A recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the benefits of chiropractic for the treatment of low back pain. Patients who received standard medical care and chiropractic care had greater improvement in pain and disability than patients receiving medical care alone. Article can be found here.
We see many patients who need help with upper back and neck pain at our office. Often it is the result of frequent use of smart phones and sitting at the computer in a forward flexed posture. This forward flexed or slouched position creates stress on the muscles of the neck. Eventually the muscles and joints of the upper back and neck become fatigued and painful. Try the “Brugger relief position” to reduce neck and upper back pain. When you do this stretch, you strengthen muscles, improve circulation, and reduce joint pain. We recommend doing one set of ten repetitions 4-6 times per day.
Have a look at this video to see how to properly perform the “Brugger relief position.” It is an effective technique that provides help for upper back pain. We have shown many patients this exercise and most of them return to our office telling us that this exercise helps to reduce their upper back and neck pain.
You can find more information about back exercises at our back exercise page.
If you need help with upper back or neck pain give our office a call and start feeling better tomorrow. 252 355-5353
Dr. McGee is the team chiropractor for ECU Pirate Athletics.
An increasing number of research studies endorse chiropractic for the treatment of low back pain. In May 2018 the Journal of the American Medical Association (1) published an article that showed the effectiveness of chiropractic when used with medical care among active duty military personnel. The authors concluded: “patients who received usual medical care plus chiropractic care reported a statistically significant moderate improvement in low back pain intensity and disability at 6 weeks compared with those who received usual care alone.” The study compared military personnel treated for low back pain at three different military facilities. The subjects received either usual medical care or usual medical care plus chiropractic treatment for six weeks. They found that participants who received both usual medical care and chiropractic had significant improvement in pain and disability compared to those who got medical care alone.
The findings of that study were similar to research done by the AMA. In April 2017, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that showed favorable outcomes for the treatment of low back pain with chiropractic. The authors concluded: “Among patients with acute low back pain, spinal manipulative therapy was associated with improvements in pain and function with only transient minor musculoskeletal harms.” (2) The study was a review of 26 randomized controlled trials that evaluated the safety and effectiveness of spinal manipulation for the treatment of low back pain.
As an effective non-drug, nonsurgical treatment approach, chiropractic should be considered first as a “first line” treatment option for patients with uncomplicated low back pain. We have provided chiropractic treatment for low back pain and related problems to patients for over 30 years. If you are suffering with low back pain, give our office a call today and let us help you start feeling better tomorrow.
- Goertz CM, Long CR, Vining RD, Pohlman KA, Walter J, Coulter I. Effect of Usual Medical Care Plus Chiropractic Care vs Usual Medical Care Alone on Pain and Disability Among US Service Members With Low Back Pain: A Comparative Effectiveness Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(1):e180105.
- Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, McLean RM, et al, for the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166:514–530.
Dr. McGee is the chiropractic consultant for the Division of Sports Medicine at East Carolina University.
Here is a safe and simple way to strengthen your low back. Called the side bridge or side plank, it a safe exercise because it is non weight bearing on the spine and it is a “spine neutral” position.
For over twenty-five years, we have been a provider for the North Carolina State Health Plan. We will continue to be an “in network” provider for your BCBS North Carolina State Health Plan for 2020 and beyond. As always, we will file your claim for you and only collect your co-pay amount. Let your coworkers know that, if they need chiropractic care, we are accepting new patients. There is no primary care referral necessary. Click here for a list of additional health insurance health plans for which we are a provider.
Our office has been rated as a “Center of Excellence” by Health Network Solutions. That’s because we have met strict standards of performance and efficiency regarding patient care.
The Cat-Camel (in yoga it’s called the cat-cow) is an exercise we teach frequently at our office. Have a look at his video and try this exercise. I think you will find it helpful for relieving back discomfort. For more information checkout our exercise page. We will offer more videos explaining other back exercises in the weeks to come.
Fourth of July Facts
- The 4th of July celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but most of the signers did not sign the document until August 2, 1776.
- Massachusetts was the first state to make Independence Day a holiday in 1871. The 4th of July became a federal holiday in 1938.
- There are more than 14,000 fireworks displays around the country on the 4th of July.
- Americans eat about 150 million hot dogs on the 4th of July
New research shows Parkinson’s Disease may start in the gut
Chicken and red meat increase cholesterol
Dietary supplements for “brain health” are a waste of money
State of North Carolina Employees
Many of our patients are surprised to learn that sit ups can be bad for the low back. Sit ups and crunches are a common exercise done to strengthen the abdominal muscles, but researchers tell us that sit ups can damage the lumbar discs and they can even strengthen the wrong muscles.
During a sit up, the lumbar spine bends forward. This forward bending causes increased compression on the lumbar discs. The typical sit up creates about 700 pounds of compressive force on the intervertebral disc. Doing sit ups repetitively, over time can damage the lumbar discs. Over time, the disc begins to “wear out” and this can lead to disc bulging or herniation.
