Headache Pain Meaning and Treatment

Chiropractors, as skilled Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs), are adept at diagnosing and treating a wide range of pain conditions, from head to toe including headache pain. Their expertise lies in identifying the root cause of pain through comprehensive examinations and applying chiropractic techniques, such as adjustments and physical modalities, to alleviate pain.

For instance, cervicogenic headaches, which often result from neck injury or trauma, can be effectively managed with chiropractic care. By targeting the neck and its surrounding muscles and ligaments, chiropractic techniques like massage, traction, and gentle activator mobilization can help alleviate symptoms and restore pain-free neck motion.

When it comes to migraine headaches, chiropractors take a comprehensive approach. They not only help patients understand the underlying causes but also guide them in making beneficial lifestyle and postural changes. Additionally, they address complicated spinal subluxations, ensuring a holistic and effective treatment plan.

Suboccipital headaches often start as a throbbing pain behind one or both eyes. The suboccipital region of the neck is richly innervated and has many muscle attachments, allowing the head to twist and tilt. Computer use and other activities put a lot of strain on this delicate area, sometimes resulting in suboccipital headaches. Chiropractic adjustment and other physiotherapy applications help reduce pain and muscle fatigue in the head and neck.

TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Headache, is a pain in the head that accompanies intense clicking in the jaw, frequently as the result of stress, injury, or tooth grinding. Patients with TMJ pain under regular dental care can benefit from chiropractic care to help resolve muscle tightness in the head, neck, shoulders, and upper back accompanying this type of headache.

Rebound headaches occur following long-term use of migraine or other headache medication. Headache medication may help reduce pain for a brief while; however, many patients who take these medications for a longer time suffer rebound headaches. Chiropractic vertebral mobilization with massage and other physiotherapy modalities, such as TENS application, acupuncture, or cupping massage, will help reduce rebound headache symptoms. Regular chiropractic care can also help reduce the need for headache medication.

At Acupractic Natural Healing Center, the chiropractic and acupuncture offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay in Chapel Hill, NC, we help patients with headaches in various ways. Using skillful chiropractic adjustments to the spine and extremities combined with physical therapy modalities and acupuncture where needed, we help resolve many headache symptoms. Additionally, Dr. Oskardmay provides beneficial exercises and instructs patients on lifestyle changes that reduce the need for medications, drugs, and other interventions. Call today to schedule your healthcare appointment. (919) 929-1400. Visit us 24 hours a day to schedule and learn more at acudocnc.com.


Use a Tennis Ball or other Device for Self Trigger Point Massage for Back, Shoulder, and Hip Pain

Back, Shoulder, and Hip Pain Doctor, Chapel Hill, NC

Pain in the back, shoulders, or hips frequently stems from tight muscles. Muscle fibers shorten when tight and congestion and inflammation localize. When stretching or rest doesn’t work, persons experiencing aches and muscle tightness can use self-massage techniques to bring relief. At the offices of Triangle chiropractor and licensed acupuncturist Dr. Lisa Oskardmay, we provide the help you can use at home. Examples of self-massage techniques are below. For best results, come into the office for an assessment and balancing treatment before attempting these techniques. Also accessible by HIPAA compliant, safe, and secure Telemedicine appointment, Dr. Oskardmay can review your symptoms to ensure your best results.

Self-Massage Techniques

Trigger points in the shoulder frequently occur between the shoulder blades. Sometimes people like to use a Thera cane, shepherds s hook, or other gripping devices to break up muscle adhesions in these regions. These devices, while useful, can require strength and muscle tension to accomplish their task. A better choice is the simple application of a tennis ball to the area. This semi-soft, palm-sized object placed in the area of muscle distress performs trigger point friction massage directly where needed when placed correctly.

To get the best results, ask Dr. Lisa where to place the tennis ball or other device. Each body is different, and muscle palpation will educate the novice about where the muscle trigger point exists. In general, a trigger point is a region in the muscle that hurts when triggered. Triggers might be shoulder or arm movement, pressure on the muscle itself, lifting even small objects; just standing and holding the arm and shoulder in place can hurt over time. Trigger points in the shoulder will impair shoulder movement and arm strength; left untreated over time, these painful muscle congestion areas will inhibit surrounding and distant muscles. Trigger points will affect overall body strength, posture, balance, and potentially even respiration and other vital body aspects.

The tennis ball self soft tissue massage technique can also benefit the hips. Hip, lower back, and lower back muscle tightness contribute to hip pain. Ensuing muscle weakness and tightness will pull on the hip joints, causing additional areas of pain. Contact Dr. Oskardmay so that she can help you locate where the primary trigger point exists so that you can focus on that point. Many people experience trigger points in the region of a muscle called the piriformis. Located approximately in the middle of the back pocket, self-massage applied to the piriformis region with a tennis ball or other device can provide relief.

