Newsletter

October Chiropractic Newsletter

Lakewood chiropractic

It’s National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM)! Held in October every year, NCHM is a nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness about chiropractic care and musculoskeletal health. We’d be lying if we said this year was ordinary. 2020 so far is anything but normal. COVID-19 has upended all of our lives, from the way we work to the way we shop, celebrate, and gather. It’s important now more than ever to maintain our health, especially musculoskeletal health, which experts believe is one of the keys to long-term wellness during this stressful period.

Why is Musculoskeletal Health Important?

The musculoskeletal system is composed of muscle, joints, and bones. This system includes the spine and is essential for your overall health because it allows the body to move and creates the body’s structure. The musculoskeletal system also acts as an endocrine system. When all components of the musculoskeletal system are working together, we feel healthy, strong, and energetic. But when our musculoskeletal health isn’t maintained, there’s a lot of pain and discomfort. In fact, musculoskeletal disorders are the leading cause of disability around the world.

FITNESS IN THE ERA OF COVID
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, adults are recommended at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise such as walking or light bicycling, or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity like basketball or running. But because of stay-at-home orders, many of us are stuck indoors and only go out for essentials. Just because we’re home doesn’t mean fitness ends. Our musculoskeletal system needs movement to stay healthy, so it’s time we use creative measures to get active. Here are some ideas:

CREATE A HOME GYM:
Local gym closed? Have no fear, because we’re bringing the gym to you! Use household items like the good ol’ flour sack in a plastic bag contraption for kettlebells, water bottles as weights, and pipes for a homemade pull-up bar. Or better yet, don’t use any equipment at all. Your body is your best machine, so use your home gym for workouts that don’t involve fancy (or makeshift) equipment.

GO OUTSIDE:

 If a home gym isn’t for you, then utilize the great outdoors as your workout space. Whether it’s taking a walk around your neighborhood or jogging in your local park, going outside is extremely beneficial for managing coronavirus anxieties and fostering long-term musculoskeletal health.

ADAPT YOUR DAILY ROUTINE:

 One of the best ways to include more fitness in your routine is by changing up your daily routine and sneaking in more movement. Instead of sitting down at your desk to take those calls, why not answer them during a walk? While your coffee brews, move while you wait with jumping jacks or squats. Take extra trips when it comes to getting groceries in the house. Transporting grocery bags in three rounds rather than one is inefficient, but you’re certainly getting a good workout.

MAKE IT A GROUP ACTIVITY:

 Working out with a buddy is always great for motivation and keeping each other accountable. Include family members in your mission to stay active by designing simple workout routines that everyone can follow. Others have been participating in driveway fitness classes with their neighbors or joining Zoom exercises as a household. Whatever rocks your boat, just get moving!

STRETCH:
The pandemic has forced many of us to work from home instead of the office. This means significantly less movement in routines, with slashed commutes, interactive meetings, and team lunches. If you’re working from home, chances are you’re sitting at your laptop for long hours. Take a few minutes to arch your back and neck to relieve any tension and sore muscles before going back to your screen. This also relieves sore muscles and tensions. Stretches are essential for lessening your spine’s strain from sitting in one position for a long time. Include 15 minutes for a stretch break in your workday to relax your muscles, increase blood flow, and reduce numbness. Your back will thank you!

September 2020 Chiropractic Newsletter

Lakewood Chiropractic

Why Keeping Health in Mind is Important for a Desk Job

Those of us who work at desk jobs do a lot of sitting. This can easily give us sedentary lives considering we are sitting all day, losing energy, and then after work, we are too tired to get in some exercise. In addition, poor desk posture can lead to issues like neck pain, back pain, headaches, frozen shoulder, tight hip muscles, and much more.

Proper Desk Posture

In order to have healthy posture at your desk, you should pay attention to these tips: 

 ● Your computer should be at eye-level so you are not tilting your head up or down to look at it.

 ● You should be sitting tall with a straight spine, keeping your shoulders relaxed. 

 ● Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle. 

 ● Your lower back should have support. Use a chair with good lumbar support or purchase a lumbar pillow. 

 ● Your legs should be at a 90-degree angle with your feet flat on the floor. Do not cross your legs or ankles.

Movement

Getting some movement into your day will help your muscles, bones, energy levels, and even your focus. You can get more movement in by visiting a coworker’s desk instead of sending an email, taking more bathroom breaks (by drinking more water), and taking the stairs. You should try to stand up and move around at least once per hour.


Eating Right

If your office provides lunches or sets out snacks in the kitchen, it can be tempting to indulge. However, try to resist. Daytime snacking is an easy way to add unnecessary calories. Bring in your own healthy snacks like fruit to curb any snack cravings. When it comes to lunch, you should prepare your own lunches at home instead of eating out or buying what’s in the cafeteria. This way you can bring something healthy and nutritious. Allowing yourself to eat out will bring on too many temptations for fast food. If it helps, set aside one or two days to prep meals for the rest of your week. In addition to your meals, make sure you are getting in your recommended water intake. It helps to label water bottles with times of the day so you can set goals. Drinking more water will also give you an excuse to get up and walk to the bathroom more (as previously mentioned).

How Your Chiropractor Can Help

If you are feeling sore, stiff muscles, back or neck pain, low energy, or some of the other symptoms previously mentioned, you may not know your desk job is causing them. These are great things to talk to your chiropractor about. He or she can help you understand the connection, develop a plan, and follow-through for a healthier you.

August 2020 Chiropractic Newsletter

Auto Accident Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic Treatment For Auto Accident Injuries

When you’re involved in an auto accident - even one that could be described as minor - there are a number of things to consider. There are items that are obvious to take care of such as automotive damage, insurance arrangements, police reports, etc. If you walked away from the accident seemingly fine and unscathed, that must mean that your health and well-being aren’t a concern you need to worry about right?

 Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. When the body is subjected to the abrupt forces of an auto injury or even the close-call of a sudden stop, it can still sustain traumatic effects in the soft tissue. As the body braces for a collision or sudden impact, muscles tense and brace, furthering the damage that can occur when the head and neck “whip” back and forth. When whiplash or other auto injuries occur, you may not be aware there is an issue until days or even weeks after the fact. With soft tissue injuries, the pain isn’t always immediately apparent. Injuries can easily go unnoticed until sometime later when you’re affected by immobility, stiffness, strain or discomfort. Depending on how long it has been since the accident occurred you might not be sure what they came from. That’s why it’s wise to include a chiropractic visit in your post auto accident itinerary. Chiropractic care allows for efficient diagnosis of soft tissue injuries that could have easily gone unnoticed and untreated.

Additionally, a whiplash injury can vary based on a number of factors. There is no single turn-key treatment for the problem of whiplash, but chiropractic care makes it possible to identify the specific effects of the trauma and the tissues that have been affected. Once the presence and particulars of any auto accident injuries have been determined, treatments including spinal manipulation, muscle relaxation or stimulation, therapeutic exercises, or other options can be utilized and combined to relieve and prevent neck, shoulder, and back pain that frequently occurs due to whiplash.

 Auto accidents can certainly be traumatic, but they don’t have to be debilitating. When your physical pain is relieved, only then will you feel like you’ve fully walked away from the accident. Be proactive in seeking treatment and make your health a priority when dealing with the effects of an auto collision. Even as the unexpected happens in an instant, you can regain control and relieve your pain. If you have been in an accident recently, call our office to set up an appointment. If you haven’t, keep driving safely and be well!

July 2020 Chiropractic Newsletter

Lakewood Chiropractic

Hiking and Chiropractic

 With summer finally here, hikers will be taking on their favorite rocky trails. Even the most experienced hiker knows the unexpected can happen out there on the trails, so it’s best to be prepared for anything. That means anything from having the right gear and knowing how to properly use it to proper hiking technique. Even visiting your trusted chiropractor for adjustments is an excellent way to prepare your body for intense hiking! Just like any other physical activity where you need to be properly equipped both literally and mentally, hiking is no different.

First Consider an Adjustment
Is your body feeling “off” in some way? Perhaps you notice a stiff back, limited range of motion, or joint pain. If you’re an avid hiker, you know that these issues are a possible recipe for disaster on the trails. Hiking requires excellent strength and balance, both of which are greatly affected by misalignment or subluxations in the body. Consider visiting your experienced chiropractor for an adjustment before a big hiking trip. Consistent adjustments promote optimal body function, such as: making sure your body is aligned as best as possible, improving coordination, flexibility, and balance, eliminating joint pressure, and assisting the nervous system.

Equipment Check
Since hiking causes stress to your joints and hips, it’s important that you equip yourself with the right gear. Injuries on the trails are easily prevented this way.
 -Hiking boots: Choosing the right shoes will significantly improve your hike. Invest in quality hiking boots with grip and tread, solid ankle support, comfortable cushioning, proper arch support, and ample room for your toes. This is a must have and one of the easiest ways to prevent injury on the trails.
-Backpack: It is vital you choose a backpack that comfortably conforms to your body. You also want to evenly disperse the weight in your pack so that the strain is applied more to the hips rather than the shoulders. Heavy items should be placed in the middle of your pack, closer to your center of gravity, which helps with balance and stability on your hike.
 -Walking stick: Trekking poles significantly help with your stability. Avoid stumbles or falls that may damage your joints and muscles, throwing your body out of alignment, by using a sturdy walking stick. They even assist with an upper body workout!
       
Other Preventative Tips
      -Warming up: Engaging your body in warmup exercises before an extensive hike will help prevent injuries as well. Warming up your body improves performance on the trail!
      -Buddy system: It’s always best to hike with a buddy. Just in case an injury does happen, you will have someone there to assist you with first aid or call for help if the injury is serious.
      -Don’t overdo it: Always know your limitations. With any exercise, it’s better to start out small and work your way up to something more challenging.

Benefits of Combining Chiropractic Treatment and Hiking
Hiking is a great way to keep your body in shape. When you incorporate consistent chiropractic treatment, however, you are truly setting your body up to function at its optimal level. Your spine absorbs constant force from the repetition of walking on trails and avoiding obstacles in your path. With chiropractic adjustments that promote good alignment of your body, your spine and hips properly absorb this force. Since hiking can be tough on the joints and spine, it’s important to do all you can to protect them! 

June 2020 Chiropractic Newsletter

Lakewood Chiropractic

Back Comfort at Home

As stay-at-home restrictions are loosened, chiropractic patients are getting long-delayed treatments for pain in their backs, necks, and limbs. But for the many who are still observing some degree of physical distancing, incurring musculoskeletal problems at home remains a significant risk. While it is good for us to avoid holding the same posture for too long, some positions put the structures of our joints and connective tissues under greater stress than others. Therefore, we wanted to share some general principles for reducing pain at home and aiding recovery.

Home Offices

Lots of people didn’t have a workspace at home designed for long-term use prior to the pandemic. In the first few weeks, many people resorted to setting up laptops on kitchen tables or whatever flat surface they could find. The problem with this is that a monitor needs to be at eye-level so that the user doesn’t have to bend their neck down to use it. Many people also hunch forward to reach their computers, rest their wrists on surfaces that could compress their carpal tunnels, or have to stretch too far to use laptop keyboards. Ideally, people should be able to type with their feet flat on the floor, their backs upright, and their arms extending forward with their elbows at their sides. Unfortunately, laptops do not usually allow for us to keep our necks and upper limbs that far apart, which is why it may be necessary to use a wireless keyboard. We want to sit far enough back in our chairs so that our lower backs are supported. Some chairs may have to be adjusted so the user can do this while still sitting upright. There should be some space between the backs of our knees and the chair seat, and the seat should be sufficiently padded.

