How Often Should You Visit Your Chiropractor?

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When you first see your chiropractor, you may be among the many people who ask, ‘how often do I need to come?’ Often the answer people want to hear is ‘once’ but chiropractic care, like most things that are really good for us, rarely makes a long term difference to your health and wellness after just one visit.

One reason a single visit to your chiropractor may not make a long-term change is that it usually takes years for the problem to develop that motivates someone to first see a chiropractor and it can take many visits to the chiropractor to correct that problem.

Seeing your chiropractor can be a little like going to the gym. It takes time, frequency and follow up.

One way of looking at it is that it can be like the thousandth straw that breaks the camel’s back. A problem can build up day after day as you sit hunched over your desk, or bend and twist as you lift, or tense up as you deal with your daily stress and then one day, you bend to tie your shoelaces and all of a sudden something hurts! You can rest assured that tying your shoelaces isn’t what caused the problem, it’s simply the thousandth straw that broke the camel’s back (or was too much for your back) and that’s why you’re in pain.

There will usually be changes to the way the supporting muscles in your spine work that build up over time until your muscles can’t cope anymore, and symptoms appear.1-2 So, seeing your chiropractor can be a little like going to the gym. It takes time, frequency, and follow up. Working with you to correct the problem and help your brain and the muscles in your spine communicate or ‘talk’ with each other again so you can regain the stability you need to function properly and resolve your aches and pains.3

But how long will this take and how often do you need to be checked by your chiropractor? Everybody is different, so your chiropractor will be guided by their clinical experience, and what your goals are when they recommend a care plan for you. 

US Research Study

A new research study was recently published that suggests, in the early stages of chiropractic care, the more often you get adjusted, the better the results you enjoy, and this can also be better for you in the long term as well.4

In this study, that was conducted by scientists in America, they looked at 256 people who had chronic, regular headaches and divided them into groups who either received chiropractic care once a week, or twice a week, or three times a week, for up to six weeks, or they received no chiropractic care at all and instead were given light massages over the same 6-week period. Previous studies have shown that people with this kind of headache often respond well to chiropractic care.

The scientists in this study were most interested in how many visits per week to the chiropractor showed the best results. They looked at how many days a week a patient suffered from headaches at the end of the study and whether any changes in headache frequency between the groups were still there up to one year later. What they found was that the patients who were seen by their chiropractor most regularly, so up to three times a week, had fewer headaches than those who were seen once or twice a week, and they were much better than the patients who received no chiropractic care at all.

In fact, after one year, the patients that had been seen three times a week had over three fewer headaches per month compared to the patients who only received a light massage. So, these effects obviously lasted.

The more you get adjusted, the better the results that you will enjoy.

This study was done in people with chronic headaches, so we can’t be sure if the same differences occur in people with other problems who see a chiropractor. A similar study in patients with chronic low back pain did find that people who were adjusted more often had the best results, but the results weren’t as clear as the study done on patients with headaches.

The studies suggest that seeing a chiropractor more often when you begin care has real, beneficial, long-term effects to the way your spine and nervous system works, but how much you benefit may depend on what’s wrong with your spine when you begin care.

So, when you go and see your chiropractor, know that their recommendations for your plan of care are based on what their clinical experience tells them is best for you, and that the research suggests more frequent adjustments has the biggest positive impact on your health and wellness.

References
  1. Hodges & Moseley. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2003;13(4):361-70.
  2. MacDonald et al. Pain 2009;142(3):183-8.
  3. Ferreira et al. Manual Therapy 2007;12(3):240-48.
  4. Haas et al. Spine J 2018. 18(10): 1741-1754.
  5. Haas et al. Spine J 2014;14(7):1106-16.
Acknowledgments
  • Dr. Heidi Haavik – BSc(Physiol) BSc(Chiro) PhD
  • Dr. Kelly Holt – BSc, BSc(Chiro), PGDipHSc, PhD
  • Dr. Jenna Duehr – BChiro, BHSC (Nursing), MHSc

Heart Rate Variability

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Did you know that your nervous system controls your heart rate? It is one of the many smart things that your body does without you having to or put any thought into it. Your nervous system will increase or decrease your heart rate based on the needs of your body, and this is called heart rate variability.

Most people know that having a healthy heart rate is important – you don’t want it too fast, and you don’t want it too slow. It is providing your vital organs with blood and oxygen that you need to survive. However, your heart rate is not at a constant steady 70 beats per minute all day every day; it changes based on whether you are resting or exercising, whether you are happy or angry, nervous or relaxed.

