Beware of The Summer Heat!

Summer Heat Tips

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: As we enter the summer, it is important that we pay attention to the heat and humidity. Whether we are working in the yard, playing sports with our friends or just lounging by the pool, we need to stay aware of the weather conditions. More importantly, we need to pay attention to how our body is reacting to the heat and humidity.

Heat emergencies have three stages: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. All three stages of heat emergency are serious. It is important to treat these emergencies quickly so that they don’t progress to heatstroke, which can have lifelong consequences.

Heat cramps is the first stage. During heat cramps Heat cramps are the first stage of heat emergency. They usually happen when you’ve been physically active in the heat, but they can also occur if you haven’t been active. Heat cramps are especially likely in the elderly or small children, overweight people, and people who have been drinking alcohol. Muscle pain and tightness are symptoms of heat cramps. It is typically treated by moving out of direct sunlight and into a shaded area. You should drink cool non-alcoholic beverages without caffeine and gently massage and stretch the muscles.

Heat exhaustion has many symptoms. Some of these symptoms include muscle cramps, dizziness, mild confusion, increased heart rate or breathing, a headache, irritability, extreme thirst, nausea or vomiting, pale skin, heavy sweating or fainting. Treatment is everything listed in heat cramps plus loosening your clothes and having someone gently fan your body.

Heatstroke will have all of the symptoms of heat exhaustion plus a body temperature of 104°. The person can also have confusion, dry skin, seizures, hallucinations, rapid shallow breathing and rapid weak pulse. Heatstroke can be fatal or cause lifelong complications. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if heat illness is causing vomiting, seizures, or unconsciousness. For heat stroke you should remove any sweaty clothes and place ice under the arm pits, wrist and groin if available. If not, place cool wet towels on the chest and face.

To help prevent these problems remember to take periodic rests, drink plenty of water, wear loose fitting light colored clothes and avoid alcohol or caffeinated drinks.
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!  

Do Chiropractic Adjustments Hurt?

Chiropractor Adjustment Houston TXClear Lake Chiropractor Comments: For patients that have never been to a chiropractor, this is surprisingly a common question. If your chiropractic adjustment is performed correctly, you should only feel a little stiff or sore after your initial chiropractic adjustment. This would be similar to the soreness that one feels when they first start going to a gym or do too much yard work. After the 1st couple adjustments you do not feel any soreness, just relief with increased mobility.

Chiropractic adjustments take pressure off of the joints and help to relieve any pressure or adhesions in the joint. Sometimes as the doctor of chiropractic corrects your spinal complaints you may also note some muscles being sore in different areas. This is not uncommon. You will start to use muscles differently as your body adapts to your correct posture. Your chiropractor will typically advise you to use ice for 20 minutes to help relieve any soreness. He or she will also suggest some stretches and later some exercises to allow the joints to retain their flexibility and to give the proper muscle support so that the problem does not reoccur.

If you have any questions or concerns about chiropractic adjustments, feel free to ask your chiropractor. They can explain the safety of spinal manipulation and why chiropractors have the lowest malpractice rates of any doctors. They can also modify their treatment to make sure that there is no discomfort.

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 Choose A Chiropractor

How To Choose A ChiropractorHouston Chiropractor Comments: We live in a mobile society. People change jobs. Kids go off to college. When this happens, I get asked if I can recommend a chiropractor in their new area. Some towns are easy, because I know a doctor who I can trust. Sometimes I don’t have any idea.

When I first open up my clinic in 1990 my patients all came in either because they knew me or were referred by a friend or co-worker. In the early 1990’s managed care began to change healthcare with provider networks. Things changed again in the early 2000’s with the rise of the internet with searches and reviews. Now you can find out anything that you want to know about your doctor and some things that you don’t want to know about them. 😉

When choosing a chiropractor now, a personal recommendation from someone that you know and trust is still the best way. They can answer specific questions that you might not find with an online review. When we get referrals from orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists and physical therapists, the patients are very comfortable knowing that their healthcare provider has vouched for us and our treatment.

Another way to choose a chiropractor is thru your provider network if you are on an insurance plan. Every major insurance plan will have a list of doctors with their certifications and reviews. Doctors who do not meet the accepted standards of care are removed from the list. Those doctors will require you to pay more out of pocket expenses than in network providers.

