What are the Qualifications to be a Chiropractor?

If you’re considering chiropractic treatment to help you cope with chronic or acute pain or another health issue, you might be wondering how much training someone gets before being licensed as a chiropractor. And, it might surprise you to know that the educational and licensing requirements for chiropractic doctors (DCs) are some of the most stringent and rigorous of any health care profession.

Chiropractic School

Many Doctors of Chiropractic have four-year undergraduate degrees in pre-medical subjects like chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics, and psychology. Some obtain undergraduate degrees in physical therapy as well.

After that, an aspiring DC must be educated in a nationally accredited, for-year doctor graduate school program. Typically, these programs include a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom study, laboratory work, and clinical internships, which makes the classroom hours similar to what allopathic and osteopathic medical schools require of their students.

Chiropractic training involves rigorous training in many of the same things that medical doctors study. These include:

  • Human anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Public health
  • Rehabilitation

A significant percentage of the training students receive is clinical, meaning that it’s related to evaluating and caring for patients. They must complete a one-year clinical program where they treat patients and observe qualified DCs at work.

It’s important to note that, because chiropractic is a hands-on practice that requires extensive clinical training, DCs spend, on average, more time in clinical settings before they are licensed that medical doctors do. It’s where they learn the art and science of treating patients and the intricate, hands-on adjusting techniques that help them alleviate pain.

The course of study for DCs is approved by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and has been for more than 25 years.

Certification and Licensing

Education isn’t the only qualification to be a chiropractor. DCs must also pass a national board exam administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The NBCE also specifies yearly continuing education requirements that DCs must meet to maintain their licenses.
In addition to passing the NBCE’s board exam, a DC must obtain a state license from the state where they wish to practice.

It may interest you to know that DCs are designated as physician-level providers in most states and with the federal Medicare program. Chiropractic services are available through:

  • The Medicaid Program
  • The US Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • The US Department of Defense
  • The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program
  • The Federal Workers’ Compensation program
  • All states workers’ compensation programs

Chiropractic care is widely accepted as a method of treating a variety of ailments. In addition to providing treatment, DCs can refer patients to other health care practitioners when it is necessary.

Conclusion

Chiropractic training requirements are stringent and rigorous. To be board certified and licensed, Doctors of Chiropractic must complete thousands of hours of classroom and hands-on training to ensure that they are able to provide the best possible level of care to their patients.

Are Your Fashion Choices Contributing to Back Pain?

Back pain is the most common type of chronic pain, both in the United States and around the world. According to the American Chiropractic Association, half of all working adults in the US report experiencing back pain at least once a year. A whopping 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

How can we make sense of those numbers? Perhaps the most important thing to do is to understand the small decisions you make every day that may cause or contribute to back pain. For some people – and for women in particular – the issue may begin when they decide what to wear in the morning.

High Heels and Back Pain

The first fashion culprit when it comes to back pain probably won’t surprise you. Wearing high heels might make your legs look great, but it’s not doing your spine any favors. High heels force your feet into an unnatural position by pushing your toes down and to the front. Elevating your heels applies pressure to the ball of your foot, which can be painful. The balls of your feet aren’t meant to support your body weight over an entire day.

Wearing high heels can cause bunions, a painful condition that pushes the bone on the side of your big toe out while pushing your toes together. It also shortens your calf muscles. That’s a problem because it changes your gait, causing your back to arch and requiring you to use your back muscles to remain upright.

The bottom line is that high heels put pressure on your toes, back, and even your neck and shoulders. A better alternative if you want some added height is to wear platform shoes with no more than two-inch heel in the back.

Backless Shoes and Back Pain

Mules, or backless shoes, are always popular – but wearing them may be putting too much strain on your back. There are several reasons that wearing them might not be a good idea:

  • They do not provide good arch support
  • They don’t always stay on your feet
  • They can tighten the arch of your foot and alter your gait
  • Altering your foot position and gait can impact your spine

Does that mean you should never wear mules? No, but it does mean that you should choose your mules with care and wear them only when you don’t have a lot of walking to do. One of the best ways to test a mule is to put it on and then shake your foot. If the shoe stays on your foot, you probably won’t need to scrunch your toes while you walk.

