Headaches and Chiropractic

 February 18, 2022

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from headaches — some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

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What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Take pain medication and hope it goes away? There is an alternative.

Research shows that spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) – a centerpiece of chiropractic care – may be an effective treatment option for cervicogenic headaches, which are tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. Pain medications have limited effects on these types of headaches, so attention has turned to the use of non-drug options. A scientific review of research1 published in 2020 determined that SMT could be considered an effective treatment for tension headaches because it provides “superior, small, short-term effects for pain intensity, frequency and disability when compared with other manual therapies.” The authors recommend additional studies to better understand the findings.

Headache Triggers

Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About five percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems.

Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.

In addition, people today engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.

What Can You Do?

Consider these lifestyle strategies to prevent and help alleviate headaches:

If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer or on a cell phone, typing, playing video games or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
Drink an adequate amount of water each day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?

Your doctor of chiropractic may take one or more approaches to alleviate pain from a primary headache:

Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.
Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways – not just back pain. They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.

Avoid the Following Food “Triggers”

Certain foods can also contribute to the development of headaches:

Avoid caffeine. Foods such as chocolate, coffee, sodas and cocoa contain high levels of the stimulant.
Avoid foods with a high salt or sugar content. These foods may cause migraines resulting in sensitivity to light, noise or abrupt movements.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. These drinks can dehydrate you and cause headache pain.
Some headache sufferers may want to avoid not only caffeine, but also high-protein foods, dairy products, red meat and salty foods.

Chiropractic Care Can Help

Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about other ways to prevent pain. Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to examine and treat the entire body with specific emphasis on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. In addition to their expertise in spinal manipulation, chiropractors are trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.

For more information on prevention and wellness, or to find a doctor of chiropractic near you, visit www.HandsDownBetter.org.


Reviewed by the ACA Editorial Advisory Board. The information in this post is for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for treatment or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have specific questions, contact your doctor of chiropractic. To find an ACA chiropractor near you, click here.


Fernandez M, Moore C, Tan J, Lian D, Nguyen J, Bacon A, Christie B, Shen I, Waldie T, Simonet D, Bussières A. Spinal manipulation for the management of cervicogenic headache: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Pain. 2020 Oct;24(9):1687-1702. doi: 10.1002/ejp.1632. Epub 2020 Jul 20. PMID: 32621321.


April 2018

When Gardening, Pull Your Weeds…Not Your Back

Now that spring is here, the weather is warming up and leaves are turning green, many people will spend more time outside planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. Gardening can provide a great workout, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, your body may not be ready for exercise of the garden variety.

Gardening can be enjoyable, but it is important to stretch your muscles before reaching for your gardening tools. The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb.

A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity," says Dr. Scott Bautch, a member of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. "Performing simple stretches during these periods will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness."

To make gardening as fun and enjoyable as possible, it is important to prepare your body for this type of physical activity. The following stretches will help to alleviate muscle pain after a day spent in your garden.

Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the “no pain, no gain” rule. Stretching should not be painful. 

While sitting, stretch your leg out in front of you, knee straight, and prop your heel on a step. Then lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.

Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.

While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.

Do the "Hug your best friend" stretch. Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.

Finally, be aware of your body technique, body form and correct posture while gardening. Kneel, don't bend, and alternate your stance and movements as often as possible to keep the muscles and body balanced​​

March 2018

Chiropractors Stress Injury Prevention by Warming Up Prior to Winter Activities
Winter recreational activities can pose painful problems for the outdoor enthusiast who is not in the best condition. Preparing your body before participating in winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing or ice skating decreases the potential for spasms, strains and sprains. Even if you never leave Texas and don't go out in snow, there are many days here where the temperature drops and any kind of outdoor exercise would benefit from a good warm-up. The American Chiropractic Association offers the following guidance on what to do before and after popular winter activities:

Prior to skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating or sledding, start your warm-up with 10 to 15 squats. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees aligned over your feet, and then bend your knees. Your body should make a 90 degree angle; your buttocks should not hit the floor. Stand up straight again. 

Next, do several lunges. Take a giant step with one foot. Let your back knee come down to the floor while keeping your shoulders in position over your hips. Repeat the process with your other foot.

Lastly, do 10 to 15 jumping jacks. Stand up straight, jump and meet your hands to one another above your head as you spread your feet apart larger than the width of your body. Then drop your arms to your sides while bringing your feet together. Repeat the process.

Don't forget to cool down after your activities. Doing the same warm-up exercises for your cool-down routine is recommended.

If you would prefer exercises specific to your activity, visit a local chiropractor who can help you create an individual exercise plan.

January 2018

Cold and Flu: How to Tell the Difference

Both the “common” cold and the flu are caused by viruses that affect the respiratory system—but they are caused by different viruses and can have different types of complications. However, the symptoms are very similar.

Cold Symptoms

A cold usually starts with a sore, dry or scratchy throat that appears from 1-3 days after exposure to a cold virus. Of course, we often don’t know that we have been exposed, but during the cold and flu season, if you are around people, you have a pretty good chance of having been exposed!

Other cold symptoms include:

A runny or stuffy nose. The secretions are usually thin, watery and clear. Thickened mucus (nasal secretions) often has a greenish or yellowish tinge. The tinge is not due to the virus or bacteria—it is mainly due to the large numbers of immune cells that are fighting off the cold. Sometimes, the thickened mucus can be a sign of a bacterial infection. One of the simplest ways to keep the mucus thin and watery is to drink lots and lots of water and other fluids. This will make it easier to blow your nose too.
Slight body aches or a mild headache. Slight body aches are less severe and less “deep” than the bone-deep aches that sometimes accompany the flu
Low-grade fever. A low-grade fever is defined as any oral temperature between 98.6-100.4° F (37-38° C) during a 24-hour period. It can be useful to remember that a fever is actually a part of the body’s normal defense system—in other words, a fever is often the result of the immune system doing what it does best—killing off viruses! Often, cooling yourself or your child in a lukewarm bath can be enough to make you feel more comfortable without slowing down the immune response.
General feeling of fatigue or not feeling well.

Flu Symptoms

Colds tend to develop more slowly than the flu—one difference between the common cold and the flu is that with the flu, you are often fine one day and sick the next. With a cold, it is more common to “feel a cold coming on” – a feeling that can last 2-3 days. Also, with the flu, you tend to feel much worse. The first symptoms of the flu are similar to that of a cold—a runny nose, sneezing and a sore throat. After 1-2 days, other symptoms develop. These include:

Fever over 100.4 F (38 C)
Aching or sore muscles. These muscles are usually in the back, the arms and/or the legs
Chills and sweats. This is related to how high the fever is—higher fevers tend to include more chills and sweats
A dry (without the production of mucus) and persistent cough
Fatigue and weakness
Nasal congestion. This is more common in colds


One of the most important differences between a cold and the flu is that having the flu is more often associated with complications, especially in the very young, the elderly or people with chronic disease. Generally, it is believed that these groups of people tend to have inefficient or compromised immune systems.

