Are You Bent Sideways at the Waist?

It’s not at all uncommon for a new client to walk in our door looking like they feel horrible. People limp into our office, hunch into our office, lurch into our office, and have even literally crawled into our office. People often show up with someone literally holding them up.

Usually, they leave walking upright.

    When your lower back has this problem people call it all different names. We have patients say things like:

  • “My back went out”
  • “My back is in spasm”
  • “I slipped out of alignment”
  • “I threw my hip out”
  • “I hate life right now”
  • “OMG do I need surgery?!?!”

The client is saying the same thing in most instances – basically, they have intense lower back pain or leg pain and they can’t stand up straight. Something went very wrong.

Look Painful
I tried to pick up the pen I dropped and then BAM!

We want to first let you know that we understand how this feels. We are humans, too. Back pain like yours is a nearly universal dilemma, nearly every person will experience at least one episode of crippling lower back pain at some point in there lives. Many people will endure numerous such painful times in their lives. Many of them will be driven to spinal surgery or painkillers.

At Park Bench Chiropractic in beautiful Frederick we are really good at figuring out what went wrong to have you bent in half. Our initial visit is tailored to a simple goal: put the client at ease, figure out what went wrong, then address the issue. Your first time here will be an hour long process involving a detailed discussion, a physical exam, and treatment.

We also take care to accomplish another very important goal on day one: establish trust. That’s why we don’t waste your time with nonsense therapies or silly lectures. We are going to get right down to the business of getting you upright and walking normally. Instead of trying to dazzle you with garbage marketing or expensive junk we are going to literally adjust, stretch, decompress, and otherwise work to alleviate your problem. The proof will be in the pudding, as the saying goes.

Eat it.
The proof is apparently contained within the pudding.

So, if you are right now all bent out of shape and struggling to get through your days because of pain, then please do give us a call. We probably take your insurance, we are definitely really awesome people, and we can in all likelihood provide you some real relief.

How Long Will You Let Your Shoulder and Neck Be Painful and Stiff?

So, it started a few weeks or even months ago. At first it was BAD…so bad you couldn’t look all the way left or right. It got better, and eventually you were able to look all the way to the side. Or…is there some range of motion you didn’t quite recover? It’s sort of hard to tell, isn’t it? And you still have that constant aching knot in your shoulder, and that crappy feeling at the base of your skull behind your ear, don’t you?

Don't pout, figure it out.
Don’t pout, figure it out.

This is how it starts and ends for lots of people. They have a problem, they decide to just let it get better on it’s own.

After a while it definitely isn’t as bad as it was, and instead of waging some sort of active campaign to get over the injury you just sort of ignore it until it seems like it’s not such a hassle any more.

Eventually you really aren’t even sure if it is better, if you ever were able to look that far to the side in the first place, and if maybe you aren’t just “getting old”.

That is called surrendering. It’s called not even trying.

At Park Bench Chiropractic we don’t much care if you come see us or another chiropractor, or even some other type of healthcare provider. Sure, we’d prefer you come see us, but the more important thing is that you don’t just ignore a problem and learn to live with it. “Living with it” is a tiny example of surrendering, and making 1,000 tiny concessions to your pain is how people go from able-bodied and energetic to creaky and tired. Rather than shrugging those sore shoulders and shaking that stiff neck you should focus on resolving your physical injury and getting back to how you felt before things started going sideways.

Can we fix your neck? Sure, maybe, probably! We can only tell you that after we’ve met you and examined you, but if it’s the nasty sore, stiff neck thing lots of people get, then we can probably help resolve that. If you are in Frederick and you are interested in coming in to try chiropractic, then give us a call at (301) 378-0334.

Looking for a chiropractor in Frederick?

Well, that’s convenient, because that is what Park Bench Chiropractic is.

We are a down-to-Earth office, we focus on meeting your needs, we try to keep things light-hearted, and we know what it’s like to be living in pain.

If you are a first-timer, and have never been adjusted, then please feel comfortable coming in and seeing what we can do for you. If you are a person who has seen chiropractors before, we invite you to see how we operate here. We have a family-friendly atmosphere, we keep some good tunes on in our office, our office manager is a sweetheart and she gets things done for our clients, and we go out of our way to make everyone feel at home. We honestly think that we are your ideal chiropractors, and sincerely hope that you choose to trust us to be your chiropractors.

You’re encouraged to ask friends and family members about us, if any of them have been to see us. The Internet is also full of places you can read reviews about us, so please feel free to take that route. Have a great day!

About that Clenching Pain at Your Beltline…

That’s actually a relatively common place to have low back or hip pain. Some people call it hip pain, because it’s near the hips. Some people call it low back pain, because it’s near the low back. Some people say it’s butt pain, because it’s near the buttocks.

