car-accident-3

Chiropractor after a Minor Accident?

Should I See a Chiropractor After a Minor Accident?

By: Dr. Bryan Stotz

car-accident-3It is not uncommon for someone to come into our office with a chronic issue and a history of a “minor” car accident years ago, or for an existing member of
our practice to experience an unusual increase in their symptoms, only to find out they were in a “fender bender” a few weeks back. While a fender bender may only leave minor damage to your car, your body is a different story. In fact, the less damage sustained by your car means the more your body absorbed the impact. This makes it vital to get checked by a chiropractor after an accident.

WHY SEE A CHIROPRACTOR?

Following a major accident, most everyone can agree that going to the emergency room is a good idea. However, what most do not realize is that minor accidents can cause long term issues, weeks, months, or even years later. A study out of Yale University found that accidents occurring at a speed of just 8.2 MPH or more causes significant damage to the spine and surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons (Davis, 1998). This means that bones can shift out of alignment or become restricted in their motion putting pressure on the nerves that leave the spine. This not only causes pain but also can lead to degenerative changes to the spine and further health problems down the road

JUST CAR ACCIDENTS?

It is important to get your spine checked following any sort of accident, no matter how “minor” it may seem. What do you think happens to your spine if you were to trip while walking down the sidewalk or were wrestling too hard with your kids over the weekend? Muscle aches, soreness, pain, headaches, and other symptoms associated with accidents may not occur until 24-72 hours after the accident. Just because you are not in pain does not mean you shouldn’t consider professional treatment.

HERE’S HOW CHIROPRACTIC CAN HELP

  • Reduces pain– By restoring your body’s natural alignment and taking pressure off the nerves, reducing stress on the body.
  • Restores motion- By restoring motion to your spine chiropractic care can get you back to doing the things you love to do, quicker.
  • Prevents further damage- by restoring your body’s natural alignment, shifting your body’s weight back to the normal weight-bearing areas of the spine, it prevents further degeneration and all the chronic symptoms that come with it.

Following any accident we would be happy to take a series of motion study X-rays. This allows us to determine exactly what’s working and what’s not and tailor our care directly to your needs.

*Davis, C.G. Rear-end impacts: vehicle and occupant response. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 1998, 21(9): 629-39.*

Fitting Chiropractic Into Your Schedule

Fitting Chiropractic Care Into Your Schedule

Fitting Chiropractic Into Your ScheduleThese days life is all about the hustle and bustle. Between our work schedules, kids’ extracurricular activities, kids’ school schedules, trying to squeeze in a work out on our lunch break or running errands…It’s easy to see how life can sometimes get in the way.

I often have patients tell me “I must be your most troublesome patient! I am always rescheduling. Can I just give you a call, that way I won’t keep bothering you?” and my honest answer is… “I would rather you schedule something with me now. It’s not a bother, I am here to serve you.” When you have an appointment already on the schedule, it is easier than remembering to call and schedule an appointment, in my opinion. Setting something up, even if it is tentative, at least keeps the appointment on your radar and mine.

In fact, many of you know that we like to schedule our patient’s appointments in advance; whether you are coming 3 times a week, every other week, or once a month. The reason we do this is because we want to make sure that your spinal health and wellness is a top priority for you, just like it is for us!

When you start care at our practice, you have generally come to us with an ailment and the desire to get help. You start off great, making every appointment, but before you know it a work meeting gets scheduled at the same time as your appointment and you forget to reschedule with us. My job as Chiropractic Advocate is to ensure that you attend your appointments as often as possible and that you reschedule any appointments you were unable to make. (You can read more about that on my previous blog titled Make up Appointments and Orange Slips). We have noticed that when you schedule in advance and you are able to plan for your appointment, it is easier to establish it as part of your day. Even more simple when your dates/times can be consistent! However, I would rather you call me 6 times in one day to switch up your appointment, than not have anything on the schedule for you at all. We just want to keep you on track.

On that note, you can also text me!

We now have a service that allows us to text with our patients in real time. If you are running late or need to reschedule you can simply send a text to your reminder message and you should get a reply back in minutes. If it is outside of our business hours, we will always try to reply in a timely manner, but you will absolutely receive a reply on the next shift.

Chiropractic Visits For Life

Chiropractic Visits For Life?

Chiropractic Visits For LifeI get the question “Will I have to visit a chiropractor office for the rest of my life?” on an almost daily basis. So, I wanted to take some time to write about the topic in this article.

