5 Causes of Low Back Pain

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5 Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be caused by a range of issues -- some serious, and some relatively mundane. But whatever the underlying cause is, the toll this type of chronic pain can take on a sufferer's life is massive.

Chiropractors focus most of their techniques on the spine and the surrounding structures. As a result, qualified and experienced physicians can often help to resolve lower back issues without the need for medication or surgery. Chiropractors aren’t just trying to mask the symptoms, they are there to identify the underlying cause and help correct it.

If you're suffering from lower back pain, there are many possible causes to consider -- but here are five of the most common:

1. Lumbar Herniated Disc

Your spine is comprised of several individual vertebrae, which are each cushioned from the next by a disc. If one of these discs becomes damaged, it can protrude outwards and press against your spinal nerves -- causing what many people describe as unbearable pain. Disc damage can be the result of a trauma, but oftentimes it's caused by the aging process.

Using a series of gentle Chiropractic adjustments, a practitioner can help to reduce nerve irritability and improve mobility. The aim is to help the body suck the disc back into place.

2. Strains and Sprains

Many strains and sprains go undiagnosed, as people simply put up with the pain in the hope it will dissipate over time. These injuries can occur during seemingly mundane tasks, such as lifting and stretching. Strains and sprains can also happen during strenuous labor, exercise and injuries.

A Chiropractic plan assesses the individual's pain and immobility and addresses any lifestyle issues and intolerance to activity. Through a series of adjustments, a good Chiropractor should be able to get the body to a state that the pain resolves and becomes healthier. 

3. Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a painful condition that involves one vertebra slipping out of position and over an adjacent one. This distressing ailment can be the result of a fracture or instability in the facet joints. Until the vertebra moves back into position, the pain can be severe. Mobility issues and compression of nerves running to the leg can also occur.

4. Poor Posture

The way you hold your frame and sit down could be causing the discomfort and pain you're feeling in your back. If you sit at a desk for prolonged periods and sit forward to type on a keyboard with hunched shoulders, the muscles in your lower back and around your hips can tighten without your realizing it. If these muscles -- or those around your abdomen -- are weak, you can be left with chronic pain.

The effects of poor posture are often exacerbated by excess weight, lack of exercise and sudden twists and turns. But you can address these underlying causes by working with a Chiropractor to make postural and lifestyle changes.

5. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the bones around joints. When it affects the facet joints between vertebrae, the increased pressure on the bones will cause the bones to grow out and the disc to shrink – which can lead to severe pain. Over time, spurs can form in the bones, which can press on nerves and cause pain in the legs. A Chiropractor can tailor a series of adjustments to your specific problem. Over time, Chiropractic can improve flexibility and movement, as well as improve health. 

Chiropractic involves muscle and joint adjustments, but it doesn't stop there. If you're experiencing lower back pain, working with an experienced chiropractor in chesterfield can help you to improve your posture and health -- giving you real hope of a healthier future.

Promise vs Potential

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Sometimes I think Chiropractors are over-promising their patients and other times I feel like they are understating the value that Chiropractic care offers.  This blog post tries to help you understand the difference between the Promise of Chiropractic care versus the Potential of Chiropractic care.  

The Promise in Chiropractic is simple...the Potential is HUGE!

The Promise: Our body always works better when it is clear and connected to the nervous system. The brain and body communicate constantly using the nervous system. 

When the spine is Subluxated, spinal bones are misaligned, the effect is a body and brain that are no longer communicating properly.  This means your body doesn't function like it is supposed to, goes into a state of Dis-Ease, and a lowered health potential results.  A body in a state of Dis-Ease is a body that is breaking down and over time that can result in symptoms, illnesses, and diseases.   

The Potential: When people come to our office we check for these Subluxations, not because we want to treat a specific problem, but because we understand the negative effect the Subluxation has on how our body functions.  By removing the Subluxation and restoring function the body has the potential to heal from everything! 

That doesn't mean you will heal from every single problem.  Please remember, We Do Not Treat anything either.  That being said, if you are Subluxated and we correct that Subluxation AND continue to keep you clear of Subluxations, all of your problems have the POTENTIAL to resolve.  We know this, because we have seen this.  Check our testimonials, reviews, and videos to see for yourself.  

5 Ways a Chiropractor Can Make You More Productive at Work

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5 Ways a Chiropractor Can Make You More Productive at Work

Western workforces have moved away from physical labor and towards desk-based work over the last five decades -- causing chiropractic health issues to soar. More and more people are spending several hours every day hunched over their desks, which is leading to a sharp increase in chronic musculoskeletal ailments.

