Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic is often pursued by those seeking alternative health care for acute and chronic conditions. A broad range of techniques are used to locate, analyze and gently restore joint mobility in the spine. The goal of chiropractic is to optimize health with a non-invasive alternative approach that does not use drugs or surgery.

Chiropractic can help patients with acute or chronic conditions, including headaches, neck pain, sciatica and improper function of the nervous system that may result from car accidents, sports injuries, work injuries and other causes. Because chiropractic healthcare is holistic healthcare, patients look to chiropractors for general wellness, too. In fact, preventive healthcare is among the fastest growing areas of chiropractic care.

Some of the conditions we treat include:

Frozen shoulder: Chiropractic treatment is great for frozen shoulder, however, this is a particularly difficult condition to treat. Treating frozen shoulder takes a lot of patience and time, and in this case, less is more. Doing too much mobility work or soft tissue can make it worse. Because of this fact, I like to start out slowly with little mobility work because this can be very painful. I always look at the scapular movement because usually there is little to no movement. (There should be scapular movement in the last 30 degrees of shoulder abduction and flexion.) Assisted scapular movement and thoracic adjustments work great for patients. I also look at the mobility of the shoulder. Usually there is pain around 90 degrees of abduction, and I have seen some cases where there is also calcification of tendons. This causes painful shoulder impingement symptoms. Some mobilization of the shoulder joint is very important to increase the range of motion in the joint. At this point, it is very important to not do too much with the actual shoulder joint. I always do my mobilization and soft tissue very lightly and within reason. Frozen shoulder is very painful and I want to make sure I don’t cause too much inflammation where it causes the shoulder pain to get worse. Lastly, I check the cervical spine and neck muscles. Patients do well when the neck is adjusted and the muscles are loosened to increase the cervical spine’s range of motion. Once we get the pain to calm down, basic range of motion exercises keep the shoulder mobile after treatment. Nutritional supplementation is an extra booster to increase the healing process. Supplements like magnesium, vitamin B, natural anti inflammatory supplements, and your omega 3s can boost your system to create a better healing environment. Also, I have seen acupuncture work well for frozen shoulder. And of course the combination of acupuncture and chiropractic can work in sync to increase your healing. I have seen patients heal quickly with treatment but I have also seen patients heal slowly. All treatment is individualized but the one thing I have noticed with frozen shoulder is PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE. –Dr. Carissa Abe

Chiari Malformation pain relief: Chiari Malformation is defined as the tonsillar herniation of the cerebellum through the foramen magnum. This can be congenital, but it is most likely to occur from head trauma. Most patients that seek out chiropractic care already know they have this condition. They already have their neurologist and primary care over seeing their symptoms. Chiari malformation patients seek me for pain relief. Chiari Malformation is more of a neurological and structural issue, so treatment cannot fix the problem; it can only help with pain management. Most patients experience musculoskeletal symptoms like neck and upper back pain, headaches, migraines, fatigue, and eye pain. Some cases can be very painful, and it is always important to do gentle soft tissue work of the upper neck and upper back. Depending on the case, I will adjust as needed but will most likely only adjust the thoracic spine. Adjusting the cervical spine, in some situations, could make the condition worse so it is important to understand the severity and pain of the patient. Most patients do well with just soft tissue treatment. Some patients even resolve spontaneously. Finally, some patients do not respond and require surgical decompression. Whatever the case, every patient is a case by case situation and needs a personalized treatment plan for chiropractic care. – Dr. Carissa Abe

Torticollis in infants: treating babies and children is so much fun! They heal so much faster than adults. Their nervous system and body are so new and respond to treatment almost instantaneously. However, torticollis in infants is more common than people think. Most of the time, torticollis occurs after the birthing process. Twisting of the neck in the birth canal, birth trauma, abnormal positioning in the womb or the use of forceps and/or vacuum during birth can lead to torticollis. Torticollis can present at birth or it can take up to 3 months to appear. The most common signs are tilting of the head, difficulty turning his/her neck, breast feeding only on one side, turning his/her head only to one side, and of course, crying because of pain/frustration when turning his/her head. Chiropractic treatment works wonders with torticollis babies. With consistent chiropractic treatment and home stretches, I have seen great improvement within a few weeks. Very light neck mobility and stretching of the sternocleidomastoid muscle helps relieve symptoms. Home exercises are also very important for this condition because they speed up the healing process. Parents can do easy stretching exercises, and it can also be beneficial to do more “tummy time.” It is best to have the baby examined as soon as possible to prevent further injury or pain. Most importantly for this condition, it is best to treat sooner, rather than later. – Dr. Carissa Abe