Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last post, we talked about how water benefits the joints. Today, we’ll be discussing ways to care for your back and stay healthy at home. Chiropractic adjustments are a great way to keep your spine in good condition and keep your body functioning at its optimal best. Seeing a chiropractor is often the first step towards living a healthier life. However, oftentimes, chiropractic care works best when used in conjunction with other healthy habits and lifestyle changes. Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to get the most out of your chiropractic adjustments! If you’re interested in learning about how you can achieve optimal results from chiropractic care, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!
Stick To A Routine
One of the most important things you can do is to be consistent with your chiropractic visits. When you visit a chiropractor for the first time, they will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Ideally, you should stick to the treatment plan, since it has been customized to give you the best outcome. Don’t skip appointments! Keeping up with chiropractic appointments can keep your body functioning at its best and prevent future problems, such as subluxations. Think of a chiropractor in the same way you think of a dentist– You visit the dentist routinely to maintain the health of your teeth, not only when you are in extreme pain. Why should your spine be any different? Seeing a chiropractor routinely will maintain your spinal health and your overall body health.
Maintain Proper Posture
Did you know that poor posture is often a cause of back pain? Poor posture leads to aches and pains, but having poor posture over long periods of time can cause real damage. Poor posture causes the muscles in your neck and back to overexert themselves. It puts stress on the back, core, and abdominal muscles, reduces their blood supply, and can slowly develop stiffness or weakness. This not only pertains to having a hunched-over posture while standing, but it can apply to sitting for prolonged periods as well. For example, someone who sits at a desk all day for work is maintaining a “static” posture– This means it lacks in action or change. Sitting for prolonged periods can place stress on the arms and legs as well, and can even put pressure on the spinal discs. Poor posture can also apply to incorrect lifting techniques. Over time, incorrect posture can decrease your flexibility, affect how well your joints move, and wear away at your spine. Here are some tips on how to improve your posture.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
We have all heard that a proper diet is important to our overall health. But did you know that nutrition and chiropractic care go hand in hand? If you are not eating foods with the proper nutrients that your body needs, then your body will not be able to perform at its full potential. When receiving chiropractic care, you can maximize the benefits of the treatment by maintaining a healthy diet. Various foods have different nutrients and benefits, but here are some of the best foods to eat in order to support a healthy nervous system and maintain bone health:
Just as we’ve heard of the importance of a healthy diet, we have also heard about the benefits of exercise. Not only can exercise improve your overall health, but it can also have benefits for your bones. Bone is a living tissue that becomes stronger with exercise. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are some of the best exercises to build stronger bones. Weight-bearing exercises include walking, jogging, climbing up stairs, hiking, and playing sports like tennis. These exercises force you to work against gravity. Resistance exercises include weight lifting and squats. These are designed to improve strength and endurance. Besides benefiting your bones, certain exercises can strengthen your core muscles, which will help support your back and minimize your risk of back pain. Before starting an exercise routine, be sure to warm up by stretching properly. A good warm-up ensures that your muscles are well supplied with oxygen and raises your muscles’ temperature for optimal flexibility. After exercise, you should cool down as well. A proper cool down allows your body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure return to normal levels.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
The importance of a good night’s sleep goes well beyond just improving your overall mood. In fact, your body needs adequate sleep in order to function properly. Sleep is essential for every process of the body, including our ability to fight disease and develop immunity. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Certain cytokines must increase when you have an infection or inflammation. Sleep deprivation can decrease production of these cytokines, which means your body needs to sleep to fight off infections, diseases, and other invaders. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is seven to eight hours.
These are just a few simple ways that you can keep yourself healthy and maximize the benefits of your chiropractic visits! Remember, combining any form of exercise with chiropractic care can help further relieve and manage pain and help you achieve optimal results. Additionally, creating and maintaining healthy habits and lifestyle changes can improve your body’s overall function, making chiropractic care even more effective. Chiropractic care promotes the body’s natural ability to heal itself. I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from any type of joint or back pain, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last post, we discussed back pain and some of the best exercises that can provide relief. Today, we’ll be talking about water and how it benefits the joints, as well as some water exercises that you can do to relieve, or even prevent, back pain! Summer is right around the corner, and with this beautiful weather, many of us will be heading out to the pool. We all love to lounge around and splash in the pool, but did you know that it can have benefits for your back and joints as well? Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. adults are affected by joint pain or stiffness, and nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain. If you’re interested in learning more about how water can be beneficial for your back, stick around! Let’s get started.
Taking a dip in the pool doesn’t just help you cool down on a brutally hot summer day– It can also help you reach your fitness goals. Many exercises performed in water are classified as water aerobics, and are a form of aerobic exercise done in waist-deep water. It is a type of resistance training. Exercising on land can be hard on the body due to gravity. This puts extra strain on the muscles and joints and tends to wear us out more easily. Water has buoyancy, also known as upthrust. This is defined as an upward force exerted by a fluid that opposes the weight of a partially or fully immersed object. In simpler terms, it is the tendency of an object, or person, to float in water.
Because of the natural buoyancy of water, we tend to feel weightless in water. This helps reduce some of the impact of exercise on our bodies by taking the pressure off of the joints, bones, and muscles. This is why water aerobics and exercise are especially great for those with achy, painful, or stiff joints, such as people suffering from conditions like arthritis. In fact, it has been “prescribed” as a treatment for people with arthritis and other disabilities for over 25 years. Additionally, water is thicker than air, which means it is more resistant. Even though our bodies feel weightless in water, our muscles have to work harder to move. This is a great way to burn calories and tone muscles. Water exercise can benefit anyone, whether or not you have a disability. You don’t even necessarily need to know how to swim– Most water exercises are done vertically, or standing up, in waist-deep water. People who rely on walkers or wheelchairs can also participate in water aerobics by standing in the water with the help of water buoyancy.
Many people who suffer from back pain and who participate in water exercise report decreased pain. Generally, it is less painful to complete exercises in water than it is on land. This is partially because of the buoyancy, and partially because the water helps increase blood supply to sore muscles and joints. Water soothes the muscles and also provides a calming feeling, taking your mind off of the pain.
Another benefit of aquatic therapy is the temperature. The weather, and temperature, can have a great effect on the joints and bones. People with conditions such as arthritis tend to complain of achy joints during colder weather. However, warmer temperatures can increase the swelling of joints, leading to pain. So exercising on land can not only put extra strain on your joints, but it can also cause the joints to swell due to overheating, especially if it is hot outside. But in water, even if the water is warm, it will keep you cool and prevent you from overheating during exercise. However, it is still important to stay hydrated– You will still sweat when working out in water!
