The Adjustment

What do chiropractors do, and how can we help you?

Chiropractors are experts of the spine. We go to school for a minimum of 3 years prior to being accepted into chiropractic college. From there, we go through a rigorous doctorate degree that encompasses many of the same core classes as a medical doctor as well as other specialized classes that have to do with the musculoskeletal system and how to adjust and align the spine.

Throughout that doctorate degree, we learn the specifics of how the brain talks with, and controls your body. Such as how your body has an inhibitory reflex when you touch a burning candle. Your body is equipped with an automatic draw reflex that makes you pull your hand away from the flame without consciously withdrawing your hand. We also learn how the individual vertebra move on one and other and how altered movement of those vertebra can cause pain, dysfunction, altered biomechanics and can also lead to an increased rate of joint degeneration.

When we talk about joint dysfunction (subluxation), we look at a joint that is fixated and that does not move independently from its adjacent segment. These fixations can be caused from stress, inflammation, trauma, repetitive movements and poor posture. When we have these subluxations, they can cause increased pain in the area of restriction, refer pain to another area of the body, it can cause increased muscle tension on surrounding muscles. The increase in muscle tension can be a protective mechanism in which the muscle tightness up because the joint feels vulnerable or it can be caused from a malposition of the spinal segment itself.  Altered spine motion can also alter your biomechanics (the way your body moves).

When your body is aligned and each segment is moving within its normal range. Our bodies have balance in the sense that there is no undo stress on any particular muscle or joint. When we develop these misalignments and fixations our bodies start to compensate for the subluxation. In the area of restriction there is likely be a segment of hypermobility above or below to compensate for the restricted segment or you may start to shift your weight to one side of your body more than the other to create a sense of balance.

You see the body is very smart and will do whatever it can to continue to function as normal as possible, but this often comes at the expense of another joint or part of your body. That is where we come in, as chiropractors we correct those areas of restriction and help to get the patient moving and pain free as best we can.

Each joint in out body has receptors that have various functions that provide feedback to the brain. These mechanoreceptors provide feedback on how much stretch is in each muscle surrounding the joint, the position of the joint in space which allows us to maintain balance and be able to move in space with coordination and balance. These receptors also send pain signals when they are irritated such as when there is lack of motion in a segment or the segment is subluxated. When we assess the joint and finds the restriction we are then able to apply a high velocity low amplitude (HVLA) adjustment to the segment in the direction of malposition or fixation to realign and create motion through the joint. The adjustment also sends feedback to the brain through the mechanoreceptors that tell the surrounding muscles to relax and also inhibits the pain receptors. The final outcome of a HVLA adjustment facilitates proper motion of individual segments, relaxation of surrounding musculature, improves biomechanics and ultimately leads to a decrease in pain.

So, if you have a back, there is a good chance that chiropractic care is going to help you.

-Daniel Hounjet, Core Health Intern

 

 

Listen Up!

Auditory Acuity of self.

I’ve been around the health and fitness industry a long time, which means I’m getting old, but it has allowed me to personally commit all the mistakes I see patients come into the clinic with.   For the purposes of this article, let’s call the health, fitness, and food industries the wellness industry. The only constant about the wellness industry is that it’s always changing.  Information evolves, trends come and go, and maybe something we thought was “healthy” turns out to be false.  Your circumstances play a significant role in how you apply the information and methods available, which like the topic itself, is in a constant state of flux.

So how do we navigate this chaos?  Start by understanding that it’s a journey.   Be ready to try various methods of self-care, nutrition, and exercise knowing that you’re going to fail and frustrate yourself with things that have worked so well for others.  You’re not everyone and you have to find what works with for you AND your circumstances with wherever you are in your life at that time.   Don’t give up, keep trying new things, keep learning, keep discovering, and push on.

