Concussions and Chiropractic

 

As sports seasons are right around the corner and practices begin, there is an uptick in the number of patients who come in with injuries to their head with the concern of a possible concussion. We want to take this opportunity to let everyone know some of the most common symptoms as well as the dangers associated with head injuries. If you or one of your children have suffered an injury make sure to be on the lookout for headaches, visual disturbances, nausea, blackout, or tiredness. A regular misconception about concussions is that it takes a direct blow to the head in order to cause them, but they can be due to snapping of the head from one side to another such as in car accidents or getting tackled in a football game.


If you have any concerns about whether you or someone you know may have a concussion monitor them, and don’t allow them to drive. Concussions and brain injury can be very serious without having severe presentations as they can sometimes take time to develop. It only takes one of the above symptoms to signal the presence of a concussion so don’t wait to get scheduled so that we can take a look. We are specifically trained in how to evaluate concussions, and can determine if there is more to a headache than “feeling it” after a hard hit. Many times there are areas of the neck that aren’t moving and functioning correctly due to the forces that were applied to the neck during the initial injury. Most commonly, we find issues at C1 and C2 where the origination of the nerves that go to the vestibular system (balance and vertigo), and the muscles controlling eye movement. Correcting the problems in the neck can alleviate the symptoms of the concussion. If there is a concussion present, we will be able to direct you in making the best decisions for a speedy recovery as well as how to prevent further injury to the brain in the future! If you have any indications of a possible concussion or you see someone take a hard hit make sure that they come into AWC so that we can make sure they get the help that we need.


In Wellness,
Dr. Ryan
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How Heavy is too Heavy? Kids and Backpacks

When shopping for backpacks there is more to consider than just fashion and durability. Our kids are carrying more than ever,  and not just back and forth from home and school.  Many students at the middle and high school level, carry their book bags with them all day.

We have seen an increase of lower back, shoulder and neck pain in young patients.  This new back pain trend among youngsters isn’t surprising when you consider the disproportionate amounts of weight they carry in their backpacks – often slung over just one shoulder. Common issues from wearing heavy backpacks for extended periods of time could be anything from simple irritation to diminished nerve capacity, ultimately limiting the muscles’ ability to respond to the brain’s signals, inhibiting movement of the hand and the dexterity of the fingers.

Consumer Report conducted a survey and found that kids from Kindergarten to Fourth Grade carry approximately 5 pounds of homework, by the time they reach 6th grade that number can reach up to 30 pounds. Of those children carrying heavy backpacks to school, 60 percent had experienced back pain as a result.

What Can You Do?

ACA ofers the following tips to help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the students in your household.

  • Be sure to bring your school age children in regularly for posture assessments to ensure damage isn’t being done by the use of backpacks.  Having your child adjusted regularly to keep the pathways between the nervous system and the brain open and free to communicate will also reduce the risk of injury.
  • Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.
  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  • A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry-and the heavier the backpack will be.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.
  • Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your child’s shoulders.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter hand-out materials or workbooks.
Jennifer Simonette
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Back to School…Bring on the germs

Preparing for the new school year is always bitter sweet.  As parents, saying goodbye to the lazy days of summer is tough but going back to a routine and watching our kids reach new milestones is something to look forward to.  Sadly, you can’t return to school without the germs that come with it.  Pink Eye, Hand, Foot, and Mouth, Colds and flu are just a few things we can anticipate being exposed to. Here are a few tips on how to help prevent your child from becoming a walking petri dish.

ADJUSTMENTS

People that receive regular adjustments take 60% less medication than those who don’t. Adjustments have been proven to boost the immune system by 200%.  Be sure you and your family are getting regular adjustments to build your immunity and stay healthy.
DIET
Healthy gut, Healthy BODY.  A diet rich in vitamins an nutrients will get your child of toa good start.  Serve a plate full of colortful foods, think fruits,vegetables and healthy proteins.  Stay away from sugary treats and over processed meals and be sure to drink plenty of water.