You don’t have to sign up for a water aerobics class to reap the benefits. Water exercises can be done at home in your pool or the pool at your community center! Water aerobics does not require equipment, but you can use some if desired. Some equipment that may be beneficial for these exercises includes wrist or ankle weights, foam dumbbells, a kickboard, or resistance gloves. However, you should speak with your doctor about what exercises may be best for you. If you are not a great swimmer, consider using a floatation device, such as a buoyancy belt or floatation vest, for safety. Let’s take a look at some easy exercises that you can do without an instructor!
Walking In Water
Simply walking in water is a great and simple way to warm up and get a feel for the water. It allows you to feel the resistance. Start by walking in shallow water– Find a depth you are comfortable with, and then move up to waist-deep water. Avoid walking on your tiptoes. Instead, put pressure on your heel first, and then your toes, while keeping your arms at your sides. Begin to move your arms side to side as you walk. Be sure to stand up straight and tall! Continue walking for 5 to 10 minutes. If you want to increase the intensity, you may consider using ankle or wrist weights.
Hold onto the side or edge of the pool and kick your legs in a fluttering motion for 1 to 3 minutes. Then, switch to scissor-kicking, which means kicking your legs open and closed, for 1 to 3 minutes. Some other kicks you can try are dolphin kicks, which involve extending your legs straight back and moving them up and down in unison. This works the muscles in your legs and your core. If you want to make leg kicks more challenging, try using ankle weights!
Back Wall Glide
To perform this exercise, simply hold onto the side or edge of the pool and tuck your knees to your chest, pressing your feet against the wall. Then, push off from the wall and allow yourself to float back as far as you can. Pull your knees back up to your chest, press your feet down to the bottom of the pool, and run forward to the wall. Repeat this exercise for 5 to 10 minutes.
This exercise is best performed using foam dumbbells. Stand in water that comes up to your shoulders and hold the dumbbells at your sides. Lift your arms to the side until they are level with the water and your shoulders. Slowly lower your arms back down to your sides, and repeat for 3 sets of 8 repetitions. If you do not want to use dumbbells, you can opt for wrist weights.
These are just a few of the exercises you can perform in water to help your joints, muscles, and bones. They can also be helpful if you suffer from back pain! Remember, combining any form of exercise with chiropractic care can help further relieve and manage pain and help you achieve optimal results. Chiropractic care promotes the body’s natural ability to heal itself. I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from any type of joint or back pain, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last post, we discussed arthritis and the ways it can be treated at home. Today, we’ll be talking about back pain and some of the best exercises that can help relieve symptoms. Approximately 16 million adults experience persistent or chronic back pain– That’s 8% of all adults. There are a variety of types and causes of back pain that we’ll be touching on today, as well as exercises that can be done at home to relieve symptoms. If you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to stick around! Let’s get started.
With so many adults suffering from back pain, it is one of the most common reasons that people miss work or go to the doctor. This pain can range from muscle aches to a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation. There are generally three types of back pain: acute, subacute, and chronic. Acute pain is defined as lasting less than 4 weeks, while subacute pain lasts 4 to 12 weeks, and chronic pain lasts more than 12 weeks. It can happen anywhere in the back and can even radiate down the leg. Sometimes, this pain can worsen when walking, standing, bending, or lifting. It is important to understand the anatomy of the back in order to understand back pain. Let’s take a closer look.
There are five regions of the spine, from top to bottom: Cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, ilia/sacrum, and coccyx. These regions work together to support the body and problems within any of these regions can cause pain. Additionally, there are other parts of the back and spine structures that can cause pain. Other parts of the back and spine include:
Issues with any of these structures or parts of the back or spine can cause pain. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of back pain.
Anyone can suffer from back pain, but there are several factors that may put you more at risk. These factors include age, genetics, fitness level, and job-related factors such as lifting, pushing, or pulling. Underlying issues such as fibromyalgia can also cause back pain. Luckily, there are simple exercises that can help manage and relieve symptoms at home. Here are just a few of them!
Low-impact exercise is gentler on the joints and muscles. One of the most well-known low-impact exercises is walking. Walking is one of the simplest exercises out there and is not only a great cardiovascular exercise, but it is also a great method for preventing and relieving back pain. However, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind in order to get the most out of your walk: Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, walk lightly on your feet, and practice good posture while walking. Stand up straight and tall, let your shoulders relax, and keep your chin parallel to the ground to reduce strain on the neck and back.
Another low-impact exercise is cycling, or bicycling. This is low-impact because it causes less strain than other types of exercise. Bicycling is considered a form of aerobic exercise, which is a type of cardiovascular conditioning– Better known as “cardio” exercise. Bicycling is a popular form of exercise among people with back pain because of how gentle it is on the spine. This can be done on a bicycle, stationary or upright bike, or recumbent bike.
Water aerobics is also great for back pain. In fact, studies have shown that water exercise is great for the joints and muscles, because the buoyancy of the water supports the body’s weight and allows for a greater range of motion.
Lying Lateral Leg Raises
This exercise can not only help minimize back pain but can also strengthen your hip abductor muscles. These muscles help support the pelvis when you are standing on one leg. This exercise involves lying down on one side and keeping your lower leg slightly bent on the ground. Raise the top of your leg without moving the rest of your body and draw your belly button in towards your spine to strengthen your core. Hold this position for 2 seconds and repeat 10 times, and then repeat on the other side. Perform 3 of these sets on each side.
Utilizing light strength training can help keep back muscles strong, which is great since these muscles protect your spine. This can be done by using light weights. Simply stand in place and hold one weight at a time while reaching from your waist down the side of your body. You should stretch as far as you can without pain, and then slowly raise the weight back up. You can repeat this 10 times on each side. This exercise can be done without weights as well.
Knee To Chest
This exercise is particularly good for the lower back. For this exercise, simply lie down on the floor, facing up. Bend your leg and bring it up to your chest while grasping your lower leg, and hold it for 5 to 10 seconds. Then, release, and repeat with the other leg and complete this sequence at least three times. This range-of-motion exercise is a great way to stretch the lower back muscles and develop flexibility. It is particularly beneficial for those with spinal arthritis.
These are just a few of the best exercises for managing and relieving back pain. Oftentimes, exercise works best in conjunction with chiropractic care. Sometimes, back pain can be caused by subluxations. Subluxations are partial dislocations of vertebrae within the spine that can cause interferences in how the brain and body communicates. Since each part of the vertebrae are in close proximity to nerves, subluxations can also lead to neurological conditions due to pressure placed on these nerves. Some of the common symptoms of subluxations involve pain or swelling around a joint, limited mobility, or loss of range of motion. If you are interested in learning more about subluxations, I encourage you to check out my previous blog.
