Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain in Pacific Beach, San Diego

How does neck pain relate to the spine?

The neck, also known as the cervical spine, has seven spinal segments.  When any of these segments are misaligned, there can be pain and discomfort.  Neck pain/discomfort can feel like a dull ache and/or tension of the muscles surrounding the neck and the upper back.  It can also feel like a sharp pain with tingling and/or numbness traveling down the arms into the hands. Moreover, it may be hard to turn the head completely to one side, especially the side with pain.  

Why do we get neck pain/discomfort?

There are many possible causes for a misalignment of the neck:

  • poor posture (sitting all day and looking down at a computer or cell phone),
  • prolonged stress,
  • mishaps such as a car accident, a fall, or a sports injury, and
  • sleeping on the stomach or using a pillow that doesn’t provide proper neck support.

If a misalignment in the cervical spine is not addressed, it can cause long-term pain and stiffness in the neck and even travel into the upper back and down the arms.

How does Chiropractic help individuals recover from neck pain/discomfort?

When the joints of the neck are out of alignment, they can irritate the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves associated with the misaligned area. Your local San Diego chiropractor will examine the neck, and depending on results, will determine if a specific chiropractic adjustment to the neck is necessary. If so, he or she  will gently move the misaligned joint back into place. In addition, your chiropractor will analyze the balance of the muscles supporting your neck and suggest stretches/exercises to help balance those areas.

Your local San Diego chiropractor will also check the segments of the low back.  Often, an injury or accident to the low back will cause tension and misalignment in the spinal segments of the neck as well.  Once the low back is analyzed, your chiropractor will determine if a specific, gentle adjustment to the low back is necessary.

What stretches and strengthening exercises will help for neck pain/discomfort?

It is important to stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the neck to help balance and stabilize the area. Be sure to stretch both sides, but focus more on the affected side.

Please make sure your chiropractor analyzes your neck for misalignments before performing these stretches.  If the neck vertebrae are misaligned when these stretches are performed, it can exacerbate your pain.

Scalene Muscle Stretch

Neck Posture (anteriorly positioned head)

Pectoral Stretch

Chiropractic Care for  Rotator Cuff Problems in Pacific Beach, San Diego

How can we tell if the pain is a rotator cuff problem?

A rotator cuff injury can cause dull, achy pain in the shoulder, especially when moving the arm overhead.  There will be a restriction in motion of the arm to some degree.  Typically, there is pain at the front of the shoulder that travels down the arm.  For a more severe rotator cuff injury, with a partial or full tear, there can be sharp pain and weakness with a loss of motion in the shoulder.  Overtime, if not addressed, there may be chronic restriction, joint stiffness, and tenderness of the shoulder.  

Why do we get rotator cuff problems?

The rotator cuff is made up of many muscles, including the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis.  These are known as the SITS muscles.  These muscles, along with the triceps and biceps, help stabilize the the shoulder joint during overhead arm motions such as pitching, swimming, weightlifting, serving in racket sports, and repetitive day to day motions that involve a lot of weight or pressure on the arms.  When there is instability in the SITS muscles as a result of an overuse injury or a sports injury, there will be rotator cuff problems.

How does Chiropractic help individuals recover from rotator cuff problems?

When the joints of the shoulder are out of alignment, they can irritate the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves associated with the misaligned area. Your local San Diego chiropractor will examine the shoulder, and depending on the results,  will determine the degree of injury and if a specific chiropractic adjustment to the shoulder joint is necessary. In addition, your chiropractor will analyze the muscular balance of your shoulder and surrounding structures and suggest stretches/exercises to help balance these areas.   In the case of a full tear, surgery should be considered.  Your chiropractor will also examine the spinal segments of the neck.  Misalignments in the neck may cause imbalances in the muscles and nerves of the shoulder, contributing to rotator cuff injury.  If there is a segment misaligned in the neck, it will be gently moved back into place using a specific chiropractic adjustment.

What stretches and strengthening exercises will help for rotator cuff problems:

It is important to stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint to help balance and stabilize of the area. Be sure to stretch and strengthen both sides, but focus more on the affected side.  It is best to have your San Diego chiropractor assess your shoulder for any muscle tears before starting these stretches and exercises.

Pec Stretch

IYLTWs (Rhomboids/Rotator Cuff)

Butterflies from the Spinal Hygiene Series

Stretches and exercises should be done a minimum of twice a day holding the stretches for 60-90 seconds on each side.  Spend more time on the injured side.

Chiropractic Care and Rib Pain/Misalignment in Pacific Beach, San Diego

How can we tell if the pain is rib pain/misalignment?

