Migraines and Legs – Is Your Leg Length Difference Causing Your Migraine Headaches?

Migraines can be caused by having a short leg. According to a study by the US Army, approximately one out of ten people have an actual leg length difference.

Myofascial (muscle and soft tissue) pain experts Drs. Travell and Simons said that a leg length difference of 1/8 inch or more puts you at risk for pain and dysfunction. Why? Because your body does things automatically to try to correct or adapt or accommodate that difference such as tilt, twist or rotate. These positions can cause a migraine.

There are two types of “short legs.” Both can cause migraines.

One is an actual anatomical difference which could be caused by severe injury or polio or nature and is measurable on x-rays. It could be either the upper or the lower leg bone.

The other type is a functional leg length difference. That means the bones are all the same length but muscles in the body cause one hip to lift. Your hip bones can move independently of each other so it is possible to have one hip that is higher or more forward than the other.

People with a leg length difference often have migraines because walking with a tilt puts a lot of strain on the muscles at the base of the skull. It causes a rotation (slight turning) of the head. That can affect the nerves and blood vessels which play a part in migraines. Those people can have other pain, too, such as hip pain on the short leg side or low back pain pain or TMJ dysfunction.

What’s the fix?

Good news! There is a relatively easy fix so you don’t have to go through life “out of balance” and with migraines.

Anatomical short leg:

Lifting your entire foot on the short leg side enough to level your hips will go a long way in helping you feel better, have fewer migraines, and fewer problems with your neck and muscles.

This requires that you only wear certain shoes. They must have a solid, thick hard rubber sole. A shoemaker can split a firm rubber sole and add a layer of neoprene rubber to lift the short leg. This doesn’t work with air or gel type shoes.

Also, if you have a really skilled shoemaker or cobbler, he might be able to remove your whole sole and replace it with a new, thicker sole.

It may seem like a lot of work or you might not want to give up your stylish shoes but the benefits to your body are huge.

Functional short leg:

A skilled massage therapist can help relax and release the tight out-of-balance muscles that are pulling your bones out of neutral.

How do you know if you have a leg length difference?

Perhaps one pant leg is always longer than the other. That was the clue for my 91 year old client who had back pain and migraines for over 70 years. His doctors never looked for or told him he had a leg length difference but he told me, “My tailor always told me I did!” His anatomical leg length difference was about 2 inches.

Maybe when you look in the mirror you can see that one shoulder is higher than the other or that your head sits off the side instead of dead in the middle of your body. That’s a clue, too.

Or, as you look in the mirror, does your belt line always sit lower on the same side?

How do you know how much lift you need?

A doctor can take x-rays of your legs and hips and measure for you. Or, you can “guestimate” by placing notebooks or magazines under your short leg and adding or removing pages until you feel level and look level in the mirror. Many neuromuscular massage therapists are trained in measuring leg length differences also.

When you get rid of an actual leg length difference and stop the tilting and twisting that your body does to try to make corrections, you can have fewer migraines.

What else can I do?

There is a lot of information and misinformation about migraines. Doctors mostly look at trying to help you get rid of them rather than figure out where they come from. Here’s a clue: There are things your body likes and things it doesn’t like.

In addition to getting your hips level (which your body likes) you can take steps to relax the muscles around your head and neck (which your body also likes.) You can also do simple, gentle movements to help correct your posture and relax your back (which your body likes. too.).

There can be multiple causes for your migraines but the more causes you can get rid of, the less pain you will have.

PLEASE NOTE: Whenever you do movements for your neck, always do them carefully, slowly and thoughtfully. Pay close attention to what’s going on so you don’t aggravate your touchy neck and cause a migraine.

Chronic Pain Relief – Effective Treatments

There are many ways that chronic pain can occur. Some of these are due to an injury, or maybe an illness and some are due to age. Chronic pain can affect many parts of the body, but in most cases the back is what is affected. Chronic back pain relief is a must to find, because if it is not corrected, it can effect all parts of your life. You can be affected emotionally and depression can even set in. There is good news, because there are many ways to find chronic pain relief. There is a bit of trial and error to find the correct pain relief. You and your doctor and other health professionals can partner to keep chronic pain from destroying your life.

What You Should Do First

The first thing that you must do is contact your doctor. The doctor can determine where and why the chronic pain is occurring. Finding the cause of the pain is the first step in chronic pain relief.

Chronic Pain Relief – Using Medications

Sometimes the first option for chronic pain relief is treating it with medications. There are many different types of medications that can be used. Over the counter drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are effective when the pain flares up.The next step after this would be to try using prescription drugs. These medications include antidepressants, corticosteroids and muscle relaxants. These drugs will work sometimes in the short term for bringing chronic back pain relief under control, but there are serious side effects if they are used for long periods of time for chronic pain relief. Due to these side effects, it is a good idea to find other methods of pain relief wile reducing the frequency of the prescription drugs.

