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Chiropractic Q&A

Posted August 15, 2012 in Advice Column, Grimes

Q: Can chiropractic care help bulging discs?

A: Each set of bones (vertebrae) in your spine are cushioned by a disc that makes movement easier. This disc also acts as a “shock absorber” to keep the bones from rubbing against one another any time you move.When a disc moves out of its proper place, it’s called a ruptured, bulging, herniated or slipped disc. All these terms mean the same thing — the disc is damaged. A person with a damaged disc can experience pain and loss of movement in the area of the damaged disc. If the disc exerts pressure on a nerve that is exiting the spine, other areas of the body can be affected as well.

If a damaged disc doesn’t press on a nerve, there may be very mild pain or no pain at all. However, if the disc places pressure on a nerve, the area of the body affected by the nerve may experience pain, numbness, “pins and needles,” muscle spasms or weakness.

Typical medical treatment usually includes pain management medications, exercise, physical therapy or surgery if the condition does not resolve itself. However, chiropractic care is a conservative, non-invasive, all-natural approach to healing herniated discs.

Chiropractors are trained to locate and correct nerve interference in the spine caused by bones that have shifted out of place. In the case of a herniated disc that interferes with proper nerve function, chiropractors administer a series of low force adjustments that can facilitate healing of the damaged disc.

Information provided by Zortman & Kleckner Chiropractic, 250 S.W. First St., Suite D, 986-2233.

Q: What should parents know about backpacks?

A: For the health of their children, it’s important for parents to follow these guidelines to help prevent pain and any future problems associated with improper use of backpacks:

• Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 10 percent of his or her body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward to support the weight on the back, rather than the shoulders.

• The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.

• A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively.

• Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.

• Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry — and the heavier the backpack will be.

• Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.

• Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable and can dig in your child’s shoulders.

Information provided by Williamson Chiropractic, 206 S. Main St., 986-9189.

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