When first attempting tennis ball self soft tissue massage to the shoulder or hip, follow certain precautions discussed with Dr. Oskardmay in the office. These precautions include: use a soft but firm surface, start slowly, avoid ball placement over the spine or other bony regions, and perform maneuver for 10 seconds or less to start, increase up to 20 seconds at each point. While patients may experience slight discomfort as the ball presses on trigger points, discontinue use and contact another practitioner for additional guidance or us if pain worsens or persists. Additionally, limit tennis ball massage to once or twice a day. Stretch area gently after use and avoid dehydration to assist elimination of muscle metabolite build-up.

Be sure to contact the offices of Triangle acupuncturist and chiropractic physician Dr. Lisa Oskardmay on the proper use of a tennis ball or other device for self-care. Caring for the Durham, Chapel Hill, and surrounding areas since 1995, she enjoys helping people help themselves and getting the most out of their care. Call today to schedule your appointment in our safe and sanitary office or ask about how Telemedicine can help you.: 919-929-1400, or go online to schedule 24 hours a day: acudocnc.com.

Tips for Snow Shoveling to Avoid Injury

Shoveling snow can result in back injuries or worse. We all need to get out of the house eventually following a huge snowfall like the one we just experienced here in Durham, NC. Keep a few things in mind, however, prior to going outside to shovel that snow. Back injuries and heart attacks due to snow shoveling are all too common and can be avoided. When shoveling snow, take a moment to assess the situation and realize the job may take more time than you think. Don’t rush the process—hurrying will add to the possibility of falling as well as increase the stress of the situation. Get your warm high traction boots on, suit up, grab your shovel, and head outside once you’ve taken a few moments to consider how to best approach the task. Wet snow is going to be very heavy. When you dig your shovel down into the snow, assess how heavy each shovel full is before trying to lift it, especially if you plan to twist around and pile that shovel full to the side.Twisting with the added weight of snow can injure your back quickly; doing that repetitively can cause spinal joint irritation or even a herniated disc. You may not feel the effects of injury immediately due to the numbing effects of cold so be sure to take breaks periodically. Be aware of the amount of cardiac exercise involved in moving snow, as well. Crouching, digging, lifting and twisting heavy loads repeatedly in the cold puts a lot of strain on your heart, especially if you are stressed in a hurry. Stay safe out there!

Storms Affect Arthritis

How does weather affect pain levels?  Many people say that they can tell when a storm is coming on because their arthritis flares up. Studies show that a 10 degree drop in temperature creates a commensurate increase in pain levels. A drop in barometric pressure makes people more physically uncomfortable. When it rains or humidity levels are high people also experience more pain. Arthritis can feel worse around the time a storm is brewing because factors that disturb the weather outside also increase inflammation in your body. Cold constricts already damaged joint surfaces causing more friction, humidity causes more swelling of already swollen areas and decreased barometric pressure irritates joints and muscles.

Arthritis is defined as painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. A rheumatic condition, arthritis is associated with many things:  heredity and genetics, viruses, wear and tear, diet, immune system function, and stress. Joints affected may be widespread or limited to specific areas such as the hands, hips, feet, or back. Blood test markers such as ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) or CRP (C reactive protein) to measure inflammation will be elevated in arthritis. While stormy weather may make you want to stay in bed and eat comfort food, this may not be the best approach to reduce pain and inflammation.

When pain intrudes it is important to remember to move your body to reduce stagnation of systems that heal you. Prepare in advance to include a bit of movement in your daily plan on stormy days. This can include walking around the house, attending to chores, or venturing outside if weather permits. Movement will mobilize tissues, detoxify, and warm the body.

If cold worsens pain, try to stay warm. Wear warm clothes and socks and shoes in cold environments. If you can get to one, an infrared sauna can be very healing. A warm Epsom salt bath can deep heat your muscles, joints, and bones to reduce arthritis pain. Warmth will reduce cold in the body and help to detoxify.

When the weather is bad, eating well can improve your mood and mental state and reduce pain. To reduce inflammation, try to eat more naturally occurring fruits and vegetables which will provide you with lots of fiber and vitamin C and A to heal your joints and reduce swelling. Drink warm tea to reduce inflammation and warm the interior.  Increase the consumption of healthy proteins and fats, especially Omega 3 rich fish and flax oil to help improve the inflammation fighting Omega3:Omega 6 ratio.

As always, it is a good idea to drink adequate water throughout the day. Drink water rather than sodas, fruit juices, or alcohol to keep arthritis pain levels down. Especially avoid artificially sweetened beverages using aspartame as these increase inflammation in the body. Stevia is a better choice for non-sugar sweetener.

