Treating Whiplash Neck Pain

Neck pain is common after a whiplash accident. The treatment that you receive (or don’t receive in some cases) following that accident impacts your spine and your health for the rest of your life.  Treating whiplash neck pain is important to your future wellness.

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Ankle Pain

Ankle pain is commonly experienced during or immediately after running.  Running creates tremendous impact stress on your ankle joints making them prone to injury. Many people use running as an exercise to help them lose weight, since these folks are already heavy – that extra weight puts more stress through the ankle making them more prone to injury.

Ankle pain can appear after minor ankle injuries – frequently the injury is simply due to repetitive impact from running or jogging.

Typical Causes of Ankle Pain:

1) Sprain / strains

2) Tendonitis

3) Achilles Tendon rupture

4) Fractures

5) Arthritis

ankle painSome cases of ankle pain are noticeable while running but not during normal daily activities. In most cases, ankle pain that is experienced during a run is either tendonitis or a sprain / strain type injury of one or more of the many ligaments and muscles of the ankle and foot. These injuries can occur as a result of a specific injury but in most cases the injury is due to the repetitive stress that the activity of running places on the ankles. If these injuries are left untreated they can become more severe and even normal walking can sometimes cause pain. Chronic inflammation in the joint due to tendonitis or chronic sprain / strains can lead to the onset of early arthritis.

Serious injuries such as an Achilles tendon rupture or a fracture require immediate medical attention since they are often so painful that they prevent weight bearing on the affected side.

Treatment for ankle sprain / strains and tendonitis include RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) after running as well as chiropractic treatment that should include joint manipulations of the subtalar joint combined with various types physiotherapy that is specifically applied in order to reduce inflammation.  If there are any signs of instability of the ankle specific exercises will be given to help strengthen the joint.

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Junk Foods

Why is it that junk foods always smells and tastes so good? It’s strange how we train our bodies to crave food that is of low nutritional value and damages our health.

junk foodsA big part of the “junk food cycle” is that we have gotten into the habit of using food for reasons other than simple nutrition to energize our bodies. A hallmark of an unhealthy diet is to use food to satisfy cravings that are generated by stress, boredom, depression, frustration, anger, etc. Patients in my San Diego Chiropractic Clinic struggle with junk foods cravings all the time. This type of eating usually involves cookies, cake, chocolate, candy and a host of fattening foods.

The Science Behind Junk Foods

junk foodCravings aren’t simply gaffs in will power. There are physiological reasons behind our desire to eat junk foods. Although these physiological reasons are many and complex, the bottom line is that eating sweets triggers the release of insulin which stimulates neurotransmitters and hormones that make us feel better. This sugar induced “feel good” is only a short term solution that has us quickly reaching for more junk foods. There are also specific “trigger foods” that cause cravings for sugars. A specific example is that hot and spicy foods increase the desire for chocolate. By keeping a close eye on your diet you may discover similar patterns – once you are aware of them you can start to avoid or control them. For example, I know that if I brush my teeth right after eating spicy foods that my chocolate craving is almost immediately “fixed”.

junk foor vs healthy foodWe know that emotional stress triggers the desire to consume foods that make us feel better but these situations remain difficult to control. Unfortunately, emotional eating usually doesn’t just start – it is typically a learned behavior that is carried from childhood making it extremely difficult to control. The best bet is to not have junk foods in the house at all – if they are not there you can’t eat them. If that doesn’t work for you, try these other techniques based on actual physiological responses to control your cravings.

  1. Choose chicken, tuna, or eggs to cut your carbohydrate cravings. These foods contain tryptophan which increase serotonin and lifts your spirits making it easier to resist cravings for sugary carbohydrates.
  2. Practice deep breathing to help reduce stress. Put one hand on your belly and one on your chest – inhale deeply to a count of five, feeling your belly expand. Next, exhale slowly to a count of seven, drawing your belly in toward your spine. Breathing like this moves nitric oxide to your lungs, widening your blood vessels and sending extra oxygen and blood to your brain. This exercise is calming and can help you resist comfort foods.
  3. Getting enough sleep can curb sugar cravings. When your body doesn’t get at least 7 hours of sleep every night to rejuvenate its supplies of serotonin and dopamine, it tries to compensate for the shortage by making you crave sugary foods.
  4. Be wary of “trigger foods” that increase junk food cravings. Hot, spicy foods and sweets can make you crave sweets. Spicy foods in particular make us crave chocolate. Lose the spicy stuff and you will lose some of your cravings.

If you can get some of your cravings for sweets and other junk foods under control and add regular exercise and stretching to your lifestyle you will make fast, noticeable improvements in the way you look and feel!

The primary purpose of chiropractic care is to improve your overall health through chiropractic adjustments, nutritional support and specific exercises and stretches.


