The Body & Mind and Connection of Whiplash?

Clear Lake Chiropractor

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: The term “whiplash” refers to an injury to the neck muscles, the muscle attachments (tendons), ligaments, and sometimes the disks that lie between the vertebral bodies of the spine.  In a rear-end collision, the cause of whiplash occurs from a sudden, rapid acceleration of the body and neck as the car is pushed forwards.  In these first moments following impact, the head remains in the same place while the body is propelled forward.  This is followed by a “crack-the-whip” movement of the head and neck when the muscles in the front of the neck stretch like rubber bands and suddenly spring the head forwards, all occurring in less than 1 second.  The force on the head and neck is further intensified if the seat back is too springy, or angled back too far.  Also, if the headrest is too low, the head may ride over the top and more injury can result.

Treatment of whiplash

Neck x-ray flickr photo by TSayles shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

The treatment of whiplash varies from “watchful waiting” to a multidisciplinary team approach that includes neurology, physical therapy, chiropractic, psychology, and possibly surgery (rare).  In an article published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the relationship between clinical, psychological and functional health status factors was investigated in a group of patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorder (WAD).  A total of 86 patients with chronic WAD participated in the study and outcomes were tracked using questionnaires that measure pain, disability and psychological issues including depression, anxiety and catastrophizing.  Physical examination factors included measuring the cervical range of motion.  An analysis of the degree of neck disability and the relative contribution of physical vs. psychological factors revealed catastrophizing and depression played greater roles than did cervical range of motion.  This suggests psychological factors play an important role in the outcome of whiplash.

Finding a Chirpractor

The importance of this is that more than just the physical factors like range of motion should be focused on when treating chronic whiplash patients.  Answering the patient’s questions, explaining the mechanism of injury and how that relates to their specific condition, and addressing depression, anxiety, coping, and other psychological issues is very important. Discussing treatment goals with patients is also very important.  For example, making light of the injury by stating something like, “…you’ll be fine after the treatments,” may harm the patient as anything short of “fine” may be interpreted as failed treatment by the patient.  It is also important not to paint too dismal of a picture as that can have negative psychological effects as well, as this may suggest that they will never improve.  Explaining the difference between “hurt” and “harm” is of great value to the chronic whiplash patient as they are often told, “if it hurts, don’t do it.”  This sends an unfortunate message to the patient that any activity where an increase in pain occurs is “bad” when in fact, that activity may help the patient get better in the long run.  This can make or break an acceptable outcome as many may feel like they shouldn’t do anything and this can lead to unemployment, boredom, and the many psychological issues previously described.  The best advice is to remain active and try to ignore discomfort by staying within “reasonable activity boundaries.” Reasonable activity tolerance is learned as time passes and trying different activities for different lengths of time.  This type of coaching should be at the center of chronic whiplash management rather than over focusing on physical factors such as range of motion. If you would like to know more about whiplash or would like treatment, please contact your Houston chiropractor, Beecher Chiropractic!

The Neck and Headache Connection

The Neck and Headache Connection

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: Patients with headaches also commonly complain of neck pain.  This relationship is the rule, not the exception and therefore, treatment for headaches must include treatment of the neck to achieve optimum results.  The term, “cervicogenic headaches” has been an accepted term because of the intimate connection between the neck and head for many years.  There are many anatomical reasons why neck problems result in headaches.  Some of these include:

  • The first 3 nerves exiting the spine in the upper neck go directly into the head.  They penetrate the muscles at the top of the neck near the attachments to the skull and therefore, any excess pressure on these nerves by the muscles or spinal joints will result in irritation and subsequent pain.
  • The origin or nucleus of the 5th cranial nerve called the Trigeminal, innervates the sensation to the face and is located in the upper cervical region near the origin of the 2nd cervical spinal nerve, which innervates sensation to the back of the head up to the top.  Therefore, problems located in the upper neck will often result in pain radiating up from the base of the skull/upper neck over the top of the skull to the eyes and /or face.
  • The 11th cranial nerve that innervates the upper shoulders and muscles in the front of the neck arises from the top 5 to 7 spinal cord levels in the neck.  Injury anywhere in the neck can result in spasm and pain in these large muscle groups.
  • Other interconnections between the 2nd cervical nerve and trigeminal/5th cranial nerve include communication with the 7th cranial / facial nerve, the 9th cranial / glossopharyngeal nerve, and the 10th cranial / vagus nerve.  These connections can affect facial muscle strength/movements, taste, tongue and throat movements, and stomach complaints such as nausea from these three cranial nerve interconnections, respectively.

