Kids with Ear Infections and how Chiropractic can Help

Often, when I tell people that chiropractic can help children, I see very surprised faces. It’s something that not many people are aware of; even those that already are under chiropractic care.

Chiropractors around the world give care to thousands of children every day. Chiropractic care is a natural and noninvasive form of care and can help children better fight off chronic childhood illnesses, such as ear infections, that traditionally are being treated with medications. You may wonder HOW?

The nerve system controls and coordinates all systems of the body, including the regulation of the immune system. Is a healthy functioning spine important for the child’s nerve system? YES is the right answer! Why? The bony structures of the spine protect the nerve system, specifically the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots. When a vertebra is out of it’s original position, it can put pressure on the surrounding nerve structures – which interferes with the nerve messages between the brain and the body and vive versa. As a result the brain, that intelligently runs our bodies, is less able to create function and coordination, which translates into true health.

Ear infections (Otitis Media)

Otitis Media, one of the most common childhood illnesses, is referred to as ear infection. Typically the primary symptoms are pain and discomfort in the area surrounding the ear, as well as: fever, fluid draining, loss of appetite, grumpy behavior and trouble sleeping.

Traditionally, ear infections are treated with oral antibiotics or ear antibiotic drops. However, very few are aware of the poor effects of antibiotics:

  • Many ear infections are caused by viruses, which are unaffected from antibiotics.
  • It is a well-established fact that 80% of uncomplicated ear infections self resolve, without the use of antibiotics within 3 days.
  • Antibiotics have a number of devastating side effects such as imbalanced gut flora and digestive issues.
  • Overuse of antibiotics has caused an epidemic of super bugs; bacteria that are resistant to drugs!

According to Dr. Lawrence B. Palevsky (MD, FAAP, DABHM), a renowned pediatrician, lecturer and published author; a natural approach is not only more sensible, but also it’s more effective!! One of the natural interventions that Dr. Palevsky recommends is chiropractic.

A recent literature review in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine underlines how effective it can be, as children have benefited under chiropractic care for more than 100 years. The article, written in 2012, critically evaluated 49 articles and discovered that several case series, case reports and clinical trials all come to the same conclusion: chiropractic adjustments can help kids to heal natural even from ear infections! No adverse effects were observed during the treatment of the child.

Very few are aware of the benefits of regular chiropractic care and its role in wellness and functioning of the body. Not only does it help children/people with neck and back pain, it also allows them to express a greater state of health – even being able to overcome repeated infections when neuro-immune function is restored. We believe if every child was under chiropractic care, ear infections wouldn’t be the epidemic that is today.

References:
Otitis media and spinal manipulative therapy: a literature review (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3437347/)

How to save yourself from back pain when on holiday in Benidorm

Thousands of Brits come flocking over to Benidorm for their holidays to enjoy the sun, beach and to relax. It is a “home” from home offering British everything they desire. However, we see hundreds of holiday makers every year who have a flare up of back pain. They may have a chiropractor or osteopath in the UK who has treated previous episodes but now they are on vacation. Why now??. Here is the reason why:

They arrive in Spain after sitting for 3 hours in the most inconvenient and uncomfortable seat (Ryanair). Then in a twisted position they pull the hand luggage (which typically weighs that bit more than the 10kg allowance) out from the luggage compartment with muscles that are half asleep after not moving for hours. After that they get their suitcases which weighs 20.0 kilos and no more…, plonking all onto the trolley (which has a mind of it’s own) to go and sit on a bus for another hour to do the same routine again getting up to the hotel room.
Not surprisingly (at least to us chiropractors), the onset of excruciating back pain begins within 24 hours after the damage has been done.

If you are reading this and thinking “that’s me right now”, don’t wait, pick up the phone and call us to see if we can still save your holiday.

If you are reading this in hope to prevent any future back pain flaring up, good on you. Here are four simple steps to prevent back pain when on holiday:

1. When lifting your luggage always bend your legs (as opposed to your waist) and never ever stand twisted while doing so. Then you are asking for trouble. Equal amount of weight in boths hands if possible.

2. Make use of the trolleys. They cost 1GBP in England and they are free in Alicante.

3. Get up and activate your muscles 30 minutes before the plain expect to land. Walking, stretching, rocking your hips is sufficient. Before grabbing your overweight hand luggage from the overhead compartment tense your stomach muscles (in a good erect posture) which helps protect the back.

