The Best Treatment Options for Managing Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash: it comes on in an instant, but can stay with you for quite some time. Between neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion in the neck, headaches, and dizziness, the laundry list of unpleasant symptoms is enough to keep anyone from enjoying day-to-day life.

The good news is that there are some great options to manage and improve your whiplash condition at home. Below we’ll walk you through some of the best ways to treat whiplash with conservative care, how to manage the pain, and mitigating side-effect discomforts so that you can live your best life. 

What You Can Do For Whiplash At Home

Let’s start with what you don’t want to do for whiplash. Along with the discomfort that accompanies whiplash, it’s easy to want to immobilize or rest the neck. Resist this urge! Though some extra rest within the first 24-48 hours of the incident can be helpful, ultimately you want to encourage some gentle range of motion. Complete rest can get in the way of that and actually do more harm than good. 

As far as managing whiplash at home, you’ll want to focus on a couple of key components: pain management and range of motion. 

Pain Management For Whiplash

Pain management for each case of whiplash can vary significantly person-to-person, and of course, depends on the severity of the original accident. Some of the more serious cases do require prescription pain medication, muscle relaxants, or injections, but these routes shouldn’t be jumped to automatically. As always, consult with your doctor first, but there are other gentle modalities that help provide many whiplash victims with some serious relief. 

As far as conservative at-home care options go, a great route to explore initially is alternating the application of both heat and cold to the affected area. A hot or cold pack can be applied to the neck (make sure to keep a towel in between to protect your skin!) in 15-minute increments up to six times per day. Make a mental note of which temperature provides you more relief. Some also find that alternating the temperatures to be very beneficial. 

Gentle massage to the neck and shoulder area can also provide pain relief. The key here is not to get too aggressive with this kind of massage. Try asking a family member or spouse to gently massage the area in small circles, to your tolerance. Of course, use pain and discomfort as your guiding indicator. If the massage is making your pain worse, stop it immediately. You should also pay attention to how your pain changes in the hours and days following the massage. Again, if you’re noticing a significant increase in pain, this signals that your neck may not be ready for massage quite yet.

Exercises For Whiplash

Being able to help yourself at home can be hugely empowering during an injury. When you’re recovering from whiplash, it’s easy to get overzealous and want to do too much, too soon. Keep in mind that these exercises are best done in moderation, and with the prescribed help from a medical professional. Use pain as a guide; if you feel any increase in pain, stop the exercise immediately.

Neck Rotations

These are about as simple as they sound! Sit upright in a chair with a neutral posture and rotate your neck to look over your shoulder in one direction slowly, until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds before gently bringing your head back to the center. Repeat on each side 5-10 times, or as tolerated.

Head Tilts

Again, begin this exercise by sitting in a neutral, relaxed position. Keep your gaze forward while slowly tilting your head down toward your shoulder, using that gentle stretching sensation as your stopping point. Hold this end range position for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning your head back to the center. Repeat on each side 5-10 times, or as tolerated.

Neck Bends

Stay in your seated position for this exercise. Slowly lower your head toward your chest, tucking your chin as you go. Gently lift back up and return your head to neutral. Repeat 5 times. 

How Can Chiropractic Help Treat Whiplash?

Incorporating consistent chiropractic into your routine is a great way to stay on top of overall health and particularly neck and back pain. The gentle adjustments of the spine and extremities that your chiropractor may perform can help to alleviate pressure in your joints, decrease inflammation, and allow your entire body to function optimally. That’s a huge win in your journey back to full health.

On top of this, your practitioner may also recommend appropriate at-home exercises specific to your injury history to perform outside of the office. These simple exercises can go a long way in making noticeable gains toward recovery.

Don’t delay your health any longer; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (626) 469-7478.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.


Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

From physical jobs to everyday functions, your shoulders can actually take quite a beating. However, we usually don’t notice all of the work that we put them through until something isn’t quite right. Sometimes it’s hard to notice a good thing until it’s gone: your shoulder health. 

With shoulder injuries come stiffness, soreness, and oftentimes a loss of range of motion. Not ideal. From heavy construction work to cooking dinner to reaching onto that top shelf in your closet, our shoulders really play a large role in many everyday activities. When our shoulder health is compromised, it’s easy to feel in many different ways throughout a normal day. 

If you’re one of many suffering from shoulder pain, in this article we address some of the basics to help you understand your condition and jumpstart your healing process.

Overuse-Related Shoulder Injuries 

This one tells it like it is: some shoulder injuries come from plain overuse. Maybe you have a physical job that requires frequent heavy lifting or you started an intense workout routine; whatever it is, if you’re overusing the joint, eventually you’ll find your breaking point. Below are two of the most common overuse shoulder injuries. 

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Your rotator cuffs within each shoulder carry a heavy brunt of the shoulder work that we put these joints through. Essentially, your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that acts as stabilizers within your shoulder. Sound important? They are! 