Chronic Pain Relief – Other Options

Rest is probably the first thing that you should do for a day or two after an injury. After this, physical activity is thought as a good chronic pain relief. Exercise will increase your flexibility and strength and improve muscle tone. Exercise is an important part of having a healthy life style long term and will bring pain relief. If you decide that you are going to start a physical exercise program to relieve chronic pain, make sure you consult your doctor. He may have you work with a physical therapist or maybe a personal trainer. Many people today are using physical trainers to guide them to the right exercises to relieve chronic pain. This will also prevent you from further injuring yourself.You can also employ some natural methods for chronic pain relief. These could be herbal treatments for relief of pain. Herbal relief from pain can be quite effective. There is also acupuncture for pain relief as well as massage therapy. Acupuncture for pain relief has been used effectively for many years. If you have never tried acupuncture for pain relief, maybe you should. After an injury that has caused chronic pain, your doctor may have you start physical therapy to bring strength and condition the injured area. Another natural pain relief method that you can do at home is hot and cold therapy. These can be an effective chronic pain relief treatment. What you do is switch between cold (ice) and then use hot packs to the affected area. These can be extremely effective method to relieve pain. Some people find that aromatherapy and biofeedback techniques help them to relax there muscle. These techniques also allow you to release tension. Both are effective at chronic pain relief. As you can see there are a variety of methods for chronic pain relief. Try each one to determine which will work best for you.For more information on this type of pain and others visit: Acupuncture for Pain Relief

Is There Hope for Degenerative Disc Disease Sufferers?

If you have degenerative disc disease you know the pain it can cause. The areas where the degeneration occurs the pain can feel so intense you may wonder if you are simply broken.

What is degenerative disc disease?

It’s a disease where the spine breaks down and loses its flexibility. It is the #1 cause of back pain. Discs that act like cushions wear down and cause friction and resulting pain.

What causes it?

Physically demanding repetitive jobs, falls, accidents, misalignment and wear and tear, smoking, bad posture over time. As the condition progresses the discs may bugle or even herniate. It can feel very much like a grinding stiff mass of possibly broken bone inside of your body despite the fact that nothing is actually broken or chipped. It can be disturbing, hard to deal with and scary. It can become distracting to the point of finding it difficult to go on with everyday life.

The good news is that there most certainly is help, and it lies in chiropractic treatment. In many cases, even just the first treatment can bring some level of relief. When patients are treated in a course or series of treatments, relief on some level, varying by damage, is almost always found.

The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation conducted a study with 40 male participants ages 30-40. All had diagnoses of degenerative lumbar disease. They were split into two groups. One given a placebo treatment and the other spinal manipulation. The results showed that the group receiving the spinal manipulations recovered far more quickly.

What are the presenting symptoms?

Debilitating Pain

Numbness

Tingling

Feeling a crunching of uncomfortable movement in the area

All may radiate from the affected area

How it’s treated

Chiropractic spinal manipulation (adjustments), exercise, decompression therapy, manual therapy, massage and trigger point therapy, ultrasound, ice, heat and interferential electrotherapy as well.

These have all been shown, especially when used in conjunction, to help reduce pain and even prevent further impairment.

Don’t live with pain. I have treated many patients with degeneration of the pelvis and hip joints. It starts as a simple misalignment of the pelvis. When the pelvic bones misalign, the hips cannot ride in the hip sockets like it was designed.

The first symptom is hip pain which may come and go, then progresses to bursitis, then on to osteoarthritis, and eventually, leads to hip replacement. It can be prevented!

Can a Chiropractor Relieve Your Menopause Symptoms?

Anxiety isn’t the only menopause symptom. Menopause can also cause a slew of other emotional and physical symptoms including back pain and discomfort. The good news is that menopausal women who suffer from back problems are finding relief through chiropractic medicine.

What is chiropractic medicine? It is a treatment that assists in restoring balance, healing and energy throughout the body. When our bodies lack balance, the hormonal and stress response system are affected. Thus, chiropractic medicine works by alleviating pressure on the nerve roots of the spine, helping to relieve discomfort. It detects dislocation (subluxation) and promotes correction by encouraging the function, repair, coordination and communication of the nervous system. Chiropractic medicine is a non-invasive drug-free treatment that is performed by a chiropractor.

