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EASY Noninvasive Pain Management Without Opioids

EASY Noninvasive Pain Management Without Opioids

Pain management is a multi-billion-dollar industry. By now, most of us have been affected by the opioid epidemic in some way.  Whether you’ve experienced it yourself, you know someone who is struggling, or you’ve watched it take the life of someone you love—opiates are a real and significant danger in our world. As chiropractors, it is our responsibility to help our community members find better ways of dealing with pain. 

Pain is a part of life.  All kinds of it creep into our lives.  Sometimes it’s physical; other times, it’s somewhere on the inside.  But in all cases, pain management is a part of human existence. There’s no escaping it, which is why it’s so important to learn better ways of helping your body heal itself.  Many natural remedies work for pain management. It just takes some investigation, experimentation, and—above all—patience!

The “Easy” Part of Natural Pain Management

Medical science has brought us a long way, but we still have work to do when teaching, encouraging, and promoting pain management in a safe self-care setting.

Your body has a natural ability to heal itself when given the right environment. That’s why I stress the importance of the simple things, like:

1.       A healthy diet

2.       Getting enough adequate sleep

3.       Exercising regularly

Maintaining a balance between diet, exercise, and sleep is worth all the effort when you can get back to doing the things you love, and you don’t have to worry about subjecting your body to dependency-causing opiates.  

My Go-To Treatment for Natural Pain Relief

Setting your body up for success with those three factors above is just the beginning.  Now, you need to manage physical pain.  I work with many people suffering from all different types of pain, such as whiplash, headaches, fibromyalgia, and long-term back pain

Every person who comes in my door gets a tailored treatment plan; however, there is one regimen that remains constant in every case. It’s not only something you can do at home, but you can do it anywhere. It’s affordable and highly effective.

Ice!  I sometimes prescribe alternating ice and heat treatments, depending on the injury, but ice is consistently on every treatment plan.  Cold therapy temporarily decreases blood flow to the injury, which is a good thing because healing cells are trying to swarm the area, which will cause painful inflammation. 

There are some things to keep in mind when using ice for natural pain management of acute pain:

·         Apply it as soon as the pain starts, after an accident, or following overexertion.

·         It works best for new injuries, but it’s helpful for flare-up pain as well.

·         If you can elevate the injured area, do so.  This controls the gravity factor of blood flow.

·         Don’t apply the ice directly to your skin. Use a wrap, towel, gel pack, or other covering to avoid skin or tissue damage.

·         Apply it for short periods, no more than 20 minutes at a time.  I often recommend 20 minutes on and 45 minutes off through the worst of it, and then as needed.

Should You Tell Your Chiropractor About Opioid Use?

At Slovin Chiropractic Center, we don’t prescribe or use opiates in our practice; however, if you are struggling with an opioid addiction and you’d like a more natural way to approach pain management, then you’ve come to the right place!  We will help you heal through what is likely to be a difficult journey.  There’s only one way for our community to eradicate the opioid problem: through compassion, education, and support. 

See the sources at the bottom of this article for addiction support centers and programs.

Sources:

Norwalk Substance Abuse Programs
The Recovery Village in Norwalk

Cleveland Clinic: Here’s How to Choose Between Using Ice or Heat for Pain

Spine-Health: Ice as pain relief, More Effective Than You Think

Medical City Healthcare: How to Know When an Injury Needs Ice or Heat

Acute Muscle Pain: When NOT to See a Chiropractor

Acute Muscle Pain: When NOT to See a Chiropractor

We’ve all been there. You’re doing your thing, and suddenly, there’s a sharp pain that makes you cringe and grab for the area. You’ve likely pulled or strained a muscle.  As chiropractors, we see many patients with muscle pain, especially in the neck and back, where strains are common. It’s hard to think straight when you’re in pain, so it’s important to know where to begin when you have acute muscle pain. 

The ONE THING You Need to Do IMMEDIATELY!

