Posts Tagged: vertebrae

Chiropractic Approach to Health – Surrey Chiropractor Treats Degenerative Disc Disease

Disc degeneration is a normal part of aging and not a problem for most people, but for some it can cause severe bouts of acute or chronic pain.

Degenerative disc disease is not actually a disease, but is a condition in which pain is caused from a damaged disc.   In severe cases, pain can become chronic (last longer than three months).

The spinal column consists of 33 vertebrae which protect the spinal cord and provide stability for the torso.  Between each vertebrae is a fibrous bundle of tissue called an intervertebral disc which act as cushions that absorb the shock and pressure associated with normal movement.

The intervertebral discs are made up of two parts: a tough fibrous outer part (called the annulus fibrosis) and the softer gel-like centre (the nucleas pulposis).   As we age, the water content in the nucleas pulpous decreases and the discs begin to degenerate.  This may or may not be painful, but as a result the disc is also more vulnerable to injury or inflammation.

Therefore alignment of the discs, the vertebrae and other structures in the spine can be even more important as we age.  Chiropractic care restore alignment,  improve spinal range of motion, reduce inflammation, and addresses the cause of pain or discomfort associated with degenerative disc disease.

The good news is that most cases of degenerative disc disease do not require surgery.  The chiropractic approach to degenerative disc disease is long term recovery from pain using safe, noninvasive and drug free treatments.  Spinal manipulation, spinal decompression and other manual therapies, combined with therapeutic exercises and lifestyle modifications are aspects of how Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic manages and treats patients with degenerative disc disease.

So while degenerative disc disease is a natural part of aging, it does not mean you have to live with pain.  We have a deep commitment to education to help our patients understand the cause of their pain so that you can eliminate risk of future pain and injury.  Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic can help you return to a healthy, pain-free and active life.

Visit Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic for a full examination, diagnosis and treatment plan.  We can help manage and eliminate chronic pain resulting from degenerative disc disease – even after surgery.

When to Consult a Medical Professional | Doctor or Chiropractor?

Should You Visit a Doctor or a Chiropractor for Back Pain?

Surrey Pain & Wellness Clinic – Doctor or Chiropractor?

Any onset of sudden back pain following heavy work, exercise or minor fall usually results from a simple strain.  This may not be the case for elderly or those who have a history of a serious disease or chronic condition.  In these cases, a visit to your family doctor or local emergency room is recommended, depending on the severity and symptoms.

When to Consult a Doctor for Back Pain

  • Any severe back pain
  • Any trauma, such as a hard fall or a motor vehicle accident (with or without pain)
  • In the elderly or if the person has osteoporosis,  even a minor stumble or fall warrants immediate medical attention
  • Back pain is worse when lying down
  • The pain is accompanied by an unexplained fever
  • Low-level pain that is present for more than a month without any improvement
  • Any back pain and an unexplained weight loss
  • History of cancer
  • Long-term steroid use (this can weaken the bones and increase risk of fractures)
  • Recent onset of urinary tract problems such as pain or burning, increased frequency or infection
  • Back pain accompanied by leg weakness or numbness, the genital area or  buttocks; or accompanied by a change in the ability to urinate or have a bowel movement.  (These may be signs of spinal nerve injury.)

When to Consult a Chiropractor for Back Pain

If you suffer from chronic back pain, a chiropractor may prove to be very useful in relieving symptoms.  Chiropractic adjustments may  be more effective than physical therapy in certain cases or can be complementary to your physical or massage therapy program. On the other hand, if you have been to a physiotherapist, massage therapist, or even if you have had surgery on your back and have not experienced relief or improvement in your symptoms, a knowledgeable chiropractor can make all the difference.

If your pain is especially severe or you have been in chronic pain for more than three months, you may want to call your chiropractor for advice before deciding to head to the clinic in order to determine the best immediate course of action.  It may be best to rest and apply ice before seeking treatment if the pain is acute.  In any case, chiropractic care may prove to be very useful in relieving symptoms.

Many people don’t realize their spine is out of alignment, because symptoms can manifest in other parts of the body or the nervous system.  Treating the spine, which is the master system of the entire body, therefore affects all aspects of the body, including issues with:

  • Upper and lower back
  • Pelvis, hips, knees
  • Shoulders, elbows, wrists
  • Knees, feet, ankles
  • Muscles, ligaments and tendons
  • Soft tissue injuries

How to Find a Chiropractor?

Chiropractors are “primary contact” health care providers, which means you do not have to be referred to one by a physician or anyone else.  You may book the appointment yourself over the phone. Surrey Pain & Wellness Clinic will also book an appointment for you online.

However, as with any other health care professional, referrals from friends and acquaintances are probably the best way to find a chiropractor that you trust.  Treatments and applications do vary between chiropractors, so be sure to ask your chiropractor questions about how he or she can help your specific issue and how long it might be before you expect results.

Surrey Pain & Wellness Clinic will also be providing monthly information sessions about our services called “Let the Healing Begin.”  Call or email for more information.

Your Amazing Back | Understanding Back Pain

What symbolizes hard work, has the thickest skin on the body and yet is the number one cause of pain in adults?

Answer:  Your Amazing Back!

The spine is one of the most important parts of the body.  Without it, we could not stand or even sit upright.    The spine gives our body structure and support and carries the substantial weight of our head.  The spine allows us to move about freely, bend and provides the upper and lower body with range of motion.

The spine is also designed to protect our spinal cord.  The spinal cord is a column of nerves that connects our brain with the rest of our body, allowing us to control movement.  Without the spinal cord, we could not move any part of our body, and the organs of the body simply could not function.

Keeping the spine healthy is vital if we are to live a healthy, active life.  About 60 and 80% of all adults will suffer with back pain at some time in their life, and up to 10% of this group will develop chronic back pain.

Clearly there are many more serious questions on how to deal with chronic pain of any kind, but first it might be helpful to understand the anatomy of the back.

The structures of the back consists of the spine (vertebrae), the joints (facet joints), discs between the vertebrae in the spine and finally the muscles and ligaments that hold it all together.

  • The facet joints provide range of motion in the spine
  • The intervertebral discs work as shock absorbers
  • The back bone supports the body’s weight
  • The vertebrae protect the spinal cord from injury

It is possible for any of these structures to become injured.  The most common injury is a sprain or strain of the ligaments and muscles – usually by a sudden movement or some repetitive strain .

A strain is  a stretching injury of a muscle, while a sprain is the stretch or tear of a ligament.

When a disc becomes injured, it will bulge or even tear.  If a tear in the disc is large enough, it can leak fluids onto the spinal nerve.  This condition is known as a herniated or ruptured disc.

Stiffness and pain caused by muscular strain is usually in the low back and can be felt when bending or twisting. Severe pain or pain that radiates into the calf or foot  and is accompanied by numbness or tingling can be a sign of a pinched nerve caused by herniation of one of the discs.

Pain that originates in the low back (lumbar spine) and radiating down the back of the leg along the distribution of the sciatic nerve is called sciatic pain or sciatica.

Acute back pain is defined as back or back-related let pain which is severe enough to restrict activity for less than three months.

Chronic back pain is defined as that which restricts activity for longer than about three months.

For more information on your amazing back, understanding back pain and on chiropractic, contact Surrey Pain & Wellness Clinic.