Chiropractic has the potential to deliver five work-related benefits -- to both employees and the companies that employ them.  

1. Chiropractic May Boost Brain Function

Recent research revealed that there could be a direct link between chiropractic and improved brain function. In one study, conducted over a three-year period and using around 100 volunteers as test subjects, electroencephalograms were used to monitor key brain functions before and after chiropractic adjustments. Scans after adjustments revealed significant improvements in all areas of brain function.

If you're struggling with chronic pain in your back, shoulders or legs, the chances are you won't be able to perform at your best. Chiropractic adjustments address the underlying musculoskeletal issues causing this pain -- allowing you to concentrate on the job at hand instead of pain management.  It is recommended you find a local Chiropractor.  

2. Chiropractic Reduces Stress

A 2011 study in Japan revealed potential links between chiropractic and stress reduction. A group of men and women were asked to explain their moods and stress levels before and after chiropractic adjustments -- and the results suggested a possible link.

The study went further by using PET scans to monitor activity in the brain. Saliva samples were also taken before and after chiropractic to monitor hormonal changes. Researchers discovered changed brain activity in areas related to stress and pain processing. In addition, cortisol levels in the test subjects reduced after adjustments, indicating stress reduction.

The links between stress in the workplace and productivity are already well known, which is why many employers have stress-management policies in place. If you can reduce your own stress levels at work, your performance should improve.

3. Chiropractic Helps You to Remain Active

If you perform a physical job, being mobile and flexible is vital. If you're struggling with mobility issues or chronic pain, you probably can't perform your manual role to the best of your abilities. Chiropractors perform adjustments and recommend lifestyle changes to increase strength and mobility while reducing pain. Rather than simply treating the symptoms, chiropractic involves investigating the underlying causes of immobility and pain.

4. Chiropractic Improves Quality of Sleep

Sleep deprivation can greatly reduce your ability to concentrate at work. In fact, a lack of quality sleep of a prolonged period can cause many significant health issues, including depression and increased stress. It therefore stands to reason that sleep issues can directly impact your productivity at work.

If chronic pain or musculoskeletal issues are causing your sleep problems, a chiropractor can work with you to identify them. You'll be advised on key lifestyle and posture changes you need to make, and a range of chiropractic adjustments will address your pain and mobility issues head on.

5. Chiropractic Improves Posture

Too many of us have developed bad habits at work. We slouch, lean and twist at our desks. We cradle our phones between a shoulder and an ear, or we sit with rounded shoulders as we type at a computer. All of these postural issues can cause severe and chronic pain in the back, shoulders and legs.

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for absence at work right now, but many cases are easily preventable. If you're experiencing these issues at work, a chiropractor will first address the pain with a series of adjustments. Work will then begin on assessing your posture and helping you to improve it.

Chronic pain can have a profound effect on your performance at work. But with the help and expertise of a chiropractor, you can work towards a happier, more productive time in the workplace.

Whether it is for pain, less stress, more energy, better digestion, or better sleep - make an appointment with Dr. Aaron Wahl, a Chesterfield Chiropractor and Chiropractor for Kids, so that you and your family can live healthier.  

Understanding Your Child's Nervous System: The Center of Health

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Understanding Your Child's Nervous System: The Center of Health

Keeping your kids healthy usually means serving fruits and vegetables, exercise, sleep, and checkups. But, did you know that your child's developing nervous system controls most of their body's functions, like blood pressure and breathing? A healthy nervous system leads to good digestion, metabolism, heart rate, gland functions and much more. Understanding your child's nervous system will help you read your child's signs of health and illness, many of which begin and end with this important system.

Listen Up: Your Nervous System Is Talking to You

The nervous system is made up of your organs (brain, spinal cord, nerve cells, sense organs) and several systems of control -- one for responding to the environment; one for maintaining bodily functions while at rest; and one entirely dedicated to the bowels and digestion. Billions of nerve cells communicate constantly between the brain and every other part of the body, helping regulate, stimulate and relax areas when needed.

Responsible for much more than just sensing feeling on your skin, the nervous system prepares the body to interact with the world by quickening your heart rate or flooding you with a burst of adrenaline when you feel scared. It also dilates your pupils in response to light, causes you to sweat when you need to cool down and floods you with sleep hormones when it grows dark. Every time your body "tells you" something, like when you're hungry or need to empty your bladder, that signal is coming from your nervous system.

