Category Archives: chiropractic care and pregnancy

Can a Chiropractor Help with Vertigo?

redondo beach chiropractor for vertigoIf you’re unlucky enough to experience vertigo on a regular basis, you know how difficult it can be to enjoy everyday activities. Constantly feeling as if you’re on a merry go round is, to say the least, torturous. But, can a chiropractor help with vertigo?

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is defined as a sensation of spinning and loss of balance which can be associated with looking down from high vantage points, a head trauma, eye problems, or may be caused by a disease affecting the inner ear or vestibular nerve. This means that simple things like going down stairs can trigger a spell of vertigo and usually once it starts it’s very difficult to get rid of.

Types of Vertigo

There are two primary types of vertigo: central and peripheral vertigo. 

Peripheral Vertigo

The most common of the two, peripheral vertigo is caused by issues in the inner ear such as vestibular neuronitis, BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), or Meniere’s Disease. If you suffer from BPPV, this essentially is characterized by tiny calcium carbonate crystals floating around in the fluid of your inner ear. This leads to that dreadful dizzying feeling. 

Vestibular neuronitis can make someone brutally lightheaded and is usually attributed to a disease or infection in the inner ear. Meniere’s disease is a bit more elusive in its cause. Thought to be triggered by severe stress or too much sodium, caffeine or alcohol intake, Meniere’s disease triggers classic vertigo symptoms of dizziness but may also inflict temporary hearing loss.

Central Vertigo

Central vertigo is largely caused by disease or brain injury. Common causes of central vertigo are:

Unlike peripheral vertigo which can come and go rather quickly, central vertigo may suddenly strike and linger for extended periods of time.

Cervical Vertigo

A third type of vertigo, cervical vertigo, is associated with classic vertigo symptoms sparked by movement of the neck.

Chiropractic Treatment for Vertigo

Treatments for vertigo vary depending on the root cause, but many times people benefit from conservative treatments such as spinal manipulation performed by a professional chiropractor. This is especially effective for those suffering from vertigo caused by injury.

Types of Treatment

During a chiropractic treatment for vertigo, the chiropractor is able to address issues not only with the musculoskeletal system but also is able to perform manipulations which may provide relief to inner ear issues. For example, if a patient is experiencing vertigo from BPPV, a chiropractor is able to apply the Epley Maneuvre which uses gravity to move those calcium carbonate crystals away from the inner ear.

Your chiropractor can also relieve symptoms by manipulating joints in the neck to restore proper movement. If your neck is not moving appropriately, it may be telling your brain that you’re in a different position than you actually are. That, coupled with what your eyes and gravity is telling you, causes mass confusion and, consequently, vertigo. At-home exercises are also suggested by chiropractors to ease vertigo symptoms. The Brandt-Daroff technique is one such exercise that you can do in bed!

If you are suffering from vertigo, it is urgent that you see a professional as soon as possible as it may be a sign of something more sinister taking place in your body. Contact us to make a chiropractic appointment for your vertigo today.

Correct Sleeping Posture for Back and Neck Pain

correct sleeping posture for neck and back painSleeping is something that many people take for granted. If you’re someone who wakes up without back or neck pain, consider yourself lucky. For many people, sleeping can be a chore, resulting in a stiff and sore neck or back.

Believe it or not, the way you sleep can impact your back and neck. In some cases, your sleeping position is the cause of pain. Here’s a breakdown of common sleeping positions and how each position affects your neck and back.

Stomach Sleeping

Unfortunately, sleeping on your stomach is linked to lower back pain. This position puts unnecessary strain on lower back muscles and flattens out the natural curve of the spine. Another notable quirk of this sleeping position? Your neck is rotated to the side at all times, which causes strain in your upper shoulders and back. If you’re a stomach sleeper and wake up with back or neck pain, it might be time to change positions.

Side Sleeping

Sleeping on your side puts the least amount of strain on your body. Sleeping on your side with your entire body aligned makes for a well situated pelvis and aligned spine. This is part of the reason that a side sleeping position is recommended for people with back pain and for alleviating pain from sciatica.  

Studies have shown that sleeping on your side while pregnant is the best position to promote healthy circulation. Pregnant women can further the benefits of this position by placing a pillow between the legs to align hips. Pregnant women’s bodies go through immense changes during 9 month process and may experience additional musculoskeletal discomfort. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is a fantastic way to promote relaxation and bring some relief.