A misalignment of the rib can cause a deep or sharp pain at the place of misalignment.  This pain can be felt at the front of the rib cage by the sternum or in the back of the ribcage by the spine or under the shoulder blades.  There may be swelling and tenderness when touched.  Deep breathing will be difficult, causing discomfort and pain at the misaligned rib joint.  When the rib has been misaligned for a long time, the sharp pain often becomes a constant dull ache or chronic restriction.

Why do we get rib pain/misalignment?

A misalignment of a rib can be caused by any number of activities, from a direct blow to the rib cage, to twisting or exerting during activity, to rolling over during sleep.  Sometimes you won’t know what caused the rib to misalign.  Aside from a direct blow to the rib cage, there is always an associated tightness in the musculature surrounding the ribs that allows the misalignment to occur in the first place.  Keeping the intercostal muscles (muscles in between the ribs), rotator cuff muscles, and chest muscles stretched out and open can help to prevent rib misalignments.

How does Chiropractic help individuals recover from rib pain/misalignment?

When the joints of the rib are out of alignment, they can irritate the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves associated with the misaligned area.  Your local San Diego chiropractor will examine the ribs, and depending on the results, your chiropractor will determine if a specific chiropractic adjustment to the rib is necessary. In addition, your chiropractor will analyze the muscular balance of your chest and surrounding structures and suggest stretches/exercises to help balance these areas.

Your chiropractor will also examine the spinal segments of the mid-back.  Misalignments in the mid-back may cause imbalances in the muscles and nerves of the ribs, contributing to rib pain/misalignment.  If there is a segment misaligned in the mid-back, it will be gently moved back into place using a specific chiropractic adjustment.

What stretches and strengthening exercises will help for rib pain/misalignment?

It is important to stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the rib joints to help balance and stabilize the area. Be sure to stretch both sides, but focus more on the affected side.  Please note that the videos below are only to be used preventatively or after a misaligned rib has been realigned/stabilized for at least three days (or as directed by your local San Diego Chiropractor).  Doing these stretches and exercises when a rib is out of place will irritate it more and cause more pain.

There are 5 preventative/rehabilitative stretches and exercises that will help with rib irritation:

Butterflies  – do just the butterflies from the spinal mobility series.

Pec Stretch

Side Body Stretch

IYLTWs (Rhomboids/Rotator Cuff) Exercise

Foam Rolling the Spine

Remember, DO NOT do any of these if you currently have a misaligned rib or rib pain.  Please check in with your local San Diego Chiropractor for more detailed recommendations.

Chiropractic Care and the Immune System in Pacific Beach, San Diego

What is the immune system and how does it work?

The immune system is a collection of cells, tissues, and organs whose main job is to protect the body from disease and to heal the body when there is illness.  The immune system works alongside the nervous system to keep the body healthy as it is exposed to various foreign substances and stress from its environment.  

How can the symptoms of illness be beneficial?

Depending on the type of exposure, the body’s immune response usually includes fever, vomit, diarrhea, fatigue, etc. These responses are helpful! For instance, a fever brings the body’s temperature to a level that can kill off the pathogens in the body, and vomiting is the body’s way of removing poisons such as bacteria or toxins we eat.  These are all natural and appropriate immune system responses necessary for the body to fight off foreign substances and to heal itself.  So, taking over-the-counter medication when you are running a fever can actually increase recovery times.

The immune system is constantly working in the body to determine what is good and what is bad.  The immune system becomes stronger when it is able to fight off any bacteria or virus that does not belong.  Feeling sick is not always comfortable, though it is very productive for the health and strength of the immune system.  

How do chiropractic adjustments benefit your immune system?

The nervous system regulates all of the body’s functions including the immune system.  For the immune system to work optimally, it must be healthy.  When the joints of the spine are out of alignment, they will compress the nerves and cause stress on the spine and nervous system.  This will interfere with the communication between the nervous system and immune system, resulting in a less than optimal immune system.  Studies on Chiropractic and immunity show an increase in immune components (white blood cells, antibodies, endorphins, etc.) in the bloodstream after an adjustment.

Your local San Diego chiropractor will examine the joints of your spine and depending on the results, your chiropractor will determine if a specific chiropractic adjustment to the spine is necessary.

How can you easily support your immune system at home?

Give your body plenty of rest and sleep, especially when you first start to feel under the weather, and drink plenty of fluids.  In addition, check your vitamin D and B levels preventatively helps to support a healthy immune system.  I recommend getting a blood test to check your vitamin levels. Your B levels should be in the standard excepted range, indicated on the test, and D levels should be at 60 for optimal immune function (in America the standard is 30 which is too low and will leave you with a weaker immune system).

