Older Adults with Neck Pain Can Benefit from Chiropractic

Aches and pains seem to intensify with age. Many older adults suffer from neck pain but lack the funds required to seek medical care. Thankfully, a chiropractor is a low-cost, professional option. A good chiropractor can help with those aches and pains, and you won’t be charged a small fortune for co-pays, testing, and other medical expenses.

Many Adults 60 And Older Are Financially Insecure

According to the National Council on Aging, over 25 million people in the United States who are age 60 and up are considered “economically insecure.” This means that they’re technically right at or below the federal poverty level. This amount – which is currently set at $30,000 per year, is what many of them receive in retirement benefits.

When elderly adults make their monthly budgets, many realize that something needs to give. The costs of food, housing, gasoline, and other necessities have gone up over time, and social security hasn’t kept up. On top of this, Medicare only pays for so much. These adults are left having to come up with money for co-pays and prescriptions. In the end, those might be the first costs that get left out of the budget.

Then, there’s the medical testing factor. If you go to a doctor complaining of neck pain, you’ll most likely leave with a prescription for an MRI, an x-ray, or some other type of test. Doctors do this in order to be “thorough,” but what they’re really doing is eating in your budget. Thankfully, there’s a less costly option.

Chiropractors Can Help With Neck Pain

The alternative? A chiropractor. If you go to one, he or she may order x-rays on the spot if warranted. You will also be examined right away and he or she will suggest a course of treatment. This usually includes an alignment, but lifestyle modifications might be prescribed as well. The best part isn’t the near-instant treatment and subsequent pain relief. It’s actually the cost. Seeing a chiropractor is very affordable, even more so than seeing your general practitioner.

A Helpful Study

The National Institute of Health and Health Resources and Services Administration did a study in order to examine three different standard treatments. The first involved home exercise and advice, the second this same advice, as well as spinal manipulation, and the third, home exercise combined with some physical rehabilitation.

The results were shocking. The most effective treatment, which dealt with the pain and even took it away for long periods of time, was the second option. This combination of home exercises, lifestyle advice, and spinal manipulations is exactly what a chiropractor specializes in. What does this mean for you? Well, it means that you can see a chiropractor, which costs less, in order to deal with the root causes of your pain. You won’t have to see a doctor and undergo a number of expensive tests.

To put it simply, you’ll experience greater neck pain relief and spend less money if you see a chiropractor. Consider contacting our River North, Chicago location today.

Common Chiro Myths That Just Aren’t The Case

If you’ve already had the good fortune to benefit from great chiropractic care, chances are you’ve had at least one conversation with a friend trying to convince them to do the same. It’s also very possible you’ve run into any number of arguments from that person as to why it isn’t necessary or a possibility for whatever their issue is.

See if any of these sounds familiar.

Myth: I manage to crack my own back, why pay someone else to do it?

According to professional chiropractors, this is one of the worst things you can do. While it may provide some temporary relief for basic back, neck or shoulder pain, when compared to the specific force and direction a pro will apply, it’s not possible to safely and accurately adjust yourself and can also lead to further injury and long term degeneration.

Myth: Adjustments are painful and dangerous.

Chiropractic treatments have an amazing safety record. The treatments themselves provide gentle, safe, and drug-free therapy that leave most patients with immediate relief after an appointment.

As with many activities that work the body, including therapeutic massage, not to mention a regular exercise routine or sports activity, some soreness may occur after treatment but should abate quickly.

Myth: I can’t afford it.

Think so? Double check your insurance policy. As chiropractic care becomes more mainstream, especially as a preventative treatment, more insurance companies are including chiro treatments in their coverage. Additionally, it is quicker and easier to treat a condition initially from the start leading to less cost than it is to wait for the problem to build up and ultimately spend more time and money trying to fix.

Myth: Once you start treatment, you can’t stop.

Just as every person has different medical and health needs, chiro patients have different treatment needs as well. There are three basic types of chiro care;
therapeutic, corrective and wellness.

