chiropractic

How Heavy is that Backpack?

Even though an iPad can store an entire library worth of books, most kids still trudge to and from school each day carrying an oversized and overweight backpack filled with heavy textbooks and loads of school supplies. While it may not seem like a big deal, recent studies have shown that carrying the weight of a typical backpack is one of the top reasons for kids to have back pain.

A vast majority of kids wear backpacks every day that weigh 15 lbs. or more. That’s a heavy backpack! Over time, the stress of the load can result in back pain, a rounding of the shoulders, and postural changes. The spinal compression caused by heavy backpacks often has kids leaning forward to compensate, which begins a vicious cycle of postural issues, compensation, and pain.

  • Up to 30% of kids may suffer from back pain due to carrying a heavy backpack.

  • Limiting the total weight of the backpack to less than 10% of your child’s body weight is recommended.

  • Instruct your child to wear their backpack with both shoulder straps fit snugly, so the backpack isn’t carried below the waistline.

Kids typically choose their backpack based on what makes them look cool. We recommend taking a second look and making sure the straps are wide and padded, the size is appropriate (and not too big) and that it has compartments to help distribute the load. If your child has pain, numbness, or tingling, give us a call. We would be happy to help get them back on track!

Facet Joints: Gliding Your Way to Better Health

If you’ve had neck or back pain that you could pinpoint with your finger, or experienced sharp pains when you move, it may be related to the facet joints of your spine. It’s easy to think of your facet joints like the “knuckles”of your spine. They are small joints and have a capsule and cartilage pad that glides and slides, allowing your spine to move.

As you go through life and your spinal discs go through the aging process, your facet joints end up taking on extra load. Unfortunately, this excess stress and pressure can wear down your facet joints. What results is the beginning of the degenerative process,which means you can end up with adhesions, restricted motion, bone spurs and pain.

-The facet joints of your spine slide and glide as you move.

-Restrictions or adhesions in the facets can occur with age and injury.

-Chiropractic adjustments help the facet joints move freely and decrease painful restrictions in motion.

The facet joints of your spine love to move, and, in fact, movement helps them stay healthy and may even slow down the degenerative process. Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce adhesions on these joints ,allowing you to move more freely and with less pain. In our office, we believe that when you’re moving better, you’re feeling better, and we’re proud to be a part of the healthcare team that helps you stay active!

Preventing Disc Injuries

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

I often wonder if the author of that quote happened to have a disc herniation. By investing in a pro-active approach to your spinal health now, you may be able to avoid suffering from a disc injury later in life. While there is no specific protocol to guarantee you will never have a disc herniation, there are a few action steps you can take now to lower your risk. In fact, researchers have recently discovered that you can reduce your chances of suffering from a herniated disc by keeping your spinal muscles strong.

An active lifestyle, regular exercise, and even chiropractic adjustments are all considered essential aspects of optimal spinal health. Degenerative changes to your spinal discs and weakened muscles around your spine can increase your risk of a disc herniation. In our practice, we focus on helping you live an active and healthy lifestyle to keep your spine both durable and flexible. When you receive an adjustment from us, your spine is better able to move freely as a result, and this is thought to help slow down the degenerative process.

-Spinal disc degeneration and weakened muscles can increase your risk of disc herniation.

-An active lifestyle consisting of exercise and chiropractic adjustments may be able to lower your risk.

-Taking a pro-active approach to your spinal health can help improve your overall quality of life.

We have found that a pro-active approach to spinal health can lead to a significant improvement in your quality of life. If you have any questions about how you can get more active just ask! We love helping our patients reach their healthcare goals.

How to Keep Your Spinal Discs Healthy

Spinal discs are the shock absorbers between the bones, or vertebrae, of your spine. The discs have a tough outer ring and a jelly-like center. Their job is to help us move, bend, and twist while absorbing the weight of gravity. But, over time, our spinal discs can become degenerative. Injuries, aging, and the effects of gravity all contribute to disc degeneration. The good news is that degenerative discs rarely cause pain unless they bulge or herniate, placing pressure on the spinal nerves. So how you can slow down the degenerative process and keep your discs healthy?

Top research journals have recently discovered that movement and hydration are two important factors to keep your discs healthy. A well-hydrated disc can more easily adapt to movement and is less prone to injury. Many chiropractic techniques are designed to “pump” your spinal discs. This motion helps bring nutrients into the disc and pushes out inflammation and waste. That is a fancy way to say that chiropractic care can help keep your spinal discs healthy!

Here are the key takeaways:

-Your spinal discs act as small shock absorbers between the bones of your spine

-Movement helps bring nutrients into the disc and pushes out waste and inflammation; helping them stay healthy

-Torn, herniated, or bulged discs can cause pain by irritating the nearby nerves. Researchers have found chiropractic care to be one of the best ways to heal and feel better!

A combination of chiropractic care and staying well-hydrated are two ways to keep your spinal discs healthy and pain-free. But, don’t forget to stay active between your adjustments. And here is one more tip to slow down Father Time-daily exercise and stretching. Exercise and stretching will not only keep you fit and trim but can also potentially slow down the degenerative changes of your spine keeping you healthy and active for many years to come!

