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How Chiropractic Keeps Spinal Joints Healthy

Healthy joints have obvious benefits, including aiding in movement, keeping you flexible and allowing you to stay active. The health of some of your joints is readily apparent—you only have to bend your knees, ankles, elbows or wrists to see how they are functioning at any given moment. But there are some joints in your body that are even more important, although you may not be as aware of them. The joints in your spine, where each vertebra connects to another, are vital to the normal, healthy function of your body. Without healthy spinal joints, you can expect pain and loss of mobility, among other unpleasant symptoms.

Fortunately, keeping your spinal joints healthy is made much easier with regular chiropractic care. Periodic visits to your chiropractor will help you keep your spine operating as well as it possibly can, year in and year out!

Ways that Chiropractic Aids Spinal Joint Health

1. Increasing circulation.

Stiffness in the spine can be caused by a variety of issues, including trauma and degenerative disc disease. While chiropractic cannot prevent the wear and tear that life often brings, it can do a lot to heal that damage. One way that adjustments aid in healing is by increasing circulation to your spinal discs and surrounding tissues. Increased circulation brings in healthy nutrients and removes undesirable material, making it possible for your spine to heal more thoroughly than without good circulation.

2. Reducing or eliminating pain.

Back pain can make living a normal life difficult if not impossible. Depending on the frequency and severity of the pain, you may find yourself unable to do many of the things you once enjoyed. Even if you do not lose mobility, back pain can distract and upset you every time it shows up.

The pain in your back can most likely be alleviated through chiropractic care. By returning your spine to proper alignment, your chiropractor can ease pressure on the nerves in your back and encourage muscles and other soft tissue to release. Over time spinal adjustments can greatly reduce or even eliminate back pain, which will help you stay active and improve the health of your spinal joints.

3. Increasing mobility.

Pain in your spine and/or neck is usually accompanied by a loss of mobility. Your muscles may seize up in an effort to protect your spine, which can make it impossible to move normally. Even if you are not suffering from muscle spasms, consistent back and neck pain can make you hesitant to move in ways that will trigger pain. Over time, the lack of movement can cause the body to stiffen and weaken. The longer this goes on, the less likely you are to get the physical activity you need to keep your joints mobile and your body strong.

Chiropractic adjustments are capable of breaking up the stiffness that holds you back. By returning your spine to proper alignment, circulation is increased, pain is decreased, muscles release and mobility returns. It can take time to get back to the way you want to be, but it is time well spent.

Joint Health Requires Consistency

The best way to keep your spinal joints healthy over the long-term is to make regular visits to your chiropractor while also maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Every individual is different, which is why it is important to get customized treatment from your chiropractor. By establishing a relationship with your chiropractor, you can ensure that you are always on the right track for spinal joint health.

Check out our website @ www.ocwc.ca. Or contact us today @ 780-952-2312 to schedule an appointment with our team.

3 Benefits Chiropractic Patients Enjoy

It’s no secret that we’re a little biased when it comes to chiropractic care. We believe in it, we’ve seen how great it works, and our many happy patients are a great testimony to how well it works.

Still, there are some nay-sayers who believe that medical treatments are the only way to treat health care concerns and health conditions. While we do believe that medical treatments do indeed have their place, we also know for a fact that chiropractic offers far more benefits, provides faster results for many neuromusculoskeletal conditions. By providing a non pharmacological option for pain management, chiropractic care provides far reaching care that goes to the heart of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms.

If you’ve chosen to incorporate chiropractic care into your health plan, you’ve made a very wise decision. There are many benefits that chiropractic patients enjoy. Here are three great advantages that chiropractic care will provide – and they’re big ones.

1. Chiropractic treats the root of the problem while “the others” only treat the symptoms.

Modern medicine certainly has its place. It has helped many people. However, it tends to be rather short sighted when dealing with many neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

Chiropractic, on the other hand, seeks to find the root of the problem, to address the reason the patient is having the problem and correct it.

For instance, if a patient came in with back pain, a medical doctor may prescribe painkillers and invasive treatments. Their goal is to stop the pain.

However, a chiropractor will try to find out why the patient’s back is hurting and address the cause while treating the pain without medications or invasive procedures.

