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Austin Chiropractor Blog

Back Pain and Spinal Bracing

Joseph Coupal - Monday, April 10, 2017
Spinal Brace - Textstar Chiropractic in Austin, TX

Spinal braces are sometimes used in conjunction with chiropractic spinal decompression (and other treatment options such as cold laser therapy treatment) to treat chronic neck and spinal pain. Spinal braces limit motion, stabilize weak or injured spinal structures, and can prevent the progression of spinal deformity.

We’ve previously discussed how we use this blog to help educate both our current patients and the general public as well in our dedicated commitment to increasing the quality of life for both those who walk through our doors AND those who might never walk through our doors. We have discussed our relationships with doctors and other spinal care colleagues. Today we add the professional “Orthotist” to that list. The orthotist specializes in fitting and constructing custom spinal braces for back and neck pain sufferers.

Below are spinal conditions that are commonly treated with bracing. This list is not inclusive of every spinal condition treated with spinal bracing.

  • Kyphosis
  • Muscle strain or sprain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal fractures
  • Spinal tumors
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Whiplash

All of the above are complicated subjects and we gladly educate our patients on these (and other) subjects as the specific case arises. Today’s discussion on spinal braces is simply yet another reminder to those of you who think there is no end in sight to your back and neck pain. There is an end to your pain and it likely comes first in the form of professional chiropractic care in Austin and potentially when combined with other specialists such as the orthotist.

We are making a difference for those suffering back pain in Austin Texas and the surrounding areas. We commit ourselves to both treatment AND prevention. It is our commitment to back and neck pain prevention, that, in part, separates us from all other chiropractic service providers.


Chiropractic Treatment of Spinal Stenosis

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Once again, one thing that sets us apart from most chiropractic treatment practices is the TexStar difference, which includes a team philosophy. We team with a host of spine and neck professionals to deliver the most comprehensive, effective, and affordable path to relieving you of pain. Our continuing investment and commitment to produce educational blog posts is but one example of our genuine concern and hope that you all quickly achieve pain free living. Today we once again share the insights of our friends at Spine Health regarding the subject of Spinal Stenosis.

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal cord in the neck (cervical spine) or the spinal nerve roots in the lower back (lumbar spine) are compressed. Symptoms of lumbar stenosis often include leg pain (sciatica) and leg tingling, weakness, or numbness. Arm pain is a typical symptom of cervical spinal stenosis. For cervical spinal stenosis with myelopathy, difficulty with coordination often occurs.

Stenosis treatment often involves non-surgical options that include chiropractic treatment, chiropractor-defined targeted exercise, anti-inflammatory medications, epidural injections, and activity modification) or back surgery.

Your trusted chiropractor offers several options for conservative (meaning non-invasive) treatments for lumbar stenosis. We treat lumbar stenosis via a combination of the following:

  • Activity modification. Patients are usually more comfortable when flexed forward. For example, many patients can ease leg pain and discomfort when walking by leaning forward on a cane, walker or shopping cart. We will show you how to modify both your sitting and mobile posturing to resolve you pain associated with spinal stenosis.
  • Exercise. We will define and teaching simple (but very effective exercises) that are proven to relieve pain associated with lumbar spinal stenosis. A targeted program of spinal stenosis exercises can prevent further debilitation arising from inactivity. Modifications to exercises can be made to ensure patient comfort. For example, stationary biking can be a beneficial treatment option because patients are sitting and positioned in a flexed-forward position while exercising.

Spinal stenosis is but one of many forms of back pain that we see and treat here in Austin Texas. We invite you to call and discuss anything related to you neck and spine health. TexStar


What is Your Sciatic Nerve and Why Does it Hurt So Much

Darren Kincaid - Tuesday, March 14, 2017
TexStar Chiropractic Sciatic Nerve Pain Treatment

Today we’re going to educate you on the Sciatic nerve. We’ll describe exactly what it is and inform you of the most common causes of sciatic nerve pain. Anyone who currently suffers (or has ever suffered) from sciatic nerve pain knows what REAL pain feels like. Before getting too deep into the subject, we want all of you to know that your south Austin chiropractic professionals here at TexStar Chiropractic are great at treating sciatic nerve pain patients. With hundreds of individual sciatic nerve treatments logged over the years, we can confidently advise you that REAL relief can be achieved, sometimes as early as your very first chiropractic treatment session. We’ll talk more about this later in the blog. Now, onto what is the sciatic nerve and why does it hurt so much.

