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Archive for Chiropractic

According to the 2010 Global Burden of Disease report, chronic pain is the single leading cause of disabilities worldwide. It represents an enormous burden for the world’s healthcare systems—caring for afflicted patients costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Chronic pain is also a major concern for employers, who lose billions of dollars as a result of absences and reduced productivity. Given the economic costs involved (not to mention the quality-of-life implications for individuals), it’s no surprise that both public- and private-sector organizations are very interested in understanding the causes of chronic pain—especially those that might related to the workplace.

Recent research suggests that one of the primary work-related causes of chronic pain is long-term exposure to vibration. This research concentrates on two primary forms of repetitive vibration: hand-arm vibration (HAV, experienced by workers who use vibrating hand tools all day on the job) and whole-body vibration (WBV, experienced by people who work all day in a constantly vibrating machine like a train or a helicopter). At least five million workers are exposed to constant hand-arm vibration in their workplaces, and roughly the same number of workers is exposed to whole-body vibration. Both forms of vibration have been shown to greatly increase the workers’ risk of developing chronic pain.

Regular exposure to HAV can cause permanent injuries, characterized by the whitening of one or more fingers when exposed to cold, tingling and loss of sensation in the fingers, loss of touch sensitivity, loss of grip strength, bone cysts in the fingers and wrists, and constant pain. These symptoms can be signs of vibration white finger (VWF) or of related conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar tunnel syndrome.

Regular exposure to WBV can be even more debilitating. According to research published recently in the Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, workers such as train engineers, truck drivers, and machine operators who are consistently exposed to whole-body vibration are at significantly higher risk of developing chronic lower back and neck pain than other workers. In the study, locomotive engineers and other workers who were constantly exposed were compared with coworkers not exposed to constant vibration, and the differences were clear. The train engineers were about twice as likely to experience frequent lower back and neck pain.

Similar results were found in a study of 163 helicopter pilots who were compared with a control group of 297 non-flying air force officers. Because flying officers must document their “air time” in personal flight logs, an accurate assessment could be made of the time that the helicopter pilots were exposed to whole-body vibration and their rates of chronic pain injuries. The pilots who had flown more than 2,000 hours had far more occurrences of both transient and chronic back pain than the non-flying officers, and there was a strong association between the number of hours they flew  and the number of back pain attacks.

So if your job exposes you to constant vibration— be it hand-arm vibration or whole-body vibration—and you suffer from frequent attacks of pain, there may be a connection. You should speak to your chiropractor, who may be able to help reduce the pain and offer postural and exercise suggestions to lower your risk and prevent reoccurrences of the injuries.

An estimated 50 million Americans live with chronic pain. If you have tried dealing with your pain on your own but the results have been ineffective, you may want to consider visiting a pain management clinic. Pain management clinicians are specially trained in diagnosing and managing chronic pain and helping those who suffer from it take an active part in developing strategies to manage their pain and regain control of their lives.

The team at a pain management clinic is generally composed of health professionals from many different clinical backgrounds (including medical doctors, chiropractic physicians, physical therapists, psychologists, and acupuncturists, for example), and their approaches often combine traditional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine.

Your treatment at a pain management clinic will be tailored to your meet your specific needs and may include a combination of the following therapies:

  • Pain medications – Pharmaceuticals such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, corticosteroids and opioid medications, which are typically used for short-term pain relief.
  • Antidepressants – Depression can sometimes cause pain or exacerbate existing pain. Antidepressants may also make it easier to sleep, which is often difficult in cases of chronic pain.
  • Injections– A local anesthetic, which may or may not be combined with a corticosteroid, may be injected into the area around a nerve root or into a muscle to temporarily relieve pain and inflammation. These are not usually effective in the long term, however.
  • Chiropractic care – Studies have shown that chiropractic care can be one of the most effective ways of relieving chronic pain, particularly in the lower back and neck. Chiropractic adjustments remove spinal subluxations that may be creating pressure on the nerves. Chiropractic has been demonstrated to provide more effective and longer-lasting pain relief for back and neck pain than corticosteroid injections and generally carries fewer risks than drugs or surgery.
  • Physical therapy – In order to decrease pain while increasing function, a physical therapist may use such techniques as aquatic therapy, deep muscle massage and ultrasound.
  • Acupuncture – An ancient Chinese therapy that uses very fine needles inserted at specific points on your body’s “energy meridians” to reduce pain.
  • Electrical stimulation – A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine works to manage pain by sending electrical signals to your nerves through your skin, which modulate or suppress the pain signals being sent to your brain.
  • Surgery – In rare cases in which no other treatments have worked, surgery is sometimes recommended.
  • Stress reduction training – Pain often becomes worse when a person is stressed. Learning stress reduction techniques such as meditation and biofeedback can significantly reduce chronic pain.
  • Psychotherapy – Constant pain can increase feelings of anger, sadness and despair. Learning how to deal with the psychological aspect of your pain can help you succeed in day-to-day activities and maintain important relationships while also helping you manage your pain.

