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Migraines/Headaches

Everyone gets headaches, however the severity and range of the headache or migraine is different for each individual. While prescription drugs treat the symptoms they do not treat the underlying problems that cause the headache/migraine. It is believed that most headaches and migraines are either results of our neurological system or circulation in the brain. Chiropractic healthcare can help to remedy these issues in a more natural, green, and safe alternative to prescription drugs. The more sever the headache the longer the prescription drugs may take to alleviate the pain. Not to mention prescriptions are chemicals that we are putting into our bodies, and the stronger the prescription the greater risk we put our bodies under.

Studies have shown a more positive result in relieving migraines frequency and severity under Chiropractic Care than by taking prescription drugs.

The three main types of headaches most often found in chiropractic offices are:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Tension headaches
  • Cervicogenic headaches (from the neck). A Cervicogenic headache is simply a headache that is caused by referred pain that originates within the bone, muscles, or nerves of the neck.

Headaches can be caused by tension in the body relating to stress, or the “flight or fight” response, which is the body’s natural response to stress. If stress becomes very constant in our lives, that muscle tension can become just another habit. This leads to imbalances in the body, which leads to more muscle tension and pain.

Chiropractic treatment centers on the idea of manipulating the spinal column and neck to improve posture, blood flow, and circulation. To treat a headache, the chiropractor will likely perform an adjustment with his or her hands, but may also use trigger point therapy, massage and other supporting types of treatments to create a holistic/natural approach to the underlying problem. The chiropractor will also likely recommend some stretching exercises and basic changes in posture to help keep things balanced in between visits.

According to the study “Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults with Headache,” suggests that Chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, improves migraine and cervicogenic headaches.

The study “Noninvasive Treatments for Headache” by Dr. Biondi D.M., Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Headache Management Program, Boston, MA. Found that physical therapy is more effective than message therapy or acupuncture for the treatment of tension type headache and appears to be most beneficial for patients with a high frequency of headache attacks. Chiropractic manipulation demonstrated a trend towards benefit in the treatment of tension type headache.

Chiropractic Care with Asthma in Children

Children who suffer from asthma have greatly benefited, if not have been completely cured of their asthma symptoms. Asthma is a chronic lung disease which is responsible for the inflammation and narrowing of air ways. Early stages or signs of asthma can be detected if the child seems to have shortness in breath, wheezing, or tightness in the chest. This can be caused by a subluxation of a vertebra in the spine that which puts pressure on the Lungs and/or diaphragm. The Lungs and Diaphragm are the body’s organs responsible for breathing. All the body’s organs are controlled by the nervous system. Messages for proper functioning travel from the brain, down the spinal cord, and to the appropriate organs for functioning. If these messages are interrupted by a subluxation the potential for organs to function inadequately are high. Chiropractic treatment by adjustments, which are low impact/ high velocity thrusts, alleviates a lot of the stress and pressure to the nervous system by correcting vertebra subluxations and aligning the spine. It has been found that when the spine is aligned the lungs receive the proper messages for functioning, reducing if not eliminating asthma completely.

Chiropractic Care & Ear Infections in Children

The most common child aliment is inner ear infections. Your child’s pediatrician may treat the middle ear infection with an antibiotic, which only works on bacterial infections. Antibiotics are useless when treating a viral infection or improper drainage of the inner ear. Children who suffer from chronic ear infections or sinus problems can be caused by tension in the neck that applies pressure to the small nerves in the spine called free endings. This can cause pressure on the lymphatic drainage duct of the inner ear, not allowing the inner ear to drain properly, therefore, causing the inner aches. Inadequate drainage of lymphatic ducts can be discovered by a chiropractor if there is elevated tension in the neck and Para spinal muscles on the side with the earache. In addition, the chiropractor will check to see which spinal vertebrae are either moderately out of alignment or not moving within their normal range. This affliction may have been the result of any one of the many bangs, jolts and falls that the majority of children encounter in the early years of their life. Studies show that children who receive chiropractic treatment rarely suffer from ear infections or have been cured.

