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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. 


Understanding Chiropractic Care: A Car Analogy

Although you may have heard of chiropractors, you may be unaware of what they do. You may be curious about why seeing your Salem, OR chiropractor is a good idea. How can chiropractic help you?

Your Body is Like a Car

Perhaps the simplest way to explain chiropractic care is with the help of a car analogy. Having an automobile requires routine maintenance to ensure that it continues to run smoothly. In addition to regular check-ups, sometimes you may be forced to take it in for repair, like when a part starts to malfunction or after an auto accident.

This is not all that different than your body.The best way to stay healthy is be proactive about your health, but sometimes you have an accident (like a sports injury or an accident) and you should see a doctor to repair the injury.

One major difference between your vehicle and your body is that a broken car can be replaced. With your body, there's no going out to buy a fresh one or trade it in when the damage is too costly. So, keeping your body in pristine shape ought to be a priority if you expect it to look great and work effectively well into old age.

How Your Salem, OR Chiropractic Doctor Can Keep Your "Car" in Top Shape

Because a doctor of chiropractic addresses the spine, getting normal care will help you to obtain and maintain good health. It will reduce your likelihood of developing back and neck pain that can lower your quality of life. Chiropractic also keeps your body running as efficiently as possible.

The spinal column protects your spinal cord which forms a connection between your brain and the rest of your body through the spinal nerves that extend into all areas of the body. So, if you have a spinal misalignment, other areas of your body are affected. Given that a spinal misalignment upsets the central nervous system, other systems — like your digestive, respiratory, or reproductive systems — may be impacted as well.

So make seeing your Salem, OR doctor of chiropractic a top priority. Call (503) 399-7607 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michels today. You'll be taken care of – regardless of whether you’re just in need of maintenance or need a tune-up!


When to See a Chiropractor for Neck Pain

So, your neck has been hurting, but you aren’t quite sure if it is time to see your Salem chiropractor or if you should just self-treat. Here are three questions you can ask yourself to help you determine which path is most appropriate for you:

What is the cause of my neck pain?

If you were involved in an auto injury or personal injury accident that has left you with even minor amounts of neck pain, you should seek medical care. It is possible that a disc or vertebrae are out of place, and waiting is only going to make the problem worse.

However, if you just slept wrong last night and now your neck is sore, you may want to give it a day or two. It is possible that you simply strained your muscles by being in an awkward position so the tenderness may go away on its own.

How bad is the pain?

Neck pain that is minor, like a 0-1 on a scale of zero to ten may not require a visit to your Salem chiropractor. However, anything higher than that or pain that interferes with your everyday activities should be looked at to help determine the cause – and correct it.

Would it make me feel better to get checked out?

Whenever you’re concerned about your neck pain, or any pain for that matter, you can always save yourself a lot of worry by simply making an appointment with Dr. Michels of Michels Spinal Rehab & Associates in Salem, OR so you can find out for sure what is going on. It’s always better to be on the safe side and that is where Dr. Michels intends to keep you!


3 Common Myths About Chiropractors

It’s understandable that there are a lot of misconceptions about the chiropractic field. After all, while many of us are raised on frequent visits to the doctor and the dentist, a chiropractor is a medical specialist that we don’t see much of until we’re adults, and by then, we’ve formulated most of our opinions. However, many of these myths can be damaging, not only to the chiropractors who have to weather them, but also for the patients who spurn chiropractic care because of them. With that in mind, here are three common myths about chiropractors debunked.

