Monday, August 13, 2018

Consequences of Whiplash

Among the common sequelae of an acceleration / deceleration injury (whiplash), including pain, are a feeling of weakness in the neck, temporary loss of the cervical curve, and development of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS).
These may not be immediately noticeable, but may appear slowly following the injury.
A feeling of weakness after this trauma is normal, and often the patient is given a foam neck brace, which helps support the head and relieve the cervical muscles.
Loss or straightening of the normal, forward-facing, cervical curve commonly appears on lateral X-ray, and may persist over months or even years. Proper rehabilitation, including chiropractic adjustments, can help restore the curve.
Numbness or tingling or pain down the arms or hands may develop after this trauma as the nerves exiting the spine in the cervical region become impinged between cervical muscles or in passage under the collarbone. This is called thoracic outlet syndrome. Resolution of TOS can take time, but is assisted by precise chiropractic adjustments, proper stretches, postural corrections, and focused soft tissue therapy.  

Monday, August 6, 2018

Shoulders Rolled Forward

 This is a common component, along with head-forward postures, of what’s called an upper thoracic kyphosis. The upper part of the back, and the shoulders and neck, become bent forward and over. In advanced stages, as with some elders, the condition has become so chronic it becomes impossible to straighten up. 
Strain on the neck and upper back, discomfort, compression of the anterior chest and lungs, shortening of the anterior cervical muscles, and medially rotated upper humerus (bone in the upper arm that articulates at the shoulder) are some of the results.
Early awareness and proaction can prevent this. Be aware of your posture---if you find your head is out in front of the center of gravity of your body, gently bring it back. If you spend lots of time on a computer, take frequent breaks to stretch, bring your shoulders back, roll and drop them to release tension.
An excellent stretch that counteracts development of this condition is simple and easy. Find and face into a corner, place your hands on the wall, keep your head up, and lean in. The stretch to the front of your chest and shoulders feels great! Change the height of your hands, and notice how you feel the stretch in different parts of your upper body. 
Sometimes this stretch is advised in a doorway, but I caution that it’s better to do it in a corner. You will be much less likely to lose your balance and overstretch.
Appropriate chiropractic adjustments help prevent the condition, as well. As an Activator doctor, I have precise, comfortable protocols for aligning and balancing the upper body. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Medicare & Exercises

     Your Chiropractor may give you exercises or stretches to facilitate your healing and help keep your condition from recurring.
     Since for Chiropractic care, Medicare only pays for adjusting the spine, they will not reimburse for exercises, so the Medicare patient must pay for this often essential adjunct to their Chiropractic adjustments.
     The profession of Chiropractic is working with Medicare to change this, and hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, Medicare will agree to pay for this important part of a treatment plan.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Tight Psoas

     The psoas is a major postural muscle which attaches to the lumbar vertebrae and goes diagonally down and out to attach at the hip to the trochanter, or upper part of the femur.
     If the psoas is in spasm, it can pull the pelvic girdle into distortion, causing a short leg, and a myriad of other problems. 
     The spasm and resultant distortion cause discomfort, and can impact the gait.
     With my Activator instrument, I can correct the distortion, and reset the tension in the psoas. Then I'll show the patient how to stretch the psoas muscle at home on their own to help keep this from happening again.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Headache "Scrunch"

     Chronic extension of the neck---leaning the head backward---for example, to better see a computer screen when wearing bifocals or graduated corrective lenses---is a common cause of headaches. 
     It causes tension in the suboccipital muscles along the base of the skull, compression at the occiput, and can result in an upward tilt of the posterior part of the C2 vertebra.
     This combination is a reliable headache producer.
     Watch out for this posture, and if you do get in trouble because of it, my gentle, precise adjustments with Activator Chiropractic Method can correct the area and bring relief.