Chiropractic Care of Low Back Pain and Leg Pain

Chiropractor in Chapel Hill, NC

The nerves running from the lower lumbar spine levels innervate the hips, legs, and feet. When your back hurts, these regions of lower extremity suffer as a result of nerve root irritation from these lumbar levels lumbar 3,4, and 5. Sensory and motor impairment of the hips to the feet is the result of the untreated lower back, spinal bone inflammation, and misalignment. Chiropractic physicians are the best choice to provide care to these regions to keep back and hip leg pain from lingering too long or progressing.

Spinal vertebrae are amazing multifaceted, multifunction bones. Interspersed with cushioning discs, the amazing structures support the body and serve as attachments for many muscles and ligaments that allow incredible flexibility to the entire body. Also, importantly, spinal vertebrae from head to hip, house, and protect the nerves of the spinal column. In the lower back lumbar spine, individual lumbar nerves exit from between these vertebral units and travel to the lower extremity. When you stub your toe or injure your knee, messages from those irritated areas travel back to your brain via the nerves at the lower back level and spinal cord. Alternately, when you injure your back, those same nerves that go to your hips and legs communicate with those areas. This two-way communication requires delicate care to all areas involved. A chiropractor will examine and treat connected regions such as the low back and hips and legs any time pain or injury occurs to either of these regions.

The chiropractic adjustment is a hands-on or machine-assisted procedure performed by Licensed Chiropractic Physicians to mobilize spinal vertebrae and connected joints. Following a physical examination and health history, your chiropractor will diagnose the cause of your problem and associated spinal levels. Treatment, which always involves spinal adjustment, may also include other modalities. These may include soft tissue massage, transcutaneous electro-nerve stimulation, or even acupuncture to relax muscles. In the offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay, DC, LAc., she will additionally utilize essential oils such as lavender or bergamot, to create a calming environment and relax the mind. We find that this layered approach to healing is the most beneficial and lasting.

Examples of problems in the lower extremity include sciatica, tensor fascia lata muscle tightness, patellar dislocation, lower leg compartment syndrome, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, or many others. Each of these conditions responds well to chiropractic care. Be sure to tell Dr. Oskardmay if you have pain in your hips, legs, knees, or feet when you come in for a spinal adjustment. She will help you get better quick.

For more information about how chiropractic care can help you with low-back and leg pain, contact a chiropractor in Chapel Hill, NC residents recommend from Acupractic.

The Major Benefits of Trying a Chiropractic Approach

Chiropractic Care

Even though millions of people have tried chiropractic care, there are still plenty of misconceptions about it. Most people visit a chiropractor due to joint, back, poor posture, relief from an injury, or treatment for chronic pain. However, there are so many other potential benefits of receiving chiropractic adjustments. The goal of our chiropractic office is to educate patients about the various ways their health could improve through this approach. 

Visiting For The First Time

When a patient comes to see a chiropractor for help regarding a health issue, the first step is evaluating their current and past medical history. A chiropractor may ask about symptoms, any recent diagnosis, and whether they are taking prescription medication. It is important to be forthcoming to your chiropractor so he or she can confirm that chiropractics can be helpful, in addition to creating a more personalized care plan. 

What Adjustments Feel Like

During an adjustment, a chiropractor applies gentle yet direct pressure to specific areas of the patient’s spine and other joints. The intention is to bring joints that were out of placement back into proper alignment. These adjustments do not hurt, and should not cause pain. Certain joints on the spine or extremities may feel pressure or a little uncomfortable, but once the realignment is complete the patient is likely to feel relief.

In general, most patients enjoy going to the chiropractor, since relief from tension and other symptoms can be felt shortly after the appointment. The most common side effect is soreness or tenderness in the area that was adjusted. But unless there is immense pain, patients shouldn’t worry and the aches will probably diminish over a 48-hour period. 

