The Top 3 Chiropractic and Rehab Techniques I Use in Practice

Chiropractic care can vary in many different ways, including technique, modalities offered (if any), frequency of care, and even which joints in the body to adjust. At Excel Chiropractic, we focus on structural care and making sure the body is in proper alignment to ensure proper function. Here are my top 3 tools and techniques I use in practice to ensure the best results with my patients:

 

1. Structural exercises pre-adjustment:

CRU pic

Prior to being adjusted, we want to make sure the spine is warmed up, similar to stretching before exercising or working out. To warm up the spine, we use two structural exercises: our cervical traction unit (CTU) and our “wobble” chairs. The CTU is effective at opening the compressed disc spaces, usually due to poor posture, in the neck. In addition, the CTU helps restore the natural curve in our neck that is also lost from improper lifestyle habits. The wobble chairs, on the other hand, are excellent at providing mobility back into the lumbar spine, or the low back. This area becomes compressed from sitting all day and needs proper movement to maintain pain-free function.

 

2. The chiropractic adjustment on an automatic flexion-distraction table:

adjusting pic

By incorporating automatic flexion-distraction into each adjustment, we continue to aid in the healing process by further opening the compressed disc spaces. This helps relieve pain by taking pressure off of the affected nerves. This also allows for a smooth, gentle adjustment each visit.

 

3. Rest period on an intersegmental traction table (or IST table) post-adjustment:

massage table pic

The worst thing you can do to your body after an adjustment is immediately jump back into your pre-adjustment routine. Your body needs time to heal and to let the adjustment settle in without being thrown right back out of place. This is why each patient lies on the IST tables, comparable to a rolling massage table, for about 10 minutes after every adjustment. Not only is this usually the patient’s favorite part of the visit, but it also helps the results last much longer by letting the body strengthen around proper alignment.

 

Everything we do at Excel Chiropractic is with a purpose and with a common goal in mind—to reduce pain and symptoms and ensure a healthy nervous system by correcting structural misalignments and imbalances. By using structural exercises, specific and effective adjustments on a state-of-the-art chiropractic table, and allowing the body ample rest on the IST Tables post-adjustment, we make sure we are always treating the patient’s underlying conditions from multiple angles to achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time.

4 Things You Must Do After Your First Chiropractic Adjustment

Want to know how to make the most out of your first adjustment? Check out these tips!

 

water

Drink lots of water

Every joint in your body needs movement to receive its nutrients. Therefore, if a joint is not moving properly, it begins to accumulate toxins. When you receive a chiropractic adjustment to these joints to improve function and mobility, these toxins are released into the bloodstream. Drink plenty of water after your adjustment to flush your body of these newly released toxins.

Here’s a tip: It is a good idea to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weight 180 lbs, drink 90 ounces of water.

 

epsom salt

Take an Epsom salt bath that night

As we mentioned earlier, it is important to flush out the toxins in your body, especially after your adjustment. Epsom salt baths are a great way to draw these toxins out and reduce any muscle cramping or soreness.

Here’s a tip: Soak in a warm bath with 2-3 cups of Epsom salt (or however much the package recommends) for 20-30 minutes. Feeling proactive? Take an Epsom salt bath the night before your next adjustment to start the recovery process early!

 

trail dude

Stay Active

Now that your body is in proper alignment, it is important to stay active and begin training your muscles to maintain the correct structure. If the bone and joint position is corrected, but the muscles are still pulling improperly, then the adjustment will not last as long.

Here’s a tip: For the first few days after your adjustment, focus on training your endurance. When lifting weights, try completing sets with less weights and higher repetitions. When lifting heavier weights, even with proper form, there is a better chance of strengthening one side over the other and pulling your adjustment back out of alignment.

 

Setting a date

Schedule your next adjustment!

Even though your body was just adjusted and put into proper alignment, there is a good chance your brain and body will go back to how it was comfortable—misaligned. However, it is important to remember that comfort does not equal health. It is time to start retraining your body how to live with proper alignment and a strong foundation.

Here’s a tip: Schedule your next adjustment ASAP and make sure you stick to your prescribed care plan. Each chiropractor will create a care plan that best suits your conditions and individual needs.

Pregnancy, the Breech Presentation, and How Chiropractic Can Help!

