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Back Pain

General Description

Physical discomfort that affects the back, or column of the spine to be specific, is generally described as back pain (or backache). Back pain is one of the most prevalent medical problems, estimated to affect 50-80 percent of all individuals at some point in one’s life. It’s the main cause of disability among adults and the second most frequently cited reason for missing work behind the common cold.

Back pain encompasses a broad range of sensations. The discomfort can vary in intensity from a dull ache to a sudden, searing one, with lots of possibilities in between. The pain can be incessant, throb rhythmically, or disappear just as quickly as it came. For that matter, there are three ways to describe back pain:

  • Acute: This is any discomfort that lasts less than one month.
  • Subacute: An episode lasting between one and three months is said to be subacute.
  • Chronic pain: This is when a backache lasts beyond three months.

Back pain can also be categorized depending on the region of the spine in which it’s felt:

  • Neck pain: Affects the cervical (upper) spine.
  • Middle back pain: Affects the thoracic (mid) section.
  • Low back pain: This is felt in the lumbar region (between pelvis and ribs).
  • Sacral pain: Technically known as Coccydynia, this affects the lowermost section of the spine.

While low back pain accounts for the larger share of cases, some victims experience two forms of discomfort simultaneously. In that regard, back pain can be classified into three groups depending on how it’s felt:

  • Axial pain is confined to one spot
  • Referred pain is characterized by a dull ache that moves around and varies in intensity
  • Radicular pain refers to a sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the path of the spinal nerve as it exits down into the legs.

In a nutshell, there are almost as many forms of back pain as there are victims.

The Signs and Symptoms

Besides the obvious indicator that is the presence of discomfort on one’s back, back pain can be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • A feeling of stiffness along the spinal column, especially in the morning
  • Limited movement of the torso, with a feeling of tenderness, felt when joints of the spine come under pressure.
  • Difficulty undertaking normal activities like bending, lifting, and walking
  • The tendency to adopt an awkward posture when sitting, standing, walking, etc.
  • In some cases, back pain may trigger a feeling of numbness in the limbs. Other patients experience tingling, crawling, stinging, and burning sensations (collectively known as paresthesias).
  • Redness, warmth, and/or swelling along the back
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Muscle spasms and tightness: These are usually felt in the pelvis, hips, and lower back.
  • A good share of back pain victims experience mental distress and anxiety. Usually, one will develop a fear of activity and movement, concerned that it’ll worsen their condition. Consequently, chronic back pain is associated with poor mood, irritability, frustration and, in some cases, depression.
What are the Causes?

While there are many different causes of back pain, the majority of cases can be linked to the following:

  • Sprains and strains: A sprain happens when one or several ligaments supporting the spine are stretched too far; strains affect muscles and tendons in a similar manner. Both injuries can occur due to the use of poor body mechanics (e.g., lifting heavy objects, twisting the spine while lifting, and bad posture). They can also result from sudden impacts such as falls and car crashes.
  • Disc herniation and rupture: When the cushion-like pads separating individual vertebrae along the spinal column slip out of position, it’s known as disc herniation. Although herniation can occur without any symptoms, the malpositioned disk is prone to irritate surrounding nerves, triggering back pain. Nerves also come under pressure when discs bulge, rupture, or suffer degeneration due to age.
  • Inflammation: About 25% of chronic back pain cases can be attributed to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Inflammatory back pain can also be triggered by injury or infection.
  • Osteoarthritis: The gradual wear of spinal cartilage — usually as a result of age-related wear and tear — is bound to cause discomfort and pain along the spinal column.
  • Stenosis: This describes a state where open spaces within the spine begin to narrow; pain inevitably follows when nerve roots get compressed. Stenosis affects the upper (cervical) and lower (lumbar) segments of the spine. The condition often results from the changes caused by arthritis.
  • Lifestyle triggers: As we noted earlier, backache can be caused by some of the things one does (or doesn’t do) in one’s day-to-day life. A lack of exercise can, for instance, cause some muscles in your back to become weak, resulting in strain on some sections of the spine. Other lifestyle factors associated with back pain include obesity, smoking, wearing high heels, and psychological stress.
  • Abnormal growths: Osteophytes (bony growths) occurring along the spinal column can trigger back pain by either squeezing nerve roots or pushing discs out of position. Similarly, tumors affecting the spine (or nearby organs) are bound to throw the structure out of balance.
Treatment

Do you live in or near Arlington Heights, IL, and suffer from back pain? Or maybe you know someone in the area who does? There’s no need to endure any more when Hawkeye Chiropractic Clinic is more than happy to help. With more than a decade’s worth of experience under our belt, we’re ranked among the top care providers in the municipality.

And with our offices at 1401 S Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, we are conveniently located for residents of the following areas:

  • Rolling Meadows
  • Des Plaines
  • Palatine
  • Schaumburg
  • Mt Prospect
  • Elk Grove Village

To say the least, we’ve served patients from all over the Northwestern Suburbs. Our doors are open every weekday during the following hours:

  • Monday and Friday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday and Thursday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM – 6:30 PM

For a quick consultation, all you need is to get in touch with us by phone via (847) 472-1224 or fax us at (847)472-1193. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have before scheduling your first appointment. Additionally, you can connect with us through our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn channels if you have any queries for Dr. Drew. Also, feel free to check out testimonials from past patients on our website. You will quickly see why Hawkeye Chiropractic is the perfect solution for your back pain.

Schedule a Back Pain Consultation

NECK Pain

Neck pain is the pain associated with the neck and the adjoining areas. Inflammation, injury, or any abnormalities could cause neck stiffness or pain. Neck pain and stiffness is a relatively common issue but one that cannot be ignored.

General Description

Generally, it is not a serious ailment and could be relieved in days – either through some treatment or on its own. For self-healing, an adequate amount of rest is essential. The healing process, however, can be accelerated through external interventions.

In other scenarios, neck pain could signify a major illness or injury and must be looked at or treated under a chiropractor’s supervision. Neck pain can be considered “severe” if it persists for a week or more. Such neck pain is often accompanied by a few other symptoms or complications that warrant the experts’ immediate attention.

The Neck – Structure, and Significance

The human neck (cervical spine) is vertebrae spanning the distance between the skull and the upper torso.

The bones, neck muscles, and ligaments support the head and permit motion. The connecting bones have cervical discs, which absorb shock in the region. The neck joins the chest and shoulders to the head.

Undoubtedly, the neck is one of the most intricate and complex structures in the human body. It also consists of the spinal cord that transmits messages to the various parts of the body from the brain.

The neck is responsible for multiple crucial roles, including spinal cord protection, head support, and blood flow to the brain.

Neck Pain Could Signal a Heart Attack

As alluded to above, you cannot afford to take neck pain lightly as the issue could be a precursor to a heart attack. Heart attack-signaling neck pain, however, has a few other signs accompanying, which include:

  • Sweating
  • Breath shortness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Jaw or arm pain

Therefore, if your neck hurts and none of those mentioned above symptoms show, you can be pretty confident your heart is doing fine. If you show all or some of the signs above, do not panic and seek care immediately.

The Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of neck pain or injury are usually noticeable. Those could be in direct correlation with the neck or rooted in some other part of the body.

