It’s National Chiropractic Health Month, and chiropractors across the nation are stressing the importance of exercising. This month’s “Move 4 Life” theme attempts to bring awareness to chronic pains. Chronic pains are caused by lack of movement, getting people to start exercising, and spreading knowledge about chiropractic services.
According to a recent research study, half of all adults don’t get the recommended amount of daily physical activity. And back pain is now the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Many health officials are concerned that the increase of inactivity and physical pain will lead to a constant reliance on opioid usage.
Chiropractors have argued that the growing chronic pain and opioid pandemics can be fixed by receiving pinpoint chiropractic services and exercising tips. The president of the ACA, Ray Tuck Jr. DC, even stated that “chiropractors help people move better by relieving back and joint pain and improving joint function.”
The National Chiropractic Health Month initiative, started by the Indiana State Chiropractic Association (ISCA), and you can find more information at www.indianastatechiros.org.
You can also receive chiropractic treatments at Relax Holistic, which is in Marina del Rey, West Hollywood, and Culver City.
According to research by the American Stroke Association, a person under 50 increases the chance of suffering a stroke by three times after an injury to the head or neck. These findings are extremely important in modern medicine. However, research is also showing that acupuncture is a great treatment option for those who have suffered damage due to a stroke.
In fact, acupuncture is already the most popular treatment modality for stroke patients in China. Chinese practitioners have effectively used holistic health treatments like acupuncture on patients for centuries. Patients who receive acupuncture treatments twice a week for ten weeks report significant improvements in their balance, walking, and mobility. It also promotes a good overall mood and positive emotions. With more ease in their daily activities, patients see an improvement in their quality of life.
Causes of Stroke after Injury
Scientists have found that a major cause of stroke after a serious head or neck trauma is due to tears in the blood vessels of the head or neck from the injury. If these artery damages can be assessed at the time of the injury, an acupuncturist can treat a patient to help heal the injuries quickly and efficiently. With treatment, patients can help to prevent a stroke in the future. Because of this, it now appears that acupuncture can actually help reduce the risk of a future stroke in people who have suffered prior head or neck injuries. So how does this ancient holistic medicine practice help? Here are a few ways that acupuncture helps to prevent strokes after a head or neck injury:
Acupuncture Can Facilitate Nerve Regeneration
Research has proven that acupuncture helps to repair damaged nerves. Tests from researchers demonstrate that patients who received treatments show increased nerve regeneration. There have even been some interesting case histories involving re-wiring taking place in the brain following damage to the spinal cord. However, this has not been fully tested yet. Of course, every case is unique. The best advice is to visit a licensed acupuncturist. They can give a face to face assessment of what treatments might be possible given a patient’s own unique and specific circumstances
Prevents the Aggregation of Blood Cells
When blood cells aggregate, they tend to stick together. This process occurs more often around tears in blood vessels or skin, such as after an injury. This is similar to how your blood coagulates on your skin after you receive a cut that breaks the skin. However, when blood cells coagulate around blood vessels in the head or neck, a stroke can occur. Regular acupuncture treatments keep the flow of blood regular and help prevent this aggregation of blood cells.
Dilates Blood Vessels by Triggering the Release of Hormones
In addition, acupuncture helps to stimulate the local sensory nerve endings in the skin and muscles in a patient’s head and neck. Nerve endings there send impulses into the spinal cord and brain. However, these nerve endings also release various chemical substances into local tissues that are near the treatment of acupuncture. These chemicals help local blood vessels to dilate, which causes blood flow to increase. Both of these help to promote local tissue healing.
Helps Surviving Nerve Cells Find New Pathways
Nerve endings create impulses that travel into the spinal cord. Research has recently shown that acupuncture has a stimulating effect on brain cells. This stimulation causes a proliferation of new cells in the brain. These biochemical responses also stimulate nerve endings, causing them to induce regeneration if possible. In fact, according to scientific researchers, acupuncture has been shown to “increase the release of nerve growth factors (NGFs) to make nerve cells survive and axons grow, synthesize neurotransmitters, (and) metabolize toxic substances”.
