Top 5 health insurance myths when seeing a chiropractor.
MYTH: In-network chiropractors are better than out-of-network chiropractors.
Becoming an In-network chiropractor for health insurance can be complicated but it’s not hard if you’re willing to give up most of your rights as a healthcare provider. While the insurance company cannot FORCE you to treat patients a certain way they can make a lot of requirements. These requirements make it difficult at best and impossible at worst (especially in North Carolina) to provide the care necessary AND be reimbursed for said medically necessary care.
Insurance will quickly STOP paying for chiropractic care as soon as the patient’s symptoms improve. This rarely happens if ever, with medical care. If you were to see this type of reimbursement happen for your medical services it would be similar to having insurance pay the emergency room care related to a heart attack. As soon as they got a sinus rhythm and put you in a different room you would be required to pay for ALL the other medical services out of your own pocket. This could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.
As a result, many chiropractors have to make a choice between treating patients for what they need and requiring them to pay upfront. Then waiting for any potential insurance payments to be paid to them OR falling in line with what the insurance companies say they should be doing. Most chiropractors fit into the latter category. It’s easier to find patients and they are less likely to fail in practice which is something that happens VERY often in the chiropractic profession.
MYTH: In network chiropractors are prescribing the chiropractic care necessary to CORRECT THE CAUSE of my problem.
Because of Myth #1, it is essentially impossible for chiropractors to get paid for the care necessary for corrective chiropractic care and be in network provider. Despite there being adequate research available to support the need for and benefit of structurally focused corrective chiropractic care, health insurance companies can put their fingers on the scale and make erroneous claims that only a few visits are necessary. Health Insurance does this on the principle that once the pain or symptoms have decreased by approximately 50%, no more care is necessary. There is little a small business chiropractor can do to stop it.
This underutilization of chiropractic is often a problem. In the 80’s chiropractors often OVER utilized and treated patients with nonspecific segmental adjustments, physical therapy or other modalities like heat, ice, STIM and Ultrasound that are not structurally corrective based treatments. This was done because during the 80’s health insurance would pay for ALL of the visits a patient’s insurance plan had (20, 30, 50, 70, etc.) for the year. There was no need to validate the care. As a result, many chiropractors used a lot of wellness or maintenance care while claiming it was essential to correction. Why? Because they were in network and your health insurance was paying. Don’t forget health insurance was originally designed for emergencies, not health and wellness. So, while those extra adjustments didn’t necessarily fix the cause of the problem they still often helped reduce the need for drugs and surgery.
Insurance understandably tightened down on reimbursements by the 90s. The problem now is for chiropractors who are structurally focused and able to validate the need for and are capable of providing Chiropractic Structural Correction, insurance isn’t won’t pay. They realized that they could easily avoid payments for necessary chiropractic care just as easily unnecessary chiropractic care. And since your health insurance company is responsible first and foremost to its shareholders… well, you can figure it out.
Because of the trend of poor insurance reimbursement for chiropractic, it is far more common to find structurally based chiropractors prescribing very specific and necessary care that are out of network instead of in network.
There are some, although very few, chiropractic offices like Corrective Chiropractic that are capable of prescribing and providing structurally focused chiropractic care. In order to do this, however, they almost always have to have the patients pay in advance for their care and then send a claim in as an out-of-network provider. Fortunately, this can be a good thing for the patient who is capable of doing this.
MYTH: In network chiropractic care costs less.
Health insurance plans are often complicated and make it difficult to compare chiropractic healthcare costs. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. You can’t just compare a price tag for in-network chiropractic care vs out-of-network chiropractic care.
Often times, In-network and Out of Network benefits are comparable. Especially in cases where deductible and co-insurances apply.
When using an in-network provider, “non-covered” charges are still an out of pocket expense. So, either you will still have to pay, or you just won’t get those services. (So what if those services were necessary for correction)
Remember that your copays are not normally applied to your deductible or out of pocket expenses, so your copays regardless of how many you pay will never benefit you. On the other hand, by utilizing an out of network provider, the opportunity to meet your out of pocket and begin receiving reimbursement from your insurance company exists.
MYTH: My insurance will NOT pay for out of network chiropractic care.
Insurance reimbursement for chiropractic care is based primarily on your insurance plan and company. Some insurance companies are very willing to pay for care as long as it’s within the patient’s plan. For example, if you have a plan with 30 chiropractic visits a year they will often reimburse you for all 30 visits once your deductible has been met, minus any co-pay that’s a part of your insurance plan. Other insurance companies, regardless of the plan you think you have, will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying for anything beyond 2 – 8 visits and often will refuse to pay for necessary services like x-rays or therapies.
It is true that some insurance plans seem like they will cost more because the deductible or copays for out of network chiropractic care is higher. Thankfully, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to reimburse you for all of the visits on your plan without denying claims. This is not surprising because if they refuse to pay the bill for your out-of-network chiropractic care, YOU, the patient, will get that bill. As a patient, you are a customer of the insurance company and if you’re not happy you have the choice to get different insurance. If you keep getting bills for chiropractic care that is supposed to be covered as a part of your insurance plan then it’s not likely you’ll continue buying insurance from them. Sadly the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is making it more difficult if not impossible to shop for different insurance carriers.
If you are receiving treatment from an in-network chiropractor and the insurance refuses to pay for the chiropractic care. EVEN THOUGH YOU STILL HAVE “X” NUMBER OF VISITS ON YOUR PLAN, the insurance company can refuse to pay. So your chiropractor doesn’t get paid and can do next to nothing about it. This happens a LOT. Like every single chiropractor deals with this on almost a daily basis. It’s understandable that this happens a lot now as a result of the over utilization of non-specific chiropractic care in the 80’s. The problem now is that chiropractors who treat using science-based corrective techniques that have been validated by research, insurance companies are still able to determine the patients need and no one is able to keep them in check. It is then very common for insurance companies to employ chiropractors, medical doctors, or even high school graduates to tell your treating chiropractic what they can or can’t do if they want to get paid. Three guess for how much chiropractic care your insurance company wants you to have. You guessed it, very little to next to none.
Using only in network insurance is the equivalent of going to MD because insurance pays for 2 days’ worth of a necessary 10-day antibiotic prescription.
MYTH: IN network insurance chiropractors are better quality chiropractors
For reasons discussed in a separate blog (In Network vs. Out of Network Insurance for Chiropractic), Corrective Chiropractic chooses to remain an Out-of-Network Insurance Chiropractic Provider. As a result of this decision, it is very common for us to get calls from potential patients who get rather irritated or confused when we explain to them that we are out of network with their insurance. Some potential patients have even gone so far as to yell, curse at our front desk manager both on the phone and in the office. Many do not understand that our decision to remain out of the network, often, is primarily for the patients’ benefit. This decision does not benefit us, in fact, it’s often quite the opposite because the QUANTITY of patients that we see is much less than would be the case if we were in the networks. This allows for a higher QUALITY of chiropractic care.
Carpal Tunnel This common problem often stems from over use from people who do a lot of typing or strenuous motions with their wrists or hands. Common jobs that lead to carpal tunnel include secretaries and industrial workers. These individuals put a lot of stress on their hands with repetitive motions or vibration. Under these daily stresses, it is common for the bones and joints elbows, wrists and hands to become misaligned. In addition, the muscles can be overused and create imbalances. Leading to abnormal joint mobility causing pain, numbness, tingling or loss of strength in the hands. Adjust the Pain Away If your pain, numbness, tingling or loss of strength in your wrists and hands you very likely will benefit from chiropractic care. All of the bones in the wrist and hand can be adjusted. With proper chiropractic care and physical therapy, patients are often able to completely correct the cause of carpal tunnel symptoms. Carpal tunnel surgery is often very rarely necessary. The surgery, in a nutshell, is little more than cutting the fascia or tissue that wraps around the tendons and nerves and blood vessels in the wrist. Sometimes cutting this tunnel open can relieve any pressure or stress on the nerves. Unfortunately, the cause of carpal tunnel is not solved by cutting your wrists. In fact, in may not even help with the symptoms. Misdiagnosing carpal
Migraines, Headaches, Shoulder Pain and Rib Pain Due to Excessive Computer, Mouse Use If you find yourself suffering from headaches, migraines, shoulder pain or rib pain it may be related to computer use. Often blaming eye strain for the cause of a migraine or headache symptoms for people who are at a computer screen most of the day. Computer screen migraines and headaches are a real thing. The eye strain from looking at a computer screen is not the only cause of migraines and headaches. It may not even be the most common cause of migraines or headaches due to excessive computer use. The body functions best under balance. This balance can be altered when your muscles are over or under utilized. One of the most common causes of musculoskeletal imbalance is an abnormal spinal structure. Many people think the muscle cause these imbalances but typically the shape of the spine is causing problems with the muscles. These imbalances can also be a combination of muscular imbalance and spinal misalignment, not just one or the other. This is why a multifaceted approach, including chiropractic, specific exercises and spinal remodeling traction, to correct musculoskeletal imbalances is often necessary. For people who experience chronic migraines, headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, or rib pain, the cause is often due to repetitive movements or postures. One of the most common repetitive movements and postures
Nutritional Needs Most people are unaware of some of the most basic fundamentals of proper nutrition. This has a lot to do with misinformation intended to keep large agricultural companies making money. It’s easier and more profitable to grow large monocultures like corn or soy with toxic pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers than it is to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables organically with nutrient rich soil. This is especially true because of government subsidies for farmers. This is one of the reasons the United States of America grows such an overabundance of corn and soy. So what does that have to do with nutrition? Well, the conventional process of growing food uses dangerous chemicals and depletes the soil of numerous minerals. The more these large companies keep people in the dark about the dangers and differences of conventional vs local and organic food the more they will sell. Big agricultures companies do this using lobbyist to help manipulate government and public information. This is why the old food pyramid that I learned as a kid is much different than it is now. The foundation of this terribly inaccurate guide for healthy kids was lots of grain. We now know that all these processed flours and breads are just one of the reasons for our increase in obesity. Follow the money and you will typically see more unethical and
What Should You Do If You’re Hurt on the Job After an on the job injury, it can be hard to know what steps need to be taken to receive Worker’s Compensation benefits. The following is a checklist of the steps to take regarding your Worker’s Compensation claim. If there are any specific questions regarding receiving care, contact Corrective Chiropractic at: INFORM YOU EMPLOYER Although this may sound like an obvious first step, it is important that your employer knows of and documents your injury. This step is vital to your ability to file for and to receive Workers Compensation benefits. In an emergency situation, however, you may do this after you have sought medical attention, although it is best to inform them immediately. VISIT A DOCTOR Although, large companies usually have a specific doctor or clinic that you are instructed to see. This, however, is not always the case. If your employer does not advise you to see a specific doctor, you may see one of your choosing. As long as the doctor is able to bill Worker’s Compensation claims. If your employer instructs you to see a specific physician, you may request a change by contacting your claims representative directly. INFORM YOUR DOCTOR When you visit the doctor, please provide all of the information that you have received regarding
Can Chiropractic Help Shoulder Pain and Other Shoulder Problems? Yes. Chiropractors are often known as experts of the spine, but that is not all they are capable of working with. Chiropractors are trained to adjust every joint in the body, except teeth. Many people overlook the fact that a chiropractor can help with more than just neck and back pain. Common problems with feet, ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and certainly shoulders can be corrected with chiropractor care. Even the three small bones in the ear can be gently adjusted. The ear adjustment alone has proven to be beneficial for ear infections. Some chiropractors have trained to adjust the bones in your skull. Using applied pressure to balance the suture joints to help with migraines, reading ability, autism symptoms, and other brain functions. The shoulder is a complicated and interesting joint. It is connected to the body is mostly reliant on the surrounding muscle and not the joint itself. In contrast, your hip joint has two large bony components, your pelvis, and femur. This large joint secures your leg to your pelvis with much greater stability because of the size of the joint and the surrounding ligaments. There is less mobility compared to the shoulder but more stability and power. This makes sense because you stand and walk on your legs every day. While your arms are used for my
Spinal Stenosis Don’t let the diagnosis of spinal stenosis scare you. Stenosis is just the Latin word for “narrowing”. Spinal stenosis is simply a description of your spine. It’s a very weak diagnosis in that it doesn’t really tell you why you have that narrowing. Why do you get spinal stenosis? There are a couple of reasons you get spinal stenosis. Most commonly the narrowing is due to bony spurs that grow on the back of the vertebrae of your spine. Which then takes up space in the spinal canal or in the intervertebral foreman where your spinal nerves exit the spinal canal. This bony growth makes these openings narrower, hence the name stenosis. This narrowing means less room for your spinal cord and nerves. If there is too little room for the nerves the pressure from the stenosis (narrowing) will irritate the nerves causing pain. The next logical question is what causes the bone spurs. A common misconception is that spinal degeneration in the form of bone spurs and arthritis is a result of “old age”. This is not true! All the bones in your spine are the same age. Do they not degenerate at the same rate? Why do you have spinal stenosis in one area of the spine and not another? Why is one disc bulging or degenerated and not all of them? Almost without exception, this
Knee pain and chiropractic Knee pain is a common problem that plagues many people. Whether it’s from playing sports in high school trying to be active and staying healthy as a young professional or you twisted if funny stepping off a curb, knee pain can be a constant problem. Fortunately, chiropractic can help address these often annoying problems and the solution may even be pretty simple. Why do I have knee pain? There are a number of different reasons a person can develop knee pain. Most of the time the problem is pretty simple to address for a chiropractic familiar with extra spinal knee adjustments. There are only three bones that make up the knee and they have limited motions. Chiropractic adjustments work great to help reduce pain, inflammation and restore proper motion in your spine. Which is made up of scores of different joints that allow for a lot of flexibility. When you compare the relative simplicity of the knee, the solution to your knee pain is often not hard to determine. The most common reasons for knee pain are from injury. Typically you twisted or bent your knee to the side straining some of the ligaments holding it in place. If you want those ligaments to heal properly and in place chiropractic knee adjustments are key. Once the knee is adjusted you may need
The Biggest Key To Weight Loss Most of us are aware of that diet and exercise are the two pillars supporting healthy weight loss. Despite this common knowledge, our culture is vastly different from ancestors of less than a hundred years ago. We have seen a huge shift in the obesity epidemic in the country because of these and other changes. When you break it down eating healthy is not complicated, it’s just not easy in our culture. It may be easy to do but most people have no clue how to do it. We all grew up learning how to eat the wrong way. First of all, we have a significant overabundance of food available. We have access to almost any kind and quantity of food we can think of 24/7. This is far different from recent history where food was more of a feast or famine situation. You ate based on local availability and what was in season. This is both a good and bad thing. The high availability allows us to eat healthier more often… if we choose. It also makes it harder to eat less. It’s even harder to not eat highly processed foods that are readily available but not healthy food. Combine this with a “busy” and stressful lifestyle and we end up not making our meals a priority until the last minute. When
Can Chiropractic Help Shoulder Pain and Other Shoulder Problems? Yes. Chiropractors are often known as experts of the spine, but that is not all they are capable of working with. Chiropractors are trained to adjust every joint in the body, except teeth. Many people overlook the fact that a chiropractor can help with more than just neck and back pain. Common problems with feet, ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and certainly shoulders can be corrected with chiropractor care. Even the three small bones in the ear can be gently adjusted. The ear adjustment alone has proven to be beneficial for ear infections. Some chiropractors have trained to adjust the bones in your skull. Using applied pressure to balance the suture joints to help with migraines, reading ability, autism symptoms and other brain functions. The shoulder is a complicated and interesting joint. It is connected to the body and is mostly reliant on the surrounding muscle and not the joint itself. In contrast, your hip joint has two large bony components, your pelvis, and femur. This large joint secures your leg to your pelvis with much greater stability because of the size of the joint and the surrounding ligaments. There is less mobility compared to the shoulder but more stability and power. This makes sense because you stand and walk on your legs every day and your arms are used for