    Headache flickr photo by Peter Hellberg shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

When patients seek treatment for their headaches, a thorough examination of the neck, upper back, and cranial nerves is routinely performed for the above reasons.  It is common to find upper cervical movement and vertebral alignment problems present in patients complaining of headaches. Tender points located between the shoulder blades, along the upper shoulders, on the sides of the neck and particularly, at the base of the skull are commonly found.  Pain often radiates from the tender point over the top of the skull when pressure is applied in the upper neck/base of the skull area. Tenderness on the sides of the head, in the temples, over the eyes, and near the jaw joint are also common. Traction or pulling the head to stretch the neck is often quite pain relieving and this is often performed as part of the chiropractic visit and can also be applied at home with the use of a home cervical traction unit. Chiropractic adjustments applied to the fixated or misaligned vertebra in the upper neck often brings very satisfying relief to the headache sufferer.  Exercises that promote movement in the neck, as well as strengthening exercises are also helpful in both reducing headache pain and in preventing occurrences, especially with stress or tension headaches.

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


Dr Beecher’s July 15 Weekly Chiropractic Newsletter

To download Dr. Beecher’s Weekly Newsletter, please click here!


Week of Monday, July 15th, 2013

Mental Attitude: Brain Health. A recent study recommends that doctors treating patients for type 2 diabetes also take cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors into consideration. The combination of type 2 diabetes and CVD can put patients at a higher risk for long-term cognitive dysfunction, even with CVD at subclinical levels.

Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications, June 2013


Health Alert: Summer Heat! Extreme heat causes 658 deaths a year. That’s more than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and lightning combined. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges Americans to take measures to stay cool, remain hydrated, and to keep informed. When the weather gets extremely hot, body temperatures can rise, causing brain damage, organ damage, and even death. When the human body cannot compensate and cool itself properly, it is more susceptible to heat-related illness. 69% of deaths from heat exposure occur at home, and in 91% of these homes there is no air-conditioning. Most of the victims live alone or are unmarried and 72% of them are male. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 2013


Diet: Cholesterol-Lowering Diet. People who ate a Nordic diet had lower levels of harmful LDL cholesterol, higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, fewer fat particles in the blood, and therefore, had a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. The healthy ‘Nordic diet’ contains berries, root vegetables, legumes, cabbage, nuts, game, poultry, fish, whole grains, rapeseed oil, and low-fat dairy products. Lund University, June 2013


Exercise: 12 Minutes? Only 20% of American adults get enough exercise. Just 12 minutes of exercise each week is enough to stay fit! Four minute bursts of vigorous physical activity three times each week can elevate oxygen intake levels, lower blood pressure, and decrease glucose levels. PLOS One, June 2013


Chiropractic: Neck Pain Relief. Three groups received either spinal manipulative therapy from a chiropractor, pain medication (over-the-counter pain relievers, narcotics and muscle relaxants), or exercise recommendations. After 12 weeks, 57% of those who met with a chiropractor and 48% who exercised reported at least a 75% reduction in pain, compared to 33% of the people in the medication group. Annals of Internal Medicine, January 2012


Wellness/Prevention: Lifestyle Changes. The four lifestyle factors that lead to a healthy heart are regular exercise, eating a Mediterranean-style diet, maintaining a normal weight, and not smoking. Adopting these four lifestyle behaviors protected against coronary heart disease as well as the early buildup of calcium deposits in heart arteries, and reduced the chance of death from all causes by 80 percent over an eight-year period.

American Journal of Epidemiology, June 2013


Quote: “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” ~ Thomas Carlyle


This Weekly Health News Update is compliments of Dr. Ward Beecher and Beecher Chiropractic Clinic. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 281-286-1300 or .


Dr Beecher’s May 6 Weekly Chiropractic Newsletter

To download Dr. Beecher’s Weekly Newsletter, please click here!

