BODY SIGNALS

Doctors of Chiropractic are expertly trained professionals at finding and correcting subluxations which cause stress and irritation to your nervous system. Oftentimes, this stress and irritation is the root cause of symptoms or what we call "body signals". This is why people with a variety of health conditions see restored health and improved function with chiropractic care. More and more families are discovering the many benefits associated with chiropractic care. Our Gonstead chiropractors are focused on immediate pain relief, but our approach goes a step further to correct the cause of the problem. Most patients under our care not only report relief from pain and discomfort, but as their spinal joints align and begin to heal, they notice other conditions clearing up as well. Check out and enjoy the following selection of the conditions we see on a regular basis and have commonly helped. It is important to remember, however, that chiropractors do not claim to treat conditions.

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Allergies

Allergies are the symptoms we experience when our bodies have an increased immune response to an irritant. This incorrect response by your immune system to an allergen results in sneezing, coughing, congestion, hives, rashes, and in severe cases, seizure and anaphylactic shock. These symptoms are caused by the histamines your immune system creates in an attempt to protect your body against the allergen. Your body will naturally direct immune cells and proteins to combat harmful pathogens that come into contact with the body. Sometimes a hyperactive response occurs to otherwise harmless substances like pet dander or pollen. Your nervous system orchestrates these immune responses. When your spine is misaligned it can impinge on the nerves in your body. Any insult to the nervous system will cause the body to not function properly, and your immune system cannot work optimally. Many patients have found that reducing stress on their nervous system by seeing a chiropractor helps their allergy symptoms. For example, The authors of clinical study found that pediatric patients at Western States Chiropractic College public clinic commonly had complaints of ear-infection, sinus problems, allergy, bedwetting, respiratory problems, and gastrointestinal problems. Complete or substantial improvement of their allergy symptom had been noted in 61.6% of pediatric patients while 60.6% received “maximum” level of improvement. In another study with the group receiving chiropractic care, 70% of those patients reported improvement with allergies and children under chiropractic had less use of medications, including antibiotics, and suffered from less ear infections.

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Asthma

Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways are inflamed and restricted. The lining of the airways becomes chronically swollen and the muscles tighten, making it difficult to breathe. The muscles of the airways are under the involuntary control of your nervous system. Chiropractors specialize in removing stress and irritation to your nervous system by correcting subluxations. By relaxing tension and pressure in this area of the spine through spinal alignment, patients can experience relief of their breathing-related symptoms we call asthma. For example, in a study of patients who had chiropractic care to help their breathing, patients cared for had a 45% decrease overall in the number of attacks that occurred, and 31% of patients were able to decrease or stop medication. These results were highlighted specifically for asthma in children.

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Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition, similar to Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism and learning disabilities. As proper brain activity is directly related to correct alignment and the function of the spine, when the spine is out of alignment, it can create interference in the signals going to the brain and contribute to mental conditions. Doctors of Chiropractic specialize in removing nervous system interference and improve neurological function. Because of this particular specific focus on the body, chiropractic may reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Many reviews of literature have shown improvements in symptoms experienced by individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions using chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can be a healthy and medication-free alternative to “traditional” ADHD care. For example, in the case of an 8-year-old diagnosed with ADD and hyperactivity, for three years (since kindergarten) the child had been on Ritalin T and Prozac T and undergoing behavior modification. By his 2nd adjustment the mother noted that the child could sit still longer, though he appeared more irritable. After 3 weeks of chiropractic care all medication was removed and after 6 weeks of care the school noted improvement in cognitive skills task concentration, ability to control emotions and decreased aggressiveness. A case of a six-year-old girl with a chief complaint of attention span deficiency and learning disability reported results with chiropractic care. She also suffered from lack of bladder control, headaches, sinus infections, constant fever, severely swollen neck lymph nodes and hyperactivity. After 3 months of chiropractic care her lymph nodes are normal, her headaches and fevers are gone and she is no longer on medication. Her teacher’s remark that she is concentrating better and her grades have vastly improved.

