IDET For Pain Relief From Disc Herniation

Frequently, neurological pain is discussed in connection with herniated discs; as fluid leaks out from the center of the disc, it irritates nearby nerves and causes pain, tingling, numbness and weakness along the nerve pathway. Sciatica, for example, is often caused by disc herniation in the lumbar spine. But herniated disks do not always affect nerves. Sometimes, they're asymptomatic and sometimes, any pain they cause may be localized.

Just as the fluid inside spinal disks can irritate nerves exiting the spine, it can also irritate nerves located in the outer shell of the disc. It is even theorized that, when a disc cracks, the nerves from the outer shell may begin to grow into the disc, bringing themselves to the fluids inside.

A cracked disc that causes localized pain without neurological symptoms is usually treated with physical therapy and pain medication. For some, however, pain stubbornly persists. If you've used conservative means for up to 6 months with no success, your pain is severe and you're facing activity restrictions, such as the inability to work, then you may be a candidate for intradiscal electrothermal annuloplasty.

Intradiscal Electrothermal Annuloplasty (IDET)

Although minimally invasive, IDET is still a surgical procedure; it should not be a first line of treatment. That said, for people facing the prospect of more invasive procedures or a lifetime of narcotic medication, it may be a sounder alternative. This procedure is specifically for people with minor disc tears at one spinal level.

The goals of IDET are 1) to cauterize nerves within the disc's outer shell, thereby relieving pain, and 2) to encourage minor tears to close up by thickening the collagen within the disc wall. It accomplishes these goals with the application of heat. A hollow needle is inserted into the back, and a heating catheter is placed through it against the wall of the disc. The catheter is heated to 194 degrees Fahrenheit for under 20 minutes.

If IDET is successful, it may take some time – 6 to 8 weeks – to really feel improvements. Although the whole procedure takes only about an hour, you can expect activity modification for a good half year after the procedure. According to research compiled by Spine-Health.com, the surgery has a 60-74% satisfaction rate among recipients. See more on this at http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/what-known-about-outcomes-idet-research-article .

Like all invasive procedures, IDET comes with risks. The disc may become infected, or neighbors nearby may be damaged. These are expected to occur less than 1% of the time. What should be noted is that discography – the injection of dye into a disc to illuminate areas of dysfunction often done before IDET – has been linked to increased rate of disc degeneration in the future. See more on this at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19755936 . Talk to your surgeon about alternatives to discography.

Conservative treatments are always best, but for those facing the prospect of more invasive measures, IDET could be the most conservative option. Make sure you know all your options and all associated risks before pursuing a treatment.

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Learn How To Prevent Back Pain

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability. It is also one of the most common reasons for missed work. It is the seconding leading cause for a visit to the doctor. It is outnumbered only to upper respiratory tract infections. To avoid it, prevention is the key. It is easier to prevent back problems than waiting until after the problem is already there.

There are numerous ways that people describe back pain. Some of these descriptions include dull, ache, tightness, sharp pain and stabbing. It is constant for some and comes and goes for others. Back conditions are either acute or chronic. Acute back pain is a term for a problem that has occurred recently. This is often caused from a specific injury such as a fall or lifting injury. Chronic back pain is a term used for a long term problem. This type often comes on slowly.

Chronic problems often develop from poor lifestyle habits such as bad posture. Slouching at the computer or while watching TV are the most common. Living a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are also common. Smoking also leads to chronic back pain because it reduces blood supply to the tissues. Most people will have back pain at some point in their lifetime. It is especially common for the elderly. Preventing it early on can help prevent problems later in life.

When back problems begin, they often go unnoticed. Pain is not a good indicator of how healthy your back is. Back problems are like having a cavity in your mouth. Having a cavity does not necessarily mean you have a tooth ache. When a toothache comes on, it is often after a cavity has been there for a while. This is the same for back problems. They often go unnoticed for a long period of time before pain comes on.

Just like taking care of your teeth is important and should be done even without a tooth ache, taking care of your spinal before pain starts is crucial.
Preventing back problems before they advance will prevent back pain. Preventing back problems is much easier than waiting to treat the problem after it is already there. Strengthening your back muscles will help your back become strong to help resist injury and support the spell.

Doing back strengthening exercises three times a week will help to strengthen the core and help stabilize the spine. Being active such as walking or jogging helps to keep movement in the joints of the back. This movement helps to pump needed nutrients to the spine and toxins away from the spine. Chiropractic treatments are also an excellent way to ensure proper alignment and movement of the joints of the back to avoid back pain.

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Can ChiRunning Help You Run Injury-Free?

For many runners, running is more than an intense form of exercise; it's a passion. That's why running injuries can be devastating. Not only do they take you out of exercise for a time, but, if persistent, they threaten you with the possibility that you may no longer be able to practice your passion.