A good pain management clinic will involve you closely in the development of a treatment program, and it is particularly important to feel comfortable with your healthcare providers in this setting. The clinic should monitor your progress and follow up with you to ensure that the treatment designed for you is effective and continues to meet your needs as your condition evolves.

If you’re at all interested in sports –or chiropractic—you may have noticed in your Internet travels graphics featuring some of the biggest names in sports. The “Get Adjusted” campaign features quotes from athletes and other celebrities who have found chiropractic care valuable and want to share their experience with the public. So far, the campaign includes familiar faces such as Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice, Decathlon gold medalist Dan O’Brien, Joe Montana, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s true that “Ahnold” is not really an athlete these days, but the first name on the list—Tom Brady—certainly is. As quarterback for the New England Patriots, he has been an NFL Most Valuable Player and has earned similar MVP awards in two of the four Super Bowl games he’s played in (winning 3). Brady holds the NFL record for the most touchdown passes thrown in a regular season and has a career passing rating of 92.9. Plus, he’s been named as Sportsman of the Year by both Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News. He’s a veritable sports superstar.

The quote that graces Tom’s “Get Adjusted” graphic says it all: “Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.” Brady joins many athletes, including all of the athletes participating in the recent Olympic Winter Games, in being able to take advantage of chiropractors’ knowledge of human anatomy to help them heal faster from injuries, prevent future health problems, and even improve their athletic performance. Chiropractic care became an official part of the Olympic training sports medicine program in 1980, and was offered onsite to athletes as one of the core services at its Polyclinic in Sochi.

Nothing that Tom Brady has said about chiropractic care will come as no surprise to Dr. Michael Miller, a graduate of the prestigious Palmer College of Chiropractic, who has been the chiropractic team physician for the Patriots for the past 30 years. He works with anywhere from 30 to 40 Patriots players before each game and is available for specific injuries during the game. He has been to seven Super Bowl games with the team and is the proud possessor of three Super Bowl rings and four championship rings. Miller was the first chiropractor to work for an NFL team 30 years ago, but now every team in the NFL has at least one chiropractor on its full-time staff.

Chiropractic is a natural form of therapy that’s a great fit for elite athletes, who are in a sense like high-performance racing cars. They’re fast, but their bodies are also subjected to tremendous forces when they perform, both during training and competition. These athletes simply can’t rely on drugs to keep playing and most wouldn’t even if they could. Much of Dr. Miller’s work is done pre-game, making adjustments to players’ knees, shoulders, ankles, and backs to help them avoid injury. As he says, “Their job is to get banged and be tackled. They are basically getting beaten up each game. They understand the importance of a chiropractor and see how it allows them to play longer.”

Longer, and better. Many athletes in many sports have joined Tom Brady in telling their own stories and offering their endorsements. They recognize that chiropractic care has helped them be more injury-free and kept their bodies performing more optimally, which has made them better at their sport over the course of their careers. But even if you’re not a professional athlete, you too can benefit from regular chiropractic adjustments. Whether chiropractic care ultimately helps to improve your golf or tennis game, or just helps you recover from “overdoing it” during the weekend, isn’t that something you’d want to investigate?  To learn more, just call or visit our office!

