How Chiropractic Care Can Help You Enjoy Spring
Spring into Wellness
As the seasons change and the days grow warmer, patients across the U.S. are preparing for spring. While winter is an enjoyable time for many, others are looking forward to a season of new beginnings. Still, others are looking forward to relief from the joint pain that often comes with winter. Whether you’re looking to alleviate the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or relief from sports-related injuries, there are many ways a chiropractor can help improve your quality of life throughout spring.
Say Goodbye to Winter Blues
Winter is a beautiful season but leaves many susceptible to joint pain, injuries, and depression. Season Affective Disorder (or SAD), which is more common during fall and winter, occurs due to a lack of serotonin. Left untreated, SAD can lead to bouts of depression and joint pain. Thankfully, a chiropractor can alleviate the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Through spinal manipulations and adjustments, your chiropractor can relieve joint pressure and improve nerve function. This, in turn, alleviates the symptoms of SAD.
As the days get warmer, more and more people will spend their time outdoors. While some will engage in low-risk activities, others will play high-impact sports. This includes, but is not limited to:
While high-impact sports are a great way to exercise and build strength, they come with a higher risk of injuries. Thankfully, chiropractors are fully equipped to handle any sports-related injuries. To help treat any injuries you might receive on the field, a chiropractor will perform a full assessment. This includes gathering information about your medical history and any past injuries. Then, after carefully examining the injury, a chiropractor will perform soft tissue manipulation, spinal manipulation, therapeutic modalities, education, and exercise prescriptions.
Finally, chiropractic care can boost your mood and give you extra energy. Chiropractors reduce joint restrictions which, in turn, can reduce any pain or suffering you might experience throughout spring. Plus, the more energy you have and the better your body functions, the better you will feel!
If you would like to add chiropractic care to your routine before spring hits, contact the professionals at Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic. Dr. Michael Hartle and his team are experts in treating patients no matter their activity level. Book an appointment today! Dr. Hartle can usually see you the same day you book an appointment.
5 Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Athletes
In 2019 alone, over one million injuries were caused by playing sports. Many of these injuries happened on the field, where over 800,000 injuries were caused by participating in sports. Bicycling had the highest casualty numbers (over 417,000 cyclists were injured while riding), with basketball (404,000 injuries) and football (292,000 injuries) following close behind. As athletes debate where and how to treat their injuries, many will inevitably turn to chiropractic care. Chiropractic care offers many benefits for aspiring and professional athletes, but there is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet. To help, here are five benefits that athletes can expect from chiropractors:
1. It can Treat (and Prevent) Injuries:
Experienced athletes know how common it is to injure themselves on the field. Therefore, a large part of an athlete’s healthcare program should include preventing, as well as treating, common injuries. Thankfully, a chiropractor can do both!
Athletes’ bodies undergo enormous amounts of stress daily. To combat this, chiropractors can perform spinal adjustments and massage therapy to treat injuries. Spinal adjustment reduces pain in the joints and muscles, which helps to prevent injuries, while massage therapy increases blow flow to the muscles to help them heal. Additionally, it also restores one’s range of motion.
2. It can Increase Performance
According to The Odyessy, athletes who make repeated visits to the chiropractor see increased performance while playing. In fact, several studies claim that athletes can see a 30% increase in performance after 12 weeks of care. This, according to The Odyessy, is a result of the increased range of motion people receive after repeated chiropractic care.
3. Improved Strength
The European Journal of Supplied Physiology published a study in 2018 claiming that regular chiropractic care can improve athlete’s strength. After separating a group of Taekwondo athletes into two groups – one which received chiropractic care and one that did not – they found that those who received care demonstrated increased muscle strength. The experiment was replicated with a group of U.S. military personal and found similar results.
4. It’s a Natural Treatment
Surgeries and medication are typically the last resort in a treatment plan. Many people, athletes included, turn to natural remedies before considering extreme measures. Chiropractic treatment is non-invasive and drug-free. As an added bonus, the lack of surgery means that, for most athletes, they can return to the field straight away.
