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Welcome to the Campanella Chiropractic & Wellness new patient center!

We understand that arriving at a doctors office for the first time can be nerve racking. Filling out paperwork, learning new faces and names, and getting to know your way around the office can be an overwhelming experience.

That’s why at Campanella Chiropractic & Wellness our aim is to remove any stressor causing unnessesary tension and to make you feel comfortable. In this area of the website you will be able to take care of items necessary for your visit prior to arriving, in the comfort of your own home.

Please feel free to schedule an appointment with us for a FREE EVALUATION!

New-patient-center

The following resources have been assembled to provide you with more chiropractic wellness care information available on the internet.

health_resources

Chiropractic Organizations

Wellness Coaching

“Chiropractic care has been linked to alleviating the pain associated with chemotherapy and constant surgeries that cancer patients undergo. The Mesothelioma Center is an up-to-date resource for all mesothelioma issues ranging from mesothelioma disease to diagnosis options.”

http://www.asbestos.com/

myth

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.

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.

Campanella Chiropractic & Wellness offers our patient form(s) online so they can be completed it in the convenience of your own home or office.

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  • Download the necessary form(s), print it out and fill in the required information.
  • Fax us your printed and completed form(s) or bring it with you to your appointment.

New Patient Form – Required

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Auto Accidents Form – Optional

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Workers Comp Form – Optional

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Member Wellness Registration Form – Optional

This form can be filled out to register for access to the member wellness section of our website. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter to keep up on current health issues and news and events in our office. You can print it out and bring it in to our office. The online newsletter sign-up is also on the right. We look forward to making your experience with our office and website more interactive and rewarding!

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Campanella Chiropractic & Wellness believes in the value of wellness care for you and your family and have maintained a pricing structure that allows care for all budgets. Our office participates in most insurance programs. We also accept auto accident and workers compensation cases. For patients who have little or no chiropractic insurance coverage, flexible payment programs can be arranged. To learn more about our payment options for chiropractic and wellness care, you can call our office directly.

Insurance

Most insurance plans are accepted at our office. We accept auto accident, workers compensation, personal injury and most health insurance plans, including Medicare. Since there are so many plans and coverage varies widely, please call us to find out if your plan covers care in our office. Our staff will verify and explain your benefits before treatment, at no charge.

No Insurance

For patients who have little or no chiropractic insurance coverage, flexible payment programs can be arranged. If you have no insurance or do not have chiropractic benefits there is still a way for you to receive the care you need. Many patients pay directly for care, as they discover chiropractic to be extremely cost-effective and affordable.

Family Plans

Our focus at Campanella Chiropractic & Wellness is to actively help you and your family in taking responsibility for your health, wellness, and disease management. We assist and guide you to take the time to care for the important people in your world: you and your family. In an effort to make living the wellness lifestyle as easy and affordable as possible, we can create a customized family plan that is specific to you and your family.

Health on a Budget

At Campanella Chiropractic & Wellness we’re convinced that a small amount of your time and money to care for your most important asset–your health–will be far less time consuming and expensive than trying to recover it. If you feel you do not have enough time or money to take care of yourself, please contact us–we can help! The last thing we want is for you to come to our wellness center in crisis. So please, we would like to encourage you to take your health very seriously. As the old saying goes, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. Unfortunately, too many people don’t discover how true that statement is until it is too late.

chiropractic_story

Like conventional medicine, chiropractic is based upon scientific principles of diagnosis through testing and empirical observations.

The word “chiropractic” comes from the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action) and literally means “done by hand.” Instead of prescribing drugs or performing surgeries, chiropractors use manual treatments of the spine and joints, exercise therapy, massage, trigger point therapy and lifestyle changes to allow the body’s natural state of health to fully express itself.

Like conventional medicine, chiropractic is based upon scientific principles of diagnosis through testing and empirical observations. Treatment is based upon the practitioner’s rigorous training and clinical experience. Unlike conventional medicine, which focuses on attempting to treat disease once it occurs, chiropractic attempts to improve the health of the individual in an effort to avoid illness in the first place. Most people would rather be healthy and avoid illness, if they could. This is one of the main reasons for the big upsurge in the popularity of chiropractic. People are recognizing the benefit of seeking an alternative to traditional medicine; one that will help them achieve and maintain optimal health.

Chiropractors understand that one of the main causes of pain and disease is the misalignment and abnormal motion of the vertebrae in the spinal column called a subluxation. Chiropractic works by removing these subluxations in the spine, thereby relieving pressure and irritation on the nerves, restoring joint mobility, and returning the body back to a state of normal function.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care is one of the most effective treatments for back pain, neck pain, headaches, whiplash, sports injuries and many other types of musculoskeletal problems. It has even been shown to be effective in reducing high blood pressure, decreasing the frequency of childhood ear infections and improving the symptoms of asthma.

The chiropractic approach to healthcare is holistic, meaning that it addresses your overall health. It recognizes that many lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet, rest and environment impact your health. For this reason, chiropractors recommend changes in lifestyle eating, exercise, and sleeping habits in addition to chiropractic care.

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 ‘to dislocate’ (luxare) and ‘somewhat or slightly’ (sub). So the term ‘vertebral subluxation’ literally means a slight dislocation (misalignment) of the bones in the spine. Although this term was adequate in the 1800s when much was still misunderstood about the human body, today the word ‘subluxation’ has changed in meaning to capture the complex of neurological, structural and functional changes that occur when a bone is ‘out of place.’ For this reason chiropractors usually refer to subluxations of the spine as the “Vertebral Subluxation Complex”, or “VSC” for short.

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 subluxation 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.

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.

Chiropractic is so much more than simply a means of relieving pain. Ultimately, the goal of the chiropractic treatment is to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. In order to accomplish this, we use a variety of treatment methods, including manual adjustments, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, massage, as well as counseling on lifestyle issues that impact your health. Since the body has a remarkable ability to heal itself and to maintain its own health, the primary focus is simply to remove those things which interfere with the body’s normal healing ability.


See also:

chiropractic_history

Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., published a text detailing the importance of manual manipulation. In one of his writings he declares, "Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases."

Chiropractic History

Manual manipulation of the spine and other joints in the body have been around for a long time. Ancient writings from China and Greece dating between 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. In fact, Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., published a text detailing the importance of manual manipulation. In one of his writings he declares, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases”. Evidence of manual manipulation of the body has been found among the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Syria, Japan, the Incas, Mayans and Native Americans.

The official beginning of the chiropractic profession dates back to 1895 when Daniel David Palmer restored the hearing of Harvey Lillard by manually adjusting his neck and something told him that he was into something good. Two years later, in 1897, Dr. Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, which continues to train doctors of chiropractic to this day.