Finding Relief Without Drugs

With the opioid crisis affecting millions of people, it may come as no surprise that there’s probably someone in your circle of friends and family struggling with opioid misuse or addiction. For those people, it can feel nearly impossible to find a way out. That potent combination of pain relief and euphoria characteristic of opioids makes them so incredibly addictive to both the brain and body. However, while opioids were once the standard, recent research has given people struggling with addiction new hope.

Top clinical research facilities have started recommending a team approach to combat opioid dependence. A combination of medical and alternative care (and quite often chiropractic) are being used to provide people with a safe, natural path to recovery and pain relief. Here are a few key aspects shared by many successful opioid addiction treatment programs:

  • The providers and patients are continually updating their goals and expectations.

  • Reassurance of relief and reducing the fear of movement is important.

  • Getting involved in social activities and hobbies has been shown to support pain relief.

Getting off opioids should never be attempted without the help of a medical professional. Our practice is happy to collaborate with other providers on your healthcare team to help you find the best evidence-informed care options. We’re here for you and look forward to helping you get your life back without drugs or medications. When you’re ready, give us a call. If you know someone who would benefit from this information, share it with them today.

Headaches: Before You Reach for Medication…

Do you suffer from headaches? If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that up to 50% of people deal with headaches each year. While an occasional headache is nothing more than a nuisance, when they become chronic, you can experience challenges at home and at work and you might even experience depression. The good news is, it may be easier than you think to find relief from your headache pain.

Medications, especially opioids, are not recommended for most headaches. These drugs should be avoided because of their addictive qualities and, ironically, their headache inducing side-effects! That doesn’t mean your only option is to grin and bear the pain. Here’s a few alternative, evidence-based treatment options you can use to reduce the frequency of your headaches naturally.

  • Drink water. Dehydration is a common cause of tension and migraine headaches. Drinking a tall glass of water has been shown to start relieving symptoms within 30 minutes!

  • Rest. Researchers have found a strong correlation between lack of sleep and an uptick in the frequency and severity of headaches.

  • Get adjusted. Muscle spasms in your neck and shoulders are a major contributing factor to tension headaches. Chiropractic adjustments can help decrease this tension.

Hunching over computers, phones, and tablets can place a tremendous amount of stress and strain on the muscles supporting your head and neck. Over time, this can lead to an increase in those dreaded tension headaches. Luckily, our practice has helped many people just like you overcome their headache struggles naturally. Reducing your muscle tension, improving your range of motion, and helping you maintain a more balanced posture are all part of what we do every day. If you or someone you know is looking for a natural pain relief alternative to help get rid of their headaches, share this research with them and give us a call!

The Healthcare “Secret” of Pro Athletes

Entering the arena of professional sports comes with high stakes. The slightest advantage can make all the difference between coming out on top or coming up short while competing. As a result, most high-level athletes are in tune with every nuance of their body and on the constant hunt to find ways to improve their performance. It might surprise you to learn that many athletes have been using chiropractic for decades. From Babe Ruth to Tom Brady, top athletes rely on chiropractic care as one of the “secret” ingredients to their success.

Whether we compete at the professional level or casually, it's likely that all of us are interested in achieving decreased pain, improved function, and increased strength. And new research indicates that chiropractic care may be able to help in all three of those areas.

  • In a recent study, athletes demonstrated increased levels of strength up to 30 minutes after receiving an adjustment.

  • Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to provide more pain relief than a commonly prescribed NSAID.

  • People with moderate or severe pain have reported significant functional improvement while receiving chiropractic care.

Even if you aren’t currently competing to win a world championship, you probably have a few healthcare goals in mind. Maybe you're a weekend warrior, or constantly traveling for youth sports, or just looking to enjoy a higher quality of life. The point is, chiropractic care may be just what you're looking for, to achieve your goals and we would love become part of your “secret” to success. Chat with us today about your goals, and together, let's come up with a plan that works for you!


It’s the Holidays, Don’t Panic!

Traveling long distances on planes, trains, and automobiles is a common side-effect of the holidays, and the stress of all this holiday travel can be overwhelming. Lifting heavy suitcases, hopping in the car for a 13+ hour drive, or even getting the middle seat on an overbooked flight can lead to awkward neck positions and that all too familiar worn down feeling.

Shot or Not: Should You Get an Injection for Spine Pain?

You probably know someone who has received a recommendation from their medical doctor to sign on for a spinal injection to treat their neck or back pain. Maybe you’ve been down this road yourself! What you may not know is that recent research indicates patients should think twice before scheduling that next shot. Not only have spinal injections been shown to increase the risk of experiencing a spinal fracture afterwards by 21%, but also that they do not provide as much pain relief as Chiropractic adjustments. That’s right - researchers have found that Chiropractic care can offer more significant relief than riskier treatments like spinal injections.

Using Medication Off-Label and Why You Should Care

Think of the most recent pharmaceutical commercial you watched. Do you remember that list of possible side effects and complications you heard - everything from diarrhea to death? Believe it or not, any of those crazy side effects and complications are to be expected when a medication is prescribed “on-label,” or for a particular condition as approved by the FDA. Of course, medications can also be prescribed by your doctor for any number of conditions that are not specifically on that FDA approved list. In other words, medication can be prescribed “off-label,” and it probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that using any medication “off-label” can increase your risk of experiencing even more side effects outside of those crazy commercial lists.