South Orange Chiropractic Center

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60 1st St
South Orange, NJ 07079

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60 1st St  |  South Orange, NJ 07079  |  973-761-0022

Wellness Blog

The blog for South Orange Chiropractic Center, South Orange NJ

How to Lift Things Without Ending Up in the Emergency Room

How to Lift Things Without Ending Up in the Emergency Room
Published Wednesday, 27 March 2019

This scenario is one you’ve probably experienced before.

You go to pick up something bulky to move it--maybe a small end table, perhaps a box of garbage to bring out to the curb, or maybe your collection of summer lawn decorations. Just as you’re about to pick up the table, box, or plastic flamingo collection, someone else says emphatically, “Be careful!” Or, “Don’t forget to bend your knees!” Or, “Watch your back!”

You roll your eyes, sigh, say, “I know!” Or, “I’ve got it!” But, you make sure to bend your knees, to be as careful as possible, and to pay attention to any protesting from your back. Later on, you might notice that a slight twinge, but you think, “Hey, I didn’t break it, so I’m fine.”

While we agree that not breaking your back is definitely a win, we’d like to share with you the proper lifting technique.

How to Properly Lift an Object in 7 Steps

Step #1: Plan your route

This is probably common sense, but we’ll say it anyway. Before you begin to lift anything, plan the path that you’re going to use to move it. Make sure there’s nothing in the way that you’ll need to step over (or could trip over).

If you think that you might need help, try to enlist aid before you pick up the object so that you all can work together.

Step #2: Get as close as possible to the object

You’ll want to position yourself as close as possible to the object that you are lifting. It requires more force to hold an object that is further away from your center of gravity. That end table does not get heavier if you hold it at arms’-length from you rather than closer to your chest. But, it requires more force to hold it up, which will require more work from your lower back.

Step #3: Get into a half-kneel

You’ll want to get into a half-kneel behind the object, resting one knee on the floor, the other bent in front of you. Don’t lift starting from a standing position with your waist bent or your knees locked.

Step #4: Tighten your core and maintain the natural curve in your lower back

Tighten your core muscles--the muscles in your abdomen, back, and pelvis. Lift the object between your legs, maintaining the curve of your lower back. Keep breathing normally— don’t hold your breath. Keep holding the object close to you and rest it on your bent knee as you get ready to stand up.

You can also squat to lift the object rather than kneel. In this case, you’ll still want to stand as close to the object as possible to start. Move it between your knees as you squat. You can keep your feet parallel to each other or put one slightly in front of the other.

Step #5: Use your leg muscles to lift the object

As you stand, whether you were kneeling or squatting, make sure to keep your core muscles tight and to maintain the natural curve in your lower back. Use your leg muscles to lift the object.

Please note: Do not twist your body as you are lifting the object. Step to the side if you need to turn.

Step #6: Use your feet to change direction and lead with your hips

Once you have lifted the object, make sure to keep it close to your body. Use your feet to change direction, and take small steps. Lead with your hips, keeping your shoulders in line with them as you move.

Step #7: Squat as you put down the object

Slowly and carefully squat with your knees and hips only as you set down the object. Try not to drop it on your feet!

Next time someone tells you to watch your back while you’re lifting and moving something, you can say, “I know,” with confidence! Now you will be sure that you do, in fact, know what you’re doing.

Are you experiencing back pain after improperly lifting something? We want to help! Contact the doctors at the South Orange Chiropractic Center today to set up an appointment.

What are the Blue Zones, and what does it mean for our longevity?

What are the Blue Zones, and what does it mean for our longevity?
Published Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The National Geographic Society has recently published some shocking findings: they’ve located regions in the world where the “World’s Healthiest People” live long into their nineties, and many into their hundreds. These areas have been coined “Blue Zones,” where clusters of people live, disease free, happy, active, and fulfilled.

In an increasingly busy world focused on technology, these Blue Zones seem like an anomaly. We are immersed in our phones, we eat lunch at our desk, and we are always busy, but we also know more about our bodies than we ever have. So what do the people who live in these Blue Zones know that we don’t?

Exactly what is a Blue Zone?

There are five zones throughout the world that are considered Blue Zones. In these zones the average number of centenarians is much higher than anywhere else in the world. The life expectancy is higher, but why? And where are they?

