My Posture Is Terrible

Neck Pain & Headache Relief

As a practicing chiropractor of 37 years, I have heard many patients say: “I have terrible posture.” Are you aware of your posture? Do you feel as if your head is too far forward and your shoulders are slumped? Do you have neck and upper back pain and suffer from tension headaches? If so, this article is for you. It will describe poor and good posture and simple tips you can employ to improve your posture and health.

Let’s look at posture problems that typically occur:

  • Forward head posture. Our heads weigh about as much as a bowling ball. If our head is positioned directly over our upper body, there is very little stress on the neck and upper back. However, if our head is several inches or more in a forward position it places much more stress on our neck and upper back. These areas then must work extra hard to compensate for forward head posture. This results in neck and upper back pain and stress headaches.
  • Slumped shoulders. When I observe many peoples standing posture, I note that their hands may be positioned at the front of their thighs. However, when one is standing with good posture their hands should be at the side of the thighs and hips. Ideally, we should look like a soldier standing at attention with the hands at our sides.

In the western world the most common culprit for bad posture can be attributed to the amount of sitting we endure. Most of us sit many hours starting as school students. This gets compounded with sedentary occupations. Human beings are made to stand and walk—not sit!

It is important that we take time to get up and get moving. Taking a daily walk is a must with a sitting job.

When we take a walk, a simple trick can be employed to improve our posture. As we walk, pretend that there is a helium balloon attached by a string to the very top of our head. This automatically pulls us into a more upright, erect posture. We want to try to maintain this through the duration of our walk.

Another tip that we can utilize is to have an adjustable, upright desk where we can perform our work. This type of office equipment allows us to sit or to stand throughout the day. Even if a person stands 10% of their workday, a huge improvement in posture can be made.

When a person comes to my office for treatment, I always evaluate their posture and give them stretching and strengthening exercises they can utilize to improve their posture and their health. There is a term in health lexicon called “Upper Crossed Syndrome.”

By exploring online sources anyone can learn about upper crossed syndrome and consult with an appropriate healthcare specialist as to what exercises would be appropriate in improving their posture.

It’s always fun and rewarding for me to hear someone make a transition from saying: “my posture is terrible” to them saying: “I got a nice complement about my good posture today.”

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Take Whiplash Injuries Seriously

Whiplash & Neck Pain Relief

It is estimated that 2 million Americans are involved in a whiplash injury each year. When the term whiplash is used most people envision someone involved in a car collision. However, these injuries can occur from many lifestyle activities. Falls, impacts to the head and physical accidents which traumatize the neck are also common causes neck/whiplash injury. I know a person who was in a low crawl space who accidentally “jammed” his neck while moving about causing a whiplash problem. Whiplash-type complaints can occur from sports and activities like football, soccer, cheerleading and lacrosse.

If one experiences whiplash it is important to take the injury seriously to avoid long-term consequences. Approaches and treatment that minimizes pain and promote recovery are imperative. This article will discuss whiplash type injuries and safe, gentle, natural care for this problem.

An increase in one’s age is associated with whiplash injury risk. A person with osteoarthritis and, generally less neck movement, is more prone to neck injury if an accident occurs. Falls among the elderly are especially significant with respect to whiplash disorders and the need for prompt evaluation and treatment.

If a person is involved in an automobile crash or suffers a traumatic impact it is important to take even minor symptoms as warning signs. A headache or slight neck discomfort, stiffness or limited range of motion should not be ignored. Abnormal findings can be discovered by simple tests.

A doctor of chiropractic is trained to determine if a person has incurred a whiplash associated disorder. Chiropractors undergo extensive training in anatomy, bio-mechanics and kinesiology. A chiropractor can also read and interpret x-ray and MRI imaging.

And physical examination may show spasm of muscles, decrease of normal neck ranges of motion, misalignment or improper motion of the spinal bones of the neck causing pinched nerves and irritated joints.