Common recurrent injuries runners experience are shin splints, ankle rolling, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, hip pain, lower back pain and upper back pain. Some runners develop the idea that there is no way for them to continue their exercise of choice without injury, or that running inevitably leads to these injuries in all people. Proponents of a cutting-edge running program claim that injuries result from form and not from running itself.

ChiRunning

Chi, in Eastern thought, is the vital energy that flows through the body. Adopting principles from tai chi, Danny and Katherine Dreyer developed ChiRunning, a style that relations on technique to limit strain on joints and muscles while giving you an excellent workout.

This style is very different from ordinary running, and form is one of the main points of departure. Rather than maintaining an upright post, ChiRunning dictates that you align the head, shoulders, pelvis and ankles while bending at the ankle to lean your body forward. This forward-retaining position allows gravity to propel your body forward, limiting strain through the body.

Another point of departure from normal technique is foot strike. Most runners strike the ground heel-to-toe; ChiRunning dictates the use of a mid-foot, or full-foot, strike. This means the entire of your foot is absorbing the shock from the ground, rather than just the heel. According to proponents, this technique reduces lower body injuries associated with heel-to-toe shock absorption.

Finally, ChiRunning advocates a quick, steady strike pace with the feet falling directly below the body. When you first begin, this means you'll be taking very small strides. As your strength increases and you adjust to the technique, you can take longer strides.

There is much more to learn about this running program. For a brief tutorial, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H26liWMDH8U . Learning the technique requires a day-long training session. You may also purchase books on the technique to learn more.

ChiRunning Injuries

While its practitioners promise reduced risk of injury, there are a few internet forums on which runners suspect the technique of actually causing injuries. Most attest to a reduction of lower back and hip pain, but complain of calf tension and plantar fasciitis developing after trying out this new style.

With any form of exercise, there is a risk of injury when it is done improperly. Calf pain may result from this style if you fail to keep your ankle, foot and lower leg relaxed. Relaxing these muscles while running takes some time. Consider using a foam roller to loosen the calf muscle before and after your runs.

A potential cause of plantar fasciitis when practicing this style may be taking strides that are too long. Since the pacing is fast, you should start out with an oddly small stride. If you overreach, you'll be striking the ground with the heel rather than the full foot, and doing so a great number of times given the quick pacing. This subjects your heel and plantar tendon to stress stress, potentially resulting in fasciitis.

For more on injury prevention, see Danny Dreyer's blog at http://www.chirunning.com/blog/entry/everything-you-need-to-know-about-plantar-fasciitis .

For runners plagued by pain and injury, ChiRunning may be the style that allows them to continue pursuing their passion. As with any new technique, it will require some work. The key to prevention is a firm understanding of the technique and proper training.

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Why Faulty Movement Patterns Must Be Corrected To Avoid Low Back and Joint Pain When Running

Faulty Movement Patterns (FMP's) – What Are They?

We start to move in a 'faulty' way either from injury or when we develop either muscle weakness or tightness or joint tightness or instability. We therefore do not move correctly, which might not give rise to pain for a while, but it is bound to. This is why it is so important to know that we have FMP's – they can remain hidden for months or years … and then …

How Do We Know We Have FMP's?

If you are a runner, you may find you start to get pain in your low back or hip when you run a lot or your knee might swell. You then seek treatment for the 'injury' and you may be told you have 'a disc problem' or 'impingement in your hip' or 'cruciate ligament damage in your knee'.

What you actually have is pain as a result of Faulty Movement Patterns that have overstressed the joint to such a degree that it 'fails' in some way.

For example if we have weakness in our psoas muscle which is a hip stabilizer, we can still run because other muscles work harder to help stabilize the hip. However, these muscles are more effective at moving the leg rather than stabilizing the hip. Therefore the hip is not stabilized in it's socket as well as it should be so gradually you can develop an impingement pain in the hip or degeneration occurs much sooner than it should, both of which cause pain.

We run without considering how we are running … Do our feet dorsiflex adequately? Do our legs extend enough? Does our pelvis dip when we put one leg out in front of us? If nobody ever watches us we just do not know.

Therefore the first time we know of a problem with FMP's is when we start to get back or hip or knee pain.

Why Do not We Know We Have FMP's Until It's Too Late?

Often this is because we are in denial! We think that 'a bit of pain' goes with the territory and the best solution is to just 'run through the pain'. We say 'something has gone wrong' not that we are moving the wrong way.

In my previous article about how best to prevent recurrent Low Back Pain, I highlighted the importance of correct breathing in the stability of the low back. We often do not know we need to think about breathing until we are told and similarly, we do not know we have FMP's because we do not tend to ask an expert to check how we use our bodies when we do everyday tasks.

However, if we do not understand the importance of bracing our spines when performing everyday actions, and if we are not made to see how we are doing it wrong and how to correct our movements, you can imagine how much more your bodies are going to suffer when we try more demanding sporting activities.

How Can We Know We Have FMP's?

