Why More People Are Choosing Chiropractic

Chiropractic care is enjoying an upsurge in popularity as more people are veering away from invasive procedures and pharmaceuticals in favor of more natural treatment options for their pain. A recent Gallup poll for Palmer Chiropractic College confirms this. Of the people surveyed:

  • More than 35.5 million people said they sought chiropractic care within the 12 month (the Gallup survey was conducted from February 8, 2016 through March 11, 2016).
  • 95% said chiropractic was effective in treating their condition.
  • 89% said they would recommend chiropractic to friends and family.
  • 97% said that they would likely see a chiropractor for neck or back pain.
  • 88% said that chiropractic care is a good value for the money.

Non-Drug Treatments for Back Pain should be Sought First

In April 2017, the American College of Physicians published their updated guidelines for managing and treating low back pain. They recommended seeking non-drug treatments, which include the application of heat, exercise, stress reduction, and spinal manipulation, before turning to medications. The purpose is to steer patients away from unnecessary medicating and toward healthier, more natural options as a first line of defense in managing low back pain.

Another study published in2017 in the Journal of the American Medical Association supported spinal manipulation as a preferred first treatment option over pharmaceuticals for patients with acute low back pain. While these recommendations are primarily in response to the opioid epidemic, it is also in response to the numerous studies that show chiropractic care is safe and effective for back pain management.

Chiropractic is a Healthier, Safer Option

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that opioid abuse and overdose has reach epidemic proportions. An estimated 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. This includes opioids obtained by a prescription from a doctor.

Popular pain medications like oxycodone and hydrocodone have seen steadily increasing abuse, overdose, and death rates over the past two decades. In fact, deaths caused by overdose of these drugs as well as methadone and others, have quadrupled since 1999.

These medications are highly addictive and have many unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. While most states are taking aggressive steps to curb the over-prescribing of these medications, patients are still finding ways around the prescribing guidelines and restrictions. This is a compelling reason for patients to seek natural, non-medicinal pain relief options first – and for their doctors to recommend them.

More People are Turning to Natural Remedies

Many patients are simply getting fed up with invasive treatments and numerous pills. They are now turning to remedies that are more natural. One benefit of chiropractic and other natural remedies is that they rarely treats only the symptom.

Instead, it addresses the root of the problem to treat the cause. This approach has many benefits beyond being medication free and non-invasive. When the cause of the condition or problem is corrected, it can eliminate other troubling symptoms as well.

Chiropractic is a Healthier, Whole Body Option

A patient who sees their chiropractor for low back pain may find that after a few treatments, their headaches, constipation, and digestive issues are also resolved. This is because chiropractic treats the body as a whole, unlike traditional medicine that tends to treat it in parts.

Everything is connected in the body. A problem in one area could easily cause problems in other areas. By correcting the root of the problem, the patient receives more rounded healthcare.

Where traditional medicine will often opt to prescribe a pain pill for lower back pain, chiropractic care looks for the cause of the back pain and treats the pain symptom from the cause. The chiropractor may advise lifestyle changes, changes in diet, and even recommend supplements. With chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity increasing at an alarming rate, chiropractic care offers a solution that treats the body as a whole in a more natural, safer way.

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Why Senior Citizens Need Chiropractic

Chiropractic care is a safe, natural treatment for people of all ages and senior citizens can definitely benefit from it. It is far more preferable than many other options including pharmaceuticals with their unpleasant and even harmful side effects, and surgery. Several studies have even shown that regular chiropractic treatment benefits geriatric patients and can even help keep them out of long-term care facilities and nursing homes. In short, seniors who get chiropractic on a regular basis are healthier and also enjoy these great benefits.

Reduced Risk of Degeneration of the Joints (Including the Spine)

When the spine is not aligned it can cause wear and friction on the joints, resulting in damage. Regular spinal alignment keeps the spine in the correct position so that the body is balanced. It reduces the risk of spinal degeneration as well as certain types of arthritis by decreasing the amount of stress on the spine and bringing it into a more normal, natural alignment.

Improved Range of Motion

As a person gets older, their range of motion decreases. This is especially true of people who are sedentary or who have sustained an injury that kept them confined to a bed or wheelchair for a long time.

Helping improve a person’s range of motion is one of the best benefits of chiropractic. While there are certain levels and each person has a goal for how much range of motion they want, a chiropractor can help them get as close to those goals as possible.

