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What Should I Do About My Pain?

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Chiropractic Care and Neck and Back Pain

Your chiropractor is your primary resource for evaluation and treatment of neck pain and low back pain. The majority of these spinal complaints are caused by irritation and inflammation of muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help create the structure of the spinal column and provide for full mobility of the spinal vertebras. By locating regions of your spine where mobility is decreased, your chiropractor identifies areas in need of treatment. By restoring mobility to spinal segments, chiropractic care helps remove the source of neck pain and back pain.

An additional benefit of chiropractic care is the removal of nerve interference. Irritation and inflammation of spinal soft tissues negatively affects the normal function of spinal nerves. The ability of these important neural pathways to transmit information from your brain to the rest of your body is compromised. The result may be a wide range of health problems. By addressing the root of many of these problems at the source, chiropractic care helps contribute to your overall health and well-being.

No one really wants to be a worrier. We certainly don't want to visit our chiropractor or family doctor for every ache and pain. But eventually we all experience physical problems and it may be difficult to know what to do about them. Some problems are immediate and serious. If you suddenly experience crushing chest pain and radiating pain down your left arm, possibly with nausea, profuse perspiration, and a feeling of impending doom, you know you have to call "911" immediately, if you can. If you awaken in the middle of the night with an intense, deep, sharp pain in your lower right abdomen, accompanied by vomiting and a fever, you know you need to go to the Emergency Room right away. In these exceptional cases, however, most people know which steps to take. What should you do when your pain is not clear-cut and dramatic, as it is in a heart attack or acute appendicitis? General guidelines are available which may be applicable in many situations.

Overall, pain is a warning signal. But many problems that cause pain take care of themselves. For example, you may twist an ankle on your daily walk. It may hurt to put weight on that ankle and there may even be a bit of swelling, but within two days your ankle is much better. There was initial pain owing to soft tissue injury, possibly involving muscles, tendons, and/or ligaments. However, the injury wasn't so severe that your body's ability to self-heal couldn't manage the situation. In the case of a greater degree of initial pain and more swelling, or if improvement wasn't being obtained within 48 hours, a visit to your chiropractor would be appropriate. In borderline situations involving musculoskeletal pain, whether you choose to seek professional advice depends on your intuition and level of pain tolerance. If you think something is "wrong", regardless of the nature of the injury or the intensity of your pain, you should seek professional assistance.

With some categories of physical problems, making the time to visit your chiropractor is the best course of action.1,2 A single occurrence of low back pain or neck pain could be ignored, especially if the problem goes away in a few days. But repetitive episodes of spinal pain should always be evaluated by your chiropractor. A severe headache should probably lead to a chiropractic examination, especially if you've never before had the type of pain and the intensity of pain that you're currently experiencing. Persistent radiating pain into an arm or leg, accompanied by numbness and tingling, should be evaluated by your chiropractor. Again, if discomfort persists and you can't clearly explain to yourself why you're having the pain that you're having, the best thing to do is to make an appointment to see your doctor, that is, your chiropractor or your family physician. You want to obtain expert information and advice, and you want to receive treatment if needed and instructions on how to care for yourself in the days, weeks, and months ahead.3

Comfort level is a valuable criterion with respect to your overall health and well-being. After considering the general guidelines, people should take the appropriate action that they believe will best serve their welfare.

1Smart KM: Mechanisms-based classifications of musculoskeletal pain. Part 1. Symptoms and signs of central sensitisation in patients with low back (plus/minus leg) pain. Man Ther 17(4):336-344, 2012
2Thornton GM, Hart DA: The interface of mechanical loading and biological variables as they pertain to the development of tendinosis. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact 11(2):94-105, 2011
3McCarberg BH, et al: Diagnosis and treatment of low-back pain because of paraspinous muscle spasm: a physician roundtable. Pain Med 12(Suppl 4):S119-S127, 2011

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Testimonial

I was referred to Heartwood Holistic by some friends. Their exact words were, "Dr. Drew is amazing! And Debbie at the front desk is wonderful!" They were right! At most doctor's offices you go in for the initial visit and fill out pages of paper work only to be asked those questions again once you get seen by the physician. Not so here. Dr. Drew zeroed in on what was ailing me and presented a plan of action by the end of my first visit. I've been a regular and don't plan on changing up anytime soon. I look forward to my visits there 1.) for the relief 2.) the staff. Everyone is so friendly and they actually care about your wellness. Alexis is a special treat! She is very committed to her craft and just a wonderful person. Ask her for the Moxa and just relax on her amethyst heating pad. Dreamy!! You can't go wrong here. Looking forward to my Rolfing session with Aaron. Thank you, HHH family!

Ashley D,  August 2017


I am so thrilled to have come across this little gem of a place! I had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful couple this past week and was able to get in to the clinic for a chiropractic adjustment. I currently live about an hour away from the wellness center, but I'll be making the drive just to see them for my health needs. Dr. Drew was so attentive and thorough. He really listened to me and we discussed what I was accustomed to as far as treatment goes. He takes careful time with each client and truly cares about your health. After 15 years of visiting many different chiropractic doctors, I can quickly get a read on the type of care I'll receive. I immediately felt at ease and confident with him. I was able to chat with his lovely wife, Alexis, as well and am anxious to set up an appointment with her. This is no ordinary wellness center. They offer so many options for treating a vast amount of health challenges. They see and treat the body as a whole, which is the only way to find true health.

Kari P, February 2017

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