Low Back Pain Research

The Healthcare "Secret" of Pro Athletes

Professional sports is a high stakes game, where even the slightest advantage can make the difference between winning and losing. Most high-level athletes are in tune with every nuance of their body and remain on the constant hunt to find ways to improve their performance.

In addition to a lot of practice and talent- many athletes have relied on chiropractic care as a “secret” ingredient to their success.

From Babe Ruth to Tom Brady- top athletes have been using chiropractic for decades.

Why it Matters:

You don’t need to be a pro athlete to desire improved health and well-being. Almost all of us are interested in decreasing pain, improving function, and increasing our strength. New research has showcased that chiropractic care may be able to help in all three of those areas.

- In a recent study, athletes had increased strength for up to 30 minutes after a chiropractic adjustment

- Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to provide more significant pain relief than commonly prescribed NSAID’s

- Even people with moderate or severe pain have experienced significant functional improvement with chiropractic

Next Steps:

Whether you are a weekend warrior, traveling every weekend for youth sports, or just looking to enjoy a higher quality of life- chiropractic care may be right for you. Finding relief from pain, improving your functional abilities, and increasing your strength and endurance are all essentials parts of having a high quality of life. Even if you aren’t currently competing to win a world championship, you probably have a few healthcare goals in mind. Let us know what they are, we would love become part of your “secret” to success.

Science Source:

The effects of a single session of spinal manipulation on strength and cortical drive in athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology 2018

Spinal high-velocity low amplitude manipulation in acute nonspecific low back pain: a double-blinded randomized controlled trial in comparison with diclofenac and placebo. SPINE 2013

The Chiropractic Outcome Study: pain, functional ability and satisfaction with care. JMPT 1997

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Spinal Injections Can be Back Breaking

Spinal injections have been shown to increase your risk of spinal fracture.

Did you know that recent research says that treatments like spinal injections can dramatically increase your risk of a cracked, or broken back? The scary part is over 9 million of these injections are given every year for spinal pain! New research has shown a 21% increased risk of a spinal fracture after every epidural steroid injection.

Why it Matters:

As you can imagine, spinal fractures hurt. They require further medical treatment and sometimes even result in surgery. By staying conservative with your healthcare, you can reduce your risks and get the relief you desire. Research shows spinal adjustments as one of the best forms of care to reduce your pain, increase your function and improve your overall quality of life.

Chiropractors are focused on correcting the cause of your pain. Misalignments of your spine can put pressure on your discs and nerves causing irritation, swelling, and a lack of spinal motion. A shot does not correct the cause of the pain, at best it only temporarily masks it. With the risks of spinal fractures, the smart decision is to get well and stay well using conservative, natural healthcare. In other words, you’re smart for continuing your chiropractic adjustments.

▪ Research has shown a 21% increased risk of spinal fractures after injections

▪ A fracture, or broken back, can cause tremendous pain and even result in surgery

▪ Natural healthcare, such as chiropractic, is recommended before moving on to riskier treatments such as spinal injections

Next Steps:

Share the science. Being well informed comes with the responsibility of sharing what you know with others who don’t. That dosn’t mean you should argue with those who are already convinced by their prejudices. It says that we encourage you to share what you know with others who are curious and can benefit from understanding the Research That Matters.

Science Source:

Spinal Manipulation Postepidural Injection for Lumbar and Cervical Radiculopathy: A Retrospective Case Series. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. September 2004

Symptomatic MRI-Confirmed Lumbar Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated with Either High-Velocity, Low Amplitude Spinal Manipulative Therapy or Imaging-Guided Lumbar Nerve Root Injections. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. May 2013

A Retrospective Analysis of Vertebral Body Fractures Following Epidural Steroid Injections. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. June 2013

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What is Foam Rolling and why does it hurt so good?

Chiropractic, foam rolling, and your body.

