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Chiropractor for Algonquin and Lake in the Hills
Photo of a veteran being interviewed by a therapist.

Congress Expands Veterans’ Ability to See a Chiropractor!

The ACA and Congress Agree—Every Veteran Deserves Access to a Chiropractor!

Great news! Last month, after hundreds of chiropractors met with congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., Congress passed a law expanding veteran access to seeing a chiropractor!

This landmark bill addresses longstanding issues with the VA’s ability to provide consistent levels of care across the country. It’s also a huge step in getting vets access to safe, drug-free treatments as the nation grapples with opioid abuse.

Let’s go deeper into how the ACA helped this happen, what the law does, and why and how veterans should consider chiropractic treatment.Read More

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How Do I Find a Licensed Chiropractor Near Me?

Learn to Find an Experienced Local Chiropractor and What to Expect in Your First and Second Visits

You finally made the decision! You have been thinking about it. Your friends recommended it, and so did your co-worker, but your spouse is not a big fan of chiropractors so you’ve been waiting, hoping the pain and suffering will “just go away.” You’re tired of taking the medication, and you even tried an injection which did not help for very long. The ortho is talking surgery and you definitely want to avoid surgery. Now, YOU made the decision: You’re going to a chiropractor!

Now you have questions: “How do I find a good one? Does my insurance cover services? Do they take Medicare? Has the chiropractor treated my condition before? With what kind of success? What post-graduate training has the chiropractor had? Can the chiropractor get to the underlying cause of my condition? Has this chiropractor treated athletes in the past?”

Here’s a guide to answering those questions and finding a quality chiropractic professional in your area.

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A Chiropractor Will Trust You About Your Chronic Pain

Other Doctors May Not Believe You, but a Chiropractor Knows the Truth About Chronic Pain

Millions of people in the United States live with chronic pain, especially low back pain. Some medical doctors seem like they don’t believe your pain is as bad as you say, and belittle your experiences. As a chiropractor, I take my patients’ pain very seriously, because I know the facts about chronic pain don’t lie.

What Is Chronic Pain?

According to the American Chronic Pain Association:

Photo of an elderly patient holding his hand to his head as a doctor takes notes.

“Chronic pain can be described as ongoing or recurrent pain, lasting beyond the usual course of acute illness or injury or more than 3 to 6 months, and which adversely affects the individual’s well-being. A simpler definition for chronic or persistent pain is pain that continues when it should not. (IASP 2004)”

According to the National Institutes of Health:

“Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back injury, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes including depression, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.”

The chronic pain patients I see may have one or more of the following:

  • Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning.
  • Difficulty sleeping, which causes fatigue and daytime drowsiness.
  • Difficulty at work–it may be hard to perform your daily tasks at work such as lifting, pushing, pulling, bending over, prolonged sitting, etc.
  • Chronic lower back pain may even make it impossible to work, leading to disability.
  • Chronic pain patients’ relationships can be strained, such as a spouse who does not understand your condition
  • Social life suffers – not many people want to go to the movies or go out to dinner if they cannot sit, go to a party if they can’t stand and by the end of the day after you have been fighting the pain all day most people just don’t want to be social
  • Chronic pain patients have difficulty working around the house, both inside

Chronic Pain Stats

Read through these chronic pain statistics provided by paindoctor.com:

Chronic pain statistics in the U.S.

  • Pain affects more people in the U.S. than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined
  • 126 million, or 55% of all adults, experienced pain in the previous three months
  • 4 million U.S. adults report “a lot of pain”
  • 3 million U.S. adults suffer from daily pain
  • Various reports list that over 50 million, but up to 100 million, U.S. adults have chronic pain conditions, an estimate that does not include acute pain conditions or children in pain
  • More than one-quarter of adults (26%) age 20 years and over – or, an estimated 76.5 million people – report that they have had a problem with pain of any sort that persisted for more than 24 hours in duration
  • Of those in pain, 27% suffer from lower back pain, 15% from severe headache or migraine pain, and 15% from neck pain

Economic statistics on pain

Pain is a significant public health problem that costs society at least $560-$635 billion annually, an amount equal to about $2,000.00 for everyone living in the U.S.

