Summer Has Begun!

I was cruising the grocery store this weekend and everywhere I was reminded of summer! Bug spray, lemonade, pool toys…I hardly could not contain my excitement. I love the fun of summer but I also am very familiar with the crazy humidity and heat that could seriously harm someone is not prepared. So remember hydrate well. Water is first your best option. Limit the amount of calories and sugars that can easily be consumed in the necessary summer beverages.

chiropractic springdale chiropractor water hydration

Our favorite water at the office right now! Penta is purified with physics therefore allowing a quicker absorption into your cells.

My Last Blog was Too Boring…

In my opinion, my last blog was a little boring. Its crucial to know how muscles and ligaments and joints can effect your health (and lets be honest, your pain levels). BUT I need to be a little bit more honest with yall…

I need to blog LIFE and DEATH.

LIFE= an abundance of health; restoring function to every single living cell in your body

DEATH= the presence of disease; disorder. How can we avoid death? (trick question)

You can not avoid death, but you can avoid disease. You can be healthy until your body literally wears out. I want that for me; I want that for my husband; I want that for our families. And I want that for YOU.

Chiropractic restores LIFE to your nervous system. When your nervous system can communicate with every single cell in your body (the perfect way it was designed to) you will feel better. When you feel better, you life better. Get it?

xray chiropractic female chiropractor springdale arkansas

Look at that BEAUTIFUL curve. Now that is something to brag about! What does your spine look like?

Stop worrying about your blood pressure, heart rate, what vegetable is for dinner. Worry about what your spine looks like. Your spine is the outside cover for the lifeline of your body, your spinal cord. What I’m saying is you can have perfect blood pressure, a perfect heart rate, all the delicious non-inflammatory foods in the world, BUT IF YOUR BRAIN IS NOT CONNECTED 100% TO THE REST OF YOUR BODY—> THEN YOU ARE NOT HEALTHY!!!

chiropractic springdale arkansas chiropractor female chiropractor pediatric chiropractic

That’s the real world folks…take it or leave it.

Come see us. Get your spine checked. Get your families spines checked. Life is short.

In love and in health,

Dr. Ashley

How To Rebalance Your Hip Muscles

The hip joint is an extremely stable joint that consists of strong muscular groups, thick ligaments, and a ball-and-socket joint consisting of the head of your femur and the divot in your pelvis. This joint is extremely crucial to the lower kinetic chain because it transfers all the force from the ground to the leg and then into the lower part of your trunk (lower back). Needless to say these powerful muscle groups must support your spine and keep you in balance! Often patients have previous injuries, repetitive use or overuse injuries, or anatomical short legs that can limit the performance of the hip below 100%.

external rotators springdale chiropractor female chiropractor

This is the group of muscles that make up your internal rotators.

Let’s take a look at the difference between an anatomical hip alignment verses a functional hip alignment. A misalignment in the hip joint can lead to an imbalance in the musculature and ligaments causing a wide array of symptoms. One reason why people become unbalanced is because they were either born with an anatomical short leg, or over life they have acquired an injury. This is an easy problem to rule out as well as correct. At A.R. Chiropractic we find anatomical short legs often. We also work with a company called Foot Levelers to order our patients customized, comfortable, and affordable foot orthotics to help with these types of compensation.

int rotators

This is the group that makes up your external rotators.

The second misalignment could be caused from a functional problem meaning one muscle or muscle group is either shorter or tighter than normal. This problem is detected with the use of Deerfield leg checks (when the doctor touches the soles of your shoes/feet and then bends the knee to notice any changes). Specific exercises are given to our patients to help stretch or strengthen certain muscles depending on what we find in the exam including pain location and range of motion imbalances. Note: from time to time we refer our patients to a physical therapist to utilize their heavy knowledge on muscle performance.

Chiropractic adjustments restore the proper motion to the hip joints to allow immediate proper positioning while allowing your own body to correct and repair itself. With the help of stretching, strengthening exercises, and customized orthotics hip imbalance is usually fairly easy to correct. When the integrity of the hip joint is corrected, the lower back (lumbar region) has an easier time with its own function as well.

female chiropractor springdale norwest arkansas chiropractor

A typical adjustment to help balance the pelvis.

