What Makes Chiropractic Different From Other Medicine?
What makes chiropractic care different from other forms of medical treatment? It’s not just the importance of consistent visits. Chiropractic is an area that focuses on the connection between your body’s structure (especially that of the spine) and its functioning. While we may integrate different treatments, depending on the person, our primary focus is to perform adjustments (manipulations) to your spine or other parts of your body, aiming to correct alignment problems, alleviating your pain, improving functionality, and providing the support your body needs to naturally heal itself.
While traditional medicine is often performed face-to-face with a doctor, chiropractic takes it one step further. We not only speak with you, we hear you. We’re interested in talking with you about the pain and discomfort you feel, not just making a diagnosis. Chiropractic care doesn’t just treat your symptoms. Patients do, of course, tell us that their symptoms often fade or completely go away with our chiropractic care. But our main goal is to reduce or eliminate the underlying cause(s) of your symptoms. Chiropractic care is a specialized healing art.
What Can Chiropractic Care Do For You?
Spinal manipulation can treat a wide range of conditions from back, neck, and shoulder pain to carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, and even asthma. A majority of the research done to prove the benefits of chiropractic care focuses on lower-back pain and the results, while specifically focused, show that spinal manipulation does indeed provide long term relief.
Are There Any Side Effects As There Are With Other Forms Of Medical Treatment?
Because a chiropractor is working with your body, there is a chance that you may experience on or more of the following temporary side effects as a result of your chiropractic treatment:
- Discomfort in the parts of your body that received treatment
Thinking about pursuing chiropractic care? Here are a few things To Ask Your Chiropractor
- Ask about their education and licensure
- Take note of all medical conditions you have
- Ask the chiropractor if he/she has any specialization or experience for any specific conditions you want to seek care for
- Talk about out-of-pocket costs and insurance coverage. Many insurance companies, Medicare, and state workers’ compensation benefits provide coverage for chiropractic care. Ask if you chiropractor is able to take your insurance.
- Inform the chiropractor of any medications you’re taking (prescription or over-the-counter) and dietary supplements you take. Your chiropractor may suggest a dietary supplement as a part of your treatment plan and needs to be aware of any interactions that your medications could have with other supplements.
Ready to take the next steps to improve your health and well-being? Schedule your consultation with Dr. Teeters to discuss why chiropractic care may be right for you.
What’s The Difference Between A Bulging Disc And A Herniated Disc?
The terms “herniated disc” and “bulging disc” are often used interchangeably, even though they’re 2 separate conditions.
Both conditions affect the intervertebral discs. An intervertebral disc is a spongy, oval-shaped disc that acts like a cushion to absorb shock between the vertebrae in your spine. They’re made up of an outer layer of tough cartilage that encases a softer cartilage in the center and sit between your vertebrae.
Causes of a herniated and bulging disc
Over time and through the natural process of aging, these discs show signs of wear-and-tear. Eventually the discs may dehydrate and the cartilage may stiffen up. These changes cause the outer layer to “bulge” out. A bulging disc doesn’t always affect the entire perimeter of a disc but at least ¼ to ½ of the circumference is usually affected.
A herniated disc happens when there’s a crack on the outer layer of the cartilage, which allows the softer inner layer of cartilage to push out. Only the small area, where the crack is located, is affected.
Compared to a bulging disc, a herniated disc is more likely to cause pain. The gel-like center of the disc leaks out into the spinal canal and causes more severe irritation and inflammation to the nerve roots.
Not every herniated or bulging disc causes painful symptoms. Those that do can be treated with non-surgical, chiropractic care. To discuss if chiropractic care is enough to alleviate the pain associated with your herniated or bulging disc, contact Dr. Teeters today!
Pinched Nerve In Your Neck? Try These Home Remedies
A pinched nerve (also called a compressed nerve) can be incredibly painful. Luckily, there are many self-care options that you can try at home. If your pinched nerve isn’t too severe, you can try these solutions to help manage or eliminate the pain and discomfort associated with it.
