Recent Posts

What Is Spinal Decompression?

Spinal decompression therapy in ArlingtonWe work with many back pain patients in our Arlington chiropractic office, and Dr. Ernst and our staff uses an assortment of techniques to help get you out of pain and restore your spine's normal, healthy function. We find spinal decompression to be an effective approach.

Understanding Spinal Decompression Therapy

To help you better understand spinal decompression therapy, think of the discs in your spine like small balloons filled with gelatin. When you compress them (which occurs due to normal living, sustaining an injury, or other medical conditions), they can protrude, placing pressure on the nerves in your spine. This affects your brain's ability to communicate with tissues in the rest of your body.

If the stress on the discs becomes too high, the discs can herniate or protrude. This removes the padding between your vertebrae and can cause pain. The objective of spinal decompression therapy is to alleviate this pressure to help restore your body's function and also reduce your level of pain.

Can Spinal Decompression Therapy Help Me?

Spinal decompression therapy relieves disc pressure through the use of a specially designed table that gently elongates your spinal column through slow and controlled movements. This lessens the pressure placed on your discs. Some studies show an increase in disc height by as much as 1.3 millimeters after just six weeks of spinal decompression therapy.

If you're wondering if spinal decompression therapy could help you feel and perform better, simply call our Arlington office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Ernst today. Your optimal health is our number one goal!

Resources

Apfel CC, Cakmakkaya OS, Richmond C, et al. Restoration of disk height through non-surgical spinal decompression is associated with decreased discogenic low back pain: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010;11(155). doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-155

 

Quicker Sciatica Recovery with Chiropractic

In our Arlington practice, it isn't uncommon for us to see people suffering with sciatic nerve pain, and Dr. Ernst has helped many of these people improve with chiropractic. What makes chiropractic care so beneficial to those who suffer with this condition? For starters, it reduces their recovery time and a Norwegian medical study confirms it.

In the article, which took place in a Norwegian hospital's orthopedic division, researchers looked at 44 patients who reported abrupt low back pain that was identified as acute sciatica. The participants were all treated by a chiropractor, with the mean follow-up being two years after treatment.

The authors found that all but two patients returned to work after receiving chiropractic adjustments, which is a 95% success rate. What's more, the average amount of time that the individuals spent off work "was reduced by two thirds as compared with that associated with conventional medical treatment."

Given the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 170,450 days of work were lost in 2013 due to employees dealing with back or spine-related issues, that is almost 112,500 work days that could potentially be recovered each and every year solely by receiving chiropractic care. Not only would that increase productivity, but it would also reduce costs to businesses and workers from lost work.

If you live in Arlington and you suffer with sciatica pain, Dr. Ernst is here to help. Give us a call at (360) 659-8464 and we'll work with you to find the root cause of your sciatic pain and get you back on the road to recovery.

Orlin JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30(2):135-139.

 

Arlington Chiropractic Care for Headache

Arlington neck pain and headache treatment

There are many different kinds of headache, but one of the most common types is known as "cervicogenic headache," or headaches that originate in your neck.

Dr. Ernst sees a lot of patients in our Arlington office who are struggling with recurring headaches. Fortunately, chiropractic can usually help, potentially reducing these types of headaches by 50 percent, and research confirms it.

Research Supports Chiropractic Helps With Cervicogenic Headaches

A study was conducted involving 80 participants who reported experiencing at least five cervicogenic headaches during the prior three months. The goal was to see how effective chiropractic was for this type of head pain, as well as to determine the number of treatment sessions necessary to achieve a positive effect.

The subjects were split into four separate groups, so that each group was similar in age, gender, number of cervicogenic headaches, and their intensity. Of the four groups, two engaged in chiropractic treatments and two received light massage. Furthermore, one group assigned to each treatment received eight sessions and the other patients received twice that amount.

Each patient was assessed based on head pain, neck pain, and disability prior to the study and 12 and 24 weeks after treatment was complete. The researchers found that those who received chiropractic as opposed to massage reported fewer headaches at the conclusion of the study. Furthermore, improvements were maintained when checked six months after treatment ended.

