Why You Should See A Chiropractor After a Car Accident
Note: ALWAYS inform your chiropractor if you’ve recently been in any sort of accident or if you’re pregnant — it will drastically change your treatment plan!
Being in a car accident is terrifying no matter what the circumstances might be. The best outcome you can hope for is to walk away with no injuries. If you’re unfortunate enough to sustain even minor injuries, chiropractic care is your best friend on the road to recovery. It is designed to heal many injuries that typically result from car accidents. Despite the severity of the crash, it’s a good idea to see a chiropractor afterward — even if you feel fine in the moment. Here’s why:
As noted above, chiropractic is perfect for injuries sustained by car accidents — whiplash, muscle injuries, back and neck pains, strains and spinal subluxations just to name a few. It is great for treating soft tissue injuries, which even small-scale accidents can cause. Minor fender benders can cause serious whiplash or other injuries to be discovered at a later time. In the event of a car accident, your adrenaline will skyrocket and you may not even notice that your body took damage that disallows your usual range of motion, increases your pain levels, causes tingling in the extremities and leads to serious problems later in life. A good chiropractor will know exactly what to look for during your initial examinations and while planning your treatment regimen. Be sure to tell you chiropractor that you were recently in an accident so they know to adjust accordingly.
In certain extreme circumstances, surgery is inevitable. However, if costly and invasive surgery is at all avoidable, consult with a chiropractor before making any big decisions. It’s a non-invasive way of speeding up the recovery process, meaning you won’t have to interrupt your busy work/life schedule, you don’t need to go through tedious post-surgery recovery, and you’ll hopefully avoid the need for costly and often-dangerous prescription pain medications. Even in cases where surgery is necessary, seeing a chiropractor makes for great physical therapy and will increase the rate of recovery by strengthening your muscles to get back to their former selves even quicker. It’s the ideal supplement to surgery.
No Pain Medications
Say you get into an accident but don’t suffer immediate, emergency-causing pain. You think you’re fine but suddenly a few days or a few weeks later you’re getting sharp back pain or neck pain that wasn’t present before. Your first reaction might be to take pain medication, but that only treats the symptoms, not the source! If you suffer from any sort of pain, it’s well past due to see a chiropractor. The pain indicative of deeper injury and, depending on the severity, can cause issues later on. Pain pills can be expensive and aren’t effective for long-term health. Chiropractic care will target the root of the problem. It not only treats your current pain but will help your body become strong enough to protect itself from future harm. Additionally, you’ll be steering clear of America’s opioid epidemic.
No matter the severity of your accident, it’s always a good idea to schedule a consultation to be safe — even just for a checkup! Chiropractic is focused on long-term pain relief and core strength, so if you or a loved one have unexplainable pain and have been in an accident, make an appointment today!
How to Stay Flexible as You Age
Many assume that as we age, we become less capable of simple physical tasks. While it is true that the elderly are more fragile and are more likely to hurt themselves from slips & falls, it is a misconception that nothing can be done about it. For some, it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy; they assume they cannot complete physical tasks, so they don’t attempt in the first place. Being proactive in our physical health becomes more and more important as we age; and a lack of trying can become a major contributor to increased fragility later in life.
Aging is natural — but if you take care of your body earlier in life, you’ll be more equipped to deal with obstacles that present themselves later on. There are plenty of news articles about octogenarians that still run marathons, play hockey, go biking and more. We may think of them as anomalies, but they really don’t have to be.
Anyone can administer proper care for their bodies by staying active and eating healthy. Nevertheless, the body does still become slower and more fragile — that’s why chiropractic as you age is so crucial. It will help to preserve range of motion, improve your balance and keep you strong and limber.
How Does Elderly Chiropractic Work?
Chiropractic works the same for everybody, barring certain circumstances such as recent injury, surgery or pregnancy. As our bodies age so too do our spines. This degeneration can cause aches and pains that make mundane tasks more strenuous, which also contributes to mental decline, stress and a sense of worthlessness. Needing help doing simple tasks or being physically incapable of participating in hobbies is always a downer. But try not to let it get you down. You have a say in your own physical health.
One of the main reasons that people visit chiropractors in the first place is pain. Chiropractic care will help to relieve pain by strengthening the spine and central nervous system. A regular regimen of daily stretches, chiropractic and dietary recommendations go a long way in preserving range of motion and strength, allowing you to keep up with hobbies you love and creating a more positive outlook on life.
Why Should Seniors Consider Chiropractic?
