Can a Pregnant Woman Get a Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractor adjusting woman's spine
Chiropractor adjusting woman’s spine

Chiropractic care is the health maintenance of the neuromusculoskeletal system without the use of drugs or surgery. It focuses on correcting abnormalities in the the spinal column and disks and related nerves through manipulative adjustments in these structures.

The chiropractic profession holds that general health and well being is a function of a healthy nervous system and chiropractic care can help in many areas of human health care, including in women pregnancy.

Not only chiropractic professionals promote chiropractic care for pregnant women. Even the American Pregnancy Society, a non-profit organization that promotes pregnancy wellness and increases the awareness of pregnancy needs, is a proponent of chiropractic care for pregnant women.

Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women

Chiropractic care can be applied to pregnant women throughout their pregnancy and there are no known contraindications to it. The Doctors of Chiropractic are well trained in the care of pregnant women. One of their major interests is fertility and pregnancy wellness of women and some take advanced training in prenatal and postnatal care.

Chiropractors who are trained to work with pregnant women may have special tables suited for the pregnant woman’s body.  They also apply special techniques to avoid unnecessary stress on her abdomen.

Additionally, chiropractors who are trained in the needs of pregnant women may provide appropriate exercises for her, depending on the stage of her pregnancy period. Chiropractors may also advise her on proper nutrition, another focus area of chiropractic practitioners.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Physiological and endocrinological changes happen to a woman’s body to prepare it for creating an environment for developing baby. This includes pelvic changes, protruding abdomen, increased back curve, and postural adaptations.  With these changes are the increased risks of misaligned spine or joints and decreased pelvic balance or misaligned pelvis.

A misaligned pelvis can bring serious implications. It may restrict the amount of room available for the developing baby and may cause the mother’s inability to have normal delivery.

Chiropractic professionals will use a special method to bring about balance in the pelvis of the expectant mother. This method, called Webster technique, developed by the late Larry Webster, D.C., founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), has been proven to provide balanced state in the pelvis and facilitate optimal fetal positioning.

Fifty percent of all pregnant women are most likely to suffer from back pain at some point during their pregnancies. Chiropractic adjustments have been proven safe and effective in providing pregnant women relief from low back pain. No drugs and surgical procedures are introduced in the course of the chiropractic treatment.

Chiropractic care is helpful even during the post-natal period. It can treat joint problems that result from the loosening up of the ligaments during the pregnancy period.  Joint problem should ideally be treated before the ligaments tighten up back again to the pre-pregnancy state.

With more and more people being educated on the benefits of chiropractic care, it is gradually being adopted and embraced by patients with different healthcare needs, including pregnant women.

 

Tips for a Healthy Spine

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Eighty to ninety percent of the population will have an episode of spinal pain at some point in their life. Most prone to spinal pain are obese and overweight people, those whose work entails carrying heavy loads, smokers, and people who had suffered from back pain in the past.

People who suffer from back pain, especially long-term, are generally less healthy compared to those who have healthy spine. Aside from the pain they undergo, they are also generally less productive. They have to take time-off from work every now and then especially when the pain becomes unbearable and during treatment time. They also have to spend substantial amount on medical expenses such as on doctor’s fees and medications.

It is important for you to keep your spine healthy and in the best condition to avoid spinal pain. Care for your spine could be taken through proper posture and observing some pointers with regards to some body movements such as lifting and carrying weights, bending and lying in bed and other health precautions.

Posture – Standing

  • Take the pressure off your back by keeping one foot slightly in front of the other and your knees slightly bent when you stand.
  • Avoid bending from your waist for prolonged periods as the muscles in your low back may be deconditioned and pain may ensue.

Posture – Sitting

  • Be conscious about trying to maintain the natural spine curvature in your low back.
  • In the sitting position, it is best that your knees are slightly higher than your hips, while your head is up and your back straight.
  • Avoid slouching.

