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Being a type of manual therapy, the practitioner utilizes techniques, forces and manipulations that are administered chiefly by hands. The spinal cord is the center of all therapies for a chiropractic doctor. Their belief is that the spine is the central structure as it allows messages from different parts of the body to reach the brain and vice versa. Under the state of paralysis in any part of the body, it is the spinal cord that can make any limb completely nonfunctional.
Keeping the vitality of the spine in mind, D. D. Palmer brought to life the concept of spine manipulation to deal with vertebral subluxation. It is the practice of applying varying amounts of force to the area of concern in the spine to restore normal functioning. Palmer is popular for applying this technique to a deaf individual (deafness not present at birth) and being successful at restoring his hearing capabilities.
Primarily a chiropractic practitioner deals with a vertebral subluxation. A subluxation is when the spine loses its normal positioning and the neural pathway dysfunction causes a compromise in the functioning of several different parts of the body including the visceral system. A subluxation occurs as a result of a trauma, injury or even a chemical imbalance in the body.
A thorough examination is undertaken before your doctor performs any chiropractic techniques to relieve your pain. Several conditions are beyond the realm of this care. If you have a neurological condition, then you will be recommended to a neurologist and will not be administered any care procedures under a chiropractic practitioner. Other such conditions that cannot be dealt with manual therapies include tumors, broken bones, osteoporosis and arthritis. Areas that can be called its forte are pain in the upper and lower back, neck pain, and headaches, minor injuries related to sports, asthma, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, menstrual pains and the like.
This is said to be the second most valid reason for paying a visit to a chiropractic practitioner. However, neck pain can be caused by a variety of reasons. Several of which can be dealt with utilizing chiropractics. With cervical disc degenerative diseases, pinched cervical nerve, minor injuries to ligaments, herniated disc disease and the like, chiropractic can be very effective.
When the neck becomes an area of concern, several other parts of the body can suffer the impact. Weakness in the arms, shoulders and hands, the tingling sensation in parts of the body supplied by the neck suffer along with the pain in neck. Therefore, dealing with neck pain with the help of a chiropractic practitioner is a wise decision.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Spine and Disc Herniation by Michael Dorausch
Individuals, engaged in strenuous everyday tasks of lifting and shifting heavy loads, and operating machines and computers for long hours on end, run a high risk of experiencing spinal disc injuries. Injuries in the spine or neck region tend to cause extreme pain and hindrance in the movement of the back or neck. Cervical herniated disc is a medical condition in which the patient feels excruciating pain in the neck, due to a slipped disc. Chiropractors provide invasive treatment methods for relieving the pain in the neck and spinal areas of the body.
What Is A Cervical Herniated Disc?
It is a medical condition, in which the individual suffers from extreme pain in the neck, and sometimes shoulder region, due to a slipped disc or pressure on a nerve. Cervical herniated disc injuries are less common than a lumbar herniated disc, which affects the lower region of the body. A cervical herniated disc condition is in the neck region of the body.
The 7 applicable vertebra of the spine are termed as C1 to C7, in a descending manner, for medical convenience. Between every two vertebra, a disc is located which serves as shock absorbers for the spine. The exertion and pressure on the neck and spine of the body causes swelling or bulging of the disc which might in extreme cases, even cause the disc to rupture, resulting in severe disc injuries.
The swelling and bulging of the disc exerts pressure on the nerves, which results in extreme pain in the neck and back region, hampering movement of the affected individual. A slipped disc or cervical herniated disc in the vertebra segment of C4 to C5 causes nerve root impingement, which results in pain in the upper shoulder or arm, hindering movement. Any swelling in the cervical segment of C5 to C6 results in weakening the front arm muscles, also called biceps, and causes a numbing and tingling pain in the wrist. It is the most common area in which a cervical herniated disc condition occurs.
The herniation of the discs in the C6 to C7 vertebra results in creating painful sensations in the back muscles of the arm, also called triceps, which extends all over the hand, causing pain up to the fingers. Any disc herniation in the C7 to T1 region, results in affecting the control and grip of the hand, with a tingling pain and numb sensation throughout.