Better Coordination and Balance

Most of the coordination and balance problems that seniors experience come from degenerative changes or injuries that affect the cervical spine. The back side of the cervical spine joints houses mechanoreceptors, structures that are responsible for providing the brain with vital information that regulates coordination and balance. When that area is compromised their function is hindered. By stimulating the mechanoreceptors, a chiropractor can help restore or improve the condition.

Decreased Risk of Falls

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States, every second of every day some older adult falls. Among Americans who are age 65 and older, there are 850,000 bone fractures each year and falls are the cause for 90% of them. A chiropractor can stimulate the mechanoreceptors which reside in the cervical spine, normalizing them and helping to restore the patient’s balance and coordination.

Stronger Immune System and Better Health

When the spine is properly aligned, the body is better able to function as it should. This includes the digestive system, respiratory system, and even the heart. Neural impulses can be transmitted and received more efficiently and effectively.

This strengthens the immune system making the patient less susceptible to illness and disease. Regular care can provide better health and wellness while improving the patient’s quality of life.

More Effective Pain Management

Chiropractic has been proven time and again to be one of the safest, most effective methods for treating pain, particularly those that involve the spine. Chiropractic helps to correct the problem that is causing the pain and helps treat the soft tissue structures that are around the area. Where pain medicine, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory medication are little more than band-aids that treat the symptoms while ignoring the cause, chiropractic gets to the root of the problem and begins treatment there.

In addition to spinal adjustments, the chiropractor will typically recommend stretching and special exercises as well as lifestyle changes and diet modifications. Elder patients benefit from the whole body, holistic approach to health care that is at the heart of chiropractic. The result is better health and better quality of life.

Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our wellness chiropractic doctors. Call (780)455-2112 to book an appointment!

How Chiropractic Can Help Prevent Migraine Headaches

Migraines affects an estimated 38 million people, including children, in the United States alone. Worldwide, that total jumps to 1 billion. In fact, migraine ranks number three among prevalent illnesses in the world and number six among disabling illnesses. More than 90% of people who suffer from migraines are not able to function normally or work during an attack.

A migraine attack is often debilitating and extremely painful. It is also very difficult to stop once it starts. The best treatment for migraines is preventing them from every occurring. There are several methods that work for some people, but chiropractic is a popular preventative measure that many people have found to help them be migraine free.

Migraine Symptoms

A severe headache is the first thing people think of regarding migraines, but there are other symptoms which include:

  • Pain located on one or both sides of the head
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Blurred vision or other visual disturbances
  • Pain that is pulsing or throbbing
  • Lightheaded and possibly fainting
  • Hypersensitivity to smell, taste, or touch
  • Loss of motor function or in more severe cases, partial paralysis (such as with hemiplegic migraine)

Some migraineurs experience auras prior to an attack, usually around 20 to 60 minutes. This can give the patient time to take certain measures to stop the attack or minimize it. However, it is still a good course of action to incorporate certain activities into your lifestyle that can prevent migraines.

Causes of Migraines

Doctors don’t know the exact causes of migraines, but research does indicate that there are certain triggers that can initiate an attack. Some of the more common migraine triggers include:

  • Foods – Processed foods, salty foods, aged cheeses, and chocolate.
  • Beverages – Coffee and other caffeinated drinks as well as alcohol (particularly wine)
  • Hormonal changes – Occurs mainly in women, usually during menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy.
  • Food additives – Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame as well as certain dyes.
  • Stress – Environmental, tress at home or work, or illness that puts stress on the body.
  • Sleep problems – Getting too much sleep or not getting enough sleep.
  • Sensory stimuli – Sun glare and bright lights, strong smells like secondhand smoke and perfume, and certain tactile stimulation.
  • Medication – Vasodilators (nitroglycerin) and oral contraceptives.
  • Physical exertion – Intense exercise or other physical exertion.
  • Jet lag
  • Weather changes
  • Skipping meals
  • Change in barometric pressure

Some research also shows a possible serotonin component. During a migraine attack, serotonin levels drop. Serotonin is integral to regulating pain in the nervous system.

Migraine Treatments

Migraine treatments are classified as either abortive or preventative. Abortive medications primarily treat symptoms, usually pain relief. They are taken once a migraine attack has already begun and are designed to stop it. Preventative medications are usually taken daily to reduce the frequency of migraines and the severity of attacks. Most of these medications can only be obtained by prescription – and many of those have unpleasant side effects.

