Vanderbilt Chiropractic

Do You Need To Hit Your Reset Button?

Life is stressful and we fill our schedules to the max.  Because we are so busy, a lot of other things are neglected: proper exercise, rest, recreation and probably the most neglected is proper nutrition. 

Our bodies need at least seven hours of sleep each night to recharge and repair from a day’s activities.  Sleep plays an important role in our physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of our heart and blood vessels.  Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. 

Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity. When we rest our bodies they may be asleep, but a lot is going on to restore and repair. Also, rest allows the body to restore energy that has been expended from the day to day work. In addition to that, rest revitalizes all the systems in the body to maintain the body’s optimum level of functioning and to prevent the body from wearing out due to too much activity. It is with rest that life is balanced.  

So, how can we know if we are getting enough rest?  As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep. A variety of factors can cause poor sleep, including health conditions such as sleep apnea, but in most cases it’s a matter of bad sleeping habits.

As mentioned before, in addition to adequate sleep, proper nutrition is probably neglected the most.  In our busy lives, it is difficult to find the time to shop for, prepare and eat a healthy diet.  A diet rich in whole foods with little processing is best for our bodies, but it takes a lot of time to prepare.  We find it much easier and much faster to go through a drive-through or open a box of prepared food to eat, one that is full of chemicals and preservatives.

Variety is very important to get all the nutrients that the body needs to perform its daily functions correctly, as different foods contains different vitamins and minerals.  The correct amount of food to fuel you body, but not lead to undesirable weight gain is also important, as is a diet that limits foods containing substances or nutrients known to be unhealthy.

Poor nutrition can have serious health consequences for all types of people; however, symptoms may not always be obvious.  Those particularly at risk are the elderly, those with medical conditions that affect the appetite and even those following a strict diet that eliminates key food groups.  Anyone who follows a poorly nutritious diet will eventually show adverse effects.  

It is common that people with poor nutritional intake are often more susceptible to viruses and infections, as their body lacks the energy and nutrients needed to feed the immune system and fight disease.  These people may seem to constantly have a cold or the flu and rarely appear to be completely healthy.  Sometimes it is possible to see physical effects of a poor diet.  These could be things like flaky, dry skin, lifeless, thin hair, cracked nails, diarrhea or constipation, poor oral health and poor wound healing.  In severe cases, infertility and lack of menstruation in women may result.  

It is possible to hit the reset button as far as nutrition goes.  One very effective way to do so is through a cleanse detox.  In many cultures and societies, an annual good detox cleanse for the body is a yearly ritual, allowing the body to recover and replenish itself from within. Eliminating toxins helps guard against disease, and it assists in obtaining optimum health and vitality. 

So, what is a good detox cleanse for the body? The first step is to stop consuming all toxins such as alcohol, coffee, refined fats, sugars and cigarettes. The major organs, especially the liver, kidneys, lymph, lungs and skin will all get a rest from processing these substances and this will help cleanse the blood. Stress won’t help, so try to learn coping skills to decrease stress as much as possible as well.

There are a variety of detox plans that consist of many different ways to detox.  Some require a liquid fast for a few days and then slowly build up a diet of lots of super-healthy food and supplements to refuel before a return to a post-detox lifestyle.  These restrictions are often too ridged and hard to follow.  Many people fail early on.  

A very effective detox/cleanse that our office recommends is supplied by a company that we have found to have superior products for health and nutrition.  Standard Process has whole food nutrient solutions and is a trusted company that has quality products.  Their product for cleansing the body uses what is called a Purification Kit.  Their 21 day purification program helps your body purify and rebuild itself from the inside out. 

This program gives you a structured plan for purifying, nourishing, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  The purification kit supports your major organ systems with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in whole foods.  When you’ve completed the 21-day program, you’ll be amazed at how good you find yourself feeling.  You’ll learn how to transition to a new, healthful way of eating that will continue your journey toward a clearer, brighter, lighter way of life now and in the years ahead.  It also helps you reset your body. 

The kit includes a protein powder that is highly nutritious and supports intestinal, muscular, and immune system health and comes in three flavors: plain, chocolate and vanilla.  The protein powder promotes antioxidant activity and supports the body’s normal toxin-elimination function.  For the first 7 days you will drink up to 3 protein shakes a day with as much fruits and vegetables as you want.  You will also take SP Cleanse capsules three times a day and add fiber powder to your shakes.  On days 8 to 21 you will continue with 2-3 shakes daily with fiber powder, fruits and vegetables and will take SP Green Food capsules twice a day.   On day 11 you can add 2-4 servings a day of lean protein.  They recommend that 1-2 of those serving be fish. 

