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Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for Lower Back Pain Relief

Lower back pain for patients can often be annoying enough that they look for ways in which they can get some back pain relief. One of those ways is spinal manipulation used by all chiropractors. One would seek this kind of help I the lower back didn't improve on its own with self-care such as trying to remain active, using heat and taking some pain relieving medicine. But there are times when it can be too difficult to treat and a patient needs to see a professional.

Trained health care professionals are well trained to be able to use what is called spinal manipulation to help give a patient back pain relief and to also improve their overall physical function which would be the ability to walk and move around without pain.

Patients who go see a specialist for back pain relief need to realize that spinal manipulation is just one of a variety of different options for helping the lower back. Other options are light exercise, massage as well as physical therapy all of these things actually can give mild to moderate back pain relief. However, it does appear that spinal manipulation does appear to work just as good as any conventional method.

This type of treatment also seems to be generally very safe when it is performed by a licensed and trained professional. There are some common side effects that can be some discomfort to the area which is minor and goes away in a day or two. Any kind of serious complications are rare.

One serious complication however, and it is very rare, is cauda equina syndrome or CES. This is a narrowing of the lower part of the spinal canal where the nerves will become pinched and this can cause severe pain, weakness, no feeling in one or both legs along with some bladder and bowel problems.

Lower back pain is probably the most common health complaint that people go to a doctor for. It usually affects 8 out of 10 patients sometime during their lives. For most people this kind of back pain will go away without treatment after just a few days to a couple of weeks. However, for some patients the pain can become chronic and can last months to years. If this happens the pain can become debilitating. This also can be a challenging type of condition to diagnose and treat for some.

When a person decides on trying spinal manipulation they need to make sure that the person practicing it is one of these trained professionals like a chiropractor, osteopathic physician, naturopathic physician, physical therapist or a medical doctor trained in it. These professionals will do this technique by using their hands or sometimes a device to apply some controlled force to joints in the spine. The amount of pressure or force applied will depend upon the type of spinal manipulation that is being used. The whole goal in the end it to achieve back pain relief and to improve functioning.


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Should a Person See an Orthopedist or Chiropractor for Spine Pain?

Many times when patients are at their doctors office suffering from spine pain will ask whether they should see an orthopedist or a chiropractor for the spine pain they might be suffering. There have been many studies that have shown that chiropractors do give effective treatment for some types of back pain. But, not all causes of this pain can or should be treated by a chiropractor. There are many conditions out there that really need to be both identified and treated by a medical doctor.

Most of the spine pain that might be suffered by patients can indeed be treated quite effectively by a chiropractor. Many chiropractors have proven to be very good at treating acute spine pain. But, there are some conditions that can really cause some very serious problems that need to be considered before having any kind of treatment. Most of which can be screened with a full history and a examination.

There symptoms of spine pain that cause the most concern for any doctor include the following:
  • Problems controlling the bladder or bowel
  • Numbness around the genital areas
  • Pain accompanied by a fever, sweating or chills
  • Pain that wakes the patient up at night.

There are also some other symptoms that are far better treated by an orthopedic specialist than a chiropractor and these are:
  • Back pain combined with leg pain
  • Numbness and/or tingling in the patients legs
  • Muscle weakness in the legs

Those patients who seem to have symptoms of any kind of nerve or spinal cord compressions definitely should not have any chiropractic manipulation done on them unless it is approved by a medical doctor first. Also, there are rare conditions like infections and tumors of the spine that cannot be treated by a chiropractor either. There have been some awful stories of some patients be severely hurt by chiropractic manipulation when they didn't realize they had nerve injury and it caused severe complications. The cases for this are rare, but they can happen and so it is important that a patient have a very good understanding of what is causing their back pain before they have any kind of manipulations of the spine.

Picking a chiropractor can be very difficult since there is such a huge variety of different styles of the same practice so it is best to talk to a medical doctor who can connect you to a highly qualified chiropractor in the area that you live in.


