Friday, February 26, 2010

Some Doable Tips For Headache Relief

A headache, when it strikes, is not a very pleasant situation to contend with. It may strike you on a daily basis, when you get up or it might be sudden and/or severe. For example, imagine a situation where you have taken your kid outside with plans of a full-fledged picnic just for the two of you. The plan, along with the overjoyed child, may get spoilt because your headache strikes you just as you are ready to leave.

There can be innumerable such situations when your headache can disrupt your daily life. The best solution in this condition would be to avoid it in the first place. It can be done by following a few simple steps:

Maintaining a headache diary:
Maintain a headache diary and see what trigger your headache. In some people noise might be the causative factor while in others it may be an excess of caffeine. So observe what triggers your headache and then avoid that.

Avoiding tobacco or any kind of smoke:
Avoid tobacco or anything to do with it. Smoking is not only injurious to health but it may trigger off very bad headaches in those susceptible to smoke.
Taking proper meals:
Have your proper meals at regular intervals of time. Do not skip meals.

Sleeping right:
Go to bed at a proper time each night and try to secure at least 8 hours of sleep. But don't overdo it as oversleeping is also bad. It is sometimes oversleeping, which may lead to a headache.

Avoiding the sun:
Too much of sun can also give you a headache. So try and avoid going out in very harsh sun.

Keeping hydrated at all times:
Keep yourself hydrated at all times by having plenty of water and fluids, especially when you are in the sun. Dehydration can also lead to a very bad headache.

Taking alcohol in moderation:
Alcohol causes headaches in several people. So, try and avoid alcohol in the first place.

Avoiding too tight hairstyles:
Women, beware!! Do not wear your hair too tightly in ponytails as that may lead to a tension-type headache.

Keeping your feet warm:
Keep your feet warm, especially during the winters. You can do this by keeping your feet covered. There is no harm in even wearing your socks to bed.
Applying hot and cold packs:
You can use heat and cold to your advantage. With some people, it is the application of a cold pack which gives them relief whereas with others, hot showers and massages. See what works for you and use it.

Letting in enough natural air:
The excess of artificial lighting can trigger a headache in susceptible individuals. See if you are letting in enough natural air and sunshine. Do not subject yourself to stuffy atmospheres and conditions

Going for regular checkups:
Be under the regular supervision of a doctor and avoid taking medicines on your own. A regular check up will help you identify a problem at its onset and you could then arrest it effectively.

Leading a healthy lifestyle:
Try and lead an active an healthy lifestyle.

Avoiding Stress:
Although stress is a part and parcel of every day modern living, do try to minimize it.

These steps would help you arrest your headaches even before they begin. So follow these steps and take good care of yourself.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Symptoms That Migraine Is About To Rear Its Ugly Head

This is quite important because you often confuse symptoms of a sinus headache and a tension-type headache with migraine. Awareness of the signs and symptoms accompanying migraine will help you in treating migraine the way it should be treated.

Symptoms are different for different people but usually the most common symptom is pain, usually on one side of the head. But about 30-40% of the sufferers may have it on both sides of the head. The pain is pulsating or throbbing in nature. Though this pain may range from being moderate to severe, it does interfere with the daily activities of the migraneur.

Additionally, sensitivity to light or sound is also very common (photophobic or photophonic). This phase can last between 4-72 hours. This can be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. There may be changes in moods or sensations. Some people might also experience fatigue and muscle tension.

Migraneurs also experience visual disturbances or auras, which can be quite agitating. In fact, this is one of the most common features of migraine, so common that migraines have actually been classified as with and without auras.

The other visual disturbances may include blind spots, seeing geometric patterns, and vision only on one side. Auditory hallucinations, though uncommon, are also heard of. Tingling of arms and face or difficulty while speaking may also occur. Sometimes, the pain goes away if the patient sleeps. The migraine attack also has a postdrome phase when the migraneur may feel tired or fatigued even after the attack is over. In fact, the person is so fatigued that even eating becomes a major chore.
A number of factors have been identified as causing migraine. These can range from change in climate or weather to change in altitude or barometric pressure. Even high winds, traveling or a change in routine may trigger a migraine attack. Then other factors giving rise to a migraine may be bright, flickering lights, extreme heat and/or sound, strong smells or vapors, dry and dusty atmosphere, smoking and overexertion. In fact, a toothache may also result in a migraine.

Hence, it is very essential that full knowledge be obtained about the symptoms of migraine so that proper treatment can be administered for it in the right away.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Feeling like you could use some Massage Therapy?

Bratcher Chiropractic is now offering massage therapy to our health care team to better serve you. Our Massage Therapist specializes in Swedish Massage (gentle) and Deep Tissue Massage.

Massage Therapy charges are:
Half Hour Massage: $35.00
1 Hour Massage: $60.00
1.5 Hour Massage: $90.00
(Tips are appreciated)

Most insurance companies do not cover massage therapy, so payment at time of service will be necessary.

Alita Adair is our Massage Therapist, she is certified and licensed by the Texas Department of State health Services. She has been part of our health care team since December 2007.