Combination Sleeping

For lack of a better term, a combination of sleeping positions such as the half side sleeping-half stomach sleeping position isn’t any good. Any twisting position during your sleeping puts you at risk of misalignment. When sleeping, it’s important to keep your neck and back in their natural relaxed position, rather than a combination of sleeping positions. If you currently sleep in a combination position, change your position.

Back Sleeping

So what is the best way to sleep for back pain? Flat on your back.

Back sleeping leaves room for the natural curvature of the spine and leaves the airway open. To make sure this position truly is the best way to sleep for your neck, however, try not to use a pillow to avoid pushing your neck into too tight an angle. Also, keep your hips in a comfortable position by keeping your legs straight down, not splayed out, turned out, or one cocked out to the side. All of these variations will throw your hips out of alignment, which can cause hip pain.

Correct Sleeping Posture

If you find yourself trying with all of your might to adjust your habits but still experience lower back pain throughout the day, consider adding some activities like these exercises for lower back pain into your waking hours to sooth those weary muscles. Whatever your situation or preferred sleeping position, you can make it work by understanding what the correct sleeping posture looks like. Every position has a variation making it more conducive to healthy sleeping. If you’re looking for more information about which sleeping posture is right for your back or neck pain, look into a posture screening. 

If your back pain is constant or worse when standing, chiropractic care might be the next move for you. Learn more about how correct sleeping positions and chiropractic treatment can improve your back pain. Schedule an appointment with a Redondo Beach chiropractor today.

Chiropractic Treatment for Sacroiliac Joint Pain

If you have sickening pain that’s difficult to locate and even harder to describe, you may be experiencing sacroiliac join pain. Sacroiliac joint pain, also called SI pain, can be very hard to live with and just as hard to describe. The symptoms of SI joint pain can be difficult to diagnose and treat, as the pain of SI joint dysfunction can be similar to the feeling of sciatica pain or a herniated lumbar disc. This post will provide some information about sacroiliac join pain, such as what causes it and how a chirpractor can treat your pain.

Causes of SI Joint Painchiropractor for si joint pain

The sacroiliac joint is located in the lowest area of the spine. It connects the sacrum, the bone at the base of your spine, to the iliac bone of your pelvis.  Because this joint connects these two major parts of the skeleton, it is not meant to move like other joints of the body. The SI joint is small and extremely strong—powerful ligaments surround it, providing support.

The SI joint functions as a shock absorber for the spine and transfers all the force applied to the upper part of the body into the pelvis, hips, and legs. The exact cause of SI joint pain is not known, but it is believed the causes of SI joint pain include either joint instability—too much movement, or joint fixation—too little movement of the joint.

The primary causes of SI joint pain are associated with:

  • Tightness in muscles 
  • Pregnancy: The strong ligaments stretch, preparing the pelvis for childbirth
  • Some types of arthritis
  • Degenerative conditions that cause wearing away of cartilages
  • Difference in leg lengths

Traumatic injuries, such as falls onto the buttocks or injuries to the pelvis can also cause SI joint pain. More often, the symptoms of SI joint pain come on slowly and gradually worsen.

Symptoms of SI Joint Pain

Just like many other conditions, the severity and symptoms of SI joint pain and dysfunction vary in different individuals.

Some of the typical symptoms include:

When symptoms of SI joint pain include discomfort in the lower back and buttocks that radiates into the groin, the condition is typically caused by hypermobility or instability of the SI joint. When the symptoms of SI joint pain are more severe on one side of the low back and buttocks and radiate down the leg, similar to sciatica, it is usually due to fixation or hypomobility of the joint.

Other conditions can cause symptoms that mimic SI joint dysfunction, like sciatica, lower back pain with standing, and pain that increases with bending.

The first step in sacroiliac joint pain treatment is a physical examination by a chiropractor to diagnose the condition and rule out other causes for your symptoms.

Treatment of SI Joint Pain

Sacroiliac joint pain treatment does not typically involve surgery. The goal of treatment is usually to restore normal movement in the joint, which reduces pain and other symptoms. SI joint pain can be treated by a chiropractor.

Treatment of SI joint pain often includes:

  • Rest and ice: Initially, sacroiliac joint pain treatment usually includes rest to decrease irritation and control pain in the affected areas and cold or ice packs to reduce inflammation. Once the sharp pain and inflammation have subsided, a gradual return to activities is typically recommended. 
  • Chiropractic manipulations: An SI joint chiropractic adjustment can be very effective, especially when the joint is “stuck” or fixated. Chiropractors are specially trained in many methods, and a variety of treatments can be used depending on what the patient prefers or can tolerate, including:
    • Spinal manipulation 
    • Blocking techniques 
    • Instrument guided methods
  • Exercise or physical therapy: exercise and PT help to increase flexibility in the joints, including the SI joint

Your chiropractor will use the treatment for SI joint pain that is most appropriate for you. Some chiropractors recommend braces or supports which may include wearing a belt-like brace if the joint is too loose or hyper-mobile. As the joint stabilizes and inflammation decreases, the patient is weaned away from the brace.