Sciatic nerve pain affects millions of people. The pain can range from a minor nuisance to a debilitating problem. Despite its pervasiveness there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the topic. To help get you up to speed, here is what you need to know about both the anatomy of your sciatic nerve and the pain associated with it.

Your sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in your entire body measuring about the width of a man’s thumb at its widest point. It begins as a bundle of nerve fibers (also called the nerve roots) in your lower spine. These nerve fibers exit through holes in the bones at the back of your spine.

The nerve travels through your pelvis and down the back of your leg. When your sciatic nerve reaches your knee it divides into two separate nerves: the Tibial nerve and the Common Peroneal nerve. The Peroneal nerve travels sideways along the outer part of your knee and then down to your upper foot. The Tibial nerve travels downwards toward your heel and the sole of your foot.

Why does your sciatic nerve hurt so much. The first thing to know about the pain associated with your sciatic nerve roots (commonly referred to as “sciatica”) is that sciatica is not a medical diagnosis. Rather, sciatica is a symptom of an underlying medical disorder. Sciatica refers not only to symptoms of pain but also to numbness or weakness felt along your sciatic nerve. Here is a list of some of the most common underlying disorders that cause sciatic pain:

    Degenerative or herniated Spine Discs: Can cause the inflammatory proteins contained in your spinal discs to leak onto your nerve roots, which in turn can cause sciatica symptoms.

    Spondylolisthesis: This occurs when a stress fracture or instability allows one area of the spine to slip forward onto another, which can cause the pinching of the nerve roots.

    Piriformis Syndrome: Your sciatic nerve may be irritated as a result of piriformis muscle spasms. Sciatica symptoms are typically felt on only one half of your body and depending on where your sciatic nerve roots are compressed, your symptoms may be felt in various places of your leg and/or foot.

So, how might you be expected to be treated here at TexStar? We combat sciatic nerve pain using many treatment methods in our arsenal and sometimes a combination of multiple treatment techniques. Spinal Manipulation is the most common treatment used to relieve irritation to the sciatic nerve caused by misalignments in the spine or pelvis. Disc herniation or degeneration is one of the most common causes of sciatic pain and responds very well to spinal decompression. As with all nerve pain, sciatica also tends to respond very well to cold laser therapy.

Come talk to us. There is real relief and often quick relief through these and other sciatic pain treatment methods utilized here at TexStar. You do not have to live with this.


Chiropractic Care: Lowest Cost and Shortest Path to Back Pain Relief (Austin Texas)

Joseph Coupal - Monday, March 06, 2017

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Take 30 seconds to consider this graphic:

TexStar Chiropractic - Chiropractic Care for Medicare Patients Graph

If you suffer from lower back pain in Austin Texas (and throughout the greater Austin area), your friends here at TexStar Chiropractic will do everything we can to guide and educate you on your treatment options.

We take great pride in our tireless commitment to staying up to date on both the latest  medical and chiropractic treatment options available. We are proud of the relationships that we have established with local medical teams because, when medical treatment is necessary we want you to get the best. However, statistics increasingly defend chiropractic treatment as the safest, most effective, and most affordable approach to treating lower back pain. So, if chiropractic care has not been recommended to you for your low back pain it may be time for a second opinion. 

We welcome the opportunity to consult you regarding your unique condition and your treatment options. We will share with you a summary of the various treatments that we provide here in our Austin clinic as well as current trends in combined chiropractic and medical care strategies.

As always, there is no obligation in reaching out to us here at TexStar Chiropractic. No-fee consultations are our way of giving back to all of you whom we consider both friends and neighbors.


U.S. Adults Describe Chiropractic Care as More Safe and Effective Vs. Surgery and Medication

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, February 23, 2017

Aug. 26, 2016, DAVENPORT—Low-back pain is the single leading cause of physical disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. “Low-back pain and neck pain place a tremendous burden on our society,” said Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., vice chancellor for research and health policy at Palmer College of Chiropractic. “The opioid-overuse epidemic in the United States demonstrates that Americans need safe, effective, conservative health-care alternatives to prescription pain-killers.”