Helps Your Brain Bypass Damaged Areas
As shown above, acupuncture helps a patient’s brain create new nerve endings, pathways, and even brain cells. It also aids neural pathways in creating better connections with the right and left brain. The body will naturally use these connections to bypass damaged areas of the brain and nervous system. In fact, researchers have taken this concept to new levels, using specialized techniques based on acupuncture to regenerate neurons in the brains of rats. Although medical advances like these are in our future, techniques like acupuncture help pave the way for research such as this.
Relax Holistic is the the Premier ‘go to’ clinic for Acupuncture healing.
At Relax Holistic, our stroke patients have shown major improvements after having acupuncture treatments. Our staff have personally witnessed how it works so well for patients. They report reduced swelling, improved circulation and overall range of motion. We have even seen it instantly restore a patient’s speech after a major stroke. Call us to learn and experience how acupuncture works.
Harmful toxins are everywhere and are increasing every day, say holistic health experts. Humans are using more pesticides, chlorine, formaldehyde, heavy metals such as lead, and other nasty toxins every day. Over time, these toxins will accumulate in the tissues and cause symptoms. Toxins produce free radicals and oxidation, which can cause problematic changes in cell structure such as mutations in DNA. There are many ways to detoxify your body. For a start, be aware of what toxins you may be exposed to, in water, in foods, chemicals in the environment, mercury fillings in your mouth, artificial colors and flavors, pesticides in foods and wines and inhaled during gardening. Eating 50 g of fiber a day, using detoxifying herbs and antioxidants as well as breaking a sweat daily is a start to cleaning up your blood and tissues.
Holistic health specialists know that our bodies accumulate harmful toxins over time. However, they warn, we shouldn’t wait until we start feeling bad enough to seek professional help. Your body has an amazing ability to clear itself out of toxins. However, you need to give it the right materials it needs to properly cleanse itself. So what foods can you enjoy to help your body rid itself of harmful toxins? Here are some super foods holistic health experts recommend eating more of to help your body, help itself:
Cilantro and Parsley
Heavy metals in the human body, such as aluminum, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, lead, cause many harmful health conditions. In fact, experts have found that heavy metals like these facilitate the formation of certain diseases. Studies have shown that cilantro and parsley both effectively remove mercury, lead, and aluminum. In fact, Miso and cilantro are often mentioned together as very powerful detoxifying agents. A miso broth with cilantro and green onions is not only a powerful punch to free radicals, it is also pleasing to the palate.
Onions and Garlic
Both onions and garlic are part of the allium or lily family. And both are full of phytonutrients and antioxidants. But in addition to being full of nutrition, they both help fight free radicals in your body and help boost immune efficiency. Onions are also rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that helps ward off free radicals. And Garlic is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial that helps to sweep your digestive tract free of toxic waste while helping to maintain healthy intestinal flora.
Green and Black Tea
Tea leaves (green tea in particular) have been in the forefront of holistic health for thousands of years. Tea, in general, contains a high concentration of antioxidants due to a powerful presence of polyphenols. These polyphenols help to fight free radical damage. However, green tea contains more of these powerful compounds than other leaf teas. Uses of green tea run deep in ancient Chinese and Indian traditions to help cleanse and fortify the body. Research shows that the enzymes present in green tea help increase the body’s defense mechanisms against cancer-causing toxins.
Holistic health experts are known to tout the many benefits of Cruciferous vegetables; broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, cabbages, radishes, and turnips. Green leafy vegetables like kale, chard, mustard greens, collard greens and spinach are also Cruciferous. Experts explain that these vegetables are widely known for being rich in glucosinolates. This compound not only inhibits cancer cell growth but also acts as a detoxifying agent. In fact, glucosinolates trigger the liver to produce detoxifying enzymes that block free-radical attacks on your DNA.
Lean Meats, Proteins, and Dairies
Amino acids, found in high-quality animal products like meat and dairy, are essential to help your body rebuild itself. Your body uses amino acids to repair the damage that toxins and free radicals do to you. Your body cannot create essential amino acids by itself and gets its supply from what you eat. Choose lean meats such as chicken or fish, or fat-free dairy like yogurt all contain amino acids. Make sure the animal products you consume come from animals that eat only their natural, native diet and raised in healthy surroundings.
