Neck & Low Back Pain

Neck & Low Back Pain

Dr. Mike the Chiropractor - Neck PainMany people experience neck and shoulder pain at some point in their life. Neck pain can arise from a number of structures including muscles, ligaments, bone, joint capsules, and more.

Human anatomy makes the neck particularly vulnerable to injury. The neck has to hold up an average head weight of 15 pounds, which can be quite a job. And when we slump or slouch, that 15 pound weight falls forward.

With simple, everyday causes like poor posture, stress, work station problems or long hours at a computer, not to mention anxiety, depression and more, it’s no wonder most of us have needed help for neck pain at some point.

And then there are sports injuries and accidents that can result in whiplash.

There is increased probability that if you’ve had neck pain once, the chances of having another episode are significantly increased. Neck pain is a condition that frequently comes and goes.

To ease neck pain, Dr. Richard Tavares—Dr. Rick the Chiropractor—can perform physical neck manipulation, massage and other soft tissue techniques, such as applied release technique.

Upper Back Pain

 Back pain—including the upper and lower back—is the #1 problem that brings people into Dr. Rick’s clinic.

The good news is that upper back pain (or mid-back pain) is not as common as neck pain or lower back pain. This is because the upper or mid-back region does not move as much as the neck or low back part of the spine. Upper back pain is frequently caused by a muscle or soft tissue problem.

However, patients with upper back pain frequently also have neck pain and shoulder pain for the same reasons: poor posture as well as lack of ergonomic office furniture, and poor office layout. In addition, stress is concentrated in the neck, shoulders and upper back in many people.

Upper back pain is frequently linked to muscular irritation, lack of strength, and repetitive motion injuries. Specifically, muscle strains, sports injuries, auto accidents, or other injuries can all result in pain because the muscles have been irritated.

Dr. Richard Tavares—Dr. Rick the Chiropractor—may use a combination of spinal manipulation, manual techniques, therapy instruments, and therapeutic exercises to help ease pain or discomfort.

Lower Back Pain

Back pain, upper back pain, mid-back pain, muscle strains, sports injury, auto accidents, sports injury, car accident, muscle irritation, neck stress, muscle stress, shoulder pain

About 75% of people will experience back pain in their lifetime, mostly in their lower back. Clearly, lower back pain is the most common complaint of chiropractic patients. Pain can be acute, lasting hours, 4 to 6 weeks, or it can be chronic.

Most lower back pain comes from sprains and strains caused by stressful movements. You lifted something without using proper techniques, suddenly twisted, or fell from a ladder. Then there is “The Weekend Warrior” who is not at optimal fitness and pushes beyond existing abilities—and then cannot get out of bed the next day due to pain. These are just a few examples of how you can hurt your back.
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Obesity can be another cause of lower back pain since the patient is carrying around excess weight.

Dr. Richard Tavares—Dr. Rick the Chiropractor—may use a combination of spinal manipulation, manual techniques, therapy instruments, and therapeutic exercises to help ease pain and discomfort.

It is common for patients with lower back pain, however, to have referring pain into the hip or leg. This is because the nerve pathways that originate in the low back also run into the hip and down the leg.

Pinched Nerves

Dr. Mike The Chiropractor - Pinched NervsPatients call them pinched nerves; chiropractors call them compressed nerves. No matter what you call them, muscle spasm in the back commonly accompanies pinched nerves—and it can be quite painful.

Pinched nerves are frequently the result of herniated disks.

Sometimes, nerves can be pinched and the only symptoms may be numbness and weakness in the arm or leg, but no pain. Other symptoms can include tingling, burning, a feeling like electric shock, as well as a hot/cold sensation. Other times, a pinched nerve in the low back can be perceived as radiating down the leg, to the knee or even the foot.

Pinched nerves can be tricky to diagnose. The patient can have more than one condition at a time. The patient may have both a lower back problem and a hip problem that give the feeling of a pinched nerve.

Though challenging to diagnose sometimes, Dr. Richard Tavares—Dr. Rick the Chiropractor—has many years of experience to differentiate among pinched nerves, hip, and low back pain and will treat multiple areas as needed.


Sciatica -  Dr. Michael A. Schwartz—Dr. Mike the ChiropractorPain that radiates from your lower spine to your buttocks and down the back of your leg is called sciatica. This pain along the sciatic nerve can be caused when the root of the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated.

Sciatica is crippling and debilitating pain; you should seek immediate professional healthcare attention if you have any of the following symptoms: you have severe pain or weakness, tingling, or numbness in either the groin area or leg; the pain is getting worse; or you have loss of bowel or bladder control.

Sciatica can last for several weeks, but more extreme cases can last for months. Sciatica can be very painful, but it is rare that permanent nerve damage will result. Often, pain levels can be greatly reduced with early chiropractic treatment.

The causes of sciatica must be treated on an individual basis. Dr. Richard Tavares—Dr. Rick the Chiropractor—uses soft tissue therapy and chiropractic adjustments to help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Sciatica is often a symptom of other conditions such as a herniated or slipped disc, degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis of the spine. Most of these conditions put pressure on the nerve. It is important to address the underlying causes first.

Slipped & Herniated Discs

There are a number of terms that are used to describe spinal disc conditions: ruptured disc, torn disc, slipped disc, collapsed disc, disc protrusion, disc disease, and black disc.

And, disc problems can happen all along the spinal column: the neck, the upper back, and the lower back. They tend to be most common, however, in the lower back because the lower back bears the most torque and force on a day-to-day basis.

A disc is a soft cushion that sits between each vertebrae of your spine. When a disc herniation occurs, the cushion that sits between the spinal vertebrae is pushed outside its normal position. Simply, the disc bulges out. As a result, the spinal nerves and spinal cord can become pinched—the cause of your pain, numbness, or weakness.

A herniated disc may occur suddenly in an event such as a fall or an accident, or may occur gradually with repetitive straining of the spine. And sometimes, discs degenerate as a person ages.

Frequently, disc pain and pinched (or compressed) nerves are linked.
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Chiropractic treatment for herniated discs that Dr. Richard Tavares—Dr. Rick the Chiropractor—uses include physical manipulation, soft tissue therapy, exercise and gentle stretching to help relieve pain.


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