Northwest Wellness's Blog

Useful information for a healthy lifestyle.

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What Is Northwest Wellness?

What Is Northwest Wellness?

Northwest Wellness is the lifetime vision of Dr. Lorri Nichols of Federal Way, WA.  Beginning as a small chiropractic practice in 1989, Northwest Wellness has grown into a multidisciplinary, integrated practice providing comprehensive health care to Federal Way and the surrounding community.  Our practice consists of primary care, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, nutrition and weight loss to serve all of your health care needs.

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Pinched Nerves

Pinched Nerves

 

The nervous system is interconnected throughout our bodies, allowing organs to function properly and a person to respond to stimuli.  The nervous system runs from our head to our toes, and if a vertebra is out of alignment, the pain can be felt in another area of the body.  When someone suffers from a pinched nerve, it means that a nerve is compressed and in an abnormal position. Pinched nerves can be caused by improper posture, lifting heavy items or reaching for something in an awkward way.

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How To Bend Without Hurting Your Back

How To Bend Without Hurting Your Back

 

One of the more common things I see in practice are patients who report an acute onset of lower back pain when they bend over to pick up something small, like a pencil or a sheet of paper.  Clearly, the object being retrieved is not the source of the lower back pain as in a lifting injury, but rather the biomechanics of how the repeatedly bend throughout the day.   I also have patients that by teaching them to bend properly, reduced the incidence of acute lower back pain by 80% last year.

So what is the big bending secret?  Most people have the tendency to bend forward by rounding their lower back or lumbar spine.  This motion reverses the normal lumbar curve and places undo stress on the lumbar vertebra and discs.  The intervertebral discs are made up of two sections; the soft gelatinous nucleus pulposis and the strong, fibrous annulus.  Over time, with the biomechanical stress place by improper bending the annulus may become frayed and the nucleus with protrude through causing a disc bulge or herniation.  Bending in the lumbar spine also puts strain on the lumbar musculature and can cause a muscle strain or spinal segmental dysfunction.

To bend properly you should “hinge” at your hips rather than rounding the lumbar spine.  By doing so, you use the large ball and socket joints of the hip that are designed for this type of motion.  Hinging at the hips allows for maximum, efficient motion and spares the structures of the spine while strengthening the core muscles and stretching the hamstrings.

To Properly Hip Hinge:

·         Place your feet about 12 inches apart.

·         Keep your back straight.

·         Contract “the core” by tightening the abdominal muscles.

·         Keep your back straight.

·         As you soften your knees, allow the pubic bone to move backward.

·         Rotate forward around the hip sockets.
 

For more information on preventing back pain or injury contact Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660

 

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The Origins and History of Chiropractic

The Origins and History of Chiropractic

The word ‘Chiropractic’ comes from the Greek words cheir (meaning ‘hand’) and praktos (meaning ‘done’), i.e. Done by Hand. The name was chosen by the developer of chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer.

 

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How Does My Spine Work?

How Does My Spine Work?

Your spinal column consists of series of 33 bones called vertebra.  These bones cover the delicate spinal cord while simultaneously protecting the nervous system and allowing for movement of the trunk through the 24 moveable segments.  Muscles, ligaments and tendons attach to the spine and the spine to the extremities which allows for dynamic movement of the entire body

There are 5 different sections; cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx.  When viewed from the side, an adult spine has a natural S-shaped curve. The neck (cervical) and low back (lumbar) regions have a slight concave curve, and the thoracic and sacral regions have a gentle convex curve  The curves work like a coiled spring to absorb shock, maintain balance, and allow range of motion throughout the spinal column.

Each vertebra in your spine is separated and cushioned by an intervertebral disc, keeping the bones from rubbing together. The discs have two distinct parts; a strong fibrous outer ring called and annulus and a soft, gelatinous center called the nucleus. The nucleus acts like a ball-bearing when you move, allowing the vertebral bodies to roll over the incompressible gel. The gel-filled nucleus is composed mostly of fluid. This fluid absorbed during the night as you lie down and is pushed out during the day as you move upright.

Between the moveable bony segments and intervertebral discs, spinal nerves exit the spinal cord to innervate the entire body.  This allows the brain to send messages via the spinal cord and spinal nerves to every cell, tissue, organ and muscle of the body and for the body to send information back to the brain.

The entire system works quite well and provides us with mobility, stability, strength and nerve function.  However, problems arise when the segments of the spine become stuck or immovable. When this occurs the system works poorly and decreased mobility, pain or lack of coordination occurs. 

