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.

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.

MDs Admit Low Confidence In Diagnosing Musculoskeletal Complaints in Children

No one in the medical or chiropractic community should be surprised to learn that MD’s have low confidence in their own abilities to properly diagnose musculoskeletal complaints in children.

Let’s look at the educational background of an MD (medical doctor) vs. that of a DC (doctor of chiropractic). I am not making this comparison to say one is better than the other – in fact that would be incorrect. I simply want to point out that MD’s are well-trained in knowing which pills to prescribe and chiropractors are well-trained to recognize and address problems in the muscles, joints, and nervous system. Due to that obvious difference in training and education, MD’s aren’t very adept at diagnosing musculoskeletal complaints and chiropractors are very good at making those diagnoses.

Hours spent on anatomy and diagnose of musculoskeletal courses in Medical and Chiropractic school:
Anatomy/physiology – Chiropractic: 456; Medical: 215.
Physiology – Chiropractic: 243; Medical: 174.
Diagnosis – Chiropractic: 408; Medical: 113.
Orthopedics – Chiropractic: 168; Medical: 2.

Full Original Article Here:  MDs Admit Low Confidence In Diagnosing Musculoskeletal Complaints in Children

References Here:
1. http://www.chiro.org/ChiroZine/ABSTRACTS/Low_Confidence.shtml
2. http://www.chiro.org/pediatrics/ABSTRACTS/Safety_and_Effectiveness_of_Pediatric_Chiropractic.shtml
3. http://www.chiro.org/ChiroZine/End_Medical_Mis-Management_of_Musculoskeletal_Complaints.shtml

The Spinal Stabilizing System – Frederick Chiropractor Discusses Spine & Disc Pain

The “Spinal Stabilizing System” is a complex biomechanical anatomical system that allows the body to dissipate force and allow safe spinal motion without injury.

The Tensegrity model explains the stability of the spine. The curving nature of the spine means that, if there were no attachments to it (like muscle and ligaments) it would not be able to stand freely, it would instead topple over. Instead of being alone, though, the bones of the spinal column are connected in a very complex manner by hundreds of ligaments and dozens of muscles, as well as discs, arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and nerves. These soft tissues create a matrix-like network of attachments that create stability with a mixture of tension and compression.

The Sacroiliac (SI) Joints: the SI joints are the two knobby bulges on either side of the base of your spine. At these joints two types of forces, form and force closure, combine to stabilize the SI joints to let it properly accept force from the upper body to the head or downward, and from the lower extremity to the trunk and upper extremity. Without proper SI function, forces will not be transferred correctly.

The spinal column is a stabilized axis. Without muscles to stabilize the spine, a small amount of weight (less than 20 lbs.) can cause the spine to collapse. The inherent stabilizing system in the spine is meant to carry loads, protect the nervous system, and allow movement.

3 subsystems of the spinal stabilizing system:

  1. Passive musculoskeletal system – the spinal column (including discs and ligaments)
  2. Active musculoskeletal system – the spinal muscles
  3. Neural and feedback system – the neuromuscular control unit

Normal function of the spinal stabilizing system should provide sufficient stability to match instantaneously varying demands due to:

-postural changes

-static loads

-dynamic loads

An important consideration is that movements of the extremities (arms and legs) are perhaps the most profound inputs of stress to the spine.

Degradation of the spinal stabilizing system occurs due to:

  • Injury
  • Degeneration – 2 causes of disc degeneration: immobilization (subluxation or fixation) and the application of abnormal forces (injury to the back or neck)
  • Disease

All processes or injuries that affect the stabilizing system of your spine can cause back pain, either due to a disc putting pressure on a nerve or from a spastic muscle. Prompt chiropractic care can help resolve this and reduce the pain.

A chiropractor trained in addressing spinal instability should treat these types of conditions. Call Park Bench Chiropractic at (301) 378-0334 to discuss your health with Dr. Rob and set up a free consultation. Our warm and inviting office in Frederick, Maryland looks forward to helping you achieve a new level of health and wellness.