Neck Injury Rhode Island Chiropractic Clinic - Chiropractor Services

Neck Injury Rhode Island Chiropractic Clinic - Chiropractor Services

Neck Pain Relief and Cervical Spine Problems

Consulting a chiropractor for neck pain might seem obvious to a patient who has experienced chiropractic and who associates an adjustment with the release of tension, increased motion, and pain relief. For others, chiropractic treatment of the neck brings to mind a different picture. What could be the benefit of 'popping' the bones in the neck? When family doctors are asked about neck manipulation, they often visualize an abrupt twisting of the neck and are apt to sound a note of alarm when a patient seeks chiropractic care for a cervical injury.

Similar to medical doctors, chiropractors use diagnostic indicators to differentiate types of neck problems. How these indicators are used and what occurs during a cervical adjustment will help to increase awareness of the indications and limitations of chiropractic care for neck conditions.

Chiropractic offers a unique and valuable mechanical approach to a wide range of cervical problems. Chiropractors do not 'twist' the neck or perform painful maneuvers. Manipulation or adjusting as performed by chiropractors is a precise and gentle therapy whose aim is to return motion to restricted spinal joints and to improve the overall mechanics of the spine.

The Rhode Island Chiropractic clinic of Dr. Stephen Estner provides neck pain relief for many ailments and cervical disorders including (Click on a topic below for more information):

Cervical Disorders

Shielded by the cranial dome, the brain orchestrates all of the complex, dynamic operations of the body. In the brain-body circuit, messages pass through trillions of nerve fibers, simultaneously prompting innumerable conscious and unconscious functions. The "wires" of this communication network are bundled tightly at the base of the brain (brainstem meets spinal cord), and are sheathed by the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae.

The point at which your head attaches to your neck - the upper cervical spine - is the most mobile part of your body. Bearing the weight of the skull, the atlas vertebra accepts the rounded protrusion of the axis vertebra, allowing rotation. Unlike a metal pivot, which can easily snap, this unique pair of bones is supported by stabilizing ligaments, but flexibility is impaired by trauma and is taxed by routine.

Given the centrality of the atlas and axis vertebrae, distress may be localized or misalignment may gradually extend to other areas. Significantly, when the upper cervical region is compromised, neurotransmission is impeded, leading to a breakdown of bodily systems. As the brain struggles to adjust, vitality fades in a cycle of dysfunction and chronic disease.

Contact a Rhode Island Cervical Chiropractor for Chiropractic Care today at 401.275.2225 or EMAIL US NOW

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Whiplash

Whiplash is a nonmedical term used to describe neck pain following an injury to the soft tissues of your neck (specifically ligaments, tendons, and muscles). It is caused by an abnormal motion or force applied to your neck that causes movement beyond the neck's normal range of motion.

Whiplash typically happens in motor vehicle accidents such as car crashes, auto accidents, and truck accidents, as well as during sporting activities, accidental falls, and assault.

Whiplash Causes

The most frequent cause of whiplash is a car accident. The speed of the cars involved in the accident or the amount of physical damage to the car may not relate to the intensity of neck injury; speeds as low as 15 miles per hour can produce enough energy to cause whiplash in occupants, whether or not they wear seat belts.

Other common causes of whiplash include contact sport injuries and blows to the head from a falling object or being assaulted. Also, Repetitive stress injuries or chronic strain involving the neck (such as using your neck to hold the phone) are a common, non-acute causes.

Contact a Rhode Island Whiplash Treatment Chiropractor today at 401.275.2225 or EMAIL US NOW

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Sprains and Strains

The body is meant to move. Muscles allow that movement to happen by contracting and making joints flex, extend and rotate. Muscles attach on each side of the joint to bone by thick bands of fibrous tissue called tendons. When a muscle contracts, it shortens and pulls on the tendon, which allows the joint to go through a range of motion.

A strain occurs when the muscle tendon unit is stretched or torn. The most common reason is the overuse and stretching of the muscle. The damage may occur in three areas:

  • The muscle itself may tear.
  • The area where the muscle and tendon blend can tear.
  • The tendon may tear partially or completely (rupture).