Chiropractic care removes subluxations through spinal adjustments. By removing these interferences, the body can self-regulate and self-heal. This can eradicate a multitude of different types of pain, including back pain. Combining chiropractic care with exercises that are good for back pain can help further relieve and manage pain and help you achieve optimal results. I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from any type of back pain, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last post, we discussed scoliosis, an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine, and how chiropractic care can relieve pain caused by this condition and can prevent it from worsening if caught early enough. Today, we’ll be talking about arthritis and ways you can treat it at home. Arthritis is the inflammation, swelling or tenderness of one or more joints. The two main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which can get worse with age. Although arthritis cannot be cured, there are ways you can manage your symptoms at home. If you are interested in learning more, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.
Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, affecting about 50 million adults and 300,000 children. There are different types of arthritis– in fact, there are over 100 types– but the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the flexible tissue that cushions the ends of bones wears down over time. This most often happens with age and affects the fingers, knees, and hips. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue and joints, causing pain and swelling. It often affects the hands and feet, and may also affect the internal organs and systems.
The exact cause of most types of arthritis is unknown, but there are certain things that may put you more at risk. For example, having a family history of arthritis, having certain autoimmune disorders, or having a job or playing a sport that puts repeated strain and stress on your joints can all contribute to the development of arthritis. Prior injury to a joint could increase your risk of developing arthritis later in life. Additionally, smoking and lack of exercise can increase your risk. Obesity is also a common trigger of arthritis, as more weight puts extra strain on your joints.
Different types of arthritis may require different treatments, but it is commonly treated with medication, such as anti-inflammatory and pain medications to relieve symptoms. Physical therapy is also a great way to rehabilitate the joints and improve strength, range of motion, and mobility. In severe cases of arthritis, surgery may be recommended. For those looking for a more natural and non-invasive treatment, chiropractic care is one of the safest and most effective therapies you can use. Chiropractic care can realign joints to relieve pain and minimize further damage to the cartilage surrounding the joint. In addition to visiting a chiropractor, there are ways that you can treat arthritis at home that will help manage your symptoms.
One of the best ways to treat arthritis at home is through exercise. We all know how important exercise is to our overall health, but it is also great for our joints. Exercise strengthens the muscles, ligaments, and tendons surrounding the joints. This allows the area to act as a protective barrier or “brace” for the joints, protecting them and lessening pressure put on weakened joints by offering support. Joint pain is also reduced during and after exercise because of an increase in synovial fluid. Synovial fluid, sometimes known as joint fluid, is a thick liquid located between the joints. It cushions the ends of our bones and allows them to slip past one another freely, greatly reducing friction. Physical activity increases the circulation of the fluid, making it much easier for the joints to move.
Low-impact exercises tend to be best for those with arthritis, including walking and cycling. Water activities and exercises are also great because the water’s buoyancy provides extra support for your muscles and joints– This increases your strength, endurance, and flexibility while putting less strain on your joints. Calming exercises such as yoga or tai chi have also proven to help reduce joint pain. Both of these exercises involve deep breathing and meditation and have been shown to improve mobility and range of motion, and reduce stress.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Heat and cold treatments are a great way to reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Heat therapy works by dilating the blood vessels, which increases blood flow and improves circulation in painful or stiff areas. There are two types of heat therapy: dry heat and moist heat. Dry heat comes from things such as heating pads or heat lamps. Moist heat comes from warm baths or showers and steamed towels. In any case, you want to aim for more of a warm temperature, rather than a hot one– This is more comfortable and will not damage the skin.
In contrast, cold therapy works by reducing blood flow to a particular area. This is sometimes referred to as cryotherapy, and can significantly reduce inflammation and swelling. Cold therapy may include ice packs, ice baths, and coolant sprays. Again, you should find a temperature that is tolerable. It may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but cold helps numb deep pain and discomfort.
Adopt and Maintain a Healthy Diet
Just like exercise, we know the benefits of a healthy diet. Not only can proper nutrition improve your overall health, but it can work wonders for your bones and joints, too. While a diet cannot eliminate arthritis, there are many foods that can help reduce inflammation and joint pain.
Some foods that fight inflammation include:
Choosing one or all of these home remedies can bring much-needed relief– Especially if coupled with chiropractic care. Your chiropractor or primary care physician may also recommend massage therapy, as this gentle manipulation can reduce joint pain and stiffness. A chiropractor will evaluate your condition and can create a customized treatment plan accordingly. Chiropractors are also trained to give nutritional advice and can help you come up with a dietary plan that will help reduce inflammation of the joints. They can also recommend an exercise regimen that can be done at home. The body is self-healing and self-regulating, so these recommendations can provide your body with the guidance it needs to help you function as best as possible.
Although there is no miracle cure for arthritis, symptoms can be managed with a combination of at-home treatments as well as chiropractic care. I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from arthritis, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last blog, we discussed the benefits of prenatal chiropractic care. Pregnancy puts the body through drastic changes and puts strain on many parts of the body, but chiropractic care can offer relief during and after pregnancy. Today, we’ll be discussing scoliosis and how chiropractic care can help. Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. It is often diagnosed in early adolescence, but is seen in adults as well. Chiropractic care can relieve pain caused by scoliosis and can prevent it from worsening if caught early enough. If you’re interested in learning more about this condition and how chiropractic can offer relief, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!
A healthy spine has natural curves that form an “S” shape when viewed from the side. This includes the cervical curve, thoracic curve, lumbar curve, and the sacral curve. These curves help to give the spine more flexibility, and the way they are distributed helps us keep our balance. The vertebrae are stacked neatly on top of each other with a disc of cartilage in between them. This disc provides cushioning as you move. However, if the curvature of the spine is greater than 10 degrees, it is considered scoliosis. The curvature is measured using the Cobb Angle, a standard measurement used to determine and track the progression of scoliosis. This causes vertebrae to be tilted, compressing the discs on one side. The greater the curve, the greater the chance of scoliosis progressing and getting worse over time.
Scoliosis affects 2-3% of the population in the United States– That’s an estimated 6 to 9 million people. This condition can develop in infancy or early childhood, with the primary onset at around 10 to 15 years old. Most cases occur during the growth spurt prior to puberty. This is why many children get checked periodically for scoliosis by their primary care physicians or by a school nurse. This examination is often done by having the child bend forward at the waist so that the nurse or physician can check the outline of the spine for abnormal curvature. Adults can also be diagnosed with scoliosis if they were not treated as adolescents, or if they have degenerative scoliosis, which is caused by aging. Some symptoms of scoliosis include:
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and sometimes scoliosis even goes unnoticed. Sometimes, scoliosis is not diagnosed until there is a significant curvature of the spine or the patient is in pain. However, even with mild cases, it can make everyday life painful and range of motion may be limited. Routine checkups by a primary care physician or chiropractor are a great form of preventative care.
There are generally two categories of scoliosis: structural and nonstructural. With structural scoliosis, the curve of the spine is rigid and is more complex to treat. Nonstructural, or functional, scoliosis is when the spine works normally, but appears curved. When the root cause of nonstructural scoliosis is treated, the scoliosis often goes away. Nonstructural scoliosis can be caused by chronic bad posture or irregularities such as one leg being longer than the other. There are also subtypes of scoliosis, including idiopathic, neuromuscular, and congenital scoliosis.
As the curvature worsens, it can cause other health problems, such as difficulty breathing and reduced lung capacity because of a reduced amount of space in the chest for the lungs to expand. In severe cases, it could cause spinal or nerve damage and spinal fluid leakage. The most common treatments for scoliosis include the use of back braces and spinal fusion surgery in extreme cases. Surgery should be a last resort, as it can permanently reduce your range of motion and put additional stress on the spine. Unfortunately, a common approach to scoliosis is to wait and see how bad it gets. This causes unnecessary pain, discomfort, and suffering.
Scoliosis can be treated and managed, much like other chronic health conditions. There is a safe, effective, and non-invasive treatment for scoliosis: Chiropractic care! Chiropractic is proven to help reduce back pain caused by scoliosis, and in some cases can even improve the curvature of the spine when diagnosed early enough. Chiropractors have extensive knowledge of musculoskeletal issues, conditions, and disorders. Additionally, the aim of chiropractic care is to help the body heal itself naturally by restoring proper alignment to the spine and joints. Chiropractic care may not straighten the spine completely, but studies have shown that it can make a significant improvement in curvature and pain. A 2011 study showed that 28 adult scoliosis patients who received chiropractic care for 24 months reported improvements in pain, Cobb angle, and disability.
Chiropractic treatment for scoliosis can include spinal adjustments, which correct misalignments. The spine carries messages and signals from the brain to the body, so any interference or subluxation can block these signals and prevent your body from functioning at its best. (I discussed subluxations in a previous blog!) Correcting misalignments in the spine can reduce inflammation and improve the function of the spine, thus improving the function of the overall nervous system. A chiropractor may also use a technique called flexion distraction, which is often performed on a segmented table. The table moves your body up and down slowly to gently stretch the spine. This helps maintain the mobility of the natural curve of the spine while alleviating pain.
Chiropractic care can be even more effective when combined with other treatments like muscle-strengthening exercise and stretches, including postural and rehabilitative exercises. A chiropractor can teach patients what proper posture looks and feels like, so they can practice adopting that posture at home. Simply being aware of your posture when standing or sitting can help correct a spinal issue and prevent further damage from occurring. Sometimes, a chiropractor may recommend routine chiropractic care along with other treatments prescribed by doctors, such as the use of a brace.
Additionally, massage therapy is effective in reducing pain associated with scoliosis. Some of the best types of massage for scoliosis pain include deep tissue massage and Swedish massage. Both of these techniques reduce back pain and increase blood flow to the back, elongating tightened muscles. Not only can massage help reduce pain, but it also helps improve mobility. Therefore, a chiropractor might prescribe a treatment consisting of both adjustments and massage therapy to help alleviate pain and other symptoms caused by scoliosis.
If you have not already been diagnosed with scoliosis, a chiropractor can do a postural exam and take diagnostic images such as X-rays to diagnose and determine the severity of scoliosis. This is also a good reason why children should see a chiropractor– Routine care and maintenance can help detect signs of scoliosis early on, before it starts to become an issue. Early detection of scoliosis can prevent curve progression.
As you can see, chiropractic care is an effective and safe way to help treat and manage scoliosis. Although chiropractic care alone may not straighten the spine completely, it can help alleviate pain and reduce some of the abnormal curvature. A chiropractor can develop a non-invasive, drug-free treatment plan that addresses multiple symptoms. This is a far better solution than sitting back and waiting to see if scoliosis gets worse. I hope you found this article informative. If you think you or a loved one may benefit from any kind of chiropractic care, consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last blog, we discussed the correlation between joint pain and the weather, particularly in those with conditions such as arthritis. We also discussed steps you can take to reduce weather-induced joint pain. Today, we’ll be talking about the benefits of prenatal chiropractic care. Pregnancy puts the body through drastic changes and puts strain on many parts of the body, including the lower back and hips. The good news is that chiropractic care can offer relief during and after pregnancy. Known as prenatal chiropractic care, this treatment has a wide range of benefits. All licensed chiropractors receive training related to pregnancy, but there are some that specialize in prenatal chiropractic care. I have and continue to work with many pregnant women, with great success!If you are interested in learning more about how chiropractic can help during and after pregnancy, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!
It is estimated that between 50 and 80% of pregnant women will experience back pain. However, around 21% of women do not seek consultation with their medical providers because they believe the pain is expected during pregnancy. While some pain may be inevitable considering the drastic changes happening to the body during pregnancy, you do not have to suffer in silence. There are treatment options available, including natural, non-medicinal treatments such as chiropractic care. Chiropractors may use special tables with moving parts that avoid putting pressure on the growing belly. A pregnancy pillow may be provided for extra comfort.
During pregnancy, many hormonal and physical changes are present. This will have an impact on posture– As the baby grows, your center of gravity shifts and your posture will adjust accordingly. This can lead to a misaligned spine or joints. Visiting a chiropractor regularly during pregnancy can address these issues. Chiropractic care is designed to remove vertebral subluxations, which prevent you from being as healthy as you can be. Spinal adjustments remove these interferences and can restore your body to a pain-free state. Studies have shown that 75% of pregnant chiropractic patients reported pain relief. Correcting misalignments also allows your nervous system to function properly, which prepares the body for childbirth.
Regular chiropractic care during pregnancy can help control symptoms of nausea, relieve pain in the back, hip, neck, and joints, and help you maintain a more comfortable pregnancy overall. Chiropractic care can also reduce the amount of time you are in labor. In fact, studies have shown that first-time mothers who undergo routine prenatal chiropractic care have a 24% shorter labor time. Mothers who have delivered two or more babies and seek prenatal chiropractic care have a 39% shorter labor time. Research has also found that in women who underwent prenatal chiropractic care, there was a 50% reduction in the need for analgesics, or painkillers.
In some cases, pregnancy can cause sciatica due to the baby growing and increasing pressure on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica pain comes in the form of shooting pains starting from the lower back and radiating down the legs. Since chiropractic care realigns the spine, it can take pressure off of the sciatic nerve and offer relief.
Adjustments can also re-establish balance and alignment to the pelvis. During pregnancy, the pelvis can become misaligned and can reduce the amount of room available for the growing and developing baby. This is known as intrauterine constraint, or intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). It can lead to premature birth, low weight, or birth defects including asymmetrical proportions. Additionally, a misaligned pelvis can make it hard for the baby to move into the best position to be born, which is rear-facing and head down. This, in turn, can make it difficult for the mother to have a natural, non-invasive birth. The baby will be more likely to move into a breech or posterior position. A breech position is when the baby is positioned feet or bottom first in the uterus. Breech babies occur in approximately 3 to 4 percent of pregnancies and can increase the chances of the baby becoming stuck in the birth canal. A posterior position is when the baby is facing head down, but their face is positioned towards the mother’s stomach. Usually, a C-section is recommended in these situations.
Fortunately, some chiropractors are trained in Webster’s Breech Turning Technique, which is a technique that can be administered before the due date approaches, to rule out the necessity of a C-section. Developed in the 1980s by Dr. Larry Webster, a well-known chiropractor, this technique specifically focuses on the pelvis and sacrum, which is the bone located at the base of the spine. It also focuses on the muscles and ligaments in and around these areas. The technique addresses misalignments, or subluxations, to make more room in the pelvis. It is approximately 90% effective at turning breech births. It is a non-invasive and more gentle alternative to the external cephalic version, which is another technique that attempts to turn the fetus.
Patients may consider visiting a chiropractor who is trained in the Webster Breech Turning technique if they have a breech baby, have had a history of breech babies, or have other concerns with the pelvis during pregnancy. Along with correcting a breech position, this technique may ease leg pain, back pain, or birth canal issues, such as a narrow space.
Prenatal chiropractic care increases the odds of having a natural birth experience. If you are interested in prenatal chiropractic care, you don’t have to wait until you are in pain– You can begin treatment at any time during your pregnancy. Ideally, starting chiropractic care before pregnancy can have benefits. For example, seeing a chiropractor regularly before pregnancy ensures that your spine is free of subluxations prior to getting pregnant. This helps you start your pregnancy off on the right foot, per se– with a well-balanced pelvic floor. However, if you wait until you become pregnant, it is never too late to start seeing a chiropractor.
There are no medical risks in seeing a chiropractor for prenatal adjustments, as long as the chiropractor is certified and trained in prenatal care. It is also important to note that chiropractic care cannot prevent miscarriages or premature births. Oftentimes, those circumstances are due to genetics, hormonal imbalances, and other factors beyond the mother’s control.
After pregnancy, continuing to seek chiropractic care can help realign the spine and pelvis after birth. Pain and discomfort can linger long after giving birth. This persistent or new back pain is known as post-partum back pain. It can last up to 6 months after delivery but can continue for up to a decade. Some of the common symptoms women face after pregnancy are loosened ligaments, persistent back pain, shifts in balance, and a shift in weight distribution throughout the body. Chiropractors can address post-pregnancy pain through targeted pelvic and spinal exercises. This will not only relieve pain but can also help restore a healthy posture. Postpartum chiropractic care helps the body heal faster and more naturally. New mothers often find themselves in positions that may put strain on the lower back, such as breastfeeding, bending over a crib, and repeated picking up. A chiropractor can perform adjustments to relieve and reduce pain from these activities, as well as show patients techniques such as exercises or stretches that can help combat this.
Chiropractic care may also be beneficial in helping with postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is depression that occurs after pregnancy and can cause insomnia, loss of appetite, and irritability. Sometimes, psychological trauma can manifest in the form of physical symptoms. Spinal health can influence almost every part of your body because the spinal cord carries nerve signals throughout the body. These signals tell the brain to do certain things, so when there is an interference, body function can be impaired. Clearing subluxations improves nervous system function, which in turn can elevate your mood.
As you can see, pregnancy puts enormous strain on the body. Fortunately, chiropractic care can help relieve pain and discomfort during and after pregnancy, and can also be beneficial for your baby! Importantly, you do not need a referral to see a chiropractor for prenatal or postpartum care. I hope you found this article informative. If you think you or a loved one may benefit from any kind of chiropractic care, consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last blog, we discussed subluxations, which is a term referring to the misalignment of the vertebrae that can irritate nerves and cause all sorts of health issues, including pain. Today, we’ll be talking about the correlation between joint pain and the weather. You may have heard older people in your life talk about how their bones seem to predict the weather, but is there any truth to that? Research suggests that the aches and pains you may feel when it rains isn’t just a coincidence. If you are interested in learning more about how the weather can affect joint pain, you’re in the right place. Let’s begin.
Have you ever noticed that your joint pain worsens when it’s cold or raining? If so, you are certainly not alone! Many people report worsening joint pain in the colder months, or on rainy days. People with conditions that cause chronic joint pain, such as arthritis, often feel more pain during rainy, cold weather than in warm and dry weather. Arthritis is the swelling or tenderness of one or more joints. Pain and stiffness of the joints due to arthritis can worsen with age. There are different types of arthritis, with the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. People with musculoskeletal issues may also experience more pain due to changes in temperature. But why? The truth is that scientists don’t agree on why exactly this can occur, but there are a few different theories. Barometric pressure, precipitation, and humidity all seem to play a role in joint pain, with barometric pressure being the worst of the three.
Barometric pressure is the measurement of air pressure in the atmosphere, which presses on the Earth and on us. Everyone’s body reacts to barometric pressure, but those with arthritis or conditions that cause chronic pain are more vulnerable to discomfort. As bad weather approaches, the pressure decreases and air presses less on our bodies. This, in turn, can allow tendons, muscles, and surrounding tissues in our bodies to swell or expand slightly and irritate the joints. Another theory suggests that when the cartilage that cushions the joints is worn away, nerves in the exposed bones may be more sensitive to the change in air pressure. A 2007 study with 200 participants concluded that changes in barometric pressure and ambient temperature are associated with osteoarthritis knee pain severity. It found that each 10-degree temperature drop was linked to an increase in pain.
Precipitation can also cause an increase in joint pain. There are different forms of precipitation such as rain, snow, and ice. Rainy days typically cause people to move around less than they normally would, which can contribute to stiffness due to inactive joints. When the weather is gloomy, it can also have an effect on our overall mood. If you are feeling a little down, it can magnify your perception of pain.
While many people report an increase in joint pain during cold months and rainy days, humidity can also play a role. Humidity is the concentration of water vapor present in the air. Some people feel increased arthritis pain due to humidity. As humidity rises and barometric pressure drops, the level of fluid in our joints can change, leading to stiffness or pain. However, the report of increased joint pain during the summer months is less than winter months. An Australian study conducted in 1997 found that decreased temperature was associated with both increased pain and increased rigidity and higher humidity was associated with increased pain and rigidity for arthritis sufferers.
Although the science linking weather and joint pain isn’t perfectly clear, you are aware of what your body is feeling, and that is valid. You can’t control the weather, but luckily, there are some things you can do to help ease joint pain, especially when it is worsened due to the weather.
Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, whether or not you have arthritis or another condition that causes chronic joint pain. Movement can be difficult and painful when you have joint pain, but it is essential. Stretching regularly can help improve and maintain mobility and promote joint health. Exercise that is gentle on the joints, such as yoga or swimming, can be especially beneficial. In fact, water exercises are great for loosening stiff muscles and strengthening joints. Working out in a pool can build muscle strength and ease discomfort. Other lower impact exercises are walking and bicycling. If you already have joint pain, avoid quick and repetitive movements. If you are sitting for a prolonged period, make sure you get up and stretch or walk around often to avoid stiffening of the joints.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
While this is also important regardless of whether or not you have chronic joint pain, a proper diet can help you maintain a healthy weight. Additional weight can increase the amount of pressure placed on your joints, leading to increased pain. Weight commonly causes strain on the hips, knees, and back. In addition, eliminating refined sugars from your diet will decrease inflammation in the joints and reduce pain. Consulting your doctor or chiropractor about your dietary needs is a great first step. Adding calcium-rich foods to your diet, such as dairy products and green leafy vegetables, can support healthy bones. Calcium isn’t the only nutrient needed for strong bones, though– Check out my tips on eating for a healthy spine.
Keep Yourself Warm
When the temperature drops, make sure to stay warm, even when at home. Turn up the heat in your house and consider taking a warm shower or bath to stay warm and relax your muscles and joints. Wrap yourself up in blankets or use an electric blanket, and make yourself a warm beverage, such as a cup of tea. When going outside, dressing in layers, including gloves and socks, can make a great difference when it comes to achy joints. It can ease the shock of cold weather on your body.
Avoiding unnecessary strain on your joints can help your overall joint health. If there are heavy boxes or other items that need to be moved, consider asking someone else to do it– Your joints will thank you later. If carrying shopping bags, try hanging them on your arms rather than your hands and wrists. This lets your bigger muscles and joints support the weight. If straining does occur, you can use a heating pad on the area to soothe any pain or discomfort. A combination of heat and cold treatment may help.
Consider Chiropractic Care
There are anti-inflammatory medications that may help relieve joint pain, but if you are looking for a non-medicinal treatment, chiropractic care may be for you. A chiropractor may be able to address the cause of your joint pain and tailor a treatment plan according to your needs. Typically, a chiropractor will order diagnostic imaging such as X-rays to assess your needs. They may recommend physical therapy in addition to chiropractic treatment. Sometimes, simply manipulating the soft tissue can relieve tenderness. Slowly stretching the joints through gentle exercises can improve mobility and increase range of motion. Chiropractic care is one of the safest ways and non-invasive ways to treat joint pain. Some benefits of chiropractic care for arthritis include decreased inflammation, increased activity and lifestyle, and reduced pain and discomfort. Chiropractic is also helpful for other conditions that may cause joint pain, such as fibromyalgia. Since chiropractors are trained to discuss healthy lifestyle practices, they may also teach you easy exercises that can be done at home to ease pressure on your joints.
As you can see, changes in weather can increase pain in the joints, particularly in those with conditions such as arthritis. Although there is no cure for conditions such as arthritis, chiropractic care can help manage symptoms. You may find that a combination of treatments works best for you. If you think you or a loved one may benefit from chiropractic care, consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! On my last blog, we discussed how office workers can minimize back pain. Today, we’ll be talking about subluxations. The term subluxation is used by chiropractors to refer to a partial dislocation or slight misalignment of the vertebrae. This differs from a luxation, which is the complete dislocation of a joint. Subluxations block signals within the spinal nerves. This typically occurs in a joint and can be the cause of a variety of health problems. There are moderate and advanced subluxations. These can be caused by an injury, repetitive movement, or a medical condition. Sometimes, poor posture or heavy lifting can lead to subluxations. Subluxations can also be caused by chemical or emotional stress in the body in addition to physical stress. If you are interested in learning more about subluxations and how they are treated, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s begin!
Common symptoms of a subluxation include pain and swelling around the joint, limited mobility or loss of range of motion, bruising, a sensation of joint instability, or a loss of feeling or numbness that is usually temporary. You may also experience balance issues, stiffness, or headaches. Sometimes, people experience low energy in addition to one or more of these symptoms. Because the vertebrae are in close proximity to spinal nerves, subluxations can lead to neurological conditions due to the pressure placed on these nerves. Subluxations can disrupt the entire nervous system, and if left untreated for too long, they can cause irreversible damage. There are different types of subluxations, and some joints are more likely to be affected than others. Commonly affected joints include those in the spine, shoulder, kneecap, and elbow. Here is a quick breakdown of these types of subluxations:
Subluxations can be caused by a variety of things, such as car accidents or falls, or can happen spontaneously due to joint weakness. Subluxations can appear even when no fractures or breaks are present, so it is important not to write off any pain or discomfort you may be feeling. Subluxations can be more common in people with overly flexible joints, such as those diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Pregnancy can cause the overproduction of certain hormones which, in turn, loosen the joints and make them more susceptible to subluxations. Poor dietary and nutritional practices can also increase one’s risk of subluxations, because this reduces the body’s ability to function at its best.
Children are also very susceptible to subluxations because they are still growing and exploring, which often leads to many bumps and falls. Even a gentle tug on the arm by a caregiver can cause a subluxation. Unfortunately, children will not outgrow subluxations– They will actually worsen with age, since their bodies are still developing. It is also possible for a subluxation to occur during birth. During the intensity of childbirth, it is easy for the baby’s neck and spine to sustain injuries due to their fragility. This can happen when newborns are compressed in the birth canal, and sometimes if they are pulled by the doctor with forceps. Sometimes, parents assume that their child was born with a particular condition, but in reality, it was a subluxation caused during birth. Having your newborn checked by a chiropractor soon after birth will help identify possible subluxations. Identifying a subluxation early increases the chances of eliminating neurological defects.
To diagnose a subluxation, your chiropractor will conduct a physical exam and may order imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or an MRI. These imaging tests can rule out fractures, hematomas, ruptures, or the accumulation of fluids known as joint effusions. Once a subluxation has been diagnosed, your chiropractor may reset the joint using manual manipulation.. In chiropractic theory, vertebral subluxations are interferences that prevent someone from being as healthy as they could be, and can cause a variety of health conditions and pain such as lower back pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and more. They do not necessarily need to show up on an imaging test and they may not produce pain. Because of this, chiropractors sometimes refer to vertebral subluxations as the “silent killer”. Chiropractors view subluxation as a process rather than a condition. In the eyes of a chiropractor, subluxations can cause the following conditions:
There is no medication to correct a subluxation. Chiropractic treatment for a subluxation is customized to fit the location of the injury. Targeted adjustments tend to be the most effective treatment. Adjustments involve a chiropractor applying adjustments to the vertebrae or wherever the subluxation is present. They help the body function more optimally and restore it to better health. Joint and spine manipulation help ease body pain and correct the body’s alignment. Chiropractors may use different techniques such as the toggle, drop table, or adjustments with an instrument. After an adjustment, a chiropractor might give nutritional advice and suggest other therapies such as ice or heat therapy, massage, exercise, and stretches.
It is important to note that stretching and exercise alone cannot correct a subluxation. Most health problems or pains are related to subluxations, so chiropractic care is necessary to make the proper corrections and begin the healing process. As mentioned above, subluxations can be present for quite some time without the appearance of symptoms such as pain. Because of this, it is recommended that you see a chiropractor before symptoms appear. Seeking regular spinal evaluations can prevent and identify subluxations. Just like you visit the dentist for a routine checkup, you should visit a chiropractor, too!
As you can see, subluxations can lead to poor overall health. People of all ages and walks of life can suffer from subluxations, including infants and children. If you think you or a loved one may have a subluxation, or you want to prevent one, consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! On my last blog, we discussed fibromyalgia, its symptoms, and potential treatments, including how chiropractic care can help. Today, we’ll be talking about how office workers can minimize back pain at work. Working at a desk for long periods of time is not uncommon these days, especially since many have made the transition to working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent Gallup poll found that 45% of full-time employees were working partly or fully remotely in the U.S. in 2021. This likely means that a large percentage of the population is sitting for long periods. If you sit at a desk or at a computer for most of the day, these helpful tips can help minimize pain and discomfort. Let’s get started!
It is widely known that sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause back pain, particularly in the lower back. This can be due to a few factors. First, sitting is a “static” posture: this means that it lacks in action or change. This posture places stress on the back, shoulders, arms, and legs. Consequently, this can put pressure on the back muscles and spinal discs. Additionally, after sitting in a chair for too long, most people have a tendency to slouch, which can overstretch the spinal ligaments and strain the discs and surrounding structures of the spine. Bad posture can cause lower back pain, or make existing pain worse. This pain can be felt in the lower or upper back as well as the neck, from leaning forward to look at a computer screen or other device.
Pain caused by long periods of sitting or bad posture can contribute to a person’s efficiency in their working environment, which is known as ergonomics. That being said, one of the key elements to workplace ergonomics is the office chair. It is important to find a chair that is not only comfortable but promotes good posture. Office chairs should be adjustable and customizable for each individual. A chair with adjustable seat height can be altered depending on the type of work being done, and depending on the person’s proportions. Seat width and depth is also important, in order to support the user comfortably. You should be able to comfortably rest your back against the backrest of the chair and support the natural curve of the spine. This is known as lumbar support. The lumbar spine has an inward curve and lack of support for this can lead to slouching. It is also important for an office chair to swivel, or easily rotate, so that the user can reach different areas of their desk without straining. If you feel that your chair is just not doing the job, consider investing in a new one– Your spine will thank you.
There are also a few important guidelines to follow to ensure the most comfortable position for your back. These include:
Even after you’ve checked all of the above guidelines off your list, there are still ways you can minimize back pain. A simple thing you can do is get up and stretch for a minute or two every half hour. If you need to, set an alarm or reminder on your phone to stretch. You can also take a short walk, perhaps across the office, or around your desk. Go to a doorway and place your hands on either side of the frame to stretch your shoulders. If your job involves talking on the phone a lot, consider using your speaker, headphones or earbuds, or getting a headset. Pinning your phone between your neck and shoulder while working can lead to stress on the back.
Another simple exercise is to just breathe! Believe it or not, taking the time to breathe slowly in and out relaxes the muscles in your mid and lower back. By focusing on inhaling and exhaling, you may find that you unclench your jaw or release tension in other areas of the body. Breathing exercises also engage your core muscles. Meditation and yoga can also be helpful in relaxing the body overall, which can minimize back pain and discomfort.
When you finish a long work day, the first thing you may feel like doing is sitting on the couch. However, taking a walk might be a better option– It provides your spine with a different position. Moving and stretching can keep your joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons loose, which will help keep you comfortable. It can also be helpful to exercise your core two or three times a week. Your core includes your abdominal, back, and pelvis muscles. There are plenty of core exercises to try, such as a sit-up or a plank. Find one that works best for you and try to incorporate it into your routine. Regular physical activity can make the back stronger.
Another option to consider is a standing desk, which allows you to work while standing up. There are a variety of types, including “static” or “fixed” standing desks, which have a standard height, or adjustable standing desks, which allow you to adjust the height according to your needs. Standing desks have increased in popularity over the years as it was discovered that sitting for prolonged periods of time was not good for the body. The “sit-stand workstation” has also increased in popularity. This involves both sitting and standing up while working, and alternating between the two throughout the day, depending on your needs. A Stanford University study found that 78% of workers who utilize a sit-stand workstation were less likely to experience back pain.
If you are experiencing back pain, you can also consider heat therapy. This can be through a heating pad, hot water bottle, or even a hot bath or shower. Most forms of lower back pain involve muscle spasms, which can be soothed with heat. Heat can increase blood flow to the muscles and improve circulation, which can relieve tightness in the back and reduce pain. Applying heat to areas such as the lower back can also help stretch the soft tissues around the spine. This, in turn, can increase range of motion as well as decrease stiffness. It is highly recommended to use cold therapy (gel bag, ice) after heat therapy to reduce the inflammation that heat therapy may cause. Massages and chiropractic care are also options for those suffering from lower back pain. Sometimes, a simple chiropractic adjustment, or spinal manipulation, can be the key to relieving back pain by removing interferences called vertebral subluxations, or pressure on the nerves.