 

Do you have a hip imbalance? Do you notice weakness in your legs? How often do you experience pain in low back, hip joints, knees, ankles or feet? Do you often have muscle strains/tears? Do you have excessive popping or clicking in your joints?

Call our office TODAY to get your spine checked!

In love and health,

Dr. Ashley

But I Don’t Have Time to Be Sick!

Christmas preparations are more than enough to wear you out. Your body could potentially take a beating during this time of year. There are so many people sick this time of year! Coughing, sneezing, blowing noses, you name it. But guess what? We don’t have time for this! This past weekend I felt myself “getting sick”. I not only have Christmas to celebrate but I have a wedding the week after! I was determined to kick this “cold” in the butt! And I did…

Here are a few tips:

First, let me say that I do not enjoy medication. I don’t enjoy overriding my innate system to speed up the process of healing. I do therefore know and center my practice around this concept: Your body was designed to heal and repair itself QUICKLY; all we need to do as humans is reduce as much interference as possible. (Disclaimer: not all medication is bad and some are absolutely necessary. With that said, running to the medicine cabinet or urgent care clinic should be reserved as last options. Use wisdom. Don’t let an infection get the most of you. And by all means be extra cautious with little ones.)

1. If you feel something coming on, that is your body’s way to warn you. Symptoms are a sign that something is not right. Pain is a symptom. Fever is a symptom. Running noses or congested heads are a sign. Pay attention. Treat the cause, not the symptom/sign.

2. Avoid sugar. Eat things rich in protein. Sugars hide in everyday products such as coffee creamer, drinks, breads, pastas, fruits, etc. Yes avoid fruits during this stage; bacteria love the natural sugars found in most all fruits!

3. Drink water and plenty of it. This applies especially if you have a fever. Fevers are a good sign that your body is fighting unwanted foreign pathogens. Low grade fevers are crucial. Be wise about high fevers. Every person is different.

4. Headaches! Usually caused from toxins coming off of virus and bacteria growing in your body. The only thing that worked for me (I tried ice, massage, Aleve, and Motrin- yes I was in pain) was a blend of essential oils. The peppermint and wintergreen gave me a slight cooling effect and immediately offered relief.

This is the blend I used. Go to www.edensgarden.com to order.



5. If your throat is sore, it is usually caused by excessive drainage or from pathogens such as strep. Strep is very contagious so avoiding the antibiotics on this one may not be a good choice! Try this remedy: 1/2 cup of orange juice (with the most pulp) with 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Drink real slow. The burning sensation is hard to handle, at least for me, but it is worth it. This is my mother’s personal recipe that has saved her during her sore throat times, and most recently has worked for me.

6. Take the time to rest. Your body needs it. Thankfully I had Sunday which is usually the day of the week that I make a point to lay low and rest. I took four 2-hour naps. By the end of the day I was feeling 80% better.

7. Do you want my magic trick for ending the drainage? The trick is a warm salt water rinse. If you want instructions, come talk to me.

8. Last, but by far the most important: get adjusted. After a chiropractic adjustment, your immune response activity increases 48%! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see my chiropractor until Monday morning but it was by the far the best thing I did.

With all this said (typed) most people will respond great to these couple of tips. If you find yourself “getting sick” more than 2x a year, looking into your diet and exercise plans should be the first step. Maybe you are eating fairly well and you just need to add supplementation. Or maybe you exercise plenty but need to cut back on the mental stress. Whatever is going on in your life, make sure you value the importance of health first. Get checked by a chiropractor. Start eating good foods. Move your body. Find comfort in things above.


Reply with tips that help you during your “sick days” or ask any questions below.

As always be well and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Dr. Ashley

Allergies….ugggg!

What does chiropractic have to offer the millions of people that suffer from the symptoms of allergies?

Lets ask someone who has experienced it first hand…

My brother became a patient a little over a year ago. As a baby he experienced seasonal allergies as soon as he was born. Poor thing, we didn’t know if he would survive those first few months. His little system was “out of whack” which produced colic symptoms, a constant runny nose, decreased appetite, constant crying, and discoloration of skin. His body could not heal as fast as he got sick. He lived with these symptoms his whole life (well until he became a chiropractic patient).

