Kaitlyn's Chiropractic Story
For the next few weeks, we will have a high school student shadowing in the office. She is participating in a CAPS program through her school. She is looking to go into the medical field. I asked her to write a little about her experience with chiropractic.
“My name is Kaitlyn and I’m a high school student. My freshman year during softball I started feeling pain in my shoulder area and it would travel down to my elbow. This began to affect my ability to get through playing a game, so we went to see an Orthopedist, and he referred me to see a chiropractor. Dr. Dave helped stretch out my shoulder and gave me exercises to help reestablish my range of motion and get my shoulder back to normal. Throughout this process, I was able to begin playing softball again without the pain in my shoulder.”
With all the snow in the area, we are going to see an increase in injuries due to shoveling of snow. There are a number of reasons why shoveling is so hard on the body.
The first reason is people usually do no warmup before shoveling. Sometimes we are rushed and are just trying to get it done as fast as possible. Doing a 10-15 minute warmup before shoveling will help the back out so much.
The second is they try to do too much too quick. Shoveling can put a lot of weight away from the body. When lifting, we want the weight to be as close to the body as close as possible. The farther the weight is away from body, the more the stress on the low back. When people are shoveling, they try to get as much snow on the shovel as possible. Then they reach it as far away as they can. This turns a 5-10 pounds amount of snow into 30-40 pounds to the back.
Finally, we see a lot of shoulder injuries with snow shoveling. The lifting of the snow and then tossing it to the side damages the shoulders. The repetition of the shoulder can also cause shoulder tendonitis.
If you are going to shovel: warm up before, keep the shovel light, and keep the weight as close to your body as possible. If you don’t want to do those, pay a neighborhood kid to do it. Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people with back and shoulder pain after shoveling. If you are looking for an O’Fallon Chiropractor, please contact us.
People often ask, what is the youngest person I have adjusted? I have adjusted my kids at a very young age, a few days after being born. In the office we have seen babies just a couple of weeks old. Being born can be traumatic on the body and can cause some neck and pelvis injuries.
We see babies and kids for many reasons. The most common reasons we see babies are for torticollis, ear infections, and colic/constipation. The treatment we use for babies is very light pressure, usually with the pinky finger or we use a device called the activator. The treatment is not painful, and the benefits are huge. We have had babies that have not had a dirty diaper in days, have a bowel movement with an hour of getting home after the treatment.
Once kids start to walk, they fall a lot. These falls are usually harmless and cause no problems, but just like the things adults do on an everyday basis, they can hurt. If the kid falls just right, they can injure their SI joint or jam their low back. It usually only takes a simple adjustment to get them right back where they need to be.
Sports and Family Chiropractic treats people of all ages. If you are looking for an O’Fallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake St. Louis pediatric Chiropractor, please contact us.
Starting a New Workout Routine
It is New Year’s resolution time. This usually brings people in droves to the gym. This year with Covid it is going to be different. People are going to be doing these new routines at home. Here are some tips to get started.
- Start small. We have a lot of new patients every year in January and February that injured themselves doing a new workout. That is because they go from 0-100 with their workouts. If you are doing 0 workouts right now, the best goal to make is start a workout every day. That workout can be 5 minutes or 60 minutes. It depends on how your body is feeling. Listen to your body, it will let you know if you are over-doing it.
- Stay consistent. This is another big mistake people make. They bounce around on what they want to do. They go from one week focusing on cardio and the next week they are doing weights. Try to find a good routine that mixes different types of workouts, and then try to stick to that routine. It will help your body improve.
- Find something you like to do. This is a big one from people in the office. They start doing a type of exercise they hate. Whether it it is running or yoga, find something that you can see yourself doing for the next 6 months. If you don’t enjoy it, you will stop.
Most importantly don’t let an injury stop you from reaching your goals. That is where we come in. When you start to feel aches and pains that are different from workout soreness, come in as soon as possible. These nagging little pains turn into big ones. The big ones are what stop you in your tracks.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people reach their goals and helps remain pain free. If you are looking for an O’Fallon Chiropractor, please contact us.
This year has been the hardest to stay active. It is hard to go to the gym due to the corona virus, people are working from home, and it is getting cold outside. These factors are causing people to stay indoors and not get the exercise they need.
If your gym is closed, or you don’t feel comfortable going, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still get your workouts in. Exercise is one of the best ways to stay away from your chiropractor. When we don’t exercise our muscles weaken and that leaves us more prone to back pain. Then when we need those muscles to clean, decorate the house, or lift, they cannot help as much and the joints of back take the pressure. That pressure causes disc, joint, and muscle injuries in the back.
People have been working from home for almost a year now. Working from home has caused an increase in back and neck pain patients coming to our office. The amount of exercise and walking our patients do on a daily basis has sharply decreased. Taking a break from work to go for a walk, even if it is up and down the hallway at your house or going up and down the stairs, will help activate the leg and core muscles. This will help protect your back.
During the corona virus, I was seeing more people outside walking and riding their bikes. It is easy to do in the spring, summer, and fall. It is winter now and it is too cold to go outside and do these activities. Now is a great time to start a new workout routine. There are a lot of videos on YouTube to help with a new workout. You can find thousands of HIIT and yoga workouts. These workouts strengthen the back and core and can be done in 15-20 minutes.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people with neck and back pain stay active. If you are looking for an O’Fallon Chiropractor, please contact us.
Frozen Water Bottle to Help Neck Pain
We can all picture someone sitting at a desk; shoulders rolled forward and head forward. This is how many people spend their day. They go from driving to work (same posture), sitting at their desk (same posture), driving home (same posture), sitting on the couch looking down at their phones (same posture), I think you understand what I am talking about.
These people begin to develop changes in the neck and upper back. The neck straightens out and begins to increase the pressure on the upper thoracic spine and the area where the neck meets the skull. This can cause neck pain, headaches, and shooting pain down the arm. These problems need a change in posture to help correct.
This is where a frozen water bottle can help. By lying on your back and placing a frozen water bottle under your neck, you can increase the extension in the neck. This will help counteract the forward flexion your head is in all day. The ice will also help reduce any inflammation that has built up.
While this will not correct the problems of the straightening of the cervical spine, it will help to decrease the pain and inflammation. It is a good step in the right direction. Adjustments, stretching, and exercise are needed to help correct the problem as much as possible.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people with neck pain. If you are looking for an O’Fallon Chiropractor, please contact us.
What Stretches Should I do to Get Out of Back Pain?
Just about everyone that comes into our office wants to know what they can do at home to help reduce their back pain. This is usually an easy answer, but it is easier to determine after an exam. If you can get into the office and go through an exam, the at home care is going to be more precise.
Let’s just say it is Saturday at 12:01pm and you just injured your low back. The office just closed and we will not be open until Monday morning. There are things you can do to help reduce the pain until you can get into the office.
Along with heat/ice, stretching is going to give you the best chance at relief. When doing stretching while in the acute phase, you want to push the stretch almost to the point of pain. You probably are not going to be able to stretch the pain away, so we want to maintain as much range of motion as possible until you can get into the office.
The first stretch to try is the cobra stretch. This is where you lay on your stomach and press your hands on the ground. We want to extend the low back as much as comfortable. If you cannot straighten your arms just going onto your elbows can help. You should hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Do this 5-10 times depending on your comfort level.
The next stretch to try is child’s pose. With this stretch you will sit back on your heels and reach your arms forward. This should pull on the low back. Same as the cobra we want you to do this stretch for 10 seconds 5-10 times.
If either of these stretches aggravates your back, stop them. If it feels good or relieves your symptoms reduce, do this stretch as much as comfortable until the doctor can see you.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people with back pain. If you are looking for an O'Fallon Chiropractor please contact us so that we can help.
Preparing Your Home Office for Extended Working From Home
A lot of people have been working from since March. For the first 6-8 weeks it was not bad. It was something new and exciting not having to go into the office and have your boss breathing over your shoulder. What we are seeing now is it is starting to wear on people’s bodies. At the office, there is an ergonomic set up to their workspace. At home a lot of people are using whatever they can to get by. This is where the problems start.
We have been seeing an increase in neck and shoulder pain patients. As we talk with our patients, we try to figure out what is causing the pain. We started to see the trend that our patients do not have good setups for their workstations at home. We have patients using kitchen table, kitchen chairs, couches, and some desks. The desks that we have seen are not setup properly for good ergonomics.
When setting up your home office, picture your desk at work. There is usually a semi-comfortable chair that is adjustable. This is key to getting your hands and eyes at the right levels. There is also usually a keyboard tray for the keyboard and mouse. This should sit at your belly button level. If you are using a keyboard, mouse, or laptop on top of desk or table, this can lead to shoulder and neck pain. Having to hold your hands up all day causes increased strain on the shoulders and they start recruiting muscles of the neck and back to help. This leads to the pain developing.
Also, a lot of our kids are starting school virtually this year. Think about your kid’s setup just like you would your own. Our kids are going to have a big increase in computer time and sitting at their desk. We want them to have the same ergonomic setup an adult would use. We don’t want them getting started off on the wrong foot at such an early age.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people with neck and shoulder pain or if you need help setting up a proper desk for you or your children. If you are looking for a chiropractor near you in O’fallon, Dardenne Prairie, or Lake Saint Louis, please contact us.
Are You Worried About Back Pain on Your Summer Road trip?
We have a lot of patients that hurt their backs right before leaving for a big trip. I am not sure why that happens; whether it packing, the stress of leaving, or just bad luck. I would think that the last option is the most likely, but no matter what it happens all the time. I am going to give you a few tips to get through the long car ride while dealing with pain.
The first tip is to pack a cooler with lots of ice packs. Sitting for long periods of time is going to increase the swelling in the sore muscles and joints. The ice will help reduce the swelling and pain. Sometimes the cold is enough to take your mind off the pain for a little while.
Try to make frequent stops. This will also to keep the joints from swelling. When you stop, get out of the car and move around. This is good time to do some stretching and range of motion exercises. The best thing for the sore areas is to move as much as possible. Even if it is only a five minute walk while making a quick stop.
Bring a towel with you. A towel can be helpful tool because you can move it around during the trip. You can roll the towel up and set it behind your lower back to provide additional lumbar support. You can set in under your thighs to change the angel of the pelvis. You can also place it behind the back by the shoulder blades to help straighten up your posture.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people that are having back pain and going on a road trip. We can get you in quickly if you are about to leave and take care of you when you return. If you are looking for a chiropractor near you in O’fallon, Dardenne Prairie, or Lake Saint Louis, please contact us.
Why Are My Joints Stiffer in the Morning?
As you get older, you notice that your joints are a lot stiffer in the morning. You step out of bed and your feet and ankles take a few a steps to start moving. Your back does not want to straighten all the way out. It takes neck rolls to be able to look to the left and the right. We hear about all of these in our office. People then ask, is there anything that we can do for that?
This is a yes and no answer. Some of the stiffness you have in the morning is from wear and tear on your joints. Through the wear and tear there is a decrease in cartilage between the joints. This cartilage stiffens up as we age and it doesn’t soak in as much water as it used to. Instead of having fresh soft cushions between our joints in the mornings, we have old stiff cushions that we have to push around to soften. That is why after moving the joints for 10-15 minutes they begin to loosen.
The “yes” part of the answer is because some of the stiffness is from joint swelling and tight muscles. Have you ever sprained an ankle? When you wake up in the morning, your ankle is very tight and swollen. This is your body trying to heal the injured area. It is limiting the motion while the inflammatory cells repair. Once you wake up and start moving the swelling goes down and the joint loosens again.
If you are not moving well in the mornings due to an injury, we can definitely help get the joints moving correctly and help regain normal motion. If it is due to wear and tear, there will always be a little stiffness, but adjustments and exercise can improve joint motion. This improved motion can help with the morning pain and stiffness.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people get out of bed with less stiffness. If you are looking for a chiropractor near you in O’fallon, Dardenne Prairie, or Lake Saint Louis, please contact us.
IS THIS A PULLED MUSCLE?
Patients come in all the time telling us that they "pulled a muscle in their back." Occasionally this is true, but normally there is muscle spasm related to spinal injury. The muscles in the area stiffen or spasm to try and protect the injured area. It is the body’s way of naturally forming a splint.
When you sprain an your ankle, the area swells and stiffens. This is the same thing that happens with back injuries. If you limit the motion of the area, it has time to heal. With your ankle, you can rest and take pressure off it and the pain will usually go away. There is no taking the pressure off of the back. Sitting, standing, and lying all put different stresses on the spine.
If you hurt your back and go to your primary care physician or the emergency room, a lot of times they will tell you, you have a pulled muscle. This is a diagnosis that allows them to prescribe muscle relaxers and painkillers. In reality, there is not much they can do for you besides that. The easiest course is to call it a pulled muscle, give the medications, and move on. There is nothing else they can do for it. Their only choices are further testing, medicines, or referral.
Most people are frustrated that further testing is not performed at the emergency room. Sometimes an x-ray is justified but usually it doesn’t show what is going on. Most x-rays are negative if there is a sprain, pinched capsule, or even a disc. As chiropractors we look at the structure of the spine on the x-ray to give us clues about where the problem is.
If you are having back pain, even if it feels like extreme back pain, going to a chiropractor can help save you the time and money of an emergency room visit. We will figure out a diagnosis and the proper treatment. If there are bigger red flags then we will send you in the right direction for care.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people who are having back pain, neck pain, or a pulled muscle. If you are looking for a chiropractor near you in O’fallon, Dardenne Prairie, or Lake Saint Louis, please contact us so that we can help get you out of pain.
