chiropractor, wilmington nc

Chiropractor, Wilmington NC: A Close Up On Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (pronounced “plan-tar fash-ee-EYE-tis”) is also sometimes referred to as a heel spur. It’s a debilitating and painful condition that can make walking even a short distance difficult. The discomfort—ranging from mild to severe—is typically most pronounced near the bottom of the heel, usually toward the front, though it may also extend across the entire bottom of the foot. Plantar Fasciitis is usually at its worst first thing in the morning after you get out of bed and walk a few steps, or when you stand up after sitting for an extended period. Our Chiropractor, Wilmington NC explains more. 

What exactly is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a thick band of very tough, fibrous tissue that extends from the heel bone to the base of the toes and supports the arch of the foot. When this ligament develops micro-tears, pulls away from the heel bone or becomes inflamed, pain and bone spurs can result. The muscles in the foot may also be involved, especially if the pain occurs after long periods of standing or from chronic overwork, which causes the muscles to shorten, making them less resilient and more susceptible to micro-trauma. 

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can occur for a wide variety of reasons and it’s frequently difficult to isolate any one specific cause. That said, here are some of the primary culprits:   

  • Standing for long periods of time
  • Wearing shoes with little support
  • Having flat feet
  • Having exceptionally high arches
  • Being overweight
  • A sudden increase in activity
  • Repetitive stress
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Overpronation (walking on the outsides of your feet)
  • Aging 

What can be done?

Unfortunately, recovery from plantar fasciitis usually takes time and is prone to setbacks. However, there are some things you can do to help ease the pain and speed the healing process.

Rest the foot as much as possible. Applying ice to the area can help reduce the inflammation, as can taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. Many people with plantar fasciitis find it helpful to wear Birkenstocks or other shoes that have good arch support. Custom foot orthotics and heal cups can also provide some relief. At night, wearing a boot that gently stretches the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles (not allowing the foot and toes to point) can help reduce morning symptoms. If you work in an office environment, rolling a baseball or lacrosse ball beneath the arch of your foot while sitting at your desk can help achieve the same thing during the day.       

In the long-run, it’s important to address the cause of the problem so that it doesn’t become chronic or recurring. Fortunately, your chiropractor can help in that regard. Chiropractic physicians are experts at treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems—not only those that affect the back and neck, but also those that affect the extremities. To treat plantar fasciitis, your chiropractor may use a combination of therapies, including manipulation/mobilization, stretching, cold laser, and ultrasound. He or she may also recommend custom orthotics and useful exercises that you can do at home to gently stretch tight muscles and tendons. Since one common cause of plantar fasciitis is overpronation, a series of chiropractic adjustments can ensure your bones are properly aligned, allowing for greater range of motion and helping to take some of the strain off the overworked muscles and connective tissues in your feet.

Healing plantar fasciitis is a slow process that may take weeks or months. However, with good chiropractic care, conscientious at-home treatment and proper shoes, it doesn’t have to become a chronic or recurring condition. Have any questions? Please call or visit our office today! We’re always happy to help!

To schedule a free consultation, contact our Chiropractor, Wilmington NC today.

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Chiropractor, Wilmington NC: Summertime Grilling and Your Health

For many people, summertime just isn’t summertime without a barbecue! It’s a generations-old cultural phenomenon that combines three things American families love—food, family and fun! Unfortunately, though, there are also some potential downsides to grilling when it comes to your health. This article presents a quick overview of the risks and offers some advice to help make grilling a little bit safer for you and your family this summer. Our Chiropractor, Wilmington NC explains more.

What’s unhealthy about grilling?

The first issue has to do with HOW the food is actually cooked. Grilling meat or fish over high heat produces carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which have been linked to increased risk of various cancers. The second issue has to do with WHAT KINDS of food many people choose to grill. Many of the most popular foods for grilling can be high in fat and sodium and have little other nutritional value. With these two issues in mind, here are some tips on how you can enjoy healthier grilling all summer long.