The most common complications of the flu include:

Pneumonia, or a lung infection
Myocarditis and pericarditis: these are inflammation of the tissues of and surrounding the heart
Myositis and rhabdomyolisis: these are inflammatory conditions of the muscles
Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain
Worsening of asthma symptoms
Worsening of a chronic disease

Keeping Yourself—and Your Immune System—Healthy

Your immune system needs nutrients to do its job. You can provide these nutrients by eating well and drinking lots of extra water. Stick with whole grain foods, non-processed foods, lots of vegetables and fruit, lean meats and fish. Avoid fast or fatty foods, dairy and sugar. Dairy foods tend to increase mucus production and this can cause some people problems. That’s not all the immune system needs to do its job, though—it needs you to get enough rest and have a positive outlook!

The last part may not seem obvious to many, but many studies have shown that lack of sleep, depression, sadness and loneliness can depress your immune system—and make you more vulnerable to colds and the flu, as well as other diseases. So—along with eating well, drinking lots of water, exercising and getting enough rest—stay positive! Remember, YOU have the power to transform your health … ONE healthy choice at a time!

This was shared by a patient. The source is unknown.

Archived Newsletters

September 2018

Proper Sitting Posture

How should I sit? The answer to that question may depend upon a few different factors. Are you sitting on an office chair? Does it have good lumbar support? How high is the chair?  Does the chair have a seat back? Are you sitting on a stool? Are you sitting at a desk? If your chair has a seat back, be sure to sit all the way back into it. Let the chair do the work of maintaining your posture. If your back and neck muscles have to work all day to keep  you in a good posture, that ca actually increase your discomfort.  You want your chin and head back, shoulders back, elbows to your side, and an angle at your hips (between your body and your thighs) that is greater than 90 degrees.

​Lumbar (lower back) support is extremely helpful in being able to sit for a while without back pain.  Make sure that the support is in the correct place. It should be positioned in the small of the back to support the natural curvature that exists in the low back when you are standing. As we sit, that curve can actually reverse, putting much pressure on the discs in the spine. The lumbar support should keep the curve from reversing. Maintaining a good lumbar curve (lumbar lordosis) also helps maintain a good neck position (cervical lordosis) and helps keep you shoulder back where they should be. Try rocking your hips forward while you are sitting and see how that affects your neck and shoulders.  

Sitting in a chair that is too low will also reverse the lumbar curve. If your hips remain higher than your knees, this helps. For example, if you sit in a stool that raises your whole body higher and keeps your knees lower than your hips, you will find that it is easier to sit with a naturally good lumbar curve.

You should sit close to your desk and have your keyboard and mouse positioned close to you so that you do not have to reach forward to use them. You should be able to hang your elbows down at your sides and still reach the keyboard and mouse.

Surprisingly, it can be OK to recline your office chair. Gravity will hold you back against the (hopefully good) support of your chair and your eye level will be lower and may be in line better with your computer monitor. Which or the below images is correct? 

February 2018

How You Take Care of Your Body Now Affects How Well You Feel and Function In 20 Years

Things to do now to improve your quality of life in the decades to come:

Stay Hydrated—Most tissues in the body are water based and rely on proper hydration to function well. Your muscles, brain, digestive system, etc. need sufficient water to do their jobs properly. There is no set amount of water to drink per day because it will depend on your activities, humidity, and so forth. The best way to know if you are properly hydrated is by checking how light your urine is. It should be a very light yellow. If it looks like apple juice, you are way behind on hydration.
Eat a Balanced Diet—There are many fad diets out there and most of them have short term benefits. Some of them work well, but some of them can actually be unhealthy in the long run. Balancing a diet involves making sure you get calories from protein, fats, and carbohydrates.  A good balance is 40% of your calories from protein, 30% from fats, and 30% from carbs. Some people mistakenly cut out fats from their diets, thinking that this will be healthy and help them lose weight. While there are some unhealthy fats that we should avoid, most naturally occurring fats are healthy or even necessary for good health. Olive oil, omega-3 fats, and most animal fats are actually good for the body. Eating fats won’t make you fat—it’s actually sugar (especially fructose) that makes your body produce triglycerides (fat). Avoid simple carbs like sugars, but don’t forget to include complex carbs like legumes, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and fiber.
Avoid Inflammatory Food—Some foods are prone to causing inflammation, while others decrease inflammation. Avoid consuming things like sugar, trans fats, vegetable oils, fried foods, tobacco, alcohol, and any highly processed food.
Strength Training—We tend to lose muscle mass as we age. Muscle burns energy even while we rest, so losing muscle can lead to gaining fat. Strength training will, of course, burn energy and help to keep the unwanted pounds off. Also, the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that helps to build and maintain muscle increases production of testosterone that both men and women need to be healthy.
Exercise Your Brain—Our brains can atrophy like the rest of our bodies. Read good books. Do puzzles. Meditate. Avoiding stress reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol can eat away the part of your brain that is responsible for memory. People with consistently elevated stress levels experience memory loss.

There are many things we can do to ensure that we can do the things we want to do when we are older. At least do the easy things.

​How to Get (and Keep) Moving

This National Chiropractic Health Month, American Chiropractic Association (ACA) members and chiropractors nationwide are encouraging people to “Keep Moving!” by striving to add more movement to their daily lives. In order to keep moving, however, you first have to start moving. Mathew DiMond, DC, DACRB, EMT, FICC, a member of the ACA Council on Physiological Therapeutics and Rehabilitation, shares some of his tips on how to get moving and keep moving, especially after a period of inactivity.

What Happens When We Are Inactive?

“Brief periods of inactivity usually aren’t that big of a deal,” Dr. DiMond says. “However, with COVID, there have been a lot of people that, on some end of the scale, used it as an opportunity to cheat and to be more stationary and less active in general.”

Periods of inactivity can happen for a variety of reasons: illness, injury, surgical procedure, or simply a lack of exercise. Our bodies respond differently depending on our baseline fitness and level of inactivity, but there are some general effects that commonly occur due to inactivity. “Long-standing inactivity will lead to more fatigue, tiredness, and lethargy,” Dr. DiMond explains. “Physiologically speaking, if you’re left for weeks, months, certainly years, that will create changes in baseline vital signs: resting heart rate, respiration, metabolic needs and demands. Depending on where you are in the lifespan, muscle fiber types can start to change, and that can be of detriment. In the more elderly population, decreasing load demands can have a negative impact on the quality of compact bone.”