When at Rest

Without much else to do, many people used the stay-at-home orders as an opportunity to catch up on TV and movies. But if you keep the same position for too long on a couch or bed, it will quickly stop being comfortable. Chiropractors recommend that people not lie on their fronts, as this leaves the lumbar spine unsupported and forces the head up and backward. Instead, you might try lying on your side, keeping a pillow between your legs so your knees won’t rub together and your hip muscles won’t have to stretch as far. Remember to stretch about every thirty minutes and try to get up and move around frequently.

PAIN REDUCTION
Which particular stretches a person can do will depend on their health history and whether they currently have any sprains or dislocations. But generally, aerobics that don’t subject the body to impacts are good for getting over back pain, and people should always warm up by doing dynamic stretches before a workout. Yoga poses are popular ways of stretching, as are arm and leg raises from a prone position, cat curls, bird dogging, lunges, and lying on the back while pulling the knees toward the body. Heat, delivered through pads or a hot shower, can help to loosen muscles and increase blood flow, and you may be able to massage a tight area with a tennis ball.

 Don’t forget that chiropractic is a holistic practice. While practicing safe distancing, try to exercise outdoors and make sure you get direct exposure to sunlight everyday. Keep your sleep and meal schedules as regular as possible, and schedule appointments with your chiropractor in advance to ensure you can be accommodated in reduced-capacity waiting rooms.


May 2020 Chiropractic Newsletter

Chiropractor Lees Summit, MO


Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Runners

Are you a casual runner, someone who starts each day with a jog? Or perhaps a marathon runner, training for your next big 30k? Whatever type of runner you classify yourself, it’s important that you keep your body ready for the kind of running you love to do. Unexpected injuries may result in lengthy healing times, keeping you from your normal running regimen. Many runners turn to chiropractors for a holistic approach to prevent and treat injuries. Chiropractors work on the musculoskeletal system. They carefully manipulate limbs and joints for improved range-of-motion and decreased discomfort. This drug-free alternative treatment is sought out by many runners all over the world. Runners partake in chiropractic care for many reasons, including injury rehabilitation, treating neck or back pain, and ensuring their bodies function normally. There are actually three major benefits of chiropractic care for runners, in which runners report improvement to their overall running performance.

                                                 Improving Alignment

Running is an activity that has a high impact on the body. If your body is misaligned, it directly translates to each run. Running on misaligned hips, for example, causes an uneven stride and increases your risk of injury. A misaligned body also makes overall functionality suffer, preventing you from hitting your desired running goals. Visiting your trusted chiropractor for routine adjustments will help even out your stride, allowing your body to better handle the impact of pavement or the treadmill.

Injury Treatment

Perhaps your body has been misaligned for a while and you’ve unfortunately suffered an injury because of it. Whether you are experiencing pain in your feet, shoulders, back, knees, or maybe you have a pinched nerve, your trusted chiropractor will help. Through careful manipulation, your chiropractor will restore your body to better functionality and ease your pain. Don’t wait though, you must seek treatment as soon as possible!

                                                    Preventing Injury

Runners experience injuries due to overusing their bodies. Some of these ailments include shin splints, heel spurs, and ankle sprains. Runners must wear shoes with proper support so that the rest of their body can stay in proper alignment without overcompensating. Routine chiropractic adjustments also help keep the body in proper alignment, thus reducing the potential for injury. Your chiropractor will correct your form, which in turn helps you strengthen your muscles while improving your running ability. Visiting your chiropractor regularly will also help catch potential injuries before they become worse. Contact our office today if you are a runner interested in beginning chiropractic care. We will either get you on a treatment plan or started on a chiropractic regimen to help prevent future injuries



April 2020 Chiropractic Newsletter 

Chiropractor Lees Summit, MO

 Multiple Sclerosis, also known as MS, is a progressive chronic disease that attacks the body’s nervous system. Patients experience symptoms like numbness in the arms and legs along with paralysis or blindness. The severity depends on the patient. The only thing that is standard across the board is the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors provide patients with MS holistic and natural care for their symptoms. It’s a great way to reduce your discomfort without the use of heavy pharmaceuticals. If your quality of life is suffering, schedule an appointment with your local chiropractor today. 

 What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

 As mentioned above, it’s a chronic autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system starts to destroy the tissue that protects and surrounds the nerves, known as myelin. This interferes with the communication between the spine and brain. Here is a more in-depth list of the symptoms:

-Stiffness and muscle spasms -Paralysis -Memory loss -Mood swings -Epilepsy -Depression

 Chiropractic Treatment and Multiple Sclerosis 

 MS leaves patients with debilitating symptoms that inhibit everyday life. Discomfort in the neck and head contributes greatly to uncomfortable MS symptoms. It’s why chiropractic treatment is the perfect solution. Nerve damage can move the pelvis and spine out of their allocated areas. Chiropractic or spinal manipulation realigns these areas, restoring balance to the entire body. Although this won’t cure MS, it certainly helps patients feel a lot better. Spinal manipulation is a catch-all term for combining exercise, massage, and therapeutic realignment of the joints. It helps relieve inflammation, reduce pressure, and increase nerve function. During a spinal adjustment, your chiropractor will use their hands to apply force to specific joints. This pushes joints back into place and relieves tension. It is a safe procedure that yields productive results.

 Improving Your Quality of Life 

 MS patients who undergo chiropractic treatment report having a higher quality of life. They report lower amounts of pain, along with having more energy and control over their body. Patients can become more active without the debilitating back pain looming over them. Many people with MS have recommended daily exercises to strengthen their bodies. Spinal adjustments give you more endurance and balance to do these activities. A healthier body also means a healthier mind. Chiropractic treatment gives you the enthusiasm and optimism to face any future challenges. 

 Chiropractic Care Can Help

 If you have MS and are struggling with everyday life, consider investing in chiropractic treatment. It is a holistic and natural way to reduce your symptoms while increasing your quality of life. Contact us today!

