936 Allen Rd, Nashville, TN 37214
Donelson Chiropractic Clinic
936 Allen Rd, Nashville, TN 37214
Stephanie Dixon is Dr. Dixon’s wonderful wife and is currently working part-time to assist with administrative services. She is happy to help in any way she can. Their two sons Levi (4) and Caleb (2) aren’t very much help, but they are known to make occasional appearances in the clinic.
R.B. Kramer has had extensive training in business management and customer service. He has earned the designation of Certified Therapy Assistant (C.T.A.) by the state of Tennessee, and completed his training in insurance filing and accounting. R.B. enjoys working with Donelson Chiropractic’s patients, and he is happy to answer your questions regarding virtually any aspect of your care or insurance coverage.
Adam Dixon, DC is the chiropractic physician at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic. Dr. Dixon was born at Vanderbilt Hospital in August 1981 and attended Montgomery Bell Academy for high school. He is the son of John H. Dixon, Jr., MD, who is a native of Donelson, a graduate of Two Rivers High School, and a cardiologist on the faculty at Vanderbilt. Dr. Adam Dixon has always admired his father’s ability as a doctor, as well as his compassion, confident humility, and ethical practice. Dr. Adam Dixon assumed he would follow his father’s footsteps, but during his undergraduate studies at Furman University, a medical ethics class sparked an interest in conservative healthcare. He enrolled at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida and graduated as doctor of chiropractic, magna cum laude in 2009, with the Presidential Scholar Award for academic excellence through the entire course of study. Since graduation, Dr. Dixon has worked in several integrated clinics in greater Nashville, with medical doctors, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and physical therapists. Dr. Dixon is committed to providing ethical, evidence-based care above all else. In fact, Dr. Dixon decided to take over Donelson Chiropractic Clinic when he witnessed Dr. Stephen Williams’s honest, non-scripted approach to chiropractic care, with the emphasis on the wellbeing of the patient. Dixon also enjoys running, thinking, learning, writing, talking with God, callisthenic exercising, training in mixed martial arts, enjoying sunny days, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, and spending time with his wife and sons.
Dr. Dixon with Donelson Chiropractic focuses on research & evidence to perform the highest quality of service to his patients. Stop by and see him today!
Acute inflammation refers to the initial stage of the healing process. The idea is to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate healing. There is always pain, redness, heat, swelling, or loss of function of the tissue(s) during this stage. Acute inflammation is crucial to healing, and typically ends in complete resolution of the problem. If it occurs unchecked, however, it may cause excessive fibrosis (scar tissue), excessive abscesses (pus-filled cavities), or lead into chronic inflammation.
If we ate the proper balanced dietand were as active as we are designed to be, we would rarely need to worry about excessive acute inflammation, other than simply keeping wounds clean. As it stands, however, we have to monitor the process carefully, and make sure it is progressing at a healthy rate.
There are a number of modalities and activities that can be employed to keep acute inflammation to a minimum. We can evaluate the necessity for emergency care, and if a patient needs immediate or advanced control of an acute inflammatory process, we can recommend a referral to the emergency room or to an appropriate specialist.
-Adam Dixon, DC
Chronic inflammation refers to the point at which acute inflammation has failed to resolve completely, and continues on a long-term basis. There are occasions when this can be viewed as a healthy process, with immunoregulatory functions, but it usually leads to disease (or makes them worse) if it continues for too long (such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, cancer, inflammatory arthritides, allergies, stroke, and a multitude of others).
Chronic inflammation is largely determined by what we eat. For instance, certain types of fats (such as trans fat or vegetable oils) break down into pro-inflammatory mediators, while others (such as fish oil) break down into anti-inflammatory mediators (these are detailed in my blogs, my local PowerPoint presentations and in the book, Know Your Fats by Mary Enig). Certain herbs, fruits and berries, vitamins, vegetables, and other foods are powerful anti-inflammatories. We can mostly keep chronic inflammation to a minimum by eating correctly.
We can also keep chronic inflammation at bay by not smoking (even the occasional cigarette significantly increases cancer risks), reducing caloric intake, exercising, brushing our teeth and flossing correctly, and following our physicians’ guidelines and recommendations. Chronic inflammation is the #1 reason why we get sick and eventually die. It really is that important.
I highly recommend paying a visit to Dr. David Seaman’s website, Deflame.com , which attacks inflammation at its source by providing sound, research-grounded nutritional recommendations.
–Adam Dixon, DC
Jaw pain (temporomandibular joint/TMJ)
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a very delicate joint. It is truly a difficult bear to treat, conservatively or interventionally.
There are a number of ways to treat the TMJ: conservative chiropractic adjustments, electric muscle stimulation, trigger point therapy, muscle injections, physical therapy exercises, class IV laser, or surgery.
Usually we try a course of conservative therapy options before sending out for more interventional methods. Typically we get satisfactory results with the available options at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic, leading to restored range of motion of the TMJ and pain elimination. If not, we can recommend a prompt referral to a competent dentist or specialist.
–Adam Dixon, DC
A patient with fibromyalgia usually complains of generalized musculoskeletal pain, often accompanied by fatigue.
The cause for fibromyalgia is unknown, although there are many theories, involving serotonin levels, nutritional imbalances, lowered pain tolerance, and decreased deep (stage 4 non-REM alpha rhythm) sleep. Whatever the cause, there is no real consistent positive effect with any particular therapy, although exercise, nutritional efforts, medicine such as antidepressants, acupuncture, and chiropractic can often alleviate symptoms or lead to full recovery. The good news is that a lot of people with these symptoms recover over a period of about a year (Souza, 539).