  • People in the U.S. spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain treatment
  • Pain is associated with a wide range of injury and disease, and is sometimes the disease itself
  • Some conditions may have pain and associated symptoms arising from a discrete cause, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with a malignancy, or may be conditions in which pain constitutes the primary problem, such as neuropathic pains or headaches
  • The total annual incremental cost of health care due to pain ranges from $560 billion to $635 billion (in 2010 dollars) in the United States, which combines the medical costs of pain care and the economic costs related to disability days and lost wages and productivity
  • There are currently over 4,000 U.S. doctors in practice for the management of pain

Back pain statistics

  • Low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world
  • 80% of U.S. adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives
  • Up to 6 million patients suffer from chronic back pain
  • Adults with lower back pain are often in worse physical and mental health than people who do not have low back pain
  • 28% of adults with lower back pain report limited activity due to a chronic condition, as compared to 10% of adults who do not have lower back pain
  • Also, adults reporting lower back pain were three times as likely to be in fair or poor health
  • Back pain patients are more than four times as likely to experience serious psychological distress as people without lower back pain
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work, and the second-leading cause for doctor’s visits”

A Chiropractor Takes Your Pain Seriously

Is pain affecting your life or the life of a loved one? If you read this far it is likely that you or someone close to you is suffering when they may not have to—a chiropractor can help you diagnose and treat the root cause of your pain.

Photo of a man holding his back in pain as a chiropractor and nurse consult with him.

I’ll tell you how chronic pain was effecting “Jane.” Her low back pain goes back 28 years! If that’s not bad enough, her chemo-induced neuropathy goes back 25 years! Jane was having a hard time walking, her balance was getting worse, and she was a fall risk. It was difficult to sleep which made getting through her days a struggle at times.

At the consultation, I could see the fear in her eyes. “Do I have to live like this forever?”

Her exam findings were cause for concern, but I thought we could help her.

I told Jane this and she was skeptical. She was hesitant, and yet she looked me square in the eyes and said, “I’m trusting you.”

As a chiropractor, I do not take that trust lightly. To me every patient’s case is serious, because we know virtually every case can become chronic. As a matter of fact, whether patients realize it or not, our long-term goal is always to keep the patient out of chronic pain!

After a few weeks, Jane is walking better, her sleep is much improved, she feels more steady on her feet, and she’s less of a fall risk. Jane’s quality of life is much improved from her time with a chiropractor, and that’s what it’s all about—improving the quality of people’s life, allowing them to live THEIR lifestyle, not a lifestyle dominated by pain.

An experienced chiropractor can be very helpful in reducing chronic pain and improving the quality of your life. At the Algonquin Chiropractic Center, I’ve been serving the community as a top chiropractor in Algonquin, IL since 1997. If you’re searching for a chiropractor to treat your pain, give us a call (847) 854-2000 and schedule a consultation today!

BE WELL!

Whiplash: Causes and Treatment?

Whiplash Causes and Treatments by Algonquin Chiropractic CenterWhiplash! We have all heard the term, but what does it really mean?

According to Mayo Clinic:

Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur during rear-end automobile collisions, when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward — similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. These extreme motions push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion.

The most common cause of whiplash (or a more common term used in the literature, WAD – Whiplash Associated Disorders) is a rear-end motor vehicle collision. The actual tissue damage comes from shear forces that go thru the cervical spine; the body is thrust forward while the head whips backwards. These forces stretch and tear vulnerable neck soft tissues such as muscle, fascia, ligament, tendons, cartilage and discs. In severe cases, cervical fractures can occur.

The pain can be immediate or can take several days for the symptoms to develop. Whiplash symptoms are often described as a stiff and painful neck, dizziness, headaches, stiffness in the back, neck or shoulders, pain between the shoulder blades and pain and/or tingling in the arms. Patients may have a hard time concentrating, staying focused and sleeping and driving can be difficult.

According to the North American Spine Society statement on Whiplash Injuries:
We know the muscles and ligaments get strained and are probably inflamed, but they usually heal within six to ten weeks. Pain that lasts longer (than 6-10 weeks) is usually due to deeper problems such as injury to the disc or facet joint, or both.

Although the presenting symptoms might begin as a mild annoyance, without treatment by a knowledgeable healthcare professional, the injury and damage to the surrounding affected tissues may persist or get worse and become debilitating. Especially if your pain lasts more than 6-10 weeks.

Whiplash is considered a soft tissue injury, but as the North American Spine Society states, pain lasting longer than 6-10 weeks may be due to disc or facet damage. The “facets” are where the bones in your spine come together and form a “facet joint.”