Additionally, participants who were taking medications for their headaches were able to lower their intake after completing the study. Those who received chiropractic had lower drug usage 24 weeks post-study.

We Can Help Patients Find Comfort From Head Pain

Dr. Ernst has helped many people who were suffering from headache pain in our Arlington office. Call us today at (360) 659-8464 for more information or for an appointment.

Reference

Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M, Vavrek D. Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal 2010; 10: 117-128.

 

Chiropractic Found to Be "Safe and Helpful" for Disc Herniation

Arlington non-surgical disc herniation treatmentDr. Ernst sees many patients weekly in our busy Arlington chiropractic office who are searching for relief from the pain and agony they feel due to herniated discs. Our experience isn't unique; the scientific literature verifies that chiropractic care is a great way to treat herniated disc problems.

Don't Suffer! Dr. Ernst and Chiropractic Care Helps With Disc Herniation

One particular research study involved 27 people, 8 male and 19 female, who had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirming a disc herniation in either their neck or lower back. The people reported that they were experiencing pain, limited range of motion, and sensory issues bad enough to keep them off work.

Over the course of the research study, the participants were treated using one of two common chiropractic methods: traction for herniated discs in the cervical area or flexion distraction for the people who had herniation issues in the low back.

Each person was treated four or five times per week for the first two weeks, then three times each week, and then as needed for the rest of the study. Depending on the severity of the disc herniation, treatment varied anywhere from six weeks to six months, with MRIs being carried out at various stages to identify what impact, if any, the chiropractic care was having in regard to the disc herniation.

Research Shows Chiropractic Helps With Back Pain and Herniated Disc

The researchers found that 80 percent of the patients enjoyed a "good clinical outcome," meaning reduced pain and a reduction in other symptoms, such as numbness. Additionally, 77 percent of these subjects also showed MRI evidence that their disc herniation was either reduced or resolved completely. This resulted in 78 percent of the study subjects being able to return to their place of employment and led the researchers to conclude that chiropractic is both "safe and helpful" for disc herniations.

If you have a herniated disc and suffer from chronic back pain and are near Dr. Ernst in Arlington, contact our office today to see what chiropractic can do for you!

Reference
BenEliyahu, DJ. Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical follow-up: study of 27 patients receiving chiropractic care for cervical and lumbar disc herniations. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1996;19(9):597-606.

 

Avoid Back Surgery With Chiropractic

Arlington chiropractic back pain treatmentIn our Arlington practice, we see plenty of people who are troubled with back pain, and a few of these people have been told they might need surgery to recover. Thankfully, Dr. Ernst has helped many people get pain relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our practice. One study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in overcoming with your back issues may literally keep you off of the operating table.

In this scientific study, medical experts from Dartmouth analyzed data from 1,885 workers from Washington state who first saw either a surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back-related issues. They then looked at three years' worth of follow-up medical data to ascertain whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an attempt to treat the problem.

What the researchers discovered was that about 43% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up in surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5 percent of those who first saw a chiropractor had the same fate. The authors wrote:

"Even after controlling for injury severity and other measures, workers with an initial visit for the injury to a surgeon had almost nine times the odds of receiving lumbar spine surgery compared to those seeing primary care providers, whereas workers whose first visit was to a chiropractor had significantly lower odds of surgery."

These are impressive outcomes. Visiting a chiropractor considerably decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this scientific study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.

Let's also keep in mind this important detail: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical journal on spinal injury.

The Risks of Surgery

Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. In an important analysis in the European Spine Journal, researchers wrote:

"Failed back surgery is a problem that has become sufficiently widespread to even warrant its own special conferences, with recent reviews reporting failure rates ranging from 5 to 50%."

The authors of this same study concluded:

"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."

As a chiropractor, Dr. Ernst is convinced that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have established the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.

If you live in Arlington and you need relief for your back pain, give our office a call today at (360) 659-8464 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!

Studies

  • Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
  • Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.
 

Shoulder Pain and Auto Injury

If you are dealing with shoulder pain after an auto injury, don't despair. Dr. Ernst sees this type of condition often in our Arlington office. Why is shoulder pain such a common condition after a car accident? How can your chiropractor help you heal?