If examination shows that whiplash injury has occurred a chiropractor can provide treatment. A common treatment method a chiropractor may employ is called manipulation. Another term for manipulation is chiropractic spinal adjustment. It is a safe, gentle manual therapy for managing neck pain. An expert chiropractic adjustment is performed with a gentle movement of the doctor’s hands to correct a malpositioned spinal bone of the neck.  It brings neck pain relief to the patient. Since these methods are a physical mechanical approach, they are natural and no pharmacologic’s or surgery is necessary.

Anyone who is involved in a whiplash associated disorder would be well advised to not delay evaluation and care. Waiting only increases the risk that they may develop chronic symptoms. It is important to take whiplash injury seriously and gain neck pain relief.

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What Research Recommends For Acute And Chronic Lower Back Pain Relief

Acute & Chronic Lower Back Pain Relief

Clinical guidelines are created by healthcare practitioners and researchers to assist practitioners and patients for care with specific health conditions. Because lower back pain is a significant problem in western society, clinical guidelines have been developed to help advise appropriate treatment. This article will discuss clinical guidelines for health providers and patients seeking low back pain relief and a promising approach to bring safe, cost-effective, acute and chronic musculoskeletal-back discomfort relief to the general public.

Primary care doctors are typically the first entry for patients in our healthcare system. However, research shows the average PCP doesn’t have adequate training for musculoskeletal conditions. For example, 79% of all medical doctors failed a basic musculoskeletal cognitive examination.

Spine pain is an enormous problem in America. Back discomfort accounts for nearly one third of chronic pain. This contributes to long-term disability, opioid dependency, and costs, both financial and societal.

Subsequently, experts have recently called for the establishment of a primary spine care practitioner and have recommended that chiropractors can fulfill this role. For instance, the joint commission of the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society recommend spinal manipulation, which is a nonpharmacologic treatment with proven benefits.

Chiropractors are the preeminent healthcare specalists when it comes to relieving pain of the lower spine. Doctors of Chiropractic are professionals trained to diagnose and treat physical, mechanical alignment problems of spine pain.

Since most lower spine pain is due to mechanical problems, such as misalignment and abnormal movement of spinal vertebrae, it takes extensive training and skill to perform spinal manipulation. Becoming a chiropractor requires traditional undergraduate training plus five years of education at a college of chiropractic. Chiropractic education institutions provide academic courses in anatomy, physiology, pathology, kinesiology, bio-mechanics and diagnosis. Additionally, clinical courses in manipulation of the spine (which chiropractors term “spinal adjustments”) and extremities, the use of physiological therapeutics such as electrical stimulation and cryotherapy and rehabilitative exercise are taught.

The guidelines for conservative treatment of lower spine pain indicate chiropractic spinal manipulation is very safe. This is especially true when one considers possible alternative treatments of opioid narcotic pharmacologics and spine surgery.

Scientific literature investigating financial costs of varying types of treatment for lower back pain also favor chiropractic care. Actual treatment costs performed by Doctors of Chiropractic have been shown to be less than surgery, physical therapy, spinal injections and certain forms of pharmacologic care.

Research and scientific-based guidelines strongly indicate that chiropractors should be the initial contact and providers for patients who wish to gain acute and chronic lower back pain relief.

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Avoiding Headaches And How To Obtain Pain Relief If You Are Experiencing A Headache

Headache Pain Relief

Unfortunately, almost everyone has sustained a headache. Headaches come in many varieties: cluster, migraine, sinus and stress or tension headaches. This article will discuss avoidance of headaches or steps you can take if you are experiencing headaches.

As a practicing chiropractor of over 36 years my experience has been that most people will get several headaches a year. When these occur, they are annoying but generally not of a serious nature. However, some people will get headaches more frequently. I’ve talked to some patients who get headaches daily, which means they have a headache 365 days per year. Even if a patient gets a headache once or twice a month that’s a dozen to two dozen headaches per year, which I think is too many.

