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Conditions Library

The expert clinical staff at Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation works with people of all ages and with many different conditions. Please see the diagram below for information on common conditions we treat and how physical therapy can help.

Questions? Call us at 732-359-0646 and ask about our new patient process and discuss how we can help you start living life pain free.

Understanding Autism

‘Autism’ is the term often used to indicate Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a neuro-developmental disability. While autism itself is the most severe form of ASD, there are less symptomatic conditions along the spectrum, including Asperger Syndrome. All incarnations of ASD exhibit, in varying degrees, as impaired social interaction and communication.

For reasons that are unclear, the state of New Jersey is a ‘hot spot’ for autism. One in 95 of New Jersey’s children are affected by ASD. By comparison, one in 150 children in the U.S. is living with this disorder (according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). More boys than girls are diagnosed with ASD.

 

Autism: A Medical Mystery

While many experts believe that ASD is the result of genetic and/or environmental factors, there is no overall agreement on what, exactly, causes the disorder. For parents of autistic children, this lack of understanding can be extremely frustrating and discouraging.

Due to the recent flood of autism diagnoses among American children, new theories and explanations are still evolving. Some parents and doctors link autism to toxins in the environment and food allergies. For quite some time, there was serious speculation about mercury preservatives in vaccines.

Like any other condition for which there is no concrete explanation, there is also no real treatment or medication designed expressly for children with ASD. Such patients are sometimes prescribed stimulants (such as those used to treat ADD); antidepressants; anti-anxiety medications; antipsychotics; and mood stabilizers. As with all medications, any one of these can have serious side effects and many have not been specifically tested for use with children.

Children with ASD may benefit from educational approaches to reduce many of the challenges associated with communication and interpersonal skills. Such practices are designed to help patients live with the disorder—to function within the limitations of ASD.

 

Chiropractic for Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorders alter the information processed in the brain by changing how nerve cells and their synapses are meant to connect and organize. Chiropractic treatment can benefit autistic patients by restoring normal, healthy functioning to the nervous system by eradicating misalignments in the spine.

Scientific and medical studies confirm what it is already known in the Chiropractic world: that this drug-free, safe practice is effective in treating autism. Most of these studies rely heavily on correcting misalignments in the neck (the cervical spine).

One such study* involved 14 autistic children, all of which were receiving chiropractic treatment. An astounding 11 of the 14 children showed marked improvement in communication, motor skills, mood, verbal abilities, and eye contact. In the end, two of the patients involved in the study no longer met the clinical criteria for an autism diagnosis after chiropractic treatment.

 

Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation: Chiropractic Solution for New Jersey’s Autism Epidemic

Children with autism can benefit from chiropractic adjustments at Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation. Our doctors use a gentle, hands-on approach to correct misalignments in the spine caused by trauma or irregular posture, thereby brining the entire nervous system back in line for optimal functioning. Children with or without autism can benefit from chiropractic care by starting early on a long-term path toward healthy adulthood.

Please contact our Sea Girt Chiropractic office to learn more about drug-free solutions to Autism. *Published in the March 9, 2006 Journal of Vertebral Subluxation (JVSR).

 

 

Understanding Ankle Sprains

The ankles are a particularly vulnerable area of the body; they are susceptible to a number of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. More specifically, it is common to experience a sprain  in the ankle. A sprain is diagnosed as the cause of symptoms when there has been any type of injury to the ligament of the joint.

Ankle sprains are graded on a system based on the severity of injury. For example, Grade 1 and 2 ankle sprains can often be treated with physical therapy and chiropractic care while Grade 3 ankle sprains may require surgery.

The ankle joint is made up of three major bones which are held together with tendons and ligaments. While the ligaments attach the bones to each other, the tendons attach the muscles to the bones and allow movement in the ankle.

An abnormal stretching force may cause a sprain. Usually, an ankle sprain occurs when there is injury to the ligament that connects the fibula—the front part of the ankle—to the talus bone (the outside area of the ankle). This ligament is known as the anterior talo-fibular ligament.

In many cases, the foot turns inward or inverted, thereby producing the injury. This may occur when incorrectly placing the foot when standing up or when running or walking. Incorrectly stepping onto an uneven surface or twisting the ankle during a fall may also cause an ankle sprain. This injury often occurs while participating in sports activities.

When an ankle sprain has occurred, there are a number of telling symptoms, including throbbing pain in the joint. Swelling—causing by increased fluid in the tissues—may also occur. Redness and warmth may be caused by increased circulation to the area.

 

Chiropractors for Ankle Sprains

It is important to respond to symptoms as soon as possible. Neglecting to do so may result in chronic instability in the ankle joint as well as chronic pain.

Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation provides both physical therapy and chiropractic care to treat ankle sprains. Acupuncture may also be used to address pain, speed healing, and increase circulation (ligaments tend to heal more slowly because of poor blood supply).

Typically, treatment for ankle sprains begins with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Physical therapy is used to promote healing and movement while reducing pain.

In addition to range-of-motion exercises, adjustment to the ankle joint may be used to promote the motion of the joint and to speed up the healing process. Because Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation provides Chiropractors for ankle sprains as well as physical therapy and acupuncture, patients can find every type of care they require in one location; it is no longer necessary to visit multiple offices for comprehensive, non-surgical rehabilitation for ankle sprains.

Contact our office if you are in search of treatment of an ankle sprain. Our Jersey Shore rehabilitation office is located conveniently on route 71 for easy access for patients in search of chiropractors for Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Wall, and Brick, NJ.

The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occur due to the compression and/or inflammation of the median nerve. Are you experiencing weakness in your wrist or numbness in certain fingers? You may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Our rehabilitation office is located in Sea Girt, NJ in order to offer convenient access for patients in Point Pleasant, Manasquan, Wall, Brick, and many other Jersey Shore towns. With chiropractors, physical therapy, and acupuncture, we correct the causes  of Carpal Tunnel in order to eliminate symptoms of this condition and avoid future pain, numbness, and weakness.

 

Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve is responsible for providing sensation and movement to certain parts of the hand (more specifically, the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and part of the ring finger). The area of the wrist through which the median nerve enters the hand is known as the carpal tunnel. Any type of inflammation in the carpal tunnel can seriously affect the median nerve, particularly because the tunnel itself is fairly narrow to begin with.

 

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:

Numbness and/or Tingling in the hand, particularly in the parts of the hand supplied by the median nerve (the aforementioned palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the side of the ring finger facing the thumb). Those who find themselves needing to shake or move their hands in an attempt to alleviate symptoms should be evaluated for Carpal Tunnel. For those who neglect to treat the condition, the numbness in these areas may become a constant and permanent problem.

Some Carpal Tunnel sufferers experience pain that radiates or extends anywhere from the wrist to the arm or shoulder or downward into the palm and fingers.

Weakness in the hand, difficulty gripping objects, and dropping objects are further signs of Carpal Tunnel. Again, when left untreated, these symptoms can become serious, permanent problems.

 

Chiropractors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve roots are found in the upper back (thoracic spine) and lower neck (cervical spine) segments of the spine. Roots C6, C7, C8 (in the neck) and T1 (upper back) branch out from the spinal cord, move through the spaces between the vertebrae, and continue down the arm. The median nerve is the only nerve housed by the carpal tunnel—the bones, tendons, and ligament that are found at the base of the palm of the hand.

When the vertebrae through which the median nerve passes lose their normal, healthy position (in other words, when there is a misalignment of the spine), the median nerve can be negatively affected. Chiropractic care is an excellent method of relieving numbness, tingling, and weakness associated with Carpal Tunnel.

As part of an overall program of rehabilitation that may also include physical therapy, patients can find solutions to Carpal Tunnel that reduce or eliminate the need for painkillers. Even better, conservative intervention with chiropractic can help many sufferers avoid surgical intervention—an important goal for those with Carpal Tunnel.

Treatment for Allergies

Allergies are a symptom of disorder within the immune system. By ensuring the health of the immune system through chiropractic care, allergy sufferers can find relief without medication or allergy shots.

Patients are diagnosed with allergies when the body’s immune system overreacts to a substance that is not generally known to be harmful to people. This allergen, or trigger substance, binds itself to natural antibodies within the cells of the body, triggering the response of certain chemicals. These chemicals (histamines, for example) prompt the symptoms of allergies.

People are often allergic to animal hair; certain medications (aspirin, sulfonamides, and penicillin); inhaled substances such as dust, mold spores, and perfume; insect venom; and specific foods. The most commonly experienced symptoms include sneezing, rash, hives, swelling, cough, shortness of breath, skin irritation, and itchy, watery eyes.

 

The Downside to Allergy Medications and Allergy Shots

There are a number of reasons to avoid taking both prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs for allergies. Some of these reasons include:

  • Allergy medications may lead to drowsiness. Dyphenhydramine, the active ingredient in many OTC sleeping pills, is also the main active ingredient in many antihistamines. Other reactions to antihistamines include impaired coordination, dizziness, hallucination, and gastrointestinal problems. Decongestants cause some patients to experience high blood pressure, nervousness, and heart palpitations.
  • In addition to the side effects inherent to allergy medications, these drugs actually accomplish very little. In fact, they do nothing to cure allergies. They are used as a temporary measure to quell the symptoms of allergies.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots) place a huge burden of stress on the immune system by forcing the allergic substance on the body in ever-increasing doses.

 

The Immune System and Chiropractic Care for Allergies

There is an important connection between the body’s immune system and central nervous system that must never be overlooked in any treatment of allergies. The central nervous system coordinates all the functions of the body, including immunity. When the nervous system is impaired due to misalignments within the spine, disorder in every part of the body is possible.

When the immune system is not working properly, it may begin to over-react to harmless substances. It’s important to note that the immune system may also be less able to fight infection (which explains why allergy sufferers tend to get sick more often than others).    The objective of chiropractic treatment for allergy patients is to find and fix disorders of the spine in order to ensure proper immunity. By removing nerve interference, chiropractic adjustment allows the immune system to work properly.

 

Allergy Treatment in Sea Girt, NJ: Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation

Allergy medications have a number of unfortunate side effects. At Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation, we understand that many allergy patients feel that they must  live with the side effects of allergy medications in order to relieve symptoms. This creates a negative pattern in which a basic need—to feel well—is no longer a possibility.

Chiropractic care offers a method of addressing the underlying reasons behind allergies in order to eliminate the issue altogether. This type of treatment works without drugs to radically improve allergy sufferers’ lives and improve immune system functioning. Contact our chiropractic office in Sea Girt, NJ to learn more about allergy treatment.

Auto Accident Injuries Physical Therapy Rehabilitation

Auto accidents can be extremely traumatic for the body, particularly the spine. When the spine is affected by injury in any way, the nervous system is compromised, leaving the body vulnerable to a number of unhealthy responses. By taking advantage of the benefits of chiropractic care after an auto accident, patients are able to find relief from pain and ensure the health of the nervous system (in order to prevent future disorder and pain and ensure maximum movement, flexibility, and strength).

Chiropractic care is widely lauded for its effectiveness in treating some of the most common auto accident injuries, including whiplash and herniated discs. In fact, New Jersey law stipulates that the personal injury projection provided by auto insurance companies in this state must  cover chiropractic care after a crash.

