Chiropractor Chapel Hill, NC
When a person has back or neck pain, they see and hear new words related to the issue they might not initially understand. Understanding the vocabulary of back pain will help facilitate communication with providers. It will also help one understand the diagnosis and proposed treatments. Terminology related to the spine and its anatomy might sound intimidating, but a little knowledge can go a long way to improve treatment outcome. Additionally, it can be helpful to understand other terms used in a chiropractic or other provider office.
The Vocabulary of Back Pain
The back is made up of vertebrae which are bony segments separated by cushioning discs which provide shock absorption and height. The spinal cord is an extension of nerves from the brain, and the vertebrae protect it as it passes from the head (cervical vertebrae in the neck), through the back (thoracic vertebrae) to low back (lumbar vertebrae), to the tailbone (sacrum and coccyx vertebrae). Nerves arise at each level of the spinal cord. Pain at the level of the spinal cord can arise from problems at a vertebra or nerve.
Each vertebra has several important parts that can suffer injury or disease and cause pain. The vertebral foramen, for instance, is the space through which the spinal nerve passes. The facet is the posterior (back) side of the vertebra that touches the vertebra above or below. Postural distortions such as hyperlordosis can occur and cause increased spinal curves when seen from the side putting more pressure on vertebrae and nerves. A vertebral subluxation occurs when vertebrae parts are injured. Hallmarks of vertebral subluxation include pain, tenderness and slight dislocation of the vertebra and surrounding tissues and a change in laxity or tightness of connected ligaments.
A chiropractic office, such as Acupractic Natural Healing Center in Chapel Hill, NC will do an exam and give a ‘report of findings’ to help patients understand the cause of your pain or problem and also to propose a treatment regimen.
The chiropractic adjustment is a high velocity, low amplitude movement applied by a chiropractor to correct a subluxation. The chiropractor will use a specific technique to mobilize or adjust the spine. The Diversified technique involves hand placement on the back or neck with a quick specific thrust. A practitioner using Activator technique utilizes a handheld instrument (activator) to apply the thrust. Some other types of adjustments techniques are Gonstead, Sacral Occipital, Drop Table and Atlas Orthogonal.