Recent Posts

Sports Injuries and Chiropractic: Leg Injury

Juneau, AK-sports-therapyWhen performing sports activities that demand a lot of lower body movement, like football, soccer, and basketball, it's common to sustain some type of injury to your hips or legs. Between pulled hamstrings, sprained ankles, knee injuries, and more, many athletes have found themselves sidelined. Dr. Messerschmidt has seen all of these problems in our Juneau, AK patients. The good news is, chiropractic care can help prevent some of these injuries from developing and research proves it.

Dr. Messerschmidt keeps current with all of the recent scientific research, and in a paper published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, researchers from Macquarie University in Australia studied 59 semi-elite Australian Rules football players. Roughly half were placed in a control group and the other half were put in a therapy group that received sports chiropractic care at regular intervals. During the first six weeks, this meant engaging in care once per week. The following three months consisted of an adjustment every two weeks before decreasing those to one visit monthly for the final three months of the study.

Researchers noted that there was a "significant" decrease in the number of leg strains the players received in the treatment group when compared to the control. Furthermore, they observed that the subjects who engaged in chiropractic also had fewer weeks of missed practice and games as a result of non-contact knee injuries. This led them to conclude that sports chiropractic treatment should be added to "the current best practice management."

Every major sports team in the United States and the US Olympic Team has chiropractors on staff for their athletes, because they know that chiropractic works. If you live near our practice in Juneau, AK and would like to see if Dr. Messerschmidt can help you boost your performance or reduce sports injuries, give our office a call today at (907) 789-1344 for an appointment.

Study Information

Hoskins W, Pollard H. The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010;11(64).


What Is Spinal Decompression?

Spinal decompression therapy in Juneau, AKWe work with many back pain patients in our Juneau, AK chiropractic office, and Dr. Messerschmidt and our staff uses an assortment of techniques to help get you out of pain and restore your spine's normal, healthy function. We find spinal decompression to be a highly effective approach.

Understanding Spinal Decompression Therapy

To help you better understand spinal decompression therapy, think of the discs in your spine like small balloons filled with gelatin. When you squeeze them (which occurs due to normal living, sustaining an injury, or other medical conditions), they can protrude, placing pressure on the nerves in your spinal column. This affects your brain's ability to communicate with tissues in the rest of your body.

If the pressure on the discs becomes too high, the discs can herniate or protrude. This reduces the cushioning between your vertebrae and can cause pain. The objective of spinal decompression therapy is to alleviate this pressure to help improve your body's function and also reduce your level of pain.

Can Spinal Decompression Therapy Help Me?

Spinal decompression therapy relieves disc pressure through the use of a specially designed table that carefully elongates your spinal column through slow and controlled movements. This decreases the pressure placed on your discs. Some studies show an increase in disc height by as much as 1.3 millimeters after just six weeks of this treatment.

If you're wondering if spinal decompression therapy could help you feel and function better, simply call our Juneau, AK office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Messerschmidt today. Your optimal health is our number one goal!


Apfel CC, Cakmakkaya OS, Richmond C, et al. Restoration of disk height through non-surgical spinal decompression is associated with decreased discogenic low back pain: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010;11(155). doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-155


Quicker Sciatica Recovery with Chiropractic Care

In our Juneau, AK office, it isn't unusual for us to see people troubled with sciatica pain, and Dr. Messerschmidt has helped many of these people recover with chiropractic. What makes chiropractic so useful to those who suffer with sciatica? First, it shortens their time of recovery and a Norwegian research study confirms it.

In the study, which took place in a Norwegian hospital's orthopedic department, the authors looked at 44 patients who reported sudden low back pain that was identified as acute sciatica. The participants were all treated by a chiropractor, with the mean follow-up being two years after treatment.

The authors discovered that all but two patients went back to work after receiving chiropractic care, which is a 95% success rate. Moreover, the average period of time that the patients spent off work "was reduced by two thirds as compared with that associated with conventional medical treatment."

Given the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 170,000 workdays were lost in 2013 due to employees dealing with back or spine-related issues, that is nearly 112,500 work days that could potentially be recovered each and every year solely by receiving chiropractic care. Not only would that increase productivity, but it could also decrease costs to businesses and employees from lost work.

If you live in Juneau, AK and you suffer with sciatica, Dr. Messerschmidt is here to assist. Give us a call at (907) 789-1344 and we'll work with you to find the source of your sciatic pain and get you back on the road to health.

Orlin JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30(2):135-139.


Juneau, AK Neck Pain and Headache Care

Juneau, AK neck pain and headache treatmentNeck and headache pain are common problems that affect millions of people around the world. If you are suffering from this type of problem, you're not alone. The good news is that chiropractic is a great way to not only treat these common issues, but also help prevent future episodes.

