Headaches & Chiropractic

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In this blog learn what Haavik Research has to say about headaches and chiropractic care.

Do you suffer from headaches or know someone who does? If you do, you are not alone.

The head is the most common site of pain in the body. Headaches can range from milk pain through to intense pain that leaves you bedridden.

Headaches are a sign that something is wrong. Your brain will create the sensation of pain if it thinks there is something wrong or if it thinks there is a potential problem – e.g. Your brain will give you a headache if you have taken too much medication – letting you know there is some chemical toxicity going on! And some headaches are a warning of life-threatening illness.

Chiropractic Care May Help

We know now, from research studies, that when your spine is not moving properly, this changes the way your brain perceives what is going on in and around your body, the way it integrates other sensory information, and the way it controls your body.1-3 The movement of your spine is very important for your brain to know where you are in space, and since you cannot see your spine with your eyes, your brain relies on the information it receives from the small muscles closest to your spine and skull. If the segments of your spine are not moving properly this may, for some people, manifest as headaches. Others may experience back pain. It’s possible that problems in the spine may even lead to some babies experiencing colic or some kids may not be fully aware of their bladder at night and end up with bedwetting. Research has shown that when a chiropractor then gently adjusts these subluxations, it helps the brain to more accurately ‘see’ what is going on in and around the body.

So, when you get adjusted by your chiropractor, if your spinal dysfunction was manifesting as headaches, these may improve. If your spinal dysfunction was manifesting as back pain, then this may get better.

Researchers have reviewed all of the randomized controlled trials that have looked at the effects of chiropractic care or spinal manipulative therapy on headaches.4-6 The results show that chiropractic care does really help some people with headaches and migraines! We don’t know for sure who will respond well, but for some people, when they get under chiropractic care, their migraines may almost completely resolve within just a couple of months. In another study,8 80 patients with chronic headaches that were due to a problem in their neck, called cervicogenic headaches, received eight weeks of chiropractic care and another similar group of 80 patients received eight weeks of light massage. What they found in this study was that the patients receiving chiropractic care improved significantly compared to the control group that received massage. These studies suggest that chiropractic care may really help some people suffering from different types of headaches. So, if you experience headaches, why don’t you consider chiropractic care and make sure your spine is functioning well so you can operate at your best!

Disclaimer and References

 This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional advice of any kind. Haavik Research Ltd encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your own research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. © Haavik Research 2021 chiroshub.com 1. Uthaikhup S, Jull G, Sungkarat S, et al. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2012;55(3):667-72. 2. Haavik H, Murphy B. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2012;22(5):768-76. 3. Treleaven J. Man Ther 2008;13(1):2-11. 4. Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2011;34(5):274-89. 5. Bronfort G, Haas M, Evans R, et al. Chiropr Osteopat 2010;18:3. 6. Millstine D, Chen CY, Bauer B. BMJ 2017;357. 7. Tuchin PJ, Pollard H, Bonello R. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23(2):91-95. 8. Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, et al. Spine J 2010;10(2):117-28

• Dr. Heidi Haavik BSc(Physiol) BSc(Chiro) PhD • Dr. Kelly Holt BSc, BSc(Chiro), PGDipHSc, PhD • Dr. Jenna Duehr BChiro, BHSc(Nursing), MHSc

Chiroshub.com

Motion Is Lotion

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After receiving a chiropractic adjustment, some assume the patient needs to “hold” their adjustment. “Holding” theorizes the spinal bone has been properly placed in the correct position and the Chiropractor has cured all imperfections for life! While this is flattering to the Chiropractor it has no basis in truth. Here’s an analogy: George went to the gym once and was instantly granted six pack abs. They lasted until his second helping of potato chips, which deflated his six pack back to flab. See what we mean?!

Think of what a chiropractic adjustment is: a low amplitude force into a specific subluxated section of your spinal column (misalignment creating undo dysfunction within the central nerve system to a specific motor segment). This   creates an imbalance within the entire framework of your body. An adjustment is specific MOVEMENT. In order for you to retain what your Chiropractor has done, you need movement in your body afterwards. Motion is lotion!