 

Chiropractic and Whiplash

Whiplash is a fairly common auto accident injury. The term ‘whiplash’ refers to damage that is incurred in the soft tissues of the neck (the cervical spine). This type of injury is often the result of any situation in which the neck has been subjected to an abrupt, unexpected, and traumatic distortion. In many cases, whiplash happens when a sufferer’s car has been hit from behind.

Whiplash can sometimes lead patients down a slippery slope of health problems (in cases where the condition is not addressed, or not properly  addressed). Any misalignment in the cervical spine can lead to serious health problems related to a malfunctioning of the nervous system. In other cases, some whiplash sufferers who ignore the symptoms of the condition may end up experiencing chronic pain.

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of whiplash and seek chiropractic care as soon as possible. These symptoms include neck and back pain; numbness and/or tingling in the arms; sore or painful shoulders; and headaches. It’s also possible to experience vertigo or auditory and/or visual disturbances. It’s important to note that the symptoms of whiplash do not always present immediately. Auto accident victims should be alert for changes in their physical condition in the days, weeks, and months after a crash.

Chiropractic care works by correcting the distortion or ‘subluxation’ in the neck. This results in correcting the cause  of whiplash symptoms. Chiropractic care for whiplash in our Sea Girt office can also reduce inflammation and pain while increasing joint and postural movement.

 

Back Injuries/Disc Herniation

Auto accidents often result in back injuries. The most common of these injuries are herniated or bulged spinal discs. Found between each vertebrae (bones of the spine), spinal discs act as cushions to provide comfort when the body puts pressure on the spine. They are also instrumental in the movement of the spine. When trauma—such as from an auto accident—occurs to a disc, the outer shell of this ‘cushion’ may tear, allowing the soft, inner portion to bulge out, putting pressure on nerves and causing pain.

A full chiropractic diagnosis is necessary after an auto accident to determine if a disc injury has occurred. In some cases, the symptoms may be vague in the beginning but could eventually lead to other health conditions and/or chronic pain in the future. The symptoms of a disc herniation include sensory changes such as numbness or tinging as well as pain in the neck or lower back, which may or may not extend to the areas related to affected nerve roots.

For back pain and disc herniations, chiropractic treatment is a drug-free and hands-on approach to repairing the injury and relieving pain. Gentle, manual adjustments are used in conjunction with physical therapy practices to treat the injured area. Spinal decompression is often used as a method of treatment for disc issues.

 

Chiropractic Care and ADD/ADHD

Many parents of children living with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are justifiably concerned about the negative effects of medications on growing bodies. Some are making the intuitive choice to seek out drug-free care with an expert in functional neurological disorders (a Doctor of Chiropractic) to treat their child’s neurobehavioral developmental disorder. Chiropractic care in Sea Girt, NJ for ADD and ADHD patients offers a safe and effective method of addressing and fixing the issues that lead to such disorders.

 

The Problem with Medication

All medications and drugs carry inherent risks. For children taking medications, this statement is particularly frightening; their bodies are growing while under the influence of harmful substances.

Because of the explosion in ADD and ADHD diagnoses in recent years, the use of medications in children has become a widespread problem. Since the early 1990s, the number of children prescribed Ritalin (Methylphenidate, a stimulant similar to amphetamines) has increased by a factor of five. Ritalin is a Class II controlled and addictive substance. It has not been tested for effectiveness or long-term use in pediatric ADD patients, although many doctors suspect that such stimulants can impact normal brain development and prompt or exacerbate psychiatric conditions.

While effects of long-term use in pediatric patients are debated but still unclear, the following is a list of common, expected side of effects of taking Ritalin in low doses*:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Impairment of voluntary movement

Other medications for ADD and ADHD include non-stimulants such as Strattera or Intuniv. Some patients are prescribed antidepressants. Like any medication, these have their own specific set of symptoms; none of them have been studied for long-term effects in children with ADD/ADHD.

Perhaps the worse news of all about ADD and ADHD medications are that they do nothing to address the underlying cause  of these conditions.

 

What is the connection between Chiropractic Treatment and ADD/ADHD?

The spine is vulnerable to misalignment and disorder from the very first moment of life. Infants and children may experience spinal injury (and resulting neurological issues) due to modern and traumatic birthing practices; falls from cribs or beds; normal tumbles while learning to walk; and any other trauma.

As experts in neurological disorders, Doctors of Chiropractic get to the root cause of ADD and ADHD by identifying spinal issues which may be affecting normal neurological functioning and development. In particular, misalignments (subluxations) in the neck (cervical spine) have been found to be related to brain stem dysfunction.

When input to the brain is distorted or altered because of subluxations in the spine, output is also compromised. Information from the upper cervical area is an important source of sensory input to the brain. Chiropractic treatment works to correct spinal issues so that the entire central nervous system can perform properly , including the flow of sensory information to and from the brain.

 

Chiropractic Treatment for Children in Sea Girt, New Jersey

Chiropractic care for children (with or without ADD or ADHD symptoms) is an important element in ensuring proper health during the developmental stages of life. For those living with the symptoms of these conditions, chiropractic care treats the underlying neurological issues that can cause ADD/ADHD. For many children, this means an improvement in functioning without drugs.

Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation provides gentle and safe chiropractic adjustments for children. We use a caring, hands-on, and individualized approach that focuses on providing effective treatment in a comforting environment.

 

Please contact Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation to learn more about chiropractic care for Attention Deficit Disorder near Sea Girt, NJ. Our jersey shore chiropractic office also provides physical therapy services, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

*Brands, Bruna, Beth Sproule and Joan Marshman (editors). 1998. Drugs & Drug Abuse (3rd edition). Toronto, Ontario: Addiction Research Foundation.

Treatment for Asthma in Children and Adults

Spinal health is essential for the correct functioning of the entire body; when the spine is misaligned due to an injury or long-term postural issues, any number of conditions may result. For some, the nervous system distress triggered by spinal misalignment manifests itself as asthma. A shocking number of Americans are living with asthma; as of 2009, the Centers for Disease Control report the following asthma statistics:

  • 7.1 million children are currently suffering from asthma.
  • The number of children with the disorder represents 9.6% of all American children.*
  • 17.5 million adults in the U.S. are asthmatic.**
  •  Chiropractic care for asthma can reduce symptoms without the use of medications.

This is a healthy alternative and an effective method of avoiding drugs and the various side effects of such drugs (a concern particularly significant for the parents of asthmatic children).

 

Medical Care and Asthma

Medicines used to treat asthma work by preventing the constriction of breathing pathways. The most commonly prescribed drugs include inhaled corticosteroids or leukotriene modifiers. Corticosteroids have a number of inherent risks, particularly when they are prescribed to children. Some of these dangers include decreased bone density; bruising; poor growth; suppression of the adrenal gland; thrush; and hoarseness.

When patients require medications on a daily basis, side effects can begin to affect nearly every aspect of life. For children, there is the additional fear that medications are negatively impacting healthy growth and development.

What’s even worse is that there are stricter and lower dosage limitations for children. This may mean that worsening symptoms may become untreatable or might require excessive dosing.

It seems rational, then, to find ways to deal with asthma outside the sphere of traditional medical care. While all decisions regarding medication should be made between patients and their medical doctors, it’s only natural and sensible to seek effective methods that don’t require drugs.

 

Chiropractic Treatment for Asthma

Abnormal communication between the brain and lungs signify that something is wrong with the autonomous nervous system—the part of the nervous system responsible for involuntary behaviors such as breathing. Misalignments in spine can cause serious disruption within the nervous system as a whole, leading not only to the symptoms associated with asthma, but pain and disorder throughout the body. For asthmatic patients, this disorder is manifested as the symptoms of their condition.

When the interference caused by a misalignment is corrected through chiropractic adjustment, breathing improves and asthma symptoms decrease.

*Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2009, table 1

**Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2009, tables 3, 4

Back pain can come in many forms and may be accompanied by other symptoms including numbness or leg pain. The following is a short list of conditions involving back pain:

  • Sciatica
  • Disc Injuries/Disc Herniation
  • Auto Accident Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Neck Pain
  • Sports Injury

Generally speaking, back pain is usually caused by either age, injury, or some combination of these two factors. Illness may also cause back (fibromyalgia, for example).

Let’s work together to create individualized programs of care for your specific case of back pain. We’re ready to listen to your concerns and provide empathy alongside serious solutions for your condition. Remember that long-term painkiller use is never a solution and that all conservative rehabilitation practices should be attempted before surgery is considered an option.

 

Chiropractors work to address the causes of back pain in order to provide long-lasting relief without the aforementioned surgery or drugs. By correcting issues within the spine and ensuring that the spine is in good health, chiropractic care directly addresses the health of the central nervous system. The central nervous system controls all the functions of the body, including pain.

Correcting structural issues within the spine accomplishes two major goals: to fix the direct cause of pain (irritation to the nerves caused by misaligned vertebrae, for example) while promoting the body’s ability to heal and function at its best by allowing the central nervous system to function normally.

Using a number of disciplines, including Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Acupuncture, and Massage Therapy, arthritis patients can start living with less pain and begin to regain normal movement. Chiropractic treatment is at the heart of rehabilitation strategies for Sea Girt Spine’s arthritis patients.

Arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition characterized by inflammation in the joints of the body. While there are many types of arthritis, the most common is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect the load-bearing bones of the back, neck, and spine.

It’s important to understand the role of poor posture in the genesis of osteoarthritis. Any disorder of the spine—whether it is caused by poor posture or untreated trauma—can lead to atypical loading of weight in the back, neck, and spine. This is called mechanical stress, and it may begin a reaction in which the bones of spine begin to remodel and adapt to this unhealthy and abnormal weight distribution.

Eventually, bone cells known as osteoblasts  begin to multiply and build new bone. This process leads to the creation of bone spurs  in the joints of the spine, which can cause the inflammation, pain, and restricted movement associated with osteoarthritis. For some osteoarthritis patients, the spinal canal may begin to narrow; this condition is known as spinal stenosis and presents its own set of painful and immobilizing symptoms.

More generally, osteoarthritis patients may experience a host of distressing and life-altering symptoms. In addition to pain, some sufferers notice altered sensation such as numbness and/or tingling; muscle weakness; swelling and stiffness in the joints; deformed joints; and limited range of motion.

 

Chiropractic Care for Arthritis

As the body grows older, it’s important to ensure the health of the spine for less pain and more activity. By taking advantage of the myriad benefits of chiropractic, patients can actually reduce the future incidence of osteoarthritis and other painful conditions.

However, it is not too late for those already suffering from osteoarthritis to take steps to end the unhealthy cycle that is causing pain, immobility, and degeneration. The sooner chiropractic is incorporated into plans of rehabilitation for osteoarthritis patients, the better the expected results.

Osteoarthritis is both caused and aggravated by poor posture (the incorrect alignment of the spine). By correcting issues within the spine through gentle chiropractic treatment, patients with osteoarthritis can experience relief from pain and inflammation, as well as increased mobility. Additionally, chiropractic works to slow or even stop further degeneration in the joints.

When your child cries for hours on end, it can be heart-rending and maddening—particularly when you feel powerless to help. Chiropractic care in our Sea Girt, NJ office offers hope to parents of infants suffering with colic.

