INFORMATION

Some further information about what we do.

Chiropractic Care

Human Body & Nervous System

The human body was created in an absolutely extraordinary way. We contain approximately 50 trillion cells , each interconnected and intimately functioning together. The central nervous system (brain, brain stem, and spinal cord) is connected to the peripheral nervous system (spinal and peripheral nerves) and controls the way we move and function. Our skull protects our brain and most of our brain stem, and our spine provides protection to the spinal cord and exiting spinal nerves.



Your nervous system is responsible for your breathing, your blood pumping around your body, hormones and enzymes being released in your body, moving your body parts, muscle tone and tension, organ function and control, every chemical reaction that occurs within your body, your ability to feel pain, emotion, hear, etc. Without your nervous system we simply wouldn’t be!

The spine is a column of small bones called “vertebrae”, which support the entire upper body. The column is grouped into three sections, the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back) and lumbar (lower back) spine regions.



The neck consists of seven spinal bones created for movement. There are twelve vertebrae in the middle back connecting the rib cage. The lumbar vertebrae are the five lowest and largest of the spinal column. Most of the body’s weight and stress falls on the lumbar vertebrae. Below the lumbar region is the sacrum, a triangular bony structure that connects with the pelvis at the sacroiliac joints. At the end of the sacrum are tiny, partially fused vertebrae known as the coccyx or “tail bone”.

Vertebrae in the spinal column are separated from each other by small cushions of cartilage known as intervertebral discs. Inside each disc is a jelly-like substance called the nucleus pulposus, which is surrounded by a fibrous structure called the annulus. The disc combines protein with approximately 80% water giving it an elastic quality and provides the spine with an excellent shock absorption quality.

The vertebrae and discs combine to create a space for each spinal nerve to exit from the spinal cord on its way to the body. The individual vertebrae and discs allow us our flexibility and movement.

Vertebral Subluxation Complex

To perform at your peak, your brain must both send and receive signals to and from your body via these exiting spinal nerves. Many everyday activities can cause these spinal bones to lose their normal position or motion. This can cause an interference with the messages meant to be sent to and from your brain, resulting in nervous system dysfunction or a vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) which may present as pain, poor performance, or ill health.



Abnormal motion or positioning of the vertebrae (known as the vertebral subluxation complex or VSC) can compromise this space and create nerve irritations or nerve interference.



The nerve will still supply the muscle or organ, however, the quality of the nerve transmission is affected. Think of a VSC like a dimmer switch on lights. If the dimmer is turned down, the lights are still on, but at a decreased intensity. If it is turned up too high for too long, the light bulb may burn out prematurely. Therefore, the muscle or organ still receives the nerve impulse; however its optimal function is altered.

This helps to explain why, for example, when a VSC exists in the upper back region, an individual can experience the condition known as asthma - because the nerves in this region go to the small air tubes in our lungs called bronchioles.



With the science and knowledge of the aforementioned make-up and functioning of the human body, Chiropractors apply this principle in aiding you to be better able to deal with the stresses of daily life, and heal naturally. Based on the scientific fact that our nervous system controls or influences the function of every cell in our body, any interference to the nervous system (VSC) will effect how the nervous system relates to the cells to which it travels and may result in decreased health, performance and well-being.

The term “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek words “cheiro and praktikos” meaning “done by hand”. Chiropractic adjustments alleviate nerve irritation, which liberates the innate healing abilities of the body, and allows a fuller expression of personal potential.

The Chiropractic model of health is centered on the philosophy that the human body, being knit together in a wonderful way, will heal itself given the opportunity and circumstances. Chiropractors essentially promote the healing process by minimizing nerve interference.

When Do You Need a Chiropractor?

The purpose of the Chiropractic approach to health care (the wellness model) is to uncover the cause of your health condition, not merely cover up your symptoms. The absence of symptoms (eg. pain) does not equal good health!



A good number of people believe health is all about feeling ‘good’ and follow the traditional ‘health-care’ model of removing pain and symptoms. At specific chiropractic your optimal health is our goal!  We recognise that symptoms are simply an expression of your body’s attempt to deal with a particular stress and aim to find the cause of those symptoms. The clearest way to illustrate this is by reviewing the statistics on heart attacks. Research reveals that in approximately 33% of all heart attacks the first symptom of the attack is death!



Wellness care encompasses several aspects of overall health, which can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. It’s about health & optimal body performance!

Our goal is to locate and correct subluxations thereby enabling your body to be better able to deal with the stresses of daily life, and heal naturally.