Now I could write a novel covering each of these industry topics, but I want to focus on exercise for this post and more specifically listening to your body.  I have been SO bad at this the past few years and it has been costly.   Low back pain, rib pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, waking up every day with some sort of ache or pain and continuing to mindlessly train and push my body past its limits.   This affects how comfortable I am when I work, when I do recreational activity, and when I’m spending time with my kids.

Why? Unless you’re a professional athlete, isn’t the purpose of exercise and training to better your life outside the gym?  Aren’t we supposed to train to build ourselves up not break ourselves down?   Sure, there are going to be workouts and training sessions that push you to your limits and you’re going to be sore and beat up but that should be the exception, not the rule.   I wouldn’t want to see that go away and I don’t think it has to for you to still maintain an effective fitness routine, improve and push yourself to be a better version of your current self.    Intensity and pushing the limits is a critical part of any successful training program.  However, in my opinion, depending on your circumstances (sleep, stress, nutrition, self-care, age, recovery, etc) we must pick and choose our battles.

All too often I have a patient present after starting a new training program that they’ve been going 100mph at since day 1 and their body finally hits the brakes and things start to deteriorate.   Learning to decipher when your body is telling you to slow down because of mental fatigue vs physical fatigue can be tricky.   But if you’ve gone into training 4 days in a row, maxed out your heart rate every session, lifted as heavy as possible, ran as far and as hard as possible, done zero mobility, had no body work done, ate horribly, slept poorly, then chances are that is your nervous system telling you to take it easy.  The reason this warning is so critical is as the window of fatigue widens, so does the vulnerability for injury.   When it’s broken down it sounds like common sense, but when we are in the heat of the moment surrounded by peers and coaches we tend to push it all aside and go through the motions.

One approach that I’ve really been gravitating towards lately is identifying an intended stimulus prior to working out.  Before beginning I take stock on how I’m feeling and try to match my training stimulus to that.  How recovered do I feel?  Do I have any pain or stiffness? How did I eat this week/weekend? How much did or didn’t I sleep?   If the grading on all those questions are positive, then I may attack that workout with full intensity and really push it.    If I feel like I’m falling short on a few or all those topics, then I’ll scrap what was planned and reprogram for what I can handle.   If the scaling or changes you need to make is going to significantly change the workout in a class setting, then you may need to attend an open gym or workout from home that day.  Don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re going to succumb to peer pressure and put yourself at risk for injury or burnout.  But if you can make a few small modifications and still be in your class or group setting then go for it, you’re not going to be letting anyone down!

Start practicing this week.   Take stock of your overall wellness that day or week and come up with an intended stimulus for your training.  Quality movement is going to be the foundation for longevity and nothing derails a training program faster than injury.   I’m still learning from my mistakes and I’m looking forward to continuing my journey, now with more acuity to what my 33-year-old body is telling me.

 

Yours in Health,

Dr. Crane

Prehab for Runners

Spring Into Running

By Daniel Hounjet, Intern, Core Health

As the snow melts and weather turns people are eager to get outside and start running.Because of the climate we live in many people either choose not to run in the winter or they run indoor on a treadmill. So, for the most part individuals who start running are not taking the necessary steps to prepare their bodies for the increased strain on the body and to prevent chronic injuries that come with an increased volume of running. The most common overuse and altered mechanics injuries that seem to plague runners include low back pain, shin splints, Iliotibial band (IT) syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome (runners knee) and plantar fasciitis.  I will provide you with a few recommendations to help prevent some of these issues.

The snow has melted, the streets are dry, the trees are blooming and you’re ready to get your running on… But wait, what is the first thing you should do before exercising? Warm up?! You’re absolutely right. A quick 5-minute warm up will go a long way in injury prevention. When we talk about warming up, we don’t want to go and do static stretches. Instead we want to increase blood flow to the body by increasing our heartrate and go through similar motions as when we’re running. Here are a few exercises that will help warm up properly.

