Dr. Bell's Blog

"I'm Going To Bring My Kids To See You..."

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It still amazes me how many people think chiropractic is just for adults with back pain. This can’t be any further from the truth. Chiropractic care isn’t just for adults, it is also for children of all ages. There are numerous reasons that children, from the time they are born, should receive regular chiropractic check-ups.

During a recent visit with a new patient, they mentioned some information they read around the office about ADHD and other childhood problems, and subsequently said “So chiropractic can help with these problems? I’m going to bring my kids to see you.“ Let’s take a look at why that is, and what some of the common reasons are for you to bring your child in for regular chiropractic care.

Your Child’s Nervous System

Just like with an adult, the nervous system of a child controls and regulates the function of cells, tissues, and organs in your body. When a spinal subluxation occurs (misalignment) it can prevent proper communication between the brain and body. This can cause severe stress on the nervous system, and ultimately impaired function of the affected area.

Common Causes of Childhood Subluxation

  • Birth trauma: The first and most common cause of subluxation in a newborn.

  • Minor/major trauma: Kids are kids and are constantly falling and getting a little beat up.

  • Posture: This is more evident today than ever with the frequent use of cell phones and devices.

  • Emotional Stress: This is a big cause of spinal subluxations in both adults and kids alike.

Commonly Seen Improvements

Chiropractic has never claimed to “cure” anything, but with a properly functioning nervous system your body can heal and function as it was intended too. Many parents note improvements in sleep, behavior/attitude, focus, and immune system function. Some conditions that can be helped include but is not limited to ear infections, asthma, colic, digestive problems, ADHD, and growing pains.

The Adjustment

The thing that probably scares parents the most when it comes to bringing their child to the chiropractor is the adjustment. I can assure you it is completely safe and painless. With a newborn the amount of pressure used is equivalent to that of checking the ripeness of a tomato (VERY gentle). We can begin more typical looking adjustments as the child gets to roughly a walking age, but is is also very gentle. Once they understand that not only is it painless, but it actually feels good, most kids LOVE getting adjusted! I have seen babies as young as a couple days old in the office, and most actually sleep right through their adjustment. I have been getting adjusted regularly since the time I was a young child as well.

Of course adults need chiropractic care generally at a higher frequency than children, but don’t neglect your kids and let them develop the same problems that many of you are coming to the office to fix. This will help them have the best life possible and…

LIVE well. BE well.

Your Routines: Are They Helping You or Crushing You?

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Our lives are filled with routines from the moment we wake up in the morning until the moment we go to sleep. Let’s be honest, we know that some of our routines are not helping us lead healthy and productive lives. We are creatures of habit. In some instances this is very bad, but if you can create a structure in your life that lends to a healthy lifestyle, you can greatly improve your overall well-being.

Here are tips to create and maintain healthy routines throughout the day

Morning: Some say it is the most important set of routines we have. How do you start your day? What do you do every day? Here are a few tips on positive routines to start your day.

  • Consistent wake up: Getting up at the same time every day has been shown to have both mental and physical benefits. Get up early, and give yourself plenty of time to reduce stress.

  • Exercise: Being active and exercising at some point every day is important and the morning is a great time to do it. Exercising on an empty stomach can also help burn fat. Don’t have a ton of time? Take a quick brisk walk around the block.

Eating Habits: There is some debate whether or not breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but there is no debate that quality nutrition throughout the day is needed for energy and overall health.

  • Start your day with a glass of warm water with lemon. This is a terrific way to cleanse your body and provides great hydration first thing in the morning. Have this prior to any caffeine, which ultimately dehydrates you further.

  • Have a light lunch: Consuming food that is heavy with carbohydrates in the middle of the day will only make you tired. Stick to leafy green salad with some lean protein. This will give you plenty of energy for the day but not weigh you down.

  • Don’t Eat Too Late: Try to finish your last meal at least 2 hours prior to bedtime. This gives your body time for digestion prior to sleep.

Sleep: This is one of the most important parts of your day. Getting at least 7-8 hours of GOOD sleep per night is vital to your health and longevity. This is the time your body heals and rejuvenates. Try to never sacrifice a good night sleep.

  • Just as with waking up in the morning, going to bed at the same time every night promotes a routine that will allow for consistent sleep.

  • Shut down all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime (including the TV). Read a book or magazine instead. Blue light from electronics is very disruptive to healthy sleep.

  • Avoid alcohol in the hours before bedtime. It may seem like it helps you fall asleep but will eventually severely disrupt your sleep as the night goes on.

  • Still having trouble falling or staying asleep? Try room darkening shades to shut out all ambient light and listen to “white noise” to help clear your mind.

It may seem simple and trivial but developing regular healthy routines can have a profound impact on your health. We all have stress in life and can get flustered from time to time. Routines will help us reset and rebalance quickly. When starting new routines remember to be realistic. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Routines happen over time. As they become a habit you will be well on your way to…

LIVE well. BE well.

