Ever since we were kids, we’ve been told that drinking milk will make our bones unbreakable! But does this childhood mantra still hold water, or was it just a white lie (pun intended)?
Well, the numbers speak for themselves. The International Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that more than 10 million American adults are dealing with osteoporosis, with another 40 million adults aged 50 and older being at risk.
Although not a deadly condition, osteoporosis can affect your health and well-being down the road. Research found that 50% of women and 25% of men in the US will break a bone because of this disease. Osteoporosis has earned the “silent disease” nickname since it does not show any noticeable symptoms until a bone breaks or fractures.
As more and more patients are researching alternative, less invasive avenues of treating this disease, today’s article will cover why chiropractic adjustments are an excellent addition to any osteoporosis treatment!
First of All, What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease whose onset occurs due to decreased bone density (i.e., the body loses too much bone mass or creates too little of it). Therefore, the bones become fragile and can easily break or fracture — even from minor falls, bumps, or strains!
The most commonly affected bones are the hip, spine, and wrist. Osteoporosis affects both men and women, although it is more common in postmenopausal women due to decreased estrogen levels. Calcium deficiencies, steroid use, and thyroid issues are additional risk factors for this bone disease. Patients with diseases that affect bone density, such as rheumatoid arthritis or celiac disease, are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, too.
What Are the Symptoms of Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis has genuinely earned its “silent disease” moniker since it does not show any noticeable symptoms until a bone suffers some form of trauma (e.g., break or fracture). However, it does exhibit a handful of symptoms accurate enough to guide you toward a solid diagnosis:
Fracture or break in a bone after a minor fall or injury
Loss of height over time
Lower back pain
Stooped posture or hunched back
Weakness in the bones, making them more susceptible to fractures.
How Is Osteoporosis Diagnosed?
Several tests will help medical professionals diagnose osteoporosis in a patient. The most commonly used test is called a bone density scan or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). This quick, painless procedure measures the bone density of the hip and spine and can determine if someone has osteoporosis or is at risk for developing it.
Anything between -1 and -2.5 SD means osteopenia (i.e., the stage before osteoporosis)
Anything below -2.5 SD means osteoporosis
Other helpful tests for diagnosing this bone condition are:
Blood tests to check for vitamin D and calcium levels
X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans to ascertain your bone health
How Does Chiropractic Care Help Address Osteoporosis?
Chiropractic care is a valuable path toward treatment for all patients with osteoporosis! That is because a treatment plan that includes chiropractic sessions will help them achieve pain relief faster without resorting to additional invasive treatments! However, each patient will require a different treatment approach, so consult a healthcare provider before undergoing chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractic care can be adjusted based on the individual’s medical history and the severity of osteoporosis. Therefore, the chiropractor may avoid using high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) techniques that involve twisting or quick spine movements. Instead, they will use gentle and low-force techniques such as mobilization or soft tissue therapy to improve joint mobility, relieve pain, and promote healing.
Chiropractic treatments will also help prevent falls and fractures by improving balance, coordination, and flexibility. Our expert chiropractors will recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected bones, making them more resistant and resilient to fractures. Additionally, we will provide recommendations on nutrition and lifestyle changes to improve bone health and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis!
Does a Healthy Lifestyle Help Prevent Osteoporosis?
Ultimately, it’s the patient’s lifestyle that determines whether they’ll be predisposed to osteoporosis in the future. But with a few adjustments, your bones will become unbreakable!
1. Get a Healthy Dose of Calcium
Calcium opens the list of crucial nutrients for bone health, as it is the primary component of bones. Foods such as dairy products, fortified cereals, and leafy green vegetables will ensure the recommended daily calcium intake (i.e., 1000 mg for adults aged 19-50 and 1200 mg for those over 50). Consider adding calcium supplements to your diet if you can’t get enough of this precious nutrient from your daily meals.
2. Get a Healthy Dose of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential if you want calcium to be effectively absorbed and utilized by the body. The skin synthesizes this nutrient when exposed to sunlight, but we all know that the sad winter months make it hard for us to get all the sunshine we would like. Fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks will help you reach the daily recommended dietary allowance of 600 IU for adults aged 19-70 and 800 IU for adults aged >70.
