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Shoulder Pain and Car Crashes

If you are dealing with shoulder pain after a car crash, don't worry. Dr. Julia Robertson sees this type of condition often in our Salem, OR office. The key to recovering from shoulder pain caused by a crash is to understand the root cause of the problem and how chiropractic care can help.

There are at least two different ways that you can get shoulder pain after a crash: by direct injury to the shoulder joint or by radiating pain from the neck.

Direct trauma can be caused by striking your shoulder on a hard surface in the car during the crash, or can occur if you have a tight grip on the steering wheel during a rear end crash. With this type of trauma, you'll usually be aware of the pain soon after the wreck.

More frequently, Dr. Julia Robertson finds that shoulder or arm pain does not immediately appear after a collision, but begins a few days or weeks after the trauma. This type of shoulder discomfort actually starts in the neck. Injured soft tissue in your neck can pinch nerves in your neck, causing numbness, tingling, or soreness in your shoulder, elbow, or wrist.

We've worked with many types of shoulder pain in our Salem, OR office. This process involves chiropractic adjustments to restore your spine's natural mobility and exercises that strengthen your neck and shoulder.

If you've been injured in a car crash and you're suffering from shoulder pain, Dr. Julia Robertson is here to help. Dr. Julia Robertson will first determine what's causing your pain and then work to restore your body to its natural functioning. Ready to make an appointment? Give us a call at (503) 399-7607 and we'll get you back on the road to health.


Studies Confirm that Chiropractic is Safe

Salem, OR Chiropractic for familiesWe tend to a large number of people in our Salem, OR office, and Dr. Julia Robertson has helped many people manage a wide array of health challenges. Even so, the primary concern that seems to stop many men and women from pursuing treatment is whether or not chiropractic is safe. Fortunately, according to three separate studies (out of many on the topic), the answer to this concern is a clear: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"

Chiropractic is Safe, According to Australian Study

The first study(1) was published in Spine and included 183 men and women. Each person reported affected by spine-related pain, and half of the individuals received real chiropractic care whereas the other half received two sham chiropractic treatment sessions. Data was obtained after each real or fake adjustment to determine if any unpleasant negative effects were caused by the real chiropractic treatments.

Researchers reported that nobody documented any serious unfavorable adverse reactions in any way after receiving one or two sessions of chiropractic care. Some participants did report that they had a headache (just 9% of people) or muscle stiffness (37 percent) after treatment, but the effects were not serious.

Large US Survey Finds that Chiropractic is Safe

A second study(2), also released in the prestigious journal, Spine, was performed in an effort to determine the safety of chiropractic. The test group was much larger -- 20,000 patients. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the neck, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all patients.

Again, the experts discovered no serious negative side effects. The authors computed the risk of total adverse reactions to be approximately 6 out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. Plus, just as with the first study, some people did report non-serious, milder, unwanted effects such as dizziness (about 1.6%) or a headache (4 out of every 100), and this prompted the authors to determine that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."

Chiropractic Adjustments are Safe for Children

This third research paper(3) is unique from the previous two pieces of research, as it focuses on the safety of chiropractic care for kids. In this article, the researchers analyzed results reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic treatment sessions.

Out of 5,438 chiropractic visits made for the young ones, chiropractors answering the survey reported only three cases where there were adverse reactions. When parents were surveyed, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Furthermore, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."

Based on studies like these, chiropractic has been deemed safe and effective for everyone. To discover what chiropractic care can do for you, call our Salem, OR office and schedule an appointment today at (503) 399-7607.


  1. Walker BF, Hebert JJ, Stomski NJ, Clarke BR, Bowden RS, Losco B, French SD. Outcomes of usual chiropractic. The OUCH randomized controlled trial of adverse events. Spine 2013;38(20):1723-9.
  2. Thiel HW1, Bolton JE, Docherty S, Portlock JC. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine 2007;32(21):2375-8.
  3. Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore NY 2009;5(5): 290-5.

