The first week after and Auto Injury or Whiplash

December 13th, 2010

1. Even a minor accident can cause injury. Never assume that you are not injured just because there is little or no damage to your car. Seek professional care immediately.

2. If a paramedic suggests you go to the emergency room, don’t decline. You may be suffering from shock, and will be unable to properly judge the situation. Even the smallest fracture in your spine can be very serious!

3. Muscle aches, soreness, headaches and other symptoms associated with whiplash injuries may not show up until 24-72 hours after the accident. The sooner you seek treatment, the less likely it will be that you will have severe pain or permanent damage.

4. Studies show that ICE applied immediately to the injured area will help keep swelling and pain to a minimum

What you might feel if you’ve been in a Car Wreck or had Whiplash

December 10th, 2010
  • Pain and Stiffness in your neck for the first few days following a whiplash injury. Then you feel better, but the pain and stiffness may return several days later. The discomfort may involve muscle groups in you neck, chest shoulders and arms.
  • Neck Pain and/or Stiffness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Irritability and Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Pain between the Shoulder Blades, Pain in the arms or legs, feet and hands
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Vertigo
  • Pain in the Jaw or the Mouth
  • Headach

What happens in Whiplash or an Auto Accident

December 7th, 2010

You’re in your car, relaxed, waiting and suddenly you hear the screeching of tires. In that split second and before you can brace yourself, you feel the car lunge forward. You’ve been rear-ended. What happens in this brief moment can surprise you and what you do about it in the next few hours, days, and weeks can and will affect your future health.

Upon impact, your body pushes deeply into the seat. Your head, momentarily isolated by your neck, delays its reaction while your body quickly reaches the limits of the seat. Then, your body instantly changes directions, moving forward to the limits of your seat belt. Now, your head starts moving backward in the opposite direction. Unrestrained by a seat belt your head is jerked back and forward beyond its normal limits. Your head is always going opposite of your body. What happens when you hold a piece of paper and move your hands in opposite directions, it tears. This is exactly how we can tear the ligaments and muscles of the neck. Everything is happening in slow motion, yet you are unable to prevent your head from whipping back and forth.

How can we minimize our injuries in a rear-end collision, we must be restrained by a seat belt this obviously prevents severe injuries and excessive forward motion of your body. The second crucial factor is the position of the headrest. It has to be no more than 1 inch away from the back of your head and the height has to extend above the top of your head. With the proper positioning the headrest can prevent excessive backward motion. If the position is incorrect the headrest actually adds to the problem by creating a fulcrum, which allows your head extend over the top and increases the stretching of ligaments and muscle tissue in the front of your neck.

What can you do for Headaches?

November 30th, 2010
The ACA suggests the following:
  • If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
  • Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
  • Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
  • Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.
What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?
Dr. McClelland says your doctor of chiropractic may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:
  • Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.
  • Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
  • Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.
“Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways – not just back pain,” says Dr. McClelland. “They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.”
http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=2186

Headache Causes

November 28th, 2010
Headache Triggers
Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems.
Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.
“The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck,” says Dr. George B. McClelland, a doctor of chiropractic from Christiansburg, VA. “Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.”

Headaches and Chiropractic

November 25th, 2010
If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.
What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.
Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.
A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.
http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=2186

You just had a Massage…Now What?

November 20th, 2010

So you just got a massage.  You’re leaving the spa, or medical office, or wherever you may be.  You’ve been told all sorts of things to do after you leave to keep yourself in tip top condition after your massage, but most of it just went in one ear and out the other.  You step into your car, relaxed and sleepy, and decide you are going to take a nap and ignore most of what you have just been told, or what you could hear, at least.  “How bad can it be?”, you wonder, starting the ignition and pulling out of the parking lot.

Stop!  Whatever your massage therapist has just told you, he or she has told you for a good reason.  Having a massage, especially a deep tissue massage, is a form of passive exercise, as hard as that may be to believe, and you need to take care of yourself as if you have just exercised.  You don’t want to ruin that relaxed high you’re on right now, do you?  Since you were too relaxed to hear or listen, let me give you some information and rules to follow.

  1. Drink Lots Of Water, Especially For The Next 24 Hours – this is perhaps the most important rule of all.  Rehydration is key to a healthy body, especially after a massage.  Since massage promotes lymphatic movement, drinking water and hydrating yourself is key to moving toxins through the kidneys and out of the body.  Drinking water is the best way to do this – and no, water in tea, coffee and soft drinks doesn’t count!  Don’t be surprised if you seem to have an increased urine output, i.e. you are peeing much more.  This is also normal.
  2. Take A Bath – A nice warm bath is very soothing after a massage, particularly with Epsom Salts.  Epsom Salts are just Magnesium Sulfate, which is a natural muscle relaxer.  They are also wonderful at drawing out toxins in the body, as is massage, so you may get a sort of detoxifying effect which is very beneficial to the body.  You can get Epsom Salts at most grocery stores or pharmacies.  If you don’t have Epsom Salts, don’t worry – a nice warm bath will do just fine.  Please note that I said warm and not scalding hot!  This is important because if you have any inflammation in the muscles the excessive heat can serve to exacerbate the injury.  If you have a very sore muscle or injury, try icing the area.
  3. Pay Attention To Your Body’s Reaction To The Massage – You may be sore after the massage.  This is normal with Deep Tissue massage, but it can happen with the more gentle Swedish Massage as well.  Sometimes you may not feel the soreness until the next day.  Why?  Well, as mentioned before, massage is a sort of passive exercise.  If you are not one to get massages often, or do not exercise and are not used to using the muscles, then they may respond with soreness.  This should only last for a day or perhaps two; anything more indicates that perhaps your therapist worked on you a little too hard.  This should be adjusted in the next segment.  You can help your therapist by stretching before you arrive for your segment.  Remember anything that was particularly painful and report this to your therapist at your next visit.  The therapist should be open to what you are saying and should tailor your visit from the information they receive from you.
  4. Rest - You may feel tired, as if you want to lie down and take a nap.  This is completely normal, and you should listen to your body.  If you can, make sure you have nowhere to go and nothing to do after your massage.  Massage is not just work on the body; it is work on the mind too.  It helps to destress and relax you; this in turn may make you feel tired.  This is your time to recover your mind and body and it is your body’s time to rebalance itself and retune.  Don’t feel like you SHOULD be doing something.  There is nothing worse than hearing a client say, “Oh, that felt great.  Too bad I have to go back to work.” or “I think I’ll go work out now”.  Make time for yourself and your body will thank you.

