Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Patients are usually surprised when they see pregnant women in my office receiving treatment. They usually want to know if it possible to hurt the baby or what benefit could it be for the mother.

Chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe for both mother and child!

The main reason that pregnant women choose to see me is either a friend, their midwife or their obstetrician told them that we could help with their back pain. Chiropractic helps to reduce lower back, neck, and joint pain by gently adjusting the bones back to their natural position. As the pregnancy progresses, two main things happen that lead to an increase in pain and discomfort. The new mother puts on weight and the ligaments gradually increase in laxity. The adjustments help to ease the pressure on the joints and allow the supporting muscles to relax.

By keeping the spine and pelvic joints in the proper positions most women have a reduced time of labor and delivery. They also typically have a reduced need for pain medication during delivery and thru their pregnancy.

Chiropractic care has also been shown to help with breach babies. There are chiropractic techniques that can be performed to help turn the infant into the proper position. This helps to prevent the possible need for a C-section.

Finally, women who receive chiropractic care during their pregnancy have been shown to have a faster recovery time after delivery.

I have been blessed to help many pregnant women during my 33 years of practice. It is always a joy to help them on their journey to motherhood.
Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Benefits of Spicy Food

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Being the son of a Cajun mother and married to a Cajun wife, I have always been exposed to spicy food… and loved it. I also took it for granted. I assumed that most food from around the world was seasoned and spicy also. Living in Houston had exposed me to several other cultures and I always enjoyed their spicy food. 

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Recently I read several articles that explained the health benefits of spicy food. I was glad to read that the food that I enjoy eating was also good for me. At least some of it. 😉

Several spices such as turmeric, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and chili have many health benefits.

A study from Harvard in 2015 showed that eating spicy food six or seven days a week lowered mortality rate by 14%. This occurred even if you only ate the spicy food one time a day.

Several studies have shown that certain spices can raise your resting metabolic rate and also suppress your appetite. Turmeric has also been shown to suppress fat tissue growth.

In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger and garlic have been used for their anti-inflammatory properties. A compound in turmeric, curcumin, may reduce inflammation in the body.

In chili peppers there is a compound called capsaicin which has been shown to slow and kill cancer cells.

Cumin and turmeric help to kill bacteria with their strong antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. 

There are other benefits, but this should give you the idea that adding spice to your meals will have several benefits. Enjoy the benefit of “kicking it up a bit” with spices.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!     

Bed Rest for Low Back Pain?

Houston Chiropractor Comments: I recently had a new patient come in that had been suffering with severe low back pain for a couple weeks. They had gone to their family doctor for treatment and had been told to take muscle relaxants, pain pills and to stay in bed for a couple days with bed rest. 

Bed Rest & Back Pain

I instantly knew why this patient was still in pain.

Despite their medical doctor’s best intentions, his advice was severely outdated. Even when I was in chiropractic school in the mid 1980’s, this advice was being proven wrong. Some of the older doctor’s back then would advise patients to take 1 or 2 weeks off work with absolute bed rest when they had a severe low back complaint.

During the 1980’s studies showed that the key to a quick recovery was early movement. Patients were advised to begin moving as soon as possible and treatment incorporated stretching and exercise ASAP.

Treatment for different spine complaints change over time. It is always best to be treated by a doctor who examines and treats patients on a daily basis. At Beecher Chiropractic Clinic we treat hundreds neck and back pain patients every year and know what treatments get the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!     

Chiropractic Care Can Help You Reach Your Health Goals in 2022

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: This time of the year people set their personal goals for the new year. Some of those goals involve your health. These can be general goals like sleeping more, losing weight or doing something to reduce pain and stiffness.

Including regular chiropractic care in to your routine can help you reach those goals.

The purpose of chiropractic is to properly align your spine by removing any joint irritation and inflammation. The vertebrae or joints get out of alignment while exercising, sitting at a work station, or poor posture and sleep habits. These joint misalignments cause irritation of the joints, inflammation of the supporting muscles, and a decrease in joint flexibility/mobility.

Regular chiropractic care can help maintain proper joint alignment to reduce the inflammation and irritation. Your chiropractor can show you proper stretching techniques to help maintain your flexibility. As you feel better, it becomes easier to exercise and lose weight. The exercise will also help you to sleep better.