5. It Reduces Stress
Massage therapy is incredibly relaxing! If you’re an athlete looking to relieve stress and anxiety before playing, try the Swedish massage, one of the most commonly used techniques in America. The Swedish massage promotes general health and wellbeing throughout the body and is reportedly very relaxing.
Dr. Michael Hartle and his team are experts in treating patients no matter their activity level. Book an appointment today! Dr. Hartle can usually see you the same day you book an appointment.
Chronic vs Acute Pain: How Chiropractors Help
Chiropractors are well-versed in treating pain. Whether it’s back, neck, or spinal complications, chiropractors correct ailments throughout the body. However, not all pain is temporary. Chronic pain, which the NHS defines as “persistent pain that carries on for twelve weeks” and resists medication, is a serious condition that causes unnecessary suffering. On the other hand, acute pain lasts less than three months and is typically the result of an injury. While chronic and acute pain can be debilitating, both conditions can be treated.
Chronic vs Acute Pain: What’s the Difference?
Before discussing how chiropractors treat different types of pain, we must understand the difference between chronic and acute pain. Chronic pain is constant: it can last for weeks, months, and even years. Caused by several factors, including, but not limited to poor posture, traumatic injury, spinal issues, and more, chronic pain lasts long after injuries have healed. Examples of chronic pain include:
- Lower back pain
- Cancer pain
- Arthritis pain
- Nerve damage
Acute pain, according to WebMD, “starts suddenly and usually feels sharp.” Unlike chronic pain, acute pain can last moments or even months. While acute pain normally signals an injury, it disappears after the injury has healed. Acute injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
If left untreated, acute pain can become chronic pain.
How Chiropractors Treat Acute and Chronic Pain
For those who suffer from prolonged pain, there is hope. There is a wide variety of medical and holistic treatments available to help treat pain. If you’ve exhausted all your medical options, chiropractic treatment may be right for you.
Chiropractors are well-versed in treating different types of chronic pain. First, your chiropractor will perform a physical assessment to local the pain. Next, they’ll develop a treatment plan. The most popular remedy for chronic pain is a spinal adjustment – a series of firm movements that apply pressure to vertebrae. For other issues, chiropractors may use the flexion-distraction technique (most commonly used for whiplash injuries) or instrument-assisted manipulation. As the name suggests, your chiropractor will use a small, hand-held instrument to apply gentle pressure to stretch soft tissue. This, in turn, will relieve pain.
Chiropractors treat chronic pain and acute pain similarly. To treat acute pain, a chiropractor will first perform a physical assessment. Next, they’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan. Your treatment will depend on your symptoms: for example, those suffering from subluxation or joint restriction as a result of a fracture should undergo a Gonstead chiropractic evaluation. Patients with burn scars may benefit from massage therapy, which controls the development of scar tissue and helps burn victims heal more quickly.
Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic treats both acute and chronic pain using proven, natural methods. To help manage your pain, schedule an appointment with us today. Dr. Michael Hartle and his team of experts can usually see you the same day you call.
Can Seeing a Sports Chiropractor Help your Athletic Abilities?
Patients generally use chiropractic care to help alleviate and prevent pain in the body. The targeted pain tends to be in the muscles and joints because of alignment issues. This type of care is beneficial to all because don’t we all want to be pain-free? But there’s also an entire focus that often goes unnoticed in the field, which is the work of sports chiropractors.
Good, strategic chiropractic care goes beyond the stereotypes surrounding it. As a family chiropractor in Indiana, Allen County Family and Sports Chiropractic offers services and a treatment philosophy that promotes overall health and well-being. This focus goes beyond muscles and bones and includes food, exercise, and sports. With consistent treatment by a sports chiropractor, you can:
- Enhance your athletic performance
- Prevent injuries
- Reduce recovery time for injuries
- Increase endurance during training
Sports Chiropractors & Enhanced Performance
Spine misalignment can cause a ripple effect throughout your body. Many normal bodily functions and systems can suffer, leaving your body more prone to acute and chronic pain. You can develop pain within your muscles, nerves, and joints, plus generate issues with discs and ligaments. When your body is experiencing discomfort and reacting to it, it can limit your athletic potential by slowing down your ability to perform adequately.