Therapeutic care is used for issues like pain relief. Corrective care is utilized in cases of chronic structural issues like scoliosis. Wellness care helps maintain any results achieved from the other treatments or works as a preventative measure for those who have typical structural systems.

Just as regular wellness appointments are recommended by your doctor (mammogram, prostate, etc.), routine chiro care is recommended to help prevent future injury. In the end, though, it’s up to you. The real truth is, people keep going not because they have to, but because they want to.

Myth: Chiropractic treatments won’t help my condition.

Chiropractic care isn’t just to help your back, neck or shoulders. When a chiropractic treatment is received, it realigns the spine. This alignment lets the brain and body communicate more efficiently as well as improves the nervous system’s ability to function properly. All of this lets the body heal itself more effectively with less need for OTC pain meds and more.

Myth: Chiropractors aren’t real doctors, I only want a real doctor treating me.

Doctors of chiropractic are required to complete up to 400 more hours of instruction than MD’s do. And, many of those extra hours are dedicated to advanced information in anatomy, nutrition, physiology, public health, and rehab. Chiropractors are back doctors, you wouldn’t go to an optometrist for teeth problems.

Make an Appointment Today

More studies are coming out every day telling us what thousands of chiro professionals
have known for decades. Proper alignment in our bodies can have a positive effect on
our entire system.

The Field of Chiropractic is Seeing Changes for the Better

With a movement toward more preventative health and wellness care and non-invasive medicinal treatments by the general population, the chiropractic profession has been moving into the limelight even more than ever.
Just in the last three decades, there have been exemplary changes in the Doctor of Chiropractic profession that makes it even easier to receive treatment.
New Coding to Ensure Reimbursement Codes are describing chiropractic manipulative treatment (CMT) for created for specifically for reimbursement. These codes were added to the Common Procedural Terminology or CPT book and allowed the Chiropractic field to describe primary services that led to an increase in reimbursement within the Medicare payment system and more.

Increased Representation of Chiropractic Medicine at the National Level

More and more, Chiropractic Doctors are being invited to contribute to health care policy making. To date the chiropractic community has representatives on the:

  • Advisory Committee for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • American Medical Association’s Relative Value Update Health Care Professional Advisory Committee,
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Board of Governors Increased Federal Funding for Chiropractic Research and Educational Institutions

Over the past 30 years, the federal government has promised approximately $80 Million in funding to chiropractic colleges to better evaluate the benefits of chiropractic care. The funding has provided the research to assist in the delivery of higher quality chiropractic care.

Increases in Research Publications

Even just thirty years ago, there was essentially no scientific literature on the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments. Now, there are approximately 200 articles and reports presented annually and six chiropractic journals that are part of the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed search engine.

Increased Visibility Courtesy of Sports Professionals

Doctors of Chiropractic are now included on the medical teams provided at the World games, Olympic games and more. Additionally, each of the 32 teams making up the National Football League provide chiropractic treatment and care to their players.

Many of these players have spoken out publicly about the benefits of the chiropractic treatments they’ve undergone and praised them and the providers for the work they do.

Chiropractic Care is Expanding Globally

There are now less chiropractic college within the United States than there are in other places across the planet and 85 different countries are represented members of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). This organization represents the chiropractic profession to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Doctors of Chiropractic are More Frequently Found in Multi-Disciplinary Medical Facilities

As more medical offices open that provide multiple treatments and care options under one roof, Chiropractors are increasingly being included in these types of center. Additionally, more than 200 doctors of chiropractic are working with the Department of Defense and other organizations to provide treatment to active duty and Veteran military personnel.

Chiropractic Care is Now Recommended by the American College of Physicians

Most recently, the American College of Physicians has released a statement that chiropractic care is recommended as a first line of defense for lower back pain.

And the Work Continues

As the future of chiropractic professions unfold, more research and education will continue to bring to light the importance and benefits of chiropractic care as a preventative measure and as a treatment for a variety of health issues.