For these reasons, it’s important to start moving again after a period of inactivity. But it can often be difficult to get started.

Start Moving…

Dr. DiMond’s first tip for getting active is a simple one: just start. “First and foremost, you just have to start doing anything. Whatever it is that you’re willing to do,” he says. To start out, it’s important to find an exercise routine that’s right for you. “It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you’re starting somewhere and you’re doing it. You have to do the thing that you’re going to be willing to do. Make it fun.”

…And Keep Moving!

After getting started, the most important thing is consistency. “The human body, and the human mind for that matter, like normalcy,” Dr. DiMond explains. “Wherever you currently are is what your body likes to do. That initial effort can be monumental as a requirement to actually get going. Being consistent with it will create that habit that we’re ultimately going for. We want a habit of physical activity so that we can ensure that it’s embraced throughout the lifespan.”

Picking an activity that you enjoy can make a huge difference in your ability to remain consistent with your exercise. Dr. DiMond also recommends finding a way to stay accountable. “For example, one of the things I love so much about CrossFit is that there’s a huge social component to it. People like it so much because they get to do it with other people. There’s a community, and that really helps inspire, drive, and motivate people to focus on their health goals and move forward.”

Be Safe

Starting to move again after being inactive is important, but it’s also important to do so safely. Overexerting yourself can lead to injury.

“Some people used the pandemic as an opportunity to be more active. There was a bit of a shift because people weren’t going to work, and because they were home more, they were trying new things, new exercises. Because of that, there was a bit of an uptick in certain exercise-induced injuries because people were exercising too much compared to what they were used to.”

Dr. DiMond says that after a period of inactivity, you should assume that your capacity for activity will be diminished. It’s important to be aware of your limits and focus on what works for you, rather than trying to compare yourself to anyone else or to your previous fitness level. It’s also important to be mindful of any pain you experience while exercising.

“You know your body,” Dr. DiMond says. “Pain is a good thing; it tells us that something is starting to be wrong. Not that you necessarily need to change, but you probably went a little too far. Back off and make sure that whatever it is you’re doing, you’re doing it at a comfortable level.”

Stay Motivated

Just as exercise can improve our mental health, inactivity can also have a mental impact. Like everything in our bodies, our mind is a tool and we have to keep it sharp. By not moving, you’re not challenging your brain to interact with its environment in new ways. Mental agility is about interacting with your environment in meaningful ways. Moving around and interacting with different people and environments help keep our minds agile.

The mental effects of inactivity can also come into play when you start moving again. Motivation can be a challenge for people who start to move after a period of inactivity. “Willpower is not enough,” Dr. DiMond says. “It’s not an endurance muscle. It’s something that can be used to get you started, but it’s definitely not going to be what keeps you going long term.”

Dr. DiMond encourages people to define their goals in terms of “what” instead of “why.” Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish and create metrics based on that goal. Do you want to run a 5K? Do you want to walk your dog every day or be able to pick up your grandchild? Determine your “what” and set metrics to achieve it.

“An initial goal to start moving is great, but the motivation that gets you started won’t necessarily be the motivation that keeps you going. Reevaluating your goals and finding new ones can help keep moving you forward. It ultimately comes down to identity: how do you see yourself? What you tell yourself every day matters. Find the goals and the true spirit of what you’re trying to accomplish. But the bottom line is, just get started.”

Brought to you by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and reviewed by the ACA Editorial Advisory Board. This information is for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for treatment or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have specific questions, contact your doctor of chiropractic.​​​

Stay Safe During Winter Activities

When snow, ice and frigid weather blast into town, the chance for injuries can increase, too. Winter recreational activities and chores can pose problems for the outdoor enthusiast whose body is unconditioned. Winter sports such as skating, skiing and sledding can cause painful muscle spasms, strains or tears, especially if you’re out of shape. Even shoveling snow the wrong way, clambering awkwardly over snow banks, slipping on sidewalks and wearing the wrong kinds of clothing can lead to spasms, strains and sprains.

In winter, simply walking outside in the freezing weather without layers of warm clothing can intensify older joint problems and cause pain. As muscles and blood vessels contract to conserve the body’s heat, the blood supply to extremities is reduced. This lowers the functional capacity of many muscles, particularly among the physically unfit.

Preparation for an outdoor winter activity, including conditioning areas of the body that are most vulnerable, can help you avoid injury.

Warm Up

Simply put, warming up is essential. When pressed for time, it’s better to shorten the length of your workout or activity and maintain a good warm-up than to skip it and dive right in. You can complete a good warm-up in 15-20 minutes, and it will make your workout or activity more pleasant and safe. Try incorporating the following sport-specific exercises into your full warm-ups for these winter activities:

Skiing – do 10 to 15 squats. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and knees aligned over your feet. Slowly lower your buttocks as you bend your knees, as if sitting in a chair. Stand up straight again. It’s a good idea to wear layers because you may be going from a cold environment (outdoors) to a warm environment (indoors).

Skating – do several lunges. Take a moderately advanced step with one foot. Let your back knee come down to the floor while keeping your shoulders in position over your hips. Repeat the process with your other foot.

Sledding/tobogganing – do knee-to-chest stretches to fight compression injuries caused by repetitive bouncing over the snow. While either sitting or lying on your back, pull your knees to your chest and hold for up to 30 seconds.

Don’t forget cool-down stretching after sports. At the bottom of the sledding hill, for instance, do some additional knee-to-chest stretches or repetitive squatting movements—to your individual tolerance—to restore flexibility.

Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow without proper preparation can wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system. Consider the following tips to help prevent injury:

Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible. Shoveling can strain deconditioned muscles between your shoulders and in your upper back, lower back, buttocks and legs. Do some warm-up stretching before you grab the shovel.
When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Walk it to the snowbank—don’t try to throw it. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.
Bend your knees to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms take some of the strain of shoveling off your back.
Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.
Stop shoveling if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or get very tired. You may need emergency medical assistance.

To treat injuries or to develop a sport-specific warm-up and cool-down routine just for you, visit a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors offer a patient-centered, non-drug approach to pain relief, increasing function and enhancing health and wellness—including advice on exercise and injury prevention. For more health and wellness information, or to find a chiropractor near you, visit ACA online at www.HandsDownBetter.org.

Brought to you by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and reviewed by the ACA Editorial Advisory Board. This information is for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for treatment or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have specific questions, contact your doctor of chiropractic.

Chronic Pain and Depression

Pain serves an important function in our lives. When you suffer an acute injury, pain warns you to stop the activity that is causing the injury and tells you to take care of the affected body part.