Research Shows Chiropractic Helps With Neck Pain and Headaches

For many years, patients with neck and headache pain in Juneau, AK have been helped by the chiropractic adjustments of Dr. Messerschmidt. Our experience is supported by a recent review done in Canada that found that non-surgical, non-drug solutions are the best choice for neck and headache pain.

The study looked at 15 studies from 1990 to 2015 and found that conservative treatment comprised of chiropractic adjustments, exercises, and stretches was recommended before resorting to drugs or more invasive treatments.

Past scientific studies have shown that chiropractic is effective and safe for neck pain and many other health conditions.

We Can Help Patients Find Comfort From Neck Pain and Headaches

If you're troubled with neck pain or headaches, Dr. Messerschmidt and our staff are here to help you heal. Give our Juneau, AK office a call today at (907) 789-1344 for an appointment today.


Varatharajan S, Ferguson B, Chrobak K, et al. Are non-invasive interventions effective for the management of headaches associated with neck pain? An update of the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration. European Spine Journal 2016; February 6:1-29.


Juneau, AK Chiropractic Beats Massage for Cervicogenic Headaches

We see a considerable number of people with headaches in our Juneau, AK office, and Dr. Messerschmidt has been able to assist many of them. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that half of all adults deal with some sort of headache disorder, so this certainly isn’t unexpected. One of the most common sorts of headaches that our patients are afflicted by is cervicogenic headache which, thankfully, chiropractic can often help.

Cervicogenic Headaches Defined

A cervicogenic headache is one that comes from problems in the cervical spine. It can easily be as a result of a problem with either the spine itself (particularly, the vertebrae, joints, or discs), or it may be triggered by a problem in the muscles and tendons of your neck. This dysfunction in your spine can cause compaction or aggravation of the spinal nerves, which can bring about headache pain.

How do you distinguish if the headache you are experiencing is a cervicogenic headache? Other than getting a diagnosis from a healthcare specialist, a typical symptom of cervicogenic headaches is tenderness or pain in your neck. This is sometimes followed by pain in the back of your head or between your shoulder blades.

How Chiropractic Helps

Considering cervicogenic headaches will not go away until whatever issue is initiating them is remedied, it is vital to receive treatment as opposed to just trying to "wait it out." Chiropractic care is an excellent approach, and one that can provide a considerable amount of pain relief.

In one study circulated in Chiropractic & Osteopathy, specialists looked at 80 people who had recurrent cervicogenic headaches. One-half were given chiropractic care and the other 50% engaged in light massage therapy. Each participant was assessed 12 and 24 weeks after the treatment and it was discovered that chiropractic offered the best effects.

In particular, this study uncovered that chiropractic adjustments provided patients enhanced pain relief and decreased the number of headaches that occurred. Furthermore, it also mitigated the disability that resulted from these painful headaches.

To find out what Dr. Messerschmidt can do for you and your headaches, call us today. We'll do our best to get you the pain relief you deserve!


  • Haas M, Schneider M, Vavrek D. Illustrating risk difference and number needed to treat from a randomized controlled trial of spinal manipulation for cervicogenic headache. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010 18(9).
  • World Health Organization. (2012, October). Headache disorders. Retrieved from

Chiropractic Works for Ankle Sprains

Juneau, AK natural ankle sprain treatmentWe see quite a few patients in our Juneau, AK office with ankle sprains but Dr. Messerschmidt has had a lot of success helping them heal more quickly. Why are ankle sprains so common and how can chiropractic care help?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), an estimated 25,000 people in the US sprain their ankles every day. In fact, these injuries make up almost half of all sports injuries, causing people to spend time away from the activities they enjoy most.

Like any injury, there are many causes of ankle sprains. The most frequent is inversion, or when the ankle rolls inward. This injury can happen due to one forceful movement, or it can develop over a period of time, and activities that increase the risk for this type of ankle sprain include running and jumping. You're also at risk if you have previous ankle injuries, poor posture or balance, weak muscles, and reduced range of motion.

How Can Chiropractic Treatments and Dr. Messerschmidt Help?

A report published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics set out to discover chiropractic's role when it comes to ankle sprain recovery. Researchers recruited 33 people between the ages of 18 and 45 who had a history of ankle inversion sprains, who were experiencing tenderness and/or pain, and had not re-injured the area in the previous six weeks.

Eighteen of the participants were assigned to receive rehabilitation and the remaining 15 individuals received chiropractic adjustments in addition to rehabilitation. Each person had five full weeks of treatment, with the rehab group receiving therapies seven days a week and the rehabilitation plus chiropractic group receiving therapy six out of the seven days.

