What Is Nerve Entrapment and How Can It Be Treated?

Have you ever felt an uncomfortable tingling sensation in your arm after performing the same motion for an extended period of time? Maybe it was after spending a day typing at your computer or raking leaves. This sensation may be caused by nerve entrapment syndrome, a common condition that is sometimes referred to as either a “trapped nerve” or a “pinched nerve”. Nerve entrapment can be uncomfortable, but there are treatments that can relieve the pain and help get you back to feeling normal.

Your body is equipped with nerves that carry information back and forth between your brain and your limbs, organs, and other body parts. Nerve entrapment happens when a bone, muscle, ligament, tendon, or other tissue presses against one of these nerves. This compression is most likely to occur in response to consistent, repetitive movement. Poor posture, obesity, and previous injury to the affected area are also risk factors.

Symptoms of Nerve Entrapment

The most common symptom of nerve entrapment is discomfort and numbness. You may feel as though a part of your body has “fallen asleep,” or you may find that your grip has weakened. While you may still be able to function normally with these symptoms, you should seek medical attention if the discomfort does not go away on its own after a few days. Sustained compression may lead to chronic pain and permanent nerve damage. This makes for timely intervention crucial to a full recovery.

When you visit your doctor, he or she might use a number of tests to diagnose your condition. After asking you questions about your symptoms and conducting a physical examination, your doctor may order a nerve conduction study. This test uses electrodes to measure electrical impulses in your nerve signals. You might also undergo electromyography (EMG) to evaluate your muscle activity or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine the root cause of your compression.

Treatment for Nerve Entrapment

Chiropractors in Wilmington NC are experts in diagnosing and treating problems related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. There are several types of treatment that have been used successfully to relieve nerve entrapment syndrome:

  • Manual therapies, including chiropractic and soft-tissue mobilization.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Low-level laser therapy (LLLT).
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

Depending on your specific situation, your chiropractic physician may teach you exercises that will help to stretch and strengthen the muscles around your nerve. He or she may also recommend specific ways to help reduce inflammation around the compressed nerve.

To the extent that nerve entrapment is fundamentally a structural or mechanical issue, the symptoms can often be relieved with rest. Your doctor might instruct you to discontinue the activities that resulted in compression. He or she might also encourage you to wear a splint or brace to keep the problematic area still. If so, don’t be surprised if you are advised to wear your brace overnight. Many people move around while they sleep in ways that can irritate the compressed nerve.

Contact Southeastern Healthcare for Back Pain or Neck Pain Relief in Wilmington NC

If you or someone you care about is experiencing symptoms of nerve entrapment, we encourage you to call Southeastern Healthcare. Call 910-790-3666 to schedule an appointment with one of our chiropractors. We are here for you. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy: A Great Combination!

Chiropractic physicians are experts in diagnosing and treating disorders that affect the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. They are specially trained to identify and correct structural misalignment and imbalances in the back, neck and joints that can cause a variety of health problems. The techniques that chiropractors use to accomplish this are typically referred to as adjustments, manipulation or mobilization.

Combining Chiropractic and Massage

Depending on the situation, it may also be necessary or useful for patients to receive therapeutic massage—either before or after a chiropractic adjustment—as part of a well-designed treatment plan. This is because the body’s bones are surrounded by soft tissues—muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage—that can contribute to pain and loss of function and that can also make chiropractic adjustments more difficult and less effective under some circumstances. Massage therapy can often be helpful in accelerating the body’s healing processes and in relaxing tight muscles.

In the simplest terms, chiropractors work with bones and massage therapists work with soft tissues. But as treatment modalities, they are compatible and complementary. This combination of treatments often produces a more comfortable patient experience as well as superior results. Massage is often recommended as a preparation for a chiropractic adjustment because it relieves the muscle tension that may be pulling joints out of alignment and makes it easier to move them back into place. Massage is also relaxing, and a relaxed body is easier for the chiropractor to work with. In addition, as the chiropractor corrects the structural problems that are causing pain or limiting your mobility, massage can complement the healing process by stretching and relaxing muscles that have been aggravated by these structural problems, making it easier for you to stretch and exercise, and thus more quickly achieve a state of normal well-being.