Blue Zones can be found in parts of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the United States. They include the following “official” Blue Zone locations:

  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Loma Linda, California
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica

These are not the only locations, however. Other Blue Zones have been pinpointed in Pakistan, Ecuador, the country of Georgia, and elsewhere. What do these regions have in common? The residents of these locations live quantifiably longer, healthier lives, frequently past the age of 100. For example, in most regions of the world, people have a 1 in 100,000 chance of living to turn 100 years old. In Okinawa, however, 1 in 2,000 live to see more than one century.

Older people who live in these areas are healthier, more active, more youthful, and more energetic, and as a whole, the populations of these Blue Zones incur less diseases like diabetes, cancer, and other ailments that most in the western world associate with aging.

The Secret of the Blue Zones

The longevity seen in these Blue Zones is not a geographic phenomenon. In fact, just 15 kilometers from Ikaria, where they claim that sometimes they just “forget to die,” Greeks living in Samos have a very different life. High-rise buildings, resorts, and million-euro homes pack the island, which is filled with hustle and bustle, and purportedly, a higher focus on material possessions and celebrations. Ikarians refer to the neighboring island as a “me”-focused place, not an “us” place.

What exactly leads to longer, healthier lives in these Blue Zones? A Blue Zone life is filled with simple joys, simple foods, community, and an active, driven life. They work to keep their bodies strong and their minds sharp. Those living in Blue Zones have a deep reverence for each part of their life: from the food they put in their bodies, to how they spend their time, and what they value.

Can We Create Our Own Blue Zones?

So if you aren’t lucky to live in one of these “blue zones,” then what can you do to improve your individual longevity? How can we take the knowledge of these Blue Zones into our own lives?

  • Focus on whole foods and a diet that is mainly plant-based, with antioxidants and anti-aging herbs (this includes foods that are great for spine health!)
  • Daily benefits of physical activity and exercise for the entirety of one’s life
  • Priority on family and a strong inner circle
  • Regular consumption of small amounts of alcohol like red wine
  • A smoke-free lifestyle
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Healthy ways to cope with stress, and reduced stress levels overall, like meditation
  • An overall positive attitude about aging
  • Emphasis on fulfillment and not material success
  • A strong sense of community and spirituality
  • A sense of purpose, including work, for all of one’s life

What else can help you to create your own personal Blue Zone? A focus on holistic health. On restoring the body to its ideal state, not only through diet and exercise, but on how you treat your body’s ailments as well.

Working with healthcare professionals like a chiropractor, massage therapist, and acupuncturist realigns your body in a non-invasive way that honors your body, with that same reverence for your body and mind that is seen in whole foods, physical activity, and relieving stress.

If you are looking to create your own personal Blue Zone, start by ensuring your body is in its very best state. Contact our office to start your path to longevity, peace, and balance today.

Spinal Decompression: What is It and Who Benefits From It?

Spinal Decompression: What is It and Who Benefits From It?
Published Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Perhaps you’ve heard of spinal decompression therapy, and how it can benefit you if you’ve been struggling with chronic back pain, especially in your lower back. But what is spinal decompression, and who should consider it? Could you possibly benefit from spinal decompression therapy?

If chronic back pain is a constant battle for you,  spinal decompression therapy may be for you. Of course, there are many therapies available, and your chiropractor can help you decide which course of treatment is best for you, but spinal decompression may be the right option to alleviate your pain.

A Non-Surgical Option

One of the main reasons to choose spinal decompression? There is no surgery involved, and no strong painkillers needed. Just like other chiropractic therapies and adjustments, many have found relief from their lower back pain in spinal decompression without having to go under the knife, and without the lengthy recovery time that follows a surgery.

What a Spinal Decompression Session Looks Like

Spinal decompression is a procedure that involves a motorized traction on a special table called a lumbar decompression table. It gently stretches your spine, changing both the force and the position of the spine and relieving pressure. The upper part of the table remains still, while the lower part of the table moves to allow the spine to stretch.

Just how much “pull” is there? What will it feel like? The poundage of pull varies greatly depending on the size of the person, as well as their kind of compression, but it can be anywhere between just 5 pounds of pull to 100 pounds of pull.

Have no fear: a qualified, experienced chiropractor will be well-versed in applying only the pressure that your body needs to feel great. Unlike inversion therapy, these tables have sensors that can tell when muscles tense and resist the stretch, and lessen the force of pull until the muscles relax.

Typically, spinal decompression treatment for lower back pain happens over the course of 15 to 30, 30-minute appointments in the span of about 4 to 6 weeks for maximum health benefits.

The Theory of Spinal Decompression Therapy

What’s the reasoning behind all that pulling in spinal decompression therapy? In between each of our vertebrae are cushioned discs that keep our spine free of pain and happy. They are rubbery, and act like shock absorbers for each individual bone in our spine. These discs can become compressed, and even start to tear and bulge, causing a great deal of pain.