 

EXCERCISE

A strong body can fight off infection.  Keep your kids active after a long day at school, whether it be a sport or time at the park.  Being outside and moving will make for a healthy kid.

 

SLEEP

Kids from 6-18 need anywhere from 8-12 hours of sleep.  Getting to bed early and keeping a bedtime routine that removes screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime is essential to achieve restful sleep.  Adequate sleep on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health.

 

SUPPLEMENTS 

Vitamin D3: Since you get less sunlight during the school year this helps to keep your Vitamin D up. Take 1,000-3,000 IU’s daily.

Echinacea:  To help boost the immune system.  Supports stress. Take 1x a day.

Immuplex: Helps support immune system health. Supports the body’s normal inflammatory response function. Provides antioxidant activity. High in antioxidant vitamin C and E. Take 2-4 daily depending on age and weight.

Jennifer Simonette
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Think Fast! Reaction Time & Upping Your Game

Softball Nelson College vs Taieri College, Marlborough 25/03/2014
Think Fast! Your reaction time plays a major role in your day to day life and in helping you improve your game, no matter what that game may be.

Responding quickly is crucial in many daily scenarios; driving a car, catching your keys, stopping a fall. But you may not realize that your reaction time can also help you up your game.

Think about your favorite sporting activity. Maybe it’s golf with your buddies or a community softball league. In both of these sports, timing is everything! The swing of your club or dive to catch a line-drive relies upon how quickly you react.

Study after study shows that regular chiropractic care not only keeps your spine healthy, but it actually improves your reaction time!

15% Better

A study out of New Zealand compared reaction times of persons receiving cervical adjustments with those who did not. It turns out that people receiving adjustments improved their reaction time by 15% compared to those who were only given rest and not chiropractic care, whose times improved by 8%.

15% can make a huge difference when the margin for error in many sports are fractions of a second! But this was only a short term study over one day, what does it look like when someone receives chiropractic care on an ongoing basis?

Even Better!

A second study followed two groups of athletes, with 25 people in each group, for six weeks! One of the groups received regular chiropractic care, while the other group went about their normal training routines without chiropractic.

At the end of 6 weeks the difference was clear! The group receiving chiropractic care improved their reaction times by 18%, while the non-adjusted group’s improvement was less than 1%!

Consider This

Consider how an 18% improvement in your reaction time could help you to up your game. Timing your swing or making the split second movement that lets you steal second. Improve your athletic performance and your love of the game with chiropractic.

A healthy spine and a nervous system communicating at 100%, 100% of the time means that you can be the best you, with the best reaction time, all of the time.

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Battle Seasonal Allergies Naturally

Battle Seasonal Allergies Naturally
This time of year we rejoice in the sunshine and rain (anything but snow!) of the early summer. The grass is growing, the flowers are blooming and seasonal allergies are making noses run, eyes itch and throats scratch.

Understanding how seasonal allergies work is important for knowing how to best care for yourself during this season. Imagine a grain of pollen, which looks like a spiny sea urchin, entering your nasal cavity. This pollen will stick to the soft mucus membranes lining your nasal and bronchial cavities. These pollen grains cause a reaction in the body which releases histamine, giving your body the message that an intruder cell is present and triggers the nose to run, the eyes to water and the lungs to cough in an attempt to rid the body of that intruder. These little grains of pollen can make you pretty miserable even though your amazing body is only reacting to protect itself.

How can you battle seasonal allergies without turning to medication? Here are a few tips for the 36 million Americans suffering this season.

1. Neti-Pots

Now that we understand that seasonal allergies are being caused by the pollen finding its way into our nasal cavities, it makes sense that washing out the pollen with a saline solution would create fewer allergic responses. The neti-pot has been used in India for thousands of years as a way to keep the airway clean and clear. There are many styles on the market now, but remember to use distilled water and to follow directions.

2. Foods

It has often been said that eating local honey can help with allergies since honey contains some of the pollen spores from local flower and grasses; the same pollen that’s making you sneeze. By introducing a small amount of the local pollen into your body through honey your body gets a chance to build up an immune response to the pollen.