According to a new Gallup report commissioned by Palmer College of Chiropractic, U.S. adults are more likely to describe chiropractic care as “very safe” and “very effective” than to say this about pain medications or back surgery.

The “Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Annual Report: Americans’ Perceptions of Chiropractic” is the second-annual Gallup-Palmer survey of American attitudes about chiropractic care.

Key highlights:

  • Nearly 62 million U.S. adults (25 percent) went to a chiropractor in the last five years. More than half (35.5 million) said they went in the last 12 months—up slightly from the 33.6 million in last year’s survey.
  • Three in four of those who saw a chiropractor in the last year (77 percent) described chiropractic care as “very effective.”
  • Eighty-eight percent of recent chiropractic patients agreed the quality of care they received was a good value for the money they paid.

This nationally representative annual survey measured perceptions of, and experiences with, chiropractic among U.S. adults. The survey will be repeated for at least one more year as part of Palmer College’s on-going effort to study and advance the profession’s identity and understanding of public perceptions regarding chiropractic care.

Highlights of the study are available online from Gallup. The full report is also online.

We use three primary treatment techniques to relieve spine and neck pain and to garner similar “very safe” and “very effective” feedback from our clients:

  • Spinal Manipulation: Specific chiropractic adjustments that help to restore normal motion to the spine
  • Cold Laser Therapy: Use of specific wave-lengths of light to treat painful and debilitating condition
  • Spinal Decompression: Negative pressures applied inside the herniated and bulging discs

Seventy-seven percent odds that you will find chiropractic treatment very effective in treating you pain are darn good odds. We won’t brag and advise that our success rate is even higher, but we’ll tell you this for sure. For those suffering back pain in Austin, relief may just be a phone call away. Click here to schedule your first visit at TexStar Chiropractic.


Chronic Back Pain – More Common Than You Might Think

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Textar Chiropractic Chronic Back Pain Treatment in Austin, TX

People with severe, chronic back pain know that this sore subject can be foundationally and constantly disruptive to quality of life. Chronic back pain can be cruel—making it hard to enjoy even the simplest daily activities or carry out an exercise routine.

Regarding how widespread chronic back pain is within America, opinions range widely from as low as 10 percent to as high as 40 percent. Even at the lowest estimate, millions of Americans suffer constantly from chronic back pain.

The medical profession once believed that pain was always a manifestation of an underlying injury or disease. If no underlying cause could be found, the patient was told that very few treatments are available or worse—that “the pain must be in your head.” Fortunately, efforts to focus public attention on the problem of chronic pain care have been encouraging in recent years. In 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services released “A National Pain Strategy” drawing on the efforts of patient advocates, scientists, and governmental experts to improved access to quality care and better tracking to determine which therapies are most effective. We have a genuine commitment to “patient focus”. We’ll use this blog now and in the future to keep you informed on the progress of the government’s focused effort .

For those suffering chronic back pain, you must wonder when it is time to seek professional treatment. The answer is if lower back pain does not start to subside within one to two weeks, or if there are troubling symptoms, you should seek professional help. If this describes you and you happen to live in Austin Texas, then know that relief can be on the way via a very brief (and free) initial consult with the professional chiropractic team here at TexStar Chiropractic. The one question we might not be able to answer for you is, “Why didn’t I call you sooner”.


Back Spasms – Short and Long-Term Treatment Strategy

Joseph Coupal - Monday, February 06, 2017
Textar Chiropractic Cold laser treatment in Austin, TX

The odds are that at some time in your life you have suffered some form of spinal-area muscle spasm. We hope that it was simply a one-time condition. For many people unfortunately muscle spasms are not one-time events but are recurring and often times recurring with increasing frequency. Below we will review what you should immediately do when back spasms strike. We also offer the strategic actions to take to end them altogether.

What should I immediately do when my back spasms?

The first thing to do when you sense the onset of a back spasm is to stop what you are doing! Gently massage the area that is hurting. Massage can be a great treatment for short term relief. Then to the extent possible rest your back until the spasm subsides. With that said, it is also important to get moving again as soon as practically possible because excessive sedation can cause the muscles to stiffen back up and begin to spasm when you try to move. It is a delicate balancing act to get your back muscles back in tune.

