Best Pillow For Neck Pain

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Every week, at least one patient asks me, “What is the best pillow for neck pain relief”? Choosing the correct pillow and mattress are of paramount importance in getting a good night’s sleep. Without the proper sleeping tools, the bones are not properly supported which does not allow the muscles to completely relax and heal.

The challenge is to find a pillow that works well while you are actually sleeping and moving around in bed, instead of one that feels great when you are just laying on it.

The problem with most pillows with built-in neck rolls or cervical contours is that most people move while they are asleep. These types of pillows work best on patients that do not toss and turn while they are asleep. Once the pillow or the person moves, the neck roll is no longer parallel to the shoulders or the head is no longer being cradled. This causes the head to pitch to one side or causes the neck to bend. Both motions lead to neck pain and do not allow the spine and muscles to relax.

Next is to determine the firmness of the pillow. If the pillow is too firm, it does not allow the neck to fully relax while asleep. If the pillow is too soft, then there is not enough support to ensure a good night’s sleep. Optimally, the pillow should be firm, but allowing the neck to be cradled. Most people respond best to a pillow that gives about an inch when you lay on it.

Next is to determine if you need a pillow with cooling properties. Some patients tend to become very hot at night while asleep. These people benefit from a pillow that will help keep their heads cool while they sleep. Some of these pillows have an external gel layer and some are composed of natural materials such as bamboo or buckwheat husks.

Finally, you need to determine the correct thickness of the pillow. Most of my patients at my Clear Lake City, TX location benefit from sleeping on their backs. For these people, the pillow should be approximately the width of your hand, or about 4 inches thick. For the patients that require a side posture to sleep, the pillow should be about 1 inch thicker, or 5 inches.

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 of Motorcycle Injuries

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: As the weather warms up here in the Houston, Texas area, more people begin to start riding their motorcycles. Unfortunately, some vehicle drivers fail to notice the motorcycle traveling next to them and some motorcycle riders think that traffic laws do not apply to them.

That is when the accidents occur and injuries are the outcome. 

Since motorcycle riders do not have the benefit of a solid object protecting them and do not have seatbelts to restrain their motion, they tend to acquire different injuries.

Motorcycle riders and passengers tend to have more abrasions, contusions, and broken / dislocated bones. It is important to properly document all the cuts and bruises to not only be able to address the injuries, but to document any scarring or impairments in the future. Patients who have slid on the pavement or gravel are often surprised when they find that some of it got under their skin and they notice it days or weeks later.

The injured rider’s body also tends to roll or flip over on the ground or pavement instead of being restrained in a vehicle and having a sudden acceleration / deceleration. This results in more global injuries to multiple areas instead of the focal injuries (neck and shoulder) typically seen in auto accidents. 

Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) are uniquely qualified for this. Orthopedists MD) and physical therapists (PT) tend to only examine the areas that the patient complains of such as a shoulder or knee and they do not document other areas, such as the neck and back complaint, until after the other area has been surgically corrected or the therapy has finished. At Beecher Chiropractic Clinic in Clear Lake City, Texas we examine not only the area that you are complaining about, but evaluate the mechanism of injury and try to anticipate what other areas might have been injured. This way all your injuries are diagnosed and treated at the same time, if possible.

Hopefully you never get injured on your motorcycle, but if you do, we will be happy to get your injuries resolved as quickly as possible.

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!

Does Dehydration Affect Your Spine?

Houston Chiropractor Comments: As the weather heats back up here in Texas, we run the risk of becoming dehydrated by not making sure that we drink enough water and fluids. This can cause a variety of health concerns.

Our body is composed of up to 50% water and when you are not properly hydrated, you can begin to suffer from dehydration. Typically, you will first notice headaches and dizziness, but it can also result in back and joint pain.

Dehydration has a direct affect on our spine, since it pulls fluids from all areas of the body to support the brain. This leaves the joints, discs, and other connective tissues weak and unable to properly support and cushion the bones. Water helps to hydrate discs located between your vertebrae in your spine and prevents your tendons, ligaments, and muscles from becoming stiff and tight.

If you have chronic dehydration that has affected your spine, it can take 1-2 months to properly rehydrate your discs. You cannot just drink more water for a day or two and correct the problem, you will pee out the extra water before it gets absorbed. It needs to be a gradual increase and then maintained.

Make sure to drink water, milk, or fruit juices before you feel thirsty. Snack on water-rich fruits like melons and berries and minimized drinks like sodas.

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!

