How to Select the Right Chiropractor for You

Congratulations! If you’ve decided to seek chiropractic treatment, you’re taking proactive steps to improve your spine, joint, and muscle health. Now it’s time to get to work on your next step: finding the right chiropractor for you. Like any professional, chiropractic specialists vary by qualifications, techniques, and demeanor, so it’s worth taking your time on this decision.

Seek Out Recommendations

One reliable way to find high-quality chiropractors, and the first step in any comprehensive search, is to ask people around you for recommendations. Check with friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers for suggestions. Then see if your primary care physician or any physical therapists or specialists you already see can point you in the direction of any specific chiropractic offices they trust.

Narrowing Down the Field

Once you’ve compiled a short list of potential chiropractors, run through a few quick screening steps before you schedule an initial visit or consultation. This can make your decision clearer and easier.

Check your insurance. Does your plan allow you to choose any chiropractor, or is there a list of specific in-network providers you must pick from? Once you’ve eliminated any out-of-network offices, you can do some research about each remaining chiropractor online. Make sure their licensing is up to date, and see if their college is accredited. A quick search may also help you find out if a given provider has been known for noteworthy issues in the past.

Some chiropractors may be affiliated with a particular hospital or professional organization. If one of the chiropractors in question does have affiliations, look into their reputations. You can also call each provider left on your list and find out if they are currently accepting new patients.

Final Considerations

Finally, some patients may prefer taking the time to talk with each chiropractic office, whether that’s over the phone or in person for a consult. This can give you a better sense of the work they do and what their attitude is like.

Ultimately, you want to feel free to be comfortable and build a positive rapport with your chiropractor. Ask them about their past experience. Find out what sorts of conditions they treat the most and what kinds of procedures they are most experienced with. Don’t forget to ask about and look for patient testimonies and surveys. Take your time and you’re sure to find the right chiropractor for you!

What Do Normal Spine Curve and Alignment Look Like?

Many people of various ages struggle with posture issues and related back pain. Alignment issues can manifest themselves many different ways, from the mildly inconvenient to the debilitating. Your spine (and the muscles that surround it) is at the root of all these problems. Proper spinal curve and alignment are essential for a healthy back and optimal wellbeing. But before you start to correct any existing issues and we explore what chiropractic treatment can do for you, you should know a bit about what a healthy spine looks like.

The Natural Shape of Your Spine

Looking at your spine from behind, it should appear straight up and down with no deviations. Any small or large curves in your spine to the left or right from this angle may be investigated as potential Scoliosis.

From the side, your spine should make a gentle “S” shape. The spine has three main curves. Your neck and your lower back should have a slight concave curve (curved in toward the front of the body). These two parts of your spine are called the cervical spine and lumbar spine, respectively. Your upper back, known as the thoracic spine, should have a convex curve (in which the spine curves out behind you). Lordosis is a condition that refers to an excessive inward curve of the spine, and Kyphosis refers to an abnormally exaggerated outward curve. However, these terms may also be used to describe the natural curvature of the spine.

Next Steps

Now that you know the basics of what a healthy back looks like, you and your chiropractor can get to work making a change. A critical factor to keep in mind is proper posture. Posture can be an indicator of spine health and an important tool in addressing issues. As you move forward in your chiropractic treatment (or any accompanying treatments prescribed by your doctor), you will begin to experience reduced pain and mitigate future spinal alignment or posture issues.

Contact our office today to begin your journey toward optimal alignment and increased health!

Yoga Poses to Combat Back Pain

Chronic pain in your back can quickly diminish your overall quality of life. Many people try to manage pain at home with over-the-counter pain relievers, but their efficacy may diminish over time. You’ll have better results if you address the underlying issue contributing to your back pain, instead of simply covering up the pain.

There are many ways to approach reducing your back pain. Among the most popular and least invasive options is low-impact yoga, which features poses to stretch and strengthen your back. Chiropractic care can magnify improvements that result from regular yoga. Professional adjustments can decrease pain and improve your flexibility and range of motion. Combining the following poses with regular chiropractic visits can dramatically reduce your overall pain level.

Cat and Cow Poses

These two poses are often combined with one another to create a flowing motion that stretches and activates much of your spine. Position yourself on your hands and knees with your back and hips in a neutral position. From there, you arch and round your back while gently dropping your head. This is called Cat Pose. After holding for a few seconds, slowly drop your back, exaggerating the downward curve in your lumbar area while lifting your head. This is Cow Pose. Continue to rotate between the two.

Downward Facing Dog Pose

Downward Facing Dog is a somewhat more complex pose in which you create a triangle with your arms and your legs with your rear facing upward. So long as you keep your shoulders down and your core and arms engaged, this pose can provide both a wonderful back stretch and release of tense muscles in the lower back.

