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Naturopath,  M.D in Alternative Medicines
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Due to the misalignments caused in the spinalcord various parts of body get affected and give rise to some serious problems and ailments .To get an overall view of the various affected areas and their effects, click on
SCOLIOSIS-A Spinal deformity
Scoliosis is a complicated deformity. It is a rotational deformity of the spine and ribs. In early infancy the human spine has no definite curves. But as the child learns to sit, the spine assumes a long “C” curve from head to sacrum and when the child begins to stand and walk the spine starts developing characteristic curves. In an adult spine there are normally three definite curves. The lumbar spinal curve is convex anteriorly known as lordotic curve, the dorsal curve is concave anteriorly known as kyphotic curve and the cervical curve is convex anteriorly again forming a lordotic curve. Any abnormal posture is usually an exaggeration of one of this spinal curve.

Scoliosis can be classified into different groups in relation to age as infantile, juvenile and adolescent Scoliosis.

Infantile Scoliosis occurs between the birth and three years of age. Juvenile Scoliosis occurs between the age of 4 and 10, while adolescent Scoliosis occurs between the age of 10 and of skeletal maturity.

The specific cause of Scoliosis is not yet known. Genetic Scoliosis is hereditary. Children with this Scoliosis are genetically programmed for this disease at the moment the sperm combines with the egg to form a new life.

Congenital Scoliosis is not of genetic origin. Children with this Scoliosis are not genetically programmed for this disease. Congenital Scoliosis is in fact the mother’s womb, may be due to the fall of the expectant mother or any accidental injury, then the fetus may get injury on the spine and develop Scoliosis.

During this period of the development of fetus in the mother’s womb all the organs are simultaneously developing. Hence if the spine gets injured during this period, it affects the development of other organs also.This is the reason, children having congenital Scoliosis are always found with some cardiac or renal defects.

Neuromuscular Scoliosis is caused by some neuromuscular disorder involving nervous system such as poliomyelitis or lower motor neuron disease, involving to the nervous system such as poliomyelitis..

Injury to the spine also can cause Scoliosis. Direct vertebral trauma like a fracture to a vertebra or extra vertebral trauma such as severe burns or thoracic surgery also can result into Scoliosis.

People who are having one leg shorter than the other leg, can develop Scoliosis because the shortness of one leg throws the spine out of balance. If the shortness is on the right side, with every step while walking the left hip goes high and in an attempt to maintain the balance the strain comes on the spine and this may exaggerate the normal curvature of the spine resulting into scoliosis.Distortion of pelvis bone also results into scoliosis because due to the shifting of the pelvis bone the normal act of walking becomes impaired which brings pressure on the vertebrae and gradually the spinal curve exaggerates and develops into scoliosis.

Other predisposing causes of scoliosis may include ill health, general muscle weakness, rapid growth, rickets, tuberculosis, adhesions from pleurisy, injuries to the chest chronic liver disease or a tumor in the chest or abdomen.

Some cases of scoliosis are also found to be in the direct result of heart diseases.

Scoliosis restricts the growth of the child. It also can create cardiopulmonary complications.

In some severe cases of scoliosis in thoracic region, as the spinal curve continues to exaggerate, it narrows the chest cavity and decreases the room for lung expansion ultimately affecting respiration. Not only that but if the spinal curve continuously increases and becomes more and more severe, it can result into a premature death due to obstruction of respiratory tract.

For the diagnosis of scoliosis the part history of the patient such as any injury or accident, the age during which the scoliosis was detected, any previous acute or chronic disease like tuberculosis or bone diseases etc or any previous surgery of chest or spine etc. should be studied properly. Also the physical and radiological examination of the patient is important. Family history also is important in the diagnosis of genetic scoliosis.

The treatment should be started as soon as the scoliosis is detected. If the treatment is started in the early period before the spinal cure becomes too severe, most of the scoliosis curves can be cured to normal.

Spinal manipulative treatment are found to be the most successful one, with manipulation vertebrae can be adjusted into their alignment and the spinal curve can be improved. If scoliosis has occurred as a result of pelvic distortion the pelvic bone can be re-adjusted with the help of manipulation.