Clean the grill. You don’t want to incorporate rancid grease and the charred buildup from previous barbecues into your meat before you’ve even begun cooking it. Use a sturdy wire scrub brush and warm soapy water to scrape any residue from the grill’s surface, both before and after you grill. This will also greatly improve the flavor of your food!

Use a low flame and cook briefly. When direct flames touch the meat it can add to the HCAs produced. To reduce these HCAs, keep the gas flame low or, if you’re using charcoal, wait until the coals have been reduced to glowing embers. The heat will still be sufficient, but will not be as likely to char the meat. Try not to overcook your food, as overdone meat has more HCAs. Discard any charred parts.

Flip burgers often. To reduce the chances of E. coli contamination in your ground beef, be sure to flip your burgers every 30 seconds or so. The USDA advises that you cook burgers to an internal temperature of at least 160°F to kill any possible bacteria. However, if you are someone who thinks that a burger cooked beyond medium-rare is a travesty, buy a cut of beef and grind it yourself and form your patties just before grilling. Or, if it is commercially prepared, be sure to flip your burgers often. A study found that when two burgers were cooked to the same temperature, the one flipped more often had a fifth of the E. coli. 

Pre-treat your meat. To allow you to cook your meat for a shorter time while still retaining flavor and tenderness, consider marinating it first.  A marinade will tenderize the meat, and by using some flavorful spices in the marinade or in a dry rub, you can add a host of antioxidants to your meal that will reduce the production of HCAs. Researchers from Kansas State University found that marinating meat reduced carcinogens by 57 to 88 percent. Red wine, ginger, turmeric, rosemary and garlic are among the great-tasting, cancer-fighting ingredients you can include in a marinade.  And by combining two parts onion, two parts garlic and one part lemon juice in your marinade, you can reduce HCAs by 70%, as some researchers in Germany have found.

Choose healthier meat. Grass-fed organic meat is a far healthier choice than conventionally raised meat. Compared with conventionally raised meat, organic grass-fed beef and chicken are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and higher in omega-3 and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and abdominal fat. It is also free from hormones and antibiotics.

Go veggie. Though meat is certainly tasty, grilled vegetables are delicious too, and vegetarian versions of burgers and hot dogs have come a long way from their early roots, when they had all the flavor of foam peanuts or confetti. Fortunately, there are now a host of excellent veggie “meats” on the market that don’t force you to sacrifice good taste for good health. And there’s nothing quite like grilled red peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini and onions. A good way to grill veggies is to cut them up into small chunks and put them on skewers. You’ll get a healthy serving of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in each bite. And topping your burger with some slices of avocado will give it a nutrition boost as well as a taste boost. Its mono and polyunsaturated fats have been shown to reduce cholesterol and can be a good substitute for mayonnaise.

To schedule a free consultation, contact our Chiropractor, Wilmington NC today.

Neck Pain Wilmington NC: Chiro and Massage

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. Our neck pain Wilmington NC specialist explains more.

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. Our neck pain Wilmington NC chiropractor offers massage.

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.

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!

If you or someone you care about is suffering from musculoskeletal problems, we encourage you to call or visit our office today. Our neck pain Wilmington NC specialist is always happy to discuss our overall approach as well as the treatment options we provide.

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Chiropractor Wilmington NC: Menopause and Bone Density

The natural decrease in estrogen associated with menopause can cause many health conditions in women after about the age of 45 (Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but it may also occur much earlier or later.). Unfortunately, bone loss is one of them. In more serious cases, bone loss can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that is associated with low-density, brittle bones. This is why post-menopausal women are actually at a higher risk for fractures, especially of the wrist, hip, and spine. Our chiropractor Wilmington NC explains more.

Menopause is triggered by the decrease of estrogen and progesterone produced in the body. Post-menopausal women between the ages of 45 and 55 can lose an average of two to three percent of their bone density each year, with some women losing up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the first five to seven years following menopause. This can lead to chronic aches and pains as well as increased risk of bone fractures.

