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Chiropractic Articles


 

About Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common ailments afflicting society today. In the United States alone, back pain accounts for more than 7,000,000 new cases and 250,000 surgeries each year. In fact, nearly all of us will experience some degree of back pain at least once in our lifetime. Our lower back is especially vulnerable to this malady, mostly due to increased weight bearing, mechanical stress, and the lack of rib support to this region.

There are many causes of lower back pain but the most common cause is mechanical stress. Mechanical stress can be considered the action of movement under the presence of weight. For instance, when you bend forward with the knees straight, pick up an object, and twist while lifting that object, you apply a great deal of mechanical stress to the lower back. This is especially true if you lift the object with your arms away from your body.

The lower back is especially susceptible to this malady. This is because the lower back receives more weight and has less support from the mid-back region, due to the lack of ribs. To make matters worse, the lowest part of the lower back usually houses the largest nerve with the smallest space for that nerve to exit the spine. This nerve, is called the L5/S1 or Sciatic Nerve. It can be the source of lower back and/or leg pain (commonly called sciatica) when the lower back is out of alignment, becomes diseased, or the muscles and tissues surrounding the spine become inflamed.

Back pain can range from mild stiffness to the inability to move, bend, or walk, without great difficulty. Back pain can be constant or may be intermittent (come and go.) The pain can be dull and aching or sharp and stabbing. There may also be numbness or tingling, a sensation of heat, or weakness in one or both legs. In some cases, leg symptoms will present without back pain. Again, this may be due to irritation of the sciatic nerve by something like a disc that is bulging to the side. (Discs that bulge more to a side are more likely to cause leg pain as the predominant or only symptom. Discs that bulge more to the middle are more likely to cause back symptoms, rather than leg symptoms.)

Whatever the symptoms, back pain is the sign that something is wrong and if mild symptoms persist or worsen over two or three days, you should seek professional help. If your pain happened due to an injury, you should seek attention as soon as possible. Treatment outcome is often greatly improved by treating pain from an injury as soon as possible. 

A Doctor of Chiropractic is trained and licensed in the diagnosis of back pain. Through careful history, examination, and the aid of x-rays, or in rare cases, if needed, computer tomography, or MRI. A Doctor of Chiropractic can often determine the cause of your back pain and recommend a treatment program.

Click to read how chiropractors treat back pain...

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About Neck Pain

Neck pain can range from mild stiffness upon neck movement to sharp neck pain with pain shooting into an arm or hand. Mild neck pain is usually the result of strain but can also be a warning sign of a more serious condition that may include underlying structural damage from infection, structural anomalies (bones and joints that did not grow properly) inflammation from arthritis, disease, or malignancy (cancer.) If you experience neck pain that persists or worsens for over two or three days, you should seek professional help. [If you experience high fever and the onset of neck pain, you should seek help immediately as neck pain that occurs with a high fever could be related to a serious infection such as meningitis.] Also, if your pain happened due to an injury, you should seek attention as soon as possible. Treatment outcome is often greatly improved by treating pain from an injury as soon as possible.

A Doctor of Chiropractor is trained and licensed in the diagnosis of neck pain. Through careful history, examination, and the aid of x-rays, or in rare cases, if needed, computer tomography, or MRI. A Doctor of Chiropractic can often determine the cause of your back pain and recommend a treatment program.

Chiropractors commonly adjust (manipulate) misaligned cervical vertebra (the bones of the neck) to relieve neck pain. Your chiropractor may recommend avoiding certain activities and give you back and neck strengthening exercises, too. This will help prevent re-injury.

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About Headaches

Headaches can come in many forms from the dull ache nearly everyone has experienced, from being overly fatigued, to pain described as sharp and stabbing. A headache may last for a few hours or as in the case of a cluster headache, may persist for several days only to abate for a period of time and return. A headache can be associated with neck problems, too much stress, fatigue, vision problems, a nutritional imbalance, muscle strain, a circulation problem such as high blood pressure, infection, and even a malignancy (cancer.)

What about using aspirin or an aspirin substitute to fight headache pain? Well, although over-the-counter drugs like aspirin and acetaminophen (found in products like Tylenol) are often effective in relieving headache pain, both of these substances carry warnings as to side effects and over use. So, if you suffer from persistent headaches, you may want to talk with a Doctor of Chiropractic to see if the cause of the recurrent headaches can be determined and treated instead of relying on the use of aspirin or aspirin substitutes.

