Happy Sunlight!

Happy Summer! Happy Sunlight!

When I was kid, way back in the 1970’s and 80’s, I used to lay out in the sun covered in Baby Oil with lemon juice in my hair.  I was a sun goddess.  When I got older, I was a lifeguard and a swim team coach.  When it came time to work indoors during the summer months, I thought I’d die without my sun exposure.  Fast forward a decade or two and this whole skin cancer scare came about.  We started covering ourselves up with the highest SPF we could find, only to learn that all that SPF wasn’t good for us either.  As the pendulum swings and returns back to center, we now know that there has to be a decent balance of getting sunlight to create Vitamin D, but not too much that it causes skin cancer.

I’m sure everyone has seen the 100’s of uses or benefits of coconut oil floating around on your Facebook feed or on the internet.  I use pure coconut oil for everything from giving massages to cooking.  My favorite use of coconut oil is to use it as a sunscreen.  About 10 years ago, I slathered myself up with coconut oil and laid out in the sun, much like I had done as a kid, and hoped I would I have a nice tan after several hours.  NOPE!  Not one shade of golden beauty came through because of how effective the coconut oil was at blocking the sun.  Now, when I make my annual trip to the beach, I slather on the coconut oil before leaving the hotel room, while the rest of my family chooses to use a commercial sunscreen product.  Guess who doesn’t have that painful burn after day one at the beach?  You guessed it, ME.  I still had the tan shine through simply because I spend the majority of my time in the water.  The key, however, is to RE-APPLY every time you come out of the water.  If you don’t re-apply, you can still burn.  This is true of your favorite sunscreen products as well.

So, for a natural sun protectant, consider using coconut oil.  Don’t forget to re-apply.  Allow yourself at least 15 minutes per day of the morning sun to stimulate your body’s natural Vitamin D.  Most importantly, enjoy your summer vacation!

Sprain, Strain, Pelvic Pain

Doc! I can’t move.  I can’t get out of bed. I can’t even get in the car!”  When the pain is so bad that it hurts to turn over in bed, or changing positions from sitting to stand, or even laying down to sitting up, it’s time to seek professional help.

Low back pain and pelvic pain tend to go together.  A strain is what happens to the muscles or tendons when they are pulled or stretched to extreme measures.  A sprain is what happens to ligaments when they have been stretched beyond their limit.  Pain happens with both.  The muscles in your hips and low back contract so hard in an attempt to stabilize the hurt area, whether it’s in your lumbar/low back region or your pelvic region and hips.  Your core muscles (pelvic floor muscles, rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus) suddenly go offline and become weak in order to protect you from doing further harm.  The brain and your nervous system find many different ways to do the same job that your core muscles were supposed to be doing.

Now, simple tasks such as turning over in bed or going from sitting to standing become much more difficult. Pain is your body’s way of saying something is wrong.  You don’t have to figure out what is wrong, but your chiropractor, massage therapist or doctor will figure that out for you.

Remember, the type of professional from whom you seek treatment will always suggest the treatment based on their profession.  So, if you go to a medical doctor, you will likely be prescribed pain medicine or a muscle relaxer.  If you go to an orthopedist, you may be told you need surgery.  If you go to the chiropractor, we will suggest adjustments, massage therapy, physiotherapy and therapeutic exercises.

In the case mentioned above, you may be given a Trochanter Belt to wear for a few days.  This special kind of belt is worn below the waist and just at the level of where the femur attaches to the pelvis.    You will wear this for approximately five days, 24/7, except when bathing or bathroom time.  The belt acts as a support so the surrounding muscles don’t have to overwork into spasm.  Depending on the injury, your chiropractor may lessen or extend your time in the belt.

Once your low back or pelvic injury is healed, keep the trochanter belt around for times when you know you’ll be pulling a heavy load or doing a lot of walking. Be sure you re-learn how to activate those muscles that neurologically went off-line and learn how to move with proper bio-mechanics to avoid further injury or relapse.

If you would like a consultation for your back pain, you can text, call or email Dr. Seebacher.  Crawl-ins are welcome too.  Dr. Seebacher has created a FUSION of chiropractic, therapeutic massage and therapeutic exercise to help reduce pain and restore function to your life.

Drive Time Therapy

Traffic in Atlanta is one thing we all tolerate to the best of our abilities.  Why not make the most of your time while at a standstill?

My favorite is to use the headrest, situated to the middle of your head. Press your head back and in to the headrest, slightly tucking your chin under as you press and hold for a count of 5.  This gives a nice stretch to the suboccipital muscles at the base of your skull and it activates the deep flexor muscles in the front of the neck.  This will also release some tension in the back of your neck and maybe even in your shoulders.  Next you can turn your head as far as comfortable and press your head back and in to the headrest.  Be sure to do both sides equally.