Travel Tips For Back Pain This time of year, many of you are hitting the roads for vacations to parts unknown. Long periods of sitting, whether, in a plane, train or automobile can often cause a flare up of neck or back pain. Just because you have a “bad back” shouldn’t mean that you can’t enjoy traveling for business and/or pleasure. It can be a real challenge to travel for longer than an hour without symptoms creeping up to take the fun out of any trip. Apart from maintaining a regular relationship with your chiropractor, there are some things that you can do. Simple changes can be made to prevent or alleviate these pains from ruining your much-deserved vacation time. Here are some travel tips for back pain while traveling to prevent exacerbation. Packing the right luggage can help prevent discomfort before your vacation even starts. Carrying a large over-filled bag, suitcase or backpack can throw off your center of gravity, causing your posture to distort and your spine to shift from its normal position. Make sure that any bag that you use allows the weight to be evenly distributed and is not overloaded. Follow these important lifting tips to avoid neck and back injury: Bend at the knees and use leg muscles rather than back muscles to lift Avoid twisting the low back while lifting; instead, pivot
FAQ About Health Insurance Corrective Chiropractic patients may have heard that the office will soon be joining the BCBS, Cigna, and Medcost networks. For many of our patients currently on wellness, this should not affect your current care plan, as most health insurance companies do not cover wellness. You and others not currently covered by health insurance will continue to receive the same excellent care and flexible pricing structure that you are accustomed to. To learn more about our payment options and wellness plans, please call the office directly. For others, this news may be very exciting for you. Although not every health insurance plan covers chiropractic, most do. For patients who are experiencing headaches, neck pain, low back pain or other spinal conditions, insurance can be a valuable tool to help offset some of the initial costs associated with care. And, while we encourage all patients to keep informed of their particular insurance policy guidelines, we will gladly verify your chiropractic coverage and file claims on your behalf. If you do not see your insurance company listed below, Corrective Chiropractic may still be able to file as a courtesy, as a non-participating provider. Corrective Chiropractic is so pleased to announce we are now in network with several of the largest providers of insurance nationwide, including: Cigna HealthcareHealthSpringMedCostHealthTeam Advantage (Care N’ Care)Blue Cross Blue Shield
Chiropractic Techniques & Adjustments: A Comparison It’s not hard to understand the confusion about what a chiropractor does and why there is so much variation in chiropractic techniques and adjustments. At my alma mater Parker College of Chiropractic (now Parker University), they teach nine different chiropractic techniques. The intent is to give the future chiropractors a balanced education. All of these techniques have some merit in reducing patients’ neck pain, low back pain, and headache other musculoskeletal symptoms. However, the inconsistent treatment recommendations based on different techniques can make it very difficult to understand what chiropractic is. This inconsistency is arguably one of the biggest current issues slowing the proliferation of chiropractic. The reason it is such a problem is that many of these techniques are due to subjective evaluations. Some of them literally don’t even look at or touch your spine. I realize that I don’t know everything. No one does. I am also a healthy skeptic when it comes to many of the techniques that claim to be chiropractic. The first thing we need to do is understand what the foundation of chiropractic is. Chiropractic is founded on the fact that the spine can negatively affect the human body when it is abnormally shifted. This abnormal movement or position of the spine is called a subluxation. A subluxation of the spine is similar to
Chiropractic, Medicine, Physical Therapy, Massage, Yoga; what’s the difference? Traditional Chiropractic This form of chiropractic is the most common and often mislabeled as “corrective”. Traditional chiropractic care focuses on changing symptoms. You know the care you are receiving is traditional if the measure for improvement is subjective. This means that upon re-exam the main concern is how you feel. Therapy used with traditional chiropractic also focuses on subjective changes only. For example, most traditional chiropractic therapy includes STIM, Ultrasound, ice, heat, roller table “traction”, general exercises. All of these therapies have not objective means to determine if they are helping. The only indicator for success in a change in symptoms because that is the only thing they are intended to change with use. Structural Chiropractic This is a much more thorough form of chiropractic care. Effective and reproducible structural chiropractic care is supported by publishing research. All of the therapies and exercises prescribed with structural chiropractic are done so with the goal of making measurable changes on the re-exam x-rays. Symptoms are still very important in structural care. Specifically, the goal of this type of care is to correct the cause of the symptoms and reduce the likelihood of them reoccurring. This is done by reshaping the spine towards the researched ideal model. Comparatively the shape of the spine with tradition
The Death of Chiropractic? A Look Into Chiropractic Standards of Care The Mercedes 80s Most chiropractors are familiar with this phrase. If you’re not, let me summarize. In the 80s and 90s insurance was paying hand over fist for any and all chiropractic treatment. It was not uncommon to see $20 for heat or ice packs and treatment plans with 30-60 visits. Wellness care was also being reimbursed and DCs were getting paid with little to no denials. Ahhhh life was good. Until… the insurance company knew it was getting screwed and changed the rules. Yes, they changed them to the extreme to benefit their profits but can you blame them? That’s what happens when we can’t effectively validate the need for chiropractic standards of care beyond simple pain relief. You may be quick to vilify them for their greedy practices but the truth is that they weren’t entirely wrong to do this. Hear me out before you start calling me a heretic or insurance sympathizer. The VAST majority of the care going on at this point was entirely subject based. Care wasn’t prescribed purely for pain like most chiropractic care is now. It was also provided on a philosophically (wellness) basis as well, especially because insurance was footing the bill. I’m not saying that a regular wellness adjustment isn’t good or even that they shouldn’t be covered. I am
Why Don’t Medical Doctors Refer To Chiropractors? I had the unique opportunity to talk to a few new MD graduates from the local medical school. It was enlightening, to say the least. A common question that many of my patients and the general public ask is why medical doctors don’t like chiropractors or why they don’t refer to chiropractors? It’s a valid question that needs answering. Unfortunately, to answer this question truthfully and in depth, the facts end up sounding like a conspiracy theory. Why? Well because there “was” literally a conspiracy carried out by the AMA to discredit and destroy the chiropractic profession. This is nothing new. It has been going on for years and is no longer under “conspiracy theory” status as the AMA was found guilty in federal court of dishonest and deceitful tactics to train medical students about the “dangers” of chiropractic. This campaign used propaganda in misinformation to indoctrinate the medical students in order to have a preconceived bias against chiropractors. See HERE for more. Why? As with most unethical practices, it always comes back to money. As a medical healthcare provider, your main education is in treating patients with drugs and surgery. If these patients don’t need your care because they can correct the cause of their back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines, etc. using a safer and more effective
Children and Chiropractic Care I have waited to write this blog on children and chiropractic because I did not want to start it with “back in my day”, thus giving away my age. However, I cannot put it off any longer, and I cannot think of an alternate introduction, so, here goes. “Back In My Day” “Back in my day”, when I was a child, I don’t remember going to see the doctor or pediatrician much. Although I do remember the visits with Dr. Crumpler because they always included SHOTS, but that’s another story. Anyway, other than those visits, I, or my siblings, had to be bleeding, have an obvious fracture, or be next to dying, to be taken to a doctor. And a chiropractor? Forget about that. Any complaints of back pain or neck pain were immediately countered with, “you don’t even have a back. All you have is a gristle”. They might give me an aspirin and send me out the door, but more often than not, those aches and pains were brushed off. Little did they know of the possible long-term damage that was being created from neglecting those “growing pains”. Today Fast forward to 2016, this generation of parents has access to a plethora of information regarding, not only the risks of ignoring musculoskeletal complaints, and other symptoms of spinal misalignments such as poor posture, sleep
Chiropractic Vs Orthopedic Surgeon The primary difference between an orthopedic surgeon and a chiropractic is that one is best for an emergency problem and the other is best for chronic problems. Orthopedic surgeons are fantastic if you’ve been in a major car accident and you broke your femur or pelvis in numerous places. They are excellent at resetting and pinning bones together so that they heal properly. Whereas chiropractors thrive at improving issues that are caused by minor to moderate trauma as well as chronic problems. Chronic problems like degenerative disc disease, degenerative joint disease, bulging discs, herniated discs, mild to moderate scoliosis, hyperkyphosis, loss of or reverse curve in the neck, sciatica, etc. Structural Chiropractic Care The ideology of chiropractic is to correct the cause of the problem through noninvasive, safe and natural means. Chiropractic does not do surgery because cutting a patient open, extracting their vertebral disc and screwing their vertebra together is highly invasive, dangerous, unnecessary and often ineffective at eliminating chronic symptoms. Instead, chiropractors use high speed, low force thrusts, called adjustments or chiropractic manipulative therapy. Chiropractic adjustments mobilize and reposition the bones and joints (mostly in the spine) back towards normal. The adjustment by itself is great at improving proper mobility and reducing localized inflammation. When combined with spinal remodeling traction and isometric stabilization therapies, chiropractic can make objective changes to the structure of the
Common Medical Myths about Degenerative Disc Disease Degenerative Disc Disease is a condition in which one or more spinal discs wears excessively to the point of causing the thickness of the disc to be reduced. This loss of disc height results in more stress on the vertebrae above and below the disc. Wolff’s Law states that bone responds to mechanical stress by producing more bone. This is not a bad thing in the case of someone who is weight lifting. Bigger muscles mean more stress on the bones they are attached to, which means the bone will get bigger and stronger. In the case of Degenerative Disc Disease, the added stress on the vertebra is pathological and results in osteophytes a.k.a. bone spurs. Left uncorrected these bone spurs can grow and put pressure on nerves, restrict spinal motion and even fuse across the disc joint and immobilize the joint completely. Degenerative Disc Disease is very common. It’s true that it is more common the older you get but that does not mean it is “normal” as you age. As a chiropractor, it is VERY common for my patients to have some level of Degenerative Disc Disease. Often, Degenerative Disc Disease is found in an area of the spine with no symptoms. This is one of many reasons that it’s so important to take full spine x-rays on all our patients.
WHIPLASH IS NOT A DIAGNOSIS OR TYPE OF INJURY, WHIPLASH IS A MECHANISM OF INJURY. At Corrective Chiropractic we treat a lot of patients with injuries due to whiplash. If you’ve been in a car accident it’s possible that you have an injury due to whiplash BUT you do not have whiplash. Your injury may be caused by an acceleration and deceleration motion known as whiplash but whiplash is not a specific kind of injury. Whiplash is not a diagnosis! Again WHIPLASH IS NOT A DIAGNOSIS! I cannot emphasize this enough. Sadly, it is not uncommon for patients to come into our office for chiropractic care under the impression that the injury they sustained from their car accident is called whiplash. This is both dangerous and wrong. There are many different types of injuries that you can have from a whiplash motion. I.e. neck sprain/strain, numerous different kinds of neck fractures, ligament damage in the neck causing spinal instability and deformation, etc. Some of these fractures are minor and some are potentially deadly. You may have an injury from whiplash but your injury is not whiplash. Whiplash is a mechanism of injury like a gunshot or a stab wound is a mechanism of injury. Both can cause very severe or even relatively minor injuries. It’s important to know both what kind of injury and the severity of the injury
Are X-rays Safe? Orthodox healthcare, like government, can take forever to update flawed doctrine. History is full of examples of this. German physician Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was ridiculed and ostracized for recommending physicians wash their hands after inspecting cadavers before they delivered babies. He was ostracized so badly he ended up in a mental institution where he died of gangrene from a severe beating. Current thoughts on the assumed dangers of low dose radiation are similarly entrenched into healthcare education and permeate throughout our culture in the form of radiophobia. The Journal of Nuclear Medicine published an article in January 2017 disputing that low-dose medical imaging x-rays are dangerous. In fact, the article argues low dose x-rays, as found in spine x-rays and CT scans, are not only safe but potentially beneficial. Dr. Jeffry Siegel et al argue “data are more consistent with a radiation hormetic (protective) model than with the linear no-threshold (harm at any dose) model.” For over 70 years, medicine followed a Linear No-Threshold Hypothesis (LNTH) that assumes ALL x-ray radiation has damaging cumulative properties and is bad no matter how little you receive. What this means is that no matter how big or small the dose of x-ray radiation you are exposed to, its effects are always negative. The more x-ray radiation you are exposed to over time the worse your chances for
Opioid Epidemic Who’s a quack? It’s not uncommon for chiropractors to be called quacks. It’s more a matter of when, not if you’re going to be called a quack if you’re a chiropractor. Sadly, there are some chiropractors, just like medical doctors, that have earned this label. However, the chiropractic profession as a whole is far from being rooted in quackery. Why is it that so many people, particularly medical doctors, have such a negative stigma attached to chiropractic? First, let’s look at the facts. The definition of a “quack” is a person who dishonestly claims to have special knowledge or skill in some field, typically medicine. Right from the start, it’s easy to see that this does not pertain to the profession of chiropractic. As a whole chiropractic does not profess to have or even want to have “skill” as a medical doctor. The entire profession of chiropractic is governed by the concept that the body functions best without chemical or surgical intervention unless it is an immediate life or death emergency. This means that the vast majority of medical care being used to drug and cut for degenerative conditions serve only to rid the body of symptoms and ignore the underlying problem. The most common example of this is the excessive use of pain meds, specifically opioids, for back pain. The opioid epidemic is at an all-time
Avoid the Dangers of Opioid Addiction with Chiropractic A vast majority of arrests in the U.S. are for drug violations. According to the FBI, drug violation arrest was the single largest reason for arrest in 2012. Ironically most of the drug arrests were for mere possession. It’s so common that every 42 seconds someone in the U.S. is arrested for drugs according to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). The Drug and Opioid Addiction Hypocrisy Considering the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on marketing drugs to the public it is no wonder that opioid addiction is so pervasive throughout our country. The United States is one of two countries in the world that allows advertising prescriptions drugs directly to patients. The current epidemic of opioid overdoses will never change in a culture brainwashing the public into relying primarily on drugs for their healthcare. It’s a total contradiction to tell people to say no to drugs while conversely telling them the best healthcare is dependent on treating symptoms with addictive drugs. As a chiropractor, I see patients on a daily basis that have chronic pain as a result of problems that are not addressed or corrected with the drug model. It’s easy to judge other people for being immoral or weak when you don’t understand the physical or emotional pain they are going through. They are told the only way
Stupid S*!T Doctors Say Part 2 A patient comes in for a consult and new patient exam. Her complaint has been going on for several months. Out of the blue, she began experiencing significant shoulder and neck pain. She put ice on it while working to deal with the pain. She then goes to an Orthopedic MD who takes x-rays of her neck and shoulder from which the MD diagnoses her with a muscle tear. SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP, is he serious?!? Is he really that incompetent or just totally dishonest? It is basically impossible to identifying and diagnosis a muscle tear on an x-ray. He did not tell her what muscle it was. Come on, dude. At least commit to your total BS and lack of diagnostic skills. Dr. Gregory House would berate you without mercy. She was then referred out for physical therapy where she was treated once a week and had zero improvements. Once a week physical therapy is going to do nothing at that frequency if she actually had a torn muscle. How is physical therapy going to correct this tear? After several months, she returns to the ortho who informed her that she “just wasted her money at the physical therapist” because he now believes she has a “pinched nerve”. For which, he
Stupid S*!T That Doctors Say Keep in mind that all of these conversations are second or third-hand accounts. They are reports given by patients informing me what their medical doctor told them. Or reports of a patient’s chiropractor reporting what their patient said their MD told them. I realize that this is not HARD EVIDENCE. However, the frequency in which I hear these types of anecdotes is excessive, to say the least. As a result, I’ve decided to collect these stories for others to realize that your doctor is just a person, sometimes even a stupid person. The following is the first entry into, what is likely to be an ongoing series. The primary care physician knows her spine cannot cause headaches. She palpated her neck on her last checkup.*WARNING* Excessive sarcasm to follow Yeah, I’m sure those bulging DISCS are just a coincidence and have nothing to do with headaches. It’s so clearly not related to the patient’s neck because your neck is not your head and they are very far apart and have nothing to do with each other. In fact, headaches have never been caused by neck related issues. LOL. Oh and I bet your ability to palpate pathology as a medical doctor, who likely puts her hands on maybe one patient a week, is far superior to a chiropractor who has
Arthritis? Chiropractic Can Absolutely Help. The cause of the joint inflammation and symptoms is very commonly a combination of uneven weight distribution and nutritional deficiency and utilizing chiropractic is essential to proper treatment. Think of your spine like tires on your car. Speed bumps, potholes, car accidents and lack of regular maintenance can result in uneven tire alignment. If your tires have an uneven distribution of weight because they are not aligned properly then they will wear unevenly. This is a common reason for bald spots on your tires. While your tires should be able to last thousands of miles, the life your tires could easily be cut in half if the alignment is off. The same is true of your spine. Common slips fall, sports injuries, car accidents (even minor car accidents), bad posture can often seem minor if the pain doesn’t linger. However, small and big injuries can result in your spine being uneven. This shift in the proper alignment of your spine results in improper biomechanical loads being placed on the spine and ultimately uneven wear. This uneven wear will result in inflammation in the joints called spondylosis, osteoarthritis or arthritis of the spine. While this article focuses on arthritis of the spine, the principles discussed are applicable to all joints in the human body. Where Do You Begin? As with your car, an exam must