One bit of good news is that only a small fraction of headaches people suffer from is because of serious disease or injury. If someone believes their headaches are due to these types of conditions the best way to rule it out is by having a MRI of the brain and skull and to have a blood lab test performed. If these tests are negative or inconclusive one can take other steps to work to avoid headaches and obtain headache relief.

The number one reason people experience headaches is from poor posture causing mechanical irritation to the nerves and joints of the upper spine. With so many people working at desk jobs and with students, of all ages, having to be in a seated position for hours and hours it’s important that we are aware of our upper body postures. The more the head and shoulders are back, in erect fashion, the less physical stress is incurred at the upper levels of the spine and a concomitant reduction of headache frequency and severity will occur.

Posture is also important when sleeping. It is best to sleep on one’s sides and back and avoid sleeping on the stomach. While it is sometimes hard to find the proper pillow some diligence in searching for and finding appropriate support for one’s head and neck can be accomplished.

Another aspect of headache avoidance is to be aware of our fluid and nutrient intake. Dehydration is a frequent cause of various types of headaches. Most people need to measure the amount of water that they drink daily or else they really won’t know if they are being consistent with their hydration. There are resources available to tell you how much water you should drink per day.

Additionally, some people need to avoid certain food triggers, especially those who experience migraine headaches. It is common for food such as wine, cheese, chocolate, and coffee to initiate a headache in some people. Also, some smells such as perfumes, cleaning products, chemicals like gasoline and scented candles may affect some headache sufferers. It is important to determine if there is a sensitivity to these types of products to avoid headaches.

To those who have taken the previously mentioned steps to avoid headaches but are still suffering from headaches I’d like to offer this advice. For several decades now I have had great success in helping people to reduce or eliminate headache frequency and intensity through chiropractic care. The entire chiropractic profession can claim similar accomplishment. Chiropractic care is very safe, gentle, and natural. No drugs or pharmaceuticals are administered by chiropractors.

I would respectfully advise anyone who is experiencing headaches to consult with a chiropractor to determine if a healthier, happier life can be obtained and obtain headache pain relief.

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For Shoulder Pain Relief Try A Conservative Non-surgical Approach

Shoulder Pain Relief

Since shoulder discomfort is the third leading musculoskeletal complaint among middle-aged adults there is interest in the proper approach to shoulder pain relief. Many times, treatment depends on the type of healthcare practitioner initially seen. A common-sense approach is to try the most conservative type of care first, since more aggressive types of care carry more risk. This article will discuss common causes of mechanical shoulder pain and a nonsurgical, nonpharmacologic treatment option for shoulder pain relief.

The shoulder is a complex joint. Along with the thumb and the hip joints it is one of three joints in the human body that moves in every direction. The shoulder joint should move fully and freely in its ranges of motion. However, injury of the shoulder can reduce aspects of proper movement and create intermittent or constant pain. A sometimes overlooked, feature of the shoulder is it’s association with the neck and upper back.

Research shows that improper movement of the spinal bones of the neck and upper back can have an influence on shoulder discomfort. The spinal bones should move freely. If they are fixated and not moving properly, a medical term called dysfunction, the spinal nerves which innervate the muscles of the shoulder can contribute to shoulder problems.

Doctors of chiropractic typically perform examinations upon patients with shoulder complaints to assess the cause of the condition. X-rays of the shoulder and neck and upper back may be helpful. Palpation, which is simply a doctor feeling the muscles and movement of joints of the shoulder, neck and upper back, can reveal if the areas are moving properly or if there is fixation and dysfunction.

If so, chiropractic spinal manipulation can be directed at improving mobility in the spinal areas to help reduce pain. Additionally, chiropractic manipulation of the shoulder joint itself can restore that joint’s proper movement. Other modalities such as the use of ice packs, electrical muscle stimulation and therapeutic exercises can lead to resolution of shoulder problems.

Most patients who go to a chiropractor for shoulder pain find that having a chiropractic spinal and shoulder manipulation is a safe, pleasurable  experience because it relieves discomfort and restores shoulder ranges of motion.