Chiropractors Working With Massage Therapists

Many chiropractors work hand-in-hand with massage therapists because their treatment modalities are so complementary. Patients who are working with massage therapists to address soft tissue problems but find that their symptoms persist are frequently referred to chiropractic physicians for further diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, chiropractic patients usually find that their treatment proceeds faster and with less discomfort when the soft tissue has been relaxed with massage. Recovery—especially from musculoskeletal conditions that cause pain and limit mobility—is normally faster and more complete when the underlying causes are addressed holistically, with the chiropractor working to resolve the structural problems and the massage therapist working to resolve the soft tissue problems. Chiropractors and massage therapists who work together collaborate to find the proper combination of chiropractic adjustments and massage to achieve your health and wellness goals as quickly as possible.

Chiropractic and massage therapy are holistic treatment modalities that share a common goal of treating the whole body, helping you to achieve a state of optimal health and well-being without resorting to drugs or surgery. Both focus on trying to resolve the underlying cause of your pain or discomfort rather than simply treating isolated symptoms. Used together, they can be a powerful combination!

Contact Southeastern Healthcare Today if You’re Experiencing Back Pain or Neck Pain!

If you or someone you care about is suffering from musculoskeletal problems, we encourage you to call or visit our office today. We’re always happy to discuss our overall approach as well as the treatment options we provide. Call Southeastern Healthcare today at 910-790-3666 to schedule an appointment with one of our chiropractors. We are here for you. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

chiropractor Wilmington NC

Can Poor Posture Really Cause Back and Neck Pain?

In a word, yes!

Unless your back or neck pain has been caused by some type of over-exertion or acute trauma, it’s actually very likely that poor posture is at least a contributing factor. The alignment of the spine—from the neck through the lower back and hips—is critical to the body’s ability to support its own weight and move efficiently, so posture problems (which are often chronic) can gradually lead to pain and reduced mobility.

When it comes to pain in your back or neck, the relationship between poor posture and injury can also be a complicated one. On the one hand, having poor posture makes it more likely that you will suffer an injury. On the other hand, suffering an injury can also affect your posture. Mary Ann Wilmarth, DPT, spokeswoman for the American Physical Therapy Association explains, “Little things add up. You can increase the pressure on your back by 50% simply by leaning over the sink incorrectly to brush your teeth. Keeping the right amount of curvature in the back takes pressure off the nerves and will reduce back pain.”

How posture problems contribute to neck pain

One of the most common posture problems is a “forward head and shoulder posture”. This occurs when someone “hunches over” and places their head in front of their neck. The weight of the head towards the front stresses the lower neck vertebrae, and leads to overworking of the upper back muscles to compensate for the pull of gravity on the head. Many people with this posture problem also have a rounded upper back and rounded shoulders, which can lead to further stress and shoulder pain. Often, poor desk and chair ergonomics contribute to these problems, but even slouching on the couch or at a table with your mobile phone can lead to hunching over.

How posture problems contribute to back pain

The “forward head” posture described above causes stress on the lower cervical vertebrae, which may end up sliding forward relative to each other as a result of gravity. This is a particular problem for people who have jobs requiring them to look forward or downwards all day. Eventually, the prolonged pressure on the cervical vertebrae will irritate the ligaments and soft tissues, radiating downwards to the upper back. This process can lead to disc degeneration, cervical osteoarthritis and herniated discs.

Tips for improving poor posture and relieving back and neck pain

Poor posture is typically the result of habits that have been developed over long periods of time performing the same activities over and over again. Here are just a few of the most common culprits:

  • Staring at computer monitors or mobile devices that are badly positioned.
  • Sitting in poorly designed office chairs.
  • Sleeping on mattresses that don’t provide the necessary support.
  • Carrying heavy backpacks or purses.

