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5 Common Chiropractic Care Myths

Chiropractic Care in Chicago - Spinal Decompression & Adjustments

Chiropractic Care & Treatment – 5 Common Myths

Chiropractic care is a safe & natural option for treating pain, and it provides an excellent approach for supporting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you’re skeptical about visiting a chiropractor, take a moment to dive deeper into these five common myths surrounding chiropractic care and instead learn the truth about the benefits of Chiropractic Adjustments and spinal manipulation.

 

Myth 1: Chiropractors Aren’t ‘Real’ Doctors

Chiropractic school is not only rigorous, but it is also virtually identical to medical school.

The premedical prerequisites to get into chiropractic school are the same as medical school, which involves a full year of biology, chemistry, physics, calculus, organic chemistry, as well as a year of labs. As a result, most chiropractors have a four-year undergraduate degree in a science field before entering chiropractic school.

Attending traditional medical school and chiropractic school is also very similar, with the primary difference being that medical students will complete residency programs while chiropractors enter internship programs.

After completing undergrad, chiropractic school entails two additional years of classroom study followed by a third year consisting of both classroom study and clinical experience. The fourth and final year is all clinical.

Once students graduate from chiropractic school, they must pass four sets of national board exams which are heavily weighted on diagnostic and practical skills, as well as state board exams in the states where they wish to practice.

While it is true that a chiropractor doesn’t prescribe medication or perform surgery, it certainly doesn’t disqualify them as a “real” doctor. Chiropractors are officially known as Doctors of Chiropractic, and are without question experts in their field.

When it comes to neurology, alignment, and musculoskeletal disorders, Doctors of Chiropractic are more thoroughly trained than any of those other “real doctors.” Chiropractors spend years extensively learning about one thing and one thing only—musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction—making them the ideal portal-of-entry provider for musculoskeletal disorders.

Myth 2: Chiropractors “Crack” Backs

Many people fear chiropractic because they imagine horrible cracking movements that occur from a sudden and unexpected blow. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The word crack itself implies breakage. A chiropractor isn’t cracking anything.  Chiropractors are adjusting, aligning and manipulating, and a good chiropractor will communicate each step with you before the adjustment and as the adjustment occurs.

About 60 percent of the time, patients will hear a cavitation, a popping or clicking sound, which is simply a release of gas from the joint spaces. The cavitation is not the adjustment itself, but rather a byproduct of the alignment.

There are a variety of techniques utilized for adjustments, varying from gentle touch to hand manipulation to the use of retracting tables. Not every type is right for every patient, which is why a skilled chiropractor will take the time to listen to your concerns, understand the root of your problem, and develop an individualized course of treatment that is best suited for you.

Myth 3: Chiropractors Only Help with Back Pain

Your spine is without doubt one of the most important parts of your body, but chiropractic care extends further than the spine alone.

The doctor may employ a variety of specific techniques to adjust and manipulate other joints such as the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, and knees. Some conditions that affect the extremities that can be treated with chiropractic include plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, impingement syndromes, and TMJ.

It is also important to remember that the nerves originate in the brain and innervate through the spine. This means that if there is pressure on the spine, and consequently, the nerves, the symptoms can present elsewhere in the body.

For example, if you suffer from headaches, chiropractors will take care to examine the top cervical vertebra (called the atlas) to make sure it is positioned properly. If this particular vertebra is not aligned properly, it could create or increase the likelihood of these chronic headaches.

This is why chiropractors do all the necessary tests, exams, and imaging to first determine where the pain is actually originating from and then design treatment plans to address them.

Myth 4: Chiropractic Adjustments Are Dangerous

A common myth of chiropractic adjustment is that it can cause a stroke. According to one study, the odds of a hemorrhagic of stroke in the normal population, chiropractic patient or not, is 1 in 5.85 million people.[1]

The truth is, neck adjustments cause no more stress to the arteries in the neck than any normal range of motion exercise. When performed by licensed and experienced Doctors of Chiropractic, spinal manipulation and adjustments are safe practices that help to restore your body to its natural flexibility and mobility while relieving pain, soreness, and stiffness in the joints and muscles. In addition, because adjustments and manipulations are a natural, alternative approach to a problem, chiropractic is much safer than surgery or the use of opioids. Surgery is rarely effective for musculoskeletal problems, while painkillers only mask the pain as opposed to solving the root of the problem.