The most obvious symptoms and signs include:

  • Pain in the neck that gets worsened when you hold your head in a particular place or way for extended periods, such as when working at the desk or driving.
  • Tightness in the neck’s muscles and spams.
  • Decreased head mobility or neck stiffness, which prevents the head from turning sideways.
  • Headaches. At times, a neck irritation could affect the nerves and muscles linked to the head. Specific types of neck pain-signaling headaches include cervicogenic headache, tension headache, and occipital neuralgia.

If these neck pain symptoms persist, sleeping will become problematic. The pain could also come in the way of several daily activities, which include getting dressed, heading to work, and driving.

What are the Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain, as mentioned before, is a relatively common condition – especially in the current day and age of laptops and smartphones that push people into hunching over.

In other words, poor posture is one of the biggest reasons for neck pain. Neck pain can also be due to an injury caused by a fall, whiplash, or contact sports.  

Poor Posture 

Poor posture hurts because it strains the muscles in the neck region and causes tension. Besides staying glued to a mobile device, bad posture can also be due to:

  • Working for too long at a desk and not changing position.
  • Wrong neck position while sleeping.
  • Exerting too much or unnecessary pressure on the neck while training.
  • Gritting your teeth or reading in bed.

Injury 

The neck is quite a flexible part of the human body. It is also relatively defenseless against injuries – particularly the ones caused due to auto accidents, physical sports, etc. 

When an external force hits your neck, its ligaments and muscles get pushed into abnormality. Things truly turn scary when the cervical vertebrae (neck bones) are ruptured in the process. Damaged bones in the neck could cause spinal cord damage. 

Rear-end car collisions usually lead to whiplash injury, caused due to the backward and forward jerking of the head. The sudden movement of the head strains the neck’s soft tissues.

Specific Medical Conditions 

Besides a heart attack, a few other medical conditions could have caused your neck pain. 

  • Meningitis or the inflammation of the tissue surrounding your spinal cord and brain can be a cause. The neck grows stiff in individuals who have meningitis. A headache and fever also tag along.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis can affect your neck, causing pain as a result.
  • Osteoporosis, the bone-weakening disorder, could also hurt your neck and cause pain.
  • Fibromyalgia can cause muscle pain in your shoulder and neck region.
  • Spondylosis or the degenerating of cervical discs with age could reduce the vertebrae area, causing neck pain and stress in the joints.
  • Due to an injury or trauma, a disk protrusion could add some pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord, causing neck pain in the process. Referred to as herniated cervical disk, the condition is also called a slipped or ruptured disk.  
  • Spinal stenosis can also cause pain in the neck. The condition is essentially the spinal column’s narrowing, causing pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord as it leaves the vertebrae. Spinal stenosis could be the result of chronic inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis.

In a few other instances, neck pain or stiffness could be caused by congenital abnormalities, abscesses, infections, tumors, or even spine cancer. 

And at times, you could feel severe pain in the neck without any of the aforementioned underlying conditions to show. It would have been due to age-related wear and tear. Neck joints, in other words, wear down with time.

Schedule a Neck Pain Consultation

Headaches and Migraines

General Description

A headache is “a pain in the head”. A migraine is a more potent form of a headache and invariably persisting.

Migraines can be accompanied by vomiting, nausea, increased sensitivity to noise and light, lethargy, etc. These could also be the condition’s causes. A migraine could last anywhere between a few hours to a couple of days or more.

Most migraine headaches last around four hours. The severe types, however, could stick around for days. People who are vulnerable to or have a history of migraine attacks usually get at least a couple of such headaches a month. Some, however, may not be troubled as much and would feel the pain only one or two times a year.

Migraine is not fatal or doesn’t cause lasting harm. However, in the rarest of instance, migraine could lead to a stroke, coma, or some other serious complication. The data on this is not clear, or there’s no objective evidence that migraine can lead to strokes or a coma. Sometimes, an intense headache could be an indication of an aneurysm or a stroke.

Different Stages of Migraine

Migraines usually happen in stages/forms. The following are the migraine types:

  • Prodrome

Prodrome, or the warning or premonitory phase, represents specific mental and physical alterations, such as cravings for sweets, tiredness, increased thirst, mood alterations, neck stiffness, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. This stage could last anywhere between an hour to 24 hours.

  • Aura

A migraine’s aura encompasses an array of neurological symptoms as they stem from the nervous system.

“Aura” of migraine has its roots in the brain’s cortex region. Changes in sight, such as colored spots, dark spots, zigzag lines, stars or sparkles, etc., are possible. Tingling or numbness, vertigo or dizziness, and weakness could also occur. Hearing and speech could be disturbed as well. Feelings of confusion and fear are likely. Fainting or partial paralysis, although rare, also signifies the “aura” stage.

The aura phase is shorter than the prodrome stage, lasting anywhere from five minutes to an hour. Aura usually precedes a headache.

  • Attack

The main attack or headache stage denotes severe, and at times unbearable, head pain. It usually begins as a minor, dull ache to only gain momentum with time.

The throbbing headache gets worse when you train or do some physically intensive activity. At times, even a slight movement of the head could trigger the pain.

The tightening or pressing pain is usually on a particular side of the skull, especially during the starting stages. The pain could also be either at the front or affecting your entire head. Feeling pain on both sides, however, is not uncommon.

Periods of vomiting and nausea usually occur during this phase, alongside sensitivity to sound and/or light. You could also feel sweaty and pale.

  • Resolution

Most headaches and migraine attacks fade away within hours. In some cases, the migraine vanishes when the affected individual falls sick or weeps in pain. For some people, a few hours of quality sleep can do the trick. For kids, even a few minutes of shuteye can help bring their headache or migraine to a conclusion.

  • Postdrome

The postdrome, or recovery stage, is the last phase of the attack. Generally, it could take several hours or even a couple of days for people to reach this stage.

Postdrome’s symptoms are similar to the first stage. The symptoms are mirrored. Suppose you couldn’t eat or sleep during the initial phase of the headache. In postdrome, your appetite will be extremely high, and you’ll sleep like a baby.

It’s Not the Same Across the Board! 

Not everyone with migraines goes through these various phases. Some may experience just one or a combination of a few. And which stages get combined could differ with people and every attack. Also, the severity and length of each phase are not consistent across the board.

That said, categorizing the different migraine phases on paper is easy, but ascertaining the same in a patient can be extremely challenging. For instance, a kid’s migraine attack is usually short-lived compared to that of an adult. Therefore, it may not always be feasible to correctly ascertain the headache or migraine phase the person is in.

The Signs and Symptoms of Headaches & Migraines

Headaches and migraines manifest differently in different people. The symptoms of headaches vary based on the kind of headache:

  • Tension Headache: Symptoms include neck stiffness, scalp tenderness, dull and aching pain in the head, shoulder stiffness, and pressure or tightness across the forehead. Though tension headaches could feel like a migraine attack, they do not cause the visual issues migraine headaches are pretty much identified with.
  • Cluster headache: A cluster headache is generally short-lived and causes pain behind or near the eyes. The constant, throbbing pain is typically on one side of the head. A cluster headache, unlike a migraine, is not accompanied by nausea.
  • Migraine headache: Migraine symptoms usually are a pulsating sensation in the head, pain on a particular side, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, vomiting, and throbbing pain.
  • Rebound headache: This headache type is more routine and particularly bad during the mornings. The symptoms attached to a rebound headache include nausea, irritability, restlessness, memory issues, etc.