Throughout the twentieth century, the profession of chiropractic has gained considerable recognition and scientific support. Research studies that have clearly demonstrated the value of chiropractic care in reducing health care costs, improving recovery rates and increasing patient satisfaction. In fact, one very large study conducted in Canada, the 1993 Manga Study, concluded that chiropractic care would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually in work disability payments and direct health care costs. Several major studies conducted by the U.S. Government, the Rand Corporation and others, have all demonstrated the incredible value of chiropractic care.


chiropractic_how_it_works

Spinal adjustments to correct subluxations are what make doctors of chiropractic unique in comparison with any other type of health care professional. The term “adjustment” refers to the specific force chiropractors apply to vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally

Chiropractic History

Spinal adjustments to correct subluxations are what make doctors of chiropractic unique in comparison with any other type of health care professional. The term “adjustment” refers to the specific force chiropractors apply to vertebrae that have abnormal movement patterns or fail to function normally.

The objective of the chiropractic adjustment is to reduce the subluxation, which results in an increased range of motion, reduced nerve irritability, reduced muscle spasm, reduced pain and improved function.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 in the spinal joints that sounds like a “crack.” The sound sometimes surprises people the first time they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the person 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 the person having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments. Some adjusting techniques are designed to move the spine in a way that does not produce the audible sound at all. Chiropractic is so much more than simply a means of relieving pain.

Ultimately, the goal of receiving adjustments should be to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. In order to accomplish this, chiropractors can use and recommend a variety of natural healing methods, including adjustments, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, and counseling on lifestyle issues that impact your health. The primary focus is simply to remove those things which interfere with the body’s natural normal healing ability.The adjustment of the spine is the primary objective of a chiropractor. There are some chiropractors who also adjust the extremities and use other forms of physiological therapeutics including the use of electrical stimulation, ultrasound, traction, neuromuscular re-education, and a variety of manual therapies. Increasingly, chiropractors’ offices are becoming full service wellness centers providing a variety of wellness services. A new trend that chiropractic wellness centers offer is wellness coaching. Some programs offer coaching at the wellness center, while others offer wellness coaching via telephone, email, or online instant messenger in an effort to make it more convenient. Chiropractic wellness centers may offer seminars in a variety of subjects such as spinal alignment, improved posture, and ergonomics, as well as programs on weight management, relaxation, smoking cessation, nutrition, and exercise. Some even offer pre- and post-natal healthy baby programs. The increasing number of chiropractic centers providing extensive wellness programs makes it convenient and affordable for just about anyone to adopt a wellness lifestyle.Chiropractors are doctors who understand that within each of us is an innate wisdom or healthy energy that will express itself as perfect health and well-being if we allow it to. Therefore, the focus of chiropractic care is to remove any physiological blocks to the proper expression of the body’s innate wisdom. Once these interferences are reduced, improved health is the natural consequence. Who wouldn’t want that?

chiropractic_spine_success

If your lifestyle does not include enough motion, your body cannot function efficiently. You may not be as physically healthy and could suffer from a wide variety of physical ailments.

The human body is an amazingly complex system of bones, joints, muscles, and nerves, designed to work together to accomplish one thing: motion. Remember that motion is life. Everything about the human body is designed with motion in mind: nerve fibers stimulate the muscles to contract, muscles contract to move the bones, bones move around joints, and the nerve system controls it all.

As a matter of fact, research has shown that motion is so critical to our body’s health that a lack of motion has a detrimental affect on everything from digestion to our emotional state, immune function, our ability to concentrate, how well we sleep and even to how long we live. If your lifestyle does not include enough motion, your body cannot function efficiently. First, you will not be as physically healthy and will suffer from a wide variety of physical ailments, ranging from headaches to high blood pressure. Second, you will not be as productive in your life because of reduced energy levels and the lack of ability to mentally focus. Third, because you have less energy, your activity level will tend to drop off even further over time, creating a downward spiral of reduced energy and less activity until you get to a point where even the demands of a sedentary job leave you physically exhausted at the end of the day.


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chiropractic_balance

Balance

Balance and coordination exist when the body is used for what it is designed for.

Balance and coordination exist when the body is used for what it is designed for. Exercises such as walking, swimming, yoga, pilates, bicycling, martial arts and bodybuilding all help to improve muscle coordination. Activities such as working at a desk, reading, and watching television do the opposite for the body. Without realizing it, most people have extreme stress in their muscles. This muscular tension contributes to muscle tightness, restricted movement, and joint pain. This occurs simply because they sit for many hours every day and do not perform regular exercises that will work to keep all of the muscles in their body in balance.


chiropractic_movement

Movement

Maintaining mobility is critical in order to live free from pain and disability. Maintaining good mobility is not difficult, but it does not happen on its own.

Imagine waking up one morning with a frozen shoulder where you couldn’t move your upper arm more than a few inches in any direction. How much would that impact your ability to do your job? How much would that affect your ability to drive your car or even to dress yourself? How much would that affect your ability to concentrate on anything other than your shoulder? Obviously, if your shoulder did not move correctly, it would have a dramatic impact on your life. Well, the same is true with movement in every part of your body. If things aren’t moving the way they are supposed to move, it will have a negative impact on your ability to function at work, take care of the demands of everyday life, and even your ability to concentrate.


bonsai

Posture

Like Japanese artists tending to a bonsai tree, chiropractors can adjust the spine to achieve greater spinal alignment.

The ancient Japanese art form of growing Bonsai trees is fascinating. Bonsai trees are essentially normal shrubs that have been consistently stressed in a particular way for a long time to create a posture which would never be found in nature. Depending on how the tree is stressed while it grows, it may end up looking like a miniature version of a full-sized tree, or it may end up looking like a wild tangle of branches with twists and loops. To most people, “good posture” simply means sitting and standing up straight. Few of us realize the importance of posture to our health and performance.

The human body craves alignment. When we are properly aligned, our bones, not our muscles, support our weight, reducing effort and strain. The big payoff with proper posture is that we feel healthier, have more energy, and move gracefully. So while the word “posture” may conjure up images of book-balancing charm-school girls, it is not just about standing up straight. It’s about being aware of and connected to every part of yourself.

Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting proper rest and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Good posture is a way of doing things with more energy, less stress and fatigue. Without good posture, you cannot really be physically fit. Without good posture, you can actually damage your spine every time you exercise.

