Spinal discs play an essential role in your low back, acting as small shock absorbers and giving you the ability to move in many different directions. Your discs are comprised of two major parts: an outer ring of cartilage, which provides support, and a jelly-like center that facilities motion. As age and injuries catch up with us, the discs can herniate. A herniated disc occurs when the middle (the jelly) of the disc breaks through the outer wall, irritating a spinal nerve and causing severe pain in your back or leg. Researchers have found this most often occurs between the ages of 35-50.
Why it Matters
Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered from pain caused by a herniated, slipped, or bulging disc. The pain can be so intense that many people think surgery is the only way to correct it. Well, we have good news. Research has shown people who chose Chiropractic adjustments had the same amount of relief as those who chose surgery! And what about those medications that mask the pain but fail to correct the problem? Well, research has shown Chiropractic adjustment to be significantly better than many of the common drugs prescribed for back pain. Here are some take away points:
Top-research journal, SPINE, has recommended the use of adjustments for back pain.
Adjustments were shown to provide significantly more relief than medications.
Adjustments have been shown to be just as effective as surgery for taking care of herniated discs.
Your spinal discs stay healthy by having strong muscular support and a full range of motion. Keep your spine stabilizing muscles healthy by committing to daily exercise. And what about maintaining a full range of motion? It’s easy! Chiropractic adjustments gently and effective help restore proper range of motion in your neck, mid-back, and low back. When your spine is moving well with appropriate support, you’re going to be feeling great!
Has it ever occurred to you that while you are happily typing away on your computer for hours on end you are actually creating a problem in your neck that can lead to chronic migraine headaches or tension headaches? If you suffer from migraine headaches or tension headaches it may be something you should investigate.
When a person with migraine headaches or tension headaches visits a chiropractor
for their pain what does the chiropractor typically do for that patient? The usual treatment for most headache patients is to manipulate, or adjust, the neck. Chiropractors teach us that most headaches come from neck problems, and that by adjusting or manipulating the neck tension and migraine headaches can be relieved or cured.
Over 80% of headache patients that receive chiropractic treatment show improvement that ranges from slight improvement up to complete elimination of their headache pain. If this is the case then it seems logical that the majority of migraine headaches or tension headaches originate from spinal (neck) problems. It also seems logical that if we knew what was causing these neck problems, and eliminated what was causing them, we could also eliminate the headaches, both migraine and tension.
As a chiropractor for over 30 years I have treated many patients with migraine headaches and tension headaches. After examining thousands of patients I discovered that as many as 95% who were experiencing headaches had one thing in common, a reversed cervical (neck) curve. From the side view a normal neck should have a slight curve in it. But in my experience as a chiropractor I estimate that approximately 95% of my patients with headaches had either a lessening of that curve, no curve at all, or a curve that was completely reversed. When these “poor neck curvatures” were treated with chiropractic adjustments most showed great improvement.
Chiropractors know that headaches can be caused by “poor neck posture,” so the next question becomes “can sitting at a computer cause poor neck posture?” If the answer is yes, then it’s obvious that sitting at a computer can and does cause headaches.
People usually develop poor neck curvatures because of poor posture habits. Anything a person does that places their head in a position forward to their body will lessen or reverse their normal neck curve. And poor neck curvatures DO cause headaches. Chiropractors have been teaching this for decades.
The types of activities that can lead to poor neck posture include sitting at a computer for extended periods of time, reading with the head bent forward, sitting while slouching in a chair or on a couch, sleeping with the head or neck in odd positions, or any other activity that places the head in a position forward to the body. So, to answer our original question, yes, headaches can be caused by sitting at a computer. Sitting at a computer can cause an abnormal neck curvature to develop which can cause headaches.
Good posture can surely prevent the development of poor neck posture, which would seem to be the best remedy, but what can be done if the lessening or reversal of the neck curve has already been developed? Obviously, chiropractic treatment is an option that could be considered. But there are many other alternative treatments for tension or migraine headaches.
Most people just take a pain pill. But are pain pills the best approach? They surely are in some cases, but there are many other headache treatment options that don’t require the use of potentially harmful drugs. All drugs have side effects, some of which can end up being worse than the headaches themselves. Before treating your health problems with drugs it is wise to seek the advice of a health professional.
There are many natural remedies for migraine headaches or tension headaches. These include stress and tension reduction, ice therapy (used at the base of the skull), eliminating food triggers, getting the proper amount of rest, biofeedback, headache pillows or cushions, exercise and many others. Some of these may help relieve headaches, both migraine and tension, and could be investigated further.
Lower back pain is a common infliction that affects over 80% of the adult population at one time or another in their lifetime. There are also many causes, and it can be difficult to directly determine the source of the problem without medical intervention, i.e. a visit to the doctor or chiropractor. Some of the more usual causes are likely to be undertaking physical activity in which the body is not used to, such as strenuous gardening or lifting of overly heavy objects. This over-exertion can result in a slipped disk (or a herniated disk). This is a result of twisting, generally while lifting. A slipped disk sounds worse than it probably is. It is merely the occurrence of your spinal bone bulging slightly, and touching on some nerves. Some basic exercises can help to relieve the pain and rectify the slipped disk issue.
