Increased number of kids with back issues from backpacks

Chiropractors are continuing to see an increased number of children with back and spine issues as a result of wearing their backpacks incorrectly. Backpacks allow students to conveniently carry school books and other essentials when traveling to and from school. In addition, backpacks are able to effectively distribute heavy loads evenly across the back and shoulder muscles.

Unfortunately, overloading a backpack or wearing it incorrectly can cause strain the back, neck, and shoulders and ultimately cause lower back pain. Overweight backpacks can affect a child’s legs and cause spine issues including pelvic unleveling and even scoliosis.

Some students may overfill their backpack with equipment, tennis shoes and other accessories. This extra weight only worsens the problem. In addition, backpacks for teens are often larger in size and allow heavier weight loads which contribute to back problems.

Children and teens will sometimes carry a backpack on one shoulder. This creates additional problems to compensate for the uneven weight distribution. With the imbalance, the spine leans to the opposite side, stressing the middle back, ribs, and lower back more on one side.

Researchers continue to debate heavy backpacks and the associated issue of back pain. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the weight of a child’s backpack should not exceed 10-20 percent of the child’s body weight.

Additional strategies below can aid in minimizing the strain and pain cause by carrying a backpack:

  • Ensure the backpack is not too heavy and has equal weight distribution
  • Use the waist strap for additional support, when needed
  • Encourage the use of both shoulder straps and proper positioning
  • Fit of the backpack is crucial. Adjust the shoulder straps so the backpack fits high on the back and shoulder straps are comfortable. The pack should sit above the hips and not extend beyond the waist
  • Encourage the re-adjustment of straps depending on your clothing so they fit as designed
  • Avoid letting the backpack sway from side to side. This can result in chaffing as you walk
  • Encourage wearing a backpack only when necessary. The child can put it in a locker or set it on the floor to reduce the impact and strain
  • If your child or teen experiences continuous lower back pain, purchase backpacks specifically designed for back pain
  • Your chiropractor can also recommend good backpacks to alleviate back pain

Lower back pain is a common driving factor for making an appointment with a chiropractor. This is a resource which is often under-utilized and can help relieve lower back pain by addressing the cause.

If your child or teen experiences any amount of back pain, but especially lower lumbar pain, it is recommended to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor. Medication is often a temporary solution to block or lessen the pain. Chiropractors focus on identifying the cause of pain and effectively treating it.

Children and teenagers should not have to suffer from lower back pain. Correcting the underlying causes can help minimize or eliminate pain as they become adults. A physician or chiropractor can help correct persistent lower back pain. These strategies can help ensure your kids have a healthy, happy school year.

Chiropractors: Helping Chronic Pain Without Opioids or Other Medications

The opioid epidemic has slowly overtaken America. What started out as a method of treating patients with chronic pain has now become a menace. People are addicted, even though they may no longer inpain, and turning to street drugs in order to feed their habits. Police officers and other first responders carry opioid overdose reversal drugs on them, despite public outcry, and things just seem to be getting worse. People with actual chronic pain, such as the type that stems from arthritis, either can no longer get the medications that make their lives bearable, or they are forced into pain management and physical therapy. The end result is a major problem that seems to have very little in the way of a solution – until you consider chiropractic care.

Chiropractors Treat Pain and Inflammation

Many people with chronic pain conditions never think of going to a chiropractor. It just doesn’t dawn on them that these medical specialists can do more than just realign the spine. This is due to the fact the profession is still misunderstood. In reality, a chiropractor can relieve chronic pain and inflammation without the help of any drugs. They are trained in the fine art of pain relief, and yes, realignments are a major part of this. However, there are other factors at play, most of which a chiropractor will inform you of in order to help with your arthritis and other types of pain.

Whole Body Wellness Not Medications

The first time that you go to a chiropractor, they will sit down and ask you a lot of questions. Some of them may seem unusual, but it’s important for the practitioner to know whether or not you’ve been under a lot of stress or how much sleep you get each night. They need to know what types of food you eat. Of course, many of these questions will be about the pain that you’re in, and x-rays may possibly be taken if medically necessary in order to further diagnose any issues. Basically, before your chosen chiropractor even attempts to relieve your pain, they will be able to discern any and all of the potential causes – beyond basic arthritis and inflammation.