My response to this question is always very gentle, however in my head I’m thinking “Do you ask your dentist if you have to brush your teeth for the rest of your life? Would you ask your trainer if you have to work out for the rest of your life? Would you ask a nutritionist if you have to eat healthy for the rest of your life?” It seems silly, right? If given the opportunity I’m sure your dentist, trainer and nutritionist would all say the same thing… If you want to have healthy teeth, then yes. If you want to look and feel healthy, then absolutely.

Brushing teeth, exercising and eating healthy are all thought of as routines that we should do daily to help us enhance our life experience. So, why is it that we don’t think the same when it comes to our spine? If we don’t keep the spine healthy it can affect everything!

3 Simple Truths

*Subluxation = nerve interference*

  1. Our bodies are self-healing and self-regulating.
  2. The nervous system controls everything in our bodies.
  3. If there is interference to the nervous system, it prevents you from healing and functioning optimally.

*Adjustments remove subluxations*

As we age and our bodies undergo stress, our spine can begin to breakdown and degenerate. As it progresses it can interfere with the nervous system, which interferes with your body’s ability to heal and regulate itself. That’s what is so frustrating. People come into our office taking pill after pill, all the while get sicker and sicker. They don’t realize that no pill is going to keep their spine healthy. A pill or drug is definitely NOT going to correct a problem once it’s there.

Ask us how you can get and keep your spine healthy for a lifetime of wellness. And yes, just like going to the gym, you have to do it for the rest of your life if you want to reap the benefits!

Text Neck

What Is Text Neck & How To Fix It

Text NeckWatch out! Pay attention!…these are things you may hear as you walk down the street with your eyes looking down at your phone while you reply to that last text message. Aside from impacting your immediate physical health from falling 30 feet down that manhole in front of you, constantly looking down at your phone has an even greater impact on your health than you may think.

In my last blog, I talked about the importance of maintaining a nice curve in your neck. If you missed it, you can find it here. Things that can reduce the curve of our neck include physical trauma, poor posture, and repetitive stress- such as constantly looking down at something. Given that nearly 80% of the population has a cell phone on them 22 out of 24 hours a day, I would say that most people are repetitively looking down at their phones and last I checked, gravity does not take any days off.

What is Text Neck?

While it may not be an official term yet, most scientific publications are stating that ‘text neck’ is at epidemic levels. Symptoms of text neck include:

  • Neck pain
  • Upper back pain
  • Shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Cervical nerve impingement

This can also lead to more chronic issues such as degeneration of the vertebral bones, headaches, and not to mention irritating the nerves that leave the spine.

How Does Text Neck Affect Your Spine & Health?

Because of the effects of gravity, for every 15 degrees of forward head posture we can expect to add about 15 lbs to the weight of our head. That means that at 60 degrees the added weight of our head can be as much as 60 lbs!! This puts immense stress on the muscles of our neck. These muscles become stretched and strained and are unable to help us maintain that natural curve in our spine. The bones of the spine then move out of place or become restricted in their motion. This puts pressure on the nerves that leave the spine that go to places like your sinuses, neck, and even our heart! Leading to more chronic health issues that go beyond just an aching neck.

Text Neck Solutions

  • Improve your posture – Hold your phone up at eye level. While this may appear “awkward” to the passerby, your neck will thank you later. The same applies to your computer at work; make sure the screen is at eye level to help you avoid looking down. If you have to look down, only use your eyes if you can help it, save your spine!
  • Take breaks – Try not to look down at your phone for more than 30 seconds at a time. This prevents over stressing the elastic fibers of your neck.
  • Exercise – performing neck stretches and strengthening exercises can help restore the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that surround your spine. Ask us for some of our favorite, simple exercises that you can perform for your neck.
  • Get adjusted – Lastly, but possibly most importantly, is to get your spine checked for subluxations. These are caused from bones being restricted in their motion putting pressure on the nerves. By removing subluxations this not only takes pressure off the nerves but can also help maintain or promote a more natural curve in your neck.

So the next time you feel the need to look down to send that text message, remember its not only your health that could be impacted but also the health of the person reading that message. I’d suggest giving that person a call instead, I bet they’d love to hear your voice on occasion!

Midtown Atlanta Chiropractor

What to Expect in Our Office

Midtown Atlanta ChiropractorWhen visiting a chiropractor, whether it is your first time ever or your first time with that practice, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. With so many stories out there, some good and some bad (just like there are good doctors and bad doctors, good dentists and bad dentists), it is only natural for us to want to be prepared.

There are so many different types of practices, ones that focus on performance health for athletes, offices that are centered around taking care of families, ones that use only specific types of adjusting techniques, etc. Our practice keeps the patients the center of it all, as it should be.