Sit up straight!
Or, rather, adjust your posture. You may need to alter how you’re sitting or standing in order to find relief from a pinched nerve. Find a position that doesn’t cause pain and spend time in that position.
Stand up at work
Standing workstations have become popular for good reason. Standing and moving around throughout your day can help to prevent and treat a pinched nerve. Talk to your human resources department to discuss modifying your desk so that you can stand at work. If you have to purchase your own desk, there are a variety of affordable options to choose from online. If you’re unable to get or use a standing desk at work because of your job requirements, try to get up and take a short walk every few hours. If you have to spend long hours typing in front of a computer, consider investing in roller balls or stretching every hour to relax tight muscles.
If you have a pinched nerve, one of the best treatment options is simply resting. Avoid any activity that causes your symptoms or pain to flare up. After resting, take note of how you feel when you use the part of your body that was affected. Stop any activity that causes the pain to return. If the activity is a necessary part of your life, consider talking to a medical professional or chiropractor to find relief.
Gentle stretching can greatly help reduce and eliminate pressure on your pinched nerve. Don’t stretch too aggressively. If you begin to feel pain or discomfort, ease up on the stretch. Remember that movements don’t need to be big to be effective!
Ice, Ice, Baby
Ice can reduce swelling and inflammation. Wrap an ice pack with a towel and hold it directly onto the area of your body where the pinched nerve is located for around 10-15 minutes.
Take An OTC pain killer
If you’re looking for quick relief, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain reliever like ibuprofen or aspirin will work. Follow the instructions for use and dosage on the bottle and check with your doctor to ensure there aren’t any adverse reactions with any medication you’re currently taking.
When it’s time to see a medical professional about your pinched nerve
- You have constant, persistent pain that won’t go away. (If your pain last more than a few days, you should seek help from a chiropractor or physician to identify the cause and get effective treatment.)
- The pain is getting worse
- You experience numbness or a tingling sensation
- The sensations prevent you from grasping things or cause you to drop things
- You lose bowel or bladder control
The occasionally pinched nerve is often something that will heal on its own and can be treated at home. However, sometimes the damage is more serious and requires attention from a chiropractor to correct. A chiropractor, like Dr. Teeters, can also show you how to stretch and perform exercises that will help prevent a pinched nerve from worsening or arising.
Contact Dr. Teeters to find the relief you need for your pinched nerve today!
What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. But it’s also one of the most misunderstood conditions.
What is it?
Degenerative disc disease is the pain of the neck and back, caused by spinal disc wear and tear. Sometimes degenerative disc disease also causes weakness, numbness, and shooting pain (specially down the arms or legs). It’s also characterized by periods of low-level, manageable chronic pain and periods of more severe, debilitating pain.
Degenerative implies that symptoms will worsen over time, with age. But that term does not encompass the symptoms of degenerative disc disease, rather it just describes the disc degeneration.
In addition, degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease. Instead, it’s a condition that results from the natural wear and tear of your discs due to age. This wear and tear causes pain and instability, but usually not disability. In many cases, symptoms can be managed and reversed using non-surgical chiropractic methods.
What causes the pain from degenerative disc disease?
If you have a degenerating spinal disc, it doesn’t always mean you’ll experience pain. As a matter of fact, the disc itself actually has little to do with any pain you feel. Pain occurs when the degenerating disc affects other parts in your spine (like muscles, joints, and nerve roots).
Pain can often be pinpointed to 2 specific factors:
- Inflammation: Fluid may leak out from the disc as it degenerates, which can irritate and cause swelling in the surrounding spinal structures. This inflammation causes muscle spasms, tension, and tenderness in the back or neck. If the fluid affects a nerve root, you may experience pain down the arm and shoulder or even down into your hips or legs.
- Micro-motions: As your spinal discs outer layer deteriorates, it can cause tiny, abnormal motions between your vertebrae. These “micro-motions” create tension and cause irritation to the surrounding structures.
