Tag Archives: chiropractors

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Maybe, Maybe Not!

carpal tunnel san franciscoWe have been providing treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Downtown San Francisco for over 23 years. 

Most of the patients we treat spend the majority of their day sitting in front of a computer doing repetitive motions Many go on to do more computer work at home. Some are even on the computer or smart phone as they commute to and from work. OUCH!

We are simply not designed to be sitting for long periods doing the same thing over and over.  In fact, we are designed to be doing just the opposite…running and hunting for food. Our bodies need constant motion in order to function properly.

When we sit all day the muscles in the neck and back are in a constant state of tension. Plus, our posture tends to take on hunched-over position we are in. This can cause pressure on the nerves in the neck that travel down the arms and control the hands. Pressure on the nerves can cause the same symptoms you experience when you have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

The classic signs and symptoms of CTS are as follows:

  • Hand pain
  • Numbness and Tingling in the hand
  • Night pain
  • Neck pain
  • Pain that radiates from the hand to the elbow or neck
  • Weakness of grip

Again, pressure on the nerves in the neck cause the same symptoms This is why so many carpal tunnel surgeries fail. It was not the true problem. The nerve involved in true CTS is the Median Nerve. It is actually formed by branches of the cervical nerves (neck). This is why the symptoms are the same. True CTS is when there is compression of the median nerve in the wrist. This is a far less likely scenario than compression on the nerves in the neck. It is also easier to treat the neck. Results can typically be seen right away.

Some of the conditions in the neck area that can pinch the nerves that innervate the arm and hand are as follows:

  • Bulging and herniated discs
  • Vertebral Subluxation
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Spinal Degeneration
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Cervical Rib

So there you go. Changes are if you have CTS Symptoms you don’t have true CTS. And one more thing…

Not all doctors know how to treat CTS and related disorders. Chiropractors are experts and some (like us) even specialize in treating neck, arm, and hand pain. The treatment is 100% natural s usually covered by insurance (we belong to most plans).

To find out more about CTS check out the other blog posts on this blog.

To make an appointment for carpal tunnel treatment in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225.  We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center. 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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How Often Should You Get Adjusted?

san francisco chiropractorWe have been providing chiropractic in downtown San Francisco for over 23 years. 

During this time we have performed over 250,000 chiropractic adjustments. So, I guess you could say we have some experience in this area. What we have leaned during this time is that chiropractic is a wonderful tool that can be used in a variety of ways to help people function at a higher level. Chiropractic is also gentle and very safe.

Sure, most of our new chiropractic patients come in with specific complaints such as back, neck or hand pain. Or even headaches, TMJ or knee pain. But what they end up discovering is that chiropractic adjustments make everything work better. It’s not uncommon for patients to tell their chiropractor that they sleep better, have more energy, think more clearly, recover from exercise quicker, can walk or run longer, lift more weight, and on and on.

In fact, most report relief from long standing ailments that they did not even think to mention to the chiropractor initially because they were so focused on the chief complaint that brought them in. As a chiropractor, this is one of the things that is so rewarding about what we do. All in all, our days are filled with positive feedback. Sure, we have difficult cases, and every once in a while we just can’t seem to help someone…but this is the exception and not the rule.

In the beginning we see patients more frequently…sometimes 2-3x per week for a few weeks. Then we increase the time in between visits as the patient improves until the patient reaches maximum benefit.  The total visits for a new patient depends on their age, the condition that brought them in, what they do for work, any underlying complications, and adherence to the treatment plan.  I would say this averages out to about 10-12 sessions as a national average.

After this, some patients decide to come in for routine maintenance once a month or whenever they feel the need. Some end up liking what chiropractic does for them so much they come in once a week. Some only come in when they are in crisis…and everything in between.  There is no set formula here. Everyone is different. Chiropractic is a tool and once you experience it you learn how to use it as part of your healthy lifestyle toolbox.