About Us

At our practice we are happy to take care of patients of ALL ages, we focus on corrective and wellness care and even do prenatal, injury and performance care. Our Doctors use the following techniques:

  • Diversified
  • Gonstead
  • Thompson
  • Pettibon

We are mainly a referral based practice. We don’t do any outside advertising so most of our patients are from word of mouth. It’s quite common to witness friends/acquaintances/neighbors run into each other when coming in for their appointment at our office. As big as Atlanta is, it can be a small world! It makes for a really comfortable and authentic environment.

First Time Patients

When you come to our office for the first time, you should expect to be warmly greeted by a member of our staff and given your paperwork to begin. On your first visit, the Doctor will be doing an in depth consultation, exam, assessment and will take any x-rays that might be necessary. We want to establish why it is you came to see us and ask you questions that will really shed a light on issues you may not have even thought a chiropractor could help!

The Doctor will typically schedule your second visit the following day, or soon there-after, to go over his findings with you and get you started with whatever care he recommends. Sometimes we get the question “Will I get adjusted on my first visit?” Normally the Doctor requires enough time to go over your x-rays and consultation forms before adjusting you so that he is sure to know exactly how to best take care of your needs. Often times our schedule does not allow that in the same day. However, it is very much a case by case basis.

Why We Do Things This Way

For us, chiropractic care is more than just pain relief. We want to educate our community on the importance of spinal health and what that means. We want to make it easier to connect the dots and make sense of your body and how it works.

Why do we adjust the spine and how can that adjustment possibly reduce your headaches, stop the tingling in your hands, improve your allergies or help you sleep better? All valid questions, we just need some of your time to answer! We believe that learning is an everlasting process and our job is ultimately taking care of YOU and giving you the tools to help yourself as well. Contact us to schedule an appointment by clicking here.

Chiropractic Adjustment Kids Midtown Atlanta

Do Kids Need Chiropractic Adjustments?

I’ve been noticing lately that many of our patients have been leaving the kids at home when coming to get adjusted. Or, they bring children in to their appointments, only to leave them in the waiting room. Some parents do bring children into the room to watch them receive an immune-boosting, life-saving, adjustment, only to then walk out without having their children checked.

It’s my fault. I have failed to educate you when it comes to the importance of getting your kids adjusted. I’m sure you have questions. Do kids need chiropractic adjustments? Is it safe for kids and babies to be adjusted? What should I look for to know if they need to be checked? Why would a perfect little baby need to see a chiropractor?

Is it Safe?

Chiropractic care is extremely safe for your child. We use very gentle adjustments and different techniques than you’re accustomed to as an adult. We would be happy to go over these techniques with you so you can feel more comfortable prior to bringing your kids in.

Why Would a Child Need Chiropractic Care?

Obviously if your child has back or neck pain, we can help. Many of the problems we have as an adult are a result of not just one occurrence, but many micro traumas over time. What I wish my parents knew is that getting adjusted from an early age can minimize or even eliminate any effect that bumps and falls (and even the birthing process) can have on our spinal joints. Much of the degeneration we see later in life is a result of past trauma.

When Should They Get Checked?

As we just talked about, subluxation can start as early as the birthing process. We recommend getting your child checked for subluxation as early as possible. Dr. Greg has checked many babies at just hours old and even checked his twin boys in the NICU! Graham needed an adjustment. Arthur was good to go! 🙂

We think all children should be checked? And we will check your child anytime! Complimentary! But, for those of you not sold on wellness and prevention. Here are some things to look for that may indicate your child needs chiropractic care:

  • Help with breastfeeding
  • Colic
  • Digestive problems
  • Allergies
  • Sleep problems
  • Bed wetting
  • Physical developmental delays
  • Developmental milestones: begin to hold up head, sitting, crawling, walking
  • Colds
  • Ear infections
  • Falls/rough plays
  • Not feeling themselves

For more information visit the ICPA website. Click below to learn more about Children and Chiropractic Care!
http://icpa4kids.org/About-the-ICPA/why-chiropractic-for-children.html

Cervical Spine Curve

Importance of Cervical Spine Curve

Cervical Spine CurveIt is easy to see how the structure of something can help determine its function. Structure and function are intimately intertwined. You wouldn’t buy a bike with square tires because the curves of the wheel serve a purpose for the proper function of the bike. As chiropractors we look at spine with the same perspective. The structure and curve, cervical spine curve, of your spine gives us an indication of how your body is functioning, or how we can expect it to function in the future.