One of the best things to do after an adjustment is walking! Walking will help mechanically correct the spine, allowing it to settle in by triggering the cerebellum in the brain. This begins to activate the muscles in the right firing sequence. Walking improves the balance of the central nerve system by creating an accurate reality of how the body is supposed to move. Walking will also  decrease inflammation from the impacted spinal nerve by establishing the correct movement pattern. Specific motion builds on more motion. Don’t like   walking? Running, swimming, biking, or any form of movement will stimulate a healthy response.

The theory of “holding” an adjustment doesn’t mean you have to sit down and wear plastic bubble wrap in the event of something bad happening. Your body will become more apt to “hold” correct spinal alignments through regular adjustments. This works in tandem with you performing your daily activities, and making sure you get enough movement to support your regular care.  

Young As Your Spinal Column

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Do you realize the importance of the spinal column? These bones that run up and down your spine protect the most important system in the human body, the central nerve system. The spinal column allows protection while enabling proper flow of information from brain to body and visa versa. Sound important enough yet?

When a subluxation occurs, (misalignment within the spinal column placing undo stress upon the central nerve system) the brain perceives “road construction” as well as what the body needs to do to function correctly. The saying “in alignment” holds some merit when it comes to your health and well-being. Your body craves alignment, when you are properly aligned, your bones, not your muscles,  support your weight, reducing effort and strain on the spinal column.

The spinal column is specifically  designed to allow nerves to flow through and regulate your heart, lungs, thyroid, biceps, lymph. Remember every system falls under control of the central nerve system. Its communication pathway is via spinal nerves that exit out of spinal bones. Stop and think. Clap your hands together, hold your breath for 30 seconds, these maneuvers you perform originate in the brain and then are coordinated via your spinal nerves to the tissue cell of importance.

The good news: with regular spinal check-ups you can ensure optimal function out of your central nerve system. Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe. Your health and vitality are related to your spinal health and alignment. By receiving correct spinal adjustments the body is able to restore itself to a higher level of health. Have you ever heard of a spinal transplant? Neither have we, so take care of the one you have. 

The Tale Of The Young Man

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The tale of the young man starts with a common thread that everyone has to either fight with or control…time.  Time to start a family, time to make a career, and time to take care of his health. There are three variables that are typically at the top of the list.  Too often, though, we become sidetracked and focus our time on just one.

Seeing that we are a Chiropractic office we will focus on the health topic.  Some examples of repetitive sayings we hear are; “it’s time to start taking my health back” or ” I have waited long enough”.  Regardless of the tale, we often see the same story but with different characters.  

Old proverb – ‘A healthy man wants many things, a sick man wants only one thing.’  We cannot stress the importance of actively taking care of your health on a daily basis. The adage “if you don’t use it you lose it” is not far off the mark.  Your body is a vehicle that you must care for and its entirety, trading in for a newer model doesnt work here.  

Whether it’s sooner rather than later to start taking care of your health, we are ready for you.  Just as you work on bettering your family and career everyday, prioritizing your health should not take a back seat.  
Why Chiropractic care?  Just think of a health paradigm that is not involved in feeding your body pills, lotions, oils and other external variables.  Chiropractic is a salutogenic (an approach to wellness focusing on health and not on disease)  paradigm that is at the foundational level for health based on the tenants of Chiropractic dealing with the central nerve system.  For without a healthy functioning central nerve system, your health would cease to exist.

The tale of the young person to make the right choices with their time is left to them and themselves alone.  Making an old person wise starts with their approach in their youth.   I will leave you with this age old adage: “A young man in the pursuit of wealth will often neglect his health, the old man he becomes will spend his wealth to acquire his health.”

The Power Of ‘Advice’

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Age old advice can be misunderstood and often times falls upon deaf ears. Too often we must deal with our own obstacles to actually learn from a life event. Advice, while it is easy to give, often requires the one giving it not to have to lift a finger to accomplish it. When it comes to your health and well-being we have a reliable truth that your body is designed to be healthy. The steps you take to accomplish this daily task of regular health often times comes from ‘advice’.

So take a grain of salt and listen to some words of encouragement, backed up with laws of truth. No advice given here!

Your body is innately designed to keep you healthy on a daily basis. Ultimately running the ‘ship’ is the central nerve system (CNS). For without your CNS daily functions would not occur, thus rendering you useless. Regular check-ups to ensure optimal function of your CNS comes throughout visiting a Chiropractor to check your spinal column for subluxations (misalignment within your spine placing undo stress upon your body).

