Condition of the Month

Earache

Posted: October 19, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

Earaches can have many causes and varying symptoms. The most common type of earache among children is Otitis Media, an infection in the middle ear. Ear infections are more common among children because the Eustachian tube, which drains the fluid from the middle ear, is much smaller and more likely to get blocked than that of an adult.

If your child experiences recurrent ear infections, chiropractic care can help by restoring the normal function of the tissues of the neck, Otitis Media can usually be significantly reduced or completely eliminated in most children without the use of antibiotics and surgery.

Earaches in adults can also be symptomatic of sinus infections, TMJ, Meniere’s Disease and an array of other conditions related to the ear.

As is the case with many physical health issues that can cause pain in the body, spinal misalignment can cause interference to the nervous system, which in turn can create issues elsewhere in the body. When dealing with an ear infection, chiropractors focus on the muscles in the neck in order to encourage proper function of lymph glands within the ear. If there is a misalignment within the area of the spine that is located by the neck, nerve function is disrupted and can hamper the process of proper drainage of the Eustachian tube in the ear. This creates a harmful build up of bacteria and fluid, which causes the pain and pressure often experienced with an ear infection. 

Chiropractic care will use gentle manipulation and readjustment of the spine to release the pressure that is affecting the infected ear. Once a successful spinal readjustment releases the interference that was disrupting the body’s proper nerve function, the Eustachian tube in the  ear will begin to function correctly again, as will the lymphatic vessels, and proper, healthy drainage of fluid from the ear area will occur.

 

 


Neck Pain

Posted: September 5, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

Neck pain is relatively common among adults and can have many root causes. The neck consists of the cervical vertebrae and disks, as well as ligaments and muscles that support the head and allow for its movement.

Neck pain can be the result of sudden injury or trauma, or it can develop over time due to poor posture, overuse or daily wear and tear. Other symptoms that can accompany neck pain are stiffness of the neck; tingling, numbness or weakness of the arms, hands and/or fingers; and headaches.

Cervical discs absorb shock between the bones. Any abnormalities, inflammation or injury can cause neck pain or stiffness. Some simple ways to help alleviate neck pain include: treating the affected area with an ice pack to help reduce inflammation, change position frequently while working to avoid stiffness, stretch regularly to help keep the muscles from tightening.

Chiropractic manipulations are effective at treating neck pain that results from cervical misalignment. Traction is also a therapeutic treatment that can be used as an alternative to surgery for bulging cervical discs. The professionals at Norburg Chiropractic can work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

Follow these simple tips to help keep your neck pain free.

  1. Stay hydrated. The discs between the vertebrae require water to maintain their structure and resiliency.

  2. Keep flexible. Regular stretches targeting the muscles of the neck can help reduce pain and stiffness. Check out these simple stretches.

  3. Practice good posture. Maintaining proper spinal alignment throughout your day can help with pain management and reduce risk of injury.

  4. Take frequent breaks. Whether working at a computer, reading, watching tv or even using your phone; make sure you allow yourself ample opportunities to move about.

  5. Be supportive. Be sure to use a pillow that offers comfortable support for your head while maintaining proper spinal alignment during sleep.

  6. Add magnesium. Magnesium aids in the healthy function of muscles, assisting with the contraction and relaxation of muscles. A magnesium rich diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains. Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin by soaking in an epsom salt bath.


Bedwetting

Posted: August 10, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

Nocturnal enuresis, more commonly known as bedwetting can be a frustrating experience for parents and child alike. Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for many, addressing one the root causes, poor communication from the brain to the bladder.

Childhood bedwetting is a fairly common condition, especially for boys. Some common causes are: inherited condition, communication link between the brain and bladder isn’t mature enough to function properly during sleep, deep sleep inhibiting the brain from receiving the “full bladder” signal, lower levels of anti-diurectic hormone (ADH) which tells the kidneys to stop producing urine during sleep or a small bladder.

In teenagers and adults those causes could also include medical issues, such as, diabetes or urinary tract infection, or emotional disorders or stress.

A misalignment of the spine can lead to interrupted nerve signals between the brain and the bladder, leading to impaired bladder control. Spinal adjustments can correct this issue and help lead to dryer nights. A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that ¼ of the 171 children in the study treated with chiropractic had a 50% reduction of wet nights.

Nerve impulses which leave the brain, travel down the spinal cord and on to the rest of the body and the organs, including the bladder. Many bedwetting teens and children suffer nerve interference from spinal bones in their lower back which can be corrected through chiropractic care.