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How to Take Advantge of Chiropractic Treatment When Your Back Hurts

When your back hurts it can make life miserable and often for some it can make it difficult for them to do their daily activities. A lot of people in Brisbane might consider looking into pain relief alternatives and often that would be chiropractic treatment.

When your back hurts a chiropractor in Brisbane will use a hands on manipulation of the spin along with other alternative treatments. The theory behind this kind of treatment is that the body needs to be in proper alignment, this is especially true for the musculoskeletal structure and the spine is the key. By having a healthy spine it is believed that the body can heal itself without any medication or even surgery. The manipulation that is used is suppose to help restore the mobility to joints that are restricted by some sort of tissue injury that may have been caused by some sort of traumatic event like a fall, repetitive stress like sitting without the proper support for the back, or lifting something improperly, are examples.

The most common reason why people seek help from a Brisbane chiropractor when their back hurts is to try and get pain relief which is being caused by muscles, joints, bones, and the connective tissues like ligaments and tendons. Sometimes though this is used in conjunction with traditional medicine as well.

A good chiropractor will make sure to first take a good medical history of their patient and then perform a physical examination and they also may use some lab tests or other diagnostic procedures such as diagnostic imaging to figure out which treatment is going to be appropriate for the patients back pain.

Each treatment plan is going to be different for each patient and could involve one or more manual adjustments where the doctor will manipulate the joints by using controlled and sudden force to help improve the patients range and quality of motion. They will often include nutritional counseling along with exercise and rehabilitation in the treatment plan as well.

If you are considering getting this kind of treatment, you can feel secure in knowing that this kind of treatment is generally considered to be very safe and an effective treatment for most acute lower back pain, the kind of pain that is often caused by moving furniture, lifting heavy objects, improper posture and other acute back pain. Generally acute pain will only last about six weeks and can often get better on its own.

Word of warning however, for people who may have osteoporosis, a spinal cord compression or inflammatory arthritis or if they take any kind of blood thinning medicines are advised not to have any kind of spinal manipulation. Also patients who have a history of cancer should also avoid any kind of spinal manipulation.


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What is an Inversion Table Used For?

There are a variety of reasons why a chiropractor would use an inversion table in Brisbane. Most commonly it will be used in what is known as Inversion Therapy. More than have the people who get Inversion Therapy on a regular basis do it to help relieve their back pain. However, this type of therapy has a lot more benefits.

The Inversion table in Inversion Therapy in Brisbane can not only reduce back pain but it can provide care for discs, help people achieve functional fitness, train the core muscle groups without putting too much strain on the spine, recover from high impact workouts, reduce pain in any overworked muscle, strengthen the ligaments, help to relieve stress, stimulates the circulation, training for balance and orientaion and even help with depression and traumatic brain injury.

Inversion and the use of the Inversion table in a local Brisbane chiropractic office or clinic actually represents what could be known as the “quiet side of fitness” and it helps your body to recover from all the compressive effects that gravity and daily activities have on your body. Doctors, physical therapist and even sports trainers recognize this type of therapy as a very safe and effective type of therapy for the spine and all the weight bearing joints in the body. For instance, the US Army has decided to write Inversion into their worldwide training manual.

Since there are many people using this type of tool and therapy for back pain it is important to know that there are a variety of causes for back pain and that includes poor posture, a weak back and stomach muscles and misalignments. Many of the causes can be blamed on the natural force we all have to battle and that's gravity.

With Inversion Therapy it will try and put gravity to work for a person by putting their body in line with the downward force of gravity itself. By using the body's own weight as a natural form of traction, the therapy will elongate the spine by increasing the space there is between each vertebrae and then in turn relieves the pressure on the discs, ligaments and the nerve roots of the spine. When there is less pressure there is less back pain.

Stress and tension in life can cause muscle spasms in the back, shoulders and the neck and this can cause headaches and other issues leading to the reduction of blood and lymph flow and this will cause waste chemicals to build up in the muscles and just by an Inversion of as little as 25 degrees for just a few minutes can help relax tense muscles. This in turn also can help with poor posture because Inversion helps the spine want to naturally go back to its proper form which is a gentle “s” curve. A regular routine of Inversion can help balance the body and more.


