Muscle relaxants chiropractic

Why Chiropractic Adjustments Are Better Than Muscle Relaxants

Nearly everyone, more than 80 percent of the world’s population, will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. Just ask the 31 million Americans suffering from low back pain at any given time.

In fact, globally it is the leading cause of disability. It is the most common reason that people miss work and the second more common reason for doctor’s office visits. In the United States alone more than $50 billion is spent each year trying to relieve back pain, but even that figure is not complete, but only based on trackable, identifiable costs.

There have been studies published over the years that unequivocally show chiropractic as a viable and extremely effective treatment for back pain. Several of these studies plainly show that chiropractic is better than muscle relaxants.

Chiropractic Study

One study that is one of the most notable was conducted at Life University in Georgia. It has been cited in several journals and used as a catalyst for proving the efficacy of chiropractic treatment for back pain and its superiority to muscle relaxants.

Study Parameters

The study involved 192 subjects who had been experiencing lower back pain for a period of time ranging from two to six weeks. The subjects were separated into three groups:

  • Group One – Chiropractic adjustments combined with placebo medication
  • Group Two – Muscle relaxants combined with sham chiropractic adjustments
  • Group Three – Control Group – received both placebo medication and sham chiropractic adjustments

All groups were given the same length of care. Four weeks, with an evaluation of progress at the two-week mark and the four-week mark. The pain was assessed using the Zung Self-Rating for Depression scale, the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Questionnaire, and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Upon admission into the study during the initial visit as well as at the two-week evaluation. Shober’s Test for Lumbar Flexibility was also administered.

The subjects in all three groups were also allowed to take acetaminophen for pain. This was an additional evaluative measure to assess the need for additional self-medication.

During the course of the study there was a two-week treatment period where the subjects in the chiropractic adjustment group received a total of seven adjustments. These adjustments were tailored to each patient’s specific needs and included pelvic adjustments, sacral (lower back), or lumbar and upper cervical (neck and back).

The sham treatments mimicked all aspects of an actual chiropractic adjustment including dialog, normal visit length, and procedures. However, no actual adjustments were performed.

Study Results

At the conclusion of the study, the subjects who received chiropractic treatment reported a significant decrease in pain and an increase in flexibility. There were no significant differences noted of the groups that did not receive chiropractic treatment. There was a decrease in disability and depression across all three groups. This indicated that muscle relaxants are effective in treating back pain. However, chiropractic care is the more effective option for treating back pain and disability.

What does this mean for Patients with Back Pain?

Patients suffering from back pain can receive greater relief without the undesirable side effects of muscle relaxants by seeking chiropractic care. Persons who are using muscle relaxants to treat their back pain should talk to their chiropractor and doctor about incorporating chiropractic treatment into their patient care regimen. Patients experiencing back pain should pursue chiropractic care before resorting to more aggressive methods including muscle relaxants.

Chiropractic care is a safe, non-invasive treatment for back pain. It also facilitates healing, increases flexibility, and improves mobility. Patients who are looking for a healthy treatment option that focuses on overall wellness, Chiropractic could be the answer.

Give us a call at (780)455-2112 to schedule your appointment with one of our wellness chiropractors!

Spondylolisthesis chiropractic

How Chiropractic Helps Those That Suffer From Spondylolisthesis

Chiropractic care is a drug-free, nonsurgical treatment for many types of conditions and to help manage pain. As more and more medical professionals are recognizing its effectiveness and viability for treating many issues in the body, chiropractic is gaining popularity and becoming the treatment of choice for many patients with chronic pain, back problems and other issues. In particular, it has been found to be a very effective treatment for spondylolisthesis. It can not only relieve the pain, but often return the patient’s mobility as well.

What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one vertebra slides forward over the vertebra that is below it. It is typically confined to the lumbosacral, or lower back area. It can become painful, causing lower back pain and weakness or numbness in one or both legs, when it causes the nerve roots or spinal cord to be squeezed. In severe cases, a patient can lose control of their bowel or bladder function, but this is fairly rare. However, any patient who begins to lose bowel or bladder control should contact their doctor immediately.

