I’m Waking Up with a Stiff Neck!

Alarm - focus on alarmLife is stressful enough during the day that it seems truly heartbreaking that many us cannot get the restorative sleep we need each night. Tossing and turning causing insomnia is an epidemic in the U.S., but worse, some of us wake up with actual pain and stiffness. It’s a completely normal way to start the day, right? Wrong.

Sometimes it’s the mattress being too soft or unsupportive. Or maybe the too thick hotel pillow has gotten your number. Sleep posture is very critical to spinal health. The neck has a forward arch, and this has to be preserved for there to be maximal relaxation of the spinal cord and nerves. Also, the head needs to be supported when turning to side sleeping. The pillow needs to be thick enough so that the head does not fall towards the shoulder, stretching the muscles and delicate nerves on the side of the neck.

You need to rest your spine each night so that the tissues can repair and heal. It is important that muscles are able to relax and the bones of the neck are not placed into abnormal postures. Ever fall asleep on an armrest of a sofa or in a car or plane? Most of us have experienced the stiffness that comes with this, but some of us have spinal bones that are already sprained and displaced from old injuries, which means good sleeping posture is even more critical. Simply a minor change from our usual bed or pillow is enough to make for a stiff neck in the morning. Or perhaps you thought a stiff neck in the morning was normal because it has gone on for years.

One of the more common problems for morning stiffness is neck and body position. Stomach sleeping is a definite no. In this position, the neck will be twisted excessively. The best positions will be side lying with adequate head support, or flat on the back with a proper neck-support pillow. These types of pillows allow the cushion to push upwards into the curve of the neck, while the head is cradled. Usually pillows are simply too thick and these can cause the neck to be in a forward stressed position which stretches the nerves and spinal cord.

If you’re waking up with a stiff neck, then it could be how you’re sleeping or whether your pillow is right for good neck sleeping posture. For better sleep habits, better neck function and less stress on your nerves and spinal cord visit your chiropractor today to discuss the proper sleeping posture and pillow for you.

Source: www.chiro-trust.org

Freedom to Choose

This post is going to be a little bit different today. In the office this week I’ve been asked about my thoughts on the current measles outbreak. I’ve also been asked about vaccinations and my opinion on vaccinations, and if when I have children if I will vaccinate my children. I’m not one to weigh in on controversial topics like this unless asked because it’s not worth the fight. Controversial topics can lead to heated discussions filled with intense emotions and ignorant statements and/or attacks on personal morals, values and beliefs.

Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to…
Personal choice with a two asterisks. Every parent parents differently. Families have their own beliefs, values, morals, health practices, etc..

Therefore, my stand is personal choice with two asterisks.

The first * is this, education.

Before you make the decision to vaccinate, not vaccinate or delay schedule vaccinate your beautiful bundles of joy, I just ask you to do the research and know the pros and cons of each scenario so you are able to make the best, informed decision for your child and your family.

Topics to research: vaccination schedules, what is in each vaccination, the “why” or use for each vaccination, the dosage for each vaccination, the pro/cons of vaccinating or not vaccinating, adverse reactions to the vaccines, etc..

The second * is respect.

Respect the decision of other parents. It’s 100% ok to agree to disagree. What’s not ok is “shaming” them, blaming them, slamming them… Shaming other parents into thinking their children don’t deserve healthcare when they are sick because they weren’t vaccinated, or that their children shouldn’t be allowed in school, play groups, church groups, etc because they weren’t vaccinated. That’s not ok, and simply it’s not respectful.

Have you ever asked a parent who decided to vax, non-vax, delay vax their reason, their “why” for doing so?
Because for me, what really matters is everyone’s lives matter. Black or White, Asian or Hispanic, Young or Old, Non-Vaccinated or Vaccinated..it doesn’t matter. All lives matter.

So, my medical opinion and stance on the vaccination issue is this:
Do your homework, so you are able to make an informed and not ignorant decision. My second medical opinion is this, respect other parents and their decision.

And in the name of Ellen Degeneres–Be Kind Today, and Every day!

Babywearing Benefits

There has been much interest in the media about carrying our babies. Outside of the variety of car seats (being awkwardly used to carry the baby) and the traditional stroller, many parents are now opting to “wear” their babies.

