Reasons To Go To A Local Chiropractor
There are a number of reason to visit your local Minnesota chiropractor, but one of the biggest ones is the peace of mind that you get from knowing that your wellness and health are going to be taken care of. So many conditions, from basic neck pain to migraine headaches, involve the spine and improper alignment that most people acquire from their modern lives. A monthly visit to a professional Minnesota doctor who knows what they are doing and who is willing to take the time to ensure that their clients are being taken care of is one of the best ways to ensure that you will not suffer long lasting health or spinal damage from minor conditions. Most people find that even a single visit is enough to change their quality of life.
For many people, life with a little bit of back pain is something that they assume is completely normal. However, this kind of pain isn’t something that you should have to live with and most people are putting themselves through needless agony. Many times this pain is because the spine is aligned incorrectly or because of posture that can be corrected over time. This is especially true for anyone who works at a desk or spends a large amount of time at a computer.
The Cause & Treatment of Desiccated Discs
Disc Desiccation Is a Painful Experience
Disc desiccation is a degenerative condition that can be very painful. It is the earliest sign of a more severe degeneration and should not be overlooked. If you find the right way to handle it in time, you will get the problem under control and be able to avoid more serious back problems or surgery. On this page, you will find some useful information on causes and treatment options.
Between every two vertebrae (the bones of your spinal column) there is a flat disc that protects your spine by acting as a cushion and shock absorber. It is made of a tough annulus fibrosis surrounding the jelly-like nucleus pulposus. Desiccation is the result of the loss of fluid in the discs, and this is in fact the basis for the condition's name: The term "disc desiccation" comes from the Greek word "diskos" (for disc) and the Latin word "desiccare" (to dry up).
Its main cause is the natural aging process. As we get older, it is only normal that a part of the fluid in our discs goes away. Most people experience some degree of desiccation during their lifetime. Many sufferers are 60 years of age and older.
Other causes include trauma or repeated strain or injury to the back. These causes are typically at fault when the condition occurs to younger people.
The symptoms of disc desiccation can appear gradually, or they can appear suddenly after an injury. They include:
- Pain caused by movement
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness
- Changes in reflexes
You can do a number of things to alleviate the pain related to disc desiccation. Talk to your doctor about treatment options, including those listed below. Some of these methods, however, do not produce permanent or lasting results.
- Massage therapy—Relaxing the muscles concerned can take pressure away from the affected area.
- Physiotherapy—Regularly doing targeted exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles around your spine can help alleviate pain. Ice and heat therapies can also be beneficial.
- Medication—Pain killers and relaxants provide at least some temporary relief. However, it is essential to take these medications only under the supervision of your physician.
- Weight Loss—If you are overweight there is a good chance that weight loss could relieve pressure on the affected disc. Follow a healthy diet and daily exercise regimen, but take care to stay away from high-impact activities that could further strain your back.
- Chiropractic Care—Many people claim that a visit to a chiropractor is an essential part of any back pain treatment. Chiropractors help align your back through natural methods, releasing muscles and evening pressure by fixing your posture.
- Surgery—This method should only be used if you experience severe pain and have already tried all other treatments. Seek multiple medical opinions before choosing an operation. This procedure involves a spinal fusion, in which the disc is removed (and sometimes an artificial one is inserted) and the adjacent vertebrae are joined with screws and rods. This can be highly successful in eliminating pain, but, again, should only be used as a last resort.
The First Step
The first step to take if you suspect disc desiccation is to see a doctor. In the meantime, avoid any activity that may strain your spine.
Disc degeneration is a normal part of aging, so as you get older, even if you do not suffer from disc desiccation, ask your doctor about stretches and exercises you can do to help strengthen the muscles that support your back.
This isn’t to say that people who have an active lifestyle are exempt from the need to see their local Minnesota chiropractor as well. Active lifestyles often have a large number of impact related activities, all of which put stress on the spine and the connecting muscles and joints. This can lead to pain that actually comes from the spine but seems like it is related to the neck, hips, joints, shoulders, knees, and more. Many people feel that this is just something you have to deal with when you are active, but no-one should live in pain.
