7 Tips from a Chiropractor: How to choose a Chiropractor

Occasionally a friend or patient asks me for a recommendation of a Chiropractor in another part of the country.  If I don’t know anyone in that area, I have to rely on certain clues to help them choose the best chiropractor I can.  I’ve even used these tips to find a Chiropractor for myself once when I was on vacation and hurting.  Here are 7 tips on what I look for in a Chiropractic Physician, in no particular order.

 

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Pinched Nerves after a Car Accident

I hear the term “Pinched Nerves” often in my practice.  While this phrase may not be a standard medical term, it is commonly and easily understood and a good way to visualize the problem.  Other terms for the same general condition include nerve damage, nerve compression, impinged nerves, compression neuropathy and radiculopathy.  Regardless of the name, pinched nerves occur when pressure is placed on the nerve by other structures –  tissues, bones, cartilage, or tendons.

Automobile accidents and the trauma to the body that goes along with them are common causes for pinched nerves and the associated symptoms.  Some symptoms are quite obvious – headaches, neck pain and back pain for example.  Other symptoms of nerve interference are more subtle but can be just as debilitating over time if not corrected.  Pinched nerves after auto accidents may result in the following symptoms:

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5 Yoga Pose “NO”s for Back Pain Patients

As America’s back pain sufferers search for non-opioid solutions to their back pain, more and more we chiropractors are asked questions about yoga as a way to alleviate some of that pain.  Indeed, Yoga provides many health benefits as it improves flexibility and balance and provides a bit of mild cardiovascular exercise.  Some Flow Yoga and Sculpt Yoga in Greenville also provides more substantial cardio and strength training.  Yoga may serve to preserve spinal mobility and prevent falls as a person ages.  However, there are some cautions that chiropractic patients or anyone with low back issues should heed.

While strong lower back muscles are a good thing, people should keep in mind that they “work” the muscles in their low back every day, all day, doing the normal movements of daily living, not to mention work they perform when lifting, pulling, etc.  Typically, it’s the abdominal muscles that are weak and underused, so that’s a betterarea to target when you want to strengthen your core.

Which leads me to the yoga poses most likely to cause or exacerbate back pain, not help it.  These common exercises generally extend the low back…and are likely to irritate discs and other soft tissue surrounding the spine.

  1. Camel – Avoid this one.  If it’s called for in class, concentrate on working your glutes and contracting your abs as you lean back slightly while keeping the back straight.
  2. Superman, Locust, Cobra – There are many variations of these poses that involve lying on one’s stomach and raising arms, legs, or both. Do them very gently, if at all,and concentrate on keeping abdominals taut.  It’s also a good time to just rest.
  3. Wheel – Even if you CAN do wheel, it’s not a good idea for your low back. If you must, press in to it with your shoulders, show everyone you can do it, and then immediately and gently lower back down and hug knees to chest.
  4. Heel to Knee Hamstring stretch – this exercise is very commonly recommended for tight hamstrings which often go hand in hand with tight lower backs. But this particular stretch (when you lie on your back with one heel on the other bent   knee, and then pull the knee toward your chest) puts an uneven strain on your low back and may aggravate injuries.
  5. Upward Facing Dog – This exercise can be accomplished safely if you move into it slowly with your abs and quads engaged, being sure not to just drop the back and belly into an exaggerated lumbar extension. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done when a person becomes tired as class progresses.  As soon as you feel yourself making some sloppy movements, start moving directly in to down dog from plank, rather than moving through Up Dog during Chaturanga.

 

 

 

Remember, it’s more important that your lumbar spine be STABLE than it is to be flexible.  Take it easy on your low back by making some modifications so you can continue to reap the benefits of yoga in the long run.  Or if you want to learn some non-yoga exercises that can safely improve your spinal flexibility, range of motion and core strength, just ask.  I’m happy to provide all my patients at Brown Chiropractic Center with customized exercises.

Jeff W. Brown, D.C., Greenville Chiropractor

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What is Whiplash?

What Is Whiplash?

The neck is a very important part of the body, supporting the head and housing arteries that supply blood to the brain. Whiplash is a neck injury that can occur during an accident, such as a car crash or any other high-impact injury. When automobile accidents cause the head to jerk forward or backward, the neck may suffer a grievous strain because this force stretches and tears the tendons and muscles located in the neck. The resultant strain is what is sometimes referred to as whiplash.

