What to look for in an MRI

The most critical element of an MRI scanner which will directly impact the quality of the image produced is the type of scanner. The imaging technology known as ‘high field’ is designed to discern even the smallest of anomalies in much greater detail than ‘low field’ tech.

MRI machines which have a magnetic field of 1.5 Tesla or greater will return the most detailed images. While this is not too much of an issue when used to diagnose soft tissue damage, for example before chiropractic diagnosis and treatment, it is certainly a great help in making a swift diagnosis.

Certain chiropractic clinics prefer an MRI scan over an x-ray for assessing soft-tissue injuries and damage. Knowing the type of MRI scan you will be subject to and what you should be tested for are the two main considerations in choosing the right MRI facility for you.

Knowing what to look for

In easy to understand terms, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI scan as it is more commonly referred, uses targeted magnetic fields to create a 3D image of the body. Unlike an X-ray which bombards your body with radiation which over time can cause other health issues, an MRI scan is benign.

Another benefit of MRI scans over X-ray scans is that it can reveal in much clearer detail soft tissues damage or other internal issues which an X-ray would not. A chiropractor, armed with years of training and experience will typically be able to diagnose a musculoskeletal injury and quickly treat accordingly with targeted manipulation of key areas of the skeletal frame.

However, with 3D images of the damaged area at his or her disposal as a result of the MRI scans, he or she will be able to treat the issues much more effectively. Such scans can also be used to assess shoulder, knees and other joint and muscle problems in the body, which enables much more rapid diagnosis and of course successful treatment.

Is the right hardware in use?

Depending on what part of the body requires a scan, the scanner should have a dedicated coil for suitable imaging. Different coils are required for scans of the brain or the abdomen for example. The coil is a piece of hardware which is deployed to pick up the signal of the scan.

Dedicated coils are essential for more accurate imaging and subsequent clearer and more accurate diagnosis. If an all-purpose coil is used in the place of a coil dedicated to the body part, then there will be a negative impact on available diagnostic accuracy to be made from the scan.

Putting health first

It doesn’t hurt to ask questions about the scan you are about to be subject to. Health care should not be a gamble; be sure to ask about and talk about the scan, what it involves and how it will help in more successful treatment of your condition or injury.

Remember, it is all about the quality of the treatment you receive – not the cost. The answers you receive to the questions you pose about treatment are all part of the service you should expect from your chiropractic and healthcare professionals.

How to choose a Chiropractor

Chiropractic was first practiced by Daniel David Palmer of Iowa, USA, in 1895. Chiropractic is classed as holistic medicine; holistic treatments in the main preclude the use of manmade medications or invasive surgery. There are many instances where doctors recommend surgery when in fact the problem can easily be solved through a more natural treatment such as chiropractic.

Modern drugs merely mask the pain; the underlying condition and cause of pain remains. Surgeries might also not be the answer. There have been instances where procedures carried out in the past that were supposed to have eradicated the problem, only for the condition to return, often more intense than before the surgery was carried out.

Therefore, the approach of chiropractic is different. Whether you have spine, joint or muscle issues, you will benefit from chiropractic treatment. However, as with any medical or physical condition, the key is on how to choose a chiropractor who will be the perfect fit for you.

Read reviews

Check reviews made by people who have had chiropractic treatment. Typical reviews will mention the ease of the treatment, the almost instant relief from the pain they had been suffering and of course the skill of the chiropractor.

If you are like most people reading reviews, you’ll want to do a little more research before taking to the treatment table. Read as many reviews as you can; not just about one particular practitioner but several. However, just remember that should only be one element of your research.

Specific experience

Just like medical doctors, some chiropractors specialize in certain areas. Some are more focused on spine health issues. Others have more experiences in dealing with muscle and joint pains. Whether you are suffering from back or neck pain, you need someone who can understand your case and provide you with the right help. Ask these questions to get the answers you need.

Check the techniques used

Chiropractic is not the same for everyone. There are different techniques used to achieve optimal recovery. You might have specific treatments in mind since you may have researched chiropractic treatments which are available and how chiropractic might affect your particular injury or condition. These are things which you can raise during the initial consultation.

Make an appointment for a consultation

This is also your chance to check if the chiropractor is someone you can ‘get on’ with. It may seem trivial considering the chiropractor will have your best physical health as his or her major concern. However, in much the same way you might choose a dentist for their caring approach if you have a fear of dentists, first impressions always count.

