When is it time to be seen by a Chiropractor?

When is it time to see a chiropractor?  Great question.  The short answer is now!  

Here are the reasons people seek chiropractic care:  neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, ankle sprain, high blood pressure, migraines, low back pain, heartburn/indigestion, asthma, allergies, insomnia, depression, anxiety, ear aches, colic, nausea, dizziness/vertigo, carpal tunnel, tendinitis, bell's palsy, wellness...and much more.

I pay attention to people around me.  When they express that they have an ankle problem, knee problem, headaches, I often turn this into an opportunity to educate.  Most people think chiropractors work with back pain only.  Chiropractors are Doctors of the Nervous System, and your nervous system controls everything in your body - from head to toe.  We deal with all aspects of health/dis-ease, not just back pain.  Though if you're bleeding and/or have had a health emergency...please go to the ER.

I recently had a client come in after two months of trying everything to heal Bell's Palsy.  Bell's Palsy is a condition where one side of your face goes numb.  My patient could not sleep (b/c she couldn't close her eye) and had tried everything including steroids prescribed by her doctor.  After her first chiropractic visit she could close her eye, and after about 5 visits, she had full use of the side of her face that had been numb just a few days prior!  It took about a year to heal from it, but she had nearly 80% improvement after just a few visits.

The reason chiropractic works is because your brain communicates with your body through your spine.  When your spine is out of alignment, called a subluxation, dis-ease results - symptoms - pain, numbness, tingling, pinched nerves, headaches, etc.  Seeing a chiropractor first is recommended, because we are well trained in the human body and nervous system.  If we can't help you, it is our responsibility to recommend you elsewhere, surgery, medication, etc.  go ahead, try it.  You're worth it.

Benefits of chiropractic care:  decreases or eliminates pain, increases flexibility, better sleep, more energy, helps you return to doing what you love, fewer or no headaches, and so much more!

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Sarah Hyre, DC

Why does it hurt?

Have you ever wondered, why does it hurt?  Why does my shoulder hurt, back hurt, why am I having headaches, and so on? 

What about this one...I didn't even do anything...why does my ________ hurt?

There are 3 reasons why you hurt, it's either physical, emotional, or chemical stress or a combination of all three. 

A physical cause can be anything from a car accident 10 years ago, a fall, sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day for the last year, sitting in a car all day, carrying heavy equipment, dehydration, etc.  An emotional cause can be pent up anger, a death in the family, divorce, selling of your family home, moving, a break up, getting married, having a baby etc.  A chemical cause can be the air we breathe or the foods we eat (or don't eat) or medications we are taking. 

These 3 types of stress, cause our bodies, our spine, to go out of alignment (called a subluxation) and create symptoms that range from pain to numbness, from anxiety to headaches, from constipation to indigestion to diarrhea (no fun!). 

When our spine is out of alignment we tend to leave it alone and not do anything about it.  We often don't know When our spine is out of alignment until we experience any or all of the above symptoms.  Pain is the last to show up and often the first to go away once you're under chiropractic care.  That's why I suggest to be seen a chiropractor at least 2 times a month to prevent any serious issues down the road.

There are some types of stress that we can control, one is drink enough water, this means a lot of water.  Take your body weight and divide it by 2, then divide that number by 8.  That's how many glasses of water you can drink per day. Ex. If one weighs 150 lbs, divided by 2, that's 75oz of water, divided by 8 is about 9 glasses.

Another is to stay in the outskirts of a grocery store when you shop.  Anything on the inner isles is almost always processed food and packed with sugar (disguised as other things), and who knows what else.  I like to buy a lot of organic vegetables, and stir fry them in extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic.  So good!

Another way to decrease stress, is exercise, move your body!  Aalk, run, play with your kids, chase them around the house, do 10 jumping jacks, now, try something new, like crossfit, or bikram yoga (2 of my favorites), or have a date night and go dancing.  No date? Go with your friends or turn on some music and dance in the living room.  Move your beautiful body.

Finally, see a chiropractor.  A chiropractor is a doctor and has specialized training to clear misalignments in your spinal column caused by stress.  Your body will function the way it's supposed to.  Chiropractic care increases energy, decreases pain, improves sleep, digestion, flexibility, decreases or eliminates headaches and more!

Go ahead...try it!  You deserve it!

--Dr. Sarah Hyre, DC

Your health is your most valued asset...

When I have experienced a problem with my health, I am reminded of how important it is to take care of myself.  On airplanes, they teach us, put your oxygen mask on first, then help others. We need our health before anything else in our lives can really work well.    This isn't the world we live in, is it?  It's take care of everything and everyone else, before we take care of ourselves.  Today I'll share about an injury I had, how and what I did to resolve it, and how I keep it resolved.  I will also share on the larger topic of self care and finally will educate you a little more on chiropractic (of course).