Sports chiropractors implement the same techniques and treatments as any chiropractor, but they focus on athletic bodies and performance. By keeping the spine aligned and healthy, you create a balance in the body. As a result, athletes experience less pain and better performance within their sport.
If you think chiropractic care isn’t for athletes, then you’re mistaken. Over 90% of professional athletes use sports chiropractors, as do most teams in the NFL, NBA, and MLB.
Increased Endurance & Fewer Injuries
If you’re an athlete and want to increase your endurance for training purposes, consider chiropractic care. When your spine is aligned correctly—resulting in reduced pain in muscles, joints, ligaments, and more—you can train harder and longer. With better training comes a reduction in injuries, as your body’s alignment lessens stress on the body and improves your range of motion. When your body is stiff in action, it’s more prone to injury. But when you have fluid movement without the risk of injury, you can do so much more.
Reduced Recovery Time
As a family chiropractor in Indiana, we offer sports care to keep athletes healthy and to prevent injury. But we can’t prevent all damage, so when an injury does occur, we use regular chiropractic care to reduce healing time. Because your chiropractor aligns your spine and lessens the irritation and inflammation between the vertebrae, the body performs better overall. This enhanced function also includes the body’s ability to heal.
Aside from regular adjustments, massage and stretching can also help reduce healing time due to sports injury. Healthy eating and mental health are also essential components in optimal athletic performance. With a holistic view of treatment, athletes can benefit greatly from chiropractic care.
Five Ways Massage Therapy Will Help You
Massage therapy is a widespread technique of holistic medicine, one that often complements other treatment methods. In chiropractic care, for example, massage is an excellent partner to regular adjustments. It uses pressure to manipulate the body’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Patients see relief with reduced stress and pain in trouble areas.
There are many different kinds of massage therapy, all that work towards a similar end goal by practicing different techniques. Each type delivers various benefits, so let’s look at the most common forms of massage.
Swedish massage is a popular style that is the most gentle on the body and promotes relaxation. Therapists use long strokes and circular movements to press into the muscle and skin. The pressure tends to stay on the surface, as the primary goal of a Swedish massage is to relax and reduce mental stress.
Although most patients who request a Swedish massage are looking for an hour of relaxation and stress relief, the technique has other benefits as well. The movements can treat minor muscle tension that tends to accumulate with everyday activities, such as sitting at a computer all day. Thanks to the relief of muscle strain, many patients leave their session feeling lighter, more buoyant, and with a sense of renewed energy.
Deep Tissue Massage
If you want to relax but also reap the muscular benefits, you can upgrade to a deep tissue massage. Using similar techniques of a Swedish massage (long strokes and circular movements), therapists apply more pressure to access the deeper muscles in the body. By reaching the deep layers of the inner muscles, this form of massage therapy can heal chronic or injury-related pain.
If you’re an athlete, you can benefit from sports massage. Using distinct strokes and techniques, this form of massage therapy helps to alleviate pain from past sports injuries, as well as work with the muscles to prevent future issues. The pressure will vary depending on each patient’s unique situation, but the end goal is the same: to reduce pain, increase mobility and flexibility, and prevent injury.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage focuses specifically on clusters of deep, tight muscle fibers. When these fibers connect deep into the muscle, it can cause chronic pain and reduce mobility. Therapists use bouts of prolonged pressure and short, circular movements to separate the connective tissues and fibers. Patients often feel a “popping” or “melting” sensation as the tight knot is released.
Besides the benefits of relaxation, stress management, pain relief, and sports-injury prevention, there are many other advantages to massage therapy. With regular practice, massage can relieve anxiety and stress, and therefore help reduce stress-related ailments such as insomnia. Many patients find relief with diseases such as digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome.
