At Lichtinger Family Chiropractic, we believe that an educated patient is a healthy patient. Feel free to click on any one of the resources below to learn more or call our office today at (814) 796-9161!
Patient Resource Library
Upper Back and Neck Pain
Although upper back pain is not as common as lower back pain but it still affects many people. Let's first discuss what the upper back is made of. The upper back is composted of the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine consists of 12 vertebrae. These vertebrae are connected with 9 of the 12 rib bones. The breast bone is perpendicular to the thoracic spine. Rib bones are also connected to the breast bone. The thoracic cage consists of the breastbone, ribs and the thoracic spine. Thoracic means "chest" All of the upper organs are protected by the chest cage. The two major causes of neck and upper back pain or thoracic spine pain are mysofascial pain and joint dysfunctional pain. Myofasical pain is a muscular irritation. This results from muscle strains, from sports and other activities, over and under use of the muscle, sudden movements like being thrown forward in a car accident. This primarily affects the large muscles that support the shoulder blades. Joint Dysfunction is the malfunctioning of the pair of joints that connect each rib with the thoracic spine. The ribs are connected to the spine on either side by joints. Any kind of injury to one or even both joints can result in a loss of function and lots of pain.
Arthritis compromises musculoskeletal system, causing pain and limited joint movement. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is caused by age and a lifetime of wear and tear. It is usually slowly progressive, but still can cause physical deformity. Often, arthritis will affect parts of the body other than joints. Talk to your doctor if you're experiencing fever, gland swelling, weight loss and fatigue or general feelings of illness.Arthritis is a potentially debilitating disease, but there are ways to cope outside of modern medicine. Eating right, herbal supplements and exercise can all help minimize the pain.
Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by moderate to severe headaches, and nausea. It is about three times more common in women than in men. The typical migraine headache is unilateral (affecting one half of the head) and pulsating in nature and lasting from two to 72 hours; symptoms include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to light) and phonophobia (increased sensitivity to sound); the symptoms are generally aggravated by routine activity. Approximately one-third of people who suffer from migraine headaches perceive an aura—transient visual, sensory, language, or motor disturbances signaling the migraine will soon occur. The majority of headaches are not serious and usually a doctor will offer no solution other than painkillers. This, however does not treat the underlying problem and can mean headaches reoccur frequently. Chiropractic is a non-invasive, natural and drug-free alternative treatment for headaches, that aims to treat the root cause of headaches, not only the symptoms.
Sciatica is normally categorized by pain originating in the lower back or hip and further getting into either one or both the legs. Sciatic pain is defined as achy and dull, somewhat like electric shocks. Often, patients suffering from sciatica experience tingling or burning sensations. This type of pain can be further irritated by certain positions, like sitting or standing. Spinal manipulation is the most popular and safe treatment for patients suffering from sciatic pain. The treatment frees the spine's limited movement and plays a significant role in restoring vertebral bodies that are misaligned to their right position. Reducing nerve irritability, the adjustments tend to reduce muscle spasm, inflammation, etc without causing any pain.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia (the ligament under your foot) from overuse, improper footwear, and/or being overweight. The fascia becomes inflamed due to micro fibers of the ligament tearing overtime. These tears create scar tissue which prevents the fibers from properly expanding and contracting adding to the pain. Chiropractors are extremely successful and have long lasting results treating Plantar Fasciitis. Chiropractors treat the problem with techniques such as Active Release Technique (ART) where they free up the ligament fibers from their adhesions. Also, the Graston technique which help free the ligaments from its adhesions and speed up the healing process. Along with these techniques, chiropractors concentrate on other muscles affected by the injury such as the calf, hamstrings, and anterior tibialis. This is the proper way to go about dealing with this problem and have long term effects naturally.
Pinched nerves can be caused by a single traumatic event, repetitive activities (wear and tear) or poor postural habits. Carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica are conditions involving pinched nerves. Common direct causes of pinched nerves are inflammation (overuse, tissue damage, systemic disease), herniated disc, stenosis and muscular entrapment (tight or damaged muscle places pressure on nerve). Your chiropractor will then formulate an individualized course of treatment that may include spinal manipulation, manual traction to free the obstructed nerve, therapeutic stretching, and focused strengthening and stabilization exercises. Supportive modalities such as electric muscle stimulation, cold laser therapy and/or ice therapy may be added to maximize healing.
