Acting as a bridge between your head and your torso, which allows for motion of your head, your neck is made up of seven vertebra and is supported by many muscles and ligaments. Neck pain most often occurs when the joints, muscles and ligaments in the neck become irritated or inflamed. Neck pain can range from minor and easily ignored, to excruciating and debilitating. Dr. Grainger looks to bring back motion in the joints of the neck and release the tension and pressure on the muscles.
Our neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.
The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear. Neck pain can be very bothersome, and it can have a variety of causes.
A neck adjustment (also known as cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness.
If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.
Research shows that spinal manipulation – one of the primary treatments provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. A 2014 report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) found that interventions commonly used in chiropractic care improved outcomes for the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain and increased benefit was shown in several instances where a multimodal approach to neck pain had been used. Also, a 2011 JMPT study found that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, improves migraine and cervicogenic headaches.
Headaches are so common in many patient patients tension headaches show significant improvement through manipulation of the upper two cervical vertebrae, coupled with adjustments to the junction between the cervical and thoracic spine. This is also helpful in most cases of migraine headaches, as long as food and lifestyle triggers are avoided as well. Many headaches are triggered by weak neck flexors and forward head posture. During your visit Dr. Grainger will asses the muscles of the head and neck as well as cervical misalignments. Dr. Grainger also uses electrical stimulation of acupuncture points to help with headaches and even ear seeds.
Chiropractic adjustments reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine and other joints in the body in an effort to reduce inflammation and improve function of both the affected joint and nervous system. By increasing joint mobility and improving your nervous system function and spinal health, your body has the ability to better manage symptoms caused by low back pain. At Ultimate Spine and Wellness we have a variety of tables and adjustment options such as flexion distraction, mechanical traction and spinal decompression.
Back pain is a fact of life for many people. Research shows that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point during their lives. It is also the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
Sometimes back pain is sharp and intense, caused by a wrong move or an injury, and heals in a few days or weeks. Others experience back pain as a chronic condition, seriously altering their ability to work and enjoy time with family, friends and other leisure activities—leading to depression in some cases. A recent global survey of health conditions identified back pain as the single most disabling condition worldwide.
Another study based on Washington state workers found that 42.7 percent of people who visited a surgeon first for work-related back pain eventually had surgery, compared to only 1.5 percent of those who visited a chiropractor first.
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.
Chiropractic services are used most often to treat conditions such as back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches. Chiropractors practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment.
The sciatic nerve is a large nerve extending from the lower back down the back of each leg. People experience pain in the leg or rear that is worse when sitting, burning or tingling running down the leg, a shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body. The pain may also reach the foot or toes. Sciatica is caused by irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine.
Sciatica is generally caused by sciatic nerve compression. Disorders known to cause sciatic nerve pain include lumbar spine subluxations (misaligned vertebral body/ies), herniated or bulging discs (slipped discs), pregnancy and childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or sitting on one’s back pocket wallet.
One common cause of sciatica is piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome is named after the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is located in the lower part of the spine, connects to the thighbone, and assists in hip rotation. The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle. This muscle is susceptible to injury from a slip and fall, hip arthritis, or a difference in leg length. Such situations can cause cramping and spasm to develop in the piriformis muscle, thereby pinching the sciatic nerve and causing inflammation and pain.
Sciatic nerve compression may result in the loss of feeling (sensory loss), paralysis of a single limb or group of muscles (monoplegia), and insomnia.
There are a myriad of benefits a mother can experience by selecting a chiropractor to join her prenatal care team. The American Pregnancy Association lists the potential benefits of chiropractic care as:
- Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
- Controlling symptoms of nausea
- Reducing the time of labor and delivery
- Relieving back, neck or joint pain
- Preventing a potential cesarean delivery
These hormonal and structural changes can lead to spinal and pelvic misalignment and the consequent lower back pain many women experience during pregnancy. Lower back pain, in and of itself, is a burden to a woman’s daily function and quality of life. However, the misalignment of the spine and pelvis have a far more crucial consequence. In chiropractic, these misalignments are called subluxations. These insidious blockages cause stress overload to the mother’s nervous system, potentially impairing any of her vital systems and organs. During pregnancy, when a mother’s body systems are basically functioning for two, any interference to the nerve transmission supporting their function can be detrimental to her health and well-being. Reducing this nerve system stress is a key ingredient for normal bodily function.