But how do you know which activities are contributing to your poor posture and causing you pain? The clues are usually fairly easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for. For instance, the pain in your neck or back may be worse at some times during the day than at others, or it may come and go with changes in your body position. If you experience fatigue or pain when you first wake up in the morning or after you’ve been sitting at your desk for a couple of hours, it might be time for a new mattress or new office furniture.

The good news is that once you become aware of the activities that are contributing to your posture problems and pain, most can be fixed relatively easily, with no need for either medication or surgery. Learn to recognize when you’re hunching over your computer, slouching in your chair or craning your neck to look at your mobile phone. Then sit up straight, aligning your hips, shoulders and ears in one vertical line.

Sometimes, however, the solution is not so simple—especially when poor posture has caused structural changes in the spine and neck. In these cases, a chiropractor can help by designing posture correction and spinal rehabilitation programs to restore the spine’s normal curvature. These programs will usually involve a combination of mechanical techniques that actively remodel the spine (including the use of braces and molding blocks), exercises and stretches that strengthen postural muscles and restore range of motion, and lifestyle changes to address the root causes.

As experts in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions, chiropractic physicians are specially trained to recognize and correct postural problems. If you’re suffering from neck or back pain and suspect that your posture may be at least partially to blame, call Southeastern Healthcare today at 910-790-3666 to schedule an appointment with one of our chiropractors. We are here for you. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

Spinal Manipulation Versus Mobilization: What’s the Difference?

chiropractor in WilmingtonOver the years, chiropractic physicians have developed hundreds of techniques designed to reduce pain and improve function in the body’s musculoskeletal system—particularly in the back and neck. Some of these techniques are manual and some require the use of instruments or machines, but they all involve the application of some type of directed force. Those that use more force or pressure are typically referred to as “manipulation”, while the more gentle types are referred to as “mobilization”.

Spinal manipulation is the traditional chiropractic adjustment approach most people think of when they think of chiropractors. This technique uses a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust that is directed solely by the practitioner’s hands.

In other words, spinal manipulation uses a specific, sudden force to reposition the vertebrae, creating a popping or cracking sound heard in the joint. This sound—also known as cavitation—is thought to be a release of air from the joint when it is pushed past its regular range of motion, similar to what occurs when people crack their knuckles. Manipulation techniques are widely used to treat everything from back and neck pain to headaches and joint conditions.

In contrast, spinal mobilization techniques are lower-force alternatives that can be used to restore or improve joint function. These techniques use slower movements and less pressure to reposition the vertebrae, typically until the joint can move no further or until the chiropractor encounters resistance.

Many chiropractors favor these lower-force techniques to accommodate certain health conditions and patient preferences. People suffering from some kinds of trauma or chronic conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system (such as fractures, osteoporosis, arthritis, bone cancer or obesity), people who are anxious about treatment (perhaps first-time patients, children or seniors) and people with extreme sensitivity are often good candidates for mobilization.

So, is one approach really better than the other? There’s no simple answer to this simple question. It really depends on the specific needs and preferences of individual patients.

Both spinal manipulation and mobilization share a common goal, which is to reduce pain and to help restore function to affected joints. With this goal in mind, your chiropractor will select the combination of manual therapies that he or she believes will achieve the best result for you based on professional judgment. However, clinical effectiveness is not the only consideration. He or she will decide to use manipulation or mobilization based on a wide variety of other factors as well—including your safety and comfort. Here is a brief summary that you can use as a set of “talking points” in a discussion with your chiropractor:

Patient preferences play an important role in choosing a technique. Some people enjoy gentler types of treatment, while others feel great satisfaction (even an occasional “buzz”) from the cavitation produced during spinal manipulation. It is also common for patients who have previous experience with chiropractic care to know how their bodies react to different techniques and to have specific expectations.