Why does this matter? Well, your pain might be caused by the breakdown of your cartilage, but it might be exacerbated by a lack of sleep or a lot of stress. Certain foods can wreak havoc on your system, making your inflammation worse. A chiropractor looks at your overall wellness in order to find additional solutions to your pain. They might suggest cutting certain foods and beverages out of your system or even getting more sleep at night. If stress is an issue, they might have some good solutions and suggestions. By getting to every root cause of your pain, a chiropractor is more likely to help prevent it in the future. Of course, a realignment is a part of this, but you’ll feel better overall once you make those suggested lifestyle changes. Compare this to a pain management physician, who simply provides medications.

Deconditioning Yourself and Helping Your Pain

People, in general, are conditioned to take medications to help with their problems. Pain? “Here, take pain medication.” However, there’s much more to it than that. The pain might be caused by a diet full of foods that simply aren’t good for you, a lack of exercise, or far too much stress. By making overall lifestyle changes recommended by a chiropractor, you’re deconditioning yourself from quick fixes and setting the scene for some real pain relief. No addictive medications required.

Chiropractors and Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: What You Need to Know

Through the course of a day, chiropractors see patients with numerous conditions. Some have simple aches and pains from things such as sleeping in the wrong position or standing too long. Others have arthritis or even multiple sclerosis, both of which cause pain of various types. Although multiple sclerosis is often thought of as a condition that makes it hard to move around and control your limbs, it can cause pain as well, leading suffers to head to the chiropractor for relief.

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (also known as MS) is a disorder that occurs when your immune system begins to attack the protective covering on the nerves called myelin. The nerves that are attacked are supposed to respond to the brain, sending it various signals. When that protective covering is tampered with, those signals become muddled. As a result, you may have a hard time moving around and performing everyday tasks, and you might end up with quite a bit of pain.

Those with MS tend to have “flare-ups” where the disease progresses quite a bit before calming back down. The period of “calmness” is referred to as remission. In some cases, remission can last for years at a time before another flare occurs. However, even during remission, people with MS can have quite a bit of pain, which can be treated by a chiropractor.

How Can a Chiropractor Help MS Pain?

In order to understand how a chiropractor can help provide relief for the pain caused by MS, you first need to know what they do. A chiropractor has the ability to adjust two of the three different types of joints in the body. The first is called a synovial joint. These are the ones that help the body move around. For example, elbow joints, wrist joints, hip joints, and even knee joints are all synovial joints. The second type is a cartilaginous joint, which doesn’t move as freely as synovial ones. These joints, like the ones in the spine, move a little but lack a full range of motion. The third type of joint, called a fibrous one, doesn’t move at all. The plates that make up the skull are connected by fibrous joints. A chiropractor works with the first two types of joints in order to relieve pain. They cannot do anything for the third. Chiropractors are trained in how to realign the joints in the body. They perform adjustments to the spinal column that houses the nervous system. When the spine is aligned and moving properly, the nervous system will then work properly which can lessen pain and help with inflammation. When parts of the body get out of alignment (the spine is the most common “culprit” so to speak) they cause pain. Once everything is realigned, the pain will lessen. This is why a chiropractor can help those with MS – they can take care of the misalignments and the inflammation that are hallmarks of the condition.

Swollen Joints and MS

Since MS does more than just affect the control that the brain has over the body, a chiropractor can help. Inflammation can set in and make it harder for people with MS to move their joints. In addition, when the spine ends up out of alignment, it puts pressure on certain nerves in the back, causing pain. A chiropractor can help by readjusting the spine, helping with that specific nerve pain. In addition, they can help with the inflammation, taking care of the pain in the joints. The approach taken by a chiropractor depends on where the pain is located and which portion of the spine is out of alignment.

On top of this, a chiropractor will focus on a part of the spine at the top of the neck, near the brainstem. A misalignment here can cause widespread pain throughout the body, as well as inflammation. Despite the fact that this is located near the brainstem, the technique is actually well known and practiced, making it much less intimidating than it sounds.

Always Check with A Specialist

Of course, before you head to a chiropractor for relief from pain and inflammation, you should check with your MS specialist. They will let you know whether or not seeing a chiropractor is a good idea, and if they decide that it is, more than likely have a specific list of those with the specialized skills to help.

How Safe is Chiropractic Treatment?