A Doctor of Chiropractor is trained and licensed in the diagnosis of many forms of headaches. Through careful history, examination, and the aid of x-rays, or in rare cases, if needed, computer tomography, or MRI A Doctor of Chiropractic can often determine the cause of your head pain and recommend a treatment program, which may include adjustment (manipulation) of misaligned vertebra (the bones of the spine) to reduce or eliminate headache pain.

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About Migraines

Migraine is a term applied to a special type of vascular (blood circulation) headache that is generally thought of as more sever than a regular headache and has sometimes been referred to as a 'sick headache.' Migraine headaches affect more women then men by a ratio of about 70%. There is thought to be a recessive gene responsible for migraines, which means the problem could be an inherited one (passed down through a family.) Migraines are usually proceeded by a strange sensation called a prodome. This stage of the migraine usually involves seeing an aura (visual disturbance) before the headache begins. The headache is usually unilateral (on one side of the head) but can be felt bilaterally (both sides of the head) in some cases. The throbbing associated with a migraine is associated with changes in blood flow to the brain. It is currently thought that the greatest disturbance is experienced when too much blood is allowed to enter the brain. What triggers a migraine attack? It has been documented that a migraine can occur due to increased anxiety, tension, or rage, often with a stifled expression of resentment. Often there is water weight gain associated with the onset of the event. Migraines can commonly occur upon awakening in the morning.

The number of migraines over a defined period of time, how they feel, where the pain is located, (e.g.,side of the head, behind an eye, etc.) vary a great deal from person to person. If you think you may be suffering from migraine headaches, you should consider contacting a Doctor of Chiropractic.

A Doctor of Chiropractor is trained and licensed in the diagnosis of many forms of headaches, including migraines. Through careful history, examination, and the aid of x-rays, or in rare cases, if needed, computer tomography, or MRI. A Doctor of Chiropractic can often determine the cause of your head pain and recommend a treatment program, which may include adjustment (manipulation) of misaligned vertebra (the bones of the spine) to reduce the number of migraines you experience and the severity and duration of an attack. In some cases, an adjustment has been reported to stop an attack from proceeding to the headache phase.

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Dizziness

There are several sensations that people feel and describe as dizziness. It can be any feeling from the world is spinning around you, a feeling that you are moving when you are not, a feeling of loss of balance, light-headedness, etc. The problems areas of the human body that can cause dizziness are varied, as well. Dizziness can come from problems with the inner ear, the heart, the brain. Also, people with MS (multiple sclerosis) sometimes complain of dizziness when walking. Dizziness can even be associated with digestive problems. It is important to determine the cause and type of your dizziness and a Doctor of Chiropractic can be of help in many of these cases. Chiropractic adjustments have been an effective way of treating dizziness in many patients and a careful chiropractic examination may help in determining if treatment with adjustments would help you. If your chiropractor believes your dizziness is coming from an inner ear problem, he or she may recommend you to a qualified medical specialist who treats these disorders for additional help. For a more comprehensive article on dizziness, please visit: Dizziness Explained

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About Pinched Nerves

A pinched nerve is a general term that refers to pain or a change in sensation (numbness, tingling, heat or cold sensation) somewhere along the course of the irritated nerve or where the irritated nerve begins or ends. For instance, a pinched nerve in the neck might cause pain in the neck alone or the patient might also experience numbness in the hand on the same side as the neck pain. Another common example is sciatica, which in some cases can be attributed to a pinched nerve in the lower back. The patient may only experience symptoms in the leg from a nerve that is being irritated in the lower back.

Click to read how chiropractors treat pinched nerves...

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Numbness

Numbness is a sensation we all have experienced from time to time when a limb “falls asleep.” This type of numbness is caused when you place undo pressure for a prolonged period of time on a specific part of your body.  This type of numbness should improve quickly when pressure to the area is removed; however, when this sensation occurs in parts of the body without any apparent cause, it could be coming from another source such as a pinched nerve.

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Tingling

Tingling is a sensation that many of us have experienced.  It is the sensation experienced when a limb that has fallen asleep starts to wake up. It is common to experience this sensation when you place undo pressure for a prolonged period of time on a specific part of your body. For instance, standing or seating too long or leaning too heavily on a limb can cause tingling; however, when this sensation occurs in parts of the body without an apparent cause, it could be coming from a pinched nerve.