A migraine specialist can recommend medications as well as other treatments including acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, acupressure, herbal remedies and lifestyle changes. Adequate sleep, relaxation exercises, and dietary changes may also help.

Chiropractic for Migraines

A chiropractor will use a variety of techniques when treating migraines. Spinal manipulation of one of the most common, usually focusing on the cervical spine. By bringing the body into balance, it can relieve the pain and prevent future migraines. They may also recommend vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements as well as lifestyle changes which usually involved eliminating triggers.

One migraine study found that 72% of sufferers benefited from chiropractic treatment with either noticeable or substantial improvement. This is proof that chiropractic is an effective treatment for relieving pain and preventing migraines.

Migraines are no fun! Call (780)455-2112 to schedule your appointment today.

Why Chiropractic Is A Better Choice Over Drugs & Surgery

Say you have neck or back pain. How will you treat it? Many people will go to a medical doctor who will look at the symptoms, such as pain, and treat it with prescription or over the counter medications. In some cases, they may recommend surgery to manage the pain or correct the problem.

However, an increasing number of people are foregoing the medical doctor and opting for chiropractic care for pain management – and often with very good results. So, what is it about chiropractic that people feel makes it a better choice than drugs or surgery for their pain or mobility issues? There is more to the answer than you may realize.

Drug Therapy

When it comes to certain types of pain, particularly neck pain, medication is not the best way to manage it. Studies show that patients who opted to undergo chiropractic treatments and exercise regularly were more than twice as likely to significantly reduce their pain or even eliminate it completely than those who choose to take medication.

Aside from efficacy though, many medications have unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. Even over the counter medications can cause problems.

For instance, acetaminophen has been linked to serious health issues like pancreatitis and impaired liver function. NSAIDs like ibuprofen can upset the stomach and can cause rebound headaches in migraine patients (studies show that chiropractic is extremely effective in preventing migraines).

Prescription drugs can be highly addictive and lead to overdose. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has declared opioid addiction and overdose in the United States to be an epidemic. They have set forth guidelines for doctors who prescribe opioids for chronic pain, but the epidemic continues.

Surgery

Any treatment that can help a patient avoid an invasive surgery is an optimal alternative and chiropractic care provides that. One study shows that patients who saw a medical doctor as their first treatment option when dealing with back pain were more likely to have surgery than patients who say a chiropractor first.

Almost 43% of the medical patients eventually underwent surgery while only 1.5% of chiropractic patients had surgery. This means that if you are a medical patient trying to resolve your back pain you are 28 times more likely to eventually have surgery for it than you would if you went to a chiropractor.

Aside from the obvious invasiveness of the procedure as well as recovery time and probable physical therapy that would be required as part of your after care, there are many other downsides. The time and money required for the surgery, pre-surgery appointments, post-surgery appoints, recovery, and therapy can be significant.

However, a major concern in hospital settings is the risk of C-diff (clostridium difficile). C-diff are bacteria that can cause C. diff colitis, an inflammation of the colon or large intestine that can make you very sick. It can be passed from person to person but can also occur in people who take antibiotics – which are often given when a person undergoes surgery.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care gets to the cause of the problem instead of treating the symptoms like most medical doctors. The whole-body approach also empowers patients to make lifestyle adjustments that aid in their care and healing. It allows them to take ownership of their own health and pain management so that they feel more in control.

Chiropractors take a natural, holistic approach to pain management by bringing the body back into alignment if necessary and recommending exercises. They may also recommend other activities to help patients regain their normal range of motion and flexibility . This can relieve not only the pain symptoms, but often correcting the problem that is causing the pain.

Call (780)455-2112 to schedule your chiropractic assessment with one of our wellness chiropractic doctors! Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic and practitioners.

Why Being Thankful Benefits Your Health

Can being grateful actually make you healthier? Several studies say yes. In fact, there is a great deal of evidence that shows being thankful benefits your health both physically and mentally. Researchers have found that an attitude of gratitude helps you have a stronger immune system, a healthier heart, more energy, and a happier outlook on life.

The Science of Being Thankful

When you are grateful, just like any other emotion, it affects your outlook. Gratitude is particularly powerful when used as a way of viewing the word, of interpreting and perceiving your life. There are other positive emotions that come attached to gratitude and these work in the body to provide powerful physical health benefits.