Chiropractic treatment is designed to help with what the experts refer to as “neuromusculoskeletal” pain. This pain occurs when the spine ends up getting out of alignment, putting pressure on parts of the body where there shouldn’t be any. The best way to treat this pain is by getting an adjustment by a licensed professional chiropractor. However, there are some people out there who aren’t quite sure how chiropractic treatments work or are positive that they’ve read negative stories about other patients ending up hurt – or worse – after seeing a chiropractor. These stories don’t quite get to the real cause of the injury or death, which usually involves a pre-existing condition that’s exacerbated by the treatment.

Every Medical Procedure Can Have Side Effects

Although chiropractic manipulations end up with a bad reputation, every medical procedure can have side effects. Someone can go in for outpatient surgery on their ankle and end up with a blood clot. A person could have a reaction to a type of medication, even if they’ve taken it before. Unknown allergies can pop up. When a medical issue occurs in a standard clinical setting due to a simple procedure, it doesn’t seem to receive the same type of bad press as chiropractic care. People are quick to jump on chiropractors. This doesn’t mean that you can’t end up with an injury after seeing a chiropractor, but when you consider how many people see them every day and are fine afterward, the headlines don’t seem to match up.

Cervical Manipulations

The main procedure conducted by a chiropractor is called a cervical manipulation. This is an adjustment of the cervical vertebrae in the neck, and they are designed to help with headaches and neck pain. When this procedure is performed properly (read: gently) on a patient that doesn’t have a history of arterial issues, most of the time, everything is fine. However, when an arterial issue is present, the risk for a tear, also known as a dissection, goes up. Studies have found that the movements associated with having your hair washed in a salon or even turning your head while swimming carry the same risk as a cervical manipulation in people with a pre-existing condition. It’s much less scary than the media has it seem.

What Can You Do to Prevent Potential Issues?

If you’re still afraid of seeing a chiropractor (although you shouldn’t be) your best bet is to bring with you a list of your medical conditions. By going over everything – and that means every detail – beforehand, your chiropractor will be able to ascertain whether or not you should have a spinal or cervical adjustment or another type of manipulation and treatment. There are some conditions that leave you likely to have complications from these procedures, including connective tissue disorders and even a history of issues with your blood vessels. By going over all of this beforehand with your chiropractor, you’re more likely to end up with a positive outcome.

Seeing a Chiropractor for Pain

A chiropractor is someone who is able to help determine the cause of your pain and help relieve it. In a society where people turn to opioid pain medications and over the counter treatments, it’s best to have another option. If you’re a candidate for chiropractic treatment (as in, you’ve talked to a chiropractor and gone over your entire medical history), then you’d be surprised at just how effective these treatments are. There are some side effects (more on them shortly), but the most common ones disappear quickly – much like your pain levels.

The Actual Side Effects of Chiropractic Care

Since chiropractic care is very safe and the chances of having a severe side effect are small, it’s important to know and understand what the actual side effects of these treatments are. These include a small amount of pain and soreness, stiffness, and some minor aches. With that said, many people don’t have these side effects at all – they emerge from their chiropractor’s office feeling great. If you do have any of these minor side effects, keep in mind that they’ll fade away within 24 to 48 hours.

With that said, sharp pains, as well as neck or headache pain that appears very suddenly, is something that you need to be very wary of. These sharp pains may be a sign that you have an issue with your arteries. If you end up feeling them, seek emergency medical help. However, if you’re like most people, you’ll just have a little soreness afterward.

Chiropractors and Their Responsibility for Safety

In the past, it was believed that chiropractic neck manipulations caused patients to have strokes. A recent study by the Annals of Medicine has found that this isn’t true at all. In fact, they did a comprehensive study of all of the literature out there and discovered that these manual manipulations and therapies don’t increase the patient’s risk of, in clinical terms, “Cervical Arterial Dissection or CAD,” also known as a tear in the wall of the arteries. However, it’s important for chiropractors to know the signs of a potential CAD case, since there are some exacerbating factors that make it seem as though the chiropractor is to blame, when in fact, they aren’t.

