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Headaches Every Day? Read this…

Headaches Every Day? Read this...

Headaches picture

 

 

Bottom Line:

 

Life can be busy and stressful. Sound familiar? If so, you may likely start experiencing headaches more frequently, and they may be more severe. Chronic headaches are a good indication that your body needs attention, whether that’s related to a lack of quality sleep, nutritional challenges or even postural issues, all of which can contribute to a developing a vicious cycle of daily headaches.

Why it Matters: 

Those daily headaches are a signal from your body that something needs to change. While researchers have struggled to place an exact cause on every type of headache, they have discovered an array of risk factors that can lead to the development of chronic headaches. The foods you eat, the stress in your life, and even how you move your body and spine, can either increase or decrease the likelihood of experiencing headaches.

  • Your brain doesn't actually have any nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. Headaches are felt by the tissues that support your brain, head and neck.
  • Researchers have discovered a close link between what you eat & your stress and hormone levels and how they can impact the probability of developing chronic headaches.
  • A balanced diet, consistent sleeping patterns and Chiropractic care have all been shown to decrease the likelihood of developing chronic headaches.

Next Steps:

Those daily headaches aren't something you "have to live with." Top research publications indicate that Chiropractic care provides 50% more relief from headaches without the risky side effects typically associated with drugs and medications. To learn more, tune into our weekly video series, Research That Matters TV or reach out. We’re happy to answer your questions!

Science Source:

Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. SPINE 2010

How to Find Natural Relief From Headaches

How to Find Natural Relief From Headaches

Headache relief

 

 

Bottom Line:

Finding natural relief from your headaches doesn't mean you need to join a food co-op and start eating granola with every meal. Natural (or organic) healthcare solutions are now being recommended by many leading healthcare organizations because of the associated reduction in dangerous side-effects and high rates of patient satisfaction following treatment.

Why it Matters:

Three of the most effective natural solutions for reducing the frequency and severity of headaches include Magnesium, Chiropractic care, and B-vitamins. Taking a Magnesium supplement has the potential to reduce the occurrence of migraine headaches without any of the side-effects typically associated with painkillers, and if stress is a significant factor in your headaches, B-vitamins may be a natural fit for relief. Additionally, Chiropractic care helps to correct the postural changes and muscle tension which are a couple of the leading causes of migraine headaches. That's what I call a winning trifecta!

  • Magnesium: low levels of magnesium have been reported as a risk factor for developing migraine headaches.
  • B-Vitamins: these powerful vitamins have the potential to help reduce stress and improve mood which are essential factors when finding relief from headaches.
  • Chiropractic: researchers have discovered a reduction in the frequency, severity and duration of headaches for individuals under Chiropractic care.

Next Steps:

As you can see, finding natural relief from headaches can be easy. Imagine what would your life would be like if you could reduce or eliminate your chronic headaches! Save this info – better yet, share it with your friends and family. When it’s time for your next adjustment or you have questions about any of these natural solutions for headache relief, just ask!

Science Source(s):

Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. Journal of Neural Transmission. 2012 | The effect of 90-day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress. Human Psychopharmacology. 2011 | Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache: a single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial. BMC Central. 2017

The Top 3 Causes of Headaches

The Top 3 Causes of Headaches

The Top 3 Causes of Headaches (a)

 

 

Bottom Line:

A variety of factors can cause headaches. The good news is that many of these are lifestyle factors and habits and patterns that you can control. By understanding a few of the most common causes of headaches, you will have the information you need to make those key changes and to get on your way to finding lasting relief!

Why it Matters:

Ironically, one of the most common causes of headaches is the medication usually prescribed to treat headaches. In fact, overuse of many over the counter medications is a leading factor in a refractory (or bounce-back) headache, which is why pills may not be the best option for care. Many tension headaches get their start with repetitive motion and poor posture while sitting or standing at work. Keeping your shoulders back and your spine in proper alignment throughout the day can help prevent future episodes. And finally, most of the good stuff like coffee, cheese, alcohol and meats have substances that can cause headaches. You don't need to eliminate them, but we recommend having a watchful eye towards moderation.

  • Medications: many commonly prescribed pain-relieving medications (including those prescribed for headache relief) list headaches as a top side effect!
  • Foods: coffee, cheese, alcohol and many types of meat contain substances that can contribute to headaches.
  • Posture: forward head posture caused by long hours sitting or standing at work is a primary factor in the development of tension and cervicogenic headaches.

Next Steps:

Do you see anything in that top 3 list that may be contributing to your headaches? Taking proactive steps by improving your posture and ergonomics at work, moderating the foods which cause headaches, or asking your medical doctor about the side effects of medications and potentially finding alternative treatment options may help you reduce the frequency, severity, and impact headaches are having in your life. If you have any questions, we’re also happy to lend a hand and an ear!

 

Science Source:

Medications and Substances Causing Headache. Medlink: Neurology. 2017

Headache Types, The Facts You Need to Know

Headache Types: The Facts You Need to Know

 

 

Bottom Line:

 

Death, taxes, and…headaches? Almost everyone will experience a headache at some point in their life, and over 50% of people will deal with the effects of headaches in a given year. Fortunately, headaches are rarely life-threatening. However, for people dealing with chronic headaches…they can dramatically impact your quality of life.