Get Relief from Pain with Chiropractic Adjustments

Pain is something we all recognize. From the moment we are born, we learn a lot from pain. We learn not to touch things that get really hot; we learn to avoid stepping on certain objects. We learn not to overexert ourselves.

With all this learning, however, pain is difficult to avoid. No matter what type, consistency or how bad it becomes, it’s always there, lurking. And, as we get older, we seem to develop it in places and after activities that never occurred before.

Most of the time, when we experience pain, we take an over the counter pain med like acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen.

Alternative Pain Relief of Chronic Conditions Can Now be Achieved through Chiropractic Care

Recently more research and study has been given to the idea that chiropractic adjustments can work well, not only as a treatment for existing pain but as a preventative measure of chronic pain issues.

In December 2016 the publication Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, a peer-reviewed journal of medicine on chiropractic and osteopathy fields, released information about a research study. The study was performed to determine what effect spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), a.k.a. Chiropractic treatment had on pain. More specifically, it looked at the ability for SMT to improve the pressure pain threshold a patient exhibits. Pressure pain threshold essentially being how much pain a person can experience before it becomes
debilitating.

For the study, however, the threshold levels were measured at when applied pressure moved from discomfort to pain, not how much pain the subject could withstand.

During the study, 34 subjects between the ages of 18 to 36 were chosen. Among them 20 were male, and 14 were female. Each of the subjects was examined in advance and found to display no pre-existing conditions that could affect the results.

For the study, non-invasive methods were used on four different areas of the body to determine each subjects’ initial threshold of pain. Once determined, each subject was given a high-velocity, low-amplitude SMT, using the hypothenar mammillary push. Each subject was treated with this specific SMT technique while laying on their side versus their back. The push was also specifically aimed between the L5 and S1 vertebrae of the spine.

After the SMT was completed, the pain threshold tests were carried out again at 0, 10, 20 and 30- minute intervals. Upon completion, the pressure pain threshold was collected again, and then again at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after the conclusion of the treatment session.

When the research data was compiled and compared, it was discovered that subjects reported an increase in tolerance to pain in 2 of the four areas tested. These areas where the calf and lumbar spinal region.

The areas no discernable change was experienced were the scapula and forehead regions. While this study involved only one treatment before result were gathered, it did warrant the need for further testing with the idea that patients coping with chronic pain
issues, especially in the lower back area, can expect to receive relief from standard chiropractic treatments.

Vitamin D and Your Spinal Health

Researchers have found a potential link between vitamin D and your spinal health. In recent studies, they’ve observed that those about to undergo spinal-fusion surgery due to spinal health issues also have shockingly low levels of vitamin D in their system. Students and professors conducted this study at Washington University of St. Louis and recently presented at the conference of the North American Spinal Society.

The Study

For the study, researchers at Washington University of St. Louis checked 313 different patients that had been scheduled for the spinal-fusion surgery mentioned above. Slightly over half, or 57 percent, of the patients scheduled for that surgery had low enough vitamin D levels that they would be deemed deficient at any regular health screening. The operation they were scheduled for to correct their spinal issue requires new bone to be made by the body, which takes quite a bit of vitamin D, tremendously concerning for their doctors.

They performed this study with the hope that revealing a previously unheard of link between vitamin D and your overall spinal health would lead to less spinal problems for patients in the future and a decrease in spinal-fusion surgeries. This could mean a vast improvement in the quality of life for future generations.

What It Means

This research means a much more prominent change for doctors than the patients. This study very well could lead to a change in medical practices where doctors are required to check the vitamin D levels of the patients they want to recommend for spinal-fusion surgery. This would ensure that the patient has enough vitamin D in their system to help with the new bone growth and prevent possible complications later down the road. The need to check the vitamin D levels of the patient is heightened for those that are obese, have diabetes, have a history of smoking, or are over the age of 55. It also raises questions about what vitamin D does for your overall spinal health. Could increasing your vitamin D intake help prevent the need for severe spinal surgeries like spinal-fusion later down the road? There’s still more research to be done, but the discovery is enough to spark the inquisitive minds of our society and inspire further research.