 


Tennis / Golf Elbow

Posted: July 4, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

Tennis Elbow is a general term used to describe the pain on the outside of the elbow. This condition is not only associated with the sport of tennis but with any sport or activity that involves repetitive stress on the muscles around the elbow. 

Some individuals even develop tennis or golfer's elbow from prolonged carrying of heavy bags, knitting, chopping food, and/or computer work using improper wrist and arm posture.

Treatment for acute injuries initially involves reducing symptoms of pain and inflammation through rest and the application of ice or cold therapy. The first 72 hours following injury, use the principles of PRICE - Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

An elbow brace or support can be used to help protect the tendons surrounding the elbow allowing them time to heal. Rest is one of the most important parts of treatment, continued use could lead to chronic injuries. Avoid gripping and/or moving heavy objects and abstain from the activity (tennis, golf or other sport) that lead to the injury.

Once the inflammation and pain has subsided, stretching and strengthening exercises are an important part of rehabilitation.

Chiropractic adjustments have proven extremely effective in the overall treatment of tennis elbow, this is a condition that rarely resolves on its own. Treatment options may include ultrasound, electrotherapy, massage, hot and cold treatments, bracing and home stretching and exercises.


Idiopathic Scoliosis

Posted: June 18, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

Scoliosis is a deformity that occurs when the spine becomes abnormally rotated and curved sideways. Most often the cause is unknown, in which case it is called idiopathic scoliosis. Idiopathic scoliosis is typically categorized by the age at which it developed.

While the cause is unknown, idiopathic scoliosis does tend to run in families. The specific genes involved have not all been identified yet, and there could be factors beyond genetics as well. Though some people mistakenly think that carrying heavy book bags or sleeping on the side could cause scoliosis, that is not the case. Infantile scoliosis develops from birth to three years of age, juvenile scoliosis develops from ages four to nine, and adolescent scoliosis develops from between the ages of 10 and 18.

Adolescent scoliosis comprises approximately 80% of all idiopathic scoliosis cases. Adolescence is when rapid growth typically occurs, which is why the detection of a curve at this stage should be monitored closely for progression as the child's skeleton develops.

Early stages of scoliosis have few outward symptoms, but as the curve in the spine progresses to 20%, more visible signs are possible to notice - such as clothes hanging unevenly or the body leaning to one side.

Though scoliosis is not technically curable there are many ways that it can be treated and chiropractic care is most effective when included as a part of a bigger picture of treatment. Not only do the joints of the spine need to be repositioned, but the muscles will need help adjusting to the spine's new position and the brain retrained to use the muscles properly. This can be aided with scoliosis specific massage and exercise.

 


Common Headaches and Migraines

Posted: April 30, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

Headaches come in all shapes and sizes and nearly as many causes and symptoms as the people who experience them. But there are some commonalities to help generalize about causes and treatments.

Primary headaches, are not a symptom of another illness, they are caused by problems with pain-sensitive structures in the head. Chemical activity in the brain, the nerves or blood vessels surrounding the skull, or the muscles of the head and neck (or some combination of these factors) can contribute to primary headaches. Genetics can also play a role, making certain individuals more susceptible.

Some of the more common primary headaches are: cluster headaches, tension headaches, and migraines. Some primary headaches can be triggered by lifestyle factors including: alcohol, highly processed foods, changes in sleep patterns or lack of sleep, poor posture, skipped meals, and stress.

Cluster headaches, which occur in cyclical patterns or clusters, are one of the most painful types of headache. Most commonly, they will awaken the sufferer in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around one eye and one side of the head. Bouts of frequent attacks, known as cluster periods, can last from weeks to months, usually followed by remission periods when the headaches stop sometimes for months or even years at a time

A case study published in the February 9, 2011, issue of the scientific periodical, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented the case of a woman who was suffering from cluster headaches and was helped with chiropractic.

In this case, a 47-year-old woman came to the chiropractor with a history of severe headaches over the past two years. The study notes that her headaches were right sided, behind her right eye, lasting fifteen to forty-five minutes and occurring five to eight times per day. According to this case study, she was originally misdiagnosed with migraine headaches. Standard medical treatment for migraine headaches was initiated which consisted of Imitrix, Maxalt, and oxygen. She got only some minor relief from her headaches with these treatments but after six weeks of non-retractable pain, she was later diagnosed with cluster headaches.