You should also try walking in mules before you buy them. If you find that you can’t walk with your natural, long stride, then look for another pair.

Handbags and Back Pain

Carrying a handbag or purse is second nature to most women, but it turns out that even carrying a small bag can strain your back, neck, and shoulders.

The obvious culprit is weight. If you’re carrying an oversized handbag, laptop bag, or purse, the weight can pull down on your shoulder, putting strain on both your spine and your neck. You can minimize the risk of developing back pain by lightening your load. For example, you might downsize your purse or try leaving certain items at home or in the office instead of carrying them back and forth every day.

Even a small bag can be problematic. If you’ve ever found yourself hunching your shoulder to keep your bag’s strap from slipping off, you might be putting unnecessary strain on your shoulder, neck, and back. As an alternative, you might try a small backpack or cross-body bag.

Cell Phones and Back Pain

Finally, you may want to rethink the way you use your cell phone. While it’s not really a fashion accessory in the same way shoes and handbags are, few of us leave home without a cell phone.

The problem is in how we hold our phones. If you’re holding your phone in your hand and bending your neck to look at it, you’re putting pressure on your cervical spine. Over time, this can lead to a condition called “text neck.”

The solution? Hold your phone in one hand, rest your elbow against your abdomen, and hold your phone up and in front of you, so you can see it without bending your neck. That way, your spine can remain in proper alignment while you check your texts.

Conclusion

If you want to prevent back pain, start with your wardrobe. Replacing high heels with platforms, minimizing the time you spend wearing backless shoes, choosing the right handbag, and changing the way you hold your cell phone will ensure that your back stays in proper alignment throughout the day.

20 Simple Ways to Be a Smart Chiropractic Patient

If you live with chronic pain and you’re considering making your very first chiropractic appointment, you might be wondering about the best way to choose a chiropractor. You might also be thinking about what questions you should ask to help you make the most of your chiropractic treatments.

We’re here to help. Here are 20 things you can do, both before and during your first appointment.

How to Find a Chiropractor in 6 Steps

The first step in seeking chiropractic treatment is finding a qualified chiropractor near you. Here are some ways you can find someone who’ll be able to help you.

Ask your friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations. You may be surprised by how many people you know have a chiropractor to recommend. Write down the names. It’s always a good idea to get several recommendations, so you have options available to you.

  1. Ask your doctor for a recommendation or an opinion. Some MDs have old-fashioned ideas about chiropractic, but your doctor may have a recommendation. If not, you can still ask for an opinion of any chiropractor you’re considering. Even if your doctor is vague, you can learn a lot from their body language and tone.
  2. Google all potential chiropractors. You can learn a lot from a simple Google search. For example, you can find patient reviews and complaints as well as information about what treatments they offer and where their practice is located. Pay attention to negative reviews and whether the chiropractor or a staff member responded to resolve the patient’s issue. You don’t want an unresponsive chiropractor.
  3. Check to make sure that your chiropractor is licensed by the state where you live. Most states have rigorous licensing requirements that include continuing education and ethics guidelines.
  4. Look up your chiropractor’s professional certifications. http://www.cce-usa.org/
  5. Finally, check to see if there have been any complaints made against your chiropractor.

These six steps can help you narrow down your choices and find a qualified, compassionate chiropractor in your area.

14 Questions to Ask Your Chiropractor

Both when you call to make an appointment and when you’re face-to-face with your chiropractor, it’s essential to ask questions to ascertain the kind of treatment you’ll be getting and what qualifications the chiropractor has to treat your condition effectively.

