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Chiropractic Helps Relieve Herniated Disc Pain

Watkinsville chiropractic disc herniation treatmentRegrettably, a large number of our Watkinsville patients are familiar with the pain associated with a herniated disc all too well. Fortunately, Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc has helped many people with disc pain, and a number of medical studies have confirmed that chiropractic care can help people recover from this kind of problem.

Research on Herniated Discs and Chiropractic

In one study, specialists from Switzerland selected 148 patients who were coping with pain in their lower back and legs due to a herniated disc (which was confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI). Each person then received chiropractic adjustments that focused on the location of his or her disc herniation.

Results were gathered after the initial treatment session at set intervals--namely, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year--to find out what kind of short-term and long-term effects, if any, chiropractic care offers when it comes to resolving this particular condition. Among the information gathered was the person's self-reported changes in both back and leg pain.

The authors found that, as a whole, the patients reported "significant improvement" for both types of pain every time the results were collected. In fact, over 90% of the individuals stated that their pain "improved" within the first three months, with 88% still citing improvement one year after their first treatment session.

Even those patients who were defined as "chronic" still claimed an improvement in pain at a rate of 89% one year beyond when treatment first began. This is the same positive result that was found in the following case study.

Case Study Shows that Chiropractic Benefits Chronic Disc Herniation Symptoms

In this report, a 26-year-old male had presented with disc herniation symptoms such as pain in the low back, left leg, and left groin area, along with left foot drop and muscle weakness. He had suffered with these issues for more than two years after sustaining an athletic injury, and his disc herniation was confirmed via MRI.

After receiving chiropractic, "The patient responded favorably and his multi-symptom complex resolved within 90 days of treatment." In addition, the patient was still enjoying relief one year after the chiropractic intervention.

Studies like these show how useful chiropractic can be when it comes to alleviating herniated disc pain and treating the symptoms they bring about. So, if you are suffering from back ache caused by a herniated disc and want to find some relief, chiropractic may be an effective solution.

Don't suffer from chronic herniated disc pain. Give our Watkinsville office a call today at (706) 534-6331 for a consultation or appointment.

References

  • Leemann S, Peterson CK, Schmid C, Anklin B, Humphreys BK. Outcomes of acute and chronic patients with magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed symptomatic lumbar disc herniations receiving high-velocity, low-amplitude, spinal manipulative therapy: a prospective observational cohort study with one-year follow-up. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2014;37(3):155-163.
  • Polkinghorn BS, Colloca CJ. Treatment of symptomatic lumbar disc herniation using activator methods chiropractic technique. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1998;21(3):187-196.
 

Avoid Sciatica Surgery With Chiropractic

Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc works with many sciatica patients here in our Watkinsville office, and many of these men and women were nervous that they might require surgery to relieve their pain. The most recent research shows that many people don't need surgery for this common problem, and that chiropractic is more beneficial at resolving sciatic nerve pain.

A popular surgery for sciatica is microdiscectomy, and in a 2010 study, physicians looked at 80 individuals with sciatica who were referred for this operation.

Forty patients were then randomly placed in one of two groups. The first group was to receive surgical microdiscectomy and the second group received chiropractic care.

Both groups improved; however, no apparent difference in results was recorded one year post-treatment between the surgery group and the chiropractic group. Furthermore, roughly sixty percent of the participating subjects who could not find assistance from any other treatment approach "benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention."

Simply put, chiropractic delivered the same positive benefits as surgery without needing to go through the greater levels of surgery-based pain or suffer through extended recovery times often associated with that specific treatment choice. Plus, you also don't run the risks associated with surgical microdiscectomy, which includes nerve root damage, bowel or bladder incontinence, bleeding, or infection.

Surgery ought to be the last resort for sciatica pain. If you live in Watkinsville and you're being affected by back pain or sciatica, give Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc a call today at (706) 534-6331. We'll help identify the origin of your pain and work hard to get you relief.