Chronic pain, on the other hand, persists for weeks, months, or even years. Some people, often older adults, suffer from chronic pain without any definable past injury or signs of body damage. Common types of chronic pain include headaches, low back pain and arthritis. Unfortunately, there is scant objective evidence or physical findings to explain such pain.

Until recently, some doctors who could not find a physical cause for a person’s pain simply suggested that it was imaginary — “all in your head.” Now, emerging scientific evidence is demonstrating that the nerves in the spinal cord of patients with chronic pain undergo structural changes.

Psychological and social issues often amplify the effects of chronic pain. For example, people with chronic pain frequently report a wide range of limitations in family and social roles, such as the inability to perform household or workplace chores, take care of children, or engage in leisure activities. In turn, spouses, children and co-workers often have to take over these responsibilities. Such changes often lead to depression, agitation, resentment and anger for the pain patient, as well as stress and strain in family and other social relationships.

How is depression involved with chronic pain? Depression is thought to be three to four times more common in people with chronic pain than in the general population. In addition, 30 to 80 percent of people with chronic pain will experience some type of depression. The combination of chronic pain and depression is often associated with greater disability than either depression or chronic pain alone.

People with chronic pain and depression suffer dramatic changes in their physical, mental and social well-being—and in their quality of life. Such people often find it difficult to sleep, are easily agitated, cannot perform their normal activities of daily living, cannot concentrate, and are often unable to perform their duties at work. This constellation of disabilities starts a vicious cycle—pain leads to more depression, which leads to more chronic pain. In some cases, the depression occurs before the pain.

Depression associated with pain is powerful enough to have a substantial negative impact on the outcome of treatment, including surgery. It is important for your doctor to take into consideration not only biological, but also psychological and social issues that pain brings.

What is the treatment for chronic pain and depression?

The first step in coping with chronic pain is to determine its cause, if possible. Addressing the problem will help the pain subside. In other cases, especially when the pain is chronic, you should try to keep the chronic pain from being the entire focus of your life.

Stay active and do not avoid activities that cause pain simply because they cause pain. Avoiding performing activities that you believe will cause pain only makes the condition worse in many cases. The amount and type of activity should be directed by your doctor, so that activities that might actually cause more harm are avoided.
Relaxation training, hypnosis, biofeedback, and guided imagery can help you cope with chronic pain. Cognitive therapy can also help patients recognize destructive patterns of emotion and behavior and help them modify or replace such behaviors and thoughts with more reasonable or supportive ones.
Distraction (redirecting your attention away from chronic pain), imagery (going to your “happy place”), and dissociation (detaching yourself from the chronic pain) can be useful.
Involving your family with your recovery may be quite helpful, according to scientific evidence.

Feel free to discuss these or other techniques with your doctor of chiropractic. They can suggest some simple techniques that may work for you or refer you to another healthcare provider for more in-depth training in these techniques.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the common signs and symptoms of chronic pain include:

Pain beyond six months after an injury
Allodynia—pain from stimuli which are not normally painful and/or pain that occurs other than in the stimulated area
Hyperpathia—increased pain from stimuli that are normally painful
Hypersensation—being overly sensitive to pain

Signs of major clinical depression will occur daily for two weeks or more, and often include many of the following:

A predominant feeling of sadness; feeling blue, hopeless or irritable, often with crying spells
Changes in appetite or weight (loss or gain) and/or sleep (too much or too little)
Poor concentration or memory
Feeling restless or fatigued
Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, including sex
Feeling of worthlessness and/or guilt

Written by Lawrence H. Wyatt, DC, DACBR, FICC, and reviewed by the ACA Editorial Advisory Board.

Summer Fitness for Children and Families

As weather gets warmer and the school year ends, many families are thinking about scheduling summer activities. For kids of all ages, this might include summer camps, family travel, learning a new hobby or playing a sport. While summer activities can be a great way for children to stay physically active, summer fitness doesn’t have to be scheduled.

“One of the roadblocks for families is always this idea that fitness has to come from a class or a sport or something that is structured and scheduled,” says Jennifer Brocker, DC, DICCP, president of the ACA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics. “That’s not true. Sports and activities are great if your kids are super engaged in that stuff, but that’s not available to everybody. It’s really about helping them build good habits of going outside and creative play.”

There are plenty of activities that families and children of all ages can do around the house or the neighborhood to stay physically active during the summer. “Simple things like just going to the park together are a great way to keep kids active, especially if you can walk or ride a bike to the park,” Dr. Brocker says. Here are a few of her favorite summer fitness ideas for families:

Go for a Walk — And Make It Fun!

Walking around the neighborhood is a great way to exercise as a family, and making the walk engaging can be fun for everyone. Turn your neighborhood stroll into an adventure walk by adding a scavenger hunt component. Have kids look for a certain number or type of objects or point out things in the neighborhood that start with each letter of the alphabet. You can also work together as a family to learn more about the world around you by identifying plants and animals. “Any time that you can make just taking a walk really creative, it’s great fitness: the whole family’s out walking together, and most of the time the kids won’t notice how far they’ve walked because they’re paying attention to something else, so it’s a nice way to get them to walk farther, also,” Dr. Brocker says.

Build a Home Obstacle Course

Home obstacles courses, like adventure walks, are a mix of fitness and family fun. Using objects from around the house, work together to design an obstacle course in the yard, and then take turns attempting to complete the course. Try out different combinations, difficulty levels, or instructions. “It’s super fun to see how creative kids can be in designing obstacles, it gets everybody working together, and then you have this way to spend time together and do something creative that’s also fitness-based,” Dr. Brocker explains. “It keeps kids super engaged, and a lot of times they can build hard courses that are a challenge for parents to get through. It’s a way to be creative and fun with no rules.”

Rainy Day Fitness

For those days when the summer sun isn’t shining, there are plenty of things children and families can do to stay active indoors. A home obstacle course is still possible with some adaptations. “One of my favorite indoor obstacle courses for my kids was to take yarn and spread it between different points in a hallway,” Dr. Brocker says. “It’s like a laser field that they have to climb through like spies.”

Yoga is also an option for indoor exercise. YouTube channels like Cosmic Yoga offer story-based yoga practices designed for kids. “It’s one of my favorite things to recommend for kids who are anywhere from kindergarten to about 10, 11 years old,” Dr. Brocker says. “Yoga is such a great activity for kids. It promotes a lot of connection to your body, it provides a lot of calm, a lot of stretching and strengthening, so it’s a great all-around activity. And parents can absolutely do it, too.”