If you have any questions on how to make 2022 better than 2021, please contact me.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Chiropractic Care for Sciatica

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: Sciatica is when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated, causing pain to radiate from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the leg. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It starts at the lower portion of the spinal cord, passes deep in the buttocks, runs down the back of the thigh before dividing above the knee joint.

Sciatica can be caused by several things. It can be from stress, depression or negative emotions which deprive the nerves of oxygen leading to pain, weakness or tingling. Carrying extra weight or bad posture can pull and irritate the sciatic nerve. A herniated disc or a vertebra being misaligned can also irritate the nerve as well as a spinal tumor.

It is important that you get a proper diagnosis from a doctor that treats sciatica regularly. Some health providers who don’t regularly treat back and nerve complaints incorrectly call all pain that radiates into the leg, sciatica. This leads to a mis-diagnosis and a delay in the proper treatment and pain relief.

After the cause of the sciatica is determined, then the correct treatment can begin. The majority of the cases respond well to chiropractic spinal manipulation, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. A few of the cases will need to be co managed by a medical doctor.

The purpose of the spinal manipulation is to move the vertebrae or pelvis so that they allow the muscles to relax and remove the irritation to the nerve. It is important to know which vertebrae specifically needs to be adjusted. It is also important to know which vertebrae should be left alone.

Certain types of physical therapy work better for sciatica than others. It is important to know when to perform passive therapies and when active therapies or exercises should be included. Ice and heat are 2 types of therapy to be used, but it is important to know when to use each. Typically, if you can point to a specific area that hurts or is painful you will use ice for 20 minutes. If a large region is achy, but not painful, you will use heat for 20 minutes.

Lifestyle changes would include things like what position you sleep in, is your chair straight up or leaning slightly back, how you lift objects and others.

If the sciatica does not show a reduction in pain by at least 50% in 2 weeks, then ordering an MRI or a referral for medication from a medical doctor would be appropriate.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Best Pillow for Sleeping

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: A common question that I get from patients with neck pain is “What is the best pillow for sleeping?”. This question usually comes from a person who has had neck pain for a period of time or wakes up regularly with a sore neck.

Photo by Miriam Alonso from Pexels

This is actually a very important factor in getting relief from your neck pain. One of the main factors in getting well, is getting adequate, deep, restorative sleep. The wrong pillow or sleep position prevents that from happening, delaying recovery.

First, I would like to talk about the best position for sleeping. The best position, if possible, is flat on your back. This takes any neck rotation out and allows the muscles to relax in a natural position. If this position is impossible due to acid reflux, breathing issues, or just a snoring partner 😊, then the next best position is on your side.

When I say on your side, I mean literally on your side. Not twisting around with your head turned more than 90 degrees. Usually this will involve a pillow between your knees to prevent your hips from twisting and a body pillow to keep you from rolling towards your chest.

The worse position is on your stomach. Now I know that many of you like this because it “feels comfortable”, but it causes neck problems. When you lay on your stomach you will notice that it feels better turning your head in one direction instead of the other. This causes the neck muscles to stretch more on one side and tighten more on the other. This leads to your neck not being able to properly rest and recover. This also prevents you from having the best night sleep that you can. 

Regarding the best pillow, the thickness should be about the width of YOUR palm. For me that is about 4 inches and for my wife it is about 3 ½ inches. This will elevate your head up enough so that it isn’t leaning backwards while sleeping while not pushing your head too far forward, stretching your neck muscles and ligaments. This position will also work well if you need to sleep on your side.

Be careful with pillows with built in “cervical curves or support”. These work great as long as you don’t move and the pillow stays perpendicular to your neck, but if you or the pillow move… you now have your head and neck going off in a slight angle. This will irritate the joint which will produce pain and discomfort when you wake up. Make sure that the pillow is firm enough that it gives you support while soft enough to allow you to properly rest.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Ice or Heat?

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: A common question that I get is “When do I use ice and when do I use heat?” Most people have been told to use ice for the first 24, 48, or 72 hours and then to switch to heat from their coach or parent. This works for simple sports injuries, but isn’t always the best for every situation. 

First, you need to know WHY you are using the ice or heat to begin with. 

Ice or Heat?

Ice is good for when there is swelling or inflammation from an injury or aggravation. The vasoconstriction from the ice will help reduce the fluid in an area and help to prevent swelling of the affected area. Don’t use ice for more than 20 minutes as it can injure areas with poor circulation and cause tissue damage.