References

  • McMorland, G et al. Manipulation or microdiskectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2010;33(8):576-584.
  • Solberg TK, Nygaard OP, Sjaavik K, Hofoss D, Ingebrigtsen T. The risk of "getting worse" after lumbar microdiscectomy. European Spine Journal 2005;14(1):49-54.
 

Chiropractic Helps People Avoid Back Surgery

Watkinsville chiropractic back pain treatmentIn our Watkinsville office, we see a large number of people who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these people have been informed they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgery. The science agrees with the results we see in our office. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first step in dealing with your back pain may literally keep you off of the operating table.

In this study, medical researchers from Dartmouth reviewed statistics from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractor for their back pain issues. They then examined three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to treat the problem.

What the researchers determined was that about 43% of the patients who first saw a surgeon for their back pain ended up in surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5% of those who first consulted with a chiropractor had the same fate. The authors wrote:

"Even after controlling for injury severity and other measures, workers with an initial visit for the injury to a surgeon had almost nine times the odds of receiving lumbar spine surgery compared to those seeing primary care providers, whereas workers whose first visit was to a chiropractor had significantly lower odds of surgery."

These are remarkable outcomes. Seeing a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.

Let's also take into consideration this important detail: this study was conducted by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injuries.

The Risks of Surgery

Any surgical procedure has risks, but a major problem related to spine surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. In an important review in the European Spine Journal, researchers wrote:

"Failed back surgery is a problem that has become sufficiently widespread to even warrant its own special conferences, with recent reviews reporting failure rates ranging from 5 to 50%."

The authors of this same study concluded:

"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."

As a chiropractor, Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have confirmed the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in Watkinsville and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (706) 534-6331 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!

Studies

  • Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
  • Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.
 

Chiropractic and Neck Pain

Watkinsville chiropractic neck pain treatmentAccording to The American Academy of Pain Medicine, more Americans suffer with chronic pain than diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer combined. In addition, neck pain is the third most reported type of pain, beat out only by lower back pain and headaches.

Of course, a lot of patients come to our Watkinsville office seeking neck pain treatment, and Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc has helped many of them find relief. This is a smart decision, as some studies have shown that over 90 percent of neck pain patients get relief with chiropractic.

Studies Confirm Chiropractic Works

A report published in The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy included 64 individuals who were suffering with neck pain. Approximately half were placed in an experimental group and the other half were assigned to a comparison group. Both received chiropractic adjustments of the neck as well as a home exercise plan, while the experimental group also received adjustments of the thoracic spine.

Information was gathered before treatment began and one week after the adjustments. Researchers found that 94% of the experimental group claimed "significantly greater improvements" in regard to pain and disability in their neck symptoms. Just 35% of the patients who received neck adjustments showed the same level of improvement, showing that evaluating the entire spinal column is an important part of restoring the body's normal function.

Another study posted in Physical Therapy involved 60 individuals between the ages of 18 and 60 who reported suffering with neck pain. Each man or woman was randomly allocated to one of two groups--thoracic spine thrust manipulation or non-thrust manipulation--with follow-up exams occurring two and four days after the adjustments.

Researchers found that the study patients who received the thrust manipulations (the same adjustments that offered such positive results in the first study) "experienced greater reductions in disability" than the patients who received the non-thrust manipulations. Their pain was lower as well, which shows that this type of technique offers many benefits.

Help After Failed Neck Surgery

One study found the same type of positive results after thoracic adjustments in a patient who had a failed neck surgical procedure. This specific case involved a 46-year-old patient who had recently had neck surgery but still endured neck pain, headaches, pain in her elbow, and muscle fatigue.

The woman documented reduced pain in her neck and reduced headache intensity, immediately after the first chiropractic treatment session. After six weeks of care, which involved chiropractic, exercise, and patient education, the patient still placed her pain at a zero on a scale of 1 to 10. Her neck disability reduced as well, with a rating score that represented that it was a "great deal better."

It is studies like these that prove the effectiveness of chiropractic care, even if you've already attempted neck surgery that didn't provide relief. So, if you are suffering with neck problems and would like to find a solution that has a high success rate, try chiropractic. It may just be the relief you're looking for.