Cervical Spine Curve

When you visit our office, you will notice that we are particularly concerned about the curve, or lack thereof, of the neck, also known as the cervical spine. The seven vertebral bones that make up the cervical spine form a wide “C” shaped curvature, with the curve going toward the front of the neck. Several factors can lead to a loss of this curve resulting in a straightened neck, or even a reversed curve. These factors include:

  • accidents
  • repetitive stress
  • or simply poor posture

So why is a cervical spine curve in particular so important for the overall function of your body?

Importance of Cervical Spine Curve

First of all, the cervical spine supports the head, keeping it upright and centered. Our bodies want to keep our head upright and level and if the cervical curve is lost the rest of the spine and supporting musculature will have to work harder to make up the difference. Placing added stress on the supporting muscles and ligaments of the neck and upper back to hold the head upright can lead to chronic “tension”, pain, and even headaches. An improper curve also places added stress on the discs of the spine, leading to degeneration of these discs as well as the vertebral bones that surround them. If left uncorrected, this can lead to restricted movement and chronic pain, among other things.

Quite possibly the most important part of having a normal cervical curve is it allows for optimal nerve function and proper communication from the brain to the rest of the body. The misalignment and restricted movement of the vertebral bones caused from a loss of cervical curve can choke off or irritate the nerves that leave through the spine in this region. The nerves in this area go to places like the skull, eyes, sinuses, and even heart and if left uncorrected can potentially cause headaches, sinus issues, or heart conditions.

So what do we do to help restore a natural curve to the neck?

Restoring Cervical Spine Curve

  1. Adjustments – Adjustments ensure proper alignment and motion of the vertebral bones of the neck. This is the foundation for helping to restore a normal curve in the neck in which all other therapies can build on.
  2. Cervical traction/Denneroll – Improves the endurance, mobility, and agility of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the spine that can be damaged or stressed as a result of losing the curve. .
  3. Exercises/Stretches – As a part of our corrective care plan we include proper strengthening exercises and stretches to help improve posture, and relieve tension on the supporting musculature. This will help combat the repetitive stresses throughout the day that can wreak havoc on your curve.

X-rays help us to see the structure of your cervical curve. If you have any questions about your cervical spine curve, we would be happy to show it to you…just Contact Us to schedule an appointment.

Immune System Health

Immune System Health and Chiropractic

Immune System Health

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison

When most people think or hear about chiropractic care, they initially associate it with back or neck pains. While there are many of benefits of chiropractic care, this article’s focus is Immune System Health.

As the chiropractic advocate of our office, a big part of my job is answering emails and the telephone. On the occasion when a patient is calling to cancel or reschedule their appointment due to illness (nausea, cold, allergies, body aches, you name it!) I always advise them to still come in. Why would I do that, you ask? Because an adjustment can boost your immune system by up to 200%!

When the spine is in alignment and free of subluxation, there is no interference with the nerves, which means every organ, blood vessel and muscle is able to function as it is meant to. Removing those subluxations creates a safe space for the body to begin healing itself. In fact, we believe that your body is actually expressing HEALTH by being symptomatic. It means that the body knows something is not right and is trying to correct it… Raising your body temperature is a great example. If you could get away from taking over the counter cold medicines, or allergy pills, would you? Giving your immune system that boost it needs will have you feeling better, faster.

We have your best health in mind. We want to know that we have given you the tools and our recommendations to take care of yourself easily and efficiently. Not to mention, there are so many natural ways to get the vitamins, anti-oxidants and nourishment you need!

Some tips and tricks I personally use when feeling sinus or allergy issues coming on:

Tips to Boost Immune System

  • Local, raw, organic honey (I get mine from our office)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (I usually chase it with the honey)
  • A lot of rest!
  • Liquids – I like a nice balance between water and juice. Arden’s Garden or Kale Me Crazy are my go tos.
  • Other natural anti-oxidants such as garlic, ginger, Echinacea, turmeric, pineapple, etc.
  • Hot Tea (my favorites are the Yogi Tea’s Triple Echinacea, Throat Comfort and Bedtime tea)
  • Using a NetiPot

**I know this may leave some of you wondering about contagiousness. If you are contagious or believe yourself to be (ex: strep throat) there are measures we always take to assure our patients are protected.

Source:

http://www.naturalnews.com/031206_chiropractic_immunity.html

Common Sleeping Positions

Common Sleeping Positions

Common Sleeping PositionsThroughout the day we often hear a lot of people say, “I must have slept funny” or “I just woke up feeling this way.” It is not uncommon to wake up from what was intended to be a restful night’s sleep feeling anything but and even feeling a few new aches and pains. We’ve all experienced it! Sleep is a necessity for healing and is vital to our overall health and well-being.