-Butt kickers

-High knees

-Heel walk/Toe walk

-Lunges

 

Warmup

Each exercise should be done for 20-30 feet, 1-2 times. Once we’ve gone through these exercises it’s a good idea to do 2-3 short sprints to really get your HR up. Now that you’re ready to hit the road be sure that your starting with a distance and pace that is significantly below what you ended the previous season. Our bodies are highly adaptable to stresses placed upon it, so it important for injury prevention to slowly build back up to where you where the previous season. By slowly increasing our duration and intensity we are allowing our bodies to adapt to the stresses placed on our body, from the increased strain on our joint, our tendons and even to regain our oxygen capacity.

Cool Down

Our post run recovery is just as important as our preparation and the run itself. That is why there 3 aspects should be incorporated post run. First off, we want to slowly bring out heart-rate down. It may be difficult to do with our busy lives, but having a proper cool down will prevent blood from pooling in our extremities and the unwanted potential for dizziness and or loss of consciousness. Cooling down will also help flush out the metabolite (lactic acid) build up in your legs. Try walking or even a low intensity dynamic stretch will be great to slowly bring that HR back down. Once you’ve cooled down we want to stretch and or roll (foam roller, lacrosse ball etc.) the area that worked the most during the run; calves, lumbar musculature, hip flexors and gluteus maximus and medius. Here are a few stretches to consider.

-Pigeons stretch

-Lunge stretch

-standing calf stretch

-Hamstring stretch

-Stiff leg good mornings

 

Remember that these stretches and rolling these areas are for preventative measures and may not be the right stretches if you have altered body mechanics or are injured. If you suspect you have altered mechanics, (loss of mobility of a joint, hypermobility/ instability and/or loss of motor control) a good general tip to know, if there is an underlying issue and the pain or stiffness is only on one side of the body there is likely something that isn’t working the way it should. If you think you may have a compensation or would like to be evaluated consider seeking professional advice from a chiropractor or Physical therapist.

Advances in Functional Training Excerpt

 

Refueling

Lastly, we want to ensure we are refueling and replenishing lost nutrients. If you are running long distances with a duration greater than 90 minutes at moderate intensity it’s important to replenish our glycogen stores as they will be depleted after an intense distance run. That being said a balanced refuel is essential, consider 4:2:1 ratio of carbohydrates: protein: fat. We want to consume the carbohydrates to restore glycogen levels (glycogen is the muscles energy source for sustained activity). Protein to repair any damage to the muscle due to the increased intensity and lastly fats, which will slow digestion and allow for less of a blood sugar spike post workout. We also want to replenish any fluid losses. Water and a good electrolyte drink will go a long way in minimizing stiffness and soreness. If you are running for a shorter duration under 90 minutes, you are likely not depleting your glycogen stores. Therefore, rehydration and your regular diet will suffice. Research suggests that it is a myth that we need to consume protein within an hour post exercise, and that a balanced meal prior to activity will carry you through your run and even into your recovery. https://jcdfitness.com/2016/09/should-you-eat-fat-in-your-post-workout-meal/

Common causes for Headaches and Neck pain

Chiropractic Treatment for Headaches and Neck Pain

At one time or another, everyone has experienced the unwelcome, throbbing pain of a headache. Some headaches may blindside you; there seems to be no explanation for their occurrence. Others come on gradually over the span of hours or days. The number of headache presentations is outweighed only by the number of causes. Due to the numerous potential triggers, it can often be difficult to narrow it down to the true culprit. Doing so, however, is the key to resolving headaches for the long term. Below, you will find descriptions of various headache triggers, some common and some lesser known, in addition to ways to combat and prevent their occurrence.

Subluxation/Misalignment of the Spine

Headaches and mechanical neck pain are the bread and butter of chiropractic. So many people suffer from chronic headaches that can be easily fixed through a series of adjustments. Often, the cause of neck pain and headaches is stress on the nervous system due to misalignment of the cervical vertebrae. When vertebrae move improperly, the mechanics of the entire head and neck are disrupted. This results in compensations in head position and movement, as well as an increase in muscle tone. Headaches are the culmination of this mechanical and postural dysfunction.