Quite a few years ago, I had pain in my heel when I got out of bed.  The first step was excruciating.  Specifically the pain was on the inside or medial side of my heel right where the arch ends and meets the heel bone.  I could barely walk, running was definitely out.  If you haven't guessed it yet, I had Plantar Fasciitis.  The first thing I did was go to my chiropractor. I was in chiropractic school at the time so I knew enough to have my chiropractor, who is my doctor to check it out first.  He checked my whole spine for bones out of alignment or what chiropractors refer to as subluxations.  He especially checked the bones in my low back because if these are subluxated then our brains cannot communicate effectively through the spine to the foot (to heal correctly).  Once my spine was clear, he also looked at my foot.  We have 26 bones in each foot and if those become fixated, they will pull and push on muscle groups all the way up from there.  Our feet being out of alignment can affect everything north of them.  He mobilized both feet (because I have 2).  He also gave me stretches, mainly calf stretches, focusing on the gastrocnemius and soleus.  This wasn't all I had to do.  Each night I rolled the arch of my foot out with either a lacrosse ball or a frozen water bottle.  I had to do constant work on this daily for about 6 months.  I went to my chiropractor weekly, and stretched daily.  Lastly, I started personal training prior to my injury and had to stop activity completely because of the injury.  I needed to use what I had paid for otherwise I would've lost it, so I started to slowly exercise again.  The trainer I had was phenomenal.  She rehabilitated my foot by strengthening all the muscles in my legs and even my upper body.  It was after the 7th session that I could run again, which was unimaginable when I hurt my foot initially.  Finally, I got pedicures every week.  This was before foot massage places were on every corner and I knew I could receive an inexpensive foot massage to muscles I could not reach.  I still keep up most of these habits but I don't have to baby my foot anymore.   Now it's my other foot that I'm having trouble with because I spent so much time on the other one.  More to come about that.

Now on self care.  What does this mean?  The first part is not being so hard on ourselves.  How often do we talk to ourselves in a negative way, that some how we are not doing enough, being enough, making enough, exercising enough, eating right, etc.  The first lesson here is to be gentle with yourself.  You are enough.  Too often I beat myself up for when I simply just want to do nothing.  It's hard to do nothing, and yet so necessary.  Rest is just as important as eating healthy, meditation, exercising, working, etc.  The second recommendation on self care is turn off the tv, well, mainly the news.  There's nothing good there.  iIve noticed how simply watching tv has lowered my mood, not just the news but the commercials.  I often wonder at the end of any show if I have depression, bad circulation, heart problems, restless leg syndrome, headaches, pain, and whatever else the drug companies are trying to push that day.  Finally, the third lesson, is go outside, in nature, even if it's just a 10 minute walk.  Something about being outside heightens our mood and clears our head so we can feel energized and able to solve life's whirling wind of challenges.

Next...what is chiropractic and how can it help you?  Mainly I can talk about how it's helped me.  I had terrible back pain at the age of 28, I went to a chiropractor and my whole life changed.  It began this incredible journey of self care.  It really did start with having my spine in the correct alignment and continuing regular chiropractic care as a form of a wellness practice.  Chiropractic is an art, science and philosophy.  It is built on the truth that life force energy runs through our bodies and when trapped, via the spine, dis-ease occurs.  When people have their spine adjusted, they describe that they feel a freedom they didn't know was possible that is beyond pain relief.  Is it the be all end all? No, but it's pretty close.  ;)

Finally, take care of yourself, first.  Yes people may call you selfish, but in the end no one will take care of you best, but you.  First, get adjusted regularly, second take care of your feet, and third move your body/go outside.

Note:  I also have a lot of foot recommendations beyond what I talked about here.  If you're in the Vancouver/Portland area, you can call our office (360.909.2566)  or schedule an appointment online via this website.

Keep on moving...Chiropractic and Aging

my parents are both in their 70s.  this is still young yes, but one of their biggest concerns is remaining independent for as long as possible. one of the best ways to stay healthy (as it's easier to stay healthy, than it is to recover from years of illness/dysfunction), is to be under regular chiropractic care.  in addition to pain relief, the benefits are limitless.  

one of my patients, her mother in law, now 85, chooses a cortisone shot for sciatica (not a long term solution).  sciatica is an impingement of the sciatic nerve by a bone (or bones) in the low back.  after years of this she is now losing muscle control of one of her legs.

a simple and rather quick trip to the chiropractor could quickly alleviate this common ailment and can avoid her dependency on walkers, wheelchairs, and/or pain meds.  it could also keep her driving & highly independent.

subluxations or spinal misalignments can be there long before you have symptoms.  however, some symptoms include: headaches, back, neck, shoulder pain, fatigue, sciatica and more.  chiropractic care clears spinal misalignments so your body functions as it is made to, independently, healthy & thriving.