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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 jelly. When you compress them (which occurs due to normal living, sustaining an injury, or other medical conditions), they can protrude, placing pressure on the nerves in your spine. This affects your brain's ability to communicate with tissues in the rest of your body.

If the force on the discs becomes too high, the discs can herniate or protrude. This reduces the cushion between your vertebrae and can cause pain. The purpose of spinal decompression therapy is to reduce 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 report 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 Improvement with Chiropractic Care

In our Juneau, AK office, it isn't uncommon for us to see patients suffering with sciatic nerve pain, and Dr. Messerschmidt has helped many of these people improve with chiropractic. What makes chiropractic so helpful to those who suffer with this condition? First, it shortens their healing time and a Norwegian research study confirms it.

In the study, which took place in a Norwegian hospital's orthopedic division, researchers looked at 44 patients who had abrupt low back pain that was clinically diagnosed as acute sciatic nerve pain. The individuals were all treated by a chiropractor, with the average follow-up being two years after treatment.

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

Considering that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 170,000 workdays were missed in 2013 due to employees dealing with back or spine-related issues, that is almost 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 would also reduce costs to businesses and employees from lost work.

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

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 suffer from this type of problem, you're not alone. The good news is that chiropractic care is a great way to not only treat these common problems, but also help avoid future episodes.

Research Proves Chiropractic Helps With Neck Pain and Headaches

For many years, people with neck and headache pain in Juneau, AK have been helped by the chiropractic care of Dr. Messerschmidt. Our success is backed up by a recent review done in Canada that found that non-invasive, non-drug treatments are the best choice for neck and headache pain.

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

Previous 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 recover. 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.

 

Chiropractic Effective for Tension Headaches

Juneau, AK Headache Treatment by Dr. MesserschmidtMany people experience headache pain, and tension headaches are a frequent problem in our busy lives. Postural problems and stress are common sources of tension headaches, and ones that Dr. Messerschmidt and the team here in our Juneau, AK chiropractic office have a lot of experience in treating.

Research Shows Chiropractic Eases Tension Headaches

The scientific literature confirms our findings: A 2016 study from Spain managed a group of 76 patients with chronic tension headaches. The participants were divided into four treatment groups: 19 patients were treated with suboccipital inhibition (the doctor presses on the tight tissues at the top of the spine); 19 with chiropractic adjustments; 19 with both adjustments and suboccipital inhibition; and 19 received no treatment.

The researchers found that the spinal adjustments were effective at relieving pain, and that the best results were found when adjustments were coupled with the suboccipital inhibition.

When we get stressed out, the nerves and tissues in the neck can be disrupted, resulting in pain. Chiropractic works by eliminating these stresses and restoring the normal nerve function to the tissues.

We're Here to Help People Find Comfort From Tension Headaches

If you live in Juneau, AK and are dealing with any kind of headache, we're here to help you get relief. Call Dr. Messerschmidt today at (907) 789-1344 for an appointment or more information.

Source

Espi-Lopez GV, Rodriguez-Blanco C, Oliva-Pascual-Vaca A, et al. Do manual therapy techniques have a positive effect on quality of life in people with tension-type headache? A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Physical Rehabilitation Medicine 2016; February 29.

 

Chiropractic Found to Be "Safe and Helpful" for Disc Herniation

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

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 patients reported that they were experiencing pain, limited range of motion, and sensory issues bad enough to keep them off work.

During the course of the research period, the participants were treated using one of two common chiropractic methods: traction for herniated discs in the cervical area or flexion distraction for the people who had herniation issues in the lumbar area.

Each person was seen four or five times per week for the first two weeks, then three times each week, and then as needed for the remainder of the study. Depending on the seriousness of the disc herniation, treatment varied anywhere from six weeks to six months, with MRIs being performed at a variety of stages to determine what effect, if any, the chiropractic care was having in regard to the disc herniation.

Research Shows Chiropractic Helps With Back Pain and Herniated Disc

The investigators reported that 80 percent of the patients obtained a "good clinical outcome," meaning reduced pain and a reduction in other issues, such as numbness. Furthermore, 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 care 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.

 

Chiropractic Is a Natural Alternative to Back Surgery

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 operation. The science confirms the success we see in our office. One medical study published in the academic journal Spine found that consulting with a chiropractor as your first step in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.

In this report, medical experts from Dartmouth reviewed data from 1,885 workers from the state of Washington who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the individuals wound up having back surgery in an effort to correct the problem.

What the authors observed was that 42.7% of the people who first consulted with a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent of those who first consulted with 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 impressive outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor dramatically reduces your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this report "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.

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

The Problems with 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 resort for treating back pain. Chiropractic care works to restore your spine to its normal function--without the need of high-risk surgery or drugs--and many studies have documented the usefulness of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in Juneau, AK and you need relief for your back pain, give our office 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.
 

Shoulder Pain 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 shoulder pain. Let's look at the root cause of shoulder pain after an auto injury and see how chiropractic care can help.

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

Direct injury can be caused by hitting your shoulder on a hard surface in the car during the impact, or can occur if you have a tight grip on the steering wheel during a rear end impact. With this type of trauma, you'll often be aware of the pain shortly after the wreck.

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

We've treated many types of shoulder pain in our Juneau, AK office. This approach involves chiropractic adjustments to restore your spine's natural mobility and home exercises that strengthen your neck and shoulder.

If you've been injured in a car crash and you're experiencing shoulder pain, Dr. Messerschmidt is here to help. The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis to determine what's causing your symptoms and then we will determine an appropriate treatment approach. Ready to make an appointment? Give us a call at (907) 789-1344 and we'll get you back on the road to health.

