7 Reasons You Should Go To A Chiropractor

35 million people see a chiropractor each year[1] – and with good reason!  Chiropractic care is effective at alleviating pain and improving function. But is it the right treatment for you?

Check out the many benefits of chiropractic care for both chronic pain and acute injuries, and learn why it might be the right way for you to find healing.

1. Chiropractic care is cost-effective.

The average American spends almost $13,000 each year on healthcare.[2] Even if you have health insurance, you could save as much as 85% on your medical bills by choosing chiropractic care.[3] 

In multiple peer-reviewed journals, chiropractic care has been proven to be less expensive than traditional care[4] – especially when treating chronic issues and back pain[5]. While physical therapy and traditional medical costs keep going up, chiropractic care costs have remained stable.[6] A recent Journal of American Medicine Study showed that older Medicare and low back pain patients saw considerable cost savings – especially when they initiated care with a chiropractor.[7]  As prices skyrocket, it’s no wonder most people are looking to make the most of their healthcare dollars.

2. Chiropractic care gets quick and lasting results. 

When you are hurting from an accident or struggling to enjoy day-to-day activities, you want relief fast. A 2010 study in the prestigious journal Spine found that “most studies suggest spinal manipulation achieves equivalent or superior improvement in pain and function when compared with other commonly used interventions for short, intermediate, and long-term follow-up.[8] 

While there is no magic bullet for immediate healing, chiropractic treatment is often the fastest way to feel better. The nature and severity of your injury, your lifestyle, and your age all play significant roles in how long it will take you to heal. Chiropractic care has been shown to be a better way to get lasting results than many medications, massage, yoga, pilates, muscle relaxers, and over-the-counter drugs.[9]

3. Chiropractic care is safe.

When performed by a licensed doctor of chiropractic (DC), chiropractic care has been proven to be safe, especially for low back pain and headaches.[10]

Many Americans are grappling with the opioid crisis and looking for less invasive treatment options. The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) recently released a study of 750 military personnel who saw the benefits of chiropractic care. As a result, “Chiropractic care has expanded in the U.S. military where an estimated 65% of veterans suffer from chronic pain.”[7]Chiropractors are now on staff at over 100 VA treatment facilities and hospitals in the United States.[11]

4. Chiropractic care works with your body by addressing the underlying cause of your pain.

Chiropractic care takes a ‘whole person’ approach. This means looking for the underlying causes of disease, discomfort, and pain instead of just treating the symptoms. Many seemingly unrelated symptoms often arise from imbalances in the spinal column.

By determining the root cause of the pain and creating a personalized chiropractic and wellness plan, patients report improved functioning in multiple areas of their lives. The effects of chronic pain can include depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, so it’s essential to have a holistic approach to your healing. 

5. Chiropractic care is accessible.

Unlike most doctors who are constrained by complicated health insurance contracts, chiropractors offer flexible care so that you can be seen when you need it most. It is easy to make an appointment that fits your schedule and budget when you don’t have to worry about getting a referral or finding an in-network provider.

Accessible care can help to avoid long-term pain and complications by getting you seen fast and allowing your body to start healing so that you can get back to living your life. 

6. Chiropractic care can help people avoid unnecessary surgery.

While surgery is sometimes necessary, it is also expensive, painful, and can lead to future complications. The side effects of surgery can get pretty scary! Between 10 – 40% of patients experience ongoing pain within two years of lumbar laminectomy surgery, a common low back surgical procedure, and many are diagnosed with failed back surgery.[12] 

In a study of almost 2,000 workplace injuries, those who saw a chiropractor first reduced their chance of needing surgery by over 40%.[13] Opt for non-invasive chiropractic adjustments to avoid unnecessary surgery or a lifetime of pain medications.

7. Chiropractors know how to refer to appropriate medical professionals when that is what is needed.

Conservative treatment through your chiropractor can be the best place to start dealing with your ongoing pain. In some cases, spinal manipulation may not be the best course of treatment. For complicated spinal cord injuries or issues with the nervous system, you may need to be treated by a specialist.

These days most chiropractors have extensive medical training[14], including at least four years of professional study after a four-year pre-medical education. Their education helps them determine when a referral to another medical specialty is the best option for you. Are you ready to start your treatment?

You’ve only got one spine. Take great care of it with supportive chiropractic care. Positive Motion Chiropractic is committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs. 

Whether you are experiencing back or neck pain, headaches, pain from an injury, or suffer from a chronic spinal condition – we can help you find healing. Our team will give you a full evaluation and customize a plan of care to help you reach your health goals.

