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All posts by Ault Chiropractic

“How can chiropractic help with my neck pain?”

Neck pain is a very common issue in America. According to Palmer College’s Gallup Poll from 2018, as many as 2 out of every 3 Americans have experienced neck or low back pain significant enough that they have sought healthcare for treatment.

Neck pain can be debilitating and affect our lives in a variety of ways. It can affect you doing chores around the house, playing sports, or preventing you from work. Headaches as well as arm pain and weakness can sometimes be traced back to neck pain or biomechanical issues within the neck.

In a recent study performed by the Pain Physician, spinal manipulation and mobilization was shown to decrease neck pain as well as improve function associated with neck pain compared to other treatment options.

Chiropractors play an important role in the management and treatment of neck pain. Chiropractors are trained in spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapies, as well as therapeutic exercises that can all help treat neck pain. Through a proper exam and diagnosis, chiropractors can be and should be a viable option to help manage and treat neck pain.

Coulter, Ian. Manipulation and Mobilization for Treating Chronic Nonspecific Neck Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis for an Appropriateness Panel.

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Why Chiropractors are the Top Choice for Neck and Back Pain

As you age, neck and back can start or worsen if it’s been present. Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Chiropractors are often seen as the ideal choice for resolving this pain; but why?

The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture,obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

This back and neck pain can easily interrupt important parts of your life, causing pain, suffering, and making you uncomfortable. The Palmer Institute of Chiropractic found that 57% of adults are likely to see a chiropractor for neck or back pain. With other half of the adult population agreeing on this, it becomes abundantly clear why chiropractors are seen as the ideal choice: they know what they are doing when it comes to neck and back pain.

In addition to a majority saying they would see a chiropractor for neck and back pain, a majority of U.S. adults think chiropractors are effective at treating neck and back pain. Instead of leaving excessive pain in the hands of your primary care physician, it’s recommended that you see your chiropractor for care first. Since well-educated and certified chiropractors are a viable first option, it makes more sense to make an appointment with them first to take care of your pain as soon as possible.

Not only do we recommend that you see a chiropractor first, but 29% of Americans agree that they would see a chiropractor first.

Contact us and make an appointment today to start your journey to a less painful neck or back!

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Chiropractic Care is Safer Than Opioids

One of the most prominent problems in society today is the presence and overuse of opioid drugs. While these medications have their place in pain management, there are plenty of other healthy solutions to relieve pain. Since 1999, deaths involving opioids have quadrupled. In 2017 alone, more than 72,000 people died from overdoses involving the drugs. As the abuse of these drugs grows, so does the movement against them; including the movement for non-drug therapy such as chiropractic.

As this movement grows, more and more information becomes available from the research done to prevent these overdoses. Chiropractic serves as a great non-invasive, non-drug alternative to a prescription medication. Research indicates that professional chiropractic care can treat lower back pain among other ailments more effectively than prescriptions. Opioid treatment should only be viewed as a very last resort for those suffering from lower back pain, as the risks typically far outweigh the benefits.

Before seeing a doctor and asking for a pain medication prescription, make an appointment with your local chiropractor. You may be unsure about seeing a chiropractor for the first time, but a new experience could be worth the resolution of your pain.

Every day, more than 115 people in the United States alone die after overdosing on opioids. This unhealthy statistic alone is a very persuasive reason to not engage in the use of opioids. The risk of addiction or the prescription falling into the wrong hands is high and not worth it.

Choosing the natural route first is the safest and most highly recommended option. Contact us today to set up an appointment or consultation.

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Chiropractic as a Headache Remedy

Bright lights, loud noises, and staring at a screen all day can all easily start a headache, but what does it take to end one for you? While pain medication has a chance of helping, there are other more natural and safer options for relieving your headaches. The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics published a study suggesting that chiropractic care improves migraine and cervicogenic headaches.

According to the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center, “adverse effects are uncommon with manipulation”, making it a safe option. Any Doctor of Chiropractic should be able to evaluate your symptoms and decide if chiropractic care can help you move on from your headaches. In addition to performing a spinal manipulation, Doctors can: provide nutritional guidance, advice on posture, exercises, and relaxation techniques. Through just one or a combo of these treatments, curing your chronic headache pain should be simpler than relying on pain medication.