4. When you finally arrive in Benidorm go for a walk or take a swim as soon as possible. This might help get rid of any muscle stiffness you might have picked up.

At Advanced Chiropractic in Albir (no more than 10 min drive from Benidorm) we have licensed chiropractors with many years of experience helping people with acute back pain, sciatica, stiff necks and other conditions related to the spine.

If you would like to book an appointment contact us via email; info@bjargo.com  or phone; +34 9668 65432

Back pain, Disc Injury and How Chiropractic Can Help

Disc injury in the low back is commonly referred to as a “slipped disc“. This is a common cause of low back pain in the general adult population up to the age of 60.

Disc injuries vary in location and degree, from micro annular tears to full-blown hernias with displacement of disc material. As the name suggests, they involve damage to the Intervertebral Discs (IVDs) in the vertebral column.

IVDs provide the vertebral column with shock absorption and flexibility. They are rounded in shape and consist of a tough fibrous outer layer and a softer gel-like nucleus. Their unique physiological structure allows them to absorb compressive forces to the spine throughout the day by slowly releasing the water contained in their nucleus and decreasing in height.
The water is then reabsorbed during the night when the spine is relaxed and free from the loading of the standing posture. As the water is reabsorbed the discs regain their height and are ready to serve their functions once again.

So how can the disc be injured?

Injuries to IVDs are either caused by violent traumas, which exceed the shock absorption capabilities of the disc or by improper loading.
Improper loading is by far the most common cause of disc injuries. The curves in the vertebral column, namely the cervical, thoracic and lumbar curves allow for any weight acting on the body to be correctly distributed on the discs through movement. Often bad posture and incorrect movement patterns cause the normal curves in the lumbar and cervical area to be lost under loading. Flexion in the lumbar and cervical areas stretches the posterior outer layer of the IVD by pushing the nucleus material back against it.

Unfortunately, the IVD’s structure is not designed to withstand shear forces to its posterior margin, so it buckles and tears under load. If improper loading of an IVD is repeated long enough (months, years at times) even picking up a light object in the garden might be sufficient to cause the outer layer to reach its resistance limit and finally buckle.

How are the nerves affected?

Interestingly enough, direct pressure of a prolapsed or herniated disc on a nerve root is not very common. In most cases, it is the body inflammatory response to the tear in the IVD’s outer layer, which causes swelling and eventually irritation of a nerve root or spinal cord level.
The most common areas of the spine affected by disc injuries are the cervical area and the lumbar area. Symptoms can vary from local pain, to pain and/or pins and needles down one or both arms or one or both legs. Muscle function in the upper and lower limb might also be affected.

So how can chiropractic help?

In the acute phase, prone disc pumping (downward pressure at the injured level) can speed up the re-absorption of the inflammation and allow for a faster recovery.

Moreover, adjusting the dysfunctional segments in your spine allows for normal biomechanics to be restored and for the disc to start healing.
Finally, regular check ups on correct function of your spine and rehabilitative exercises (Redcord) will minimize the chances of re-injuries while allowing for the IVD to fully heal, a process that can take from 12 to 18 months after the symptoms have disappeared!

How do you know if you have injured a disc?

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You could be experiencing pain in the low back and down the leg or pain in the neck, shoulder, arm and hand. These symptoms could feel worse with coughing/ sneezing and could make walking or moving your arm difficult.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or you are concerned about improper loading of your spine while at work or at home book a neurostructural examination today with one of our chiropractors.

The chiropractor will test the responsiveness of your nerves to determine whether they are being affected or not. He will also assess the structure and alignment of your spine and provide you with a tailored corrective care plan.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you are experiencing intermediate numbness, tingling or pain in the thumb and adjacent two and half fingers in one or both hands, you might be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

CTS is by far the most common (90%) of all nerve compression syndromes with 1 out of 20 people in the U.S. affected by it.

People between the age of 45 to 60 and pregnant women in their third trimester are most affected. Specifically women are found to be three times more likely to suffer with this condition when compared to men.

CTS has been associated with a number of metabolic and endocrine diseases including diabetes and hypothyroidism, as well as mechanical reasons such as repetitive use of the hand and bad posture during office work.