Week of Monday, May 6th, 2013


Mental Attitude: Teenaged Smoking, Depression, and Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a costly health problem. Although it is primarily evident in postmenopausal women, its roots can be traced to periods of growth, including adolescence. A recent study showed that smoking and depressive symptoms in adolescent girls had a negative impact on adolescent bone growth and may lead to future low bone mass or osteoporosis and higher fracture rates in postmenopausal years. Journal of Adolescent Health, April 2013


Health Alert: World’s Population To Stop Growing? A research team predicts that the Earth’s population will stabilize by 2050. The world population in 2100 will be within a range of 15.8 billion people (according to the highest estimates with a high fertility variant) and 6.2 billion (according to the lowest estimates with a low fertility variant). The lowest estimate is actually lower than the current world population of 7 billion. In fact, the world-wide fertility rate has already fallen by more than 40% since 1950. United Nations, February 2013


Diet: Heart Disease and Red Meat. Carnitine, a compound abundant in red meat and added as a supplement to popular energy drinks, has been found to promote atherosclerosis (hardening or clogging of arteries).

Nature Medicine, April 2013


Exercise: Walking and Smoking. Teens who increased the amount of time they exercised by at least 20 minutes

(equivalent to a short walk) were more likely than their peers to resist lighting up a cigarette.

Journal of Adolescent Health, April 2013


Chiropractic: Neck Pain Relief! 75% of Americans deal with neck pain at some point in their lives. In a study comparing spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) and prescription medication as treatment options, researches concluded that SMT was more effective both in the short and long-term. At the end of 12 weeks, 57% of participants in the SMT group reported at least a 75% reduction in pain, while only 33% of the medication group had similar results. One year later, patients in the chiropractic group were still experiencing benefits, as 53% still saw at least a

75% reduction in pain. Annals of Internal Medicine, January 2012


Wellness/Prevention: Kidney Disease and Being Overweight. Being overweight in young adulthood may significantly increase individuals’ risks of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) by the time they become seniors. Those who were overweight in their late 20s and early 30s were twice as likely to have CKD at age 60-64 years compared with those who first became overweight at age 60-64 years or never became overweight. Larger waist-to-hip ratios (“apple-shaped” bodies) at ages 43 and 53 years were also linked with CKD at age 60-64 years. Researchers estimate that 36% of CKD cases at age 60-64 in the United States population could be avoided if nobody became overweight until at least that age. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, April 2013



Quote: “A fit, healthy body—that is the best fashion statement.” ~ Jess C. Scott





New York Times Article about Neck Pain

In this blog I would like people to read an article from the New York Times about neck pain. A new study shows that chiropractic care and exercises were more effective than medication in relief of neck pain. The relief was still better with chiropractic when the people were questioned one year latter. If you suffer from neck pain in Houston contact my office today for a consultation

The Truth About Neck Pain and Chiropractic Treatment

Neck pain is a very common complaint that chiropractic has been found to be very effective in treating.  There are many causes of neck pain including posture related (such as a forward head carriage) and repetitive strain (such as long static holding of awkward positions).  These two causes are very similar as the head weighs approximately 15 pounds and when held in a forward translated position for a lengthy time frame, the muscles fatigue and begin to ache.  This is similar to holding a baby in your arms for a long time frame.  We soon find ourselves moving the baby to the other arm or against our chest due to the gradual increasing strain placed our upper quarter muscles.  Hence, we must similarly change the forward head position when we are working at the computer, listening or talking (especially if the person is not directly in front of you), reading a book, cooking, and so forth.

Another cause of neck pain is trauma. This could be from a car accident, a slip-and-fall injury, sports injury, and more.  These injuries are highly variable as no two injuries or accidents are the same and, there are a wide variety of neck sizes in both length and girth and hence, the same trauma may hardly result in an injury in one person and greatly injure a smaller, more petite person.  Your doctor of chiropractic will ask you about the “mechanism of injury” as that can give us clues about which tissues are injured.  For example, in a motor vehicle collision, if the impact occurs from the side verses the rear end of the car, the tissues in the neck are stretched differently and the management/treatment may vary accordingly.