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High Blood Pressure

Hypertension occurs when the force of blood flowing through the blood vessels is abnormally strong. Chronic hypertension can lead to serious health complications including: heart attacks and heart failure, blood vessel damage, strokes and kidney disease. In the United States, 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure, or about 70 million people. This health problem costs the US $46 billion each year in health care services, medications and missed work. Your nervous system is responsible for monitoring and altering your blood pressure. The nerves in your body control the constriction of small muscles in your blood vessels, as well as orchestrate the strength and rate of your heartbeat. When you start to exercise, your body will recognize the increased oxygen demand and compensate by changing your heart rate. Doctors of Chiropractic help to ensure your nervous system is functioning optimally. Some chiropractic patients have noticed a normalization of their blood pressure while under chiropractic care. For example, in a chiropractic pilot study involving 80 people found there is a relationship between the upper neck vertebrae and the body’s natural blood pressure control reflexes. The author of the study stated, “With gentle chiropractic adjustment to the upper neck, blood pressure can be lowered, with good results measured for older patients in particular.” In a study of chiropractic management of a hypertensive, 38-year-old male complaining of high blood pressure of 14 years duration was suffering from the side effects of medications including bloating sensations, depression, fatigue, and impotency. After three chiropractic visits, the patient’s M.D. stopped one medication and reduced another. After six adjustments, medication was reduced again. All medications were stopped after seven adjustments. Medication side effects had abated as well. After 18 months, patient’s blood pressure remained at normal levels.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Millions of Americans have jobs that can have damaging effects on the hands and arms. Repetitive movements performed in a poor position can cause micro-trauma to the hands and wrists. This repetitive trauma over time combined with joint dysfunction and spinal problems may result in a condition known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Median Nerve Syndrome. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is irritation of the median nerve, a nerve in your hand that travels from the spinal cord in the lower neck down the arm and through the wrist into the fingers. It innervates your thumb, pointer and middle fingers. Often with compression of the median nerve from the neck, elbow, or wrist, a person will experience symptoms such as tingling or numbness in areas of the hand, wrist pain, weakness, burning and loss of muscle function. Frequent chiropractic care may help alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms, improve range-of-motion and flexibility, and is a gentle and noninvasive alternative to surgery.

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Digestive Problems

The process of digesting your food is a complicated symphony of different factors. It’s a balance of stomach enzyme secretion and muscle movement. Your nervous system controls this digestion process. The nerves going to the digestive organs are responsible for telling the organs to create digestive fluids. But often times, the digestive organs do not produce the proper chemicals and enzymes necessary for digestion. Gas, bloating, heartburn, reflux and general digestive problems plague nearly 80% of adults. Symptoms of digestive issues may include an upset stomach, GERD, constipation, excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea and more. When the spinal bones are misaligned, they create pressure on those nerves making proper digestion impossible.  Once this spine is back into a normal alignment and the nervous system works better, the body can create digestive juices and digest food properly. If your digestive difficulties are caused by a chiropractic condition, adjustments to the spine where the nerves control the digestive system may help.

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Disc Herniation

Intervertebral discs are positioned between the vertebrae in the spine. The outside of a disc is made from cartilage, and in the center is a jelly-like soft tissue with high water content. The primary function of the disc is to provide a flexible, movable, nerve-spacing structure that makes up a large part of the spacing requirement for the nerves to pass thru freely. The gelatinous middle allows for proper joint movement. Trauma to the spine can cause the discs to tear, expand, herniate, bulge, become displaced (slipped disc), or even rupture. Poor posture habits and trauma or direct injury to the area is not the only cause, however. As we get older, the discs can begin to weaken and dehydrate if they are not in alignment. These conditions can put pressure on the nerves around the spine and cause pain and other visceral symptoms. Gonstead chiropractic technique recognized that all chiropractic issues begin as disc issues, sometimes ever so slight. The entire focus of this office is to correct the disc to a healthy normal position to free up impinged nerves, allowing the body to function optimally. Surgery may be very risky, expensive, and requires significant recovery time. In many cases, you can experience relief from these conditions through chiropractic. By properly aligning the spine, pressure can be relieved on nerves and on the discs themselves.
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Ear Infections

