About Chiropractic, chronic pain, Dry Needling, General, good health, Sports

Now Offering Dry Needling

River Falls Spine Chiropractic and Wellness Center is pleased to announce that Dr. Steven Gartzke has completed training in Dry Needling and is now certified to perform this valuable technique in our office in order to treat myofascial trigger points, connective tissue, neural and muscular ailments.

Over the years, dry needling has become a popular treatment technique in manual physical therapy. Physical therapists and other healthcare providers in many countries employ dry needling in the clinical management of patients with myofascial pain and trigger points. Dry needling cannot only reverse some aspects of central sensitization, it reduces local and referred pain, improves range of motion and muscle activation pattern, and alters the chemical environment of trigger points.*

So … what exactly IS dry needling? The following article from the Mayo Clinic’s website is a great overview of what dry needling is, and why it can benefit chiropractic patients.

You may have heard of a treatment called dry needling and wondered what exactly it is or if it’s something that may be right for you.

While the name of the procedure may sound intimidating, dry needling is safe, minimally discomforting and often an effective technique for patients with certain musculoskeletal presentations. Dry needling is a treatment performed by skilled, trained physical therapists, certified in the procedure. A thin monofilament needle penetrates the skin and treats underlying muscular trigger points for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.

So, what is a trigger point? A trigger point is a local contracture or tight band in a muscle fiber that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion, refer pain or cause local tenderness. When dry needling is applied to a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point, it can decrease banding or tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce local and referred pain.

It’s important to note dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. It uses similar tools, but that’s where the similarities end. Dry needling is performed by different practitioners with different training. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine, while dry needling is rooted in Western medicine and evaluation of pain patterns, posture, movement impairments, function and orthopedic tests.

Dry needling treats muscle tissue, and its goal is to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function. It rarely is a standalone procedure. Rather, it often is part of a broader physical therapy approach incorporating other traditional physical therapy interventions into treatment.

Dry needling can be used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues, such as shoulder, neck, heel, hip and back pain. While research indicates dry needling is a safe and effective approach for treating and managing pain, some insurance companies may not reimburse for the procedure.


If you have any questions about Dry Needling or would like to make an appointment, give Dr. Gartzke a call at 715.425.9439

* Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3201653/

About Chiropractic, chronic pain, Headaches

Resolution of Chronic Migraines

Resolution of Chronic Migraines Following Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic Care: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature

Patient: A 53-year-old female suffering from migraines for a twelve-year duration, visual disturbances, and neck pain. The migraines would leave her bedridden for days and unable to care for her family and attend to her personal hygiene.  Multiple medications failed to help her. Physical examination and x-rays revealed upper cervical subluxation.

Intervention and Outcomes: The patient was adjusted following the Atlas Orthogonal chiropractic protocol. Precision adjustments were applied to the atlas using the Atlas Orthogonal percussion instrument. Immediately after the first adjustment the patient experienced a more normal cervical range of motion. The patient was managed for a duration of three months and reported a complete recovery from migraines.

Conclusion: Clinical findings suggest that upper cervical vectored chiropractic adjustment was beneficial in this patient with migraines, neck pain and visual disturbances. More research in this area is necessary.

Matthew H. Sweat D.C., B.C.A.O.& Eric Nemzou D.C. Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ September 21, 2020 ~ Pages 39-49.
Source: https://www.vertebralsubluxationresearch.com/2020/09/20/resolution-of-chronic-migraines-following-atlas-orthogonal-chiropractic-care-a-case-study-selective-review-of-the-literature/

About Chiropractic, chronic pain

About Chiropractic…

What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat common musculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

credit: © 2020 American Chiropractic Association | Hands Down Better

Why Choose Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is the third-largest primary health care profession, surpassed in number only by doctors of medicine and dentistry. Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) treat about 35 million Americans annually.

  • DCs are licensed to practice in all 50 states and the District of Columbia–and in many nations around the world–and undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences at institutions accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. 
  • A growing list of research studies and reviews demonstrate that the services provided by chiropractic physicians are both safe and effective. The evidence strongly supports the natural, whole-body and cost-effective approach of chiropractic services for a variety of conditions.
  • Chiropractic services are included in most health insurance plans, including major medical plans, workers’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees, among others. 
  • Chiropractic is used extensively by amateur and professional athletes, professional dancers and others to prevent and treat injuries as well as achieve optimal health and functioning.

credit: © 2020 American Chiropractic Association | Hands Down Better

chronic pain, Events, good health

Can Chronic Pain be Relieved by Chiropractic?

Relieve Chronic Pain with Exercise and Chiropractic Care

Posted on March 9th, 2012 by Elaine Rosales  |  6 Comments »

exercise-and-chiropractic-care-for-chronic-pain-232x300At least 76.5 million Americans today suffer from chronic pain. Pharmaceutical drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and opioids (Vicodin and OxyContin) are the conventional remedy for chronic pain, but the problem is that these drugs may increase your risk of various health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, liver failure, and drug dependency or addiction.

