Neck Pain Treatment in 75080

See Dr. Z. for neck pain treatment in 75080Alleviating or at least managing neck pain can be either straightforward or tricky depending on the cause of your pain. How we treat pain depends on the history of your specific neck pain, its intensity, what makes the pain better or worse and structures that are contributing to the pain, such as muscles or vertebrae. At AlignRight Injury & Rehab, Dr. Z takes a comprehensive approach to relieving your pain. With neck pain treatment in 75080, you’ll be pain-free and back to a normal routine in no time.

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What to Expect on Your First Chiropractic Visit

The first time you see a chiropractor, be on time because the initial consultation usually takes about an hour of the doctor’s time. It is necessary for the doctor to find out exactly why you are there! The initial consultation usually costs roughly 200 dollars, but many chiropractors will waive this fee if you have insurance or sign up for a maintenance plan. Dr Z. will waive the consultation fee just by mentioning this blog post!

After the consultation, the doctor will examine you. This means you will be asked to move your body into various positions. The doctor is testing your range of motion and seeing how your body responds to particular movements. If you are experiencing acute pain, the doctor may decide that you need x-rays before he can treat you. If you have had any previous surgeries or prior existing conditions, this is usually the suggested course of action. If you are relatively healthy, the doctor may adjust you on the same day of your initial consultation. However, in some cases you may have to wait until your next appointment. Regardless, you always have the opportunity to accept or decline the treatment plan that is suggested.

Once you accept the treatment plan, the care to help get you out of pain will begin. In some rare cases, the chiropractor may not be able to help you. If this is so, ask for a referral to a health care provider who offers the necessary treatment. Make sure you are comfortable with your doctor because you might be spending a few hours a week at his office.

How to Choose the Best Dallas Chiropractor

If you have never been to a chiropractor you might be a little bit nervous. Even if you are accustomed to cracking your knuckles or feeling a few pops in yoga class, you may think going to a chiropractor is different.

The first place I usually go for recommendations is my immediate social circle. Do any of your friends, family, or neighbors have a chiropractor they like? Check their Facebook pages, have they checked in to any chiropractors recently? You might see this person a few times a week for the next month, so its a good bet that if your friends like a particular chiropractor, then you will like him or her too.

The second place I would begin researching chiropractors is the Internet. That is where you found this article isn’t it? In Google, type in the name of your town. For example if you live in Dallas Texas, you would type “Dallas Chiropractor” and look at how many results pop up! It’s astounding! The Google Map is covered with dots, which means there are many chiropractors in your neighborhood.

You can begin with your neighborhood; but what if you don’t spend my time in YOUR neighborhood? You commute to work, maybe you have an hour for lunch, and then you hit the gym after work. Are there any clinics near your office or even better, near the highway which you use to commute?

Then begin checking out their websites. An established Chiropractor will have a functioning professional website. Can you get all the information you need from the site or do you have to call? A good chiropractor’s web site will have a contact page so you can also email for more information.

Top 7 Back Pain Myths

1. I have acute back pain, I should stay in bed

In the acute phase of a back injury, resting can be very useful to calm down the pain and avoid further damage to tissues.  However, the acute phase generally lasts only a few days. Long term, activity modified for your condition will:

  • speed healing by pumping out wastes
  • prevent reinjury by strengthening muscles, balancing the strength of opposing muscle groups, and increasing flexibility
  • relieve depression by generating endorphins.

2. I have to learn to live with my back pain

Each case of back pain requires individual treatment plans.  However, there are a tremendous number of resources available for the pro-active back pain sufferer. If the pain is debilitating or interferes with your daily activities, seeking professional solutions sooner rather than later is crucial to long term healing. Being in pain takes a lot of energy, is stressful, and has negative effects on the immune system. For many, alternative health modalities, such as chiropractic treatments, are very effective in relieving pain.

3. I am told the pain is “all in my head”

All pain is real, even if a physical cause cannot be found. This is so because of the way the nervous system processes information associated with painful stimuli.  For those in chronic pain, pain management specialists may help create a program with several components to keep things under control and allow normal living to continue.

4. I will need to see a Chiropractor every week in order to control the pain

During the beginning phases of treatment, your chiropractor may likely encourage you to come for treatment several times a week. The number of required treatments to see results should taper down over time, depending on your condition.  If a care plan is followed diligently, healing will progress faster.  Once your condition has stabilized, you may only need to see the chiropractor once a month or less to maintain the positive changes effected by the treatment and home program.