Manipulation is the treatment given by hand where the hand is used as a mechanical unit and a subluxated bone can be easily re-adjusted by various types of adjustments like rotary movement, distraction of joints, different kinds of thrusts etc.

Spinal braces and exercises are also helpful in the treatment of scoliosis. Spinal braces (belts) help in preventing the further exaggeration of the spinal curve. These braces can be worn for 24 hours. Children can play freely in these braces.

Exercises also are helpful in the improvement of the exaggerated curve. Regular exercises make the muscles stronger. Exercises should be directed in the opposite direction of the curves to improve the abnormality of the curve. Exercises can be done with or without spinal braces.
Any kind of persistent backache indicates a serious health problem, and it should never be overlooked. Today, general public at large is afraid that any kind of backache is a disease of slipped disc, which is not true. As a matter of fact, only 6 percent of backache patients really suffer from disc disorder.

There are gynecological, neurological, traumatic, Industrial/occupational, postural and congenital conditions, which can be responsible for backache. To remove the fear of slipped disc from min, one must have proper knowledge and understanding regarding what actually is a slipped disc and how it affects the spine.

What are discs ?
Discs are cartilage’s pads, which separate the vertebrae from each other. Discs have tremendous strength and elasticity. The center of the disc is a gel-like structure called nucleus pulpous which is surrounded by strong layer of fibrous tissues called annulus fibrosus. The center of the disc, nucleus, pulpous contains some amount of fluid. When a sudden force is put on the spine this fluid is displaced in all the direction and the pressure is equalized over the entire intervertebral surface of each vertebra. Thus the intervertebral discs act as a shock absorber.

There is a definite co-relation between the water content of the disc and age. As the age increases, this water content reduces progressively and dehydration takes place gradually. Due to this reason, in old age the shock absorbing capacity of the disc is diminished and hence in old age the spine becomes less flexible and more prone to injuries.

What is a slipped disc ?
The term “Slipped Disc” is very commonly persistent backache. This term in fact is a misguiding term. Disc can never slip as it is firmly attached between the two vertebral bones. Secondly, discs do not have nerve supply which can inform any pain to the brain.

There are two segments in the spine where there are no intervertebral discs. The first vertebra of the spinal column which is between the occiput (the lower part of the head-called atlas and another i.e the second vertebra of the spinal column called axis) Though there are no discs present in these two segments, the patient suffering from trauma of these two levels, presents the symptoms of pain with the same intensity as the symptoms produced by a trauma at the levels where the discs are present. This proves that the discs are not a culprit for causing pain.

What actually happens is that since the discs are situated between the two vertebral bones, whenever a vertebra shifts from its original position (subluxates) it naturally shifts to the adjacent disc to some degree. The vertebrae normally have a certain amount of movement. Ligaments and muscles control this movement. But when a traumatic force is applied to the spine may be lifting heavy weight or by a major accident, it brings a sudden strain on the vertebra and the vertebra shifts beyond its normal range of motion and ultimately the disc that is attached to it also gets shifted a little in the same direction.This abnormal position of the vertebra and the disc results in the pressure on the nerves, blood vessels, ligaments etc and thus causes pain. This explains how the innocent disc gets blamed for causing pain.
The causes of vertebral subluxation could be many like falls, lifting, twisting, a major accident and even an unexpected slap on the neck or back.

Ruptured Discs :
A true rupturing of a disc is quite rare. A major auto accident or a heavy weight lifting increase the pressure on the disc, hence the outer layer of the disc which is called the annulus fibrosus ruptures and the inner nucleus pulposus escapes out of its confinement. It brings pressure on ligaments and nerves, which are running close to the disc, and produces sever pain.

Though rupturing can occur in any disc, the discs, which are more vulnerable to it, are one between the 4th and the 5th vertebrae of lumber spine and another between fifth lumbar vertebra and the first vertebra of the sacrum. This is because the stresses experienced by the spine are the greatest at this level.

