What is Chiropractic?

A Natural, non-invasive approach to health care

Chiropractic is based on the science that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism, controlled by the brain, spinal cord and nerves of your body. The vertebrae, which protect the nervous system, when misaligned or have lost their normal motion, can cause improper function of the tissues and organs they serve.

Chiropractic medicine is a natural health care that focuses on treating a patient without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Doctors of Chiropractic, more commonly known as chiropractors, are primary health care providers licensed in all 50 states, and are recognized by governmental health care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Workers' Compensation programs and more. Every year, more than 30 million Americans see chiropractors as part of the regular health care programs and with over 84,000 licensed chiropractors nationwide and more than 10,000 students currently enrolled in chiropractic school, it is the fastest growing health care profession.

Chiropractors frequently treat individuals with problems, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disc conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. However, the scope of conditions that chiropractors manage or provide care for is not limited to the common pains and problems listed above.

Dr. Christian Oberheide specializes in the treatment of chronic disease and injury. This includes disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome and bulged discs. Wellness care and periodic visits are also recommended.




Chiropractic Really Works!

A year ago, John suddenly found himself immobilized by terrible pain in his lower back. He had only just bent over to pick up a fallen pen. He crawled his way to the medicine chest to take ibuprofen and then went to lay in bed. A few days later, the pain was so severe he visited the hospital.

MRIs showed inflammation but no herniated discs or other structural abnormalities, the physician sent John home with painkillers and the advice to rest in bed. John spent most of his time on his back. If he stood or moved at all, his pain intensified and he contorted in order to lessen it.

Finally, with his pain not decreasing after 2 weeks of rest, he came in for chiropractic care. I evaluated and palpated his spine and found muscle splinting, misalignment, inflamation and poor muscle tone. We began a treatment protocol that included massage and spinal realignment throuch traction, manipulation and gentle adjustments. Afterward he was given ice to decrease inflammation and tenderness. Several weeks of treatment brought John to a new level of health.

As John improved, we gave him relaxation techniques, home exercises, stretches and ergonomic and back checklists. To this day, he continues to do well with no flair ups.


Chiropractic Really Works and Here's Why...

Have you ever had a pebble in your shoe?

A tiny pebble, because of its constant irritation of a nerve, can drive you crazy. At first it feels like a pressure, then an irritation, and finally, pain.

What happens if you move the pebble around in your shoe, but you don't remove it? It hurts everywhere it goes, doesn't it? That's because there is a nerve to every cell in your body.

When you take the pebble out, your irritation goes away and your pain disappears.

Chiropractic is similar to removing a pebble from a shoe.

The cause of most of our body's pain is joint dysfunction and nerve irritation. Joint dysfunction can be a result of mechanical, chemical or neurological stressors. Mechanical causes are a result of micro or macro trauma. Micro trauma may also be called repetitive stress injury. Sitting with poor posture at a desk and typing all day can cause problems such as carpal tunnel, neck, upper back, or low back pain. Macro trauma refers to pain due to trauma to the body, such as a fall, a break, or a car crash. Both forms of mechanical causes of joint dysfunction can benefit immensely from chiropractic care. Another cause of joint dysfunction is due to the chemical effects on the joint function and the body as a whole. Smoking, heavy drinking, and a poor diet can create chemical imbalances in the body.

Chiropractic helps to remove postural imbalances and structural misalignments that can accumulate in our bodies over time. Chiropractic works by restoring your own inborn ability to be healthy. For your body to remain healthy, your nervous system must function well. For your nervous system to function well it must be free of interference. By restoring spinal function with Chiropractic adjustments, nerve interference by misaligned vertebrae is removed, thus allowing optimal nervous system function and improved health.

The customized care you receive from your chiropractor may help to improve your posture, muscle balance and mobility. It can also restore the integrity of your nervous system and get rid of pain quickly, so you can get back to feeling good today!


What Conditions Do You Treat?



While chiropractic care can help with any number of symptoms and problems, we have listed some of the more common conditions that you may recognize in yourself or others. You don't have to suffer or continue to take pain medications on a daily basis to deal with the pain, we can help.



Sports Injuries

Golfer's Elbow, Tennis Elbow, Rotator Cuff sprains/ strains, Shoulder Adhesive Capsulitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Hip Arthitis, Plantar Fascitis, IT Band Syndrome. The list goes on, ask if we treat your issue. Staff members have worked with the team doctors of the U.S. Olympic track and field team, the Chicago Wolves, as well as, North Central Football team.