 

Unfortunately, he learned to accept his condition and he got used to this lifestyle. After school and moving back to my hometown to begin practicing, it made complete sense to enroll everyone I knew into a chiropractic care plan. If only that went both ways! Thankfully, my brother became a patient. And yes, he looked at me like I was crazy when I told him he was on his way to a healthy bodily system including his constant sniffing and snotting.


I put him on a twice a week adjustments with specific at-home exercises. His body had no idea what it was missing! His brain now had a perfect connection to the rest of his body, which in time proved that his body was capable of healing just as it was designed to! The plan had to be frequent and consistent at the beginning to get noticeable and measurable changes. As a team, we conquered not only back pain and headaches, but allowed his innate to take over and transform his allergy symptoms. His participation proved that teamwork is the best work!


*Here’s how it worked. When your brain can’t communicate to the parts of your body that reproduces new and healthy cells, the job can’t get done. The result is abnormal or inefficient cells that should be replacing good cells that just wore out. This is how dis-ease can happen. Your body is created to protect itself from outside invaders. This includes pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, etc. These irritants stimulate the histamine in your body which is a good response! But when your body produces TOO much or not enough, symptoms will be noticed. I could get really technical here with the description of T-cells and antibodies and all that good stuff, but I won’t because I will assume that you can Google or perform your own research on that cool science stuff. (And while your researching, look at all the great stuff on chiropractic and allergies!) Doctor/nurse friends: I really encourage you to study spinal anatomy and how nerve cells can die; understanding nervous system anatomy helped open my eyes to TRUE healthcare. Side note: the nerves that innervate your lungs originate directly from the thoracic spine (T2-T4) or mid-back. Wouldn’t it make sense to adjust that region which stimulates the bronchioles to open up and allow better breathing?

A great picture showing the nerve innervation to the lung. The parasympathetic and sympathetic are the fight or flight response to stress. The motor nerves control the inhalation and exhalation.

In response, my brother was able to give his son something he was denied, a body that heals efficiently from DAY 1! He let a chiropractor (me) check his spine when he was 3 days old. Does this mean he will never experience being sick, runny noses, or fever? No. But it does mean it will be less frequent and his recovery time will be less. Ask my family.

I want you to experience this same relief. If you know of anyone in your life that suffers with symptoms, please let them know that there is hope. Encourage them to talk with a chiropractor to determine if they are a candidate for care.

With love always,

Dr. Ashley

Patient Case: Pregnant Mother

A while back I read an alarming post on Facebook. A friend had posted that she had a seizure the night before, was feeling ok, but needed to have some tests run. No big deal. Add her to my prayer list. But the alarm with my friend that concerned me more than just another patient is the fact that she was PREGNANT! So yes I prayed for her but it was more like this, “Dear Jesus, create a way for my friend to enter my office and become a patient.” Two days later my friend wanted to talk about an upper back issue she was having. Thank you Lord!
 
 

Upon arrival, we discussed her option for chiropractic. We reviewed every single detail that her doctors had discussed with her, including the opinion of her neurosurgeon that chiropractors should not adjust the neck region. We skipped the x-ray because radiation has potential to harm the developing infant. With all the evidence I collected, we decided on a plan to help her with her back pain and allow her body to function normally, especially during pregnancy.

 
What does normal function mean? Our bodies were designed to heal. They are capable of so much! God wants us to be healthy and vibrant. My friend felt better- and most importantly her body was functioning completely normal. Her back pain was relieved. Her pregnancy went awesome! 
No complications and barely any discomfort.  We didn’t even see many of the routine, musculoskeletal complaints that we often find during pregnancy. Her delivery was perfect with only 3 pushes! The baby was HEALTHY and BEAUTIFUL!  
 
Sometimes trying something new or unknown may be scary, but when the risks are low and rewards are high it can also be a no-brainer!

What is the MOST important factor in health?

The ARC of LIFE!

In nature, the most strong and powerful structure is the arc. Take a look at the pictures below and notice the curvature that is not only beautiful, but highly functional!