There is no such thing as “One and done”. If you have been given the advice that a Chiropractor check-up is an emergency situation and after an adjustment the body is automatically restored back to its orginal state then this is bad advice.

Whether the subluxation is an acute or chronic problem it will still require time to properly heal correctly. Just because you cannot see a wound healing within the spinal column does not mean it doesn’t exist. Take your skin for example. If you have ever sustained a deep cut, it can take weeks to months for the skin to heal. Most important here is that the part of your skin that you can see will not be the same as the surrounding skin tissue. Something changed and it did not take overnight!

Take the time to understand that age old adages are what they are! If you skip the healing steps you will miss the healing stages that your body is supposed to go through!

The Importance Of Muscle Memory

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Why do Chiropractors specialize in the Central Nerve System (CNS)? EASY! The CNS is the master controller within your entire body. Every tissue cell that you had, have, and will make is processed and controlled via your CNS. It’s no wonder that there is a specific field (Chiropractic) dedicated to managing the overall function of how your CNS operates on a day to day basis.

Did you know that your brain weighs only 3 lbs and has to coordinate all internal and external functions every second that you are alive!? Specifically, it coordinates external responses via your sensory organs, eyes, ears, nose, etc.

Did you know that your muscles are also organs? Not just your muscles that you workout at the gym, but also the tiny intrical muscles that surround your spine. When a subluxation (misalignment within the spinal column) occurs, the information that the muscles are supposed to send to the brain become dysfunctional. Your brain can still function when a subluxation is present due to muscle memory based on past experiences that you have encountered before.

When a subluxation exists for an extended period of time, your brain is not fully aware of its surroundings. Overtime, this leads to a slow breakdown in the communication between brain and body.

In order to correct the communication breakdown, this is where your Chiropractor comes into play. Positive muscle memory is established when your Chiropractor properly locates the subluxation, and adjusts the dysfunctional segment so that your brain can “wake up” and correct the spinal segment. Doing so will restore the spinal column to its proper positioning, and allow the body to properly adapt overtime.

Time is key. Just like correcting a bad habit, you need to stay on top of it, and require patience while you are breaking the cycle that your body has created. If you accelerate the process and do not give the body ample time to heal, you rush the experience and never fully heal. It takes time to make a problem, and it requires time to make the change. Choose wisely!

Stop Waiting For A Problem: Be Proactive

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Did you know that for several decades the top causes of death in the United States are often associated with a “disease” that takes years to often give you its first symptom? Take heart disease for example, the leading cause of death in the United States. Leading variables that fall under this category are: congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiac arrest, stroke. The first symptom that some of these diseases produce are death itself.

Many people will judge their health based on how they feel. Perhaps not such an accurate measure when sometimes the first symptom can be death itself. Feeling “good” is a major plus in our day to day lives. How the body is functioning is a major component of Chiropractic. We are determined to make sure your central nerve system is functioning optimally to promote a life of health and abundance. The central nerve system gives life to all other systems and components of your body to be in tune with itself. Without overthinking the analogy, think of your central nerve system as the battery to your truck, without your battery, the truck is not going to turn ‘on’.

Being proactive with your health is a daily occurance. You need to weigh the positive over the negative effects to create a continual balance of success. With regular Chiropractic check-ups you can ensure that your central nerve system will be in its top form to perceive and handle any external stimulus throughout your day that will attempt to impact you negatively.

Most patients think if they are symptom-free that they are healthy. However,  just because you are not sick does not mean you are healthy. Of note here, changing the perception to being healthy by being proactive in your daily well being instead of waiting for a problem to arise speaks volumes. Think of this saying, “Going to the Chiropractor only when you are in ‘pain’ is like only eating healthy food only when you get sick.”

Is It Necessary

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Consider the word “necessary.” Often, what is necessary for one is completely different for another. With regards to your health, what is necessary for you? The good news is Chiropractic puts the “care” in health care. Our office utilizes the Gonstead technique which is specific care necessary to your spinal health, and yours alone. No one gets the same adjustment because no one is the same. The care you receive is necessary to you.

