Like medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine, chiropractors are primary care providers. Primary care providers examine patients, analyze the results of tests and studies, diagnose and treat health conditions, and provide advice about preventive health care. Chiropractic care, as defined by the South Carolina Board of Chiropractic Examiners, is a conservative, non-surgical method of care based on the premise that the body is capable of achieving and maintaining health through its own innate recuperative powers, provided that it receives the necessary elements including proper nutrition, clean air, water, rest, exercise, and a properly functioning nervous system.
There is a broad spectrum of opinion within our chiropractic profession regarding the scope and extent of involvement a chiropractor should have in patient care. Some chiropractors maintain that their practice should consist solely of the analysis and correction of vertebral joint dysfunction or vertebral subluxation, since it alone is a significant challenge to human health. Other chiropractors see themselves as a broad spectrum provider of natural health care. These chiropractors don’t limit their practices at all and are only constrained by the limits of state law.
My choice in practice emphasis is to focus my care on musculoskeletal conditions. The most common conditions I encounter in my practice are listed below. When discussing a patient’s care needs, these diagnosis terms might be some of the words that I might use with my patients:
Vertebral Subluxation Complex: A subluxation is a condition that occurs in your spinal column and is brought about when the joints in your spine “dysfunction” or become locked up or feel stuck out of place. The result is swollen spinal joints and tissues, muscle spasms and irritated or “pinched nerves.” If left untreated for a long period of time, this condition can lead to degenerative joint disease, and is commonly associated with many of the following conditions listed below.
Sprain / Strain: A sudden twist or wrenching action that causes a stretching or tearing of the muscles and ligaments that support your joints.
Facet Syndrome: Facet Syndrome occurs when the joints in your spine become locked up or stiff. It is characterized by sharp localized pain that worsens with movement.
Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. It is also known as degenerative joint disease because it causes a slow progressive wearing down of the cartilage and space between your joints. This condition can become a source of chronic pain.
Herniated / Ruptured Disc: This condition occurs when the soft inner portion of one of your spinal discs is forced through the tougher outer layers. This often leads to a compressed spinal nerve, causing severe arm or leg pain.
Sciatica / Cervicobrachial Syndrome: Sciatica occurs when the largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve becomes swollen and irritated. This nerve is responsible for moderate to severe pain in the buttocks or can extend the entire length of the leg. Cervicobrachial syndrome is similar to sciatica but affects the arm and hand.
Cervicogenic Headache: This type of headache originates from a problem in the neck, which then causes or refers pain into the head.
Spondylolisthesis: This is a common condition that affects mainly the lower back. It is defined as a forward slippage of a vertebra as compared to the one below it. It is usually caused by a traumatic event such as a childhood fall. The front and back parts of the vertebra become separated, causing it to slide forward.
Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a very painful condition that affects the connective tissues of your body. Inflammation of these tissues leads to pain, which at times can be disabling. Chronic fatigue, depression, headaches and bowel disturbances are often associated with this condition.
Myalgia: Myalgia by definition is muscular pain. When your muscles become swollen and painful following an injury or overuse, you are experiencing myalgia.
My most important concern is to be the most efficient and cost effective method of helping my patients achieve their goals.
Whether your goal as a patient is to simply get out of pain, or to resolve the long-term causes which created your pain in the first place, I am here to help make that happen!
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