How Did This Happen To Me? As a chiropractor in Greenville, NC, this is easily the most common question that I am asked by patients. Many chiropractic patients go to a chiropractor as a last resort instead of their first option to relieve back pain. They have been to numerous medical doctors for countless drugs, surgical consults, and physical therapy. Reducing their low back pain, neck pain, headaches or other symptoms temporarily at best and none have fixed the problem. They are often baffled as to why no one knows why they are experiencing back pain, neck pain, headaches etc. When a structurally focused chiropractor shows them what the current shape of their spine looks like and compares it to normal they are often shocked. “How did it get this bad?” “How did this happen?” “What causes this?” are all questions that I hear as a chiropractor almost every day. It’s Important To Understand That You’re Not Alone. Recognizing and treating symptoms is the training medical doctors receive. It’s very rare for a medical doctor and sometimes even a chiropractor who is pain based, to understand the importance of identifying abnormal shapes in the spine. For a structurally focused chiropractor, we know what happens when your spine is not in its ideal shape and we alone know how to correct it. If you are experiencing any symptoms like headaches, neck pain,
No Car Damage Doesn’t Mean No Damage To Your Body A common misconception with car accident injuries is that “if there’s not much car damage then there can’t be much damage to the person”. This is completely false for a number of reasons. Let me give you an example of why this statement is completely untrue. If you’re looking to buy a dozen eggs, what’s the first thing you do when you pick up a carton before you buy them? Almost without exception, you’ll open the carton and check for cracked eggs. Why don’t you just look at the carton for any potential damage? Because the carton design purpose is to absorb shock to protect the eggs which are MUCH MORE FRAGILE than the carton. The human body is the same way. Most chiropractors understand this. That’s why we take x-rays of patients. Sometimes the damage is not always obvious. This is also the case with patients involved in “low-speed” car accidents or car accidents that do not result in a lot of car damage. Your spine and the muscles, ligaments, tendons, etc. are more fragile that the car itself. It’s actually very common for someone in a car accident to have very little or NO damage to their car but significant damage to their spine. The reason for this is because the majority of your body is strapped in
Chiropractic and Insurance: Top 5 health insurance myths when seeing a chiropractor. MYTH: In-network chiropractors are better than out-of-network chiropractors. Becoming an In-network chiropractor for health insurance can be complicated but it’s not hard if you’re willing to give up most of your rights as a healthcare provider. While the insurance company cannot FORCE you to treat patients a certain way they can make a lot of requirements. These requirements make it difficult at best and impossible at worst (especially in North Carolina) to provide the care necessary AND be reimbursed for said medically necessary care. Insurance will quickly STOP paying for chiropractic care as soon as the patient’s symptoms improve. This rarely happens if ever, with medical care. If you were to see this type of reimbursement happen for your medical services it would be similar to having insurance pay the emergency room care related to a heart attack. As soon as they got a sinus rhythm and put you in a different room you would be required to pay for ALL the other medical services out of your own pocket. This could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. As a result, many chiropractors have to make a choice between treating patients for what they need and requiring them to pay upfront. Then waiting for any potential insurance payments to be paid to them OR falling
How To Get Taller, Chiropractic May Be Able To Help. Not everyone has the genetics to be seven feet tall. It’s important to eat healthy and make sure you’re well-nourished while you’re growing. This provides you the best opportunity to reach your optimal height potential. In the United States, we often consider ourselves to have the best of a lot of things when compared to the rest of the world. The reality is that that is not the case when it comes to our health. There is certainly a vast majority of the country that is overfed and under-nourished. Despite this fact, we still have access to enough healthy food to avoid creating nutritional deficiencies that prevent us from growing as tall as our genetics will allow. More commonly, people in the U.S. struggle maintaining their height. This is not just a problem for the old, or even middle-aged. Poor posture and spinal stability often result in decreased spinal height. Examples of this include thoracic hyperkyphosis commonly referred to as “hunchback” or “granny-back”. This type of spinal pathology is not exclusive to the elderly. It often starts at a very young age prior to becoming an adult. It’s also important to understand that having a hunchback is not caused by a disease in the traditional sense. A hunchback is certainly a spinal pathology but not one that is always caused
Do You Need A Lawyer For A Car Accident? This blog is not intended to serve as legal advice. The purpose is to provide a complete understanding of what can happen and who can be involved in a personal injury case for people who have been injured in a car accident. We will elaborate on what we commonly see with our whiplash patients at Corrective Chiropractic. It is our hope to better help you made a decision about steps you can take if you are involved in a car accident. The quick and easy answer to the question above is NO. You do not NEED a lawyer if you are involved in a car accident. Many of our patients have great outcomes both in reference to their health as well was their settlement. Again, Corrective Chiropractic does not offer legal advice but we are capable of providing information about your injuries to the responsible party’s insurance company to motivate them to recognize the severity of the injuries you may have sustained. The more information they have the more likely they are to offer a reasonable settlement without having to involve a lawyer and go to court. In our experience, we have observed that when patients who come to our office for chiropractic care as the result of a car accident injury, like whiplash, the patients who do NOT have
What To Do If My Chiropractor or Doctor Says I Need Surgery It has come to my attention that there are numerous chiropractors in the Greenville NC area that refuse to treat or touch patients. Then recommend the same patients for surgery. While it is not unreasonable for a chiropractor to refer a severe case out to a surgeon. It seems to be happening with alarming frequency. This is based on the people I meet in town and the relative rarity in which patients require surgery. It’s upsetting the number of times that the people I have talked to have expressed their initial desire to avoid surgery. This can be for their neck pain, low back pain or sciatica. It’s frustrating especially when the chiropractor they’ve seen refuse to even touch them. On more than one occasion this has happened. So often in fact that when the conversation turns towards chiropractic with new people I meet, more than half of them have indicated to me that this has happened to them! I do not claim to know more about the health of numerous people I’ve talked to in Greenville whose chiropractor refused to treat and instead referred immediately for surgery. I did not do an exam on these patients. However, for those of you who don’t know, chiropractors and medical doctors included, low back surgery or neck surgery
Coverage For Your Motor Vehicle Injury Claim The purpose of the following information is to help you better understand what happens and who is involved in a car accident injury claim. More specifically we will discuss the different types of insurance involved. Then how insurance coverage for a car accident in North Carolina works. In cases of motor vehicle accidents, there are usually 3 different insurance policies that may be involved: The Auto Policy of the Person Who Hit You Your Own Auto Policy, or Medpay Your Personal Health Care Plan Each of these companies is required to do and NOT to do certain things. Understanding these requirements will help you to better understand what your rights are. Giving you a better opportunity to know what you are entitled to if you are involved in a car accident. Their InsuranceLiability Coverage (auto) PROS Liability coverage is from the insurance policy that is held by the person who caused the accident. This coverage should be the primary payer for any damages done in a car accident. If you not at fault then you are making a claim against the at-fault person’s liability coverage, assuming they have any. Legally, ALL drivers MUST have liability coverage. In North Carolina, the minimum auto insurance coverage allowed by law is $30,000/$60,000/$25,000, although options for more coverage are
Whiplash Injuries, Like High Blood Pressure For Your Spine Let me explain. Untreated hypertension (high blood pressure) can often lead to a deadly heart attack or stroke which is why it earned the moniker as “a silent killer”. While severe whiplash can result in death that’s not the reason for the comparison I’m making between whiplash and high blood pressure. If you die from a whiplash injury it will typically (not always) happen immediately or shortly after the whiplash injury. Car accident deaths from a whiplash spinal cord injury seldom occur since the advent of the seat belt. The problem is the seat belt doesn’t completely prevent whiplash injuries. In fact, there is evidence to show that while much less severe, there are far more whiplash injuries due to modern car design since the invention of seat belts. I’m absolutely not saying that seatbelts are bad. Seatbelts prevent a LOT of potential deaths, severe spinal injuries and more by keeping passengers securely fastened in their seat. However, the cost of having your body fixed in the seat during a car accident is that your body goes where the car goes, but your head does not, hence the whiplash. This is why relatively slow speed car accidents can still cause significant injuries leading to chronic problems. Like with high blood pressure, when you have an injury from whiplash the
Do I Have A Short Leg? Maybe. The most important thing you can do is to be evaluated by a structurally focused chiropractor to determine any potential discrepancies between your leg lengths. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you even wear a shoe lift and especially not a HEEL LIFT without taking x-rays. Heel lifts have been known as a cheap quick “fix” to pain. This can often cause more problems and not address the problem adequately or even at all. It is not uncommon for me or other structurally focused chiropractors to see new patients that have been prescribed heel lifts that were either unnecessary or on the wrong side. Typically this is done by traditional chiropractors who treat a patient’s symptoms only. Traditional chiropractors don’t regularly do a thorough full spine x-ray evaluation. Regardless of whether or not your symptoms improve, you should seek a second opinion from a structurally focused chiropractor if you’ve been prescribed a heel lift. How Can You Check For A Short Leg? If you do in fact have a short leg this can only be ACCURATELY measured by taking x-rays. X-rays should be taken both without a heel lift or shoe lift as well as a Correction Potential X-ray (CPX or stress x-ray). The x-rays are used to determine how your spine and sacrum responded to said heel or shoe lift. X-rays for patients with
Is Football Dangerous? A review by a chiropractor and retired college football offensive lineman. If I only knew then, what I know now. Over and over this phrase plays in my head when I think about my time playing football in college. So many of my former teammates wax nostalgic about the good ‘ole playing days. I’m more torn about my time as a 300 lb. offensive lineman. Now that I’m a doctor of chiropractic, I have a much better understanding of the human body and the potential damage and injuries that often result in a lifetime of chronic pain and suffering or even death. And yet, I loved the sport. There are few other situations in life in which you will find a group of around 100 young men working from all different races, religions, and cultures working towards one goal in unison. But is it worth the risk? Let’s examine football and the inherent risks in a sport requiring you to use your head as a weapon. If you or your children are interested in playing football I encourage you to watch the movie “Concussion” with Will Smith. The story is based on real events of a medical doctor who uncovers a previously unrecognized progressive degenerative disease that is the result of severe or repeated blows to the head. Dr. Bennet Omalu is the forensic pathologist that discovered
Why can’t I just get a quick adjustment to “fix” my (insert musculoskeletal symptom) without full spine x-rays to fix my problem? BECAUSE Two words “malpractice lawsuit.” Chiropractic isn’t a cheap “bar trick” that instantly gets rid of the pain. Corrective Chiropractic is a structurally focused chiropractic office that is more advanced and thorough than a drive through massage parlor. I’m a DOCTOR of chiropractic, not a “crack whore.” Your problem likely took years or decades to develop into a chronic problem and it’s not going to get fixed in 5 minutes. I am not Superman and do not have x-ray vision so I do not KNOW what the exact structural alignment of your spine is without a very specific postural x-ray evaluation. The quality of care is of the utmost priority at Corrective Chiropractic. Corrective Chiropractic exists for the benefit of its patients, not for a quick dollar. Corrective Chiropractic will not further the myth that chiropractic is a “quick fix” type of healthcare by offering subpar care. Your problem cannot be fixed if it is not investigated and accurately measured with weight bearing (standing) x-rays. That type of care is inadequate despite what your insurance company wants you to believe. Treating patients without x-rays for a
How To Research A Chiropractor The internet has made a huge impact on personal choices from products to services. The benefit is that you have the ability to research the best product or service before making a purchase. Sometimes though we are inept on something that we may not be familiar with and this blog deals specifically with how to research a chiropractor. X-Rays Should Be Taken Beginning X-rays and follow up x-rays should be a part of the care provided from a traditional or corrective chiropractor. They should also be of the full spine not just the area of concern. The spine is one contiguous structure. Don’t assume that your neck and low back are completely isolated from each other. They affect one another and must be evaluated as a whole for proper structural care. Think of the spine as one organ. Just because it feels like it hurts on the left side of your body you could be shifted or rotated to the right side putting pressure on the left. There is no way to know what is going on with your spine without x-rays. For more about this CLICK HERE. Chiropractic Reviews Google reviews, Yelp reviews, and other review sites can be beneficial or not entirely true. At Corrective Chiropractic we directly work with a verified third party DemandForce™ that proves our reviews are from patients that
Why You NEED X-rays If You’re Going To A Chiropractor As a chiropractor, one of the most common concerns for new patients is the need for x-rays prior to treatment. It’s not uncommon for people to call and shop around for a chiropractor who will comply with their demands. Don’t misunderstand me. I think it’s VERY important to find a chiropractor, medical doctor or physical therapist that will work with a patient’s wants. HOWEVER, make sure that your concerns are based on science and sound information and not merely personal preference. There is a certain amount of trust that you will need to place in your chiropractor to get you well and you don’t want to tie his/her hands. Most importantly, ask why. If you are hesitant as to the need for any test, talk to your chiropractor about it. In the end, if you value your health, you want to find a chiropractor that is not only willing but capable of making structural changes to your spine. The vast majority of our patients come to Corrective Chiropractic after physical therapy, medicine, or traditional chiropractic failed them. The reason they are often unable to improve the patient’s symptoms and health is because none of these healthcare providers are capable of both identifying and correcting the cause of musculoskeletal conditions and symptoms like headaches, neck pain, mid back pain, low back
Is Sugar Really Bad For You? If you ‘google’ “is sugar really bad for you” the search results pull up this as the first results: “The AHA links added sugar to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In a nutshell, eating too much sugar can cause fat buildup in the liver, which can lead to these problems. It’s not all bad. … As sweet as some of these things may taste, they contain relatively small amounts of sugar.” Now I’m not completely saying you should avoid sugar at all costs and drop it cold turkey. I am saying let’s be informed and find out more about sugar. There are hundreds of types of sugars and labeling them each is, well, time-consuming so let’s put them into some very simple categories and start there. What Do We Mean By Sugar? By “sugar” we mean the syrup form, as well as, the granular form. This includes the raw, unrefined, as well as, the refined forms. This includes high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, coconut sugars, molasses and even honey. “Sugar” means any combinations or blends of sugars ending in “ose” as they’re ALL equally harmful to the body. “Sugar” includes ANYTHING in “ose”: SUCROSE (Table sugar) a simple sugar made from cane sugar or beets. FRUCTOSE, a simple sugar in fruits, plants and honey. MALTOSE, a complex sugar in barley and
GallbladderShame on you for punishing your poor little gallbladder for being what you made him. Most of us understand that children need positive healthy environments to thrive. There are always outliers that are able to break the mold and be successful despite the worst conditions. That is the American Dream after all. There’s a reason it is called a dream, however. While some have the ability or fortune to make it big despite their terrible circumstances, this is the exception, not the rule. The same holds true for a person’s health. It’s unreasonable to expect people to thrive regularly when they don’t have the resources that others do. The same is true of your health. We all know that person that lived to be 86 even though they smoked, and drank and ate candy regularly. This is becoming a much less common occurrence, however, because there are more and more foods and drugs and surgeries that negatively affect our health. True we are living longer but not always healthier. In today’s modern world we have more knowledge and more availability of quality organic foods, and health care like chiropractic that doesn’t use drugs or surgery, but not everyone takes advantage of these things. Too often our first choice is often the easiest not the best. Nowhere is it truer than when it comes to organ removal surgeries. Certainly, there
Chiropractic and Stroke Recently, there was an article showing a picture of a model who died under the headlines claiming she was “killed by a chiropractor” from a neck adjustment. Let’s dive a little more in depth into this claim since every couple of years it seems to show up in the news. Is it possible? There is no evidence of causation. Maybe there is a very weak association with chiropractic care and stroke but the same association exists with medical care and stroke. There is no evidence that the mechanical forces from a chiropractic adjustment (performed by a chiropractor) can cause a Vertebral Artery Dissection (VAD) or Carotid Artery Dissection (CAD) that would result in a stroke. The relationship between stroke and chiropractic adjustments is a correlation, at best, not a causal relationship. This means that the evidence does not really show any statistical significance to suggest that a chiropractic adjustment CAUSES stroke. The reality is that people who have strokes after a chiropractic adjustment were likely going to have a stroke at some point anyway because they already experienced a VAD or CAD from a trauma or other preexisting condition prior to receiving a chiropractic adjustment. The most common type of stroke that is claimed to happen as a result of a chiropractic adjustment is a Vertebral Artery Dissection (VAD) or Carotid Artery Dissection (CAD). Your brain receives
Traction vs Decompression A common question when patients begin care at Corrective Chiropractic is “What is the difference between the traction and decompression?” Decompression The concept of decompression is similar to that of inversion tables but much more advanced. An inversion table keeps the legs in place while inverted to allow for the weight of your body from the knees to your head to be pulled down by gravity when inverted. This will distract the spine and opens the joints in the spine, which can relieve discomfort originating from a disc bulge, disc herniation or disc degeneration. It does this because as the intervertebral joints in the spine are pulled apart which pulls the disc inward like a vacuum. When the disc is drawn inwards towards the middle of the joint it can take pressure off of any nerves that the bulge is pressing on. The main similarity to an inversion table and decompression is that they can both distract the spine. This is not to say that patients should get an inversion table and use “to tolerance”. As far as I’m concerned, inversion tables should be available only with a prescription, but that’s another story. Decompression utilizes motorized axial (head to toe) distraction of the lumbar or cervical spine. This machine is often capable of taking constant measurements of the forces being exerted between the machine and the patient.