Need some shoulder therapy?  Try pressing your shoulder back, one at a time, holding for a count of 5, just as you’ve been doing.  Be sure to do both sides equally.  Now you’re working the muscles between the shoulder blades, squeeze those shoulder blades together behind you and make sure the back of your head is touching the headrest. Don’t allow your head and neck to creep forward.  You can also work on those external rotator muscles of the shoulder by squeezing your elbows towards your rib cage, elbows bent at 90 degrees, now open your arm out away from your body, attempting to touch the back of your wrist to either the door or towards the passenger seat.  Let’s not forget shoulder shrugs and shoulder rolls as well.

Again, make sure you are safe while in your car.  These are quick and easy to do at a red light.  While the car is moving, see if you can keep your head touching the headrest.  We have this bad habit of thrusting our neck forward as if we could actually see things better from that position.

 

 

 

 

Human Barometer

Are you a human barometer?  Have you ever wondered why you have a unique talent for knowing when a storm is coming?   Do your joints ache when it’s cold and rainy outside?  You may be a human barometer.

Barometric pressure is the effect of air on the environment.  Think of this as a heavy blanket exerting downward pressure on everything when the barometric pressure is low, or dropping.  We like to say that a cold, rainy day is “good sleeping weather”, to just stay in bed and hibernate.  It is true that lower barometric pressure causes us to seek sleep mode.  Strangely enough, as the barometric pressure drops, the air we breathe drops the level of Oxygen, so less O2 in our blood and going to the brain makes us feel sleepy.  The pressure on our bodies causes fluid in the joints and blood vessels to expand.  Remember back to elementary school that hot air rises, cold air is denser and pressure gradients always shift from high to low in order to create balance.  This is why we have so many aches and pains when the barometric pressure is dropping.  Any old injury you have may express itself with a vengeance, particularly if you have arthritis or have had surgery to a joint.  Everything inside expands.

On the other end of the spectrum from achy joints is the awful storm approaching migraine.  If you’ve ever noticed when weather patterns collide and create massive thunder storms or possible tornado activity, the human barometer can sense that rapid drop in pressure.  There is some speculation that the electrical charge in the air is what effects the body’s chemistry.  Other weather related activity that can spark a migraine or pressure headache include: changes in temperature, high humidity, high winds, extremely dry conditions (causing dehydration), sun glare.

What can be done about this?  The primary goal of the nervous system is to adapt to the environment, both inside the body and outside pressures on the body.  It is perfectly okay to crawl back in to bed on those cold and rainy days when you are able to do so.  For the migraine sufferer, you may need some extra assistance to help you adapt.  Getting a regular chiropractic adjustment helps the nervous system function at it’s optimal level so that these swings in pressure don’t effect us as dramatically.  The sooner you can come in at the onset of a migraine, the better chance of stopping or at least significantly reducing your symptoms.

Here are some of my “go to” relief remedies I have in my tool box:

Migra-Eeze – This came highly recommended from my neurologist to take as a preventive measure.  I can attest that this works very well when taken on a daily basis and it significantly reduced the severity of my migraines.

Intensity 10 TENS unit – using a TENS unit on those muscles that are in spasm is an excellent way to relieve pain associated with migraines and barometric pressure changes.  Dr. Seebacher can help you find the right fit for you, as well as ordering the TENS unit with insurance approval.

Migracap – I will admit that I have not used this yet.  In the midst of a migraine, cold temperature works best due to the rapid expansion of blood vessels.  This cap covers the eyes and provides that extra comforting pressure when you feel like your head is about to explode.

Hydrate – A good rule of thumb is to drink 1 oz of water for every 2 pounds of body weight.  As an example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you need 90 oz of water daily.  You’ll need more if you’re physically active.  When the environment is dry and drought conditions persist, the human body needs more water. You can add a pinch of salt to the water to provide extra minerals and to retain some of the water needed by your body.  I prefer Pink Himalayan Salt as it has more mineral content to help balance the electrolytes in your body.

Epsom Salt Bath – You can find epsom salts at any grocery store.  I recommend to my Fibromyalgia patients the Fibro Detox Bath: 1 package (2-3pounds) of epsom salt in the hottest water you can safely handle; add 1 box of Baking Soda (8oz), 1 tbs of ground ginger. Warning, ginger makes this a stimulating bath, but it reduces pain significantly.  Soak as long as you possibly can.  For relaxation, try adding lavender essential oil or any soothing blend to replace the ginger.

Chiropractic + Therapeutic Massage: Chiropractic adjustments are designed to help the nervous system restore balance in the body.  Therapeutic Massage helps to release trigger points so that your body does not hold patterns of spasm.  Combining the two together gives you the best of both worlds.  Keep in mind, neither one is intended to be a one time cure-all.  It took a long time for your body to build up the stress and toxic environment that is created by barometric sensitivities.  Dr. Seebacher provides the chiropractic adjustment and the therapeutic massage all in one visit.  Click here to schedule your chiro+massage appointment.