Exercise, particularly aerobic, seems to provide great benefit, and when combined with chiropractic care, the process can be a comfortable and productive experience leading to good results.
–Adam Dixon, DC
1. Souza, Thomas A. Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor, 3rd ed. Sudberry, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2005.
Hip pain or snapping hip
The first order of business when a patient complains of hip pain is to ask the patient where the pain is. Sometimes the patient will point to his or her hip (coxa) joint, which is out at the sides, and sometimes he or she will point to the low back, around the sacroiliac joints and glutes. Or the pain may be in the groin area or referred down the leg.
For true hip pain, typically located around the lateral (outer) aspect of the upper thigh and pelvis, we will try to determine the source. (Fracture, dislocation, instability, avascular necrosis, slipped capital epiphysis, bursitis, snapping hip syndrome, synovitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tumors, Paget’s disease, sprains, strains, meralgiaparesthetica, pain referral from the low back, etc.)
Usually if we rule out the nasties (some of them are above), we can effectively treat hip pain and snapping hip syndrome by research-based strengthening/stretching exercises, adjustments, and therapies that follow best-practice guidelines.
–Adam Dixon, DC
As with any other injury, we can evaluate you and determine whether you need emergency care, prompt orthopedic referral, or care right here at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic. We will use all we have at our disposal to diagnose the injury (to identify the pain-generating tissue), and proceed to treat the condition as conservatively, yet effectively, as possible, and refer if indicated.
If the condition responds positively to treatment, we will decrease the treatment frequency and send you home with exercises or activities, firmly grounded in research and best-practice guidelines, that will continue to promote healing. If the condition is stubborn or not improving satisfactorily, we will change up the treatment or refer you as appropriate. What we won’t do is to continue to treat you the same way, over and over, regardless of progress.
Sports injuries are simply one category of possible injuries to the body. They are typically responsive to conservative therapies. Of course, if needed, we can recommend and refer to a competent sports medicine orthopedist.
–Adam Dixon, DC
Whiplash refers to the injury sustained by the cervical spine and surrounding tissues, usually from an automobile accident, but whiplash can happen with any impact activity.
Traditionally, whiplash has been defined as a forceful hyperextension/hyperflexion injury, which means that the neck was forced backward and forward. There are other possible whiplash-like injuries that can occur to the neck, such as side-to-side impact.
Chiropractic care can often alleviate most or all of the pain associated with whiplash, and when implemented with evidence-based physical stretching and strengthening therapies, the cervical spine can heal up very quickly if the injury is not too severe. Dr. Dixon can teach you how to do these exercises at home and arm you with an advanced knowledge of your condition.
It is also important to note that the mid back, low back, and extremities can sustain equal or greater injury in automobile accidents or impact activities. If you have been involved in such an accident, even if you have not experienced significant symptoms, be sure to make an appointment with Dr. Dixon and/or orthopedic/neurological physician to diagnose problems and treat them accordingly. We will never use a car accident to justify undue care; Dr. Dixon is ethically bound to provide only the amount of treatment you need to function at your best.
–Adam Dixon, DC
Scoliosis is traditionally defined as a sideways curvature of the spine, usually complicated by rotational misalignments and three-dimensional curvatures as well.
The cause is often debated, but there is general consensus that genetic predisposition plays a major role. The cause is usually genetic-influenced but otherwise multifactorial.
Treatment for scoliosis may involve specific strengthening/stretching exercises, spinal manipulative therapy / chiropractic adjustments, bracing, and/or surgery, depending on its severity.
Dr. Dixon can evaluate patients for scoliosis and determine which of the above treatment options are appropriate.
–Adam Dixon, DC
We all know what stress is! It can impact our health in many ways.
The question is, how can we help?
The chiropractic adjustment alone alleviates stress to the muscles (reduces hypertonicity) and reduces pain (gate theory of pain and by improving functionality of the joints), thereby reducing physical stress. The adjustment soothes painful nerve impulses and encourages healthy nerve impulses (correcting something called dysafferentation).
Our therapies are very comfortable and relaxing, thereby reducing mental and physical stress.
Our massage therapy treatments are very effective in combating stress, both physically and mentally.
Our advice on exercise and maintaining activity, along with Yoga and Tai-Chi classes, reduce stress on several levels (emotional, spiritual, mental, physical…). If you are considering taking Yoga classes or are currently enrolled in one, it is a good idea to let Dr. Dixon check you out to make sure the condition of your musculoskeletal system is fit for it, and if there are any stretches or positions you should avoid.
Eating right reduces stress on your body and makes you feel better in general.
The overall experience of having someone help you when you are in need reduces stress (it reduces stress to know someone’s “got your back,” so to speak).
You can use any or all of the above to your advantage in the war against stress. :)
–Adam Dixon, DC
Muscle aches can be simple, and easily treated, or they can be as complex as nearly any other problem. They can happen once, repeatedly, or occur chronically. They can result from medications, falls, strains, pathologies, misalignments, imbalances, or they can simply occur for no obvious reason.
“Doc, it’s just a muscle.”
“Are you certain?”
It’s possible it could be “just a muscle,” but there are usually some other underlying issues going on. Also, when you interrupt proper motion of one segment or muscle, there are wake ripples that spread throughout nearly the entire kinetic chain. It’s also important to remember that if you keep re-injuring the same muscle belly, scar tissue can form and limit your range of motion.