Myth 5: Once you start chiropractic care, you’ll have to continue to go for the rest of your life

Chiropractors do hope you continue to return, but it’s not for their benefit. Better health is a holistic lifestyle, and chiropractic is a part of that.

When you wait to visit a chiropractor when you are in severe pain, there is already a problem. The chiropractor will then work to treat not just the symptom, but to discover the underlying cause. The number of visits per month needed will depend on your unique case—it could be once a week, whereas others might need as frequent as twice a week. Once the underlying problem is fixed and you start to feel better, this is not where chiropractic visits should end.

Future visits are in place to continue to strengthen and support your body, so you are able to maintain that “feel good” phase without slipping back into the same habits and routines that landed you in pain in the first place.

Just as you would jog a few times a week to maintain cardiovascular health or schedule routine dental visits to protect your teeth, chiropractic care is one more piece of the puzzle for maintaining a healthy body and healthy lifestyle.

Dispelling Chiropractic Care Doubts

Millions of Americans have experienced meaningful pain relief and wellness benefits from chiropractic care.

If you think you could potentially benefit from chiropractic care, it is important to take the time and effort to choose the right chiropractor, just as you would for any healthcare professional. To learn more about our unique and holistic approach to chiropractic treatment at Advanced Spine and Sports Care, as well as what to expect during your first visit, click here. We’re here to help.

 

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Chiropractic Care

[1]E.W. Church et al., “Systematic review and meta-analysis of chiropractic care and cervical artery dissection: no evidence for causation,” Cureus 8, no. 2 (February 16, 2016): https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.498.

 

Healthy Ways to Reduce Tension & Stress

Exercise for stress relief - healthy tips - blog

 

Experiencing a small amount of stress on a regular basis can be very beneficial for the mind and body. Healthy doses of stress can help you to be more productive, reach optimum levels of performance, increase your memory, and trigger the fight-or-flight response in dangerous situations. Stress isn’t always bad, but there’s a big difference between good stress & harmful stress.

Harmful stress can impact your thoughts, alter the way you behave, and negatively affect your body. Too much stress or the wrong kinds of stress can also lead to numerous health problems, such as depression, heart disease, and lack of energy. Experiencing regular or high levels of stress can impact your life day-to-day, especially if you’re also feeling tension.

Tension can produce feelings of mental and emotional strain, with stress & anxiety often being common symptoms in people who feel tense on a regular basis. Experiencing tension can lead to muscle aches, lack of productivity, poor cognitive ability & pain. Like stress, it’s important to treat tension quickly to make sure that it doesn’t continue to negatively impact your life.

If you’re experiencing tension or stress on a regular basis, then there are a number of effective treatments that you can consider. Here are four examples of common and healthy ways to reduce stress and tension in your life:

 

Meditation

meditation for stress relief - healthy ways to reduce stress - blog

Meditation is a prehistoric practice that people have used for thousands of years, historically in a religious context, but today it’s most commonly used for relaxation and stress relief. It’s believed that meditation can relax the mind and restore a feeling of calmness and peace that can reduce the stress of everyday life and promote excellent emotional and mental well-being.

The benefits of meditation come in many forms, often surrounding a reduction of stress, anxiety, tension, and emotional over-stimulation. Practicing meditation improves self-awareness, gives you a refreshed perspective on sources of stress and helps you to manage stress in a more productive manner. In some instances, meditation can also help people to manage health conditions, such as depression, heart disease, tension headaches and anxiety.

There’s no single form of meditation; you can be still during meditation or active. The Chinese martial art, Tai Chi, is an active form of meditation where you practice deep breathing and perform different postures at your own pace. Mantra meditation, on the other hand, requires the participant to mentally repeat a meaningful word and ignore other distracting thoughts. Meditation is very unique to the individual and attending meditation workshops can be a beneficial way to learn how to meditate effectively to reduce stress and tension.

Exercise

reduce stress and tension with exercise

Exercise is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body, but it also plays an essential role in establishing a healthy mind. Different exercises can be used as a technique to cope with and manage tension, as well as situations or events that cause stress. In much the same way that stress can impact the body, the physical benefits of exercise that improve the body, can at the same time improve the mind.

Exercising produces a reaction within the body that chemically reduces levels of stress. When you exercise, endorphins are released in the body; these can improve your mood and even reduce pain. At the same time, levels of stress-related hormones in the body, like cortisol and adrenaline, are reduced. These short-term benefits of exercise and stress reduction are great for reducing stress, but the positive benefits of weight loss and improved performance can also provide long-term stress relief.