WHY CAN I NOT MOVE MY SHOULDER?
We see people at varying levels of pain come into the office everyday. We have learned that one persons 7 out of 10 pain, is another persons 3 out of 10. Pain is subjective but one of the first things we have to determine is where they fit in objectively. I will tell you that there are a couple of problems that patients will say 10 out of 10 immediately. A bulging disk in the neck and shoulder issues cause a 10 out of 10 pain.
Shoulder problems are one of the most painful complaints that we see. There are different mechanisms that all cause lots of pain. Shoulder tendonitis/bursitis, rotator cuff tears, and frozen shoulder are the leading pain generators. Determining where the pain is coming from is the first step in fixing the problem.
People with shoulder tendonitis/bursitis will come in with a high level of pain and varying losses of range of motion. If allowed to progress the range of motion decreases and the pain increases. These people have an increase in pain when they try to do repetitive activities or sleep on the shoulder.
Rotator cuff tears cause severe pain and loss of strength. The range of motion is minimal depending on the severity and location of the tear. Referred pain is also common with rotator cuff tears. The patient will have pain in the arm just below the shoulder and a pain that feels like it is under the rotator cuff.
Frozen shoulder has different levels. We see some patients that it is still more acute and they have high levels of pain and loss of almost all ranges of motion. Some people have range of motion losses with moderate pain. Their shoulder just seems stuck and won’t move.
Neck disc issues and nerve issues can have the same exact symptoms as shoulder problems. The first step is determining if it is a neck issue or shoulder. Sometimes they can appear together which is whole other problem all together.
If you wake up one day and you have to ask yourself “Why can I not move my shoulder?”, you need to make an appointment as soon as possible. These problems do not usually go away on their own, and they can get much worse.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people having shoulder pain or loss of shoulder range of motion. If you are looking for a chiropractor near you in O’Fallon, Dardenne Prairie, or Lake Saint Louis, please contact us so that we can help get you out of shoulder pain.
Why do I Get Pain From my Desk Job?
When I became a chiropractor, I thought I was going to see construction workers, carpenters, ironworkers, etc all day long. We do see patients from these fields, but the largest group of people we see, are people that sit at a desk all day long.
People that work labor jobs definitely beat their bodies up. We see these patients on a regular basis. They have aches and pains that they deal with everyday. We normally see them when the pain gets bad enough that they cannot work. They come in and want to be fixed as fast as possible, so they can return to work. They can heal faster because they can avoid doing what aggravates their pain. Their jobs tend to change daily and they are much more active, which helps their bodies heal.
People that sit at a desk all day have a different mechanism of their pain. Their pain is from lack of motion and an overuse of posture. Picture someone sitting at a desk: their head is forward, arms in front of them, and mid back is rolled out. Every day it is the same thing. These people do this every week for 30-60 hours a week. This posture leads to upper cross syndrome.
Upper cross syndrome is caused by a tightening of the pecs and upper neck muscles. This causes the muscles of the front of the neck and in-between the shoulder blades to weaken. This poor posture will continue until something is changed. If it doesn’t, it will start to effect the spine by straightening out the cervical curve. This straightening can cause pain across the top of the shoulders or pain and headaches in the upper neck.
To help people that have a desk job we do adjustments, exercises, and give ergonomic tips. The adjustments help increase the spinal motion so that there is decreased pressure on the joints and muscles. Then we begin to add exercises that stretch the tight muscles and strengthen the muscles that have weakened. Finally, we give recommendations to help with sitting at the desk. Tying all three of these together is very important. This is what will provide the patient with relief in pain and a beginning to a correction of the problem.
What is Causing my Headaches?
Low back pain and Headaches are the top reasons people end up in a chiropractors office. While there are many causes of headaches, most can be helped by a chiropractor. The most common types of headaches include; tension, migraine, and sinus.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache that chiropractors see. The reason we see so many tension headaches is because they start in the neck. Loss of cervical lordosis can cause increased tension in the cervical spine. This increases the strain on the neck muscles including the sub occipital muscles. The sub occipital muscles attach to the spine and the back of the skull. There is a nerve that runs through an area of the sub-occipitals called the sub-occipital triangle. These muscles when inflamed and hypertonic can irate the nerve that goes to the top and forehead. This is why a lot of these headaches feel like they start in the neck.
Migraine headaches are a little bit more of a mystery. There are stages to a migraine that may or may not include an aura. An aura is a set of symptoms that are a precursor to a migraine. These include numbness in the limbs, seeing spots or other visual disturbances, and difficulty hearing. When migraines hit they are typically on one side of the head. The migraine can cause light sensitivity and even lead to nausea and vomiting. There are many causes of migraines that include hormonal changes, food and drink intolerance and allergy, or sleep changes. Chiropractors cannot help with all types of migraines, but we can help limit the neck and muscle factors that can lead to migraines.
Sinus headaches are another common headache seen in our office. While we don’t treat sinus infections, we do try to help with some of the symptoms. The main tool used to treat sinus headaches is acupuncture. The acupuncture helps decrease the pressure in the sinuses and allows you to breath easier. Adjustments to the neck and muscles can help relieve the pressure also.
At Sports and Family Chiropractic we try to improve the motion and muscle balance of the neck and upper back. Adjustments help increase the motion and decrease the pressure in the neck. The lack of motion can cause the neck muscle to tighten up. When this happens headaches follow. After improving the motion, we work to improve the muscle balance. The improved balance reduces trigger points and nerve pressure.
4 ways to use a tennis ball to relieve back pain
When patients come in with back pain, we are always trying to give them some tips to decrease their pain while they are not in the office. These tips include simple exercises, stretching, and icing. We also give self-myofascial release. We are going to break down self-myofasical release using a tennis ball.
When doing self-myofascial release with a tennis ball, pressure is important. We want the patient to put enough pressure to be able to find the tender areas and trigger points. When you find those spots put a firm pressure on spot for 7-10 seconds. We don’t want the patient putting too much pressure into the muscle; it should be a good hurt. Applying too much pressure causes break down in the muscle and fascia and it takes time for that to heal also. What we want is a smooth release of the tension and knots so that we can reprogram the area with adjustments, exercise, and stretching.
There are 4 areas we like to give tennis ball self-myofascial for:
- 1)Piriformis muscle: This is the muscle in middle of the buttock. It can be very tender and be the primary or secondary cause of back pain. This muscle can irritate the sciatic nerve causing sciatica. This a strong shooting pain down the back of the leg. To perform this move, you can be seated or laying on your back, press the tennis ball into the middle of the painful buttock. Gently roll the ball around until you find the spots where the pain increases and hold it there for 7-10 seconds.
- 2)Lumbar Erectors and Quadratus Lumborum (QL): These muscles are located in the small of the back. The low back muscles that are along the spine usually will have increased tightness and trigger points in the lumbar erectors. The QL muscle has tightness and pain farther away from the spine toward the flank. If you are seated, start with the tennis ball just off to the side of the spine and roll up and down until you find the tender areas. After working on these muscles, roll the ball away from spine to the QL muscle to find areas of tenderness.
- 3)Rhomboids: The Rhomboids are muscles that go from the spine to the inside of the shoulder blades. They are muscles that get a lot of knots from sitting at a desk or having long commutes. To work these muscles with a tennis ball, start in the seated position and put the tennis ball just to the side of the spine near the bottom of the shoulder blade. Gently roll the ball toward the shoulder blade. Once you reach the shoulder blade, move the ball up a little and continue until you get to the top of the shoulder blade.
- 4)Teres Major, Teres minor, Latissimus Dorsi: These muscles run on the out side of the shoulder blade to the back of the shoulder. This is an area that can accompany shoulder pain or sometimes cause pain and tingling into the arm. For this area, stand up against a wall with the side you want to work facing the wall. Raise your arm up to about 90 degrees, exposing the back of the shoulder. Press up against the ball and roll around. If this area has trigger points, they can be very tender and sometimes reproduce the symptoms you are having. Move the ball around from the bottom of the shoulder blade to the back of the shoulder.
These are just a few muscle groups that we like to work on using a tennis ball. Some of the areas can be worked on using a foam roller, but these tend to be smaller areas that a tennis ball works better on. If you are not sure what the proper technique is, be sure to stop and ask your doctor if you are doing correctly. Also, if you have any contagious skin conditions, heart conditions, or kidney failure ask your doctor before performing these exercises.
What is Plantar Fasciitis and How to Get Rid of it.
Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of tendon on the bottom of the foot. The tendon is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. It helps form the arch of the foot. When this band becomes strained it gets small tears. These tears are healed with scar tissue. Scar tissue is not as stretchy, so it increases the strain on the attachment at the heel. Also, as the fascia is stretched it re-tears the scar tissue, this is why it hurts so bad to take those first couple steps in the morning.
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a few different factors. They are usually repetitive stresses such as running, walking, and jumping. It could be a new workout routine that is as simple as increased walking during a lunch break or someone that has run many marathons finally having a breakdown of the fascia. A change in footwear can also cause plantar fasciitis to form. This could be a new set of shoes or wearing flip-flops on vacation.
Chiropractors can treat plantar fasciitis. The goal of the chiropractor is to reduce the inflammation in the plantar fascia and to remove the adhesions in the ligament. They do this by using manual therapies such as myofascial release techniques and stretching. Ultrasound is also used to help reduce the inflammation. Once the plantar fascia has fewer adhesions and is less inflamed, exercises are added to strengthen the foot and prevent a reoccurrence.
There are also at home therapies to help plantar fasciitis. You can freeze a water bottle and roll that under your foot. This provides a gentle massage to the foot and helps decrease the inflammation with the ice. Doing calf and foot stretches lengthen the plantar fascia. A towel stretch for the foot and downward dog are great stretches for the foot and calf. For the towel stretch, wrap a towel around the bottom of your foot and pull your toes toward you.
Sports and Family Chiropractic helps people who are having foot and heel pain, in particular plantar fasciitis. If you are looking for a chiropractor near you in O’Fallon, Dardenne Prairie, or Lake Saint Louis, please contact us so that we can help get you out of foot pain.
What can I do at home to relieve plantar fasciitis?
At home you can freeze a water bottle and roll that under your foot. You can also use a towel to stretch your calf and the bottom of your foot.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is caused by strain on the plantar fascia, which is the longest ligament in the body. It attaches to the heel and then goes to the toes, giving the arch its shape. Plantar fasciitis doesn’t heal due to the micro traumas to this ligament.
Can a chiropractor help plantar fasciitis?
Chiropractors can help plantar fasciitis by decreasing the strain on the plantar fascia and decrease the inflammation in the foot. This is achieved through stretching, myofascial release, and the use of modalities such as ultrasound.
Why does my foot hurt?
Foot pain is one of the most common pains we see at our office. It is our job to determine if there is plantar fasciitis, morton’s neuroma, a sprain, or another condition. This is done through taking a thorough history and exam.
1st Time to the Chiropractor
A lot of our new patients are first time chiropractic patients. Some of those patients are referred from family members or friends, but most just find us online. It can be a little nerve racking being in pain and just picking a random office through Google. This blog is to help set those worries to rest.
In your first visit to our office, you will begin by filling out some paper work in office, but is also available on this website. After that, the doctor will take you back into the office and go over your history. They will try to find out where your pain is and get some clues as to what may be causing the pain. This is good time to let the doctor know what your main complaint is such as neck pain, back pain, or headaches. We treat a lot more than just the spine, so if you are foot pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, etc, be sure to mention these issues also. Sometimes it is these extremity issues that lead to back and neck pain.
The doctor will then take you back into an exam room and do orthopedic, neurologic, and chiropractic testing. We want to know what is causing your pain. Our goal is to not only band-aid the issue, but fix it as much as possible. During the history we will find out some of your ADL's (activities of daily living.) These include the way you sleep, what you do for a living, and exercise. We will not only treat in office but we will help correct the ADL's.
After the exam, we will give you a breakdown of what we found and how we can help. If X-rays are needed, we send to an offsite location to have the X-rays done and read by a radiologist. If X-rays are not needed and you are ready, we will preform a treatment. Our goal is to get you feeling better as quick as possible and to make sure it does not come back.
If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, foot pain, etc in O'Fallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake St. Louis, St. Peters, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
Patients are always surprised to find out we do acupuncture in our office. Dr. Nohn and Dr. Dave are both board certified acupuncturist. They have been performing acupuncture treatments for almost 9 years now and have treated a number of different conditions.
We have treated everything from back pain, sciatica, and migraines to insomnia and restless leg syndrome. The most common reason acupuncture is performed is for infertility. Most of the time, the acupuncture is done along side IVF to give the best chance at becoming pregnant.
If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, infertility etc in O'fallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, St. Peters, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
The majority of patients we see at our office are being treated for different types of sprains and strains. A sprain is a stretching and tearing of a ligament which holds bone to bone. A strain is stretching and tearing of a muscle or tendon. The back has many moving parts that all need to work together. If one area starts to fail a strain or a sprain is the result.
When patients come to our office with pain, our initial goal is to get them out of pain. Once they are out of pain, our job is to find the area that was failing so that we can fix the problem. Sometimes it is a joint not moving correctly or a muscle not doing its job. There are different orthopedic and exercise tests to find out what the cause of the problem is.