Her Hours are:
Monday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
By Appointment Only

Please call our office at 903-561-6676 to schedule an appointment.

Gift Certificates are available for Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Holidays or any Special Occasion!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Headache Diary: An Important Tool For Self-Diagnosis

With the help of a headache diary, you can analyze what are the triggers that provoke your headache. This diary can also serve as a big help for your physician. The purpose of a diary is to jot down as much information as possible, so that, you can pinpoint the exact cause of your headache. Even if you are unable to do so, the headache doctor might find it easier to find out the reason for your headache. As in a news report, it is essential that your headache diary contain the 5W's and 1H so that as much information as possible can be gleaned.

What do you mean by the 5W’s and 1H.


It might seem strange but the cause of your headache might be a person who might irritate you. This person could have made you angry or upset you in some manner. In such a case, the person is the cause of your headache.


What were you doing at the time and what medications did you take to treat the headache? What other relief measures did you take? What were the symptoms like and What do you think could have triggered your headache? What was the pain like? Throbbing or a constant steady pain? These are some questions that you need to answer under the subhead of ‘what’.


Where were you when the headache started? Were you indoors or outdoors? Also where exactly are the headaches located? Are they located in the front or the back of the head? Answer these questions and you will be able to complete the ‘where’ subhead. When?
When does the pain start? At night or during the day? When was the last period that you had? When are you going to have the next period? And similar questions. Jot down as much information as possible under this head.


Why do you think your headache started? Did you consume something, particularly Chinese food? Did you exercise too hard? Or anything else that you feel could have triggered your headache.


How did you manage the pain? With the help of medications, therapies or treatments?

If you answer all these questions, you would be able to compile a comprehensive diary. All these facts, if compiled together, can help the doctor as well as you to gain a deeper knowledge about the factors that trigger your headache. These factors can thus be avoided in the future.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Wondering what we offer?

If you have been thinking of visiting our office, but have talked yourself out of it, because you think we can't help you, let me tell you what we have to offer as far as Chiropractic services.

We Specialize in the treatment of:
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain and Arm pain
  • Headaches (Tension and Migraines)
  • Dizziness
  • Mid back pain and rib pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Sciatica (Leg pain, numbness, and tingling)
  • Hip and Knee pain
  • Ankle and Foot pain
  • Disc Herniation/Bulging/Degenerating
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Sports Injuries
  • Auto Accidents
  • Personal Injuries
  • Workers Compensation/On the job injuries
  • Sports Injuries
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Weight Loss Programs
  • Acupuncture
  • Cold Laser Therapy
  • Complete Rehabilitation Center
  • Maintenance/Wellness Care
  • Diversified Treatments- Hands on treatment
  • Activator Treatments-Gentle Technique
  • Massage Therapy
  • Spinal Decompression- Coming Soon
  • On Site X-Ray’s and Diagnostic Nerve Testing
  • At Bratcher Chiropractic We Always Welcome New Patients and Emergencies

    Visit us online at Bratcher Chiropractic and schedule your appointment today!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why It Is Important To Know About Neck Pain

Many people walk around everyday with neck pain that can interfere with their quality of life. This pain can often be explained by a number of reasons. Muscle tension and accidents are just some of the reasons that most endure the pain. In a serious accident that has caused injury to the neck area, it may not be simple to fix.

Be sure to discuss the painful condition to your doctor. Neck and jaw pain can often mean there is a more serious condition that needs to be diagnosed. For example, jaw and neck pressure and pain can often mean heart problems in some women. These pains are not necessary a sure sign of heart problems, but it is a significant sign that should be reported to a doctor immediately.

When the neck is injured in a vehicle accident, medical attention is required immediately. This can be a sign of the painful condition known as whip lash and is the most common injury to those that have been hit from behind. The violent and sudden jolt causing the neck muscles and bones to be jarred, causing them to become very sore for sometimes weeks on end.

In some accidents, the neck injuries are so severe; the patient may never recover from the spinal damage. This often leaves the patient paralyzed because of the damage to the spinal column or broken bones in the vertebrae in the neck area. Many that have severe damage may never be able to walk or talk again. Some are very aware of their surroundings but are unable to verbally communicate with others.

Arthritis causes the bones in the neck to rub against one another when the person moves their head. This is one of the most common causes of neck and other joint pains. The joints that are used the most, such as hands, neck and knees are an easy target for arthritis. For relief of pain, it is necessary to talk to a doctor.

Stress is often the main reason many people have pains in the neck and lower head area. Stress causes the muscles to tense, often causing pain in the neck that eventually causes a headache in most patients. A prescription can be written by your doctor for a medication that combines acetaminophen and a mild muscle relaxer to help with medical situations such as that.

To find more on how to find out the sources of neck pain and how to treat them, consult your doctor. For more information that can be found for yourself, do a little research on the internet.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Can Chiropractic Help Tension Headaches?

by Dr. Noel Lloyd

The most common pain in America is headache. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on several dozen over the counter remedies, each one promising quick relief. But do they deliver? What actually causes headache pain and is there a cure for the cause? Let’s see why our heads hurt.