If we were to tell you that ‘wellness’ type Chiropractic care is not necessary for you, we would have to also tell you that daily brushing and flossing is not necessary. Yet, the Dental world has done a fantastic job informing people of the necessity concerning regular oral hygiene to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Why do we get lost when it comes to maintaining the function of your spinal column? Typically we can blame the symptom path of our brain.

Most will seek necessary care only when a symptom arrives on their door-step, thus prompting a search for a solution. We don’t start brushing our teeth only when our teeth start falling out do we? Understand that the symptoms your brain tells your conscious is not a reflection of the drugs that you did NOT take. Yet, most will stand in line for the medications and surgery option instead of the lifestyle modifications option.

Your brain is the first computer ever invented, and the spinal cord is like a USB cable, supplying life to every organ, cell, tissue, and gland that you have. Get ‘plugged in’ with Chiropractic care! It is necessary to promote the lifestyle that you want without the use of external stimulants. “While other professions are concerned with changing the environment to suit the weakened body, Chiropractic is concerned with strengthening the body to suit the environment.” – B.J. Palmer. Make your health necessary by utilizing a vitalistic approach that has been tried and tested.

Be The Huck!

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The elusive huckleberry plant! The season is upon us to start harvesting, so find your favorite patch, and start picking some hucks! One of the interesting things about huckleberries is they are very very BERRY hard to domesticate and grow yourself. People have tried in many different ways, with many different variables, to create their own “huck” patch. The fact remains that current research states it is almost impossible to domesticate the wild huckleberry species.

Attempting to alter the natural state of “wild huckleberries,” and domesticating them for farming, personal, or other use, seems incongruent with what they are: wild. Consider the fact that if you want some hucks, you’ve gotta’ get out, hike up, climb down, and pick away. There’s no shortcut. Too often, we try a shortcut with our health, trying to find something else that will make it easier. In reality, the health game, much like the pursuit of the wild huckleberry, cannot be domesticated and made any easier that it actually is.

Chasing the newest and latest health trends will not change, capitalism allows such things to flourish. When it comes to your health, look no farther than your central nerve system (CNS). The fact remains that your CNS made every organ, cell, tissue, and gland in your body. Without the proper functioning of the CNS, your body would be in a constant state of disease.

The good news it that Chiropractic care is specifically and solely health based. Chiropractors focus on health, and what causes someone to be and stay healthy. It just so happens this is directly associated with your CNS! You cannot have abundant health in life, and neglect your CNS. This is fact.  

If you want to earn some huckleberries you must work for them and put the effort in, fact. If you want a balanced CNS that promotes vitality in every system of your body, you must also put some effort in. Health will disappear if you do not take care of it! So get out, hike up, climb down, and pick away! While doing so, you will continue to prove facts that have survived the test of time. 

Preventing The Age “Disease”

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How many times does one associate something negative happening to their body with the saying, “Guess it’s just old AGE”? In the most honest way ever of conveying this message to you, regardless of what you have been told, age is NOT a disease.

Everyone ages, we’re  supposed to. The “effects” that either slow or accelerate the process is ultimately determined by you and your actions. When it comes to “anti- aging” consumer products, we often get too involved in the outside paint job and how we look. The paint job may look well and dandy, but remember you only get one engine to run with. That ‘engine’ being the central nerve system-the inside of the body that runs all other systems and coordinates all actions that you perform.

How do you take care of your central nerve system? By fine tuning the ‘engine’ with regular spinal check-ups to detect and correct vertebral subluxations (misalignments within the spinal column creating nerve interference). By maintaining the health of your central nerve system, you will be able to age at your appropriate ‘rate’.

Paraphrasing Ruth Jackson, MD, on the etiology of aging in the spine, “If any single aging process exists, it is not known at the present time, intrinsic and extrinsic factors are involved undoubtedly. Biomedical science has sought to define the fundamental basis of aging, but the origin of biological aging remains an enigma.”

How much “Chiropractic Care” does my body need to put up a preventative act? It should be such that the level of care is equal to that of your lifestyle. There are lots of different engines out there designed for different lifestyles, all still requiring certain levels of regular maintenance to prevent the inevitable aging process. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure ”- Benjamin Franklin.