It’s not that easy to ascertain the kind of headache you experience. A trained professional should guide you in the matter and let you know more about your condition.

What are the Causes of Headaches & Migraines?

The causes of headaches and migraines are not established and could vary between individuals. Generally, it’s believed the pain is linked with brain-related changes and genes. Migraine triggers such as sensitivity to bright lights, fatigue, etc., could also get passed down to you by your parents.

The blood flow alterations in the brain were believed to cause migraine headaches. It’s now considered the change in blood flow is only correlated and not causal.

Current theories suggest migraine kicks in when the brain’s overactive nerve cells transmit signals that trigger the trigeminal nerve, causing sensations in the face and head. This prompts the body to release serotonin and CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) and a few other chemicals.

CGRP causes the blood vessels in the brain’s lining to swell. The neurotransmitters then cause pain and inflammation.

Risk Factors 

Millions of people in America and globally get migraine attacks or headaches daily. The following factors increase the likelihood of being affected by the condition:

  • People who fall in the 10 to 40 years age group are more likely to experience migraine attacks.
  • Family history plays a significant role. At least 80% of people troubled by migraines have a parent or family member with the issue. If a parent has had or currently experiences a migraine attack, their kid has a 50% likelihood of inheriting the condition. If both the parents suffer from migraines, the chances go up to 75%.
  • Medical conditions such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, epilepsy, etc., could heighten the odds.

Besides the aforementioned hormonal changes, stress, certain foods and drinks (aged cheese, alcohol, tobacco, food additives, etc.), caffeine, weather changes, sleeping patterns, etc., could ascertain the risks or function as triggers.

Chiropractic Care for Headaches & Migraines

At Hawkeye Chiropractic, we look at headaches and migraine attacks from all possible angles to understand the phase you are in – which provides us major insights that help with the diagnosis. The first and most important step to treating headaches and migraines is a correct diagnosis.

Headed by Dr. Drew Voelsch, our doctors are specialized in treating neuromuscular disorders. Because back and neck pain could trigger tension in the muscles and nerves that control the flow of blood to the head, our chiropractic treatment can decrease the frequency of your migraine headaches and reduce the severity and duration of migraine by focusing on your back and neck.

As mentioned above, there is no definite migraine cure. Chiropractic treatment, as a result, is an excellent way to decrease the impact of migraine without the side effects considerably. With traditional medication, adverse effects are almost a given.  

Chiropractic treatments work against migraines and headaches because we treat the migraine’s source instead of just making light the pain’s effects. Our chiropractic treatment works to:

  • Restore correct nervous system communication.
  • Reduce irritation in nerves, which transmit pain signals to your brain.
  • Decrease muscle tension, a standard migraine trigger.
  • Restore proper blood flow.
  • Unlock the healing potential of your body.
  • Strengthen the spine-supporting muscles.
  • Detects migraine triggers to avoid future episodes or attacks.

We, at Hawkeye Chiropractic, can treat a variety of medical conditions. Migraine is one of them. And because “conventional” medicine has no real treatment for migraine, a more relaxing, side effects-free chiropractic treatment only makes more sense.

Schedule a Migraine Consultation

Sciatica

Sciatica is a form of nerve pain caused due to some irritation or an injury to the sciatic nerve. The nerve originates in the gluteal/buttock area and is the thickest and longest nerve in the human body. Its thickness is almost the width of the person’s finger.

General Description

The sciatic nerve is composed of five nerve roots:

  • Two are from the lumbar spine or the lower back region.
  • The remaining three are from the sacrum or your spine’s end section.

These five roots come together and form the left and right sciatic nerves. A sciatic nerve runs via your buttocks, hips, and down the leg on each side, ending just under the knee. 

The nerve then branches out to other nerves, continuing its journey further down your limbs and ending up at your toes and feet. 

The sciatica nerve doesn’t easily get hurt or damaged. The term “sciatica” denotes any pain originating in your lower back and radiating down the leg. 

Sciatica can affect either your right or your left leg. It doesn’t impact both your legs simultaneously, however. Which one of the two gets affected depends on where the nerve gets pinched along your spinal column. 

And based on the cause, sciatica could be gradual or sudden. A disk herniation could cause sudden pain. Spine arthritis-related pain develops slowly over a period.

The Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica

If you have the condition, you’ll experience slight to acute pain anywhere along the sciatic nerve’s path – from your lower back, via the buttocks, hips, and/or down the legs. Your foot and leg muscles could also become weak or numb. An unpleasant tingling sensation in your foot, toes, and leg is quite likely as well.

Typical symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Leg pain that gets worse while seated.
  • Burning or tingling sensation that runs down your leg.
  • Weakness, numbness, or problems moving the leg or foot.
  • A consistent feeling of pain on a particular side of the lower back.
  • The pain makes standing up on your feet next to impossible.

How Does the Pain Feel Like? 

Sciatica pain or the signs of the condition can be different based on the cause. Some describe the pain to be sharp, shooting, or jolting. Others describe the pain as “electric”, “burning”, or “stabbing”.

The pain could be intermittent or constant. Moreover, the pain is a lot more severe or pronounced in your leg than in your lower back. It could feel worse if you stand or sit for extended periods. A sudden and forced body movement, such as a sneeze or cough, could also aggravate the pain or make it worse.

What are the Causes of Sciatica?

Sciatica is pain caused by inflammation, irritation, compression, or pinching of the lower back nerve. A slipped or herniated disk generally creates pressure on the nerve’s root, causing the pain.

Your likelihood of getting sciatica depends on a few things. The following are some common/major risk factors:

  • Injury: An injury to the spine or lower back increases your chances of sciatica. At times, the injury’s impact may not be immediate, or the sciatica pain would come to the fore after a few weeks or months of the injury.
  • Age-related wear: With aging, your spine’s disks and bone tissue wear down naturally. Normal aging could increase the risks of your nerves being pinched or injured by the shifts and changes in bone, ligaments, and disks.
  • Obesity: An overweight individual is likely to develop sciatica. The more your spine has to lift or bear, the higher the chances of back pains, strains, and other back problems.
  • Core Weakness: The “core” constitutes your abdomen and back muscles. If your core is not strong or in optimal condition, your lower back will not get the muscle support it requires. Unlike the rib cage providing support to the chest, the lower back’s only form of help is your muscles.
  • Physical job: If you do a lot of heavy lifting at your job, your chances of developing low back issues could increase. Also, jobs that entail prolonged sitting could increase your low back problem risks. And when that happens, your sciatica nerve becomes more vulnerable.
  • Improper posture: Even being fit won’t count, or you could develop sciatica if your body form is not correct – particularly when lifting weights or resorting to any form of a strength training exercise.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes heightens your risk of nerve damage, increasing your likelihood of developing sciatica in the process.
  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis could cause spine damage and make your nerves more susceptible to injury.
  • Smoking: Nicotine found in tobacco could weaken bones, damage spinal tissue, and accelerate the wearing of your vertebral disks.
Pregnancy and Sciatica

When a woman is pregnant with her child, her weight increases. But the weight is usually not the cause or the only factor ascertaining sciatica. 