Ear infections, or Otitis Media (i.e. inflammation of the inner ear), can be extremely painful and are common but not normal in young children. Most parents recognize it as a fussy child with a fever, and they may show other signs like tugging at their ear or increased redness over the affected area. Commonly antibiotics are prescribed, even though many ear infection cases are viral. The drainage of your child’s ear tube is controlled by a small muscle that is innervated by important cranial nerves. When there is irritation or interference with the nerves controlling that muscle, drainage of the ear tube is less efficient. That creates a perfect environment for unwelcome bacteria or virus particles to proliferate and become an infection. Chiropractic can significantly improve not only a child’s ear infections, but overall nerve system function. For example, In a study, 93% of all episodes improved for children under the age of five who suffer from ear infections and were supervised under a chiropractor’s care. 43% of the children were better within one to two visits, and 75% were better within 10 days or fewer.

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Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

There is better than a 70% chance your back surgery will fail. Failure means equal or more pain, or more surgeries or drugs needed. Attempting to artificially stabilize a joint by fusion or by discectomy can destabilize the joint further by causing other vertebrae to make up the lost range of motion, or by decreasing the overall matter of the disc necessary for joint stabilization. Invariably, surgery further destabilizes spinal segments and increases misalignment causing more severe subluxation leading to spinal decay over time. Surgery speeds this process of subluxation. If this is you, there is hope. We have worked with many surgery cases where there has been relief from symptoms. For qualifying cases, there is a special approach in our office. Treatment outcomes vary with each individual case.

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Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition, and is characterized by chronic, severe, widespread pain in a variety of “tender points” throughout the body. This pain can be accompanied by other symptoms as well – fatigue, loss of sleep, increased pain sensitivity and numbness or tingling. Diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be frustrating because there is currently no medical test that will show an abnormal result with the disorder. What is known is that fibromyalgia results from changes in communication between the brain and the body, which could lead to altered sensation. For proper diagnosis and treatment, a wide variety of factors need to be considered including previous physical trauma, “head-to-toe” joint and muscle function, and lifestyle habits. A thorough examination will help to determine the cause of the pain. Very often, a comprehensive treatment program addressing all of these issues leads to significant improvement.  Joint and soft tissue manipulation is often very helpful in relieving the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and related conditions. Although researchers are still a long way from finding a “cure” for fibromyalgia, chiropractic care is usually very successful in the effective management of this condition.

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Headaches & Migraines

Headaches are a widespread health concern and have many causes and presentations. Over 300 different types of headaches are known, with common types including: migraines, tension-type, trigeminal and injury-related. Tension-type headaches are the most prevalent and affect approximately 42% of the adult population worldwide. Headaches can range in sensation and intensity from dull and achy to throbbing and pounding to sharp and stabbing. Headaches have a huge impact on daily life, productivity and relationships. Stress in the neck and upper back may cause the shoulders and neck muscles to contract from the bones of the spine being out of position. This misalignment often causes nerve pressure. According to the research, 80% of headaches originate from the neck (cervicogenic). When the neck is misaligned, the bones protecting the spinal cord interfere with the nerves instead of protecting them. This interference causes the body to malfunction causing pain directly or indirectly affecting the chemical or hormonal balance of the body. Often times, headache pain will start at the base of the skull and radiate into the temples and face. Migraine headaches are a neurologic disorder characterized by severe headaches and other visceral symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and sound, and sever pain. Once the pressure on the nerves is relieved, pain may subside and the body can balance itself chemically and hormonally. By removing subluxations (spinal misalignments causing nerve pressure), chiropractors help to reestablish proper communication between brain and body. Many chiropractic patients have seen improvement of their headache symptoms with chiropractic care.