Symptoms of degenerative disc disease
- Minor, continuous pain around the affected disc that occasionally flares up and causes more severe, debilitating pain
- Increased pain resulting from activities that involve lifting, bending, or twisting
- Feeling like your back is “giving out” – a sensation caused by spinal instability, which makes it feel like your neck or back is unable to provide you with basic support, making movement difficult and painful
- Muscle tension
- Muscle spasms
- Radiating pain or pain that feels sharp, stabbing, or hot – localized to your shoulder, arm, and/or hand or your hips, buttocks, and/or down the back of your leg(s)
- Increased pain from sitting or standing for long periods of time
How to find out if your have degenerative disc disease
Your chiropractor or primary care physician will be able to diagnose whether or not you’re suffering from degenerative disc disease by performing the following steps:
- Evaluating your medical history: The medical care professional will review details of your symptoms, when the symptoms started, how often the pain occurs, where the pain is felt, and how the pain affects your daily life and mobility.
- Performing a physical exam: feeling along the spine for abnormalities and performing a reflex or range of motion test to assess the health of your spine
- Ordering an imaging test: sometimes your medical care physician or chiropractor will need to issue an MRI scan to identify disc degeneration, tears or fissures in the disc, or a herniated disc – to determine what exactly is causing your pain. A degenerated disc is dehydrated (because of the fluid leaking out of it), so it will appear as darker on the imaging test, compared to the rest of your spinal discs.
The main focus of treatment for degenerative disc disease is simply pain management so that patients can get back to their normal lives.
At home methods include:
- Cold therapy: Using ice or a cold pack to relieve pain by reducing inflammation
- Heat therapy: Using heat from a heating pad, adhesive wrap, or warm bath to relax the muscles and alleviate tension and spasms
- Pain medication: Over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and anti-inflammatory pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin (Bayer), and naproxen (Aleve) work to address minor pain. For more extreme pain, prescription pain medication or muscle relaxers may be prescribed by your physician.
Professional pain management:
- Manual manipulation: A chiropractor can manually adjust your spinal to relieve muscle tension, remove pressure from a nerve root, and relieve tension in your joints. This sort of treatment has been proven to provide effective pain relief and is a safer option than pain medication
- Stretching and strengthening exercises: In addition to providing manual spinal manipulation, your chiropractor can show you useful stretches for decreasing tension and improving flexibility, as well as exercises that can condition your muscles so they’re better able to provide support and stability for your spine.
Ready for relief? Contact Dr. Teeters and schedule an appointment to discuss a treatment plan that will alleviate and prevent degenerative disc disease pain.
Why A Sports Chiropractor Is The Ultimate Athletic Care Provider
Chiropractic medicine is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around since the late 1800’s. Since then, however, subspecialities of chiropractic care have developed and allowed chiropractors to specialize and develop new techniques to handle the needs of more specialized groups of patients, like athletes.
In the past, athletes had to be taken care of by doctors who specialized in orthopedic care. While these doctors remain experts in anatomy and the surgical repair of musculoskeletal injuries, athletes desired care that would prevent injury and optimize their performance (not require them to take weeks or even months away from training to heal from surgery).
The solution? Chiropractic care.
Because of how chiropractic focuses on how structure relates to function, chiropractors were sought after to fit the specific needs that athletes had.
A sports chiropractor is highly trained in anatomy and the musculoskeletal structure of the body, like medical physicians that specialize in orthopedic care. But, unlike those doctors, sports chiropractors also have in-depth knowledge of exercise physiology, strength and endurance training, nutrition, rehabilitative and therapeutic exercise, deep tissue massage and advanced soft tissue techniques. In addition to this holistic knowledge, they also have an understanding of biomechanics, balance, stability, and muscular condition – things that athletes need to perform.
What Types of Treatment Does A Sports Chiropractor Offer?