Do something simple like squatting with your arms above your head, holding a stick. Watch yourself in a mirror or get someone to take a photo of you. Start from your feet. Check both left and right – you might find only one is moving badly or both. Are they straight? Do your arches fail when you squat? Do your knees collapse inwards? Does your pelvis twist backwards, forwards or down on one side? Does your bottom stick out so the curve in your low back increases? Does your chin poke forwards? Can you hold the stick with your arms up or do your arms come forwards?

These are all indicators of FMP's and if you have problems when you squat, you can imagine what happens when you make more demands of the body when performing a sport!

If you think you squat well but you have discomfort when running … go for a run then squat in the same way. Observe any differences – very often when you have made demands on your body, that is when it fails. This is why you often do not feel pain until you have been running for a while.

How Do We Correct Them When We Realize We Have FMP's?

You need to find someone who is trained in the diagnosis and correction of FMP's. Someone like a Chiropractor, who will not only watch you do a squat, but will check your major muscle strength and length; joint mobility; breathing patterns; joint fixes and foot mechanics to find out what are your major FMP's.

The trained expert will then show you how to go about correcting them. You can read more about correction of FMP's in my next article.

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How Anti Fatigue Mats Can Save Your Business

Anti fatigue mats have been around for a number of years, hiding firmly in the shadows of more exciting products, yet anti fatigue mats have an awful lot to shout about.

Rather like insurance, a mat is a product that no one pays any attention to, until you have an accident and you are furious that you never had time to buy one. Understandably, these are not much more exciting to talk about than any other mat, except their abilities are dramatically overlooked, and deeply fascinating.

They are exceptionally designed mats, built specifically for users who have to stand for long periods of time. This has traditionally been for workers of factories, in production lines or operating machinery, but has now seen a transition towards hair salons and standing cashier areas. Due to the increasingly diverse applications people are finding for anti fatigue mats, they are now available in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes to be able to cater for the higher demand.

Over recent years, there has been much testing and development of anti fatigue mats. So much so, that professors from across the world have taken the time to conduct studies on how much benefit a user will get from one. Professor Redha Taiar – the Director of the Biomedical Laboratory at Reims University conducted a study to quantify the damage that standing on hard floors for long amount of time can have on the body, and subsequently, by operating on them for long durations of time, how much benefit can the user really get?

Various tests were carried out, from analyzing peoples opinion after having used a variety of mats, right down to measuring the pressure zones of peoples feet when they stand on a hard floor. The results were convincing. Users of these mats stated that when they remain standing for around 40 to 50 minutes, they become agitated and uncomfortable; feel their legs get heavy, their feet numb, and pains across their body – from the neck and shoulders, to serious lower back and lumbar pain. Many complained of headaches and dizziness.

Each participant of the test stands on 3 different mats for a duration of time, and described their favorite and least favorite in detail. Once they had found the best anti fatigue mat for them, they stood on the mat like they would at work. They claimed that after the typical 40 minute mark had passed, they were still operating with full concentration, with no bodily pain to report, and would highly recommend these mats to be used throughout the industry.

Since that article was written in 2010, an increase in purchases of anti fatigue mats has already been noted. This article on the rise of anti fatigue mats discusses that very topic, and suggests that the increased spend is due to other factors, such as the ease in which people can take legal action should they have an accident, which is worth remembering.

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Exercise for Mid-Thoracic Pain

Mid-thoracic discomfort is a strange sort of pain. It can be triggered by problems in the spell, a bad chest cold, shoulder issues, any number of things, actually. The primary issue, in my opinion, is that it is so hard to get rid of.

I learned firsthand about mid-thoracic pain several years ago. I would have sworn that I had done something to create a subluxation of one of my lower ribs. In other words, I thought I had dislocated the rib from its joint at the spine. Yes, the point at which each of your ribs joins your spine is a joint. This is what allows you to fill your lungs easily. The ribcage flexibility also protects your internal organs from mild to severe trauma without breaking easily. The ribs are meant to flex something.

I went to the doctor with this consistent and very irritating pain that started at the mid thoracic and wrapped around my rib cage just above my waist to the front of my body. She did some X-rays and found that my lumbar disks had deteriorated to the point that I had vertebrae resting on vertebrae, bone on bone. Yeah, I saw the X-rays and it was a bit of a mess. All the years I spent writing instead of doing were catching up with me.

This bone on bone condition is not unusual in one of my advanced years. I fact, the normal course of events is for the body to create a natural fusion of the spine, which makes me a bit stiffer than when I was youngger but is otherwise not an issue. Natural spinal fusions occurrence, well, naturally as the pads between the vertebra age and lose their resilience.

The problem was, in the years I worked in Physical Therapy clinics, I had never encountered this type of thoracic pain and had no solutions for it. I just sort of lived with it knowing that it was not dangerous, just othersome. I wish I could remember where but I saw an exercise in some post that looked like it could be the solution and boy, did it work.