 

Why it Matters:

The International Headache Society has classified over 150 different types of headaches. The most common are migraines, tension and cluster headaches. Knowing what kind of headache you’re dealing with is the first step towards finding the best plan of care to find relief.

  • Migraine: sensitivity to light and sound is common during migraine headaches, and approx. 1/3rd of people will experience an aura before the onset of a migraine.
  • Tension: almost everyone will experience a tension headache during their life. Stress, anxiety, dehydration, and even posture, can trigger a tension headache.
  • Cluster: affecting more men than women, cluster headaches causes severe pain behind or around the eye and can last anywhere between 15 minutes to 3 hours!

Next Steps:

Now that you've identified your headache type, we can start to unpack the root cause. Next week, we'll cover the top 3 causes of headaches so you will be able to take your first steps towards prevention. Often a few simple changes in your daily routine have the potential to reduce or eliminate chronic headaches for good! And if you have questions in the meantime, just ask!

Science Source:

Mayo Clinic. Headache. 2018

Your Body is Designed to Move

Your Body is Designed to Move

 

 

Bottom Line:

Your body is built to move. Every spinal disc and joint is designed to help you sit, stand, run and well…move! Your discs are soft enough to flex as you bend forward and back. The spinal facet joints slide as your turn and twist. The ligament-connected spinal bones keep you supported as your muscles push and pull. It’s an incredibly strong and resilient system when you stop and think about it!

 

 

Why it Matters:

New research has started to give us a glimpse at just how important movement is in our life. For example, movement of the spine has been shown to stimulate and accelerate the healing process. In fact, movement is so crucial in the healing process that even people who have spine surgery are encouraged to get up and to move as quickly as possible after surgery.

 

  • All the bones, muscles, ligaments and joints of your spine are specially designed to support movement.
  • Movement of the individual segments of your spine can affect how you heal.
  • Blood flow, strength, and flexibility are all enhanced through movement.

Next Steps:

I believe that encouraging healthy movement and activity is part of my job as your Chiropractor. If you have any questions about stretches, exercises or other ways you can pro-actively stay healthy, ask! Have you ever heard that old saying “you don’t get old then stiff, you get stiff then old?” We want to help you stay young by helping you keep your spine and body moving better!

Science Source:

Comparative Clinical Effectiveness of Nonsurgical Treatment Methods in Patients With Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2019

The Brain + Spine Connection

The Brain + Spine Connection

 

 

Bottom Line:

Every thought and movement in your life occurs through your brain and spinal cord, which is collectively known as the central nervous system. Your spinal column acts as the armor and pathway for your spinal cord to travel down and split into the nerves that reach every cell of your body. Every moment and millions of messages and bits of information are moving along your spinal cord this very moment to maintain the delicate balance between your brain and body.

Why it Matters:

Recent research has shown that the type of movement which happens during a Chiropractic adjustment can change the chemistry of your brain. Pretty far-out right? Chiropractic adjustments can alter the biochemical markers in your brain. These changes can result in everything from increased endorphin release (a feel-good hormone) to pain relief. Emerging research has even indicated increased strength (or cortical drive) following an adjustment!

  • Your brain and body are in constant communication through via your central and peripheral nervous systems.
  • The spinal cord can send information up to your brain at a rate of over 250 mph!
  • Chiropractic adjustments to the neck or back have been shown to influence brain function resulting in pain relief, endorphin release, and more.

 

Next Steps:

For the past 100 years, scientists and doctors have learned a lot about the brain/body connection, but we still have a long way to go. Aging, healing, and your entire life experience happen through the communication and coordination of your brain and body. Keeping both healthy and active will help you continue to live your best life. Need help? Just ask!

Science Source:

Changes in biochemical markers of pain perception and stress response after spinal manipulation. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 2014

Disc Issues and Chiropractic

Disc Issues and Chiropractic

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

Disc herniations, bulges, protrusions and extrusions are some of the most common reasons people visit a Chiropractic practice. Come to think of it, most people visit a Chiropractor not just because they have a disc issue, but because the disc issue has caused a significant impact on their quality of life. Exciting new research showcases what we have witnessed for years: how Chiropractic care provides outstanding results for people dealing with spinal disc issues.

Why it Matters:

Specific Chiropractic techniques are thought to alter the pressure in your spinal discs. Emerging research has shown that by reducing intra-discal stress and opening up the channels that your nerves pass through, you can improve how you feel and stimulate the healing process.

  • Keeping your core muscles strong and flexible can decrease your likelihood of suffering a disc bulge or herniation.
  • Research has shown Chiropractic to be very effective at reducing pain caused by disc bulges and herniations.
  • Chiropractic adjustments were found to be more effective than spinal injections for treating disc issues.