[1] https://unnus.com/medical/chiropractic-facts-statistics/

[2]https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/nationalhealthexpenddata/nhe-fact-sheet#:~:text=NHE%20grew%202.7%25%20to%20%244.3,17%20percent%20of%20total%20NHE.

[3]chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://chirocarolinacharlotte.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/JMPT-Clinical-Utiliztion-and-Cost-Outcomes-from-an-Integrative-Medicine-Independant-Physician-Association.pdf

[4] https://openheart.bmj.com/content/3/1/e000334

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16226622/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3423501/

[7]https://www.chiroeco.com/jama-chronic-low-back-pain-md-study-reinforces-chiropractic-as-first-line-of-defense/

[8]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20869008/

[9] https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/04/alternative-treatments/index.htm

[10]https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chiropractic-adjustment/about/pac-20393513#:~:text=Chiropractic%20adjustment%20is%20safe%20when,of%20an%20existing%20disk%20herniation

[11] https://www.military.com/benefits/veterans-health-care/va-to-provide-chiropractic-care.html

[12]https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/failed-back-surgery

[13]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23238486/

[14]https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/chiropractor-educational-requirements

What Does Playing Guitar and Fitness Goals Have In Common?

I play guitar. I love exercising the artistic side of my mind. But when I sit down to play I always start by tuning the six steel strings. I have found that my guitar, when tuned, makes fantastic music. Untuned, it just makes noise. Tuning makes all the difference.

This time of year, with spring around the corner, I see a lot of people wanting to get back to being more active. Maybe they want to lose some weight or get more into a sport they love. The intention is great. But many times a few weeks into their new routine a voice starts to creep up in their mind saying “Maybe I am just getting too old…” It might be because their shoulder starts hurting. Or their feet. Or low back. For others it is tendonitis that sidelines them.

What does playing guitar and fitness goals have in common? I find that many times people who have stayed on the fitness sidelines for a length of time (sometimes due to work, family commitments, life transitions, etc) set out to get back all their lost strength and fitness in a matter of weeks. And this many times turns out just like me playing my untuned guitar — horribly.

My advice for those looking to get in the best shape of their life this spring is two-fold.

1. You don’t have to get it all back at once. Actually that never works. You didn’t lose your strength, add extra inches to your waist, or get fatigued going up those couple flights of stairs overnight. Be gentle, but resolute with yourself. I believe that you can get back to feeling better than you have in years (maybe decades) but this is going to take some time. Good news: if you watch for it, you will start seeing tiny victories even after just a few days. So don’t try to make up for lost time. Instead institute one or two healthy habits, of reasonable intensity, and work on those for awhile.

2. Every athlete that gets on my table at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is asked one question first “how can I help you today?” About 1/3 of those athletes reply “Doc, I feel great. Please just help me keep feeling that way.” The best athletes in the world know that a well-tuned body, like a well-tuned guitar, performs better AND (bonus) has less of a chance of getting injured. On your path to physical amazingness you too will probably be in need of a tune-up. Know that it is better to start your journey well-prepared than to wait until you are frustrated and in pain to get tuned up. That being said, we will be here to help you get back to feeling your best regardless.

All of us have lived a crazy rollercoaster the last 2+ years. I see a sunrise of hope were we can get back into our good and healthy habits. I know that I am humbly working that path. And that I cannot do it alone.

You are not alone. We are here to help.

What Specific Activity Do You Do to Renew and Recharge?

What specific activity do you do to renew and recharge? That thing that can turn a bad week or month around in an instant. It wasn’t until I was 45 years old that I would have been able to definitively answer that question. And that was after my wife had been pointing it out to me for years (I know I’m stubborn).

I think knowing this about oneself might be one of the most important keys to a happy and balanced life. There are many things that can get us down in life. Unexpected trials, difficult personalities, and mean drivers to name a few.

But I have found that how I feel in my life is like a bowl filled with a liquid of amazingness. There are a myriad of things that drain away that amazingness. But conversely, there are things that fill it back up. And when our bowl is filled up life’s challenges seem fun, everyone is our friend, and nothing can shake our positivity.

The activity I do to renew and recharge is getting in the ocean. Any body of water will work. A river, lake, or even a bath. But to fill my bowl to the brim nothing is better or quicker than a few hours of getting wet while playing in the ocean. Surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kiteboarding, or just floating on my back. My mind, body, and spirit all immediately start to feel better. It is like I am plugged into a vast network of positive energy. And it feels great!

