How Chiropractic Care Can Relieve Your Back Pain

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

Nearly one half of working Americans have experienced back pain in the last year. That’s a lot of aching backs. Taking prescription pain pills has become a common practice for chronic back pain, but this only temporarily relieves the symptoms and can cause more severe problems done the line. Chiropractic care can provide relief for back pain as well as improve your overall health. Here’s how.

 

How does it work?

Chiropractic care involves a Chiropractor using specific techniques to adjust any misalignments in your spine that may be causing your back pain. Spinal manipulations, called “adjustments,” are performed on particular areas of your body, including the neck, back, and hips, all to help alleviate pain and promote overall health.

 

How often do I need to see my chiropractor for pain relief?

Your treatment plan, including the frequency of your appointments, will depend on your specific needs. Your chiropractor will assess your pain using x-rays, examinations, and range of motion tests to determine what treatment will relieve your pain. Your appointments may be frequent at first, even 2 to 3 times a week, until you begin to make progress.

 

Besides adjustments, what else will a Chiropractor do for pain relief?

Besides performing specific adjustments to your body using a drop table, your chiropractor may also use Digital Thermography, a type of technology that allows your doctor to see if your body is healing correctly. This ensures that your treatment will work as quickly and efficiently as possible. Your chiropractor may also recommend stretching exercises that you can do at home to enhance your treatment and help relieve your back pain.

 

If you suffer from back pain, either chronic or caused by an accident or injury, make an appointment at Point Pleasant Chiropractic as soon as possible. The sooner you begin your treatment, the sooner you’ll have relief from your back pain.

Tips to Protect Your Back When Shoveling Snow

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

None of us like to do it, but shoveling snow is a necessity in New Jersey winters. The truth is, shoveling snow can be a good workout if you do it correctly. But when not done properly, shoveling can lead to serious injury. Here are some tips to protect your back when shoveling snow.

Use the Right Kind of Shovel

Before we get into the proper form while shoveling, it’s essential to have the right type of shovel for the job. A shovel with a curved handle will allow you to stand as upright as possible while you shovel, minimizing the need to bend forward and strain your back. Also, the lighter the shovel, the better, so look for a high-quality shovel made from lightweight material. The lighter the weight you have to lift with each pile of snow, the fewer chances of muscle strain.

Warm Up First

Treat shoveling like any other exercise, warm up your muscles first. Do some gentle stretching for a few minutes followed by some walking or jogging in place. You’re less likely to sustain an injury with warmed muscles.

Lift with Your Legs 

When lifting piles of snow on your shovel, lift the weight with your leg muscles and not your back. Bend your hips and knees and focus your strength in the muscles of your legs. Never lift a load of snow that is heavier than you can handle. It might take longer, but lifting smaller piles of snow will ensure you don’t put any unnecessary strain on your lower back muscles.

Consider Other Options

If you have back problems and don’t want to risk injuring yourself by shoveling, there are other options. Consider investing in a snow blower or hiring someone to do the work for you. A little extra money is worth saving you from additional back pain.

If you’ve recently hurt your back from shoveling snow, make an appointment with your chiropractor right away.

What Is The Pierce Results System

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Here at Point Pleasant Chiropractic, we use a chiropractic technique called the Pierce Results System. Let’s take a closer look at this technique and how it works.

What is the Pierce Results System?

The Pierce Results system, which was formally known as the Pierce/ Stillwagon or PST, was created by Vernon Pierce. The system uses biomechanics and spine kinematics to determine spinal function loss.

How does the system work?

There are four curves to your spine. When there is structural integrity loss to any of these curves, it can cause subluxation in the vertebra. The Pierce system locates the specific segments that are subluxated so that your chiropractor can address these particular segments.

How does the Pierce system differ from other chiropractic methods?

The Pierce system is a specific way of analyzing spinal alignment. Although all chiropractic care is effective overall, we feel using the Pierce system allows us to treat each patient more effectively.

Will the system work for me?

Using the Pierce system allows your chiropractor to individualize your care plan according to your specific spinal needs. A customized plan leads to faster, more effective results. When a practitioner uses a generalized, generic approach on all patients, minimal results are shown. The Pierce system focuses on taking care of individual spinal segments so that total spine health can be possible long term.

How long will it take to see results?

The Pierce system is extremely effective, but in order to see results, you need to keep all your chiropractic appointments and follow your doctor’s advice. Since the system uses a specific plan for each area of your spine that is subluxated, regular and frequent visits may be needed in order for successful results.

If you have any questions about the Pierce Results System, ask your chiropractor and make an appointment today.

The Use of Digital Thermography

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Many chiropractors use heat graphs combined with more traditional chiropractic devices. The use of this tool is called Digital Thermography. So what is Digital Thermography and what are the benefits?

Heat Patterns

A heat graph can detect heat patterns in your body using infrared technology. Every cell in your body gives off heat, and when a cell is functioning abnormally, it gives off a different type of heat than a healthy cell. A heat graph shows where these abnormally functioning cells are located in your body, giving your chiropractor a better idea of the source of your pain.