Know Which Pre-Existing Conditions and Disorders to Ask About

Before a chiropractor does any manipulations on a patient, they need to ask them plenty of questions. This is normally done as a part of the initial physical exam, so nothing really needs to change, except for the focus on the questions. There are some that must be brought up in order to determine if the patient has any risk factors for CAD. These questions include asking the patient about their history of smoking cigarettes, which increases the potential for CAD. Others are having a vitamin deficiency, such as low blood levels of B12, B6, and B9, having a disorder that involves the connective tissues, and having a history of recurrent tinnitus (also known as a frequent ringing in the ears.) Additional symptoms and disorders include having frequent respiratory infections, very low cholesterol levels, being underweight, and having a history of issues with the arteries, such as previous instances of CAD or any other type of
anomalies with the arteries.

Obviously, if you have any of these conditions, you’ll need to tell your chiropractor about them, even if they don’t ask. It’s best that they have all of the information that they need before choosing to proceed (or not) with the physical manipulations and adjustments. Just keep in mind that you have one of these conditions or disorders, the odds that you’ll end up with CAD or a similar syndrome increase.

Watch for the Symptoms of CAD

In addition to understand which pre-existing conditions can increase the risk factor, all chiropractors – and patients – need to know how the symptoms of CAD present. This makes it easier for the patient to know when something is wrong so that they can seek medical help immediately. Even perfectly healthy (yet hurting) patients may be subject to CAD since sometimes things happen that others can’t control. The main symptoms of CAD include a feeling of vertigo or an unrelenting spinning sensation, a sudden headache that feels as though it’s a cluster headache or a migraine, severe neck pain that comes on very suddenly without any warning. These are all signs that you might be experiencing an arterial tear. Tell your chiropractor immediately about them if you are still in their office. If you aren’t, then call an ambulance. Even if the pain ends up being just a headache, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Although chiropractic manipulations aren’t the cause of CAD, according to the studies by the Annals of Medicine, there’s always a chance that one could occur, particularly if any of the pre-existing conditions are present. By keeping an eye on your patient after their treatment, you are helping to prevent a potential catastrophe.

Safe Treatments Are Very Important

Above all else, chiropractors need to treat their patients properly. It’s possible to do a chiropractic manipulation without yanking on the patient roughly in order to realign their spine and get to root cause of their pain. The amount of force that’s used can be too much, resulting in additional damage to the soft tissue, muscles, ligaments, and arteries. If you feel as though your chiropractor is being a bit rough, speak up. There’s no reason for your treatment to be rough and painful. Yes, in some cases it may hurt a bit as you are realigned, but overall, you should feel a sense of relief when it’s done, not pain. Don’t be afraid to say something.

In summary, although chiropractors have been found to not be the cause of CAD, also known as tears in the arterial walls that can be deadly, some caution must still be taken. Both the patient and the chiropractor need to know what those risk factors are, as well as the main symptoms of CAD. Otherwise, a deadly condition may occur before you realize what’s happening.

Chiropractic Care Contributes to 50% Reduction in Opioid Prescriptions

A new study from the Yale School of Medicine at Yale University found that chiropractic care has contributed to approximately a 49% reduction in opioid prescriptions issued in the United States. The opioid epidemic has become a huge problem. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die in the United States of opioid overdoses every day. Medical expenses associated with opioid addiction and overdoses cost the country approximately $78.5 billion.

What Are the Findings from the Yale School of Medicine?

The Yale study results were presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s 2019 annual meeting. Among the findings that the researchers announced included one that marks a milestone for chiropractors and their patients.

The researchers found that patients who had visited a chiropractor to alleviate musculoskeletal pain and conditions associated with it were 49% less likely to be prescribed opioid medications than people who sought care from other healthcare providers.

The gap between chiropractic care and traditional healthcare providers come as no surprise to people who understand chiropractic, which has always emphasized holistic and non-invasive treatment over drug prescriptions and surgeries.

The Yale researchers selected several studies that examined more than 60,000 patients for their analysis. The research was funded by the NCMIC Foundation and other organizations. The goal of the study was to compare the results of chiropractic treatment and mainstream medical treatment to see how their treatment of pain differed.

The results are certainly encouraging for chiropractors. They confirm what chiropractic patients have known for decades. Most people do not require addictive medications to alleviate pain, and in many cases, a course of chiropractic adjustments and treatments can be enough to minimize or eliminate pain and allow patients to return to their normal activities and lives.

What Do Clinical Guidelines Say?

As the opioid epidemic has become increasingly serious, both lawmakers and medical providers have been working to find solutions that help patients with serious pain issues while minimizing the risk of addiction.