Numerous baby carriers are now available to choose from. In general, parents are looking for greater insight in choosing the methods of carrying their infants. Here is some insight from the chiropractic perspective.

babywearing
Structure Determines Function

In chiropractic we frequently say, “structure determines function;” primarily, the spine determines the function of the nervous system. In chiropractic we recognize that the nervous system controls all body systems. Therefore, a nervous system stressed by a compromised structure will affect the body’s overall ability to be healthy. One significant way our spinal structures become impaired is through irregular, repetitive postures. New parents need to be aware that the means they choose to carry their babies has postural effects on both themselves and their children.

Baby Carrying Overview

Car seats are for the car! The frequent use of car seats as carriers outside of the car are known to cause undue postural distortions to both the mother and baby. Just watch a mother struggling to remove the seat from the car—it is almost impossible to get directly in front of it when lifting it from car and the torsion and twisting to the spine during this struggle spells potential injury. Once she finally gets the seat out of the car, her body posture is forced to lean to the side she is carrying the seat on. As the baby gains weight, this task becomes more and more difficult. Once again, this repeated spinal stress could lead to injury.

Strollers seem to be most convenient for the mother’s body, but they do not allow contact between mother and baby. It is well known and documented that close contact between baby and parent is important for babies’ physical, emotional, social, and neurological development.

The phrase “baby wearing” is being used to describe the revived custom of carrying infants in cloth carriers on the parent’s body. There are numerous benefits to baby wearing for both the parents and the infant. From a chiropractic wellness perspective, we recognize that baby wearing contributes to a healthy neurological development for the baby in many ways. Two of the most significant benefits are parent–baby contact and varied baby positioning.

The importance of parent–baby contact

Numerous psychological groups are encouraging a return to baby wearing because of the effects that constant motion and touch have on the neurological and emotional development of the baby. Researchers are documenting the importance of the continued contact and motion offered by baby carrying. A baby spends nine months in the womb experiencing constant motion, warmth, and physical contact with the mother. Separating the infant into an apparatus where the baby cannot feel, smell, and touch the mother is a stressful, alarming change of environment for the baby. Neurological development is often impaired under stressful situations.

The importance of varied baby positions

Ever since the “Back to Sleep” program, which advocates placing babies on their backs to reduce the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), babies have spent more time on their backs then ever before. Combined with the additional use of strollers, infant seats, car seats, and other similar reclining carriers, doctors of chiropractic are noticing a significant increase in plagiocephaly, a condition of flattened portions of the infant’s cranium. Since an infant’s head is so soft and impressionable by position, it is vital that parents offer numerous positions for the baby during waking and carrying hours.

A flattened head is more than a cosmetic concern. It adds to cranial distortions and, therefore, neurological compromise for the infant. Additionally, back-lying seat carriers do not help infants develop and strengthen their neck muscles. Once again, structure is being affected and therefore function will be compromised as well.

With all of these postural considerations in mind, the carriers of choice are baby slings, sacks, pouches, and wraps. There are numerous carriers to choose from. Each has its own unique design. Because baby wearing involves carrying the baby, there are postural considerations for both the parent and the baby.

babywearingcake
Considerations for the Mother

The hormone relaxin may remain in your system up to nine months after delivery. So, postural adaptations may adversely affect your spinal joints while trying to perform new activities such as carrying your baby. You need to be sensitive to what your body tells you while using a carrier for your child. Do certain areas of your neck, back, hips, or shoulders become uncomfortable? Do you feel specific back muscles tighten regularly? Do you feel a general fatigue after carrying your baby? These questions will help you recognize if you are placing undue stress on your spine from infant carrying. Spinal stress will eventually affect nerve system function and it is important to recognize minor discomforts before they accelerate into bigger problems.

Regular chiropractic check–ups are a must during this period to help you maintain a healthy spine and nervous system. As the baby’s weight increases, your spinal stress increases as well. You can optimize you body’s ability to adapt with regular chiropractic care. Your doctor of chiropractic can assist you in selecting carrying postures that support your regular, postpartum chiropractic adjustments.

Considerations For the Baby

A chiropractic exam right at birth will help determine if there are any spinal misalignments contributing to potential postural deviations. Addressing these issues as early as possible with specific chiropractic adjustments can prevent abnormal developments of the spine and cranium.