If you suspect you’ve pulled a muscle, especially in your neck or back, the first thing you want to do is take pressure off the muscle and apply ice 20 minutes every hour while awake.  Don’t put the ice pack directly on your skin. Cover it with a towel or keep a layer of clothing between it and your skin. Gel packs work well too. 

While the one thing you need to do is ice the muscle pain, there are a few other things you can do as well. 

·         Light compression with an Ace bandage may help support the muscle and reducing swelling.  If that hurts, don’t do it. 

·         Massage therapy can help loosen the muscles, increase circulation, and improve the range of motion during the healing process. 

·         Keep adjusting your position. Don’t stay in a single place for too long. Move your neck, or walk around when you’re able.  If you’re not able to move, you’ll want to see your doctor or chiropractor as soon as possible. 

Common Causes and Symptoms of Muscle Pain

The most common causes of pulls and strains in the neck or back muscles include:

·         Poor posture

·         Repetitive movements

·         Improperly lifting heavy objects

·         Trauma, collision, or fall

·         New exertional activities

Most people experience symptoms immediately, describing the muscle pain as:

·         Sharp and shooting through the area of the body near the strain

·         Aching and throbbing pain that follows shortly after

·         Worsened pain with any pressure or movement

·         Muscle spasms

·         Extreme stiffness in the back, neck, or area of muscle strain

Depending on the cause, everyone will experience the symptoms differently.  If you’re experiencing any of the following, more serious, signs, then you’ll want to speak to your doctor or chiropractor immediately:

·         Dizziness

·         Headaches

·         Tingling and numbness in the arms or legs

·         Visual disturbances

·         Feeling unstable when standing

·         Loss of bowel or bladder control

These signal something more serious is happening.

Muscle Pain Your Chiropractor CAN’T Help

I’ve been talking a lot about pulled and strained muscles in this post.  That’s what we see the most in our office in Norwalk. It’s also where I can help you the most.  However, there’s one type of muscle pain I can’t help with, and that’s a muscle tear.  Muscle tears will always need surgery because things need to be reconnected, and it will help you avoid further injuries and weakness in that muscle.

How do you know if you have a torn muscle or a strained one?  Diagnostic images can help, but the torn muscle pain isn’t always automatic, so you may be able to tell by your symptoms.  Pain from a muscle tear usually peaks a day or two later and is accompanied by other symptoms like headache, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and trouble concentrating.  When you know which one it is, you can better plan for your treatment.  It always helps to know who to call. 

If there’s a muscle strain or pull in your neck or back, call Slovin Chiropractic Center for an appointment, or you can request one here on our website.  If you think you may have a tear, talk to your doctor about getting evaluated.  You’ll want to treat that muscle pain immediately to reduce the risk of further injury. 

Sources:

Healthline: What you need to know about treating lower back muscles

Spine-Health: Neck strain causes and remedies

Medical News Today: What are the causes of unexplained muscle aches?

Is it Safe to See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?

Is it Safe to See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?

There are many reasons to receive chiropractic care after a personal injury, even if the pain isn’t in your back.  There is a widespread belief that chiropractors only work on the spine.  This isn’t true.  We work with the entire musculoskeletal system as it relates to the whole body. The spine is the foundation and structure of our specialty, so it naturally gets a lot of attention.

After a collision or personal injury, a specialized accident chiropractor offers a safe and natural treatment option to complement other treatments you may be undergoing.  We push neither drugs nor surgery and focus your regimen on leveraging the body’s natural ability to heal. 

Risks and Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor After a Car Accident

I want to emphasize the importance of sticking to your treatment plan outlined by your primary care doctor and specialists.  Following protocols, as all your doctors give them is critical to healing, but it’s just as important to make sure your health team communicates with each other.  That happens through your primary care doctor. 

At Slovin Chiropractic, we work closely with local primary physicians in accident cases because it’s the best way to coordinate effective care, so it doesn’t overwhelm you or our healthcare system with duplicate, excessive, or unnecessary studies and treatments. 