A third way to choose a doctor is thru online reviews. Review sites such as Google and Yelp allow you to hear from patients talking about what they like and don’t like about the office, treatment, staff and the doctor. These sites allow you to see positive and negative comments. Yelp has a section of reviews call “not currently recommended” that lists reviews from people who haven’t registered with Yelp as users.

A final way to choose a doctor is to check with their state board to find out if they are properly registered and if the doctor has any restrictions or complaints against them. Some doctors appear friendly and ethical, but you might find out that they have a history of fraudulent billing or specific restrictions on their license.

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!    

Are Neck & Back Injuries Permanent?

Is My Back Pain Permanent?Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: One of the most common questions I get from patients after an injury is “Will I always have pain in the future”? Another common statement is to relate all current complaints to a previous accident or injury. This can be back pain from jumping off a roof when they were 15 or an auto accident that they had when they were in college. People are surprised when they are shown to have no degeneration from prior injuries or signs of prior trauma.

Most accidents or prior injuries do not cause permanent pain or impairments. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that impairment is “any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function”. Another way of saying it would be “a condition that interferes with an individual’s activities of daily living. The impairment becomes permanent when it has become static and stable and unlikely to change with further care.

Most accidents and injuries cause a mild to moderate sprain / strain injury or a soft tissue contusion (bruise). These injuries typically resolve in 8 weeks or less. With the proper treatment and therapy there is no permanent impairment or pain. The key to getting the problem resolved is to understand what happened to the body and providing the correct chiropractic adjustments to the joints, doing the proper therapy to minimize tissue inflammation and getting the patient to begin the necessary stretches and exercises as soon as possible. After the injury is resolved, the patient should be given a home based exercise and stretching program. These typically only take a few minutes to perform so it is easy to include in your daily routine, similar to brushing and flossing your teeth.

There are times when these injuries take longer, such as when a bone has been broken, ligaments or tendons ruptured or when surgery has been required. This is typically where permanent pain or discomfort can occur. Luckily that does not happen often.

Unfortunately some patients are told that they will always be in pain or that they can never do a particular activity again because of the injury. With a mild to moderate sprain / strain injury (this includes a small disc herniation) or contusion, you will not be limited with what you do if you are regularly doing the correct exercises and stretches. If you have not been given a home based exercise and stretching program by your previous doctor or therapist, ask your current chiropractor for a program that you can do on your own. He or she should be able to formulate a plan to get you out of pain and back to enjoying your activities of daily living. If they don’t give you a home care program, feel free to contact us for information.

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!

Are Chiropractors Real Doctors?

Are Chiropractors Real Doctors?Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: It continues to amaze me that I get asked this question several times a year. Sometimes it is from people trying to be negative and sometimes from people that honestly just don’t know. Even though chiropractic has been around for 125 years and approximately 15% of the population goes to a chiropractor they still don’t know the answer.

The word “doctor” can be used as a noun or a verb. According to Merriam–Webster, as a noun, it means “a learned or authoritative teacher” and as a verb, it means “to return to good condition”. These are both definitions that relate well to chiropractors.

Now some people will see of the word “doctor” and only think of medical doctors.  This is a very narrow viewpoint because it eliminates the majority of the people with a doctorate. This eliminates doctors of osteopathy (DO), doctors of dentistry (DDS), doctors of optometry (OD), doctors of theology (DTh) and all of the doctors of philosophy (PhD).

Sometimes people will assume that to be a real doctor you have to perform surgery. This eliminates even the majority of medical doctors such as pediatricians, neurologists, physiatrists, internists, cardiologists and many more.

Sometimes the person has no idea of the educational requirements to become a chiropractor. To become a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) it takes 3 1/3 to 4 years of education after receiving your undergraduate education. The typical chiropractic curriculum has approximately 2000 hours of clinical sciences, 1500 hours of clinical clerkship plus electives to equal 4200 hours of instruction. In addition the doctor of chiropractic has annual educational hours required to maintain their license.

Hopefully this explains why the answer to the question “Are chiropractors real doctors?”, is YES. They just treat patients in a different way that doesn’t require drugs, medication or surgery.

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!