The woman in this case went to a chiropractor to see if she could be helped. A chiropractic examination was performed and a determination was made that vertebral subluxations were present. A course of specific chiropractic adjustments was initiated.

After the woman's first chiropractic adjustment, and in consultation with her medical physician, her medication was reduced. Additionally, she reported that she was sleeping better and felt more relaxed. She reported that after the initiation of her chiropractic care, she experienced a significant decrease in the severity of her headache episodes.

Within five months of beginning chiropractic care, the woman was able to discontinue the use of all medication and her headaches had resolved completely. The study authors wrote, "Currently, she reports being headache and drug free, and reports an increase in the quality of her life. She received a job promotion and is now attending college."

A tension headache is generally a generalized, mild to moderate pain that's often described as feeling like a tight band around the head. It is the most common type of headache, and yet its causes aren't well-understood. Managing a tension headache is often a balance between fostering healthy habits, finding effective nondrug treatments and using medications appropriately.

A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling. Warning symptoms known as aura may occur before or with the headache. These can include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg.

The Chiropractic Journal of Australia published a case study in their June 2016 edition documenting the resolution of long term migraine headaches, tension headaches, and arm pain through chiropractic. In this study, an 89-year-old man presented himself to the chiropractor for care. The man was suffering from chronic daily tension-type headaches in the front of his head. His headaches had developed into incapacitating migraine headaches every 2 to 3 weeks over the past several years. The man's history included significant trauma, including multiple motor vehicle accidents and he was a World War II veteran who had suffered a blast injury during an artillery bombardment.

Based on the examination findings and x-rays, the diagnosis given was "...chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines without aura, musculoskeletal neck and arm pain, and concomitant vertebral subluxations." Chiropractic care was started using a specific adjusting protocol to address the subluxations found.

The study reports that after 12 weeks of care, the patient reported a complete cessation of all headaches and migraines, and also that his arm pain had completely subsided. He commented that he felt a lot more comfortable walking and he had more energy for daily activities. In a one-year follow up, the man reported no further headaches, neck pain, or arm pain. In their conclusion, the authors wrote, "This case study describes the presentation, chiropractic care provided, and outcomes of care of an 89-year-old male experiencing medically diagnosed chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines and co-existing musculoskeletal neck and arm pain. The patient reported a cessation of longstanding headaches and musculoskeletal complaints after 12 weeks of - chiropractic care."

 

References: http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/headache

The Chiropractic Journal of Australia published a case study in their June 2016 edition

Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, February 9, 2011 edition


Respiratory Woes: Asthma and Allergies

Posted: April 1, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

Many of us view spring with mixed emotions, excitement about mild temperatures and the emergence of new plant life and beautiful blooms, and dread of the onslaught of seasonal allergies.

Allergic rhinitis, the cold-like symptoms that often accompany an allergic reaction to pollen or other environmental triggers, usually includes a runny nose, sneezing, nose and eye itching, tearing of the eyes, and postnasal drip which often causes a sore throat and/or cough.

Reducing exposure to allergens is recommended. Stay indoors on dry, windy days when possible. Avoid outdoor activities in the morning when pollen counts are the highest. If you must do yard or garden work, be sure to wear a pollen mask. Remove clothes worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from skin and hair.

Nasal irrigation is an inexpensive and effective way to reduce nasal congestion and clear allergens from nasal passages. Look for a squeeze bottle or a neti pot — a small container with a spout designed for nasal rinsing — at your pharmacy or health food store. Use water that's distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of one micron or smaller to make up the saline irrigation solution. Also be sure to rinse the irrigation device after each use with similarly distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered water and leave open to air-dry.

For some, allergies are just the beginning. Allergies and asthma often go hand in hand - the same triggers such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander - can also cause signs and symptoms of asthma.

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack. Asthma can't be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled.

Chiropractic care can be part of a holistic treatment plan for allergies and asthma. “By removing the interference to the upper thoracic nerves, it can help improve lung function. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help better regulate the nervous system control of the lungs,” explains Dr. Terri Norburg.

Chiropractic care in conjunction with good nutrition, exercise and reduced exposure to triggers and medications as needed, can help allergy and asthma sufferers breathe a little easier this spring!