While this study may not seem as flashy as others that are deemed as significant breakthroughs, the discovery of a potential link between vitamin D and your overall spinal health is not only fascinating but could also lead to new ideas on how to prevent spinal issues or injuries from occurring. The research found could change the way we view and treat spinal injuries and concerns and even prevent them from happening in the first place.

Your Phone May Be Hurting Your Neck

The scornful remarks about teenagers being “glued” to their cell phones have been circling for ages – it’s hard to find a teenager who isn’t either talking, texting, or playing on their phone. However, as wireless devices grow in popularity, it isn’t just teenagers who are turning to them on a daily basis. In 2013, a study found that 91% of adults in the United States own a cell phone…and we’re just as addicted to them as the kids. On average, a young woman will spend ten hours using her phone each day. That’s right…ten hours! Before you get too disgusted, take a minute to consider your own cell phone use; if we’re honest, we all spend a lot of time typing, browsing, and playing on our devices.

Whether you use your phone to connect with family members through texts and messages, keep up with business matters through email, do research for school, or just play some fun games, doctors now have sobering news: Too much time with your cell phone could be bad for your neck!

How Cell Phones Can Damage Your Body

The Chief of Spine Surgery with New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, stepped forward to explain how cell phones are damaging necks and what can be done about it. According to Dr. Hansraj, the average person’s neck weighs about eleven pounds – while this seems like a lot of weight to carry around on your neck and cervical spine, it gets worse when you’re not standing with good posture.
Cell phone use causes people to naturally lean forward outside of their regular, healthy posture. Even a head that is leaned only slightly forward makes it weight more than twice as much, putting around 27 pounds of pressure on your neck. Do you get a little closer to your phone? Guess what – that puts even more pressure on your neck. If you lean forward at a 45-degree angle, which is not even as far as many people lean to look at
their phones, your head will put almost 50 pounds of pressure on your neck and back.

businessman holding a phone and her neck with painHow Much Phone Time is Too Much?

Understandably, the more you use your phone, the more damaging the effects will be on your neck. Before you breathe a sigh of relief because you only use your phone an hour or two a day, it’s important to remember that any amount of cell phone use can cause side effects. Even if you only text or check your email for short periods of time, there may still be repercussions for years to come.

What You Can Do

Before you lock away your cell phone and live like you’re in the 90’s, there are several things that you can do to help. First, you need to be aware of how you stand when using your device; rather than lowering your head to meet your phone, raise your device so that it is eye-level when in use. Secondly, try to cut back on your phone use – while any amount can damage your neck, the more time you spend with your head leaning forward,the worse your neck will be hurt. Last, set up a visit with your chiropractor for an adjustment. A chiropractor can help you by putting your neck back in place and reversing some of the damage from cell phone use.

Chiropractic: Choice for Headache Relief

 

According to the American Chiropractic Association, nearly 9 out of 10 Americans fall victim to painful and sometimes severe headaches. There is a smaller percentage of Americans who have headaches that are considered incredibly severe. Severe headaches are sometimes triggered by motion, food, a specific light source, noise, tense, etc. Sometimes these types of difficult headaches can keep people from doing everyday daily tasks, even having the overwhelming need to skip work or school.

Having a pain in your head so severe can make even the simple daily tasks seem like the hardest ones. Even little struggles seem excessive when sensitivity to light, food, or any kind of motion stops you from living your best life.

If you’ve fallen victim to these types of headaches but don’t like to take medication to relieve the pain, then perhaps a more natural approach is what you need. Did you know a chiropractor can relieve more than back stress? There are tons of nerves in your neck, back, feet, etc. that could be adding to your severe headaches. If you haven’t yet tried relieving the pain this way, it’s time to take a dive in a chiropractic approach.

