The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that “3,300 children aged 5 to 14 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to book bags”. Dr. Russell Brokstein, DC discusses how to prevent your child/children from injuring their spines with their backpacks. Repetitive postural strains your child experiences today can have a dramatic effect on the health of their spine for many years to come. Early arthritis, disc degeneration, as well as pain and dysfunction can come as a result of what your kids do now.
As a chiropractor in Freehold, NJ, I am constantly reading articles, papers and blogs about different topics so I can further share with my community. Today I was reading an article from a fellow chiropractor in St. George, Utah. His series of blogs covers everything pertaining to car accidents, from whiplash injuries, strains and sprains, typical symptoms with whiplash type injuries, some home care and most importantly why chiropractic is so important with whiplash and other auto injuries. You can read all about whiplash at his blog: Your Whiplash Injury
So many people get into car accidents of various severity. Some are little fender benders and others end up with total destruction of the car. Important to note is severity of the injuries do not always match the damage to a car. Even a small 5 MPH bumper hit can cause whiplash and other bodily injuries. Unfortunately most people will go to a hospital or medical doctor after the accident, and you are told you are fine as the X-rays are normal. The fact is, hospitals and medical doctors just look for broken bones on the x-rays and miss the most important of the injuries: soft tissue injuries and spinal misalignment.
Many times, people don’t know they were injured because they have no symptoms immediately after the accident. Then 5, 10, 20 or more years later, all of a sudden you start to experience neck pain, back pain, headaches or migraines, even numbness and tingling, not knowing what the cause was. A chiropractor that has worked with car accident injuries can put the puzzle together and show you how it was related to your past accident and treat you properly to correct the underlying cause of the symptoms.
If you have been in a car accident, whether you are in pain or not, you should go to a chiropractor that has experience with auto accidents and have a thorough chiropractic and neurologic evaluation to make sure no long term damage was done. It is much easier to take care of the problem immediately post accident versus waiting until you have more symptoms and scar tissue has formed years down the road.
We have 13 years experience treating auto injuries in our Freehold, NJ chiropractic office located in Monmouth County.
If you are in Utah, make sure to look up Dr. Todd Lloyd, DC as he also had many years of experience treating these types of conditions:
Many people suffer from chronic pain after an auto accident. Not only do you experience the injury but there is an experience of stress due to the pain and inactivity due to the pain and recovery. Leading whiplash researchers have recently released new information finding that you are at higher risk of developing long-term symptoms as a result of the stress experienced from a car accident. The more chronic a problem is, the more it will affect the quality of your daily living. It will affect the activities you do, ability to spend time with family and friends, and affect things as simple as work and sleep.
44 patients were evaluated in a research study. They had whiplash injuries from an accident in the month before. Each went thru a physical exam, an MRI to evaluate the structure of the muscles, and testing for post-traumatic stress disorder also known as PTSD.
The patients that had both high initial pain levels and signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder were most likely to develop chronic pain. The patients with PTSD didn’t only have injury to the spine but they also had obvious changes in the structure of the supporting muscles in the neck and upper back. The damage to the spine extended beyond just the bones, nerves and discs, but the reaction to the stress creates a pathological change in the muscles.
Early intervention is the key to prevent chronicity of the pain and scar tissue that develops with whiplash. Many times, accident victims don’t get evaluated after the accident due to the lack of or minimal amount of pain they are experiencing. As research proves, the earlier you get checked, you can avoid future problems that can show up weeks, months and even years down the road. Many times people come into our office with neck pain, numbness and tinglings, headaches or other symptoms that they don’t know how they started, but upon consultation and evaluation it is almost always related to a previous car accident, sports related, or other activity where the head is whipped quickly.
Many people seek medical care that just prescribe medications that temporarily cover up the symptoms of pain. These medications do not help heal the muscles, tendons and ligaments. If you take medicine for pain relief, you will have a false sense of security that you are better and will do activities that will further damage the tissues. On top of that you have to consider all of the side effects of the medications.
As a chiropractor in Freehold, NJ, we make sure your body heals optimally so we can restore your spine to it’s natural function. We fully evaluate your condition to find the cause of the problem and using chiropractic techniques, we correct the problem without the harmful effects of medication. Then you will be pain free and can enjoy your normal activities once again! Chiropractic has been found to have one of the highest success rates in treating whiplash and PTSD, which can help you reduce the possibility of having chronic pain in the future.
