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.

Top 5 Ways to Warm-Up Before a Golf Game

chiropractor Wilmington NCIf you don’t know better, golf can seem like a laid-back sport that carries little risk of physical injury other than being hit by a stray ball or having a foot run over by a speeding golf cart. But the truth is that a correct golf swing requires a great deal of balance, flexibility and core strength and that it can place a great deal of strain on the golfer’s back.

Unfortunately, many golfers don’t recognize the importance of warming up before teeing off until it’s too late. With more men and women playing golf than ever before, the incidence of golf-related back pain is also growing. Frequent play can aggravate chronic or intermittent low back pain that, in turn, can interfere with your ability to play golf. However, warming up before you play can go a long way to stop the cycle of golf and back pain. Not only can it keep you on the course, it can also improve the quality of your game.

Focus on Stretching and Taking Practice Swings

  • Trunk rotations allow you to warm-up the torso by mimicking the motion you will use to swing your club. Place a golf club across the back of your shoulders and slowly twist from left to right to stretch the torso and the shoulders. The lower body should remain stable with the movement taking place in the torso.
  • Stretch quadriceps by standing with a chair or bench behind you with your arms crossed over your chest. Bend your knee so that one foot is resting on the seat of the chair or bench. Squeeze your buttocks muscles to cause a contraction of the quadriceps (muscles in the front of the thigh). Follow the motions of your golf swing. Repeat on the other side.
  • Stretch your back by standing behind the back of a chair with your feet apart. Hold the back of the chair while keeping the back straight. Still holding the chair, drop your body down and pull it away from the chair to create a stretch near the armpits.
  • Sitting on a bench or chair, place the ankle from one leg on top of the thigh of the other leg. Use your forearm to push down on the bent leg. Lean forward to create a gentle stretch in your hip. Repeat on the other side.
  • Woodchops are a good golf warm-up because they reach the abs, legs and back. To perform these, stand holding a golf club straight up and down, perpendicular to the ground. Raise the club slowly over the head while holding your arms straight. Keep back slightly arched to stretch the chest. Next, bring the club down and between your knees while you go into a squatting position. Maintain a flat back and hold abs in throughout the stretch. Move slowly enough that it takes 30 seconds to complete the entire stretch.

Good Swing Mechanics For a Healthy Back and a Healthy Back for Good Swing Mechanics

It really does work both ways. Golf-related back pain is often the result of muscle sprains or strains that can be prevented with appropriate preparation and warm-ups. But poor swing mechanics will also take their toll over time—even for golfers who are relatively young and fit. Swings that are off-balance or that rely on the wrong muscle groups to generate power put players’ backs at risk. The reverse is also true—players who are nursing back injuries (and other types of injuries, for that matter) frequently compensate for them by making changes in their golf swing that hurt their performance and that may increase the risk of additional injuries.

Golfers of all skill levels can benefit from regular chiropractic care. Many chiropractic physicians have specialized training in biomechanics and some have made a particular study of golf performance and golf-related injuries.

Southeastern’s Chiropractor Wilmington NC Can Help Your Golf Swing

If you’re a golfer who’s interested in getting or staying healthy and improving your game, call or visit our office today! 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.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care in the Workplace

chiropractor Wilmington NCIt can be really tough owning or managing a business. Not only do you have to worry about making a profit, you also have to look after the welfare of your most important resource, your employees. Your business, after all, is dependent on them being healthy enough to come to work, and to work productively while they’re there. So most businesses these days view their employee healthcare costs as an investment, a way of keeping the company healthy by keeping employees healthy. The challenge for managers is how to keep these healthcare costs as low as possible.

With this in mind, the findings of a recent study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine are encouraging, because they suggest that one way to enhance your employees’ wellness while reducing costs is to offer on-site chiropractic care.

How on-site chiropractic care lowered several companies’ health care costs

In the study, conducted between 2010 and 2012, the cost of care was tracked for 1,635 employees who received chiropractic care. About half of the employees received their care from off-site providers, while the other half received treatment from chiropractic offices established on-site, in the workplace itself. The company was willing to make this investment in chiropractic care because it has been shown to deliver effective treatment for musculoskeletal conditions, which are the primary cause of disability in the workplace.

