Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
I had a new patient in here last week asking just this question, “When is back pain serious?” Back pain will affect most adults at some point in their lives. Since it can interfere with the activities you love so much, it’s helpful to know when back pain is serious and when it is not.
First question, how long has your back pain been there? Any back pain that has bothered you for more than a couple weeks probably isn’t going to improve on it’s own.
Secondly, does your back pain travel anywhere? Does it radiate down your arms or legs? This gives us very helpful clues diagnosing where the pain is coming from. If the pain has a neuritic quality and is radiating down the front of your thigh, there is a good chance it is coming from the L3-L4 disc, back of the thigh, we look at the L5-S1 disc. There can be lots of other explanations, so please use caution when trying to diagnose things on the internet. Leave that part to a chiropractor.
Has chiropractic care helped your back pain resolve? If someone is starting to see improvement over time, we can guess that will most likely continue. Most insurance companies require a trial of conservative care before they will pay for MRI’s. In my office, we tend to use a six week standard of care. If we aren’t getting significant results and your back pain isn’t starting to resolve within six weeks of complying fully to my treatment plan, I tend to worry if there is something more serious going on. In those scenarios, we refer for MRI’s or CT scans depending on what we are suspecting we will see.
The bottom line is that if back pain is interfering with you doing what you love, you need to see a chiropractor to resolve it. Chiropractic care is the #1 choice for resolving back pain. Chiropractors get the best results with back pain of any health professional around. If you would like our help improving your health and getting you back to doing what you love, please call our office today at 763-553-0387
I am frequently asked about pillows for less neck pain and better sleep. I am in the middle of my most recent stop on this quest myself. The unfortunate truth is that the pillows that help you have less neck pain and better sleep today, might be your neck and sleep’s worst enemy tomorrow.
I have tried all sorts of pillows; foam, down, contoured pillows, and “my pillows”. My awesome pillows will cause me to feel less neck pain and sleep better for months and then all the sudden, they don’t. Incredibly frustrating, especially for a chiropractor.
The biggest determiner of the type of pillow you need is which position you sleep. If you sleep on your stomach, which you shouldn’t, don’t use a pillow. If you sleep on your side, you need a thick pillow to avoid nerve compression. Back sleepers must support their necks.
My favorite pillow is one I sell in my office. https://www.footlevelers.com/products/orthopedic-pillows It’s made by measuring you in four places. We also ask you which position you sleep in which then determines the shape of the pillow. I have bought three over the years for myself.
I have tried My Pillows. While I have heard rave reviews from many of my friends and clients, I think they are tough to find the appropriate size if you are a woman. If you are going to go that route, definitely buy it in store. The online questionnaire to size it based on a woman’s t-shirt size, certainly didn’t do it for me.
The other pillow I have had good luck with is the Brookstone tempurpedic pillow. Though this isn’t exactly my model, it looks like this: https://www.brookstone.com/pd/tempur-pedic-swedish-neck-pillow/175414p.html
Sadly pillows aren’t returnable so most of us with neck issues end up with a collection. Your neck is definitely worth the price. The biggest thing that will help your neck feel better is getting regular chiropractic adjustments to keep everything moving properly and encourage good posture.
If you don’t have a chiropractor, we would love to be yours! Call us today for your new patient appointment.
Here is a little video I made to show kinesiotaping for one of my patients who has runner’s knee. It’s a great tape job for those of us with sloppy slightly arthritic knees without major ligament damage. As with any kinesiotape job, the taping is only as good as the person putting the tape on and you need a correct diagnosis to find the right tape job.
Primarily I am making this video for a specific patient but thought I would share so that I can send people back to this link.
If you click here, you can follow along with your own roll of tape.
Winter fitness is critical in cold climates. Your heart, lungs and muscles know no season. We all need regular exercise and activity to stay healthy regardless of how cold it is outside.
