Comox Valley Chiropractor – Tips for your Health

Health tips from your Comox Valley Chiropractor

Chiropractors Can Help Your Lower Limbs! August 31, 2009

While most people out there think of Chiropractors as spine doctors, with the occasional headache thrown in for good measure, you may be surprised to know that up to 20% of our practice is comprised of extremity problems. By extremity, I mean anything in your arm or leg – your shoulder, knee, baby toe etc. etc.

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An article in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reviewed all the research concerning chiropractic treatment of lower extremity conditions. What they found is that chiropractors have a big bag of tricks to deal with lower limb conditions – including manipulation, soft tissue therapy, exercise therapy and modalities such as laser and ultrasound.

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While there was not a huge number of studies done on this subject, the authors did find enough good evidence to state that chiropractors can be confident in using these methods to effectively treat lower limb conditions.

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What that means for the patient is that chiropractic care is another effective way of dealing with any lower extremity condition you may have, whether its achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, knee osteoarthritis or IT band issues. Often time my patients will start an office visit with “You probably can’t do anything, but my <insert lower limb part here> is giving me problems”. They usually leave very satisfied with the results of treatment.

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What this means for chiropractors is that we need to do a better job of educating our patients about our wide range of skills, and all the different ways we can help them.

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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.

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Exercise for Chronic Pain August 10, 2009

For years research has been conducted into the benefits of exercise for chronic low back and neck pain. Even though we know exercise is good for us, we don’t really know a lot about how it is prescribed in real-life situations (practice).  Recently, a large survey was done of 2700 people who reported having chronic neck or low back pain. The results are published in an article in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Of these 2700 people, 48% had been prescribed exercise after visiting a physical therapist, chiropractor of family doctor in the past year. 33% of all people who visited a chiropractor were prescribed exercise for their pain, compared to 64% of PT patients and 14% of MD patients. Overall, the type of provider, as opposed to any characteristics of the patient was the greatest predictor of exercise prescription.

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With chiropractic specifically in this instance, the rate of exercise prescription seemed to increase with number of visits. This supports the common practice pattern of reducing pain and increasing function before commencing rehabilitation.

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This is a huge wake up call to all health care providers – exercise was prescribed to less than half the patients with chronic back pain, even though we know it is one of the most effective forms of treatment. We need to make sure we are getting our patients active, and helping them to stay that way!

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Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.