2. Chiropractic is completely natural and noninvasive, “the others” rely on drugs and surgery.

Chiropractic is entirely natural, using spinal adjustments and other techniques, combined with nutritional advice, lifestyle recommendations, and all-natural supplements.

“The others” are more reliant on medications that are often largely synthetic and have unpleasant, even dangerous side effects. Some medications are even addictive. Surgeries and other invasive procedures can leave you with difficulty in mobility and limited range of motion as you heal.

When you visit a chiropractor for your back pain, he or she will not only adjust your spine, they will also talk to you about your daily activities, habits, even how you sleep. They will make recommendations about things you can do to prevent the pain and strengthen your back. It may mean making some changes or doing some special exercises, but your treatment will be tailored specifically to you and your needs.

3. Chiropractic treats the body as a whole but “the others” only treat what’s hurting now.

Medical treatments tend to treat what’s hurting right now but rarely look beyond that to see how the whole body is affected. What’s more, they don’t tend to look at what is causing the problem, treating the body in parts.

This is unnatural and not the best way to combat pain and many neuromusculoskeletal conditions. It may work for a while, but eventually issues in the body will manifest in other areas as well.

For instance, a problem with the hip may manifest as knee pain. The doctor treats the knee but does not address the hip (which is the cause of the problem). Eventually, the hip worsens, and the back, knee and ankle become affected. The hips and other joints on the other side may also become affected as the body tries to compensate.

Chiropractic treats the body as a whole, not as parts. It finds the cause of the problem and addresses that while also treating the part that is in pain.

Chiropractic also looks at lifestyle, diet, habits, even relationships so see where you could have stressors or things that could be posing a risk to your health, making your neuromusculoskeletal condition worse or more difficult to treat.

To learn more about our office, visit our website @ ocwc.ca.
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How the Armed Forces Benefit From Chiropractic

Members of the military put their bodies through tremendous stress every day, both physical and emotional. Add to that injuries that gamut from minor to serious trauma and you have a strong case for chronic pain. Often, this pain affects our veterans and soldiers on a daily basis, interfering with their normal activities and impacting their ability to perform their regular daily tasks. All too often, doctors will dismiss the pain as “something you just have to live with” and write prescriptions for narcotics that impair and incapacitate the patient. There are better ways to manage a good bit of the chronic pain that members of the military live with each day. We’ll explore one way, mainly chiropractic, in today’s article.

Chronic pain and members of the military

The regular demands of being a soldier, coupled with the stress that is prevalent, particularly among active duty military personnel, can create a perfect storm of sorts for chronic pain. When they are advised to tough it out or arrive at that option on their own, they usually do not get the medical attention they need. This can lead to exacerbation of the issue, compelling the soldier to seek treatment only when the pain is severe, or the condition is serious.

Single event trauma is all too common in this arena and plays a large part in the pain they experience, as does surgeries to correct injuries or trauma. However, the cumulative stress can have a detrimental effect on not just the condition and the pain, but the patient’s perception of the pain. In other words, it can cause them to experience the pain more acutely and have greater difficulty in managing it.

These issues are a part of the military and they aren’t likely to change. A chiropractor can help military personnel manage their pain, prevent injury, and regain flexibility and range of motion. It can be the solution that makes all the difference.

Using alternative treatments to combat an epidemic

Right now, opioid abuse has become an epidemic, yet doctors can rarely find viable alternatives that don’t have the dangerous and uncomfortable side effects – and that are not addictive. In truth, painkiller use is a growing problem with veterans and active military alike, mainly due to issues with substance abuse.

While their medications do relieve pain, the cost is just too great in many cases. Many people who take these pain pills report that they would live from pill to pill, their lives revolving around their next dose. That is why chiropractic is such an attractive option.

Chiropractic care for chronic pain

Chiropractic care is a highly effective way to manage chronic pain and help speed healing from injuries. It is safe, non-invasive, and does not require any medication.

The chiropractor will use specific spinal adjustments and other techniques to bring the body back into alignment. A balanced body heals faster and experiences less pain.

The patient may also receive recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and dietary advice from their chiropractor which can help speed up the results and bring them to a place of less pain or no pain much faster.

To learn more about our office, check out ocwc.ca.
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What’s the Difference Between Osteopenia and Osteoporosis?