Additionally, a study from Germany found that incorporating food high in Omega-3, like cold-water fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil, as well as grass-fed meat and eggs decreased the body’s inflammation and therefore reduced seasonal allergy response.

For more short-term relief, try horseradish, chili peppers or hot mustard as an addition to your next meal. The spice works as a temporary decongestant and is a delicious, natural remedy.

3. Probiotics

Probiotics are the good bacteria in your stomach and a healthy balance in your stomach and intestinal track boosts the body’s immune system. Several studies have shown that a probiotic supplement decreases seasonal allergy symptoms. A healthy immune system gives your body the power to fight off allergens on its own!

4. Chiropractic

Although chiropractic is not a direct treatment for allergies, allergy sufferers have found relief through the incorporation of chiropractic into their lives. By removing interference in the nervous system through the correction of subluxations chiropractic boosts the body’s immune system and gives your body the opportunity to deal with the allergens on its own.

Many things control you immune system including your spleen, bone marrow, and adrenal gland. What controls these? Your brain and nervous system! The goal of chiropractic is to make sure your brain and body are communicating at 100%.

Give your body a break and try out a few of these ideas for taming this season’s allergies! For more information on chiropractic please visit us at www.awcchiropractic.com.

Image: William Brawley

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The Facts on the Flu Shot

It’s important to know ALL the facts before running to your nearest grocery store to get a flu shot. First, the statistics for flu related deaths have been exagerated for the fear affect. The CDC combined pneumonia and flu deaths for the stats which when you separate the two illnesses the numbers go from 36,000/ year to 1800/ year. Big difference. Also they fail to mention the other complications involved in such deaths. Secondly, the flu vaccine is derived by using the strain of flu in Asia the year prior to the vaccine being released. “They” assume the strain will be the same by the time it reaches the U.S. in the fall.

Take notice, anything that is pushed on people this hard such as 50 signs in every drug store and grocery and commercials with scare tactics, there is big money behind it all! People need to know that the flu vaccine is far more harmful than getting the actual flu!

Know what your putting in your body!

How is the Flu Vaccine Made?

This is another area that many people do not understand or take into consideration before getting a seasonal flu shot.In January or February of each year, health authorities travel to Asia to determine which strains of the flu are currently active. Based on their findings in Asia, they assume that the same strains of viruses will spread to the U.S. by fall.At this point, U.S. vaccine manufacturers start making that season’s flu vaccine, which will contain the strains found in Asia. However, if the viral strains circulating in the U.S. that season are not identical to those in Asia, the vaccine you receive is a complete dud.And to add insult to injury, you’ve just been injected with a laundry list of harmful ingredients.

What’s in the Seasonal Flu Vaccine?

The flu strains selected are cultivated in chick embryos for several weeks before being inactivated with formaldehyde, which is a known cancer-causing agent. Then they’re preserved with thimerosal, which is 49 percent mercury by weight.Even many health care professionals are confused about this and are not aware that the preservative thimerosal is mercury. As a quick side note, one of my chief writers told me that, “the doctor’s office told me the vaccine does not contain mercury, just something called thimerosal.“Please, don’t be fooled by this incredible ignorance. If you have carefully studied this issue there is a great possibility you may know more than your physician about this topic. Don’t back down if they tell you something you otherwise know to be true. According to the CDC, the majority of flu vaccines contain thimerosal. Some contain as much as 25 mcg of mercury per dose. This means that it may contain more than 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for mercury. By now, most people are well aware that children and fetuses are most at risk of damage from this neurotoxin, as their brains are still developing. Yet the CDC still recommends that children over 6 months, and pregnant women, receive the flu vaccine each year.In addition to mercury, flu vaccines also contain other toxic or hazardous ingredients like:

  • Aluminum — a neurotoxin that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease
  • Triton X-100 — a detergentPhenol (carbolic acid)Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
  • Betapropiolactone – a disinfectantNonoxynol – used to kill or stop growth of STDs
  • Octoxinol 9 – a vaginal spermicideSodium phosphate

Just to name a few!