Certainly, with back pain, one must develop the ability to listen to the body and respect it’s limitations.  But don’t give up hope!  With a well designed, diligently followed exercise program that includes core conditioning and flexibility exercises, many people will find that it is possible to get back to most or all of their favorite activities.  Just as important, using good body mechanics when doing your favorite activites can go a long way toward preventing more pain.

6. I am active and fit, so I won’t get back pain

Physical activity is the way to go when preventing and healing back injury.  However, habitual patterns of body usage often predispose an individual to back injury or pain. The balanced work of muscle groups throughout the body is a key to avoiding pain.  Without balance, a build up of tension occurs in one area, causing weakness in other areas. A complete exercise program, including strength training and stretching for all muscle groups, is often quite effective for pain and injury prevention.

7. I have back pain so I will need surgery

Only a very small percentage of people who suffer with back pain will undergo surgery. Research shows that about 85% of back pain goes away on its own over time. There are only a few instances where back surgery would be done without your voice in the decision-making process.  These are medical emergencies such as a broken neck or if you have symptoms such as weakness in the legs that gets progressively worse and/or bladder and/or bowel incontinence caused by the back problem.

The Stages of Healing

Healing Takes Time

There are 3 main stages of injury healing, regardless of where the trauma occurs.  In each, different things are happening at the injury site, and there are different activities that are appropriate for treatment and resuming to your daily acitivities.

The Acute Stage

Also called the inflammatory stage, the acute stage occurs at the time of the injury, and continues for up to 4 days.  During the acute stage, inflammation occurs. The purpose of the inflammation is to neutralize toxins so that the repair process (which occurs in later stages) can begin.  Scar tissue begins to form during the inflammatory stage.

During the acute stage, rest and gentle movement, along with therapy and anti-inflammatories are generally recommended.

The Sub-Acute Stage

The sub-acute stage of healing takes place between the 4th to the 21st day after the injury occurs.  This stage is marked by new growth of connective tissue and capillaries, to help repair damaged structures.  Scar tissue continues to grow during this time.  Tissues in this stage are very fragile, so placing stress on the injured area is best limited to a therapist’s or doctor’s skilled hands. 

During the sub-acute stage, inflammation decreases and pain that is related to damaged tissue may occur. Most  therapists and chiropractors recommend that the patient begin with gentle movement during this phase, and gradually build up the intensity.  Mild isometric exercise might be appropriate.  Because activity is restricted during the sub-acute phase, there may be muscle weakness.  This can be address with specific, low-intensity exercises.

The Chronic Stage

During the chronic stage of injury healing, scar tissue is remodeled by the stresses placed on it.  This means that the activities and exercises the injured part is taken through will affect where scar tissue strength will be located. That is why visits to the therapist, chiropractor, the massage therapist, and adherence to a home exercise program are crucial for healing. These modalities will help to develop the scar tissue to where it can be useful in protecting the injured area.

During the chronic stage, pain associated with the injury tends to be limited to the end reaches of the joint range of motion.

The chronic stage of healing begins after 21 days, and may continue for quite some time. This is the time when the patient takes the most active role in his/her recovery.

Chiropractic Care For Children?

Why do millions of parents bring their children to Chiropractors every year? Is it for severe trauma? Is it only when the child is hurt? No. Chiropractic’s purpose is to remove interferences to the natural healing power that is present in the body. When that power is unleashed, the healing that results is profound.

Today, more parents are bringing their children to chiropractors for the day to day health concerns we are all familiar with: colds, sore throats, ear infections, fevers, colic, asthma, tonsillitis, allergies, bed wetting, adhd, pains, and the other of hundreds of little things that children go through as they grow up.

Chiropractic care for children offers your family a solid foundation for wellness. Throughout pregnancy, birth, and childhood the chiropractic lifestyle offers choices and benefits for your greater health and well being. Chiropractic care is not only safe for children, but effective. Parents are reporting even more significant results such as improved sleeping, improved behavior and attitude, and improved immune system function.

