Friday, October 30, 2015

What is the Noise When I Get Adjusted?




Have you ever wondered what the popping sound is when you get adjusted?  Does that noise scare you or make you nervous?  It shouldn’t!  It is NOT bones breaking, ligaments popping, or muscles tearing.  It is just gas being released from a joint.


All movable joints in your body, including your spine, are called synovial joints.  They have this name because they all contain synovial fluid within the joint capsule.  That synovial fluid releases gasses such as hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.  When the gasses build up within the joint, you tend to feel pressure.  Think of your joint like a soda can.  Inside the soda can, the carbon dioxide gas from the carbonation process has built up and as soon as you pop the top, you hear the gas being released.  When the gas builds up in your joint, eventually that gas is released and you hear the “POP;” which in medical terms is called a cavitation.

You might not always hear a cavitation when you receive an adjustment because there may not be enough gas built up in the joint.  Keep this in mind…just because you hear the noise does NOT mean there was joint movement and just because you didn’t hear the noise does NOT mean there wasn’t movement in the joint.  That is a big difference between trying to “adjust” yourself and an adjustment given by a chiropractic physician.  When you “adjust” yourself just to get the pressure relief, often times you aren’t actually moving the joint properly and degeneration can start to occur.  Not to mention that the relief you feel is temporary.  So leave the adjusting to the trained professionals!!!  Pro Chiropractic has four amazing and knowledgeable chiropractors you can visit and three convenient locations in the Gallatin Valley to make sure you get a proper adjustment and the long lasting relief you need!



If you or someone you know in the Gallatin Valley area is looking for a chiropractor, please call Dr. Shea Stark with Pro Chiropractic at 406-219-2462 to schedule an appointment in our Belgrade, Manhattan, or Bozeman office.  Dr. Stark is a board certified chiropractor and the author of this blog post.  To learn more about Dr. Stark and the many benefits of chiropractic care, please visit our website: www.prochiromt.com.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What Does Chiropractic Care Treat???



Have you ever wondered what conditions can be treated by a chiropractor?  On many occasions I have had patients tell me about an injury or ailment as a side note and they are surprised when I tell them that I can treat it.  Most people think that chiropractors only treat back and neck pain, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Of course, some chiropractors choose to only focus on treating back and neck pain…but that is not the case at Pro Chiropractic!

A chiropractor is an expert in treating musculoskeletal issues, including ligament sprains, muscle strains, overuse injuries (like carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow), headaches, and many more.  Our effectiveness in treating those issues isn’t just limited to the spine.  As chiropractic physicians, we are equipped to not only adjust the spine, but extremities as well.  Some chiropractors even choose to further their education by specializing in the treatment of sports injuries. 
Let’s start with the issues that are most commonly associated with chiropractic care.  Low back pain, neck pain, herniated discs and headaches are often treated in a chiropractic clinic.  And rightfully so as chiropractors are very effective in treating these conditions.  More often than not, a non-traumatic onset of low back or neck pain is due to an underlying structural issue with the spine.  The musculature supporting and surrounding the spine can only compensate for poor structure for so long before they give up and cause pain.  Consistent chiropractic adjustments, paired with therapeutic exercises and soft tissue mobilization, have been shown to help restore the proper structure of the spine.  This is also true for herniated discs.  Receiving consistent chiropractic adjustments can help to decompress the disc space thus relieving pressure off the disc itself and allowing it to resume its original shape and orientation, minimizing the herniation (bulging part of the disc).  Once the pressure on the disc is relieved and the herniation is resolved, the pressure and irritation on the spinal nerve is also relieved which diminishes or eliminates the associated symptoms like pain, numbness or tingling. 
What most people don’t know is that chiropractors can treat most sports injuries as well.  Ankle sprains, pulled hamstrings or quadriceps, runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, rotator cuff injuries, IT band syndrome and concussions are just the tip of the chiropractic iceberg.  Many athletes are predisposed to developing one or more of these conditions because the joints in their extremities (arms and legs) are not aligned properly.  Continuous practice and play on misaligned joints can change the way the surrounding muscles function, thus increasing the risk of injury.  But aligning the joints is just one aspect of treatment.  Soft tissue mobilization to help reduce fascial adhesions (muscle knots) can make a huge difference in how well the muscles function.  The application of kinesiology tape or strapping tape can also be beneficial while treating the injury because the tape can add support to a joint or reduce pain in a muscle.  Concussions are a hot topic in sports today and chiropractors are qualified to assess them and provide recommendations on activity restriction that may be necessary for proper recovery.
If you have an injury that you want to have evaluated and treated, odds are a chiropractor can help you.  So if you already see a chiropractor, don’t hesitate to tell them about it.  If you don’t , call ProChiropractic today  for an appointment with any of our four amazing doctors of chiropractic at any of our three state of the art offices in the Gallatin Valley.




