sports Medicine, “Interest in alternative or complementary medicine ‘especially chiropractic’ is booming… active patients are running to unconventional providers to treat their aches and pains… from chiropractors and acupuncture to magnets and meditation.”
It’s really quite simple. Chiropractic care – through the use of safe and natural spinal adjustive techniques, physiotherapy applications, soft tissue mobilization, stretching and exercise programs, diet and nutritional counseling, and extensive biomechanical training – focuses on all causes which have lead to the symptoms of pain and tissue injury and do not focus on solely eliminating pain.
Successful treatments must focus not only on pain relief, but must address the underlying causes such as muscular imbalances, biomechanical deficiencies, improper sporting techniques, and improper conditioning, to name a few.
According to the Insurance Research Council, nearly 1/3 of all claimants injured in motor vehicle accidents (MVA’s) seek treatment from doctors of chiropractic. This is an impressive number given that the National Safety Council (NSC) has determined there to be more than 12 million MVA’s annually involving more than 20 million vehicles.
The reason individuals like yourself choose chiropractic care for treatment of injuries sustained in MVA’s is simple – chiropractic care is exceptional in the treatment of soft tissue injuries, especially of the spine. Since the most common injuries associated with MVA’s are sprains and strains of the spinal muscles and ligaments, it’s only natural that chiropractic be the treatment of choice.
Many studies have also found individuals injured in MVA’s prefer chiropractic care for the treatment of their injuries. One such study evaluated 190 whiplash injury victims and found those who received chiropractic care reported treatment satisfaction of 100%.
- Balla JI, Iansek R. Headaches arising from disorders of the cervical spine. In: Hopkins A, ed. Headache: Problems in Diagnosis and Management. London: WB Saunders; 1988.
Welcome to the section of our site dealing with the health issues of infants, children and teens.
This area provides parents with useful information necessary in raising a healthy family. Healthy habits are formed, or not formed, at a very early age. Thus, we urge parents to take an active role in their children’s health and teach their children through healthy examples.
Come back often as we update, add and improve upon the site regularly. Also, if you have any suggestions or comments, please send them our way.
Common Musculoskeletal Conditions Treated
Chiropractic has provided effective relief to millions of individuals suffering from back and neck ailments. Chiropractic has also provided relief from many other musculoskeletal complaints ranging from knee and ankle problems to carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. In fact, musculoskeletal pain or discomfort in any area of the spine or extremity is a candidate for safe, natural, noninvasive chiropractic care. If a condition exists which is better suited for treatment by a medical specialist, chiropractors are fully trained to identify such conditions and make the appropriate referral. However, most patients suffering from musculoskeletal complaints can and are successfully treated with chiropractic every single day.
Common musculoskeletal conditions treated:
- low back pain and stiffness
- neck and upper back pain and stiffness
- mid back pain and stiffness
- headaches and migraines
- leg pain, weakness, numbness and tingling
- arm pain, weakness, numbness and tingling
- extremity joint pain and dysfunction
- carpal tunnel syndrome
Common Injuries Treated
Chiropractors commonly treat all types of injuries and recognize the unique findings associated with each. For example, it’s important to understand that auto injuries often involve a delayed onset of symptoms which commonly surface weeks and even months post-accident. In work injuries, chiropractors routinely look beyond the actual injury and address such things as work station setup, ergonomically correct equipment, and proper work techniques. For sports injuries, chiropractors often check for biomechanical and muscle imbalances as a routine part of the treatment plan. Treating the whole person and optimizing health is what chiropractic is all about.
Common injuries treated:
- automobile accident and whiplash injuries
- on-the-job and lifting injuries
- sports/athletic injuries
- slip and fall injuries
- chronic injuries
Non-Musculoskeletal Conditions Treated
In addition to musculoskeletal problems, chiropractic treatments have also been shown to benefit many individuals suffering from “medical” ailments such as chronic ear infections in children, menstrual pain and irregularities in women, and arthritis in the elderly. Although chiropractic care is not a specific form of treatment for such conditions, research has shown that many “medical” conditions can be caused or aggravated by irritation to spinal nerve roots which share an intimate relationship with the spinal structures. By restoring proper nerve functioning by normalizing spinal structure and function, we believe some individuals suffering from these “medical” ailments can obtain partial and in some cases, full relief.
Non-musculoskeletal conditions which studies have shown benefit from chiropractic:
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- dizziness and dysequilibrium
- infantile colic
- low energy levels
- otitis media (ear infection)
Welcome to “Baby Boomers and Beyond”, the section of our site dealing with health issues of the maturing individual.