Treatment for Disc Disorders :
Patients suffering from disc disorders do not find much relief from any routine treatment. No treatment directly reaches the disc
Chiropratic manipulative treatment is found to be the most successful one in disc dis-orders
By Chiropratic manipulation and adjustment, a subluxated (shifted) vertebra can be adjusted into its original position. This helps in removing the pressure from the nerves and thus provides relief in pain.
Not only that but in case of disc herniation also manipulative treatment have proved to be the most successful one. According to Dr.Janse the well-known chiropractor of U.S.A, the chiropractic adjustment when properly administered, does cause a replacement of the herniated portion of the nucleus into its normal confinement.
CERVICAL SPINE (Pain in the Neck)
Musculo-skeletal or neuromuscular are the two conditions, which cause the various types of pains and disabilities in the human body. The musculo-skeletal is the condition where the muscles and the bones are involved while the neuromuscular condition includes the nerves and the muscles. The pain and dysfunction in the neck and shoulder is also either due to the musculo-skeletal or due to the neuromuscular condition.

Cervical spine is the beginning of the spinal column and its anatomical characteristic differentiates it from the rest of the spinal column. The neck is the most flexible structure in the whole spinal column and the hyper mobility of the neck makes it more vulnerable to injury. The first vertebra (the atlas) of the spinal column is joined to the occiput (the base of the skull). The head that weighs about the ten percent of the body weight, has to be balanced on the ring of atlas. This keeps the neck muscles under constant strain. Any forceful movement or an accidental injury can cause a damage to this joint.

Another reason which makes the cervical vertebrae more vulnerable to injury is, at the end of cervical spine is the head that keeps moving all the time while at the other end is the thoracic spine which is immobile as it is attached with the ribs, hence all the movements of the upper extremity are concentrated at the cervical spine. Other causes of the neck pain include faulty posture, spondylosis, congenital anomalies, and occupational strain.Some occupation requires prolonged hyperflexion or hyper extension of the neck e.g Diamond assorters, proof readers, accountant, computer operators, have to remain in particular position for prolonged period can cause neck pain.
Faulty posture like walking in a stooped (bent) position or while watching the TV in a position which gives strain to the neck muscles or wrong use of the neck like a sudden turn may cause pain in the neck. Cervical spondylosis is not a disease. It is a degenerative condition which usually occurs in old age or when the wear and tear is in excess. It creates symptoms like pain in the neck, vertigo, and dizziness, vomiting sensation, and even palpation.There also may be a congenital anomaly (anatomical defect by birth) in the cervical spine, which may cause pain in the neck.

Majorities of the patients do get relief with rest or heat. But there are patients whose pain is originated from the subluxation of a vertebra (vertebra shifted from its original position) none of these routine treatments can provide relief. When a vertebra subluxates in the cervical region it brings pressure on the nerves passing through a small opening between the bodies of the vertebrae (intervertebral forumen) and the flow of the nerve energy is distributed which results into pain in the neck extend to the shoulders, arms, elbows, hands and even to the fingers depending upon which nerve is involved.

A subluxated vertebra cannot be set back to its position by any medicine. It needs a mechanical manipulation. Chiropractic comprises the conditions which have biomechanical causes and which thus require a mechanical treatment much importance is given to traction and exercises. Traction if given correctly works a miracle, but if given wrongly, it may make the condition even worse. Exercises also play an important role but require proper care and attention. Avoid using very high and soft pillows.
Back pain is common and wide spread that there is no exaggeration to say that nearly everybody suffers from it sooner or later in life. It strikes at any age. No one except victim can truly understand the complete sense of helplessness and despair that overcomes a once healthy adult who is suddenly struck down by a severe backache. The victim literally becomes handicapped as every moment becomes painful. Sitting in a chair, to eat or read can be difficult. Certain movements become virtually impossible. Even after the pain subsides the sufferer are feared at almost every turn whether it will strike again.

People having pain in back get muscle spasm and the back becomes stiff, legs also become unstable and the physical appearance of the person also changes. Most of the patients use pain-killing drugs. In fact pain-killing drugs give only temporary relief and make the disease more chronic.