The carpal tunnel is a C-shaped tunnel formed by the small bones in the wrist at the top and a band-like ligament at the bottom. It acts as protection for a number of tendons and the median nerve as they pass from the forearm to the hand.

The textbook definition of CTS is “compression and subsequent inflammation of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel of the hand.”

However, chiropractors with their extensive knowledge of the nervous system know that often the cause is not as simple.

To this regard, a study published in the British Medical Journal the Lancet, found evidence of cervical neuritis (nerve irritation) in over 70% of all CTS patients suggesting a correlation between cervical subluxations and CTS.

This can be explained by the fact that the carpal tunnel in the hand is only one of the places where the median nerve can get entrapped and inflamed. The cervical and higher thoracic area of the spine and the elbow joint need to be assessed as well for misalignments causing pressure along the course of the nerve and the symptoms that come with it.

If you are experiencing any of the CTS symptoms or you think to be at risk of developing CTS contact one of our chiropractorstoday at Advanced Chiropractic to assess the alignment of your spine and peripheral joints.

Chiropractic care before, during and after pregnancy

The importance of chiropractic care before, during and after pregnancy cannot be stressed enough.

Most pregnant women seek chiropractic care during the last trimester of pregnancy complaining of low back pain. Although chiropractic care can help them immensely, if they had started chiropractic care prior to get pregnant or at an earlier stage of pregnancy most of their symptoms could have been prevented or significantly reduced.

Research shows that one of the major reasons for low back pain during pregnancy and complications during labour is correlated to poor maternal musculoskeletal health and sedentary lifestyle.

Moreover, as full term nears, good maternal posture is found to lower the risk of intrauterine constraint and to encourage the fetus to take up an occiput anterior position at the start of labour.

How can good musculoskeletal health and maternal posture be secured? Answer: by adjusting the spine and restoring the normal biomechanics of movement! The evidence shows that chiropractic care decreases mean duration of labour by 24% in the first pregnancy and 39% in the subsequent pregnancies when compared to medical care.

It goes without saying that a faster delivery also greatly reduces the risk of complications and traumas to the newborn and his/her spine!

Finally, chiropractic care can assist and speed up recovery from the mechanical stresses of delivery to the mothers’ pelvic girdle and her body as a whole.

Breastfeeding is best for mom and baby

There are many benefits of nursing, and expectant mothers should definitely be cautioned about the influence of baby formula advertisements according to many studies. Mothers who were give formula information were five times more likely to stop breastfeeding the first few days after delivery.

This is very sad, as the newborn baby needs to build its immune system. Through mothers colostrums in the first six weeks of life it will enhance greatly.
Besides it creates a deeply emotional relationship between mother and baby.

Nursing allows an emotional development of the baby, produces better psychomotor development, allows better growth and helps faster recovery from illness. Breast milk contains its own antibiotics that will help baby maintain good health.

Through breast milk, baby will diminish the possibilities of infant colic, diabetes, ear infection, allergic illness, diaper rash, and prevent development of germs in the intestines and help against tooth cavity.
Also breastfeeding assists the mother by reducing the risk of ovarian and breast cancer, puerperal bleeding, depression and osteoporosis.

Other benefits include saving money and time and offering a more hygienic way of feeding. The baby will get all the nutrients it needs from the mother.

There is nothing more natural than a mother breastfeeding her child.

Written by Melissa Thelwall Bjargo

Chiropractic – The beginning

In 1985 the first specific chiropractic adjustment was made on a janitor named Harvey Lillard. Some 18 years previously he turned deaf after falling off a ladder on to his neck. Daniel David Palmer (DD) found that a vertebra had misaligned in Harvey’s neck causing sufficient pressure upon the nerve that controls hearing. He corrected the vertebra into alignment and after 3 sessions Harvey’s hearing had returned, fully.

The USA had a much smaller population back then and word got round all over the country that DD Palmer has the cure for deafness. Unfortunately for them, not everyone was cured. However, DD noticed other ailments and diseases disappearing and from their chiropractic grew as a health profession. His son BJ Palmer developed chiropractic to another level. He strived for excellence. He studied the brain and nervous system in such detail and this was in a time where medicine didn’t put much importance on the nervous system. The blood and circulatory system controlled everything they said. How wrong were they.

