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A Bicyclist’s Guide to Chiropractic Care

chiropractor in Wilmington NCThere’s no doubt about it—biking can take a real toll on the body, whether you’re a recreational or competitive cyclist.  A burning sensation in the shoulders, numbness in the arms and hands, and tightness in the neck are just a few of the common “aches and pains” that many riders deal with.  Not to mention frequent upper and lower back pain.  While it might be tempting to ignore these types of symptoms and “pedal through it” when they first appear, they often recur and can eventually lead to chronic musculoskeletal pain.  This in turn can seriously interfere with both training and enjoyment of the sport.

Can a chiropractic physician help cyclists with these kinds of problems?  Absolutely!  In addition, chiropractors can also help prevent future injuries and even enhance performance—speed, strength and stamina—for healthy cyclists.  In fact, athletes of all kinds can benefit from the advice and treatment of a well-trained, experienced chiropractor—especially one who specializes in sports and understands the importance of biomechanics in a real-world athletic setting.

In addition to being experts at diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal problems, chiropractors have unique knowledge and skills that are particularly useful in working with cyclists.  In fact, a combination of general and specialized training and experience are essential to successful treatment because everything in cycling is interconnected: the nerves, the bones, the muscles, and the joints.  In most cases, all of these elements must be addressed in a holistic way by a systematic treatment plan in order to get good, lasting results.  This is one reason why a chiropractor who specializes in sports medicine will probably have the most to offer you as a cyclist.  They will also work with adjunct professionals such as sports trainers or physical therapists as needed to address your particular needs.

Solutions to problems cyclists commonly experience will likely be multi-dimensional.  That is, they may involve a combination of adjustments, deep tissue massage, exercises, and stretches. will likely be required.  For example, if a cyclist is suffering from lower back pain, it may be due to hip rotation.  An adjustment of the sacroiliac joints will be quite helpful, but appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises will also be needed to address the weakness and tightness in the muscles that affect the hip joints.  Strengthening exercises will contribute stability to the joint, while stretching will help to lengthen the muscles in the region, thus preventing them from contracting when stressed.

While a qualified chiropractor can be a valuable partner in helping patients recover from cycling-related injuries and pain, the cyclist must also do his or her part to make a treatment plan successful.  In the same way that the athlete needs to actually execute a training program for it to be effective, he or she must also take responsibility for the at-home aspects of any treatment plan for it to achieve results.  If you do not complete the prescribed stretching and strengthening exercises at home, you may not get the relief you expect.

Finally, a sports chiropractor will also likely be able to help you professionally fit your bicycle to maximize your efficiency and to minimize the unnecessary strain on your body.  Bicycle size, seat placement, handlebar height, and cycling posture all have a significant impact on both performance and stress on the body.  In much the same way that runners benefit from gait analysis, cyclists benefit from an insightful analysis of riding mechanics.

Contact Southeastern Healthcare for a Chiropractor in Wilmington NC!

If you or someone you know is an avid cyclist who wants to ride healthier, perform better and enjoy the sport longer, our chiropractor in Wilmington NC can help!  Call or visit our office today!

Chiropractic for Chronic Back Pain

 

About a third of the millions of people who make appointments with chiropractors every year seek relief from back pain. Back pain can be acute, meaning it happens suddenly, lasts 6 weeks or less and often clears up on its own; or back pain can be chronic, meaning it comes on gradually and lasts 3 months or more. Chronic back pain can be particularly debilitating and can limit movement and mobility.

Traditional treatments for back pain include medication, physical therapy, surgery or steroid injections. While these treatments may provide symptomatic relief, they do not address the root cause of the pain. They can also be painful and expensive to carry out.

The foundation of chiropractic care for chronic back pain is the understanding that misaligned vertebrae can cause the pain. This misalignment can result in many additional problems, such as headaches, body pains and impaired joint mobility. Chiropractic treatment aims to restore alignment to the vertebrae, returning natural health to the spine and all the body parts the spinal nerves serve.

Chiropractors believe in the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Chiropractic care avoids medications and their possible side effects, and it also avoids surgery. As an example of the differences in treatment, surgeons may remove a herniated disk from the spine in order to relieve pressure on the nerves, while chiropractors use non-invasive spinal manipulation to achieve the same result.

Your chiropractor will treat your chronic pain based on the vertebral misalignments found in your body. A quick, sudden force is applied to the appropriate vertebrae in order to restore the motion of the joint. Another common treatment for chronic pain is known as the flexion-distraction technique. This treatment involves a special table that stretches the spine. It is particularly effective in treating injuries to the discs that have been the cause of long-term back pain.
Chronic back pain will probably also require additional treatments such as massage, exercise, and perhaps physical therapy. A good chiropractor will work with other health professionals as needed to ensure you get the best possible treatment for your pain. He or she will also look at the entire picture of your life, including your diet, health habits, medical history, family history, and other conditions you may have. This approach is holistic and has a better chance of eliminating the root cause of your chronic back pain than traditional treatments that only work on the symptoms.

Every body is different. If you have questions about this article or whether chiropractic is an appropriate choice for your specific situation, please ask. We are here to help!

Call Southeastern Healthcare today at 910-790-3666 and schedule your appointment!

What is Spinal Manipulation?

The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation”, also called “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile (or restricted in their movement) as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues restores mobility which alleviates pain and muscle tightness, allowing tissues to heal.

In many cases, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care may be the primary method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.

The Chiropractor will plan the TREAT and INVOLVE the Patient

The Chiropractor will involve the participation of the patient in order to make the treatments truly effective and long lasting. Treatments that focus on pain and other symptoms are less effective and may be dangerous because the underlying condition remains.

In planning a course of treatment, the Chiropractor will consider the condition and age of the spine as well as any existing abnormalities. Once these factors are taken into consideration the Chiropractor will, through the use of gentle adjusting techniques, physical therapies, stretching and exercise, reduce spinal pain. Spinal stresses are decreased, and flexibility and range of motion are improved. Degeneration is minimized.

The Chiropractor will involve the participation of the patient in order to make the treatments truly effective and long lasting. Treatments that focus on pain and other symptoms are less effective and may be dangerous because the underlying condition remains.