Other causes of neck pain include a “slipped” or herniated disk.  A herniated disk is like a jelly donut where the jelly leaks out and presses against a nerve that travels down the arm. Symptoms often include pain, numb, tingling, burning, weakness, or combinations of these sensations down the course of the nerve. When this occurs, the person is usually quite specific about where the pain is traveling such as, “…it goes down my arm to my ring and little finger.”

Another cause can be related to natural aging process involving the “wearing out” process of the disk, joints, and muscle/ligament attachments.  The term, “osteoarthritis” is commonly associated with these findings and is often blamed for neck pain, but this is controversial.  First, osteoarthritis (OA) takes years to develop and many people have a significant amount of OA but literally no pain or symptoms while others with only a little x-ray evidence of OA present with an abundance of pain.

So, how do chiropractors manage all of these causes of neck pain? A thorough history, examination, and locating the positions of pain production verses pain relief are “key” to the successful management of patients with neck pain.  For one patient, traction/stretching types of manual adjustment techniques work best while for the next, this may not be tolerated at all, which is why we “pre-position” the patient prior to administering an adjustment.

Other treatment considerations may include exercise instruction, physical therapy modalities (electric stimulation, ultrasound, etc.), the use of ice/heat or changes to your work station. If you, a family member or a friend require care, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our service.

We are proud that chiropractic care has consistently scored the highest level of satisfaction when compared to other forms of health care provision and we look forward in serving you and your family presently and in the future.

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

Five Exercises to Help Your Neck Stay Pain-Free

The neck is the most flexible part of your spine and just like any other area of the body, movement exercises and good posture is important to maintain its health. Neck pains can be brought on or aggravated by how you treat this vital structure. We often neglect our neck when it comes to exercises, focusing instead on our legs or heart. So try these helpful hints and incorporate them into your daily routine courtesy of your local Houston chiropractic clinic.

Moving your neck slowly through all its ranges is key. It is important to do pure movements rather than combinations, rolling the neck around like a ball and socket joint (such as the hip or shoulder) is to be avoided. Instead, flex the neck forward until your chin touches the top of your chest. Then, slowly bend your neck backwards, chin to the sky. These movements should not cause pain if they are done slowly and you have no pre-existing injury.

The next movement is side bending and is accomplished by trying to bend either ear towards the shoulder. Do this in front of a mirror so that you keep your head straight looking forward. Note whether you can do this same amount to each side.

The last movement is rotation. Simply rotate your chin slowly so that you are looking over one shoulder. None of these movements should cause pain or make you dizzy. If they do, then it’s a sign you have a neck injury.

An important aspect of neck function is how the shoulder girdle influences neck posture and motion. Try rolling your shoulders forwards and backwards, stretching slowly, to help ease tension at the neck. General exercises such as fast paced walking or hiking are important for your neck too. Remember, your spine is the core of your body and walking is one of the least “injury-producers,” something you can keep up well into your later years.

Lastly, make sure your neck posture is kept upright when you are talking on the phone, driving, reading, doing other tasks, or sleeping.  A very small pillow is usually best for sleeping and neck support pillows are available to help maintain the normal forward arch of the neck. A small pillow will allow your head to ease back, relaxing the muscles at the back of the neck. Water based pillows will allow you to have a pillow that is perfect for you.

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

“Ice vs Heat”. Which one is right?

Ice vs Heat Which One Is Right?

Houston Chiropractor Comments: A common question I get in my clinic is “When do I use heat and when do I use ice?” Unfortunately this question is usually asked after they have already done the wrong one. The patient has usually relied on old information that has been passed down from grandma or what they remember their coach saying 20 years ago.

To understand which one to use, you need to understand the basic physiology of what you are trying to do. Cold therapy with ice is the best immediate treatment for acute injuries because it reduces swelling and pain. Ice is a vasoconstrictor (it causes the blood vessels to narrow) and it limits internal bleeding and swelling at the injury site. Apply ice (wrapped in a thin towel for comfort) to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. Allow the skin temperature to return to normal before icing a second or third time (about 40 minutes). You can ice an acute injury every hour. It does not matter if the injury was 24 or 48 or 72 hours before, if there is swelling and pain, use ice.