The exercise is best done sitting on a yoga ball but it can also be very effective if you are just sitting in a chair:

  1. Sitting with your best posture on a yoga ball or in a firm chair, relax as much as possible. Your feet should be planed firmly on the floor at least shoulder width apart or more if you feel unsteady.
  2. Raise both arms over your head as if you were signaling a touchdown. In other words, turn your hands so that the palms are in and facing each other about your shoulder width apart. Your arms should be directly above your shoulders aligned with your ears, or as near as possible.
  3. Relax again.
  4. Lean you arms and upper body to the left as far as you can without losing your balance.
  5. Inhale and exhale slowly five times.
  6. Sit back up and drop your arms.
  7. Relax again.
  8. Repeat on the other side.

You can do this exercise as many times through the day as you like. You will find it becomes easier with each repetition. Even if you do not have time to do any more than put you arms up and lean to each side, it seems to help relax the unhappy muscles.

Just one more anecdote. I ran into a college in the office kitchen and she started telling me about the diagnostic woes she was having. Yes, they had found the source of her issues, a disk problem at about the T10 area (mid thorax) but they were looking further because she had this intractable pain on both sides that was really beginning to impact her life. Long story short, I taught her the exercise and within a week she was better. In two weeks, she had no pain at all. Some solutions are so simple and yet so elegant.

Just to mention, this is also a great exercise to do to prevent premature aging of the spell for those of us who sit crouched in front of a computer all day. Think about it.

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Spinal Stability: A Foundation for Life

In my time as a physiotherapist. it was not uncommon to hear a client say they had tried to do an activity such as gym or tennis or gardening, but had to stop because of back pain. “Looks like I can not do that anymore!”, Was very often the closing statement.

Although I consider myself a compassionate and supportive person, the last thing I would do in this situation is immediately agree with the client. Life is, I believe, about doing the things you enjoy doing. Joy and fulfillment in life has so many positive correlations with health, that to give up the things that you want to do should absolutely be the last option.

Let's consider then some other options.

Any activity we undertake in life comes with many variables so it may serve to ask a few questions:

1. Are you over-reaching initially? Did you start your activity at a level that was beyond your present capabilities? Very often we rely on enthusiasm to get us started in something new, which is great when it works. It is not great however when our enthusiasm fades as we collapse in a heap the next day. Start slowly, especially if it is a brand new activity and be patient. Give your body time to catch up with your passion.

2. Can you modify the activity? If there is a movement or an action that you definitely are unable to do, then look at whether you could perform that action in another way. If you are a swimmer for example but having trouble turning a stiff neck it may work to use a face mask and snorkel. Then you can still swim, enjoy your water fitness program and keep your neck straight at the same time.

3. Can you improve your technique? Whether you are starting something new or have been doing it for a while, it may serve to have some competent person look at your technique. In my clinic I used to design water programs for clients and often I would see them months later in the pool doing some activity I could not recognize. Sometimes it would get the better of me and I would light in and ask them what they are doing, to be told, “Oh you know, that's the XYZ exercise you gave me.” At which point I always wanted to say, “Any resemblance between what you are performing here today and the original exercise is entirely incidental and should not be construed as fact.” Of course I would always give them some helpful points but the main point I am making here is that we are all to developing bad habits. Take time to check in on yours.

4. Can you utilize resources to assist you in continuing to do the activity? This is a bit like modifying the activity but what I am talking about here is making use of devices such as kneelers for gardening or pick up devices for lawn bowls.

5. And importantly and fundamentally, with regards to back pain and stability: Have you set up a solid spinal foundation?

If you are building a house, you lay down foundations and not just any foundations but one strong enough to withstand the pressures that you are expecting. The foundations you lay down in an earthquake pron environment would probably be quite different to those you lay down somewhere else.

In a similar way our bodies require a strong and stable foundation in order to perform well. If we add on an extra load through an activity or weight gain, then we need to counter this with even greater foundational strength. Otherwise, there is no use complaining when the building topples over.

In terms of spinal stability we are talking about a system which compacts vertebrae, disks, ligaments, joints, nerves and muscles. Regardless of what you have been through and where you are at, the core muscular stability functions can be improved with a specific strength and stabilizing program. Pilates and yoga are great but if you have suffered back pain in the past or not exercised for some time, then assessment and initial exercise progress under the guidance of a physiotherapist or rehabilitation therapist may serve you.

Improvement in core stability can result in greater joy in life by allowing you to participate more fully in the things you love doing. Not such a bad thing!

So go to it – set up your foundation now. And enjoy the opportunities which open up.

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New Options Available For Natural Arthritis Pain Relief

One of the most common, problems that affect older people is arthritis; however, it has been found out that this problem has now started affecting people at a much earlier age. Arthritis is a medical condition that is usually associated with inflammation of the joints, causing joint pain and stiffness, with no known permanent cure current.