Best at least to let us check out these aches. It could be something simple we could stop before problems develop down the road.
–Adam Dixon, DC
Joint pain and arthritis—whether it’s from playing music in Nashville or not
Chiropractors are joint physicians certified by the Joint Commission. In fact, we could be seen even more as “joint doctors” than “back doctors.” If you are experiencing pain in any joint in the body, Dr. Dixon can evaluate, diagnose, and treat you right here at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic. If you need a referral to another specialist for a firm diagnosis before commencing treatment, we’ll get you there.
Joint pain can arise from many different causes, but the most common arthritis cause is osteoarthritis. There are many other types of arthritis, including rheumatoid, psoriatic, or enteric arthritides, ankylosing spondylitis, scleroderma, lupus erythematosis, osteitiscondensansilii, DISH (diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis), gout, pseudogout, Reiter’s syndrome, sarcoidosis, Alkaptonuria, etc. These are examples of why our job isn’t easy, but it’s also why professionals in this realm are so needed. It is also why good communication between the patient, her provider, and other health care professionals is critical.
We would be more than happy to at least evaluate you for joint pain or arthritis. If you wished, we could continue from there to give you some relief, monitor your arthritis, and hopefully slow or halt its progression. As always, we will happily work with other health care providers if necessary to provide you with the appropriate care.
–Adam Dixon, DC
A “pinched nerve” is a colloquial term referring to nerve pressure, which can cause local and referred pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. Some symptoms of a “pinched nerve” may also be produced through chemical inflammation and irritation of nerves, rather than direct mechanical pressure. Don’t worry if this is too scientific; we’ll sort it out for you.
Mechanical pressure can usually be effectively managed through specific strengthening and stretching exercises, flexion-distraction, decompression therapy, massage and trigger point therapy, chiropractic adjustments, electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound, topical analgesics, kinetic taping, and/or heat and ice therapies (all services provided at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic). More “stubborn” mechanical pressure may require surgical consultation. We have a growing network of successful, experienced, proficient orthopedic surgeons and other MD’s with whom we treat patients mutually.
Chemical inflammation of nerve roots may be managed by the above therapies, but with the adoption of an anti-inflammatory diet (we can help you with that), the effects can be tremendously successful. We also have class IV laser, which can reduce local inflammation and advance healing.
It is always best to treat any condition as conservatively as possible, however, because as soon as you introduce more interventional methods, you also introduce some risk. And whether you would need surgery, an ESI, or other intervention, it would generally still be of benefit to reduce the inflammation and stabilize the area through therapies, exercises, and adjustments. You won’t lose by learning as much as you can about your condition, and that’s what we’re here to do for all of you in the Nashville, Donelson, Hermitage, and Mount Juliet areas.
Usually “pinched nerves” are a combination of both mechanical pressure and chemical inflammation of a nerve, and can be treated as such.
-Adam Dixon, DC
Sciatica isn’t just a Nashville thing
Sciatica refers to a set of symptoms including pain that is referred to the buttocks, legs, feet, or toes.
Sciatic pain or feelings of numbness and tingling in the lower extremity can occur from pressure on or inflammation of nerves, resulting from a bulged or damaged disc, a misaligned vertebra such as a spondylolisthesis, a bone spur, a tumor, a spasming muscle such as the piriformis, or others.
Pseudosciatic pain may arise from irritated facet or sacroiliac joints, and they typically respond very quickly to a small handful of chiropractic adjustments.
We can usually treat all of the above conditions except for: tumors, unstable and severe spondylolistheses, or very severe disc herniations and protrusions. We can still evaluate you if you happen to suffer from one of these more severe conditions, but we would have to refer or comanage with other providers as appropriate (which we are happy to do). Sometimes all you need is help from an MD to get “over the hump” so that you can more easily tolerate manual therapies and learn how to strengthen and position your spine correctly.
Sciatic and pseudosciatic pain can almost always be alleviated with the use of any appropriate therapy we have at our disposal at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic, and we can give you evidence-based, condition-specific stretching and/or strengthening exercises and advice that can help to prevent future recurrence. Our ChiroUp software will help you nail down an understanding of what is causing your problem, and what you can do at home and in the clinic to properly address it.
–Adam Dixon, DC
Mid back pain in Nashville?
In my clinical experience, mid back pain is typically more of a low-grade nature, nagging, and more often due to sustained postural stresses and imbalances. Pain in the thoracic spine can also occur from direct injury (leading to possible compression vertebral fractures or rib fractures), pathological processes, inflammatory processes, or scoliosis. Disc herniation in the thoracic spine is less common, because of the stability provided by the ribcage, but we certainly see them often at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic as well.
With postural exercise and advice, specific strengthening and stretching exercises, chiropractic adjustments, physiotherapies, and/or massage and acupuncture, the vast majority of thoracic complaints can be resolved.
It is important to get mid back pain checked by a chiropractor or other health care professional in order to rule out visceral disease, such as gall bladder stones, tumors, inflammatory liver disease, heart disease, or lung disease, because these diseases can often refer pain to the mid back area. (In truth, this statement applies to pain in general, especially if accompanied by fever, chills, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, severe headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, lightheadedness, slurred speech, trouble eating, nausea, vomiting, or other visceral symptoms.)
Mid back pain could also be referred down from the neck or caused by a malfunction of the lumbar spine or extremities.