Our office is in Watkinsville and Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc can help you recover from neck pain. Give us a call today at (706) 534-6331.

References

  • AAPM facts and figures on pain. The American Academy of Pain Medicine.
  • Masaracchio M, Cleland JA, Hellman M, Hagins M. Short-term combined effects of thoracic spine thrust manipulation and cervical spine nonthrust manipulation in individuals with mechanical neck pain: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 2013;43(3):118-127.
  • Cleland JA, Glynn P, Whitman JM, Eberhart SL, MacDonald C, Childs JD. Short-term effects of thrust versus nonthrust mobilization/manipulation directed at the thoracic spine in patients with neck pain: a randomized clinical trial. Physical Therapy 2007;87(4):431-440.
  • Salvatori R, Rowe RH, Osborne R, Beneciuk JM. Use of thoracic spine thrust manipulation for neck pain and headache in a patient following multiple-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: a case report. The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 2014;44(6):440-449.
 

Watkinsville Chiropractic Beats Massage for Cervicogenic Headaches

We see a large number of individuals with headaches in our Watkinsville office, and Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc has been able to provide relief for many of them. Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that half of all adults deal with some kind of headache problem, so this actually isn’t unexpected. One of the most typical varieties of headaches that our patients are afflicted with is cervicogenic headache which, luckily, chiropractic can commonly help.

What is a Cervicogenic Headache?

A cervicogenic headache is one that stems from problems in the cervical spine. It could be as a result of an issue with either the spine itself (particularly, the vertebrae, joints, or discs), or it might be a result of a problem in the muscles and tendons of your neck. This dysfunction in your spine contributes to compression or aggravation of the spinal nerves, which can generate headache pain.

How do you recognize if the headache you are feeling is a cervicogenic headache? Other than getting a diagnosis from a healthcare specialist, a frequent symptom of cervicogenic headaches is tenderness or discomfort in your neck. This is occasionally followed by pain in the back of your head or between your shoulder blades.

Chiropractic to the Rescue

Seeing that cervicogenic headaches will not go away until whatever issue is generating them is corrected, it is critical to receive treatment rather than just trying to "wait it out." Chiropractic care is an effective solution, and one that offers a great deal of pain relief.

In one study published in Chiropractic & Osteopathy, specialists evaluated 80 people who had recurrent cervicogenic headaches. One-half received chiropractic care and the other fifty percent engaged in light massage therapy. Each participant was assessed 12 and 24 weeks after the treatment and it was found that chiropractic delivered the optimum results.

In particular, this study noted that chiropractic adjustments gave patients greater pain relief and reduced the number of headaches that occurred. Furthermore, it also diminished the disability that resulted from these painful headaches.

To find out what Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc can do for you and your headaches, call us today. We'll do our best to get you the pain relief you need!

References

  • Haas M, Schneider M, Vavrek D. Illustrating risk difference and number needed to treat from a randomized controlled trial of spinal manipulation for cervicogenic headache. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010 18(9).
  • World Health Organization. (2012, October). Headache disorders. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs277/en/
 

Chiropractic and Medical Care: An Effective Combination

Athens back pain treatmentWe see many back pain patients in our Athens office, and Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc has been able to provide many of them get relief through various chiropractic techniques. However, dealing with back pain doesn't necessarily mean having to decide between chiropractic care and medical care, as many people use both types of care with great success.

Study Confirms Chiropractic and Medical Treatment Work Well with One Another

In a report published by the medical journal Spine researchers1 looked at a group of active-duty military personnel between the ages of 18 and 35 who claimed both acute discomfort and limited function due to back-related issues. Some of the study participants engaged in treatment via standard medical therapy, while the rest were given chiropractic adjustments as well as standard medical care, as the authors wanted to see which patients fared better.

The authors discovered that the patients who got standard medical care along with chiropractic scored "significantly better" than the group that got medical care alone; 73% reported positive benefits compared to just 17 percent of the medical care only group who reported the same amount of improvement. This was true regarding both pain and level of function at the two- and four-week marks.

