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Neck Exercises to Relieve Neck and Upper Back Pain

June 14th, 2017

I recently made this video for a patient. She was having some pinching in her upper back and shoulder blade area. She’s been adjusted twice this week. The adjustments are slowly improving things her pain. While the time for my Hollywood film career is long past, hopefully the exercises in this video will help her and you. These exercises are designed to support chiropractic care. The exercises will not replace a quality skilled adjustment.

Here is today’s feature film:
https://youtu.be/5SliT_91QZY

If you have any questions on how to relieve your neck pain, or you are looking for a chiropractor, I would love to have you as a patient. You can reach me at 763-553-0387 or email me at drlorigoodsell@gmail.com

Back Pain from Gardening

May 24th, 2017


This time of year, my every Monday is filled with patients with back pain from gardening and yard work. In Minnesota, where summer is slow to arrive, this is the season for gardening. It’s also the season for back pain. If you’ve been sitting on the couch all winter long waiting for a warm up, now isn’t the time to start doing 12 hours of manual labor a day.

We are all tempted when we look outside just to get ‘er done. If you over do the gardening, I can assure you, you will have back pain. To avoid back pain from gardening, I recommend several simple tips.

1) Break your job out into 30 minute chunks. Then take a break. A 5 hour marathon weekend session is going to hurt.

2) My neighbors will tell you that I have hired nearly every kid in the neighborhood to help me with gardening. Despite what people think about kids; many of them love working, making money and helping people. My eleven year old neighbor took two car fulls of huge rocks and made a border for me last month. He was happy with the $8 an hour I paid him and it only took him four hours. My back didn’t hurt for two weeks like the last time I did something stupid. The best part about it was getting an opportunity to bond with my neighbor kid.

3) Vary your tasks, two hours bent over at the waist pulling tall weeds, is predictably going to be a problem. Change it up. Do some squatting, digging, bending, pulling so that you vary your tasks.

4) When you finish, don’t go flop on the couch in a heap of exhaustion. Take the dog on a short walk. It will help you activate your muscles again and loosen up.

If you follow these tips and remember to stretch afterwards, you will avoid a lot of the back pain from gardening that is common in the spring. I always end with this: if you hurt, call my Plymouth Chiropractic Office. I can help you.

Back Pain from Computer Work

April 26th, 2017

Experiencing back pain from computer work is an all too common complaint. Every day I see patients with back pain due to working on a laptop, tapping away on a keyboard or text neck from near constant device use.

Self Help:
While back pain from computer work isn’t going away anytime soon, its effect on your life can be mitigated. An ergonomics assessment is the number one thing you can do to eliminate pain. Check to see if you are reaching your elbow past 90 degress to get to your keyboard or mouse. If you find that you are leaning forward in your chair towards your screen by the end of the day, that needs to change. Having an adjustable chair and desk is critical to you feeling better. Make sure the arms of the chair are allowing you to rest your arms while working.

Another thing I strongly encourage my patients to do is to take an exercise break in the middle of their day. If fitness is your priority, the best time to do it is in the middle of the day. This will get you out of that seated posture that is hurting your back and neck. If fitness isn’t your priority, you need to examine your priorities. Bodies aren’t designed for constant sitting.

Getting the help you need:

Often to sit up straighter, your muscle activation patterns have to change. To do that, you need good joint function throughout your spine. Your nervous system has to activate your muscles properly so they don’t spasm or go flaccid when your spine needs support.

Chiropractic adjustments help your spine move better so that there is less tension on your nervous system. When that happens, you will experience less fatigue and back pain from computer work. That is because it allows you to sit up with better posture for longer periods of time without fatiguing.

Contact my office today if you would like your ergonomic questions answered. I am always available to answer your questions by phone 763-553-0387

Questions about Acupuncture

February 20th, 2017

I am often asked questions about acupuncture. To get you the best and most accurate answers to your questions about acupuncture, I turned to Ashley Robillard at Firefly Acupuncture. Ashley is an acupuncturist right here in Plymouth and I have seen her myself.

Here is what she had to say about acupuncture:

There are a couple of questions that come up frequently when I tell people I am an acupuncturist. Often times people know that acupuncture is a natural therapy that includes needles. And they typically know somebody who has tried it, but has never met an acupuncturist before. So naturally, they are curious about a few things.

“Oh is that when you stab people with needles!? I hate needles!”