Nashvilleans with neck pain should call Dr. Dixon at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic. Especially y’all musicians
Neck pain is extremely common. The patient may complain of chronic, low-grade tension or pain, with or without flare-ups from time to time. Alternatively, the patient may complain of acute, severely painful neck and arm pain, with or without numbness and tingling in the arms or fingers. Or there may be frequent popping or pain with only certain neck movements. There may be a history of accident or trauma, or none at all. Posture, sleep habits, or work environment may bring on the symptoms, or they may appear sporadically for no apparent reason at all.
The neck is a structure not intended for weightbearing, and it is built for a large amount of range of motion. This design is helpful for survival and awareness of our surroundings, but it comes at the cost of decreased stability of the region.
Forward head posture forces the neck to become a weight-bearing structure, a function it is ill-equipped to accomplish. The common result is a straightening or reversal of the normal lordotic curve of the cervical spine, a tightening of the muscles, ligamentous “creep” (slow lengthening and slacking of ligaments meant to be tight and stabilizing), abnormally high pressure on the discs, and, over time, low-grade chronic inflammation that weakens the area and sets it up for an injury down the road. The instigating factor of this injury is usually something we wouldn’t tend to associate with neck injury, such as brushing hair, turning the head quickly, or sleeping in an awkward position.
Another cause of neck pain is simply not using the range of motion with which it’s initially gifted. Truly, regarding range of motion, you “use it or lose it.” This is why regular chiropractic care can be helpful, as well as making sure to remain active and resist the temptation to become sedentary. A lack of range of motion leads to poor position-sense (proprioception), which sets up your joints for injury since your brain cannot effectively sense where the “danger zone” of the joint motion is. With poor proprioception, our brains may lose the ability to properly reposition the spine to reduce injury risk (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25575094). A lack of range of motion also leads to poor balance, which could cause neck and back pain from an increased risk of falls. The best idea (this goes for the whole body) is to return the body to its naturally intended state.
There is also a need to increase the stability of the neck through specific strengthening and stretching exercises, which we teach patients, to help prevent future injury and ensure proper alignment, proper posture, and stability. These exercises are further demonstrated by our evidence-based chiropractic software, ChiroUp, which puts valuable education about your condition at your fingertips.
There are many more causes of neck pain than simple forward head posture: automobile accident whiplash, sports injuries, injuries from sustained hyperextension (as can occur during a visit to a hairdresser), forceful self-manipulation of the neck, and many others. Often the cause is multifactorial, and sometimes the pain can be arising from a pathological process; therefore it is wise to receive an in-depth history and exam from a medical physician or evidence-informed chiropractor if you are experiencing neck or neck/arm pain, with or without numbness, tingling, or weakness.
–Adam Dixon, DC
Nashville, Donelson, and Hermitage: Give us the opportunity to teach you!
If you've been diagnosed with a musculoskeletal condition, I can recommend to you a research-based, self-care program that will educate you on your condition. You will learn what you can do to help yourself now and in the long run to help prevent the problem from recurring.
If you do not currently have an official diagnosis, I can examine your areas of complaint and offer a confident diagnosis or refer to the appropriate physician for a diagnosis if necessary.
Nashville Asks: Why Do Certain Muscles Feel Weak?
Weakness is a common cause of instability and injury. Often weakness is simply due to a decrease in tone from inactivity, or from imbalanced activities such as poor posture, poor lifting mechanics, or other repetitive activities.
Areas particularly vulnerable to injury from this kind of weakness include the shoulder joint, the cervical spine (neck), the thoracic spine (mid back), and the lumbar spine (low back), which need surrounding muscular strength, as well as appropriate muscle balance, for stability. In truth, our whole body requires proper muscle tone, but these areas are at the greatest risk of injury if there is weakness or imbalance of the muscles in the area.
Weakness can also occur as a result of general causes such as hormonal imbalance, chronic fatigue syndrome, infection, depression, medications, anemia, or heart/lung disease.
Another serious cause of weakness is damage to, pressure on, or inflammation of a nerve. The causes range from muscular or ligamentous causes (torn tendon or ligament, muscular dystrophies, etc.), mechanical (disc herniations, spurs, stenosis), neurologic causes (Myasthenia Gravis, Bell’s Palsy, Guillain-Barre, etc.), vascular insufficiencies (strokes, peripheral arterial disease, heart disease, etc.), systemic causes (diabetes, hormones, medications, anemia, etc.), central nervous system problems (brain and spinal cord, syringomyelia, ALS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, etc.), to idiopathic (diseases with no known cause such as Neurofibromatosis).
If the weakness is getting worse hour-by-hour or day-to-day, then it is an emergency that should be evaluated by an emergency room or neurologist as soon as possible, especially if associated with a loss of bowel or bladder control, dizziness, double or blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech, sudden paralysis, or headaches worse than ever before experienced.
If the cause of weakness is because of mechanical pressure or inflammation of a nerve root, sometimes accompanied by pain and/or numbness/tingling, Dr. Dixon at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic can typically treat the problem effectively. As always, if the patient is not responding well or a problem appears to be out of my scope, I will promptly refer to the appropriate physician.
If you’re not certain what is causing your symptoms, please allow me to give you a free consultation, with no pressure to sign up for care and with only your interest at heart.
Dr. Adam Dixon at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic: simple, honest, science-based.
VOTED ONE OF THE BEST NASHVILLE, TN CLINICS IN CHIROPRACTIC VERIFIED BY OPENCARE.COM
A Herniated Disc in Nashville Could Benefit from a Few Visits at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic
Intervertebral discs are fibrocartilaginous “pads” that lie between vertebrae to keep them separated, providing movement, shock absorption, and openings for the nerves to exit the spinal canal.