Family Fitness: Benefits and Safety Tips

In addition to physical health benefits for everyone involved, exercise can have mental health benefits for children and adults. Getting kids up and active, especially outside, gives them a break from screens, which can be good for them both physically and mentally. Staying active has been shown to benefit mental health, and family fitness can strengthen bonds between family members of all ages.

“Any time that you’re doing things as a family, it helps that attachment and bonding, even when your kids are older,” Dr. Brocker says. “It’s a way to stay connected where you can continue to build the attachment and bond that you have as a family. When you’re doing physical things together, it boosts everybody’s mental health at the same time, everybody feels connected, and that really helps support development for kids.”

Safety is always an important consideration when doing physical activity, and there are certain things to keep in mind when exercising with children.

Choose age-appropriate activities and items. A home obstacle course for a two-year-old is going to look different from a home obstacle course for a 10-year-old. Don’t put kids in a position to do things outside of their physical skill levels.
Pay attention to children’s limits. Kids are attuned to their bodies’ limits. Take breaks from strenuous activities like swimming or jumping on a trampoline, and listen if your child says they’re ready to stop exercising.
Stay alert. If you’re walking in the neighborhood, have smaller children hold your hand so they can’t wander into the street. During any sort of water activity, don’t ever put children into a situation where they could be over their heads. “If they can’t touch the bottom, they need to be with you, even if they have a flotation device on or with them,” Dr. Brocker says.

Additional water safety tips include walking instead of running on pool decks and ensuring that backyard pools have fences or other safety guards around them. Dr. Brocker recommends survival swim lessons, which are available in some places for children as young as six months old.

Brought to you by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and reviewed by the ACA Editorial Advisory Board. This information is for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for treatment or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have specific questions, contact your doctor of chiropractic.

Heat and Humidity


The Texas heat is in full effect. We have already had a few days where the temperature topped 100 degrees. We have also had some good rain storms, which have raised the humidity.  During the summers, you may notice that there are some days that are so humid that you never quite dry off after your shower. It is important to understand the danger of such humid days.

Human bodies cool off by increasing blood circulation, by sweating, and by panting. The heart begins to pump more blood, blood vessels dilate to accommodate the increased flow, and the bundles of tiny capillaries threading through the upper layers of skin are put into operation. This is why your skin may look flushed when you are hot. The body's blood is circulated closer to the skin's surface, and excess heat radiates into the cooler atmosphere. At the same time, water is pushed through the skin as perspiration. The skin handles about 90 percent of the body's heat dissipating function.

Sweat has to evaporate in order to remove heat from the body. High relative humidity prevents or slows evaporation. When we get hot in a humid climate, we sweat, but the sweat does not evaporate fast enough to cool us. The body assumes that we need to sweat more, so we do. This can lead to rapid dehydration. We also lose important electrolytes with our sweat. These need to be replaced as much as the water does. When exercising in the heat, make sure you are properly hydrating and replacing lost electrolytes. There are specialized electrolyte drinks available in stores, or you can make your own with water, lemons or limes, and different salts (magnesium, potassium, sodium).

If you feel exhausted when you are out in the heat, find shade and a breeze to cool off for a bit. Cool water can help regulate your body temperature. Drink it, bath in it, or pour it on your head and neck (where we lose much of our heat).


  • In a normal year, approximately 175 Americans die from extreme heat. Young children, elderly people, and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to become victims.
  • Between 1936 and 1975, nearly 20,000 people succumbed to the effects of heat and solar radiation.
  • Because men sweat more than women, men are more susceptible to heat illness because they become more quickly dehydrated.                                https://www.weather.gov/oun/safety-summer-heathumidity

Family Chiropractic

November  2017

Kids and grandparents are always welcome at Austin Kinesiology and Chiropractic. Entire families have been benefiting from chiropractic care for over a hundred years. Many of our patients view Dr. Bryson as their family doctor. The ages of our patients range from newborns to patients in their 90s.  The type of adjustments used is specific to the type of patient. For some patients, the amount of pressure applied in the adjustment is the same as you would use to see how ripe a tomato is. For others, more force is used to overcome the effects chronic subluxations or the effects that stiff muscles have on the joints. It is always fun to see our younger patients come in happy to see Dr. Bryson. Maybe for some children it's because he is the the nice doctor that doesn't give the shots, but the ones that are old enough to talk sometimes comment that they just feel better after coming in for an adjustment. Parents often report dramatic improvement in their child's comfort level or behavior following adjustments. 

Our young athletes benefit greatly from regular chiropractic care, especially during their various sports seasons. Old athletes like Dr. Bryson see huge benefits from getting adjusted regularly. Because most things in the universe move tend to break down over time, we need to do all we can as we age to avoid the effects of aging. Exercise and stretching, proper diet, and safe, effective chiropractic are part of remaining healthy as we age. 

Our more seasoned patients also receive tremendous benefits from regular chiropractic care. Many report greater mobility, strength, and ability to do more of the things they enjoy when they are getting their adjustments. Some tell us about how much better they sleep. They love how they feel when they are able to chase after their grandchildren or golf with their friends. One of Dr. Bryson's first patients came to see him because she was not able to wash dishes. This was a big problem because that was one of her favorite past times. After a few adjustments and some exercises she could continue at home, she was back to washing dishes without any difficulty. She declined Dr. Bryson's offer to let her come to his house and do his dishes. 

Regardless of your age, there are always benefits to getting checked by your chiropractor.


Chiropractic Advice for Pregnancy

As many new mothers can attest, the muscle strains of pregnancy are very real and can be more than just a nuisance. The average weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds, combined with the increased stress placed on the body by the baby, may result in severe discomfort. Studies have found that about half of all expectant mothers will develop low back pain at some point during their pregnancies.

This is especially true during late pregnancy, when the baby’s head presses down on a woman’s back, legs and buttocks, irritating her sciatic nerve. For those who already suffer from low back pain, the problem can become even worse.

During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity almost immediately begins to shift forward to the front of her pelvis. Although a woman’s sacrum—or posterior section of the pelvis—has enough depth to enable her to carry a baby, the displaced weight still increases the stress on her joints. As the baby grows in size, the woman’s weight is projected even farther forward, and the curvature of her lower back is increased, placing extra stress on the spinal disks.

While these changes sound dramatic, pregnancy hormones help loosen the ligaments attached to the pelvic bones. But even these natural changes designed to accommodate the growing baby can result in postural imbalances.

The American Chiropractic Association offers the following tips to reduce and manage pain during pregnancy:


Safe exercise during pregnancy can help strengthen your muscles and prevent discomfort. Try exercising at least three times a week, gently stretching before and after exercise. If you weren’t active before your pregnancy, check with your doctor before starting or continuing any exercise program.
Walking, swimming, and stationary cycling are relatively safe cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women because they do not require jerking or bouncing movements. Jogging can be safe for women who were avid runners before becoming pregnant—if done carefully and under a doctor’s supervision.
Be sure to exercise in an area with secure footing to minimize the likelihood of falls.
Stop your exercise immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, dizziness, nausea, weakness, blurred vision, increased swelling, or heart palpitations.