Chiropractic Most Cost-Effective Choice for Neck Pain

Over the years, we have helped many men and women in Salem, OR recover from persistent neck pain. This isn't unusual, as research shows that chiropractic care leads to significant improvements for 94% of neck pain patients. But how does chiropractic compare to other conservative treatments in the management of neck pain?

To answer this question, it's useful to look back at an interesting study from 2003 published in the British Medical Journal. The paper reviewed various conservative therapies and concluded that manual therapy was the most practical option for neck pain.

Researchers from the Netherlands were interested in evaluating not only the costs associated with manual therapy but how efficiently manual therapy provided relief when compared to other treatments. They randomly assigned 183 patients with acute neck pain to receive treatment from manual therapists (MT), physiotherapists (PT), or general practitioners (GP).

Patients receiving manual therapy had the fastest improvement rate. After seven weeks of treatment, 68% of the MT group had recovered, compared to 51% of the PT group and 36% of the GP group. These variances in recovery rates were still statistically significant after 26 weeks but not after 52 weeks.

To calculate costs of treatments, the authors looked at direct costs such as visits to the health-care provider and the costs of prescription medications, in addition to indirect costs like work absenteeism and travel time.

The manual therapy group had significantly reduced costs, with patients spending only a third of the costs spent by patients in the PT and GP groups. On average, manual therapy patients had about $611 in costs as opposed to $1773 in the physiotherapy group and $1885 in the general practitioner group (447 euros ,1297 euros, and 1379 euros, respectively).

Plus manual therapy decreased work absenteeism. Only nine patients in the MT group documented missed work due to neck pain, compared to 12 in the PT group and 15 in the GP group.

The reduced cost likely stemmed from the fact that MT patients were using considerably less prescription drugs and needed fewer treatment interventions due to quicker recovery rates. The authors concluded that manual therapy and chiropractic care, specifically spinal mobilization, is less expensive and more successful at alleviating neck pain than physical therapy or care from a general practitioner.

Dr. Michels has worked with many patients who have suffered from neck pain. If you live in Salem, OR and would like to stop suffering from chronic neck pain, give our office a call at (503) 399-7607 for an assessment.


Korthals-de Bos IB, et al. Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner. British Medical Journal 2003;326:911.


Injured on the Job? See How Chiropractic Can Help

Chiropractic care may reduce the number of missed worked days for back and neck pain, according to recent research. In a new survey, people who received chiropractic care tended to miss fewer work days compared to people who hadn't seen a chiropractor.

In this 2013 study, 650 laborers in Minnesota who reported back or neck pain were questioned. The researchers discovered that most of those surveyed admitted that their back pain caused them to miss work or resulted in them making errors on the job.

The most interesting discovery, however, was that those employees who saw a chiropractor had 58% fewer disability days than those who didn't see a chiropractor!

Many studies report that chiropractic care is the optimal way to treat and even prevent back pain, and that's what we've found here in our practice in Salem, OR. Dr. Michels has vast experience diagnosing and treating repetitive motion injuries, back pain, sciatica, and a variety of work injuries. His goal is to get you back on the job without pain as quickly as possible. And that's what he's done for his patients year after year since 1984.

To see how we can help you, give our office a call today at (503) 399-7607.

Cifuentes M, Willetts J, Wasiak R. Health maintenance care in work-related low back pain and its association with disability recurrence. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2011; 53(4): 396-404.


6 Features of Regular Chiropractic Care

Most people are aware of the fact that chiropractic can help decrease back pain. But, there are some benefits of seeing your Salem, OR chiropractor consistently that are less well-known. These benefits  may just boost your overall health and sense of well-being.

Positive aspects of chiropractic medicine consist of:

  1. It stimulates natural healing. Although most other therapies involve drugs and potentially surgical procedures or injection therapy, chiropractic medicine encourages your body in healing itself naturally.

  2. It reduces childhood otitis media. A large number of children endure regular ear infections, and are often given antibiotic medications. Some young people feel a reduction in ear infections after getting consistent chiropractic care.