Included in this section is information on:
- the spine and changes that occur with aging,
- how chiropractic can eliminate years of pain and discomfort while simultaneously enhancing health and wellness,
- many prevalent health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s Disease,
- exercise and fitness programs for the maturing individual
- dietary and nutritional concerns for the maturing individual
and much more.
According to the latest research, 9% of men and 12% of women in the U.S. experience at least 1-2 headache episodes per month. And, more than 4% of the U.S. population suffers from frequent headaches, defined as headaches that occur at least 180 days a year. Needless to say, headaches have become a social and economic burden in the United States, as well as other parts of the world.
Scientists have identified over 300 causes for headaches. Various pain-sensitive structures and tissues including the skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles, arteries, periosteal bone covering, and the upper cervical and facial nerves produce headaches when irritated or injured. Fortunately, only a handful of causes are responsible for the majority of headaches.
The most common of these headaches include:
- Cervicogenic- problems within the neck
- Muscle-tension- neck and upper back muscular spasms
- Post-traumatic- following head/neck trauma, i.e. whiplash
- Drug-induced- from analgesic overuse
Doctors of chiropractic successfully help thousands of individuals everyday obtain safe, effective, long-term relief from their headaches. This is because most headaches have a spinal, muscular, or habitual component which the chiropractor has been trained to identify and treat. In fact, surveys show that 10-25% of patients initiate chiropractic care for the relief of headaches.
To learn more about specific headache types, headache treatments, prevention tips, or to view various articles related to headaches, choose from the links menu above.
Over the years a number of myths pertaining to chiropractic have been created, mostly by economic competitors and those with differing philosophies. While the majority of myths have no basis, they do exist and cause some confusion to individuals unfamiliar with chiropractic care.
Spinal Adjustments Hurt
Quite the contrary. Many patients feel instant relief immediately after their treatments. In fact, most look forward to their chiropractic treatments. In patients suffering from severe bouts of back or neck pain, some discomfort may be experienced for obvious reasons, however, for most patients this is not the case.
Spinal Adjustments Are Dangerous
Chiropractic spinal adjustments are extremely safe when performed by chiropractors. In fact, chiropractic adjustments are among the safest treatments for most back and neck problems. According to a 1993 Ontario Ministry of Health commissioned study,
“There is no clinical or case-control study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe in the treatment of low-back pain. Some medical treatments are equally safe, but others are unsafe and generate iatrogenic (doctor-induced) complications for low-back pain patients. Our reading of the literature suggests that chiropractic manipulation is safer than medical management of low-back pain.”
Lead investigator of the study, Pran Manga, Ph.D., however, did warn that spinal adjustments performed by health care professionals other than qualified doctors of chiropractic were potentially harmful and less effective:
“Indeed, several existing medical therapies of low-back pain are generally contraindicated on the basis of the existing clinical trials. There is also some evidence in the literature to suggest that spinal manipulations are less safe and less effective when performed by nonchiropractic professionals.”
On December 8, 1994, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services released clinical practice guidelines for the management of acute low back pain. Their guidelines were developed after extensive study of the diagnostic and treatment methods used for acute low back pain. Their findings included:
- The risk of serious complications from lumbar spinal manipulation is rare;
- Conservative treatment such as spinal manipulation should be pursued in most cases before considering surgical intervention;
- Prescription drugs such as oral steroids, antidepressant medications and colchicine are not recommended for acute low back problems.
Chiropractic Doctors Lack Education Compared With Medical Doctors
The training and education endured by chiropractors is extremely thorough and demanding, similar to that of medical doctors with the exception of pharmacology and surgery.
Prior to entering chiropractic college, the aspiring chiropractor requires 2-4 years (depending on the college attended and the state one wishes to practice in) of premed undergraduate studies. Once completed, the student must next complete 4-5 academic years of studies at a chiropractic college. This includes extensive training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, radiology, differential diagnosis, chiropractic adjustive techniques, biomechanics , and other health-related studies.
In addition, prior to graduation each student must successfully complete several hundred clinical hours of “real” patient management in a clinical setting under professional supervision. Most chiropractic colleges also require students to partake in clinical externship programs which place them in actual chiropractic offices, further enhancing their clinical practice skills.
Near or soon after graduation, the new doctors of chiropractic must successfully complete rigorous National and State Board examinations prior to obtaining a license to practice chiropractic. Once licensed, most states require that chiropractors receive annual continuing education to ensure that a high level of competency is maintained.
Chiropractic Is Not Scientific
Chiropractors have always sought to provide the safest and most effective healing methods for their patients. In order to achieve this, the chiropractic profession has been dedicated to conducting scientific studies to improve their diagnostic methods and treatment techniques. In the last 20 years chiropractic health care has established an impressive array of scientific research that demonstrates the efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of chiropractic care. There are many further studies currently underway, and several have been performed by medical doctors and government researchers in both the U.S. and a number of other countries.