All things said, chiropractic isn’t a cure-all; visiting once a month won’t replacediet and exercise, but it will help your body make the most of them. Chiropractic care promotes whole body wellness and is designed to relieve stress, strengthen the muscles around the spine, and reduce inflammation, aches, and pains. It’s non-invasive, drug-free, healthy and safe for people of all ages from every walk of life. Your chiropractor will create an individualized treatment plan that best suits your needs. They will also make dietary recommendations and give you daily stretches when necessary. While you may not be in the news, running marathons in your 90s, it goes a long way in improving your everyday life by helping motivate you to be physically active and feel a sense of purpose.
Just because chiropractic is useful as you age doesn’t mean you should wait to make an appointment. It’s a useful supplement for people of all ages because it’s all about preventative maintenance to ensure a healthy future. The earlier you start, the easier the aging process becomes. That being said, it’s never too late to begin, either! So if you’re interested in making strides toward a healthier you, then schedule a consultation today.
Top 5 Myths About Chiropractic Care
“Chiropractors are not real doctors. Plus, all they know is how to treat the spine, they really don’t know the rest of the body. It’s too expensive, it’s dangerous, and who knows if it even works.” We have heard it all before, we know you are thinking it so, we are here to set the facts straight.
Myth 1: Chiropractors Are Not Real Doctors
Chiropractors are legitimate medical professionals just like your primary doctor or any other specialty doctor you may see. They are licensed and qualified as graduates to serve as health care providers in the United States and several other countries. Chiropractic school is a rigorous program and at the completion of the D.C. degree, students must then pass a difficult four-part national board exam to obtain their license. From there, chiropractors continue to attend regular seminars on latest research and techniques.
Myth 2: Chiropractors Only Treat Back Pain
Chiropractors take many of the same courses as medical students such as anatomy, neurology, pathology, and biochemistry. Thus, they know more than just how the spine works. They are trained in clinical examination and diagnosis of the entire body. Many chiropractors have specialties such as nutrition, pediatrics, or internal disorders that demonstrate deeper knowledge for their practice.
Myth 3: Chiropractic Care is Expensive
Many insurance plans include chiropractic benefits, even Medicare. There are insurance companies that would rather see patients utilize preventive healthcare measures versus drugs or surgeries.
Myth 4: Chiropractic is Only For Adults
Children’s bodies are naturally more flexible and quick to repair when injured and the early stages of life are a time of rapid growth. Regular chiropractic appointments for your child can ensure that their body is developing correctly.
Myth 5: Chiropractic is Dangerous
During an adjustment, sometimes there will be a cracking sound. Some see this as a sign that the adjustment worked and others as a red flag. The truth is that the sound is harmless and just means there was a pressure change in one of the joints. Most patients say that their adjustments provide them with a feeling of relief not pain. Like any medical procedure, there is a safety risk but chiropractic is recognized as the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapy available for neuromusculoskeletal pain.
If you have any other myths you’d like us to bust, contact the doctors at Petrak Family Chiropractic today.
Is Chiropractic for Elderly Safe?
I take pride in the fact that my chiropractic practice is family-oriented. This means that I can help anybody in the family — from toddlers and kids to teenagers, adults and even senior citizens. Many older people have the mindset that it’s either too late in life for them to get help with their pain issues, or that chiropractic care is harmful to elderly, frail bodies. But this is at best a misconception. Chiropractic care is helpful for people of all ages, even if you think it’s “too late”.
Pain Relief For Seniors
The vast majority of chiropractic patients make their appointments in the first place because of pain issues. The fact that 80% or more of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives says it all. Take into account that the elderly do, in fact, become more fragile as they age, and there’s no surprise that pain and chronic conditions such as arthritis become much more common. Daily tasks may become more difficult, pain becomes prevalent and in many cases, multiple medications are taken daily.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. I custom tailor each of my treatments according to the needs of each individual. This means that if I need to be gentle, I’ll be gentle. If you suffer from arthritis, I’ll forgo certain techniques and implement others. My job is to ensure treatment — even if it is supplementary working with other types of pain remedies. I will fix the subluxations that affect the spine, relieving pain and inflammation using drug-free and non-invasive methods.
Improve Range of Motion, Coordination and Balance
Because bones grow fragile and muscles become weaker as we age, it only comes naturally that range of motion decreases and balance becomes harder to maintain. An estimated 33% of seniors fall down each year; and when flexibility and fragility are increased, so too is the chance of serious injury.
Chiropractic care aims not only to relieve pain, but to strengthen the muscles around the spine by prescribing simple daily stretches and exercises. They don’t take long to do, but they go a very long way in improving balance to decrease the odds of falling down. And since the exercises strengthen the muscles, they also help to neutralize any severe injuries that come with falling down.