 
 
When we are born, our spine is shaped like a “C” and forms a perfect arc. When we begin to start lifting and moving our head (around 1-4 months of life), our cervical curve is forming. The cervical curve in our neck should be in a “C” shape by the time our low back curve begins its formation (by the time we crawl and walk). These curves are important to maintain for the rest of our lives! 
*Research shows that a loss or increase in spinal curves, increases mortality (speeds up death) and takes up to 14 years off your life J. BONE JOINT SURG. AM 1981 JUN;63(5):702-12 Weinstein Sh, Zavala DC, Ponseti IV



 
The bones that form this structure of the arc are called vertebrae. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons  attach at multiple sites. The seven vertebrae in your neck protect blood vessels, lymphatic tissue, but most importantly nerve tracts. The spinal cord depends on this cervical curve in order to transmit messages to and from the brain and every organ system in the body. When we lose this “C” shape in our neck, we know our nervous system can become pathological stressed (Reich (MD) 1974) and affect optimal health. Therefore, chiropractic is preventative healthcare! Who doesn’t want to prevent taking medications or surgery later on in life?
“Posture deviation or loss of cervical curve can cause intestinal diverticulitis, osteoporosis, hip/foot deformities, overall poor health & quality of life, shortened life span.” (Freeman 1997)
 
 
Our mission at A.R. Chiropractic is to find “bad” spines and help transform the health of our patients. People are becoming tired of sick-care, and refuse to let the government become responsible for their health. Living a healthy lifestyle is SO much more than eating good foods and exercising. If you haven’t added chiropractic to your lifestyle yet, Dr. Ashley is determined to help you and your family get started!
 
Call the office or check out our website for more info! www.ARchiropractic.com
 
 
 

ICE vs HEAT

Often my patients ask “Ice or heat? Which one do I use?”
 

This is a great question because most of the time I will recommend one or the other to compliment treatment plans. Both are cheap, easy, and can be done at home-meaning that it will save time for the both of us.


Ice: reduces inflammation which in return helps the surrounding tissue to heal faster. This tends to be my favorite at-home recommendation. When someone has a recent trauma (fall, car accident, sports injury) this is always a given. Ice slows down the swelling process and slows down the chemical process of inflammation. So if I recommend this to you, it is very important to stick to it! Generally speaking, ice for 10 minutes with a towel or thin cloth on skin, then rest for 20 minutes. Repeat 3-4 times a day.

Remember to always place a cloth between ice and skin. Freezer burn can happen even when you don’t notice it.

 
 

Heat: increases blood flow to area applied; this therapy is great for chronic issues such as arthritis, degeneration, decreased blood flow in extremities. Heat can also be switched back and forth with ice for an even a greater effect. Do NOT use heat for muscle spasms or recent injuries. Heat should always be used after ice, and never within the first 72 hours after the injury. Never use a heating pad, always use moist heat (shower, warm/wet towel, hot tub, etc). *Pregnant women should use caution when using heat on low back.


Other at-home analgesic solutions:  BioFreeze is a quick fix for tired, sore, or achy muscles. It brings a sudden cooling effect using chemicals (menthol) that seem to be safer than the over-the-counter meds. **I hardly recommend this option because ice seems to get the job done.


At A.R. Chiropractic we can special order for patients. There are similar brands that can be purchased at drugstores as well.



Essential oils:

*Consult with healthcare provider for best recommendation for your specific condition.

**Do not forget to get your spine checked.
 
Let us know what you think below!

Sleep like a Baby!

Image retrieved from www.pregnancyandbaby.com

One of the most important parts of our day for renewal and recharging actually occurs at the end of the day- when we tuck in for the night and try to get some rest.  While it seems like a simple thing, sleep is actually one of the brain’s most important functions and is critical for optimal health and wellness (American Chiropractic Association, 2014).  Despite its importance, surveys show that a large percentage of the population have problems sleeping.  Whether from general insomnia, pain and discomfort, stress and anxiety, or even uncomfortable beds and pillows- many people miss out on the crucial benefits of a restful night’s sleep.  This deficit can put them at risk for a myriad of health issues, both physical and mental.  

effects of sleep deprivation
                                                                           
 

Often, people turn to sleeping pills (which could include undesirable side effects, interactions with other drugs, and even become addictive) because they are unaware that there are other alternatives.  To begin with, simple lifestyle adjustments during the day go a long way in making your night time more pleasant.  Regular exercise at least a few hours before bed, limited caffeine consumption and increased water intake, regular sleeping/waking times and routines, avoiding meals for several hours before bed, and sleeping in a cool room that is completely dark are all extremely helpful in achieving continuous, deep sleep. 