The widespread use of pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication to mask pain and other symptoms is worrying. It puts the individual at further risk by eliminating one of the bodies most important defence mechanisms - pain!



It is this conditioned social belief that, in part, is costing us our well-being!

Are you aware that Chiropractic care offers a range of heath benefits including;

  • Improved concentration and mental acuity

  • Increased energy levels

  • Improved immune function

  • Improved posture and spinal alignment

  • Improved athletic performance

Chiropractic Qualifications

Most Australians are unaware that today’s Chiropractors undergo an intense educational process that is similar to medical doctors over the first two years of schooling. Medical students and chiropractic students alike spend a tremendous amount of time studying anatomy, physiology, neurology, and other “basic sciences”. The main difference during the first two years is that medical students have an emphasis on pharmacology (study of prescription drugs) and chiropractic students emphasise nutrition and natural alternatives to drugs.



The programs take a different turn after the first two years. Medical students prepare for their “trade” by rotating each month to a different medical specialty such as pediatrics, orthopaedics and family medicine.

The second two years of education for chiropractic students focuses on learning the tools of their “trade”: manual and physical methods of treatment.



Both doctors of medicine and chiropractic are very well trained to treat their respective patients utilizing the skills of their profession. The most promising and encouraging changes in today’s treatment environment is that many healthcare clinics provide both chiropractic and medical care for their patients!

The Chiropractic model of health is centered on the philosophy that the human body, being knit together in a wonderful way, will heal itself given the right opportunity and circumstances.

Gonstead Difference

The Gonstead Difference

Gonstead chiropractic follows a system developed by an American chiropractor named Clarence S. Gonstead.  It involves a very thorough analysis of a patient’s spine, which includes:



 

  1. The use of a skin temperature differential instrument (STDI) – this instrument aids the chiropractor in assessing the likelihood and location of nerve pressure in the spine.

  2. Observation and postural analysis – this involves examining the posture (global and regional) of the patient for potential mal-position of the joints within the spine.

  3. Palpation – this is a hands on approach whereby the chiropractor feels the spine for the mal-position and restriction to normal movement of the joints within the spine.

  4. X-ray analysis – this is a very detailed examination of radiographs of a patient’s entire spine.  The analysis is specific to the Gonstead practitioner and aids in identification of direction of misalignment of the joints within the spine.

All of the above procedures are combined to come to the conclusion of whether there is any spinal dysfunction (subluxation) present and precisely how this should be corrected.



The correction of the subluxation as performed by the Gonstead chiropractor is a very precise and specific repositioning of the vertebra that is quite different to that performed by non-Gonstead chiropractors.


All of the doctors at specific chiropractic take pride in their ability to thoroughly assess and determine the precise cause of a patient’s complaint. Using the Gonstead system of chiropractic enables your chiropractor to accurately determine the exact direction of subluxation of the segments of your spine.  With this knowledge they are able to specifically correct the subluxation and remove the resultant nerve pressure.


 

Being Treated & Adjusted

Chiropractors deliver 94% of all manipulative procedures! Spinal dysfunction is called a Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). If your doctor determines that your condition is due to a subluxation, and you would benefit from chiropractic care, part of the treatment plan will most likely include a form of spinal manipulation called chiropractic manipulative therapy (C.M.T.) or “adjustments”, and treatment will begin at that time. The purpose of the adjustment is to normalise the improper spinal motion found within the vertebral subluxation complex, therefore reducing nerve interference.


Chiropractors are not the only health professionals to utilise spinal manipulation. Physiotherapists, osteopaths and even some medical doctors incorporate spinal manipulation in their treatment plan as well. The difference, however, is that Chiropractors are uniquely trained to apply spinal manipulation (adjustments)and spend years mastering the art and science of adjustment, and in fact, deliver 94% of all manipulative procedures!


Although there are many chiropractic styles or “techniques” utilised by DC’s in practice today, they all share a common goal; correcting the VSC for the purpose of eliminating nerve interference associated with the VSC. Chiropractic adjustments alleviate nerve irritation, which liberates the innate healing abilities of the body, and allows a fuller expression of personal potential.



Source: Shekelle, P.G., et al, “The Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Lower Back Pain”. 1991 Rand Study/ UCLA.

What's That Cracking Noise?

Most patients will sooner or later ask this question. A joint contains fluid that helps keep it healthy and lubricated (like oil for the joint). This “synovial fluid” contains gas (like carbonation in soft drinks). When an adjustment is made you may hear a noise (called an “audible release”). The audible release or “crack” is simply the release of gas in the joint much like when you open a can of soft drink.

What Happens If Left Uncorrected?

