neck pain wilmington nc

When to See a Chiropractor for Neck Pain Wilmington NC

Almost every American adult experiences neck pain at some point in his or her life. For some, the pain might more of a nuisance type of pain due to a stiff neck caused by a long stressful day of work or from a bad night’s sleep. But, for others, neck pain can be so severe that it can become debilitating to the point that it affects their quality of life. Luckily, most causes of neck pain can be treated by an experienced chiropractor. If you’re unsure whether or not a chiropractor can help relieve your neck pain Wilmington NC, here are seven signs that you should see a chiropractor.

#1: Your Neck Pain Doesn’t Improve After a Few Days

Pain that’s caused by the typical stiff neck is usually the result of constricted muscles. In most cases, the muscles will gradually relax and in a day or two, the pain will subside. If your neck pain hasn’t improved over a few days, then you should schedule an appointment with a chiropractor.

#2: Looking Left or Right Causes Severe Neck Pain

If you experience sharp pain in your neck whenever you turn your head left or right, then you might be suffering from something more severe than tight muscles. An experienced chiropractor can perform a thorough evaluation of your neck and spine and treat you for any conditions that may be causing the pain, without surgery or medications.

#3: You Have to Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medications to Make It Through the Day

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications are not meant to be long-term solutions. In fact, when taken over long periods of time, they can actually do more harm than good. Any time you have persistent neck pain, OTC pain meds should only be used for temporary pain relief. For more effective, long term pain relief, you should have a chiropractor evaluate and treat the real cause of the pain.

#4: The Pain Has You Worried That There Might Be Something More Serious Wrong

You know your body better than anyone, so if you feel that the pain you’re experiencing in your neck isn’t “normal,” then you need to seek the right type of medical care and support. A chiropractor can help determine the cause of your pain and help you get the relief you’re looking for.

#5: The Pain Started a Few Days After an Accident

When you’re involved in an accident, your adrenaline kicks in. This is a natural process in the body that helps mask the pain you might otherwise be feeling. But, once the adrenaline starts to wane, the pain gradually returns. This is why so many people involved in accidents don’t feel whiplash until several days after the event. If you were involved in an accident and you’re starting to feel pain in your neck, you should see a chiropractor immediately.

#6: Your Neck Pain is Accompanied by Numbness in Your Hands or Wrists

If the pain started in your neck, but it has since started to be accompanied by tingling or numbness in your hands or wrists, then you may be suffering from a pinched nerve in the neck area. This type of condition can sometimes be caused by a spine that is out of alignment.

#7: Your Neck Pain is Bad in the Morning But Improves Throughout the Day

If you wake up with a very sore neck, but the pain improves throughout the day, then your sleeping position or pillow might be responsible. Seeing a chiropractor can help ensure that all of your daily habits, including sleeping, are conducive to a pain-free lifestyle.

Are You Looking for a Chiropractor for Neck Pain Wilmington NC? Call Southeastern Today!

Neck pain can make it hard to enjoy the simple things in life. It takes the enjoyment out of driving, surfing the web, reading, and a host of other daily activities. Thankfully, with the appropriate care, your neck pain can be substantially reduced or even eliminated.

If you’re suffering from severe neck pain Wilmington NC, 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.

Chiropractic Care Reduces Golf Injuries and Improves Player Performance

 

With warmer weather on the way, more and more golfers will be heading out to the greens to play the game they love so dearly. But, golf is a game that can take a toll on the player. Every year, our chiropractor in Wilmington treats hundreds of golfers with strained joints, lower back pain, sore muscles, and other problems.

The thing is – many of these injuries could have been avoided had they visited the chiropractor before the injury was sustained. According to a recent study performed by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), chiropractic expertise can not only help you avoid golf injuries; it can actually improve your game.

Increase Your Drive by 10% With Chiropractic Care

In the Titleist Performance Institute study, it was discovered that using a combination of pre-play stretching along with chiropractic care enabled golfers to increase their drive distance by nearly 10%. But, this is not exactly news to some of the world’s top golfers. Both Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington have been practicing these techniques for years.