These changes in heart rate can be measured by something called heart rate variability or HRV. HRV is controlled by your nervous system (made up of your brain, spinal cord and all the nerves that go to every tissue and cell in your body), specifically the part of your nervous system that is automatic, that we don’t have to think about, like breathing. A good HRV (a high one) is thought to reflect a healthy heart and a body that can respond and adapt to its environment and needs.

It is important that your brain knows what is going on in and around your body so that it can know when to increase or decrease your heart rate, and it needs to do this quickly. For example, if you suddenly need to run really fast because you’re being chased by a bear, your nervous system will quickly need to increase your heart rate so it can pump enough blood to your muscles so you can run. However, when you are sleeping or relaxed, you don’t want your heart rate to stay beating that fast as this is not good for you, so your brain will sense this and then decrease your heart rate. 

We know now, from a lot of neuroscience research studies, that when your spine is not moving properly, this changes the way your brain can sense what is going on in and around your body and the way it controls your body.1-3 If the joints of your spine are not moving properly (what chiropractors call being subluxated) this may affect how well you can sense what is going on in and around you and how well you can react to your environment. 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, it might help you to be able to respond and adapt to your environment better and keep you balanced and healthy.

Chiropractic may help

What does the research say about chiropractic care and heart rate variability (HRV)? Researchers have looked at a lot of the studies that have been done on the effects of chiropractic care on HRV and summarised them.4 The results show that chiropractic care does affect HRV, and it seems to increase the healing and calming side of our autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system! 

In one study,5 the researchers got 96 different chiropractors to measure HRV before and after adjustments on 8 different patients and after 4 weeks on 2 of their patients. Altogether, 539 adults had their HRV recorded before and after their adjustments, and 111 adults had their HRV recorded across four weeks of chiropractic care. They found that in both of these groups of adults, there were improvements in their HRV measurements and that in the group that received adjustments over four weeks, these improvements remained constant over that time. 

These studies suggest that even just one adjustment can influence an important part of our nervous system that controls our heart rate, which represents how well our body can respond to our environment and is considered to be a measure of someone’s adaptability and general health. Also, very importantly, in the stressful, fast-paced life we often live these days, chiropractic care appears to increase the “healing and calming” side of our autonomic nervous system. If you are interested in good health, adaptability and want to respond better to stress, why don’t you consider chiropractic care?

Make sure your spine is functioning well so you can operate at your best!

References
  1. Kawli T, He F & Tan M-W. Disease models & mechanisms 2010;3(11-12):721-31.
  2. Buckingham JC, et al. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 1996;54(1):285-98.
  3. Elenkov IJ, et al. Pharmacological reviews 2000;52(4):595-638.
  4. Herkenham M & Kigar SL. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry 2017;79(Pt A):49-57.
  5. Kipnis J. Scientific American 2018;319(2):28-35.
  6. Kox M, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2014;111(20):7379-84.
  7. Pearce BD, Biron CA & Miller AH. Advances in Virus Research: Academic Press 2001:469-513.
  8. Sanders VM & Kohm AP. International review of neurobiology 2002;52:17-41.
  9. Uthaikhup S et al. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2012;55(3):667-72.
  10. Haavik H & Murphy B. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2012;22(5):768-76.
  11. Treleaven J. Man Ther 2008;13(1):2-11.
  12. Daligadu J, et al.JMPT 2013;36(8):527-37.
  13. Haavik H & Murphy B. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 2012;22(5):768-76.
  14. Haavik H, et al. 2017 doi: 10.1016/j. jmpt.2016.10.002
  15. Taylor HH & Murphy B. JMPT 2008;31(2):115-26.
  16. Colombi A & Testa M. Medicina 2019;55(8):448.
  17. Kovanur-Sampath K, et al. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice 2017;29:120-31.
Acknowledgments
  • Dr. Heidi Haavik – BSc(Physiol) BSc(Chiro) PhD
  • Dr. Kelly Holt – BSc, BSc(Chiro), PGDipHSc, PhD
  • Dr. Jenna Duehr – BChiro, BHSC (Nursing), MHSc

Headaches & Chiropractic

By | Allergies, Asthma, Benefits of Chiropractic, chiropractic adjustment, Chiropractic Myths, kids chiropractic | No Comments

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.  

Garden Your Spine Much?

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‘Tis is the season to dive into the outdoors and create an abundance of joy that comes from gardening. Along with the tending of your garden comes the process of deciding what type of garden you want. There are basic laws that cannot be subsitited when it comes to gardening, as well as variables to enhance what you expect from your garden. Some of the minor variables that come with this decision for your garden:

  • talking to your plants
  • fertilizer
  • Vegtables or flowers
  • Soil Ph level
  • To weed or not to weed
  • Proper spacing, and so on…

Variables. When it comes to gardening, there are variables upon variables that exist and will continue to change, modify, and heighten the experience of gardening. Tricks of the trade, even secrets of what to do. Often, you will learn these through trial and error. Yet the three basic laws of gardening that have survived the test of time are water, soil, and sunlight.

