What’s Wrong with Her?

A few weeks ago, I was adjusting a little girl who receives care here with her Mom and Dad. After they had left, another patient, who witnessed the little girl getting adjusted, asked me, “What’s wrong with her.”kid-2815780_1920 (1)

I asked what she meant. Her response inferred there was a health problem with her, like headaches, low back pain, or neck pain, or anxiety. I replied that there was nothing “wrong” with her, that she did not have any symptoms, that her Mom and Dad bring her here for the same reasons that they receive care here. They want their daughter’s Nervous System to be functioning at its most optimal level, so that she can continue to function physically, emotionally, and psychologically at her best level of performance, and so that her body can continue to heal itself at its best level possible.

For many people, chiropractic care is synonymous with the correction of physical problems, whether it’s pain, like headaches, neck pain, or low back pain, and/or emotional problems, such as anxiety, depression, and energy loss. Yes, it’s true, many people begin to receive chiropractic care due to health problems that have reached the tipping point, where it becomes difficult to continue with their life.

What is also true is that chiropractic care has very little to do with helping you FEEL better. It has everything to do with helping you FUNCTION better. Once you function better, then EVERYTHING about you can begin to work better, whether it’s physical or emotional. So when a little girl is on the table receiving her adjustment, my goal is to help EVERYTHING about her work better, so that she does not grow up with the SAME PROBLEMS as her Mom and Dad did. My goal is to help EVERYONE function better so that they can heal at an improved capacity from how they did the day or week or month before.

Just think, if you continue to climb the ladder of health, week after week, month after month, year after year, where you can be in six months, or a year, or five years?

As far as all my young lives receiving their life enhancing adjustments, I would like to see the next generations’ health at a higher level than the generation of today. Chiropractic care can go a long way to ensuring that that becomes a reality.

When a Herniated Disc is not a Herniated Disc

Physicians, neurosurgeons, and orthopedics alike have for years provided the recommended treatment for a herniated disc – Surgery. By the way, there’s no way I could have become a neurosurgeon – I can’t even look at pictures like this!surgery

Recently, I came across an article from my friend, Dr. Danny Knowles, on research being done on Disc Regeneration, rather than Degeneration. The study, which was completed by Ming Zhong, MD, among others, published in Pain Physician, January 2017, found that lumbar disc herniation (LDH), a common disease, treated conservatively, frequently results in spontaneous resorption of the herniated disc.  Their results represent the pooled results from 11 cohort studies. The overall incidence of spontaneous resorption after LDH was 66.66%. That means over 66% of Lumbar disc herniated resolved on its own, using conservative methods.

Just think of how many people choose more aggressive methods to remedy Disc Herniations. A quick check of surgical methods for lower back disc herniations revealed over six different types of surgical procedures. I have seen over the years how my patients with herniated discs respond favorably to non invasive chiropractic care. Once again, chiropractic care does not “fix” a herniated disc, any more than chiropractic “fixes” headaches, neck pain, sleeping problems or anxiety.

However, if your Nervous System, THE most important part of you, the part of you that controls and coordinates EVERY function in your body, is not functioning at its optimal level, thereby creating subluxations that affect your body’s ability to heal itself, then you will have a more difficult time healing from a problem such as a disc herniation. The better your Nervous System functions, the better your opportunity to heal.

Surgery certainly has its place in the medical world. The question that needs to be asked is, what are you giving up in the long term for a questionable short term gain? Keeping your NeuroSpinal system healthy helps you experience more of what you want in your life: freedom, joy, movement, increased function, and greater adaptability. If someone you know and care for is experiencing disc herniations or health challenges in general, please let them know they have choices. While you are doing that, please pass my name along so they can make a better educated choice on the options they have.

But what about my Low Back Pain?

Most people who make a decision to change the course of their health do so for a specific reason. Maybe it’s chronic neck pain, or possibly low back pain. It could be that their energy is low, preventing them from enjoying life the way they desire.LBP

I recently recalled a story that was shared many years ago by Dr. Donald Epstein, D.C., the creator of Network Spinal Analysis, yes, the same care you receive in my office. He described a middle aged male who sought care in his office for chronic lower back pain. Dr. Epstein adjusted him for several weeks, and then every visit or two, and he would check in with his patient and get a sense of how his life was changing.  Every time he would ask the question, his patient would answer with his arms crossed in front of him, “My back still hurts me. I haven’t noticed any improvement.” This went on visit after visit, and it was perplexing to Dr. Epstein. He was observing spinal improvements in the patient, and he wondered why the patient was not aware of any improvements.

One visit, the patient brought his young son to the office to accompany him. After he adjusted his patient, Dr. Epstein asked the son, “what have you noticed different about your daddy?” The boy answered, “Well, for one, Daddy is not hitting Mommy as much anymore.”