These cuffs can become strained fairly easily with overuse. For some, it’s a job that requires a good amount of heavy lifting or pounding. For others, the culprits are the sports that require throwing and blocking. 

Regardless of how you injured your shoulder, you may be experiencing rotator cuff tendonitis if you begin to feel pain with overhead motion or a loss of strength or motion within your arm. The good news is if you catch this tendonitis early, it’s generally pretty easily treated with some simple rest, ice, and prescribed at-home exercises.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff tears can come from either overuse OR a more traumatic, sudden accident. It’s important to treat rotator cuff tendonitis early— if you forego treatment and choose to work or play through the pain, you could be putting yourself at risk to actually tear a ligament. It should go without saying that a torn ligament is much worse than tendonitis. Of course, you can also get a rotator cuff tear from a sudden accident.

Signature symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include shooting pain down the side of your arm from your shoulder as well as pain and weakness within your shoulder, especially with overhead activities. 

Though many rotator cuff tears are treatable with ice, rest, and a regimented rehab exercise routine, it’s important to seek medical help for an accurate diagnosis as early treatment is key. A delayed approach to rehab may put your tendon’s ability to heal at risk; the longer the rotator cuff goes without treatment with a tear, the more it begins to retract, decreasing your chances of a full recovery. In short: stay on top of this injury! Medium tears tend to respond well to appropriate conservative rehab; seek out a prescribed plan from a professional as soon as you suspect this injury. 

Severity Of Shoulder Injuries

Though the injury to the rotator cuff is a common issue, the shoulder is so complex that the severity of these injuries can vastly vary. A “strain” of the muscles or tendons within the shoulder is generally seen as a mild injury, while a tear can be moderate to severe, depending on how much tissue has actually torn. Dislocation of the shoulder, fractures, joint instability, and pinched nerves within the shoulder can also be culprits of pain. 

As we mentioned previously, those who have jobs that require heavy lifting and use, and those who play impact sports are common victims of shoulder pain and injury. However, it’s worth noting that our shoulders and joints also become more susceptible to injury as we age. 

Preventative Care For Your Shoulders

To take better care of your shoulders, keep these two maxims in mind: a range of motion and strength. At-home exercises for shoulder health aren’t necessarily focusing on building muscle, but rather promoting a good, pain-free range of motion and adequate strength to perform day-to-day activities, pain-free. 

Bear in mind: these exercises are for preventative care only! If you’re already experiencing shoulder pain or discomfort, it’s important to seek care immediately to properly diagnose what’s really going on. From there, a medical professional can point you in the right direction of what exercises may be beneficial to your specific injury. 

Pendulum Movement

Bend gently at the waist while engaging your core and keeping your back flat. Let one arm hang down, and gently swing it forward and back 2-3 times. Pause, and repeat the exercises with the same arm side-to-side. Repeat these swings on the other arm. 

Wall Stretches

Facing a wall, stand close enough to touch it easily. Reach one arm out to your side and lean into the wall as your mobility and comfort allow. You should feel a gentle stretch in your shoulder as you lean further in. Hold for several seconds, release and repeat on both sides as needed. 

Other small (yet significant) things that you can do at home to help with good overall shoulder health include: maintaining good posture, avoiding overhead movements for rest, and avoiding carrying heavy bags on one shoulder. 

How Chiropractic Can Help With Shoulder Injuries

Another great way to stay on top of your shoulder health is by receiving consistent chiropractic treatment. Not to mention, your chiropractor can also help to properly diagnose your shoulder injury, which is a huge part of receiving the correct care.

Through the use of adjustments of the spine, neck, and extremities, chiropractic can help to realign the body and provide real relief. Believe it or not, these gentle adjustments help to decrease inflammation, relieve pressure, reduce nerve irritability, and ultimately allow your entire body to relax and allow actual healing to take place. By working consistent chiropractic care into your rehabilitation routine, you could cut down on your healing time and increase your overall quality of life. That’s a huge win-win. Your practitioner can also help you work in appropriate at-home exercises to accelerate the healing process outside of office hours. 

Whether you’re working through a shoulder injury currently or looking to get help proactively, chiropractic care can help with overall shoulder health. Schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (626) 469-7478.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.


Preparing Your Body For Childbirth

This one goes out to all of our pregnant ladies! If you’re expecting – congratulations! 

Preparing for a new addition to the family is such an exciting and busy time. However, in all of the planning and anticipation of the new arrival, it can be easy to neglect self-care. 

Self-care is incredibly important at all times, but especially during pregnancy. While you’re literally growing another human (take a moment and let the enormity of that sink in), your body is not only tapping into extra energy reserves but also going through hormonal and significant postural changes. It’s a lot to take in over the course of nine months! 

With the right self-care and planning, you can (and should!) help to actually prepare your body for childbirth. Many of the basics you can begin at home. 

How Does Your Body Change During Pregnancy?