March 2020 Chiropractic Newsletter

Chiropractor Lees Summit, MO

Chiropractic Care for Headaches

Are you prone to headaches? If so, you’ve probably realized that performing normal, day to day activities is nearly impossible if you suffer from them consistently. If severe enough, like a migraine, it feels like relief is unachievable at times. Maybe you’ve tried everything to manage your headaches. But have you ever tried a more holistic approach to find relief, such as chiropractic treatment that involves spinal manipulation, exercises, massage, and stretches? We know what you’re thinking. How do headaches have anything to do with chiropractic? In actuality, it has everything to do with the spine’s alignment with the neck. According to the American Chiropractic Association (AOC), “About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by [disease]. The remaining 95 percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches . . . The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck.” The chances of having a headache directly related to a neck problem are quite high. Still not convinced? Keep reading to find out which chiropractic techniques suit your headache.

Tension Headaches


Episodic tension headaches are the most common. They occur periodically, usually less than fifteen days per month. Over-the-counter pain medication happens to be the better course of action since spinal manipulation has not been found to help with episodic tension headaches. That’s a different story when it comes to chronic tension headaches, which occur more than fifteen days per month. A low-load craniocervical mobilization technique is used to relieve chronic tension headaches. This involves spinal manipulation but with lighter force. Force is gently put on the neck joints, which allows for smoother movement of the cervical segments. Stretching is also recommended in order to prevent chronic tension headaches from getting so bad.

Cervicogenic Headaches

 Cervicogenic headaches involve a one-sided pain that begins at the back of your head then moves to the front. It is often accompanied by shoulder or arm pain. It’s believed that cervicogenic headaches come from an untreated, underlying neck problem that is triggered by a fresh injury. These headaches are less common and typically don’t get better with pain medication. For this reason, spinal manipulation should only be used for patients suffering from cervicogenic headaches. Spinal manipulation involves your chiropractor adding controlled force to specific joints in your spine. Joint mobilization is another technique in which your joints are moved passively to improve movement and reduce pain. Deep neck flexion exercises for cervicogenic headaches involve actively flexing your muscles and joints with attentive guidance from your chiropractor.

Migraines

Migraines differ from headaches in the way that they can bring on dizziness and nausea. Medication and injections for relief and prevention of migraines is an option, but chiropractic treatment is a more holistic option if you don’t want to go the drug route. Neuromuscular massage involves a keen focus on the trigger points in the back, neck, shoulder, and head. A combination technique called multidisciplinary care intervention involves physical therapy exercises, stress management, dietary counseling, and relaxation techniques. This combination of care has been proven to reduce the duration, frequency, and pain associated with migraines. Whichever type of headache affects you, we will help you get back to feeling like yourself. Contact our office today to learn how we can get you started on a treatment plan.

February 2020 CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER 

LOW BACK PAIN

BACK MUSCLE SPASMS

Back muscle spasms are one of the most common causes of back pain and affect people of all levels of activity. Convulsions can happen anytime a person is tired, dehydrated, not getting the right nutrition, or when there’s something out of place compressing a nerve or inflaming soft tissue. But when people get back muscle spasms frequently or the spasm is severe, that merits an examination and treatment. Chiropractors offer a wide range of therapies that share the characteristics of being non-addictive, noninvasive, and maximizing the body’s capacity for self-healing. These allow us to provide pain relief to people experiencing muscle spasms for a variety of reasons, many of which are preventable through a healthy lifestyle.

Causes of Muscle Spasms

Muscles are strained by acute injuries, such as when lifting something heavy or by the accumulation of minor frays. The lumbar, or lower region, of our spines, are supported by muscles that connect to the hips as well as to other parts of the abdomen. When the hips or core are weak, the spine will be less supported, and the back muscles will have to overcompensate. This is especially problematic for swimmers and football players who have to twist their torsos constantly. But people who maintain the same posture for extended periods, such as office workers and truck drivers, also frequently suffer from poor core strength, and their back muscles tend to tighten from lack of use.

Sometimes the muscles are frayed or overworked because of a problem in the spinal column’s structure. A bulging spinal disc may be straining the surrounding muscle, ligaments, or nerve roots. Osteoarthritic wear to the facet joint cartilage could also cause the joints to become inflamed, which would put pressure on the muscles running between vertebrae. Prolonged inflammation may result in the growth of spinal spurs, which would burden the soft tissues.

Returning to Activity

Although it is advisable to rest immediately after an injury, prolonged immobility allows the back muscles to further tighten. A person will have to engage in therapeutic exercises to increase their back, core, and hip muscles’ flexibility and strength, with athletes incorporating these into their normal workout routine. People should also make sure that they’re bending down by pivoting their hips, not their lower backs, and that they’re squatting before they attempt to move heavy things. Whenever a person engages in strenuous activity, they should do a five-minute warm-up of dynamic stretches, and they should conclude with a five-minute cooldown. People are also much less likely to suffer strains when they have slept adequately and are drinking enough water.

Comprehensive Pain Relief

Many people find that electric muscle stimulation decreases their work out recovery time and helps to reduce inflammation following injuries. Convulsing the muscles in a controlled setting allows new, nutrient-rich blood to enter and push acidic waste-filled blood out. A chiropractic adjustment can restore the alignment of a herniated disc, and soft tissue manipulation can loosen tightened muscles and ligaments around an inflamed joint. A patient may benefit from the application of cold packs or heat packs, provided that neither is held directly against the skin or for longer than twenty minutes. Patients should also consult with their chiropractor in order to ensure they have an accurate diagnosis and that the treatment is compatible with their other health concerns.

CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER January 2020

Chiropractor Lees Summit, MO

New Year, New Spine

The New Year is here! Have you thought about your New Year’s resolution yet? Most people like to cut back on chocolate or get to the gym more, but here’s a different idea: why not focus on taking better care of your spine? If you think about it, your spine is the structural groundwork for your body. Your spine provides support, balance, and enables motion. It is also the protector of your spinal cord, nerve roots, and internal organs. The spine is a lot more important than we think! Wondering what you can do to boost your spinal health? We have a few tips to help you get started.

Rest and Sleep

Neck and back strain are common during rest and sleep. If you’re a stomach-sleeper, this puts way too much pressure on your spine. Sometimes we fall asleep in strange positions or angles and wake up achy, asking ourselves, “Did I sleep the wrong way?” We strongly advise against sleeping on your stomach and to instead sleep on your back or side. It’s also important that your pillow supports your neck and head so that everything is neutral with your spine.

Lifting Objects

Before lifting something, you first need to ask yourself, “Is this object too heavy for me to lift?” If yes, it is always safer to ask someone for help. If no, you still need to pay attention to how you lift the object. Lifting objects improperly is the most common way to injure your spine. Always use your leg muscles to lift, never your back. Be sure to also keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. You should never twist while picking something up and you should always set the object down the same way you lifted it.

Talking and Texting on the Phone

Do you find yourself on the phone a lot? This can also affect your spine. If you need to speak on the phone for an extended period, using the speaker function or a headset is recommended to keep your neck aligned with your spine. Tilting your head towards your shoulder can damage muscles and vertebrae. Similarly, when you’re texting, keep your neck and back straight with the device at chest or eye level. You should never slump or hunch.

Working at a Desk

If you work in an office setting, chances are you don’t get to move around as much as your body would like to. Investing in an office chair with lower back support can make all the difference for your spinal health. Also be sure that when you’re sitting, your feet are flat on the floor with your knees at a ninety-degree angle. Your computer screen should always be at eye-level. It’s important that your desk, computer, and chair are set up for your specific height and functionality. Once your environment is ergonomic-friendly, we recommend you transition from sitting to standing periodically throughout the day. Even the simplest stretches at your desk can prove beneficial.

Nutrition, Hydration, and Exercise

Excess weight puts a lot of unnecessary strain on your spine. It’s vital that you do your best to support a healthy weight by eating nutritious food and exercising at least three times a week. Staying hydrated is also very important because this is how you maintain the elasticity in your soft tissue, fluidity in your joints, and most importantly, the hydration in your spinal discs. Without hydration, your spinal discs will shrink and cause a whole host of other problems, such as a herniated disc. 

If you want to add an extra edge to your overall spinal health, you can always schedule an appointment with our office for chiropractic adjustments. These keep you on a consistent track to good spinal health, but also your chiropractor will monitor or notice any issues going on. Treat your spine and schedule an appointment with us today!

CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER September 2019

Lakewood Chiropractice

Brachial Plexus Injuries

If you’ve suffered from tingling, numbness, or pain radiating down your arm, the problem may actually be nerve damage closer to your shoulder. Most of the nerves in the arm arise from the cervical spine, gathering in the neck. They bundle together with a nerve from the upper thorax into a network in the shoulder called the brachial plexus. When it gets stretched, a patient may incur dysfunction along their upper limb on that side of the body.

How Injuries Happen

The word “neuropraxia” describes when a nerve stretches to the point of causing pain or numbness. It occurs in the brachial plexus when the space between the shoulder and the neck or the shoulder and the chest is suddenly forced open. Most injuries occur when the shoulder is forced downward and the neck to the side. This commonly happens when people fall off motorcycles or bicycles. This kind of injury is also frequent in the world of wrestling and football, where the resultant pain is known as a “stinger” or “burner.” Injuries in which the shoulder is forced upward tend to happen when people lose their footing and grab onto something above them. When people suffer this kind of injury, they experience dysfunction in their hands. A crushing injury can also stretch the brachial plexus and its associated nerves. All these injuries are often accompanied by damage to muscles, ligaments, and bones, resulting in inflammation and more compression.

Risks and Consequences

Stingers are common during sports games. On-site doctors, such as sports chiropractors, may clear athletes to continue playing. The body is often able to heal itself from neuropraxia. However, if the joints are misaligned or the body’s tissues are otherwise out-of-place, the brachial plexus injury may heal in a way resulting in deformity. This would cause continual pressure on the nerve. People with more severe neuropraxia may also experience pain throughout recovery, and their muscles may stiffen or atrophy from lack of use. The brachial plexus can sometimes be compressed due to overuse injuries in surrounding structures, and people who have suffered even a minor traumatic injury are at greater risk for pain flare-ups due to wear-and-tear.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Nerve damage is diagnosed using Tinel’s test, in which nerves are lightly tapped. A practitioner may also want to do imaging tests or electromyography, which is used to assess muscles. Chiropractors will try to reduce pain and inflammation through physical therapy. Some practitioners use acupuncture or TENS to reduce swelling; many also recommend adjustments to the neck, shoulder joint, or soft tissues of the shoulder as needed. Sometimes braces, extra padding, or compression sleeves are necessary while a patient strengthens their arm. Nerve injuries heal slowly, but the sooner a patient seeks care, the better their odds of a full recovery will be.

CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2019

CHIROPRACTIC CARE FOR ATHLETES

How Chiropractors help Athletes

Over the years chiropractors have become an important part of professional sports teams and have had a major impact on athletes’ careers. Many college, high school, and professional sports teams employ on-staff chiropractors to assist in keeping the athletes on the field instead of the sidelines. Often times the game comes down to which team is healthier. Chiropractors play a part in keeping the athletes at peak performance with spinal manipulation and different soft tissue techniques. There are many benefits to athletes of all ages from seeing a chiropractor.

How Chiropractors Help Athletes

Over the years chiropractors have become an important part of professional sports teams and have had a major impact on athletes’ careers. Many college, high school, and professional sports teams employ on-staff chiropractors to assist in keeping the athletes on the field instead of the sidelines. Often times the game comes down to which team is healthier. Chiropractors play a part in keeping the athletes at peak performance with spinal manipulation and different soft tissue techniques. There are many benefits to athletes of all ages from seeing a chiropractor.