Lifting

  • Never twist when lifting. Many cases of slipped disk are caused by twisting especially when lifting.
  • Pushing a heavy load is easier on your back than lifting. When doing this, try to use your legs, not your back.
  • Get help when you cannot avoid lifting a heavy item.

Carrying

  • Keep object to be carried, especially if it is heavy, as close to your body as possible.
  • Halving the load into two smaller items and carrying them – one in each hand – is easier to manage than a single large item.

Bending and Reaching

  • Use a stool when reaching for an object above shoulder level.
  • When picking items up from the floor, do not bend over at the waist.
  • The proper way to do this is to kneel down on one knee, and with the other foot flat on the floor, pick up the item.
  • The other proper way to pick an item up from the floor is bend at the knees, and lift with your legs, not with your back.

Sleeping

  • Avoid sleeping on your back as it puts substantial pressure – about 50 pounds – on your spine.
  • If you must sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees.
  • Lying on your side with a pillow between you knees is an acceptable position.
  • Find the best position your body will tell you.

Diet and Health

  • Maintain your weight at the ideal level. Extra body weight puts undue strain on your spine.
  • Belly fat puts unwanted pressure on your back’s muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • Eat a healthy diet and do regular exercise to reduce weight.
  • Quit smoking. Smokers feel more spine pain than non-smokers. Chemicals in tobacco smoke impede the flow of blood to the tissues around your spine.

These are simple and mostly common-sense advice we should strive to follow to help us keep our spine in the best shape, prevent spine pain from coming and ultimately enjoy a healthier life.

What is a Whiplash?

 

Driver Suffering From Whiplash After Traffic Collision

Whiplash is injuries of the neck caused by a sudden and violent jolting of the neck in one direction to the other. The action is similar to that of a whip, hence the generic term whiplash. An example happens in a vehicular accident. Upon impact of the vehicle to another vehicle or object, the passenger’s neck will have a sudden backward-then-forward movement, resulting in whiplash. Although motor vehicle accidents are the most common causes of whiplash, it may also come from falls, work injuries, sports injuries and other similar incidents.

Effects of Whiplash

Whiplash usually results in the sprain of the neck. The ligaments surrounding the vertebrae are torn or sprained. These ligaments are what protect, support and prevent excessive movement of the vertebrae beyond their normal limits. Facet joints, the joints at the back of the spine, are particularly prone to whiplash injury. In a whiplash, the muscles and tendons are likewise strained. The disks between the vertebrae may be torn also, potentially resulting to herniation. Additionally, the nerve roots between vertebral bones maybe strained and become inflamed. Extreme cases of vertebral bones fracturing also do occur in a whiplash.

Treatment of Whiplash

It may sound strange but staying active is one of the important aspects in the management of whiplash. The only exception to this is when the patient’s injuries render him immobile.  The patient should not be worried that his condition will aggravate with more movements, provided he exercises normal caution and follows the doctor’s advice on the limits of physical exercises and stretching he can do. It is important to adhere to the program that the doctor will prescribe to achieve the best results towards healing.

Application of ice or heat, or both is commonly done to help alleviate pain and reduce spasm that result from the injury. Other techniques used in physical therapy may help but they should not be relied upon to completely replace a program of physical activity, exercise and stretching.

Chiropractic treatment employing spinal manipulations and mobilization has been found to be effective in providing relief from pain for the patient in many cases.

Prevention

Whiplash, being a result or effect of an accident that we do not have control over, cannot be prevented.

We can, however, do a few actions that may help mitigate or minimize the effects of whiplash. In a motor vehicle, always wear body-restraining lap or shoulder belts and adjust headrest to the appropriate position. Wear necessary personal protective equipment or gears at work and in contact and extreme sports.