A chiropractor can offer you a drug-free headache relief in many ways. Many headaches caused by tension are considered primary and could easily be relieved. A cluster of headaches together cause migraines and those may be caused by anything listed above. It’s important to know you are certainly not alone in these painful episodes. Many people find themselves having them once a week and some even daily. Why is it acceptable to live in this manner? There is a drug-free solution to your painful headaches.  

Chiropractic headache treatments are typically among the most relaxing environments at any chiropractic office. Your chiropractic physician can give you a series of treatments to relieve your headaches. Spinal manipulation is performed to release tension, increase blood flow, and allow muscles to relax which inevitably eases headaches.  It may only take a few sessions for you to completely feel the release you’ve been hoping for. Even after the first session, many clients proved to feel much better almost instantly. There’s no harm in trying, right?

Those dull and tension-filled headaches you have often could directly be tied to the tension and knots you’re harboring in your upper back and lower neck region. Don’t allow this type of pain to tread on, especially if it can easily be treated with some chiropractic adjustments.

If the chiropractor, after a series of painless tests, sees the reasons behind your headaches may be because of a poor diet, he or she can also help you nutritionally and offer dietary assistance as well. The nutritional treatment is unique to each client, every time. You can be rest assured your dietary plan is completely customized to your needs, after all, everyone has their own individual needs.

Take a chance on chiropractic help for your severe headaches, you may be missing out on the answer you have been waiting for all along.

 

Chiropractic Patients Enjoy Faster Recovery and Spend Less Money

 

It’s no secret that thousands of Americans complain about back pain, it always seems to be the topic of discussion. In a 2012 study, it was proved that on a yearly average, nearly $635 billion dollars is spent on pain management. An incredibly high percentage of that is narrowed down to back pain management.

If you find yourself constantly needing to stretch, or rub your neck or back to quickly help ease back pain, you’re not alone. It’s us, the people with the office jobs who lean over to see our computer screens closer for 8 hours in a day. Where can this pain end? Is there a drug-free solution?

These days, millions of people opt for a cleaner approach and have decided to ditch the hard-core drugs for a better solution; a chiropractic solution. A cheaper and cleaner alternative for a back pain-free life. Back pain can be caused in many ways, and mostly in a multitude of ways. No back pain is ever the same, we are all individual in that sense but feel pain nonetheless.

Back pain is caused by strained back muscles or tension build up in your upper back or lower-neck regions, or the more popular, lower back regions. These causes come from poor posture, straining of the neck while looking down at a phone screen, worn out joints from age or injury and so on.

With back pain, so common in our society and with many factors adding to this pain, why hasn’t the chiropractic approach reached its popularity yet? Truth is, it’s hard to assume that anything other than hard drugs could take away such a severe pain. Chiropractors, however, go straight to the source and relieve the tension built up in our necks and backs. They do this by adjusting the needed area to increase mobility of the joints, properly align the spine, and increase blood to flow to the tension-filled muscles. It’s near instant relief, and you will find you will less likely need any further assistance from prescription drugs. This saves time and money!

There are other ways you can alleviate your pain, to keep it from going too extreme.

  • A healthy diet is always key to total body health, yes, this includes your back.
  • Regular stretching is highly recommended by any physician, activating your muscles and keeping them moving keeps blood flowing.
  • Use ice packs to reduce inflammation and numb the pain, for a quick fix.
  • Pay attention to how you sit at your desk, are you leaning? How do you stand, do you slouch? These are key components to watch for when trying to relieve your back pain. Keep your back straight.
  • Not an avid gym goer? Then maybe you should try. Staying active is the key to keeping your muscles and joints active and healthy, this gives ample room for blood flow and allows no room for back pain.

Ask your doctor about how a chiropractor could help you with your severe back pain. If you haven’t yet tried this healthier approach, you may be missing out on the great decision of your life. Your back will thank you.  

October is Chiropractic Healthcare Month

Chiropractic medicine is one of the least invasive and most effective ways to treat chronic pain. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way of managing pain without prescription drugs or surgery.

October is Chiropractic Health Care Month. Every year, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) uses the month of October to educate the public about the benefits of chiropractic treatment for chronic pain and spinal issues.

