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How Chiropractic Relieves Pain

We see many patients in our St Louis office who are suffering from acute or chronic pain, and we've found that our chiropractic approach is very successful and getting people relief.

Your body contains roughly 60 different chemicals and each one is responsible for very different functions and regulatory actions. For instance, calcium helps your muscles contract and potassium regulates your heartbeat. Sodium controls the balance of water in your system and fluorine protects your teeth against decay. There are also four chemicals associated with management of pain, and a study published in Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy has found that chiropractic promotes almost all of them.

For purposes of this study, researchers chose thirty participants who weren’t actively in any sort of pain to see what effect chiropractic treatments had on their levels of neurotensin, oxytocin, orexin A, and cortisol—the four chemicals that impact how much pain a person feels. The subjects were separated into three different groups: ten engaged in cervical spinal manipulation (chiropractic involving the neck area), ten received thoracic spinal manipulation (manipulation to the discs and vertebrae in the middle and upper back), and the final ten subjects were the control group, so they received no spinal manipulation therapy whatsoever. Researchers drew each individual’s blood prior to, immediately after, and two hours post-treatment to determine the starting levels of neurotensin, oxytocin, orexin A, and cortisol, as well as to note any changes that may occur.

Immediately upon conclusion of the spinal manipulation sessions, researchers found “significantly higher” levels of both neurotensin and oxytocin in the participants who received either form of spinal manipulation. Cortisol levels increased only for the subjects who engaged in cervical spinal manipulation, and orexin A levels were unaffected by the chiropractic treatments entirely.

These findings suggest that engaging in regular chiropractic care can help your pain on a cellular level by changing the chemical makeup of your body. Not to mention, regular spinal manipulations also work to correct the spinal issue that is causing the pain in the first place. This makes chiropractic an effective two-prong approach to pain management.

If you're in pain, chiropractic care can help. We've helped hundreds of patients with auto injury pain, sciatica, back pain, neck pain, and more. Give our St Louis office a call today at (314) 588-9100 for an appointment or more information.

Plaza-Manzano G, Molina F, Lomas-Vega R, et al. Changes in biochemical markers of pain perception and stress response after spinal manipulation. Journal Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 2014;44(4):231-9.


Should I Use Chiropractic for Whiplash?

If you were transported to the Emergency Room after a car accident, and prescribed pain killers or muscle relaxants, you may be wondering, “If this is all the relief I can get?"

The answer is no.

Chiropractic could be the best solution for you, and here's why:

When your head is “whipped” back and then thrust forward, there are delicate structures in your neck that have been through some trauma. The forces in the collision can overstretch the ligaments and muscles or displace your spinal vertebrae and discs. This may knock, pull or push the vertebrae out of place, or herniate a disc. This is the primary reason why chiropractic for whiplash is an excellent idea.

The vertebrae may have rotated as well – and all the medication in the world won’t de-rotate the vertebrae back into place. Only the hands of a chiropractor can do that. When there’s trauma in the area plus a misalignment, the inflammation will continue until the misalignment is remedied. This is why many people who don’t receive chiropractic for whiplash continue to feel the pain, stiffness, lack of motion in their neck, and headaches they felt after the car accident.

When you do see your St. Louis chiropractor for whiplash, one thing to remember is that you should feel better and better with each successive treatment. Your chiropractic treatment may be three treatments the first week or more depending on your individual case. Dr. Holland will determine how many appointments your body will need to promote maximum healing; the number of appointments depends on the seriousness of the condition.

Call our office in St. Louis, MO today to jumpstart your recovery from whiplash.


Chiropractic Cuts Headache by 50%

Cervicogenic headaches, or headaches that originate in the neck, are usually more than a little bothersome. Not only do they cause you a decent amount of pain, but they can also reduce your quality of life – especially if you start avoiding certain events or activities you used to love due to the hurt. Fortunately, according to a study published in The Spine Journal, relief may be just a few chiropractic visits away.

Researchers took 80 people who suffered with regular, chronic cervicogenic headaches and split them up into two groups, with some individuals participating in eight weeks of light massage and the rest receiving spinal manipulation therapy for the same amount of time. Then each group was split yet again with some members receiving treatment once a week and others receiving double that amount, or twice a week sessions, totaling 16 visits all together.