We treat these injuries with modalities such as ultrasound and electric stimulation. These help increase blood flow and decrease inflammation. We also do adjustments that help restore joint motion. Exercises are then utilized to help to maintain the proper motion.
If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, etc in O'fallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, St. Peters, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
It is that time of year again to get your School/Sports physicals. Now is a good time to get them done before the rush right for fall sports. They are good for a year, so that now will cover the entire school year. We can usually do same day appointments, but calling to schedule ahead is your best option.
Also, if your student athlete is suffering from neck pain, back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, etc, the summer is a great time to get them treated. It might be the only time the are free from their sports. If the pain hasn't gone away on its own by now, it is most likely not going away on its own.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor for sports physicals in O'fallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, St. Peters, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
Keeping Your Head up
When I became a chiropractor I pictured our patient base to be carpenters, labors, iron workers, etc. I quickly realized that while those professions beat up their body, they stay moving. For the most part their jobs are a little different each day, but the most important thing is they move. A majority of our patients are people that sit all day at a computer. The lack of motion in the neck causes lots of problems.
As we sit the muscles on the back of our neck keep our forehead from hitting the keyboard. As the day goes on, they have to pull harder and harder. Over time they begin to pull the back of our neck towards our back. This straightens out the cervical curve. The spine is designed to act like a spring with its curves. If you straighten out part of spring, that straight takes a lot more pressure than the curved areas. The areas that are hit the hardest are the top and lower neck.
When there is increased pressure at the top of the neck, there can be muscle spasms of the sub occipital muscles. When these muscles spasm, it causes a dull headache in the back of head that can become more severe or wrap toward the front of the head. These are called tension headaches. It can also lead to migraines.
When there is increased pressure at the bottom of the neck, this jams on the upper thoracic spine. This causes the muscles at the top and side of the shoulder blades to over work and tighten. People that sit at a desk a lot have constant knots in there upper back muscles. These knots cause the muscles to shorten, increasing the pressure on the neck.
As chiropractors, we are in a constant struggle to maintain the motion of the neck and upper back. The problem is the people that have these problems are going to continue sitting for long periods if they would like to keep their job. So, we work hard to gain motion in the spine and give exercises to help straighten the muscles to support the neck and poor posture. This helps reduce the neck pain and headaches. Finally, we work with our patients to improve work posture and ergonomics along with home care to prevent future flare-ups.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor for neck pain or headaches from sitting at a desk in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
Doing Yard Work
Zoey and Harper give us tips for doing your spring yard work. This time of year is starting the busy season for a chiropractor. When the weather begins to warm up everyone rushes to try and get their yards ready for the spring. You never know when the next nice is going to be, so people rush to get everything done in one day or weekend. Many people do too much and end up with back pain the next day.
People are usually sedentary over the winter and their bodies are not ready for the increased workload you try to put on it. The girls gave some tips to help prevent the back and neck pain. First, take it easy, don't do too much. Second, warm up before doing the outside work. Starting while not warmed can lead to many injuries. Finally, stretch when you are done. You may not feel that bad when you finish, but the next day your body will remind you that you worked hard. Doing some simple stretches can help reduce the next day back soreness. If you are getting sore in the back, elbows, wrists, knees, or feet be sure to do a little proactive icing also.
Zoey and Harper let us know about whiplash season. It is that time of year when people are traveling more and there are more car accidents. Winter weather can also make the roads more slick and dangerous. Along with the bad weather comes ice. When people slip on ice they can snap their head back and forth causing a strain to the neck and low back muscles.
Whiplash is caused when the head snaps back at a high velocity. The muscles of the neck try to resist the motion but are strained in the process. The ligaments that hold the joints together are also sprained. This causing swelling and pain in the joints and muscles. Chiropractors try to restore the proper motion into the joints and removed the trigger points from the muscles.
Zoey and Harper give some simple tips this week to help with keeping a healthy back. They are: exercise regularly, eat healthy, and keep good posture. These are simple tips but they are crucial to keeping back health. A brake down in one or more of these can cause low back pain, neck pain, or pain in any joint. These are the areas we focus on, once our patients are out of pain.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor for neck, low back, or any pain in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
One of the best ways to limit back pain is stretch before you get out of bed. Zoey and Harper show you some easy stretches to do as you are getting out of bed. Early morning stretches should be gentle and not forced. We want to start the day by getting a little movement. If you are very stiff when waking up, these stretches would be good to do after a warm shower.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor for neck, low back, or any pain in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
Zoey and Harper want to let us know about bike safety. The most important tip is to wear a helmet. The second tip is to sit up straight. If your main form of exercise is cycling and you are a person that sits at a desk all day, this is a very important tip. If you lean forward while riding a bike it just increases the amount of time you are in a forward posture. Try raising the handle to allow you to be more upright.
The last tip is to get outside and exercise. Whether it is a family ride or you are training for a race, the most important is to get outside and enjoy the weather.
This time of year we have a lot of patients come in after doing their first round of yard work for the year. There are a number of reasons people suffer from back pain after this.
Most people go from being inactive all winter to jumping right into the spring's first landscaping project or grass cutting. Their backs are just not ready for that level of stress. People also tend to try to get everything done on the first nice day. Since it may not be nice enough for another week or so, they try to cram everything into one day and over do it. Also, most people do not do a proper stretch and cool down.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor for pain after doing yard work in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
The way you sleep can have a big impact on your back. The worst possible position is sleeping on your stomach. This causes increased pressure on the low back and keeps the neck turned all night long. The people that come into our office that are stomach sleepers, tend to have a difficult time rotating their head in one direction. It is usually from sleeping with their head facing the same direction every night.
The best ways to sleep are on your side or back. If you sleep on your side, try and use a pillow under your head and between your knees. If you trying to be a back sleeper and it is bothering your back, try putting a pillow under your knees. This will help take the pull out of the low back by relaxing the hip flexor muscles.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor for pain while sleeping in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
This week Zoey and Harper talked about different conditions we treat in babies. We treat babies and kids of all ages. The most common complaints we see in babies is multiple ear infections and colic. Both of these can cause fussy kids, so we are always glad to help.
Zoey and Harper also gave some tips on the best way to carry a baby. They recommended switching from one hip to the other while holding your baby. This can prevent you from putting too much pressure on one SI joint. If you don't it can cause back and hip pain. They also showed the best way to carry a baby carrier. This will also help to prevent back pain.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor for help for you or your baby in O'fallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
Zoey and Harper are giving tips for your New Years resolution. How are you doing on your resolutions? 42% of people say they make New Years resolutions and fail to keep them. 42% fail at their resolution before the end of January.
If you are still trying to complete your resolution but are having issues, we are a great resource. Sometimes people stop losing weight, have an injury, or just don't know how to continue.
If you are having an injury such as foot pain, knee pain, back pain, or neck pain, we can help you get back on track. These are the most common injuries we see with people trying new exercise plans.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor for help to keep your New Years Resolutions in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
Eating During the Holidays
The weeks in-between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the time of year people gain the most weight. Most people gain about 5 pounds of weight. Some studies show the weight gain is closer to 10 pounds.
This increased weight can cause back, knee, and foot pain. The back pain comes from shifts some of your weight to the front of your body, which causes you to lean back on the joints of your back a little. This stress causes inflammation and then pain in those joints. The increased weight also increases the stress on your knees. If you struggle with knee problems already, this can cause them to flare-up. Plantar fasciitis is also increased due to the increased weight and people wearing shoes without arch support, like slippers, around the house.
This holiday season try portion control. Take smaller amounts of the foods and focus on the fruits and vegetables. Avoid the high carb dishes such as breads and potatoes as much as you can.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
People know that we see lots of athletes. They always assume we mostly treat football players due to the physicality of their sport. We actually see gymnast, dancers, and cheerleaders the most. Their sports put their bodies in stressful positions that they usually repeat multiple times per practice. This can lead to overuse injuries to the back, neck, shoulder, knee, wrist, and ankle.
These sports tend to not have an off-season and they practice multiple times per week. If there is an injury it tends to drag on for multiple months. This causes the injuries to be much worse by the time we see the athletes. If you have a child in gymnastics, dance, or cheerleading get a check up to make sure they can continue to compete pain free.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
There are a lot of marathons, half-marathons, and 5K's this time of year. Sports and Family Chiropractic O'Fallon can help keep you running. We treat many conditions that runners suffer from such as: shin splints, runners knee, plantar fasciitis, and IT band syndrome.
At Sports and Family Chiropractic we use many techniques to help runners keep running. We use adjustments, myofascial release, exercises, ultrasound, and Electric Stimulation to help with these injuries. We also help runners that are not having problems yet, to make sure they can reach there goals of finishing the race or reaching a personal record.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, Weldon Springs, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
This weeks video was about massage therapy. Sports and Family Chiropractic has a massage therapist on site. She runs her own business through our office. If you are interested in a massage, please contact the office and we can get you connected to the massage therapist.
Massage therapy has many benefits. It can help break up tissues, increase blood flow, and decrease inflammation. That is helpful when dealing with neck pain, back pain, or just overall muscle tightness. If you sit at a desk 40 or more hours a week, massage therapy is perfect for you. It helps relieve the tension in the neck and shoulders that can lead to headaches and migraines.
If you or someone you know are looking for a chiropractor or massage therapist in Ofallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake Saint Louis, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
This weeks video was about the different modalities in Sports and Family Chiropractic. Our office offers modalities to help assist in patient care. We use electric stimulation, which helps muscle spasms, back pain, neck pain, and all types of muscle aches. We also offer ultrasound. Ultrasound is great in bringing down inflammation in joints such as the shoulder, knee, wrist, ankle, and elbow. Conditions such as runners knee, tennis elbow, plantar fascitis, and carpel tunnel can benefit from ultrasound. At Sports and Family Chiropractic, we also use exercise to help rehab our patients. The exercises we give are designed to help strengthen areas where we find weakness. They are also used to balance muscles that might lead to problems such as upper cross syndrome and lower cross syndrome.
If you or someone you know are looking to for a chiropractor in O'Fallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake St. Louis, or Wentzville please do not hesitate to call or email.
At Sports and Family Chiropractic we also do acupuncture. Acupuncture can be used to treat all different types of conditions such as: back pain, neck pain, knee pain, allergies, sinus pressure, headache/migraines, smoking cessation, infertility, and many more. Acupuncture has minimal side effects for the benefits it can bring. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about acupuncture don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Zoey and Harper want to welcome the teachers back to school. They give a tip to help prevent back, neck, and shoulder pain. Also, the want to make sure the teachers don't have a slip and fall.
This is the first video of Zoey and Harper's office tour. They show our chiropractic adjusting room. Harper likes to get adjusted when she comes to the office. Our office adjusts kids and and babies. There are many conditions, such as colic, ear infections, and back pain, that we treat. Chiropractic adjustments are a safe, natural way to improve the health of your children. It is always amazing to see how quickly young kids respond to their adjustments.
People who own pets don't think about posture when they walk their dog. Some have dogs that are trained well and walk by there side without pulling or chasing things. Others have high energetic dogs that pull constantly during walks. Zoey and Harper are trying to you show postural changes during dog walks that can save you from back pain, shoulder pain, and elbow/wrist pain.
1. Be sure to have your dog trained to not pull during the entire walk
2. Keep your dog as close to you as possible, ideally walking next to you
3. Keep an upright posture when walking and avoid leaning forward and allowing your shoulder to pull forward
Last week we gave you an introduction to Zoey. This week you get to meet Harper “Stinkerbelle” DeClue.
Harper is three years old and she gave herself the nickname Stinkerbelle. She walked out of a room one day saying “I am Stinkerbelle.” This nickname could not be more appropriate. She has a stinker side to her that likes to pick on her sister, but she is also very sweet and loves Belle.
Harper is very friendly and loves to play with other kids. She is great at joining any group and playing in any role they want her to play in. She is also a typical second child and is just as happy playing by herself.
Harper has been doing gymnastics for 3 months. She has come a long way in her balance and coordination. She is going to start playing soccer in the fall and t-ball next year. She is very excited to begin both ventures.
Harper wants to let you know that If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about Chiropractic don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Over the past few months we have been doing the Sports and Family Chiropractic Tip of Week featuring Zoey and Harper DeClue. I going to give you a little more insight to the people that make the videos happen.
We are going to start with Zoey. She is currently five years old and when will start kindergarten in August. She is very athletic and loves to play sports. She has started doing gymnastics two times a week in an advanced level class. She also just completed her first year of coach pitch baseball and will begin her third year of soccer in the fall.
While she loves to be outside playing sports and riding her bike, she is a girly girl. If we would let her play sports in a dress and princess shoes she would. She only wants to wear dresses. Zoey is a very kind, sweet five year old. She can be a little bossy and likes things done her way, but she is a five year old, oldest child. She has improved so much while doing the videos that she helps Harper with her lines. Next week we will get to meet Harper “Stinkerbelle” DeClue.
Zoey wants to let you know that If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about Chiropractic don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Missouri summer is here. That means hot and humid weather. During this time of the year proper hydration is crucial, especially if you plan to be active outside.
Hydration is important because your body relies on water for everything. All the cells, tissues, and organs in your body need water to function properly. In addition, your joints need water to stay lubricated. Water is so important, if you were marooned on some island, chances are you would die of dehydration before hunger.