Although medication’s, steroid injections and surgery are considered by many, most patients do better under conservative care. It’s important to consider non-surgical options first since surgery does entail substantial risk.

For this reason, many suffering from shoulder discomfort turn to safe, gentle chiropractic care to obtain shoulder pain relief.

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Will I Have To Stop Dancing?

Keep Dancing

As a practicing chiropractor of 36 years, I recently had a 66-year-old man, named Clark, come to me with pain of his right hip. He was an avid ballroom dancer and had been having hip discomfort for several months. His pain was constant but mild. However, if he participated in ballroom dancing, which he did once or twice a week, his hip pain flared up for a couple days afterward. He was worried about this and asked me: “Will I have to stop dancing.” He related that, being single, this was one of his significant social opportunities and he enjoyed the recreation and exercise.

This article will discuss hip pain, it’s causes and how conservative, chiropractic care can help give pain relief, naturally.

When I examined Clark, he had problems of two areas. The first was the actual hip joint. This joint is a ball and socket joint made up of the thigh bone (ball) and the pelvic bone (socket). This is the largest joint of the body and moves in all directions. He had injured this joint by overuse and repetition. He said he’d been practicing a certain type of dance which caused excessive stress to his right hip. He’d sprained the joint just as one with sprains their ankle or their knuckle.

He also had a problem with a joint in his pelvis called the sacroiliac joint. This is a joint that’s located in the area where the rear pockets of a pair of pants would be. It is a pelvic joint between the tailbone, which is called the sacrum, and the pelvic wing bones, which are called the ileum. The sacroiliac joints are gliding joints. For Clark, this area had become misaligned and he was carrying more weight on his right lower extremity than on the other side.

Clark’s care consisted of reducing the amount of strenuous dancing that irritated his sprained right hip joint. He didn’t have to completely stop his ballroom dancing, but he had to cut back, for a while, to give his sprained hip joint a chance to heal.

To correct the misalignment of the pelvic sacroiliac joint, I performed chiropractic manipulations, which realigned this area and allowed him to carry his weight evenly on both extremities. A chiropractic manipulation involves a quick, gentle movement of the doctor’s hands to bring about realignment of abnormally positioned bones. It is very safe and typically brings a good deal of pain relief to the patient.

I’m happy to report that within two weeks of care, Clark’s pain was minimal. After a month of treatment, he was pain-free and able to resume normal ballroom dancing. He did decide to exercise discretion with some of the dancing moves he performed but was very happy that he could continue this excellent form of exercise and recreation.

Please visit here for a same day UPMC chiropractor near me. See your nearby chiropractor for neck and back pain relief.

Is Chiropractic Care For Lumbar Herniated Disc Pain Relief Safe?

Lumbar Herniated Disc Pain Relief

While some academicians and healthcare providers have concerns with respect to chiropractic treatment for lumbar herniated disc pain relief, there is abundant research and scientific evidence that chiropractic care is very safe and effective for this common condition. This article will discuss the nature of a herniated lumbar disc malady and what is involved with safe, gentle pain relief through chiropractic therapy.

Let’s first begin by defining exactly what is involved with a herniated lumbar disc. In the human spine there are bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae of the lower back are the lumbar vertebrae. Between each vertebra are lumbar intervertebral discs which are simply pads or cushions that act as shock absorbers.

The lowest of the two lumbar intervertebral discs are the most susceptible to injury. The rear portion of the disc may bulge or protrude backward onto the spinal cord or a spinal nerve. This may also be termed a herniated disc. When a disc problem occurs, it causes lower back pain and, commonly, causes pain radiating down the leg due to mechanical disc pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Chiropractors are doctors who are trained to diagnose lumbar disc and sciatic nerve problems.

A doctor of chiropractic, is also trained in the skill of spinal manipulation which introduces realignment and restores proper movement to the lumbar vertebrae and reduces the amount of lumbar disc pressure upon the sciatic nerve. This allows for lumbar herniated disc and sciatic pain relief.