To further understand the impact of spinal and pelvic misalignment throughout pregnancy, it is important to look at the mother’s anatomy. The mother’s pelvis has various key ligaments attached that support her uterus. As the baby grows, their role becomes increasingly important. If her pelvis is in biomechanical balance during pregnancy, the uterus will be supported symmetrically. This allows greater comfort for the mother and potentially optimal room for the baby’s development.
Gross misalignment in the woman’s pelvis may contribute to conditions like torticollis in the baby, with excessive stress to the baby’s developing neuro-muscular system. This is turn may impair his developing nervous system and adversely affect virtually any of his body’s systems and functions. Additionally, it is hypothesized that pelvic misalignments in the mother may affect optimal fetal positioning at the time of birth. The optimal position for birth is anterior vertex (rear-facing, head down). When a baby presents breech or posterior, it may be the result of an imbalance in the mother’s pelvis, forcing the baby to assume a compromised position. Baby mal-position will result in a lengthier, less comfortable and more complicated birth. If mother’s biomechanics are compromised, obstetric interventions are more likely to be recommended and implemented. Each and every intervention has significant side effects for both mother and baby.
After receiving chiropractic adjustments, many women have reported relief from low-back pain due to pregnancy. Chiropractic treatment offers a non-pharmaceutical and safe form of pain relief. Websters technique also helps with aligning the pelvis. Making sure the pelvis is in proper alignment allows the baby the most room and sets the mother up for an easy delivery. In some cases Websters technique with chiropractic adjsutments has been able to help in situtations of breeched babies.
Dr. Grainger can help you to maintain and correct your posture through chiropractic adjustments, exercises and recommendations on proper positions during different activities.
Studies have linked chiropractic care and management of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as pain, fatigue and quality of sleep. One study found that “chiropractic management improved patients’ cervical and lumbar ranges of motion, straight leg raise and reported pain levels.”
At Ultimate Spine and Wellness we use nutritional such as CBD oil, Tumeric, Magnesium, Formula 303 and Cryoderm cream to help aid in easing the pain of fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of TMJ can vary widely from person to person, but some of the more typical problems are fairly common among most sufferers. These symptoms might include pain in the jaw, trouble chewing or talking, headaches, and neck pain. In some cases, the patient may also experience a bit of dizziness. Since other ailments can cause similar problems, it’s important to be seen by a professional.
Dr. Grainger uses gentle light force instrument assisted adjusting to alleviating tension and dysfunction in the spine. As this dysfunction begins to reduce the pressure on various nerves, which then alleviates pain associated with TMJ. Internal massage of the pterygoid muscles can be quite painful but provides a tremendous amount of relief for those sufferig from TMJ. Many people who have TMJ need continual care in order to keep the pain and other side effects away. But with regular trips to the chiropractor, many sufferers of this condition find ongoing relief from this particular ailment.
Refer to our Auto Accident page for more detailed information.
Herniated disc or bulging disc is a condition wherein a disc protrudes outside of the normal radius in the spine. A person suffering from this condition may not even know there is anything wrong until the bulging disc presses on a nerve in the spinal column and start causing excruciating pain. Depending on the location on the spine, herniated disc can cause pain and loss of range of motion. Dr. Grainger uses both flexion distraction technique and spinal decompression to help in the non-surgical recovery of this disc injuries.
As children, the spinal discs are fluid-filled sacs that start to solidify as part of the normal aging process. By early adulthood, the blood supply stops and the soft inner material hardens. By middle age, our discs are hard, almost like a piece of hard rubber. This is why adults are prone to disc injury and degeneration.
Discs are firmly embedded between the vertebrae and held in place by ligaments connecting the spinal bones and muscle. There is little room for discs to “slip.” A “bulging” or herniated disc however, can occur when gel or fluid pushes out through a crack in the exterior. This can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. Many people, however, experience no symptoms from a herniated disc.