3. Spend More Time Exercising
Regular exercise helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis by stimulating bone growth and increasing bone density. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, running, and strength training are particularly beneficial for the health of your bones! The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends 30 to 40 minutes of exercise three to four times per week, with some weight-bearing and resistance exercises as part of the program.
4. Quit Smoking and Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
Being underweight increases the risk of osteoporosis, as there is less mass for your bones to lose. However, being overweight is also harmful to bone health, as it increases the risk of falls and fractures. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise will make it harder for osteoporosis to affect the health of your bones.
6. Get Regular Bone Density Tests
Bone density tests can detect early signs of brittle bones and help prevent osteoporosis. Experts recommend at least one bone density test per year for patients on medication for osteoporosis, as well as those with risk factors such as a history of osteoporosis in the family, tobacco addiction, or low body weight.
It’s Time To Relieve Your Osteoporosis Symptoms With Chiropractic Care!
Anxiety and depression — alongside other mental health issues — have become the scourge of the 21st century. Millions of people worldwide, whose livelihoods are affected by symptoms of excessive worry and fear, sadness, hopelessness, and disinterest in life, turn to expensive medical treatments to bounce back from their rut of joylessness and rediscover the beauty of life, and relationships, and work productivity. But bottles of medication and endless psychotherapy sessions are not the only paths to recovery, as more and more patients turn to alternative therapies like chiropractic care for natural relief!
How Many Americans Deal With Anxiety and Depression?
The prevalence of mental health disorders in the United States is a matter of grave concern. According to the statistics gathered by Johns Hopkins University, 1 in 4 adults has received a mental disorder diagnosis in a given year, with anxiety disorders co-occurring with depressive illnesses in numerous patients. Moreover, 1 in 10 American adults will deal with a depressive illness in their lifetime (e.g., major depression or bipolar disorder), whereas almost 1 in 5 American adults receive an anxiety disorder diagnosis in a given year. The numbers speak for themselves, proving there are never enough avenues to alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms.
What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression?
The most common physical symptoms of anxiety and depression are:
Inability to relax or sleep
Muscle stiffness or tension
Tension headaches and migraines
These painful symptoms gradually affect the patient’s quality of life, engendering feelings of sadness, loneliness, and disinterest in life. The more these physical symptoms are allowed to persist, the harder it will be to alleviate them. That is why more and more patients combine established treatment avenues with less invasive alternatives, such as chiropractic treatment!
What Are the Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Anxiety and Depression?
Chiropractic adjustments offer a noninvasive alternative to traditional treatment approaches for anxiety and depression, such as medication and psychotherapy. While in no way acts as a replacement, chiropractic care helps alleviate physical symptoms of anxiety and depression while improving signs of spinal misalignment. Not all cases of anxiety and depression are the same, and what works for one person may not work for another, so check with your medical professional before including chiropractic care in your treatment.
1. Improving Spinal Misalignments
The primary goal of chiropractic care is to promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself. By correcting spinal misalignments, chiropractors aim to reduce nerve interference, which can affect bodily functions. Since the central nervous system controls all bodily functions, including the release of mood-regulating hormones, it’s no surprise that some patients choose chiropractic care to relieve their anxiety and depression symptoms.
Stress is a natural response to challenging situations by triggering the release of hormones like cortisol, oxytocin, and adrenaline. These hormones prepare the body to respond to stressors by increasing heart, blood, and breathing rates. However, chronic stress can lead to an overactive stress response, contributing to anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown that spinal manipulations can reduce cortisol levels and improve the body’s stress response. By reducing stress levels and alleviating pain, chiropractic care alleviates anxiety and depression symptoms.
3. Improving Your Sleep Patterns
Another way that chiropractic care may help with anxiety and depression is by improving sleep quality. Disturbed sleep patterns are common in people with mental health conditions, affecting their overall health and well-being. Spinal manipulation can provide promising results toward improving sleep quality by reducing pain and muscle tension. Better sleep quality will better your mood while alleviating anxiety and depression symptoms!