Health and Safety

Wear flat, sensible shoes. High or chunky heels can exacerbate postural imbalances and make you less steady on your feet, especially as your pregnancy progresses.
When picking up children, always bend the knees and lift with a neutral spine (maintaining the natural curves of the spine without overextending). And never turn your head when you lift. Avoid picking up heavy objects, if possible.
Get plenty of rest. Pamper yourself and ask for help if you need it. Take a nap if you’re tired, or lie down and elevate your feet for a few moments when you need a break.

Pregnancy Ergonomics


Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees to take pressure off your lower back. Full-length “body pillows” or “pregnancy wedges” may be helpful.
Lying on your left side allows unobstructed blood flow and helps your kidneys flush waste from your body.


If you have to sit at a computer for long hours, make your workstation ergonomically correct. Position the computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below your eye level. Place your feet on a small footrest to take pressure off your legs and feet.
Take periodic breaks every 30 minutes with a quick walk around the office or block.


Eat small meals or snacks every four to five hours—rather than the usual three large meals—to help keep nausea or extreme hunger at bay.
Snack on crackers or yogurt—bland foods high in carbohydrates and protein.
Keep saltines in your desk drawer or purse to help stave off waves of “morning sickness.”
Supplementing with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day before and during pregnancy has been shown to decrease the risk of neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida.
Check with your doctor before taking any vitamin or herbal supplement to make sure it’s safe for you and the baby.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

Before you become pregnant, your doctor of chiropractic can detect any imbalances in the pelvis or elsewhere in your body that could contribute to pregnancy discomfort or possible neuromusculoskeletal problems after childbirth.

Many pregnant women have found that chiropractic adjustments provide relief from the increased low back pain brought on by pregnancy. Chiropractic manipulation is safe for the pregnant woman and her baby and can be especially appealing to those who are trying to avoid medications in treating their back pain. Doctors of chiropractic can also offer nutrition, ergonomic, and exercise advice to help a woman enjoy a healthy pregnancy.

Chiropractic care can also help after childbirth. In the eight weeks following labor and delivery, the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten. Ideally, joint problems brought on during pregnancy from improper lifting or reaching should be treated before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state to prevent further muscle tension.

Brought to you by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and reviewed by the ACA Editorial Advisory Board. This information is for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for treatment or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have specific questions, contact your doctor of chiropractic.​

December 2017

Can You Prevent Colds or the Flu?

Did you know that American’s “catch colds” a BILLION times every year? And that doesn’t even take into considerations when American’s “catch” the flu. Is there any way to prevent getting a cold or flu?

The answer is yes, we can prevent a lot of cases of both colds and flu. There are two main methods of prevention:

Support your immune system with overall health
Avoid coming into contact with a cold or flu virus

Support your Immune System with Healthy Living

The immune system has evolved to fight off infections by viruses such as the cold and flu viruses. A healthy immune system can be your best plan of prevention—and even if you DO get sick, you are likely to be less sick and for a shorter period of time with a strong and effective immune system. According to Harvard Medical School, there are several ways you can support your immune system, including eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep and “down time”, not smoking or consuming alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and practicing good hygiene.

Eating Well

While it is difficult to say one approach is the “best”, there is certainly a good argument to be made that a nutritious diet is extremely important to supporting the immune system and overall health.

Stick with a whole-food approach and avoiding all processed foods. Plan meals around a variety of vegetables and fruit. Add small amounts of whole grains, lean meats such as grass-fed beef or buffalo, free-range poultry, fish, beans, legumes, nuts and, seeds and always remember to drink plenty of pure water. Herbal teas are great too—some herbal teas, such as echinacea tea may also support the immune system and may help prevent a cold and the flu.


Regular exercise has been shown to support the immune system in several ways:

Exercising appears to “flush out” microorganisms from the respiratory system, possibly by increasing the rate of breathing and blood flow.
Regular exercise increases the response of both the cellular immune system, by increasing the effectiveness of white blood cells, as well as the humoral immune system, by increasing the level of specific antibodies and producing these antibodies more quickly.
During exercise, body temperature increases, making it more difficult for viruses and bacteria to survive. In this way, exercise performs the same function as a fever.
Stress and the resulting stress hormones can suppress the immune system. Exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones by directly reducing stress.

Sleep, Rest and Relaxation

Another very important—but often difficult to achieve—approach to supporting the immune system is getting enough sleep, rest and relaxation . . . or “down time”.

Lack of sleep suppresses the immune system. Getting enough sleep does just the opposite—it can boost the immune system. It makes perfect sense after all—how often in your life have you felt tired or even exhausted and just to make matters worse, you catch a cold or the flu? This is likely because lack of sleep suppresses your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to infections like the cold or flu.

Rest and relaxation have a similar effect on the immune system—without enough rest and relaxation, the immune system is suppressed, partly because the immune system is responsive to aspects of mood. People who are depressed, have a negative outlook on life, who feel overwhelmed or “on edge” tend to get sick more often—and tend to be sicker for a longer time.

Avoid Getting Sick

We “catch” a cold or flu by coming into contact with their virus-filled droplets. These droplets are commonly breathed, coughed or sneezed into the air by people who are already sick. It would be great if anyone with a cold or flu could wear a protective mask, but even if all sick people did, most people do not even know they are contagious until after they have been unknowingly, passing along the virus. What can you do?

One approach is that you wear a mask during cold and flu season! You may have noticed this is becoming more and more common in public places; but this isn’t the only option.

Remember these virus-droplets like to enter your system through your eyes, nose and mouth. Washing your hands and arms up to your elbows with warm soapy water for at least 20-30 seconds is one of the easiest and best things you can do. Elementary schools often teach the children to sing the A-B-C song while lathering up and before they rinse, to ensure enough time to kill germs. When washing, remember to clean under your fingernails and jewelry and between your fingers. Use a fresh clean towel every time and use the towel to turn off the water. Even though your hands may be clean, it’s always a good idea to avoid putting your hands and fingers near your eyes, nose and mouth.

Other ways to avoid getting sick are to be aware of your hands and the surfaces they touch. Besides the obvious of bathroom and kitchen sinks, counters and surfaces, think of door knobs, desks, steering wheels, phones, grocery carts, gas pumps, money, shaking or holding hands, giving “5”, giving a hug or kiss etc. To help prevent the spreading of “germs” at home, don’t share dishes, glasses, sheets, pillows, blankets or towels. Use disposable items when possible.

