Ah, Spring! It seems like only yesterday that I was up at Whistler Blackcomb, on 7th Heaven skiing on a seemingly limitless blanket of powder. Actually that was yesterday. But farther down the mountain, spring has sprung, and spring-skiing aside, it is time for our condition of the week: Frozen Shoulder.
You start off with some stiffness and soreness in your shoulder, and gradually it gets to the point where you can barely lift or move your arm. Now you have frozen shoulder. It is common in jobs with repetitive movements (like cashiers).
What should you do?
Chiropractic and Laser help to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. Research has shown, and what I have found in practice, is that using chiropractic care to remove interference in the nerves (at the skull and neck) reduces tension in the muscles and improves coordination. Laser therapy to the neck and shoulder decreases pain and helps the nerves and muscles heal.
We can work on the shoulder with Active Release Techniques and Graston Technique. These are specialized techniques that isolate the structures and improve texture and fluidity of movement.
Can I Take Anything?
I recommend an amazing supplement called Procosa by USANA. It is available on my online shop, or from any USANA associate that you happen to know. I recommend it not only if you have frozen shoulder, but really for anybody over forty years old who wants to keep their joints healthy. It also has some stuff in it that helps with inflammation. I take it every day, so maybe you should too.
Some people like to take things like Advil, an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). You can do that, if you enjoy side-effects like gastrointestinal bleeding. Over 19,000 people die every year from taking them. It’s totally up to you.
Childhood sport injuries are an epidemic, and it shouldn’t be a surprise.
I only have to look as far as my kids’ weekly schedule. Not only do they have gym class and running at school, there is also soccer, baseball, skiing, swimming, martial arts, hockey, gymnastics, dance class… not to mention the the mayhem of the playground and our back yard trampoline.
The number one lesson for any young athlete should be learning how to take care of their body, and listen to their body. I mean, isn’t that the reason you want them to be active in the first place?
But It’s Good To Be Active Right?
Encouraging your kids to be active is great, but that does not preclude the responsibility to teach them how to rest when necessary, how to put the needs of their body at a high priority, and the benefits of getting their spine and nervous system checked.
Chiropractic care improves the function of the nervous system, allowing your child to have better coordination and performance, and prevents injury.
Best of all, like playing sports, kids also love to get checked a by the chiropractor.
How Gentle Can You Be?
When checking small children, I use what is called “eyeball” pressure. This is the amount of pressure that you would use to press on your eyeball comfortably (with the eyelid closed). If you close your eyes right now and press on your eye with your thumb, you will see how gentle that actually is.
What Are the Most Common Symptoms?
Changes to the spine and posture can cause interference to the nervous system and result in a number of different symptoms.
So you are driving home from the airport after a nice vacation with your family in Disneyland. They are asleep in the back seat and WHAM, you get rear-ended..
At least, that’s what happened to me last August. And like me, you may have gotten Whiplash.
The symptoms may start right away, or they can start unto a week later. Here are a few tips to help you get the best care possible.
1: Get Chiropractic Care Right Away
It may seem logical to wait a while for things to “settle down.” Research has shown, and we have seen in our office that the best results occur if chiropractic care is started immediately. It is during this early assessment that we can plan care that is appropriate for you or your family member so you get the best outcome. The longer you wait, the bigger chance you have of problems setting in and becoming chronic.
2: Take Responsibility!
Someone else may be responsible for injuring you. They are NOT responsible for getting you better. Taking a positive attitude at this stage will help raise you out of the “victim” role and into the “awesome, in control, I can survive anything and kick some butt” role. That means the most important thing is to take responsibility so you and your family can get well and stay well.
Think forward one year after your accident. You acted positively and received the recommended care. You made time in your schedule to attend your visits. You followed through. You feel great and have no longer have any physical signs of being in an accident. You get a call and receive a settlement for all your bills, your car is replaced AND you get a monetary settlement of thousands on top of that. It is a win-win situation.
Now imagine the alternative. For one reason or another, do not get the care you need, and one year later, you are still in pain. You are suffering every day, and get more and more angry with the system. You feel helpless because you have “tried” everything but were just too busy to follow through. Months pass, and years pass. When you are suffering, there is no settlement in the world that will feel satisfactory.