Herniated intervertebral discs are bulges of these “pads” that can cause low back pain, leg pain particularly below the knee, numbness, tingling, or weakness, or in severe cases, loss of bowel or bladder control. These lesions should always be treated quickly and appropriately.
Often the patient has had numerous occasions of low back pain that resolved, or has had a recent major trauma involving bending, lifting, and/or twisting. Alternatively, the herniation can occur from a very small action that we wouldn’t normally associate with injury, because the disc has been weakened over time, due to poor posture, lifting mechanics, or even diet.
Discs can become weak in several ways. Sedentary lifestyles can cause the supporting musculature to weaken, thus creating undue pressure and lack of support for the disc. A habit of prolonged sitting, especially without lumbar support, with poor posture, or without frequent breaks to extend the lumbar or cervical spine, typically results in a loss of the normal lordotic curvature of the spine. (The cervical and lumbar lordotic curves are normal curvatures intelligently designed to place weight perfectly on the spine and act as a sort of “shock absorber” for the spine.) The result is that the discs tend to bear too much weight, and the center nucleus of the disc begins to push or bulge against the outer layer, called the annulus. The patient may also “self-manipulate,” which typically involves pure rotation to get a “pop” sound, and is applied forcefully enough that slight, repeated, cumulative injuries to the outer annular layer occur. Finally, inflammatory diets increase circulating enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases, which can weaken discs by degrading their outer layer. When any of the above factors are combined together, the discs are simply primed to herniate.
Other possible causes of disc herniation are from power lifting (dead lifts and power cleans), direct falls on the buttocks, and similar injuries in which core weakness or diet is not a factor.
Conservative treatment for intervertebral disc herniation at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic may include: spinal manipulative therapy, exercise therapy/core strengthening exercises, flexion-distraction, ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, infrared heat, McKenzie exercises, and massage.
It is important to have your evidence-based chiropractor or medical physician evaluate you if you suspect a disc herniation, to rule out infection, tumor, or cauda equina syndrome, which are all very serious emergencies, and to assess the need for surgical consultation. It is also important to receive rehabilitative care and ergonomic advice, rather than just pain medications or injections, to get to the root problem and help prevent it from returning in the future.
Having a Headache in Nashville?
Headaches are a common plague on wellness. There is a large number of possible causes for headaches, ranging from very benign and easily treatable, to emergencies requiring immediate referral. Simply said, it’s best not to let headaches go without having them evaluated by a health care professional skilled in differentiating between the types of headaches.
The vast majority of conservatively treatable headaches fit into what I like to call a “headache spectrum.” White light is actually a combination of many different wavelengths of light. Most other colors have input from different wavelengths, causing us to perceive one color; similarly, a headache can reflect symptoms that have either one cause or numerous causes, all coming together to create a specific kind of pain. I don’t use the common term “headache continuum” because I think “spectrum” gives a better image. Or maybe it’s just me!
The most common types of headaches include: cervicogenic (headache generated from the neck), migraine (headache primarily related to the nervous and vascular systems), tension (a version of migraine-like, possibly stress- or medication-related, or muscular headache causing “band-like” pain across the forehead), and cluster (severe recurrent headaches with dormant periods, usually felt behind the eye, potentially triggered by alcohol or certain foods, probably caused by imbalance of the autonomic nervous system or involved with the trigeminal cranial nerve).
Most headaches have at least some contribution from the neck. Evidence suggests that the neck is a primary cause of the vast majority of headaches (1). More research is needed, but preliminary evidence strongly suggests that chiropractic care (spinal manipulative therapy in conjunction with exercise, stretching, diet, and ergonomics) can provide quick and effective relief for tension and cervicogenic headaches (2-3).
If you’re suffering from a headache and you live in the Nashville area, give Donelson Chiropractic Clinic a try. We are non-aggressive, medical-friendly, and science-based, and would love the opportunity to help.
–Adam Dixon, DC
(1) Becker, WJ. Headache. 2010 Apr;50(4):699-705.
(2) Complement Ther Med. 2012 Aug;20(4):232-9. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22579436
(3) h J Headache Pain. 2012 Jul;13(5):351-9. doi: 10.1007/s10194-012-0436-7. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22460941
Nashville asks: What do chiropractic adjustments do?
Chiropractic adjustments, also known as spinal manipulative therapy, increase joint range of motion, decrease pain, and decrease muscle spasm & tightness. Most people can benefit from them from time to time, and they can help you move more easily, breathe more easily, or perform prescribed exercises with less pain. They can be an integral part in getting you back to your healthy lifestyle. Despite some practitioners’ claims, there is no evidence that adjustments protect from flu or cure illnesses, but there are plenty of steps you can take to be healthier. You can eat healthy foods, maintain a regular exercise schedule that suits you, find stress relieving activities, nurture healthy relationships with friends, and maintain good ergonomics and hygiene. If regular chiropractic visits help you feel or function better in a way you can directly measure, then there is nothing wrong with incorporating them into your lifestyle. Although there are some wonderful inventions and discoveries that continue to be made in healthcare, there are no magic pills to be healthy in the long run, whether medical, chiropractic, or otherwise. Long-term wellness comes down to the choices you make on a daily basis. Do your body a favor by accepting responsibility for your own wellness, and watch the benefits flourish in your quality and quantity of life.
Nashville asks, what is Chiropractic?
