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! 

Things That You Can Do To Prevent Your Pain From Returning

Houston Chiropractor Comments: After you take the time and energy to correct your spinal problems and get out of pain, you want to keep it that way. Patients want a way to stay active without continued discomfort. Just like when you go to the dentist and get a cavity fixed, they remind you to brush and floss to help prevent future cavities. For your spine it is stretching and exercise.

Stretching

When patients ask what is the number one thing that they could do to prevent hurting their spine or joints in the future, I say stretching. Just like the old adage that if you don’t use it you lose it. We need to continually take our joints thru their full range of motion. The older that we get the less we typically move. We spend most of our time seated, either in our car, at our desk or on our couch with our neck forward. This leads to joint restrictions and possible adhesions. Instead, be more child-like with your motion and move in different directions than normal. You should do some specific stretching every day. A common neck stretch takes 1 minute to go thru all of the different motions, low back stretches take approximately 3 minutes, wrist/forearm stretches for computer takes 1 minute. These stretches and more are located on our website www.beecherchiropractic.com /videos/ or on YouTube at Beecher Chiropractic. Yoga can also be very beneficial as well as Pilates. 

You must also do some activity to strengthen your core support muscles. For your back, the best exercise is planks. It doesn’t matter what type of plank you do; they all have different areas that they address. If you cannot do a full plank, you can do it on your knees or even leaning on counter or wall. The neck will benefit from any type of isometric exercise. You can either press your head in to the palm of your hand in each direction or you can fold up a towel, place it against the wall and lean your head in to it. The more active you are, the more that you will use different muscles.

Just remember to stretch and exercise every day in some way. Your spine and joints will appreciate it.

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 Benefit of Guidelines

Benefits of Medical Guidelines

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: I continue to be surprised, and somewhat disappointed with doctors and therapists, when a person comes in saying that the last time that they had their problem, they went to physical therapy for 4-5 months for a problem that should have taken 2 months at most. Sometimes they say that they went to their family physician for a low back strain and were told to have 1 week of bed rest. Some have been told by their surgeon that since their MRI was negative for a disc herniation, that the problem was in their head and not their back.

One of the benefits of medicine now is that the most current research is available online. We can access treatment guidelines and read the supporting research to find out what works best for our patients. This is not to say that doctors should not use their own experience from treating prior patients, but instead to give a resource to find information if treatment is taking too long or if patients are not getting well. 

When I was in school 30+ years ago, if a person strained their back, the advice was a week of bed rest. When the research came out against bed rest and for early movement such as walking, some doctors fought the change. When outcome assessments became common to measure a person’s response to treatment, some doctors didn’t want to use them. When studies show that certain types of therapies get better results, some therapists didn’t want to use the better therapies for a variety of reasons.

The guidelines and their supporting research give us the information to allow us to get our patients well faster and with better long term outcomes. As insurance companies reduce treatment coverage and out of pocket costs to patients rise, it is in everybody’s best interest to use the research and evidence out there to improve our care.

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! 

Working Safely From Home

Clear Lake City Chiropractor Comments: Times are not good or bad, they are different. That phrase was taught to me when I was younger and it is still true today. The world that we live in is constantly changing and we must adapt. While we are coping with the COVID-19 virus, many people are either working from home or not working at all. This leads to poor work habits and a change in our normal routine.

Since the coronavirus has placed large portions of the country on lockdown, we have been staying open to ease the strain of neck and back injuries from the hospitals and urgent care facilities. I have had people injuring their necks and backs from poor home office ergonomics. People are using their coffee tables or beds as desks and spending 8 hours hunched over in awkward positions. Some people are lying on their couches watching the television all day.

Even when working from home, proper ergonomics must be maintained. Working at a proper desk is beneficial. Some people will benefit from an adjustable standing desk like a Varidesk or an Airlift. You can also use a laptop stand that will help elevate your screen to eye level. This is helpful with the increase in home video conferencing.

Make sure to take time to stretch your neck, back and wrists. We have videos of these stretches on our website (www.BeecherChiropractic.com.) and on our YouTube channel under Beecher Chiropractic Clinic. This will help to minimize your neck fatigue, back strain and carpal tunnel symptoms.

Finally take some time to exercise. Try and do some form of exercise for at least 20 consecutive minutes. This not only will help your fitness, but it will help to lessen your stress and allow you burn some of those extra calories that you have been eating. 😉


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!