Creating a custom exercise plan is a great way to ease into regular exercise and partake in the exercises that are most beneficial for your mind and body. Combining a regular exercise routine with healthy back, neck, and spinal alignment exercises could also help you to relieve other forms of stress and tension throughout your body.

Massage Therapy

massage therapy events in chicago - licensed massage therapy

Muscles stiffness, aches and pains can very often be a result of regular stress and tension. To ease the pain that stress can cause, massage therapy is an effective and remarkably successful treatment option. Massage targets body aches and pains but it also lifts your mood and relieves emotional strain.

It’s thought that massage can reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, which is a key stress hormone. Massage can also increase parasympathetic nervous system activity, another way to reduce stress and create a feeling of calmness.

Massaging the body can have wonderful benefits for the mind and overall emotional and mental well-being. During a massage therapy session, a number of techniques are used to reduce tension in the body and create a feeling of whole-body relaxation. By relaxing the mind and body, everyday stresses can be reduced, and a greater level of control can be gained over managing and coping with stress.

 

Regular Chiropractor Treatments in Chicago

Stress can very easily take over the body, causing mental strain to turn into physical aches and pains, and impact important parts of a healthy lifestyle, such as sleep, energy, and nutrition. The mental pressure of stress and the emotional strain of tension can both be treated through regular chiropractic treatments. Chiropractic care can relieve stress in a number of ways, sometimes through physical treatments designed to resolve the root cause of pain, and other times through ongoing treatment plans and lifestyle changes.

For common problems associated with stress and tension, like tension in the muscles, spinal adjustment and other chiropractic treatments can be highly effective. Spinal misalignment can cause problems with the nervous system, which affects how the body communicates – an unhealthy spine can cause the nervous system to have trouble coping with stress. Poor blood circulation and muscle tension can also cause other stress-related problems. Chiropractic treatments can improve blood circulation, adjust the spine, and reduce body tension to restore energy and improve health of the whole body.

Professional chiropractic treatment plans can extent from treatments designed to reduce pain, to nutrition plans, massage, exercise routines, and even help learning how to meditate effectively. By attending regular chiropractor treatments, you can address the problems associated with stress and improve your body’s natural ability to handle stress, whether it’s through learning new relaxation techniques, understanding the correct posture to reduce stress, or improving spine health for better overall health.

Stress and tension can negatively impact your life every day, but with so many treatment options out there, it’s never been easier to treat stress and the large number of symptoms.

What Is the Best Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain?

What is the Best Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain in Chicago | Chiropractic

Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica, is an incredibly common type of pain that experts estimate 40% of people experience at some point in their lives. This pain can be very disabling and leave one of your legs feeling weak or numb, possibly with a burning or stabbing sensation.

If you have sciatic nerve pain or you think that you may be experiencing the symptoms of sciatica, then seeking treatment is one of the best things that you can do to relieve the pain sooner rather than later.

Never heard of sciatic nerve pain or want to learn more about this unique condition? Read on to discover more about the causes and the best treatment for sciatica…

What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is the name of a specific type of pain that you experience when there’s irritation to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is located between the hips and feet and runs down the back of each leg. The location of the nerve explains why the symptoms of sciatica can involve experiencing pain in the lower back, hips, and leg.

Sciatic nerve leg pain, and pain in the hips and back, can manifest itself in many ways, including:

  • Shooting pain
  • Constant stabbing pain
  • Burning pain
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty moving
  • Weakness
  • Tingling

The symptoms of sciatic nerve pain normally only occur on one side of the body, but the experience is very different from case to case. For some people, the pain will only last for a short duration (typically 4-6 weeks) and it will only cause slight irritation. For other people, the pain will last for much longer and can be quite severe.

What Are the Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is generally caused by some form of pressure to the sciatic nerve; the type and location of this pressure can determine the location, severity, and duration of the pain. There’s a long list of causes of sciatic nerve pain, including:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Pregnancy
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Lumbar Subluxation
  • Lumbar Disc Herniation
  • Tumors

Sometimes, other back injuries may also cause sciatic nerve pain. While not generally a cause, the pain experienced can be worse for people that are overweight or accentuated by additional problems, such as inadequate sleeping provisions.

Common Treatment for Sciatica

As you would imagine from the many possible sciatic nerve pain causes, there are a number of treatment options. The treatment advised will largely depend on the severity of the pain and root cause, although in certain cases, like with chiropractic care, some treatments can help with multiple severities of sciatica.