If given the opportunity, and no correction is made, the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) will travel along the following progression path AT THE SPINAL/ JOINT LEVEL:



  1. Loss of normal position (or alignment) of the vertebrae leads to restricted movement.

  2. Abnormal positioning may lead to shortened muscle tissue with decreased strength and flexibility, as well as to scar tissue development.

  3. Continued pressure on the nerve due to the subluxation, may lead to numbness or tingling in the area in which the nerve travels.

  4. Swelling or inflammation may develop in the disc, joints, or surrounding tissues.

  5. Degenerative Joint Disease (known as “DJD” or “osteoarthritis”) may occur in the affected area leading to the development of bone spurs.

Remembering that the nerves supplying the function and co-ordination of your body exit between two vertebrae and a disc; it is not surprising to correlate ill health to the above progression.



The passion for the Doctor of Chiropractic is to promote proper neuromusculoskeletal system function, by evaluating, detecting and correcting VSC’s in your spine, which in turn provides the optimal environment for your body’s health and wellness.

Phases of Degeneration

NORMAL
In a textbook normal spine, note the C-shaped curve, the disc spaces are equal and there are no visible signs of degenerative changes. There is no nerve pressure present here.



PHASE I
In Phase I of spinal degeneration, the alignment of the spine is altered, note the loss of the C-shaped curve, the disc spaces are uneven or sometimes can remain normal. Symptoms and degenerative changes may be present. Nerve tissues become irritated. This appearance indicates a time period between 1 month & 5 years.



PHASE II
In Phase II of spinal degeneration, the alignment continues to deteriorate, and disc narrowing is present. Degenerative changes progress and bone spurs are present. Nerve tissues are irritated and begin to atrophy. This appearance is indicative of a time period of 5 to 35 years.



PHASE III
In Phase III of spinal degeneration, the joint space is no longer visualized. Bone spurs progress to fuse the involved joint. Nerve Tissue atrophy occurs. Despite permanent damage, some relief is possible. Chronic health issues may have also resulted.

Relief, Correction & Wellness

There are three phases of Chiropractic care – Relief, Correction, and Wellness. Relief is the first phase. The goal of the relief phase is to reduce or eliminate pain. The number of visits necessary to accomplish this will depend on your age, underlying spinal condition and other lifestyle choices.



Remember that by the time most patients present to a Chiropractic office, the VSC is usually well advanced and has been causing underlying damage to the joint, muscles, ligaments and nerves, and ultimately, your health. In fact, a lot of people present already in phase two degeneration yet may have only been symptomatic for a short period of time.



Restoring the body to normal or maximum function is the goal of the “correction” phase. In most conditions, pain is the last thing to show up and the first thing to leave when treating the vertebral subluxation complex. Adaptations that have taken place in muscles and other soft tissues (such as the disc and ligaments) require care beyond the relief phase to correct.



The purpose of the “Wellness” phase of care is to prevent relapse of previous conditions and to address new conditions before they appear.



Chiropractic is about ensuring your nervous system is always functioning at 100% of its capacity. Each one of us are constantly adapting to external influences via our nervous system. For example when we pick up a pen, sit at a desk for long periods of time and need to maintain our posture, interact with other people or basically going about our normal routine and activities, it is our nervous system that interprets all this information and allows our body to perform at its best. Chiropractic ensures that your nervous system is free from interference and this is how it allows your body to function at its optimum.



When maximum improvement has been achieved, your doctor will suggest an appropriate level of care necessary to “maintain” the corrections made during the first two phases.

Remember that by the time you have presented to your Chiropractor, you may have had the VSC for many years. While chiropractic can aid restoration of function within your spine, there will always be an underlying weakness in your spine that will need to be checked regularly to ensure there is no relapse to its old position. That is to say, you cannot receive a “new spine” but we need to get the one you presented with functioning at 100% of what it is capable at and then maintain it.

Path to Recovery

This information is used to help our new patients understand the recovery process and what they can expect in the days, weeks and months ahead.

It is important to understand how the body responds to chiropractic care. Initially the intervals between adjustments will be shorter. As your spine stabilizes the intervals will increase.

What Can I Do?

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitating your spine can be easy if you understand a simple model.  Joints, muscles and ligaments combine with precision and balance to provide motion and stability. However, when a joint is injured (the elbow for example), its primary movers (the biceps) become short to protect the injured joint. Muscles moving the joint in the opposite direction of the biceps (the triceps), become stretched out or longer allowing the biceps to shorten. This phenomenon is called reflex inhibition.