Chiropractic care is like gardening. Seeds need care and maintenance while they grow, just like our bodies do as we “grow” through life. Your spinal column is designed to protect the most important entity in the human body, the central nerve system. Any subluxation (misalignment within the spinal column) will create interference within the brain to body connection and thus cause interruptions in the growth and development of the body.

Just like gardening, many variables exist to “enhance” your health. Basic laws will still exist and will survive the test of time. Your central nerve system does, and always will, need check-ups throughout life to make sure your body is expressing its fullest potential. It provides water, sunlight, and the proper soil for all your organs, cells, tissues, and glands that you need to thrive in life.

Keeping Your Plants Healthy

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At this point in time, in our crazy mixed up world, it feels we must get back to the basics of life. So, got any plants? How simple can it be? Do you know how to properly care for them? Even though it’s winter and spring is a ways away, we need to prepare properly for the months to come.

It sounds trivial, yet in reality it’s a continual state of preparation. When I take care of my plants (particularly my vegetables; flowers are fine but eating my veggies is a delicious treat), I realize that external factors are important and need to occur to keep my plants “looking” healthy. Factors such as adequate sunshine, enough water, proper spacing, and good air flow.

While these external influences are important for the plant to survive, if left all alone these external influence would not be a constant. One constant variable that is often overlooked is the soil. Many say that if you take care of the soil, regardless of the external influences, the plant will not only grow, it will thrive.

So taking care of the soil takes care of the plant, regardless of the external influences that comes its way. This is a philosophy that is based on science, backed by pure instinct. To better understand, we can switch the word soil to mean that of host (our bodies) and instead of external influences you could use seeds or external harm. “Take care of the host and it will be impervious to any harmful seed thrown its way.” (Paraphrasing the highly remarked French scientist Claude Bernard.)

“While other professions are concerned with changing environment to suit the weakened body, Chiropractic is concerned with strengthening the body to “suit” environment.”-B.J. Palmer, D.C. The best way to take your health into your own hands is to address the body from the inside out. Starting with your central nerve system (CNS). By universal law the CNS controls every human experience that you have to keep you a well adapting machine. Take care of it wisely. 

Trust The Doctor Too Much?

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Trust. Such an interesting word that we have a tendency to throw around without any merit or justification behind it. There are fundamental “Trusts” that we accept at a very young age, such as trusting our parents to look after us when we are young and developing. However, it seems the older we become, the less often we actually truly trust people. Now throw in the phrase, “Trust Me I’m A Doctor..” and hopefully your eyebrows will begin to rise up.

When our office meets a new patient, we often hear, “I dont trust doctors.” It’s a true statement that has validity. Just because someone has a title or letters after their name does not justify that trust should automatically be implied. Just as if someone holding office wants to be trusted, it does not mean that trust is automatically implied. 

Trust is defiantly earned through relationships. Here at Basler Family Chiropractic we get to EARN your trust. We believe in the patient centered model, which purpose is to educate and inform so that you are the “informed consumer”.

What are we informing you of? Health care. We believe and know that health is given to all and exists primarily through the central nerve system (CNS). As Gonstead Chiropractors we assume the responsibility of allowing your CNS to function free of interference allowing your brain and body to be at its ideal environment to adapt to the stressors that you place upon it.

We earn your trust by providing you and your family with healthy results that last a lifetime. Free of drugs, surgery, or any other invasive entity that is external and foreign to the body. If you are looking for purity in the human body trust  in your body’s innate wisdom by keeping your CNS free of any interference.  

How The Law Of Fear Works

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The stressful SHIFT is and has been occurring for some time since the COVID. We are talking about the emotional cascade of events that comes as extra baggage with everything associated with the COVID. The message is clear and with it comes the fear, with fear comes STRESS. When fear manifests it SHIFTS the trajectory of ones health for an instant or forever, depending on how well you adapt to the stress. We need to implement specific tactics that allow us to sustain our health.

You might not have FEAR during this time. Fantastic. Your body still begins to shift when your waiting in line at the grocery store and next to you is the person with the Hazmat suit. Be honest, it alters your perception and “can” trigger a stress response.