The benefits of chiropractic care that you may not have been aware of before can include: 

  • Improves joint function and mobility
  • Loosens tight muscles due to an illness or injury
  • Improves cognitive and ability to think more clearly
  • Improves the general health of children and infants
  • Improves athletic performance for those who play recreational or professional sports
  • Improves quality of life by decreasing intensity and frequency of chronic pain
  • Relieves prenatal discomfort
  • Increases energy
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Helps an overactive mind calm down
  • Improves organ function of digestive system, lungs, heart, sinuses, and more
  • Strengthens the body’s ability to fight off colds, flus, and other illnesses
  • Improves function of nervous system
  • Speeds up the body’s healing and recovery process
  • Improves circulation of blood, generating new blood and promoting flow of stagnant blood
  • Decreases inflammation associated with subluxation

If you are ready to try care for chiropractor in Rockville, MD, then we suggest reaching out to a clinic right away! 

Thanks to the Pain Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into chiropractic care and its benefits.

Dry Needle Technique at Acupractic Natural Healing Center

Acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC

Dry Needle Technique is a healing method designed to alleviate pain caused by trigger points and other musculoskeletal conditions. DNT is similar and significantly different than some forms of acupuncture, and Dr. Oskardmay is fully trained in both types of treatment. Treatment time can be faster than traditional acupuncture, and patients need to remain stably on the treatment table during the duration of the procedure.

A body in pain frequently presents with point locations of tenderness or trigger points. As a doctor skilled in the art of palpation and as a DNT practitioner, Dr. Oskardmay knows how to locate these spots. Be sure to tell her about your health history and any symptoms you experience to assist the process. She will use these points and regions of body pain to create a map of healing points and areas for DNT therapy.  Next, she will make sure you are adequately draped and cleanse the skin for needle insertion. Dr. Oskardmay uses acupuncture needles of various lengths ranging in size from ½” to several inches inserted into deep muscle tissues to facilitate a healing response. Once inserted, the needles are not stimulated or moved as the body re-sets and then rests. She removes the needles, and patients are free to leave at that point if treatment is over. Alternately, additional aspects of patient care such as massage, chiropractic, or even additional acupuncture, can then continue.

DNT can be a complete therapy in itself, or it can be a component in the treatment program, depending on treatment goals. It is not considered to be the same as acupuncture by many because the diagnosis and treatment methods used are not precisely the same as those used in eastern Chinese Medicine. DNT is not a useful modality for many health issues such as stress reduction, insomnia, PTSD, smoking cessation, weight loss, facial rejuvenation, and others. Many of the points used in DNT for musculoskeletal pain are the same as ones used in acupuncture. Trigger points frequently reside at the same muscle trigger point location as many acupuncture points. Nonetheless, it is important to acknowledge that DNT is different in several ways. DNT may have different therapeutic goals than expressed in a traditional acupuncture setting, and treatment times may be shorter, for instance. Also, the depth of needle insertion will likely be different. Dr. Oskardmay can use both treatment types during the same visit, an option she will discuss with you. As always, be sure to let her know your preferences, as well.

Dry Needle Technique offers patients new options for therapy choices. The therapy may open the door for patients to try acupuncture needles treatments on a different level than with Chinese Medicine. Ask Dr. Oskardmay today. As a Licensed Acupuncturist and DNT Certified Practitioner, she can help you make a choice. Both techniques work together with chiropractic and massage, as well.

For more information about dry needle technique, contact an acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC residents recommend from Acupractic.

Health Coaching at Acupractic Natural Healing Center

Acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC

At our office, Dr. Lisa Oskardmay offers health coaching at each office visit. Each health visit takes from 30-60” depending on treatment goals and options. The initial visit usually takes about 70” and includes examination and explanation of findings. Frequently she provides some therapy during the first visit- chiropractic or acupuncture plus soft tissue massage. One of the most valuable things she gives, however, is health coaching at each visit. She counsels clients on nutrition, exercise, and activities of daily living to enhance healing.

