Why The Right Pillow Is Important!

  • By 7016572338
  • 25 Jul, 2017

Nothing starts your day off better than getting a good night's SLEEP !   And sleeping with the right  pillow can help.

"Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge," says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist  and author of Beauty Sleep : Look Younger, Lose Weight , and Feel Great Through Better Sleep .

But the wrong pillow may worsen headaches , neck pain , shoulder  and arm numbness, discomfort, sneezing , and wheezing , notes orthopaedic surgeon Andrew Hecht, MD.

"A bad pillow won't be the cause of any of these problems, but using the incorrect pillow can certainly exacerbate many of the underlying problems linked to these symptoms , and it certainly can keep you from getting a good night's rest," says Hecht, the co-chief of spine surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.

And if your pillow is past its prime, it may contain skin  cells, mold, mildew, fungus, and dust mites , which make up more than half of an older pillow's weight, Breus notes.

Is it time to buy a new pillow? Experts say the general rule is to buy a pillow every 12 to 18 months. After two years, it's definitely got to go.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PILLOW

  •  Ask for a recommendation from your chiropractor.
  • Before selecting your new pillow, talk to the person who understands the cause of your neck pain, your chiropractor . He or she will give you some valuable pointers on choosing the pillow that will be most beneficial.
  •  Do your research.
  • Fire up the Internet and search for pillows by your sleeping position. Read the reviews from people who also have neck pain, and see which pillows helped them. Note the pillow name, price, and store that sells it. 
  • Think about the filling. Pillows are filled with a variety of materials, and you will need to consider which one is right for you. Feather pillows may offer neck comfort, but if you are allergic this is the wrong choice.
  • Memory foam is a popular choice because of it’s ability to contour to your body’s shape. Give some thought to the type of filling that best suits your sleeping style.
  • Consider the size.
  • Pillows should generally be between 4-6 inches in height, and should alleviate the pressure points around your neck and shoulders. Extra thick pillows or especially flat ones are most likely the wrong choices (again, this depends on your sleeping position).
  • Your size should also be considered when choosing a pillow. A large person needs a bigger pillow, while a more petite person should go with a smaller pillow. The bottom line is the pillow should provide support and comfort, and hold your neck in a neutral position.
  • Don’t try to ‘make do’ with a budget pillow.
  • Pillows designed to reduce neck pain are not going to be cheap. With all the less expensive pillows available, its tempting to settle for a more modestly priced option.
  • Before you end up spending a smaller amount of cash on a pillow that won’t alleviate your current problem, remember the many painful nights and groggy mornings that you would have paid a ton of money just to feel good. Then open your wallet and buy the pillow that will minimize that from ever happening again. Parting with the cash won’t kill you. We promise.
  • Neck pain and the lack of sleep that results is a serious issue. Addressing it with a good chiropractor is the first step toward improving the situation.
  • Shopping for the perfect pillow is a close second in importance. By following these tips and taking the time to choose the right pillow, you will be snoozing away pain-free in no time at all!

We sell both Chiroflow water pillows and Tri-Core pillows at Chiropractic Associates!  

Chiropractic Associates Blog

By 7016572338 08 Aug, 2017

Fall and Winter is coming and so is cold and flu season! Colds can be irritating and flu can be dangerous, so at Chiropractic Associates, we do our best to help our patients avoid illnesses and stay healthy. Using a variety of natural methods, we can help our patients build up their immune system and improve their ability to fight off sickness!

SPINAL ADJUSTMENT AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Spinal adjustment is the primary method of treatment that chiropractors use to help patients get healthy and stay healthy. Spinal adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, is done by realigning the vertebrae to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. This technique works in a variety of ways to boost the effectiveness of the immune system. Spinal adjustment helps the body regulate hormones like cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone the body produces in response to stress. Cortisol can inhibit the immune system, which is part of why stress can cause illness. By controlling production of this hormone, spinal adjustment can help the body stay healthy.