Knowledge of injuries is helpful to guide us in coping with them when we encounter them personally ourselves, or in our family. It is important to seek professional help in these instances for the most effective treatment program and let you go through the trauma positively.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Your Health

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Chiropractic care adheres to its philosophy that maintaining nerve health can boost the body’s natural healing ability and that most illnesses and body disorders may be linked to abnormality in the nerve system.  The millions of health cases worldwide successfully treated through chiropractic care are testimonials to the effectiveness of chiropractic care. And if you analyze the data from the documented records of successful chiropractic care cases, it will be very easy to agree that chiropractic care encompasses the whole realm of health care.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care has been proven effective in pain management, foremost of which, is in back pain, the most prevalent of all types of body pains. Chiropractic has also helped in the successful treatment of neck pain, shoulder pain, muscle and joint pain, and pain in the connective tissues like tendon, ligaments and cartilages.

Other common conditions where chiropractic treatments have been proven effective include:

  • Disorders in the musculoskeletal system like spinal misalignment and slipped disk
  • Osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, spasms, numbness in arms and hands
  • Migraines and headaches – Chiropractic has the ability to help cure, prevent and ease the discomfort of people from these conditions.
  • Colic and ear infections – Chiropractic adjustments have been reported to greatly reduce colic symptoms and resolve ear infections after a few visits for treatment.
  • Sciatica – Tests reported a 72% success rate in treating this disorder. This compares with 20% and 50% success rates from physical therapy and corticosteroid injections, respectively.
  • Blood pressure – Chiropractic adjustments has resulted in bringing the blood pressures of hypertensive and hypotensive patients to normal levels.
  • Frozen shoulder – This is a debilitating condition where patients have been reported to respond to chiropractic care.
  • Whiplash and other injuries from sports and vehicle accident – In many cases, spinal manipulations and mobilization have been effective in providing pain relief for patients.
  • Scoliosis – Combined with muscular rehabilitation technique, chiropractic adjustments has been reported to have, in one case, prevented the progression of scoliosis. Reports of pain reduction capability of chiropractic adjustments are numerous.

Chiropractic can treat the gamut of health disorders and symptoms associated with spinal nerve interference such as:

  • Common ailments as colds, sore throat, hoarseness, tonsillitis, laryngitis, dizziness, chronic fatigue, and allergies
  • Vision problems
  • Respiratory conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis
  • Heart conditions
  • Liver conditions
  • Kidney and gall bladder conditions
  • Conditions of the digestive organs such as gas pains, gastritis, diarrhea and constipation
  • Skin conditions such as acne and pimples
  • Sterility or fertility problems

The one common theme in all these is that nerves control practically all of the body functions and any anomaly in the nerves can impact the functions of any part of the body.

Studies have also shown that chiropractic care can:

  • Improve circulation
  • Boost the immune system
  • Enhance pulmonary function and increase delivery of oxygen and nutrients
  • Relieve muscle tension and increase flexibility
  • Reduce soreness, muscle spasms, and pain
  • Reduce recovery time
  • Reduce chance of injury
  • Decrease oxidative and mental stress and help the body to relax and repair
  • Naturally increase energy level

Chiropractic care’s effectiveness in the treatment of a wide range of illnesses and health disorders cannot be overemphasized. Its benefits are not just confined to the area of the body under treatment but extend beyond, to enhance overall bodily function.

Chiropractic and Neck Pain

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Many people associate chiropractic adjustments with the treatment of just lower back pain.  They maybe convinced that chiropractic adjustment is effective in reducing or eliminating back pain, but does it work with neck pain?

The spine of your body consists of 26 vertebral bones from the base of the skull or cervix down to the rectum or tailbone area. Seven of these vertebral bones are the tiny cervical vertebrae in the neck area. They are also referred to as the cervical spine. It is amazing how the small bones in your necks can support your head, which weighs an average of 12 pounds.  The neck is flexible and can move to almost all directions. The neck’s flexibility makes it very susceptible to injuries and pain. Many activities and other factors can harm the neck, for example, repetitive movement, extended sitting, falls, blows to the head, accidents, and aging. Neck pain can bring much discomfort and can affect our work and life.

