Headaches after an Auto Accident: How Chiropractic Care can Help

The force of an auto accident is often damaging and can lead to several different forms of injury. Many of those involved in even minor wrecks in Bessemer City find themselves suffering from concussions, back injuriesneck pain, or whiplash.  Once sustained, these injuries may also lead to other complications, and even with proper care, it may take weeks or months for pain to fully subside.  For many patients, in particular those with neck injuries, a common side effect is moderate to severe headaches which are often chronic in nature.

Headaches are often seen in conjunction with some of the most common auto accident injuries such as whiplash.  In fact, it is estimated that up to 80% of people who experience whiplash will also suffer from headaches.  As the neck is forcefully moved in opposing directions during a whiplash injury, inflammation of the upper cervical joints typically occurs and is sometimes seen with additional injury such asdisc herniation.  This damage frequently translates into stiffness and tension-type headaches.

Fortunately, chiropractors are uniquely skilled at addressing the true source of pain and treating these injuries through methods such asspinal manipulation.  This practice of applying force to spinal joints helps to correct problems with structural alignment of the spine and improve physical function.  As the function and mobility of the spine improves through the back and neck, the underlying injuries leading to headaches may be vastly improved.  In fact, in 2001, researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, determined that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.

In addition to spinal manipulation, therapies such as massage, acupuncture, and lifestyle advice offered by a chiropractor can also help patients see improvements and avoid exacerbating their injuries.  Additionally, when chiropractic care is implemented, the likelihood that a patient will need surgery to correct their injuries decreases dramatically, as does the need for other invasive procedures or pain medications.

Immediately following an accident, it can be difficult to determine the type and severity of injury.  Quite often, a motorist will not feel these to their full extent until days or weeks later.  At that time, it is not uncommon to feel pain throughout the back and neck or to suffer from increasingly severe headaches.  For this reason, an immediate appointment with a Bessemer City chiropractor is important, whether an individual feels injured or not.  Following this initial visit, the physician can help identify any injuries to the joints, ligaments, or soft tissue and develop a treatment plan to avoid long-term discomfort.

If you have been involved in an auto accident in Bessemer City or the surrounding areas, please contact SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers and request a consultation with one of our physicians.  We regularly treat injuries following car accidents and can help you find relief from existing injuries, while avoiding further damage. 

If you would like to learn more about other auto accident injuries that may be treatable with chiropractic care, please click the image below for access to our free and informative guide.

Avoiding and Treating Workplace Injuries in Gastonia

Regardless of how much caution is taken, accidents are an unfortunate occurrence that can happen nearly anywhere.  From exercising to driving, there are many daily activities that can lead to injury when not approached carefully.  Even a day at work can lead to injuries requiring medical attention and time off to recuperate.  While the type of work being performed will be a contributing factor to the likelihood of injury, there are still precautions that can be taken to avoid accidents.  Furthermore, in the unfortunate event that injuries do occur, there are treatment options which frequently allow patients to avoid ongoing pain and invasive medical treatments.

Among workplace injuries in Gastonia and around the country, those involving the back are most prevalent.  A 2011 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that back injuries account for 36% of all of those occurring at work.  Additionally, the shoulder (12%), neck (2%), and combinations of multiple injured areas (8%), also made the list.  One of the primary causes of these injuries was overexertion (22%).  Whether lifting or lowering, employees simply aren’t being cautious enough to avoid injury.  To avoid overexertion of this type on the job, there are some simple rules that should be followed:

  1. Ask for Help – If there are large or heavy objects to be lifted or moved, waiting until fellow team members arrive to help is often the best way to avoid injury.  It is important to avoid attempting too much alone.  If necessary, make prior arrangements to ensure that others are available to help.
  2. Use Proper Lifting Technique – The way in which heavy objects are lifted is a critical safety factor.  Injuries, particular those involving the back, occur when bending over to lift an item up, using the back.  Instead, knees should be bent, using the legs to lift.  Additionally, objects should be carried at waist level to avoid too much strain.
  3. Use a Cart or Dolly – If tools such as carts or hand trucks are available, use these to save unnecessary strain on the back.  They can be especially useful if there are multiple items to be moved.

