How To Find A Chiropractor in Redwood City, CA

Choosing a chiropractor can be hard especially with all the different types of techniques out there.  There are many misconceptions about chiropractors that have been in the media for years and many people have fears or apprehensions about visiting a chiropractor even when they are so uncomfortable it is hard to bear the pain.

Here are some things to look for when deciding on a chiropractor in Redwood City or any place for that matter.

1. Do they perform treatment on the first visit: Most people seeking chiropractors are in pain and in a lot of cases they have waited until it is unbearable. Of course when coming in there have to be exams performed, questions asked and tests to be done to see what is going on. I am a firm believer in treating patients when they come in. I can’t just let them leave with no treatment and in pain and dis-ease knowing that my treatment would help them greatly. Yes, data needs to be taken but in my office and I do many tests to confirm that treatment is necessary and it is safe.

I also have a machine that pretty much shows me what is going on quickly so I can administer a safe and effective adjustment to the patient and perform any tissue work that may be needed. Again, why have a patient wait and come back tomorrow when they have come in and need help now.

Even if a patient has been in a car accident, I can still work on the tissue and perform cold laser to help with pain.

2. How much time is spent with the doctor: Typically the first appointment is pretty long since the doctor needs to get all information gathered, do testing and answer any questions you may have. After the testing is done, the doctor pretty much ready and knows what to do and can safely administer treatment. After a treatment plan is figured out the doctor doesn’t need to spend another hour with you at each session, they just need to follow up with you and figure out any tweaks that need to be done as far as exercises, posture and lifestyle adjustments. They also need to check in and see how things are progressing with you.

Note: every time you see a chiropractor they are examining the spine when they are touching you. There is a “mini” exam each time you come in.

Chiropractors know how the body is supposed to look, feel and function. We are experts at this and it doesn’t take us long to figure things out. 5 to 15 minute treatment times are enough to find out what is going on, feel the spine, administer treatment along with any soft tissue concerns.

Often times patients qualify the time spent with the doctor in calculating the price. This is not always the case. There are some doctors that have quick analysis and have been working with patients a long time while others will spend time hooked up to a machine or on a massager. Modalities do have you in the office longer but treatment time with the doctor is usually 5-15 minutes just like a medical doctor.

I take a “hands on” approach with care and if there is anything to do with you personally, I am in the room with you the whole time and answer any questions you would like addressed at that time. I want to make sure you are taken care of and have all of your needs met.

3. Once you go to a chiropractor you have to go for the rest of your life:
Your health is up to you. Your brain and spinal cord run and coordinate everything in your body and in my opinion, it is critical and important to keep them working efficiently even in the absence of pain. As you know, you always FEEL great until you don’t. You don’t always know what is lingering until a symptom occurs. Well, keeping your body functioning well will keep you healthy and prevent a lot of sickness and discomfort from ailing you.

If there is a time where you have symptoms and are unconfortable, just like dieting, exercising, learning a new hobby it all takes time. Changing or maintaining optimal lifestyle patterns really determine how well your body functions. If you have very little emotional stress in your life, eat healthy and don’t have athletic injuries or repetitive movements you will need care less.

If you have higher levels of stress it will probably require more visits to keep your body functioning well. With this said, the choice is up to you if you want to continue with care. Most patients that do continue understand that it is beneficial for their health and are determined to stay as healthy as possible However, it is your health and your decision.

4. Are x-rays necessary?: Sometimes. Here are some examples of when an x-ray is necessary:

A. Significant traumatic injury (especially if over 50 years old)
B. If patient has had pain for long extended periods of time that has NOT responded to care. This is to rule out any pathologies that may be there that need to be addressed.

Note: many chiropractors do not have an x-ray machine in the office. We do not have one at our facility but will refer you out to a radiologist who can perform your xray and create a report for viewing.

5. Do I just go in for care or do I have a plan like when you go to a physical therapist?
Well, at our facility we give exercises, talk about ergonomics, nutrition and lifestyle changes. You have your homework and a lot of the exercises are similar to Physical Therapists. If you do decide you want to see one, we can work together. We will keep you aligned and functioning properly to get the most out of your physical therapy. Your muscles and bones are attached and need to work properly to get the most out of your exercises.

6. What other work is performed as part of my chiropractic treatment? 
There are many forms of treatment out there but we like to think that our method gets fast results because we work on the joints, soft tissue and nerves. We perform an adjustment to the joints (this can be spinal or extremities) and work on soft tissue with our SASTM tools (A Graston Technique) if it is necessary during your visit. If there is pain or inflammation, Cold Laser is used to provide some relief so you can move and function as pain free as possible.

We cover the whole body at our office and want to make sure you feel happy and satisfied.  We would love to be the place you call first, before surgery or taking medications that can have ill effects on the body and have side effects. Start with us first, if it doesn’t work for you, the other options will always be there.

6 Reasons You Get Back Pain!

Did you know that 80% of the population in the United States will have low back pain during their lifetime.  If not treated, it can lead to chronic low back pain which can last for months at a time.

