Published Wednesday, 04 October 2017
Published Thursday, 10 August 2017
Oh, My Aching Head!
Sometimes it starts with a slight prick in the side of your head, or maybe a dull throb around your temples. Other times it comes on fast like a thunderclap in your brain that leaves you incapacitated for the next four hours. If you’re lucky enough to recognize the warning signals of a migraine attack, you know to run for cover in the nearest dimly lit, silent room. If you’re not so lucky, you may end up vomiting in one of the bathroom stalls at work.
- Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches.
- The five main types of headaches are tension, cluster, sinus, rebound, and migraine.
- Migraine attacks can last up to 72 hours.
- Migraine symptoms include fuzzy eyesight, sensitivity to bright light and loud noises, nasal congestion, garbled speech, and extreme nausea.
- Women are three times more likely to experience migraines than men due to biological factors such as hormonal fluctuation.
Despite the widespread prevalence of headaches and migraines, not many case studies have been executed around the subject to better understand their triggers and treatments. Most people resort to over-the-counter or prescription painkillers to relieve their headache and migraine symptoms, though these drugs do not always address the root cause and can produce some nasty side effects.
A Real Pain in the Neck
It may be surprising to some, but headaches are the third most popular reason for chiropractor visits in the United States. According to the American Chiropractic Association, the majority of headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck. The lower part of the brainstem sits at the level of the first bone in the neck, and the body’s main blood supply travels up through this area into the brain. Many environmental and mental stressors can cause shifts in the spinal structure which can put intense pressure on this area. The pain from headaches and migraines is often a response to a misaligned spine, also known as a vertebral subluxation.
Professional chiropractors are trained to recognize subluxations and perform spinal manipulations or chiropractic adjustments in order to properly realign the spine and relieve the pressure on the sensitive nerves in your upper neck. The Migraine Treatment Centers of America report that while “spinal adjustments aren’t a cure-all for everyone with migraines…almost a quarter of migraineurs who seek chiropractic care notice a reduction in symptoms of up to 90%.”
Alternative Treatments for Headaches and Migraines
While regular chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines, there are many other steps you can take for prevention and relief.
- Practice good posture: By strengthening the muscles in your neck and upper back, you can guard against reoccurring inflammation and vertebral subluxations.
- Avoid known triggers: Strong perfumes, caffeine, and alcoholic drinks can also cause migraines. Understand what your body reacts to and do your best to avoid those triggers.
- Give High-Intensity Interval Training a try: A new study from the University of Basel in Switzerland shows that migraine sufferers who adopted this exercise strategy reported a significant reduction of migraine days and intensity.
- Take advantage of technology: Several migraine apps are available to help you pinpoint triggers and potentially relieve some of the pain.
- Schedule an appointment today: A visit with one of our chiropractors may be just what you need. We’ll talk with you to understand what stressors may be triggering your attacks and work with you to develop a treatment plan, whether that may be regular adjustments or behavioral and nutritional changes. Call (973) 761-0022 to schedule an appointment or fill out this appointment form online to get started.
Video Transcript - What Are Your Chiropractic Techniques?
When a patient comes to our office, we have a number of techniques to address their issues. It just determined based upon age, has the patient had a current experience with a chiropractor. Perhaps somebody comes in and they haven't had a good experience with hands-on adjustment. We might want to utilize our instrumentation. Sometimes somebody's too fragile or acute. The pain is so s-
Dr. Levine describes the surprising signs of having a subluxation
Published Thursday, 27 July 2017
Video Transcript - How Can I Tell If I Have A Subluxation?
You know what? I wish I knew. I wish I knew if I had a subluxation or not. The fact of the matter is that we gauge our health based on how we feel. How we feel is not necessarily how we function. How do you know the difference whether your functioning well or you're not? I mean, I wish I had a red light in the middle of my forehead that lit up that said, "Steve, you've got a sub ... you have a subluxation and it needs to be corrected." Fact of the matter is, is we don't know when we have a subluxation, and that's why checkups are so valuable.
The other question is, what is a subluxation? It's not necessarily a pinched nerve. Because the term pinched nerve has the connotation that there's pain, but pain is always the last thing to occur and the first thing to go away of any disease process. I catch a cold long before my sneeze. Your back problem has occurred long before you feel back pain. Why wait for the pain? Why not treat the problem before the pain comes out? The beautiful part about it is we have technology that allows us to see where the subluxation is before you have a crisis. Would you rather take care of the problem early or late? The answer to the question is, we don't know, but we can find out.