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Sports Injuries

Participation in sports and physically activity has many benefits to our health and well being; however, accidents and injuries during these activities occur all to frequently. Finding the right help to understand how to limit, prevent, or heal from a sports injury is an essential part of staying in the game. Chiropractic, through such specialized educational resources as the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician  (C.C.S.P.) Program, has one of the most modern and effective non-drug and non-surgical sports rehabilitation programs available today.

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Whiplash

Whiplash is a commonly used term for a neck sprain and strain injury caused from a rear-end automobile collision. When stuck from behind, a force travels through the vehicle and through the body. This force causes the head to be forcefully snapped backwards. A split second later, there is a rebound from the acceleration force, which causes the head to snap forward. This type of trauma is referred to as an acceleration/deceleration injury to the spine and can result in a sprain, strain, or fracture of the spine.

In a whiplash injury, the long ligament that runs down the front of the neck is often sprained when the neck is snapped back. However, the most damaging effect of a whiplash injury comes from the deceleration phase. This is when the head rebounds and snaps forward and the long ligaments that run up the back of the vertebrae (neck bones) are usually sprained (torn.) Other ligaments, especially the capsular ligaments between each vertebra, are also usually damaged during this action. Damage may also commonly occur to the muscles of the neck and in some cases, the discs may become damaged or herniated.

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Work Injuries

Accidents in the work place that arise from employment and occur during the course of employment are covered by Workers’ Compensation. Each individual state has a Workers’ Compensation board that acts as a regulatory agent for these types of injuries. Workers’ Compensation takes care of most of the bills related to an employee’s injuries and may even pay a certain amount of living expenses while the worker is unable to perform his job duties. Since the laws vary from state to state, it would be prudent to check for specific questions concerning a work injury with your local state Workers’ Compensation Board or with a qualified Worker’s Compensation attorney. Be aware that states do have stiff penalties and may invoke fines, prison time, or both for anyone who makes a fraudulent Work injury claims.
 
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Hip Pain

Pain in the hip can come directly from the hip joint itself or it may be experienced in the hip joint as a referred pain from a problem somewhere else. Referred pain is pain that travels along a nerve that comes from the back. The referred sensation of pain is felt in an area where the nerve travels or ends, but not necessarily from the point of the back where the nerve is being pinched. On the other hand, pain that comes directly from the hip joint can be from inflammation due to injury (Sprains, strains, and fractures), arthritis, infection, or in rarer cases, malignancy (cancer.)

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Knee Pain

Knee pain is one of the most commonly treated orthopedic ailments. Our knees are subject to a tremendous amount of weight-bearing forces. These forces are best handled in a straight forward to backward motion. This is the primary motion the knee joint was designed for. Shearing force (force from the sides) and torque (rotational force) are more difficult for the knee joint to handle. Shear and torque account for many of the sports related knee injuries.

Direct trauma to the knee from falls, motor vehicle accidents, and other sources also lead to acute knee conditions. Poor alignment, over-use, genetic weakness, disease, and malignancy lead to chronic knee conditions. With both chronic and acute knee conditions, a Doctor of Chiropractic can be an invaluable resource in the diagnosis and treatment of your knee condition.
 
Click to read how chiropractors treat knee pain...

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Shoulder Pain

The shoulder joint is supported by more muscles than any other joint in the body; however, because of the lack of bony structure and the shallowness of the shoulder joint, the shoulder is also the most commonly dislocated joint in the body. Likewise, subluxations (small dislocations) and tendinitis problems are also frequently found in patients with shoulder complaints. These less severe but painful shoulder conditions are often the result of repetitive activity or excessive use of the muscles and the ligaments that surround the shoulder joint. For instance, bursitis (a condition of inflammation surrounding a joint) is commonly found here. Shoulder injuries, arthritis, and pathologies (such as cancer) may also cause shoulder pain.

The shoulder is also a common source of referred pain (pain being transmitted to the shoulder from another source.) People with neck conditions may experience this type of referred pain due to the irritated nerves that travel from the neck into the shoulder. Referred pain can also come from diseased or distressed organs. Organs such as the pancreas, liver, or heart can refer pain to the shoulder. Certain other structures in the and disorders in the digestive tract can refer pain to the shoulder as well such as a hiatal hernia or the ileocecal valve (a valve in the digestive tract between the small and large intestine, near the appendix.)