Described as uncontrollable crying for extended periods of time, colic can be an extremely frustrating condition for new parents. Colic usually affects otherwise healthy and happy newborns between birth and the age of three to four months. The symptoms, which may include incessant crying and fussiness, most often occur in the afternoon or evening, although this varies between sufferers. Each patient generally experiences colic symptoms at a certain time of day.

While the medical community has not reached a consensus on the cause of colic, a predominant theory is that abnormal stomach and intestinal bacterial may be affecting the breakdown of food, leading to abdominal cramping, excessive gas, and pain.

 

Colic and Chiropractic

Spinal misalignment may also explain the symptoms of colic. When such misalignments—which are known as subluxations—wreak havoc on the nervous system of a developing baby, a number of health conditions may occur, including colic.

There has been an increase in spinal conditions (and childhood disorders and illnesses) due to the proliferation of caesarian delivery. As such, many children are born with injuries that are not immediately apparent but will present at a later time as colic, bedwetting issues, allergies , or even Attention Deficit Disorder. Other traumas that can cause spinal subluxation include falls from a crib, bed, or changing table. Even normal tumbles when learning to walk can cause damage to the soft tissues of the spine.

Any misalignment in the spine can affect the body’s nerves, thereby influencing the entire nervous system. The nervous system is responsible for every function of the body, including those of the intestinal tract. In order to return the body to normal functioning, interference in the nervous system must be fixed. This is the purpose of chiropractic care in the treatment of colic—not to minimize symptoms, but to fix what is causing symptoms.

The search for relief from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can often feel like a no-win situation. Because Chronic Fatigue is difficult to treat with traditional medical care, patients are often forced to visit multiple doctors and fill a variety of prescriptions in the quest to alleviate their symptoms. On the other hand, the main characteristic of Chronic Fatigue is fatigue ; this presents an exhausting and often frustrating quandary for patients.

Chiropractic treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a drug-free, long-term, and effective  solution. Chiropractic is different from the medical model of care in that it seeks to correct structural problems in the body in order to eradicate the condition, rather than relying on medications to temporarily relieve symptoms.

 

Understanding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There is no universally accepted medical explanation for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Patients usually experience several recurrences of the illness before receiving a diagnosis. This is often because many of the symptoms of CFS mimic those of other conditions. Also, patients might have no visible signs of illness or may experience periods of remission. Additionally, there is no laboratory test to pinpoint any disease or infection.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) developed the diagnostic criteria for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 1994. Some of the symptoms that must be present in order to diagnose CFS include:

 

  • Fatigue that is persistent and not related to exertion. This fatigue causes a serious decline in normal levels of activity and cannot be relieved by sleep or rest
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain (with no redness or swelling)
  • Headache

 

Other symptoms may include:

 

  • Irritable Bowel syndrome
  • Mental exhaustion/depression/irritability
  • Sore Throat
  • Sensitivity and allergies to certain medications, chemicals, foods, or odors
  • Dizziness

 

Medications for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

All medications carry inherent risks and side effects . In many cases, patients with Chronic Fatigue are subjected to trial runs with multiple medications, none of which were expressly designed to treat this condition. Such drugs may include antidepressants; blood pressure medications; antimicrobial drugs (antibiotics and antivirals); anti-inflammatory agents; immunologically active drugs; and various painkillers. In every case, drugs offer a temporary and unhealthy solution to the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

 

The Spine and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There are many factors that can negatively affect the proper alignment of the spine. Misalignments of the spine are known as subluxations, and they can occur as a result of a trauma, or as the consequence of long-term poor posture. For some patients, an injury may have occurred that has either been forgotten or ignored, until unhealthy symptoms—such as those associated with Chronic Fatigue—begin to affect the body.

The health of the spine is a crucial factor in ensuring the correct functioning of the body’s nervous system. When the nervous system is jeopardized due to subluxations in any part of the spine, the effects can be disastrous. We know this is true because Chronic Fatigue Syndrome rarely exists in a vacuum; patients suffering from the disease usually have concurrent health issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Fibromyalgia.

The central nervous system coordinates all of the activities of the body and is comprised of the brain, which is protected by the skull, and the spinal cord. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae, or bones, of the spine. When the spine is not in proper alignment, the entire central nervous system is affected, including the autonomic nervous system, which is part of the nervous system that controls the involuntary functions of the body.

In addition to nervous system disorder, a misaligned spine is also an inefficient one. This may lead to further fatigue and strain. When the vertebrae, sacrum, hips, and pelvis are positioned correctly, less energy is required to support the body. In particular, the shape of the cervical spine (the neck) is important. When the neck is misaligned, the weight of the head (normally ten to 14 pounds) increases exponentially. Carrying this added burden can create or aggravate exhaustion.

Understanding Disc Problems

Spinal discs rest between the bones of the spine (the vertebrae) to provide comfort and assist with movement. Essentially, they are the cushions of the spine, and are comprised of an outer shell, the annulus fibrosus , which protects the nucleus pulposus , the soft, inner portion. Basically, the spinal cord is protected by the spine, while the spine is cushioned by the spinal discs.  In addition to shock absorption, these discs also work as a ligament that holds the spine together while keeping the vertebrae separated.

When the protective shell of a disc ruptures, the soft, inner portion can bulge out and put pressure on the nerves of the spine. When the inner disc material bulges out and moves closer to the spinal cord, it is known as a herniation . Both of these scenarios can cause any of the following symptoms, depending on the severity and location of the problem:

  • Back Pain
  • Sciatica (when the disc problem occurs in the lumbar spine)
  • Leg Pain
  • Weakness in the Legs
  • Bowel/Bladder Dysfunction
  • Pain/Numbness in the Shoulders, Arms, and Chest (when the disc problem occurs in the spine of the neck)
  • Muscle Pain/Muscle Spasms

Causes of Disc Problems

Bulged and herniated discs are caused by injury or trauma to the spine. For example, auto accidents  or sports injuries are often the culprits behind this condition.

A different sort of trauma may also cause disc problems. When the spine is not properly aligned for an extended time, poor posture can lead to disc injuries. Disc degeneration is also a culprit. With age, the spinal discs dry up and become less flexible. Damage is more likely to occur as the body ages.

 

Chiropractic Care for Herniated and Bulged Discs

There are two main components to Chiropractic for disc problems: preventive and healing. As previously mentioned, consistently poor posture can lead the body down a disastrously unhealthy path, which includes (but is certainly not limited to) disc problems. Chiropractic care can help with maintaining the health of the spine in order to avoid this painful condition.

After a disc injury has occurred, chiropractic care can provide gentle manipulation to correct any issues within the spine in order to increase mobility and flexibility while reducing pain. Contrary to popular belief, chiropractic care does not ‘pop’ the disc back into place. Rather, it puts the body in an optimal position to heal spinal injuries and return to normal health and functioning.

 

As a parent, it’s always difficult to sit by and watch your child suffer unnecessarily. When it comes to repeated ear infections, the pain, fever, irritability, and sleep troubles can be a terrible experience for any child, particularly when these symptoms come back again and again.

Known as Otitis Media , ear infections are one of the most common problems suffered by children. Unfortunately, conventional treatment for ear infection often involves antibiotics. There are two main issues with the use of antibiotics for ear infections:

  • The over-prescription and overuse of antibiotics have caused conventional antibiotic treatment to decrease in effectiveness. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every instance of antibiotic usage leads to greater resistance.
  • Some ear infections are caused by viruses, which cannot be eliminated with antibiotics.

It’s time to take a look at alternative, healthy solutions to childhood illnesses. Chiropractic care is an excellent weapon in the battle against ear infections. Additionally, beginning chiropractic treatment at a young age is a great way to ensure a healthy childhood, proper development, and excellent physical condition as an adult.

 

Childhood Ear Infections 

A pediatrician has most likely already diagnosed your child with an ear infection at some point. Using an otoscope , the inner and middle ear can be viewed to check if there is inflammation and fluid in the ear. Many children also experience fever during an ear infection.

It’s important to understand why children are more prone to ear infections than adults. When the lymphatic system is working properly, fluid drains away from the middle ear as it is meant to. When there is some form of malfunction, this fluid becomes trapped and sparks a chain reaction of inflammation and pain.

Infants have an ear canal that is situated almost horizontally; over the years, this slowly assumes a better angle to allow for fluid drainage. In many cases, this is why children begin to experience fewer ear infections as they mature. If you’re a parent, however, you’re probably already aware that this is not always the case—that some children continue to suffer with the same pain, fever, and other symptoms, repeatedly and in continuum.

Chiropractic care can help to allow proper function of the middle ear to begin. In order to do so, chiropractic care gently  and safely  realigns the bones of the neck (the cervical spine) to allow the nervous system to function correctly. The nervous system has a direct effect on all of the functions of the body, including those of the ear. By finding issues that are negatively affecting your child’s health (subluxations/misalignments in the spine), the constant threat of ear infections can be averted.

In fact, a study that compared the health of the children of Chiropractic Doctors with the children of Medical Doctors found that the children of MDs experienced far more recurrent ear infections and  used antibiotics more often than the children of chiropractors. Of the medical children, only 12% had never used antibiotics, and yet 80% suffered from the recurrence of ear infections. Meanwhile, the children of chiropractors experienced a minor 31% of ear infection recurrence while 49% had never once used antibiotics.*

Fibromyalgia is a notoriously difficult condition to diagnose and treat. For those suffering with this disorder, it is also a notoriously painful, disruptive, and immobilizing illness. As of yet, there is no known medical cause to explain Fibromyalgia, and there are no diagnostic tests to pinpoint the exact origin of symptoms. While every patient is different, there is a general set of shared symptoms that usually lead to a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. These include:

  • Chronic, widespread pain
  • Trigger points/muscle pain (this is known as Myofascial pain)
  • Fatigue/apathy
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Chest Pain (not related to heart conditions)

Fibromyalgia patients often soldier onward in an unhealthy cycle of using traditional medical care (drugs) to treat the symptoms—and not the cause—of this condition. However, there is another way to address Fibromyalgia. By using healthy practices such as Chiropractic adjustment, it’s possible to tackle the underlying cause of Fibromyalgia in order to accomplish long-term rehabilitation goals. For many patients, this often means they are finally able to battle the widespread pain, fatigue, and emotional anguish of Fibromyalgia.

 

Chiropractic and Fibromyalgia: Understanding the Connection

The medical community has been struggling to help patients suffering from the various symptoms and pain of Fibromyalgia, but drug therapy for symptoms is simply a mask—and an unhealthy one—for a larger issue. Unless disorder within the Central Nervous System is addressed, Fibromyalgia will continue to wreak havoc on the body.

The central nervous system coordinates all of the activities of the body and is comprised of the brain, which is protected by the skull, and the spinal cord. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae, or bones, of the spine. When the spine is not in proper alignment, the entire central nervous system is compromised, including the autonomic nervous system, which controls the involuntary functions of the body.

There are many factors that can cause misalignments, which are known as subluxations, in the spine. The most obvious of these are traumas such as auto accidents or sports injuries. Many patients don’t realize that poor posture throughout the years can also negatively affect the spine. In some cases, a trauma that occurred many years ago may have been negatively affecting the body long after the initial injury occurred, unbeknownst to the sufferer.

