We Treat

Arthritis and Inflammation
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / Wrist Pain
Deteriorating Posture (forward head carriage, slouching, slumping head/shoulders)
Discs (Herniated & Bulging)
Extremities (shoulder, elbow, wrist; hip, knee, ankle, foot)
Fatigue
Headaches / Migraines (chronic, acute)
Hip Pain
Impact injuries (Slips, Falls)
Irregular Gait
Ligament sprain / strains
Loss of Mobility / Flexibility(Neck, Back, Arms, Legs)
Low Back Pain
Muscle Pain, Tightness
Neck Pain
Pain when sitting
Shoulder Pain
Stenosis
Sciatica
Sports injuries
Tingling/Numbness (into arms / hands; into legs / feet)
TMJ
Whiplash

Arthritis and Inflammation   
Arthritis is defined as inflammation of a joint causing pain, swelling, stiffness and limited joint mobility. It is often very painful and negatively impacts one’s quality of life.

While there is no singular cause for arthritic changes, studies show impact injuries, repetitive activity in the workplace or at home, illness/infection, genetics, age and even body weight to be contributors. When this happens, the body can sometimes lay down extra calcium at the area of the affected joints. This is commonly caused osteoarthritis (or boney arthritis).

Typically this occurs Traditional medical approach commonly relies on medication including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for pain management. From a chiropractic perspective, this means is that there has been significant pressure being built up in those key areas for many years.

In the spine, these changes can also occur, with the body laying down additional calcium causing body growth or “spurring” and can cause minor aches to major pains. While no treatment (either chiropractic or medicinal) will remove additional bony accumulation, your chiropractor can assist in taking the pressure off those key areas by helping take pressure of the nerve roots, allowing the body’s tissues to re-balance and realign so as to alleviate pain and possibly slow down additional arthritic build up.

 

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / Wrist Pain   
By now, most of us are aware of the toll that prolonged typing, texting, improper use of gym weights and other repetitive hand motions can have on our wrists. Typical pain is often localized under the wrist and is usually caused by inflammation of the tendons within the wrist.

Co-factors that are often contributory and can manifest as carpal tunnel syndrome are when the nerve roots in the neck become irritated or inflamed. When this occurs, the nerves that feed into the wrists may become affected. There may also be a soft tissue (muscle) component that is underlying and can manifest as carpal tunnel syndrome as well.

While some elect to have surgery to provide relief, it is certainly always an option. However, many choose to undergo alternative therapy before wishing to go under the knife.

Dr. Erik is well-versed in treating wrist conditions and is knowledgeable in leading-edge soft tissue techniques to help prevent reoccurrence.

 

 

Deteriorating Posture (forward head carriage, slouching, slumping head/shoulders)   
Forward head carriage is the involuntary carriage of the head too far forward relative to the chest. It is a postural problem that is caused y several factors including sleeping with the head elevated too high, extended use of computers, texting, reading while laying in bed, lack of developed back and postural muscle strength, school bags worn too loosely and slouching while at work or at home on the couch.

Simply put, it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t look good and if left on its own, just continues to deteriorate. This gradual posture puts pressure on the spinal cord, nerves and discs and leads to aches and pains throughout the whole body.

While we have all been told to “stand (or sit) up straight” at one time or another but it is not something we are consciously aware of and we can only do it for 10-20 seconds before slouching again. This is because the body possesses deep postural muscles adjacent to the spinal cord that keep us upright.

The good news is that when this pressure is removed from the nerve roots by your chiropractor, the muscles that receive signals from these areas begin to “wake up” allowing the body to hold itself in a better alignment such that one’s ability to adapt to everyday stressors and strains improve.

 

 

Discs (Herniated & Bulging)   
Most commonly located in the lower back (though also occurs into the neck and mid-back), this form of pain can range from mild to severe/excruciating and can in some patients, travel into the extremities (shoulders, hands, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, feet). If left untreated, muscular atrophy can sometimes occur as well as loss of muscle strength (i.e. weak grip strength, legs weak when walking).

