What Causes Back and Neck Pain?
The spine is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, discs and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture discs, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back and neck pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements - for example, picking up a pencil from the floor- can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, tumors, or bone loss. However this is far more rare than mechanical back pain. Everyone enters complaining of a "pulled muscle," but those conditions often recover with home care. By the time patient enter this office there is almost certainly a protective muscular component, but very likely joint and possibly disc irritation. As with most situations, the cause is a combination of many factors. Very seldom is the patient's problem the result of just one thing.

Advanced Chiropractic & Acupuncture
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 Back Pain Facts & Statistics

Although chiropractic physicians care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition.  In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.

A few interesting facts about back pain

    * One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
    * Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. 
    * Back pain is the second most  common reason for visits to the doctor's office.
    * Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic - meaning they are not caused by serious                conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
    * Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain.
    * Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem in our lives.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain

    * " Toes with you nose " stick you butt out to restore lumbar curve and do not twist when lifting.
    *    Avoid prolonged sitting, inactivity or bed rest.
    *    Ice an acute injury.
    * Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
    * Remain active-under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
    * Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
    * Maintain proper posture.
    * Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
    * Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
    * Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
    * Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.

Spinal adjustment as a Treatment for Back Problems?
Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, the spinal adjustment has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Chiropractic spinal adjustment is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, increases range of motion, decreases pain, decreases need for medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest. In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research-a federal government research organization-recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal adjustment as a safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults. Ninety five percent of the time Dr. Bui & Dr. Hall use the Pulstar FRAS instrument to adjust the spine. There is no twisting or cracking involved.
Is chiropractic treatment safe?
Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal complaints. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects. The risks associated with chiropractic are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may experience mild soreness or aching,  just as they would after going to the gym. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal adjustment typically fade within 24 hours.
Neck pain and some types of headaches are treated through precise cervical adjustment. Cervical adjustment, often called a neck adjustment, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Adjustments are a remarkably safe procedure. While some reports have associated upper high-velocity neck adjustment with a  vertebral artery dissection, recent evidence suggests that this type of arterial injury often takes place spontaneously, or following everyday activities such as turning the head while driving, swimming, or having a shampoo in a hair salon. The best evidence indicates that the incidence of artery injuries associated with high-velocity upper neck adjustment is extremely rare - about 1 case in 5.85 million adjustments. Dr. Bui & Dr. Hall at Advanced Chiropractic & Acupuncture utilize the Pulstar adjusting instrument ( No twisting or cracking ).
It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for musculoskeletal pain -- prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) -- as these treatments may carry risks significantly greater than those of chiropractic adjustment. 
According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.

Is chiropractic treatment appropriate for children?
Yes, children can benefit from chiropractic care. Just like your Dentist & Family doctor, children are treated with care. Children are very physically active and experience many types of falls and blows from activities of daily living as well as from participating in sports. Injuries such as these may cause many symptoms including back and neck pain, stiffness, soreness or discomfort. Chiropractic care is always adapted to the individual patient. It is a highly skilled treatment, and in the case of children, very gentle. Children tend to respond well & fast to treatment and typically need much less treatment to improve.

Are chiropractors allowed to practice in hospitals or use medical outpatient facilities?
Chiropractors are being recognized to admit and treat patients in hospitals and to use outpatient clinical facilities (such as labs, Xrays, etc.) for their non-hospitalized patients.  Hospital privileges were first granted in 1983.

Do insurance plans cover chiropractic?
Yes. 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.

What type of education and training do chiropractors have?
Doctors of chiropractic are educated as primary-contact health care providers, with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the neuro - musculoskeletal system (the muscles, ligaments, discs and joints of the spine and extremities) and the nerves that supply them. Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions.  
The typical applicant for chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding - four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Doctors of chiropractic are educated in orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more.
Passing parts I - IV of National boards is also required. To practice in North Carolina you must score 100 points higher than what is considered passing nationally on part IV.
DCs  are required to obtain 24 hours of continuing education / year to maintain licensure.
In total, the chiropractic college curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Historical Perspective

There has been a lot of propaganda spread out there for many years about chiropractors. Many are unaware that a District court judge has issued a permanent injunction against the AMA among others for the "illegal boycott of the chiropractic profession". We are still professionally dealing with the unfortunate success of this propaganda. Many older medical physicians, educated in strongly affiliated AMA schools, were taught inaccuracies concerning chiropractic : lack of education, injuring patints, & delaying proper diagnosis. Consequently, they are hesitant to refer to doctors of chiropractic.