The patient’s overall musculoskeletal health is another important consideration. Some types of prior trauma and health conditions may increase the risk of injury from more forceful spinal manipulation techniques, making them inappropriate. In these cases, low-force mobilization methods may be the best alternative.

Anxiety and fear are variables that can affect the quality of treatment as well as the patient experience. A patient who is anxious or fearful about chiropractic care may “tense up” just prior to receiving traditional spinal manipulation, potentially making the adjustment more difficult and less effective. While an experienced chiropractic physician will anticipate this possibility and can compensate for it in the delivery of the treatment, the use of more forceful techniques can inadvertently reinforce a patient’s anxiety or fear. This may lead a practitioner in the direction of mobilization.

A patient’s general sensitivity to touch can influence a chiropractor’s treatment decisions. People who are particularly sensitive or who are already experiencing a lot of pain may be better candidates for spinal mobilization than traditional forms of spinal manipulation.

Obesity and some types of physical deformities can create special treatment challenges for both the patient and the practitioner. A patient’s body shape or composition may make certain chiropractic techniques less effective, dangerous or impossible to perform. Your chiropractor will use his or her training and experience to develop a safe and effective treatment plan based on your individual situation.

If you have specific questions about chiropractic care—or would simply like to know more about our approach—we invite you to contact our office today!

chiropractor wilmington nc

20 Surprising Facts About the Spine

The spine rarely gets much thought or consideration, but it is one of the most important features in the human body. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to move, let alone stand upright. It’s so important that it even has its own day – World Spine Day. If that surprises you, then here are 20 more spine facts from Southeastern Healthcare’s chiropractor Wilmington NC.

  1. There are about 22 ligaments in the spine
  2. The spinal cord has more than 13.5 million neurons
  3. The average spinal cord weighs about 35 grams
  4. The spine is so flexible that when bent it can form 2/3 of a circle
  5. The spinal column has more than 100 joints
  6. Humans and giraffes share the same number of cervical vertebrae (seven)
  7. The first cervical vertebrae is called “atlas” after the character in Greek mythology because it “carries the weight of the head”
  8. There are more than 120 muscles in the spinal column
  9. One-fourth of the spine’s length is made up of cartilage
  10. More than 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain at some time in their lifetimes with most injuries resulting from auto accidents
  11. After the age of 40, humans “shrink” at a rate of a quarter- to a third-of-an-inch per decade as a result of gravity’s effect on the spine
  12. Astronauts return to earth approximately 3% taller than when they left because of microgravity’s expanding effect on the spine’s cartilage
  13. Spines have 33 individual vertebrae, but some fuse over time to become the coccyx and the sacrum
  14. The spine has four primary motions – forward, backward, side bending, and rotating
  15. Sitting in a hunched position puts 200-lbs of pressure on the lumbar spine
  16. October 16th is the official World Spine Day
  17. Lying flat on your back with legs elevated puts 25-lbs of pressure on the lumbar spine
  18. The spine is capable of withstanding several hundred pounds of pressure
  19. The spine has a memory. This is why it is so important to make sure it is always properly aligned
  20. People with back pain who don’t undergo chiropractic treatment or rehabilitation are 22 times more likely to experience a relapse

Get Relief from Back Pain – Visit a Southeastern Healthcare Chiropractor Wilmington NC Today

There are dozens of causes of back pain, but a great many of which can be improved simply by being treated by an experienced chiropractor Wilmington NC. Isn’t it time you stopped living in constant pain? Get the relief you’re looking for, safely and holistically, at Southeastern Healthcare.

Call Southeastern Healthcare today at 910-790-3666 to schedule an appointment with one of our chiropractors. We are here for you. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

chiropractor back pain

Best Stretches for Back Pain

If you live everyday with chronic back pain, then you should schedule a consultation visit with a chiropractor back pain so you can be treated by someone skilled in this area. But, if you have pain but are still able to perform your daily routine, then there are some stretches you can do to help soothe the pain naturally by easing the muscle tension and strain in the problematic area.