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Developed by Ellen Cutler, DC based on more than 25 years of research, the BioSet (BioEnergetic Sensitivity and Enzyme Therapy) program is a way of getting to the root cause of food sensitivities that can trigger a host of other health problems. The fundamental insight behind Cutler’s program is that digestive health is linked to the performance of the body’s immune system. Dr. Cutler and others who use BioSET believe that when a person eats foods that he or she is sensitive to, it disturbs the digestive system, which in turn stresses the immune system. This then causes a cascade of additional sensitivities and illnesses. The three-part BioSet program is specifically designed to alleviate conditions such as allergies, asthma, fibromyalgia and more.

The BioSet program consists of three basic parts: detoxification, enzyme therapy and desensitization. The program’s organ-specific detoxification promotes the release of accumulated toxins from organs and tissues and stimulates the body to eliminate them through the use of homeopathy. The enzyme therapy aspect encourages optimal digestion and the development of a healthy inflammatory response through the therapeutic use of vegetarian enzyme supplements. Finally, desensitization is achieved through the use of a noninvasive technique based on acupressure meridians and immunology.

Detoxification is important, since we are exposed to toxins on a daily basis in our environment, in the foods we eat and from the medications we take. These can build up over time, overwhelming the body’s natural toxin elimination system (the skin, liver, kidneys and lymphatic system), causing the body to develop chronic health problems. An electrodermal screening technique or muscle testing will be used to determine the toxicities that are specific to you, and an herbal or homeopathic remedy will be prescribed to help your body eliminate these toxins.

The BioSet program uses enzyme therapy to help the body properly break down the food you eat. When the body does not fully digest the food it receives, undigested particles can get passed into the blood stream where they are recognized as a foreign invader, causing the body‘s immune response to come into play, triggering allergies and other autoimmune disorders. Another enzyme acts as a natural antibiotic, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal treatment to eliminate harmful pathogens from the digestive system. A third enzyme is used as a probiotic to encourage the growth of helpful bacteria in the digestive tract.

Finally, in the desensitization stage of the BioSet program, acupressure is performed to eliminate energy blockages along the body’s meridians. The electromagnetic energy that flows along these meridians must move freely in order for the body to function optimally. This type of therapy has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. The desensitization technique releases energy blockages, corrects any imbalances and resets the nervous and immune systems to perform at their best.

For anyone suffering from allergies or other chronic illness, it may be worth giving the BioSet program a try. It is a natural, noninvasive form of therapy that can be used by adults and children alike.

When patients go to a doctor, they want the best possible diagnosis and treatment. But how does that doctor know exactly what to do in any particular circumstance?

Medical school (of course) is the first part of the answer to this question. Clinical experience is the second part. This combination of formal training and day-to-day practice is what helps a physician to build the expertise and judgment they need to be good at their work.

However, even the very best education and most extensive professional experience cannot prepare a doctor perfectly for any situation. The simple truth is that the human body is so complex that no one physician can possibly know everything about it or about every health condition or potential treatment option. This is one reason that today’s doctors often choose to specialize, consult with each other and pursue continuing education. It’s also one reason why the healthcare community is working to pool its knowledge and develop treatment protocols based on its collective experience about what has worked best for patients in the past. This systematic approach is called “Evidence-Based Medicine”.

Evidence-based medicine has been described as “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.” Such evidence is based on randomized controlled trials to ensure an unbiased and entirely objective analysis of each study. The aim of evidence-based medicine (EBM) is to provide both quantitative and qualitative assistance in the clinician’s decision making process.

Proponents of the EBM approach realize that no system is perfect for all cases. They know that patient preferences and values can play an important part. They know, too, that not every patient is going to fit into the definitions described by a randomized controlled trial. Individual pathology and physiology may differ and not every patient will respond to the same treatment.

Trisha Greenhalgh and epidemiologist Anna Donald extended and clarified the EBM definition. They wrote that evidence-based medicine is, “the use of mathematical estimates of the risk of benefit and harm, derived from high-quality research on population samples, to inform clinical decision-making in the diagnosis, investigation or management of individual patients.”

One of the key objectives of EBM is to help make medical decision-making more objective in order to achieve better results for each individual patient.

The concept of evidence-based medicine has gained wide acceptance in most parts of the healthcare community. However, it does also have its practical limitations.