There are two types of herniated discs: protrusions and prolapses. A protrusion can occur if the disc bulges, pushing it out of shape. A prolapsed disc is one that bulges out so much, it actually separates from the rest of the discs. In this scenario if the disc pushes on the spinal cord or puts pressure on nerves, it causes severe pain that makes regular daily activities such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing very difficult. Foot or leg numbness or a loss of muscle control may also occur. Only a small number of those with low back pain have serious disc problems.
Painful and limiting shoulder conditions such as frozen shoulder are very frustrating and can affect individuals of any age. They can range from that of a mild to serious condition and can be caused by specific injuries to the joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage or wear and tear from old injuries.
The nerves that supply the shoulder and arm actually originate from the upper spine and neck. Abnormal function and damage to this area can also cause shoulder and arm pain.
Our chiropractic practitioners will be happy to assess and discuss with you any shoulder condition such as adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), rotator cuff disorders, stiffness and tension, arthritis or any other problems that you may have.
Shoulder, arm and hand pain and problems are common, and many issues with these areas can be linked to a group of nerves, called the brachial plexus. These nerves run from the lower neck through the upper shoulder area, and allow the shoulder, arm and hand to move and feel. Any nerve damage to the brachial plexus can cause pain, loss of mobility and loss of sensation to these areas, this is known as brachial plexopathy. This damage can be a result of a direct injury, stretching injury, birth trauma or other issues such as inflammatory conditions. Dr. Grainger will examine the neck and upper arm to determine what is causing the problem. Chiropractic adjustments, nerve flossing, laser therapy and trigger point therapy are all great options to eliminating this type of pain.
The actual cause of arm or leg pain can be difficult to self-diagnose. If you have had an obvious injury, such as stressing a joint through a repetitive use pattern at work, dislocating a shoulder playing sports, or pinching a nerve by falling asleep in an awkward position, the source of your immediate pain may be obvious. However, when pain in the arms or legs develops slowly over time, without the occurrence of an obvious injury or accident, or when the pain from an injury has become chronic and the source becomes perplexing you may be in need of a more thorough assessment to determine the source.
There are a number of different possible sources, including bursitis, arthritis and tendinitis, but misalignment (subluxations) of the vertebrae in the neck and lower back are responsible for the vast majority of chronic arm and leg pain. If the spaces where the nerves leave the spine become narrowed due to the vertebrae or disc being out of position, the nerve can become irritated, and often produces pain down its entire path. Many patients are surprised when they see that the nerves travel from the spine all the way to the ends of our fingertips and toes.
Using non-invasive and carefully applied adjustments, chiropractors assist the body in gently re-positioning the vertebrae which can provide both instant and long term relief.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, CTS shows up in adults, appearing three times more often in women. The dominant hand is affected first and pain is usually severe. Assembly line workers, sewers, cleaners, meat packers, and data entry keyboard jobs are all at risk.
The median nerve originates in the cervical spine, as it enters the hand and wrist it passes under the transverse ligament. Repetitive motion such as office computer work causes this ligament to become inflamed which can press on the median nerve causing carpal tunnel symptoms. CTS occurs in the median nerve that runs from the forearm into the hand. It happens when the median nerve gets compressed in the carpal tunnel, a narrow tunnel at the wrist made up of bones and nerves, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. The compression causes pain, weakness or numbness in the hand or wrist that radiates into the forearm. CTS can be triggered by wrist injuries, over activity of the pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, diabetes, inflammatory arthritis, repetitive use of vibrating hand tools, and fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause.
The chiropractor will also do a spinal manipulation to evaluate overall spinal health, review daily routines and look at medical history. The goal will be to relieve pain without medication or surgery. Initial therapy might include resting the affected hand and wrist, immobilizing the wrist to avoid further injury, and applying cold packs to reduce swelling. Chiropractic joint manipulation and mobilization of the wrist and hand, stretching and strengthening exercises, soft-tissue mobilization techniques, and even yoga can be helpful. If left untreated, the syndrome can cause permanent damage to the hand or thumb. If you think you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, a quick consultation with a chiropractor can kick-start the healing process and potentially prevent an unnecessary surgery.