Chicago Chiropractor Blog Dr. Michael Kauf

What is a “Sleep Study?”

Most of us have had trouble sleeping at one time or another. Under some circumstances, this is perfectly normal. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, difficulty falling asleep or sleeping poorly is a problem that needs to be addressed. Chronic sleep disorders can lead to an increase in your risk of accidents and reduced job performance. They can also increase the likelihood of developing adverse health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Your doctor may suggest that you undergo a sleep study in order to see what is at the root of your sleep problems. 
Here are just a few of the problems that sleep studies are meant to diagnose:
* Sleep apnea – A condition that occurs when a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or more at a time while asleep. There may be a problem in the way brain signals are sent to the muscles responsible for breathing, or there could be some obstruction or narrowing of the breathing pathway.
* Nighttime insomnia – Possibly due to stress, hunger, depression or physical discomfort.
* Periodic limb movement disorder – Where the legs, feet or arms twitch repeatedly during sleep.
* Nighttime behavior problems – Includes sleepwalking, bedwetting and night terrors.
* Problems staying awake during the day – For example, those with narcolepsy.
* Problems sleeping during the day – If you work at night or in shifts, this can be an issue.
* Problems with your stages of sleep – Each night you should normally have four to five cycles of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). A sleep study can determine if there is an abnormality in this pattern.

There are four common types of sleep studies that may be used:
Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) – Determines how long it takes you to fall asleep and if you enter into the REM stage of sleep.
Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) – Determines if you can stay awake during your normal hours of wakefulness.
Polysomnogram – Records different body functions as you sleep, including blood levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide, eye movement, brain activity, breathing rhythm and rate, heart rhythm and rate, snoring, how air moves through your nose and mouth, belly and chest movement and general muscle movement.
Actigraphy – A device worn on the wrist similar to a watch that measures your movements both while asleep and while awake. It is used in cases where there is a problem with a person’s body clock.
A sleep study is commonly performed either in a hospital’s sleep lab or in a specialized facility. However, a sleep study can sometimes be performed in your home as well. Electrodes will be painlessly attached to your skin to record information as you sleep so as to determine where your sleep problem may lie. Although many people think they may not be able to sleep in such a situation, most have surprisingly little trouble falling asleep. Consult with your doctor if you think a sleep study may be of use. Chiropractic Care is also great for troubled sleepers. Contact Chicago Chiropractic now.

Professional Football Players Benefit From Chiropractic Care

Professional football teams recognize the value that having regular chiropractic care affords their players. All of the 32 teams in the National Football League (NFL) use the services of a chiropractor for treating and preventing injuries to team members.
Dr. Spencer H. Baron, a team chiropra ctor for the Miami Dolphins and past president of the Professional Football Chiropractic Society, said, “The robust need for chiropractic care in the NFL has been deeply driven by the players’ desire for peak physical conditioning and not simply for injuries. From the earliest years of full contact football, their bodies are subject to structural stress that doctors of chiropractic are specially trained to care for. Many DCs who provide their services to professional athletes travel with their respective teams throughout the season, treating players up until game time, during the game and sometimes immediately following.”
A number of professional football players are staunch advocates for chiropractic care and the ability it gives them to perform at their peak.
Emmitt Smith, a former NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals and NFL all-time record holder for rushing, dealt with a lot of hamstring problems during a tough season in 1994. He related how he had some difficult questions to answer: “‘Do I need to get more rest? Do I need to eat better? Do I need a little more training? How can I take care of my body better? Do I need to find a Chiropractor?’ It was time for me to invest in me.” Smith added, “I found a specialist that’s really good in balancing out my body to make sure my hips are rotated right, and my body is functioning properly.”
Smith continued, “I remember somebody telling me that what I put myself in during the games is like having a car wreck every Sunday. It’s against the norm. You can find yourself in awkward positions. That stuff takes its toll. But if you take advantage of the health care, balance your body back out, put it back where it’s supposed to be, you function better, and you recover faster.” He said about chiropractic, “You can have a Ferrari body, but your wheels need balancing. I felt if I took care of my body, I could still function when I got older.”
Chiropractic apparently served Smith well in helping him maintain function and flexibility, because after his retirement in 2004 he went on to win the third season of Dancing With the Stars, teamed with professional dancer Cheryl Burke.
Other professional footballers have expressed their appreciation for chiropractic care as well. Joe Montana, who possesses three Super Bowl MVPs and was named Player of the Year in 1990, was so appreciative of chiropractic that he agreed to become the spokesperson for chiropractic in the state of California, saying “Chiropractic has been a big part of my game. Chiropractic care works for me.”
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore is another chiropractic devotee. He said, “Not only did my chiropractor get me back on the field, but he helped me to stay on the field. My body just feels much better overall because of the care I’ve gotten.”
Three-time Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice, a former wide receiver with the San Francisco 49ers said, “I believe in chiropractic, and I know that it works. You probably know about my long and successful career in football. I’m flattered by the testimonials to my durability. Football is a very rough and vigorous sport. Chiropractic was the key to keeping me in the game.”

