Did you know that there are different types of chiropractic adjustments available to help you? There are many different types of adjustments that chiropractors use to make sure that you have decreased pain, increased mobility, and increased ability to perform activities. Lets go over a couple of the different techniques available at our office that can help you.
Manual Adjustment - At our office the most common way we adjust our patients is by manually adjusting you. We use a technique called the Diversified technique which is by far the most common technique used by chiropractors to help patients throughout the world. The great thing about manual chiropractic adjustments is that we are using our hands to make sure you get the movement you need in the joints that aren't moving as well. This mean we can change the amount of force we use making sure to either do a lighter adjustment or a firmer adjustment. Along with doing the adjustment we can do it a light version called a mobilization. The difference between a adjustment/manipulation and a mobilization is that the adjustment is usually quicker with more force that may have an audible crack. Mobilization are more slower with light forces that are just focused on getting movement in the spine. Mobilizations usually don't have the audible crack with the adjustment.
One disadvantage with a manual adjustment is that while we are trying to get movement in certain joints we have to lock out other joints by having them be at the end range of their movement. This can be problematic for this with previous surgeries, severe injuries, or other conditions. Luckily we have other adjustments we can do that may be better suited for these people that allow us to better isolate the less movable joint.
Activator/impulse - When manual adjustments are too much for a patients or cause a lot of soreness another option is using the activator or impulse to adjust you. The Activator or impulse is a hand held tool that does a quick, low force impulse directly on the part of your spine or other bone which allows for movement directly at the joint. This can be very beneficial for those who don't want their neck or back moved manually as there is no twisting involved. In fact we use the activator when you are in a more relaxed position such as laying down or sitting. The activator can also be really helpful for when we want to get one specific joint moving and not any of the others such as after spinal surgeries. It can also be helpful when a lower force is necessary such as when getting movement in the ribs for those with osteoporosis. All of our doctors are well versed in using the activator or impulse tool and can help you get rid of your pain and get movement back in your joints.
Note: we don't use the activator technique, we use the activator on the joints that aren't moving as they need to.
Drop Table - Another alternative is using the drop table to get movement in the joints. The drop table is a special chiropractic table that allows for certain segments to rise up and go down with an adjustable force. One great thing about the drop table is that it is a hands on adjustment but with the addition of the drop. This allows for us to do a lighter force or a firmer force if necessary. The drop table can be very beneficial because it doesn't involve any twisting when trying to get movement in the joints such as in the lumbar spine or sacroiliac joint. It can also be used in conjunction with manual techniques to help get more movement into the joints. Dr Zachary Owens uses the drop table at our office and he finds it very beneficial for those who don't enjoy the twisting movement with lower back manual adjustments but can handle some more force in the lower back.
Traction - Therapeutic traction is a technique that involves stretching of the spine. It involves pulling at in long axis distraction to help alleviate tight muscles, reduce muscle spasms, and relieve pressure off the discs and surrounding structures including nerves. This can be done at the neck or at the lower back to help relieve pressure off the discs and facet joints of the spine. Our chiropractors may use traction along with adjustment to help relieve pressure at your neck or at your lower back by pulling on your legs.
Blocking - Using blocking for your lower back at the sacroiliac joints can help to get movement in your joints by using gravity instead of with a direct force on your sore areas. It can be helpful as it can be done for your lower back while either laying on your stomach or on your back and doesn't require any twisting to get movement. It is low impact and can be a great alternative to get movement in your SI joints.
As you can tell there are lots of different types of adjustments or manipulations that can be done to help make sure you are moving better and have less pain. If you have questions about these different techniques you can always ask your chiropractor to see if a different type of adjustment is better suited for you.
When Should I use a Back Brace?
A while back I was talking to a patient of mine who has been dealing with back pain for a couple of months. She had been feeling better with chiropractic adjustments and exercising but had a bad flare up. She was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to help out around the holidays with cooking and decorating since it required a lot of standing and lifting which made her back really hurt. She asked if she should buy a back brace and if that would help with her back pain. I want to go over what I told her and when you should and should not get a back brace.
Firstly let’s go over what a back brace does. The most common area to use a back brace is in your lower back or lumbar region of your spine. A back brace is meant to help stabilize your lower back with outside support. It does this by wrapping snuggly around your lower back and core muscles. By doing so it does decrease movement in your lumbar spine. This can help provide stiffness and help you experience less pain when doing moving around. It also helps encourage keeping your back straight and helps to maintain your posture.