Perhaps most important in a growing child are all the nerve cells (neurons) in the brain, which are making connections every time they learn new information and establishing pathways to maintain that knowledge. Children are forming and processing memories through their neuron connections, moving information into long-term storage. The same system that regulates children's bodies also regulates their brains. It's no wonder the nervous system is seen as the center of health and wellness.

Maintaining Nervous System Health

With all the ways the nervous system affects health and well-being, it makes sense to care for it with regular attention, the same way you would your eyes, teeth or heart. When your spine is out of alignment, the channels of communication your body depends on to signal necessary functions can become blocked or distorted. If your brain and body aren't communicating, you can't function optimally, and your body can start to "tell you" all sorts of things are wrong.

In children, these problems can manifest in poor sleep, allergies, asthma, digestive problems and frequent illness. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, or pain, stiffness or decreased mobility, spinal alignment can improve the nervous system function and help resolve a host of ailments.

Maintaining optimal nervous system health doesn't need to wait until you're sick or injured. Many parents report seeking chiropractic care for illness prevention and ensuring overall wellness. Removing the stressors and irritants to the nervous system frees up the countless channels children's bodies need to regulate themselves, respond appropriately to the environment and grow.

Spinal adjustments that allow the nervous system to function without interference can help children show resilience to illness and infection, prevent obstructions to digestive health, improve sleep by relieving tension or pain and helping your child relax, and promote healthy brain development.

Contact Dr. Aaron Wahl, a Chiropactor in Chesterfield and a Chiropractor for Kids, today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Subluxation and Chiropractic

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Subluxation and Chiropractic

Subluxations, or the Vertebral Subluxation Complex, is a Chiropractic condition that over 30 million people get checked for annually in the United States. Many people don't understand what a Subluxation is, how it affects the body, and how to fix it. Luckily, a simple visit to a Chiropractor's office can help and even result in a person feeling better because they have a body that is healing better.    

What is a Subluxation?

Subluxation occurs when the vertebrae in the spine get knocked, pushed, or pulled out of alignment. Not only is this extremely unhealthy for the body, but it can over a long period result in a body that expresses pain and a myriad of other problems throughout the rest of the body. When the vertebrae are out of alignment with each other, the entire body can be thrown out of balance.

According to "Subluxation: A Scientific Reality" by Keith Wassung, "This is similar to a cavity eating away at a tooth long before a toothache occurs. Subluxations irritate the nerves which interfere with the flow of nerve impulses. This reduces the body's inherent natural healing ability."

Pain Associated With Subluxations

Subluxation eventually can manifest itself in the body in many ways. After years of having the Subluxation, many patients can start to feel pain in the spine, upper or lower back, shoulders, hips, neck or have headaches and migraines. 

Since the vertebrae can influence the entire nervous system, there is no end to the pain or conditions that that can occur.

The unfortunate reality is we are under constant stress including everyday activities, like standing and sitting, and stress can cause Subluxations. Other causes include birth, learning to walk, repetitive movements, working at a computer for hours at a time, looking at your phone or tablet, injuries, car accidents and sports. Poor posture can cause Subluxations and Subluxations can cause poor posture. 

The Solution

There is a solution to Subluxations. Chiropractors are the only healthcare professionals that are specially trained to locate, analyze, and correct Subluxations. When the Subluxation is found, Chiropractors will use their hands or an instrument to Adjust or put the vertebrae into better alignment.  This will help the body heal better and can even improve the posture. 

Though a Chiropractor can correct the Subluxation on that visit, it can take weeks to months to get the body to hold an adjustment.  That is why it is important to have a good Chiropractor that has a way to determine if you need an adjustment today and whether that adjustment has held from visit to visit.  Because we experience stress all of the time and Subluxations do not typically present with pain; it is important to get your spine checked regularly by a Chiropractor near you. 

Dr. Aaron Wahl is a Chiropractor in Chesterfield that specializes in locating and correcting Subluxations and is a certified Pediatric Chiropractor, or a Chiropractor for Kids.   Getting checked for Subluxations is a foundational component to our health and should be looked at no differently than brushing our teeth and getting our teeth checked for cavities regularly. 

Chiropractic is Safe. Chiropractic is Effective.

Live Blessed!

Dr. Aaron Wahl - Principled Chiropractor

4 Common Health Complaints That Chiropractors Can Help Resolve Without Drugs

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Between 1997 and 2016, the number of prescriptions filled by Americans increased by 85 percent. In 2016, Americans filled about 4.5 trillion prescriptions compared to 2.4 trillion in 1997.