It is true that nerves control every organ and tissue in the body, and that your nervous system is protected by your skull and the spine, which is a structure that is primarily composed 24 vertebrae, discs, tendons, and ligaments. It is also true that improper ergonomics such as poor posture and lifting mechanics, poor diet, and injuries can harm this structure. What isn’t true, however, are when historically-focused chiropractors take these truths and make conclusions that are far beyond the realm of science and reality.
Historically-focused, “principled” chiropractors teach fervently that these spinal insults result in tiny misalignments called “chiropractic subluxations.” These “subluxations” cause interference of mental impulses that alter the function of the nerve and cause disease. There is no evidence for this assertion, except for more sensible ideas such as the power of pain to sabotage our ability to exercise or enjoy a good quality of life.
The primary reason that historically-focused chiropractors teach about vertebral misalignment causing interference of mental impulses, subluxation, and disease, is so that they can inflate the value of spinal manipulative therapy, or the adjustment. It works well from a business perspective, because expensive X-rays are necessary to “diagnose” these “subluxations,” and many repeat visits are necessary to continue treating them. The only trouble is that “chiropractic subluxation” in this sense is imaginary, as are the alleged effects of their brand of spinal adjustment.
As a philosophy major, I easily and repeatedly detect fallacies in their reasoning, and as a scientific practitioner, I see a paucity scientific rationale behind their claims. However, most who make these assertions seem truly to believe it, so I do not think they are always conscious of their philosophical error. I often think that they are caring people who are genuinely trying to help people, but they have been misled, and they are therefore misleading the public. Whatever the reason, and whether consciously or not, they rely on repeated verbal scripts and charisma to continue quite successfully in business.
Some historically-focused chiropractors learn how to sell their product and convince their customers to purchase huge treatment plans in excess of 45 visits. In the case of Maximized Living, they even go so far as to condemn conventional medicine, brainwashing their patients in group and private sessions, instilling and flaming conspiracy theory in any who will hear. These chiropractors are a vast minority, but very vocal. They run off enough to give our profession a very bad name, threatening the livelihoods of honest chiropractors worldwide, but they “hook” enough sales to make extremely comfortable living.
It may come as a surprise that most chiropractors practice more along the lines of orthodox medicine, with evidence-based history taking, examinations, diagnosis, and treatments (source: biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/14/51 ), but they are generally less vocal, and much less aggressive. Chiropractors with this mindset stick with the evidence and recommend manipulation/adjustments only when they can help you with pain or loss of range of motion. Evidence-based chiropractors shun claims that are unsubstantiated by reviews of the scientific literature.
These practitioners take X-rays only when necessary to rule out pathology or fracture. They will change their recommendations or treatments based on the current evidence. They will also teach you how you can overcome your problem on your own, with exercises, ergonomic advice, diet guidance, and lifestyle counseling. If you are suffering from a problem that the doctor or the patient cannot overcome as a team, a good evidence-based chiropractor will recommend a referral right away.
For a few points about finding a good chiropractor, read this article: dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=15037 . Although treating a nearby non-painful area may help the painful one, and mild occasional soreness is acceptable, the article otherwise does a great job of clarifying how to choose a chiropractor wisely.
Evidence-based chiropractic is the firm philosophical foundation of Donelson Chiropractic Clinic.
"Chiropractic is a strange, wonderful, terrible, crazy, mixed up profession. Its membership includes cowboys, hillbillies, clinicians, scholars, and scientists. Its literature encompasses the wholly incompatible: from religion to science, and from reason and logic to fixed, irrational dogma. Its practitioners include the most genuine and skilled Marcus Welby (DC) types, to the most outrageous quacks I've ever encountered. Chiropractors, I am convinced, collectively do a great deal of good for, and some considerable harm to their patients. That chiropractic has survived at all in the face of 96 years of incredible persecution from the medical establishment is amazing. Above all else, chiropractic is never dull."
- Keating "Toward a Philosophy of the Science of Chiropractic." 1992
Choices and Health: Making The Right Decisions In Nashville
Dear Nashville patients and friends,
Healthcare is big business. Whether the field is medical, chiropractic, or otherwise, there is profit in your illness, and so many are out to get it.
The situation sounds grim, but my message is not. My message is this: only you have the power to take what you have and make the most of it.
There is only so much your doctors can do to shield you from your own choices. Your health cannot be maximized from the number of doctor visits, or chiropractic adjustments, or increasing dosages and numbers of medications, or injections, or surgeries, or treatments of any kind. Some of these may help (or harm), but it ultimately comes down to the choices you make as to how much of your health potential is realized.
It comes down to every moment. This moment.
Will you decide not to smoke that cigarette or drink that extra beverage?
Will you decide not to drink that sugary drink?
Will you take that first step outside and go for a walk or run?
Will you support your lower back and practice good posture?
Will you choose the foods that you know are healthy?
Will you do those stretches and exercises that you know will help?
Will you smile today?
Will you tell yourself that you’re loved and have a purpose?
Will you call that friend or write the note you’ve been meaning to write?
Will you resolve to be a good steward of all your remaining gifts?
The best part is that positive, healthy mindsets are free.
Someone is going to take advantage of your health. We want it to be you.
Ways To Help With Shoulder Pain In Nashville
One of the most common complaints we see in this clinic is that of shoulder pain. Sometimes patients will describe shoulder pain as coming from their midback or neck, but for the sake of this article, we are referring to pain in or around the ball-and-socket shoulder joint (the glenohumeral joint).
The shoulder joint is gifted with the most range of motion of any joint in the body, but it comes at a cost. The price tag of this mobility is that the shoulder joint is also inherently unstable and subject to forces beyond which the tendons, ligaments, and joint capsule can tolerate.
