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Archive for August, 2015

How often should I see a chiropractor to get results

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Every single new patient of mine asks me ” how often should I see a chiropractor? ”  My answer is always, “it depends on your goals”.


Did you wake up this morning, bend over to feed the dog only to have your back go out on you and now you can’t walk up stairs?  Is your concern only how do we fix today’s pain?  Of course you want to feel better fast.  We all do and often feeling better is pretty simple if you get adjusted.  After your first adjustment the hope is that you feel less pinching and more range of motion.  Often times the pain will still be there in some form.


Usually someone’s spinal problems did not occur due to one days activities.  They tend to have a history of one and off pain over several years and whether they have started to have constant annoying and nagging pain or sharp, extreme and shooting pain is due to wear and tear that finally surpassed your body’s ability to work around it on its own.


Healing take time.  To heal, you also have to be honest about what caused the problem in the first place.  Have you stopped exercising?  Have you gained weight over the last five years?  Have you always been carrying too much weight on your frame causing accelerated aging to your joints?


If your goal is to simply rid yourself of the pain that was brought on by this one incident, it won’t take long to heal.  Often you will need to be adjusted 2-3 times per week for a couple weeks to begin feeling better.  If you want to address your underlying concerns that have caused you to have a constant level of stiffness before your big injury or if you want chiropractic care to change your posture or your underlying mechanical dysfunction, we are talking about a much longer process.  That is a process that really does require 2-3 months of very regular adjustments.


Once you are out of pain or have finished a series of consistent corrective adjustments, you would be smart to be adjusted regularly.  What do I consider regular?  I am adjusted by my own chiropractor every week.  I am very athletic and want to stay that way as I reach my 40’s.  Getting adjusted regularly keeps little concerns from becoming big concerns.  For my patients, especially the ones who sit at desks all day, I recommend that they maintain their adjustment schedule every week or two.   Your chiropractor will be able to tell you what is the right schedule for you.

Chiropractic or Massage

Friday, August 21st, 2015

I am frequently asked by patients whether I think chiropractic or massage would be the best choice for them.  The answer is usually a combination.


Your muscles attach to your bones and whether or not they are tight and contracted is controlled by nerves.  If bones don’t move, the muscles will have no reason to lengthen.  Considering that, when faced with the question “should I do chiropractic or massage” the answer would clearly be to have a chiropractic adjustment.  If you are under regular chiropractic care and your vertebrae are moving as they should, massage will be a great addition.


How do you know if your bones are moving properly?  Is the motion in your neck restricted when you look at the ceiling?  Can you comfortably sit up with good posture at your desk or do you feel yourself falling forward as the day goes on?  When you try to look at your blind spot while driving, do you have to rely on your mirrors because your neck is too stiff?  When you turn your neck do your shoulders turn with it?  When moving your shoulder blades back and down, can you do it comfortably or are your shoulders typically lifted up next to your ears?  If you answered yes to  any of these questions, your problem is stemming from an issue with your skeleton and chiropractic would be the best choice for you.


Sometimes a back or neck pain is more often related to nerves.  Do you ever have tingling in your finger tips or feet?  Do you have referred pain down an arm or leg?  Do you worry when you bend over if your back will give out or you won’t be able to stand up?  Are your fingers or toes numb?  All of these things point toward an issue with your nerves and your problem needs chiropractic attention.


Massage is a wonderful thing.  It stimulates healing, blood flow, just the simple act of someone touching you is relaxing.  Is it a cure for back problems?  I don’t think so.  Typically the reason your muscles are too contracted is much deeper and more complex than a simple muscle issue.  It often relates to poor posture, a sedentary lifestyle where you are spending too much time in a seated position during the day and then not getting enough exercise when you are done with work.


When faced with the choice of chiropractic or massage, try chiropractic first to get your spine moving better on a more consistent basis and then supplement that work with massage.  They both work very well together.  On top of both of these, make sure you are following a regular exercise and activity program.

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