How Chiropractors Can Help Sports Concussions

How Chiropractors Can Help Sports Concussions

 In the U.S., there are a minimum of 300,000 sport-related concussions per year. If your child is in contact sports, there's a risk of the contact ending up in a concussion.  In fact research suggests that the number of documented cases of concussions among children is on the rise, and is source of growing concern among soccer and football players.

How Chiropractors Can Help Sports ConcussionsSports concussions are common in soccer and football, and chiropractors can help. Photo by Dreamstime.Posted in brain injuryChiropractic Newsconcussionsports injury
Chiropractors may not be the first medical professional you imagine when it comes to concussion management, but many chiropractors are trained to spot the signs of a mild traumatic brain injury, and support the patient in a successful recovery. Two recent literature reviews outlined how chiropractors can effectively manage athletes with concussions.

Is Chiropractic Treatment Valid for Concussion?

Chiropractors are often the first health care provider to care for patients who are suffering from a head injury, such as those incurred in sports or car accidents. Chiropractors, especially ones who are certified additionally by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians, regularly manage athletes who suffer from concussions.

Chiropractors use a specific assessment tool called the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2) to evaluate, assess, and manage concussions in athletes 10 years and older with the end goal of safely returning the athlete back to the sport. This assessment tool is used to evaluate symptoms, physical signs, Glasgow Coma Scale, sideline assessment using Maddocks score, cognitive assessment, balance, and coordination.

They understand that if certain symptoms are indicators that the neurological symptoms are worsening:
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Stumbling
  • Increased confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Weakness in on arm/leg
  • Worsening headache
Because a concussion is a brain injury caused by a direct blow to the head, neck or face, there's a good chance that the blow has caused a misalignment of the cervical spine. This is similar to whiplash causing a misalignment of the cervical spine. A chiropractor can evaluate whether you demonstrate signs of neck injuries commonly associated with concussions, and provide you with relief of neck pain and cervicogenic headaches.

According to the literature reviews, one of the most important recommendations that a chiropractor will tell you what to do for concussion is this: If your child is in sports and suffers a blow to the head, and/or experiences signs of a concussion, do not let him continue playing the sport. He or she needs to rest until totally healed from the concussion. Only after symptoms subside is it time to get back into the game. Ease into the sports play again. Don't expect to jump back in, full force. This will prevent the return of symptoms.

Additional guidelines your chiropractor will give you for concussion include no alcohol, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and sleep agents should be taken. Use Tylenol for pain if necessary. Do not drive until you can return to the sport.

In the meantime, your chiropractor will care for your child's cervical spine and condition. If your child needs to be referred out to another health professional, your chiropractor will let you know.

Now let's ask the question again. Chiropractic for concussion? Absolutely?

Chiropractors can help with a range of other sports injuries, and one study even found that it was the most effective conservative method for reducing sports-related back pain.

Johnson, C.D., et al. Chiropractic and concussion in sport: a narrative review of the literature.Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2013 (12):216-229.
Shane, E.R., et al. Sports Chiropractic management of concussions using the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 symptom scoring, serial examinations, and graded return to play protocol: a retrospective case series. Journal of  Chiropractic Medicine 2013 (12): 252-9.

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Posted in Chiropractic, Nutritional Healing. Tagged as back pain, brain injury, chiropractor charlotte 28209 southpark, concussion, sports injury.

7 Ways to Prevent Back Pain in Golfers

7 Ways to Prevent Back Pain in Golfers

Posted in Back Pain NewsExercisegolflower back pain
Lower Back Pain in GolfIt's no wonder that golfers have low back pain. It's a baby boomer sport and growing every year in the number of new golf enthusiasts.  Twenty-five percent of the 26 million golfers are over the age of 65.  But age isn't the only factor in golf injuries, and a recent literature reviewfrom the journal Sports Health helps to explain why lower back pain is such a common occurrence among golfers.
At face value, golf may not look strenuous or taxing on the body, but as you age, spinal mobility tends to decline. The ability of the spine to absorb forces decreases with age. The predominant injury amongst golfers is low back injury that lasts between two and four weeks of injury in those who get it.  Surprisingly, the golfer's low back injury won't incapacitate most of them suddenly but instead, the pain will creep up on them the more they play the sport.

Swinging Styles Contribute to Back Pain
It's actually the modern way of playing the sport that is detrimental to the spine. For example, to swing correctly, you'll have to separate your hips and shoulders during the backswing. At the end of the swing, you'll be in a position of lumbar hyperextension. Also, by contracting your abdominal muscles during the follow-up phase and rotating your trunk with feet planted in one place, the intervertebral disc is highly stressed.
The increased pressure in the spine during the downswing to follow-through is great enough to be considered equivalent to football linemen hitting a sled. The pressure experienced in golfing exceeds the pressure needed to cause a prolapse of the disc. However, with older individuals more prone to develop osteoporosis later in life, the increased pressure in the spine from golf could be enough to fracture a rib or vertebrae, let alone cause stress fractures.
Another common occurrence in golfers is injury to the paraspinal muscles. MRI scans have revealed tears in these muscles, especially in amateur golfers.  Treatment of the muscle injuries is generally centered on rest and relaxation, core muscle strengthening sessions, and correcting the incorrect movement pattern that caused the injury to begin with.

