Managing Hip Pain: A Holistic Approach

Managing Hip Pain: A Holistic Approach

Today we’re focusing managing hip pain. The hip, a marvelously unique joint, stands out in the intricacies of the human body. From the depth of its socket to the strength of the surrounding muscles and ligaments, the hip plays a pivotal role in weight-bearing activities. 

Let’s discuss this synovial ball-and-socket joint and understand how its health is intertwined with the well-being of the entire lower kinetic chain. Plus how chiropractic care might just be your solution.

The Hip Joint Unveiled

At the heart of the hip’s uniqueness lies its synovial nature, granting it the freedom of movement. This ball-and-socket joint comprises the femoral head (the “ball”) and the acetabulum (the “socket”). While the ball is primarily contained within the cup, individual differences, influenced by genetics and culture, contribute to the depth and shape of the hip joint.

The Intimate Relationship of Joints

The connection between the hip and its neighboring joints is intimate, as each joint’s condition can impact the others. For instance, ankle pronation, the inward rolling of the foot and ankle, can lead to a knocked knee, subsequently shifting the hip outward. This cascade effect continues, involving the pelvis, tailbone or sacrum, and lower spine, all working in tandem to maintain eye level. When hip pain arises, a comprehensive examination and treatment of the entire lower kinetic chain – encompassing the foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, and spine – is essential.

A Holistic Approach To Managing Hip Pain

Managing hip pain involves addressing interconnected issues. Here are some common considerations:

1. Ankle Pronation: Correcting inward rolling with a rear foot post in a foot orthotic helps realign the Achilles tendon to the ground, bringing balance to the ankle.

2. Knocked-Knees (Genu Valgus): Ankle pronation can lead to knocked knees, causing stress on the outer knee joint. Proper correction with a heel wedge on the inside of a foot orthotic helps alleviate knee cap pain, or shoes that properly support the foot and arch.

3. Hip Inward Angulation (Coxa Vera): As the knee shifts inward, the femur head moves outward, destabilizing the joint. Addressing leg length deficiency with a heel lift (if needed), once ankle pronation is corrected, stabilizes the lower kinetic chain.

4. Muscle Imbalance and Strengthening: Beyond structural issues, chiropractors delve into muscle imbalances, strengthening weak hip extensors, and stretching tight hip flexors and adductor muscles for comprehensive hip health.

While we’ve scratched the surface of the intricate web of hip health, there’s much more to explore. 

The good news is that chiropractic care can assist you in navigating these complexities. Whether it’s correcting joint imbalances or addressing muscle issues, chiropractic care offers a holistic approach to hip wellness.

Navigating Mid-Back Discomfort with Chiropractic Care

Navigating Mid-Back Discomfort with Chiropractic Care

Today, let’s talk about our spine and for many, Mid-Back Discomfort. Our spine is like the quiet architect of our body, supporting us day in and day out. We’ll dive into the details of its structure, functions, and those moments when mid-back discomfort comes into play and how a bit of chiropractic care can make a world of difference.

Getting Acquainted with Your Thoracic Spine:

Imagine the thoracic spine as the mediator between the agile cervical spine and the sturdy lumbar spine, comprised of twelve vertebrae labeled T1 to T12. Acting like a guard, it protects the spinal cord, which gracefully extends from the brain down to about T12 where it then resembles a horse’s tail – the cauda equina. From there, the nerves branch out, ensuring our lower back, pelvis, legs, and feet get the signals they need.

Unveiling the Intricacies of Nerve Functions:

Let’s zoom in a bit further. The T1-T2 nerves take on the responsibility of supporting the top chest and inner arms and hands, lending strength to even the tiniest muscles. As we travel down the thoracic spine, the T3-T5 nerves become conductors, orchestrating the movements of the chest wall – regulating the rib cage, lungs, and the diaphragm, our reliable breathing muscle. And don’t forget the T6-T12 nerves, silently contributing to our core stability, balance, posture, and help with coughing.

Safeguarding Vital Organs:

Beyond its role in movement and sensory functions, the thoracic spine serves as the guardian of our rib cage. This protective structure shields our lungs, heart, and the intricate vessels that circulate oxygenated blood throughout the body. Orchestrating this symphony of life is our autonomic nervous system (ANS), with its sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. Interestingly, many sympathetic nerves originate right from the thoracic region!