Tip 1: Lie on Your Back.
Now this may sound simple (and it is!) but it is also highly effective. Lie flat on the floor, with some pillows placed under your head and knees for support. This takes the strain away from your lower back. An alternative is to place a pillow on a chair seat, and rest your feet on the chair, with your back on the floor. It is recommended to stay in this position for around 5-25 minutes each session. This is a great way of resting the back and relieving the pressure off your lower back. You should perform this exercise for no more than 1 to 2 days in a row, getting up and walking around every hour.
Tip 2: Use Heating Pads and/or Ice Packs
Heated pads will help to relieve muscle spasm. Use these for 20-30 mins at a time. Ice packs are also a suitable alternative.
Tip 3: Massage for Muscle Relief
Massaging the lower back can help to reduce any inflammation and swelling. And as the muscles relax, circulation is increased and pain often lessens. If these tips are combined, together with much needed bed rest, your back pain should be gone and your back should be returned to its old self. At this point you may consider practicing some back strengthening exercises, to prevent any future re-occurrence of lower back pain. We will discuss some prevention tips in future articles. Important note: If the lower back pain is persistent for 2-3 weeks, you should consult your chiropractor.
If you’ve ever pulled a muscle in your back, or put a rib out of place, you’ll know how irritating and painful it can be. But did you know that, if left untreated, a back injury can cause permanent damage?
Often, when someone pulls a muscle or injures their back in some way, they will go to the drugstore or the doctor and pick up some medication. Now, there may not be anything wrong with taking medication to help numb the pain, but medication on its own will not fix the problem. That’s why, on the back of the bottle, it will say, Take no more than 4 or 6 pills in a 24-hour period; because the pharmaceutical company knows the medication will wear off and you will need to take more! The best thing to do when you have injured your back is to make an appointment with a chiropractor.
Many people are intimidated by chiropractors because they don’t know what chiropractors do. Chiropractors have studied everything there is to know about your back, and they will be able to give you the best advice and treatment for back injuries. There are various treatments a chiropractor may give you, including adjusting your back by applying pressure, using acupuncture, and applying heat or cold to the injured area.
The next time you injure your back, by pulling a muscle for example, think about what damage that injury might do if you cover it up with medication. The irritated area will cause muscles surrounding it to tighten and to work harder to make up for the injury. Over time, this can cause damage to a larger part of your back, putting you in more pain than you were in before.
Take the time to contact us while you’re still thinking about it. After you have attended your first appointment, you will realize how helpful a qualified chiropractor can be, and how he or she will take the time to discuss your situation personally and design the best healing plan for you. Its worth it to make this effort; you will save yourself pain and will give your back the care it needs.
Chiropractic care is standard for many pro golfers and increasingly for many Senior Golfers as well.
Professional golfer Lori West attributes the reason shes playing today to chiropractic. Nearly two decades ago, she began visiting a chiropractor for pain in her shoulders and neck. According to West, the care has infinitely improved her golf game. According to Dr. Travis Ruda, chiropractor and golf enthusiast, the golf swing in and of itself isn’t conducive to having a healthy back. To have a good swing you create tension in your spine. (this enables you to get good distance). The tension comes from the hips stopping and the shoulders continuing to rotate. Basically, you make a coil. You’re uncoiling when you start your downswing. Since that is an awkward movement for your back, many golfers end up with lower back problems.
Here’s some chiropractic advice. Before your game, do some basic stretches. Stretch out hamstrings and groin area. Put a club across your shoulders and lean left and right. Get in a position of where you would be in a swing and bend left and right. Grab a club behind your back and raise it up, stretching your shoulder muscles. Grab the club backwards so if you normally swing right-handed, you’d grab it like you’d be swinging left-handed- and take 10 practice swings that way. You’re stretching different muscles and it will help you loosen up considerably. You can do neck stretches if it’s tight. Stiff neck muscles inhibit the rest of the body from turning freely.
Golfers elbow is a painful condition in which your arm bone becomes sore and tender. Chiropractors can adjust the over-rotated bone. Orthopedic stabilizers for your shoes can help improve balance so your swing is better. Anything that helps your flexibility eventually helps with your game.
As you get older, your swing naturally shortens since the muscles aren’t as supple. Flexibility is very important for older golfers. You have to have good balance if you want to hit the golf ball consistently. A healthy spine is paramount to proper balance and posture. Improve your balance and you’ll improve your consistency. During the winter, work on stretching the muscles of the arms, shoulders and back.
Chiropractors care for your body structure overall, not just the back. So if your muscles are feeling out of sync, chiropractic may be just the very adjustment that your body and game needs!