A study titled “Chiropractic for the Elderly” was done in the Journal called Topics of Clinical Chiropractic. In it, they found that senior citizens showed a decrease in the severity of arthritis in those that had received regular chiropractic care as they aged. Other findings included:
So it’s never too late to start improving your range of motion, relieving pain, or decreasing the severity of your chronic condition. Chiropractic aims to strengthen your spine and increase healthy activity in general, so if you’re ready to start on the path to a healthy you, give me a call today!
How to Avoid Backpack Pain | Best Backpacks For Back Pain
’Tis the season yet again. No, not holiday season. This season is arguably more exciting for parents — I’m speaking of course about back-to-school season! As we all finish up our last-minute shopping for new clothes, accessories and school supplies, it’s important to be aware of the impact heavy backpacks have on our children. Kids wear backpacks packed with textbooks and supplies to, from and during school for hours on end, 5 days a week. It truly does take a toll on kids’ posture and spinal health. In fact, during a study in Riverside, CA, an estimated 64% of children aged 11–15 complained that they had experienced back pain at some point due to their backpack — 2 of every 5 kids said they experience regular pain WHILE wearing their backpack. This pattern of behavior is not only painful in the short term, it has serious ramifications later on in life. Back pain is a serious matter, so it’s important to avoid bad habits — the earlier the better. Here are some tips to save your child’s spine this school year.
Studies have shown that backpack weight really starts to become harmful when it exceeds 20% of the carrier’s body weight. Most experts recommend sticking to 10–15%. So try leaving the heavy textbooks in the locker if they’re not needed for homework; and if they absolutely ARE needed, try to place the heavier books as close to the back as possible. If the majority of weight is placed away from the spine, the body tends to naturally bend forward to compensate. Over time, this leads to spinal subluxations and can do some real damage to the back muscles.
Get A Rolling Bag
The most significant thing you can do is to completely eliminate the need to carry large amounts of weight on your back. That’s where rolling bags/backpacks come into play. Students are able to carry everything they need without having to endure back pain day in and day out.
Best Rolling Backpacks
Buy a Higher Quality Bag
Get a backpack that’s made of sturdy, lighter material. Ensure that the straps are padded and that your child always wears the bag with two straps on the shoulders. Using only one strap will cause uneven weight distribution and such lopsided weight will cause problems in the spine. Additionally, be sure to adjust the backpack straps so that they’re fit snugly around the shoulders, so the bag can’t sway or flop around.
Best Ergonomic Backpacks For Back Pain
These simple steps are easy to take and they’ll help your child’s spine in the long-term. If your child has already complained about back pain, they may need extra help. As a family-oriented chiropractor, my practice is viable for people of all ages — from toddlers to kids to teenagers to adults. Get in touch to schedule a consultation today!
The History of Chiropractic
According to the American Chiropractic Association, "The word ‘chiropractic’ comes from the Greek words cheir (meaning ‘hand’) and praktos (meaning ‘done’), i.e. Done by Hand."
But how did it get to be one of the leading non-invasive forms of neck and back pain relief that it is today? Here we will explore the origins of chiropractic as a practice, how it developed, and give a brief historical background of the practice's founder, Danial David Palmer.
Who is Daniel David Palmer?
Daniel Palmer was born in 1845 in Ontario, Canada. After emigrating to the US as a young adult, he held many jobs including teacher, beekeeper, and grocery store owner. Throughout his life, he believed in various health philosophies, and tried to blend the scientific method with concepts of metaphysics.
He saw that physical manipulation had been used for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, but no one actually scientifically or philosophically looked at what was being done and made sense of it all. He then began to study these ways through anatomy and physiology ultimately developing the philosophy, art, and science we call Chiropractic today.
How Did Chiropractic Start?
Before this, he was a practitioner of what was know as “magnetic healing,” where magnetic fields around a patient’s body were manipulated to heal ailments. As a spiritual man, the formation of Chiropractic was a spiritual journey for Palmer.
In 1895 on a summer day, Daniel Palmer was returning to his magnetic healing office, where he ran into the building's janitor, Harvey Lillard. Palmer noticed that he had a visible bump on his back and inquired about it. Lillard replied that while he was working one day, he felt a painful pop in his back, which he presumed was a slipped disc, and from that point on had hearing difficulties. Daniel then performed the very first chiropractic adjustment on Lillard, realigning his spine. Lillard then claimed that his hearing had improved. Chiropractic was born.
