The most common cause of neck pain is functional distortions in the spine (caused by everyday activities such as watching TV, using a computer, reading a book, falling asleep awkwardly or too much driving) resulting in vertebral misalignments.
The body responds to issues within the neck by tightening muscles in the neck, ‘splinting’ the joint to protect it from further insult.
Most of the pain-sensing nerves in the neck are located in the pairs of facet joints at the back of each vertebra. These smooth, interlocking surfaces allow you to rotate your head and bend your head up and down. If these joints become locked or fixated, neck pain can result. Chiropractic care restores proper joint motion.
Shoulder Complaints and Rotator Cuff Injuries
The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the human body. We are able to reach over our head, behind our back, and across the front of our body. This extreme motion in the shoulder can lead to shoulder injuries rather easily. The shoulder joint is very shallow and is held together mostly by ligaments. The muscles surrounding the shoulder are what actually give it most of its stability and strength. The rotator cuff is a group of small muscles that hold the humerus, the bone in the upper arm, against the shoulder joint. Several muscles in the upper chest and upper back stabilize the shoulder even further by ensuring smooth and even motion of the shoulder
Shoulder pain can range from a mild annoyance to inability to move the shoulder due to pain. This is because shoulder pain can actually come from many different causes. Mild shoulder pain following over-use is often caused by swelling and inflammation of the muscles, tendons or joint itself. This is referred to as tendonitis or bursitis and will often go away on its own in a few days. Pain that lasts past a few days is something that should be evaluated by your Chiropractor. Lasting pain or more severe pain can indicate more serious conditions such as rotator cuff syndrome
Rotator cuff syndrome is caused by inflammation, swelling, or even tears in the muscles and tendons in the rotator cuff. The most common tendon injured in rotator cuff syndrome is the supraspinatus tendon. The supraspinatus tendon is on the top of the shoulder and is located between two bones. Whenever you raise your arm to the side and up to your ear, the supraspinatus tendon can be pinched between the two bones. Any muscular imbalances between the upper chest and the upper back can place the supraspinatus tendon in a position where it is even more likely to be pinched. Muscular imbalances between the chest and upper back are common because many people have poor posture and tend to let the shoulders sag forward. Rotator cuff syndrome causes shoulder pain in the front and side of the shoulder, and the pain is often worse at night. Lifting the arm to the side, especially if you are holding anything, is very painful. Any activity that involves a lot of overhead arm motion, such as swimming, throwing, or even sleeping with your arm up, can cause rotator cuff syndrome.
To minimize complications from your shoulder injury, you should seek an evaluation if you have shoulder pain that lasts past a few days. Even though there are many causes of shoulder pain, the treatment for most conditions is similar. It is important to keep the shoulder moving to avoid the complication of frozen shoulder. Your Chiropractor will tell you what shoulder motions to emphasize and which ones to avoid as your injury heals. Therapeutic treatments, such as ultrasound and ice, can be used to remove the inflammation in the shoulder. Removing the inflammation in the joint usually results in a significant decrease in pain. Specific muscle stretching and at home exercises are used to correct any muscular imbalances between the upper back and chest. Correcting these imbalances helps to ensure smooth and even shoulder motion. Most shoulder conditions do not require surgery. However, if your pain does not resolve with these conservative treatments, further testing, such as an MRI, may be required to determine exactly how much shoulder damage is present.
Back Pain and Sciatica
Usually begins as an acute pain in the lower back and then it extends down the back of either leg. The pain usually worsens with prolonged periods of sitting and standing. Sciatica is often the result of cumulative damage. Years of poor muscle tone and repetitive activities can often set the stage. Then, something simple like bending over to tie your shoes can trigger an episode.
Five pairs of nerves exit the spine in the lower back to form two sciatic nerves. The disc between each spinal bone maybe involved or quite simply, one of the vertebra at the exiting nerve root may not be functioning properly; Resulting in irritation, swelling and inflammation at the nerve root which causes pain in the leg. Fortunately, sciatica and lower back pain responds to safe, natural chiropractic care. Improving joint motion with a series of chiropractic joint adjustments has produced positive results for many.
Headaches of neck origin and Prevention of Migraines
A cause of headaches and migraines can be from spinal bones in the neck that aren’t supporting your head properly (caused by physical trauma, emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies or chemical toxins). This can affect the muscles that surround the neck which may then cause them to send pain signals to the head.
Chiropractors locate areas of the spine that aren’t moving properly, assess incorrect spinal curves and posture and the range of motion within the vertebral joints, all of which could attribute to your headaches.
Chiropractic normalises spinal function; Subsequently these reduce symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Minor Sport Injuries and Muscle Spasms
Many sports injuries and muscle spasms are the result of ongoing alterations in your bodies bio mechanics that have not been detected and treated. Joint restrictions in the spine and extremities can restrict range of motion, reduce strength, flexibility, shorten endurance, decrease performance and cause further injuries if allowed to persist.