Not All Leg Pain Is Sciatica

Leg Pain

Houston Chiropractor Comments: The internet is a wonderful thing … if used correctly. New patients show up for their consultations and examinations at our Houston, Texas office with a wealth of healthcare knowledge that they have learned online. They can enter their symptoms online and a variety of health websites will diagnose their condition and give them a list of possible treatments.

This can work sometimes, but other times … not so well.

A common problem that I see is that all patients with leg pain assume that they have sciatica. Some have even been diagnosed by other doctors or therapists. Luckily, this is not the case.

Sciatica refers to pain that travels along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve travels from the buttocks and down each leg. Sciatica most often happens when a herniated disk or an overgrowth of bone puts pressure on the lumbar spine nerve roots. This happens “upstream” from the sciatic nerve.

An easy way to determine if it is sciatica or just referred pain from the lumbar spine or pelvis is if the pain radiates down past the knee. Only nerve pain will cross two joints, in this case the hip and knee. If the pain stops in the hamstring or the front of the thigh, it is not sciatica. Usually, the sciatic patient will present with a sharp pain on the outside of their calf.

Another aspect of sciatica is that it is typically only on one side. If the pain radiates down both legs, it is usually caused by some other condition.

If it is a mild case of sciatica, you can usually treat the condition by yourself with a combination of ice/heat, over-the-counter pain medication, and stretching. The stretches that I suggest can be found in the video I’ve shared below . Walking is also beneficial since it allows motion of the spine, pelvis, and legs. This allows the body to release endorphins and reduce inflammation.

If the sciatica is more severe or does not respond to the above treatment, I have noted while treating patients for 35 years in my Clear Lake City office, that proper chiropractic care gives the best and most lasting relief. With a careful examination and the correct chiropractic treatment, I have noticed that most patients have significant relief in 1-3 visits over a 1-week period-of-time and resolution of the complaint in 1-month.


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!

Manipulation vs. Mobilization

Chiropractic Manipulation vs PT Mobilization

Houston Chiropractor Comments: I recently had a prior patient return for treatment of her low back pain. Her HMO doctor had referred her to physical therapy (PT) for treatment of her pain and she went there. She had asked to be referred to my Clear Lake City, TX office, but her GP stated that chiropractors and PT’s treat low back pain the same so he would not refer her to my office.

The visit at the physical therapy clinic started out the same as most clinics. She had an examination followed by some therapy. After the therapy was completed, she asked about getting her back adjusted.

That is when she found out about the difference between chiropractic manipulation or adjustments and PT mobilization.

A chiropractic manipulation is typically a high velocity end range technique. A PT mobilization typically takes a joint through their range of motion, but does not take the joint beyond its end range.

The chiropractic manipulation requires a lot more skill to deliver the correct treatment. It usually requires several thousand adjustments before a chiropractor can determine the exact amount of force and speed to manipulate patients of any age correctly.

The mobilization usually is slower in speed and does not go through the full joint range of motion. They typically consist of slow, rhythmical, oscillating techniques similar to stretching.

After 3 visits with the PT my patient had not seen any improvement, so she decided to pay out of pocket to see me. After the first chiropractic manipulation she had a 50% reduction in pain and it was completely relieved in 3 visits.

Both of these treatments have their place, but they are not the same and neither are the results.

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!

Chiropractor Near Me

Finding a chiropractor

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: I am old enough to remember when new patients to my office were either referred by their friends, family member, or co-worker. Phonebooks were merely a way for people to look up your phone number without calling information.

That all changed in the early 1990’s. First, insurance companies started switching to managed care plans. With these plans, patients first looked to see if you were on their HMO or PPO list. Then they would see if you were near their home or work for convenience.

Next came the internet. Now patients could look up all the information about a provider or clinic. This made looking for a doctor easier. You could get all the information that you wanted (and some that you didn’t want) at the push of a button. As time progressed, you could read blogs about specific questions that you had or videos to see the correct way to stretch.

Now we have reached a time where people are choosing a doctor of chiropractic simply based off their Google or Yelp reviews or because they came up #1 on a search for “Chiropractor Near Me”. 

It has been an interesting journey for sure. Luckily, we have blogs covering almost any topic and YouTube videos to show common stretches. We have also been blessed with wonderful patients who have written hundreds of reviews.

In addition, when you type “Chiropractor Near Me” and you live in Houston, Clear Lake, Webster, Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, or Pasadena, we come up at the top of the list. We are always ready to help you experience the pleasure of health.


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 Supplements That I Take

Houston Chiropractor Comments: I get asked frequently, “What supplements do you take?” I try to eat a healthy diet with a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, but I still take supplements to make sure that I receive all the nutrients that my body needs. 