To find out more about our office, Hometown Family Wellness Center and Dr. Russell Brokstein, go to www.ChiropractorFreehold.com. We have been helping patients for over 13 years with injuries sustained in auto accidents. If you live in Freehold, NJ, or the surrounding towns of Marlboro, Manalapan, Howell, Colts Neck, Jackson, Morganville and other communities in Monmouth County New Jersey share this information with others and make sure you get your spine checked immediately after any injury to prevent chronic problems.
- Elliott, James, and Ashley Pedler, Justin Kenardy, Graham Galloway, Gwendolen Jull, Michele Sterling. The Temporal Development of Fatty Infiltrates in the Neck Muscles Following Whiplash Injury: An Association with Pain and Posttraumatic Stress. PLoS ONE. 2011; 6 (6): e21194. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021194.
- Ogura, Takeshi and Manabu Tashiro, Mehedi,Shoichi Watanuki, Katsuhiko Shibuya, Keiichiro Yamaguchi, Masatoshi Itoh, Hiroshi Fukuda, Kazuhiko Yanai. Cerebral Metabolic Changes in Men After Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation for Neck Pain. Alternative Therapies. 2011, November/December; 17 (6): 12-17
There are many things we need to do to allow our body to be healthy naturally without drugs and surgery. You can read the first of this series of blog posts by clicking here: Freehold Chiropractor Shares Health Myths and how you can be Healthy Naturally without Drugs or Surger.
In my chiropractic office in Freehold, NJ, I discuss the 5 tenets to health and wellness: Sleep, mental well being with limited stress, proper nutrition, exercise and most importantly an optimally functioning nervous system. Today we are going to discuss how sleep is important to overall health.
We spend about 33% of our life sleeping! That’s a lot of time and if we “do it right”, our sleep will restore and rejuvenate us like clockwork.
I’ve created a little quiz for you on your sleep habits. To take the quiz, simply check off your answers, and when finished, simply count the number of true and false answers.
___ ___ 1. My mattress has lumps and bumps in it; it’s not firm.
___ ___ 2. My mattress sags.
___ ___ 3. I sleep on my stomach: it’s one of the most comfortable ways to sleep.
___ ___ 4. I like to sleep with no pillow at all.
___ ___ 5. I like to pile up the pillows and sometimes (or often) sleep with more than one pillow underneath my head.
___ ___ 6. When I sleep, my head is dropped forward, with my chin towards my chest.
___ ___ 7. I don’t use a feather pillow.
___ ___ 8. I love to read in bed, and can prop myself up on my elbows to do so.
___ ___ 9. I use a regular foam pillow.
___ ___ 10. Sometimes I rest on the couch with my head propped up on the arm rest.
___ ___ 11. Sometimes I rest on the couch with a pillow and notice that I have to look up at the television set to do so.
Sleeping Score: ______ True _____ False
Now total up the number of “true” statements you have. The lower your number of “true” statements, the better your sleeping score. How did you do?
Let me explain how to sleep because there’s more to it than just plopping yourself into the bed and covering up with blankets. There are good sleep habits and bad sleep habits just like there is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).
It’s possible to have bad sleep habits for years without bad consequences. The problem with bad sleep habits is that you could be wearing down the joints in your neck. The constant wearing down of the joints is risky because once there’s a trauma to the neck; those joints “give out.” In chiropractic, we call this degenerative joint disease.
Why Take a Risk When Bad Habits are Easily Changed?
The good news is that simply by changing some bad habits, you can stop any joint damage from occurring in the future. The more we can build up your nutrition, the greater chance we have of reversing that damage.
Sleeping on your stomach is a bad habit because it forces your neck in one position – to the side – for long periods of time. While your neck is turned to the right or left, several of the muscles (and joints) in your neck are working hard to keep your head in that position. Other muscles are working hard to balance the positioning muscles. Neck muscles that are tight for several hours can cause pain, inflammation, numbness and tingling and headaches. It’s certainly no fun to wake up with a headache.
Here’s another way to think about it: when you’re working out at the health club, how would your legs feel if you did leg presses for over an hour? Would you be able to walk home or to your car? It would be very difficult after stressing them so much. It’s the same with your neck.
You’re doing something similar when you sleep on your stomach and turn your neck to the side for hours at a time.