Typical pain can range from mild-moderate, to severe and excruciating, as well as transient (off-and-on). Conventional treatment for pain management includes over-the-counter medications, cortisone shots (anesthetic drugs injected directly into the sight of the disc/nerve root area) accompanied with rest for a week up to a month. For some cases, surgery is performed.

The discs exist between the bones of the vertebrae and act as spongy and shock absorbing tissue keeping the bones separated and keeping pressure off the nerve roots that exit these bones. However, when sudden trauma or long-standing pressure begins to build, discs begin to lose their shape and can bulge from their normal position and put pressure on the nerve roots.

When explaining our approach to correcting bulging or herniated discs, it is easiest to think of a cookie and marshmallow analogy. The marshmallow is the disc and the cookie on top and bottom represent two bones. If one squeezes one side of the cookie, the marshmallow bulges outward.

Anatomically, when the bones (cookies) squeeze and put pressure on the disc (marshmallow) which bulges, and puts pressure on the nerve. With this analogy, it is easier to understand that the causative issue is not with the marshmallow (disc) itself, but the squeezing of the cookies (bones) that surround the disc.

Working with your chiropractor, the pressure is released which separates the cookies, allowing the marshmallow to come back into alignment between the cookies, resulting in removal of pressure on the nerves and stop the pain.

 

 

Extremities (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, foot)   
Much the same as your mechanic doesn’t just do an oil change without also doing a multi-point inspection to make sure everything is running optimally, chiropractic too looks beyond the vertebrae that comprise the spinal column. To us, you are not just a neck or a low back, but an entire functioning unit.

We know that the nerve roots exit the spinal cord between the vertebrae and travel along to the most distal parts of our body including our toes, fingertips and everything in between.

By now, most of us are aware of the toll that prolonged typing, texting, improper use of gym weights and other repetitive hand motions take on our shoulders, elbows, wrists; just the same as we know the toll of prolonged / repetitive lower body motions (i.e. impact exercises, sitting, driving, standing) can have on our hips, knees, ankles and feet.

There are two types of activities that can cause trauma: acute (sudden onset / trauma) and chronic (repetitive activities, developing over time). Either way when these activities have gone on long enough, the body begins to compensate and pressure and compression build up affecting the nerves that feed into these structures. The common presentations include: pain, tingling / numbness, muscle weakness and loss of strength.

The good news is that discomfort is optional. When properly evaluated for your particular situation, the chiropractic treatment seeks to remove pressure on the nerve roots, as well as various joints that feed into the extremity allowing the body to begin to repair itself. It is also important that once pressure has been removed, that the areas are stabilized with corrective exercises to prevent reoccurrence.

Dr. Erik, your chiropractor,  is well-versed in the anatomy of soft-tissue injuries and understands the importance of returning them to optimal health in a timely fashion. The techniques he uses are both hands on and instrument-assisted, and geared to your specific needs.

 

 

Fatigue   
We all experience fatigue, even with a good night’s sleep or when our energy is in short supply. Fatigue is multifaceted and can include: poor energy, allergies, lack of exercise, mental and emotional stress / challenges, adrenal and thyroid issues, blood sugar issues, blood pressure issues and being overweight.

While it is important these possible causes should be investigated, it is important that there is as little interference to the nerve system as possible so that you can function at your best. It is known that the nerve system is the master system of the body that controls and regulates the function of organs, tissues, glands and muscles; so we must be certain that it is as free of interference as possible.

You can put the best quality foods into your body, attempt to improve health though daily exercise and get eight hours of sleep; but if the nerve system remains compromised and our posture stuffers such that is requires great quantities of energy each day in order to hold us held upright, than it will be all for naught and fatigue will persist.

Chiropractic care, along with appropriate postural and neurological examination followed by a course of care, will seek to lessen and remove accumulated nerve pressure and restore postural imbalance and will ensure that all the organs and systems of the body are functioning optimally and that we will have our best ability to adapt to daily stressors and strains while being able to maintain a great level of energy.

