Author Archives: Christopher Powell
Dogs and Chiropractic
If you love your furry friends as much as we do, then you’d do anything to make sure they were as happy and healthy as possible. You go and get adjusted for pain treatment and for optimal health and well-being, so why not take your pup in too! But how do you know WHEN they need their spines checked?
Dogs have spines too (well, every vertebrate does by definition), and just like us those vertebrae can misalign due to the various stressors they experience. Your dog may have taken a spill, played too hard, or maybe they were kept in a cramped crate or had a very tight and restrcitive collar before they came to you.
There are numerous reasons why your pet may have a bone out of place, and that can have the same negative effect on their health that it does in us humans.
So if you notice that your pet is wincing, limping, maybe they favor one side more than the other, they have a change of demeanor, they don’t get up in the car or on the couch like they used to, etc. It might be time to take them in to see a qualified animal chiropractor.
*Disclaimer* Make sure that whoever you choose is qualified to adjust animals. We work with a local vet to make sure we abide by all the local and state laws regarding treatment of animals
Top 4 Tips for Sciatica Relief
Sciatica affects millions of Americans over the course of their lifetime, and the pain can be downright debilitating. And while there are many different courses of treatment, few are as effective or as safe as chiropractic care. In this video I will show you four of my favorite tips for helping relieve sciatic pain, many of which you can do right from your own home!
It’s not just chiropractic care, or stretching, or massage that will get you feeling better and keep you feeling better. It’s a whole body approach! And it often involves changing our whole routine.
Remember, the more you do on your own, the more effective any form of treatment you receive will work! So get those yoga videos on, take a walk or a bike ride, make sure you’re eating good, wholesome foods, and most importantly, schedule an appointment for an adjustment ASAP!
With more and more of us being on our phones, tablets, or just working remotely, I have seen a HUGE increase in problems related to being in front of a screen all day. Some experts have even dubbed it ‘Tech-neck.’ But it doesn’t just affect our neck and upper back. Sitting too long, ESPECIALLY with bad posture or poor work place ergonomics, can creat all kinds of problems. Just take a look below!
So remember, when we’re sitting for too long, or in front of a screen too long, the muscles in the front of our body tend to shorten, and the ones in the back of our body tend to weaken. Whether it’s upper or lower body, just keep in mind stretch the front, strengthen the back.
It’s not hard to fix this, it just takes time and a LOT of repetition! So make sure you pay attention when you’re on your phones or computers. Take the time to get up and stretch, set up your workstation properly, and schedule an appointment for an adjustment! No matter how much stretching or yoga we do, if the spine is out of alignment, you need a good adjustment. 😉
Why I Do What I Do
Over the years many people have asked about some of the more dramatic cases I’ve seen. And looking back there have been quite a few that surprised even me.
Most of the cases I see are pretty easy, pretty cut and dry. And although it is rewarding to help people feel better, the real joy is when we drastically change someone’s life.
We’ve had people in here who were in so much pain that they couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t go to work and hold down a job. There have been people who had dealt with debilitating pain for such a long time that it was affecting their relationships.
The most amazing things I had seen involved two separate cases involving babies around 7 months old that were diagnosed with ‘Failure to Thrive.’ They were so tiny that they weren’t even on the Pediatric Growth Chart. Yet after a few adjustments they had both gained substantial weight, and were THRIVING!
Chiropractic care really can be miraculous!
Kids and Chiropractic
As parents, we want the absolute best for our kids. We try and feed them good, healthy meals. We make sure they get exercise through play or sports. We stimulate healthy brain development through reading and teaching them about the world around them. But what about their Nervous System, the system that controls EVERYTHING in the body? Watch below to learn more about how amazing Chiropractic can be for our precious little ones.
The birth process can be VERY traumatic to those tiny little necks, expecially when there is pulling, or rotation as the head is coming out. Even with a C-Section there are a lot of intense forces on the little head and neck.
As our little ones begin crawling and moving around on their own they are bound to fall, or bump thier heads.
Any of these little traumas they experience can misalign those tiny vertebrae, causing pressure on the nerves. When we adjust those bones back into place, the body begins to communicate and work better. This is why kids experience better immune function, less ear infections, less colic, and many more improvements when they are under chiropractic care.
So whether your little one is having some kind of issue, has experienced some kind of fall or trauma, or you just want them to be the best they can possibly be, schedule an appointment to bring them in!
