Pain is radiating down my arms/legs


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Radiculopathy is characterized by motor and/or sensory changes in the neck and arms or the legs and feet, which results from extrinsic pressure on the nerve root. This pressure is typically caused by disc material, swelling, or osteophytes. A large study in Rochester, Minnesota, has reported the annual incidence of cervical radicular symptoms to be 83.2 per 100,000 population, and its prevalence most significant within a 50- to 54-year age group. In the study, 90 percent of patients were asymptomatic or only mildly incapacitated. Surgery is not often required for resolution of cervical radiculopathy symptoms.


Radicular pain, the characteristic symptom of cervical radiculopathy, is often confused with radiating pain in clinical practice. Because specific treatments are exclusively indicated for radicular pain, an accurate distinction is important. True radicular pain follows dermatomal patterns and is usually — though not always — unilateral. Onset is often insidious but may also be abrupt, and the pain is frequently aggravated by arm position and extension or lateral rotation of the head.

There are three primary types of pain:

  1. Local Pain is caused by irritation to the structures in the back including bone, muscles, ligaments and joints. The pain is usually steady, sharp or dull, felt in the effected area of the spine and may change with changes in position or activity.

  2. Referred Pain can be pain caused by non-spinal pathology that is referred to the back, such as an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Referred pain can also be pain originating in the spine that is felt in distant structures. For instance upper lumbar pain is frequently felt in the upper thighs, and lower lumbar pain is felt in the lower buttocks. Sacroiliac joint pain is often referred to the inguinal and antero-lateral thigh area. Referred pain rarely extends below the knees, where as nerve root pain can be felt in the calf or foot.

  3. Radicular Pain is caused by irritation of the nerve roots (radix) and is usually more severe than referred pain, and may have a more distal radiation. Radicular pain usually circumscribes the territory of innervation of the given nerve root (in a dermatomal distribution). This type of pain is often deep and steady, and can usually be reproduced with certain activities and positions, such as sitting or walking.  In addition, radicular pain is frequently exacerbated by any maneuver that raises the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid (or the interabdominal pressure), such as valsalva, sneezing, or cough.

Radicular Pain Distribution

Radicular pain radiates into the extremity (thigh, calf, and occasionally the foot or to the arm, forearm or hand) directly along the course of a specific spinal nerve root. The most common symptom of radicular pain is sciatica (pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve – down the back of the thigh and calf into the foot) and arm pain and paresthesia of the hand. Sciatica is one of the most common forms of pain caused by compression of a spinal nerve in the low back. It may result from compression of the lower spinal nerve roots (L5 and S1). With this condition, the leg pain is typically much worse than the low back pain, and the specific areas of the leg and/or foot that are affected depends on which nerve in the low back is affected. Compression of higher lumbar nerve roots such as L2, L3 and L4 can cause radicular pain into the front of the thigh and the shin.

Radiculopathy is pain running down either your arms or legs.


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The difference between the chiropractic and the medical approaches to health care is never more clear than with the treatment of radiculopathy.

The medical approach entails their version of “conservative” treatment, including pain medications, prolonged spinal injections, or perhaps a prescription for physical therapy. Then, if their conservative treatment does not alleviate the pain, decompressive surgery, such as laminectomy and/or discectomy/microdiscectomy, may be recommended.

Chiropractors aptly describe radiculopathy as “nerve root irritation”, and the chiropractic approach for resolution is straightforward. If you have a rock in your shoe, and your foot hurts… do you need physical therapy, medications, or spinal injections? NO!!! You need your doctor (who is supposed to be the Sherlock Holmes of illness) to determine the CAUSE of the nerve root irritation (the rock), and to remove that obstacle from your path, so you can return to health.

Review the rest of this page to explore the real differences between these 2 approaches to health care, and the difference in their success rates. The conclusions will surprise you!

Learning and behavioral problems and how Chiropractic could help


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A documented case study published in the October 4, 2006 issue of the peer reviewed publication, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), describes the results of chiropractic care on an 8-year-old boy with many learning and behavioral disorders. Additionally, his mother reported that the boy also suffered from, severe headaches, neck pain, constant blood shot eyes, stomach pains, an inability to sit still, incoordination, behavioral problems and learning difficulties. She noted that the child’s medical doctor had no explanation for these problems.