Many of these adverse effects happen when patients don’t follow treatment recommendations. We’ve seen people years after their accident, still fighting the same injuries that would have been resolved had they followed the plan.  Chiropractic care is both safe and effective and it takes commitment to get through the healing process. 

Chiropractic care offers benefits like:

·         Being able to identify the not-so-obvious injuries

·         Reduced inflammation

·         Minimized pain without drugs

·         Greater mobility or range of motion

·         Reduced scar tissue

·         No invasive procedures

·         Chiropractic care helps reduce the risk of future injuries

Reasons to See the Chiropractor After a Car Accident

Chiropractors can help treat a variety of problems following a car accident, including:

·         Whiplash

·         Neck or back pain from herniated discs

·         Headaches

·         Sciatica

·         Muscle, ligament, or joint pain

·         Sleep problems

·         Facet joint injuries

There are a few myths about chiropractors out there, but you need providers who are well-versed in whole-body treatments when it comes to an accident injury.  At Slovin Chiropractic Center in Norwalk, we’ve been successfully treating personal injury patients for two decades. A lot of that has to do with our communication and commitment to patients. 

Whether your accident injury is new or happened years ago, if you have pain, we can help. Let’s get you going on your natural healing journey. 

Sources:

Benefits of chiropractic care after an accident

Do I Need to See a Chiropractor After a Car Accident?

Chiropractic care can be crucial after an auto accident

Side Effects and Benefits of Chiropractic Care After a Car Accident

Body Pain & Aches: Is Your Food Killing You?

Body Pain & Aches: Is Your Food Killing You? 

You know the saying: “You are what you eat.” What if food is responsible for the total body pain and random joint, bone, and muscle aches you experience?

In the Scientific American article, Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious, the authors reported on a landmark study from the University of Texas that showed the fruit and vegetables of today, are not the same as what our parents and grandparents ate when they were kids. And it’s only getting worse.

Researchers from the study surveyed more than 40 different fruits and vegetables and found they all contained significantly lower levels of vitamin C, B12, iron, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. And the depletion isn’t happening in just fruits and vegetables either. Research from early 2018 published in Science Advances found nutrient loss in popular grains, too.

According to the Texas study, “Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance, and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly, but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.”  Humans need balanced nutrition, so is this essential nutrient depletion in our food killing us slowly and painfully?

The Health Dangers of Non-nutritious Food

Our supermarkets are stocked with preservatives, chemicals, and food-like products. These foreign substances can trigger serious health problems like obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, headaches, lower immunity, and a laundry list of others.

Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances are on the rise. Leaky gut syndrome is a significant cause of chronic inflammation, and irritable bowel syndrome cases are steadily rising, affecting 7-10% of the global population. These conditions are directly related to the type and nutritional value of the food you eat. Improper nutrition makes it difficult for your body to recover from the assault on your digestive tract.

The BIG Picture Impact of Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Research shows that approximately 3.6% of Americans have a food allergy or sensitivity, and that number continues to climb. Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances wage a chemical war on the body, leading to conditions like fibromyalgia and generalized back and body pain. The damage isn’t always immediately apparent either. Food-related symptoms are rarely consistent.

A healthy digestive system is critical to good physical and mental health. It’s responsible for breaking down and distributing food and nutrients.  Something as seemingly harmless as a few pieces of chocolate can lead to an immunologic, inflammatory, or toxic response, with symptoms like:

·         Headache

·         Muscle aches and joint pain

·         Diarrhea

·         Colitis

·         Asthma

·         Gout

·         Fibromyalgia

·         Generalized or chronic pain syndromes

·         Edema

·         Depression and anxiety

The food you eat matters more than anything else when it comes to good physical and mental health. 

Tips for Better Food Choices

Whether you’re going grocery shopping or out to eat, here are a few things to consider. These will help you focus on getting pain-fighting foods:

·         If you MUST eat fast food, choose a grilled chicken salad or something that’s not loaded with empty calories.

·         Be creative with home cooking so when you go out, you can eat a salad instead of something fried and smothered in butter.