The Fix: Have a chiropractor check your spine and adjust any subluxations in the body. They can also perform manual therapy to any hypertonic musculature of the head and neck. Your chiropractor may also refer you for other therapies, including acupuncture or massage, as they see fit.

Stress & Muscle Tension

When stressed, people tend to hold their shoulders high and clench their jaws. All of this is done unconsciously, of course. Right now, be mindful of your shoulders. Try to lower them. If you can relax your shoulders and they drop, you were likely holding up without even realizing it. The same goes for clenching the jaw. Many people do this while they sleep, resulting in sustained tension in the jaw and temples. All of this upper back, neck and jaw tension leads to trigger points and the radiation of pain into different areas of the body, namely, the head and neck.

Though your upper body muscle tension may not be due to psychological stress, it can be due to the physical stressors of daily activity. Many people who work in jobs which require repetitive upper extremity motion will experience tension type headaches. Athletes involved in impact sports or completing high repetition exercises can also succumb to tension headaches.

The Fix: Identify the source of stress and create a plan to remove or decrease it. If this isn’t feasible, a plan to manage or relieve yourself of stress throughout or at the end of the day can be helpful. This might include taking mini breaks at work, meditation, exercise, baths or scheduling time out for yourself. Also, be mindful of tensing the shoulders and jaw, aiming to keep them relaxed as possible.

Mobility and recovery is key for the athlete. Using a lacrosse ball or roller after a workout, in combination with stretching, will offset tightness. Exercise is a huge stress to the body, make sure you are recovering sufficiently with nutrient dense meals and good sleep.

Allergies, Low Blood Sugar & Dehydration

Food and environmental allergies trigger an immune response in the body. The result of this immune response is systemic inflammation. This inflammatory response can often cause a headache. The body uses the headache as a warning sign to the body, indicating that something is wrong and a larger issue needs to be addressed.

If you’re attempting the new intermittent fasting trend or just forgot to eat a meal or two, you may feel a headache coming on. Fasting too long, dieting too hard or not eating enough can cause the blood sugar to enter a hypoglycaemic range. When the blood sugar gets too low, a headache can ensue. Keep your body hydrated, too! Low hydration and electrolyte levels are notorious for triggering headaches.

The Fix: Discovering the food that sets the body awry is not always easy. It can often require an elimination diet, in which foods that are traditionally more allergenic are removed for a period time to determine the body’s response without them. Allergy tests or panels can also be done to determine food allergies. If low blood sugar or dehydration is the culprit, get some healthy, nutritious food & water in your body and see if the headache subsides once the values have returned to a normal range.

Seek Help

Regardless of the trigger, at the end of the day you are still experiencing the pain of a headache, and you just want to be rid of it! Research supports the use of chiropractic for headache reduction and elimination. Go see one! It is the safest, most effective course of treatment and should be the first line of defence against headache symptoms. Your DC will evaluate your symptoms and spine and provide you with appropriate treatment and advice. You have nothing to lose except your nagging headache.

Identifying and Treating Low Back Pain

Low back Pain:  Causes and Treatment

Low back pain (LBP) is the most common musculoskeletal complaint in the US, and the condition most commonly treated in the chiropractic office. Though almost everyone has dealt with low back pain at some point in their lives, the cause of the pain, in each case, can be different. With the athlete, the causes are often predictable and can be narrowed down to a few diagnoses. This article will discuss some commonalities in low back pain & measures that can be taken to keep your back healthy.