Exercise is another treatment for SI joint pain. Physical therapy and exercise may be helpful in strengthening the muscles around the SI joint. Exercise stimulates blood flow to the tissues and can help provide healing relief for many conditions that result in lower back pain.

If you have a deep hip pain that’s hard to describe, you don’t have to live with it. A chiropractor can diagnose and treat sacroiliac joint pain and provide chiropractic treatment options that don’t involve injections or surgery. Holistic chiropractic care can provide you with treatment for SI joint pain that’s right for you.

Don’t live in pain any longer, schedule a consultation today and make your SI joint pain a thing of the past.

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

If you are a new mom or are currently expecting a baby, you know that, in addition to your waist size, many other things also change about your body during pregnancy. Just like you make adjustments in your clothing to accommodate your baby, your body makes changes, too. And many of these changes are not very comfortable! Holistic chiropractic treatment during pregnancy can help with these changes, naturally.chiropractic care during pregnancy

Your body is under tremendous stress while pregnant, which increases the potential for severe pain. Research has shown that up to 50% of all pregnant women suffer from lower back pain, especially in the late months, when the position of the baby’s head can lead to sciatica.

If you have low back pain before pregnancy this problem can intensify, because during pregnancy, many hormonal and physiological changes occur. These changes can cause misalignment of the joints or spine which leads to pain in the lower back. All of these can contribute to generalized back pain, lower back pain while standing, aching feelings, muscle spasms, and sciatic nerve pain (sciatica), even in the early stages of your pregnancy.

Some of these changes include:

  • Changes in the structures of your pelvis 
  • Changes in posture often resulting in a “sway back”
  • Protuberance of your abdomen 
  • An increase in the curve of your lower back 

Holistic chiropractic care during pregnancy

Holistic chiropractic care during pregnancy is both natural and holistic. It involves the healthy maintenance of the spinal column and discs, the related nerves, and the alignment of the bones without the use of drugs or invasive procedures. The art and healing science of adjusting misaligned joints, especially those of the spine, used during chiropractic pregnancy adjustments decreases inflammation on the spinal nerves. This relieves stress and muscle tension and promotes health all through the body.

Unlike almost all drugs and pain medications, there are no contraindications known that limit chiropractic care during pregnancy. Chiropractors are fully trained to work with pregnant patients and they use techniques that do not place pressure on the abdomen. Many chiropractors use tables that specially adjust for an expectant mother’s special body.

Benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy

Maybe you are wondering how pregnancy chiropractic treatments can help you and your baby, even if you’re not having back pain or other symptoms. 

Besides natural pain relief, chiropractor adjustments during pregnancy have the potential to help you:

  • Maintain a healthier environment for your baby 
  • Control symptoms of nausea and heartburn 
  • Reduce the length of your labor and delivery 
  • Prevent a possible delivery by C-section 
  • Help with sleep issues

By performing a specific evaluation and chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy, your chiropractor can re-establish pelvic balance, reducing stress on the uterus and the ligaments that support it. Studies have proven this technique, called the Webster Technique, allows your baby to assume the best possible position in the uterus. When your pelvis is in a balanced position, the chances of a breech or posterior presentation, both of which increase the need for Caesarean birth, are reduced. When your baby is in the right position, safer, shorter, and easier labor and delivery are more likely.

Your chiropractor can also work with you to help find ways that are more comfortable to sleep, sit, stand, and walk, and give you advice on safe ways to continue your current exercise program or start a new, healthy plan of simple stretches or fitness for pregnancy. 

Chiropractic care after pregnancypostpartum chiropractic care

Postpartum chiropractic care includes helping realign joint problems caused by the extra stress of loose ligaments and added weight. This can prevent post-partum shoulder problems, muscle tension, headaches and back pain. Treatment after pregnancy can also help prevent the back pain associated with carrying your baby around. 

Most healthcare professionals realize the positive impact holistic care offers to patients. Talk to your healthcare provider about the many benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy and schedule an appointment with your Redondo Beach chiropractor. You can relax and enjoy this exciting time of your life when your options include natural choices that support you and your baby.