Chiropractic and Children

There really is no starting age for getting adjusted.  I get asked all the time if I adjust children.  That seems like a logical question since I way 200 lbs and sometimes have to put a significant amount of pressure on some vertebrae to move them.  Rest assured child adjusting is drastically different than adjusting a 250lb man who does construction for a living.  As you Chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I want to give you some information that will help you understand the benefits of child adjusting.

According to Dr. David Sackett, the father of evidence-based medicine, there are three prongs to the evidence-based decision: clinical expertise, scientific research and patient preference. While chiropractic has more than 100 years of clinical expertise from which to draw, our profession is still quite young when it comes to its base of scientific research—a state that is even more so for one of our youngest subspecialties, chiropractic pediatrics. Dedicated researchers are working hard to fill in these gaps.  Recent studies are beginning to confirm what our century of clinical experience has already shown—that chiropractic care for children is not only safe, but also effective for a variety of pediatric conditions.

Dr. Joyce Miller and her colleagues at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in the U.K. have contributed much to our knowledge of chiropractic pediatrics in the past few years. Here is a brief summary of some of their latest studies:

Safety study: Miller et al. examined 781 pediatric patients under three years of age (73.5 percent of whom were under 13 weeks) who received a total of 5,242 chiropractic treatments at a chiropractic teaching clinic in England between 2002 and 2004.¹ There were no serious adverse effects (reaction lasting >24 hours or needing hospital care) over the three-year study period. There were seven reported minor adverse effects, such as transient crying or interrupted sleep.

Nursing study: Miller et al. also performed a clinical case series of chiropractic care for 114 infants with hospital- or lactation-consultant-diagnosed nursing dysfunction.² The average age at first visit was three weeks. All infants in the study showed some improvement, with 78 percent able to exclusively breastfeed after two to five treatments within a two-week period.

Colic: Browning et al. performed a single-blinded randomized comparison trial of the effects of spinal manipulative therapy and occipito-sacral decompression therapy on infants with colic.³ Forty-three infants younger than eight weeks of age received two weeks of chiropractic care. Two weeks and four weeks after beginning treatment, the infants in both treatment groups cried significantly less and slept significantly more than prior to receiving chiropractic care.

Long-term sequelae of colic: Research has shown that children who were colicky as infants suffer from poor behavior and disturbed sleep as toddlers. Miller et al. performed a survey of parents of 117 such toddlers who had received chiropractic care as infants vs. 111 who had not received chiropractic care.4 They found the treated toddlers were twice as likely not to experience long-term sequelae of infantile colic, such as temper tantrums and frequent nocturnal waking. In other words, colicky infants who had received chiropractic care were twice as likely to sleep well and to experience fewer temper tantrums in their toddler years.

That is just a sampling of some of the great work that is being done by the dedicated and hard-working researchers focusing on chiropractic pediatrics.

References:

  1. Miller JE, Benfield K. Adverse effects of spinal manipulation therapy in children younger than 3 years: a retrospective study in a chiropractic teaching clinic. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2008;31(6):419-422.
  2. Miller JE, Miller L, et al. Contribution of chiropractic therapy to resolving suboptimal breastfeeding: A case series of 114 infants. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32(8):670-674.
  3. Browning M, Miller JE. Comparison of the short-term effects of chiropractic spinal manipulation and occipito-sacral decompression in the treatment of infant colic: A single-blinded, randomised, comparison trial. Clinical Chiropractic 2008;11(3):122-129.
  4. Miller JE, Phillips HL. Long-term effects of infant colic: a survey comparison of chiropractic treatment and non-treatment groups. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32(8):635-638.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain becomes much more common as we get older.  One common thing I see with patients is they notice they can no longer comb the back of the head or they can’t get something off the top shelf.  Over time the shoulder capsule tightens especially if you have had an injury.  If you made it past the age of 40 the odds are very good you have had several injuries.  Your Woodbridge, Dale City VA chiropractor has some information on frozen shoulder that may help you better understand your shoulder complaint.