As you can see, there aren’t that many rules to follow, but it’s important that you do!  Following the above rules will help you to get so much more benefits out of your massage and your presence of mind will be that much more peaceful and invigorated.  Always remember, if you have any questions whatsoever, be sure to call your therapist.  We are here for you to help you to heal and to get the most out of your session that you can get.  They don’t call us therapists for nothing!

How to Benefit most from a Massage

November 16th, 2010

Here are some tips adapted from the American Massage Therapy Association to help you enjoy your massage.

* Be receptive. Don’t eat just before a massage session.

* Be on time. If you arrive in a frenzied, rushed state, it will take longer to relax.

* If you don’t want to remove all your clothing, discuss it with the therapist. Wear what you will be comfortable in that will allow the therapist to work on the areas of your body that need it.

* Good communication is very important. Before the session, give accurate health information and let the massage therapist know what you want from the massage. During the massage session, Speak up if you have any feedback on the amount of pressure, speed of movement, room temperature, music volume, or lighting.

* Some people like to talk during a massage session, while others remain silent. In general you should do whatever you feel like, and the massage therapist will follow your lead.

* Breathing helps to facilitate relaxation. People often stop breathing when they feel anxious or a sensitive area is massaged. If you realize this is happening, remind yourself to breath.

* Try not to tighten up during the massage. Let your massage therapist know if this is happening. They may need to adjust the massage technique being used. They may also be able to help you relax the affected area.

* If you find your thoughts are racing during the massage, one way to be more “body-centered” and to quiet the mind is to follow the hands of the massage therapist and focus on how the touch feels.

* If anything happens during the massage that you dislike or seems improper, you have the right to ask the massage therapist to stop. If necessary, you also have the right to end the session.

* If you are dizzy or light headed after the massage, do not get off the table too fast.

* Drink extra water after a massage.

* Allow for some open, quiet time after your massage session if possible. Sometimes one needs a little time to integrate or absorb the results of the massage session or needs some “re-entry” time.

Remember, massage has its greatest benefits over time. The therapeutic effects of massage are cumulative, so the more often a person gets a massage, the better he or she will feel and the more quickly one’s body will respond. If you are getting massage to address chronic muscular tension or recovery from a soft tissue injury, more than one session is usually needed, so be prepared to schedule several sessions.

How to benefit most from a Chiropractic Adjustment

November 12th, 2010

For many people with chronic back pain, headaches and even pain in the extremities, chiropractic care is the treatment of choice. Millions of people benefit from chiropractic adjustments. However, it’s best not to leave your health entirely in the hands of your chiropractor. Here are some things you can do to get the most benefit from a chiropractic adjustment.

  1. Visit your chiropractor on a regular basis. Follow the prescribed adjustment schedule your doctor sets up for you. You’ll get the most benefit from a chiropractic adjustment by getting that adjustment when you need it, as often as you need it.
  2. Avoid doing what brought you into the chiropractor’s office in the first place. If sitting at a computer where the chair and desk are not ergonomically correct, for instance, is what led you to chiropractic care, make the necessary changes to your computer area.
  3. Keep your feet planted evenly when standing for long periods of time. Many people tend to shift their weight on one leg, throwing the back out of alignment. Proper posture at all times will help you get the most benefit from a chiropractic adjustment.
  4. Follow any stretching or exercise regime your chiropractor prescribes. Flexibility and strengthening the back muscles are essential to hold a chiropractic adjustment longer, thus getting the most benefit from your treatment.
  5. Walk around after getting an adjustment. Get your muscles and joints used to having your body aligned properly. Chances are your body has gotten used to being misaligned. You’ll best benefit from a chiropractic adjustment if you allow your body to relax and accept the result of an adjustment before sitting or driving.
  6. Continue to consult with your other doctors, if needed. You may require medicine or physical therapy in addition to chiropractic care. Make sure all your doctors are on the same page when it comes to your care.

    Read more: How to Benefit From Chiropractic Adjustment | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2316959_benefit-from-chiropractic-adjustment.html#ixzz14odNc66W

Raab Chiropractic has Moved!

November 9th, 2010

After 14 years at the same location Raab Chiropractic and Massage Therapy has moved.  We are now at 1020 W. Francis, Suite A.  Our new office is just 5 blocks west of the old office on the opposite side of the road.  Our new office is in the same building as Hancock Fabrics.  We are excited to be in our new office, so please come and visit us.   Here is a google map of our new office!   Google Map 1020 W Francis

Raab Chiropractic