Read on if you feel like you need a shoulder rub

Shoulder Pain

Almost daily I hear my patients tell me “I hold all my stress up here” as they point to the tops of their shoulders. In today’s world of office chairs and overstuffed sofas, this condition is all-to-common and can lead to a number of other health issues such as headaches, shoulder pain, and numbness in the arms and hands if it is left untreated.
In the late 1970’s, Dr. Vladimir Janda defined this condition as the Upper Crossed Syndrome. It is not a disease, but a cluster of symptoms commonly found in people who have pain and tightness in their upper shoulders. It is called a crossed syndrome because the tightness in the shoulders is accompanied by tightness in the chest. Conversely, the muscles in front of your neck as well as those around your shoulder blades become weak. Click here for a good visual demonstration of this.
While stress is a big contributor to upper crossed syndrome, posture is the worst culprit. This is good news because posture can change and its ill effects can be treated. Read here for some great exercises to ease your postural strain.
For more ideas and an individualized exercise plan, contact us to set up an appointment.
Yours in health,
Dr. Thompson

The Infamous “Slipped Disc”

Slipped Discs
The infamous “Slipped Disc.” We have all heard of it and some of us have had the displeasure of experiencing it first hand.
Discs are soft and squishy. When healthy, they protect our spine by absorbing shock and evenly distributing weight. When unhealthy, they can cause pain and even bulge, herniate, or “slip” and pinch the nerves that feed into our arms and legs. In the MRI image on the left, the middle disc is bulging out and pressing up against the spinal cord. Over time this disc has become weakened and degenerated. Once this has occurred, that disc will never be the same. That is why it is very important for us to keep our discs healthy. To do so, use these tips:
  1. Discs need good nutrition just like the rest of your body. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet to give your discs a fighting chance to stay well.
  2. Sitting is bad for discs. Minimize the stress of sitting by taking frequent micro breaks, use proper egonomics, and don’t slouch!
  3. Bending forward and twisting are sure-fire ways to end up with a disc herniation. Use a proper hip hinge when bending forward and keep your feet pointing in the same direction as your torso to avoid twisting the spine when bending. Click here for a video demonstration of hip hinging.
  4. Don’t neglect your spine! Regular chiropractic care optimizes the function of your spine, helping to prevent disc injuries. In the chance that a disc is already bulging, we can often get you feeling better and put you on a corrective exercise plan to protect that disc and prevent it from getting worse.
Yours in health,
Dr. Thompson