If you or someone you know in the Gallatin Valley area is looking for a chiropractor, please call Dr. Shea Stark with Pro Chiropractic at 406-219-2462 to schedule an appointment in our Belgrade, Manhattan, or Bozeman office.  Dr. Stark is a board certified chiropractor and the author of this blog post.  To learn more about Dr. Stark and the many benefits of chiropractic care, please visit our website: www.prochiromt.com.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Is it Safe to Crack Your Own Neck???

Have you ever felt stiff and tight in your neck and you bend and force it to rotate in order to get that “cracking” sound?  Is it painful?  As a chiropractor, hearing my patients tell me they “crack” their own neck makes me cringe!!!  I guess that answers the question…NO, it is NOT safe to “crack” your own neck!
The moveable joints in your cervical spine, and the rest of your spine as a matter of fact, are called synovial joints.  The joint capsules are lined with a synovial membrane that creates a synovial fluid which lubricates and nourishes the joints.  That synovial fluid forms gasses which build inside the joint capsule and increase the pressure.  The stiffness and tightness you feel is caused by that pressure change.  Movement of the joint causes a release of built up pressure creating the “popping” or “cracking” noise you hear.  It’s the same idea as popping the top on a soda.  You hear the carbon dioxide case being released from the can or bottle producing the popping and fizzing noise.   

You also hear that noise when you get a chiropractic adjustment.  But what’s the difference between a chiropractic adjustment and “cracking” your neck yourself?  A chiropractic adjustment is very specific.  Chiropractors go through years of graduate school to learn the ins and outs of the spine and orientation of the spinal joints.  We know what direction the joint needs to be moved in order to properly adjust it.  When you “crack” your own neck, you are not actually achieving an adjustment.  You are forcing the joint to move for the sole purpose of releasing the built up gasses and relieving the pressure in the joint.  Therefore, the segment of the spine that “cracked” didn’t actually move.  You just jammed the joints together.  So the underlying problem still remains.  When you get a chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor is able to move the segment of the spine that is misaligned while relieving the pressure in the joint.  The results of the chiropractic adjustment are longer lasting, less painful and much safer. 
Continually “cracking” your own neck can be detrimental over time.  When you force your neck to “crack” and those joints jam together, you are jump starting the degeneration process.  That forceful collision of the vertebra surrounding improperly moved joints will stimulate bone growth and start to create bone spurs that can infiltrate the foramina (or openings) which house the nerves exiting the spinal cord.  As the bone spurs or hypertrophic (overgrown) bone grow, more and more pressure is added to the nerves creating radiating symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling into the head, neck, arms and hands.  Once the degeneration process starts, you can never get back to where you were before…you can only stop it from getting worse. 
The best solution to the problem is to find a chiropractor you trust (like any of the 4 amazing doctors at Pro Chiropractic) and allow them to adjust your neck and spine properly!!!  We will not only relieve the tension and built up pressure in your joints, but we can also relieve muscle tension and pain that may be facilitating that discomfort.  Come get adjusted today and find out for yourself how much better a chiropractic adjustment feels than “cracking” your own neck.




If you or someone you know in the Gallatin Valley area is looking for a chiropractor, please call Dr. Shea Stark with Pro Chiropractic at
(406)219-2462 to schedule an appointment in our Belgrade, Manhattan, or Bozeman office.  Dr. Stark is a board certified chiropractor and the author of this blog post.  To learn more about Dr. Stark and the many benefits of chiropractic care, please visit our website: www.prochiromt.com.