-What do your symptoms mean to you?

-Are you able to separate your physical pain from your emotional pain?

-As you heal physically, what improvements do you see emotionally or psychologically?

-Isn’t it great that the physical and emotional are connected?

-As a patient, are you so focused on the improvement of your symptoms that you lose perspective of what is improving about YOU?

You Want the Best Night’s Sleep? Try This

What is the best position for sleeping? That question has been asked to me by hundreds of patients over the years. My understanding of spinal mechanics and my research into this area has led me to pass on the following knowledge:

Best position to sleep: On your back or on your side. Here there are a few caveats. If you are sleeping on your back:sleep

This is a great way to enhance the natural curves of your spine. With a pillow under your head, you protect the natural inward curve of your neck. If you have a reduced neck curve or a straightened or reversed curve in your neck, you will find that you will not be able to use a standard cushioned pillow as someone who has more of a natural curve to their neck. If you do have a reduced or reversed curve in your neck, it is important to still use a pillow to provide cushioning to the back of your neck. Remember gravity? Gravity always pushes down with the same force. Imagine sleeping on your back for eight hours every day of your life. Gravity is constantly pushing down with a force, trying to straighten the natural inward curve in your neck. A supportive pillow will help offset the stress of gravity pushing down, helping maintain the curve that you do have. Of course, with your regular chiropractic visits, a healthier functioning Nervous System will help you improve the natural curve in your neck so you will be able to graduate to more supportive pillows over time.

THE most important consideration when sleeping on your back is to put a pillow under your knees. Remember what I said about maintaining the natural curve in your neck? The same applies to your lower back! Think about gravity now pushing down on the inward curve of your lower back. Do you want to maintain the nice, supportive inward curve of your lower back, or do you want the curve in your lower back to straighten, inviting more stress and tension on your muscles, joints, and discs? Millions of Americans suffer from lower back pain. Just think of how beneficial it can be to spend eight hours a night promoting proper spinal assignment.

A few considerations about sleeping on your back. If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, you may want to try sleeping on your side. Studies have shown that sleeping on your back promotes snoring and sleep apnea.

Sleeping on your side:

This is the most common position that people sleep, and the most supportive. A few side sleeping considerations:

Sleep with a pillow between your knees. Just like back sleepers, sleeping on your side causes gravity to push down with a constant force on your hips. Would it make sense that gravity can cause less stress on your hips if your knees were separated by a pillow? YES! Place about a 6 inch thick pillow between your knees to reduce the stress of gravity on your hips and lower back. Sure the pillow may come out during the night, but this practice will be the necessary support for quality sleep on your side.

When sleeping on your side, do not curl up in a fetal position. It restricts diaphragmatic breathing. Your legs should be somewhere between straight and fetal, a gentle bend to your legs. Support your head with a comfortable pillow, which keeps your head level with your shoulders.

Worst position to sleep: Your stomach

So many patients have told me over the years that they sleep on their stomachs. It’s possible that this is a contributing factor to chronic neck and lower back pain. There are two reasons sleeping on your stomach is the worst position:

1 When you sleep on your stomach, unless you are sleeping on one of my tables, your head is turned to the side for eight hours. Imagine going through your work day with your head turned to the side the entire day. Could that create any subluxations? What would be the end result for your neck and shoulders? To me, it sounds like an invitation to chronic neck and shoulder pain.

2 Sleeping on your stomach puts more stress on all the curves of your spine. Stomach sleeping makes it difficult to maintain a neutral position with your spine. What’s more, the pose puts pressure on joints and muscles, which can irritate nerves and lead to pain, numbness, and tingling.

I hope your learned a few things about how to maximize your comfort and health for a very important period of your day, since you spend about one third of your life sleeping.

The Worst Thing you Can do if you Run

I just viewed a timely article from Posture Pro, the developers of the posture diagnostic program I use in my practice.FHP

The article shows the effect of Forward Head Posture (FHP) on the quality and quality of running. Now that I am in my yearly training period for the Bolder Boulder, I put this information to the test. Although I feel my posture is normal, I was aware of my head going forward when I would tire and also going uphill.

What the article emphasizes is that as your head goes forward while running, the extra weight puts pressure on your upper back to arch, creating chronic neck and shoulder pain. It also forces your arms to wing and come across your body in a scissors action, as opposed to pumping up and down.It causes osteoarthritis, as well as additional wear and tear on your joints. This morning I went on a long run and noticed a definite improvement of the quality of my breath as well as less wear and tear on my hips and upper back.

Just think, if you are a runner, and you are running several miles a day several day a week for most of the year, what accumulated effect is that having on your neck muscles, your upper back muscles, your respiratory system, your heart, your hips, and your legs? Do you think that accumulated wear and tear will break down your joints, as well as increase muscle tension and pain?