Herniations

Possibly the most troubling cause of low back pain is a disc herniation. This can cause crippling pain that may radiate to into the butt and down the leg. It may also cause muscle spasms and negatively effect your posture and range of motion.  Anatomically, discs lie between each vertebrae and act primarily as shock absorbers. With repeated stress on the spinal column, these discs may become damaged. When the outer portion of the disc tears, the softer portion of the disc, the nucleus, may protrude out. Only the outer third of the disc has pain receptors, therefore you can have some herniation without pain. This means that there can be serious structural problems in your spine and you can have zero pain. It is so important to listen to your body and seek therapy before you have been incapacitated. Herniations do not discriminate based on your sport or activity level. Yogis may sustain herniations from sustained poses in hyper flexion or extension, weight lifters from poor form or repetitive flexion, and high impact athletes from trauma. These are just a few of the many examples.

Piriformis Syndrome

Though herniations may cause numbness, tingling or shooting pain into the leg. It is not the only cause, as irritation of the sciatic nerve may also be the culprit. The sciatic nerve courses down the leg to the foot and enters the posterior leg just below the piriformis muscle. When this muscle becomes tight from overuse or increased strain, as it often does in athletes, it can irritate the sciatic nerve, resulting in this pattern of pain. Preventatively, this muscle can be tough to get at on your own, but using a mobility ball to release the glutes is helpful. Soft tissue work and manual release is the ideal course of treatment for an exacerbated issue.

The Iliopsoas

A main flexor of the hip and trunk, the iliopsoas runs from the lower spine to the femur. This muscle is shortened and hypertonic in many individuals and can pull the pelvis forward, increasing the strain on the hamstrings and muscles of the low back. Chronic psoas tightness can cause a ‘sway-back’ appearance and decrease the stability of the spine, especially in overhead positions. Today, many people have tight, weak psoas muscles because of time spent seated. Sitting puts the psoas in a shortened position and, unfortunately, a short muscle is a weak muscle. Aside from decreasing time spent on your behind, the best way to combat psoas tightness is to release the psoas on a regular basis. This can be done on your own or by a professional. The latter may be a better option, as this muscle can be very tender and will put your mental toughness to the test if you decide to tackle it on your own.

Upper Cross Syndrome, Back pain, and Trap Dominance

Upper Cross Syndrome & Trap Dominance

Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) is a group of symptoms that leads to muscle imbalances and pain the upper shoulders and neck. It is typically seen in people with poor, slumped posture and those who spend their days at desks or looking down at their phones. It also becoming an increasingly common presentation in the Crossfit athlete.

UCS occurs as a result of forward head carriage, an increased thoracic kyphosis (hunchback), and consistently elevated shoulders that round forward. A head that is forward and flexed puts strain on sub-occipital muscles and upper traps, tightening and shortening them. This lengthens, and subsequently weakens the deep neck flexors. When the shoulders are rounded and slumped, the pecs become tight and the rhomboids and lower traps weaken. In the athlete, weakness in the rhomboids and rotator cuff muscles means the upper traps must compensate and fire every time the shoulder moves. Trap dominance may be especially noticeable when performing high rep cleans or snatches, as the aggressive shrug is facilitated by the trapezius.

UCS may manifest as pain in the shoulders, headaches, instability in overhead positions, numbness or tingling in the hands and/or weakened grip. Over time, it will cause postural changes that can put the body, especially the shoulders, at risk for injury. Muscles that are not working synergistically cause the joints they act on to become unstable as the imbalance in musculature pulls the joint out of optimal position. A joint that is not being stabilized correctly or moving in the proper plane will cause repetitive strain on the tissues and lead to complications in the form of impingement, rotator cuff strains, ligament sprains or dislocation of the shoulder.

To treat UCS, the tight, shortened muscles must be addressed first. Stretching, mobilizing and having manual therapy applied through the pecs, upper traps and sub-occipital muscles is a necessary first step. Close attention to posture is also imperative. Many people hold tension through the shoulders and are unconsciously holding them in an elevated position. Throughout the day, make note of shoulder position, then relax and lower them if necessary. Also be sure to pull the shoulder blades back. If you need a cue, think about squeezing them together or pinching your shirt between them. You should always think about this when setting up for a lift. Be sure to also keep the head level on the shoulders, not flexed forward. Think about making a double chin. This is the motion needed to pull the head upright. The final step is to strengthen the weak muscles. The following exercises are ideal for this:

