The Fringe Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Is Chiropractic Care Safe Windsor On Dr Scott ColasantiChiropractic treatment is probably best known for treating musculoskeletal complaints, whether it be a sprain/strain, headache, sciatica etc. When a new patient comes in to see me, I perform a standard history and orthopaedic exam on the person. On most patients, I also perform a postural check and I assess the motion of the spinal joints.

Why is this important?

Structure and function go hand in hand. If we allow the day-to-day stresses of our jobs and lifestyles to build, they can create problems, from minor to severe. Being that the spine is central to our structure and also happens to be the ‘relay station’ of our central and peripheral nervous systems, it becomes important to address issues that arise there. This may manifest as restriction and pain in one or more regions of the spine and pelvis. These restrictions in the spinal joint are often referred to as subluxation complexes.

On the other side of the equation, if there are problems with the organs or with other tissues that are supplied by these same nerves, this may manifest as a problem at the corresponding spinal level (at the relay station).  The main goal here is to restore the motion in these restricted segments and thereby also reducing irritation to the nervous system. Keeping in mind that this is ‘high-traffic’ area of the nervous system, performing chiropractic adjustments sets off a cascade of events like; reduction of muscle spasms, a release of endorphins, and a decrease in local inflammation – just to name a few.  I often compare chiropractic adjustments to hitting the ‘re-boot’ on your computer.

I will give an example of a scenario that I often see. Jane comes in with chronic pain in her mid-back, between her shoulder blades. She has a stressful job, drinks a lot of coffee, and her diet is not the best. During her history, I also learn that she has symptoms of gastric reflux, which she is taking medication for. Upon examination, I notice several levels of spinal restriction and pain in her mid-back. As part of the treatment, I perform a chiropractic manipulation on this area. During her follow-up visit she says that her back feels a lot better, and oddly enough, her reflux symptoms are much improved as well.

So what could have happened here? The area of her chief complaint in her back also happens to be the same area that gives nerve supply to the stomach region, therefore it is possible that by helping reduce the irritation to the nerves in that area, that other areas supplied by those nerves may have also benefited. I have seen these ‘fringe benefits’ of chiropractic care happen countless times in my office.

Why not make an appointment for your chiropractic adjustment and reap the ‘fringe benefits’? Just give us a call at 519-258-8544.

How Many Chiropractic Adjustments Do I Need?

Benefits of Chiropractic CareA question often asked by patients is, ‘How often do I need to come in for an adjustment?

The default answer to this is usually, ‘It depends.’

Why?

Well, everyone is different so it really depends on a number of factors: first of all, the reason a person is seeking chiropractic care in the first place. Other factors include the patient’s overall health and their history of illness and injury.

There is a wide spectrum between the smoothie-toting elite athlete and the Big Mac-toting beer belly couch-potato. Nonetheless, most people come in with some sort of complaint such as, ‘I hurt my back’ or, ‘I have a headache’.

After assessing all areas related to the patient’s health, a chiropractic treatment plan is formulated. This again ‘depends’ on the initial complaint, but generally speaking, most problems require a number of treatments over the course of days to weeks.

At the onset of care, the treatment frequency is usually higher, such as every other day or in some acute cases, every day for several days. Treatment progress is monitored on every visit. As the patient begins to improve, the frequency of treatment can be reduced until they reach a point where they feel 100% or they have reached their maximum recovery.

From here, the transition of care may be to a level where we can help ‘maintain’ proper structure and hopefully prevent future injuries.

Very often the patients that come in to get treated for their aches and pains realize the other benefits of chiropractic care and will elect to continue treatment on a regular basis.

Some people come in for care without a complaint per se, but they see the value of chiropractic care as part of their health regime in maintaining good health.

It is important to remember that most problems don’t begin with the onset of pain. Pain is the body’s way of telling us that enough is enough. With the exception of acute injuries, pain is the last thing to show up and the first to leave so it is not the best indicator of functional problems. The key, of course, is to prevent pain and potentially more damage to the body.

Maintenance care may range from once every couple of weeks to once every few months, again, depending on the individual. Of course, lifestyle changes like adequate diet and exercise and proper posture are part of the picture in maintaining or supporting good health.