In some cases, a person’s vertebra can slip out of place without any symptoms being present. Sometimes the symptoms don’t show up until months or even years later. Symptoms of spondylolisthesis may include:

  • Low back pain
  • Pain in the buttock area
  • Pain that radiates from the lower back down one or both legs
  • Weakness in one or both legs
  • Leg muscles feel tight (one or both legs)
  • Limping or walking difficulties
  • Loss of bower or bladder control (rare)
  • Pain that increases when twisting or bending

How is Spondylolisthesis Diagnosed?

Spondylolisthesis is diagnosed by a doctor or chiropractor who may conduct several diagnostic tests. Typically, the doctor will take X-rays of the patient’s back to rule out certain conditions, especially if they suspect spondylolisthesis.

The X-ray will allow the doctor to see if any of the patient’s vertebrae have slipped out of place, or are cracked or fractured. An MRI or CT scan may also be ordered to better view the spine and see the extent of the damage.

What are the Treatments for Spondylolisthesis?

The treatment for spondylolisthesis is based on the actual damage identified by the doctor, the pain and mobility problems that the patient is experiencing, and the overall severity of the condition. Rest is the first course of treatment as well as ceasing the physical activities that may have caused the damage in the first place.

Pain may be managed by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen. Acetaminophen may also be administered for pain.

Other treatments for spondylolisthesis include:

  • Bracing
  • Weight loss (if the person is obese or overweight)
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the core
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Surgery (in severe cases such as damage to the spinal cord or nerve root)

There are several types of surgery that may be used to treat spondylolisthesis. The surgeon may remove tissue or bone in order to relieve pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. Sometimes the doctor may opt for fusing the damaged bones into place so they can no longer slip. In some cases, both procedures are done. This type of treatment is usually a last resort because recovery can be lengthy. The patient will have to wear a back brace or cast while their back is healing.

Is Chiropractic Effective for Treating Spondylolisthesis?

Chiropractic is a drug-free, noninvasive treatment for spondylolisthesis. It is often a preferred treatment because the patient does not have to undergo painful surgery or take medication that could have undesirable side effects. There are three primary spinal manipulation techniques that may be used by the chiropractor:

  • Spinal manipulation specific to the restricted or impaired joints
  • Flexion-distraction technique which is a slow, gentle pumping action
  • Instrument assisted manipulation uses an instrument to apply gentle force to the spine

Chiropractic care has been found to be very effective in treating this condition, but prevention is always the best course of action. Regular exercise, healthy weight management, and regular chiropractic visits can help ward off many spine related conditions including spondylolisthesis.

Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about chiropractic care and the benefits!

Spine Chiropractic

4 Reasons Why Chiropractic Is Good for Your Spine

Your spine goes through a lot each day. It provides structural support and houses the central nervous system which carries impulses from the brain throughout the body. When it isn’t working as it should, the entire body can be affected. Chiropractic has long been praised as a way to keep the back healthy. Well, now we’ll get down to the nitty gritty and examine just why it is so good for your spine.

It improves your posture

Posture is not only good for your spine, it is beneficial for the entire body. It keeps the body in proper alignment which, in turn, allows the muscles to work as they should.

This prevents abnormal wearing on the surfaces of the joints and allows joint and muscles to work more effectively and efficiently. Good posture helps to prevent injury and even helps with proper organ function.

However, many people have poor posture and don’t even realize it. Chiropractic can help bring the body into alignment and improving posture which greatly benefits the spine. The patient then enjoys improved range of motion and even more energy as the body does not have to work so hard to compensate for misalignments and poor posture.

It helps to relieve pain

It is estimated that as much as 90 percent of people experience back pain at some point. Considering all that the back goes through in a typical day, it isn’t much of a stretch to think that there might be some pain involved at times. This is especially true if the back is not properly aligned.

Chiropractic is traditionally thought of as a treatment for back pain, but what many people don’t realize is that it is also used to treat pain in the knees, ankles, feet, hands, and jaw. When there is pain in the body it will often try to compensate by adjusting to take the pressure off of certain areas.