3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Immune System
We have a problem in our society. We are so focused on killing the germs. Keeping them OUT! This outside-in approach will only take us so far as our immune system is concerned. You see, our immune system NEEDS things to fight off in order to stay STRONG! We have on average 5 POUNDS of bacteria in our gut which actually help keep the bad ‘bugs’ from taking over. Some say the gut is like the ‘brain’ of our immune system. So in a society so focused on killing and stopping ‘germs,’ what really is the best way to improve our immune function? Watch below to find out!
There are many, MANY other ways to help out this incredible system, but this will at least give you a GREAT start! And remember, CHIROPRACTIC CARE has been shown over and over to help improve our immune function. Not just to boost it (which would not be good for folks with autoimmune issues), but to help it regulate itself, whether up or down. This is one of the reasons getting adjusted can actually help with ALLERGIES.
I hope this helps you to live a healthier, happier, and STRONGER life, and if you have any questions or comments, please let us know.
Headache Relief The Natural Way: 5 tips to keep you Headache Free
We all get headaches. But they should not be a regular part of life. Yet MILLIONS of Americans suffer from them each day. And while Ibuprofen or other NSAIDS can help temporarily, they are not a cure. We don’t get headaches from a lack of Ibuprofen in our bodies. They can be a sign that we need to support a part of our system, or that we need to make some other change to our lifestyle. Watch below for more!
The first thing you should do if you feel a headache coming on is to drink 2 big glasses of water. Dehydration is the cause of most peoples headaches. We really don’t drink enough plain old water in our society.
If you feel like your headaches are an all too common problem for you, come in for an appointment! There’s a lot we can do to help get you feeling good again. 🙂
Video Series Intro: What is Wellness?
So for a few years now this word ‘Wellness’ has been thrown around quite a bit, without many of us actually knowing what it truly is. Most of us think of it as having something to do with being healthy, but we also hear it used to promote things like flu shots, and over the counter meds. In the over 13 years I have been in practice, I’ve learned it can be simplified into 3 main points:
- How we Move
- What we put into our bodies
- How we think
We are embarking on a new project here at Wellness Pittsburgh: a video series that will focus on how to be truly healthy and well. Have a watch!
4 Quick Tips to Avoid Getting Sick
Every year it seems we go through all the seasons: Cold and flu season, allergy season, the ‘summer cold’, fall allergy season, right back to cold and flu season. And don’t get me wrong, yes certain viruses or allergies come around on a cycle. But it seems like we just write that off as an excuse.
Like, “Oh, must be cold and flu season, and not the fact that I’m not exercising because it’s cold, and I’m binge eating halloween candy every day.”
How about we stop that, and start strengthening our immune system.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that if you follow all these rules you’ll never get sick. Feeling sick is usually healthy, because it’s part of how our body gets rid of what shouldn’t be there. If our body never got ‘sick’ we’d never ever get well (kinda deep, right).
So here are a couple of quick tips to keep you as healthy as possible. Even if you wind up getting ‘sick’ these things will help you will recover much faster.
1) Exercise: Exercise strengthens the body and the immune system. It reduces stress (stress lowers immunity). It improves circulation. Regulates blood sugar. Increases core temperature. Raises the metabolism. Look I could write you endless paragraphs on how great exercise is. Just know that if you don’t keep moving, you will be sick more often.
2) Diet: Do yourself and your family a favor right now: Stop eating so much sugar! Sugar seriously affects our immune system. Refined carbs (like sugar) are responsible for SOOOOO MANY health problems. If you start to feel bad, stop eating breads and sugars.
3) We also need supplements to help the immune system (all of which we carry in the office):
Vitamin D: This is usually made by our bodies from sunlight. If we’re not getting a lot of direct sunlight we need a WHOLE lot more. I recommend Thorne brand liquid Vitamin D.
Vitamin C: If you take a maintenance dose of 1000 mg/day, then 10,000 mg/day when actively fighting something off, you will most likely not get sick, or it will not be nearly as bad as it could have been.
Echinacea: Most echinecea on the market is garbage, and I wouldn’t waste my time with it. But studies have shown that the good stuff can increase white blood cells, shorten the duration of colds, and potentially prevent them. The company we use makes its product with the roots of echinacea purpurea and angustifolia. This is where the bulk of the active alkamides (the good stuff) are found In my and my family’s own PERSONAL experience, when we take this brand of echinacea, we don’t get sick!
There are plenty of other supplements that increase immunity (zinc, elderberry syrup, astragalus, colloidal silver…) but these are the big three in my opinion!