Because an unhealthy nervous system is at the root of Fibromyalgia, it’s no surprise that many patients with this condition also suffer from other issues. These might include digestive disorders such as IBS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) is a serious, chronic condition that is a risk factor for a number of life-threatening conditions. Long-term hypertension puts the body at risk for heart failure, aneurysm, stroke, heart attack, and renal (kidney) failure. Chiropractic care is a proven, successful method of lowering blood pressure to avert future health crises.

Blood pressure readings are taken as systolic and diastolic pressure, respectively, and are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Systolic pressure measures when the heart beats. This number should not consistently exceed 140mmHg. Diastolic pressure is the measurement of pressure inside the blood vessels when the heart is at rest. This number should not regularly top 90mmHg. When blood pressure numbers are above these acceptable perimeters, hypertension is diagnosed.

Hypertension is usually asymptomatic. Fortunately, blood pressure readings are easy to obtain and should be monitored closely. When patients do suffer from symptoms of hypertension, they might experience irregular heartbeat or chest pain.

 

Chiropractic for High Blood Pressure

Doctors of Chiropractic have long known that chiropractic treatment has a significant impact on blood pressure. As a number of studies have proven, the traditional medical community has also accepted the obvious fact of chiropractic’s effect on hypertensive patients.

While chiropractic treatment concerns itself with the health of entire spine (and therefore the health of the entire body), studies have shown that hypertension responds particularly well to adjustments to the cervical (neck) spine. By correctly aligning the Atlas vertebra—the bone found at the very top of the spine—blood pressure can be significantly lowered.

A study was completed at the University of Chicago that confirms the connection between the Atlas vertebra and hypertension. In this study, 25 patients received adjustments while another group underwent a sham procedure. Although none of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight weeks of the study, those who received chiropractic treatment saw an average greater drop of 14 mmHg in systolic pressure, and an average greater reduction by 8 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.*

 

Chiropractic Treatment for Hypertension: Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation

Chiropractic care is an excellent method of lowering blood pressure; it works in conjunction with healthy lifestyle choices such as losing weight, increasing exercise, and quitting smoking. At Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation, we can help you get started on the right path to increased lifespan by lowering hypertension through chiropractic adjustment and encouraging better overall health. For example, we incorporate acupuncture to help patients quit smoking. Our physical therapy department can help inactive or overweight patients reduce pain and increase activity, while massage therapy contributes to relaxation.

Chiropractic treatment can address many of the most common causes of leg pain. More specifically, chiropractic works with leg pain patients to preserve or restore mobility and the normal functioning of the leg. Generally speaking, patients often suffer from leg pain due to nerve issues/irritation; trauma; or arthritis. Let’s take a look at how each of these cause leg pain, and what can be done to resolve this pain in our Sea Girt chiropractic office.

 

Sciatica and/or Nerve Irritation

Nerve irritation is a major cause of leg pain. For example, sciatica is the term used to describe the many symptoms that occur due to the inflammation, irritation, and compression of the sciatic nerve.

In many cases, this nerve irritation occurs as the result of a misalignment, or subluxation , in the spine. For leg pain/sciatica patients, this misalignment may be present in the lower spine, and the nerves may become pinched or compressed when the spine is not aligned correctly. Chiropractic care can help by realigning the spine and correcting postural issues. This takes the pressure off of nerves and relieves leg pain.

 

Leg Pain and Trauma

Injuries from auto accidents, sports, or other traumas can cause muscle strain and tears. Tendonitis is also associated with leg pain and can be caused by long-term trauma or overuse. After trauma of any type, inflammation in one area (such as the leg) can wreak havoc on the health of the entire body.

Using a hands-on, manual approach, chiropractic care addresses inflammation. When the spine is adjusted, the result is often a reduction in low-grade and/or long term inflammation that can occur after an injury. In order to improve movement in the leg and alleviate pain, chiropractic treatment may also involve applying a controlled force to restricted joints (such as the knee joint).

 

Arthritis  and Chiropractic at Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation

Generally speaking, arthritis is characterized by inflammation and pain in the joints. There are a variety of types of arthritis, and thus each patient experiences the condition differently. For some, the severity of pain may increase while the joint is in motion, while for others rest is more painful. Rheumatoid arthritis, in particular, can be painful even when the joints are not in use, while degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) will mostly be symptomatic while the joint is  in use.

Abnormal distribution of weight (loading) on the joints due to a misaligned spine can cause mechanical stress. This abnormal loading can exacerbate or cause the symptoms of osteoarthritis. When the spine is realigned, this mechanical stress is reduced, alleviating the resulting leg pain.

We know that Multiple Sclerosis is a disease affecting the brain and the spinal cord (the central nervous system). Chiropractors  are specialists who seek out and correct structural issues which may be negatively affecting the central nervous system, such as a misalignment of the spine. For those living with Multiple Sclerosis in Point Pleasant, Brick, Manasquan, or Wall, NJ, our Jersey Shore chiropractors can help.

As anyone with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) knows, treatment for this life-altering and often disabling condition usually involves a number of very powerful drugs—drugs which often cause unwanted and damaging side effects. It’s important to recognize the inherent nature of MS, which wreaks havoc on the body’s nervous system and can destroy the sufferer’s quality of life. It’s essential that MS patients find ways to treat their illness without causing further destruction to the body.

Multiple Sclerosis patients may experience symptoms in any area of the body because nerve damage may occur in any part of the spinal cord or brain. Sufferers generally experience episodes of symptoms that last anywhere from a few days to weeks or even months. Between such episodes, many MS patients then undergo a remission or reduction in symptoms. For some, this disease may progressively worsen without remission.

Common symptoms include issues with the body’s muscles, which may lead to immobility and difficulty walking, moving, coordinating movements, or balancing. Other symptoms include bowel/bladder problems, vision issues, numbness and/or tingling, decreased attention span, dizziness, depression, and fatigue.

Many patients with MS choose to reduce and/or eliminate the use of innately harmful medications by seeking ways to alleviate these neurological symptoms through drug-free treatments, including chiropractic. Chiropractic offers MS patients an effective, relevant, and healthy treatment option. Because our Jersey Shore chiropractors work without drugs, treatment can begin even before a formal diagnosis is made. This is an important distinction because it is often a long, difficult process to obtain a diagnosis for Multiple Sclerosis.

 

Understanding Chiropractic for Multiple Sclerosis

Studies have shown a direct correlation between issues within the upper neck spine (the cervical spine) and Multiple Sclerosis. It is generally understood that head and neck injuries are a contributing factor in the onset of this condition. Often, those who have experienced whiplash, a concussion, a blow to the head, or sports injury sustain damage in the cervical spine. In some cases, the injury is ignored or forgotten until years later, when symptoms of an unhealthy central nervous system appear in the form of MS or some other illness.

A recent study showed that chiropractic care for MS and Parkinson’s patients with neck injuries proved successful in reversing the progression of both conditions. In this study, 91% of MS patients had improvement after chiropractic treatment for their neck injury. This is not a surprising result—when the bones of the spine (the vertebrae) become misaligned, they interfere with the normal functioning of the central nervous system. In particular, misalignments in the cervical spine may obstruct the nerve pathways traveling between the spinal cord and the brain, resulting in the compromised ability of the body and brain to communicate.

Migraine headaches are a symptom of a larger neurological condition which may also cause nausea, visual disturbances, and dysfunctional bodily perceptions (such as numbness). When a migraine attack occurs, it can be disruptive, terrifying, and extremely painful. For some, living with this condition signifies an inability to perform consistently at work or to enjoy life. In many cases, medications are not the answer (more on this subject below).

Fortunately, chiropractic care is an extremely successful method of combating this neurological disease. Countless patients have benefitted from the use of chiropractic in the quest to start living without the pain and neurological symptoms of migraine.

 

Understanding Migraine 

Generally speaking, migraine attacks can last from four to 72 hours. Migraine is differentiated from other types of headaches in that the condition often presents as a four-stage process from start to finish. Not all migraineurs suffer from all four phases all of the time; a person who experiences all of them is considered a ‘classic’ migraineur.

These four stages begin with the prodrome,  which may be experienced as changes in mood (depression or elation), sleepiness, digestive problems (diarrhea or constipation), and/or stiff muscles. The second stage is called the aura , which involves visual dysfunction such as flashes of white, black, or colored lights or blurred vision. Other neurological symptoms may also occur at this time, including olfactory or auditory hallucinations, numbness, or vertigo.

At some point, the migraine patient will begin to experience extreme pain on one side of the head (unilaterally). Sensitivity to light, odors, motion, and sounds may accompany this pain. Nausea is also common. The final stage is the prodrome, wherein the sufferer will begin to feel relief from pain and may be tired, depressed, and may continue to have some level of pain and/or stomach problems. Some patients experience a burst of energy or euphoria.

 

Migraine and Medicine

Generally speaking, when the medical community is unable to provide a definitive explanation of a condition (as is the case with migraine and other disorders, like fibromyalgia), the usual course of action is to treat symptoms as they appear. Hence, most of the drugs used to treat migraine were not designed for  migraine.

The usual medications prescribed for migraine pain include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), butalbital combinations (sedative in combination with aspirin, acetaminophen, and/or caffeine) triptans, anti-nausea medications, and opiates. These drugs carry a number of risks, as outlined below:

  • Addiction (Opiates);
  • Gastrointestinal Bleeding (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, when taken long-term and in high doses);
  • Kidney and Liver Damage (long-term NSAID usage); and
  • Rebound Headaches (Opiates, Butalbital, and NSAIDs).

Neurologists also often prescribe preventive medications to subvert migraine attacks before they happen. Again, such drugs are, in many cases, not specifically designed for migraine and are not effective with all migraineurs. For example, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, antihistamines, and beta blockers are all prescribed to prevent migraine. Most migraine patients have experienced, in varying degrees, the damaging and unwanted side effects from drugs that were ineffective.

 

Chiropractic Treatment of Migraine Headaches

The cervical spine—the neck—was designed to have a C-shaped curve (known as a lordosis). This design is no accident of nature; it has a very specific purpose. The neck is responsible for bearing the considerable burden of the weight of the head. A subluxation , or misalignment in the neck can irritate the nerves that travel between the brain and the spine. Such a misalignment can interfere with the normal workings of the central nervous system and leave the body vulnerable to chemical imbalances in the brain.

A reverse curvature in the neck is often found in migraine sufferers. This is called a cervical kyphosis, and it can be caused by trauma or abnormal posture. Chiropractic care provides a long-term solution from pain and other symptoms by correcting this spinal misalignment. While a painkiller may provide a temporary solution, targeting the cause of migraine is obviously a more effective and intuitive choice. Chiropractic care also carries no side effects.

The spine of the neck curves in such a way that weight and stress are distributed equally along its arc. Nature provides endless examples of the strength of the sphere; we also learn in geometry that the circle (the arc) is the strongest structural shape.

What happens when the neck—the cervical spine —loses its healthy curvature? For one thing, the weight of the head becomes exponentially heavier to carry, causing even further problems. For another, the flow of nerves and blood to the rest of the body are compromised, leading to nervous system malfunctioning. This affects the health of the entire body.