A joint (spinal joint, elbow, knee) can be injured in many ways. One overlooked cause of injury is poor posture. There are two common postural problems seen today, one in the upper body (called upper crossed syndrome) and one in the lower body (called lower crossed syndrome). The goal of spinal rehabilitation is to achieve balance between motion, flexibility and stability.



There are 3 steps in rehabilitating and strengthening the spine:



Step 1: Adjusting
Creating proper motion within the involved joint is best accomplished with specific chiropractic manipulative therapy (CMT or “adjusting”).



Step 2: Stretching & Strengthening Exercises
Specific stretches for the shortened muscles comes next. Although there are numerous protocols for stretching, 3 sets holding 15 seconds each works well.



Then, specific exercises are performed to strengthen the weakened muscles. Again, many exercise protocols exist, 3 sets f 12 repetitions is appropriate.

Many different forms of resistance equipment can be used (such as tubing, gym balls, free weights, and universal equipment), and many protocols for performing rehabilitative exercises. Ask your Chiropractor which equipment and exercises are best for you. The Doctors at Specific Chiropractic highly recommend the use of a Fit Ball, and encourage you look at or obtain a copy of the book “Strong to the Core” (available at any book store in the Health & Fitness Section). Please ask your Chiropractor for our handout of recommended exercises.



Step 3: Nutritional Support
Finally, enabling you have correct and optimal nutritional support is imperative. There’s no point working hard to strengthen your spine if you are not providing your body with the nutrients, and minerals it needs.

Exercise & Activity

Your chiropractor will most likely recommend walking as an essential part of your recovery and of your overall health. Walking plays a vital role in exercising and strengthening your low back and whole spine. This is because it enables your entire body and spinal joints to move. It is a terrific weight bearing exercise – important for bone strength and reconditioning, and it is low impact – ideal for all ages!



Walking also provides you with a great way to maintain good spinal health while keeping your weight in check.  If you are carrying a few extra kilos, the reduction in weight will also take the stress off your joints. Regular exercise, periodic adjustments, good nutrition, and good work habits will together add years to your active life.



REVIEW OF YOUR FEET
What do backaches, sore knees, and hip problems have to do with feet?
A lot. The feet are the body’s contact points with the ground, so how they support the rest of the body is critical. Arch collapse is the most common foot problem. Fallen arches magnify the stress on the knees, which can lead to harmful stress on the body’s muscles and joints during walking and running.



The right choice of shoes and orthotic care is important in addressing not only foot problems, but also the effects these problems have on the ankles, knees, hips, and spine. Try to wear shoes that are comfortable and fit your feet. If in doubt, ask your chiropractor to examine your feet and shoes, they may recommend a complimentary Foot Leveler’s scan which may determine if flexible, custom-made orthotics that support all three arches of the foot are necessary.

If you think orthotics might help get your body back in balance, ask your chiropractic doctor. Your joints will thank you for it!

Nutrition

Good nutrition is what we should do, what we don’t do, and what we do.



To run our cars we require fuel, and if we wish to prolong the life of our engine we’ll use the highest quality fuel to fill up. To maintain our energy and function we too need to fuel ourselves with good quality fuel.



WHICH NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD I TAKE?


Quality and absorption are the keys to choosing an effective supplement. Supplements can be broken down into two basic categories: those taken for maintaining good health (such as multi-vitamins, multi-minerals) and those for specific health conditions (such as joint pain or high cholesterol). Ask your chiropractic doctor to recommend those best suited for your specific health condition.



For more information please ask your Chiropractor or Chiropractic Assistant (CA) for our Guide to Nutritional Supplements.

Family Chiropractic

Chiropractic For The Family

Chiropractic care has been helping families for years. Many patients see their chiropractic doctor as their family doctor – smart move! More and more families want safe and natural solutions, and the rise in adverse reactions to drugs, cost and number of unnecessary surgeries name just a fraction of the reasons chiropractic is becoming a first choice.



Family care can start at the very beginning. Pregnant mothers receiving care not only benefit their own health but they are giving great benefit to their unborn child – not to mention they often report easier births!

Newborns, infants and children receive immense benefit from chiropractic care; many times the birth process is the cause of our very first subluxation! Incredible changes occur throughout childhood – holding our head up, sitting up, standing, walking, running, falling. All of these have potential to cause a subluxation and, if ignored, can worsen until they become a problem as an adult and as they’ve been left uncorrected, can be difficult to correct.



Accidents and injury also occur during adulthood; in addition, as we get older our responsibilities and stress levels increase too – more causes for subluxation to occur! Seniors are certainly not forgotten in our office either! Periodic chiropractic checkups can be very helpful in supporting and maintaining our energy, vitality and overall health - for life.