Common Arthritic Causes

There are millions of people who have arthritic problems with different types of joint pains; These include osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and bursitis. Arthritis is described as an inflammation of the joints causing pain, stiffness, and difficulty in ambulation. Presently, there is no known cure for arthritis; the only solution available is to reduce the pain using pain killers; this leads to other complications caused by overuse of painkillers. Fortunately there are other avenues open through naturopathy, which gives patients all natural pain relief through the application of a mixture of eucalyptus oil and other ingredients directly to the affected area.

Back Pain Relief

This mixed blend of eucalyptus oil penetrates the soft tissue surrounding the arthritic area expanding the blood vessels, improving the circulation to the painful area, giving some relief. The relief can be felt very fast, and lasts from 5 hours to over a day, depending on the severity of the arthritis. Another common complaint is back pain, which could cause crippling pain in severe cases rendering the patient immobile. Some of the most common factors of lower back pain are herniated discs, strain, sciatic pain caused by spinal cord or nerve compression, spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal, or fractures. There are many ways to Relieve Back Pain , but here again repeated painkiller use could cause additional problems.

Essential Natural Oils

The naturopathic method to treat back pain is to use special blends of eucalyptus oils with other essential ingredients and rub the affected area. This usually gives the patient instant relief, and there have been cases where this kind of therapy works very well. In cases of severe back pain, where the oil does not work, the only alternative is to use invasive techniques to end the pain. For some people suffering from arthritis, physical therapy and exercise have proven to help reduce joint stiffness and get relief. You may have to change your sedentary lifestyle, become more active, and engage in a variety of exercises like swimming, walking, and aerobics to a strengthen the joints.

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Why You Need A Chiropractor: Experts Cite Benefits

Most people think that a chiropractor is just about being a doctor for back pains. However, there is actually so much to expect from a chiropractor. Experts believe in the importance of letting people know the roles of these professionals in physical wellness apart from just making sure one gets to be freed from body pains.

There are symptoms that urge you to take heed before they get worse and develop into huge medical issues. Among these symptoms are tiredness and fatigue, sleeping difficulties, neck and back pain; mood swings; poor concentration, stiffness and inflexibility; and bloating or gassiness and then menstrual issues are for women. Notice how you can see these symptoms as ordinary when in fact, they may cause you severe pain that only a professional can free you from.

After a very tiring day at work, employees get the most battered by the heavy work load they had to finish over the course of the day along with the uncomfortable office situations. These issues at work can definitely affect them. How they get affected clearly shows on the way they handle their job and carry out assignments. These people need chiropractors. If one fails to contact a medical professional, his productivity at work will be affected and all his attitude towards his co-workers.

As for the most hardworking women in the world, you will typically find them being mums or if not, career women. Knowing that the two can stress a woman out both at the same time, you should know how important it is for them to obtain relaxation at its best. Any time you experience something weird and find out that you are positive with stress, hormonal issues, weight loss struggles, fatigue, poor concentration, painful menstruation or menopause. The best thing about chiropractic care is that you no longer have to balance your life on your own.

Of course, the children may also experience asthma, infections, mood disorders, autoimmune diseases, and other medical conditions. This is why they also need to know the benefits of chiropractic services that seeks to take care of your kids in every way possible but particularly, on physical, emotional and mental health. The best thing about this kind of therapy for kids is that they get to experience as well how it can secure wellbeing, coordination, balance, and other very important health indicators that would let you know how fan you have become.

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How to Find the Best Chiropractor in Your Area

In today's high stress world there are two options to manage your pain and your stress: passive / reactively or actively / proactively. On one hand you can just see a doctor who is only glad to prescribe any number of drugs, and on the other hand you can take better care of yourself and avoid the slippery slope that follows medical management. Where do people go for professional help when it is their preference to avoid drugs? They see a local Doctor of Chiropractic .

In fact people suffer from many problems that make it smart to consult a chiropractor with mild, moderate or severe conditions such as: headaches, sinus pressure, migraine, neck pain, shoulder pain, mid back pain , low back pain, hip pain, pain or numbness running down the arms or legs, pain around the ribs, sciatica, slipped disc, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, spondylosis, knee pain, Carpal Tunnel syndrome , Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, vertigo dizziness, asthma, allergies, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome , frequent colds, poor immunity, poor metabolism, etc.

In countries like Canada and America where there is one chiropractor for every 5,000 people the availability of chiropractors is very convenient. In a recent study in Canada, 65% of Canadians see a chiropractor sometime during a three year period. Chiropractic is covered by the majority of Health Insurance plans, Workers Compensation, automobile accident policies and government health plans. In other countries where the chiropractic profession is not so consistently represented, it becomes a matter of good chance for someone to stumble on a chiropractor.

Obviously, we are all born with a spine and require some spinal evaluation at some point in our lives. There are other articles in public circulation that are worth reading to fully appreciate the simple fact that compromised spinal health is much more devastating than poor oral hygiene.