This can cause misalignment which can impact the entire system, causing pain and stiffness. A Doctor of Chiropractic may treat these problems with various chiropractic techniques, specific exercise recommendations, and even dietary changes in order to relieve the pain.

It strengthens the spine to support the body

The spine is the primary support for the body. When it breaks down, the body suffers. Regular chiropractic treatment ensures that the spine remains in proper alignment which, in turn, keeps the body in proper alignment.

It helps with joint health as well as the health of the related muscles and ligaments. Your chiropractor can also recommend stretching and strength building exercises to help keep your spine strong and supple.

Chiropractic helps to keep the back flexible which aids in preventing injury. A strong spine is also less likely to become misaligned or experience pain. This can greatly improve your quality of life as you are more flexible and mobile.

It improves overall health

Chiropractic is good for your spine which means it is good for your overall health. While many people think that its only purpose is to treat back pain, chiropractic actually focuses on total body wellness.

All too often problems within the body are interrelated. For instance, back pain could be the result of an altered gait due to an ankle injury, or a headache could be caused by a misaligned neck due to improper sleep positions (or even the wrong pillow).

Chiropractors do treat the symptoms but they also delve into the problem to discover the root so that true healing can occur. This not only makes the spine healthy, but the entire body as well.

Call (780)455-2112 to schedule your assessment today!

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction chiropractic benefits

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction: Can Chiropractic Help?

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a very common ankle and foot problem that occurs when there is a tear or inflammation in the posterior tibial tendon. The tendon that is at the back of the ankle and is the key player in stabilizing the foot. Inflammation or tear affects the integrity of the tendon, weakening it so that is no longer provides the support or stability of the arch of the foot. Flatfoot is a common result of this dysfunction.

While this condition rarely requires surgery, there is pain, sometimes severe, swelling, and impaired mobility associated with it. Patients have found that Chiropractic for flatfoot has been very effective. It helps them heal faster and manage their pain.

What causes posterior tibial tendon dysfunction?

The most common causes of flatfoot are overuse and injury. Falls are common culprits, causing injury to the tendon so that it tears or becomes inflamed.

Over training, particularly in high impact exercise or sports like basketball, dancing, soccer, and high impact aerobics can get tears due to the repetitive motion and constant pressure on the foot. Once the tendon is torn or inflamed, the arch begins to collapse until eventually the foot is flat.

This condition occurs more often in women than men. People over 40 seem to be more prone to posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. It can also occur in younger people who over train or have any of the other risk factors including diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.

What are the symptoms of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction?

Pain is the first and most common indicator of flatfoot. It typically is located where the tendon lies; along the inner portion of the ankle and foot. Sometimes swelling may be present.

The patient will also notice that the pain increases with activity. High impact or high intensity activities can be excruciating and quite difficult. It can get to the point where standing or walking for extended periods of time are very painful.

In advanced stages, the pain may shift to the outer portion of the ankle. As the arch collapses, the movement may cause the heel bone to shift outward. This, in turn, puts pressure on the outer ankle bone.

How is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction treated?

The treatment for flatfoot depends on the severity of the condition. Most patients can avoid surgery, but it is still a long healing process.

Typically, the patient will be advised to rest and ice the area, switch to low impact exercise, and take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication for the pain. In moderate to severe cases, the patient may be put in a walking boot or short leg cast for 6 to 8 weeks in order to immobilize the foot and ankle, letting the tendon rest and heal. The downside of this is that the other muscles around the ankle will also “rest” and atrophy as a result.

Shoe inserts, or orthotics, as well as braces are also common treatments for flatfoot. However, any type of immobilization of the ankle and foot is usually accompanied by physical therapy either while the brace is worn or after a cast has been removed.

In more severe cases, the doctor may recommend a steroid injection directly into the tendon. There is an increased risk of the tendon rupturing when this is done. Surgery is usually a last resort and it is much more complex. Patients who undergo surgery for flatfoot rarely regain all of the mobility they had prior to the operation.