In addition to overexertion, sedentary jobs and even those which require regular, repetitive motions may also lead to strain of the back, neck, and shoulders.  In these situations, it is important to break away from routine, move around, and stretch.  Additionally, those workers who spend many hours at a desk or computer can benefit greatly from simply focusing on proper posture.  Attempt to keep feet flat on the floor, the back straight, and adjust chairs and desks to optimal height.

Unfortunately, despite proper precautions, injuries may still occur.  However, whether muscles are strained or discs are herniated, chiropractic care is a viable treatment option for many of these injuries.  Studies have shown that those patients who first see a chiropractor for lower back pain are far less likely to need back surgery later on.  The care methods implemented by chiropractors such as spinal manipulation, spinal decompression, massage, and evenacupuncture can address many workplace injuries without the use of shots, pain pill prescriptions, or even surgery. 

In order to develop an ideal treatment plan, it is important to see a chiropractor as soon as possible after an injury occurs.  In many cases, this may be the only care you need.  In others, your chiropractor can work closely with your physician to ensure that all therapies complement one another and that you receive maximum benefit.

If you have recently been injured at work, contact our Gastonia orBelmont office to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians.  The chiropractors at SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers have years of treating a variety of workplace injuries and can help determine the best course of action for your particular case.  Click here to request a consultation at one of our offices

Additionally, if you would like to learn more about chiropractic treatments for back pain, click the image below to download our free and informative guide.

How do Chiropractic Care and Massage Work Together?

The American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as “a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system and the effects of these disorders on general health.”  In many cases, chiropractic care is initially sought out because of pain.  However, the practice itself relies not on treating the pain symptom, but rather on treating the underlying issues which are causing the discomfort. 

It is a natural and holistic approach to medicine that allows for identification and treatment of pain at its very source.  Chiropractors not only understand how seemingly unrelated ailments may impact one another, they also understand how different forms of treatment may complement one another to bring total body healing and comfort.  For this reason, chiropractors may often provide nutritional or lifestyle advice, which can increase the effectiveness of their therapies.  Furthermore, they may recommend complementary therapies such as massage or even offer them in their own offices.

Much like chiropractic care, massage seeks to offer healing through a hands-on, drug-free technique, providing a long-term benefit of lasting relief.  When combined, the two can be especially helpful.  Here are just some of the reasons that a patient may benefit from the use of both chiropractic care and massage:

  1. Quicker Recovery – Patients who receive both therapies will often experience a faster and more complete recovery as a result of the less isolated treatment.  The spine, soft tissue, and all supporting structures rely on each other to function properly, and often, all suffer as a result of injury.  Using both chiropractic care and massage allows them all to be addressed and treated appropriately.
  2. Easier Adjustments – Massage allows for relaxation of muscle tension.  When the body is more relaxed, chiropractic adjustments may be performed more easily and successfully.   
  3. Increased Range of Motion – The goal of chiropractic care is generally to provide increased comfort and mobility.  In addition to pain, many chiropractic patients also suffer from reduced range of motion due to their injury.  Much like spinal adjustments, massages are able to improve the flexibility and mobility of impacted areas such as muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissue.
  4. Improved Circulation – Massage techniques are often found to enhance blood flow through congested areas and relieve lactic acid, while chiropractic also helps by relieving pressure on nerves due tosubluxations.

In addition to these benefits, massage and chiropractic care may also work together to improve posture and manage the pain caused by conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.  For a great number of patients, their particular problem cannot only be treated by chiropractic care, but it can also benefit greatly from the addition of massage therapy.  For this reason, many chiropractic clinics such asSouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers now include massage therapy within their own practice.     

If you have a condition which you believe could improve with the implementation of chiropractic care and massage therapy, contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians.  Our doctors can help you identify the problem and determine the best course of action, including all complementary therapies.  Simply click here to request a consultation at our Gastonia or Belmont location.

Additionally, if you would like to learn more about why you should see a chiropractor, click the image below for a copy of our free guide, “10 Reasons to See a Chiropractor.”