Foam rolling has exploded in popularity over the past few years. No longer used only by athletes and trainers, foam rolling (or myofascial release) is now used by people with all levels of fitness. The goal of foam rolling is to improve muscle function, performance, and range of motion. When a tight muscle or trigger point is released, you are able to move freely, with less pain, and improve your overall performance.

Why it Matters:

Activity, age, and injuries can cause your muscles to lose flexibility which in turn creates adhesions and pain. Foam rolling allows you to place deep compression on these areas reducing pain and adhesions while creating an improved joint range of motion. Using a foam roller during your warm-up routine may provide additional benefits beyond stretching alone. New research has discovered that foam rolling can improve flexibility more than static and dynamic stretching.

- Foam rolling is designed to release tight muscles and trigger points

- Researchers have found increased flexibility and reduced pain after foam rolling

- Proper movement patterns are thought to improve performance and reduce injury

Next Steps:

Using a foam roller on tight muscles and trigger points has been shown improve flexibility and help maintain proper movements patterns. If you have questions on whether foam rolling is right for you, just ask! We believe this type of at-home care is a great way to support the adjustments and care you receive in our office.

Science Source:

Acute Effects of Foam Rolling, Static Stretching, and Dynamic Stretching During Warm-ups on Muscular Flexibility and Strength in Young Adults. Journal of Sports Rehabilitation 2017

Differences in pressure pain threshold among men and women after foam rolling. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 2017

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How to Reduce Crossfit Injuries

Here are the 3 top strategies you can use to prevent Crossfit injuries.

You know the key to Crossfit success is staying consistent with your WOD's; but that's just not possible when you're injured.

By stretching pre/post, improving your lifting ergonomics (don't cheat!) and progressive lifting- you can limit your chance of injury and keep getting those gains!

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The Most Overlooked Source of Back Pain: Fatty Infiltration of the Multifidus

Your back hurts, and no one can figure out why. It can be incredibly frustrating when you've had x-rays, MRI's and more doctors visits than you care to remember.

Well, there is a very common source of back pain that is often overlooked. It's impossible to see on X-rays and often overlooked on MRI.

What is the most overlooked source of back pain?

Fatty infiltration of the multifidus. If you have a patient that has an MRI, first of all, take a look at those pictures. Don't just look at the report. Furthermore, take a good look at those axial slices when you go down to L4-L5-S1. You will see the multifidus in what I call it the channels or gutters directly posterior to the lamina. The multifidus there should look like a beautiful marble sized steak and then on the outside should be superficial fat, which is white. If you cannot tell the difference between what is the fat and what is the muscle tissue- then you have fatty infiltration of the multifidus.

This is very important because very few docs are talking to their patients about that right now. But if there is deconditioning and fatty infiltration of the musculature, it is going to result in needed more than one or two adjustments to get where they want to be. They are genuinely deconditioned, so it helps you set better expectations for your patients.

The pain occurs in this area because essentially they are unstable. Normal movement patterns will place a tremendous amount of stress and strain on the facets, discs, and all other supporting structures when the muscles are deconditioned. Those other structures aren't designed to handle the extra load and will often fail- thus resulting in pain.

This is also relevant information to know if that patient is exploring a surgical intervention such as a laminectomy or decompression. How well do you think that's going to hold together? Probably not very well.

One more questions, do you think spinal injections are miraculously going to take care of 50 years of degenerative change? I don't think so!

So, I would encourage you to be different, be better. A lot of physicians are not looking at those axial pictures, and if you are, you probably haven't checked out the integrity of the multifidus lately. I would encourage you to do so for next patient that comes in that has an MRI. Look at those actual pictures. Take a look at multifidus and see what you think about the integrity of the muscle and set a better expectation for the recovery of your patient. Your practice is where they should be if they have this challenge. Establishing proper motion with adjustments, gapping the facets, getting movement into the disc and improving the multifidus through exercise and rehab is typically a great start to a successful plan of care.

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