Your Holistic Health Expert Has the Best Nutritional Advice
Toxins are everywhere in our modern society and are all but unavoidable in today’s world. Beyond prescribing a healthy diet, your Relax holistic healthcare professional can perform treatments such as acupuncture, and moxibustion. These also remove toxins from your body. For those with larger concentrations of toxins, homeopathic medicine, compounds, and supplements such as red clover, dandelion, milk thistle, bentonite clay and chlorella may help as well.
You might think it sounds silly, but just like the rest of your muscles, you need to exercise your face muscles as well. You do curls to tighten and strengthen your biceps, why not do exercises for your face? You’ll save a lot of money and avoid going under the knife by doing these smile exercises instead of surgery like facelifts. Your holistic doctor will be happy, and you get to enjoy knowing that you’ve embraced natural health. These exercises will enhance your smile, reduce visible lines, and increase blood flow. With extra toned face muscles, you will look younger and healthier. You don’t need any expensive equipment, or a gym membership to do these exercises. All you need is a mirror.
The Smile Exercise
This is the first exercise you’ll want to do to begin rejuvenating your face the natural health way. The first thing you’re going to do is start with your face and lips relaxed. After that, stretch the corners of your mouth to the sides without letting your lips separate. Once you’ve got your mouth in position, hold for ten seconds. After ten seconds you’ll expand and stretch part of your lips to expose about half of your teeth, and hold for another ten seconds. After that ten seconds, you’re going to smile as wide and hard as you can, showing all your teeth. Again, you’ll hold this for ten seconds. Once you’ve completed your last step, do all the steps in reverse until you get to the relaxed state.
The Smile Line Eraser Natural Health Exercise
The next step in your natural health journey to facial rejuvenation is the smile line eraser exercise. This exercise will get rid of the fine lines that appear around your mouth. This exercise has a name in yoga, which is the fish pose. First, you’ll purse your lips as dramatically as possible by sucking in your cheeks and rolling your lips out. Try to smile while you’re doing this, and hold your pose as long as you can before releasing.
The Silly Rabbit
If you have kids this is a fun one to do with them, which gives you the opportunity to teach them about natural health early. Smile as wide as you can without opening your lips. Once you’ve got your big smile on, wiggle your nose like a rabbit, then hold this pose for five seconds. For best results, you should do these 10 times.
Your final smile exercise is the aptly named Face-Lift. To do this one, open your mouth slightly with your upper lip relaxed, flare out your nostrils and wrinkle your nose in an exaggerated motion. Then, pull up your upper lip and hold it that way for 10 seconds. After ten seconds, slowly release your lip. This is another exercise you’ll repeat 10 times.
Try not to laugh, though smiling is encouraged. If you do this you’ll save a lot of money on a facelift, and you’ll avoid any surgery or toxins, keeping yourself in natural health. The doctors at Relax Holistic can help you create a full natural health plan, from exercise to diet. You can call (310) 838-1600 for the Culver City location, (310) 652-3200 for the West Hollywood location. If you prefer to do things online, you can request an appointment from any page on the website, or fill out the contact form on the homepage.
Have you been doing everything right, and still struggling to maintain or lose weight? Even if you’re sticking faithfully to your diet, and getting consistent exercise, you might not get the results you see from the person next to you at the gym. Unlike what fad diets would have you think, you won’t find a single diet that works for everyone. In addition to a holistic diet and healthy lifestyle, your body type plays a big role in how well you can lose and keep off extra weight.
Everyone falls under 3 main body types, which are Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph. If you’re an Ectomorph and you’re eating and exercising like an Endomorph, you won’t be happy with the results. On the other hand, if you exercise for your body type, and follow the right diet, you’ll see gains. Even within the body types, each body is different, and you should see a doctor specializing in holistic health to tailor your diet and exercise plan to your exact needs.
Ectomorph Body Types
If you’re an Ectomorph, you have a small frame with a light build. Your joints are small, and you’ve got lean muscles. Ectomorphs are characterized by their ability to eat as much as they want, as well as their difficulty gaining muscle mass.