For continued support in the care of your infant’s spine and nervous system, your family chiropractor will discuss variations of postures for your baby’s optimal development as well. This includes sleep, play time, breastfeeding, and baby-carrying positions. Incorporating proper baby positioning and carrying early on will offer your child the best potential for normal, healthy, structural development.

Choosing a single carrier that offers maximum diversity with all of these considerations is not easy. It is therefore advisable that parents have a variety of carriers on hand for various stages of baby development, weight gain, and mutual comfort for parent and child. Parents should also vary the use of their carriers on a daily basis. Alternating carriers and maintaining awareness of postures will offer both parent and baby the maximum benefits of baby wearing.

Considerations for choosing a soft–body carrier:

  • Does the carrier offer various carrying positions for the baby on the wearer? (Front, sides, back?)HIP-DYSPLASIA-2
  • Does the carrier offer numerous positions for the baby: forward-facing, chest-facing, vertical, horizontal, legsfolded, straight, or frog-like position? (A carrier with limited positions for the child will affect your baby’s postural development.)
  • How long will the carrier accommodate the child’s growth and postural development? For several months, the entire first year, into the toddler years?
  • Can the child be transferred from one wearer to another without disturbing the baby?
  • How comfortably can a sleeping baby be laid down or removed from the carrier without waking?
  • Can the baby be breastfed while being carried?
  • Is the carrier easily cleaned?
  • Does the carrier require the wearer to support the baby with one hand or does the wearer have both hands free?
  • Can the baby be put into all carrying positions by the wearer alone, or is another person’s help necessary?
  • Is the weight of the baby evenly distributed for the wearer’s comfort while using the carrier?
  • Does the carrier cause repetitive stress and postural compensations to one area of the wearer’s spine?

Source: www.icpa4kids.org

How Do I Eliminate Stress with Chiropractic Adjustments?

Millions of Americans feel the negative effects of stress every day. In fact, many Americans suffer from chronic stress. Chronic stress can lead to severe health problems¹, such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Muscle Tension
  • Bowel Problems

There are many possible causes of stress.
They can be physical (car accident, repetitive motion), emotional (deadlines, death in the family), or even chemical (too much caffeine, hormonal imbalance). If you are stressed, it’s important that you do whatever you can to avoid the negative effects. Thankfully, there are also many ways to help relieve stress.

One important way to relieve stress is with chiropractic adjustments. Being a licensed chiropractic doctor, Dr. Erica is very much aware of the benefits of chiropractic treatments. She’s experienced and seen first hand, the positive results of receiving chiropractic adjustments.

Chiropractic Adjustments

When you go for an exam, the chiropractor will ask you questions to determine what particular issues are contributing to your stress and discomfort. The chiropractor can then lay out a plan to eliminate those issues through regular chiropractic adjustments. This is usually in the form of an adjustment. Although that term may sound scary, it is really just a therapeutic intervention performed on the joints along the spine.

Benefits of Receiving Chiropractic Adjustments:

  • Pain relief with one-time or regular adjustments
  • Reduced stress with regular adjustments
  • Lower blood pressure with chiropractic adjustments
  • Facilitate proper bowel functions
  • Relief from lower back pain
Did You Know?

  • Most chiropractic adjustments take less than 20 minutes
  • Anxiety and stress are notorious for attacking the weak spots of the spine²

Chiropractic is gaining momentum and acceptance in mainstream healthcare, lately. In 1990, medical practitioners were no longer restricted from collaborating with chiropractors. The chiropractic practices are even recommended by medical physicians. It’s even been shown that in some cases the chiropractic adjustment present cost-effective method of treatment.³ It’s non-invasive and can increase your overall health, making your body better able to fight off other maladies.

How to Eliminate Stress With Chiropractic

  • Chiropractic adjustments removes interference in the nervous system, allowing the nerves to function and the body to heal properly.
  • Exercises to maintain your spinal health.
  • Possibly the recommendation of massage and lifestyle changes that could include switching to ergonomic furniture and tools.
  • Proper diet and rest should be complimented with regular chiropractic adjustments to help keep your body free of physical reactions to stress.

The Scary Truth About Pain Killers & An Effective Alternative

Pain medications have too many negative side effects.