Here are seven of the best stretches you can do for back pain. Practice them daily and you’ll notice your mobility will improve and your pain will decrease.

The Child’s Pose

The Child’s Pose is an easy stretch that involves hardly any moving. To do this stretch, you will start by positioning yourself on the floor (preferably on a yoga mat) on your hands and knees with your knees just wider than hip distance apart. Next, turn your toes inward until they touch and push your hips backwards bending your knees.

Once you obtain a comfortable “seated” position, extend your arms forward and let your head to naturally fall forward into a relaxed position. Slowly repeat the stretch 4 or 5 times.

Modified Cobra

The Modified Cobra is a popular stretch in yoga. To do this stretch, you will lie face down on your yoga mat with your body fully extended. Bend your elbows and put your hands flat on the ground where they are even with your chest. Next, you will press your hands down on the floor and raise your head and upper body while keeping your pelvis flat on the floor. Keep your arms fully extended and hold this position for approximately 10 seconds, then relax. Slowly repeat the stretch 4 or 5 times.

 Lumbar Rotation

This is an excellent stretch to help limber up the lumbar. To do it, you lay flat on back with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle and both knees together. Next, you will slowly rotate both knees in the same direction towards to ground while keeping your back or feet on the ground. When you start feeling tension in your lumber, stop and hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position and repeat the stretch to the opposite side of your body. Continue alternating 4 or 5 times.

Supine Hip Flexor

To do this stretch, you will have to lay flat on your back on a bed or other elevated structure, like a weight lifting bench. Hang one leg off the structure without flexing it. Bend the other leg, grab the knee, and gently pull it up toward your chest. Hold the leg for 10 to 20 seconds and then release. Repeat the stretch with the opposite leg and continue alternating legs 4 or 5 times.

Knee to Chest

This stretch is exactly the same as the Supine Hip Flexor stretch with the exception that it is performed while lying flat on your back with your legs out straight, pulling one up at a time just as in the instructions above.

Glute Stretch

To stretch your glutes, you will start by lying on your back with both feet flat on the floor and both knees bent. Pull your right leg leg up and rest its ankle over the knee of your left leg. Then, pull your left thigh toward your chest and hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds. Repeat the stretch on the other leg and then alternate legs 4 or 5 times.

Hamstring Stretch

Stretching your hamstring might not seem like it has any benefit to your back, but it really does help loosen up the lumbar. To do this stretch, lay flat on your back and interlock the fingers of both hands under the hamstring of one leg. Keep the leg as straight as possible and slowly lift it (without bending at the knee) until tension is felt. When doing this stretch properly, you should feel tension, but never discomfort or pain. Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds and then repeat with the opposite leg, alternating legs for 4 or 5 times.

Is Your Back Pain Debilitating? Call Southeastern’s Chiropractor  Back Pain

If your back pain is chronic or debilitating, then you might have a problem that stretching won’t solve. In such cases, seeing a chiropractor  back pain is recommended. Your spine may need aligning or there may be another pain-causing issue your chiropractor will be able to help you with.

Call Southeastern Healthcare today at 910-790-3666 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced and caring chiropractors. We are here for you. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

Top 4 Myths About Neck and Back Pain

 

neck pain wilmington nc

In Wilmington NC, back pain and neck pain affects thousands of people. Neck and back pain are among the leading causes of disabilities, lost work hours, and healthcare expenses in the entire country. But what many back and neck pain sufferers fail to understand is that relief is attainable.Part of the problem so many people continue to suffer from back and neck pain is due to the fact that they have serious misconceptions on how these painful problems can be treated. To help give you a better understanding, here are the top four myths about neck and back pain and their truths from our chiropractor Wilmington NC.

Myth #1: The Pain is In My Head

Not every cause of pain in the neck or the back is easily identified. This can often leave patients feeling as if their pain is not real, but rather a figment of their imagination. The truth is, certain conditions like depression and sleeplessness can definitely produce non-anatomically-caused pain in the neck or back. But, if the pain persists for weeks or months, then there will almost always be an anatomical cause. Just because your doctor can’t find the cause of your pain does not mean you’re not experiencing it.

