Back spasms and Chiropractic care

One of the most common causes of lower back pain seen by Chiropractors involves a strain of the lower back muscles. The joint between the pelvis and and lumbar spine is especially prone to a painful sprain due to the fact it acts as a fulcrum as a persons bends at the waist. Usually this type of injury results from lifting a load while bent at the waist. Often the spine is more susceptible to injury while in the bend and twisted position. A sprain of the lower back is said to always have a lag time between the event of injury and the onset of symptoms. Usually the lag is hours to days depending on the severity of the injury. Usually this type of injury will cause a person to walk slowly because movement of the spine is painful. The most comfortable position may be of slight forward bend or leaning to one side. The muscles of the back are usually very tight and have a feeling of being taut and hard. Back spasms usually limit all movements of the back. The type of pain felt in a sprain of the lower back is a catching, sharp pain in the lower back. The pain may also be diffuse on rest and radiate down into the thighs or buttocks or even upwards towards the neck.
Chiropractic management of acute sprain of the back and back spasms involves intersegmental stretching of the back along with gentle mobilization of the spine. Ice may be helpful in the first week of a back sprain as well. Resting is generally recommended in the initial phases of an acute back sprain. The pelvic tilt exercise is also helpful.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten years of practice experience. Dr. Etter’s Chiropractic practice serves Olathe, Kansas, Lenexa, Kansas and Overland Park, Kansas.

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Whiplash, neck pain and Chiropractic

This blog post will discuss neck pain, headaches and other syptoms that may originate from a whiplash injury and the Chiropractic approach to these problems.
Neck pain is the most common complication from a whiplash injury. The neck pain may be immediate in onset or may be delayed as much as 48 hours in some cases. Delayed onset of neck pain is one factor that makes the effects of whiplash much harder to study. Some studies have even suggested that pain may appear several weeks after an accident. One line of thinking asserts that it is injury to the muscles and other soft tissues such as ligaments that accounts for the delay in symptoms in some people. Muscle injuries generally take longer to present than do injuries to the neck itself. Problems with the muscles and joints of the neck can refer pain into the face or head.
Most persons who suffer a whiplash experience a loss of range of motion (stiff neck) and even passive motions of the neck may be painful. The muscles are usually tender to the touch and some people may have such severe discomfort they actually hold their head with their hands.
The incidence of neck pain after a whiplash has been estimated at anywhere between 60 and 98%. Women are at higher risk of neck injury than men due to the fact that women have generally less muscle mass in the neck than men. Neck pain may often be a long lasting effect of whiplash. One proposed reason for extended pain is the effect of whiplash on ligaments. Whiplash injuries tend to stretch and loosen ligaments which causes the neck to have abnormal or altered ranges of motion. Damage to the muscles can act as an extended source of pain in the neck and stiff neck. Healing of the muscles and tendons is a slow process. The Chiropractic technique that most effectively addresses the issue of muscle injury is myofascial release.
Headaches are another very common effect of whiplash type injuries. Headache is second to neck pain in reported frequency. Heache is very commonly reported with moderate to severe injury to the neck in both sports and auto accidents. One study found that about 70% of persons suffering a whiplash reported headaches. Headaches often follow no observable pattern. They may be constant or intermittent and involve different areas of the head or face. The most common type of headache relating to whiplash is the muscle tension or tension headache. This type of headache is generally associated with pain in the base of the neck, front of the head or behind the eyes. Whiplash often may irritate arthritic conditions in the neck and exacerbate headaches. Injury to the muscles of the neck have also been associated with headaches. Forward head posture or loss of the normal curve of the neck is one factor that tends to prolong or aggrevate neck pain. Persons with straigh neck curvature or forward head position tend to be more sucsecptible to prolongs irritation from neck injury.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with oven ten years of practice experience. Etter Chiropractic serves Olathe, Kansas, Lenexa, Kansas and the surrounding areas.

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Whiplash symptoms and Chiropractic care

