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Can a Chiropractor fix a bulging disc?

Are you at your wit’s end dealing with pain from a bulging disc? The effects of a bulging disc can take a toll on the body and mind. Many questions come up as you try to find the safest and most effective treatment: Can a chiropractor fix a bulging disc? What is the recovery time for a bulging disc? Read on to learn all about how to treat your injury and discover the best way to treat a bulging disc in the back.

What is a bulging disc?

If you believe you are suffering from a bulging disc, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Bulging discs are considered a normal part of aging. A bulging disc is a common spinal column injury that occurs in the intervertebral disc. However, it differs from a herniated disc, though the two are often confused.

Bulging Disc vs. Herniated Disc: What’s the difference?

Types of disc degeneration, Can a Chiropractor fix a bulging disc?

When the intervertebral disc is weakened to the point that it protrudes into the spinal canal, causing a bulging disc. The disc bulges out of the space but does not crack. A herniated disc occurs when the disc becomes cracked.

When the bulge pinches nerve roots along the spinal cord, it causes additional pressure to be placed on the surrounding nerve tissue. A bulging disc affects more areas of the disc than a herniated disc, and the associated pain may increase over time.

A herniated disc occurs when the outer layer of the disc, the annulus, cracks. A small part of the disc is affected and the soft material of nucleus pulposus protrudes. This is more painful than in the case of a bulging disc, where the nucleus pulposus material does not protrude.

What causes a bulging disc?

There are many things that could cause a bulging disc. Sports injuries or high physical activity at work can lead to spinal misalignment. Sometimes it is caused by neck or back trauma. While it’s a typical age-related injury, tobacco use can also cause the spinal disc to deteriorate and weaken, leading to a bulging disc.

Symptoms of a Bulging Disc

While symptoms may vary depending on age and activity level, the following symptoms are commonly associated with a bulging disc:

  • Tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in one or both legs
  • Back and pain spasms
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function
  • Hyper reflexivity in one or both legs
  • Paralysis below the waist
  • Deep pain over the shoulder blade or in the shoulder area
  • Pain when moving the neck
  • Radiating pain in the fingers, forearm, and upper arm

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you may have a bulging disc that requires treatment and your chiropractor may recommend that you consult your physician. Read on to discover how to treat a bulging disc in the back.

Best Treatment for a Bulging Disc in the Back

So, now to answer the pressing question: can a chiropractor fix a bulging disc?

Yes! Chiropractic care is the preferred treatment method for many patients suffering from a bulging disc. It is non-invasive and does not require drugs or injections of any kind. Chiropractic can help provide you with improved mobility, decreased pain, and overall better quality of life.

Patients suffering from a bulging disc should begin with the most conservative treatment first. Going to a chiropractor is a great place to start! If you are suffering from a bulging disc, chiropractic is a great non-surgical alternative to many treatments. Contact Select Spine & Sports Medicine today and make a consultation appointment to help you get back to feeling like your best self!

Patient Spotlight: Can a chiropractor fix a bulging disc?

Select Spine & Sports Medicine Patient, Mr Brooking with Dr Joe Denke discussing his treatment options for a bulging disc and sciatica.

Mr. Brooking suffered from severe back pain before coming to Select Spine Sports & Medicine. He was suffering from a bulging disc and sciatica and his symptoms included a sharp, shooting pain in the back that traveled down to the knees.

Mr. Brooking had confidence in his Friendswood, Texas chiropractor. He began with conservative care with rehab and chiropractic, but it wasn’t as effective as he had hoped. The MRI showed a bulging disc, so Dr. Denke referred him to a pain specialist in order to co-manage his ailments. In the meantime, he continued to receive treatment at Select Spine & Sports Medicine.

Despite seeing a pain specialist for an initial exam, after continuing with chiropractic sessions, Mr. Brooking wasn’t in enough pain to go back. He continued his treatment at Select Spine & Sports Medicine and eventually tapered off. Mr. Brooking now feels “great, with no pain at all!” He is back to cycling, walking, and even dancing with his wife.

Treatment at your Chiropractor Friendswood

At Select Spine & Sports Medicine, we take a whole-body approach to wellness that treats the entire spine, not just the pained area. Our highly trained and specialized staff provides self-care direction, exercise, and nutritional recommendations to keep you feeling your best even after your session.

We utilize Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy to decrease pressure on the affected disc and nerves. A chiropractor uses low-force techniques to help relieve the painful symptoms of a bulging disc.