Lower Back Pain & Chiropractic Care

Studies show that 40% of all lost workdays are contributed to lower back pain. Lower back pain can be caused by numerous reasons such as: age, lifting something too heavy, career, working in the garden, exercising, accidents, slips and falls, ect. As we age our spines lose the strength and flexibly it once had as it also loses the fluids in that keep or discs well lubricated, causing soreness and stiffness in our spines. When lifting something too heavy this can cause compression and pressure on the vertebra that make up your spine, resulting in a herniated disc from the pressure. A herniated disc is when a disc ruptures or bulges outwards. This disc can then put pressure on one the nervous system causing your back to be in pain. Most back pain is caused by slips, falls, or some kind of accident that could result in nerve/muscle damage or bone lesions. Other causes of lower back pain could originate from obesity, smoking, scar tissue from on old injury or the buildup of scar tissue from repeated injuries to the back. Traumas to the back such as these can cause subluxations in the spine, subluxations are when the vertebra in the spine moves and puts pressure on one of the many nerve roots that control body and muscle movement. This sends messages to your brain letting you know that your body is in pain. Spinal manipulation/adjustments is a “hands on” approach to adjusting and realigning the spine and vertebra relieving pressure on the nerves that are causing pain. When the spine is in alignment it increases the body’s mobility as well as allows your body to heal its self naturally. According to a study “Dose-response for Chiropractic care of chronic low back pain” performed by Mitchell Haas, D.C., of the Elyse Group, PhD, Dale F. Kraemer, PhD, and reported by the Center for Outcome Studies, Western State Chiropractic College, Portland, OR. The Purpose of the study was to identify the effects of the number of Chiropractic treatment regimen with spinal manipulation with and without physical modalities (PM) on chronic low back pain and disability. Results of the study found that there was a positive effect of the number of chiropractic treatments for low back pain on pain intensity and disability at 4 weeks. Relief was substantial for patients receiving care 3 to 4 times per week for 3 weeks.

Acute Neck Pain and Chiropractic’s

Acute neck pain can be contributed to many different factors sleep habits, muscle strain, trauma (car accident or fall) jolts, slips or falls, our everyday posture can even have an effect. Yes! Our posture can have an effect on the pain that you may feel. The first line of defense most people reach for is pain medication which just dulls the pain without solving the problem. One of the chiropractic treatments a chiropractor will use to alleviate neck pain is a neck adjustment, called a cervical manipulation, which loosens up the joints of the cervical vertebrae in the neck, and this can reduce pain caused by pinched nerves in the neck. The second noninvasive therapy chiropractors may use for neck pain is ultrasound therapy. Ultrasound therapy increases blood circulation, which reduces swelling, stiffness, and painful, muscle spasms. When the sound waves from the ultrasound machine are released deep into your muscle tissues, they create a gentle therapeutic heat. Chiropractors may also send you home with some instructions on at home care once you have been treated. This could be simple instructions to apply a cold press to the area to help reduce further inflammation.

A recent study published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, found that chiropractic care or simple exercises done at home were better at reducing pain than taking medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or narcotics. Two groups where present in the study. One group was assigned to visit a chiropractor for 20minutes and 15 sessions. The second group was given pain medicine such as acetaminophen, and when the doctor recommended some things stronger like muscle relaxers or narcotics. The third group met on two occasions with physical therapists who gave them instructions on simple, gentle exercises for the neck that they could do at home. They were encouraged to do 5 to 10 repetitions of each exercise up to eight times a day.

After 12 weeks, the people in the non-medication groups did significantly better than those taking the drugs. About 57 percent of those who met with chiropractors and 48 percent who did the exercises reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to 33 percent of the people in the medication group.

Chiropractic Care and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a condition were patients feel as though every joint and muscle in their body aches along with feeling both fatigue and depression. A patient with Fibromyalgia suffers from a wide spread pain and tender areas, called trigger points, these tender points can be located in the neck, back, joints and feels as though it radiates out from there. Fibromyalgia patients may also suffer from anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, morning stiffness, painful menstrual cramps, sleep problems, as well as, swelling and numbness in arms, legs or feet. If you suffer from fibromyalgia having your spine adjusted can provide numerous benefits including: better range of motion in your joints, increased blood flow (which helps release toxins and improves muscle healing), increased production in endorphins, your body’s natural pain killers, and better pain tolerance.

A study by Guy Hains, DC, François Hains, DC, Private practice of chiropractic, Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada, results of this study suggests a total of 60% of this sample reported a mean improvement of 77.1% in pain intensity in addition to a 63.5% improvement in the quality of sleep and a 74.8% improvement in fatigue level.