Now that doesn’t mean sleep on your stomach and put your head straight down into the pillow! You’ll suffocate! So what’s the alternative?
Dr. Russell’s Sleep Instructions
Sleep on your back or side instead. When sleeping on your back, lie flat with a pillow under your head and neck and a pillow under your knees. Do not ever sleep with more than one pillow under your head. Your neck should not be pushed up so that your chin moves down toward your chest. A pillow should support your neck according to its natural S-shaped curve, allowing your head to rest in a neutral position.
When you sleep on your side, support your head and neck with pillows in such a way so your spine will remain in a straight line. Your legs should be at a 35 to 45 degree angle and not drawn up in a knot or in the fetal position. You may feel more comfortable with a pillow between your knees to keep your pelvis from being tilted.
Let’s Check Out Your Pillow
The type of pillow you use at night on Sunday can make a big difference in how good you will feel on Monday. Do not use a regular foam pillow. A shaped cervical pillow or a feather pillow is best because the curve of the pillow supports your neck. In our office I highly recommend a water based pillow called Chiroflow. When your neck is supported, then all the muscles, tendons and joints can relax. As they’re relaxing, the blood sends in healing, rejuvenative and restorative nutrients. You wake up refreshed.
It’s a bad habit to lie down on the couch, especially with your head propped up on the armrest. Propping up your head results in a cervical curve angle that stresses out the joints and the muscles of your neck. Every time you engage in this type of activity, you are willingly creating stress in your neck. Decide that your body wants to be loved and cared for, and never engage in this activity again.
Decide that your body wants to be loved also if you read in bed. If you prop yourself up on your elbows or lie flat to read, this movement stresses out your shoulder joints and puts undue stress on your neck muscles and joints as well. Don’t do it!
The best way to sleep is on your back. When it’s time to rest or sleep, sleep on your back or on your side on a firm bed and don’t settle for anything else.
Make these changes and get your sleep score down to 0. One month of sleeping with a score of 0 will improve your health dramatically.
Now you are ready to sleep better and start living a healthier and happier life.
Make sure you look out for the rest of the series of blog posts which will help you live a healthier lifestyle without drugs and surgery. If you are looking for a chiropractor in Freehold, or the surrounding towns of Marlboro, Manalapan, Howell, Colts Neck, Jackson, Morganville or Millstone New Jersey, or other neighboring towns of Monmouth County, call our office: Hometown Family Wellness Center at 732-780-0044 for a complimentary consultation.
Every day people get into little fender benders and don’t realize the consequences of even just a 5 MPH bumper impact. They feel fine immediately after the car accident but weeks, months and even years down the road you can start to experience neck pain, shoulder pain, tension, numbness and tingling and even headaches.
Watch this video to see a demonstration of what happens at 5km/h which is just 3 miles per hour!
As you can see, at just 3MPH, the neck whips backward and forward. This amount of force causes misalignments or subluxations in the neck which will put pressure on nerves. You can also get strain and sprain injuries which are further signs of whiplash injury. Many people who suffer conditions like fibromyalgia can correlate their symptoms back to the time of an auto accident.
You can experience whiplash even after a low speed accident. If you wait, you can develop spinal and disc degeneration down the road. Some research shows if a joint is misaligned for just 2 weeks, arthritis starts to develop. Think of this like a cavity that forms and you don’t feel the pain for years when it has progressed and harder to take care of.
As a chiropractor in Freehold, NJ, I see many patients who come in with neck pain, headaches and migraines, numbness and tingling and they can’t figure out what caused the problem. After doing a thorough patient history, many times it can be matched to a past car accident. Be sure to get you spine checked after any accident, even if you don’t feel immediate pain, so you can prevent future problems and correct the underlying condition as soon as possible. An auto injury many times goes undetected and needs somebody who does a thorough examination and has experience treating accident victims.
It is also very important to report the accident to your insurance company in case you do experience any symptoms and need treatment. If you wait, then try and go back, they will most likely deny coverage. By having a thorough history and examination by a chiropractor with experience with these injuries, you will have the documentation to prove correlation to the accident.
If you live in Freehold or nearby towns of Marlboro, Manalapan, Howell, Colts Neck, Jackson, Morganville or other Monmouth County communities, contact our office, Hometown Family Wellness Center or go to our website for more information: www.ChiropractorFreehold.com. Let us know you were in an accident and looking for our special auto accident consultation and evaluation.