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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

4 Myths About Chiropractors That are Actually True

The popular TV series, MythBusters, uses different aspects of the scientific method to debunk or prove popular myths. It’s such a fun show to watch. When it comes to chiropractic methods, I’m always looking around for legends to debunk every chance I get; however, some myths are actually true! Those are the ones I’d like to talk about today.

The Myth:  Chiropractors Only Focus on the Spine

Well, of course that’s true, our main focus is your spine – But it’s important to understand your chiropractor isn’t only focused on the spine. Many of us love taking care of extremities like your shoulders, ankles, and knees as well. We are well-skilled practitioners in the entire musculoskeletal system. Our focus is our solid understanding of your nervous systems.

The Myth:  Chiropractors Aren’t Doctors

True, chiropractors are not medical doctors. We are board-certified Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine who don’t prescribe medications or perform invasive procedures.  Instead, we focus on helping the body heal itself by reducing inflammation on your nerves.

 

The Myth:  Chiropractic Care Costs Too Much

Some insurances don’t cover chiropractic care, but most do. So this may feel and be true for some people but not for most.

Several studies over the years have looked at the cost of traditional healthcare versus chiropractic care and found that undergoing regular chiropractic care was significantly less than the cost of medical expenses.  In a North Carolina study, over 43,000 workman’s comp claims were examined over the course of 19 years.  It was discovered that the average claim managed by a medical doctor was $21,000, while chiropractic care costs only added up to $663, an 82% decrease!  Moreover, with chiropractic care, injured workers lost only 33 days of work on average while those under the care of an MD were out for 200 days or more.  A Nevada workers’ comp study supported these findings as well and found that loss of work time is one-third less with chiropractic care than with medical care.

The Myth: Chiropractors Are Sports Doctors

We work with a lot of athletes here in Norwalk as well as with those who are very physically active; however, chiropractic patients come from all walks of life. We also work with car accident victims, migraine and headache patients, those with fibromyalgia, as well as with people with a variety of other chronic conditions that are nearly impossible to treat only with medication.

So, it’s true, we are “sports doctors”.  As long as your injuries are not life-threatening, we work with anyone who has a spine and a pulse.

The Myth:  Chiropractic Care isn’t Mainstream

This one is a flat-out myth.

Chiropractic care is one of the world’s largest leading healthcare and healing professions. Chiropractors work closely with medical doctors and surgeons to offer the patient well-rounded, coordinated care.  It is estimated that Doctors of Chiropractic treat more than 30 million people annually. Today, Doctors of Chiropractic comprise the third largest group of doctorate-level, portal-of-entry primary-care providers in the nation, next to medical doctors and dentists.

The medical and health industries are great with misinformation. If you have some chiropractor myths you’d like to sort out, let’s have a chat. You can call my office, reach me on social media, or simply fill out the form on this website to get in touch. Ask your questions, get your answers, and start moving better.

Sources:

American Chiropractic Association

National University of Health Sciences

Medical News Today

https://getgreaterlifechiropractic.com/the-cost-of-chiropractic-care-vs-traditional-health-care/

Why Every Athlete in Oyster Town Should Consider Spinal Realignment

Keeping the body in tip-top shape for competition isn’t always easy. The last year has been a real challenge for many athletes and athletic-minded people here in Norwalk and all around the country. Many have been sidelined and benched thanks to the bully on the field, COVID-19.

But just because you may not be in the game right now, it doesn’t mean you should stop working to be your best self, and part of that means getting regular spinal realignments.

What to Expect Here

We’re athletes, so we get it. Being out of the game plays with your emotions and can be demotivating. Perhaps there’s a little more stress to release in your workouts, or maybe you haven’t been working out at all (I hope that’s not the case)! A spinal realignment could be just what you need to give your energy a healthy boost and readjust your mood in either scenario.

This post will talk about what a spinal realignment is and how it affects your body.  After that, I show you the top five benefits every athlete in Oyster Town can benefit from, even if you’re temporarily benched.

What Exactly Is A Spinal Realignment?

Sometimes referred to as spinal manipulation or adjustment, a realignment is precisely what you’d expect it to be; it’s a chiropractor using a specific force to put your vertebrae (the bones in your spine) back in their correct place.

A spinal realignment improves your range of motion, which is just a fancy way of talking about your ability to move around and do all those snazzy dance moves you’ve been working on in quarantine. A spinal realignment can also reduce the pesky lower back pain that tends to be a thorn in the side for many athletes.

What Happens When the Spine is Out of Alignment?

You can survive with your spine out of alignment, but you may not like it much. It causes a distracting level of discomfort, prevents an even flow of your body’s fluids, and makes movement a chore. Once you get a few regular realignments, however, you’ll feel the difference of a misalignment.