Most headaches are separated into one of several categories. For the purposes of this article we will consider the most common and most expensive: tension headache.

You already have a good idea how this one works: it’s a hectic day with too many things to do, deadlines to meet and what may feel like too many unreasonable demands – before you know it, you have a headache. For some it’s a mild ache at the base of the skull or forehead, but for others it can be blinding and debilitating pain. What’s actually gone wrong?

Let’s start with your head: it weighs 10 to 12 pounds and sits on top of a column spinal bones called vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, discs, blood vessels, nerves and other tissues covered with skin that form the neck. So far so good, but when under pressure we can tense up and tighten the muscles at the base of the skull, neck and shoulders. This causes poor biomechanics, restricted movement, the neck vertebrae are squeezed tighter together and pain ensues.

But why does your co-worker, who’s under twice the pressure you are, never get a headache? Tension alone won’t cause headache: the difference lies in what those tense muscles are attached to and cover. If the neck bones, called vertebrae, are even slightly misaligned, muscle tension can create painful nerve pressure.

Now we have emotional tension from the stress, tight muscles that restrict normal fluid motion of the neck bones, impaired movement and nerve pressure. It’s a perfect recipe for a tension headache.

If the vertebrae in the neck are aligned well, you can experience quite a lot of tension and not have it cause you any pain at all. You may be irritated and stressed out, but not in physical pain. Well that’s good for your pain-free co-worker, but how about you. You would like to quit living on what are for many, dangerous over the counter or prescription medication and take care of the cause of your headache. Then see your chiropractor.

Your chiropractor will take a health history, do an examination of the nerves that most commonly cause tension headache and examine your spine to see if those nerves are impinged by misaligned vertebrae. When indicated, spinal x-rays will be taken to see exactly where the spinal bones are misaligned and how to re-align the spine to correct the problem.

Chiropractic adjustments can correct the cause by re-aligning the vertebrae to their normal position with gentle exercises to strengthen to new and proper positioning. If you would like to leave the pain and the drugs behind, chiropractic offers a promising solution by dealing with the cause of tension headache.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Growing Epidemic Of Low Back Pain In Children

By Brenda Slovin

More and more children are suffering from back pain. What’s causing this, and is it such a grand idea to keep our children on so much medication to better handle their pain?

In years past, low back pain was thought to be a malady afflicting only the elderly. Well, it’s not just your granddad’s disorder any longer. Once considered a rare pediatric condition, low back pain in children has become a growing concern among many in the medical community.

Children’s skeletal structures are in a continual growth state until late adolescence. Combined with the stress of sports activities including contact sports, the incidence of low back pain in children is skyrocketing. In a recent study, it was determined that low back pain was responsible for approximately 23% of most school absenteeism, and when sports injuries were thrown into the mix, that number jumped to 29%. Even more surprising, researchers discovered that in 75% of reported cases, childhood low back pain triggered depression and other psychological problems. This constitutes a serious concern that demands the attention of parents and health care providers alike.

What Causes Low Back Pain In Children?

It seems that many of the same health issues that initiate low back pain in adults, such as poor posture, misalignment of vertebrae, trauma, emotional stress and sports injuries, have the same affect on children. Add to these issues the fact that most school-age children carry backpacks that weigh 10-20% of their body weight, and you have a recipe for life-long health concerns and back pain.

Emotional stress is also an important factor to consider. Adolescents are subject to wildly varying emotions sometimes compared to a rollercoaster ride. It can be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time; filled with soaring, sky-high excitement only to suddenly plummet into a downward spiral. Interestingly, these rollercoaster emotions have been associated with lower back pain. Research in England involving children between the ages of 11 and 14 revealed that children with higher levels of psychological and social difficulties are much more likely to experience low back pain than their peers.

The Good News Is That Chiropractic Can Help

When spinal vertebrae become misaligned, whether in an adult or in a child, the diagnosis is called vertebral subluxation. This may sound like a frightening medical condition, but it is one that a professional chiropractic doctor can address with great success. However, when left untreated, vertebral subluxation can lead to frequent earaches, headaches, infant colic, neck pain and carpel tunnel syndrome.

Chiropractic care also addresses the nervous system which, among a myriad of other miraculous functions, governs the way in which our bodies react physically to stress. Chiropractic adjustments actually help your body release pent-up stress, relieving tight muscles, tendons and ligaments, and helping to prevent low back pain.

Chiropractic treatment is a wonderful, highly effective way to enjoy natural relief of back pain. Your child’s chiropractor will painlessly adjust the vertebral column in order to correct any vertebral misalignment, without potentially harmful drugs or invasive surgery. There is no recovery time; instead, your child will most likely experience an immediate relief from pain and restoration of movement. Additionally, your chiropractor can recommend exercises to relieve low back pain.

What Are The Three D’s, And Is Your Child At Risk?

