2 Your Health

What’s Unique About Chiropractic Care?

Dr. Craig W. Brue, D.C.

Are you experiencing chronic back or neck pain? This article will help you understand your treatment options.

Medical Care: What will your medical doctor do for back or neck pain? The typical medical response is prescription medication, because that’s what M.D.s do. Will it help? You are not having back/neck pain because you are having an oxycodone, aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen deficiency. Medication may help to relieve the pain, but it doesn’t correct the cause of the pain.

Is your medical doctor a spine specialist? No. Your M.D. is a specialist in biochemistry, not in spinal biomechanics.

Physical Therapy: If you go to a physical therapy office for back pain, what will they do? According to the American Physical Therapy Association, “Physical therapists are health care professionals who maintain, restore and improve movement.” Are physical therapists spine specialists? No. A physical therapist specializes in movement disorders and typically prescribes exercises for back and neck pain.

Therapists may also utilize ice, heat, massage, ultrasound, and back supports. A physical therapist cannot take x-rays, read x-rays, or order imaging studies. Physical therapists are not M.D.s, and they do not prescribe medication for pain.

Pain Management: What will happen at a pain management clinic? The answer is usually stronger pain drugs and epidural spine injections. Will that help? According to medical literature, epidural shots are typically short acting and ineffective. You are not having back/neck pain because you don’t have enough cortisone injected into your spine. Permanent help from pain management clinics is unlikely because, whether medication is injected or ingested, you still have the same bad back that brought you into the doctor’s office. Pain management is not necessarily better management. However, pain management is always associated with stronger drugs, serious risks, and limited long-term benefits.

Chiropractic: What can a chiropractor do that is unique in the health professions?

Chiropractors are specialists in the structure, function, and biomechanics of the spine. A chiropractor can accurately diagnose the cause of the condition with imaging studies of your spine. The doctor of chiropractic will then recommend an appropriate treatment plan that may include spinal adjustments, specific exercises for rehabilitation, and lifestyle changes for the prevention and management of pain.

However, the biggest difference between all other forms of medical treatment and chiropractic care is this: A chiropractor is the only health care provider who specializes in the correction of spinal misalignment with specific spinal adjustments. In a matter of a fraction of a second, a chiropractor can re-align vertebrae and restore spinal function, a process that can provide the relief of back pain for hours, days, months, and even years. Chiropractic care is a safe, conservative, and effective way to relieve back and neck pain. Find a great chiropractor to be a part of your health team.

(Dr. Craig Brue is an author, lecturer, and chiropractic provider in SaddleBrooke, Ariz. For more information on chiropractic care, please go to bruechiropractic.com.)

Plantar Fasciitis and Massage Therapy

Heidi Overman, LMT

Plantar fasciitis is a very common issue. It is painful and can be debilitating. I have many clients come in exasperated from trying to help relieve plantar fasciitis pain. Just this week, I had one client who had been battling it for over two years, another for over a year. Both were confused. They had gone to the podiatrist, physical therapy, stretched, had shots in their foot, and still they were battling plantar fasciitis. Both walked out with relief.

Let’s start with how you may have gotten plantar fasciitis. Here are some major contributors to plantar fasciitis: excessive running (especially in worn-down shoes), sudden changes in activity levels, unequal leg lengths, flat or pronated feet, being overweight, tight calf muscles, or overstretching.

Areas contributing to plantar fasciitis can be the low back, hip, hamstrings and quads, calf muscles, and into the foot. Ice, stretching, and deep massage are frequently used as a first strategy for plantar fasciitis. No single treatment is universally effective. Each person must experiment with treatments to meet his/her needs. Most people eventually find relief, but it may take six to 18 months.

However, massage can help with a number of these contributors. Deep massage into the calf muscles that control foot alignment, stretches within the massage, cupping, thermal heat, CBD massage, trigger point work, and myofascial release are all modalities that can help with relieving plantar fasciitis.

These muscles need to be treated repeatedly. As they release and you go home, after a while, the muscle memory kicks in, and the muscles start going back to their pain patterns. This is why multiple treatments to teach those muscles how to release and stay released are so important.

If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, try massage therapy. Knowledgeable and skilled massage therapists can help relieve this painful issue.

If you are interested in a therapeutic massage, please call MEND for an appointment at 520-771-1514. Our website is www.mymendingplace.com, and we’re located at MEND Therapeutic Massage and Restorative Skincare, 15920 N. Oracle Road, Suite 170, Tucson, AZ 85739 (next to the Golden Goose).