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes a sea of hormonal changes, causing the ligaments in her back to loosen. Those are ligaments holding together the vertebrae, safeguarding the disks and keeping the spine stable. 

When the ligaments get loosened, they cause an unstable spine and cause disk slippage – resulting in the nerves getting pinched and sciatica. The weight and positioning of the baby inside the womb could also create pressure on the nerve.

Chiropractic Care for Sciatica

Sciatica can be treated through self-care treatments, or it gets better on its own with time. But when it doesn’t disappear by itself or when DIY therapies do not help, Hawkeye Chiropractic will come to your rescue.

Led by Dr. Drew Voelsch, our expert team of doctors will treat your sciatica and associated conditions holistically. The goal is to relieve the pain naturally and gently, without using drugs and knives. To completely relieve you of the pain and ensure zero side effects, we start with the diagnosis.

An accurate diagnosis of the condition is imperative to treat sciatica from its roots. Our doctor(s) will first examine and evaluate your medical background to ascertain the pain’s cause.

We employ a range of techniques and approaches for treatment, including massage therapy, heat and cold therapy, and ultrasound. The chiropractic massage helps relieve the sciatica pain by inducing the muscles’ relaxation and releasing endorphins that function as natural painkillers.

Unlike regular spa massages, our massages are more focused on sciatica soothing and healing. Because our chiropractors are highly knowledgeable about the body’s entire musculoskeletal system, they know where and how to apply pressure to make sure the healing process begins at the earliest.

Heat and cold therapy also comes in extremely handy with offering relief from sciatica. The heat helps loosen the strained, tightened muscles. The “cold” aspect of the treatment helps decelerate blood flow to the affected region, thereby easing inflammation symptoms.

Ultrasound is a form of (gentle) heat therapy generated using sound waves, which permeate your body’s tissues. It helps with blood circulation (healing), reduces swelling, cramping, pain, and muscle spasms.

Dr. Drew Voelsch has been in chiropractic care for more than a decade and knows which form of treatment to incorporate for his patients’ specific requirements. Since sciatica’s causes could be varied, a blanket approach mustn’t be taken. Our doctors are extremely particular about the same.

Schedule a Sciatica Consultation

Leg Pain

The term “leg pain” is pretty self-explanatory. It is a form of pain or aching discomfort in the leg that could be intense, stabbing-like, tingling, and/or dull. The pain can be constant or continual, manifest suddenly or over a period, and affect the whole leg or a specific area – for instance, the knee, shin, foot, ankle, thigh, knee, etc.

General Description

“Leg pain” is a relatively broad term. As mentioned above, the pain can affect certain specific parts of your leg. Based on the leg area that’s involved, the condition could have its own name. For instance, sciatica is a form of leg pain caused by a damaged nerve that’s rooted in the lower spine of your body. The condition troubles the entire leg.

Leg pain can occur anytime. Your leg may pain while lying down or when you’re exercising or running. It could happen at night while you’re sleeping, not letting you slumber in peace. Pain also occurs when the leg is exposed to high pressure levels, low or high temperatures, chemicals, etc. Based on the cause, the pain could be in just one leg or both legs.

The pain levels or intensity could be mild to severe. The continual, persisting ones tend to be on the less acute side. The painful sensations that hit you suddenly are likely to be sharper and cause increased agony, albeit momentarily. Pain caused due to an injury in an accident or a sports game is usually traumatic, with the cause being pretty apparent.

The Signs and Symptoms

The feeling or sensation of pain is a tell-tale sign your leg is not in its optimal state and needs help. Before the pain manifests itself, a few things could act as precursors or indicate a leg pain is imminent. They include the following: 

  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Cramps
  • Throbbing
  • Tingling

A few other likely signs you are likely to experience pain in your leg include: 

  • A grinding or popping sound from the knee. It could have been due to an injury or through normal wear and tear.
  • A pale, swollen, or unusually cool leg.
  • Unable to stretch your legs before exercising, especially if you were able to do so earlier.
  • If resting your leg after a tiring day doesn’t feel as relaxing as it usually should.

If you sit at your computer desk for hours together without a break or do not get off your chair and do some intermittent stretching or casual walking, leg pain could likely be the outcome.  

What are the Causes?

Leg pain is usually due to tissue inflammation caused by a disease or injury.

The following are the likely causes:

 

Joint and Tissue Problems 

Arthritis is a medical condition affecting your joints and causing pain, stiffness, and swelling in the region. When arthritis affects your knees, ankles, or hips, it could cause leg pain or make it extremely hard to walk normally or perform any regular task.

When the tissue connecting bones, referred to as a ligament, is torn or stretched, it gets injured or sprained. The injured region swells and hurts, which makes walking an almost impossible task.

Lack of Blood Flow 

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) or the lack of blood flow to your legs could cause pain in your leg. This is usually the case when your arteries are narrowed. Besides pain sensations, your legs could feel numb or weak, or they may cramp while walking. They may also look discolored or devoid of blood in specific regions.  

Blood Clotting 

Blood clotting in your lower leg or thigh vein can also be the cause of your leg pain. Referred to as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the medical world, the issue can cause pain, swelling, and your leg could become red and warm. When ignored or not treated, DVT could result in pulmonary embolism, a condition wherein the clot breaks and heads to your lungs.

Muscular-Related 

When a muscle in your leg is stretched beyond its capability, you’ll feel the same immediately as acute pain. Athletes – particularly those who play sports that entail a lot of running or some form of stretching – are more susceptible to such muscle-induced leg pain. Muscle cramps or your muscle getting tight suddenly can also bring along a sharp pain in the leg. Calf muscles are the ones that usually lose flexibility.

Loss of Electrolytes 

During exercise, your body breaks down and scrounges for important minerals and vitamins to recover and rebuild itself. Minerals – such as potassium, calcium, and sodium – exit your body through perspiration when you train. These electrolytes are critical for the muscles to be in their optimal state.

When you lose these electrolytes through training and do not care to replenish those deposits, your legs could become weak or numb or start to cramp. There’s a reason why you see athletes and bodybuilders sipping on some liquid while training.

Other Causes 

Medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, sciatica, herniated disc, bone cancer, baker’s cyst, etc., can all be the cause of your leg pain. Regular drug intake, physical injuries, mental stress, etc., could also be the reasons. These conditions typically interfere with or damage the nerves that relay messages from and to your brain.

Specific medical treatments such as chemotherapy can also instigate pain in the leg. Chemotherapy is radiation-induced pain that could cause peripheral neuropathy (painful numbness) or paresthesia (tingling and numbness of the feet, hands, etc.).

Chiropractic Care for Leg Pain

Some people claim back pain is the most debilitating of physiological conditions. That may be true, but leg pain is no easier to manage either. Not to mention, the thoughts of surgery and the scores of prescription drugs your doctor could put you on to treat the condition can be scary.

Fortunately, with some chiropractic treatments and a few modifications to your lifestyle, your unbearable leg pain (be it any kind) can be brought under control. We, at Hawkeye Chiropractic, have dealt with patients with all sorts of leg-related issues during our more than a decade-long service.