BJ Palmer also brought chiropractic to Europe, he first formed the British Chiropractic Association and things grew from there. Chiropractic was under a lot a scrutiny from the medical profession in the USA in the 1900’s and chiropractic was only legalized by the government because of its effects on the flu. Chiropractic was considered a health benefit, a bit like how we view vitamins today, and it was the only thing that showed to slow down the flu epidemic.
In the late 1900’s medical insurance companies started to pay for a part of chiropractic care. Chiropractors were happy, their patients just as happy until the insurance companies stated they would only pay for care for people who have back and neck pain. This reduced the scope of chiropractic from an overall health benefit to back and neck pain doctors.

In Spain we are fortunate to have kept our roots. People know and love chiropractic for its powerful effect on the body’s nervous system and what it controls. People come through our door with a range of ailments such as; flu, asthma, high blood pressure, hypo/hyperthyroidism, migraines, whiplash, and more, for preventative care and for optimal health.

In our chiropractic centre in Albir (between Benidorm and Calpe) we respect our patients’ wishes and give the best, most specific chiropractic service suited for their needs. Since 2004 we have helped over 5000 patients.
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Chiropractic, Backpain and Structural Radiographs

Backpain affects more than 80% of the general population at some point in their lives. It is the bread and butter in most chiropractic centres.

At Advanced Chiropractic this is how we deal with this:

After a complete Complete Structural Chiropractic Examination we often find that pain is coming from a structural problem in the spine. At this point we often take some structural radiographs (x-rays)

X-rays are very common to diagnose problems with the bones and joints. At Advanced Chiropractic we use x-rays differently to how a medical doctor would use them. We analyse the exact positions of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) and pelvis by a very specific line analysis.

Once we have performed our analysis we can then use the most specific corrective chiropractic technique to remove the structural distortion.

Pregnant women are not recommended to receive x-rays.

Do I have a pinched nerve?

An irritated nerve is more common than a pinched nerve.

It is referred to as a facilitative lesion which is a technical way of saying an irritated nerve. Spinal bones and adjacent soft tissues rub, stretch, twist or irritate delicate nerve tissue, affecting how nerve signals are transmitted either to or from the brain. This can affect organs and tissues distant from the spine.

The least common is the pinched nerve, also called a compressive lesion.  This is the classic, hard bone on a soft nerve model. While easy to understand, as a practical matter, it’s relatively rare. Numbness and tingling are often present, but not always.

In either case, the chiropractic approach is to help normalize the relationships between the bones, discs and nerves. With restored positional and functional integrity, symptoms usually subside and health can return.

When patients say they have a pinched nerve, we know what they mean. The good news is, regardless of what you call it; at Advanced Chiropractic we have an unusually high success rate without the use of drugs or surgery.

How autopsies proved chiropractic care nearly 100 years ago

Dr Henry Windsor, a medical doctor, was incredibly interested by patients who effortlessly became healthy from disease when under chiropractic or osteopathic spinal care (the traditional form of osteopathy).

“How do chiropractors and osteopaths get people better without drugs or surgery?” he asked.

Using the principles of chiropractic he developed a unique study, on animals and humans that will help him find a relationship between the health of the spine and any diseased organ.

In 3 separate medical studies, Dr Windsor dissected 75 human cadavers and 22 cat cadavers. Of these 97 subjects he found 221 diseased organs.

His objective was to find the diseased organs and see if the spinal nerves which control those organs were affected. This is what Dr Windsor wrote:

“(Of the 221 diseased organs) 212 were observed to belong to the same sympathetic (nerve) segments as the vertebrae in curvature
 These figures cannot be expected to exactly coincide
for an organ may receive sympathetic filaments (nerve endings) from several spinal segments.”

So, Dr Windsor found a 95.9% correlation between a minor misalignment in the spine and the diseased organ. These are some examples he found:

Misalignments in the upper thoracic spine (T1-5):

Heart Disease: 100% correlation between the diseased heart and the nerves which control the heart. All 20 cases of heart and pericardium conditions had the upper five thoracic vertebrae misaligned.

Lung Disease: 100% correlation between the diseased lung and the nerves which control the lung. All 26 cases of lung disease had spinal misalignments of the upper thoracic spine.