Ideally, our bones stack up one upon the other: the head rests directly on top of the spine, which sits directly over the pelvis, which sits directly over the knees and ankles. But if you spend hours every day sitting in a chair, if you hunch forward or balance your weight primarily on one leg, the muscles of your neck and back have to carry the weight of the body rather than it being supported by the spine. The resulting tension and joint pressure can affect you not only physically, but emotionally, too, — from the predictable shoulder and back pain to headaches, short attention span, and depression.

Poor posture distorts the alignment of bones, chronically tenses muscles, and contributes to stressful conditions such as loss of vital lung capacity, increased fatigue, reduced blood and oxygen to the brain, limited range of motion, stiffness of joints, pain syndromes, reduced mental alertness, and decreased productivity at work. According to the Nobel Laureate Dr. Roger Sperry, “the more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism, and healing.”

The most immediate problem with poor posture is that it creates a lot of chronic muscle tension as the weight of the head and upper body must be supported by the muscles instead of the bones. This effect becomes more pronounced the further your posture deviates from your body’s center of balance.

To illustrate this idea further, think about carrying a briefcase. If you had to carry a briefcase with your arms outstretched in front of you, it would not take long before the muscles of your shoulders would be completely exhausted. This is because carrying the briefcase far away from your center of balance places undue stress on your shoulder muscles. If you held the same briefcase down at your side, your muscles would not fatigue as quickly, because the briefcase is closer to your center of balance and therefore the weight is supported by the bones of the skeleton, rather than the muscles.

In some parts of the world, women can carry big pots full of water from distant water sources back to their homes. They are able to carry these heavy pots a long distance without significant effort because they balance them on the top of their heads, thereby carrying them at their center of balance and allowing the strength of their skeleton to bear the weight, rather than their muscles.

Correcting bad posture and the physical problems that result can be accomplished in two ways. The first is by eliminating as much “bad” stress from your body as possible. Bad stress includes all the factors, habits, or stressors that cause your body to deviate from your structural center. Bad stress can result from a poorly adjusted workstation at work, from not having your seat adjusted correctly in your car, or even from carrying too much weight around in a heavy purse or backpack.

The second is by applying “good” stress on the body in an effort to move your posture back toward your center of balance. This is accomplished through a series of exercises, stretches, adjustments, and changes to your physical environment, all designed to help correct your posture. Getting your body back to its center of balance by improving your posture is critically important to improving how you feel.


strength_chiropractic

Strength

Your muscles function much like the wires that hold up a tall radio or television antenna. If the wires are equally strong on all sides, the antenna will stand up straight.

Strong muscles keep your body upright and allow you to move. Good muscle strength and balance are critical to maintain proper posture and minimize muscle tension. Your muscles function much like the wires that hold up a tall radio or television antenna. If the wires are equally strong on all sides, the antenna will stand up straight. If one of the wires becomes weak or breaks, the antenna will either lean to the side or collapse. The same is true with your body. If the muscles on all sides of your spine are balanced and strong, your body will stand up straight and strong. Unfortunately, most people don’t have balanced and strong muscles – due, once again, to lack of exercise and to misalignments of the spine.

Muscles are very efficient at getting stronger or weaker in response to the demands placed on them. Since most of us sit at a desk, drive a car, and sit on the sofa at home, many of our muscles are not challenged. Consequently, they become weak. At the same time, the muscles that are constantly used throughout the day become strong. This imbalance of muscle strength contributes to poor posture and chronic muscle tension. Left unchecked, muscle imbalances tend to get worse, not better, because of a phenomenon called “reciprocal inhibition.”

Reciprocal inhibition literally means “shutting down the opposite.” For all of the muscles that move your body in one direction, there are opposing muscles that move the body in the opposite direction. In order to keep these muscles from working against each other, when the body contracts one muscle group, it forces the opposing group to relax — it shuts down the opposite muscles. When consistently only one set of muscles is used, the opposing group, from being continuously shut-down, is liable to atrophy.

This phenomenon is especially important to people who work at a desk, because all day long the same muscles in the upper back and chest area of the body are used. This means that all day long the body is essentially shutting down the opposite muscles in the middle back. Over time, the muscles in the middle back become very weak because they are not being worked like the muscles in the front. This contributes to poor posture and chronic muscle spasms and pain. The easiest way to correct this imbalance is to do specific exercises which will increase the strength of the back muscles, along with manual therapy and chiropractic care. Once the muscles in your middle back are strong, the tightness and poor posture simply disappear.

chiropractic_today

It is important to note that chiropractors seek the origin of illness in order to eliminate it, instead of simply treating the symptoms.

Chiropractic doctors practice natural, drugless, non-invasive health care and rely on the body’s ability to self-heal. Sounds ideal, but just how does it work?

We look at the whole picture

Like other health-care providers, we follow a standard routine to gain information about the patient. We consult, review the case history, conduct a physical examination, and we may request laboratory analyses and/or x-rays. Unlike other health-care providers, however, chiropractic physicians also conduct a careful analysis of the patient’s structure and pay particular attention to the spine. We also ask you about your life— Do you eat well? Exercise at all? How do you deal with stress? Do you have children? What do you do for work? And so on.

We seek the origin of the problem

Using this information, a diagnosis is made. Included in the diagnosis is the probable reason for your pain or discomfort. It is important to note that chiropractors seek the origin of the illness in order to eliminate it-we do not simply treat the symptoms. If your roof is leaking, do you simply catch the drips in a bucket for years on end, or do you repair the roof to prevent it from leaking? Similarly, if the migraine headache you’ve had all week is being caused by misaligned vertebra and an irritated nerve, do you continue to take pain killers indefinitely, or do you realign the vertebra to prevent the pain? You get the picture.

We fix the origin of the problem

Chiropractors have a term for misalignments: subluxations. A vertebral subluxation is a misalignment of the bones that protect the spinal cord. It’s a leak in the roof. Or a kink in the wiring of your nervous system. The severity of the subluxation can vary, and there are a number of potential contributing factors that can be physical, emotional, mental, or chemical. The subluxation can be caused by any number of incidents, from birth trauma to an auto accident to simple repetition or over-use.


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chiropractic_effects

Effects of Chiropractic Care

Health is not merely the absence of disease. The body has an innate intelligence that runs a series of complex systems that rely on proper balance and coordination in order to function correctly.

Wellness requires you to be a proactive agent for your body. You need to treat it well and not wait until you hurt before you decide to take care of it. As we’ve said before health is not merely the absence of disease any more than wealth is an absence of poverty. Let’s remember health is not simply “feeling fine,” for we know that problems may progress for years without causing any symptoms whatsoever. As you know by now, heart disease for example, often develops unnoticed for many years before it strikes: in fact, the first symptom of heart disease that many people experience is a heart attack or death.