Here are four common treatment options for sciatic nerve pain:

1. Sciatic Nerve Pain At-Home Treatment

At-home treatments can be very effective in treating short-term sciatic nerve pain, as well helping with the recovery process in conjunction with other treatments. Treatments and care at home can include stretching the back regularly, using heat and ice packs, and gentle exercises. If at-home treatments don’t help to reduce the pain, more substantial treatment is often advised.

2. Over-the-Counter Sciatic Nerve Pain Medication

In many cases, an over-the-counter pain medication may be suggested to alleviate the pain. This can work in conjunction with at-home treatment to cope with the pain until it subsides.

3. Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain

Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain, along with other physiotherapy treatments, are a very common suggestion for cases of sciatic nerve pain. Unlike some at-home treatments and medication, the purpose of chiropractic treatment is to address the underlying cause of the pain. Chiropractic care can include a range of treatments, such as:

  • Spinal adjustments
  • Ice/cold therapy
  • Manual manipulation
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage

4. Surgery

In the worst cases of sciatic nerve pain, where the pain is severe and prolonged, surgery may be an unavoidable requirement to treat the underlying cause of the pain. Surgical treatments vary but can include decompression or intervertebral disc removal.

Depending on the extent of sciatic nerve pain, further treatments may be suggested, such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Lifestyle changes

What Is the Best Sciatica Treatment?

Each type of treatment has its own benefits, and in some cases, options like surgery may be unavoidable. Yet, for persistent sciatic nerve pain, the best sciatica treatment is often physiotherapy. In particular, chiropractic care is a highly effective physiotherapy treatment for sciatica.

A chiropractor can help at every stage of treatment, from the initial diagnosis, to relief from pain by targeting the cause of the pain, and afterwards with preventive advice. In general, chiropractic treatment is immensely well-suited to treating sciatica, as it’s focused on helping the body to heal itself through treatments that improve spinal movement.

As well as treating the cause of sciatica, a chiropractor will also be able to advise you on good practices that can prevent re-occurrences of sciatic nerve pain in the future, such as:

  • Which exercises to do at home to improve the muscles in your back
  • How to correct your posture when you’re sitting and standing
  • Which lifestyle changes to make for improved back health
  • How to properly support your back
  • How to improve your diet for optimum health

Chiropractic care is ideal for anyone seeking the best natural treatment for sciatic nerve pain, as it involves non-invasive procedures. The treatment plan will be customized to your exact needs and lifestyle, and you’ll receive ongoing support from a chiropractor that knows your unique medical history. As is the case with many types of back pain, and pain in other areas of the body, chiropractic care is often an effective and rewarding treatment for sciatica.

Sciatica Treatment Chicago

If you’re looking for chiropractic sciatica treatment in Chicago, then the experienced chiropractors at Advanced Spine & Sports Care can help. Our specialist chiropractic and physical therapy services are a natural treatment for sciatic nerve pain that can effectively reduce the pain you’re feeling and address the real cause of the problem.

Contact us today to talk with one of our excellent team about treatments for sciatica. We’ll make sure that your pain is diagnosed and treated. Also, we will support you going forwards for a healthier life now and in the future!

routine, health, wellness, body, sleep

Master the Morning: How to Create a Daily Routine That Will Make Your Jump Out of Bed

Morning and Night Routines to Help You Live Better

Does the following scenario sound familiar to you? You sleep through the alarm and wake up in a panic. You have to rush around the house to get ready, and with no time for breakfast you just grab a cup of takeaway coffee on the way to work. You arrive feeling stressed and underprepared which sets you up for a challenging day. After work, you get home exhausted, flop down on the sofa and watch bad TV all night. You don’t get to sleep until late and then wake up several times during the night, so you sleep in again in the morning. Is that you? Do you find that you’re completely burned out longer before the week’s over, but don’t know how to get out of the rut? A routine is what you need. Having a healthy morning and evening routine primes you for a successful day and better well-being. You’ll achieve more, be able to think more clearly and, most importantly, you’ll feel better. They key is discipline, and if you take the time to set up healthy and structured routines to get your day started and ended well, you’ll soon see the difference.

 

What Is A Routine?

 

The definition of a routine is a sequence of actions which you repeatedly carry out. For example, if you wake up at 6am every day, that’s a routine. If you always read the newspaper and eat toast before heading out of the door, that’s a routine too. Routines set the rhythm of your life, however just because they are a routine doesn’t make them a healthy routine. Routines have power, and if you choose to have unhealthy routines, you will end up trapped in an unhealthy cycle. Conversely, if you choose healthy ones, your life will change for the better.