While we only spend 1/3 of our day sleeping, this sleep impacts how we function the other 2/3 of the day. This can affect our ability to:

  • Operate heavy machinery
  • Make decisions
  • Problem solve
  • Control our emotions

Sleep plays an important role in our mental health, emotional health, physical health, and safety. Improper sleeping posture can cause tension in your supporting muscular and skeletal system, which can cause irritation on the nerves leaving your spinal cord. Not only can this cause aches and pain but also lead to other health problems because the nerves from the spine control every organ system, organ, and cell in our body!

We wanted to review the 3 common sleeping positions and provide some tips on implementing them properly.

1) Back Sleeping

This is the position that we recommend as it produces a neutral position for your spine and spinal cord, requiring less energy from the supporting muscular system. A pillow is not always necessary in this position but, if one is desired, a flat pillow is the best choice to prevent a forward head and neck posture all night long.

2) Side Sleeping

This is a common choice for many people, especially those used to sleeping on their stomachs, but proper pillow placement is key! A straight line from your head, through your neck and spine should always be maintained. It is important that the pillow supports your head and eliminates the gap between your neck and the mattress. Too much support can create unwanted tension on the neck and upper back. Next time in the office ask us about the pillow we recommend for this position!

Another tip for this position is to place a pillow between your knees. This will prevent rotation of the pelvis and reduce strain on the lower back.

3) Stomach Sleeping

Disclaimer: This position is NEVER recommended and should be avoided at all costs!! Sleeping on your stomach with your head turned to one side creates a lot of tension on the neck and upper back resulting in a lot of common ailments seen in our office.

Bonus Tip

Consider the position of your arms while you sleep. Sleeping with your arms above your head in any position can create tension in the lower neck and upper back. Holding a pillow can help put your arms in a relaxed and comfortable position.

If you have any questions about your sleeping posture or sleep habits, please leave a comment below or ask next time you’re in the office!

Chiropractic For Hand Tingling & Numbness

Chiropractic For Hand Tingling & Numbness

Chiropractic For Hand Tingling and NumbnessIn this article we are going to share a story, which is an actual interaction from our office, about a patient with numbness and tingling in their hands.

Initial Visit:

Dr. Graham: Do you have any other healthcare or wellness goals?

Patient: Well, I wish my fingers didn’t go numb all the time. But, you can’t do anything about that.

Dr. Graham: How long has that been going on?

Patient: Ever since college. I had carpal tunnel surgery, but it didn’t help. I sometimes take muscle relaxers or Aleve if they become painful.

Dr. Graham: Can you see how these bones aren’t moving properly? And can you see the degeneration in these joints here? The nerves that exit the spine here go all the way down your arm into your hands and fingers. So, if this bone isn’t moving, putting pressure on your nerves and causing the numbness in your hands, what wrist surgery is gonna correct this (pointing to the neck)? And what pill is gonna get that bone moving?

2 Weeks Into Care:

Patient: Today was the first time in ten years I’ve woke up with no numbness in my hands!

3 Simple Truths

  1. The body is self-healing and self regulating.
  2. The nervous system controls everything in your body.
  3. If there is interference to your nervous system then it interferes with your body’s ability to heal and regulate.

I see at least 1 patient a week who tells me they have just learned to live with tingling and numbness in their hands. They almost always have tried medication, physical therapy, and injections. Some have had nerve conduction studies, had the nerves burned, or even an unsuccessful carpal tunnel surgery. Carpal tunnel surgeries are only about 20% successful. Getting the nerve burned just sounds like a bad idea to me. And in many cases the medication people take for numbness and tingling (or medications you may be taking for other problems) is exactly what’s causing the numbness and tingling.

Have you ever listened to medication commercial when they cheerfully, but quietly let you know that it may cause the exact problem you taking it for. I recently listened to a drug commercial for an antidepressant that said “may cause depression, suicidal thoughts or death.” Death? Really?

If you have numbness and tingling in your arms, hands and/or fingers and have tried everything, even had surgery, and still no success, an evaluation of the cervical spine should be your next step. With regular chiropractic adjustments, corrective exercises, and an anti-inflammatory diet (including fish oil which helps with nerve repair) we’ve been able to save many of our patients from a lifetime and numb and tingling fingers!

If you’re local to our office please give us a call, or find a chiropractor near you to schedule an evaluation!