Triangle Pose

Starting with your feet slightly more than hip width apart, aim your front foot forward and your rear foot facing subtly outward and toward the side. Holding your arms up at shoulder level, reach toward your front foot and then bend gently forward, bringing your hand to rest on your ankle (or upper thigh or block). Sweep your other arm over your head and look upward. This is Triangle Pose. Hold at least 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. This pose lengthens and strengthens torso muscles, which can reduce pain and pressure on your back.

Child’s Pose

This pose involves sitting down, with your rear resting on your heels. You reach forward and down, bringing your forehead close to the floor while your arms stretch in front of you. You can deepen the stretch by slowly walking your hands forward. Child’s Pose elongates your back and releases muscular stress.

Especially if you are a beginner, you should practice yoga with a trained instructor to ensure safe and proper form. If you aren’t sure whether yoga is right for you, talk with your chiropractor to determine an appropriate back pain solution that supplements your regular adjustments.

How Are Weather and Joint Pain Related?

Perhaps you’ve heard a family member report something along these lines: “My joints are acting up again – rain must be on the way.” But have you ever paid attention to whether their forecasting proved to be correct? While there haven’t been many concrete findings to explain the apparent connection between weather and joint pain or headaches, many professionals in the science and medical industry will tell you there are plausible theories.

The Weight of the World

The weight of the atmosphere around us is called barometric pressure. As the weather changes, so does the weight of the air surrounding us. When the barometric pressure is reduced, there is less overall pressure (or compression) pushing on our bodies. This atmospheric “relief” could give body tissue room to swell, causing extra pressure or inflammation on or around the joints.

Increased Sensitivity

While changes in the body due to weather may be microscopic, they do exist. Those who suffer from chronic pain typically have sensitive nerve endings due to a previous injury, scarring build up, or another related condition. Though you might not hear them broadcast the pain constantly, many people with chronic pain may tell you they can feel a storm coming.

Is There Any Help?

While it doesn’t seem to matter if you move to a warmer or cooler climate, since the body adapts to even the slightest changes, there are still ways to relieve your pain. First, try to keep warm. Make sure to stretch and get your blood flowing before starting any activity in cold weather and wear warm clothes to keep your joints from losing too much heat.

A licensed chiropractor can reduce pain and stiffness and minimize the effects of future joint pain by addressing the root problem and helping to realign the joints. If you recognize your pain to be related to the weather, talk to your chiropractor about creating an action plan.

How Your Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health

There’s a growing interest in the real-world implications of the mind-body connection. More and more doctors are realizing that a critical way to support optimal physical health is to ensure patients are mentally healthy first. Strong negative emotions can impact everything from your muscular tension levels to hormones in your body. While there are many reasons to take care of your mental health, its profound impact on your physical health is among the most important.

Depression, high levels of stress, anxiety, and even loneliness can all impact your well-being. Medical conditions such as high blood pressure or stomach ulcers and events like heart attacks and strokes can often be correlated to emotional and mental health issues such as extreme and prolonged stress.

Address mental and emotional health issues early

If you find yourself struggling with feelings of low self-worth, anxiety, isolation, or depression, find constructive ways to address them as soon as possible. Many people could benefit from talking to a loved one or a compassionate professional. Understanding the root of an issue can help you better process and release negative emotions and thought cycles.

Tapping into a creative outlet can also help reduce these issues. Writing, singing, dancing, or painting can help release negative feelings while boosting confidence, pride, and productivity. In addition to expressing yourself through a creative activity of your choice, look into other forms of stress release and ways to increase mindfulness.

Meditation, yoga, and other self care can influence your outlook

Committing to regular personal time can be difficult, but the benefits are staggering. Spend at least 15 to 30 minutes each day doing something just for yourself. A brief morning meditation may cause you to feel calmer during the day and can help balance your blood pressure. No matter how you choose to do it (as long as it’s healthy and constructive!), daily self care is important if you want to find your way back to a calmer, healthier place.

Yoga or Tai Chi can also be great practices to cultivate mindfulness and strengthen the body. These physical exercises come with the added benefit of encouraging participants to live in the moment and honor the body’s natural abilities. Unlike more strenuous activities, yoga and Tai Chi are low-impact, meaning people in virtually any physical shape can try them.

Massage therapy can help offset stress-related issues

A host of health benefits are associated with manual therapies such as massage and chiropractic adjustments. In addition to treating specific physical symptoms of discomfort, these therapies can decrease stress, depression, and anxiety in many patients.

The reason why is simple: hands-on therapies result in the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with both bonding and reduced stress hormones. Additionally, releasing physical tension can help you mentally and emotionally let go. Gentle touch, combined with an increased sense of physical well-being can improve both your physical and mental health.