Under the direction of Dr. Drew Voelsch, we are committed to treating your leg pain or any other issue with your leg holistically and comprehensively. Unlike “conventional” forms of treatment, Hawkeye Chiropractic doesn’t focus on the pain symptoms but the root cause.

If you’re experiencing pain in your leg, popping in a painkiller shouldn’t be your immediate or even later resort. As alluded to above, medicines and drugs only focus on the symptoms. They do not get to the root of the problem, which you should be looking to do.

We, at Hawkeye Chiropractic, understand leg pain is likely to be deep-seated in your musculoskeletal alignment, nerves, joints, and/or bones. Our treatment process, therefore, entails the following:

  • Identifying the underlying cause of the pain to work on it and correct it, preventing it from getting any worse.
  • If the cause is misaligned spinal bones putting pressure on your nerves and causing pain and interfering with your nervous system, we use gentle yet effective treatments to adjust the spine. This helps relieve nerve pressure, letting the nervous system function as it should, alleviating your leg pain in the process. The same approach can be employed if a hip-related issue is a cause for the pain.
  • We also employ several lifestyle adjustments, corrective exercises, and also regular adjustments. Our exercise tips ensure you stay active during treatment without exacerbating the pain or even feeling it.  

Not to mention, our bottom-up treatment approach ensures decreased likelihood of any leg pain in the future.

Schedule a Leg Pain Consultation

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a medical condition related to the spine or its sideways curvature, which usually occurs during the growth spurt kids undergo right before puberty. Close to 3% of adolescents the world over have scoliosis.

General Description

The human spine has a natural curve to it. It curves near your shoulder and at your lower back. It, however, should not bend sideways or look like “C” or “S” when viewed through an X-ray or a scan. Generally, any curve in the spine that’s 10 degrees or more is not ideal and likely a case of scoliosis.

Types of Scoliosis

Scoliosis can be categorized based on the patient’s age:

  • Infant (0 to 3 years)
  • Juvenile (4 to 10 years)
  • Adolescent (11 to 18 years)
  • Adult (above 18 years)

Scoliosis could also be classified as either non-structural (temporary spinal curvature) or structural (sideways and almost permanent).

Besides the age-based, less scientific classification, scoliosis can be formally categorized based on its cause, development, and other factors. The following are the four major types:

  • Idiopathic scoliosis is the kind that has no known cause. The majority of scoliosis cases (more than 80%) are of the idiopathic type, or the doctors are not able to ascertain the cause.
  • Congenital scoliosis starts in the womb or when the fetus grows into a baby and develops its back. Issues with the vertebrae or the tiny bones of the baby could cause spine curvature. In other words, the vertebrae may not have appropriately divided or could be incomplete. Doctors usually spot this rare condition right after the child’s birth. But there are instances when the disorder may not be detected at birth or could be discovered only until the baby grows into a teen.
  • Neuromuscular scoliosis can be caused by spinal cord-related disorders or an injury to the cylindrical nerve fibers. The condition or the injury usually damages the muscles around the spine, making it difficult for them to correctly support the spine, causing the back to curve in the process.
  • Degenerative scoliosis is a condition found in adults. It invariably develops in the individual’s lower back area as the spine’s joints and disks start wearing out with age.  
Diagnosis and Impact

Scoliosis is usually diagnosed when a child is seven years or younger. Kids with mild scoliosis are closely monitored using X-rays to look for signs of the curve growing worse. A particularly severe spinal curve could inhibit physical space inside the chest, limiting the lungs’ functionality.

When the curve grows worse, the spine rotates or twists with it, besides curving to one side. This results in the ribs jutting out or appearing skewed toward a particular side.

Scoliosis can be troubling on its own. And if left untreated or if its growth is not curtailed, it could cause further complications, which include:

  • Heart and lung damage: In the severe phase, the affected person’s rib cage could press against the heart and lungs, making breathing difficult, and the heart will also not be able to do its job efficiently.
  • Back issues: Grownups who suffered from scoliosis as kids are likelier to experience chronic back issues compared to regular people.
  • Appearance: Worsening scoliosis could cause physiological changes that are more noticeable. As mentioned above, the affected’s hips and shoulders will be uneven, ribs will jut out, and the trunk and waist could shift sideways. People with scoliosis become a lot more conscious about their appearance and could lose their confidence in the process.

Scoliosis’s impact on a person depends on the severity of the curvature. Mild to moderate curves will not necessarily interfere with the individual’s routine functions and activities. Severe types of scoliosis will, however, present physical limitations.

The Signs and Symptoms

If you lean a bit while standing, scoliosis could be the reason. Besides this visible curve in the back, the following are a few other signs and/or symptoms of the condition:

  • Uneven shoulders.
  • Uneven waist.
  • One of the shoulder blades being more projecting than the other.
  • The hip not being at the same plane.
  • A rotating spine.

Besides the visual symptoms, the following are things you’re likely to experience with scoliosis: 

  • Breathing issues caused due to the reduced chest area, making it difficult for the lungs to expand.
  • Back pain.
  • Numbness and pain in the legs (courtesy of nerve pinching)
  • Muscle strain-induced fatigue

These symptoms and signs, however, become apparent only after the disease has reached its maturity. 

Mild curves usually develop without the kid or their parent having a clue. That’s because those minor bends do not look the part right away and also cause no pain. At times, friends, teachers, teammates, and sports coaches first detect the issue in the affected kid. 

What are the Causes of Scoliosis

Scoliosis’ causes are not well-established. Muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy could be reasons for the disease’s formation and/or progression, however.

Muscular dystrophy is a grouping of genetic conditions that cause muscle weakness. Cerebral palsy refers to multiple nervous system disorders that affect learning, movement, seeing, hearing, and thinking.

The disease can also be hereditary. But then there are also kids with scoliosis who have no family member affected by the disorder.

Besides the neuromuscular conditions mentioned above, some scoliosis cases could have been caused by:

  • Congenital disabilities, such as spina bifida that affect spinal bone development.
  • Infections of or injuries to the spine.

Although boys and girls are equally at risk of developing the condition, the female child is at a greater risk of worsening the curve and requiring treatment.

Chiropractic Care for Scoliosis

Scoliosis can be debilitating, especially when it’s mature. When detected early, the condition can be prevented from turning any worse. With its team of expert chiropractors, Hawkeye Chiropractic is set out to do just that – detect scoliosis and stem its growth as early and quickly as possible.

The goal is to negate the need for surgeries or medicines. And even if your condition is at or near maturity, we leave no stone unturned to treat the disease non-invasively. And to achieve the goal, we employ various tools and tests.

Headed by Dr. Drew Voelsch, Hawkeye Chiropractic ensures a complete diagnosis before deciding the later action course. Scoliosis treatment is mostly depended on the condition’s severity or the stage in which it is.

If your scoliosis is in its beginning stages, we may prescribe some simple physical exercises, sparing you a lot of effort and saving you money. If it has crossed the starting stage, the treatment plan will have to be modified accordingly.  

Multiple imaging tests are carried out for the diagnosis, including an X-ray, MRI scan, bone scan, and CT scan. Physical exams are carried out first, however, to confirm the need for further diagnosis. The physical exam entails asking the patient to bend over at their waist to see if there’s an apparent spine curve.