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a common condition in which the articular shoulder capsule (a sac of ligaments surrounding the joint) swells and stiffens, restricting its mobility. It typically affects only one shoulder, but one in five cases affect both.

The term “frozen shoulder” is often used incorrectly for arthritis, even though the two conditions are unrelated. Frozen shoulder refers specifically to the shoulder joint, while arthritis may refer to other/multiple joints.

The shoulder has a spheroidal joint (ball – and – socket joint), in which the round part of one bone fits into the concavity of another. The proximal humerus (round head of the upper arm bone) fits into socket of the scapula (shoulder blade). Frozen shoulder is thought to cause the formation of scar tissue in the shoulder, which makes the shoulder joint’s capsule (not to be confused with the rotator cuff) thicken and tighten, leaving less room for movement. Therefore, movement may be stiff and even painful.

The modern English words “adhesive capsulitis” are derived from the Latin words adhaerens meaning “sticking to” and capsula meaning “little container” and the Greek word itis meaning “inflammation”.

Frozen shoulder is a condition that commonly occurs in people between 40 and 60 years of age. Women tend to suffer with frozen shoulder more than men.

 

Causes of frozen shoulder

The cause of frozen shoulder is not fully understood and in some cases is unidentifiable. However, most people with frozen shoulder have suffered from immobility as a result of a recent injury or fracture. The condition is common in people with diabetes.

 

Risk factors for frozen shoulder

A risk factor is something that elevates the risk of developing a disease or condition. For example, smoking is a risk factor for cancer – it elevates the risk of developing lung cancer.

 

Common risk factors for frozen shoulder are:

You’re more likely to suffer from frozen shoulder if you’re female and over 40 years of age.

Age – being over 40 years of age.

Gender – 70% of people with frozen shoulder are women.

Recent surgery or arm fracture – immobility of recovery may cause the shoulder capsule to stiffen.

Diabetes – two to four times more likely to develop frozen shoulder for unknown reasons; symptoms may be more severe.

Having suffered a stroke.

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).

Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Cardiovascular disease (heart disease).

Parkinson’s disease.

 

Symptoms of frozen shoulder

A symptom is something the patient feels and/or reports, while a sign is something others, including the doctor observe. For example, pain is usually a symptom, while a rash could be a sign.

The most pervasive sign or symptom of frozen shoulder is a persistently painful and stiff shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms of frozen shoulder develop gradually; usually in three stages in which signs and symptoms worsen gradually and resolve within a two – year period.

 

There are three stages of frozen shoulder:

Painful stage – the shoulder becomes stiff and then very painful with movement. Movement becomes limited. Pain typically worsens at night.

Frozen/adhesive stage – the shoulder becomes increasingly stiff, severely limiting range of motion. Pain may not diminish, but it does not usually worsen.

Thawing stage – movement in the shoulder begins to improve. Pain may fade, but occasionally recur.

 

You should visit your local chiropractor to have this problem evaluated and treated.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

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Back pain and sleep

Trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in when your low back is flare up can be hard.  Sometimes the one that feels the best short term can be problematic if you do get a long period of sleep.  Of course go see your Woodbridge, Dale City VA Chiropractor the next morning!  Here are some tips on trying to sleep with low back pain.

Back pain can make it tough to get a good night’s sleep. At the same time, how you sleep may make things worse — while certain sleep positions put strain on an already aching back, others may help you find relief.

Although back pain and sleep problems are linked, the connection isn’t well understood. “There is not a lot of science behind sleep as a major cause of back pain,” says Santhosh Thomas, DO, MBA, a spine specialist with the Cleveland Clinic and associate medical director of the Richard E. Jacobs Medical Center in Avon, Ohio.

Experts do believe, however, that people with sleep problems experience more problems with back pain. “Sleep deprivation is known to affect mood and functional ability and negatively impacts perception of pain,” Dr. Thomas says. Pain in turn can affect the quality of your sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation, leading to a lighter sleep state and more frequent waking throughout the night.