Now let us be clear that we are not under the illusion that everyone who creates a wellness lifestyle will be immune from pain, sickness, and disease. There are many people who do everything right and still get sick and die. Some will argue that there are many people who do everything wrong and live long, seemingly healthy lives. However, since we have no way to predict who is who, we have to do our very best to reduce our risk and promote our health.

Over the years in private practice, we have seen how neglecting their health has drained people of thousands of dollars, sometimes to the point of bankruptcy. We have seen people who have saved up and waited their entire lives to take a dream trip or to send their kids to college, whose savings and dreams were siphoned away to pay for health care expenses. We have seen people with work injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or neck/back pain who have been unable to work, unable to drive, and even unable to sleep without pain. We have seen family members whose entire lives become dominated by the necessity to care for another family member who is sick or in pain. The effects of long-term illness or disability on a family can be devastating; in many cases, it happens to families who are already over-stressed, under-loved, and emotionally maxed out.

On the other hand, We have seen people who have been unemployed due to their pain or health condition choose to adopt new healthy habits: within a short period of time they are back at work making money, taking care of themselves and their families again, and are able to put away savings for their retirement.

We have heard every excuse you can imagine as to why people believe they can’t afford the time or money to invest in their health. But the truth is that you must invest in your health today, or disease may bankrupt you in every way later. If you don’t have the time and money to improve your health while you feel good, what makes you think you will have the time and money to improve your health once you have lost it? As Anthony Robbins once said, “you can make time for wellness now or you can make time for sickness later.” The choice is yours.

With regards to your wellness, the three main ideas that we really want to drive home . . .

  • a. Health is not merely the absence of disease.
  • b. The body has an innate intelligence that runs a series of complex systems that rely on proper balance and coordination in order to function correctly.
  • c. By living a wellness lifestyle you can enrich your life with vibrant health.

wellness_medical_care

Wellness vs Medical Care

When the body heals and maintains itself well, there is another level of health that goes beyond “asymptomatic” or “pain-free” which reveals an opportunity for vitality.

What’s the main difference between wellness care and standard medical care? Wellness care seeks to turn on the natural healing ability, not by adding something to the system, but by removing anything that might interfere with normal function, trusting that the body would know 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

If a patient has high blood pressure, a standard medical approach would be to choose 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.


chiropractic_is

What is Chiropractic?

Both infants and adults can benefit from ongoing chiropractic care. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.

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, physical therapy, 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).

  • a. 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.

  • b. Nervous 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.

  • c. 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.

  • d. 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.

  • e. 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 subluxation 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.


Activator:

A spring-loaded adjusting instrument that utilizes an extremely rapid pulse to help restore normal functioning in the body.

Acupressure:

The practice of applying; pressure on parts of the body to relieve pain.

Acupuncture:

The practice of inserting fine needles on specific meridian points for the purpose of relieving tension, stress, and pain. Highly useful in the treatment and relief of back pain.

Addiction:

Psychological, emotional, or physical dependence on the effects of a drug.

Adjustments:

A form of chiropractic technique involving the application of gentle, yet firm, pressure to a bone. Adjustments employ a high velocity, low amplitude thrust. The goal of any adjustment is to restore the bone to its natural, or original, position.

Adrenal glands:

Small glands located on the kidneys that produce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline:

A hormone that stimulates metabolism, increases alertness and increases blood pressure.

Aerobic Exercises:

These kinds of exercises generally involve large muscle groups and foster a strong and healthy heart and lung function.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome):

The final and most serious stage of HIV disease, which causes severe damage to the immune system. AIDS begins when a person with HIV infection has a CD4 cell count below 200. (CD4 is also called “T-cell”, a type of immune cell.) AIDS is also defined by numerous opportunistic infections and cancers that occur in the presence of HIV infection. AIDS is the fifth leading cause of death among persons between ages 25 and 44 in the United States.

Alternative Medicine:

The use of various non-drug, non-surgical related therapies. Using natural means of treatment.

Amino acid:

The basic unit from which proteins are made. There are two classes of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids are those that cannot be manufactured by the body and must be attained from the diet. Non-essential amino acids are those that the body can synthesize from other amino acids.

Anabolism:

The metabolic process of building new tissue. Typically used in relation to building muscle, ligaments and tendons.

Analgesics:

Medicines that are used to relieve pain – aspirin is an example.

Anesthesiologist:

A physician who specializes in giving drugs or other agents that block, prevent, or relieve pain.

Ankylosing Spondylitis:

A chronic, progressive, rheumatic disease of the spine that causes calcification of the spinal ligaments, resulting in a loss of movement.

Annulus fibrosis:

The tough outer layer of the intervertebral disc. Cartilage-like material formed in a series of rings surrounding the nucleus pulposus (soft center) of a disc.

Arthritis:

Inflammation of a joint; most arthritis is caused by degenerative changes related to aging. Arthritis affects not only joints but also connective tissue throughout the body can be involved, as well.

Autonomic nervous system:

The part of the nervous system that is responsible for controlling the involuntary functions in the body, such as digestion, metabolism, blood pressure, etc.

Back Extension:

Backward bending of the spine.

Bariatric surgery:

Surgery on the stomach and/or intestines to help the patient with extreme obesity lose weight. Bariatric surgery is a last-resort weight-loss method used for people who have a body mass index (BMI) in excess of 40.

Basal energy expenditure (BEE):

Also known as the basal metabolic rate.; The number of calories that your body needs for basic processes such as digestion, breathing, brain function, etc.

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA):

A way to estimate the amount of body weight that is fat and nonfat. Nonfat weight comes from bone, muscle, body water, organs, and other body tissues. BIA works by measuring how difficult it is for a harmless electrical current to move through the body. The more fat a person has, the harder it is for electricity to flow through the body. The less fat a person has, the easier it is for electricity to flow through the body. By measuring the flow of electricity, one can estimate body fat percent.

Body composition score (BCS):

A measure that combines body weight, percentage of body fat, waist circumference and hip circumference into one score. The BCS is a more accurate measure of weight loss progress than simply measuring body weight.

Body mass index (BMI):

A measure of body weight relative to height. BMI can be used to determine if people are at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. A body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 up to 25 refers to a healthy weight, a BMI of 25 up to 30 refers to overweight and a BMI of 30 or higher refers to obese.

Bodywork:

A general term that relates to a wide variety of hands-on therapies, such as massage and some movement therapies

Bulging Disc:

The annulus portion of the lumbar disc weakens causing the nucleus to press against it resulting in the annulus pinching or pressing against a nerve causing pain.

