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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Four Things You May Not Know About Chiropractic Care in the 21st Century

Even as adults, a surprising number of our beliefs are shaped by “casual” or “informal” sources of information, including watercooler conversations with colleagues at work, social media exchanges with friends and family and pop-culture references on TV. Most of the time, we’re not aware of the cumulative effect that this sort of information has on our view of the world—or how much of worldview is really second- or third-hand. Not surprisingly, this is even true when it comes to heath and healthcare. 

According to the Pew Research Center, people look to a variety of sources for health-related background, advice and support. For example:

  • 13% Consult online reviews of drugs
  • 21% Get information, care or support from others with the same condition
  • 28% Go online for a diagnosis
  • 33% Have participated in an online social activity related to health in the last year
  • 50% Gather health information online
  • 54% Get information, care or support from friends and family

While access to high-quality health information is undeniably a good thing for the public at large, it can be difficult for most people to judge the accuracy and appropriateness of what they read or hear. This is particularly true on the Internet, where the flow of new misinformation is often accelerated and amplified and where old ideas and misconceptions can be easily repeated and sustained.

In light of new media trends, we thought it might be a good idea to share three facts about chiropractic care in the 21st century—facts that sometimes get lost in all the “noise” about healthcare.

Chiropractic care is NOT on the “fringes” of modern healthcare.  And it hasn’t been for years.

According to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, chiropractic is the third largest primary healthcare profession in the U.S. (surpassed only by medical doctors and dentists), with over 70,000 active licenses.  In addition, the National Center for Health Statistics has reported that 8.5% of the American adult population used chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation in 2012—and that this percentage was significantly higher in many regions of the country.

Chiropractic care has a proven track record in treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions—particularly back and neck problems—without the use of drugs or surgery.

Over the years, teams from leading academic institutions have published study findings that document the effectiveness chiropractic care in a variety of well-respected, peer-reviewed journals. Public health and consumer research organizations have also regularly reported on the high level of patient satisfaction achieved by chiropractic physicians.

Back in 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services delivered to Congress a report that detailed its findings from a “demonstration project” designed to assess the effects of expanding Medicare coverage for chiropractic services. As part of this work, researchers conducted a satisfaction survey of chiropractic patients. Here’s an excerpt of what they found:

“Sixty percent of respondents indicated that they received ‘complete’ or ‘a lot’ of relief of symptoms from their chiropractic treatments. Satisfaction with care was high, with 87 percent reporting levels of 8 or higher on a 10-point scale and 56 percent indicating a perfect score of 10.”

Interestingly, the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center came to a very similar conclusion based on its own survey data. The Center reported that a larger percentage of patients (59%) were highly satisfied with the back pain treatment and advice they received from chiropractors than were satisfied with the care provided by any other type of healthcare professional. By way of comparison, 44% of patients were highly satisfied with care provided by a specialist physician and only 34% were highly satisfied with care provided by a primary care physician.

Chiropractic care is increasingly provided as part of an integrated, cross-disciplinary approach to the treatment of musculoskeletal problems at leading medical centers and local clinics.

Here’s just one example: At the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, “Chiropractic physicians are established members of the mainstream medical team. They treat problems involving the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage and nervous system.”

Get Relief From Your Lower Back Pain or Neck Pain – See Your Chiropractor Wilmington NC

If you suffer from pain in your back or neck, Southeastern Healthcare can help you find lasting relief and improved mobility. And best of all, we can do it without using dangerous, habit-forming drugs or other risky treatment methods. Call us 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 chiropractor Wilmington NC care can make. With six locations throughout the Wilmington area, we have an office conveniently close to you.

Which Sports Pose the Greatest Risk of Back and Neck Injuries?

back painParticipating in sports is fun. Sports provide healthy exercise, comradeship, a sense of competition, and the opportunity to build and improve athletic skills. However, all sports also involve some risk of injury. In 2006, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System reported over half a million injuries, and that figure is only for basketball. The same agency recorded another two million sports injuries associated with bicycling, football, and other sports. And it’s not just adults who risk injury—the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the American Academy of Pediatrics report that 3.5 million kids age 14 and younger are injured every year playing sports.

It’s important to keep numbers like these in perspective. The truth is that most of these injuries are relatively minor. “Pulled muscles,” meaning muscles and tendons damaged as the result of not warming up and stretching properly, are probably the most common type of injury, but they are not consistently reported to doctors, so no accurate statistics exist on their prevalence. The most prevalent sports-related injuries reported—in order from most common to least—are runner’s knee (55%), shoulder injuries (20%) sprained ankles (15%), and tennis or golf elbow (7%).

Serious Injuries

Next in line come a number of potentially more serious injuries involving the neck, back and spinal cord. These injuries often fit the description of “catastrophic” injuries used by sports physicians, and their number is sadly on the rise. To provide more information for sports enthusiasts hoping to minimize their likelihood of injury (not to mention parents worried about their children becoming injured), we’ve identified a few sports that cause the most neck, back and spinal cord injuries.