Whether you are a professional athlete or weekend warrior, your performance will always be at its best when getting care from Chicago Chiropractic.

How Can Acoustic Compression Therapy Help Me?

Acoustic Compression Therapy (ACT) is also sometimes referred to as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) and refers to the use of focused ultrasound waves to treat both acute and chronic pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
A strong wave of short duration that travels faster than the speed of sound is generated by a specialized machine and penetrates deep into the body’s tissues to stimulate cellular healing processes. It works by first stimulating the nerves around the painful area to the point that their activity begins to diminish, sending fewer pain signals to the brain. Then-over time-it operates as what is referred to as a “gate control mechanism” in which the signals being sent by the machine override the pain signals sent to the brain. 
Some chiropractors use acoustic compression therapy in the course of their practice. In addition to reducing pain, it has also been shown to reduce inflammation, a condition which in itself can trigger pain. ACT increases circulation to the area being treated, which helps to bring more oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues and speeds healing.
Acoustic compression therapy was first discovered in the early 1990s when similar technology was used to dissolve kidney stones. Patients noticed that pain they had in areas unrelated to the kidneys being treated was reduced after treatment, and researchers began to explore other healing benefits of ultrasound.
Acoustic compression therapy is sometimes used as a form of Trigger Point Therapy. This involves directing the sound waves to specific points on the body where tense muscles or muscle groups have caused nerve irritation, which may be triggering pain elsewhere in the body. Your chiropractor can precisely control both the breadth and depth of the waves, which is often impossible to do with manual treatment, particularly in sensitive areas that have been injured or which may overreact to manual therapy. Waves can be directed to penetrate the body’s tissues anywhere from 1 mm to 30 mm, with frequencies up to 8 Hz.
Acoustic compression therapy is a gentle form of treatment for musculoskeletal pain that will not irritate the skin or bruise tissues. There are no significant side effects to treatment, and it is safe for most individuals (though it is not appropriate for people with bleeding disorders and pregnant women). It is a form of therapy that is particularly useful in treating, among other things:
* Neck, back and shoulder pain
* Repetitive stress injuries
* Foot and heel pain, such as plantar fasciitis
* Tennis elbow
* Golfer’s elbow
* Hip, knee and leg pain
* Adhesions and other strains to soft tissue
* Shoulder pain
* Bursitis

If you have questions about acoustic compression therapy and whether it may be helpful in your treatment, please call or visit our office.

The Science Behind Genetically Altered Crops

It’s often hard to know whose science to believe and whose advice to take when it comes to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in our food. The information available on this subject is complex, the stakes are high (in terms of the health, social, environmental, political and economic issues involved) and passions run hot on all sides of the debate. So it’s not surprising that facts are often used selectively and much of the discussion is biased. chiropractor in chicago tips
On one side of the debate, large agribusinesses such as Monsanto stress the potential human and environmental benefits of genetically altered crops, such as reduced pesticide use and being able to feed a growing worldwide population. On the other side of the debate, opponents of genetic engineering are often guilty of scaremongering and using emotionally-loaded labels like “Frankenfoods” to color the conversation. So what does the science currently tell us?
Genetically modified plants have now been with us for three decades, and have been widely planted since the mid-1990s. This kind of technology differs from conventional plant breeding in that it uses genes from other species to modify DNA rather than selecting for certain characteristics from within a breeding population. Of particular interest to farmers is the ability to engineer plants that are resistant to certain pests and herbicides, can tolerate harsher or more variable environments and have increased nutritional value (more vitamins or minerals, for example).
On the other side of the fence, concerns of consumers and environmental activists are threefold:
1. That genes from crop plants will spread to the wild and other, non-engineered or organic, crops or that there may be unanticipated environmental impacts

2. That there may be unknown long-term health effects from this relatively untested technology

3. That farmers, especially in developing countries, will become over-reliant on global seed companies rather than saving their own seed, resulting in greater dependency and poverty.