Therefore, integrating these two forms of care can greatly benefit you--the patient--offering benefits when compared to medical care alone. However, while chiropractic and medicine can work alongside each other, chiropractic offers some unique advantages over medical treatment.

Where Chiropractic Pulls Ahead

Although it might seem as if each approach plays a 50/50 role, there is one major benefit that chiropractic has over medical care and that is in patient satisfaction. In fact, one bit of research from UCLA2 that was printed in the American Journal of Public Health reports that, on average, chiropractic patients are generally more satisfied with their recovery than people undergoing medical treatment.

According to the experts, the main aspects that patients liked over medical treatment were "self-care advice and explanation of treatment." This isn't surprising, as chiropractors tend to spend much more time consulting with their patients as to how they can improve their health on their own, as well as outlining more carefully what to expect from chiropractic.

Chiropractic Offers a Holistic Approach

Without a doubt, the methods associated with chiropractic are very different than those offered with medical treatment, but a large amount of the distinction is the fact that chiropractic is a natural approach to health and wellness. In contrast to focusing on simply relieving the symptoms, chiropractic means tracking down the root cause of your pain, which often results in greater improvement as you are tackling the problem at its source.

In addition, while medication is sometimes helpful for treating certain conditions, many health issues respond well to natural forms of treatment such as chiropractic care. This means fewer negative responses to prescriptions and more permanent recovery.

You don't have to struggle with back pain or other health issues. Give our Athens office a call today at (706) 534-6331. We'll work to help you get and stay free from back pain.

References

  1. Goertz CM, Long CR, Hondras MA, Petri R, Delgado R, Lawrence DJ, Owens EF, Meeker WC. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine 2013;38(8):627-634.
  2. Hertzman-Miller RP1, Morgenstern H, Hurwitz EL, Yu F, Adams AH, Harber P, Kominski GF. Comparing the satisfaction of low back pain patients randomized to receive medical or chiropractic care: results from the UCLA low-back pain study. American Journal of Public Health 2002;92(10):1628-1633.
 

Shoulder Pain and Car Crashes

Shoulder Pain is a common problem after an auto collision, and it's something that Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc sees frequently in our Athens office. Why is shoulder pain such a common symptom after an auto collision? How can chiropractic care help you heal?

There are at least two different ways that you can get shoulder pain after a car crash: by direct trauma to the shoulder or by referred pain from the neck.

Direct injury can be caused by hitting your shoulder on a hard object in the car during the impact, or can occur if you have a tight grip on the steering wheel during a rear end crash. With this type of injury, you'll usually be aware of the pain shortly after the crash.

More commonly, Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc finds that shoulder or arm pain does not immediately appear after a collision, but begins a few days or weeks after the accident. This type of shoulder pain actually starts in the cervical spine. Injured soft tissue in your neck can tweak nerves in your neck, causing numbness, tingling, or pain in your shoulder, elbow, or wrist.

We've treated both types of shoulder problems in our Athens office. This treatment involves chiropractic adjustments to restore your spine's natural mobility and exercises that strengthen your neck and shoulder.

If you've been injured in a car crash and you're struggling with shoulder pain, Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc is here to help. First, we'll do a careful evaluation to figure out the root cause of your pain, and then decide how to restore your body's natural functioning. Ready to make an appointment? Give us a call at (706) 534-6331 and we'll get you back on the road to health.

 

Is Chiropractic Safe?

Athens Chiropractic for familiesWe see a large number of patients in our Athens office, and Family Chiropractic of Athens, Inc has helped many people eliminate a variety of health issues. However, one concern that seems to stop a lot of folks from pursuing care is whether or not chiropractic care is safe. Fortunately, according to three different studies (out of many on the subject), the answer to this concern is a resounding: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"

Chiropractic is Safe, According to Australian Study

The first article(1) was published in Spine and included 183 women and men between the ages of 20 and 85. Each participant was suffering from spinal pain, and half of the people received real chiropractic care whereas the other half were given two fake chiropractic adjustments. Information was gathered after each real or fake adjustment to identify if any unpleasant side effects occurred as a result of the actual chiropractic treatments.