There are at least two ways that you can get shoulder pain after a car crash: by direct injury to the shoulder or by referred pain from the neck.

Direct trauma can be caused by striking your shoulder on a hard surface in the car during the impact, or can occur if you have a tight grip on the steering wheel during a rear end crash. With this type of trauma, you'll usually be aware of the pain soon after the wreck.

More frequently, Dr. Ernst finds that shoulder or arm pain does not immediately appear after a crash, but starts a few days or weeks after the injury. This type of shoulder pain actually starts in the cervical spine. Injured ligaments or muscles in your spine can pinch nerves in your neck, causing numbness, tingling, or soreness in your shoulder, elbow, or wrist.

We've treated both types of shoulder problems in our Arlington office. This care involves chiropractic adjustments to restore your spine's natural mobility and exercises that strengthen your neck and shoulder.

Let us help you recover from shoulder pain. Dr. Ernst has helped many people with the same problem, and we can probably help you, too. The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis to determine what's causing your symptoms and then we will determine an appropriate treatment approach. Call us today at (360) 659-8464 if you have questions or would like to make an appointment.

 

Chiropractic Provides Asthma Relief

Arlington asthma care with chiropracticAsthma is a serious worry for many people in Arlington and for a society as a whole, since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that this condition currently affects almost 19 million adults and 7 million children in the United States. A full-blown asthma attack likely means a emergency room visit. Fortunately, Dr. Ernst has helped many folks in Arlington get relief from asthma symptoms.

Research Shows Chiropractic Helps With Asthma

The scientific research verifies what we see in our practice. For instance, a paper published in Clinical and Experimental Allergy assessed 31 adult asthma patients after receiving four weeks of chiropractic treatments. The authors found that the patients who received chiropractic adjustments had a 34% decrease in asthma symptoms.

The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics published another asthma-based study, except this one involved kids. In this paper, the 36 patients ranged from 6 to 17 years in age and their asthma was regarded as either mild or moderate in severity.

After 12 weeks of chiropractic care, as a whole, the children reported a higher quality of life and a reduced level of severity. As a bonus, they also reported that they relied less on their bronchodilator and these positive effects lasted one year after chiropractic care was finished.

We Can Help Clients Find Comfort From Asthma

So, whether you're 9 or 90, if you have asthma attacks, be sure to contact Dr. Ernst in Arlington and make an appointment today. We'll do what we can to help you breathe easier!

References

  • Asthma. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Bronfort G et al. (2001, July-August). Chronic pediatric asthma and spinal manipulation: a prospective clinical series and randomized clinical pilot study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics;24(6):369-77
  • Nielsen N et al. (1995, January). Chronic asthma and chiropractic spinal manipulation: a randomized clinical trial. Clinical and Experimental Allergy;25(1):80-8
 

Studies Confirm that Chiropractic is Safe

Arlington Chiropractic for familiesWe see a large number of patients in our Arlington clinic, and Dr. Ernst has helped many people manage a variety of health issues. In spite of this, a frequent issue that seems to prevent a lot of men and women from getting care is whether or not chiropractic adjustments are safe. Well, according to three separate studies (out of many on the subject), the answer to this concern is a resounding: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"

Chiropractic is Safe, According to Australian Study

The first study(1) was published in Spine and included 183 men and women between the ages of 20 and 85. Each participant reported affected by spine-related pain, and half of the people received actual chiropractic care visits while the other half were given two sham chiropractic treatment sessions. Information was obtained after each real or fake adjustment to see whether or not any unpleasant negative effects occurred as a result of the real chiropractic adjustments.

Researchers reported that none of the patients documented any serious adverse adverse reactions at all after receiving one or two sessions of chiropractic. Some participants did state that they got a headache (9% of patients) or muscle stiffness (37%) post-treatment, but the results were not of a serious nature.

Large US Survey Finds that Chiropractic Care is Safe

A second article(2), also released in the distinguished journal, Spine, was conducted in an effort to establish the safety of chiropractic care. The test group was much larger as it involved just under 20,000 patients. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all study participants.

Once again, the investigators discovered no serious negative side effects. The authors determined the risk of total adverse reactions to be approximately six out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. And, just as with the first study, some people did report non-serious, milder, side effects such as dizziness (less than 2%) or a headache (4%), and this caused the researchers to determine that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."