Heat brings more blood to an area which helps to relax the muscles, reduce joint stiffness, and ease muscle spasms. This is good for sore and achy muscles. Don’t use heat on an open wound or cut as it can cause more bleeding.

An easy way to remember which one to use is “If you can point to a specific area and it is painful, then use ice. If you can’t find a specific area that is painful, but an area is sore and achy, use heat.”

If you are in doubt, use ice. 😉

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: When a woman is pregnant, it is one of the happiest times of her life. She thinking of all the things that she can do to help the child reach its maximum potential. She eats better, she sleeps more, she takes her vitamins and she exercises. She also worries about how the baby will change her body and will she have much pain during her pregnancy. 

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

I get asked regularly by patients if they will be able to continue their chiropractic care when they get pregnant. I also get asked if chiropractic care can help their pregnant spouse or friend. The answer to both is YES! 

Chiropractic care has been found to be safe and beneficial for the mother (and father 😊) throughout the entire pregnancy. Regular chiropractic care will help to manage pain in your back, hips, and joints. It also helps to balance the pelvis to provide the baby with as much space as possible.

The frequency of the chiropractic visits will change as the pregnancy progresses. The first trimester is usually once a month with the new mom doing stretches and exercises to help the body adapt to the future changes. Frequency will increase as the child grows and the new mother’s body changes. During the final month it is not uncommon for the new mom to be seen once a week. 

The only time to avoid chiropractic care during pregnancy is if you have vaginal bleeding, placenta previa or placenta abruption, ectopic pregnancy or moderate to severe toxemia.

After you have given birth, it is recommended to get your pelvis adjusted again. This will help to correct any misalignments that might have occurred during labor.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Chiropractic and Stress Relief

Houston Area Chiropractor Comments: Over the past several months the stress level for most Americans has risen dramatically. We have had the COVID 19 virus, a dramatic change in our daily routines, and a national election. All of these things lead to an increase in our daily stress. Luckily, Chiropractic care has been shown to help reduce the effects of stress on your body.

One of the basic beliefs of Chiropractic is that the body has an ability to heal itself. By making sure that the joints are properly aligned and the muscles are relaxed, the body can relax and allow damaged tissue the opportunity to heal itself. This allows the tension in the muscles caused by the stress to dissipate. As you begin to feel better you are able to handle the daily stresses easier. 

A properly aligned body also allows the organs in the body to operate at their maximum potential. Studies have shown a positive impact between heart rate and chiropractic care. Controlling heart rate will have an affect on your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. This will help to minimize any heart risks such as heart attacks.

Finally, when you begin to take action to minimize your stress and you see positive results, you are more likely to take additional action. This can be an increase in exercise, a better diet, or just focusing on positive things instead of dwelling on negative thoughts. One positive action usually leads to another and another. As we become less stressed, usually the people around do as well.

Hopefully we can all end the year on a positive note and begin a less stressful year in 2021!

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

The Importance of Exercise for Sustained Health

Houston Chiropractor Comments: In times like this, when our daily routine has been altered due to a virus and quarantine, we notice how the quality of our lives has been changed by our lack of exercise. One of the most important elements of a healthy life is exercise and activity. The quality of our lives is directly related to motion and movement.

While exercise alone will not counter all of the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, it will have specific benefits. If exercise is performed regularly for a long time, you will note many benefits to your health and well-being. 

One of the benefits of regular exercise is having a routine. Having a routine and sticking to it gives order to your life. It is knowing that you have a time that you can focus on yourself and not having to worry about other things for a period of time. The routine is easier if you have a partner to help you be accountable. This can be a training partner, a trainer or a support group that helps to hold you responsible. Some people even have their support group as part of an online forum. Accountability doesn’t have to cost money.

Another benefit is having mental clarity. Exercise of any form allows you to clear your mind of other thoughts and focus on the moment. Sometimes the answer to a question that has been bothering you will come during the middle of an exercise session.

Finally, exercise is good for the body. As stated above, motion and movement improve the quality of our lives. The old adage “If you don’t use it, you lose it” is true. If you don’t use your muscles regularly, they will get lose their strength and cause your bones to weaken. If you don’t take your joints thru their full range of motion, they will eventually stiffen up and reduce your flexibility. You only have one life to live, make it the best that it can be.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at www.BeecherChiropractic.com or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!