  • The results upon which EBM is based may not prove relevant in all situations. This is because much of the quantitative research produced by EBM depends on randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
  • Not every medical problem has been thoroughly investigated, making the body of evidence incomplete.
  • Certain groups remain under-researched, and thus generalizing from RCT findings becomes imperfect at best.
  • Research topics are strongly controlled by the sponsor’s interests. After all, RCTs are expensive and are rarely, if ever, conducted on methodologies that possess little or no profit incentive. In other words, traditional, alternative and holistic approaches remain largely under-represented.
  • There is always a delay—sometimes substantial—between the time an RCT is conducted and the actual publication of its findings.
  • There is also a delay between the publication of RCT results and the proper application of those results.
  • Some corporations have stifled the publication of RCT findings when the results proved detrimental to the public view of one or more of their products. This becomes particularly problematic when a former employee of the corporation in question becomes an editor at the peer-reviewed journal which would carry those research findings. Such corporate intervention jeopardizes not only the integrity of the body of scientific evidence, but also jeopardizes the health of the patients which EBM is supposed to benefit.

While evidence-based medicine certainly presents its share of challenges, it’s the best hope we have today for applying our growing body of healthcare experience to individual cases. As researchers and clinicians continue to collect data and make it more widely available and easier to access, EBM will offer more opportunities for physicians to treat their patients based on the best, most up-to-date information.

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When it comes to surgery, any good doctor will tell you that success is never guaranteed and there are always risks. But how does back surgery stack up compared to other treatments for back pain? The Mayo Clinic recommends caution before choosing back surgery. Their website warns, “Spine surgeons hold differing opinions about when to operate, what type of surgery to perform, and whether—for some spine conditions—surgery is warranted at all.” Always get a second opinion from a spine specialist.

One 2013 study in Washington State, published in the journal Spine, highlighted an interesting correlation between the number of back surgeries performed and the type of doctor first visited. The study found that of those injured workers who saw a surgeon first, 42.7% chose surgery (a relatively expensive and risky option) as a solution. Of those injured workers who first saw a chiropractor, the rate of surgeries dropped to 1.5%. In other words, those who visited a chiropractor first found that surgery was less likely to be necessary.

Research performed in Norway, with results published in the December 2012 edition of European Spine Journal, raised even more questions about the appropriateness or effectiveness of one common type of spine surgery. Two groups of patients were monitored over a 9-year period. Group membership was randomly assigned. One group received lumbar spinal fusion—a surgical procedure. The other group received exercises for coordination and endurance, plus mental training to reduce the amount of worry about further injury from going about their normal daily activities. In other words, this second group received physical and psychological training—no surgery.

In the surgery group, 68% were unable to work afterward, compared with only 42% in the non-surgery group. Of those who had surgery, 44% used medication for pain, while only 17% of those who didn’t have surgery used pain medication. Of the surgery group members, 17% were dissatisfied with the results they received. Of the non-surgery members, only 3% were unhappy with their outcomes. Those without surgery had a greater rate for return to work, less pain medication and greater satisfaction.

An earlier study found that of the 465,000 spinal fusions performed in America during 2011, as many as 50% had insufficient justification. Another study found physical therapy to be just as effective, but far less costly and risky than fusion surgery when attempting to solve the problem of degenerative disc disease.

There are of course situations where back surgery may be absolutely necessary. However, study after study has shown that other methods of treating back pain are far less expensive, less risky and frequently more effective. If you have been advised to have back surgery, it’s always good to get a second or even third opinion from different medical professionals to be sure you do not undergo a surgical procedure that may be best treated more conservatively.

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Half of the top 10 leading causes of death in the US are related in some way to nutrition: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Lifestyle has a great deal to do with how sick or healthy we are, and most medical doctors do not have enough time to learn about their patients’ lifestyle to offer drug-free solutions. Chiropractors, on the other hand, are perfectly trained to assess the whole patient, including not only their physical complaints and characteristics, but their lifestyle as well.

As a way of adding to the range of therapies they can offer to their patients, many chiropractors also specialize in important areas of health care, such as nutrition. A chiropractic nutrition specialist has spent over 300 hours of post-graduate study in learning about how nutrition impacts the body and how to teach their patients about following a healthy diet. The training these chiropractors undertake is usually far more than most physicians get in medical school, where nutrition is simply not an area of focus.

