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Conditions

Sciatica Diagrams

Sciatica

Definition
Sciatica is defined as pain that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks and down the back of one or both legs caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerves, the largest nerves of the body. It usually begins as an acute pain in the lower back and then radiates down the back of either or both legs. There are 5 pairs of nerves that exit the spine in the lower back. These nerves make up what we know as the sciatic nerves. If the vertebrae or bones in the lower back are misaligned or out of place; or the disc between the vertebrae are swollen, bulged or herniated, the result is pressure on those nearby nerves. This can cause tremendous pain and normal daily activities become almost impossible.

Symptoms

  • Sensation changes
  • Of the back of the calf or the sole of the foot
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, pain in back of calf or the sole of foot
  • Weakness of the knee or foot
  • Difficulty walking
  • Inability to move the foot (in severe cases)
  • Inability to bend the knee (in severe cases)

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on correcting misaligned or out of place vertebrae and can remove the pressure placed on the sciatic nerve, reducing pain and improving flexibility and function.


Fibromyalgia

Definition
Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by widespread pain in joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Some other problems commonly linked with fibromyalgia include fatigue, morning stiffness, sleep problems, headaches, numbness in hands and feet, depression, and anxiety. Fibromyalgia can develop on its own, or secondary to other musculoskeletal conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or systemic lupus. Diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires a history of a least three months of widespread pain, and pain and tenderness in at least 11 of 18 tender-point sites. These tender-point sites include fibrous tissue or muscles of the: Neck, Shoulders, Chest, Rib cage, Lower back, Thighs, Knees, Arms (elbows), Buttocks. The overwhelming characteristic of fibromyalgia is long-standing, body-wide pain with defined tender points. Tender points are distinct from trigger points seen in other pain syndromes. (Unlike tender points, trigger points can occur in isolation and represent a source of radiating pain, even in the absence of direct pressure.) Fibromyalgia pain can mimic the pain experienced by people with various types of arthritis. The soft-tissue pain of fibromyalgia is described as deep-aching, radiating, gnawing, shooting or burning, and ranges from mild to severe. Fibromyalgia sufferers tend to waken with body aches and stiffness.

Symptoms

  • Multiple tender areas Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances Body aches
  • Reduced exercise tolerance Chronic muscle pain or aching

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on relieving pain and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Definition
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the compression of the median nerve at the wrist, which may result in numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle atrophy in the hand and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in people who perform repetitive motions of the hand and wrist, such as typing. When the wrist is poorly positioned, there isn't enough space for the median nerve to travel to the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure exerted on the median nerve at the point where it passes through the wrist. The median nerve supplies sensation to the thumb-side of the palm, and to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb-side of the ring finger. It also supplies movement to part of the hand. The nerve enters the hand between the wrist bones (called the carpal bones) and the tough membrane that holds the bones together (the transverse carpal ligament). This space is called the carpal tunnel. Since the passageway is rigid, any swelling in this area can cause compression of the nerve (this is also called entrapment of the nerve).

Symptoms

  • Weakness in one or both hands
  • Numbness or tingling in the thumb and next two or three fingers of one or both hands
  • Numbness or tingling of the palm of the hand
  • Wrist or hand pain in one or both hands
  • Pain extending to the elbow
  • Impaired fine finger movements (coordination) in one or both hands
  • Weak grip or difficulty carrying bags (a common complaint)
  • Atrophy of the muscular bulge under the thumb
Carpal Tunnel Diagram

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on correcting symptoms and relieving pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.


Osteoporosis

Definition
The thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease. There are currently an estimated 10 million Americans suffering from osteoporosis, as well as another 18 million who have low bone mass, or osteopenia. Osteoporosis occurs when the body fails to form enough new bone, or when too much old bone is reabsorbed by the body, or both. Calcium and phosphate are two minerals that are essential for normal bone formation. Throughout youth, the body uses these minerals to produce bones. If calcium intake is not sufficient, or if the body does not absorb enough calcium from the diet, bone production and bone tissues may suffer. As people age, calcium and phosphate may be reabsorbed back into the body from the bones, which makes the bone tissue weaker. Both situations can result in brittle, fragile bones that are subject to fractures, even in the absence of trauma. Researchers estimate that about 20% of American women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis. In addition, another 30% of them have osteopenia, which is abnormally low bone density that may eventually deteriorate into osteoporosis, if not treated. About half of all women over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture of the hip, wrist, or vertebra.