A good goal for proper hydration would be to drink 8 glasses of water a day. These glasses should be a minimum of 8 ounces. But this measurement doesn’t always work for everybody. Many factors contribute to how much water you need. For example, an athlete training for a marathon would need more than 8 glasses of water a day. A good way to see if your body is hydrated would be to look at your urine. If your urine is dark in color then you may need to increase your water intake. Remember, if you are thirsty, that means you are already dehydrated and need to increase your water intake.
Water is the best source for hydrating your body. If you plan to do an intense workout or sport then you may resort to sport drinks like Gatorade. Drinks like these have electrolytes and carbohydrates, which will give you energy and help promote water absorption in the body. Do not drink the sport drinks on days where you are more sedentary. Your body will not burn off the carbohydrates in the drink and can contribute to weight gain.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about proper hydration don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Today I’ll be breaking down the most common type of headache for adults: tension headaches aka stress headaches. The cause of this type of headache is usually from mental and physical stress. Mental stress can be from work, family, school, etc. Physical stress can be from bad prolonged posture, lack of exercise, or too much exercise.
During a tension headache, you will feel a tight cramping feeling in the back of your neck. This dull ache will then travel to the back of your head and sometimes into the forehead. The headache can last from 30 minutes to a few hours and usually occurs at the end of the day.
Once we diagnose that your headaches are from tension. We start working on the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back. Active range of motion, stretching, release techniques, and electrical stimulation with heat are common muscle treatments we provide. In addition, we would add spinal manipulation to improve spinal mechanics and home exercise/stretches to prevent future episodes from occurring.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about cluster headaches don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Next on our headache journey are cluster headaches. This is the least common type of headache and does not usually occur for that long. Drinking or smoking heavily may increase your risk. The cause of the headaches is unknown, but studies have shown that the headaches develop from signals originating from the hypothalamus. In addition, your trigeminal nerve is affected as well. This nerve sends signals to your face, which is why when people get cluster headaches they have stabbing eye pain.
Another sign that you may be getting cluster headaches is the consistent pattern that they occur. That’s why this headache is also known as the alarm clock headache. When someone has a cluster headache episode, it usually occurs around the same time of day, lasts between 15-90 minutes, and even repeats around the same time every year.
Treatment options usually start with medication and possibly the use of an oxygen mask for 15-20 minutes. Preventative medication and even surgery are other solutions that may help decrease episodes.
In our office we first need to look to see which type of headache you are having. Since cluster headache originates from your brainstem, spinal manipulation will not have an affect on this type of headache. After we have confirmed cluster headaches then we can refer you to someone to manage your symptoms with medication. But if the headaches are not cluster, then we can treat your headaches in the office.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about cluster headaches don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Previously I have discussed how we can treat headaches in our office and listed the differences between primary and secondary headaches. In this post I will discuss sinus headaches.
Sinus headaches result from sinusitis, which is an inflammation and infection of the sinus cavities. This will cause the sinus cavities to build pressure around the nose, eyes, and forehead. Other symptoms include: stuffy nose, headache, worsening when head is flexed forward, and low energy.
At our office there are different approaches we can take with treatment of sinus headaches. First we take a look at what is causing the sinus headache. It could be from a previous cold or infection that you may be recovering from, allergens due to the change in weather, or even from other types of headaches. Whatever the cause of the headaches, determines our treatment for the headache.
If the headache is caused from allergens and from other types of headaches, then we can treat it. One of the treatments we can do is acupuncture. This will decrease your body’s response to the allergen you’re allergic to in the air.
I would also look at the mechanics and muscles of your neck. The 1st and 2nd vertebra in the spine can be common culprits in causing nerve signal blockage that may result in headaches leading to sinus headaches. In addition, the muscles in the upper neck can have chronic tension. That tension will need to be released to improve your mobility so you can recover from the headaches.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about sinus headaches don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
My Big Toe Hurts
Do you have consistent big toe pain? Does it hurt after certain meals and gets so painful even socks hurt to wear? You may have gout.
Gout is a form of arthritis that can occur in men and women. This form of arthritis causes pain in your hands, wrist, elbow, knees, ankles, and feet. The most common location is in your big toe. Joints that are affected feel warm and swollen with pain.
More men have gout than women. Gout develops from an increase in uric acid in your blood. This increase can be from your body having too much uric acid in your blood or your kidneys are not releasing enough uric acid out of your body. The uric acid will then develops into crystals, which will build up in your joints.
There are many tests to confirm if you have gout. Your physician may send you for joint fluid test, blood test, or x-rays.
Diet plays a large role in how often gout can flare up in your body. Since uric acid forms from the break down of purines, people with gout need to avoid foods that are high in purines. Foods to avoid are: red meat, organ meat, seafood, alcohol, fructose, and cheese.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about gout don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Snap, crackle, pop
When most people think of chiropractic treatments, they think of chiropractors cracking or popping someone’s back. That may be true for some of our treatments, but there are plenty of other treatments we do in our office that doesn’t pop or crack your joints.
Many people we treat who get the pop or crack spinal adjustment usually love to hear that sound. They get a sense of relief when they hear it. On the other hand, there are some people who do not prefer those types of treatments. The sound or the treatment itself makes them uncomfortable. In this blog I will break down some of the other treatments we provide that doesn’t make an audible noise.
The first technique that comes to mind is activator. This is a hand held tool that we use on patients who don’t prefer the popping sound. It can also be used on kids and small joints like elbows and ankles. The tool has a contact point at the end. This point contacts the joint that we need to mobilize or put back into place. Then we squeeze the handle, which then releases the contact point on the joint and applies a quick but gentle force into the joint.
Another technique we use is Thompson. During Thompson, the patient is laying on their stomach on a special table with sections that can rise up and down. Lets use someone with hip pain on their right side as an example. The patient will lay on their stomach with the area of pain on the section meant to treat the hip. Once the patient is in place, I would pull a lever to raise that piece up. I would then find the direction I want to move the hip joint and then push down. The raised section will drop with my pressure and help facilitate the hip joint going back into place.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about treatments that don’t require any popping or cracking please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Why do I hurt when it’s cold or raining
Spring is here. During this time of year the weather can be cool and raining. When I have a day at the office with this type of weather, I know that my patients with arthritis will be hurting more than usual. The question is why?
It’s really not the cold or increase in precipitation that causes the pain in your back, shoulders, knees, or neck. The pain actually comes from the change in barometric pressure in the air. The best analogy I found was on arthritis.org. You have to think of your joint as a balloon. When you fill that balloon with air, you have high pressure from the outside that pushes against the balloon, and inside air pressure pushing out against the outside air. That balance allows the balloon or your joint to stay filled and to not pop or deflate. During cold and wet weather, the outside air pressure drops. So if we have lower pressure pushing against our joints, that results in the internal joint pressure to be able to push out more which can cause more pressure on the nerves that sends pain signals to your brain.
There are many ways to help manage the change in pressure to help limit your pain level during a storm.
-Wear warm clothes that are loose fitting
-keep moving and not be in a prolonged position
-keep your surroundings warm
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about joint pain during cold and rainy weather please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
You may be wondering what JIA stands for. It stands for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In my past few posts we have been talking about arthritis that effects the older population. Now we will begin to discuss inflammatory joint conditions that can affect younger children.
According to arthritis.org, nearly 300,000 children are affected by some type of arthritis, one of them being JIA. The cause of JIA is unknown and like the other arthritic conditions I have discussed, it is auto-inflammatory. This means that the body is attacking healthy cells and tissue.
There are 6 different types of JIA. Most of the symptoms include and are not limited to joint pain with warmth, elbow pain, back pain, neck pain, knee pain, stiffness and fatigue. To diagnose JIA, a thorough exam and consultation is a necessary start. Then your chiropractic or primary physician will send out for tests like blood work, x-ray, MRI, or CT. Once it is confirmed that a child has a type of JIA, our office may refer to a rheumatologist to co-manage the case.
Many treatment options exist for JIA. The rheumatologist will manage the case with medication and splints/orthotics, while our office will aid in improving joint mobilization, strengthening, and maintaining flexibility.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about juvenile idiopathic arthritis please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Ever wonder why you develop red patches and scales on your elbow? And during the rash breakouts, have joint and back pain develop? The joint and back pain may be in your spine, elbows, and even in your fingertips. If this pattern sounds familiar to your body, then you may have psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis and Psoriatic arthritis usually go hand in hand. It's more common to develop psoriasis first, and then eventually develop the joint pain associated with it. Both conditions are autoimmune. This means our body is attacking healthy cells. The result is inflammation with pain in your joints (psoriatic arthritis) and turning healthy skin cells into red scaly patches (psoriasis). The symptoms can occur unilaterally or bilaterally. The joints affected are your extensors like finger joints, elbow, knees and in your feet.
Consult your chiropractor or primary physician if you think you have psoriatic arthritis. After a thorough consultation and exam, your physician may send you for x-rays, MRI, lab tests, or joint fluid tests to confirm your diagnosis. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition. Management of symptoms like back pain and skin breakouts are the main goals. As time passes, your symptoms may progress. On the bright side, there will be times where the disease goes into remission and the symptoms decrease.
After confirming your results, your rheumatologist will help manage your symptoms with medication. Your chiropractor will then co manage the case by improving joint mobilization in your back and extremities. Then your chiropractor will help strengthen and stabilize the areas most affected.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about psoriatic arthritis please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
We finished breaking down osteoarthritis last week with workout modifications you can do. Now we will discuss the second most common arthritis we see, rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is autoimmune. This means that the body is doing this to itself. This disease occurs more in women and can cause pain in your feet, hands, elbow, back, neck, etc. Most common places for the pain to occur are in the feet and hands. A big difference between osteo vs rheumatoid is the morning pain pattern. Osteoarthritis causes pain in the morning and goes away shortly after activity starts. Rheumatoid on the other hand, stays with you longer into the morning even after activity starts. Other symptoms may include dry eyes and mouth, loss of energy and appetite, and firm lumps aka nodules.
To diagnose RA, your chiropractic physician will do a thorough exam and consultation. If you have signs that point to RA then you will be sent for lab tests and x-rays. Sometimes MRI is necessary to see the severity of the arthritis. In most cases, your chiropractor will co-manage the RA with a rheumatologist. This will offer the best results for managing your symptoms and pain levels.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about rheumatoid arthritis please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
So you have been cleaning up your diet and losing weight. But for some reason your low back, knees, neck, and elbows have pain from your arthritis. Are you moving enough? That's what we will talk about in this next blog entry.
To slow your arthritis from progressing or to keep that pain away, you have to find a balance in moving enough, but not too much it aggravates your joints. Activities that are low impact like walking, cycling, yoga, pilates are great for your joints. Weight training to improve strength will help, only if you keep the weight low and the reps high. For the best results doing a combination of the above would be best. Below I give you an example of workout week.
Day 1: 20 min walk, 10 min yoga/stretch
Day 2: 20 min cycle, 10 min pilates, 5 min stretch
Day 3: 20 min high rep strength training, 10 min yoga
Day 4: 20 min pilates, 10 min stretch
Day 5: 20 min walk, 10 min pialtes, 10 min yoga
Day 6: 20 min high rep strength training diff muscle groups than Day 2, 5 min stretch
Day 7: 20 min cycle, 10 min yoga
The above example is the minimum you have to do to maintain mobility, flexibility and strength. You can always add more time or mix it up however you want. Make sure your chiropractor or primary physician has cleared you for activity. Doing this type of program will help keep your joints, back and muscles pain free.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about arthritis please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Last week I gave you a brief over view of osteoarthritis. We discussed how the arthritis presented itself and the type of pain that you can feel. This week we will discuss the non-surgical options you have for treatment.
Living with back pain, joint pain, and having slow, limited mobility is no way someone should go through life. Once you get the appropriate tests to confirm what type of arthritis you have, there are different options you can take to get it treated. If there is enough room in your joint space and the pain is at a level that you can handle, then non-surgical options may be the best option for you.
Dietary modifications would be the first place to look. If you are over weight and eating a processed and inflammatory diet, you need to start cleaning up that diet. Being over weight is more stress on the body. Since osteoarthritis progresses with more physical stress, if you carry 10-100 pounds more on your body than you should, your joints will suffer from it.
Most people who are over weight and eat a bad diet will usually consume inflammatory foods. These foods could be processed foods, foods high in salt and sugar, or fried foods. When you consume these foods, your body will swell from it and you will feel bloated. That internal swelling can result in inflammation in the arthritic joints and that can cause you more pain. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, decreasing sugar intake, and cooking your own food will bring the swelling down in your body, which can naturally decrease your chronic pain in your back or joints.
Next week we will continue to discuss non-surgical options to treat oseoarhtirits. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about arthritis please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
As time goes on in your life, your joints will starts to wear down and you may feel back pain, knee pain, and hip pain. This is normal because your body is like a machine. And over time, the moving parts in a machine will break down and in some cases even have to be replaced. If you put your body through a lot of physical stress, like manual labor or contact sports, then the moving parts in your body will break down sooner than others. For example, if you are in construction lifting heavy supplies and equipment, your shoulder and back may be susceptible to pain or even surgery due to break down of the moving parts.
What this break down can lead to is arthritis. There are multiple forms of arthritis. During this blog we will talk about osteoarthritis aka degenerative joint disease. This type of arthritis will typically occur in most of us. We use our bodies a lot through the years, and as your joints start to wear down, osteoarthritis will develop. As a result, back pain, hip pain, knee pain, or even chronic shoulder pain can present itself.