So to answer the question: ‘How many chiropractic adjustments do I need?’ – Well, it depends.

Exercises For Lower Back Pain

Dr. Stuart McGill is a spine researcher and professor at the University of Waterloo, who takes a proactive stance with low back pain through injury avoidance techniques and rehabilitation when required. He recommends  the “big three exercises.”

Although these exercises are low in intensity and very safe, it’s recommended that you consult with your chiropractor or primary physician before initiating any exercise plan.

The Curl Up

The Bird Dog

The Side Bridge

If you have any questions about your lower back pain, or to schedule your chiropractic visit, please reach out to us: 519-258-8544

Sciatica

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment Windsor OntarioIf you’ve ever suffered from sciatic pain or known someone who has, then you may understand how truly debilitating this condition can be.

What is sciatica pain?

This pain is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain associated with sciatica is typically felt from the lower back area, down through the buttocks and thigh and radiating below the knee often to the foot.

Often the pain of sciatica is associated with numbness and tingling in the legs and feet.

Sciatica can range in severity from slightly irritating to completely debilitating.

Be aware of ‘self-diagnosis’ of sciatica. Lower back pain radiating to the buttock, and hip or pelvic pain are not necessarily sciatica and proper diagnosis is essential to determine the best course of action.

What is the sciatic nerve?

  • The sciatic is the largest nerve in the body.
  • This nerve is housed within the spine.
  • Nerve signals travel to and from the brain through the spinal cord and then the spinal nerves. These spinal nerves branch off of the spinal cord at every spinal level.
  • The sciatic nerve is comprised of several of these spinal nerves from the lower lumbar and sacral (pelvic) region, which come together to form the large sciatic nerve.

The large distribution of this nerve also explains the pain that arises from it when it is irritated.

What are some common causes the sciatic nerve to become irritated?

  • There’s not a lot of extra space in the body, and with the large size of this nerve, there’s a lot of opportunity for irritation and the resulting pain.
  • Disc herniations – Bulges that may form in the disc can “press” on the nerves.
  • Arthritis and normal wear and tear – Changes to the bones and tissues which surround the nerves can result in a diminished the spaces around the nerves.
  • Trauma or injury
  • Spondylolisthesis – A vertebra may slip over an adjacent vertebra which results in spinal root nerve compression and sciatic pain.
  • Pregnancy – During pregnancy sciatic pain may occur as a result of the increased physical demands on the spine and/or the increased competition for space in the pelvic region.
  • Piriformis syndrome – The piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region can become inflamed or spasm, often irritating the nearby sciatic nerve.
  • Tumours

How is sciatica treated?

The simple answer is to remove the factors which cause the irritation of the sciatic nerve if possible.

Recommended non-surgical, natural options may include:

  • Chiropractic manipulation
  • Massage therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Ultrasound
  • Acupuncture
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Stretching
  • Exercises to strengthen the lower back

To help manage the pain, anti-inflammatories may be recommended – but be aware that these drugs often “mask” the pain as well as the problem, rather treating the cause of the irritation.

We recommend people who are prone to sciatic pain be proactive and take action to prevent reoccurrence. Please feel free to contact us if you have a question about your lower back pain. 519-258-8544

Lower Back Pain

Help for Low Back Pain Chiropractor Windsor OnOne of the most common types of pain chiropractors regularly help with is lower back pain.

Why is the lower back so vulnerable to pain?

Whether acute or chronic, lower back pain can be caused by many factors, such as:

  • Improper lifting techniques
  • Trauma, such as a fall
  • Sports injury
  • Poor posture
  • Lifestyle causes or poor work ergonomics
  • Lack of muscle tone
  • Fractures
  • Degenerative disease
  • Deformities

Additionally, the lower back is comprised of many complicated structures, making it susceptible to injury and pain:

  • Muscle stress or strain
  • Ligament sprain
  • Bulging or ruptured disks
  • Joint dysfunction

Regardless of the cause or type of lower back pain you suffer from; chiropractic care may be able to help you. In Windsor or Essex County, please reach out to us to arrange for your chiropractic consultation: 519-258-8544