Beating the Season

By eating well, drinking plenty of water, exercising, sleeping and resting well and by following simple prevention methods, you can avoid many cold and flu viruses. You may not be 100% virus-proof, but even if you do get a cold or the flu, you are much more likely to be less sick and recover more quickly. Good health comes from small daily decisions over time. Now is the time to focus on building your immune system. Remember, YOU have the power to transform your health … ONE healthy choice at a time!

Back-to-School Backpack Safety
Sept 2017

It is that time of year again. The kids are heading back to school with backpacks full of books, supplies, and  lunch. The following video from the American Chiropractic Association has some good tips to keep the backpack from causing injury to the kids' growing bodies: 

Insurance Terms Glossary

Allowed Amount – The discounted fee that the doctor agrees to accept as payment for services provided to a person with health insurance. Each insurance company has a different fee schedule that discounts the doctor’s fees. The insurance company and/or the patient pay this amount to the doctor.

Deductible - In health insurance, the amount that must be paid by the insured (patient) to the doctor before the insurance company pays anything to the doctor. This starts over once per year. If the patient has a deductible, the allowed amount for each visit will be paid by the patient to the doctor and applied toward the patient’s deductible amount.

Copay - A specified dollar amount that the patient pays to the doctor for each exam and/or treatment.

Coinsurance - A percentage of the allowed amount that the patient pays to the doctor for the exam and treatment once the deductible has been paid. The policy you signed up for may have any or all of a deductible, copay, and coinsurance.

Out-of-Pocket Maximum (OOP) – The maximum amount that the insurance company makes the patient pay within a one year time frame for the services the patient receives. Once the patient has paid an amount in deductible, copay, and coinsurance that is equal to the out-of-pocket maximum, the patient does not pay any more fees for the rest of the year. For example: If the patient has a $2000 annual OOP, $300 annual deductible, and a $20 copay, the patient pays the doctor the full allowed amount for each treatment until he or she has paid $300 toward the deductible. After the deductible is met, the patient pays the doctor the $20 copay amount for each visit and the insurance company pays the rest of the bill to the doctor. Once the patient has paid a total of $2000 for deductible and copays, the insurance company pays the total allowed amount for each treatment to the doctor for the remainder of the year.

Explanation of Benefits (EOB) – This is the statement that your insurance company sends to you and to the doctor. It shows what the doctor billed, what the allowed amount is, how much the patient must pay, how much the insurance company will pay, and how much the doctor must write off. 

May 2018

​Children and Chiropractic

From an article titled "What Can Chiropractic Do for Your Child?" in the magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness, issue 04.

​"Chiropractic’s purpose is to remove interferences to the natural healing power running through the body. When that power is unleashed the healing that results may be profound.

Today we find more parents bringing their children to chiropractors for day-to-day health concerns we’re all familiar with: colds, sore throats, ear infections, fevers, colic, asthma, tonsillitis, allergies, bed-wetting, infections, pains, falls, stomach-aches, and the hundred and one little and big things children go through as they grow up...

...Today’s parents are more concerned than ever about the adverse effects drugs have on their children. Parents are increasingly asking, when handed a prescription for a child’s recurrent problem, “Is this really all I can do for my child? Is there a safer alternative?”

Parents are hesitant to merely mask symptoms with drugs and are worried about side effects. Their desire to achieve a state of true health—has led parents to seek health care options which support their children’s own natural ability to be healthy.

Chiropractic care is one such option. All children function better with 100% nerve function. All children deserve the right to express their fullest potential. Chiropractic care for children is safe, gentle and effective. It allows for the opportunity for maximum potential for well-being."

Austin Kinesiology and Chiropractic

Morning Stiffness

October 2017

Morning stiffness is one of the common symptoms among people suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism. It can also result from lack of sleep, lack of exercise, obesity, poor diet, and living in a cold, damp environment.

Sleep is when our bodies recuperate from the previous day’s activities. We need to rest and rejuvenate. We have a cycle during sleep that involves producing different hormones that affect the quality of sleep and when we feel sleepy. One of those hormones is cortisol. It is a steroid hormone that helps to reduce inflammation. Not having a regular sleep schedule gets these hormones out of balance and can affect the way we feels, the quality of sleep we get, and even lead to obesity. Other negative influences on our sleep include watching television or using electronic devices before bed, sleeping with the television on, and just plain worrying about things. Try to manage stress and be done with it long before bed time.

Obesity involves carrying around excess weight all day, which strains your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. It can also interfere with sleep by causing snoring, apnea, and other issues. If you could stand to lose a few pounds, put together a plan and set goals to accomplish the weight loss.

A cold, damp environment can stiffen muscles. That is why many senior citizens move to hot, dry places like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs. When you are cold, the muscles generate heat by contracting. This happens even while sleeping. If the muscles remain tense for very long, they become stiff and get used to being like that. The cold also causes vasoconstriction. This is blood vessels shrinking and reducing blood flow to the various parts of the body, especially the arms and legs. Dress appropriately for the cold, whether at the office, outdoors, at home, or sleeping. Seal up any sources of drafts in your home or office. A hot shower or bath can help warm up the body and loosen the muscles.

Exercise conditions the muscles to behave a certain way. Stretching exercises, naturally, will help to reduce stiffness. They lengthen the muscles and help them to relax more. Using the muscles throughout their full range of motion keeps them from stiffening up during exercise. For example, fully extend the elbows when doing biceps curls, instead of only going down part way. Remember that strenuous exercise has the tendency to stiffen the muscles, so pay attention to your body while working out. Exercise also reduces emotional stress and this benefits us physically. Regular exercise also helps us to get better sleep.

Diet is a big factor in quality of sleep and, therefore, can have a tremendous effect on everything that sleep affects. Eating too many sugars and carbohydrates disrupts the sleep cycle and affects cortisol levels. Dessert before bed elevates blood sugar levels, which then crash during sleep and interrupt sleep. Eating too late before bed can have a similar effect. Dinner should be hours before bed and include lots of good proteins and fats, and fewer carbs. Indigestion and heart burn will also affect your ability to sleep and rejuvenate through the night. Sleeping posture is a factor as well. For example, sleeping on your stomach puts more strain on the spine and the resulting discomfort may disrupt your sleep, making you more tired and stiff in the morning.



Chiropractic Adjustments You May Not Have Considered

There are chiropractic adjustments for every joint in the body, even the ones you might not have thought a chiropractor would work on. Some chiropractic doctors not only adjust the spine, but also adjust the hips, elbows, knees, hands, feet, shoulders, etc. Many patients come in for spinal adjustments and after casually mentioning the recent injury they suffered to their ankle are surprised that chiropractors can help with joints other that the ones in the back and neck.