Neck pain is often the result of poor posture—which also leads to a change in the positioning of the neck. Sitting for long periods of time behind a computer—even regularly sleeping in an awkward position can result in unhealthy posture. Obesity is another culprit, as is the normal process of aging. In particular, age-related neck pain may be associated with degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine or  osteoarthritis.

A sudden trauma—such as an auto accident or sports injury—may also cause neck pain. In particular, whiplash occurs when the head experiences an impact which forces the head or neck to move abruptly in one direction, and then just as abruptly pulls it in the opposite direction. This occurrence causes injury to the tissues of the neck.

Chiropractic care does more than ease symptoms—it addresses the structural  issues which are causing pain. Furthermore, our office incorporates physical therapy into programs of care for neck pain and immobility as well as acupuncture for pain relief.

Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation recognizes that knee pain can be extremely disruptive to otherwise active lifestyles. It’s important to learn that there are a number of healthy and effective strategies for reducing knee pain and retaining normal knee movement. Our office is prepared to help with the rehabilitation and pain management of painful knees with Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage, and Acupuncture.

The knee is not only the largest joint in the body, it is also extremely vulnerable to injury. This complex structure is responsible for bearing the weight of the body and is often tasked with repetitive motions that are both traumatic and damaging. With age, the knee may no longer be able to provide the same level of shock absorption. Generally speaking, there are two main causes of knee pain. These include:

Trauma: Repetitive motion may cause knee pain. This condition may also be caused by injuries incurred in auto accidents, during sports or athletic activity, or from being obese or overweight.

Age-Related Degeneration:  Osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and other age-related or degenerative conditions may cause knee pain and immobility.

Less commonly, patients may also experience knee pain related to bone tumors or infections. Treatment for knee pain is always directed at whichever injury or illness is the cause of pain.
Symptoms of Knee Pain: When to Visit our Office
Some minor knee injuries may cause temporary, acute knee pain that resolves on its own after a few days. It is necessary to seek help when this pain does not resolve, or if any of the following symptoms appear:

  • Difficulty bending the knee or walking;
  • Pain-related sleep disturbances (knee pain when at rest);
  • Stiffness after long periods of inactivity;
  • The area appears deformed or swollen; and/or
  • Signs of infection (fever, warmth, or redness) are present;
  • Chiropractic Treatment for Knee Pain

Chiropractic care for knee pain in our Sea Girt office has a number of important goals. The first is to normalize functioning of the knee joint while reducing pain and inflammation. Chiropractic adjustments and mobilization techniques may be used on painful knees to increase movement and reduce pain.

Chiropractic care in our Jersey Shore office often works in collaboration with physical therapy practices such as ice therapy (to reduce swelling and alleviate pain) and therapeutic exercises to improve the stability and movement of the joint. Deep tissue massage may be used for some patients to address trigger points (painful areas of muscle) while acupuncture is a drug-free method of pain relief.

When lower back pain is accompanied by numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, or additional pain in the lower extremities, sciatica might be the problem. All of these symptoms can be attributed to irritation, inflammation, or compression of the sciatic nerves. Chiropractic care at Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation addresses the cause of sciatica in order to reduce pain, restore compromised movement, and relieve other symptoms.

Because the sciatic nerves are the longest and largest nerves—extending from nerve roots in the lower back down the legs—the symptoms of sciatica cover a large portion of the body and can be debilitating.

In many cases, sciatica is the result of misalignments (known as subluxations) in the lower back (the lumbar spine). A subluxation is diagnosed when a vertebral bone is out of normal alignment, which leads to pain and impaired neurological function. Improper positioning of the pelvis can also cause sciatica.

One of the most common reasons patients suffer from sciatica symptoms is a herniated or bulged spinal disc. The spinal discs are tasked with providing cushioning between the vertebrae while allowing for movement of the spine. When disc material moves out of place, nerve root compression may lead to sciatica.

Other patients begin to experience sciatica after experiencing a trauma, such as a sports injury or an auto accident. Pregnant women are more susceptible to sciatica due to a variety of physical changes. Older patients may experience spinal degeneration which can lead to osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis, a condition in which the spinal canal narrows and compresses nerves.

 

Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica

The central nervous system is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, and is responsible for every function of the body—including pain. When the spine is not in a normal, healthy position due to subluxations, not only do the nerves become pinched,   compressed, or damaged, but the entire functioning of the body may begin to malfunction in a number of ways. (For this reason, chiropractic care for sciatica in our Sea Girt office also has a number of healthful side benefits, such as improved vision or better sleep.)

Chiropractic treatment for sciatica ensures that the nerves are free to work as intended, thereby eliminating sciatica symptoms without drugs or traumatic surgical intervention.

 

Many sports injuries cause the spine to become misaligned. It’s important not to underestimate the devastating effect incorrect posture has on the nervous system and, consequently, all of the functions of the body. Some patients suffer for years from serious conditions—such as migraine, chronic fatigue, or irritable bowel– before spinal misalignments (subluxations) are diagnosed and corrected by a Doctor of Chiropractic.

Chiropractic care at Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation uses a hands-on approach that harnesses the body’s natural ability to heal. That is, patients can find very real solutions to painful conditions through chiropractic care without drug use or unnecessary surgeries. Chiropractic uses spinal adjustment to treat injuries that are affecting the nervous and musculoskeletal system and causing pain.

For many patients, we incorporate physical therapy as well as massage therapy and acupuncture into chiropractic programs of rehabilitation.

Chiropractic care is a drug-free method of reducing inflammation and pain for those suffering from Tendonitis.

Tendonitis is a condition that occurs when the motion of a tendon is impaired, thus becoming inflamed and causing pain. The term ‘tendonitis’ literally translates to ‘inflammation of the tendon’ (‘itis’ refers to inflammation).

When the motion of a tendon is impeded for any reason, it will become inflamed and painful. This phenomenon is known as Tendonitis.  The tendons play an important role in the movement of the body. This structure connects the muscles to the bones and enables mobility. When a muscle contracts and pulls on a bone for movement, it is the tendon which transmits the force necessary for this process to take place.

When a patient is suffering from Tendonitis, the normal, gliding motion of the tendon is impaired, leading to inflammation and pain.

 

Causes of Tendonitis

There are several reasons why tendons may become inflamed. Sports injuries and injuries of overuse are the main causative factors, mostly due to the repetitive nature of some athletic activities. Office workers may experience tendonitis in the wrist from typing. In some cases, beginning a new activity or physical exercise may irritate and inflame the tendon. The tendons also lose elasticity with age; those over forty are more susceptible to this condition.

Because tendonitis affects different parts of the body, the various types of tendonitis usually refer to whichever area is affected. For example, patellar tendonitis is the term for jumper’s knee, while the Achilles tendon is affected by Achilles tendonitis.

 

Tendonitis Symptoms

Pain and restricted movement are typical characteristics of Tendonitis. Those affected by this condition will find it difficult to move the afflicted body party. This can devastate attempts to participate in athletic activities and may restrict everyday motion.  Tendonitis patients might also experience visible swelling; a burning sensation; pain when the tendon is under pressure (such as during weight lifting); and pain when the area is touched or moved.

 

Chiropractic and Tendonitis: Relief from Inflammation and Pain

Chiropractic uses spinal adjustments to achieve a reduction in the inflammation and pain associated with Tendonitis. This is a hands-on, drug-free, and intuitive approach to Tendonitis—because Tendonitis is a disorder of inflammation, it makes sense for patients to seek out healthcare modalities aimed at reducing  inflammation.

Long-term, low grade inflammation is not only painful, but also carries serious risks for the overall health of the body. By realigning the spine, chiropractic addresses inflammation for better health and less pain. Spinal adjustment can also increase the motion in the joints for restored mobility. By applying a controlled force to restricted (or, hypomobile) joints, movement can be resumed. When normal movement occurs, pain and inflammation can be reduced.

It is a common occurrence for chiropractic patients to experience vision improvements after adjustment. In many cases, this occurs when patients use chiropractic care for an apparently unrelated health issue.

The simple explanation for this phenomenon is that neck pain, back pain, and other symptoms commonly treated with chiropractic are often caused by the same issues that lead to vision problems.

 

Improving Sight through Chiropractic Care on the Jersey Shore: How it Works 

Vision is coordinated by the nervous system, which is responsible for every function of the body. The optic nerve supplies input to the brain and is a part of the central nervous system. When there is disruption of any kind in the nervous system, the communication between the brain and the optic nerve will be negatively affected.

Disruption in the nervous system is caused by spinal misalignments. Chiropractic care finds these misalignments and corrects them in order to address dysfunction within the nervous system and restore normal vision.

Additionally, the supply of blood to the eye is closely related to the proper positioning and health of the neck (the cervical spine). The vertebral artery—which supplies blood to the optic nerve—is found in close proximity to the cervical spine.

 

A Case Study in Chiropractic for Vision Problems

In one case, a nine-year-old girl was experiencing bilateral concentric narrowing of the visual fields. Her vision was restored to normal after chiropractic adjustment, and remained that way until she experienced a sudden trauma to the head. At this point, her vision problems returned. She was again treated with chiropractic and her vision was restored once more.*

The connection between chiropractic care and the patient’s restored vision is clear. Similarly, it’s sensible to intuit that issues within the cervical spine were to blame in both cases of vision dysfunction. The second time these were experienced, her trauma was obvious: an injury to the head. The first occurrence of trauma to the cervical spine is unknown, although logically it is clear that problems in that area were the originating cause of vision problems.

In many cases, children suffer from health issues of unknown origin until it is discovered that there is some disorder in the spine. For some, the trauma of childbirth presents a number of ways that a child’s spine could get started on the wrong proverbial foot.

 

Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation understands that auto accidents can have far-reaching consequences for the health of the entire body. The sudden and traumatic effects of a crash can cause serious physical injury, pain, immobility, and emotional issues (such as stress, anxiety, and depression). Our office provides a multi-disciplinary system of care to treat the patient as a whole—this type of holistic rehabilitation addresses injury, pain, and emotional suffering through chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture.

While acupuncture is perhaps better-known for its pain-relieving abilities, it is also essential in providing relief from anxiety, sleeplessness, and other issues that may arise after a trauma. There is no reason to suffer from any type of pain—whether it is physiological or psychological. Rehabilitation and acupuncture at Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation can help.

An auto accident can cause any number of painful conditions, including whiplash, neck pain, disc injuries in the neck or lower back, sciatica, headaches, arm pain, leg pain, back pain, and knee pain (among others). Acupuncture is a drug free method of easing pain. This ancient practice prompts a biochemical effect that produces very real and measurable pain-relieving responses in the brain (more on this below).

Stress and anxiety are also very normal responses to a sudden trauma. In fact, the American Psychological Association recognizes car accidents to be the number one cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in the general population. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after any psychologically traumatic event. An Acute Stress Reaction is a shorter-lived but more frequent response to a car crash. Acupuncture can be a helpful component in the recovery process after a distressing and shocking incident.

How Does Acupuncture for Auto Accident Injuries Work?

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on the concept of ‘life energy’ or ‘Qi’ that flows throughout the body on channels known as meridians*. Qi is responsible for all physical processes of the body, and must flow freely throughout the body for good health. Disorder, pain, and disease result when Qi is deficient, excessive, or blocked for whatever reason. Acupuncture works to restore the healthy balance of Qi in order to help patients regain natural harmony and overall good health. Another central concept of TCM involves the opposing forces of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang govern the organs; they must remain balanced for good health.