Remember being bored as a kid? There you were, at the post office, grocery store, or maybe sitting in a waiting room with your mom, and you were absolutely bored out of your mind. That’s when you started to slouch. “Stand up straight!” your mother would say. “It’s bad for your posture.” What is posture exactly, though? Posture, in a chiropractic care sense, is the shape of your spine as you’re standing. As Greenville, NC chiropractors, we like to see a “neutral spine” or “good posture,” which refers to the ideal shape that your spine should look like. Treat the Problem, Not the Symptom Being structural chiropractors, we list poor posture as a secondary condition. This means that if (and how) your spine differs from the ideal spine shape, that is an indication that something else is wrong in your body and needs to be adjusted. If your posture is incorrect, something has changed, or a Structural Shift has occurred, and your posture along with other symptoms can tell us what’s wrong. Do the following to check if your posture is good or poor: stand with your back and heels against a wall. If you have good posture you should be touching the wall only at your hips, shoulder blades, and the back of your head. You should be able to slide a flat hand between the wall and your
Is Your Chiropractor Adjusting You Wrong? Most people who visit a Greenville chiropractor are familiar with a side posture chiropractic adjustment intended to correct or mobilize the sacroiliac (SI) joint. Side posture adjusting is one of the most common types of a chiropractic adjustment performed. However, the science and research behind this adjustment do not support the assumption that the side posture adjustment is actually capable of mobilizing and thus adjusting the SI at all. This is a rather advanced topic but bare with me and you will end up understanding more about the SI joint than practically any MD and most doctors of chiropractic in Greenville and the rest of the country. The Sacroiliac Joint Is Not Designed For Movement. The primary function of the SI joint is to transfer load from the upper body to the lower body. This is evident when you look at the design of the SI joint. There are NO muscles that cross the joint to act as movers. I.e. your elbow has muscle that attaches above and below the joint both on the front and the back. The biceps flex your arm and the triceps extend it. No such muscle exists that solely crosses the SI joint by attaching from the sacrum to the ilium to close or open the joint. The SI joint is surround by numerous ligaments to
The Dangers of Automatic Beds and Chairs If you’re using an automated bed or chair to help to stand up or sit up, you need to call Corrective Chiropractic if you live in Greenville, NC. You may be in danger by making your condition worse and need to see a chiropractor as quickly as possible. As with any tool, adjustable chairs and adjustable beds can be very helpful. The problem is when you are wholly dependent on them. If you are experiencing a significant injury from being in a severe car accident or another type of injury, then you may need help sitting or standing up until you are healed and able to get back on your feet by yourself. The problem with these types of devices is that they can be a problem if you rely too much on them and stop trying to use your own body to get up. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. You cannot completely avoid the activity of sitting up or standing up or you will not be able to sit up or stand up. Sadly, many people do not utilize automatic chairs or automatic beds just for a short period due to acute pain. This makes sense because why would you buy something so expensive for only a few weeks or a couple months. Most people who utilize an automatic chair or
Don’t Ignore Whiplash Greenville, NC chiropractors are seeing more and more car accident patients lately. With the constant growth in Greenville, NC there are more people on the roads and more people getting into car accidents. As a chiropractor, I often take for granted that the importance of spinal health is not always understood both by victims of car accidents but also by other chiropractors and healthcare professionals. Whiplash is particularly often poorly understood and as a result, ignored by car accident victims. If neck pain or headaches resolve then the assumption is that the problem is gone. Even worse is that many other chiropractors, medical doctors, and physical therapists reiterate this misinformation. In a pain based and symptoms driven culture we are often misled as to what the true problem is when it comes to the cause of headaches, neck pain and other symptoms that can arise from being in a car accident. The importance of spinal structure and stability cannot be stressed enough with whiplash injuries from car accidents. If you have been in a car accident it’s imperative that you find a chiropractor who is able to determine the true severity of your whiplash injury. This can only be done by a chiropractor who is capable of evaluating your spine and comparing it to a normal structure. It’s important that your chiropractor understands how to
I’m remembering a country song that goes a little something like, “’Cause I’m redneck woman, I ain’t no high-class broad. I’m just a product of my raisin’, And I say “Hey y’all” and “Yee Haw””. Further into the song she emphatically announces “Some people look down on me, But I don’t give a rip. I stand barefooted in my own front yard with a baby on my hip”. Now, I’m definitely not judging, because I too have been known to stand barefooted in my own front yard with a baby on my hip. However, most recently, I have been lying face down on an adjusting table having Dr. Wickstrom work on my hips from doing that exact thing. This setback has prompted me to talk to my chiropractor about the proper technique of holding my little one. An expectant mother usually expects or anticipates that there will be some discomfort as their bundle of joy is developing inside the ever growing belly. But nobody tells you how hard it’s REALLY going to be once the new baby arrives. I don’t mean the diapers and the feedings and the sleep schedule. I’m talking about the toll on a mother’s back and neck, strain on the shoulders and wrists, and knee pain from all of the lifting and bending. After all, car seats, diaper bags, and babies can’t carry themselves, can they?
A Chiropractor’s Opinion of Pokémon Go I’ll be the first to admit that, like many of my patients, I spend WAY too much time on my computer and iPhone. I yearn for a ‘simple’ life, free of mortgages, utility bills, business expenses and a huge amount of student debt. I would love to be able to spend my days on my small suburban home creating a permaculture homestead that is off grid and self-sustaining. Sadly property taxes and many other “necessary” evils of our culture make it nearly impossible to live off the land, undisturbed. As a result, we all have to work extra hard to pay off our numerous debtors and reliance on government. This makes it even harder to make time for your health in Greenville, NC to get outdoors and walk, run bike, etc. Personally, I find the best way to exercise is to do something that you find fun or something that accomplishes more than just exercise. For me, going to the gym is beyond boring. I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym lifting weights and on the field running during my collegiate football career. Even then, I loved the game but playing for a scholarship was a job. You never want to get burned out exercising. If you hate it, it’s very hard to force yourself to do it even though we all
Do You Need A New Doctor? Be forewarned, this blog is going to be a therapeutic venting session about a how medical doctors often fail to help my patients. I know it well because it is an image I am often exposed to. I admit that my frustration may come out on this blog but it’s important to understand something. This is not just a smear piece where I’m complaining about this one situation because my feelings were hurt or because I want the respect as a physician that I believe I’ve earned. This and many other situations like it are a regular occurrence and need to be addressed. Let me paint you a picture. Our country is lacking in basic common sense and nutritional knowledge. This is often even truer in the medical community because medical doctors are taught that the answer to all problems is drugs and surgery. They fail to understand or even grasp the most basic concepts of life and health. The foundation of which is that your body functions optimally with whole foods and whole food nutrition and a normal spine. It’s no wonder medical doctors are unaware of these things when you consider that their model for treatment, symptom-based drugs, and surgery, is so far removed from these concepts. It’s not uncommon for me to encounter medical professionals who do not understand what a
Why implement a wellness program into your workplace? Employers need healthy employees. Healthy employees are happier, more productive, and will help even the best companies become better. There are several ways to help employees be healthy. One of the best ways is by beginning an office wellness program for your employees. Wellness Programs improve morale, reduce absenteeism, add to the health and productivity of the participants and are essential in settings where employees are either sedentary or doing repetitive actions most of the day. When an employer wants to begin a wellness program for their company they should think about their employee needs. What in your employee’s life or workplace is hurting their health? Is it weight, stress, workplace ergonomics, unhealthy lifestyle, healthcare costs, etc.? Figuring out what the group of employees needs help with is the first step. Dr. Wickstrom opened Corrective Chiropractic Greenville NC with the mission to “Heal the community.” Unfortunately, most employers do not have the employee resources or funds for a wellness program. Therefore, Dr. Wickstrom has begun giving back to the Eastern North Carolina community through workshops free to businesses, and non-profit organizations. These workshops are a great start for any organization wanting to educate and improve the health of their employees. A comprehensive workplace wellness program can consist of numerous different venues including, lunch and learn workshops, company fitness programs, and on-site healthcare.
What’s Webster’s Chiropractic Adjusting Technique for Breech Babies During pregnancy, it’s obvious that a woman’s body undergoes a lot of stress while pregnant. Your nervous system has a LOT of changes to coordinate in order to build a human being. Most of us struggle to keep just ourselves healthy. Trying to function optimally while building a child is exponentially more difficult. As a result, problems that may have gone unnoticed before tend to show up while pregnant. This is likely why we see women deal with diabetic problems, blood pressure problems and spinal misalignment problems commonly while pregnant despite not exhibiting symptoms before being pregnant. As a result, it is common for abnormal shifts in the spine and especially the pelvic area, including the sacrum, to show symptoms during pregnancy or become worse during pregnancy. Webster Technique was developed to address the common but abnormal shifts in the sacrum. It’s probably obvious that growing something the size of a watermelon inside your pelvic bowel can put some pressure on the foundation structures (pelvis, sacrum, pubic symphysis and spine) that supports it. A common result of an abnormal shift of the sacrum can result in a breech presentation. Your baby doesn’t have a lot of room inside of your uterus. If the surrounding structures to which everything attaches is out of place it can make it difficult for the baby
Types of Scoliosis Mainstream medicine’s method of dealing with scoliosis is fairly standard. Based off of Mayo Clinic’s website advice for a diagnosed individual with scoliosis is: Periodic checkups to monitor the progression of the curve up to 25 degrees. Pass 25 degrees the patient may be placed in a brace to prevent progression of the curve(s). If the unfortunate circumstance of a 40-degree curve becomes a reality, then a surgical consultation is warranted. These are the recommendations for children diagnosed with the condition until they achieve skeletal maturity. The recommendations will be capped with the “there is no scientific basis” that exercises or chiropractic will reduce curve progression. Up to 20,000 Harrington Rod implantations, surgeries are performed every year to treat the disease of scoliosis, representing 2.4 billion dollars in medical expenses annually, for a medical procedure that can only be described as the most archaic form of current medical interventions, and has a dubious success rate to boot. Of all the energy that has been poured into finding cures to the various illnesses humanity confronts daily, it seems that scoliosis has been inexcusably neglected throughout time. Some of the brave souls in the healing arts have chosen to look conventional wisdom in the face and take fate into their own hands. If you are reading this then you most likely are that
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident It depends. If you are going to hire an attorney to represent you with your car accident claim, we always recommend finding a law firm that is local with an ACTIVE and staffed office in Greenville. This is important because sometimes it is very difficult to get in touch with lawyers who are out of the area or who only have satellite offices in Greenville that are staffed very infrequently. Corrective Chiropractic has worked with a few good lawyers in and out of the Greenville, NC area. It has been our experience that our patients are able to settle their claims easily on their own and be able to pay all of their chiropractic expenses and additional compensation without the need for an attorney. This is true for smaller cases where the injuries are not severe and necessitates care beyond three months and the damage to the vehicle is obvious indicative that they could have been injured. Common situations we have seen where patients did not receive enough money to pay their chiropractic fees typically involve an attorney in smaller cases. When a smaller settlement (<$10,000) has to be split between a third party, (the lawyer) it often doesn’t leave enough to pay for the patients personal compensation, vehicle repairs, the lawyer’s fees and the necessary chiropractic care which is
Chiropractic for Kids Most parents care a great deal about the health and wellbeing of their children. Currently, there is a never-ending onslaught of parent-shaming going on in the media from numerous different authorities and everybody has a different opinion. It can be daunting to determine what’s best for you children. Vaccinations: Are they safe or not. Are they necessary? Is it safe to not get them? Breastfeeding: Is it really that important and if so for how long? Exercise: Is running around the yard enough? What sports can be dangerous for young kids? Are helmets enough to protect them? Food additives and safety: MSG, artificial flavors, aspartame, colors. Gluten: Is this really that big of a problem? Asthma: Why is this so much more common than it used to be? Fevers: Is it beneficial or even safe to use drugs to reduce a fever? Autism: Is it really caused by vaccines? What do I do now? Sugar: How much is too much? Is high fructose corn syrup really that bad? Fluoride: Is really good for their teeth. Is it even safe? It seems like the biggest concern that people asked about kids 50 years ago was not dropping them on their head and even then…. Meh, it happens. It’s a lot to deal with. While I do feel VERY confident answering a lot of those questions, I’m only
Scoliosis Treatment This life-changing diagnosis can feel very isolating but know that you are not alone. Scoliosis is estimated to affect at least 5% of the population. Dr. Bret Wickstrom has firsthand knowledge of the helplessness and confusion that comes with the diagnosis of scoliosis. Dr. Wickstrom understands, just like you do, that scoliosis can have the power to impact your life, not only with progressively increasing pain and disfigurement, but also affecting your overall health, quality of life, and longevity. If you could reduce or prevent these changes, would you? Dr. Wickstrom is has been repeatedly successful in reducing abnormal scoliosis naturally, leaving your entire body to function better. Whether you have been living scoliosis for years or your scoliosis has only been detected recently, you are looking for answers now. Why has this happened? What are my treatment options? What will scoliosis continue to do to my body, day in and day out? Will I have to live with the pain and/or disfigurement that advance relentlessly? Unfortunately, mainstream treatment options are either painfully invasive, lacking in results, or both. We want you to know that there is hope. This post will explain the methods used by Dr. Wickstrom during treatment so you can feel confident when choosing to seek help. You will understand what
Breast reduction: Got a symptom? Cut it off! As always, there may be a time and a place for most things, drastic surgery included. The vast majority of the time, not only is it unnecessary but it does not correct the primary cause of the condition. The question that must be asked and answered is “WHY is the symptom there in the first place?” Breast reduction surgery is commonly prescribed to reduce back pain. However, it’s important to determine whether or not increased breast size is the only and primary cause of the symptom of back pain. Breast reduction surgery has one of the highest patient satisfaction ratings compared to all surgical operations. The reason for this is that it is a very quick way to reduce the load being put on the spine. The problem is that it is not the ONLY and arguably no the primary reason for a pathologically increased mechanical load on the spine which causes pain. Breast reduction surgery quickly removes symptoms but leaves abnormal spinal shifts still in place with no improvement. Yes, there is less weight bearing down on the spine, which is why the pain often quickly lessens. However, any abnormal shifts in the spine that were potentially a significant reason for the back pain, have not been addressed. You could argue that breast reduction surgery would change and improve any abnormal
Out-of-Network Doctors a better option? Understanding insurance coverage is tricky. “In-Network”, “Out-of-network”, “Allowable”, “Write –off”….yada yada yada. The terminology alone is enough to cause a headache. All you REALLY want to know is how much is it going to cost to get rid of said headache? This is the million dollar question. And, depending on your healthcare plan, it can feel like it costs you a million dollars. In-network vs. Out-of-network In-network doctors have entered into a contract with a health insurance company to provide services for members at pre-negotiated rates. An out-of-network physician has not agreed to the discounted (cheaper) rates for chiropractic or medical care. As a result, patients will often forgo care with out-of-network providers because of the assumption that the cost will be higher with an out-of-network provider vs. an in-network provider. However, seeking out an in-network doctor is not always the best choice for you to get the care that you need. Let me explain, an in-network doctor signs a contract. This contract states the amount that the doctor can charge, what services he/she can charge for, how many services he/she can charge for, what hoops he/she must jump thru to get said visits. Whether you want to admit it or not, these limitations CAN and DO affect the care that you are receiving. For one, what do you think happens if the in-network chiropractor
Children in Car Accidents There are very significant differences in children and adults. If you are involved in a car accident, do not make the mistake of assuming that because you may not be in pain or hurting that: 1. You are not injured 2. Other passengers in the car will have equivalent injuries or lack of injuries. What you are doing and how you are sitting during a car accident has an impact on the type and severity of injuries or whiplash you will sustain. 3. Kids “heal” quickly so they don’t need chiropractic care. 4. Kids are less likely to be injured. It absolutely baffles me the number of people that come in for whiplash induced injuries or car accident injuries who completely ignore the well-being of any children that were in the same accident. Kids often have even more of a potential for injury. This isn’t always the case but it’s a consistent trend and should be addressed; in the hopes that I can shed some light on why whiplash induced injuries in kids are a serious issue and not be ignored. The misconception is that kids are more flexible and somehow less prone to injury. Therefore don’t need to be examined if they aren’t complaining of pain. There are a couple problems with that assumption. 1. Children cannot accurately articulate how they are feeling. It’s easy
It’s your own fault: Why your health isn’t getting better with prayer requests and drugs. Why is this Chiropractor throwing stones? I know I’m not the picture perfect example of ideal health. I admit, I’ve let the modern day, first world problems of small business bills, overwhelming student debt, marital discord, etc. take priority in my life. I can complain about how my student loans are bigger than most house payments despite the fact that my doctorate is far less likely to allow me the earning potential of a medical doctor, or how spending literally 24 hours a day 7 days a week with my wife, who is also my employee, raises the odds for relationship issues. But you all have your problems, just like I do. They’re different but still the same. Yes, I know that I should exercise more and avoid “self-medicating” with desserts. But one thing I won’t do is fail to take responsibility for my own health. Good or bad, this is my temple that I’ve been given to maintain and even though there are times that I, like all of us, fail to keep it clean I won’t put my head in the sand or put the blame on someone else or just bad luck when it comes to my health. You’re doing it all wrong. In life, there are a few
To Be In Network or Not To Be In Network You get what you pay for. The quick and short explanation is that, in my professional opinion, you are being conned. Yeah that may sound harsh but let’s be honest, you know that I’m right. There are very few people that are happy about the value of their insurance benefits. Most of you don’t even have a clue what those benefits cover. Who really has time to read everything covered in those policies? Most of the time your employer picks a policy, often based on cost and not the quality of care. The point at which you see said policy is usually in right after you found out you just got the job. Yay! You’re not unemployed! But wait. What are you really getting paid? The days of expecting just a standard co-pay to get care are gone. Now the plans are redone, manipulated, reworked, altered, updated, or whatever you call it. They are often different and almost always not easily discernible. There are so many options and choices that you, instead of an apples to apples comparison, end up comparing rotten apples to outdated cheese in a can. Sure, both may keep you from dying in a pinch but neither is really going to improve your overall health. But to the insurance company, they’ve met their goals
Why Do Some Medical Doctors Not Like Chiropractors? In short, the American Medical Association is the devil. Stay with me for a minute. I know that doesn’t sound “professional”. It is also not a satisfactory answer to a legitimate question. Allow me to explain. There are still a lot of, typically older, medical doctors who will pucker up tight as a drum if you mention the word chiropractor. Not surprisingly, because this is such a common occurrence, a lot of patients have questions about why medical doctors are this way. The frustrating thing is that I can’t really give a QUICK answer without sounding either defensive or borderline psychotic, which is even more enraging since if I talked about MDs and PTs the way that many of them do about chiropractors most patients would slowly back out of my office without breaking eye contact. Ironically, chiropractors are not typically the ones talking out of a state of ignorance when we stand on our soap box issuing warnings about the medical profession. The Chiropractor’s Side Of The Story. Understand that this little history lesson is only ONE of the many onion-like layers to why a chiropractor practicing the safest and effective means of healthcare in the world is still not more universally accepted and understood by the medical profession and the rest of the public. Back in the day chiropractors