What is that thing for you? Is it spending quality time with a specific person? Maybe hiking or biking out in nature? What about curling up by a fire with a good book in a room filled with peace and quiet? Take a few moments to see if you can identify it in your life. Or ask a loved one if they can see what it is for you (like my wife did for me). That thing that makes you light up. That activity that transforms grumpy you into happy you.

I think many times in life people end up chasing things like alcohol,  drugs, retail therapy, and/or overeating to try to fill their bowl. It is a story as old as time. And yet these activities never really fill us up or make us truly content. That is why discovering your special recharging activity is so important.

I challenge you in the next 30 days to try to discover what makes you fill plugged in and recharged. Share what you discover with your friends and family. And then make sure you schedule in time to recharge yourself. Make it, and yourself, a priority.

Changing This 1 Thing Will Help You Keep Your Resolutions

I don’t have a great track record with keeping my New Years Resolutions. Waking up to the brisk morning air on the first day of a new year brings optimism and a renewed commitment to self disciple. But I have found that within a few months I have a hard time even remembering what my resolutions were.

This year has been different in that regard. I set a resolution on the evening of December 31, 2021 and I have kept it up every day since. A 330-day streak! And the changes it has made in my mental and physical health have been wonderfully profound. I want to share what I think was the secret to my success this year.

When we fail to create lasting healthy habits science says it is not a reflection of our lack of abilities, but rather because many times our resolutions are missing some key ingredients.

So in late 2021, while submerged in the funk that was everything COVID, I decided to study what I could learn about the science of habits. I reckoned that if I could replace just one unhealthy habit with a single healthy habit that the changes might just make me smile. 😊

I don’t know about you, but to me the world, and our country more acutely, seems turbulent and chaotic like no other time I can remember. And I have noticed that when I delve into news or political discourse it never leaves me feeling good.

As I work more on observing my feelings I noticed that physically it will leave my chest feeling tight and interesting it would make my whole body feel a little cold. Like a slight, lasting, uncontrollable shiver on a cold winters day. Mentally it would leave me feeling lost, frustrated, and vulnerable.

On New Years Eve 2021 I made the decision to replace my morning habit of consuming news with a practice my wife shared with me, the 5-Minute Journal. We use the iPhone app version of the 5-Minute Journal, but it is available in a paper version as well. The journal lives up to its name of just taking 5 minutes.

Here is what the process looks like for me upon waking:

  • The app opens showing me highlights of past entries and/or pics which make me reflect on my amazing life.
  • When I hit the “Start Today’s Entry” button a positive quote or growth challenge greets me.
  • Next it asks for “3 things I am grateful for?”
  • Following that it asks “What will I do to make today great?”
  • Finally it prompts me for my “Daily Affirmation” – something short that helps reinforce in me who I want to be.

Eleven months in how has this single habit improved my life?

  1. I am not missing looking at the news at all. I did for the first week or so and then… nope.
  2. I have not been getting that tension / tightness in my chest feeling I used to have almost daily. Is that a physical sign that it helped me be less anxious?
  3. I don’t want for things nearly as much as I used to. I feel genuinely content with my life and I’m not looking for a purchase or new shiny object to make me feel happy.
  4. Overall I feel more care-free and I have less of a tendency to jump to judgment  about people and things around me. I find I am more of a curious observer and I like that mindset.

Upon reflection of my 2022 new year’s resolution experience I have learned two main lessons. One, it is important to set up a single, well-focused, resolution that I can accomplish. And two, it is critical to stick with it long enough to see the positive changes it is bringing to varied aspects of my life. As we approach new years eve 2022 I hope you will find peace around the life you want to live.

Nine Tips to Improve your Run

Before we begin, take a look at the image below. You will see four columns paired with a left and right foot strike of 28 different runners from the 2012 US Olympic Trials 10k race. What do you notice about all of the runners?