The discs in between our vertebrae are made of tougher cartilage on the outside, but on the inside they are filled with fluid: not just water, but nutrient-giving fluid - a lot like a jelly donut.  Over time as our bodies age, these discs can start to harden and dehydrate, losing some of the natural shock absorption they once had, and causing pain.

This is where spinal decompression comes to the rescue: With negative pressure in the discs. By relieving the pressure placed on these discs with gentle stretching, oxygen, nutrients, and that fluid can again flow back into the discs, taking away the weight placed on these discs, and providing space for fluid to flow so your body can “refill” its natural shock absorbers.

Who Should Consider Spinal Decompression

So who is a good candidate for spinal decompression? Lots of people! It’s a great alternative therapy for those who have lower back pain or neck pain, compressed, bulging, or herniated discs, and sciatic pain, as well as degenerative disc disease. It offers relief from pain without the long recovery process or invasive, often dangerous procedures associated with surgery.

Since spinal decompression therapy is a surgery-free way to relieve pain and improve back health, it doesn’t require the prescription painkillers that follow an operation, during the healing process. Those susceptible to issues with prescription drug abuse will appreciate the pain relief without addictive or harmful painkillers. Many find that spinal decompression therapy relieves back pain in such a way that they can avoid painkillers for back pain altogether.

There are times that spinal decompression therapy just isn’t a good fit. For pregnant women, patients with broken vertebrae or fused vertebrae, a history of unsuccessful spine surgeries, or artificial discs or implants, spinal decompression therapy is not a recommended procedure. However, many others have found the gentle, healing properties of spinal decompression therapy to be the solution to their back pain.

Want to find out if spinal decompression therapy is right for you? Contact us today. With a team of skilled chiropractors focused on the total health of your spine, South Orange Chiropractic Center is committed to finding the right solution to alleviate your back pain, so you can resume the rest of your life.

Preventing Osteoporosis With A Simple Exercise Routine

Preventing Osteoporosis With A Simple Exercise Routine
Published Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Fact: Over half of Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis or lowered bone density. Low bone density can lead to life-altering, and sometimes even life-threatening injuries as our bodies change as we age.

However, bone is a living, ever-changing tissue. It’s fairly common knowledge that increased intake of calcium and vitamin D can prevent or combat osteoporosis, but when it comes to fighting against osteoporosis, what is just as important as what we put in our bodies? How we exercise our bodies.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, there are two main types of exercise you should incorporate into your regular workout routine to help prevent osteoporosis: weight-bearing exercises, and muscle-strengthening exercises. Here’s what you need to know about both of these kinds of exercise, so you can strengthen your body and protect your bones all at the same time.

Why Exercise Can Help

Sure, it’s hard to make time to get to the gym, even though we all know we need to do it to keep tabs on our waistline, decrease stress, and improve our mood. But how can exercise help prevent osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related injuries? Regular exercise can actually increase bone density, fighting against the onset of osteoporosis.

Most injuries related to osteoporosis are the result of a fall. Regular physical activity has been proven to strengthen muscles and improving balance, which dramatically lower the risk of falling. Also? Strengthening the muscles in your back lessens your chance of vertebral fractures, and can lead to increased bone density in postmenopausal women.

Need more of a reason to hit the gym? Exercise can also do the following:

  • Reduce your risk of kyphotic posture (a rounded upper back) and overall improved spine health
  • Increase reaction time, mobility, balance, and coordination, all of which helps to prevent falls and resulting injuries
  • Improve blood circulation. Since bone is a living, changing tissue,  improved circulation is a great way to continue to bring nutrients to bone tissue
  • Give you more flexible joints, which lowers the risk of injury and keeps the body active

A balanced, regular regimen of weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening is the best way to not only prevent osteoporosis, but also to prevent the injuries that are often associated with low bone density as well.