How long does it take to recover from a bulging disc?

The recovery time for a bulging disc can take approximately 6 weeks to 3 months.4 However, recovery time may vary depending on the individual patient.

It’s very important not to rush recovery. While your back pain may lessen early on in your treatment, you must allow time for the disc time to fully recover before resuming your regular activities.

We Can Help Fix a Bulging Disc

Seeking treatment with a chiropractor can be a great fix for a bulging disc. If you are suffering from a bulging disc, look no further! Select Spine & Sports Medicine is here to help you heal.

Chiropractic treatment is safe for a bulging disc, herniated disc, or sciatica. Patients in the Friendswood, TX area can find safe and high-quality care at Select Spine & Sports Medicine.

Make an appointment to help safely treat your bulging disc today!

Why Lower Back Pain Sufferers Prefer Chiropractic Care

lower back painThrobbing, dull and achy, sharp and excruciating. All of these words can be used to describe lower back pain.

Unfortunately, lower back pain is a common occurrence in adults. According to the American Chiropractic Association, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, with millions of reported cases every year.

What treatment should you seek if you experience pain in your lower back? The good news is that it often heals on its own. A few days of over-the-counter pain meds, ice, and taking it easy, and you could be back to normal.

However, those who continue to deal with the pain after a few weeks’ time may choose to look for other solutions. This is also true for people who experience repeated flare ups, or chronic low back pain.

One of the best and most popular options is chiropractic care.

Why? 

First of all, chiropractic care doesn’t focus solely on the pain, but helps the body heal itself. Chiropractors understand the bones, muscles, discs, and nerves in the back, and are able to figure out the reason for the pain.

From there, they can create a customized treatment plan from compresses to spinal manipulation to exercises that helps heal the area and reduces the pain.

Second, it’s a drug-free solution.

Because of its healing, restorative approach, chiropractic treatment tends to the source of the pain, instead of simply dulling it. Spine Universe estimates 6 to 12 treatments are typically needed to treat low back pain, but each individual person’s requirement may vary.

Over the course of these treatments, spinal alignment begins to balance the other parts of a person’s back and helps correct the issue causing the pain. In addition, spinal manipulation helps improve mobility and function in many cases, whereas drugs alone do not.

Finally, chiropractic care for low back pain also help minimize relapses.

Patients who experience low back pain obviously never want to deal with it again, but it can flare up periodically. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, roughly 20% of those who suffer from low back pain will eventually deal with it chronically. This can cause frustration, especially when it affects mobility.

Before you run screaming in horror to the medicine cabinet, one of the best reasons to participate in chiropractic treatment is that it helps reduce the chance of a recurrence. By working on the total body and getting it in the best shape possible, the patient is stronger and more balanced to handle their workload and other strenuous activities. Chiropractors also impart advice on how to minimize the chances of re-aggravating the lower back.

Millions of people suffer with back pain each year, and some never visit a chiropractor. Those who do choose chiropractic treatment are privy to treatment that reduces their pain, increases healing, shortens their downtime, and lessens their chances of a recurrence. If over the counter medication and ice packs haven’t worked within a few days, it’s time to make an appointment for a consultation with a licensed chiropractor. You will be happy you did!

Trigger Points & Other Myofascial Pain Relief With Chiropractic

Trigger PointsMany people think of joints, bones, and the skeletal system when they think of chiropractic, but in fact, the muscles also play an integral part in supporting the body. The muscles are layers and interwoven work to move and stabilize the spine, facilitate the movement of the body’s joints, and aid in respiration. When there is pain within this system, chiropractic can be a very effective treatment. More patients are turning to chiropractic care to treat a variety of painful conditions because it does not use addictive pharmaceuticals with unpleasant side effects; it is completely natural. Chiropractic can also keep patients from requiring surgery in many cases. So when it comes to myofascial pain and trigger points, this form of treatment is often considered optimal.

What is Myofascial Pain?

In simple terms, myofascial pain is simply pain in the muscles. When you break down the word, “myo” means muscle and “fascia” refers to the connective tissue that are interwoven throughout the body.

The pain originates in specific trigger points that are located in the muscles and fascia at various areas of the body. The pain can range in intensity from mild and annoying to severe and debilitating.

What are Trigger Points?

Trigger points are tightened, hypersensitive spots that can be located in any muscle. Different people may have different trigger points. It isn’t like specific lower back pain or neck pain which occur in specific areas of the body. Trigger points can vary from person to person.