Osteopenia and osteoporosis are two very similar conditions, but one is more severe than the other. Both conditions are decreased bone density, but osteopenia is to a lesser degree than osteoporosis. Osteopenia is still a problem though because it can increase a person’s chances of breaking a bone due to bone fragility.

What are the symptoms?

Osteopenia usually doesn’t cause symptoms unless a bone is broken. However, some patients who present with osteopenia complain of dull back pain.

Symptoms associated with osteoporosis include the following:

  • Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
  • Loss of height over time
  • A stooped posture
  • A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected

What are the causes and who is at risk?

Women (primarily small-boned Caucasian and Asian) are most at risk for both conditions, primarily those who are age 65 or older as well as women who are postmenopausal. However, men can also be affected.

Anyone who meets any of the criteria for being at risk for either of the bone conditions should be evaluated. Often, catching the conditions early can make a significant difference in the effects that they have on the body and in some cases, can even be arrested so that they don’t progress.

Some of the common causes of both conditions include:

  • Lifestyle habits
    • Smoking
    • Insufficient calcium
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Excessive alcohol consumption
    • Vitamin D deficiency
    • Carbonated beverages
  • Medical situations
    • Bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders
    • Estrogen deficiency in women
    • Certain hormone imbalances
    • Overactive thyroid
    • Certain treatments including radiation and chemotherapy
    • Low testosterone in men
    • Medications including anti-seizure, hydrocortisone, and steroids
  • Health issues
    • Tumors
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Crohn’s disease
    • Digestive issues

It should also be noted that certain types of diets, particularly those that advocate extremely low fat, or no fat can also cause problems. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption in the body, but vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning the body requires some fat in order to make use of it. When there is inadequate fat, the vitamin cannot be absorbed and in turn calcium cannot be absorbed.

A family history of osteopenia, osteoporosis, or low bone mass can increase a person risk by 50% to 85%.

How is it diagnosed?

Bone mineral density (BMD) tests are used to diagnose both osteopenia and osteoporosis by measuring the calcium levels in bone. This type of test can also provide an estimate of how much at risk a person is for bone fractures.

This test is painless and non-invasive. It is usually performed on the heel, shin bone, wrist, spine, finger, or hip.

Two common types of these tests are radiographs, a common diagnostic tool for osteopenia, and Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA). A DEXA scan is essentially a low energy x-ray so patients are not exposed to as much radiation as they would be if they had a regular x-ray. The results are attained by comparing the score (measurements taken) to scans of individuals who do not have the condition.

Once the score is measured and compared, it is assessed using a chart that identifies the level or risk:

  • +1.0 to -1.0  –  Normal bone density
  • -1.0 to -2.5  –  Low bone density
  • -2.5 or higher  –  At risk for osteoporosis

What are the treatments?

As with most conditions, prevention is the most effective treatment. If you have a family history or fall under any of the risk factors, there are things you can do to minimize the effects or prevent the conditions completely.

Your chiropractor can talk to you about lifestyle changes, exercise, and diet as well as supplements that you can take. Chiropractic adjustments can also be effective for many patients with osteopenia and osteoporosis as long as the choose technique is a low force technique like Activator.

Many patients find these natural treatments preferable to any medications that may be prescribed. The most important thing you should do, though, is get a bone density test if you are in an at-risk category, are a woman who is postmenopausal or age 65 or older.

To learn more about our office, check out our website @ ocwc.ca
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3 Abnormalities of the Spine that Benefit from Consistent Chiropractic Care

The spine are comprised of vertebrae, small bones that are stacked on top of each other with impact cushioning discs between each one. These bones act as joints, allowing the spine to bend and twist in a variety of ways. However, it is not intended to be naturally bent, twisted, or curved. The natural state of a healthy spine is somewhat straight with slight curves running front to back so that a side view would reveal them. They gently curve, sloping slightly inward at the small of the back, and again slightly at the neck. The pull of gravity, combined with body movement, can put a great deal of stress on the spine and these slight curves help absorb some of the impact.

Viewing the spine from the back, you should see something completely different – a spine that runs straight down, top to bottom with no side to side curves. This doesn’t always happen though. Sometimes there are abnormalities of the spine and it causes a misalignment of the natural curvatures or some curvatures may be exaggerated. These unnatural curvatures of the spine are characterized by three health conditions called lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis.

