While chiropractic care and physical therapy can help with any number of symptoms and problems, we have listed out some of the more common conditions that you may recognize in yourself or others. If you are experiencing any of these problems, please contact us for an appointment today.
The disc is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. This soft jellylike center contains layers of fibrous tissues. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. When healthy, discs allow normal bending and turning. Since spinal discs have a very poor blood supply, they depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc deteriorates. Like a wet sponge, a healthy disc is flexible. A dry sponge is hard, stiff, and can crack easily. This is how many disc problems begin.
Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebra above and below it, a disc cannot slip as commonly thought. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. Leg or arm pain and numbness and tingling may occur. While results cannot be guaranteed, non-surgical treatments such as chiropractic care and physical/aquatic therapy have helped many patients avoid needless surgery or a dependency on medication. If however the pain persists, referral to an orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon may be advised.
Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a vehicle that is struck or that collides with another object. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments that support the spine and head can be overstretched or torn. The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck can get stretched and irritated. While occupants can suffer considerable soft tissue injury, the car may only be slightly damaged.
The resulting instability of the spine and soft tissues can cause pain and swelling, decreased motion, tenderness in the muscles and spasm, headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulder, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and even low back problems. As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear for weeks or even months later.
Dr. Mote will take a complete medical history and perform a comprehensive examination to assess the degree of your injury. X-rays and/or other diagnostic studies may be ordered such as MRI/CT scan as well. Referral to an Orthopedist, Neurosurgeon, Neurologist, Pain Management Specialist or other healthcare specialist may be advised. As long as more serious lesions have been ruled out, only appropriate treatment such as chiropractic care and physical therapy will be prescribed.
Arthritis is a condition characterized by the gradual breakdown of joint cartilage, most common in the weight bearing joints of the body such as the knees, hips, and back. It is also common in the neck and hands. As the joint is broken down it can lead to joint stiffness and increased strain on the muscles in that area. Additionally, as joint function changes it can lead to movement compensations and place strain on other areas of the body as well. Although degenerative changes are common with age they do not automatically result in pain. Research now shows that it is not the degeneration of the joint that is responsible for pain but the effects the degeneration has on how the joint is functioning. This usually results in stiffness, spasm and pain.
The diagnosis of this condition usually begins with the Dr. Mote reviewing your history and performing a comprehensive examination. An X-ray may be ordered to further investigate the possibility of other problems.
Typically, the first line of treatment includes conservative chiropractic care and physical/aquatic therapy. We focus on the restoration and maintenance of function by emphasizing joint movement and increasing the ability of the muscles to support and stabilize the affected joints. In addition, we assess how the body as a whole if functioning to uncover any other movement abnormalities that may be affecting the degenerated area.
If an unacceptable level of pain persists, then the appropriate referral to another healthcare specialist may be considered.
Neck Pain/ Back Pain/Joint Dysfunction/Subluxation
Joints of the body need to move. When this movement becomes restricted and normal motion is altered several problems arise. Most commonly joint dysfunction in the neck or back results in pain, swelling, stiffness, muscle tightness, cartilage breakdown/degeneration, and movement compensation leading to undue stress on other areas of the body. Joint dysfunction occurs in the facet joints in the spine. The facet joints help support weight bearing and controls movement between vertebrae of the spine. They work together with the discs to form a functional unit. There are two joints (one on each side) of each spinal segment. Commonly, injury to these joints occur from a single traumatic event, poor posture, muscles tightness, scar tissue, or muscles imbalance.
Dr. Mote will assess the movement of these joints to feel for areas of altered or restricted movements. Once identified, the abnormal movement can be restored using a combination of chiropractic care and physical therapy. Whenever possible simple home exercises are demonstrated to facilitate and maintain proper motion in key areas. Underlying factors such as poor posture and muscle imbalance often need to be addressed in cases of chronic or recurrent joint dysfunction.
80% of headaches originate from the neck. These are referred to as cervicogenic and/or muscle contracture headaches. Usually an increased amount of stress and tension held in the shoulders causes contractions of all of the surrounding neck muscles. When these muscles contract, trigger and tender points can develop. This can cause the muscles of the neck to become imbalanced, causing abnormal movements and stress in the joints (facet joints) of the neck, and ultimately pain. With a typical cervicogenic (neck origin) headache, a person usually feels pain starting at the base of the skull, which radiates into the temples, eyeballs, and forehead.
Several preliminary studies report reduction in frequency and severity of tension type headaches with chiropractic care. A controlled trial compared chiropractic care to drug therapy for tension type headaches. During the study there were similar significant improvements but less side effects with chiropractic care. In addition only chiropractic care showed continued improvement after a month following the study. Also massage therapy, physical therapy, and educating patients on proper posture, stretching of the neck muscles, and home exercises, significantly improved tension headaches up to 12 months after treatments ended. There may be several other causes of headaches, so a proper examination is needed to determine the actual cause.
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve originating from a group of nerves in the lower back and extending down the back of the leg to the foot. When this is irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or other symptoms in the lower back and down the leg. There are several possible causes of this condition. An inflammation of one of the facet joints of the spine, putting pressure on the nerve, bulging or herniated disc, or bone spurs. Muscle spasms of the "Piriformas muscle", a muscle deep in your buttock region can also cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Several other conditions may cause this symptom, so a complete evaluation would be needed to correctly assess the exact cause.
A pinched nerve is a severely compressed nerve. This usually occurs as a result of disc herniations, bone spurs, scar tissue, and on rare occasions tumors, infections and cysts. When nerves get pinched they become severely inflamed. This often results in severe pain and other symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms and legs. The quality of the type of pain can vary, from dull and aching, to sharp or burning. A pinched nerve in the lower back resulting in leg pain may sometimes be referred to as “sciatica". Muscles surrounding the spine may spasm, causing even more discomfort. The pain is usually so severe that you can't move that part of the body and it can cause other symptoms as well. A proper examination is needed to determine the exact cause.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain
The sacroiliac joint is the joint bridging the lowest segment of the spinal column (sacrum) to the bones of the pelvis. These joints support the upper body when we are standing. From time to time these joints become inflamed and become painful, making it difficult to walk, sit to stand, or climb stairs. The location of the pain is generally over the lower back, buttocks and thighs. A complete medical history and physical examination is typically all that is needed to accurately diagnose this condition. An X-ray may be ordered to further investigate the possibility of other problems. The first treatment option usually includes conservative chiropractic care and physical/aquatic therapy. If the pain doesn't go away referral to an orthopedist, rheumatologist or pain management specialist may be considered.
Fibromyalgia is a controversial and complicated condition to understand. For proper diagnosis and treatment, a wide variety of factors need to be considered including "head-to-toe" joint and muscle function, nutrition, and lifestyle issues. A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurological testing, as well as other specialized tests, will help to determine the exact causes of your symptoms and your individualized treatment plan. Very often, a comprehensive treatment program addressing all of these issues leads to significant improvement.
Joint and soft tissue manipulation is often very helpful in relieving the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and related conditions. Other treatment options may include ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation, acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, and massage therapy & myofascial release techniques. These procedures, combined with nutritional & herbal medicine, and/or homeopathy constitute a comprehensive, holistic approach. Although researchers are still a long way from finding a "cure" for fibromyalgia, chiropractic care is usually very successful in the effective management of this condition. However, if after examination we conclude that your case cannot be helped with conservative care, a prompt referral to a rheumatologist will be made.