Symptoms
There are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Symptoms occurring late in the disease include:

  • Fractures of the vertebrae, wrists, or hips (usually the first indication)
  • Low back pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Bone pain and tenderness
  • Loss of height over time
  • Stooped posture

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on relieving symptoms and complications associated with osteoporosis.


Scoliosis Diagram

Scoliosis

Definition
A lateral curvature of the spine. Scoliosis affects boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 18. It is more common with girls. There are several causes of scoliosis, the two most common are congenital and habitual. Congenital scoliosis occurs when someone is born with a lateral curvature of the spine. Habitual causes are environmental or situational depending on the habits of the individual. Carrying backpacks improperly can contribute to a spinal distortion. Poor sitting habits and practicing poor posture can also affect spinal development in children. Signs of scoliosis are a high hip (uneven hips), a high shoulder, the head being off center, head tilt, back and leg pain.

Symptoms

  • The spine curving abnormally to the side (laterally)
  • Shoulders and/ or hips appearing uneven
  • Backache
  • Low Back Pain
  • Fatigue

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on correcting scoliosis and relieving symptoms and complications associated with scoliosis.


Tension Headaches

Definition
A condition involving pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck, usually associated with muscle tightness in these areas. Tension headaches are one of the most common forms of headache. They can occur at any age, but are most common in adults and adolescents. If a headache occurs two or more times weekly for several months or longer, the condition is considered chronic. Tension headaches result from the contraction of neck and scalp muscles. One cause of this muscle contraction is a response to stress, depression or anxiety. Any activity that causes the head to be held in one position for a long time without moving can cause a headache. Such activities include typing or use of computers, fine work with the hands, and use of a microscope. Sleeping in a cold room or sleeping with the neck in an abnormal position can also trigger this type of headache. Other causes include spinal misalignment, eye strain, fatigue, alcohol use, excessive smoking, excessive caffeine use, sinus infection, nasal congestion,, overexertion, colds, and influenza. Tension headaches are not associated with structural lesions in the brain.

Symptoms

  • Dull pain, pressure-like
  • Generalized pain, worse in the scalp, temples or back of the neck
  • Not one sided
  • Feels like a tight band or vise on the head
  • Occurs as an isolated incident (or occurs constantly or daily)
  • Worsened or triggered by stress, fatigue, noise, glare, etc.
  • Sleep disturbances

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on correcting misalignments that cause headaches and relieving symptoms associated with tension headaches

Headaches Diagram

Whiplash Diagram

Whiplash

Definition
An injury to the soft tissues of the neck that occurs from a sudden jerking or "whipping" of the head. This type of motion strains the muscles and the ligaments of the neck beyond their normal range of motion.  Whiplash often occurs when a vehicle stops suddenly in a car crash or is struck from behind. Either of these two actions causes things in the vehicle to be thrown forward -- including passengers.  A seat belt will keep a person's body from being thrown forward, but the head may snap forward, then backward, causing a whiplash injury in the neck.  In addition to car accidents, whiplash can be caused by roller coasters and other amusement park rides, sports injuries, or being punched or shaken. (Whiplash is one of the hallmarks of shaken baby syndrome.)

Symptoms
Often, you feel pain and stiffness in your neck for the first few days following a whiplash injury. Then, you feel better, but the pain and stiffness may come back several days later. The discomfort you feel may involve surrounding muscle groups in your head, chest, shoulders, and arms.

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on correcting complications and relieving pain associated whiplash injuries


Bursitis

Definition
Inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) that lies between a tendon and skin, or between a tendon and bone. The condition may be acute or chronic. Bursae are fluid-filled cavities near joints where tendons or muscles pass over bony projections. They assist movement and reduce friction between moving parts. Bursitis can be caused by chronic overuse, trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or infection. Sometimes the cause cannot be determined. Bursitis commonly occurs in the shoulder, knee, elbow, and hip. Other areas that may be affected include the Achilles tendon and the foot.

