Personal Care Chiropractic & Massage, P.C.
104 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02474
781 641 4482
Conditions Treated
Neck Pain: Neck pain typically involves swollen or stuck joints, muscle spasm or both.
Upper Neck problems can be associated with head symptoms (headache, dizziness, sinus problems). There is no disc at the top 2 vertebrae. Most of neck rotation happens here.
Lower Neck problems can be associated with upper extremity symptoms, or upper back symptoms. Discs exist in these levels and can pinch nerves (radiculopathy).
Most of bending up and down (flexion and extension) happens here making this an area of frequent degeneration and bone spurs which can also pinch nerves (radiculopathy).
Involvement of discs, bone spurs, and radiculopathy make for more complicated conditions that take longer to treat. see nerve chart
Headaches:Headaches can have many causes. It very is very important to pay attention to symptoms because your doctor needs a detailed history to rule out possible pathology, (infection, aneurysm, high blood pressure, etc.).
Most headaches fall between a range of two extreme categories:
Vascular headaches and Tension headaches
Vascular headaches are caused by contraction or dilation of head blood vessels causing too little or too much blood flow to the brain. Migraines and cluster headaches represent the extreme range of such headache. They are severe, one sided, around the eye and can be triggered by hormonal, chemical, light, or dietary factors.

Tension headaches are the simpler muscle tension headache and are like a band of pressure around the head, the temples, or back of the head. These headaches get more complicated since the following can contribute to muscle tension headaches: poor vision (squinting), irritated muscles at the upper back, the shoulders, the back of the head, and front of the upper and lower neck, misaligned joints at the base of the skull (occiput) and the upper 3 cervical bones (vertebrae). These headaches are not as simple as they may seem!

Most headaches fall somewhere in between the two extremes with aspects of both. Chiropractic is extremely effective with the headaches mostly of the tension type
. Chiropractic may also benefit vascular type of headaches through affects on the nervous system. Other lifestyle factors, (diet, elimination of trigger chemicals, etc.), are typically needed to fully manage these types of headaches which typically take longer to manage. see nerve chart

TMJ or jaw pain:TMJ stands for "temporo-mandibular-joint". Like any joint it can be injured suddenly (by biting something hard or very unevenly on one side, trauma) or over time (grinding teeth at night, chronic one-sided chewing). It has a small disc that can wear out over time or slide out of position. The tension or balance of little muscles (accessible from inside the mouth), and the posture, alignment, stability of head in relation to the neck play a big role in managing and correcting this problem. TMJ may be associated with headaches and other face pain. see nerve chart
Shoulder Pain:The shoulder is stabilized over 95% by muscles and ligaments. The only bone that connects it to the rest of the skeleton is the clavicle.
This makes muscle balance a very important factor in the function of the shoulder. Posture is also significant because the more the head and shoulders draw forward they tilt the shoulder blade forward. Now every time you raise your arm above neck level the arm bone (humerous) is straining against the shoulder blade to tilt it back up. The result is jamming of the joint surfaces and pinching of tendons, ligaments and blood vessels (like wringing a wet sponge) and can lead to inflammation and wear and tear over time (arthritis / bone spurs).
The alignment of the neck joints and the upper back and ribs is also very important since the nerves that control the shoulder come from the neck, and the shoulder blade needs to glide over a properly functioning upper back and ribcage. see nerve chart

Back Pain:Functional Back pain (not related to infection or other pathology) can have 4 major sources of pain:

Bone or Joint, Muscle, Ligament, or Disc.

Most conditions involve more than one source. It is important to address all of them for complete recovery and prevent recurrence. The more local or specific the pain is the easier it is to correct (except for fractures, broken bone).

If there are other areas of related symptoms (groin, leg etc.) the injury may involves the disc (herniated disc) and or severely pinched and inflamed nerves (sciatica). Bone spurs from arthritis can also pinch and irritate nerves (stenosis). These are more complicated conditions typically requiring longer treatment. see nerve chart

