Monthly Archives: December 2014

Relieving Back Pain: Learn about the #1 Most Effective Method that Surpasses Medical Treatment in Studies

palpation-images-200-300Back pain is a common complaint for many people of all ages. It can really hold you back from making the most out of your day, your workouts- or even out of your life.

That means that getting the right diagnosis for your back pain is crucial. Of course, we’ve all experienced difficulty in getting the exact correct diagnosis and treatment from general medical practitioners. Unlike a swollen ankle, finding visible signs of pain and an overall cause of back pain can be difficult, if not impossible to pinpoint. And often the reason for your pain may or may not be present on an x-ray film or even in an MRI image.

Because of these difficulties in diagnosis, many medical practitioners will simply assess your symptoms and prescribe medication. As a result, you may find yourself frustrated and without the right advice and treatment to help your ongoing pain.

Did you know you can get a more effective assessment, diagnosis and treatment for your pain with a more fine-tuned method? This method is through the use of skilled, experienced hands – through the power of touch. As a matter of fact, a trained sense of touch and an acute knowledge of the spine is exactly what have proven through several studies to provide the #1 method of relieving mechanical low back pain.

“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians…56 percent vs. 13 percent reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.”

– Nyiendo et al (2000), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

The skill of touch assessment and treatment begins with a professional chiropractor feeling for the small degrees of joint swelling and lack of, or increased, motion which signifies problems. The small joints in between your spine can hold the same type of swelling you see with a sprained ankle but on a much smaller level.  This swelling will cause pain that you experience as stiffness, soreness or weakness. Often you have difficulty getting comfortable throughout the day or sleeping well because of it. Although you have a huge amount of discomfort, the exact problem area is not as obvious to you or other professionals as a sprained ankle would be. You don’t see the telltale expansive swelling like you would see with an injured ankle.

The Power of Touch: Understanding Your Body

This is why the power of touch in your back pain diagnosis and treatment can make such a difference. Many medical practitioners are not aware of the way your skin, body and muscles work together and holistically affect common pains. Chiropractors, on the other hand, use the power of touch to get a better understanding of your back pain and its causes.

Truly Understanding How to Heal Your Pain with Palpation (Try it yourself!)

Chiropractors use a technique called palpation to better understand your body pain. Palpation is a method of determining where a sufferer may have either structural or functional problems in the body.  Chiropractors will assess your pain by using their hands, which is completely non-invasive for patients.

The best way for you to start to identify the areas in your body that might be injured or “locking up” and ready to cause pain is to develop your observation skills. You can observe through the power of your own touch. Start with comparing either side of your body. You can palpate the motion of your wrist by trying to push the tiny little bones in your wrist back and forth. You can also do this in your spine. Run your fingers down either side of the back of your neck, on either side of your spine. See if you feel more swelling and tenderness on one side versus the other. Now take it a step further and bend your neck around. See if one side bends and flexes better than the other. Often just this little motion can make things feel better.

How Does Palpation Work to Diagnose Your Pain?

In palpation, chiropractors apply their detailed, accurate knowledge of the body’s anatomy to effectively understand what is happening in the spine, as well as its supporting structures. This can include, for example, the muscles, the tendons and the ligaments.

Just like a symphony, your body is trying to work well with all of its moving parts in the most rhythmic way it can so you don’t feel pain. When something is out of key, just like listening to a symphony as a bystander, you may not hear a problem. It’s only a trained musician who can accurately identify it.

In such a way, your chiropractor has the skill that a trained musician has to recognize what’s out of sync in your body with one of her main tools being through the use of palpation.

Finding the Best Treatment for Your Pain

Often after initial palpation, your chiropractor will use other diagnostic tools to complete a fully detailed and accurate exam to identify the best treatment. This can include visual assessments, x-rays, other body scans, and an evaluation of your medical history. Based on all these diagnostic tools, your chiropractor can better determine the type and frequency of treatment necessary to resolve your condition in a way that is quick, holistic, drug-free and non-invasive.

Your Complimentary Palpation Back Consultation

Dr. Nicole Muschett, Chiropractor of Bethlehem PA is offering a complimentary back pain consultation to any readers suffering from back pain in the Bethlehem PA area.

Please contact us via email or call us to discuss your pain and how we can help.