According to an article in American Chiropractor written by S. J. Press, “Chiropractors qualified in the field of nutrition are able to give pertinent advice on vitamin supplementation, dietary intakes, environmental toxicities, homeostasis, and biomechanical reactions of bodily systems.” Chiropractors have always been grounded in the holistic approach to treating patients, and they are aware that eating a healthy diet is just as important in the maintenance of a healthy musculoskeletal system as having a chiropractic adjustment.

The American Clinical Board of Nutrition (ACBN) is responsible for giving diplomate status (DACBN) to post-doctoral candidates (such as Doctors of Chiropractic) who have proven sufficient post-graduate training in nutrition and who pass a two-part examination. The Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition (CBCN) operates under the auspices of the American Chiropractic Association and provides teaching, examination and certification for chiropractors in the field of nutrition.

The ACBN notes that it is committed to assuring its members are trained to help alleviate the huge problem we have today with chronic diseases that are so costly to society in terms of lives lost and dollars spent on treatment. “The ACBN, acting as agents of social change, provides the public with the quality assurance that its certificants are held to a higher standard; a standard of excellence that is assessed by quality control measures such as demonstrating yearly academic continuing education in the field of nutrition. While health care professionals may practice nutrition unique to their own professional field, the commonality of basic nutrition binds the ACBN as one. Many of our certificants are the authors of nutrition textbooks, others are professors teaching nutrition, and many are in private practice treating patients.”

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A chiropractic pediatrician (DICCP) performs chiropractic care on children. Because of the rapidly changing bodies of children, a DICCP (Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics) chiropractor is given special training for appropriate treatment at each stage of a child’s development.

Training for a DICCP involves completing a 3-year, board certification program administered by the International Chiropractic Association (ICA) Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics. This program includes more than 360 classroom hours of instruction.

First-year topics include classes in pre-natal care, birth, post-partum care, neonate normals, neonate abnormals, school age adolescents and case correlations.

The core of chiropractic work involves manual adjustment of the spine to properly align the vertebrae and to allow the body to heal itself naturally. However, because an infant’s spine is different from that of a school-age child, which is different from that of an adolescent, a chiropractic adjustment at each stage of a child’s development is different. Understanding the distinctions helps to ensure that chiropractic care is safe and effective for children of any age and that young people have access to proven healthcare options that don’t involve drugs or surgery.

The chiropractic pediatrician will see infants in their first year in order to assess them for possible spinal trauma during birth and to give them a head start on health for the rest of their lives. Detecting and treating problems early in an infant’s development can prevent the need for more drastic measures when the child reaches school age or adolescence.

For instance, conditions like scoliosis can be corrected and the suffering of a child reduced or eliminated altogether. Left untreated, such conditions can grow worse with time and may lead to more serious health problems or repeated injuries later in life. World-famous Jamaican track star Usain Bolt is just one example of someone who, with early chiropractic care, could have avoided a great deal of pain and suffering caused by his abnormally curved spine.

Although all chiropractors are trained in pediatrics, the DICCP’s professional specialization requires additional rigor. Coursework can include the following:

  • Pediatric neurology
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Pediatric orthopedics
  • Pediatric radiology
  • Pediatric sports injuries
  • Pediatric nutrition
  • Craniosacral/Myofascial
  • Nutritional approach to autoimmune challenges
  • Advanced techniques for infants and pregnant women
  • Caring for special needs children
  • Pediatric trauma and emergency medical procedures

This additional training allows chiropractic pediatricians to take care of children at every stage of their development, no matter what challenges beset them.

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Swedish massage is perhaps the most widely known and frequently requested full-body massage technique. The interesting thing is that the name “Swedish massage” itself is only used in countries that speak English or Dutch, and also in Hungary. In fact, the name is not used in Sweden. In most parts of the world, this technique is called “classic massage.”

The term “Swedish massage” is a bit of a misnomer for another reason as well—the technique is not thought to have originated in Sweden or even to have been created by a Swede! Many books on massage wrongly attribute the technique to Per Henrik Ling, an early 19th century Swedish physical therapist and an instructor of medical gymnastics. The confusion may have originated with the name “Swedish Gymnastic Movement System”, a set of techniques that Ling himself actually did create.