Hawkeye Chiropractic’s treatment plan is arrived upon based on the assessment of the condition and also a few other important factors, which include:

  • The patient’s age
  • The growth stage or finding out whether the person has stopped growing or their growth plates are still open.
  • The kind and severity of the curvature
  • The scoliosis type

Even if your scoliosis was not detected during childhood and you’ve carried it through into adulthood, we can still work on it. You just need to come to our treatment center to help us help you.

Schedule a Scoliosis Consultation

Numbness and Tingling

Numbness is the lack of sensation in a particular part of the body. Tingling, on the other hand, is an unusual, prickly sensation. Though these sensations could be felt in any part of the body, you are more likely to experience them in your legs and hands. The medical name for the condition is paresthesia.

General Description

These sensations can be temporary, benign, or could be severe, long-term, and even disabling. The less scary form, however, is a lot more common. Short-lived numbness followed by the tingling is something pretty much everyone would have experienced at least once in their lives. The brief episodes of paresthesia are certainly no illness or indicative of some medical condition.

The Signs and Symptoms

When you have tingling and numbness, you experience decreased feelings in the regions affected. As a result, you’ll not feel pain or temperature changes like you usually would. This lack of sense could cause issues without you realizing them.

For instance, you may touch a glass of hot water and not feel the heat at all. The realization will happen after you see your fingers scarred by the heat. Even worse, you could lacerate your finger or leg and will have no clue about the same due to the numbness.

Numbness or tingling could also be the symptom of some diseases, including diabetes, migraine, neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, seizures, stroke, an underactive thyroid, the hardening of arteries, etc.  

What are the Causes?

Several things could cause tingling and numbness in your limbs or other parts of your body, including sitting with crossed legs and sleeping using your arm as your headrest or makeshift pillow. Such tingling and numbness usually disappear in a few minutes or seconds or once the pressure put on the nerves is released.

If, however, the sensations stick around for long, or the causes are not particularly obvious, an injury or an underlying disease could be the reason – for instance, carpal tunnel syndrome or multiple sclerosis. Certain medications used during chemotherapy can also cause paresthesia.

Some of the conditions that could cause tingling and numbness include:

  • An animal or insect bite.
  • Toxin ingestion through seafood.
  • High or low potassium, sodium, calcium, or vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) in the body.
  • Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.

Specific injuries, such as damage to the nerve in the neck or a herniated disc (spine), could be the cause as well.

In the Feet and Legs 

People with diabetes could experience diabetic neuropathy, a kind of nerve damage. The condition could occur over a period as diabetes’ metabolic effects in the bloodstream affect nerves.

At least a third of the diabetic population has peripheral neuropathy, which typically leads to pain and numbness in the legs and feet. It causes paresthesia in the arms and hands less commonly, however.

Different drugs could also lead to peripheral neuropathy, including medications taken for:

  • Heart conditions or blood pressure
  • Cancer and chemotherapy
  • Anti-alcohol treatment
  • Skin problems
  • Infections, etc.

In the Fingers and Hands 

Calcium is key to proper blood flow and nerve function. Deficiency of the mineral, or hypocalcemia, could cause tingling and numbness in the fingers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome could also cause tingling, numbness, and pain in fingers and hands. The syndrome causes the median nerve (in your arm) to compress in the region where it runs through the wrist.

In the hands, sudden overwhelming phases of anxiety and fear with no apparent danger could give rise to multiple symptoms, including tingling or numbness.

In the Face 

Compared to the hands and feet, the face or mouth is not as likely to experience numbness or tingling. But when it does, blame it on the compression of the facial nerves, which could have been due to infections or even the toothpaste you use.

A Few Other Causes 

Conditions such as enlarged blood vessels, scar tissue, tumor, or an infection could put undue pressure on your nerves, causing numbness and tingling. 

Similarly, swelling or inflammation of the brain or spinal cord could put pressure on the concerned nerve(s) as well. 

Kidney failure could cause tingling sensations in the feet. At Hawkeye Chiropractic, we carry out a range of tests to check if your kidneys are causing the tingling and/or numbness in your feet and legs. The tests carried out include: 

  • Neurological exam
  • Nerve conduction velocity test
  • Electromyography that measures muscle activity
  • Blood tests

Not all patients who visit our center with tingling and numbness complaints are checked for their kidneys. People who exhibit specific symptoms during the more standard examination protocols are asked to undergo the tests above. Those symptoms could be: 

  • Numbness, tingling, and/or pain in the feet and legs
  • Muscle twitches and cramping
  • Muscle weakness
  • “Pins and needles” sensation

Skin damage in the form of inflammation, rash, or injury is another reason for paresthesia. Conditions that could create such skin issues include shingles (a painful chickenpox virus-caused rash) and frostbite. 

Pregnant women could feel tingling in their feet. The growing uterus burdens the nerves running down the legs, causing the “pins and needles” sensation. 

Vitamin deficiency, as mentioned above, could also cause paresthesia. B vitamins can particularly cause feet tingling. The vitamin inadequacy could be due to an underlying condition or a poor diet. 

In people who are 60 years or older, none of the aforementioned causes could be present, but they could still experience numbness and tingling. In such cases, a holistic physical examination and various tests must be done on the patient.

Treatment

If you experience numbness and tingling occasionally or due to inactivity, and if those sensations fade away within minutes, you need not seek treatment for the same. But if the issue persists or you don’t know what’s causing those sensations, consult Hawkeye Chiropractic.

As mentioned above, tingling and numbness or burning could denote a medical condition or serious injury. During our diagnosis, Dr. Drew Voelsch would inquire you about your medical history and carry out several tests to rule out the following:

  • A neck, back, or head injury
  • Walking difficulties
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Trouble thinking clearly or feelings of confusion
  • Vision issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Severe pain or feelings of weakness.
  • Losing bowel or bladder control

Some of the above conditions may seem irrelevant to your paresthesia at first. But when you dig deep, you realize how inter-connected and deep-seated those tingling and numbing sensations can be. 

Headed by Dr. Voelsch, our doctors are trained, knowledgeable, and experienced enough to accurately look for these issues before devising and proceeding with the treatment. There’s no standard treatment approach at Hawkeye Chiropractic. Each treatment plan is set up based on a patient’s specific concerns. 

Based on our findings, we either proceed with the treatment or order for more tests, which could include: 

  • Blood tests
  • Thyroid function testing
  • Electrolyte level testing
  • Toxicology screening
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Vitamin level testing

Imaging tests – including an angiogram, X-ray, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, etc. – could also help our doctors reach a diagnosis. 

Most cases of tingling and numbness can be brought under control with regular chiropractic treatment and care. Our goal is to get rid of the irritation and restore correct nerve functioning. We accomplish this through different treatment approaches – for instance, spinal manipulation (to correct misalignments). 

Dr. Drew Voelsch will evaluate your neck and spine to look for misalignments and carry out adjustments to rectify twisted, out-of-place, or turned vertebrae (if any). It should help to restore the correct nerve functioning, which will fix the tingling and numbness. You’ll also experience an improvement in your health overall. 