When the process starts, your joint space will get smaller, then the smooth bone that articulates within the joint will start to grow more bone, and results in you feeling pain and stiffness in the joint. This occurs more commonly in weight bearing joints like: knees, spine, hip, etc. As you get older, the joints can wear down so much that the joint needs to be replaced or the bone growth can be cleaned up for a smoother articulating surface. The best way to know if you have osteoarthritis developing is by consulting your chiropractic physician for an exam and consultation and to do an x-ray on your area of concern.
Once confirmed that you have an area with osteoarthritis there are many different ways to treat it. If your joint and pain level are manageable through diet, exercise, medication, chiropractic treatments, then surgery is not needed. Next week we will discuss the break down of the non-surgical treatment options for osteoarthritis.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about arthritis please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Workout Aches and Pain
It’s getting close to that time of year where you have been to the gym for a few weeks trying to reach your goals for the New Year. As your workouts continue you may notice aches and pain develop in different areas in your body. I’m going to break down those aches and pains to give you an idea of what you are stressing.
Lets start at the bottom. Your feet. People, generally, first head to cardio type of workouts when they think of losing weight. Treadmill, elliptical, stair machine, and stationary cycles are some examples. After a while, you may notice that your arch or heel might start to have pain, which could lead to hip or back pain. Especially after the workout or in the mornings with your first few steps. This may be a result of an inflamed plantar fascia aka plantar fasciitis. To help prevent this from occurring, make sure you have shoes that are fitted for your feet, stretch your calves consistently, and to strengthening your feet with toe crunch exercises.
Next lets head to the knees. You can develop pain on the outside of your knee. This pain can progressively get worse and even head towards the outside of your thigh. One of the reasons this may occur is because you are over using your Ilio-tibial band aka IT band. If you let this progress, the pain can progress to the outside of your hip where the IT band originates. Stretching this part of your body can be beneficial to prevent the trigger points from developing.
The last part we will talk about today is the gluteus aka butt pain. There are multiple muscles that contract during a workout that requires your glutes to activate. Some muscles are gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, piriformis, etc. If you do not activate your glute muscles properly, hip pain, low back pain, and even hamstring pain may develop. Stretching all the glute muscles properly will help the area from getting over worked. Also, glute activation exercises will help build the muscle appropriately so that you can handle the cardio workouts.
This is just a general over view of what can happen with different aches and pains during consistent workout program. The best thing to do when a pain develops is to call us or your primary physician to get it diagnosed properly. Then you can get action steps to help remedy the problem.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about exercise aches and pains please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
New Year Resolution cont.
Now lets talk about the exercise portion. Most people with a resolution to exercise more usually haven’t worked out in a while. Then they get really excited to make a change and go 0-100. This results in pain and injury developing because they haven’t allowed their body to adapt to the changes.
The safest way to keep your body pain and injury free is to slowly introduce exercise into your lifestyle. Then progress from there until you achieve your goal or keep a consistent program for long-term health. An example would be to start with a 3 day work out plan for week 1. Then progress to a 4 day plan for week 2. Finally, week 3 progress to a 5 day plan. I do not recommend working out more than 5 days a week. Also, make sure you have a rest week after week 8 to allow your body to recover from any inflammation.
Next, we need to discuss what type of workout you need to achieve your goal. Most people are trying to lose weight and get tone. Some might want to get stronger and bulk up. I’m going to outline an efficient workout plan that allow you to lose weight, get tone, and stronger. This workout will take 20-30 minutes.
-Warm up for 5 minutes: Jog, jump rope, elliptical, bike, anything that gets a light sweat
-10 minutes full body HIIT routine: you can find free videos on youtube or lists of exercise to do if you google ‘full body HIIT exercises’. Some common moves are jump lunges, burpees, plank walk, high knees, jump and jacks, etc
-10 minute of strength training: you can split muscle groups to different workout days or work out all muscle groups in one day. For example, Day 1, chest and back, push ups, pull ups, chest flies, back flies, walking push ups, lat pull down, etc
-5-10 minute for full body stretch.
This is just a general overview of a workout that maximizes your calories burned while increasing your strength. Reps should be 15-20 and stretches should be held for 15 seconds each. There should be little rest between sets during this workout. Please be sure to check with your chiropractor or primary care physician before approaching this type of workout plan.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO area want more information about diet and weight loss please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
New Year Resolution
Happy New Year! It’s finally 2017. This is the popular time of year when everyone starts their New Year resolution. One of the most common goals for people is to lose weight. Which is a great goal if you can continue to be consistent the entire year. Unfortunately, most people can’t keep up the change longer than 4-6 weeks. That’s why in February and March you see the gym crowd start to dip down. To achieve this goal properly you need to approach it from two different angles: diet and exercise.
You see how I put diet first. That isn’t a coincidence. Diet will be 75 percent of the battle. You can lose weight with good diet and no exercise. But you can never consistently lose weight if you exercise and have a bad diet. There are many diets out there. You have atkins, south beach, paleo and the list goes on and on. The best way to approach diet is to keep it simple. By simple, I mean to not eat processed foods, lower your sugar intake, eat 4-6 meals a day, increase water intake, and make sure your plate looks colorful. An example, of what this may look like would be 6 oz steak, with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and asparagus as sides. Water with lemon will be your drink and for dessert, assorted fruit. Sticking to this type of pattern will allow you to lose weight while getting the nutrients your body needs. In addition, it will keep your body in an anti-inflammatory state, which will help keep you out of pain. Of course before your start this approach consult with your physician.
In my next post I will discuss the exercise portion.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about diet and weight loss please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Surviving Holiday Shopping
Many of us spend hours shopping for our loved ones. Sometimes it’s online and other times it’s in busy stores. Depending on which route you choose, there are ways to make sure that you don’t develop any back or muscle pain.
While online shopping, first pay attention to your set up. Take a look at how far you have to look down at your screen. Whether it’s your phone, computer or tablet, be sure that it is at eye level. Next look at what position you’re in. Spending hours looking for gifts or researching gift reviews can cause you pain if you’re sitting cross-legged or if you are laying on the couch while supporting yourself with one elbow. These types of positions can cause pressure points to build up and result in back and joint pain. Your body should be supported evenly. Best positions for this would be seated in a supportive chair that allows your feet to touch the ground. Also, make sure you get up consistently. Getting up and walking around for a few minutes keeps the blood flowing and relieves those pressure points.
Venturing out to department stores is always a tough task during the holidays. Parking takes forever and then you have to wait in those long lines to check out. During this adventure, make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Supportive shoes can help prevent foot and back pain. Also, shop with other people. That way you can have help to distribute the weight of the shopping bags evenly. This helps prevent shoulder and neck pain from occurring. Finally, when you’re waiting to check out, be sure to stand with your weight distributed evenly through both feet. Don’t lean one way or favor one side. This will cause pain to develop from your feet all the way to your neck.
If you or someone you know in the O'Fallon, MO areas want more information about holiday shopping and preventing back pain please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales
This is not what you think. We do not have a flash sale or a limited time offer. The purpose of this is to discuss ways to take advantage of the holiday sales for your health. One important thing you can buy on sale is a pillow.
A new pillow should be bought every year to prevent back and neck pain. People tend to forget about this. But if you think about it, your pillow is something you use more often than your phone. For 6-9 hours straight you use a pillow and sometimes more during the day if you’re enjoying a Netflix binge. If you are sleeping on an old pillow that doesn’t support your body properly, neck and back pain can develop. Which can lead to chronic symptoms like headaches and muscle strains.
When shopping for a new pillow always try it out in stores. Doing this helps prevent the back and forth of buying something and returning it a few days later because it wasn’t comfortable or caused pain. A good way to shop for a pillow is to try it in stores and then remember which pillow you liked. Then you can search for the pillow online for the best price or buy in store if it’s the cheapest there. When testing the pillow it is always beneficial to have someone with you. While you lay on the pillow in the store you can have them see if your neck is in a neutral position while you lay in your favorite position. A neutral position is when you neck flows into your shoulders with little to no bend. Think of when you stand with your back against the wall. That straight posture should be recreated when you are lying on a bed with a pillow. During holiday sales, pillows can be on sale for a ½ or even 1/3 of the price.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about shopping for a new pillow and preventing back pain please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Patient Appreciation Day!
The holiday season is approaching fast. The decorations are starting to fill the streets and holiday music filling the radio airwaves. Most of us are fortunate to be able to spend time and money on our loved ones with gifts and food. What we don’t think about sometimes are the people who are not as fortunate as we are. Specifically kids who do not have a home or family to spend the holidays with.
Every year Sports and Family Chiropractic holds a patient appreciation day. The purpose of this event is to raise donations for a specific charity. This year we picked Youth In Need. The charity helps kids who are less fortunate than we are in O’Fallon, MO.
The event is for current patients, their families, and any new patients with back pain that would like to participate. Once you schedule an appointment with Kristin for the November 19th 20016, you can bring any item on the wish list that Youth In Need has on their website. In exchange for your donation, you can get your exam or treatment in exchange for it. This is a great way to help the O’Fallon, MO area and to treat those aches and pains that may occur with holiday stress.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about our patient appreciate day please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
One sport vs mutiple
Kids are starting sports younger and younger these days. Some kids start as soon as they can walk, which is not a bad thing. Getting your kids into an active lifestyle is great. But, there are some pros and cons that come with that active lifestyle. In this discussion, I will talk to you about the benefits of having your child play multiple sports vs. one sport.
When kids play just one sport, especially one they are dedicated to all year round, their body may be more prone to injury. Let’s use a baseball pitcher for example. Pitching puts a lot of strain and stress on both the elbow and the shoulder. This strain builds throughout the season. If your athlete goes from spring/summer baseball to fall ball to winter lessons, their elbow and shoulder never get a chance to fully heal. This can leave them more exposed to injuries.
Now lets look at a kid who plays multiple sports throughout the year. This child, for example, plays soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and softball in the summer. If you take a look at the different repetitive movements during each sport, the child’s body gets a balance of physical stress. In soccer your child will be using more lower extremities, basketball puts the body through more plyometric movements, and softball requires more upper extremity movement. In addition, these movements are quite different from each other and uses different muscles. This combination allows the athlete to be more balanced since they are not just using the same muscle through the same motion throughout the entire year.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about how to keep their body healthy during sports please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Welcome to Fall Weather
As the weather transitions from summer to fall, your body is increasingly susceptible to injury. The problem is the cooler weather, especially in the mornings.
Many people put their body through a lot in the morning. Some people like to workout, while others are tending to kids and pets. Whatever the activity, your body should be properly warmed up before you attempt those tasks during the cool mornings. If not, you could ‘throw out’ your back, which would result in delaying your morning to do list for a few days or weeks. For most of us, that’s a luxury we cannot afford.
Warming your body up should start before you get out of bed. Starting with pelvic tilts and knee to chest movements can get your low back moving properly. Next, sit up on the edge of the bed and do a few leg extensions while swinging your arms back and forth. Then you can transition to a standing position. While standing, start with high knee marches and slowly adding a twist towards the knee you are bringing up. Another movement you can add is jogging in place to get your heart rate up. Once your body feels warm, almost to the point of breaking a sweat you can bend forward and try to touch your toes.
Doing this routine or something similar can help save you from developing back pain or causing a strain or sprain situation from occurring. Especially if you have been previously diagnosed with arthritis and degeneration.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about how to keep their body healthy in the morning please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
It’s that time of year again. The time where school sports are about to start and your kid needs a sports physical. Not saying that you are guilty of this, but most parents wait until the last minute and have trouble finding a facility that has appointments open to get you and your family in. Well you are in luck. During this time of year we leave appointment blocks open for people who need sports physicals. This allows parents to get their kids in and out efficiently so that they can be prepared for their season.
In addition to it being a requirement from their school, sports physicals help keep your child injury free. During their exam with us we make sure their body is ready for the season. If any red flags are discovered, we let the parents know and give them the proper recommendations.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about how to keep their kids healthy during the season please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
When people think of core muscles they usually think of abs. That is a common mistake. Your core consists of the muscles between your chest and your knees on the front of your body, the back of your body and the sides of your body. All of these regions need to have the perfect combination of strength and flexibility to allow your body to function properly. If not, then you leave your body susceptible to pain in your low back, hips, and even into joints like your knees.
During rehabilitative appointments with my patients, I often ask them what type of exercise they do for their core. The most common answer I get is crunches. Your body needs more than that. Most core exercises I give in my office don’t usually require your body to do a crunch or sit up. For example, patients with a weak core start with pelvic tilts or flattening their back against a surface. The goal is to get the patient accustomed to activating their core. If I were to progress them into harder exercises, and they don’t know how to activate their core properly, then they would just continue that pain cycle.
Once my patients know how to activate their core properly we begin to develop their weak points in their core. These areas can be their obliques, gluteal muscles, pectoral muscles, or even lumbar spine erectors. The goal is to find a balance in flexibility and strength. A patient with weak hip flexor muscles may have tight lumbar spine erectors. This would result me working on the flexibility of the lumbar spine erectors in combination with strengthening the hip flexors. If I were to ignore the issue with flexibility, the patient may get stronger, but the hypertonic areas will continue to over power other regions. As a result, the patient would recover slower, still be in pain longer, and other regions of pain may develop due to more compensation.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about how to keep their core healthy please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Our New Massage Therapist
My name is Tara Joplin and I have been a massage therapist for 19 years. I enjoy helping others manage their stress through massage therapy and yoga. I am always eager to show someone a new stretch or massage technique that will enrich their daily lives. I am able to do all types of massages and I feel that massage is a wonderful compliment to chiropractic. I live in Lake St Louis and I have 3 very quirky english bulldogs. I look forward to helping you with your pain and stress management. You can book an appointment by calling or texting me.