It is important to understand that chiropractic treatment is not a treatment for disease. Its purpose is to reduce nerve system stress, a serious and often painless condition most children and adults have in their bodies. Nerve system stress interferes with proper functioning of the nervous system (the master switch of the body) can weaken internal organs, reduce healing potential, and set the stage for sickness and disorders of all kinds. So although children with diseases are often brought to the chiropractor, he is not treating the disease but instead reducing the nerve system distress which permits the body’s natural healing potential to function at it’s best.

How is nerve system stress caused? It can start as early as when the baby is in the womb. The baby is often lying in a distorted and twisted manner. Spinal nerve stress in newborns is common today. This may be caused by a traumatic or difficult birth which can introduce tremendous stress on an infant’s skull, spinal column, and pelvis.

Another common concern is whether or not chiropractic care is safe for children. Doctors of chiropractic perform precise corrective procedures called spinal adjustments that are modified for each child’s size and the adjustments are often administered with an instrument that gently applies pressure on the segment to be corrected.

It’s all about function. Today’s parents are informed and make their health care choices accordingly. They have become more concerned than ever about the adverse effects drugs have on their children. Parents are hesitant to merely mask symptoms with drugs and are justly worried about the side effects of these drugs. Parents are increasingly asking “Is this really all I can do for my child? Drug him or her?” when handed a prescription for a recurring problem.

Are You Healthy or Just Not Sick

To answer this question we must first define “healthy.”  

According to the World Health Organization: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Now that we have an understanding of what health is, we need to look at our own level of health.  Too often I see people assuming they are healthy just because they are not currently having any symptoms.  This is a dangerous view on health.  The lack of symptoms has nothing to do with health!  To illustrate my point I’m going to go over a few scenarios that will hopefully help you see that symptoms are a terrible gauge of true health.

Scenario 1: You go to a new restaurant with a friend and share and appetizer and an entrée.  You both sample each other’s food.  Later that night you get a call from your friend who has been vomiting since she got home, while you feel just fine.  Who is the healthier individual?

Based on the symptoms alone you would probably say that you are healthier because you didn’t experience any symptoms.  However in this scenario your friend vomiting is the healthy response.  Your friend’s body identified an overwhelming amount of a toxin in her body and immediately expelled it, which is a correct and healthy response.  However, your body didn’t identify the large toxin load and therefore allowed those toxins to remain in the body to potentially create further problems.  In this case the individual with the symptoms was the healthier person.

Scenario 2: A middle aged woman is playing in her company softball game.  Prior to the game she feels great, has no pain and feels that she is completely healthy.  While running the bases she collapses with a massive heart attack.  She like many others had a sudden heart attack with NO prior symptoms.  In fact 40% of heart attack victims had no symptoms prior to their heart attack.  In this case a lack of symptoms obviously did not mean that the individual was anywhere near healthy.

 So I ask again, are you healthy or just not sick? 

If we can’t base the answer to that question on symptoms, what can we base it on?  The best determinant for overall health is your body’s function.  If all you body’s systems are functioning normally, you have optimal health.  For instance, if your cardiovascular system had normal function you wouldn’t need blood pressure or cholesterol drugs to stay in the healthy and normal ranges.  If a diabetic’s endocrine system were functioning normally they would not need to inject insulin to normalize blood sugar levels.  If a senior citizen’s spine and other joints functioned well they would have no need for a walker, knee replacement, wheel chair, or pain medications.  I hope you see the pattern here: the function of your body’s many systems can and will determine the length and quality of life you will experience.

So what can you do to ensure your body is functioning well?  Since all your systems are controlled by the nervous system, it is important that this “master system” functions correctly.  The nervous system controls the repair and replacement of all the cells in your body so a poorly functioning nervous system could have wide ranging negative effects on vital processes like liver cell regeneration, lung function, immune system function, inflammation control, and proper hormone levels.  Doctors of Chiropractic are uniquely qualified to evaluate both the condition and function of the spine and nervous system that it protects.  If you or a loved one is experiencing less than optimal health please take an active step to finding the cause of the dysfunction and get scheduled for a complimentary evaluation.

Three Steps to a Happier You

Challenge Yourself

If you’re stuck in the daily grind, wondering why every day seems to be “same old, same old,” maybe it’s because it is. Fortunately, you have the power. Whether it’s changing up your workout routine, learning a new language, or finding creative ways to teach your kids new things, commit to continually challenging yourself and avoid stagnation.