Misalignments in the mid-thoracic spine (T5-9):

Stomach Disease: 100% correlation between the diseased stomach and the nerves which control the stomach. All 9 cases of stomach disease had misalignments in the mid-thoracic spine.

Liver Disease: 100% correlation between the diseased liver and the nerves which control the liver. All 13 cases of liver disease had misalignments in the mid-thoracic spine.

Gallstones: 100% correlation between the diseased gallbladder and the nerves which control the gallbladder. All 5 cases of gallstone disease had misalignments in the mid-thoracic spine.

Pancreas: 100% correlation between the diseased pancreas and the nerves which control the pancreas. All 3 cases of pancreas disease had misalignments in the mid-thoracic spine.

Spleen: 100% correlation between the diseased spleen and the nerves which control the spleen. All 11 cases of spleen disease had misalignments in the mid-thoracic spine.

Misalignments in Upper Lumbar spine (L1-3)

Prostate and Bladder disease: 100% correlation between the diseased organ and the nerves which control that organ. All 8 cases of prostate and bladder disease had misalignments in the upper-lumber spine.

Uterus: 100% correlation between the diseased uterus and the nerves which control the uterus. Both of the 2 cases of uterine conditions had L2 misaligned.

The brain controls every organ via nerves which leave the spine at various levels. When Dr Windsor has shown us, and what DD and BJ Palmer have discovered, is that a misalignment of a vertebra (or a vertebral subluxation) is a major reason for organs malfunctioning.

Unfortunately, we cannot feel how healthy our organs are. We do not know how much nerve energy is arriving to the organs and if it is reduced.

However, chiropractors and traditional osteopaths have been getting people well from many ailments for well over a century using only this principle and techniques to correct the vertebral misalignments (or vertebral subluxation).

3 simple solutions for maintaining your chiropractic adjustments

The question which arises frequently in chiropractic offices is:

“I feel better now, how long do I have to keep coming for spinal care?”

The simple answer is: “As long as you would like to have a healthy spine.” A similar question I asked when I first started going to the gym ten years ago. I am still going because I like the benefits.

What I find people really want to know, the hidden secret behind the question. Which is; how can I hold my spinal correction for a longer period of time?

There are many ways to do this but there are 3 very potent and very simple solutions for this:

  1. Keep moving.
    I could not put more important emphasis on this one subject. If you don’t use it, you loose it, as the saying goes. That is very applicable here. Joints and discs are avascular, meaning they have no direct blood supply. So how do they get their nutrients for regenerating? Well, when we move the spine and its joints and discs we move the fluids in and out. This is the only way we can ensure proper healing of the spinal structures and a much greater ability to hold (or maintain) your chiropractic adjustments longer. Go on, get up and move your body around.
  1. Stretch.
    Our body has what we call a ‘postural memory.’ So, if you have been crooked for a long time (decades possibly), then your postural memory is not working in favour of your spinal corrective care. Stretching is a very easy and simple way of changing this memory so you can hold your chiropractic adjustments longer. Stretch!!
  1. Stay away from toxic foods.
    If our body always has to put energy to battle and get rid of toxins you put in you mouth (sugars, sweeteners, preservatives, pesticides
) then you will be robbing your body of the opportunity to recover optimally. Stay away as much as possible!!

One simple secret to a fantastic spine!

This week we have had an influx of patients with rigidity of the spinal column. It has really surprised me that most people know that exercise is extremely important for your health, but don’t know that stretching is just as important.

Stretching and just moving your body through its normal ranges of motion prevents so much muscular and articular (joint) tension, it could save you a lot of money and trips to the massage therapist and even the chiropractor!

I give the analogy to my patients – chiropractic care is like going to the dentist to get your teeth checked. They clean you teeth with a super-washer to get them perfect and you leave feeling fantastic in your mouth – it is then our job to go home, brush and floss our teeth to prevent future problems.

Flossing and brushing your spine comes in two forms. EXERCISE AND STRETCHING.

Overnight, the discs in your back refill with fluid, which make you feel stiffer. Stretching help to start moving the fluid and nuture the joint. ThatÂŽs why we stretch when we wake up: itÂŽs an instinctive thing we do for our joints, muscles and circulation. It also sets the muscles up for the day after they have been stuck in the same position after being a curled up while asleep. So, start with a basic stretching routing every morning and evening. It doesn’t have to take long. Focus on the spine and moving it in all ranges (one movement at a time works best i.e. forward bending only followed by sideward bending). Stretching recallbrates the muscle spindles (the muscle sensors) which detect how short or long a muscle should be. Take the muscles gently to the extreme, outside of its ususal length, so it can get back to normal again. Alos our heart rate slows down while we sleep and stretching stimulates it – helping to move blood around the body.