DDD, or degenerative disc disease, is actually a form of arthritis and has been proven to be a common cause of lower back and leg pain in children. Surprisingly, DDD has even been diagnosed in infants. And yet, degenerative disc disease is not typically identified by traditional medical practitioners. Rather, highly-skilled and well-trained chiropractic doctors are leading the way into this new medical frontier.

Degenerative disc disease sounds like a progressive, very frightening disease that could certainly alarm any parent, so here is a brief explanation of DDD. Changes in the water and protein content of the body’s cartilage results in weaker, more fragile and thin cartilage. This more typically occurs as we get older. Now, because both the discs and the joints that stack the vertebrae are partly composed of cartilage, these areas are, unfortunately, subject to degenerative changes. The deterioration of the disc between the vertebrae is referred to as degenerative disc disease, and makes the disc tissue more susceptible to herniation.

Natural Remedies For Degenerative Disc Disease Are Available

The important thing to remember is that chiropractic care offers you and your child gentle, effective treatment of degenerative disc disease. Early detection and treatment is key to optimum recovery, however. Research at St. Louis University led by Francis W. Smith, MD revealed that degenerative changes in the spines of pediatric study participants occurred much earlier than previously suspected, creating a predisposition to muscle and muscle and ligament sprains and strains, as well as arthritis of the spinal joints.

DDD is not always accompanied by lower back or leg pain, so the wisest course of action is to seek preventative chiropractic care for you and your children. Further, Dr. Smith advises that degenerative disc disease preventative care should begin prior to puberty.

Be sure to ask your chiropractic doctor about symptoms of degenerative disc disease and what treatments are available.

Be Proactive - Protect Your Child’s Health

A wealth of scientific research confirms that chiropractic care provides safe, effective, and drug-free relief from back and neck pain … regardless of the cause. So if your child complains of low back pain, if you notice a difference in the way he walks, stands or sits, if your child appears overly clumsy or if you suspect a sport-related trauma, do not ignore these symptoms. Protect your child’s physical and emotional health by contacting a chiropractic care professional today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chiropractic Brings Better Birth Outcomes

Chiropractic during pregnancy is an important part of prenatal care. Unfortunately, not enough women know of the benefits of chiropractic care both for themselves and their unborn baby. A woman's body undergoes an amazing amount of changes during pregnancy. As her baby grows her musculoskeletal system must adjust accordingly to accommodate the growing uterus and prepare for delivery. Chiropractic care helps her body to stay aligned as these changes occur and also helps to keep the nervous system functioning at its optimal level.

Many pregnant women experience low back pain, hip pain, and pubic symphysis. These discomforts are the result of the stresses put on the body by the rapid growth of the baby and the changes the body must undergo to accommodate those adjustments. As her belly gets bigger, the woman's center of gravity changes. The growth is so quick that it is often difficult for the low back and pelvis to adjust to this change. This causes stress in those areas, resulting in misalignments, (or subluxations as they are called by chiropractors) which then causes pain and dysfunction. If a woman's low back and pelvis was out of alignment before her pregnancy it is even harder for her back and pelvis to adjust. When the pelvis is subluxated (misaligned) it affects the uterus and the position of the growing baby.

The uterus is connected to the pelvis by ligaments: the broad ligament, the uterosacral ligaments, and the round ligaments. Like a hot air balloon tethered to the ground, these ligaments work to keep the uterus in the proper place in the pelvis and allow support as the uterus grows to accommodate the growing baby. If the pelvis is subluxated, these ligaments can become torqued. When the ligaments are affected, they directly affect the position of the uterus which can result in the baby not being in an optimal position. This type of situation may result in a breech baby or a transverse (sideways) baby.

The goal of the chiropractor is to correct the subluxations in the pelvis to help balance the uterus and allow the baby to get into a better position. Chiropractic adjustments for a pregnant woman are specific, gentle, and safe. Some chiropractors are certified in the Webster Technique which is a technique that is used to relieve intrauterine constraint caused by imbalance in the pelvis and the pelvic ligaments. Webster certified chiropractors adjust the pelvis and also feel for and relieve tension in the round ligaments.

Besides increasing a pregnant woman's comfort level, an aligned pelvis can result in a quicker, safer, and easier birth. When a baby is in breech or transverse position a cesarean section is almost always performed. Because they are so common many people forget that a c-section is a major abdominal surgery and can be risky. Helping the baby to get into a proper head-down position by balancing the pelvis and ligaments helps to avoid c-sections due to baby positioning. Other variations in baby position such as a tilted head or a "sunny side up" baby (face up during delivery) can also be caused by pelvic imbalance and may result in a more difficult, painful, and longer labor and delivery.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Chiropractic Care Naturally Treats Colic

Colic is defined as inconsolable crying in an infant for as least three hours a day, at least three days a week, for at least three weeks. A colicky baby typically presents with a loud piercing cry, flexed legs, tensed abdominal muscles, and clenched fingers. It typically starts around three weeks of age and lasts until around three months but sometimes lasts for as long as six months. Approximately 10-20% of babies are affected by colic. Doctors diagnose colic based on the previously mentioned "Rule of 3" and after ruling out diseases that may make a baby cry uncontrollably. Parents of infants with colic report significantly higher stress levels than parents whose babies don't have colic. The stress and frustration of trying to soothe a colicky baby may interfere with mother-baby bonding and can increase the risk of postpartum depression. In addition, colicky babies are more likely to be victims of child abuse and shaken baby syndrome. Despite the research done on colic there is no known cause, which can make treatment difficult. Chiropractic care has shown some of the best results, with 94% of colicky babies demonstrating improvement with chiropractic adjustments.