Pain is the bodies way of saying that there is something wrong, and usually it should not be ignored. However, the way that the body works is incredibly complex and it doesn’t always pinpoint the problem in a way that is useful for most people. In fact, many people find that their body doesn’t tell them what they need to know, instead only showing them the part of the body that the stress if affecting, not where it is coming from. This is why so many at home treatments and remedies for pain are actually largely ineffective.
People who participate in sports will often get sports related injuries, which can alter the way that they move or do tasks throughout the day. This often leads to problems with the spine as the body is meant to move and react in very specific ways. The longer that the body is allowed to not react in these ways, the more damage will be done. This means that many people with sports related injuries are actually in pain and unable to go back to their regular routine for much longer than is necessary. A visit to a Minnesota health professional can help pinpoint the actual problem with the body and can ensure that the problem is corrected, allowing for the body to recover in a much more natural way.
Causes of Lower Right Back Pain
Chiropractors primarily use manipulation ("adjustment") of the spine as a treatment. Such treatments trace back to ancient China, Greece and Egypt. It gained popularity in the late 19th century, with the development of osteopathic and chiropractic medicine in North America.
Spinal manipulation (SMT) became more popular in the 1980s. It includes manipulation and massage to "adjust" the spine and related tissues, and is a primary basis of chiropractic.Systematic reviews have not found evidence that chiropractic manipulation is effective for any medical condition, with the possible exception of treatment for lower back pain. The safety of manipulation, particularly on the cervical spine has been debated. Adverse results, including death, are rare. Chiropractors may use exercise and other treatments and advice.
Skilled, specific hands-on techniques, including manipulation and mobilization, are used to diagnose and treat soft tissues and joint structures, to reduce pain and to increase range of motion and general health.
The approach is generally conservative, and treatment may include:
Chiropractors may also use exercise and other conservative treatments and advice.Lumbar, cervical and thoracic chiropractic spinal manipulation
The Chinese used such techniques more than 3000 years ago.Hippocrates also used such techniques as did the ancient Egyptians and other cultures.
In the late 19th century in North America, therapies including osteopathy and chiropractic became popular. Spinal manipulation gained mainstream recognition during the 1980s.
In this system, hands are used to manipulate, massage or otherwise influence the spine and related tissues. It is the most common and primary intervention used in chiropractic care.See also: Chiropractic controversy and criticism
Treatment is usually for neck or low back pain and related disorders.
For acute low back pain, low quality evidence has suggested no difference between real and sham spine manipulation, and moderate quality evidence has suggested no difference between spine manipulation and other commonly used treatments, such as medication and physical therapy.
National guidelines vary; some recommend the therapy for those who do not improve with other treatment. It may be effective for lumbar disc herniation with radiculopathy, as effective as mobilization for neck pain, some forms of headache, and some extremity joint conditions. A 2011 Cochrane review found strong evidence that suggests there is no clinically meaningful difference between spinal manipulation therapy and other treatments for reducing pain and improving function for chronic low back pain. A 2008 review found that with the possible exception of back pain, chiropractic manipulation has not been shown to be effective for any medical condition.
The use of spinal manipulation for non-musculoskeletal is controversial. It has not been shown to be effective for asthma, headache, hypertension, or dysmenorrhea. There is no scientific data that supports the use of SMT for idiopathic adolescent scoliosis.
Spinal manipulation is generally regarded as cost-effective treatment of musculoskeletal conditions when used alone or in combination with other treatment approaches. Evidence supports the cost-effectiveness of using spinal manipulation for the treatment of sub-acute or chronic low back pain whereas the results for acute low back pain were inconsistent.
All treatments need a thorough medical history, diagnosis and plan of management. Chiropractors, must rule out contraindications to any treatments, including adverse events.
Relative contraindications, such as osteoporosis are conditions where increased risk is acceptable in some situations and where mobilization and soft-tissue techniques may be treatments of choice. Most contraindications apply to the manipulation of the affected region.
While safety has been debated, and serious injuries and deaths can occur and may be under-reported, these are generally rare and spinal manipulation is relatively safe when employed skillfully and appropriately.
