Are you experiencing neck or back pain?
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Generally when a patient presents to the office if neck or back pain, a thorough history and exam is performed. Most likely we will refer you out for x-rays to rule out any pathologies, to further evaluate the patient vertebral alignment and to identify any degenerative joint / arthritis or disc space compression conditions. This is done to accurately diagnosis the condition and cause of pain, and to identify if chiropractic care is going to be the most appropriate treatment.
Some background on back and neck pain
The spine consists of 24 vertebra. 7 in the neck (cervical) 12 mid back (thoracic) and 5 low back (lumbar). When we evaluate a patient, we are typically looking for misalignments in the spine also know as “subluxations”. A subluxation can be in the form of a vertebra that is not in alignment with the segments above and below, or they could be visually in alignment but restricted in its mobility. A vertebral subluxation can occur at any level of the spine. When a vertebra is subluxated it can effect the exiting nerve at that level, or the facet joint at that level, both of which result in pain. When a subluxation occurs it almost always effects the surrounding musculature, causing muscle spasms, swelling and inflammation.
Our philosophy in treatment is to treat both aspects, by performing light and specific adjustments to the involved vertebral level (improving alignment and mobility), and also using physiotherapy such as ultrasound, interferential muscle stim and massage therapy to help with the muscle aspect.
If we do suspect a cervical or lumbar disc is involved, typically an MRI will be ordered. Based on the severity, we can have very good success with herniated discs especially in lumbar spine by using our cox flexion / distraction table and Thompson drop tables which are designed to alleviate disc compression.