Individuals treated by a chiropractor were more likely to see a 50% improvement in the amount of pain they were experiencing. They also experienced a 50% reduction in headache frequency compared to the group who had light massage. Additionally, the gains experienced by the subjects who received 16 chiropractic adjustments were only slightly higher than those who received eight adjustments.

So if you’re suffering from cervicogenic headaches and want to find relief, call us at Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis. We’ll do what it takes to help you feel better!


Haas M, et al. Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal. 2010; 10: 117-128.


Chiropractors vs. Drugs for Neck Pain

When you have neck pain, about the only thing you can think about is how to stop it! You may be at work focusing on completing a project when you move your neck in a way that the pain practically brings tears to your eyes. That’s all it takes for your mind to switch to think about the neck pain and what you’re going to do to overcome it.

The two choices most people immediately think about are chiropractic vs. drugs for neck pain. (Of course, taking drugs for neck pain assumes you’ll have a medical doctor appointment and medical evaluation simultaneously.) What are the pros and cons of both choices?

Pros and Cons of Chiropractic Vs Drugs for Neck Pain

Chiropractic Pros:

  • Your chiropractor is a reputable health care.
  • Your chiropractor offers natural methods of pain relief without any side effects. These don’t although they won’t take it hurt.
  • Chiropractic manipulation restores the nervous system innervation to the spine and misaligned vertebrae, which bring nerve impulses to the different organs, muscles, and tissues so healing can begin.

Drugs for Neck Pain Pros:

  • Your medical doctor is a reputable provider.
  • Drugs may reduce pain but they won't take it away completely.

Chiropractic Cons:

  • You'll have to create time in your schedule for appointments.
  • Your chiropractor will evaluate your lifestyle, while looking for things that predispose your body to future injuries and aggravation of current issues. He may ask you to change unhealthy habits or other factors that could contribute to the issue, causing you to make the uncomfortable commitment to change.

Drug Cons:

  • Side effects from medications may include slowing down the intestinal tract, severe constipation, thinning the stomach walls and making them susceptible to ulcers, GI distress, and other symptoms. Internal bleeding and hemorrhaging may also result.
  • Besides pain suppression, nothing is done to restore the function of the damaged tissues such as the nerves, muscles and tissues. Thus, the damage ‘remains’ and your body has to adapt to it.
  • Drugs for neck pain suppress pain making it easier to aggravate the present condition.

In your decision of chiropractic vs. drugs for neck pain, consider the pros and cons and make your best decision. At Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis, Dr. Holland understands that pain medications may be necessary, especially in the initial phase after a car accident or work injury. His goal is to uses drug-free, non-invasive methods to decrease your reliance on drugs, while safely and efficiently easing neck pain over time.



Who Should Consider Chiropractic Care

While nearly everyone can benefit from regular visits to a chiropractor, there are some individuals who can especially benefit from chiropractic care. These individuals are at a higher risk of spinal conditions due to their occupation, physical activity level, or personal health history.

Physically Demanding Employment

If you have a job where you are on your feet most of the day or all day you should consider an adjustment. If you are lifting, moving and generally getting a full physical day in, an appointment with a chiropractor can help you maintain your healthy body.

New Mothers

If you have delivered a baby recently you should consider getting evaluated for adjustment. Delivering babies easily makes a woman’s hips get out of proper alignment. This can cause ongoing pain for years if left without treatment. Many women simply chalk it up to one of the pitfalls of becoming a mother and don’t realize they can go on without pain simply be getting adjusted. Additionally chiropractors can provide relief during your pregnancy to help you avoid back pain while you're expecting.

Those Who’ve Been in an Accident

Another group of people that absolutely benefit from chiropractic care are those who have been involved in an accident--whether in a car accident, work injury, slip and fall, or other traumatic personal injury event. For these individuals, getting the proper adjustment from a qualified chiropractor can take years off of the healing process for them. At Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis, Dr. Holland specializes in diagnosing and treating auto injuries, and has provided expedient rehabilitation and pain relief for hundreds of patients.


People who live a busy, athletic life can be more prone to needing an adjustment. Whether involved in a sport that’s considered high-impact or simply doing light dance routines, getting regularly checked by a specialist can ensure you’re not doing any damage. It can also make sure that you stay at your best health to improve your athletic performance.

