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This past Saturday, one of my patients asking me during their treatment, "Could my neck affect my vision? I feel like my vision has been off!"
The answer was a resounding YES. Oftentimes, particularly with misalignments in the upper neck aka cervical spine, people get symptoms of visual disturbance, including difficulty focusing the eyes together, decreased vision, blurred vision, double vision, and more. My patient reported to me that she just felt like "her vision just wasn't right, wasn't as sharp" as it usually is. This is something that I have heard more than a few times from my patients with upper neck misalignments and imbalances.
How does this work? The nerves to the eyes, ears, nose, and head all exit at the cranium and upper cervical spine areas. This means any compromise of the nerves in this area can affect the vision. These nerves often become compromised when spinal misalignments interfere with the nerve flow.
The upper neck and nerves therein are largely responsible for keeping the head balanced while sensory input is being process through them. This can only occur when there is precise nerve impulses properly interpreted by the brain, spinal cord and neck. In short, this means that issues in the upper neck can also cause balance problems and dizziness. The upper neck is THE balance center of the body. Therefore, people often report dizziness as well as visual disturbances.
Getting a proper, specific neck adjustment by a chiropractor can be incredibly powerful in restoring proper nerve flow to and from the balance center, eyes, ears, nose, and head.
Super important post! I came across this infographic the other day and decided it warrants an entire post, and it is all about self-adjusting aka trying to "crack" your own joints.
Oftentimes, when people are in pain, they will try to contort their necks or backs or other joints in an attempt to self-adjust themselves. This often can provide short-term relief, but the important takeaway here is that in the long-run, it is aggravating the condition and the pain, and making the issue worse.
What often happens when you attempt to adjust your own joint is that you get movement in the joint above or below where the true restriction is, because a true spinal misalignment will require an extra set of hands and outside force to be moved. This self-adjusting will offer temporary relief due to the pain-relieving chemicals released with the pops obtained elsewhere, but this will be very temporary as you know. Now, what has happened is that the true restricted joint and source of pain is even more restricted, and the joints around it even more mobile.
It can be difficult to resist, but just stop self-adjusting! Within a couple of weeks, the pain will reduce, and the urge to self-adjust will reduce as well. Eliminating your self-adjusting will help to heal the area for the long-term, and allow your ligaments to strengthen and recover. Please, leave the adjusting to me!
What you can do? It is completely acceptable to stretch your neck in ONE plane of motion, such as bending to the left, bending to the to right, turning your head to the left, turning to the right, bending forwards, and backwards. If you obtain any releases aka "pops" when doing this, it is totally fine! However, if you bend and twist at the same time, it can do damage, aka do not contort yourself to force a pop, just gently stretch.
Another note is that when you stop self-adjusting, it will be much easier for me to obtain those satisfying, noisy adjustments on you when you come in, the ones that are truly needed!
If you all had not noticed yet, I LIVE to adjust. I love it, I breath it, please just come to me for your adjustments! Thanks for reading.
My patient Jake first came in about 4 weeks ago right after he experienced an episode of severe sciatica after feeling a pull in his lower back while doing a maneuver in football. Jake was concerned since the pain was so severe it was difficult to even get comfortable at all. He went to the ER, and MRI findings revealed a disc bulge in his lower back aka lumbar spine.
While the conventional medical approach is often oral steroids, pain killers, or the most aggressive treatment which is surgery, Jake got to work with both me, and a physical therapist. Just 2 weeks later, he was able to play football again. Now, 5 weeks later, he's able to run, jump, accelerate, and play football with minimal issues. His recovery was speedy fast, and it's because he addressed his sciatica in a holistic way that really got to the root cause!
So what did we work on with Jake? A lot of different things! I find that it's never just one cause, but rather a number of factors, and then one thing that is the "straw that breaks the camels back".
We did manual muscle testing to determine which muscles weren't firing to support and stabilize Jake's lumbar spine, discs, and nerves. We found some major muscles of the lower back not quite firing, including his abdominals aka core. Core musculature is so important for stability of the lumbar spine. A weakness in the core muscles can be due to spinal misalignments, injuries, and even issues with the small intestine and gut inflammation. We worked on Jake's Ileocecal Valve in the intestines to support this system.
We also found weakness in and worked on Jake's hamstrings, related to the colon, his glut max, which relates to the hormonal system and stress, and others.
We employed a number of different treatment techniques including spinal adjustments, muscle activation therapy, organ system therapy, and lymphatic reflex points.
From barely being able to walk in the ER to playing football again in 3 weeks is incredible! Unfortunately, I know of many who suffer with sciatica for months and even years. I believe that chiropractic is and should be the FIRST line of conservative therapy for any non-surgical disc injury and case of sciatica. Chiropractic care also enhances the outcomes of physical therapy by helping certain muscles fire better, therefore they are able to get a better workout and strengthen more during PT sessions!
Thanks to Jake for sharing this story, and we're so glad that you're back out there being active and living your life to its fullest!
It's that time of the year again-cleanse time! On October 6th, I, as well as three (so far!) of my patients are going to do Standard Process Inc.21 Day Purification Program! We would love to have others join us in this detoxification program.
Chances are you have heard of many detox programs out there. I choose every year to do Standard Process' purification program myself because A) I know their products are the real deal, high quality, health-care-professional-prescribed-only, whole organic food based products B) it's an effective cleanse clinically supported with research studies C) it's easy to do with their cleanse booklet, cookbook, and the support of a group led by me!
The 21 Day Purification Program purifies and helps your body to rebuild from the inside out. It helps us to eliminate all of the toxins that have built up over time, as well as to maintain a healthy weight, health, and vitality. I like to do it once a year to give myself a total cleanse and what I like to think of as a reset.
The program consists basically of 10 days of vegetarian eating followed by the incorporation of fish and meat. The entire 21 days involve completely avoiding most grains, dairy, soy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and a few other foods. There is a detoxification shake mix, with which we do 2-3 shakes a day, and three other nutritional supplements that we take over the course of the 21 days.
I love this cleanse because I usually notice: my skin clears up, I sleep more soundly, my joints feel better and my body holds up at work better, my anxiety levels decrease, my energy naturally increases, I lose my sugar cravings, and more. Many of my patients like it for the weight loss effects. There are many other benefits to cleansing your entire body once a year as well. It is truly an investment in your health.
I would recommend this to most of my patients, given they are able to undergo a purification program at this point in their health journey. If you are interested in joining us for the cleanse, message me and let me know! This time around, I will be sharing smoothie and meal recipes, giving advice and tips for road blocks in the cleanse, checking in on patients progress, and updating everyone on my progress! Check especially my Facebook live and Instagram live accounts for everyday helpful, supportive, and informational cleanse-related posts.
In this increasingly toxic world, I truly believe in the power of a good cleanse every once in a while. I definitely wouldn't say it's easy, but it is absolutely worth it. It will be just as tough for me, but we will be in this together!
If you decide to do the cleanse, all purification kits must be ordered through me by next Thursday, October 3rd to be picked up over the weekend. If I need to ship the purification kit to you, I would try to have the order in earlier in the week.
Happy Friday everyone!