Each person visiting our office has health care concerns, whether they are here for back pain, headaches, stress management, weight control, insomnia, preventive care, or other issues.  Chiropractic and acupuncture techniques help in each of these areas because they are holistic treatments treat the person- not the part, and Dr. Oskardmay strives to understand the individual’s personal history and therapy goals during each visit. One person may have back pain because they just suffered an injury, and they want to get back to running for exercise to prepare for a marathon. Another person may have back pain in the same region, but that person doesn’t’ know what caused the pain, and their goal is to lose weight and be able to sleep better at night. These two people have different histories and needs. Dr. Lisa will take the time to listen and create a treatment plan that works.

During the second visit, which usually takes about 45″, she will provide both chiropractic and acupuncture treatment if desired and start a conversation related to how to improve diet and nutrition. Dr. Oskardmay is well versed in using food as a healing tool- we are what we eat, what we think, and what we do with these. Food is the basis for a healthy lifestyle, and sometimes dietary habits benefit from reevaluation. Nutrients from food provide the building blocks for tissues and are the precursors to hormones and nerve messages that comprise our nervous system. Educated food choices help.

During the third visit or so, Dr. Oskardmay will provide treatment, and additionally review exercise options to increase strength, flexibility, and overall muscle balance. Some people suffer from weak muscles in certain areas that are overpowered by stronger or tighter muscles in other regions, resulting in poor posture and unnecessary muscle tension. Dr. Oskardmay can help you choose smart exercises that focus on your body’s needs and which will increase balance and reduce the likelihood of injury or reinjury.

Treatment options available at Acupractic NHC Chiropractic and Acupuncture include chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture therapy, massage including deep and therapeutic tissue, cupping massage, and gua sha. Health coaching related to nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle adaptations helps to improve your healing response.

To learn more about acupuncture, or to speak with our licensed acupuncturist call Acupractic Natural Healing Center in Chapel Hill, NC.

Too Little Sunlight Causes a Variety of Health Problems

Acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC

As a chiropractic and acupuncturist, Dr. Oskardmay’s goal is to help each patient achieve their best health naturally. During an examination, she will review your health history with you regarding various health aspects and concerns, including how much time you spend outdoors. Many people eschew sunshine, thinking that too much sunlight will cause health problems such as skin cancer and premature skin aging. Some people also have jobs that force them to stay, so they don’t get much opportunity to go outdoors. Just the thought of going outdoors around all the bugs and the heat and the need to put on sunscreen to blocks the sun’s rays causes so much stress for some people that they avoid going outside much at all during the summer months. But the lack of sun can have serious health ramifications, and everybody should strive to get at least 15-20″ of sunlight each day, preferably in the morning to ward off serious health concerns. Studies show that sunlight exposure in the morning has the most benefit, incidentally, on weight gain, and nighttime sleep. If you go out in the early morning before the sun’s rays are directly overhead and exceedingly powerful, the sun’s rays will not be damaging to your skin. Additionally, if you wear some sunscreen such as zinc oxide on the more delicate areas, or wear some sun protective clothing, you can stay outdoors a little longer to get the full benefit of the sun’s rays.

Sunlight helps the body in many ways when it hits the skin and transforms cholesterol under the skin into Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a precursor to many body hormones including estrogen, testosterone and many others that we need to slow the aging process, fight cancer, and other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, obesity, depression, insomnia and many others. Studies have even demonstrated a link between the higher prevalence of back pain in people with limited sun exposure, such as persons who live in higher altitudes or people who cover up their skin whenever they go outside. A lot of people who have had their Vitamin D levels checked in recent years come to learn that they are deficient in this vital nutrient and begin a supplementation plan to combat hypovitaminosis D. It is unclear, however, whether or not Vitamin D supplementation is the answer for sunlight deficiency.

Talk with Dr. Oskardmay about your health history and any concerns you have regarding sunlight exposure. A few simple changes to your daily routine might be helpful to add sunlight back into your life at levels that can help you in myriad ways. Contact Acupractic Natural Healing Center today.