Adverse events are believed to be under-reported  and appear to be more common following high velocity/ low amplitude manipulation than mobilization. Mild, frequent and temporary adverse events occur in SMT which include temporary increase in pain, tenderness and stiffness. These effects generally are reduced within 24–48 hours  Serious injuries and fatal consequences, especially to SM in the upper cervical region, can occur. but are regarded as rare when spinal manipulation is employed skillfully and appropriately.
The relationship to stroke has been debated. Stroke is statistically associated with both general practitioner and chiropractic services in persons under 45 years of age, and these associations may be related to preexisting conditions. Weak to moderately strong evidence supports causation (as opposed to statistical association) between cervical manipulative therapy and vertebrobasilar artery stroke. A 2012 review found that there is not enough evidence to support a strong association or no association between cervical manipulation and stroke. A 2008 review found chiropractic are more commonly associated with serious related adverse effects than other professionals following manipulation and concluded that the risk of death from manipulations to the neck outweighs the benefits.
According to the American Chiropractic Association the most frequently used techniques by chiropractors are Diversified technique 95.9%, Extremity manipulating/adjusting 95.5%, Activator Methods 62.8%, Gonstead technique 58.5%, Cox Flexion/Distraction 58.0%, Thompson 55.9%, Sacro Occipital Technique [SOT] 41.3%, Applied Kinesiology 43.2%, NIMMO/Receptor Tonus 40.0%, Cranial 37.3%, Manipulative/Adjustive Instruments 34.5%, Palmer upper cervical [HIO] 28.8%, Logan Basic 28.7%, Meric 19.9%, and Pierce-Stillwagon 17.1%. Koren Specific Technique (KST) is a chiropractic technique created around 2004. There are about 200 chiropractic techniques, but there is a significant amount of overlap between them, and many techniques involve slight changes of other techniques.
Diversified technique is a non-proprietary and eclectic approach to spinal manipulation that is commonly used by chiropractors. The technique, as it is applied today, is largely attributed to the work of Joe Janse, D.C. Diversified is the most common spine manipulation technique used by chiropractors, with approximately 96% of chiropractors using it for approximately 70% of their patients. Diversified is also the technique most preferred for use during future practice by chiropractic students. Diversified is the only spine manipulation technique taught in Canadian chiropractic programs. Like many chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative techniques, Diversified is characterized by a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust. is considered the most generic chiropractic manipulative technique and is differentiated from other techniques in that its objective is to restore proper movement and alignment of spine and joint dysfunction.
Atlas Orthogonal Technique is an upper cervical chiropractic treatment technique created by Frederick M. Vogel and Roy W. Sweat in 1979. It is a technique which uses a percussion instrument in attempts to adjust what is measured from specific X-rays and found to be a subluxation of the atlas vertebra, the top vertebra in the cervical spine. It is based on the teachings of B. J. Palmer, who advocated the Hole-In-One version of spinal adjustment. It is primarily used by straight chiropractors. Referring to the origins of upper cervical techniques, Dan Murphy, DC, DABCO, wrote: "Over the past 100 years, the practice of chiropractic has branched into dozens of specialty techniques. However, historically, for a third of this time, from the 1930s into the 1960s, the predominant practice of chiropractic involved primarily the upper cervical spine."Main article: Activator technique
The Activator Method Chiropractic Technique (AMCT) is a chiropractic treatment method and device created by Arlan Fuhr as an alternative to manual manipulation of the spine or extremity joints. The device is categorized as a mechanical force manual assisted (MFMA) instrument which is generally regarded as a softer chiropractic treatment technique.
The activator is a small handheld spring-loaded instrument which delivers a small impulse to the spine. It was found to give off no more than 0.3 J of kinetic energy in a 3-millisecond pulse. The aim is to produce enough force to move the vertebrae but not enough to cause injury.
