East Cobb Chiropractor – Structural Correction Chiropractor

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Migraines Peer Reviewed Research From Berner Family Chiropractic

 

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Migraines Peer Reviewed Paper

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Family Fun Day at East Cobb Park

A special thanks to East Cobb Dentistry for Kids, Just Fitness 4U, Yoga Vortex, and Tiger Rock Martial Arts for participating!

 

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Advanced Health Talk

Berner Family Chiropractic will be hosting our  Advanced Health Talk on Monday, February 25 at our office at 6:00PM.   You won’t be asked to sign up for any special offers or pressured to sign up for a “once in a lifetime deal”.  I will simply be hosting a 20-30 minute Introductory Presentation on Structural Chiropractic Care and how it differs from most traditional chiropractic approaches.  You will discover why many aches and pains may be a sign of a more serious condition.    You’ll also be given the opportunity to tour the office and any questions you have will be answered.   The door is open to anyone, and you are welcome to bring guests for a second set of eyes and ears.

If you’d like to attend please RSVP via email at bernerchiro@gmail.com, call our office at 770-726-9968, or let us know via our Facebook page

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At a Computer or Texting All Day?

One of the most common secondary conditions I see is tight shoulders.  Why is it a secondary condition you might ask?  Because it’s a result of a more serious, underlying issue (Anterior Head Syndrome) and is often present in those at a computer all day, or who spend a lot of time looking down at their phone or ipad.

The normal structure of the neck will have the head sitting directly over the shoulders.  When a structural shift has occurred in the neck, the head will often move towards the front, which we call Anterior Head Syndrome.  When this shift occurs we’ll often find “vertebral locking” in the spine (http://tinyurl.com/c5ey6u2).  The combination of these two will cause the shoulder muscles to spasm, in attempt to support the extra weight caused by the structural shift.  The tight shoulder muscles are what we call “secondary conditions” because  they are a result of the structural shift in the spine (the tight muscles are the symptom, not the true cause of the problem).

The secondary conditions  associated with this are often pain or numbness in the shoulders, neck, and sometimes into the hands.  It’s also common to find someone with tension headaches to have this condition.  This is most commonly found those who sit all day or are at a computer all day, but can be found in many others as well.  If left uncorrected for an extended period of time, spinal degeneration will often take place.

Let’s look at a real life example below.

In the picture you will notice normal on the left.  There is a banana shaped curve towards the front and the vertical blue line touches the front of the spine.  You will also notice the distance between the yellow line and the shoulders (the shoulders appear as the hazy white area below the yellow line).  On the right a structural shift has occurred and there are some very clear indicators of this.  The head has shifted forward (anterior head syndrome).  You will notice the lack of curve in addition to the space between the blue line and the front of the spine.  This indicates Anterior Head Syndrome is present and the shoulders will become “tight” or in “spasm” as a result (a secondary condition).  This is obvious when you look at the distance between the yellow line and the shoulders.  Since the shoulders are supporting extra weight, they become tense (think of raising your shoulders up towards your ears, instead of in the normal relaxed position).

There are many out there who will focus on the shoulders (the secondary condition) as the problem.  Although they always mean well, they usually aren’t addressing the primary source of the problem.    Our focus is on correcting the structural issue in the spine and the secondary issues will resolve themselves.

For more information simply contact our East Cobb Chiropractic office.

(click to enlarge)


Advanced Health Talk

Berner Family Chiropractic will be hosting our  Advanced Health Talk on Monday, February 25 at our office at 6:00PM.   You won’t be asked to sign up for any special offers or pressured to sign up for a “once in a lifetime deal”.  I will simply be hosting a 20-30 minute Introductory Presentation on Structural Chiropractic Care and how it differs from most traditional chiropractic approaches.  You will discover why many aches and pains may be a sign of a more serious condition.    You’ll also be given the opportunity to tour the office and any questions you have will be answered.   The door is open to anyone, and you are welcome to bring guests for a second set of eyes and ears.

If you’d like to attend please RSVP via email at bernerchiro@gmail.com, call our office at 770-726-9968, or let us know via our Facebook page

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Dr Nathan Berner


10 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays

While I enjoy talking about Structural Corrective Chiropractic, there are things outside of what I do that are also very important to your health.  While I may not deal with them directly,  you’ll want to keep them in mind, such as avoiding the extra weight.