·         Stay away from artificial sugars and sweeteners.

·         Buy organic every time you can. Most pesticides can’t be washed away.

·         Try the elimination diet to identify your food triggers.

See sources at the end of this article to learn more about these tips. 

At Slovin Chiropractic Center, we have over two decades of experience dealing with food-related problems that cause bone, joint, muscle, and total body pains. Pain isn’t easy to treat, but it always starts at home, inside your body and mind. We can help you find your way back to good health.  We’re accepting new appointments at our Norwalk office, and we’re available for telehealth consultations. 

Sources

Environmental Working Group: Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Shopper’s Guide

Healthline: How to do an elimination diet

National University of Natural Medicine: Addressing Chronic Inflammation

National Institutes of Health: The Effects of Ketogenic Diets on Inflammation and Chronic Pain

This presentation contains images that were used under a Creative Commons License. Click here to see the full list of images and attributions: https://link.attribute.to/cc/2063572

Accident-Caused Whiplash Injury?

7 Behaviors to Stop NOW

If you’ve ever been in an auto accident or know someone who has, you’re likely familiar with the severe symptoms of a whiplash injury. These can show up immediately to several days after the crash and include problems like:

·         Neck pain and stiffness

·         A neck injury in the tissues or muscles

·         Reduced range of motion in the neck

·         Sudden, sharp pains with neck movement

·         Shoulder, upper back, and arm pain, tenderness, or tingling

·         Dizziness

·         Fatigue

·         Headaches usually starting at the base of the skull

Depending on the extent and duration of the whiplash injury, you may also experience systemic symptoms, like:

·         Irritability

·         Depression

·         Sleep disturbances

·         Difficulty with focus, concentration, and memory

·         Tinnitus

·         Blurry vision

What to Know About Treating a Whiplash Injury

An automobile accident isn’t the only way to get a whiplash injury. Other causes include physical abuse or assault and contact sports, like football and even a rollercoaster ride.

We generally see whiplash symptoms within the first few hours of an accident, but they could also take weeks to manifest. Talk to a chiropractor after any event that forces your neck to extend and flex unnaturally.  It’s the best way to avoid long-term chronic pain issues resulting from an untreated or poorly treated whiplash injury. 

What the Science Says About Whiplash Treatments

In 2002, research published in the Emergency Medicine Journal reported several additions to whiplash treatment that have proven helpful in preventing long-term pain, including:

·         Education

·         Reassurance

·         More judicious use of therapy

·         Exercises

The researchers also provided several practical tips for achieving a better outcome in whiplash and accident recovery. Chiropractors know what works and what doesn’t for neck pain; several behaviors won’t work, too. 

Behaviors to Stop RIGHT NOW if You have Whiplash-Related Pain

Stop forcing movement

If moving your neck or head causes significant pain, stop trying to push it so much and seek immediate attention. A neck brace can help you immobilize the neck while you and your chiropractor work towards a physical healing plan.

Stop avoiding the doctor or missing visits

The patient-doctor relationship is a two-way street. Make and keep appointments on a regular schedule. Write down questions before you go and be a productive participant in your health care. If you need support or a new chiropractic provider who will listen to understand, my husband and I can help at Slovin Chiropractic Center.

Stop downplaying symptoms

If anything, exaggerate a little to help your doctor understand your pain. Don’t downplay. Tell us even if you’re experiencing seemingly unrelated symptoms like:

·         Dizzy spells

·         Imbalance

·         Blurry vision

·         Anxiety or depression (new or exacerbated)

Keep an open line of communication with your doctor so you can address issues in a positive, productive way.

Stop pessimistic thoughts

Focusing on the pain makes it more intense. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with symptom amplification, given all the attention to the pain in a whiplash injury case. Judges, jurors, lawyers, and doctors will have you talk about these problems a lot. Support your mental health by looking for the positives and celebrating minor victories.  Work with a chiropractor who will mark them with you. 

