Posts for: October, 2013

October 30, 2013
Category: Uncategorized
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Neck pain afflicts almost three-quarters of adults at some point; for nearly one in six, pain is chronic. If you suffer from neck pain, many different forms of therapy are available, including spinal manipulation, drug regimens and exercises - but which form is best?

To compare the effectiveness of three forms of neck pain therapy, researchers followed approximately 200 people suffering from chronic neck pain over 11 weeks of treatment, and recorded their progress over the next two years.


The patients were randomly divided to receive 20 one-hour treatments, in one of the methods listed below:

  • spinal manipulation and light soft-tissue massage from experienced chiropractic clinicians;
  • chiropractic spinal manipulation plus rehabilitative exercise from trained exercise therapists, including stretching and dynamic neck exercises; or
  • rehabilitative neck exercises using a variable resistance, neck extension and rotation machine.

Patient-rated pain was lower for both exercise groups than for manipulation alone, and the exercise groups benefited more regarding pain, disability, improvement and health status. Spinal manipulation plus exercise provided greater satisfaction than manipulation alone or rehabilitative exercises, however. The advantage of both manipulation plus exercise and machine exercises over manipulation alone continued over the two-year follow-up period.

If you suffer from chronic neck pain and don't know where to turn, your local chiropractor is the best place to start. Cervical manipulations along with regular neck exercises can help end the pain and get you headed in the right direction.

Reference:

Evans R, Bronfort G, et al. Two-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial of spinal manipulation and two types of exercise for patients with chronic neck pain. Spine 2002:27(21), pp. 2383-2389.

To read more about neck pain, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/neckpain.html.


First, the simple explanation.

 

In simplest terms, a subluxation (a.k.a. Vertebral Subluxation) is when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in your spine. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then causes those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves.

How does this affect you?  Your nervous system controls and coordinates all the functions of your body. If you interfere with the signals traveling over nerves, parts of your body will not get the proper nerve messages and will not be able to function at 100% of their innate abilities. In other words, some part of your body will not be working properly.

It is the responsibility of the Doctor of Chiropractic to locate subluxations, and reduce or correct them. This is done through a series of chiropractic adjustments specifically designed to correct the vertebral subluxations in your spine. Chiropractors are the only professionals who undergo years of training to be the experts at correcting subluxations.


 

Now, the detailed explanation.

Subluxations are really a combination of changes going on at the same time. These changes occur both in your spine and throughout your body. For this reason chiropractors often refer to vertebral subluxations as the "Vertebral Subluxation Complex", or "VSC" for short.

In the VSC, various things are happening inside your body simultaneously. These various changes, known as "components," are all part of the vertebral subluxation complex. Chiropractors commonly recognize five categories of components present in the VSC. These five are:

The osseous (bone) component is where the vertebrae are either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing physical changes such as degeneration. This component is sometimes known as kinesiopathology.

The Nerve Component is the malfunctioning of the nerve. Research has shown that only a small amount of pressure on spinal nerves can have a profound impact on the function of the nerves. This component is scientifically known as neuropathology.

The Muscle Component is also involved. Since the muscles help hold the vertebrae in place, and since nerves control the muscles themselves, muscles are an integral part of any VSC. In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC. This component is known as myopathology.

The Soft Tissue Component is when you have misaligned vertebrae and pressure on nerves resulting in changes in the surrounding soft tissues. This means the tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues undergo changes. These changes can occur at the point of the VSC or far away at some end point of the affected nerves. This component is also known as histopathology.

The Chemical Component is when all these components of the VSC are acting on your body, and therefore causing some degree of chemical changes. These chemical changes can be slight or massive depending on what parts of your body are affected by your subluxations. This component is often known as biochemical abnormalities.

Chiropractors have known about the dangers of subluxations for over one hundred years. Today, more scientific evidence is showing the dangers of subluxations and the health benefits of correcting them. To be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations. Our goal is to allow your body to return itself to the highest level of health possible by correcting VSC.  Chiropractors are the ONLY health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the VSC.

-echiropractic


Despite unusually high temperatures in some parts of the country, October is right around the corner and the fall season is officially upon us. While the bitter chill of winter is still a few months away, fall brings shorter days, colder temperatures and rain / snow, depending on where you live; all factors that tend to keep many people indoors (and under the covers), rather than outdoors enjoying the fresh air and opportunity to exercise.
 
What can you do to keep fighting the fitness fight through fall and into winter, particularly if you're an outdoors enthusiast / runner who dreads the thought of becoming a gym rat for the next 4-6 months? Here are some simple strategies:
 
1. Weather Watch: Staying on schedule is an important component of any successful exercise program, and as we all know, Mother Nature just doesn't care. The solution to this dilemma is to check the weather often, particularly at the start of each week, so you can plan your outdoor exercise sessions accordingly. Whether that means you bunch your workouts / runs at the beginning of the week, before that big storm sweeps in, or just prepare to fight through it with the proper clothing (see below), keeping an eye on the weather forecast online or via an app is the first step in ensuring you stay on course.
 
2. Bundling Basics: Any runner will tell you that less is more when it comes to what you wear, but that advice changes a bit when you're faced with a driving rainstorm or 35-degree temperatures. Whether you're going for a quick jog, a long run, or participating in an outdoor boot camp, make sure you can handle the conditions. That means choosing clothing that will keep you dry if necessary, but is also breathable so you don't overheat; and dressing in layers you can progressively remove (for example, a light sweatshirt you can take off and tie around your waist) as the exercise intensity / duration builds.
 
3. Shoe Sensibility: The right pair of shoes can make all the difference when it comes to your workout, and this is particularly true when faced with less-than-ideal outdoor conditions. Shoes that are overly worn in the top or sole / tread area are apt to take on water and/or cause a nasty slip during even a light rain or icy morning. And shoes that don't account for your specific foot characteristics and gait tendencies – for example, if you have wide feet, tend to roll your feet excessively inward (or not enough) when you run / walk (overpronation / underpronation), etc. – can cause pain that will sideline you for days, weeks or even longer. What's more, it's important to pick the shoe that best suits not only the type of exercise (e.g., running vs. jumping vs. playing a sport), but also individual preference (e.g., stability vs. motion control vs. shock absorption / cushioning).
 
Lifelong fitness isn't just a tag line; it's a way of life. Make sure you keep pushing toward your goals – and then making new ones – this fall and winter by adopting these and other strategies that get you outdoors, on the go and taking your fitness to the next level, regardless of the weather. Talk to your doctor for more great ways to exercise safely and consistently through 2013 and into 2014.
 



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