The holidays are the time when everyone “decides” they aren’t going to put on a few extra pounds, but unfortunately it happens to many people despite their efforts.  Below are some simple tips to help avoid that holiday weight gain

1.  Avoid the “creamy” dips and instead try something like hummus for your vegetable dips

2. Use sparkling water with some lemon instead of sugary soda.  Soda is simply empty calories with no nutritional value

3. If you’re going to have a cookie or dessert, avoid the ones with frosting.  Aside from the extra calories, the artificial colors can have a negative impact on your body

4. Do not over indulge on the eggnog.  Even a small amount can be high in calories

5. Avoid any foods with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), as it reduces the amount of leptin (the hormone which tells your body you are full).

6.  Avoid eating too much protein at any single sitting, especially turkey breast.  Go for the leg or thigh, as the extra fat slows digestion and insulin release.  A large amount of protein may result in an insulin rush causing you to crave more sweets

7. Lose the extra calories by avoiding the starchy vegetables, especially any type of creamy, cheesy potato dish.  These taste great, so at least limit yourself to a single small portion to cut back on the calories

8. Be sure to keep up with your exercise program.  Many people fall of the tracks at this point and say “it’s going to be my New Year’s resolution to get back in the gym, but I’ll be lazy for a couple more weeks”.  Remember if you gain 5 extra pounds now, that’s 5 you have to lose come January.

9.Make sure you get plenty of sleep.  Sleep helps produce growth hormone, which burns those extra calories.

10. Eat plenty of fiber to help maintain your digestion for optimal weight loss.


Yoga and Structural Correction

I’ve had several patients ask me for my opinion on taking Yoga.

While I won’t claim to be an expert, I do think it’s great. Almost anything that gets you moving around and active is a positive in my book. Can yoga replace Structural correction chiropractic? Not in my opinion. But it goes both ways. Structural correction care cannot replace yoga either. They are both separate and unique. However, the do compliment each other quite well and I think it’s great for patients to consider as a means of staying active an improving both their mental and physical health.

Here are a few more things to consider:

1. In yoga it’s less about the destination, and more about the journey. I realize the poses are not the ultimate goal of a yogi. However, it’s important to keep in mind that doing these things incorrectly could lead to structural conditions or worsen existing ones. Have you ever noticed that during a certain pose it’s different on the right versus the left? Have you seemed to reach a certain plateau and you’re having trouble taking the next step in your journey? If this is the case, there is a possibility a structural condition might be playing a part. This is something traditional chiropractic care may not be able to help.

2. Motion is always a great thing. When I evaluate patients on our state of the art video x-ray system (see example below), we look for Vertebral Locking. Essentially this means a vertebra is “locked” and not moving properly, contributing to the structural condition. Our goal, through structural corrective care, is to “unlock” these areas and show the before and after difference on the video x-ray. This is why yoga compliments structural corrective care so well. Again, I realize yoga is not simply about flexibility, but it does play a part. Anything that helps get motion back into the spine (in a normal way), is going to be something that compliments structural care very well. Yoga does this.

3. Could yoga cause or exacerbate structural conditions? Absolutely, if not done properly. I recently had a conversation with a yoga instructor and she stressed the importance of doing things properly. She expressed her desire to instill in her students this exact point. It’s common for students and teachers alike to experience severe SI joint problems from improper poses by creating a shearing action in the joint when done improperly. This can even occur with no pain. There can also be a problem with many of the twisting motions when not done with a proper foundation.

4. Building upon number 3, do you constantly feel the need to twist, crack, pop, your spine or get into certain poses? This could be a sign of a major underlying structural condition. When you feel this need, you’re essentially “stimulating” the brain to turn off the pain receptors. But this only lasts for a brief time before you feel the need to do it again. You see, the pain receptors in the brain have an “override” of sorts. When you twist, crack, pop, or stretch your spine in certain ways, it’s like hitting the “override” button to the pain receptors in the brain. They are shut off for a brief time. But you’ll soon feel the need to do it again because it’s only temporary. The is finding out why this is happening.

In essence, structural corrective care and yoga are both unique and cannot replace each other. But yoga is definitely something I’d recommend to patients when they ask my opinion. It compliments structural corrective care well by keeping you active and adding motion to the spine.


Been Hitting The Gym? You Don’t Want To Miss This

There are many things in the “health” arena that will leave you scratching your head.  I want you to imagine this happened to you and decide whether it would be acceptable or not.

You get a referral from a friend for a trainer at your local gym.  You’ve been looking to get back in shape so you decide to stop in.  You meet the trainer, we’ll call him Joe.  Now Joe seems like a great guy, knows his stuff, and your personalities mesh great.  Joe says we need to find a baseline for where you are today, in order to set some goals and track your improvement over the coming weeks.  He decides to test 3 things:

1.  Your weight

2. Body fat percentage

3. A series of strength tests.

Joe also decides he’s going to take some “before” pictures so you can both see how you look and can compare down the road.  It’s decided you are 30 pounds overweight and below average on strength tests for your age.