Agh! I do not want people associating a stabbing with what I do! Acupuncture needles are very fine, flexible, sterile and disposable. Each needle is used only one time and barely felt with insertion. Once the needles are inserted, the patient will rest for about 30 minutes and many times are sound asleep when I return to the room.

“I know somebody who had acupuncture for headaches, do you treat headaches?”

Yes! But there is so much more than just treating a headache (or back pain, or stomach pains, or joint pain). Why do you have this pain? What is the underlying cause? I will treat the symptom of the moment to give relief, but I will also ask many questions to get to the root of the problem. Then I will tailor the treatment specifically to you. We will go through your daily routine to notice triggers, look at your diet and find patterns that could be contributing to your pain. I will place needles in specific points that either tonify the deficiencies in your system or reduce the stagnation, or many times both! It is all about balance.

Many people think acupuncture is only about pain relief. But it is so much more than that. It is about bringing your system back into balance. Life is hard and exhausting and many of us do not stop to take care of ourselves, or to just breathe. Yes acupuncture helps with pain, but it also helps create a more restful sleep pattern, it helps balance mood swings and boost metabolism. When all systems in the body are regulated, the pain will decrease significantly.

“Do you like what you do?”

I can’t even explain how happy my job makes me. I absolutely love working one on one with people, hearing their stories and finding a way to make their life better. To see a patient walk out of the office relaxed and pain free when it was a struggle to walk in. To ask about a lifelong symptom and have the patient realize that it is no longer a concern. To have a woman struggling for months or years with fertility tell me she is pregnant. I am so thankful to be part of each journey.

If you have concerns that you would like to address with Ashley, she is right here in Plymouth. She also does acupuncture facials. I’ll let her explain that one to you herself. You can reach her at Ashley Robillard, L.Ac. Firefly Acupuncture
www.fireflyacu.com 763-300-1399

Know your farmer, know your food!

February 10th, 2017

One little known fact about me; I was a vegetarian for six years. It wasn’t a health kick, I simply read a book about food that grossed me out. The book was called, Diet for a New America, written by the Baskin Robbins heir, John Robbins. He walked away from his family’s food empire and inheritance because he didn’t like how the animals were processed and raised. Specifically, he was disgusted by the hormones and drugs used in dairy production.

Many years later, I am back to eating meat. I am now incredibly picky about the source of my meat. I will happily spend an extra few dollars a month to insure that Mad Scientist practices aren’t used on my food and that the animal isn’t tormented while it is living. I was recently turned on to Hilltop Pastures Family Farm. Last summer, I would drive down to the midtown farmers market just to stock my freezer. Last month, as I was running low on meat that I had purchased at the fall farmers market, I realized they delivered twice a month to the Ridgedale Target. How nice to not have to leave the Plymouth or Minnetonka area! What I like about Hilltop Pastures Farm is knowing the animals that I eat were humanely treated and humanely butchered. They were raised with regular farming practices that I grew up with, not within disgusting factory farms.

Humanely Raised

I asked Sarah, the farmer, how her animals are raised and this is how she answered:

“We are a truly small-scale family farm where all of our animals are raised sustainably and organically. All of our animals are raised in the open air, sunshine, and on grass. Farming practices such as these utilize the natural symbiotic relationships between the different species. On our pasture-based farm, cattle, lambs, and goats (ruminant animals) are solely grass-fed and finished. They receive no grain at all. Our chickens, laying hens, turkeys, and pigs are also raised on pasture in addition to receiving a non-GMO grain. This is because they are a non-ruminant animal. Our animals receive no antibiotics or growth hormones, ever! We offer genuine, true farming practices that heal the land and soil and keep our animals and family healthy. We use organic principles when raising all of our animals. The multi species farming practices that we use versus single species is good for the land and the animals. All animals move around on the farm so that they are always receiving fresh grass and its wonderful nutrients. Our animals don’t just have access to the grass, they are on the grass, always. All the animals follow the cows on the farm. The hens are the last to follow so they can scratch at the manure piles. That break up the larva cycle sanitizing the pasture. The hens love the fresh grass and bugs that they find out there.”

Is it just labeling?
As a consumer, one of my big concerns when shopping for groceries is whether I am paying more for pretty advertising, or am I paying for sound farming practices? Finding Hilltop Pastures Farms solved this for me. Since I know my farmer, I know that the money isn’t spent on packaging. It doesn’t have fancy graphics, and it doesn’t have buzzwords. When I asked Sarah about this, she had a lot to say about advertising and farming practices of the fancy big box groceries.

