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  • Writer's pictureJohn K Maltby II, D.C.

The 3 Most Common Conditions We Treat

Of all the different types of conditions that present in our office, these 3 are by far the most common. There is a good reason that these 3 are the most common things people see us for or any other Chiropractor for.

Neck Referral Pain Areas
Common Neck Pain Areas

1. Neck Pain

Neck pain can encompass several different sensations, like tightness and spasms in the muscles of the neck. Which can result in a decreased range of motion making it tougher to move the head up and down or turn from side to side. Pain may grow worse when you hold your head in one position or another for long periods of time - for example; spending long hours looking at a computer monitor. Some statistics show that every 27 in 1000 people suffer from some form of neck pain.

Neck pain can spring from many different sources. Sleeping in a bad position, spending long hours driving in a car or working at a desk, or poor posture may become an underlying problem. People who frequently use smart phones or tablets may suffer from what has been termed “text neck.” Nerve compression can result in radiating pain that enters the shoulders and may even extend down the arms. Trauma such as car accidents and sports injuries can also lead to chronic neck pain, along with stress which is another major factor that can provide the basis for tension in the neck.

Low Back Pain
Low Back Pain

2. Low Back Pain

Low back pain has been shown to be one of the most common problems in the USA today, the CDC has shown that almost 60% of people over 18 suffer from some form of low back pain. Many treatments focus on the lower back when the actual cause of the problem may be in the upper spine. The upper neck can be a factor in the development of lower back pain for two reasons. First, the spine works and moves as one, continuous unit. The top two vertebrae, called the atlas and axis, are the most mobile segments in the spine. These two bones move in six different directions, allowing the head to move up or down, bend side to side or turn left to right. The other vertebrae move primarily in two directions, making them stronger and more stable than the top two vertebrae.

Secondly, the upper cervical spine has thousands of “sensors” responsible for maintaining both the proper posture and alignment of the spine, as well as the balance and stability of the head. These sensors are constantly monitoring the head position, making the necessary changes throughout the lower spine to assure that the head remains upright.

When the spine is aligned, it is extremely strong and stable. However, due to their mobility, the top two segments are especially vulnerable to injury or misalignment. When a misalignment occurs at the top of the neck, the spine compensates or adapts in an attempt to protect the vital nervous system it houses. This triggers a chain reaction from the top to the bottom of the spine. When the head is thrown off balance, the lower spine is compromised; the pelvis is tilted, or one leg may be drawn up or shortened, resulting in an internal weakness and a spine that is imbalanced. This chain reaction makes the spinal muscles, bones, and discs more vulnerable to injury – an accident waiting to happen. If neglected, an upper cervical misalignment can lead to premature arthritis and irreversible spinal degeneration.

This does not mean that the low back never needs to be adjusted, it only means that the cause of the discomfort might not be coming directly form the low back.

Common Headache Locations
Common Headache Locations

3. Migraines & Headaches

If you are currently living with migraine headaches, you know the classic symptoms of pain, sensitivity to light or sound, nausea, and vomiting. Some migraine sufferers also experience visual disturbances, numbness, tingling, clumsiness, or have difficulty communicating.

Typical medical treatments include both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. However, if you’ve seen the drug ads on TV or read the Physician’s Desk Reference, you know that all of the common migraine drugs are potentially dangerous and can cause serious side effects.

Migraines can be triggered by a number of factors including stress, excessive light or sound, fatigue, hunger, diet, hormonal changes, weather changes, caffeine, cigarette smoke, head trauma, neck movements, and even the use of a low pillow. However, it is important to understand that these “trigger factors” do not cause migraine headaches. In one national survey it was shown that women are 2 time more likely to have migraine headaches than men.

Dr. Seymour Diamond, Executive Director of the National Headache Foundation, has announced that new imaging techniques now allow scientists to identify what they believe to be a cause of migraines: a malfunctioning brain stem. When the brain stem, located near the top of the neck malfunctions, it increases the swelling of blood vessels surrounding the brain, setting up a chain reaction that results in a migraine headache. Releasing pressure from the brain stem allows the blood to flow properly around that area and helps restore the ability of the brain stem to function properly in its vital role.

If you suffer from any of these 3 common issues do not hesitate to schedule an appointment. Click on the schedule now button at the top of the page to start your journey to be pain free.

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