Also, make it a habit of moving your body; dance, swimming, walking, sports… pick your choice.  Avoid rough twisting movements and powerwalking is generally better for you back than jogging. If you enjoy running do it on soft surfaces, like a treadmill or in nature. Enjoy!

What is chiropractic care?

Being a chiropractor in Spain, more specifically Albir, not to far from the better-known Benidorm, is very different from England. Why? Because Spanish people have very little knowledge about what a chiropractor does. We here about other therapists saying they “do chiropractic,” all the time and on a daily basis we have to clarify what we in fact are trying to accomplish with the patient.  First of all, let me first explain what chiropractic care is NOT:
Chiropractic care is not a quick fix or a patch job for your sudden “bad back”. It is not concerned with dealing drugs or surgery. Chiropractic care IS concerned about full structural correction of your specific spinal problem and maintaining just so.

There are 2 distinct parts to chiropractic care in order to accomplish this:
1. Correction phase going from RED zone (disease and symptoms) to GREEN zone (health and wellness). The corrective phase is the most challenging, but alos the most rewarding for both the chiropractor and patient.
2. Protection phase (some people like to call it maintenance or wellness care).

A lot of patients come to us as a last resolution and are happy that we can finally make a difference and move forward with their health issue. At Advanced Chiropractic we see problems like low back pain or sciatica up to very complex problems where people can hardly walk. All of which will require passing through the different phases of healing, a process that requires time. Some patients heal faster than others, but we are always looking after you, listening to your concerns and needs. Our goal is to get you to the GREEN zone as fast as possible.

Here is what Ian Black, who works as a hairdresser has to say about the chiropractic care:
“I came in with neck problems which were bothering me everyday. I found it very difficult to work without suffering. Everyday was a struggle. Since coming to see Dr.Ben at the chiropractic centre I feel more straight, have better balance and have stopped feeling the constant discomfort in my neck. Now I have moved forward to wellness care, which means I am holding my chiropractic adjustments very well. I have already recommended some of my friends to go, and they too are happy with the care they have received. A big thanks to chiropractic!”

Forward head posture

We often hear that correct posture is important for good health but normally we don’t consciously think about it. Instead, certain muscles do it for us, that is, if they work correctly. Hours on hours in front of the computer desk, too many pillows under the head while reading, whiplash injuries and prolonged commutes in the car can overload these muscles making them less resilient and weak. This can cause premature arthritis (wear and tear) of the joints and discs.

The most common change in posture is a gradual reversion to the foetal position, meaning the head and shoulders shift forwards, the chest curls inwards and the spine crunches from a healthy S-curve to a less healthy C-position. You have probably seen it, the common hunched back we see in many elderly. Forward head tilt is so frequent today that it is given a diagnosis: Anterior Head Syndrome (AHS). For every inch of forward head tilt the load on the cervical spine is increased up to 10 pounds. In many cases AHS can be the underlying cause of a large variety of secondary conditions. Uneven pressure on the vertebral discs (the cushioning pads between the bones) can cause spinal stiffness and pressure on delicate nerves. Headaches, dizziness, numbness and tingling, shoulder- and neck pain being the most obvious ones, but since the lack of mobility diminishes healthy stimulation to the brain they are now linking the condition to more serious diseases like dementia and even Alzheimer.
Dr. Roger Sperry (Nobel Prize recipient for brain research) discovered that 90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by movement of the spine. It turns out maintaining a healthy posture is crucially important for preserving the amazing brain human beings have been blessed with.

Chiropractors are experts at analyzing your spinal structure and detecting abnormal spinal function. We search for the problems that exist underneath the poor posture and can create a plan of care to improve your structure. By obtaining optimal spinal function through chiropractic adjustments, doing specific spinal exercises and taking ergonomic considerations you can in most cases reverse the condition or even better, prevent it from ever happening. Our clients frequently rapport that they are more upright, they breath better and feel a general improvement of bodily functions.