 

 

Headaches / Migraines (chronic, acute)   
Headaches are related to tension and imbalances in the neck and may be the result of physical or emotional stress, toxicity or poor sleep patterns just to name a few. Headaches also come in a several forms including migraines, cluster or tension headaches.

Regardless of the cause of your headache, you will agree that the pain is most unwelcome. Whether chronic or acute, headaches are related to pressure on the nerve roots and surrounding musculature at the base of the skull. These nerves control some of the head and neck muscles as well as regulate some of the vessels that control blood flow to the brain.

Typically, various forms of pain relievers, blood vessel dilators / constrictors and anti-inflammatory drugs are used to relieve the pain, but if headaches continue to reoccur, it is important to locate their cause and correct it.

These areas are evaluated to determine no other underlying cause and to see if there is displacement of the skull or neck vertebrae that affect the nerves related to the blood supply to the brain and surrounding muscle tissues. Our goal is to correct and strengthen these areas of imbalance so that they are not forever dependent upon us and can better function at their best.

 

 

Hip Pain   
This is a broad region with which to describe discomfort one may experience. The hip region includes the lower abdomen, the sides, front, back and into the groin area. Symptoms like pain, achiness, tingling and numbness often occur when the nerves feeding into the low back become irritated, or when there are displaced vertebrae, thin or bulging discs. Other factors can be purely structural such as anatomical shortening of one leg, or hip imbalances.

These imbalances in the lower spine cause misalignment which affects the ability to adapt to everyday activities such as sitting, standing, walking or using the stairs.
When treatment and alignment of the lower spine and hips occurs as treated by your chiropractor, the pressure on the nerve roots will decrease which can help relieve pain and other symptoms. Furthermore, patients are educated on proper sitting and stretching techniques to prevent further pressure building up in these areas.

 

 

Impact injuries (Slips, Falls)   
Throughout our lives, we slip or fall thousands of times. Sometimes the fall can be significant enough to land us in the hospital. When we fall, the body tightens to brace for impact. Depending on the height and speed as well as location of impact of the fall, the anatomy involves a sudden stretching or contraction of the associated muscles and ligaments that support the bones of the body.

Most of the time, the body gets better on its own after a few days of achiness, soreness as pain and inflammation settle down. But sometimes a fall is significant enough to affect the body’s anatomy causing potential damage to muscles and ligaments, including those that support the spine and extremities (arms and legs) which cause the nerves feeding those areas to become irritated.

Symptoms include muscle aches and pains, decreased range of motion, sensory changes into the extremities (pins and needles) and pain while sitting, stand or walking.

It is important to rule out fractures first, but being treated by your chiropractor accelerates the healing process by rehabilitating those injured tissues so that to improve function faster and strengthen weakened areas.

 

 

Irregular Gait   
Walking with pain is not normal and can be affected if there is misalignment in the hips, pressure on the nerves in the lower back or from herniated / bulging discs. Onset of symptoms includes difficulty transferring weight evenly while walking, pain, and clumsy gait. This occurs because the muscles that are fed by the nerves of the low back send diminished nerve impulses. By aligning the hips and decreasing the pressure in the lower back, those nerve impulses will improve sending clearer signals to the supportive structures which will improve strength and coordination and overall fluidity of our gait (walking).

 

 

Ligament Sprain / Strains   
What we must understand about the human body is that there are levels of protection it provides us with to adapt to every day stresses and strains. Whenever we exceed these levels, we become injured and our bodies unconsciously begin the healing process to repair damaged tissues.

Chiropractic is interested in three main structures in the body: muscle, ligaments/tendons and bone. Muscles and ligaments/tendons allow us to move through space and are connected to bone, which hold us upright and protect our internal organs. Feeding these structures the nerves, which stem from the spinal cord which is encased in bone (the spine).

There are two types of injury that can cause trauma to the three main structures: acute (sudden onset / trauma) and chronic (repetitive activities, developing over time). Most common injuries include shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles and feet. When there is mechanical failure of the tissues (muscle strain, ligament sprain), it important to get evaluated to insure that tissues begin to heal properly to help minimize scar tissue build-up, which affects the elasticity of ligaments and muscle fibers.