Another study, this one also published by The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, found that after four weeks, patients experienced a “sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to other patients”.

While chiropractic care might most commonly make you think of back pain and soreness, chiropractic care can solve many medical issues. In addition to headaches, a Doctor of Chiropractic can relieve neck pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, and stiffness.

Just solving your headaches sounds like a great remedy, but for this relief to be truly helpful, it’s important to also understand what is causing them. Reading about some of the most common causes and ways to prevent headaches can help, but so can asking your Doctor of Chiropractic. Be conscious of your body and start a conversation with your regular care Doctor or Doctor of Chiropractic when you see them next.

If you are interested in chiropractic care please contact us online or give us a call to set up your first appointment.

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Chiropractic and Injury Prevention: How Well Does it Work?

Doctors of chiropractic are well-represented on interdisciplinary healthcare teams which serve professional, collegiate, high school, and recreational athletes across the globe. As healthcare professionals, doctors of chiropractic are well-trained to adjust and correct any possible problems. All NFL teams and most professional sports teams have doctors of chiropractic as part of their medical staff. In fact, the 2016 Rio Olympics included 28 medical doctors/doctors of osteopathic medicine, 18 doctors of chiropractic, 16 massage therapists, and 10 physical therapists. These doctors of chiropractic serve many purposes and are widely used by athletes prior to, during, and after competitions.

Tae Kwon Do Athletes

In a study performed with elite Tae Know Do athletes, researchers found an 8% increase in strength after a single chiropractic adjustment session. This significant change in strength in this study was thought to be because of the increased ability of the brain to influence muscle movement. The doctors also found that this adjustment session appeared to prevent fatigue in these patients.

Chiropractic Strength Increase in Young People

Spinal adjustments are a proven way to increase strength through chiropractic. In a study with a group of college students, one single session of spinal adjustments increased the strength of their leg muscle by 16%.  This spike in leg muscle strength was also thought to be a result of changes in cortical drive and the brains of these students.

Grip Strength Increase in Judo Athletes

In a randomized study performed with elite Judo athletes, one session of cervical chiropractic adjustments showed an average increase of 10% when considering grip strength. After the second and third adjustments, this increased to 14% across both hands.

Other studies have shown improved brain reaction times and improved joint position sense in upper and lower limbs. It is hypothesized that chiropractic care may enhance performance, and help prevent injuries as a result of an increased ability of the brain to process sensory information faster and more accurately. If you are an athlete looking to prevent injury or correct a previous injury, contact us today to make an appointment.

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What to Expect When Seeing a Chiropractor for the First Time

Seeing a new healthcare professional can be a very intimidating experience.  However, if you know what to expect, you may feel more comfortable about the first appointment with your new Chiropractic Physician.

Patient History

As with other medical appointments, Chiropractic Physicians will begin by taking your patient history to become knowledgeable about any medications, allergies, or prior health conditions. This history helps the doctor learn more about what you came in for, what your history is, and make an initial evaluation of how to help.

Physical Examination

Your Chiropractic Physician then performs a physical examination, to include the assessment of spinal and musculoskeletal joint function. This examination focuses on evaluation of any joint pain, tenderness, asymmetry, changes in your range of motion, muscle tone and strength, posture, and spinal or other joint stability. In addition to a basic physical examination, x-rays or an MRI may be necessary to establish an accurate diagnosis.

Conversation and Discussion

All of the above parts of your new patient appointment will help determine whether chiropractic care is the correct approach to your needs. Commonly, the Chiropractic Physician will review any and all medical findings with you and review the risks and/or benefits of any possible procedures.

Decision-Making

Through a process of shared decision-making, you and your chiropractic physician will decide if chiropractic care is the best treatment option for your health condition. If the results of the physical examination show that another healthcare professional would be able to offer better help, Chiropractic Physician will make an appropriate referral to that provider.