Weight-Bearing Exercises

What are weight-bearing exercises? Any exercise in which you move against gravity while staying upright. These include activities dancing and tai-chi (which also improve flexibility and agility), but would not include things like swimming and cycling, since you are not supporting your own body weight.  Weight-bearing exercises are also broken down into two categories:

High-Impact Exercises:

  • Dancing
  • High-Impact aerobics
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Jump Rope
  • Stair Climbing
  • Tennis

Low-Impact Exercises (These also help keep bones strong, but are safer alternatives if you are at risk of breaking a bone):

Muscle-Strengthening Exercises

It’s just as important to incorporate exercises that increase muscle strength as it is to find plenty of weight-bearing exercises. So what can you do to increase muscle strength? Here are a few different exercises to try:

  • Lifting weights, focusing on all major muscle groups, including your spine
  • Using elastic exercise bands for resistance
  • Using weight machines (again, focusing on the whole body)
  • Using your own body weight for resistance, which exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks

A note about muscle-strengthening exercises like yoga and pilates: Yoga and pilates are both great ways to increase strength, as well as flexibility, especially in your core and your spine. However, some of the poses and positions for yoga and pilates could be unsafe for those with osteoporosis or those at a higher-risk of broken bones. Always consult with your chiropractor about what is safe and healthy for you.

Looking for more guidance on how to exercise to increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis? Get in touch with our doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center. Who better to help support your bone health than an expert physician who specializes in how your bones work together? Make an appointment today and take your first step towards improved bone health!

Natural Ways to Reduce Back Pain During Pregnancy

Natural Ways to Reduce Back Pain During Pregnancy
Published Wednesday, 30 January 2019

One of the most common issues in pregnancy is back pain, especially as you get into your second and third trimester. The body produces a hormone during pregnancy called relaxin that allows ligaments and joints in the pelvic area to loosen to prepare for delivery. This also loosens ligaments in the spine, which can result in instability and pain. The body’s center of gravity shifts thanks to the added weight of the baby in the front, causing a change in your posture and leading to a great deal of pain.

One the top concerns during pregnancy is what you put into your body. Anything you take in should also be good for the baby. This means that a lot of the pain medications you might normally take to relieve back pain are no longer an option. Even after speaking with your doctor, the pain medication that is safe for you to take might not actually eliminate the pain you are experiencing.

If you can’t find back pain relief during pregnancy, we have put together a list of natural ways you can find pain relief during pregnancy.

Natural Back Pain Relief Tip #1: Posture Adjustment

As your body changes, your posture changes, too. Some of these changes are so subtle, you may not even be aware of them. Making a conscious effort to sit and stand correctly might do a world of good in relieving back pain during your pregnancy.

Keep your weight in your heels and your feet hip-width apart when standing. This will keep you from leaning forward too much due to your growing belly! Even if you’re not pregnant, you always hear people say, “Bend at your knees!” when picking anything heavy up. This is especially true when you are pregnant and, of course, at some point will likely not be advisable to be picking anything too heavy up.

Natural Back Pain Relief Tip #2: Exercise and Yoga

If you regularly exercised before pregnancy, talk with your doctor about what parts of your exercise routine you can continue to do as your pregnancy progresses. Regular exercise will help to keep your back muscles strong and your posture and center of gravity correct.

Adding yoga into your daily routine is a great way to combat back pain during your pregnancy. Yoga can help you on multiple levels during your pregnancy. It helps to tone and exercise your muscles; many pregnancy yoga poses are targeted at your back, keeping it strong and stretched. It also helps to relax your muscles, your joints, and your mind. Lowering stress during pregnancy is good for you, your baby, and for back pain relief.

Natural Back Pain Relief Tip #3: Sleep On Your Side

Sleeping on your side is always recommended during pregnancy, and most women normally find at some point they have no other choice. The baby becomes too heavy to sleep on your back, putting pressure on your internal organs.

When you sleep on your side, try to keep your knees bent. Put pillows in between your legs, behind your back and under your belly to support you. You’ll sleep better and your back will get better rest when supported.

Natural Back Pain Relief Tip #4: Get The Right Gear

During pregnancy your shoes, your clothes, and even your bra can cause back pain if they are not supportive enough.

If you are experiencing pregnancy back pain, take a break from wearing high heels or shoes with no support. Find a good pair of shoes that will give you the support you need for your growing body.

Most women experience enlarged breasts during pregnancy. Large breasts can cause back pain even if you’re not pregnant, so make sure you find bras to wear during your pregnancy that will support you and not cause a further fluctuation of your center of gravity.

Wearing a maternity belt can also help. These bands are made to wear around your hips. They add enough compression to your hips and support your belly to keep your back free of pain.

Natural Back Pain Relief Tip #5: Chiropractic Care

Sticking with routine chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy is a tremendous relief to some women during pregnancy. Chiropractic care is completely natural. Since your spine and posture are impacted by pregnancy, a chiropractor can evaluate and adjust throughout your pregnancy to help give you relief.