Causes of Neck Pain

The following are some of the causes of neck pain:

Repetitive movements especially of the neck and head for an extended period of time, as in some exercises, and twisted position of the neck during sleeping cause strain to the the affected muscles in the neck. Sitting for extended periods of time does not engage the vertebral muscles and bones and slows body metabolism.

Injury from Falls and Accidents

A sudden and violent movement of the head and neck in one direction will cause them to rebound in the opposite direction, injuring the tissues supporting them. This injury is called whiplash and can also cause muscle fatigue resulting in pain. Although whiplash affects the neck and head primarily, it can also bring injury to the surrounding joints, disks, muscles ligaments and nerve roots in the vertebrae.

Aging

Growing old causes degenerative disorders such as spinal ostenosis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative disk disease that have direct impact to the spine. Osteoarthritis, a joint disease, causes progressive deterioration of the cartilage. Spinal stenosis causes the narrowing of nerve passage in the vertebrae, resulting to pain in the neck, shoulder and arm. Degenerative disk disease, caused by the reduction of the elasticity and height of intervertebral disks may result in disk herniation leading to numbness and pain along the areas of the spine and into the arm.

Weak abdominal muscles from poor posture and obesity y upset spinal balance that will cause the neck to bend forward to compensate for it. Postural stress can result to neck pain and may even extend to the upper back and arms.

Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

In a chiropractic visit for neck pain treatment, the chiropractor will ask you questions to help identify the factors leading to and the cause of your back pain. After that, the chiropractic doctor will perform physical and neurological examinations to observe and note the movements that cause pain. An x-ray may be conducted to diagnose conditions of your neck and spine. A few other tests, such as computerized axial tomography (CAT) or magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) to check disk bulge or herniation may be done.

Cervical adjustments or manipulation will be performed by the chiropractor to correct abnormalities in the cervical spine or the neck. This precise manual procedure aims to improve the mobility and range of motion of the spine and the adjoining muscles.

The chiropractor’s treatment and follow up plan will prescribe a complete care program that will include the frequency and manner of treatment in your subsequent visits, as necessary.

After one or a number of chiropractic sessions, patients typically notice significant improvements in their ability to turn and tilt the head, and relief from neck pain, and conditions like stiffness and soreness.

Effective Ways to Prevent Neck Pain

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Next to back pain, neck pain is most troubling. It causes a lot of discomfort and upsets our normal work. In some cases, neck pain may go away after a few days of applying home remedy. The more severe ones are chronic and you may need professional help to reduce the pain or drive it away for good.

Your neck’s flexibility makes it susceptible to injury and pain. Neck pain is usually caused by sprains and injuries around your cervical spine – in the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Many of the activities you do can lead to having neck pain.

Causes of Neck Pain

Some of the causes of neck pain are:

  • Repetitive movements of the head and neck for a long time straining the muscles and joints
  • Twisted position of the neck during sleeping, usually when sleeping on your abdomen
  • Sitting for a long time stalling the vertebral muscles and bones and slowing body metabolism
  • Injury from car accidents and sports and falls resulting in whiplash and other injuries
  • Aging leading to the deterioration of the bones and joints
  • Poor posture and obesity causing weak abdominal muscles, upsetting spinal balance and making the head to tilt forward to compensate

Effective Tips to Prevent Neck Pain

We can prevent neck pain by observing the following tips:

  • Use cervical or orthopedic type of pillows when sleeping. These pillows are designed to provide full support to the space under your head and under the neck.
  • Sleep on your back. This is the finest position for your spine to rest. Avoid turning your neck and head and neck to just one side by using a pillow 4 to 6 inches high.
  • When working on your computer, position the computer screen directly eye-level. Additionally, sit comfortably with your back pressed against the back rest.
  • Do neck strengthening and stretching exercises to keep your neck muscles strong.
  • Use telephone headset especially when talking on the phone for a long time.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly. Water, mostly, make up the disks between your vertebrae in your spine.
  • Avoid carrying heavy weight. Also carry weight evenly on your two shoulders.
  • Maintain god posture. The advantage of proper posture cannot be overemphasized in maintaining healthy postural muscles and associated muscles and joints.
  • Avoid injuries from accident by being safety-conscious and prudent.