In most cases ICBC will fully repay you for your visit fees on a periodic basis, or they will refund you when your settlement is finished. If you have a lawyer, you can also arrange for your lawyer to pay for your visits (called a “direction to pay”) during your care.
3: Transition to the Wellness Lifestyle
The average whiplash case requires about 24-30 visits over the first 12 weeks, and at this stage roughly 90% of people will feel great. A large study concluded that 80% of people who stop care at this stage will have their symptoms back within the next year. OUCH.
The good news is that in the same study, 80% of patients who continued with wellness care every two weeks not only avoided relapse, but continued to improve in their health and quality of life.
In other words, your symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg. There are often underlying issues that will re-surface just with the stresses of everyday life. Make sure that when you address your injury, you don’t just address the symptoms, but address and correct the underlying problems so you are not disappointed in a year’s time.
Sometimes it starts gradually, sometimes suddenly. You describe a pain in your “hip”, “butt” “low back.” The pain radiates all around the front and back of your hip, and sometimes it tingles down the leg. Many people call it “sciatica.” It is often affectionately called “Piriformis Syndrome,” after a single tiny muscle in the butt that sometimes pinches the sciatic nerve.
My colleague Clayton Roach ingeniously describes piriformis syndrome as “the pain you can’t explain.”. Despite it’s mysterious demeanour, it is one of the most common issues I see in practice. It is common because many of us exercise, then we sit to much. The pressure of sitting decreases oxygen flow in the muscles, making them less likely to heal.
Who Gets Piriformis Syndrome?
If you are a hiker, cyclist, runner or weight lifter who also drives or sits at a desk all day, you are a prime candidate for this.
Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.)
ART is a system of diagnosis and treatment that isolates structures, improves fluidity of movement, and improves texture. An ART practitioner will be able to identify not only the affected muscles (piriformis, gluteus medium/maximus, gamelli, etc), but provide immediate treatment to fix the problem, sometimes permanently.
An ART practitioner certified in Nerve Entrapment will also be able to recognize non-piriformis related entrapment. Muscles other than the piriformis can also entrap the sciatic nerve.
Lastly, remember that the nervous system is the master controller of your body. Chiropractic care removes interference in the nervous system, and enhances your posture, muscle coordination and healing
We offer class 4 laser therapy to accelerate the healing process and decrease pain and inflammation. It is a great addition that gets you back to normal as quickly as possible.
What To Do?
If you are ready to take action, for you or someone you love, schedule an initial visit with our office. We really look forward to guiding you toward greater health and wellness with chiropractic care.
So you tell yourself your headaches are normal: “It only happens if I am tired or hungry.” Or maybe it is constant and debilitating. If you have headaches then I am here to tell you that there is no such thing as a “normal headache.” There are things you can do to help you solve this common problem once and for all.
Stress takes its toll on us every single day, and if you are getting headaches, that means you are not adapting to that stress around you.
Ever since I started practice, I have loved caring for people with this extremely common, potentially debilitating disorder. In fact, my mother suffered from debilitating headaches when I was a child, and after decades of suffering chiropractic was finally the answer for her. This was the reason I became a chiropractor!
What Causes Them?
Most headaches originate in the muscles of the neck or the jaw, the result of physical stress on the body. Addressing these muscles with Active Release Techniques helps to improve the texture and movement of the muscles and this alone can alleviate your suffering.
Often times biochemical stress, such as toxins in the environment, toxins in our food, allergens, or something simple like caffeine or alcohol will stress our system resulting in migraines. Consider a strategy to decrease chemical stress such as taking supplements, cleaning up your diet, and avoiding environmental toxins.
And some headaches, of course, are due to emotional stress. Strategies like organizing and meditating can have a positive impact not only on headaches, but on your own personal relationships and productivity.
Taking care of the spine and the nervous system is a big part of our success in caring for people with headaches. In addition to taking care of the spine and nervous system using spinal adjustments, cranial adjustments help the flow of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord. This is especially beneficial for people who have suffered from concussions.
Does it Matter Where it Hurts?