For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated its prescription guidelines for opioid medications. Previously, the guidelines required caution only with high-risk patients. Now the guidelines:

  • Encourage doctors to find non-pharmacological solutions for pain
  • Recommend lower doses of opioids when they are deemed necessary for pain management
  • Suggests risk assessment for all patients, not just those who are considered to be high-risk
  • Provides recommended dosages for opioid drugs

In addition, they have recommended non-pharmacological options – which include chiropractic care – as “front line” treatments for pain management.

In October of 2018, the United States Congress passed bipartisan legislation to provide treatment and support for opioid addiction and to regulate the proper disposal methods for unused opioids.

The new guidelines and legislation are designed, in part, to discourage doctors from prescribing opioids when other, more conservative, treatment options are available.

Another benefit of the new guidelines is that experts hope it will drive down the cost of prescription opioids for those who truly need them. While opioids have been dangerously overprescribed, they are sometimes the best course of action for patients with cancer and other terminal illnesses that cause acute and otherwise recalcitrant pain.

How Can Chiropractic Treatment Help?

Chiropractic treatment offers patients with acute or chronic pain a non-invasive and holistic treatment method that doesn’t require addictive opioid medications or risky surgery. Chiropractors in many cases receive more classroom and clinical training than medical doctors. They learn to take a patient’s lifestyle and general health into account as they develop an individualized treatment plan.

Chiropractors have increasingly become the first treatment option for many patients who are experiencing lower back and neck pain. Their training and experience make them uniquely qualified to alleviate pain without putting their patients at risk of addiction.

In addition to treating back pain and neck pain, chiropractors often treat osteoarthritis of the hands, hips, and knees, which has been commonly treated with opioids in recent years. They can also help with sciatic nerve pain, whiplash, and pain in the extremities.

Looking forward, there’s reason to hope for more partnerships between mainstream physicians and chiropractors. The goal in every case should be to alleviate the patients’ pain in the least invasive and most holistic way possible.

Conclusion

Opioid drugs have a place in pain management, but they have been overprescribed and overused – two mistakes that have led to our current problem with opioid addiction. In the future, we hope that the benefits of chiropractic care will become clear to doctors and patients alike.

How Does the McKenzie Method Treat Back and Neck Problems?

You may have heard that the McKenzie Method is sometimes used by practitioners as a way of treating neck and back problems. The practitioners who use it know that it’s more than just a set of exercises for back pain. It’s also a specific approach to treatment spinal problems.

Simply stated, the McKenzie Method includes:

  • Initial assessment procedures for back pain
  • Treatment for back problems, including special procedures and self-help where indicated
  • Prevention strategies for back problems

In this article, we’ll explain what the McKenzie Method is and how it’s used to relieve pain associated with neck and back problems.

What is the McKenzie Method?

The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, or MDT, was created by a physiotherapist from New Zealand named Robin McKenzie.

There are four key steps to the McKenzie Method. Here’s a breakdown of how they work:

  1. The assessment involves the practitioner taking a thorough history of the patient’s pain and symptoms. The patient may be asked to perform movement and assume positions to aid in the diagnosis. It’s a diagnostic method that usually doesn’t require an X-ray or MRI because it’s based on movement and an in-depth conversation with the patient.
  2. The classification involves assigning the patient to one of three classifications based on their symptoms and responses during the initial assessment. The classifications include: Postural syndromes – back or neck pain caused by the continued stress of the patient’s soft tissues while maintaining certain positions or postures. Derangement syndromes – back pain that’s caused by a change in position of the vertebrae due to re-positioning of the fluid nucleus of a disc. Dysfunction syndromes – intermittent back pain caused by scar tissue in a shortened state. The pain occurs when the tissues are stressed.
  3. The treatment phase involves the practitioner recommending specific exercises to do and postures to assume or avoid. While it’s rare, some severe mechanical problems may also require hands-on treatment from the practitioner.
  4. The prevention phase occurs after the pain has been alleviated. The practitioner provides the patient with advice to prevent the recurrence of pain as well as future injuries.

It’s typical for the recommended exercises to gradually centralize and then reduce the pain caused by the back or neck injury. The McKenzie Method is seen as a non-invasive and minimalistic method for treating back pain.

Who Can Benefit from the McKenzie Method?