Three different conditions for three different types of spinal curvatures

Each of these three spinal curvature disorders affects a certain area of the spine in a very specific way.

  • Hyper or Hypo Lordosis – This spinal curvature disorder affects the lower back, causing the spine to curve inwards or outwards significantly.
  • Hyper or Hypo Kyphosis – This spinal curvature disorder affects the upper back, causing the spine to bow, resulting in that area rounding or flattening abnormally.
  • Scoliosis – This spinal curvature disorder can affect the entire spine, causing it to curve sideways, forming a C or S shape.

What are the symptoms of spinal curvature disorders?

Each type of curvature exhibits its own set of symptoms. While some symptoms may overlap, many are unique to the specific curvature disorder.

  • Lordosis
    • A “swayback” appearance where the buttocks stick out or are more pronounced.
    • Discomfort in the back, typically in the lumbar region
    • When lying on a hard surface on the back, the lower back area does not touch the surface, even when attempting to tuck the pelvis and straighten the lower back.
    • Difficulty with certain movements
    • Back pain
  • Kyphosis
    • A curve or hump to the upper back
    • Upper back pain and fatigue after sitting or standing for long periods (Scheuermann’s kyphosis)
    • Leg or back fatigue
    • The head bends far forward instead of being more upright
  • Scoliosis
    • Hips or waist are uneven
    • One shoulder blade is higher than the other
    • Person leans to one side

What are the causes of spinal curvature disorders?

Many different health issues can cause the spine to become misaligned or to form a spinal curvature. Each of the spinal conditions mentioned is affected by different conditions and situations.

  • Lordosis
    • Osteoporosis
    • Achondroplasia
    • Discitis
    • Obesity
    • Spondylolisthesis
    • Kyphosis
  • Kyphosis
    • Arthritis
    • Tumors on or in the spine
    • Congenital kyphosis (abnormal development of the vertebrae while the person is in utero)
    • Spina bifida
    • Scheurmanns disease
    • Spine infections
    • Osteoporosis
    • Habitual slouching or poor posture

Scoliosis is still a bit of a mystery to doctors. They are not certain what exactly causes the most common form of scoliosis that is typically seen in children and adolescents. Some of the causes that they have pinpointed include:

  • Hereditary, it has a tendency to run in families
  • Infection
  • Birth defect
  • Injury

Chiropractic for spinal curvature disorders

Spinal manipulations for spinal curvature disorders have been shown to be very effective. Chiropractic helps restore the spine’s natural balance even if the patient has one of these types of conditions.

There are screenings available for both children and adults to identify any spinal curvatures in their early stages through your chiropractor. Early detection of these disorders is crucial in identifying them before they become too serious.

To learn more about our office, check out www.ocwc.ca

Why Chiropractic Works Well Against Joint Pain

As seasons change, you may notice some pain in your joints. Fortunately, chiropractic care can help. When most people hear “chiropractic care” they usually think of spinal problems and back pain. While this is true, chiropractic can treat conditions other than pain in the joints of the spine. It can be used for joints all over the body, including ankles, knees, shoulders, hips, and wrists. It is a natural, whole body approach to health care and wellness as a very effective way to manage chronic joint pain such as arthritis, or join pain due to injury.

What Causes Joint Pain and Immobility?

There are several reasons that a joint may become painful and immobile. Injury or trauma to the joint, such as a fall, being hit while playing sports, or being involved in a car accident, can cause injury. Micro trauma occurs due to a repetitive use injury such as working on an assembly line or using a computer all day, can also cause damage resulting in pain.

Sometimes an inflammatory diet can cause problems and stress can also certainly be a factor. Stress affects the entire body, including its chemicals and hormones that can lead to joint damage or weakness, making you more prone to injury.

Finally, age may be a factor. As we get older, our bodies don’t hold up like they once did. This can mean joint pain and decreased range of motion. The colder months can instigate pain in the major joints, including the knees, back, hips, and shoulders.

Why does Cold Weather Exacerbate Joint Pain?

The short answer to this is that researchers aren’t really sure. One of the most popular theories is that low pressure systems typically accompany the cooler temps. The lower pressure can cause the tissues in already sensitive joints to expand, creating a perfect environment for inflammation including aches, tenderness, decreased range of motion, and swelling.