If you have great posture, you may be able to make these adjustments. If you have Forward Head Posture (FHP), you may not be able to make the improvements on your own. If you are not currently a patient, I recommend getting in touch with me. Let’s take some pictures of you, find out what the stress of your FHP is, and let’s put a plan together to help you reduce this significant stress on your body, and preserve your body the best that you can. To read the entire article, done very nicely with color photos and easy to follow thought process, click here HERE

 

I can Virtually Guarentee you Healthy Teeth and Gums!

One would say, “I love it when he lifts my left hip”, and the other would say, “I know, I can feel my body just releasing everything.” Then one would say, “How about when he touches here,” and the other would say, “Yes, that’s the best!”dentist

I have noticed when I work with dentists and dental hygienists, that they have very similar muscle tension patterns. That’s because they sit hunched over for very long periods, leaning over to the left (if they are right handed). Over a period of months, years, decades, what happens to them? Those muscles become tight, rigid, inflexible, and it turns to pain. What happens to them? Is it possible they become tight, rigid, inflexible, and they live a life of pain?

I am so thankful and proud that my two wonderful dentists have decided that “enough is enough,” and they do not want to live this way any more. They have decided that they want to live a healthier lifestyle, with less subluxations, and have a greater ability to adapt to and heal from their daily stresses. What a great decision they have made.

Getting back to my original statement, how can I virtually guarantee you healthy teeth and gums? I can say with 100% confidence, that when I go see my dentist who is functioning with a healthy Nervous System, and has a greater ability to adapt to his daily stresses, I KNOW he is providing a better service for me than a dentist who is subluxated, who has extreme muscles tension, and may be feeling tight, rigid, inflexible, and in pain. That’s who I want to help my teeth and gums be as healthy as possible.

My request to you is, the next time you see your dentist or hygienist, please give him or her my card, and tell them WHY they should be receiving chiropractic care. If it’s good enough for you, why isn’t it good enough for them?

Larry Bird will die young, just ask him

larry birdIn case you don’t know it, I’m a sports junkie! I love all sports but basketball is my favorite. I grew up playing it, and now I watch games, I attend games, I have coached for over 10 years, and I even referee High School games.

I just finished reading an article on Larry Bird, who was one of the greats of the 80’s and 90’s. The article is titled, “Larry Bird will die young. Just ask him.” Well, that was enough to grab my attention. The article focused on how many tall and large athletes die young, most commonly from an enlarged heart and the stress it creates on their bodies.

The part of the article that especially caught my interest was a short focus on Bill Walton. Bill Walton was one of my favorite college players. Short bio on Bill Walton:

2x NCAA champion (19721973)

2× NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1972–1973)

3× National college player of the year (1972–1974)

3× Consensus first-team All-American (19721974)

He was THE man. Walton estimates he’s undergone 37 surgeries, including fusion surgeries on both ankles. “When you are in that never-ending cycle of pain, it puts you in a space of darkness, sadness and overwhelming depression.” Walton says. “You go through stages. The first one is, ‘Oh my god, I’m gonna die.’ The next stage is, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to die.’ And the third stage is, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to live, and this is what I’m stuck with.’ That’s the worst stage of all. The article goes on to state: In 2009, Walton underwent an 8½-hour spinal fusion surgery that required four bolts, two titanium rods and a metal cage — akin to an Erector Set — to put him back together. Now he travels the country advocating for athletes to be proactive in their treatment. “We athletes are our own worst enemies,” Walton says. “We don’t listen to our bodies, we don’t listen to our doctors. We don’t realize until later in life that health is everything. Without it, you’ve got nothing.”[1]

I have just hired Bill Walton to be my public relations manager! He hit the nail on the head: Without your health, you’ve got nothing. My hope is that you do not have to suffer like Bill Walton has to listen to your warning signs. I feel sad when I read stories like this. He thought he was doing the right things, he listened to the right people whom he held in high esteem. Ultimately it is HIS health, just like it’s YOUR health! YOU must make the right decisions to optimize your physical, emotional, and psychological health.

What choices do you make?

Do you pay attention to your body’s and take action, or do you keep on keeping on, without listening to the messages your body is trying to send you?

Do you eat foods that your body can easily digest, real food, or do you reach for the easiest, the fastest, the cheapest?

Do you take the time to plan out your exercise, and give your body a chance to recover, or do you ignore exercise because you don’t have enough time?

Do you engage your mind throughout the day, and challenge yourself, or do you take the easy way out?

Do you think positive thoughts throughout the day, set goals, say affirmations, or do you take the path of least resistance?

Do you commit to a care plan to keep your Nervous System functioning at its best, or do you say, “I’m healthy if I feel good right now?”

I feel that it’s great to have choices to make. How different would life be if you did not have a choice?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

1 http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14712117/larry-bird-believes-nba-big-men-die-young-right

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