I have no problem with the use of back brace when necessary, however, I see the use of back brace as a crutch not as a long term solution. Normally your lower back muscles and abdominal muscles which combine as your core muscles are what stabilizes your spine. By having strong core muscles your lower back should have more stability which will allow you to get rid of most lower back pain and prevent pain in the future. When using a back brace you are using the brace to stabilize your core which bypasses your stabilizing muscles. That can be ok short term if your are severe acute pain, however, over reliance on the back brace can cause your core to be weak and for a dependence on the back brace.
Back to the story. I explained this to my patient and as she had been working on her core stability already I had recommended her not to get the back brace. I didn’t want to her lose the progress that she had been making. I also reminded her that it is normal to have flare up but with adjustments as needed and keeping up with regular strengthening exercises the flare ups will get fewer and farther between.
If you have questions about whether a back brace will be helpful for your condition call today to make an appointment and we can go over this together.
Glance Back to Move Forward
With the New Year just days away everyone is talking about how 2020 has been terrible and how they are looking forward to 2021 being a better year. I want to add to this and say that we should look forward to the new year hopefully as a new opportunity to grow and accomplish more of our goals. I would also implore you to take an account of this last year so you can grow from it.
With this year there were a lot of changes with the coronavirus pandemic. We are now more conscious how close we are to others, wearing masks is a normal thing, and we have definitely used more hand sanitizer than ever before. Many have lost their jobs and are struggling financially and many more are struggling emotionally due to not seeing loved ones. However, let us use what we learned this year to go forward. Recognize the things that didn't go well this year and make a goal to improve the coming year. Take what went well this year and continue doing that in the coming year.
One important note I want to make is that when looking back this year don't dwell on the past. Too many people will dwell on the past whether it is on better days or old arguments. We need to only glance back so we can be better now and in the future. After our glance backwards we must face forward and go forward to accomplish our goals living the best life we can.
I hope everyone was able to learn something from this year good or bad and use that to make 2021 a much better.
Chiropractic care for Sports Injuries
One common misconception about chiropractors is that we only focus on the spine and not on other parts of the body. While we are experts in back pain, neck pain, sciatica, and headaches we are also knowledgeable about injuries that happen to other areas to the body. Injuries to the shoulder, ankle, and knee are especially common in sports settings. These sports injuries can heal very well with chiropractic adjustments or manipulation, physiotherapy treatments, exercises, and stretches. Lets go over some common sports injuries that chiropractic care can help.
Ankle Sprains - Most ankle sprains are inversion ankle sprains which means the outside of your foot hits the ground causing stress and tears on the lateral or outside ligaments of your ankles. With these type of ankle sprains along with other types of ankle sprains chiropractic care can be very effective. Some common treatments for ankle sprains would be manipulation of the joints of the ankle to help improve mobility, therapeutic ultrasound to damaged ligaments in order to promote healing, and exercises to help strengthen stabilizing muscles of the ankle.
Knee Injuries - There are many structures that can be damaged with knee pain. The knee has meniscus, multiple ligaments, and many muscles that help to stabilize the area. With a impact injury on the knee complex, one of these structures might experience a sprain or a tear. The knee is also a common area where arthritis can occur. With knee injuries knee traction can be helpful to help relieve pressure off the meniscus resulting in less pain and relaxing tight muscles. Along with traction, exercises and stretches of the quadriceps, calf, and hamstring muscles can help get rid of pain.
Rotator cuff strains - The shoulder is a complex joint offering more mobility due to reliance on the rotator cuff muscles to keep the joints of the shoulder stabilized. Due to the rotator cuff muscles doing most of the stabilization for the joint this puts more pressure on these muscles which can result in strains which can vary from small micro tears to complete tears of the muscles. With milder strains we can help you by focusing on maintaining mobility in the shoulder capsule with adjustments, exercises, and stretches. Therapeutic ultrasound is great in helping to promote healing of the damaged muscles along with electric muscle stimulation.
Wrist tendonitis - Overuse of the muscles in your wrist can cause inflammation in your wrist tendons. This can make it difficult to do small tasks while at work or even difficult to return back to playing your sport of choice. With manipulation of the wrists we can help to decrease pain in the wrist and forearm. Along with stretching of the forearm muscles we can help decrease inflammation with therapeutic ultrasound and electric muscle stimulation. We can also do massage to the forearm muscles to help get them to relax which will take pressure off the wrist tendons.