  • Scap Pull-Ups
  • Y, T, I Raises
  • Band Pull-Aparts
  • Band Rows

IT Band Syndrome

Though it is typically an issue that plagues the endurance athlete, Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome is becoming more common in those that Crossfit. The IT band runs down the lateral side of the leg, from the hip to just below the knee. Due to its insertion near the knee, many people mistake IT band issues for lateral knee pain. The IT band functions to stabilize the knee. It is a very strong band of fascia, but faulty body mechanics combined with high repetition or high mileage can be extremely taxing on the tissue. This can lead to inflammation and swelling on the lateral aspect of the knee, and pain that can be felt up the length of the tissue, spreading has high as the hip. It may even cause a snapping noise when the knee is bent beyond 45 degrees.

Mechanically, the culprit is instability at the pelvis, knee, and/or foot. If just one of these structures is out of alignment, the knee and lower leg will rotate inwards and put increased strain on the IT band, increasing its contact with the bony structures of the knee joint. A flat or pronated foot can cause the knees to cave in. An unbalanced pelvis creates a leg length discrepancy, increasing the stress on one leg as the majority of load is shifted to that side. This can be due to a structural misalignment, or a weak gluteus medius, a dynamic stabilizer of the lower extremity. There isn’t one cause of IT band issues, so there isn’t just one solution. The underlying cause needs to be found, and addressed appropriately. Running shoes may need to be replaced or be supplemented with arch supports if you are an over pronator. The foot should also be adjusted to ensure the various bones that comprise it are aligned and functioning synergistically. The hips should also be assessed by your chiropractor to ensure proper alignment. The glute med can be muscle tested to determine whether or not it is inhibited. If this is the case, proper strengthening of the muscle should be implemented.

Regardless of the cause, if you are experiencing IT band pain or discomfort, you should address the issue immediately. Resting from activity, applying ice and consulting with your chiropractor are all imperative to resolving the issue.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome, a common cause for shoulder pain.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome, also known as Swimmer’s or Thrower’s shoulder, is a common over-use condition that occurs when the shoulder bursa or rotator cuff tendons become compressed within the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is comprised of the scapula, humerus and clavicle. The tip of the scapula, called the acromion process, joins the clavicle to create the acromioclavicular joint. The narrow passage below this joint, the subacromial space, is where compression occurs.

Those who perform repetitive overhead movement (athletes, laborers) are at the highest risk of developing shoulder impingement. However, as technology and careers have evolved, it is becoming more common in those with poor posture and rounded shoulders. Overuse and poor positioning of the shoulder can cause tendon microtrauma and inflammation of the rotator cuff muscles. This may cause thickening of the tendon, decreasing the diameter of the already narrow subacromial space. At this point, movement of the shoulder may cause the tendon to be pinched underneath the acromion, causing pain and limit range of motion.

There are a wide range of treatment options for shoulder impingement syndrome, including adjustments, manual therapy and exercise. When you visit your practitioner, their goal should be to discover the underlying cause of impingement. Is it due to a recent trauma to the shoulder, too many pull-ups and presses, or repetitive use of a tool overhead? Once the cause is determined, therapy can be applied accordingly. The first step should be to manage the pain and reduce the strain on the area. Limiting the use of the shoulder, in combination with cryotherapy, will help relieve pain and inflammation. You may be asked to modify or take time away from your job or sport in order to achieve this.

The next step is to reduce muscle tension, correct structural misalignments, and improve range of motion. Chiropractic adjustments of the neck, thoracic spine and shoulder will be effective in achieving improved function and may be done in conjunction with another soft tissue therapies such as instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM),  blood flow restriction therapy, or massage.

The final step in treating this issue is strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles and shoulder retractors and stretching the anterior shoulder and chest. By working to stretch and strengthen these muscles of the shoulder and back, proper posture and alignment can be restored and future damage may be prevented. Most of these strengthening exercises are performed with small dumbbells or resistance bands, making them very approachable and easy to do on your own. Your practitioner should provide you with a basic regimen to be done at home or at clinic visits.

In order to prevent this issue from occurring, you may implement the following strategies:

  • Maintaining a proper, upright posture with shoulders back when sitting or working
  • Using proper technique when lifting or performing exercises
  • Strengthening the rotator cuff and upper back muscles
  • Stretching the anterior shoulder and chest, neck and back muscles
  • Regular chiropractic visits

-Taylor Meyers, Intern Core Health Chiropractic

Chiropractic and Massage, Partners in Wellness

Deep Tissue Massage  in conjunction with the Chiropractic adjustment

Chiropractic and massage therapy work together simultaneously creating a synergistic effect resulting in much faster recovery time. Correction of one’s structure often occurs more easily and with less discomfort when both modalities are used together. The positive results of chiropractic care last longer when muscle tension is released, which might otherwise pull one’s structure back out of alignment.

Since massage therapy is good for the nervous system it is usually done before chiropractic treatments are given. The adjustments are much more effective this way. Sometimes the body can be so stiff that it resists the adjustments. When it becomes relaxed through massage, it allows the doctor of chiropractic to more easily realign various parts.

Chiropractic treatment is useful for treating people that are under constant physical and/or mental stress. Massage therapy can also be part of this treatment because of its beneficial effects. A person can be healthy in every other way, but have physical pain caused by tightness and stress. Through massage and chiropractic techniques they can be helped.

Massage, when used with chiropractic treatments, is also good for physical injuries such as those that happen in auto accidents. Injuries occurring from a variety of other activities as well as physical pain from stress benefit from both treatments. The immune system is stimulated by massage and chiropractic treatments along with blood circulation. By doing massage you are using the body’s natural energy to heal itself.

Since the massage increases the blood flow it can also help relieve headaches. Many people suffer from these on a regular basis. The improved circulation helps to decrease the pain and stimulate nerve flow.

You must be aware of the signs your body gives you for spinal stress, so that you can get to the chiropractor at the first signs of dysfunction. Spinal distress can bring on a tingling sensation in the legs, shoulder, and arms and sometimes even numbness. This is why it is important to address spinal problems immediately. Chiropractic and massage therapy can not only correct the problem but restore your natural energy that becomes lost when dealing with spinal distress.

The bottom line is that chiropractic and massage therapy are compatible forms of health care that share the goal of your total well-being, not simply an absence of illness. Both offer natural hands-on, drug-free techniques. They can be used as preventative as well as restorative therapies. When used in combination, they help you maintain your optimum health and wellness.

We now offer massage therapy at both our Uptown and Plymouth locations! Schedule online or give us a call to book your next massage!

Plymouth- 763-205-3783

Uptown- 612-872-9596

Posture Fix for Back and Neck pain

Sitting properly to reduce back pain

Neck and back pain due to posture is a growing problem.  A vast majority of our patients present with symptoms that arise from cumulative stress placed on the body through poor ergonomics.

Did you know that the average full-time worker spends 2/3 of their day sitting? Often thought of us a comfortable place of respite, chairs and the time we spend in them can greatly impact our bodies, forcing them into anatomically unsound positions. Hours on end spent in chairs is slowly crippling our bodies and our health. Your hamstrings shorten, your hips lose their ability to straighten and therefore generate power, and your lumbar-spine is forced to support the weight of your slouching-body. Unfortunately, in this modern age of instant communication, advanced medicine, and the ability to access information on the internet by just a few clicks of a button, much of this is unavoidable. Our jobs are much more sedentary than they used to be. So what is the modern day desk warrior to do?

While there is no perfect solution, here are some tips to keep your body as healthy as possible throughout the workday:

1. Be aware of your posture.

The easiest way to put yourself into a sound position without thinking about 40 checkpoints is to pay attention to your elbows.