So why do people get back pain? According to Gunnar Andersson, MD, PhD, professor and chairman emeritus of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the lower back has a lot of mechanical stress and strain put on it. The weight we have in the upper body pushes down along with gravity and puts a load on the low back.

Here are some main reasons for lower back pain:
1. Sedentary lifestyle: Our lives have changed and most of us sit for long periods of time at work and at home. Not moving and sitting in one position puts added strain to the low back and weakens the muscles connecting to the spine.  It also shortens the hamstring muscles which then pull on the hip and low back muscles.

2. Weak Core: Even though someone may lift weights, do yoga, run or bike, the low back can be weak if the core is not activated during such exercises or the exercises they are doing are not promoting the core to engage. Also, if your body is not aligned properly the function of the muscles are inhibited and you will not get the most out of your workout. If the core is weak, putting any added strain on the erector spinae muscles surrounding the low back will agitate the nerves around them and inflammation will begin.

3. Twisting and lifting at the same time: Many people take the back for granted and lift their baby or an item while twisting. This puts a lot of strain on the disks that separate one vertebrae from another and keeps space for the nerves to branch out from the spinal cord. This movement can lead to herniation of the disk and actual disk tears.

4. Sleeping in the wrong position or having an old or the wrong mattress: Sleeping in a twisted position for hours pulls and strains the low back. Just imaging playing twister for 7 hours and see how it would put a strain on your body. Well, sleeping in the wrong position for long periods of time is pretty much like playing twister for hours with the muscles being pulled and strained along with other tissues and bones.

Having a mattress that is caved in or too soft with the back not getting enough support will again pull on the spine and soft tissues leading to disfunction of the spine and lead to sometimes pretty severe pain.

5. Scoliosis: Scoliosis is when there is a lateral curve in the spine. This leads to the body moving differently and tightening muscles on one side more than the other. It also causes one hip to be higher than the other and the shoulders to also be uneven. Think this leads to some back and neck pain? Sure does….

6. Osteoporosis: This is an arthritis that is caused by trauma and overuse of the joints. This means all joints which include the spine and extremities. Most of us are aware of arthritis in the hands and hips but the spine has joints too and they can get arthritis as well. This leads to disfunction of movement which can lead to fusion of the joints which restrict the nerve and cause pain or discomfort.

I often hear people come in and say “I have a pinched nerve!” A nerve being pinched is pretty rare (it does occur), but mostly what is happening is that the nerve is irritated and starts to illicit pain. The only thing in your body that gives off pain and sensation is your nerves. So getting stress off of them is key. A lot of times I hear people say they have muscle pain. Well, muscles don’t produce pain, nerves do. Muscles move, the heart does not produce pain, it is the nerves in and around the heart that do that.

So, when you have pain, it is a nerve and that nerve has been irritated. Now we have to find out why. This is the area that we are masters at. Once we help you find out the cause of why your nerves are irritated, the body will heal and you can get back to doing what you love to do and really thrive again!

8 Tips For The Best Massage!

Here are some tips for those of you who may be confused about the etiquette during a massage and what can help make the experience amazing:

1. Let your preferences be known to the massage therapist: Preferred pressure, injuries or tender spots need to be addressed before the massage starts. If when you are receiving a massage, there is too much pressure it is not a good thing. Too much pressure will make your body feel “sore” and can become an injury. Pain is not part of a normal massage even though a lot of people especially athletes think it needs to hurt to get results.

2. Don’t show up late: Normally, it is good to arrive 5-10 minutes early if you can. This will allow you to go to the restroom or address anything you may need beforehand. Arriving late will cut the massage time short in order to accommodate the next client.

3. Understand that a 60 minute massage doesn’t always mean body work is for exactly an hour: There is prep time and changing time in the 60 minute time slot. Sometimes if there is not a person following you, you may get 60 minutes of body work but normally a 60 minute massage means around 50 minutes of tissue work and the rest is prep time.
Making sure there are clean linens and a clean and available space is also part of the experience.

4. Turn off your cell phone. Getting a call while on the table will tense up your muscles and make it harder for the massage therapist. It disrupts the flow of the massage if your phone is going off frequently. If you need to keep it on in case of a family emergency or work emergency then let someone know and it is always a good idea to have it high enough so you can hear but low enough so that it is not startling to the system.

5. Good Hygiene: Please be relatively clean when coming in for a massage.Feet, hair, skin should be clean so that it is not spread on the rest of the body.

6. No artificial fragrances: Scents are hard to get out of a small room and can irritate someone who has allergies. No scent is the best way to go.

7. No sexual innuendoes please: Massage therapists are professional and want to help you with any anatomical and physical issues you have helping you heal and relax. Joking about sex or flirting will make them uncomfortable and they have every right to stop the massage and still have you pay in full for their time. No professional body worker wants to be referred to as a sex worker.

8.Tips are customary: Tips show that you are satisfied with the work that is done and most massage therapists get paid only a fraction of what the charge is based on the cost of space, laundry and supplies. The customary tips are 15 to 20 percent on each visit.