 

The Western Medical Perspective

Western medical studies continue to reveal what it already known about acupuncture: that it is an effective method of treating pain, boosting immunity, and calming emotional suffering. For example, one study examined cerebrospinal fluid of patients after acupuncture treatment and discovered higher levels of endorphins**. Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides that have the same mechanism of action as opioid painkillers (such as morphine). This is one explanation for acupunctures’ pain-fighting abilities.

Endorphins function as neurotransmitters. Other important neurotransmitters which have been shown to be affected by acupuncture include serotonin and dopamine.

 

Acupuncture in Sea Girt, NJ for Auto Accident Injuries

After an accident, often the first thing that happens is an assessment of the vehicles involved. It’s important to maintain the correct priorities—the health of the mind and body—above all else.

The rehabilitation of physical injuries (such as whiplash) through chiropractic and physical therapy is essential in preventing chronic pain and avoiding long-lasting health problems. Acupuncture provides a drug-free method of relieving pain during this process. The long-term avoidance of emotional scarring can also have far-reaching consequences. Acupuncture is a safe and painless method of easing the various forms of suffering that can occur after a crash.

If you have recently experienced an auto accident, or are suffering from long-term painful conditions related to a crash, please contact our Sea Girt rehabilitation office.

 

* In a recent study (2000), two French doctors injected radioactive isotopes into the acupuncture points on test subjects. The results of this imaging process revealed the very pathways described in acupuncture charts—charts which are several hundred years old.  (Vibrational Medicine for the 21 Century- Richard Gerber M.D. Eagle Brook, NY, NY 2000 “Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine”)

** Anette Kjellgren, 2003, The experience of floatation REST (restricted Environmental stimulation technique), subjective stress and pain, Goteborg University Sweden.

Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation offers a variety of drug-free, holistic healthcare modalities for the treatment of neck pain. These include chiropractic care and physical therapy. In order to alleviate many of the symptoms of the various conditions that cause neck pain, our office has incorporated acupuncture into programs of rehabilitation for total mind/body relief of suffering.

For example, an auto accident victim may be suffering from whiplash (damage to the soft tissues of the cervical spine), causing neck pain and other symptoms. Together, chiropractic and physical therapy work to correct the cause of pain while promoting the normal alignment and movement of the neck. Acupuncture would be incorporated into a post-accident program of care for pain relief, accelerated healing, and as a method of easing some of the emotional symptoms associated with this type of trauma.

 

Understanding Acupuncture for Pain Relief

A practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture is based on the concept that a ‘life force’ known as Qi must flow freely and in perfect balance throughout the body. Qi travels along meridian pathways, a series of interconnecting acupuncture points which relate to the organs or various systems of organs. Pain and general disorder within the body occur when Qi is unbalanced, deficient, or blocked. Acupuncture helps to ensure that the body maintains a natural, healthy equilibrium. It does so by stimulating the acupuncture points along the meridians and rebalancing the flow of Qi.

Acupuncture is a drug-free method of treating a number of painful disorders, neck pain included. This ancient practice helps by stimulating the body in ways that produce a neurochemical effect—an effect that promotes the release of certain neurotransmitters. Serotonin, for example, interrupts pain signals before they reach the brain. It is also responsible for a wide range of functions, including mood and digestion. Acupuncture also prompts the release of naturally-occurring opiate-like chemicals (known as endogenous opioids).

 

Avoiding or Reducing the use of Drugs with Acupuncture

By helping the body harness its own natural abilities to fight pain, anxiety, and other unpleasant symptoms, acupuncture helps patients to rely less on medications. Analgesics—a category which includes both over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and prescribed drugs—are particularly harmful for the body.

The most common OTC medicines are widely and incorrectly thought to be safe. However, long-term or incorrect use of such drugs (including aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen) can cause serious health problems. Liver damage (often associated with acetaminophen) as well as kidney problems and GI bleeding (ibuprofen, aspirin) are common issues associated with such medicines.

The dangers of long-term prescription painkillers are probably more well-known. These medicines not only damage the body, but they also place patients at risk for physical dependency or addiction.

 

To learn more about drug-free methods of fighting pain, contact our office to schedule a time to meet with our Sea Girt acupuncturist.

These days, people are living longer lives than ever before. Unfortunately, increased longevity has meant additional suffering in the form of various age-related, painful conditions. In particular, back pain has become an almost universal part of the human experience.

Back pain can also be caused by injury (such as those experienced during an auto accident or while participating in sports activity) or from long-term poor posture. Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation offers chiropractic and physical therapy (as well as massage therapy) to address the structural causes of back pain.

Acupuncture is used as a method of reducing pain with fewer drugs while simultaneously alleviating many of the psychological issues that can affect the rehabilitation process.

Traditional Chinese Medicine holds that pain is caused by a blockage or imbalance in the body’s life energy, or Qi. When the opposing forces of Yin and Yang compete for dominance, Qi can become unbalanced, blocked, or deficient. Qi runs along pathways in the body known as meridians. By stimulating specific points along these meridians, the body can be brought into a state of healthy harmony and balance, thereby relieving both physical and emotional suffering.

Western medical studies have discovered some of the mechanisms of action that make acupuncture effective in relieving pain and easing psychological issues. It has been found that acupuncture increases levels of serotonin and endogenous opioids. One example of an endogenous opioid is endorphins—a neurotransmitter naturally produced by the body which controls the response to pain. By affecting such neurochemical changes in the brain, acupuncture offers patients a drug-free method of fighting pain, improving mood, and accelerating the healing process.

 

Drug-Free Pain Relief through Acupuncture in Sea Girt, NJ

It is easy to make poor choices in the face of extreme suffering. Injury and/or degeneration in any part of the back can cause both extreme pain and immobility. It’s important to note, however, that the use of both prescription and over-the-counter analgesics carries heavy risks. Long-term use can cause liver and kidney damage, gastrointestinal problems, and ulcers as well as physical dependence (depending on the particular substance).

Seeking out the healthiest methods of rehabilitation—chiropractic and physical therapy, for example—can help patients put an end to physical pain and disability. In the meantime, acupuncture is an excellent method of relieving such pain—with reduced or eliminated drug use—during rehabilitation.

How is hypertension dangerous?

Hypertension is the term used to describe elevated blood pressure; as mentioned above, this is a chronic condition. Hypertension can damage arteries, possibly leading to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Arteriosclerosis may block the healthy flow of blood to the heart as well as the brain, kidneys, arms, and legs, thereby putting the body at serious risk for heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, damage to the eyes, and aneurysm.

While hypertension is usually asymptomatic, blood pressure readings are easy to obtain; this affords patients the ability to monitor their blood pressure very closely.  In other words, patients suffering from hypertension have the ability to take control of their health—and Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation can help. With programs of acupuncture and chiropractic, Jersey Shore hypertension patients can find solutions to high blood pressure and reduce or even eliminate the use of medications.

 

Why is it a poor decision to rely on medications alone?

Many medications have unwanted and unhealthy side effects; blood pressure medications are no exception. Beta-blockers, for example, can cause patients to experience dizziness, fatigue, cold appendages, slow heartbeat, and impotence. Those are the short-term effects. New studies show that the long-term use of beta-blockers may actually increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. These drugs have also increased the risk of diabetes and have actually caused  countless cases of diabetes. The United Kingdom withdrew beta-blockers from the market in 2006, but many doctors throughout the world—including the United States—still regularly prescribe beta blockers for patients with hypertension.

 

How can acupuncture help lower blood pressure?

Working together with positive lifestyle changes—quitting smoking, increasing activity, and losing weight—acupuncture is an excellent method of reducing blood pressure.

As the Western medical world seeks an understanding of exactly how Eastern practices (such as acupuncture) work, numerous studies have proven that acupuncture is an effective method of treating hypertension. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) studied hypertension and found it to be a “…disease, symptom or condition for which acupuncture has been proved-through controlled trials-to be an effective treatment.” In their report on the subject, the WHO reports that “the hypo tensive effect of acupuncture is much more potent that that of placebos and is comparable with that of certain conventional hypotensive agents.”*

Acupuncture is also helpful for patients seeking drug-free ways to relax and avoid anxiety. Furthermore, acupuncture can be used in the smoking cessation process—essential in lowering blood pressure.

 

 

* Acupuncture: Review And Analysis Of Reports On Controlled Clinical Trials Geneva: World Health Organization

‘Sciatica’ is the term used by the medical community to describe a specific set of symptoms—symptoms which are related to the inflammation, compression, or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is particularly unsettling because the sciatica nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body, and symptoms can have serious consequences.

The right and left sciatic nerves extend from the nerve roots in the lower back and down the legs. Hence, symptoms can affect the foot, leg, or lower back and might include pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and tingling. In some cases, serious restrictions are placed on movement.

There a number of conditions that can cause sciatica symptoms. Chief among these is a disc injury (bulged or herniated disc material pressing against the nerves). Additionally, sciatica may be the result of pregnancy, trauma, spondylolisthesis (displacement of one of the bones of the spine), and, very rarely, spinal tumors.

The use of pain medications is not recommended for sciatica. Because this condition can be effectively treated with physical therapy (including lumbar or cervical traction) as well as chiropractic and deep tissue massage, there is no reason to inflict additional damage on the body during the rehabilitation process. In fact, our office specifically offers physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, and acupuncture in one location  in order to provide patients with rehabilitation practices that improve the health of the body while relieving pain and promoting better movement and flexibility.

Medications for pain should be used only as short-term solution. Both prescription and  over-the-counter drugs can have serious consequences on the health of the body, including the health of the kidneys, liver, and gastrointestinal tract.

 

Acupuncture and Sciatica

According to the tenets upon which the practice of acupuncture is based, a healthy body is one in which the flow of life energy (known as Qi ) is balanced, unobstructed, and free to move throughout the body. When the flow of Qi is out of balance, pain and illness is present. Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points in order to restore health and harmony throughout the entire body.

We know that the human body is equipped with many weapons to fight pain—without drugs. Acupuncture is a proven tool for channeling these weapons in the search for physical and emotional relief. For example, acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins and natural painkilling substances (these are known as endogenous opioids). Furthermore, by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, acupuncture works to suppress the stimulation of nerve signals that cause pain while simultaneously boosting mood.

In order to accelerate healing, acupuncture improves the circulation of blood, thereby oxygenating damaged tissues and cycling out waste chemicals. It also reinforces the rehabilitation process by calming the body and lowering blood pressure; patients in distress often heal more slowly than those who are relaxed.

 

Acupuncture is an essential part of our commitment to providing the healthiest methods of relieving pain and assisting with rehabilitation; we are dedicated to ensuring that patients can heal without inflicting further damage on the body (as is often the case with analgesic medications). Instead, acupuncture works to improve the health of the body during rehabilitation.

Acupuncture is well-known as a method of relieving pain. In particular, acupuncture has pain-fighting abilities that have been shown in studies to be on-par with analgesic medications, and for good reason: this healthcare specialty produces similar reactions in the brain (where pain is experienced) as some of the most popular painkillers. In particular, it affects the brain’s endogenous opioids—opiate-like substances that are produced naturally by the body. These include endorphins, which have the ability to fight pain and improve mood. Acupuncture also prompts the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for a number of functions of the brain, including the transmission of pain signals as well as emotional response.