This year, their focus is “Back to Basics,” with the intention of reminding the public of the importance of maintaining good spinal health throughout their lives.

What Does Back to Basics Mean?

Getting back to basics for the ACA means educating people about the important role that spinal health plays in their everyday lives. People who do physical labor must be careful not to hurt their backs, but people in sedentary jobs are at risk, too.

The “Back to Basics” campaign is designed to emphasize simple methods of maintaining good spinal health, preventing spinal injuries, and getting the proper nutrition to live a healthy life.

Chiropractic doctors focus on a holistic approach to healing, preferring non-invasive methods of treating pain. The practice of chiropractic medicine is not new, but now more medical doctors are recommending non-drug treatments for pain, including chiropractic treatments.

New Guidelines for the Use of Opioid Drugs for Pain

As awareness of the growing opioid epidemic increases, a growing number of doctors are hesitant to prescribe pain medication for their patients. Instead, they’re recommending non-invasive treatments that eschew drugs.

The Joint Commission, an organization that accredits all major hospitals in the United States, recently released new guidelines regarding the treatment of pain that will go into effect in January, 2018.

Specifically, they said that hospitals must provide non-drug pain treatments to their patients. They have also provided guidelines for the safe prescription and use of opioid drugs.

This marks a significant change from the way pain was treated just a few years ago. Patients are learning that chiropractic treatments can provide real and lasting relief from pain because chiropractors identify the root cause of pain and treat it instead of masking the pain with drugs – and that means that patients don’t have to deal with the unpleasant side effects and risk of addiction that come with prolonged use of pain medication.

David Herd, DC, is the president of the ACA. He points out, “Almost everyone experiences back pain at some point in their lives, and more people are becoming interested in non-drug approaches to treatment.” Throughout the month of October, the ACA will be educating the public about the benefits of chiropractic care and injury prevention. You can visit their website to learn more.

Pet Chiropractics: A Growing Trend to Treat Our Furry Friends

The basic idea behind chiropractic treatment is that if your spine is out of alignment, it can’t work correctly.  This can cause irritation of the nerves, or spinal cord and consequently can irritate the brain stem.  Therefore, any animal with a nervous system be it dogs, cats, rabbits or humans, will benefit from treatment by someone who knows how.

The nervous system is the main system that allows every muscle and organ in the body to function properly. Realignment of the skeletal structure allows the nervous system to function naturally.  In doing this, Chiropractors offer an additional way to support the healing process of almost any disease.

A Growing Concept

Veterinary Chiropractic Centers are becoming more and more common and many Veterinary Clinics are beginning to add Chiropractic care to their menu of services.  With the development of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) as a certifying body, the industry itself has also become more regulated.  

What To Look for in Your Pet

There are symptoms that may suggest your pet could benefit from specialized care.

The most common warning signs tend toward the physical symptoms such as limping, refusal to climb stairs or into furniture, or in more extreme cases, the development of seizures.

There also can be indications based on a change of behavior. For example, if a dog is usually happy, full of energy or very well-behaved and overnight becomes shy, or begins to misbehave,  this may be a sign of an illness or a reaction to a change in the perceived family structure.  However, if nothing has changed within the household, like the introduction of a new pet, person or baby and any screening for illnesses come back negative, there may be a reason to consider a Chiropractic evaluation.

Cases Where Therapy Worked to Avoid Severe Conditions

Individual cases where Chiropractic treatment was used showed outstanding results.  

These include one patient who was able to avoid additional surgery for herniated disc repair and regained the ability to walk by undergoing 6 Chiropractic treatments instead. Another pet was able to skip any surgeries at all and reverse the paralysis that had taken hold in the rear legs.

Now, before you start scouring Google or Yelp for your nearest Pet Chiropractic Clinic, keep in mind that a chiropractor is not a substitute for your pet’s regular veterinarian. Always consult your pet’s Doctor first before pursuing Pet Chiropractic services.

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