Protect Your Teen’s Spine During Formative Developmental Years

While many adults face spinal pain and related injuries because of work-related incidents or a computer-oriented lifestyle, it’s a somewhat surprising and unfortunate reality that many teenagers also face chronic back pain. It’s a problem Ideal Spine is focused on bringing awareness to.

Remaining sedentary in school for hours on end can contribute to poor spine health. Additionally, school athletic activities may cause students to sustain overuse injuries. Many teenagers also carry an unhealthy number of books in their school backpacks, many of which are district-issued and not designed with ergonomics in mind.

It goes without saying that poor spinal health in adolescents will lead to a long, painful adulthood. That’s why it’s exceptionally important that parents and chiropractic care professionals do everything possible to help students overcome spinal issues and maintain a healthy back for the duration of their childhood. Investing in spinal health now will allow them to lead more enjoyable lives down the road.

Spinal dysfunction in teenagers

There are several common spinal dysfunctions that teenagers, their parents and their healthcare providers should be aware of, including the following:

  • Disc injuries: When teenagers frequently make hard landings on their feet, the pressure is transmitted up the spine. During a teen’s formative years, this can result in permanent, serious disc damage.
  • Scoliosis: Curvature of the spine is a relatively common ailment that affects younger children and teens. It’s important to regularly have a teenager’s spine analyzed for signs of scoliosis.
  • Spondylolysis: This condition is commonly associated with sports injuries. It occurs when teenagers overextend their back. It’s most common in students who belong to gymnastics teams and other similar sports.

Protecting teen spines

There are a number of steps that both parents and healthcare practitioners can take to help teenagers make good decisions about spinal healthcare. Here are just some of the ways that kids can improve their spinal health outcomes:

  • Sit less: From a very young age, children are taught to sit. Whether they’re in school, watching television or working on homework, children and teenagers spend much more time seated than they should. Encourage the teenagers in your life to stand, walk and move as much as possible to protect their spines.
  • Ensure proper posture: If a teen learns how to exercise proper posture at a young age, they’ll be capable of exercising it throughout the rest of their life. It’s important to instill a proper posture in your children and patients from a very young age. And be sure to always lead by example.
  • Insist on sports safety: Playing sports is a healthy part of growing up. Unfortunately, there is a certain amount of risk associated with most teen sports. You should encourage your teenagers to play safely. Additionally, you should educate yourself about sports injuries, so that you know how to address them in case they occur.

At Ideal Spine, we’re committed to helping young adults and adolescents avoid spinal injuries that might otherwise stick with them forever. It’s why we’re continually working to develop our Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) approach.

CBP is a renowned spinal care technique that chiropractors from across the globe can use to provide pediatric patients with the best possible chiropractic care. CBP is also a holistic approach to healthcare that accounts for a wide range of spinal health concerns.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Get to Know the Four Major Segments of Your Spine

The human spine is typically subdivided into three distinctive regions: the cervical spine, the thoracic spine and the lumbar spine. The fourth region, the sacral spine, is usually considered part of the pelvis.

A series of complex nerves, vessels, bones and joints also comprise the spine. Because the spinal column itself is the information highway of your entire body, even the smallest disturbance to these spinal systems can cause pain, discomfort, neurological problems or other adverse health outcomes.

At Ideal Spine, we recognize chiropractic medicine as the treatment of the spine using a number of techniques, including physical manipulation. Because the spinal column is such an integral part of the body, treating it allows chiropractors to implement a holistic approach to healthcare that addresses symptoms at their root.

It’s important to have a thorough understanding of the spine and its distinctive regions in order to seek out the best or provide the best possible chiropractic care.

Breaking down each section of the spine

There are a number of illnesses and dysfunctions that can strike the spine. The region of the spine that’s affected will typically outline how the illness in question manifests itself. For instance, illnesses or dysfunctions affecting the cervical spine are more likely to cause headaches, neck strain, or neurological problems.

Issues in the thoracic spine, meanwhile, will affect vital organs and blood and nerve flow. For instance, compressed nerves in the thoracic spine can cause patients to suffer from a lack of hand motion or degeneration of thumb muscles. Thoracic compressions can also restrict blood flow to the extremities, resulting in discoloration of the hands.

Lumbar dysfunctions are more likely to manifest as radiating lower back pain. Lumbar illness and dysfunction are most commonly associated with work or trauma-related sources.

The sacral spine, meanwhile, can cause leg pain and pelvic pain if it’s affected by herniation or other dysfunctions.

Getting to know vertebrae and discs

The spine is comprised of a complex series of parts that include vertebrae and disc.

The vertebrae are the bones themselves. Depending on their location in your back, the vertebrae are either interlocking or are fused together. Vertebrae consist of a several parts, including the spinal canal – this is what the spinal column travels through.

Discs, meanwhile, consist of a hard, outer exterior called an annulus and a soft, mush inside called the nucleus. When a disc is ruptured because of trauma or repetitive motion, the nucleus pushes itself out through the annulus and becomes squished between vertebrae or discs. This is called herniation and is usually accompanied by extreme pain or a loss of sensation.

Chiropractors put it all together

Chiropractors are capable of treating a range of spinal-related conditions, including disc herniation and more. Through the realignment of the spine and careful consideration of the affiliated nerves and muscles, chiropractors aim to affect positive wellness through targeted solutions, starting with the spine itself.

