Back or Neck Pain? We can help you!

If you have tried other chiropractors without measurable results, please do not give up.  Come in for a free consultation we can help!

We will use the latest technology to analyze, locate and correct problems and employ strategies for health maximization to unlock your healing potential!

If you have had back or neck surgery, or are thinking about it we can help treat your symptoms and get you back to a pain free lifestyle.

When you become a member of our practice you receive the best of:

  • Advanced Technologies to analyze, locate and correct problems
  • Strategies for Health Maximization
  • Practical Information to Unlock Your Healing Potential
  • Success Principles and Habits to Further Your Improvement toward Optimal Health

Dr. Darrell Swolensky has been practicing in Henderson Nevada for more than 15 years. He focuses on helping people become and remain pain-free. His cutting-edge technologies are the finest in the state of Nevada.

Low Back Pain – What To Do Immediately (Part 2)

Low back pain (LBP), as previously stated, will affect most (if not all) of us at some point in time. Knowing what to do when the warning signs occur is essential to avoiding a disabling level of LBP. Last month, we started the discussion about offering ways to manage the LBP using exercises with the objective of stopping and reversing a potentially serious level of LBP. We offered ways of stretching from a sitting position that can be done in public. Here are some standing exercise options.

1. EXERCISE C: THE HAMSTRING & GROIN STRETCH: From standing 1) Place your foot up onto a seat, bench, chair, pipe of a railing, or anything about knee level (it doesn’t have to be very high). If your balance isn’t very good, make sure to hold onto a wall or counter to keep your balance. 2) Keep your knee bent 20-30 degrees and arch your lower back by sticking out the buttocks until you feel the pull or stretch in the hamstrings (back of the leg). 3) Slowly straighten your knee (keep the buttocks poked out and the low back arched) and you will feel the hamstrings gradually get tighter. 4) Change the angle of the knee and/or the amount of low back arch/pelvic tilt to modify the pulling intensity in the hamstrings. Continue this stretch for 15-30 seconds or until you feel the muscles loosening up. 5) Stay in that EXACT SAME POSITION and rotate your torso inwards (towards the leg you’re standing on) until you will feel the pull change from the hamstrings to the groin (inside thigh) muscles. You can also go back and forth between the hamstrings and the groin (adductor) muscles and continue the exercise until the back of the leg and groin feel adequately stretched (usually 5 to 15 seconds/leg).

2. EXERCISE D: THE HIP FLEXOR STRETCH: From standing: 1) Step forwards with one leg and stand in a semi-long, stride position (one foot ahead of the other). 2) On the back leg side, rotate the pelvis forwards until the hip lines up with the forward leg hip (or, the pelvis is square). 3) Add a posterior pelvic tilt (tuck in your buttock/pelvis or, flatten your low back). 4) Lean backwards (extend the low back) holding the above position. As you extend back, feel for the pull deep inside the upper front part of the thigh/groin area. You can alter between the third and fourth steps to release and re-stretch the hip flexor. Continue the stretch for 5-15 seconds or until you feel it’s stretched out and repeat on the opposite side. This one takes a little work but once you feel it, you will see why it’s so good!

3. EXERCISE E: THE ADDUCTOR STRETCH: As an alternative to the second part of EXERCISE C (step 5 of the standing hamstring stretch), stand with your legs spread apart fairly wide. Shift your pelvis from side to side (left then right) and feel for the stretch on the inner thigh/groin region. You can increase the stretch by adding a lean to the side you’re shifting the pelvis. Try holding the stretch for 5-15 seconds, alternating between sides 5-10 times.

These exercises are meant to be done in public WHEN you need to stretch. Stop the vicious cycle from getting out of control by STOPPING, STRETCHING, and then resuming your activity if you can!

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for back pain, we would be honored to render our services.

Neck Pain – Drugs or Chiropractic?

When you have neck pain, do you instinctively reach for that bottle of ibuprofen or Tylenol? If so, is that the best option? Who can we trust for the answer? Since between 10-20% of the population suffer from chronic or persistent neck pain, this is a VERY IMPORTANT question!