Regardless of your age or condition, a better working spine allows a better functioning nervous system, which therefore allows a better functioning you! Share your Chiropractic experience with others, starting with those you love.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is extremely hard on the lower back as well as on the shoulders. Examine the spine of an expectant mother from the side and it’s easy to understand why they may be in pain. Due to the increased development of the breast tissue, the shoulders are rounded forward, placing tremendous pressure on the neck and shoulders. The weight of the growing child places the lower back in a strenuous position.



The nine months of pregnancy also bring many hormonal changes (i.e. relaxin) that relax the ligaments stabilizing the lower back and pelvis. As the pelvis rotates down in the front, the muscles of the lower back become short and tight, causing an increase in pressure on the pain sensitive joints of the lower back, producing achy lower back pain.



Chiropractic care can help make this special time in a woman’s life as enjoyable as it was meant to be.



Here’s some “foot” for thought:
3 Reasons Women Are Susceptible to Foot Problems:

  1. More than four out of five women wear shoes smaller than their feet.

  2. Heels, a common choice in women’s footwear, place pressure on the forefoot.

  3. Pregnancy is a factor in the development of flat feet.

For information in regards to nutritional support during pregnancy please ask your Chiropractor or Chiropractic Assistant (CA) for our Guide to Nutritional Supplements.

Chiropractic Articles

Misconceptions About Chiropractic

Chiropractic is dangerous.
The safety of chiropractic care has been well documented in professional journals of all kinds. Serious side-effects of chiropractic manipulative therapy occur in approximately one out of every one million adjustments. Compare this to the serious side effects of medicines and surgical errors to put safety into perspective. Research reveals that some 100,000 people die each year from the effects of prescription drugs that are prescribed by their doctors.



Now this isn’t meant to be “MD bashing”, it’s just the simple truth about the safety of prescription medications, as reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 1998). The article continues to say, “Discovering new dangers of drugs after marketing is common. Overall, 51% of approved drugs have serious adverse effects not detected prior to approval. Merely discovering adverse effects is not itself sufficient to protect the public. Each year prescription drugs injure 1.5 million people so severely they require hospitalization and 100,000 die, making prescription drugs the 4th leading cause of death in the United States.” So the question was about the safety of chiropractic care?



You have to keep going for the rest of your life!


Chiropractic care is like “orthodontics” for the spine. Clinically, repeated adjustments “train” the vertebrae to maintain their proper alignment and movement. Like the time required for braces to achieve correction depends on an individual’s teeth and mouth structure, the time required for proper positioning to occur depends upon the condition of the patient’s spine, their job, and other lifestyle activities.



Think of your spinal adjustments like maintaining your car. It’s recommended that you change your car’s oil every 3,000 or so miles. For how long you ask? For as long as you have the car! While some individuals drive 3,000 miles in a week, others do so in a month or two. The point is, however, that we change our oil on a regular basis. The same goes for caring for your spine. Whether to get adjusted weekly or monthly depends on each patient’s specific health condition. Remember, “An ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure!” Don’t let your car’s engine fall out before changing its oil!



Chiropractors are not real doctors.


 


Chiropractors comprise the second largest health care profession with over 50,000 practitioners in the US alone. They earn the title “doctor” along with medical doctors, osteopaths, and dentists.



The educational process leading becoming a Chiropractor is quite similar to that of a Medical Doctor and Osteopath. In order to earn a degree in Chiropractic, a student must meet the relevant secondary education requirements in terms of completion of subjects such as English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, etc and they are then required to sit an interview to be accepted into the Chiropractic Course.

A Chiropractor undergoes five years of full time training to attain a double degree at University. The Chiropractic course structure (changed at RMIT Victoria as of 2003), is an initial 3 year Bachelor of Science Degree covering subjects such as anatomy, biomechanics, pathology, nutrition, radiology, pharmacology, neurology, physiology, etc. At the completion of this 3 years the student is then required to undergo a 2 year Masters of Chiropractic; it is only possible for a student to practice Chiropractic if they have completed this full 5 years of study.



Within the final Masters degree, Chiropractic Students undergo clinical training at specified student clinics, where they are responsible for patients care under the supervision of qualified Chiropractors. The chiropractic student’s last year also allows the opportunity to undertake a clinical internship (similar to MD or Osteopath “rotations”), providing all requirements at student clinics have been met. During this time the chiropractic intern, under the supervision of a licensed Chiropractor, will consult, examine & treat patients in a clinic setting. Upon graduation and earning the Chiropractic degree, a clinical proficiency exam must be passed in order to practice.