Finally

At the end of the day, you will have to make a judgment call as to which chiropractor you choose is right for you. We hope the few tips provided will help you on your way to making a more informed choice.

How Chiropractic Neck Adjustment Helps Relieve Pain

In recent years there has been a marked increase in holistic health treatments. Embracing alternative treatment methods rather than relying on traditional medication is on trend. Chiropractic treatment, for example, has been proven as an effective therapeutic treatment for back pain and neck pain without the need for prescribed pain relief, anti-inflammatory drugs or other prescribed medication.

While many people, all of whom have been and continue to be successfully treated will readily attest to the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment, there is still ongoing debate regarding the safety of such treatment.

Neck adjustments, for example, have had some controversial feedback and bad press from people claiming that the procedure can cause a stroke. However, research carried out and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, for example, has proven that the incidence of stroke attributed to neck adjustment is 1 in 5.85 million neck adjustment procedures.
Chiropractic procedure safety has been proven through extensive research. In fact, should there be more injuries and incidents related to chiropractic treatment, reams of independent medical research would have uncovered those risks and effects if they existed.

Understanding the risk

Neck adjustment or cervical manipulation has been attributed to a specific type of stroke called vertebral artery dissection. But this type of injury is more likely to occur through everyday activities such as sudden turning of the head, driving, swimming or over-physical exertion. Research has also documented that there are more risks involved with using anti-inflammatory drugs to treat back pain and neck pain, than undergoing a natural treatment such as a chiropractic neck adjustment.

Further research also concluded that the arteries found in the neck do not suffer more strain through chiropractic manipulation than any regular activity would. A chiropractic neck adjustment will in sporadic instances, involve the rotation and extension of the neck to more than a 45-degree rotation. Everyday activities of a person also require this same degree of movement far more frequently.

What is a neck adjustment?

A neck adjustment refers to the application of manipulation to the vertebrae that have been found to be functioning abnormally. The primary objective of this procedure is to help increase the person’s range of motion, reduce irritability in the nerves as well as improve overall bodily functions.

Often, when the neck and head are ‘out of position’ it can cause ‘referred pain’ – that is to say, pain which is felt in another area or part of the body other than its actual source. So, that lower back pain or the tingling in your arm, for example, may be as a result of your neck and shoulders being ‘out of true’.

What causes neck pain?

Since neck pain is one of the common reasons why a visit to a chiropractor becomes necessary, it is essential to understand the primary cause of neck pain. Neck pain is often caused by irritated or swollen joints. When this happens, the swollen joint stops moving normally. As a result, the adjacent muscles surrounding the joint area tense up to provide reinforcement resulting in limited movement. Not only do you have inflamed joints, but you have tense muscles too.

A neck adjustment helps alleviate this condition by setting the joint back in its proper position. A chiropractor pops the neck so that the joint starts to move freely and the muscles are no longer tense and stiff. In some cases, a chiropractor may also use other treatment methods to alleviate muscle tension and pain.

Another interesting fact about referred pain is migraines. If you suffer from headaches or migraines, it may be a symptom of an injury or issue with your neck and shoulders with which you may be unaware.

Other benefits of neck adjustment

Visiting a chiropractor on a regular basis helps with several conditions. Aside from treating neck pain, a chiropractor that focuses on back pain can also customise a treatment plan to help resolve several conditions related to the spiral area such as bad posture.

Intense neck and back pain can be a debilitating condition. It is more common than one would think, especially for young professionals who spend most of their hours sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen. Considering a natural treatment such as chiropractic can provide long-term treatment for such concerns.

What to expect when you visit a chiropractor

When you visit a chiropractor, a full assessment of your condition will be conducted. Several treatment plans and techniques can be applied to achieve positive results. In some instances, chiropractic treatment can be combined with other natural pain treatments such as acupuncture.

If you have come to seek treatment for a recurring condition, a different method may be used in addition to the treatment used in the past. You can also expect counselling concerning what you need to do after the procedure is completed. For example, you may be asked to apply a hot or cold pack on the treatment area or take up specific physical exercise to maintain your physical health.

Neck pain and back pain are not always considered to be severe conditions. Many people who endure these without treatment experience limited mobility and stress. Natural treatments like neck adjustment are highly safe and controlled. There is no reason for anyone to fear or be concerned about its safety.

As a practical and natural treatment to manage pain and improve overall health, visiting a chiropractor is an excellent approach to holistic health, without the inherent dangers of modern anti-inflammatory medication and pain killing drugs.