One of my Favorite Quotes: "The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease." - attributed to Thomas Edison. I feel like this may be the best quote to talk about chiropractic. Chiropractic has been around for over a 115 years. Although it has evolved itself by incorporating many additional principles such as rehabilitation and physiotherapy, the basics are still much of the same.
Chiropractic starts with a basic principle, normalize joint mechanics. Basically, the goal is to balance movement between the joints and muscles from top to bottom, left to right, and front to back. By allowing your body to move without restriction (or at least minimal restriction), you stop compensatory patterns and habits from occurring. A basic example is a sprained ankle. If you sprain your right ankle, what will you automatically do without consciously thinking? You will shift your weight to your left side and walk with a limp taking most of the pressure off of the affected ankle. Now after a few days (or weeks if severe) you may feel normal again, but are your really? What if you stood on two weight scales, do you think your weight would be distributed equally? Often even after years of recovery, if a patient does not properly rehabilitate the injured area, they will continue to distribute their weight unevenly. If left unchecked, this will lead to ankle, knee, hip, or lower back issues due to the years of compensation. Below, I have some of the most common conditions that I treat in my office. If you are currently suffering from pain and need additional information, please do not hesitate to call or email me personally.
Common Conditions Treated:
Low Back Pain
Chiropractic has provided care for more than 100 years for back pain sufferers. Over the past 25 plus years, numerous studies have provided positive research that confirms that chiropractic manipulation provides one of the most cost-effective effective solutions for lower back pain. It also boasts one of the lowest incident rates for negative outcomes! Many people will try to medicate pain with over-the-counter or prescription medicines that alter the way you feel. Others may try "sleeping it off" or "stretching through the pain" with only limited results. Still others will go the most invasive and life-changing route and have surgery. One thing any patient should consider is risk and relief they will get with their decision. A comprehensive plan including chiropractic, rehabilitation, and the appropriate daily living changes will give you long-term pain relief without the risks of complications from medications or life-altering surgery.
Neck pain is one of the most common issues that we treat at our office. Whether you woke up with a crick in your neck that just won't go away or you've had this pain for years. Acute neck pain can arise from a quick turn, a sudden jerk reaction, a recent fall or slip (even if you don't hit the ground), or a car accident. Often times it is very painful and limits your ability to move and often puts you at more risk to drive or participate in activities. Neck pain may also be chronic from an old accident you had as a teenager or a sports injury that was no cared for and rehabilitated properly at the time of the incident. Worried about the risk of chiropractic? We will provide the necessary screening tests to ensure your safety is our number one priority. For more information, you may also check out http://www.masschiro.org/Research.php?topic=14&story=110. Regardless of how your neck pain started, take the first step in fixing it with a consultation at our office.
The disc is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. The soft jellylike center is contained by layers of fibrous tissues. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. When healthy, discs allow normal bending and turning without pressure developing on the spinal nerves.
Since spinal discs have a poor blood supply, they depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc deteriorates. Like a wet sponge, a healthy disc is flexible. A dry sponge is hard, stiff, and can crack easily. This is how many disc problems begin.
Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebra above and below it, a disc cannot "slip" as commonly thought. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause disc material to bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture and become separated from the disc totally. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. It may create pain in your low back, pelvis, groin, hips, and even down your legs to your toes! It should also be noted that a disc buldge will NOT be symptomatic on every patient. Meaning, because an MRI shows a disc buldge, it may not necessarily indicate that the disc is the origin of the pain.
While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing conservative chiropractic care. Also, when evaluating back pain treatment options, it is valuable to understand, conservative care can begin immediately after an injury. You will also be given a treatment plan that includes parameters for your comfort and safety. However, if your case is not appropriate for care, Dr. Hecht will provide you with a list of medical experts that will be able to assist you in your care.
Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a car that is struck from behind or that collides with another object. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments that support the spine and head can be overstretched or torn. Further, the soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear or rupture. Subsequent to the disc injury, the vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion, and causing neck or back pain and stiffness. It is important to note, that in some individuals, pain will not start until two to three days following the accident! More importantly, even if the car shows very little to mild damage, that does not give you any indication to the extent of your injuries. You should always seek the advice of a professional following a car crash or motor vehicle accident to evaluate soft tissue or joint injuries. These injuries if left untreated can cause headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulder, arms and hands, lower back pain, sciatica, as well as a reduced ability to turn and bend in either the neck or lower back.
The chiropractic treatment for automobile injuries uses specific chiropractic adjustment to help return spinal function, while decreasing pain and restoring range of motion. After a thorough examination, case history, and possibly x-rays, Dr. Charles Hecht will recommend a series of visits to help restore proper motion and position of the spinal bones. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized. For relief of neck pain quickly and effectively, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible following an injury. If left for days or weeks, the neck or back pain will usually be worse, as well as the muscle memory for the joints will be altered and often times cause a delay in returning to symptom-free living.
Consult a Doctor of Chiropractic before enduring constant headaches, starting addictive pain medication, or worst of all, not doing anything. Dr. Charles Hecht and the staff of Partners in Health & Wellness is here to help efficiently alleviate your pain from car accidents. Don't wait for the pain to become chronic, act today to eliminate these problems.
Arthritis is a condition characterized by the gradual breakdown of joint or disc cartilage, most common in the weight bearing joints of the body such as the knees, hips, and the neck or back. As the joint is broken down it can lead to symptoms like pain, swelling, and joint stiffness and may increase strain on the muscles in that effected area. Additionally, as joint function changes it can lead to movement compensations and place strain on other areas of the body. For example, spraining your left ankle, causes more stress on the right foot/ankle, knee, and hips. Although degenerative changes are more common with age, they do not automatically result in pain. Research now shows that it is not the degeneration of the disc and joint that is responsible for pain but the effects of the degeneration such as increased inflammation, reduced motion, and decreased space for the nerve as it exists the spinal cord.
At Partners in Health & Wellness, we focus on the restoration function. We reach this goal by emphasizing joint movement through chiropractic care while re-educating the muscles to support and stabilize the affected joints. In addition, we assess the body as a whole to uncover other compensatory movement abnormalities that may be affecting the painful and degenerated area(s).
Joints of the body need to move. When this movement becomes restricted and normal motion is altered it causes a biomechanical chain reaction. Most commonly joint dysfunction results in pain, stiffness, muscle tightness, cartilage breakdown/degeneration, and movement compensation leading to undue stress on other areas of the body. Joint dysfunction are common in the spine and the extremities and can commonly occur with injury, poor posture, muscles tightness, scar tissue, or muscles imbalance.
The doctor will assess movement of the joints to feel for areas of altered or restricted movements. Once identified, the abnormal movement can be restored using a combination of chiropractic joint adjustments and ART. Whenever possible simple home exercises are demonstrated to facilitate and maintain proper motion in key areas. Underlying factors such as poor posture and muscle imbalance often need to be addressed in cases of chronic or recurrent joint dysfunction.
Neck/Low Back Pain
Subluxations (misalignments of the spinal vertebrae) are one of the most common causes of neck and low back pain. When vertebrae are misaligned, they cause an increase in swelling or inflammation, which then puts pressure on the spinal nerves. This nerve pressure then causes symptoms such as pain, muscle spasms, changes in hot/cold sensation, tingling, numbness, sciatica, and many others. With nerve irritation also comes a decrease in the normal range of motion and the cycle then starts over perpetuating your symptoms. Often times stretching and massage may only temporarily relieve the pain, because the cause (subluxation) has not been addressed. A chiropractic adjustment focuses on correcting the cause (the subluxation) and reduces your symptoms and allows you to return to the activities you love most.
