chiropractic

How to Choose the Best Chiropractor

With so many differing treatment options out there is it any wonder that people are skeptical? Choosing the best options for your health is of crucial importance and it is not different when choosing the best chiropractor in your area. There are a few questions to consider when choosing the best chiropractor. We will discuss what to look for in a chiropractor.

  1. Are they up front?

This one is a tough one to see through, but it is probably the most important. Is the chiropractor you are searching for honest and reliable. To get to know the chiropractor is also tough because to get to know them you have to be around them. What we like to do is meet people so that they can get to know us and we can get to know you in order to better help you. Our goal is always relational.

Another way to check out if the chiropractor is up front is to check out there website. Do they seem genuine in their online presence. Check out any videos they may have to see what they are like.

2. Do they continue to learn and improve upon their art?

Just like a painter would not consider himself accomplished fully in art, so it is with chiropractic. We all can be learners of health and that is no different with choosing the best chiropractor. Check to see if they are continuing their studies and mastering it.

3. Finally does the chiropractor help you get the results your body needs?

This again is a tough one without actually going through treatment. But see if they have had success in the past based on reviews and what others say. Usually when looking for the “best chiropractor near me” this will not be easy but the best chiropractor will listen to your needs and form a game plan as to what to expect out of getting treated. That way you can know and be confident in your choice.

Overall when you are looking for the best chiropractor look for someone who puts your needs first.

Chiropractic's Role in Herniated Disc Conditions

The Pained Disc

One of the most common causes of debilitating low back pain is the herniated disc. It affects roughly 33 percent of the population. It can be of great pain and life altering consequence. An option that is most sought out is surgery. But with surgery comes more complications and even what is called failed back surgery syndrome. Which is even more common than the disc herniation.

There are other conservative treatment options that are very effective without drugs or surgery. Chiropractic’s role in this is many. Specifically flexion distraction therapy. Here is a link that explains more in detail about the technique (Click Here). The basics of this is to help get the disc material to retract off the nerve and back into the actual disc itself. See what happens when a disc herniation occurs is the disc cushion that is within pushes outside of the stronger material and hits on the nerve near the disc. This is when you start to experience pain and radiating symptoms into the leg. This is a problem that too many people face.

Flexion Distraction Therapy in Depth

Here is a schematic of the technique.

Flexion Distraction Therapy

Flexion Distraction Therapy

This simple but very effective technique creates negative pressure within the disc so that the disc material can more easily get back to where it needs to be. The chiropractor will put pressure along the lumbar spine and move the bottom half of the table down and out. What this allows is decompression of the spine. This means that you don’t feel pain as bad and eventually the disc will heal by making sure you are watching your posture and movements. Along with this technique you will be given exercises to train the core to stabilize the spine. This is a crucial part in treatment as well.

Treatment

This treatment has seen great results and as much as 90% of people can resolve a herniated disc. Treatments will be done over a 4 to 6 week period with 8-12 treatments in that span. This has proven the most beneficial and patients should see a moderate improvement even after a few visits.

If you know someone who could benefit from this technique then try it out. It is a successful conservative treatment for herniated disc as well as bulging discs.

Chiropractic for Sciatic Pain: Does it work?

Sciatic can be a pain in the butt…literally. Sciatic pain is no fun. If you have experienced it then you know what I am talking about. With this type of pain the sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve in the body, can become entrapped or not move correctly thus causing pain. There are many structures involved that could be affecting this nerve and we will get into the hows soon. Chiropractic is one solution to this type of pain. Adjustments are one facet of chiropractic care. Other treatments include trigger point therapy and forms of nerve mobilization that helps to mobilize the nerve.

Getting to the nitty gritty now. The how behind why you feel sciatic nerve pain.

NERVE ENTRAPMENT

The sciatic nerve is formed from lumbar and sacral nerves. So understanding anatomy in detail will help to understand why this nerve gets impacted the way it does. Below is a picture of where the sciatic nerves come together to form.

Sciatic nerve formation

Sciatic nerve formation

This is super important to know because if you notice the muscle near the nerve on the left as you are looking at the picture, it is very near the sciatic nerve. This is one area where the nerve can get entrapped and you start to feel the tingling and pain. This type of pain can be really bad when you sit for long periods of time because the pressure is being applied even more when you sit down.

One way to get rid of this entrapment is to get trigger point therapy specifically geared towards the piriformis muscle. This doesn’t feel the greatest at first but it will lessen the tingling and pain from the entrapment.