Chiropractic students study many of the same textbooks as medical and osteopathic students. As a matter of fact, a chiropractic student accumulates more course hours in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics (how the body moves), neurology, and nutrition than their medical and osteopathic colleagues! Your chiropractors’ knowledge in the field of health is vast and is continually advanced by attending annual conferences.


 

Who Was Dr. Gonstead?

In the early 1960's word was spreading throughout the world that there was a healer in a small farming community in Wisconsin to whom people of all ages, and walks of life, were flocking. Who was this man and what was his method?

 

 

The man was Clarence S. Gonstead. He became a chiropractor in 1923 following a personal experience with chiropractic that had helped his body heal from a painful, crippling episode of rheumatoid arthritis. With a background in mechanical engineering, he would come to apply the principles of this discipline to the evaluation of the spine. As part of a life long study of the spine, he would often fly his private plane to Indianapolis to dissect, study, stain, photograph and then reconstruct cadaver spines at Lincoln Chiropractic College.



Based on his studies, he developed the "foundation principle" to explain how a fixation in one area of the spine created compensatory biomechanical changes and symptoms in another. He was a pioneer in the chiropractic profession, developing equipment and a method of analysis that used more than one criterion to verify the precise location of vertebral subluxation (A subluxation is a spinal bone that is fixated or "stuck" resulting in nerve pressure and interfering with the innate ability of the body to maintain health).

Considering his system, in light of current knowledge, it is surprising that the concept of adjusting the spine only if and when there is a fixation has not been universally accepted. Gonstead started in the 1940's, "Therein lies the uniqueness of my work - The Gonstead Technique has a specific application on the affected segment or segments only." His approach is often summarized by the phrase he coined, “Find the subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it and leave it alone”. The common sense, evident in his work, is further summarized in another phrase that he often used: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

It's All In The Research

Gone are the days when it could be said that Chiropractic care is ‘unscientific’. A RAND Study led by Dr Paul Shekelle (a MD at UCLA) revealed “Spinal manipulation is the most commonly used conservative treatment for back pain supported, by the most research evidence of effectiveness in terms of early results and long-term effectiveness”. The study went on to say that Chiropractors treated twice as many back pain patients as medical doctors for 30% of the cost!



The MEDSTAT Project lead by Miron Stano, PhD (health care economist and professor) analysed a database consisting of almost 400,000 chiropractic patients. The results were astonishing! Health plans that had limited or no chiropractic coverage had the highest total costs per patient! Moreover, broader coverage of chiropractic services results in dramatically lower health care costs as follows:



  • 35% lower hospital admission rates

  • 42% lower inpatient payments

  • 23% lower total health care costs


The UTAH Study evaluated 3,062 separate work related injuries and found that chiropractic care was more cost-effective than medical care, and returned patients to work 10 times sooner than those under medical care!



It doesn’t take a scientist to see that chiropractic care is no longer just an alternative treatment method, but instead a vital part of the health care system!



Sources:
1.    Shekelle, PG, et al. “the Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain.” 1991; RAND/ UCLA, Santa Monica, CA. Monograph No. R-4025/2-CCR/FCER.
2.    Stano, M, PhD, et al. MEDSTAT Data Base Review. The Journal of American Health Policy. 1992; Vol. 2, No.6.
3.    Jarvis, K.B., et al. “Cost per Case Comparison of back Injury Claims of Chiropractic versus Medical Management for Conditions with Identical Diagnostic Codes.” Journal of Occupational Medicine, 1991; Vol.33, August, pp. 847-851.

Needing Surgery

The New England Journal of Medicine reported that surgery is overused for the treatment of back pain! If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, don’t rush off to get surgery.



The New England Journal of Medicine reported that surgery is overused for the treatment of back pain! If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, don’t rush off to get surgery. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that surgery is often overused for the treatment of back pain! In fact, the rate of all types of back surgery is more than 40% higher in the US than in any other country.



Furthermore, it should be noted that surgery does not always improve the outcome and in some cases can even make the condition worse.



There is considerable evidence supporting the use of conservative, non-surgical treatments for back pain. Consult with your Doctor of Chiropractic to see if conservative care to correct the cause of your lower back pain is an appropriate option for you.



Source: Deyo R, Weinstein J, et al. Low Back Pain. The New Eng J of Med. 2001:344(5), pp363-369.

The Stress Factor

All organisms are continually subjected to stress. Whether it be stress of fear, stress of pleasure, stress of toxicity, stress of temperature change, stress of emotional change, in fact any experience that we have in life is a stress on our body.