Friday, October 9, 2015

What is Kinesiology Tape?


Do you remember watching the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, seeing Kerri Walsh with her shoulder taped up and wondering what in the world that was for?  That summer was the first time most people saw kinesiology tape, though it has been around far longer than just 7 years.  In fact, it was invented by Dr. Kenzo Kase in Japan over 25 years ago when he realized there was no sports taping method that could help to heal injured tissues and muscles.

Kinesiology tape is a stretchable cotton fabric placed over a heat-activated adhesive.  Most types of kinesiology tape can be stretched as much as 140% of its original size.  The abundant stretchability is what makes it different from other types of sports tape, such as white athletic tape, used mostly by athletic trainers.  When applied properly, the tape will lift the skin and fascia away from the muscle allowing more blood flow into the area.  This increase in blood flow promotes more oxygen to the tissues as well as an increase in lymph drainage.  Draining the lymph fluid helps to expel byproducts of exercise like lactic acid and helps to reduce swelling or edema. 

There are three main applications of kinesiology tape: structural, edema reduction, and neuromuscular.  A structural application requires stretching the tape towards its limit and is used to help restrict joint range of motion.  It can be used on injuries such as ankle sprains, joint instability and patellar dislocations.  Most structural applications will require the addition of another type of tape with limited or no stretch to add extra support.  Application of kinesiology tape for edema reduction requires cutting the tape into thin strips lengthwise while still leaving about 15-20% of the strip intact as an anchor.  At least two cut up pieces of tape are necessary in order to create a “basket weave” pattern which will create grooves beneath the skin and allow the accumulated lymph fluid to be drawn out of the affected area and reabsorbed into the body.  The edema reduction application can be used on swollen joints after an injury, post-mastectomy lymphedema, and can also be very helpful in clearing up large bruises.  A neuromuscular application requires very little to no stretch on the tape and can be placed virtually anywhere on the body.  The purpose of this application is to improve proprioception (awareness of your own body’s position in space) in the affected area.  The application of the tape on the skin triggers the brain to pay attention to that area which can help facilitate the affected tissues. 




Common conditions that can be treated using kinesiology taping include shin splints, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, runner’s knee, rotator cuff syndrome, and low back pain.  But did you know that kinesiology taping is used for more than just treating injuries?  It is often used to promote proper posture, improve performance and endurance, and help support a pregnant belly.  A postural taping application uses mild stretch to remind you to correct your posture when you start to slack.  The tape itself does not correct your posture, but it can help trigger the brain to train your body to sit up straighter.  As stated before, the lifting of the superficial skin and fascia away from the muscles promotes better oxygenation of the muscles.  That improvement in oxygenation allows your muscles to work harder for longer, thus boosting endurance and enhancing performance.  When you’re pregnant, and the size of your belly increases as your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts which wreaks havoc on your posture and your body.  Applying kinesiology tape to support some of the weight of the baby bump can help reduce postural degeneration common with pregnancy. 





Kinesiology taping can last up to 3-5 days, and can even be worn swimming or in the shower.  Most tape brands utilize adhesives that do not irritate the skin, but if you have had previous allergies to adhesives, like band-aids, be sure to let your sports chiropractor know before they apply the tape.  If you notice any redness or itching around or under the tape, remove it carefully and immediately to prevent further irritation.  As the adhesives are heat activated, NEVER remove the tape during or immediately following a hot shower.  The hot water can reactivate the adhesive which will make it much more difficult to remove the tape without taking some skin as a souvenir. 

There are many YouTube videos and instructional photos on how to apply kinesiology tape to yourself or someone else.  But to ensure that the tape is applied properly and for the right reason, go see your sports chiropractor!  All four chiropractors at Pro Chiropractic are certified in applying kinesiology tape. 


 




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If you or someone you know in the Gallatin Valley area is looking for a chiropractor certified in kinesiology taping, please call Dr. Shea Stark with Pro Chiropractic at 406-219-2462 to schedule an appointment in our Belgrade, Manhattan, or Bozeman office.  Dr. Stark is a board certified chiropractor and the author of this blog post.  To learn more about Dr. Stark and the many benefits of chiropractic care, please visit our website: www.prochiromt.com.