Staying in line with chiropractic principles, no painkillers, needles, etc., would be employed to treat your condition. If you came to Hawkeye Chiropractic feeling intimidated by the traditional treatment approaches, you’d be pleased to learn about our treatment plans.

Schedule a Numbness Consultation

TMJ and Lock Jaw

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge that links your temporal bones and your jaw. The joint also facilitates the up, down, and sideways movement of your jaw while you chew, yawn, and talk. Because TMJ is continuously at work, it can get impaired or pose some severe problems anytime.

General Description

The issues with the temporomandibular joint are collectively referred to as temporomandibular disorders or TMD. Kindly note, TMJ and TMD are not the same. TMD is a disorder relating to the jaw muscle and the nerve caused by inflammation or injury to the TMJ.

Generally, women are more likely to develop TMD than men, mainly due to the hormonal disparities between the two sexes. Women feel the impact of their erratic hormones on their jaws mostly during pregnancy and childbirth – the time when their progesterone and estrogen levels are the least stable.

Also, people falling in the 20 to 40 age group are more prone to develop TMD. 

During young adulthood, people have multiple responsibilities to shoulder. That ushers with it many stress and stress-related conditions such as hair fall, greying, sexual concerns, and TMD, to name a few.

The following are some other TMD risk factors:

  • Poor upper back and neck posture could cause neck strain and jaw muscle function abnormalities.
  • As stated above, stress could increase tension in the muscles and subsequently jaw clenching.
  • Chronic inflammatory arthritis increases TMD risk.
  • Individuals with poorly positioned teeth or jaw trauma have increased risk.
  • People who are genetically predisposed or extremely sensitive to pain and heightened stress could be more susceptible.
The Signs and Symptoms of TMJ & Lock Jaw

Like it’s the case with every other part of the body, TMJ gets attention only when there’s something wrong. The signs of a TMJ problem, however, are much easier to discern.

Generally, TMD causes intense pain and discomfort in the concerned region. The pain could be brief or last for years together. It could affect both sides of the face or just one side.

The following are some common TMD symptoms:

  • Tenderness or pain in the face, neck and shoulders, jaw joint region, temple area, etc.
  • Pain or increased sensitivity around or in the ear while chewing, speaking, or just opening the mouth wide.
  • Jaws that get locked or stuck while keeping the mouth in the closed or open position.
  • Grating, popping, or clicking sounds in the joint when opening or closing the mouth to laugh, chew, etc.
  • Feeling and looking tired in the face.
  • Chewing issues or being unable to take a large or uncomfortable bite.
  • Swelling on one side of the face.
  • Pain at the tongue’s base.
  • Vertigo or dizziness

Jaw pain is the most significant indicator of TMJ lockjaw. Disorders of or injury to the complex temporomandibular joints containing muscles, bones, and tendons could cause a sharp pain sensation in the jaw region.

Jaw pain could occur on both sides or just one side, based on the cause. The exact cause ascertains when the pain strikes – whether while your jaws are at rest or while chewing. 

Headaches, toothaches, dizziness, neck aches, earaches, upper shoulder pain, hearing issues, tinnitus (ears ringing), blurred vision, etc., are some of the other TMJ problem signs.

What are the Causes of TMJ & Lock Jaw?

The causes of TMJ problems are not well-known or established. According to dentists, TMJ issues or TMD symptoms could be caused by the jaw muscles or the joint’s various parts themselves. The muscles getting tightened and not functioning well could sometimes be the consequence of TMD and not the “cause”.

Whiplash or a heavy punch to the joint, jaw, or muscles of the neck and head will most likely cause TMD. Other possible causes include:

  • Clenching or grinding your teeth (exerts pressure on the joint).
  • The disc or soft cushion between the joint’s ball and socket moving.
  • Joint arthritis.
  • Stress (resulting in teeth clenching or tightening of the jaw and facial muscles)

Excessive chewing of the gum, orthodontic braces, etc., could be a few other causes of the disorder.

Diagnosis and Treatment for TMJ

If you were not sure chiropractic could help treat your TMJ and lockjaw problems, do not doubt anymore. We, at Hawkeye Chiropractic, can cure your TMJ issues and any jaw-related concern without drugs and surgery.

Our expert team headed by Dr. Drew Voelsch has helped patients with their multiple jaw issues for several years with excellent results. Major credit for that goes to our expertise and experience our team and Dr. Voelsch bring to the table.

And the fact that we take a holistic approach and do not skip steps has helped us provide permanent, long-term relief to our hundreds of patients.

Diagnosis 

At Hawkeye Chiropractic, we start the TMJ treatment process with the diagnosis. Since issues such as sinus concerns, tooth decay, gum disease, arthritis, etc., could be due to some other underlying medical condition, it’s imperative to ascertain that your signs and symptoms are directly correlated to TMD.

Our doctors will learn more about your problem, health history, and other pertinent things. We’ll examine your head and your jaw. While checking, our experts will look for tenderness or pain in the jaw region and listen for pops, clicks, or grating sounds while the jaw is in motion.

We’ll confirm your jaw functions like it should, without locking in place while you close or open your mouth. If it doesn’t, we’ll make sure it does.

To understand your face and head’s skeletal system, we may also get an X-ray and/or CT scan of your face to get a better view of how your jaws and temporomandibular joints are positioned in relation to each other.

We’ll scan the area using computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI would reveal the positioning of the TMJ disc when the jaw moves. The CT scan helps see the joint’s bony parts in considerable detail.

Treatment 

Generally, drugs are prescribed to relieve pain – typically extremely high doses of NSAIDs. If that’s not bad enough, there are various kinds of surgeries claiming to treat your TMJ problems as well.

The primary concerns with surgery are the pre-surgery protocols, the procedure itself, and the recovery period. The biggest pain point, however, is the cost. And adding salt to the wound is that jaw surgery, once done, cannot be reversed. Even if a surgeon comes forward to reinstate your jaw or restore it to its original state, it won’t look the same again.

Therefore, think twice or even thrice before opting for jaw surgery. Instead of taking multiple opinions from different dentists, get in touch with Hawkeye Chiropractic for a pain-free, non-invasive treatment approach right away.

Our treatment starts with focusing on the three key muscles:

  • Masseter
  • Temporalis
  • Pterygoid

The jaw joint and suboccipital muscles are also examined. And that’s just a trailer and a very simplistic overview of how we treat TMD or any TMJ issue at our center. 

We also teach you some soft tissue exercises to do at home so that the jaw muscles can be loosened and the pain reduced.

At Hawkeye Chiropractic, we look at the severity of the condition before prescribing a treatment plan. Our chiropractors are trained and licensed to adjust joints, bones, and muscles for improved function and decreased pain. If there is no limitation of movement or pain connected with the jaw clicking, we won’t recommend any specific “treatment” as such.

Sticking to chiropractic core principles, we make sure there’s no use of knives, pills, or any other aspect identified with traditional treatments. 

Most importantly, the goal is to look at the condition through a macro lens. If postural issues contribute to your TMJ problem, our holistic approach lets us identify the same during the diagnosis phase.

Schedule a TMJ Consultation

Posture

Numbness is the lack of sensation in a particular part of the body. Tingling, on the other hand, is an unusual, prickly sensation. Though these sensations could be felt in any part of the body, you are more likely to experience them in your legs and hands. The medical name for the condition is paresthesia.