Other factors that may also affect joint pain in cooler weather are low level dehydration, a sedentary lifestyle, and depression or “the blues.” Low level dehydration is more common than you may think; most people do not have adequate water intake.

Sodas don’t count as hydration and this can be a real problem. Generally, people don’t hydrate as much when the weather is cool – or not as much as they did during the warm summer months.

When the weather cools down people become less active, especially if there is snow and ice on the ground. Lack of exercise can lead to serious joint troubles.

Depression can also impact your entire body, including your joints. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Doctors believe that it occurs because of the shorter days and generally darker skies during the winter months. Depression and anxiety have strong ties to chronic pain as a whole, including joint pain.

How Chiropractic Helps Relieve Joint Pain

Chiropractic provides an all-natural, holistic approach to health care and pain management. It does not use medications or invasive medical procedures.

The chiropractor usually begins by aligning the spine, which is called an “adjustment.” This brings the body back into alignment so that it can function more efficient and with less pain. The patient may also be given recommendations on lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, exercise, and supplements.

When the body is aligned, the entire system is balanced. This allows the body to work at a more optimal rate. As a result, the range of motion improves and the pain is decreased or even completely eliminated.

To learn more about our office. visit www.ocwc.ca

How Musicians Can Benefit From Chiropractic

Musicians put their bodies through a lot. They practice for hours a day and, depending on the instrument played, engage certain parts of their bodies in repetitive type motions for long periods of time.

For instance, a pianist will sit or stand at a piano or keyboard, often in the same position for hours. A clarinet player must keep their head, neck, and jaw in a precise position in order to play properly. A guitarist must sit for long periods while holding the guitar in a certain position while moving their fingers over the frets in a very precise manner.

It’s no wonder that many musicians complain of headaches, migraines, carpal tunnel, clicking jaw, numbness in the fingers, and back and neck pain!

Some of this pain can be debilitating and make it more difficult for them to perform their normal activities. Many live with chronic pain.

There was a time when these conditions were considered to be just a part of playing an instrument and the musician would push through the pain. However, may are turning to chiropractic and are enjoying not only a pain free life, but improved performance as well.

How Playing an Instrument Affects a Musician’s Body

Some doctors liken musicians to athletes – instrumental athletes. They do have very similar practices such as practicing for hours a day so that they can perfect their abilities and skills. And like athletes, they also experience certain break downs within the body.

Posture is a common malady as the musician may stand or sit a certain way in order to play their instrument. This prolonged activity can lead to imbalances in the spine, pelvis, and other parts of the body.

When the body is not in balance, it cannot function as it should. Organs are affected and other the body may try to make accommodations for the imbalance which only exacerbates the problem.

This is further compounded each time the musician plays their instrument because by doing so they are consistently underworking and overworking certain muscles. This can lead to further imbalance.

The muscles that are worked, the ones used to play the instrument, get shorter, tighter, and stronger as scar tissue forms. By contrast, the underworked muscle groups stay underdeveloped and get weak. This muscular imbalance puts a great deal of stress on the spin and other joints in the body like the fingers, wrists, and elbows

They may also experience Repetitive Strain Injury, or RSI. This condition is often quite painful and is concentrated in the soft tissues, nerves, tendons, and muscles.

These areas may become painful or inflamed when put under repetitive activities, pressing against hard surfaces, vibrations, awkward sustained positions, and forceful exertions. This causes the body to become out of alignment but also impacts the function of the skeletal system, nervous system, and muscular system.

Chiropractors for Musicians

Chiropractors are very good for musicians because the can assess misalignments in their spine and make adjustments. When proper original alignment is stored to the body, it begins to function properly. This leads to a decrease in pain and other symptoms that may be experience due to the long hours of playing an instrument.

Musicians also benefit from chiropractic because it can make them better at what they do. When the pain is decreased or eliminated and the other symptoms are relieved, it is easier to play.

When the spine is in proper alignment and the body is balanced, the musician will experience a boost in energy, their muscles will not fatigue as quickly, and their muscles will be more relaxed.

To learn more about our office, check out www.ocwc.ca. 
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What Age Should Children Begin Chiropractic?