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Elbow Pain

One of the most common elbow problems is tendinitis. This condition is due to inflammation. Sometimes called tennis elbow, this painful condition can occur when a tendon that attaches to the elbow joint becomes irritated, either from injury or from overuse. Other common elbow problems include arthritis and problems from the wrist or the shoulder, which cause referred pain to the elbow.

The elbow joint works best when the arm motion is straight up and down. Rotation and side to side movements are less tolerated. Too much stress in these directions can irritate the elbow tendons and cause a tendinitis condition. Repeated vibration forces under weight bearing can also cause joint irritation. Commonly played sports that can cause this condition are tennis, other racket sports, and to a lesser degree golf. Continued irritation of the elbow tendons can lead to calcific tendinitis, which is a type of arthritis.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Eight tiny bones in the writs form a tunnel for three nerves and various blood vessels to pass from the arm into the hand. This tunnel is called the carpal tunnel. Irritation to the ligaments and bones that comprise this structure can result in the common malady known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

The pain, numbness, and tingling associated with Carpal tunnel syndrome are caused from irritation to the median nerve, which runs through the center of the wrist. This nerve supplies feeling and motor function (the ability to move your fingers) to the first three fingers of the hand. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and tingling and usually occur at night or in the early hours of the morning.

Women are affected with this problem more than men. This may have to due with hormonal factors that affect fluid retention in the body. In general, any build up of fluid in the tissue can further compress the area within the carpal tunnel. 

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Low Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common ailments afflicting society today. In the United States alone, back pain accounts for more than 7,000,000 new cases and 250,000 surgeries each year. In fact, nearly all of us will experience some degree of back pain at least once in our lifetime. Our lower back is especially vulnerable to this malady, mostly due to increased weight bearing, mechanical stress, and the lack of rib support to this lower region of our spine.

There are many causes of lower back pain but the most common cause is mechanical stress. Mechanical stress can be considered the action of movement under the presence of weight. For instance, when you bend forward with the knees straight, pick up an object, and twist while lifting that object, you apply a great deal of mechanical stress to the lower back. This is especially true if you lift the object with your arms away from your body.

Click to read how chiropractors treat low back pain....
 

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Sciatica

A sensation that runs down the leg may be coming from a condition called sciatica. The pain, burning, numbness, or tingling is due to inflammation or irritation to the Greater Sciatic Nerve, the largest nerve that exits our spine. The part of this nerve that causes problems down the back of the leg or into the gluteal area exits the spine at the level of the fifth lumbar vertebra. This is the last of the five lumbar vertebrae and is the area of the spine that carries the most weight, and stress. The opening for this large nerve is also the smallest opening in the spine. The discomfort of sciatic neuritis (sciatica) can range from a mild irritation to an inability to function.

Sciatica is a common condition and is experienced by many. Although it is less common than lower back pain, many sciatic conditions actually come from a problem in the lower back. The irritation that begins in or near the spine is actually referred down the nerve, so the symptoms are felt in the buttock, leg, and even into the foot. Your doctor can test you for the sciatica by performing certain stress motions on the lower spine, which will demonstrate increased symptoms in the affected leg.

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Disc Conditions

Of all the biomechanical (structural) ailments of the spine, a disc condition can be one of the hardest to treat. It requires the longest amount of healing time, approximately twelve weeks. In contrast, a muscle strain will usually heal in two to four weeks and a ligament strain in four to six weeks. 

The lack of a direct source of blood supply is the main reason the disc takes so long to heal. A disc only receives nutrients when the motion of the bones above and below the disc causes some blood within that bone to be pumped into the disc. However, this pumping action actually becomes hindered due to the attendant back muscle spasms, which develop to protect the back from further injury.

Disc problems require special attention. A proper examination and diagnosis is essential to determine the best treatment guidelines. Chiropractors have special training in the care of the spine and intervertebral disc. Your Doctor of Chiropractic can help you determine if you have a spinal disc condition. If so, a treatment plan that is right for you can then be established to help you recover.

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Cold Hands and Feet

Cold extremities are usually the result of poor circulation. Poor circulation can be caused from high blood pressure, obesity, arterial blockage, or poor heart function. If the heart is in good working order and there is no appreciable build up of plaque in the arteries, the coldness may be due to the constriction of the blood vessels that supply the hands and feet from stress.  