What Do Chiropractors Do?

Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine for diagnosing and treating injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Every form of treatment by chiropractors is non-invasive and designed to maximize the body’s capacity for self-healing. Chiropractors use spinal manipulation and other treatments to properly align the body’s musculoskeletal structure. Spinal manipulation helps to restore mobility in joints that are stressed and in pain. People typically seek chiropractic care to treat overuse and acute injuries that are common in sports. The goal of chiropractic care is to restore the function of the injured area, restore function in nerves that branch off from it, and to prevent injuries in the future.

How Chiropractors Help Athletes

1. Provide pain relief for a wide range of common sports injuries including back, shoulder, ankle, knee pain and headaches from head and neck injuries.

2. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and doesn't require the use of painkillers.

3. Increases strength, wich results in pbetter performance.

4. Allows athletes to relax and recover faster after the stress of resistance training, aerobics, and games through massages or other soft tissue treatments from chiropractors.

5. Prevent degenerative conditions while increasing performance on the field.

5. improve range of motion and structural support.

Often times when injuries occur in sports, athletes are given painkillers or the injury is treated in one specific area and nowhere else. Not only is chiropractic care non-addictive, it treats muscles and nerves at their point of origin as well as where symptoms manifest. The human body operates as one and is meant to be treated together when injuries occur. An estimated 90% of world-class athletes regularly use chiropractic care to prevent injuries and increase their on-field performance. If any athletes are suffering from injuries that don’t require surgery, they should consider chiropractic care before anything else.


CHIROPRACTIC NEWSLETTER june 2019

neck-pain

Degenerative Neck pain

Neck pain is one of the chief areas of concern for chiropractors. While sudden injuries to the neck are often painful, slowly developing conditions that cause chronic pain and fatigue are even more common. This month, we’re going to take a look at some of the common reasons for persistent soreness, conservative treatment options, and what lifestyle changes patients can make to manage or prevent symptoms.

Consequences of a Pinched Nerve

The nerves connect to the rest of our body from the spine through holes in the vertebra called foramina. A compression in the spinal cord or the branching nerves could cause pain, numbness, tingling, and dysfunction between where the nerve arises and the body part it connects to. Since so many nerves pass through the neck bones (cervical vertebrae), a pinch here could have especially serious implications for the body. A compression in some nerves that emerge from the middle cervical vertebrae could interrupt the diaphragm, while compression in nerves emerging from the lower part of the neck could compromise the arms and hands. Neck pain is always worthy of treatment, but severe pain that spreads to the rest of the body requires especially urgent attention.

Strains and Sprains

Not all dysfunction in the neck is directly related to nerve compression. An adult’s head usually weighs about ten to eleven pounds, and our neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments are working all the time to support it. It makes sense that when the neck is held in a certain position all day, such as when a person is looking at a computer, it will be sore afterward. Good posture and stretching can ameliorate this, but the best thing is to change positions frequently, so the soft tissues don’t become too tight.

Certain medical conditions can also cause nerve compression. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage that cushions and lubricates the joints, including the cervical spine’s facet joints, deteriorates over time. Keeping the neck flexible and strong can relieve pressure from cartilage. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition with uncertain origins, resulting in widespread inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can irritate the spine and pinch the nerves. Lastly, if a person moves their neck in repetitive motions, or their muscles are often contorted due to stress, their muscles may tighten in areas known as trigger points, which can refer pain to elsewhere in connected muscles.

Recognizing Wear and Tear Issues

When a patient complains of neck pain, a chiropractic office will conduct imaging tests and ask about the patient’s history in an attempt to determine whether the pain has a biomechanical or other cause. (In rare cases, neck pain may result from tumor or infection.) A physical examination can help identify trigger points, which may be treated with heat. Pain from degenerative conditions responds well to spinal adjustments and traction, which relieve pressure from nerves. We may also use treatments designed to reduce inflammation and speed muscle healing, such as electric muscle stimulation and therapeutic massages.

Lifestyle Changes

At home, patients will be advised to rest when they’re not doing prescribed physical therapy or stretches. They are advised to adjust their chairs or desks to keep computer monitors at eye-level and to avoid doing things that could pull on their neck muscles by straining their shoulders. Patients may also be informed to avoid sleeping on their stomachs due to how that position leaves the lower spine unsupported and forces the head to rotate. Specially-shaped pillows can provide more neck support, and it’s a good idea to replace pillows that have collapsed under prolonged use over time.

Lakewood Chiropractic Newsletter April 2019

Low Back Pain Lakewood Chiropractic

Back Pain and the Gluteal Region

When we think of lower back pain, we may think of problems in the spinal column itself. It is true that slipped lumbar discs, inflammation in the facet joints, and strains in the muscles attaching directly to the vertebrae are all common causes of back pain. But in many cases, pain radiates to the back from the pelvic region. Problems in this area can also cause pain, tingling, or numbness further down the leg, so it is important for patients to understand the importance of maintaining the health of the muscles in their gluteal region.

The Muscles of the Gluteal Region

The gluteus maximus is the largest and outermost muscle of the gluteal region. It stretches from the sacrum and coccyx, which are parts of the spinal column, down to the femur. Beneath it are the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus, which stretch from the ilium, or crest of the hip, to the femur. The gluteus medius and minimus allow us to move our thighs outward and rotate them medially. The gluteus maximus allows us to straighten our legs as we move and provides our strides with strength.

There is another layer of diagonal muscles beneath the gluteus minimus that attach to the femur. The uppermost of them is the piriformis, which also attaches to the sacrum. The sciatic nerve and major arteries run beneath it. The piriformis and other inner layer muscles work with the gluteus minimus to rotate our legs laterally.

