Acid Reflux/Heartburn

The section of your back between your shoulder blades has nerves that exit the spine and control the stomach. When these nerves get pinched by a poorly aligned spine, the stomach can malfunction (i.e. REFLUX). Getting adjusted will free the nerves and return proper function to the stomach. This relieves REFLUX.

At Thrive, we help many patients of all ages (newborn to elderly) with acid reflux.

•Babies that spit up often or are unhappy and uncomfortable benefit greatly from chiropractic adjustments. We have seen a lot of babies completely stop spitting up and stop suffering from pain with just a handful of chiropractic adjustments.

•Pregnancy is a time when a lot of women experience REFLUX. Many pregnant patients continue coming in weekly just so that they don’t have to experience REFLUX. Adjusting the spine, helps the stomach work better, even during pregnancy!

•Adults of all ages benefit from a reduction in REFLUX. If you think about our society and how much we hunch over computers and how often we are reaching forward or bending slightly, this will give you an idea of why so many Americans suffer with acid reflux. Hunching and bending forward, reaching and working on computers are all ways the area between our shoulder blades gets pulled and stressed. This leads to those nerves getting pinched.

Getting adjusted and making sure the stomach nerves work properly is so important. Along with that, work on getting your shoulders back and stop hunching. Also, when the head is forward of the body (most people have this) this puts exaggerated pressure on the area of the middle back, also leading to REFLUX symptoms. Push your chin in and head back to help keep your ears over your shoulders and this will also help keep that upper back area healthy.

In addition to getting adjusted and improving your posture, eat a healthy and balanced diet. Eat clean by eating whole foods such as lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget to drink water.

Fever: How high is too high?

It’s that time of year. The kids are back to school, germs are spreading and kids are getting sick. There is a lot of fear and mis-information surrounding fevers. I’d like to share some research as well as what we do in our household when one of our four kids has a fever. First, let’s review the basics:

If the body fails to get rid of a virus or bacteria, the body may resort to raising the body temperature to kill the germ. The temperature increases according to how much power it needs to kill the germ.

NORMAL BODY TEMPERATURE is 98.6 and can be up to 99.9 and still be considered normal for your child. A LOW-GRADE FEVER ranges between 100 – 102.2 and is very BENEFICIAL. A MODERATE-GRADE FEVER ranges between 102.3 – 104.5 and is also BENEFICIAL. A body temperature up to 104.5 is considered safe, beneficial and will help the body to get rid of the germ. A HIGH-GRADE FEVER is a temperature higher than 104.5. At this point most parents would be very concerned although this body temperature is STILL BENEFICIAL. With this body temperature the body is fighting something more than a common cold (usually bacterial). Although this temperature will not harm your child, I would recommend taking the child to the pediatrician at this point. A SERIOUS FEVER is 108 and above. This temperature is HARMFUL and can cause brain damage. It is not necessary to worry about your child’s temperature because it is not possible for a fever to get this high without other factors (example: child left in hot car for hours).

There is so much fear surrounding fevers, however, a fever is the body doing what it is made to do. Since most fevers are beneficial, the best thing to do when your child has a fever is to allow the fever to run its course. The fever will usually last 1-3 days. Please don’t be alarmed if the fever spikes in the late afternoon/evening- this is normal and natural. A fever is a good sign that the body’s immune system is functioning properly.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend fever-reducing drugs: “Fever is not an illness, rather, it is a symptom of sickness and is usually a positive sign that the body is fighting infection.” Even in cases of high temperatures, the AAP says, “Fevers generally do not need to be treated with medication unless your child is uncomfortable or has a history of febrile convulsions. The fever may be important in helping your child fight the infection.”

