Franklin Chiropractor | The best option
Cervical Arthritis. Our spine is made up of twenty-four individual vertebra stacked on top of each other. Toallow for flexibility and movement, there is a cushion, or“disc” in between each pair of vertebra. As we age, these discs can wear, becoming progressively thinner over time. This leads to a cycle of arthritic changes, including bone spurs and narrowing of the opening where our nerves exit the spine. Sometimes your nerves can become “pinched” in these narrowed openings. This results in pain, numbness or tingling into your arm along the path of the irritated nerve. This problem is common, affecting half of the population by age 40 and up to 85% percent of the population by age 60, with men affected slightly more often than women. Symptoms of this type of arthritis include pain or numbness in your neck, arm or shoulder area. Neck stiffness, limited range of motion and headaches are common. Some patients report temporary relief when placing their affected hand on top of their head. You should avoid prolonged reading or sustained positions where your head is rotated, laterally flexed or looking up. Avoid any position that causes an increase in radiating pain. Avoid high impact activities, like running, when they cause any increase in pain. Low impact activities like walking, water aerobics and yoga may be helpful. Our TreatmentHere is a brief description of the treatments the franklin chiropractor may use to help manage your problem. 1.Joint Manipulation -Your franklin chiropractor has found joints in your body that are not moving freely. This can cause tightness and discomfort and can accelerate unwanted degeneration i.e. arthritis. Your franklin chiropractor will apply a gentle force with their hands, or with hand held instruments, in order to restore motion to any“restricted” joints. Sometimes a specialized table will be used to assist with these safe and effective “adjustments”. Joint manipulation by your franklin chiropractor improves flexibility, relieves pain and helps maintain healthy joints. 2.Therapy Modalities -The franklin chiropractor may apply electrotherapy modalities that produce light electrical pulses transmitted through electrodes placed over your specific sites of concern. These comfortable modalities work to decrease your pain, limit inflammation and ease muscle spasm. Hot or cold packs are often used in conjunction, to enhance the effect of these modalities. Another available option is therapeutic ultrasound. Ultrasound pushes sound vibrations into tissues. When these vibrations reach your deep tissues, heat develops and unwanted waste products are dispersed. 3.Therapeutic Exercise -Muscle tightness or weakness causes discomfort and alters normal joint function, leading to additional problems. Your franklin chiropractor will target tight or weak muscles with specific therapeutic stretching and strengthening to help increase tissue flexibility, build strength, and ease pain. Healthy, strong, and flexible muscles may help prevent re-injury. Some Things That You Can DoTo Help Yourself1.Exercise- Aerobic -Aerobic exercise requires your heart and lungs to work harder. Aim to get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise daily, 4-6 times per week to help prevent problems ranging from heart disease to back pain. •Start off gradually, and consult your doctor to determine your appropriate level of exercise.
•Vary your activities to prevent overuse injuries. Examples include – Walking, swimming running, bicycling and low impact aerobics. •Work out with a friend for motivation. •Make sure that you are still able to talk while exercising (referred to as the “talk test”).2.Workstation Ergonomics -Ergonomics is the science of adjusting your workstation to minimize strain in the following ways: •Maintain proper body position and alignment while sitting at your desk – Hips, knees and elbows at 90 degrees, shoulders relaxed, feet flat on floor or footrest. •Wrists should not be bent while at the keyboard. Forearms and wrists should not be leaning on a hard edge. •Use audio equipment that keeps you from bending your neck (i.e., Bluetooth, speakerphones, headsets). •Monitors should be visible without leaning or straining and the top line of type should be 15 degrees below eye level. •Use a lumber roll for lower back support. •Avoid sitting on anything that would create an imbalance or uneven pressure (like your wallet). •Take a 10-second break every 20 minutes: Micro activities include: standing, walking, or moving your head in a “plus sign” fashion. •Periodically, perform the “Brugger relief position” -Position your body at the chair’s edge, feet pointed outward. Weight should be on your legs and your abdomen should be relaxed. Tilt your pelvis forward, lift your sternum, arch your back, drop your arms, and roll out your palms while squeezing your shoulders together. Take a few deep cleansing breaths. 3.Pillow Selection -To avoid neck and upper back pain from improper neck support: •Select a pillow that will hold your head in a neutral position while sleeping on your side or back. •Avoid excessively thick or multiple pillows. •Choose a fiberfill or feather/down pillow as these are usually better than foam. •Consider a commercially available pillow that promotes good neck posture. 4.Glucosamine & Chondroitin -Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate are usually formulated together. The combination may help arthritis sufferers. •Take 1500mg of Glucosamine & 1200 mg of Chondroitin daily •After 8 weeks decrease your daily intake to 750 mg/day 5.Exercise- Resistance -Resistance exercise involves pushing and pulling against weights or resistance. Resistance exercise should be performed three to four times a week. Consider the following: •Lifting lighter weights for higher repetitions (12-20) will build strength and endurance. •Lifting heavier weights for fewer reps (6-10) builds strengths but increases risk of injury. •Make sure that you alternate your routine between “pusher” and “puller,” muscles, ideally working them on different days. “Pushers” include: Shoulders, chest, triceps, abs, quadriceps, and calves. “Pullers” include: Biceps, back and posterior shoulder muscles and hamstrings. •Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. 6.Home Heat -Hot packs, hot towels and heating pads may help to temporarily relieve pain and relax muscles by increasing circulation to the tissues below your skin. Heat may decrease stiffness, increase flexibility and improve your range of motion. •Heat should be applied for 10-20 minutes at a time. •Do not sleep with a hot pack overnight or use one for an extended period of time. •Do not use heat for new injuries or “acute” conditions unless directed to do so by our office. 7.Deconditioning – Proper maintenance is required for most things that we care about and this is particularly true of our body. The natural aging tendency to become more sedentary leads to a loss of strength, flexibility, mobility and balance. This will occur as a certainty unless you make a conscious effort to stay in better shape. Relative to your condition, you can count on stronger muscles to provide more suppo rt and stave off fatigue better than weakened ones. You can count on flexible joints to resist strain and ache less if you keep them moving. Every day, you should make an effort to avoid deconditioning- not just for your current problem but for your overall well-being and health. Make time in your day to walk and stretch more. Even little efforts can be very beneficial, like choosing parking spots that require more walking and taking the stairs versus an elevator. Not everyone can expect to become an elite athlete but we can all strive to improve just a little bit every day.