Acupuncture is also a natural form of pain relief. Hair-width needles are inserted in strategic places on the body that help to release endorphins that will help fight back pain during pregnancy.

If you are interested in a chiropractic adjustment or acupuncture, consult your doctor to see if you are a candidate for a chiropractic adjustment. Then call the team at South Orange Chiropractic Center to make your appointment and find relief from back pain during pregnancy!

Simple Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Your Shoulder Pain

Simple Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Your Shoulder Pain
Published Thursday, 17 January 2019

Do you have pain in one or both of your shoulders? Shoulder pain can make even the easiest of tasks incredibly difficult to complete. It may even affect your ability to sit at your desk or negatively impact how you sleep at night.

There can be many reasons for shoulder pain, but before you jump to the worst conclusion, consider trying some simple yoga poses to relieve your shoulder discomfort.

Yoga does more than you think. Some people just think of scenes of meditation and stretching when they think of yoga. Actually, these are only two of numerous positive effects yoga has on your body. Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Nursing found that yoga improves balance, flexibility, strength, pain levels among seniors, menopausal symptoms, daily energy level, and social and occupational functioning.

With all of these benefits, why not try to use it to relieve your persistent shoulder pain?

Yoga Pose to Relieve Shoulder Pain #1: Cat Pose

Start on your hands and knee, making a “tabletop” position, where your back is the top of the table. Curve your spine toward the ceiling, stretching out your back and shoulder blades. If your shoulder pain is more toward your back, the Cat Pose might help relieve pressure or pain in your shoulders.

Yoga Pose to Relieve Shoulder Pain #2: Cow Pose

The Cow Pose is often combined with the Cat Pose because it starts in the same position. From the tabletop position, instead of curving your spine toward the ceiling, curve your spine downward toward the floor. You can go directly from the Cat Pose into the Cow pose, while focusing on your breathing to relieve shoulder pain.

Yoga Pose to Relieve Shoulder Pain #3: Extended Triangle Pose

Stand with your feet spread wider than your shoulders, forming a triangle with your legs and the floor. Turn your left foot out at a 90 degree angle. Then bend toward your left foot and place your hand on your ankle. Your other hand is raised in the air reaching toward your left side. This will gently stretch the side of your shoulder. Repeat on the other side as well.

Yoga Pose to Relieve Shoulder Pain #4: Standing Stretch

Place your right hand on the wall, and then slowly rotate your body outward away from the wall. You will feel this stretch in your shoulder as well as your arm and chest. While holding this stretch, some tingling may happen, as it stretches the deepest fascial tissue in your shoulder, arm, and chest. Repeat this stretch on the other side as needed.

Yoga Pose to Relieve Shoulder Pain #5: Variation of Child’s Pose

When you normally do Child’s Pose, you are on your knees on the ground, drop your hips back, so your glutes rest on your legs, and keep your hands stretched out on the ground in front of you. To add an extra stretch to your shoulders, keep your elbows touching the floor but bend them. This will give you a deep shoulder stretch.

Try to do these yoga poses in the morning and at night to see if you can relieve your shoulder pain. If the pain persists, it may be because of a misalignment of your spine, or a pinched nerve, which could be relieved with chiropractic care.

If you are experiencing persistent shoulder pain, call the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Care today to set up your consultation and first visit. Our staff is ready to help you get rid of the shoulder pain, and take care of any other questions or concerns you may have about your overall health and wellness.

Foods That Keep Your Spine Healthy and Strong

Foods That Keep Your Spine Healthy and Strong
Published Thursday, 10 January 2019

Back pain can happen to anyone. People who stand on their feet all day might find they have back pain. Athletes and folks who work out regularly might lift something the wrong way and hurt their back. A car accident could injure your spine.

Sometimes, you just can’t help what gives you back pain. You can, however, make sure that your spine is as healthy and strong as possible by exercising regularly and eating healthy foods. Some foods are even specifically good for your spine.

We’ve created a list of foods you can incorporate into your healthy diet that will keep your spine healthy and strong, and able to better withstand possible injuries.

Foods For Your Spine #1: Balanced Diet

Before we get into the specifics, let’s briefly cover what it means to have a balanced diet. You need to have a wide range of healthy foods packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that will all help not just your spine, but your entire body, to function optimally.

Protein is important, but remember it doesn’t just come from meat. Protein also comes from veggies and legumes like lentils, beans, and nuts. Deep green veggies like broccoli, kale, and spinach will also help to reduce inflammation in the body.