Research Shows Chiropractic Helps With Ankle Sprains

Researchers found that the people who had both rehab and chiropractic fared the best at the 4-week mark when it came to pain and joint restriction. Also, no adverse effects were reported, showing that chiropractic is safe.

If you're near our office in Juneau, AK and you're suffering from an ankle injury, give us a call. We'll do what we can to keep you up and running... literally!


  • American College of Sports Medicine. (n.d.). Ankle sprains and the athlete. Retrieved from
  • Lubbe, D et al. (2015, January). Manipulative therapy and rehabilitation for recurrent ankle sprain with functional instability: a short-term, assessor-blind, parallel-group randomized trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 38(1), 22-34, doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2014.10.001

Fibromyalgia Relief with Chiropractic

Juneau, AK natural fibromyalgia treatmentIf you suffer with fibromyalgia, you are not alone, as Dr. Messerschmidt sees many patients with this particular syndrome in our Juneau, AK chiropractic practice. As a matter of fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that roughly two percent of all adults in the United States have fibromyalgia. Fortunately, chiropractic care is one treatment option that can provide positive results.

In a study published in mid-2015, 215 adults with fibromyalgia were assessed based on factors ranging from pain to quality of sleep to the levels of depression and anxiety they felt. Then they were split into two groups with one group receiving a multi-modal treatment plan for three months and the second group receiving the same approach with the addition of chiropractic care (specifically, to the upper neck area) for the same length of time.

The subjects who received chiropractic care combined with the multi-disciplinary treatment program reported greater results in all areas (pain, sleep, depression, and anxiety) at three months post-treatment when compared to the study participants who received multi-modal therapy without chiropractic care. In addition, those positive outcomes were lasting as the patients reported continued improvement one full year later.

Fibromyalgia can substantially decrease your quality of life, both mentally and physically. If you're struggling with fibromyalgia, we might be able to help.

You don't have to suffer! To see what Dr. Messerschmidt can do for your fibromyalgia, call our Juneau, AK chiropractic office today.


  • Fibromyalgia. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from on November 2, 2015.
  • Moustafa I & Diab A. (2015, July). The addition of upper cervical manipulative therapy in the treatment of patients with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial. Rheumatology International;35(7):1163-74.

Chiropractic Helps Relieve Herniated Disc Problems

Juneau, AK chiropractic disc herniation treatmentRegrettably, a large number of our Juneau, AK patients are familiar with the pain caused by a herniated disc all too well. Fortunately, Dr. Messerschmidt has helped many people with disc pain, and a number of scientific studies have verified that chiropractic care can help patients recover from this kind of condition.

Research on Chiropractic and Disc Herniations

In one report, specialists from Switzerland selected 148 patients who were suffering with pain in their low back and legs due to a herniated disc (which was confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI). Each person then received chiropractic adjustments that focused on the area of his or her disc herniation.

Data was collected after the first treatment session at set intervals--namely, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 1 year--to establish what kind of short-term and long-term effects, if any, chiropractic care offers when it comes to resolving this particular problem. Among the information obtained was the person's self-reported changes in both low back and leg pain.

The authors found that, as a whole, the study participants reported "significant improvement" for both types of pain every time the results were collected. In fact, over 90% of the individuals reported that their pain "improved" within the first three months, with 88% still citing improvement one year after their first treatment session.

Even those people who were defined as "chronic" still claimed an improvement in pain at a rate of 89% one year beyond when treatment first began. This is the same positive effect that was found in the following case study.

Case Study Shows that Chiropractic Benefits Chronic Disc Herniation Symptoms

In this report, a 26-year-old man had presented with disc herniation symptoms such as pain in the lower back, left leg, and left groin area, along with left foot drop and muscle weakness. He had endured these problems for more than two years after sustaining an athletic injury, and his disc herniation was confirmed via MRI.

After receiving chiropractic, "The patient responded favorably and his multi-symptom complex resolved within 90 days of treatment." In addition, the patient was still experiencing relief one year after the chiropractic intervention.

Studies like these show how beneficial chiropractic can be when it comes to alleviating herniated disc pain and reducing the symptoms they bring about. So, if you are suffering from back ache caused by a herniated disc and want to find some relief, chiropractic may be an effective solution.

Don't suffer from chronic herniated disc pain. Give our Juneau, AK office a call today at (907) 789-1344 for a consultation or appointment.


  • Leemann S, Peterson CK, Schmid C, Anklin B, Humphreys BK. Outcomes of acute and chronic patients with magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed symptomatic lumbar disc herniations receiving high-velocity, low-amplitude, spinal manipulative therapy: a prospective observational cohort study with one-year follow-up. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2014;37(3):155-163.
  • Polkinghorn BS, Colloca CJ. Treatment of symptomatic lumbar disc herniation using activator methods chiropractic technique. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1998;21(3):187-196.