Multivitamin

The number one thing that I take is a general multivitamin. This will usually cover the minerals and essential vitamins that my body will require. This is beneficial since at times my diet may be lacking in one or more essential nutrients and this helps to support various bodily functions.

Probiotic

The second supplement that I take is a probiotic. This helps to promote a healthy balance of flora in your gut. This will aid in digestion, boost your immunity, and help to prevent gas and bloating.

Vitamin D

While some people get their vitamin D from sunshine, people working indoors or not spending time outside need to take a supplement to get their daily requirements. This will help with your bones, heart, mood, and immune system.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

This will commonly be called a fish oil supplement. This will aid in reducing inflammation in the body as well as helping with heart, brain, and joint health. 

Supplements alone will not correct a poor diet. You should also eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and sleep, and periodically receive chiropractic care. Experience the pleasure of health.


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!

Can Chiropractic Help Menstrual Cramps

Woman Exercising

Houston Chiropractor Comments: An unfortunate problem for some women is that of dysmenorrhea. This is the occurrence of painful menstrual cramps of uterine origin. More than half of women experience some degree of discomfort with their periods. Up that 15% of women with dysmenorrhea find the discomfort so severe and debilitating that they stay home from school or work to recuperate.

Typical medical treatment involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs or oral contraceptives. Other treatments used by patients include lying on a heating pad, gentle exercise, or abdominal massage.

Articles published in the NIH National Library of Medicine show that chiropractic spinal manipulation can help reduce the cramps. As the lower spine is manipulated, there is an increase in the blood flow to the pelvic area. This is believed to cause the relief. In addition, spinal manipulation helps to release endorphins that help to reduce pain, lower stress, improve mood, and enhance your sense of well-being.

This is one of the many amazing benefits of chiropractic care. Let us help you experience the pleasure of health.


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!

Common Chiropractic Myths

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: I am always surprised by the chiropractic myths that still persist in 2024. Even though chiropractors perform 1 million adjustments in the USA each day, people still do not know the truth about chiropractic.

The most frequent comment that I hear is a fear of getting their necks adjusted. People think that if they get their neck adjusted, they will either have a stroke or get their neck broken. Millions of adjustments are performed each year to the cervical spine (neck) with no complications. The only way that a neck could break during a chiropractic manipulation is if there was already an underlying problem in the cervical spine such as cancer. During the exam and after reviewing x-rays, a doctor of chiropractic would diagnose this and refer the patient out for proper care. People having strokes present to the office with vascular dissection already occurring. During the exam, a modern chiropractor notes these findings and complaints and refers the patient to the emergency room instead of treating them.

Another myth is that patients believe that they have to be referred to a doctor of chiropractic from their medical physician. This is only true for HMO’s. For most patients, we are considered a primary care provider. Just like MD’s and DO’s the Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) does not need a referral to treat a patient. This is different from a PT who needs a referral from a treating doctor.

A third myth is that once you go to a doctor of chiropractic, you will have to go the rest of your life. For most patients, when they come in with pain or a complaint, their chiropractor will give them a treatment plan that will explain what will happen on each visit and how long it will take. After their problem is resolved, they will be discharged. Some patients will stay with chiropractors for maintenance care because they feel better with regular adjustments. This is similar to going to your PCP for physicals and wellness visits.

A fourth myth is that chiropractors are not trusted by other doctors. This was more common in the late 1980’s when I began practicing. Over the last couple of decades, this opinion has changed greatly. Most doctors have a better understanding of what we do and the great results that we obtain. I personally have several dozen doctors and dentists as patients. Sometimes the doctors refer to us in hopes of preventing surgery or limiting the medications that a patient might need and sometimes it is for a pregnant woman hoping to avoid bedrest or to turn a breach baby. The doctors that are unaware of what we do are changing their minds once they are educated on what chiropractic is.
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!

How To Maintain Your Wrist Health While on a Computer

Houston Chiropractor Comments: Anyone who has spent time typing on a computer knows that it can make your forearms sore, your wrists achy, and even lead to tingling and numbness in your hand.

The modern office / school environment has people spendings hours every day on a keyboard. This leads to a variety of aches and pains. People present to our Houston, Texas office wearing wrist braces and being told that they need injections or even possible carpal tunnel release surgery.

In addition, they have tried using different keyboards, wrist pads, and even changing their keyboard location. 

Most of the time, after examining the patient, we find that it is actually tight muscles from holding the wrists at an unnatural position for hours at a time. The problem is usually resolved with a couple sessions of therapy and then showing the patient how to stretch the wrist correctly so that the problem does not reoccur.

Here is a video for our home stretching program.

Click here for more videos like this one!

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!