BULGING/HERNIATED DISC

Another way that the sciatic nerve can be affected is bulging or herniated discs. This type of pain is specific to the level of the disc. So if the disc affected is L5 then the S1 nerve will be affected which follows a certain path into the leg and foot. This type of pain can be debilitation because you have the back pain from the disc as well as the leg pain. Conservative treatment should be tried first to help the disc heal and the nerve. It is said that at any given time roughly 50% of people walk around with disc bulges or herniations, but some don’t feel pain at all besides discomfort.

Certain chiropractic techniques, such as flexion distraction, focus on the low back and disc pain. These types of treatments will take about 8-12 visits to see noticeable results but it can help with the really sharp acute pain of a disc herniation.

Along with adjustments certain maneuvers can be utilized to free up the nerve. Nerve mobilizations help to free up the restrictions that may be present with the bulging/herniated disc.


These types of treatments should be tried first before considering surgery. Surgery is an option for this type of pain but with chiropractic or physical therapy the surgery can be abated. Conservative treatments are successful most of the time if performed by a competent Doctor. Finding the right fit is key for your condition!

I would love to know your thoughts on the subject!

CrossFit and Chiropractic

Injuries can set us all back even if not competing. It drags us down so that we have to rest and recover. Without the rest and recovery phase you might not get back into top shape or even compete at all. That is why it is super important to prevent these injuries and when they do happen treat them quickly.

More and more research is saying that the quicker you provide healthy movement in care the quicker the injury can heal. What does this mean for CrossFit athletes? First by getting chiropractic care on a maintenance basis, the chiropractor can assess to see if you are at an increase risk for injury by range of motion, tissue function and pain. Second, once identified those movement hindrances can be corrected with care. Third, if you get injured seeing a chiropractor first thing can help speed up recovery and healing. Fourth, It can improve your performance.

All of this means you can get back to training and competing. So let’s delve into each of those aspects.

ASSESSING FOR INJURY

If you knew that you could injure yourself if you kept it up would you prevent it? Of course. An injury can set you back from getting in the gym. That is no bueno. By getting regular chiropractic care you can easily see if there is an increased risk of injury from faulty movement and biomechanical alterations. A chiropractor trained to see these things in athletes will better to help form a plan to prevent these things.

TREATING INJURIES

Once an injury occurs, which if you are an athlete more than likely has happened, you want quick treatment that is effective. Chiropractic can help to treat these injuries quickly and naturally so you are not out for long periods of time. Injuries don’t have to keep you out for long if you get it treated quickly. We try to prevent surgeries because that can be an even bigger set back or career ending. The point is to get quick and effective treatment of these injuries so that you can get back to doing work.

IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

When there is an imbalance in the structures of the body you won’t be able to get the performance that you want. When the pelvis is misaligned it shifts the center of gravity to the side shifting the body mechanics. Try having that lack of movement in that plane and then go PR squat. You will not be able to get the best range of motion as well as muscle power. When the pelvis is sitting right then you can get deeper squat and more power coming out of the squat. This equals better performance in lifting.

In short CrossFit and Chiropractic goes hand in hand when improving performance and decreasing injuries. This equals more time training and competing and less time sitting around.

How Chiropractic can benefit weightlifters

Chiropractic has many different benefits for any individual. However athletes are one population that can benefit even more from chiropractic care. Athletes, weightlifters included, are exposed to different joint mechanics and stressors that can cause damage to the joints, ligaments, or tendons. Even a little damage to the joints can later cause harm in the form of arthritis or even tears of the soft tissue which needs surgery to repair. Chiropractic focuses on preventing those things from happening by increasing ROM in the joints as well as correct length of the soft tissues. Below we we get into the benefits of getting chiropractic care for weightlifters.

IMPROVE PERFORMANCE

If there was something to improve your performance in a natural way without the use of supplements would you do it? With getting adjustments of the spine and pelvis it helps to keep your body weight distributed evenly. When there is a misalignment of the pelvis especially, then the weight of your body is shifted. Add that lifting heavier weights then you are increasing the risk of injury by a lot. By getting adjusted on a maintenance basis it will keep your spine in the correct alignment thus allowing you to use your body’s biomechanics to your benefit. This means lifting more, and getting more out of your workouts, to get those gains you want.