The McKenzie Method can help many people who experience chronic or acute back or neck pain. The McKenzie Institute provides a list of self-assessment questions to help you determine whether you should talk to a provider about the McKenzie Method.

  • Have you had more than one episode of neck or lower back pain in the past two years?
  • Does your pain increase immediately after a prolonged period of bending or stooping?
  • Do you feel worse when you sit for long periods or when you stand from a sitting position?
  • Do you associate your pain with one activity and generally feel good when you’re not participating in that activity?
  • Is your pain reduced when you’re lying face down? (There may be a brief period when the pain worsens, but if it then dissipates, you should answer yes.)
  • Are there periods in the day when you have no pain at all?
  • Is the pain occurring mostly above your knees or above your elbows?
  • Do you feel better when you’re on the move than you do when you’re inactive?
  • Does your lower back pain feel better when you’re walking?

In general, if you answered yes to four or more of these questions, the chances are high that you will benefit from the McKenzie Method.

About the McKenzie Institute

The McKenzie Institute was founded by physical therapists in New Zealand in 1982. The organization still has its international headquarters in New Zealand, but it now has branches in 26 countries around the globe.

Each branch provides services and training to practitioners who want to learn the McKenzie Method. The organization offers both a certification program and a diploma program. If you want to try the McKenzie Method, the McKenzie Institute recommends that you seek out a practitioner who’s received training from them and has a certification or diploma.

You can find a McKenzie Method provider in your area by visiting the McKenzie Institute’s list of providers, which you can find here. Remember, if your pain meets the criteria we listed above, you may be a good candidate for the non-invasive McKenzie Method.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chiropractic Care

If you’re someone who has never had a chiropractic treatment before, you probably have a lot of questions about it. With that in mind, here are some of the most common questions patients have about chiropractic, together with the answers.

Q: What medical conditions do chiropractors treat?

A: Doctors of Chiropractic, or DCs for short, typically care for patient of all ages. They are most commonly known for their experience and expertise treating patients with chronic or acute back pain, neck pain, and headaches. They can also care for patients with musculoskeletal injuries and sports- related injuries, as well as conditions that affect the nervous system. They can also provide nutritional and lifestyle counseling to their patients.

Q: What training do chiropractors receive?

A: Chiropractors must have:

  • An undergraduate degree with prerequisites for chiropractic school
  • A degree from an accredited chiropractic school

Chiropractic training involves about 4,200 hours of classroom and clinical training. DCs must also pass 5 national board certification tests and meet state licensing requirements.

Q: How can I find a Doctor of Chiropractic near me?

A: You may receive a referral from your primary care physician or another health care provider but is not required to see a Chiropractor. Alternatives include using the online Find a Doctor database or asking a friend, family member, or colleague for a recommendation.

Q: Are chiropractic treatments safe?

A: Chiropractic treatment is recognized as a safe, drug-free, non-invasive therapy for the treatment of chronic pain, acute pain, and neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Of course, no health treatment is guaranteed to be free of potentially adverse effects, but the risks associated with chiropractic treatment are small. Unlike pain killers, chiropractic carries no risk of addiction and it is statistically much safer
than surgery.

Q: Do I need a referral from my MD to see a Doctor of Chiropractic?

A: Not necessarily. If you have an HMO plan then a referral is required but all PPO plans or cash paying patients can make an appointment without a referral.

Q: Can Chiropractors practice in hospitals and outpatient medical facilities?

A: Yes. Doctors of Chiropractic were first given hospital privileges in 1983. They are also allowed to work in outpatient medical facilities and order laboratory tests and X-rays for their patients.

Q: Is chiropractic treatment safe for children?

A: Yes. Chiropractic care is very gentle, non-invasive, and has a low risk of complications. It can be beneficial for children who have musculoskeletal injuries, headaches, and other medical conditions.

Doctors of Chiropractic adapt their treatments to the individual patient. You may want to seek a chiropractor who specializes in treating young patients if you think your child would benefit from chiropractic treatments.

Q: Do insurance plans cover chiropractic treatments?

A: Yes, the majority of them do. You’ll need to check your plan to see if it covers chiropractic care and also your benefits whether you have a deductible or copay, each plan varies. Your chiropractic office may be able to look into your benefits for you as well.

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.

Reaves Chiropractic