When trigger points form, they become nodules or spots that exist in one of the muscle’s taut bands. The patient may experience a variety of symptoms including pain, weakness, burning, tingling, and other symptoms.

What often makes trigger points difficult to locate is that they cause what is known as referred pain. In other words, the person may experience the pain at the exact location of the trigger point, or the pain can be referred to other areas in the body. Referred pain usually has fairly consistent pain patterns so it can be traced to the origin – eventually.

Around 85% of the pain that individuals experience is attributed to myofascial pain. The trigger points determine whether the pain is chronic or acute. It is a condition that is very common.

How do Trigger Points Form?

Trigger points form when the muscle undergoes trauma of some type. The trauma can come from disease, accidents, work related conditions (from persistent, repetitive motion), and sports injuries.

Activities or habits that place a repetitive, long term strain on the muscles can also cause trigger points. Poor posture, improper ergonomics, and repetitive movements are the most common of these types of activities. Emotional and physical stress are often identified as causes of irritating trigger points.

Benefits of Chiropractic for Myofascial Pain and Trigger Points

Chiropractic care is often a preferred treatment for myofascial pain due to its effectiveness and drug free approach. Patients who undergo treatment will usually experience a dramatic decrease in their pain level or it will be eliminated altogether.

They also enjoy increased strength, flexibility, and range of motion. With continued chiropractic care, they will find that they have more endurance for work and recreational activities and even sleep better. It should be noted that sleep disruptions are a common complaint associated with myofascial pain.

Overall, chiropractic can give patients with myofascial pain a better quality of life with decreased incidence of injury. They are often able to lower their pain medication or eliminate it altogether.

Because chiropractic is a whole-body approach, patients learn healthy habits including diet, exercise, and mental wellness. Most of all, they can live with less pain or no pain at all.

How Chiropractic Helps Spondylolisthesis

SpondylolisthesisChiropractic care is a drug-free, nonsurgical treatment for many types of conditions and to help manage pain. As more and more medical professionals are recognizing its effectiveness and viability for treating many issues in the body, chiropractic is gaining popularity and becoming the treatment of choice for many patients with chronic pain, back problems and other issues. In particular, it has been found to be a very effective treatment for spondylolisthesis. It can not only relieve the pain, but often return the patient’s mobility as well.

What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one vertebra slides forward over the vertebra that is below it. It is typically confined to the lumbosacral, or lower back area. It can become painful, causing lower back pain and weakness or numbness in one or both legs, when it causes the nerve roots or spinal cord to be squeezed. In severe cases, a patient can lose control of their bowel or bladder function, but this is fairly rare. However, any patient who begins to lose bowel or bladder control should contact their doctor immediately.

In some cases, a person’s vertebra can slip out of place without any symptoms being present. Sometimes the symptoms don’t show up until months or even years later. Symptoms of spondylolisthesis may include:

  • Low back pain
  • Pain in the buttock area
  • Pain that radiates from the lower back down one or both legs
  • Weakness in one or both legs
  • Leg muscles feel tight (one or both legs)
  • Limping or walking difficulties
  • Loss of bower or bladder control (rare)
  • Pain that increases when twisting or bending

How is Spondylolisthesis Diagnosed?

Spondylolisthesis is diagnosed by diagnositic imaging, like X-rays, usually taken of the patient’s back to rule out certain conditions, especially if they suspect spondylolisthesis.

The X-ray will allow the doctor to see if any of the patient’s vertebrae have shifted, or are cracked or fractured. An MRI or CT scan may also be ordered to better view the spine and see the extent of the damage.

What are the Treatments for Spondylolisthesis?

The treatment for spondylolisthesis is based on the actual damage identified by the doctor, the pain and mobility problems that the patient is experiencing, and the overall severity of the condition. Rest is the first course of treatment as well as ceasing the physical activities that may have caused the damage in the first place.

Pain may be managed by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen. Acetaminophen may also be administered for pain.

Other treatments for spondylolisthesis include:

  • Bracing
  • Weight loss (if the person is obese or overweight)
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the core
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Surgery (in severe cases such as damage to the spinal cord or nerve root)

There are several types of surgery that may be used to treat spondylolisthesis. The surgeon may remove tissue or bone in order to relieve pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. Sometimes the doctor may opt for fusing the damaged bones into place so they can no longer slip. In some cases, both procedures are done. This type of treatment is usually a last resort because recovery can be lengthy and the patient will have to wear a back brace or cast while their back is healing.

