One of the tests we do at the office on every new patient and re-exams is a weight distribution test. We check to see how much weight you’re putting on one foot versus the other. This allows us to look into your spine as to how you’re holding part of your posture. Any shifting from side to side is a possible indication that there’s some sort of compensation for a misalignment in the spine and SI joints. Even with an even weight finding, there’s a good chance that your body found balance in a misaligned state. As you progress through your chiropractic care, we monitor this behavior and compare to when you first started. As you begin the adjustment process, you’ll find that your weight can shift in either direction. This is a good indication that you’re brain is now trying to find balance in an aligned state. It’s all about your brain trying to function at the highest level without letting you know that there’s dysfunction until your brain is not longer able to mask the dysfunctional state, ie; pain, range of motion restriction, radiating pain, etc… So for the new year, finding balance in an aligned state is much better than balance in a misaligned state.
Always feel like your neck is sore or have a headache that feels like it comes from the neck? One of the initial tests we do on our patients is a simple forward head posture(FHP) evaluation. This is an easy test to evaluate how one keeps their head on their shoulders. It’s rare that someone comes into the office without an FHP. When the head goes forward off the shoulders, it puts a strain on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints of the cervical spine. Imagine holding a bowling ball out in front of your body for an extended period of time. What do you think would happen to all those structures in the arm? Obviously, your head is not as far out as the bowling ball, but on the same principal, you’d strain the neck and over time may cause a degenerative pattern in the spine. Our goal is to help the neck return to it’s original position by adjusting the misaligned cervical segments and facilitate proper position. I see it the most when I am at the grocery store, I can’t help but notice how mostly everyone has their head in a forward position. Another sign that there is something mechanically wrong in the neck are the decreased ranges of motion you may experience. We call this range of motion restriction which comes with misaligned vertebrae. Aside from pain relief, one of the first improvements that people notice is the increase in range of motion. Over time the range of motion restrictions become more and more “normal” for the patient. It’s amazing how much range of motion someone can lose and think they still have “normal” range of motion without noticing it. A common report from someone who just had their neck adjusted: they can turn their head when they back out of a parking space rather than their whole torso. Next time you’re looking at someone from the side, check to see if they keep their ear forward from their shoulder, a good indication that they could have FHP, something that we would love to help with.
As we look back at 2021, we have a lot to be thankful for. First if you’re reading this, that means you are here today and you can be thankful for that. Going into 2022 we have one goal here at the office: to inspire one person, to reach one person, to change one person’s life. It starts with listening. We listen. When we listen we can gain clarity into the person’s past, present, and future. Where do you want to be by the end of 2022? Is it where you are now? Is it the best possible version of yourself? I know where I want to be. It comes back to what we believe here at the office. We want to help you, it’s that simple. We do not walk to the finish line, we run, we finish strong. The body is simply amazing and what chiropractic can do for you will change your life. Stay strong going into 2022, it will be a good year!
This is a busy week for a lot of people. What we have been seeing from our patients is that there is a lot of go go go. Not enough of slow slow slow. Healing is a constant, slow process slowed or stopped by stress. Every day, we are fighting the effects of stress, we are adapting. We have to give our bodies the best possible chance to handle the effects of stress day in and day out. It’s long, it’s involved, it’s tiring. Most of us spend a lot of time being stressed to provide for our future and our families financially. The question it always comes back to is this: Why do I invest for my wealth but ignore the investment for my health? Now wealth can be financial as we are all aware. Wealth can also be the quality of time that we spend with the people we love. Either way, there has to be an investment in the health to experience the benefit of the wealth. The higher quality of health means the higher quality of wealth. One of the health investments that people make here is the beginning, middle, and the maintaining of their chiropractic care. While the chiropractic adjustments are generally quick, they help combat the negative effects of every day stress that slow and hinder the healing process. Something to think about.
One of the things we constantly remind our patients of is that the body is extremely powerful in it’s ability to heal. Since it’s close to Thanksgiving, I think it’s extra-important for everyone to be thankful for just that. Our bodies have an incredible innate sense of well being. Whatever life throws at us, our bodies are adapting and healing. With the constant stressors, we want to make sure we give our bodies the correct ingredients to make sure we have a fighting chance at healing with the most optimal intent. One of those ingredients, from a chiropractic angle, includes proper alignment. Proper alignment allows our nervous system to properly communicate along all pathways. If the brain can understand what the body needs and the body is able to tell the brain what it needs, we are on our way. One of the most, if not the most, important aspect of any relationship is communication. Allowing the most important system in the body, the nervous system, to function at it’s highest level will give us our best chance to maintain a healthy level of homeostasis.
When we’re getting into chiropractic care, it’s important to have other forms of self care to compliment the physical change your body will go through while getting adjusted. Simply getting adjusted may not completely get rid of your symptoms especially if you never change the daily habits that brought you in. A couple things we recommend would be something like massage, spinal stability exercises, hydration as stated below, ice, heat, etc.. Another aspect of improving your overall health would be some sort of exercise routine for your cardiovascular/pulmonary systems. There is so much research out there on the physical and mental benefits that exercise can provide for your body. What I am beginning to see are a lot of people purchasing either a smart treadmill or bike. The more common is the Peloton. I personally love the Peloton platform not just for cycling. Whatever you choose to do, some sort of physical activity is always recommended to help compliment your chiropractic care. Staying motivated can be tough but that’s why we’re here, to help you better yourself in any way we can. If you do become a patient here, we can discuss into more detail your personal goals if they’re more than simply getting out of pain. Once you get to a certain point in your care, it’ll be important to maintain that and help prevent further injury or injury occurrence.
Here are some spinal stability exercises that I do on my own to help compliment my chiro care and assist with my training runs:
- Bird dog exercises
- Superman exercises
- Push ups
Here are some other resources that we personally use outside of the office to help with our complimentary care.
One of the things we tell patients when they begin care or during their care that hydration is one of the most important parts of healing and maintaining health. Water helps the body in so many ways and one of those way is flushing the body from toxins. Another benefit of water is body temperature regulation. It’s important to maintain hydration during a workout because you’re sweating. Sweat evaporates to cool down the body and needs to be replaced with more water during the workout to keep cooling you down. Water balances pH levels as well. Water helps with circulation, circulation is important in cell transportation of nutrients throughout the body. A common question we get at the office is: How much water should we be drinking a day? The answer is different for everybody. According to the Mayo Clinic and The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men should drink about 15 cups a day and women should drink about 11 cups a day. That’s a lot of water but for our bodies, it’s much needed. After an a Chiropractic adjustment, water helps flush the toxins that have accrued in the body.