All organisms are continually subjected to stress. Whether it be stress of fear, stress of pleasure, stress of toxicity, stress of temperature change, stress of emotional change, in fact any experience that we have in life is a stress on our body. It therefore would seem reasonable to assume, if one can accept that stress is a normal part of life they should therefore be able to adapt accordingly. Problems only arise when organisms or people are unable to adapt to these stressors. We have all heard of the natural “Fight or Flight” syndrome which presents in times of stress, particularly when in a danger type scenario where you have two choices—to fight or flight.



The nervous system in times like this, will trigger through the pituitary gland, a hormone called adreno-corticotrophic hormone (ACTH). This immediately reacts on the adrenal gland, travels through the blood stream, causing secretion of corticoids and adrenalin. These hormones promote heart rate, pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, increase blood sugar, and increase muscle function. This all occurs in a very small time frame whilst you decide which of the two choices you will take.



The importance of these processes occurring is that your body has immediately become equipped for increased physical activity. The adrenalin flowing through the blood stream would be utilized by the muscles in the body for quicker production of energy to give a greater degree of function to those particular muscles. Once this reaction has occurred the chemicals produced naturally within the muscles will neutralize the effect of the adrenalin and restore blood chemistry to normal, with disposal of resultant chemical waste through normal processes. 

Every minute of every day in our lives, some part of our body is subjected to stress, which through normal channels feed back to the brain causing our hormonal functions to be continually changing and maintaining a condition of homeostasis. Therefore to have a healthy life, nothing must deviate from the norm. If it does, we enter a state of dis-ease which then causes illness, etc. Coming back to the fundamentals of chiropractic—too much or too little will causes sickness. Accumulating excess waste products need to be eliminated, the undue depletion of indispensable ingredients compensated. Dr Gonstead recognized that several disease processes were caused from continued, or significant stress thereby causing imbalance within the body. By ensuring your nervous system is functioning at it’s optimum, you ensure correct production and elimination of hormones and toxins.

Why Does My Back Ache?

US department of Labor estimates that 100 million work days per year are lost due to back pain!



Carrying the kids on your shoulders, cleaning the floors, lifting groceries out of the car, or a little extra up front (that’s the pendulous abdominal syndrome). Lifting, bending and twisting, or worse yet, sitting all day at work. Add to this a slip and fall or a previous car accident and it’s not difficult to understand why studies show that approximately 80% of Australians will suffer from lower back pain at some time in their life. Many times back pain begins after just bending to pick up a pencil. Now, it’s not the pencil causing your back pain, but rather your lower back’s structure (meaning the muscles, joints, discs, and vertebrae) has lost its normal functioning, and therefore could not provide the necessary support to your spine. Chiropractors dedicate themselves to finding the cause of your lower back pain. Combining your spinal adjustments with proper exercises, stretches, and a well balanced diet are the keys to reducing or eliminating your lower back pain. Chiropractors are the most proficient and skilled in treating lower back pain!



Source: Cassidy, J.D., et al, “Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Low-Back Pain.” Canadian Family Physician. 1985; Vol. 31 pp. 535-540.

Pain in the Neck

Your neck was created with a built-in shock absorber.



Imagine trying to balance a bowling ball on a stick. To make it more difficult, tilt the stick forward while trying to maintain balance of the bowling ball. That’s what it’s like trying to support your head on your neck if it loses its natural curve!



Your neck was created with a built-in shock absorber called a curve or lordosis. This was formed by design because the curve acts like a spring and absorbs the shock of your head resting on your neck. Think of the same bowling ball now resting on a large spring…can you see and feel the difference?

When your neck loses its curve, the ligaments supporting your neck become stretched and lose their ability to maintain the curve. This can occur from a motor vehicle accident, chronic poor posture or uncorrected vertebral subluxation complexes.



Once your neck has lost its normal curve, your neck and shoulder muscles attempt to hold your head in the proper position. Unfortunately they were not created for this and they tire easily. Unless you decide to let your head drop into your lap, your neck muscles will have to continue holding up your head long after becoming fatigued. That’s precisely when muscle spasms occur, and tightness begins in your neck and shoulders.

Ask your Doctor of Chiropractic to assist you in restoring your neck’s normal curvature. This can include stretches and exercises, and an orthopedic pillow created specifically for maintaining the proper curve in your neck.

The 'Pinched Nerve' & 'Disc Herniations"

The lumbar intervertebral disc is divided into 2 parts: (1) an inner nucleus pulposus and (2) an outer annulus fibrosus. The annulus fibrosus fibers intercross forming a strong resistance to rotational forces, and the nucleus acts as a ball bearing in terms of the vertebra tilting forward or backward on. Between two vertebrae and the intervertebral disc is the intervertebral foramen whereby the spinal nerves exit. On the inner aspect of the vertebra is the vertebral canal where the spinal cord runs.



