How does Chiropractic Help Heal Sports Injuries?

Athletes put their bodies on the line; we protect them

Whether your sport is high-impact or low, every time you go out on your chosen playing field you are putting your body at risk for injury. While a good deal of our work as chiropractors is centered around preventing injury in the first place, chiropractic is also an effective tool for treating injuries after they happen. Let’s look at some of the most common injuries sustained by athletes and how we treat them at our office.

Common injuries sustained by athletes

Some of the most common injuries sustained by athletes include sprains, strains and tears, all of which can cause pain and prevent you from playing. These injuries are primarily caused by: 

  • Forceful impact
  • Repetitive trauma (think the jarring motion on your joints from running)
  • Over-training and fatigue
  • Failure to warm-up

How we treat athletic injuries

  • Manual adjustment of the spine: to realign the spine, and correct the motion and function of spinal joints. 
  • Releasing myofascial pain: reducing pain allows you to focus on stretching and strengthening, the factors that matter for rehabilitation. 
  • Improving circulation: to cycle blood to an injured area, bringing the oxygen and nutrients necessary for repair. 
  • Spinal mobilization: a passive movement of a segment of the spine to increase range of motion.
  • Ice and heat: to stimulate the body’s healing response and further improve circulation.

Your specialist for athletic injuries

If you are suffering from a sports-related injury and are interested in healing it quickly and preventing it from recurring, give our office in Houston a call to schedule an appointment today. We can help you get back on the playing field and performing better than ever!

Regular Tune Ups for your Spine

You get regular tune-ups for your car but not your body?

The logic appears to be faulty here. People protect the things they love and spend money to care for them, but will often wait until an injury or serious condition develops to seek help for their own body. At our office, we hope to give you some compelling reasons to start thinking differently about the maintenance of your own body! 


Your spine is central to your overall health

Thus, having regular checkups performed to determine its overall health is a simple way of maintaining well being. Every movement you make during the day will affect one part of the spine or the other, and many of these movements conspire to move the spinal joints out of alignment, leading to nerve compression and overall bodily dysfunction. The important thing is to listen to your body. Pain is a signal just like the check engine light in your car.

How can problems with your spinal joints cause pain? 

First of all, they can bother or impinge upon nearby spinal nerves which interact directly with the brain. This is especially prevalent in people suffering from herniated discs, in which bulging disc material puts pressure on spinal nerves. However, spinal joints being out of alignment most often lead to restrictions in range of motion, which can hamper the effective communication of your central nervous system. This overall imbalance is responsible for painful tightness in the muscles as well as pain that results from sprained ligaments surrounding the vertebral joint.

Tuning up your spine

The good news is that subluxation is effectively corrected with chiropractic adjustments. These are purposeful, sometimes instrument-assisted adjustments that return spinal joints to proper alignment and simultaneously improve nervous system functioning. Don’t let spinal misalignment wreak silent havoc with your life until a serious condition develops. Instead, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

The Pain of Sitting All Day

Sitting All Day Is Unnatural

Humans weren’t made to just sit. We were made to stand, to walk, run, jump, twist, turn, bend, lay down, roll, crawl, climb, squat, and maybe, for a few minutes a day, to sit. But at a certain point in (very recent) history, our jobs became seated, our entertainment became seated, our meals, our commute, etc. The list goes on. Sitting has become as prevalent as standing and it is taking its toll on our bodies. If your typical day consists of commuting to work each way, sitting in front of a computer, then sitting on a sofa and watching TV to unwind (with maybe an hour of exercise thrown in), you could be putting your spine at serious risk. 


The damage of sitting all-day

Excessive sitting affects every part of the body:

  • Damages organs and interferes with digestion
  • Increases compression on the spine 
  • Encourages poor posture habits
  • Contributes to obesity and diabetes
  • Weakens muscles, and destabilizes the muscular balance
  • Causes poor blood circulation

This is just the start. Excessive sitting can be traced as a cause of many of the USA’s most prevalent health problems. So, if your job requires you to sit, and you have a penchant for binge-watching TV after work, make sure that you take steps to undo this damage on a daily basis.

Undoing the damage of sitting all-day

Besides an hour of vigorous workout that gets your heart rate up and works your muscles, you should focus on choosing specific movements that target the parts of your body which suffer the most during sitting. Yoga is an effective modality for doing just that! Here are some of the most effective yoga poses for habitual sitters:

  • Downward facing dog 
  • Spinal twist
  • Pigeon pose
  • Cat and cow pose 
  • Child’s pose

Detailed instructions for these poses can be found here: https://www.verywellfit.com/essential-yoga-poses-for-beginners-3566747. If you are interested in redressing all the damage done by sitting, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

The Pollen Apocalypse

Allergies are a recent phenomenon

I know lots of people who have allergies, you know lots of people who have allergies. A quick google says more than 50 million Americans experience seasonal allergies each year. Allergies are everywhere. And of course, there are countless remedies, pills, exercises, foods, and many experts telling us how to improve our health to reduce our allergy symptoms ad nauseam. But has it ever occurred to you that seasonal allergies are a recent phenomenon local to only a few places in the world? 

