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Archive for the ‘Neck Pain’ Category

Neck Exercises to Relieve Neck and Upper Back Pain

Wednesday, 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 Computer Work

Wednesday, 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

Get rid of your headache

Monday, 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.

Preventing Neck Pain and Numbness While Cycling

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

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When I give talks on injury prevention to cyclists, we focus on preventing neck pain and numbness while cycling. Preventing neck pain and numbness are the top goals of many cyclists early in the season. As the season trudges on, those of us who have put a lot of miles on are starting to feel the weak and plainly old parts of our bodies.

If your neck tends to give you trouble on the bike, there are several factors to play with. First, please make sure you have a good bike fitting. There are two bike fitters in the area that consistently get awesome reviews from my patients. Chris Balser at Penn Cycle in Minnetonka and Maple Grove Cycling both have bike fitters that are worth their weight in gold. Simple changes like changing out a stem, raising your handlebars or lowering your seat can make a world of difference in how much you enjoy cycling and how far you can ride without pain and numbness. It is worth it to spend a little money with a bike fit expert to focus on preventing neck pain and numbness while cycling. It will save you from creating larger problems later that will require more time and money to fix.

If you are having neck pain, I have a couple simple form tips. First, make sure your shoulder blades are engaged and that you are holding them back and down (away from your ears). Not only will you have more neck pain by cycling in an extreme forward position, if you have a rotator cuff or shoulder problem, rounded shoulders don’t make it better. Also, think about whether or not you have your head cocked back too far. I am all for looking forward versus down, however, there is a happy medium when it comes to extreme extension of your neck. Odds are, by engaging your shoulder blades, you have already helped your neck be in a better posture and this won’t be an issue.

As for hand numbness, equipment changes such as making sure your bike gloves have padding built for the bike you are riding is important. This is especially the case for the gear junkies like me who have multiple bikes. Different bikes need different gloves to take the pressure off. If you are riding a road bike, also make sure you have good tape on your handle bars. If you have just started to noticed the numbness, it might be because your gloves or tape are breaking down. If you have more recreational style bikes, I can’t say enough for the figure 8 handle bars I have seen on the bike trail. I’m sure it takes a lot to get used to them however, it has to help people with upper extremity pain so much by letting them vary their hand position on the handlebars.

There are definitely other things that can cause neck pain and numbness while cycling. To prevent that means to correct the problem causing the pain. Frequently, those of us who are involved in adult athletics but have sedentary jobs during the day have a lot of neck pain and stiff shoulder problems. If you log plenty of screen time at work, you know what I am talking about.

Problems with the alignment or movement patterns of your spine can set you up to have problems that other cyclists don’t. The common attitude is that if I just ignore it or back off on my miles, it will go away. Often this makes it take longer to heal and costs more money to treat. On top of this, sometimes neck pain and numbness can be a cervical disc problem that needs more intensive treatment. Only a licensed doctor can know for sure. Chiropractors are specially trained to diagnose and treat conditions such as these. If you want to live an active and healthy life, it is important to stay on top of potential problems before they get to be big looming problems. If you have questions about your neck pain and numbness and how it is affecting your cycling or anything else, call me. I would be happy to help.

Back and Neck Pain from Car Accidents

Monday, June 13th, 2016

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If you have been in one, you know that back and neck pain from car accidents is no joke. I actually became a chiropractor due to back and neck pain from a car accident. The biggest problem with back and neck pain from car accidents is that due to the traumatic nature of the accident causes a chemical inflammation pathway to become activated that doesn’t end quickly.

After sixteen years of being a chiropractor and treating back and neck pain from car accidents, it is my experience that you don’t know the true scope of an injury for a month. Often the patient feels much worse before they begin to feel better. That is because your body continues to produce inflammatory chemicals that make you feel horrible for the first 4-6 weeks.

Other that seeing a chiropractor, my best recommendations are to walk and ice. The ice calms the inflammation from the injury down and gives you relief from the pain. The walking stimulates your body to produce natural pain killers and also keeps you limber and flexible. It’s only natural to feel like curling up in to a ball after an injury like this and waiting for the pain to stop. This is the worst thing you can possibly do, it will only cause you to be stiffer and create more pain.

Your chiropractor will be able to decide what spinal adjustments, exercises, stretches or taping methods are best for you to heal. They will also be able to tell you what further imaging or referrals you need to feel better.