Menopause may also cause a condition called osteopenia, or low bone mass, which is a reduction of bone mass below the normal range, but not low enough to be in the range of osteoporosis. This is defined by the World Health Organization to be about 10 to 25 percent below the normal value found in a 30-year-old woman (Most women’s bone mass peaks at around age 30). At 30 percent below, the diagnosis of osteoporosis kicks in. The World Health Organization recommends patients with osteopenia be further evaluated using various clinical risk factors regarding the need for intervention and therapy such as medication to reduce the risk of fractures.

Since osteopenia and osteoporosis cannot be felt or seen, they are sometimes referred to as “silent diseases”. However, a bone density test can help you and your doctor determine if you need treatment. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “A bone density test shows the amount of bone a person has in the hip, spine, or other bones. It is routinely recommended for postmenopausal women and men age 50 and older and is how osteoporosis is diagnosed in older people. Bone density tests are usually only done for premenopausal women if they break several bones easily or break bones that are unusual for their age, such as bones in the hip or spine.”

Hormone therapy can be valuable for the inhibition of osteoporosis and incapacitating hip and spine fractures in post-menopausal women. Hormone replacement therapy, or estrogen therapy, decreases hip fractures by 33 to 36 percent. While estrogen therapy is approved for osteoporosis and fracture reduction, it’s important to understand that hormone therapy has its own risks and isn’t appropriate for everyone. This is why hormone therapy is no longer routinely recommended for most women solely for this purpose. Large studies have shown that women using hormone replacement therapy may be at an elevated risk of blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer.

The good news for women-pre-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal-is that there are lifestyle choices and healthcare interventions that can help increase bone density and delay or prevent osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Of course, earlier is better when it comes to building bone mass. The more bone mass you have when you reach menopause, the lower your risk. In this regard, diet and exercise are the keys to success:

* Calcium intake of 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams a day and vitamin D intake of 1,000 to 2,000 international units daily (IU/day) can help prevent bone loss and preserve bone density.

* Moderate alcohol use of three or more glasses daily is associated with osteoporosis, so keep that in mind when you are trying to mitigate the effects of menopause on your bone density.

* Avoid smoking. This should go without saying.

* Exercise can help to moderate the physical and emotional effects of menopause. It is well-documented that moderate-impact and weight-bearing exercises build bone mass. In addition, aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, another health condition that becomes more prevalent after menopause.

 

If you need a chiropractor Wilmington NC, please contact our office

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Auto Accident Chiropractor Wilmington NC: What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine?

When most people hear the term “mainstream medicine”, they probably have a pretty accurate intuitive understanding of what it means. It refers to the standard care that patients receive in doctors’ offices and hospitals across the United States. However, there is also another term in modern healthcare—“complementary and alternative medicine”—that is often less well understood by the public.  So what exactly is it, and why is it worth knowing? Our auto accident chiropractor in Wilmington NC explains more.

Let’s start with why it matters. In today’s healthcare environment, it’s important to understand these terms and how they relate to each other so that you can make the right treatment choices for yourself and your family and have appropriate expectations of various healthcare providers. This is especially true if you have a medical issue that mainstream (also known as “conventional”, “Western” or “allopathic”) medicine doesn’t seem to be able to help you with. This is where complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) often comes in.

First of all, complementary medicine and alternative medicine are not interchangeable terms—they actually refer to two separate approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Here’s the difference: Complementary medicine is meant to be used alongside mainstream medicine, while alternative medicine is meant to be used on its own, instead of mainstream medicine. For instance, a complementary medical treatment could involve undergoing acupuncture along with more standard cancer treatments, while an example of alternative medicine might be treating heart disease with chelation therapy (which aims to eliminate excess metals from the blood) in the place of using a typical Western medicinal approach.

Altogether, 40% of American adults use some form of CAM. Most Americans prefer the complementary medicinal approach and relatively few actually opt out of mainstream healthcare altogether in favor of alternative methods.