Because you don’t gain weight so much as an Ectomorph, you don’t have to be as careful about what you eat. However, you will want to add protein to your diet if you want to add muscle mass. You should eat frequently, 6-8 meals over the entire day. For timing, you should get your carbs in after your workout. You probably don’t need to worry about calories. Even though conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t eat before bed, if you’re an Ectomorph, eating before bed can help prevent muscle catabolism overnight.
When you’re working out, you should make sure your workouts are short and intense. While you’re doing these intense workouts, focus on your big muscle groups.
Mesomorph Body Types
If you have a medium sized bone structure, an athletic body, and a good amount of lean mass, you’re probably a Mesomorph. Mesomorph body types find it easier to gain muscle and fat.
You should focus on having a balanced diet, splitting your food types up by 40% Carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat. This 40/30/30 balance will give you the nutrients you need for your body type. Be sure to take frequent, smaller meals just like Ectomorphs.
Like everything else with your body type as a Mesomorph, you should do balanced workouts, combining weight training and cardio.
Endomorph Body Types
If you work hard to lose weight and nothing seems to work, chances are high that you’re an Endomorph. Endomorphs have large bone structures and high amounts of total body mass. Some of the characteristics of being an Endomorph are that you’re naturally chubby, or you have a round and soft physique. You’ve probably got a slow metabolism, and find it much easier to gain weight than lose it. However, you’ve also got an easier time gaining muscle mass as well.
When you’re eating, it’s going to be more important for you to avoid sugars, high carbs, and starches. Because Endomorphs tend to have slower metabolisms, you’ll turn those sugars into fat more easily. While you’re avoiding sugars, carbs, and starches, do eat lean proteins, essential fats, and high fiber foods. Make sure those high fiber foods are more veggies than fruits though.
As an Endomorph, you’re going to want to hit the weight training, and high-intensity interval training 3 days a week. This gives your body time to respond to the intense workout regimen.
The Doctors at Relax Holistic can help you find the holistic diet and exercise plans that will work for your body type. You can start your path to a healthy and natural lifestyle at any of their 3 locations. Call (310) 838-1600 for the Culver City location, (310) 652-3200 for the West Hollywood location, and (310) 827-3200 for the Marina del Rey location. If you’d like to get in touch over the internet, you can request an appointment from any page of the website, or fill out the contact form at the bottom of the homepage.
Share Your Story
Do you want to share your story of reaching your health goals using a holistic and natural approach? You can share your story on the Facebook Pages for Our Culver City, West Hollywood, and Marina Del Rey.
If you’re living with hip pain, you know how bad it can be. Surgery is expensive as well as risky. So, what should you do to get rid of your hip pain? Have you considered a good chiropractor?
First let’s talk about the different types of hip pain, as well as some of their causes.
Hip Pain Caused by Sciatica
You may have people talk about their sciatica acting up. Your sciatic nerve is a large set of nerves that starts in your lower back and your sacrum, where your lower back is fused to your vertebrae. This is between your hip bones and pelvis.
The sciatic nerve can get pinched by the muscles and joints it runs under. A few of the causes of Sciatica are:
Bulging or Herniated Disc. You have “disc disorder” if your back’s discs are bulging or herniated. Bulging discs are known as contained disc disorders which means their gel-like center is still inside, or contained, by their outer wall. Herniated discs, as opposed to bulging discs, are called non-contained disorders.
Spinal Stenosis in the Lumbar. Spinal Stenosis is the name for a nerve compression disorder. This usually happens with older adults, but not always. A common cause of spinal stenosis is degenerative arthritis.
This funny word is a disorder that usually affects your lumbar spine. You get Spondylolisthesis when one of your vertebra slips out of place. This causes the spinal nerve root to compress, and frequently makes sciatic leg and hip pain.
Sometimes, you get sciatica the old-fashioned way; from an injury. If you’re in a car accident, or you’ve fallen, or even if you’re just playing football, you might compress your nerves and get sciatica.
Hip Pain Caused by Iliotibial Band Syndrome
If you’ve developed Iliotibial Band Syndrome, also known as IT band syndrome, your Iliotibial band becomes inflamed, and rubs the outside of your knee joint. This can give you pain throughout your legs as well as your hips. The more Iliotibial Band Syndrome is ignored, the worse it gets, and the more hip pain you’ll experience. Make sure you’re taking care of it immediately. These are the common causes of Iliotibial Band Syndrome:
The most common way you’ll get IT band syndrome is overuse. There are usually other things that contribute to your IT band syndrome, however, the main characterization of IT band syndrome is overuse.