With car accidents, once you are sure that nothing is broken, get to the chiropractor. The longer you wait, the more pain you will have. As always, you are welcome to call my office with any questions about your back and neck pain from a recent (or not so recent) car accident and talk to me about the best course of action.

My Neck Hurts When I Wake Up

Monday, May 16th, 2016

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I am frequently asked in my clinic “my neck hurts when I wake up. Why??” Frequently my new patients often have fingers that go numb or even whole hands.

My first question to them is, “what kind of pillow are you sleeping on?” If you are sleeping on a flat pillow that is simply foam or feathers, you need a new one. Why? Flat foam pillows tend not to have the proper shape that supports your neck. Some foam pillows are molded, those are different. If your pillow has a neck roll that supports your neck and allows your head to drop back into extension, those are great if you are a back sleeper. If you are a side sleeper they can cause you issues. Feather pillows tend to bunch up in all the wrong places as you sleep and lose their support in all of the areas your neck and head need support.

How should you then pick a pillow? If you are one of my patients, I have a demonstration pillow in my office. Ask me to see it and explain what to look for when purchasing a new pillow.

If you are a stomach sleeper, no wonder why your neck hurts when you wake up. No pillow in the world is going to make it better. You need to learn new sleeping habits to help your neck. Lying on your belly with your head rotated to one side all night is going to cause imbalances in your neck with one side of your neck muscles growing really contracted and the other side too stretched out.

If you sleep on your side, you need a thicker pillow. A high density foam that is the same thickness as the distance between the side of your head and the outside edge of your shoulder will be the best choice. That will fully support your head so that it isn’t tilting to the side all night squeezing and pinching off your nerves.

If you are a back sleeper, you need a pillow with a neck roll built in to support the curve in your neck adequately. These pillows allow your head to remain in neutral which means your neck is a little extended. That will keep your nerves happy while you sleep and keep the tension off of them resulting in less tight muscles when you wake up.

What do I sleep on? Well, just like running shoes, pillows are very individual. What you love one week, you may detest the next. I have three that I rotate between. One is a custom measured pillow that we sell in my office. The second is a tempurpedic memory foam pillow that I purchased at Brookstone and my new favorite addition to my collection is one from the Sleep Number Store at Ridgedale. It is a cooling memory foam with a neck roll that is a little bit thicker than most and also supports side sleepers. I find that if you have a cranky difficult neck, you are well served by changing your pillow every year.

As always, if you have neck pain when you wake up, you need to have yourself evaluated by a chiropractor. Good pillows are helpful but they don’t correct the bad movement patterns, imbalances and poor alignment causing the problem in the first place. You can always call our Plymouth chiropractic office for advice at 763-553-0387

Waking up with Neck Pain and Numbness

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

If you find yourself waking up with neck pain and numbness, I have a few helpful tips for you.

 

First of all, evaluate your sleeping posture.  If you prefer to sleep on your back, you need a pillow with the support (neck roll) under your neck.  The bulk of the pillow should not be under your head.  If your preference is to sleep on your side, you need a thicker pillow to keep your head in line with your neck.  If you are sleeping on a feather pillow that flattens out during the night or a thin foam pillow, that isn’t going to work.  You will spend a lot of the night with your head tilted towards the bed pinching off the nerves that exit your spine.  That causes you to wake up with neck pain and numbness.

 

Secondly,  I really like to read at night before I go to bed.  It’s a nice little ritual that helps me wind down from my day and makes me tired.  I found a pillow at The General Store in Minnetonka off of Highway 7 that is perfect for holding a kindle or a book.  It even has a nice pocket for my reading glasses.  It is shaped like a pyramid and has a little ridge around it the reader sits within.  For those of you who like books, it also has a long tassel to keep your page.  You can keep it on your lap, your table or take it to bed.  It keeps the book at an angle so your head isn’t constantly looking down.

 

Thirdly, ask yourself why you have neck pain and headaches.  Have you left a problem untreated for years only for your muscular imbalances to worsen?  Do you spend endless hours on devices such as laptops, phone and tablets?

 

It’s important to ask yourself what shape you want your spine to be in 5 years from now.  If the answer is better than it is right now, you need to change your device habits and also find a chiropractor so that you can correct the damage that years of looking forward and down have caused.