Swedish or classic massage involves long fluid movements of the hands across the body combined with circular motions, as well as other techniques such as kneading, chopping and vibration. It helps to improve circulation and to soften muscle tissue, making it perfect for relaxation. Swedish massage methods can be particularly useful when used before more intense techniques, like deep tissue massage. This helps to warm up the body and prepare it for more forceful methods.

The five basic movements of Swedish or classic massage are

  • Effleurage—characterized by long, sliding or gliding motions of the hands from the neck to the sacrum at the base of the spine, and along other parts of the entire body. This gentle technique helps greatly with relaxation.
  • Petrissage—a kneading motion where muscles are tenderly rolled and compressed. This helps to restore circulation deep within the muscles—circulation that has been restricted by tension.
  • Tapotement—this is very much like a karate chop. This tapping action can be particularly helpful on tense, twitching or cramped muscles.
  • Friction—with thumb pads or fingertips, the massage therapist applies greater pressure, especially near joints and alongside the spine. This helps to get rid of knots in the muscles, allowing greater flexibility.
  • Vibration/shaking—this involves shaking, rocking or trembling movements of a limb in order to loosen the body as a whole and to decrease overall tension.

Besides being a popular aid that promotes relaxation, Swedish massage can alleviate joint stiffness and reduce pain. This massage technique has also been effective in helping patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, leading to improved function in as little as eight weeks.

For full-body health, Swedish or classic massage can be performed in tandem with other drug-free methods such as chiropractic adjustments, not only to repair the body, but also as part of a  broader health maintenance regimen.

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Your spine requires plenty of water and nutrients to stay healthy and perform at its best, just like the rest of your body. The problem is, your spine is not able to absorb the water and nutrients it needs in the same way as other parts of the body, nor is it able to eliminate the wastes from metabolism. In a person’s early teens, the spinal discs lose the nutritional supply coming from blood, and the elimination system atrophies. Subsequently, the spine is only able to receive water and nutrients through osmosis and a process called imbibition. This last method occurs when the motion between vertebral discs acts as a pump to move fluids in and out of the discs. Thus, the health of your spine depends on movement. The sedentary lifestyles of most Americans (and especially senior citizens) make this problem worse.

As a person gets older and grows less active, the loss of spinal water can lead to disc degeneration and the eventual loss of motion between vertebral discs. Once this mobility is lost, further degeneration occurs more rapidly and the cycle of dehydration, shrinking, chronic pain and disease accelerates.

Proper hydration is essential for nutrient delivery, lubrication and waste elimination. Normal vertebral discs are 88% water, and because discs lose some of their water during the day, rehydration also proves essential for maintaining the height of each disc. Each sleep cycle will restore most of the daily water loss, but not all of it.

If a person begins to become dehydrated, the body will look to retrieve water from places like the spinal vertebrae first. So drinking abundant amounts of water throughout the day remains an important way of maintaining your spinal health.

Contrary to what has been reported by some in the media, certain aspects of spinal disc damage can in fact be repaired. Appropriate chiropractic care and spinal decompression therapy, along with exercise, nutrition and hydration programs, can often relieve pain and restore function WITHOUT the need for drugs or complex surgery.

Unlike other parts of the body that have abundant blood flow, spinal discs are slower to heal. This means that, while many chiropractic and spinal decompression patients find relief from their pain relatively quickly, it typically takes longer for the discs themselves to recover.

Of course, they say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To keep your spine healthy, stay active, drink plenty of fluids every day and remember to see your chiropractor regularly.

Deep tissue massage is one of many types of manual therapy focused on the body’s soft tissues that has been shown to  promote healing and relaxation. While the two may sound similar, deep tissue massage is not to be confused with “deep pressure” massage, which typically employs strong pressure uniformly across the entire body. Some other massage techniques, such as Shiatsu, work with the body’s meridians and pressure points in order to restore energy equilibrium in a manner similar to acupuncture. However, the deep tissue method is more focused on resolving specific pain and tension a person has in one part of their body.

Massage uses techniques to manipulate superficial layers as well as deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. Massage therapists use a variety of techniques that involve applying pressure with the fingers, other parts of the hands, elbows, forearms, and instruments to perform the needed manipulation.