Myth #2: The Pain Will Go Away With Rest

Rest will either help or worsen neck or back pain. While certain minor conditions might be alleviated with a day or two of rest, others will be aggravated by inactivity. This is because inactivity causes the muscles to weaken and this puts more pressure on the injured area. There’s a reason why physical therapy is a key treatment strategy for neck and back pain; it’s to help maintain and strengthen the supporting muscles in the affected area.

Myth #3: A Chiropractor Can Injure My Spine Because It is Fragile

Some sufferers of neck and back pain refuse to seek the help of chiropractors because they believe that the spine is fragile and the chiropractor might injure it during manipulation. The reality is, the spine is an extremely complex anatomical structure that’s supported by an incredible network of muscles, tendons, and ligaments and it is difficult to damage. Plus, chiropractors, like other healthcare professionals, undergo extensive training before they’re allowed to practice. They know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to manipulation and improving a patient’s posture and body mechanics.

#4: The Pain is So Bad, The Spine Just Has to Be Damagedwilmington nc back pain

When it comes to chronic pain in the neck or the back, the intensity of the pain is not always indicative of the amount of damage, in fact, it rarely is. For instance, a person with mild disc degeneration may experience significant pain while a person with more severe degeneration might not feel any pain at all. Every case is different and not every cause of long-term chronic pain is due to considerable damage to the spine or require surgical intervention. For a good many chronic pain sufferers, regular spinal manipulation may be all that’s needed to relieve the pressure on the pain producing point.

For Wilmington NC Back Pain Relief, Trust the Chiropractor Wilmington NC at Southeastern Healthcare

When you’re suffering from neck or back pain, it might feel as if there’s nothing you can do to help alleviate the pain. After all, you’ve probably tried all of the usual tactics, like heating pads, cold compresses, rest, and more. But, the problem is you’re only treating the symptom and not the cause and that’s why your pain just won’t go away.

Stop living with debilitating pain – call Southeastern Healthcare today at 910-790-3666 to schedule an appointment with one of our chiropractors. We are here for you. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.  Back pain relief is attainable and our chiropractor Wilmington NC can help.

 

The Importance of Good Workplace Ergonomics

back pain chiropractorFor millions of office workers, freelancers, call center agents, and other professionals that spend the majority of their workday sitting in a chair, neck and back pain can be a part of everyday life. In fact, work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) are among the most common causes of occupational injuries and disability. Every year in the United States alone, WRMSDs account for more than a third of all work-related injuries, causing workers to miss more than 647,000 days of work. Also, they account for as much as $60 billion in workman’s compensation claims. But, a lot of these injuries and illnesses can be avoided simply by implementing good workplace ergonomics and by seeing a reputable chiropractor for back pain Wilmington NC regularly. Here, we discuss more about workplace ergonomics and its importance.

What Can Bad Ergonomics Cause?

When an individual is subjected to bad ergonomics for several hours on a daily basis, it has a compounding effect on their entire body. This means that the more they are subjected to it, the more damage it does. Almost immediately, the individual will start developing a bad posture that can instantly lead to lower back pain and stiffness in the neck. They can also start experiencing joint discomfort, muscle tightening and swelling, and feelings of numbness or “pins and needles.”

If not remedied, the individual will be higher at risk of suffering from chronic back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains, and even hernias.

Bad Posture = More Musculoskeletal Problems

In a recent report published in the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, researchers analyzed the postures of laboratory workers to determine whether or not ergonomics had any relation to the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, the workers’ postures, and other work characteristics. Data was gathered using the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ, a standardized scale for measuring musculoskeletal disorders and occupational health), the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS, a type of self-reporting measurement), and RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment, a self-reported scale by which workers assess the postures that most accurately reflect their working positions). The researchers were able to conclude that poor workplace ergonomics caused musculoskeletal problems in 73.3% of the workers, and there was a direct correlation between the severity of one’s posture and the number of musculoskeletal problems they had.