Symptoms

  • Joint pain and tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth over the affected joint

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on relieving pain and correcting complications associated bursitis


Migraine Headache

Definition
Common migraine is a disorder involving recurrent headaches, which may be accompanied by symptoms other than headache but which rarely include a preliminary warning (called an aura). Migraine headaches affect about 6 out of 100 people. They are a common type of chronic headache. They most commonly occur in women and usually begin between the ages of 10 and 46. In some cases, they appear to run in families. Migraines occur when blood vessels of the head and neck spasm or constrict, which decreases blood flow to the brain. Minutes to hours later, the blood vessels dilate (enlarge), resulting in a severe headache. Inflammation around the blood vessels also occurs in some cases. Common migraine accounts for almost all migraine headaches. Common migraine may be accompanied by symptoms other than headache but only rarely includes any preceeding symptoms (aura). Migraine may also appear as classic migraine (a migraine preceded by other symptoms) and other rare forms. Multiple mechanisms trigger the spasm and subsequent blood vessel dilation.

Symptoms

  • Throbbing, pulsating pain
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Neck pain

Pain sometimes may be worse on the sides of the forehead; be on only one side of the forehead; be severe or dull; and commonly lasts 6 to 48 hours.

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on correcting the underlying causes of headaches and relieving symptoms associated with migraines

Headache Diagram

Degenerative Joint Disease Image

Degenerative Joint Disease/ Osteoarthritis

Definition
One of the oldest and most common types of arthritis. It is characterized by the breakdown of the joint's cartilage. Cartilage is the part of the joint that cushions the ends of bones. Cartilage breakdown causes bones to rub against each other, causing pain and loss of movement. Most commonly affecting middle-aged and older people, OA can range from very mild to very severe. It affects hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and the back.

Symptoms

  • Gradual and subtle onset of deep aching joint pain
  • Worse after exercise or weight bearing
  • Often relieved by rest
  • Joint swelling
  • Limited movement
  • Morning stiffness
  • Grating of the joint with motion
  • Joint pain in rainy weather
  • There may be no symptoms

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on relieving symptoms and minimizing complications associated with osteoarthritis


Cluster Headache

Definition
Cluster headaches affect one side of the head (unilateral) and may be associated with tearing of the eyes and nasal congestion. They occurs in clusters, happening repeatedly every day at the same time for several weeks and then remitting. Cluster headaches are a fairly common form of chronic, recurrent headache. Unlike migraines, they affect men more often than women. They can affect people of any age but are most common between adolescence and middle age. There does not seem to be a pattern among families in the development of cluster headaches. Cluster headaches occur as a severe, sudden headache. The onset is sudden, and it occurs most commonly during the dreaming (REM) phase of sleep. Cluster headaches may occur daily for months, alternating with periods without headaches (episodic), or they can occur for a year or more without stopping (chronic). A person may experience alternating chronic and episodic phases.

Symptoms

  • Swelling under or around the eyes  Excessive tears (on the affected side)
  • Red eye (on the affected side)   Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Flushed face     Begins suddenly
  • Pain commonly begins 2 to 3 hours after falling asleep and is steady, sharp, or burning.  Characteristically occurs on one side of the head and may occur in and around one eye.  May involve one side of the face from neck to temples.  Pain quickly gets worse, peaking within 5 to 10 minutes and peak may last one-half to 2 hours.

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on correcting the underlying causes of headaches and relieving symptoms associated with migraines.

Headaches Chart

Torticollis

Definition

Torticollis is a form of dystonia (prolonged muscle contractions) in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily causing the head to turn. Torticollis may occur without known cause (idiopathic), be genetic (inherited), or be acquired secondary to damage to the nervous system or muscles. It may develop in childhood or adulthood. Congenital torticollis (present at birth) may be caused by malpositioning of the head in the uterus, or by prenatal injury of the muscles or blood supply in the neck.

Symptoms

  • Enlargement of the neck muscles (possibly present at birth)
  • Asymmetry of an infant's head from sleeping on the affected side
  • Elevation of the shoulder on the affected side
  • Stiffness of neck muscles
  • Limited range of motion
  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Head tremor

Not uncommon to see a contracted state of the neck muscles that produces a twisting of the neck and unnatural position of the head.

Treatment
Chiropractic care works on correcting the underlying causes of torticollis and relieving associated symptoms.