Obviously, we’re all aware of the signature external giveaway of pregnancy: the baby bump. However, throughout the course of gestation, a woman’s body is host to many unseen changes as well. With the surge of different hormones at various times, and ultimately the structural changes that a growing fetus presents to the spine and hip regions, the body is absorbing a lot of change over those nine months. 

Relaxin is one hormone that comes into play in a big way during pregnancy. Just as the name suggests, it helps to relax and soften ligaments to make room for the cervix to widen during childbirth. However, it also opens your spine and pelvis to misalignment vulnerabilities, which could cause complications later. Because of all these physical changes, it’s important to stay on top of anything that doesn’t feel quite right during your pregnancy. 

Pregnancy Training: It’s A Real Thing!

Athletes prepare for big races or competitions by following a training plan to prepare their bodies for the physical rigors that will be asked of them. Pregnancy should be approached similarly. With all of the physical changes and the impending rigors of labor, a birthing training plan helps to prepare your body for the intensity of childbirth. Simple, at-home exercises can help get you started. 

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a simple yoga pose, often used as a resting pose. During pregnancy, this movement can help to lengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Keeping your pelvic floor in tip-top shape is super important when going into delivery, as a tight pelvic floor can actually slow down the birthing process. A strong and flexible pelvic floor, in turn, can lengthen to accommodate the birth better. This exercise can also ease all-too-common lower back pain and tightness. 

To perform the child’s pose, start on all fours with your back parallel to the ground. Simultaneously slide your hands forward, while you sit back on your heels if you are able. Don’t force the movement, however; when sitting back always use discomfort as an instant indicator to stop, or take the pose a bit more shallow. When you’ve found your comfortable child’s pose position, take five slow, deep belly breaths before coming back to all fours. Repeat as desired. 

Cat / Cow Flow

This pose is another gentle yoga pose that can work wonders for lower back pain. Many find that it’s a great exercise to perform both in the morning and in the evening to soothe the small aches and pains of daily life. 

To perform cat/cow flow, start on your hands and knees again. For the movement in this exercise, you’ll follow your breath along with body cues. As you exhale, round your back up as you tuck your head and chin downward. On your inhale, bring your back into an arc while lifting your head and chin to the sky. Follow your slow, deep breaths, and continue this exercise as desired.

Deep Squats

Hello, pelvic floor relaxation! This exercise can help these crucial child birthing muscles both relax and lengthen, making it a great addition to your pre-birthing routine. 

To perform a deep squat, start by standing a bit wider than hip-width apart. Slowly begin to squat as far as you can go down without discomfort. You can place your hands on the back of a chair to help guide and balance you or, if you’re comfortable with it, keep your hands pressed together in front of you. Hold this deep squat in your end position for 2-3 seconds before coming back up, slowly and controlled. Repeat up to 10 times within one session. 

How Can Chiropractic Help During Pregnancy And Childbirth?

It is incredibly common for women to experience lower back pain during pregnancy. Many women find chiropractic care provides soothing relief to the aches and discomforts of carrying a growing child. 

Prenatal chiropractic treatment most often involves addressing the muscles, joints, and nerves along your spine using chiropractic adjustments. These gentle adjustments can help to decrease inflammation, relieve pressure, reduce nerve irritability, and ultimately allow your entire body to relax and recover throughout your pregnancy. And, don’t worry – chiropractors who specialize in prenatal care are thoroughly trained in body positioning to keep your growing baby safe throughout treatment.

In addition to pain relief, prenatal chiropractic care can also help prepare your body for the extreme event of childbirth. With the structural changes that come along with a growing baby bump, it’s easy for your pelvis to be knocked slightly out of alignment, which can pose problems during delivery. Left untreated, it can both restrict the amount of space available to your baby during development, and also make it more difficult for your baby to rotate into the optimal birthing position. Chiropractic adjustments can help keep your pelvis in line and prepared for labor when the time comes.

Whether you’re experiencing back pain associated with your pregnancy, or simply looking for ways to prepare for childbirth, consistent chiropractic care could make a huge difference. Be proactive about your prenatal health; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (626) 469-7478.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.


Whiplash Facts More People Should Know

Whiplash: in one jarring instant, everything changes. Neck pain. Loss of range of motion in your neck. Pounding headaches. Fatigue. Dizziness. If you’ve experienced the intense, sudden injury of whiplash, we already know that this resonates with you deeply. It can feel as if normal life has been turned upside down in the blink of an eye. 

Because the effects of whiplash have such a profound effect on how you operate your day-to-day life, it’s easy to feel as if you’re all alone in your pain, or question if you’ll ever find complete relief.

Take heart; we have good news for all those suffering from whiplash. Conservative care options offer amazing (and lasting!) relief. Yes, you CAN get rid of your neck pain for good. 

Common Causes of Whiplash

Whiplash happens from a sudden, back-and-forth movement of the head that mimics the cracking of a whip. Thus, the name: whiplash. Far and away the most common cause of whiplash is from rear-end car accidents, but it can also occur in sports accidents or through other traumas. The unifying factor: a sudden onset. 

