I Want Chiropractic Care, But Don't Want My Neck Manipulated, Adjusted, or Cracked
If you come in to my clinic and do not want your neck adjusted - I WILL NOT ADJUST YOUR NECK! If you used to get your neck adjusted and decide you no longer want to, I will not adjust your neck. Beyond that, I will never trick you. It is a simple understanding between me and someone who does not want their neck "cracked", and I will not betray that trust.
What Does Science Say On The Safety Of Chiropractic Adjustments?
Like every treatment option from every different type of health practitioner there are risks and benefits of different treatments. Hollywood and the media have created fear around spinal manipulation of the neck. This does not match up with what science and research has yielded. Serious adverse events following manipulation is estimated to be 1 in 2 million manipulations, which is considered rare. Furthermore, research into stroke following adjustments has yielded correlation as opposed to causation. This correlation is similar (higher actually) for individuals who have had a stroke following a visit to their medical doctor. It is believed that individuals may have neck and head symptoms before the stroke and seek care from a chiropractor or medical doctor. Science has not stopped and there are more and more studies highlighting the rarity of serious adverse effects related to chiropractic care. Authors from a 2016 study stated:
"We found no evidence for a causal link between chiropractic care and CAD (cervical arterial dissection). This is a significant finding because belief in a causal link is not uncommon, and such a belief may have significant adverse effects such as numerous episodes of litigation."
I Have Neck Pain, What Should I Expect?
When you come in for your first visit of neck or head pain (or have a new complaint of neck or head pain), we will do an in depth examination that explores the possible causes of your pain. Included in this is a neurological exam and ruling out red flags that indicate medical management as preferable. If your pain and discomfort is linked to your nerves, muscles, and/or joints we will move forward with options for treatment.
Neck and head pain that is from a neuromusculoskeletal condition can benefit greatly from chiropractic care, medical acupuncture, and rehabilitation exercises. Chiropractic care can include spinal manipulation (or adjustments). While research is positive for safety, you may still not want to have your neck adjusted. It is also possible due to underlying conditions or other factors that we postpone the inclusion of spinal manipulation or forego it altogether.
I Want Chiropractic Care Without Neck Manipulation, What Are My Options?
What is really exciting is that there are other alternatives within chiropractic for treatment. Over the years, studies have been done that assess the effect of adjusting the upper back on neck pain. A recent study in 2019 found improvements in neck pain, disability, and mobility for individuals with cervical radiculopathy who received adjustments of their upper back. Another study looked at individuals with acute neck pain who experienced improvement in neck pain, disability, and mobility that persisted beyond the one-month follow up after receiving spinal manipulation of the upper back.
In addition to the positive effects on neck pain when adjusting the upper back, there are other chiropractic treatment options without neck manipulation. Mobilizations are similar to adjustments as they are used to restore joint mobility and decrease pain. They do not include the high speed thrust component that is integral to an adjustment. Soft tissue therapy of the muscles at and connected to the neck can impact pain and dysfunction.
Rehabilitation exercises and stretches are integral to pain and dysfunction stemming from muscles, joints, and nerves. Finally, medical acupuncture and electroacupuncture are great options for relieving pain.
Dr. Judith McCann at Haptic Health and Chiropractic in Sharon East Gwillimbury offers multiple avenues of chiropractic care for neck pain. If you don't want your neck manipulated, there is no pressure to do so and there are many other options to help relieve pain and improve mobility and dysfunction. In addition to neck pain, we treat headaches, migraines, low back pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, foot pain, and jaw dysfunction. Call us today to book your first appointment or use our online booking system.
Swait G, Finch R. What are the risks of manual treatment of the spine? A scoping review for clinicians. Chiropr Man Therap. 2017;25:37. doi: 10.1186/s12998-017-0168-5. eCollection 2017. Review. PubMed PMID: 29234493; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5719861.
Cassidy JD, Boyle E, Côté P, He Y, Hogg-Johnson S, Silver FL, Bondy SJ. Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Feb 15;33(4 Suppl):S176-83. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181644600. PubMed PMID: 18204390.
Church EW, Sieg EP, Zalatimo O, Hussain NS, Glantz M, Harbaugh RE. Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: No Evidence for Causation. Cureus. 2016 Feb 16;8(2):e498. doi: 10.7759/cureus.498. PubMed PMID: 27014532; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4794386.
Young IA, Pozzi F, Dunning J, Linkonis R, Michener LA. Immediate and Short-term Effects of Thoracic Spine Manipulation in Patients With Cervical Radiculopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2019 May;49(5):299-309. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2019.8150. Epub 2019 Apr 25. PubMed PMID: 31021691.
Photo Of Woman In Forest by Jacob Morrison on Unsplash
I came across this post on Facebook (credit @WeirdPeopleRock) and thought about the changes in conditions I see as age increases in patients. It is true that a lot of injuries for teenagers and even young adults are due to physical activities. These injuries tend to resolve more quickly because of numerous factors including the injuries themselves being acute as opposed to chronic or overuse, the condition of the individual, the daily requirements of the individual, and the drive for more physical activity. Adults tend to have jobs and responsibilities (daily requirements) that are sedentary which results in physical detraining, which makes one more likely to become injured. Because of the sedentary activity and physical detraining, the the body is less capable of dealing with the injury. The injury causes many to avoid physical activity and stick with sedentary activity... creating a negative cycle.