 

*Sources include the Mayo Clinic and Medicine.net

 


Lower Back Pain and Sciatica

Posted: February 28, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

 

Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for physician visits in the United States, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For many, the condition lasts only for a few days and does not require treatment. For others, however, symptoms persist and treatment becomes necessary. In these cases, spinal manipulation is recognized as one of several non-medical forms of treatment that can provide effective relief.

Some common causes of lower back pain, especially in younger adults (30 - 60), range from muscle or soft tissue strain to disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. For older adults (over 60), causes are more likely to include joint degeneration or a compression fracture.

Sciatica is sometimes an associated symptom of lower back problems. Some characteristic symptoms of Sciatica include: a constant pain in one side of the buttock and/or one leg; a burning, tingling or stinging sensation in the leg; a pain radiating down the leg and possibly to the foot and toes; pain that is worse when seated; weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg, foot and/or toes.

Sciatica occurs when the Sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed near the point of origin, in the lower back. The Sciatic nerve runs from the lower back through the buttock the back of the leg and branches out into the foot and toes.

Spinal manipulation, massage, stretching and exercise are all recognized, non medical treatments for lower back pain and Sciatica. Low impact exercises such as swimming or cycling can help relieve symptoms.

Discover more about beneficial stretches lower back pain and Sciatica and foods that help reduce inflammation in this month’s newsletter.

 


Neck Pain

Posted: September 8, 2016
By: Dr Terri Norburg

THE CONDITION OF THE MONTH FOR SEPTEMBER: NECK PAIN

 

Chiropractic: How Neck Pain Is Treated

The word chiropractic is from the Greek words for hand (cheir) and action (praxis) — practitioners primarily use their hands to treat muscle, joint, and nerve pain by adjusting the spine and joints. Adjustments involve the chiropractor applying controlled but sudden force to a joint, pushing the joint beyond the range in which it normally moves. This is intended to loosen up joints that move poorly or painfully due to tissue damage or scarring caused by either trauma or repetitive stress. An example of trauma causing neck pain is whiplash, while a repetitive stress injury could be from consistently poor posture. 

 

The cervical spine, or neck, is perhaps the most delicate part of the spine, charged with housing the spinal cord, supporting the head, and regulating blood flow to the brain. The neck can easily become a source of pain due to muscle strain or other more serious injury, including whiplash. Many types of neck pain can be alleviated with time and a conservative (nonsurgical) treatment regimen, including chiropractic care with cervical manipulation.

 

Seeing a chiropractor or engaging in light exercise relieves neck pain more effectively than relying on pain medication, new research shows.

 

Cervical mobilization: The patient is usually lying on his or her back and is relaxed while the chiropractor manually moves the vertebra in the neck left to right, and vice versa, alternating between the side to side motion and a figure 8 movement, applied at varying degrees of moving the head forward, backward, and to the side and in rotation. This is a smooth, non-thrust type of stretch, with the goal of reducing fixations or areas where motion is restricted between the cervical spinal segments. An oscillatory movement with the hands is also frequently utilized during cervical spine mobilization.

 

Cervical manual traction: The patient is usually lying face up or sitting, or less commonly prone (lying face down, on the stomach). The chiropractor gently pulls on the neck, stretching the cervical spine often varying the angle between flexion (forward) and extension (backward), based on comfort and searching for the correct angle to most efficiently reduce the tightness. This technique is often combined with mobilization, switching between the two and/or doing both simultaneously.

 

How Does a Chiropractor Diagnose Neck Pain?

Your chiropractor will evaluate your spine as a whole because other regions of the neck (cervical), mid back (thoracic) and low back (lumbar) may be affected as well. Along with treating the spine as a whole, chiropractors treat the “whole person,” not just your specific symptoms. He or she may educate you on nutrition, stress management, and lifestyle goals in addition to treating your neck pain. 

Therapeutic exercises may also be recommended—these can help improve overall range of motion in your neck and prevent neck pain from progressing.

 

Neck Adjustments

A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness.

Of course, your chiropractor will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your personal needs. In addition to manipulation, the treatment plan may include mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises, or something else.


Bed Wetting

Posted: August 2, 2016
By: Dr Terri Norburg

The bladder could be described as a muscular pouch that holds urine as it is discharged from the kidneys.  The tubes from the kidneys are called ureters and the muscle that forms the valve that holds back the urine is called the sphincter muscle. The typical bed wetting child sleeps in a high state of carbon dioxide intoxication. This produces a deep sleep that appears almost comatose to the parents. It is very difficult to wake the child up to go to the bathroom. You almost have to manually life the child up, lead him to the bathroom, command him to urinate, and lead him back to bed. Most commonly the bed is just as and lead him back to bed. Most commonly the bed is just as wet in the morning as it would have been had you not gotten the child up at all.