Causes of Irritation

Tightening of muscles in the gluteal region can cause them to become sore. This can happen to runners if they don’t do sufficient warm-ups or overexert themselves. People are also vulnerable to muscle strain if they move with an unusual gait. As their muscles become stiff, a patient’s posture will get worse, putting additional strain on their back and hip muscles. Hip muscles are also attached to the pelvis, and tightness in them can pull on the gluteal muscles. Irritation of the sacroiliac joint can also put pressure on the piriformis, causing it to spasm, as can internal bleeding. Contractions in the piriformis muscle can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing the patient to experience impeded leg function and shooting pains. This symptom is called sciatica.

Diagnosis and Treatment

An examination will be necessary to diagnose whether a patient’s lower back pain is due to muscle inflammation. Pain from sciatica can reach as far as the foot. Problems at the hip-level involving the gluteus minimus and medius may be felt in the leg. As part of the examination, patients will be put through a range of motions involving different muscles. The location of the gluteal region makes it difficult for patients to massage on their own, although they may benefit from assistive devices. Common treatments include range of motion and strengthening exercises such as bridging and use of resistance bands. Patients may also benefit from deep tissue massages, use of heat or cold packs, manual manipulation, and electric muscle stimulation. Because other serious problems may feel like muscle strains, it is always advisable to seek professional help for persistent pain.

Chiropractic Newsletter March 2019 

Back Pain Lakewood Chiropractic

Workplace Habits and Poor Posture

If you work at a desk job, it is easy to get into bad habits that can cause worse pain than you ever imagined was possible from sitting wrong. Bad posture in the workplace can cause your joints to fall out of alignment and results in stress to your muscles and the tissues around them. When your posture is poor, your muscles weaken and your joints become less flexible. Chronic pain can occur as a result of the stress on your spine and lead to back pain and headaches.

Signs of Poor Posture

As we age, bad habits at the office such as slouching and lack of exercise during the day can cause muscle fatigue and tension. Some signs that you might have bad habits at work include rounded shoulders, a potbelly, your head leaning forward or backwards, back pain, muscle fatigue, headaches, and bent knees. With some lifestyle adjustments, you can improve your posture and spinal health. 

Tips for Better Posture at Work

To improve your posture and back pain, you need to practice good habits at work. 

1. Don’t slump or slouch at your desk; sit all the way back in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. 

2. Move your shoulders back and open your chest to alleviate tension and prevent slouching. 

3. Make sure your eyes are at an equal level of your computer screen so your neck isn’t tilted up or down. 

4. Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes to loosen your muscles. 

5. Set reminders on your phone or computer to stretch and move around. 

6. Exercise regularly to keep your muscles and joints loose. 

Products that can improve your Back Pain at Work

To work more comfortably, you may want to consider using these products: 

1. Lumbar support pillows for your chair 

2. Footrests to keep your feet flat 

3. Risers for your computer monitor 

4. Adjustable standing desks 

5. Alternatives for improving your posture and back pain 

You can improve your posture and pain by seeing musculoskeletal specialists such as chiropractors. Physical therapy provides treatment and prevention of chronic conditions including back pain through different exercises. Chiropractors use different spinal manipulation techniques – including adjustments and massages, to relieve pressure on your joints, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function. If you are still experiencing back pain with improved workplace habits, a chiropractor can conduct an examination and diagnose damage that has already occurred.

Is Your Bag Hurting Your Back?

Back Pain

Article by Marie Suszynski 

In today’s society, many people are carrying around more and more things around in backpacks, briefcases, computer bags, and purses. The result — back pain.

"It's an epidemic," says Scott Bautch, DC, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Allied Health Chiropractic Centers in Wausau, Wisconsin. In fact, low back pain causes more global disability than any other condition, according to a study published in March 2014 in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

When Dr. Bautch talks to people about bags as a potential cause of back pain, he asks them to empty their own bags. And they pull out pounds and pounds of stuff — several water bottles, three or four books, sets of keys they thought were lost, $20 in coins.

People are also carrying much more technology than ever before, from smartphones to laptops. "They seem like little things, but they all add weight," Bautch says.

Strategies for a Back Pain-Friendly Bag

The next time you head out the door with a bag, try these ideas to lighten your load and spare your back:

  • Pick the smallest bag you can. The bigger the bag, the more you put in it, Bautch says. Do yourself a favor and carry the smallest bag filled with only what you really need and leave the rest at home. Keep in mind that it's usually not one single item that leads to back pain symptoms, explains Bautch. More likely, it's the accumulation of smaller items, such as loads of loose change, that causes pain.
  • Aim for symmetry. Putting extra weight on one side of your body is one of the biggest back pain causes. Any time you carry weight on one side of your body for an extended period of time, it causes your spine to curve, and that leads to back pain symptoms, Bautch says. With that in mind, it's better to choose a messenger bag that you wear diagonally across your body rather than a single-strap bag that rests on one shoulder.
  • Switch sides. When you can't avoid using a single-strap bag, be conscious of changing the sides you use to carry it. If it's a short strap that you carry with your hand, regularly move it from your left hand to your right hand, Bautch suggests. If it's a shoulder strap, try changing it from your left shoulder to your right shoulder.
  • Go for thick straps. A thin strap resting on your shoulder can cut into your muscles and lead to problems, Bautch cautions.
  • Wear a backpack. Backpacks aren't just for school kids anymore. The dual straps of a backpack are the best at evenly distributing weight on your body, and that's leading more adults to use them, Bautch says. Frequent fliers are turning to carrying backpacks as a remedy for back pain. Edward Welch, president and founder of Horizonz Property Management in Atlanta, has been traveling for business about six times a year for the past eight years. After packing up books, a laptop, a work organizer, and more, he says his bag weighs at least 20 pounds when he heads for the airport, and carrying everything in a briefcase with a strap led to lower back pain. Recently, he started using a backpack, and that has helped. "I just came back from a trip and my back felt better with a backpack," he says. Keep in mind that the way you wear a backpack is key because it can change your gait, Bautch says. When you slide a backpack onto your shoulders, adjust the straps so that you carry it as high on your back as you can. The top of the backpack should be at the same level of the big bone you feel at the lowest part of your neck, Bautch says. Also, keep the straps tight so the bag is as close to your body as possible. Wearing it close means it will feel lighter, he adds.
  • Pull a bag on wheels. Airline pilots and flight attendants used to carry single-strap bags and developed their own unique musculoskeletal problems, Bautch says. But today you see them using pull-cart bags or luggage on wheels, which helps them avoid back pain symptoms.
  • Designate different bags for different uses. Rather than trying to carry everything in one bag, designate a briefcase for business, a gym bag for exercise clothes, another bag for your kids' items, and so on.
  • Aim to carry less than 10 percent of your body weight. Ideally, you shouldn't carry around more than 10 percent of your body weight, so put your bag on a scale and see how it measures up. If it's too heavy, see if there's anything you can do without.