General Description

These sensations can be temporary, benign, or could be severe, long-term, and even disabling. The less scary form, however, is a lot more common. Short-lived numbness followed by the tingling is something pretty much everyone would have experienced at least once in their lives. The brief episodes of paresthesia are certainly no illness or indicative of some medical condition.

The Signs and Symptoms

When you have tingling and numbness, you experience decreased feelings in the regions affected. As a result, you’ll not feel pain or temperature changes like you usually would. This lack of sense could cause issues without you realizing them.

For instance, you may touch a glass of hot water and not feel the heat at all. The realization will happen after you see your fingers scarred by the heat. Even worse, you could lacerate your finger or leg and will have no clue about the same due to the numbness.

Numbness or tingling could also be the symptom of some diseases, including diabetes, migraine, neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, seizures, stroke, an underactive thyroid, the hardening of arteries, etc.  

What are the Causes?

Several things could cause tingling and numbness in your limbs or other parts of your body, including sitting with crossed legs and sleeping using your arm as your headrest or makeshift pillow. Such tingling and numbness usually disappear in a few minutes or seconds or once the pressure put on the nerves is released.

If, however, the sensations stick around for long, or the causes are not particularly obvious, an injury or an underlying disease could be the reason – for instance, carpal tunnel syndrome or multiple sclerosis. Certain medications used during chemotherapy can also cause paresthesia.

Some of the conditions that could cause tingling and numbness include:

  • An animal or insect bite.
  • Toxin ingestion through seafood.
  • High or low potassium, sodium, calcium, or vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) in the body.
  • Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.

Specific injuries, such as damage to the nerve in the neck or a herniated disc (spine), could be the cause as well.

In the Feet and Legs 

People with diabetes could experience diabetic neuropathy, a kind of nerve damage. The condition could occur over a period as diabetes’ metabolic effects in the bloodstream affect nerves.

At least a third of the diabetic population has peripheral neuropathy, which typically leads to pain and numbness in the legs and feet. It causes paresthesia in the arms and hands less commonly, however.

Different drugs could also lead to peripheral neuropathy, including medications taken for:

  • Heart conditions or blood pressure
  • Cancer and chemotherapy
  • Anti-alcohol treatment
  • Skin problems
  • Infections, etc.

In the Fingers and Hands 

Calcium is key to proper blood flow and nerve function. Deficiency of the mineral, or hypocalcemia, could cause tingling and numbness in the fingers.

Carpal tunnel syndrome could also cause tingling, numbness, and pain in fingers and hands. The syndrome causes the median nerve (in your arm) to compress in the region where it runs through the wrist.

In the hands, sudden overwhelming phases of anxiety and fear with no apparent danger could give rise to multiple symptoms, including tingling or numbness.

In the Face 

Compared to the hands and feet, the face or mouth is not as likely to experience numbness or tingling. But when it does, blame it on the compression of the facial nerves, which could have been due to infections or even the toothpaste you use.

A Few Other Causes 

Conditions such as enlarged blood vessels, scar tissue, tumor, or an infection could put undue pressure on your nerves, causing numbness and tingling. 

Similarly, swelling or inflammation of the brain or spinal cord could put pressure on the concerned nerve(s) as well. 

Kidney failure could cause tingling sensations in the feet. At Hawkeye Chiropractic, we carry out a range of tests to check if your kidneys are causing the tingling and/or numbness in your feet and legs. The tests carried out include: 

  • Neurological exam
  • Nerve conduction velocity test
  • Electromyography that measures muscle activity
  • Blood tests

Not all patients who visit our center with tingling and numbness complaints are checked for their kidneys. People who exhibit specific symptoms during the more standard examination protocols are asked to undergo the tests above. Those symptoms could be: 

  • Numbness, tingling, and/or pain in the feet and legs
  • Muscle twitches and cramping
  • Muscle weakness
  • “Pins and needles” sensation

Skin damage in the form of inflammation, rash, or injury is another reason for paresthesia. Conditions that could create such skin issues include shingles (a painful chickenpox virus-caused rash) and frostbite. 

Pregnant women could feel tingling in their feet. The growing uterus burdens the nerves running down the legs, causing the “pins and needles” sensation. 

Vitamin deficiency, as mentioned above, could also cause paresthesia. B vitamins can particularly cause feet tingling. The vitamin inadequacy could be due to an underlying condition or a poor diet. 

In people who are 60 years or older, none of the aforementioned causes could be present, but they could still experience numbness and tingling. In such cases, a holistic physical examination and various tests must be done on the patient.

Treatment

If you experience numbness and tingling occasionally or due to inactivity, and if those sensations fade away within minutes, you need not seek treatment for the same. But if the issue persists or you don’t know what’s causing those sensations, consult Hawkeye Chiropractic.

As mentioned above, tingling and numbness or burning could denote a medical condition or serious injury. During our diagnosis, Dr. Drew Voelsch would inquire you about your medical history and carry out several tests to rule out the following:

  • A neck, back, or head injury
  • Walking difficulties
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Trouble thinking clearly or feelings of confusion
  • Vision issues
  • Slurred speech
  • Severe pain or feelings of weakness.
  • Losing bowel or bladder control

Some of the above conditions may seem irrelevant to your paresthesia at first. But when you dig deep, you realize how inter-connected and deep-seated those tingling and numbing sensations can be. 

Headed by Dr. Voelsch, our doctors are trained, knowledgeable, and experienced enough to accurately look for these issues before devising and proceeding with the treatment. There’s no standard treatment approach at Hawkeye Chiropractic. Each treatment plan is set up based on a patient’s specific concerns. 

Based on our findings, we either proceed with the treatment or order for more tests, which could include: 

  • Blood tests
  • Thyroid function testing
  • Electrolyte level testing
  • Toxicology screening
  • Nerve conduction studies
  • Vitamin level testing

Imaging tests – including an angiogram, X-ray, MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, etc. – could also help our doctors reach a diagnosis. 

Most cases of tingling and numbness can be brought under control with regular chiropractic treatment and care. Our goal is to get rid of the irritation and restore correct nerve functioning. We accomplish this through different treatment approaches – for instance, spinal manipulation (to correct misalignments). 

Dr. Drew Voelsch will evaluate your neck and spine to look for misalignments and carry out adjustments to rectify twisted, out-of-place, or turned vertebrae (if any). It should help to restore the correct nerve functioning, which will fix the tingling and numbness. You’ll also experience an improvement in your health overall. 

Staying in line with chiropractic principles, no painkillers, needles, etc., would be employed to treat your condition. If you came to Hawkeye Chiropractic feeling intimidated by the traditional treatment approaches, you’d be pleased to learn about our treatment plans.

Schedule a Posture Consultation

Excellent chiropractic care and treatment! I first came into this office with extreme pain and I was immediately welcomed by Dr. Drew and his team with such care, understanding and patience. Dr. Drew identified a specific treatment plan for me and explained everything thoroughly during my treatments and variety of exercises along the way. I feel like a whole different person after my care here! Highly recommended to anyone who is in any pain to check out this local office, they are AMAZING!!

Christina Mitroi

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Are you drinking enough water?

Exercise your way to great posture

Keep your mind and body on track