Your chiropractors philosophy and technique also plays into the “how many visits do I need?” equation. Sometime you have to try a few different chiropractors before you find what works best for you.  A personal referral from a good friend is probably the best way to start. This way you know going in what the doctors philosophy and treatment recommendations are like.

All in all, no matter what chiropractor you choose to see, chances are you will be satisfied, as chiropractic has a very high patient satisfaction rate. In fact, Consumer Reports ranks chiropractic #1 for back pain.

If you would like to find out more about chiropractic, there is plenty of information here on this blog. If you would like to make an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors call 415-392-2225. 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Whiplash Treatment in San Francisco

whiplash treatment san franciscoWe have been providing treatment for whiplash in downtown San Francisco for over 23 years now. 

Just about every day we treat a new patient with a whiplash injury…usually due to an auto accident. Many of our other new patients with chronic neck pain and headaches report previously untreated whiplash injuries.

That’s right, whiplash if not treated properly can lead to problems down the road such as neck and back pain, headaches, low back pain, insomnia, TMJ, and shoulder pain.

This is why it is so important to be seen right away after a car accident even if you have no symptoms. The spine and soft tissues are remarkably strong but are just not designed to handle the amount of forces even a 5 miles per hour impact can expose them to.

Chiropractors are the proven experts when it comes to the treatment of whiplash injuries. if you are in a serious auto accident it is probably a good idea to be checked out in the emergency room for fracture or dislocation, but that’s pretty much where it should end. Your next stop should be a chiropractor.

The most important thing when it comes to healing injured soft tissues sustained from whiplash trauma is “motion”. That’s right, without motion the joints will develop scar tissue which could lead to permanent damage and chronic pain. Chiropractors are motion experts even with badly injured patients. We also have technologies such as deep tissue laser therapy, ultrasound, and electro-stimulation to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Your chiropractor can also provide you with low-tech “do at home” exercises that are very important when it comes to restoring motion and recovering from a whiplash injury.

Our San Francisco Chiropractors are whiplash experts. We treat whiplash injuries day in and day out and have been doing so for over 20 years.

We also have 2 clinics to serve you and they are a short walking distance from one another. Our primary clinic is Chiro-Medical Group, Inc. which has an expert team of medical doctors, physical therapists, nurses, athletic trainers, and chiropractors. We also have state of the art diagnostic equipment such as digital x-ray and diagnostic ultrasound.

Our satellite clinic is located at the Embarcadero Center and offers express, no wait chiropractic, whiplash treatment and spinal decompression.

To schedule an appointment for whiplash treatment in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. Most insurance accepted. Validated Parking Embarcadero Center.

Please Read: Whiplash Facts here

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Low Back Pain Treatment Options

low back pain treatment in san francisco

Low Back Pain Treatment in San Francisco, CA

We have been treating low back pain in San Francisco since 1992.

Low back pain is very common. In fact, over 80% of us will experience low back pain at some point in our life. Many of us will go on to suffer with chronic back pain, which is back pain that persists for for 90 days.  The #1 predisposing factor for chronic back pain is previous back pain.

So what causes low back pain?

Low back pain can often appear to arise out of the blue for no apparent reason. However, as back pain specialists we know that there is a cause for every effect, and an effect for every cause. We also know that low back pain can work in very mysterious ways and a correct diagnosis can often be challenging.

Here are some common low back pain causes:

  • Obesity or carrying too much weight can put stress on the spine, spinal discs, muscles, ligaments and tendons leading to spine and disc degeneration and herniated and bulging discs.
  • Poor Ergonomics at work or at home can create abnormal stress on the spine.
  • Sleeping on your stomach can cause spinal distortion which leads to chronic neck and back pain as well as poor posture and headaches.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Auto Accidents.
  • Poor Posture.
  • Stress and lack of sleep can predispose the spine to injury from normal home and work activities.
  • Congenital spinal disorders which may be undetected.
  • Sprains and Sprains from slips and falls.
  • Psychological problems often manifest as back pain and must be considered.
  • And more. 

Since back pain is so common and there are many varieties of it, it is important to know the best course of action if you happen to get it.