Interestingly, as complementary and alternative medical treatments are tested and used, they often eventually become conventional or standard care. This means that the boundary between mainstream medicine and CAM shifts with time. At present, the following areas are classified by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as complementary and alternative medicine:

  1. Whole medical systems: Whole medical systems include homeopathy, naturopathy, and ancient healing systems such as Ayurveda from India and traditional Chinese medicine.
  2. Mind-body medicine: Examples of mind-body connection techniques include meditation, prayer, and relaxation and art therapies such as music and dance.
  3. Biologically based practices: These practices include the use of dietary supplements and herbal remedies sourced from nature. These include herbs such as ginseng, ginkgo, and Echinacea. Other dietary supplements include selenium, glucosamine sulfate, and SAMe. Herbs and supplements come in the form of teas, oils, syrups, powders, tablets, and capsules.
  4. Manipulative and body-based practices: These practices include chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation and massage, using touch to influence and heal specific parts of the body.
  5. Energy medicine: According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “Energy therapies involve the use of energy fields. They are of two types:
    • Biofield therapies are intended to affect energy fields that purportedly surround and penetrate the human body. The existence of such fields has not yet been scientifically proven. Some forms of energy therapy manipulate biofields by applying pressure and/or manipulating the body by placing the hands in, or through, these fields. Examples include qi gong, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch.
    • Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies involve the unconventional use of electromagnetic fields, such as pulsed fields, magnetic fields, or alternating-current or direct-current fields.”

As you can see, complementary and alternative medicine offers a very wide variety of treatment options. Before undergoing any CAM therapies, you should always ask your healthcare professional a number of important questions:

  1. What benefits can you expect to receive from the therapy over what period of time?

 

  1. What risks and side effects are associated with the therapy? How likely and how serious are they?

 

  1. Do the known benefits of the therapy outweigh the risks?

 

  1. Will the therapy interfere or interact with other treatments—conventional or CAM—you’re undergoing?

 

  1. What costs are associated with the therapy? Is it covered by your health insurance?

Also, always be sure to fully research the specific CAM therapy you’re considering and use your primary care physician (usually an MD or a DC) as a resource for advice and referrals.  If you are interested, contact our auto accident chiropractor Wilmington NC today!

back pain wilmington nc

Back Pain Wilmington NC: Exercises for Back Pain

Exercise to Prevent and Treat Back Pain: The Latest Research

When someone decides to visit the doctor about musculoskeletal pain, back pain is the most common complaint. Sometimes back pain is the result of very specific trauma—a car accident or a slip-and-fall. Other times, however, its causes are much less obvious—cumulative years of poor posture, inactivity or bad nutrition, for example. The rest of this article looks at the role exercise can play in preventing and treating back pain. It should come as no surprise that weak muscles are more easily injured than strong ones. That’s why exercise (along with a good diet of healthy food) is the most important thing you can do to help ensure a healthy and pain-free back. Following are some of the best exercises according to our back pain Wilmington NC chiropractor to help prevent and treat back pain. Of course, check with your chiropractor before beginning any kind of exercise program.

Stretch: Knee-to-Chest

Start by lying on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Use both hands to pull one knee to your chest. After holding for about 20 seconds, return to the start position. Repeat this with the other leg. Next, repeat with both legs. These 3 pulls give us one complete set. Do one or two more sets to complete the session. Perform a session in the morning and at night.

Stretch: Rotate Lower Back

Start by lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms stretched out to each side. While ensuring both shoulders remain flat on the floor, tilt your knees to one side, hold 5-10 seconds and return. Repeat on the other side. Do two or three more sets to complete the session. Perform a session in the morning and at night.

Stretch: Like a Cat

Start on your hands and knees, with your back straight. Slowly breathe in, arching your back like a cat, then as you breathe out, slowly allow your back to fall into a sway. After returning to start, repeat. Perform 3-5 repetitions two times a day.

Flex: Lower Back

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Arch your back upward and hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Push your back toward the floor as if your bellybutton were being sucked into the earth and hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Perform 5 repetitions once a day to start with. Gradually build up to 30 repetitions.

Lift: Hip Launch

Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Throughout the exercise be sure to keep your head and shoulders on the floor and relaxed. As you tighten the gluteal muscles and abdominals, raise your hips so that your body, from shoulders to knees, forms a straight line. Take 3 slow, deep breaths. After returning to start, repeat. Perform 5 repetitions once a day, to begin with. Gradually build up to 30 repetitions.

