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Concussion, Neck Pain and What’s True Health?

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How can Chiropractic Help Post Concussion? 

Historically, little was known about the benefits of chiropractic care in the treatment of concussions – but over the past decade concussions related to sports injuries have been treated more by chiropractors than with any other method.

Statistically speaking, sports related concussions are seen more frequently in children and teens, and are more difficult to treat in young people than in adults.

Concussion Symptoms

Concussions can come with a variety of symptoms, prognosis, and treatments – but the bottom line is that a chiropractor is the best line of defense when it comes to a full recovery.

There are a few things you should know about a concussion, so we’ve developed a list of the top five:

  1. There are multiple ways to get a concussion – although I have mentioned sports related injuries, the can develop as  a result of falls, car or bike accidents, or any type of collision resulting from body contact.
  2. A concussion can be caused by a blow to the head, face, neck, or impact to another part of the body that could impact the head.
  3. A concussion can be difficult to diagnose because the clinical symptoms and signs can evolve over time. From physical, to cognitive, to neurobehavioural changes – symptoms can develop over time or become increasingly worse.
  4. When properly and promptly managed, a concussion can resolve in a short period of time (8-10 days), but can be longer in children and adolescents.
  5. Historically concussion management was based on resting until the symptoms go away. However it has been discovered that prolonged periods of rest can make symptoms last longer and draw out recovery times. It is important to work with us to develop a plan that includes adequate rest – and a gradual return to regular daily activities and treatment.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing a concussion can be tricky, and the symptoms depend on the person and the injury – with symptoms sometimes not being noticeable for hours or days, but here is a list of the most common symptoms:

  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Being bothered by light or noise
  • Confusion
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Difficulty remembering or paying attention
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Feeling irritable, more emotional, or “down”
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Sleep problems
  • Loss of consciousness

The most important aspect of treatment is how fast a diagnosis is available so that the treatment can begin immediately. To get a diagnosis, it is imperative that following a head injury you visit us or a qualified health care provider to assess.

Other Factors

Many concussions will bring other effects such as subluxation, whiplash, neck strain, facet syndromes and muscle spasms. We have experiences in all of these conditions, thus making a full recovery most likely.

Whatever the cause of the concussion, research has shown that Chiropractic care offers the best and most effective method of recovery for those suffering from a head injury/concussion.

What A Pain In The Neck!

Neck pain is one of the most common reasons we see patients. Also referred to as the cervical spine, it contains seven small vertebrae that support the weight of your entire head. Your neck is strong and flexible, but it’s the flexibility that leaves it susceptible to strain and injury.

neck pain dr herrington

The biomechanics of everyday living contribute to the wear and tear of your cervical spine, so even just prolonged sitting, accidents, falls, normal aging, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, poor posture, repetitive movements and blows to the head can lead to chronic pain and headaches.

Chiropractic Care

Seeing us about your neck pain is an important step in the right direction. During your visit with us, we will ask you a series of questions and will perform an exam to locate the source of your pain. We will ask about your current symptoms and if you have already tried to alleviate the pain on your own. A few of these questions may include:

  • When did the pain start?
  • Does the pain travel to other parts of your body?
  • Are there movements that reduce the pain?
  • Are there movements that make the pain worse?
  • What measures have you taken to reduce the pain already?

Part of the exam will also include a physical component where we will observe your range of motion, posture, and physical condition so they can note any movements that cause you pain. We will also examine your spine to note any curvature and alignment, and to feel for tight muscles or spasms. We will also check your shoulder area, and may perform a neurological exam as well.

In some cases, there may be a request for additional imaging tests like an x-rays before moving forward with a care plan. There are instances where treatments are out of the Chiropractic scope of practice, like surgeries or medications, and you’ll be directed to your medical physician.

Neck Adjustments

When your treatment is in the scope of chiropractic care, neck adjustments are done to help improve mobility and to restore the range of motion. When performed, spinal adjustments will also increase movement in the adjoining muscles. Typically, patients notice an improvement mobility, reduced pain, soreness, and stiffness within a short time.

Next Steps

Although neck pain is a common reason we see patients, each person has individualized needs that require an individualized treatment plan. If you are experiencing neck pain, request a initial consultation to see if we can help you have an improved standard of living.

Neck pain doesn’t have to be a part of aging, nor should it be tolerated until it “resolves itself.”

Health Isn’t Just The Absence of Disease

Years ago, we were living and believing that if we weren’t sick, we were healthy.

So what’s changed?

The connection between a sedentary life in relation to longer work hours, multiple jobs, and sitting for extended periods of time throughout the day is one.