Dr. Joseph Mercola says: “If you visit a conventional physician for pain, there’s a very good chance you’ll leave with a prescription for a medication… However, there are better options than drugs for neck pain not only in terms of pain relief, but also in helping to treat the underlying cause of the pain so that healing can truly occur.”

A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, revealed that medication is not the best choice for neck pain treatment. For 12 weeks, 272 neck pain patients were observed. According to the researchers’ findings:

  • 30 percent of those who exercised became pain-free
  • 32 percent who received chiropractic care became pain-free
  • 13 percent of those treated with medication became pain-free (link)

Can Exercise Really Relieve Neck Pain?

Chronic pain – particularly neck pain – is a common problem in the U.S. today. Seventy percent of people, at some point in their lives, will experience chronic neck pain.

A sedentary lifestyle or sedentary activities, such as working on a computer for long periods of time, may cause neck pain. The pain originates from the trapezius muscle or trapezius myalgia. Poor posture at work or during commute is also linked to many types of neck pain.

“It’s a vicious cycle as poor sitting posture leads to neck pain and once neck pain develops, it can make your posture even worse,” Dr. Mercola comments.

This proves that exercise is very important if you are suffering from chronic neck pain, since it helps improve posture, range of motion, and the functionality of your body. Exercise may help treat the underlying source of your pain, and may even prevent it from developing in the first place.

“Exercise helps prevent and relieve pain through a number of mechanisms including strengthening key supportive muscles and restoring flexibility,” Dr. Mercola adds.

Exercise Techniques to Relieve Chronic Neck Pain

The study mentioned above also noted that following a specific exercise program, which entails the use of hand weights, may help improve a person’s ability to maintain a neutral cervical posture during prolonged sitting. Thus, the poor posture-neck pain cycle is broken.

These five strength exercises, which target your shoulder and neck muscles, may help relieve neck pain:

  1. Dumbbell Shrug – Hold the hand weights at the side of your body while standing upright. In one fluid movement, lift your shoulders up towards your ears, and then slowly lower them down again. Make sure your jaw and neck are relaxed while you do this.
  2. One-Arm Row – Put one knee on a bench, and then lean on the same-side hand on the front of the bench. Using your free arm, pull the weight up until it touches your lower chest. Lower the weight down in controlled motion.
  3. Upright Row – Hold the hand weights and stretch out your arms in front of your body. Stand upright. Lift the weight in a straight line, as close to your body as possible. Let it reach the middle of your chest, with your elbows pointing up and out. Put the weights lower than the elbow during the entire exercise.
  4. Reverse Fly – Lie down on a bench at a 45 degree angle. Let the hand weights hang towards the floor. With your elbows slightly bent, lift the weights outwards and upwards, until they are horizontal. Afterwards, lower the weights in one controlled motion.
  5. Lateral Raise / Shoulder Abduction – Stand upright and put the hand weights at the side of your body. Slightly bending your elbows lift the weights outward and upward until they are horizontal. Lower them in one controlled motion.

The researchers recommend doing these exercises three times a week (every other day) and alternating between exercises. For example, you can do exercises 1, 3, and 5 on the first day and exercises 2 and 4 on the next day.

“When starting out, perform 2 sets of each exercise with eight to 12 repetitions for each set. Increase at your own pace to three sets for each. Depending on the exercise and your current muscle strength, the recommended beginner’s weight is between six to 12 pounds,” Dr. Mercola explains.

If you can comfortably execute the three sets, you can increase the weights. After at least four weeks, you can lower the number of repetitions of the last sets in order to increase the weight.

A Chiropractor May Also Help You Get Rid of Chronic Pain

Another natural and effective solution Dr. Joseph Mercola recommends is chiropractic care. A growing body of research now shows that consulting a chiropractor is safer and more effective than allopathic medical treatment, especially for chronic neck and back pain.

“I am an avid believer in the chiropractic philosophy, which places a strong emphasis on your body’s innate healing wisdom and far less reliance on Band-Aids like drugs and surgery,” he declares.

Chiropractic care may even affect basic physiological processes that also influence DNA repair and oxidative stress. This is why if you address any immediate spinal misalignment that is causing chronic pain, you may also address a deeper dysfunction in your body.

Studies have proven that therapeutic massage may offer significant improvements in body functions and help alleviate symptoms for those with neck pain. (link) Acupuncture, spinal manipulation, mobilization, and massage – which are known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments – may also be more effective than using a placebo, physical therapy, or conventional pain relief for those with neck or lower back pain. (link)

“So you have options when it comes to dealing with your pain, and there is good reason to explore them before you opt for medicated relief,” Dr. Mercola advises.

Dr. Mercola also recommends other natural tips and remedies to help alleviate chronic pain. Read the full article here.