So now that you are convinced that you need a spinal checkup or simply, since you already value the services of a chiropractor but have moved into a new town, how do you find the best chiropractor in your area? There are four ways to accomplish this:

  • Ask a trusted friend who already knows of a chiropractor they can recommend.
  • Ask a trusted healthcare professional who has a chiropractor in their referral circle.
  • Drop by and visit a local chiropractic clinic and ask some questions.
  • Look online or in the phone book and ask the clinic some specific questions.

What do you ask when looking for a good chiropractor?

In countries where chiropractors are part of main healthcare you have these questions:

  1. School and year of graduation.
  2. Describe your particular health concerns to ask if the doctor accepts these cases.
  3. Does the doctor require x-rays?
  4. Inquire if the clinic is covered by your particular insurance plan.
  5. Doctor's techniques (if that is important to you).
  6. Doctor's gender (if that is important to you).

On # 1. Why does it matter how long they have been in practice? Nearly half of the chiropractors in the West are no longer in practice after 6 years from graduation, and for many different reasons; one of those reasons is that they were not well suited, lacking the necessary skills and could not build a successful chiropractic practice. Those who have 7 or more years of practice have overcome those early survival years, and for much of the same reasons, that they are skillful, have retained patients because they get results and they know how to operate a successful clinic.

On # 2. Some chiropractors specialize in sports or other specific focus and that clinician may not be the best for you if your problems are due to a sports injury, for example.

On # 3. X-rays are a standard in chiropractic care. A thorough chiropractor will normally require x-rays as part of your assessment. The exception is if the patient is too young or if the patient has recently undergone an x-ray study and a repeat is not recommended; just to bring them along.

The other questions are self-explanatory and of personal preference.

If you are unsatisfied with the results, please look again for the next closest chiropractor and try again.

As we seek to restore the health that is lost, it is wise and safe to consult with a Doctor of Chiropractic first; in particular if spinal surgery has been recommended. Chiropractors are trained as primary doctors in spinal and nerve problems and do not require a referral form from another primary care doctor. If your condition is outside of the chiropractic scope, the chiropractor will make an appropriate referral to another specialized provider as needed.

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Natural Pain Relievers, an Alternative Traditional Pain Management Solution

There is no doubt that allopathic medicines do wonders for different types of diseases, discomforts, pains, etc; the only drawback in many of these medications taken for long periods of time are the after effects that may manifest later. These can be quite serious; This is the main reason that pain killers and other medications are prescribed for only short periods of time.

Ancient Remedies

It is a scientific fact that many of the bestselling medications in the market today have originally been found in nature, and have been used by natural healers for thousands of years. Unfortunately, these come with the aforementioned side effects, which nullify the whole healing process. However, there are many alternates available in the market today which approach these ailments in a more natural way, usually by going to the root cause of the malaise. These natural medicines are used for a variety of complaints providing Sinus Pain Relief along with cures for headaches, colds, joint pains, constipation, etc.

Professional Healers

Having a professional naturopath look at your symptoms could have been the first step in a natural healing process. Even skeptics have now come to the understanding that many of the natural methods like applying eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil, using fresh ginger roots, turmeric, willow bark, etc. do work without any bad side effects. Nowadays, eucalyptus oil with a combination other oils comes as a spray-on unit which has proved to be very effective in treating headaches, allergies, sinus problems, back pain, and fibromyalgia. It has been shown to provide Natural Joint Pain Relief for patients with arthritis, gout, sore feet, and other joint problems.

Additional Benefits

There are no restrictions using this oil or spray, except in the case of children, where a reduced quantity of the medication has to be used or as directed by the naturopath. Besides using the oil as mentioned above, it can also be used in many different ways to help your body and mind to relax, because as they say a healthy and happy mind helps ward of different ailments. You can use the eucalyptus oil in your bath, adding a small quantity to the warm bathwater, which has been shown to be ideal for relaxing your tired muscles. It can be used in massages, especially the feet, back, shoulders, and arms; it helps by relaxing the blood vessels and muscles and providing natural joint pain relief.

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Lumbar Support or Active Sitting? You Can Have Both

There is some debate in the health world over whether ergonomic aides help prevent and treat musculoskeletal pain or just throw a bandaid over underlying weaknesses that extremely puts the user at risk of injury in the long run. Ergonomic products encourage proper posture, often by directly supporting the body in an optimal position. Proponents say that such products prevent the strain, spinal misalignment and repetitive use injuries that result from awkward positions; opponents claim that such direct support from products replaces the role of musculature in maintaining proper posture and movement patterns, replacing real treatment with passive pain management.

Supported Sitting

This debate can be applied to the lumbar support cushion, a commonly-used ergonomic device. Small lumbar supports in the form of a slight outwards curvature are often built into car seats and office chairs. Many people choose to purchase separate cushions to use on seats without them or in addition to built-in supports.

Maintaining the lumbar arch is important; it ensures proper muscular length, spinal joint angles and the correct distribution of forces across the spinal discs. When the arch flattens out, such as when you slouch, the lower back muscles are stretched and stretched while the joints and discs suffer uneven compression. Slouching may occur when the lower back muscles grow tired from prolonged sitting, general weakness or lack of support from the abdominal muscles. Using a lumbar support helps you maintain the lumbar arch for longer than you could comfortably do so when left to your own devices.