Tight Tissues. If your muscles are tight in your hips, as well as along the side of your leg, this can cause or contribute to IT band syndrome.
Weak Hip Muscles. According to research from Stanford, weak hip muscles are one of the bigger causes of IT band syndrome. If you have weak muscles in your hip, your running form breaks down. This puts a lot of stress on your knee’s tissues, for this reason, you can get IT band syndrome from weak hip muscles.
Poor Running form. As mentioned above, if you’re using a poor running form. This could cause your IT band syndrome.
So, What Can a Chiropractor Do?
Chiropractors specialize in realigning your spine, which can solve pinches and compression, and get rid of your hip pain. Good chiropractors like those at Relax Holistic use lots of different techniques to treat the different spinal disorders you might face, so ask our chiropractors about the technique that will work best for you.
Relax Holistic uses a great deal of different techniques and strategies to manage and fix back pain and hip pain. If you’re suffering, call (310) 652-3200, email, or use our contact form to see how we can help you feel better and pain-free.
Rapid release is a high speed vibration therapy that delivers immediate results. It loosens muscles, speeds recovery, targets problem areas quickly and effectively. Great for…
Breaking Up Scar Tissue
Breaking Muscle Adhesion
Warming Up Muscles Prior To Athletic Events
Optimize your Mobility. Prevent Injury. Train Smarter. Recover Better.
Soft tissue disorders are usually a result of overuse, injury or surgery.
The Rapid Release Pro2 is embraced by chiropractors, athletic trainers, cross fit athletes, massage therapists and other practitioners. Professional sports organizations including teams in the MLB, NFL, NBA, PGA, Olympics and more use Rapid release.
We can get you fast relief to soft tissue problems affecting nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Here is a partial list of conditions caused by scarring of soft tissue:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Range of Motion
Patients love the effective, relaxing treatments.
Scar Tissue forms in the body as a temporary patching mechanism for wounds caused by surgery, trauma or repetitive stress. This scar tissue is made from collagen just like our skin but without blood supply it dies, dries out, constricts and becomes brittle. Scar tissue fastened to tissues not normally connected, is called an adhesion.
Adhesions can spread, entrapping nerves, causing pain and numbness or limiting range of motion. Un-diagnosed pain and restricted mobility are likely to be caused by the adhesion. Scar Tissue Therapy ™ is focused on relief of soft tissue problems caused by scar tissue adhesion. The shearing force of planar wave energy passes safely through flexible healthy tissue, but readily absorbed by the brittle, dense scar tissue.
Scar Tissue Therapy is fast, painless and lasting.
RRT has determined the optimum frequency that resonates with the scar tissue for maximum effectiveness by using high speed video shot at 2000 frames/second. With only a 2mm stroke, this therapy is feels good and is completely safe. We believe that Scar Tissue Therapy™ is the most effective way to treat painful scar tissue. Our practitioners at Relax Holistic use this therapy to re establish improper muscular function due to scar tissue or adhesions, caused from surgery or muscle or tendon injury.
In just one visit there is noticeable improvement in range of motion and decreased Pain.
Arthritis is a very painful condition. At its best, it can cause constant pain. At its worst, it can make simple things difficult to do. Many people do not know that their chiropractor can bring great relief. But first, you need to know what kind of Arthritis you have. There are many types of Arthritis:
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. This is the most common kind of Arthritis, typically caused by repetitive force to your joints and is most common as you age. In this kind of Arthritis, the joint becomes of alignment due to the wearing down of the cartilage from an uneven joint surface. Poor nutrition, not enough blood supply, and poor nerve supply are additional factors.
Septic Arthritis can be either bacterial or viral. Both types of septic Arthritis generally start with joint infections.
Gouty Arthritis is caused by uric acid crystals getting put in the joint, which causes inflammation. This type of Arthritis is a metabolic condition. There is a more uncommon type called pseudogout. Pseudogout is characterized by painful swelling of your joints coming on suddenly. Episodes of Pseudogout can last for days or even weeks.