Spinal adjustment also helps the immune system by eliminating subluxations. A subluxation is a condition caused by compression of the spinal column in the vertebrae. Subluxations can cause signals from the brain to misfire, resulting in physical dysfunction, leading to a variety of illnesses and diseases. By correcting subluxations, chiropractors can improve the body’s ability to heal itself and fight off illnesses.

SPINAL ADJUSTMENT TO SPEED RECOVERY

Even when illness strikes, spinal adjustment can help speed up the recovery process. Some patients hesitate to come to the chiropractic clinic when they’re not feeling well. We encourage patients suffering from a cold or flu to come in if they’re feeling up to it, because we can help expedite their recovery.

OTHER METHODS TO IMPROVE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Spinal adjustment isn’t the only method that chiropractors use to boost the immune system. At Choice Chiropractic, we use a variety of natural techniques to keep our patients healthy.

  • Nutrition counseling: Diet plays a big role in the body’s ability to fight off viruses. Foods like citrus fruits, probiotics, herbs, spices and garlic can all help patients get the vitamins and supplements they need to stay healthy.
  • Lifestyle advice: People make choices every day that can either help or inhibit their immune system. Sleeping well, using effective stress management techniques and exercising regularly can all help patients stay healthy. Proper wellness starts with good lifestyle choices. At Choice Chiropractic, we help our patients make the lifestyle choices that will help them avoid illness and stay healthy.
  • Postural screening and correction: Poor posture can lead to subluxations that then inhibit the immune system. We help our patients avoid this problem with our postural screening and posture correction techniques.


By 7016572338 03 Aug, 2017

Why Chiropractic Care Should Be in Your Back-To-School Preparations

It’s almost that time of year again, school is starting up again throughout Texas!The summer is winding down, athletics are winding up, and school will be back in session any day. While this obviously brings some excitement, it can also bring a bit of anxiety. But the more prepared you are, the easier the process of going back to school feels for everyone. In the midst of all of the preparations such as buying supplies, picking out new clothes, and tending to busy schedules, it can be easy to forget about one of the most important aspects of preparing for school: Your health. To get a jumpstart on a healthy school year, take a look at these reasons to make chiropractic care a part of your routine.

Because Books are Heavy

It’s a rite of passage for kids: A fresh, colorful new backpack to start off the school year. While there’s no doubt that using a backpack makes carrying books easier, there’s some debate about whether a heavy backpack is harmful to a child’s health, potentially causing chronic back pain or back injuries.When kids go back to school, they come home with backpacks full of heavy books and supplies.  A heavy bag might cause or exacerbate misalignments of the spine. These misalignments can cause pain and discomfort that won’t go away until the misalignments are corrected. This is where chiropractors may be able to step in and make a big difference.


Children who habitually carry heavy or unbalanced backpacks may develop the following conditions:

  • Circulation problems/nerve damage. Some backpacks have flimsy, narrow straps that aren't well-padded. These can dig into the shoulders, cutting off circulation to the arms and hands. Children may notice a numbness, tingling, or weakness.

  • Compressed vertebrae and inflamed cartilage. You've probably seen a child with a heavy backpack get pulled backwards by the weight. Some children try to re-balance themselves by arching their backs or leaning forward at the hips. Either of these motions can compress the vertebrae of the spine, leading to inflammation of the cartilage discs between the bones. This causes soreness in the middle of the back or lower back.

  • Muscle contractions. Excessive strain on the back can lead to involuntary flexing and releasing of the muscles, similar to a spasm.

  • Neck, upper back, or shoulder strains. A heavy weight pulling on the shoulders  can strain (cause tiny tears in) the muscles of the shoulder, neck, and upper back. Strains of the upper back between the shoulder blades are very common, since many children will hump their backs under the weight of the pack.

  • Posture issues. Poor posture can result from carrying a poorly-designed, ill-fitting, overloaded bag. Weeks or months of struggling under a heavy weight can lead to problems like rounded shoulders, especially in girls.

  • Wearing a backpack on one shoulder, which some children find more stylish, can also contribute to upper back pain by creating an imbalance in posture as the child leans to the other side to compensate.

