There are many problems that commonly respond well to Chiropractic care. These include, but are not limited to:
Neck pain/ stiffness
Neck pain can be biomechanical or pathological in nature. Common biomechanical causes include muscle strains and joint dysfunction induced by trauma, bone/joint abnormalities and/or poor posture.
Chiropractic care can help provide relief to issues of a biomechanical and degenerative nature. Wherever pathology is suspected, referral to a medical specialist may be required for further investigation.
Common neck pain conditions include:
– Whiplash injuries
– Cervical sprain/strain
You can think of discs as jelly-like substances with a harder rubbery coating on the outside, which act as shock absorbers of the spine.
The jelly-like insides are pushed around against the rubbery disc walls as we move our spines around. Repetitive movements or holding our body in positions that are not neutral or “normal” to our bodies can cause wear and tearing to certain areas of our disc walls. These weak areas can eventually lead to a bulging or herniated disc that in turn can cause inflammation and irritate spinal nerves, leading to pain in your limbs.
Low back pain
Biomechanical back pains could originate from muscles, joints, nerves and surrounding structures. Back pains can occur regionally and differentiated into upper / middle / low back pain.
More often than not, back pain can be relieved from conservative chiropractic care without the need for drug reliance or surgery.
In addition to treating your back pain, we look into your lifestyle habits to search for clues for the underlying cause of your back pain. Having discovered the cause allows us to make positive changes to the faulty lifestyle habits, and make healthy suggestions to help with your long-term recovery.
Hip pain can be caused by a wide variety of problems – sports injuries, trauma, pinched nerves, degeneration or pre-existing diseases and conditions.
Depending on the precise location of your symptoms around your hip, the structures affected could be different – whether it is the hip joint itself, ligaments, tendons, muscles and surrounding soft tissue structures.
More often than not, biomechanical hip pain can be relieved by self-care. If you have hip pain symptoms as a result of injuring yourself recently, try resting and laying off your feet as much as possible, and icing the area in pain. However, if your symptoms are extreme or persistent for a long period of time, contact me here to see if chiropractic can help you.
During sports, it is not uncommon for a sudden twist or jolt to end up as a sprained back, twisted knee, rolled ankle, injured shoulder or trauma to any other areas of the body. The first few hours following an injury are crucial in how well the body will heal. Common treatment is rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) of the injured area. Following this initial injury stage, chiropractic care can be applied to accelerate the healing process.
Healthy or not, young or old… Prolonged periods of high impact sports may also be damaging to joints and detrimental to bone health. A study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston showed that girls who engaged in eight or more hours of physical activity a week were twice as likely to develop a stress fracture as those who engaged in less than four hours of activity per week.
Ankle & Foot pain
The ankle and foot are able to withstand a lot of weight. They provide a firm basis of support for the body in the erect posture. As such, there are many more opportunities for injury to occur – from repetitive strain and sports induced injuries.
Common neck pain conditions include:
– Ankle sprains
– Plantar Fasciitis
– Pes Planus (flat foot)
– Morton’s foot
The knee joint is comprised of bones, cartilage (meniscus), ligaments, muscles and fluids. Each of the structures play a role in stabilizing, protecting and providing movement in the joint.
The knee joint plays a huge role in our activities of daily living, from getting up from a chair, walking and running, to performing more advanced proprioceptive movements in sports. Any disruption or damage to any of the structures can initiate a chain of problems that can accumulate with time.
Knee injuries or disorders commonly presented to a chiropractic clinic:
– Ligamentous / muscle / meniscus sprain
– Post-surgical rehabilitative care for meniscus / ligamentous tears
– Iliotibial band syndrome
Sciatica is a term used to describe pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The pain can start from the low back, and travel through the hip and buttock, down into the back of the affected leg(s). Sciatica typically occurs at one side of the body at a time. Pain severity can vary from a mild ache to a sharp shooting, tingling or burning discomfort. Other symptoms may include numbness or muscle weakness in the affected leg.
Sciatica can be caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve at a single or multiple areas – sources of irritation can be from muscle spasms, a herniated/fragmented disc or bony spurs.
Although age, weight, occupation, lifestyle habits and other present medical conditions can play a role in your development of sciatica, depending on the severity, most cases of sciatica can be resolved from a few weeks of conservative chiropractic care.
Headaches and migraines
There are many different causes of headaches, some of which originate from the muscles, joints, nerves and/or surrounding structures of the head and neck.
Cervicogenic and tension headaches are the two most common presentations of headaches in a chiropractic clinic.
Pain associated with cervicogenic headaches originates from the neck area of the spine. Pain is aggravated by specific neck movements or sustained postures and may radiate to forehead, around the eyes, temples or ears.