Next Steps:

If you have an MRI that shows a disc issue, it does NOT mean that surgery or injections are your only options. A recent study showcased how people with an MRI-confirmed disc herniation received better results with Chiropractic adjustments than with injections. Your body has an incredible ability to heal without drugs or surgery, even from disc herniations, and we’re here to help!

Science Source:

Symptomatic magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed lumbar disk herniation patients: a comparative effectiveness prospective observational study of 2 age- and sex-matched cohorts treated with either high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulative therapy or imaging-guided lumbar nerve root injections. JMPT 2013

Facet Joints: Gliding Your Way to Better Health

Facet Joints: Gliding Your Way to Better Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

If you’ve had neck or back pain that you could pinpoint with your finger, or experienced sharp pains when you move, it may be related to the facet joints of your spine. It’s easy to think of your facet joints like the “knuckles” of your spine. They are small joints and have a capsule and cartilage pad that glides and slides, allowing your spine to move.

 

Why it Matters:

As you go through life and your spinal discs go through the aging process, your facet joints end up taking on extra load. Unfortunately, this excess stress and pressure can wear down your facet joints. What results is the beginning of the degenerative process, which means you can end up with adhesions, restricted motion, bone spurs and, well…pain.

  • The facet joints of your spine slide and glide as you move.
  • Restrictions or adhesions in the facets can occur with age and injury.
  • Chiropractic adjustments help the facet joints move freely and decrease painful restrictions in motion.

Next Steps:

The facet joints of your spine love to move, and, in fact, movement helps them stay healthy and may even slow down the degenerative process. Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce adhesions on these joints, allowing you to move more freely and with less pain. In our office, we believe that when you’re moving better, you’re feeling better, and we’re proud to be a part of the healthcare team that helps you stay active!

Science Source:

Magnetic resonance imaging zygapophyseal joint space changes (gapping) in low back pain patients following spinal manipulation and side-posture positioning: a randomized controlled mechanisms trial with blinding. JMPT 2013

How Poor Posture Causes Neck Pain

How Poor Posture Causes Neck Pain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bowling Ball and the Pin: How Poor Posture Causes Neck Pain

Bottom Line:

The average human head weighs about 8 pounds. Each day we all walk around with a bowling ball (our head) balancing on a toothpick (our neck). We are designed this way to allow for the full range of motion we all know and love. Even under the best circumstances, this places a lot of stress on our spine. But leaning forward even just 15 degrees pushes that weight up to 30 pounds, and with a 30 degree tilt its closer to 40 pounds!

Why it Matters:

Driving a car, working on the computer, and using a tablet/phone all usually result in less than ideal posture. And when you start to lean forward, it places a tremendous amount of extra pressure on the discs in your neck and spine. This can cause increased compression and lead to pain. Even just a few inches of forward head posture can double or triple the amount of stress on the spinal joints in your neck.

- The average human head weights approximately 8-10 pounds.
- For every inch of forward head posture, an additional 10 pounds of weight is added to your spine.
- Forward head posture may result in muscle imbalances, a high risk for spinal degeneration, reduced range of motion, and pain.

Next Steps:

Take a moment today at work and notice if your shoulders are rounding, the head has moved forward, and upper back is hunched over. If you see yourself slouching into this posture, let us know. We would love to provide you with some exercises you can do at work to help strengthen the muscles supporting your spine and combat these muscle imbalances. And remember, the more time you spend in this posture, the more likely you are to suffer head and neck pain.

Science Source(s):

The Physiology of the Joints, Volume III. 6th ed. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2007.
Myofascial trigger points, neck mobility and forward head posture in unilateral migraine. Cephalalgia 2006

Is Your Cell Phone Causing Tech Neck?

Is Your Cell Phone Causing Tech Neck?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

Staying connected to friends and family is easier than ever with social media. The tradeoff is that your daily screen time may be 1, 2, 3 hours or more. And let’s face it, a lot of those hours online are spent in an awkward forward head posture that experts have begun to call “tech neck.” It can result in neck pain, headaches, spinal disc issues, and even pinched nerves.

Why it Matters:

Each day we work with people, young and old, who are experiencing the symptoms associated with tech neck. By creating a plan of care that may include stretching, adjustments, and postural exercises; we have been able to help our patients overcome these aches and pains without giving up their cell phones and tablets.

- Looking down at your phone, tablet, or computer for long periods of time can cause muscle strains and neck pain which is now known as tech neck.
- Researchers have discovered the angle of your head when text messaging places tremendous amount of stress on your neck and spine.
- Taking short breaks to stretch at least every 30 minutes helps your body feel better by improving your posture and resetting your balance.

Next Steps:

Next time you are on the phone, stop for a moment and see if your head is creeping forward. If your chin is tucked down and your ears are in front of your shoulders, then you are in the forward head posture we call tech neck. It’s a good time to take a break, stretch, and reset. If you are experiencing any pain or headaches, then please reach out so we can work with you to create a plan to help you stay connected without suffering from tech neck.

Science Source(s):

Head flexion angle while using a smartphone. Ergonomics. 2015
Effects of a Resistance and Stretching Training Program on Forward Head and Protracted Shoulder Posture in Adolescents. JMPT 2017