This is not your regular conspiracy

No, the big pharma industry did not invent allergies to sell you pills. The problem of seasonal allergies seems to be connected to city planners trying to reduce budgets by planting trees that were easy to maintain. The unforeseen effect of planting cloned trees that were all male is the seasonal allergies we almost all have. Please follow these links to see that I am not making this up.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/botanical-sexism-cultivates-home-grown-allergies/

or

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/16/how-urban-planners-preference-for-male-trees-has-made-your-hay-fever-worse

Another quick reference to easily share with your friends is this one on youtube

Why the trees

In nature, there are three tree sexes, monecious, dioecious male or dioecious female. And naturally, there is an even distribution of the three. This is not the case in cities.

The easy to transplant trees, and easy to maintain trees, basically, the cheap trees, mean “cultivation has produced wholly male trees – plants favored by planners since they have no seeds or pods to drop but only pollen. ” The guardian summarizes with this, “Allergenic tree pollen was found to be one of the biggest contributors to hay fever and asthma, and pollen counts have also been rising over the past 15 years.”

So how do we fix it?

 Plant different.

If you want to stop inhaling pills to help alleviate your seasonal allergies then there is going to be some work for us to do. Yes, chiropractic adjustments can help but they only go so far. We need to spread the word that there are more costs to plants than the initial price and maintenance. Our choices in cultivation affect our inhalation, like that? 🙂 Chiropractors can’t be experts in every field, pun intended, but we can pass on our own knowledge and I hope you do too. Keep learning and stop by our office any time to learn more. 

Back Pain and Your Job: Construction Work Edition

Construction work is another of the professions most affected by back pain

Lifting and bending over account for a large percentage of common back injuries, from muscle sprain to herniated discs. Almost every job in the construction industry requires some kind of lifting. And there is a triple-headed problem that exists here:

  1. Often the loads present no clear way to lift in a manner conducive to your back’s health 
  2. The loads are too heavy: no one worker should lift over 51 pounds at a time
  3. We have forgotten proper body mechanics regarding lifting and bending

Most construction workers reading this will agree that they regularly lift more than 51 pounds at a time by themselves. Because lifting is one of the most harmful motions for our back, it is always good to keep your spine’s health in mind while on-site. 

Prevention of back pain for construction workers

Prevention of back pain begins before the job starts: every construction worker should stretch before a day that will involve even a mild demand of lifting. Having cold muscles when you go to lift is one of the surest ways to injure yourself. Make sure you give yourself at least 5 minutes of stretching time before each day. Furthermore:

  • Use a support belt to lend stability to your core, restrict excessive motion and prevent injury. 
  •  Focus on core strength: your back is one of your greatest and most fragile assets on the job. It behooves you to spend time at home or in the gym strengthening and stretching the core stabilizing muscles. 
  • Limit the loads you are lifting as much as possible and ask for a helping hand when possible.

We take the health of construction workers’ spines seriously. If you need help rehabilitating injuries sustained on the job, or to prevent them from happening in the first place, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Why does Decompression Feel so Good?

Your spine is always under pressure 

Our spines are constantly under pressure: from the force of gravity to the added compression we do to ourselves with things like poor posture, there is rarely a second when your spine gets a break. Unless you plan to live in space (which comes with its own set of problems), or become fully aquatic, there is little we can do to escape the pressures of gravity. 


Instead of fleeing the problem, let’s face it head-on! 

Symptoms of compression injuries range from mild to severe. The most common compression related conditions that we treat include:

  • Back pain
  • Nerve pressure
  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Rehabilitation of fractured vertebrae
  • Sciatica
  • Government Pressure (jk)

The fact that pressure is constantly accumulating indicates why decompression therapy is so effective; and why it feels so good. At our office, we have a range of modalities for treating compression injuries.

  • Spinal adjustment relieves pain by restoring mobility to spinal motion segments and relieving pressure from the nearby nerves. 
  • Mechanical traction utilizes a specialized table to stretch the spine while we provide gentle, targeted adjustment to the spinal joints. This has the effect of opening up the space between the vertebrae, allowing for rehydration of the intravertebral discs and creating a negative pressure space in which bulging disc material can retract. 
  • Manual traction applies a distraction force to the spine in order to alleviate pain and compression

Relieving pressure has never felt so good 

The goal of decompression therapy is to help you experience less pain, allowing you to move more and thus strengthen the muscles that matter for supporting the spine. If you are interested in using decompression therapy for your back pain, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Focus on Fascia: Decoding the Mystery of this Protective Layer of Tissue

Healthy fascia, healthy human

Get to know your fascia, the layer of tissue that covers our muscles and extends from head to toe. But what is the purpose of this mysterious thin layer that literally covers the entirety of your body without interruption? Primarily made of collagen, the fascia’s main purpose is to attach and stabilize the muscles of your body while encasing and separating vital organs. Because it is thin and tensile, it is quite vulnerable to injury which causes it to tighten and contract and this can be truly painful.

