Welcome to Heartland Health Centers
Cervical Spine (Neck)
The cervical spine is the structure connecting the brain to the rest of the body. It envelopes the spinal cord that runs messages from the brain to the other parts of the body and vice versa. Not only does it contribute to keeping safe the most delicate part of the body, but it also regulates flow of blood to brain and supports the head.
The bones in the neck enable you to rotate your head in various directions. Any stiffness or injury can hamper your functionality. There are several types of neck pains that can be a source of constant stress. Several people rely on medication and heating pads and even opt for surgeries (as a last resort), however, an effective and non surgical treatment of chiropractic can be miraculously helpful.
In the year 1895, this healing technique was founded by D.D. Palmer. It is comprised of manual therapies and is said to alleviate musculoskeletal concerns. Under a musculoskeletal condition, the joints, muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments of an individual are affected. An impact on the aforementioned can result in minor discomfort and pain to more serious conditions.
World Health Organization (WHO) in 2005 published an article that considered chiropractic techniques to be a medicine and surgery free health profession. The main focus of the practice is in the area of the spine. The method of adjusting and manipulating spinal joints dates back to the time of Hippocrates and continued to thrive over the years. Now the spinal manipulation is practiced in several different parts of the world.
Spinal manipulation is the most emphasized aspect of chiropractic practices. It involves the art of using manual therapy to activate the joints and muscles. With the use of the hands, the practitioner moves the joints and muscles, as per the required treatment. You might remember watching a scene in several different movies or television shows where a stiff back was fixed by giving a sudden jerk. Following a muscle popping sound, the individual would be relieved of pain.
Similar is the scenario under a chiropractic practitioner, however, it takes into account safety and consent of the individual in pain in opposition to the situations depicted on television. The motive of spinal manipulation is to enable the normal movement of the body by relaxing tight muscles and loosening joints.
Not only is spinal manipulation an important asset for a chiropractic practitioner; the use of exercise and electrical devices are also common. The electrical modalities are devices that stimulate the joints and muscles.
Spinal manipulation is the core element of chiropractic treatments and is immensely effective for relieving neck pain. Performed by a licensed and certified practitioner and being characterized as non surgical and medicine-free, this might be turn out to be an appropriate option for you.
Sprained ankles are one of the most common sports injuries and can become a rather large hurdle in anyone’s life if left untreated. Moreover, the longer the injury is left untreated, the longer it will take to return to the sport. Fortunately, there is a quicker way around it: chiropractic treatment. By treating your injury with chiropractic rather than conventional methods, not only does your injury heal faster, but the affected area grows stronger.
The first step in any chiropractic treatment is to analyze the area and determine the degree of damage. In case of tears or any fracture, the person is usually sent to the hospital. It is important to note that if you do not know how to treat a sprain, we suggest you do not touch the sprained ankle until the swelling goes down. In case of severe pain, a hospital referral is recommended.
Reducing the Swelling
Just like many other sports injuries, a sprained ankle should be treated with an ice pack immediately. This will help reduce the swelling until you can reach proper medical help. In the case of a severe ankle sprain, the swelling does not go down very fast and, in order to recover faster, most people seek out chiropractic help.
Without using any drugs or any surgery, chiropractic reduces the swelling fast using chiropractic techniques such as ultrasound, Kinesio taping and light Graston.
No chiropractic treatment will include joint manipulation until the swelling has gone down. Once it has, joint manipulation is usually performed. Here, the ankle is moved slowly in a variety of motions. This is done to increase blood circulation around the ankle and subsequently reduce recover time. This is usually done to properly gauge the level of damage to the ankle and check for any possible weaknesses.
Once the swelling has gone down and the ankle can move freely once again, it is important to place the person on the rehabilitation stage. During this stage of chiropractic, an expert trainer will help you do a range of motion extending exercises, usually without any sort of weight/resistance. However, in order to strengthen the body and the ankle, some resistance is placed after a while.
Sports injuries, particularly ankle sprains, can become a big problem for anyone, especially athletes. Fortunately, Chiropractic treatment helps the ankle heal faster but extends the ankle’s degree of movement, allowing it to move more freely than before. Finally, it helps prevent any further injuries.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Homemade Ice Pack by Vince Viloria
Low back pain has become a very common occurrence nowadays with over 12 million Americans visiting their doctors with complaints of chronic back pain every year; while over a 100 million visit a chiropractor.