What’s more, there’s a relationship between the severity of pain, overall mood, and the ability to function — and a good night of sleep can improve all these symptoms, at least temporarily, according to a study published in the November 2016 issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Worst Sleep Positions for Back Pain

Some sleep positions can put added pressure on your neck, shoulders, hips, lower back, knees, and even your heels, all of which can lead to pain, Thomas says. There’s no one-size-fits-all sleep position to kick back pain, but you can try a few tricks to get it under control so that you can sleep more soundly.

The most common offender? Sleeping on your stomach. “Typically, sleeping on your stomach can flatten the natural curve of your spine, putting some additional strain on your back muscles,” Thomas says.

Plus, stomach sleeping means that your neck is rotated, which can actually result in neck pain or back pain between your shoulders, says Paul Grous,  a physical therapist and spine specialist with Penn Therapy & Fitness in Woodbury Heights, New Jersey.

Don’t worry about keeping your body in the same position all night. It’s normal for you to move around a bit while you sleep, and that’s a good thing because a little movement can help ease pressure on your back. “Any sleeping position has the potential to amplify back pain if you maintain it for too long,” Thomas says.

Grous adds that the real culprit may not be sleep position but your daily activity — or a lack of it.

“My opinion of the biggest causative factor for back pain in our population is the amount of time we spend sitting during waking hours,” he says. “We sit too long and we don’t sit properly — we sit slouched with our backs rounded.”

During daylight hours, try to vary your posture as much as possible, and practice good posture when standing and sitting to help ease back pain at night.

Sleep Positions That Help Relieve Back Pain

First, you’ve got to be comfortable to get a good night’s sleep. Thomas suggests making a few simple modifications to your regular sleep position to help take a load off your back:

If you’re a back sleeper: Put a pillow under your knees to allow your spine to maintain its natural curve.

If you’re a stomach sleeper: Put a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis to ease back strain.

If you’re a side sleeper: Draw your legs up slightly toward your chest and sleep with a pillow (a full body pillow can be comfortable) between your          knees.

 

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Fibromyalgia diagnosis

Fibromyalgia used to be one of those diagnoses that was just thrown around because no one knew how to treat it.  Over the years more information has come out and better treatments have been developed.  One treatment that has always done well is chiropractic care.  As a Chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I see my fair share of fibromyalgia patients.  Here is some great information to help you better understand fibromyalgia and before trying some of the new drugs on the market consult your chiropractor about it.

Fibromyalgia is typically diagnosed in patients with:

Widespread pain in all 4 quadrants of the body for a minimum of 3 months; and

Tenderness or pain in at least 11 tender points when pressure is applied. These tender points cluster around the neck, shoulder, chest, hip, knee, and elbow regions.

Some fibromyalgia experts say, however, that many people may still have fibromyalgia with fewer than 11 tender points if they have widespread pain and several other common symptoms, including:

Fatigue

Sleep disorders

Chronic headaches

Dizziness or lightheadedness

Cognitive or memory impairment

Malaise and muscle pain after exertion

Jaw pain

Morning stiffness

Menstrual cramping

Irritable bowels

Numbness and tingling sensations

Skin and chemical sensitivities

Correct Diagnosis Is Key

Correct diagnosis of fibromyalgia is very elusive, so if you are diagnosed with the disorder—or suspect that you have it—seek the opinion of more than 1 health care provider. Other conditions may create fibromyalgia—like pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. Ruling other conditions out first is very important.

 

In addition to clinical evaluation that will assess possible causes of your pain, your doctor may need to order blood work to determine if you have:

Anemia

Hypothyroidism

Lyme disease

Other rheumatic diseases

Hormonal imbalances

Allergies and nutritional deficiencies

Disorders that cause pain, fatigue, and other fibromyalgia-like symptoms.

If the tests show that you have 1 of these conditions, treatment will focus on addressing that problem first. If your pain is caused by a muscle or joint condition, chiropractic care may help relieve it more effectively than other therapies.