4. Bettering Your Overall Health
All-natural chiropractic care will also help with anxiety and depression by improving overall physical health. Exercise is known to have mood-alleviating effects, and chiropractic care boosts joint mobility and reduces pain, allowing patients to engage in physical activity more freely. Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins, i.e., natural mood-boosting hormones that reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
5. Lowering Your Blood Pressure
Lower blood pressure is another key benefit of chiropractic care. High blood pressure goes hand in hand with elevated stress levels in patients with anxiety and depression. Multiple studies have concluded that chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy help bring blood pressure levels within healthy parameters, empowering patients to manage their own anxiety symptoms and stress through an all-natural solution.
Out of all the daily aches and pains we’re dealing with, none of them is as common and as nagging as neck stiffness. Over 14% of Americans experience neck-related pain, with 80% of the population reporting some form of neck discomfort at some point in their lives!
Poor posture (primarily springing from inadequate ergonomics and staring into electronic devices), injuries, stress, and underlying health conditions can all make you wake up one day with a stiff neck.
Rest, over-the-counter medicine, and lifestyle adjustments will gradually relieve the pain and stiffness in your neck. Fortunately, our patients will find a smoother recovery avenue in the shape of chiropractic care!
What Is Neck Stiffness?
Neck stiffness, also known as cervical stiffness, is a condition that affects the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck. It is characterized by a feeling of tightness or discomfort that limits the head’s range of motion. Stiffness in the neck can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as pain, headaches, and dizziness.
What Are the Common and Uncommon Causes of Neck Stiffness?
The causes behind your stiff neck pain are not always easy to pinpoint. It might stem from lifestyle choices (e.g., anxiety or lousy posture) or injury — these are considered common causes of neck stiffness. Uncommon causes, on the other hand, are attributable to medical conditions, such as herniated discs, cervical osteoarthritis, and tumors. Only an accurate diagnosis will put you on the right path toward recovery.
Common Stiff Neck Causes
Lousy posture (Sitting or standing in a position that strains the neck muscles, e.g., slouching in front of a computer monitor or “text neck“)
Injuries (e.g., whiplash or other forms of trauma)
Stress (It causes muscle tension and stiffness in the neck)
Poor sleeping position (i.e., sleeping with the neck in an awkward position)
Although the symptoms of neck stiffness vary from person to person, it’s easy to recognize certain pain patterns in patients. It usually starts with pain or soreness in the neck, followed by tightness or discomfort. Then, patients gradually experience difficulty moving the head altogether (i.e., the actual neck stiffness). If left untreated, the symptoms will progress as far as headaches, dizziness, and lightheadedness.
Can Neck Stiffness Cause Headaches?
Many patients may deal with a pounding headache simultaneously with stiff neck symptoms, as there is a strong correlation between the two. That is because muscle strain affects the neck nerves, causing headaches. So next time you’re looking for headache pain relief, consider whether your stiff neck might be to blame — pinpointing the cause will help determine the right treatment avenue!
Can Neck Stiffness Cause Vertigo?
The cervical spine plays a crucial role in balance and coordination, which is why any neck inflammation or muscle strain may lead to symptoms of vertigo (e.g., dizziness and lightheadedness).
How Chiropractic Care Addresses Neck Pain!
More and more patients seek chiropractic care for treating neck stiffness, as it is a noninvasive, drug-free approach to pain relief! Chiropractors receive specialized training to identify the underlying causes of a stiff neck and develop a personalized treatment plan to address these issues.
During your initial consultation, our team of chiropractors will perform a thorough physical examination and examine your medical history to determine the root cause of your neck pain. This process will include assessing your posture, range of motion, and any other physical or neurological symptoms. Based on this assessment, we will develop a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Our expert chiropractors may suggest several treatment methods and lifestyle adjustments, such as:
Spinal adjustments involve the manual manipulation of the spine to improve alignment and mobility. They will help alleviate pressure on the nerves and reduce inflammation in the neck.