Whiplash is not one of those injuries that compound over time. Instead, it happens in a moment but instills lasting effects on its victims. What many people don’t realize is that whiplash can occur at low-speed collisions, as low as 5 MPH. Whiplash may not even involve vehicles–all it takes is a forceful impact to snap the neck and head forward and back, which occurs in contact sports such as football. 

This sudden injury to the neck is generally followed by symptoms of neck pain, stiffness, loss of range of motion, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and tenderness in the shoulders and upper back. Some more extreme cases also report blurred vision, ringing in the ears, memory issues, trouble sleeping, and trouble concentrating.  

Can I Treat Whiplash At Home?

First and foremost, if you’ve experienced whiplash, it’s best to seek a full medical evaluation immediately. Though many cases of whiplash are treatable at home, you’ll want to make sure that there isn’t a further injury to any bones or tissue damage in the area. Your doctor may order an X-ray, MRI or CT if they suspect more serious structural damage. These clinical images will help give them a full picture of what happened during the accident. 

Once you’ve ruled out more serious bone or tissue injury with your doctor, an at-home rehabilitation plan is advised. Within the first 24 hours following the injury, resting is very beneficial for both pain management and to kickstart the healing process. However, after this initial period, too much rest can actually delay your recovery back to full health. You may have seen those (fashionable!) foam neck braces to immobilize the neck, but that’s actually the last thing you want to treat whiplash.

After you’ve been cleared for gentle activity, begin incorporating a few basic exercises prescribed by your doctor. These will usually involve some side-to-side head movement, neck rotation in both directions, and rolling your shoulders forward and backward. If your symptoms persist, a longer-term rehab plan may be recommended. 

How Chiropractic Can Help Whiplash Symptoms?

Chiropractic is actually one of the most effective ways to treat whiplash symptoms. Regaining movement and motion in and around your neck area is incredibly important for your body to heal. Chiropractic care is beneficial from the onset of your symptoms and throughout your recovery.

How so? Gentle adjustments of the spine and extremities that your chiropractor may perform help to alleviate pressure in your joints, decrease inflammation, and allow your entire body to function optimally. They may also choose to add some manual soft-tissue work to help the muscles around your neck relax, again helping with mobility. Additionally, your practitioner may recommend appropriate at-home exercises specific to your injury history to perform outside of the office. At-home therapy can pay huge dividends toward your healing timeline and can be almost as valuable as the in-office treatment.

Don’t neglect your health any longer; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (626) 469-7478.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.


Chronic Back Pain Conditions That Affect Mostly Women

I am a woman, hear me roar— or shriek from back pain, if you are one of the many women who battle an aching back on a regular basis. 

Ladies, we’ll give you the disappointing news first: studies have shown that there are a handful of back conditions that tend to affect women more than men. It’s a bummer that your gender marker could automatically make you more susceptible to certain painful conditions. Perhaps even a little unfair? 

So for our female readers suffering from chronic, nagging back pain, we offer this post in hopes that you’ll take heart in learning conservative care and preventative options exist. Let’s delve into the more common back conditions that affect women in particular.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fibromyalgia is twice as common in women as it is in men. Disappointingly, the cause of fibromyalgia is largely unknown and there is no known cure. Though hormonal levels may play a role, there has yet to be conclusive evidence found in research to support this theory. However, there are constructive ways to treat the pain and achiness for a better quality of life.  And that’s a huge win!

Just what is “fibromyalgia?” It’s a condition that causes aching and pain all over the body and is generally chronic in nature. Some of the more common symptoms include extreme fatigue, sleep trouble, headaches, and numbness or tingling of the hands and feet. Because the nature of each case can differ significantly, treatment, in turn, needs to be customized. 

So where do you start? Figuring out what’s best for you can be tricky, but as you learn more about your condition and how your body reacts to treatment, you’re better prepared to make adjustments and plan for the future. Basic home care is a good place to begin, including: 

  • Getting good quality sleep–you’ve no doubt heard the importance of sleep a million times before, but it’s true. Your body needs sleep to recover and heal, particularly when you’re trying to ward off aches and pains.
  • Reducing stress— we know…easier said than done. Helpful practices often include practicing meditation and potentially seeking counseling for more extreme cases. 
  • Exercising regularly, even if that just means walking around your neighborhood. 

Though fibromyalgia can happen seemingly randomly, you should also be aware of the more common triggers. For women, the hormonal changes that happen during menopause and pregnancy can sometimes flare up an already existing fibromyalgia case. Extreme stress, both short and long-term, as well as drastic changes in weather, can also touch off this condition. 

Compression Fractures From Osteoporosis 

This is a big one, especially in women who are approaching, are in, or past menopause. In fact, of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, a whopping 80% are female. Women, in general, have smaller, thinner bones than their male counterparts. Couple that with the sharp decline in estrogen (a hormone that greatly contributes to bone health) during menopause, and the risk for fracture significantly increases. 