Balancing Stability and Mid-Back Surprises:

Unlike its more flexible counterparts in the cervical and lumbar regions, the thoracic spine leans towards stability. While this characteristic reduces the risk of injuries, mid-back discomfort can still make an appearance. Whether it’s due to slouching, long hours of sitting, or life’s unexpected twists, the thoracic spine isn’t entirely immune to occasional discomfort. From ligament strains to the occasional rib or vertebrae hiccup, it’s all part of the journey.

Chiropractic Care: A Personal Approach:

Enter chiropractors – the guides and interpreters of our spinal stories. Trained to understand the nuances of mid-back discomfort, they offer tailored interventions. Picture a blend of gentle spinal adjustments, soothing massages, postural correction, and practical exercise advice. 

If you find yourself experiencing mid-back pain, consider the personal touch of chiropractic care. Get in touch with us or schedule a complimentary call and let’s get you back to feeling your best.

How Everyday Activity Can Save Your Back

How Everyday Activity Can Save Your Back

Understanding lower back pain is crucial, especially when it comes to the role of weak core muscles in affecting spinal stability. Previous research has established a link between weak core muscles and an increased risk of low back pain. 

So, what’s the prescription? Get moving! Not just for today’s backache but as a savvy move to dodge future recurrences.

Now, the burning question: is a general exercise routine enough, or should we spice it up with targeted moves for those elusive abdominal muscles? 

The answer lies in a ten-year study involving 600 patients with recurrent lower back pain. These participants were categorized into four groups: those focusing on strengthening exercises, flexibility exercises, strengthening exercises with abdominal bracing (tightening the stomach muscles as if anticipating impact), and flexibility exercises with abdominal bracing during both exercise and daily activities.

Annual check-ins with each participant provided insights into the frequency, intensity, and duration of both lower back pain and exercise habits. Intriguingly, the data revealed that patients in the abdominal-bracing groups exhibited superior outcomes. Notably, the intensity and duration of exercise did not emerge as determining factors.  Forget the workout Olympics – it wasn’t about how hardcore the exercises were. It was all about flexing those abs during everyday activities, like your own dynamic back belt.

Now, let’s switch gears to another blockbuster – 48 chronic low-back pain patients took the stage. This time, the winning combo was a stroll paired with lumbar stabilization exercises. This combination not only alleviated lower back pain but also bolstered core muscle endurance, thereby reducing the likelihood of future episodes.

These findings underscore the significance of adhering to the recommendations of chiropractic professionals. Staying active and incorporating targeted exercises to fortify the lower back and core muscles is not merely a remedy for existing back pain; it is a proactive measure to diminish the risk of recurrence.

Why Not Every ‘Slipped Disk’ Needs a Surgical Spotlight

Why Not Every ‘Slipped Disk’ Needs a Surgical Spotlight

You’ve probably heard the saying “I slipped a disk in my neck” but do you know what it is that people refer to when they say it? Let’s look at it together…

The disks lay between the vertebrae in the front of the spine, and they are part of the primary support and shock-absorbing system of our neck and back. There are 6 disks in the neck, 12 in the mid-back, and 5 in the low back for a total of 23. The disks in the lower back are big, like the vertebral bodies they sit between, and get progressively smaller as they go up the spine towards the head. When we bend our neck forwards, the disk compresses, and opens wider when we look up. It forms a wedge shape when we side bend left or right, and it twists when we rotate or turn the head.

The terms slipped disk, herniated disk, ruptured disk, and bulging disk (and more) all mean something similar if not exactly the same thing.

Fun fact: thanks to CAT scans and MRIs, we’ve discovered that many seemingly “normal” folks have some disk drama going on, with bulges and herniations hanging out – often without any pain at all. Crazy, right?

But here’s the plot twist. Just because your MRI shows a party of bulging disks doesn’t mean you need surgery. In fact, it might lead down the wrong path. So, unless you’re starring in your own arm-shooting pain drama or dealing with numbness and weakness, maybe hold off on the MRI frenzy.

There are “KEY” findings in the history and examination that lead to the diagnosis of a cervical disk injury. From the history, the disk patient often has arm pain, numbness, and/or muscle weakness that follows a specific pathway, such as numbness to the thumb/index finger (C6 nerve), middle of the hand & 3rd finger (C7) or to the pinky & ring finger (C8). Certain positions, such as looking up, usually irritate the neck and arm, while bending the head forward offers relief. 