If you hibernate during the winter, it will have fitness consequences. Not paying attention to winter fitness in your 20’s will be different than in your 60’s. The consequences for cumulative poor health choices snowball as we get older. As with any health habit, consistency is the key to fitness.
In your 20’s and early 30’s, you have an opportunity for building speed and power that will be unlike any time in your life. As we watch the Olympics, we realize the competitors are all young. Not young as in “50 is the new 30” young. As in actual young—25.
When a 30 year old chooses not to participate in winter fitness, they are going to lose their athletic performance but odds are, in a month they will gain it back quickly. Between 20-35 is really the time to pay attention to intervals. Core training to keep your body from becoming injured is also critical. Now is also the time to take care of little injuries and get yourself back in the game. How many of us know 55 year olds who are still blaming that bum knee they injured in high school for their 50 lb weigh gain?
As we reach middle age, between 35-50 you have the opportunity to build your endurance if you pay attention to winter fitness. Consistency becomes much more important as you lose your fitness a lot quicker than when you were young. Those years are the most easy to fall off the bus with raising kids and traveling for work. When you are short on time, make sure to still get it done. If you need to start bike commuting to work to make sure you get exercise, do it. If you have an opportunity to do a workout class at lunch through your company, take advantage of it. Injuries will inevitably limit when you can do. My choice at 35 was continuing to play tennis and be sore all the time or find something without so much stop and start. If this age group takes the winter off, they will lose their entire base or habit.
If you can’t do your full workout, at least do a partial workout each day to keep it top of mind. Instead of watching your kids sports practices, do your own workout.
As you hit the 50-65 year demographic, hopefully you start to find more time for yourself. Now is the time to set your body up for a happy retirement. If you’ve let others rule your calendar, now is the time to recommit. Some of the fittest people I know are in their 50’s and 60’s. Fitness has been a life long habit and priority for them. If it hasn’t been for you, it is never to late to start. With some quality instruction and consistent chiropractic care for the injuries that inevitably pop up, you can become fitter.
How you manage your excuses now will determine how you spend your retirement. Will you still be hiking and biking? Or will you be making excuses for your injury from 30 years ago? As a reminder, manage your joint health NOW. At Active Family Chiropractic, we can help you.
Do you ever wake up with tingling numb fingers? I certainly have had a problem with this at times. Tingling numb fingers are one of the most common complaints in my office. Fingers that are tingling and numb can be cause by multiple different problems.
Diagnosing the Problem
The first step when someone visits my Plymouth chiropractic clinic with tingling numb fingers is taking a detailed history. My questions revolve around investigating which fingers are numb and tingling. Different nerves affect different fingers. Each nerve that supplies your hand takes a distinct path. Your radial, ulnar and median nerves can all be caught in different places. Each nerves will cause different symptoms. A quick google search will provide you with many interesting diagrams detailing the nerve pathways throughout your upper body: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/axillary-nerve/?lp=true
Once someone explains their problem in a detailed way, I can determine the potential problem areas. Nerves can be caught as they run through your spine. Nerves can be entrapped as they run down your arm. They can become entrapped through your cubital or carpal tunnel. If you have tingling in your hand, pay attention to which fingers are tingling and numb. Also, pay attention to where in your arm you feel the symptoms.
Developing a Treatment Plan
After we gather all the information, I can work with my patient to develop a treatment plan. Depending on which nerve is entrapped the treatment is different. On some of my patients we need to do deep muscle work to make all the tissues in the arms glide better. Some people need to make changes in how they sleep; perhaps not falling asleep with their elbows bent or their neck scrunched up. Some people need their necks adjusted and others their wrists bones.
The bottom line is that you can’t resolve your tingling numb fingers on your own. If this problem affects you, please see a highly recommended chiropractor to help resolve your problem. I am always happy to help you at my Plymouth chiropractic office if you call me. 763-553-0387 www.activefamilychiropractic.com
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
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.
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.
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!