  1. Do you offer a free consultation? Many chiropractors offer a free initial consultation, so you can ask questions and get a feeling for their practice and personality. You may choose a chiropractor who doesn’t offer this service, but it’s a nice benefit and a good way to narrow your choices.
  2. What post-graduate degrees and training do you have? Chiropractors are not medical doctors, but they do receive extensive training. You should choose a doctor who has a commitment to ongoing education. Someone with at least one graduate degree is preferable to someone who has only minimal training.
  3. How often have you treated people with my condition? Chronic pain has many causes. It’s always a good idea to find out how much experience a chiropractor has treating people with your condition. Some doctors have extensive experience with sports injuries but only minimal experience with other injuries.
  4. What treatments do you commonly use for people with my condition? Even among chiropractors, opinions may differ on which treatments and solutions are the most effective. Asking this question allows you to get a feeling for how a particular chiropractor would approach treating your pain.
  5. Do you prefer forceful or gentle manipulation? Spinal manipulations are a common form of chiropractic treatment. Some doctors use a forceful technique that produces the “crack” that many of us associate with chiropractic treatments, while others prefer a gentler approach. This question will ensure that you know what to expect.
  6. Will you work with me to develop a treatment plan that I’m comfortable with? Really what you’re asking here is if the doctor will respect your wishes about treatment. For example, a chiropractor may prefer gentle manipulation, but if you have a specific request, you want to make sure that they’ll accommodate it before you pay for their services.
  7. How much experience do you have with this technique? If a chiropractor recommends a specific technique, ask how often they’ve done it. There are a lot of techniques out there and you don’t want a chiropractor to be learning a new technique at your expense.
  8. How long will my treatment last? A good chiropractor should be able to give you an estimate of how long it will take for you to complete treatment. But, be wary of any doctor who insists on sticking to a rigid timetable. Your body is unique, and your treatment plan should be, too.
  9. Do you do X-rays in your office when necessary? In many cases, X-rays are not necessary for chiropractic treatment. You should avoid any doctor that automatically takes an X-ray of every patient.
  10. How much will my treatment cost? It’s always a good idea to get an estimate of how much your treatment will cost. Because the treatment plan won’t be carved in stone, your costs may not be either. However, you should be able to get an idea of your total cost before you start.
  11. How does billing work? A good chiropractor’s office will have a simple billing system and the ability to work with your insurance company as needed to facilitate payments.
  12. What can I do to give my treatment the best possible chance of working? A truly individualized plan will look at everything from your exercise routine to your sleeping position and your diet to maximize your chances of success.
  13. Does your practice offer other services? Some chiropractic practices offer additional, related surgeries like massage therapy, acupuncture, and physical therapy, and nutritional counseling. If you think these things may be useful to you, then you may want to choose a practice that offers them.
  14. 20. Will you refer me to a specialist if necessary? The final question to ask is whether the chiropractor can recognize when a problem is too complex or serious for them to handle alone.

Just as your primary care physician may refer you to a specialist, your chiropractor should be willing and ready to do the same thing if it is necessary.

Asking these questions will help you get a feel for the chiropractor you are considering. Pay attention to the doctor’s tone, demeanor, and words.

Conclusion

The 20 steps we’ve outlined here will help you identify and choose a professional and qualified chiropractor to help you manage your chronic pain and live your best, most productive life.

Can Chiropractors Help Relieve Migraine Pain?

Usually, people see their chiropractors for a very specific reason – because they have back pain or even a stiff neck. They might even go if their hips or knees hurt since they know that an adjustment will help. However, people rarely consider going for things like migraines. This needs to change because chiropractors can indeed relieve migraine pain.

Your Pain May Stem From Your Neck

You’re probably already aware of the fact that a chiropractor can align the bones in your neck, especially the ones that connect with the skull, in order to relieve pain. With that said, you probably didn’t know that those can cause headache pain. Although some migraines are caused by things like hormonal shifts and nutrition (both things that a chiropractor can coach you on – more on that later) sometimes all that it takes is sleeping wrong and hurting your neck to cause a migraine. Thankfully, this can be avoided with proper neck support while sleeping and some new pillows. In the meantime, you’re still stuck with your migraine pain. A chiropractor can help with this by adjusting your neck (and even your back, since everything in your body is connected) in order to relieve your pain.

Determining the Cause of the Pain

Did you know that there are 22 different bones in the skull? Although these bones are fused together in adults, this doesn’t mean that they can’t cause your pain. We already discussed your neck and how sometimes headaches can come from there, but in other cases, the sources could be what you eat, how much stress that you’re under, and even from problems with the bones in your face and skull. Your chiropractor may ask you to keep a diary or log in order to see how your behaviors and routines affect
your migraines. This can help determine if there are any types of triggers.