As parents, we don’t want our children to suffer. Rather than focusing on the number on the thermometer, treat your child based on their symptoms. Here's how: 1) Stop the child’s daily routine and rest. Decrease noise, light and activity. 2) Make sure your child gets a lot of clear fluids (water, tea, broth, soup, breast milk). Dehydration will make your child feel worse and slow the healing process. 3) Give your child a warm bath a few times a day. We like to add epsom salt in our baths because it adds comfort to the child and it helps to draw out wastes and toxins. Baths also help the child to sweat, which brings down their temperature. 4) Daily chiropractic adjustments. Every adjustment boosts the immune system by 200%, so the duration of fevers are much shorter with chiropractic care. 5) We do not use fever reducers in our home. I do not believe these medicines are safe for human consumption. Also, usually the fever becomes prolonged in children when these medicines are used. Using fever reducers can result in accumulation of waste in the body which can lead to chronic illnesses. 6) ALWAYS observe your child and please consult your pediatrician, or go to the nearest emergency room, if your child is not: * Alert * Able to be aroused

* Active * Able to be woken up * Drinking fluids * Urinating light pale yellow to clear urine * Making eye contact * Able to keep his/her head up * Able to speak * Responsive * Interactive * Consolable * Breathing comfortably *If your child is less than 3 months old and has a fever, please go to the nearest emergency room. *If your child has a fever and a rash of little dots under the skin, please go to the nearest emergency room. *If your child has a fever, neck pain and the light is bothering him/her, please go to the nearest emergency room. *If your child has a fever, along with urinary complaints, swollen joints, inability to walk, or other complaints that concern you, please seek immediate medical attention.

Hopefully with this information, I can help you become more confident in the health decisions you make for your family. My mission is to help families get back-to-the-basics in health care and to educate and empower so that our decisions for our families are not based on fear.

Plantar Fasciitis

This painful condition affects nearly 2 million each year. The most common symptom is pain in either one or both of the heels. The pain is most often felt during the first couple steps in the morning or during any kind of physical activity. But this condition is found in the foot – how can a chiropractor help with a FOOT condition?!The cause of plantar fasciitis can vary for each individual, but in general there is a problem with how the joints of the foot are functioning and moving which in turn leads to soft tissue injury and ultimately pain. As a chiropractor, we work with joints all over the body – even the feet! By ensuring proper alignment and motion of the all the bones in the foot and ankle the soft tissue will begin to heal.

Although the healing process may take some time, there are additional therapies that can be beneficial and provide relief during this time. Dr. Nicole will apply RockTape to provide additional support to the soft tissues in the arch of the foot, NeoRelief can be used to provide relief from pain, and you will be instructed in exercises that will strengthen the foot. All of these tools used together can lead to relief from this painful condition! If you or anyone you know suffers from Plantar Fasciitis do not hesitate to ask how chiropractic care can help.

Arnold Chiari Malformation

Many of you have asked about my mom, her surgery and how she is doing. Thank you so much for your caring thoughts, prayers and sincere concern. My mom wanted to share her story in hopes that it could help someone else. You see, for several months, we had no idea what was causing her terrible symptoms. She was in and out of the hospital many times, doctors either didn’t have answers or they told her that she needed to be evaluated for psychological problems and labeled her “depressed” and “crazy”. Some doctors even thought she acted like she was a drug addict. We saw so many doctors who just didn’t care and didn’t help. It was quite disheartening.

Finally, she was diagnosed with Arnold Chiari Malformation. Simply put, the lower part of her brain had fallen below her skull. With that, the amount of pressure on the brain and brain stem can cause some very severe symptoms and there are no medications that can remove that pain. There is no definitive answers as to why her brain is lower than it should be.

Sometimes, with a chiari malformation, surgery is needed to take pressure off of the brain and brain stem. My mom had some neurosurgeons tell her that she wasn’t a good candidate for surgery and some say she was. So, she tried many conservative treatments first (specialized chiropractic care, massage therapy, nerve blocks, cranio-sacral therapy and more). None of these treatments gave her any relief, so she decided to schedule surgery. This surgery is gruesome and terrible. Basically, the neurosurgeon removes the bottom portion of the skull as well as the first bone in the neck. This removes the pressure on the brain and brain stem. The surgery is dangerous and there is no guarantee that it will take the pain and symptoms away. Many repeat the surgery later in life. The recovery following surgery is long and hard.

