Lafferty Family Chiropractor ART certified in New Jersey, qualcare provider

What is ART?

ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART.

Each of these conditions can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

These treatment protocols are unique to ART and allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.

Who can benefit from chiropractic care?

A diverse group of patients find relief and treatment from non-invasive chiropractic care.Pediatric, adult, athletic and geriatric patients can benefit from the treatments, with the most common focused on the acute and chronic low-back and neck conditions. In addition, persons suffering from headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia and infantile volic among other conditions have found chiropractic treatment effective for those ailments. Each year, new studies are being conducted to document that chiropractic treatments are effective for a multitude of conditions. In addition, the Doctor of Chiropractic will recommend preventative exercise regimes and educate the patient on matters such as posture, ergonomics, diet, health and lifestyle, important factors for good health.

What is chiropractic care?

Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuro-musculskeletal system and the effects these disorders have on the nervous system and total health. The Doctor of Chiropractic ensures that the muscular and neuro-muscular skeletal system is functioning properly for maximum performance. Fundemental to chiropractic care is the belief that "good health" is defined, no merely by the absense of disease or illness, rather it is achieved when the patient has a complete physical,mental and social well being. Chiropractic care is an important piece to the total wellness puzzle.

Disc Bulges / Herniations
Disc Herniations

A disc is the cushion in our spine between each vertebrae that helps support the spine along with the ligaments and muscles. The outside of the disc is a harder fibrous material called the anulus fibrosus while the inside is a softer gel-like material called the nucleus pulpous. A herniated or bulging disc disorder can develop in the neck or back when these discs shift from their original position, commonly caused by injury/trauma, aging, or poor lifestyle choices (including postural imbalances and poor nutrition). These disorders can be classified as either contained or non-contained and can help distinguish the difference between a disc bulge or disc herniation. A bulging disc has not broken open (the nucleus pulposus remains contained within the anulus fibrosus). The disc remains intact except a small portion protrudes out into the spinal canal without breaking open. A non-contained disc however, is one that has either partially or completely broken open; a herniated or ruptured disc. When a disc herniates the contents may spread out into the small area occupied by the spinal cord and nerves. This would put pressure on the nerves and/or the spinal cord. Chemical agents also can be released from the herniated disc and would surround the nerves / cord causing an increase in pressure and irritation. Many symptoms can occur from disc herniations including pain, numbness, tingling or burning sensations.

Chiropractic Treatment for Disc Bulges / Herniations
Chiropractors do not attempt to "pop a disc back in place" with forceful adjusting or manipulative techniques. Low back spasms typically respond well to traditional chiropractic adjusting but depending on the extent of the disc condition, gentle low-force techniques may also be used (such as flexion-distraction and pelvic blocking), which reduce pressure on the affected areas, restore normal motion and help dissipate inflammation. Physiotherapy modalities are also used to reduce spasm, inflammation and nerve irritation such as Ultrasound, Electric muscle stimulation and heat/cold therapy. Spinal decompression traction is another adjunct therapy that can be used to decrease spinal and nerve pressure.

Disc herniations are treated in a whole body context. In addition to addressing disc issues in the affected area, spinal joint restrictions in the other parts of the spine, including the neck, midback, low back and extremities may also need correction. This helps to ensure the body is able to function overall more efficiently and effectively.

Chiropractors also treat disc herniations through lifestyle changes. Conditioning and exercise, stress management, and improved nutrition and eating habits are all considered when beginning any course of treatment for disc herniations. Risk factors, such as poor posture and body mechanics, weak abdominal muscles, smoking, and obesity will all be addressed to prevent further injury in the future. Start now to adopt habits that will help preserve your spine for the future.

sciatic nerve Pain

The sciatic nerve is made up of 5 different lumbar (lower back) nerve roots. The sciatic nerve runs from the back, under the buttocks, and downward through the hip area into each leg. A radiculopathy occurs when there is compression or irritation of a nerve in the lumbar spine prior to it joining the sciatic nerve. Sciatica usually affects one side of the body and the pain can be dull, sharp, burning, or accompanied by shooting pain starting in the buttock traveling downward into the back or side of the thigh and/or leg and can be felt in the feet. Sometimes symptoms include tingling, numbness and weakness. Sitting and trying to stand up can be painful and coughing/sneezing can intensify the pain. There are several different disorders that could cause spinal nerve compression and sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy. The most common are as follows:

  • Lumbar Bulging or Herniated Disc Whether a disc bulges or herniates, disc material can press against an adjacent nerve root and compress delicate nerve tissue and cause sciatica. The disc material itself also contains an acidic, chemical irritant that causes nerve inflammation.
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Spinal nerve roots exit outward from the spinal cord, between each vertebral body, through passageways called neural foramina (or foramen) comprised of bone and ligaments. When these passageways become narrow or clogged causing nerve compression, the term foraminal stenosis is used.
  • Spondylolisthesis Spondylolisthesis is a disorder caused by one vertebra slipping forward over an adjacent vertebra. When a vertebra slips and is displaced, spinal nerve root compression occurs and often causes sciatic leg pain.
  • Trauma Examples include motor vehicle accidents, falling down, football and other sports, all which can cause direct nerve compression.
  • Piriformis Syndrome The piriformis muscle sits under the gluteal muscles and connects to the thighbone, assisting in hip rotation. The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle. When the muscle spasms it can compress the sciatic nerve.

Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatica
Chiropractors offer non-invasive and drug-free therapies to treat sciatica. All of the therapies rendered cause a reduction in inflammation / nerve irritation as well as reduce muscle spasm, swelling, stiffness and pain by improving mobility and prompting the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer. Spinal manipulation by a chiropractor helps to realign the spine which will stimulate proper nerve conduction and reduce nerve irritability as well as increase mobility of the soft tissues surrounding the spine. This will be used in conjunction with muscle stretching techniques such as ART. Treatment for sciatica also could include physiotherapy modalities such as heat/cold therapy, Electrical muscle stimulation and Ultrasound.