Research on chiropractic care and colic has shown significant benefits over other treatments such as dietary changes, medication, and infant positioning. A randomized clinical trial published in 1999 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that "Spinal manipulation is effective in relieving infantile colic". For this study the researchers randomly assigned infants diagnosed with colic into two groups. One group received chiropractic care for two weeks and the other group was given the anti-gas medication dimethicone for two weeks. The babies in the chiropractic group showed a 67% decrease in crying while the babies on medication showed a 38% decrease in crying.

Another study with 316 children also showed significant improvement in colic in response to chiropractic care. This prospective study used diaries from mothers of colicky babies to track the amount of crying. The three month long study showed a "satisfactory result of spinal manipulative therapy in 94% of the cases". The improvements occurred after an average of only three adjustments within two weeks.

Chiropractic care is a conservative, gentle, and very successful option for treating infants with colic. Chiropractic adjustments for infants are specific, gentle, and safe. The International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association has a database of chiropractors who work with babies and children. To locate a chiropractor visit


Friday, February 12, 2010

Why Sleep Is Important When You Have Chronic Back Pain

The inability to get a good night's sleep hurts -- literally. Chronic back pain prevents you from getting a good night's sleep. You wake up hurting even more.

Pain interferes with the normal cycles of light and deep sleep you need in order to wake up refreshed. The disruption is called "alpha delta sleep disorder." When back pain prevents you from getting adequate deep, or delta, sleep, you awaken in the morning tired and hurting.

Causes of Sleep Problems

Of course, the chronic back pain itself may cause a sleep problem. Here are some other causes:

Anxiety and depression can result in the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep which will aggravate pain. Anxiety and depression increase a person’s sensitivity and awareness of pain and the lack of proper sleep only serves to aggravate both the pain and any depression with anxiety.

Breathing-related sleep disorders associated with obesity -- such as obstructive sleep apnea -- can further aggravate pain by causing you to wake frequently throughout the night and interfering with normal sleep patterns.

Limb movement disorders -- such as restless leg syndrome -- may further disrupt the normal sleep pattern. These conditions may be related to anxiety and depression as well as stress.

Self-medicating with alcohol may help you fall asleep, but you'll probably wake up tired, cranky, and hurting.

Some prescription medications can impair the quality of your sleep.

Medications That Improve Sleep and Reduce Chronic Back Pain

Some medications can help you get sleep while helping with your chronic back pain.However, some of these drugs have side effects and the potential for addiction. They should be used as part of a more comprehensive and widespread program of pain management.

Newer sedatives, including zolpidem tartrate ( Ambien) do not have a negative effect on your sleep.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin, acetaminophen ( Tylenol or Tylenol PM), or ibuprofen ( Aleve or Motrin), can be effective for short-term use. Use them only as directed and let your doctor know what you are taking.

Prescription drugs for severe back pain include antidepressants, such as doxepin ( Sinequan), or a combination antidepressant and pain reliever, such as amitriptylene ( Elavil), or a muscle relaxant, such as cyclobenzepine HCL (Flexoril).

Medication should not be used longer than two to three months except in rare cases. Long-term use can result in dependence on the drug. The goal of medication should be to help you develop a more normal sleep pattern.

Lifestyle Changes for Chronic Back Pain and Sleep Problems

Here are some tips for getting a good night's sleep with chronic back pain:

Avoid stress. Stress is the major cause of insomnia. It is also associated with chronic back pain.

Limit or eliminate caffeine. Even moderate caffeine use can cause insomnia and sleep disturbances.

Avoid eating heavily before bedtime. A heavy meal can cause acid reflux ( heartburn) and keep you awake. And although there are no studies to show that warm milk can induce sleep, go ahead and have a glass if it comforts you. The placebo effect can be very powerful.

Don't self-medicate with alcohol. It's worth restating that alcohol impairs the quality of sleep.

Do some soothing exercises. Do these three exercises for several minutes while lying in bed unless it hurts to do them:

  • Bring both knees toward your chest (as if doing a cannonball).
  • Alternate bringing first one knee, then the other, toward your chest (as if doing a jackknife).
  • Bring both knees to your chest and twist from one side to the other.

Choose a comfortable mattress and pillow. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on a mattress. Studies show that a medium-firm mattress is best for most people. The key is to use whatever is comfortable for you. If your mattress is too firm, you can add an egg crate mattress pad. Pillows come in all shapes and sizes. Find the one that's right for you.

