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Headaches and Chiropractic

Headaches and Chiropractic

Headaches and Chiropractic

Although the International Headache Society lists 129 different types of headaches, the general categories are tension, cluster and migraine with associate pain being described as sharp, stabbing, dull, throbbing and vice-like. Migraine with or without aura is the most common form of acute recurrent headache in children.

Different types of physical, chemical and emotional stress— including fatigue, worry, noise, fluorescent lights, travel, improper sleep, smoke and food additives such as MSG and nitrates, often trigger headaches.

Although these things may trigger a headache, the actual cause of the headache is often a series of traumatic or repetitive micro-traumatic events— including motor vehicle accidents, contact sports, postural habits, whiplash and occupational tasks.

Headaches and other symptoms may take weeks, months and even years to show up following these events.

“The negative impact of chronic headaches on quality of life, families, and productivity can be significant and is generally underrated by the medical profession.” 

University of Maryland Medical Center

Causes of Headaches 

Although headaches are not caused by just one specific source, a large amount of research clearly demonstrates that the majority of headaches are caused by problems in the cervical (neck) region of the spine. The vertebra of the cervical spine can become misaligned because of excessive or repetitive stress.

These misalignments, also known as“vertebral subluxations” irritate the nerves in the neck and cause excessive muscle tension, all of which can contribute to a wide variety of headaches.

Treatment for Headaches

Headaches have commonly been treated with medications such as aspirin or Tylenol.

Americans consume 80 billion aspirin tablets each year. Aspirin, which is the active ingredient in more than 50 over the counter medications, may temporarily relieve the discomfort of the headache, but it does little to correct the cause of the problem.

Moreover, its use has been associated with bleeding ulcers, Reyes syndrome and kidney disorders.

Taking painkillers on a regular basis can make subsequent headaches even worse, causing a condition known as “rebound headache” or “medical overuse headache”.

An increasing number of headache victims are turning to Chiropractic for help. This only makes sense as the Doctor of Chiropractic specializes in the structure of the spine and its protective relationship to the nervous system. Chiropractors detect and correct spinal misalignments by physically adjusting the spine to restore its proper structural position.

This removes the spinal stress and allows the nervous system to function correctly. The effectiveness of Chiropractic in resolving headaches has been well documented in research and case studies all over the world.

This post contains excerpts from a report “Headaches and Chiropractic”. For a complete copy of the report contact our office and we will email it to you.

Ear Infections and Chiropractic

Ear Infections and Chiropractic

Infection of the middle ear, or acute otitis media, is a common symptom among children. In fact, it is the most common cause of fever in the early years of life. This condition may be very painful and after several recurring infections, may result in permanent damage.

The Medical Approach:

A popular medical method of treatment of otitis media is prescription of oral antibiotics, usually amoxicillin. According to the Journal of American Medical Association (Dec 1991), however, amoxicillin with and without decongestant is not effective for the treatment of persistent asymptomatic middle-ear effusions (fluids) in infants and children. In fact, after administration of amoxicillin, occurrence of fluids in the ear was two to six times greater.

A Different Approach to Childhood Ear Infections:

Research shows that upper respiratory infections, including otitis media may be caused by improper drainage of the deep neck lymphatics. In these cases, a doctor looking in your child’s ear will see a build up of fluid behind the tympanic membrane (ear drum), with the inside of the ear appearing inflamed and the ear drum bulging. The most recent research suggests reduced drainage or blockage in the drainage system of the cervical (neck) lymphatic chains causes a reduction in the lymphatic outflow from the eustachian tube. This allows fluid to build up in the inner ear, making it an inviting environment for bacteria and viruses. Improper drainage of this fluid is caused by a combination of events. Increased muscle tone or muscle spasms, coupled with a child’s already small drainage system, appear to be the  major factors.

The Chiropractic Approach:

Vertebrae fit together so that the nerve supply produced by your brain may filter down your spinal cord and out over your nerves. This nerve supply is responsible for growth, repair, and healing your entire body. When vertebrae are out of their natural alignment, nerves become stretched or twisted and this vital communication system is disrupted.