Acupuncture also promotes the healing process by improving the circulation of blood. Spinal discs are particularly vulnerable to damage and slower healing because they have poor blood supply; acupuncture directly addresses this issue by bringing oxygen and nutrients to the site of injury while simultaneously cycling out waste chemicals which may impede rehabilitation. Furthermore, acupuncture’s calming effects can help patients to relax and allow the body to heal. Emotional distress is never conducive to the healing process.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has existed and worked effectively for thousands of years, long before modern-day, Western medicine came to a widespread acceptance of acupuncture as a very real method of easing physical and mental suffering. Practitioners of TCM hold that poor health of any kind is directly related to a blockage or imbalance of Qi , the body’s life energy. Qi is made up of two opposing forces—Yin  and Yang —which must remain in a delicate balance in order for the body to experience good health. Qi runs throughout the body on meridians , pathways that correspond to specific organs (or organ groups). Acupuncture stimulates specific points along the meridians in order to ensure that Qi can flow, in perfect balance and freely, throughout the body.

Migraine is a neurological condition that is characterized by a number of symptoms. Most notable of such indicators is the disabling headache pain and nausea experienced by migraine sufferers (also known as migraineurs ). Migraine is one of those conditions for which many patients despair of ever finding a solution.

The sheer number and variety of medicines prescribed to migraineurs is a testament to the scattershot nature of traditional migraine treatment. Many patients never find an effective preventive medicine and must rely instead on over-the-counter or  prescription painkillers. The long-term use of analgesic medications can cause serious health problems. Some drugs can be addictive while others may cause an effect known as ‘rebound headaches’ in which the relief of pain leads only to additional headache episodes.

More specifically, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin) can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding, ulcers, and liver damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control, NSAID usage is the fourteenth leading cause of death in the United States. Opiates, a class of drugs that includes morphine or oxycodone, can cause addiction and rebound headaches.

Typical migraine headaches can last anywhere from four to 72 hours; they tend to affect one side of the head and consist of four stages. The stages of migraine include the prodrome, aura, pain, and postdrome; together, these stages comprise an experience that may include visual, auditory, and olfactory disturbances; nausea and vomiting; severe headache pain; numbness; fatigue; irritability; digestive problems; vertigo; sensitivity to light, touch, and sound; depression; and temporary dysphasia (difficulty swallowing).

 

Acupuncture for Migraine in Sea Girt

The first thing to note about acupuncture is that it is a safe, painless, and drug-free practice. It has been used for thousands of years in China for pain relief for reasons that are now becoming increasingly clear through modern medical studies. Acupuncture is flourishing in the Western world as more people begin to view the health of their bodies holistically (as a whole), as opposed to distinct, separate areas of specialty.

Chinese medicine seeks to rebalance and harmonize all of the body’s systems in order to provide relief from pain and disorder, including migraine symptoms. The health of the body as a whole is directly related to its Qi , or life energy, which must remain unblocked and in perfect balance as it flows throughout the body. Other central precepts to the ancient practice of acupuncture include Yin and Yang, the opposing forces that are responsible for the body’s organs.

Many patients may wonder at the relevance of these concepts; some may struggle to understand how any of these ancient ideas can change the fact that they are living on a day-to-day basis with a painful disorder. The answer may lie in a number of medical studies which have proven acupuncture’s very real effects on the body.

One explanation is based on acupuncture’s effect on the production of certain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the brain’s chemical messengers. In particular, acupuncture has been shown to boost the production of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.  Endorphins are the body’s natural opiate-like painkillers. Increased serotonin can lead to enhanced mood and may lessen pain signals as they reach the brain. Because migraine is often thought to be directly related to the production of serotonin, acupuncture’s affect on the migraineur’s brain may be particularly relevant.

 

Treatment for Migraine at Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation 

Acupuncture is a useful tool in exploiting the body’s natural ability to fight pain. Our office also provides chiropractic care and physical therapy as part of an overall plan of attack that addresses what causes  migraine while treating its symptoms. In many cases, migraine is a warning sign of a larger problem involving disorder within the body’s central nervous system. For patients diagnosed with migraines related to spinal misalignment, chiropractic care provides a solution.

 

Heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, even cancer—all of these can be caused by obesity or from being overweight. In fact, obesity is one of the major causes of preventable death in this country. For many, it is the one thing preventing them from living a long, healthy life.

At Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation, we respect the difficulty of the weight-loss process. To help patients in their quest, we offer chiropractic care (to address any interference in the nervous system which may affect digestion or hormone production); physical therapy (to get the body in motion again, safely); and acupuncture. Acupuncture is an extremely powerful tool in dealing with many of the physical and emotional issues that surround losing weight and making major life changes.

 

Drugs and Surgery

Some obese and overweight patients may turn to harmful drugs or traumatic, invasive surgeries to lost weight. In addition to death, most weight-loss surgeries carry great risk. While surgery will prove fatal to 1% of patients, another 20% will need additional surgeries to correct complications. Up to 30% of weight-loss (bariatric) surgery patients will develop serious nutritional deficiencies. In the end 25% of bariatric surgery patients fail to either meet target weight goals or maintain the necessary dietary restrictions.

Weight-loss medications have a number of harmful side effects. Stimulants, for example, may cause agitation, insomnia, high blood pressure, or glaucoma. Some diets drugs are designed to block the absorption of dietary fats; these ‘medicines’ often cause stomach pain as well as frequent, oily bowel movements.

Without question, both surgery and drugs are drastic and dangerous methods of losing weight. And yet, there is very little question as to why obese and overweight patients are willing to put themselves in even greater danger in order to lose weight—the weight-loss process is one that is fraught with both physical and emotional issues that are difficult to overcome. Some patients are caught in an addictive cycle with food, while still others use food to assuage depression and anxiety.

In addition to the above-mentioned issues, weight loss is also a slow process that requires willpower and patience. Fortunately, there is a healthy, drug-free, non-surgical, and completely safe method of handling many of the difficulties surrounding weight loss—Acupuncture.

 

Losing Weight with Acupuncture: The Western Perspective

Acupuncture has a very real physiological effect. This treatment stimulates the production of pain-killing neurotransmitters known as endorphins. Endorphins not only work to relieve pain (hence, acupuncture’s reputation for pain relief) but also help obese and overweight patients to deal with the anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues that may be hindering the weight-loss process. In this same vein, acupuncture also stimulations the vagus nerve to raise levels of serotonin. In addition to regulating mood, appetite, and sleep, these neurotransmitters (endorphins and serotonin) are also inextricably linked to hormone production.

 

Losing Weight with Acupuncture: The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective

TCM is based on the theory that a life energy force (Qi) runs throughout the body on channels known as meridians. If the flow of Qi is insufficient or unbalanced, the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of the body is compromised. Acupuncture works to restore the balance of Qi in the body for improved psychological and physical health.

Acupuncture works to bring the body’s various systems into balance, including the nervous and endocrine systems. By improving circulation and nerve conduction, acupuncture can provide relief from MS-related symptoms like pain, spasticity, fatigue, numbness, tingling, bowel and bladder issues, anxiety and depression.

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, two recent surveys in the United States and Canada show as many as 25% of respondents with Multiple Sclerosis had tried acupuncture to help alleviate MS symptoms. That’s a higher percentage than the general population.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that acupuncture can cure or slow the progression of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). As a result, acupuncture should only be used as a supplement to medical treatments – not a substitute – after consulting with a physician who specializes in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. However, studies have proven acupuncture to be safe and well-tolerated by the vast majority of patients.

The Shoulder 

The shoulder is made up of the humerus  (the upper arm bone), which forms a ball-and-socket joint with the scapula  (shoulder blade). Tendons and muscles attach the humerus to the scapula, making the shoulder joint extremely mobile and flexible. Unfortunately, a number of factors can lead to shoulder pain. The following is a brief overview of some of the most common causes of shoulder pain:

 

  • Sudden Trauma: Injury to the shoulder can occur when using the arm to break a fall. Also, rough contact sports (such as football) or a car crash can cause damage to the shoulder, leading to pain and immobility.
  • Age: Even normal use of the shoulder, over time, can lead to basic wear-and-tear on the tendons and muscles of the shoulder. Those over the age of forty are more susceptible to injury and pain in the shoulder joint. Osteoarthritis, in particular, often causes joint pain in older patients.
  • Repetitive Stress/Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: Other sports activities, such as tennis, that require the repetitive need to lift the arm above the head, may also cause shoulder pain. Jobs that involve heavy lifting above the head are also a culprit in the inflammation of the tendons (known as tendonitis). Programs of therapeutic exercise are often used for patients with tendonitis.
  • Bursitis: The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions the bones, tendons, and muscles of the shoulder joint. Inflammation of the bursa can restrict movement and cause pain.
  • Poor Posture: Posture has a direct relationship to the functioning of the shoulder. When the spine is properly aligned, the shoulder joint is free to work properly. However, when the natural curvature of the neck moves forward in posture, it can lead to tension and pain in the head, neck, and shoulders. Additionally, this forward head position also increases the burden of the head’s weight by 10 pounds per forward inch. Chiropractic careis recommended in such cases.

It’s important to seek help when pain persists for more than a few days; when swelling or bruising around the joint is present; when the joint becomes visibly deformed; or in cases when there is restricted functioning of the shoulder and arm.

Taking medications to relieve pain should be considered a temporary measure while sufferers wait to visit a rehabilitation office. Medications to relieve pain—analgesics—can cause serious side effects when taken incorrectly or on a regular basis. The long-term use of any type of drug is not recommended and can lead to very serious health issues.

Instead, our office provides healthy alternatives for pain relief. Acupuncture, for example, stimulates the brain to release both serotonin and endogenous opioids (such as endorphins) in order to provide natural—and effective—pain relief. These neurotransmitters also improve mood and encouraging better functioning of the body in general. This emphasis on whole-body care is called ‘holistic care.’ Holistic care seeks to provide real solutions for patients that not only avoid inflicting further damage (as drugs do),  but also addresses all aspects of patient wellness.

Acupuncture also accelerates healing by boosting circulation. In particular, the tendons are known to have a poor blood supply, which often means that conditions affecting the tendons have slower healing times. Acupuncture brings blood and oxygen to the affected site while moving harmful waste matter out.

 

Despite the fact that smoking is an expensive habit that severely diminishes the overall health of the body, lowers quality of life, and will eventually lead to a number of fatal conditions, most smokers find it extremely difficult to quit. It is a testament to the addictive properties of nicotine that most smokers will repeatedly fail to quit.

Smoking is the leading cause of death from cancer, not only in the lungs, but also the cervix, pancreas, stomach, kidneys, bladder, esophagus, larynx, and throat. This addiction also causes COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, heart disease, stroke, aneurysm, and pneumonia.

Additionally, new studies show that second-hand smoke is even more dangerous than previously believed. Smoking near others, even very minimally, causes genetic changes in non-smokers similar to those of full-blown smokers. These genetic changes represent the first stages in the molecular progression toward lung disease.