Slip and Fall on the Ice

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Tis the season for the slip and fall on the ice injuries.  With this winter feeling more like Nebraska than Minnesota with freezing rain, falls and car accidents are all the rage.  We seem to be seeing an uptick in weather related injuries, especially after last week’s snow.

 

What should you do if you slip and fall on the ice? First, make sure nothing is broken.  If you are unsure, go to the nearest urgent care for an x-ray.  If you are simply bruised and banged up, the chiropractor’s office should be your second call.  As a chiropractor, we can determine if your injury is simply a deep bruise, an injured joint or something more serious.

 

Now that you have some time to wait for your appointment, remember to put the ice packs on.  That will help you feel better, will relax the muscles and will help to draw the inflammation out and make it easier for your chiropractor to examine you.  It will also help them give you a more accurate diagnosis.

 

When you see a new chiropractor for the first time, make sure they take the time to listen and understand what is wrong with you.  A good chiropractor should do a thorough exam before treating you.  It’s important that before a chiropractor adjusts you that they spend time understanding your history along with that exam to determine whether you have a chiropractic problem or something requiring medical attention instead.

 

We are always open to discussing problems over the phone and determining the next steps.  Call our office today if you have had a slip or fall on the ice this winter.

Hand Numbness

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Are portions of your hand going numb?  Do you feel hand numbness in certain fingers?  Do your fingers tingle or do you get sharp shooting pains in to your hands?

 

Many people come to my office telling me that they have carpal tunnel.  In 90% of those cases, and sadly even some they have been to the MD for, it is not the correct diagnosis.

 

What is carpal tunnel?  You have an indentation within the many bones of your wrist that the muscles that control the flexion of your fingers and your median nerve passes through.  It supplies the palm of your hand and first three fingers.  When you are having carpal tunnel symptoms you are getting compression of the median nerve AT your carpal tunnel.

 

Many times, even though you have numb fingers, the compression is happening somewhere else.  Often, I find the patient’s forearm to be full of trigger points (tiny painful adhesions between the muscles) that are causing hand numbness.  You can also have hand numbness that is caused by problems with your neck.  If the small holes between the bones of your spine where your nerves exit are causing compression or pressure to build up around your nerves, whatever they supply is not going to get the message.

 

With any of these issues, your first stop should be a chiropractor.  We are trained to diagnose and treat these problems as well as many others.  If you give chiropractic care a fair chance to work, listen to your doctors recommendations and still find after a couple weeks your symptoms aren’t improving, the chiropractor can refer you on for advanced imaging or diagnostics, physical therapy or even a neurologist consult.

Are you stiff and sore in the morning?

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Have you noticed lately that you are waking up stiff and sore in the morning?  This can be related to many issues.

 

My first question for people is “how old is your bed”?  If it is over 10 years old or if it is sagging in the place you usually sleep, it is definitely time to replace it.  Even if it is a fancy Select Comfort or Tempurpedic guaranteed to last 20-25 years, I have had both models replaced due to warranty failure within 10 years.  My Select Comfort caused me to constantly tilt to the middle of the bed and my Tempurpedic excessively softened 13 years too soon.  Tempurpedic was great with their warranty  and I now have a new one.  I sold the Select Comfort on ebay.  Beds don’t last forever, even at the crazy prices they are sold for today.

 

Second question…  What position are you sleeping in?  All my stomach sleepers would spend much less money in my office and feel an awful lot better if they changed to sleeping on their side or back.  It is possible to change.  How do I know?  I have done it.  I had to start shoving pillows on one side of me to start the rolling over process and I had to be really intentional about waking myself up and flipping over in the middle of the night if I noticed I was on my stomach.  It’s a hard habit to break and you may be a little bit miserable from your lack of sleep for awhile.  Long term, your back and neck will thank you.

 

Third question…Is this an underlying issue that is just becoming obvious when you don’t have anything to think of other than sleep?  Is your neck or back hurting and are you simply ignoring it versus dealing with it?  Your body may be taking an opportunity to wake you up and let you know that you need to get back to a regular schedule at the chiropractor.  If you have never been, now may be a good time to start.  If the issue has been going on longer than a couple days, I would find a reputable, highly reviewed chiropractor and at the very least give them a call and ask a few questions over the phone.

 

 

Attention Chiropractors

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