A sports chiropractor can still do standard spinal manipulation, if required. They’ll also evaluate and adjust joints suffering from limited range of motion.
Here are some of the treatment options that your sports chiropractor may perform on you:
- Muscle work
- Exercise rehabilitation
- Strength training
- Kettlebell activities
- Barbell exercises
- Stretching exercises
- Core strengthening exercises
- Advanced soft tissue techniques
Athletes at any level, both beginner and professional can benefit from the care of a sports chiropractor. While evaluation, rehabilitation, and treatment are the main focuses of a sports chiropractor, they do so much more. Athletes can find help to enhance their training and performance. They can also learn techniques for how to prevent serious injury.
Because chiropractic care is holistic, athletes can also rely on sports chiropractors to help them with their nutritional needs and find a diet (including vitamins and supplements) that benefits their strength training and maximizes their results.
Is a sports chiropractor right for you and your needs or will a conventional chiropractor be enough? Contact Dr. Teeters for a consultation to discuss your individual needs and to build a tailored wellness program to prevent and treat injury.
Is A Prenatal Chiropractor Right For Me?
Chiropractic care can provide relief to people throughout all stages of their lives. It provides treatment for conditions that affect the spinal column, discs, related nerves, and vertebrae without the need for dangerous drugs or surgery. It is both an art and science of providing adjustments that can help promote health throughout the whole body.
With all that being said, many women wonder if a prenatal chiropractor is right for them?
Is chiropractic care safe for pregnant women?
Investing in the fertility and pregnancy wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive a part of the overall care plan that a prenatal chiropractor can provide. These types of chiropractors may use tables that can be specifically adjusted to meet the needs of a pregnant woman’s body. They’ll adjust techniques to prevent unnecessary pressure on the abdomen that could affect the well-being on the fetus. A prenatal chiropractor can also provide exercises and stretches that are safe to do during pregnancy to help keep expectant mothers in tip-top shape for motherhood.
During pregnancy, there are many physiological and endocrinological changes that are happening to a woman’s body. These changes, while necessary for the body to develop the baby can result in a misaligned spine or joints, including:
- Protruding abdomen
- Increased back curve
- Pelvic changes
- Postural adaptations
These conditions are reasons why a prenatal chiropractor should be sought by pregnant women that are looking to maintain optimal health. When the pelvis is misaligned, it can reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby – a condition called intrauterine constraint. This condition is responsible for a number of structural defects that can happen to your baby, including plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome), micrognathia (undersized jaw, that can interfere with feeding and breathing), congenital hip dislocation, and talipes equinovarus (clubfoot). A misaligned pelvis can also make it difficult for the baby to turn into the right position for delivery. This sort of misalignment can affect a pregnant woman’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth. Breech and posterior positions can interfere with the natural ease of labor and lead to surgical interventions like cesarean delivery (c-section).
Other benefits of seeking help from a prenatal chiropractor
In addition to treating and preventing misalignment issues such as those mentioned above, chiropractic care provides pregnant women with other benefits, such as:
- Maintain a healthier pregnancy
- Reducing symptoms of nausea
- Reducing time spent in labor and delivery
- Alleviation of back, neck, and joint pain
- Preventing the need for c-section delivery
When in doubt, talk it out
If you’re curious about the benefits or risks involved in finding a prenatal chiropractor, your health care provider can help ensure you seek a trained professional who has proven experience providing chiropractic care. If they’re unfamiliar with chiropractic care during pregnancy, ask them to find out more about its many benefits.
If you’ve already made your decision to experience chiropractic care from a trusted, local prenatal chiropractor, contact Dr. Teeters.
Chiropractic Care For Pinched Nerve Treatment: Does It Work?
If you’re looking for pinched nerve treatment, chiropractic care is the way to go. If you have nerve compression in your lower back, you may experienced localized pain but also feel tingling sensations that radiate down one or both of your legs. Your general physician should be able to identify the root of this problem, which may be inflamed facet joints, bulging discs, herniated discs, or overly tight back muscles.