4) Chiropractic: There have been studies all the way back from the 1940’s showing an increase in immune activity following an adjustment. If you really want to hear about what an adjustment can do ask parents who bring their kids in for treatment. Ear infections, colic, fever, digestive issues, sinus pressure, headaches, congestion, cough… the list of conditions goes on and on! An adjustment can provide relief from many conditions!
Listen, you’re going to get sick again in your lifetime. It’s inevitable. But it’s not a bad thing! When we fight off these germs we develop a lifelong immunity to them. If you follow the steps above you will keep your immune system in top condition to fight them off quicker, more effectively, and you’ll just overall be healthier!
9 Stretches You Can’t Live Without
Stretching and Home Care Tips:
Let’s face it: our modern lifestyle is HORRIBLE at meeting our bodies needs. We sit too much. We look down too much. We have our arms and shoulders in front of us too much. Our modern tech heavy lifestyle is wreaking HAVOC on us physically.
Most back, neck, and shoulder pain can be directly connected to these bad postures, or not enough physical activity. Check out these easy stretches and exercises to help combat the stress our modern, tech heavy lives put on our back and neck.
Most activities we engage in these days tends to pull our neck and shoulders forward, in front of our chest and torso. This is referred to an anterior head and shoulder carriage.
Look at the position of his head while he’s on the computer. →
A simple and effective way to help with this is to place something like a rolled up towel or foam roller under the neck and lay back on it. The pressure from it will help push the neck back into its proper curve.
Another highly effective stretch is what’s referred to as an isometric stretch. This means a part of the body is stretched, then the muscles are contracted. There is no motion (the meaning of isometric) but while the muscles tense up in a static position, the tension is released.
In this example, bend the neck towards the shoulder slightly. With the hand on that side, grab the opposite side of the head and apply slight pressure. Push against the hand using the neck muscles with an equal force, so that the neck doesn’t move. Don’t pull with your arm.
Hold for 15-20 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Another good way is to place a hand on the back of your head and pull forwards slightly. Then push with the neck muscle to try and straighten the head back out.
Hold for 15-20 seconds.
And one of my favorites, to stretch the front of the shoulders, stand in a doorway with your forearm on the door frame. Make sure your elbow and shoulder are both at 90 degrees. Step slowly through the doorway and feel the stretch in the front of the shoulder and chest.
Hold for 15-20 seconds then repeat on other side.
For a little bonus, once your shoulder and chest are at tension, slowly tilt your head backwards and away from arm. Feel the stretch going through the side of the neck and under the collarbone.
Most of us will experience low back pain at some point in our life . It is the most common side effect of too much sitting. Tight hamstrings and weak glut muscles are are pretty much always happening with low back pain. I’ve found most people get a ton of relief when stretching these major muscle groups in the lower body: Hamstrings, Gluts/Piriformis, Lower Back, Flexors/Psoas.
There are a bunch of different ways to stretch the hamstrings, the most common being bending forward to touch your toes while keeping your knees straight. You can also place a foot up on something like a bench and lean forward. You can do yoga poses like downward facing dog, or forward fold. There are a lot of ways to loosen those muscles up.
Be sure to hold for about 15-20 seconds and repeat 3 times per side.
While lying on your back, cross one leg over the other. Pull the opposite knee towards your chest until you feel the tension in the gluts. Hold 15-20 seconds, repeat 3 times on each leg.
*Note* If this position hurts your knees you can try this stretch while seated.
Two of my favorite low back stretches are Cat/Cow and Child’s Pose
Starting on your hands and knees, arch your lower back and look straight ahead. Take a big breath in while doing this. While breathing out, round your back and push your tailbone up towards the sky while tucking your chin to your chest.
Repeat 10 times.
From the hands and knees position, sit back onto your heels. Stretch your finger tips out as far in front of you as they can go. Breathe deep and slow while feeling the stretch throughout the entire spine.
Hold for 10 seconds, repeat three times
The hip flexors, like the Psoas muscles, are located deep in the abdomen and pelvis, and can be hard to get to. Others, like the quadriceps, are on the surface and a little easier to access. A great way to stretch these muscles is the lunge. Kneel with one foot out in front of you, knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Slowly bend the front knee so you move forwards. Try rocking your hips into the stretch, or side to side in order to isolate the muscles that are particularly tight.
Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3 times per side.
There are a TON of other stretches and exercises that can help (like in this video), but these will give you a huge head start in getting the relief you desire. Remember, do these every day, three times a day for the best results. Progress doesn’t happen overnight!
You can always schedule a time to come in for an in person demonstration at no charge. Call or email anytime!