Palmer then went on to form the Palmer School of Cure in 1897. People became fascinated with this innovative healing art Palmer was practicing and wanted to learn about it. The institution still exists today and is called the Palmer College of Chiropractic. Located in Davenport, Iowa, it stands proud as the trusted leader in chiropractic, the first chiropractic college and continues to have the highest enrollment amongst other chiropractic colleges. Many skillful and talented chiropractors have studied at this institution including Dr. Steve Petrak.
In 1913, the first state law licensing chiropractors was passed in Kansas. By 1931, chiropractic was legally recognized in 39 states. Today, the practice is recognized in all 50 states and even internationally in places like Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and Switzerland.
Palmer left a monumental mark on the medical world. His legacy carries on through chiropractors, who aid the roughly 30 million people worldwide who seek chiropractic care annually.
Palmer Method of Chiropractic
The Palmer method is named after Daniel Palmer and involves combining several different techniques for more efficient healing:
If you're considering chiropractic treatment for pain or other conditions, schedule a consultation below.
Benefits of Chiropractic in Winter
This winter, slip into a chiropractor's office! It’s that time of year again. As the weather gets colder and the snow gently falls, it’s easy to be lulled into tranquility by the peacefulness that comes with winter. Unless, of course, you slip on the ice. An unfortunate byproduct that comes with these freezing Midwestern temperatures is frozen, hazardous patches of ice scattered throughout the streets and sidewalks. The last thing you need as you walk out of your house on your way to work in the morning is to slip and create a surprise snow angel in your driveway. But it still happens. In 2014 alone, there were over 42,000 workplace injuries due to falling on ice. That’s just in the workplace; who knows how many falls happen at home that never get reported or treated.
When you slip and fall (whether on ice or not), your body is susceptible to serious injury. If you experience an unexpected impact without bracing yourself, especially on the spine, it can cause serious subluxations, or misalignments, that lead to pinched nerves, vertebrae dislocation, and/or other issues. Ironically, your first reaction to slipping on ice would probably be to put ice on the injured area. And while that definitely helps with inflammation and may relieve some pain temporarily, it doesn’t help to correct the root of the problem. The spine is connected with the nervous system, so problems within them can cause significant, sometimes debilitating, conditions. I have extensive experience with treating injuries of all kinds. My individualized approach will:
Winter is notorious for causing an increase in accidental fall injuries. Take extra precaution this season by adequately salting your driveway, sidewalk and porch — but most of all, don’t rush. Take your time and watch your step when you’re not on your own property. You can’t always count on others to be as responsible as yourself.
But if you do wind up taking an unexpected winter tumble, schedule a consultation. There could be subtle injuries to your spine that you may not notice now, but will become worse over time. It’s better to be safe than sorry and nip those injuries in the bud before they become serious.
When To See A Chiropractor For Neck Pain & Back Pain
Over 80% of the US population will experience some form of lower back pain at some point in their lives. Sometimes, it is only temporary. Maybe you slept funny; maybe you strained yourself working out. Any number of things can cause pain and irritation in the back and neck. But at what point does the pain become such a burden that it's time to see a professional? Unfortunately, your back can not speak for itself, so you need to understand the warning signs that your back pain is something that needs to be treated. Here's how to know when to see a chiropractor.
Chronic Pain. When we experience pain, often our first instinct is to turn to the medicine cabinet. However, pills will only treat pain temporarily and can be dangerous if you become dependent on their aid. A chiropractor provides non-invasive, drug-free treatment that tackles the root of your pain, rather than just the pain itself. Taking pain relievers is like trying to mop up a puddle under a leaky pipe: it works momentarily, but you're not addressing the source of the issue.
Radiating pain. If the pain in your back or neck travels down your arms, legs or lower back, or if you experience numbness/weakness in your feet or legs, you could have irritated nerves. Your spinal cord houses the central nervous system, which is the powerhouse to the many functions of your body. If you have a slipped disc, it could cause a pinched nerve, leading to pain and other irritating sensations in your extremities.
Night pains. If your pain worsens at night, that is not normal and could be indicative of serious health issues such as disc degeneration, spinal fractures, or even spinal tumors. The worst thing you can do is take sleeping medication or painkillers. This only addresses the issue on a surface level, when real problems could be at large.
Changing the way you walk to avoid pain. If you suffer from back or neck pain and you're changing the way you walk in order to avoid it, a trip to the chiropractor is long overdue. If you have difficulty walking more than a block and find that you are leaning a certain way to alleviate the pain, there is a chance you have stenosis, which causes your spine to narrow, putting extra pressure on your nerves. Treatment is VERY necessary if you've been experiencing this for extended periods of time.