Need Back Pain Wilmington NC Relief?

If you or someone you care about is experiencing back pain, please call or visit our back pain Wilmington NC chiropractor office! We’re experts at diagnosing musculoskeletal problems and developing treatment plans (including chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy and structured exercise programs) that help patients get out of pain and return to their active lifestyles.

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Chiropractor Wilmington NC: Techniques for Improving Circulation

A healthy circulatory system is crucial to good health. To be at its best, your body needs to be able to keep blood pumping from the heart and lungs through the arteries to your organs and extremities, and then keep pumping it back to the lungs for re-oxygenation. Anything that interferes with the proper circulation of blood puts your body’s health at risk for lots of reasons. “Poor circulation” can mean many things. Common symptoms include having consistently cold fingers and toes, experiencing tingling in your feet and hands, feelings of numbness, tiredness and a general lack of energy, and chronically dry skin. More serious symptoms of poor circulation can include headaches, hair loss, dizzy spells, varicose veins, muscle cramps, feeling short of breath, memory lapses (due to impaired blood flow to the brain), bluish-tinted skin, and slow healing times for wounds. Our chiropractor Wilmington NC explains more.

What causes poor circulation?

One of the most common causes is inactivity and lack of exercise. To keep the blood moving, you need to keep your body in motion. And do it often. Poor diet and carrying excess weight can lead to poor circulation, as can diabetes and many other chronic diseases. Medically, if you have been diagnosed as hypertensive (having high blood pressure), this is almost always an indicator of poor circulation. The “high pressure” is caused by your heart having to pump harder to cause the blood to keep flowing, often because of blood vessels that have become constricted because of stress, disease, or the buildup of plaque.

How can poor circulation be treated?

Serious circulatory problems can be treated with medication. But for most people anxious to improve their circulation and thus their overall health, a few lifestyle changes can do wonders:

  • Get more exercise. Walk rather than ride. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Go for walks after lunch and go to the gym after work. Your body functions best with a minimum of 30 minutes exercise per day.
  • Stretch more. Not just before exercising, but at your desk at work. Stretching helps to relieve stress, and stress is one of the things that can constrict your blood vessels.
  • Get massages. Massage improves circulation by stimulating the soft tissues of your body and encouraging blood flow.
  • Put your feet up. After you exercise, elevating your legs can really help you not only to relax, but increase your circulation. It also reduces your risk of developing varicose veins.
  • Eat healthier foods. Try to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats (from fish, olive oil, and nuts), and lean meats. Try to avoid processed foods.
  • Drink more water, and less caffeine. When you’re thirsty, drink water instead of coffee or black tea or soft drinks. Try to cut down on or avoid alcohol, because it definitely impedes circulation.
  • Don’t smoke, or quit smoking if you do. Nicotine and the pulmonary perils of smoking are among the most common causes of poor circulation.
  • Destress, however you can. Stress has an extremely negative effect on your circulation. So try to find healthy outlets for the stresses you encounter at work and in other areas of your life, to release the stress rather than have it build up and become toxic.
  • Consider herbs and supplements that can help. Ginger, hawthorn berry, cayenne, motherwort, garlic, ginkgo biloba and vitamins C and E all can help to improve your circulation.

If any of the symptoms become chronic, see your Wilmington NC chiropractor. Don’t try to “tough it out” and live with the discomfort of consistent symptoms of poor circulation. Some of the causes can be very serious indeed, so see an expert to make sure. Visit our chiropractor Wilmington NC office today for your free consultation.

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Back Pain Wilmington NC: What is Spinal Decompression?

If you are one of the millions of Americans who experience chronic back pain, you know how much it can disrupt your life and turn the simplest of movements into chores that you dread. If other forms of treatment haven’t fully worked for you in the past, one that you may want to investigate is spinal decompression therapy. Our back pain Wilmington NC chiropractor explains how spinal decompression can do wonders for your pain relief.

