Treating the body can be like a master painter using canvas and paint. It demands mastery of fundamentals, yet the addition of the creative. The chiropractor is placed in a similar position, working with the body demands great scientific knowledge about the body, but adding the creative and artful flair is where the healing takes place. Masterly blending treatment concepts at times may help bolster treatment outcomes. Such is the case with Active Release Technique and Dry Needling.

This is one of my favorite pairings when it comes to making the body perform better. One course of single type of therapy is rarely applied as combining different therapies help complement the work of the other. This is similar to applying heat before one does massage, Active Release Technique and Dry Needling are also complimentary to treating the body.

Most issues that present to the chiropractic office are rooted in movement dysfunction patterns coupled with poor nutrition . This is seen as static postures or repetitive overuse postures. It boils down to moving the same way too much, or not moving enough. Both of these scenarios create local changes in the muscle and the surrounding fascia.

When a muscle is constantly required to contract, especially for long period’s time, the motor neuron unit becomes dysfunctional. The motor neuron unit is where the nerve attaches to the muscle and is primarily responsible for having the muscle undergo cycles of contraction and relaxation. The motor neuron unit becomes dysfunctional and starts to overly secrete its chemicals. A biochemical mess ensues that disturbs the pH balance and increases the inflammatory mediators. This creates the need for trigger point therapy.

This situation creates a dysfunctional motor neuron unit and a trigger point. The trigger point is the taught and tender band like portion of the muscle that causes local and referred pain. As a Denver chiropractor, trigger points are always a co-conspirator with spine related problems. The primary trigger point disrupts the region, which creates other areas that ends up having to compensate and work harder, which thus starts a cycle of creating more trigger points. Sustained trigger points will then alter the tissues framework, creating scar tissue.

Scar tissue shows as leathery type tissue that has little to no give or pliability. So, now you have two problems, and two solutions. Active Release Technique aids in ridding the area of scar tissue, and Dry Needling helps reestablish the motor neuron unit to work correctly and deactivate the trigger points.

In summary, the vast majority of problems that the chiropractor sees is based in movement dysfunction patterns that create scar tissue and trigger points. I received my Dry Needling in Denver training from Kinetacore, a very reputable company and professional company that emphasizes patient safety and thoroughness.

Author: Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC, ART

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

How to know if i have a good chiropractor?

Everyone likes to think that they have the best chiropractor. Unless you’ve been to a number of chiropractors, it can be difficult to know if you have the best chiropractor. I’ve had many patients come to me after going to their chiro for years, and come to the realization that the care that they have been getting has been sub-par. I’ve compiled a list of what I believe makes a good well rounded chiropractor. This list is also dependent on what you are actually looking for and need, which can be different for everyone and their situation.

  1. How much time do you actually spend with your doctor of chiropractic? The quick crack, high volume practice makes it difficult for any quality time between you and the doctor. If you have a chiropractor that gives you plenty of time to address your questions and gives ample table time, you’ve met my first high quality chiropractor criteria.
  2. Is your chiropractor well versed in the latest techniques? This can be difficult to know, unless you’ve done your research on the variety of techniques available. Most people that come to me have no clue about the best practices of the trade. A little bit of online research can help determine if your chiropractor is up to date. Just to name a few of the techniques of today; Active Release Technique (ART), Graston Technique or Instrument assisted soft tissue technique, Dry Needling, Functional Movement screen, Muscle Activation Technique, FAKTR, Selective Functional Movement Screen, Acupuncture, Kinesio Taping, and Webster Technqiue. There are also many certifications that a chiropractor can receive, such as; DABCO Diplomate of the Amercian Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists, DACNB Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, DABCI Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Internists, DACBSP Diplomate American Chiropractic Board Sports Physicians. There are many more certifications and courses, but the main question is if your chiropractor is keeping up with their education.
  3. Does your chiropractor have a good reputation online? What is everyone saying online about your chiropractor? Some review sites are better than others. One of my favorite sites is Yelp and Facebook as I believe they do a slightly better job at keeping fraudulent reviews from being published. As you can tell, a search for denver chiropractor online reviews, will give you lots of information. You must be a good critical thinker when it comes to sifting through reviews. It is not out of the question to be reading fake online reviews. There are actual businesses that sole function is to create phony online reviews for other companies. When looking at online reviews, it helpful to not just look at the amount of reviews, but also to look at the quality of the reviews. You can usually tell if a review is a fake if there are no actual details. Does the review discuss the actual methods employed by the doctor? Does the review give details about the doctor and clinic? Are there details about the intake process, or about how long they were treated? Fake reviews are usually vague and give little to no details.
  4. Is your condition improving with the care you are receiving? I’m amazed at how some patients come to me that have been going to another chiropractor 2 to 3 times per week for over a year and are still not better. You’ve heard the definition of insanity, right? Well, move on or ask about options for your care.
  5. Does your chiropractor perform x-rays on everyone that walks through the door? Some spinal related conditions need an x-ray and are medically necessary, but if your chiropractor x-rays everyone, regardless of your condition, it is a warning sign. Some chiropractors unfortunately think that everyone needs corrective chiropractic care. This type of care is expensive, time consuming, and for the majority of people, is not needed.