Through observing proper personal health care and maintenance and exercising prudence, we can have strong muscles and body and avoid the detrimental effects of physical abuse such as neck pain. It is our own personal responsibility.

What Causes Neck Pain and How to Prevent It?

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Experiencing neck pain once in a while is common. In most cases, neck pain or stiff neck occurs due to poor posture, improper sleeping position, overuse, or normal wear and tear. Sometimes, it may also be due to injuries, accidents, and falls involving the neck.

Typically, neck pain is a minor condition which many people do not worry about as it can be treated with simple remedies and, before you know it, it has already disappeared. However, be careful, too, as some cases of neck pain indicate that there might be a more serious underlying condition. If this is the case, it is important to seek medical care and attention right away.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

There are three main causes of neck pain. Find out if any of the following is causing you pain in the neck.

One of the major reasons why an individual acquires neck pain is muscle tension and strain. This usually develops when you sit all day without changing positions such as at work, sleep with your neck in an uncomfortable position, twitch your neck during exercise, or have a poor posture. To avoid straining your muscles in the neck, make sure to change your daily routines such that your neck won’t be too stressed.

Another common cause of neck pain is experiencing injuries or accidents, such as falls, vehicular accidents, or sports-related injuries where the neck gets affected and the ligaments and muscles got dislocated from their normal positions. During more serious injuries when the neck gets fractured or dislocated, the spinal cord can be affected, too. Neck pain due to vehicular accidents is called whiplash. (Read: Everything You Need to Know about Whiplash)

There are health disorders and conditions that cause neck pain, including arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, meningitis, slipped disc, and even heart attack. Thus, if suddenly your neck feels some unexplainable pain, make sure to have your overall health checked up to identify what other disorder you may have.

Quick and Easy Neck Pain Relief Tips

If you are suffering from minor neck pain, you may want to try the following measures in order to reduce the ache.

  1. At the onset of the pain, apply ice on your neck. After a couple of days, apply heat on the neck using hot compress or heating pad, or simply take hot showers.
  1. Over-the-counter pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen should help get rid of the pain temporarily.
  1. While the pain is still present, avoid sports and other activities such as heavy lifting that may aggravate your condition. Resume normal routine once the neck pain has subsided.
  1. Regularly work out your neck by doing simple stretches and turns.
  1. Maintain a good posture.
  1. Move and change positions often. Avoid standing up or sitting down for long periods of time.
  1. Get a neck massage. The soothing pressure applied to your neck will minimize the pain and tension in the muscles.
  1. Get a chiropractic adjustment to restore strength and mobility of the affected muscles in the neck.

Any pain you feel in your body – no matter how minor – should not be neglected. Make sure that you take necessary measures to know what you are feeling how serious it is, and how to treat and prevent it recurrence.

Everything You Need to Know About Whiplash

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Whiplash refers to a neck injury often resulting from a motor or car accident. A rear impact in car accidents usually causes whiplash, where the passenger who gets hit from behind has the highest risk of suffering from injury.

How Does Whiplash Occur?

Accident causing whiplash injuries happen when one vehicle (car A) hits another vehicle (car B) from behind, applying an intense force that gets transmitted from car A to car B. Unfortunately, these forces get transmitted to the passengers of car B, making them susceptible to body injuries, including whiplash.

Such vehicular accident happens due to many reasons, including drunk driving, speeding, brake and engine damage, distracted driving (i.e., using mobile phones), reckless driving, beating the red light, tailgating, and weather condition, such as rain and snow. Minor vehicular accidents, however, may not cause severe injuries to the passengers, only damage to the car.