Headaches

80% of headaches originate from the neck. Usually an increased amount of stress and tension held in the shoulders causes contractions of all of the surrounding neck muscles. When these muscles contract, vertebrae can become misaligned causing pressure on spinal nerves, and ultimately pain. With a typical cervicogenic (neck origin) headache, a person usually feels pain starting at the base of the skull which radiates into the temples, eyeballs, and forehead.
There may be several other causes of headaches, so a proper examination is needed to determine the actual cause.



Disc problems

The disc is a small cartilage pad that is situated between spinal bones. The soft jellylike center is contained by layers of fibrous tissues. Each disc serves as a connector, spacer, and shock absorber for the spine. When healthy, discs allow normal bending and turning
Since spinal discs have a very poor blood supply, they depend upon the circulation of joint fluids to bring nutrients and expel waste. If a spinal joint loses its normal motion and this pumping action is impaired, the health of the disc deteriorates. Like a wet sponge, a healthy disc is flexible. A dry sponge is hard, stiff, and can crack easily. This is how many disc problems begin.

Because of the way each disc is attached to the vertebra above and below it, a disc cannot slip as commonly thought. However, trauma or injury to the spine can cause discs to bulge, herniate, or worse, rupture. This can be quite painful, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, interfering with their function.
While results cannot be guaranteed, many patients have avoided needless surgery or a dependency on pain pills, by choosing conservative spinal decompression therapy or chiropractic care.




Whiplash

Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a car that is struck from behind or that collides with another object. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits, the muscles and ligaments that support the spine and head can be overstretched or torn. The soft, pulpy discs between spinal bones can bulge, tear or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots in the neck can get stretched and irritated. While occupants can suffer considerable soft tissue injury, the car may only be slightly damaged.

The resulting instability of the spine and soft tissues can cause headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, pain in the shoulder, arms and hands, reduced ability to turn and bend, and even low back problems. As the body attempts to adapt, symptoms may not appear for weeks or even months later.

The chiropractic approach to these types of injuries is to use specific chiropractic adjustment to help return spinal function. After a thorough examination and case history, the doctor will recommend a series of visits to help restore proper motion and position of the spinal bones. If caught early enough, inflammation can be reduced and scar tissue can often be minimized.




Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a condition characterized by the gradual breakdown of joint cartilage, most common in the weight bearing joints of the body such as the knees, hips, and back. It is also common in the neck and hands. As the joint is broken down it can lead to joint stiffness and increased strain on the muscles in that area. Additionally, as joint function changes it can lead to movement compensations and place strain on other areas of the body as well. Although degenerative changes are common with age they do not automatically result in pain. Research now shows that it is not the degeneration of the joint that is responsible for pain but the effects the degeneration has on how the joint is functioning  particularly the stiffness and muscles strain.

We focus on restoration and maintenance of function by emphasizing joint movement and increasing the ability of the muscles to support and stabilize the affected joints. In addition, we assess how the body as a whole if functioning to uncover any other movement abnormalities that may be affecting the degenerated area.



Joint Dysfunction

Joints of the body need to move. When this movement becomes restricted and normal motion is altered several problems arise. Most commonly joint dysfunction results in pain, stiffness, muscle tightness, cartilage breakdown/degeneration, and movement compensation leading to undue stress on other areas of the body. Joint dysfunction are common in the spine and the extremities and can commonly occur with injury, poor posture, muscles tightness, scar tissue, or muscles imbalance.
The doctor will assess movement of the joints to feel for areas of altered or restricted movements. Once identified, the abnormal movement can be restored using a combination of chiropractic joint adjustments and ART. Whenever possible simple home exercises are demonstrated to facilitate and maintain proper motion in key areas. Underlying factors such as poor posture and muscle imbalance often need to be addressed in cases of chronic or recurrent joint dysfunction.




Neck/Low Back Pain

Subluxations (misalignments of the spinal column) are one of the most common causes of neck and low back pain. When vertebrae are misaligned, they put pressure directly on spinal nerves, causing pain. Muscle spasms may set in, which can increase the pressure further. This extra pressure can cause even more inflammation and irritation, which leads to more pain. And the cycle continues.
Often times stretching and massage may only temporarily relieve the pain, because the cause (subluxation) has not been addressed. A chiropractic adjustment focuses on correcting the cause.




Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is a long nerve originating in the lower back and extending down the back of the leg. When this nerve is irritated, it can cause pain, numbness, weakness, or other symptoms in the lower back and down the leg. There are several possible causes of this condition. A misaligned vertebra can cause inflammation of the joints, putting pressure on the nerve. Bulging discs and muscle spasms can also cause pressure on the sciatic nerve. A common culprit of a muscle spasm is the Piriformis muscle called Piriformis Syndrome.