 Yes your elbows.  If my elbows are in a good position in relation to my torso, then my shoulders are neutral, neutral shoulders gives a high likelihood to a neutral cervical spine and this keeps your upper body is in an ideal position with minimal tension levels. Don’t adjust your neck to see the screen. Instead adjust your chair and computer monitor. If you have to crane your neck too far downwards to see your computer screen, you naturally force your pelvis/lumbar to round and cave in.

2. Work some desk stretches into your daily routine.

We should be cultivating mobility daily regardless of where we are, so why not do it at your desk? And yes a standing desk or a desk that has the ability to adjust up and down is best but I realize it is a convenience that is not afforded at all work places, so if you don’t have the luxury then proceed to #3.

3. Stand up regularly.

Who will notice (or even care) if you stand up once every 30 minutes and get yourself out of that position of flexion. Many studies have shown benefits of leaving your desk at periodic intervals to walk around. Just remember to come back!

4. Be active OUTSIDE OF WORK.

As tempting as it is to get home and retire to the couch, use your time outside of work to MOVE your body the way it’s meant to be moved. Try some functional movement workouts or yoga. You will be surprised to find you actually feel better and more energized.

I hope these tips are helpful.

Visit www.corechiroclinics.com to learn about all the of the services we offer to help our patients

MOVE WELL, EAT WELL, BE WELL.

Don’t let me catch you slouching! Posture and what to do about it

Dr. Neil Crane

Ergonomic checklist

By now we’ve heard the term text neck , seen the photos of people slouched over a computer or craning their necks down at their phone, may have even had the ergonomic breakdown at work. But what are the implications of poor posture and how can it really affect you.

Before we get too far into the do’s and don’ts let’s get a better understanding of what bad posture is actually doing to your spine.   As you progress through development from infancy to sitting, sitting to crawling, crawling to standing, and standing to walking- running- jumping- etc., you are changing the dynamic of how your body holds and distrubutes weight throughout each phase.  In doing so, you form 3 primary curves of the spine.  First is the lordodic cervical curve that would look like a reverse c-shape from the side, second the kyphotic thoracic spine, and finally the lordotic lumbar spine.  Each curve serving a purpose for the overall stability of the spine and all the mechanisms that attach and rely upon this structure to function.  This shape and form is very intentional as our bodies are much smarter innately than we give them credit.   By forming this intentional shape, our weight is evenly distrubuted from our head down to our toes to transfer weight and force evenly from the spine to the extremities and allowing for the muscles, tendons, and ligments to peform their duties without becoming stressed. By changing any one of these shapes or curves in the spine, we thus alter the stress load throughout the entirety of the spine.   So by losing that curve in your neck or flexing your head down looking at your phone, you’re implicating every function thereafter that relies upon the shape.  Leading to tightness in the cervical flexor muscles (front of the neck)  weakening and overusing the cervical extensors muscles in the back of the neck and upper shoulders which leads to stiffness, tension, pain, headaches, loss of mobility, and eventually structural breakdown or degeneration of the spine. This is happening at an alarming rate as patients are presenting at as early as 18-20 years of age with symptoms consistent with the breakdown that was just described.  I’ve used the cervical spine as my example for the sake of simplicity but you could go through this process with each region of the spine and each region will be affected by the other once things begin to breakdown.

We all know technology is going no where and chances are we are going to spend more time sitting, in front of computer or phone than ever before.  So make the changes now to avoid having to deal with the complications later.

Posture checkpoints-

Head and neck must remain neutral – eyes level to the horizon

Elbows low and in contact with the torso

Shoulders back

Get up and move around!  Take breaks, alternate with standing if you have the option.

Exercising consistently is the most beneficial pro active measure you can take against bad posture

Focus on strengthening the upper back and core musculature to most efficiently offset negative stress due to posture

Please let me know if you would like to go over any posture related questions or concerns on your next visit.

Move Welll!