It is always easier to rehabilitate soft-tissue injuries in the early stages to accelerate the healing process than it is to treat one who has extensive damage (possible surgeries needed) and then wait several weeks before the tissues are ready for rehabilitation.

Dr. Erik, your chiropractor, is well-versed in the anatomy of soft-tissue injuries and understands the importance of returning them to optimal health in a timely fashion. The techniques he uses are both hands on and instrument-assisted, and geared to your specific needs.

 

 

Loss of Mobility / Flexibility (Neck, Back, Arms, Legs)   
Overtime, we adapt to life’s daily stresses and strains. Unbeknownst to us, our bodies and muscles are doing the same. But sometimes, the muscles of the body, particularly around the spine, become much tighter in an effort to protect the spine. This tightness of the paraspinals muscles contributes to a loss of our flexibility and mobility. The same holds true for the muscles of our arms and legs.

Heat and massage are common methods of treatment, but they do not correct the underlying cause. By restoring the spine back to ideal alignment and improving its ability to adapt to everyday activities, our bodies allow these protective muscles to relax, thereby increasing our flexibility. Flexibility is an important barometer of our overall health, just look at a baby or an athlete!

 

 

Low Back Pain   
Having lower back pain can be frustrating and debilitating, making simple activities a struggling challenge. We take for granted all the things we can do when healthy, but when once-simple activities like bending to put on socks and shoes, sitting for work or travel, walking, sleeping or exercise have become painful, your quality of life has been reduced. But it does not need to remain so.

The most common cause of low back pain is irritation to the nerve roots that exit between the vertebrae in the low back; or to the ligaments which help to structurally hold the bones in the low back in place. Symptoms traditionally manifest as soreness/tightness/achiness in the muscles of the low back. Further causes include muscle sprains / ligament strains (trauma), stiffness resulting from old injuries, poor or deteriorating posture, over-worked and/or weak postural muscles (i.e. slouching when sitting).

Another, more severe cause of low back pain involves bulging and herniated discs, which press on the nerve roots or spinal cord itself. Symptoms include loss of sensation into the extremities (legs, feet), tingling / numbness, or a burning sensation.

Sometimes these symptoms can be exacerbated (made worse) with a loss of curve in the lower spine.

The person on the left has a slight “C” shaped curve, which is the natural orientation of the lumbar vertebrae. The person on the right has a curve that is straight. Through any of the aforementioned causes, there can be a change in the morphology of the curve, causing ligaments to lose their resiliency and alter the structure of the curve, which may also involve disc issues. When this occurs the person’s low back on the right has to “work harder” to hold up postural muscles and ligaments just doing average day-to-day activities than does the person’s low back on the left.

Through chiropractic treatments and specific exercises taught in the office, we seek to alter the shape of the curve of the lumbar spine from image left to image right, thus helping to re-establish the relationship of the bones, discs, nerves, muscles and ligaments in the low back.

 

 

Muscle Pain, Tightness   
We all experience this to some degree or another with our muscle aches and pains that last for a few days before the pain “goes away”. It becomes of concern to chiropractors when these pains become chronic and develop into long-standing issues or re-injury occurs to the same area of the body. It may be the result of long-standing imbalances of muscles, discs, ligaments and improper spinal alignment.

When these imbalances are not properly addressed, pressure builds up and can begin to irritate the nerves which feed into the muscles, causing them to tighten up, spasm, become painful and limit range of motion. As the process becomes more chronic and intense, life’s simple activities can become a torturous challenge. Simple bending, putting on one’s shoes, sitting for work or travel, caring for our family, walking, standing or sleeping can instigate pain.
However, your chiropractor can help by figuring out each patient individually as to where their muscle weaknesses and spinal imbalances are, as well as educating patients about proper posture, patient-specific stretches and recognizing their own symptoms before they become chronic; positive structural changes can begin to take place, taking pressure off of the key areas of the body and allowing the body to adapt and strengthen so we do not see you back here with the same or similar problems and keeps you from becoming dependent upon us.