Most smokers make several unsuccessful quitting attempts before finally kicking the habit. Some smokers manage to quit the very first time (rarely), while others never quit and are eventually killed from smoking-related diseases. It’s not just old people who die from smoking, either—Peter Jennings was 67 when he died from lung cancer and Patrick Swayze was just 57 when he passed away from smoking-related pancreatic cancer.

 

Acupuncture Can Help

Our Sea Girt chiropractic and physical therapy office has incorporated acupuncture as a drug-free method of effectively reducing pain and alleviating the negative emotions that sometimes occur during the physical rehabilitation process. Acupuncture is also an extremely helpful tool when quitting smoking. The following is a quick snapshot of how  acupuncture helps smokers win the battle against addiction:

 

  • Physical Withdrawal: When any drug is introduced to the body, the experience of a ‘high’ is followed by the symptoms of withdrawal. Physical addiction is simply the body’s attempt to avoid experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms; smoking yet another cigarette simply helps the smoker to feel normal again.Those trying to quit may have trouble concentrating or experience digestive problems; headache; sweating; sore throat; weight gain; and sleep disturbances. It’s important not to underestimate the unpleasantness of physical withdrawal—many smokers are unsuccessful simply because they did not anticipate how uncomfortable they might feel.Acupuncture is a method of reducing the severity and duration of physical withdrawal symptoms. All addictions affect the brain’s reward center, or limbic system . The body is flooded with dopamine whenever the limbic system is rewarded with the addictive substance. When this is removed, the brain does not immediately regain the normal ability to produce pleasurable sensations without  the use of the addictive substance.Western medical experts theorize that acupuncture’s biochemical effect—the stimulation and release of pain-killing neurotransmitters called endorphins—mimics the ‘high’ experienced by smokers. Thus, acupuncture not only helps with physical symptoms, but also works to alleviate the depression, anxiety, and irritability also common when quitting smoking. Additionally, acupuncture stimulates the vagus nerve  (a sensory cranial nerve) in order to raise levels of serotonin for increased relief from depression and/or anxiety.
  • Detoxification: In addition to lessening the severity of withdrawal symptoms, acupuncture also shortens the amount of time spent experiencing the unpleasantness of withdrawal. By improving circulation, acupuncture speeds up the detoxification of nicotine, heavy metals, and other unhealthy substances that have built up in the body.
  • Personal Responsibility: The reason that nicotine replacement products are often unsuccessful is that smokers place too much of the burden of responsibility on the products themselves. Such products are also not equipped to manage the emotional and psychological aspects of the quitting process. Studies show that the most successful first-time quitters are those who go ‘cold-turkey.’ Acupuncture allows smokers access to the best of both worlds: the benefits of taking personal responsibility by quitting without nicotine replacement products while reducing the physical and emotional symptoms during the process.

 

 

Quitting Smoking with Acupuncture: The Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective

Chinese medicine views addictions of all kinds (including nicotine addiction) as an imbalance in Yin and Yang—the opposing forces that form the body’s life force, or ‘Qi.’ Substance abuse leads to depleted Yin (water), which allows Yang’s fire to burn out of control. This creates serious disharmony; acupuncture works to bring the body back into a natural state of harmony and balance.

 

Serious athletes are always looking for ways to improve their performance. They often demand the very best from themselves and apply this philosophy to every area of life. When it comes to rehabilitation after an injury, most athletes are interested in finding ways to regain strength and movement while fighting pain with the most effective and healthy methods available. No one wants to get stuck in an unhealthy and unproductive cycle of painkiller usage, addiction, and disability.

Acupuncture is playing an increasingly important role in the pain management/ rehabilitation process for sports injuries. For both professional athletes and average people simply trying to stay shape, acupuncture is a safe, painless, and drug-free method of easing pain and allowing the body to begin the healing process.

Acupuncture boosts the effectiveness of other rehabilitative practices—such as physical therapy and chiropractic care—in order to round out the type of holistic care necessary for truly effective programs of recovery. The goal is to get athletes back in action after trauma, age, or repetitive actions have caused pain and injury.

Injuries related to athletic activity most often affect the musculoskeletal and neurological systems of the body. In general, athletes experience herniated discs (which can cause back or neck pain, sciatica, numbness, and tingling), tendonitis, whiplash, knee pain, muscle pain, ankle sprains, and a number of other conditions.

 

The Benefits of Acupuncture

 

  • Pain Relief: Western medical studies have extensively proven what has already been evident among acupuncturists and acupuncture patients for hundreds of years—that this practice has powerful pain-fighting abilities. For example, one such study revealed higher levels of endorphins (endogenous opioid peptides) in the cerebrospinal fluid of acupuncture patients. Endorphins have the same effect on the brain as opiate painkillers such as morphine and oxycodone—but without the harmful side effects or  risk of addiction.
  • Improves Circulation: By improving circulation, acupuncture helps to accelerate the healing process.
  • Relaxation: The rehabilitation process can be stressful, particularly for those hoping to get better as quickly as possible. It is essential to remain in good mental condition in order to promote the health and healing of the entire body. Acupuncture directly affects several different neurotransmitters—most notably serotonin—that regulate mood. Increased levels of serotonin also help to reduce the severity of pain signals as they travel to the brain.

 

Acupuncture provides very serious pain relief for headache sufferers. For one thing, Acupuncture has been shown to prompt the release of opioid peptides (such as endorphins) in the brain. Opioid peptides produce a similar analgesic effect as many prescription painkillers—including morphine—except that they are naturally produced by the brain.

Additionally, studies support the fact that many people living with chronic headaches have neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain (neurotransmitters are the brain’s chemical messengers). Migraineurs, for example, are known to have low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for mood and the transmission of pain signals. Acupuncture affects several important neurotransmitters, including—but not limited to—serotonin.

Treatment for Digestive Disorders: Acupuncture

Together, acupuncture and chiropractic care form an excellent first line of defense against Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other issues that cause digestive distress. For patients in Wall, Brick, Manasquan, and Point Pleasant, our office provides acupuncture and chiropractic in order to eliminate digestive concerns and allow sufferers to return to active, healthy lives.

Nearly every person has experienced the discomfort, pain, and minor disruption caused by stomachache, diarrhea, gas pains, vomiting, nausea, and/or cramping. Although these symptoms are ubiquitous, they can become extremely life-altering when experienced on a regular basis. Unpleasant digestive symptoms may be a sign of gastroenteritis, stomach cancer (more rarely), ulcers, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

For some, digestive concerns may be directly linked to poor diet or the over-consumption of alcohol. Smoking and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen may also cause stomach distress.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Acupuncture for Brick, NJ Patients

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is the most common condition causing abnormal digestive functioning. It is a particularly frustrating condition to treat because it is considered a diagnosis of exclusion . In other words, IBS is diagnosed when all other conditions have been tested for and have been eliminated as possibilities.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be extremely distressing and lead to major, daily disruption in normal, active lifestyles. It may cause cramping, bloating, stomach pain, and irregular bowels. IBS patients are generally categorized as predominantly suffering from either constipation or  diarrhea although some sufferers experience both symptoms alternately. Emotional issues, anxiety, hormonal changes, or the ingestion of specific foods may trigger IBS symptoms. Women are particularly vulnerable to this condition.

Patients with IBS are hard to treat because the condition is not caused by any structural damage or abnormalities. For this reason, it is considered a functional illness, one in which the intestines fail to function properly, seemingly with little or no provocation.

Patients with IBS often suffer from other difficult-to-treat and -diagnose conditions, including fibromyalgia, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Acupuncture is helpful for IBS patients for the same reasons it is useful for patients with these other conditions—it directly affects the production and balance of certain neurotransmitters (serotonin, for example) as well as hormones. Acupuncture also calms anxiety and can help patients quit smoking.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (of which Acupuncture is a technique) holds that the body’s life force (known as Qi ) must remain in balance in order for a general state of health to prevail. When Qi is blocked or unbalanced, disorder of any kind—including digestive problems—may occur. Acupuncture restores the body to a natural condition of harmony.

Depression is inextricably linked to neurotransmitter and hormonal imbalances in the body. Acupuncture works directly at the biological source of depression in order to provide drug-free relief from the life-altering consequences of depression.

Most people experience feelings of sadness every now and then. These negative emotions usually last for a short period of time and resolve without outside help. Clinical Depression, however, is a condition in which these feelings—which may interfere with everyday life—last for a longer period of time and do not subside. Patients who are clinically depression often feel sad, angry, and hopeless.

 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, five or more of the following symptoms must be present in order to make a diagnosis of depression:

  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Suicidal ideation or thoughts of death
  • Changes in appetite
  • Withdrawing from usual activity
  • Irritability and restlessness

Based on thousands of years of ancient Chinese theory, acupuncture works to restore the body’s natural balance and harmony and return the body to health. A major component to depression is imbalanced levels of key neurotransmitters. More specifically, depression is associated with the body’s levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for mood, desire, sleep, memory and learning, appetite, motivation, and even temperature regulation.

 

The Problem with Antidepressants

The most popular anti-depressants today are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), while even newer classes of drugs work to affect both serotonin as well as norepinephrine and dopamine. The issue that many patients have with these drugs is that researchers have no idea how  these drugs work. Because the mechanism of action is unknown, and because the majority of these drugs have only been on the market for a short time, the long-term effects on the brain remain unknown.

The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are also not suitable for treating short-term bouts of depression (since the majority of these drugs take time to work), and may also cause serious side effects, including fatigue, headache, anxiety, nausea, tremor, digestive issues, decreased sex drive and impotence, sweating, and an increased risk of suicide.

Like any other type of pain, depression is a sign that something is wrong within the body. Acupuncture gets at the heart of the problem by addressing the imbalances that cause depression—without drugs.

We’d like to offer a drug-free, safe, and healthy method of reducing anxiety and getting back to life – Acupuncture.

Anxiety is an emotional state that produces very real physical effects. For some, anxiety manifests as sweating, racing heartbeat, and insomnia. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, headaches, stomach problems or diarrhea, fatigue, and dizziness.

Depression often accompanies anxiety, and may exacerbate the condition. These two psychological issues sometimes produce a vicious cycle that escalates into severe anxiety and depression; in many cases, the problem is connected to additional problems such as substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), and eating disorders.

Women experiencing symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and mood swings, don’t have many options for treating these symptoms. Hormones and antidepressants are sometimes prescribed, but both come with risks and side effects.

However, in March of 2011, Turkish researchers found that regular acupuncture treatments significantly reduced hot flashes and mood swings. Estradiol, a hormone that normally declines with the onset of menopause, actually rose slightly in women receiving acupuncture treatment. Individual studies have also shown that acupuncture can help with sleep problems related to menopause. Unlike hormones and antidepressants, acupuncture presents little to no risk when performed by an experienced, licensed practitioner.

Instead of viewing menopause as one particular condition, Chinese medicine treats symptoms that are unique to each individual, so the acupuncture treatment is customized for each patient. By detecting changes in energy in the body, acupuncture can help to alleviate hot flashes, irritability and a lack of mental focus. To help manage symptoms of menopause, we also recommend a balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep.

Although menopause can be a difficult time for many, think of it as the Chinese do – a time of energy revival and an opportunity for personal growth and enlightenment. Acupuncture can make that journey a little easier.