Over the next 3 months you’re in the gym several times a week, working hard, trying to get yourself back in shape.  When the time comes around to take a progress evaluation (weight, body fat, and strength tests), Joe pulls you aside and say “Things look great, you’re really progressing well, I can tell.  We’re not even going to worry about re-taking the evaluation to compare.   Keep up the great work and I’ll see you next week!”

Would this be acceptable to you?  Are you satisfied with Joe (even though he’s a great guy and you really like him)?

I know it sure wouldn’t be for me.  It doesn’t make any sense.  If you’re going to use certain criteria to objectively show someone has a problem (in this case weight, body fat, and strength to show someone is out of shape), don’t you think it’s quite logical that you should use these exact same tests to show the progression?  Now, if none of these are tested initially, there might be an argument.  But you should never use a certain set of criteria to show a problem and then not use the EXACT same criteria to make a judgment if it’s improving or corrected.   The worst case scenario is seeing no improvement, but at least you know!  Maybe then you can reassess, or change your approach to something that will show better results.  But again, it’s measured, so you know either way.

The same goes for chiropractic care.  Have you ever been to a chiropractor who takes an initial set of of x-rays to show you how bad your spine is, and show exactly where the problem is.  BUT, if they can so conclusively determine that you have a problem,  and they can help you, based on those exact x-rays, wouldn’t it be reasonable that a progresses x-ray should be taken to show improvement?  It simply cannot be both ways.  If a certain criteria is used to show a problem, it MUST be used to show it’s improved or correctly.

So why does this happen? You may love the trainer.  He’s a great guy, pushes you hard, and keeps your on task for your workouts.  The reality of the situation is that it does a couple things.  It lowers the bar by lowering your expectations.  If there is no REAL goal to shoot for, then you can never be disappointed.  Sure you’re going to feel a little better, that’s the easy part.  It’s also going to remove the accountability from the trainer or chiropractor.  If you get great results and are as happy as can be, then he’s the hero.  If things don’t go quite so well, then he can always say you’re not working hard enough, you didn’t do this correct, etc etc.  When there is no real objective or set criteria that can be measured, then what’s the point?

You cannot simply use an x-ray (0r any criteria) to determine a problem, and then use a different criteria to determine if it’s improved, such as how much better you’re feeling.  You can do nearly any type of spinal manipulation and someone will feel better for a short time.  Research has shown that improvements in pain levels does not mean any correction has occurred.

Think of it as a house on an unsteady foundation.  You find you have continuous cracks occurring in the drywall.  You call out the contractor who uses specific tools to determine your house’s foundation is no longer level, and it’s very easy for you to see.  You have clearly seen the foundation is the root cause of the problem.  You decide to come back after he says it’s fixed.  Now, he makes no mention of the foundation at all, but takes you directly inside to show how nice the drywall has been patched up and hands you the bill.   Acceptable or not?  If it’s not acceptable, shouldn’t you hold your chiropractor to the same standard?

Did you enjoy this edition?  If so please pass it on to others who might enjoy it as well.

Have a great day!

Dr Nathan Berner


Do You Have Tight Shoulders?

One of the most common secondary conditions I see is tight shoulders.  Why is it a secondary condition you might ask?  Because it’s a result of a more serious, underlying issue (Anterior Head Syndrome)

The normal structure of the neck will have the head sitting directly over the shoulders.  When a structural shift has occurred in the neck, the head will often move towards the front, which we call Anterior Head Syndrome.  When this shift occurs we’ll often find “vertebral locking” in the spine (http://tinyurl.com/c5ey6u2).  The combination of these two will cause the shoulder muscles to spasm, in attempt to support the extra weight caused by the structural shift.  The tight shoulder muscles are what we call “secondary conditions” because  they are a result of the structural shift in the spine (the tight muscles are the symptom, not the true cause of the problem).

The secondary conditions  associated with this are often pain or numbness in the shoulders, neck, and sometimes into the hands.  It’s also common to find someone with tension headaches to have this condition.  This is most commonly found those who sit all day or are at a computer all day, but can be found in many others as well.  If left uncorrected for an extended period of time, spinal degeneration will often take place.

Let’s look at a real life example below.

