5 ways to manage back pain at home

Back pain can be devastating to a family, especially low back pain!  If you've ever read my chiropractic story, you'll know I suffered horribly from sciatica.  That's the type of low back pain that travels down the leg.  I would cry for relief!  Some of these suggestions I didn't know about back then, and although they have helped many, these are more often than not bandaids.  Without upper cervical specific chiropractic, I don't know where I'd be today. 

Here are a few ideas of what you can do until you see one, especially if you have to wait a bit before your first adjustment.

  1. Ice / Heat
    The science on this has changed over the years (as it usually tends to do) but the general rule is ice over the spine, heat on the muscles.  If you have an injury, alternate the two (20 ice / 20 heat / 20 rest).  Note that if you are using ice, don't keep it on longer than 20 minutes or things will start to tighten up.  
  2. Bolster
    A bolster is a cylider type of pillow, and when you place it under your knees while laying on your back, it can help relieve some of the pressure on the low back (lumbar spine).  In our office, folks who struggle with low back pain find relief using a bolster under the knees while they rest.
  3. Deep Blue / AromaTouch
    I first discovered DoTerra through one of my best friends.  I'd used essential oils here and there because they smelled good, and I used them as a natural alternative to artificial fragrances in soap and lotion making.  But when my baby started to grow quickly, she handed me some AromaTouch (massage blend) and it was game changing.

    Later on, I got some Deep Blue (soothing blend) rub, and it was awesome for sore muscles.  This stuff is like other muscle rubs, but has some great anti-inflammatory ingredients that I love.

    If you put the two together (a pea sized amount of deep blue rub and a drop or two of AromaTouch) WOW!  This stuff packs a punch on temporary pain and discomfort.
  4. Stretching
    Muscles that are tight can cause all kinds of discomfort, but it's usually the opposite muscle group than you'd think that needs stretched out.  For example, if you are sitting all the time, your neck will begin to move forward and shoulders may slump.  Then you may feel lik your mid-back is tight.  The reality is: that area is stretched out and the muscles in front of your upper body are tight.

    The same can be said for the lower back.  If you're sitting long hours (as many of us do), you'll feel it in your low back but the muscles in the abdomen and quads (front of your thighs) may need the stretch more than the back of them.

    When stretching, it's important to stretch until you feel gentle resistance but not to the point of pain!!!  If that means you can only move an inch, start there.  This is not the time to overdo it in hopes that more is better.  It's not!  Eventually, that inch will become easy, and two inches will become the gentle stretch spot.  All good things come with time and repetition (including stretching).
  5. Massage
    Some of us can get a loved one or a great friend to massage us, but many cannot.  While my honey is fantastic at massage, it's not likely to happen as much as I could use it.  With the shutdown of businesses over the virus that shall remain nameless, I invested in a percussion massage gun.  What a GREAT investment!  Remember those areas above that we discussed stretching?  Those are the ones you may want to start targeting with a masssage.

These are all good, but without a properly functioning nerve system, we aren't getting to the cause.  When you're ready to learn more about that, and how we can help you do that, book online.

How to handle headaches at home

Get relief from headaches at home

Headaches and migraines can be anything from slightly annoying to debilitating.  I can recall the days when my children were younger, and I'd be in bed for days after an adjustment (or at random).  The light was blinding, the littlest noise made my ears feel like blown speakers.  Worst of all, my children suffered by my lack of ability to care for them when I was stuck in bed.  In fact, they often had to care for me!  Some of these tips I didn't know of back then, but I'm happy to share them with you now.