If we look at the literature published in peer reviewed journals by authors who have no financial incentives in the outcome of the study, we can find accurate, non-biased information to answer this question. So, let’s start with a landmark study published in SPINE, a leading medical journal that reviewed ALL the publications printed between 2000 and 2010 on neck pain – a total of 32,000 articles with over 25,000 hours of review. (Haldeman S, Carroll L, Cassidy JD, et. al. The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders: Executive Summary. Spine 2008,33(4S):S5-S7). This resulted in a 220 page comprehensive report from a multidisciplinary International Task Force involving seven years of work from 50+ researchers from 19 different clinical scientific disciplines worldwide looking at the MOST EFFECTIVE approaches available (both surgical and non-surgical) for patients suffering from neck pain.

Highlights from the study include the following: 1) Manipulation/mobilization are safe, effective, and appropriate treatment approaches for most patients with disabling neck pain (both traumatic and non-traumatic); 2) Neck pain patients should be informed of ALL effective treatment options so they can choose effectively; 3) The very rare risk of vertebrobasilar artery (VBI) stroke is NO DIFFERENT when comparing patients consulting a doctor of chiropractic verses a primary care medical physician as the stroke event, in most cases, has occurred prior to the visit; 4) The treatment option(s) available should consider the potential side effects and personal preferences of the patient; 5) For most neck pain patients, treatments that were found to be safe and effective include manipulation, mobilization, exercise, education, acupuncture, analgesics, massage, and low-level laser therapy; 6) For non-neurological neck pain, ineffective treatments (poor choices) include surgery, collars, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), most injection therapies (including corticosteroid injections and rhizotomy); 7) For neck pain WITH nerve compression, there is very little research published on non-surgical care. Here, in the absence of serious pathology or progressive neurological loss, start with the most conservative (like chiropractic!) followed by more invasive treatments like epidural steroid injections (ESI’s) and surgery; 8) Whiplash patients should follow similar guidelines as described above; 9) Some benefit from the chosen treatment should be seen within the first two to four weeks of care; and, 10) Be realistic about treatment goals – neck pain is often recurrent (comes and goes) as most people (50-80%) will NOT experience complete resolution of symptoms and will have neck pain again one to five years later.

Another study published in The Annals of Internal Medicine (“Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise with Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial. 3 January 2012, Vol.156, No. 1, Part 1) reports similar information favoring spinal manipulation and exercise, as these were found to be SUPERIOR to medication use. Another study reported excellent results for 27 patients utilizing chiropractic care who had herniated cervical disks WITH spinal cord compression verified on MRI (70% improved after an average of 12 visits)! TRY CHIROPRACTIC FIRST!!!

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for neck pain, we would be honored to render our services.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – What Can I Do to Help? (Part 2)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) management strategies were introduced last month, which we will conclude this month with Part 2. In part one, we cited three primary goals of CTS management that include the following: 1) Physical management strategies; 2) Chemical management strategies; and 3) Self-management strategies. All three goals include a component that we as doctors of chiropractic control AND (most important), a component that you the patient controls. We will continue this discussion this month with chemical management strategies.

2. Chemical management strategies: Here, MY JOB includes guiding you in methods to reduce swelling or inflammation. The first method involves the use of ice. Different cooling approaches include the use of ice cup/massage (applied directly on the skin until numb, which takes about five minutes) and/or ice packs (takes about 10-15 minutes). We can also offer assistance in choosing various anti-inflammatory herbs (such as ginger, tumeric, boswellia) and vitamins (such as vitamin B6 or pyridoxine; magnesium, fish oil / omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D) with anti-inflammatory properties. Recently, probiotics have also been demonstrated to reduce inflammation! YOUR JOB is to follow these recommendations that you and I agree upon to help reduce the inflammatory effects of CTS. Other “chemical strategies” may include adding the primary care physician to “the team,” as prescriptions for various conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and others may be appropriate in certain CTS cases.