Nutrient Comparison of Pasta and Beans, Pasta made from Beans

Acupuncture Chapel Hill, NC

We talk about nutrition in our office here at Acupractic Natural Healing Center because what you eat affects your health and wellbeing in many ways.  Back pain, shoulder pain, foot, and ankle inflammation can flare up with improper diet and nutrition. When you choose foods with higher fiber, better glycemic index, closer to nature- less processing, healthier fat, you are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and get the vitamins and minerals you need. To get through the hype of advertising, take a few minutes while shopping to choose your foods carefully. One of the things I recommend at my practice is label comparisons of various foods to gain insight into how the foods can best serve your nutrition needs. Some seemingly healthy foods may not be so nutritious when scrutinized in this way as processing affects foods and can either add or detract from the source. For that reason I looked into pasta made from beans- is it as good as the original beans? Or has it lost its mojo in processing? Importantly, is pasta made from beans better than pasta made from flour? How about egg noodles?

The ingredient list/nutrition content photos below of cooked garbanzos (chickpeas), chickpea flour and chickpea pasta demonstrate that, for a serving size of about 50 g, garbanzo beans, flour made from garbanzo beans, and garbanzo bean pasta all share similar nutrition contents which shouldn’t be surprising since the process of making pasta doesn’t remove anything. (I needed to see this for myself, however). Pictures of pasta made from durum wheat (regular pasta) are below the page for comps.

Nutrient Comparison of Pasta and Beans, Pasta made from Beans

Here are the compared nutrients for 30 grams Dry garbanzo beans, garbanzo bean flour, garbanzo bean pasta followed by the nutrients in durham wheat pasta and egg noodle pasta where F=fat, CH20=carbohydrate, Fi-fiber, S=sugar, P=protein, Ca=calcium, I=iron, Po=potassium

Dry garbanzo beans:       F:  1.8g,  CH2O: 18.0g,   Fi: 5.4g,  S: 3g,   P: 6g,  Ca: 30mg, I: 1.9mg,  Po: 264mg

Garbanzo flour:                F: 1.0g,  CH2O: 18.0g,   Fi: 8.0g,  S: 1g,   P: 7g,  Ca: 23mg, I: 2.0mg,  Po: 348mg

Dry garbanzo pasta:        F: .53g,   CH2O: 19.8g,   Fi: 4.8g,  S:<1g,  P: 7g,  Ca: 21mg, I: 1.4mg,  Po: 397mg

Durham what pasta :      F: .54g,   CH2O :21.4g,   Fi: 1.1g,  S:1.1g,  P: 4.3,   Ca:8.0mg, I: 0.9mg,  Po:74.5mg

Egg noodles dry:              F: .80g,   CH2O:22.0g,    Fi: 1.1g,  S:1.1,    P:3.8g, Ca:0mg,   I:0.4mg,   Po:69.7mg

As the compared nutrient values show, pasta made from garbanzo beans has a similar nutrient value to garbanzo beans themselves with somewhat less fat and fiber. Interestingly, pasta made from garbanzo beans has about twice as much fat (unsaturated), four times the fiber, twice the protein, and significantly more minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium as either durham wheat or egg noodles. Beans do not lose nutrients in processing to pasta and noodles made from beans is beneficial to the diet in ways that regular pasta is not.

If you have questions about nutrition, ask Dr. Oskardmay during your next chiropractic and acupuncture appointment, or email us today: schedule@acudocnc.com. We are here for you!

Earth Channel and weight loss

Acupuncture Chapel Hill, NC

Too much weight gain is a problem that plagues many people in the United States and worldwide. The achievement of stable, ideal weight, and BMI is a goal for vast numbers of us and challenging to attain. The sight and smell of delicious foods inundate us at every corner be it online or outside and we mindlessly consume too many calories as we rush to do our daily work, or we overindulge while we relax. Eating for enjoyment is a pastime which results in weight gain. Natural treatment for this issue is unpleasant and ineffective- many people start dieting and end up gaining more weight over time. Abdominal surgery to reduce food absorption is dangerous and also may not work. Exercising to lose weight is helpful, but needs to be combined with reduced caloric consumption to be truly helpful because people’s feet and knees can only take so much exercise! Many people need a new approach to weight loss.

