Headaches and whiplash: Chiropractic

Posttraumatic headaches refer to a type of headache that is related to either a direct blow to the head or the result of a whiplash injury. In a whiplash injury the forces that act on the head and neck are often much greater than the force applied to the body.
Posttraumatic headache may result in loss of consciousness, amnesia, insomnia, anxiety, depression, vertigo and problems concentrating. Lingering headaches can be one of the most debilitating symptoms of whiplash.
Whiplash injury to the muscles of the neck may also result in headaches. In such instances headaches may be accompanied by fatigue, vertigo, poor concentration, vision problems and light sensitivity. Trigger points in the muscles of the neck are known to refer pain into the face and neck and are associated with vertigo when compressed or irritated. Women are more at risk of injury to the muscles of the neck in a whiplash due to less muscle mass. Persons with pre existing degeneration of the joints or previous whiplash or neck injury are also at greater risk of lingering effects of whiplash. Side impact collisions are often more dangerous to the neck and head than are frontal impacts. Myofascial release techniques are one of the most effective Chiropractic techniques to address injury to the muscles and trigger points.

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Causes of sciatica

Sciatica is a term that describes pain running down the back of the leg. Several parts of the back may be the cause of the pain. Sciatica that travels below the knee is often more associated with disc problems and irritation of the nerves. Numbness of the leg is also an indicator of disc problems. Usually sciatica that travels below the knee is associated with recurrent episodes of back pain that resolve without sciatica. The most common age for an episode of sciatica due to a disc herniation is 30-50. After a certain age the disc tends to loose internal fluidity and have less of a capacity to herniate. Often a person with an acute episode of sciatica reports an episode of twisting while bending resulting in immediate pain. Many persons who seek Chiropractic care, however, may report a more insidious onset over several weeks resulting in sciatica and back pain. If the disc is the cause of sciatica the pain in the leg may be more of a concern that pain in the back.
Younger persons with disc problems usually experience more pain with sitting. Older persons with disc problems may have more problems walking or standing due to a disc herniation.
One of the most effective Chiropractic techniques for treating disc conditions is Flexion/Distraction technique which is designed to relieve pressure on inflamed discs.

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Back and leg pain caused by stenosis: Chiropractic treatments

Stenosis is a condition of the lower back that may cause pain in both the leg and back. Stenosis refers to narrowing of the nerve space and the resulting impingement of the nerves. The narrowing may be due to scar tissue or overgrowth of bone. Stenosis may be due to congenital factors or due to back injury.
Stenosis usually effects people 50 years old and older. The pain may be on one or both sides and may be diffuse and hard to localize. Often the pain makes it difficult to walk far and relief is usually obtained by resting/sitting. Sitting or lying in a flexed position is usually the best for relief.
Stenosis can be a difficult condition to diagnose as signs and symptoms vary widely. For sciatica to be due to stenosis there are usually several levels of narrowing in the spine.
One interesting aspect of stenosis is that some persons may find riding a bicycle does not cause back or leg pain. This is due to the bending position relieving pressure on nerves.
Many sufferers of lower back pain and sciatica due to stenosis are able to gain improvement without medical treatment. The response to Chiropractic care of those with stenosis is less predictable than with other causes of lower back pain. Some persons with stenosis are also benefits by exercise, pain medications and steroid injections.

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A-C joint separation injury to the shoulder

The A-C joint is the joint between the collar bone and the shoulder blade. It is located at the tip of the shoulder.
Injuries to the joint occur most often when someone falls on the tip of the shoulder with the arm pinned down or by falling on an outstretched hand. Falling on the tip of the shoulder often can result in breaking the collar bone. Separated a-c joints can stick up and be visible under the skin.
Mild separations do not cause complete tearing of the a-c joint ligament and are stable. More severe separations can actually tear ligaments and are considered unstable. X rays can rule out fracture of the collar bone in sports injury or auto injury. All a-c joint separations can be managed conservatively with Chiropractic, physiotherapy and stabilization. More severe grades of separation can cause a permanent bump at the shoulder over the joint. The standard approach of treatment is support with an arm sling. Strengthening exercise focus on the deltoids and upper trapezius initially followed by exercises for the biceps and pectorals. Most cases can return to near full function.

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How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is based on the principle of stimulation of acupoints. Acupoints exist along pathways or meridians of energy that are distributed at predictable locations on the body. Meridians do not directly relate to the muscles, nerves or blood vessels, rather they are a separate entity. Acupoints are said to be points which influence that body’s function in a two way communication with the body’s energy system. Acupoints are said to exist at the surface of the skin, above the skin and below the skin. Stimulation of an acupoint by means such as a needle, finger pressure or electronic stimulation common practice in acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a system of treatment that seeks to restore normalcy to the body’s energy field by stimulation of a combination of specific acupoints.
For many conditions there are established points that are known to be beneficial. Lower back pain, for instance, relates to the bladder meridian located on the back of the leg. There are about 1000 established acupoints. Many are famous for their effect and are known as five star points. Five star points are used for most any condition and have benefit for health promotion as well as treatment of imbalance.
A combination of electronic and needle acupuncture is often very effective in many conditions especially those involving the muscles and joints.

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