In the picture you will notice normal on the left.  There is a banana shaped curve towards the front and the vertical blue line touches the front of the spine.  You will also notice the distance between the yellow line and the shoulders (the shoulders appear as the hazy white area below the yellow line).  On the right a structural shift has occurred and there are some very clear indicators of this.  The head has shifted forward (anterior head syndrome).  You will notice the lack of curve in addition to the space between the blue line and the front of the spine.  This indicates Anterior Head Syndrome is present and the shoulders will become “tight” or in “spasm” as a result (a secondary condition).  This is obvious when you look at the distance between the yellow line and the shoulders.  Since the shoulders are supporting extra weight, they become tense (think of raising your shoulders up towards your ears, instead of in the normal relaxed position).

There are many out there who will focus on the shoulders (the secondary condition) as the problem.  Although they always mean well, they usually aren’t addressing the primary source of the problem.    Our focus is on correcting the structural issue in the spine and the secondary issues will resolve themselves.

For more information simply contact our East Cobb Chiropractic office.

(click to enlarge)


Nagging Tennis Injuries? Is it a Sign of Something More Serious?

Whether you’re a 40 something mom who plays a few times a week just to stay fit or an elite tennis star, it seems I hear some of the same complaints over and over.  Could the shoulder problems, tennis elbow, rotator cuff injuries, or even arthritis in the knees be a sign of something more serious?  Well we need to take a closer look at what is really causing the issue, how it’s commonly treated, and how an alternative approach using video x-ray might show things in a different light.

As an example, let’s say you have tight shoulders (a VERY common problem) that seem to be affecting your tennis game.  Many doctors, including most traditional chiropractors, will focus on the shoulders.  While they mean well, and can do a great job of relieving the symptoms, there might be a greater problem that’s not being addressed, an underlying structural issue.

Imagine you have a house on an unsteady foundation.  It’s pretty reasonable to expect the walls will begin to crack, the floorboards will start to creak, and you may even have trouble opening the windows.  Traditional doctors and traditional chiropractors are typically going to look to “manage” the secondary conditions.  They are going to constantly be patching up the drywall, hammering down the floors, and oiling the windows.  While this approach can be effective, it’s like filling a pothole on Monday, only to find by Friday it needs work again.  The point is, it’s always going to be an uphill battle if there is a primary condition, in this case a structural shift, that’s not being addressed.  So if this were your house, would you repair the cracks in the drywall and take care of the floor?  Or would you first look to correct the foundation first?

So what is a secondary condition?

Well, as you may have guessed, we call it a secondary condition because it results from a primary condition.  Let’s take another look at the tight shoulders.  What if you have a structural shift in your spine (the primary condition), causing the tight shoulder muscles.  The most reasonable approach would be to take care of the structural issues and naturally the secondary conditions will take care of themselves or can now be addressed more effectively.  By working only the muscles, you’re simply patching the drywall or hammering down the floors, only to find you’ll need to do it over again in the near future.  Now I’m not saying this approach will fix everything, rather,  only those things caused by the structural shift in the spine.  If you have bone spurs in your shoulder, you may find structural correction will go a long way towards alleviating your secondary conditions, but it’s unlikely to effect anything else being caused directly from bone spurs.

So you might be asking, how do we know if someone has a structural issue?  While there are several objective criteria we can use, I’ll cover one in detail.  Below you’ll see an example of a video x-ray.  This is the gold standard for assessing the motion in the spine, no matter what part of the healthcare industry you’re in.  Let me first orient you to what you’ll be seeing.  We are looking at a side view of the neck with the jaw and teeth to the right, the back of the skull in the upper left, the shoulders in the lower left, and the spine itself directly in the center.

You will first see normal extension (looking up towards the ceiling).  The spine is freely movable and the head extends all the way back to the shoulders.  Take note of how far back the head comes.

This will be followed by a spine with “vertebral locking” and you’ll notice the drastically decreased motion of the spine, as the back of the head no longer approaches the shoulders, and the patient can no longer look up towards the ceiling.  This area also happens to be the same area where the nerves controlling the shoulder muscles exit the spine. If this isn’t functioning properly, you can imagine the muscles it controls will be affected.  If any of these indicators are present, you have “vertebral locking”, indicating a structural issue.

The third example shows the same patient from the second example,  following structural corrective care and the “vertebral locking” is no longer present, as the patient is nearly identical to the example of “normal”

Below you will find a breakdown of the video with extended details and still shots of the images.  In the first image, keep in mind the following when identifying normal

1. The back of the skull

2. The shoulders (with an arrow identifying the distance between the shoulders and head)

3. Angle between adjacent spinous processes (aka the points you feel with your fingers on the back of your neck)

4. A smooth, reversed “C” shaped curve in the neck on extension (as opposed to an “S” shaped curve when vertebral locking is present)