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Arthritis

Stiffness in the joints is a common condition that increases with aging. When the stiffness worsens to the point of being painful, arthritis may be the diagnosis. Arthritis is breakdown of normal cartilage caused by either excessive joint wear and tear or from an autoimmune disease called rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where the body is actually fighting itself. This is what the term autoimmune means. Rheumatoid arthritis is usually occurs on both sides of the body. This means it occurs in both hands, both knees, etc. In contrast, the other form of arthritis, called degenerative arthritis, will usually occur on one side. This form of arthritis is chiefly due to wear and tear or repetitive injury to the same joint or joints.

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Bursitis

The bursa is a structure that is found mostly around areas where muscle and tendons slide over joints. It is the bursa that helps lubricate these sliding motions to prevent damage to the underlying bony structures. When this action is compromised, the inflammation that results is referred to as Bursitis. The most common areas where bursitis occurs are the shoulder, elbow, hip, and the kneecap. Bursitis tends to get worse the more these joints are moved.

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Tendonitis

Tendonitis is the diagnosis given to inflammation in a tendon. A tendon is simply and extension of the muscle that attaches the muscle fibers into the bone so that the joint can be moved. The pain and swelling is a lot like a bursitis condition; however the difference is that tendinitis worsens when the muscle is contracted rather than when the joint is moved by someone else. Bursitis generally hurts whenever the joint is moved.

Mild tendinitis can be an annoying condition; however, without the proper care and treatment this annoyance can worsen to the point of disability due to pain. Tennis elbow is one such example that can start as a mild annoyance and progress to a severe condition that can cause painful difficulty when shaking hands, or when trying to open a jar. Even turning a doorknob while trying to pull it open can cause sharp pain to appear.

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Asthma

An asthma attack is caused when a sudden constriction of airway passages, called the bronchi, occurs. These tiny tubes help to transport the air from the trachea (windpipe) into the lungs. The insides of these tubes are lined with smooth muscle that allows them to contract and expand much as our arteries do. When a message from the nervous system tells these tubes to constrict too tightly, an asthma attack is the result.

Asthma attacks can come on at any time and there are still many unanswered questions as to why only some people suffer from this disorder. One type of an asthma attack is triggered by activity. This form of asthma is called exercise-induced asthma. The second and more common form of idiopathic (unknown cause) asthma seems to be triggered by certain allergens to foods or particulate matter in the air like pollen, grasses, chemicals, and mold spores. No matter which form of asthma you suffer from, an asthma attack is a frightening feeling. If nervousness is also a trigger for this condition, the expected normal anxiety associated with having asthma can be a self-perpetuating prophecy of continued attacks.

Help for asthma sufferers has been on the market for a long time in the form of different inhalers to help dilate (open) the bronchial tubes but there are other ways to more naturally achieve a more effective way to relieve, reduce, and control your asthma.

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About Stress

Stress is a commonly encountered term these days, often associated with our hectic lifestyles. When our bodies are under stress, there is an increased release of so-called stress hormones such as adrenaline. Over a period of time, too much release of such hormones can imbalance our systems and create a state of fatigue, sleep disorders, nervousness, and even some personality changes such as impatience and increased aggressive behavior. Physical changes are also seen in facial changes such as dark circles under the eyes, increased hair loss, wrinkles, and body changes such as muscle tightness, which can easily lead to back, neck pain, and headaches.
 
Chiropractic seeks to relieve stress by normalizing our bodies and breaking this stress cycle. Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment for the reduction of stress by improving the nervous function, relaxing tense musculature, and lowering blood pressure, all factors that serve to re-regulate the body and help break the cycle of stress.

Naturally, life-style changes are also needed for true long-term stress reduction but stress relief during periods of unavoidable stress can be a valuable aid to our over-all health and well being.

Your Doctor of Chiropractic is trained in the diagnosis of stress related conditions and can help you spot the warning signs of stress related illness. A treatment plan can then be designed to help reduce the deleterious effects that stress can cause as well as a strength building program to improve our bodies resistance to the effects that too much stress can play in our lives.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It is a bit unsettling to tell your doctor that your chief complaint is feeling tired all the time only to here your diagnosis is called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which basically means you are tired all the time. Understanding why your body is lacking energy is the key to understanding this ailment. Certainly, more research needs to be done to determine the cause of this condition.
 
Other complaints that often accompany Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are: Allergies, sensitivity to chemicals and certain odors, headaches, muscle soreness, sore throat, short term memory loss, trouble concentrating, and problems sleeping. Although these symptoms vary from one individual to another, the chief complaint of fatigue is the most stated reason for the loss of work or problems with handling daily activities.