The connection between mental wellness and physical health has been identified as being a larger piece of this puzzle than previously thought.

Much like everything else in today’s world, the medical world is evolving and learning more about the connection between wellness and overall health, along with the long term effects of poor eating, stress, and the lack of physical activity. 

We Have to Be Proactive

Overall wellness requires us to be proactive when treating our health and our bodies. Waiting until something is wrong just means it’s been left uncared for too long. Health is not the absence of disease, it’s being well holistically – preventing disease the best we can. Being healthy isn’t just about feeling fine either, it’s no secret that catastrophic diagnosis like heart disease is often found after years of being asymptomatic.

This Doesn’t Mean You Won’t Ever Get Sick

To be clear, maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not mean you will never get sick, or that you’ll be immune from injuries, pain or disease. People do everything they can, and will still get sick. However, your chances are better when you aren’t neglecting your health. 

Holistic Approaches to Health

As a Chiropractor, we work with a team of professionals to teach you how to take the best care of yourself overall. The physical aspects of chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, and physiotherapy will allow your body to work and heal optimally. Nutritional support can help you learn how to fuel your body efficiently. And let’s face it, when we feel better physically, we feel better mentally.

Mental and physical wellness look like improved sleep improved digestion, and improved physicality. These three aspects of wellness alone lead to a stronger and more efficient immune system – which means fewer illnesses. 

Untreated Injuries Can Lead to Bigger, More Expensive Problems

Over the years, our practice has seen even seemingly small stress injuries turn into months off of work. Carpal tunnel syndrome, neck/back pain, and migraines can all initially seem like they’ll resolve themselves. When left untreated though, they can insidiously become more debilitating types of injuries – leading to time taken off work, and for many, a loss of wages. This kind of stress can lead to a further deterioration in your health. 

This Doesn’t Have To Be You

The good news is, our practice has so much experience in holistic wellness. Our clients come ready to learn and do the work. They are committed to their health, and are serious about creating new habits and routines not only for themselves, but for their families. Your body has an innate ability to function intelligently by running a series of complex systems that rely on proper nutrition, balance, and coordination.

We have remained committed to evolving with you, and with the demands of your life. Your life can be vibrant and exciting, as long as we take care of it! This is the best investment you can make.

Why do Athletes Rely on Chiropractors?

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Why do Athletes Rely on Chiropractors?

Competitive sports require skill and precision, meaning even a microsecond delay in movement can determine whether they win or lose. Athletes require every bit of speed, flexibility, strength, and pain free movements that they can get in order to perform at the top of their class.  This is why Chiropractors are kept on deck. Other forms of pain relief can dull reaction times and can make athletes susceptible to addiction, while other more invasive treatments can keep them from their sport for extended periods of time. The role of the Chiropractor is to help relieve pain, while maintaining the body’s balance, flexibility, and optimal strength – the least invasive forms of treatment with the most positive outcomes.

Common Sports Injuries Requiring Chiropractic Care

Injuries that are often seen in athletes include those related to knocking the spine out of alignment, causing added stress to muscles, joints, nerves, discs, and ligaments. Studies completed over the last decade suggest that Chiropractic care outperforms other medical options when it comes to reducing pain and restoring normal function and athleticism. In addition, Chiropractic care provides pain from more common sports injuries like groin pain, tennis elbow, headaches, back and shoulder pain, and ankle and knee injuries.

Not Just Injuries

Athletes don’t just visit the Chiropractor when they injured either. World class athletes like Tiger Woods and Tom Brady (among many others) routinely visit their Chiropractor to prevent injuries and to boost their performance. “Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better,” says New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. “When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the Chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.”

Other Benefits

Aside from pain relief and realignment, here are some benefits that chiropractic care can offer athletes:  Fewer Injuries. Issues with alignment will cause stress on the body and can lead to injuries. Your Chiropractor will keep your musculoskeletal system in good working order so your body will be less prone to injury. Reduced Recovery Time. Chiropractic care minimizes the healing time by relieving the irritation between misaligned vertebrae. Some other techniques offered by your Chiropractic team are massage and stretching, tools to break down scar tissue, release of deep muscle tension, and electrical muscle stimulation to release tension near the surface. Improved Performance. When there is a spine misalignment, all the other systems in your body cannot function optimally – and your athletic performance will suffer. Regular adjustments are a preventative measure, and will keep your body functioning smoothly overall. This will improve your speed, strength, range of motion, flexibility, and your overall performance. Improved Training. We can help you improve your training by helping with gait improvement and proper form. Many athletes see us any time something feels “off.”