Is Chiropractic Effective for Treating Spondylolisthesis?

Chiropractic is a drug-free, noninvasive treatment for spondylolisthesis. It is often a preferred treatment because the patient does not have to undergo painful surgery or take medication that could have undesirable side effects. There are three primary spinal manipulation techniques that may be used by the chiropractor:

  • Spinal manipulation specific to the restricted or impaired joints
  • Flexion-distraction technique which is a slow, gentle pumping action
  • Instrument assisted manipulation uses an instrument to apply gentle force to the spine

Chiropractic care has been found to be very effective in treating this condition, but prevention is always the best course of action. Regular exercise, healthy weight management, and regular chiropractic visits can help ward off many spine related conditions including spondylolisthesis.

How Proper Rest Helps Decrease Back Pain

Back PainTreating Back Pain

You try to do all the right things when it comes to relieving back pain.  You lift the right way, exercise, practice good posture, stretch, drink plenty of water, and take frequent breaks to walk around if you are seated for an extended period of time. Those are all excellent habits to keep, but there is something else that you should be doing – and it is one of the most overlooked and undervalued health practices. Rest.

Running on Empty: The Silent Epidemic

Stress can do severe damage to your emotional and mental health, but it can also hurt your body as well. Many people carry stress in their lower backs which means that when stress goes up it can result in lower back pain. It can also make you more sensitive to pain.

It is estimated that 66 percent of all doctor visits have a stress related component. What’s more, 50 percent of people who suffer from stress rate it as moderate to high. We live in a culture that makes it commonplace to run on empty. The problem with that is sooner or later you are going to crash and your body will bear the brunt.

Rest is important for helping you alleviate and manage stress, but recent studies show that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. There is another reason to get your seven to nine hours in, though, that is directly related to spinal health.

What Rest Can Do For Spinal Health

When you rest you give your body time to replenish depleted stores of energy. Adequate sleep improves your immune function, memory, metabolism, learning, and healing. You will be more alert, happier, and have more energy. It is also very beneficial is you are trying to lose weight.

Excess weight can put pressure on your spine and cause it to curve, causing back pain. This is especially true if you carry your weight in your abdomen. That extra weight in the front pulls your spine into a sway back curve making it painful to stand for long periods of time.

When you lay down and rest you allow your entire spine, associated muscles, and other parts of your body to rejuvenate and relax. You probably don’t realize it, but your muscles in your back and abdomen work all day to keep your body properly supported. Even when sitting there are muscles engaged. Laying down allows all of those muscles to finally relax.

Rest also allows your spinal discs to re-hydrate. The spine is made up of fluid filled discs that sit between the vertebrae, acting as a cushion. As you go about your day, thanks to gravity, your discs become compressed. This compression causes the disc to lose fluid (which is about 88 percent water). This can cause pain if the discs are not properly re-hydrated – and that is a two-step process of drinking adequate water and getting enough rest.

Drinking water will put the fluids into your body, but as long as you are upright, the compression will continue. Laying down to go to sleep takes that pressure off of your spine so there is no compression and the body can naturally re-hydrate the discs. A few hours here and there is not really effective because it does not give the body enough time to do its job. This means that you need to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

Along with all the other great, healthy reasons to get a good night’s sleep, you not have one more to add to the list. A healthy spine will keep you standing tall and help keep you mobile, It is important to do all you can to take care of it.

If you are in need of a Chiropractor in Friendswood (Houston area), Select Spine & Sports Medicine is here to help!

What You Need To Know About Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac JointSacroiliac Joint Pain:

You try to stand up from a seated position and feel a stab of pain in your lower back. It may even shoot through your hip, buttock, or down the back of your thigh. The pain may even get worse then you walk uphill or sit for a long period of time. While these symptoms could mean a pinched nerve, lumbar disc herniation, hip bursitis, or degenerative hip disease, it could also be sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

What is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located in the pelvis. It is very strong as it is a weight bearing joint connecting the pelvis to the sacrum. It is surrounded by tough ligaments that reinforce it, providing added support.

There is an SI joint located on each side of the sacrum and they work together, moving as a single unit to act as a shock absorber for the spine and for transmitting force of the upper body. Just like any other joint in the body, the SI joint can be injured or diseased, causing it to become unstable and inflamed, causing pain and limited mobility.