It is important to drink lots of water, as this is a crucial component in flushing out the toxins. Green tea is also good.  This program is relatively easy because you eat nutritious food every day.  Snacking on vegetables and fruits is allowed anytime you are hungry.  The kit comes with a booklet that gives you complete instructions and also has a lot of healthy tips and recipes.  If you have any questions about the purification kit, we would be happy to discuss them with you.  

Epsom salt baths are ideal for a detox program, as is use of a sauna. Body waste is eliminated through the sweat glands. Exercise and rest are of equal benefit. An hour’s brisk exercise each day is suggested, but make sure you allow time to lie down and relax afterwards.

Deep breathing is another way you can help your body to detoxify. The more the oxygen can circulate throughout your entire system, the better the result.

So if you struggle with sluggishness, feel tired/drained, tense, depressed, dizzy, unfocused, nervous, have itchy skin, rashes, acne, flu-like symptoms, headaches, aching joints, feel gassy, bloated, have allergic reactions or constipation, it may benefit you to reset your system.  Get yourself back to your “New Normal”.

What Is The Gonstead Difference?

Dr. Vanderbilt exclusively utilizes the Gonstead method known as the gold standard for hands on adjusting.  This method focuses on being as specific as possible with both the evaluation and the adjustment of a patient, producing the quickest and longest lasing results among chiropractic.  Dr. Vanderbilt will give you a thorough evaluation including a detailed history, instrumentation, static palpation, motion palpation, and most often on the first visit full spine x-rays will be taken in the standing, weight bearing position.  Necessity of x-rays is determined during the functional examination.  Please share this information with friends and family who may be looking to see a chiropractor.  It gives a good understanding of what they can expect on their first visit to our office.

The Gonstead method is administered using a very specific hands-on adjustment.  The Gonstead practitioner uses their hands as an adjusting tool to gain a better sense of how the patient is relaxing and to control the direction and amplitude of the adjustment.  No mechanical instrument can match the sensitivity of feel or timing of an applied force from a skilled chiropractor’s hands.

The goal of the Gonstead practitioner is to “do the least to achieve the most”.  That is to say, the least amount of segments to be adjusted with the least amount of force the least amount of times.  This is case specific to each patient.  The Gonstead chiropractor does not treat a patient with a manipulative procedure of twisting the neck and lower back from both the right and the left and the middle back from top to bottom.

Every patient is a unique case with specific injuries and must not be given the same course of adjustments.  The Gonstead chiropractor believes that chiropractic care needs to be specific.  This is why a thorough evaluation must be performed every visit and why a pre-determined number of visits (i.e. 3 times per week for 4 weeks) is NOT individualized care.  The Gonstead doctor will space out your visits to allow your body proper healing time between adjustments.

Mission statement for a Gonstead Chiropractor:  locating and correcting vertebral subluxations for the improvement of nerve function.  A Gonstead chiropractor utilizes his unique and refined art of skeletal analysis to detect any harmful misalignments and then specifically corrects the misalignment.  When proper nerve function is restored, pain disappears, headaches are gone, stomach and intestinal problems are healed…optimal health is achieved.  

Some reasons our patients see us for Chiropractic Care: wellness, TMJ, bed wetting, auto accidents, headaches, numbness or tingling, worker’s compensation, back pain, menstrual cramps, pregnancy, Scoliosis, sinus infections, ear infections, allergies.

Get The Most Mileage Out Of Your Adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments build on each other and each adjustment can endure, or last longer, than the one before it. That’s why, when you’ve finished your individual treatment plan, you will have retrained your body to keep your joints in alignment and created new memories for your muscles to keep everything in place.
Compared to most medical treatments, few interventions can initiate back pain relief and healing like chiropractic adjustments can. The European Spine Journal published findings from a clinical trial uncovering how chiropractic adjustments resulted in a 72 percent success rate in treating sciatica-related symptoms. This can be compared to a 20 percent success rate from treatment with physical therapy,

How does chiropractic work? 
Chiropractic works by restoring your body’s inborn ability to be healthy. When under the proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and remove any interference (misaligned vertebrae, aka subluxations) to your nervous system. With improved spinal function, there is improved nervous system function. The goal of the chiropractor is to correct spinal misalignments which remove interference that may be impairing normal health through specific chiropractic adjustments, allowing your body to heal itself. A healthy spine and a healthy lifestyle are your keys to optimal health!

Is chiropractic safe?
Yes. Chiropractic has an excellent safety record. It is the result of a conservative and natural approach to health that avoids invasive procedures or addictive drugs. As proof, one merely has to compare malpractice rates between chiropractors and other healthcare professionals. Chiropractors’ malpractice premiums are a small fraction of those for medical doctors.  If chiropractic wasn’t safe and injured patients their insurance premiums would reflect this. 

