Healthy Lifestyles - Neck Pain and the Proper Pillow

Often patients ask what they can do to help themselves when they have neck pain. One of the most important things you can do is to provide proper support while you are sleeping. One pillow (not multiple) properly fitted is our suggestion. An orthopedic pillow is a great pick because it will support your head so that your back stays straight.

Spinal Manipulation Therapy More Effective in Treating Low Back Pain-

Did you that spinal manipulative therapy for chronic and acute lower back pain was shown to be more effective and provided more short term relief than many other types of care? According to an article in The Spine Journal, spinal manipulation is more effective than prescription drugs, physical therapy, and home exercise.

Mobility Before Stability....

A common misconception in the world of treating acute pain is that you must strengthen the tissue in order to feel better. Well, that may not be the case! Before you start to strengthen any tissue, you should ensure that there is adequate mobility of the skeletal system. Essentially, you must have mobility before stability.

In a 2009 article for the
Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy, authors explored the effects of thoracic spine manipulation in the treatment of shoulder pain. By simply providing manipulation to the thoracic spine, over half of the participants noted significant improvement in their complaints with only manipulation!1

The logic is relatively simple. If there is a failure to address mobility limitations, there will be an increased load or strain placed on already strained tissue (tendon, ligaments, etc.). The lack of mobility creates tissue dysfunction and abnormal movement of the joint creating an injury. By addressing mobility first through manipulation or specific corrective exercises, you restore proper movement that then allow for a more effective treatment onto the injured tissue.

So if you have pain that is not resolving, it may be necessary to change the approach and look at the larger picture. You may need to look outside of the area of pain and explore the your overall mobility.

1. Strunce JB, Walker MJ, Boyles RE, Young BA. The immediate effects of thoracic spine and rib manipulation on subjects with primary complaints of shoulder pain.
J Man Manip Ther.2009;17:230-236.

Pregnant? Have Back Pain?

50-80% of pregnant patients will have back pain. It is so common, that it is actually considered a “normal” part of pregnancy!1 While it may be common, fortunately you don’t have to go through your pregnancy suffering.

In a study from the
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers looked at standard OB care versus a multidimensional (multimodal) treatment approach performed by a chiropractic physician. The multidimensional treatment approach utilized myofascial release (massage), stretching, spinal manipulation and stability exercises. Both spinal manipulation and stability exercises were performed on an as needed basis. The standard OB approach used rest, heat, acetaminophen and possible referral to orthopedic surgeon for debilitating cases.

Results from this study were astounding! As you can imagine, the patients who received the multimodal treatment approach had drastic positive changes, pain dropping from a 6 to a 2 with minimal amount of visits needed. Those in the standard OB group had “no significant changes” in their pain.

So if you have back pain and are pregnant, you don’t have to wait. Call your local chiropractic orthopedist and schedule an appointment.

Peterson et al.: Outcomes of pregnant patients with low back pain undergoing
chiropractic treatment: a prospective cohort study with short term, medium term
and 1 year follow-up. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2014 22:15.

2. George JW, Skaggs CD, Thompson PA, et al. A randomized controlled trial
comparing a multimodal intervention and standard obstetrics care for low back
and pelvic pain in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2013;208:295.e1-7.

Will my disc ever heal?

Have you ever heard the question, “Will my disc ever heal?”  Well the answer may be yes.  According to a JMMT case report by Takasaki in 2010; migration of the nucleus pulposus is possible using McKenzie Directional Therapy.
“The McKenzie management strategy of mechanical diagnosis and therapy (MDT) is commonly used for the assessment and management of spinal problems. Within this system, ‘derangement syndrome’ is the most common classification, for which the conceptual model is an intra-discal displacement. However, the reduction of an intra-discal displacement by MDT has never been documented. The purpose of this study was to compare, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the nucleus pulposus (NP) profiles before and after the use of this approach.” Using directional therapy the authors were able to reduce the disc protrusion and abolish low back pain while centralizing buttock pain.   Initially, the MRI showed a portion of the NP displaced right and posteriorly towards the side of pain, and an overall NP position in the coronal plane shifted to the left. The patient was managed with a 1-month course of the McKenzie management strategy. One month later, the displaced portion of the NP was no longer present and the left-shifted NP was centrally located. These intervertebral disc changes coincided with centralization and abolition of symptoms. This case may support the conceptual model of MDT.