Bursitis:

A condition in which the bursa, or fluid filled sacks that cushion joints, become swollen.

Calorie:

A unit of energy in food. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram. Proteins have 4 calories per gram. Fat has 9 calories per gram.

Carbohydrate:

A major source of energy in the diet. There are two kinds of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are sugars, while complex carbohydrates include both starches and fiber. Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram. They are found naturally in foods such as breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, and milk and dairy products. Foods such as sugar cereals, soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit punch, lemonade, cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream, and candy are very rich in sugars.

Cardiovascular system:

The system in your body responsible for distributing blood throughout the body. The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, arteries, capillaries and veins.

Catabolism:

The metabolic process of breaking down tissues. Typically refers to the breakdown of muscle, bone, ligaments and tendons.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

A progressive and sometimes painful joint disorder caused by a compression of the median nerve of your hand. The compression causes swelling, which exerts pressure on the nerves.

Cartilage:

A connective tissue that lines the ends of bones and most joints. It lines the facet joints of the spine.

Cauda equina:

A region at the lower end of the spinal column in which nerve roots branch out in a fashion that resembles a horse’s tail.

Cervical Spine:

The upper portion of your spine; also called the neck.

Chinese Medicine:

The general term to describe the numerous techniques utilized in China for many thousands of years to heal bodily ailments. These may include massage, herbs, acupuncture and Qi Gong.

Chiropractic:

Comes from the Greek words, “chiro,” meaning hand, and “practic,” meaning practice, or treatment. Chiropractic is a form of health care that focuses primarily on restoring normal position, motion and function in the body’s structures; especially the spine.

Chiropractor:

Also known as a doctor of chiropractic (D.C.), diagnoses and treats a broad range of physical conditions in patients with muscular, nervous, and skeletal problems, especially the spine.

Chronic Pain:

Pain that has lasted for more than three months generally having significant psychological and emotional affects and limiting a person’s ability to fully function.

Cholesterol:

A fat-like substance that is made by the body and is found naturally in animal foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Foods high in cholesterol include liver and organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy fats. Cholesterol is carried in the blood. When cholesterol levels are too high, some of the cholesterol is deposited on the walls of the blood vessels. Over time, the deposits can build up causing the blood vessels to narrow and blood flow to decrease. The cholesterol in food, like saturated fat, tends to raise blood cholesterol, which increases the risk for heart disease. Total blood cholesterol levels above 240 mg/dl are considered high. Levels between 200-239 mg/dl are considered borderline high. Levels under 200 mg/dl are considered desirable.

Cortisol:

A hormone that is released from the adrenal glands in response to stress that facilitates fat storage and has a catabolic affect on muscle and connective tissue.

Coccyx:

The small bone at the lower tip of the spine. Also called the tailbone, a triangular-shaped bone at the bottom of the lumbar area.

Cognitive Restructuring:

A therapy whose emphasis is on learning to recognize and then change, or restructure thought processes, reframing thoughts in less stressful terms. Learning to make molehills out of mountains.

Complementary Medicine:

The use of various non-drug, non-surgical related therapies. Using natural means of treatment.

Compressed Nerve:

Material from a bulging or Herniated disk pushes against a nerve in the spinal cord causing severe pain.

Computed Tomography (CT) scan:

A sophisticated x-ray using a computer to produce a detailed cross-sectional three-dimensional picture of the bone and discs.

Cordotomy:

Surgery to cut some of the fibers of the spinal cord; used to relieve pain.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy:

A manual therapy focusing on manipulation of the bones in the skull and sacrum.

Cyclooxygenase:

An enzyme that comes in two forms, I and II. Type I maintains body functions. Type II is associated with the development of inflammation. Aspirin inhibits I and II. COX-2 drugs inhibit Type II only.

Degenerative Arthritis:

The wearing away of cartilage that protects and cushions joints including those in the spine, hands and feet (see Osteoarthritis).

Degenerative Disc Disease:

A general term applied to degeneration of the lumbar spinal discs which serve as cushions between the spinal vertebrae, resulting in a narrowing of the disc space.

Diabetes Mellitus:

A disease that occurs when the body is not able to use blood glucose (sugar). Blood sugar levels are controlled by insulin, a hormone in the body that helps move glucose (sugar) from the blood to muscles and other tissues. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body does not respond to the insulin that is made.

Disc Annulus:

The outer lining of a disk (see Annulus Fibrosis).

Disc Nucleus:

The inner core of a disk (see Nucleus Pulposus).

Discectomy:

Surgical removal of part or the entire herniated intervertebral disc.

Diet:

What a person eats and drinks. Any type of eating plan.

Electrical nerve stimulation:

A type of physical therapy treatment that utilizes various frequencies and wave forms of electrical current, which have therapeutic effects on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.

Electromyography (EMG):

Procedure that tests nerves and muscles providing information to help determine if surgery may be required.

Endorphins:

Chemical messengers released by the body during vigorous exercise that stimulate the brain to feel good, happy and relaxed.

Energy expenditure:

The amount of energy, measured in calories, that a person uses. Calories are used by people to breathe, circulate blood, digest food, and be physically active.

Epidural Injection:

Into the spinal column but outside of the spinal cord.

Exercise:

Exercise is physical activity that is planned or structured. It involves repetitive bodily movement done to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness: cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, endurance, flexibility and body composition.

Exercise Therapy:

A form of chiropractic treatment used to help manage pain, rehabilitate damaged soft tissues, such as muscles, ligament, and tendons, and restore normal range of motion and function.

Extensor Muscles:

Muscles that cause your joints to straighten, such as the back and gluteus muscles that help keep your back straight.

Fat:

A major source of energy in the diet. All food fats have 9 calories per gram. Fat helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, and carotenoids. Some kinds of fats, especially saturated fats, [see definition] may cause blood cholesterol to increase and increase the risk for heart disease. Other fats, such as unsaturated fats do not increase blood cholesterol. Fats that are in foods are combinations of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fatty acids.

Facet joints:

The joints above and below each intervertebral disc, allowing the spine to bend. The paired joints located in the posterior portion of the vertebral bodies connecting the spine. These joints are part of the stabilizing mechanism for the spine.

Facet Joint Syndrome:

Pain resulting from degeneration, wear, pressure exerted on and inflammation of the facet joints, which are the joints at the back of each vertebrae linking the vertebrae together.

Fascia:

A band of connective tissue separating muscles and organs in the body.

Fibromyalgia:

Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain in muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.

Fibrositis:

Pain arising from damaged tendons or muscles.

Foraminal Stenosis:

Narrowing of a vertebral opening.

