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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

7 Reasons to See a Chiropractor During Pregnancy

7 Reasons to See a Chiropractor During Pregnancy

Many women wonder if they should see a chiropractor while pregnant. More importantly, they question if it’s a safe way to treat those regular pregnancy pains.

Research shows 75% of pregnant women experience pelvic and back pain that increases with each passing month.  Medications are off the table, so how can you treat the pain? By getting regular chiropractic care throughout pregnancy to treat malalignments in the spine and pelvis.

In this article, I’ll go over risks of realignment in pregnant women, along with seven crucial reasons you should see a chiropractor during pregnancy.

Risks of Seeing a Chiropractor During Pregnancy

Even with all our awesome medical technology and science, pregnancy, labor, and delivery are still the riskiest things you will ever do as a woman. There really aren’t any risks to chiropractic care during pregnancy. It’s non-invasive and uses no medications.

However, pregnant women with the following conditions should first seek care with their primary provider or OB/GYN before consulting a chiropractor:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Ruptured amniotic membranes
  • Cramping
  • Sudden onset of pelvic pain
  • Premature labor
  • Placenta previa
  • Placenta abruption
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Moderate to severe toxemia

The 7 Reasons to See a Chiropractor During Pregnancy

So, you’re growing a human. That’s amazing! It’s also a huge responsibility to nurture and bring this life into existence safely. Ensuring their safety from the moment of conception is generally what the ‘Mom’ tag is all about.

Receiving chiropractic care while pregnant is one of the best and healthiest things you can do for yourself and your baby.  Here are the seven primary reasons you’ll want to see a chiropractor during pregnancy.

  1. An out-of-alignment pelvis can restrict the space your fetus has in which to grow and move. This is called ‘intrauterine constraint’ and often leads to birth defects.
  2. A misaligned pelvis can also lead to a difficult delivery, leading to a woman’s inability to have a natural, non-invasive birth.
  3. A well-aligned pelvis reduces your baby’s risk of moving into a breech or posterior position.
  4. Pelvic and spinal realignments help balance your body’s structure, making it easier to maintain pregnancy’s extra weight and movements.
  5. In addition to helping with back and pelvic pain, chiropractic care can help relieve pain in your joints, hips, and neck as well.
  6. A realignment frees the flow of fluids in your spinal column, which often translates into higher energy levels, better sleep, and less stiffness.
  7. Finally, there is some evidence to suggest women who’ve undergone chiropractic care during pregnancy have a smoother and faster delivery.

Now, if that last one didn’t get you hooked on seeing the chiro, I don’t know what will!

Having said that, before you tab over to Google and search for your new chiro, here are four myths about chiros that are actually true.  Learn a few things to watch out for and get a better understanding of how chiropractors work.

Are you in the Norwalk area?

Schedule an Appointment Today

Stay Informed

My monthly newsletter focuses on helping you gain control of your whole-body well-being. You’ll learn about specific movements and stretches for different parts of the body (including before, during, and after pregnancy), natural healing remedies, and crucial medical science that involves the musculoskeletal system.

Whether you’re here 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: Chiropractor While Pregnant: What Are the Benefits?

ACA Blogs: 5 Conditions Chiropractic Care Can Improve During Pregnancy

American Pregnancy Association: Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

 

This holiday season may your heart and home be filled with happiness, health, peace, and prosperity.
We look forward to seeing you in 2021.
With much love and gratitude, -Dr. Brenda, Dr. Erik, Yasmin, and Alejandra

Exploring the Connection Between Sleep Problems and Pediatric Migraines

Exploring the Connection Between Sleep Problems and Pediatric Migraines

There’s nothing quite as heart-wrenching as watching your child breakdown from the pain that is seemingly impossible to control. If you’ve ever thought, “what the hell is happening to my baby?!” then this article may be helpful for you. I’ll explore the link between sleep disturbances and pediatric migraines, identify a few health concerns, and provide ways you can help your child get and stay better.

What You Should Know About Childhood and Adolescent Migraines

Migraines in children are common and can be silent or ferociously painful in several ways. Here’s some research about pediatric migraines that’ll help you understand the condition better:

  • Infantile colic was a problem in children with migraines.
  • Mothers with migraines are 2.5 times more likely to have an infant with colic.
  • Fathers with migraines are two times more likely to have a colicky baby.
  • Boys aged 7 to 10 years can experience more migraines sooner than girls (until puberty, when girls tend to get more)
  • Food allergies lead to leaky gut syndrome, and leaky gut causes migraines. This is the biggest problem in most migraineurs.

