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.


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.


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.


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.


Sedentary Lifestyle Linked to Poor Health

Do you spend hours sitting at a desk while working? Does your day involve staring at a screen for focused periods of time? Do you notice your posture struggling with the surprising demands of sitting? 

You’re not alone. The average American now spends more than 10 hours per day in front of a screen. As computer-based jobs continue to grow in prevalence, it’s not unexpected. However, the ramifications of sitting for this significant portion of our time are much more serious than many of us may give credit. 

Implications Of A Sedentary Life

“Sitting is the new smoking.” This phrase has been coined to help the general population understand the gravity of the toll that prolonged, consistent sitting can have on our bodies. It can be understandably difficult to fully grasp just how serious sitting can be. After all, it’s necessary for everyone to rest and sit at times! However, the issue we’re facing today is the drastic amount of time that our population is sedentary. This sitting “epidemic” has been strongly correlated back to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and other chronic illnesses. In short, it’s time to start paying attention. 

Gradual weight gain. Did you know prolonged daily sitting significantly impacts the number of calories your body is able to naturally burn? Even if you’re not working out per se, walking consistently throughout the day significantly increases general, healthy caloric burn. As our modern society is engineered toward sitting more, our collective normal caloric output is decreasing drastically. This lifestyle change has contributed greatly to significant weight gain. 

Poor posture, chronic pain. On top of unnecessary weight gain, prolonged sitting can also severely impact posture. Bad posture puts undue stress on your joints and certain muscles, which can easily lead to chronic pain. In fact, ongoing back pain is the leading work-induced disability, as well as the highest cited contributor to missed workdays. When we’re sitting, it’s easy to hunch forward, usually toward the screen we’re looking at. A forward head positioning can put undue strain and stress on your muscles, as well as contribute to shoulder and back pain, and more frequent headaches. When this behavior is perpetuated day after day, it can become problematic. Chronic poor posture and back pain due to poor posture can also make necessary, healthy movement and activity are more and more uncomfortable. 

Everyday Ways To Improve Posture, Even At Work

If your job requires you to sit at a desk for long periods each day, don’t fret! There are plenty of simple, accessible ways to improve your ergonomic sitting situation for your long-term health right in your office. 

Swap out your chair. For starters, you can swap out a normal chair for a large exercise ball. The slightly unstable surface helps to keep your core and spine engaged in a much different way than a chair allows. Don’t feel like you need to go cold-turkey though; you can still keep your chair around to swap between time on the ball. Changing it up like this throughout the day may seem like a minor action, but the small movements it requires your body to go through can yield big benefits long-term.

Stand while working. Many have also found relief from using a sit-stand desk situation. On top of taking better care of your spine, these desks have also been linked to improved collaboration, job satisfaction, and managing or even reversing health problems. They are becoming more and more common in modern workplaces that are prioritizing the health of their employees. 

Take stretch breaks. You should also try to take small walking and stretching breaks. Get outside for a casual stroll during lunch. During the crunch hours of the day, use water and bathroom breaks as an excuse to move and also do some gentle stretching. If you’re more confined to your desk area, consider practicing some basic yoga poses. There are many online tutorials that walk you through basic stretches and only require the space that a small cubicle may give you. 

Practice mindful posture. When you do find yourself sitting, be proactive about your posture. Think about sitting with your shoulders back yet relaxed, an engaged core, and feet firmly planted on the ground. Reference this infographic for more tips on how to properly sit and incorporate small movements to help your body throughout the workday.

The Role Of Chiropractic With Posture

Though many people work with a chiropractor to help with back pain after it has begun, it can pay huge benefits to use as preventative care as well. When you’re sitting for a significant amount of the day, it’s good to be as proactive about postural health as possible. Chiropractic care and adjustments of the spine can help realign your body to keep your nervous and immune systems functioning properly. Ongoing chiropractic care can also help you maintain good posture more easily throughout the workday by keeping your spine aligned.

If your work requires a healthy dose of sitting on a daily basis, it may be valuable to consider working chiropractic care into your routine as a preventative measure. If you’d like to schedule an initial evaluation to get you started, we would be happy to get you on our patient calendar. 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.