Pain and Healing

By using a heat graph, your chiropractor can not only plan more effective care for your individual needs but also be able to track the progress of the treatment plan. If an area of your body is not healing properly, the heat graph will show it, and your chiropractor can adjust accordingly. Pain patterns can vary for injuries, meaning pain coming from one area of the body might be coming from a source in a different area. Heat graphs act as a tool to find the true source of pain so it can be addressed appropriately.

Pain Tracking

With the use of a heat graph, your chiropractor will be able to track your pain after every appointment. Assessing your progress is an integral part of any care plan.

More Effective Appointments

Scientific studies have shown that the use of digital thermography can reduce the amount of care needed by almost 70%. This means you can have fewer appointments, saving time and money. It also means less energy wasted on adjustments or pressures that may not be effectively improving your overall health.

If you are suffering from chronic pain and haven’t been able to find relief from other therapies, ask your chiropractor about digital thermography. When combined with other chiropractic therapies, you will see a significant decrease in your pain.

The Best Mattress For Your Back Pain

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

An old worn out mattress can wreak havoc on your back. If you often wake up with back pain or suffer from muscle aches and pain throughout the day, your mattress could be the culprit. If you think it may be time for a new mattress, here are some tips to find one that’s right for you.

Balance Between Soft and Firm

The key to finding the best mattress to help relieve your back pain is to find a balance between softness for comfort and firmness for support. A mattress that is too soft will sink in from the pressure of your body and leave your spine and joints unsupported, leading to back pain. However, a mattress that is too firm will provide too much resistance to the heavier parts of your body like the hips and shoulders and cause further pain. The trick is to find a mattress that is soft enough for your comfort level but still provides a sufficient amount of support for your back, shoulders and hips. 

High-Quality Foam 

For the perfect balance between soft and firm, a high-quality foam mattress is your best bet. Memory foam molds to your body providing support where it’s needed and comfort throughout. Traditional spring mattresses are generally too rough on joints and sore muscles, causing back pain or increasing already existing pain. Springs also cause the body to move into an unnatural position, disrupting sleep and causing strain to your muscles. 

Benefits All Sleep Positions

Whether you sleep on your back, side or stomach, a high-quality memory foam mattress will support your body in all positions. This makes it a top choice for couples who may sleep differently but are still looking for relief from muscle pain.

Besides having a quality mattress, keeping up with your chiropractic appointments is important to avoid long-term body aches and pain. If you have any questions about finding the right mattress for you, talk to your chiropractor.

Choosing The Right Pillow for Your Sleeping Position

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Sleep is important. The right amount of sleep is essential for not only spinal health but overall health. But it’s not just important to get enough hours of sleep at night; it should be quality sleep. Sleeping on a pillow that doesn’t offer enough support for your sleeping position can lead to neck pain, headaches and an insufficient amount of sleep at night. Here is how to choose the right pillow for your sleeping position.

Side Sleeper

The majority of the population are side sleepers. Sleeping on your side with your knees bent slightly helps keep your neck and spine in neutral positions. The proper pillow for sleeping on your side should be thick enough to fill the gap between your neck and your shoulder. Without enough loft, your neck can sag into the mattress causing strain and muscle tension. A firm, lofty pillow is the best way to get enough support for your neck while keeping your spine aligned. Experiment with a flatter pillow in between your knees to take pressure off your hips and lower back.

Stomach Sleeper

Chiropractors do not recommend this position since sleeping on your stomach causes you to keep your neck at a sharp angle which puts a lot of tension on muscles and ligaments. You should try to break this habit by turning on your side, but if this is not a possibility for you, a flat soft pillow is the best choice. To support the natural curve in your spine, try using another flat pillow under your stomach.

Back Sleeper

While sleeping on your back should be avoided if you snore or have sleep apnea, it is the most natural way to fall asleep. The best pillow for back sleepers should have medium firmness that is lofty enough hold your head up without extending it past its natural curve.

If you have any questions about choosing the right pillow, your chiropractor can help.

Yoga For Back Pain

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Besides regular chiropractic adjustments, there are other things you can do on your own to help relieve your back pain. Exercise has been shown to improve the symptoms of back pain drastically. One of the most effective types of exercise for chronic back pain is yoga. Let’s look at how yoga can help improve your back pain.

Building Strength

Yoga is very effective at building strength in specific muscle groups since the entire practice is dedicated to holding poses for extending periods. Building endurance to hold these poses strengthens muscles, particularly in your abdominal core. When the core is strong, it takes pressure off of your back muscles that may be causing your pain.

Correcting Spinal Alignment

Yoga gently builds muscle, as opposed to other exercises that rapidly increase muscle gain like weightlifting. As you’re gradually building muscle, your back and core become stronger, allowing your spine to naturally align properly.