Sleep in a comfortable position. Do not sleep on your stomach, as it causes you to arch your back, and bending backwards often worsens chronic back pain. To break the habit, wear a sleep shirt with a pocket in front and put a tennis ball in it. For most people, the best position is to lie on your side in a fetal position with a pillow between your legs. If you prefer to lie on your back, put a pillow under your knees.

Establish a bedtime routine. Try to go to bed at the same time each night. Follow a routine, such as setting the alarm, putting on your pajamas, and brushing your teeth, etc. Do not read, work, or watch TV in bed.

Get Rid of Chronic Back Pain

While the best way to get a good night's sleep is to get rid of chronic back pain, this is not always possible. Other factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression that affect sleep and pain may need attention and treatment. Many people put up with pain, when in fact most back pain can be helped and treated successfully -- usually without surgery. Don't give up on finding a treatment that can work for you.

(webmd medical reference)

We can help you overcome chronic back pain: Bratcher Chiropractic

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Duke study: Acupuncture offers headache relief

In a recent study published by Duke University, it was found that Acupuncture does indeed help with the relief of headache pain.

When you are ready to try acupuncture to help with your headache pain, do not hesitate to call us! BRATCHER CHIROPRACTIC

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

10 Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Back Pain

Back pain is common. If you or a loved one is suffering from back pain you may want to ask your doctor these questions.

1. What is causing my back pain?
2. What can I do to prevent my back pain from getting worse?
3. Why is my back vulnerable to pain and injury?
4. Could stress be a contributing factor, and what can I do about it?
5. What are my treatment options?
6. If surgery is recommended, is it really necessary and what are the risks?
7. What are the potential risks and benefits of other available treatments?
8. What lifestyle changes do I need to make to keep my back healthy?
9. How can I be sure that my work does not negatively affect my back?
10. What are the chances that my back pain will result in permanent disability?


When you have back pain, come in to see us! Bratcher Chiropractic

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bouncing Back From Low Back Pain

By Miranda Hitti

Got a new case of low back pain? There's a good chance you'll recover completely within a year, a new study shows.

That study, published online in BMJ, included 973 people in Sydney, Australia who sought care for a new case of low back pain.

The patients were interviewed by phone nine months and one year after seeking help for their back pain. In those interviews, they were asked how much back pain they still had and whether their back pain was interfering with their work (including housework).

Nearly a third of the patients -- 35% -- had recovered completely at nine months; 42% had recovered completely within a year after their back pain began.

Low back pain became chronic -- meaning it lasted for at least three months -- for 259 of the patients. Almost half of them -- 47% -- had recovered completely within a year.

"Contrary to the view that recovery from an episode of chronic low back pain is unlikely, we found that an important proportion of patients recovered within one year," write the researchers, who included Luciola da Menezes Costa, a graduate student at Australia's University of Sydney.

Costa's team concludes that patients have a "good chance of recovery."

Patients who didn't recover from their back pain within a year were more likely to have taken sick leave for back pain in the past, to have had higher levels of disability or intense back pain when their back pain began, to have lower levels of education, to consider themselves at high risk of persistent pain, and to be from another country.

The study wasn't about the back pain treatments that helped them recover; the patients had gone to any of three clinics in Sydney and saw general practitioners, physiotherapists, or chiropractors.

An editorial published with the study states that patients need to be followed for longer than a year, and "the challenge remains for researchers to translate these findings into ... studies that tackle what patients want to know -- given my symptoms, which treatment will work best for me now and in the future?"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Can You Prevent Back Pain?


The prevention of back pain is, itself, somewhat controversial. It has long been thought that exercise and an all-around healthy lifestyle would prevent back pain. This is not necessarily true. In fact, several studies have found that the wrong type of exercise such as high-impact activities may increase the chance of suffering back pain. Nonetheless, exercise is important for overall health and should not be avoided. Low-impact activities such as swimming, walking, and bicycling can increase overall fitness without straining the low back.

  • Specific exercises: Talk to your doctor about how to perform these exercises.

    • Abdominal crunches, when performed properly, strengthen abdominal muscles and may decrease tendency to suffer back pain.

    • Although not useful to treat back pain, stretching exercises are helpful in alleviating tight back muscles.

    • The pelvic tilt also helps alleviate tight back muscles.

  • Lumbar support belts: Workers who frequently perform heavy lifting are often required to wear these belts. There is no proof that these belts prevent back injury. One study even indicated that these belts increased the likelihood of injury.

  • Standing: While standing, keep your head up and stomach pulled in. If you are required to stand for long periods of time, you should have a small stool on which to rest one foot at a time. Do not wear high heels.

  • Sitting: Chairs of appropriate height for the task at hand with good lumbar support are preferable. To avoid putting stress on the back, chairs should swivel. Automobile seats should also have adequate low-back support. If not, a small pillow or rolled towel behind the lumbar area will provide adequate support.

  • Sleeping: Individual tastes vary. If the mattress is too soft, many people will experience backaches. The same is true for sleeping on a hard mattress. Trial and error may be required. A piece of plywood between the box spring and mattress will stiffen a soft bed. A thick mattress pad will help soften a mattress that is too hard.