The North American Spine Society goes on to say:
Facet Joint Pain is the most common cause of chronic neck pain after a car accident. It may occur alone or along with disc pain. Facet joint pain is usually located to the right or left of the center of the neck. The area might be tender to the touch, and facet pain may be mistaken for muscle pain. We cannot tell if a facet joint hurts by how it looks on an X-ray or MRI scan. The only (MEDICAL) way to tell if the joint is a cause of pain is to perform an injection called “medial branch block (MBB)”.

Chiropractic care focuses its treatment on the facet joints! We also treat discs, spine, nerves, muscles, ligaments, whatever structures are damaged we develop a treatment plan to accelerate its healing.
Consider chiropractic’s effectiveness:

93% of Whiplash Patients Improve with Chiropractic Care!

  1. 43 percent of patients will suffer long-term symptoms following ‘whiplash’ injury.
  2. If patients are still symptomatic after three months, then there is almost a 90 per cent chance that they will remain so.
  3. No conventional (MEDICAL) treatment has proven to be effective in these established chronic cases.
  4. Following (CHIROPRACTIC) treatment, 26 out of 28 (93 per cent!) of chronic patients had improved!

Woodward MN, Cook JCH, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Chiropractic treatment of chronic ‘whiplash’ injuries. Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured 1996.

Chiropractic Care is the Only Proven, Effective Treatment for Chronic Whiplash
“Conventional treatment of patients with whiplash symptoms is disappointing.”
Our results confirm the efficacy of chiropractic, with 69 of our 93 patients (74%) improving following treatment.

“The results from this study provide further evidence that chiropractic is an effective treatment for chronic whiplash symptoms.”
The authors conclude:
“Whiplash injuries are common. Chiropractic is the only proven effective treatment in chronic cases.”

Don’t suffer any longer! Call 847-854-2000 to schedule your consultation to see if you can be one of the 93% that finds a better quality of life with chiropractic care from an Algonquin Chiropractor!

By Anthony Galante

What is a Herniated Disc?

The spine is made up of vertebrae, between the vertebrae are spongy discs that cushion impact and absorb shock as the spine operates.

If one of those discs becomes damaged or torn, they may rupture; this is commonly called a herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc.  Disc herniations occur most commonly in the lower back and lower neck but can occur anywhere in the spine.

Herniated Disc may occur as a result of age (they lose flexibility and can become brittle), trauma, and heavy lifting and occasionally from trivial movements.

What is a Herniated Disc by Algonquin Chiropractic CenterThe outer disc is made up of cartilage tissue and in the middle of the disc is a gel-like substance.  When a disc “herniates,” the outer cartilage can tear and the gel-like fluid pushes out against sensitive nerves.

The resultant symptoms may include severe back pain, hip pain and pain and burning or numbness and tingling in the arms or legs.  If the pressure on the nerve is high enough, weakness may occur.

A common term you have probably heard of is “sciatica” which is low back, hip and leg pain and numbness that is usually caused by a disc herniation.

A herniated disc diagnosis can be made after a comprehensive history and thorough physical exam, however; X-rays, MRI and EMG testing may be necessary.

First, we need to control inflammation; if we can control inflammation we can control pain.  There are several ways we do that in the office with mobilization techniques, modalities and anti-inflammatory nutrition.  At home, the patient is encouraged to stay active, use ice, avoid aggravating activities and educated on how to move, bend, sit and sleep to decrease pain. Medication may be necessary and we work with several very good medical doctors and orthopedic surgeons.

As the inflammation and severe pain subside, spinal distraction may be performed to decompress the disc and nerve.  Soft tissue techniques can be helpful to decrease muscle spasm and pain, alternating hot and cold packs may be beneficial, as well as carefully selected home exercises.

As the disc heals, the patients home exercise program will also increase, muscles very quickly get weak after a disc herniation and rehab is necessary to restore proper function.

Herniated Disc is a serious back injury, most disc herniations do heal but they take a lot longer than if you strained your back doing yard work.  Herniations can heal in a few months, but some may take up to a year or longer and a selected few never heal 100%.

Only a small percentage of disc herniations require surgery; however, if surgery is necessary I will tell you immediately. Let an Algonquin Chiropractor help you regain control of your life!

By Anthony Galante

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