Further, massage therapy has emotional and mental health benefits, as well. Taking the time to care for yourself with relaxing treatments gives patients a feeling of comfort and connection to their bodies. Massage can boost mood and sense of self, which can increase happiness, productivity, and focus.
Types of Chiropractors
Visiting a chiropractor is often a result of some pain in the body. When deciding which type of chiropractor to see, it’s essential to understand which variety of practice is best for your situation. In general, there are a few types of chiropractic methods: symptom-relief, sports, and wellness. Your symptoms, kind of pain, and treatment goals will all determine which approach is best for you.
It’s also essential to consider the purpose of your treatment. Are you interested in relieving symptoms or healing the body? Are you hoping to enhance sports performance and daily life, or do you need simple adjustments? Whatever your goals for recovery, there is a different type of chiropractor for you.
For those that need to decrease symptoms of pain, such as headaches or neck and back pain, musculoskeletal treatment may be best. This method involves traditional chiropractic adjustments focused on painful areas set within the spine. Symptom-relief chiropractors temporarily reduce pain, free misaligned or stuck bones, and decompress joints.
One reason why patients gravitate toward symptom-relief chiropractors is that they tend to work with more insurance companies. So check your policy because it may cover these types of traditional adjustments. However, remember that to remain pain-free requires regular visits and an extended treatment plan. Many chiropractors advise against only persuing symptom-relief practices. Instead, many practitioners recommend combining regular adjustments with wellness therapy.
Wellness chiropractors use traditional adjustments and techniques to relieve pain, but they also focus on long-term healing of the body. Daily life can stress the body, specifically the spinal column. After so many weeks or years of built-up pressure, small misalignments or fixations can occur. These issues result in pain that can lead to more severe symptoms if left untreated.
Unlike a symptom-relief-only focus, wellness chiropractors continue treatment beyond feelings of pain to keep the body regenerating and healing itself. They also use healthy eating, exercise, hydration, and mental health to support the body. If you’re looking to relieve symptoms of pain quickly, but also help the body in long-term healing, then wellness chiropractic care is the better choice.
You’ll often find other professionals in wellness chiropractic offices, such as a dietician, a massage therapist, or a personal trainer. Additionally, you may use tools at home, such as foam neck extenders or specialized pillows. All-in-all, wellness chiropractors use a more holistic view to heal the entire body.
Those who are athletes can visit a chiropractor specific to sports. Sports chiropractors work with those who develop pain and injury from their careers in athleticism. You may be surprised to learn that many professional teams use sports chiropractors to assist with injuries on and off the field. That’s because they can use symptom-relief techniques immediately, while also focusing on wellness methods.
Sports chiropractors use their knowledge to focus on sports performance. They are well-informed about how different wellness benefits, such as diet, exercise, training, and conditioning, can enhance athletic achievement. They also use adjustments for symptom relief and to encourage natural healing and regeneration in the body when injuries occur.
Sports Chiropractors – Facts vs. Myths
If you’re a professional sports player or athletic trainer, chances are you’ve heard of – if not been to – a sports chiropractor. If you’re not one of those two groups (like the rest of us), you might have never heard of this type of chiropractic physician before. As such, we wanted to get you in the know one of the best ways we know how – busting myths and telling facts.
Are Sports Chiropractors Doctors?
Yes! Just like all other types of doctors, a certified chiropractic sports physician is required to go to chiropractic college and obtain a graduate-level degree. This enables them to practice and ensures that they can do everything in their power to heal their patients while keeping them safe.
Are Chiropractors Legitimate?
This (annoying) myth claims that chiropractic care is nothing but a scam. In reality, these doctors are real and helpful without a doubt. Trusted by NFL teams, world-class athletes, and many Olympians – these doctors know how to help your body stay in top shape. They don’t “crack bones.” They help to manipulate your spine to heal you without medicine – something everyone should love.
Do they really boost athletic performance?