How a Chiropractor can help
Chiropractic adjustments realigning your joints and improve mobility and reduce pain right away. Your chiropractor may suggest an inflammatory diet or specific nutritional remedies. Ask your chiropractor which l supplements they recommend to bring down inflammation. The doctor may also recommend specific exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting your joints.
While anti-inflammatory medication is often given to treat Osteoarthritis, it has been shown to slow the rate that your cartilage heals. Additionally, using anti-inflammatory medicine over a long period of time may damage the lining of your stomach. Chiropractic care is a drugless approach. We work inconjunct with medical doctors, and we can prolong the need for immediate surgeries in many cases.
Chiropractors also take care of post-surgery pain which usually involves the soft tissues.
Chiropractic treatments such as rapid release technique, reduce adhesions caused by scar tissue in muscles and around your joints. Regular exercise and dietary changes will reduce the need to take anti-inflammatory medication. You will be able to move easier with less pain and improved quality of life. With consistent treatment, many patients have stopped taking medicine for Arthritis.
Besides Osteoarthritis, there are many forms of autoimmune arthritis. While your chiropractor is still helpful for autoimmune types of Arthritis like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, or Psoriatic Arthritis, there is no cure. Medication is needed to control these types of Arthritis. While your bones and joints will continue to deteriorate without medication, ask your doctor for medications that are gentler on your stomach lining.
Most people have some of the Arthritis. This is particularly true after 40 years of age. Arthritis is most obvious on an x-ray. Left untreated and allowed to develop Arthritis can become debilitating. If you think you may have Arthritis, or are feeling joint pains, The Relax Holistic Healthcare team is here to help.
Most people over 50 will have some sort of back pain. There are many reasons that cause this. Some reasons for this may be a sedentary lifestyle, nutritional deficiencies, or sports injuries just to name a few. One of the best ways to relieve this back pain is by having regular chiropractic adjustments.
If you feel pain or aggravation in your back from bending, lifting or twisting, you may have a spinal misalignment, subluxation or an aggravated disc. Symptoms can include problems with walking, pain or numbness in your legs or feet and even incontinence. These symptoms can be a simple inconvenience or so extreme as to call 911. Your chiropractor can diagnose a spinal misalignment or disc injury using x-ray and orthopedic and other chiropractic analysis.
Discs are the shock absorbers of the spine. Injuries are extremely painful when the shock is not absorbed from your spine and can be felt with walking bending or twisting. Herniated discs are when the jelly like fluid leaks out and causes pain, weakness and numbness. Chiropractors treats disc pain with physiotherapy, long axis traction, adjustments and soft tissue work.
Swiss Chiropractic Adjustment Study
To demonstrate the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments to address herniated discs, a research program in Switzerland studied 148 people between the ages of 18 and 65 years whose disc herniation caused pain in their lower back and legs. More than half of the people studied suffered acute pain in their legs in less than a month. In addition to that, nearly 25% of the test subjects were diagnosed with chronic pain that lasted three months or more.
For the study, all the subjects were given chiropractic adjustments for their type of disc herniation. After two weeks of treatment, nearly 70% of the subjects said they were feeling better. At one month into the study, 80% of the subjects reported to feel better. At three months that number was more than 90%.
The results of the study show that chiropractic adjustments offer both short term and long term relief for disc herniation. It is important to create a balance of short term and long term relief. If your treatment only provides short term relief you will have to continue to get treatments indefinitely. If your treatment only provides long term relief, you will not feel the result quickly enough and it will seem like it isn’t working.
When you’re selecting a chiropractor, you want to find one that uses a complete and balanced approach. A good chiropractor will offer you more than just chiropractic adjustments. Your chiropractor should be able to offer you dietary advice to keep any nutritional deficiencies from showing up. Relax Holistic offers spinal decompression therapy as well as other forms of chiropractic adjustment. You can call the West Hollywood office at 310-652-3200. The Marina del Rey phone number is 310-827-3200. Finally, you can reach the Culver City office at 310-838-1600.
You hear from an early age to keep proper posture. The impact posture has on your health is very clear. Poor posture can cause spinal pain, headaches, mood changes, blood pressure, even your pulse and your lung capacity could leave you looking for a back pain doctor. Simply improving your posture may reduce or ultimately eliminate many of your symptoms.