 

 

Neck Pain   
Having pain in this area is not only frustrating, but debilitating as well. The most common cause of neck pain is irritation to the nerve roots that exit between the vertebrae in the neck; or to the ligaments which help to structurally hold the bones in the neck in place. Symptoms traditionally manifest as soreness/tightness/achiness in the muscles of the neck and upper back. Further causes include muscle sprains / ligament strains (trauma), stiffness resulting from old injuries, poor or deteriorating posture, over-worked and/or weak postural muscles.

Another, more severe cause of neck pain involves bulging and herniated discs, which press on the nerve roots or spinal cord itself. Symptoms include loss of sensation into the extremities (arms, hands), tingling / numbness, loss of grip strength, or a burning sensation.Sometimes these symptoms can be exacerbated (made worse) with a loss of curve in the neck.

The person on the left has a “C” shaped curve, which is the natural orientation of the cervical vertebrae. The person on the right has a curve that is not only beyond straight, but actually curving the opposite way. Through any of the aforementioned causes, there can be a change in the morphology of the curve, causing ligaments to lose their resiliency and alter the structure of the curve, which may also involve disc issues. When this occurs the person’s neck on the right has to “work harder” to hold up postural muscles and ligaments just doing average day-to-day activities than does the person’s neck on the left.

Through chiropractic treatments and specific exercises taught in the office, we seek to alter the shape of the curve of the cervical spine from image left to image right, thus helping to re-establish the relationship of the bones, discs, nerves, muscles and ligaments in the neck.

 

 

Pain when sitting   
The lumbar spine is designed as a “shock absorber”, similar to your car to distribute the pressure of the body. It may be surprising to note, that there is MORE pressure placed on the low back when sitting than when standing, and even more pressure when slouching than when sitting. It all has to do with compressing the shock-absorbing discs that sit between the bones in the spine, but particularly the low back.

When we sit, especially for long periods of time, we increase the pressure placed upon those discs, which in turn can irritate the roots of the nerves that exit the spine that feed into our legs and low back muscles. Further, the sacroiliac (hip) joints are connected to the lumbar spine, and if they become misaligned by poor posture or slouching, this will place additional stress and pressure into the nerves that feed into the legs.

 

 

Shoulder Pain   
Presentation for shoulder problems include: pain/spasm, tightness, limited range of motion and numbness. Not unlike a sports injury, trauma may be induced through a singular event (i.e. heavy lifting, awkward, one-hand movements) or through repetitive trauma (i.e. heavy purse, extensive computer/phone work; poor/deteriorating posture).

Depending on the nature of the injury, the healing process will vary. Your chiropractor deems it very important to rule out any ominous factors such as dislocations, torn labrum, or other ligamentous rotor cuff muscle injuries.

The nerve supply that feeds into the shoulder and supportive tissues (muscles, ligaments) should be evaluated to discern whether there is interference emanating from the spinal cord between vertebrae. If inference is detected, gentle shoulder mobilizations, as well as muscle work and ancillary procedures such as electrical stimulation, ultrasound or massage may be further warranted to improve recovery as rapidly and completely as possible.

 

 

Stenosis   
This is a condition typically confined to the lumbar spine (occasionally cervical) in which the ligaments that support the bones which comprise the spinal column, hypertrophy (thicken), thus reducing the space for the spinal column and the nerve roots and put pressure on those areas.

It is generally caused by progressive (years of) spinal degeneration that occurs with imbalances in the spinal structure as well as weakness in the postural muscles. It can be co-affected by disc herniations, osteoporosis or spinal tumors.

Symptom presentation for stenosis includes affected gait; numbness into the legs, muscular weakness into one or both legs, sensory changes and reflex abnormalities.
Diagnostic testing for stenosis is best achieved through MRI’s to determine the severity. Common treatment for stenosis in the early stages include physical therapy and pharmaceuticals for pain management. If the problem becomes severe, surgical consult may be warranted.