Compression fractures from osteoporosis usually happen in the front of the spine, collapsing an already thin bone. This leads to sharp acute pain in the back, which can turn chronic when left untreated. If you’re experiencing acute back pain that was not present before, seek medical attention. Compression fractures often go misdiagnosed as general back pain; pay close attention to your symptom patterns so that you can help give your practitioner the full story.

To treat a compression fracture with conservative care, a couple of days of bed rest immediately following the fracture are generally recommended. However, be careful not to stay inactive for too long, as this can worsen the overall effect of osteoporosis and put you at risk for other fractures. Some back bracing can help under the instruction of a doctor, as well as some gentle physical therapy exercises. 

How Chiropractic Can Help Women With Back Pain

When you’ve tried home care and it just isn’t providing sufficient relief, you’re experiencing more intense pain on a more frequent basis, or, when you want a more proactive approach to preventing back pain altogether, it’s time to seek professional care. Chiropractic care can provide the relief you are seeking. Gentle, chiropractic adjustments help to alleviate pressure in your joints and allow your entire body to function better, provided there is no fracture present. Plus, your practitioner can recommend the best at-home exercises to keep your healing on the track outside of the office, beneficial for both fracture and non-fracture cases.

Ladies, you know the importance of taking care of yourself; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (626) 469-7478.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.


4 Common Types of Arthritis (And The Best Treatment For Each)

If you think you may be suffering from arthritis, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, it’s the leading cause of disability in the U.S., with 54 million adults and 300,000 babies and children living with arthritis of some kind. Just what is arthritis, what causes it, and what are the best ways to manage the pain and discomfort?

Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis isn’t actually a name for a single disease. Instead, it’s become a colloquial way to describe joint pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis and related medical conditions, and while it’s most common among women and strikes more frequently as people age, anyone can be diagnosed with arthritis.

Joint swelling, pain, stiffness, and a decreased range of motion are the most common symptoms of arthritis and they show up differently for each patient. The symptoms may be mild, debilitating, or fall somewhere in between. Sometimes these symptoms seem to clear up for a while; other times, they just keep getting worse. 

Severe arthritis often results in chronic pain and an inability to perform routine activities, like walking or climbing stairs. Permanent changes to your joints may be visible to the naked eye but usually only seen via x-ray. 

The Most Common Types of Arthritis

Degenerative Arthritis

Also known as osteoarthritis, degenerative arthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Degenerative arthritis occurs when the cartilage gradually disintegrates, causing your bones to rub against each other, and resulting in joint stiffness, pain, and swelling. The pain may become chronic as time goes by and the joints continue to lose strength. Some patients will eventually require a joint replacement.

Risk factors include being overweight, a history of degenerative arthritis in your family, your age, and previous injuries such as a torn ACL.

Adjusting your lifestyle may reduce the risks or delay the onset of degenerative arthritis. Preventative recommendations include:

  • Making time for both rest and regular physical activity.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Strengthening your muscles around the joint to provide more support.

Inflammatory Arthritis

The immune system is supposed to keep the body safe from disease, but sometimes it can mistakenly attack something in your system that’s not dangerous at all. With inflammatory arthritis (also known as rheumatoid arthritis), the immune system attacks the joints, resulting in joint erosion and even organ damage. A combination of genetic characteristics and environmental factors can cause this autoimmune disease. For example, smoking cigarettes is an environmental factor that can trigger rheumatoid arthritis in genetically-susceptible people.

Early diagnosis is critical to minimizing permanent joint damage.  Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are often used to reduce pain, restore function, and prevent additional joint damage.

Infectious Arthritis

Compared to the causes and symptoms of other types of arthritis, infectious arthritis is rather straightforward: bacteria, a virus, or a fungus enters the joint and triggers inflammation. Food poisoning, sexually-transmitted infections, and hepatitis C are all examples of the types of organisms that can infect the joints.

Although sometimes infectious arthritis becomes chronic, antibiotic treatment often clears up the joint infection.

Metabolic Arthritis

As the body breaks down purines, an element that’s found in human cells and in many foods, it forms a substance called uric acid. Sometimes the body naturally produces more uric acid than is needed, causing the growth of needle-like crystals in the joint. When this happens, patients often feel sudden or extreme joint pain. If uric acid levels aren’t quickly reduced through diet and other medical measures, chronic pain and disability may result.

Diagnosing Arthritis

Your doctor will usually conduct a physical exam to check for swollen joints and loss of motion, plus blood tests, and imaging scans may be used to determine which type of arthritis you have. A rheumatologist, a doctor specializing in arthritis, is often called in for both uncertain diagnoses and when inflammatory arthritis is suspected. You may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon when joint replacements and other joint surgery is required. 

For most joint pain, there are steps you can take to effectively relieve your pain and discomfort, including incorporating chiropractic care into your treatment.

How Chiropractic Care Treats Arthritis Pain

Chiropractic care is a preferred treatment for many arthritis patients because it is a safe, non-invasive, and non-addictive alternative to prescription and over-the-counter pain medications that come with so many unwanted side effects.