There are many factors in today’s lives that encourage poor posture. Computers, phones, TV, video games, and backpacks all cause people to use a “forward head posture”. When you hold your head forward you overwork and strain your neck and upper back muscles. Spending a lot of time in forward head posture can cause muscle fatigue and neck pain caused by continuous isometric contraction. Your neck muscles will suffer from less circulation which causes burning pain. Forward head posture can even damage your spinal tissues by causing them to deform and change. Long term forward head posture can create permanent changes to your spine causing frequent visits to the back pain doctor.
FHP can change or even reverse your normal neck curve, which can cause disc compression, tension headaches, and it could even cause early arthritis. In addition to those problems, FHP could leave you with TMJ, a painful disorder on its own. If you have forward head posture you should have it immediately checked by a chiropractor. You will not be able to get help from a medical doctor. Even if you’re not feeling any symptoms yet, they rarely present themselves early. Long term FHP will cause spine and nerve damage.
How to Detect FHP
To determine if you have FHP there are a few things you can look at. Stand in front of a mirror and from a side view, your ear should line up with the top of your shoulder. If it doesn’t, or you’re already experiencing symptoms, call your back pain doctor to schedule an appointment.
Common Causes of FHP
Computers often encourage poor posture. If your monitor is too low you will need to strain forward to comfortably view the screen. Coupled with repeatedly moving your head to read up and down the screen, this makes your computer ergonomics very important when combating FHP. Raise your monitors up higher so that your head is level when you’re looking at them to read. Use a desk chair that can adjust to the right position and then lock to discourage slouching.
Watching television or playing video games is another contributor to poor posture. When you sit on a couch for long periods playing video games or watching television you don’t get the back support you need for good posture. Consistently sitting in one position for longer periods of time can cause your body to adapt to the poor posture easier. Try sitting in a desk chair or other seat that has strong back support and encourages proper posture to combat this.
Heavily loaded backpacks will naturally push your head forward to counterbalance the weight. This causes extra stress on your nerves, discs and joints. Try not to overload your backpacks to prevent your body from using your head as a counterweight.
Trauma such as falls and car accidents can create a muscle imbalance that pulls your spine out of alignment. Visit your back pain doctor to get treatments for your injury and keep your spine properly aligned.
Smart Phones are a strong contributor to FHP. Most people look down at their phone resting their arms. This pulls your head forward and strains your neck muscles. Instead of holding the phone down, hold it up in a more neutral position. Your arms might get a little tired but your proper posture will be worth it.
Solutions for FHP
1. The First step in correcting your FHP is to have a chiropractor examine and x-ray your back to measure your FHP. Once they’ve gotten the exact measurements they can develop a treatment program for your FHP. This will include specific exercises and adjustments. Ask your chiropractor to point out any improvements to your ergonomics situations to discourage FHP.
2. There are exercises you can do when you’re sitting in one position for a long period. Every 20-30 minutes sit up straight and pull your neck and head over your shoulders. Hold while counting to 3. Do 15-20 reps of this. Another exercise you can do is to stand against a wall with a small pillow in the middle of your back and move your head back to touch the wall. Hold that position for another count of 3 and do 20-25 reps.
3. Always use a pillow to support your back when you’re sitting or driving. Keeping support on your lower back will naturally move your head and neck back over your shoulders.
4. Never wear your backpack over one of your shoulders. Try to keep your children’s backpacks at 15% of their weight. Whenever possible choose backpacks that have a waist and chest belt. This will neutralize the load and keep your head from moving forward to compensate.
5. When you’re at home lay face down on the floor. When you’re laying on the floor extend your head and shoulders up and pinch your shoulder blades together. Hold this for another count to 3 for 15-20 reps.
6. Position your computer monitor so that the top third of the screen is even with your eyes and around eighteen to twenty-four inches away from you.
Good posture will improve your health in many areas and make you feel better every day. Between a little effort on your part and a good back pain doctor on your team, you set yourself up for a future full of the activities you love instead of pain and degeneration that you’ll get from poor posture. If you have any questions or are looking for treatment, schedule a spine and posture exam at Relax Holistic Healthcare.