 

A bed wetting child is typically a very active child, often playing to exhaustion and when at sleep, sleeping in a very deep slumber with slow respiration. The child’s sluggish, or immature phrenic reflex allows too much carbon dioxide to build up in the system. The bladder valve (sphincter) relaxes, and the bladder leaks throughout the night. No, the child does not voluntarily urinate the bed. The urine simply runs out involuntarily while the child sleeps.

 

The traditional chiropractic approach to treating the child who is a bed-wetter is to adjust the spine, usually in the area of the lumbar spine or sacrum. A review of the anatomy and physiology of the bladder may help us understand why these areas are chosen as the prime target.

 

Chiropractic X-rays and examination can help pinpoint spinal problems, but the only real way to see if chiropractic care will help Nocturnal Enuresis is to actually try it. A series of chiropractic adjustments will generally determine whether or not chiropractic care will be of help. Some cases respond spontaneously with instant cessation of the bed wetting problem. In difficult cases it is sometimes wise to bring the child in for a series of spinal adjustments and then wait a few months and bring the child back again for care. Your chiropractor can explain this to you. He will offer helpful suggestions which aid in controlling enuresis such as avoiding fluids before going to bed, preventing the child from excessive exhaustion and fatigue, etc.; but he assured that chiropractic care does offer a positive approach to solving Nocturnal Enuresis. In many children it has completely solved the problem. If your child is suffering the anguish of bed wetting consider chiropractic care.

 

Can Chiropractors Help with Bed wetting?

Simply put, if your child is exhibiting signs of nerve interference, a chiropractor can probably help. “I thought chiropractors just worked with headaches and back pain?” It’s common misconception. Chiropractors locate and reduce nerve interferences cause by spinal vertebrae that are slightly misaligned and affecting nearby nerves.

 

But My Child Doesn’t Have a “Bad Back:

True, your child may not complain of low back pain or other back-related issues. However, the sometimes-subtle spinal misalignments that chiropractor’s help correct are often present without pain or other back-related issues. However, the sometimes-subtle spinal misalignments that chiropractor’s help correct are often present without pain. Find out if your child’s bedwetting is the result of these overlooked and all-too-common spinal misalignments.

 

Chiropractic care for nocturnal enuresis treats the bladder through manipulation of the lower spine and pelvis. Since the nerve supply to the muscles, which control urinary emptying, are connected to the brain through the spinal cord, it is believed that aligning the spine will correct any slow messaging or incomplete signals between the brain and the bladder.

And there is evidence to support this approach: A 1993 controlled study, which was presented to the National Conference on Chiropractic & Pediatrics, studied 46 children who were treated by chiropractors over 14 weeks and compared the results to 15 control subjects. The treated children had 17.9 percent fewer accidents after treatment. This study confirmed findings of other research showing positive results from chiropractic care.

As we have seen, the developing sacrum in the early childhood years remains highly mobile, existing as separate spinal segments. During this period, the sacrum can be subjected to repeated trauma from childhood falls and the early attempts at walking. This early trauma to the sacrum may be the major reason why bed-wetting in some patients ceases after the spine is adjusted.

 

Your child may be a bed wetter because:

  • You were one- 75% of all childhood bed wetters have a parent who also was one.
  • The communication link between their brain and bladder isn’t mature enough yet to function properly during sleep
  • He/she is a very deep sleeper; therefore, their brain just doesn’t receive the “full bladder” signal.
  • He/she may have a lower level of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). ADH tells the kidneys to stop producing urine when you sleep.
  • He or she has a smaller bladder that can’t hold urine through the night
  • Your child is constipated and the bowel is putting pressure on the bladder

 

Is Chiropractic a Cure for Bed wetting?

Chiropractors don’t claim to treat bedwetting. However, they do know that there is a good chance that chiropractic can help stop bedwetting, or at least reduce the frequency of “wet” nights, if the bedwetting is related to a spinal misalignment. Several research studies have explored the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments on bed wetters. In one such study, 25% of children who received chiropractic adjustments experienced a 50% or greater reduction in the number of wet nights. None of the children in the control group experienced this same result.