How is Sleep Connected to Pediatric Migraines?

A 2008 study found that children with migraines are twice as likely to suffer from OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) than children without migraines. Researchers found that more than half (56%) of children with migraines suffered a sleep-related breathing disorder in that study. Children who got less sleep, took longer to fall asleep, and had shorter REM cycles reported severe migraine pain. 

What Happens When Your Child Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep?

Anyone who’s tried to wrangle a child into the car after a few nights of terrible sleep knows how a lack of it feels, but it doesn’t just cause irritability, crankiness, and a lot of tearful screaming. It also affects your child’s ability to learn and retain information in school and at home. Sleep deprivation lowers their pain (and patience) threshold, so symptoms are exacerbated. Further, sleep disturbance can cause conditions like:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding or jaw clenching)
  • ADHD
  • Learning disabilities
  • Psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety
  • Obesity

A Few Ways You Can Help Them

It can be summed up in one word: routine. There may be an allergy at play that’s making life difficult, and I would urge you to keep a close eye on food and drink, as these are the primary concerns in children with migraines. However, creating a sleep routine will be the ultimate support. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (including weekends) and creating a practice they do every night and morning. Involve them in the process. Ask what they’d like to do and make a calendar or set timers. Here are some ideas to add to your routine:

  1. Drink a small glass of warm water an hour before bed.
  2. Take a low dose of melatonin for a few nights. Melatonin is made naturally in the body, so this should be used just to help on rough nights.
  3. Take a warm bath or shower 30 minutes before bed.
  4. Keep the lights dim for 1-2 hours before bedtime.
  5. Limit noise and screen-time two hours before bed. Try not to let them have more than two hours of screen time a day. Interact with them: read a story, cuddle, color, or do something relaxing.
  6. Use aromatherapy by putting a diffuser in their room. Oils like lavender and peppermint can help them relax.
  7. Keep the bedroom clean, cool, and dark.

Sleep is the body’s natural state. It is necessary for survival and good health. A lack of it can be problematic for both adults and children. It has no bias – no matter who you are or what you do, your body will break down if you don’t sleep. In the development years of childhood and adolescence, sleep deprivation can alter their life’s path and make becoming a productive member of society more difficult. I want to help. If you need support, have questions, or want to know more about me, please reach out through social media or my website.  You aren’t alone.

 

Sources:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine: Link Between Migraines and Sleep Disorders in Children

PubMed (Headache): Pediatric Headache and Sleep Disturbance

Springer Link (Current Pain and Headache Reports): Pediatric Migraines and Academics

JCSM: Sleep Disturbance in Pediatric Intracranial Hypertension

Why Do Some Get Sick and Others Don’t?

Pasteur Was Wrong. “It’s Not The Seed. It’s The Soil”

Conventional Western medicine is based upon the tenets of germ the theory. It’s the basis for the use of antibiotics and vaccines. The germ theory states that certain diseases are caused by the invasion of the body by microorganisms (seeds), organisms too small to be seen except through a microscope.

The French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) is given much of the credit for development and acceptance of the theory.

The germ theory was partly shaped around Pasteur’s idea that the human body is sterile and devoid of any germs. According to the germ theory there are fixed, external germs, which invade the body and are the direct cause of a variety of separate and definable diseases.

However, there is another theory called the terrain theory, which believes that it is not the “germ” that determines disease, but rather, the state of our internal health (the host).

What If Pasteur Was Wrong?

Pasteur’s friend, the physiologist Claude Bernard (1813-1878), argued instead for the importance of balance in the body’s internal environment – what he called le milieu intérieur“ or terrain theory.

The terrain theory initiated by Claude Bernard and later built upon by Antoine Bechamp (1816-1908), claimed there was a healthy terrain which could handle various pathogenic (disease causing) microorganisms that were encountered. Béchamp’s research revealed that our bodies are, in effect, are “mini ecosystems.”

When an individual’s internal ecosystem becomes weakened (dis-ease)—whether due to poor nutrition, toxicity, stress, trauma, or other factors—it changes the function of the microbes that are naturally present in the body, producing disease.

In other words, microorganisms only become pathogenic (cause of disease) after the host’s cellular “terrain” has been compromised.