Absolutely! The most common location is the temples, followed by the front of the head, and some are in the back of the head.
If you have pain in the temples there are 3 things I will look for first:
trigger points in the trapezius muscles. If I find tender muscles in the trapezius, sometimes it will reproduce headaches immediately. If that’s the case all we need to do is work on those and your headaches will go away. This is common in kids that wear backpacks.
TMJ (Temporo-mandibular Joint of the Jaw) problems can cause tight jaw muscles. Using Active release Techniques on them can alleviate the symptoms. The Atlas of the spine is very close to the TMJ, so checking the spine is critical.
Cranial alignment (the bones of the skull) is important if you have pain in the temples. The skull is meant to have minute rhythmic movements with the flow of intracranial fluid and with the muscles attached to the skull. If there is no movement, the additional stresses can result in headaches.
Off the top of my head (lol) here are a few things that can cause frontal headaches
Sinus problems can cause frontal headaches. Typically you will know if you have sinus headaches but sometimes patients don’t know until we examine them. Often times when people have sinus problems, they also have subluxations in the upper cervical spine.
The muscles at the back of the neck can radiate pain to the front of the head. The quality of this pain is a dull ache or stabbing, and we can re-create the headache by gently pressing on those little buggers at the back of your neck.
If you have pain in the back of the neck, usually the problem is also in the back of the neck. This damage can be caused by an accident or by posture. Often times, with this type of headache, there is a misalignment at the atlas (C1). Sometimes there are issues with the cranium and with the muscles in the neck.
What if I Have Nausea or Dizziness
When you have nausea or dizziness you probably don’t have to worry, but we will ask you some specific questions to see if we need to send you to your MD.
My MD Checked Me and Just Gave Me Pills
That sounds familiar. That’s a sign that you should give us a visit. Your MD probably doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have a solution if your problem is related to the function of your spine and nervous system. That’s why chiropractic is distinct and separate from medicine. When my mother got off her pills using chiropractic care, her MD was ecstatic, and yours will be too when you get healthy again.
What Happens Next?
If we can help (and you want to get well) we can schedule a Welcome Exam. When you schedule your welcome exam you will be sent some intake forms where you give us notes about your past health, current health and your goals. We ask that these are filled out 24 hours before your exam so we can review it and ask you additional questions if we need to.
Your welcome exam is a 30 to 45 minute visit to our office. We show a short video while you are waiting, so you know what to expect during your exam, then you will consult with and be examined by the chiropractor. Your doctor will brief you on your body’s condition and explain your problems to you.
Following the doctor’s portion of the examination, our staff will collect additional data using scanning technology. This technology does not have any radiation and is completely safe for children and pregnant women. It will analyze your heart rate, muscle activity, posture and range of motion. This data is used to monitor your improvement over time.
Your second visit is a Report of Findings. This visit takes between 30 and 45 minutes and includes your first adjustment. At the start of the visit, you will have a few minutes to fill out a form (guided by another video) where you consider your goals for care, and let us know your expectations. When your doctor joins you, he will go over your scans and findings, make sure he hasn’t missed anything, and then let you know how (or if) we can meet the expectations you just wrote about.
If you would like us to start care, you will have your first adjustment. Your adjustment visits are planned especially for you based on the findings from your history and exam, as well as your personal needs. Your doctor will design a combination of techniques for alignment, neural tone, and muscle texture to give you the best care they possibly can.
You get out of bed and your feet are killing you. You can hardly walk! As you walk it gets a little better, but your feet are still painful to touch, especially near the heel. Oh my gosh, you have plantar fasciitis!
Its primary causes is pronation (collapse) of the arches of the foot. Eighty percent of people pronate, because we wear shoes and walk on hard surfaces, making our feet weak.
What do i do?
Research has indicated, and we have found in our experience, that orthotics are essential if you want to correct the problem long-term!. Once you start wearing orthotics, it will take a while (several months, at least) for your muscles to strengthen enough for the pain to go away for sure.
Chiropractic adjustments and treatments like Active Release Techniques, Graston Technique and Deep Tissue Laser work really well to create healing. you’ll get great results with anywhere from 6-20 super awesome visits to our office.