Another unique history and exam finding is if the patient finds relief by putting the arm up and over their head. Similarly, letting the arm hang down is often associated with irritation. Other examination findings unique to a cervical disk injury include reproducing the arm pain by placing the head in certain positions such as bending the head back and to the side simultaneously. Another is compressing the head into the shoulders. When lifting up on the head (traction), relief of arm pain is common.  The neurological exam will usually show a reduction of sensation when we gently poke them with a sharp object, and/or they may have a weakness when compared with the opposite side.

Chiropractic treatments can be very successful in resolving cervical disk herniation signs and symptoms and should CERTAINLY be tried before agreeing to a surgical correction. And if you’d like to schedule a free consultation we can explore those options together and recommend the best solution.

Trust us, your neck will thank you later!

What Experts Are Saying about Chiropractic Care

What Experts Are Saying about Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is all about helping you with neuromusculoskeletal (long word which means nerve, muscle, bone/joint) issues. Along with using manual adjustments and other hands-on techniques to make you feel better. The cool thing is, you don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor – you can just go and see one!

Back in 2010, researchers led by Dr. Gert Bronfort did a deep dive into a ton of studies to see how effective these manual treatments are. After sifting through 49 systematic reviews and 16 clinical guidelines, they found some interesting things.

Dr. Bronfort and his team discovered that spinal manipulation and mobilization (that’s what SMT stands for) worked really well for things like back pain (whether it’s new or been hanging around for a while). In addition to migraines, headaches, dizziness that comes from the neck, and joint issues in your arms and legs.

Interestingly, they also noted thoracic manipulation/mobilization as effective for acute and subacute neck pain. Yet the evidence available at the time was inconclusive for cervical manipulation/mobilization alone for neck pain of any duration.

In children, the evidence was inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of SMT/mobilization for otitis media and enuresis. They also noted SMT/mobilization was not effective for infantile colic and asthma when compared with sham SMT.

Then in 2014, Dr. Christine Clar took a closer look and did find some more good news! There was some solid evidence that, when combined with exercise, chiropractic treatments helped. Such as rotator cuff problems and headaches caused by neck issues.

These two studies are significantly helpful for those considering chiropractic care for specific conditions. And the exciting part is that as more research happens, that list of things chiropractic can help with might just keep growing. So, keep an eye out for future reviews, and who knows what they’ll discover next!

And if you’d like to schedule a free consultation for any pain you’re facing Click Here.

The Ultimate Guide to Lower Back Pain

The Ultimate Guide to Lower Back Pain

Oh, the woes of persistent pain! If you’re nodding your head in agreement, you’re not alone. Millions around the world grapple with this nagging condition that just won’t quit. Today, we will uncover the triggers behind chronic lower back pain. 

Together, we’ll delve into the intricate design of the lower back and unravel the mysteries that shroud this discomfort.  So, grab a seat (a comfy one!) and let’s dive in.

The Marvels of Your Back

The lower back—a remarkable structure designed to bear the weight of the world and protect your spinal cord. Picture five lumbar vertebrae, intervertebral discs as shock-absorbing heroes, and facet joints that bring flexibility to the party. And let’s not forget the sacrum, the lumbar spine’s loyal companion, joined at the hip—literally—at the sacroiliac joint (SIJ). It’s an intricate team working hard for your support and mobility.

The Culprits

Back pain can have various triggers. From herniated discs and spinal stenosis to osteoarthritis and SIJ dysfunction, the causes can range widely. Pinched nerves in the lumbar region might induce pain that radiates to the legs or cause numbness or tingling. Poor posture, spinal misalignment, and muscle strains can also instigate lower back pain.

How to Diagnose

To pinpoint the exact reason for your pain a chiropractor will conduct a comprehensive examination. Based on your symptoms and signs, they will perform tests assessing your back’s nerve and joint functionality. For instance, if a patient describes leg pain, the chiropractor will examine reflexes, sensation, and muscle strength to see if a herniated disc is pressing a nerve. Any identified nerve damage will be addressed to remove the pressure and restore leg sensation and strength.

Chiropractic Interventions

Chiropractic care is a proven, non-invasive method. Depending on the identified cause, a chiropractic doctor can use spinal adjustments, manual therapies, and rehabilitative exercises to realign the spine, restore function, and reduce pain. Chiropractic interventions can also enhance your posture and prevent future episodes. 

Don’t allow back pain to dominate your life. Contact us today or schedule an appointment to uncover the root cause of your pain and discover effective strategies for lasting relief.