Although the source of Chronic Fatigue is not known, there are theories that this condition could be either allergy related or caused by some virus or parasite that infects the tissues of the body. These foreign invaders create a prolonged chronic immune reaction that gradually drains energy from your body.  If you also suffer from sleep disturbance, the energy drain only worsens.

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is very similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In fact, some researchers believe both ailments to be the same condition. The main difference is that the chief complaint of Fibromyalgia is muscle soreness; however, fatigue, headache, and problems sleeping may also accompany this condition.

With Fibromyalgia, the feeling in the muscles will usually be described as dull and aching. The muscle soreness can come on at any time. Activity is not required for the problem to be noticed. Because other disorders can mimic this condition, the patient must exhibit tenderness in a minimum of 11 of 18 pre-defined points on the body for a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia to be made. These points are in the muscles of neck, hips, buttock region, the upper forearm, and toward the inner knee.

Although there is no known cause for Fibromyalgia, there may be a connection between the upper cervical spine and symptoms produced by this condition. Chiropractors have noticed improvement may occur in patients with this disorder when chiropractic adjustments are made to the upper cervical spine.

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TMJ Disorders

TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint disorder is the diagnosis given to a mechanical dysfunction of one or both of the joints of the jaw. The TMJ is located just in front of the ears. Because of this close proximity to the ears, a patient with a TMJ problem may experience ear symptoms such as hearing the joint pop, grind. or crack when mouth is opened and closed.

When these joints are healthy, they act as a "shock absorber" for the jaw. When a misalignment or breakdown of cartilage occurs in one or both of these joints, this cushioning effect is reduced. Continued stress, especially from chewing, can cause inflammation to the joint and soreness in the surrounding muscles. These disturbances to normal function can result in localized jaw pain, headache, earache, and possibly even dizziness.  

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G.I. Disorders

Problems with digestion can result within any of the organs involved with this complicated process. Most commonly, the stomach, gall bladder, and large intestine demonstrate the highest degree of incidence of gastrointestinal disturbance; however, the pancreas, liver, and the small intestine also play important roles in the digestive process and can also cause pain and discomfort when malfunctioning.

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Other Complaints

Chiropractic was created on the principle that everything the body needs to heal itself comes from within. This means that our bodies were gifted with an innate intelligence. It is this innate intelligence that takes care of every cell in your body. A large part of this inner system of communication is found in the parts of your brain that control your immune system. Although you are not consciously aware of this part of the brain, every day billions of impulses travel through this important part of your nervous system to constantly monitor and correct any problems in the cells of your body. As a simple example, think of the last time a minor cut you had was healed. Did you have to ‘think’ about anything to get the skin to heal, or did you just notice that after a few days the body had healed itself?

But what happens if this essential part of our nervous system is interfered with or is not properly supported? The answer is a breakdown in normal function begins. Chiropractors believe one way this problem can occur is when the nerves that carry these messages are irritated at the level of the spine where they exit. This irritation is the result of a subluxation, which is scientifically defined as a minor misalignment between joint. The theory is that a subluxation creates undue stress on the involved joints, much like a poorly aligned hinge would make it difficult to open and close a door. As this irritation continues, swelling takes place. The swelling builds up and because subluxated joints do not move well, there is no natural pumping action to help remove this swelling, so the problem persists. When the swelling reaches the point where it impedes either the circulation of the blood flow to the nerve, the nerve itself, or both, nerve transmission suffers.

The old model of this was the classic story of someone placing a foot on a hose, with the foot representing the pressure from the surrounding tissue and the hose representing a pinched nerve that cannot carry enough nerve impulses to the organs, muscles and tissues it supplies. More modern theory suggests that in actuality, the pressure in the region of the nerve may in the early stages aggravate it to send excessive nerve impulses to the body rather than a lack of impulses. Some studies have demonstrated that irritation to the nerves sets up a response of increased nerve activity, which in turn triggers a reaction in the surrounding blood vessels to contract. The decreased blood flow to the aggravated nerve exacerbates (worsens) the problem even more.

In either case of too much or not enough nerve stimulation, the important measure is the effect on balance. When the nervous system is out of balance in either direction, muscles, organs, and tissues suffer. The principle of chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulation) is to restore this normal balance by restoring as much proper joint function in the spine as possible. This takes the pressure off the nerve and allows for repair and normal nerve activity to be reestablished. The body then receives the correct messages to help heal any reparable damage to the muscles, organs, or tissues.

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