In summary, chiropractors come in as many flavors as there are chiropractors. Utilizing this short list may help you find a chiropractor that can help you address your condition. Chiropractors also treat a variety of conditions, and some chiropractic specialists are much more well suited to treat your condition.

Author: Trent Artichoker MS, DC, ART

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

vitamin d for back pain

Back pain comes in many forms and behaves quite differently from person to person. Treatments can vary from manual therapy to psychological. As a Denver chiropractor, my job is to figure out why a person is having back pain and figure out the best approach for that particular person. Each problem with the spine may require a unique approach, depending on the cause, which in some cases may be due to a vitamin D deficiency.

When treating a particular person, I believe a holistic approach is best suited for the most favorable outcomes. This approach must take into account all health related factors, including dietary and supplementation. Spinal related pain can come from a multitude of issues, further necessitating a holistic approach, these can include; long term muscles imbalances, degenerative joints, scoliosis, trauma, excessive regular postural stress, genetic factors, poor movement patterns, excessive phone and computer use, dietary choices, and as it shows in the literature, is related to Vitamin D deficiency (1,2,3,4)

Back pain is currently an epidemic, and the treatment of it is not so simple and straight forward. Attacking back pain from my perspective should encompass the possibility of a Vitamin D deficiency. The “sunshine” vitamin is lacking in most people, and in part is determined by your ethnic origin and lifestyle. Most people are stuck indoors during the prime hours of sun exposure needed to make Vitamin D. Another large factor is that when people are outside that they cover themselves in sunscreen, thus preventing the bodies manufacture of Vitamin D. Estimates (5) range  from 41.6 % to 82.1% of people are deficient in Vitamin D, and some studies have much higher numbers of people being deficient or insufficient.

The best way to determine if your Vitamin D serum levels are low is to have a blood test. This is an inexpensive test and can help determine how much supplementation is needed. Supplementation has been shown to decrease and in some cases completely alleviate back pain (6).

1. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2003 Jan 15;28(2):177-9.
2. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2011 Mar; 29(1): 4–5.
3. BMJ. 2005 Jul 9; 331(7508): 109.
4. Curr Rheumatol Rev. 2013;9(1):63-7.
5.  Nutr Res. 2011 Jan;31(1):48-54. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.12.001.
6. June 2008 issue of the journal Pain and Treatment Topics.

Trent Artichoker MS, DC
Doctor of Chiropractic

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

dry needling for back pain

Who would have thought that sticking a person with a bunch of needles could actually help a person. I would have never guessed. It turns out that the Native Americans were using porcupine quills for needling, and the eastern cultures practicing needling for thousands of years. Although we still use needles for healing purposes, we have refined our techniques in parallel to western medicine philosophies. As a Denver chiropractor, I routinely utilize the monofilament needle in a technique known as Dry Needling to treat back pain.

Many ask, what is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture? It turns out, there is a big difference, and just because the same tool is used, it does not mean you are doing the same type of treatment. Acupuncture and Dry Needling for back pain treatment will vary. Goto an acupuncturist and goto to a chiropractor or physical therapist who does Dry Needling for back pain and you will get two very different types of treatment. I have found that Dry Needling is an excellent way to treat back pain.

As you see in the picture, there are quite a few needles in this particular patient. This specific example of Dry Needling for back pain was successful in helping the patient overcome mid back pain caused from a car accident in Denver. We were performing the usual chiropractic adjustments, active release technique, flexion-distraction therapy, electrotherapy, moist heat, and core strengthening exercises which all helped, but we came to a standstill in progress. Is was not until we performed Dry Needling for back pain that we were able to break the plateau in progress to aldry needling in denverlow full healing.

It is quite interesting how the procedure affects the body. Specifically for back pain, the goal of Dry Needling is to affect the Multifidi muscles. They are the deepest layer of muscles in the back and responsible for proprioception and stabilization. When an injury occurs to the back these muscle become inhibited and can become fatty due to disuse. This disuse can cause excessive shear forces in the spine, putting undue strain on the discs and joints in the back. This added pressure will create further injury if not treated appropriately. Inserting a needle into these muscles is kind of like putting a screw driver into a circuit breaker, similar to shorting the system. It is akin to a computer rebooting.