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Infertility

Fertility is a delicate balance of hormone levels and cooperation between organ systems. Fertility concerns can be incredibly frustrating and emotionally draining for couples who are trying to conceive. All the stages involved in the fertilization process are under the control of the nervous system. From the female’s point-of-view, branches of nerves that originate in her low back and pelvic area supply her ovaries and uterus. As pregnancy continues, her nervous system controls the changes in her body and hormone release as the fetus grows. For the male, similar nerves in his lower back region supply the testes, which create and develop healthy sperm. Recently, infertility specialists have been focusing on factors outside of the reproductive system in order to solve the puzzle of infertility. For example, a study was published in three parts in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), detailed a number of cases where infertile women undergoing chiropractic care became pregnant.  While some of these women went to the chiropractor with a view toward helping their fertility, others went merely to have their spines adjusted but then became pregnant while under chiropractic care. Doctors of chiropractic evaluate spinal and nervous system function. By correcting subluxations or spinal misalignments, chiropractors remove interference to the nervous system. Many patients have noticed that a properly functioning nervous system as a result of chiropractic care allows their bodies to more easily support pregnancy.

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Neck Pain & Back Pain

All movements start with our core, which is our spine. Subluxations (misalignments of the spinal vertebrae) are one of the most common causes of neck and low back pain. When vertebrae are misaligned, they put pressure directly on spinal nerves, causing pain. These misalignments may affect and transform dysfunction to the nearby extremities. Muscle spasms may set in which can increase the pressure further. This extra pressure can cause even more inflammation and irritation, which leads to more pain. Often times stretching and massage may only temporarily relieve the pain because the misalignment has not been addressed. A chiropractic adjustment focuses on correcting the cause of the problem and realigning the frame of the body.
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Text Neck

“Text neck” is used to describe neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long. Children and teens are especially at risk for suffering symptoms of text neck. It seems the same technology that is positively shaping the world today has added the potential consequences of re-shaping our necks away from the spine’s natural design and alignment.  Normally, the healthy forward curve of the neck acts as a “spring” protecting the integrity of the intervertebral discs which influences nerve spacing, function, and longevity. Without the defense system of the spinal curves, the joints are left weakened and exposed to the overloading effects of stress and gravity. Over time, text neck may lead to poor posture. According to the research, poor posture may lead to tight and weakened muscles, extra wear and tear, inhibited organ function, tension headaches, neck pain, and altered emotional states.

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Sciatica & Leg Pain

Sciatica or a pinched nerve is a condition that results when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated and pinched from a swollen or degenerated disc of the spine. Sciatica is also known as nerve compression or radiculopathy. This happens when surrounding tissues and structures put pressure on a nerve root. This physical impingement does not allow the nerve to function properly. Common symptoms of this condition include tingling, numbness and weakness in the area supplied by the affected nerve. Most frequently lumbar discs are responsible for increased pressure on the nerves that originate in the low back and travel into the legs. When a lumbar disc or pelvic joint misaligns over time it causes pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back and leg. Getting adjusted by a Doctor of Chiropractic restores proper nerve function, and many of our patients suffering from sciatica report significant improvement in pain levels. Sciatic pain during pregnancy often subsides with gentle and specific chiropractic care.

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Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of a person’s spine. The spine of a person with scoliosis looks more like an “S” or a “C” rather than a straight line from top to bottom. Since a straight spine is a strong spine, a scoliosis weakens the body and often causes pain. When allowed to advance, it may interfere with the lungs, heart and many other vital organs. There are many different locations, shapes and degrees of scoliosis. While scoliosis can be present at any age, most cases are first noticed in childhood or adolescence. Important factors affecting the spine’s shape and scoliosis are the alignment of the bones (vertebrae) in your back and proper nervous system function influencing growth and development. When a vertebra becomes misaligned, it not only affects the biomechanics and structure of your spine, but it can also impair nerve functioning in that area. Doctors of chiropractic specialize in finding these areas of misalignment called subluxation. If the scoliosis is caused by a spinal misalignment, it can successfully be treated by a chiropractor. Research suggests that the function and structure of the spine can be improved by the chiropractic adjustment, and may help relieve pain associated with scoliosis. In addition, chiropractic care has helped many children and adults in decreasing the angle of their scoliosis.