  • In worst-case scenarios, heavy packs may contribute to or worsen scoliosis   (curvature of the spine, more common in girls).


   BACKPACK SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN

Here are 10 tips for parents and children to help avoid back pain:

  • Buy the smallest pack necessary. If the pack is too large, your child may be tempted to fill it to capacity.

  • Watch the weight. A backpack, when fully packed, should weigh no more than 10–15% of the child's body weight. For example, if your child is 60 pounds, her backpack weight should not exceed nine pounds. A six-pound pack would be even safer. Starting with a lightweight pack made from canvas or nylon is a good start.

  • Padded straps and back are a must. Wide, well-cushioned shoulder straps will keep straps from digging into the shoulders. A padded back provides additional comfort and protects the back from being poked by book corners and other objects.

  • Look for waist belts. Backpacks with waist belts can help to distribute the weight over the hips, taking some of the pressure off the shoulders and upper/mid back. (The same principle is used in backpacking to help adults comfortably carry gear up to 40+ pounds.)

  • Compartments are key. Packs with compartments can help to immobilize objects and distribute weight evenly across the pack. Put heavier items in the center of the pack.  
  • Tighten up the straps. Keeping the pack close to the back and centered relieves pressure on the shoulders and lower back. Tighten straps until the pack is worn close. If the bottom of the bag is hanging over the buttocks, the adjustable straps need to be tightened until the bag is brought up.

  • Use the locker or cubby. If your child has been assigned a place to keep his things during the day, encourage him to use it instead of carrying every book all day.

  • Don't carry everything every day. Look for ways to pack wisely and limit unnecessary items. For example, does your child need to bring every notebook to class every day? Only carry home the books needed to do that night's homework.
  • Lift the bag safely. Always bend at the knees to pick up a heavy pack, and use both hands.

  • Wear the pack over both shoulders. "One-shouldering" a backpack is unw


Because Germs Will Be Rampant

Because the spine is a part of the central nervous system, its health greatly affects every system in the body, including the immune system. The healthier the spine, the healthier the CNS, and the healthier the immune system. When kids go back to school, they’ll be exposed to all sorts of new germs and illnesses. By getting regular chiropractic care, you may help keep the immune system boosted, and germs far away.

Because It Starts the Year Off Right

Starting off the school year on the right foot may make or break the entire year. Beginning the year with chiropractic care may help you begin with better health, a more comfortable body, and a bit more flexibility, both physically and mentally. Because this sort of care can make you feel generally better and improve overall health, it’s a great way to get your school year started and your health on the right path.

If you would like to try chiropractic care, visit with chiropractors at  Chiropractic Associates.  At Chiropractic Associates  we have affordable pricing  that makes getting care easier than ever. Before your kids go back to school, get them on a path to wellness that can last all year long. Check out Chiropractic Associates as soon as today for quality care and a great addition to your back-to-school preparations.

By 7016572338 27 Jul, 2017

DID YOU KNOW that structural shifts in the spine can happen from the birth process?

A typical birth can place 60-90 lbs of force onto an infant’s head and neck. While most children  are okay, these shifts have been associated with colic, constipation, sleep issues and trouble feeding. Early check ups can help prevent structural shifts from becoming a chronic problem.

For newborns and infants, the path to good health begins with a natural drug-free approach. Well, chiropractic care provides just that. Like adults, newborns and infants can benefit in a variety of ways from spinal alignment through chiropractic adjustments. Let’s not forget they were curled up in a tiny ball for nine months being sloshed around while Mom went about her life -- so you’d be a little out of alignment, too! Here are a few things to look for.


By 7016572338 25 Jul, 2017

Nothing starts your day off better than getting a good night's SLEEP !   And sleeping with the right  pillow can help.

"Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge," says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist  and author of Beauty Sleep : Look Younger, Lose Weight , and Feel Great Through Better Sleep .