Treatment for arthritis pain may include chiropractic adjustments, gentle pressure applied to the spine, and other joints to reduce restrictions and misalignments. By improving your spinal health, joint mobility, and the functioning of your nervous system, your body can better manage the pain and swelling that comes with arthritis.

Though every patient’s chiropractic treatment plan and results are different, many arthritis patients experience significantly-reduced pain and discomfort, decreased inflammation, and an improved range of motion and flexibility.

Is chiropractic care a good fit for your arthritis pain and discomfort? Make an appointment online or call us at (626) 469-7478, to explore how we can create your customized treatment plan to help you feel better now and in the future.

Young woman suffering from headache while working in office

Common Causes of Migraines and How to Effectively Treat Your Headache Pain

Migraine headaches are among the most prevalent — and the least-understood — medical conditions in existence. 

Approximately 13% of the world’s population suffer from migraines at some point in their lives. Because the symptoms vary so significantly from one patient to another, they can be challenging for mainstream medicine to diagnose and treat. 

As most patients can attest, migraine headaches can be disruptive to everyday activities. From reduced productivity to missing work completely, strained relationships to broken commitments, those who suffer from migraines often feel the stress of disappointing people in their life because they’ve got another migraine. 

Do you know who is more susceptible to migraines, men or women? And what are the common causes and best options for treatment? Read on for the answers to these questions and more!

It’s impossible to plan your life around debilitating pain that may strike at any time. Patients often describe their migraine headaches as a throbbing pain radiating from deep inside the head, often from just one side. Lasting from several hours to many days, migraines may also cause sensitivity to sound and light, or cause nausea and vomiting. 

One in five people also report disturbances in their vision called “auras” just before the onset of a migraine. Common auras include blind spots, flashing lights or stars, or zigzag lines.

Who Gets Migraines

While anyone can get a migraine, women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than men. Migraine headaches often run in families and are also associated with certain nervous system conditions as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Migraine Causes

While there is no definitive, universally-accepted answer as to what causes migraines, several hypotheses have gained traction over the years, including:

  • Overactive pain-signaling from the brain’s sensory neurons.
  • A disordered nervous system, possibly in the brain stem.
  • Low levels of the brain chemical serotonin. 
  • Emotional issues or disrupted energy in the body.
  • Vitamin B or other mineral deficiency
  • Negative reactions to certain foods. Wheat/gluten, milk, sugar, yeast, corn, citrus fruits, eggs, aspartame, and MSG have all been linked to migraines to some degree.
  • Reactions to some medications.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Genetic susceptibility. Research has shown that 70-90% of migraine sufferers have family members who also experience them.
  • Environmental triggers. Smells can sometimes set off a migraine.

Migraine Treatment

Many patients instinctively reach for over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, but these medications often don’t provide relief. Mainstream doctors tend to prescribe triptans or drugs that decrease inflammation and change the flow of blood within the brain. While these medications may cut down on the frequency of migraines or reduce the headache symptoms, they don’t address the root cause, and ultimately, the migraines return. Additionally, prescription drugs may cause brain fog, other unpleasant side effects or trigger “rebound headaches,” often as troublesome as the original migraine.

To effectively treat migraine headaches, you must address the underlying cause. Chiropractic treatment is focused on getting to the bottom of what’s producing your migraine headache. There are no one-size-fits-all solution; chiropractic care zeroes in on the unique characteristics of your migraines. 

What to Expect at Your Appointment

Chiropractic treatment includes gently moving, stretching, and placing subtle pressure on the spine to let your body heal itself naturally. You’ll likely experience instant pain relief at your chiropractic appointment, followed by reduced migraine frequency in the coming weeks and months. Your individual treatment plan will take your overall health into consideration and may include lifestyle adjustments such as drinking more water, getting more rest, taking a hot bath, or making sleep more of a priority in your life. Home exercises designed to reduce tension and discomfort in your neck and spine are often recommended in between office visits.

Wondering what your individual migraine treatment plan might look like? Schedule an appointment online or call us at (626) 469-7478, to discuss your headache pain and get to the root cause of your migraines. It’s time to say goodbye to the nasty side effects of prescription medications and finally experience lasting relief.


Note: This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for personalized advice or care from a medical professional.


7 Reasons To Visit A Chiropractor After A Car Accident

In the swirl of post-accident events, many people overlook the lingering ramifications of the initial impact. Never just assume that because you feel fine today, your healing journey is complete. Injuries that resurface months or years later will be much more challenging to address. 

If you’ve been in an accident—even if seemingly minor—here are 7 reasons to schedule a chiropractic appointment immediately after your crash.

1. Treat Inflammation X-Rays Miss

Why do so many car accident survivors wake up feeling sore even though x-rays appear normal? Those aches and pains are actually micro-tears in your ligaments and muscles that cannot be diagnosed by an x-ray. Rather than reach for over-the-counter pain meds, chiropractic care uses spinal manipulations to realign your spinal column and release a natural anti-inflammatory substance, which also mitigates soreness in your body.