The researchers found that, while both groups of workers received chiropractic care, the on-site group required fewer visits than the group traveling to off-site chiropractors. The on-site group also required fewer expensive diagnostic imaging tests (38% on-site vs. 56% off-site) and X-rays (27% on-site vs. 46% off-site). The off-site group required more office visits for treatment and physical therapy than the on-site group, and they also logged more visits to the emergency room. As a result, the study authors reported that chiropractic care “demonstrated significant improvements in headache, neck pain, and low back pain functional status in patients utilizing on-site services over a short time frame while still showing lower utilization and cost outcomes than community-based care,” and that “This study demonstrates that users of on-site chiropractic services have lower health care utilization than those who obtain their care at off-site community care centers.”

In a similar study at Anheuser-Busch brewing company in Peoria, IL, on-site chiropractic care provided in workplace wellness centers significantly improved care for workers who spend most of their time moving heavy cases and kegs of beer. Study authors reported that “In the two years since it was implemented, the number of employee sick days has declined by 22 percent, while the accident rate has been cut in half. Consequently, the company’s workers’ compensation costs have experienced a dramatic reduction, with premiums declining by more than 25 percent.”

These and other studies make a clear case for the establishment of on-site chiropractic clinics in workplaces because it provides employees more convenient access to safe, effective care for musculoskeletal conditions. Since it reduces employees’ pain and disability, it improves both their productivity and their job satisfaction. Plus it leads to lower overall healthcare costs for the company in the long run. In short, providing on-site chiropractic services has been found to benefit the workforce as well as employers in a variety of important ways—it’s a “win-win” investment for companies looking to improve productivity and reduce expenses.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Chiropractor Wilmington NC Today

If you work in an office and are experiencing pain or stiffness, schedule an appointment to see a Southeastern chiropractor Wilmington NC today. Relief is available and we can help.

Stop living in pain; 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, Leland, and Shallotte areas, we have an office conveniently close to you.

5 Reasons to See an Auto Accident Chiropractor in Wilmington NC After an Accident

auto accident injury wilmington ncAn auto accident can be extremely jarring to the body and in many cases, an injury doesn’t present itself until days after the event. All too often, conditions like whiplash only show up after the adrenaline rush caused by the accident starts to fade and the body relaxes.Because most auto accident injuries involve the spine, it makes sense that a chiropractor should be one of the first treatment options an accident victim chooses, but too often, it’s not. And as a result, the individual winds up living a lifetime with days filled with chronic pain and stiffness.If you have been in a recent accident, here are five reasons why you should schedule an appointment with our auto accident chiropractor Wilmington NC as soon as possible.

#1: Your Insurance Will Cover the Visit

Today, chiropractic care is covered under most health insurance plans. You may need to get a referral from your primary, but once you do, all you’ll have to pay is your copay (if you have one). Even if your health insurance doesn’t cover the treatment, there’s a good chance your auto insurance will. Talk to both before you schedule your visit so you know exactly what your policies cover and what they don’t.

#2: Chiropractic Care is Safe

Chiropractic care, when administered by a licensed professional, is an extremely low-risk treatment option. In fact, it is much, much safer than western medicine treatments, which often result in dangerously addictive drugs and risky surgeries. Chiropractic care is a 100% natural and noninvasive medical treatment.

#3: No Side Effects to Worry About

Most chemically compounded medications have side effects attached to them. These can range from stomach upset to a host of other, more serious problems. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, is a manual therapeutic treatment that does not involve the use of drugs. Western medicine providers prescribe painkillers (OTC or prescription), and while they may provide temporary relief from the pain, they just cover it up. They don’t actually solve the problem. Chiropractic care treats the root cause of the pain so more effective, long-lasting pain relief can be obtained.

#4: Western Medicine Might Miss the Injury

Unlike western medicine medical practitioners, chiropractors are trained extensively in the musculoskeletal system. Western medicine relies mostly on x-rays when diagnosing musculoskeletal injuries, so soft tissue injuries can easily be missed, especially if the patient is not complaining about having a great deal of pain at the time. In such cases, it takes a trained eye to find a soft tissue injury following an auto accident and a chiropractor can often identify them more effectively simply because they have received specialized training in diagnosing spinal injuries and misalignments.