Flexor Muscles:

The muscles that cause your joints to bend, such as your biceps muscle on the front of your upper arm or your abdominal muscles.

Foraminal Stenosis:

Narrowing of a vertebral opening.

Fusion:

In regard to the spine, a surgical procedure to unite two or more vertebrae with bone graft with or without metal supports resulting in immobilization of that portion.

Gestational diabetes:

A type of diabetes mellitus that can occur when a woman is pregnant. In the second half of her pregnancy, a woman may have glucose (sugar) in her blood at a higher than normal level. In about 95 percent of cases, blood sugar returns to normal after the pregnancy is over. Women who develop gestational diabetes, however, are at risk for developing Type II diabetes later in life.

Ghrelin:

A hormone released from the stomach and the small intestine that creates the sensation of hunger.

Glucagon:

A hormone released from the pancreas that elevates blood sugar by stimulating the release of glucose stores in the liver and muscle.

Glucose:

A building block for most carbohydrates. Digestion causes carbohydrates to break down into glucose. After digestion, glucose is carried in the blood and goes to body cells where it is used for energy or stored.

Glycemic index:

A measure of a food’s ability to raise the body’s blood glucose level. Foods that have a low glycemic index do not raise blood glucose levels to nearly the extent of high glycemic index foods.

Golfer’s Elbow:

A type of elbow pain that originates near the inside part of the bony protrusion. This type of pain is also caused by a tear or rupture in the tendon supporting the elbow bone.

Healthy Weight:

As compared to overweight or obese, a body weight that is less likely to be linked with any weight-related health problems such as Type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, or others. A person with a body fat percentage between 18% – 22% (depending on age) are considered to be at a healthy weight.

Heat Therapy:

A form of therapy often used in patients who have chronic, or long-lasting pain. Heat therapy can involve many kinds of methods, from simple heating pads, wraps, and warm gel packs, to sophisticated techniques such as therapeutic ultrasound. While ice therapy is used to reduce swelling, heat therapy is used to relax the muscles and increase circulation. Both kinds of therapy help reduce pain.

Herniated Disc:

A disc that protrudes from its normal position between two vertebrae, due to an injury to the annulus; frequently associated with the nucleus of the disc oozing out of the center of the disk.

High blood pressure:

See Hypertension.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL):

A form of cholesterol that circulates in the blood. Commonly called “good” cholesterol. High HDL lowers the risk of heart disease. An HDL of 60 mg/dl or greater is considered high and is protective against heart disease. An HDL less than 40 mg/dl is considered low and increases the risk for developing heart disease.

Hip circumference:

A measurement of the hips, including the widest portion of the buttocks, used in conjunction with the waist circumference, body weight and percent body fat to calculate the body composition score.

Hypertension:

A resting blood pressure that is greater than or equal to 140/90 mm Hg. Hypertension is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Hypothalamus:

A small area of the brain that is a main control center for regulating eating and sleeping behavior in humans. It has binding sites for several hormones including ghrelin and leptin.

Ice Massage:

A form of therapy involving the application of ice to treat many kinds of injuries, including those associated with back or neck pain. Ice causes the veins in the affected tissue area to constrict. This reduces the flow of blood while acting as kind of anesthetic to numb the pain. But when the ice is removed, the veins compensate by opening large, allowing a large volume of blood to rush to the affected area. The blood brings with it important chemicals that aid in the healing process.

Instrument Adjustment:

A form of chiropractic adjustment using a spring-loaded device called an Activator.

Interferential Current (IFC):

A form of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy in which high-frequency electrical impulses are introduced deep into the tissues near the center of the pain.

Ideal body weight:

The weight that your body would be if you had a 20% body fat. Calculated by multiplying your current lean body mass by 1.2.

Imagery:

A method of pain relief that uses mental images produced by memory or imagination.

Insulin:

A hormone in the body that helps move glucose from the blood to muscles and other tissues. Insulin controls blood sugar levels.

Inflammation:

A pathologic process associated with redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function. This process destroys tissues but is also associated with the repair and healing of body structures.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

A condition that is characterized by a combination of abdominal pain and altered bowel function.

Kinesiology:

The study of muscles and their relation to movement and pain relief.

Kyphosis:

Normal curve of the thoracic spine. Also describes an excess curvature of the thoracic spine called a “dowager’s hump.” This is a common occurrence in people with osteoporosis.

Laminectomy:

A surgical procedure that removes a portion of the plate that serves as the back of the spinal canal. This decompression procedure is performed for treatment of herniated intervertebral discs and spinal stenosis.

Leptin:

A hormone produced by the small intestine that signals the brain to stop eating. People who are overweight will often have a diminished leptin response in the brain.

Ligament:

Strong, dense bands made of connective tissue that stabilize a joint, connecting bone to bone across the joint.

Lipoprotein:

Compounds of protein that carry fats and fat-like substances, such as cholesterol, in the blood.

Local anesthetics:

Drugs that block nerve conduction in the region where it is applied.

Lordosis:

The curve in the cervical and lumbar spine. An abnormal accentuated arch in the lower back. Also known as swayback.

Low back pain:

Pain at the base of the spine that can be caused by several factors.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL):

A form of cholesterol that circulates in the blood. Commonly called “bad” cholesterol. High LDL increases the risk of heart disease. An LDL less than 100 mg/dl is considered optimal,100-129 mg/dl is considered near or above optimal, 130-159 mg/dl is considered borderline high, 160-189 mg/dl is considered high, and 190 mg/dl or greater is considered very high.

Lumbalgia:

A general term meaning low back pain (See Low Back Pain).

Lumbar:

The lower five weight bearing vertebrae that are located between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacrum.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):

Magnetic radio frequency energy used to see internal structures of the body, including bone, discs, and nerves without the use of x-rays. Overall, the most useful technique in the investigation of spinal abnormalities.

Manipulation:

Manual movement of the spinal bones or joints to restore normal function.

Massage Therapy:

A general term to describe various bodywork techniques.

Maximum heart rate:

A person’s maximum heart rate is based on their age. An estimate of a person’s maximum age-related heart rate can be obtained by subtracting the person’s age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum heart rate would be calculated as: 220 – 50 = 170 beats per minute. The maximum heart rate is important for measuring whether exercise is classified as moderate-intensity (50% – 70% of maximum) or vigorous-intensity (70% – 85% of maximum).

Meditation:

A general term for numerous practices where one focuses awareness on one thing such as breath or a short phrase in order to quiet the mind.

Metabolism:

All of the processes that occur in the body that turn the food you eat into energy your body can use.

Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity:

To be classified as moderate-intensity, physical activity generally requires sustained, rhythmic movements of an intense enough level to elevate heart rate to 50% – 70% of maximum heart rate. A person should feel some exertion but should be able to carry on a conversation comfortably during the activity.

Monounsaturated fat:

Fats that are in foods are combinations of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fat is found in canola oil, olives and olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Eating food that has more monounsaturated fat instead of saturated fat may help lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk. However, it has the same number of calories as other types of fat, and may still contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess.

Muscle Tension:

A state where the muscles are in a general state of contraction.

Muscle Spasm:

A sudden violent involuntary contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles. A muscle spasm is attended by pain and interference with function, producing involuntary movement and distortion.

Muscles:

Soft tissues that provide strength and assist with motor ability, or movement. Spinal muscles support your spine as it bends and flexes.

Myofascial Pain:

Referred pain caused by trigger points, or hard nodules in muscle tissue.

Myofascial Release:

Releasing the fascia (the sheath around a muscle) by gentle movements.

Narcotic:

Pain relieving drug related in action and structure to the opiates. A powerful pain-relieving drug associated with potential to cause significant alteration of mood and dependence following repeated administration.

Nerve:

The body’s communication system; nerves carry messages back and forth between the brain and all body parts.

Nerve Block:

Pain relief method in which an anesthetic is injected into a nerve.

Nerve roots:

Nerve projections from the spinal cord.

Neurologist:

A physician who specializes in treating diseases of the nervous system.

Neuropeptide Y:

Is the key hunger transmitter in the brain. It signals the hypothalamus to eat. The action of neuropeptide Y is the opposite of that of leptin.

Neurosurgeon:

A physician who specializes in surgery on the brain, nerves, and spinal cord.

Neurotransmitter:

A chemical produced in the brain that sends messages between nerve cells.

Nucleus pulposus:

Soft center of an intervertebral disc, made up of gel-like substance.

Nutrition:

The relationship of food to the well-being of the body.

Obesity:

Having an excessive amount of body fat. A person is considered obese if he or she has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater.

Oleylethanolamine (OEA):

A fatty acid found in some foods that sends a strong signal to the brain to stop eating. A powerful satiety factor and appetite suppressant.

Opiate:

Pain-killing drug chemically related to opium; also called a narcotic (see Narcotics).

Orthopedic Surgeon:

A doctor who specializes in diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

Osteoarthritis:

Also called “degenerative arthritis” mostly affecting middle-aged and elderly men and women. In some, osteoarthritis may affect the spine’s facet joints, making it extremely painful to bend or twist. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to break down and away from the joints. Stripped of their protective material, the joints begin rubbing against each other, causing pain and impeding movement. This action further irritates the surrounding nerves. Advanced forms of spinal osteoarthritis lead to disc collapse and other problems.

Osteopathic Medicine:

Particular attention is paid to muscles, joints, bones, and nerves through defined osteopathic manipulations.

Osteoporosis:

A disease characterized by the loss of bone density, resulting in brittleness; most commonly affecting the spinal vertebrae, wrists and hips.

Osteophytes:

Additional bone material, or overgrowths, that have been attributed to a wide variety of ailments. Also called bone spurs, osteophytes are manufactured by your body in response to a breakdown in existing bony structures. Sometimes, bone spurs can exert pressure on nerves, and this leads to pain.

Overload principle:

Strength training term that refers to the phenomenon that muscles only grow in strength if they are pushed to near maximum effort – overloaded.

Overuse injuries:

Injuries that occur during the course of everyday activities, such as housework or exercise. Symptoms may include pain, muscle spasms, and stiffness.

Overweight:

Carrying too much body fat. (see Obesity)

Pancreas:

A gland that makes enzymes that help the body break down and use nutrients in food. It also produces the hormones insulin and glucagon, releasing these into the bloodstream to help the body control blood sugar levels.

Pedometer:

A small device that counts each step taken, total distance walked, or other related measures. It is usually worn on the waistband or in a pocket.

Piriformis syndrome:

A condition caused by the sciatic nerve getting pinched as it exits the spinal column. (Sometimes, it can mimic the symptoms of sciatica.) The pinching is sometimes caused by muscles spasms. Piriformis syndrome sometimes causes pain along the back of the thigh to the knee, or loss of feeling in the soles of the feet.

Plantar fasciitis:

Inflammation of the ligament running from the front of the heel bone through the bottom of the foot. Repetitive motions such as quick stops and starts during sports, or long distance running, have sometimes been associated with Plantar fasciitis.

Phenylethanolamine (PEA):

A chemical found in chocolate that elevates mood. It is thought to be the compound that causes chocolate cravings.

Physical activity:

Any form of exercise or movement. Physical activity may include planned activity such as walking, running, basketball, or other sports. Physical activity may also include other daily activities such as household chores, yard work, walking the dog, etc.

Physical fitness:

The measure of a person’s ability to perform physical activities that require endurance, strength, or flexibility and is determined by a combination of regular activity and genetically inherited ability.

Physical Therapy:

The health profession that treats pain in muscles, nerves, joints, and bones with exercise, electrical stimulation, hydrotherapy, and the use of massage, heat, cold, and electrical devices.

Polyunsaturated Fat:

A highly unsaturated fat that is liquid at room temperature. Fats that are in foods are combinations of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats are found in greatest amounts in corn, soybean, and safflower oils, and many types of nuts. They have the same number of calories as other types of fat, and may still contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess.

Protein:

One of the three nutrients that provides calories to the body. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build many parts of the body, including muscle, bone, skin, and blood. Protein provides 4 calories per gram and is found in foods like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, and tofu.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):

The level of dietary intake of essential nutrients considered to be sufficient to meet the minimum nutritional needs of most healthy individuals.

Relaxation Techniques:

A natural process that can be learned by anyone to reverse the effects of stress on the body’s physiology. Methods used to lessen tension, reduce anxiety, and manage pain.

Repetitions or “Reps”:

Refers to a single full execution of an exercise movement. For example, one repetition of a push-up involves beginning with your arms straight, lowering your body to the floor and returning to the starting position. The number of repetitions you perform of a particular exercise will determine the type of benefit to your muscles. Higher weights with lower repetitions will increase strength. Lower weights with higher repetitions will increase endurance.

Routine:

This term encompasses virtually every aspect of what you do in an exercise session, including: the exercises, reps and sets you do of strength training, aerobic conditioning, the order in which you perform the exercises, the length of time spent. To keep workouts interesting, many people change their routine from time to time. Your routine is also referred to as your “program” or your “workout.”