What Causes SI Joint Inflammation?

While doctors have not established how the pain is generated, it is believed that it is due to a change in the normal motion of the joint. This could occur due to:

  • Hypermobility (Instability or Too Much Movement) – This can cause the pain to reside in the lower back. It can also be felt in the hip or both the hip and lower back and may even radiate into the groin.
  • Hypomobility (Fixation or Too Little Movement) – This can cause the pain to reside in the lower back or buttocks and may radiate down one leg, usually in the back of the thigh. It usually doesn’t reach the knee, but sometimes can even reach the ankle and foot. In this way, the condition mimics sciatica.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction typically affects women who are young or middle aged. Older women and men are rarely affected although it does happen.

What are Treatment Options for Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

When SI joint pain is initially diagnosed the treatment is usually fairly conservative. Medication, physical therapy, and injections are used by doctors for pain management.

NSAIDs and other similar medications decrease inflammation and reduce pain, while physical therapy can readjust the SI joint in cases where it is dislocated or immobilized. It also includes exercises that stabilize the joint for pain management over the long term.

Steroid injections directly into the sacroiliac joint can help with the reduction of inflammation and pain while making physical therapy more effective. When steroid injections are effective but the effects are temporary there is another non-surgical treatment that is sometimes used called RFA, or radiofrequency ablation.

In cases where the conservative methods do not achieve the desired results there are surgical options that provide pain reduction and stabilization on a more permanent scale. SI fusion involves fusing the joint, providing relief.

However, there is a treatment option that is non-invasive, doesn’t involve steroids or medications that could have harmful side effects – chiropractic.

Chiropractic for Sacroiliac Joint Pain

There are two chiropractic treatments that are typically used to treat SI joint pain:

  • Spinal manipulation – This is the traditional chiropractic adjustment that is also known as high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust.
  • Spinal mobilization – This is a less forceful, gentle chiropractic adjustment also known as low-velocity, low-amplitude thrust.

Chiropractic is proven to be an effective, non-invasive, gentle method for relieving the pain and inflammation of SI joint dysfunction. No medication, no surgery, just relief.

So if you’ve been suffering from sacroiliac joint dysfunction, give us a call! Our Doctor of Chiropractic is here to help!

What You Need To Know About Selecting A Mattress

Mattress selectionGetting a good night’s sleep is absolutely integral to good spinal health. Sometimes, though that isn’t possible. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 92 percent of people believe that a comfortable mattress is important for good, restful sleep. A bad mattress, or one that is old, or one that is simply wrong for your body can contribute to sleep deprivation, lower back pain, headaches, stiff neck, and anxiety and depression. With so much at stake, it’s easy to see just how important it is to select a good mattress.

Ask about how the Mattress is Made

Learn about the construction of a mattress and what the different components mean for your comfort. Different mattresses have different coils and they are arranged differently. The padding can vary in thickness. The depth of the mattress can range from 7 inches to 18 inches on the average. Understanding the various components of a mattress can make it easier for you to find the one that is right for you.

Look for Comfort as well as Support

A good mattress is comfortable and has good support. Support is good but if you don’t have comfort your mattress won’t be effective.

If a mattress is too firm (too much support) it will cause pain on your body’s pressure points. You want your hips and shoulders to slightly sink into the mattress. However, if you prefer a mattress that is firmer to support your back, you can get one with padding on top.

Don’t let Price be the Determining Factor

You naturally want to get the most for your dollar, but remember that you get what you pay for. A cheap mattress can translate to a poor quality mattress.

Look for quality and value rather than price. If money is an issue, do some comparison shopping to find the mattress you want for the best price.

Sales are another way to save money on your mattress purchase, but look out for advertising gimmicks. Know the meaning of the terms that are used and know what you are looking for before you go for that so-called great deal.

Educate yourself on the Different Mattress Types

Do you want a memory foam mattress or would a latex mattress work better for you? What exactly is an innerspring mattress? Are adjustable beds really all they are cracked up to be? Do some research and brush up on the different types of mattresses so that you can approach your shopping trip with confidence and as an educated consumer. It will definitely work in your favor.

In the end, it’s all about personal preference

There is no mattress that is a one size (or type) fits all. Different people will respond differently to mattresses. The best thing to do is try them out. Spend at least 20 minutes laying on the mattress before you make the decision to purchase or not.