While accidents, such as car crashes, are the most common causes of whiplash, athletes suffer from whiplash as well, often from contact sports such as soccer and football.

Whiplash is not the only type of injury commonly sustained in an auto accident.  Headaches, concussion, shoulder pain, numbness in the arms and hands, back pain, leg pain, blurred vision and ringing in the ears are all common post car accident symptoms.

Differentiating a Sprain and a Strain

As already pointed out, whiplash is basically a strain. However, (more…)

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Meet our Accessible Chiropractic Table

Lloyd Galaxy Ultimate HiLo Adjusting Table

   Patients have asked me about this and our other Chiropractic adjustment and treatment tables.  I purchased this table for its versatility in accommodating many different types of patients with many different problems.  This picture illustrates how the table can stand straight up to allow a patient to stand against the table as it lowers to a flat position.   This allows a patient in a great deal of pain or one with a disability to lie on the table for treatment without having to lie down or get up.  After treatment, the table raises back up to a standing position.

   This adjusting table also provides traction, distraction, and a special adjustable section to accommodate pregnant women.  It also has  a lumbar drop section to utilize Thompson adjusting technique and  is also excellent for Diversified, Gonstead, and Cox lumbar traction and distraction adjusting techniques.

 

So if you or someone you know is having headaches, neck, back, hip or leg pain…please give us a call for a free consultation and exam so that  I can determine if any of these or other adjusting procedures can correct the underlying damage and stop the pain.

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Top Ten Benefits of Exercise

In my practice, I see a lot of people suffering with various kinds of pain and other health problems.  I believe that these folks would benefit tremendously from exercise.  I know it’s a hard habit to take up if you aren’t already an athlete, but it’s worth the effort in so many ways.  Here are ten benefits I want my patients to enjoy.

1.  Cardiovascular Health – Whether running, swimming, biking, using gym equipment like ellipticals, or simply brisk walking, aerobic exercise is beneficial for lungs, heart and circulation and can prevent stroke or heart attack.

2.  Joint and Muscle Benefit – Knees, back, ankles, feet and the associated soft tissue including muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves – the health and function of all these can be improved through the proper exercise.  

3.  Bone Strength – Proper usage of bones through exercise increases trabeculation of essential calcium into bones, preventing osteoporosis and osteomalasia.

4.  Stress Relief – Challenging exercise creates endorphins (natural pain killers and relaxants).  Exercise can help you temporarily forget problems.  Fatigue can cause you to relax and even sleep better.

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Top 15 Cancer Prevention Foods

While it doesn’t always hold true, bright colors

             are often a sign of cancer fighters.

Did your favorite food make the list?  You can’t pick up a magazine today without reading about the benefits of one “super food” or another.  How to remember them all?  Researchers at the University of Quebec’s Prevention and Treatment of Cancer Facility in Montreal compiled a list of the top 15 cancer preventers.

  • Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Green Tea
  • Grapes
  • Scallions
  • Grapefruit
  • Other Citrus
  • Black Pepper
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Spinach/Watercress
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Should I Try CrossFit ?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about CrossFit…possibly a LOT about CrossFit.  Chances are also good that you’ve heard it might not be the safest way to work out.  So what’s the story?

CrossFit training is a popular exercise regimen that utilizes both cardiovascular components and weight training, including Olympic-style lifts like the clean and jerk.  Cardiovascular exercise along with proper nutrition is, of course, essential for heart and respiratory fitness and overall health, while weight training is beneficial for muscles, ligaments, tendons and bone density.  Sounds good so far, but you must utilize beneficial weight training exercises and not be swayed to attempt orthopedically unsound lifts by emulated peers or listening to misinformed trainers in the gym.  An adequate amount of weight should be used for a constructive workout, but not an excessive amount that will compromise form and cause associated soft tissue injury.

Building a base for weight training is as important as it is for cardiovascular training.  You would not go from a sedentary lifestyle to racing a 10K for your first workout.  The same is true in weight training:  you must start with a low amount of weight that will probably seem too light.  This allows muscle, ligaments and tendons to strengthen gradually without excessive tearing and injury.  It will also allow you to learn proper form and become familiar with the movements.  It is important to have enough patience and foresight not to be tempted to use too much weight to expedite results and to avoid embarrassment in the gym.