The reboot allows the multifidi to work like they are supposed to, which is to activate before any of the other musculature on the back activate. The multifid fires 40 milliseconds before all other muscles fire,which is important for stabilization of the back. Learn more about the Multifidi muscles. I will also add electrostimulation to the needles in the multifidi to add stimulation and to sort of, wake them up, type stimuli. People with disc herniations, facet syndromes, stenosis, spondylosis, and various sprains and strains can all benefit from Dry Needling for a back pain.

If you would like a consult or have a question, please contact our office in the Denver Highlands area, close to LoHi.

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

 

 

dry needling

Physical therapists and Chiropractors who perform Dry Needling do not perform acupuncture. The training is quite different although it uses the same tool, the monofilament needle. All three professions get extensive training in anatomy, physiology, and neurology but the way the needle is used is different.

An acupuncturist determines where to needle based on tongue evaluation, pulse characteristics, patient complaints, and the knowledge of meridians. It is based on Eastern medical diagnosis where Dry Needling is based on Western medical diagnosis. An acupuncturist may incorporate other therapies such as herbal remedies, gua sha, or moxibustion to rebalance the chi or life force of the body.

A chiropractor who performs Dry Needling will utilize standard Western diagnosis also incorporating the Selective Function Movement Assessment, and palpation to determine the areas to apply the needle. When a chiropractor performs Dry Needling, it is based on trigger point therapy, which is a Western term describing the taught band of muscles explored by Janet Travell MD.

The tool is the same, the monofilament needle, but the application is entirely different. It is not an acupuncture needle; it is a filiform needle that may be used in acupuncture and Dry Needling.

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO80211

303-455-2225

Dry Needling In Denver

Man has become quite ingenious when it comes to finding different cures for the human body, but not ideas survive the testament of time. Native Americans discovered that using porcupine quills inserted into the body achieved healing effects. Although it conjures up crude and painful visions of a human pincushion, today’s version is quite different. Dry Needling has become the new fad on the block with mostly physical therapists, chiropractors, and of course acupuncturists utilizing this technique and is achieving unprecedented results across the board of human ailments.

As a Denver chiropractor, I recently went through the certification process to Dry Needle so I could achieve these same results with my patients. I was very surprised how effective the needling technique was with my own issues. I had developed a semi sort of a bum shoulder, a tendonitis that developed from holding my young kids for hours on end. My shoulder didn’t want to work quite right, it would make noise, cause pain with certain movements, and worst of all, gave me a shuddering feeling of vulnerability.

I had been suffering my condition for several months, and like most doctors, you don’t address it, because you’re to busy fixing other peoples issues. I was worried about the shoulder terribly, in due part because as a chiropractor you heavily rely on good working shoulder. When it came time in our class to discuss and practice the techniques for the shoulder, I eagerly volunteered myself as the demo.

With Dry Needling, you always do a before and after check of the region that is causing your problems. We utilized the SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) and had found decreased internal rotation that also caused pain with my left shoulder. The instructor then palpated the area and had found some very nasty trigger points in my anterior deltoid, infraspinatus, and teres minor muscles.

The needling was quick and concise, and also consisted of utilizing an electrotherapy machine on the needles to help reset the normal resting muscle tone from its prior hypertonic state. After the procedure, we rechecked the shoulder with the SFMA and had found increased range of motion, and an improvement in pain quality.

The shoulder wasn’t completely fixed at that time, but it sure did feel much better. I thought that I may needed more treatment in the coming days to help completely rid the problem, but low and behold the issue cleared itself within the week.

I’m excited to offer this new technique at Denver Chiropractic, LLC and will be posting more about the technique soon. Please visit our website to learn more about the services that we offer,  and the Dry Needling in Denver. You can also learn more about Dry Needling at the wikipedi page.

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

text neck in denver, co

It’s time to text out and tune in to the real world when it comes to our phone use. Our iPhones and Androids are running and ruining our lives. The masses are becoming corporate sheep that constantly stare at their phones all day. Over use of the phone is turning into a habitual epidemic that is leading us to a whole host of problems. Besides the social disconnect, and the ruined lives from car accidents from texting, neck pain can also result from these sustained postural aberrations of looking down at your overly priced gizmo gadget widget next best thing phone. Chiropractors have termed this condition as Text Neck.

Text Neck from too much phone use can cause severe pain and can lead to permanent injury to the neck if not dealt with appropriately. Especially when the cause of the pain to the person is unknown, like so many of the gradual aches and pains that occurs in the neck. Text neck not only causes neck pain, but also upper back pain and excruciating wanna put yourself out of your misery type headaches.