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What Can Be Done About Spinal Stenosis?

First off, what is spinal stenosis and how do you know if you need any type of treatment from a Brisbane doctor or chiropractor? Spinal stenosis is what is known as a compromise of the spinal canal when the volume of the canal decreases, this usually comes with age. Every person's spinal cord size and their canal size is different and so the risk factors will also vary. Spinal Stenosis is often very gradual and will get worse with movement. There are several options for treatment that include chiropractic care as well as surgery.

The symptoms of spinal stenosis usually show up in a person who has had a long history in Brisbane of spinal pain or injuries to their spine. Typically it will begin in the legs and can become much worse when a person walks or exercises. This pain in the legs that occurs during walking is called neurogenic claudication. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between neurogenic claudicatioin and vascular claudication which is caused by the blood supply to the legs being poor and unable to support the tissues and the muscles in the legs.

For those who have neurogenic claudication with their spinal stenosis in Brisbane will find that walking uphill is a lot better because it bends the spine forward while they are walking. However, walking downhill is a lot more difficult because this will arch the spine in the back and then pushes the spinal cord closer to the vertebrae and will often increase the pain.

The diagnosis for spinal stenosis can be confirmed by looking at the canal space in a person's back by performing a CT Scan or an MRI. They can also confirm if the patient has electromyography at the same time. The reason why it is difficult to diagnosis with an X-ray is because the spinal canal cannot be seen on an X-ray.

The treatment for spinal stenosis in the past has most often been surgery for those patients suffering from the disorder. However, that has started to change. More doctors are starting to recommend alternatives to surgery first. One very popular alternative has been chiropractic care. A chiropractor will focus on what they call subluxation of the spine. This is when a vertebrae doesn't move well as it should and then the result is the bone and surrounding tissue structures will then put pressure on the nerves and the spinal cord.

Over time when there is lack of motion in the spine, the spaces between the discs are going to decrease and then arthritis can set in. When a patient has a chiropractic adjustment it will balance out the nervous system and gets the joints moving again and will often reduce the symptoms that patients suffer from with spinal stenosis. By using a combination of flexion based exercise programs and chiropractic adjustments can help a lot of patients suffering from this disorder.
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What Exactly is the Sciatic Nerve and Sciatica?

The word sciatica is a common term that is used to describe the symptoms of pain as well as numbness or weakness that a person might have that radiates along what is called the sciatic nerve and it tends to be felt more in the rear, down the back of the leg and sometimes all the way down to a person's foot. Sciatica is probably one of the more common forms of pain in Brisbane and all over the world that is caused by the compression of a person's spinal nerves in their lower back and the pain in the leg is generally a lot worse than the back pain.

People in Brisbane who are suffering from sciatica need to understand that the sciatic nerve is the biggest single nerve in the entire body; and it runs from each end of the lower spine through deep into the rear, back of the thigh and all the way down to a person's foot. This is what connects the spinal cord with the leg and foot muscles.

When a person in Brisbane goes to a doctor for sciatica it is usually because of the symptoms that it poses. The symptoms will cause a person to feel nerve pain, numbness, tingling, weakness in different areas. This will be different depending upon where the pressure is on the sciatic nerve. The pain of the patient and specific sciatica symptoms can often be traced to where the injured or irritated nerve starts in the lower back. The most common symptoms and their medical names are listed below:

1. Sciatica from L4 nerve root – These symptoms usually stem from this level of the lower back and could include pain or numbness in the medial lower leg and foot, the weakness may include the inability to bring the foot upwards. Patients may have reduced knee jerk reflex.

2. Sciatica from L5 nerve root – The patient with this symptom may have weakness in extending the big toe and potentially in their ankle, this sis called foot drop. Sciatica originating from this level might include pain and/or numbness at the top of the foot especially between the big toe and the second toe.

3. Sciatica from S1 nerve root – Symptoms of this level of the spine might include pain and/or numbness to the lateral or the outer foot; weakness that will result in the difficulty of raising the heel off the ground or walking on their tiptoes. The patient may also have some reduced ankle jerk reflex.