Soft tissue therapy involves the application of pressure to the neck muscles and soft tissues to relieve tension and improve your range of motion.
– Purchasing a more comfortable chair for your office
– Adjusting your chair position
– Adopting proper posture when sitting
– Setting up your computer at eye level
– Standing up and moving after every hour of work
The Benefits of Chiropractic Adjustments for Neck Stiffness
Two are the reasons why more and more patients seek chiropractic care as an additional medical treatment for their neck stiffness:
Noninvasive: Chiropractors use noninvasive approaches to treating a stiff neck, meaning you’ll avoid the risks and side effects of surgery and medication!
Drug-free: Chiropractors make no use of prescription medication, allowing the body to heal naturally!
Other Remedies for Addressing Stiff Neck Pain
Chiropractic sessions may be a solid step toward neck pain relief, but your journey toward healing is not over yet. That is why combining our chiropractic expertise with other treatment avenues is the only way to ensure that your symptoms will vanish! Don’t picture grim scenarios of surgeries and strenuous physical therapy in your mind — it’s all about small but effective lifestyle changes!
Taking ample time to rest: Taking it easy for a day or two allows injured tissues to heal, thus relieving your stiff neck symptoms. For example, swimmers should avoid certain swim strokes that involve repeated head twisting for a few days. However, this is not a license for slacking off, as too much inactivity will weaken the neck muscles, causing them to struggle to adequately support the head.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen or naproxen) are the first line of treatment for neck stiffness and soreness. Another OTC medication to consider is acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol), which does provide pain relief, but without alleviating any inflammation. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the potential side effects of OTC pain relievers, such as digestive issues.
Cold/heat therapy: The application of cold and heat to the inflamed area will help relieve pain symptoms while creating a more appropriate healing environment. Putting an ice pack on the painful area will counteract the inflammation, while a heating pad will stimulate blood flow and facilitate the body’s healing process!
Stretching: Including a stretching routine in your daily schedule can help relieve neck pain and stiffness and prevent them from recurring. Be sure to stretch gently and slowly while always breathing in and out fully, as sudden movements or overstretching will only worsen your discomfort.
Stretching routines for neck pain relief is simple and can be performed anywhere!
Acupuncture: This age-old pain relief technique removes any hindrance impeding your energy levels from traveling through the body’s meridians, called qi. Acupuncturists insert needles into specific pressure points for 10-30-minute sessions to unblock the stuck energy and reestablish an adequate flow of qi. Acupuncture sessions take place in a relaxed atmosphere, with little to no discomfort, providing you the opportunity to rediscover your inner peace!
Have you been dealing with sleep disorders, emotional distress, and fatigue more than usual lately? Are you unable to identify what’s causing your low mood and discomfort? Fibromyalgia — or abnormal pain perception processing — might be to blame.
Fibromyalgia is a common condition characterized by widespread pain and discomfort, so common that 4 million Americans (2% of the adult population) live with it every day. Pain sensitivity is more acute in fibromyalgia patients, hence its easily recognizable symptoms. The causes of fibromyalgia are not yet fully understood, which is why there’s no straightforward way to address this condition.
Fortunately, a personalized treatment plan consisting of chiropractic care and physical therapy will effectively manage your fibromyalgia pain in a noninvasive manner!
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects the way our brains process pain signals. Patients dealing with this disorder report amplified pain sensations, either locally or throughout the body. Its prevalence affects women more than other patients.
Constant pain is the symptom most often associated with fibromyalgia. Patients report chronic pain for months on end. The symptoms are widespread, affecting multiple body areas simultaneously.
Aside from the elevated pain levels, fibromyalgia patients report fatigue even after long nights of sleep (often disrupted by discomfort and sleep disorders) and cognitive issues — they are often unable to focus or pay attention (i.e., “fibro fog“).
The challenge posed by fibromyalgia centers around diagnosis — at the moment, science hasn’t developed a surefire way (e.g., specific laboratory or imaging tests) for this painful condition. You can only observe your symptoms and bring them to your physician’s attention. They will probably check your joints to rule out other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus.
Does Chiropractic Care Help With Fibromyalgia Pain?