Cranial Facial Releases and Massage

If your chiropractor determines that your migraine pain isn’t coming from your neck or even your diet, then he or she may perform a procedure called a cranial facial release. This is exactly what it sounds like… kind of. The procedure involves doing a light massage that also readjusts all of the bones in the face and skull. This is much less violent than it sounds, and it is nothing like the other bodily adjustments that a chiropractor does. Instead, the procedure is calming and includes things like massaging certain parts of the face to ensure that all of those bones are where they need to be.

If you suffer from migraines and are tired of taking medication for them, then it’s time to see a chiropractor. By keeping a log of your migraines, your chiropractor will be able to determine exactly what your triggers are. Also, if he or she decides that your migraines stem from a misalignment in your neck, back, or face, they can perform the necessary adjustments in order to curb your pain.

How Chiropractic Treatments Can Relieve Neck Pain

Neck pain is one of the most common reasons that people seek help from a medical professional. While a mainstream healthcare provider might recommend medication or even surgery to relieve the pain, there is a drug-free, surgery-free alternative that can alleviate pain, restore range of motion, and improve the quality of your life.

Chiropractors work with their hands to adjust their patients’ bodies. By properly aligning their spines and other joints, they can minimize or even eliminate pain without prescribing dangerous opioid medications.

Chiropractic Treatments for Neck Pain

The word ‘chiropractor’ comes from two Greek words. The first word is cheir, which is Greek for hand. The second word is praxis, which is Greek for action. Put together, they tell us that chiropractors use their hands to act upon their patients’ bodies.

You may have heard chiropractic treatments referred to as adjustments. When a patient comes to them with neck pain, chiropractors evaluate the patient to try to determine the cause of the pain. Neck pain can be caused by a variety of issues.

Traumatic injuries can cause pain that can linger if it’s not treated properly. One example of a traumatic injury that can result in neck pain is whiplash, which can occur from an automobile collision when the neck is whipped forward and then back by the impact.

The other kind of neck pain that chiropractors treat is a repetitive stress injury. A repetitive stress injury can be caused by consistently poor posture or by engaging in an activity that puts stress on the neck over time, such as sleeping in a position that’s not beneficial to your neck.

Chiropractic adjustments to the neck involve the chiropractor applying a controlled amount of force to the neck, which pushes the joint beyond its normal range of motion. Properly done, an adjustment can loosen up joints that aren’t moving properly.

Cervical manipulation can loosen up the vertebrae of the neck and reduce pain caused by muscle spasms or pinched nerves. Treating neck pain typically requires a series of chiropractic adjustments. Whether the pain is caused by a trauma or by repetitive stress, it’s rare that it can be resolved in a single appointment. Fortunately, many insurance plans now cover chiropractic care.

How to Find a Chiropractor Near You

Finding a chiropractor in most areas of the United States is fairly easy. There are two ways:

  1. Ask your primary care physician for a recommendation. Many medical doctors collaborate with chiropractors and other alternative healthcare providers to treat their patients. Your doctor may do that and be able to refer you to someone they trust.
  2. Check with the American Chiropractic Association to find a chiropractor. You can click this link to provide information about where you are, and they’ll provide you with a list of names in your area.

A chiropractor can be an important part of your wellness team. It’s a chiropractor’s job to provide you with drug-free, non-invasive care to reduce neck pain and help you lead a healthy life.

Can Chiropractors Write Prescriptions for Medication?

People who are dealing with serious pain, whether it’s the result of a chronic condition or an acute injury, sometimes choose to visit a chiropractor instead of a doctor for relief. While chiropractors can do a great deal to relieve pain, there’s one thing they can’t do: prescribe medication.

A Natural Healing Profession

Chiropractors practicing in the United States are not permitted to prescribe drugs or perform surgery. That might sound like a restriction; however, it lines up with the way chiropractors think of themselves and their profession.