Sometimes it can be difficult for the doctor to make the connection that the patient’s neck pain is coming from their phone. A patient presents with neck pain and describes the history of their pain as coming on gradually for no apparent reason. This is why it can be difficult to determine the cause of some aches and pains, because the patient hasn’t put 2 and 2 together yet. A good chiropractor can fish this out of a person, but it is not easy as people have a hard time fathoming that their recreational phone use is causing a catastrophe in their neck. There is also the denial stage that someone has a problem with their phone use that also causes the diagnosis of Text Neck to be difficult.

The habit of looking down at the phone to play games, surf the internet, check your facebook, shop online, watch videos on youtube, and read books inadvertently causes over use and under use of muscles in the front and back of the neck. Imagine going to the gym for a year and only working on your pectoral muscles, this is similar to what constantly checking and playing your favorite time waster games does to your precious neck. If your spine was as visible as your face was, we would all take better care of it.

The neck has a similar curve to the low back, and when the neck is out of this healthy neutral position, it distorts the natural neutral lordotic curve of the neck. Maintaining a reversal of the curve in your neck, and out of the neutral position, it slowly deforms the supporting ligaments of the cervical spine. The ligaments in the back of the neck get overstretched and the ligaments in the front of the neck undergo contracture and become shortened. Eventually this will cause a reversal of the curve in neck, even when the person returns to the neutral position of their head being over their shoulders. This habit eventually creates what is known as military neck, a straight neck that is misaligned.

Even worse, when the misalignments of the neck can become so bad that a kyphotic curve results, which is a reverse of the lordotic curve. The unbalanced overly stretched and under stretched supporting spine ligaments add stress to joints, nerves, discs, and muscles. These structures will wear out and can cause premature degeneration of the neck, bulging discs, and numbness and tingling down the arms. Muscles will also become overly active and under active, or weak and tight, and overly strong and lengthened.

Text neck can become a nightmare to deal with, especially if it dealt with by your good amigos named Tylenol and Ibuprofen, and worst yet continuing the prolonged use of looking down at your phone.

As a Denver chiropractor, I routinely treat patients that have neck pain due to their habit of playing with their phones. Some patients are so addicted to their phone that they use their phone while they are being treated on the chiropractic table. As a chiropractor, we have a wide variety of therapies to help your neck. Do your neck a favor and put down your phone.

To Your Health,

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd, Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225 (BACK)

www.DenverColoradoChiropractic.com

forward head posture

Like little baby Jesus, most neck pain seems to come out of nowhere. Its not like you were in a car accident or fell out of bed and there is no outwardly obvious reason for why your neck hurts. Most people do notice some patterns of their neck pain, like it hurts more when I do the dishes, or when you sit at your job. As a Denver chiropractor, most of the new patients that I see have this fluctuating neck pain that is usually caused by forward head posture. Understanding where this pain comes from is half the battle to ridding it. So, I listed the top 5 causes of forward head posture that causes neck pain.

1. iPosture or Text Neck. This is becoming epidemic as more and more people use cell phones. Take a look at person that is using their phone. The head is usually bent forward to at least 50-70 degrees which slowly pulls on all of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, joints, and fascia. This slow pull on the back of neck essentially overstretches this part of the body. This creates an imbalance of stretched tissue.

2. Computer Posture. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you end up slouched with your head sticking out by the end of the day. It’s almost impossible to escape without someone repeatedly telling you to sit up straight. Computer posture is often the result of poor ergonomics.

3. Pillow Neck. The way you sleep is another source of forward head posture. If you ever sleep on your back while using a pillow, you are slowly creating a forward head posture.

4. Reading Neck or Scholars Neck. Sit in your favorite chair and enjoy your latest murder mystery and soon before you know, you’ve been there for over an hour with head pointing down. Looking downward for a prolonged period doing your desk work or reading will create forward head posture. Some people like to read while lying down in bed which will also slowly give you forward head posture.

5. Couch slouch or Potato Neck. You ever watch a movie while lying down with your head on the arm rest of the couch. Guilty! Everyone does it, but if you do it on a regular basis it slowly juts your head out and then you look like one of the character in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Sitting in your favorite position in the couch that gives your spine banana back will also give you forward posture.

The imbalance of overusing certain muscles and under using certain muscles in combination with only stretching one side of the neck will cause forward head carriage. This is easy to spot as your head will not be above your shoulders, and will be forward compared to your torso. Over time this will create a major malfunction of the system, creating pain, stiffness, kinked necks, headaches, and sore shoulders.

Chiropractic care is an excellent option for treating a forward head posture. As chiropractic adjustments and the other therapies we offer will help restore the natural alignment of your neck. Of course you need to identify the root cause, but putting out the fire while improving your awareness of your posture is necessary. At Denver Chiropractic, LLC we offer a wide variety of treatment options to help decrease your neck pain.

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225