The Gastonia Fountain of Youth: Yoga

Yoga has gained wild popularity over the past couple of decades.  What once was largely thought of as an odd Eastern practice has become about as mainstream as any fitness program can.  Yoga studios are popping up all over the country, even in the smallest of towns.  As its reach has expanded, more and more are learning the overwhelming health benefits that regular yoga practice has to offer, not the least of which is keeping practitioners looking and feeling young.

Yoga is unique in its ability to bring together the mind, body, and spirit for an all-encompassing experience.  Yogis focus on breathing techniques, meditation, and physical positioning to get the very most out of each session.  The practice has been shown to not only lead to increased physical strength, but also to help lower stress.  This alone can help fight off some more common age-related illnesses, but here are a few more benefits:

  • Joint Health – As we age, joints begin to deteriorate.  Conditions such as arthritis are seen more frequently as the once healthy cartilage that safeguarded these areas begins to erode.  However, research has shown that among the most effective ways to protect against, or in some cases avoid, arthritis is to maintain physical strength and flexibility while keeping weight at a healthy level.  Additionally, yoga promotes a greater range-of-motion, allowing practitioners to typically maintain greater levels of mobility.
  • Back Pain – The vast majority of adults will experience back pain at some point.  For some it may be occasional and mild, for others it can be debilitating and life-altering.  In either case, back pain, like many ailments, tends to get worse with age.  One of the greatest assets in the fight against back pain is a strong core.  In a 2011 study, researchers discovered that through core strengthening, yoga offers greater relief from back pain than typical stretching.
  • Heart Health – With its fluid movements and deep, controlled breathing, yoga has a well-known positive impact on stress.  As many now realize, stress is a key factor in a number of cardiovascular ailments including, heart attack and high blood pressure. With regular practice of yoga, these risks may be reduced.
  • Physical Appearance – Feeling younger can largely be tied to physical appearance.  When we look better, we feel better.  Yoga helps keep the body lean and toned.  It improves posture, and even reduces inflammation throughout the body, promoting healthier, glowing skin.

In 2010, researchers put yoga to the test against traditional aerobic exercise in a number of categories.  The takeaways were astounding.  Yoga was deemed more effective for lowering stress, improving flexibility, strength, balance and energy levels, and easing pain, particularly in seniors. It truly is one of the most effective means we have to combat aging and improve overall health.

In GastoniaSouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers is pleased to work with a number of highly qualified instructors in order to bring regular yoga classes to our patrons.  To learn more about this offering, click here, or call our office at (704) 810-0448.

Helping Children Avoid Sports Injuries

As the warmer spring and summer months roll around, parents find themselves spending more and more time at the ball field.  Athletic participation increases for most at this time of year.  Unfortunately, this means that injuries go up as well.  Dealing with these injuries, and of course, preventing them, is paramount to keeping our kids safe and able to participate in the sports they love. 

Types of Injuries

Traumatic Injuries – Contact sports in particular can result in acute, traumatic injuries.  These are generally brought on by a sudden blow such as being tackled or struck by a ball.  They can includeconcussions, breaks, cuts, or sprains.

Overuse Injuries – Repetitive training of certain muscle groups can eventually lead to injuries such as tendonitis or stress fractures.  While these may seem nagging at first, they can become just as troubling as an acute injury if not properly treated.

Prevention

Athletes are best served to take precautions to avoid injury, rather than simply treating them when they occur.  This means appropriate training for the right amount of time.  Some may assume that the more they train, the better, but overtraining can lead to injury just as easily.  Warming up is also key to sidestepping injury, particularly for athletes such as pitchers who use repetitive motion.  Finally, proper gear including foot and eyewear, pads, and helmets will help protect the body, particularly from traumatic injuries that may result from collisions.

Treatment

If injury becomes evident or even suspected, it’s important to hold off on athletic activity until it can be evaluated.  Signs can include worsening pain, swelling, and limited range of motion.  The specific type of injury will determine which type of physician is best suited for treatment.  Physical therapy and chiropractic care are often helpful for many of the most common forms of injury.  Not only can these therapies help recovery efforts, continuing them can help prevent re-injury as well.

If your child participates in athletics, contact SouthEast Chiropractic: The Motion Centers to learn more about how our physicians can help keep injuries at bay or aid in recovery from existing injuries.  To request an appointment in our DenverBelmont, or Gastonia offices, click here