Frederick Pain Management or a Chiropractor

If you’re thinking of going to a pain management clinic, then think about this:

First Visit

You will probably get a painkiller. Probably as in 90% positive.

You will probably get a muscle relaxer. Probably as in like 75%.

You will then feel better, but not actually be any better.

Following Visits

You will probably get epidural injections.

You will probably get your prescriptions for painkillers and muscle relaxers managed.

You may get referred to physical therapy.

Yo probably won’t get referred to a chiropractor, because the chiropractor would get the patient better and then the pain management clinic would lose business.

That being said, all pain management clinics aren’t the same. Some are great and aren’t just drug dispensaries. If you aren’t going to try chiropractic, then go to a physical therapist. And then if that doesn’t work try pain management.

So, you’ve never been to a chiropractor before?

This simple, short article will describe what a typical chiropractic visit is likely to be like. It will also describe the various possibilities of your chiropractic office visit, and there are many. (If you want to hear about your visit at our office, browse the rest of this site)

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You will probably get adjusted, probably by hand as opposed to with a hand-held device.

Some chiropractors use hand-held instruments, small clicking ones such as the Activator, and more powerful, perhaps pronged devices are also available. Still other chiropractors use large mechanical, computer-assisted machines to deliver extremely precise force to nowhere but your C1 transverse process. Others adjust every person the same.

Most chiropractors adjust the spine, from the top of the neck to the tailbone and hips. There are chiropractors that will only adjust the top two bones in the neck. Many chiropractors adjust your spine as well as your arm and leg joints. Still others do manual therapy on organs, or focus on the function of your brain.

Many chiropractors sell nutritional supplements and whatnot, others promote diet plans and products. Some will scan your feet to provide you custom foot orthotics.

Many chiropractors use other therapies, also called modalities, including heat, TENS (transcutaneous nerve stimulation/stim), massage or trigger point therapy, stretching and exercise, and some other things. Still, some chiropractors only adjust, and use no other therapies or modalities. And some of them only adjust the spine, not the arms or legs.

Most chiropractors will adjust your mid back with your lying face down, and your hips and low back with you lying on your side with one knee bent, and most chiropractors will adjust your neck with you laying face up. Still, other chiropractors adjust using special tables that go up and down, open and close, pop and click, angle, and tilt. Some chiropractors tables strap your ankles in. Some are electric, many are not.

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All over the place, right? Well, that’s for a reason. There are MANY different types of chiropractors out there. Really, the variation among chiropractors is huge while the variation among primary care MD’s is practically non-existent. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. At all. So, do some homework, maybe ask some friends and family, and get a chiropractor that seems like someone you would like to see somewhat regularly for a little while.

The Dreaded High Shoulder

Have you ever woken up in the morning with one of your shoulders sort of sticking up, unable to relax, and painful to move?

I haven’t, but plenty of my patients have.

I’ll be honest: I’m not sure why on Earth this happens to people most of the time. Even the person with the high shoulder usually doesn’t have any idea why they can’t relax their shoulder, and why it hurts so much. Most people shrug the good shoulder and say something like “Well, I guess I slept wrong”.

Which brings up a great question: How is sleeping so complicated that adults are still doing it wrong? Beats me!

Still, this dreaded high shoulder exists and it inflicts millions of Americans every year (that is a crude estimation based on nothing more than guesswork, by the way).

What I do know is that your nervous system controls and coordinates all the activity in your body, including your neck and shoulder muscles. And I also know that an adjustment to the area in question usually gets that shoulder to settle down and relax and become much more comfortable. So, if you are dealing with this problem, give us a call and maybe we can make that shoulder go back where it belongs.

First Very Cold Morning in Frederick

Well, it’s Monday, and if that isn’t bad enough it was 36 degrees when I walked outside.

Many of us are in a bit more discomfort in the colder months of the year for a few reasons.

  1. It’s just plain cold. Our muscles are tight and we tend to take on a fetal position to hold in body warmth. While this may feel warmer, it isn’t the best posture!
  2. We exercise less when it’s cold. Maybe this is because no one can see the flab when we have a sweater on, or because it’s just too darn cold to go running. Either way, we all tend to get less physical activity when it’s this cold out.
  3. The holidays means that even if we keep exercising we are probably going to be eating too much rich, fatty food and packing on some extra pounds. Any time we bulk up our frame with chunk rather than muscle, the body is not happy.

So, on this frosty Monday morning I encourage all of our patients to do their best to keep their activity levels up this Winter, to watch their diets and not give in to the desire to pig out, and to try to keep that Summer posture even though it feels nice to curl up into a tiny little warm ball.

And don’t be this guy…that’s not how a snow angel is supposed to look.

winter cold

Headaches and Migraines

Many people suffer from headaches and migraines on a regular basis. Depending on the type of headache you have, your pain may be relieved with chiropractic adjustments.

There is a term, “cervicogenic headache”. This term describes a headache that is caused by a problem in the neck (also called the cervical spine). Hypertonic muscles (overly right muscles) in the back of the neck, where the neck meets the skull, can send pain all around the eyes. The pain may even feel like it is behind the eyeball. Other muscles, such as the muscles that go from behind your ear and around the side of your neck to your sternum, can also refer pain into and around the head causing a headache.

Many headaches are caused by stress, quite often from the stress that accumulates in the shoulder muscles and back of the neck. After prolonged tension in those areas a headache can develop. An adjustment to the bones of the upper back and neck often causes immediate relaxation of the involved muscles and the headache will begin to dissipate shortly after.

You can find some great details on research regarding headache and chiropractic by heading over to this link here.

Migraines are a different breed. They often come on with specific “triggers” such as red wine, chocolate, certain smells or foods, bright light or loud noises. Treating chronic migraines involves discovering the triggers and working to avoid this things as well as making sure the spine is clear of imbalances that may be an underlying exacerbating factor, or even may be the trigger. Research into the relationship between migraines and spinal disorder is in an early stage and no firm conclusions can yet be drawn, but as more information comes out we will update our research page to reflect this new information and incorporate the new research findings into our treatment protocols.