But the wrong pillow may worsen headaches , neck pain , shoulder  and arm numbness, discomfort, sneezing , and wheezing , notes orthopaedic surgeon Andrew Hecht, MD.

"A bad pillow won't be the cause of any of these problems, but using the incorrect pillow can certainly exacerbate many of the underlying problems linked to these symptoms , and it certainly can keep you from getting a good night's rest," says Hecht, the co-chief of spine surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.

And if your pillow is past its prime, it may contain skin  cells, mold, mildew, fungus, and dust mites , which make up more than half of an older pillow's weight, Breus notes.

Is it time to buy a new pillow? Experts say the general rule is to buy a pillow every 12 to 18 months. After two years, it's definitely got to go.

By 7016572338 13 Jul, 2017

The use of computers in virtually every home, school and workplace environment has given rise to a host of related injuries affecting an unprecedented number of people worldwide

Without even realizing it, people often sit for hours a day hunched over a desk or in front of a computer, with their heads held forward for extended periods of time. Over time, this unnatural position places significant stress on the head, neck, shoulders and back, causing a condition known as Sitting-Down Syndrome. This condition has prompted an exponential increase in the number of people suffering from a variety of ailments that include:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Lower-back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Wrist pain

When seated for extended periods of time, muscles contract and eventually become tighter and shorter, placing undue stress on other muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. In an unconscious effort to relieve the pain caused by this condition, your body compensates in a way that weakens your muscles even further. In turn, this repetitive condition leads to even more pain and suffering unless this cycle is interrupted and corrected.

Here are some simple thing to help you through your day!





By 7016572338 27 Jun, 2017

Sitting on your wallet, in the car or at your desk, obviously also will give you temporarily a crooked spine, because it raises one side of the pelvis. Only slightly you may say, but believe you me, it's significant.




´╗┐When sitting on your wallet...
That curvature is only temporary, obviously; only whilst sitting on your back pocket wallet but you can see how a scoliosis, whether for a few moments or permanent, reaches up into the cervical spine. It can and does play havoc with your spine causing headaches and a variety of spinal complaints that continue long after you get out of the car.

In a lateral shift your pelvis or hips will be misaligned causing a high hip on one side and low hip on the other side. This might give you the appearance of one leg being shorter than the other or give you chronic low back pain with or without pain in your gluteus and down your leg. One of the ways we measure and evaluate for lateral shifts is by checking to see if you carry your weight evenly on both legs. Often times people initially have weight balance discrepancies in the 10-15 lbs range and not be able to feel it. If you can imagine the extra wear and tear that happens if your car is out of alignment, you can imagine the extra wear and tear on your body that a lateral shift can cause over time.
When you sit on your wallet or phone you are essentially inducing a lateral shift in your spine. Over time, the repetitive stress of basically sitting on a wedge will induce a more permeant shift in your spine that will stay even after you are no longer on the wedge/ wallet. This happens as the muscles of your lower body being to tighten and adapt to this new structure.

We recommend keeping your wallet in your front pocket and taking it out of your pockets when you are driving or at work. Life has enough stress to throw at us without us consciously contributing to our shift. 



By 7016572338 22 Jun, 2017
In order for movement to occur, the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments must all work together in response to signals from the brain. If there is any disease or condition that interrupts the nerves' signals or if there is any injury to any of these structures, movement can be hindered. To help keep the body healthy and active it is important to understand what tendons, ligaments and muscles are, the role they play in movement and how to prevent injury.Muscles, tendons and ligaments can all suffer injuries as the result of a direct blow or or from overuse. Ligaments can be overstretched; this is called a strain. A strain can involve just partial tears to the ligament or a compete tear. Muscle and tendon injuries are called sprains and occur when they are overworked or stretched too far. A strain can be either a partial or full tear. These injuries are common in high-intensity sports and require treatment to avoid chronic problems. Tendons, ligaments and muscles can all be stretched and strengthened to help avoid injuries.
By 7016572338 20 Jun, 2017

You’ve been in the car or the plane for hours, your back is aching and your legs are stiff and sore; you can’t wait to stand up and get moving again. We’ve all been there. This summer, plan for a pain-free travel experience by making small changes that can make a big difference in how you feel. 