The absence of a cure doesn’t mean patients who suffer from fibromyalgia cannot manage their pain. It’s all about finding the right treatment method.
The pain symptoms associated with fibromyalgia are more acute in the spine. Because this condition diminishes muscle tone and natural flexibility, the spine eventually experiences a loss of movement. Consequently, muscle tightness and pain will pervade your spinal area, exacerbating your discomfort.
Chiropractic Adjustments Are Key to a Healthy Spine!
Constant spinal manipulation and movement — that’s the word of order for fibromyalgia patients. Here is where chiropractic treatment, in the shape of chiropractic adjustments, becomes critical. This non-invasive treatment method strengthens the link between nerves throughout the body and the central nervous system, helping the brain process pain more accurately. The result: less stress on the spine and fewer inaccurate pain signals!
What Are the Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Patients With Fibromyalgia Pain?
#1: Stimulating the Body’s Natural Healing Process
Although lacking a solid cure, fibromyalgia can easily be managed through noninvasive treatment options. That is why most physicians recommend chiropractic adjustments as an effective alternative to conventional treatments!
During each chiropractic adjustment session, your chiropractor will stimulate your body’s circulatory system, helping it release more endorphins and neurotransmitters. This approach will assist the brain’s nerve impulses in processing pain signals accordingly, therefore alleviating pain and increasing pain tolerance.
#2: Provides Chronic Pain Relief
The way fibromyalgia patients experience pain is the most challenging aspect of this disorder. The constant pain will affect patients throughout the whole body for days, weeks, or months at a time. What they need is a treatment option capable of restoring overall health and promoting the body’s self-healing capabilities.
That is the purpose of chiropractic care — to implement adjustments and soft tissue work not just for improving spine health but toward healing the whole body by minimizing painful pressure points! As a result, you will notice an amelioration of your body wellness with each chiropractic treatment session!
#3: Increased Range of Motion
Muscle tone loss and stiff joints are common symptoms of fibromyalgia; because of the pain and discomfort caused by this condition, morning stiffness, tender points, and reduced range of motion become common occurrences for fibromyalgia patients.
Chiropractic treatments alleviate muscle and joint stiffness without medications (e.g., muscle relaxers). It might take multiple treatment sessions to see results, but the outcome is definitely worth the wait — recovering your range of motion and feeling like yourself again!
#4: Improved Sleep Quality
The modern human being is going through life at a faster and faster pace; no wonder why a good night’s sleep can be the difference between success and failure. Patients with fibromyalgia, unfortunately, rarely afford the luxury of soothing sleep. Their lack of rest is often followed by fatigue and irritability.
Chiropractic care attends to the stiff joints and tender points chipping away at your precious rest time, helping you enjoy a deeper sleep and restoring your sleep quality!
#5: Patient Empowerment
Chiropractic treatments take one further step toward whole-body wellness than other treatments: they empower patients on their recovery journey! Unfortunately, chronic pain conditions often call for various treatment options, which can overburden the patient with stress, depression, and a lack of control over the situation.
Working with a chiropractor takes the patient’s concerns into account and enlists their help toward achieving pain management. With every treatment session, you will notice a gradual reduction in pain and discomfort, leaving you optimistic and excited for the upcoming treatment session!
How Can I Complement My Chiropractic Treatment for Fibromyalgia?
Chiropractic adjustments are but the first yet solid step in your pain mitigation process. Chiropractic care approaches fibromyalgia pain holistically — the entire body must work as one to achieve pain relief. Here is where our lifestyle adjustment recommendations come into play!
How To Improve Your Lifestyle
The core lifestyle changes for fibromyalgia patients center around constant movement. Sedentary lifestyles are fibromyalgia’s strongest ally, which is why you must add simple exercises to your daily routine. Nothing too fanciful — even taking frequent walks during a long day at the office is a valuable tool toward recovery. If unsure how to proceed, approach your chiropractor for physical therapy tips. It’s better to kick the sedentary habit than to rely on pain medications!