We recommend that use a cervical pillow when they sleep with another pillow under their knees (when on their back). When you are on your side you would put the pillow between your knees. We like the Tempur-Pedic Pillows.

Here is a To-Do List of things to prevent low back pain:

  • Drink lots of water as it hydrates the spinal discs.
  • Stretch frequently.
  • Take lots of breaks at work and walk around (and stretch).
  • Use a cervical pillow.
  • Maintain proper body-weight.
  • Exercise frequently.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Relax and meditate.
  • Eat a plant based diet or lots of fruits and vegetables (anti-inflammatory).

If you do happen to suffer with back pain then you should consider seeing a chiropractor. Chiropractors are lifestyle experts that can not only help you with all of the above, but can also help adjust spinal misalignment’s that may have resulted from things being out of balance or injury.

Here are some of the ways a chiropractor can help your low back pain:

  • Spinal adjustments.
  • Extremity adjustments.
  • Massage.
  • Laser.
  • Exercises.
  • Ergonomic instruction.
  • Cervical Pillow fitting.
  • Lifestyle Coaching.

Some chiropractors such as us also have medical doctors, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and advanced diagnostic equipment to assist you even further.

It may be a good idea to incorporate regular chiropractic adjustments into your health regimen to prevent low back pain…especially if you have a history of it. This is what many famous athletes and performers do. And the thing is…it’s not expensive and you have access to the same chiropractors.

To find out if you are a candidate for low back pain treatment in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225.

We have to Financial District locations to serve you and they are within walking distance of each other. Here is a link to our primary clinic Chiro-Medical Group, Inc.

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Chiropractic and the Office Worker

chiropractor posture san franciscoWe have been providing chiropractic to office workers in the San Francisco Financial District since 1992. 

People that spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk in front of a computer expose themselves to a unique set of risk factors. Prior to the technological revolution office workers would be doing a variety of tasks and were not confined to their workstations for hours on end with minimal breaks.

Now it seems staffs have been downsized to increase productivity and those lucky enough to have a job are spending even more time in front of the computer. Some even go home and work more. It’s no wonder there has been an increase in back and neck pain new patients at our clinics of late.

So what can be done to prevent musculoskeletal related  back and neck pain from sitting and working longs hours in front of a computer?

Well, chances are if you have a desk job you will be doing this for many years. This is how you will be putting food on the table. And, it’s also very likely that you spent 15-20 years in school sitting at a desk…and that you started your career with some sort of back or neck pain ailment.

My Advice: Treat your body as if you are a professional athlete and your work is your sport. If you do this you will reduce the odds of work related injuries which can also predispose you to sports injuries and chronic pain syndromes.

One of the primary tools of those in the know, including professional athletes, is chiropractic care. That’s right…most athletes get adjusted on a regular basis to reduce the odds of injury and speed up recovery from the stress and strain of training and performing.

And here’s the deal: You have access to the same chiropractors that the professional athletes use. The same doctors, the same technologies such as deep tissue laser therapy, ultrasound, Graston Techniques, Active Release Techniques (ART), and more. Some chiropractic clinics such as ours are diverse and offer physical therapy and medical care (See our primary San Francisco Chiropractic Center).

Some office workers choose to come in whenever they feel they need a tune-up. Some come in on regular intervals of once per week to once per month. Since chiropractic care is so affordable and does not take a lot of time, it is the perfect tool for busy office workers.

Here are some of the benefits of chiropractic care: 

  • Increased flexibility
  • Decrease inflammation and pain
  • Increase resistance to stresses (sitting and computer)
  • Better sleep
  • Better posture
  • Improved Mood

Common conditions office workers present with:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Shoulder, arm and hand pain
  • Headaches
  • Hip, knee, leg and foot pain
  • Vertigo and insomnia

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors call 415-392-2225. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center. 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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chiropractor posture san francisco

Chiropractic Treatment For Posture Problems Related To Sitting

We have been providing posture related chiropractic treatment in San Francisco for over 23 years.