Published Tuesday, 18 July 2017
What’s got you stressed today? Crazy traffic? A lengthy to-do list? A needy family member or friend? You’re not alone. In everyday life, there’s good and bad stress. Good stress, also termed eustress, challenges you to adapt to situations in order to succeed. Bad stress, or distress, activates the “fight or flight” response in your brain, gets your heart pumping, promotes confusion, and often causes performance anxiety.
Stress and Chiropractic Care
A 2008 study demonstrated that chronic stress can attack and weaken the immune system, making people more susceptible to some diseases, such as diabetes mellitus or ulcerative colitis. Some people are easily able to reduce their stress and cope due to their personalities, genetics, or support system, but it’s not always that simple. Luckily, researchers have found that chiropractic adjustments are a great way to naturally help reduce stress in the body and promote wellness overall.
- A 2011 study, “Cerebral metabolic changes in men after chiropractic spinal manipulation for neck pain,” used positron emission tomography (PET) scans to record brain activity in men before and after chiropractic spinal manipulation (CSM).
- The PET scans found that the CSM altered brain activity in the areas of the brain responsible for processing pain and stress, as well as greatly reduced cortisol levels, the chemical that is released in response to stress.
- More recently, a 2017 study expanded on this research. Researchers tracked the PET scans of 21 male participants taken before and after spinal manipulation therapy (SMT).
- The PET scans showed metabolic changes in brain and skeletal muscles. These changes are associated with reduced sympathetic nerve activity, which induces relaxation.
- The results of this study shows that the chiropractic adjustments actually reduced patients’ stress by changing their brains, and that regular chiropractic care could boost the body’s natural defense against chronic stress and disease.
Healthy, Drug-Free Stress Relief
“Millions of people receive medical advice that links stress relief to pharmaceutical drug use. Safe, long-term health care demands that attention be turned to the proper reduction and management of stress using science and research that point to a healthy alternative,” says an article on dailyrx.com.
Chiropractic care could be that ultimate healthy alternative. Stress is a natural part of life, but when it starts to consume your life, it quickly becomes threat to your health, physically and mentally. Chiropractic adjustments can help return the skeletal system to a more balanced, relaxed state and quiet the “fight or flight” impulses in your mind, relieving stress and keeping you healthy in the long run.
You can read the full 2017 study, “Glucose metabolic changes in the brain and muscles of patients with nonspecific neck pain treated by spinal manipulation therapy” here to learn more.
Dr. Levine talks about how chiropractic care fits into healthcare and how it helps promote wellness
Published Thursday, 13 July 2017
Video Transcript - How Does Chiropractic Work?
If you have not gotten the Searching for Health booklet from South Orange Chiropractic, this will explain what we do and why it works. Because the most beautiful thing is the definition of health. If you don't know what health is, how can you achieve it? We go into great detail on what health is. My question to you is, would you rather be healthy or just not sick? Well, a lot of people just don't want to be sick. They say they want to be healthy but their behavior is, "I just don't want to be sick." Because they do nothing. I'm not exercising more, I'm not watching my diet, I'm not supplementing, I'm not getting my nervous system checked. It's a false sense of health.
To be health you have to be proactive. Right? That's why we talk about consistency and frequency and anything that we do will breed success. You never get to the end of the book unless you read a little bit each day, or go from chapter to chapter. You never are successful in a gym unless you're going there frequently. You're never successful in your golf, getting your score down, if you're not practicing and hitting hundreds of balls each week. The things that we put our attention to and where our energy goes, the success will flow.
I always say be healthy by choice, not by chance. Too many people leave it to chance. I always say that be healthy by choice, choose to be healthy and do not leave it to chance. Too many people leave health to chance, that I'm okay today, I'll just wait till I break down tomorrow.
Dr. Levine presents different factors that interrupt normal nerve function
Published Thursday, 29 June 2017
Video Transcript - What Interferes with Nerve Impulses
Nerve impulses, life energy is affected by stress. Stress is huge. We think of stress generally in something that's bothering us or that we're thinking about. Stress comes in three forms. It's physical, it's chemical, it's emotional. Many of us have all three forms in play. Those three forms of stress will breakdown the nervous system. Increases the adrenal function. Increases blood pressure. Increases cortisol into the system, and that will break down neural function and your immune system. It's important that we identify the stresses.