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What Can Physical Therapy Help With?

Physical therapy in Brisbane has been able to help provide an improved quality of life for many people by helping to get rid of their pain and also increasing their mobility. When you need to find a physical therapist, it will help if you have a little bit of knowledge of what physical therapy is and what it can help you with.

Most people are familiar with the overall concept of physical therapy in Brisbane, however, they may not be sure of what it actually entails. They may have heard about it from family or friends who have had physical therapy to rehabilitate from a car accident, work injury or maybe a sports injury. Often people also will seek physical therapy to help relieve chronic pain like osteoarthritis or a degenerative disc disease.

Physical therapy in Brisbane can be used to treat all types of conditions such as the ones mentioned and many more and it has been proven to be a good alternative for many to expensive drugs and invasive types of procedures like injections or surgery. What it does, is incorporate strength and conditioning training with manual therapy and massage of the soft tissue as well as other techniques to help treat possible underlying causes of the discomfort. By helping a patient regain full motor function and then enabling them to have a pain free live as well as preventing re-injury are the main goals of physical therapy.

A physical therapist who is licensed will specialize in treating a variety of musculoskeletal issues. The evaluation will start off with a very thorough evaluation of the patient and their condition, their range of motion and their level of discomfort. It is by isolating the true cause of the problem that a physical therapist can then create a customized treatment program for the patient.

Instead of offer drugs, which often have very unwanted side effects, a physical therapist will use a variety of different non-invasive techniques to help make the pain subside. There are a variety of recommended exercises that will help their patients get stronger along with a lot more flexible. This in turn will lead to greater range of motion and will improve stability of their joints and can help to cut down or prevent further injuries in the future.
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What Does Your Brisbane Chiropractor Do?

Probably the most common question asked by many people is what does a chiropractor do and what do they treat, especially if you are looking for one in Brisbane. In the past many considered them quacks and their alternative medicine a joke, however, that has changed over the years and they are very accepted today in mainstream medicine.

First off a chiropractor is actually a doctor whose main focus is on the spine. However, they are not medical doctors so they they do not have the MD specification after their name. But, they do have a Doctorate in Chiropractic or DC after their name and this means they specialize in training dealing with the spine just the same kind of training an MD would have. You also will discover that in Brisbane and all over the world, that MD's and DC's work closely together within their own fields of training.

So, then what does a chiropractor do? They focus mainly on the relationship there is between the nervous system and the spine itself. Most of them believe that when the spine gets misaligned, which is very common, it also will affect the entire nervous system. So, by offering regular chiropractic treatments, they feel that the structure of the spine will be restored, therefore reducing the pain and improving the function of the spine along with the nervous system. They also try to educate patients by teaching them exercises and ergonomics.

One of the more common visits for a patient to the chiropractor in Brisbane would be for what is called a chiropractic adjustment. This can range from short term pain relief to long term overall wellness of the spine and nervous system. This however, is thought by some to be dangerous if not done correctly and might even cause strokes, rib or vertebrae fractures as well as spinal hernias. But, a recent study has shown though that the overall benefits of this type of treatment far outweighs the risks.

When a person is given an adjustment, the chiropractor will start off by feeling the spine and then taking note of any complaints from the patient. The procedure itself will involve the chiropractor to gently stretch the spinal joint where it needs to be lined up or adjusted. Often you will hear popping sounds and this is caused from pockets of air that is in the tissue that is around the joint. This type of therapy normally does not hurt but there might be some pain felt after the visit due to the area treated being manipulated. On the average though, most do find relief from this treatment and their spinal movement is improved.
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What Can Be Done for a Slipped Disc?

In most cases a slipped disc for most people in Brisbane will eventually shrink back to how it should be spontaneously. The pain that comes with it will also ease as the disc begins to stop pressing on the nerve that it was pressing against.

If you happen to have a slipped disc, your doctor in Brisbane will tell you that it will normally take about 4 to 6 weeks to recover from this kind of an injury to your back. Most people suffering from this will usually need to do some sort of gentle exercise and may need to take some sort of pain killing medication to help get over the injury.