Adults Over the Age of 50

Aging causes the spinal disc to dehydrate and collapse, making you more prone to bulging discs, sciatica, and lower back pain. It's quite possible to injure a spinal disc or strain a muscle by simply bending the wrong way or lifting heavy objects. A bulging, herniated disc may pinch a spinal nerve, causing intense back pain, neck pain, and even symptoms of numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness in your arms and legs.  Spinal discs can also be pinched due to spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine, or from boney overgrowths caused by osteoarthritis. Seeking regular chiropractic adjustments from your St. Louis chiropractor will help to slow spinal degeneration and prevent painful spinal conditions associated with aging.

Anyone Interested in Improving their Overall Health

Research shows that chiropractors can help to reduce blood pressure, improve your immunity, and mediate stress --- all factors that can have a big impact on your overall health and wellness. The spine protects the spinal cord, a cable-line between your brain and the nerves to the rest of the body. Chiropractic adjustments will keep your central nervous system at top shape, so you can experience better health.

So while Dr. Holland can help you recover from auto accidents in St. Louis, his treatments will also boost your total body wellness. Contact Accident and Pain Relief of St. Louis to start feeling better today!


The Importance of Early Treatment after Auto Injury in St. Louis

Often, people walk away from car accidents, both severe collisions and minor fender benders, with no noticeably serious auto injuries. This fact is both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because it is obviously great news whenever someone escapes a car accident with no serious injuries to deal with, but a curse because a lack of broken bones or cuts can leave people thinking that their collision had absolutely no effect on their health.

In reality, a car accident can often lead to an auto injury that does not immediately make itself obvious. Here’s how it usually happens: someone will get in a minor fender bender, exchange insurance information with the other person involved in the crash, and then drive home thinking that nothing is wrong.

The next day or a few days after the fact, the driver will start complaining of back pain or neck pain. These pains, likely the result of whiplash and spinal misalignment, indicate that the car accident actually did cause an injury. If left untreated, these often-minor spinal injuries can escalate and worsen, leading to years of chronic back and neck pain, and potentially even causing decreased mobility.

See a Chiropractor to Prevent Chronic Pain from Auto Injuries

In order to catch minor auto injuries before they become major, drivers should schedule a chiropractic appointment right away after a car accident. At Accident Pain & Relief, we have doctors on staff that are specifically trained and experienced in handling auto injury patients. So if you’ve recently been involved in a car accident, call your St. Louis chiropractor today. Even if you don’t think you are injured, a simple visit to our offices might save you years of pain and hassle after an auto injury.


5 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain

Chronic back pain can be a grueling burden. Luckily there are a few easy rules you can apply to your life that will help you live without pain. Consider some of the following tips from your St. Louis chiropractor to ease your back pain.

1. Eat a Healthy Diet: Eating a healthy diet can help alleviate problems with inflammation. Inflammation is one of the biggest reasons people suffer immune issues and chronic pain issues. To help reduce inflammation, eat lots of healthy fats like walnuts, flax seed, and avocado. You will also want to avoid excess sugar, caffeine, and processed foods.

2. Stay Active: To help ensure your back is healthy and pain free well into your golden years, you’ll want to make sure to stay active. Perhaps the gym isn’t for you, but what about hiking or yoga? There is likely some activity that will get you up and about for an hour or so a day that you’ll enjoy. Gardening, bicycling, swimming and others are all great ways of fitting in some exercise.

3. Wear Supportive Shoes: Women suffer from a disproportionate amount of back trouble simply in relation to their shoes. If you wear high heels to work every day your body will start to groan with aches and pains. On the other extreme, ballet flats do not offer enough arch support, so can be another cause of back pain. Try opting for high-quality supportive shoes without a huge heel.

4. Visit a Chiropractor: Seeing your St. Louis chiropractor is an excellent way to prevent and relieve back pain. They will examine your back and general health to give you an idea of what needs to be done to keep your body aligned properly.

5. Watch Your Posture: Something your mother used to tell you about not slouching, ring a bell? There is truth to maintaining good posture to keeping a pain-free back. Work on sitting up straight, with your hips and shoulders aligned properly for best relief. Our St. Louis chiropractors can perform a postural analysis to make sure the way you carry your body isn't contributing to pain.

If you're searching for lasting back pain relief, contact our chiropractors at Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis today.


What Can You Do About Back Pain?