As the name suggests, the focus of deep tissue massage is the tissue that is located beneath the top layer of muscles, which is not generally reached by conventional massage. The purpose of the deep tissue method is to reduce extreme tension found in those deep muscles and the surrounding connective tissue that can cause chronic pain and put the musculoskeletal system out of alignment.

Anyone who is experiencing chronic muscle pain may be able to benefit from deep tissue massage. It is particularly useful for people whose work or hobbies involve strenuous physical activities and for people who have suffered injuries that require rehabilitation. Because of the intense methods used, deep tissue massage cannot and should not be applied across the entire body.

A deep tissue massage session often begins by warming up the body with a technique called kneading. This technique is used to prepare the body for the more intense massage that is to come. Without this preparation, injury is more likely. This method of massage can never be too deep, but it can be performed too quickly.

Oil is applied to allow the practitioner’s hands to glide easily across the person’s skin. Using the broad surface of the forearm, plus palms and fingers, the therapist can induce greater relaxation. By working slowly, the massage therapist is able to work the body in layers, applying greater and greater pressure with the forearm and elbow to reach the deeper tissues.

Knots of tension can be treated in a number of ways. One method is to use heavy pressure with the thumb directly on the tense muscle and simply hold a constant pressure for two to three breaths to help the knot relax. Another method involves rotating the thumb in small circles while maintaining high pressure. This helps increase the blood circulation into the tight muscle to help it receive the nourishment it needs for faster healing.

Once the area of focus has been worked on, lighter, finishing strokes help to integrate the focus area with the rest of the body. These help provide the client with a sense of calm and relaxation.

Deep tissue massage clients may experience a day or two of soreness in the area of the massage, but this should shortly be replaced by greater relaxation and relief from the pain of chronically tight muscles.

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Chiropractic care often involves the use of diagnostic imaging so that your chiropractor can choose the most effective form of treatment for your condition. A chiropractor who is a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology (DACBR) is a certified specialist in diagnostic imaging who can order and interpret advanced imaging such as a CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds.

There are approximately 150 certified DACBR specialists in the US today. Most chiropractors are general chiropractors. However, like MDs, chiropractors can choose to specialize in a particular discipline after completing their undergraduate studies. Post-graduate training in diagnostic imaging is available for chiropractors, after which they must pass a board-certified examination. A DACBR has passed an examination given by the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology (ACBR) and must fulfill the continuing education requirements to maintain their DACBR designation.

According to J. Todd Knudsen, DC, DACBR, president of the American Chiropractic College of Radiology (ACCR), you’re likely to encounter a DACBR in a variety of clinical and educational settings. In addition to performing and interpreting the results of advanced diagnostic imaging as a member of a larger healthcare team, DACBRs may also own and direct chiropractic clinics or specialized imaging centers. They may also teach in chiropractic or other colleges.

Knudsen explains, “The main difference between chiropractic radiology and medical radiology is in the areas of emphasis. Chiropractic radiologists are more like neuromusculoskeletal radiologists, and most medical radiologists are generalists. Another obvious difference is the fact that we are chiropractors and they are medical doctors.”

Becoming a DACBR involves 300 to 400 hours of training in the performance and interpretation of plain film radiography, with some additional training in advanced diagnostic imaging to better understand the reports provided by a medical radiologist. In all, a chiropractic radiologist will complete about 4,000 hours of training during their 3 to 4 year full-time residency.

In addition to the undergraduate courses that all chiropractors take in pathology, bone x-ray, soft tissue x-ray, CT, MRI, and sonography, those who wish to pursue a DACBR must take additional graduate training in bone pathology, radiation health safety, genitourinary imaging, chest imaging, gastrointestinal imaging and MRI.

Although a DACBR can read and interpret any sort of imaging, they specialize in imaging for the musculoskeletal system. The final reports are written in the same manner as that used by medical radiologists. Gary A. Longmuir, MAppSc, DC, DACBR, owner and director of Diagnostic X-Ray Consultation Services in Phoenix, AZ, says “I’d be hard-pressed to find differences between us and regular medical radiologists. It’s an integrated practice in which I interpret CT/MRI bone and joint radiology or musculoskeletal radiology, reading not just for chiropractors or DOs, but also for some MDs or even the occasional veterinarian in the area.”

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