The unhealthy reliance on prescription medications has put a lot of patients in harm's way. Luckily, you don't have to take drugs to help solve many common ailments. Instead, you can turn to chiropractic adjustments for common health complaints.

Tension Headaches and Migraines

A number of triggers, including bright lights and certain foods, can cause you to have a tension headache or a migraine.  Many headaches, however, don't have specific triggers. Unfortunately, this makes it nearly impossible for you to avoid the stimuli and activities that make it more likely for you to have a headache.

Visiting a chiropractor gives you an opportunity to avoid tension headaches and migraines before you begin to feel pain. Chiropractors help prevent tension headaches and migraines by adjusting your spine to bring it back into better alignment, taking pressure off the nerves and muscles in the head and neck.  This relieves that stress in your neck and back. By reducing the tension in your neck, you may find that you have headaches less frequently. Some people who visit their Chiropractors regularly find that their headaches disappear.

When you visit your Chiropractor, ask for advice that can help you avoid headaches. He or she may suggest ways that you can stretch your muscles, reduce stress and improve your posture on top of checking your spine for Subluxations, or spinal misalignments.

Back Pain

About 31 million Americans suffer from low-back pain at any given moment. Half of working Americans say that they experience back pain at least once per year. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for people to miss work.

For some people, back pain makes life difficult. Others can feel disabled by the pain they feel. Chiropractors can use spinal manipulation to help resolve this common problem. In fact, some studies show that spinal manipulation is the most effective option for people with low-back pain.

When it comes to treating back pain, medical doctors usually give their patients poor advice. Nearly 40 percent of doctors prescribe painkillers to treat back pain. Considering the damage that opioid addiction has caused in recent years, it makes sense for you to choose a SAFE SPINAL ADJUSTMENTS instead of taking dangerous drugs.

High Blood Pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 33 percent (75 million) of American adults have high blood pressure. The condition puts people at risk for strokes and heart disease.

Drug companies manufacture numerous drugs that can help control high blood pressure. Chiropractic, however, offers help that doesn't rely on daily medication.

Researchers have known for more than a decade that a chiropractic adjustment can lower high blood pressure. In a 2007 study, doctors used chiropractic adjustments on 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure. An additional 25 patients received a fake adjustment as a placebo.

The patients who got the real adjustment saw significant improvements in their blood pressures. Using X-rays, the researchers discovered that the spinal adjustment realigned the top vertebra of the spine. Patients that received the sham adjustment didn't have realigned vertebra.

Insomnia

Insomnia plagues one out of three people at some point in their lives. The condition can lead to depression, anxiety, poor concentration and even falling asleep while driving.

Doctors typically prescribe benzodiazepines like Ambien to treat insomnia. Benzodiazepines have been linked to serious health problems, including cognitive impairment, increased risk of hip fractures and addiction.

Chiropractic adjustments offer a natural, drug-free approach to insomnia. Adjustments often work because they decrease the pain that prevents many people from falling asleep at night. Some researchers also believe that improving spinal and neck alignment makes it easier for the brain to produce chemicals that are essential for regulating sleep.

Before you turn to drugs to help resolve a common health complaint, talk to your chiropractor about natural solutions. You may find that you can reduce or eliminate the problem without taking medications that can put your health at risk.

6 Myths about Chiropractors Dispelled

6 Myths About Chiropractors Dispelled

Chiropractic can improve a wide variety of conditions including but not limited to back pain, migraines, and sports injuries. However, some people avoid chiropractors because they believe in myths about the practice. This is detrimental to their health and recovery because an adjustment could help them a whole lot!

Myth #1: Chiropractors Are Not Physicians

Truth: Chiropractors are highly trained individuals. In order to receive the official degree, a Doctor of Chiropractic, students must complete four (or more) years of specialized schooling after receiving an undergraduate degree, usually pre-med. This is actually similar, or more hours, to those within the medical profession. The training is very rigorous and prepares them to keep you in good health through holistic means. Chiropractors must also take a national certification test and get licensed to practice.

Myth #2: Chiropractic Is Bad Because It Cracks Your Joints

Truth: Many people believe that cracking their joints is not good for their health. First off, there is no cracking or breaking occurring during a Chiropractic Adjustment. That is a myth in itself.  That being said, trying to adjust your own joints, or having a friend or non-Chiropractor do it, can hurt and cause damage because they do not have the proper and extensive training that is necessary. As explained above, chiropractors are especially well-trained individuals who know how to work with intention. They know which areas of your body need adjusting and why, and they know how to target those areas specifically. Trying to do it on your own may put yourself at risk, so setting up an appointment with a chiropractor is a much better idea.