There is also an imbalance of the muscles that contribute to shoulder motion. Internal rotation of the shoulder is very powerful, as it is aided by the pectoralis and latissimus dorsi muscles, whereas external rotation is relatively weak, as this motion draws its strength from three of four small rotator cuff muscles.
To understand this, simply press your fist to your belly, take note of how strong that can be, and compare it to the exact opposite motion, where you rotate your arm outward. You’ll find that external rotation is quite weak by comparison.
The way to counteract this imbalance is to exercise those small rotator cuff muscles with specific exercises, with lots of repetitions and relatively low weight, using a therapy band, cables, or even dumbbells. There are also stretches and many simple-but-helpful tips that can reduce the chronic strain on your rotator cuff.
Of course, this imbalance is not the only cause of shoulder pain. We can evaluate your shoulder and decide whether the problem appears to be the shoulder joint, or if the pain is actually arising from the neck or midback. We will also be on the lookout for more serious sources such as bone tumors, inflammatory disease, or infectious processes. The last three sources can be more difficult to diagnose, so we may recommend advanced imaging or orthopaedic/surgical consult if necessary to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis. As always, if a condition is not improving as expected with the conservative care offered at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic, we will recommend medical referral.
Our ability to help does not end with spine pain. We will evaluate virtually any complaint and give you an honest opinion on whether we think we can help. Shoulder pain just happens to be one of the most common complaints we see. Please call for a new patient visit or free consultation.
Dr. Dixon’s tips for back pain during pregnancy
Back pain during pregnancy is very common. Weight gain, gait changes, abdominal overstretching, a shifting center of gravity, and hormonal ligament relaxation all contribute to back pain. Although the baby inside limits your options, you can fortunately do something about it.
1. Use good posture. The weight of the baby will make you lean back on the joints of your lumbar spine. Your muscles will tighten in response. Stand, sit, and walk tall, keeping the shoulders relaxed and back, with the spine lengthened as much as possible.
2. Allow your knees to bend a little when standing. Locked knees will increase the curve in the lower back, thereby increasing weight on the lumbar joints.
3. A heating pad can offer some relief (a minority of people report more relief with ice).
4. Get someone to rub sore muscles as a gentle massage, or get a massage from a licensed massage therapist proficient in prenatal massage.
5. Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees. Most pregnant women say the left side is the most comfortable.
6. Wear shoes that offer some support, such as athletic shoes. Avoid flats, and especially high heels. Wearing high heels will increase the curve in the lumbar spine and increase weight on the joints. A small heel is acceptable.
7. Mild forms of exercise such as walking or water exercise will help keep tone and provide muscular support to compensate for looser ligaments. The following exercises may also provide relief:
a) Practice the pelvic tilt. Move the pelvic bone forward and tilt the tailbone down and back, flattening your back. It can easily be done flat on your back in early pregnancy, but in mid- to late pregnancy, you may need to stand against a wall. In mid- to late pregnancy, whenever you’re on your back, bend your knees, and stay there for less than a minute only.
b) Go to your hands and knees and drop your head down. Slowly roll your back upwards, rounding your back toward the ceiling or sky. You can tighten your belly a little and use the pelvic tilt for the most stretch. Then release the tension slowly, one vertebra at a time, while bringing your head back to parallel. Repeat several times, a few times daily. This one typically works wonders.
c) Stretch the glutes (which are often fatigued from pelvic laxity). Sit in a chair, and place the left ankle on the right knee. Lean toward the left foot and press down on the left knee. Hold at least 10 seconds, and repeat with the legs switched.
(d) Hip rolls may help mobilize the pelvis and reduce pain in the sacrum area.
(e) Adductor stretches can prepare you for the big day when your legs will need to be held open. The first one here is a modified prayer stretch and may feel good for the lower back as well.
(f) gentle strengthening exercises such as “the bird dog” can help the muscles deal with daily stresses more efficiently, relieving chronic pain.
8. Make sure you lift properly, squatting down and keeping the back straight. If something is too heavy or challenging, ask for help.
9. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can often provide relief. Even MayoClinic suggests giving it a try. If you’re pregnant, in the greater Nashville area, and interested in getting chiropractic care during pregnancy, call (615) 889-1941 to make an appointment at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic.
10. Remember that back pain can also be a sign of underlying illness. In the case of pregnancy, it could mean preterm labor. If you have back pain with bleeding, burning sensations when you urinate, or fever, or if you are worried about your back pain, call your OB-GYN, nurse practitioner midwife, or general doctor at once. Otherwise, relax and try to enjoy the miracle of pregnancy as much as possible!
Low Back Pain
Low back pain is the #1 reason people seek out a chiropractor. Around 80% of the population will have low back pain at some point in their lives .
The first order of business, as usual, is to screen out any “red flags” that require immediate referral to a specialist or the emergency room. After more ominous diseases are ruled out, I will try to find the pain-generating tissue, whether it is the discs, the facet joints, the sacroiliac joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, an imbalance/misalignment, or a combination of the above.
Pain may radiate up the spine, down the legs, into the groin, into the feet and toes, or still other areas. There may be associated numbness, tingling, or weakness.
There have been a number of cases that I have had to direct elsewhere immediately. However, most lower back complaints can be effectively treated with the therapies available at Donelson Chiropractic Clinic, including: decompressing stretches called flexion-distraction, chiropractic adjustments individually tailored to the needs and preferences of each patient, vibration therapy, electric muscle stimulation, hot and cold therapy, massage, kinetic taping, and support bracing. I am careful to take time to teach you about how you can take measures to protect and heal your back at home and at work. This advice includes specific stretches, exercises, and guidance grounded in clinical experience and scientific evidence.