Stop doing home programs without chiropractic support

Google and YouTube are magic, but they’re not personalized medicine. You could hurt yourself by performing exercises or taking unknown supplements during recovery. Well-meaning people often give bad advice for back and neck pain on the internet. Instead, talk to a whiplash specialist, like us before starting an exercise routine. Otherwise, you risk making it worse. 

Stop slouching

Bad posture can make the pain much worse and lengthen your time in recovery. It’s tempting to try to move or position your body in a way that relieves pain, but if it’s not mechanically sound, you may end up making it worse.

Stop sitting so much

Sitting is the new smoking and just as unhealthy. Stand up and switch positions frequently to improve circulation. Movement gives your healing hormones and cells an unobstructed path to and from pain areas.

There’s a lot to love in Norwalk—plenty of activities to enjoy. We understand the urgency of recovering from whiplash to get back to doing what you love. Whether it’s jogging on the beach, shredding pow, pushing your endurance, or some other activity, our power team at Slovin Chiropractic Center can help you find your way back to it. 

Sources:

Emergency Medicine Journal: Prevention of chronic pain after whiplash

Mayo Clinic: Whiplash

VeryWell Health: How to Recover from Whiplash Injury

Stress Causing Pain? 3 Things Your Doctor CAN’T Do


Stress makes everything—especially pain—worse. Unfortunately, medical science and a doctor’s skill can only take you so far. We can show you the water, but it’s up to you to drink.

How Stress Impacts Health

Stress increases brain activity, making your nervous system more sensitive, and tightens the brain’s blood vessels. It’s often a subtle culprit to chronic pain, but it’s manageable when you’re aware of your stressors.

Chronic stress—physical, mental, or emotional—forces the body into survival mode. Your adrenal glands atop each kidney constantly release stress hormones, which inhibit the gland’s proper functioning. That affects other glands and organs as well.

Anything that runs at full speed for long periods is bound to overheat and eventually break down; your body’s stress response is no different. Even the most minor problems—like a traffic jam or a bad day at work—can affect your physical and mental health. Consistently high levels of big and small stressors lead to:

  • An overworked endocrine system that can’t keep up with high-stress demands
  • Too much effort required of the heart
  • Cravings for unhealthy and damaging foods
  • Higher risk of prediabetes, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome
  • Muscle tension, headaches, and back pain
  • Menstrual irregularities (or your period stops completely)
  • An overwhelmed immune system
  • Increased risk for chronic stomach pains and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Memory loss and cognitive decline

Stress is common in this chaos-driven world. It’s essential to learn ways of coping with stressors, primarily if it’s affecting your health and quality of life. Pain lowers your tolerance and kicks you in the teeth if left unaddressed.

I know it’s tough to change behaviors and find new coping mechanisms, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your doctor can help you find practices that work with your schedule, preferences, goals, and personal situation; however, there are a few things doctors can’t do for you when it comes to treating stress-induced pain.

We Can’t Do the Hardest Work

The hardest part of relieving stress-caused pain is what you do at home and in the privacy of your thoughts. That doesn’t mean your doctor can’t help you discover new coping mechanisms and support to reach your goals. It means we can’t change the way you think about and deal with your troubled teen, wandering spouse, or terrible boss. As a chiropractor, I can help relieve some of the tension in your spine, giving your internal body a fighting chance to regulate stress’s chemical and hormonal response. I’m able to provide you with a wealth of information about coping techniques, and I have dozens of resources at your disposal. The rest is up to you

We Can’t Make Promises About a Cure

Doctors aren’t in the habit of making promises, especially in medical treatments. I can’t and won’t promise spinal manipulation will relieve your neck pain. It probably will if you follow treatment protocols, but that’s not a promise I can keep. As your chiropractor, I can only promise to provide you with all the necessary tools to improve your health and quality of life.

We Can’t Make it Stop Without Time

As much as we wish it were different, doctors know there’s no magic touch or cure-all pill. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for stress-induced pain because, like everything else about you, each case is unique. We’re doctors, but we’re also whole humans bound by Time. Good health doesn’t happen overnight. With patience, perseverance, and commitment, a good doctor can help you through the long-haul journey.