  1. Stride length – Over striding is when foot hits the ground in front of the knee. Optimal foot strike should be sightly in front of body or center of gravity, or under the knee and hip. This will decrease impact forces, therefore decreasing the injury rate.
    • Quick Fix: Increase your cadence – ideal is 85-90 rpm PER LEG.
    • Note: An “overstrider” will ALWAYS be a heel striker, but a heel striker will not always be an over strider.
  2. Arm swing – Find happy medium of swing – not too much (as if you are sprinting), or too little (not enough force being generated). Keep elbows bent to 90-120 degrees, swing from shoulders.
    • Do not cross the body midline – This creates rotation through the midline, and another part of the body will have to counter for compensation to keep you moving in a straight line. This increases likeliness of injury.
  3. Head should not move vertically more than 2” – This increases impact forces, and wastes energy. We find this more commonly with mid and forefoot runners.
    • Quick Fix: Pretend there is a ceiling 2” above head, but be sure to not hunch forward at the neck, upper back or shoulders in doing this. Amongst increased stress to the body, this compresses the rib cage creating less room to breathe, and decreases lung capacity.
  4. Stride position or direction – Avoid “crossing over” – The feet should be landing in line with the hip, and not crossed over directly in-line with the body (like running on a line, or crossing to the other side of a line).
    • Quick Fix: Pretend there is a dowel between your legs that you cannot hit.
    • Good way to know if you are “cross-over” striding – Running on a muddy trail and you have several marks on your calves.
    • #1 issue causing this – weak lateral hip stabilizers: TFL, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Most often sprinting will help to develop this musculature due to high intensity hip extensions, which activate the gluteal musculature.
  5. Listen to your feet hitting the ground – Could the person standing on the corner across the street hear you coming from behind? Is one foot making more noise than the other? You should focus on a soft landing, and equal sounds from both feet. Increasing your cadence may help this, although try not to increase over 90-120 rpm/foot.
  6. Full body posture: Predominate bend should be from the ankles, and a slight forward lean will help accentuate this, as well as increase awareness to engage the core.
  7. Shoe types – This subject can easily be taken down the rabbit hole in discussion, let’s keep it simple:
    • Minimalist running shoes – Typically promotes mid/forefoot running, and poor for heel strikers due to the high impact. Most people do not have the proper foot, ankle and calf musculature to quickly transition into minimalist shoes.
    • Athletes with chronic knee pain or runners who are constantly injuring different areas may be indicated to try minimalist shoes to help alter their gait pattern.
    • All others: Most people are best suited with a moderate stability shoe. Sometimes choosing the shoes that feels the best is the correct option instead of trying to get too technical in finding the “perfect fit”.
  8. How long should you keep your shoes? Set them side by side and if there is visible deformity then it’s time for a new pair. Look for the shoes caving inwards or outwards, height difference, etc. This means that if the shoe is not sitting correctly unweighted, then when you are running in them the deformity will be exaggerated, and you will be running in that incorrect position.
  9. Orthotics? Orthotics are great to help correct foot asymmetries, especially with increased pronation or supination (typically associated with collapsed or too high arches). A soft orthotic is usually preferred over hard plastic types. This allows your foot to still move through the full range of motion that your shoe allows, only doing so in a corrected position.

Ok, back to the picture from above. What did you notice? Keep in mind, that these are some of the best distance runners in the US. If you’re thinking, “This person has collapsed arches, that person shouldn’t be toe striking, or that person is over supinating” then you should take a step back and say, “The biggest observation about this photo is that there is no consistency with the way these runners strike the ground”. We need to understand that there is a huge array of heel, mid and forefoot strikers, and some who are in between. All of them, however, have the potential to be successful.

What does this tell us? We should not always over analyze how foot hits ground (i.e. heel/mid/forefoot strike), and more on where it hits the ground: Eliminate over-striding, do not cross-over, do not bounce too much, is there symmetry, etc.

That being said, do you have questions about your own walking, running or sprinting pattern? Not sure if orthotics are right for you? Give us a call for an evaluation and analysis of your gait patterns, and a scan for the appropriateness of orthotics!

A Crossfit + Chiropractic Success Story

The following is an account of experience from one of Dr. Nordin’s patients who was so transformed by her care at Positive Motion that she wanted to share her story.

Hi, I’m Stef, a 37 year-old female, who has been on the lengthiest hunt for the healing I needed desperately. Over the last 20 years, I have seen 17 chiropractors (yes, 17) who claimed to heal me from the car accident I had as a high school senior. My straight neck had no curvature, my low back constantly was in achy discomfort and somewhere during the insanely long journey, I came across a phenomenal doctor in my hometown who treated me for 3 months and actually healed me. How awesome and great, right- Hallelujah!

To stay strong mentally and physically, Crossfit was introduced to me and I fell in love immediately. The goals, the determination, the strength-building helped my body keep moving and not to revert back to body pain. At this point, I was a new wife, had a booming side gig as a wedding coordinator, was team captain for our dragonboat racing team, the Delta Dragons, and we were actively trying for a baby. Clearly, slowing down and being complacent was not an option.