The best thing you can do for your back is to be a minimalist. Don't carry what you don't have to, but when you need to take a bag with you, choose the right one and wear it the proper way to eliminate back pain causes.

If you are experiencing back pain, call Lakewood Chiropractic to schedule a free, no obligation spinal exam and consultation to see if chiropractic care may help relieve your back pain. Call us at 816-373-3373 or click here to request an appointment online.

Relief From Neck Pain

Relief from Headaches and Neck Pain

The neck is a very vulnerable part of the body. Ligaments, nerves and muscles that have been injured are typically the cause of our neck pain along but poor posture or degenerative diseases can also be the culprit. Even our daily schedule can lead to common “wear and tear” on our neck and spine resulting in pain. 

Neck pain can spread to the head, shoulders, arms and hands. It can be acute (sharp) or chronic (repetitive). Acute neck pain begins suddenly, usually after an injury. Acute neck pain usually resolves as the injury heals, within several days or weeks, while chronic neck pain lasts longer than three months. 

The treatment for neck pain depends on its cause, severity and duration. The majority of neck problems are treatable with therapy, short periods of rest and adjustments. An examination is necessary to identify the cause of the neck pain  and to determine the appropriate course of treatment. 

If you are suffering from neck pain, call our office today for a free assessment for new patients. Serious neck pain can keep you from enjoying day-to-day activities. We can help you overcome and manage neck pain so you can get back to life!

You can reach us at 816-373-3373 during our office hours:

Monday - Friday 9 am - 6:30 pm

Saturday 9 am - 1 pm

Or you may visit us online to schedule an appointment:

This newsletter/website is not intended to replace the services of a doctor. It does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information in this newsletter/website is for informational purposes only & is not a substitute for professional advice. Please do not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating any condition.

Are You Experiencing Chronic Back Pain?

Relief from Back Pain

You may be a candidate for Decompression Therapy which can gently correct chronic back and neck pain caused by: 

  • Herniated Discs
  • Protruding Discs 
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Posterior Facet Syndrome 
  • Sciatica

 With a series of non-surgical treatments you will begin to enjoy the freedom from back pain and improve you life. Decompression Therapy combined with Light Therapy is fast, effective, drug-free, and safe. This exciting technology is cleared by the FDA and available to you today. 

If you are experiencing pain, contact us today for a complimentary exam and consultation to determine if chiropractic care can help you. Call us at 816-373-3373 or request an appointment online. Lakewood Chiropractic is conveniently located 2 miles south of I-70 at the M-291 and Lakewood Blvd exit.

Hip Pain Causes and Treatments

Lakewood Chiropractic Lees Summit, MO

The hips are some of the most common locations for people to feel pain. There are a number of ailments which could be responsible, but fortunately, most of them are treatable with minimally invasive chiropractic methods. Many of them also involve the soft tissues surrounding the hip socket and can be treated with stretching, electric muscle stimulation, cold laser therapy, and other treatments commonly available in chiropractic offices in addition to adjustments. However, patients should not minimalize their hip pain or think that it will not have consequences for the rest of the body. A problem in the hip can throw off the whole spine, and a problem in the spine may be felt in the hip.

Sciatica: Burning, Sharp Pain

When a patient complains of hip pain, a chiropractor will need to determine whether the problem is in the hip structure or the result of a pinched nerve in the spine. Pinched nerves in the lower back can result in sciatica, the compression of the nerve which runs from the spine to the foot. The patient may feel tingling or numbness in the hip and thigh as well as pain. It is often caused by a herniated disc and is treated with adjustments.

Wear and Tear

If sciatica can be ruled out, there may be something wrong with the hip’s soft tissues. Often, the problem is osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition in which the cartilage in joints wears away. This causes the bones to rub uncomfortably against each other or other tissues, which become inflamed. While degenerative diseases cannot be reversed, they can be slowed through lifestyle and nutritional changes. Chiropractors commonly recommend that patients with wear-and-tear injuries switch to a low impact form of exercise, such as aquatics. However, it is also possible for the hips to simply be overused, which is more commonly the case with young athletes in high-impact sports. Athletes are advised to replace old shoes that are no longer properly cushioned and to do exercises which will strengthen other muscles, relieving some of the pressure on their joints.

Bone Problems

Sometimes, there is an issue with the bones of the hips. In rare cases, children get Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, in which the femur head breaks from lack of blood supply and needs to be held in the socket until it heals. Older people are prone to breaking their hips more often due to their poorer sense of balance and high rates of osteoporosis. Chiropractors can assist these patients’ rehabilitation by stretching their soft tissues to keep them strong and limber, determining individual exercise regimens, and coordinating plans for therapeutic massages with other health practitioners.

This newsletter/website is not intended to replace the services of a doctor. It does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information in this newsletter/website is for informational purposes only & is not a substitute for professional advice. Please do not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating any condition.

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