Combination of Stretching and Relaxation

Every pose in yoga is not only a strengthening move but a stretching one as well. When you stretch a muscle, it allows it to release built-up tension and eases it from a contracted stance. Stretching increases blood flow and allows the whole body to relax. The combination of stretching and relaxations is a huge pain reliever for the entire body, especially the back and spine.

Focus on Breathing

Breathing is a central focus in yoga. Studies have shown that mindful breathing, meaning slow, focused breaths, incorporated with stretching can significantly reduce chronic muscle pain.

When added to a healthy routine of exercise, proper diet and regular chiropractic care, yoga can be an immensely useful tool to help alleviate back pain. If you suffer from chronic back pain, talk to your chiropractor about how yoga could help relieve your symptoms.

How to Alleviate Back Pain Between Chiropractic Appointments

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

Back pain can prevent you from doing everyday activities. Even if you’re seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis, you may still experience pain in between visits. While taking over the counter painkillers is always an option, this should be a last resort. Let’s take a look at some ways to alleviate back pain in between chiropractic appointments.

Light Exercise

This may seem ridiculous when you’re in pain, but some light exercise might actually alleviate any pain you’re feeling in your back. Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it, a short walk or some gentle yoga can go a long way to loosen tight muscles and get your blood flowing which can help ease pain. Regular exercise can also prevent tight muscles that lead to back pain.

Heat and Ice Packs

Studies have shown that heat and cold packs can be just as effective as over the counter pain medication. Ice is most beneficial directly after an injury or muscle strain since it relieves inflammation and has a numbing effect. Remember never to apply ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. Heat is best for tight or stiff muscles and can work especially well on the lower back. Try experimenting with a small electric heating pad on different areas on your back. Using one before bed can also help improve the quality of your sleep.

Stretching

Regular stretching can make an immense difference in pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. Specific stretches for each muscle group are most effective when they’re held for about 30 seconds at a time. Never go past your threshold, just push the stretch to where it feels slightly uncomfortable yet effective. Stretching regularly can also prevent future pain.

Pain Creams

There are several natural pain creams available that help temporarily relieves symptoms you may be experiencing by providing a hot or cold sensation on the skin.

Try these at home remedies if you’re having back pain.

How Your Shoes May Tie Into Your Back Pain

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If you’re experiencing back pain, there could be several different factors causing it. One that you may not be considering is the shoes you wear. We’ve always heard that high heeled shoes can be bad for your back, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Let’s take a closer look at how your shoes may tie into your back pain.

Feet are the Foundation

Your feet are the foundation of your body. They support you when you walk and bear the weight of every step. To support your foundation, you should be wearing proper footwear. The way you move your feet and legs has a profound effect on your spine, so if for example, you don’t have proper arch support, it could lead to pain in your back or hips.

Proper Support

Walking around in flip-flops all summer may sound appealing, but the thin rubber or foam soles barely provide any support at all and can lead to major long-term issues with your back. Supportive shoes do not have to mean expensively customized footwear. A well-made pair of sneakers that fit you well and feel comfortable is adequate to give you proper support.

Pay Attention to Your Arch

The arch of your foot needs to be supported to prevent back pain. There are three general types of foot arch- low, neutral or high. Have your chiropractor tell you which type you have and look for shoes made to support that specific arch.

Inserts and Insoles

An inexpensive way to add extra support to your shoes is to purchase specialty inserts or insoles to provide arch support and comfort. There are several different kinds for every type of foot arch and activity level. Talk to your chiropractor about what kinds would work for you.

If you’ve been experiencing unexplained back pain, talk to your chiropractor about your shoes. You may be surprised about how much they tie into your pain.

Tips to Improve Your Posture at Work

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

Your posture affects your spine health. It could be the culprit for the pain you may be having in your back, neck or shoulders. When you work at an office, sitting at a desk most of the day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Luckily, there are some easy ways to break those bad habits and improve your posture at work. 

Keep Your Ears Aligned with Your Shoulders

It is easy to push your neck forward or downwards while you’re looking at your computer screen or smartphone. Remembering to keep your ears parallel to your shoulders so you can gently correct your neck posture during the day will help make this a permanent thing.

Don’t Cross Your Legs

Crossing your legs while sitting at your desk is a common habit that most of us have. But sitting for long periods with your legs crossed can lead to problems with your knees, hips or lower back. The proper way to sit is with your feet flat on the floor. If this is uncomfortable for you, try propping your feet up on a few books.

Shoulders Up, Chest Out

Sitting with your shoulders up and your chest pressed forward allows your spine to stay in its proper alignment. Try doing shoulder shrug exercises during the day while you’re sitting to make this a familiar posture.

Use a Lumbar Pillow

If you still can’t seem to get into the habit of sitting up straight, a lumbar support pillow might help. This small pillow goes on your chair right at the small of your back and forces your body into the proper position for correct spinal alignment. A rolled-up towel can work in a pinch until you’re able to get a pillow.

Stretch

Making it a habit to get up and stretch your neck, shoulders and back at least every hour can go a long way to improving your posture and preventing pain.