The majority of the patients we treat in downtown San Francisco spend most of their day sitting in front of a computer. This is after having already spent most of their lives sitting  at a desk in school. It’s just the way it is.

Now this is all well and good if something is being done to counteract the negative effects of sitting all day. Because we are living organisms, we adapt to our external environment. If the external environment is sitting in front of a computer, than our body’s will adapt to this.

Office workers over time tend to develop a forward head posture (FHP) and a rounded upper back. The shoulders also roll forward.

This is bad news because this posture puts more stress on the bones in the neck and upper back than they were designed to resist. This causes them to degenerate and become unstable. Because of this, the neck and upper back muscles have to work harder which can lead to all sorts of physical problems such as headaches, neck pain, upper back pain, shoulder and arm pain, and insomnia.

As time goes on the condition can become worse leading to chronic pain and disability.

In addition, there have been numerous studies over the past several years that show people that sit most of the day have a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and early death.

Great…so what can you do about it?

Well, the way we see it is that by design we need to be getting a lot of exercise…life is motion.  So the solution is simple…increase physical activity…a lot. Walk more, take stairs, take breaks and walk around. Heck…you can even get a life cycle or exercise bike at your desk or workstation.  Go on a walk when you get home, before work, whatever…just start moving around a lot more than you do.

As far as the poor posture goes…well, that’s where chiropractic comes into play. We are the posture experts. We can help correct your forward head posture (FHP) as well and any other parts of your spine or body that are out of normal alignment and position. We can help you adjust your workstation, sleeping positions, workouts, and exercise patterns so that you have a way to counteract the negative effects of sitting all day.

What you eat and drink plays a big role as well. Your chiropractor can help you here too.

Your chiropractor is your One Stop Posture Shop.

Yes, sitting is bad news and the news seems to get worse. But the solution is right there before you. The ball is in your court. You don’t need to be a statistic. Take action now…pick-up the phone and call your chiropractor!

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors please call 415-392-2225. 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or Pinched Nerve in Neck?

carpal tunnel doctors san francisco

Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or the Neck?

We have been providing treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome in San Francisco for over 22 years.

One of the more common presentations of symptoms that we see at our chiropractic clinic in downtown San Francisco is computer related hand pain, numbness, tingling, burning, aching and weakness (some or all of these together). Sometimes there is associated neck shoulder, or arm pain.

So the question becomes…what is the underlying cause of the symptoms?

Sure, these are the classic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), but the likelihood there is true CTS is rare. What’s more likely is that the cause of the CTS symptoms is a pinched nerve in the neck. After-all…the nerves that exit from in between the bones in the neck, travel into the upper extremities and innervate and control the arms and hands.

When there is pressure on these nerves in the neck it can cause the same signs and symptoms of true carpal tunnel syndrome.

Pinched nerves in the neck are mostly the result of bulging or herniated cervical discs, subluxated vertebrae, or degenerative disc disease…all of which respond favorably to chiropractic adjustments. In the event we need a little help, we have deep tissue laser or nonsurgical spinal decompression.

We do chiropractic adjustments to the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers on both sides. We do massage and exercise as well. We are also concerned with proper ergonomics, sleeping positions and nutrition. It is this comprehensive approach that has allowed us to successfully treat thousands of patients with CTS symptoms over the years.

So…if you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to find out if you are a candidate for care…please call 415-392-2225 and make an appointment with one of our San Francisco Carpal Tunnel Experts. Chances are, you will be glad you did :-)

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Fibromyalgia – Do We Really Know The Cause?


Fibromyalgia body pain treatment SF
We have been offering natural solutions for Fibromyalgia in San Francisco for over 20 years.

