Will My Back Pain Ever Go Away?

A study review of over 11,000 back pain patients found that on average those with low back pain typically still have symptoms as much as a year later.  Some say this is due to the nature of back pain and its high level of recurrence. Part of the problem very well could be in the methods used to treat back pain.

Taking pain medications and receiving care that fails to address the cause and simply attempts to mask symptoms such as pain, does little to fix the problem that caused the pain in the first place.
At the heart of chiropractic care is the focus on identifying and correcting the source or cause of the pain and dysfunction.

With this approach, Hall Chiropractic center has been highly successful at caring for those with both acute and chronic back pain. If you’re suffering from back, neck or spinal pain, take charge of your health and contact Hall Chiropractic Center today.

As this study shows, back pain has a nasty tendency to not go away. It also tends to respond better and have a more favorable outcome when treatment is received earlier than later.

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal, online May 14, 2012

A Little Pillow Talk to Help You Sleep Better

Just as a bad mattress can really do a number on your body, an unsupportive pillow can be equally harmful to your rest and health. Improper rest may lead to a myriad of health issues including weight gain and hormone imbalances. Neck pain, headache and arms tingling or numb are often caused or aggravated by poor sleep postures.

Most people sleep on both their back and side sometime during the night. These are two completely different postures for your neck.

On your back, your pillow should not lift your head up so much that you stare at your toes. The natural forward curve of your neck should be supported so that you’re actually staring at the ceiling. Remember this is a sleep pillow not a watch TV pillow.
While side sleeping, your NECK should be straight. Your pillow should not be so thin or soft that your head is tilted down. This often leads to propping up with an arm during the night. The pillow should also not be so thick as to tilt your head up.

It should be obvious now that a typical pillow is not appropriate for side and back sleeping. At Hall Chiropractic Center we custom fit pillows for each patient putting their spine in the proper posture and allowing for a comfortable, healthful night’s sleep.

Please come by or call us at (803) 412-2240 to discuss pillows or any other health concern with Dr. Hall. He has been helping people live happier, healthier lives for over 25 years.

Suffering From a Whiplash Injury?

Whiplash is a generic term applied to injuries of the neck. Whiplash occurs when the neck is suddenly and/or violently jolted in one direction and then another, creating a whip-like movement. Whiplash is most commonly seen in people involved in motor vehicle accidents, but it can also occur from falls, sports injuries, work injuries, and other incidents.

In a whiplash injury, the neck’s supporting soft tissues (ligaments, muscles and tendons) become stretched beyond their normal working capacity.  The result is called a sprain/strain injury. Ligaments help support, protect and restrict excessive movement of the vertebrae. Injury to them is called a sprain. In addition, the discs between the vertebrae, which are essentially ligaments, can be torn, potentially causing disc herniation. Muscles and tendons obviously move and support the spine. Injury to these is called a sprain and can be quite painful. Even though it is very rare, vertebrae can be fractured and/or dislocated in a whiplash injury.

The most common symptoms of whiplash are pain and stiffness in the front and back of neck. Turning the head often makes the pain and discomfort worse. Headache is another common symptom, seen in more than two thirds of whiplash patients. The pain and stiffness may extend down into the shoulders and arms, upper back, and even the upper chest. In addition to the musculoskeletal symptoms, some patients experience dizziness, difficulty swallowing, nausea, even blurred vision after a whiplash injury. While these symptoms are distressing, they typically disappear within a relatively short time. If they persist, it is important to inform your doctor. Vertigo and ringing in the ears may also be present. Others will complain of irritability, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. In rare cases, symptoms can persist for weeks, months, or even years.
Another important and remarkable aspect of whiplash is that the signs and symptoms often do not develop until 2 to 48 hours after the injury. This scenario is relatively common but not completely understood. Some speculate that it may be due to delayed muscle soreness, a condition seen in other circumstances.

Treatment varies with the individual patient. One of the most important aspects of whiplash treatment and management is for the patient to stay active unless there is some serious injury that requires immobilization. Patients should not be afraid to move and be active within their pain threshold. In our office, we will often prescribe an exercise or stretching program during the healing phase of the injury. It is particularly important to follow this program as prescribed, so that you can achieve the best long-term recovery.

Ice is often used to help control pain and reduce the inflammation that results from whiplash injuries. Chiropractic spinal manipulation and/or mobilization can also give relief in many cases of neck pain. One unfortunate result of a whiplash type injury is Vertebral Subluxation Complex. This is a fancy term for a misalignment and fixation of the joints of your spine. When this happens the nerves that come out between these joints become irritated causing pain and muscle spasm. Untreated, this problem can lead to long-term problems like arthritis, headaches, even pain and tingling down the arms and hands.

Generally speaking, whiplash cannot be “prevented,” but there are some things that you can do while in a motor vehicle that may reduce the chances of a more severe injury. Always wear restraints (lap or shoulder belt) and ensure that the headrest in your vehicle is adjusted to the appropriate height. Whiplash and whiplash associated disorders have become an epidemic in North America.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Institute reports that there were 2,491,000 motor vehicle injuries in 2007.  Research shows that of those injured 52% will develop chronic pain. Early treatment even for what may seem like a minor injury will help prevent the underlying problem from developing into a more serious or long lasting disorder.

Muscle Spasm, Trigger Points and Hall Chiropractic

Did you know that you have 600 muscles in your body? That’s a lot of muscles that can get injured, tight, inflamed and strained resulting in spasm, trigger points and pain.

Muscle spasm can be caused by too much or prolonged exercise, injury, trauma, even dehydration. You may experience twitching, tightening or sharp pain with movement. Spasm can also be your body protecting pinched nerves or even reacting to specific nutritional deficiencies.

After a muscle is injured, a “trigger point” may develop – an area of sensitivity in the affected muscle that can remain long after the injury is healed. Trigger points are commonly called “knots” and are often associated with muscle pain, fibromyalgia, muscle strain, imbalanced postures, repetitive muscle movements (ie, typing at a computer keyboard), and emotional stress.

Traditional medical approach to trigger point pain often includes injections of anesthetics to “numb” the pain. This is only a symptom reliever that does nothing to address the cause of the pain.

Most people with muscle and trigger point pain experience significant improvement after receiving care at Hall Chiropractic Center. Our holistic system of patient care includes massage therapy, posture changes, therapeutic exercises and nutritional support.

To learn more or to schedule a chiropractic consultation, call us today at (803) 412-2240 or visit us online at http://fortmill-chiropractor.com.