If necessary or unresponsive, I will recommend a referral for advanced imaging, physical therapy, or medical intervention, but the vast majority of uncomplicated lower back pain cases respond successfully to care here.
Our first goal is to get you out of pain. After that is accomplished, I will continue to educate you about how to prevent future problems and optimize the condition of your spine. Upon any routine visit, I welcome any questions and am happy to examine any area(s) of complaint. If I can’t answer the question or fix the problem, I’ll find an answer or direct you where you need to go. We can also schedule one-on-one consultations, whether for nutrition or any discussion about your health.
Our mission statement is to do the right thing for the patient, whatever that may be. In short, that means that we’re here for you.
What is Donelson Chiropractic Clinic?
We are a portal-of-entry chiropractic healthcare clinic, which means that we do not need a referral from another provider to start here. Typically, our patients initially seek care when they’re hurting, such as for neck pain, back pain, or headaches, but they often continue regular care because they find that it benefits them in specific ways. Regular visits are only recommended if the patient or the doctor finds specific benefit in them.
Our mission is to get results by doing the right thing for the patient and to promote true wellness. Our pledge is as follows: we will remain evidence-based as often as possible, with full honesty when the evidence supporting a certain modality is more anecdotal; we will never purposefully inflate the benefits of any advice or therapy, including spinal manipulative therapy (the adjustment); we strive to offer safe and cost-effective treatment.
Why such emphasis on ethics and evidence? The full answer to this question requires me to tell my story, which is a subject for a future article. For now, it will suffice to say that a strict ethical approach is the only “right way” to deal with someone’s health.
What services do we offer? We begin by learning about you, listening to you, and examining any area of complaint. Usually complaints are orthopedic or neurological in nature, including pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness of some sort, but I am qualified and duty-bound to address any situation and to know when to refer if indicated. If possible, I will then arrive at a diagnosis, with the help of digital X-rays if necessary. Treatment recommendations will include the risks, potential benefits, and alternatives to care. Click this link for a full list of services here.
Our interactions with patients are never scripted. Reports of findings and treatments are individualized. Treatment plans are sincere recommendations based on our honest assessment of your condition. Referrals are recommended when a problem appears to be out of our scope.
Please call (615) 889-1941 if you are interested in seeing what we can do for you.
Also please stay tuned for more lighthearted blog entries about how to improve your wellness.
At Donelson Chiropractic Clinic, we do everything in our power to provide the most valuable, affordable, and ethical chiropractic health care possible.
Since 1981, Donelson Chiropractic Clinic has been one of Nashville, Donelson/Hermitage, Mount Juliet and Middle Tennessee’s most established full-service chiropractic clinics for children and adults. We focus both on resolving your immediate concerns and on helping you achieve maximum health through individualized diet, exercise, and lifestyle counseling.
As part of our comprehensive approach, we teach our patients how to enhance their ability to function optimally. We strive to give advice and treatment that is evidence-based and founded in medical research.
Our policy is to accept only those patients whom we feel can benefit from our care; rather than recommending treatment based on what the business needs, our vow is to recommend what the patient needs. Referrals are provided for those who need or request another practitioner, and Dr. Dixon is always happy to send a report to your other doctors for communication.
It is our privilege to serve our patients and be a longstanding, active, and respected member of eastern Nashville and the surrounding communities. We welcome your questions and comments at any time.
Dr. Adam Dixon is a member of the Tennessee Chiropractic Association .
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Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
9 AM to noon2 to 6 PM
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The mission statement for Donelson Chiropractic Clinic is as simple as our forthright approach to healthcare: To get results by doing the right thing for the patient; to strive for ethical practice in all ways; to promote true wellness. This is the foundation for every decision made within the clinic.
Our interactions with patients are never scripted. Reports of findings and treatments are individualized. Treatment plans are sincere recommendations based on our honest assessment of your condition. Referrals are recommended when a problem appears to be out of our scope.
Donelson Chiropractic Clinic is a portal-of-entry clinic. There is no referral necessary to begin care here.
A concise list of services we provide include:
- Examinations of areas of complaint
- Digital X-rays with a CD copy given to the patient on request
- Clear communication of diagnostic interpretation of examination and X-rays
- Adjustments (spinal manipulative therapy) customized to fit each patient’s particular needs or desires
- Electric muscle stimulation for pain and muscle spasm relief
- Intersegmental traction/roller table therapy
- Massage chair
- Vibration-percussion massage for pain and muscle spasm relief
- Anti-inflammatory nutritional counseling based on biochemistry and clinical evidence
- Exercise therapy counseling to rehabilitate damaged, unstable, or weakened tissues
- Ergonomic and lifestyle counseling to optimize patient health
- Reports gladly furnished to other doctors upon request
- Clarification of financial questions and explanation of insurance benefits
All recommendations are derived from Dr. Dixon’s best judgment, stemming as much as possible from evidence-based research and experience. Appraisals of conditions, recommendations for treatment, and answers to questions are made with only the well-being of the patient in mind.
These services are provided in a welcoming atmosphere with real people who care about you.
Dr. Dixon’s Blog
– What is wellness?
– Which oil to fry/sauté in?
– What does it mean to be evidence-based?
– You’ve been told the wrong things about fat!
– We are what we eat, and we feel it too