Chiropractor - Charlotte
3121 Springbank Lane
Charlotte, North Carolina 28226
704-541-5353




The more you understand your body and how it functions, the better equipped you'll be at taking care of yourself to achieve optimal health. Our team of chiropractic professionals empower patients to take charge of your own health and future, educating you about your condition to decrease your need for future care. We've included the Patient Education section on our website to provide you with valuable, practical wellness information which you can incorporate into your lifestyle to improve the quality of your life. We hope you will turn to these pages whenever you have a question about health related issues and urge you to contact our practice at any time to make an appointment with one of our chiropractors.

 

Dr. Matt Robertson's Blog

 

Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention and is the symptom that prompts most patients to seek chiropractic care. The majority of backache sufferers complain of pain in the lower back; the second most common site of discomfort is the base of the neck.

Virtually all human beings are subject to back problems. The fact that humans walk upright on two legs puts great pressure on the spine and muscles that support it. Over time, back pain is all but inevitable. Normal wear and tear, accidents, disease, and such bad "back habits" as unnecessary strain from overexertion at play or work (especially lifting, pushing, pulling, and reaching for things improperly), and poor standing and sitting posture results in both immediate and long-term back problems.

While back pain can be caused by a wide range of problems, it is often indicative of spinal subluxation. Spinal subluxations often have symptoms localized in some part of the back or may radiate down to the buttocks, thighs, and legs. Dr. Matt successfully treats subluxation through soothing and pain reducing spinal adjustments. His approach is similar to the clinical practice guidelines of the U. S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research in that he tries to keep patients engaging in their normal activities rather than resting immobile in bed, which can actually cause further debilitation.
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Headaches

Because headaches are so common, many people feel that they are a normal part of life, but headaches are a sign that something is wrong. Extremely common causes of headaches are subluxated vertebrae in the upper neck, which puts direct pressure on the brain stem and spinal nerves controlling the head and neck. When these delicate nerves and surrounding vessels and tissues are irritated or stretched they can produce headaches. Over the counter pain relievers can ease the pain, but the subluxated vertebrae causing the headache are still there. Only a chiropractor can remove these misalignments in your spine.
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Accident, Injuries

Auto accidents, falls and other traumas big or small can create subluxated vertebrae, damage to spinal nerves and tissues and disturb normal motion in the spine. Long-term damage from vertebral subluxations can be avoided with chiropractic care.
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Scoliosis

In most cases, the cause of scoliosis is unknown. Although it is not caused by poor posture as once thought. Most people with scoliosis lead a normal life, and many don't even know they have scoliosis. In rare, severe cases, breathing and heart problems can accompany scoliosis. A chiropractor can assure that the body is free of subluxations so that the nervous system is functioning properly.

One research report of 100 chiropractic patients with scoliosis revealed improvement in 84%. 6.8% had total correction, 35.8% had significant improvement, 41.2% had a small correction, and only 16.4% showed no improvement or worsening.
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Ear Infections

Otitis Media or middle ear infections have become quite common for children nowadays. They often come on quite suddenly and cause severe pain for a child. One cause could be a reaction to childhood vaccinations which disrupt the developing child's natural immune systems with often severe side effects including asthma, hyperactivity and attention disorder as well as ear infection. Chiropractic care is one of the best treatments for a child with an ear infection. Normal nerve supply to the ear can be restored by aligning the spine back into its normal position. Keeping your child's spine free from interference enhances its natural defenses, and avoids the need for dangerous drugs.
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Learning Disorders

Although chiropractic is not a specific treatment for learning disorders, chiropractic care has provided improvements to many children suffering from learning disabilities. Both parents and teachers can attest to the effectiveness of chiropractic care for children with learning disorders, hyperactivity, behavioral problems and inability to concentrate.
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Bed-wetting

For years many parents have brought their children in for chiropractic care to keep them healthy and as a side effect of care, their child's bed-wetting problem stopped or was improved. Chiropractors often see wonderful improvements or total correction of bed-wetting problems after a few adjustments, often after just one adjustment. Here is a clip from "Dear Abby" concerning a chiropractic success story with bed-wetting,

"Dear Abby:
I took my fifteen-year-old twin sons (both daily bed-wetters) to a chiropractor, and within a month, both boys were completely cured. Regular medical doctors could not help them. As this chiropractor explained to me, there is a certain part of the spinal column that regulates the bladder... all I can say is it worked." (Signed) True believer.