It is always advisable to seek professional care for injuries. One of the reasons for this is because you want to break that negative cycle but do it safely. One of the comments under the facebook post was how come no one told me I could get hurt from sitting? Let me be clear, you can get hurt from sitting! This is called a musculoskeletal disorder which includes repetitive strain injuries, cumulative trauma disorder, occupational overuse syndrome, sprains, strains, and musculoskeletal injuries. Remember, exerting a force (even at very low levels) for a sustained period without a break can lead to pain, discomfort, and injured tissues. This is where the adult injuries in the facebook image stem from. The hashtags that I use #GetMoving and #ExerciseIsMedicine are true but the focus needs to be on the correct exercises, movements, and activities to help you muscles, joints, discs, and ligaments heal. The secondary focus is to shift away from sedentary activity and the physical detraining that results so that your body can better handle the forces it has to sustain during those daily requirements.
If you are experiencing low back pain, neck pain, nerve impingement, shoulder pain, foot pain, or any other muscle, ligament, or joint pain, I recommend you seek the services of a health professional near you to help recover from and prevent further injuries. At Haptic Health and Chiropractic we offer manual therapy, exercise therapy, acupuncture, and custom orthotics for overuse conditions such as these. If you have any questions of how we can help, give Dr. Judith McCann a call at 905-235-6777.
Ready to book your first appointment? You can call, email, or view our availability online:
World Spine Day
On October 16th we celebrated our spines! The goal behind World Spine Day is to raise awareness about spinal health and spinal conditions.
Did you know back pain affects 632 045 million people worldwide and neck pain affects 332 049 million people worldwide?! (Lancet, Global Burden of Disease, 2012).
Take the opportunity to give your spine a movement break each day and don't hesitate to make an appointment for manual care, exercises, and education.
Back Pain - The Basics
There are many potential pain contributors within your back. This can include the joints between the vertebrae in your spine, the capsule that surrounds each joint, ligaments, tendons, muscles, the discs that are between the vertebrae in your spine, and even nerves can become irritated or compressed to give symptoms.
Services for Back Pain:
🎃 Happy Halloween 🎃
Cochrane reviews organize research findings to help simplify and point to evidence based options for treatments and interventions for different conditions. The most recent Cochrane review for the prevention of tension-type headaches focused on acupuncture.
The review included 12 trials which totaled to 2349 participants. The important thing to note is that the review looked at prevention of future tension-type headaches (a decrease in headache frequency).
Acupuncture vs Routine Care
When acupuncture was compared to routine care, the proportion of patients who experienced at least 50% reduction in headache frequency was significantly higher in the group receiving acupuncture.
Tension-type headaches are the most common primary headache disorder with a global prevalence of up to 1.68 million. According to one study, up to 78% of the population have experienced or will experience a tension-type headache in their lifetime (lifetime prevalence).
Tension-type headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 days, are typically located on both sides of the head/neck, mild to moderate intensity, and have a pressing or tightening pain quality (non-pulsating). Additionally the pain does not become worse with routine activities (eg. walking up the stairs). While this headache is not associated with nausea or vomiting, it can be associated with photophobia or phonophobia.
It is possible for migraine and tension type headache symptoms to overlap or to have two concurrent headaches. If this is the case, you may be provided with a probable or mixed type headache diagnosis.
Migraines have huge negative effects on our quality of life. They typically last anywhere from 4-72 hours and may have a combination of the following characteristics: unilateral, throbbing or pulsating quality, moderate-severe pain intensity, and/or aggravation by movement (eg. climbing stairs). The headache is accompanied by at least one of the following symptoms: 1) nausea and/or vomiting and/or 2) photophobia and/or phonophobia (light or sound may be aggravating).
Migraines can present with or without aura. Migraines with aura will have unilateral fully-reversible visual, sensory, or other central nervous system symptoms that develop gradually. This is typically followed by the headache and associated symptoms. Over 90% of individuals who experience this type of migraine will experience a visual aura.
Manual therapy is one of the non-pharmacological treatments migraine sufferers can find relief with. This can range from soft tissue therapy (trigger point therapy, myofascial release), joint mobilization/manipulation, posture relief exercises and education, exercises and rehabilitation, and acupuncture.
Headaches are horrible. Whether you suffer from headaches on a chronic or infrequent basis they can be debilitating and prevent you from enjoying your normal activities. Despite this, many individuals “live” with it.
As a healthcare professional I find it astounding how far we’ve come with diagnosing headaches - there are a ridiculous number of subtypes of headaches (212 if I counted correctly) within the main headache groups (14 classifications). This article with briefly discuss the more common headaches that an individual will present with at Haptic Health and Chiropractic. Check back for articles on each of the headache types.
The most typical types of migraines include migraines without aura, migraines with aura, and chronic migraines. The most recent Global Burden of Disease Study found migraines to be the 7th leading cause of disability worldwide.
According to the International Headache Society, at any given point in time anywhere from 30-78% of the general population will have a tension-type headache (1) - this creates a huge socioeconomic burden on our society. The most common subtypes include infrequent episodic, frequent episodic, and chronic tension type headaches.
Dr. Judith McCann has been living in York Region for over 15 years. After going to Queen's University in Kingston for Kinesiology, and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto to become a chiropractor, she decided to move back and open Haptic Health and Chiropractic in Newmarket. In February 2017, Haptic Health and Chiropractic moved 10 minutes up the road to Sharon in East Gwillimbury.