“Our mission statement is: Know Your Farmer Know Your Food. I know in this day and age, life is chaotic and busy. We look for the most efficient ways to get things done. We definitely shouldn’t do that with our health. I know it takes time to research and find good food, but it is so worth it! We aren’t a factory farm pushing out animals every day to keep up with the profit margins. We are small scale. Animals are raised with care and attention. They are allowed to grow at the rate needed for their health and well-being. We are face to face marketing with our customers. We truly feel that you need to know who is growing your food in order to know for sure that it is raised right.

Our mantra is that as consumers we shouldn’t just put our faith in a label! A label on a fancy package in the grocery store doesn’t necessarily mean that the source of that meat was truly being raised in a healthy pasture based system! Eggs and chickens are often “labeled” as free-range, organic, cage-free, vegetarian or any of the other buzz words. The reality is that the chickens are often raised in massive barns with only a small access door to a little area outside that hasn’t seen a blade of grass in years! Chickens eat bugs! They love them! So they are not naturally vegetarians… Beef labeled as Grass-fed is often raised in large feed lots that finish the animals on grain or other high gaining rations. The animal is only exposed to pasture for a few months of its life so it’s allowed to be “labeled” as grass-fed. You get the point, labels are deceptive. The big boys in the food industry are seeing the food revolution happening. They don’t want to give up any of their profits. They are buying organic companies and heavily influencing labeling and production models. Bottom line is if you really want to know how your food was raised you must KNOW YOUR FARMER.”

If you are interested in ordering meat from Hilltop Pastures Family Farms, check out their website Hill I love their brats and bacon. Let them know I sent you.

Pilates is the perfect exercise for your back

February 6th, 2017

Why is Pilates the perfect exercise for your back? It is an exercise system specifically designed to strengthen your deep internal stabilizers, especially your spine. After years of working out at thebig gym, I’ve seen all types of dangerous exercises performed on the main floor to “strengthen” someone’s back or neck. I have all I can do to not walk up to them with a business card since they are going to need me at some point.

The scariest things I see are individuals with poor posture performing weight training exercises. If it’s at the gym, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. Individuals pulling their leg to their head in an attempt to “stretch” their hamstrings; and people who complain in my office about back pain but never change their exercise routine – still doing yoga and weights but never feeling better… Even worse, all the money spent at Orthopedic and PT clinics when learning how to use your body correctly is the key. It’s PreHab – Not Rehab. There are better ways.

I highly recommend Deb Dodge at The Pilates Advantage in Medina, MN. I have been referring her clients for quite some time and she and her competent staff are great at developing strengthening programs that work for each person. Her instructors are Pilates Method Alliance certified and this is important in the Pilates field of exercise.

Pilates isn’t going to make you sweat like crazy or build your cardio endurance. It is going to build the muscles that keep your body safe as it moves. While I don’t feel like I have earned a big cheeseburger after my workout, I do feel like it is the most important hour I spend each week. When I leave it as if all my joints have been lubricated.

Again, if you are looking for a knowledgeable, helpful and convenient Pilates studio, call Pilates Advantage. They will get you on the right track for feeling good!

My Posture Pump® Review

February 6th, 2017


When Posture Pump® asked me to review their products, I was initially skeptical. They caught me at a moment where I was having a lot of postural fatigue and the beginnings of chronic headaches. I had just complained that day about burning in my upper back to my own chiropractor. I’ve been under chiropractic care for 25 years and to me it’s as basic as eating broccoli. I don’t necessarily like getting adjusted every week but I know I need it to be healthy.

I selfishly agreed to demo their product. The model I used was the Posture Pump® Deluxe 4100-S. I’ll be honest, the first time was simply miserable. I couldn’t get the head strap to stay in place, it didn’t feel as if the cushions were quite aligned and it was crazy uncomfortable when I pumped it up. When I finally finished the posture pump® routine, my spine felt really vulnerable. Despite being a regular Pilates participant, my spine hadn’t bent that was in awhile. When I finished, I felt light headed and taller. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to the future sessions, but amazingly the next day I didn’t get a headache…or the day after.

After several days of using the posture pump® I noticed my sessions on it getting more comfortable and towards the mid afternoon, I would start to crave it. After consistent use over the last two weeks, my neck feels so much better. My head doesn’t feel like a weight that is too heavy to lift and I have only have had one day with the slightest headache.