Fibromyalgia
(FM) is a condition that is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue and an
increased pain response. Symptoms can include tingling of the skin, muscle
spasms, weakness in the arms and legs, nerve pain, muscle twitching, bowel
disturbances, chronic sleep disturbances, and more. So, what can cause such a
widespread, whole body condition? Though the “cause” of FM is unknown, several
hypotheses have emerged. Here is what we know:

 

1.     The brains of FM patients: Structural and functional differences
have been identified in the brains of FM vs. healthy individuals. What is
unclear is whether these identifiable brain changes cause the FM symptoms or
are the result of an unknown cause. Some experts have reported that the
abnormal brain findings may be the result of childhood stress, or prolonged,
severe stress at any time in life. An area commonly affected is called the
hippocampus, which plays a crucial role in maintaining cognitive functions,
sleep regulation, and pain perception.

2.
Lower pain threshold: Due to an increased reactivity of
pain-sensitive nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain (called “central
sensitization), FM patients feel pain sooner and worse than non-FM subjects.

3.
Genetic predisposition: It has been reported that FM is often
found in multiple family members. This genetic propensity also includes other
conditions that often co-exist in FM patients such as chronic fatigue syndrome,
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and depression.

4.
Stress & lifestyle: Stress by itself may be an important
cause of FM. It is not uncommon to develop FM after suffering from
post-traumatic stress disorder. An association between physical and sexual
abuse both in childhood and adulthood has also been identified. Poor lifestyle
issues including smoking, obesity, and lack of physical activity increase the
risk of developing FM.

5.   Dopamine dysfunction: Dopamine is a chemical needed for
neurotransmission and plays a role in pain perception. It is also connected to
the development of restless leg syndrome (RLS), which is a frequent complaint
of FM patients. Medications found effective for RLS such as pramipexole (also
used for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease) can be helpful for some FM
patients.

6.  Abnormal serotonin metabolism: Another neurotransmitter, serotonin,
regulates sleep patterns, mood, concentration, and pain and can be involved in
causing FM. Decreases in other neurotransmitters (especially norepinephrine),
when combined with serotonin depletion, can especially cause FM (more so in
women than men). Hence, medications like duloxetine (Cympalta) originally used
to treat depression and painful diabetic neuropathy, have been found to help FM
patients, especially women.

7.
Deficient growth hormone (GH) secretion: Abnormal levels of GH have been found in
FM patients, but studies report mixed results when treating FM with GH.

8.
Psychological factors:
Strong evidence supports
the association of FM and depression. Similarities include neuroendocrine
abnormalities, psychological characteristics, physical symptoms and similar
treatment benefits using the same approach (medication, counciling, etc.).

9.
Physical Trauma: Trauma can increase the risk of FM. One
report found a direct association with neck trauma and increased risk of
developing FM.

10.   Small
bowel bacterial overgrowth
:
This can contribute to FM and may explain the association with IBS. The
autoimmune response to the presence of bacteria resulting in FM symptoms has
been hypothesized in these cases.

            CONCLUSION:
As previously stated, it is clear that a “team” of providers is needed to
effectively treat FM. We’d be honored
to be part of your team and we have medical doctors that specialize in FM that we can refer you to if needed.

            If you, a friend or family member
requires care for FM, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by
choosing our services!

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Fibromyalgia experts please call 415-392-2225. Our chiropractors are capable of quarterbacking or just being a part of your FM team.

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Low Back Pain and Sciatica Success Story

Low Back Pain and Sciatica San FranciscoOur San Francisco Chiropractor “Patient of the Week is Jeannine Neal. Jeanine was standing in her kitchen when she suddenly sneezed and
immediately felt excruciating sharp pain feeling in her low back and down her
legs Classic signs of a herniated disc).

She collapsed to the ground and was unable to move for quite
some time.  She went and got a 90 minute massage the next day, which she
thought helped, but when she went to get off the massage table she
suddenly couldn’t move again.  After another 30 minutes of massage to her low back and a
session of acupuncture, she was finally able to make it home that
evening.

After one more session of acupuncture, and only feeling slight
relief in pain, she decided to come to our chiropractor clinic at the Embarcadero Center to see if there was anything we
could do to help.

After just one chiropractic treatment, Jeanine
reported a dramatic decrease in her low back and leg pain.  After her second treatment
she reported being able to perform her regular daily activities again.
After 3 treatments, she was back to walking 3+ miles again!