All too often we hear stories about celebrities and young people who overdose on pain medications and other addictive drugs, or people who lose their friends and loved ones – in mind, spirit and body – to pain-pill addiction.

Painkillers have so many negative side effects—addiction and death being the worst. Yet, addiction is just one end of the spectrum. As many of you can attest to, drugs don’t always mean addiction and death – but that doesn’t mean prescription drugs aren’t bad for you.

Below are just some of the common, negative side effects of pain medications:

·      Inducement of lengthy sleep

·      Dizziness

·      Headaches

·      Burning sensations in your eyes

·      Disorientation

·      Addiction

·      Sleepiness/Fatigue

·      Indigestions

·      Vulnerability to infection

·      Ulcers

·      Kidney problems

·      Wild mood swings

·      Changes in appetite

However, despite all those proven side effects—despite the fact that millions do die each year of painkiller overdose—and despite numerous studies that prove pain medications have no real benefits—doctors continue to prescribe them and, unfortunately, patients continue to rely on them.

But they shouldn’t! There IS an alternative.

Chiropractic is a safe and effective alternative to pain medications—an alternative that heals without putting you in danger. Chiropractic has been known to reduce, eliminate and even prevent pain. But, even though it’s been proven effective time and time again, so many people distrust chiropractic as a proper form of treatment, and they choose to put themselves at the mercy of pain medications rather than test the proven benefits of chiropractic care.

If you’re someone who is skeptical as to the effectiveness of chiropractic – but if you’re also someone who is wising up to the very real dangers of prescription drugs – visit www.brightlifefamilychiropractic.com to learn everything you need to know to make the best decisions for you and your loved ones.

Article Source: ADIO Chiropractic

Chiropractic Helps With Menstrual Cramps And Infertility

For many women, PMS is oftentimes a very serious matter, despite what teenaged boys might think. Women suffer from everything from bowel cramps to bladder pains; sexual dysfunctions; and even infertility—all due to their menstrual cycles. For women with the former conditions, it can be uncomfortable and oftentimes painful. For women who suffer from infertility or other sexual dysfunctions because of their cycles, it can be downright devastating.

These types of symptoms are so common that many women think they’re normal. pregnancyBut I’m here to tell you that they’re not. Women should NOT have to suffer from cramps or infertility or anything in between because of what is supposed to be a natural occurrence. They shouldn’t have to suffer from discomfort, or pain or emotional duress because of the simple fact that they were born a woman. Well, the good news, women, is that you don’thave to suffer!

Drop the Advil and the Midol, the infertility treatments and all the other drugs, and try a treatment that really works! Chiropractic a proven way to remove any nerve interference and restore proper function the reproductive system, making the menstrual cycle—at all levels—one that is no longer to be dreaded.

To see how chiropractic can help you live a fuller, healthier and more comfortable life, visit www.brightlifefamilychiropractic.com

Sources: ADIO Chiropractic

Stop Chronic Nosebleeds With Chiropractic Care

Does your child wake up nightly with nosebleeds? Do they get them unexpectedly throughout the day? Does the slightest touch to the nose have it gushing like a fountain? Do YOU suffer from chronic nosebleeds?

Nosebleeds are common, and many people will write them off as a cause of dehydration or dry weather, but when they occur on a rainy day, when you or your child has had plenty of water to drink, doing so is not so easy …

Epistaxis is the clinical name for nosebleeds, and while most individuals who DON’T experience chronic nosebleeds would write this condition off as non-severe or even made up, people who suffer from it know better, and they know that frequent nosebleeds can really get in the way of daily living. In fact, it can be so problematic that they’ll go through rigorous efforts to keep them from happening again; some even go so far as to cauterize the insides of their nostrils with silver nitrate!

You do not have to go to these extremes if you or a loved one suffers from Epistaxis. No, the solution is much simpler than that. With specific and scientific chiropractic care, you can eliminate frequent nosebleeds entirely. No more will you have to wake up to stop the blood before it stains the carpets – no more will you have to reassure your child that the blood does not mean they’re hurt – no more will you have to throw away shirts because of stains that won’t wash out. With chiropractic care you can finally start living, and stop worrying about when your nose is going to start bleeding againwww.brightlifefamilychiropractic.com

Source: ADIO Chiropractic