Thus far, some 13 plant species have been genetically engineered in one form or another, including wheat, soybeans, corn, tomatoes, alfalfa, canola, potatoes, rice and sugar beets. In 2010, genetically engineered crops accounted for over 320 million acres of planting–165 million in the USA alone. Over 80% of the soy and corn being eaten as food in the USA is now consumed in its genetically modified form.
Given the widespread planting and consumption of GM crops over the last decade, it might be expected that there would be a wide range of studies on the safety of these foods. However, a report in 2003 found only 10 such studies in a search of the literature. This number had grown to just 42 by 2011. Of these, 36 studies were found to demonstrate no negative effect when GM crops were fed to animal species, four had positive effects and two negative. The two negative studies were both carried out prior to 2000 and have not since been replicated. Despite the largely positive conclusions drawn from these studies, a subsequent review of 19 studies found that there was sufficient data to indicate a likelihood of liver and kidney damage. The authors also noted that some significant results were stated as being “biologically insignificant,” a conclusion that they found questionable.
It is notable that soy allergies in the UK rose by 50% following the introduction of GM soy products. One study found that levels of a known allergen, trypsin inhibitor, were increased by more than a quarter in GM compared to non-GM soy, and that these levels were seven times higher following cooking. Further studies have also demonstrated negative environmental effects related to the use of GM crops, such as an increased mortality of wetland and water insects exposed to genetically modified corn pollen, and increased use of herbicide in plantations of GM soy, cotton and corn compared with their conventional counterparts. This casts considerable doubt on one of the main proposed benefits of herbicide resistant crops.
Independent scientists reviewing the safety of GM crops have called into question both the general lack of safety testing of GM crops and absence of follow-up studies, especially ones that are not in some way funded by the biotech companies themselves. Given this and the lack of stringent testing requirements for GM crops prior to both widespread field planting and human consumption, there remains cause for concern. The notion of “substantial equivalence” that largely exempts GM food from safety testing if it is seen to be the same as its conventional counterpart, has also been flagged as unnecessarily lenient on a technology most regard as unproven.
While the general public has (for the most part) been reassured by the fact that there have been very few few short-term disasters, genes from GM crops continue to find their way into wild and conventionally grown (including organic) plants as well as the larger food chain. Until sufficiently rigorous independent studies are available to determine the short- and long-term effects of GM crops, it is hard not to conclude that we are currently in the middle of a long-running experiment in which most of the benefit is gained by the biotech companies while most of the risk is carried by consumers and the environment. The problem is that if GM crops, or even just some of them, are eventually found to be a risk not worth taking, it is hard to put the genie back in the bottle. In some respects, it is simply too late now to do the long-term safety assessment that should have been carried out well before widespread approval was granted.
For the time being, the best that consumers can do is to push for disclosure and choice so that they have more flexibility when they shop at the local grocery store.

For more information on genetically altered crops, contact your chiropractor today.

Musculoskeletal Injuries in the Workplace: What the Statistics Tell Us

musculoskeletal trauma team Musculoskeletal Injuries in the Workplace: What the Statistics Tell Us

Musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace account for a full third of all cases of injury and illness that require days off from work in order to recuperate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) “are injuries or illnesses affecting the connective tissues of the body such as muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, or spinal disks.” Following are some interesting 2011 BLS statistics regarding musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace in America:
* The total number of injury and illness cases that required days away from work to recuperate:  1,181,290.

* Of all the cases of injury and illness, 387,820 cases related to musculoskeletal disorders.

* Six occupations account for 26% of all MSD cases: nursing assistants, laborers, janitors and cleaners, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, registered nurses and stock clerks.