  • MYTH # 1: "Chiropractors aren't doctors." It’s a common joke in and out of the medical field that dentists aren’t “real” doctors, and the same dismissive myth plagues chiropractors. In actuality, chiropractors go through extensive education to earn the degree "Doctor of Chiropractic", just as a doctor of podiatry, dentistry, osteopathy, or other medical specialist would do. The American Chiropractic Association requires a minimum of 4,200 hours in classroom, laboratory, and clinical study – a rigorous educational workload that absolutely earns the qualification of “doctor.”
  • MYTH # 2: "Chiropractic isn't safe."  Spinal adjustments performed by someone who does not have the knowledge or experience to deliver them safely are dangerous. Chiropractic treatment at the hands of an experienced and licensed chiropractic doctor, however, result in fewer injuries or unintended side effects than virtually any other medical field (and most day-to-day activities).
  • MYTH # 3: "Insurance companies don't cover chiropractic care." The vast majority of insurance companies have determined that covering chiropractic care – often labeled as a preventative type of health care – is more cost-effective than denying chiropractic coverage and paying instead for later, full-blown medical treatments. Spinal adjustments can stop chronic back pain before it becomes severe, reducing or eliminating the need for prescription drugs, surgeries, or other medical treatments that might be used to address or cure the pain. Under the Affordable Care Act, health plans tied to the federal health exchange will be required to cover either physical therapy or occupational therapy, or visits to a chiropractor. If you call our Salem office, we are happy to consult with your insurance company about your benefits.


These and other myths are debunked every day by the many skilled and educated men and women who work in the chiropractic field. If you are interested in learning more or in seeing what chiropractic care can do for you, call Michels Spinal Rehab & Associates and schedule an appointment today in our Salem office.

As a trusted Salem chiropractor, Dr. Geary Michels will take care of you and answer any questions you may have so that you can formulate a deeper understanding of chiropractic medicine and build a preventive care regimen for a happier and healthier lifestyle.




7 Easy Ways to Prevent Back Pain

As the great Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In our Salem, OR chiropractic office, we believe that this couldn’t be truer when it comes to back injuries since dealing with any amount of pain along your spine can make daily living seem like more of a chore than a pleasure.

What are some things you can do to protect your spinal health as much as possible and avoid any painful and potentially costly back injuries? We've previously written about seven common causes of back pain, now we're going to give you seven suggestions to prevent back pain from occurring.


  1. Lift wisely. If you have to pick something heavy up, put most of the pressure on your legs versus your back and ask for help if someone is nearby so you don’t risk disc herniation or any other spinal injury.

  2. Keep proper posture. Lots of backaches and pains are caused by simply having poor posture. Whether you’re walking, standing, or sitting, keep your shoulders back and down, head up, and pelvis tilted slightly back.

  3. Sleep in a back-friendly position. Stomach sleeping can create the most back problems, so you should either sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees or on your back so your neck can lie straight.

  4.  Get regular physical activity. Keep your back in good shape by engaging in regular cardiovascular and strength-training workouts designed to build up the muscles in your back so they are stronger and more capable of protecting your spine.

  5.  Perform daily stretches. A limber back is a healthy back and daily stretches are just what you need to avoid back injuries that could potentially sideline you.

  6. Use common sense. If something seems like it has a high potential to cause a back injury, then avoid it. Trust your instincts to tell you what is potentially harmful to your spinal health.

  7. Engage in regular chiropractic care. Just like you have semi-annual visits with your dentist to thwart cavities and crowns, make regular appointments with your Salem chiropractor instead of waiting until you’re in pain and agony because then you’re facing an uphill battle.


Dr. Geary Michels is committed to helping you protect your spinal health and preventing back pain. Call Michels Spinal Rehab & Associates  in Salem, OR today and enjoy a healthier spine tomorrow!






Chiropractic Mobilization for Back Pain

Are you searching for drug-free relief of back pain in Salem? Dr. Geary Michels offers innovative, efficient treatments for spinal disorders causing back pain.

Chiropractic spinal mobilization can provide immediate clinical improvements for patients with back pain, according to a recent study.

While a number of studies have demonstrated the benefits of spinal manipulation for back pain, less is known about the effects of another common chiropractic technique called spinal mobilization. Both spinal manipulation and mobilization are types of chiropractic adjustments used to correct misalignments or dysfunctions in the spine causing back or neck pain. However, spinal mobilization is a slower, lower-force type of adjustment than spinal manipulation. This has been shown to be helpful for pain relief, but the underlying mechanisms behind the treatment are unclear.