Finally, if you find that your quality of sleep has recently gotten worse, that you are tossing and turning or wake up with pain in your back, neck, or head, it could be time to change your mattress – or pillow. If you can see your mattress sagging, that could be another indication that it is time to get a new one.

Mattresses are designed to withstand a certain degree of wear and tear, but they don’t last forever. The quality of the mattress, the weight that is on the mattress, and other factors contribute to how quickly it wears out. So if you notice any of the warning signs it may be time to get a new mattress so that you can get back to peaceful, restful sleep.

– Your Trusted Chiropractor In Friendswood,

Dr. Joe Denke

3 Stretches Everyone Should Do Daily

Chiropractic is a very effective treatment for back pain, but what many patients don’t realize is that there are things they can do to make it even better. By employing simple stretches, a chiropractic patient can improve his or her range of motion and increase flexibility. These are some great stretches that you can do at just about any fitness level.

Knee to Chest

Lie on a firm, flat surface for this exercise. You can place a mat or towel underneath you to make it a little more comfortable. If you aren’t able to flatten your back right away, fold a small towel and place it under the small of your back to provide a little support.

  1. Lie on your back, knees bent so that your feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Press your lower back into the floor.
  3. While keeping your left foot on the floor, inhale, bringing your right knee to your chest, pulling gently just until you feel a stretch. Hold it for 20 to 30 seconds. You can also keep your left leg straight if that is more comfortable. Make sure you keep your back pressed to the floor.
  4. Exhale, releasing your right knee and return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the movement with the left leg.
  6. Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times with each leg.

Child’s Pose

This gives you a very nice stretch all through your back. If you are unable to get on your knees or if you can’t sit on your knees, you can do this while standing.

Hold onto the back of a chair and bend forward. Don’t pull and don’t rest put all of your weight on the chair, just let your body fall gently forward with your neck relaxed and your head drooping. Take baby steps backward until you feel a good stretch, then hold it while breathing normally for 20 to 30 seconds. Walk your feet back in a bit to keep your balance and stand. Repeat 4 or 5 times.

  1. Get on your hands and knees, keeping your knees a little wider than your hips. Turn your toes inward so that they touch.
  2. Bend your knees, pushing your hips back over your heels. Get to a comfortable sitting position.
  3. Slowly slide your arms out in front of you, rounding out your back as you exhale. Keep your neck relaxed so that your head falls forward. Allow yourself to feel the stretch throughout your back.
  4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds then return to the sitting position.
  5. Repeat the movement 4 or 5 times, keeping your movements slow, fluid, and deliberate.

Cat – Cow

If you can’t get on your knees, stand in front of a chair and place your hands on the seat. Position your feet about where your knees would be if you were on your hands and knees. Relax your neck, allowing your head to droop. Complete steps 2 through 5.

  1. Get on your hands and knees, back straight, your hands shoulder width apart, and your knees slightly apart. Relax your neck so that your head droops. Breathe normally.
  2. Exhale as you round your back up toward the ceiling. Press until you feel a good stretch all along your back. Hold for about 20 to 30 seconds.
  3. Return to the starting position, keeping your back straight.
  4. Inhale as you sway your back, pushing your stomach toward the floor. Tilt your pelvis to get a maximum stretch. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat the full sequence 3 to 5 times.

4 Posture Tips Everyone Can Use

good posturePosture 101:

Good posture is more important than many people realize. Many a mother has followed her child around, reminding him or her to “stand up straight!” Not everyone knows all the reasons that this is important, but they should. Good posture is essential to good spinal health as well as good overall health.

People with good posture sleep better, feel better, and have fewer aches and pains in the joints, back, neck, and head. It helps you have better digestion, improves your organ function, and helps to make your chiropractic treatments even more effective. These top posture tips will help you stand straight and tall while enjoying better health.

Be aware

Being aware of poor posture is the first step in being able to correct it. When you feel your spine starts to curve, your shoulders hunch, or your back sway, stop and take a moment to pull your body back into proper alignment. Pretend that there is a string that goes through your entire body from the top of your head.

In your mind, pull that string up, raising your chin slightly so that it is parallel to the floor. Pull your shoulders back and allow your arms to hang naturally at your side. Bend your knees slightly (soft knees) with your feet about shoulder width apart. Tuck in your stomach and roll your pelvis forward so your back is not swayed. Keep your weight mostly on the balls of your feet. Think tall. Take deep breaths and allow yourself to get an idea of what this, good posture, feels like.