Whole Food Supplements and Not So Whole Food Supplements Every couple of years, or less, another pyramid marketing company boast their newest, proprietary supplement line or weight loss products. Stop getting fooled. These products are NOT healthy by their very nature. They, like so many processed food-like products, are nothing special. “But Dr. Wickstrom, they have this new antioxidant, probiotic, amino acid, vitamin and mineral, transdermal, sublingual, proprietary blend that is premium naturopathic, all natural… pill, powder, patch, shake etc.” Yes, that may be mostly true but that doesn’t mean that it’s any better than whole foods. At the end of the day, all you have is another person’s attempt to patent a specific “formula” that only one company can sell and make money off of. The best way to make money selling something is to be excited about the product and have knowledge (even if only perceived knowledge) about the product. No one wants to buy something from a “Debbie Downer” who could care less if you get their magic bean shake mix. You want to feel confident in your purchase. You’re more likely to feel that way with someone who swears up and down that their ultra, fancy, high-tech, science vitamin and a mineral patch is THE latest and greatest advancement in the world of human nutrition and will be sure to make you super human healthy.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Insurance? A new patient came into my office today with a stack of information about a recent car accident he was in. Let’s cut right to the issue. The cost for a local hospital visit, just ONE VISIT; Totaled over $5,000! Of particular interest were the x-ray charges. This new patient’s cost for just one lumbar series of four x-rays of the low back (CPT code 72110) was $550.00. Excuse me?! Does insurance actually pay them that? How can the local hospital justify that kind of cost when most don’t even know what a NORMAL lumbar curve looks like? CLICK HERE for an explanation of the normal structure of the spine. The combined arrogance and idiocracy are beyond bearable sometimes. For comparison, Corrective Chiropractic currently charges $150 for the same service. And, in my not so humble opinion, the service is superior to that of most hospitals. Specifically, as it relates to patients with spinal structural injuries from whiplash and car accident injuries. Also, every person is able to and in fact required to see their x-rays immediately after being taken, the perks of digital x-rays. After all, it’s nice to see what is going on without having to wait hours or days later. Only for someone to tell you “it’s not broken so just take these pills for pain and muscle spasm and you’ll be
As with many forms of martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is heavily rooted in grappling techniques. As a result, training in the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu requires a lot of falls, which inevitably have the potential to create structural issues in the spine that can and often do lead to long term chronic neck pain, mid back pain, low back pain, headaches, numbness, tingling, etc. It’s easy to recognize most acute injuries when they happen because of the common symptom of pain or swelling that often immediately follows an unpleasant event. If you’ve spent any time sparring in Brazilian jiu-jitsu or any other martial arts technique, you will eventually experience some kind of injury. For the most part, a twisted ankle or broken collar bone are “obvious” injuries that will quickly get examined or at least treated with something like ice, pain killers or rest. It’s not uncommon for people to not give it another thought as soon as the initial pain from the injury subsides. As long as you can “walk it off” you must be fine right? A structural chiropractor understands the importance of correcting and maintaining an ideal spinal structure will tell you that this is a big mistake. Most people do nothing when they take a nasty fall from a toss etc. and chalk up the common aches and pains later in life to “old
Chiropractic For Bodybuilders There are a lot of misconceptions in the world of bodybuilding. We’ve all heard weekend warriors and couch potato claims “I could do that if I wanted to” and “If I used steroids I’d be that big too”. For those who actually are competitive bodybuilders, these statements are just something that comes with the territory. Bodybuilders understand that the sport is far more than just lifting weights. A masterful amount of self-discipline, preparation, training and research goes into molding the human body into an amazing example of art and perfection. It’s not as simple as just spending more time in the gym than the other competitors. In fact, spending too much time and limiting recovery time can be detrimental. Optimal Balance of Bodybuilding Bodybuilding requires a massive amount of lifting while maintaining optimal balance. It is essential to allow the muscle the proper time to recover. As well as stressing all the muscles equally to create symmetrical muscle growth on both sides of the body. No one is winning any competitions with a great physique on just the right side of their body. More to the point, you put yourself at great risk of injury when you are unbalanced. I had the distinct pleasure of being able to hear Lou Ferrigno speak in person to hundreds of future chiropractors. My first thought was that he was
Understanding insurance coverage is tricky. “In-Network”, “Out of Network”, “Allowable”, “Write –off”….yada yada yada. The terminology alone is enough to cause a headache, and all you REALLY want to know is how much is it going to cost you to get rid of said a headache? This is the million dollar question. And, depending on your healthcare plan, it can feel like it cost you a million dollars. In Network, doctors have entered into a contract with a health insurance company to provide services for members at pre-negotiated rates. An out of network physician has not agreed to the discounted rates. With that being said, please know that seeking out an in network doctor is not always the best choice for you to get the care that you need. Let me explain. See, an in-network doctor signs a contract. This contract states the amount that the doctor can charge, what services he/she can charge for, how many services he/she can charge for, what hoops he/she must jump thru to get said visits. Whether you want to admit it or not, these limitations CAN and DO affect the care that you are receiving. For one, what do you think happens if the in-network doctor feels that there is a great therapy that would get rid of your headache’s but then he finds out that your in-network insurance doesn’t agree?
Chiropractor or Magician There is often a lot of confusion as to what chiropractors treat. Public knowledge currently recognizes that chiropractors are able to treat headaches, migraines, low back pain, mid back pain, neck pain, sciatica and other musculoskeletal aches and pains. Anecdotally chiropractors are said to be able to do so much more. Once again the problem lies not just with those who are opposed to seeing a chiropractor for their healthcare needs but chiropractors themselves. So what’s the deal? First, if your chiropractor says he can “cure” anything, you may have a problem, but are they really wrong? According to dictionary.com Cure: noun 1. A means of healing or restoring to health; remedy. 2. A method or course of remedial treatment, as for disease. 3. Successful remedial treatment; restoration to health. Most people misunderstand the “disease” part of the definition of cure. It’s certainly obvious that a chiropractor can help you with the restoration of health when it comes to your neck pain, back pain, headaches, sciatica etc. Clearly, chiropractic can “cure” a number of neuromusculoskeletal “diseases” that CAUSE neck pain, headaches, migraines, low back pain, mid back pain, sciatica. But what is a “disease”? Again back to dictionary.com Disease: noun 1. A disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infections, poisons,
More Money, More Problems Biggie Biggie Pharma can’t you see, sometimes your ads just hypnotize me. Hopefully, that completely awesome 90’s reference wasn’t wasted. For a boring old chiropractor, I’m doing my best to stay connect to my patients and potential chiropractic patients. To help them understand why seeing a chiropractor is often the best choice for many healthcare needs. No, I did not say ALL, but let’s give credit where credit is due. There are many integrated chiropractors that utilize structural correction and whole food nutrition to address two very important and often neglected areas of health; the nervous system and nutrition. The question is “WHY?” Why do so many people head to a medical doctor first and without hesitation instead of utilizing more cost-effective and safer options with their local Greenville, NC chiropractor? This is the preverbal $64,000 question isn’t. It’s also one that is particularly hard to for a chiropractor to answer. I am in, what is known among chiropractors as, the chiro-bubble. I don’t understand why potential chiropractic patients don’t understand what I clearly understand, which is that chiropractic is a far safer, more effective, healthier and less expensive form of healthcare. For a myriad of specific conditions like headaches, migraines, low back pain, mid back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, frozen shoulder, numbness, tingling and much more. Not only does chiropractic have a solid
Chiropractor Rant About Injections for Migraines I’m am going to try and keep calm but this one really frustrates me. It saddens me that I hear so often that people are getting injections for their migraines. Another particularly common statement that preempts this is “I went to a chiropractor for “x” number of years and it never helped”. First off. IT was not the problem. Chiropractic is the implied “it” that somehow didn’t work but the reality is that the chiropractor did not find and fix the problem. It’s ok. That doesn’t mean that he is a terrible chiropractor. The odds are that if you went to get one or more injections to help with your headaches or migraines then you would have been better off finding another chiropractor. WHAT primary condition was found to prove this? Did your medical doctor or chiropractor find and verify the exact cause of your problem? I don’t mean did he/she say… well, I guess or it must be “X” since nothing is “working”. Or worse yet did he/she say they knew what it was but they have no x-rays, test or exam or proof of it? It is a real possibility that you have headaches or migraines because of a condition that is not treatable by a chiropractor or, at least, chiropractic adjustments.
Take some time to be thankful for your chiropractor this holiday season, assuming you have a good chiropractor. Don’t be naïve enough to think that any medical doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist, therapist or any other kind of service related professional you pay is more than just mediocre just because he/she has a piece of paper saying so. Unlike Santa, we do not have a “Naughty List” that can identify what chiropractor or health care professions to go to for your healthcare needs. Online reviews and search engines can be helpful. With something as important as your health, do NOT rely solely on how Google rates your doctor’s office. Once you have done your due diligence and have been able to acquire the chiropractic services of an above average chiropractor, then you are in a unique position to enjoy the holidays. Certainly this is not always the case, however, take some time to think back to the time BEFORE you started getting adjusted by your chiropractor. Remember that time when you could barely walk? How about when you have pain like lighting firing down your neck and into your fingers. The pain was so bad you couldn’t even put on your own shirt or brush your teeth let alone pick up and hug your kids. How about when the pain was so bad you were unable to
Crossfit Chiropractor There are some concerns that many people have when it comes to lots of different types of exercise and Crossfit and certainly one that has come under criticism recently. With most exercise, chiropractors recognize that proper technique and form is paramount. There have been some complaints as to the “danger” or frequency of injuries related to Crossfit. Here’s the problem with making that assumption. 1. Injury rates of a particular activity do not guarantee that the particular activity is inherently dangerous. Let’s consider the well-deserved popularity of Crossfit and recognize that its results are impressive, but the rate at which it has grown has the potential to create problems. The types of lifts and exercises that are utilized in the Crossfit world are often NOT for beginners. But who is often looking for big results? Beginners who have little if any experience with athletics let alone Olympic lifts. 2. Some of the Olympic lifts and advanced exercise are potentially dangerous but only if you have poor technique and consistently attempt more than you are capable of. Point being that if underqualified or inexperienced people are teaching weekend warriors with little to no athletic experience looking for a “quick fix” to a flat stomach, it doesn’t take a chiropractor to see there are going to be some people getting hurt.Now that’s not to say that you can’t be
Chiropractors and Car Accidents The medical community is woefully undertrained in diagnosing and treating soft tissue injuries. That may not sound like a big deal but to a chiropractor who understands the seriousness that whiplash induced injuries from a car accident can possess, it is a VERY big deal. Car accidents are one of the top causes of injury in the U.S. Chiropractors, MDs, teachers, police, sanitation workers; essentially everybody drives a car. As a result, car accidents are very common and thus so are injuries sustained from them. The problem is that very few people understand their potential severity. This is far worse of a problem when chiropractors and lawyers working with most of these whiplash induced injuries do not realize their significance either. It’s a challenge, to say the least, to find a chiropractor or a lawyer who is willing to go the extra distance for a patient with what is often labeled as “just a soft tissue injury”. You might as well say they have “just a concussion”. Concussions were often thought to be far less significant than they are. Even now there is new information coming light to about their severity, especially with repeated occurrences. But the lasting effects, where big enough for numerous retired professional football players that they won a $765 million settlement over concussion-related brain injuries they sustain during their careers! Soft
Can Food Fix a Fever? Most of the U.S. has been taught that a fever is a bad thing, and Greenville, NC is no exception. Fortunately, the erroneous practice of synthetically lowering a fever is starting to turn as people become more aware of what a fever is. Many chiropractors and medical doctors have begun to educate their patients and communities that a fever actually is a biological process that is helpful in fighting infections and not something to be feared. Reaching for the Tylenol to lower a fever is not a good idea because Tylenol does nothing to help support the body’s natural immune system. It actually is likely to hinder your ability to fight off an infection. Fever is designed so that the muscles increase the temperature of the bones they are surrounding in an effort to leech ionized calcium from the bones. The calcium is then used to activate white blood cells. Hopefully, you see where this process is going concerning your immunity. This only happens when there isn’t enough calcium available. One of the main ingredients is in my “go to” whole food supplement cabinet I prescribe for people with fever… calcium lactate. Calcium lactate is not the same as 99% of the calcium supplements available. Most Calcium supplements are made of calcium carbonate which is the least bioavailable and requires approximately a dozen
Greenville, NC Chiropractor Recommended Activities Part II Last time we talked about some easier and more accessible activities in the Greenville, NC area that start at the beginner level of fitness and go up. This blog, your Greenville, NC chiropractor is going to discuss some of the more allusive and involved activities that may require a bit more commitment, equipment or even a “chiropractor Greenville, NC” Google search. One of those particular sports is that is a lot of fun but a bit more challenging is rock climbing. Despite the fact that Greenville, NC does is not home to a commercial indoor rock climbing business, ECU does have an exceptional indoor rock climbing wall that is accessible to the public as well as the students. The Student Recreation Center is home to the 30’ wide and 27’ high climbing wall. You may have to ask around, no offense but most of the student employees may give you a blank stare if you ask them how to get access to the wall. The public does not seem to take advantage of the Adventure Center climbing wall so you’re going to need to ask around about how to get a pass just for the wall. It’s only about $50 a person for the whole semester. I think that even includes being able to “rent” a climbing harness each time your there.
Greenville, NC Chiropractor Recommended Activities Part I When I first moved to from Dallas to be a chiropractor in Greenville, NC it seemed like healthy activities were far and few between. There may be some truth to that but overall there are plenty of fun and active things in Greenville, NC. The most important thing you have to realize if you’re looking to be healthy is that consistency is key. You want to find activities that you enjoy and make a ritual out of it. It’s always good to have a few “go to” activities that you can choose from on the days you want to add some extra movement into those potentially forsaken joints. Here are a few good standbys that are endorsed by chiropractor Greenville, NC Dr. Bret Wickstrom. Disc Golf Greenville, NC Greenway River Park North Greenville, NC Park & Rec Adult League Sports This first list is a great list of healthy options for any level of fitness. Regardless of whether or not you’re a nurse, professor, student or chiropractor Greenville, NC has plenty of low-intensity options to get you started on your way towards better health. Disc Golf Disc golf is a very inexpensive sport that allows helps just get you off the couch and outside walking. There are three 18 hole courses in the
Never Judge a Chiropractic Office by its Cover Never judge a book by its cover. The same should be applied to a chiropractor. Often chiropractors who treat primarily injuries from whiplash and car accident patients have a stigma surrounding them as an “ambulance chaser”. Admittedly, chiropractors may earn this title from time to time but simply having an chiropractic office where a majority of patients originate from car accidents is not a good way to determine whether or not the chiropractor is providing high volume and poor quality care as is often the assumption or conversely he or she is assumed to be a whiplash injury expert. Think of it this way. There are a lot of businesses that are very different from chiropractic. Some specialize in a very small niche and are good some are bad. Some serve enormous markets and are good and others are bad. Let me give you some examples. If you study this graph you can see how the number of products or services offered does not directly correlate with the quality of the product or service. Meaning a chiropractor who treats only car accident and whiplash patients, it does not mean the chiropractic care is guaranteed to be of high quality and that he/she is a whiplash injury expert. The opposite is also true. A who treats a variety of
Hidden Long Term Effects of Auto Accidents; the Sleeping Giant The worst effects of auto accidents are more commonly the long term effects. Obviously, there is a potential for an auto accident to be fatal but with modern cars, seatbelts, airbags and other developments in car safety, fatal auto accidents have been greatly reduced. Now the unseen damage from soft tissue auto accident injuries from whiplash is becoming an epidemic in our culture. There are a couple of significant factors that are causing these treatable auto accident injuries to go unnoticed. Poor Evaluation The blame for this falls on both medical doctors and chiropractors but for different reasons. Medical doctors are just not trained to treat the injuries caused by whiplash and soft tissue issues seen in so many car accidents. They are only trained to look for fractures and MAJOR bodily damage. This is part of the problem. They, like many chiropractors, do not understand that soft tissue injuries can be very MAJOR in how they affect someone. The AMA (American Medical Association) has made this clear with their Impairment Rating system which states that a “soft tissue” injury where the ligament(s) of the neck or lumbar spine should be rated as a 20%-28% whole body impairment! Compare that to a compression fracture (where a vertebra is essentially crushed) that compresses up to 50% of its original
How to Make Flu Shots Irrelevant This is NOT an article telling you how terrible, ineffective or dangerous a flu shot is. There are more than enough websites, blogs, and memes dedicated to arguing over why or why not. Have fun trying to sift through all that if you want but I’m not interested in getting involved in that debate anymore. Ultimately people are not going to make a decision based on their overall worldview. There are many different worldviews but only two basic views when it comes to healthcare. The human body was created/designed to function optimally when given proper nutrition, exercise, and nerve flow, positive mental state and minimal toxins. I obtain better health utilizing these 5 essentials. The human body was an accident through luck and chance was able to develop to the highest form of life. Therefore, the best way to get better health is through the use of manmade treatments. This is clearly a huge topic that you could dedicate multiple college courses but for this blog we are going to water it down to get to the point, which is this; If you ascribe to worldview #2 and believe that symptoms, sickness, and disease are best treated via man-made chemicals and surgery then move along. This blog is not for you. Don’t waste your time reading something you have no intention of
Take Charge of Your Own Health! A Quick Look Into Scoliosis Nutrition The beauty and appeal of healthcare programs such as chiropractic is that it puts the power over your health back into your own hands. Learning about your spinal structure can give you an understanding of how to care for your spine and maintain your health & mobility. By viewing yourself from a picture or in front of a mirror you find that your left shoulder is higher than your right. Something you may want to consider is it might not be a good idea to rest your arm on the car window while driving. If your right hip is higher than the left, only cross your left leg over your right, never vice versa. Does your neck feel sore after working on the computer? Try raising the bottom of your monitor to eye level to help keep the curve in your neck. Then sit on the edge of your chair to keep the curve in your low back. Also, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day (for example, a 160-pound person should drink ten 8-ounce cups of water). Not soda, coffee, fruit juice, or sports drinks – WATER! The discs that cushion the bones of your spine are 88% water. If your body is dehydrated, the discs are the first to suffer.