Chiropractic care is directly related to improving one’s golf game because chiropractors can actually help golfers identify and correct physical limitations that may be adversely affecting their swings. In TPI’s study, two groups of golfers were compared: one group that practiced only stretching exercises, and the other practicing stretching exercises along with chiropractic spinal adjustments. Both groups performed three full swing maneuvers before and after each treatment, and the driving distances they achieved were recorded. After four weeks, the group that did only stretching exercises showed no improvement in swing performance. But, it was discovered that the group that stretched and received chiropractic care was able to achieve greater driving distances after each treatment.

About the Titleist Performance Institute

The Titleist Performance Institute is sponsored by one of the golfing world’s most prominent and respected manufacturers of golf equipment and apparel. Since it was founded in 2003, the Institute has focused on studying how the human body functions in relation to golf. As such, it has determined that chiropractors have a unique perspective and treatment expertise that can help golfers maximize performance and avoid injury. This is due to the fact that chiropractors, more than most other healthcare practitioners, have a thorough understanding of human biomechanics and the musculoskeletal system. Currently, there are over 9,000 TPI-certified chiropractors in 57 countries.

If You’re a Golfer, Let Southeastern Chiropractor Wilmington Help You Improve Your Game

At Southeastern Chiropractic, we can help you improve your golf game with targeted treatments designed to help make you stronger and more flexible. Our expert chiropractic care will also help you recover faster while reducing pain and stiffness. If you want to take your golf game to the next level, call us today at 910-790-3666. We are here for you. Discover for yourself the difference that safe and effective chiropractic care can make. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

Knee Care 101

By some measures, your knees are your body’s largest joints, but they are also the ones most likely to be injured. More than 11 million men and women over the age of forty visit doctors every year due to knee pain. Taking care of your knees helps to make sure these vital joints continue to work smoothly and comfortably so that you can continue to live an active lifestyle.

5 Steps to Healthier Knees

Step 1: Stay Active, but Don’t Overdo It. If you don’t put in the time and effort it takes to keep your knees moving, they can start to stiffen, leading to discomfort and increasing your risk of injury. At the same time, dramatically increasing your levels of activity (particularly if you haven’t been physically active for a while) can cause injuries from repetitive strain. If you have never followed an exercise routine, ease into this type of activity slowly. If you work out hard on a regular basis, make sure to include rest days to give your knees a break.

Step 2: Manage Your Weight. Every extra pound you carry puts additional pressure on your knees. A study conducted by Stephen P. Messier of Wake Forest University found that losing even a small amount of weight can significantly decrease your risk of arthritis in the knees. If knee pain makes it difficult for you to lose weight through exercise, try using a stationary bike or elliptical machine to reduce the impact on your joints.

Step 3: Build Muscle Around Your Knees. The muscles that surround and support your knees also help to absorb shock. Strengthening your hamstrings and your quadriceps will help give your knees the backup they need. Talk to your chiropractor or a personal trainer for ideas on the best ways to strengthen these muscles.

Step 4: Don’t Forget to Stretch. While the muscles around the knees do need to be strong, they also need to be flexible. Regular stretching helps to keep these muscles from pulling the knee out of alignment.

Step 5: Don’t Ignore Pain. If your knee is painful, swollen, or making unusual noises, check in with a doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms can be a sign of damaged cartilage, an issue that can be corrected with early intervention. Trying to “push through” pain without knowing what is causing it puts you at risk of additional injury, so never hesitate to consult with a professional if you think there might be a problem.

Chiropractic Care and Your Knees

Chiropractic care is a vital resource when it comes to keeping your knees healthy. Your chiropractor will take the time to examine and evaluate your joints, muscles, posture and biomechanics to determine the root cause of any discomfort. He or she will then recommend and perform manual techniques that will help to bring your body back into alignment. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your lifestyle and receive recommendations on changes that you can make to continue to improve your knees’ health.