If you’d like to learn more about how we treat chronic pain at Slovin Chiropractic Center, let’s have a chat! Our doctors stand ready to help you take the next step to a healthier life.

Request an Appointment

Resources:

Healthline: The Effects of Stress on Your Body

Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials: 7 Strange Things Stress Can Do to Your Body

EXCLI Journal: Experimental and Clinical Sciences: The Impact of Stress on Body Function: A Review

Get Off Your Butt!

Get Off Your Butt!

Think about it. You sit for everything:
• Driving
• Working
• Eating
• Watching a movie
• Waiting for appointments
• Going to the bathroom

Sitting is the new addiction.

Choosing to be more active sounds simple, but that doesn’t translate to easy.

Science Daily News published a study from University College London in early 2020, which reported,

“Too much time sitting still is linked to an increased risk of depressive symptoms in adolescents.”

As a chiropractor, I deal with a lot of sitting-related issues.

Here are a few ideas of how you can help yourself:

• Take the stairs
• Park in the back of the lot
• Walk the long way to your mailbox
• Ride a bike to work
• Take a walk at lunch
• A two-minute break every half hour for stretching

Symptoms of sitting too long include:

• Back pain and sciatica
• Neck pain
• Obesity
• Heart disease
• Type 2 diabetes
• Clots or DVT (deep venous thrombosis)
• Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

Ergonomic chairs and furniture may not be something you can implement right away, That’s okay!

Here are a few good posture tips:

• Sit up straight and support your back with a pillow
• At your desk, make sure your elbows are at 90-degree angles.

• When standing or sitting, keep your neck and shoulders straight.
• Avoid looking down at screens. Hold them up!

• When sitting, rest your feet on the floor so your knees are at least 90 degrees.

• At your desk, keep your mouse close so you don’t have to extend your elbow.
• Roll your shoulders and neck frequently.

• Move often, sitting no more than an hour at a time.

These tips can help, and if you need more help, give me a call. We can chat and get you some more answers. Until then!

How to Avoid Headache and Whiplash Injury During a Car Accident

Hi, I am Dr. Erik Slovin, from DrSlovin.com.

I am a chiropractic physician specializing in non-drug treatment for injuries that come from auto accidents and slip and falls.

Today, I wanted to talk about how to protect yourself from damaging your neck in a car accident.

Neck pain and headaches are often seen together. It’s common to suffer headache and migraine symptoms after a crash, so today I thought I’d teach you a few tips and tricks on what to do and how to set yourself up in a car so you are less likely to get hurt.

For years, insurance adjusters have claimed that the damage sustained by the car directly correlates with the damage sustained by its occupants (YOU). This is So VERY wrong.

Not too long ago, I heard a story of a young couple that just got married.

On the way to the airport for their honeymoon, they got into an accident. The husband was killed immediately. The wife didn’t have a scratch on her.

They were in the same car. How’s that possible?

Well, it goes to show you, the damage to the car is absolutely not equivalent to the damage endured by the person.

One thing has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the other.

Studies show you can suffer whiplash-related injuries such as headaches, neck pain, numbness and tingling into the hands and arm at speeds as slow as 2.5 mph. So basically, you can walk yourself into a wall when not paying attention and suffer a case of whiplash.

You don’t actually have to be in a car.

During a slip and fall, or a car crash, muscles, tendons and ligaments get pulled and stretched beyond their normal limits causing rips and tears ultimately causing you significant pain. Ligaments, for example, heal with scar tissue. Without proper management, they become weaker, less elastic, and highly prone to pain and re-injury.

Women have thinner, more flexible neck muscles then men, and are therefore at even greater risk of long term debilitating pain following an accident. Recent studies show that 80% of women who suffer neck muscle injuries continue to experience chronic pain even 15 years later.

So here are 3 ways to help you prevent whiplash and other serious side effects:

First, always wear your seat belt.