A Chiropractic Opinion About Second Opinions In the world of healthcare, there are lots of opinions inside of any profession and even more, when you start asking different professions like chiropractors and surgeons about similar symptoms. Many people often make the false assumption that all doctors have been taught the same thing or even more unlikely that all professions have been taught the same information. Even if this was true, which it most certainly is not, each doctor is unique and have varying opinions. Healthcare is More Than Just Scientific Equations and Numbers. Chiropractic, medicine, nutrition, etc. are not solely mathematically based professions. There are far too many variables in the human body to be able to calculate them all consciously. There is never just one simple or easy answer. Your health can be changed and improved with numerous different treatments that will affect everyone differently. Depending on the school you go to chiropractors, like medical doctors, will have varying curriculums from school to school. Some may favor certain techniques or treatments while another school has professors who excel in other areas. The fact that chiropractors and medical doctors have been exposed to such a wide variety of information is not a bad thing. In fact, this is often the whole reason for seeking a second opinion. Another good reason for second opinions is to see if the current
Can a Chiropractor Adjust Too Much? This is a complicated question that will find different answers amongst chiropractors for a couple reasons. Due to the inherent safety of a chiropractic adjustment, it is very difficult to determine any deleterious effects from adjusting too frequently. Compare this to testing drugs. It’s easy to see that essentially all drugs are tested for their LD-50, which is the dosage where 50% of the test subjects will die. This is essentially impossible for a chiropractic adjustment. At the present time, I am unaware of any research that has been done which shows negative effects of a chiropractic adjustment as a result of receiving the treatment with greater frequency. Any potentially negative effect would likely be sequelae to a future problem. For example, let’s assume that receiving chiropractic adjustment too frequently causes hypermobility in the adjusted joints. The hypermobility would not likely result in ligament damage severe enough to be measured using flexion or extension (looking down and up) to see if the ligaments are damaged. This is the type of testing and analysis done with soft tissue injuries during auto accidents which put a lot more stress on the spine than an adjustment would. I think that a better question to ask your chiropractor, one in which you are likely to get an answer that is useful, would be “Why did
5 Mistakes When Choosing a Chiropractor Mistake #1: Choosing the Closest Chiropractor As frustrating as it can be to drive in Greenville, North Carolina you want to take the time to search for what you want in a chiropractor. If you’re hungry there is always likely to be a gas station closer to you than a nice restaurant with good quality local food. Why then do we not stop for a week old sandwich and a hot dog? Because you know not only will it taste far worse but you’re likely to pay the price for it later as well. How much more important is choosing a good chiropractor than a single meal. I’m not saying you should drive an hour one way for each chiropractic visit. It’s still important to find someone in an area that allows you to frequent their office. While not having to take a whole day off of work every visit, but just because someone is easy to get to does not mean they are worth going to. Mistake #2: Failure to Ask for Recommendations Co-workers, friends and family members are a great resource for recommendations because they have no reason to market to you. They can be honest and up front about their experience. Ask them things that matter to you such as “bedside manner”, care, results and this will give you
CORE Muscles Provide Spinal Stability! Most exercises, such as the ones typically performed in a health gym, do not work or build the core muscles. “Isotonic” means with motion. Isotonic exercises, such as lifting weights, do not affect the core muscles responsible for improving your posture. “Isometric” means without motion. Isometric exercises are performed against resistance and affect the postural muscles. Studies show it takes 12 weeks to develop muscle physiology. The spinal exercises that Corrective Chiropractic of Greenville NC customizes them for your individual x-rays and posture. Dr. Bret Wickstrom incorporates both positive and negative muscle exercising. Spinal Twist & Spinal Molding The discs of the spine have hydrogel properties that will change from a liquid to a gel state depending upon the core temperature – much like Jell-O™! By taking advantage of this amazing ability of our spinal discs to “mold” the proper ‘S’ curves (lateral view) of your spine into place. By performing the spinal twist and combining it with spinal molding this recipe is like hitting the “RESET” button for your spine. The stress of gravity on your muscles is shifted back to your spine. Decreasing neck and low back pain along with muscle soreness. You must be under chiropractic supervision before performing this combination. Especially a structural chiropractor. To first have the correct medical equipment and thus be instructed to properly perform the twist.
Chiropractor’s Opinion on Foam Rollers Foam rollers are a great tool. As a structurally focused chiropractor, I am very focused on the orientation of my patient’s spine and how that affects the rest of the patient. As a result, I have written numerous other blogs about chiropractic and how it affects the muscles. It’s easy to understand this relationship when you consider the structure of the spine is directly related to the health and wellbeing of the muscles attached to the spine. Any time the position of your spine is fixated in an abnormal position it can create stress, myofascial restrictions, muscle imbalances, over recruitment, and/or inflammation. In most cases, the spine is the primary conditions that create these muscular problems. However, there are often situations, particularly in athletes, where myofascial imbalances are such strong sequelae that they need to be treated in concurrently with the spinal abnormalities and in rare cases before anything else. I have treated several patients where their secondary conditions (symptoms) could not effectively be treated using structurally focused chiropractic, spinal remodeling traction, and isometric stabilization therapies (posture exercises) until the severe myofascial restrictions were addressed using trigger point therapy. Foam rollers essentially help you address these myofascial abnormalities. The best way to use them is before it’s “too late”. At some point, the pain and symptoms from significant myofascial restrictions and trigger points can
Athletes and Chiropractic Chiropractic is essential for athletes who want to perform at their very best. In the world of athletic development, proper technique will often overshadow mere brute force and speed. The best way to improve overall speed and power is to improve your technique. This eliminates wasted energy and improves efficiency. Structurally focused chiropractic corrects abnormal spinal position and mobility, making it easier to have better technique. Helping athletes improve mobility and performance is “bread and butter” for a chiropractor. The entire premise of chiropractic is finding and diagnose specific segmental shifts (subluxations), and for structurally focused chiropractors global (multiple segments), abnormalities in the movement and placement of the spine. Like most precision equipment, the human body often needs regular adjustments to allow for or restore proper motion and maintain its ideal structure. The longer you go without these adjustments and the more slips, falls, car accidents, whiplash, repetitive motion, poor posture you subject your body to, the more chiropractic care you will need and the more likely you are to experience headaches, neck pain, back pain, low back pain, sciatica and other symptoms. Many athletes understand this, which is why you will find that essentially every NFL team and most professional sports teams have a team chiropractor or multiple chiropractors. Football specifically has a greater need for chiropractic care just because of the nature of
Did I Get Shorter? The answer is likely YES! The question though is “Why?” Everybody gets a little shorter by the end of the day. Gravity takes its toll on the discs. Between each of the vertebrae in your spine which will start to compress by the end of the day. Assuming you’ve been upright during the day, and you will, in fact, be a bit shorter than you were when you woke up this morning. This is a normal occurrence but for some, it can become a more permanent affliction. Any good structural chiropractor understands this because they see it every day for a number of reasons. The discs in your spine are there to allow for a great deal of flexibility. They are the joints, like the joints in your knuckles, where the bones connect but still have mobility. These are arguably the most important joints in your entire body. If you damage a joint in any other area of your body it can be very painful but more often than not it’s unlikely to be completely debilitating. This is the potential that exists when damaging a joint in your spine. There are numerous ways to damage a disc. All of which should be first looked at by a structurally focused chiropractor. The two most common problems with the discs in your low back are going
Car Accident and Whiplash Checklist It’s easy enough to find a quick list of “To Dos” for when you get in an auto accident. Virtually every insurance web page will give a quick and easy list of important steps to take to make sure that you don’t forget anything when it comes to the question every asks after they get in an accident, “What do I do know.” The problem is you need to have a list that pertains to your health instead of just your car and insurance.” The obvious next step is to get information that helps you address any health issues from a chiropractor that treats these issue all the time instead of just relying on a list from a car insurance company. First, let’s start with a list of main factors that influence your prognosis. Meaning, each of these are going to make it more likely that you will have health problems like neck pain, back pain, headaches, migraines, etc. following the auto accident. It’s also very important to note that just because you don’t have symptoms immediately following your car accident, does not mean that the structure of your spine wasn’t damaged which could lead to future neck pain, back pain, headaches, migraines, etc. years down the road if not addressed with proper chiropractic care. Main Factors Influencing Prognosis Previous History of
Back Pain, Don’t Just Sleep It Off Right up there with death and taxes is the unwavering fact of life that our bodies need TIME to heal. In the current fast food, iPhone, instant gratification culture we live in this if often forgotten or ignore. This cultural impatience is likely why we have such a dangerous affinity with drugs and surgery. If you can have a full meal prepared for you or heated up in less than a minute then why should we wait to get rid of this headache or back pain? This isn’t the only problem that our culture has adopted when it comes to migraines or neck pain or really anything in regards to our health. The other, not so smart choice is to just ignore it and hope it gets better. Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the reality of the situation isn’t helping things either. Undoubtedly a reasonable response for those of you who are tired of going to the doctors only to prescribe some chemical concoction in an attempt to provide some instant “magical” relief from whatever the heck is causing your pain. There is a third and better option that most chiropractors and naturopathic doctors have been preaching for years, though. Find the CAUSE of the problem and FIX it. Chiropractors often beat our heads against the wall
Chiropractic Tips and Tricks for Everyday Aches and Pains Time for a little chiropractic fun. Balance is the name of the game for chiropractors, especially those of us with a structurally focused chiropractic office. If your foundation is crooked or unlevel, then you will be too. The body has an ideal structure which, the closer your spine approximates the more likely you are to NOT have headaches, neck pain, mid back pain, low back pain, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, degeneration of the spine, and a host of other nerve related maladies. If the structure of your spine is shifted then it’s possible for it to negatively affect the muscles and nerves that are attached to and protected by the spine. Think of a house. It is critical for the foundation to be solid. This has been known for thousands of years. See Matthew 7:24. To build your house on an unstable foundation is dangerous. As a structurally focused chiropractor, I would argue that having a spine that has shifted from that ideal, straight from the front and three specific curves when looking at it from the side, is also very dangerous. If the foundation of your house is cracking and shifting you’re likely to see some secondary conditions (symptoms); cracks in the walls squeaky floorboards windows that don’t open and close right
Whiplash Treatment Options Many of us have been in an auto accident before. Basically, everyone knows someone who has been injured in an auto accident. Thankfully, with the addition of seat belts and headrests in modern cars, there are far fewer fatalities in auto accidents. The seatbelt has been invaluable for the life of automobile drivers by preventing them severe head trauma from going head first into the windshield. However, as a result, there are many more injuries caused by whiplash during auto accidents because while you are less likely to hit the windshield, you are much more likely to experience soft tissue damage from whiplash because your body is being held in place by the seatbelt while you head is being whipped forward and then quickly back. The most common cause of injury in a car accident is whiplash but it is also one of the most overlooked causes. Here’s why: Medical treatment: Medical doctors are fantastic in emergency situations. If you are in an auto accident and you end up in the EMERGENCY Room you should expect to receive care focused on diagnosing and treating emergency conditions e.g. fractures, lacerations, brain injuries, etc. Neck pain, back pain, headaches and other common secondary conditions that are caused by whiplash and/or spinal misalignment are not EMERGENCY conditions. It makes sense that your Emergency medical doctor is not going
Most people have a medicine cabinet full with a plethora of pharmacological drugs. Got a symptom and they’ve got a pill. As a chiropractor, I see a reason for that cough, cold, runny nose, allergies, watery eyes and all the other not so pleasant manifestations of a less than a healthy body. In fact, that’s just it. These symptoms are not just something to get sought out and destroyed by whatever means necessary. They are warning signs, the smoke under the hood, that are evidence the body is functioning at less than optimal. Fortunately, the good Lord didn’t leave us without safe and effective means to keep us healthy in such a broken world. The challenge is deciphering the nutritional support that has the potential to help the body power through that bacterial or viral infection. Better yet is knowing that we don’t have to rely on multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical corporations for overpriced and often dangerous and ineffective drugs. Let’s be clear, I don’t hate medicine, the medical profession or those involved in it. I do, however, hate seeing patients putting their trust and hope into a drug to “cure” them of something that was not caused by a drug deficiency. Drugs can do extraordinary things, both great and terrible depending on how they are used. It’s important to understand what they are NOT, however. Drugs are not
SHORT AND LONG TERM EFFECTS OF WHIPLASH Whiplash, while simple, can get very complex. The inherent danger stems from the mechanism of the injury which results from a quick acceleration and then deceleration. Whiplash injury is, in fact, the more common name for what is known in the chiropractic community as an “acceleration/deceleration injury”. Regardless of the speed of your automobile during a collision, an injury from whiplash can still cause significant damage to your neck. The reason for this is not so much the speed of the automobile but the quick change in directions of force. Here’s an example everyone can relate to. Take a wet towel and swing it, like your swinging a baseball bat, at someone’s leg. They will no doubt look at your bewildered and confused. The flaccid towel will likely hit with the impact of a wet noodle resulting in no damage, pain or any cause for concern. Now take that same towel and hit them in the leg with a quick acceleration/deceleration motion resulting in a SNAPPING of the towel and probably more than a few profanities from the receiving party. Even with less force and speed the snapping towel assault is far more painful and can easily cause a welt, bruise and even break open the skin. WHY? You know why. For the same reason, that whiplash is so damaging to your
Does a Goose Get Headaches? I have no idea, but odds are if you have a “goose neck” you are much more likely to have headaches or migraines. We can all pretty much agree that the anatomy of a goose is significantly different than that of a human. Particularly the neck of a human, unlike a goose, was designed to have a “C” shaped curve. This is why if someone describes you as having a “goose neck” you can be sure that it is not a compliment. According to the American Chiropractic Association, fourteen percent of the patients who regularly visit chiropractors go for relief from headaches. I have to admit when I looked this up I was surprised. I honestly figured it would be more. Especially because every time I’m out in public I end up hearing a conversation between two people about how they or someone they know, or both is dealing with headaches or migraines. Even more than that I see an insane amount of people walking around on a daily basis who have serious anterior head syndrome issues (aka gooseneck). Just take a look for yourself. It’s not hard to spot a majority of the population with their head jetting forward in front of their body instead of being properly balanced over their shoulders. I can only assume that most of the public has
Why Do So Many Chiropractors Treat Car Accident Injuries? The simple answer, because no one else knows how. Medical doctors are the bee’s knees when it comes to life-threatening situations like severe head trauma, lacerations (deep cuts), broken bones, etc. However, when it comes down to acute or chronic musculoskeletal aches and pains like headaches, migraines, neck pain back pain, low back pain, sciatica, disc bulge, etc. your only real choice is a chiropractor. More specifically it’s important to get chiropractic care from a chiropractor who is an expert in soft tissue and whiplash induced injuries from car accidents. As with many professionals, there is often an unclear line between good and bad quality chiropractors, specifically when it pertains to chiropractors who treat soft tissue injuries from whiplash in car accidents. Unfortunately, all of us get bad reputations because of this. I’ve even had a patient recommend me because I am NOT a “car accident chiropractor”. Which is ironic because I had recently treated her husband for auto accident injuries. She was trying to segregate her chiropractor with other chiropractors that primarily treat car accident injury patients in order to show that I had more value. Is a fair assumption that if a chiropractor treats whiplash induced injuries and auto accident injuries he/she is unable to be a high-quality chiropractor? NO, not at all. Just because a chiropractor treats patients
But Don’t I Need Iodized Salt? Iodine Iodine is an important nutrient to the human body. It is naturally present in sea water, sea vegetables, and sea salt. It is important for energy production, mental development, production of thyroid hormones and for a strong lymph system. Although small amounts of iodine are found in the blood, nerves, and other organs, most of the body’s iodine is present in the thyroid, ovaries, and uterus. Women require more than men especially during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause or when there is infection or stress. Iodine is involved in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. It is also important in the absorption of complex carbohydrates. Iodine helps the digestion of carbohydrates which in turn will help with weight problems and sugar cravings. Because iodine is not available to inland populations and deficiency of iodine produces goiter and other thyroid disorders, iodine is added to processed salt. Sea salt naturally contains iodine but once it has been washed and/or refined (such as typical table salt or most ‘sea salt’ that are white in color) it doesn’t contain a speck of iodine. Iodine is therefore added to refined salt. This is an instance of a product that once contained a multitude of healthful elements which are lost in processing has a few added back and it is ironically called “enriched.” Do you think “enriched”