The authors found that none of the patients documented any serious unfavorable adverse reactions at all after getting one or two sessions of chiropractic. Some people did state that they experienced a headache (9 percent) or muscle stiffness (about 1 out of 3) post-treatment, but the effects were not serious.

Nationwide Survey Finds that Chiropractic is Safe

The next research study(2), also published in the prestigious journal, Spine, was performed in an attempt to establish the safety of chiropractic. The study group was much larger as it involved just under 20,000 patients. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all patients.

Once again, the experts found no serious negative side effects. The experts determined the risk of total negative effects to be approximately 6 out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. Plus, just as with the previous study, some volunteers did report non-serious, milder, side effects such as dizziness (less than 2%) or a headache (4 out of every 100), and this caused the authors to conclude that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."

Chiropractic Care Is Safe for Kids

The third study(3) is unique from the first two reports, as it focuses on the safety of chiropractic care for kids. In this article, researchers investigated data reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic treatment sessions.

Out of 5,438 chiropractic appointments made for the young children, chiropractors answering the survey reported only three cases where there were adverse side effects. When parents were questioned, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Furthermore, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."

Based on these three studies (and many more!), chiropractic has been judged safe and effective for everyone. To learn what chiropractic care can do for you, call our Athens office and make an appointment today at (706) 534-6331.

References

  1. Walker BF, Hebert JJ, Stomski NJ, Clarke BR, Bowden RS, Losco B, French SD. Outcomes of usual chiropractic. The OUCH randomized controlled trial of adverse events. Spine 2013;38(20):1723-9.
  2. Thiel HW1, Bolton JE, Docherty S, Portlock JC. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine 2007;32(21):2375-8.
  3. Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore NY 2009;5(5): 290-5.
 

Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Chronic Pain

Staying healthy involves a complex balance of genetics, nutrition, hormones, and immunology. When any of these elements are out of balance, we experience disease or discomfort. A recent research study from Mission Viejo, California looked at one tiny aspect of this relationship by looking at the blood serum levels of vitamin D in people with pain who were getting treatment at an acute rehab center.

The researchers took blood samples from 414 patients and assessed each of them for nonspecific musculoskeletal pain. The study discovered that patients reporting musculoskeletal pain had significantly lower levels of vitamin D.

For that matter, test subjects with a blood serum level of

If you’re suffering from chronic pain, there may be options for you. In our office, we assess a wide range of factors that may be contributing to your pain conditions, including vitamin D, and we work with our patients to naturally restore your body’s natural function through chiropractic care.

Give our office a call today at (706) 534-6331 to see how we can help you get out of pain.

Matossian-Motley DL, Drake DA, Camargo CA, Quraishi SA. Association between serum 25(OH)D level and nonspecific musculoskeletal pain in acute rehabilitation unit patients. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 2014;October 14 Epub.

 

What is Fibromyalgia?

We have helped many patients with fibromyalgia and other pain disorders in our Athens, GA clinic, and we get many questions about what precisely fibromyalgia is.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that is distinguished by wide-spread pain, sleep problems, abnormal pain processing, low energy, and may often result in depression or anxiety. There are many other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Fuzzy cognition and thinking
  • Issues with memory
  • Uncomfortable menstruation
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Prickling in the feet or hands
  • Morning stiffness

In people with fibromyalgia, we notice that the central nervous system gets "activated" or over-stimulated. This triggers a high-speed firing of pain impulses and also brings about the wide array of whole-body symptoms.

Chiropractic has been determined to be helpful for individuals struggling from fibromyalgia pain, especially when matched with specific exercises. For our patients, we also consider other factors, such as nutrition and general health to help you get out of pain.

If you’re dealing with fibromyalgia, give our Athens, GA office a call today at (706) 534-6331 to see how we can help you.

Panton LB, Figueroa A, Kingsley JD, et al. "Effects of resistance training and chiropractic treatment in women with fibromyalgia." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2009;15(3):321-328.