For more information on spinal health and wellness call Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660

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What Is A Subluxation?

What Is A Subluxation?

Since the origination of chiropractic science, it had been generally accepted that if a spinal vertebra was out of place than a spinal nerve would become pinched and pain would ensue.  It was also thought that if a spinal nerve provided innervation to a body part then dysfunction would occur in that region or organ.  While there are occasions where spinal nerves do become “pinched” as a result of a vertebral misalignment, disc protrusion or degenerative changes that occurs far less frequently than a situation where a spinal joint simply moves poorly and cause joint and neurological dysfunction.

Recent research by the Rubicon Group describes a chiropractic subluxation as a “self-perpetuating, central segmental motor control problem that involves a joint, such as a vertebral motion segment, that is not moving appropriately thereby yielding ongoing maladaptive neural plastic changes that interfere with the central nervous systems ability to self-regulate, self-organize, adapt repair or heal.”

What do all of those fancy words mean?  If a joint in the spine or other parts of the body are not moving properly than the flow of information to the brain is disrupted.  As a result the brain actually misinterprets the body’s environment and sends misinformation from the brain to the body.  This can result in pain, lack of coordination and overall poor health.  This scientifically supported model of chiropractic and subluxation accounts for the effectiveness on spinal manipulation in relieving back or neck pain but also in improving coordination, athletic performance and overall health.

If you are suffering from back pain, neck pain, headaches, and spinal injuries or just want to improve your posture, athletic performance or overall health call Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660

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Lower Back Pain and Spinal Manipulation - The Most Effective Drug-Free Approach

Lower Back Pain and Spinal Manipulation - The Most Effective Drug-Free Approach

Lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide and one of the most common reasons for missed work. One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.  Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year, adds in lost wages and decreased productivity and that figure easily rises to more than $100 billion.

 

Back Pain and the Opioid Epidemic

Americans constitute less than 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 80 percent of the global opioid supply.

Almost half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. Back pain is one of the leading reasons why people are prescribed opioids.  Research shows that opioids do not provide clinically meaningful pain relief for people with chronic back pain. As many as one in four people who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggle with addiction.  In 2014, almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids. Almost 80 percent of Americans prefer to first use options other than prescription drugs for their pain.

 

Evidence-based Chiropractic: A Part of the Solution

 Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of back pain and other musculoskeletal complaints. In 2017, the American College of Physicians (ACP) updated its guidelines for the treatment of acute and chronic low-back pain to recommend first using non-invasive, non-drug treatments—including spinal manipulation—before resorting to over-the-counter and prescription drugs. In January 2015, the Joint Commission, the organization that accredits more than 20,000 health care systems in the U.S. including every major hospital, recognized the value of non-drug approaches by adding chiropractic to its pain management standard. Injured workers with similar injuries are 28 times less likely to have spinal surgery if the first point of contact is a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), rather than a surgeon (MD).

 

Patient Satisfaction

 Chiropractors treat more than 35 million Americans (adults and children) each year.  Two-thirds (61 percent) of adult Americans believe chiropractors are effective at treating neck and back pain. More than half of all U.S. adults have visited a chiropractor, and more than one quarter of them would choose chiropractic care first for back or neck pain.

 Chiropractors are the highest rated healthcare practitioners for low-back pain treatments above physical therapists, specialist physicians/MDs (i.e., neurosurgeons, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons), and primary care physicians/MDs.

 

Access to Chiropractic

 Chiropractic care is included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among others.

 A referral is usually not needed to see a chiropractor. Most plans allow you to just call and schedule an appointment.

 

For more information on drug-free treatment for lower back pain or to schedule an appointment call Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660

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Can Chiropractic Care Relieve Sciatica?

Can Chiropractic Care Relieve Sciatica?

Lower back pain which radiates into the leg or lower extremity is a common condition seen in a chiropractic setting.  Differential Diagnosis of the condition is an important component of the treatment plan and outcomes for these patients.  Many patients experience sciatica from dysfunction of the sacroiliac joints and tightness of the piriformis muscle while other patients are diagnosed with a herniated lumbar disc that impinges on a nerve root.  Both of the conditions cause pain radiating into the leg and chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment.

 

 

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Why Chose An Integrated Wellness Center for Your Healthcare Needs?

Why Chose An Integrated Wellness Center for Your Healthcare Needs?

Northwest Wellness was originally founded by Dr. Lorri Nichols as a Chiropractic Center in the 1989.  In recent years, the practice has evolved into a fully integrated, multi-disciplinary Wellness Center.  What does that mean to the patients, friends and families in our practice?

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