Ideal Spine is a trusted provider of chiropractic training. We help practitioners improve the way that they treat patients; we are proud to be on the cutting-edge of chiropractic care. Visit our website today to learn more about our training programs, or to find a practitioner near you who is knowledgeable in the Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) methodology.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Using the Cobb Angle to Measure Scoliosis Curvature

The Cobb angle is a universal standard used to measure the severity and degree of spinal abnormalities. At Ideal Spine, it’s one of the most critical tools we teach chiropractors, to assist them in evaluating the condition of each patient’s spinal alignment.

First outlined in 1948 by Dr. John Cobb, the Cobb angle is used to measure and track the progression of scoliosis and other spinal dysfunctions. The Cobb Angle is a useful tool that chiropractors and other healthcare professionals can use to determine the severity of a patient’s spinal abnormalities and ascertain the best course of treatment for them.

Measuring the Cobb Angle

To measure the Cobb angle, you’ll first need to x-ray the patient in a standing position. Typically, the x-rays are taken both from the front and the back. Having multiple images in multiple positions can help you more accurately compare and measure the spine’s curvature.

Once the images are ready for review, identify the most affected vertebra in the top of the spine. This vertebra, called the apical vertebra, is the bone with the most rotation. This simply means that the bone is the furthest away from the rest of the spinal column.

Once the top apical vertebra is identified, draw a line on the x-ray from the apical vertebra to the superior vertebral end plate.

Next, repeat this step with the most affected vertebra in the bottom of the spine. From these two parallel lines, draw two intersecting perpendicular lines.

Between the two perpendicular lines sits the Cobb angle. This angle can now be quantified and measured to both analyze existing spinal abnormalities and track the progression of curvature.

Using the Cobb Angle

Now that you know how to identify the Cobb angle on a patient, it’s important to also understand its significance.

An angle of 10 degrees is the bare minimum required to diagnose scoliosis. Curvature between 10 and 15 degrees typically does not require treatment, although sometimes chiropractic care and other non-invasive healthcare methodologies may be considered.

When curvature reaches 20 to 40 degrees, however, practitioners may recommend a back brace. Using a back brace can help correct spinal curvature and also prevent the curvature from becoming worse. Depending on the degree of curvature and the type of braces available, braces may need to be worn for as much as 20 hours a day or only at night.

Curvature of 40 to 50 degrees may require surgical correction. If surgery is necessary, a surgeon will fuse the vertebrae together so as to prevent future curvature from occurring. While surgery is never a desirable outcome, scoliosis operations are largely successful. In fact, teenagers that undergo corrective surgery are usually able to return to normal activity levels within less than six months.

Using the data available

Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) is a specialized chiropractic technique, emphasizing the importance of spinal health through quantifiable information like the Cobb angle. Top practitioners from across the world can use the techniques and tools developed at Ideal Spine to innovate and improve their patient care with a data-driven approach.

To learn more about Chiropractic BioPhysics or to find out if there’s an upcoming seminar near you, visit our website today.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction or Sciatica? Don’t Confuse One for the Other

If your patient is experiencing leg or lower back pain, your first thought may be that they’re experiencing sciatica. They may actually be experiencing dysfunction of the sacroiliac (SI) joint, however.

While pain caused by sciatica and SI joint dysfunction may feel similar or even identical, they require different treatment regimens. It’s important to understand the difference between sciatic and SI joint dysfunction when diagnosing and treating patients.

Comparing and contrasting the conditions

The SI joint connects the hip bones to the sacrum, which is a triangular bone that sits between the coccyx and the lumbar spine. There are a number of factors and activities that can contribute to SI joint dysfunction, which feels very similar to sciatica. Many patients may describe SI joint dysfunction symptoms identically to sciatic symptoms.

Sciatica occurs when a lumbar disc herniates. In the lower back, this often manifests as lumbar pain or as leg pain that radiates downward. While sciatica is a well-known cause of lumbar back and leg pain, it’s currently estimated that as many as 30 percent of cases involving lower back pain are actually caused by SI joint dysfunction.

Regardless of whether your patient is suffering from sciatica or SI joint dysfunction, both problems are relatively serious medical conditions that deserve immediate attention. Failure to treat SI joint dysfunction or sciatica correctly can result in long-term chronic pain and reduced mobility.

Sources of SI joint dysfunction

In cases when sciatica can be ruled out by qualifying symptoms of SI joint dysfunction, it’s important to delve deeper into the cause of the condition specific to the patient. There are two primary causes of SI joint dysfunction, contrasted on the same scale of severity:

  • Insufficient motion: If there’s not enough motion in the SI joint, it can cause the muscles surrounding the pelvis to feel tense and uncomfortable. SI joint dysfunction caused by insufficient motion often manifests as a pain on one side of the lower back or buttocks that radiates downward.
  • Too much motion: Too much motion in the SI joint can cause the pelvis to feel unstable and cause pain. Called hypermobility or instability, this type of paint typically radiates into the groin area and causes substantive discomfort. It also results in a loss of motion.

Treating SI joint dysfunction

Treatment for SI joint dysfunction, depending on the severity of the dysfunction, can vary greatly. It’s important to work with patients to develop a recovery plan that meets their needs and helps them along the path to recovery. A Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) approach is often warranted.

In some cases, simple rest and pain relief may be enough to address SI joint dysfunction. Other patients, however, may need manual manipulation to stimulate the joint and the muscles and nerves surrounding it.

In cases where the joint is too loose, patients may need to be fitted with a brace designed to restrict the joint’s motion. Some patients may actually need SI joint injections that consist of a localized anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory drug to reduce swelling and pain.

Always personalize the care approach

Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) is a leading chiropractic technique that encourages chiropractic practitioners to innovate and improve patient care. To learn more about ways that we can help you improve your treatment and diagnoses of SI joint dysfunction, reach out today.

Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.