Archive for August 2014

Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy

 

 

Pregnant woman

 

Ever heard of someone who was pregnant complain about their back hurting?  Lower back pain can be a normal part of pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimester as the baby is growing larger.  However, it’s not just the baby’s weight that leads to back pain.  Causes for lower back pain can also include changes in posture, increased pressure on blood vessels and nerves in the lower back and pelvic areas, changes in hormones, and emotional stress.

It’s important to know that if you are experiencing pain, there is usually something that can be done about it.  You always have a choice when it comes to dealing with pain; you don’t have to just check the box that says “Deal With It.”  At Quince Orchard Medical Center, we believe that your pain can be dealt with in a wholesome and healthy way that promotes long term solutions towards leading a life without having to just play through the pain.

All of our clinicians are trained in the art of prenatal care and wellness and are aware of the physical stressors that accompany pregnancy and how to alleviate those pains.  One of the main benefits of prenatal chiropractic care is its effectiveness in reducing unnecessary stress on the uterus and its supporting ligaments, which means less overall pain and discomfort.

Another important reason to consider prenatal chiropractic care is realignment of the pelvis, which, when done correctly allows more room for your baby to develop and grow while in utero.  According to several clinical studies, a properly aligned pelvis has been shown to provide space and optimal fetal positioning for improved chances of success for a natural birthing process.  In a 2002 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 82% of mothers who had received prenatal chiropractic care had babies who turned vertex during childbirth.  The upshot is a less difficult, less painful, and safer delivery process.

As part of your visit, we can also provide you with specific stretches and exercises for the joints and muscles affected by your pregnancy.  Other things that can help prevent and reduce back pain during pregnancy includes light cardio exercise, such as walking, swimming, and using an exercise bike or elliptical machine.  Not only are these good for your cardiovascular system, but also help to improve flexibility and strengthening of the spine at a time when extra strength is needed for your body to adjust properly.  Consult with a physician before engaging in any exercise program.  Also, remember to use proper posture, which reduces extra strain and stress that is otherwise placed on your spine and adjacent muscle groups.  Using a back support such as a rolled up towel or a posture insert for your seat can reduce slouching while sitting.  We’d be happy to discuss more ideas with you as part of our comprehensive treatment program so that we can meet your personal needs.

Lastly, chiropractic care is also a consideration for after the birthing process, so that long term pain and can be diverted from extra stress placed on the spine or a pelvis that is unbalanced.  Both of these can lead to long term problems that can be easily prevented with timely care.  Call us today to learn about more of our comprehensive pain treatment both during and after your pregnancy.

 

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What Causes Trigger Points?

 

Diagram of Trigger Point Complex

 

Have you ever experienced back pain or sciatica?  Do you get headaches regularly?  How about tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, or other joint pain involving the knees or shoulders?  Trigger Points are a cause of pain commonly seen at Quince Orchard Medical Center and all of our clinicians are equipped to treat them.

When your body is under stress, whether the stressor is physical or emotional, it always has a reaction to cope with it.  Trigger Points found in your skeletal muscles where your body has the potential to store that stress-energy for a long period of time. These are the locations on your muscles that exhibit extraordinary sensitivity, and in some cases, may become so stressed that they produce limited movement, stiffness, and pain.

There is a lot of information out there about Trigger Points, and it can easily become some type of vague, ethereal concept.  Quite simply, a Trigger Point is a small portion of muscle tissue that experiences extraordinary contraction.  Doctors and massage therapists can reliably target specific Trigger Points because they are always found where a motor neuron connects with the muscle.  On a microscopic level, when someone experiences pain produced from a Trigger Point, it is actually the motor neuron signaling the muscle fibers to fire off as a response to some other stimuli rather than the normal operational performance of the muscle.

Specific causes of Trigger Points can include, but are not limited to, trauma, overuse, repetitive straining, or alignment imbalances.  There can also be episodes where increased and prolonged muscle tension from an existing injury activates Trigger Points.  For example, someone sprains an ankle and then walks with a limp.  That extra strain placed on the non-injured leg could exacerbate Trigger Points in the non-injured leg.  It is also possible for existing Trigger Points to create referred pain in other parts of the body, which, in turn, activates other Trigger Points. This waterfall of symptoms can lead to chronic pain.

Unresolved pain from Trigger Points can compound, leading to more chronic problems such as those mentioned at the beginning of the article.  It’s important to know that stretching and the typical massage, ice, painkiller routine won’t resolve the irritation caused by Trigger Points.  In some cases, stretching, rubbing, or massage treatment for a muscle can make the pain worse in the long run if the Trigger Point is not released prior to working on the larger areas of the muscle.

During Trigger Point therapy, the therapist will compress the muscle fibers of the Trigger Point, which in turn makes the motor neuron and the muscle to relax the muscle contraction.  From this point, massage or stretching may be appropriate depending on a treatment plan developed with your therapist.

If you have been experiencing unresolved muscular pain, consider giving us a call.  All of our practitioners are skilled at direct and indirect treatment of these symptoms.  Although some patients suffering from activated Trigger Points only require a few visits, there are some cases that may require extended treatment.  One of the benefits of seeing our specialists at Quince Orchard Medical Center is our integrative approach to pain management and medicine, which seeks the least intensive and the least invasive approach possible.

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