Treatment Alternatives

If no underlying cause for your symptoms can be identified, you may have classic fibromyalgia. The traditional allopathic approach includes a prescription of prednisone, anti-inflammatory agents, antidepressants, sleep medications, and muscle relaxants. These temporarily relieve the symptoms, but they do produce side effects. If you prefer a natural approach, the following suggestions may be helpful:

Studies have shown that a combination of 300 to 600 mg of magnesium per day, along with malic acid, may significantly reduce may significantly reduce the number of tender points and the pain felt at those that remain. B vitamins may also be helpful.

Eating more omega-3 fatty acids and fewer saturated fats has shown promise in fibromyalgia patients. Limit red meat and saturated fats and increase the amounts of omega-3 fatty acids by including fish, flax, and walnut oils in your diet. Fatty acid deficiencies can interfere with the nervous system and brain function, resulting in depression and poor memory and concentration.

Improving the quality of sleep can help reduce fatigue. Watch your caffeine intake, especially before going to bed. Reduce TV and computer time. If you watch TV in the evening, choose relaxing, funny programs instead of programs with violent or disturbing content. Ask your doctor of chiropractic for other natural ways to help you sleep better.

Stress-managing strategies can also help address anxiety or depression issues. Cognitive therapy has been shown helpful in relieving fibromyalgia patients’ negative emotions and depression by changing their perception of themselves and attitudes toward others.

A traditional gym-based or aerobic exercise program may exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms and is not recommended. Instead, yoga, Pilates, or tai chi—which offer mild stretching, relaxation, and breathing techniques—may work better than vigorous exercise.

Studies have shown that acupuncture is another effective, conservative approach to treating fibromyalgia symptoms and many doctors of chiropractic offer this service right in their offices.

Chiropractic care has consistently ranked as one of the therapeutic approaches that offer the most relief for the fibromyalgia patient. Your doctor of chiropractic can also include massage therapy, ultrasound and electrical stimulation in the treatment program, which may help relieve stress, pain, and other symptoms.

Your doctor of chiropractic has the knowledge, training, and expertise to help you understand your problem and, in many cases, to manage it successfully. Remember, however, that the treatment program can be successful only with your active participation. If your doctor of chiropractic feels that he or she cannot help you, you will be directed to another health care provider.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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DIY ice pack

Last week I nagged you about ice and when and how to use it.  Hopefully it all made sense.  Now we are at the excuse making point in our discussion on ice.  No Doc, I didn’t ice.  I don’t have and ice pack!  What can I use for ice?  Would ice cubes work?  Trust me I have heard it all.  I get it, ice doesn’t feel good let alone sound like an awesome idea to do to your low back.  But it works!  As your Chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I am eliminating one of your excuses.

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Why you should ice

I know you are all tired of hearing me say it!  Put some ice on it…. Makes sure you ice….  Well as you chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I am now making you read why you should.   Here is some great information on how and why you should ice.

General comments

Icing may be used along with compression, elevation, bracing, and/or support when treating acute injuries.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can produce a similar effect to icing. However, they may delay healing with acute injuries (like sprains, strains, and fractures). If your doctor recommends medicine, make sure you are aware of the right dosage and when to take it, and if there are any side effects.

The use of ice and heat is just one part of a treatment program. Even if symptoms are relieved, there is usually a need for exercises to restore flexibility and joint motion, strength, general fitness, and sport-specific skills.

Use of ice

Effects of ice: Decreases circulation, metabolic activity, and inflammation and numbs the skin.

Benefits of ice: Decreases pain, swelling, inflammation, and muscle spasm/cramping. Best used after exercise or after pain-producing activity.

Risks of ice: Prolonged use can cause frostbite.

Methods for applying cold therapy: Ice packs, ice bath/ice whirlpool, ice massage. (See “Options for applying ice.”)

When not to use ice

Immediately before physical activity

If area of icing is numb

When the pain or swelling involves a nerve (such as the ulnar nerve or “funny bone”)

If the athlete has sympathetic dysfunction (an abnormality of nerves that control blood flow and sweat gland activity)

If the athlete has vascular disease (such as poor circulation due to blood loss, blood vessel injury, compartment syndrome, vasculitis, blood clots, or Raynaud disease)

If there is skin compromise (such as an open wound; a wound that has not healed; skin that is stretched, blistered, burned, or thin)

If the athlete has cold hypersensitivity, including cold-induced urticaria (hives from cold)

How long to use ice

Two to 3 times per day (minimum); up to once per hour.