There are many more conditions that chiropractic care can help. If you have any questions about if your condition can be treated with chiropractic care please give us a call. We will more than happily answer your questions and make sure you get the care you need.
How much does Treatment Cost?
We all want to know how much things are going to cost. So it is no surprise that a common question we get is how much will my visit cost? Let's go over a couple of the common payment methods to figure how much things will cost as it may differ depending on the way you pay.
1. Do you take my insurance?
One of the most common ways to pay is using your health insurance to cover the cost of the visit. The great thing about our office is that we accept most major medical insurance that have chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage benefits. You can use your insurance so the cost of your visit will only be the cost of your co-pay and/or co-insurance. A co-pay is a set amount established that you pay for the office visit and a co-insurance is when you pay a percentage of the cost of the visit. Co-pays are usually more common and stay the same for every office visit. Co-insurance can vary on cost depending on the services that you receive.
Here are a list of common insurance plans that we accept at our office
Anthem Blue Cross
Kaiser-some plans may require a referral from your doctor
Sutter health plus
Sutter medical group-plans require a referral from your doctor
United Health Care
Western Health Advantage-through Landmark Health plan
If your insurance is not listed here give us a call as we can let you know if we do take your insurance. Please also note that some of these plans may only cover chiropractic benefits.
2. I don't have insurance. Can I still get treated?
Of course you can still get treated. We offer affordable rates as we believe chiropractic care should be accessible for everyone. Give us a call as we can let you know our cash rates. Please note that our cash rates are only applicable when paying at the time of service.
3. I was in a car accident. What are my options for payment?
Being involved in an auto accident can be very traumatic. It may require several treatments in order for you to get back on your feet and feeling better. There are a couple options that you can choose at our office when in a car accident.
a) Pay at the time of service with your insurance or at the cash rates-This option allows you to not have to worry about payment later that way it is out of mind.
b) Setting up a lien with an attorney-If you have personal injury attorney we can do a lien agreement which allows you not to have to pay anything until after your case is settled. This allows you not to have to worry about payment until after you are feeling better that way you can just focus on getting treated and finding improvement.
c) Using your medpay from your auto insurance to pay for treatment. Some auto insurances include medical cost coverage after being in an accident. Using this takes the burden off of you as you won't have to worry about the treatment cost.
We unfortunately do not accept 3rd party payment at our office.
4. I got injured at work. What should I do?
Work injuries are difficult to get past and can take a while to get better. Make sure to talk with your work about their process so they can file the proper paperwork. Our chiropractors, acupuncturist, and massage therapists can help and we do accept most work comp insurance carriers. One thing to note is that with work injuries there is usually a primary doctor in charge of your case along with other providers who can help you with treatment. Our chiropractors can be the primary treating doctor helping you with chiropractic treatment and can also help you find treatment with physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, or other types of treatment. We can also help you if you receive a referral for chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage therapy from your primary doctor. For more information on work injuries check out our other blog post below.
If you have any questions on payment you can always call our office and we can help you figure out the costs for our services.
Side Bridge Exercise
The side bridge is a great exercise to help strengthen your core muscles including the quadratus lumborum and latissimus dorsi muscles. It is one of the McGill big 3 exercises intended to help with lower back pain and sciatica pain. By improving core stability you will be able to decrease your lower back pain and sciatica pain and also be able to avoid more pain in the future.
The side bridge is often a forgotten exercise by many people but it is so important to do in order to strengthen your core. In this video Dr Zak Owens will demonstrate how to perform this exercise properly. He shows 3 ways to do including a modified version performed on the knees and elbows, the normal way to do it on the feet and elbow, and a more difficult way that includes log rolling into a plank and into a side bridge on the other side.
When doing this exercise it is important to note that you must keep your back straight and core stable the whole time. That way you can properly strengthen your core but also so you avoid any positions that may aggravate your lower back or sciatica pain.
Start first by doing the modified side bridge. The modified bridge is performed with the base being your knees and elbows. When doing this exercise hold for 10 seconds then rest and then do another repetition for 10 seconds. Start by doing 4 reps and then switching to the other side. Once you have completed both sides do 2 less of the amount of repetitions you did in your first set in this case 2 making sure to do both sides.
f you are feeling good with the modified side bridge you can advance to the regular side bridge. This time instead of your base being the knees and elbow it will be your feet and elbow. Once again hold for 10 seconds for each rep making sure to keep a straight back and a stable core. Some instructions apply to the amount of reps and doing both sides.