If you decide to move forward with chiropractic care, your Chiropractic Physician will establish an appropriate treatment plan for you, which will depend on the wants and needs required to correct your health condition.

While visiting a new doctor may seem intimidating, it does not have to be. The expertly trained doctors and friendly staff here at Ault Chiropractic are here to help you through the beginning steps of your outstanding patient experience!

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We Have Too Much Healthcare and That’s a Problem

On Target Article – Tide is Changing

Robert J. Ault, D.C., M.B.A., CCSP

As a follow-up to the article I wrote, in the last issue of On-Target, regarding healthcare and technology, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan are now joining forces to take on the healthcare industry.  The CEO’s of these powerful companies, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Jamie Damon have publicly stated that they vow to use “technology” as their main method for solving the healthcare riddle.

I have to again, reiterate my position from my last article, which is… technology is not the answer to fix our healthcare system.  There is no doubt that Bezos, Buffet, and Damon are the titans of their industries, but retail, investing, and banking are not healthcare and thus technology alone cannot solve the healthcare industry. 

Let me ask any of you practicing chiropractors who’ve ever switched over to Electronic Health Records from paper charts.  Did your EHR raise your expenses (cost of the software, data management, PC’s, IT professionals) even though you were promised that EHR’s would lower your costs?!  Exactly.

Sure, healthcare is a messy industry, and yes technology can increase some efficiencies in our offices, but a main driver for fixing the ballooning costs of our healthcare system, technology is not.  I would make the argument that the healthcare industry would better be fixed if there was just “less” of it. 

There is too much healthcare in this country, and that is a problem.  A value-driven approach has the potential to fix this broken system.  On the surface, what I just said may sound crazy, but read on and maybe I can convince you.

Americans filled a record 4.5 billion prescriptions in 2016, that is nearly double the 2.4 billion filled in 1997, according to Consumer Reports.  Did disease in our nation double in the past 20 years?!  The answer is of course no.  What we have on our hands is a crisis of what is appropriate for a patient.  Consumer Reports stated that more than 50% of all Americans are on four or more prescription medications.  This is a sign of how entrenched our problem has become.  Our nation has created the “medicalization of daily life.”

I have no doubt that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan can easily influence and lower healthcare costs, by negotiating lower bulk pricing and reducing supply chain costs.  I can also easily see them muscling out the pharmacy benefit managers, and insurance middlemen to lower the costs of prescription medications, but the real question should be… Do people even need these medications?  As chiropractors, we already know the answer to this question.

We cannot forget that medications cause health problems as well.  The opioid crisis just happens to be one of the many expensive and deadly problems that have developed due to overprescribing and thus “too much healthcare.”

If Jeff Bezos wants to be a true innovator and disruptor to the healthcare industry like one very famous disruptor, B.J. Palmer, then he needs to start listening to the healthcare providers that are on the frontlines of this battle in his own state. 

According to a new detailed report provided by 21 Washington state physicians, who are part of the non-profit, Washington Health Alliance, 45% of the healthcare services that were provided were, upon examination, determined unnecessary.  It showed that 600,000 patients in Washington underwent medical services that they did not need at a cost of $282 million in one year.

When these costs were broken down, examiners found that 22% of prescription meds, 25% of medical tests, and 11% of medical procedures were unnecessary. 

Let us not forget that the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer, is medical care.

For years the question has been, “How do we pay for the broken healthcare system?” Perhaps the real question should be, “How do we fix the broken healthcare system?”

The answer I would start with would be to expand payment models for rewarding those health providers that are delivering high-value and low risk healthcare options to their patients, and not just dishing out “more healthcare.” 

If there was only some type of healthcare discipline that existed in our country that was high value, extremely low risk, and much less expensive than traditional medical care…

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High-Tech Healthcare: Don’t Believe the Hype

Will advanced technology transform and therefore save the American Healthcare System?  Will fancy wearable devices, mobile apps, and patient tracking software make Americans healthier?  Don’t count on it.

Silicon Valley experts are seeing a future in which doctors and patients alike are tracking health conditions in real time to ensure healthy habits and compliance with medicine and therapy treatment protocols.