Here in the office, not only are we dealing with the effects of stress which might be neck pain, back pain, headaches, but we're also identifying the causes of that stress. Maybe it's poor diet. Maybe it's lack of exercises which is probably number one. Maybe it's an old injury or fall that wasn't treated properly. Family stress especially around the holidays. Financial stress.
Either you live within your means or you don't. There's many people, regardless of their income, that have a great deal of stress and has no bearing on the dollar amount. It's how they manage it. Emotional, physical, chemical stresses. That's why our job is to get to the cause of the problem. Not just functionally, but on an emotional level, physical and chemical level.
There is good stress. Stress forces us to wake up every day and make a difference in society. The time I spent working with Seton Hall University and their basketball team, there was stress every time there was a tournament game. It was stress before each game. When that bell rang at the end and the two hands were over, the stress was over until we prepared for the next game. In sports, there's stress. In life, there's stress, but that forces us to produce and it forces us to rise to the occasion. Sometimes, we need to get uncomfortable in ourselves to grow to the next level.
Dr. Levine chats with us about Life Energy...what it means, what it doesn't, and how it relates to chiropractic care
Published Thursday, 15 June 2017
Video Transcript - Misunderstandings about Life Energy
I think we're so indoctrinated into how we feel. The expression, if it ain't broke don't fix it, is not relevant to healthcare. It's not relevant to the things that we take pride in, or things that we respect, or things that we want to have longevity. What if we took care of our cars that way? My car's not broke, it keeps running so don't do anything. Don't change the oil, don't get a tuneup, don't change the brakes, just wait till it stops running. How about our homes? Do we prepare them for the seasonal change? It's preparation, it's planning, and if we don't do that with the body, because the human body is the greatest gift that we've ever received and it runs optimally if we help take care of it. It's important that we eat well, think well, and move well. Chiropractors help people move well. We can coach you on how to eat well and what type of supplementation you might need to help the chemistry in the body so it functions at optimal. We talk to our patients who want to get well faster about doing affirmations and visualizations and helping them think that they can be well, because no one gets well unless they want to.
Published Tuesday, 06 June 2017
If you visit the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange this weekend, there’s a good chance any visitor you randomly start chatting to by the otter exhibit has experienced low back pain. That’s because a study in 2001 found that 2 out of 3 adults in the United States suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives. Most acute low back pain eventually goes away on its own, but it can be a real problem for some when it comes to day-to-day function. Earlier this year, the American College of Physicians (ACP) released a report recommending that patients skip the drugs when treating back pain and look for alternative, noninvasive remedies. Now, a study from The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that the spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) often performed by chiropractors provides moderate pain relief and improvements in function for those suffering from acute low back pain.
- Published on April 11, 2017, the study, “Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy with Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain”, analyzed 26 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) from 2011 to the present.
- Fifteen RCTs, which followed about 1,700 patients with low back pain demonstrated that SMT is associated with moderate improvements in patients’ pain ratings. Twelve of the RCTs also showed improvement in day-to-day function for their patients.
- Side effects from SMT affected more than half of the patients tested and included temporary muscle stiffness, increased pain, and headaches. However, the authors of the report said that in all the studies, no patients reported any really serious side effects.
- In an editorial released with the report, Dr. Richard A. Deyo suggests that many doctors are hesitant to refer patients to chiropractors because it is still unclear in the science community how exactly SMT relieves low back pain. However, he says out of 200 treatments for low back pain, there really is no treatment that stands out as the most effective, though this report may change that.
- This report supports the results of the ACP report from earlier this year, which urges patients to seek out non-drug, non-invasive options for treating their low back pain. These options seem to have less severe and fewer long-term side effects than pharmaceutical treatments.
The American Chiropractic Association President, David Herd, DC, said, “As the nation struggles to overcome the opioid crisis, research supporting non-drug treatments for pain should give patients and health care providers confidence that there are options that help avoid the risks and dependency associated with prescription medications.”
Next time the pain in your lower back flares up or you overhear a neighbor griping about their aches, we hope you’ll consider chiropractic therapy instead of turning to the medicine cabinet. The evidence suggests that chiropractic care is the more effective and safer option.
You can read more about the JAMA report here and here.