The renowned 20th century French-American microbiologist René Dubos (1901-1982) agreed with Bernard’s terrain principle: “Most microbial diseases are caused by organisms present in the body of a normal individual. They become the cause of disease when a disturbance arises which upsets the equilibrium of the body.”

Modern research validates the terrain theory with numerous studies showing how a healthy terrain can repel certain disease processes, including viruses, bacteria, and even ulcers.

For instance, consider the study In Science, which looked into immune responses to Heliobacter –a germ/pathogen, strongly associated with ulcers, chronic gastritis, stomach cancer, and other gut issues.

The researchers looked at what happened to mice when samples of the bacteria were introduced into their guts under differing conditions. They found that introducing it into healthy mice raised in a nearly germ-free environment, caused no harm.

But when the same type of bacteria was introduced to the gut of an unhealthy mouse with colitis (inflammation of the colon), it caused an immune threat response by causing the gut inflammation to even become worse.

Humans are mostly microbes/germs, over 100 trillion of them. These viruses, bacteria, and other microbes outnumber our human cells ten to one. The majority of these microbes live in our gut, particularly in the large intestine. The bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and other needed vitamins. The microbiome is essential for human development, immunity and nutrition. The bacteria living in and on us are not invaders but beneficial colonizers.

Researchers who study the microbiome point out that under optimal circumstances, exposure to microorganisms educates the immune system “from the moment we are born”—and that “correct microbial-based education of immune cells may be critical in preventing the development of autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Diminished microorganism diversity in the gut has been associated with a variety of conditions including “allergies, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and mood disorders.

The presence of germs does not constitute the presence of a disease. Germs or bacteria have no influence, whatsoever, on live cells. They are not the cause of the disease, any more than rats, flies and maggots cause garbage. Flies, maggots, and rats do not cause garbage but rather feed on it. You normally don’t find rates in a clean environment. However, rats are common in garbage-plagued areas.

Rudolf Virchow, father of the germ theory, stated in his later years, “If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat–diseased tissues–rather than causing disease.”

We do not catch diseases. We do however, invite them through our choices in what we eat, drink, and think, our daily habits, and lifestyle. These choices, day in, day out year after year, create our internal environment and the state of our health! Healthy choices typically are rewarded with a healthier terrain. Poor health choices, over time, create the environment for disease.

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine doctors recognize that certain germs trigger unwanted infections. These germs include cold, flu, herpes, mono, and other viruses.

But rather than blaming the germ, functional medicine focuses on the underlying health of the host or their terrain.

The goal of functional medicine is to optimize and restore balance to the body’s own self-healing mechanisms to prevent or overcome disease.

I believe optimal health is created through maintaining a healthy diet, ongoing health habits (exercise, prayer, mediation, hobbies, etc.), genes, environment, emotional and physical stress, and nutritional status-all determines the health of our terrain and resistance to dis-ease.

God Gave Us The Ability To Be Self-Healing Dynamos

Humans are born with an innate, inborn healing system. We don’t have to think about mending a broken bone, healing a cut finger or fighting off a virus.

Our body is equipped with the chemicals and genetic instructions needed to stay healthy. Genetics, environment, emotions, stress, diet, daily habits, and lifestyle all play a role in determining the state of our health. But the healthier our terrain, the less likely we will be vulnerable and attract disease.

What do you need to do to have a healthy terrain?

  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Avoid sugar it compromises your immune system.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Get plenty of rest. Consistent deep restorative sleep is crucial.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid “junk food.”
  • Laugh often.
  • Stretch or gentle exercise on a daily basis.
  • Stay connected to family and friends. Pick up your phone and give them a call.

 

The BEST thing you can do to reduce your risk of COVID-19 infection is to avoid coming in contact. And practice super vigilant hygiene-frequently wash your hands any time you go out in public.

Please know that stress can compromise your immune system and sabotage your terrain.

Second, on the list is to remain calm. Don’t stress out, it will only lead to more stress and a weakened immune system. Meditate, pray, do easy stretches and exercise daily. Turn off the news and watch a funny movie or “oldie.”

As my mom would always say “this too shall pass.”

Third, address any underlying health issues with the appropriate nutrients. Take  good multivitamin, digestive enzyme, probiotic, etc.

A strong immune system and healthy body is your best defense against COVID-19 or any illness.

By the way its said that Pasteur renounced his germ theory on his death-bed, saying that “Bernard is right. The microbe is nothing. The environment is everything.”