Myth #3: Chiropractors Only Help Resolve Back Problems

Truth: While a large focus of Chiropractic has become focused on treating back pain, Chiropractors can work on any and every joint in the human body. They can also help to resolve conditions related to misalignments like chronic headaches, digestive issues and pain relief for chronic conditions. Dr. Wahl has even seen colic, seizures, high blood pressure, and diabetes get better under Chiropractic care.

Myth #4: You Have to Go to the Chiropractor Forever

Truth: Some think if you start going to the chiro, you will have to keep going back for the rest of your life! Your local chiropractor would love to see you for the rest of your life, but there are no chains so they can't and they don't have some magical power to make you come in forever. A lot of our patients are families that come in on a regular baiss because they want to maintain their spinal and body health. This is no different than someone continuing to brush their teeth and seeing their dentist regularly, or keeping on an eating and exercise maintenance plan after losing a bunch of weight. That being said, the patient always makes the decision about whether or not to continue coming back.

Myth #5: It's Not Safe

Truth: Going to a chiropractor is very safe. This fact has been proven through a few different studies. The most common side effect of a chiropractic adjustment is some soreness in the days after. It is highly unlikely for any adverse health events to happen shortly after a chiropractic session. There is the belief that there is an association between chiropractic adjustment and stroke, but studies have proven that is just not true. Dr. Wahl's malpractice insurance is $600 per year as of the writing of this blog. That drawfs the cost of any other physician's insurance cost.

Myth #6: Chiropractors Are Not for Kids

Kids have a spine that they use. They fall, they get hurt, they are under stress too. A Chiropractor for Kids can help an injury heal faster and can help them heal from the many small spinal traumas that happen throughout childhood. During regular visits, a chiro can make sure that development is normal and catch common conditions like scoliosis before they become more serious. We have even helped patients improve their scoliosis without therapy or surgery.

Now that we've dispelled these common chiropractic myths, plan a visit to Dr. Aaron Wahl, a Family Wellness Expert and Chiropractor in Chesterfield.

The Truth about the Flu

The "Flu season" has come along and again people are getting sick!  We understand that the flu is a virus that is spread through the air.  We know that when people get "sick," they have these common symptoms:

  1. Fever
  2. Chills
  3. A Sore Throat
  4. A Runny Nose
  5. Muscle/Body Aches
  6. Headaches
  7. Fatigue
  8. Vomiting and Diarrhea - usually in kids

We know all of this, and yet we still are asking all of the wrong questions.  We need to stop asking why are these people getting sick with the flu and start asking WHY ARE THERE PEOPLE NOT GETTING SICK WHEN EXPOSED TO THE FLU.  

The germ theory is just that - A Theory.  It cannot be proven because germs don't cause disease and illness.  Weak immune responses are what cause disease and illness.  Our bodies have a diverse mix of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that work in harmony WITH OUR BODY.  They are there to help us function and heal.   

You see, our bodies are designed to heal from the inside out and it happens because the nervous system is in control telling each and every part how and when.  We have natural responses when this system gets out of balance which is what we call getting sick.  Getting sick is actually just our body's natural mechanism to bring balance and health.  

Our jobs should be to figure out what is causing the body to get out of balance so much that it needs to get sick.  YOU SHOULD NOT BE GETTING SICK EVERY YEAR! 

Here is what I recommend if you are one of those people who gets sick every year:

  1. Remove Nerve Interference - Subluxations, minor spinal misalignments, interfere with nerves disrupting brain and body communication.  This is the first place to start when looking to bring balance and health.
  2. Rest - The body heals when you sleep so get as much sleep as possible.
  3. Drink Fluids - With the increase in body temperature the body burns a lot of water and we get dehydrated.  If vomiting is involved take small sips of water and an electrolyte drink that has sugar.  This will help.
  4. Don't Eat - Food can be a stressor on the body when we are sick.  Let the body do its thing to heal and then refuel with fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
  5. Decrease Sugar - Change your diet so that you can reduce stress on the body 

You are designed to work in harmony with the earth.  If you are less than healthy, have to take medications regularly, don't feel good, don't have energy, or have been diagnosed with a disease you should seek the help of a Principled Chiropractor.  

We understand that the body is designed to heal itself and can help you get your LIFE back.

Want more Information?  Check out these studies:

Flu Vaccine May Have Little or No Effect

Flu Vaccine Has NO Benefit

Chiropractic is Safe.  Chiropractic is Effective.  

Live Blessed!

Dr. Aaron Wahl | Principled Chiropractor