To read more go to http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/09/26/Flu-Vaccine-Exposed.aspx

Our advice for preventing the Flu:

  • Get adjusted, as it is proven to increase the immune system by 200%
  • Drink water, 64-70oz. per day
  • Eat fruits & vegetables
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Exercise 30 min daily to boost your immune system
  • Take probiotics daily (5-15 billion count)
  • Take good multivitamins daily
  • Take 3,500-5,000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 daily during the winter. When feeling symptoms- avoid sugar, increase hydration and take 5,000-10,000 IU’s of Vitamin D3.

 

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Is Your Mattress Sabotaging Your Spine?

So many times after beginning Chiropractic care we find sleep is an issue for the patients healing. If your not sleeping well then your body isn’t healing well. Our brain and body performs 70% of their regenerative and restorative process during sleep. So this is where your mattress can play a huge roll in your overall health.

If you can’t remember how long you have had your mattress, it’s time for a new one! And if your mattress was in your parents home before yours then it’s definitely time for a new one!

If you feel like Goldielocks every time you go shopping for a mattress you’re not alone. It’s an important decision and one that effects 7-8 hours of your life every single day. So take this purchase seriously. Save money on a car or TV but don’t skimp on your mattress.

We get asked regularly what we recommend so here are some suggestions. Personally we have a Tempurpedic brand mattress which we LOVE!! Everyone in our family, parents, brother, sister-in-laws family…everyone has a Tempurpedic mattress and swear by them! And most of them are Chiropractors so I think that says a lot.

What we like about the Tempurpedic is that is truly keeps your spine, hips and shoulders in the best alignment possible while sleeping. Even if you are a wild, rolling, topsy turvy sleeper, this mattress supports your joints and alignment incredibly well. The rumors that you get too hot with this brand has never been an issue for us or anyone we know who uses them.  There are many styles within the Tempurpedic line so depending on what you like you have several options. But even the most basic, original Tempurpedic is amazing!

Another one we recommend is Sleep Number beds. They’re completely adjustable to your comfort level for support which is nice as our body’s needs change. We always recommend going more firm than soft with any mattress as it provides better alignment and support.

We hope you sleep tight….

 

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Chiropractic from Birth!

The birth process is pretty stressful for the newborn and the mom. The most normal vaginal birth method is to rotate the newborns head 180 degrees to the right and the left as they pull the baby from the pelvis. This can cause a lot of strain on their first vertebrae (atlas) during the birth process. Especially if any further methods such as forcepts, vacuum or C-section are performed.

The atlas (C1) provides protection around the brainstem and upper nervous system. It is critical that there is no misalignment causing pressure in this area of their spine. Many times symptoms such as difficulty getting the infant to breast feed on either side, colic, ear infections, hard or few bowel movements, spitting up, difficulty sleeping or even sickness are a result of subluxation (nerve pressure) at their C1 vertebrae.

It takes a tiny, gentle and specific adjustment to correct the alignment in their spine and allow them to heal. Infants’ bodies are remarkable and so pure that they respond immediately. Innate intelligence is what created them.  Chiropractic alllows that innate intelligence to continue to flow helping them develop into healthy, vibrant children without unnecessary drugs and side effects.

What an incredible start for a new life to be expressed fully! This is where true prevention happens.

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Can Chiropractic Cause Stroke?

This has been a huge debate for several years. A patient recently told me that a local company was informing their employees of the risk of stroke and Chiropractic so (of course) the company is no longer going to cover Chiropractic care in their insurance plans…. In my opinion it’s another low and dirty way to get out of covering alternative health care that has helped millions of people.

But let’s talk about the facts and get it all out there.

First of all, every study or case regarding stroke and Chiropractic are with manual manipulation ONLY.  The safest technique with no record of contraindications to adjusting a patient with vascular disease is an Activator Certified physician. You know, like us:)

As they say bad news spreads faster than good news.

