All Posts tagged neck pain

Chiropractic Treatment of Neck Pain or Stiffness

In this world of high stress, long hours spent in front of the computer, and busy days, it seems like everyone has experienced some form of neck and shoulder pain/stiffness.  The good news is there is an answer to your pain.  Chiropractic is one of the most commonly used treatments for neck and shoulder pain.  Stress or bad posture cause the muscles in your neck and upper back to get tight.  Those muscles are the major muscles that attach to your cervical spine (your neck) and are responsible for moving your head and neck.  When those muscles are tight, the vertebrae in your cervical spine cannot move normally.  As a result, you start to develop pain and stiffness in your neck. Through chiropractic adjustments, normal motion can be restored to your neck.  This, in turn, helps to relax the tight muscles and eliminate the pain.  The doctor can also recommend simple exercises and stretches that will help to speed up the recovery process and return your posture and muscles to normal. These can be done long after treatment has stopped to prevent future flare-ups of neck pain.

Signs that you may need treatment for your neck pain include:

  • decreased range of motion (can’t turn far enough to look back when driving)
  • aching in the upper shoulder region
  • aching below the skull at the top of your neck
  • frequent headaches
  • forward head carriage (head protrudes forward from the body)
  • neck pain

If you have been suffering from neck and shoulder pain and want relief, you may want to consider seeing a chiropractor.  Chiropractic treatment for the cervical spine (neck) is both safe and effective.

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Protect Your Back While Doing Yardwork

We’re actually starting to see the first signs of spring here in North Carolina.  After a long and wet winter, a lot of us are as excited as a kid at Christmas to get out and do things outside.  For some, this means getting out and working in the yard.  But before you start tackling the weeds or revving up the lawnmower, remember to protect your back.  Just as playing football or golf can injure your body, the twisting, turning, bending, and the reaching of the mowing and raking can also cause injury to your back if it is not prepared. Like an athlete, without warming up, the chances of injury are greater.  So there are a few things you need to remember to protect your back and neck from yard work.

Here are some tips to protect your back and neck as your do yard work:

Stretch Before You Work

Without bouncing, for 10 to 15 minutes, do knee-to-chest pulls, trunk rotations, and side bends with your hands above your head and fingers locked. Take a short walk to stimulate circulation. When finished with the yard work, repeat the stretching exercises.  This will protect your back by warming up the muscles before and after you use them.

Weeding

The worst thing you can do for your back is bending over at the waist, especially for long periods of time.  You don’t want to be pulling weeds or planting flowers bending over at the waist while standing.  I usually recommend that my patients kneel down with a mat that you can purchase at any hardware store or get a stool that you can sit on to weed or plant.  This will protect your back from bending over for long periods of time.

Lawn Equipment

You also want to be careful using equipment like weed-eaters or blowers.  You want to hold the tool as close to your body as possible and stand up as straight as you can.  You don’t want to twist with your back either – move your feet as you move the blower or weed-eater.  This will protect your back from the twisting motion which can often cause injury to a disc.

Mowing

When mowing, you want to use your whole bodyweight to push the mower, rather than your arms and back.  Try to stand up as straight as possible and keep the handlebar close to your stomach.  You don’t want to be bending over at the waist and pushing the mower with your arms extended straight out in front of you.  If your mower has a pull cord, don’t twist at the waist or yank the cord. Instead, bend at the knees and pull in one smooth motion.  Also, keep your head up as your mow.

Raking

When raking, use ‘scissors’ stance: right foot forward and left foot back, reverse after a few minutes, putting your left foot forward and right foot back.  You also want to keep your head up as you rake so you don’t get a kink in your neck.

Lifting

As you pick up piles of grass or leaves, do not bend at the waist.  Make the piles small to decrease the possibility of back strain while doing yardwork.

If you do feel soreness or stiffness in your back after yardwork, use ice to soothe the discomfort.  If there is no improvement in two or three days, see your doctor of chiropractic.

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Tips for Holiday Shopping

The day after Thanksgiving is a milestone of sorts in America. It reminds us of just how quickly the year has gone by – and how close we are to the holiday season.  And until we flip the calendar over to a new year, the chaos just doesn’t let up.  Our bodies can sometimes have a hard time keeping up with everything you want them to do.  With the added stress of the season, we need to do everything we can to help our bodies keep up.  Eat right, drink plenty of water, stretch, exercise and take a few minutes to slow down and reflect on what the season is all about.  So here are a few tips to keep in mind while searching for that incredible deal:

 1.  Stay hydrated: Drink eight to ten –ounce glasses of water a day. On shopping days, you may need to drink more.

2. Stretch: Make sure you stretch. When you are stressed-out, your muscles are not as flexible.

3. Foot wear: Wear shoes with plenty of cushioning in the sole to absorb the impact of walking on those hard shopping mall floors. One study showed that 60% of women report wearing uncomfortable shoes when they shop.

4. Clothing: Make sure to wear layers as you will be going from cold to warm.

5. Leave that heavy purse at home:  Leave your purse at home and only bring your driver’s license and credit card or important identification cards. You can also wear a light fanny pack.

6. Frequent Breaks: Plan frequent breaks during your heavy shopping days. Take a break every 45 minutes. 30 minutes if you have less stamina.  Try to eat light foods. Skip the coffee. Coffee and sodas add stress to your body.

7. Lockers: If possible, obtain a locker. Lockers can cut down dramatically on how much you have to carry around. If your mall or shopping center does not offer lockers, try to plan frequent trips to your car. Don’t carry around more than is absolutely necessary.

8. Diet: We need to eat better around the holidays. On average, people gain 5 to 6 pounds. Eating a heavy meal and then running around shopping can be very dangerous.

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