Dear Believer:
I believe you. I have several hundred letters bearing the same message concerning chiropractors. To clarify the above message, the chiropractic adjustments relieves nerve pressure on the spinal nerves that go to the bladder muscles or the bladder organ itself, thus allowing it to function properly.
(San Francisco Chronicles, March 5, 1992)
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Disc Problems

Intervertebrae discs are the thick gel like shock absorbers that lie between the bones of your spinal column. These discs help allow the spine to curve (a spine with the proper curves in it is 10 times stronger than a straight line) The discs are mostly water, and so you are up to 1/2 inch shorter at the end of the day and 1/2 inch taller in the mornings after the discs have realigned in your sleep.

I'm sure you have heard of the term "slipped disc". Actually a disc cannot slip because it is strongly banded to the bones above it and below it, but it can weaken and the jelly center can start to bulge outwards. When this happens, the bulge can put direct pressure on the delicate spinal nerves or the spinal cord itself.
Chiropractic care is essential in keeping the spine in proper alignment to promote a healthy disc between the vertebrae. Chiropractors have excellent results with patients suffering from disc problems and usually can prevent them from having a risky surgery. Whether you've had a back surgery already and hoping to prevent another or hoping to never have to go under the knife, chiropractic adjustments are essential and the best thing you can do for your health.
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Colds and Flu

Everyone knows that there is no cure for the common cold right? Right. But, the condition of your body's immune system is what determines the duration of the sickness and the severity of symptoms associated with a cold.
Chiropractors do not treat the common cold. Chiropractors do raise your body's natural resistance to a cold virus by removing any interference in the nervous system. The better your nervous system is functioning, the better ability it has in fighting off colds. Patients under chiropractic care often go years without colds and when they get a cold their symptoms are not as severe.

Keeping your spine free from misalignments (subluxations) will help to keep your immune system functioning to the best of its ability.

Spinal Structures

The spinal column is an intricate framework of interlocking bones that, when viewed from the side, form a gentle "S" shape. The spine is a sophisticated system— both fragile and sturdy— of muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, discs, a spinal cord, and nerves.

Joints, called "facet joints," and discs allow the spine to bend and twist and absorb mild shocks and bumps. The brain, spinal cord, and nerves manage your body's movement by sending messages to muscles. Supporting the entire structure is an intricate system of ligaments, tendons, and discs.

The vertebrae, facet joints, and discs are vertically stacked in a healthy spine. Ligaments support that alignment and discs, which are flexible, spongy pads, absorb shocks between the vertebrae and joints.

The spine has four natural curves, which help to evenly distribute the loads incurred by daily activity—from sitting, walking, and running, to lifting and carrying.

There are three major parts of your spine:

  1. The cervical spine, or neck
  2. The thoracic spine, or upper back
  3. The lumbar spine, or lower back

The sacrum, which lies at the base of your spine between the fifth lumbar and the tailbone, or coccyx, is a triangular-shaped bone made up of five fused parts. These are called "S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5." These unique parts connect to your pelvis by way of structures called sacroiliac joints.

Your neck, which is also called the upper cervical spine, is distinguished by two large vertebrae. One is called the upper bone, or atlas, and the other is called the lower bone, or axis.

These bones in your cervical spine do not need discs and protect the medulla oblongata, or lower brainstem. Inside the medulla oblongata are reflex centers that regulate such things as your heartbeat, breathing, the diameter of your blood vessels, swallowing, vomiting, coughing, sneezing, and hiccupping.