Backache is largely a social problem. It is as much due to the way we live as anything else. Almost anything can make the back go sway. E.g. sudden stops of vehicles, exertion in athletic competition wearing high heels or even reflex actions like sneezing or coughing can result in backache. Despite its occasional failures at some moments the back is marvel engineering. When doctors speak of the back, they usually mean the spinal column. This natural architectural masterpiece consists of 33 building blocks called vertebrae, fit neatly into one another. An intricate system of muscles, tendons and ligaments supports the spine. The entire column is so flexible that it can bent to form two third of a circle. Though the back is thus elastic its parts are in delicate balance. Any damage in one area, can disrupt the whole complex machinery.

Causes of backache could be many. Even a slight shifting of a vertebra from its position, which is known as subluxation can bring a pressure on the nerves passing through the vertebra and create severe pain. Congenital anomalies in which there is some defect in the spinal column from birth such as spina bifida, sacralization, lumberization etc. also can cause backache. The diagnosis of the real cause plays most important role in the treatment. Unless the true cause is known no treatment can be helpful.

Today in most of the western countries, chiropractic manipulation is considered to be the quickest method of diagnosis and the most successful treatment for back ache. By chiropractic manipulation all the vertebrae can be set in their alignment which automatically reduces pressure from the nerves and relieves pain. It is a treatment without any medication or surgery just given by hands. But since, this method is based on scientific principles, the person who gives manipulation must have a complete knowledge of the human anatomy and must also have mastered the technique of manipulation and adjustment.

How to avoid backache
Avoid assuming a position which is likely to cause muscular fatigue and postural stress. A good posture is one that is comfortable as well as which allows efficient use of the body. Standing for a prolong period can be uncomfortable for one who is not used to it and it increases muscle tension. Wrong designs of furniture and equipment also can cause fatigue and backache.

Backache is very common in car drivers and air craft passengers. The design of a seat is very important. While driving, extra cushion should be placed behind the back for proper lumbar support. Seats of aircraft should be of right height and should be convenient enough for reading, eating etc.

Mattresses should not be too soft, or too low. A good bed is one that supports the body evenly and is easy to move. In kitchen the working table should not be too high or too low. While cleaning the floor, one must have a long handled implement, and should move the whole body forwards and backwards with sweeping action instead of bending from the waist. While washing do not use a sink that makes you stoop. While lifting, come close to the object and bend from the knees instead of bending from the waist.

On moving heavy furniture never attempt to shift if alone. While gardening one should avoid prolonged bending and stooping. Use long handled implements for digging and moving the lawn.

Once the person has recovered from the attack of backache, every attempt should be made to prevent from it happening again. Strength of muscle must be maintained and exercises must become a way of life.

Regular exercise keeps muscles flexible, also improves posture and increases the strength of the back. Activities like jogging, swimming, walking, cycling gives good exercise to the back as well as to the other parts of the body. Exercises should be avoided when the pain is too severe because the forced movement can worsen the condition.

Once the pain subsides, exercise helps to avoid muscle stiffness, stimulates blood circulation and reduces discomfort.

There are various types of exercises for backache like mobilizing, flexion, extension and isometric exercises. Isometric exercises are of real value, done with the intention to build up muscles of the back.

Exercises must be done under the advice and supervision of an expert or can damage the spine if done in a wrong way.
Pain in knee is one of the most common problems of old age. It occurs to 95% of elderly people and generally starts after 50 years of age.

Knee pain is not only causes physical disability while walking, sitting down or getting up, climbing or descending staircases etc., but also diminishes the quality of life. The patient starts feeling embarrassed due to his physical disability and gradually looses interest from life. He becomes hesitant to leave the house, avoids meeting people and also starts feeling insecure. These patients always try to sit in the most comfortable position and are not willing to move from that position due to fear of pain.

In fact diminished movement increases the muscular stiffness and makes the disability and discomfort even worse. Also it causes digestive disturbances due to lack of exercises. This cycle is too commonly seen in large number of elderly people and can be avoided by very simple measures.