We’re going to call it gluteus medius pain, because it is pain in the gluteus medius muscles.

These are your glutes
Low back pain muscles

In the picture here, the big muscles on the left are the gluteus maximus muscles. They are the biggest. The medius muscles are moderately-sized, and the minimum muscles are the smallest of the group. If you put your hands on the back of your hips and put your fingertips just to the outside of the knobs of bone next to your tailbone, that’s the gluteus medius muscle.

While all three of these muscles can cause pain, it is the gluteus medius muscles that are located pretty much at the beltline, and which often generate pain in people who have instability in the lower back.

The gluteus medius muscles have as their main function to provide stability to the lowest part of the spine and the pelvis. When there is instability, such as from low back pain or spinal misalignment, these muscles have to work overtime to stabilize the spine on the pelvis. They will constantly be clenching and grabbing and a person may start to experience a burning ache from constant use of these stabilizing muscles. It will require conscious effort for your to tell your brain to tell your gluteus medius muscles to reeelaaaax as you stand.

Quite often a new client will come in and we will be talking about their symptoms and what kind of discomfort they are in. If they are someone who experiences occasional sharp or shooting lower back pain when they go to do something simple, like bend forward or reach for something, they quite often get that pain because the lower spine is not stable. Either a misalignment or a cranky disc or some other issue is causing the spine to malfunction and have poor biomechanics. That malfunction causes brief shooting pain. The person usually has to take a minute to make sure nothing is injured, and they can get back to their routine, but these tiny bouts of sharp pain will re-occur from time to time, usually when least expected.

It’s people like that who are likely to have gluteus medius pain. I have them lay face down on the table and palpate the muscles and, lo and behold, it is quite tender and feels tight. That’s an important clue I will factor in to my treatment of this person. While rarely the main cause of the pain the person is dealing with, getting the gluteus medius muscles to let go is a necessary part of the solution.

If this sounds like you, then give the office a call and come on in. We will do our best to treat you like family and get you feeling back to normal. Call us at (301) 378-0334.

So…you’re lower back hurts?

Your back hurts?

Frederick chiropractor for low back pain
Look like you?

Here’s a reasonable course of action:

Step 1. Wait. Does it just go away on it’s own within a few day? If so, great. If not…

Step 2. Home Care. Does stretching it or putting a heat pad or ice pack on it make the pain go away? If so, great. If not…

Step 3. Go to the chiropractor. If, after one to three sessions your pain is not significantly diminished and you are not armed with the knowledge of what is causing the pain and provided with a method to address the issue on your own, then perhaps try…

Step 4. Painkillers/Muscle Relaxers. These should “do the trick” if the trick you want done is for a drug to hide your pain and relax your muscles. Just understand that pain is a useful signal and your muscles may very well be tight as a way for your body to protect your back from further injury. But these pills may certainly make you feel better. If pain is your only concern and healthy bio-mechanics and spinal health is not something you care about, then by all means next time just start at Step 4. If drug use for your back pain becomes a chronic problem and your pain is severe enough to be debilitating, then perhaps consider…

Step 5. Orthopedic or Surgical Consult. Not much fun at all.

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The above steps are not terribly complicated. Most people do not follow that logical path. Most people do something like this:

1. Hurt themselves via injury or via laziness and de-conditioning.

2. Ignore the pain and continue to hurt or de-conditional themselves.

3. Try drugs to make the pain “go away”.

4. If drugs do not work well enough, skip all non-invasive or conservative methods and go straight to your Primary Care Provider who will probably have no clue what to do and whom will then refer you to a PT (a reasonable thing to do) or an orthopedist. If a course of physical therapy doesn’t make the pain “go away” then surgery is on the menu.

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The American Association of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and numerous other organizations recognize chiropractic care as an appropriate and safe first-line conservative approach to effectively treat lower back pain (and neck pain). Still, less than 8% of people in the United States see a chiropractor. Most choose the “easy” route of drugs or denying a problem exists. They then mask the symptoms until they are so severe that surgery is the only option, or they just do nothing at all until it’s so bad there are very few options.

Do yourself a favor and if you are experiencing lower back pain, especially if it’s possibly disc or nerve related and is causing pain into the legs or buttocks, go to see a chiropractor (or even a PT or a massage therapist) and treat your very real and potentially very troubling pain in a responsible and conservative manner so that you preserve the useful life of your spine and don’t end up shuffling around when you’re 65 years old and unable to enjoy your retirement because you were too young and dumb or busy or whatever to make a better choice in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s.