Sports that Cause Injuries

Naturally, any kind of “contact sport” (like football, ice hockey, and rugby) involves a higher risk of injury to the muscles, tendons, joints, and bones of the neck and back. Any time a body moving at several miles an hour runs into another one, the laws of physics dictate that there is a certain likelihood of damage, and that the damage may be serious. Even when wearing proper protective equipment (including helmets and pads), there is always a possibility of injury involved in playing these sports.

Interestingly, however, neck strain and injuries are prevalent even among practitioners of non-contact sports. For example, tennis players often put stress on their necks while straining upwards to hit overhead smashes. And cyclists who use racing handlebars and bend low over them put severe repetitive strain on their necks, because they literally have to tilt their head up into an over-extended position to see where they’re going.

Any sport (or strength-training exercise to prepare for participating in a sport) that involves lifting weights increases your risk of injuring your back and spinal cord. Most weight-lifting-related injuries are caused by either not warming up properly, by attempting to lift too much weight, or both. These types of injuries are common not only among weightlifters, but also among martial artists, tennis players and golfers, because these athletes tend to rotate their spines only in one direction. Skiers and swimmers also have a greater number of lower back injuries than other athletes. Even running can cause chronic back pain, because running improperly or with the wrong type of footwear can cause arch pain or Achilles tendonitis, which then throws the athlete’s posture off and can put strain on the back and neck even when they are no longer running.

Which Sport is the “Safest”?

So the “bottom line” is that no sport is entirely “safe” in the sense that it is completely free from the possibility of injury. There have even been cases of people spraining their thumbs from playing tiddley-winks. But if you practice “safe sports” by always warming up and stretching properly, wearing the proper equipment, knowing your limits and not exceeding them, you can avoid many potential injuries.

Contact Us at Southeastern Healthcare Today!

If you become injured—or even if you just want advice about how to avoid injury—your chiropractor can be a very valuable resource. Many chiropractors specialize in the field of sports medicine. They can measure your gait while walking or running, or watch how your body moves when performing the movements required by a certain sport, and offer advice on both how to make your movements more efficient and how to avoid injury while making them. Call or visit our office to learn more!

Where Does Good Balance and Coordination Come From? Introduction to Your Proprioceptive System

Proprioception is a complex system of anatomical checks and balances, neural impulses, and brain functions that controls our sense of balance, coordination, and agility. Put most simply, proprioception is the “sixth sense” that enables you to scratch your head without looking in a mirror or climb a flight of stairs without having to look at each step.

Most of us are so accustomed to proprioception that we take it for granted. Its development starts soon after we are born and is observed in infants as soon as they gain control of their neck muscles. When the infant’s body tilts in any direction, its head also tilts in the opposite direction to level its eyes with the horizon. This “righting reflex” is the beginning of our sense of balance.

chiropractor in Wilmington NC

More technically, proprioception is your body’s ability to transmit a sense of its position in space, analyze that information, and react—either consciously or unconsciously—to stimuli with the proper movement and force. Proprioceptors are a specialized type of motor and sensory nerve that transmits impulses to the central nervous system (in particular, the area of the brain known as the cerebellum) from stimuli felt by the muscles, tendons, joints, and skin. The impulses transmitted by proprioceptors contain vital information, such as the amount of tension in a particular muscle and the relative position of a body part when it is moving.

Proprioception is what enables you to reach for a glass and actually find it in space. It is also what allows you to pick up the glass with just the right amount of force, neither dropping it nor breaking it by squeezing too hard. Proprioception is what enables you to keep your balance when walking on uneven surfaces or when riding a bicycle. The impulses from proprioception combine with input received from the vestibular system (the fluid-filled network in the inner ear that enables us to feel the pull of gravity and know which direction is “up”) and with input from the visual system to create our sense of balance.

However, just as our eyes become weaker with age, so can the proprioceptive system, leading to a loss of proper balance. This is one of the reasons that falling is the number one cause of hospital admissions for people over 60. Something has gone wrong with the complex processing of information needed to maintain their balance, so older people are more likely to slip and fall on stairs or on slippery sidewalks and injure themselves.

Fortunately, you can strengthen your proprioceptive system by practicing simple balance exercises, thus keeping keep your sense of balance from weakening as you grow older. There are many forms of inexpensive exercise equipment (such as BOSU or Bongo Boards) that enable you to stand on a platform that is designed to be wobbly. This instability forces your muscles and your proprioceptive system to work more, and thus become stronger. So if you are over the age of 50, you should consider speaking to your chiropractor about exercises to improve your proprioception. They are very simple but can greatly improve your overall sense of balance, therefore significantly reducing your risk of injury from falls as you grow older.

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