In a recent study, researchers from the UK evaluated the immediate effects of spinal mobilization in patients with lower back pain. They compared 19 patients with back pain to 20 symptom-free, control participants, all of whom received spinal mobilization. Before and after the treatment, the researchers measured the curvature of the spine and active range of motion. Patients also reported any changes in pain.

In just a single session of spinal mobilization, the patients showed immediate and clinically important improvements in back pain and stiffness. On average, the patients' pain dropped by 1.69 points on visual analog scale. The curvature of the spine and stiffness levels begin to more closely resemble the symptom-free controls.

The results of this study merely document the immediate effects of chiropractic treatments. Other research is demonstrated that spinal adjustments can lead to long-term relief of back pain as well.

Salem chiropractor Dr. Geary Michels uses chiropractic adjustments in conjunction with exercise and soft-tissue techniques for his patients with back pain. Most patients experience significant reductions in pain through these treatments, without relying on surgery or drugs. If you're searching for effective, lasting relief of lower back pain in Salem, OR, contact Michels Spinal Rehab and Associates today.


Shum GL, et al. The immediate effect of posteroanterior mobilization on reducing back pain and the stiffness of the lumbar spine. Archives Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013;94(4):673-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.11.020.

Piper Lucy. Spine stiffness central to posteroanterior mobilization pain reduction. News Medical. December 18, 2012. Accessed May 21, 2013.



Chiropractic for Chronic Whiplash After Auto Injury

Dr. Michels frequently sees Salem patients complaining of whiplash symptoms several months, or even years, after their initial auto injury. The risk of chronic pain after auto injury is great, with up to 50% of whiplash patients developing persistent symptoms. Research suggests that many patients experience chronic pain for up to a decade after the car accident. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and treat chronic pain after auto injury, through conservative, drug-free interventions like chiropractic care.

Case Study on Chiropractic for Chronic Whiplash

A case study published in Clinical Chiropractic outlined the story of a 22-year old woman suffering from neck pain and headache six months after an auto injury,The patient felt neck pain within 24 hours of the car accident, which remained severe for two weeks while she wore a soft collar. The woman's neck pain continued to get worse, and she developed frontal headaches during this time.

A chiropractor treated the woman with chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapies, post-isometric relaxation techniques, self stretches, and exercise rehabilitation. Proprioceptive exercises were also assigned to address postural and muscle imbalances.

After seven treatments, the woman reported no neck pain and no headaches. Her cervical range of motion also improved greatly. The four month follow-up showed that she continued to be free of headaches, with only mild, intermittent neck pain.

Salem Chiropractor Eases Auto Injuries

These findings highlight the role that chiropractors can play in combating chronic pain after whiplash and auto injuries. Although early treatment is crucial for auto injuries, this treatment demonstrates that even chronic whiplash patients can benefit from chiropractic care, such as what Dr. Michels provides for his Salem patients. Research suggests that chiropractic care can reduce whiplash symptoms in up to 93% of patients.

Dr. Michels is experienced in diagnosing and treating whiplash, as well as a variety of other auto injuries. If you're suffering from auto injuries in Salem, OR, contact Michels Spinal Rehab & Associates today.


Alpass L. Chiropractic management of "intractable" chronic whiplash syndrome. Clinical Chiropractic 2004. 7 (1): 16-23.

Matsumoto M, Okada E, Ichihara D, Chiba K, Toyama Y, Fujiwara H, Momoshima S, Nishiwaki Y, Hashimoto T, Inoue T, Watanabe M, Takahata T. Prospective ten-year follow-up study comparing patients with whiplash-associated disorders and asymptomatic subjects using magnetic resonance imaging. Spine. 2010. 34:18. pp. 1684-1690.

Tyndel S, Bryant B. Long-term outcome of motor vehicle accidentinjury. Psychosom Med 1997;59:578–84.