The primary cause of knee pain in elderly persons is a degenerative process (breaking down of an organized body cell into a less organized one due to increasing age). However some pathologic conditions may also be associated with it which should be investigated thoroughly such as osteo-arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, insufficient blood supply, or a fracture to the knee joint resulting to early degenerative process, also a fracture of hip bone or femur may result into knee pain.

The first treatment is rest to relieve pain. In severe type of fracture or injury even surgical treatments may be required.

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis commonly involves the knee joint. The joint becomes swollen and enlarged. The joint also may become deformed and unstable. In these type of cases the treatment should be firstly directed towards the relief in pain and then to relieve the stiffness of muscles and improve the mobility of the joint. Immediate relief in severe pain can be achieved by ultrasonic treatment. Mobilization and manipulation can relieve stiffness. Immobility of joint due to fear of pain increases the stiffness, hence regular exercise is a must. Isometric exercises (yoga) are very helpful.Sometimes insufficient blood supply also creates pain in knee. In such cases the pain aggravates by mobility or even by standing and is relieved by lying down with legs raised to the level of the chest. Diseases like high blood pressure, Diabetes, Haemophilia, Osteoporosis, Osteo-malacia, Indigestion, Constipation also should be looked for.

Patients suffering from Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid- Arthritis are basically suffering from any nutritionat deficiencies. Osteoarthritis is purely a degenerative process hence to reverse the process of degeneration and to regain health strict dietetic rules should be followed alongwith proper treatment. Long standing constipation is the main cause of arthritis hence constipation should be removed first. Also health destroying factors like tobacco, tea, coffee, alcohol, fried and spicey food, sweets etc., should be strictly avoided.

Massage, mobilization and manipulation are three main types of physical treatment. Massage helps in relieving the stiffness of the muscles but massage should be avoided in presence of the swelling of the joint. Mobilizing is helpful in relieving the stiffness of the joint and helps the painless movement of the joint. Mobilization is helpful in relieving the stiffness of the joint and helps in restoring the painless movement of the joint.

Massage and mobilization have their own limits. Further improvement can be achieved by manipulation. Manipulation means handling. Manipulation is a treatment without any medication or surgery just given by hand.

Some of the important exercises for knee joints are :
- Lie down on your back and fold one knee as much as possible then straighten the leg and
  repeat with another leg.
- Straight leg raising- Lie down on your back. Lift one leg slowly, keeping the knee straight.
  Bring it down in the same manner. Repeat with another leg.
- As an indoor exercise bicycles are very much helpful in maintaining the knee movements and    strengthen the muscles.

Even if the bicycle is not available exercise can be done by lying on back and doing cycling movements with the legs.
The arms are mans handiest tools, which allow him to reach away from his body and play most important role in his survival. But generally we are unaware of this fact till a pain strikes in this part and makes the life miserable.

The shoulder and arms are involved in most of the routine movements of the body. The various types of movements of the arms are possible, due to a series of joints in the shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers which allow the arm to twist turn and bend.

Shoulder and arm pain may result from many different types of illness. The most common condition involved is neuritis, neuralgia, arthritis, circulatory disorders, muscular weakness a partial or complete paralysis etc. Heart troubles also can cause pain in shoulder and arm.

The large percentage of cases of shoulder and arm pain are caused by vertebral subluxation, in cervical region when a vertebra shifts from its original position, it is said to be subluxated and this abnormal position of the vertebra brings pressure on the nerves which are supplying the nerve energy to the shoulder and arm. This results in the inflammation of the nerve root and interferes with the flow of nerve energy. The basic elements of the shoulder and arm such as bones, muscles and the connective tissues of the arms act in perfect rhythm provided there is a normal supply of nerve energy and when this supply is disturbed it results in pain and limitation of movements.

Shoulder pain, stiffness and rigidity of movement are the major problems among the manual workers, sportsman also suffer from various restricted movements of the hands like shoulder, tennis elbow. This ailment causes such a discomfort that the patient is not even able to sleep on each and every turn he feels shock and spasm. Dysfunction in any of the shoulder joints causes impairment in the function of the hand and the joint becomes stiff, pain is always associated with limited motion. During acute pain rest is desirable.