Jeanine
has been very compliant with her recommended treatment plan, which
helped her to become pain-free and get back to enjoying life in less
than 3 weeks! Way to go Jeanine!

This story is similar to thousands of similar stories that happen around the world each day in chiropractic clinics. If you have been suffering with low back pain and sciatica or know someone that is, you may need a chiropractic adjustment.

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Chiropractors please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation. 

Serving 94111 local for over 20 years.

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Whiplash: Causes and Cures

Whiplash doctors san franciscoWe have been providing treatment for whiplash in downtown San Francisco for over 20 years.

Whiplash refers to an injury to the
neck resulting from a rapid movement, usually associated with a motor vehicle
collision
(MVC). However, it can occur with a slip and fall injury, a bar room
brawl, during a sports event like being tackled in football, among other
things. For the sake of this discussion, we will stick with the classic example
of a rear-end MVC.

            Mechanism of injury: So what really happens during the MVC
that causes injury? The answer centers around movement of the neck which
exceeds the normal tissue’s stretch limits, sometimes referred to as “the
elastic barrier.” When the MVC occurs, during the first 100-200 milliseconds
the trunk supported by the back of the car seat rapidly moves forwards leaving
the head unprotected in its original position resulting in a backward glide or
motion of the head and neck. Next, the head (which weighs about 12-15 pounds)
drops back (HOPEFULLY) into the headrest stopping the motion, but if the head
rest is too far back (>1/2 inch) or too low, then the head keeps going
backwards until the tissues in the front of the neck stretch to the point of
either stopping the motion or tearing (or both). Next, the highly stretched
front of the neck muscles, ligaments, disks, and tendons (in a “crack the whip”
like manner) propel the head forwards to the point of over stretching the
tissues in the back of the neck, which similarly stops the movement &/or
tears. The degree of injury depends on many things, but is notably worse in the
long-necked, skinny female where the “crack the whip” reaction is the greatest.
Several factors determine the degree of injury, including the “G-Force,” or the
amount of energy produced during the impact. The greater the G-force applied to
the head/neck, the greater the potential for injury. The G-force affecting the
occupants inside the vehicle is related to many things: the speed of the crash,
the size of the two vehicles (worse if a large automobile hits your smaller
car), the angle and springiness of the seat back, the amount of energy absorbed
by crushing metal vs. no damage to the vehicles (worse when there is no damage
as all the energy is transfer to the occupants), whether the head was rotated
or looking straight at impact, and more. The KEY to all of this is that we
cannot voluntarily contract our muscles quicker than 800-1000 msec and the
whiplash process is over after about 500 msec, so we can’t effectively “guard”
or protect ourselves against injury even if we try by bracing ourselves before
the MVC!

            Type of injury: The classic injury is called a sprain
(ligament tear) and strain (muscle and/or muscle tendon tear) to either or both
the front of the neck and/or back of the neck. Sprains and strains come in 1st,
2nd, and 3rd degree tears, getting progressively worse as more tissue is torn.
Please refer to previous issues of the Whiplash Health Update where the anatomy
is reviewed so you can “picture” this properly.

            Prognosis: The length of time to recovery or
maximum improvement varies by the amount of tissue damage. A “prognosis scale,”
first introduced in 1995 and validated by 2001, showed that in Type 1 injuries
pain without loss of neck motion healed the quickest. Type 2 injuries where
neck movement was reduced after the MVC (but no neurological findings occurred)
healed next quickest. Type 3 injuries, which included BOTH motion and
neurological loss, healed the slowest and had the worst long-term outcomes.
Other factors enter into this, of course. We
will continue this “Whiplash 101” discussion next month…

            We realize you have a choice in where you choose your
healthcare services.  If you, a friend or
family member requires care for whiplash, we sincerely appreciate the trust and
confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and
your family presently and, in the future.

If you have been involved in an auto accident and want to schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Whiplash Doctors call 415-392-2225.

Serving local 94111 for over 20 years

 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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