Chiropractic for posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

There has been a great deal of success in using chiropractic to treat flatfoot. The chiropractor will typically recommend rest and ice. They will also use chiropractic manipulations to help bring the ankle, foot, and leg back into alignment to counteract the weakened tendon. Often the ankle will lose mobility as the arch collapses and the bones in the foot and ankle shift. This, in turn, causes the arch to collapse even more.

By using chiropractic techniques to bring the ankle back into alignment, thus restoring the forward glide of the joint, they can alleviate the pain and help heal the condition. They may also recommend an air brace to stabilize the ankle when the patient will be doing a lot of walking as well as advise on lifestyle changes such as weight loss and a healthy diet. Patients who have tried working with medical doctors to cure their flatfoot but were unsuccessful, were finally able to gain relief and improvement when they started working with their chiropractor.

Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our doctors. Call (780)455-2112 to schedule your appointment!

osteoporosis chiropractic benefits

Osteoporosis vs. Osteopenia: What’s the Difference?

Osteoporosis is a significant health problem in the United States and worldwide. An estimated 10 million individuals have osteoporosis in the U.S. alone. An additional 18 million individuals are at risk of developing the disease, according to research. Females make up 80 percent of individuals who suffer from osteoporosis. This also occurs in males, although it is often under diagnosed and thus under reported.

What is equally disturbing is that another 34 million individuals in the U.S. are at risk of developing osteopenia, a common precursor to osteoporosis. Many experts blame the typical American diet and lifestyle. Although, genetics can also contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing either of the diseases. The prevalence of both osteoporosis and osteopenia are serious health issues so it is important to understand them.

What is Osteopenia?

Osteopenia is often a warning sign of impending osteoporosis. Nearly half of all Americans who are more than 50 years old have the disease.

Like osteoporosis, osteopenia is a bone disease, marked by a decrease in bone mineral density – or bone loss. While it is not as devastating as osteoporosis, it is a strong indicator that the patient will eventually develop the disease.

Nutrition and exercise are common treatments for osteopenia. Occasionally doctors will prescribe medication, but that is usually not the preferred treatment. Exercise, specifically weight bearing exercise, is a very effective treatment and preventative measure against osteoporosis.

Incorporating calcium and vitamin D are also common treatments. These can be in the form of supplements. Patients are also encouraged to eat calcium rich foods such as yogurt, leafy greens like spinach, and sardines.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a serious condition that causes bones to become extremely brittle and weak. The word “Osteoporosis” literally means “porous bone” which is indicative of the primary characteristic of the disease.

When the bone is viewed under a microscope, it has tiny holes in its surface. While healthy bone has a honeycomb appearance under a microscope, bone with osteoporosis has much larger spaces and holes. The mass and density of osteoporotic bone is severely compromised. This can result in frequent broken bones, as well as chronic pain and a patient can even lose several inches in height.

Patients with osteoporosis can also experience limited mobility due to the disease or broken bones that may occur as a result. This can lead to other health problems including depression and obesity. These conditions can exacerbate the disease itself and increase the patient’s pain. Often patients with osteoporosis, particularly at advanced stages, require long term care in a facility such as a nursing home.

The real danger with osteoporosis is not how devastating it is to bones. It is the way it can go undetected for so long. Often it is not discovered until a bone is actually broken or the patient’s upper back begins curving forward. Sometimes the patient may become shorter. At that stage it is usually very advanced. With the right treatment, though, it can be slowed or stopped. Sometimes bone density can be improved and the disorder can be reversed at least to some degree.

What to do if you have Osteoporosis or Osteopenia

If you suspect that you may have osteoporosis or osteopenia, or may be at risk for developing it, the first thing you need to do is talk to your doctor to confirm that you do have it. From there you can decide on a course of action which is usually exercise, diet, lifestyle changes, and chiropractic treatments. The sooner you take steps to protect and improve your health, the less likely you are to develop long term conditions.

Give our clinic a call to schedule your assessment. Our Chiropractors are skilled and thorough professionals that’s happy to help! (780)455-2212 www.ocwc.ca for more info.