While chiropractic rehabilitative care and physical therapy can help with any number of symptoms and problems, we have listed some of the more common conditions. If you are experiencing any of these problems, please contact us for an appointment today.
The disc is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. The soft jellylike center is contained by layers of fibrous tissues. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. When healthy, discs allow normal bending and turning.
Since spinal discs have a very poor blood supply, they depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring 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, interfering with their function.
While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing conservative rehabilitative care. Spinal Decompression can provide relief from neck and low back disc injuries.
Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a car that is struck from behind or that collides with another object. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments that support the spine and head can be overstretched or torn. The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck can get stretched and irritated. While occupants can suffer considerable soft tissue injury, the car may only be slightly damaged.
The resulting instability of the spine and soft tissues can cause headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulder, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and even low back problems. As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear for weeks or even months later.
Our approach to these types of injuries is to utilize a variety of rehabilitative therapies and strengthening exercises to restore your muscles and tissues to their optimal function. After a thorough examination and case history, Dr. Alix will recommend the appropriate diagnostic tests, treatment plan, and/or referrals required by your injuries. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized.
Arthritis is a condition characterized by the gradual breakdown of joint cartilage, most common in the weight bearing joints of the body such as the knees, hips, and back. It is also common in the neck and hands. As the joint is broken down it can lead to joint stiffness and increased strain on the muscles in that area. Additionally, as joint function changes it can lead to movement compensations and place strain on other areas of the body as well. Although degenerative changes are common with age they do not automatically result in pain. Research now shows that it is not the degeneration of the joint that is responsible for pain but the effects the degeneration has on how the joint is functioning particularly the stiffness and muscles strain.
We focus on restoration and maintenance of function by emphasizing joint movement and increasing the ability of the muscles to support and stabilize the affected joints.
Joint Complex Dysfunction
Joints of the body need to move. When this movement becomes restricted and normal motion is altered several problems arise. Most commonly joint dysfunction results in pain, stiffness, muscle tightness, cartilage breakdown/degeneration, and movement compensation leading to undue stress on other areas of the body. Joint dysfunctions are common in the spine and the extremities and can commonly occur with injury, poor posture, muscles tightness, scar tissue, or muscles imbalance.
Dr. Alix will assess movement of the joints to determine areas of restrictions. Once identified, the abnormal movement can be restored using a combination of rehabilitative procedures combined with a home exercise plan.
Neck/Low Back Pain
Joint Complex Dysfunctions are one of the most common causes of neck and low back pain. When vertebrae are misaligned, they put pressure directly on spinal nerves, causing pain. Muscle spasms may set in, which can increase the pressure further. This extra pressure can cause even more inflammation and irritation, which leads to more pain. And the cycle continues.
It is important to have your condition properly assessed to ensure that a treatment plan is delivered safely and effectively to treat your specific injuries.
80% of headaches originate from the neck. Usually an increased amount of stress and tension held in the shoulders causes contractions of all of the surrounding neck muscles. When these muscles contract, vertebrae can become misaligned causing pressure on spinal nerves, and ultimately pain. With a typical cervicogenic (neck origin) headache, a person usually feels pain starting at the base of the skull which radiates into the temples, eyeballs, and forehead.
There may be several other causes of headaches, so a proper examination is needed to determine the actual cause before any treatment or specialist referrals are recommended.
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve originating in the lower back and extending down the back of the leg. When this nerve is irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, weakness, or other symptoms in the lower back and down the leg. There are several possible causes of this condition. A misaligned vertebra can cause inflammation of the joints, putting pressure on the nerve. Bulging discs and muscle spasms can also cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Several other conditions may cause this symptom, so a complete evaluation is needed to correctly assess the exact cause.
A pinched nerve is just that. It is a severely compressed nerve, usually caused by a misaligned vertebra. When nerves get pinched they become severely inflamed and muscles may spasm, causing even more discomfort. The pain is usually so severe that you can't move that part of the body and it can cause other symptoms as well.
There can be several causes of the pinched nerve; a proper examination is needed to determine the exact cause.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
These days millions of Americans have jobs which can have damaging effects on the hands and arms. Repetitive movements which are not performed with good ergonomics in mind can cause micro-trauma to the hands and wrists. This trauma combined with joint dysfunction and spinal problems may result in a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve which is affected travels from the tips of the fingers through the wrist up the arm and into the neck connecting to the spinal cord. If one or more of these structures are affected, symptoms of wrist pain, numbness, weakness, burning and loss of muscle function can occur.
Following an injury, maintaining your rehab benefits help to ensure a long and successful recovery. By maintaining your flexibility with maintenance rehab care you can help prevent future injury. Some other possible benefits of maintenance care are: optimal nerve output for optimal physical performance, improved posture, decreased stiffness, increased mobility, energy, strength, and circulation.
Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition to understand. For proper diagnosis and treatment, a wide variety of factors need to be considered including "head-to-toe" joint and muscle function, nutrition, and lifestyle issues. A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurological testing, as well as other specialized tests, will help to determine the exact causes of your symptoms and your individualized treatment plan. Very often, a comprehensive treatment program addressing all of these issues leads to significant improvement.
Joint and soft tissue manipulation is often very helpful in relieving the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and related conditions. Other treatment options may include ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation, acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, and massage therapy & myofascial release techniques. Although researchers are still a long way from finding a "cure" for fibromyalgia, chiropractic care is usually very successful in the effective management of this condition. However, if after examination we conclude that your case cannot be helped with conservative care, a specialist referral will be made.