Myofascial pain is not your friend

When the fascia is injured, a primary layer of defense is temporarily stymied: this can pressurize nerves, muscles and organs. And because of its interconnectivity, the pain doesn’t necessarily stop at the point of injury. The acute point where injury occurs may be where most pain is experienced, but myofascial pain is referred pain: it can pop up seemingly wherever. 

Treating myofascial pain

Myofascial pain is undetectable using medical scanning techniques such as x-ray and MRI. Instead, it is most often determined by detecting trigger points in the muscle. We use manual modalities including: 

  • Myofascial release
  • Active release
  • Trigger point therapy
  • Electrical stimulation 
  • Ultrasound 
  • Heat and ice 

These treatments relax your muscles and improve circulation that improves the quantities of oxygen and nutrients that reach the injury. If you are suffering from fascial pain, or suspect that you might be, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Lumbar Pressure as Determined by Posture

LumLumbar Pressurebar Pressure

Your spine is always under pressure

Whether you like it or not, the most common positions we adopt during a given day are putting a disproportionate amount of pressure on our spines, and our lumbar vertebrae is where this pressure accumulates! Here are some statistics as measured by the pressure sustained by a lumbar intervertebral disc: 

  • Low pressure: lying on your back: ~25kg of pressure 
  • Medium pressure: standing upright: ~100kg of pressure
  • High pressure: sitting: ~125kg of pressure

Sitting and standing are made worse by leaning forward and bearing weight, while forward head posture magnifies the pressure of the head on the spinal column by up to 10X for every inch it is held forward. So if there is one thing we can start doing for our spines right away, it is being aware! 


Relieving lumbar pressure with decompression therapy

There are many ways we can work to prevent the damage that will result from pressure accumulation. Strengthening the core stabilizing muscles and improving our posture are tied for the most important thing we can do to help our lumbar vertebrae- stronger muscles support the burden while better posture reduces the pressure. If your spine is suffering from the effects of too much pressure, i.e. herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, nonspecific back pain and nerve compression, decompression therapy can help. 

Decompression therapy uses manual and instrument-assisted modalities to stretch the spine and provide healing therapy by doing the following things:

  • Opening space between the vertebrae
  • Providing for rehydration of intervertebral discs
  • Allowing for retraction of bulging disc material 
  • Elongate the spine and provide for spinal realignment 

Decompression therapy feels great and provides pain relief and lasting correction of spinal misalignment. If you are interested in using decompression therapy to reverse the accumulative effects of pressure on your spine, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. 

The Two Main Causes of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is among the most prolific and life-changing conditions of our time

It can be broken down into two constituent categories:

  • Mechanical low back pain refers to pain related to the dysfunction of the moving parts of the spine, i.e. facet joints, intervertebral discs, ligaments, and muscles.
  • Compressive pain refers to pain that is caused when nerves exiting the spinal cord are put under pressure.

Chiropractic is a conservative method of treatment that shows great efficacy in improving the symptoms of both conditions.

Chiropractic for mechanical and compressive low back pain 

  • For mechanical low back pain, chiropractic adjustment seeks to address symptoms through mobilization of the spinal joints. Through low-intensity, high-frequency adjustments to the affected region, we restore proper alignment and effect great improvement on the symptoms of mechanical low back pain. 
  • For compressive back pain, we use decompression modalities to provide spinal elongation. By gently stretching the spine and providing manual adjustments to the affected region, we restore spinal alignment and allow for the retraction of bulging disc material which is often impinging on spinal nerves. 

Chiropractic is a conservative form of treatment that seeks to correct the root of the problem with natural methods. While this doesn’t work for everyone, it is recommended that most cases of non-specific back pain be treated by conservative methods before moving on to more invasive methods such as spinal surgery. 

Low back pain relief

If you are looking to address spinal pain, whether it be mechanical or compressive in nature, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. We are back pain specialists who will determine the cause of your spinal dysfunction before setting a course for treatment that combines a multitude of natural modalities to effect great improvements in your symptoms. 

Chiropractic as Preventative Healthcare

Chiropractic preventative

For most people, chiropractic comes to mind only after an injury

This is a shame because chiropractic might have prevented that very same injury. While obviously, this is not a 100% guarantee, a body under regular chiropractic maintenance is more resistant to injury and quicker to recover after an injury occurs. Depending on your level of activity (or inactivity!) you can benefit from the preventative healthcare that chiropractic offers.


A well-aligned body is more resilient to injuries

A tried and true analogy uses the maintenance of a car as an example: regular oil checks and maintenance ensure that your car keeps running longer and doesn’t let you down when you need it most. The human body is a machine that requires regular maintenance in a similar way; circulation and range of motion are important for ensuring that every cell in your body receives the oxygen and nutrients it needs to prosper. Furthermore, your muscles and tendons both crave use to enhance their elasticity. You can even see your pets stretching all day long as they lounge around between naps. It can be a bad sign if you aren’t moving more than your cat!

Chiropractic is preventative healthcare

Spinal adjustments and hands-on attention to the muscles allow your body to work its best. By correcting spinal misalignment, we facilitate smoother functioning of the nervous system which allows your body to protect itself from injury and to heal itself more effectively. If you are interested in finding out more about how chiropractic keeps your body working its best, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.