According to research, the simple act of thinking about the things you are grateful for, causes the parasympathetic nervous system, the part that promotes calm and peaceful feelings, to be triggered. This can cause chemical reactions such as increasing oxytocin (the hormone that helps with bonding in relationships and increases good feelings) while decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone that can cause a variety of health issues).

Studies on Gratefulness

Several studies have been done over the past few years exploring the connection between gratitude and health. One study published in the European Scientific Journal in June 2017, drew a direct line between gratitude and coping with PTSD. It found that the more gratitude increases in a person the less psychological distress decreases. A research report published in June 2017, found that gratitude could be a viable means for helping ease fibromyalgia symptoms. In

November 2016, the American Heart Association published information on a study that was conducted on heart patients who had asymptomatic heart failure. The researchers measured evaluated their levels of gratitude and found that the patients who were more grateful slept better, experienced less anxiety, and had decreased depression. These people also had healther hearts and lower levels of inflammation. The lower levels of inflammation as well as a more positive outlook also help patients better manage pain.

7 Tips for Being more Grateful

Even if gratitude does not come naturally to you, it is possible to learn it. It can become a habit that can be cultivated and incorporated into everyday life. Try these tips for developing gratefulness in your life.

1. Think about being grateful. The more you think about it, the more you will find that you are grateful.

2. Avoid comparing up. There will always be someone who has more than you do or is more advantaged. Seeking them out and ruminating on what you don’t have or don’t have enough of is a recipe for discontent, anger, and frustration.

3. Keep a gratitude journal and write down the things you are thankful for. This will not only serve as a reminder, it will also help to develop the habit of being grateful.

4. If you don’t think you have anything to be grateful for, find just one thing and focus on that. Gradually add things you are grateful for and you will find them.

5. Change your perspective. When something doesn’t go your way, look for the positives in it. This can be internal or external. How did you grow? What did you gain?

6. Change your thinking. Choose positive language and banish negative language from your vocabulary. Don’t allow negativity to color your life experiences. Choose to be happy and maintain a positive outlook.

7. Say it out loud. Use your voice and tell people that you are grateful. Tell them you appreciate them, that you are grateful for things. Let yourself hear your positive words of gratitude so that it can take hold in you and become a part of who you are.

Being thankful makes you a healthier, happier person, so take some time to find several things that you’re grateful for (or a lot!). You’ll love the benefits.

Visit www.ocwc.ca for more health and wellness tips!

3 Stretches Chiropractic Patients Can Do For Neck Pain

Stretching is often an outstanding complement to chiropractic care. Blood flow to the muscles is increased and it helps lower the risk of injury and improves physical performance. More importantly, stretching is good for the joints, helping them function through their full range of motion.

Additionally, some studies show that muscles work and move more effectively when they are stretched regularly. These benefits of stretching make it a great practice to incorporate into your daily routine, especially between chiropractic treatments.

The muscles all along the spine respond well to stretching. However, sometimes it is difficult to manipulate specific muscle groups and get an effective stretch.

The cervical spine is a prime example. Although the neck turns in so many ways, finding positions that provide an effective stretch are surprisingly difficult.

These three stretches effectively work the muscles through the neck and shoulders, and are simple enough to do at home whether you are between chiropractic appointments or if you wake up with a crick in your neck.

Before You Stretch

If you are under a chiropractor’s care, you should check with him or her before you start a stretching program. This is especially important if you have a neck injury or have a spinal condition that causes deterioration or pain.

When you begin stretching, you may feel a little discomfort, but it is important to note that it should never cause pain or worsen it. If this occurs, or if it just doesn’t feel “right,” you should stop immediately and call your chiropractor.

Neck and Trap Stretch

If standing: Stand up straight with your pelvis slightly tucked (not swayback), feet shoulder’s width apart, knees soft.

If sitting: Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.

1. Drop your shoulders and roll them slightly back. Let your arms hang down.

2. Reach behind your back and, with your left hand, grasp your right wrist. If you can’t reach to grasp your wrist, grab your fingers. If you can’t reach your fingers, sit in a straight back chair and put your right arm as far behind you as you can and slide your right hand under your right buttock to provide stability.

3. If clasping your hands behind you, gently pull your arm behind you to the left. If unable to reach behind you, drop your right shoulder.

4. At the same time, tilt your head to the left, bringing your ear to your shoulder but don’t raise your left shoulder. You will feel the stretch all along the right muscles of the neck.

5. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

6. Do the same movement for the left side.

7. Repeat the full move 3 to 5 times.

Gentle Neck Extension

If standing: Stand up straight with your pelvis slightly tucked (not swayback), feet shoulder’s width apart, knees soft, hands relaxed and at your sides.

If sitting: Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor, hands relaxed and at your sides.

If lying down: Lie flat on the floor. If necessary, put a pillow under your knees to take pressure off of the lower back. Stretch your arms down by your side.

1. Push your shoulders down towards your feet.

2. Tuck your chin to your chest but don’t let your shoulders lift.

3. Slowly raise your chin, feeling the stretch along the front of your neck. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds.

4. Return your head to its normal, upright position for 30 seconds. Repeat the entire movement 5 to 7 times.

Stretch for Traps

If standing: Stand up straight with your pelvis slightly tucked (not swayback), feet shoulder’s width apart, knees soft, hands relaxed and at your sides.

If sitting: Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor, hands relaxed and at your sides.

If lying down: Lie flat on the floor. If necessary, put a pillow under your knees to take pressure off of the lower back. Stretch your arms down by your side.

1. Start with your head in the normal, upright position.

2. Bend your neck to the right side, moving your ear towards your shoulder.

3. Raise your left hand to your head and apply gentle pressure to facilitate the stretch while drawing up your left shoulder. Hold for 20 seconds.

4. Return to your starting position.

5. Repeat the same movement on the right side.

6. Do 3 to 5 sets.

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Teachers and Back Pain: How Chiropractic Can Help

Teachers do a lot in a day. They stand for long periods of time, they stoop and bend, pick up children, carry stacks of papers, and sit for long periods while they grade papers. It’s no wonder that so many teachers end up with aching backs! While low back pain is the number one cause of disability worldwide, it’s easy to see how teachers may be more susceptible to experiencing it.

Chiropractic care can help keep teachers standing upright and moving about – as well as other great benefits. A teacher with back pain can’t be as effective as they would be if they weren’t in pain. It makes it harder for them to do their job. Regular chiropractic care can help offset what their body goes through in a day and relieves the pain so they can do what they love – shape young minds.

What Teachers Really Do

Teaching is a tough profession. The typical teacher arrives at school before it starts (usually between 6:30 am and 7:30 am) and they don’t leave until well after the last bell has rung (often between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm). They grade exams during their vacations and spend hours preparing lessons, quizzes, activities, and tests. In middle and high school, they teach five or six classes a day which means a lot of talking and a lot of standing. Combine the stress with the physical demands of the job and it’s no wonder aching feet and backs are the bane of a teacher’s existence.

The Impact of Teaching on the Body

There have been several studies that explore the effects of the physical demands that are put upon a teacher. One study analyzed the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders in special education teachers and teachers’ aides. It found that the three areas most affected were the wrist, shoulder, and back. It found that 86% of the teachers who participated had physical pain and musculoskeletal condition. Another study examined teachers in a municipal school network in Brazil. It found that:

  • 41.1% complained of foot, leg, and knee pain (lower limbs)
  • 23.7% complained of shoulder, neck, and wrist pain (upper limbs)
  • 41.1% complained of back pain

A third study that assessed teachers in Malaysia reported that 62.5% of the teachers surveyed complained of low back pain.

How Chiropractic Care Helps Teachers with Low Back Pain

Several studies show that chiropractic care is a very effective treatment for back pain. The chiropractor will perform a spinal manipulation to bring the spine (and body) into proper alignment. He may also offer advice on exercises, stretching, and ways to improve posture as well as recommending lifestyle changes and what to look for in supportive shoes. Chiropractic’s whole-body approach not only helps relieve back pain, it helps prevent it as well.

Additional Benefits Teachers can Gain from Chiropractic

While less back pain is great news for teachers, there are other benefits they can reap form chiropractic as well. That’s because it doesn’t focus solely on the back or pain, it looks at the whole body. Every day teachers put a lot of stress on their bodies, bending over to help a child with their work, standing to give a lecture, sitting for hours grading papers, and reaching to write on the blackboard. All of this can take a toll on the body, not just physically, but in other ways as wall. It can result in headaches, insomnia, and even frequent illness. A chiropractor can address all those things and make recommendations regarding lifestyle and diet as well as spinal manipulation.

This allows the patient to gain whole body benefits from chiropractic.

  • Improved mental clarity and cognitive function.
  • Healthier posture.
  • Improved quality of sleep.
  • Stronger immune system.
  • Fewer migraines and headaches.
  • Healthier spine.