  3. It can lessen digestive difficulties. If you have a hard time with your digestive tract, repeated chiropractic appointments can often ease symptoms.

  4. You sleep better. When you’re not bogged down by neck or back pain, your quality of sleep gets better, assisting you to feel more focused and full of energy.

  5. It can lower your blood pressure. Anytime the spine is out of place, things like your blood pressure are not maintained properly, elevating your risk of these types of health issues.

  6. It can improve your balance. The stronger and healthier the spine is, the easier it is to balance, potentially preventing a injury due to instability like a slip and fall.


Enjoy these benefits and more when you see Dr. Michels of  in Salem, OR. Call and plan your next appointment now!



The Secret to Successful Back Pain Recovery in Salem, OR

Do you want to know the trick to effective back pain relief? It's not lying on your couch, suffering in pain while you wait for it to go away. It's not just doing your daily physical therapy and icing. So what is it?

Physical therapies are wonderful for musculoskeletal injury, but to get the full benefits of the exercises you have to get care that corrects misalignments in the muscles and the spine. That's where your Salem chiropractor Dr. Michels comes in.

If you've hurt your back, it is more than likely that you have a vertebra or two out-of-place. Stretching and conditioning your back muscles alone won't be enough to fix the misaligned vertebrae. One recent study explains why blending physical therapy with chiropractic is so advantageous.

Researchers studied 49 individuals with chronic back pain who were randomly assigned to get either manual therapy or sham  treatment. Manual therapies consisted of techniques commonly employed by your Salem chiropractor, such as chiropractic adjustments and chiropractic mobilization. Immediately after treatment, patients did exercises like stretching, muscle and motor control workouts, mobility workouts and strengthening. The participants were given eight treatments, with an evaluation after three and six months.

Right after the treatment session, patients receiving manual therapy experienced greater reductions in pain compared to  the control group. This advantage lasted at the three and six-month follow-up visit. The chiropractic participants had lower disability and a trend towards reduced pain scores compared to the sham group. These results suggest that a combined treatment of chiropractic and exercise could be better than exercise therapy alone for back aches.

So if you'd like comprehensive relief of back pain, pick up the phone and give our office in Salem a call. After a few  sessions with Dr. Michels, you'll wonder why you didn't call earlier!



Balthazard P, et al. Manual therapy followed by specific active exercises versus a placebo followed by specific active exercises on the improvement of functional disability in patients with chronic non specific low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012; 13: 162. doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-162.


Neck Pain Triggers and Therapies in Salem, OR

Whether slight or extreme, neck pain has the capacity to make your days long and your night short. It can darken your mood, weaken your spirit, and cause you to live a life without luster. That is, unless you make it a point to go to your Salem, OR chiropractor and do something to take care of it.
What Triggers Neck Pain
Several problems can contribute to discomfort in your neck, which is the cervical area of your spine. Being involved in a car crash can cause whiplash, as will any trauma to the cervical spine. Sports injuries can result in neck pain too, leaving you tender and sore.
Poor posture can also contribute to neck pain because the spine isn't positioned in a way to properly support your head. This can lead to strained muscles, headaches, and dizziness, which can further reduce your quality of life.
When you carry stress and tension in your upper body it can strain the muscles in your neck, causing aches and soreness that extend from your shoulders to the top of your head.
Neck Pain Therapy
Fortunately, consistent visits with your Salem, OR chiropractor can help minimize all of these causes of neck pain (as well as several others) and get you back to enjoying your life pain free. By using spinal manipulation therapy, Dr. Michels is able to lower the pain that you are feeling and guide you on the route to recovery.
Dealing with persistent neck pain is no way to live. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Michels at in Salem, OR today so that you can start to be pain-free tomorrow.


Auto Injury Relief in Salem, OR

No one plans to get an automobile accident, but sometimes life surprises you, leaving you with new injuries and pain. Thankfully, you can plan how you respond to the matter: some appointments with your Salem, OR chiropractor, Dr. Michels, can allow you to resolve the symptoms.