An article in the NIH Pubmed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9679359 describes how acupuncture ear point stimulation can help. Specific auricular areas related to appetite, relaxation, and the stomach signal satiety when used in an acupuncture protocol designed to help patients lose weight. Auriculotherapy helps the body produce the hormone serotonin by accessing the auricular branch of the vagal nerve. Serotonin is a hormone that helps us relax and reflect, which can put an end to mindless food consumption stimulated by external sights and smells rather than internal cues of real hunger.  Additionally, ear acupuncture of points directed to the earth channel and stomach organ increase the tone of the stomach’s musculature, which helps us feel full.

In Chinese Medicine, the ear is a body region that contains all of the acupuncture channels in one small location. Stimulation of points on the ear is shown to send messages along the channels, thus affecting organs and tissues distal to the ear itself. Channel pathways are important energy mediators for elements and corresponding organs and tissues; related emotional responses such as fear and joy affect well being, too. That a single ear point or two can access this cornucopia of aligned energies is fantastic and beautiful. As the article above describes, acupuncture in Chapel Hill, NC from Acupractic Natural Healing Center and Acupuncture at Eastowne also has the potential to help people lose unwanted weight by assisting people in naturally.

How Can Essential Oils Benefit your Chiropractic or Acupuncture Treatment Plan?

`Getting Started with Essential Oils` presentation by established nutritionist Jenny Hoffman shows that essential oils can be used in many therapeutic ways. `Essential` refers to the high concentration of volatile plant extractions, and `oil` refers to the fact that these steam-distilled extractions do not mix with water, although they are not technically oils. Essential oils of single source or mixtures have been used for centuries to heal and cleanse, stimulate and relax, sanctify, and invite.  Today, with minimal training, we can similarly use drops of these elixirs and eliminate many toxins in our lives.

The chiropractic adjustment helps reduce neck and back pain, and aromatherapy application or massage with essential oils during the treatment will enhance therapeutic benefit. For instance, the essential oil blend `Aroma Life` from Young Living is a combination of essences such as lavender, rosemary, marjoram, and bergamot. Lavender is an example of an herbal fragrance that reduces the stress hormone cortisol; the application of this oil can help ease muscle tension. Similarly, rosemary essence, in addition to improving nervous system balance, also helps to detoxify surrounding tissues. Bergamot is an antispasmodic sedative oil; its ability to relax muscles and promote relaxation make it another right choice for body work in general. Your chiropractor may use these oils separately or in a blend as described above; whichever, the therapeutic benefit enhances the chiropractic adjustment in many ways. These are just some examples of beneficial essential oils that your chiropractor can use to improve the therapeutic benefit of the chiropractic adjustment.

Essential oils can also benefit acupuncture treatment for the relaxation reasons described above. Also, essences can be used to enhance channel work in an acupuncturist’s office in other ways, adding a new dimension to their healing efficacy. The essential oil of cypress, for instance, benefits the lung channel because it soothes coughing and clears infection. Sweet basil essence supports the earth channel and helps to improve digestion and reduce bloating when applied to the skin or taken internally. Citrus essential oils help break up liver qi stagnation resulting in lessened headache, frustration, PMS, and aggression. Your acupuncturist in Chapel Hill, NC can use essential oil acupressure application on channel point locations in place of needles when acupuncture isn’t recommended; this might benefit the very young or individuals with needle phobia. Even animals, who may not be good candidates for needle acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments, can benefit from therapeutic essential oil massage application.

 

Contact Acupractic Natural Healing Center and Acupuncture for more insight into acupuncture and its benefits.

 

Taking Time for Excellent Spinal Health

 

It’s always a guessing game whenever you have a medical or dental appointment. The schedule could be backed up in flu season, an emergency appointment came in that takes precedence over your regular appointment or things may just be taking longer that day. However, those are appointments we are used to dealing with and, based on what they are for, we can usually guess how much time to budget. What should you expect with a chiropractic appointment? How long does an adjustment take? Those answers depend on many factors from whether this is your first appointment to whether there is an injury involved or it’s simply a preventive adjustment.