Duration varies with technique; usually 20 to 30 minutes per session. (See “Options for applying ice.”)

Ice may continue to be useful in treatment as long as there is pain, swelling, inflammation, or spasm. There is no need to switch to heat after 48 hours or alternate between ice and heat.

3 options for applying ice

  1. Ice packs are best for icing larger areas of pain, swelling, or spasm (like a swollen knee, deep thigh bruise, muscle strain, shoulder tendonitis, or neck or back spasm).

 

Materials

Small cubes or crushed ice in plastic bag.

Bag of frozen vegetables (such as frozen peas).

Reusable commercial ice pack or circulating “cryocuff” (made specifically for therapeutic icing). Do not use blue ice packs directly on the skin; they are colder than frozen water and can cause frostbite

Method

Place on the affected area for at least 20 minutes per session. Hold in place with a towel, elastic wrap, or shrink-wrap.

 

  1. Ice bath/ice whirlpool is used to reduce swelling in peripheral joints (such as with ankle sprain, wrist sprain, or severe shin splints).

 

Materials

Bucket or tub with mixture of ice and water

Method

Immerse affected area for 20 to 30 minutes per session. Do not use an ice bath if there is an open wound, bleeding, or a skin infection.

 

  1. Ice massage is used to reduce superficial, well-localized inflammation (for example, tendonitis of the hand, wrist, or elbow; heel or elbow bursitis; ganglion cyst; apophysitis; or irritation of a growth plate).

 

Materials

Ice cube or frozen ice cup (made by freezing water in a paper or Styrofoam cup)

Method

Rub ice in a circular pattern over the affected region for 8 to 10 minutes per session.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Cervicogenic Headaches

I see lots of headaches in my Woodbridge, Dale City VA Chiropractic office.  They include migraines, tension headaches and cervicogenic headaches.  One of the most common ones I see are cervicogenic headaches.  This is that headache that starts at the back top of your neck and radiates into the back of your head.  It sometimes makes it to the temples.  This type of headache generally doesn’t respond to the common migraine medications.  Patients generally notice relief from OTC pain medication but once it wears off the headache comes back.  Here is some information on cervicogenic headaches and be sure to consult a chiropractor for them.

Cervicogenic headache is referred pain (pain perceived as occurring in a part of the body other than its true source) perceived in the head from a source in the neck. Cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache, which means that it is caused by another illness or physical issue. In the case of cervicogenic headache, the cause is a disorder of the cervical spine and its component bony, disc and/or soft tissue elements. Numerous pain sensitive structures exist in the cervical (upper neck) and occipital (back of head) regions. The junction of the skull and cervical vertebrae have regions that are pain generating, including the lining of the cervical spine, the joints, ligaments, cervical nerve roots, and vertebral arteries passing through the cervical vertebral bodies.

The term cervicogenic headache is commonly misued and does not simply apply to a headache associated with neck pain; many headache disorders, including migraine and tension-type headache, can have associated neck pain/tension. Rather there must be evidence of a disorder or lesion within the cervical spine or soft tissues of the neck, known to be able to cause headache. Such disorders include tumours, fractures, infections and rheumatoid arthritis of the upper cervical spine. There is debate as to whether cervical spondylosis (age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal disks in your neck) can cause cervicogenic headache.

People with cervicogenic headache often have reduced range of motion of their neck and worsening of their headache with certain movements of their neck or pressure applied to certain spots on their neck. The headaches are often side-locked (on one side only) and the pain may radiate from their neck/back of the head up and to the front of the head or behind the eye. The headache may or may not be associated with neck pain.

People suspected of having cervicogenic headache should be carefully assessed by their doctor to exclude other primary (migraine, tension-type) or secondary (vessel dissection, posterior fossa lesions) causes of headaches.