In fact, the chiropractic profession has accumulated a greater number of scientific trials on chiropractic than the medical profession has accumulated for many of the treatments rendered by medical doctors. According to David M. Edy, M.D., Ph.D., professor of health policy and management with Duke University, North Carolina, only 15 percent of all medical interventions are supported by solid scientific evidence. Paul G. Shekelle, M.D., M.P.H., of the RAND Corporation made the following statement on ABC’s 20/20:
“There are considerably more randomized controlled trials which show benefit of this (chiropractic care) than there are for many, many other things which physicians and neurosurgeons do all the time.”
Chiropractic Care Is Expensive
Research clearly disproves this myth. Chiropractic care has been consistently shown to be cost effective in a number of government and workers’ compensation board studies.
According to The Manga Report, a 1993 Canadian government commissioned study,
“There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low-back pain was transferred from physicians to chiropractors… Users of chiropractic care have substantially lower health care costs, especially inpatient costs, than those who use medical care only.”
According to an economic analysis conducted in Richmond, Virginia,
“By every test of cost and effectiveness, the general weight of evidence shows chiropractic to provide important therapeutic benefits, at economical costs. Additionally, these benefits are achieved with apparently minimal, even negligible, impacts on the costs of health insurance.”
When the State of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Board conducted research in 1988 on treatment costs associated with injured workers who received care from either chiropractic doctors or medical doctors, they found chiropractic treatment costs were 58.8 percent of the treatments costs rendered by medical doctors ($558 vs. $1,100 per case).
You’ll Have To Continue Chiropractic Care For The Rest Of Your Life
Most doctors of chiropractic promote a preventative type of lifestyle which has been construed by adversaries to mean that chiropractic care requires a lifetime of commitment. Actually, recommending that patients return for periodic spinal care is no different that what dentists recommend to their patients in order to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Just as it would be ludicrous to believe that visiting a dentist once per lifetime would ensure permanently healthy teeth and gums it’s equally as silly to think that visiting a chiropractor a few times will ensure a lifelong healthy spine. Our spinal tissues undergo daily bombardment of stresses originating from bad postural habits, suboptimal work environments, psychological stress, and hectic lifestyles just to name a few.
For these reasons, after the resolution of acute problems patients are given the option to receive periodic spinal checkups which acts to minimize the likelihood of future recurrences or development of new problems. The preventative approach in health care has been gaining much recognition as of late and there has been a large push in the medical community and health insurance industry to incorporate preventative programs into mainstream medicine.
It’s really that simple. Periodic care to prevent future problems – safe, natural, convenient care now to avoid nasty and complex problems later.
Chiropractors Only Treat Back Pain
Chiropractors provide effective treatment for all types of soft tissue disorders and not just back and neck ailments. This includes conditions of the joints of the extremities like the ankle, knee and shoulder.
What you may not be aware of is chiropractic’s success in treating a number of non-soft tissue conditions like dysmenorrhea (painful menses), ulcers, migraine headaches, and ear infections in children. While we cannot claim to cure these conditions, we believe that many of these problems can be mimicked, aggravated and some times caused by disruptions in the nervous system as a result of spinal abnormalities. By correcting these spinal abnormalities like the vertebral subluxation, chiropractic has helped thousands of individuals overcome these conditions and regain control of their lives.
A number of studies have also supported these findings. In one such study, spinal manipulative therapy was compared with standard medical treatments in the treatment of duodenal ulcers. The researchers Pikalov, MD, and Kharin, MD, found those subjects receiving spinal manipulations took an average of 16 days to heal vs. 26 days to heal in the standard medical treatment group.
- JMPT 1994;17(5):310-313
Understanding the spine is the key to understanding why chiropractic doctors do what they do and why they obtain extraordinary results with a variety of different conditions.
The spine is a complex structure containing a number of associated muscles, ligaments, joints and nerves which commonly become irritated and injured. Extended sitting, repetitive motions, bad postural habits, mental stress, lack of exercise and inadequate nutritional intake are just some of the everyday stresses which accumulate to produce devastating effects on the spinal components.
Doctors of chiropractic are the health care leaders in providing safe, fast and effective relief for most spinal problems.
Welcome to the Work Injuries section of our website!
We have an excellent source of basic as well as in-depth information to assist you in any workers’ compensation question you may have.
If you experience difficulty finding the answer to your questions, please contact our office directly. We can answer most of your work comp related questions, as workers’ compensation cases make up a significant portion of our practice.
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