What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc refers to a disc lesion in the spine, which can cause local symptoms and can sometimes radiate to the legs or arms depending on the location of the lesion. This condition can occur gradually or as a result of a false movement. The hernia is usually located in the neck or lower back. It sometimes appears in the thoracic region in the middle of the back.The intervertebral discs may be damaged due to poor lifting technique, repetitive intense activity or excessive body weight. A combination of several factors can contribute to the development of a herniated disc.With age, the discs lose their gelatinous property, decreasing the size of the disc and the space between the vertebrae. Therefore, the spine becomes less mobile and may become more prone to injury.

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Structures involved

The spine is made up of 24 ​vertebrae,​ each separated by an i​ntervertebral disc​, a small cushion that acts as a shock absorber during spinal movement. These discs consist of a fibrous ring called the​ annulus fibrosis w​ ith a gelatinous substance in the center called the ​nucleus.​ In a ​herniated disc,​ the nucleus pushes through the fibrous ring, exerting pressure on the nerves​ of the spine.page1image3462661504

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Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Symptoms vary according to the pressure applied to the nerves and can vary greatly from one person to another. When nerves are irritated, a sensation of pain, numbness and/or weakness in the arms or legs may be felt. A herniated disc in the lower back often leads to irritation of the sciatic nerve, causing acute pain radiating towards the leg. A herniated disc in the neck causes pain in the neck and upper shoulders and may radiate towards the arm.

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Recovery

Your rehabilitation plan, health profile, fitness level and nutritional status affect the recovery time.​ I​ n most cases, you can expect a full recovery from a herniated disc. As a general rule, this condition may take several

months to fully recover. In cases where the herniated disc is long-standing, the pain may sometimes resurface with no real cause or identifiable false movement and then subside with a return to an active lifestyle.

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▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Early Stage

Relative rest is a good way to prevent your condition from getting worse. A few days of rest while reducing activitiesthatcausesignificant​p​ ainmaybenecessary,butitisveryimportanttoavoiddeconditioning.A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain and exercises to strengthen the stabilizers in your neck or back, depending on the area affected by the hernia, will allow for a better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of successful rehabilitation. Your therapist will accompany you during your personalized rehabilitation program to restore your joint range of motion, muscle strength and endurance, and functional state.

According to the principles of herniated disc rehabilitation, an active approach including the practice of physical activity, regaining a healthy body weight and the use of safe load-lifting principles are important elements for a functional recovery. A progressive training program over a period of a few weeks is quite common. Following that, maintaining an active lifestyle usually helps prevent the pain from returning.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Remember that pain is not always a good indicator of tissue damage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce, in collaboration with your therapist, cardiovascular and strength-building exercises based on your tolerance. Remember that exercise is an excellent way to manage pain related to herniated discs.

How Safe is Chiropractic Care?

 

Bottom Line: 

Safety first. Not only is “do no harm” part of the oath that doctors take, but it’s also a pretty good principle for all of us to live by. No matter how safe you are, there are times when you get hurt or injured, and finding a healthcare option that is safe, provides excellent results, and has high patient satisfaction can be tricky. Or is it? In 2007, SPINE (one of the worlds most respected research journals) looked at data from over 50,000 Chiropractic adjustments given to nearly 20,000 patients, and they found Chiropractic care to be incredibly safe and effective. 

Why it Matters:

Awkward sleeping positions, poor posture, and long hours at a computer can all lead to neck pain. By staying active, taking periodic breaks to stretch throughout the day, and setting up your workstation to minimize the stress on your spine, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood you will encounter a bout of neck pain. It’s great to know that if you do end up experiencing neck pain, Chiropractic adjustments are one of the safest and most effective options to help get you back on track. 

  • Research has shown Chiropractic care to be extremely safe.
  • SPINE examined nearly 20,000 patients and found zero complications.
  • Up to 85% of people with acute neck pain found relief with Chiropractic adjustments.

Next Steps: 

Believe it or not, many people are nervous to start Chiropractic care. The truth is that Chiropractic care is safer than many medications and has far less risk than surgery. Sharing research like this with your friends and family is a great idea. It will inspire them to make a smart decision using the Research That Matters! 

Science Source: 

Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain- A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, Volume 156, 2012 

Safety of Chiropractic Manipulation of the Cervical Spine. SPINE, Volume 32, 2007 

Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults with Neck Pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 37. 2014

Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care. SPINE, Volume 33. 2008 

All About Bunions

Hallux valgus is defined as a deformity that occurs at the base of the hallux, the big toe. This condition, commonly called a bunion, is often associated with joint stiffness and causes a change in the alignment of the big toe. The big toe gradually deviates towards the other toes. It generally causes pain and in some cases an alteration in the normal biomechanics of walking.

The articular limitation of the extension of the big toe or ankle is often compensated by walking with an outward rotation of the foot. Over time, this pressure on the big toe joint causes the symptoms to appear and worsen.