In no particular order of importance (because what works some days may not work best others):

  • Darkness: nothing beats turning off the lights, especially when suffering from a migraine. If you must go outside, use those fashionable shades to help take the edge off the pain.
  • Silence:  noises are pretty rough during a migrane, so either muffle your ears, use earplugs, or stay in a quiet room. 
  • Ice: one of the best helps back then was an ice pack under my neck while laying down.  If you really need a boost, also put an ice pack on the top of your head.  This is especially helpful for folks after their first adjustment.
  • Massage: gentle massage of the jaw, neck and head can be helpful, but the more blood flow to the head (scalp massage) may sometimes increase the pain later.  If that bothers you, skip the scalp massage and stick with the jaw and neck muscles.  Don't forget the ones in the front of your neck (not just the back).
  • Essential Oils:  my favorite essential oil products for headaches or migraines are:
    1. PastTense (tension blend) - I think it smells gross, but many people love it, and the smells is worth the major dent it makes in a tension headache.
    2. Deep Blue / AromaTouch (any time you've got discomfort, inflammation, or tension, these two are a powerhouse together).  Use one or the other by itself, or use a pea sized amount of Deep blue rub with a drop or 2 of AromaTouch and wait 15 minutes for the wowza moment!  Don't forget to wash your hands when you're done.
  • Caffeine: I would be ignorant if I left out the power of caffeine to help cut down on a headache.  A glass of water can also help (especially if dehydrated) but a cup of coffee has made it so I was able to get to the chiropractor rather than stay in bed.  No judgement here!  Been there.
  • Food:  If you haven't eaten in a while, sometimes you can get a headache from low blood sugar.  If that's the case, the only thing that will help is eating.  Get in my belly!
  • Chiropractic:  ok, I said no particular order but if you are in need of an adjustment all the others are just bandages rather than a solution.  Not every headache is from subluxation (a spinal bone out of alignment causing interference between the brain and body) but when it is, this is the #1 solution!

While managing the pains of headaches at home is okay, having them on a regular basis is not normal.  You should be checked, or discuss with your doctor what's going on.  If you'd like to see if chiropractic can help you, come to our educational first visit (which is free).  We are happy to answer all your questions.  The best part?  You can book an appointment online in no time.

Better Relationships

Family Matters

Family Matters

I started chiropractic school when my oldest son was 5.  We spent seven years outside Atlanta while I studied Biology, Chiropractic, and nutrition.  There were many challenges, but the worst of them were when I suffered with migraines and sciatica after being over-adjusted.

How did this burden our family relationships?

When you're in so much pain you cannot sleep, mornings come too soon and just when you're so exhausted you might finally be able to rest for a little.  Patience is pretty much non-existent when you're exhausted, and as you get up and try to go about your day with that awful burning pain in your back and down your leg, it's really easy to lose your cool when children are being their wonderful selves.

Ever try to get through the day with a migraine?  I have, and I failed miserably so many times.  The light is so blinding you can't keep your eyes open from the pain.  Your ears feel like a speaker has blown out every time someone speaks or makes a sound.  Just standing up was enough extra pressure to make me fight throwing up, so my kids learned to fend for themselves on those days (which were too many in number).

I felt like a horrible mother, but I was giving all I had just to get through the day.

If you've read my chiropractic story, you know that the more I got adjusted using traditional chiropractic methods, the worse I got.  I even was adjusted in the upper cervical area, using an upper cervical adjustment but without having someone who understood the rest of the methods to know when NOT to adjust me.  Once I found someone who did, my life changed drastically.

Why does that matter?

I was able to SLEEP, and without pain or tossing and turning to be comfortable, so I woke RESTED.  The migraines (which often happened after getting adjusted) went away along with that sciatica, and my patience levels increased.  That led to doing more with my children, more laughter and smiles, and less disappointment.

This is why I share this technique with the world.  It's not just about the adjustment or pain.  It's about the cascade of benefits that happens after the adjustment that counts.

If you want to learn more, without investing anything until ALL your questions are answered, book online in less than 60 seconds.

Our primary focus is the reduction of vertebral subluxation using gentle and chiropractic adjusting techniques, such as Toggle Recoil and Knee Chest Upper Cervical Specific. We can also help if you're in a wheelchair via a wall-mounted adjusting table.

Call 610-709-7586

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