Sleep is one of the most important things people forget to look at when experiencing pain. Whether it be getting enough sleep or having the right pillow, sleep plays a vital role in keeping your body healthy. In this conversation I will break down sleep posture and the right mattress and pillow.
How do you sleep? Do you toss and turn? Or perhaps you pick a position and stay there the entire night. The two best positions for sleep are on your side or on you back. Both of these positions put your spine in a neutral position. In these positions make sure your neck stays straight and your chin isn’t tucked in a downward positions. Also, look at your legs and make sure your knees are next to each other. This will help prevent you from turning one leg over causing your low back to be in a torqued position. In addition, look at your arms and elbow. Keep them below your head to help prevent shoulder problems.
When was the last time you changed your mattress or pillow? Don’t forget that these two things have a shelf life and if not changed in the right time frame, they end up causing you poor sleep and possible aches and pains in the mornings. Your mattress should be changed every 4-6 years depending on your build and how many people sleep in the bed. If you have a bigger build and often have kids and your significant other in the bed, then every 4 years the mattress should be changed. On the other hand, if you have a smaller build and live by yourself, then you could get away with 6 or even 7 years before a mattress change. Best way to check if you need a new mattress is to take all the sheets and blankets off of your bed. Look at the contours and make sure the bed has a consistent flat surface. You can also pick random 10 spots on the mattress and push firmly down. The mattress should be medium to firm when pressed. If you have soft spots or dips in the mattress it’s time for a new one.
Now lets look at your pillows. These should be changed every year. You need to only use one pillow and the pillow should be medium to firm with an average thickness. To determine a good thickness for you, just lay on the pillow while on your side, your neck should be in a straight line continuing into your shoulder. There shouldn’t be any angle in your neck at all. The shape of the pillow can be traditional or you can pick a pillow with different contours to support your neck depending on your preferred sleep posture.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about sleep posture please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
When people are in pain, whether it be low back, mid back, or neck pain, no one thinks to look at something as simple as breathing. I mean, we’ve been doing it everyday since we were born, we should be pros at it. But most people, especially the ones in chronic pain are breathing incorrectly.
I want you to do a test with me. Take 5 deep breaths. Observe how your shoulders and chest rise and how your stomach goes in and out. If your shoulders and chest do most of the work then you are breathing incorrectly. To breath properly you need to engage your core and have your stomach moving in and out more than your chest rising up and down.
This is important because if you don’t engage your core while breathing, your neck and shoulder muscles get recruited too much and can put unnecessary stress on them. As a result, neck and shoulder pain can develop.
When you engage your core while breathing it helps activate your core constantly, which strengthens your back support. This will also decrease the stress in your shoulder and neck muscles so your tension can dissipate. The end result will be a stronger core, less stress, and less chance of neck and shoulder pain.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about how to breath properly please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Post op struggles
Sometimes I wish I could turn back time. That way I can start treating some of my patients sooner before they choose an option like surgery. I’m not saying surgery is bad. I just think that in most situations, you should try everything you can before choosing something as permanent as surgery. Of course if your appendix is about to burst, you should get surgery right away, but if you are having back or joint pain, try everything you can like rehab, adjustments, acupuncture, and any other therapies before going down the surgery road.
Often my office sees patients after surgery. These patients went down the surgery pathway and it either didn’t work or other areas are now experiencing pain.
Patients who had surgery that didn’t work usually results from the aggravating factor not being addressed. For example, a herniated disc in your neck or lower back. This would cause back pain that may even shoot down the arms or legs. People who head straight to the surgeon would usually get a microdisectomy, which is where the surgeon removes the herniated fluid off the nerve. Now lets say the patient with the herniated disc is a new parent who likes to do cross fit. The patient doesn’t have proper lifting technique and a few months later the disc herniates again. Not addressing the original problem, which was proper lifting technique, results in a relapse in back pain.
The next post surgery patient comes in. This one has had multiple regions in their neck fused. Their neck feels better, outside of being stiff, but now their upper back and shoulders hurt. In this scenario the fused region will distribute the stress and weight straight down to your upper back, instead of distributing the weight evenly through the neck before it gets to the upper back. As a result, the upper back gets over worked, inflamed, and that’s when you start to feel pain. Eventually that region will get so over worked that it may need to be fused as well. My job is to see these changes and to strengthen the regions that are at risk at getting over worked. That way the surgery has a better success rate and the patient doesn’t have to go under the knife again.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about how to avoid surgery please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Couch to 5K and Beyond
I believe that couch to 5K is a great idea. The reason why I bring this up is because people should be adapting this mindset into other aspects of their fitness goals. Couch to 5K works because it allows people who haven’t worked out in a while to slowly progress to their goal on a specific plan.
Beginner runners who do not follow a similar plan sometimes try to do too much from the start. For example, they will try and run 3 miles when they haven’t ran all winter. This leaves their body open for injury and strain since your body hasn’t built up to that level. The injuries could be plantar fasciitis, muscle strains, hip and back, or even shoulder pain. I recommend following a couch to 5K program online if you want to build up your mileage for a race or to just stay in shape. If you don’t like any programs online then just slowly progress to your mileage or duration goal. Lets say your goal is to be able to run 5 miles. Then for week one run 1 mile every other day and on the last day of the week run 2 miles. As you continue add one mile to each week until you reach your goal. Leaving a rest day in between and to make sure to properly warm-up and stretch.
This progression mindset doesn’t just apply to running. It can apply to any fitness goal you have in mind. A good example would be to be able to bench press 250lbs. Now I don’t recommend having goals like that, but a lot of people associate max bench press as a strength indicator. So it’s a common goal we see in our office. Now back to the example, people who start to bench press and haven’t done it in months try to lift what they used to lift when the did work out. That’s a terrible idea and your body would hate that. It’ll shock your system and leave you exposed for injury, especially in the chest, shoulders and elbow. In this scenario progressing bench press weight like the running example would work. Doesn’t matter if your goals is to run a half marathon or to lose 20lbs, progressing your workouts in the beginning can save your body from a lot of pain.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about how to progress your workouts to prevent injury please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
High school Injuries
At Sports and Family Chiropractic we see a large number of high school athletes with injuries. There are a number of factors that lead to injuries, which include growth spurts, specialization, and overuse.
Athletes are usually hitting growth spurts during this time in their lives, and the high stress of sports in combination with that growth can leave students prone to injury. Growth spurts can cause joints and muscles to be vulnerable while playing sports due to the body still adapting to the size change in the athlete. As a result, we see an increase in hip, knee, shoulder, and back injuries. Proper training and stretching can help the athletes adjust to the new growth.
Another factor that leads to a lot of injuries is specialization in sports. High school athletes are now starting their sports earlier in life. This has led to higher level of competition among student athletes. Kids are getting bigger, faster, and stronger than in previous generations. This has exposed kids to more injuries because by the time they are in high school, some of them have been training and playing for almost 10 years.
The final factor is overuse. Along with the specialization, kids are not playing multiple sports as much. They are being forced to pick one sport at an early age. This causes stress on the same areas year round. Baseball for example, has seen a large increase in elbow and shoulder injuries. This is due to kids playing baseball year round and not giving their arms time to rest while playing other sports. Cross training helps your body get stronger in other areas in addition to giving unused regions rest.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about how to prevent high school athlete injuries please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Sometimes you limp, sometimes there’s a clicking sound, and sometimes it hurt so bad you can’t sit or stand. Hip pain presents itself in many different ways, for many different reasons. I will break down some of the common reasons for hip pain and the different things you can do to prevent it from happening.
One of the most common causes of hip pain I see in the office is from degeneration/arthritis of the hip joint. This usually occurs where the top of your thighbone attaches into the hip socket. Where the two meet should be smooth. Over time, this smooth contact point becomes jagged and the space gets smaller. This develops from repeated stress to the hip joint, usually from sports, repeated impact, or being over weight. As a result you may experience stiffness, hip pain, back pain, knee pain, etc. To limit your risk for hip arthritis you can keep a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and avoid constant impact like running and jumping for prolong periods of time.
The second most common cause I see is a hip strain. This event commonly happens during a sudden slip or impact in a sport or event. Imagine yourself walking in your kitchen and one foot slips forward on a patch of water. You don’t fall but your leg slides forward and you catch yourself on the counter. If your hip muscles aren’t strong enough or loose enough for the slip, the muscles will be strained. This results in hip pain, gluteal pain, low back pain, or leg pain. To prevent this, make sure you stretch everyday. Strengthening exercises for the muscles surrounding your hips should be incorporated into your workout routine at least 3 times a week. These changes will keep your hip muscles strong and loose.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about hip pain please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
At The Office
Many of our patients work in an office setting. That usually means 8 hours or more of sitting at a desk. This routine, if goes unchanged, can cause harm to your body. You can develop back pain, joint pain, carpal tunnel, headaches, etc.
To prevent these problems from occurring, multiple changes have to be made to your work ergonomics. First, you have to get up more. At least every 30 minutes to give your low back a break from sitting. Prolonged sitting can stress your low back since your legs aren’t there to help support your weight anymore. Getting up also helps with blood flow and limits your risk of a DVT (deep vein thrombosis).
Next, you need to evaluate your workstation. Make sure you are in a chair that supports your back. Also, adjust the chair so that your eyes are level with your monitors. In addition, your hands, wrist and elbow should flow into a nice straight line to your keyboard. There should be no bend at your wrist when you are typing. These changes can help prevent carpal tunnel, neck pain, and low back pain. Some companies have an ergonomics department. Consult this department and see if they can help you with these changes.
Lastly make sure to stay hydrated. Working for 8 hours and only hydrating during lunch is not enough. You need to average at least a bottle of water before lunch, at lunch and then after lunch. Also, drinking more water will help you get up from your chair to use the restroom. This change will help you get up and move, keep your joints and muscles hydrated, and better equip your body to handle the stress at the office.
Remember your habits affect your health. These dietary and postural changes can limit your trips to the doctor’s office and limit your reliance for medications. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about modifying your diet please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
A common new years resolution is eating healthier for the year. There are many approaches you can take with this. You can eat fewer calories, eat more fruit and vegetables, eat out less, etc. An approach that works well for our patients is an anti-inflammatory diet.
Lets first discuss what an inflammatory diet may consist of. People who eat this type of diet eat foods that are high in salt, processed foods, wheat flour, high sugar, and eat high in volume. Not only will this cause you to gain weight, your body will also be more inflamed at injury sites. This will result in you feeling more pain and be more susceptible to complications with your injuries. On top of that, if you have chronic conditions like arthritis, crohns, lyme, etc it will put you at risk for more frequent flare ups of your symptoms.
To modify your diet so your body has more anti-inflammatory nutrients you need to make multiple changes, especially if your diet resembles the one above. First you need to stay hydrated. Water is key to flushing out inflammatory by products and oxidants. Next you need to limit your salt and eliminate processed foods and sugars. Stick to whole grains and higher fiber foods. Add in darker fruits, nuts and seeds as snacks or desserts. Eating more seafood with natural oils like salmon. All these changes add in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants to your body.
Remember your health starts from within. These dietary changes can limit your trips to the doctor’s office and limit your reliance for medications. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about modifying your diet please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
New Years Resolution Injuries
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when you decide to have a healthier life style. You get excited and amped up. The supplements are ready, gym membership in hand, and workout clothes laid out. Little do you know that this is a dangerous time for your body.
You probably haven’t worked out most of last year and have gained a few pounds during the holiday. So your body is already in an inflamed state. When you decide to hit the ground running (sometimes literally), and get too excited about your weight loss goal. Your body isn’t prepared for what you are about to put it through and you get injured. These injuries could be sprain or strains, back pain, tendonitis, golfer’s or tennis elbow, etc.
There are ways to avoid these injuries so you can achieve your goals. Make sure you ease into your program. If you plan to start running, progress to your mileage goal. Don’t run 5 miles that first day. Start with a mile and progress a mile each week until your achieve your 5 mile goal. Another example is weight lifting. Don’t start by maxing out squats, bench or curls on the first day. Ease your muscles back into it. Start with high rep exercises for the first week. Then incorporate higher weight sets the second week and 3rd week to get your body used to the routine. Rest the 4th week and then continue from there.
Diet can also be tricky. I see patients all the time that starve themselves or give extreme restrictions that can’t be maintained for long term. Which will result in the routine quickly getting old and then binge eating episodes can occur. To prevent this, start by eliminating a few things at a time in your diet. For example, start with removing soda, then progress to sugar entirely, and then eventually getting into a different category like salt removal. Allow yourself a cheat day to get your cravings in. But remember that this is one day, not multiply days. Also make sure you eat enough. If you starve yourself and eliminate a meal or eat infrequently, your body will be in a starvation mode. You may lose weight but as soon as you have your cheat day or slip up on your diet your body will store all those calories as fat instead of lean mass.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about the weight loss and injury prevention advice please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Although some days it doesn’t feel like it. Winter is here. And with it, comes the cooler weather and slippery conditions. In this discussion we will talk about the common injuries that occur during the wintertime and how you can avoid them.