One day, I was doing a normal handstand pushup and my trap instantly got angered. And that became my enemy-injury for a year, limiting me to an array of certain movements and sometimes, having to forgo performing them entirely. In addition, a new chiropractor tried treating it, which resulted in a bad adjustment and worsened the pain, making my sleep almost next to none then. I couldn’t get out of bed without lifting my own neck off the pillow. Unable to sleep anywhere without a Tempurpedic pillow (at hotels, I stack bath towels to form a firm pillow), unable to partake in long car rides or flights (had to bring IcyHot patches, rubbing cream) and constantly never getting a good night’s sleep due sharp aches, became my new world. This led to another disappointment in my faith of chiropractors- disappointment #17, to be exact.

At this point, I began accepting that this agony would just be part of my future. Scenarios in my mind seemed to be a likely reality: perhaps traveling shorter distances for all vacations; using a headset for my phone from hereon since I couldn’t bend my neck to one side; hiring a nanny for my future children in case I can’t carry them for long periods; not being to walk for an entire day at Disneyland with my children due to neck/back pain. Also, how could I try for a baby if I wasn’t able to get adequate rest?! Things didn’t look so promising so the excitement to be a mother someday started to dim.

By now, we had moved to Campbell and I was part of a new Crossfit box, Crossfit San Jose, new community with new friends. Turning to my Crossfit coach for a chiropractic referral, he sent me to Vanessa Nordin, at Positive Motion and it was natural for me to be extra skeptical. Immediately, I unloaded my story and expectations with her, stating my pain level, my jaded faith in chiropractors and questioned the likelihood of remotely improving. Although it was only a phone conversation, I appreciated her honesty in how she planned to treat within a certain time frame and how realistically attainable it was. Never had a chiropractor been so transparent and logical with me. It’s always been “Of course I can heal you. I’ve been in this business healing athletes like you for years. I know what I’m doing.” Vanessa didn’t boast of any promises like this- she just eagerly wanted to get to work. So I decided to give her a try.

Fast forward two months and 13 visits later–with no magic wand and solely due to commitment and trust, I am a brand new person! Not only has Vanessa treated me towards an upward progress but I’ve experienced major breakthroughs in countless areas. Here’s a few to list: I can change lanes turning my head while driving without my whole body have to shift; I can lift weight overhead and do movements at Crossfit, when terror used to paralyze me from my trap flare-up every time; I was able to do dragonboat racing with sheer intensity, grabbing GOLD medals with my team placing 1st amongst 43 crews…and above all- I’ve been able to sleep!! My body has been the happiest it’s ever been in 20 years, being in a healthy joyful state that I’m excited to actively start planning for a baby again with newfound confidence. To top it off, I just signed up for my very first Crossfit co-ed competition!

 

One of my favorite and impactful aspects of this journey with Vanessa was the fear she helped me squash. Every time I was apprehensive in lifting or pushing forward at Crossfit, she instilled confidence in me and pretty much flashed the green light to proceed. Best doctor’s orders because her positive words were in my head when I decided to go for it. Instantly, the terror that hindered me for so long would vanish. Without the proof of my progress and her supportive words, I know I would’ve stayed behind in my performance and daily activities. But Vanessa empowered me as her patient and encouraged me as a friend. No other doctor has successfully, and genuinely, done that. Ever.

I’m a walking example of how finding the right doctor with exceptional knowledge and a stellar heart can gel back a damaged (mentally and physically) product. Vanessa has restored my faith back into chiropractic care, my body into a stronger capacity and she promised me the journey won’t stop here. Good, because I don’t want us to break up! It’s beyond me to not only be able to rave to everyone about how extraordinary of a doctor she is, but I’m so honored to call her my friend as well.

Vanessa, thank you indefinitely for all you’ve done thus far and will continue to do. You’ve provided the courage to live the best life God wants me to have and be the “goal digger” that I am! Double Hallelujah!!

Orthotics: An Answer to Your Chronic Pain?

This blog post was originally published by Positive Motion Chiropractic in 2018 by our associate chiropractor Vanessa Nordin, DC, CCSP

Hearing the suggestion of orthotics is usually met with curiosity or skepticism from most patients. At Positive Motion, we suggest orthotics after a full gait evaluation and FootLevelers laser scan of the foot (check out some of the information gathered in a Read more