What do Symptoms Mean?

Most people don’t go to their chiropractor until they have neck pain or headaches. Those are symptoms. Symptoms don’t happen on their own. There is always a cause. Finding and treating the cause is the way to improve your health.detective-152085_640.png

Sometimes we have to search to find the cause of your symptoms. It may be the way you sleep, what you’re eating, not getting enough water, or any number of things. Just because you are not in pain does not mean that you can’t benefit from some sort of treatment. For example if you want to be able to get an extra 10 yards from your golf swing, or if you’ve been using your phone too much lately and you want to prevent neck injury by improving your posture. Sometimes the symptoms are not pain.

Symptoms are just a way to help us figure out what you need to make you the best you possible.


What is a Chiropractor?

A chiropractor is someone who has earned a doctorate of chiropractic degree. To understand what that means, click here. A chiropractor is a physician who practices the healing arts without the use of prescription drugs or surgery (in some jurisdictions chiropractors can perform minor surgery and even have some prescription privileges). What that means is that chiropractors use natural and physical methods to help your body to heal it’s self.

The primary tool used by chiropractors, and the one most identified with chiropractic is the adjustment, manipulation, popping, cracking, or what ever you want to call it. To learn more about chiropractic adjustments and what they do click here. Chiropractors also use changes in your diet, exercise, posture and physiotherapy modalities such as ultrasound, laser, decompression, heat, and electric stimulation to help your body to heal.

Practicing healing without medication means that you cannot go to a chiropractor to get your insulin for your diabetes. That doesn’t mean that a chiropractor can’t treat you for diabetes. Chiropractors can treat people with diabetes with diet, exercise, and counseling. While these tools that a chiropractor uses will not cure diabetes or even reverse it for everyone, the vast majority of people will notice improvement in their symptoms and some studies have shown 10% or more people are able to stop their medication and are no longer classified as diabetic. This does not mean that you should stop taking your insulin right now and see your chiropractor, but by seeing your chiropractor you may be able to go back to your medical doctor and have them take you off of your prescriptions. Even if you don’t get to stop your insulin altogether you will still see improvements in your health and weight and be able to live your life more fully.

Diabetes is just one example of a condition that your chiropractor can help you with. While most people come to a chiropractor with low back pain or headaches, you can see improvement in your health with your chiropractor’s help no matter what condition or state your health is in. Even professional athletes who are in peak physical condition are able to see improvements in their performance and resilience through chiropractic care.  

A chiropractor is a doctor who is focused on improving your health no matter where you are on the spectrum of health right now. We can always be better than we are today.

Different Techniques for Different Patients

Sometimes it takes a little while to key into exactly what a patient needs. Every body is a little different and my favorite method for adjusting patients doesn’t work with everyone. This happens with medicine too. Sometimes your medical doctor will try different prescriptions because your body isn’t reacting the way that they would expect. When this happens to a chiropractor they should try different techniques to see if a different form of treatment will work. Every technique system that I have studied has some great tools. I may not use every aspect of these treatment options or even get the certification, but I take away useful treatment tools from each of them.

I enjoy learning new techniques and who they will work best for. It keeps me on my toes. Here are some of the different techniques that I have studied:

Functional Movement Systems


Activator Methods

Webster Technique

PNF Stretching

Cox Flexion/Distraction

McKenzie Method

I’ve become a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians®

I’m also a Licensed Massage Therapist

Chiropractic Vocabulary

Every profession has their quirky way they say things. Chiropractors are no exception. While it may take a couple of days for you to know if the medication that you took will be a successful treatment, it is not uncommon for a patient to look up from the chiropractic table and say something like “did it go?”, or “it went!” Those same patients may come back a few days later and say something like “It didn’t hold.” Then they want you to “pop it back in” because it “went out.”

It has come to my attention that most people don’t know what a chiropractor does. Everyone knows that the chiropractor “pops your back,” but that pop/crack/cavitation is usually the result of an adjustment/manipulation/mobilization to a subluxation/segmental dysfunction/misalignment/restriction because your back went out, was thrown out, blew a disc, or is acting up. A chiropractor practices chiropractic similar to how a medical doctor practices medicine, but they tend to view health a little differently. You see a chiropractor see’s health as – the state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity

I have yet to meet a person who didn’t understand these statements, but they are far from the scientific jargon that we are used to in health care, and they sure sound funny. Please leave a comment here of other things you hear around a chiropractic office, and perhaps their meaning.

The Best Way to Sleep

Many patients have pain in the morning after sleeping all night and feel that they should be feeling better after a night of rest. That is true you should feel better after a good nights sleep, but many people do not. Here are some possible reasons why you may wake up with more pain than when you went to bed.

Prone problemsIf you sleep on your stomach you actually increase pressure on the low back and rotate your neck all night long. Waking up with a sore neck or low back pain is common for stomach sleepers especially as you get older.


It is not easy to change the position you sleep in because even if you start in a good one your body usually moves to it’s default very quickly while you sleep. Because of this small subtle changes are usually more successful than drastic ones. If your are a stomach sleeper try raising the knee on the side that you turn your head to. That will help prop you up so there is less pressure on the low back and your head will not be rotated so much in comparison to the rest of your spine.

Sleeping on your side can cause rotation at both the shoulder and worse at the low back and SI joint. To solve that try putting a pillow between your knees and between your arms so that they are not rotating your torso as much.

Ideal Sleeping postureSleeping flat on your back can cause stress at the hip flexors and in turn pull on your low back. Try putting a pillow under your knees to reduce that strain.

More info: http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/04/19/healthiest.sleep.position/

How Can You Lose Weight if You Can’t Move?

Exercise is a huge part of weight loss. Many of my patients are in too much pain to exercise. Many people don’t know how to exercise, it’s not a part of their life. It is quite possible today to sleep, eat, drive, work at a desk, and get your entertainment at your computer or on a couch. Getting little to no physical activity in a day is a reality for many people. Whether due to pain or to lifestyle a sedentary life will increase the difficulty of weight loss significantly, in addition to just being unhealthy.

If you’re not able to exercise due to pain you will have a difficult road ahead. Recovery is faster with exercise, but if we can get you back to a point that you have less pain then you may be able to return to exercise more quickly. Many chiropractic patients report significant pain reduction within 2 weeks of treatments beginning. So while you may not be back to your best shape you should be able to start doing some exercise by then.

Often time lifestyle change is even harder than injury recovery. While your body heals without being asked and doesn’t procrastinate. We humans tend  to put things off very well and without being asked or prompted change can be very difficult. There are many strategies to overcome this. You can use mental triggers and develop good habits or routines. For example putting your running shoes on your couch may prompt your brain, or getting a group together to encourage each other and setting specific times and things to do with them. It is also important to exercise by doing things that you like. If you hate the gym, then try hiking or sports. You cannot lose weight without activity. If you can’t think of something ask your local chiropractor.

Take the stairs, park at the back of the lot, play with your kids, walk instead of drive, learn to dance!

For some simple ideas try some of these sites: