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!
Today I will be discussing a handful of easy to do and very important stretches to help keep you limber and healthy between your chiropractic appointments!
Hey everybody! It's Dr.Bob here with Lowcountry Chiropractic with another exciting blog dedicated to your body and your lower back. I hope everyone is staying safe and well out there. Today, we are going to be talking about stretches dedicated to the lower back and the lower part of your body. A lot of patients come in with complaints about lower back pain, stiffness, tenderness, and other similar issues. I will be discussing some very simple and effective stretches today that everyone can do to help with this kind of pain, no matter if you're working at home on your computer, on a construction site, or in a traditional office setting. If you add these stretches into your life every day, they can help save you and prevent you from injury. These stretches help if you have a job that requires you to lift heavy things. One thing I will say though before we get into today's blog, these stretches are not a substitute for chiropractic care. Chiropractic care and stretches are two different things. Stretches are meant to elongate your muscles and keep them toned and loose so they don't seize up and pull the vertebrae out, irritate the nerve, and cause a subluxation. If you have a subluxation, the stretches aren't going to fix the subluxation, which is what I'm here for!
I want to give you four main stretches to use every day. These are stretches that I give to my patients all the time. The first needs to be done in the morning before you get out of bed. This is especially for my readers who wake up very stiff in the morning and it takes time to straighten up and out of bed before you can get moving for the day. This stretch is wonderful, so I recommend you giving it a chance and see how your body improves over time when adding it into your schedule!
This second stretch is for people who sit a lot. There are a lot of people out there who sit for hours during the workday, which can be particularly hard on the body. You should be doing this particular stretch every half hour or so, maybe even more. Don't just sit in the same position all day hunched over your desk and your computer. When you sit there for hours, everything begins to tighten up. Gravity settles down into your discs and it's not a healthy situation. So, what can you do? Very simple! Stretch!
This third stretch is my favorite! I do it before and after I go to the gym, before and after I run, and I do it before and after I need to lift something heavy. This is a perfect stretch for anyone out there in the construction field who is lifting anything heavy. Please make sure to do this stretch along with all the stretches we've talked about today. If you add all of the stretches we will be talking about today into your routine, you're going to prevent a lot of bad injuries. If your muscles are looser and then you put weight on them, they're going to handle it a lot better compared to if they were wound up and tight. You can do this next stretch multiple ways, either by leaning onto a desk or chair or carefully balancing without one.
Stretch number four is a stretch called a child's pose. The child's pose is a yoga stretch. Some of you may be familiar with this, and if you are, you know what a wonderful stretch this is!
These four stretches are amazing for your lower back. While we are talking stretches today, I want to give you a few more simple stretches to add to your everyday life to help stretch out your piriformis muscles. The sciatic nerve goes through the piriformis muscles, so sometimes it is easy to blame sciatic pain on your lower back when it is coming from the piriformis muscles. When this happens, your piriformis muscle has tightened up and is squeezing that sciatic nerve, and that is not good! These next two stretches are to help you work on your piriformis and your psoas muscles, which are your hip flexors. The hip flexors are attached to the front of your hips and back in your lumbar spine. Sometimes you can get lower back pain and it's actually related to your psoas being tight. To stretch your piriformis muscles:
You can stretch your psoas muscles in many different ways, but today I am just going to give you a few options on how to stretch them.
All of these stretches are good basic. every day, effective stretches. They are effective if you keep up with them and make time for them in your busy schedule. if you don't do them every day, they won't help you as much as they could. Now that you have this blog as a reference point, there aren't any excuses not to do them. However, let me reiterate, these are stretches. This is not self-prescribed chiropractic care. These stretches will help you, but if you have a subluxation in your spine, you won't be able to stretch it out. When you have a subluxation, that is when you need to call me! If you're suffering out there and you need relief from the pain in your lower back, are experiencing sciatic pain or other pain, make sure to look us up, come find us, and we will be happy to help you in every way we can! I'm Dr. Bob, and remember, I've got your back covered! Until next time, take care!
Curious about what goes into the process of taking your x-rays when you come to visit me? Today, we'll be talking about the whole process and how I use x-rays to analyze your spine. Let's take a look at an x-ray together and discuss some helpful information from your favorite Spanish-speaking chiropractor!
Hey, everybody! It's Dr. Bob Salamon here with Lowcountry Chiropractic. I hope you're all doing well and staying safe out there! Today, we are going to be doing something a little different with the blog! We will be discussing a set of x-rays that I recently took of a new patient - with picture examples! I want to use this blog and each image to talk about how I analyze the x-rays that I take when you visit my office and how we will begin working together on your wellness journey after I do so. These x-rays are imperative! They help me to help my patients. I feel like x-rays are extremely important in helping me find the spinal issues that need to be corrected.
The patient I will be talking about today is a painter from Honduras. Before she came and saw me a few weeks ago seeking help, she was carrying a very heavy bucket of paint and hurt her back. The symptoms she was experiencing after she hurt her back were right lower back pain, sciatica (meaning she had pain down the back of her right leg) and numbness and tingling in her toes. What I do normally, with any new patient such as this young woman, is take a detailed health history and do a chiropractic exam first, and follow these two steps by taking a set of x-rays. What's unique in our office is that we take full spine x-rays. They're 14X36 inches in size and they show the whole spine in two different views. These x-rays are very helpful for me, but very importantly they also help every patient see what's going on with the spine. I can walk them through what is causing their pain and how I am going to work on trying to alleviate these issues by pointing out exactly what's happening on their x-rays. What I am always looking for on these x-rays and what I am aiming to correct are subluxations. Subluxations are vertebrae that have misaligned and are irritating nerves and causing pain. Today, this blog is going to be a behind-the-scenes look at what I do when analyzing my patient's x-rays and how they help me! Take a moment by examining the first picture below which shows the two 14X36 x-rays that I take of my patients, and the specific one I will be discussing today!
The first x-ray that I look at is a side view of my patient, called the lateral. This x-ray helps me look at and see the curves of the body and the whole spine, and I look at the disc space between every vertebrae to see if there is any arthritis in the spine. Arthritis shows up as little spurs or hooks on the bones.As you can see, she does not have any arthritis and the disc spaces between the vertebrae look good! Look closely at this picture. I would personally like to see a little more of a curve in her lower back so it looks a little more like a C. Her back is pretty straight, as is her neck. I would also like to see more of a curve at the top of her neck, too. Even with these wants, her back looks pretty good overall!
Now, let's talk about the second x-ray called the A to P, which is the front-to-back x-ray. When I take this picture the patient is looking away from me, meaning the x-ray is looking at their back straight on. I do this because when I adjust my patients they are lying face down, and I want to mirror what I am going to see on my table when I adjust them. As you can see from the third picture here, there is a scoliosis or a curvature in the middle of her back, which is not normal. The bones in the middle of her back should be straight and lined up perfectly with the rest of the spine. When you look closer at the 4th picture, you can see that her pelvis on the left side is much higher than the right side!
From the A to P view, I see that one of the main problems is that the curvature in her spine is a compensation for what's going on in her lumbo-pelvic area. Also, in addition to the scoliosis in the middle of her back, her vertebrae are rotated to the left. Why has this happened? It's being caused by a problem in the sacrum, which has rotated to the right and is causing the vertebrae to rotate to the left. The scoliosis in her back is irritating the nerves that are coming out between the vertebrae. Finally, please look at picture number 5. You will see the ilium (the largest part of the pelvis) is 205 mm in length on the left-hand side and only 200 mm on the right side. This means the right ilium has rotated forward and the left has rotated backward!
Once I had taken these x-rays and analyzed them, the trouble areas are where I started with my patient's treatment, which I corrected with what I was feeling in her spine as I adjusted her. Low and behold, after this specific treatment based on my findings, she is doing so much better! After about three treatments she came in and shared with me that she is feeling great, her pain is gone, and she is back to working normally! I might not have straightened out her back and her scoliosis but I removed enough pressure on her nerves to make a difference. Now that she has come in to see me to correct her issues, her new goal needs to be maintaining her adjustment. The best way to do this is to continue coming back to me for consistent maintenance and wellness care. If she doesn't, there is a potential that the problem she experienced could come back. Think about it this way; it only takes the weight of a dime on your nerves to affect them. You, or in this case my new patient, don't need to be perfectly straightened out to get the excellent results you need and deserve!
I hope today's blog has helped and has been informative! I hope you enjoyed an inside look at how I, as a chiropractor, use x-rays to help me treat my patients. X-rays are just another tool in a chiropractor's toolbox along with understanding their patient's health history and performing a consultation and exam to understand what our patients are going through. For me, it is imperative that I get a good set of x-rays so that I can give the best care to my patients. If your spine looks like the one we've been discussing today, or if you want to know what your spine looks like, please look us up! Send us an email or give us a call, and we'll get you in here and get started on your wellness journey! Until next time, I'm Dr. Bob Salamon and I've got your back covered! Take care!
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