Does all this sound too good to be true?!  Because it is.  High-tech will indeed change the practice of healthcare, but more by augmenting current norms, not revolutionizing it as predicted by tech gurus.  Sure, computers could make radiologists and pathologists obsolete by better interpreting blood labs, x-rays, CT and MRI scans, and pathology slides than humans can do.  Super computers can easily digest billions of data points much more easily than humans and thus can make a more accurate diagnosis for an ailing patient and in less time.  But is this the real problem with the American Healthcare System?  The answer is no.

America’s currently unsolved healthcare crisis is how to change the behaviors and attitudes of the American patient.  According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), 86% of all U.S. healthcare spending is for patients with chronic illness such as:  heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, arthritis, etc. 

How are we to make real solutions for these problems?  We need to drastically lower the number of Americans who suffer from these diseases by getting them to change their habits and lead a healthier lifestyle.  This lifestyle should include eating a healthy diet, exercising, not smoking, engaging in conservative pain management protocols such as chiropractic instead of opioids, and engaging in healthy stress management protocols.

Current studies suggest that no matter how fancy or ingenious the newest gizmo is, high-tech interventions have absolutely failed to improve patients’ health.  In one 2016 study in the journal, Lancet, researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School randomly assigned employees from 13 organizations to one of four groups, in an effort to encourage exercise.  One group got a Fitbit Zip tracker, two other groups got a Fitbit Zip tracker plus money that they could use for themselves, and the last group got no tracker.

Do you want to guess what happened?  The study found that the device increased moderate-to-vigorous activity by 20 – 30 minutes per week for the first six months, but only when cash incentives were in play.  When cash incentives were discontinued, physical activity returned to pre-intervention levels.

Again, technology is fantastic at aggregating data and turning it into useful information, but a lack of data is NOT the main challenge.  The real challenge lies in changing patients’ behaviors and habits before a health problem is even identified.  Prevention is key.  And as behavioral economics reminds us, information does NOT change behavior.  Smokers know that they shouldn’t smoke.  Obese people know that they should lose weight.  But this requires changing habits and daily routines and unfortunately the current data shows that the only way to change a patient’s behavior in a long-lasting way is by providing financial incentives.

Financial incentives are decidedly not high-tech, but what they are is high-touch and thus will remain the most effective prescription for treating America’s Healthcare Crisis.  Whether it’s by employers paying their employees more money to be healthier, or by insurance companies lowering their premiums for their healthier customers, America’s Healthcare Crisis will not be fixed by the latest tech breakthrough, or by finding the latest cure, but it CAN be solved by simple economics.  Business can be used as a force for good and with over 20% of the U.S. GDP tied up in healthcare, it needs to be.

 

 

*Emanuel, Ezekiel J., The Hype of Virtual Medicine, The Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, November 11 – 12, 2017

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Long-Term Relief: The Importance of Routine Chiropractic Care

Achieving a Pain-free Lifestyle Though Regular Chiropractic Care.

Chiropractic care works around the principle that the relationship between the body’s structure and its function affects health. The spine not only acts as the main support for our body, it also protects the spinal cord, which connects a large part of the peripheral nervous system to the brain. This is why a minor injury to the spine or overuse of muscles can significantly alter a body’s strength, sensation, and performance.

The rise and advancement of chiropractic treatments over the last decade coincides with the growing prevalence of chronic low back pain and other muskoskeletal conditions. Spinal manipulation or correction is the most common treatment sought by patients in the US. This has prompted researchers to study the effectiveness and safety of such treatments, and the most recent finding is that regular chiropractic care plays an important role in restoring health.

Benefits of Regular Chiropractic Care

A study conducted by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) reveals that spinal manipulation or mobilization is an effective treatment for adults with acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain, migraine, and cervicogenic headache and dizziness. It also proves to be an effective treatment for several extremity joint conditions.  Thoracic manipulation also offers healing benefits to people with acute or subacute neck pain.

When enhanced with other soft tissue techniques and therapeutic exercises, manipulative treatments can effectively correct an injury and restore the body’s optimal function. Maintenance care also prevents minor injuries from becoming permanent and allows for improved posture, enhanced function, and better endurance and athletic performance.