#5: Chiropractic Treatments are Non-Invasive

When you visit an auto accident chiropractor in Wilmington NC, you don’t have to worry about being poked, prodded, or undergoing surgery. Chiropractic care is non-invasive, so you’ll never be uncomfortable under your chiropractor’s care. In fact, you might just feel a world of relief after just one visit!

Schedule an Appointment With Our Auto Accident Chiropractor Wilmington NC Today

If you were recently in an auto accident and you are living with pain or stiffness, schedule an appointment to see a Southeastern auto accident chiropractor Wilmington NC today. Relief is available and we can help.

Stop living in pain; call Southeastern Healthcare today at 910-202-4341 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.

Are Stand-Up Desks Really Any Healthier for Office Workers?

chiropractor Wilmington NCStanding desks or stand-up desks are not a new fad. They’ve been around since at least the time of Benjamin Franklin, the founding father who used one over two hundred years ago. However, there remains a great deal of controversy regarding the benefits and drawbacks of stand-up desks.

More Energy and More Alert?

A number of sources agree that standing up while you work gives you more energy and keeps you more alert. The University of Chester performed a study in 2013 that showed heartbeats rose by ten beats per minute because of standing. This increased the number of calories burned each day. In addition, blood glucose levels after lunch returned to normal far faster in those study subjects who stood as they worked.

Reduces Back Pain?

Others have found that standing helps reduce lower back pain. Users of stand-up desks found that they engaged more fully with their colleagues and felt more ready for action if something called them away from their desk. They felt their minds wandered far less and they stayed more focused. Some users even found that stand-up desks lent themselves to certain “power poses” that benefited physiology, increasing testosterone and decreasing cortisol, the stress hormone.

Getting Used to the Stand Up Desk

Stand-up desk users seemed to agree, though, that leg and foot soreness can be a problem. This may be a particular problem for individuals who are just starting to use a stand-up desk user and whose bodies aren’t yet accustomed to the new way of working. More comfortable shoes and an anti-fatigue mat can help reduce this problem. Gradually building up the amount of time spent at a stand-up desk can also help.

If you do opt for a stand-up desk, it’s important to get one at the right height. Because each person is different, getting a custom desk built can be prohibitively expensive. A better alternative is to get an adjustable desk. One with hydraulic power can be lowered for occasional sitting and increased to a custom height to suit your individual needs.

Sitting for long periods each day can lead to all manner of illnesses—heart disease, diabetes, vein disease and more. But standing for long periods can also create health risks, especially vein disease.

What to Do

A Cornell University ergonomics team found that the real solution was simply to move around regularly. If you’re sitting at a desk, stand up every 20–30 minutes and move around for two minutes. The movement gets the blood pumping, increases calorie burn, and decreases the risks for heart disease, diabetes and other ailments. This doesn’t require vigorous exercise. Simply pacing for a couple of minutes will be enough to undo the damage of sitting for half an hour. This, of course, requires an awareness of the time and a measure of discipline to move when the appointed time arrives. Adding some moderate exercise to your daily routine can do wonders for your health, even without the use of a stand-up desk.

At Southeastern Healthcare, we are here to help! Call us at 910-790-3666 to schedule your chiropractor Wilmington NC appointment now.

What Type of Massage is Best for You? Here’s What You Should Consider.

chiropractor wilmington ncOnce upon a time, people thought about massage as a luxury—a service available only to well-to-do clients at luxury spas or elite sports clubs. These days, though, you can find massage offered in the workplace, in airports, in hospitals, and in health clinics. The benefits of massage have been so well-established through research that your medical doctor or chiropractor may even refer you to a massage therapist as an integral part of their overall treatment plans. Massage has been found to be beneficial for treating anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, digestive disorders, insomnia related to stress and a wide range of soft tissue injuries, including those caused by auto, work and sports accidents. And that’s a conservative list. Besides, massage feels good. So what do you need to know about massage before having one?