  • Lifting: Don't lift objects that are too heavy for you. If you attempt to lift something, keep your back straight up and down, head up, and lift with your knees. Keep the object close to you, don't stoop over to lift. Tighten your stomach muscles to keep your back in balance.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Treat Headache Naturally During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most important phases in a woman's life. A pregnant woman has to be careful about everything she takes including medicines. Since taking unnecessary medications during pregnancy can harm the fetus, it is only advisable to look for natural treatments. Here are some simple natural treatment options for headache during pregnancy.

* A warm compress is a great option to treat headaches during pregnancy. This is particularly helpful if you are suffering from sinus. Apply the compress around the eyes and the nose. This will open up dilated blood vessels and provide relief.
* If you have a tension headache, then you could use a cold compress. Simply pack some ice cubes in a towel and apply it near the base of your skull and neck. This will help ease out tensed muscles.
* Switch off the lights and ensure that no light enters the room. Sleep in this dark room for a while. It works if you have a mild headache.
* Take a cup of hot tea. Drinking a cup of hot tea relaxes the body and provides relief. But, make sure that you do not overdo this one.
* Soak yourself in a bath tub filled with warm water. A warm shower or bath relaxes the body and helps deal with a headache effectively.
* Practice deep breathing exercise. Deep breathing allows more oxygen to reach the body and helps treat headaches.
* Try aromatherapy. This always works for pregnant women. There are some fragrances that every woman enjoys. Simply smelling the fragrance of your choice can ease the headache. You could use either soaps or oils for this purpose. Sandalwood, lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint are the best fragrances that work for this purpose.
* Get a good massage. Nothing works better than this one. You could use lukewarm oil for this purpose. Have some one to massage your head, neck and even shoulders.
* An apple a day can keep headaches away. Eating an apple everyday along with some salt on an empty stomach can help treat the problem.
* Take the upper crust of lemon. Now crush this with a mortar to form a fine paste. Apply this over both the temples. You will notice relief in some time.
* Add few drops of fresh lemon juice to a cup of tea. Drinking this will also help deal with a headache successfully.
* Go out in the open. Many a times, breathing fresh air alone can help you get rid of a headache.

You do not really need medications to treat headaches. Just try these simple and effective natural tips and you will be able to treat the problem safely.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Treat Your Hair Loss and Headaches with Acupuncture to the Scalp?

People suffer from various ailments from time to time and consequently they leave no stone unturned for their remedy. When some particular medicines do not work for them, they turn to alternative medicines as alternative medicines are not harmful at all and you do not get pain with these types of medicines. Research reveals that Chinese medicines can cure majority of illnesses. Acupuncture treatment came into existence in ancient China 3000 years ago and is thoroughly being practiced in almost all parts of the world since then.

Since alternative medicines are without side effects, more and more people are opting for them. One of the most popular alternative medicines is acupuncture to scalp. This cures chronic headaches and prevents loss of hair in both men and women. Acupuncture also increases the flow of blood in the head and this increase in blood flow in the head repairs the damaged cells in head and scalp. This process also makes new cells grow increasing the chances of new hair growth on the scalp.

In acupuncture, needles are inserted on vital points in the skin in order to rectify the flow of life force in the body. When life force flows in correct manner, it heals many other ailments in the body. In western form of treatment, acupuncture stimulates endings of nerves in the areas where needles are injected.

With the insertion of needles in acupuncture treatment, the circulation of blood improves making the nutrients to come in the particular area. This increases the healing as the damaged cells get reconstructed.

Acupuncture has become very popular amongst people, of late. There are still some people who do not like insertion of needles in the skin as they are frightened of these long needles. However, the truth is that the needles are painless and you hardly feel pain on their insertion. Acupuncture treatment varies from patient to patient and should be adopted without any fear.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Know All About New Daily Persistent Headaches

New Daily Persistent Headache is yet another type of primary headache syndrome. This is a type of chronic daily headache that begins abruptly. People suffering from this form of headache suffer from pain for at least 15 days in a month.


* Pain on both sides of the head
* Extreme pressure on the head
* Feeling of tightness
* Sensitivity to light and sound
* Nausea

There are several conditions that mimic this type of headache. Thus, it becomes important to identify the problem before you begin with a suitable treatment. The International Headache Society has specified a list of criterion that is used to diagnose new persistent daily headache.

One of the most important symptoms that indicate the presence of this type of headache is that the symptoms develop rapidly over a period of three days. Other symptoms such as a bilateral location of the pain and tightening of muscles are also used to diagnose the problem. Persistent daily headaches are not aggravated by any kind of physical activity. These headaches are also characterized by absence of moderate or severe nausea and vomiting. However, mild nausea may be present.

Another thing to make note is that people who have a history of chronic headache or migraine headache cannot be a victim of persistent daily headaches. These criterions are evaluated and are used to diagnose the problem.

During diagnosis, it is also recommended that tests such as MRI with and without enhancement and MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiography) be conducted. This will help rule out conditions such as spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis that may mimic the problem.