Tension headaches are headaches that come and go and are commonly described as “a band of pain around the head like an athlete’s head band”. The pain patterns experienced in tension headaches are usually muscular in origin. Pain is typically even, not throbbing, without symptoms of nausea, photophobia (sensitivity to light) or phonophobia (sensitivity to sounds) as in migraines.
Migraine headaches are commonly described with a moderate to severe throbbing or pulsatile pain. Migraines may be accompanied with symptoms of sensitivity to light and/or sound, nausea and vomiting; and is usually associated with a trigger factor – stress, rapid hormonal changes, rapid blood sugar changes, or vasoactive foods such as red wine, cheese, nuts, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, preservatives or MSG.
Migraines usually subside gradually within a day or after a period of sleep. Sometimes migraines fully debilitate people so they can’t even get out of the house. Should you have a persistent lingering headache/migraine, consider consulting a chiropractor for advice and help.
A history of previous neck trauma and lifestyle factors such as posture, diet, stress, exercise and activity levels may also contribute to the development of headaches and migraines.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with wide range of motion. As a result such mobility, the shoulder joint is prone to injury.
The mechanisms that can contribute to the symptom of shoulder pain include joint instabilities, joint restrictions, muscle impingements, strains, repetitive overuse, trauma, impinged nerve, dislocation and degenerative changes. Often there is a combination of factors.
Common shoulder conditions presented to a chiropractic clinic include:
– Shoulder muscle tendinopathies
– Glenohumeral instability
– Frozen shoulder / Adhesive capsulitis
Scoliosis is a condition in which a person’s spine is curved, often in a rotational or cork-screw shape – often known as an S shaped spine when viewed from the back.
There are two main mechanisms of scoliosis – functional or structural.
Functional causes of scoliosis can be due to compensations to leg length inequalities and anatomical asymmetries or postural issues of muscular imbalance and lifestyle habits.
Functional scoliosis can usually be relieved with stretching, joint mobilization and appropriate strengthening exercises.
Structural scoliosis sometimes requires bracing and in severe cases, surgery for correction.
Whichever the mechanism of scoliosis it is, early detection and care, is vital in halting or slowing the progression of scoliosis.
Poor posture and lifestyle habits, especially during childhood, can develop muscle imbalance, muscle spasms and deviations in normal spinal curvatures (such as scoliosis). Posture is especially important in the formative years of childhood.
Chiropractors can help relieve the muscle tension and correct joint dysfunction caused by postural imbalances. But more importantly, for long-term benefits, active adherence to the prescribed lifestyle adjustments is vital.
Spine pain associated with pregnancy
One of the most obvious physical causes of change with pregnancy is that there is a growing living being in your or your partner’s tummy. During pregnancy, it is necessary for a woman to change her posture and lean back more than usual, to maintain balance in the upright position.
The main biomechanical factors/influences related to the development of low back pain in pregnancy included:
– Front to back abdominal diameter
– The depth of the lumbar lordosis
– Shifting of the centre of gravity of the spine backwards
– Joint laxity and mobility (in one study, “in the group of women who were pregnant for their first time, there was a significantly lower peripheral joint laxity in the 12th week in those women who later developed back pain”).
Pains associated with pregnancy however are usually not purely biomechanical. There are also major hormonal and physiological aspects.
Elbow and wrist pain
The elbows, wrists and hands are not uncommon areas for referred pain. As such, it is important for the neck and shoulder regions to be examined when elbow, wrist or hand pain is present, as the symptoms may be caused by nerve impingement at the spine.
Common conditions of the elbow, wrist and hand include:
– Carpel tunnel syndrome
– Peripheral neuropathies
– Tennis / Golfer’s elbow
– Strain / Sprains
Pinched nerves/ Nerve Entrapment
A nerve is “pinched” when a pressure is applied to a nerve. The pressure could be from compression between anatomical anomalies, bone structures, mechanisms such as traumas and repetitive motions resulting in oedema and inflammation, and soft tissue structures – muscles, ligaments and discs.
Nerves are most vulnerable to compression. There are a number of places in your body where the nerve is exposed to narrow spaces with little soft tissue to protect the nerve. Because of this, the nerves of the spine are commonly affected.
Depending on location and severity, pinched nerves can cause symptoms of general pain, radiating pain, pins & needles, numbness, burning sensations and in more severe cases, weakness and muscle atrophy of the limbs.
Long-term nerve compression may cause chronic pain, scarring and permanent interference with a nerve’s function.
Conditions with a component of nerve entrapment commonly seen in chiropractic clinics include:
– Peripheral neuropathy
– Carpal tunnel syndrome
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition whereby there is wear and tear of the cartilage between bones.
As the cartilage wears down, the joint loses its range of movement, which in turn can cause other issues and compensatory patterns of pain and problems in the long term.
Chiropractic care helps to restore joint function by restoring any mal-position and restoring range of motion in the affected joints.