It was noted that the majority of the boy’s problems started after a fall he had 18 months earlier. The mother also noted that her son had normal development, activity and learning skills until the accident. Finally the mother brought the boy to a chiropractor. The chiropractor performed an examination and x-rays. It was noted that there was a restriction in neck movement and tenderness over certain neck vertebrae. After review of all the findings it was determined that vertebral subluxations were present.

Care was initiated for corrections of subluxations with visits initially starting at once per week for the first two months. However, as documented in this case, positive changes started occurring quickly. After the third adjustment the boy’s mother brought in the spelling tests the child had taken. The tests prior to care showed severe problems as the child could only get two or three correct out of ten. After the second adjustment, the child scored a 100% and his tests continued to show drastic improvement. His teacher even noted that the boy was able to, “sit still and concentrate without disturbing the other children.”

The child continued to receive reports from school commenting on his academic improvement as well as his social interactivity. The authors of the case study noted that there were many possible explanations for the results seen in this case. However, they noted that other than the usage of over the counter medications reported by the mother, the young boy did not take any prescribed medication. The only change that directly correlated with the improvement in this young boy was the introduction of chiropractic care.

Baby won’t sleep


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A case study published in the July 2006 issue of the peer-reviewed, scientific publication, the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) documented the effects of chiropractic care on a nine month old infant girl with a history of disturbed sleep. The JCCP is the official publication of the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics of the International Chiropractors Association.

The study article starts off by noting that the average 9 month old should sleep approximately 14 hours per day. In this case study a nine month old infant girl was presented for chiropractic care with a history of severely disrupted sleep and fussiness. Additionally, the infant was refusing to breastfeed on one side and exhibited, what was called a generally unsettled behavior. It was also noted that the child would not turn her head to the left. These problems had been occurring since birth.

The examination confirmed a reduced range of neck motion to the left and significant muscle tension in the left and upper neck. Upon touching the neck the child exhibited signs of being in pain by crying and moving away. It was determined that subluxations were present, and an appropriate course of adjustments was initiated.

The results in this case were very impressive. The study noted that on the afternoon after the infants first adjustment the baby girl fell asleep for 5 hours. This was followed by nighttime sleep of 2 periods of 6 hours each. Over the next three weeks of care the daytime sleep got shorter, but the nighttime sleep remained between 6 and 8 hours.

In addition to the dramatic sleep improvement, the child also improved her range of neck motion and was able to turn her head to the left in response to sound on the left side. Additionally the infant began to feed freely and comfortably.

In their conclusion, the authors of the case study noted that the dramatic improvements after just one adjustment indicated that the vertebral subluxation found in this case was at least in part responsible for the disrupted sleep pattern.

Pain is Depressing


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Pain is depressing. Here is a case of a patient that went from constant pain to pain free. What is remarkable is that the less pain he was experiencing the more he initiated a better lifestyle for himself.
From the October 11, 2006 issue of the peer reviewed publication, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), comes a documented case study of a 36 year old man whose life was changed by chiropractic. In this case study, the individual was suffering from a variety of ailments including; self reported stress, eye pain and left leg pain of 14 years going down into the foot. He additionally had complains of gastritis, ulcers, nervousness, depression, lack of concentration and general loss of interest in daily life.
His lifestyle was not ideal, it was noted that the patient smokes, did not exercise, and regularly ate a sub-optimal diet. It was also noted that the patient also had a history of alcoholism with several bouts of severe binge drinking which resulted in falls. The authors of this case report noted that the initiation of chiropractic care by itself is not “sufficient intervention to allow a person to achieve total health.” But they did note that “patients under chiropractic care tend, as their subluxations reduce, to spontaneously take up lifestyle changes or health enhancing activities.”
The care rendered on this individual was specific for correction of vertebral subluxations. The patient was periodically re-evaluated for correction of subluxations and was asked to self rate his overall health and quality of life. After the 6 months period, the patient experienced a (self rated) 95% improvement in left leg pain, headaches and eye pain. He also reported an improvement in his secondary health concerns which included a decrease in stress levels, nervousness, lack of concentration, irritability and apathy, as well normalization of digestive function. After 6 months of care, the patient was physically pain-free and did not have to use medications. He reported his overall health to be improved 100% after six months of chiropractic care.
In addition to the physical changes the patient also made many positive lifestyle changes while under chiropractic care. These spontaneous changes include smoking cessation, listening to classical music, start of regular exercise, relaxation and breathing exercises, as well as better nutritional choices. The authors of the case study felt it was important to point out that the patient was never told to undertake these changes. He was, after the fact, provided resources and guidance to help him fulfill his newly discovered health interests.