How is it performed? First of all, chiropractor treatment will vary for each patient, as different techniques may be used to help alleviate certain symptoms or health conditions. Therefore, a chiropractor will want to know the medical history of the patient and their current health problems. Once this information has been processed, treatment will then be provided.

Most chiropractors will use their hands to perform treatment; however, they may also use other treatment methods such as light, heat, ultrasound, electrotherapy and other special adjusting instruments. You will also likely be provided with information regarding a personalized exercise program, nutrition and lifestyle changes that can help improve your symptoms.

Is treatment painful? No. Most people find chiropractic medicine to be quite relaxing. What may be unnerving to some patients are popping sounds that joints make when they are adjusted. This popping noise is the sound that occurs when a gas bubble between the joints pop. It’s the same sound and feeling that happens when you crack your knuckles.

How can a chiropractor help during menopause? Chiropractic medicine can relieve a variety of painful and uncomfortable menopause symptoms related to estrogen deficiency including:

o Back pain

o Headaches and/or migraines

o Stress and tension

o Neck problems

Chiropractor treatment is also considered beneficial for treating the beginning stages of osteoporosis. It is incredibly effective at restoring flexibility to joints and decreasing muscular tension and pressure on nerves.

Chiropractic treatment can provide relief fast, which is often why it is one of the most celebrated alternative remedies. That being said, you will need more than one chiropractic treatment. The average patient has eight annual visits, but this number will vary depending on the health concern.

Are their any risk? It is extremely rare for complications to occur during chiropractic treatment, especially if performed by an experienced and qualified chiropractor. Therefore, it is a low risk, non invasive therapy that is virtually safe for everyone.

How do I find a chiropractor? Although you don’t need to be referred to a chiropractor by your doctor, it is a good idea to first consult your health care provider to find out if he/she has any recommendations. You should also speak to others who have had chiropractor treatment to learn about their experiences and ask them about their chiropractors.

You can find chiropractors to help treat your menopause symptoms by checking your local yellow pages, phoning your local hospital, or doing an online search with your city and “chiropractor” as the main keywords.

What is Subluxation & Treatment for Back Pain

What is Subluxation?

If you’re asking this question, odds are you’ve been to a chiropractor or spinal specialist and have been diagnosed with a complicated condition. A vertebral subluxation, also simply called a ‘subluxation’ is a vertebra out of its normal zone of motion, causing interference to the proper function of the nervous system at that level.

Because a subluxation interferes with a primary pathway of your body’s internal intelligence, serious health issues can result if they are ignored for prolonged periods. Chronic pain is often the first clue indicating the onset of a subluxation, but subluxations are often present without any related pain, and pain itself is only present after a subluxation has been in place for years.

Much like a cavity will rarely show pain until it has seriously decayed, a subluxation can wreak havoc on your nervous system, causing diseases in the organs the affected nerves innervate unless the subluxation is detected and corrected. Conditions from constipation to asthma can be associated with an underlying dysfunction of the nervous system associated with a spinal subluxation.

For this reason, it is highly recommended a person seek out a full spinal exam, possibly including x-rays, by a chiropractic doctor annually, beginning in early childhood but most certainly before the age of nine (the age at which scoliosis most commonly begins). It’s an excellent method of preventative medicine guaranteeing against the onset of severe health issues due to undetected physical blockages of the central nervous system.

Treatment for Back Pain

We all suffer from back pain at one time or another in our lives. In fact, back pain is said to be the single most expensive illness on the planet, draining our economy and our lives more than any other single illness! Unless you’ve been taught the secrets to proper spinal hygiene, the solution to back pain can seem elusive.

We’ve taken pills and tried therapy, but back pain tends to return on a regular basis in our lives once we’ve had that first bout. Often, unless we discover what does work, minor back pain episodes will develop into debilitating, paralyzing episodes of nerve compression and immobility. In fact, there is no drug and no single therapy that can guarantee a constant guard against the progress of back pain in your life. The absolute secret to beating back pain is in restoring flexibility and balance to the entrapped spinal region.

Flexibility guarantees restoration of the proper function of the region. Cartilage will not decay, and nerves, veins, and organs will not become compressed in a balanced, flexible body. In other words, a flexible spine will be less likely to experience pain, and will be more resilient against future injury and degeneration. Degenerative arthritis, spinal decay, degenerative disc disease, and nearly every condition related as the cause of chronic back pain has some association with the loss of flexibility in the area.

Your most powerful weapon against recurring back pain and its eventual onset of more serious degenerative conditions is in discovering a home program that will outline the keys to restoring your spinal strength and flexibility. The added good news is, a proper flexibility program will bring more weight burning energy and personal power to your life than any other physical fitness program, and can take as little as a few minutes per day.

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