In October 1976, Chester Wilk, D.C. and four other chiropractors filed suit against the AMA. The Wilk suit also named many of the nation's other most prominent medical groups as codefendants-groups such as the American Hospital Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Physicians, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals.

The suit claimed that the defendants had participated for years in an illegal conspiracy to destroy chiropractic. On August 24, 1987, after endless wrangling in the courts, U.S. District Court judge Susan Getzendanner ruled that the AMA and its officials were guilty, as charged, of attempting to eliminate the chiropractic profession. Evidence at the trial showed that the defendants took active steps, often covert, to undermine chiropractic educational institutions, conceal evidence of the usefulness of chiropractic care, undercut insurance programs for patients of chiropractors, subvert government inquiries into the efficacy of chiropractic, engage in a massive disinformation campaign to discredit and destabilize the chiropractic profession and engage in numerous other activities to maintain a medical physician monopoly over health care in this country. Like many things...it's all about money and power.

What conditions do chiropractors treat?
Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions.  DCs are especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients' low back pain, neck pain, headaches, leg & arm pain, and more. Most patients will have  injuries or disorders of the neuro - musculoskeletal system, involving the muscles, ligaments, discs,  joints and the nerves that control them. Often these are the result of auto accidents, old injuries, sports, falls, or chronic poor posture. Many patients may have sciatica and no low back pain. The benefits of chiropractic care extend to general health issues, as well, since our body structure affects our overall function. DCs also counsel patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and occupational and lifestyle modification. 
Conditions that respond to Chiropractic - click here
Is chiropractic treatment ongoing?
Chiropractic physicains are very much like doctor level personal trainers. We are attempting to improve your body's overall performance.  Literally,  " Tune you up." You know you can't go to the gym once and become fit, the same is true with your spine. To be treated by a chiropractor, a patient obviously needs to be in his or her office. Guidelines recommend visit schedule of 2-3 visits / week for 4-6 weeks then re-evaluation, depending on the severity of the patient's condition. It's just like dog training or potty training children...the more you stay on it the faster porgress is made. Many patients respond well with a schedule of 2 visits per week. The average case across the USA falls between 8-15 visits in Chiropractic practices.
Once a patient is demonstrating steady progress a reduction in visit frequency is started to ensure patients remain stable at extended periods of time, with out assistance from the doctors. Ultimately, to a one month follow up visit and if all is well, guidelines recomned release from care.
Our goal is for you to progess to a point where you are truely independent and your body is recovering on it's own, not for you to become dependent on treatment from the doctors to "keep you going." Certian cases will respond fast, some slow, and some will need to be referred for injection or surgical consult. No one needs to be in denial about this.
It is the real world  and the unfortunately there is no magic. Most patients will be released from care and advised to return should pains return, others with chronic conditions may be advised to follow up in several months. Much like your Dentist.

Many patients ask about proper desk / computer set up. This is a very important issue due to the ammount of time we all spend staring at screens. Primarily, the doctors recommend that you sand up every 20-30 minutes.   Sitting has been shown to put an extra load on the low back, 40-85 % more than standing. Please review the image below. You are typically better off recumbent, side lying, reclining or standing. Try to styay at or below the dotted line. So, it's not  "sit down & take a load off"-------actually," it's sit down and put a load on ! " Reclining places less pressure than sitting. Recent research has shown that it is impossible to overcome the negative health consequences of sitting. Sitting all day may significantly boost the risk of lifestyle-related disease even if one adds a regular dose of moderate or vigorous exercise.
The health benefitsof physical activity are beyond dispute -- it helps ward off cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, among other problems.  A recent study of Australian adults showing that each daily one-hour increase in sitting time while watching television upped the rate of metabolic syndrome in women by 26 % -- regardless of the amount of moderate-to-intensive exercise performed. Thirty minutes of daily physical exercise decreased the risk by about the same percentage, suggesting that being a couch potato can cancel out the benefits of hitting treadmill or biking, for example. Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of three or more factors including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high cholesterol or insulin resistance.
Image below shows results of 2 studies on lumbar disc pressures. When you have low back pain you do not want to put unecessary pressure on discs. According to the physics you should : lie down, recline, or stand.

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