Some Basic Facts About Massage

Massage is a very general term for rubbing, pressing, kneading, and manipulating your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin for health-related reasons. Many massage therapists use only their hands and fingers for massage, but others may perform specialized forms of massage that use their forearms, elbows, or even their feet. The force used during the massage can vary from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many styles of massage, including:

  • Swedish Massage – This gentle form of massage uses long strokes and kneading, deep circular movements, tapping, and vibration to relax and energize the patient. It is an effective way to relax after a long, stressful week, but research indicates it has health value as well because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol and improves your immune system performance.
  • Deep Tissue Massage – This massage type is considered best for relieving deep knots in the muscles and freeing up trapped tissue structures that may be restricting movement, so if you’re looking for a calm, relaxing massage, this type should probably not be your first choice. The masseur applies deep pressure to dig deep into muscles to release trigger points and improve mobility.
  • Sports Massage – Masseurs who specialize in sports massage can help you heal from sports-related injuries or actually improve your sports performance.
  • Trigger Point Massage – This form of massage focuses on identifying and releasing areas of tightly bound muscle fibers that can form in your body after injury or overexertion.
  • Shiatsu Massage – This type of massage comes from Japan, where the title means “finger pressure.” True to its name, practitioners of this type of massage barely touch the patient, applying gentle pressure to areas considered pressure points or “tsubo,” with the goal of promoting natural healing and improving energy flow.

There are many other specialized types of massage, of course, but the above list covers most general types. As for what you should look for in a massage therapist, the magic words are qualifications and communication. The process for licensing, registering, or certifying massage therapists varies from city to city and state to state, but your prospective massage therapist should be proud to tell you about their training, credentials and experience. Similarly, they should be forthcoming about their approach and willing to offer references from other patients or clients.

Naturally, any massage therapist you are considering should also welcome practical questions such as “How many sessions do you think I will need?” and “How much will it cost, and is it covered by my health insurance?” One of the best ways to find a good massage therapist is to ask your chiropractor. Doctors of chiropractic often work in conjunction with highly-qualified massage therapists, and thus can refer you to professionals whose work they trust.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care in the Workplace: What Managers Should Know

It can be really tough owning or managing a business. Not only do you have to worry about making a profit, you also have to look after the welfare of your most important resource, your employees. Your business, after all, is dependent on them being healthy enough to come to work, and to work productively while they’re there. So most businesses these days view their employee healthcare costs as an investment, a way of keeping the company healthy by keeping employees healthy. The challenge for managers is how to keep these healthcare costs as low as possible.

With this in mind, the findings of a recent study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine are encouraging, because they suggest that one way to enhance your employees’ wellness while reducing costs is to offer on-site chiropractic care.

How on-site chiropractic care lowered several companies’ health care costs

In the study, conducted between 2010 and 2012, the cost of care was tracked for 1,635 employees who received chiropractic care. About half of the employees received their care from off-site providers, while the other half received treatment from chiropractic offices established on-site, in the workplace itself. The company was willing to make this investment in chiropractic care because it has been shown to deliver effective treatment for musculoskeletal conditions, which are the primary cause of disability in the workplace.

The researchers found that, while both groups of workers received chiropractic care, the on-site group required fewer visits than the group traveling to off-site chiropractors. The on-site group also required fewer expensive diagnostic imaging tests (38% on-site vs. 56% off-site) and X-rays (27% on-site vs. 46% off-site). The off-site group required more office visits for treatment and physical therapy than the on-site group, and they also logged more visits to the emergency room. As a result, the study authors reported that chiropractic care “demonstrated significant improvements in headache, neck pain, and low back pain functional status in patients utilizing on-site services over a short time frame while still showing lower utilization and cost outcomes than community-based care,” and that “This study demonstrates that users of on-site chiropractic services have lower health care utilization than those who obtain their care at off-site community care centers.”

In a similar study at Anheuser-Busch brewing company in Peoria, IL, on-site chiropractic care provided in workplace wellness centers significantly improved care for workers who spend most of their time moving heavy cases and kegs of beer. Study authors reported that “In the two years since it was implemented, the number of employee sick days has declined by 22 percent, while the accident rate has been cut in half. Consequently, the company’s workers’ compensation costs have experienced a dramatic reduction, with premiums declining by more than 25 percent.”

These and other studies make a clear case for the establishment of on-site chiropractic clinics in workplaces because it provides employees more convenient access to safe, effective care for musculoskeletal conditions. Since it reduces employees’ pain and disability, it improves both their productivity and their job satisfaction. Plus it leads to lower overall healthcare costs for the company in the long run. In short, providing on-site chiropractic services has been found to benefit the workforce as well as employers in a variety of important ways—it’s a “win-win” investment for companies looking to improve productivity and reduce expenses.