Below is a list of strategies to support healing when you are feeling sick:

*Thieves Essential Oil – has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

*Nucleotides help to promotes protein synthesis, cellular vitality, beneficial intestinal flora and immune system health.

*Zinc plays a key role in many important physiological functions and is important for immune support.

*Vitamin C is necessary for several of the immune cells to perform their functions.

*Lemon Juice contains proteolytic enzymes that help your body to heal quicker.

*Please talk to Dr. Emily Mayo of the, local San Diego, Mayo Chiropractic Clinic for specifics and dosage recommendations*

 

Chiropractic Treatment of a Vertebral Disc Problem/Hot Low Back in Pacific Beach, San Diego

How can we tell if the pain is a vertebral disc problem?

A vertebral disc problem; can be caused by a disc bulge, herniation, sequestration (when the inner material of the disc separates from the disc), or desiccation (disc space degeneration due to a dehydrated disc). These issues can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness from the low back into the buttocks, legs, and toes. Depending on the location of the disc issue, one or both legs may be affected. It is common to have difficulty bending and twisting with a low back issue and urination may be difficult. Coughing, straining when going to the bathroom, or sneezing can also cause pain.

Why do we develop a vertebral disc problem?

Vertebral discs are fluid-filled structures between the segments of the spine that keep the spine healthy and able to move easily. The purpose of the discs is to protect the spine, especially the lower spine, when performing any activities that include twisting from side to side, bending forward, and bending backward. Common activities that can cause a vertebral disc problem include prolonged sitting, especially while driving, and heavy weight lifting without proper positioning. Accidents or traumas to the low back, if not taken care of immediately, can also cause a disc issue over time.

How does Chiropractic help individuals recover from a vertebral disc problem?

When the joints of the low back segments are out of alignment, they can irritate the disc and nerves associated with the misaligned area. Your local San Diego chiropractor will examine the low back, and depending on the results, your chiropractor will determine if a specific chiropractic adjustment to the low back is necessary. If there is a segment misaligned in the low back, it will be gently moved back into place using a specific chiropractic adjustment.

How do individuals recover from a vertebral disc problem?

The first step to recovery is to be evaluated and, if needed, adjusted by your local San Diego chiropractor. After this, it is important to get proper mobility in the muscles and ligaments surrounding the low back and to strengthen the core muscles to remove pressure from the low back. Your chiropractor will analyze these surrounding structures and give stretches/exercises to help support the joints of your low back. Be sure to stretch both sides, but focus more on the affected side.

Videos of stretches and strengthening exercises for a vertebral disc problem:

It is important to get your spine adjusted before you begin these activities!
Piriformis Stretch Video
Level 1 Abdominal Muscle Exercise Video ( for level 2 and level 3 please talk to Dr. Emily)

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy in Pacific Beach, San Diego

Why is it important to receive Chiropractic care during pregnancy?

Every aspect of a fetus’s growth is controlled by the mother’s nervous system. It is the job of the nervous system to accommodate for the physical, chemical, and hormonal changes that the mother and baby are experiencing during pregnancy. Our spines house the spinal cord, and its alignment provides a healthy nervous system. Chiropractors are the only health care professionals who are trained to detect and correct spinal subluxations, which are misalignments that interfere with the ability for the brain and body to communicate.

The position and function of the spine and pelvis are very important as the baby develops in the womb. During pregnancy, there can be strain and tension on the pelvic ligaments and muscles that surround the baby. Misalignment of the pelvic bones specifically, can cause this strain and tension. This prevents the developing fetus from being able to move freely inside the womb, which is needed for optimal development. Pelvic misalignment also causes pain and stress on the expectant mother.

What are the benefits of Chiropractic care during pregnancy?

Receiving Chiropractic care can help to maintain a healthier pregnancy, reduce delivery times, prevent breech positions, control symptoms of nausea and relieve pregnancy-related joint pain. As the pelvic bones are put back into alignment, there is less stress and tension and more ease on the expectant mother’s pelvis and on the developing fetus.

Is a Chiropractic adjustment safe during pregnancy?