There are many different structures in the body and they are all interconnected in various ways. This means that other things in the body besides joints can be affected by adjusting joints. When everything is properly aligned and moving the way it should, the body is more likely to function correctly. Many people find relief from ear infections, heartburn, digestive issues, and many other conditions when they get adjusted. Let your chiropractor know what you are feeling, even if it does not seem like something a chiropractor would treat. You may find that it really helps to get adjusted!

Car Accidents        Sports Injuries      Sciatica      Rotator Cuff      Carpal Tunnel Headaches      Muscle Testing      Nutrition      Scoliosis      TMJ      Fibromyalgia

Decorating for Christmas? Raking Leaves?

Don’t hurt your back lifting Christmas decorations or doing other autumn chores, like raking leaves. Proper lifting technique can keep your holidays merry. To avoid injury, follow these steps for proper lifting and material handling:

  • Warm Up: Your muscles need good blood flow to perform properly. Consider simple exercises such as walking or jumping jacks to get warmed up prior to lifting tasks.
  • Stand close to what you are lifting: The force exerted on your lower back is multiplied by the distance from your body to the object you are lifting. Stand as close to the load as possible when lifting.
  • Bend at the knees, not at the waist: Bending your knees and keeping your upper body upright (trying to preserve your normal standing posture for your spine) allows you to use your legs to lift, rather than your back.
  • Get a good hold of what you are lifting: Do not lift a load if you can't get a good grip. Some things we lift, like Christmas tree boxes, don’t have good handles, which makes it difficult to get a good grip for lifting. Get help for lifting those objects.
  • Set down the things you lift in the reverse order of how you lifted them: It is even easier to hurt your back when setting something down than it is when lifting it. Use your legs to lower the object and keep the load close to your body.

Things to Avoid:

  • Bending and twisting at the same time
  • Reaching overhead with heavy objects
  • Throwing heavy items (full lawn bags, etc.)
  • Working with tired muscles
  • Rushing

​​Pain Pills and Heart Attack

Aug 2017

​Short-term use of NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen (Aleve), is associated with increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).

My patients have all heard me talk about how important it is to find the cause of your pain and inflammation so that we can help your body heal properly. One of my goals is to avoid the need for NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) medication. While they can be effective at reducing the symptoms of inflammation, they do not usually fix the problem that was causing the inflammation. Without addressing the root cause of your symptoms, the symptoms often return once the medication wears off.

In a study published in
The British Medical Journal in April 2017, the conclusion of the study states that

“All NSAIDs, including naproxen, were found to be associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction.”

Another interesting detail is that it is not even long-term use that is associated with the risk.

“Risk was greatest during the first month of NSAID use and with higher doses.”

While it is not clear whether the NSAIDs are actually causing the heart attacks, it is definitely in our best interest to resolve the complaints we have as naturally as possible so that we don't feel the need for pain meds. If we need relief from the inflammation while we are still in the healing process, There are many natural foods and nutrients that are highly effective at reducing inflammation. If you have questions about these options, be sure to ask at your next appointment.

More information: Risk of acute myocardial infarction with NSAIDs in real world use: bayesian meta-analysis of individual patient data, BMJ (2017). 


Dr. Jeremy T. Bryson

Exercise, the Easy Way

Many years ago, Americans walked regularly throughout their day. Today, we are lucky if we can reach 3,000 steps in one day. As a country, we are not getting enough movement in our daily lives. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort to incorporate exercise into your schedule.

Start Small

If all you can manage is a five-minute walk, do it. Five minutes are better than none. Eventually, you will be able to work your way up to 30 minutes or more, and you will be taking a big step toward maintaining the flexibility and mobility of your joints.

For those in a time crunch, consider taking small breaks from work. Simply getting up from your desk and walking around the office or the parking lot, or going up and down the stairs a few times, is enough to get your blood flowing and to trigger feel-good endorphins to get you through the rest of your day.

You can also think about incorporating exercise into the activities that you enjoy, such as shopping. Next time you take a trip to the mall, walk around the entire perimeter before going into a store. Or you can turn household chores and yard work into exercise. Consider washing your car by hand rather than using a drive-through car wash. Next time you have to mow the lawn, don’t groan and put it off. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to get in some exercise and work up a sweat. The same is true of raking leaves and vacuuming the living room—anything that gets you on your feet and moving around is going to be beneficial to your health.

What’s My Motivation?

With busy schedules and the rising cost of gym memberships, it’s easy to make excuses for not exercising. The important thing is to remember what motivated you to start working out in the first place. Do you want to be able to keep up with your grandkids? Play 18 holes of golf? Run a marathon one day? Avoid the diabetes that runs in your family? Wear a new outfit hanging in your closet? Whatever it is, keep your goal in mind to keep your body moving toward it.

Vary Routines

If you already have a workout routine that you enjoy, think about how you can tweak that plan to get the greatest health benefit. Regardless of how you choose to exercise, experts agree that it is important to vary your routine at least every few weeks to avoid plateaus and see maximum results.

Variety can be as simple as changing the machines on your weight-lifting circuit or switching from a treadmill to an elliptical. If you’d prefer to continue with the same activity, such as running, consider altering how far or how fast you run. Switch from interval training to hill training, or from one-mile sprints to three-mile jogs.

New Exercise Options

Tired of running on a treadmill? Check out these exercise options to spice up your workout routine:

Practice yoga. With a variety of styles and poses, yoga can fit into many different lifestyles and address a variety of health and fitness needs. The physical benefits of yoga, such as increased flexibility, strength, endurance and balance make it an excellent option for athletes to complement the often repetitive motions of training. The same benefits are valuable to less active people looking for a way to add more movement to their days.
Diving in for a few laps is a great workout option because it provides cardio and resistance training without any added stress on your joints. You can also “run” in the water for even more variation. Either strap on a flotation device and hit the deep end for minimal resistance while running, or try the shallow end (with the water level hitting about mid thigh) for much stronger resistance.
Do weight training. You can use free weights or grab those soup cans from the cupboard and fill an old gallon milk jug with water to create your own. Start small—with light weights and only a few repetitions—and work your way up to more sets with heavier weights.
Go for a bike ride. Biking is good for your body because it provides a great cardio workout without putting extra stress on your joints. You can hit the trails for an outdoor ride or try a spin class at your local gym for a more structured workout.
Take a dance class. Dance classes are fun, so you won’t realize you are exercising and you can make the workouts as high impact as you’d like.

No matter what workout you choose, be sure to talk to your doctor of chiropractic about exercising safely.​

Source: American Chiropractic Association