Signs and Symptoms of Whiplash

When you have just experienced a car accident, and you feel sore in many places of your body, how would you know if you are suffering from whiplash? Here are some signs and symptoms that will tell you that you are:

  • Noticeable pain and stiffness of the neck
  • When you try to move your neck, the pain increases
  • Loss of mobility and range of motion in the neck
  • Tender pain in the shoulders, arms, or upper back
  • Headaches that usually begin at the bottom of the skull

When you experience all or most of these symptoms, you should have your neck checked up right away to get cure and treatment for whiplash.

Treatment for Whiplash

In some cases, the pain from whiplash eventually disappears, especially when applied with some treatment. But, when the more severe cases get ignored, they may case complicated symptoms that may last for a longer period of time. If the whiplash pain or injury extends up to six months, it will be considered chronic whiplash which is a more severe condition.

Below is a list of effective cure, treatment, and prevention of whiplash.

  1. Keep your neck moving by doing a neck exercises and stretching that you can bear. Even if it’s painful, moving your neck from time to time will help in its recovery, while keeping it in still position may prolong symptoms.
  1. The use of pain killers, such as analgesic, and anti-inflammatory medicines may help relieve whiplash pain. Paracetamol, on the other hand, can cure mild neck pain. However, make sure to consume it regularly and not only when you feel the pain to guarantee its effectiveness. For more serious pain, seek advice from your doctor so he or she may prescribe a stronger pain relief medication.
  1. For whiplash injuries that last for weeks, you may want to undergo physiotherapy and/or chiropractic care. These treatments are hands-on approaches done by a therapist or chiropractor to restore mobility of the neck by applying force to the damaged nerves and muscles.
  1. Additionally, you may want to do self-care measures to gradually improve the condition of your neck. These include maintaining a good posture, sleeping in the right position, and engaging in regular exercise and stretching. However, make sure not do heavy physical activities yet and wait until you get better before you go back to your normal routine.

When you or a family member suffers from whiplash injury, it may seem too scary. But with proper care and treatment, you will realize that everything will get better and you or your loved one can go back to your normal lives again. Now, the next time you’re on the road, be very careful!

What Does a Chiropractor Do?

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Chiropractic is generally considered as alternative medicine or complementary medicine. It is an option of treatment and care that does not use drugs and surgery, which the conventional medicine rely almost completely upon. We know that in many cases, there are limits to what medications and surgery can do as treatment options.  Chiropractic, aside from offering an alternative to the treatment methods traditional medicine uses, is in alignment with the scientific principles that general medicine stands for. In some cases, chiropractic works in conjunction with the mainstream medicine practice in solving health disorders.

Chiropractic focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. It holds the fundamental belief that a healthy nervous system is the key to general health and abnormality in the nerve functions results in disease and dysfunctions in the body. It emphasizes treatment that employs manipulative adjustments in the body structures, primarily on the spine.

Chiropractors: Principles and Goals

Chiropractors are professional practitioners who advocate health care through the application of the chiropractic principles. Their goal is to reduce the pain and improve the functionality of patients as well as promote health care through other related forms of therapies and care such as physical exercise, ergonomics and nutrition.

Chiropractors strongly adhere to the following principles and beliefs in their professional practice:

  • The nervous system is the communication center for all body functions.
  • There is an intimate relationship between the nervous system and the spine and physical abnormalities in the spine can negatively affect the nervous system.
  • Chiropractic treatment can improve the health of a person through the restoration and maintenance of the structural integrity of the spine.
  • Chiropractic treatment concept is aimed at re-establishing normal spinal mobility, alleviating irritation and pain to the spinal nerve, and correcting altered reflexes.