What Can Be Done About Poor Workplace Ergonomics for Back Pain Wilmington NC?

If you work in an environment with bad workplace ergonomics, then you should bring it up to your employer immediately. The more employees you can get to rally with you, the faster your employer will take the action necessary to fix the problems. In the meantime, however, there are some things you can do to help improve matters. These include:

  • Raising or lowering your chair to a more comfortable position
  • Setting your monitor on books to raise it to eye level
  • Using an ergonomic mouse pad with proper wrist support

For even more tips, the United States Department of Labor’s OSHA website has a workplace ergonomics checklist you can review.

Another thing you can do to help improve your posture, relieve back and neck pain, and improve your overall health and wellness is to schedule an appointment with Southeastern Healthcare’s chiropractor for back pain Wilmington NC. Getting and keeping your body in alignment is one of the most important things you can do to help improve your comfort through the workday.

Make an appointment with one of our back pain chiropractors today by calling 910-790-3666. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

iPosture? Is Technology Causing Neck and Shoulder Pain?

neck painWhether you’re an Apple fan, an Android lover or a hardcore Microsoft user, there’s no denying the popularity of tablet computers. The numbers speak for themselves—technology market analysts estimate that over 200 million of them are sold in the US each year. Even if you don’t follow the latest tech trends, you know that mobile devices—principally phones and tablets—are a regular feature around town. From coffee shops and supermarkets to airports and train platforms, they seem to be everywhere. Plus a growing number of businesses are beginning to equip their sales and service staff as well as their executive teams with them. They’re even finding their way into hospitals and doctor’s offices!

Are Tablets Causing Neck Pain?

But while tablets certainly have their benefits, new research suggests that they also have their drawbacks when it comes to musculoskeletal health. It has already been shown that frequent texting on your mobile phone can cause problems with neck pain (the so-called “text neck” epidemic), but those who use their tablet for everything from work-related applications to just surfing the internet and watching full-length movies may be in for even more pain. The anecdotal evidence is already starting to show up in the waiting rooms of chiropractic offices around the country, and researchers at leading universities are beginning to seriously study the ergonomics and health risks of tablet use.

How to Prevent Neck Pain?

The results of a study published in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation found that the use of tablet computers was associated with greater head and neck flexion than traditional desktop computers and that placing the tablet higher on a table and using a case to put the tablet at a more optimal angle could help prevent neck and shoulder problems.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Microsoft Corporation studied 15 volunteers who were regular users of tablet computers. The subjects performed simulated tasks on an Apple iPad2 and a Motorola Xoom, during which the posture of the head and neck, the subjects’ gaze angle and gaze distance were measured by a three-dimensional infrared motion analysis system. They surfed the internet, wrote e-mails, watched movies and played video games.

Each tablet came with its own proprietary case that enabled users to set the tablet at different angles. The Apple case allowed for 15° and 73° tilt angles, while the Motorola case allowed angles of 45° and 63°. Greater flexion of the neck was found with the iPad2 when used in its case. Not surprisingly, tablets set at the least perpendicular angle caused greater neck and head flexion than when the subjects used a desktop or laptop computer. Head and neck posture only began to approach a neutral position when the tablets were set in their cases at the Table-Movie angle at which they were closest to perpendicular.

What is Recommended?

The researchers recommended that tablet users place the devices on a table and at the steepest viewing angle possible to avoid neck and shoulder pain. However, they cautioned that this configuration might cause problems for the arms and wrists, which in this configuration are not optimally placed for input. This of course can lead to its own set of musculoskeletal problems in the extremities. So the simple fact of the matter is that tablet ergonomics involve some tough compromises or trade offs for users. A position that’s ideal for viewing is troublesome for typing and gestures and vice-versa.