Specific tactics to enhance your bodies adaptability start with the central nerve system (CNS).  Resilience is our top concern.  Allowing the body to enhance its resiliency in times of chaos begin with a functional and coordinated CNS.
The difference between a bodies immune system that is resilient vs an immune system that is depleted is in the limitations of matter.  And what limits matter? The vertebral subluxation (misalignment within the spinal column) disrupts the communication from brain to body altering and shifting every system within the body (immune system as well) to a dysfunctional state!
The vertebral subluxation-itself a limitation of matter-which occludes an opening producing pressure upon nerves reducing the supply of the producer to the product (limits your brain to body connection and versa).
If there were no vertebral subluxation

  • no occlusion of any verterbal foramina
  • no pressure upon nerves
  • no reduction of supply between producer and product
  • no LIMITATION of product to reproduce the producer

To adjust the subluxation is to advance mankind, up his efficiency, increase his ADAPTABILITY, make him more natural and more at peace within himself. – Chiropractic Philosophy Science And Art

Ensuring health from within begins with addressing your spinal column. Create a new law of health by looking towards your health from within first and foremost. 

Reason One To See A Chiropractor

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Chiropractic care is often associated with middle aged males who “throw their back out”. One of the biggest misconceptions is to why people seek Chiropractic care. Stress. Stress has become such an ingrained part of our vocabulary and daily existence that it is difficult to believe that our current use of the term originated only a little over 50 years ago, when it was essentially “coined” by Hans Selye. Pre Hans Selye and the development of the word “stress” Chiropractors used the term “Auto-Suggestions” to describe our thought process. Chiropractors understood and still to this day preach that stress is an emotional reaction to life events. 

 It would be easy to say “stop stressing,” yet this holds no merit as we often have to react to external stressors that impact our life. Stress often comes about in two different manners – dealing with chance events and feeling out of control with events. Stress is a very expensive epidemic due to the fact that it aggravates every other form of dis-ease in our body.

How does Chiropractic enter into this equation? The simplest notion is that when your brain has a negative thought your spinal cord is a direct extension off of the brain and will encounter the same response you are creating. To add a little science, when you experience stress, your pituitary gland (in the brain) responds by increasing a hormone called adrenocorticotropic (ACTH). ACTH sets off an alarm system in the brain that travels down the spinal cord to activate the adrenal glands to release a flood of stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline.  

 When your body is constantly bombarded with negative thoughts you enter into a chemical cascade of events called fight or flight. The tiny intricate muscles of the spinal column that are responsible for proper spinal alignment will “go to sleep” or not function correctly due to the fact that we activate BIG muscles when are body is in a chronic state of fight or flight. Seeing that it is impossible to medicate our way out of any symptom and stress is an emotional response not a biochemical condition (which means drugs have a limited effect on stress) like diabetes it is defiantly safe to say that natural healing through specific spinal adjustments is the course of action. Your health is our top concern.

Investing In Your Health

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Investing in your health is a path that often goes untraveled.  Much like the famous poet Robert Frost in his telling of The Road Less Traveled, we often take the road of the least resistance.  We conform to societies beliefs that your health is something that can be bought.  That health comes in the form of a pill, lotion, or potion conjured to make money off of the sick.  Contrary to popular belief, we were designed to be healthy.  Health is innately given to us and we have to invest in it.  The road less traveled is often in the form of natural healing, letting the body heal itself.  Chiropractors approximately only serve 10% of the population.  Most people think Chiropractors are CRAZY to educate the masses that the most important system that controls, regulates, and services every human function in your body needs periodic check-ups to ensure optimal function.  Most people thought Steven Jobs was CRAZY when he introduced the IPhone without any buttons (the social norm was Blackberries)!   

Investing in your health comes with education.  The role of the Chiropractor is not to simply adjust patients but to “check” patients as well with a systematic scientific technique that looks for imbalances along the spine creating dis-ease not only within the central nerve system but within the body.  Without a healthy central nerve system health does not exist.  Proper education is in place to empower patients.  Much of what Chiropractic stands for is validated scientifically in every human anatomy textbook, yet society will always attempt to perpetuate those methods which better serve mankind.   In this office we have a conviction stronger than a desire not just to please, but to serve the masses with specific and scientifically based natural healing.   

Big business influences the health care policy.  Big business is not interested in the road less traveled.  You don’t see Chiropractic advertisements on television with “Chiropractic Hospitals” you only see medical advertisements.  Realize the central nerve system is the only system in the body protected by bone.  The brain has the skull and the spinal cord has the spinal bones.  It must be pretty important if we were designed that way!  Investing in your health begins with taking care of the inside first, the central nerve system.  A subluxation (misalignment within the spinal column) is not a complete cycle for the body.  Your body’s innate intelligence is designed to keep you functioning.  Chiropractors work with innate intelligence to assist the body in achieving better function and to get it working at optimal potential.