Nerve blocks are used both for diagnostic and treatment purposes. If numbing the cervical structures abolishes the headache that can confirm the diagnosis of cervicogenic headache and also provide relief from the pain.

Treatment for cervicogenic headache should target the cause of the pain in the neck, and varies depending upon what works best for the individual patient. A very successful type of treatment is chiropractic care. A chiropractor can properly diagnose and treat this type of headache.

 

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3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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TMD

TMJ or TMD is a very common problem most people have but they don’t think of it as being the cause of their pain.  After all who would think their jaw joint is causing their headaches or their face pain.  As your chiropractor in the Dale City, Woodbridge Virginia area I have been trained to look for these problems.  Chiropractors are trained to look outside the box to help patients understand what could be wrong.

Does it hurt when you chew, open wide to yawn or use your jaws? Do you have pain or soreness in front of the ear, in the jaw muscle, cheek, the teeth or the temples? Do you have pain or soreness in your teeth? Do your jaws make noises loud enough to bother you or others? Do you find it difficult to open your mouth wide? Does your jaw ever get stuck/locked as you open it?

If you answered “yes” to some of these questions, you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. TMD is a group of conditions, often painful, that affect the jaw joint.

Signs may include:

Radiating pain in the face, neck, or shoulders;

Limited movement or locking of the jaw;

Painful clicking or grating when opening or closing the mouth;

A significant change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together;

Headaches, earaches, dizziness, hearing problems and difficulty swallowing.

For most people, pain or discomfort in the jaw muscles or joints is temporary, often occurs in cycles, and resolves once you stop moving the area. Some people with TMD pain, however, can develop chronic symptoms. Your doctor of chiropractic can help you establish whether your pain is due to TMD and can provide conservative treatment if needed.

What Causes TMD?

Researchers agree that TMD falls into three categories:

Myofascial pain—discomfort or pain in the muscles of the jaw, neck, and shoulders;

A dislocated jaw or displaced disc;

Degenerative joint disease—rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in the jaw joint.

Severe injury to the jaw is a leading cause of TMD. For example, anything from a hit in the jaw during a sporting activity to overuse syndromes, such as chewing gum excessively or chewing on one side of the mouth too frequently, may cause TMD.

Both physical and emotional stress can lead to TMD, as well. The once-common practice of sitting in a dentist’s chair for several hours with the mouth wide open may have contributed to TMD in the past. Now, most dentists are aware that this is harmful to the jaw. In addition to taking breaks while they do dental work, today’s dentists also screen patients for any weaknesses in the jaw structure that would make physical injury likely if they keep their mouths open very long. In that case, they may use medications during the procedure to minimize the injury potential, or they may send the patient to physical therapy immediately after treatment.  In less severe cases, they instruct patients in exercises they can do at home to loosen up the joint after the visit.

While emotional stress itself is not usually a cause of TMD, the way stress shows up in the body can be. When people are under psychological stress, they may clench their teeth, which can be a major factor in their TMD.

Some conditions once accepted as causes of TMD have been dismissed—moderate gum chewing, non-painful jaw clicking, orthodontic treatment (when it does not involve the prolonged opening of the mouth, as mentioned above), and upper and lower jaws that have never fit together well. Popular theory now holds that while these may be triggers, they are not causes.

Women experience TMD four times as often as men. Several factors may contribute to this higher ratio, posture and higher heels.

TMD Diagnosis and Treatment

To help diagnose or rule out TMD, your doctor of chiropractic (DC) may ask you to put three fingers in your mouth and bite down on them. You may also be asked to open and close your mouth and chew repeatedly while the doctor monitors the dimensions of the jaw joint and the balance of the muscles. If you have no problems while doing these things, then the problem is not likely to be TMD. Your DC can then look for signs of inflammation and abnormalities. Sometimes special imaging, an x-ray or an MRI may be needed to help confirm the diagnosis.