We Are Not Just For Repair

If you are an athlete, seeing us is just as preventative as it could be for treating injuries. We specialize in preventative mechanics, as well as maintenance and repair!  

Your Sleep Is Affecting Your Health

I know, you’ve heard this a million times. But the truth is, your sleep is imperative to your health, how your body repairs itself, and your mood. There are so many variables to consider when it comes to how well you do or don’t sleep, but in the interest of sticking with one – let’s consider the mattress you are sleeping on. Beyond the price tag, there are things to consider when making this important purchase. 

Your Quality of Sleep is Affecting Your Health

The quality of your sleep can have such a significant impact on your quality of life that cost should be considered as predictor as to how well you will invest in your health. Sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in your productivity in work, the number of sick days used, and increased injuries as a result of delayed responses and accuracy. Consider the lost wages as a result of not sleeping well. 

Sore Neck or Back?

Even something like waking up with a sore neck or back will have a direct impact on whether you even make it in to work. The quality of your mattress can be a huge predictor of how well you are maintaining your musculoskeletal health. So here are a few things you should keep in mind when making a decision this important. 

When Should A Mattress Be Replaced?

This is a simple one. Once you begin to wake up with sore or aching muscles, this may be the time to switch to a newer mattress. Typically, 10 years is the time to replace the mattress, but again – if you are feeling sore on an older mattress, start shopping around. A medium firm mattress is often the most beneficial for those with chronic low back pain. Sticking with a medium firm mattress has been shown to decrease pain, improve sleep, and generally support your spine better than alternatives.  Generally speaking, the standing posture of your spine should mimic that of your sleeping position. With this in mind, custom made mattresses are often the most beneficial in reducing pain because on the opposite side of the spectrum, soft mattresses decrease excessive force on your joints – but can promote sagging of the hips that cause hip and back pain.  In addition, adjustable bed bases have been associated with increased sleep quality.

This is An Important Purchase

Purchasing a mattress should be just as important as purchasing a car. You need to see it, test it out, lay on it, roll over, and adjust to ensure it is the right fit for you. With so many options, it’s important to do your research and take the time to explore the specific features you may require. 

Your Sleep Matters to Us

It just makes sense that if you are taking care of one aspect of your joint and body health, that you cover all of your bases. Your body heals when you sleep well since this is the time it takes to rejuvenate itself, so you can look and feel your best. Take your time when making a purchase like this, your health depends on it.

Winter Driving and Your Health

Winter has arrived and there are so many changes not only to the weather, but to our lives when the seasons change. Gone are the roller blades and bike rides, we’ve got so many other hazards to avoid when the snow and ice hits. Aside from ensuring your home is winter-proof, including cleaning your gutters, repairing leaks, and checking all your weather stripping – your car will be a job in it’s own. Winter proofing your car is an essential part of being winter ready. Simple adjustments can make a world of difference when faced with snowy or icy roads, and we require added items in the event that your car breaks down and you have to wait for help. Here’s a list of “things to-do” to ensure you and your car are winter ready.

Winter Maintenance

Now is the time to take your car in for a tune up. Your mechanic will give your car a once over to ensure all of your fluids are topped up and will look for any potential hazards. They may recommend rust proofing, which is often the cause of eroded fuel and brake lines. And don’t overlook those winter tires, the extra deep grip can help you maneuver through the snow better. 

Keep Your Gas Tank Full

Aside from ensuring it won’t ice when levels get very low, having a full gas tank adds weight to your car – which makes it less likely to slide on snowy roads. You also never want to run out of gas in the winter, it’s just not safe and is completely avoidable.

Keep an Emergency Kit in Your Car

An emergency kit  is something you don’t want to be without. It doesn’t have to be big, but it should be stocked with the following items:

  • First aid kit
  • Blanket
  • Dry clothes
  • Small flashlight
  • Phone charger
  • Booster cables

Chances are you’ll never have to use it, but being prepared if you do need it will make a world of difference in your experience. Winters can be harsh, and you’ll want to be prepared if we are hit with an unexpected storm or simply roads that haven’t been cleared.

Relax and Enjoy

Finally, while driving over the next couple of months – relax. Tense muscles while driving can lead to muscle strain, pain, and headaches. If your drive is taking much longer than usual, pull into an area that you can safely get out of your car for a few minutes to stretch and move around to keep your circulation going.  Maintaining your appointments with us over the winter months will help you to avoid soreness, injury, and even stiffness associated with hours a day in a car. And of course stretching and an exercise routine will help keep you limber. Otherwise, enjoy the season and be safe!