Educating pregnant women on the benefits of chiropractic care is incredibly important because chiropractic can make the pregnancy, labor, and delivery an easier and healthier process.  As a baby comes to full-term (36 weeks), one major concern for pregnant mothers and doctors is how the baby is positioned inside the womb.  The normal position for a baby during labor is head down, or in the vertex position, which offers the greatest chance at a safe, healthy delivery. Unfortunately, 1 out of 25 full-term births are breech births. A breech presentation is when the baby’s feet and bottom are pointing downward and the head is at the top.

 

breech baby

 

 

This scenario can be dangerous for the mother since the delivering doctor has to perform certain maneuvers to turn the baby into the proper position. The turning process becomes even more difficult when the baby is full-term because there is limited room in the uterus to change positions, which is why 86% of infants with breech presentations are delivered by cesarean section (C-section) in the United States. However, a C-section delivery is not only a traumatic, surgical intervention to both the mother and the baby, but also disrupts the baby’s nutrient supply and blood flow from the mother.

Many babies are in a breech presentation at some point during the pregnancy, but will spontaneously move into the proper vertex position by 34 weeks.  However, after 34 weeks, very few babies will reposition without some form of intervention. Intrauterine constraints, or obstructions to the baby during pregnancy, are a major cause of breech presentations and structural defects to the baby. This is commonly caused by adhesions and constrictions in the mother’s hips and low back, mainly in the pelvis and sacrum. Chiropractic adjustments remove these restrictions and restore normal nerve flow and function. By regularly seeing a chiropractor before, during, and after pregnancy, the mother has a better chance to ensure normal function and biomechanics in the spine throughout the pregnancy.  Maintaining an optimal structure encourages a healthy pregnancy, which provides plenty of space for the baby to grow without any limitations.

The practice of chiropractic should not be misconstrued with the practice of obstetrics. Rather, chiropractic focuses on correcting various musculoskeletal conditions that may cause intrauterine constraints that place pressure on the developing uterus. If you are pregnant, or expecting, make an appointment today to make sure your body is functioning optimally for the healthiest pregnancy possible!

5 Reasons Why I Don’t Do Diets

We are constantly looking for the quick fix in life: the magic weight loss pill, the exercise that will give us a 6-pack tomorrow, the investment that will return one million dollars within the hour. We all know that nothing comes easy and that there is no such thing as a “quick fix.” However, we still try and find the shortcuts where we can. One of the most prevalent examples of this is dieting. I’m going to explain to you the top 5 reasons why I don’t do dieting and easy solutions you can use today for long-term change.

 

Dieting results are only temporary.

Problem: Most diets are too complicated or exhausting to maintain for a long period of time. It is not fathomable (or healthy) to cut out an entire food group, such as carbohydrates, from your diet for the rest of your life. Eventually, you will end up “cheating” or eating something that is not included in your diet. Because of the pressure you’ve put on yourself to achieve diet perfection, any slip up or regression can feel devastating. This causes a slippery slope and usually ends with you stopping the diet altogether.

Solution: Unless you have incredible willpower, which most of us do not, never stop or quit something cold turkey. Are you drinking 4 Diet Cokes per day? As much as I’d love for you to stop drinking them entirely, it is not a recipe for long term change. Start out by reducing your Diet Coke intake to 2 per day for a week or two. Then ween yourself down to one per day, one every other day, one per week, etc., until you no longer have the craving. Although the number varies, most research says it takes about 60 days to create a habit. What does that mean for you? If you start removing the Diet Coke or the bag of candy at night from your daily ritual, after 60 days or less your body will no longer crave it.

 

Dieting and rapid weight loss affects your body’s normal functions.

Problem: If we drastically reduce the number of calories or nutrients we consume, then our bodies go into starvation mode. In order to stay full and satiated with less food, our bodies slow down its metabolism as to not burn the food and calories too quickly.

Solution: Instead of reducing your caloric intake too quickly, start with simple portion control. By slowly reducing how much we are eating, we prevent our body from going into starvation mode and disrupting our normal functions, such as metabolism, heart rate, temperature, and mood. Skipping meals is never a good route either. Keep eating at normal intervals throughout the day, but make sure you are using proper portion control.

 

Dieting drains your energy.

Problem: Even if your diet is not as healthy as it could or should be, your body is used to drawing its energy from what you’re putting into your mouth. Decreasing calories and nutrients equals decreasing energy and strength.