Joints are stabilized by thick bands of tissue called ligaments which surround them. These ligaments allow the joint to move only in specific directions. Some joints move in multiple planes; therefore, they need more than one group of ligaments to hold the joint in proper alignment. The ligaments are anchored to bone on each side of the joint. If a ligament is stretched or torn, the injury is called a sprain.

Contact a Rhode Island Strain & Sprain Relief Chiropractor today at 401.275.2225 or EMAIL US NOW

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Herniated Disc, Disc Bulge & Protrusion

A common cause of neck, shoulder and arm pain is a ruptured or herniated cervical disc. Symptoms may include dull or sharp pain in the neck or between the shoulder blades, pain that radiates down the arm to the hand or fingers, or numbness or tingling in the shoulder or arm. Certain positions or movements of the neck can intensify the pain.

The symptoms of a cervical herniated disc often resemble other disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, problems with the rotator cuff and gout. In some patients, a cervical herniated disc can cause spinal cord compression where disc material pushes on the spinal cord. This is a much more serious condition and may require a more aggressive treatment plan. Spinal cord compression symptoms include awkward or stumbling gait, difficulty with fine motor skills in the hands and arms, and tingling or “shock” type feelings down the torso or into the legs.

Anatomy – Normal Cervical Disc

In between each of the vertebrae (bones) in the spine is a disc, a tough fibrous shock-absorbing pad. Endplates line the ends of each vertebra and help hold individual discs in place. Each disc contains a tire-like outer band (called the annulus fibrosus) that encases a gel-like substance (called the nucleus pulposus).Nerve roots exit the spinal canal through small passageways between the vertebrae and discs. Pain and other symptoms can develop when the damaged disc pushes into the spinal canal or nerve roots.

Cervical disc herniation occurs when the annulus fibrosus breaks open or cracks, allowing the nucleus pulposus to escape. This is called a Herniated Nucleus Pulposus (HNP) or herniated disc.

Progressive Steps Toward a Cervical Disc Herniation

Many factors increase the risk for disc herniation: (1) lifestyle choices such as tobacco use, lack of regular exercise, and inadequate nutrition substantially contribute to poor disc health. (2) As the body ages, natural biochemical changes cause discs to gradually dry out affecting disc strength and resiliency. (3) Poor posture combined with the habitual use of incorrect body mechanics can place additional stress on the cervical spine.

Combine these factors with the effects from daily wear and tear, injury, incorrect lifting, or twisting and it is easy to understand why a disc may herniate. A herniation may develop suddenly or gradually over weeks or months.

The four stages to a herniated disc include:

  • Disc Degeneration: chemical changes associated with aging causes discs to weaken, but without a herniation.
  • Prolapse: the form or position of the disc changes with some slight impingement into the spinal canal. Also called a bulge or protrusion.
  • Extrusion: the gel-like nucleus pulposus breaks through the tire-like wall (annulus fibrosus) but remains within the disc.
  • Sequestration or Sequestered Disc: the nucleus pulposus breaks through the annulus fibrosus and lies outside the disc in the spinal canal (HNP).
Chiropractic Care for Cervical Neck Disorders

Consulting a chiropractor for neck pain might seem obvious to a patient who has experienced chiropractic and who associates an adjustment with the release of tension, increased motion, and pain relief.
For others, chiropractic treatment of the neck brings to mind a different picture. What could be the benefit of 'popping' the bones in the neck? When family doctors are asked about neck manipulation, they often visualize an abrupt twisting of the neck and are apt to sound a note of alarm when a patient seeks chiropractic care for a cervical injury.

Similar to medical doctors, chiropractors use diagnostic indicators to differentiate types of neck problems. How these indicators are used and what occurs during a cervical adjustment will help to increase awareness of the indications and limitations of chiropractic care for neck conditions.

Chiropractic offers a unique and valuable mechanical approach to a wide range of cervical problems. Chiropractors do not 'twist' the neck or perform painful maneuvers. Manipulation or adjusting as performed by chiropractors is a precise and gentle therapy whose aim is to return motion to restricted spinal joints and to improve the overall mechanics of the spine.