Chiropractic medicine is sometimes referred to as natural medicine or alternative medicine. As practitioners who believe that the human body can heal itself in most situations, chiropractors view the tendency to prescribe drugs for pain with some skepticism and alarm.

The majority of the prescriptions written for pain are for opioid medications. The issue of over-prescribing opioids has led to a national health crisis and a sharp increase in the number of overdoses.

The National Chiropractic Association describes chiropractic medicine as a “drug-free, non-surgical science.” Chiropractic practitioners can often help their patients through a series of non-surgical, physical adjustments that:

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce the physical and emotional stress of pain
  • Improve function, stamina, and flexibility

While chiropractors do not typically prescribe medication, they are not anti-medication. Some people with severe pain may benefit from the use of medication. Many chiropractors work closely with their patients’ primary care physicians to develop a pain management plan that includes both chiropractic treatments and prescription drugs as needed.

In addition to working with primary care physicians, chiropractors may also recommend alternative treatments like naturopathy, homeopathy, physical therapy, and massage in their efforts to help their patients.

New Mexico’s Law

While most chiropractors in the United States are not permitted to prescribe drugs, the state of New Mexico has enacted legislation that makes it possible for some highly-trained chiropractors to prescribe medication.

The history of the law is convoluted. While the law was passed, it was later tabled by the New Mexico Senate’s Public Affairs Committee. However, the tabling did not impact the ability of designated chiropractors in the state to prescribe medication.

The law says that certain chiropractors, referred to as advanced chiropractors, can prescribe medication within a strict formula provided that they meet the state’s educational requirements. Traditionally, chiropractors are not trained or educated in how to prescribe medication.

The law has been met with some opposition in New Mexico and around the country. Traditional chiropractors object because they feel that prescribing medication is contrary to the stated objectives of the chiropractic profession.

Wellness vs. Crisis

Perhaps the biggest difference between mainstream medicine and chiropractic care is that mainstream medicine is best equipped to deal with crisis care while chiropractors consider themselves wellness practitioners. People can and often do visit their chiropractors for regular adjustments even when they’re not in pain.

Ultimately, the goal of chiropractors is to optimize the performance of the human body without the use of prescription drugs or surgery. Most chiropractors believe strongly that this philosophy gives their patients the best chance of living productive and pain-free lives.

How to Prevent Tech Neck in 5 Easy Steps

Do you have Tech Neck? If you spend hours each day with your head flexed and forward looking at a mobile device or laptop screen, then the chances are good that you do.

The name might sound funny, but the potential consequences are not. If left untreated, Tech Neck can damage your cervical spine. It can cause muscle strain, disk injuries, arthritic changes to the neck, and nerve impingement. It’s also a culprit in chronic neck, shoulder, and arm pain.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to prevent Tech Neck and avoid future pain arising from it. Here are five things you can do starting now to protect your neck.

#1: Take Time Away From Devices

If you have a job that requires you to spend a lot of time using a mobile device or laptop, give yourself a break every 15 or 20 minutes. Standing up and walking around for a few minutes (and thus changing the position of your head and neck) will give your spine a chance to adjust and minimize the chances that you’ll end up with Tech Neck.

#2: Use Technology to Your Advantage

What if you’re the type of person who gets immersed in work and forgets to take a break? Instead of ignoring your need for rest, try using technology to your advantage by setting an alert or alarm to remind you to take your break. You can use your cell phone’s built-in alarm clock for this purpose. Some of the new digital watches have reminder functions as well.

#3: Elevate Your Device to the Level of Your Eyes

Most people who have Tech Neck get it because they lower their heads and tilt them forward to look at their devices. One of the best ways to give your neck a break is to invest in a stand or holder that will keep your device at the level of your eyes. For example, you might buy a stand for your tablet or phone. If you use a laptop that you keep in your lap (or if you have a low desk) try elevating so it’s as close to level with your eyes as possible.

#4: Choose a Good Chair

What chair are you sitting in when you look at your device? For some people, a cheap chair can contribute to the problem. Try getting a comfortable chair with a neck rest. The neck rest can serve as a simple reminder of what your head’s position should be. If it’s touching the back of your neck, then you know that your posture is good. It may take a bit of practice at first, but over time, the right chair can help to improve your posture and protect your neck.