What if my back spasms remain persistent?

If you make prudent behavioral adjustments but you still cannot get your back spasms to stop, we strongly advise you to seek professional care. Your local chiropractor (TexStar Chiropractic for you folks in Austin) will do an exam to try and determine the underlying cause of your muscle spasms and pain. Chiropractors are patient focused and uniquely skilled in the art and science of diagnosing both the anatomical and physical lifestyle activities that may be causing your symptoms. 

Chiropractors specialize in the mechanical functions of the body. Our combined education and experience make chiropractors THE subject matter experts regarding how muscles, ligaments and bones work together to help your body bend and move naturally. When joints lock up or fixate they do not bend and move as you bend and move. This causes inflammation in the ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves surrounding that joint. We treat joint disorders using multiple therapy options that include (but are not limited to) cold laser therapy and spinal decompression therapy.

We can usually put your back spasm and back pain to rest in relative short order. We achieve this thorough a physical examination along with an in-depth study of your individual case history. Our patients are often surprised when they find out what is actually causing their symptoms whether it be structural issues or just harmful routines or activities that they were not aware were causing damage.

Be honest with yourself. If you suffer persistent back pain, then by definition you are missing something. It is highly likely that you will continue to suffer until treated and educated by chiropractic professional. Every day is precious. The sooner that professional enters your life, the better. The professional team at TexStar Chiropractic stands ready to help. Give us a call.


Five Years of Chronic Neck Pain -- GONE in 120 Minutes

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 30, 2017

“Gone in 120 Minutes” is not a sequel to popular action movie. This is the real-life testimonial of a TexStar Chiropractic (Austin, Texas) patient who once believed that she was condemned to a life of pain. It is also the story of the unthinkable, that Americans often (and erroneously) view chiropractic care as a desperate measure of last resort only to subsequently discover a “miracle”.

Five years ago, Sarah fell awkwardly while exercising on a trampoline and began a five-year period in her life living with a pain level described as “eight out of ten”. Finally and at her wit’s end, she came to us at TexStar to seek chiropractic care for her chronic neck pain. Like many, she had all but accepted as fact that she would never experience true pain-free living again. Sarah chose a combination of chiropractic manipulation and cold laser therapy. By the end of her second chiropractic treatment session she was pain free and hailing us as miracle workers. We humbly accept the compliments, however, we know that we are not miracle workers. We are simply highly trained and experienced professionals exercising PROVEN spinal treatment techniques often times likened to miracle works.

In this 40-second video, Sarah summarizes the “miracle” she recently celebrated when Dr. Henry and the TexStar Chiropractic team ended five painful years of agonizing neck pain and a brutal chapter of her life. However, this video is not all about Sarah. Behind the video is our celebration. We celebrate the ability to deliver chiropractic care to the fine people of Austin and revel in the professional reward of returning quality of life to those who enter our door.

It is perplexing why the great people of these United States, on average, wait longer to seek chiropractic solutions to pain than those people of other developed nations. Strongly consider the fact that pain and drug-free living is achievable and can be achieved more safely and more affordably than your current approach. Your “miracle” might just be a phone call away.


Cold Laser Therapy -- A Completely Painless Spinal Treatment Option

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 23, 2017
TexStar Chiropractic - Cold Laser Therapy in Austin. TX

Can you imagine a more non-invasive and painless pain treatment than simple directed light energy? Not likely because light energy is the most non-invasive treatment option available. We call it "cold laser therapy" and it is among the most safe and affordable back pain treatment options available today. Today's blog post is designed to educate you more on this truly amazing and effective strategy and to invite you to personally discuss back pain treatment options with the chiropractic professionals here at Austin's TexStar Chiropractic.

What is Cold Laser Therapy?
Cold laser therapy reduces inflammation, swelling, and pain via the use of infrared light. Infrared light effects the human body at the cellular level. Unlike medications (cortisone and other anti-inflammatory meds) infrared light stimulates your own body's cells to naturally take action to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain. Within our circle this is referred to regenerative medicine.

Is This New and Unproven Technology?
Not at all. This treatment has been used for decades.