Contact a Rhode Island Herniated Disc Chiropractor today at 401.275.2225 or EMAIL US NOW

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Arm Numbness

Numbness and tingling down the arms and legs, also known as paresthesia, can also include symptoms such as pain, burning, pricking, or creeping along the skin. These symptoms generally indicate a malfunction of sensory nerves. While many sufferers of numbness, tingling, and pain in their arms and legs recall specific traumas such as head injuries, auto accidents or falls, which could have injured their spines, some do not. An examination is necessary in each individual's case to assess whether an injury is present and what care can be achieved.

Contact a Rhode Island Numbness Relief Chiropractor today at 401.275.2225 or EMAIL US NOW

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Is it difficult to grasp a jar, bottle, or cup? Have you lost the strength to twist open a large jar? Do you have tingling or numbness in your hand, wrist, or fingers? Or, does your wrist just plain hurt? If you have some or all of these symptoms, you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

It is common to hear this term used frequently when patients have wrist or hand pain. The human body has two long bones that start at the elbow and extend to our wrists. These bones are called the ulna and the radius. Connective tissue attaches the bones near the wrist from one side to the other. Picture in your mind, a piece of silk attached to both bones and pulled tightly. The pressure on the nerves below is the most common cause of true carpal tunnel syndrome.

Fortunately, not all wrist pain should be called CTS. It is important to determine, if in fact, the symptoms are being caused by the pressure on the nerves of the wrist, or if there is a different cause of the problem. It is VERY common for these types of symptoms to exist when there is a neck misalignment, history of auto injury, or other spinal conditions. The nerves of the neck control all the nerves of our arms and hands. If the nerves of the neck are being compressed, wrist and hand pain is a common symptom. Your Doctor of Chiropractic is trained to determine whether your condition is a true carpal tunnel syndrome.

Treatment:

Chiropractic treatment, which directly releases pressure on the nerves, is highly beneficial to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients. Due to the extensive education in problems with the nervous system and muscle structure of the body, the chiropractors may be uniquely qualified to correct this type of pain and discomfort.

In some cases your chiropractor can use physical therapy or manipulation of the wrist to alleviate the symptoms of true CTS. In more serious cases, a surgical referral may be required. If it is determined by your chiropractor that the cause of your symptoms are due to a neck-related situation, a series of chiropractic adjustments may be recommended. Whatever the cause, be assured that we will do our best to lead you in the most appropriate direction for the resolution of your health issue.

Contact a Rhode Island Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief Chiropractor today at 401.275.2225 or EMAIL US NOW

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

"Tingling fingers." If you suffer from numbness and tingling in your hands it may be the result of a condition known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

How do you get Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

There are several causes of thoracic outlet syndrome however most are due to poor posture, muscle imbalance, improper training methods or occupational stress.

There are certain occupations that have a greater number of employees with thoracic outlet syndrome. These include cash register operators, typists, packers and assembly line workers, due to the awkward work postures and amount of continuous muscle tension. Other signs of thoracic outlet syndrome include coldness, progressive weakness, early fatigability, and loss of coordination in the hands. There may be additional symptoms such as swelling, heaviness, fatigue and muscle cramping.

Imagine a bundle of nerves and blood vessels that travels down from your neck to supply your arms. When this bundle is narrowed or compressed the common result is numbness and tingling in your fourth and fifth fingers or entire hand. (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome more commonly affects the thumb, 2nd and 3rd fingers)

An easy to understand analogy is a common garden hose. If the hose is free from bends or kinks then the water flows freely, however, if there is a kink or bend in the hose then the flow becomes impeded, the same is true of the nervous system.

How is it treated?

Proper treatment of thoracic outlet requires an accurate understanding of the postural factors involved. Most recent treatment programs consider evaluation of joint mobility and muscular imbalance.

Once diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome is made by a Doctor of Chiropractic, a specific treatment program is designed for the patient.

More specifically, chiropractic management will focus on joint mobility in the cervical (neck) and thoracic (upper back) regions of the spine. Frequently, patients with thoracic outlet will have joint tightness in these areas which is treated with spinal manipulative therapy, stretching and rehabilitation in the office.

Keep in mind; there are other conditions that may cause similar symptoms. In either case, if you are currently suffering from similar symptoms, be sure to consult your chiropractor.

Contact a Rhode Island Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Relief Chiropractor today at 401.275.2225 or EMAIL US NOW

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