3 Common Causes of Back Pain, Neck Stiffness and Headaches and How to Bounce Back From Pain Quickly

It’s obvikenetic chain back painous that our energy levels, motivation to get up and out the door, as well as our sports performance is affected by our general, whole-body health. The thing about our bodies is, when there is a problem in one small area of our body, it can affect our health in general. As a result, different symptoms appear, and where the symptoms originate is not always obvious. All you may know is that your motivation for movement is down, you are in pain and not able to perform well in your sports or recreation.

The good news is that by understanding how our body works, we can learn how to listen to its signals. This way, we are in a better position to bounce back to optimal health and sports performance more quickly.

How to Tune in to Your Body

We learn from a young age that the different parts of the body are connected and work together. We learn from studying a fake skeleton in museums that bones connect to each other to help us move.

Actually, the body is interconnected beyond the skeleton frame thus affecting energy, performance, organ health and sometimes even mood.

By understanding how the body is connected as a whole, we can start to tune in to the different subtle signs that our body sends to us. These signs clearly tell us about hidden health problems, once we know how to listen to the body and understand them.

This interconnectedness is referred to by chiropractors as the Biomechanical Chain.

How to Use the Biomechanical Chain to Understand Your Body Simply

The important fact to remember with the biomechanical chain is that, when one link becomes broken in the interconnectedness of the body, other parts of the body will react adversely as part of the chain.

This chain is useful for the human body, which is designed to “know” how the different parts can compensate to help the whole body to repair.

However, the way that the body unfortunately compensates can often lead to other parts of the body absorbing unusual, extra stresses that it is not designed to deal with.

For example, when misalignment of one single vertebra occurs in your back, the consequent pain down one leg can cause you to use one leg more than the other to help you walk. However, over-using one side of the body will usually cause the posture to distort further and the misalignment problem in the body can worsen. As a result, even more problems and pain can appear in the body.

Working like a Chiropractor to Understand Your Pain…

Here’s how to identify 3 Common Posture Problems that may be causing your pain:

  1. Are you in pain when you sit for a while or are on your computer? If so and your sitting arrangement is causing the problem, you may notice a stiff or flattened lower back. Often trying to bend backwards is difficult. You may also have a more rounded upper back; right below your neck, which if it gets very advanced may give a hunched back appearance. You likely will experience pain in your upper and lower back as well as regular headaches. Some other symptoms you may be experiencing are feeling tired, having difficulty breathing, having jaw pain or you may be feeling a lack in motivation.
  2. Do you walk with a limp? Favoring a foot, knee or hip can express itself in a limp. This can indicate several things: incomplete healing of past injuries of your foot, ankle, knee or hip may now show up as a persistent limp. A limp can also stem from weaknesses of the muscles or nerves in your legs because of an old back injury, disc problem or a current sciatica problem. You may likely experience pain in your hip, ankle, knee or back that continues because this limp is sticking around too long. Each step you take jars the body the wrong way and because of this you feel pain in one or more joints. You may have varicose veins, painful or irregular periods and many different types of knee and leg pain may come up.
  3. When you look at yourself straight on in the mirror, are your shoulders level or is one higher than the other? This is a key sign that we see in neck pain, upper back pain and before shoulder injuries. Often people with unleveled shoulders have difficulty bringing one arm over their head without feeling some pinching or strain in the neck. This is causing a lot of stress in the upper back and neck and may also present with headaches or a stiff neck. You may be getting sick often with a lower resistance to colds or be experiencing some chest pains or stomach problems.

Your chiropractor has a detailed understanding of how different forces act in the body. As a result, chiropractors are able to understand and identify the true sources of your injury.

How Can You Jump Back to Health As Quickly As Possible

  1. It’s time to take notice of and identify the kinks in your biomechanical chain.
  2. Take notice of the area of their body that is not working right and possibly causing their pain and other uncomfortable conditions.
  3. Contact a chiropractor. Chiropractors are experts at identifying problems in the structure of the biomechanical chain and can then advise you about the best options for effective treatment.

Are you based in Bethlehem, PA?

Dr. Nicole Muschett ( Chiropractor in Bethlehem, PA ) is offering a complimentary foot, ankle and knee pain consultation to help you look after yourself, and bounce back to optimal performance more quickly.

Contact us today to discuss the pain you are experiencing and how I can help you. By understanding how the different parts of your body and the different symptoms you have are connected, your chiropractor can work with you and show you how to reduce or stop pain in its tracks.

By getting an experienced evaluation and timely advice, you will make sure that you recover and are back to functioning at your best as quickly as possible.