#5: Listen to Your Pain

Ultimately, any pain you experience is your body trying to tell you something. When you ignore neck and shoulder pain, you run the risk of doing permanent damage to your neck. If you notice pain in your neck, shoulders, and arms, it’s a signal that you’ve got to do something to alleviate it. Try changing your position or taking a break from your device.

Conclusion

The five steps we’ve outlined here can help to reduce the chances that you’ll develop Tech Neck. However, if you implement what we’ve taught you here and still experience neck, shoulder, and arm pain, you should make an appointment with a qualified health professional to help you address it and prevent further damage.

Chiropractic Care and the Opioid Epidemic: A Conservative Approach to Care

It’s impossible to watch the news without seeing some reference to the opioid epidemic. It’s a health and addiction crisis that has become a major problem. The primary culprit in the epidemic is a failure by the medical community to recognize the highly addictive nature of opioids and the harm they could do if prescribed too often.

How Big a Problem Are Opioids?

What does it mean when people refer to opioid addiction as a crisis? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), up to 25% of people who are prescribed opioids for pain struggle with addiction to their medication.

The CDC’s data also shows that deaths from opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. In 2014 alone, more than 14,000 people died of opioid overdoses. Even more alarming is the number of people who abuse opioids, which the CDC estimates at two million.

Is Addiction the Only Risk with Opioids?

Reading these numbers, you might think that addiction is the biggest risk associated with use of opioid drugs. However, that’s not true – there’s another risk that should concern both doctors and patients.
Opioid drug use may trick patients with chronic pain into thinking that their condition is not serious – or that things are improving even when they aren’t. The false sense of confidence engendered by the drugs may lead patients to take risks that can lead to further damage.

The Value of a Non-Drug Approach to Pain

One reason that the opioid epidemic has reached the level of a national health crisis is that, for some doctors, prescribing pain medication was seen as the first line of defense against pain. Thanks to the issue with opioids, there’s a new respect for a non-drug approach to pain management.
As of 2017, the American College of Physicians changed its guidelines for the treatment of both chronic and acute low back pain to recommend non-invasive, non-drug therapies be used before pain medication. If those therapies don’t work, they recommend anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and muscle relaxants be tried before opioids.

The CDC has followed suit, creating a new set of standards for prescribing opioids and recommending non-drug therapies be tried first.

The Benefits of Conservative Care

Another way of looking at these changes in the way opioid drugs are prescribed is to say that the medical community at large is finally catching up to what chiropractors have known all along. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) asks both patients and providers to exhaust all conservative forms of pain management before considering opioid drugs.

The ACA’s policy statement regarding opioids, adopted in 2016, supports:

  • The investigation and use of non-pharmacologic interventions for pain in every healthcare setting and patient population.
  • The promotion of evidence-based non-pharmacologic pain therapies for pain management, within best practice models designed to protect patients.
  • Improved access to providers of non-pharmacologic therapies for all patients.
  • A system of interprofessional training to improve the efficacy and efficiency of pain management teams.
  • Public health campaigns to increase awareness of drug-free treatment options for chronic and acute pain.

These five statements are intended to educate both patients and providers about alternatives to opioid prescriptions for pain management.

Can Dehydration Cause Back Pain?

The human body needs water to survive. In fact, dehydration can kill you far more quickly than starvation. You might know that already – but did you know that not drinking enough water can contribute to back pain?

The most commonly-known symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, dizziness, dry skin and headaches, but the amount of water you drink can also have a direct effect on your spine. Here’s what you need to know.

Water and Your Spine

Your spine is made up of interlocking vertebrae that run from your neck down to the coccyx, which is sometimes referred to as the tailbone. The vertebrae protect your spinal cord. The vertebrae are separated from one another by intervertebral discs.

Each one of your intervertebral discs consists of two parts:

  1. A tough outer layer called the annulus
  2. A jelly-like center called the nucleus

The nucleus relies upon the water you take in to protect your spine. If you don’t drink enough and become dehydrated, the discs shrink and offer your spine less protection than they would if you were fully hydrated.

