Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Perfect Pillow

If you are consistently waking up in the morning with back pain, it is likely due to sleep posture, your pillow or your mattress. When choosing a pillow there really is no "correct" choice. Why, you may ask? Everyone is made differently. We are all different heights, shapes and widths. So, finding the perfect pillow is like finding the perfect pair of shoes...find what fits you best.

We give a few tips in our office to help guide your decision:
  • If you are a back sleeper, choose a pillow that will allow your head/chin to remain slightly extended. You want to make sure that your chin is not flexed too far forward (ladies avoid that double chin). If your pillow is pushing your head too far foward, the natural curvature of your neck is straightened and the muscles that connect neck, shoulders and head will remain tight throughout the night.
  • If you are a side sleeper, choose a pillow that will keep your head in a neutral position. If your pillow is so large that it pushes your head up toward your shoulders, then it can cause altered posture and tight muscles. If the pillow is so flat that is leans your head too close to the bed then you are in the same dilemma. Staying neutral is the key!
  • If the current pillow you are using is older than three years, toss it out! It's time for a fresh start! After three years the amount of support you are going to get from that pillow has exceeded it's limit.
  • Side and back sleep positions are idea. Stay off that belly! Sleeping on your belly keeps you neck in a constant state of rotation. This will shorten muscles on one side and lengthen them on the other. This will predispose you to misalignments of the cervical vertebra, or an increase in muscle tension and incorrect posture. 
  • Brands are not necessarily important. Again, find what fits may be a $2 pillow! In our office we offer a couple of choices including ChiroFlow water based pillows. These pillows are idea for side sleepers. The water in the bottom will help the pillow mold to your shoulder width and keep your head in a neutral position. For more information on ChiroFlow visit:
To purchase a ChiroFlow pillow ($45), visit our office on Sycamore Street in downtown Williamsburg or call (606) 549-4811.

Christopher Chiropractic. Feel better. Enjoy life.      

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Beat the Heat! Come Run With Us!

Each year Christopher Chiropractic and the Whitley County Health Department team up to bring the 1-Mile Beat the Heat Walk/Run to Williamsburg. Our combined efforts, along with the help of our sponsors and the help of our participants help to provide air conditioners for families in need in Whitley County.

This year's race will be held on Friday, August 1, 2014 at 8:00pm. Help us make a difference in the community by participating in this year's race!

Click the orange registration link above for more information and registration!

Mark your calendars and register now to take advantage of our early bird registration!

For more information on the race including registration or sponsorship opportunities call (606) 549-4811.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"If you don't use it, you loose it!"

"If you don't use it, you loose it!"
Sounds simple enough right? Your body tends to be very similar to an automobile. Just like a car, your body needs good fuel (food and water) and regular maintenance (exercise and movement) to run well and stay well.
If you park a car for 50 years, what happens to that car? It breaks down! The body of the car rusts (deteriorates), the tires go flat and I guarantee if you try to start that car after 50 years of non use, it will not start!

Your body is the same way, if you park it (in a chair) for 50 years, I guarantee it's not going to move and function well. It's as simple as that "if you don't use it, you loose it."

We have a sitting epidemic in America. How many hours did you sit yesterday?

The longer we sit the more dysfunctional our bodies become. Joints get misaligned from lack of movement and poor posture, digestion slows, and we begin to break down at a much faster rate than necessary!

How do we resolve that issue? Very simple: START MOVING!!

We tell patient's with spinal issues that have resulted from chronic sitting to not sit longer than 30 minutes without moving and stretching. We also suggest the use of a vestibular disc to sit on or replacement of your desk chair with a swiss ball. Other than that...get off your butt and start moving!

Your body, specifically your spine will thank you. You will thank yourself 50 years from now when you don't have deteriorating discs and spinal joints, when your vertebral discs are "well inflated," and you can still move.

Where does chiropractic come into play with that? Like a car with a mechanic a spine needs a chiropractor. A simple adjustment from a chiropractor is a great way to maintain your body's proper alignment and keep you moving at 100%

Get checked today by your chiropractor before your "check engine light" of pain comes on.
Prevent any issues that might come from "parking" that body all day, all month, and all year.