Hip Pain:Hip pain can come from many sources. Those who sit a lot, bicyclists, runners, soccer players, and martial artists tend to develop very tight hip flexor muscles or joint capsule tightness. The bursa (fluid filled sack that cushions tendon against bone) can be irritated. The hip joint cartilage could be jammed and inflamed. Lumbar disc problems or sacroiliac joint problems can refer pain to the hip. Foot and knee problems can also cause hip pain. It is important to check and treat for all these possible factors many of which are often ignored. see nerve chart
Piriformis Syndrome:The piriformis is a muscle the connects the tail bone (sacrum) to the hip bone (femur) and it's motion is to to turn the hip out. It is frequently tight in people. Too much tightness and it pinches the sciatic nerve and can bring on buttock, posterior thigh or leg pain. Often is is associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction and, or hip joint restriction. see nerve chart
Wrist Pain / Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / Thoracic Outlet syndrome/ Pronator Syndrome:The carpal tunnel consists of a U shaped floor made of wrist bones and a ligament for a lid that houses a nerve. Repeated twisting, bending or typing can flatten the tunnel and cause the ligament to pinch the nerve causing hand and or wrist pain and numbness. Similar symptoms can arise form muscles in the forearm (pronator)and at the neck and clavicle / chest. These muscles can trap the same nerve further up the arm and be mistaken for carpal tunnel. Several patients had carpal tunnel surgery only to find out that the problem was not there. Besides local muscle stretching and ultrasound to reduce inflammation, chiropractic joint correction at the neck is important since that area controls nerve function to the upper extremity. (also see repetitive strain syndromes). see nerve chart
Whiplash: Use of seatbelts, important in preventing life threatening injury, actually amplifies the whiplash effect.  They hold the trunk leaving the head free to snap back and forth like a whip.  The violent motion tears muscles and ligaments (hold bones together), and can even tear discs and cause nerve pinching.  Even in a minor collision there is usually some initial pain or stiffness and swelling or misalignment of joints. Depending on severity after a few hours or days headaches may appear and loss of movement and stiffness may worsen.  The pain and swelling do eventually subside within a few weeks but if untreated adhesions form and joints remain stiff / misaligned. If not corrected properly there can be permanent loss of motion and flexibility and years of nagging aches and pains.
It is crucial to have care early on.  Initial phases of therapy include ice pack therapy and physiotherapy (electrical therapy / ultrasound, etc.) to bring down the pain and swelling, mild massage and stretching to keep the initial loss of motion to a minimum.  As spasms subside heat can be applied with more stretching, joint mobilization, and Chiropractic adjustments to restore motion back to normal gradually. 
As ranges of motion normalize and pain decreases it is important to continue therapy.  After weeks of pain, and not moving properly, muscle coordination and strength has diminished leaving one in a poorly functioning state from which pain is sure to return over time.  Rehabilitation exercises are added at this point to strengthen the muscles back to their normal state and allow a complete recovery. see nerve chart
Sprain / Strain Injuries / Tennis or Golfer's elbow (tendonitis):Muscle tears and ligament injuries are generally expected to heal with scar tissue within 6 weeks. It is important to address flexibility and gradual tolerance strength as healing happens to restore the injured tissue as close to possible to pre-injury status. Our facility guides patients through all phases of treatment: acute pain relief, corrective care (flexibility of scar tissue, and improved joint mechanics), and rehabilitative care restoring strength and stability. see nerve chart
Repetitive Strain Injuries:Our body was made for varied movement. Our society forces us to be in static positions for too long or too often. That leads to repetitive strain. It is trauma that happens over time. Approach to treatment is as for tendonitis above, however, elimination of poor mechanics, and re-education with proper postures and movements is crucial in allowing complete recovery and preventing recurrence. Sometimes braces and supports are used to accomplish this goal. see nerve chart
Foot Problems (Plantar Fasciitis):Foot problems can eventually turn into back, neck pain or even headaches. The feet are the foundation of the body. When that is uneven everything above will compensate to try and keep our eyes level with the horizon. This brings on a sequence of rotation at the leg and knee, rotated and uneven pelvis, sideways curves of the spine, unevenly dropped shoulders, head tilts, etc. Once the imbalance is transferred to the back, foot problems can have effects as high as the head and neck.  Thus depending on how solid and balanced our foundation is, the better we will be able to function above.

Chiropractic care includes initially analyzing the arches of the foot, how they change from not bearing weight, to standing, to walking or even running.  Once patterns of imbalance or weakness are identified then specific muscles are checked for proper tension or activity.  Individual joints are checked for excess or restricted motion.  Then one’s posture overall is checked for compensatory changes. 

Traditionally the muscles and joints are addressed first to restore proper length, strength, or motion.  Then exercises are given to strengthen or coordinate them all in a proper standing or walking posture.  Sometimes heel lifts, shoe inserts, or custom made foot orthotic devices are needed to completely correct the problem.  The patient is also educated on the proper foot wear depending on their activity levels and needs.  Emphasis is always placed in addressing the problem area first, then seeing how it affects the whole person and finally involving the patient in a long term resolution or control of the problem.

Plantar Fasciitis is a specific foot injury of inflamed sheet of tissue that supports the foot arch by connecting the heel to the ball of the foot. If the muscles and ligaments are weak and if the wrong shoes are worn then all the stress falls on the plantar fascia which get irritated over time. The inflammation usually responds well to ultrasound therapy but ultimately the alignment and muscle control issues described above need to be addressed for complete resolution. see nerve chart

Knee Problems (Runner's Knee, PatelloFemoral Syndrome):Sudden knee pain can come from tears or trauma to the ligaments or meniscus. Mild injuries can be rehabilitated. More serious ones at times require surgical correction.

When trauma does not exist the knee problems often come from the feet rolling in (pronation), or muscle imbalance at the thigh muscles (quadriceps). These cases require alignment at the hip and or foot and re-education of muscle control for complete resolution. Custom made foot orthotics also may be needed if foot problems exist.
see nerve chart
Asthma:Asthma is inflammation and constriction of the bronchioles. There are several theories on what causes asthma. Exposure to air pollutants, dust, or certain chemicals is suspect and being investigated. Some links have been made between antibiotic use at early age and increased incidence of asthma. Certain dietary factors are also known to affect mucus production, and inflammation which have been shown to affect asthma symptoms. Chiropractic care has been shown to offer at least short term relief and or reduce dependence on medications by easing the stress on muscles of respiration and the rib cage as well as reducing bronchiole muscle spasm. see nerve chart
Sinus Problems:Chiropractic can help by normalizing nerve function to the sinuses, opening up drainage points by pressure points, cranial manipulation or manual lymphatic drainage. Supplements and simple natural remedies can also help. see nerve chart
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Menstrual Cramps:Nutritional and dietary modifications can help reduce symptoms. Chiropractic care normalizes nerve function and reduces intestinal or viscera muscle spasms. 50% of women that suffer form menstrual cramps can be helped if a certain type of treatment is administered at the right time in a woman's cycle. see nerve chart
Allergies, Upper Respiratory Infections,
Attention Deficit / Learning Disorders (ADHD):
Natural remedies include herbal and vitamin supplementation, dietary modifications, and chiropractic treatment. The emphasis is to reduce factors that decrease the immune system, reducing contact with known trigger substances, introduce factors that boost the immune system (including chiropractic treatment), improve drainage of mucus and lymphatic fluids (removing offending substances), and to optimize nervous system function through chiropractic treatment. see nerve chart
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