Yes! Chiropractic is very safe during pregnancy. There is a Chiropractic technique for pregnant women called Webster’s Technique. Webster’s Technique is a specific pelvic analysis which looks at the alignment of the sacrum, the surrounding sacroiliac joints, and the pelvic ligaments in an expectant mother. It was developed in order to restore proper pelvic balance, allowing for optimal fetal development to prepare the body for a safer, easier birth. Using specific and gentle adjustments, the pelvis is balanced to facilitate optimal fetal positioning before delivery. This technique gives the fetus the most room to move and grow which can be especially important in the case of breech positioning. You can find a Chiropractor, like San Diego’s local Dr. Emily Mayo, who is certified in this specialty technique on the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) website.

How often should an expectant mother be given a Chiropractic adjustment during pregnancy?

During pregnancy the ICPA, the certifying agency for pediatric/prenatal adjusting, recommends weekly adjustments. Your local San Diego Chiropractor will evaluate you and determine a care plan to fit your individual needs.

Chiropractic Care of Babies and Children in Pacific Beach, San Diego

Why is it important for a child to receive Chiropractic care?

Well over half of an infant’s neurological development is permanently set by the time the infant is six months of age. Therefore, it is vital to receive gentle and safe Chiropractic adjustments to ensure proper growth throughout childhood.

The very first stress a baby experiences while entering the world can occur in the process of birthing. During birth, there is often torque/strain on a baby’s head and neck. This is the area where the brain stem exits and where all the nerves and vessels going to and from the brain are located. This is why it is important to get your infant checked by a chiropractor as soon as possible. This can occur as soon as an hour after birth!

As children continue to grow, they experience many stressors from falls, bumps, and slips as they learn to walk, ride a bike, and play sports. They can be further stressed anywhere from exposure to chemicals in food and medications to emotional challenges at school or home. All of these discomforts and stresses place strain on a child’s spine and nervous system, compromising how the body functions. Shouldn’t we make sure that a child’s nervous system is working properly from day one?

What are the benefits of Chiropractic care for a child?

Pediatric Chiropractic care is a powerful way for parents to help their kids develop optimally and heal naturally. It’s a child’s nervous system that controls their amazing development. The nervous system regulates all of the body’s functions including, digestion, respiration, and immunity (among others). It is responsible for healing, growth, and regeneration of cells. For this to occur without interference, children must be free from vertebral subluxations, which is a Chiropractor’s main focus. Chiropractic is a safe and natural way to help children develop to their fullest potential.

When a children have stress on their spine and nervous system from subluxations, they can have a variety of symptoms including colic, ear infections, and feeding problems. When a child gets adjusted and stress is taken off his/her spine and nervous system, the body functions better, recovers from stress more quickly, and the immune system works more efficiently. All this leads to less sickness!

Is a Chiropractic adjustment safe for a child?

Yes, a Chiropractic adjustment is safe for children! Chiropractic adjustments for children are very gentle and specific. Right after birth, the pressure of an adjustment is that of the pinky fingertip. The adjustment is meant to assist the body towards a direction that keeps children healthy and thriving. There are many adjusting techniques just for children that are appropriate for all ages and stages of growth and development.

How often should a child be given a Chiropractic adjustment?

The first step is for your child to be evaluated by your local San Diego Chiropractor. Next, your Chiropractor will determine a care plan to fit your child’s individual needs.

Chiropractic Treatment of Sinus Problems/Snoring in Pacific Beach, San Diego

How can we tell if the condition is a Sinus Problem/Snoring?

Sinus problems cause congestion and fluid in the nose, and pain and pressure around the nose and between and around the eyes. Depending on the intensity, a sinus problem could also cause headaches, fever, and a cough. Snoring is also associated with sinus problems.

Why do we get Sinus Problems/Snoring?

Sinus problems are a result of inflammation of the sinuses due to viral, bacterial, or fungal infections or allergic reactions/inflammatory reactions. This inflammation affects the surrounding bony structures.

How does Chiropractic help individuals recover from Sinus Problems/Snoring?

The skull or cranium is made up of many different bones. The bone that creates the sinus cavities is called the sphenoid bone. When there is pressure in the sinuses/cranium, it causes a subtle shift in the sphenoid bone which limits the body’s ability to clear the inflammation and limits the motion of the sphenoid bone. Very importantly, the sphenoid bone is the top part of the pump for the cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord). When the sphenoid bone has limited motion, it directly affects the ability of the cerebrospinal fluid to pump properly which will cause increased pressure in the cranium and sinuses.

When the joints of the spine and skull/cranium are out of alignment, they will compress the nerves associated with the misaligned area. Nerves send proper signals between the brain and the body. When nerves are compressed, there is no longer normal communication between the brain and the body. This causes stress in the body and a weakened immune system. When there is a weakened immune system, there is a higher likelihood of inflammation of the sinuses from infection or allergies. Your local San Diego chiropractor will examine the joints of your spine and the motion of your skull/cranium and depending on the results, your chiropractor will determine if a specific chiropractic adjustment is necessary.