Recent trauma. If you have recently been in a car accident or a situation that caused strain on your body and new back pain occurs, it’s best to see a chiropractor. The sooner you make an appointment, the better off you will be in the long run.
How to Stop Cracking Knuckles
An estimated 25-54% of people crack their knuckles on a daily basis, most of them males. To some, waking up and stretching, cracking and popping their knuckles, back, neck and other parts of the body just feels good and comes naturally. "Don't do that, you'll get arthritis!" you may have heard people say. It comes off as an old wives' tale, but does it actually hold any weight? Does cracking your knuckles (or other parts of the body) actually do long-term damage? I'm a chronic knuckle popper -- how do I stop?
What Causes Cracking in Joints?
First and foremost, it's important to understand what causes the popping sounds when you crack your joints -- a mystery that still isn't 100% solved, but there are a couple of leading theories. The first one involves synovial fluid bubbles. Synovial fluid is a viscous fluid found in synovial joints, which are the most movable types such as the shoulders, knees, wrists, etc. When a joint is pulled, gas present inside of the join is released, forming gas bubbles within the synovial fluid. The presence of the bubbles and the sudden change of pressure causes them to burst, which in turn cause the popping sound you hear when you crack your knuckles.
Another, more probable, theory involves something called cavitation. This is when cavities form inside of a joint when pulled, bent, twisted or otherwise manipulated. These cavities are formed within the synovial fluid and then rapidly collapse, creating the sharp audible popping sound.
Is it Safe to Crack Your Knuckles (or Other Joints)?
The claim that cracking your knuckles leads to arthritis is not supported by any scientific evidence. However, in a study done in 2011, it was found that knuckle crackers are more likely to have chronic hand swelling and lower grip strength than those who do not habitually crack their knuckles. That being said, the study also failed to acknowledge that since knuckle cracking is often used as a stress reliever, habitual knuckle crackers were also more likely to take part in other activities such as manual labor, smoking, nail biting and alcohol consumption which may be the main factors in swollen hands and grip strength. This means that cracking your knuckles is correlated with hand issues, but is not necessarily the cause of them. But all in all, no, cracking your knuckles will not give you arthritis.
How to Stop Cracking Your Knuckles
However, even though cracking your knuckles may not give you arthritis, it can still have other negative effects. It can cause joint swelling, negatively impact hand strength or could be a side effect of anxiety. But most of all, it probably annoys the people around you. So if you look at it from a behavioral perspective, you may still want to try quitting cracking your joints -- here's how.
While cracking your knuckles is mostly relatively harmless, other things can cause a snapping or popping sound, such as when tendons snap over joints. For instance, if you feel/hear your shoulder popping over and over again as you lift weights, it could indicate that the muscles are tight and some extra stretching may be needed before you begin your workout. If the snapping becomes painful and radiates to other parts of the body, cease strenuous activity immediately, take a warm shower to loosen the muscles, and visit a chiropractor. Painful popping in the joints could indicate a torn muscle or other injury. Your chiropractor can help to heal it to get you back on track.
For any further questions or to schedule a consultation, give me a call. I'll help to develop a personalized treatment regimen that will help you become more limber, coordinated and balanced.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic
Throughout the years of my chiropractic practice, I've fielded a lot of questions from patients. I've found that many of the questions are rooted in misunderstandings and misinformation surrounding chiropractic care, so here I've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions I get from both potential and existing patients, and answer them to the best of my ability.
Q: What is chiropractic care?
A: Chiropractic is a non-invasive, drug-free method of physical treatment to alleviate a myriad of conditions, although it is most commonly sought after for back and neck pain. Chiropractors physically manipulate specific areas of the body in order to fix subluxations (spinal misalignments) that negatively affect nerves, muscles and organs which can lead to other physical complications.
Q: At what age is it safe to start receiving chiropractic?
A: The short answer is: any age. Now for the longer answer; my practice is family-oriented, meaning I am licensed to treat people of all ages -- from toddlers to young kids and teenagers to the elderly.
Q: Is chiropractic painful?
A: No. While you may feel some pressure or some very temporary discomfort, but chiropractic treatment very rarely painful. There may be some soreness the day after your first couple of sessions, but your body will get used to it and over time the soreness fades. However, if you've recently undergone surgery or experienced some sort of injury, tell your chiropractor before you begin treatment. If treatment starts to become painful, immediately let your chiropractor know.
Q: What kind of conditions can chiropractic treat?
A: While chiropractic treatment is most commonly used for back and neck pain, it can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments including:
Q: Will insurance cover chiropractic care?