Is it OK to see a chiropractor if pregnant?
Any time is a good time for a better functioning nerve system. Pregnant mothers find that chiropractic adjustments help with pregnancy discomforts, like sciatica, improve their pregnancy and make delivery easier for themselves and their babies. Also, certain chiropractic techniques can be used to help properly position the baby for delivery. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age and condition of health.

What type of education do chiropractic doctors receive?
Doctors of chiropractic are well educated. Chiropractic education and medical education are similar in many respects and different in others because chiropractors do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, and medical doctors do not correct vertebral subluxations. After graduating with a doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) degree, each candidate passes the demanding four part National Board Examinations. Then, doctors apply to a state professional licensing board and must pass a more difficult test before being granted the privilege to practice. A chiropractor’s education, however, never ends. Chiropractors must complete regular postgraduate instruction for license renewal and to stay current on the latest research and topics pertinent to their practice. 

Is it time for your adjustment?
If it has been more than 3 months you are overdue.  Call us today to schedule your adjustment and get back on track to optimal health with a healthy spine. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.  

Chiropractic in the Work Place

How many hours do you spend sitting at your desk on the phone or on the computer? With new technologies, our computers have become our digital world, but we have stopped moving. Investing in a standing desk can help reduce the risk of back pain, heart disease, heart attack, obesity, diabetes, and more.
The most common standing desk is an adjustable desk that lowers to a sitting position and to a standing position. Along with the desk, there is normally a stool with a backing that can also be adjusted. When in the standing position, its been reported that ones feet can get tired or that there is too much pressure on the feet, but this can easily be resolved by investing in good, supportive shoes or a foam pad normally used in kitchens to stand at the sink. Another great feature of the standing desk is that the screen can be adjusted to assure that the neck is in a comfortable position.  If you suffer from back or neck pain from too much sitting while working, talk to your human resource department and see if your company allows standing desks.  We are able to give a note stating  medical necessity if your employer requires this.

If your office does not offer the standing desk, here are some other options. Lumbar supports can be purchased to help support the lower back and help sustain better posture when seated.
There are many different types of supports some which can be more shallow or deeper than others. These can also be used in cars when driving to help with a long commute in traffic. Another helpful tool at your desk would be an ergonomic key board that has supportive pads to support your wrists when typing. There are also mouse pads with a raised and padded area that supports your wrist.

Staying active in the work place is also a great idea. We recommend taking advantage of work gyms to stay active during the day. If your work place does not have a gym or recreation center, try walking around the office during a lunch break whether it’s inside or outside the office building. It is definitely recommended that one gets up from their desk every 45 minutes to stretch and walk around to aid circulation.

Work stations are critical for daily productivity. Keeping cool water within reach is a definite must. It’s not a bad idea to keep a healthy snacks available. Keeping a clean work station is also a plus. Making sure to keep everything you use regularly near by so you don’t have to reach over every time you need a stapler. Many office jobs require making phone calls that can last hours, but holding the phone up to our head is not always the most comfortable thing to do. Investing in a Bluetooth headset can be very beneficial in the work place and also on car rides home or to the office.

A comfortable work place is beneficial to both employees and employers.  If your work station is not designed for comfort and ergonomically sound it can hinder performance.  Time missed from work due to aches and pain can be lessened if not eliminated.  Just a few simple modifications is all it takes to keep everyone happy and feeling good.  In addition to these modifications we would suggest seeing your chiropractor regularly to keep your spine in good alignment.

Emergencies happen, but can they be avoided.  Most of the time YES.

We often receive calls from patients that are in severe pain from just doing their daily tasks.  Bending over to empty the trash can, lifting a large suitcase into the back of their car, just sitting down into their car seat, getting out of bed and twisting wrong or taking their dog on a walk and the pup is pulling on the leash.   These are real injuries that cause real pain but they don’t have to.  If people would just think of chiropractic care proactively.  When we receive these calls we do our best to see you as soon as possible. We know you’re in pain and getting quick relief is most important at that moment.  Our schedule usually allows us to accommodate your needs.  Usually these injuries happen to those patients we don’t see regularly.   Regular (usually quarterly) chiropractic adjustments helps your body move the way you need it to.  Correct spinal alignment prevent nerve interference.  In addition, every system in our body works optimally when the nervous system is correctly functioning.  When the spine is misaligned the slightest movement can cause pain and interfere with your activities.

We can’t emphasize enough that it is to your benefit to see us before you are having pain.  Pain can be avoided when you receive chiropractic adjustments to keep your spinal alignment instead of coming to us in pain to “fix” your spine.
If your last adjustment has been more than 4 months ago, why not give us a call for an appointment today.  You and your spine will be happy you did and we will be very happy to see you.