An example of a recent case is a woman in New York who had seen a Chiropractor for 20 years getting great care for headaches. She then began seeing a different Chiropractor who on her first visit “twisted her neck to the right then to the left”. She was extremely sore following each visit and after the 3rd visit with the same manipulation each time, the doctor even performed this twisting TWICE on the same visit because he didn’t hear a pop, she began suffering speech and motor issues. She had a stroke as a result of a torn artery in her neck.

It is unfortunate and disheartning that there are ANY even if it is few cases such as hers. However, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and as Chiropractors we need to know when someone is at risk and care for them accordingly. What people don’t talk about is all the great doctors out there that find early stages of arterial insufficiencies in patients which help prevent them from having strokes or other problems in the future.

Despite websites and articles stating cases against Chiropractic manipulation I think the fact that Chiropractors have the lowest Malpractic Insurance of all medical doctors says it all. Even a major Malpractic Insurance Company, NCMIC stated in the recently published “Current Concepts: Spinal Manipulation and Cervical Arterial Incidents 2005” concludes in it’s Executive Summary: “Unfortunately, opinion rather than fact has tended to dominate discussions regarding CVAs and chiropractic, even though there has been no definitive evidence that chiropractic adjustments (actually) cause strokes. The good news is that this monograph notes that a causative relationship between chiropractic manipulation and stroke is unlikely. There is an associative relationship between the two because people may go to chiropractors for relief of stroke-related symptoms”.

Even in Canada they did a 10 year study of 4500 Chiropractors and found “The likelihood that a chiropractor will be made aware of an arterial dissection following cervical manipulation is approximately 1:8.06 million office visits, 1:5.85 million cervical manipulations, 1:1430 chiropractic practice years and 1:48 chiropractic practice careers. This is significantly less than the estimates of 1:500,000–1 million cervical manipulations calculated from surveys of neurologists”.

Those are staggeringly low numbers which still seem to get hype considering iatrogenic disease (death caused by a doctor, hospital, misdiagnosis or medication) is now the #2 leading cause of death in the U.S. as of 2010!

I am still amazed that only a handful of cases in the last 30 years relating Chiropractic and stroke can still get so much media. Especially when there are millions who have been able to walk, get off medications, go back to work and even live because of their Chiropractic care!

There are dangers if you have arterial disease or deficiency. Actually any disturbance to the vertebral arteries such as turning too quickly, laying your head over a wash basin and a car collision have all been proven to increase your risk of a stroke. So, choose your Doctor wisely. Not all Chiropractors are gentle and specific with their adjustments, just as their are bad surgeons, dentists and MD’s. Ask questions, check out their certifications and even watch an adjustment in their office.

I encourage you to spread the good news about your results and Chiropractic! We need to take the lead in inspiring others not scaring them. Fear is a useful tool that insurance and pharmaceutical companies use to keep people on their medications.

Our body is resilient and it has the power to heal!

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Is Your Cell Phone Hurting You?

This is a big topic and new information has been released.

They can now prove that cellphones cause an increase in brain activity due to radiation in the area closest to the phone even when using for less than one hour. Obviously when you can see stimulation in the brain repeatedly, as many of us talk on our phones several times per day, this can lead to damaging consequences. There is no direct link yet to cancer but anytime you prove our bodies are reacting to radiation then there are cells being affected. I know we aren’t all going to immediately get rid of our cell phones but there are some smart things we can do to limit their harmful affect.

1. Use headphones/ear buds when on the phone for more than 10 min.

2. Switch ears when talking on the phone (stimulating different areas)

3. Don’t use the phone if your signal is weak.

4. Keep your phone at least 5 feet away from you while your sleeping.

5. Limit use if under the age of 20. Brain tissue isn’t fully developed and more susceptible to the radiation emitted.

Please check out the Dr. Oz show where he features this controversial topic! http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/truth-behind-headlines-pt-5


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