Correction of the vertebral subluxations is performed by a Chiropractor. This is done by gently lining up the vertebrae in their natural position. Chiropractic adjustments applied to the neck corrects subluxations, restores normal function, and reduces or eliminates the tense neck musculature responsible for blocking the normal drainage of the fluid. As this obstruction to the lymphatic system is removed, the excess fluid in the ears drains. The inviting environment for bacteria and viruses to grow is removed, and the infection can be healed. Once normal drainage is restored, the recurrence of the ear infection is diminished or nonexistent.

For all your chiropractic needs in the Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding areas, call our office for an appointment or just walk-in during office hours.

 

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

YOUR BODY, YOUR BABY:

Chiropractic if you are pregnant?? ABSOLUTELY!! Keeping your spine free from vertebral subluxation complex is one of the best things you can do if you are pregnant. If there’s one group of people who need chiropractic spinal checkups more than any other, it’s pregnant women.

Pregnant women need their bodies to be as healthy and as strong as possible in order to handle the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth. Chiropractic care will help ensure that the reproductive and other systems so essential for a healthy pregnancy receive a nerve supply from the spinal column without interference. The slightest interference to the nerve supply could adversely affect the mother and developing fetus.

PREGNANT WOMEN HAVE SPECIAL CONCERNS:

Pregnant women have many concerns: staying pregnant, carrying the baby to full-term, morning sickness, the normal development of the baby, backaches, leg pain, not to mention a safe labor.

Can Chiropractic care help ease their minds? In the Journal of American Osteopathic Association, a number of practitioners commented on the effectiveness of spinal care for pregnant women. The following are just a few of their remarks:

“For normal patients, correction of vertebral subluxations definitely helps normal function and rehabilitation. Manipulations can be of great value in normalizing the body functions of women with problems of pregnancy, such as toxemia.”

“Manipulative therapy…normalizes functions of the pituitary, adrenal, ovarian, and placental systems…Postpartum depression is a rarity in patients receiving manipulative therapy.”

FAQ’S REGARDING CHIROPRACTIC AND PREGNANCY:

Q:Is Chiropractic safe in pregnancy?
A: Very safe and very sensible for both mother and baby.

Q: How late in pregnancy is it possible to get an adjustment?
A: Patients have received adjustments even during labor.

Q: Can spinal care help with postpartum depression?
A: Chiropractic’s beneficial effects on emotional stress and personality have been noted and documented.

Q: Can my baby receive chiropractic care?
A: Infants a few hours old have been given spinal checkups and adjustments (if needed).

For all your chiropractic needs, call our office for an appointment.

 

Protecting Your Health

Protecting Your Health

Our oldest son, Will, recently graduated from Air Force Basic Training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX. We were able to make the drive down there to see him graduate. It was a very special weekend for our family. We were able to watch him march with his flight to receive his coin, tour his dorm, watch him march in parade, say his oath, tour the base, and take him off base to see San Antonio. On Sunday, we attended church with him on base. The pastor talked about “Grief” that Sunday. He listed all sorts of losses that cause grief. One of the losses that I particularly remember was the loss of health. Health is one of those things many people take for granted. Some don’t even think about health until they have a problem with it. Loss of health is very devastating – we’ve seen this in our office over the years: fathers  and mothers unable to provide for their family because of debilitating pain, children unable to attend school regularly, retirees unable to enjoy retirement. The pastor, himself, faced a health problem that threatened to end his military career. It was a good reminder to take care of ourselves. We are each ultimately responsible for our own health. The body is constantly regenerating cells – remarkably every few years we have a completely new body. The things we do, eat, read, and consume today are the things our bodies use to make the new cells tomorrow.

Here are some ways to help your body build strong cells tomorrow:

  • get regular chiropractic adjustments to keep the nervous system functioning optimally
  • eat only real food, homemade from scratch as often as possible- batch cooking for busy families
  • drink mostly water
  • keep moving – extended periods of sitting are as bad for your health as smoking
  • read something good for the body, mind, spirit every day
  • spend some time outdoors everyday
  • unplug from all media for an entire day or more each month

For all your chiropractic needs, call our office for an appointment or just walk in during office hours.

How Important is Posture on Developing Spines?