Turn Bad into Good

We all experience good and bad moments in life, but whether you crumble or climb is really just a matter of attitude. Negative breeds negative, which can have profound consequences. Next time you’re hit with a negative, think about the up side (there always is one, even if it’s not immediate) and turn that frown upside down. Before you know it, you’ll be back on track.

Find Time to Relax

Life isn’t a race, it’s a journey filled with memorable moments; make sure you appreciate them, rather than rushing from one day to the next. It’s too easy to get caught up in daily routines and lose yourself. Schedule some you time every day, whether it’s a sunset walk, a long bath, a good book, or even a nap – find time to relax and reap the physical and psychological benefits.

Debunking Chiropractic Myths

As successful as chiropractic has become, there are a lot of myths circulating among the general public. Times have definitely changed for the better, but the fact is that many people still do not understand what chiropractors do. Let’s talk about a few of the more common myths about chiropractic.

Myth #1 – Chiropractors are not real doctors.

A chiropractic college grants a D.C. or Doctorate of Chiropractic degree. Chiropractors are licensed as health care providers in every U.S. state and dozens of countries around the world. While the competition for acceptance in chiropractic school is not as fierce as medical school, the chiropractic and medical school curricula are extremely rigorous and virtually identical. In fact, chiropractors have more hours of classroom education than their medical counterparts. As part of their education, chiropractic students also complete a residency working with real patients in a clinical setting, supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic. Once chiropractic students graduate, they have to pass four sets of national board exams as well as state board exams in the states where they want to practice.

Just like medical doctors, chiropractors are professionals that are subject to the same type of testing procedures, licensing and monitoring by state and national peer-reviewed boards. Federal and state programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers’ Compensations programs cover chiropractic care, and all federal agencies accept sick-leave certificates signed by doctors of chiropractic. Chiropractors are also commissioned as officers in the military.

The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their level of education, but in their preferred method of caring for people. Medical doctors are trained in the use of medicines (chemicals that affect your internal biochemistry) and surgery. Consequently, if you have a chemical problem, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, or an infection, medical doctors can be very helpful. However, if your problem is that your spine is mis-aligned or you have soft tissue damage causing pain, there is no chemical in existence that can fix it. You need a physical solution to correct a physical problem. That is where chiropractic really shines. Chiropractors provide physical solutions — adjustments, exercises, stretches, muscle therapy — to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, and poor posture. Another distinction is the fact that it is completely appropriate to receive chiropractic care even if you do not have symptoms. Unlike standard medical doctors, whom you visit when you have a symptom to be treated, chiropractors offer adjustments to improve spinal alignment and overall well-being before symptoms develop.

Myth #2 – Medical doctors don’t like chiropractors.

The American Medical Association’s opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest in the 1940s under the leadership of Morris Fishbein. Fishbein called chiropractors “rabid dogs” and referred to them as “playful and cute, but killers” He tried to portray chiropractors as members of an unscientific cult who cared about nothing but taking their patients’ money. Up to the late 1970s and early 1980s, the medical establishment purposely conspired to try to destroy the profession of chiropractic. In fact, a landmark lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Illinois in the 1980s found that the American Medical Association was guilty of conspiracy and was ordered to pay restitution to the chiropractic profession.

In the 20 years since, the opinion of most medical doctors has changed: several major studies have shown the superiority of chiropractic in helping people with a host of conditions, and medical doctors developed a better understanding as to what chiropractors actually do. Many people have returned to their medical doctors and told them about the great results they experienced at their chiropractors office. Hospitals across the country now have chiropractors on staff, and many chiropractic offices have medical doctors on staff. Chiropractors and medical doctors are now much more comfortable working together in cases where medical care is necessary as an adjunct to chiropractic care.

Myth #3 – Once you start going to a chiropractor, you have to keep going for the rest of your life.

This statement comes up frequently when the topic of chiropractic is discussed. It is only partially true. You only have to continue going to the chiropractor as long as you wish to maintain the health of your neuromusculoskeletal system. Going to a chiropractor is much like going to the dentist, exercising at a gym, or eating a healthy diet: As long as you keep it up, you continue to enjoy the benefits.

Many years ago, dentists convinced everyone that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt, that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. The same is true of chiropractic care for your spine. It is important to remember that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear as you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep, and bend. Routine chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you receive care for a short time, the real benefits come into play when you make chiropractic care a part of your wellness lifestyle

Wellness Care vs Medical Care: Your Dallas Chiropractor weighs in

One of the most common questions we are asked when someone walks into our Dallas Chiropractor office is: What’s the main difference between wellness care and standard medical care?