If you have TMD, your doctor may recommend chiropractic manipulation, massage, applying heat/ice and special exercises. In most cases, your doctor’s first goal is to relieve symptoms, particularly pain. If your doctor of chiropractic feels that you need special appliances or splints (with the exception of the “waterpack” and other guards against teeth grinding), he or she will refer you to a dentist or orthodontist for co-management.

In addition to treatment, your doctor of chiropractic can teach you how to:

Apply heat and ice to lessen the pain. Ice is recommended shortly after the injury or after your pain has started. In the later stages of healing, you need to switch to heat, especially if you are still experiencing discomfort.

Avoid harmful joint movements. For example, chomping into a hard apple is just as bad as crunching into hard candy (some hard candies are even called “jawbreakers”—for good reason). And giant sandwiches can cause the mouth to open too wide and have a destabilizing effect on the jaw.

Perform TMD-specific exercises. Depending on your condition, your DC may recommend stretching or strengthening exercises. Stretching helps to loosen tight muscles and strengthening helps to tighten muscles that have become loose. Special feedback sensors in the jaw can be retrained, as well, if needed.

 

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Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Scoliosis

As a chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I have tons of patients with scoliosis.  Some who knew they had it coming and wanted relief from associated problems and some who had no clue.  Both can benefit from chiropractic care.

 

Scoliosis is a condition resulting in the sideways curvature of the spine and it impacts approximately 2-3% of the population in the U.S. (6-9 million people). Scoliosis is generally diagnosed in children 10-15 years old and females are more likely to be diagnosed than males.

 

There are four main classifications of scoliosis: * Idiopathic scoliosis is the most common—it accounts for 80% of scoliosis cases—and leaves some mystery regarding the cause. While a cause is not easily identified, it may be due to hereditary and/or familial reasons.

 

Neuromuscular scoliosis is caused by disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and muscular system. Muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy are diseases that contribute to neuromuscular scoliosis.

Congenital scoliosis occurs when birth defects impact the spine and vertebrae.

Degenerative scoliosis is typically a result of trauma, surgery, or illness such as osteoporosis or arthritis. There are several different treatment options for scoliosis and they vary based on multiple factors, including:

Age

Likelihood of future bone growth

Severity and shape of the spinal curve

Type of scoliosis (idiopathic, neuromuscular, congenital, degenerative)

With mild cases of scoliosis, the treatment program will include observation for changes in the spine curvature. In moderate to severe cases the treatment may be more invasive and generally includes spinal bracing and surgery options.

 

You may be wondering—how does chiropractic care fit into a scoliosis diagnosis and treatment plan?

 

Chiropractors may be the first line for diagnosing scoliosis. Chiropractors are alignment specialists and are likely to be first to notice any atypical spinal alignment issues in a patient. Additionally, chiropractors are specially trained to locate and correct areas of spinal subluxation.

 

Many of the symptoms associated with scoliosis, including pain in the shoulders, rib cage, spine, and hips, are readily treated by chiropractic manipulations. While chiropractors are not presently able to “cure” scoliosis, they are able to provide relief to patients suffering from many of the symptoms of scoliosis. A 2011 study found that after a thorough chiropractic rehabilitation treatment program, the patient group reported improvements in pain, even 24 months after the treatment. Numerous case studies show chiropractic adjustments can significantly reduce the angle of the scoliosis curve and a small-scale 2016 study recently confirmed that chiropractic techniques were effective at

 

reducing the curvature of the spine in idiopathic scoliosis in as little as four weeks. Chiropractic treatment methods include soft tissue massage and spinal correction techniques. While the ability for chiropractic treatment to treat the physical curvature of the spine is still undergoing research on a larger scale, the current results are promising.

 

Together with a chiropractor, a patient can develop a specific treatment plan that may include observational monitoring, chiropractic adjustments, at home exercises, and /or a physical therapy program. Treatment for scoliosis, particularly mild scoliosis, does not have to be scary, invasive, or involve extensive down time. Chiropractic care may assist with lessening painful symptoms and reduce the curvature of the spine over time.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

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Upper Cross Syndrome

I get tons of patients in my Woodbridge, Dale City VA Chiropractic office with neck and upper back pain.  The crazy thing is a lot of the time it is coming from their chest muscles being too tight.   Stretching the chest muscle can sometimes take the pressure off the upper back and allow those muscles to rest and decrease their waste production.  That usually cuts down on the numb spot or that burning spot in the upper back area.  Here is some great information from Kenneth Miller MS on upper cross syndrome.