Taking good care of your knees takes commitment, but the rewards are well worth it over the long haul. Talk to your chiropractor today to learn more!

auto accident injury wilmington nc

Auto Accidents and Spinal Disk Injuries

Auto Accidents and Spinal Disk Injuries

Every day, thousands of people across the country are involved in auto accidents. Some are minor fender benders, while others are high-impact collisions. But, what they both have in common is that the spine takes a beating regardless of the speed you’re traveling when the accident occurs, albeit, the more severe the accident, the more severe the potential for injury.This may have you wondering – why is the neck and spine so vulnerable to injury? Taking a closer look at what happens during an auto accident will give us the answer. If you have suffered an auto accident injury, contact us! 

An Accident’s Impact on Your Neck and Spine

Think for a moment about those car commercials where they talk about the car’s safety record. Remember the scene where the car crashes into the wall? What happens to the crash test dummies? The car abruptly stops, but the bodies inside the car continue moving forward, halted only by the air bag and their seatbelts, which engage and pull the dummies back.

In a severe auto accident, the entire body goes through a snapping motion that can cause a host of different injuries to your cervical (neck) vertebrae, including fractures. Even in cases where fractures don’t occur, the sheer violence of the tension, rotation, extension, and flexion can result in a painful condition commonly known as whiplash.

But, don’t think that the neck is the only part of the body subject to injury in an accident. Because the forces caused in an accident can subject a body’s facet joints, muscles, ligaments, soft tissues, and spinal vertebrae to undergo enormous pressures, a wide variety of injuries can occur all throughout the body. When your spinal disks are already slightly degenerated as a result of aging, all it takes is a little bit of extra pressure for them to become herniated.

One of the biggest problems with auto accidents is that the injuries they cause are sometimes not even noticeable until days after the collision. This is because the body’s muscles tense up naturally during the crash and the body’s natural adrenaline kicks in to help manage any pain. But, once the adrenaline wears off; the true impact of the injury starts setting in.

Chiropractic Care Can Help Relieve Your Neck and Back Pain

Today’s chiropractors are highly trained in helping victims of auto accidents manage their musculoskeletal pain using a wide variety of chiropractic techniques, including spinal manipulation, traction, physiotherapy, kinesiology, and more. Chiropractors can teach you exercises to help heal your muscles and tendons from an auto accident injury Wilmington NC and they can help alleviate your pain so you can heal faster and more effectively. And, unlike traditional medicine, which only masks the pain instead of treating it, chiropractic care treats the actual cause of the pain, thus resulting in long-term relief.

Suffer an Auto Accident Injury Wilmington NC? Call Southeastern Today!

If you recently suffered an auto accident injury Wilmington NC and you’re experiencing ongoing pain as a result, call Southeastern Chiropractic today at 910-790-3666. We are here for you. Our chiropractic team can help you manage your pain naturally and effectively. Discover for yourself the difference that safe and effective chiropractic care can make. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

chiropractor wilmington nc

Seeing the Chiropractor in the Winter

Winter is a busy time for chiropractor Wilmington NC. Even though we don’t get a lot of snow in the area, there are still plenty of chances to be had for sustaining injuries during this season. From lifting heavy Christmas trees to slips and falls on slippery surfaces to ice skating accidents and more, the winter season offers plenty of potential for suffering neck and back pains. But, did you know that targeted chiropractic care can even help you manage some of the season’s other health risks, like colds, flus, general aches and pains, and even winter depression?

How Chiropractic Care Helps Prevent Colds and Flus

Winter is synonymous with the holidays, but it is also known as cold and flu season. But, contrary to common belief, the upswing in illnesses has nothing to do with the chillier temperatures or the wet weather outside. For the vast majority of cold and flu cases, the illnesses can be attributed to the patient’s nervous system and their body’s white blood cell production. Both of these can be seriously impacted when the spine is out of alignment.

By going to the chiropractor regularly in the winter, any subluxations that exist in the spine will be cleared, thus making the nervous system better capable of fighting off illnesses like colds and the flu. Studies have even shown that the body’s production of white blood cells can be boosted simply by receiving chiropractic adjustments and this alone will help you combat illnesses all throughout the year.