2. Uncover Invisible Injuries

Whiplash, an injury caused by a severe jerk to the head, is often marked by symptoms including headache, nausea, soreness, dizziness, or pain in the neck and upper back.  It’s surprising for many people to learn it can take many hours or even days for these symptoms to emerge. The best course of action is to visit a chiropractor as soon as possible to make sure there aren’t lingering issues that might suddenly flare-up.

3. Greatly Reduce Stiffness and Discomfort

A stiff body after a car accident is often the result of scar tissue in the muscles. While many doctors simply advise patients to wait and let the scar tissue work itself out, non-invasive chiropractic techniques can quickly break up this scar tissue and promote quick healing.

4. Skip The Side Effects of Drugs

Too often, patients intend to take painkillers for a short period following their car accident, then realize they’ve become dependent or addicted to the medication. Chiropractic care provides pain relief without the risks and side effects of these drugs.

5. Jumpstart Your Body’s Own Healing Process

If you suffer a neck or back injury in a car accident, the inflammation that develops can lead to even more problems. Inflammation bogs down the healing process slowing blood and nutrients from reaching key areas of your body. Chiropractic adjustments mobilize your spine and restore your body’s proper range of motion, enabling your body to heal much more quickly.

6. Prevent Chronic and Painful Conditions From Developing

Post-accident chiropractic care may prevent minor injuries from growing into serious, long-term problems. When you see a chiropractor immediately after being involved in a car accident — even a seemingly-minor one — you may be preventing chronic and painful conditions from developing.

7. Document Your Injuries For Legal Claims

If you weren’t at fault in your car accident, you may consider taking legal action. When you seek out chiropractic care post-accident, you’ll be creating a record that may be submitted to your attorney or insurance company to fully document the extent of your injuries.

Better Safe than Sorry

When you’re involved in an accident, scheduling a chiropractic exam should be one of your follow-up activities. While you may feel fine initially, symptoms may develop in the days to come.  Don’t take risks– a chiropractic exam will uncover hidden injuries, provide appropriate treatments, and ensure your body is healed naturally.

Make an appointment with us online or by calling our office at (626) 469-7478 to learn how we can create your customized treatment plan to jumpstart your healing process.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional. For diagnosis and treatment of your specific condition, schedule an appointment with our office.


Spinal Arthritis and Back Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatments

Ever notice you have feelings of pain and stiffness in your lower back and hips, especially after periods of inactivity? How about neck pain and fatigue? This combination of pain could be an indicator of a more serious and chronic condition, spinal arthritis

While the name alone is jarring, the condition is very treatable. It’s important though, to completely understand what spinal arthritis is, and get an accurate diagnosis. Let’s start off with a working understanding: spinal arthritis is an inflammatory condition that mainly affects the spine, although other joints may also be affected. The symptoms can be unpredictable: they might get worse, improve, or even stop altogether. The good news: the symptoms that are causing you so much pain and discomfort can be effectively managed. 

So what happens when spinal arthritis strikes? Who is most likely to get it…and most importantly, what you can do to ease your symptoms?

A Closer Look Spinal Arthritis

Also known as ankylosing spondylitis, spinal arthritis causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. Because spinal arthritis can sometimes cause the vertebrae to fuse together, patients suffering from spinal arthritis sometimes walk with a noticeable, hunched-over posture.

Spinal arthritis affects men more often than women, with symptoms typically starting in early adulthood. While spinal arthritis has no cure, treatments can ease your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

The areas most commonly affected by spinal arthritis are:

  • Hip and shoulder joints
  • The joint between the base of your spine and your pelvis (sacroiliac)
  • Vertebrae in your lower back
  • Places where your tendons and ligaments attach to bones (entheses), especially in your spine
  • The cartilage between your breastbone and ribs

Causes, Complications and Risk Factors of Spinal Arthritis

The origins of spinal arthritis are somewhat mysterious; there is no known, specific cause. However, we know genetics play a role, and people who have a gene called HLA-B27 have a higher risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis.

In cases of severe spinal arthritis, the body’s attempt to heal actually results in a new bone-forming. Slowly, this new bone bridges the gap between vertebrae and eventually fuses entire sections together. Those parts of your spine become stiff and inflexible. 

Additional complications may include:

  • Eye inflammation (uveitis): rapid-onset eye pain, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision are hallmarks of uveitis. 
  • Compression fractures: during the early stages of ankylosing spondylitis, it’s possible your bones may thin causing vertebrae to crumble and making stooped posture more pronounced. 
  • Heart problems: ankylosing spondylitis can cause an inflamed aorta, enlarging it, and distorting the shape of the heart’s aortic valve, which impairs its function.

When Should You Seek Medical Treatment?

If you have low back or buttock pain that came on slowly, gets worse in the morning, or awakens you from your sleep in the second half of the night, it’s wise to consult a medical professional. 