The good news is that regardless your age it is never too late to improve the function of your spine.

Shoulder pain

Shoulder pain is second only to low back and neck pain in terms of what we treat in our clinic. Shoulder pain complaints are most common among athletes, in particular those involved in repetitive throwing and overhead motions such as tennis, volleyball players and swimmers. However, workers who use their arms repetitively in the horizontal or overhead position are also at higher risk.

So what is the cause of the problem?

With the exception of direct traumatic injuries to the shoulder joint itself (such as car accidents and falls) mechanical shoulder pain almost always stems from dysfunctional biomechanics in the neck and upper part of the back.

As we know a subluxated (dysfunctional) vertebra can cause irritation of the spinal nerve root as it exits the vertebral column to reach the part of the body it innervates. Most of the shoulder girdle muscles are innervated by nerves leaving the spine between the fifth cervical vertebrae and the second thoracic vertebrae, hence pressure on these nerves can cause referred pain to the shoulder.

Often however, faulty biomechanics in the neck and upper back cause shoulder problems indirectly. In fact, restrictions to the normal ranges of motion of the upper back and neck can affect the normal movement pattern of the shoulder blade and over time cause enough incoordination in the muscular activity of the shoulder girdle to cause adhesions, local inflammation and eventually chronic impingement of muscle tendons upon movement.

So how can chiropractic help?

With a Complete Neuro-Structural exam our chiropractors will be able to pin point the specific cause of your complaint and lay out the best treatment plan to attend to it.

In general, acute complaints of shoulder pain with a direct involvement of spinal subluxations are quicker to resolve and only require chiropractic care. On the other hand, long-standing problems with underlying muscular adhesions and neuromuscular incoordination will benefit best from a more comprehensive approach. This includes chiropractic treatment and physical therapy in the form of Active Release Technique. In the initial phase of treatment our goal is to restore normal spinal biomechanics and release any chronic adhesions within the shoulder muscles. As the symptoms improve, Redcord Neuromuscular Rehabilitation will re-educate the muscles into correct and coordinated movement patterns and guarantee long-lasting results.

Sleep with a good posture

Good posture is of vital importance to maintain a healthy spine preventing disc damage and vertebral degeneration.

Good posture is also of vital importance for symptomatic recovery and to maximize structural correction while undergoing chiropractic treatment. It allows the patient to hold adjustments for longer periods of time and it helps creating new and better muscle memory in our body.

Often people think good posture concerns solely the active or awake part of their day. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sleep posture is just as important as our daily posture and more. Good normal posture helps us distributing daily weights and stresses on our spine in the most efficient way, preventing injuries to our discs. Good sleep posture allows our spine, and in particular our discs to recover, regenerate and rehydrate and our muscles to rest and relax.

A tangible sign of the daily nocturnal rehydration of our intervertebral discs is our height in the morning, which on average is 1 cm taller than before we go to bed!

So what is good sleep posture and how can we achieve it? The first and most important thing we must consider is that when we sleep we are not actively controlling our posture as we do during the day, hence we must rely on the quality, firmness and shape of our mattress and pillow to help us maintain it.

We personally recommend the Tempur brand as we have used it for many years and we know it offers products, which are reliable and of consistent quality. However, any product featuring the following specifications will be appropriate:

  • The mattress needs to be firm, yet accommodate for the normal curves in our spine.
  • The pillow on the other hand, needs to be of the appropriate size for one’s body frame and feature the correct cervical support curve depending of the person’s preferred sleeping position.

This brings us to the second ingredient to good sleep posture: sleeping position. The most ideal sleeping position for our spine, especially for people who need to restore their cervical curve, is supine (face up). However, sleeping on the side is equally acceptable, provided that the pillow correctly maintains our neck in a neutral straight position.

Last, but not least, we must think of the quality of our sleep. How long does it take us to fall asleep? Do we wake up during the night? How rested do we feel when we get up in the morning? Modern life often disrupts our normal sleeping cycle and people struggle to find a balance, resorting to sleeping medication and the numerous side effects that come with them. If you have the same problem, a melatonin supplement is a very effective natural alternative, which helps restore the natural sleeping cycle and improve the quality of our sleep.

With these tips in mind I wish you a good night sleep

Written by Pietro Mariani – Chiropractor at Advanced Chiropractic