For many people, tablet computers have become an indispensable part of work and home life (for better or for worse). If you’re one of these people and can’t conceive of either giving up your iPad or reducing the number of hours you spend using it, then it’s very important to develop good ergonomic habits that minimize musculoskeletal stress and have the smallest impact on your posture. You should also consider seeing your chiropractor on a regular basis. Chiropractic care has been shown to be more effective in treating neck and shoulder pain than using pain medication. A chiropractic adjustment can realign neck vertebrae and take the pressure off compressed nerves, bringing relief in a gentle, natural manner and allowing you to use your tablet more comfortably. In addition to addressing the problems you already have, your chiropractor will also be able to offer specific ergonomic advice to help prevent them from recurring or becoming chronic.

We Can Help Relieve Your Neck Pain at Southeastern Healthcare

We’re here to help! Whether you have specific concerns about a musculoskeletal problem or more general health and wellness questions, we encourage you to call Southeastern Healthcare today at 910-790-3666 to schedule an appointment with our experienced and caring chiropractor Wilmington NC. We are here for you. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

A Parent’s Guide to Chiropractic for Kids

chiropractic careA growing number of families in the U.S.—both parents and children—are discovering the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including chiropractic care.  The good news is that you’re never too young or too old to benefit from the types of therapies a skilled chiropractic physician can provide.  Today’s chiropractors generally have the training and experience to work with patients from early childhood through to advanced age.  However, some practitioners also choose to focus on the unique needs of specific types of patients.

How Children May Benefit From Chiropractic Care

As children enter school, they begin interacting with other adults and kids in a completely different kind of setting outside the family home.  This means that they’re exposed to a variety of new environmental and behavioral factors that can threaten their spine and nervous system health.  From poor sitting posture in the classroom to heavy backpacks in the hallways, rough-housing on the playground and electronics use on the bus ride home, there are a variety of new health risks.  Chiropractic care can help address these sorts of risks as well as others that may seem less obvious.

For instance, there is evidence that chiropractic care may help prevent or relieve many common cold and allergy symptoms, including sneezing, coughing and itching or watery eyes.  This is not to say that a visit to the chiropractor will “cure” the common cold or that the underlying illness will be eliminated, even temporarily.  However, the research suggests that spinal manipulation and other therapies frequently used by the chiropractor may help to strengthen a child’s immune system over time.

Treating Infants

Chiropractic treatments are tailored to every child according to their specific circumstances, including their height and weight.  There is no minimum age for receiving chiropractic care, and even newborns may safely benefit.  In fact, chiropractic care is encouraged for babies as a chiropractic physician may be able to detect spinal problems that could lead to colic, ear infection or asthma.  Early detection may help prevent the development of these conditions and other complications while also improving a young patient’s quality of life.

Communicating with Members of Your Child’s Healthcare Team

As both adults and children are turning to alternative medicine as a way to prevent or treat common ailments, there is an increasing need for patients (or their parents) to communicate effectively with members of an expanded healthcare team.   In most cases, your child’s primary care doctor (usually a pediatrician, general practitioner or chiropractic physician) will play a key role in coordinating care.  Remember that a good chiropractor will always tell you when a particular condition may be outside his or her scope of practice and will refer you to other specialists as appropriate.

Many chiropractors who specialize in pediatrics are members of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) and have completed postgraduate courses that focus on the care of pregnant mothers, infants and children.  The ICPA is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1986 by Larry Webster, DC.  The association offers advanced training workshops and seminars for healthcare professionals in addition to its chiropractic certification.  It also has a referral service for parents and publishes a wide variety of materials designed to educate the general public about chiropractic medicine for both children and adults.

Studies have shown that children who visit the chiropractor on a regular basis are likely to grow up with better posture and have fewer illnesses than their classmates.  If you’d like to find out more about children and chiropractic care, please ask us.  We are here to help! Call Southeastern Healthcare today at 910-790-3666 to schedule an appointment with our experienced and caring chiropractor Wilmington NC. We are here for you. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.