In general, you should always see a doctor when symptoms start affecting your daily living. Planning life around your symptoms, putting activities on hold, or sitting on the sidelines due to pain are clear indicators it’s time to make an appointment. Don’t try to navigate your symptoms on your own.

Chiropractic Care for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Chiropractic manipulation often provides excellent relief from the symptoms that are causing you pain and discomfort. (Keep in mind that chiropractic manipulation should be limited to the non-acute inflammatory stage of spinal arthritis, so as not to injure any connective tissue.)

Because chiropractic care focuses on each patient’s individual circumstances and medical history, every treatment plan looks a little different. However, in addition to targeted chiropractic adjustments, exercise is often an integral part of an effective treatment plan for ankylosing spondylitis. Simple activities such as body extensions, range-of-movement, and stretching exercises can produce powerful results for many patients.

Finally, because chiropractic treatment does not include medication, it can be safely combined with other treatments making chiropractic care treatment of choice for many arthritis patients.

Are you ready to finally find some relief from your back stiffness and pain? Make an appointment with us online or by calling our office at (626) 469-7478 to learn how we can create your customized treatment plan. 

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional. For diagnosis and treatment of your specific condition, schedule an appointment with our office.


The Causes & Best Treatment For Piriformis Syndrome

Hip pain. Pain and numbness that runs down the back of the legs. Pain and tingling in the center of your butt. Pain. Pain. Pain! 

If you can relate to these symptoms, chances are you’ve been suffering from piriformis syndrome on some level. Though the symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and seemingly constant, there are some simple, at-home methods to help get your recovery process jump-started. Let’s dive in. 

What Is The Piriformis?

With symptoms that can range slightly in location, it’s important to understand what the piriformis is to better grasp its reach within the body. The piriformis is a band-like muscle that runs diagonally from the midline base of your spine to the outer hip bone. This means that the piriformis is responsible for any hip rotation and turning of your legs and feet. It helps us walk, stabilizes our movement, and overall helps us maintain balance and control of movement. In short, it’s a pretty well-used muscle–and one you’ll want to protect!

The tricky caveat to piriformis syndrome is its placement in relation to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic is a long nerve that travels through and under the piriformis muscle. It also runs down the back of the legs, and eventually branches off within the feet, making its extension delicately intertwined with the piriformis muscle.  Sounds complicated…is it?

The Significance of the Piriformis Muscle

The piriformis is a prime target for high-repetition injury. When it is overused without the proper recovery time, symptoms of piriformis syndrome can manifest in a couple of ways. The most common response is for the muscle to tighten substantially, causing compression of the sciatic nerve. This can cause highly uncomfortable spasming. Other symptoms of piriformis syndrome include pain around the outer hip bone, pain in the center of the glute, and pain that travels from the glute down the back of the leg. 

Because the piriformis is in such a high-use area, it’s fairly easy to succumb to at least some form of piriformis syndrome. Extended sitting, running, and intense exercises can all lead to some level of piriformis syndrome if you’re not careful. It’s important to understand how to best take care of this muscle in order to keep movement pain-free in the long-term.

How To Prevent Piriformis Syndrome

Of course, the best way to manage piriformis syndrome is to prevent it before it begins. Though it can be difficult to completely eliminate your chances of developing piriformis syndrome, it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Once the piriformis has experienced the previous injury, it becomes much easier for piriformis syndrome to become reoccurring or even chronic. 

Many instances of piriformis syndrome stem from overuse with poor form. When you’re running and exercising, be sure to practice good form and avoid uneven surfaces that may compromise your ability to hold a steady posture. Also, make sure that you have a substantial warm-up and cool-down routine to help your piriformis muscle ease in and out of intense activity. 

How To Relieve Piriformis Syndrome Pain

If you find that your pain increases with certain activities or with sitting, try changing your routine to counteract these previous habits. Many have also experienced relief by using ice or occasionally even heat on the affected area. 

There are also some great physical therapy exercises and stretches that, when performed regularly, can significantly help relieve the pain and discomfort that stems from piriformis syndrome. Be diligent in your use with these, and you could see real results. 

How Chiropractic Can Help Piriformis Syndrome

Consistent chiropractic treatment can offer significant relief to those suffering from piriformis syndrome. Between a combination of spinal and extremity adjustments, chiropractic care can help to take the pressure of overly tight areas, realign your body, and keep your nervous system functioning properly. When your spine is out of line, it has a more difficult time communicating properly with your entire body. Adjustments can help to keep your healing process on track.

By scheduling regular chiropractic care, you can help to keep your body’s response system in tip-top shape. Your chiropractor can also help prescribe the best at-home exercises to implement to quicken your recovery time. During the initial evaluation, we will go over your symptom history in detail and construct a treatment plan that you are completely comfortable with before moving forward. Don’t put off your healing; schedule an appointment online or call (626) 469-7478. 

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.