Solution: Never cut out a food group entirely. The best rule of thumb is always EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. If you are going to decrease the number of calories you’re eating, make sure you are putting nutrient-dense foods into your body. Instead of eating an entire bag of potato chips, eat ½ cup or ¾ cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa. You are still giving your body the carbohydrates it is used to, but you’re replacing empty calories, or calories that come from foods with no nutrients such as potato chips, with complex, nutrient-dense calories that improve your health and function.

 

Dieting distracts you from what is really important.

Problem: We become so obsessed with dieting and being a certain body weight that we lose sight of what is really important in our lives.

Solution: Do not shut out the rest of your life and the things that matter and are important to you simply to try a new diet regimen. Remember that losing unwanted weight and improving your health and nutrition can be fun! If you incorporate your friends and family into the process, then it is much more rewarding and easier to stay on track. Chances are there is a friend or family member that could benefit from improving their health as well. Try teaming up and setting short- and long-term goals for each of you. Trust me, accomplishing your goals with a teammate, friend, or family member is always more rewarding than going at it alone. Remember, the key is healthy living, not short-term dieting.

 

Dieting is a major precursor to eating disorders.

Problem: We start dieting to lose 1-2 pounds, but before we know it, we become obsessed and begin hurting ourselves through a process we began, ironically, to improve our health.

Solution: Remember that weight is not the sole indicator of health or disease. People can be heavier and in good health or thinner and in poor health. The ultimate goal is to improve our overall health and change our bad habits, not just the numbers on the scale. Restricting food is never the solution for losing weight. Keep your portions in moderation, eat nutrient-dense foods, and focus on improving your health nutritionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

 

At Excel Chiropractic, we do not focus on only one aspect of the body. We are complex beings and need to be looked at as a whole. Although our goal is to always ensure proper structural alignment in our patient’s bodies, we want to make sure that when they leave the office, their health and well-being is still the number one priority. By focusing on our patient’s health from many different angles, such as the body’s alignment, nutrition, and exercise habits, we can see incredible results that last much longer than if we had only focused on one aspect. Are you interested in improving your or your family’s health? Schedule a complimentary consultation with us today so we can create the perfect plan to help take care of you and the ones that mean the most to you!

Why your fever is actually a healthy response!

 

We’ve all been there. The cough and sniffles start and sure enough, our body temperature rises and we’re faced with an uncomfortable fever. Most people think that the fever is the PROBLEM and needs to be suppressed as soon as possible to regain health. However, the fever is actually the body’s RESPONSE to an underlying problem, be it a virus or bacterial infection.

So why would our body raise our internal temperature and cause us even more pain in an already uncomfortable state? Because our body and brain are smarter than we are!

By raising our internal temperature from a normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to 100-101 degrees, we have just created an environment where harmful bacteria cannot survive. When our body temperature increases to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, we have now created an environment where viruses are unable to reproduce and spread throughout the body.

However, if your body temperature does increase to around 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit, or if your fever has lasted up to 4 days, it is important to seek medical care to make sure no damage is done to any vital organs.

Now what happens when we take pain relievers such as Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or Advil (Ibuprofen)? Our fever goes down, giving us an illusion of health! Yes, the fever has reduced, but now the bacteria or virus is running rampant because we have just suppressed our natural defense mechanism! In an attempt to fix the problem, we only treated the symptoms, not the real cause of disease.

 

Here are some tips on how to handle your next fever and to ensure your body is fighting to its greatest potential:

  1. Drink lots of water and stay rested: Fighting an infection takes a lot of energy, so our body will need proper hydration and at least 7-10 hours of sleep per night.
  1. Eat a healthy, balanced, and natural diet: Sugar suppresses our immune system so try and avoid sweets when you’re not feeling well. It might make us feel better in the short term, but it’s also slowing our body’s ability to fight the infection.
  1. Pick up some natural supplements: A healthy dose of B12 (about 2.5mg) can go a long way to boost your immune system. Also, add a healthy, natural probiotic to your diet. This will increase the amount of healthy, good bacteria in your body that helps your immune system fight off the cold and infection as well!

 

I hope these strategies help you face your next fever with confidence and not fear! Let your body work naturally and fight infection the way it was designed to.