Treating this problem can be a little difficult as there is no preventive medication for this type of headache. Traditionally, doctors may advise over the counter or prescription medication to deal with NDPH. In some cases, using the medication for a couple of months can help resolve the problem permanently. However, before you opt for a given treatment, make sure that you discuss other treatment options as well with the health care provider.

Besides using medications to treat these headaches, you may also consider various alternative therapies along side treatment. Massage, acupressure, heat and cold therapy, exercise, relaxation techniques etc are some alternative therapies that can help you deal with new daily persistent headaches successfully.

NDPH is a chronic headache type that can hamper the day to day functioning of an individual. So, living with them may be a little frustrating. But, with a little patience and the right approach, you can deal with the problem successfully.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Headache Relief – To be on the safe side, go for natural remedies!

With stiff working conditions and being stressed out at workplace, a lot of people, lately, are suffering from headache. Natural headache may be put in to two categories. The first one is primary and the second one is secondary. Migraine, cluster and tension headaches come in the list of primary headaches while brain tumor, injury and infection are the root cause of secondary headaches. Tension headaches are the most common and they affect both males and females alike.

Headaches are generally caused by negative emotions and stress. Apart from these, environmental, chemical and food factors may also be responsible for headaches. When it comes to the remedies of these headaches, you can get lot of pain relief medications of headache over the counter. However, these medications do not cure headaches completely and just give the timely relief. There are numerous side effects with these medications and if you use these medications in a frequent manner and for a longer period of time, they will lose their necessary effect.

To be on the safe side, there are many natural alternatives for pain relief which are quite effective. All you need to know is the cause of the headache. However, natural remedies can not prove much helpful in case of migraine or cluster.

Some common remedies for natural headache relief are -

1] You need to have hot bath which releases muscles from contraction. Your whole body will feel relaxed. This is the best thing for tension headaches.

2] Since stress causes headaches, the exercise can provide relief from such types of headaches. You should jog, swim and take brisk walk. This will make improvement in your blood circulation and will release you from tension. Thus your body will be relaxed.

3] Dehydration may also cause some headaches. Since this is the prime cause for muscle contraction, you need to drink at least eight glasses of water to solve this problem. Drinking plenty of water not only gives relief from headache but also maintains your body.

4] In case you have sinus and caffeine headache, you can use hot or cold compress to relieve energy.

5] It is good to use oils like lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint to remove tension headaches.

6] Acupressure or acupuncture is done for the relief of stress related headache.

7] To give relaxation to muscles, you need massage. You need to have massage therapy on head, neck and shoulders. Massage is a great weapon to relieve stress.

8] There should be required amount of sleep on daily basis. Excess or less sleep can cause headaches.

9] Do not do work in the wrong posture as it will put stress on neck, shoulders etc and may result in headache. Too much bright light can also cause headache. So, avoid it. Some foods may also cause headache, so, avoid them. Nuts, chocolate, red wine and cheese should be taken moderately.

10] Reduction of caffeine is very important to reduce headache.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Headache Treatment And Therapies: Look The Alternative Way

Alternative treatments and therapies like chiropractic, acupuncture, biofeedback, aromatherapy and meditation have managed to make a niche for themselves in today's modern, busy and hectic lifestyles. Many doctors these days are also prescribing these complementary therapies along with the regular course of treatment.

You can therefore take your pick and choose the one which suits you the most:

Chiropractic is the most famous alternative therapy

This therapy is used to treat post-traumatic, tension-type, and sometimes migraine headaches. It believes that headaches are caused due to abnormal motion and irritation in the neck muscles, nerves and other tissues. It works towards alleviating the pain with the help of manipulation, exercise and forms of physical therapy.

Acupuncture is the traditional Chinese art to treat headaches by placing small needles in special acupuncture points present all over the body. Acupuncture is used to treat migraines. Scientifically, it has been found that acupuncture needles stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain reliever, thereby curing headache.

Biofeedback can help reduce some types of headache pain, other than migraine. A biofeedback incorporates a range of relaxation therapies, like breathing exercises, meditation and guided imagery. These can help you control your body's response to stress.

Aromatherapy utilizes certain essential oils to treat headaches. It claims to treat headaches and migraines and other conditions that might lead to headaches. Such conditions include depression, anxiety, and the other conditions linked with the two. However, it is to be remembered that these essential oils are not to be applied to the skin directly. Instead, they are first mixed with a carrier oil and then used.

Meditation is used to treat all those headaches that are caused due to tension and stress. More and more people are turning to meditation to relieve the day's tension and relieve themselves of headaches resulting due to these tensions. Deep breathing exercises, which relieve tension, form an essential part of the meditation technique.

Apart from these therapies, you can also opt for acupressure, osteopathic, massage, stretching, hydrotherapy, homeopathic, herbalistic and various other stress reduction therapies.

All these treatments and therapies are considered to be holistic treatments giving you the best of both the worlds. Though they can be performed easily, still, a bit of caution is required. If you are planning to use any of these alternative methods, be sure that you do so under the trained eye of an instructor.

source: Headache updates