The onset of hallux valgus can be accelerated by wearing narrow, pointed shoes, such as high heels. Structural abnormalities of the foot such as flat feet or an increase in the length of the hallux can also contribute to hallux valgus.

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Structures involved

In a case of hallux valgus, it is at the ​metatarsophalangeal joint t​ hat the change in the alignment of the joint occurs. Over time, the ligaments of this joint become more relaxed on the medial side of the joint. When hallux valgus is associated with joint stiffness, it is primarily the cartilage damage combined with the presence, in some cases, of slight bone deposits on the medial side of the joint that would be responsible for the restriction of movement.

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Signs & Symptoms that you may experience

Each person will react differently to this condition and recovery will depend on the stage of the condition. Hallux valgus can produce, but is not limited to, pain and the appearance of a small bump on the inner side at the base of the big toe, joint stiffness, difficulty with impact activities such as walking and running, and can sometimes cause localized edema around the big toe. The presence of hallux valgus is not always associated with symptoms of pain.

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Developments

Hallux valgus, often associated with osteoarthritis, is a progressive condition that cannot be cured, which means that the deformity may progress over time. However, an active lifestyle and a rehabilitation plan may slow the progression of this condition and its symptoms.

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▶​ ​WHAT TO DO

Painful episodes

Relative rest is a good way to prevent your symptoms from getting worse. A few days of rest by reducing activities that cause significant pain may be necessary.​ However, it is very important to avoid deconditioning. A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain, joint mobilization exercises and strengthening of the hallux muscles will allow for a better recovery.

Rehabilitation

Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of successful rehabilitation. Your therapist will accompany you during your rehabilitation program to improve the range of motion of your big toe and your leg in general, to restore your flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, and your functional state.

According to the principles of hallux valgus rehabilitation, improving the extension of the big toe and the articular amplitude of the ankle should be an integral part of the treatment plan. A program to improve joint range of motion and flexibility, as well as specific muscle strengthening is common to control the symptoms. Short-term use of a toe separator may be beneficial.

▶ ​WHAT TO AVOID

Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Remember that pain is not always a good indicator of joint and tissue damage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce joint range-of-motion exercises based on your tolerance. It is always better to limit walking to a pain-free level than to stop it completely. Remember that exercise is an excellent way to manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis in the big toe.

Decreasing Tension Headaches

Bottom Line:

Quick question: do you know anyone who isn’t interested in reducing the stress in their life? We’ll give you a minute. Still thinking? That’s what we thought! There aren’t too many of us who couldn’t benefit from reducing the stress in our daily lives. Between family, work, and the latest political thread on social media, the stress can be overwhelming! Chronic everyday stress can also significantly impact our brains and bodies, causing everything from fatigue and depression to debilitating headaches. 

Why it Matters:

Headaches caused by stress are often classified as tension-type headaches. Pain at the base of the skull that starts in the neck and wraps around to the front of the head is common with tension headaches. Research has shown that Chiropractic adjustments effectively treat and correct the cause of these headaches, providing both relief from symptoms and lasting results. In fact, in addition to reducing tension in the muscles supporting your neck, adjustments can also improve your range of motion and reduce your overall feeling of stress. This unique combination of benefits is why millions of people rely on Chiropractic care to help them find relief. 

  • Chronic stress can contribute to tension headaches.
  • Chiropractic care is one of the best ways to reduce stress on your musculoskeletal system and spine.
  • Adjustments have been shown to reduce the frequency, severity, and intensity of tension headaches. 

Next Steps: 

You don’t necessarily need to make drastic changes to your life to reduce your daily stress level. Picking up a new hobby, taking a few minutes to read before bed, or enjoying a relaxing activity like yoga can all help. If you would like to discover even more ways to help reduce your daily stress, we invite you to attend our complimentary workshop coming up soon. We’ll be covering everything you need to know to reduce stress and end your headaches now! 

Science Source(s): 

Do Manual Therapy Techniques Have a Positive Effect on Quality of Life in People with Tension-Type Headache? A Randomized Controlled Trial. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. February 2016

Preventing Menstrual Migraines 

Bottom Line:

For many women, monthly menstruation means monthly migraines. In addition to hormone changes, your diet, physical activity and stress levels all contribute to this pattern. While pregnancy and menopause are two ways to eliminate these types of headaches, we also have a few more practical ways to find relief!

Why it Matters:

New research recommends Chiropractic adjustments as part of an evidence-based approach to reducing the pain associated with migraine headaches. Regular adjustments can both help reduce the stress on the muscles that support your neck and improve your range of motion. By keeping active, reducing your stress, maintaining enough hydration, and staying well adjusted, you’ll give your body the best opportunity to manage those monthly hormonal changes and take the first step towards ending your migraine headaches!  

  • Hormonal changes cause monthly migraines for millions of women.
  • Stress has been shown to have a significant impact on hormonal balance.
  • Adjustments are recommended as an evidence-based approach to reducing both migraine headaches and overall levels of stress.  