How do individuals recover from a Sinus Problems/Snoring?

The first step to recovery is to be evaluated and, if needed, adjusted by your local San Diego chiropractor. After this, your chiropractor will give you lifestyle modifications to nutrition and exercise to keep the immune system strong and able to recover from sinus problems quickly. Research also shows that using an essential oil called Valor can help with snoring. Many of, San Diego Chiropractor, Dr. Emily’s clients have found great relief with a combination of adjustments, use of the oils, and lifestyle changes.

Chiropractic Treatment of a Hiatal Hernia in Pacific Beach, San Diego

How can we tell if the pain is a Hiatal Hernia?

A Hiatal Hernia occurs when a portion of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm. A Hiatal Hernia can cause feelings of chest pain and abdominal discomfort such as acid reflux. The pain and discomfort level is associated with the size of the Hiatal Hernia. A smaller Hiatal Hernia may not cause any pain or discomfort.

Why do we get a Hiatal Hernia?

A Hiatal Hernia can be caused by a physical stress that puts a strain on the stomach and esophagus, causing the stomach to be pushed through the diaphragm. This includes heavy weight lifting, physical labor, physical trauma, and pregnancy. Conditions like asthma, lung pathologies, and constipation also put a strain on the stomach and esophagus which can cause a Hiatal Hernia.

How does Chiropractic help individuals recover from a Hiatal Hernia?

There is a specific Chiropractic technique used to correct a Hiatal Hernia. Your local San Diego Chiropractor will gently use the palm of the hand to pull the herniated part of the stomach back to its normal position below the diaphragm. This technique will be performed as needed. By keeping the stomach in the proper position, the weakened area of the diaphragm and esophagus are able to heal in order to prevent a Hiatal Hernia from happening again.

In addition, when the joints of the spine are out of alignment, they will compress the nerves associated with the misaligned area. When a nerve is irritated, whatever is at the end of that nerve will not work properly. If it is an organ at the end of the involved nerve (such as the stomach or diaphragm), the organ will not get its proper signal from the brain and will therefore not function properly. Your local San Diego chiropractor will examine the joints of your spine and depending on the results, your chiropractor will determine if a specific chiropractic adjustment to the spine is necessary.

What can you do at home?

Balancing the muscles and fascia in the chest cavity can help to relieve tension that can stress a hernia. Your Chiropractor will analyze the tissue balance and recommend appropriate stretches.

Chiropractic Treatment of a Glenoid Labrum Tear in Pacific Beach, San Diego

How can we tell if the pain is a Glenoid Labrum Tear?

A Glenoid Labrum Tear will cause a sharp deep pain in the shoulder during motion. There can also be a feeling of stuckness and a painful clunking or clicking sound during motion.

Why do we get a Glenoid Labrum Tear?

The shoulder is naturally a more unstable joint than other joints in the body. The glenoid labrum is made of cartilage that helps keep the shoulder joint in place. Repetitive activities that put stress on the shoulder joint like throwing, swimming, or racquet swings can cause the labrum to tear. A specific acute trauma, such as a fall on an outstretched arm, can cause a Glenoid Labrum Tear as well.

How does Chiropractic help individuals recover from a Glenoid Labrum Tear?

When the joints of the shoulder are out of alignment, they can irritate the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves associated with the misaligned area. Your local San Diego chiropractor will examine the shoulder, and depending on the results, your chiropractor will determine if a specific chiropractic adjustment to the shoulder is necessary. In addition, your chiropractor will analyze the muscular balance of your shoulder and surrounding structures and give stretches/exercises to help balance these areas.

Your chiropractor will also examine the spinal segments of the neck. Misalignment in the neck may cause imbalances in the muscles and nerves of the shoulder, contributing to a Glenoid Labrum Tear. If there is a segment misaligned in the neck, it will be gently moved back into place using a specific chiropractic adjustment.

How do individuals recover from a Glenoid Labrum Tear?

The first step to recovery is to be evaluated and, if needed, adjusted by your local San Diego chiropractor. After this, your chiropractor will show you exercises and stretches to balance the muscles that surround and protect your shoulder and help the joint to stabilize.

Stretches and strengthening for Glenoid Labrum Tears:

It is important to stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint to help balance and stabilize the shoulder. Be sure to stretch both sides, but focus more on the affected side. Stretches for this injury should be recommended on a case by case basis depending on the location of the tear. Videos are forthcoming as a reference.