Don’t Pack Pain for your Summer Vacation!

Are you traveling this summer?
Whether you are taking a plane to a tropical island, driving to the coast, riding your bike in the mountains or doing extreme water sports on the lake, we want you to be safe this summer while still having fun.

Sitting for long periods of time in the same cramped position while traveling to your destination, sleeping in unfamiliar beds and sleeping without the same supportive pillows, dehydration and the stress of travel and time zones on the nervous system can all take their toll on our bodies.

There is definitely no space for pain when flying to your destination. Dr. Brian recommends to bring a towel with you on your flight.  Roll it up and put it in your seat for a lumbar support while flying.  Also carry a large zip lock bag incase you need to ice any sore areas while traveling.  Turbulence shock and the vibration we experience while taking a plane may also cause a change to the structure of the spine and may lead to stiffness and discomfort and left untreated could cause a disc bulge and nerve compression. Stay well hydrated and move around regularly during the flight. We also suggest keeping the weight in your suitcase to a minimum. Don’t be tempted to over fill your suitcase and choose appropriate luggage with wheels or padded and supportive straps. Keep your back straight, use your core strength, bend from the knees when lifting your suitcase from the carousel and also loading it into taxis and cars. Healthy food choices, minimal alcohol consumption and adequate sleep while on vacation also help to keep you feeling and functioning at your optimum.  After all the reason we take vacations is to rest and recuperate from life’s stressors.   Have fun but remember moderation in everything is best.  If you are traveling with a child, ask the airline for their policy on child car seat safety. Car seats for infants and toddlers provide added resistance to turbulent skies and are safer than the lap of a parent in the event of an unfortunate accident.  A quick trip to your chiropractor before you fly to help optimize function and prevent any potential injuries is also a great idea.

If you suffer back or neck pain, car road trips can be torture. Some of the main factors contributing to car rides being catastrophic on a “bad back” are as follows: poorly manufactured seats, chronic contraction of leg and back muscles (pedal management), and immobilization of the spine in the seated position. Be aware that pain from a long car ride often results after the ride is over. Issues can arise hours or even days later. Here are some helpful tips for those long car rides.

  • LAPS: Pull over once an hour and walk or jog five laps around the vehicle. This can be completed in less than three minutes. If traveling with family or a competitive business colleague, make it a race!
  • WALLET: Remove the wallet out of your back pocket. If a wallet remains constantly on one side of the body it can cause pelvic unleveling that can lead to, or aggravate lower back pain.
  • LEANERS: People have a tendency to lean toward one side or the other while driving. This can wear your car seat unevenly and also create asymmetry and muscle imbalance in the spine and hips. Always sit evenly weighted on both your “sit bones”.
  • LUMBAR SUPPORT: Most people only set their adjustable lumbar support in their vehicle one time. Your back does not approve of staying in one position! Every 20 minutes change the support level significantly. It is essential to provide different positions for the lumbar spine so it is not immobilized while driving.

Cyclists, even those not of Tour de France level, are susceptible to overuse injuries. Bikers tend to suffer from shoulder and neck pain from cycling. For the best experience on the trail, make sure to have the proper bike, most commonly used is a mountain bike with thick tires to absorb the shock and a bike with higher handle bars. The higher the handle bars the easier it is to keep your spine straight. Knowing the proper bike form is also key; your chest should be up, your arms should only support some of your weight – you shouldn’t hunch or expect your arms to carry a lot of the load. Get a shock absorbing seat or seat cover as well as covers for your handlebars. These little things will help to take stress off of your spine. You should aim for your muscles in your shoulders and neck to stay loose and periodically lower your head or raise it in order to help avoid injury.

There’s no better way to beat the heat than extreme water sports, but it can also be one of the most dangerous parts of the summer. If you’ve never been whitewater rafting, you owe it to yourself to try it, but be warned: if you encounter whitewater (class 3-4 rapids), your body will take a beating. It’s fun, but the sudden chop can cause sprains in your neck, and possibly even whiplash. The best defense here is prevention, so don’t take on a more challenging course than you’re prepared for. If you do find yourself with a sore back or neck after the activity, use cold, not heat to help bring the swelling down. Visit your chiropractor, as putting it off or ignoring it can only worsen your condition. When water skiing, the most common injuries are to the ankles (although head and neck injuries can also occur), because they’re attached to the skis, and if you fall over, it’s going to inevitably stress your ankles, resulting in a strain or sprain. From a prevention standpoint, your best bet is to go slower on windy days with more chop, and be sure you’ve exercised to build up your leg and ankle strength before skiing. Again, going slower on windy days and not crossing boat waves will minimize your risk, but if you fall, especially if you suffer neck pain immediately after, don’t delay a visit to your chiropractor.