Cold therapy is also helpful in treating some overuse injuries or chronic pain in athletes. An athlete who has chronic back pain or neck pain that increases after exercising may want to ice the injured area after exercise to reduce or prevent inflammation. It’s not helpful to ice a chronic injury before exercise.

The best way to ice an injury is with a high quality ice pack that conforms to the body part being iced. You can also get good results from a bag of frozen peas, an ice massage with water frozen in a paper cup (peel the cup down as the ice melts) or a bag of ice.

Heat is a vasodilator (it causes the blood vessels to get larger) which increases circulation to the area. Heat is generally used for chronic injuries or injuries that have no inflammation or swelling. Sore, stiff, achy muscle or joint pain is ideal for the use of heat therapy. Athletes with chronic pain or injuries may use heat therapy before exercise to increase the elasticity of joint connective tissues and to stimulate blood flow. Heat can also help relax tight muscles or muscle spasms. Don’t apply heat after exercise. Ice vs Heat, after a workout ice is the better choice on a chronic injury.

Because heat increases circulation and raises skin temperature, you should not apply heat to acute injuries or injuries that show signs of inflammation or redness. Safely apply heat to an injury 20 minutes at a time and use enough layers between your skin and the heating source to prevent burns. Leave the heat off for at least 40 minutes before using it again.

Moist heat is best, so you could try using a hot wet towel. You can also use heat producing lotions. I recommend Biofreeze to my patients. Never leave heating pads on for more than 20 minutes at a time or while sleeping to prevent burning.

Ice vs Heat
Ice vs Heat

Because some injuries can be serious, you should see your chiropractor of Houton TX if your injury does not improve (or gets worse) within 48 hours. If no improvement is made you should seek out Houston rehabilitation.

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

“Conservative” Treatment for Neck and Back Pain – A Chiropractic Perspective- Part 4 – Exercise

As a practicing chiropractic orthopedist, I am regularly asked what the difference between me and an orthopedic surgeon is. The simple answer is that I look for a conservative treatment option while the surgeon looks for a surgical treatment option. The term “conservative treatment” is used to describe any treatment option that does not involve surgery. This may be as simple as reassuring you that it is not a serious problem, and recommending that you just watch and wait. However, people with recurring back or neck problems should consider preventive measures. This includes learning how to protect your back and neck and exercising to strengthen your back and neck. Conservative treatment approaches include the use of:


Exercise is vital to recovery and to maintaining a healthy spine. Consider it part of long-term health management and risk reduction. Regular exercise is the most basic way to combat back and neck problems. However, if you already have an injury or damage to your spine, talk to your doctor of chiropractic before you start an exercise routine, to make sure the exercises you choose are effective and safe for your particular case.

Why exercise? Scientific studies show that people who exercise regularly have far fewer problems with their spine. Exercise helps strengthen the muscles in your back that connect to your spine. Exercise can reduce your risk of falls and injuries. It can also strengthen your abdomen (your belly), arms, and legs, which reduces back strain. Stretching reduces risk of muscle spasms. In addition, weight bearing exercises help prevent loss of bone mass caused by osteoporosis, reducing your risk of fractures. Aerobic exercise, the type that gets your heart pumping and pulse rate up, has been shown to be a good pain reliever as well. The natural chemicals of the body that combat pain — called endorphins — are released during exercise and actually reduce your pain.

Exercises will help maximize your physical abilities including:

  • Flexibility — exercises that increase flexibility help to reduce pain and make it easier to keep your spine in a healthy position. Flexibility exercises are helpful for establishing safe movement. Tight muscles cause imbalance in spinal movements, which can make it easier to injure your spine. Gentle stretching increases flexibility, eases pain, and reduces the chance of re-injury.
  • Stabilization — “core” muscles are the muscles located closer to the center of your body and act as stabilizers. These key muscles are trained to help you position your spine safely and to hold your spine steady as you perform routine activities. These muscles form a stable platform, which allows you to move your arms and legs with precision. If the stabilizers are not doing their job, your spine may be overstressed by daily activities.
  • Coordination — strong muscles need to be coordinated. As the strength of the spinal muscles increases, it becomes important to train these muscles to work together. Learning any physical activity takes practice. Muscles must be trained so that the physical activity is under control. Spine muscles that are trained to control safe movement help reduce the chance of re-injury.
  • Conditioning — improving your overall fitness level will help you recover from spine problems. Fitness conditioning involves safe forms of aerobic exercise. The term aerobic means “with oxygen.” When using oxygen as they work, muscles are better able to move continuously, rather than in spurts. Examples of aerobic exercise include:
    • Swimming laps
    • Walking on a treadmill
    • Using a cross country ski machine
    • Using a stair stepper