* Injuries and illnesses due to repetitive motion involving microtasks (such as typing) accounted for only 3 percent of all occupational injury and illness cases. However, those with this kind of injury required nearly 3 times as many days away from work as for all other types of injuries and illness – a median of 23 days.

* Sprains, strains, and tears accounted for 38 percent of the total injury and illness cases that required days off from work.

* Of the 447,200 sprains, strains, and tears, 22% were due to overexertion when lifting or lowering, 12% were due to falls on the same level, the back was injured in 36% of cases, and injuries to the shoulders and knees accounted for 12% each.

* MSDs accounted for 39 cases out of every 10,000 full-time workers.

* Workers with musculoskeletal disorders required a median of 11 days of recuperation before being able to return to work, compared with 8 days for other types of illness and injury cases.

* The greatest number of MSD cases were nursing assistants (25,010).

* Those with the greatest number of median days spent off from work in order to recuperate from an MSD were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (21 days).

* The back was the primary site of MSD injuries in 42 percent of all cases across all occupations, requiring a median time off to recuperate of 7 days.

* Although it accounts for only 13% of all MSDs, the shoulder was the area with the most severe injuries, requiring a median of 21 days off of work to recuperate.

The BLS estimates that nearly all MSDs are caused by overexertion. It is no wonder that the nursing professions have among the highest number of injuries, given the long hours worked and the necessity of having to frequently lift patients while in awkward positions. And considering all the heavy loads that truck drivers must pick up and deliver, their high rate of MSD is no surprise.
Experts advise that to help prevent MSD injuries, you take frequent breaks during your work day to stretch your muscles and get your blood circulating. A program of regular stretching and strengthening exercises may be important for those who have professions that are physically taxing.
If you’re interested in even more detail, this November 8, 2012 BLS news release is for you!
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf

Is Bad Posture Giving you Back and Neck Pain?

Many people spend hours each day sitting at a desk, which has led to large parts of the population developing bad posture and subsequent back and neck pain.
Poor posture is actually the most common cause of low back pain, and there’s no doubt that sitting for prolonged periods is a major contributor. However, unless you plan to quit your desk job in favor of more active employment, it’s probably up to you to consider ways in which you can improve your posture while working at a desk. There are a number of different posture aids on the market, some more effective than others.
Back braces – Although a back brace is intended to keep your spine straight, research suggests that in the majority of cases it ends up being worse for your back. A strong brace can be particularly bad. If your back muscles do not need to work in order to keep you upright, they will slowly atrophy and leave you with a weaker back than before, making it subject to increased risk of pain and injury. The weaker back braces become ineffective within 10-15 minutes of putting them on, as your body adapts to the brace and returns to its slumped position. Support braces for the lower back can be useful if worn for only short periods of time while you are recovering from a low back injury. These should be used in combination with exercises to strengthen the muscles of the lower back.
Ball chair – Whether you use a specially-designed “ball chair” or a standard exercise ball, the idea is that sitting on a ball will give the muscles that support your back more of a workout. Stronger back muscles mean better posture. However, a study performed by Canadian researchers at the University of Waterloo found that “prolonged sitting on a dynamic, unstable seat surface does not significantly affect the magnitudes of muscle activation, spine posture, spine loads or overall spine stability.” In fact, the study subjects reported increased discomfort while sitting on the ball as opposed to a standard office chair. If you have a job where you sit for only short periods of time, using a ball chair may help improve your posture.
Kneeling chair – The “kneeling chair” consists of a seat fixed at a 30-degree angle, with a padded support for the knees and upper shins. Sitting at this angle does help to keep the back straight, and if measured to the proportions of the owner, can be used for short periods of time. However, it is not advised that you replace your normal office chair with one of these. It can be hard on the knees and shins with prolonged use and does not allow for movement of the legs as you sit. It can also reduce blood flow to the legs.
Experts stress that the best way to improve your posture is to perform regular exercises that strengthen your “core” muscles (muscles in the low back, hips and abdomen), which are the ones that are used to support your spine and keep you upright. This, combined with the use of an ergonomic office chair that has a back support and which can be adjusted to adapt to your leg and arm height is the best way of maintaining good posture, allowing you to remain free of neck and low back pain.

If you have been experiencing back pain contact Chicago Chiropractic.

What Instruments are Used in Adjusting?

High velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) adjustments are a common form of chiropractic manipulation. Although chiropractic adjustments are usually carried out by hand, instrument adjusting has become an increasingly popular method of manipulation in chiropractic treatment. In fact, instrument adjusting is now the most commonly used chiropractic technique after manual spinal manipulation. A wide variety of professional adjustment instruments are available on the market, ranging from mechanical spring-loaded models to high-tech, electrically powered brands. These are held by hand to administer force to the precise area of treatment.  
Chiropractic adjustment instruments are designed to provide fast and targeted adjustments to a patient at around 100 times the speed of a manual adjustment. Whereas manual adjustment will vary depending on the precise force of the practitioner, adjustment instruments can be set to deliver the same impact on each adjustment. Further, the small tip of adjustment instruments can be targeted much more precisely than human hands. In addition to these advantages, adjustment instruments do not cause the popping and cracking sounds that typically accompany manual manipulation, which makes them particularly useful when treating nervous patients such as children and seniors.
Being treated with an adjustment instrument has been described as feeling like a light tapping on the treated area. The treatment is usually painless, and patients often report reduced pain and greater mobility following adjustment. There is also evidence to suggest that instrument adjusting may lead to fewer painful side-effects than manual manipulation. The precision of adjustment instruments can be used to move spinal vertebrae without disturbing adjacent muscles, which results in less pain for the patient. In addition to being better for patients, using adjuster instruments reduces the physical impact of practice on chiropractors who can-ironically-suffer from carpal tunnel and postural problems brought about from frequent daily applications of manual treatment to patients.
Although the research on the use of adjustment instruments is still in its infancy, several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of this form of treatment for a wide range of musculoskeletal problems. The fact that it has found widespread acceptance in modern chiropractic therapy suggests that many chiropractors themselves have become convinced of the practical use of mechanical adjustment, and that it is likely to remain a core part of chiropractic treatment for the foreseeable future.

How well does chiropractic care treat pain?

If you have never considered going to a chiropractor to treat the pain in your neck or back, maybe you should. There are an increasing number of studies that confirm the effectiveness of chiropractic care in the treatment of back and neck pain, particularly in comparison with pain-relieving drugs.
According to a report published in the September 2011 issue of Consumer Reports, chiropractic treatment outperformed all other methods for treating back pain, including prescription medication. Of those reporting that a treatment “helped a lot” in the management of their back pain, 65% listed chiropractic (the highest rated treatment) as the most effective, as opposed to 53% for prescription medication. Other natural therapies were also useful (e.g. deep tissue massage helped 51% of patient a lot, yoga/pilates–49%, acupuncture–41%), but none approached the effectiveness of chiropractic care. Similar results were found for the treatment of neck pain (chiropractic–64%, prescription medication–49%). Results were based on the Consumer Reports National Research Center’s 2010 Annual Questionnaire, analyzed by researchers from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 
In a study performed by researchers at Minnesota’s Northwestern Health Sciences University, chiropractic care was more effective for treating neck pain than medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or narcotic pain relievers. The study, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, followed over 270 people with neck pain for about three months. These people were divided into three different treatment groups. The first group received chiropractic care, the second group was prescribed exercises to do at home and the third group was prescribed painkillers or muscle relaxers. Approximately 57% of the chiropractic group reported experiencing a reduction in pain of at least 75%, compared with 33% of those in the medication group.
Author of the study, Dr. Gert Bronfort, a research professor at the university, said that of the positive changes that had resulted from chiropractic treatment, “These changes were diminished over time, but they were still present. Even a year later, there were differences between the spinal manipulation and medication groups.”
Another downside that the medication group experienced was that it was necessary to keep taking the painkillers. Dr. Bronfort said, “The people in the medication group kept on using a higher amount of medication more frequently throughout the follow-up period, up to a year later.” One of the great benefits of chiropractic care is that it treats the source of the problem, leading to long-term pain relief, in comparison with painkillers that just mask the symptoms.
Research has found that the most benefit in the relief of neck and back pain comes from a combination of chiropractic care and exercises you do at home. I can suggest effective exercises that you can do at home in between adjustments that will work synergistically with your chiropractic care so that you can experience long-term relief from your back and neck pain. Feel your absolute best and visit Chicago Chiropractic.

What is Myofascial Tissue?

