Back pain is one of the most neglected physical ailments. People who wouldn’t dream of leaving stomach issues untreated resign themselves to living with a “bad back.” In fact, many people think it’s ‘normal’ to have back pain.
Frankly, that’s crazy! Back pain is never normal, and regular spinal care can resolve most issues for good. Whether you have a severe injury or minor, ongoing aches and pains, we’re here for you.
Injuries to the neck, upper back, and lower back have a way of triggering other injuries along the spine or elsewhere in the body. The spine protects the spinal cord that branches to the spinal nerves which go to every single cell, tissue, muscle and organ of the body. If the spine is not aligned or moving properly, nervous system interference can occur. This nervous system interference can lead to a multitude of other symptoms and problems.
For example, many patients with back injuries also complain of headaches, pain in their limbs or breathing difficulties. If the nerves going to the muscles are affected, strength can be diminished. It’s like the domino effect. When the neck or back goes, other parts of the body can be affected. It can prevent you from doing recreational activities that you enjoy. It might even affect you mentally, emotionally and socially as well.
For all those reasons, the importance of spinal care can’t be overstated. If you’ve experienced pain at any level, it’s time to get treatment.
Disc problems, muscle spasms, car accidents, falls, overexertion, improper lifting, repetitive movement and sports injuries are common causes of pain, but they’re not the only ones. Did you know that lack of exercise, your diet or your office furniture may be to blame?
In recent years, a more sedentary lifestyle and rising obesity have also led to a spike in back problems. Even young children are susceptible.
Spinal injuries affect your muscles, joints, connective tissues and nerves. Your back pain might have subsided, but now you feel stiffness or tension. Your reflexes aren’t as quick. Your balance is off.
Our short-term goal is to alleviate pain, reduce pressure, and restore movement and flexibility.
First, we’ll bring the spine back into alignment using a spinal adjustment that can be done a variety of ways depending on the patient. Regardless of the type of adjustment used, the goal is to realign the spine and restore normal joint motion which removes interference to the nervous system.
We usually incorporate other methods — like electrical stimulation, intersegmental traction, heat and ice therapy, and more — to get patients back in shape.
Every patient is different. For some, one or two adjustments do the trick. Others need regular visits over a few weeks or months. Following a thorough evaluation, Ds. Quintin and Katie Sleigh go over personalized recommendations for each patient. Many of our patients continue coming even after they improve because they after they are out of pain because they want to avoid any future flare ups and because they see overall health benefits. Our patient care takes the whole body into consideration.
That’s where long-term goals come in.
We’re committed to helping people become the healthiest, happiest versions of themselves. We can recommend self-care to maintain alignment and improve posture.
The brain and the body form a close partnership. For instance, exercise triggers the release of feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins not only make you happier, but they also reduce pain.
Sleep is another example. During quality sleep, your brain consolidates all the random thoughts and ideas you had during the day. It prioritizes the stuff you need to remember fairly soon, like your chiropractic appointment the next morning, and files away the stuff that can wait. When your wedding anniversary rolls around in eight months, you’ll remember it when you’re supposed to.
Because of these brain-body connections, chiropractic care also boosts mental and emotional health. Many patients swear by it for problems like low energy, poor concentration, lack of motivation, insomnia, substance abuse, depression and anxiety. A number of studies have shown compelling evidence to back them up.
One of the best benefits of seeing a chiropractor is avoiding prescription painkillers.
In the late 1990s, leading pharmaceutical companies assured the public and the medical community that opioids were not addictive. Big Pharma was wrong. In 2019, almost 50,000 Americans died from opioid-related overdoses.
Even patients who would use prescription painkillers responsibly are better off trying our drug-free approach first. The list of potential side effects from opioids is long. It includes nausea, confusion, slowed breathing and hypoxia, which deprives the brain of oxygen. Who needs all that risk?
There’s another disadvantage to taking painkillers.
Pain is the brain’s way of telling you that something isn’t right in your body and you should seek out care. If you take drugs to disarm the alarm system, so to speak, you might think your injury is not very serious or that it has healed. You’d probably overexert, which would delay your healing. You could even wind up with a more severe injury.
It’s also a mistake to medicate and avoid all activity. Lying there in constant fear of pain can create enough tension to trigger even more muscle spasms.
Patients who stay as active as possible during recuperation improve and heal faster. We all resent pain, but appreciating it as a warning siren will help you work through it safely.
Much of the first visit is spent discussing your symptoms and health history. Most patients are great candidates for chiropractic care, but we put safety first.
Be forewarned: Your doctor will probably strike you as more than a little nosy. You might be asked about your daily routine; your diet, sleep and exercise habits; your lifestyle; other health issues; past injuries; and mood struggles like sadness or anxiety.
Do you play a sport? Do you sit at a desk all day? Do you have an insatiable sweet tooth? Don’t be shy. Whatever it is, we’ve heard it all before.
The exam will reveal any issues with range of motion, balance, alignment, muscle tone, nerve function and reflexes. We take all of this information and put together a very specific treatment plan. We will discuss: What’s going on? Can we fix it? How long will it take? and How much will it cost? Everyone is unique, so your treatment plan may be very different from a friend’s or relative’s. Again, we treat the whole person.
It’s not unusual for patients to have a dramatic reaction to the spinal adjustment. Some burst out laughing while others get teary-eyed. That’s because we tend to keep our true feelings pent up inside. When the spine suddenly releases, tension and all kinds of emotions release with it. Even longtime patients still experience this.
You might feel a little stiff, achy or especially tired for a day or two. This is completely normal for people whose alignment has been out of whack for a while. Just give your body time to adjust, and you’ll start feeling significantly better in every way. Trust us. Caring for your spine is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind and emotional life.
If you did an internet search for “spinal care near me,” we’re glad you found us and look forward to meeting you soon.