The last step would be the side bridge log rolling into a plank. This is a great advancement as it challenges different area of your core and allows you to do it without a rest between. Only do this one when you are ready as if done improperly may aggravate your back pain or leg pain and symptoms. Start with the regular side bridge with your top foot in front of your bottom foot. When you hit 10 seconds you are going to log roll putting both elbows on the ground and both toes on the ground in a plank position. You can then hold this position for 10 seconds before log rolling to the opposite side bridge position from where you started holding once again for 10 seconds.
The side bridge is a fantastic exercise to help increase core stability especially for those with back pain, leg pain, sciatica symptoms, hip pain, or a weak core. It is also a great exercise to prevent pain in the future. Doing the side bridge exercise along with the other 2 McGill big 3 exercises (the modified sit up and quadruped) will be very effective in helping you with your pain.
Lower back pain can be debilitating in any form. It can knock you down making it difficult to walk, sit, or even tie your shoes. There are many causes of lower back pain. One part of our lower back anatomy that is often overlooked is our SI joint.
The SI (sacroiliac) joint is often a forgotten joint as we tend to focus on the discs of the lumbar spine as the reason for all of our lower back pain. One reason it is often overlooked is because it behaves very differently from our other joints. Many of the joints that we think of are synovial joints which are more freely movable such as the shoulder and hip joints. The SI joint is different as it is partially a synovial joint as in the anterior part it is synovial and in the posterior portion it is syndesmosis or held together by ligaments. Because of this there is not a lot of movement in the SI joint, however, there is still movement and it is important that we have movement in our SI joints in order to perform daily activities such as walking.
There are many reasons to get pain in the SI joint. One common reason is due to a sprain of the SI ligaments. This could be due to lifting something heavy that causes too much stress on the SI ligaments or even a sudden hit from a car accident. Another common reason for SI joint pain is due to degenerative arthritis. When you get arthritis in your SI joint this can make it difficult to move due to narrowing of the joint space between the sacrum and ilium bones. A less common reason for of SI joint is arthritis due to an inflammatory disease such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, or enteropathic arthritis. These can cause pain in the SI joint due to narrowing of the joint space and they may take getting additional treatments from a specialist in order to get proper treatment.
When we experience an injury to the SI joint or the ligaments around the joint, we will have less movement due to tight ligaments and muscles around the joint. When this happens the SI joint won’t properly function which can cause pain when walking, sitting, or any movement that relies on SI joint movement. When the SI joint is the culprit of your lower back pain it can manifest in your lower back and can even go into your legs mimicking sciatica pain.
Luckily there are things that you can do. Chiropractic adjustment or manipulation have been shown to be effective in decreasing SI joint pain. They have also been shown to be effective in treating SI joint pain caused by arthritis due to helping to improve joint range of motion. Exercises that focus on core stability have also been shown to help with SI joint pain. In our office we use therapeutic modalities such as therapeutic ultrasound and electric muscle stimulation to decrease pain. Acupuncture, massage, and physical therapy are also other great additional treatment options to help with SI joint pain.
For more information regarding chiropractic care and arthritis check out the link below
McGill Big 3 exercises are 3 exercises to help get rid of your lower back pain. They do this by helping to increase core strength and stability. Today we are going over the first exercise which is the modified curl up.
The modified curl up is not like a normal curl up or sit up. A normal sit up or abdominal work up focuses on flexing the spine to contract the abdominal muscles. To get the best understanding on how to do this work out it is best to watch the video above to see how to perform it. If you would rather here are instructions on how to perform it.
Now assess how you are doing after this. If you were able to do it without pain but it was challenging continue with the same number of repetitions. If it was done easy raise each repetition per set by 1. Instead of 5, 3, 1 do 6, 4, 2. Now if it was painful doing it you need to check your form. Try resting for a while and doing it again later.
This is a great exercise to use when you are suffering from any type of lower back pain whether it debilitating or just an annoyance it will help you. If you have a sprain or a strain, disc bulge, sciatica pain, arthritis, spinal stenosis, or muscle pain in the lower back this exercise will help you. This exercise along with the other McGill Big 3 exercises have the best evidence of helping people get rid of their lower back pain and getting back to normal activity.
For more questions about what to do for lower back pain whatever the cause is ask one of our chiropractors or acupuncturist. They have years of experience in treating lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, or any other type of pain you are experiencing. They will help you feel better.
Work injuries are very common. Depending on what industry you are working in it is possible that you will get injured at work. Work injuries are very complicated with a lot of paperwork, trips to HR, doctor visits, and so much more.