As much as 80% of today's most common headaches originate from improper motion and inflammation in the neck (cervical spine). The reason is simple, stress. With an increased amount of tension in the neck and shoulders comes an increased pressure at the base of the skull. If the problem is not corrected, it will usually get worse and lead to further decrease in neck mobility, headaches, and pain or burning between the shoulder blades. Most commonly, patients will describe this pain beginning shortly after lunch as the sit behind a desk for several hours without changing position. Then by 4:00 pm, their pain becomes almost unbearable and they have to rely on an over-the-counter pain medicine to get them through the work day.
With cervicogenic (neck origin) headaches, a person usually feels pain starting at the base of the skull which radiates into the temples, eyeballs, and forehead. From there, the middle back starts to tighten (pain or burning sensation) to try and compensate for the neck, further compromising the individual's posture. Only with the proper treatment will a person be able to attain neck pain relief.
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve originating in the lower back and extending down the back of the leg. When this nerve is irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, weakness, or other symptoms in the lower back and down the leg. There are several possible causes of this condition. A misaligned vertebra can cause inflammation of the joints, putting pressure on the nerve. Bulging discs and muscle spasms can also cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Several other conditions may cause this symptom, so a complete evaluation would be needed to correctly asses the exact cause.
A pinched nerve is just that. It is a severely compressed nerve, usually caused by a misaligned vertebra. When nerves get pinched they become severely inflamed and muscles may spasm, causing even more discomfort. The pain is usually so severe that you can't move that part of the body and it can cause other symptoms as well There can be several causes of the pinched nerve; a proper examination is needed to determine the exact cause.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
These days millions of Americans have jobs which can have damaging effects on the hands and arms. Repetitive movements which are not performed with good ergonomics in mind can cause micro-trauma to the hands and wrists. This trauma combined with joint dysfunction and spinal problems may result in a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve which is affected travels from the tips of the fingers through the wrist up the arm and into the neck connecting to the spinal cord. If one or more of these structures are affected, symptoms of wrist pain, numbness, weakness, burning and loss of muscle function can occur.
Chiropractic can assure that all of the joints and muscles along the path of the nerve are free of obstruction and functioning normally, thus reducing nerve irritation.
Millions of people who suffer from a wide variety of conditions,including allergies, have seen the benefits of both chiropractic care and acupuncture. Although chiropractic is not an allergy treatment, it relieves nerve irritation that can cause an excess release of histamines. Acupuncture will also bring about an improved level of homeostasis, thus reducing the body's abnormal allergic response and reducing your symptoms like stuffy nose, headaches above or behind the eyes, and swelling around the eyes and nose.
By reducing stress on the nervous system, both chiropractic and acupuncture permits the immune system to function more effectively-something all allergy sufferers need. A nervous system without stress functions more efficiently. Recent understandings in psychoneuroimmunology reveal that when the nervous system functions better the immune system benefits.
Fibromyalgia is a controversial and complicated condition to understand. For proper diagnosis and treatment, a wide variety of factors need to be considered including "head-to-toe" joint and muscle function, nutrition, and lifestyle issues. A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing, as well as other specialized tests, will help to determine the exact causes of your symptoms and your individualized treatment plan. Very often, a comprehensive treatment program addressing all of these issues leads to significant improvement.
Joint and soft tissue manipulation is often very helpful in relieving the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and related conditions. Other treatment options may include ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation, acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, and massage therapy & myofascial release techniques. These procedures, combined with nutritional & herbal medicine, and/or homeopathy constitute a comprehensive, holistic approach. Although researchers are still a long way from finding a "cure" for fibromyalgia, chiropractic care is usually very successful in the effective management of this condition. However, if after examination we conclude that your case cannot be helped with conservative care, a prompt referral will be made.
While chiropractic care and acupuncture can help with any number of symptoms and problems, we have listed out some of the more common conditions that you may recognize in yourself or others. If you are experiencing any of these problems, please contact us for an appointment today (919) 933-8633.
Partners in Health & Wellness Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Chiropractic Acupuncture Massage