Your chiropractor wants you to know that pain is not an unavoidable consequence of traveling. You can enjoy your vacation pain-free by seeing your chiropractor for assessments and preventative care and getting a spinal adjustment to keep you on the road, in the air, or on the trail. Remember, chiropractic care is well care – even if you don’t feel injured it doesn’t mean there’s not an underlying injury that needs chiropractic care.  Enjoy your summer!

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is it and how can chiropractic help?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a medical condition due to compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist at the carpal tunnel. The neck is the cause of carpal tunnel “like” symptoms  80% of the time.  CTS is a repetitive stress injury. The main symptoms are pain, numbness, and tingling, in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and the thumb side of the ring fingers. Symptoms typically start gradually and are worse during the night. Pain may extend up the arm. Weak grip strength may occur and after a long period of time the muscles at the base of the thumb may waste away. In more than half of cases both sides are affected.  When these symptoms are caused by a misalignment in the cervical vertebra, surgery is of no value.  Having carpal tunnel surgery misses the cause of the symptoms.  After this painful surgery and long rehabilitation time it is likely that the painful symptoms will return if misaligned vertebra go uncorrected.
A study looked at the range of motion for 71 women with carpal tunnel syndrome when they moved their necks. When the data was compared to the range of motion in the neck for women without carpal syndrome, it was found that women with carpal syndrome had significant limitations and restrictions to their neck movement. In fact, the more severe the pain in the arms and wrist were from carpal tunnel syndrome, the more restricted was the motion of the neck when it was flexed towards the side of the body most affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. For women with just moderate pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, bending the neck towards the side of the body experiencing carpal tunnel pain was much easier.

If patients were steered toward chiropractic prior to deciding on surgery perhaps they could avoid surgery and rehabilitation.  Chiropractic adjustments to the wrist can reshape the carpal tunnel which is impinging on the medial nerve in the hand and is beneficial for patients seeking noninvasive relief from this ailment that has become all too prevalent with the increased use of computers, cell phones etc.

How Does It Occur?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive motion, such as typing, texting or completing repetitive motions with the hands like assembly line work. These actions may cause pain and injury over time. The elbow and shoulder can also be effected.   Cubital tunnel syndrome, also known as ulnar neuropathy caused by increased pressure on the ulnar nerve, which passes close to the skin’s surface in the area of the elbow commonly known as the “funny bone.”  You can develop cubital tunnel syndrome if you repeatedly lean your elbows on hard surfaces.  Shoulder misalignments can also effect these condition.

Typically, chiropractic care, for CTS is to address the problematic wrist and elbow, as well as adjustments of the upper spine. Misalignment in the spine does contribute to symptoms of CTS.  Patients are advised to rest the affected arm, apply cold to reduce inflammation and perform recommended exercises.  If you are experiencing marked weakness in your wrists and or hands your condition is more urgent.  Stress also plays a factor in CTS so it is important to find ways to relax and reduce stress as much as possible.

Chiropractors administer care for more than just relieving pain. The ultimate goal of the chiropractor is to help restore and maintain the body’s natural state of ideal health.

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

– the importance of getting an adjustment while pregnant
Chiropractic care is health maintenance of the spinal column, discs and related nerves without drugs or surgery. It involves the art and science of adjusting misaligned joints of the body, especially of the spine, which reduces spinal nerve stress and therefore promotes health throughout the body.
There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. All chiropractors are trained to work with women who are pregnant. Investing in the fertility and pregnancy wellness of women who are pregnant or trying to conceive is a routine care for most chiropractors.  Chiropractic care in pregnancy is vital to the normal physiological function of both the mother and baby throughout pregnancy and birth. More women and birth providers are discovering the many benefits associated with chiropractic care in pregnancy.  The Webster Technique is a chiropractic adjustment to the sacral (tail bone) which helps the pelvis to open during pregnancy and most importantly during labor. This also relieves pelvic pain and painful walking which is common for pregnant women.  Having an open pelvis and healthy nervous system helps the baby position itself correctly during pregnancy which will hopefully help the baby from becoming breech during the latter stage of pregnancy.  Studies have shown that pregnant women who have chiropractic adjustments through out their pregnancies not only feel better and have less aches and pains, but their babies are likely to drop and present correctly which helps provide a quicker vaginal delivery.
Sacral subluxation may contribute to difficult labor for the mother (i.e., dystocia), caused by inadequate uterine function, pelvic contractions, and baby mal-presentation. Correction of sacral subluxation may have a positive effect on all of these causes of dystocia.