Move! Feel better and enjoy life more. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why is Low Back Pain So Common?

           Why is low back pain so common?  This question has plagued all of us, including researchers, for a long time!  Could it be because we’re all inherently lazy and don’t exercise enough? Or maybe it’s because we have a job that’s too demanding on our back?  To properly address this question, here are some interesting facts:

1.      The prevalence of low back pain (LBP) is common, as 70-85% of ALL PEOPLE have back pain that requires treatment of some sort at some time in life.
2.      On a yearly basis, the annual prevalence of back pain averages 30% and once you have back pain, the likelihood of recurrence is high.
3.      Back pain is the most common cause of activity limitation in people less than 45 years of age.
4.      Back pain is the 2nd most frequent reason for physician visits, the 5th ranking reason for hospital admissions, and is the 3rd most common cause for surgical procedures.
5.      About 2% of the US workforce receives compensation for back injuries annually.
6.      Similar statistics exist for other countries, including the UK and Sweden.

            So, what are the common links as to why back pain is so common?  One reason has to do with the biomechanics of the biped – that is, the two legged animal. When compared to the 4-legged species, the vertically loaded spine carries more weight in the low back, shows disk and joint deterioration and/or arthritis much sooner, and we overload the back more frequently because, well, we can! We have 2 free arms to lift and carry items that often weigh way too much for our back to be able to safely handle. We also lift and carry using poor technique. Another reason is anatomical as the blood supply to our disks is poor at best, and becomes virtually non-existent after age 30.  That makes healing of disk tears or cracks nearly impossible. Risk factors for increased back injury include heavy manual lifting requirements, poor or low control of the work environment, and prior incidence of low back pain.

            Other risk factors include psychosocial issues such as fear of injury, beliefs that pain means one should not work, beliefs that treatment or time will not help resolve a back episode, the inability to control the condition, high anxiety and/or depression levels, and more.  Because there are so many reasons back problems exist, since the early 1990’s, it has been strongly encouraged that we as health care providers utilize a “biopsychosocial model” of managing those suffering with low back pain, which requires not only treatment but proper patient education putting to rest unnecessary fears about back pain.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Healthy Gardening Tips From The American Chiropractic Association

As springtime approaches, weather warms up and leaves turn green, many people will spend more time outside planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. Gardening can provide a great workout, but  with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, your body may not be ready for exercise of the garden variety.

Gardening can be enjoyable, but it is important to stretch your muscles before reaching for your gardening tools. The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb.

"A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity," said Dr. Scott Bautch of the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) Council on Occupational Health.

"Performing simple stretches during these periods will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness."

To make gardening as fun and enjoyable as possible, it is important to prepare your body for this type of physical activity. The following stretches will help to alleviate muscle pain after a day spent in your garden.

Garden Fitness Stretches
  1. Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the no pain, no gain rule. Stretching should not be painful.
  2. While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
  3. Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
  4. While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other.  Repeat this stretch three times.
  5. Do the "Hug your best friend." Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.

Finally, be aware of your body technique, form and posture while gardening. Kneel, don't bend, and alternate your stance and movements frequently.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What Should I Eat to be Healthy ?

Do you want to know an easy way to tell if a food is "healthy"?

There are many things to take into consideration, but here's one easy rule to remember: As often as possible, we want the name of the food to be the same as the ingredients in the food.

For example, the only ingredient in carrots is carrots. The only ingredient in water is water. The only ingredient in chicken is chicken.

If we are not careful, we tend to take those perfectly good foods and consume them in a way that mixes them with butter, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, or any number of other things that do not follow the name-ingredient rule. When we do that we almost always make the food less healthy than it would otherwise be.

Today let's skip the ranch dressing and soda. Instead we can just have plain ole' carrots and water. Our bodies will thank us for it.

Christopher Chiropractic. Feel Better. Enjoy Life.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dr. Elizabeth's Interview

As we mentioned a few days ago, Dr. Elizabeth was honored with the chance to speak for WYMT about receiving their scholarship as a college student. Check out her interview by clicking the following link. Again, congrats Dr. Elizabeth, we are super proud of you.  

Dr. Elizabeth's Interview