Shoulder Problems?


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Shoulder pain can often bring a patient into a chiropractic practice. It is affecting almost half of us at some point.

Here is one truth to the whole matter of any pain problems. The sooner you get appropriate care the quicker the pain will go which will allow you to go back to normal activities. More importantly, the sooner you get appropriate care, the less likely you are to get a recurrent and chronic problem.

If you are unsure of the cause of your shoulder pain, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek Chiropractic help. Treatment of these conditions must be directed at the specific cause of your problem to be effective.

ISIS Chiropractic Centres Shoulder Pain Aylesbury Milton Keyne Northampton

Signs that you should seek treatment include:

  • Shoulder pain that persists beyond a few days
  • Recurring shoulder pain, even if it has a history of settling on its own
  • Inability to carry objects or use the arm
  • Injury that causes deformity of the joint
  • Shoulder pain that occurs at night or while resting
  • Inability to raise the arm
  • Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm
  • Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth or swelling

What Are The Best Treatments For Shoulder Pain?

The treatment of shoulder pain depends entirely on the cause of the problem.

Therefore, it is important for the chiropractor to accurately diagnose the problem before any treatment can start.

If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or severity of your condition, you should seek advice before beginning any self-treatment. Not all treatments listed here are appropriate for every condition, but may be helpful in your situation.

Just remember, resting and taking painkillers only, is not a treatment that is likely to help your shoulder in the long term in the absence of treating the route cause, but may well be part of what you need to do when the treatment starts.

  • Rest: The first treatment for many common conditions that cause shoulder pain is to rest the joint, and allow the acute inflammation to subside. It is important, however, to use caution when resting the joint, because prolonged immobilization can cause a frozen shoulder.
  • Ice and Heat Application: Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments for shoulder pain. It is important to use it correctly. If you are not sure which part to cool or heat, ask us!
  • Stretching: Stretching the muscles and tendons that surround the joint can help with some causes of shoulder pain, but can also make things worse!
  • Exercise: Rehabilitation exercise is an important part of getting better, but it is important to know what to do and when to start exercises. Some exercises can make your condition worse!
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, commonly referred to as NSAID’s, are some of the most commonly prescribed medications, especially for patients with shoulder pain caused by problems such as arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. There are of course some natural alternatives that your chiropractor can recommend. You should be aware of the possible side-effectsof long term use. The use of Low Level Laser Therapy is likely to benefit you more.
  • Cortisone injections: Cortisone is a powerful medication that treats inflammation, which is a common problem in patients with shoulder pain. Discuss with your doctor the possible benefits of a cortisone injection for your shoulder condition. It can be a useful adjunct to chiropractic treatment, but should not be relied on as a treatment on its own. It is quite an invasive approach and not without adverse-effects.

What Are The Causes Of Shoulder Pain?

Here is a list of some of the most common causes for shoulder pain, for a more detailed explanation please click on the condition.

When the structures in the neck and midback are painful, the pain is often felt over the shoulder. It is important to remember this. Your chiropractor will always examine your neck and midback when you come in for shoulder pain.

Referred pain from the neck and Midback

Bursitis/ Rotator Cuff Tendinitis = Impingement syndrome

One of the most common causes in patients with shoulder pain is bursitis and tendinitis of the rotator cuff musculature causing impingement syndrome.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Different degrees of rotator cuff tears can occur. If the tendons of the rotator cuff separate from the bone, surgery is sometimes necessary.

Frozen Shoulder

Also called ‘adhesive capsulitis’, this is a condition that leads to severely restricted movement of the shoulder. It is not as common as people think and is often misdiagnosed.

Calcific Tendinitis

Calcific tendinitis is a condition of calcium deposits within a tendon – most commonly within the rotator cuff tendons. Treatment of calcific tendinitis depends on the extent of symptoms.