Problems with the spinal column can cause devastating effects on a person’s life. It deprives them of their mobility and flexibility. Even everyday activities become a challenge in some cases. With so many of such cases and the advancements in medical science, it is ironic to see a huge number of people being misdiagnosed and prescribed spinal surgery as the only treatment.
Spinal surgery itself carries around a 20% risk of a failure. Failed spinal surgeries often result in no improvement, worsened pain, and sometimes, even death.
General Physicians, spine specialists and orthopedic surgeons have proven in many cases that they have no clue as to the root causes of back problems. In a review of low back-pain causes, Andrew Frank, a physician in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation concluded ‘Up to 85% of patients with low back pain cannot be given a definitive diagnosis because of the poor associations between symptoms, signs, imaging results and pathological findings’ (BMJ, 3 April 1993).
Risks Associated with Specific Surgical Procedures
Apart from incorrect diagnoses, each type of spinal surgery procedure carries its own set of risks:
A laminectomy requires removal of parts of a bone, bone spurs and ligaments from the back with the aim of relieving pressure on spine nerves. This procedure can result in a less stable spine, leading to another surgery.
A spinal fusion procedure is the most common type of surgery carried out for back pains. A surgeon joins the vertebrae together to restrict movement between the spinal bones. This in turn limits the stretching of spine nerves.
An incomplete fusion requires the patient to undergo another surgery. Smoking on the other hand, increases the chances of an incomplete fusion to occur.
Foraminotomy requires a surgeon to remove a bone from the sides of the vertebrae in an attempt to widen the space for spine nerves.
This surgery can also cause the spine to lose stability.
Disc Replacement Surgery
A damaged spinal disc is removed and replaced by inserting an artificial disk. The introduction of a foreign object into the body always carries a risk of dislocation or breaking, leading to a hardware fracture.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Flickr – Official U.S. Navy Imagery – A doctor performs surgery.jpg
Sciatica is very painful medical condition in which the patient experiences extreme pain and tingling sensations in his back, hip, legs and thighs. The pain is caused as a result of pressure exerted on the nerves, either due to any inflammation in the vertebra or the narrowing of the spinal canal. Piriformis syndrome, lumber spinal stenosis and spinal disc herniation are common causes of sciatica pain in individuals. Chiropractic treatment is highly effective for relieving the patients of the painful condition.
Why Is Prompt Identification And Treatment Important?
It is very important for patients to recognize the symptoms and seek professional medical assistance for their sciatica condition. The doctor takes prompt prescribed tests to identify the cause of the sciatica pain in order to focus his attention on the specific treatment required for the condition.
If a patient does not seek medical assistance for his sciatica problem, it may result in exaggerating his condition with the period of time. A number of possible problems can arise for the patient besides the continuous pain in the back and the hip region.
Permanent Nerve Damage
Patients who do not seek prompt medical help for their sciatica run a high risk of suffering from permanent nerve damage. In case of a permanent damage to the sciatica nerve, the patient will experience excruciating pain in the back and legs, which will not be alleviated to a satisfactory level, even with the use of pain relieving medication.
The different treatment methods like water and physical therapy become extremely painful for the patient because of his severe nerve damage.
Paralysis in the Affected Limb
The patient experiences a loss of feeling in the affected limb, which in some cases also leads to difficulty in movement, and ultimately paralysis. The affected leg becomes devoid of all sensation and movement, hampering the patient already troubled with the excruciating pain.
Loss of Bladder Control
Patients who do not get medical treatment for their sciatica problem can experience a loss of control in their bladder and bowels. This adds to the problems already faced by the patient while dealing with his sciatica condition.
A pressurized sciatica nerve causes severe pain, tingling and numbing sensations in the legs and thighs, and cramps along with fever. Patients should seek prompt medical assistance for the correct identification and treatment of sciatica before the condition becomes incurable. Chiropractic treatment is considered as very effective for the treatment of sciatica pain in individuals.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Leg pain by The Clear Communication People