Have Winter Aches and Pains? Chiropractor Wilmington NC Treatments Can Help

The winter cold and dampness can cause those with arthritis and other joint issues to experience morning stiffness, aches, and all-day generalized pain. But, going to the chiropractor can help these patients find relief because chiropractic treatments allow blood and oxygen back into problem areas. This helps heal tissue, lubricate the joints, and improve overall mobility. And, the pain relief comes without using risky pain medications or undergoing any dangerous surgeries or procedures.

 Fight Winter Depression with Chiropractic Care

There’s a reason so many people suffer from what is known as the “winter blues.” The longer evenings and loneliness that comes with being inside more often leads to a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder. And, those with compromised nervous symptoms are especially at risk for this condition because they aren’t able to effectively deal with their feelings of solitude. But, by seeing a chiropractor for regular adjustments in the winter, your nervous system will be less restricted and better able to communicate with the brain, thus helping you to manage your emotions and deal with depression or depression-like symptoms during this time of year.

Southeastern’s Chiropractor Wilmington NC Can Help You Stay Healthy This Winter

This winter, keep your spine in alignment and enjoy better health and less pain. Routine chiropractic treatments can be your most important ally in your fight to avoid colds and flus this season, and you’ll finally be able to say goodbye to morning stiffness and pain.

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.

chiropractor wilmington nc

Wilmington NC Chiropractor and Sports Injuries

Injuries are an unfortunate part of playing sports and when they occur, it can take weeks, months, and even years to recover from them. Sometimes, even invasive surgeries can be involved. But, what if there was a way to recover more quickly, or, even prevent the injury from occurring in the first place? With chiropractic care, both of these are possible. Here, learn how your chiropractor Wilmington NC can not only help you recover from your sports injuries quicker, but also help you potentially avoid problematic and painful sprains and strains.

How Chiropractic Care Helps Heal Sports Injuries

When it comes to injuries sustained while playing sports, the most common areas afflicted include the back, shoulders, knees, ankles, and elbows. Muscle and tendon tension has a lot to do with the injuries that can occur in these areas. By receiving regular chiropractic treatments, your muscles and tendons will be looser and more relaxed, more flexible, and as a result, less likely to be strained or sprained.

Regular chiropractic treatments are also effective for helping reduce inflammation in the body, such as that caused by tendinosis. Tendinosis is an inflammatory condition that’s brought on by joint abuse. A common example of joint that sees regular abuse is a quarterback’s or pitcher’s shoulder, a runner’s knees, or a tennis player’s elbow. These areas are overworked because of the repetitive nature of the required movements and as such, they can flare up and cause severe pain and disability.

One of the ways chiropractic treatments help improve recovery rates for sports injury patients is that musculoskeletal manipulation forces blood and oxygen back into the injured area so toxins can be removed and healing naturally promoted.

Can Chiropractic Treatments Help Prevent Sports Injuries?

Absolutely! With regular chiropractic treatments, your body will be more relaxed on gameday. By keeping your body loose, you’ll automatically reduce the amount of strain that’s being placed on your muscles during the activity and this will make you more flexible and less likely to suffer from a strain or sprain. Chiropractic care will also ensure your musculoskeletal system is in proper alignment, another key factor in avoiding many common sports injuries.

What Other Types of Sports Injuries Can Your Chiropractor Help With?

Sports injuries aren’t restricted to strains and sprains. Athletes can suffer dislocations, muscle cramps, contusions, stress fractures, and even headaches. Your chiropractor Wilmington NC will be able to find the root cause for your injuries and provide you with non-invasive, holistic pain relief. Your chiropractor is an important part in you being the best you can be on the field, on the court, or on the track.

See Your Chiropractor Wilmington NC Before Your Next Big Game

If you want to give your body its best protection against sports injuries, make an appointment with Southeastern Healthcare’s chiropractor today. Call us at 910-790-3666. We are here for you. Our chiropractic team can help you ensure your body is loose and ready for your next big game. Or, if you’re already dealing with a sports injury, we can help you recover quicker and with the least amount of pain possible. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

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!