The AMCT involves having the patient lie in a prone position and comparing the functional leg lengths. Often one leg will seem to be shorter than the other. The chiropractor then carries out a series of muscle tests such as having the patient move their arms in a certain position in order to activate the muscles attached to specific vertebrae. If the leg lengths are not the same, that is taken as a sign that the problem is located at that vertebra. The chiropractor treats problems found in this way moving progressively along the spine in the direction from the feet towards the head.
Although prone "functional leg length" is a widely used chiropractic tool, it is not a recognized anthropometric technique, since legs are often of unequal length, and measurements in the prone position are not entirely valid estimates of standing X-ray differences. Measurements in the standing position are far more reliable. Another confounding factor is that simply moving the two legs held together and leaning them imperceptibly to one side or the other produces different results. Fuhr claims that properly trained doctors show good interexaminer reliability.
In 2003, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners found that 69.9% of chiropractors used the technique, and 23.9% of patients received it. The majority of U.S. chiropractic schools and some schools in other countries teach the AMCT method, and an estimated 45,000 chiropractors worldwide use AMCT or some part of the technique.
There have been a number of studies of AMCT, including case reports, clinical studies and controlled trials, but there are still unanswered questions. A few low-quality studies have suggested that the activator may be as effective as manual adjustment in treatment of back pain. A single high-quality study has suggested that activator-assisted manipulation directed by leg-length testing was significantly inferior to manual spinal manipulation guided by palpation and was more similar to the use of paracetamol for the treatment of low back pain.
Graston Technique (GT) is a trademarked therapeutic method for diagnosing and treating disorders of the skeletal muscles and related connective tissue. The method was started by David Graston and employs a collection of six stainless steel instruments of particular shape and size, which are used by practitioners to rub  patients' muscles in order to detect and resolve adhesions in the muscles and tendons. Practitioners must be licensed by the parent corporation (Graston Technique, LLC.) in order to use the Graston Technique trademark or the patented instruments.
Several examples of Graston treatment have been used in contact sports where scars and contusions are common. However, the Graston Technique has not been rigorously scientifically tested and its evidence basis and assumptions are considered questionable at best. There are no high quality clinical trials that validate the efficacy of the Graston Techniques.Main article: Gonstead technique
The Gonstead technique is chiropractic method that had been developed by Clarence Gonstead since 1923. The technique focuses on hands-on adjustment and is claimed to expand "standard diversified technique" by implementing additional instrumentation including X-rays, Gonstead Radiographic Parallel, a measuring device, and the development of Nervo-Scope, a device said to detect the level of neurophysiologic activity due to the existence of vertebral subluxation based on changes in skin temperature. Heat detector devices are unreliable and lack scientific evidence. The technique gained popularity in the 1960s. About 28.9% of patients have been treated with the Gonstead technique.Main article: Trigenics
Trigenics is a neurological-based manual or instrument-assisted assessment and treatment system developed and patented by Allan Oolo Austin,DC, DO, CCSP, CCRD. The technique originally began as a chiropractic technique, but is now practiced by osteopaths, physiotherapists and massage therapists. The technique is relatively infrequently used by chiropractors compared to other chiropractic techniques such as Diversified, Trigger point therapy and Activator.
Even if you are not particularly active or do not spend time at a desk, there are a number of different things in your life that could impact your spinal health. These can be anything from standing for long periods of time to the mattress that you use when you sleep. While they may not seem like much, these small stress factors add up over time, causing your body to slowly break down or encounter more issues with your spine, causing you pain for years to come. However, most of these problems can be eliminated with a few quick adjustments and some advice from the doctor.
While most of their work is going to be concentrated on adjustments and general treatment, a good Minnesota chiropractor will also ensure that the problems within your life are being taken care of as well. This may involve a brace, an exercise regimen, insoles, or a number of different small changes that you can make within your life. Combined with treatment, these recommendations will ensure that back pain does not continue to haunt you and that instead, you are able to get on with your life.
Overall, the role of your local Minnesota chiropractor within your life is likely larger than your imagine. While their focus is primarily on your spine, they are able to impact your overall health in a positive manner. Their attention to your entire wellness allows them to make better decisions for the health of your spine, joints, and muscles. Following their recommendations will result in higher levels of satisfaction and an increase in pain free days.
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