Recent Posts

Chiropractic Works for Disc Herniation

Juneau, AK non-surgical disc herniation treatmentDr. Messerschmidt sees many people weekly in our busy Juneau, AK chiropractic office who are looking for relief from the pain and distress they feel due to herniated discs. Our experience isn't unique; the medical research verifies that chiropractic care is a successful way to treat herniated disc pain.

Don't Suffer! Dr. Messerschmidt and Chiropractic Care Helps With Disc Herniation

One particular research study involved 27 people, 8 male and 19 female, who had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirming a disc herniation in either their neck or lower back. The people documented that they were experiencing pain, reduced range of motion, and sensory issues bad enough to keep them off work.

During the course of the research study, the participants were managed using one of two common chiropractic practices: traction for herniated discs in the cervical area or flexion distraction for the patients who had herniation issues in the lumbar area.

Each individual was treated four or five times per week for the first two weeks, then three times weekly, and then as needed for the rest of the study. Depending on the severity of the disc herniation, treatment ranged anywhere from six weeks to six months, with MRIs being conducted at a variety of stages to identify what impact, if any, the chiropractic care was having in regard to the disc herniation.

Research Proves Chiropractic Helps With Back Pain and Herniated Disc

The researchers discovered that 80 percent of the participants obtained a "good clinical outcome," meaning reduced pain and a reduction in other symptoms, such as numbness. Additionally, 77 percent of these men and women also showed MRI evidence that their disc herniation was either reduced or resolved completely. This resulted in 78 percent of the study participants being able to return to their place of work and led the authors to conclude that chiropractic adjustments is both "safe and helpful" for disc herniations.

If you have a herniated disc and suffer from chronic back pain and are near Dr. Messerschmidt in Juneau, AK, contact our office today to see what chiropractic can do for you!

Reference
BenEliyahu, DJ. Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical follow-up: study of 27 patients receiving chiropractic care for cervical and lumbar disc herniations. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1996;19(9):597-606.

 

Want To Avoid Surgery? See A Chiropractor

Juneau, AK chiropractic back pain treatmentIn our Juneau, AK office, we see plenty of people who are suffering from back pain, and a few of these folks have been told they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Messerschmidt has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical procedure. The scientific research agrees with the success we see in our practice. One medical study published in the journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.

In this research study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to find out whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.

What the authors found was that about 43% of the people who first saw a surgeon for their back problems ended up in surgery in that 3-year time frame, whereas only 1.5 percent of those who first saw a chiropractor had the same fate. The authors wrote:

"Even after controlling for injury severity and other measures, workers with an initial visit for the injury to a surgeon had almost nine times the odds of receiving lumbar spine surgery compared to those seeing primary care providers, whereas workers whose first visit was to a chiropractor had significantly lower odds of surgery."

These are remarkable outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor significantly reduces your odds of having back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.

Let's also take note this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and published in the world's most distinguished medical journal on spinal injuries.

Why You Should Avoid Surgery

Any surgical procedure has risks, but a serious downside linked to spinal surgery is that there's a very high rate of failure. In an important analysis in the European Spine Journal, researchers wrote:

"Failed back surgery is a problem that has become sufficiently widespread to even warrant its own special conferences, with recent reviews reporting failure rates ranging from 5 to 50%."

The authors of this same study concluded:

"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."

As a chiropractor, Dr. Messerschmidt believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of risky surgery or drugs--and many studies have established the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in Juneau, AK and you need care for your back pain, give our practice a call today at (907) 789-1344 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!

Studies

  • Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
  • Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.
 

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Car Accidents

We treat many auto injury cases in in our Juneau, AK office, and a widespread symptom we see in our patients is thoracic outlet syndrome. Chiropractic is an excellent way to treat thoracic outlet syndrome. Let's look at how thoracic outlet syndrome is caused by a crash and how Dr. Messerschmidt can help you.

The thoracic outlet is a bundle of nerves and blood vessels that pass through your neck and shoulder to your arm. These nerves and blood vessels don't have a lot of room, so they pass underneath and through the strong bands of muscles that support your head.

In a collision, these muscles can be stretched and strained. If injured, the muscles become inflamed and sore, and they can develop scar tissue which restricts movement and puts pressure on the tissues of the thoracic outlet. Pressure on the nerves can cause tingling or pins and needles in the shoulder, elbow and even the wrist. Pressure on the blood vessels can also cause problems in the arm.

Juneau, AK Thoracic Outlet Treatment

Chiropractic can be an effective way to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, as Dr. Messerschmidt will help improve mobility in your spine and restore normal nerve function in your neck and shoulder.

If you've been hurt in a car crash and you're suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome, Dr. Messerschmidt is here to help. First, we'll do a careful evaluation to figure out the root cause of your problem, and then decide how to restore your body's natural functioning. Ready to make an appointment? Give us a call at (907) 789-1344 and we'll get you back on the road to health.

 

Back Pain and Car Crashes

If you are suffering from back pain after an auto collision, don't despair. Dr. Messerschmidt sees this type of condition frequently in our Juneau, AK office. The key to recovering from back pain caused by a crash is to understand the root cause of the problem and how chiropractic care can help.

During a rear-end motor vehicle accident, your car and car seat are rapidly accelerated forward against your body. Since car seats don't perfectly align with the curve of your spine, the seat can put uneven pressure on your lower back. This can cause some of your spinal vertebrae to move in one direction while an adjacent vertebrae might move in another direction. This differential motion can sprain or strain the tissues that hold your spine together. This type of injury can cause chronic back pain if not treated right away. Thankfully, chiropractic is one of the most effective ways to treat back pain.

Dr. Messerschmidt is here in Juneau, AK to help you recover from back pain. We've been helping patients since 1983 and we can probably help you, too. Dr. Messerschmidt will first determine what's causing your pain and then work to restore your body to its natural functioning. Give our office a call today at (907) 789-1344 to make an appointment.

 

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!

Resources

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.

Reference

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!

References

  • 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 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs277/en/
 

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!

Articles

  • American College of Sports Medicine. (n.d.). Ankle sprains and the athlete. Retrieved from https://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/anklesprainstemp.pdf
  • 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