Chiropractic adjustments to the spine and extremities can help reduce pain and inflammation and acupuncture treatments to the meridians and channels of the body are supportive therapies if you need additional help. These healing treatments can keep arthritis flare ups at bay for the long run.

While preparing for stormy weather keep these tips in mind to help you survive any weather related event. Arthritis may help you predict an oncoming storm, but it doesn’t have to incapacitate you.


5 Reasons to see a Chiropractor After a Car Accident

If you have been in a car accident and have sustained an injury as a result you may benefit from seeing a chiropractor. Chiropractic intervention is generally recommended to treat injury, reduce acute or chronic pain and increase mobility in joints and bones. Very often, the resulting injury after a car accident is pain in the neck, back and hips. In realigning these areas of the body, most people feel relief after one or more adjustments.

An auto accident lawyer Washington D.C. residents turn to can help put you on the right track on the legal side of things, but in the wake of a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and concerned about your own health as well. In making the choice to see a chiropractor, you are taking care of your physical and mental health. A chiropractor will also be able to diagnose your injury which may be helpful should you need to pursue personal injury compensation in a court of law. Below are 5 reasons you are better off seeing a chiropractor after a car accident.

1. Diagnose injury- a chiropractor can determine the source of the pain you may be experiencing after your accident. There are some obvious car accident injuries that cause immediate pain and discomfort but other injuries, such as whiplash, may not present with obvious symptoms right away. A chiropractor will know the right questions to ask and can evaluate you to determine a diagnosis and course of treatment.

2. Documents for insurance company- in the event that you wish to pursue compensation for your personal injury, after a car accident, your insurance company and that of the other driver will request written proof of injury. In seeing a chiropractor right away, you are not only increasing your own health and well-being but you will also have your injury documented by a health professional. This will be useful in your case and you can provide the information to your insurance adjustor.

3. Short term relief- Immediately following a car accident, there is a lot to take care of. You will need to have your injuries evaluated and your car may not be operable. There will be many discussions with your insurance company regarding the details of your injury as well as the damage to your vehicle. Additionally, if you are without a vehicle, you will need to figure out transportation. In addition to all of that, you are injured and in pain. In seeking chiropractic treatment right away, you may expedite the healing process, find immediate relief and have better mental focus.

4. Long term relief- In treating any injury right away, you will likely reduce the long term symptoms and discomfort caused by the injury. In seeking the guidance of a professional chiropractor, you may reduce the need for surgery and pain medication. In doing so you will increase your overall health and well-being.

5. Peace of mind- Experiencing a car accident can be incredibly scary and traumatic especially if you sustain an injury as a result. In fact, it can be downright stressful. You are dealing with insurance companies and the medical bills are piling up. That stress not only affects your physical health but also your emotional well-being. In seeking chiropractic help, and dealing with your physical injury, you will also experience better overall health and peace of mind.

The field of chiropractic medicine is gaining momentum in the United States as a holistic form of treatment for injury and general discomfort or pain. The adjustments made by a chiropractor allow the body to better heal without the use of pharmaceutical pain management. The fundamental belief behind chiropractic intervention is that in realigning the body’s bones and joints the body will be able to heal faster from injury. Additionally, proper alignment of the musculoskeletal system enables improved functioning for all other systems as well. If you are in pain, contact a chiropractor today and start the healing process.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cohen & Cohen, P.C., for their insight into car accidents.

Chiropractic care is holistic care.

Most patients coming into a chiropractic office do so to reduce musculo-skeletal pain. Pain is a great motivator and educator; but the chiropractic adjustment does more than just reduce pain; used correctly, the spinal adjustment will improve health on many levels.  Since our nervous system  controls every aspect of the body- from muscles to organs to balance to mentation- the chiropractic adjustment has the potential to improve health, not just reduce pain.

A spinal adjustment is designed to mobilize subluxated spinal segments using specifically applied hands-on or mechanical means. The spine is an extension of the nervous system- bony vertebra protect the spinal cord while serving as attachments to muscles and ligaments to support the body. The healthy spine and nervous system support posture and daily activities without derangement- we normally don’t think about it much until something goes wrong.

The chiropractic examination involves the following procedures:  History, Inspection, Vitals, Palpation, Range of Motion active and passive, Orthopedic testing, Neurological exam, and Imaging. This complete exam provides insight into the condition of the spine- just like when you go to the dentist and have your teeth examined or go to the GP and have blood work performed, an annual chiropractic exam can alert you to the presence of spinal derangement early.  When a subluxation is detected, specific mobilization to that segment can be applied to correct it, thus reducing the local symptoms as well as the far-reaching implications of impaired nerve input to internal organs, muscles and ligaments.

When your spine and spinal cord are healthy, you are able to stand tall with improved strength and awareness. Schedule your annual exam today to take the next steps toward a healthier you- inside and out.

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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