3) Self-management strategies: Though we have already looked at “MY JOB” and “YOUR JOB” as it pertains to 1) Physical management and 2) Chemical management strategies, overlap exists between all three CTS management goals. In other words, as the name implies, “self-management strategies” includes the need for you to comply with the recommendations. For example, wearing the cock-up wrist splint primarily at night (when sleeping and less commonly at times during the day), following instructions regarding job modifications, nutritional strategies and, when applicable, pharmaceutical intervention are things you can do to alleviate symptoms. One of the MOST IMPORTANT self-help strategies is the training of carpal tunnel specific exercises, as well as exercise in general. Maintaining a proper weight (a BMI between 20-25) is also a goal that will help CTS, as obesity is a risk factor for this condition and a host of other conditions, including diabetes!

EXERCISE #1: Stand near a wall. Place your palm on the wall at shoulder height pointing the fingers down towards the floor, keeping the elbow straight. Reach across with the opposite hand and pull your thumb back as you stretch the palm-side forearm muscles. Hold 5-10 seconds until you feel the muscle “melt.” Repeat three times per side, five times a day. You can use the edge of a counter top rather than a wall, if you like.

EXERCISE #2: Bend the elbow 90 degrees. “Dig” your thumb DEEP into the palm-side forearm muscles close to the elbow. Slowly straighten the elbow and maintain the deep pressure into the muscle until the elbow is completely straight. REPEAT this multiple times moving your thumb one inch closer to your wrist from the last pressure point until you are one to two inches from the wrist (or, until you don’t feel much tenderness). You can vary the speed at which you straighten the elbow but generally, slower is better than fast movement, and the deeper the pressure, the better.

Repeat these two exercises on BOTH sides so you can feel the difference between the two, regardless if you have problems on both sides. Since the neck and shoulder can be involved, we will also show you how to stretch these areas, as keeping the whole “kinetic chain” stretched is very important for long-term benefits.

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, we would be honored to render our services.

Fibromyalgia: Dietary Considerations (Part 1)

For many sufferers, Fibromyalgia (FM) is equivalent to fatigue and muscle pain. Though there are MANY symptoms associated with FM, these two are standouts! The topic this month centers around diet and its role in the management of FM. Last month, we discussed the importance of exercise (particularly walking), and prior topics have focused on the need for a multi-modal treatment plan that is individualized for YOU. Coordinate your dietary strategies with your chiropractor’s office and they will guide you in your personalized nutritional planning as it pertains to FM.

Because we are all truly chemically unique, there is no one “recipe” for every FM sufferer. This is why we recommend making a list of the various approaches AS YOU TRY THEM in order to sort out those most vs. least effective, and most importantly, foods that should be avoided altogether. Patient histories tell us that certain foods can create reactions such as cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and more and that list often includes MSG, certain preservatives, eggs, gluten, dairy, and other high “allergy-based” foods. In a survey published in the journal Clinical Rheumatology, 42% of FM patients reported that certain foods make their symptoms worse. Hence, keep a daily FOOD JOURNAL and grade how different foods make YOU feel on a 0= ”good”, 5= “no change,” and 10= “bad” scale. In as little as two weeks, you will start to see a pattern and avoidance of the “bad” foods makes a big difference! Write down any and all of your symptoms, pro or con, and include things like headache, indigestion, fatigue, aching, etc.

Once you see a “trend” for vs. against certain foods, ELIMINATE the ones that upset your irritable bowel, headaches, fatigue, etc., and avoid these foods for six to eight weeks. Then, to “challenge” your list of foods, you can then ADD ONE food back into your diet at a time to determine consistency and if it TRULY is a culprit FOR YOU! From experience, Dr. Ginevra Liptan, MD, medical director of the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia, in Portland, Oregon and author of Figuring Out Fibromyalgia: Current Science and the Most Effectve Treatements, dairy and gluten appear to be consistent culprits with fatigue, irritable bowel, and leaky gut symptoms like bloating and constipation. We will guide you in this process and/or help coordinate these services with an allergist and/or dietitian when it’s appropriate.