Chiropractic care aims to restore ranges of joint motion, flexibility, muscular function, control and co-ordination. Besides relieving pain, chiropractic care also helps to reduce inflammation therefore promoting early healing. In order to perform at your optimum your body needs proper joint movement – muscles, tendons and ligaments rely on this to perform.
A lot of professional sports teams now employ a chiropractor to prevent injuries. So whether you run, swim, cycle, play golf or tennis the best treatment for your sports injuries is prevention!
Plantar Fasciitis is a serious and painful condition that occurs when the long, flat ligament along the bottom of the foot develops tears and inflammation. Serious cases of plantar fasciitis can possibly lead to ruptures in the ligament. This ligament is called the plantar fascia and it extends from your five toes and runs along the bottom of your foot, attaching to your heel. When you walk or run, you land on your heel and raise yourself on your toes as you shift your weight to your other foot, causing all your weight to be held up by your plantar fascia. Such repetitive force can pull the fascia from its attachment on your heel and cause damage and plantar fasciitis.
Many factors can cause plantar fasciitis to develop. When walking with a normal step, the plantar fascia ligament stretches as the foot strikes the ground. When walking with an abnormal step, or when putting repetitive pressure on the heel, the plantar fascia ligament can stretch irregularly, become stressed, and develop small tears. These small tears can cause the fascia ligament to become inflamed (plantar fasciitis).
The pain from plantar fasciitis can be described as a dull ache or sharp pain. Plantar fasciitis tends to worsen after standing or exercising for prolonged periods or after getting out of bed in the morning. Morning heel pain from plantar fasciitis is one of the most common symptoms. As the person walks, the fascia “warms up” and lengthens slightly, reducing the tension on the ligament and lessening the pain.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The repetitive stress of certain conditions or activities commonly leads to plantar fasciitis. Among those conditions that may cause plantar fasciitis:
- Biomechanical factors, such as abnormal inward twisting of the foot (pronation), high arches, flat feet, or tight tendons along the back of the heel (Achilles tendon).
- Excessive pronation has been found in about 85% of those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Prontion can be responsible for added tension in the plantar fascia as the arch lowers during standing or walking.
- Repetitive pressure on the feet, such as from jobs or activities that require prolonged walking or standing on hard or irregular surfaces. Running and exercise can also lead to wear and tear on the plantar fascia.
- Aggravating factors, such as being overweight or having poorly cushioned shoes.
- Natural process of aging which may cause tissue in the heels to weaken over time and/or promote wear and tear.
- In rare cases, a single, traumatic injury to the foot such as from a motor vehicle accident can cause the onset of plantar fasciitis.
Chiropractic adjustments of your feet and appropriate lifestyle modifications can help restore function and relieve pain.
This is inclusive of Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist, Hip, Knee, Ankle and Foot pain. There are many soft tissues involved with these individual joints including ligaments, tendons and muscles. Each of these has the ability to be compromised by improper motion or overuse. When a joint is compromised, these soft tissues all work together to create the movement and strength required for proper function, subsequently resulting in joint pain and stiffness.
Your chiropractor is experienced at determining the cause of your joint pain. An in depth examination will be conducted and further diagnosis may be required to eliminate or confirm the origin of your pain of complaint. Chiropractic is an excellent resource to consider for creating a care plan to help you throughout your healing process.
Tennis Elbow and Elbow Pain
Tennis elbow (aka Lateral epicondylitis) often gets in the way of doing the things you love. It can even affect the simplest of tasks like making a cup of tea.
You don’t have to be a John McEnroe or Sue Barker to suffer with tennis elbow. It is actually a misnomer as it occurs in roughly only five percent of people who play tennis. The cause of tennis elbow is down to repetitive strain of the forearm extensor muscles. Practically any occupation, sporting endeavour, or household activity that has repeated use of the forearm and wrist may lead to this condition. Certain activities and occupations are more commonly associated with tennis elbow, such as plumbing, painting, fishing, computer use, and playing certain musical instruments. Tennis elbow is most common in adults between the ages of 30 and 50, but can affect people of all ages.
Tennis elbow causes pain from the elbow into the forearm and wrist, it is normally made worse when lifting or gripping things. The pain caused by tennis elbow will make the arm feel weak – so things like picking up a kettle, turning a doorknob, or even shake hands can feel difficult.
In many cases, your chiropractor can diagnose tennis elbow (Lateral epicondylitis) simply by listening to you describe your symptoms, performing a physical examination, and learning about your lifestyle and activities. However, if your physician suspects other reasons like a pinched nerve, fracture, or arthritis are causing your pain, they may suggest X-rays or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) too confirm the diagnosis.