Potential benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy include:

  • Maintaining a healthier pregnancy
  • Controlling symptoms of nausea
  • Reducing the time of labor and delivery
  • Relieving back, neck or joint pain
  • Preventing a potential cesarean delivery

The nervous system is the master communication system to all the body systems including the reproductive system. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively.

Child car seats
It is important to keep your child in a rear facing car seat until they are at least 2-years-old or have reached the seats height and weight limits for the facing forward position (usually 36 inches and 30 to 35 pounds).  The 5 point harness placement is very important for child safety.  The clip across the chest should be brought up to armpit level.  The straps should be snug holding baby into seat.  Do not have baby wear bulky clothing in winter coats will in their car seats.  Crash tests have shown babies can be ejected from their heavy winter coats while properly strapped into their car seats.  Use a heavy blanket to cover baby during winter months.    Never allow an infant to sleep in their car seats after reaching your destination.  If they are unable to hold their head up they should be in a reclined position while traveling.  If they fall asleep you should avoid them slumping to head to chest position which could block their airway and in the worst case scenario cause suffocation.  We also recommend putting additional padding in the lower back and seat areas of the car seat by adding a one inch thick foam pad which can be purchased at any craft store.  Children’s car seats are not mandated to have padding in these areas which should be padded for your child’s comfort and protection.  Child car seats are intended to keep our precious children safe if used properly.  Having trouble securing your child’s seat in your car?  Check with your local fire station or police departments.  They are usually happy to help install these seats.

Changing diapers – There is a right and wrong way.
When babies are born their spines are in a C shape from neck to tail bone.  As the baby develops and spends more time on their stomachs and learns to push themselves up they are developing their normal primary spinal curvatures in the neck and lower back.  So if we are changing babies diapers in the typical way of lifting their buttocks up by holding their ankles we are actually stressing and potentially misaligning both the mid back and low back/tailbone area.  This could cause digestive issues because the nerves from the thoracic spine (mid back) control the stomach, and lumbar spine and tailbone control bowel and bladder function.  All those things can be affected because with every diaper change (which is a lot!) we are constantly putting stress on those areas of the spine, potentially prohibiting nerves from properly communicating with those organs which could cause digestive complaints in your baby (colic and constipation).   The way to prevent these digestive issues and allow the primary spinal curves to develop like they are supposed to is to roll the baby to one side, clean them, remove the soiled diaper then slip the new diaper under them and roll them back onto the diaper and fasten. This method takes some practice and getting used to.  We recommend starting early and continuing all the way to potty training.  Once it becomes a habit it will be much easier.  If you don’t have a newborn this method can be started at any age.  Be patient as your child learns this new technique.
The WRONG way


How to stand up when on the floor
Grand parents and some parents have difficulty getting up from the floor after playing with children at their level.  Here are some tips to help when you find it’s a challenge to get up from the floor or ground. 

  1. Get onto all fours
  2. Bring the strong leg forward, knee bent, opposite hand on the floor for balance.
  3. Lift up, placing both hands on the front quad.
  4. Turn the back toes under and push your hands into the quad, using the strength of the thigh and upper body to push back to a standing position.
  5. Bring back foot in, stand tall and repeat as many times as you can.

What Can An Adjustment Do For Your Heart?

A spinal misalignment (vertebral subluxation) will always cause nerve interferences somewhere in the body. With the heart being the most important organ of the body, it is essential that we eliminate all interferences to the heart. Adjustments to the spine may lower blood pressure in individuals suffering from hypertension and provide an overall better heart rate for everyone.

In a study conducted by the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University in 2007, realignment of the atlas vertebrae, also known as the C1 vertebrae of the cervical spine, can help to lower systolic blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension. Systolic blood pressure is the topmost number in a blood pressure reading. It’s the pressure felt along the arterial walls when the heart contracts. There appears to be a link between compression of the vertebral artery and an unhealthy elevation in blood pressure. By realigning the C1 vertebrae in the neck, restriction along the arterial wall is relieved and you may experience a decrease in blood pressure.

The same principles apply to the effect that arterial compression within the spine could lead to an elevation in diastolic blood pressure. When the C1 is realigned, the compression is removed from the artery and thereby lowers diastolic blood pressure. When the cervical spine is placed in alignment, the nervous system is allowed to better communicate with the rest of the body. In relation to the heart, the improved communication can help bring your heart rate down to a healthy level.

What is Blood Pressure.
Liquids try to spread out and fill as large an area as gravity will allow it to. This is where blood pressure comes into play. Blood pressure (BP) is how hard your blood is pressing against the blood vessel walls.

For people who have high blood pressure, the blood in their arteries is pushing up against these blood vessel walls too strongly. Your BP is measured in two numbers. The first number is the pressure while the heart beats and is pushing the blood through the body. The second number is the pressure while the heart takes a break between beating. The standard measure is around 120/80 mmHg.