Active Sitting

On the other side of the argument, we have the extreme active sitting proponents. Active sitting entails the use of aides that destabilize your sitting surface, requiring you to use your core muscles to balance on them; this suits proper posture while strengthening your core. Unlike a lumbar cushion, an active sitting device makes your muscles responsible for upholding posture; this provides, some say, a longer long-term, cause-oriented solution that not only prevails posture-related back pain but provides benefits through all your movements as it strengthens your core.

Active seating devices include air-filled balance disc cushions, exercise ball “chairs” and the CoreChair, a normal-looking chair whose seat can be adjusted to varying levels of destabilization.

A Middle Ground: Activity Plus Support

It's hard to argument with proponents of active sitting; having a strong core is all pros and no cons. The core muscle group helps you maintain proper posture when sitting and standing; it also facilitates healthy movement patterns by stabilizing the spine and pelvis.

However, there is some room for criticism when it comes to extreme active sitting proponents. Even strong core muscles tire ever. Active sitting likely should not be performed for several consecutive hours a day as the core muscles will grow fatigued eventually. Another consideration is that it can not be used in all sitting situations. Active sitting is not a good idea when driving or doing some other isolated activity involving the use of your legs, such as drumming.

Lumbar support cushions, then, may serve a purpose even for people who practice active sitting. If your job requires that you sit at a desk for several hours a day, try to spend half your time actively sitting and the rest sitting regularly, using a lumbar support cushion if you feel your back muscles are growing fatigued and your post is starting to suffer. If you need to take a long trip, do not hesitate to use a lumbar cushion; even a strong core will give out after several hours of sitting on a plane or in a car. Above all, try to move around as much as possible. Take walks around the office; take breaks on long car trips.

As long as you are taking steps to maintain a strong core, there is no need to fear sabotage from ergonomic aides. You can use products like the lumbar cushion without completely relinquishing your muscles' responsibility.

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Chiropractic Is A Good Option For Back Pain

Chiropractic is an all-natural healthcare profession dedicated to the treatment of spinal disorders that are a result of disturbance to the nervous system. Chiropractic focuses on the manipulation of the spinal and treatment of the musculoskeletal system.

Most people that go to the chiropractor are those with back pain although there are many other symptoms that lead people there as well. Some of these include headaches, neck pain and numbness or pain in the extremities. Although chiropractors focus on treating musculoskeletal problems, they are not limited to these problems only. Nerve interference can result in several other problems in the body.

Chiropractors focus on reducing pain as quick as possible. But most importantly they work to restore normal function to the body which is not always characterized by pain. They seek to instruct patients in healthy living and how to account for their own health. Chiropractic is often referred to as alternative medicine. Chiropractic care works to effectively restore structure and integrity to the spine. It works to remove undesired nerve interference in and around the spine.

Spinal manipulation otherwise known as chiropractic adjustments involve a high velocity, short lever arm thrust that is applied to abnormally positioned vertebra in the spine. The goal of this maneuver is to restore function, remove nerve interference and improve range of motion in the area. There is much research that supports the use of chiropractic for back pain. Much of this literature demonstrates that chiropractic is effective when it is included early on in the treatment program.

Therapies that are commonly used by the chiropractor are effective for healing soft tissue that is commonly associated with spinal problems. Chiropractic has shown to be effective for herniated discs that often cause back problems, neck pain and numbness or pain in the extremities.

When treating back pain, it is important to look at the long term effectiveness of the treatment. It is important to prevent the problem from becoming chronic. When an acute injury causes pain, it is important to start chiropractic early to prevent a chronic problem. The use of active care is also helpful to prevent chronicity. This may include exercises, stretching, lifestyle modification and ergonomic instruction.

Chiropractors are well trained to refer to other healthcare practitioners when necessary. Many chiropractors have a local network that they can refer to for problems out of their scope of practice. Chiropractic is often used first because it is natural and less invasive than many other procedures used to treat back pain. Chiropractic is a natural and safe method for the treatment.

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Back Cracking: Is It Safe? A Doctor of Chiropractic Speaks Out

Does cracking your joints hurt your joints?

If you repeatedly crack your joints the ligaments get loose, somewhat unstable. This produces laxity in the ligaments that hold the joint together so the joint loses its stability. Awkward micro-movements of the joint make it arthritic with the cartilage deteriorating. So the answer is YES, inappropriate repetitive cracking of the joins hurts them … not because of the “crack” but because of ligament and cartilage damage.

But when is it appropriate?

There is a moment in the movie “Jacob's Ladder” where the supporting actor plays a chiropractor gives a chiropractic spinal adjustment to the hero and, in Hollywood's true character; the cracking sound was almost stereophonically broadcast through the audience using special effects. It made the audience shudder to their bones, with involuntary physical reactions and verbal responses (I will leave that up to your imagination).