In old age, tissues become weak due to degenerative changes and diminished blood supply hence a minor stress can easily cause a partial or complete to the tissue.

Degenerative arthritis resulted from trauma to the shoulder joint causes pain in the shoulder region.

The pain in shoulder and arm can be a referred pain also. That means the origin of pain may be in a distant region of the body but the pain may be felt in the shoulder as a reflex action. E.g. a dysfunction in the diaphragm can cause pain in the neck and shoulder or in Angina pectoris. Pain can be felt in shoulder, arm and neck.

The most common source of pain in the shoulder region is radiculitis of a cervical nerve root due to the cervical spondylosis as there is a compression of the nerves at the interspace between the fifth and sixth or sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae. Hence the neck becomes stiff and painful.

Exercises of the neck and shoulder joint are found to be beneficial.

Radiant Heat Therapy like SWD or hot/cold compression with wet napkin gives more relief.

Diet plays very important role in the degeneration of joints and muscles.

Chiropractic care is essential for anyone with shoulder, arm, elbow and hands problems to relieve nerve stress and permit the spine as well as the rest of the body, to function more normally.
The human brain “talks” with the rest of our body through a vast communications system mostly made up of nerves.

The nerves come out of our brain in a large bundle called the spinal cord, travel down back inside spinal column and exit at different levels.

Among them some nerves go straight to their destination and others first form nerve networks called a plexus. There are number of these nerve plexuses in our body, the cervical plexus on each side of the neck, brachial plexus near shoulders. Brachial plexus is made up of nerves, which come out to the middle and lower neck and upper back. After they interconnect to form the brachial plexus, they branch off to supply different areas, especially the shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, hands and fingers.

The most common form of brachial plexus damage is really damage to the nerves that make up the brachial plexus as they exist the spinal column through openings between the bones. If the openings become smaller, the nerves may become compressed or pinched. The reason being for this condition are : prolong stress over spine, old injuries from sports, mishaps, car accidents, arthritis, degenerative changes due to old age, sleeping in awkward position and even chronic emotional stress.

Different symptoms and problems may be experienced, like stiffness in the neck, radiating pain to the shoulder, elbow and down to the arm, wrist, hand or finger(s). Sometimes there is no pain but numbness feeling of heat and cold or swellings or pain in one area and numbness in another or muscle weakness or spasm.

Due to the complicated way nerves interrelate, conditions such as headache, migraine, facial pain, dizziness, restricted and painful motion of head and neck, frozen shoulder, throat condition etc, have been reported as being caused by brachial plexus damage.

Exercise of cervical region, shoulder is found beneficial. Radiant heat therapy like diathermy can also relieve the pain.

By spinal manipulative treatment and chiropractic adjustment a shifted vertebra can be set back into its original position which reduces pressure from the nerves and relieves pain.
The Sciatic nerve is the longest and largest in the body. When it is inflamed, the condition is called sciatica. Not all leg pain is sciatica, but most all sciatica involves leg pain. Sciatica sufferers often have severe pain along the sciatic nerve path, usually in the back of the legs and thighs, although sometimes the pain is felt in the ankle, foot and toes.

Occasionally pain is felt in the front or side of the legs, in the hips or in both legs. Apart from pain, pins and needles, burning, tingling, prickling, crawling sensations or tenderness may be felt. The painful leg might feel numb as well.

Sciatica is hell to sufferers. Sleeping, sitting, walking, bending, turning or standing up may be difficult or impossible.

Chiropractic Results :
For decades chiropractors and patients have observed the benefits of chiropractic spinal adjustments on those suffering from sciatica and leg pain. Many sciatica sufferers have experienced dramatic relief of their pain after chiropractic care. Many sufferers of sciatica and leg pain have found that chiropractic was superior to traction and pain injections, often saving them from spinal surgery.

Chiropractic treatment appears to have the most profound effect on sciatica when problems first occur. However, even in those who have been through the “medical runaround”, chiropractic can provide excellent results. In many cases it is never to late to enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care.