High blood pressure is also often known as hypertension. Some people use the terms interchangeably or to describe the highest level of blood pressure. This is when BP exceeds levels of 140/90 mmHg. The thing about very high blood pressure is it can also depend on the person. Some people just have naturally higher resting blood pressures than others. It’s important to have comparative tests in different situations. Oftentimes, getting your blood pressure tested at the doctor’s office is the worst thing to get an accurate reading on, since people are often quite stressed out while they are there.

High Blood Pressure Symptoms

Often times called “the silent killer” but there are quite a few symptoms that suggest you have very high blood pressure. While these can also be symptoms of other things, when combined together, they paint a picture of what will give you warning signs.

  • Fatigue – This can be both physical or mental. Those with high blood pressure may feel confused for no reason.
  • Bloody Urine – This is certainly one of the most disturbing of the potential symptoms that you can have. Seeing it is very uncomfortable.
  • Pounding Feeling in Chest – This is an uncomfortable feeling like you can feel your heart beating through your chest.
  • Vision Issues – High blood pressure can often cause blurred vision.

Testing your blood pressure should ideally be done at a normal time. It should be done when you are not feeling additional mental or physical stresses.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

There is no concrete singular reason that people get high blood pressure. There is a combination of factors that tends to cause it. People who smoke heavily often have high blood pressure. One of the main causes is often considered to be obesity or overweight. Going hand in hand with that is people who don’t get enough exercise. These two often tend to reinforce each other.

How to Lower Blood Pressure

There are several ways in which you can lower your blood pressure. Many of these have been known for quite a while and some are common sense ideas. Here are some ways you can work on your high blood pressure:

  • Exercise – Being active is a great way to help manage things.
  • Weight Loss – This can go hand in hand with exercise, but weight loss can also be independent of exercise.
  • Diet – Eating healthy foods is always a good way to work on your blood pressure. It’s key to avoid processed foods whenever possible.
  • Processed Sodium is Bad – High sodium levels can increase blood pressure, so lowering your processed sodium is a great way to stop it. Processed foods are often loaded with sodium to keep them preserved and packaged.  Sometimes we just need a little salt, Dr. Brian recommends Grey Celtic Sea Salt.  There are many misconceptions concerning salt. Sea salt has a host of health benefits and is far different from table salt. Sea salt is harvested naturally and is free of additives and preservatives. In addition, it contains a multitude of trace minerals and nutrients the body needs and often doesn’t receive from other sources. Using sea salt in moderation can benefit the skin, regulate blood sugar levels, improve cardiovascular health and ease sore muscles. It can also encourage healthy ph levels in the body and eliminate toxins. Sea salt also can be used externally to protect teeth and slough off dead skin cells. It is recommended to use natural sea salt that has been harvested in a way that does not involve processing. When you find out more about the benefits of sea salt, you will see that it is a far cry from table salt that you have been told to avoid.
  • Reduce Alcohol – Another potential danger area is drinking too much alcohol. If can cause more blood pressure issues and thus needs to be limited appropriately.

    The best way to control high blood pressure is using natural methods. There are those who need medication, but if high blood pressure can be CURED through life style changes; such as proper diet, exercise and seeing your chiropractor to be sure your nervous system is functioning optimally.  Isn’t that better than controlling BP with a medication, which does only that, and in most cases the medication needs to be increased or additional medication prescribed.

Sciatic pain

Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) medicine regularly treat sciatica. Sciatica is characterized by pain that originates in the low back or buttock that travels into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve pain varies in intensity and frequency; minimal, moderate, severe and occasional, intermittent, frequent or constant.
Pain is described as dull, achy, sharp, toothache- like, pins and needles or similar to electric shocks.  Other symptoms associated with sciatica include burning, numbness and tingling sensations.  Sciatica is also called radiating or referred pain, neuropathy or neuralgia.  A misconception is that sciatica is a disorder-however, sciatica is really a symptom of a disorder,
Sciatica is caused by the sciatic nerve being compressed,  Disorders known to cause sciatic nerve pain include lumbar spine subluxations (misaligned vertebra), herniated or bulging discs (caused by spinal misalignments that have been present for a long time), pregnancy and childbirth, tumors and non- spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation or, sitting on one’s wallet in their back pocket.The most common cause of sciatica is a spinal misaglinment. Sciatic nerve compression may result in the loss of feeling (sensory loss), paralysis of a single limb or group of muscles (monoplegia), and insomnia.