While there are different types of injuries you can get at work it is important to know what to do when you get injured so you can know what you need to do.
1. Make sure to get away from whatever caused the injury. Stop doing the activity that is causing you pain. Get emergency first aid and necessary medical treatment as soon as possible.
2. Report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. Whether the injury comes on suddenly or developed over time you must report the injury to your supervisor and manager. Report it as soon as possible that way you can get the necessary help as soon as possible. It is also beneficial to report as quickly as possible since some of your work duties may aggravate your injury. If this is the case it may be necessary to modify your work injuries.
3. File a claim-Filing a claim starts the worker’s compensation process and protects your rights. Usually your employer will give you a claim form to fill out and will have someone to help you through the process. If you don’t know where to find this form you can click on this link for a claim form. https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/FileAClaim.htm
4. Get treated-your work has a medical provider network with doctors and other specialists that can help you get out of pain and get you back to working full duty again. They will help you get the treatment that is needed. In most circumstances if you feel like you aren’t getting the best treatment you may get treatment from a different doctor or medical provider.
5. Keep documents-it is important to keep documents received during your treatments. Keep anything given by your work, primary treating doctor, or paperwork received from other treating doctors or medical providers. It may be important in the future.
6. Work as much as you can-in most cases continuing to work is the best option to help you recover quicker. Your doctor will try to find modifications so you can work without experiencing too much pain. By continuing to work you are staying active which has been shown to improve recovery time. In some cases that will cause more harm than benefit to continue working
7. Get an attorney-in some cases if you feel like you aren't getting the help you need you to get better it may may be a good idea to hire an attorney. They know how to help by their expert knowledge of workers compensation laws that can benefit you.
At Accident and Sports Injury Clinic we want to help you get out of pain and back to working as soon as possible. Our Chiropractors and Acupuncturist have over 30 years of experience and are experts in helping with work related injuries. Our Massage therapists also have lots of experience helping to relax muscles that have been hurt at work. Along with chiropractic care you may also need additional therapies including acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, injections, or surgery. We will make sure to that you are taken care of whatever your need is.
If you have any questions about a work related injury or how chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage therapy can be beneficial to you please feel free to give us a call. We want to help you get relief from your injury.
Lessons from the Last Dance
Like many of you we have been watching the last dance documentary the last couple of weeks. For those that don’t this documentary talks about Michael Jordan and his career. The basketball highlights draw us in and bring awe at Michael’s skills on the court. We also get to see a lot of the behind the scenes of the team practicing and how Michael acted and felt during different times in his life. It is exciting to watch each new episode and as we get to work on Monday we discuss the inspiring thing that Michael did, said, or reacted to a particular situation.
One big reason I love watching this documentary is to see the attitude of Michael and what he does to win championships. It is also inspiring to see his work ethic as one of the best basketball players of all time. He has a never quit mentality and he would push himself and his teammates as far as he could to bring out the best in himself and those around.
One such story came from last nights episode. The Bulls lost to the up and coming Orlando Magic. This lost really stung Michael as he lost to his former teammate, Horace Grant, who he had won 3 championships with before. With the start of the off-season it would have been easy for Michael to justify taking some time off to relax before preparing for the next season. He didn't do that. The next day he was working out and practicing to get ready for the next season. Along with that he had a busy summer filming the movie Space Jam. However, even with a busy filming schedule he spent his lunches working out for 2 hours. He also spent his nights playing against the best NBA players for almost 3 hours. He worked tirelessly that summer to get into shape and be prepared to win the next season. His hard work payed off because the next season they did win the championship.
Watching Michael Jordan really shows what it means to not just work hard but work tirelessly to achieve your goals. It has made me think about my goals of what I want to achieve. I definitely don't put as much effort as Michael does. I want you to think about your goals. What resolutions did you make in the New Year that were pushed to way side? It is not too late to work for your goals. Maybe it is working out or building a business. Maybe it is spending more time with the family or cleaning out the house. Maybe it is getting through school or trying to get that promotion. Or maybe it is to get out of pain or back to doing your hobby. Whatever your goal is work each day for it. Don't just work hard, work tirelessly for your goals.
The chiropractors, acupuncturist, and massage therapists at Accident and Sports Injury Clinic are here to help you with any goals you have. We can help with ideas so you can experience a healthy life. If you need help with ideas on how to exercise or eat healthy we can help with that. If you need help to get out of pain and increase mobility to your spine and other joints we can help with that. We are here to help you have a more fulfilled life.