New Patient Appointments

Much like visiting your medical doctor for the first time, an initial chiropractic appointment will begin with the reason for the visit and medical history. It is important for the practitioner to understand any previous injuries, illnesses or physical conditions that could affect or influence the course of treatment. The symptoms, or reason for the visit, will involve many questions to help narrow down the source of the problem. They will want to know the location of the pain or injury, a description of the sensation (burning, pinching, aching, etc.), when it began, if there are other impacts when it occurs and what makes it feel better. Once the chiropractor in Baltimore, MD has the information necessary to begin the assessment, they will start to assess the range of motion, nerve response and muscle tone and strength. Finally, the practitioner may want to order x-rays or other diagnostic tests. This could take anywhere from 1-2 hours, based on the need for other tests, to get from the review of the patient’s medical history through the assessment.

Treatment

Once you have completed the history, assessment and any diagnostic tests, the Chiropractor will determine a diagnosis and course of treatment. Your first subsequent appointment will involve a review of their findings and the recommended treatment plan. After that, an adjustment can take as little as from 5-15 minutes. Based on your diagnosis, you may need to go more frequently at first. It is not unusual to start with 2-3 treatments per week. Those should normally take only about 1/2 hour, as there will be a brief assessment of your condition since the last treatment in addition to your adjustment.

Preventive Maintenance 

It is recommended that a patient continue periodic maintenance adjustments to keep the spine in good, healthy alignment once the injury or problem has been resolved. This can head off future injury or reoccurrence of the original injury. Consult with a licensed chiropractic professional to see what the correct course of treatment is for you.

 

Thanks to Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic for insight into chiropractic care.

 

The Fire Element in Chinese Medicine

Chapel Hill Chiropractor: Advice on How to Address Fire Element Imbalance

The Fire Element in Chinese MedicineYou may have heard that your fire element is not balanced. What does this mean? In Chinese Medicine, five vital elements are representing the body’s elemental energies or qi: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Each component connects to many aspects of each person, and Chinese medicine diagnosis and treatment of disease relies upon recognition of areas of element imbalance and balance. Asymmetry of the fire element is a diagnosis that aspects of the fire element are not working well in your system for some reason. When there is no disease, all the details are harmonious. Things happen, though- mental discord occur. Injury to and imbalance in the fire element can occur in many ways, and acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help make sense of it.

The fire element comprises four channels, two, and two yins: the small intestine and sanjiao, and the heart and xinbiao. These channels course the exterior of the body from the pinky finger to the axilla and ear, and the middle finger to the lateral nipple region and to the outer eyebrow. Related aspects include: the season of summer and the sensation of heat, the emotion of joy and the bitter taste, the sense of taste and the tongue organ as well as the small intestine and heart organs, the color red and direction south, the nature of growth, of sleep and the liquid blood are all aspects of the fire element. The arteries and veins that carry blood are essential aspects of the fire element. Inflammation anywhere in the body is connected to fire.

Problems with blood pressure or coronary artery disease are connected to the fire element, as is anxiety and insomnia. Upper, mid and lower back pain can be associated, as can shoulder, forearm or hand pain. Mental disturbance of any sort is reflective of fire imbalance, and speech impediment reflects imbalance as well. A person exhibiting characteristics of fire imbalance may have intense dislike or love of the spicy flavor and scorched scent. They may sound like laughter and joy, or they may be entirely devoid of pleasure, and their sense of taste may be heightened or absent.

The imbalance might be slight and transient, especially if the problem is acute and not long lasting, possibly the result of too much sun exposure to a minor injury. The more profound imbalance that has resulted from chronic issues, assaults or untreated injuries will require more attention. Nonetheless, it will help you in many ways to resolve fire channel imbalance. Discuss your concerns with Dr. Oskardmay and, as always, write down suggestions she gives you and follow all instructions provided and keep your scheduled appointments. Fire channel imbalance may benefit most from treatment during the hot summer months, but anytime is a good time to take care of your heart.

To learn more about acupuncture and Chinese medicine, contact Acupuncture and Chiropractic in Chapel Hill today.

Serving the communities of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, Hillsborough, and the rest of the NC Triangle

205 Providence Rd. Chapel Hill NC 27514 | Phone: (919) 929-1400

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