Category Archives: Yankton Chiropractor

How Does Chiropractic Work?

Many people seek chiropractic care when their back goes out or their neck tightens up. But how does this form of care actually work? What are the benefits of receiving chiropractic care for nerve dysfunction compared with other healthcare options? Let’s take a look!

First, let’s discuss how the nervous system “works.” We have three divisions of the nervous system: the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems. The central nervous system (CNS) includes the brain and spinal cord, and it’s essentially the main processing portion of the nervous system. The spinal cord is like a multi-lane highway that brings information to the brain for processing (sensory division) and returns information back to the toes, feet, legs and upper extremities from which the information originated (motor division).

For example, hiking on a mountain trail or simply walking requires constant input to and from the CNS so we can adjust our balance accordingly and not fall. These “sensory-motor pathways” are essential and allow us to complete our daily tasks in an efficient, safe manner as information is constantly bouncing back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body.

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) includes a similar sensory/motor “two-way street” system relaying information back and forth from our toes/feet/legs and fingers/hands/arms to the spinal cord (CNS). And if this isn’t complicated enough, we also have “reflexes” that, for example, allow us to QUICKLY pull our hand away from a hot stove to minimize burning our fingers.

Reflexes allow the information to “skip” the brain’s processing part so quicker reactions can occur. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) includes the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions that basically “run” our automatic (organ) functions like breathing, heart rate, digestion, hormonal output, and more. There is constant communication between the ANS, PNS, and CNS that allow us to function in a normal, balanced way…unless something disrupts them.

There are obvious conditions that interfere with this communication process that include (but are not limited to) diabetes (with neuropathy), frost bitten or burned fingers, peripheral nerve damage from conditions like carpal/cubital tunnel syndromes, thoracic outlet syndrome, and/or pinched nerves in the neck, mid-back, low-back spinal regions, as well as conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Guillain-Barre Syndrome, after a stroke (spinal cord or brain), and after trauma with resulting fractures where nerve, spinal cord, and/or brain damage can occur. These are “obvious” reasons for delayed or blocked neurotransmission.

There are many other less obvious injuries or conditions that can result in faulty neuromotor patterns and nerve transmission of which chiropractic services can benefit. The “subluxation complex” is a term some chiropractors use to describe the compromised nerve transmission that may occur if a nerve is compressed or irritated due to faulty bone or joint position along the nerve’s course. Reducing such nerve compression typically allows for a restoration of function. A good illustration of this is when a patient who suffers from a herniated disk in the neck with numbness and tingling down the arm to the hand. The goal of treatment (for all healthcare professionals) is to remove the pinch of the nerve.

To realize this goal, Doctors of Chiropractic utilize spinal manipulation and mobilization in addition to other non-surgical, non-drug approaches that may include exercises, nutritional advice, home-care such as a cervical traction unit, and other anti-inflammatory measures (ice, modalities like low level and class IV laser, electric stimulation, pulsed magnetic field, and more). Given the minimal side-effect risks and well-reported benefits, it only makes sense to try chiropractic FIRST and if you’re not satisfied, your doctor will help you find the next level of care!

MRI’s X-Rays Ineffective for Low Back Pain | Yankton Chiropractor | Brian Olson DC

Scans Ineffective for Back Pain

Patients suffering from lower back pain often undergo X-rays or imaging scans to detect the source of the problem. But new research shows scanning to find the source of back pain may do more harm than good.

Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland reviewed six clinical trials comprised of nearly 2,000 patients with lower back pain. They found that back pain patients who underwent scans didn’t get better any faster or have less pain, depression or anxiety than patients who weren’t scanned. More important, the data suggested that patients who get scanned for back pain may end up with more pain than those who are left alone, according to the report published this week in the medical journal Lancet.

About two thirds of adults suffer from low back pain at some time in their lives, and low back pain is the second most common symptom that sends people to the doctor (upper respiratory problems are first). Studies suggest that more than half the patients who see a doctor for back pain undergo X-rays or another imaging study as a result.

The problem, say researchers, is that back scans can turn up physical changes in the back that aren’t really causing any problem. One well known study from The New England Journal of Medicine put 98 people with no back pain into a magnetic resonance imaging scan. Even though all of them had healthy backs, two out of three of them came back with M.R.I. reports that showed disk problems.

“You can find lots of stuff on X-rays and M.R.I.’s like degenerative disks and arthritis, but these things are very weakly correlated with low back pain,” said study author Dr. Roger Chou, associate professor of medicine at Oregon Health. “We think we’re helping patients by doing a test, but we’re adding cost, exposing people to radiation and people may be getting unnecessary surgery. They start to think of themselves as having a horrible back problem and they stop doing exercise and things that are good for them, when in reality, a lot of people have degenerative disks and arthritis and have no pain at all.”

“I think patients should question whether they really need it,” Dr. Chou said. “From a societal perspective, it’s important because we’re wasting a lot of money that could be used for better purposes. But from an individual patient’s perspective, doing X-rays and M.R.I.’s can lead you down a path that you don’t want to go down.”

If you would like more infor go to www.olsonchiropracticcenter.com