‘Throwing out’ your back is quite common in cooler temperatures. This usually results in low back pain. Bending early in the morning (putting shoes on, bending to pet the dog, etc) and shoveling snow are the most common scenarios we see in our patients. The reasoning is, your body isn’t warmed up before you do these activities. When your body is cold, it’s tight and not as flexible. Then when you put it through a specific motion your cold and tight back isn’t ready for, it causes a sprain or strain in the low back, which results in pain at the injured area.
A great way to avoid ‘throwing out’ your back is to make sure you are warmed up before any strenuous activity. Before shoveling snow do a 5-minute warm-up. This can be jumping jacks, running in place, etc. You should have a light sweat before attempting to shovel snow. Remember, the average weight of a shovel full of snow is 20lbs. The repeated motion of lifting and dropping that weight is a lot on your body. In the mornings, before you bend forward, make sure you bend at the knees and not at the hip. This will keep your back safe in the cooler mornings and limit your risk of injuring your back.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about the treatments provided in our office as a result of winter injuries please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
How We Chose O’Fallon, MO
One of the questions we get asked often is how and why we chose to open our practice in O’Fallon, MO. There were many factors that came into play when we decided to open our office in O’Fallon. Dr. Dave and myself grew up in Florissant and Hazelwood, MO, which isn’t too far from O’Fallon. After we graduated from chiropractic school we already had the idea of staying local to help our community. When researching different locations to open our practice O’Fallon fit our criteria. O’Fallon was a growing community with a diverse population, close enough to where we grew up, and did not have a lot of other chiropractors in the region.
Once we narrowed our search to O’Fallon, MO, our next step was to find the right office space. During our quest we stopped by multiple places for rent. Then we came across a space in WingHaven, which is a community in O’Fallon, MO. This space was previously built out for a chiropractic office and was open for a new tenant. The space was perfect. We didn’t have to worry about building the space out. Painting was the only major change we had to do to the interior space. After discussing the lease with our real estate agent and agreeing on the finer details, we chose to sign a lease, and this became our home for our future patients.
It has now been over 4.5 years and we continue to grow and help the people in O’Fallon. Not only with their health, but also actively giving back to the community whenever we can.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about the treatments provided in our office please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
History of Chiropractic
Chiropractic has had a long history dating back to 2700 and 1500 BC. Back then, there were people known as bonesetters. They were not “chiropractors” but they had similar concepts. The term ‘Chiropractic’ was first coined by the Reverend Samel Snead. It is from Greek root words meaning “ practice hands”. Chiropractors use their hands, not medicines or surgeries, to help patients.
Then a man named Daniel David Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment in 1895. He believed that the problems people were having had been coming from pressure being put on nerves by the spine. He went on to open the Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1897.
The father of chiropractic D.D. Palmer described the body as a machine whose parts could be manipulated to produce a drugless cure. That is a philosophy that we follow at Sports and Family Chiropractic.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about the treatments provided in our office please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Pain at the front or middle of your shin aka tibia is called a shin splint. This commonly occurs in runners or people who dramatically increase their workout program. The actual diagnosis nomenclature for shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome.
Shin splints can be diagnosed by a thorough history and physical exam. If needed, x-rays may be useful to determine if a stress fracture may be involved. When you have shin splints, there is pain or swelling at the front of the tibia. This is due to the repeated stress on your tibia and the muscles and tendons that attach to the bone. Pain usually occurs during activity but in worse cases can develop during rest as well.
If you just started to have symptoms for shin splints, rest and ice is usually enough to help with your recovery. When symptoms persist, other treatments and modifications are needed. At our office we look at your workouts and running techniques. Then we modify them to correct any bad habits. Also, we would need to look at shoes and orthotics and see if any changes need to be made. During the exam we would also look at the strength of different muscles in the leg and surrounding areas of the shin. If there are imbalances, rehab is needed to balance the muscles for future prevention and optimal recovery. To help speed the recovery process, therapies may be involved in your recovery. This may include cryotherapy, ultrasound therapy, and trigger point therapy.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about the treatments provided in our office in regards to shin splints please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Tennis elbow aka lateral epicondylitis is pain that occurs on the outside of your elbow. This usually occurs from over use of the forearm muscles especially in activities like tennis, improper form during weight lifting, and working at a computer.
Your lateral epicondyle is the boney part of your elbow where muscle tendons from your forearm extensor muscles attach. When overuse of these forearm muscles occurs, the tendons and the site where the tendons attach, get inflamed and start to cause pain.
At our office, we treat tennis elbow with multiple techniques for optimal recovery. Ultrasound therapy would be used first to help bring the swelling down. Active release of the muscles in the forearms will help the tendons relax. Finally, we would strengthen the forearm muscles.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about the treatments provided in our office in regards to tennis elbow please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.
Adhesive capsulitis aka Frozen shoulder can cause extreme pain and limited mobility in your shoulder. This condition usually occurs when someone has to restrict their shoulder movement due to some other condition or injury.
Your shoulder has bones, ligaments, tendons that make up its anatomy. Then there’s connective tissue that forms a capsule around that anatomy. When frozen shoulder occurs, the capsule gets inflamed and causes the pain and limited motion.
Frozen shoulder has 3 different stages: Freezing, Frozen, and Thawing. The freezing stage is where you start to notice limited shoulder movement with pain. The frozen stage is when the pain may start to decrease, but your shoulder mobility begins to worsen. Finally in the thawing stage, your shoulder pain decreases and your shoulder range of motion begins to improve.
In our office we use many different treatments for frozen shoulder. Ultrasound therapy works great in penetrating the inflamed capsule and decreasing the swelling. We also look at the mechanics in your shoulder, shoulder blade, and mid back. If there are joint restrictions in those areas, we do joint adjustments in those regions to improve the mechanics. Then once your shoulder starts to go into the thawing stage, we provide the necessary rehab to fully restore range of motion and strengthen the shoulder. This will help prevent a reoccurrence in the future.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about the treatments provided in our office in regards to frozen shoulder please don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
More than just spinal adjustments
If you have been following our blog posts you can see that there are many other conditions we can treat that doesn’t deal with the spine. In this discussion we want to show you that we can offer many different forms of treatment and therapies other than spinal adjustments.
At Sports and Family we provide many forms of therapy to aid in our treatments. This includes cryotherapy, heat, electrical interferential stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound, and different forms of muscle and ligament treatments.
Cryotherapy and heat are sometimes added to different treatments to help decrease the swelling and help relax the muscles so that our patients can respond more efficiently to our treatments.
Electrical interferential stimulation sends waves of electrical currents to the muscles that we want to treat. This current is comfortable and effective in helping the strained muscles relax and to decrease the pain.
Therapeutic ultrasound sends sound waves into the treatment area through a conducting head unit. These sound waves penetrate into the treatment area, which helps decrease swelling, decrease pain, and speeds up the healing of the injured region.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about the treatments provided in our office please don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
Acupuncture and Infertility
One of the main treatment techniques in our office is acupuncture. In a previous blog post we discussed how acupuncture works and the benefits that come from the treatments. Today we will be talking about how acupuncture can help with couples who are struggling to have a baby.
There are many different reason couples have trouble having a baby. Some of the reasons could be endometriosis, fibroids, shape of the uterus, low sperm count, etc. When you come for a consult we discuss which reasons are causing the problem and determine why they continue to persist. With most situations, it’s a combination of low energy and high-energy situations in your body. For example, if the husband has a low sperm count, then he may have low energy in his body, particularly his testicles, which result in low production of sperm. Once we determine the actual cause of the infertility, we develop an acupuncture care plan, which picks specific points to help balance out the energy so your body can work efficiently at producing a child. During this care plan timing is everything. We will discuss your cycle, ovulation, in vitro appointments, freezing embryo appointments, implantation appointments, etc. Then we will time the acupuncture treatments accordingly.
One of the many positive things about acupuncture is the cost. Procedures like in vitro can cost up to 10-20 thousand dollars. Acupuncture care plans cost 10-20 percent of that and are less invasive than other procedures. Remember the needles are thinner than your hair follicle and most patients don’t even feel them going into the acupuncture point.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about acupuncture treatments for infertility, don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
As football season approaches, a common topic that comes up in our office is concussion. You don’t have to be a football player to have a concussion. They can occur during many different traumatic events like car accidents or slips and falls.
Concussions are caused by extreme force to your head that results in irritation to your brain. Your brain has fluid that cushions it from your skull. This fluid called cerebral spinal fluid keeps your brain safe during normal day-to-day activity. When extreme force is applied to your head like a car accident or a head to head collision on the football field, the brain moves outside of its limit within the cerebral spinal fluid and that’s what causes a concussion. Symptoms that can develop are headaches, sensitivity to light, memory loss, vomiting, etc.
We do not treat concussions in our office. Our job is to recognize them when they happen and give the appropriate resting time for the patient. What we do treat is what happens to your body after the concussion. Trauma with such force to move your brain in your skull will not only affect the brain but also other parts of your body. We recognize those injury sites and prescribe the treatments necessary for a full recovery. Injuries that usually develop can be neck pain, mid back pain, low back pain, or strained muscles.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about chiropractic care after a concussion, don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
Should you have a lawyer for your car accident?
Patient’s that come into our office after a car accident often ask us if they need a personal injury lawyer for their case. We strongly recommend that the patient seek a personal injury lawyer for a consult. Our office has a list of personal injury lawyers that we refer to, but if the patient has their own lawyer, that works as well.
The reason we strongly recommend a personal injury lawyer is that they are proficient in personal injury law to understand the ins and outs of your case. When a case opens there will be many factors that the insurance companies take into account for your reimbursement. To prevent miscommunication with the insurance companies and to make sure you get fully reimbursed for your medical and auto expenses, a personal injury lawyer will help make sure that happens. This will also save you time. Our patients who have a personal injury lawyer typically get reimbursed quicker than patients who do not have a personal injury lawyer.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about chiropractic care after a car accidnet, don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
Pregnancy and back pain
At Sports and Family Chiropractic we treat pregnant women for their pain patterns during pregnancy. Most people think that only back pain occurs during pregnancy. The pregnant women we see have pain in multiple areas of their body. The locations include their neck with headaches, shoulders, midback, low back, buttocks, and feet. Our office is able to treat all these problem areas.
Why do pregnant women have pain? There are multiple factors that come into play. The fitness level the moms were in before and during pregnancy, their natural body shape, occupation, workload at home, etc. Our job is to analyze all these factors and prepare the right treatment plan for our moms so that they can have the best outcome after 9 months. Treatments that we provide usually include muscle and ligament therapy, muscle strengthening, spinal adjustments, and daily postural changes to accommodate for the body changes that occur during pregnancy. We also recommend spouses to come into the appointments so we can teach them different techniques to help make their expecting wife more comfortable.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about chiropractic care during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
One type of back pain we see quite often is neck pain. This type of pain can occur for many reasons and usually presents with local pain, shooting pain into the extremities, muscle spasms, or headaches.
Neck pain can be caused by many different problems. Arthritis is the most common cause of neck pain we see in our office. The arthritis or degeneration develops over time, usually due to bad habits and poor posture. The discs in the neck start to get thinner and your body starts to lay extra bone down to respond to the stress that you are putting on it. This results in nerve pressure that can cause shooting pain into the arms and hands.
In our office we start by doing a thorough exam and x-rays if needed. After we have determined the root cause of the neck pain, we start correcting the problem. If arthritis or degeneration were present, our goal would be to slow the arthritis. Any arthritis that has developed before coming in our office cannot be reversed. Our job would be to prevent the arthritis from progressing to a fusion situation. We prevent this progression by starting with spinal manipulation to correct the mechanics of the neck. Then we add muscle rehabilitation to rebuild flexibility and strength in the neck and upper mid back. This process will help build a strong foundation for the neck so it can handle the stress that is put on it each day. Finally we teach our patients good habits for long-term care of their neck so that they do not have to rely on our office to keep their neck healthy.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about neck pain, don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
Warm-up and Stretching
We get asked often which to do first: warm-up or stretch. The best routine that we recommend is to warm-up, light stretch, work out, then deep stretch. This will help prevent problems like back pain, headaches, neck pain, tennis/golfer elbow, etc.
For your warm-up, it should be 5-15 min in duration. You should have a light sweat by the end of your warm-up. This is particularly important during the winter or in a cold workout facility. Muscle strains occur often if your body isn’t properly warmed up.
After warm-up, you then need to lightly stretch the muscles you plan on targeting. This should take 5-10 min with 10-15 second holds. This will help continue to loosin up the muscles for your workout or sport.
Once your activity is finished then you should do a cool down with a deep stretch. Your deep stretch should be held for 30 seconds each, focusing on muscles that you just worked out.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about properly warming up and stretching, don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
Sitting and back pain
We get asked often in our office what types of patients suffer from back pain the most. Whether it be high school or professional athletes, construction workers, or office workers. The winner is office worker, and the reason is they sit all day long.
Sitting is bad for your back for many reasons. First, office workers do not change positions often enough, so the duration of the sitting causes pressure points to build up in the back. Secondly, while you are sitting your legs are not there to support anymore so all the weight of your body goes to your lower back. Third, most paperwork and computer screens are on a desk which causes office workers to look down, this stresses your neck and mid back.