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

An inflammatory disease that affects the facet joints in the spine as well as other joints in the body including the hands, elbows, shoulders, fingers and toes.

Ruptured Disk:

Herniated disk where material from the disk pushes through the outer lining of the disk.

Satiety:

A mechanism to tell the body that it has had enough food. The most important satiety compounds are the hormone leptin and the fatty acid oleylethanolamine (OEA).

Saturated Fat:

A fat that is solid at room temperature. Fats that are in foods are combinations of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids. Saturated fat is found in high-fat dairy products (like cheese, whole milk, cream, butter, and regular ice cream), fatty fresh and processed meats, the skin and fat of chicken and turkey, lard, palm oil, and coconut oil. They have the same number of calories as other types of fat, and may contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess. Eating a diet high in saturated fat also raises blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

Sciatic Nerve:

The nerve that serves the legs and originates from several levels of the lower back. Formed by multiple nerve roots from the lumbar spine; the sciatic nerve sends signals down the leg to control muscles and up the leg to provide sensations.

Sciatica:

An inflammation of the sciatic nerve usually marked by tenderness along the course of the nerve through the buttocks, thigh, and leg.

Scoliosis:

An abnormal curve of the spine.

Sedentary:

A person who engages in little to no leisure-time physical activity.

Serotonin:

A neurotransmitter in the brain that elevates mood and decreases appetite.

Set:

A set is a group of repetitions that you perform without rest. For example, if you do ten repetitions of a bench press and then place the bar back on the rack and rest, you have just completed one set. For strength training, most people do three sets of a particular exercise, 10 – 15 repetitions in each set, and a one minute rest between each set.

Slipped Disk:

Herniated disk where material from the disk pushes through the outer lining of the disk (see Disc Herniation).

Spina Bifida:

A congenital defect of the spine in which the arches of the lower lumbar spine fail to form over the spinal cord, leaving the cord unprotected.

Spinal Canal:

The opening at the center of the spine through which the spinal cord runs.

Spinal Cord:

The root section of the central nervous system going down from the brain through the spinal column, where it divides into nerves.

Spinal Column:

The spine.

Spinal Fracture:

Broken vertebrae in the spine.

Spinal Cord:

The column of nerve tissue that runs from the brain to the lower back.

Spinal Fusion:

A process in which the disc and cartilage are removed from between the vertebrae, and bone grafts (often harvested from the pelvis) are placed between or alongside the vertebrae to join the bones together.

Spinal Stenosis:

A narrowing of the spinal canal, that compresses the spinal cord and/or the nerve roots, cutting off their impulses to the muscles of the leg.

Spondyloarthopathy:

A group of disorders that causes inflammatory arthritis of the spine.

Spondylitis:

Inflammation of the spine generally caused by an infection.

Spondylolisthesis:

A spinal abnormality in which there is an anterior displacement of a vertebra on the one below, often resuting in back pain.

Starvation metabolism:

The slowing of the basal energy expenditure caused by chronic underfeeding, leading to a reduction in the rate at which the body burns calories and an increase in the rate at which the body attempts to store fat.

Stenosis:

Narrowing of a portion of the spinal canal, usually because of bony overgrowth (see Spinal Stenosis).

Strength Training:

This helps you tone muscles and lose fat. It also helps to keep your bones keep your bones strong-which helps you avoid fractures as your bones weaken with age.

Subluxation:

A misalignment in the bony structures of the spine. Subluxations can create pressure or irritation on the various nerves in your spine, and can cause a wide variety of symptoms throughout your body, such as localized pain, soreness, irregularity, and weakness. When pressure is applied on a nerve in your spine, the nerve energy is interrupted, and sometimes this can profoundly affect the function of other systems or organs in your body.

Tendon:

White fibrous bands of tissue that attach muscle to bone.

Tennis Elbow:

Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is pain on the lateral, or outside part of the elbow, on or near the bony protrusion. It is usually caused by the overuse of the wrist extensor muscles, which leads to the inflammation of the tendon attachment.

Therapeutic Massage:

A form of massage that involves the manipulation of the soft tissues of the body to decrease muscle spasm, pain and to improve movement.

Thoracic Spine:

Twelve vertebrae above the lumbar spine and below the cervical spine.

Thyroid hormone:

A hormone released by the thyroid gland that stimulates metabolism and helps to regulate a range of biochemical processes in the body.

Tolerance:

Decreasing effect of a drug with the same dose or the need to increase the dose to maintain the same effect.

Tranquilizer:

A drug used to treat anxiety.

Trigger Point Therapy:

The application of pressure on tender trigger points in the muscles to relieve pain and tension.

Trigger Points:

A generally small area of a muscle that is tightly knotted and in spasm causing referred pain.

Underwater Weighing:

A research method for estimating body fat. A person is placed in a tank, underwater, and weighed. By comparing weight underwater with weight on land, one can get a very good measure of body fat.

Unsaturated Fat:

A fat that is liquid at room temperature. Vegetable oils are unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. Sources of unsaturated fats include most nuts, olives, avocados, and fatty fish such as salmon.

Vertebrae:

The 24 cylindrical segments of bone that make up the vertebral column.

Vertebral Column:

The Spine. The flexible structure that forms the “backbone” of the skeleton, arranged a straight line from the base of the skull to the tailbone; also called spine.

Vertebral Subluxation Complex:

Another term for subluxation that is used in the chiropractic profession.

Vigorous-Intensity Physical Activity:

To be classified as vigorous-intensity, physical activity requires sustained, rhythmic movements of an intense enough level to elevate heart rate to 70% – 85% of maximum heart rate. Vigorous-intensity physical activity may be intense enough to represent a substantial challenge to an individual, resulting in a significant increase in heart rate and respiration.

Waist Circumference:

A measurement of the waist. Fat around the waist increases the risk of obesity-related health problems.

Weight Control:

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight by eating well and getting regular physical activity.

Weight-Cycle:

Losing and gaining weight over and over again. Commonly called “yo-yo” dieting. With each cycle, there is a worsening of the percentage of body fat due to a loss of lean muscle tissue.

Whiplash:

An injury to the cervical spine that occurs from rapid hyper-flexion, hyper-extension and compression movements, such as in an automobile accident.

Wrist Circumference:

A measurement of the wrist at its thinnest point, just proximal to the hand, that is used to estimate the size of an individual’s overall skeletal structure.

X-Ray:

A diagnostic imaging method that exposes photographic films with radiation passed through the body. It is most useful in diagnosing fractures, dislocations, abnormal positioning or other structural problems in bone.

Yoga:

A gentle exercise system consisting of numerous stretching movements that is extremely helpful in healing.