If you are a teacher, chiropractic care is one of the best ways you can be good to yourself – and you deserve it. Give us a call to schedule your assessment! (780)455-2112

Driving

3 Tips To Alleviate Back Pain While Driving

When you spend a lot of time behind the wheel, whether you are going on a long trip or your job requires you to drive around town all day, it can be a real pain – in the back. Many car seats may be comfortable for short jaunts, but they are not built to support the back on the long hauls. However, there are some things that you can do to offset a non-back friendly seat design and alleviate, or even prevent, back pain while driving.

Create a Comfortable Space

Before you settle in behind the wheel, you want to make sure that you are comfortable. Keeping things like your wallet and cellphone in your pocket may be convenient when you are moving about, but can be an irritant when you are basically sitting on them mile after mile. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Any type of discomfort can put stress on your body so even if it is not necessarily pain related, it can exacerbate pain as your body’s sensitivity heightens in response to the stress.

Adjust your seat so that you are comfortable, but sitting fairly upright. If you recline, it could put stress on your neck and upper back, causing pain. Your seat should also be high enough so that you can place your feet flat on the floor – at least for a while (you can do this while driving if you have cruise control). There should be a slight bend in your elbows as you reach for the steering wheel and you should not have to stretch to reach the pedals. Make sure that your mirrors are adjusted so that you don’t have to bend or crane your neck to get good visibility.

Put Together a Healthy Back Kit

Bring along some things to help keep your back comfortable and pain free – even if you’ve never experienced back pain while driving. There is always a first time. Some of the items you might want to bring along include:

  • A towel that you can roll up and place behind the small of your back
  • A lumbar support pillow
  • A cold or hot pack
  • Something for pain relief
  • A cushion for your car seat to absorb the vibration
  • Water (so you can stay hydrated)
  • Essential Oil like lavender or peppermint (put a few drops in a carrier oil and apply to the sore areas)

Take Breaks and Move a Little

Driving straight through without any breaks is never a good idea. In fact, it can make you more tired, stiff and sore – and less alert on the road. Instead, take breaks to get out of the car, walk around, and stretch. When you move, you stimulate your circulation which brings oxygen and vital nutrients to your muscles. You’ll feel better, be more alert, and will be less likely to experience back pain.

Stopping every hour or so will help considerably with alleviating back pain. It doesn’t have to be a big production, just walk around for a few minutes, stretch your neck, shoulders, and back, then get back on the road. In between stops you can move your ankles up and down or rotate them to increase circulation to the lower leg. You should also adjust your position or your seat about every 20 minutes. Even these slight movements can help keep the blood flowing which will prevent your muscles from getting stiff and sore.

Regular chiropractic care as well as a consistent exercise routine can help prevent back pain in many situations, including while driving. Your chiropractor can also recommend some back strengthening exercises and stretches that will help make your spine even healthier.

Give our clinic a call at (780)455-2112 to schedule your assessment today! Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic and doctors!

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic Care: Can It Really Help You Live Pain Free?

There are plenty of people who say that chiropractic made a significant difference in their lives, relieving pain and increasing mobility. Still, some skeptics want scientific proof that it helps with managing pain and, in many cases, eliminating it altogether. While chiropractic patient testimonies are great, included here is a collection of cold, hard, facts – scientific studies on chiropractic care and its effectiveness in treating pain.

Systematic review of evaluations of chiropractic care for pain management.

This review, published in August 2016, examined six randomized controlled trials and three full economic evaluations to determine the effectiveness of chiropractic care as compared to exercise therapy, physical therapy, and medical care. Chiropractic care was found to be comparable to or better than all three of these, particularly when managing pain.

They found “moderate evidence” that showed chiropractic care is just as effective as physical therapy. The evidence in the other areas was limited, but still gave chiropractic high marks.

Spinal manipulation for treating low back pain is as effective as more traditional treatments.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health studied several clinical trials and reviews regarding chiropractic care. Time and again, chiropractic was found to be at least as effective as other pain reducing interventions.

Chiropractic patients can have more days of being pain free while avoiding surgery, invasive medical procedures, and medications that have harmful side effects. In one study, they found that chiropractic care is as effective as or better than more conventional medical care for as many as 18 months.

Chiropractic patients are less likely to use prescription pain killers like opioids.