"Prolonged sitting causes a buildup of pressure in the blood vessels in your lower legs, which causes soreness" explains Scott Bautch, DC, president of the ACA Council on Occupational Health. “Simple moves, such as stretching or contracting and relaxing your muscles, can increase blood flow.”

“Treat travel like an athletic event,” he suggests. “Warm up before getting into a car or on the plane, and cool down once you reach your destination. For example, taking a short, brisk walk to stretch your hamstring and calf muscles before and after a long trip can help prevent problems.”

Consider these additional tips for healthier travels:

Travel by Car

  • Adjust the seat so you are as close to the steering wheel as comfortably possible.
  • Progress through a series of muscle stretches when driving: open your toes as wide as you can, and count to 10. Count to five while you tighten your calf muscles, then your thigh muscles, then your gluteal muscles. Roll your shoulders forward and back. Always make sure to put safety first and keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.
  • Do not grip the steering wheel. Instead, alternate tightening and loosening your grip occasionally to improve hand circulation and decrease muscle fatigue in the arms, wrists and hands.
  • Take rest breaks and take the opportunity to move around to refresh yourself. Never underestimate the potential consequences of fatigue to yourself, your passengers and other drivers. Get out and move aroundYour spine is designed to move. Sitting in one position in a car will stiffen up your back muscles and can lead to achiness and possibly muscle spasm. If possible, plan ahead for to schedule stops—ideally every 30 minutes—and get out of the car so you can move around and stretch. Movement stimulates blood circulation, which brings nutrients and oxygen to your lower back.

    In between exercise stops, try to move a little in your seat. Even 10 seconds of movement and stretching is better than sitting still. At a minimum adjust your seat and change your position slightly every 15 to 20 minutes. Pump your ankles to keep the blood flowing and provide a slight stretch in your hamstring muscles . Any movement that is safe to do in the car will help you out.

  • Bring along a cold pack

    If you have back pain, it may be a good idea to bring an ice pack or cold pack along in the car with you.

    Most back pain is accompanied by inflammation. Applying a cold pack can reduce the inflammation and numb sore tissues. Please remember to always use a towel or another protective barrier to avoid ice burn.

    Here are some options:

    • Bring a cooler in the car with you and keep reusable ice packs in it, or make your own ice pack and bring it along
    • Buy some instant ice packs at a pharmacy or general merchandise store. Keep them in the glove compartment in case you ever need them

  • Real Food Not Junk

    Everyone knows that gas station hot dogs and liters of sugary sodas aren’t good for us but that doesn’t stop us from consuming them, especially while on a long road trip. People travel thousands of miles for the holidays and stopping at fast food restaurants seems like the best idea when you just want to get wherever you’re going in the fastest way possible.

    While junk food doesn’t make you feel good and can cause indigestion, did you know it could also cause other forms of pain? If you eat well most of the time but suddenly introduce your body to food of the junk variety your systems could reject it in curious ways. A healthy diet for a healthy person keeps the body’s insulin levels regulated naturally. When you add a sudden influx of unhealthy food the body goes into overtime producing insulin that can cause inflammation, aches, and pain. Imagine what junk food does to a person over an extended period of time.

    Not only will this snack bag keep you fueled, but it will also help you resist the temptation to stop for less healthy food options on the road. Be sure, however, to make sure that your snack options are healthy and not sugar loaded, particularly if you have kids joining you on this road trip. Healthy snack options might include string cheese, rice cakes, nuts, and apple slices. Don’t neglect your hydration either– bring a cooler packed with plenty of water.