That goes without question. I don’t care how tall you are, how fat you are, if you’re’ pregnant or if your father has a comb over.

You need to wear your seatbelt.

Second.

Set up your seat, so that when you sit, the headrest sits one to two inches above the top of your head.

This will help prevent your head from ramping or extending up over the top of the headrest if you’re hit from behind.

Third.

Many of us have this thought that if we remain relaxed during a collision and just kind of go with the flow, that we won’t suffer a whiplash injury.

This couldn’t be more incorrect.

If you stiffen up, tuck your chin down a bit, keep your hands on the steering wheel without really gripping the wheel.

Your muscles can help protect you and you can greatly reduce your injuries.

Keeping your seatbelt fastened, setting up your head restraint properly and making sure your stiff upon collision are three things you can do to help yourself next time you think you may be in a crash.

I hope you have found these tips in this video helpful.

If you have, tag a friend, share the video. There’s lots of info in here that could quite possibly help someone avoid severe long-term whiplash-related symptoms.

Have you been able to avoid a whiplash injury from a recent accident? How? What did you do?

Let me know in the box below. I’m always happy to hear from you.

If you have any questions… please email me at :drslovin@drslovin.com and maybe I can answer your question in my next video.

Kinky Neck? 5 Tips to Get Rid of That Neck Pain

Kinky Neck? 5 Tips to Get Rid of That Neck Pain

Is there a kink in your neck you’ve been trying to work out? Looking for a way to relieve neck stiffness without hours of therapy?

It’s winter, and that cold weather isn’t exactly relaxing for your achy neck muscles. In fact, an upcoming storm or significant change in weather can create all sorts of pain in your neck and back.

In this article, I will give you a few tips to get rid of that neck pain and relieve the stiffness at home or work.

How Does a Kink in the Neck Happen?

A crick or kink in the neck happens due to injury to the small vertebral bones in the cervical spine.

The neck is very susceptible to injury because the bones are small, and the joints provide tremendous motion without many supporting structures. These are a few of the reasons why whiplash is so common after a car accident or slip and fall.

A kink in the neck is often caused by one of the following:

· Placing your neck in an awkward position for an extended period, such as while sleeping.

· Sitting slumped in your chair or looking down at your phone for a long time.

· Stretching or lifting abnormally.

· Improper form while weight-lifting or running.

· A pinched nerve, infection, or arthritis.

5 Tips to Get Rid of That Pesky, Kinky Neck Pain

One of the most common reasons you have a kink in the neck is you slept wrong or suffer with poor posture. Here are five things you can do right now to fix the neck pain and relieve stiffness.

1. Try the 60-second fix, which involves kneading away the cramp-like sensation in your neck by following these steps:

a. Identify the exact spot of stiffness or soreness.

b. Firmly push into the spot with your fingers, as hard as you can tolerate. If you feel a sharp pain, stop immediately and call your provider or me. You’ll want to get that checked.

c. While you have pressure on the area, turn your head slightly in the opposite direction of the neck pain. Bend your neck diagonally and point your chin toward your armpit. Hold for 5 seconds.

d. Repeat those steps 20 times in a row, stretching your neck and upper back afterward.

2. Another option is to identify the acupressure points in your neck based on the pain’s location and use those to help massage out the kink.

3. Change your sleep and sitting positions. Invest in ergonomic furniture that will put less pressure on your neck and other muscles.

4. “Text neck” is a massive problem today. Please stop looking down at your phone so often and for so long.

5. Leverage movement. Stretching and exercising will go a long way to keeping your spine strong and healthy.

Can a Chiropractor Help?

Obviously, I’m going to say yes; however, I encourage you to try the tips above first before trekking to an office in the dead of winter (or any time, really).

If you’re having trouble getting past the stiff neck pain, call my office! We’ll set up a safe time for an appointment, and I’ll help you work out the kink in your neck.