Some preliminary studies are showing that certain medicinal herbs and natural supplements may help manage FM related symptoms – remember to WRITE DOWN your experience with these various options: 1) 5-HTP (5- Hydroxytryptophan): This is a “building block” of serotonin which is a POWERFUL brain chemical associated with sleep and depression. It is thought that serotonin plays a significant role in reducing fibromyalgia suffering, particularly by increasing deep sleep and reducing pain. Studies show improvement in depression, anxiety, and insomnia as well! Though not ALL studies support its benefits, it’s worth a try given its limited side effects and potential for helping! 2) Melatonin: This is a “natural hormone” used to improve sleep patterns, which is a perfect fit for the sleep problems and fatigue associated with FM! Most people tolerate this well but a few may experience drowsiness, and for those, caution is appropriate when driving! 3) Probiotics: This is “…the new kid on the block,” as it’s showing up on labels of everything from yogurt to granola bars! These contain “friendly bacteria” we want in our digestive systems. Certain “strains” or types of “good-guy” bacteria aid in many conditions including irritable bowel, traveler’s diarrhea, reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, and more! Note, there are MANY strains of probiotics, which we will discuss in PART 2 next month as we continue this “healthy” discussion of dietary approaches in the management of FM!

If you, a friend or family member requires care for Fibromyalgia, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

10 Facts You Should Know About Whiplash (Part 1)

There have been many statements made about whiplash that are either totally or partially false. Let’s take a look at some of the “FACTS.”

1. Pain is NOT the only symptom: Although neck and/or shoulder area pain is the most common symptom associated with a whiplash injury, look for other symptoms such as (but not limited to) headache, numbness/tingling in the arms, nausea, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, poor concentration, jaw pain, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, and more. Many of these symptoms may not manifest until days, weeks, or months after your collision.

2. Cervical spine injury can occur at low speeds: It doesn’t take a lot of force to inflict injury to the neck. In fact, speeds of only 5-10 mph (~8-16 km/h) can generate significant G-forces to injure the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, and disks) in the neck. Factors influencing injury include (but are NOT limited to) vehicles size/weight and speed differential, location of impact direction, head restraint location, seat failure, seat back angle and “spring,” seat back height, surface slipperiness, and more.

3. No vehicular damage does NOT mean no injury: As stated in #2, low speed collisions can generate enough force to cause injury to the neck. It is important to know that an 8 mph (~13 km/h) rear-end collision may result in a 2 g force acceleration of the impacted vehicle, a 5 g force acceleration acting on the occupant’s head, and all within 250-300 msec. after impact. (FYI: 1 g = an acceleration of approximately 32 ft/sec or 10 m/sec.). IF the metal of the car crushes (“plastic deformity”), energy is absorbed and LESS is transferred to the occupants and VICE VERSA! So, to avoid injury, it’s BETTER to have vehicular damage (the opposite of what you’d think)! Studies show a 10 mph (~16 km/h) impact can produce a total collapse of only 2.5 inches or 6.35 cm (mostly to the back bumper). Often, you have to crawl underneath the vehicle to see the damage.

4. An unusual S-shaped curve has been identified during the rear-end impact: There are seven cervical or neck vertebrae which form a 35-40° curve called a lordosis, which is “C-shaped.” In the initial 50-75 milliseconds after impact during a rear end collision, the head remains stationary while the seat moves the torso and rest of the body forwards and for an instance, an “S-shaped” curve is created (flexion in the upper half and extension in the lower half). This abnormal curve occurs BEFORE the head hyperextends backwards POSSIBLY hitting the headrest and then springing forwards (like “cracking a whip”).

5. X-ray CAN prove soft tissue damage: X-rays are often used to “rule-out” a fracture and as a result, they are often initially read as “normal” as radiologists (the specialists who read x-rays) don’t often report on the subtle findings found on the x-ray that may support the presence of a soft tissue injury. As chiropractors, we OFTEN take “stress views,” or flexion and extension x-rays after the initial painful symptoms improve. Stress x-rays can yield a much better image of how well the ligaments are holding the vertebra together. When ligaments are stretched or torn (just like in a sprained ankle), excessive movement and/or angles can form between the bones, which are often only be seen at the extreme end-points of movement. We can measure the angle formed between the vertebrae and the amount of translation or “slip” that occurs to determine if there is a loss of ligament control which results in excessive motion, increasing the likelihood of future problems.

We will have to resume this interesting discussion next month in “Part 2” of this topic.

We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for Whiplash, we would be honored to render our services.