How a chiropractor can help with pinched nerve treatment
Your friendly, local chiropractor can perform spinal adjustments that will help realign vertebrae, relax tight muscles, and reduce pressure on nerve compression. Chiropractic care is an outpatient experience that provides effective pain relief without the risks associated with surgery or prescription medications. Because a chiropractor is experienced in providing pinched nerve treatment, you may be able to avoid costly investments in your time and money trying to find a therapy option that doesn’t work for you.
What kind of experience to expect
When it comes to finding a solution for your pinched nerve treatment, here’s what your chiropractor may suggest:
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Flexion distraction (a technique that involves using a specially designed table to relax pressure on your spinal nerves and improve the alignment of vertebrae.
- Ultrasound treatment
- Hot/cold therapy
Keeping an open mind
It’s important to have realistic expectations when it comes to pinched nerve treatment. Typically, your chiropractor can’t guarantee a quick fix. Just like physical therapy, treatment will be a process that may take weeks or months. If, after that time period you don’t find relief, you may want to start considering surgery. However, you should still try chiropractic care as the primary option for your pinched nerve treatment before seeking surgery.
Curious if chiropractic care could be the answer for your pinched nerve treatment? Contact Dr. Teeters to schedule your consultation today.
The Hidden Benefits Of Taking Your Child To See A Pediatric Chiropractor
Many adults know that going to see a chiropractor on a regular basis can help with their overall wellness and well-being. But what about taking your children to see a pediatric chiropractor?
You may be surprised to know that many chiropractic clinics across the country open their doors to children. And it’s no wonder why. The benefits of chiropractic care for kids are numerous.
Children aren’t just little adults. They’re bodies are much different. They grow and change at an alarming rate, and during this process are a lot more prone to injury. Children take a lot of tumbles as they learn to crawl, walk, and run. And then further risk injury as they progress into playing games, sports, and doing other physically demanding activities. While these tumbles may not seem serious now, they can develop into musculoskeletal problems that lead to misalignment that pinch spinal nerves and disrupt your child’s nervous system development. Correcting these misalignment when children are still young is key to preventing problems in the future.
How a pediatric chiropractor provides treatment
Unlike adult bodies, children have bodies that require adjustments be done quickly and with less force. A pediatric chiropractor is a specialist that is familiar and knowledgeable of what adjustments require changes in depth, contacts, and technique to be suited for children.
What To Expect Afterwards
After your child is cared for by a pediatric chiropractor, you (as a parent) will likely notice the benefits immediately, including:
- An improvement in your child’s sleep: Tension, discomfort, and dysfunction can make it difficult for your child to get to and stay asleep. A pediatric chiropractor will remedy these problems, allowing your child to get a better night’s sleep so that they can get the rest they need to grow and function.
- A better attitude and behavioral correction: Often sleep difficulties are a main cause for a cranky kid. Chiropractic treatment, in providing better sleep, will also improve your child’s mood and overall well-being.
- Increased immunity: Your child’s immune system is still growing, along with the rest of your child’s body. Because misalignment can interfere with your child’s immune system and his/her ability to fight off illness and infection, you’ll likely notice that your child seems more upbeat and healthier after receiving treatment.
When should your child start seeing a pediatric chiropractor?
It’s honestly never to early for your child to begin seeing a chiropractor, especially if they’re quite active. Childbirth can be a traumatic experience for infants that results in colic, ear infections, and breastfeeding difficulties – things that may actually be caused by by misalignment from traumatic birth. While there is some controversy over providing chiropractic care to infants, the Webster technique has been studied extensively and proven to benefit young ones. This technique, which should only be done by a pediatric chiropractor, corrects misalignment in the pelvic area, reducing your baby’s pain and improving his neurological functioning.
