Archive for neck pain
Here is our Wichita Chiropractic Weekly Health Alert:
(NaturalNews) You gotta relax, man. Life in 2012 means a degree of stress, for just about everyone. Our bodies and minds can take a lot of abuse, but its all too easy to get into a negative cycle, and just keep sinking. You don’t sleep well, you get up late, so you don’t eat, your blood sugar is low, so your temper is short, etc. Stress. If you need more time, more energy, or better sleep, then its worth taking the time to relax and meditate. Believe it or not, this investment in yourself can improve these aspects of your life, and many more.
Everyone knows stress is not good for you. Prolonged exposure to increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline is harmful to your organs. This condition is usually exacerbated by tense, tight muscles (causing pain), shallow breathing, and digestive problems. With just five minutes a few times a day, you can improve your health and cut stress. Best of all, it costs nothing and requires no equipment.
I know what you’re thinking: “Where am I going to go at work to sit in a lotus position and hum?” Well that is not the only way to meditate. Meditation can be simply the act of quieting the mind, breathing deeply, becoming aware of your surroundings, and relaxing. The benefits are many. According to Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, while meditation has long been known to provide peacefulness and physical relaxation, recent research supports the claim that it also provides lasting cognitive and psychological benefits. Measurable changes occur in the brain, after only a couple of months, in the regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. If you find that you like it, take it further with a course on mindfulness exercises. Your local library or community center may have some, or you could learn more online.
You know when you’re in an airplane and the flight attendant tells you to “put your own mask on before helping others”? That concept is true in many situations. You have to take care of yourself or you’ll have nothing to give to anyone else. Your productivity, health, and attitude all benefit from you taking time for yourself to reduce stress. An easy first step is to learn how to breathe, correctly. Most of us take rapid, shallow breaths. Shoulders go up, diaphragm goes in, and only the top portion of our lungs fill. Proper breathing expands your diaphragm, stomach, and ribcage – but not the pectoral area. Exhaling deeply is equally important so that you can better oxygenate your body and empty as much carbon dioxide and toxins as possible with each breath. Got a baby or a dog around? Watch them while they sleep. Higher oxygen levels in the blood increases function and health of the organs. It also improves mental clarity, mood, and stamina. More toxins are released through the lungs than through any other avenue of elimination.
Practice breathing deliberately several times each day. For several minutes, slowly breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs entirely with air and expanding your belly. Try for four breaths per minute – quality trumps quantity. Exhale slowly and deeply through your nose, pulling your belly in. Then, continue, but exhale through your mouth for several more minutes. Use this kind of breathing when you feel stressed, when you’re exercising, when you’re trying to go to sleep, or when you’re trying not to lose your temper.
Why not decide to try some of these tips for three weeks to see if you notice a difference? The power of intent is a strong one. If you choose to develop some good habits, you will begin to feel better. Who knows – if this works you may go crazy and start going for a walk everyday too! Next thing you know, you’ll be in a positive cycle instead of a negative one.
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Your Wichita Chiropractor, Dr. Melody Shubert, knows all too well that if you sit for extended periods at a computer, you may be experiencing neck pain, as well as lower back pain, upper back pain, and pain that radiates down one or both of your arms with accompanying pins and needles or numbness. Neck pain and shoulder pain are, in fact, the most common upper-extremity musculoskeletal problems among computer users. In a 2002 study tracking 632 computer users newly hired at major Atlanta companies, Dr. Fredric E. Gerr, an occupational medicine physician and ergonomics investigator at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues observed that roughly 60 percent developed neck or shoulder pain in the first year, though the study did not track how long symptoms persisted.
Younger generations growing up in the digital age are also joining the ranks of the “typing wounded.” Surveys at two universities found that 40 to 50 percent of undergraduates experienced upper-extremity pain from using their computers. Colleges do not build dormitory furniture to be ergonomically adjustable, said Dr. Benjamin Amick, scientific director of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto, who was a co-author of those studies. “They build it to be indestructible.”
In addition to repetitive stress problems, sitting at your computer too long places your upper back in a sustained, stressful posture, especially if you tend to lean forward when you’re working. This also puts your neck at an unnatural and strained angle. Lower back pain, in addition to being generated by simply sitting for long periods of time without getting up and moving around, is aggravated by bad posture.
Problems caused by extended computer use can not only lead to an inability to perform your work duties, but can keep you from enjoying the rest of your life, too. Dr. Shubert can assist in eliminating the neck pain, and lower back pain and/or upper back pain that you are currently experiencing. After that, it is important for you to become mindful of your body as you sit at your computer, and to give your body what it naturally needs. You can cultivate the habit of both sitting straight in your chair (as opposed to slouching) and relaxing your shoulders. This will help to relieve tension in your lower and upper back and neck. Take time to stretch periodically to ease muscle tension and encourage healthy blood flow. If your work station permits, sitting on an exercise ball can not only aide in keeping you in a beneficial posture, but can help to strengthen your core muscles as well. (Make sure that the ball is the right size so that when you are seated on it your arms are at a ninety-degree angle to your keyboard.)
Dr. Shubert, your Chiropractor in Wichita, offers these tips for pain-free computer activity: good posture for ease of movement, variety in the motions that you do, and short breaks to relax and stretch. These will go a long way in keeping your computer work (or play) pain-free.
Partial source: The New York Times, Health Review, June 22, 2009
Your Wichita Chiropractor, Dr. Melody Shubert, agrees with the majority of people: Sometimes life can be a pain in the neck! Unfortunately, though circumstances in our life may change quickly, neck pain can linger and, often, get much worse. Neck problems, in addition to causing pain in the immediate area of the neck, can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness down the arm and into the fingers. Neck conditions can contribute to both tension headaches and head pain. Finding the reason for your particular neck pain will require a thorough examination and evaluation by a proficient chiropractor, like Dr. Shubert.
Why do so many people suffer from neck problems? There are many causes for neck pain and associated symptoms. The neck might sustain trauma from an accident causing strained muscles, sprained ligaments, and spinal joint injuries. Postural stress can occur from sitting at a computer for long periods and/or performing repetitive tasks. Such stress creates muscular tension and inflammation in the neck and upper back. Poor spinal mechanics and weak or overdeveloped muscles can add to postural stress. Other causes of neck problems are “slipped,” herniated, or ruptured cervical discs, and general aging that produces degeneration of the spinal joints and discs creating inflammation of soft tissues leading to chronic pain.
A chiropractic approach offers a natural and unique mechanical approach to a wide range of cervical problems. Chiropractic treatment results in pain relief, decrease in tension, and increase in motion.
Dr. Melody Shubert, your Chiropractor in Wichita, is an expert when it comes to knowledge of the spine and musculoskeletal system. She will be able to determine the reason for your neck pain and treat it at its source. Chiropractic care can give you the neck pain relief you’ve been looking for. Give Dr. Shubert a call today!