Our bodies are designed to handle these type of stresses for a small period of time. But people in careers that require them to sit at a desk for 8-10 hours a day for 5-6 days a week is too much for your body to handle year after year. Chiropractic care helps reverse the damage that is caused by prolonged sitting. We also teach the proper techniques to prevent future damage from occurring. If no changes occur your body can develop back pain, shooting pain into legs and arms, or early development of arthritis.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about the effects prolonged sitting, don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
Breathing for Neck Pain
Breathing may not seem like a causative or palliative factor when focusing on pain correction…But it is.
For many years the breath has been highlighted and focused on by experts in many fields and for good reason. An exchange of air between your lungs and the outside world facilitate oxygenation of blood which is REQUIRED for each and every cell within your body to function. Besides the prior, breathing can affect everything from mood, cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, sleep quality, heart rate, nervous system activity and even pain modulation.
To talk about proper breathing, we must understand the wrong way to breath, or as we call it, paradoxical breathing. For many reasons today, people live lives self consciously which unfortunately is usually related to body image. Instead of working hard all year to maintain or lose unwanted body fat (and since humans are compensation machines), the easiest way to mediate the effect of holiday indulgence is to keep your stomach sucked in. This causes two problems; first, you do not allow the main breathing muscle (the diaphragm) to do its job, and two, smaller more fatigable muscles of the neck and shoulders become overworked. If these smaller muscles become overworked the incidence of neck pain, discomfort, loss of motion, and headaches literally skyrockets.
The solution may be simply to remind yourself to breathe deeply and slowly WITH YOUR STOMACH moving throughout each and every breath.
Here at Sports and Family Chiropractic we see many patients with neck pain, headaches, or both and although a simple breathing correction may help, most of the time we conclude poor breathing mechanics are the SECONDARY result of poor structure in the neck and mid back, without both being corrected the best results can’t happen.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about the effects of proper breathing, don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
Posture for Pleasure
Many “As Seen on T.V” products and fields of expertise focus their efforts on posture and the various health benefits associated with it. Some benefits of proper posture include a healthier body image, a stronger foundation to build upon, increased range of motion in the body, and even proper hormone production! Exercise, stretching, proper muscle sequencing, and even the late night doo-dad product can have an effect on the mechanics of the human torso and therefore posture, but, what can these products and activities do if poor posture is the result of a structural issue within the spine?
Here at Sport and Family Chiropractic we take a thorough look at posture and structure via digital analysis to aid in locating specific segments of the spine which have shifted structurally causing bad posture, this allows us to accurately correct the shift and allow for better spinal motion, posture, and an overall better well being. If these structural shifts remain unchanged, poor posture is only the tip of the iceberg. Back and neck pain, numbness and tingling in the legs or arms, and even headaches may be attributable a shift in the structure of the spine.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about the effects of correct posture in your daily life, don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
Weight Loss Information: Fiber
If you are serious about a healthy diet, losing weight and maintaining health for the summer months, a great strategy is the reduction of calories, but is there more you can do?
Today, to talk about optimizing your weight loss goals, we will focus on a less famous compound which may soon become an advantageous part of your diet arsenal, it is called… fiber. Besides allowing you to maintain regularity, fiber has also been shown to create a thermogenic (aka heating) effect when consumed and broken down by the digestive tract.
Q: Why might thermogenesis be important for my weightloss goals?
A: Thermogenesis we have recently found, is the bodies number one means for burning calories, energy, and fat. If you increase the temperature of your body (up to a certain point) you will essentially increase the fat burning capabilities also. The reason Fiber is so great at increasing temperature is because of its indigestibility, so essentially, your system works very hard to break it down (some types of fiber are more digestible than others) but for the most part can’t, and ends up spinning the digestive wheels so to speak.
If you have ever reached for a weightloss product from your local supplement store, the majority contain some selling point compound aimed to create a thermogenic effect. To save yourself money on expensive and diet products, our typical recommendation here at Sports and Family Chiropractic is to increase your fiber to the daily recommended value (25g/day for females and 38g/day for males) and be mindful of the amount and type of calories you decide to consume.
Some foods naturally high in fiber include vegetables, oats, whole grains, nuts, beans and certain fruits.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about the effects of quality fiber in your diet don’t hesitate to shoot us a call or email.
Condition we treat: Carpal Tunnel
In modern culture and with many of our Athletes, splitting time between the field and the office becomes very common thing, Carpal Tunnel is a condition that we treat often within our practice perhaps due to this modern trend of both working and playing very hard.
Carpal tunnel is often described as burning, numbness and/or weakness that effects one or both hands. This condition is often found rampant in professions with repetitive hand and arm usage including office work, cosmetology, and carpentry. These symptoms are indicative of a nerve being pinched somewhere between the joints of the neck and the wrist.
At Sports and Family Chiropractic we take the time to pinpoint exactly where the nerve is compressed so that we can quickly and accurately remove the blockage that is causing your discomfort. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about the treatment of carpal tunnel give us a call for a complimentary consultation.
Treatment we offer: Acupuncture for allergies
In one of our previous blog articles I mentioned acupuncture as a form of treatment we provide in the office. During allergy season, our patients receive acupuncture for their allergy symptoms that do not respond to medication. The treatments are effective in stopping and preventing symptoms like: runny nose, itchy eyes, sinus problems, sneezing, coughing, etc.
When your body has allergy symptoms, it is responding to your environment due to an increase in pollen, mold, etc. Your body responds easier to those stimulants due to the increase in energy that your body has for the stimulants. Acupuncture brings that energy down so your body isn’t as responsive to stimulants in your environment. That will result in stopping and/or preventing allergy symptoms.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information about acupuncture for allergies give us a call for a complimentary consultation.
Treatment we offer: Massage Therapy
A form of therapy that we now provide in our office in O'Fallon is massage therapy. Massage therapy is an effective tool for managing stress which can help decrease pain, decrease anxiety, increase circulation, and reduce fatigue.
Chiropractic care with the help of massage therapy can help maximize your recovery from back pain. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about massage therapy give us a call for a complimentary consultation.
Condition we treat: Back Pain
One of the most common conditions we see in O'Fallon, MO is back pain. Back pain can be in the neck, mid back, and low back.
Back pain can be caused by nerve pressure, arthritis, degenerative disc, muscle imbalances and spinal misalignments. The pain can be local in one specific spot or can shoot/radiate down the leg or arm. Shooting pain down the leg is also known as sciatica. This type of pain pattern results from nerve pressure in your low back.
Our job is to find out the root cause of your back pain and provide our safe and painless treatments to fix the cause. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want more information give us a call for a complimentary consultation.
Treatment we offer: Acupuncture
A treatment that we often use in our in O'Fallon is acupuncture. Acupuncture can be used for many different conditions in the body.
Acupuncture is all about balancing energy. Keeping the energy balanced allows the body to function properly. If you have too much energy then you might have stress, headaches, or high blood pressure. If you have too little energy then you might have addiction cravings, cold all the time, or fatigue. These are just few examples.
Some conditions we treat with acupuncture are pain management, migraines and headaches, addiction (smoking, food, etc), allergies, infertility, etc.
Acupuncture is a great way to safely and naturally balance out your energy. The treatments are safe and painless. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information on acupuncture feel free to give us a call for a complimentary consultation.
Condition We Treat: Car Accident Injuries
At our office in O’Fallon, MO we often see car accident injuries. From small parking lot accidents to highway crashes, car accidents can cause permanent damage to your spine and body. It takes only a 5 mph crash to cause damage to your spine and body.
Common injuries that occur with a car accident injury are: whiplash in the neck, headaches, low back pain, extremity pain, sprain or strain in your muscles and joints. Usually the symptoms occur right after the accident, but sometimes it takes a few days or even a week for you to feel the effects of the accident. After any car accident it is always a good idea to get examined to prevent permanent damage to your body.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas want to get examined due to a recent car accident feel free to give us a call for a complimentary exam so you can get back to your active lifestyle without pain!
Condition We Treat: Headaches
A condition we often see at our office in O’Fallon are headaches. There are 2 types of headaches: primary and secondary. The main types of primary headaches we see are cluster, migraine, and tension. Over activity of the chemicals in your brain, blood vessels, or nerves can cause headaches to occur.
When a patient comes in with headaches, we usually see areas in their upper cervical spine that applies pressure to the nerves going to the brain. This nerve pressure can cause their headaches.
Other factors that can contribute to headaches are diet, stress, muscle tension or imbalances, and underlying conditions which can result in secondary headaches.
An example of a secondary headache would be a headache from a concussion.
Headaches are not normal and using medication to manage them should only be a short-term response. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want to look for a long term solution to headaches feel free to give us a call for a complimentary exam so you can get back to your active lifestyle without pain!
Condition We Treat: Sciatica
A condition we often see at our office in O’Fallon, MO is sciatica. Your body has a nerve called the Sciatic Nerve. This nerve starts from your lower back goes down your buttocks into your legs and ends in your feet.
Sciatica occurs when your sciatic nerve is pinched in your lower back. This pinching can occur due to a bulging disc, bone growth due to arthritis, or a misalignment in your spine.
Usually the area where you feel the pain is not where the nerve is pinched. For example, sciatica can cause pain to radiate to your butt, leg, or feet.
If a nerve stays pinched long enough, irreversible damage can occur. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas have a pinched nerve feel free to give us a call for a complimentary exam so you can get back to your active lifestyle without pain!
Condition We Treat: Pinched Nerve
A condition we often see at our office in O’Fallon, MO is a pinched nerve. Nerves help relay messages from the brain and spinal cord to your body. When you have an area that pinches the nerve it can cause you pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations.
A pinched nerve can occur in many places in your body. Areas that get used repeatedly and have small spaces are usually more susceptible to a nerve being pinched.
Usually the area where you feel the pain is not where the nerve is pinched. For example, a pinched nerve in your neck can cause pain to radiate to your shoulder, arm or hands. A pinched nerve in your low back can cause pain to radiate to your butt, leg, or feet.
If a nerve stays pinched long enough, irreversible damage can occur. If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO areas have a pinched nerve feel free to give us a call for a complimentary exam so you can get back to your active lifestyle without pain!
Condition we treat: Runner's Knee
Another common condition that we see in O'Fallon, MO is runner’s knee. This is pain around the knee cap usually due to overuse. The pain can also come from trauma, muscle imbalances, wearing the wrong shoes, and misalignments in your leg. Runner’s knee isn’t just seen in runners, anyone who is active and has pain around tyour kneecap can have runner’s knee.
We treat runner’s knee with a combination of rehab stretches and exercises, physiotherapy, alignment of the joints in the leg and hips, and running form analysis. Also, we check their shoes to make sure that it’s a right fit for the patient’s body type and activity.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas have knee cap pain then you might have runner’s knee. Feel free to give us a call for a complimentary exam so you can get back to your active lifestyle without knee pain!
Conditions we treat: Plantar Fasciitis
One of the most common causes of heel pain we treat in our office in O'Fallon, MO is plantar fasciitis. Your plantar fascia is a thick tissue that runs under your foot connecting your heel to the rest of the bones in your foot. Due to overuse the tissue swells and starts to cause heel and arch pain. This is most commonly seen in runners and patients who are overweight.
If you are having heel pain or arch pain with your first few steps in the morning or after you have been on your feet for an extended period of time, you may have plantar fasciitis.
Our patients with plantar fasciitis respond well to our treatments. With a combination of ultrasound, cross friction therapy, release technique, stretching and strengthening our patients are able to go back to enjoying activities that require them to be on their feet.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO area is experiencing heel or arch pain please give us a call for a complimentary consultation. The longer the plantar fasciitis persists the greater the chance a heel spur will develop.
Here is one of our chiropractors, Dr. David DeClue giving a tour of our office. If you have any questions about chiropractic, our chiropractors in O'Fallon, or just want more information please give us a call. We proudly serve the O'Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Dardenne Prairie, and Wentzville areas.
Why am I doing a blog
Going through undergrad and graduate school I had to write a lot of papers. From analyzing a novel to a 30 page project backing up a thesis. Never did I think I was going to write a blog every week discussing topics about the body. Once we got the website up and running I thought that was it. All of our info was on the website and if people want to find us they can read our info and go from there. After a few months of being open, I googled ‘chiropractor in O’Fallon, MO’. The results were not great. We didn’t even rank in the first page of results. Which meant that people in pain trying to get help from us couldn’t find us online. From there, I asked handful of search engine optimization companies and they said one thing to help improve your search result is to write a blog.
Next I wanted to look at different blog websites and see what would work best with our office. If I had to write a blog I didn’t want to bore people or use jargon that makes me sound like a med school text book. So, I looked at topics from health to beauty to fitness and even to home improvement blogs. After reading different variations of blogs and looking at different websites, I knew what type of things I wanted to discuss and how I wanted to approach it. Not sure if you can tell from reading up to this point, but I wanted the blog to be very casual and very conversation like. I didn’t want the health info to be too formal and using too many big words. That would just result in the helpful info being passed over and possibly too confusing for patients to understand.
Discussing back pain, headaches, tendonitis, muscle strains, joint sprains, and any other type of health topic is never fun to write or read about. Making it casual and lighthearted will make the read easier so that the patient can absorb the information. Being casual shouldn’t take away from the seriousness of some of the topics, the goal is to educate and allow the patient to grasp the info in a way they’re familiar with.
If you or someone you know in the O’Fallon, MO, Lake St. Louis, Wentzville, and Dardenne Prairie areas want more information about our office please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or call.