Chiropractic care and treatment methods are highly effective for different musculoskeletal disorders and spinal disc injuries, experienced by individuals because of over exertion and engagement in strenuous activities. Chiropractors provide services for joint and muscle adjustment and pain relief.
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Back pain may occur due to various reasons; be it a sports injury, pulling a heavy object or a fall/ injury to the spine. If you are suffering from back pain, it would be wise to have a look at some of the common risk factors and causes of back pain by consulting a Chiropractor.
The risk of back pain varies in different individuals, depending on their lifestyle. People who work in a mentally stressful job, smoke or go through strenuous physical work are more susceptible to back pain than those who don’t. Other factors such as pregnancy, anxiety, depression and obesity can also lead to this condition. Age is also a factor, as older individuals are at a higher risk than younger ones.
Causes Of Back Pain
The most common cause of back pain is strained muscles and ligaments, which may be a result of lifting something heavy or a sudden awkward movement. It can also be caused by improper posture due to a bad mattress or sitting position.
The human body is a complex structure composed of bones, muscle, ligaments and joints. A fault in any of these can cause numerous problems, including back pain. Some particular structural problems that may affect the back are as follows:
Arthritis can cause various joint problems in the hips and lower back.
Bulging And Ruptured Disks
The vertebra in our spine is cushioned by a disk, so a ruptured disk would result in more pressure on the nerves, resulting in back aches. A bulging disk would put even more pressure on the nerves.
A bulging disk can also press on a nerve in the spine, causing a shooting pain through the buttocks and down the legs.
Curvature Of The Spine
An unnatural curvature of the spine can cause the space around the spinal cord to narrow, causing back pains.
A vertebra fracture can be caused by the bones becoming more brittle.
Conditions, There are also some conditions which may cause back pains.
A growth or tumor on the spine may press against a nerve.
Infection on the nerves (shingles) and spine may also cause pains.
Cauda Equine Syndrome
The growth of nerve roots at the bottom of the spinal cord can cause a dull pain, as well as lack of feeling in the upper buttocks.
Failed back syndrome is a term that is used to define a failed spinal surgery that causes continued pain to the patient. Not much can be done regarding a case of failed back syndrome apart from performing a second surgery. Chiropractic care has, however, introduced means of therapy and adjustment to the spine that can significantly reduce the ill effects of the syndrome with undergoing surgery.
The truth is that outcome of a spinal surgery cannot be predicted precisely. Sometimes an MRI scan can show an abnormal image which could lead to a wrong diagnosis of the problem.
Causes of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
Some possible causes of a failed back surgery syndrome may include:
- A wrong diagnosis of the patient’s condition
- Incorrect surgery procedure performed on the patient
- Surgery performed at an incorrect level of the spinal column
- A failed spinal fusion surgery that had led to other complications
- Continued pinching of the nerve despite the surgery
- Scar tissue formation
Symptoms of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
The symptoms of a failed back syndrome include:
- Chronic pain that continues even after the surgical procedure
- Pain around the treated level of spine
- Slow or no recovery from the surgery
- Moving around is difficult and flexibility is compromised
- Throbbing pain in the back
- High levels of anxiety leading to depression
Alternates to Repetitive Surgery
Before undergoing another surgery, chiropractors recommend trying the following:
- Undergo physical therapy – Physical therapy has proven to be a great method in relieving back-pains of all kinds
- Try Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation – This therapy is performed by inducing low voltage to reduce pain
- Take non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines – These medicine can help suppress inflammation which is a major factor in causing pain
- Get injected with Steroids – Epidural Steroid Injections are a common method of treating inflamed spinal nerves
- Carry out therapeutic exercises – Exercises help greatly in pain management
- Have hot and cold compresses – Hot and cold compresses applied on the pain-stricken area can greatly reduce the inflammation and pain
Due to the vast nature of spinal surgeries, it is always best to consult with a physician or a chiropractor to find a solution that is suitable for a specific case. Professional advice is necessary when it comes to severe cases.
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