How Important is Posture on Developing Spines?


There are numerous studies coming out showing the effects of devices and increased use of technology on developing brains. The news isn’t good. Some of the side effects include increases in depression and anxiety, addiction to dopamine (the “feel good” hormone), decreased attention span, decrease in interpersonal relationship development, and decreased motivation to take action. There are negative effects on the developing spine as well. Balance is key here – with all this flexion, chiropractic adjustments and extension exercises are so important to a developing spine! A normal spine will have an “S-shaped” curve when viewed from the side. Too much flexion without enough extension to balance it out creates a “C-shaped” spine (as you can see in the cartoon below). This leads to forward head carriage, degeneration, arthritis, and a host of other posture and health problems, including the stooped posture and “Dowager’s hump” in the upper back. Remember: structure = function; poor structure = poor function. Since technology is here to stay, we have to adjust our lives to maintain good structure/posture. In our office, we do a postural analysis, range of motion analysis, and chiropractic analysis to determine the areas in the spine that are out of balance and correct these areas so proper posture is maintained. Call for appointment or just walk in during office hours!

Do You Have Neck Pain?

Do You Have Neck Pain?


The neck is designed to carry the human head, weighing about 10 lbs, WITHOUT pain. If you have neck pain, it’s a sign that something isn’t right. You may have a structural misalignment in your neck. Remember structure = function; poor structure = poor function. Having a great neck structure is crucial – it carries a bowling ball on top of it all day. If you carry your head too far forward, you exert more pressure on your neck and upper back. If that posture continues long enough, arthritis will likely be in your future. Women are especially vulnerable to neck complaints because their bone frames are typically smaller than a male’s frame size. This is especially evident in whiplash injuries in women. We address neck pain/structural shifts in patients every day. This is a correctable condition using chiropractic adjustments, specific postural exercises, and gentle traction. Call to schedule an appointment or just walk in during office hours.

Upgrade Your Kids’ Gatorade

Upgrade Your Kids’ Gatorade

According to PepsiCo’s website, 49% of Pepsi’s entire company sales are for sports drinks. These drinks are aggressively and successfully marketed to our kids by their favorite athletes. The marketing message is that we need to replace electrolytes (which are basically salts) after exercise. However, the ingredients used to make them are typical of large food corporations who are not interested in the health of their customers, but rather in profits and shelf-life. These products receive an “F” grade from Foodfacts.com, a website that grades packaged food products and provides references for their ingredients. Below are the ingredients for two of the popular sports drinks, taken from the makers’ websites:

Ingredients for PepsiCo’s Orange Gatorade:
Water, Sugar, Dextrose, Citric Acid, Salt, Sodium Citrate, Monopotassium Phosphate, Gum Arabic, Natural Flavor, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Glycerol Ester of Rosin, Yellow #6.

Ingredients for Coca-Cola’s Lemon-Lime PowerAde:
Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Less Than 0.5% Of: Citric Acid, Salt And Mono-Potassium Phosphate And Magnesium Chloride And Calcium Chloride (Electrolyte Sources), Gum Acacia, Natural Flavors, Glycerol Ester Of Rosin, Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Yellow 5, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin), Ascorbic Acid (To Protect Taste), Calcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Color).

Sounds like a science experiment! These drinks might have (inferior chemically-sourced) electrolytes, but they also have a large quantity of sugar. Fortunately, we can make a healthy sports drink with ingredients from our own kitchens for our kids. Below are 2 of our favorites. We like to use honey for our sweetener and Himalayan pink sea salt for our “electrolytes”. The possibilities are endless!

If your kids take awhile to adjust to the switch, that’s ok – keep trying! Soon, they won’t want to drink the store-bought versions ever again! They won’t like the way it makes them feel.

Lemon-Lime Upgraded Gatorade:
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs. lime juice
1 c. coconut water (or just plain water)
½ c. water
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. honey
½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Strawberry Citrus Upgraded Gatorade:
Juice of 1 grapefruit
1 Tbs. lemon juice
6 whole strawberries
1 c. coconut water (or just plain water)
½ c. water
2 tsp. honey
½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend. Taste and adjust flavors to your preference.