Next Steps: 

Did you suffer from migraine headaches before coming into our practice? If so, stop by the front desk and let us know! Sharing your journey and how Chiropractic care helped you find relief may inspire someone else in our community to take action and find a natural solution to their headaches. 

Science Source(s): 

Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults with Headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Volume 34, Number 5. 2011

Your Active Lifestyle

Bottom Line:

Maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle can provide you with a life rich in experiences and fulfillment. Whether you enjoy team sports, individual pursuits, or just like getting your 10,000 steps in every day, we’re here to support you. While not everyone is destined to be a pro athlete, staying active and living a high quality of life are goals we can all strive for. Even just a few small changes to your habits around your exercise routine, thought processes, and nutrition can pay big dividends on your overall health and wellness.

Why it Matters:

Medical researchers around the world agree on the health benefits of an active lifestyle, such as reducing your risk of heart disease, anxiety and diabetes – but it doesn’t stop there. Each year, new research is published that shows even more benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle by staying active, eating right, and keeping a positive mental attitude. We call this a balance of physical, chemical and emotional stress. As nice as it may seem, no one can reduce all the stress in their life, but by understanding this delicate balance, you can start taking practical steps towards having a great life experience. 

  • A steady balance (or homeostasis), is when your body can function at its optimal level.
  • Excessive or chronic physical, chemical, or emotional stress can throw off this delicate balance.
  • Chiropractic care has been shown to reduce stress in the neuromusculoskeletal system by way of a muscle spindle stretch response.

Next Steps: 

Information and education about how to live a healthy lifestyle are essential, but what counts is taking action. Just like learning how to do a push up won’t make you more fit, understanding how to be more healthy won’t make you more healthy until you start to create better health habits and work towards making healthier decisions each day. Need a little inspiration? Connect with our Facebook Page where we post daily health tips and motivating messages to keep you on track!  

Science Source(s): 

The effects of a single session of spinal manipulation on strength and cortical drive in athletes. European journal of Applied Physiology. 2018

Changes in biochemical markers following spinal manipulation-a systematic review and meta-analysis. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice. 2017

Diet: Healthy Diet May Lower Risk of COPD.

Diet: Healthy Diet May Lower Risk of COPD.

New research suggests that a diet low in red meat and rich in whole grains may reduce the risk of developing a chronic lung disease known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Researchers tracked over 120,000 individuals and found that healthy eaters were one-third less likely to develop COPD when compared with regular consumers of red meat, refined grains, sugary drinks, and alcohol. The findings reveal that good eating habits appear to lower COPD risk for both smokers and nonsmokers alike.

 

British Medical Journal, February 2015

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Stiff neck??

One of the most common causes of a stiff neck are trigger points in the levator scapulae muscle. This muscle runs up the side of the neck from the top of the shoulder blade. It helps to shrug the shoulders and move and stabilize the neck. When trigger points form in this muscle they will produce pain and stiffness in the neck. Deep tissue trigger point massage applied to these knots is an effective treatment method.

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Finding Headache Relief Without Drugs 

Bottom Line:

Waking up with a headache or consistently getting one by the end of work each day is not fun (or normal). Headaches can be caused by a variety of factors, none of which are a shortage of medication in your body! As a matter of fact, if you have been relying on drugs to find relief day after day, there is a variety of new research that encourages you to reconsider. 

Why it Matters:

Relying on medications to find relief each and every day places an enormous amount of strain on your liver and other internal organs. What’s more, researchers have found that a common “side” effect of many popular headache mediations is…more headaches! And if that wasn’t enough to encourage you to think differently about how to treat your headaches, new research has found an increased risk of heart attacks in people who had taken NSAIDs (or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). It’s easy to see why our firm belief is that the best way for most people to find relief from their headaches is through natural healthcare such as combination of Chiropractic and light stress-relieving exercise like yoga. 

  • Headache medications often have dangerous side effects. 
  • Research has shown little to no evidence that such drugs are effective at treating headaches.
  • In a recent study, over 30% of participants saw a 100% improvement in the frequency and severity of their headaches after receiving Chiropractic care. 

Next Steps: 

Our workshop on finding natural solutions and relief from headaches is coming up soon! We’ll help you discover the causes of many common types of headaches, share tips on reducing their impact in your life, and review the steps you can take to ensure that you don’t have to suffer from them in the future. Share this with a friend and be sure to let us know how many people will be attending the workshop with you! 

Science Source(s): 

Dose-Response and Efficacy of Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Cervicogenic Headache: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. The Spine Journal. 2010 

Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache: a single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial. BioMed Central. 2017 

Mental well-being linked to better cardiovascular and overall health

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mental-well-being-linked-to-better-cardiovascular-and-overall-health

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Cardiovascular and general, overall health are well established factors to general wellbeing and mental health. Likewise, improving your overall health and specifically cardiovascular health will lead to improvements in your mental health and overall outlook.

Get fit and feel great!

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