Effective Back Pain Treatment

Juneau, AK back pain treatmentWe see many patients with back pain in our Juneau, AK office, and Dr. Messerschmidt has been able to help many of them get relief through various chiropractic techniques. At the same time, recovering from back pain doesn't necessarily mean having to make a choice between chiropractic care and medical therapy, as many people use both types of care with great success.

Study Confirms Chiropractic and Medical Care Work Well Together

In a study published by the academic journal Spine researchers1 looked at a group of active-duty military personnel between the ages of 18 and 35 who reported both acute soreness and limited function due to back pain. Some of the study participants engaged in treatment via standard medical therapy, while the remainder received chiropractic care in addition to standard medical care, as the authors wanted to determine which group fared better.

Researchers determined that the patients who got standard medical care in combination with chiropractic scored "significantly better" than the group that received medical care alone; 73% reported positive benefits compared to just 17% of the medical care only group who reported the same amount of improvement. This was true regarding both pain and level of function at the two- and four-week marks.

Thus, integrating these two forms of care can greatly benefit you--the patient--offering advantages when compared to medical care alone. However, while chiropractic and medical approaches can work alongside each other, chiropractic offers some unique advantages over medical therapy.

Where Chiropractic Care Pulls Ahead

Although it might seem as if each approach plays a 50/50 role, there is one significant benefit that chiropractic has over medical treatment and that is in patient satisfaction. In fact, one bit of research done at UCLA2 that was published in the American Journal of Public Health found that, on average, chiropractic patients are generally more satisfied with their recovery than people undergoing medical treatment.

According to the researchers, the main factors that patients favored over medical treatment were "self-care advice and explanation of treatment." This isn't surprising, as chiropractors tend to spend much more time advising their patients as to how they can improve their health on their own, as well as discussing more thoroughly what to expect from chiropractic.

Chiropractic Offers a Holistic Approach

Without a doubt, the methods associated with chiropractic are very different than those available with medical treatment, but a large amount of the distinction is the fact that chiropractic is a natural approach to health and wellness. Rather than focusing on only relieving the symptoms, chiropractic involves tracking down the root cause of your pain, which often translates to greater improvement as you are tackling the problem at its source.

In addition, while medication is sometimes helpful for treating certain conditions, many health issues respond well to a natural approach such as chiropractic. This means fewer negative responses to drugs and more permanent results.

You don't have to deal with back pain or other health issues. Give our Juneau, AK clinic a call today at (907) 789-1344. We'll do our best to help you get and continue to be free from back pain.


  1. Goertz CM, Long CR, Hondras MA, Petri R, Delgado R, Lawrence DJ, Owens EF, Meeker WC. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine 2013;38(8):627-634.
  2. Hertzman-Miller RP1, Morgenstern H, Hurwitz EL, Yu F, Adams AH, Harber P, Kominski GF. Comparing the satisfaction of low back pain patients randomized to receive medical or chiropractic care: results from the UCLA low-back pain study. American Journal of Public Health 2002;92(10):1628-1633.

Shoulder Pain and Car Accidents

If you have shoulder pain after an auto injury, don't despair. Dr. Messerschmidt sees this type of condition often in our Juneau, AK office. Let's look at the root cause of shoulder pain after a car accident and see how chiropractic can help.

There are at least two different ways that you can develop shoulder pain after a crash: by direct trauma to the shoulder or by radiating pain from the neck.

Direct trauma can be caused by hitting your shoulder on a hard object in the car during the crash, or can occur if you have a tight grip on the steering wheel during a rear end collision. With this type of trauma, you'll usually be aware of the pain soon after the crash.

More frequently, Dr. Messerschmidt finds that shoulder or arm pain doesn't immediately appear after a crash, but begins a few days or weeks after the accident. This type of shoulder discomfort actually starts in the cervical spine. Injured soft tissue in your neck can tweak nerves in your neck, causing numbness, tingling, or soreness in your shoulder, elbow, or wrist.

We've worked with both kinds of shoulder pain in our Juneau, AK office. This treatment involves chiropractic adjustments to restore your spine's natural mobility and home exercises that strengthen your neck and shoulder.

You don't have to suffer from shoulder pain. Dr. Messerschmidt is conveniently located in Juneau, AK to help you heal, whether you've been in a car crash or not. The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis to determine what's causing your symptoms and then we will determine an appropriate treatment strategy. Ready to make an appointment? Give us a call at (907) 789-1344 and we'll get you back on the road to health.