Even when you are drinking enough water to stay hydrated, your spine shrinks slightly throughout the day. When you go to bed at night, you are between ¼ and ½ an inch shorter than you are when you first wake up. That’s because your discs release and absorb water throughout the day in response to things like gravity and movement.

If you are dehydrated, then your intervertebral discs won’t be able to absorb the water you need while you sleep. When your vertebrae aren’t properly cushioned by the discs, the result can be chronic back pain.

How to Tell If You’re Dehydrated

Even people who don’t experience typical symptoms of dehydration may not be getting enough water. Here’s a simple test to see if you are dehydrated.

Pinch a small amount of skin on the back of your hand. Hold it for a moment and then, release it. If your skin moves back into place immediately, you are not dehydrated. If the pinched area stays pinched and only slowly returns to normal, it means that you’re dehydrated.

You’ve probably heard that you should drink eight glasses of water per day. A better rule of thumb is to divide your body weight by two to figure out how many ounces of water you need. If you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water. You should drink extra water if:

  • The temperature is very high or you’re out in the sun
  • You’re engaged in manual labor or intense exercise
  • You’re pregnant or nursing
  • You have a fever or any virus that causes vomiting or diarrhea

At first, you may need to remind yourself to drink water during the day. Once you grow accustomed to the feeling of being well-hydrated, your body will crave water and drinking it will be second nature.

Conclusion

Drinking enough water will ensure that your discs have what they need to cushion your vertebrae and protect your spine. It may not eliminate back pain, but if dehydration has been contributing to your back pain, you should experience some relief.

The Drug-Free Migraine Treatment You Don’t Know About

Migraine headaches are very common. In fact, they affect 38 million people in the United States alone. 13% of all adults suffer from migraines and of those, between two and three million get chronic migraines. It’s no wonder that many people rely on prescription migraine medications to relieve their symptoms.

The problem with the most commonly-prescribed medications is that they cause some unpleasant side effects. The side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Depression
  • Addiction

Worst of all, some of the migraine medications on the market can actually cause headaches, which is the last thing that anybody who suffers from chronic migraine headaches needs.

The good news is that there may be a way to get relief from migraine headaches without relying on medication: chiropractic care.

Research Shows That Chiropractic Care Can Relieve Migraine Symptoms

It’s easy to make a claim that a particular treatment or medication can relieve symptoms. What’s not so easy is to back the claim up with research. In the case of chiropractic care and migraine symptoms, there is research available to support the idea that getting spinal adjustments can relieve migraines.

One study looked at the impact of chiropractic treatment on 127 volunteers between the ages of 10 and 70. The people in the study group were given spinal manipulative treatments and asked to keep a standard headache diary over a six-month period.

At the end of the study, the volunteers in the study group experienced a greater reduction in their migraine symptoms than those in the control group. 22% experienced a 90% reduction in the severity of their symptoms, while another 50% reported significant improvements.

The researchers concluded that there was ample reason to believe that receiving regular chiropractic adjustments could provide relief to migraine sufferers.

Another, smaller study looked at the effect of spinal manipulation and thoracic massage on ten volunteers who had migraine headaches. The treatments were given when the subjects were experiencing a migraine.

The results were that the volunteers reported that the intensity of their migraine symptoms had been significantly reduced by the treatment. The mean pain reduction was 68.77% with a margin of error of 18.56%. There were no reported side effects and the patients were satisfied with the treatments they received.

The small size of this study means that additional studies and research are needed. But, there is certainly reason to be optimistic that a combination of massage and chiropractic adjustments can help to alleviate migraine symptoms.

In addition to the research studies we’ve mentioned there are a number of individual case studies that support the use of chiropractic treatments to treat migraines. One looked at the treatment of a 39-year old woman who had experienced migraines since she was 10 years old. She experienced an immediate improvement that was then sustained with additional treatments over a four-month period.

Conclusion

Migraine headaches can be debilitating to the people who have them. Chiropractic adjustments, alone or in combination with spinal massage, can provide relief in both the short and long term.

Reaves Chiropractic