 

How Safe is Chiropractic?

Juneau, AK Chiropractic for familiesWe care for a large number of patients in our Juneau, AK clinic, and Dr. Messerschmidt has helped countless people overcome a range of health problems. However, the primary issue that seems to prevent a lot of folks from seeking care is whether or not chiropractic is safe. Fortunately, according to three separate studies (out of many on the subject), the answer to this question is a clear: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"

Chiropractic is Safe, According to Australian Study

The first study(1) was published in Spine and involved 183 men and women between the ages of 20 and 85. Each participant reported affected by some kind of back pain, and half of the people received real chiropractic adjustments while the other half received two sham chiropractic treatments. Information was gathered after each real or fake adjustment to see if any unfavorable reactions occurred as a result of the genuine chiropractic adjustments.

The authors found that nobody reported any significant undesirable adverse reactions whatsoever after getting one or two sessions of chiropractic. Some individuals did state that they experienced a headache (9 percent) or muscle stiffness (37 percent) after treatment, but the results were not of a serious nature.

National Survey Finds that Chiropractic Care is Safe

A second research study(2), also released in the influential publication, Spine, was done in an effort to establish the safety of chiropractic. The study group was much larger -- 20,000 people. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all study participants.

Once again, the researchers discovered no serious adverse side effects. The experts calculated the risk of total adverse reactions to be approximately six out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. Plus, just as with the previous study, some participants did report non-serious, milder, unwanted effects such as dizziness (about 1.6%) or a headache (4%), and this prompted the authors to determine that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."

Chiropractic Is Safe for Children

This third study(3) is different from the first two reports, as it focuses on the safety of chiropractic care for kids. In this case, the researchers analyzed results reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic adjustments.

Out of 5,438 chiropractic appointments made for the young ones, chiropractors answering the survey documented only three cases where there were adverse side effects. When parents were surveyed, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Furthermore, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."

Based on these three studies (and many more!), chiropractic has been judged safe and effective for everyone. To learn what chiropractic care can do for you, call our Juneau, AK clinic and make an appointment today at (907) 789-1344.

References

  1. Walker BF, Hebert JJ, Stomski NJ, Clarke BR, Bowden RS, Losco B, French SD. Outcomes of usual chiropractic. The OUCH randomized controlled trial of adverse events. Spine 2013;38(20):1723-9.
  2. Thiel HW1, Bolton JE, Docherty S, Portlock JC. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine 2007;32(21):2375-8.
  3. Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore NY 2009;5(5): 290-5.
 

Faster Work Injury Recovery with Chiropractic

Juneau, AK Worker Injury Treatment and RecoveryWhen you're trying to sustain your family, take care of your home, and pay all of your bills on time, every day at your job counts. Work injuries can be a serious problem for many people, and we see many of these types of injuries in our Juneau, AK office. Dr. Messerschmidt appreciates your situation and is here to help.

The advantages of chiropractic care for work injuries are well-established. A 2013 survey involving over 600 adults who were troubled with either back or neck pain found that the individuals who didn't see a chiropractor missed work at twice the rate of those who were seeing a chiropractor.

So, why don't more people use Chiropractic Care?

According to the participants in this study, two of the primary factors were that they thought they needed a referral for chiropractic care (which is typically no longer true) and they overestimated the costs associated with chiropractic treatment sessions by almost 70 percent.

The fact is, chiropractic patients actually spend less on care than medical patients, plus they are less likely to use drugs for their symptoms.

Dr. Messerschmidt Can Help People Find Relief From Chronic Pain

If you live in Juneau, AK and you've been injured at work, we can help. Give our office a call today at (907) 789-1344 for an appointment.

References

"Thousands of Minnesotans with Back and Neck Pain Don't Seek Treatment." (2013, June 12). ChiroCare.

 

TMJ Pain Eased by Chiropractic

Juneau, AK TMJ pain recoveryAs injury to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is frequently rather painful, we do our best to help our Juneau, AK patients find relief as quickly and effectively as possible. In fact, Dr. Messerschmidt will tell you that the research shows just how much chiropractic can help ease pain in the jaw.

Research Supports Chiropractic Helps With TMJ Pain and Discomfort

For example, one study published in Physiotherapy Theory and Practice involved 15 participants with temporomandibular disorders who were treated with neck adjustments, middle-back adjustments, and trigger point therapy via dry needling. Subjects were examined prior to these treatments and at two weeks and two months post-treatment. The researchers reported positive results such as reduced pain, greater jaw movement, and lower impairment at both follow-ups.

Another research study carried out an analysis of almost 800 papers involving manual and manipulative therapy for conditions such as TMJ and discovered similar findings. The authors concluded that there is a "fair...level of evidence" that chiropractic care can help ease symptoms associated with TMJ and other upper extremity disorders.

This is great news since the triggers of TMJ are largely unknown. While trauma to the jaw or neck can cause pain symptoms, there are other sources to consider as well, such as bruxism, arthritis, and clenching of the jaw due to stress.

Dr. Messerschmidt Can Help Clients Find Relief From TMJ Pain

No matter what is making your jaw ache, call Dr. Messerschmidt today and make an appointment to come into our Juneau, AK practice. We'll do our best to help you smile pain-free!

References

  • Gonzalez-Iglesias J et al. (2013, November). Mobilization with movement, thoracic spine manipulation, and dry needling for the management of temporomandibular disorder: a prospective case series. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice;29(8):586-95
  • Brantingham J et al. (2013, March-April). Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: a systematic review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics;36(3):143-201
  • Oral Care. WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/temporomandibular-disorders-tmd on November 2, 2015