I am impressed. I would definitely recommend this product as an adjunct to chiropractic care especially if you are dealing with chronic postural issues from sitting at a computer or staring down at devices all day. It’s really helped me to feel better! If you are interest in your own Posture Pump®, you can visit the posture pump website and use promo code DRG15 for 15% off any of their products. As always, if you are one of my patients ask me first if this is appropriate for you.

Pro Tips:

1) Follow the directions on this exactly. The warm ups are very important.
2) Start with minimal inflation and build gradually over time.
3) As the instructions state, this device is best used before bed. The day I used it before going to work, I regretted it.

Getting back into working out

December 8th, 2016

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My patients often ask how to go about getting back into working out after long breaks in exercise. The simple answer is often the best answer. “Just do it!” The most difficult part is simply showing up to the gym. Start by planning a simple half hour into your daily schedule for physical fitness. If all that means is using that time to go on a walk, by all means, please walk. Do not violate that time.

If you are truly committed to getting back into working out and have the time and motivation to do it, pick an activity you truly love that you are capable of doing without hurting yourself. If you are a beginner and you check out the gym class schedule and can pick between a class called “Insanity” or one called “strength training level 1”, be realistic of your abilities and pick the beginner class. The last thing you need when you are getting back into working out is to hurt yourself or become so sore you don’t want to go back for a week.

The key to working out is consistency. If you can consistently carve time in your schedule to do physical fitness activities that work for you, you will be capable of so much more as you age. It’s sad to see people lose their ability to get around with strength and confidence. When I travel to national parks and the other visitors never see anything that can’t be seen from their car, it is sad. There is a whole great big world out there that is only accessible by foot or bike. Seeing those things have been magical moments of my life. If you aren’t able to walk, bike, hike, your world can get very limited.

As we age, you have to fight to keep your fitness. As the old saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it” Of course this is true. You truly can’t stop moving because once you stop, it’s difficult to start back up and sometimes you aren’t even capable of it.

When you are just getting back into working out, expect your body to be sore. This is a critical time to partner with a chiropractor so that you can manage small injuries before they turn into big injuries. At Active Family Chiropractic, we always want to help. If you have questions on your own fitness plan and want to know what is right for you, call me. If I can’t help you, I will find someone who can.

Get rid of your headache

November 7th, 2016

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This post will give you valuable advice on how to get rid of your headache. There are several types of headaches. Step one is to properly diagnose the headache you have. The type of headache that feels like someone is squeezing your temples, forehead, feels like your head has been shrink wrapped or is making you feel like you have pain above an eye is usually a tension headache. The term migraine doesn’t refer to a “really bad headache”. It refers to someone who gets an aura preceding their headache, nausea, vomiting or speech impairment.

A really bad tension headache, or any tension headache for that matter usually stems from your neck. When the bones of your spine don’t move how they should and become adhered together or you spend a lot of time craning your neck forward towards a screen, you are bound to get a headache.

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When you have what chiropractors refer to as “forward head carriage”, your posture needs to change for you to get rid of your headache. When you are trying to change your posture, the first step is to contract your shoulder blades together gently and pull them downwards toward your belt (away from your ears). The muscular contraction in your posture should be happening between your shoulder blades, not in your chest pulling your shoulders towards one another. After your shoulder blades are back and down, retract your chin so it isn’t poking forward. Your ear should be over the middle of your shoulder joint. That is good posture. If you can’t hold it and you find your body quickly fatigues, your spine is the problem and you need a chiropractic adjustment.

Typically my patients who get rid of their headaches benefit from spinal adjustments to change their posture, massage to loosen up the knots present from years of your muscles fighting to hold your head up and then postural exercises and behavioral changes. If you have any questions on how you can get rid of your headache, call my office. You can speak with me directly to find out what will be the best route to help yourself.

Basic Lower Back Stretches

October 21st, 2016

This video is for patients of my chiropractic office that I have sent to this webpage. If you are doing this without my ok, you are doing it at your own risk. These are good stretches for general lower back pain. I tend to do these exact three each time I get off my bike or finish my workouts. I highly recommend stretching post activity. Also, you should hold stretches for 30-60 seconds when stretching statically. If you are one of my patients, ask me if this would be appropriate for you. If you are not one of your patients, talk to your own chiropractor or physical therapist to understand which stretches are safe for you.

Attention Chiropractors

My blog articles represent my intellectual property. If you are interested in using them on your blog, please call me at 763-553-0387 for my permission. Thank you.