While chiropractic care will not reverse the encroachment (bony build up) on the spinal cord or nerve roots, it is important to help aid the body in alleviating the pressure that continues to build up, to at the very least help to reduce the intensity of patient symptoms.

 

 

Sciatica   
This is a general term used to describe sensations of pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness into the leg(s) that follows a specific “tell-tale” pattern into the buttocks, down into the back of the leg, the calf and as far as into the foot.

The intensity and severity of sciatica varies by case, but the more distally the pain is (i.e. foot versus buttocks), the worse it is.

Classic pain patterns involve prolonged sitting, long trips (car, plane, train); walking/standing; affected sleep; and sudden leg movements.

The clinically diagnostic term for sciatica is called a “radiculopathy”, which means a disc between two vertebrae has protruded from its normal position in the vertebral column and is putting pressure on the spinal cord, or one of its nerve roots that feed the nerve into the legs.

 

 

Sports Injuries   

While they can be minimized, they cannot be totally avoided. Whether you are a professional athlete or weekend warrior there are two broad types of injury: single-event and repetitive trauma. In either case, there is mechanical failure of the tissues (muscle strain, ligament sprain or broken bone) which results in injury and temporary removal from sport.

During the healing process, it is important to get evaluated by a chiropractor to insure that tissues are healing properly to help minimize scar tissue build-up, which affects the elasticity of ligaments and muscle fibers.

Poorly healed, or repetitive-injuries negatively affect an athlete and can affect their speed, power, agility and endurance. Athletes “in-season” benefit from chiropractic by keeping their bodies in alignment and heading off any potential injuries before they become debilitating ones.

It is easier to rehabilitate an athlete in the early stages of an injury to accelerate their return to sport than it is to treat one who has extensive damage (possible surgeries needed) and then wait several weeks before the tissues are ready for rehabilitation.

Dr. Erik is well-versed in the anatomy of soft-tissue sports injuries and understands the importance of returning to sport in optimal health in a timely fashion.

The techniques he uses are both hands on and instrument-assisted, and geared to your specific needs.

 

 

Tingling / Numbness (into arms / hands; into legs feet)   
Symptoms such as these almost invariably have their causation in the misalignment of bones in the neck or lower back, bulging or herniated discs, arthritic / osseous growths, and are sometimes affected or made worse with certain postures or repetitive movements.

Anatomically, irritation exists on the nerve roots, which exit the spine between the vertebrae in the neck and lower back. The nerve roots that exit into the arms and legs follow lengthy branches that terminate into the hands and feet which feed the associated supportive structure (musculature, ligaments). Even if you are feeling pain into those distal areas, the root of your problem may lie in the nerve root itself.

Sometimes, the muscles surrounding the nerves that feed into the arms and legs become inflamed as a result of the built-up pressure on the nerve roots, effectively “choking” the nerves.

The body is resilient at repairing itself and when the pressure is removed from the areas in the neck and low back that are causing the symptoms, the nerves begin to return to normal function and the associated supportive structure begins to return to a state of normalcy.

 

 

TMJ  
The Temporomandibular Joint allows the jaw to articulate with the skull. The onset of TMJ as well as symptoms can vary, but includes pain when using the jaw as well as associated muscle pain and discomfort. Pain is usually worse when speaking, eating, chewing, swallowing or making facial expressions. The pain can be on one side or present bilaterally and often is accompanied with undesired “clicking”, or uneven-tracking (which one can observe in the mirror).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whiplash   
One of the more common forms of neck trauma. Whiplash is usually associated with motor vehicle accidents, usually from a rear-end collision. It can also occur from falls off bicycles, horses or through sport-related collisions. The anatomy involves a sudden stretching of the neck and associated muscles and ligaments that support the bones of the neck in place.

Symptoms include: aching pain in the front / back / sides of the neck, referred pain into the shoulders, sensory changes into the arms (pins and needles) as well as headaches. Symptom onset varies and can occur directly after the injury or up to several days post-injury. Untreated whiplash-type injuries tend to lead to permanent ligament damage, damage to discs, chronic muscle pain, loss of range of motion and referred pain into the shoulders, arms and hands.

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