Several other conditions may cause this symptom, so a complete evaluation would be needed to correctly asses the exact cause.




Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve is just that. It is a severely compressed nerve, usually caused by a misaligned vertebra. When nerves get pinched they become severely inflamed and muscles may spasm, causing even more discomfort. The pain is usually so severe that you can't move that part of the body and it can cause other symptoms as well.
There can be several causes of the pinched nerve; a proper examination is needed to determine the exact cause.




Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

These days millions of Americans have jobs which can have damaging effects on the hands and arms. Repetitive movements which are not performed with good ergonomics in mind can cause micro-trauma to the hands and wrists. This trauma combined with joint dysfunction and spinal problems may result in a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve which is affected travels from the tips of the fingers through the wrist up the arm and into the neck connecting to the spinal cord. If one or more of these structures are affected, symptoms of wrist pain, numbness, weakness, burning and loss of muscle function can occur.
Chiropractic can assure that all of the joints and muscles along the path of the nerve are free of obstruction and functioning normally, thus reducing nerve irritation.




Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a controversial and complicated condition to understand. For proper diagnosis and treatment, a wide variety of factors need to be considered including "head-to-toe" joint and muscle function, nutrition, and lifestyle issues. A thorough examination including orthopedic and neurologic testing, as well as other specialized tests, will help to determine the exact causes of your symptoms and your individualized treatment plan. Very often, a comprehensive treatment program addressing all of these issues leads to significant improvement.

Joint and soft tissue manipulation is often very helpful in relieving the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and related conditions. Other treatment options may include ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation, acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, and massage therapy & myofascial release techniques. These procedures, combined with nutritional & herbal medicine, and/or homeopathy constitute a comprehensive, holistic approach. Although researchers are still a long way from finding a "cure" for fibromyalgia, chiropractic care is usually very successful in the effective management of this condition. However, if after examination we conclude that your case cannot be helped with conservative care, a prompt referral will be made.



Allergies

Millions of people who suffer from a wide variety of conditions, allergies included, have benefited from chiropractic care even though chiropractic is not an allergy treatment, Why? Because chiropractic is a method of healthcare that permits your body to function at its best. That is especially important if you suffer from allergies.

But first, let's find out, what is an allergy? Your immune system keeps you 100% natural, organic, unadulterated! It recognizes and destroys anything not supposed to be in you: bacteria, and viruses, pollutants, dust, pollen, drugs, tumors, dead pieces of your own skin cells, and even artificial hearts and donor organs (Metal and plastic, however, don't trigger an immune reaction.) A healthy immune system means high resistance to disease and infection, better ability to deal with stress and greater health and well-being.

By releasing stress on the nervous system, chiropractic permits the immune system to function more effectively-something all allergy sufferers need. A nervous system without stress functions more efficiently. Recent understandings in psychoneuroimmunology reveal that when the nervous system functions better the immune system benefits.

Chiropractors correct a basic cause of body malfunction to improve the function of your immune system. Please note that the chiropractic approach is to remove vertebral subluxations, a common spinal distortion that puts stress on your nervous system. Freed of nervous system stress, your body will work more effectively to neutralize the allergy causing chemicals in your environment.


What Can I Expect During My First Visit?

A beautiful clinic awaits your arrival with a smiling friendly staff. We'll begin by having you fill in a few documents about your health and the reason for your visit. Next, Dr. Oberheide will introduce himself and lead you into the consultation room to begin a brief history followed by a physical exam.

Dr. Christian Oberheide takes pride in his evaluation and assesment, he wants to find the true cause of your pain. He'll listen and question you in a manner that reveals all of your health concerns and begins to illuminate your diagnosis. Next, he'll perform your examination, testing (Orthopedic, Neurological and Chiropractic Tests)everything necessary to determine exactly what's causing your "dis-ease." If you have pertinent X-ray and MRI images please bring them. Usually, they can be correlated to the physical evidence found during your exam. After thoroughly reviewing your case, you'll be told your working diagnosis and treatment options. Usually, your first visit will include a Chiropractic treatment. Often times massage or physiotherapy are prescribed to begin treatment followed by a chiropractic manipulation and/or adjustment. The first visit usually takes an hour.

Depending on your condition, Dr. Christian Oberheide may have you schedule several to a series of visits for your personalized attention and care.




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