 

So, what kind of routines are beneficial for our lives?

 

Good Morning Routines To Kick Off The Day

 

Rather than your old unhealthy routine of sleeping through the alarm and rushing around like an idiot, you can replace it with a healthier schedule to prepare you for success.

 

Get Up Early

 

Getting up early will help you to prepare adequately for the demands of the day. It will prevent you from experiencing the stress and panic of running behind, and will help you to put in place other healthy routines that will set you up adequately for the day ahead. What are the benefits of rising early? For a start, you are naturally more creative as your mind has been refreshed from sleep, and there are fewer things to distract you early in the morning. The early exposure to sunlight increases your feelings of well-being and positivity and if you use some of that extra time to meditate or work out, you will feel less stressed and more energized too.

 

Recite Affirmations

 

As part of your morning routine, you should set aside some time to recite some positive affirmations. These statements can be used to reframe the way you think and feel about yourself and the day ahead. They can help you to overcome negative feelings and will help you to visualize the good things that will happen. By saying simple statements such as:

 

“I will be successful in everything I do today.”

“I am a strong and beautiful person.”

“I am liked and respected by those who know me.”

 

By visualizing and affirming the things that you would like to happen in your life, you are focusing on them and believing that achieving them is possible, and this, in turn, enables you to act on them and make them become a reality.

Take Some Exercise

 

Exercise is one of the best things to introduce into your morning routine. By boosting your blood flow, releasing endorphins and strengthening the body, exercise prepares you physically and mentally for the day while also keeping you healthy. By helping to fight anxiety and depression, and by keeping your body fit, introducing daily exercise into your morning routine will improve your well-being.

 

Eat A Healthy Breakfast

 

When you were running late, you probably grabbed an unhealthy fast food snack on the way to work, or just ate nothing at all. Both of these scenarios were bad for your health. Consuming the right fuel at breakfast time has a major impact on your day, so schedule in time for a healthy breakfast that is low in sugar and low in fat, such as a smoothie, oatmeal or yogurt and fruit. This will help to curb food cravings and give you energy to set you up for the day ahead.

 

Good Evening Routines To End The Day Positively

 

Ending the day well is just as important as beginning it properly. By putting in place a healthy evening routine, you can prepare yourself for a good start the next day. Here are some suggestions for good evening routines that will set you up for a restful night.

 

Prepare Your Goals

Before going to bed, determine your goals for the day ahead. This will help to get the tasks that need to be achieved clear in your mind, and will allow your brain to start thinking about how you will accomplish those tasks in advance. You’ll be well prepared in the morning.

 

Reflect On What You Achieved

 

An important part of every evening should be to reflect on all of the things that you achieved during the course of the day. It can be all too easy to forget about the positives if just one or two things went wrong, however taking the time to celebrate your successes will put them into perspective and encourage you in achieving your goals.

 

Clear Your Mind

 

You can’t sleep well if your mind is still buzzing with all of your worries, stresses and fears. Before you go to sleep, you need to clear your mind and put aside those challenges for the night. You can do this by reading for a short while, listening to some calm music, meditating, writing a journal or watching a relaxing TV show. Focus on something completely unrelated to work before bed.

 

Be Prepared

 

To minimize the rush and panic of the morning, take the time before bed to prepare things in advance. Choose your outfit, make your lunch, get the coffee maker ready to go and pack your work bag. By doing these simple things, you’ll be freeing up a lot of mental energy.

 

Tidy Your Home

 

A messy home means a messy mind, and waking up in an untidy room can leave you feeling unmotivated. Put aside 10-20 minutes every night to do a quick clean up, to wash the dishes and to wipe the sink and you’ll feel more refreshed in the morning.

 

Sleep Properly

 

The key to a good night’s sleep is to stick to a set schedule for going to bed and waking up. If you have a mobile device that has a night mode, you should select this in the evenings, and minimize any blue light from device screens. Set your bedroom temperature to between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure your room is kept as dark as possible. Quality sleep means quality rest, and quality rest means that you feel much better the next day.

 

Introducing a routine into your everyday life may not be the easiest thing to do, but it can make a huge difference to your day. Although it will require some dedication and discipline at first, you will soon become used to it, and will begin to notice the difference.

 

The longer you stick to your routine, the easier it will become to stick to it, and soon it will be ingrained in your life. You will find that each day flows more smoothly, and you will become more productive, more healthy and, essentially, more happy.