Advanced Techniques and Treatments

A substantial body of literature exists to support the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care. Advanced tools and methods are in place to make treatments more cost-effective and comfortable for patients. The literature also states that a manual correction approach proves to be the most effective approach to chiropractic spinal manipulation.

The Insight Subluxation Station is a surface EMG (electromyography) technology also widely used by chiropractors to properly diagnose a condition and develop a personalized care plan for each patient.

The Holistic Approach to Long-Term Wellness

A holistic approach is common among advanced chiropractic maintenance care. In addition to a personalized treatment program, practitioners would suggest other rehabilitative exercises and soft tissue therapies, as well as dietary and lifestyle modifications.

Practitioners at Ault Chiropractic of Hudson and Brimfield stress that regular visits to a chiropractor helps ensure the continued health of your muskoskeletal system so you can engage in the activities you love. Long-term care also helps you avoid future aches and pains, as your chiropractor can detect and correct minor misalignments before they become symptomatic.

Millions of Americans suffering from joint problems and chronic pain dream of having a pain-free life. While medication therapies offer quick fixes to these problems, routine chiropractic care offers long-term relief. Chiropractic care does focus on protecting and enhancing the communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots, thus safely managing pain and a range of conditions without the use of drugs.

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winter

Why You Should See Your Chiropractor During Winter

Winter is a season when many individuals experience health issues that can make everyday life rough. Whether it is a cold, flu, or a skiing injury, many people will find their overall health compromised at some point during winter.

Thankfully, chiropractic care can help keep you healthy during winter. Paying a visit to your chiropractor during the cold season can help reduce, if not prevent, health problems as well as keep you feeling your best. If you are thinking of skipping that chiropractor visit, these reasons should convince you to undergo chiropractic care.

Combat Cold and Flu

When people think of winter health problems, cold and flu are the first two things that come out of their minds. The months of December, January and February can trigger a rise in bacteria and viruses in human populations. Fortunately, you can strengthen the immune system of your body by undergoing chiropractic care. This form of care allows you to fight off cold and flu by fortifying your immune system. Moreover, it improves the communication between the brain and the rest of the body and fixes the alignment to the vertebrae.

Prevent Depression

Besides cold and flu, another frequent problem during winter is depression. SAD, which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a condition where people experience symptoms of standard depression during the winter months. Chiropractic care can help individuals with SAD by stimulating their central nervous system and regulating their hormone production.

Stop the Body from Getting Stiff

Winter can make people’s muscles stiff. Apart from becoming inflexible, you may find it difficult to stretch your muscles. Instead of expanding, your muscles contract to keep you warm. When you visit your chiropractor, he or she will help keep the stiffness away by ensuring that your spine stays properly aligned.

Reduce Body Pain

If you have arthritis, know that winter weather can bring additional pain to your joints. Experiencing pain can lead to more discomfort and a decrease in mobility. With a few gentle spinal adjustments, however, you can move your joints without much discomfort and stiffness and alleviate additional inflammation due to the cold weather.

Apart from minimizing joint pain, chiropractic care reduces back, and neck pain caused by factors like joint restriction, joint dysfunction, and muscle imbalances. Your chiropractor will help preserve the flexibility of your spinal joints to help you move freely.

Minimize the Risk of Winter Sport Injuries

Beginners who ski and play other winter sports can develop musculoskeletal injuries. If you injure yourself after playing a winter sport, seek help from a chiropractor. Rebuilding your coordination and strength with proper chiropractic care is possible. Additionally, your chiropractor will help you recover faster to allow you to resume your activities throughout the winter.

If you are looking for an experienced chiropractor during the winter season, don’t hesitate to go to Ault Chiropractic of Hudson and Brimfield. The chiropractic care we provide utilizes state-of-the-art chiropractic techniques. Moreover, our chiropractors, Drs. Robert and Rebecca Ault, have extensive experience and training in spinal adjustment. They will help you reach your wellness goals.

Contact us today to request an appointment.

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