How effective is Cold Laser Therapy?
Very. More than 50% of our patients advise measurable pain relief after the first treatment. About 90% of our patients report positive effects from systematic treatment.

How long will the pain relief last?
Varies from patient to patient. You must realize the multiple sources of inflammation and back pain and different causes react differently to the light. The long-term effectiveness of the treatment is ultimately up to you and your body. Realize that the goal of cold laser therapy is to reduce pain sourced by inflammation and swelling. Whereas we're confident we can do that, how you treat you back in the post-treatment environment has much to say about the return to pre-condition pain.

Are there any side effects from Cold Laser Therapy?
There are a few very specific contraindications to cold laser therapy that you will be screened for. If the doctor determines that you are a good candidate there should be absolutely no negative side effects. With that said, we will highly encourage you to follow the treatment dosage and frequency recommendations that your provider recommends in order for you to achieve optimal results. 

Tell me about the Doctor who will treat me with Cold Laser Therapy.
Meet Dr. Michael P. Henry, DC. He was born and raised in Austin and was named the 2014 Texas Young Chiropractor of the Year by the Texas Chiropractic Association! He was also appointed to the state chiropractic regulatory board by the Governor of Texas in 2016.

For more information regarding cold laser therapy please refer to our dedicated web page on the subject or contact us anytime!


Back Pain Prevention - Austin, TX

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 16, 2017
TexStar Chiropractic - Lower Back Pain Treatment, Austin, TX

Today your friends and chiropractic professionals at TexStar Chiropractic wish to educate you on the single most cost-effective way to treat back pain. Sit down and prepare for this gigantic slap in the face from Capt. Obvious: take active measure to prevent back pain from ever happening in the first place. We realize that back injuries and bad-luck genetics prevents the complete eradication of back pain, however, there are certainly things you can do to improve your spinal health, posture, and to avoid what is often agonizing pain sourced at your back. We know some of this will read as simple common sense, but our experience proves that positive results can be achieved when we take the time to actively consider both the obvious (and not so obvious) tips below.

Here are five simple but effective back pain prevention tips.

  1. Exercise. The back and spine are a complex arrangement of muscles, bones, cartilage, and nerves. The simple act of exercising (which by the way includes the simple act of walking) serves to facilitate a productive and harmonious relationship between all of these elements. If you are an inactive person, you need not go crazy with exercise. Start doing something, anything, that stretches and tasks your back muscles (even to the smallest of degree). Start something that you truly enjoy and that will naturally self-motivate continuance. Some of you have seen the commercial for that work desk tool that allows you to raise and lower your computer from sitting to standing height and vice versa. Well they work from the perspective of improving back and spine health. Exercise is a natural spinal decompression treatment. Strong muscles continually act (in somewhat similar fashion to a professional's spinal decompression table) to retard spinal collapse.
  2. Eat right. What more really needs to be said here. Health weight means your back and spine does not carry avoidable loads. A little known fact is that your intestines relate to the back and spine in that your inside and your outside relate to one another as proven by the fact that back and spinal pain patients often suffer irritated bowels.
  3. Sleep sideways. Sleeping on your back stresses your back as will sleeping on your stomach. If you must sleep on your stomach or back, then you should consider trending toward a more firm mattress or put a pillow under your lower abdomen to help take stress off your back.
  4. Reduce stress. Complying with steps one through three above will go a long way here. Most do not realize that stress negatively impacts the back and spine. Stress causes tense muscles. Recall the previous discussion about the need for a harmonious relationship between the muscle, bone, cartilage, and nerves. Well, stress stresses that relationship.
  5. Quit smoking. While we do not know exactly why smoking can have a negative effect on back and spine health, research shows smoking can make existing back pain worse. One theory is that smoking narrows blood vessels resulting in the deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the spine. Only bad things result from that.

We offer you these tips because we are patient-focused professionals whose professional reward is earned by delivering measurable and observable pain relief to our patients. We welcome the opportunity to further your education and to put you immediately on the path to pain-free living. Call us anytime!



TexStar Chiropractic $$

TexStar Chiropractic

4601 Southwest Pkwy #101,
Austin, TX 78735

Call Now! (512) 899-2228
Fax: (512) 899-2226
Email: info@texstarchiropractic.com