Tips for Avoiding Back Pain from Golf
Simple preventive steps can go a long way in preventing low back pain in golfers. Here's a list of some of those steps.
  1. Make sure your club fits your body.
  2. Treat golf like you might treat running not as a weekend athlete, but someone who plays the sport two or three times a week every week. This will prevent the "de-conditioning" of your muscles that occurs between golf sessions that makes you more susceptible to injury. Avoid golf sprees of five times in one week and none the next.
  3. Push that golf cart. Don't pull it.
  4. Use a long putter during one round. This will decrease stress on the spine.
  5. To carry a golf bag, use the ones that have a dual backpack strap.
  6. Lose any excess weight before you start the sport.
  7. See your local chiropractor to ensure you're using proper body mechanics to prevent back injuries from golf and everyday activities. Chiropractors can also keep your spine properly aligned to reduce your risk of herniated discs and pain from osteoarthritis.
Then go out and have your best and greatest golf season yet!
Finn, Christopher. Rehabilitation of Low Back Pain in Golfers: From Diagnosis to Return to Sport. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach 2013. DOI: 10.1177/1941738113479893.

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Posted in Chiropractic, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutritional Healing. Tagged as back pain, charlotte chiropractor southpark 28209, chiropractic, golf.

A Mother’s Diet Before Conception May Affect Baby’s DNA

A Mother's Diet Before Conception May Affect Baby's DNA

It's a well-known fact that a mother's diet during the course of her pregnancy has a huge impact on the formation of the little one growing inside of her. However, NPR reports that new research shows a mother's diet before she conceives plays as much a role, making pre-conception care the key to giving birth to a healthy child.

A Gambian Study
study published in the journal Nature Communications  looked at the dietary intake of 30 non-pregnant women who all lived in the same village in Gambia. They followed these women for the course of a full year to determine which substances and nutrients they generally took in over that time frame, noting that these changed based on the seasons and the availability of certain foods.
At the same time, they followed 2,040 more women from the same village, meeting with them at monthly intervals. If they missed their period, blood work was taken and certain markers were assessed, namely the ones that would impact a growing fetus. Of these women, 84 became pregnant at the peak of the rainy, or 'hungry' season, and 83 additional women became pregnant at the peak of the dry, or 'harvest' season.

What they found is that the mother's dietary intake at the time of conception did affect how DNA was expressed. This means that what a mother eats up until she becomes pregnant greatly influences her child's biological foundation.

About Body Mass

They also noted that the mother's BMI, or Body Mass Index, during the course of the study. As it turns out, even though the women involved were all of normal weight, their BMI directly correlated with specific markers in their infant's DNA, again confirming the amount of impact a mother's health has on her unborn child. These findings confirm results found in tests with lab mice, which showed that a female mouse's weight and diet at the time of conception affected her offsprings' DNA.

In addition to having proper nutrition, part of being healthy involves engaging in regular chiropractic visits, long before you even try to conceive. Your body's health today impacts your baby's health tomorrow, so take care of yourself now so that you can give your little pride and joy the best chance possible for years to come.

Chiropractors can provide natural pain relief during pregnancy, in addition to supporting you in making healthy lifestyle choices during this crucial time. There's a reason why pregnant women treated by a chiropractor report  high levels of satisfaction with their care, with 85% are relieved of their back pain after chiropractic.

Dominguez-Salas P, et al. Maternal nutrition at conception modulates DNA methylation of human metastable epialleles. Nature Communications 5, Article number 3746. April 29, 2014. 
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Posted in Chiropractic, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutritional Healing. Tagged as back pain, charlotte chiropractor southpark 28209, pregnancy diet.

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Why Chiropractic is the Best Solution for Sciatica Pain

Sciatica and chiropracticSciatica and chiropractic
Sciatica pain is often so debilitating that it forces people to miss work and other normal activities.  Of all patients with low-back pain, sciatica patients have the highest level of disability (1).  In fact, patients with sciatica are disabled for an average of 72 days according to Norwegian public-health records.
Fortunately, a recent study offers hope to sciatica patients: chiropractic care can speed the recovery from sciatica flare ups and allow patients to return to work sooner (2).

The study evaluated 44 Norwegian workers after they came to the hospital with severe sciatica pain. Most of those patients had been experiencing pain for three or more weeks prior to their hospital visit.
The hospital chiropractor examined each patient to evaluate his/her posture and gait, range of motion, and palpation of the lumbar spine.

The chiropractic then performed various joint adjustments to the spine and other limbs that had been injured through patients compensating for pain. Ice treatment was also used to relieve soft tissue soreness.Patients were treated daily in the hospital and later three times a week for the first two weeks. Some patients needed additional follow-up treatment but typically did not exceed 14 treatments.

In matter of 21 days, 91% of patients returned to work full-time. Two patients returned to work part time. Researchers concluded this study demonstrates the potent benefits of collaboration between chiropractors and orthopedic surgeons. Chiropractic care can put an end to your sciatica pain so you can begin living your life fully again.

Posted in chiropracticChiropractic NewsSciaticasciatica treatmentUnderstanding Sciatica
  1. Arana E, Marti-Bonmati L, Vega M, et al. Relationship between low back pain, disability, MR imaging findings and health care provider. Skeletal Radiology 2006;35(9):641-7.
  2. Orlin JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30:135-139.