Building a base properly in weight training and cardiovascular exercise will actually allow you to achieve your goals quicker and insure longevity, continuing to be able to train into the future.  The quickest way to sustain an injury in weight training is to use too much weight for a particular exercise,  potentially  damaging  muscle, tendon, ligaments (including capsular ligaments and intervertebral discs) and bursa.  Your last repetition should be the same strict form as your first repetition or you must decrease your weight accordingly.  Over training when running…or box-jumping or doing burpees… can lead to injuries primarily due to impact and propulsion forces.  Cycling, swimming, elliptical equipment and rowing have less impact, however overuse injuries are always a concern with any endurance activity,  so patiently following a schedule is always advised.

Clearly, CrossFit training is not the best way to be competitive in endurance races nor is it the best way to maximum muscle size for body building.  It is also not an effective means to become a competitive power lifter or Olympic lifter.  On the other hand, CrossFit training can be a good overall regimen for people who can only devote a few hours per week to train.  The CrossFit atmosphere tends to instill enthusiasm and a competitive spirit in its devotees.   A disciplined attitude and commitment can lead to tremendous results in appearance, general health, fitness and self esteem.  So if that sounds like it meets your needs, by all means CrossFit, but leave your ego at home play it safe.

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Case Study of a Typical Auto Accident Injury

A young Automobile accidentwoman is driving home from work in rush hour traffic.  The SUV in front of her has to stop suddenly for traffic.  The woman slams on her brakes and stops just before hitting the SUV in front of her.  Unfortunately, the vehicle behind her does not react quickly enough and hits the woman’s vehicle from behind.  The woman receives a significant jolt during the collision.  She feels her head jerk backwards and then forward during the collision.

 

 Immediately following the accident she feels somewhat dazed and has some pain and tightness in her neck.  In the next few minutes she starts to develop a headache.  Someone who witnessed the accident called the police.  The policeman asked the woman if she wants an ambulance to transport her to the hospital.  She declines but when the pain does not diminish she drives herself to the hospital.  The hospital performs a brief examination and x-rays.  The woman is informed that x-rays reveal no broken bones.  The hospital gives the woman a prescription for muscle relaxants and pain pills.  The staff tells the woman if she is not feeling better in a couple of days she should contact her family doctor or chiropractor.

 

A hospital ER is designed for treating serious emergency health situations.  If a patient is not bleeding profusely, does not have any broken bones or life threatening injuries they cannot receive the attention and time that a person with a life threatening situation would require.  When there are no fractures on the x-rays there can be significant supportive soft tissue, structure damage and instability in joints especially the spinal vertebra.  If these damaged vertebra, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves are not diagnosed and treated they can cause significant pain and problems now and in the future.  Muscle relaxants and pain pills are designed to give relief of pain temporarily.  They do not correct damage, they just help the patient cope with it.

 

The young woman whose vehicle was struck from behind later went to a chiropractor for examination and treatment.  The chiropractor performed a thorough examination including neurological, chiropractic and orthopedic testing.  The chiropractor explained what the results of the tests meant.  He also showed the patient her x-rays and pointed out the problems on the x-rays that were causing her pain.  He discussed treatment with her that would actually correct her injuries, not just cover them up temporally with pain pills and muscle relaxants.  The chiropractor would have referred her to a different specialist if her injuries were not best handled by a chiropractor.  The woman received chiropractic care consisting of chiropractic adjustments to correct specific vertebral injuries.  Her care also included therapy modalities that re-educated and healed muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves.  She responded well to treatment and her chiropractor was able to demonstrate rehabilitative exercises that she can perform at home.  The chiropractor provided information and comprehensive medical reports for attorneys and insurance companies involved in her accident.

 

A chiropractor that has extensive training in injuries caused by accidents including automobile collisions, sport and work related injuries and falls is a great choice to evaluate, diagnosis and treat the patient to stop pain as quickly as possible and to try to eliminate future problems.

 

At the Brown Chiropractic Center we offer a free initial consultation and examination to see if comprehensive chiropractic care can help you or your loved ones recover from your car accident, work accident or other personal injury.

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Sports and Chiropractic

We’ve seen a lot of chiropractic mentions in the news lately…from professional football to professional cycling.  We could talk alot about the benefits that chiropractic care provides to athletes, but the link below to an article from the American Chiropractic Association says it for us:

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