Travel by Airplane

  • Stand up straight and feel the normal "S" curve of your spine. To prevent back pain, use rolled-up pillows or blankets to maintain that curve when you sit in your seat.
  • Check all bags heavier than 5 to 10 percent of your body weight. Overhead lifting of any significant amount of weight should be avoided to reduce the risk of pain in the lower back or neck.
  • When pushing your belongings under the seat, do not force the object with an awkward motion using your legs, feet or arms. This may cause muscle strain or spasms in the upper thighs and lower back muscles.
  • While seated, vary your position occasionally to improve circulation and avoid leg cramps.
By 7016572338 15 Jun, 2017

Treating TMD/TMJ


If you place your hands on your face, right in front of your ear lobes and open and close your mouth, you can feel your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects your upper and lower jaw.

Many Americans experience some sort of temporomandibular-related pain or even a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). In fact, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) estimates that 10 million Americans have a TMD. Additionally, around 75 percent of the U.S. population may experience one or more symptoms of a TMD. Discover why chiropractic is a viable treatment option for this common condition.

Conservative, Uninvasive Treatment

Top experts, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NIDCR, recommend conservative, reversible treatments as the best route of action. Our doctors agree and recommend choosing uninvasive treatments first, rather than aggressive treatments, like surgery and implants, which penetrate the tissues of the face, jaw or joint.

Let’s start by briefly going over what TMJ disorder is: TMJ disorder (TMJ Syndrome) is a blanket term for acute or chronic inflammation of the temporomandibular joint (which is what connects your mandible to your skull). The most common causes range from bruxism (teeth grinding), trauma, excessive nail biting, degenerative joint diseases and many more. Essentially, TMJ disorder is quite common.

Symptoms

Issues with the complex temporomandibular joint and its surrounding muscles and tissues can cause a variety of symptoms—and some of these symptoms on their own may not indicate a disorder. The most common symptoms are:

  • Dull, aching pain around the ear which may extend to the side and back of the head or down the neck
  • Difficulty or pain when biting, chewing, talking or opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking, popping or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Earache
  • Headache (including migraines)
  • Jaw or TMJ pain
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Dizziness
  • Neck and Shoulder pain

Chiropractors may help with TMJ by alleviating tension and dysfunction in the spine. As chiropractors alleviate this dysfunction, it reduces the pressure on various nerves, which then alleviates pain associated with TMJ. Many people who have TMJ need continual care in order to keep the pain and other side effects away. But with regular trips to the chiropractor, many sufferers of this condition find ongoing relief from this particular ailment.

If you think you are suffering from TMD or can relate to these symptoms, Chiropractic Associates recommends seeking out the opinion of a chiropractor or other healthcare professional. In the meanwhile, rest the jaw when possible and to pay close attention to habits, such as teeth grinding or nail-biting, which may be worsening the pain or disorder.

Make an appointment to talk to a chiropractic doctor about chiropractic and TMJ/TMD.

By 7016572338 13 Jun, 2017

Modern medicine has acknowledged acupuncture as an effective curative therapy. The needles inserted into the body cause the nervous system to release healing and pain-relieving chemicals into brain, spinal cord and muscles.

Acupuncture is used in the treatment of a range of conditions, including muscular and neurological disorders such as lower back pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, sciatica, osteoarthritis and tendinitis, gastric disorders such as diarrhea, gastritis, spactic colon and constipation, as well as respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma.

It is also helpful in relieving migraines and arthritic pain, soothing dental pain, reducing nausea, and remedying problems with the reproductive and urinary organs. 

For patients receiving advanced chiropractic care, a course of acupuncture treatment that works hand-in-hand with the chiropractic treatment can provide added healing benefits. The two remedies approach the condition from multiple angles, promoting better healing at a faster pace.

Acupuncture can relieve the potency of pain signals, loosen the muscles and stimulate blood flow to quicken healing, which in turn aids the chiropractor in performing therapeutic alignments to the patient’s spine, muscles and joints. Both treatments can be used compatibly, each enhancing the healing effects of the other without the need for drugs. For many conditions, a combination of these therapies can bring about rapid and health-boosting effects. A lot of patients suffering from various illnesses, injuries and medical conditions have reported that receiving acupuncture along with chiropractic care has been more helpful than taking medicines and receiving standard chiropractic therapy.

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