The most common cause for a true “pinched nerve” is a disc herniation. A herniated disc is sometimes, although not accurately, called a slipped disc, and is a cause of severe back pain and sciatica. A disc “herniates” when the annulus fibres become damaged. It can be either contained (the annulus fibres remain intact) or not contained (outer annulus failure allows prolapse into the vertebral canal). When there is a subluxation present causing the disc damage, it causes a local inflammatory response, which will put pressure onto the nerve exiting the intervertebral foramen, and if not contained, it can put added pressure on the inner vertebral canal and nerve roots.



Special testing such as CT scans or MRI’s are recommended to assess the severity of the disc disorder, and can be very helpful in determining the best treatment plan.



Your Doctor of Chiropractic is very proficient in analyzing and managing a disc herniation with great success.



For information on nutritional support whilst healing from a disc herniation, please ask your Chiropractor or Chiropractic Assistant (CA) for our Guide to Nutritional Supplements.

Do I Have Arthritis?

Many people suffering from arthritis pain find relief with glucosamine!



Arthritis is a general term meaning “joint inflammation”. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA). There are several causes for OA, such as trauma as a child or young adult, postural imbalances, repetitive stress, and heavy manual labor to name a few. It is also possible that long standing vertebral subluxation complexes may cause degenerative joint disease or arthritis.



There are two major classifications of arthritic conditions, inflammatory (such as rheumatoid arthritis), and non-inflammatory (such as osteoarthritis). The most common medical treatment for OA is over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. NSAIDs have many side effects with chronic use, such as ulcers. Recently the pharmaceutical industry launched two NSAIDs, Vioxx and Celebrex boasting the fact that they don’t irritate the stomach lining. However, some patients do complain of headaches when taking these medications.



Most Americans are familiar by now with a natural supplement called glucosamine. It is a very good alternative to NSAIDs for controlling joint pain. Many studies on glucosamine versus ibuprofen have performed, and they reveal that after 6 weeks glucosamine actually works better for joint pain relief than  ibuprofen.



For information on natural nutritional support for arthritis, please ask your Chiropractor or Chiropractic Assistant (CA) for our Guide to Nutritional Supplements.

What Kind of Headache?

Headaches are the #1 reason consumers use over the counter drugs!



Almost all people experience a headache at some time in their lives. One study estimates that over 50 million people in the US suffer from Headaches! Although most headaches do not indicate serious illness, they are a major cause of suffering and missed worked, and rank as one of the most common reasons people consult a doctor. The International Headaches Society has actually classified 129 different types of headaches! The most common headaches come from the muscles (muscle tension), blood vessels (migraines), joints (from the neck, called cervicogenic), or systemic conditions (such as with fevers or low blood sugar).



Chiropractors have had considerable success in relieving the cause of headache pain. If you suffer from headaches, you owe it to yourself and your family to have them evaluated for their cause. The only thing you have to lose is your pain!



Source:
1.    Evaluation of the patient with non-traumatic headache: an evidence based approach. Adam G. Field, MD, Ernest Wang, MD. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America, vol. 17, no. 1, Feb. 1999.
2.    Nilsson N, Christiansen HW, Hartvigsen J. The effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of cervicogenic headache, JMPT, June 1997, vol. 20, no.5, pp 326-30.

Chronic Sports Injuries

Sports injuries are common in today’s active society. Due to increases in athletes’ size, speed, power and strength, greater stress is placed upon an athlete’s muscles, tendons and ligaments. The key to properly treating a chronic sports injury is to identify the complete cause, not simply to treat the injured area.



If an individual suffers from multiple chronic sports injuries, dehydration must be ruled out. This is found in individuals that have a tendency to sweat more than average. In this case, increasing water intake is good, but not sufficient to ward off potential injuries. Electrolyte balance is very important because sweat contains salts that must be replaced. When the body is dehydrated and imbalanced from an electrolyte standpoint, pulled muscles are very common.



Chronic sports injuries are often due to overuse syndromes. In year-round warm climates, like California and Florida, athletes can play the same sport throughout the year making overuse and repetitive stress injuries such as tendonitis (painful inflammation of the tendons), and arthritis (joint inflammation) commonplace.



For information on nutritional support to aid healing, please ask your Chiropractor or Chiropractic Assistant (CA) for our Guide to Nutritional Supplements.

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