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Showing posts from August, 2018

Names of Backbones

As spinal wellness practitioners, we at the Billings chiropractic office of Dr. Robert Larson want our patients to understand how to maintain their own preventive care. In order to protect their backs, patients must first understand how their backs work, which is why we want to make sure they know the basics of spinal anatomy.
The bones of the back are scientifically known as vertebrae, and they are linked by a complex system of joints, spongy discs, muscles, and ligaments. Vertebrae have hollow arches in back which together make up the spinal canal, through which the spinal cord runs from the brain to the thighs. Additional nerves branch off it to the rest of the body. At the top of the spinal column is a specialized vertebra called the atlas, which allows the head to move up and down, and below it is the axis vertebra, which rotates the head from side to side.
Including the atlas and axis, the top seven vertebrae are called the cervical bones, or the neck bones. Next are the twelve th…

Back to School Tips for Backpacks

If you have kids, you’re probably doing your back to school shopping. A backpack is the best way for children to carry items, but not all backpacks are created equal. In order to prevent problems with muscle strains and worn-out cartilage in the future, we at Dr. Robert Larson’s chiropractic office want to provide a guide to proper backpack usage.
A person should always wear both shoulder straps, and ideally, the backpack will have a strap across the chest, as well. The straps should be wide and padded. The backpack should sit on the middle of the upper back, not sagging down to the lower portion. It should weigh no more than 15% of the wearer’s bodyweight. This means that you should avoid getting a backpack with wheels or a pull-out handle or one which is disproportionately large for your child. As your child learns their schedule, they will need to plan when they can switch out books and other items so they aren’t carrying around too much. When your child leaves for school in the mor…

Scoliosis Diagnosis

Scoliosis is a lateral (toward the side) curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. Scoliosis is usually mild and needs no treatment; however, for more severe cases treatments include a back brace or sometimes surgery to straighten the spine.  Dr. Robert L. Larson, D.C., explores all non-invasive treatment options first, before deciding if surgery is necessary. A proper diagnosis of scoliosis is required to treat the curve.
During an initial consultation, Dr. Robert L. Larson will perform a physical exam. During the physical exam, he will ask if there is any history of scoliosis in your family and if you have experienced any pain or weakness. He may check range of motion, muscle strength, and reflexes, but will ultimately perform something called the forward-bend test. During this test, the patient will bend over as if they are trying to touch their toes. This position makes the curve more obvious to detect.
If you have questions or concer…