I’ve been under the care of a Chiropractor off and on since I was a young teen. My family and I have benefited greatly from chiropractic care through the years and so when I injured my shoulder a few months ago it was a natural response to make an appointment with a chiropractor.
My current chiropractor, Dr. Kevin Brown and I, have had a number of conversations about Lyme disease. As we discussed aspects of chiropractic care for a patient with Lyme disease I thought this would be a great opportunity to get an interview and share this information with you as well.
Let me know in the comments below what you think and if you have found chiropractic care beneficial.
INTERVIEW: The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Those with Lyme
Dr. Brown grew up in Pikesville, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County where he received his B.A. degree in 1992. He then received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) from Life Chiropractic College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1997. Dr. Brown has advanced training in the following areas; physical therapy modalities from New York College of Chiropractic and National Chiropractic in Chicago Illinois, diagnostic imaging certification and competency in Atlanta Georgia, certification in Cox flexion distraction adjusting technique in Lombard Illinois, and certified in Activator methods adjusting technique in Scottsdale, Arizona.
What is Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system, the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.
Do you treat many Lyme patients and have you seen a rise in the number of patients coming in with Lyme disease?
Yes, we treat patients with Lyme Dx and the population is definitely increasing.
Eight years ago my chiropractor suggested that my pain could be caused by Lyme disease. How would you determine if someone might have Lyme disease?
A determination is made by a good health history and testing if available.
How does chiropractic care benefit the Lyme patient?
There are a few common lingering symptoms that many Lyme disease patients may experience after finishing their treatment. This after-effect of treatment symptoms is referred to as Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). The symptoms may include chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and achiness. While these symptoms are varied based on each individual, they can linger or gradually fade away.
Chiropractic care may help with patients and their immune system. Certain chiropractic manipulations may help trigger a positive response in your immune system, and also help with the aches and pains that have been caused by both the Lyme disease and PTLDS.
What is the difference between manual adjustments and adjustments using an activator?
The Activator Method uses a small, hand-held instrument called the Activator Adjusting Instrument to deliver a gentle impulse force to the spine with the goal of restoring motion to the targeted spinal vertebra or joint. It is an alternative to the traditional manual form of spinal manipulation, done by hand.
There are two theoretical advantages of an Activator instrument-assisted treatment. The first is based on the speed of the device. The instrument is so quick that the body’s muscles are less likely to tense in response, and resist the treatment. The lack of muscle resistance may facilitate the treatment effectiveness. The second is that the applied force is localized and does not add any additional torque or bending movement to the joint.
What is Your Typical Treatment Plan?
Phase 1: Relief Care
If you are in pain when you come into our office, the first objective is to help you feel better. Depending on the severity of your problem, and our examination findings, we will customize a treatment plan for your condition. It is typical to need care 2-3 times per week for 4-8 weeks.
Phase 2: Corrective/Restorative Care
During the corrective care phase, muscles and other tissues are allowed to heal more completely, thereby helping prevent injury. It is typical to need care 1-2 times per week for an additional month, depending on your overall health and the severity of your problem. We will begin to stabilize your spine with therapeutic exercises and rehabilitation techniques. At the end of this care phase, we will re-evaluate your condition and you will be released from treatment if your condition has stabilized.
Can you briefly explain why chronic inflammation is bad from a chiropractic view?
What It Is
Inflammation in itself is not harmful. In fact, it’s a normal and healthy attempt by the body to preserve itself. Inflammation helps remove harmful irritants and pathogens from the body so that the healing process can begin. The problem begins when regular inflammation becomes chronic. At this point, the body creates more inflammation in direct response to the existing inflammation, a cycle that can have dire consequences.
What Causes It
Chronic inflammation is caused by an imbalance in the immune system. Your acquired immune system develops over time via exposure to our environment and exposure and the more successes it has, the stronger it becomes. Chronic inflammation can also be the result of the body’s inability to eliminate the cause of acute inflammation or an autoimmune response where the immune system mistakes healthy tissue for unhealthy pathogens. For example, when your spine gets misaligned, the joints begin to malfunction and motion is limited. This limited motion restricts the joints from moving, thereby allowing waste products and inflammation to build in the area. These chemicals that build up, are an irritant which stimulates the nerves and the muscles to tighten the joint even more. This causes a vicious cycle which in turn creates more pain and inflammation and symptoms.
Chiropractic adjustments help restore normal functioning and motion to the joint which allows waste products to be eliminated and nutrients to be absorbed. Studies have shown that adjustments help reduce the production of two inflammatory cytokines, which can reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Personal Thoughts from Tricia
My family and I have found chiropractic care to be one of the many therapies that have helped us manage our pain during and after our Lyme treatment.
Thank you, Dr. Brown, for an excellent interview.
For more information and to find Dr. Brown please visit his website S&K Chiropractic
Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome
Clinical effectiveness of the activator adjusting instrument in the management of musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review of the literature
Mechanical versus manual manipulation for low back pain: An observational cohort study
What Research Show About Chiropractic
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