Our answer is that wellness care seeks to turn on the natural healing ability without adding something (like a drug) to the system.  Rather wellness care seeks to removing anything that might interfere the body’s with normal function, since the body knows what to do if nothing were interfering with it. Standard medical care, on the other hand, seeks to treat a symptom by adding something from the outside – a medication, a surgery or procedure.

Inside Out vs. Outside In

For example, if a patient has high blood pressure, a standard medical approach would be to prescribe a drug that lowers blood pressure, and ask the patient to take the drug. This may serve to lower the blood pressure, but ignores the underlying cause that is making the blood pressure high, and runs the risk of side effects complicating the person’s recovery. Whether it’s a nutritional issue, faulty control by the nerve system or a manifestation of stress, the medication could decrease the blood pressure, leaving the problem causing the symptom of high blood pressure unaddressed. 

The Wellness Approach

Wellness is a state of optimal conditions for normal function… and then some. The wellness approach is to look for underlying causes of any disturbance or disruption (which may or may not be causing symptoms at the time) and make whatever interventions and lifestyle adjustments would optimize the conditions for normal function. That environment encourages natural healing, and minimizes the need for invasive treatment, which should be administered only when absolutely necessary. When the body is working properly, it tends to heal effectively, no matter what the condition. When the body heals well and maintains itself well, then there is another level of health that goes beyond “asymptomatic” or “pain-free” which reveals an open-ended opportunity for vitality, vibrant health, and an enhanced experience of life.This is true for mental and emotional health as well as physical health. While some people may suffer psychological disorders, creating an atmosphere of mental and emotional wellness will address all but the most serious problems.

What is Chiropractic

What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations.  The word “subluxation” comes from the Latin words meaning “somewhat or slight” (sub) and “to dislocate” (luxate).  So the term ‘vertebral subluxation’ literally means a slight dislocation or misalignment of the bones in the spine.

When a subluxation occurs, a chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone and allow it to return to its proper position. This procedure is appropriately called an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both.  Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a “crack.”  The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving.  Occasionally, minor  discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles  are in spasm or the patient tenses up during the chiropractic  procedure.  There are times when the audible “cracking” does not occur.   This is often due to either significant  muscle tightness or that the patient may be having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments.  However, the chiropractic adjustment is still important.  The leak is fixed. The wiring is fixed. Information is flowing again. To keep the wiring fixed, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary, in addition to massage, rehabilitation, stretching exercises, or strengthening exercises. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.

There are actually five components that contribute to the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC).

  1. Bone Component-where the vertebra is either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing degeneration.  This frequently leads to a narrowing of the spaces between the bones through which the nerves pass; often resulting in irritation or impingement of the nerve itself.
  2. Nerve Component-is the disruption of the normal flow of energy along the nerve fibers, causing the messages traveling along the nerves to become distorted.  The result is that all of the tissues that are fed by those nerves receive distorted signals from the brain and, consequently, are not able to function normally.  Over time, this can lead to a whole host of conditions, such as peptic ulcers, constipation and other organ system dysfunction.
  3. Muscular Component-since nerves control the muscles that help hold the vertebrae in place, muscles have to be considered to be an integral part of the vertebral subluxation complex.  In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC.  A subluxation can irritate a nerve, the irritated nerve can cause a muscle to spasm, the spasmed muscle pulls the attached vertebrae further out of place, which then further irritates the nerve and you have a vicious cycle.  It is no wonder that very few subluxations just go away by themselves.
  4. Soft Tissue Component-the VSC will also affect the surrounding tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues as the misaligned vertebrae tug and squeeze the connective tissue with tremendous force.  Over time, the soft tissues can become stretched out or scarred, leaving the spine with either a permanent instability or restriction.
  5. Chemical Component-is the change in the chemistry of the body due to the VSC.  Most often, the chemical changes, such as the release of a class of chemicals called “kinins,” are pro-inflammatory; meaning that they increase inflammation in the affected area.

These changes get progressively worse over time if they are not treated correctly, leading to chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, muscle trigger points, the formation of bone spurs, loss of movement,  as well as muscle weakness and spasm.  Chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxations have on the tissue of the body.  In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations.  Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through chiropractic care.