If you’re like the millions of people who use electronic tools such as a cell phone, tablet, laptop or desk computer, you’ve probably spent hours upon hours looking at the screen with your head jutted forward. Other situations that might have you holding your head forward of your shoulders include reading books, significant time behind the steering wheel or watching TV. Whatever the cause, the migration of your head to this forward position can ultimately lead to overactive muscles and a complementing set of underactive muscles. This postural distortion pattern, known as upper crossed syndrome (UCS), can result in imbalances of muscle tone or timing, often leading to poor movement patterns, and in this tech heavy society, increased stress on the head, neck and shoulder joints.

Poor posture at any level may lead to muscle imbalances. This can have a trickle-down effect into the rest of the body, not just in the local areas of the neck and shoulders. An associated sequence of muscle imbalances in the hip region, referred to as lower crossed syndrome, can oftentimes be observed in conjunction with upper crossed syndrome. When looking for long-term success in relieving UCS, identifying and addressing postural issues that could exist elsewhere in the body will also be needed. This total-body approach will relieve tensions through the entire kinetic chain, while also enhancing desired results.

Crossed and Countercrossed

The “crossed” in upper crossed syndrome refers to the crossing pattern of the overactive muscles with the countercrossing of the underactive muscles. When viewed from the side, an X pattern can be drawn for these two sets of muscles. The overactive muscles form a diagonal pattern from the posterior neck with the upper trapezius and levators down and across to the anterior neck and shoulder with the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and pectoralis major. The other side of the X now depicts the underactive muscles, with the deep cervical flexors down toward the mid/lower trapezius, rhomboids and serratus anterior. As we continually assume the seated, forward head postures driven by electronic devices or poor exercise selection and technique, this X pattern of muscle imbalances will increase.

Identify Imbalances

When working with clients or performing your own workout routine, attaining and maintaining ideal posture is paramount to a safe and effective program. In order to address postural or movement imbalances, the less-than-ideal posture has to be identified and a corrective exercise strategy developed. This corrective program can have two applications. First, it can serve as a stand-alone phase of training that will help the client achieve better postural control and endurance. Second, it can be applied as the movement preparation for a workout. In the first application, the client may be in a post-rehabilitation situation and need a program that incorporates flexibility with local and integrated strengthening. The second application will most likely be for the client looking to move better and improve coordination before applying speed and increased force during their workout session.

The first step to improving any postural distortion pattern is being able to identify the condition. Upper crossed syndrome can be observed from different vantage points with different motions. Some basic assessments that can be implemented to identify distortion patterns are gait observations, overhead squat, pushing and pulling motions, and static posture analysis. With any postural assessment—static, dynamic or transitional—UCS can be observed by watching head position relative to the shoulders, and the arms and shoulder blades relative to the ribs.

By using the landmarks of the ears, shoulders and the glenohumeral (GH) joint, a static posture assessment can identify UCS by observing if the ears are forward of the shoulder. You might even say that this person is slouching.

Observations for the shoulder blade and the upper arm can be seen from the front and side views with the overhead squat, pushing (pushup) and pulling (cable row) motions. The movements to note during an overhead squat assessment for possible signs of UCS include

  • Arms falling forward or to side during the descent
  • Head migrating forward
  • Elevating or elevated shoulder blades
  • Elbows flexed or challenged in keeping arms straight

Depending on the extent of the distortion, someone may exhibit one or more of the listed movement compensations. Combining the different assessments can also confirm findings. This helps in prioritizing the corrective strategies during program design.  Call Doroski Chiropractic to have this problem evaluated and to get some possible home exercises to help it go away.

 

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Doroski Chiropractic Neurology

3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102

Woodbridge VA 22192

703 730 9588

Map Link

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