Most patients who go to chiropractors find that having a chiropractic spinal adjustment is a safe, pleasant experience as it relieves tightness of muscles that are in spasm. The duration of treatment time a patient will require to attain relief of their disc and sciatic pain will depend on how long they’ve had the condition and its severity.

There are numerous scientific studies that describe traditional chiropractic treatment for herniated lumbar disc pain relief. The research notes that chiropractic care is safe, effective and is non-surgical.

I personally have treated thousands of patients with some form of lumbar disc pathology. The great majority of these result in complete or significant pain relief. Additionally, these patients tend to regain much, if not all of their activities of daily living losses such as inability to work or care for their family, get proper sleep and rest and pursue recreational activities such as exercise and hobbies.

Chiropractors may also utilize other therapeutics such as electrical muscle stimulation, use of cold packs and implementation of certain therapeutic exercises. Counseling about guarding activity and ergonomics is discussed.

At times patients may be co-treated by a medical health care provider for pharmacologic pain relief. Chiropractic care for lumbar herniated disc pain relief is statistically quite safe and effective. This type of care requires training and experience and should performed only by an expert.

Please visit here for a same day UPMC chiropractor near me. See your nearby chiropractor for neck and back pain relief.

Chiropractic Care Allows Healing And Repair Of Neck And Low Back Injuries

Neck & Lower Back Pain Relief

We all know that if we cut our skin, we first get a scab which forms a scar and then our normal skin tissue gradually heals and returns. Internally, if we injure our neck or lower back a similar process of healing takes place. This article will describe what happens in the event of a spinal injury and how chiropractic care can enhance spinal neck and back healing.

Most neck and back injuries involve slight tearing of muscles and tendons and ligaments. These are called strains and sprains. As a consequence, our bodies react by creating inflammation and swelling. A swollen area contains fluid. Within the fluid are microscopic fibers. These microscopic fibers lay down a type of scar tissue or a patch within the tear of the muscle, tendon and ligament to begin the repair process.

Problems arise if there is excessive inflammatory fluid and if scar tissue presence is prolonged. If the fluid of inflammation and scar tissue persists too long the healing process is obstructed and may become disrupted. Profuse swelling and scarring of the soft tissues can lead to adhesions, tendinitis and fasciitis. Post traumatic scar tissue is not as flexible nor as strong as normal muscle, tendon or ligament tissue and can lead to chronic pain, loss of range of motion and loss of function.

This can lead to an inability to perform one’s activities of daily living. Many spinal injuries cause an inability to perform everyday activities such as going to work, keeping up one’s house or yard, being unable to take care of family or inability to engage in social activities. We all know of celebrity athletes whose careers were terminated due to serious spinal injury.

To prevent chronic scar tissue from developing scientific literature notes that early, controlled motion of the injured area must be utilized. Chiropractic care is an excellent form of treatment to introduce and provide a variety of motion applications.

Doctors of chiropractic are learned and skilled in caring for patients with neck and back soft tissue spinal injuries. Gentle, safe chiropractic manipulation for a strained and sprained area helps scar tissue to repair and remodel into normal soft tissue. A chiropractor may also utilize cold packs to areas to reduce and enhance removal of inflammatory fluids. Electrical muscle stimulation is another modality a chiropractor may use to assist with the remodeling of scar adhesions into normal tissue.

The number of treatments and visits a patient will require to attain healing of their neck and back spinal injury will depend on severity and that patient’s natural ability to heal. Obviously, a younger person will usually heal more quickly than an older individual. An area that has been damaged previously will take longer to improve than a new injury.

Chiropractic care provides a safe, gentle approach that is preferred by many patients. No medications or surgery is needed when chiropractic care is utilized and most patients who undergo chiropractic care appreciate this natural, holistic form of health care.

Please visit here for a same day UPMC chiropractor near me. See your nearby chiropractor for neck and back pain relief.