Conditions a pediatric chiropractor can treat
While chiropractic care can correct misalignment, that’s not all it’s useful for. The benefits of treatment also provide relief for many specific conditions, including:
- Digestive issues
- Sleep issues
- Ear infections
- Sports injuries
- Concentration/focus issues (ADHD, ADD)
- Irritable baby syndrome
- Asperger‘s syndrome
- Autism and Austin spectrum disorders
Chiropractic Care For Tennis Elbow Treatment: Does It Work?
Tennis Elbow: What it is it?
Tennis elbow is a term used to describe the inflammation of the tendons of the elbow caused by overuse of the muscles of your forearm (typically from repetitive motion). Despite the name, only a small percentage of people diagnosed with tennis elbow get the condition from actually playing tennis. People that work with their arms/hands often, such as those that actively garden or DIY, are most likely to develop tennis elbow.
Where is the pain?
In order to start your tennis elbow treatment, it’s helpful to know where exactly the pain is emanating from. Typically, the pain associated with tennis elbow is focused on the outside of the arm, where your forearm meets your elbow. This pain is related to how the muscles and tendons within your forearm interact. The short version of this interaction is that the tendons connect your muscles to your bones. When you use your arm in a repetitive motion (such as when you’re swinging a tennis racket or golf club), the tendons at the elbow end of a certain muscle (known as the extensor carpi radialis brevis or ECRB muscle) can develop small tears. These tears lead to inflammation and put stress on the rest of your arm, making it difficult and painful to lift and grasp. Untreated, this condition (known as tennis elbow) can become chronic.
Symptoms of tennis elbow
Depending on what symptoms you’re experiencing, your chiropractor may suggest various tennis elbow treatment options. Here are a few of the most common symptoms people experience:
- Weakness in the wrists
- Tenderness over the outside of the elbow
- Pain when lifting or bending the arm
- Trouble extending the forearm
- Difficulty gripping, lifting, and carrying
- Pain or discomfort that lasts for 3 weeks or longer
Tennis elbow treatment
- To reduce inflammation, rest the wrist
- Ice the affected area, especially within the first 2-3 days after experiencing the initial pain
- Utilize a tennis elbow brace or elbow strap to provide support to the injury
- Visit your local chiropractor. Your chiropractor will examine the area and provide the best tennis elbow treatment plan. He/she can treat areas aside from the forearm, such as the wrist, shoulder, or neck.
How to prevent the need for tennis elbow treatment
- Warm up and stretch your muscles before exercising or engaging in a repetitive task
- Cool down with a stretch following your workout or project
- Review your technique and equipment to ensure it’s functioning and being used properly
For more information about tennis elbow treatment or additional tips on how to prevent tennis elbow from developing, contact Dr. Teeters today!
What Can A Family Chiropractor Do For You And Your Family?
Most people assume that chiropractors only treat neck and back conditions in adults. While a family chiropractor can do that, there are many other things that can be treated – in both children and adults. Family chiropractors have postgraduate training and education in areas such as pediatrics, clinical nutrition, neurology, orthopedics, physical rehabilitation, sports/athletic injury, and even acupuncture.
Here a just a few reasons why you might want to consider seeing a family chiropractor:
Lower Back Pain
No surprise, this is what most chiropractors treat. And they do it well! Your chiropractor will be able to manipulate your sacroiliac joint (which connects your pelvis to your lower spine) to relieve lower back pain.
Pregnant women typically see a family chiropractor to alleviate aches, pains, improper pelvic alignment, lower back pain, and sciatica. Options for treatment are quite limited for pregnant women, which is why they opt for chiropractic care.
The nerves in the chest and abdominal (thoracic) area of the spine are tied to digestion. A study published in the International Surgery journal linked herniated discs with IBS. If the thoracic vertebrae are misaligned, the nerves begin sending sporadic signals to the stomach and intestines, which can lead to digestive problems like heartburn, bloating, and gas.
Neck and upper back pain are often the source of headaches. A family chiropractor can use massage to loosen up muscles, providing relief.
Curious how else a family chiropractor can help you and your family? Contact Dr. Teeters today to learn more.