Almost half your brain's 12 cranial nerves originate in the medulla and control such things as balance and hearing, taste, swallowing, salivation, the digestive system, head and neck muscles, and the tongue. One can easily see that if the upper bones of your spinal cord are out of alignment, a whole host of things can go wrong in your body, some subtle, some not-so-subtle. However, it is not uncommon for many of us to have some sort of misalignment in these structures as we go through the daily trials and tribulations of life.

Basically, your spine is composed of four types of material. These are:

  1. Vertebral bodies – These are the large bony structures you see in the spinal anatomy and essentially are the support column of your back. This amazing structure supports about half of your body's weight; your muscles do the job of the remaining half. Vertebral bodies are separated by small spaces containing discs. Most of the vertebral bodies in your spine have several joints that allow your back to bend and flex. When you bend forward, your hips provide about half of the impact, while your lower spine, or lumbar, takes on the rest.
  2. Vertebral discs – The shock absorbers that are found between vertebral bodies, discs are essentially made up of two major parts: a tough outer core and a soft inner core. When you are born, these discs are mostly water. As you get older, the discs slowly lose their water content and get harder. As they dehydrate over time, your discs provide less of that soft and cushy support they provided when they were new. Because they have no blood supply and few nerve endings, discs are unable to repair themselves. Disc degeneration can be painful in later years; in some cases, the inner core of the discs leak proteins that can inflame the nerve roots.
  3. Spinal cord and nerve roots – As it leaves the base of your brain, your spinal cord weaves through the neck and upper back, ending up at the bottom of your thoracic spine. Actually, your spine ends before it reaches your lower back, shooting off a series of nerve roots that are dispersed through bony canals throughout your body.
  4. Muscles – The soft tissue surrounding your spine is largely composed of muscles, which support your spine as it bends and flexes. Two large muscles in your lower back, called erector spinae, help hold up the spine.

Muscular System

The soft tissues that envelop and support your spine make up an intricate network of muscles.

With the help of your body's abdominal muscles, this network helps to keep your body stabilized and upright, and allows it to bend and flex.

The types of muscles that support your spine include:

  • Extensors – These are composed of back and gluteal muscles. These muscles help keep your back straight, assist in efforts involving lifting, and moving your thigh away from the body.
  • Flexors – These are your abdominal and iliopsoas muscles, which support the spine from the front. They also control the arch of your lower back and move the thigh in toward the body.
  • Obliques (also called rotators) – These "side" muscles stabilize your spine when you are standing upright and help rotate your spine and maintain proper posture and spinal curvature.

Nervous System

Your nervous system looks much like an upended tree, suspended from its roots at the base of your brain, its millions of limbs reaching out to every corner of your body.

Your spinal cord is like a thick braid formed by billions of these nerves. Your body has approximately 15 billion nerve cells—all of which receive and transmit nerve impulses by way of the spinal cord. These impulses control virtually all functions of your body—from your senses to mobility.

Nerve roots and your spinal cord

Your spinal cord actually ends near the base of your upper back, shooting out braids of nerves called "nerve roots." These nerve roots run through a large tunnel-like canal, and at each level of your spinal column, a pair of nerve roots exits from the spine.

Nerve roots are named for the level of your spine they exit from, beginning with a letter and followed by a number. For example, a nerve root in the cervical spine may be called "C6,"while a nerve root in the lumbar region may be called "L4."

Innate intelligence, the knowledge we are born with, guides cells and organs to receive and transmit impulses to our brain through this vast network of nerves.

A healthy spinal cord allows these impulses to flow freely back and forth. But when your spinal cord becomes misaligned, its parts get out of place and nerves can become pinched. When this happens, the flow of information from your nervous system gets interrupted. This imbalance, called subluxation, can lead to physical and emotional problems ranging from minor discomfort to major illnesses.