Conditions Chiropractors Treat

Chiropractors use different treatment techniques and methods without the use of drugs and surgery. Some of the most common conditions they treat are:

  • Spinal misalignment, slipped disk, and other disorders of the musculoskeletal system
  • Back pain and leg pain or sciatica
  • Neck pain
  • Other chronic muscle, joint and arthritic pains
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Injuries from motor vehicle accidents like whiplash
  • Sports injuries

Chiropractors can also treat a wide range of health disorders and symptoms associated with spinal nerve interference including conditions of the organs of the body such as the eyes, ears, skin, heart, liver, kidneys, respiratory and digestive organs.

Activities in Chiropractors’ Office

Typical activities inside the chiropractor’s office include the initial intake procedure, physical examination, treatment, and a follow-up plan.

In the intake procedure, the patient will be interviewed and asked questions regarding his or her condition, medical history and the specifics about the complaint.

A routine physical exam follows the initial intake. The chiropractor will most likely examine the patient’s spine. X-ray examination of the patient’s back is also likely done before the treatment. Depending on the complaint, other tests in the course of the physical exam are muscle strength comparison, range of motion test, palpation, reflex testing and neurological and orthopedic tests.

The chiropractor will prepare a treatment plan considering all the data gathered from the previous process and after getting an agreement with the patient on what the patient’s objective is in the chiropractic care.

Subsequent treatment visits may be necessary as required in the initial treatment plan.

For the millions of people who have received the benefits of chiropractic care, chiropractors who have given them relief from pain and discomfort and have restored their healthy and enjoyable lives have become their heroes.

Ergonomic Workstation to Prevent Back Pain

A person should work in harmony with the environment he works in to bring about his or her optimum productivity and promote his long-term well-being. This general principle is what drives ergonomics in advocating for a worker-friendly designed office or work environment. It is concerned with the fit or appropriateness between the user, equipment and their environments. User interaction with the equipment and workplace must be designed to fit the user.

 

Ergonomics prevents musculoskeletal injuries such as back pain through proper workstation setup that reduces physical and mental stress to the worker. Through optimizing the physical setup of your workstation and the equipment you use, you can reduce your chances of injuries or prevent them altogether.

 

How to Take Advantage of Ergonomics

 

An ergonomic workstation will help avoid many potentially harmful situations that lead to back injury. The following may be done towards this end:

 

  1. Arrange or lay your work out so you can sit or stand comfortably in a position that does not put stress on any specific area of your body like your back.
  2. Keep the workstation and the tools you use within your reach without having to frequently twist at the waist, bend, or lean.
  3. Choose workstation equipment or tools that fit your personal physical and comfort needs, such as:
    1. Desk:
      1. The top should be about elbow height. Too low desk surfaces can cause you to hunch your shoulder.
      2. Choose a desk with plenty of room for your legs and thighs to comfortably fit under the desk.
    2. Monitor:
      1. Position it about arm’s length. Too far away will let you lean forward.
      2. Position it directly in front of you so that your head, neck, and torso all face the same direction.
    3. Chair:
      1. Move or position the backrest to support your lower back.
      2. The backrest should be set so that the back of your knees do not touch the edge of the seat.
  • The height should be set so that the feet rest flat on the floor, your thighs parallel to the floor, with your knees bent at 90-degree angle.

 

Ergonomic Chair

 

The chair provides crucial support to your lower back and special attention must be given on the choice of the right chair. Some features that are necessary are:

 

  • Adjustability– The seat height must be adjustable.
  • Seat height range– The seat height must be adjustable for tall or short workers.
  • Backrest– The backrest must be adjustable vertically and in the frontward and backward directions. It must have a firm lumbar support.
  • Seat depth – Seats must suit the tallest and the shortest users.
  • Stability – The seat must be stable. A five-point base is best.

 

Having a properly designed chair is a good beginning but it may not bring the benefits expected if the user does not sit properly.

 

All the equipment and tools in the workstation must be ergonomic or “designed-in” to suit the users and minimize potential harm or injury to the worker, such as back pain. It is then up to the person to observe the safe practices and habits in using these tools in the workplace for him to fully benefit from them.