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Improving Dietary Choices

Are you out of shape? Do you have trouble deciding where to begin with your efforts to regain your health?  Improving dietary choices is a good place to start.

improving dietary choicesWith our busy lifestyles, sometimes people find themselves so far out of shape that they don’t know how to begin with their efforts to turn their health around. In most cases trying to manipulate your diet and begin an exercise program at the same time quickly becomes overwhelming and ends with failure.

Improving Dietary Choices One Step at a Time

In my San Diego Chiropractic Office I encourage our patients who are interested in losing weight and improving dietary choices to start simple – taking one step at a time. I like to have my patients begin their journey toward better health by eliminating their worst dietary habits first. This plan involves reducing or eliminating;

1) Fast Foods

2) Soda

3) Caffeine

4) Canned Foods

5) Sugar

Canned foods made the list above because they contain preservatives which contribute to chronic inflammation.Chronic inflammation causes neck pain, headaches, low back pain and a host of serious health consequences.Fast foods create a huge energy drain because they are calorie dense but low in nutrients.That affects you because when you eat that burger and fries from the local fast food establishment that meal uses lots of energy to digest but you don’t get the nutrients from it that you body needs.The result is that you are tired after eating and hungry sooner because you are starved of the nutrients that your fast food didn’t supply.This tired feeling is usually remedied with coffee or some other caffeinated drink that leads to loss of sleep and adrenal stress which causes yet more fatigue.

For most of my patients (and people in general), improving dietary choices is challenging. Diet has a much bigger impact on your health than you think.  Improving dietary choices is vital to living a long, healthy life.

An easy way to begin with your health goals is to pick a few dietary habits that you already know are bad and replace them with healthy choices. For example, if you drink soda – replace it with water, if you eat fast food – plan ahead and replace the fast food with a healthy salad or sandwich – you can do this with any bad dietary habit that you have. Once you eliminate one bad dietary habit – go to work on the next one. Before long you will be living a healthier lifestyle and you will feel the benefits.  At that point improving dietary choices gets easier.

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Shoulder Blade Pain

Do you suffer with neck pain and shoulder blade pain? If so, you are not alone.  My San Diego chiropractic clinic seems to have a deep supply of new patients with these complaints.  The good news is that with a little care the pain usually goes away!

Anatomy of Shoulder Blade Pain

There is a muscle that runs from the upper and middle vertebra in your neck down to the angle of the medial part of your scapula on each side that is usually responsible for this pain. This muscle is called the Levator Scapula and it is highlighted in red in the drawing below.

shoulder blade painThe Levator Scapula can be aggravated by a number of different things. In most cases postural stress from things like slouching over your computer or smart phone will pull that muscle causing stress on the joints and eventually irritation, inflammation, pain and spasm.

In other cases, one of the joints has been irritated and the levator scapula has spasmed in an effort to protect the joint – this is common after auto accident injuries or sports injuries. Sometimes if the muscle is tight enough it will compress the nerves that feed your arms resulting in numbness, tingling and other symptoms.

shoulder blade painTreatment for neck pain and shoulder blade pain can be difficult – especially if the pain is chronic. The first step is to get your pain evaluated by your chiropractor. Chiropractors specialize in conditions that affect your muscles and joints and are the best qualified professionals to guide your care. Treatment will most likely involve joint adjustments of the neck and upper back, various types of therapy to relax the muscle and some specific therapies for you to do at home.

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Treating Bad Discs

There are a handful of methods for treating bad discs, some are better than others.  Are you unsure about the kind of treatment you need for your bad disc? Maybe this post will help give you some direction.

treating bad discsAs you probably know, traditional medical options for treating bad discs are limited to pain killers, physical therapy, steroid injections and surgery. Alternative types of care, including chiropractic treatment, are an effective alternative to those options offered by traditional western medicine.

I treat patients with bad discs in my San Diego chiropractic center every day – usually with great success. Some of these disc patients come in simply to keep their backs pain free while others have acute low back pain related to a recent disc injury or an old disc injury that have been re-aggravated.

Treating Bad Discs with Chiropractic

Our bodies have a tremendous ability to heal themselves and to cope with injuries that it has not had to deal with before (also known as compensation – which can be good or bad). Chiropractic care enhances your body’s ability to heal itself by restoring full joint motion and removing the pain and pressure of pinched nerves.

Chiropractic care is very conservative and effective for treating bad discs while surgery has potentially severe side effects and in many cases is not successful.

In evaluating your disc injury we will:

1) Take a complete history of your injury

2) Perform an examination that will focus on your particular problem

3) If needed, you may be referred for x-rays or perhaps MRI

4) Recommend a series chiropractic treatments if we feel they would benefit your condition.

5) Provide you with at home stretches, exercises, nutritional suggestions and ice / heat advice in order to help speed your healing process.

If you have a bad disc you should consider trying chiropractic treatment – we can help find a solution for your back pain that is safe and affordable.

Related Articles:

About Treating Bad Discs

About Severe Low Back Pain

More on Treating Bad Discs

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Joint Pain

Does joint pain limit your ability to exercise? Do you struggle with losing weight or maintaining your weight because joint pain prevents exercise?

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