In the last few decades chiropractic care has enjoyed a tremendous boost in popularity among adults. They use it to help manage their pain, relieve chronic conditions, prevent injury, and improve range of motion, flexibility, and overall wellness. But at what age should you begin chiropractic? What is the best time for children to start seeing a chiropractor?

The short answer is, as early as possible!

The long answer is a little more detailed.

Can children get chiropractic care?

Yes, children can see a chiropractor and receive treatment. Most chiropractors will see children under 18 years of age and many will see children under 2, including infants. It is safe, non-invasive, and is medication free.

Adverse events associated with pediatric chiropractic are extremely rare and there are no reported deaths resulting from the treatment. It is largely considered to be one of the safest forms of treatment available for a wide range of conditions, including pain management.

Most chiropractors are trained in treating children as part of their education. The techniques are gentle but effective. Chiropractic is a safe, effective complement to regular child healthcare.

The bigger question is, should children receive chiropractic care? And the answer to that is, absolutely!

What benefits do children get from chiropractic care?

It is important for a child’s spine is properly aligned, to support posture and movement.

As children learn to crawl and walk, the falls and bumps they receive can also put stress on the body by taking the spine out of alignment and the body out of balance. Chiropractic provides children with relief from those stressors and helps them have stronger bodies to better withstand the physical stressors they will experience in adulthood.

The first 10 years of a child’s life are a time of rapid development and growth. However, even seemingly innocuous activities like using a computer or wearing a backpack can cause misalignments of the spine. Add to that sports injuries and poor posture and you have even more reasons to begin chiropractic care for your child as early as possible.

When the spine is not aligned, it can put pressure on various nerves and interrupt the pathways of the nervous system. This can result in joint and muscle pain and stiffness.  Gentle, safe chiropractic adjustments can help children find relief from these symptoms. It can also be used as a preventative care strategy so that children can avoid developing them.

Is chiropractic safe?

What many parents may not know is that chiropractors have been treating children for more than 100 years. It has an excellent reputation and studies show it is extremely safe. Studies that examine malpractice insurance coverage show that chiropractors have a very low risk and exceptional safety record.

Chiropractic adjustments can with the mother before the baby is even born. As soon as the baby is born, he or she can be evaluated by a chiropractor.  When evaluated at birth, the chiropractor can apply gentle, nonforce pressure to realign the baby’s spine. Both mother and child will reap the benefits of chiropractic care.

To learn more about our office, check out www.ocwc.ca

Why Gait Analysis Is Important With Chiropractic Care

The way a person walks, their gait, can be very telling. It can reveal problems in the feet, ankles, knees, and hips – even in spinal alignment. A problem with gait can indicate pain in a patient as well as serious conditions like diabetes and arthritis. It is a diagnostic tool for many conditions, injuries, and syndromes including autism. When it comes to chiropractic care, a patient’s gait can offer very important clues regarding the root of their complaints, allowing for a more well-rounded, whole body approach to treatment. If you think that the way you walk or moves doesn’t really matter, think again. It most certainly does matter.

What is Gait Analysis?

Gait analysis is a set of tests that are designed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of a person’s gait. It is a systematic study of human motion that involves observation as well as the use of instruments that measure body movements, muscle activity, and body mechanics.

It is intended to be used as an assessment tool and provide insight into devising a treatment plan for people who have conditions or injuries that affect their ability to walk. It is often used in sports biomechanics to aid athletes in more efficient movement and to identify problems with movement or posture, particularly those with injuries.

During the analysis, the patient may walk in a prescribed pattern or on a treadmill, that is often connected to a computer, while the chiropractor observes them from various angles. Often cameras are used, places at various points in order to capture different views including the anterior, posterior, and sides.

The patient may have markers applied to certain points on the body such as the knee, ankle, pelvis, and other areas. As they move, the computer captures specific data of the movement, providing a three-dimensional calculation of each marker. It them applies a model to assess the movement of the skeletal structure, resulting in a detailed analysis of each joint’s movement.

Factors that Affect Gait Analysis

There are certain factors that affect a person’s gait and that information must be included in order for the gait analysis to be accurate. The gender, age, height, and weight of the person is vital because men and women move differently and as a person ages their structure changes.