While your mind might automatically think “No!” to carbs and fats, your body needs complex carbohydrates and good fats to live. Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and flaxseed also help to reduce inflammation, and oatmeal is a healthy source of carbs. Omega-9 fatty acids from avocados are a great source of energy for your body.

Foods For Your Spine #2: Dairy Products for Calcium

We all know milk does a body good. It helps build strong bones, and your spine is definitely in that category. Milk is not the only source of calcium for you to ensure you have an adequate amount of calcium in your diet. There is also cheese and yogurt, both of which can also have good amounts of protein.

You don’t need to just have dairy products for calcium. You can also make sure plenty of leafy greens are included in your meals. Kale, lettuce. Collared greens, cabbage, and chard all have a great deal of calcium.

Foods For Your Spine #3: Spices for Health

Turmeric is a spice used in cooking. It is one of the main ingredients in curry. Turmeric has many health benefits, but for your spine, it contains properties that can help to repair damaged tissue. If you have suffered an injury, it is wise to include turmeric in your cooking.

Turmeric can be used in a wide variety of food and in every meal you eat. Sprinkle it in your scrambled eggs or frittata for breakfast. Season your chicken with turmeric. Season your rice with turmeric, as well as your vegetables. It is very easy to add this spine-healthy spice to your diet.

Foods For Your Spine #4: Hydrating Foods

Hydration for your spine is of the utmost importance. Your spinal disks are easily dehydrated. When they are lacking hydration, the spinal disks shrink. This can cause great pain. Of course you already know that drinking water will keep you hydrated, but did you know there are also foods that can help keep you hydrated?

Adding the following foods to your diet can help keep your body hydrated:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Cauliflower
  • Cantelope

Instead of dessert after dinner, consider having a serving of on of these fruits, or trying celery and cucumbers as an afternoon snack instead of something with empty calories.

Your spine is benefited by a balanced diet and a regular exercise routine. Avoid those activities that would do your spine harm, such as sitting in one place for long periods of time, or doing manual labor without proper support. If you have any questions about how to keep your spine healthy and strong, call the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center. Our team is ready to make you an appointment to talk about your spine and your overall health and wellness.

Can a Chiropractor Help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Can a Chiropractor Help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Published Thursday, 27 December 2018

Studies have shown a visit to the chiropractor could have significant benefits for those who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. We’ve put together some information about carpal tunnel syndrome, including what it is, how you are diagnosed, and what the chiropractor can do to help you find relief from your symptoms.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve that starts in the neck and travels down the arm is compressed at the carpal tunnel in the wrist. The compression happens when the tissues around the tunnel swell, putting pressure on the nerve. This nerve pressure can cause tingling, pain, and numbness in the hand and arm. Symptoms are often mild early on, but tend to become more severe over time. Early intervention is often the key to not needing surgical intervention.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

There are many different causes of carpal tunnel syndrome-- from repeated positioning of the wrist in a stressful way to illnesses that cause the swelling of the area around the tunnel. The following are things that may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Repeated movement that overextends the wrist, such as playing of an instrument or typing
  • Positioning of your wrists when typing or using the mouse at your computer
  • The use of power tools over time, exposing your wrists to vibrations
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders
  • During pregnancy and menopause fluid build up happen in the wrist
  • High blood pressure
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Trauma to the wrist

It is not just people who type all day who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Some sports players can even develop the syndrome all the time. Again, the key is to catch it early, so if you have any of the above disorders and think you might have some symptoms, the best thing you can do is consult with a medical professional.

How Will the Chiropractor Help with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Diagnosis first needs to be made, so tell your chiropractor about any and all symptoms you have. They will do a physical exam, as well as take x-rays if needed. Once it is determined you are likely suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, your chiropractor will use a number of treatments to help alleviate the symptoms.

Chiropractic adjustments to the wrist, elbow, and upper spine likely will be performed. Making sure you are in alignment is key to helping almost any physical symptoms of pain. Your chiropractor could also use massage or electrical pulses or sound therapy to help relax the muscles and tissue around the wrist.

They will probably recommend that you rest the arm, icing it a few times a day to lower inflammation. They might give you exercises you can do to strengthen the area and maybe even use a splint or brace to keep the wrist from movement.

You will probably see your chiropractor a few times a week for a few weeks, and then once the pain has been managed you may only go for “upkeep” on a schedule you’ll develop with your chiropractor.

If you are experiencing any pain in your hand or arm and think it might be due to carpal tunnel syndrome, call the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center today to schedule your initial appointment. Don’t suffer in silence, our doctors can help you to figure out what the issue is and improve your overall health and wellness.


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