There is no reason for you to grin and bear it when it comes to back pain. There are many things you’ll want to do to help get over the suffering from a troubled back, and here some ways that our St. Louis chiropractors can help to relieve your discomfort.


One way of getting rid of chronic back pain is to visit a high quality acupuncturist. These experts can help you get relief by placing dozens of tiny, specialized needles into your muscles at strategic points. Acupuncture is based on a form of Chinese medicine that has helped countless people find relief from all sorts of different conditions. The effectiveness of this ancient method has now been confirmed by modern scientists who have demonstrated that acupuncture provides clinical benefits for a range of conditions, including back pain, headache, chronic pain relief, and more.

Strategic Exercise

There are many health benefits to exercise, not the least of which is losing weight. If you are even ten or fifteen pounds overweight, you may find this is a considerable factor in your back pain trouble. If you’re looking for relief you can exercise to lose weight. You can also find strategic exercises that will help you find relief from your back pain. Workouts like yoga and Pilates can help you elongate your muscles, utilize your breathing, and get control over your pain. Our St. Louis chiropractors are trained in physical therapy and exercise rehabilitation, so can help you find the right, safe exercise to perform to reduce back pain.

Visit a Chiropractor

One of the most proven ways to find real relief from back pain is via a chiropractor. These qualified experts can help you by getting your body back in alignment. One of the biggest reasons people suffer through back pain is because they need an adjustment. A chiropractic adjustment can help your body get back into its proper position and help you get relief from your back pain.

At Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis, we offer all three of these services all under the same roof. Patients who visit our St. Louis office can be assured that they're receiving the best, evidence-based care tailored to their specific needs.


What are Cluster Headaches?

Most people have some recognition of migraine headaches or tension-type headaches from straining over a computer too long or leading a stressful life. There is another headache that is perhaps the most debilitating though – cluster headaches. Some women have claimed that the excruciating pain of these attacks is worse than that of childbirth and many people are forced to miss work during the onset.

Comes In Cycles

The cluster headache is also often referred to as alarm headaches because they occur at specific times every day. When a sufferer is in cycle the pain might come at 10 AM 6 PM and 2 AM almost like clockwork. There are even some people that are in-cycle continuously and have these attacks almost every day of their life. It should be also noted that cluster aches occur in only one side of the head.

What are the Causes?

Abnormalities in the hypothalamus of the brain is believed to behind the cause of cluster headache but the exact cause is still unknown. There are hints that hormones and genetics may be involved in the cause. Certain factors may make the attack worse such as smoking, drinking alcohol, bacon, cocaine, medications, or air travel and heavy exertion.

How Are Cluster Headaches Remedied?

The best way so far to stop the pain of these headaches when they attack is to breathe in 100% pure oxygen. Some medications also help prevent and control the pain but it's not known why these work so finding the right dose for each person is a hit and miss process. For instance heart medication, anti-psychosis pills, anti-seizure prescriptions, and steroids all have varying levels of absolving the aches in different people. Calming the nerves through a chiropractor, biofeedback therapy, or relaxation therapy may also assist in prevention. Hopefully more information will come to light on the causes of and prevention methods for these damaging headaches.

Many patients develop headache after whiplash or other auto injuries. Our St. Louis chiropractors can help in the diagnosis and management of chronic headache.  Studies show that chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy can alleviate many common types of headache like cervicogenic, migraine, and tension-type headache. Contact Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis to find natural relief of headache today.


What You Need to Know About Headaches after Auto Injuries

Many patients come to our St. Louis office wondering why they're experiencing headaches after a car accident injury, when they didn't strike their head during the crash.

Headaches after a car accident have a number of potential causes. If you have experienced a whiplash injury or cervical disc herniation, you may start to suffer from cervicogenic headaches. These headaches are form of referred pain that radiate from irritated nerves in the neck.

Tensions headaches are another possible type of headache that frequently develop as a result of muscle tension or spasms after a tissue injury. Dealing with the stressful after events of a car crash, like litigation and filing insurance claims, can also cause significant stress leading to tension headaches or migraine.

Headaches may be a sign of a more serious condition, like vascular injury or brain injury, so it's important to be evaluated by your doctor or St. Louis chiropractor as soon as possible. Contact Accident & Pain Relief of St. Louis for non-invasive treatment of headache.