More than half of Canadians and Americans have experienced a chiropractic spinal adjustment. Here in the Philippines, people are catching up on this alternative option. You'll be surprised if not shocked to know that chiropractors administrator somewhere around 8,000,000 (yes, 8 million) monthly adjustments every day in the world. This is a perfectly safe procedure WHEN IT IS PERFORMED BY A QUALIFIED DOCTOR OF CHIROPRACTIC .

Anyone else? Take your chances, it's your life.

What is that sound in the first place you ask? Is it cracking my bones? Is it snapping my ligaments? It's neither of those. In fact it is simply the change of air in the joints that move from a liquid suspension to a gaseous state when there is a vacuum formed by the separation of the fluid tension in the sealed synovial fluid filled joint. That's a mouth full but it means that the “pop” happens when the adjustment creates a temporary vacuum in the joint, much like when a rubber devise is used to stick something to a smooth surface; when you pull in off the smooth surface it makes a popping sound.

Now, every time you visit your chiropractor and hear that crack or pop, you can be at peace and be a little less nervous that he or she is not grinding or cracking your bones, or something to make that ghastly sound. I say ghastly because that's what some people say about it. Others say “Wow, that feels awesome!” Either way it is perceived, it is safe.

It is actually more than safe; it is smart to navigate suitable chiropractic care when there is something wrong with your spell. Now, if you hesitated to go to a chiropractor because you feared that cracking sound, you can relax, it is safe. If you wished to go because it is too expensive, believe me cost will only get higher as the condition is neglected and more damage takes place.

Back Cracking: Formal Training and Education

There are chiropractic colleges worldwide (mostly in the US) that train people to perform these amazing joint adjustments. And just like medicine, it's a long process (takes around 9 years). First of all, the school starts to prepare the student chiropractor with a historical perspective or philosophy of the profession as to why they are entering a profession that cares for its patients using only natural methods, or at least non-drug and non-surgical approaches . Then the courses focus on the neurology behind why a chiropractic spinal adjustment helps the patient's own healing abilities to improve their condition and restore their health.

There are courses on basic anatomy with a special focus on detailed spinal anatomy. The spine is a functional structure that supports the entire body frame so there are biomechanical subjects to learn and understand the inter-dynamics of such things as the cross-crawl mechanisms, the interrelationships between the spine and pelvis; between the spine and shoulder girdle; between the neck and head articulations.

The output is an expert on the subject of the spell and its function.

Clinical sciences are the next phase of chiropractor training. This is where the manual manipulation techniques for the spine are taught. There are over 150 different named spinal adjusting techniques that I have heard about. Most chiropractors learn about 6 commonly used techniques and then migrate to one of the others based out of personal interest and aptitude. That is why people go to different chiropractors and get some of the same methods but also something very different. It is a most interesting Art and Science.

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The Keys To A Healthy Back

A healthy back is one of the most important things you can have. If you've ever injured your back, you'll know much of our everyday activities are connecting to our backs. Many people have some type of back problem that may have come through old sports injuries or lifting something incorrectly.

A healthy and strong back is key to many things and there are few simple steps to ensure your back is in proper working order. First and foremost, if you've injured yourself in the past you should visit a chiropractor or a physician. It is important to diagnose any problems you have to ensure that you do not injure your back further. Additionally, these medical professionals can also work with you to give you a plan of action to improve your back.

Your physical health can also be an attributing factor to your back. Excess weight through obesity can put extra strain on your back and can be bad for proper posture. Diet can also play into back health; eating foods that are heavy in gluten and carbs can irritate joints by inflaming them. Ideally, eating a diet focused on fruits, vegetables, and meats can help this process while diets that are heavy in processed food are not good for your back. Many have found great success by using the Paleo method of eating, which is very similar to those essentials that were mentioned above.

Another often overlooked factor, is having the right kind of mattress. Many people purchase a mattress and then do not think much of it. As mattresses tend to wear out they provide less support and can be harmful to our backs. Ideally, you should aim to spend eight hours a day sleeping and having the proper kind of mattress will not only help your back, but also help you sleep.

Lastly, the most important factor to a healthy back is an active lifestyle. The degree of activity will range from person to person but one of the easiest ways to maintain an active lifestyle is by going to a gym. Gyms come in all shapes in sizes, but one of the latest trends in gyms is through group fitness. These types of gyms differ from the “big box” style gyms by having a group of people workout together. These workouts are usually scalable based on each users abilities, and are planned out by a professional trainers. These trainers are on hand to help those in the workout select the proper weights and use the correct techniques. The trainers help gym members by giving the proper training which can ensure that muscles are built the right way without getting injured.

In conclusion, having a healthy back is vital to daily living. By eating right, having a good mattress, and going to the right kind of gym, you can be on your way to a strong back. Do some research and find a gym that is right for you.

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