Neuropathy is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which may be caused either by diseases of or trauma to the nerve or the side-effects of systemic illness. Neuropathy may be associated with varying combinations of weakness, autonomic changes, and sensory changes. Symptoms depend on the type of nerves affected (motor, sensory, or autonomic) and where the nerves are located in the body. One or more types of nerves may be affected. Common symptoms associated with damage to the motor nerve are muscle weakness, cramps, and spasms. Loss of balance and coordination may also occur. Damage to the sensory nerve can produce tingling, numbness, and pain. Pain associated with this nerve is described in various ways such as the following: sensation of wearing an invisible "glove" or "sock", burning, freezing, or electric-like, extreme sensitivity to touch. Some of the natural remedies for peripheral neuropathy treatment include that of homeopathic medicines, combinations of natural resources such aconite, belladonna, Fer Phos and acupuncture techniques to alleviate pain in individuals who seek treatment for neuropathic pain.
Auto Accident Injuries
The violent jerk that a seemingly minor auto accident causes is often the cause of spinal compression and muscular-skeletal pains. If left ignored, these pains can resurface in the future. Often, many patients complaining of spinal or limb pain face such agony due to old auto accidents. Widely accepted, Chiropractics often incorporate a lot of other methods into the core doctrines of Chiropractics to cure. Dietetics, lifestyle changes, and various other parts of health care are incorporated into Chiropractics. Auto accidents that tend to cause incurable and nagging pains are also easily cured by Chiropractics.
Lower Back Pain
Nearly 90% of the population at one time or another suffers from lower back pain. It is one of the most common reasons for people miss work. The cause of back pain is often undetectable. When a cause is known however, it is most often in relation to having pinched nerves, injury to the muscle, injury to the nerves of the spine, slipped or ruptured discs or arthritis. A well educated and practiced chiropractor is able to easily determine the root cause of the pain. After determining the cause they are able to make spinal adjustments to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Painful shoulder problems are one of the most common reasons for chiropractic visits for musculoskeletal symptoms. The shoulder has the most movement of the major joints in the body. On the flipside, because of this large range of motion, it is relatively unstable and easily subject to injury. The head of the humerus (ball) is larger than the socket of the shoulder joint that holds it. To stabilise the shoulder joint, the muscles, tendons and ligaments anchor the bones of the joint together. Overuse injuries, degenerative changes and lack of use or movement can all contribute to tissue breakdown, loss of function and disruption to the supporting musculature. Chiropractic care is most often an integrated treatment plan that looks beyond just the pain to find the route cause. Lifestyle is very often examined and a treatment plan very often consists of spinal manipulations along with other healthy lifestyle changes. Manipulations can help to relieve pressure that is causing the pain. When the chiropractor performs a spinal manipulation they reposition the vertebrae, restore alignment and additionally improve mobility. Prior to the adjustment your treatment may also include electrical stimulation, heat, traction and more.
The human backbone is created up of the vertebrae (the bones producing up the backbone), having cartilage discs between them. The discs have a circle of connective tissue with a central gel-like core, which makes the spine adaptable and at the same time functions as a defensive buffer. A slipped disc is a extremely distressing healthcare issue in which the soft part of the disc extends by means of the circle of connective tissue. This prolapse may push on the nerve roots or on the spinal cord. Chiropractic therapy can be applied to remedy this pain. The chiropractic doctor will at 1st get complete data about the sickness, its heritage alongside with a comprehensive healthcare examination like physical exams, orthopedic and neurological exams before deciding on the remedy. Chiropractic treatment is a non-surgical choice utilised in remedy of disc injuries.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
TMJ, or temporomandibular joints, are the joints of the jaw, connecting the mandible, or lower jaw bone, to the skull. They are essential joints: we use them for common activities like speaking and eating. Because of their frequent use, when these joints are afflicted by a disorder, the outcome can be debilitating. This is due, in part, because TMJ disorders can be medically elusive, with complexities that are not quite completely understood. Yet, TMJ disorders are more bothersome because of the fact that the disorders attack joints that people can't stay off of and let heal; they attack joints people can't help but rely on. Most people who suffer from pain and discomfort resort to the over the counter remedies for TMJ. These would include pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen or other NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs). Muscle relaxants are also able to help relieve the pain and discomfort. There are some cases wherein antidepressants are prescribed; particularly for those who suffer from this condition as a result of stress or other psychological factors. Most experts advise their patients to learn the more holistic approach to health and wellness. This will help minimize the risk of medication overuse and at the same time promote the natural treatment.