In addition to these tips, the quality of your mattress, pillows, and the positions in which you sleep make a big difference in your rest as well.  The American Chiropractic Association (2014) gives these great recommendations when choosing the right mattresses and pillows for your body’s needs:

  • A mattress should provide uniform support from head to toe. If there are gaps between your body and your mattress (such as at the waist), you’re not getting the full support that you need.
  • If you do have back pain and your mattress is too soft, you might want to firm up the support of your mattress by placing a board underneath it. But do this just until the pain goes away; such firmness is not good for “routine” sleeping.
  • Every few months, turn your mattress clockwise, or upside down, so that body indentations are kept to a minimum. It’s also good to rotate the mattress frame every so often to reduce wear and tear.
  • If you’re waking up uncomfortable, it may be time for a new mattress. There is no standard life span for a mattress; it all depends on the kind of usage it gets.
  • Be aware that changes in your life can signal the need for a new mattress. For example, if you’ve lost or gained a lot of weight, if a medical condition has changed the way you sleep, or even if you have changed partners, it could mean that it’s time to find a new mattress that will accommodate those changes and help you sleep more soundly.
  • If you’re not in the market for a new mattress, and your current mattress is too firm, you can soften it up by putting a 1- to 2-inch-thick padding on top of it – usually available at mattress and bedding stores.
  • When choosing a pillow, be selective. When lying on your side, your head and neck should remain level with your mid and lower spine. When lying on your back, your head and neck should remain level with your upper back and spine. In other words, your pillow should not be so thick that it causes your head and neck to be propped up or angled sharply away from your body.
  • Be wary of pillows that are made out of mushy foam materials. The weight of your head can displace this kind of foam, leaving little support. Choose firmer foam and materials that press back and support the head.
  • If you find yourself sleeping on your side with one hand propped under your pillow, that’s a clue that you’re not getting the support you need from that pillow.
  • There is no such thing as a universal fit when it comes to pillows. Find one that is consistent with the shape and size of your body.

Additionally, the position in which you sleep can either help or aggravate any aches and pains, spinal conditions, or sleeping problems that you may have.  For instance, if you prefer to sleep on your back (especially if you have an issue with snoring) you would benefit from placing a firm pillow under your knees and a medium/firm pillow under your head in order to relieve the pressure on your low back and keep your neck supported in its natural curve.  Side sleepers should place the pillow between their knees to keep pressure off the hips and lower back, with a firm pillow supporting the head to keep the neck and spine in a straight line all the way down.  Body pillows are great as well, as they can be used to place between the knees while also supporting the shoulders if your arms rest around it.  While stomach sleeping is the least beneficial position, you should at least be sure to be positioned correctly if it is a position that you do find yourself in frequently.  A firm pillow beneath your hips and stomach area keeps stress off of the low back and neck- and even alleviates the need for a pillow under the head (Daniel Zagst, D.C.). 

                                                     

In any position, your head should neither be tilted up or lack support that keeps your neck anything other than in a straight line with the rest of your body.  This will support its natural curve and keep you from waking with stiff and painful neck muscles or pinched nerves and pain. 

While all of these tips contribute to healthy, optimal sleeping patterns; nothing can replace the amount of sleep you need and the benefits of complete spinal health and wellness. Children and teens need drastically more sleep than adults, and adults need at least 7-9 hours per night of good sleep on average.  However, it is important to listen to your body as sometimes you need a little more or a little less depending on your individual needs.
 
REMEMBER: Chiropractors focus on complete wellness, both during waking and sleeping hours.  Getting your spine checked is crucial not only for better sleep, but for overall TRUE health! Remember optimal health starts with an optimal spine (see previous blogs).  If this piece of the puzzle is missing, the above tips will only be a Band-Aid fix.  Don’t settle for temporary relief when you can achieve lasting change!
 
 

 

As always, comment below- we love hearing from you!!

 

Brittany

 

References: 

American Chiropractic Association, http://www.acatoday.org

Dr. Daniel Zagst, http://www.dzchiro.com