Use the wall

Using the wall or floor can help you get a feel for how to shift your pelvis. If you have a habit of tilting your pelvis back so that you have a sway back, you need to learn how to roll it forward to get it straight.

A person can develop a sway back out of habit, due to injury, or if they carry a lot of abdominal fat. It can cause a great deal of pain and just making the adjustment to straighten your spine will make a tremendous difference.

To get the feel for straightening your back, stand flat against a wall. Keep your feet directly under you. Now try to press the small of your back into the wall. Feel how your body shifts as your pelvis rolls forward. Pay attention to that sensation so you can duplicate it without using the wall. You can also do this while lying on your back with your knees slightly bent. Practice arching your back and then pressing it against the floor to get a feel for that motion.

Stay active

Regular exercise and stretching are very important for good posture. What many people don’t realize, though, is that good posture is absolutely vital while you are exercising. This is called “form.” You need to practice good form while you are doing weight bearing exercises, cardio, and stretching. If you don’t it can lead to injury or pain.

Your chiropractor can advise you on various exercises and the proper form for them. If you work out at a gym or at home, learn about good form for the exercises that you do. Fitness professionals can help you with this and are well worth the investment.

See A Chiropractor

There are several reasons for this. First, your chiropractor can make adjustments to your spine, providing you with a much wider range of motion and better mobility. Your chiropractor can also recommend exercises for you and show you how to do them properly. If you have weight issues he or she can provide you with advice on diet and lifestyle changes. Taking advantage of the whole body wellness that chiropractic offers will not only help improve your posture, it can improve your life.

New Research: Spinal Manipulation Better Than Muscle Relaxers For Back Pain

muscle relaxersMuscle Relaxers For Back Pain.

Should I take muscle relaxers for back pain?  Nearly everyone, more than 80 percent of the world’s population, will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. Just ask the 31 million Americans suffering from low back pain at any given time.

In fact, globally it is the leading cause of disability. It is the most common reason that people miss work and the second more common reason for doctor’s office visits. In the United States alone more than $50 billion is spent each year trying to relieve back pain, but even that figure is not complete, but only based on trackable, identifiable costs.

There have been studies published over the years that unequivocally show chiropractic as a viable and extremely effective treatment for back pain. Several of these studies plainly show that chiropractic is better than muscle relaxers.

Recent Study

One study that is one of the most notable was conducted at Life University in Georgia. It has been cited in several journals and used as a catalyst for proving the efficacy of chiropractic treatment for back pain and its superiority to muscle relaxants.

Study Parameters

The study involved 192 subjects who had been experiencing lower back pain for a period of time ranging from two to six weeks. The subjects were separated into three groups:

  • Group One – Chiropractic adjustments combined with placebo medication
  • Group Two – Muscle relaxers combined with sham chiropractic adjustments
  • Group Three – Control Group – received both placebo medication and sham chiropractic adjustments

All groups were given the same length of care, four weeks, with an evaluation of progress at the two-week mark and the four-week mark. The pain was assessed using the Zung Self-Rating for Depression scale, the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire, and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Upon admission into the study during the initial visit as well as at the two-week evaluation, Shober’s Test for Lumbar Flexibility was also administered.

The subjects in all three groups were also allowed to take acetaminophen for pain. This was an additional evaluative measure to assess the need for additional self-medication.

During the course of the study there was a two-week treatment period where the subjects in the chiropractic adjustment group received a total of seven adjustments. These adjustments were tailored to each patient’s specific needs and included pelvic adjustments, sacral (lower back), or lumbar and upper cervical (neck and back).

The sham treatments mimicked all aspects of an actual chiropractic adjustment including dialog, normal visit length, and procedures. However, no actual adjustments were performed.

Study Results

At the conclusion of the study, the subjects who received chiropractic treatment reported a significant decrease in pain and an increase in flexibility. Of the groups that did not receive chiropractic treatment there were no significant differences noted. There was a decrease in disability and depression across all three groups, indicating that muscle relaxants are effective in treating back pain, but overall chiropractic care is the more effective option for treating back pain and disability.

What does this mean for Patients with Back Pain?

Patients suffering from back pain can receive greater relief without the undesirable side effects of muscle relaxers by seeking chiropractic care. Patients who are using muscle relaxers to treat their back pain should talk to their doctor about incorporating chiropractic treatment into their treatment plan. Patients experiencing back pain should pursue chiropractic care before resorting to more aggressive methods including muscle relaxers.