Chiropractic Care AFTER Back Surgery

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There are times where spinal surgery can be necessary and helpful, although it should be your last course of action. Well over 1 million spinal surgeries are performed every year in the U.S., and research shows the success rate comes in right around 50% or less. For every subsequent spinal surgery, that success rate decreases even further. So what is the answer? Whether you had a successful surgery, or one of the unfortunate one’s who did not, further conservative management of the problem will likely be needed. There are a few avenues you can take with this, but one of them is definitely chiropractic. Let’s explore how this is possible depending on the type of surgery…

4 Types of Spinal Surgeries:

  1. Laser: This is the newest and definitely the least invasive. This type is not done readily, and is only good at this time for certain types of problems.

  2. Microdiscectomy: For this type of surgery, they will “trim” away a portion of the disc that is protruding or bulging out, ultimately causing nerve impingement. It is a relatively small surgery with a fairly quick recovery.

  3. Laminetomy: With this surgery they remove a portion of the vertebrae called the lamina (essentially the roof of the spinal canal). This provides more room for the the spinal canal and spinal nerves in hope of reducing pressure. This is obviously a major surgery.

  4. Fusion: This is when two or more vertebrae are fused together to form one single immobile unit. This stabilizes the unit in an effort to help relieve pain and irritation. In some cases one or more discs are removed and replaced with a “spacer” of sorts.

Regardless of the type of surgery, chiropractic can help after the operation. There is always a period of healing that must happen before you can resume chiropractic (consult your surgeon for that time frame), but ultimately in most cases it can once again begin. We have relationships with many great surgeons in our area who many times not only send patients to us before surgery, but also after. This should speak to the safety of it. Of course, our method of spinal adjustments may change following surgery, but we can still help in providing significant palliative relief and management of the problem going forward. In many cases we will use instrument adjusting, which utilizes a gentle and very specific approach to spinal correction and care. This allows us to work in close proximity to the surgical site, but not disturb it. Remember, even if a spinal surgery becomes necessary, it does not mean that 100% of your pain and problem will be solved. In many cases there will need to be continued care to the area.

If you or someone you know is either contemplating having spinal surgery, or still suffering following surgery, please think about giving chiropractic care a try. It has been proven to help with a wide variety of problems both before and after surgery. Of course, we also prefer you do not have to go through a surgery, especially an invasive one. Be proactive. Take continuous action to improve your health, especially before symptoms occur, so you too can…

LIVE well. BE well.

Hurdles That May Be Holding You Back, And How To Respond To Them

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Every “hurdle” we face that is in our path has to be dealt with one way or the other. Learning what those hurdles are, and how we might be able to respond to them will prepare us for them.

How we see the hurdle makes a big impact with ultimately how we deal with it.

Let me explain…

Best Selling author and Former U.S. Navy Seal, David Goggins, says the secret to mental toughness is the 40% Rule. He says when your mind tells you that you’re done, you’re really only 40% done. Why does our mind do this? Self preservation. If it speaks to you loud enough most people will listen. I often think about this during endurance events, like when I compete in bike racing. When I feel at the end of my rope I try and ask myself “If a bear were chasing you right now, would you keep going and/or go harder?” The answer is yes, of course, you would find a way.

You don’t need to be a Navy Seal to incorporate this mentality in your everyday life. Lets take a look at two different categories of hurdles, and ways to navigate our way through them.

Outside Of Our Control

  • Bad Genetics: Sometimes we are not dealt the best hand, but you can’t let that define who you are. You may need to double down on other parts of your life that you are exceptional with. Don’t focus solely on your weakness, focus 90% of your energy on your strengths.

  • Accidents: Sometimes we get run over by a bus (hopefully figuratively). How will you respond? How will it motivate you? Remember the 40% rule. When you think you have run out of energy to keep fighting, you have a lot left to give.

Within Our Control

  • Poor Nutrition/Hydration: Health problems associated with poor nutrition and hydration choices account for a large percentage of the overall chronic diseases many suffer with today. Ultimately this one comes down to your habits. It can take some work and determination but if you want it bad enough, change will happen.

Sleep Habits: This was an entire blog topic I wrote about recently, and one that is very important. Poor sleep can have a serious effect on all aspects of our health. If you are not regularly sleeping well, and for long enough, your health will suffer sooner or later. Take the necessary steps to get regular and necessary rest for proper health and healing in your body.

The first step towards eliminating hurdles that are holding you back is identifying what they are. Some may be the ones I have touched on while some may not be. Take some time and do some soul searching. Chances are nearly everyone reading this has a long life to live still going forward. How will you live that life? Will it be full of energy and good health, or one filled with chronic sickness? Not everything is within our control, but simply focusing on what is and maximizing that will go a long way in helping you to…

LIVE well. BE well.