Keep Your Brain Moving and Stay Informed

For many, neck pain comes and goes. My monthly newsletter can help you gain control of your whole-body well-being. You’ll learn about specific movements and stretches for different parts of the body, natural healing remedies, and crucial medical science that involves the musculoskeletal system.

Whether you’re on my blog to meet a new chiro or just looking for information, signing up for my newsletter will help you stay up to date on all the latest posts and essential info that’ll keep you moving strong.

Sources:

Healthline – how to get rid of stiff neck

Healthline – Crick in the neck

Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy – Solve that Kink

Body Works Medical Center – Natural treatments for neck pain

4 Pieces of Back Pain Self-Care Advice You Must Ignore

We all have them – friends, colleagues, and family members who dish out back pain self-care advice as if they are expert healers. They mean well, most of them, but there’s a lot of junk advice out there.

I’ll tackle some of the worst back pain self-care advice anyone could give to someone in pain, especially when the pain is chronic. Before we jump into that, let’s start with the basics – what kind of back pain am I talking about?

Different Types of Back Pain
I’m talking about all of them because the self-care advice out there is pretty generalized. Back pain is complicated. There are a variety of things that could go wrong in the spinal column, and medical providers usually describe them according to the parts of the body responsible for the pain, including:

· Muscular injuries

· Nerve damage

· Joint pain

· Bony issues

The easiest way for your doctor to determine what’s going on in your back is for them to do a thorough medical history and diagnostic studies to look at the structures. Most importantly, however, will be how you describe the pain. The description is one of the most helpful things you can give to your provider.

Here are some of the ways to describe the different types of back pain:

· Mechanical pain is in one spot or region. You can point directly to the pain’s location. Some descriptors include dull or sharp, constant, comes and goes, and throbbing.

· Referred pain is often described as an achy or dull pain that tends to move around to different body regions. For example, degenerative disc disease can cause referred pain in the hips and legs.

· Radicular pain is often described as a shock-like or searing sensation and usually follows the line of nerves going down the spinal canal. This is typically the result of a compression injury and/or inflammation at the spinal nerve root. Sciatica is a common condition in this category and can be caused by a narrowed spinal canal, herniated disc, or spondylolisthesis.

 

 

The Unsolicited Back Pain Self-Care Advice You Should Avoid

There are a few doozies on the internet for back pain advice. Here are four pieces you should always avoid.

1. “Stay in bed for at least a week.” If you do that, your muscles will deteriorate, and recovery will be more difficult. Instead, spend no more than three days in bed for the back pain. Start gentle stretches or low-stress activities as soon as you can. The kind of stretches will depend on the injury, so be sure to speak with your chiropractor before starting any new moves.

2. “Take higher doses of an anti-inflammatory.” That’s like pouring rubbing alcohol into a fire. Don’t take higher doses; just go for a standard dose if needed. Use ice therapy. If this is a chronic problem, talk to your chiro about a vitamin and mineral supplementation regimen that targets inflammation.

3. “Everyone with back pain should get spinal manipulation.” As much as I’d like this to be accurate, it’s most definitely not. Chiropractic treatment may not be the right answer for something like acute pain from a tumor. Instead, work with your chiropractor to determine a treatment plan that not only addresses your current pain but actively works to repair the problem with the appropriate specialist.

4. “Your mattress needs to be extra firm.” Of course, you don’t want anything too soft, but a too-firm mattress can put more pressure on the spine. If your bed is too firm, try mattress toppers or pads to help soften the surface.

With the advent of the world wide web came an onslaught of information – some good, some bad, but I recommend reviewing the sources of this article and taking a close look at who is giving you advice. If you need some help sorting through all the material, give me a call! I’m available for safe, in-person appointments, as well as phone and video consultations. Don’t wait until it’s too late to talk to a chiropractic doctor who gives it to you straight.

Sources:

·         Spine Health: Understanding Different Types of Back Pain

·         Prevention: The Best and Worst Back Pain Advice

·         Choosing Wisely Canada: Treating Lower Back Pain: How much bed rest is too much?

·         WebMD: Vitamins and Supplements to Fight Inflammation