Whiplash often presents with a confusing array of symptoms. Such symptoms as headaches, arm pain, weakness and Carpal tunnel syndrome are not uncommon. Chiropractors are among the leading providers treating whiplash in the United States.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often not considered a prime symptom of whiplash but may be a complication in some people. One possible explaination of the link between carpal tunnel and whiplash is that the wrist and forearm may be injured or overstretched during the impact. Chronic overuse of the hands in occupational or sports is the most common cause of carpal tunnel. Often a whiplash injury may irritate the nerves to the hand (median nerves) in what is referred to as a double crush injury. Double crush refers to whiplash injury to nerves already impinged by carpal tunnel. Another fact to remember is that the leading cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is fluid retention. Whether fluid retention due to whiplash trauma is a factor in carpal tunnel is unclear.
Injury to the discs of the neck is a more severe injury associated with whiplash. One common symptom of disc injury is pain that radiates down the arm. In whiplash this symptom is often confusing since referred pain from damaged muscles and ligaments in the neck may also radiate pain down the arm. In some persons who have had a disc injury in the neck as a result of whiplash the only symptom is headaches. In others there may be pain and sensitivity to pressure over the joints and muscles of the neck which may be severe or relatively mild. Most headaches of this type tend to be in the base of the neck and head. Other confusing pains from whiplash can be felt in the shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand. The joints of the neck (called facet joints) are often the culprit in neck pain. It is also known that the joints of the upper neck are associated with headaches. Chiropractic adjustments are especially effective in addressing joint associated aspects of neck pain and headaches from whiplash.
Dr. Tom Etter is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and has over ten years of experience as a Chiropractor treating back pain,neck pain and whiplash. Dr. Etter’s Chiropractic practice serves Olathe, Kansas, Lenexa, Kansas and the surrounding areas.

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Whiplash and Chiropractic

Whiplash is the common term for most all injuries to the neck and back originating from car accidents. Chiropractors provide most of the care for whiplash sufferers in the US.
The term whiplash was coined early in the 20th century as cars became more popular and widespread. As the design of cars has changed so has their ability to protect the occupant from injury. One of the most controversial aspects of modern whiplash care is low speed collisions that cause whiplash without any damage to the vehicle. It has been found that the head and neck can be subject to as much as four times the acceleration forces of the vehicle itself in rear impact accidents. When a larger vehicle strikes a smaller vehicle it also is able to produce much higher injuries to the occupant of the smaller car. This is an important point in todays world where the Mega SUV shares the road with small subcompact vehicles. Smaller cars have smaller crush zones as well which act to absorb impact. Seat belts have been tremendously successful in preventing head injuries but have also been found to increase the forces applied to the head and neck during accidents. One study found that pregnant women do not risk the health of the fetus by wearing seat belts. Children under a certain age are at higher risk due to the seatbelt fitting them poorly. The main reason seat belts subject a driver to higher risk of whiplash is that they anchor the torso while allowing the neck and head to flex forward during impact. Air bags and not designed to deploy in rear impact collisions and offer little protection in the case of a rear impact whiplash event.The minimum speed found to be the threshold for neck injury is quite low. 5 mph has been found to be the threshold of injury in some people. Usually a 5 mph impact produces very limited damage to a vehicle (if any at all). Women are also much more likely to have extended problems with rear impact collisions due to lower muscle mass and strength.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor with over ten year of practice experience treating back pain, neck pain and whiplash injury. Dr. Etter is a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and currently practices in Lenexa, Kansas.

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Pain patterns in Lower back disc herniations, Chiropractic topics

Disc herniations are estimated to be involved in just under half of cases of lower back pain treated by Chiropractors. The pain caused by a herniated disc (slipped disc) varies widely in located and intensity. Sciatica is a common symptom of disc herniation. Sciatica may begin suddenly and radiate all the way to the foot. On the other hand, sciatica may come on slowly and be felt as an ache on one side of the buttocks that speads gradually down the leg. Some sciatica sufferers may have pain down the back on the thigh only or the pain may extend as far as the sole of the foot or the smallest three toes. In some cases the pain of sciatica can begin in the foot or calf and move upwards towards the buttocks and back. Sciatica is a varied condition but if the sciatica is related to a disc herniation it is due to pressure on the nerves as they exit the spine (often referred to as a pinched nerve in layman’s terms).
Often back pain and sciatica may occur at the same time with a disc bulge. In severe cases the pain of a disc problem may limit almost any movement and cause a person to draw their knees to the chest to try to get relief.
In acute disc herniations the most effected motions are bending forward and leaning back. Side bending and twisting are generally less affected. Acute disc herniations are known to cause a complete loss of flexibility of the back and the person generally avoids all motion of the back. Disc problems may also produce and antalgic posture which is the body’s attempt to hold itself in a position to minimize the pressure on nerve roots. Often the person will try to avoid straightening of the legs if the pain is bad enough.
The Chiropractic technique most targeted towards disc herniation is lumbar flexion distraction. In this technique the spine is tractioned to remove pressure from the disc. The pelvic tilt exercise is also highly recommended as it is similar to lumbar flexion distraction technique.
Dr. Tom Etter is a Chiropractor and graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic. Dr. Etter’s practice focus is conservative treatment of back pain, neck pain, and sports injuries. Etter Chiropractic serves Olathe, Kansas, Lenexa, Kansas and ther surrounding communities.

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