The idea behind spinal decompression therapy is that many types of back problems are caused by the spinal disks having become compressed—squeezed between the vertebrae above and below. This can manifest as herniated or bulging disks, which can press up against nerves and cause pain at the site as well as in other areas of your body and may interfere with neural impulses. The good news is that it is often possible to “decompress” the spine and alleviate the pressure WITHOUT resorting to risky and expensive surgeries. Specially trained chiropractors using a variety of advanced equipment offer a conservative alternative that has proven very effective for many people.

What does spinal decompression in Wilmington NC therapy involve?

Basically, you recline – fully clothed – on a table as harnesses are attached to your pelvis and to the trunk of your body. Depending on the condition being treated, you may be facing down or up on the traction table. Then the doctor operates a computer-controlled machine to exert a gentle, pulling force that stretches your body—essentially relieving the pressure that gravity places on your spine all day.

Treatments typically last for 30-45 minutes.  During the treatment itself, the computer constantly adjusts the force and angle of the applied traction in a series of alternating movements, to reduce the body’s tendency to resist external forces. These alternating movements gently elongate the spine and reduce the pressure on individual disks between the vertebrae. Spinal decompression usually works in very small increments over time. Many patients experience immediate relief, though most require a series of treatments over several weeks to produce effective, lasting results. Spinal decompression may be supplemented either before or after the treatment with heat therapy, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound to relax your muscles and facilitate the decompression.

In addition to taking pressure off the spinal disks, decompression has another important therapeutic effect.  Pulling the vertebrae apart creates “negative pressure”, a sort of vacuum that encourages fluid and nutrients to flow back into the spinal disks. This in turn expands the disks’ volume and provides the materials necessary for them to heal.

What conditions can be improved using spinal decompression therapy?

Spinal decompression therapy has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration and has brought relief to many people suffering from sciatica, bulging or herniated spinal disks, degenerative disk disease, pinched nerves, worn spinal joints (posterior facet syndrome), and injured or diseased spinal nerve roots (radiculopathy).

Back Pain Chiropractor Wilmington NC

The advantages of spinal decompression therapy over surgery are obvious—the former is non-invasive, and does not require hospitalization or the use of general anesthesia. Simply put, it is a more conservative therapy that avoids both the risks and expense of surgery. If you are interested in finding out more about this potentially beneficial treatment, we encourage you to call or visit our back pain Wilmington NC chiropractor office!

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Chiropractor Wilmington NC: Can Joint Injuries Really Cause or Accelerate Arthritis?

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study performed from 2007-2009 showed that at least 22.2% of adult Americans suffered from arthritis. The actual number could be higher than the CDC estimate, though, because these were self-reported and doctor-diagnosed cases. Naturally, no one knows how many unreported cases there are. Still, it’s reasonable to believe that this percentage will only become higher as the population ages. Our chiropractor Wilmington NC explains more.

The short answer to the question asked in the title of this article is “Yes”.  Joint injuries really can cause or accelerate arthritis. The reason is simple. Arthritis is all about inflammation of the joint. Inflammation is a natural reaction of the body to injury, pathogens or irritants. Trauma or injury is a major cause of arthritic conditions. Various forms of arthritis, like osteoarthritis (the most common form), are degenerative—they get worse over time and with wear and tear. Once an arthritic condition is established, it will get worse unless the root cause is found and dealt with, or the symptoms are managed by drugs.

Dr. Joseph Borrelli Jr., chairman and professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, performed a study to see how post-traumatic arthritis (PTA) developed after an acute joint injury. Using an animal model, Borrelli found that trauma to the joint can lead to a range of acute lesions, including fractures to bones, ligament or meniscus tears and damage to the articular cartilage. These types of injury are often associated with bleeding in the area of the joint and cause post-traumatic joint inflammation. Despite the resolution of the acute symptoms, and the fact that some lesions could be surgically repaired, joint injury causes a chronic remodeling of the cartilage and other joint tissues that in a majority of cases eventually manifests as osteoarthritis.