Shoulder Instability

Instability is a problem that causes a loose or unstable joint. Instability can be caused by a traumatic injury (dislocation), or may develop over time. This can occur with or without producing a secondary impingement syndrome.

Shoulder Dislocation

A dislocation is a traumatic injury that occurs when the ball-part of the shoulder joint (top of the arm bone) slips out of the socket (part of the shoulder blade).

Ligament injury (Acromio-Clavicular Tear)

Also called an A/C separation, these injuries are the result of a disruption of the acromio-clavicular joint. This is a very different injury from a gleno-humeral dislocation.

Labral Tear

There are several patterns of a torn labrum and the type of treatment depends on the specific injury.


Shoulder arthritis is less common than knee and hip arthritis, but when severe may require a joint replacement surgery. However, arthritic changes are more common in the acromio-clavicular joint between the collarbone and the shoulder blade.

Biceps Tendon Rupture

The upper part of the biceps tendon can rupture and cause shoulder pain.

Referred Pain From Internal Organs

It is important to remember that pain from the gall bladder can be felt over the right shoulder and pain from the pancreas can be felt over the left shoulder, and most importantly, heart attacks can refer pain into the left shoulder and arm.

Chiropractors are trained in medical diagnosis and one of the priorities in the examination is to rule out more serious medical conditions before any treatment can start. For more information on how chiropractic can help, Call our Office at 334-514-7600

Aches and Pains


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Spinal joints can lock up and then they are not moving. Worse still is if they are narrowing the space that the nerve is going through, it will and can choke or irritate the nerves. That will get on your “last nerve” because it can become constant.

Chiropractic adjustments set the joints back in motion and when opening up the space it will  reduce nervous system disruption. Many patient experience a sensation of release that comes with the adjustment. They try out their newly gained range of motion in the joints and feel young again because of it. Pain is often dissipated and a normal life is on the horizon again.

Newborns, infants, children, seniors and even back surgery patients can get adjusted. Adjustments are tailored to your size, age and particular health issue.

Find out for yourself by scheduling a no-obligation consultation to discuss your problem.

Look forward to taking care of your aches and pains from head to foot.

I, Dr. Elaine McNally, DC have served Montgomery and the surrounding communities in Alabama for over fifteen years. Located in Wetumpka, I have been there for about three  years in practice. The chiropractic care I provide has improved the health and wellness of my patients, in all aspects of their lives, whether they are having problems with back pain or neck pain, or just want to start feeling better when they wake up in the morning.  Many seemingly unrelated symptoms often arise from imbalances in the spinal column, and I have often been able to determine the root of the pain and create a personalized chiropractic and wellness plan to suit each patient’s individual needs.  Call today for appointment at 334-514-7600.

Hiatal hernia and Chiropractic


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 You have been diagnosed with Hiatal Hernia. So what is that. When an organ has moved into a spot it doesn’t belong, it’s called a hernia. The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm.  This muscular wall separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. The esophagus goes through the hiatus to the stomach. When part of the stomach bulges up into the chest cavity through this hiatus it is called a hiatal hernia.

What you might not know is that it can be treated by a Chiropractor who is familiar with soft tissue adjusting. Since the hiatal hernia is a stomach malposition. All it takes it an adjustment of the soft tissue to bring the stomach out of the hiatal hernia position. Then the stomach can return to normal activity.

If you are suffering from hiatal hernia and would like to see a Chiropractor who performs this maneuver, please call ahead of time and ask if the Chiropractor can do this. Not all Chiropractors practice soft tissue adjusting.

Treatment of Low Back pain should start with Chiropractic

Energizing Life

 If chiropractic care helps patients get better faster and costs the patient and/or insurance company less, shouldn’t EVERY low back pain patient FIRST see a chiropractor before any other type of doctor?

On October 20, 2009, a report was delivered on the impact on population, health and total health care spending.  It was found the addition of chiropractic care for the treatment of neck and low back pain “…will likely increase value-for-dollar in US employer-sponsored health benefit plans.”  Authored by an MD and an MD/PhD, and commissioned by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, the findings are clear; chiropractic care achieves higher satisfaction and superior outcomes for both neck and low back pain in a manner more cost effective than other commonly utilized approaches.

The study reviews the fact that low back and neck pain are extremely common conditions consuming large amounts of health care dollars. In 2002, 26% of…

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