Chiropractic adjustment for sciatic symptoms
The purpose of chiropractic adjustment is to restore the body’s potential to heal itself.  It is based on the scientific principal that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function and performance.  Chiropractic care is non-invasive (surgical free) and drug- free.

Adjustments  At the core of chiropractic care are spinal adjustments. Hands on adjustment frees restricted movement of the spine and helps to restore misaligned vertebral bodies to their proper position in the spinal column. Spinal adjustment helps to reduce nerve irritability responsible for causing inflammation, muscle spasm, pain, and other symptoms related to sciatica. Adjustments should not be painful. Spinal adjustments are proven to be safe and effective.
Ice/Cold therapy may also be recommended to help reduce inflammation and control sciatic pain.
So if you or anyone you know suffers from the ailments listed above, a chiropractic adjustment could offer quick relief and get you back to feeling good and moving like you need to.

New Year | New You

As the new year dawns we are once again faced with new year resolutions.  Do we make them, keep them, or just forget about them?  These resolutions are made to improve ourselves and hopefully the quality of our lives.  How many times do resolutions fall by the wayside soon after they are made?  This year we would like to challenge ourselves.  Instead of making resolutions that are difficult to keep, we should pick one area of our life we want to improve and do it well.  Call it a lifestyle improvement instead of resolution.  This is for us!

We would suggest making chiropractic a healthy habit to keep all year long.  Chiropractic brings sanity to health!  Chiropractic takes your most important asset, your health, and gives you a perspective to better experience this thing called health and to maximize your experience while on earth.

Unfortunately we can’t base our health on how well we feel.  What is evidence that supports chiropractic?  A study done in Scotland in 2001 by Francis Smith MD checking for spinal stenosis (When combined with the word spinal, stenosis defines a narrowing of the bone channel occupied by the spinal nerves or the spinal cord) The study showed that out of 154 – 10 year olds who had MRIs to evaluate for stenosis, 9 % already had asymptomatic (absence of symptoms) disc disease.  This means that subluxations (spinal misalignment)  had been there for a long time, possibly since experiencing a traumatic birth.  This disc disease in these 10 year olds could have been prevented with a gentle adjustment shortly after birth and periodically (every 6 months on average) throughout the children’s life.  Dr. Smith’s study went on to show that 37% of 20 year olds also had disc disease that was asymptomatic.  All ages can suffer from headaches, ear infections, abnormal bowel routines, allergies etc. due to spinal misalignment.  This is why we encourage children and adults have regular chiropractic check ups to at best avoid or hopefully alleviate these ailments.  Newborns should be checked and evaluated shortly after birth so any misalignment can be found and corrected.  Babies who are adjusted have better sleep and bowel function.  Adults who are adjusted regularly enjoy many benefits including better sleep routines, improved immunity and an overall feeling of well being

In 1918 BJ Palmer developed chiropractic and knew it could change the world.  In 1918 there was the Spanish flu epidemic where many, many died.  1 in 10 of the worlds population died, most in the first 6 weeks of the epidemic.  Roughly 20,000,000 people died world wide,  500,000 being Americans.  Historical medical records show that in Davenport Iowa where chiropractic was founded at the same time in the same city 50 medical doctors treated 4,950 patients and 274 died.  While 150 chiropractors and chiropractic students gave spinal adjustive care to 1,635 people and there was only 1 death.  They concluded that patients had 140% chance of survival is they sought chiropractic treatment.  One could argue and say that the reason there was such a high death rate with those treated by medical methods was because those patients were worse off.  Oklahoma City solidified the findings when 136 patients diagnosed with the Spanish flu were told they were hopeless cases and should go home and get their affairs in order because death was imminent.  36 of them sought chiropractic care and 32 of them lived.  Overall there were 950 deaths out of every 10,000 people who sought medical treatment verses 25 deaths out of every 10,000 people who received chiropractic care.  This put chiropractic on the map.  A quote from BJ Palmer “you have more faith in a spoonful of medicine than the Power that animates the living world”.

It is important to understand the chiropractic philosophy.   The key to chiropractic is not to  just treat symptoms, which is why many seek chiropractic care.  The key to chiropractic is to prevent ailments by keeping the spine in correct alignment which allows correct movement of the bones and the nerves to function uninhibited. Seeing a chiropractor only when you have back or neck pain is like buying an IPhone just for the calculator.  

Whatever your New Year resolution is we want to be part of your wellness plan for 2018.  We will do our part by recommending when future appointments should be set and if not booked at the time of your last appointment we will call you when it is near the time doctor has recommended you return for your adjustment.  We will also send postcards telling you it is time if we are unable to reach you by phone. Please call us at your earliest convenience to schedule your appointment when we leave you a message or when you receive a postcard.   We are here to help and hope you have the best 2018!

Gonstead Difference