Chiropractic Is Safe for Children

The third study(3) is unique from the previous two pieces of research, as it focuses on the safety of chiropractic care for kids. In this article, the authors analyzed results reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic adjustments.

Out of 5,438 chiropractic visits made for the children, chiropractors responding to the survey documented only three cases where there were adverse reactions. When parents were surveyed, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Additionally, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."

Based on these three studies (and many more!), chiropractic has been judged safe and effective for everyone. To discover what chiropractic care can do for you, call our Arlington office and schedule an appointment today at (360) 659-8464.

References

  1. Walker BF, Hebert JJ, Stomski NJ, Clarke BR, Bowden RS, Losco B, French SD. Outcomes of usual chiropractic. The OUCH randomized controlled trial of adverse events. Spine 2013;38(20):1723-9.
  2. Thiel HW1, Bolton JE, Docherty S, Portlock JC. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine 2007;32(21):2375-8.
  3. Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore NY 2009;5(5): 290-5.
 

Faster Work Injury Recovery with Chiropractic

Arlington Worker Injury Treatment and RecoveryWhen you're trying to support your family, take care of your home, and pay all of your bills on time, every day at work counts. Work injuries can be a huge problem for many people, and we see many of these types of injuries in our Arlington office. Dr. Ernst appreciates your situation and is here to help.

The advantages of chiropractic care for work injuries are well-documented. A 2013 research paper involving 651 adults who were suffering with either back or neck pain found that the individuals who didn't see a chiropractor missed work at twice the rate of those who were seeing a chiropractor.

So, why don't more people use Chiropractic Care?

According to the participants in this paper, two of the major factors were that they thought they needed a medical referral for chiropractic care (which is typically no longer true) and they overestimated the costs associated with chiropractic treatment sessions by almost 70 percent.

The fact is, chiropractic patients actually spend less on care than medical patients, plus they are less likely to use drugs for their symptoms.

Dr. Ernst Can Help People Find Relief From Chronic Pain

If you live in Arlington and you've been injured at work, we can help. Give our office a call today at (360) 659-8464 for an appointment.

Sources

"Thousands of Minnesotans with Back and Neck Pain Don't Seek Treatment." (2013, June 12). ChiroCare.

 

Chiropractic Effective for TMJ Pain

Arlington TMJ pain recoveryBecause injury to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is frequently quite painful, we do our best to help our Arlington patients find relief as quickly and effectively as possible. In fact, Dr. Ernst will tell you that the medical research shows just how much chiropractic care can help ease pain in the jaw.

Research Supports Chiropractic Helps With TMJ Pain and Discomfort

For instance, one study published in Physiotherapy Theory and Practice included 15 participants with temporomandibular disorders who were treated with neck adjustments, middle-back adjustments, and trigger point therapy via dry needling. Patients were evaluated prior to these methods and at 15 days and two months post-treatment. The researchers reported positive outcomes such as reduced discomfort, greater jaw movement, and lower disability at both follow-ups.

Another research paper conducted a review of almost 800 studies involving manual and manipulative therapy for disorders such as TMJ and discovered similar results. They concluded that there is a "fair...level of evidence" that chiropractic care can help ease symptoms associated with TMJ and other upper extremity disorders.

This is great news since the origins of TMJ are largely unknown. While injury to the jaw area can cause pain symptoms, there are other sources to consider as well, such as bruxism, arthritis, and clenching of the jaw due to stress.

Dr. Ernst Can Help People Find Relief From TMJ Pain

No matter what is making your jaw hurt, call Dr. Ernst now and schedule an appointment to come into our Arlington office. We'll do our best to help you smile pain-free!

Resources

  • Gonzalez-Iglesias J et al. (2013, November). Mobilization with movement, thoracic spine manipulation, and dry needling for the management of temporomandibular disorder: a prospective case series. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice;29(8):586-95
  • Brantingham J et al. (2013, March-April). Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: a systematic review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics;36(3):143-201
  • Oral Care. WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/temporomandibular-disorders-tmd on November 2, 2015