Scoliosis History The earliest known diagnosed case of scoliosis is visible in the mummy of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Hippocrates labeled scoliosis around 400 BC, using the Homeric word okoniow, meaning “to bend or to twist.” Later this term was changed to the Greek skoliosis, meaning crooked; either Hippocrates or Galen of Pergamon (130-200 AD) was credited with the creation of this new term. The earliest known forms of treatment involved traction, spinal manipulation, and crude attempts at bandaging or immobilizing the patient’s spine. These methods were universally unsuccessful, as they were based primarily on the theory that scoliosis was a dislocation or malposition of the bones. In 650 AD, Paul of Aegina in 650 AD suggested bandaging with wooden strips, and 500 years later, Albukasis stated that “no one could cure curvatures to the side,” but generally very little consideration was devoted to the condition of scoliosis for almost several hundred years, until the time of Ambroise Pare (1510-1590). Pare was credited with developing the first organized system of orthopedic bracing. In order to stabilize the spine in an attempt to prevent the progression of the disease. The iron corset he developed in 1575 remained in use for over one-hundred years. Today, the braces used include the Wilmington brace, the Cheneau brace, the Milwaukee brace, the Boston brace (also known as a TLSO brace, which stands for Thoraco-Lumbo-Sacral
Minor Car Damage ≠ Minor Pain and Symptoms Auto Accidents Having only a small amount of damage to your car in an auto accident does not mean that YOU will have only minor injuries or pain. This is by far one of the most destructive myths related to auto accident injuries and whiplash. This myth unnecessarily affects millions for years in the form of chronic pain and suffering from headaches, migraines, neck pain, back pain, sciatica, fatigue, dizziness and other symptoms caused by whiplash and soft tissue injuries from car accidents. People in cars during auto accidents are no different than fragile eggs in a carton at the grocery store. Most people check the eggs before buying them to see if they are broken. Why don’t they just look at the carton for damage instead? Easy, the carton is designed to be able to sustain impacts and distribute them evenly so as to protect the fragile eggs inside. However, there are times when an outside force hits the carton and cracks the egg inside while leaving the carton intact. The same is true during auto accidents. Cars are designed to absorb impacts. Although, many of the most modern cars are specifically designed to absorb impact from higher speed, more dangerous, collisions instead of slower speed collisions. At slower speeds, the modern aluminum cars are much stiffer and hold their form
Dear Scoliosis Patients Scoliosis is a Dysfunction Scoliosis is a dysfunction of the neuro-muscular skeletal system. The Medical “Gold Standard” of treatment which, is bracing and surgery, has few positive results or long-term solutions. As Spinal Experts, Chiropractors and the Chiropractic profession should take the lead in the correction and stabilization of the Scoliotic patient. Contrary to medical misinformation, scoliosis correction is not age dependent and does not stop at osseous maturity. The age of the patients we have worked with in our Clinic varies from less than 1 to 80 years old. Traditional approaches to scoliosis such as bracing and surgery have neglected the importance of the cervical spine (the head & neck) in affecting spinal pathology, posture, and gait. Scientific research done by physicists, not physicians – has suggested a more optimal approach to achieve the desired corrections. By combining new information with established principles of chiropractic & biomechanics as a means of retraining the neuro-muscular proprioceptive pathways, effective and permanent corrections to scoliosis can be obtained much more rapidly than with isometric exercises or chiropractic adjustments alone. Scoliosis is often accompanied by evidence of disc degeneration, osteoporosis, congenital malformation, and disc wedging. These are believed to be the symptoms of scoliosis, however, rather than the cause. Wolff’s Law states that a bone under stress will heal faster; Davis’ Law is the corresponding equivalent that declares soft tissues
Dr. Royal Lee, Master of the Nutrition Universe Food has the power! Sadly, very few people have heard of the genius of Dr. Royal Lee and are not even familiar with the legacy he gave the world via Standard Process whole food supplements. To be succinct, Dr. Royal Lee was to nutrition what Nikola Tesla was to electricity. Every day new research confirms Dr. Lee’s assertion that a lack of vitamins and minerals from whole foods leads to disease. While this fact may seem obvious to us now, in Dr. Lee’s time making such a claim was in direct opposition to the prevailing opinion of both the medical field and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which declared it “wholly unscientific” that a well-fed body resists disease better than a less well-fed body. Dr. Lee’s views put him add odds not just with organized medicine and the FDA but also with the food manufacturing industry. Lee’s work threatened the security of these commercial interests, and at their behest government agencies were assigned to discredit him. Throughout his life, Dr. Lee would endure perpetual legal prosecution and shameless character assassination at the hands of these agencies. Dr. Lee started designing and producing hundreds of nutritional formulas as early as 1929, each created to address a different cause of nutritional deficiency. Working closely with healthcare practitioners, Dr. Lee documented thousands of case studies confirming the apparently miraculous
Does The Mirror Lie? Some of the most challenging patients are athletes. Many base their health directly on their performance. “I can outrun you, I have less body fat than you and look better at the beach, therefore, I am healthier than you.” This is a very erroneous supposition. Exercise and proper nutrition are certainly a large part of the pie that makes up your health. However, relying solely on these two with such religious fervor is like taking a few verses of the Bible out of context and using only them to live your life by. “But it says ‘Cast the first stone’ so you better DUCK! Wait, am I reading that right?” Let’s cut right to the chase. There is a lot more to keeping yourself healthy than destroying every inch of flab on your body in an effort to attain “Hulk” status, minus the green skin. The reality is that your ability to be healthy relies on your body’s ability to adapt to stress and remain balanced in a state of homeostasis so that everything and I emphasize EVERYTHING, functions the way it should. E.g. being able to crack walnuts with your butt cheeks isn’t terribly beneficial if you’re constipated for weeks from eating nothing but Monster drinks mixed with protein powder and creatine. Sports Chiropractic Now for those of you that think I’m only writing this because
The first thing that you need to know is what is whiplash. Whiplash is just a description for a specific type of injury that is common in auto accidents. A whiplash induced injury is caused by a quick acceleration and then deceleration of the cervical spine. That fast motion can cause a lot of damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and often results in neck pain, back pain, headaches and many other symptoms. The worst part of a whiplash-induced injury from an auto accident is that they can cause ligament damage. This type of injury can have SEVERE long term effects and many people often think that the neck pain and back pain will just go away after a few weeks of rest or drug therapy. Unfortunately, they are at risk for serious for longer term suffering of numerous secondary symptoms. Symptoms like neck pain, back pain, headaches and others when appropriate treatment from a chiropractor who is familiar with these types of injuries is not received. The most common question at Corrective Chiropractic from patients in auto accidents is “Why didn’t my medical doctor tell me that this is what caused my auto accident pain?” The simple answer is because they don’t know. It’s important to understand that medical care for pain is frequently focused primarily on treating just the symptoms and not the cause. Very
Scoliosis X-Ray Films The typical medical scoliosis x-ray film taken is a supine Anterior to Posterior which will exclude the cervical spine. This film is incorrect. Spinal biomechanics dictate that when a spinal curve (cervical lordosis) is lost in one position, it will compensate and put that necessary curve in another dimension (Cobb angle). The first task should be to evaluate the loss of cervical and lumbar lordosis on lateral x-ray films. The majority of Scoliosis patients have Anterior Head Syndrome and a loss of the cervical lordosis. There may be an Occiput or Atlas flexion malposition in the active, developing stage of the Scoliosis. This lateral curve MUST be corrected first to allow the Scoliosis to move back into place. To determine the Cobb Angle the measurements require using the two most tilted vertebrae (this is an objective, not a subjective, decision). There should be a horizontal line drawn on the top of the superior vertebral body and a horizontal line on the bottom of the inferior vertebral body. A perpendicular line will be drawn (90 degrees) inferior and superior on the vertebral body lines. Then the Cobb Angle is measured at the intersection. Any Cobb angle over 10 degrees is medically considered a Scoliosis. If any of my patients has a left lumbo-dorsal curve and a right thoracic curve that are roughly 5 to 10 degrees, it is
Traditional Chiropractor vs. Corrective Chiropractor There are a few main principles that you must address when looking to improve your health. First and foremost is to determine the cause of any specific secondary condition or symptom you are having. Because of the incredible complexity of the human body, this is often a very difficult or even impossible task. As a structurally focused chiropractor, my primary concern is the structure of a patient’s spine. Using structural radiographs I am able to determine the need for corrective chiropractic care and often whether or not the presenting problem is due to a problem that a chiropractor can correct or treat. The nervous system, or the master system, is responsible for controlling and coordinating ALL of the functions of the human body. It does this by sending messages to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is of course protected by the spine which is a wonder of engineering. The spine is a series of bones connected by multiple movable joints. Every chiropractor is intensely trained on being able to recognize and adjust every vertebra if it becomes positioned out of place and is not moving properly. When these joints are shifted out of place they can become inflamed and irritate the nearby nerve exiting the spinal canal through that vertebrae. This is why there are so many different secondary conditions that can be improved
What Do You Think About Yoga? Hey Doc, is Yoga okay during my treatment… I am often asked what I think about Yoga, Pilates and other forms of exercise. I have nothing against Yoga, Pilates, or any other form of stretching or exercises (maybe arm wrestling where you only overdevelop one arm). The biggest concern is with your underlying structure and anything you do that either hurts or preferably assists – in the efforts to make structural changes to improve any negative spinal shifts. When I inform patients to avoid certain movements, and it just so happens that the movements to which we refer, are a part of their yoga routine; the response from some of our patients goes something like this: “I thought yoga was supposed to be good for you?” Two common misconceptions are Something that is supposed to be “good for you” is going to be good for everyone, and Everything about something that is supposed to be “good for you” is always ‘good’. To our knowledge, yoga instructors and Pilates instructors, do not perform a complete Structural Correction Chiropractic Examination prior to having you begin your routine. In other words, the instructors don’t have a clue what’s happening structurally with your body. There are many forms of yoga and to our knowledge at least a few forms of Pilates that may make your
How Can Chiropractors Detect Scoliosis Effectively? First, it can be done through posture. Ninety percent of Scoliosis patients present with a common posture. The middle back (dorsal) curve deviates to the right, and the curve in the low back (lumbo-dorsal) compensates to the left. In this typical pattern, look for a right head tilt, right high shoulder, a tight right trapezius muscle, and right dorsal curvature. This is an innate response to protect the heart. Any other configuration would mandate an MRI to rule out pathological causations. You can read more on spotting scoliosis through posture in the blog linked HERE. Next, I have stopped relying upon Adam’s Test which only tells you there is a rib hump which means we haven’t detected scoliosis before it’s reached at least a 30 degree Cobb angle. There are other exams, based upon proprioceptive or mechanical defects, which may suggest the presence of scoliosis long before the rib hump becomes visible. In the Cervical Flexion Test, Scoliosis patients demonstrated an inability to touch their chin to their chest (8). This may be due to Occiput / Atlas flexion malposition; an uncommon subluxation in the general population, but extremely common in scoliosis patients. There are five(5) major righting reflexes in the body: the eyes, the ears, the neck and two body receptors. Guyton’s Physiology states that the eyes are the major righting reflex. With
There is an alternative to braces and surgery: Chiropractic care and spinal rehab. A reader requested that I inform everyone why I believe it’s important to be able to find scoliosis on one’s self or a loved one. The quick explanation is that early prevention is easier and more effective than fixing something that may be too late (even though it’s very rare to not make a difference in scoliosis it’s not as time-consuming when it’s more manageable). In scoliosis correction, the optimal situation is to “catch” the Scoliosis patient at a young age when the curve is still small. WHY? Remember, the “Gold Standard” of the scoliosis brace is not to make the scoliosis improve, but to keep it from getting worse. After bracing has failed in this objective, and it frequently does, the next progression is major spinal fusion – a step which few informed patients are willing to take. In Chiropractic, the measure of success in effectively treating scoliosis was low but over the last 10 years, many chiropractors have developed treatment protocols. These protocols are showing correction or reduction of scoliosis using unique non-invasive rehabilitation procedures. Many offices including my own have gone beyond the medically acceptable norm by making consistent corrections. Coming back to the point at hand, chiropractors are obligated as Primary Health Practitioners to diagnosis Scoliosis. Unfortunately, many are so busy
How to Spot Scoliosis a Quick Reference How Do You Spot Scoliosis? It’s a good idea to know how to spot scoliosis. Early detection can make a very big difference in you or a loved one’s life. There are other options besides just surgery, especially when the scoliosis is not life threatening to the child. There can be many years of growth left for many children when parents are presented with surgery for their child. The stress of multiple surgeries, when faced with having spinal surgery at a young age, can be daunting. Versus having proper structural chiropractic care that has been shown to halt the progression of scoliosis. The signs of scoliosis don’t always present themselves the same way for everyone and not always is it at a young age. However, scoliosis does tend to increase in a large majority of people as they grow older. First, you want to observe the posture from the back while the person is standing. The majority of scoliosis patients have the same posture: double-curved scoliosis. Then you want to identify the curve in the middle of the back (thoracic) which will typically curve toward the right. This is typically the more common curve which the body innately does to avoid the heart. (If scoliosis curve to the left in the thoracic area the doctor would want an MRI to rule
A Brief and Selected History of Insurance and Chiropractic Chiropractic can have many difference faces. It is true that as a profession chiropractors are not always as unified as one would hope. While our education is not lacking our necessity to make ends meet can be a bit more challenging that other doctors who can easily rely on insurance to support and sustain their practice. Chiropractors no longer have this luxury. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s insurance reimbursement for chiropractic services was a LOT easier and much more available. Sadly we (chiropractors) are often our own worst enemy when it comes to the chiropractic profession. This was never truer than during those years when many of the chiropractors abused the system set in place and billed insurance excessively with little to no documentation validating their care. I’m not saying the preventative and maintenance care wasn’t beneficial or even necessary. At some point to you actually, have to give a reason for the chiropractic healthcare being provided if you expect a third party to continue paying for it. Insurance caught on pretty quick and took advantage of the low-hanging fruit in the form of poor reimbursement, audits and managed care. This put an end to chiropractic care getting reimbursed for anything beyond pain management. Being pigeonholed in such a narrow and limiting scope has really hurt the profession. Even worse is
Corrective Chiropractic’s Take on Mattresses Be mindful that most mattresses have chemical flame-retardants in them. We have found a few options to avoid these types of dangerous chemicals. 100% Natural Latex mattresses made from the sap of rubber trees are some of the best natural options; however, the technology for making these mattresses requires a higher price. ChiroSlumber makes a latex mattress but for those who prefer the memory foam style mattress or who have latex allergies we recommend one of their three memory foam options. ChiroSlumber is the only company we have seen that makes a mattress similar to the most well known Temperpedic Memory Foam™ but uses a fire retardant cover instead of the highly toxic chemicals. Remember the ONLY way to determine if a mattress is right for you is by SLEEPING on it, not laying down on it for a few minutes but actually sleeping on it for a several days or weeks. This is why a well-supported return policy is more essential than being able to actually touch or “try” the bed for a few minutes. Again this is why we recommend ChiroSlumber because they have a 120-day return policy and will even pay for return shipping. I understand that this is a lot of information about a bed but you’re going to spend a LOT more time on your mattress that you will in
What’s a Trigger Point? PART 2 Trigger points are a VERY common but rarely recognized and often poorly managed cause of musculoskeletal pain. Unfortunately, many medical doctors and orthopedic surgeons do not know about Trigger Points. Trigger Points do not show up on X-rays, MRIs, Ultrasounds or other scans so it’s not uncommon for a patient to be told there is nothing wrong with them or that there is nothing that can be done to help fix their pain. The only way to diagnose a trigger point it through palpation (touch), which is why chiropractors are sometimes, but not always, able to find them. First, they have to be looking for them which is not always the case. Fortunately, trigger point pain is something that can often be managed at home by yourself. A good rule with treating trigger points is that a painful spot in a muscle isn’t a trigger point unless it refers pain (or numbness or tingling) to the area of complaint when you press on it. It may take ten to fifteen seconds before referred sensation happens. With compression, some people feel referral from every trigger point exactly like in trigger point diagrams. Others feel only a slight tingling or sensation even from the most intense active trigger points. There are a lot of ways to treat the trigger points. Medically, your options will typically be
What You Need To Know Before You Get An X-ray If You’re Pregnant. Radiation poisoning can cause birth defects, brain damage, and even death. Radiation is even more dangerous to unborn babies, but how dangerous is the question. The idea of getting exposed to any type of radiation while pregnant, no matter how little, is often not only a concern but a huge source of fear and anxiety. As a structurally based chiropractic office, it is essential to have a full series of structural radiographs. X-rays at Corrective Chiropractic are used to determine any abnormal spinal shift, which in turn is necessary to form an accurate and effective treatment plan. As a result, it’s not uncommon for us to have to answer questions about radiation exposure. We have even had male patients so afraid of the radiation from the necessary structural radiographs that they refuse to even consider structurally focused care. The ugly truth is that even physicians have been known to avoid using x-ray diagnostics because of the negative stigma associated with birth defects and radiation. Fear of litigation, warranted or not, from angry parents can be pretty intimidating. Because of the negative association with x-rays, it’s not uncommon to make the jump to automatically blaming radiation as the cause of any abnormal congenital issues that happen to arise with their newborn child. Are these fears warranted, though? According