PREVENT INJURIES

Another great benefit of chiropractic is the prevention of injuries. You wouldn’t want to wait until something was so bad that it needed surgery? I don’t think anyone would want that. Chiropractic allows the body to be in proper alignment so as not to injure the tissues in the spine and extremities. Along with adjustments a skilled chiropractor can give you specific exercises to prevent other injuries from occurring.

TREAT INJURIES

Not only can you prevent injuries from occurring but treat them in a way that is not with drugs or surgery. Getting treatment early in the injury can greatly decrease the return to workout time. A chiropractor can also use other modalities to decrease pain from the injury and to speed up recovery. One such way is kinesio taping.

Weightlifters should try to find a chiropractor who has some experience working with athletes. These chiropractors will be accustomed to seeing these types of injuries. Chiropractic for weightlifters can greatly help you recover and perform better.

Stretches that a back pain sufferer can do at home

"What are some ways that I can do things at home so that my back pain will not get worse?" I get asked questions like this quite often and I recommended a good stretching routine that can benefit your back pain when you are in a pinch. Stretching allows the muscles to feel less stiff and perform better. This will help with the health of your joints. How it does that is by decreasing the amount of compression that the muscles put on the joints. This is a good thing. 

The following stretches are great for keeping the compressive forces of everyday living from impacting your low back and the pain associated with it. 

Psoas Stretch

The psoas muscle attaches directly the the lower back vertebra. This means that if it is tight due to too much sitting, it can cause some low back pain. This stretch is a little difficult to master but well worth it. Start by doing a lunge but keep your back in an upright position. Then lean toward from the forward leg. This will allow a good stretch in the psoas. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 2 more times. Doing this will not create a bad force in the spine while still stretching the psoas out. 

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Cat-Camel

This stretch is great for keeping the spine mobile. It will feel great to move your spine this way and you will see great benefits to your overall spine health. Start by getting on your hands and knees. Gently flex and extend the entire spine. One cycle should take about 4 seconds. Do 5 cycles of this and see how your low back pain feels. 

 

glutes-stretch-lying190opt.jpg

Gluteus Stretch

This next stretch is great for the glutes and the piriformis muscle. These muscles affect the SI joint which is typically referred to to the hip but it is a different joint. This stretch is a great way to stay mobile and will help with tension in the hip musculature as well as the nerves that travel near it.  Start off slowly and work your way up. You want to lay on your back and then bring one leg over onto the knee as if crossing the legs when sitting. Then grab your other leg and pull slightly. You should feel a good stretch with this one. Go slow with it and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times and switch to the other leg. 

These stretches will help to improve the muscle compression on your joints and help to improve mobility in your spine and pelvis. These are great in conjunction with getting chiropractic adjustments to restore the proper motion in the spine and pelvis. 

Why doing this one thing will help with your pain

Pain. We all have had it at some point. Hate it or love it it teaches us what damages our bodies. But what happens when it becomes a long term thing? We get so used to having it that it's always there. Does that cause damage as well? We will discover the one thing that will help with pain and how you can get do more of it. 

I'll start with a story. It is a story out of my life that I will share. I tore my ACL...twice. So had the surgery and afterwards they want you to put you leg on this device that moves it constantly, for 24 hours a day for a week, only resting it when you do your exercises. I mean you have this thing on you when you sleep so it's not the greatest  to be able to sleep. But why would they do something like that? One word. Movement. If you don't move the joint that was injured it becomes stuck and scar tissue forms and then you have more problems than when you started. 

The importance of movement especially joints that have been injured is crucial. Pain tells us to stop for good reason but movement that is controlled is actually a type of therapy. What does this have to do with health? Actually a lot. See when we experience pain we want to sit down and rest which is good for really acute pain. Like spraining your ankle you probably want to rest and ice it but once that period of rest and ice is over you gotta move it. Slowly walking getting the joint fluid to move around and drain is key. 

I see this everyday. Joints that are not properly moving cause pain and can lead to degeneration of the spine or other joints of the body. It is my job to free up joints and get them to move better so pain does not set in long term. I am so passionate about seeing people moving well and getting better because they get to experience life again the way that they used to know it. They get to play with their kids or play that sport with a little more ease. When we have people that are not in pain their mood improves which is a fantastic benefit to getting adjusted. The list goes on and on. 

So even after getting adjusted it is good to rest but taking a short walk of 5-10 minutes can help keep the joints free and moving correctly. This one thing of getting movement and not sitting down all the time will help to ease the pain you are experiencing. When you experience movement and what it is supposed to feel like you will get to enjoy life again!