Allowing a spinal misalignment to go on for an extended period can cause sluggishness, extreme fatigue, and irritability. It can also lead to headaches, muscle pain, and joint stiffness too.

 

How Athletes Benefit from Spinal Realignment

There are several benefits athletes receive from a spinal realignment. Here are the top five:

  1. Perhaps most importantly, a realignment can enhance performance. You’ll feel more energized, even in the cold, wet winters of Norwalk.
  2. There are no drugs or chemicals involved. Drugs and chemicals that treat back pain and discomfort can tank your performance.
  3. A misalignment can exacerbate even the smallest injury, but regular spinal manipulation will strengthen your spine and help you prevent serious injury.
  4. Related to #3, not only can regular spinal realignments strengthen the spine, but it can reduce recovery time when you pull a muscle doing that fancy footwork, break a bone in your push to the winning line, or lift those weights without proper support.
  5. Finally, every athlete has some pain, whether from a previous injury or something new. Spinal realignment opens the flow of nurturing and nourishing fluids that help reduce common pains in athletes and active people.

 

How to Recognize a Misalignment

You can see if your spine is out of alignment in the following ways?

  1. Check the heels on your shoes. If they wear out unevenly, you’re putting too much pressure or weight on one leg, which could mean your spine needs to be realigned.
  2. If it’s difficult to pivot your head or hips easily, you’ll want to talk to us about a spinal realignment.
  3. Check the way you walk or run.  Go in a straight line for about 20 yards. If there is any limping or hobbling, it’s time to schedule a spinal realignment.

Staying in shape is vital for athletes, even during the cold weather and darker months. Spinal realignments can help keep your body healthy and your mood uplifted.  Please schedule an appointment with us to get the VIP treatment for your spinal realignment. Our office is safely organized and appropriately sanitized.

 

Sources:

5 Benefits of Chiro Care for Athletes

Chiropractic Medicine for Athletes

9 Signs Your Spine is Out of Alignment

“The Silent Epidemic”

People all over the world have spent months indoors, and the more time you spend inside, the likelihood of obtaining a healthy amount of sunlight exposure, and the vitamin produced as a result — vitamin D3 — continues to decline.

Why does this matter? [Watch video HERE]

Vitamin D deficiency has been called a, “The Silent Epidemic,” and some experts estimate that as high as 90% of Americans – or 9 in 10 – suffer from it.

Vitamin D functions more like a hormone than a vitamin, with extremely minute doses being essential for the regulation of most of the genes in the human body as well as innumerable cellular pathways and processes. Perhaps the most well-known function of vitamin D’s role in the modulation and regulation of the human immune system. There’s compelling evidence to suggest optimizing your vitamin D level can reduce your risk of COVID-19 and other viral infections such as seasonal influenza. A number of different scientists are calling for people and governments to prepare for the second wave of COVID-19 come fall, both in the U.S. and abroad. Considering SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to be responsive to temperature and humidity, with infectiousness increasing with lower temperatures and humidity levels, we’re likely going to see a reemergence of COVID-19 infections in the fall, during normal influenza season.

Which brings me to my point.

Right now, what’s REALLY IMPORTANT: Optimize Your Vitamin D Level Before Fall!

What this means is you now have a known “deadline” for optimizing your vitamin D level. To improve your immune function and lower your risk of viral infections, you’ll want to raise your vitamin D to a level between 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and 80 ng/mL by fall.

Historically, December typically has the highest flu activity in the U.S., but it would probably be good to aim for October, or maybe even earlier depending on your location. Optimizing your vitamin D is particularly important if you have darker skin, as darker skin places you at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency — and serious COVID-19 infection. As reported by The Guardian, the COVID-19 mortality among black Americans is three times higher than that of whites, and researchers have long known that blacks cannot achieve optimal vitamin D levels from sun exposure at any time of the year in Northern America.

So, how do you go about optimizing your vitamin D level?

First, you need to find out what your base level is, this is done using a simple blood test.  Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. Again, the ideal level you’re looking for is above 40 ng/mL, and ideally between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL  The easiest way to raise your level is by getting regular, safe sun exposure, but if you’re very dark-skinned, you may need to spend about 1.5 hours a day in the sun to have any noticeable effect. Those with very light skin may only need 15 minutes a day, which is far easier to achieve. Still, even with light skill people will typically struggle to maintain ideal levels during the winter. So, depending on your situation, you may need to use an oral vitamin D3 supplement. How much do you need? On average, people should take approximately 27 IU of D per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 100 lbs, you should take 2700IU of D daily. If the average male weighs 170 lbs, you should be taking approximately 4500IU of D, depending upon your skin color and your base dose of course.

I urge everyone to share this information with friends, family, and community at large so that we can minimize a second outbreak. The media is already telling us we are going to have another outbreak. They are going to make sure it happens.

Optimizing your vitamin D could help save many lives; far more than any vaccine program ever could.