James “Jim” Whedon, DC, MS, is a researcher at the Southern California University of Health Sciences, and is co-chair of the Research Working Group of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health. He examined the records of 33,000 adults in the New Hampshire All Payer Claims Database who registered as experiencing lower back pain. A little more than a third of those received chiropractic care. Of that group, only 38 percent had one or more prescriptions for an opioid, but that number jumped to 61 percent in the group who did not receive chiropractic care.

Upon examination of the related circumstances, Whedon concluded that the chiropractic patients were 57 percent less likely to fill an opioid prescription. This is a testament to the effectiveness of using chiropractic for pain relief.

Overwhelming research shows that chiropractic care is usually the best option when treating pain.

The American Chiropractic Association summarizes a number of studies and research findings that support the use of chiropractic care for pain. These studies recommended chiropractic as a safer, effective alternative to pharmaceuticals.

Others advocate incorporating chiropractic care with physical therapy and exercise for optimal results. One study (Goertz et al. (2013), Spine) asserts that using chiropractic manipulative therapy along with standard medical care provides a “significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical function…” Others shows that it reduced the chances of the patient having to undergo surgery and could manage their pain without drugs.

The evidence is overwhelming. Yes, regular chiropractic care can really help a person to live pain free. It also helps to follow the chiropractor’s recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and diet as well as taking any supplements that he or she advises.

While spinal manipulation is a big part of chiropractic care, it isn’t the only part. The chiropractor may recommend special stretches to do in between sessions or special supplements that can help the body to heal. That is what makes chiropractic so effective; it treats the entire body, not just the symptoms.

Start living pain free! Give us a call at (780)455-2112 to schedule your assessment with one of our wellness chiropractic doctors! Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic.

Low Back

How the Feet, Knees & Hips Affect the Low Back

If you have low back pain, or have had it, you are not alone. Experts estimate that around 80% of people will experience some type of back problem as some point in their lives. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 lists low back pain as the number one cause of disability worldwide. The good news is the majority of back pain is mechanical in origin or is not organic. This means that infection, cancer, fracture, inflammatory arthritis, and other serious conditions are not the cause. In fact, you may benefit by looking to your feet, knees and hips as the culprits.

The spine is the foundation for the body, supporting the spinal cord and the limbs. When there is a problem with any of the limbs it can affect the spine and vice versa. The intricate network of tendons, ligaments and nerves work together within the incredible machine that is the human body.

How the Feet Affect the Low Back

When there are problems with the feet, it can cause problems through the legs and all the way to the spine. This can cause the ankle to pronate, meaning it rolls inward. This alters the way the bones of the foot line up which extends through the tibia, or shin bone.

This can cause a condition called knock knees and it can change the way the entire body is aligned. This puts the body out of balance, destabilizing the spine, and can even cause the pelvis to tilt to one side or the other. When you are walking or standing, the stress caused by the misalignment it can create a domino effect, causing or contributing to low back pain.

How the Knees Affect the Low Back

One thing to remember when assessing pain in the body is that where it hurts may not be the source of the problem. It could be a symptom. Because of this, knee pain could be caused by a problem with your back and back pain could be caused by a problem with your knees.

It is important to take this type of pain at more than face value and do a little investigating to find the cause. That is why chiropractic is so beneficial in these situations.

If you see a chiropractor for your knee or back pain, he or she will assess your issues, talk to you about the pain you are experiencing and help you get to the root of your problem so that you can treat it and, in turn, help correct other associated issues. Knees connect the foot and spine so problems that affect the feet and ankles as well as the spine will very likely affect the knees and hips as well.

How the Hips Affect the Low Back

Muscle imbalances in the hip, such as tight hip flexors, can cause low back pain – or at least contribute to it. When the hip flexor muscles are too tight, is causes what is known as an anterior pelvic tilt.

In other words, the muscles cause an anterior pull on the pelvis. This affect posture and throws the entire lower body out of alignment. It can also affect the knees and feet if left untreated.

Hip flexors can become too tight if the person sits for extended periods of time or engages in activities like cycling and jogging. A chiropractor can guide you through exercises that will help release the tight muscles and stop the micro spasms that occur as a result.

He or she will also assess your knees, feet, and ankles to ensure that the issue has not through them out of alignment as well. Correcting the cause of the problem will often correct the associated issues and resolve the pain allowing you to return to your normal activities.

Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic! Call (780)455-2112 to schedule your chiropractic assessment today!