5 Neck Pain Causes That Might Surprise You (And When To See A Doctor)

Many people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. From poor posture to osteoarthritis, the causes of neck pain vary considerably from person to person, but sufferers know the symptoms all too well:

  • Pain that gets worse when you hold your head in one position for extended periods, perhaps when you’re driving or working at a computer.
  • The inability to move your head easily and fully.
  • Muscle tightness.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Headache.

If you find yourself messaging your neck several times during the day, it could be more than daily stress and strain— don’t underestimate the role the neck plays in your overall mood and health.

A Pain in the Neck–Literally.

The neck plays a unique role in the body: it’s strong enough to support the weight of your whole head but is also very flexible. Because of this combination of features, your neck is prone to injury and painful conditions that can hinder routine activities and restrict motion. 

We’re all familiar with common causes, such as whiplash caused by fender benders and car accidents, but other origins might surprise you:

  • Worn-out joints. Like most other parts of the body, the joints in your neckwear down with age. When the cartilage between your bones to deteriorate, we call this “osteoarthritis,” which in your neck, causes bone spurs to form. The result affects joint motion and causes pain.
  • Nerve compression. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can sometimes press on the nerves that branch out from your spine.
  • Tech neck. Many of us are guilty of spending far too many hours hunkered down over a computer or smartphone, resulting in an aching neck and shoulders at the end of the day. There’s actually a name for this condition– the dreaded “tech neck.” 
  • (Seemingly) minor repeated movements. Reading in bed, an awkward position–even gritting your teeth can strain your neck muscles.
  • Diseases. It’s relatively rare, but neck pain can sometimes be traced back to certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis, or cancer.

How To Prevent Neck Pain

Some things can’t be helped such as age-related wear-and-tear; however, there’s a lot you can do to help prevent neck pain. Small tweaks in your daily routine can be hugely helpful, including:

  • Good posture. Whether you’re standing or sitting, remember to keep your spine in a straight line. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips, while your ears should always be lined up over your shoulders. In other words, stand tall–no slouching!
  • Take plenty of breaks. Long hours in the office and stop-and-go traffic are an everyday reality for many working adults. Our advice: take periodic stretch breaks– get up out of your chair, move around, and stretch your neck and shoulders.
  • Adjust your desk, chair, and computer. Ideally, the computer monitor (or anything else you’ll need to focus on for a long time) should stay at eye level. Optimal posture includes keeping your knees slightly lower than your hips. 
  • Use a phone headset or speakerphone. Fortunately, Bluetooth earpieces and headsets are mainstream, making them affordable and easy to find. But, if you don’t have that luxury when using a phone handset, never cradle it between your ear and shoulder.
  • Skip the shoulder straps when carrying heavy bags. Added shoulder weight equates to excessive strain on your neck; for heavier loads, consider a suitcase with wheels instead.
  • Choose your sleep position carefully. To avoid waking up with sore muscles, your head and neck should be aligned with the rest of your body. And if possible, sleep on your back with a small pillow under your neck and your thighs elevated on pillows to flatten out your spinal muscles. 

When To See a Doctor

While most neck pain improves gradually with at-home treatments and prevention techniques, we recommend a visit to your primary care physician when your neck pain is:

  • The result of an injury, like a car crash or fall.
  • Severe enough to interfere with your daily life.
  • Persists for several days in a row.
  • Spreads down your arms or legs.
  • Accompanied by numbness, weakness, or a tingling sensation.

Treating Your Aching Neck

While over-the-counter and prescription medications may bring temporary relief, many patients experience unpleasant side effects or limited effectiveness. Thus, the pain continues–and you feel worse from the medications.

Rather than trying to mask your symptoms temporarily, chiropractic care traces your pain back to the root of the problem. Though everyone’s pain is a bit different, chiropractic care most often involves treating the muscle, joint, and nerve in your neck using chiropractic adjustments or “cervical manipulations.” Though the name may sound intimidating, cervical manipulations place gentle pressure on your neck and spine, to loosen your stiff joints and bring immediate relief. If you’ve tried treating your neck pain at home and it’s not subsiding, make an appointment or call us at (626) 469-7478 to discuss your symptoms and begin a treatment plan. Your neck–and body– will thank you.