Excess weight or they physique can affect a person’s posture and their gait. The individual’s shoes (or lack of shoes) is important, as is their clothing, the terrain they are walking on, and anything they may normally carry, such as a purse. Other factors include:

  • Physiological factors such as body proportion
  • Psychological factors such as their state of mind, emotions, stress level, and personality type
  • Pathological factors such as neurological diseases, psychiatric disorders, trauma, and musculoskeletal anomalies

It will also measure and factor into the analysis data that includes the patient’s:

  • Length of stride
  • Cadence
  • Hip angle
  • Foot angle
  • Step length
  • Walking or movement speed
  • Other areas as needed

Advantages of a Gait Analysis

Getting a gait analysis can be very advantageous because it can provide invaluable insight into how your body is aligned and how it moves. It is a great diagnostic tool for identifying health issues related to the gait, spine, and feet and can also help provide early detection of health issues prior to the onset of symptoms.

If your chiropractor recommends that you get a gait analysis it could be that he or she suspects that something is going on, or it could simply mean that they want to more thoroughly examine you to provide optimal care. If you have any concerns, you should sit down with your chiropractor and ask them any questions that you have prior to undergoing the analysis. Stress and anxiety can put tension on the muscles and body, affecting the results.

How Chiropractic Helps Those That Suffer From Acromioclavicular Pain

When most people think of chiropractors, the first thing that comes to mind is back pain. However, chiropractic care can be used to treat a variety of conditions from joint pain to migraines. When a patient comes in with complaints of pain in the shoulder and restricted motion in the joint, one possible diagnosis may be acromicioclavicular (AC) joint injury. While it is often an injury that is common among athletes, it can happen to anyone. Fortunately, chiropractic is a very effective treatment.

What is an acromioclavicular joint injury?

There are two bones, the clavicle and acromion, that make up the AC joint. Four ligaments hold the joint together. When those ligaments are strained to stressed, it results in an AC joint injury, often causing at least some joint separation. AC injuries fall into one of two categories: overuse and traumatic.

Overuse injury occurs over a period of time and is caused by excessive stress on the joint that is repeated or consistent. This causes damage to the cartilage and can lead to AC joint arthritis.

Traumatic injury occurs when the damaged ligaments cause a disruption of the joint called a shoulder separation. This is different from a shoulder dislocation which involves the actual ball and socket shoulder joint.

What causes acromioclavicular joint injury?

The cause of an AC joint injury depends on the type of injury.

Overuse AC joint injuries is caused by overuse and is commonly seen in people who perform tasks that involve lifting heavy weight (including military or bench presses) or that perform physical labor that involves often stretching their arms over their heads.

Traumatic AC joint injuries are often caused by a fall. The person may fall and land on their shoulder or fall on their hand then they put it out to brace their fall. It is often seen in cyclists who are involved in crashes, football players when they are tackles, or a laborer who falls from a high place, such as a ladder. These injuries are graded from mild to severe, depending on how much the separation there is in the joint.

What are the symptoms of acromioclavicular joint pain?

A patient with AC joint pain may experience the following symptoms:

  • A bump that sits above the shoulder and is easily visible
  • A catching sensation or popping sound when the shoulder moves
  • Pain and swelling in the shoulder
  • Loss of range of motion of the shoulder
  • Loss or decrease in shoulder strength
  • Tenderness and swelling over the AC joint
  • Pain when lying on the affected side
  • Discomfort and pain in the shoulder when performing activities that place stress on the AC joint, including:
    • Carrying heavy objects at the side
    • Reaching across the body
    • Lifting objects overhead

What are the treatments for acromioclavicular joint pain?

Mild cases of traumatic AC joint injuries are often treated with physical therapy and chiropractic. Ice, rest, and immobilization can also be used to manage the pain.

Overuse AC joint injuries can also be treated with immobilization and ice as well as physical therapy and chiropractic. More severe cases may require surgery. Doctors may prescribe muscle relaxants, pain medication, or NSAIDs to help manage the pain.

Is chiropractic for acromioclavicular joint pain effective?

Chiropractic has been proven to be very effective for AC joint pain. The chiropractor performs what is called an AC adjustment which involves manipulation of the shoulder.

While it can be a little uncomfortable for the patient, it is one of the best ways to quickly decrease the pain. After the procedure, the chiropractor may recommend icing the area to minimize or prevent swelling and pain. Regular chiropractic care can ensure continued mobility and continued decrease in pain.