Tennis elbow isn’t going to disappear over night – as a general rule it can take 4-6 weeks to resolve the problem. As with any condition sometimes it can be slow to respond initially but remember to persist and not get discouraged.
Your chiropractor will initially give you advice on how to reduce the inflammation around the elbow. This normally involves;
- Rest, avoiding certain activities especially if they are painful.
- Ice, twenty minutes, three to four times per day.
- Compression, occasionally your chiropractor maybe advice a brace if the problem is particularly severe.
A chiropractor will be able to determine if a misalignment in your spine, neck, or shoulders may be causing an overcompensation injury. Many patients are surprised that adjustments to the spine of the neck (cervical spine) and mid-back (thoracic spine) are helpful in resolving tennis elbow. These regions are, after all, not even adjacent to the elbow. A key chiropractic principle is that the body functions as a whole, not as a jumble of isolated parts.
Nerves travelling to and from the entire body enter and exit the spinal cord via joints between spinal bones. Consequently, dysfunction in the spine may influence nerve flow to distant joints, including the elbow. In addition, muscles, tendons and other structures form an interconnected “chain” from the spine down the shoulder and arm.
Pregnancy And Beyond
From the moment of conception the body undergoes major postural and hormonal changes during and after the 40 weeks of pregnancy. This period of rapid development, hormonal change, laxity of connective ligaments and shifting of weight-bearing structures may cause many pregnant women to suffer from various aches and pains.
Weight gain, especially in the abdomen, due to the growing baby causes a downward, forward pull on the lower spine. This, combined with changes in your gait and centre of gravity, can set the stage for backache and neck pain.
As labour approaches your body secretes a hormone called relaxin which loosens ligaments. This may exaggerate the effects of an existing spinal or pelvic problem. The positioning of the baby and its movement as well as expansion of the lower part of the ribcage to accommodate your growing baby can also cause discomfort in the ribs and upper portion of the lower back. Additionally, your increasing breast size in preparation for lactation can create upper back issues.
Correct body position during delivery is critical. Any late second stage labour position that denies postural sacral rotation denies the mother and the baby critical pelvic outlet diameter and moves the tip of the sacrum up to four centimetres into the pelvic outlet. In other words, the popular semi-recumbent position (lying down) that places the labouring woman on her back onto the tip of the sacrum decreases the vital space needed for the baby to get through the pelvic outlet.
Chiropractors are statutorily regulated primary healthcare professionals, who work in the private healthcare sector. Chiropractors are trained to work with pregnant women. at Essential Chiropractic we are trained in a wide variety of techniques to help you deal with the stresses of pregnancy; we will use safe and gentle techniques that are suitable for you during pregnancy.
In addition to treating pregnant patients, all our chiropractors have completed extra training in paediatric care and are very experienced in treating children of all ages
If you decide to try chiropractic care for any pain or discomfort you are experiencing, or just to check your alignment we will devise a care plan specific for your needs which could include safe exercises, stretches and gentle adjustments to your lower back and pelvis.
The transition a woman’s body goes through postnatally is often unrecognised, but after giving birth and for weeks (make that months!) afterwards her body will be undergoing a huge amount of changes as it recovers from the pregnancy and labour. Core muscles will have been stretched, the pelvis floor will be tender and the pregnancy hormones will still be floating around leaving everything a bit unstable.
Chiropractic postnatal care will aim to minimise pain and discomfort you may be experiencing and rebuild your strength with adjustments, exercises and stretches similar to those used in prenatal care. Positions during feeding or simply carrying your little one can also put new pressures on your back and shoulders which will all be taken into consideration, treated and discussed as required.
Aside from the physical transitions, this period can be extremely emotional for women so receiving physical relief from discomfort in a caring and supportive environment is extremely important.
Here at Essential Chiropractic we believe in care for the whole family- and what better time to start than from day one! (Or near to anyway!..)
Chiropractic care is suitable for children and babies of all ages. The techniques used are incredibly gentle and do not hurt- the pressure used can be compared to that used to touch your own eyeball. Many babies tend to immediately relax during treatment.
If you are unsure if chiropractic is suitable for your baby or child please give us a call for a chat and we can book you in for a free mini consultation to see if we can help.
Dipty is constantly improving her skills and knowledge by attending CPD courses (Continuing Professional Development) on the subject and has been lucky enough to be taught by the leaders of the profession from all over the world.
What happens at my first visit?
Is chiropractic safe?
Is chiropractic just for lower back pain?
Back and Neck pain
Cervicogenic Headaches and prevention of Migraines,
Shoulder, Elbow and Wrist pain
Knee, Hip, Ankle and Foot pain
Hip and Knee arthritis
Minor Sports injuries
A variety of muscle injuries and conditions