Next, you’ll have to pay closer attention to nutrition. Diets play a valuable role during fibromyalgia recovery by handling both the physiological and psychological aspects of this condition. That is why your chiropractor will recommend a handful of dietary changes — nothing drastic, but enough to help your body recover faster!
It’s Time To Relieve Your Fibromyalgia Pain at Bergen Chiropractic!
More and more Americans entrust their chronic pain relief to the hands of chiropractors! Around 35 million chiropractic visits are scheduled every year, with over 1 million chiropractic adjustments performed every day across the country. A significant percentage of patients are thrilled with the results of chiropractic care, so there’s no surprise that the chiropractic industry surged to $19.5 billion annually!
One of the first things patients concern themselves with before their initial consultation is the price of chiropractor visits. The answer varies from one chiropractor to another: credentials, location, and even the patient’s lifestyle will determine the cost of chiropractic care. However, we want to help our patients gauge their costs before entering our offices, so here’s a breakdown of the average consultation costs at Bergen Chiropractic!
What Factors Influence the Price of Chiropractic Care?
The three factors with a stronger say in the cost of chiropractor services are location, credentials, and the patient’s lifestyle.
The Location of the Chiropractic Clinic
The cost of a chiropractic visit varies according to the clinic’s location. For example, the lowest patient fees are in the Midwest, at around $60 per session. The prices slightly increase in the South, where patients can expect a $70 fee per visit. The highest fees in the country revolve around $100 per visit. New patients will have to consider an extra expense since the initial consultation also includes an overall health consultation.
All licensed chiropractors must undergo rigorous education and training to receive their undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications. The entire process takes years of dedication and studying to complete. However, every chiropractor who follows this educational ladder is prepared to offer the best chiropractic care to their patients!
Four years of chiropractic training, including two years of studying basic sciences. This preliminary step ends with completing the National Boards, Part 1.
Two years of training in clinical sciences, followed by the successful completion of the National Boards, Part 2.
The completion of the National Boards, Part 3, for chiropractors who intend to dive deeper into physiological therapeutics.
The completion of the National Boards, Part 4.
Aside from these mandatory certifications, expert chiropractors undergo specialized training for specific branches of chiropractic care. For example, sports chiropractors take Graston Technique, Active Release Techniques, Kinesiotaping, and Dry needling courses to further their training. This training is always rewarding for chiropractors, whose achievements (e.g., reviews, awards, an established reputation) serve as solid proof of their expertise.
The Patient’s Lifestyle
Finally, it is the patient’s lifestyle that will determine the chiropractic treatment cost. For example, certain professions, such as athletes or people engaged in physical labor, are more likely to require chiropractic care in the future. Likewise, patients who undergo chiropractic treatment without following the chiropractor’s instructions will probably book extra treatment sessions.
What Is Included in the Cost of a Chiropractic Visit?
Most chiropractic sessions begin with an assessment of the patient’s health, followed by putting together a treatment plan. The chiropractor will then use various techniques to relieve pain (e.g., through chiropractic adjustments). The severity of the patient’s symptoms will determine the length and number of necessary chiropractic sessions.
Does Insurance Cover Chiropractic Care?
The vast majority of insurance plans cover chiropractic care (e.g., Cigna and Medicare). However, insurance coverage depends on various factors, such as location and type of chiropractic coverage (e.g., deductible and copayments). Certain chiropractic treatment plans do require out-of-pocket expenses, so we recommend you speak with your insurance provider before your first chiropractic session. If costs are an issue, you’ll be happy to hear that many chiropractic clinics offer payment plans to help their patients!
How Much Does Bergen Chiropractic Charge for a Consultation?
Dr. Gregory Doerr and his team of expert chiropractors want to ensure that your primary focus is treatment, not payment. That is why the total cost of chiropractic sessions (based on your health insurance and treatment plan) can be covered through reasonable payment plans at our office! Patients without insurance can expect a $175 fee for the initial visit (including an overall health consultation) and $66 for every follow-up treatment session. So, be ready to see your pain symptoms improve as your treatment progresses and your costs go down!
Start Your Chiropractic Treatment at Bergen Chiropractic!