In some cases, yes! While a chiropractic sports medicine doctor’s real goal is to treat and prevent injury, a byproduct can be a boost in the performance of the athlete that’s getting treated. In fact, that’s why so many professional athletes choose to go to a doctor regularly.
Is Pain Relief Real?
Along the lines of “scam” myths, many think that the benefits of chiropractic care are fake. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Sports-trained chiropractic doctors have a deep understanding of the musculoskeletal system as it related to a sports-related injury. As such, they understand what’s wrong with the body and can help heal it and reduce pain.
Are They Covered by Insurance?
In the United States, insurance is expensive. It’s no surprise and talked about almost daily on the news. That usually brings this myth to the forefront of many new patient’s minds. While it varies by insurance, chiropractors specializing in sports injury and family (like us) are part of the specialist coverage section of your insurance. However, you should always talk to your provider and call ahead to make sure you’ll be covered.
What Can They Help With?
If you think nothing is the answer, you’re not alone – but you are wrong! The truth of the matter is chiropractic doctors can help to relieve lower back pain, relieve neck pain, improve range of motion, and so much more. If you have a bodily pain and don’t know what can be done, get a consultation with us to see how it can be improved today!
Introduction to Massage
Massage and bodywork have been used, in one form or another, for thousands of years to promote health and well being. The Chinese culture has practiced ‘Amma’ techniques since around 3000 B.C., as the Cong Fou of Tao-Tse attests. In the Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda, Tshanpau has been used since about 1800 B.C.
In the West, we find them integrated into rehabilitation programs, but also (and often) these practices are helpful in a large variety of other situations, such as comforting prenatal mothers-to-be, as palliative care for hospice patients, or for general relaxation and decrease in stress levels, as examples. I think massage therapy should be a vital and useful part of every individual’s overall health routine.
Practicing as a massage therapist for 15 years, I have had the privilege to be a part of thousands of clients individual health protocols. In one such case, I was working with a client who had some range of motion restriction and pain when raising their right arm overhead. This client had seen a few other bodyworkers, but the cause of the issue was elusive. As it turns out, after a functional assessment of that shoulder, as well as palpation of the muscles connected to it, we discovered that the client had a range of motion restrictions in the right pectoralis minor, as well as the latissimus dorsi, anterior deltoid, and biceps brachii. In this case, the patient’s history showed an old exercise injury, with muscular and fascial scar tissue present.
We decided to proceed with a protocol that involved contrast (hot/cold) therapy, a daily stretching routine, functional exercises, as well as some deep scar tissue massage work. This type of massage is more goal-oriented, and tends to not be the most comfortable modality. The client understood this and stayed faithful to the protocol, knowing that the results would follow. After 1 month, the client showed an increase in range of motion of more than +50% compared to the initial assessment, and by month two, had improved that to +80%. When we reassessed the client at the 3 month mark, they had nearly ALL of the range of motion restored, and were substantially stronger in the previously weaker/restricted muscles.
This was certainly a situation where immediate pain was present, but this is not always the case. In my practice, I also use massage and bodywork to help athlete’s muscular and nervous systems prepare for competition, to recuperate afterwards, to facilitate lymph movement in the reduction of swelling, to improve overall blood and interstitial fluid flow, etc.
Keep in mind, not all benefits of massage or bodywork are physical. Psychological and neurological benefits have also been reported in many studies. One of the more famous studies on the need for massage therapy and it’s emotional ramifications was conducted by a pediatrician named Dr. Fritz Talbot. He concluded that human beings are creatures that NEED human contact and touch to thrive.
There are times where I have found that massage is needed in a more short-term, symptomatic situation, such as in the case of a calf cramp or minor headache. In other cases, clients may require long-term treatment, such as athletes who need to keep fluid and flexible, or those gaining in years who just want to keep as mobile and ambulatory as possible.
From the very first session, massage can (and should be) customizable to YOUR individual needs. I have seen many clients who simply needed to “walk out feeling better than when they walked in”. In my practice, I strive to be flexible enough to suit as many needs as I may. I look forward to seeing you in the near future!