FAQ- Is a good workout the same as having a chiropractic adjustment?
Chiropractic involves a hands-on treatment of musculoskeletal concerns by focusing on the structure of the body and paying close attention to the spine. Adopting a high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) therapeutic stance, it is a popular choice for problems of back and neck pain. A high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) involves a short but quick thrust of pressure to a selected skeletal joint.
Chiropractic and the Neck
Several studies indicate the effectiveness of this technique for alleviating neck problems. When seventy patients underwent different treatments for their neck pain, with a handful of them receiving the chiropractic HVLA manipulation, results indicated the success of HVLA thrusts in reducing neck pain when at rest and increasing the range of cervical motion.
Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)
Car accident is the most common cause for a WAD. At the time of a motor collision, the body is unprepared to save you from the sudden jerk. A sudden head movement results in an acceleration and deceleration of the neck. This can lead to several different types of injuries, ranging from minor strains to permanent damage.
When the soft tissues, ligaments, nerves and muscles in the neck suffer any injuries, the pain diffuses through to the shoulders and the upper arm. Several people also suffer from neck stiffness after reading in bed at a stretch. Neck pain can also be caused by a bad posture or an extended period of severe mental stress.
Neck related concerns are one of the main reasons people opt for chiropractic care. If WAD is not cared for, it can result in long term health related issues such as severe aches and soreness in the neck. When under chiropractic care, manual therapy is utilized where force is exerted physically to treat the joint structures and tissues for ease and relieve the pain.
With the use of tables that are highly specialized, the patient is made to comfortably lie down and the HVLA manipulation is adopted. The techniques involve applying a specific amount of force to the area of concern or by holding the client’s head to rotate it. Controlled and careful rotation of the neck can lessen the pain, eventually curing the neck condition. Mostly it is advisable to not rotate the neck more than 50 degrees.
During the procedure the patient can either be seated on a stool or might be asked to lie on a specialized table. The table comprises of cushions enabling the patient to lie down in a comfortable position. Based on the severity of the whiplash, the practitioner massages the neck in the direction of the stiffness.
The above is a brief overview of how chiropractic practitioners adopt techniques to reduce neck pain cause by a WAD.
Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Whiplash by Narih Lee
Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the areas related to the shoulder such as deltoid – anterior, deltoid – lateral, pec major – clavical head, and coracobrachialis muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to Increase shoulder strength and muscular endurance. By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury.
- Begin on floor on hands and knees.
- Hips should be above knees and shoulders above hands. Attain a straight spine position.
- Activate core muscles. While maintaining a straight spine, reach forward until arm is at shoulder level. Slowly return to start position.
- Repeat for prescribed repetitions and sets.
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In order to live a healthy lifestyle, there are some essential nutrients which need to be present in your diet. A good chiropractor will also include a diet plan in his treatments to reduce the risk of disease. Here are some dietary tips you can use to improve your health.
Avoid Junk Food
Avoid junk foods with low nutritional values and additives such as artificial flavoring and coloring, as most of them contain chemicals that your body isn’t familiar with and can cause certain problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and irritable bowel movements.
Eat Foods with Good Nutritional Values
Let’s suppose a person has a calorie requirement of 1600 calories a day. He can either get these calories from healthy foods with good nutritional values, such as beans, vegetables or salads, or he can get them through unhealthy foods such as bagels, donuts or junk food. The calorie requirement is the same but he would be getting a more nutritious diet by choosing the former option, thus making him healthier.
Add Unrefined and Uncooked Foods in Your Diet
Natural foods contain relatively more nutrients as compared to their refined counterparts. For example, refined flour lacks the fiber and other nutrients that whole grain contains. Cooking can also destroy many of the beneficial nutrients in food, so it is important to add some raw fruits and vegetables in your diet to balance out the nutrient requirement.
Avoid Fried Food Items
Though they may seem tempting, a high consumption of fried foods can directly lead to certain health problems such as high cholesterol and heart problems. If you live a busy lifestyle which doesn’t give you time to exercise, fried foods can also cause obesity.
Don’t Use Too Much Salt and Sugar
Too much salt results in high blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of developing health problems. High levels of sugar can also increase the risk of diabetes. Try to reduce the amount of salt or sugar you use in food items.
Ask Your Chiropractor for Advice
As most chiropractors have information on nutritional requirements, you can ask your chiropractor to advise you further on what you should include and what you should exclude from your diet. A chiropractor can also formulate you a proper diet plan which you can follow to stay healthy.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: A Matched Set by Tony Alter
Back problems often are a result of a bad posture that could cause severe pains. Restoring the back to its original and natural condition takes time, and a combination of chiropractic care with the recommended exercise can dramatically enhance recovery.
A combination of the two provides numerous benefits. Exercise keeps muscles in their proper tone, increases blood circulation around the body, improves digestion and develops a better lifestyle all together.
The following back-strengthening exercises complement the healing process greatly:
The Hip Bridge exercise strengthens those muscles near the lower back that play an important role in stabilizing the spine.
It can be carried out by lying on the back with the feet flat and about hip width apart; the knees should be bent. The arms should be relaxed. The person then squeezes their buttocks as they lift their hips in a straight line towards the shoulders. After around 3 seconds, return to the starting position, slowly.
Around 12 repetitions are recommended.
The bird dog exercise aims at strengthening the lower back, hip, butt and thigh muscles.
The person kneels on the floor with both hands spaced out about a shoulder-width apart. Tuck in the belly towards the spine and raise one leg straight backwards while raising the other hand in opposite direction.
Hold in this position for 15 seconds and then return to starting point, carrying out the same procedure on the opposite side hand and leg.
The side plank exercise strengthens the lower back. It is done by the following method:
The person is to lie on their right side, straight from head to the feet while resting on their forearms. The elbow should be directly under their shoulder. The abdominals are to be gently contracted and the hips slowly lifted off the floor – in the same straight position.
This position should be held for at least about 30 seconds before lowering the hip.
Lunge exercises enhance a person’s overall control of their body. This tends to protect the spine in daily activities, such as walking and running or even stair-climbing.
Starting off with the abs gently contracted. The hands are placed on the hips; the person then takes a big step-forward using the right foot while sinking the right knee at a right-angle.
The person should then slowly return to the starting position, switch the legs and repeat – 10 repetitions are recommended.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Side Plank.jpg