Most Common Auto Injuries
Although quite a few of injuries can happen as a result of a car crash, some of the most frequent include whiplash injury (which can produce a huge amount of neck pain and headaches); herniated disc (triggering back pain, sciatica, or neck pain); and spinal misalignment. All have the ability to severely limit your capacity to perform day-to-day activities without discomfort or pain.

The Chiropractic Remedy
Dr. Michels is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of auto injuries. After a thorough analysis of your problem and individual history, he'll create a treatment to fit your specific needs. Techniques could consist of chiropractic adjustments, instrument-assisted adjustments, light soft tissue therapy, exercise rehab, and a variety of other natural therapies.
While most doctors are focused primarily on relieving the symptoms, Dr. Michels doesn't stop there. He works on locating – and solving – the cause of your pain. He appreciates the fact that the best relief is permanent, which is what he aims to provide for his patients in the Salem, OR area.

What If You Were Not Hurt In the Car Crash?
Even if you don’t feel as if you were hurt in the auto accident, a visit to your chiropractor is suggested. Some injuries will not be felt straightaway, allowing them to get worse and worse until one day down the road they become more difficult to treat.
Don’t allow that happen to you. Contact our office in Salem, OR. Dr. Michels will make certain that all is aligned so that you feel your best today, and into the future!


Salem, OR Herniated Disc Treatment

Dr. Michels has helped many people in Salem, OR recover from back pain. A 2014 research study confirms what we've seen in our clinic. Researchers performed a study of 148 patients with a herniated disc confirmed by MRI scans. The majority of patients (79) had suffered from chronic lumbar disc herniation lasting longer than three months. Thirty seven patients had disc herniations for less than 4 weeks at the start of the investigation. Herniated discs causes symptoms like lower back pain and sciatica, as well as tingling and numbness in the legs.

Each participant received individualized chiropractic care, similar to what Dr. Michels offers in his Salem office. After fourteen days, 70% of the subjects had significant progress in pain and disability; and at three months, 90% had substantial improvement. Most importantly, the improvement was retained by patients, with over 80% of patients reporting improvement after one year.


If you live in Salem, OR, you need to know that you don't have to suffer from disc herniations or any other type of low back pain. Dr. Michels is here for you. To see if we can help you, give our office a call at (503) 399-7607 today for an appointment or consultation.


Lee, Serafin. Outcomes of acute and chronic patients with magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed symptomatic lumbar disc herniation receiving high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation therapy: a prospective observational cohort study with one year follow-up. Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics 2014.37(3):155-163.


Salem Chiropractic Improves Immunity

Many people know that chiropractic is an effective way to treat a number of pain conditions, but a growing body of research suggests it can also improve immunity.
In our office Salem, OR, we help patients with both musculoskeletal problems and overall wellness.

Previous research has shown that spinal adjustments can affect specific immune responses in both healthy participants and back pain patients. However there have been no major literature review articles of the overall effect of chiropractic care on immunity. In a recent presentation at the Ninth Chiropractic, Osteopathy, and Physiotherapy Annual Conference in the UK, Jack Neil of the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic analyzed the current research on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) and immune responses.

After examining the data up to January 2012, Neil determined that spinal adjustments are associated with a central anti-inflammatory response. Research shows that SMT may lead to a down regulating of pro-inflammatory cytokines and an increase in antibodies linked to the immune response. In addition, SMT may enhance the creation of tiny cells called leukocytes that support the white blood cells in fighting off a threat. SMT may also affect Natural Killer cells, interleukin-2 activity, TNF-a levels, cortisol, and b-endorphin levels.

Although more research is required, current evidence suggests that chiropractic adjustments can result in favorable changes in the immune system. These immunological changes may show us why chiropractic can reduce inflammation and pain while supporting general health.

We have helped many patients in Salem, OR improve their health. If you would like to experience the advantages of chiropractic, call at (503) 399-7607 for an appointment today.


Neil J. Manipulative therapy and immune response: A literature review of the chiropractic and osteopathic evidence. Clinical Chiropractic 2012; 15(3): 186.