It is extremely important if you have a slipped disc, most doctors in Brisbane will tell you, to try and keep as active as you can. At first it will more than likely be quite difficult to try and move around and if you are suffering from severe pain, you may have to rest totally for the first few days.

But, after the first few days you will really need to try to start moving around as soon as you can. This is going to help to keep your back mobile and it will actually help to speed up the recovery of your back.

However, it is important to make sure that any kind of exercise that you might do is very gentle and it does not put any more strain on your back. One ideal form of exercise for a slipped disc would be swimming. The water helps to support your weight and it put very little strain on your joints, especially your back.

Doing movements and exercises is also going to help you strengthen any of your back muscles that may have become weak. Make sure to avoid any activities that might make your condition worse. These activities could be reaching, lifting and sitting for long periods of time.

Part of your treatment program might be that your doctor will refer you to a physiotherapist. These are professionals that are trained to use physical methods like massage an manipulation as part of your treatment. Your physiotherapist will be able to come up with an individually tailored program for you and your specific problem and this will help to keep you active as well as minimize any pain you might have, it will also help to prevent you from causing any further damage to your back.

Some people who have slipped discs will choose to go see an osteopath or a chiropractor. Both of these offer types of therapy that can help to treat back pain.

Surgery can be required if the problem is bad enough. This usually happens in about 1 out of 10 cases. Surgery is usually recommended if there is any kind of evidence that points to severe nerve compression. If your symptoms have not improved after using other treatments. If you are having problems standing and walking and if you have extremely severe symptoms like progressive muscle weakness or any kind of bladder dysfunctions.

The goal of the surgery for a slipped disc is to try and cut away the part of the disc that is bulging out. This is called a discectomy and it can be done in several different ways.

There is an open discectomy and this is where the doctor removes part or all of the slipped disc. Then there is a prosthetic inter-vertebral disc replacement and this is where the disc is replaced with an artificial disc. The third procedure is endoscopic laser discectomy and this is where a small incision is made in order to gain access to your spine and then an endoscope is used to look at the disc. After an incision is made, the compressed nerve that is causing all the pain will be released and part of the disc will then be removed with the laser.
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The Benefits and Risks of Chiropractic Care for Back Problems

If you are having back problems and looking for chiropractic care in Brisbane, you may have concerns about whether or not this is a safe mode of treatment. Generally manipulation of the spine and chiropractic care is usually considered to be safe and effective for those with acute low back pain. This would be the kind of pain that comes from some sudden injury from say moving furniture for example. Back pain that is acute is much more common than chronic pain, generally doesn't last for more that six weeks and will usually get better my itself.

Chiropractic procedures in Brisbane is also known to also be beneficial in the treatment of neck pain and headaches and not just back problems alone. It is also thought that osteoarthritis along with fibromyalgia could respond to some of the moderate pressure that is used by chiropractors when they do deep tissue massage.

Some chiropractors in Brisbane and other places sometimes use prolotherapy or sclerotherapy as a way of relieving pain, but it has not been confirmed if these practices are very effective or not. These two methods are often used for chronic back problems which last for more than three months. This therapy involves sugar water or an anesthetic that is injected in the hope that it will strengthen the ligaments in a patients back.

Those patients that are suffering from osteoporosis, inflammatory arthritis, spinal cord compress or who are taking any kind of blood thinning medication should not have any kind of spinal manipulation. Also, patients who have had cancer should first ask their primary doctor before going to see a chiropractor.

It is very important that if you do decide to go to get chiropractic care that the chiropractor be well informed of your medical history and this should include any ongoing medical conditions, medications you are taking, traumatic and surgical history as well as your lifestyle factors. All of this will help them with your treatment.

Even though it is very rare, there have been some cases in the past where treatment has actually made herniated or slipped discs worse and some neck manipulation has resulted in stroke or even spinal cord injury. So, it is very important that you inform your medical doctor when you decide to see a chiropractor.
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