If you decide you want some extra conditioning, always check with your doctor of chiropractic before beginning a program on your own. It is important that you choose an aerobic activity you enjoy. This will help you stick with it, so you reap the long-term benefits that come with a well-rounded exercise program.

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

“Conservative” Treatment for Neck and Back Pain- Part 2 – Pain Control

Houston Chiropractor Comments: As a practicing Houston chiropractic orthopedist, I am regularly asked what the difference between me and an orthopedic surgeon is. The simple answer is that I look for a conservative treatment option while the surgeon looks for a surgical treatment option. The term “conservative treatment” is used to describe any treatment option that does not involve surgery. This may be as simple as reassuring you that it is not a serious problem, and recommending that you just watch and wait. However, people with recurring back or neck problems should consider preventive measures. This includes learning how to protect your back and neck and exercising to strengthen your back and neck. Conservative treatment approaches include the use of:

Pain Control

To control pain and symptoms, your DC may recommend the following physical activities/modalities:

  • Rest — resting painful joints and muscles helps calm soreness, giving your spine time to heal. If you are having pain with an activity or movement, it should be a signal that there is still irritation going on. You should try to avoid all movements and activities that increase the pain. In the early stages of your therapy, your chiropractic doctor may have you wear a brace to limit movement.
  • Specific Rest — specific rest allows safe movement of the joints and muscles on either side of a painful area while protecting the sore spot. If a lumbar brace was prescribed, you may be instructed to take it off a few times each day so you can do some gentle and controlled exercises.
  • Positioning — your DC will help you find positions for your spine that are most comfortable while sleeping or resting. He or she may also suggest positions to reduce stress on your spine while you are at work.
  • Ice — ice makes blood vessels constrict or get smaller, which decreases the blood flow. This helps control inflammation, muscle spasm, and pain.
  • Heat — heat makes blood vessels dilate or get larger, which increases the blood flow. This helps flush away chemicals that cause pain, and also helps bring in healing nutrients and oxygen.
  • Ultrasound — ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to reach sore muscles and other tissues that are over two inches below the surface of your skin. As the sound waves pass through your body they vibrate molecules, causing friction and warmth. This heating effect helps flush the sore area and brings in a new supply of blood that is rich in nutrients and oxygen.
  • Electrical Stimulation — electrical stimulation gently stimulates nerves as the current passes through pads applied on the skin. Some people say it feels like a massage on their skin. Electrical stimulation can ease pain by sending impulses to your brain that are felt instead of pain. Once the pain eases, muscles begin to relax, letting you move and exercise with less discomfort.
  • Soft Tissue Massage — DC’s frequently refer patients for different forms of soft tissue massage. Massage has been shown to reduce pain and spasm by helping muscles relax, by bringing in a fresh supply of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, and by flushing the area of chemical irritants that come from inflammation. Soft tissue massage can help tight muscles relax, getting them back to a normal length. This will help you begin to move with less pain and greater ease.
  • Spinal manipulation — your DC will apply specific pressures and movements to your joints to help lubricate joint surfaces and prevent adhesions. This will ease stiffness and help you begin moving with less pain. As your pain decreases, different manipulations may be used to lengthen tissues around the joint in order to restore better movement in your spine.
  • Traction — sore joints and muscles often feel better when traction (pull) is used. DC’s apply traction with their hands or with a traction machine. There are also traction devices that you can use at home. The amount of pull that is needed will depend on your condition. A gentle on/off pressure may be better early on to help control arthritis pain. More vigorous traction can help take away pain if a spinal joint is mildly sore or tight.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001Pineloch,Ste700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

To read the first part of this post, click here