Myofascial tissue is a type of thin, strong, fibrous connective tissue that extends throughout your body to provide support and protection to your muscles and bones. Myofascial tissue fibers are made up of collagen and elastin fibers that are arranged in a web-like structure and that are suspended in a fluid called ground substance. With a tensile strength of more than 2000 pounds, it provides a strong support for the muscles, while at the same time allowing for flexibility. You can think of myofascial tissue as being similar to a mesh bag that contains your groceries. It is pliable, and can expand and contract as the contents of the bag change. It envelops your body like a wet suit, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.
Dr. Janet Travell first used the term myofascial in the 1940s in reference to problems with musculoskeletal pain and what are called trigger points. Travell is the author of Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, a seminal reference work for practitioners of trigger point therapy. Myofascial release involves the use of a practitioner’s elbows, knuckles or other tools to slowly stretch out the tightened myofascial tissue, thus removing knots and adhesions. 
Healthy myofascial tissue is soft and relaxed, however, trauma and inflammation to the tissue can cause it to become tight and more rigid, and knots or adhesions can develop in the tissue that can cause a restriction in motion and lead to the development of “trigger points” that can cause pain anywhere in the body. Chronic neck and back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, difficulty breathing and reduced flexibility may all be due to a problem in the myofascial tissue.
Trauma from whiplash, a fall, the effects of surgery or chronic bad posture are some of the things that can contribute to myofascial pain syndrome. But it’s not just physical stress such as injury and illness that can cause the myofascial tissues to tighten. Emotional stress can have the same effect. This tightening can cause increased pressure on the muscles, nerves and organs that leads to chronic pain.
Many chiropractors are trained in myofascial release therapy, which can relieve pain from many conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, headaches and fibromyalgia. They will stretch and loosen the tightened fascia that are restricting blood flow to the area, which will increase circulation and lymphatic drainage and take the pressure off nerves that have been compressed at trigger points.

If you are suffering from any of these conditions, stop by Chicago Chiropractic for a consultation and get back to being you.

How do Chiropractors Know If Your Spine Is Out of Alignment

Having a misaligned spine (also called a spinal subluxation) can negatively affect your daily life in a number of ways. It can not only cause pain in the back and neck, but can also cause pain in the rest of the body because of the pressure that the misaligned vertebrae place on nerves in the spinal column. For example, many people suffer from sciatica (a condition in which pain can be felt shooting down the leg as far as the foot) due to a misaligned vertebral disc putting pressure on the spinal nerve roots. A chiropractor can diagnose if your pain is due to your spine being misaligned and can perform a spinal adjustment to restore proper alignment and range of movement, relieving pain. 
Spinal subluxations are very common. They occur when one or more of your 24 bony vertebrae (most people actually have 33 vertebrae counting the nine that are fused to form the sacrum and coccyx) are pulled out of alignment with one another. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Among the most frequent contributors to spinal misalignment are an injury, a sudden jar, fall or trauma, bad posture, stress, inactivity, obesity, repetitive motions and lifting something improperly. When your spine becomes misaligned, your range of motion can become more restricted, with or without accompanying pain. Although spinal misalignments can happen quickly (usually in the case of an accident or acute injury), they can also occur over time due to weak postural muscles. This is often the case with those who sit at a desk for hours each day.
A chiropractor may use a variety of different diagnostic techniques to determine if your spine is out of alignment. Most chiropractors can easily spot a subluxation, as body posture reflects any misalignment. For example, when lying down, one leg will appear shorter than the other. When standing up, the body may lean to one side, or the head may tilt to the left or right. Also, one shoulder or hip may appear higher than the other, and the distribution of body weight may favor one foot or the other.
Other things that your chiropractor may do to determine if your spine is out of alignment are to check your range of motion (reduced range of motion usually indicates a misalignment), press along your spine (called palpation) to evaluate joint function, perform strength testing and look for changes in muscle tone. He or she may also order x-rays of the spine to be taken, so as to have a visual confirmation of your spinal subluxation.
Once the misalignment has been pinpointed, your chiropractor will perform a spinal adjustment that will move your vertebrae back into alignment, restoring correct posture and alleviating pain that may have been caused by the misalignment.

If you believe that your spine is misaligned, come in to Chicago Chiropractic and get treated today.

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