What’s a Trigger Point? PART 1 We’ve talked a lot about chiropractic care, normal and abnormal spinal structure and how important it is to first find the primary cause of your secondary symptoms (back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches, etc). More often than not, an abnormal shift in your spine is the primary factor. A spinal shift is responsible for many of the common secondary symptoms like back pain, neck pain, sciatica, disc problems etc. However there are rare cases when the muscular problems from sustained low-level isometric contractions, eccentric contraction (when a muscle contracts and stretches at the same time), chronic muscle tension, gross trauma, overuse, or sustained rapid movement or even emotional stress can cause trigger points that are not resolved by addressing your spine’s structure. In fact, there are rare situations in which trigger points in the muscle don’t allow the spine and muscles to respond to structurally focused chiropractic care. Which Is It? The only way to reliably verify whether a specific trigger point is a primary condition causing a specific pain or symptom is to deactivate the trigger point and see if the pain remains. Trigger points, although common, are rarely so bad that you are unable to effectively address structural abnormalities with chiropractic. An abnormal shift in the spine is often the primary condition. Trigger points are most often the secondary condition. Which is
Are Self Chiropractic Adjustments Recommended? No. A chiropractic adjustment is a clinical procedure. Chiropractic Adjustments take years to learn and master and should only be applied by a doctor of chiropractic. The procedure is very safe. However, “self-adjusting” is not really an adjustment. The joint would only be mobilizing further into a misaligned position. Because of the cavitation (popping sound) that is often, not always, accompanied by an adjustment people assume that this popping sound is synonymous with an adjustment. This is not true. It is not the same. This is why there is a huge misconception that performing a chiropractic adjustment by yourself is even possible. It’s like saying that removing a baby tooth is that same thing as orthodontic surgery. Sure you’re both taking out teeth but that doesn’t make them the same thing. This isn’t really the best metaphor but there really isn’t any accurate metaphor in healthcare because there is no other procedure in medicine that people attempt to perform on themselves to feel better that is as safe as an adjustment even when done incorrectly. What About The Pop? You may be making a popping sound in your joints that feel better for a bit but that does not make it the same. A great deal of education goes into diagnosing and preparing a treatment plan to correct structural shifts in a spine. Ultimately
NC Insurance: Are you getting what you pay for? Describing a company that is supposed to help keep your chiropractic health care costs reasonable, as a cartel seems extreme. After all, we’re not talking about people who are selling weapons on the black market. None the less, HNS (Health Network Solutions) who states that they “partner with payors (your insurance), employers and healthcare professionals (your chiropractor) to provide innovative services and solutions to make health care more accessible, more effective and more affordable for everyone” are in fact facing a lawsuit for making it more difficult get the chiropractic care coverage that they paid for. Even more alarming is that this is not just a problem for people buying insurance, which thanks to Obamacare everyone is legally required to do under threat of fines. All tax paying citizens are paying the price literally when our tax dollars are going to allow chiropractic care to be covered for all state employees but because Health Network Solutions has become a “gatekeeper” in North Carolina to the patients covered by the insurers they are often not getting what we are paying for. In fact it is such a problem a large number of North Carolina Chiropractors have filed a Class Action Lawsuit against Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna, Medcost and HNS Management Group in an effort to protect not just the chiropractic
You’re Not Going to Break My Neck Are You? Post by Dr. Bret Wickstrom: If you are what you eat, Chuck Norris is made of steel. This is essentially why if Chuck Norris was a chiropractor he is the only one who could “snap” your neck, which is ironic because the ridiculous movie magic that is the foundation for many peoples fear of chiropractic adjustments was common place for Chuck Norris movies. Sadly, the familiar neck breaking martial arts move is not only well known but also seems to have an impact on people’s health care choices. First of all, the amount of power it takes to break someone’s neck is enormous. Now I’m a big guy at 6’5” and currently about 255 lbs. but it would take EVERYTHING I had and more to do that kind of damage to my most petite adult female patient (~100 lbs). To better understand the force and most likely mechanism needed think about whiplash. The “easiest” way to break someone’s cervical spine with enough force to severe the spinal cord and kill them would require very quick neck flexion and then immediate extension with rotation. Think of a VERY bad whiplash from a car accident with no seatbelt and no head rest or airbag with which happened so fast that you had no time to brace yourself. Weight for weight, bone
Hey Doc, I Think My Problem’s Just “Muscular”. Post by Dr. Bret Wickstrom: This is one of the most common statements I hear. Sadly, muscular symptoms are more often a SECONDARY condition to the primary structural shift condition. That’s exactly why I focus on structural correction instead of muscular treatment. In RARE situations, muscular conditions can be the primary condition that is contributing to an abnormal structural shift. Muscular dystrophy, which is a hereditary condition marked by progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles which can lead to spinal shifting like scoliosis, is a one example of this. More often than not though these muscular problems that everyone is so bent on blaming all there symptoms on is a result of muscle tension or trigger points that have developed in the muscles due to the structural shift in their spine. Telephone Tower Analogy Picture a telephone tower with the long wires that go from the ground to the top of the tower. If the foundation of the tower is compromised the tension in the wires, just like the muscles, is going to change. One side may be tighter whereas the other side will be loose. Both a loose and tight wire present problems to the integrity of the structure but to fix it you don’t want to just loosen the tight wire and tighten the loose one. That may help
How Can I Reduce My Hunchback As A Fully Grown Adult? Answer by Dr. Bret Wickstrom: In order to safely and effectively reduce or correct a postural shift like a hyperkyphosis (hunchback), you must determine the primary condition that caused it. In very rare situations it may require medical treatment or management if the severity of hyperkyphosis infringes on the patient’s breathing, heart function or there is a severe unrelenting pain. However, these situations are extremely unlikely and not immediately life-threatening. Therefore, the patient would benefit more from a consultation for a conservative approach with a chiropractor, specifically a chiropractor who does structural correction. Doing any do-it-yourself treatment isn’t the best idea. Certainly exercise and stretching can be great but for those who have a significant imbalance causing a noticeable spinal shift like hyperkyphosis, you are at risk for exacerbating the primary condition causing the hyperkyphosis to get worse. Hyperkyphosis is commonly a result of abnormal structure of the spine which can be caused by a myriad of factors. Finding ONE source responsible for an abnormal spinal structure is like finding one food source responsible for someone’s obesity. It’s just not that simple. But in rare cases, there can be one major factor, e.g. thyroid issues for obesity. Congenital Scoliosis, Idiopathic Scoliosis, Scheuermann’s disease and other congenital spinal deformities can be major contributing factors. They can often be treated with
Why Does My Back Hurt When I Simply Stand? Answer by Dr. Bret Wickstrom: The only way to resolve this secondary problem (symptom) is to determine the primary condition that is causing it. There are a few, but not all, of the issues that are common for this type of intermittent pain. 1. The most common is a shift in the structure of your spine. Just like with your blood pressure, body temp etc. there is a standard for is considered “normal”. When your spine shifts away from that normal it puts excessive pressure on the bones, discs and nerves in the spine the same way that an uneven foundation of a house puts uneven stress on the walls, doors, and windows and can lead to secondary issues in the house like cracks in the wall squeaky doors and window that don’t open easily. You can choose to either treat the windows, doors, and walls directly or you can treat the foundation ( the primary cause of the problem. The only way to determine if this is the primary cause of your problem is to have a chiropractor do structural radiographs and compare them to normal. It is very likely that a shift in your spine is putting more stress on the muscle, discs, or nerves in that area when standing and not sitting. Sometimes it happens the other
Is Chiropractic Therapy Only For Short Term Treatment? Answer by Chiropractor Bret Wickstrom: Chiropractic is NOT only for short-term treatment. Often more traditional chiropractors will choose to do short term or pain based care. The most important thing for you to understand is that the goal of treatment will depend on the type of treatment the chiropractor uses. You received traditional, pain based care which is the most common type of chiropractic care. This type of care is not necessarily bad but has the misfortune of often being called “corrective” or “aligning”. Yes, it can help to “align” the vertebrae by increasing mobility in the spinal segments and aligning them so they aren’t rotated out of place but it will rarely be able to objectively measure the way a true structural correction can via x-ray. If you’re okay with focusing on the secondary conditions (neck pain, back pain, headaches etc) then what he did is fine. Corrective Chiropractic If you are looking for a complete answer to your problem then it is imperative that you find a chiropractor that is doing a structural correction. This can be slightly different depending on the DC but ultimately you want a chiropractor that will talk to you and show you how they will objectively measure your results before and after each phase of care. I would recommend someone using structural radiographs that
Ascorbic Acid vs Vitamin C Vitamin C is a very misunderstood vitamin. This is because the powers that be decided to rate any vitamin C product according to the amount of ascorbic acid it contains. Ascorbic acid by itself is NOT vitamin C. It is the preservative part of the C complex, like the egg shell to an egg. Like looking at a wheel and calling it an automobile, an egg shell by itself it is NOT going to make scrambled eggs. The same is true of ascorbic acid. To refine out or to synthesize ascorbic acid is a bad idea. Often they don’t even use food to do this e.g. synthetic ascorbic acid, a derivative of petroleum contains carbon and is therefore chemically organic, although it is hardly a food. It is, in fact, a drug. The actual vitamin C complex, like what you would find in whole foods, contains other vitamin factors like: Vitamin P (bioflavonoids, rutin) which maintain vascular integrity. Vitamin K is another piece of the C complex. It helps in coagulation. People who can’t stop bleeding do not have enough vitamin K. Vitamin J which increases the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood. Tyrosinase which is organic copper is an adrenal activator. In addition to all these factors, the vitamin C complex also contains ascorbic
How Should an Individual Treat Back Pain? Answer by Chiropractor Dr. Bret Wickstrom: The most important thing to do is find the primary cause of the back pain. Chiropractic is often the best choice because back pain is very often a secondary condition that is there as a result of a shift in the structure of your spine. Meaning, the primary condition of the spine being shifted out of normal alignment can result in secondary symptoms like back pain. Chiropractic is a good place to start. If upon a structural examination with your chiropractor, the results show that your alignment is abnormal and correlating with your secondary condition of back pain then you’re in the right place (assuming the chiropractor is structurally focused). Even if they are a traditional chiropractor (symptom based), you can still see help if all you are seeking is the elimination of symptoms without fully addressing the abnormal spinal structure. The most important thing in determining ANY treatment plan is to determine the CAUSE of the symptom and then whether or not you want to fix the cause of just treat to alleviate the symptom. Both are very different. The post How should an individual treat back pain? appeared first on Chiropractor Greenville NC.
The Correct Way to Sleep As a chiropractor, I get ask about mattresses, pillow and sleeping positions a lot. The most healthful posture for sleeping is on one’s back. With the proper pillow and mattress, this allows the body to be correctly aligned while you rest. You want to sleep in a position that is closest to “anatomical position” or normal spinal alignment. The spine should be straight when you look at it from the front and have three proper curves when looking from the side. The quickest and most common way to jack up your spine while sleeping is with a bad pillow. Sadly almost ALL pillows are terrible because their main function is to support your HEAD when instead they should be used to support the back of your NECK! You need a forward curve in your neck. You do not need your head resting forward from your body. Lying on your back: Place a thin pillow, NO pillow or a neck support pillow under your head to maintain the cervical arch without pushing your head forward towards the ceiling. Keep a pillow under your knees- this supports your legs as well as your lower back but is not always necessary with a good quality mattress. Consider having higher pillows to either side of your head to keep your head from rolling off to one side, which creates
Agave Nectar vs. Agave Syrup Corrective Chiropractic advocates using agave nectar as a sweetener. Agave nectar is a low-glycemic food (foods with a glycemic index lower than 55 are considered low glycemic), and as such – is less likely to trigger the body’s mechanism to store fat. There is often a great deal of confusion with regard to what sweetener to use. In particular when we compare agave nectar and agave syrup, which are not the same. Don’t feel bad. Most medical doctors and even chiropractors don’t know the difference. The creation of agave nectar is very similar to maple syrup. It’s made by extracting sap (in this case, from the center of the agave plant), filtering it, and then heating it at low temperature. This breaks down the carbohydrates into sugar. Lighter and darker varieties of agave nectar are made from the same plants. Low temperatures are used in processing many varieties of agave nectar (under 118 degrees F) – which is why agave nectar is typically regarded as a “raw food”. No chemicals or enzymes are added in the production of agave nectar. Agave SYRUP is a completely different product. The processing necessary to create Agave syrup is the same utilized to make high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Both of which are not what I would consider “food” but rather a high-calorie chemical sweetener. Unfortunately, manufacturers often use the
Flipping Babies (The Webster Technique) Am I trained to correct a baby breech presentation? Nope. No chiropractor is. Whoa, hold on a minute, you crazy chiropractor! What are you doing adjusting all those pregnant patients with breech babies? Well, I’m not flipping babies that’s for sure. Everything in our office is focused on structural correction. I am simply using chiropractic adjustments and sometimes other therapies and exercises specific to the patients need to adjust and correct structural shifts in the pelvis. This is where the primary problem is often found in pregnant mothers with a breech presentation. I have never and will never attempt to turn a baby, nor should any other chiropractor. The reality is that the baby will often flip themselves the way they were intended to do when the pelvic bowl and especially the sacrum is balanced and no structural shift is present. I have been adjusting pregnant mothers for years in my practice. I currently utilize the Webster Protocol as part of our structural correction, which was developed by Dr. Larry Webster, after watching his own daughter suffer through a long, painful labor with a baby in the breech position. This chiropractic technique balances the pelvis properly and reduces the stress to the ligaments that support the uterus, more specifically the round ligaments. As a structurally focused chiropractor, we always take structural radiographs to determine a
Insurance Guidelines vs Healthcare Guidelines All healthcare professionals from chiropractors to medical doctors and surgeons have guidelines that they are expected to follow. Primarily for the interest of the patient’s health and well-being. These guidelines are put in place as a result of decades of research and treatment. They sometimes change as new and updated information becomes available. These guidelines are very important in helping to determine the standard of care that your chiropractor is expected to follow so you to get the care needed. Chiropractors or medical doctors who stray outside of these guidelines run the risk of being held accountable for malpractice. If a patient is hurt as a result of negligence while practicing outside of practice guidelines. For example A well-known guideline for chiropractors and medical doctors is the need to take an x-ray of the spine if a patient is having neck or back pain. This standard of care is in place in order to protect the patient. There is a great deal of research to show that neck or back pain can be the result of many different maladies that may require more than just an adjustment. For example, additional structurally focused exercises and spinal remodeling traction is often needed. By correcting the shape of the spine and preventing the cause of these symptoms. Another potential cause of low back pain or neck pain could
For Headaches Try Chiropractic According to the American Chiropractic Association, fourteen percent of the patients who regularly visit chiropractors go for relief from headaches. This is probably due to the fact that while there are many medications traditional doctors might prescribe; chiropractors treat headaches by getting to the cause of the problem, which helps the body to correct it. Chemical, physical, and emotional stressors don’t just trigger headaches, they can also disrupt the delicate balance of your nervous system, and eventually alter the proper positioning of your spinal column, leading to pain, discomfort, and decreased mobility. When this happens, it may lead to a series of subluxations (spinal shifts). Untreated, subluxations can lead to irreversible spinal degeneration. Corrective Chiropractic helps repair spinal shifts created by various stressors, regardless of the cause. The post For Headaches Try Chiropractic appeared first on Chiropractor Greenville NC.
Is Back Pain a Good Thing? The reality is that few people would say that pain is a good thing. No one wants to be in pain and the second we have pain we quickly look for ways to relieve it. And why wouldn’t we? Pain sucks. I’m, nor any other chiropractor would suggest that you should want to feel pain but I’d like to challenge the notion that back pain is an entirely negative experience. Our body has some standard norms that must be maintained to be healthy. A few well-known examples of this include your pulse, blood pressure, and body temperature. Most of us are familiar with these. For example, you know that if your resting heart rate was 190 right now you’d be right to assume that something is wrong and you’d better figure out what. The problem with these norms is the reason for them becoming abnormal is often overlooked or ignored. We simply find a way to get rid of the secondary conditions (symptoms) that show up when something is wrong and then go on our merry way, willingly ignorant of the reason for the abnormal condition. The fact of the matter is that in our culture we have been taught that no symptoms mean, no disease. No tumor = no cancer right? No symptom = no problem. Got it? Of course, you do because we
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