As you can see, working an office job or working from home can take a toll on your back. When sitting for prolonged periods of time, it is important to find the right office chair, as well as get adequate physical exercise. Stretching, heat therapy, cold therapy, and chiropractic care are all options to treat back pain. If you are looking for a simple way to treat lower back pain, consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! On my last blog, we discussed peripheral neuropathy and how chiropractic care can help combat it. Today, we’ll be talking about fibromyalgia, what it is, and how chiropractic care can serve as treatment. If you are interested in learning about fibromyalgia and its symptoms, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s get started.
Fibromyalgia is defined as a condition that causes pain all over the body, also known as widespread pain. The pain can be felt in muscles and other soft tissues. This condition can also cause sleep issues, fatigue, and emotional and mental distress. According to the CDC, fibromyalgia affects about 4 million U.S. adults, which is about 2% of the adult population. It tends to affect women more than men. This is a long-term, chronic condition. Children can also be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In these cases, it is sometimes called juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome. Unfortunately, there is no known cause of fibromyalgia. In fact, it is a condition that has baffled doctors, and research is still being conducted. Sometimes, people are mistakenly diagnosed with other conditions. Sometimes, people must see several doctors before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. However, there are treatment options available and ways to manage your symptoms.
The pain from fibromyalgia can be felt in both the muscles and bones, as well as areas of tenderness. These areas are known as “trigger points” or “tender points”. This can feel like a constant, dull ache. Some people describe it as burning or throbbing. While pain is the most well-known and common symptom, it is not the only one. Besides pain, symptoms of fibromyalgia include headaches, depression, anxiety, dry eyes, digestive problems, and bladder problems. Other symptoms may include muscle and joint stiffness, numbness or tingling in the arms or legs, and heightened sensitivity to light, noise, odors, or temperature. Trouble thinking clearly is also a common symptom, and is known as “fibro fog”. This can include forgetfulness or trouble focusing. Extreme tiredness, or fatigue, is often reported. In women, painful menstrual periods may also be a symptom. As you can probably see, fibromyalgia is more than just pain. It can have a negative impact on a person’s entire life.
Research has suggested that fibromyalgia may involve the nervous system, particularly the brain and spinal cord, known as the central nervous system. However, it is not from an autoimmune, inflammation, joint, or muscle disorder, as far as scientists and researchers can tell. There has been evidence of altered signaling in neural pathways that transmit and receive pain in people with fibromyalgia. This means that people with fibromyalgia feel pain differently, and more intensely, than people without the condition. It has also been discovered that fibromyalgia can run in families, which means genetic factors may contribute to this disorder. Oftentimes, something will trigger fibromyalgia, such as arthritis, injury, or some other type of physical stress. This can include repeated injuries, illness, or accidents. Trauma to the brain or spinal cord can play a role in the development of fibromyalgia. Emotional stress can also trigger this condition. If you have other diseases or conditions that cause pain, you may be more likely to have fibromyalgia. Some examples of these diseases include lupus and irritable bowel syndrome.
There is no test to determine if someone has fibromyalgia. Doctors typically examine a patient’s medical history, perform a physical examination, and may request x-rays or bloodwork. Bloodwork can rule out other conditions such as HIV, AIDS, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, or Lyme Disease. The American College of Rheumatology created a set of criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia. This criterion includes meeting three conditions: Having a widespread pain index (WPI) score of seven or higher and a symptom severity (SS) score of five or higher, experiencing symptoms at a similar level for at least three months, and ruling out any other disorders that could be the cause of your symptoms. Some doctors may use these criteria, while others may simply look at medical history. It may be helpful to keep a journal or diary of your symptoms. Keep track of where you are experiencing pain, the time and date, as well as rating the pain on a scale of one to ten, with ten being unbearable. Looking back at these records and sharing them with your doctor can help with diagnosis, especially if it can be determined exactly how often you are experiencing symptoms. Doctors may also look at the 18 “tender points” associated with fibromyalgia. These points include between the shoulder blades, the tops of the shoulders, the back of the head, the front of the neck, the upper chest, outer elbows, upper hips, inner knees, and the sides of the hips. A doctor will apply a small amount of pressure to these “tender points” and evaluate the amount of pain the patient feels.
Once fibromyalgia has been diagnosed, you may be wondering what options are available. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but symptoms can be managed. The good news is that fibromyalgia does not cause damage to joints, muscles, or organs. Although it is a chronic and often lifelong condition, it is not progressive, meaning that it will not get worse over time. Research suggests that the most effective treatment for fibromyalgia is exercise. There are a variety of stretches and other simple exercises like yoga that can help. Strength training can help relieve pain and fatigue in some people. Some medications have been approved for the treatment of this condition, such as Cymbalta and other antidepressant drugs. Anti-inflammatory medicines may also be prescribed. Heat and cold treatments may be suggested. Acupuncture has also proven to be a moderately effective treatment. It works by reducing inflammation, releasing endorphins, and overall calming the brain.
Chiropractic care is one of the most used treatments to manage fibromyalgia symptoms. Since this form of care does not require medication, it is one of the best and most convenient treatments for this type of condition. In fact, those suffering from fibromyalgia have found chiropractic care to be so beneficial that more and more patients turn to this treatment every year. A few adjustments to the neck and spine can work wonders for chronic pain. Chiropractic care for fibromyalgia can improve range of motion and flexibility. One study observed that fibromyalgia patients who routinely saw a chiropractor for 4 weeks of spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy, and passive stretching reported improved symptoms and pain levels.
Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe spinal exercises and discuss healthy lifestyle practices. Together with the patient, chiropractors can observe lifestyle patterns and suggest changes. This could include changes in sleeping habits. For example, setting a regular bedtime routine. Experts suggest going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. During the day, you may want to limit the amount of caffeine you consume. You should also quit smoking if you are a smoker, and adopt healthy nutritional habits.These are all healthy lifestyle changes that chiropractors can help with.
Another form of treatment can be massage techniques, which are also beneficial for some people who suffer from fibromyalgia. Not only is a massage relaxing, but it can also loosen up muscles and eliminate pain. Research suggests that massages for fibromyalgia pain are more beneficial when continued for long periods. Chiropractic care and massage care work well together, but you can receive chiropractic care without a massage and vice versa. It all depends on what treatment you feel works best for you and gives you the most relief.
As you can see, fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that can cause pain and suffering that may feel endless. It is unclear exactly what causes this condition, but it is very clear that it interferes with many peoples’ lives and daily activities. If you are one of these people, you are not alone, and there are treatments available. You do not have to suffer or succumb to fibromyalgia pain. Of course, chiropractic care is not the cure-all for this condition. You may find that a combination of treatments gives you relief. If you are looking for a non-invasive way to treat fibromyalgia, consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a long-term treatment plan to address your fibromyalgia. We want to help you live a pain-free life– It’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
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