The key seems to be in the chondrocytes. These are the cells present in healthy cartilage that help to produce and maintain it. When an acute injury occurs, these chondrocytes become inactive within a month, slowly reducing the structural integrity of the cartilage. Borelli said “In our PTA model, the cells became inactive almost immediately after injury and stopped producing these compounds [that maintain the cartilage]. He continued, “This may explain why PTA sometimes develops very quickly in patients after an injury, regardless of how successful we were in fixing the fracture. PTA can develop in just 6 months—unlike osteoarthritis, which may take up to 60 years to develop.”

PTA aside, serious joint injuries that are not addressed promptly can cause a range of problems down the road.  By healing incorrectly or incompletely, joints can become susceptible to instability and re-injury.  Weakened or unstable joints may also lead to other related injuries as the body changes its mechanics to compensate.

Chiropractor Wilmington NC

If you or someone you care about has recently suffered a back, neck or other joint injury, we can help!  Proper treatment can make a big difference! If you’re looking for a chiropractor Wilmington NC, call us today for your free consultation.

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Car Accident Chiropactor: What to Know About Accidents and Delayed Symptoms

Even if your recent fender bender didn’t seem too serious, there’s still a very real chance that you or your passengers may have been hurt. That’s because even the most minor car accidents can cause hidden injuries and delayed symptoms. And while damage to your car is likely obvious and easy to assess, evaluating damage to your body may be far more difficult. In fact, it’s not unusual for a driver or passenger to walk away from a collision with potentially serious musculoskeletal injuries (such as a concussion or whiplash), without knowing it. Our car accident chiropractor in Wilmington, NC explains more.

Because of the stress response, right after an accident the body’s defenses are on high alert. Any pain may be masked by endorphins produced by the body during and shortly after this kind of traumatic event. Endorphins help the body manage pain and stress and can create a temporary euphoria or “high” feeling. When the threat of the accident is gone, endorphin production slowly disappears, allowing you to feel pain that may have remained hidden earlier.
Perhaps the most common delayed symptom is that of whiplash. Whiplash consists of soft tissue damage in the neck from the sudden acceleration and deceleration of the head, creating hyperflexion and hyperextension of the neck. This can not only cause damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments of your neck, it can also occasionally fracture or dislocate vertebrae and cause any of the following symptoms to show up later:

• Headaches
• Reduced range of motion or difficulty moving
• Slowed reflexes
• Vertigo
• Muscle spasms
• Localized weakness or numbness
• Stiffness in shoulders and arms

Every bit as serious as any broken bones or lacerations, a concussion can prove to be a grave threat to your health. Quite simply, a concussion is the result of the brain colliding with the inside of the skull from a rapid acceleration or deceleration. Not all concussions occur because of bumping the head. If the head is restrained in any way and the restraint suddenly stops or suddenly jerks into motion, a concussion may occur. Symptoms of concussion include the following:

• Headaches
• Bad temper
• Nausea
• Spasms
• Loss of balance
• Blurred or double vision
• Disorientation
• Confusion
• Amnesia
• Ringing in the ears
• Difficulty concentrating or reasoning
• Anxiety or depression
• Tiredness, sleeplessness, or other problems with your ability to sleep

The key point with any of these symptoms is to know whether or not you had them before the accident. Someone who knows you or lives with you can help identify any changes in your behavior that may indicate a possible concussion. If you didn’t have a symptom that you’re now experiencing, see your doctor right away.

In addition to the health consequences of car accidents with delayed symptoms, there is also the insurance aspect to consider. Because many accident-related injuries don’t show up immediately, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for the medical expenses from any delayed symptoms if you settle with your insurance company right away. Therefore, consider waiting a few days before signing any release of liability so that any delayed symptoms have an opportunity to reveal themselves. Seeing a chiropractor for a medical evaluation as soon as possible after an accident is also a good idea, since he or she can help identify injuries and start treatment promptly. In many cases, seeking appropriate medical care soon after an accident can improve your chances of a more complete and more rapid recovery.

If you need a car accident chiropractor, call us today.