Another way sit ups may harm the low back is that they tend to work on a large group of muscles called the iliopsoas. The iliopsoas muscle has attachments at the front of the low back and at the hips. Making this muscle too strong or too tight can contribute to low back pain. Additionally, sit ups tend to work the middle abdominal muscles in isolation. Proper core exercises should train all of the regional muscles at the same time. Isolating two or three muscles does not improve the functional strength or endurance needed for physical activities.
Plank exercises are a much better way to strengthen the abdominal muscles. There are many types of plank exercises and most of them are designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles in the front and on the side of the trunk. Performing a plank while propped up on the forearms and toes strengthens the front abdominal muscles. Side planks strengthen the oblique abdominal muscles. The obvious advantage to doing plank-type exercises is that it places much less pressure on the spinal joints because the spine is in a neutral position. The abdominal muscles can be trained to very high levels with plank exercises. Here is an excellent video made by professor Stuart McGill that explains how to correctly perform some back exercises.
Have questions about your back or neck problem? We have helped many people over the past 30 years improve spine related problems. Call our office today and start feeling better tomorrow. Or click here to request an appointment.
Spring and summer means more time outside. If you are like many of our patients, you enjoy getting out in the yard digging and planting in the garden. Here are some safe back gardening tips to help you safely navigate the planting and growing season.
Get In Gardening Shape
Gardening is a physically demanding activity. One of the worst things a person can do is embark on a weekend of gardening after being inactive all winter! Getting in shape before the gardening season will help to keep your back safe from injury. It’s a good idea to exercise at least a little bit prior to the busy outdoor season. Simple exercise like walking or some light weight training will help prepare your muscles for the upcoming tasks. Be sure to warm up and stretch before going out. A simple back stretch is to lie on your back and gently bring one or both knees to the chest.
Be Careful How You Lift and Bend
This is a big one. Improper and strenuous lifting can create a lot of back pain problems. The mechanics of forward bending places a lot of stress and strain on the muscles and ligaments of the low back. A safe way to bend forward is to “hinge” from the hip, avoiding too much bending at the waist. “Hinging” at the hip helps to reduce the amount of stress on the joints and muscles of the lower spine. This is a technique that we teach our patients frequently.
Working on hands and knees can greatly reduce the amount of bending required for many tasks. A good set of knee pads will enable you to work more comfortably at ground level when necessary.
Another one of our safe gardening tips is to take frequent breaks. Going too fast for too long can lead to injuries of the back and shoulder. Break up your tasks into doable segments. I recently had a patient in the office with a very sore low back. He explained that he had been clearing brush and using a chainsaw during the weekend. He admitted that he had worked nearly nonstop without a break and realized that if he had taken a couple of breaks during the day he might not have developed severe back pain. Take regular rest breaks and remember to drink plenty of fluids.
Use the Right Equipment
Garden tools with longer handles allow you to stand more upright when hoeing, raking or sweeping. Avoiding a flexed or forward bent posture will put less stress on the low back. A continuous forward bent position leads to fatigue and pain in the muscles of the low back. Wear proper fitting gloves to protect your hands and wear long sleeves when possible to limit sun exposure.
Try these safe back gardening tips this season. If you find that you you need a little help with a neck, low back or shoulder problem, feel free to give our office a call or request an appointment here.
The answer to that question really begins in 1972 when I was in high school in Iowa. I had hurt my back (upper back and neck actually) while wrestling. The pain would not subside no matter what I did to help it. I tried ice, heat, stretching and even had my brother try to massage it. Nothing could relieve the pain and, as a result, I was unable to participate in wrestling practice. I needed help. A friend of our family suggested that I try a chiropractor. They recommended their chiropractor, Dr. O.W. Murphy.
Dr. Murphy was a kind and experienced gentleman who had been in practice for well over forty years at the time. He had also taught at Palmer College of Chiropractic for several years while maintaining his practice. He examined me and then treated me for a couple of visits and to my pleasant surprise, I began to feel better. It wasn’t long before I was back at wrestling practice, able to participate just like I could before the injury. That event made quite an impression on me, and it wasn’t long before I decided to make chiropractic my career.
After graduation from Palmer College of Chiropractic, I started teaching at Palmer. During that time I stayed in touch with some classmates who settled in the Triangle area. In 1992, they made me aware of an opportunity to practice as a chiropractor in Greenville, NC. The following year I acquired a chiropractic practice from Dr. Stan Walter who had been in practice for over 40 years in Greenville.
It has been over twenty-five years since our arrival in Greenville, and I often look back with much fondness and gratitude to the events that brought us to this area. We look forward to many more years of providing chiropractic care to the people of eastern North Carolina.