Mom decided to get the surgery done because she was losing her life. She cried every day and night with terrible head pain, which the strongest pain meds couldn’t take away. She described her pain as if someone was jamming a knife into the back of her skull over and over again. She was constantly throwing up because her pain was so intense. She had mumbled speech, weak arms and legs, some days she couldn’t walk or if she tried she would fall. She had terrible ringing in her ears, and her eye sight darkened. There were days where she couldn’t swallow, so she rarely ate and if she did it was a smoothie or mashed potatoes. She had trouble breathing. She slept day and night, or tried to. The list goes on and on and the longer she suffered, the worse her symptoms became.

So, Monday, July 14th she had surgery. Everything went well. She spent 4 days in the hospital and now she is home! Her pain has significantly decreased AND she is only taking a quarter of the pain medicine now compared to before surgery. She can already speak clearer, she has more strength in her arms and legs. Her eye sight improved and the ringing in her ears is less. She doesn’t have any problems swallowing. She is making GREAT progress.

She has a long road of recovery ahead. Like I said, the surgery is gruesome. Many muscles were cut and it will take a long time to heal. They also removed a portion of the brain tonsils. This is close to the area that regulates nausea. So she can expect to be nauseous for possibly months. She will never be able to play football or wrestle (don't think she will mind) and always have a 10 pound weight restriction for lifting.

Lastly, my mom, and our entire family, are so thankful for each and every person who said a prayer, wished us well, gave support, sent flowers, wrote a Facebook comment, etc. She has felt very loved and cared about which is so important for healing.

The hospital was great and the doctors and nurses were the BEST! What a difference it makes to have great nurses who care. Lastly, I’ll leave you with a few quotes that were written throughout the hospital that spoke to me:

“The quality of one’s life depends on nothing but the mind.”

“Those who have health, have hope. And those who have hope, have everything.”

The Webster Technique Explained

The uterus is where the baby develops and grows. The uterus may become constrained, or pulled. With this, the amount of space for the baby to move around and to get into the best position for birth is decreased. The Webster Technique focuses on both the tailbone and the round ligaments. As a chiropractor, my sole purpose is to align the bones of the spine and pelvis. Once I realign the tailbone, I then work to decrease the tightness in the round ligament(s). When the tailbone is realigned and the round ligament(s) are no longer stretched and tight, the uterus opens up to its optimal size. This gives the baby much more room to move about and to get into the best position for birth.

Chiropractic Care during Pregnancy- RESEARCH REVIEW

Chiropractic care is the 3rd most common form of alternative treatment utilized during pregnancy (following massage and yoga). So what does the research say about pregnancy and chiropractic care? *84% of pregnant patients experienced relief of back pain *25% shorter labor for birth #1 *31% shorter labor for subsequent births *A decrease in meconium-stained amniotic fluid, preterm delivery, use of forceps, and c-section delivery *92% of those who sought treatment to resolve a breech presentation (via Webster Technique) experienced baby moving into a head down position

Chiropractic care during pregnancy is recommended and considered safe and effective to relieve pain during pregnancy. In addition, chiropractic care may improve the probability of a successful natural labor and delivery.

See the detailed review of literature here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2647084/

Ear Infections & Chiropractic Care

Young children are especially prone to ear infections; 75% of children will experience at least one ear infection by the age of three. Chiropractic care has been shown to prevent ear infections as well as ease discomfort and speed healing for those suffering from an ear infection. Causes of Ear Infections:

  • Ear infections happen when fluid remains near the ear drum
  • Functioning Eustachian tubes allow fluid to drain, but these Eustachian tubes can be impeded by the bones of the neck putting pressure on the tubes, surrounding muscles spasming and compressing the tubes, even the bones of the skull or jaw may impede proper flow.

How chiropractic care helps:

  • A chiropractor removes all interference to the spine and nervous system through gentle, precise adjustments.
  • When a bone is moved back to its proper position, the result is proper functioning nerves, muscles and organs.
  • The upper neck controls the nerves that travel to the ear and Eustachian tube and the muscles surrounding the tube.  When those nerves function properly, the ear will drain and the muscles will not spasm which decreases the opportunity for compression on the tube.

Chiropractic care restores proper mechanics so that the ear can drain, relieving and preventing ear infections.

Have you or your children been struggling with ear infections?  We would love to meet you and help your/your child’s body THRIVE!  616.554.5070