Webster Technique

Are you or someone you know pregnant?  I would seriously recommend finding a chiropractor that is certified in this technique.  I am currently pregnant with our second child, and this pregnancy I have been adjusted with the Webster Technique compared to the typical side posture move that I had been adjusted with with our first child, and I can attest that there is an amazing difference between he two.   Not only do I feel more fluid in the pelvis, I just have this overall calming feeling after being adjusted.  There is honestly nothing like it!  I am currently 29 weeks and so far I have had no pain or discomfort what so ever.  So what is this technique all about?  The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment of the sacrum that corrects or improves  the neuro-muscular imbalance in the pelvis thus increasing the potential for safer, easier births.  Adjusting the sacrum via Webster analysis and working with the round ligament throughout pregnancy may minimize aberrant uterine tension, potential fetal constraint and possible malposition at the time of delivery.  The Webster Technique was created over 30 years ago by a chiropractor named Dr. Larry Webster, DC.  Due to the empirical observations that pregnant woman under chiropractic care with breech fetal pregnancies were reporting correction of fetal position to vertex following the use of the Webster Technique, the Webster Technique was described in its early days as a “breech turning technique”.   The Webster Technique is a safe, gentle, effective technique used on all of the pregnant patients at our office.  I was certified in the technique in 2016.  Want to find a doctor near you that is certified?  Check out the ICPA website to find a chiropractor near you!

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Tylenol and Kids? What are the risks?

Many of us have used Tylenol growing up as kids for headaches, fevers, aches, and pains.  Now as we have gotten older and have kids of our own, our pediatricians are still telling us to use Tylenol on our kids for when they have fevers, but is it safe?

Today, more and more research has been coming out linking the increase risk in asthma in children who are given Tylenol.  A study recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found a 29% increase in the likelihood of an infant who used paracetamol having asthma at age 3 and at age 7 years.  Paracetamol is another name for Acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol, Panadol, Anacin, and many other brands. According to the CDC, every year asthma is responsible for14.2 million physician office visits, 1.8 million emergency-department visits, 439,000 hospital stays, and more than 3,500 deaths.  And yet, a drug that increase the risk of asthma in children by 2, 3 and 5 times depending on the frequency of use continues to be sold and prescribed to parents unaware of the potential risks.

In the ISAAC (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood) study, researchers looked at more than 205,000 children, ages 6 to 7, in 31 countries and found that acetaminophen use for fever in the first year of life was linked to increased risk of asthma symptoms in children 6 to 7 years old. Current use of acetaminophen was also linked to increased risk of asthma symptoms.

Tylenol use doing pregnancy also has its risks. Its use has been linked to an increase in the risk of their child developing ADHD.  According to the research article in JAMA Pediatrics in February, “Children whose mothers took acetaminophen while pregnant had up to a 40 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with ADHD, according to the research, which involved more than 64,000 Danish mothers and their children. The kids were born between 1996 and 2002.” The study further stated, “”The strongest effects were seen when a woman said she had taken it for six weeks or more, and even more strongly at 20 weeks or more,” Ritz added. “We always thought acetaminophen is kind of harmless and not so bad to take during pregnancy, and probably it is, if you take it once or twice. But if you take it repeatedly, you see these risks creeping up.”

The common rebuttal theme I have found doing my research was that there was no clear path from taking Tylenol to these conditions.  They kept on stating that more trials and research were necessary in order to find that link and that until they do find that link we should continue taking the Tylenol as is.  To me that sounds like the company grasping as straws to keep from losing the $1 plus billion dollars they make annually on the product.

So what do you do?  For one, I would only use Tylenol or acetaminophen as a last resort.  If your child has a low grade fever, let their body do their job.  Fevers are a natural way your body fights off bacteria and viruses.  You can read my previous article about fevers here.  Additionally, do your own research.  Don’t just listen to what your doctors are saying to you.  Just because they say something doesn’t always mean they are right or that it is right for your child.  There are a lot of great homeopathic remedies for fever reducers. Here are some articles below that I found on the topic:

  1. WEBMD asthma risk
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19696122
  3. http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/23/4/706
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2013/sep/16/paracetamol-rising-childhood-asthma-rates
  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/tylenol-overdose_n_3976991.html
  6. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/108/4/1020
  7. http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/news/20140224/use-of-acetaminophen-in-pregnancy-tied-to-higher-adhd-risk-in-child
  8. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm315497.htm
  9. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/acetaminophen/art-20046721
  10. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/13/acetaminophen.may.double.asthma.risk/index.html

 

Pregnancy and Depression

According to The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology , 14-23% of pregnant women suffer from depression.  Women suffering from depression usually have the following symptoms that persist for 2 weeks or more:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Loss of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
  • Recurring thoughts of death, suicide, or hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Change in eating habits

There are many treatments that are commonly used to treat depression during pregnancy, such as psychotherapy, light therapy, support groups, and medication.  Treatment with medication typically involved SSRI’s or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Lately, research has been coming out against medicating for depression during pregnancy because it has been linked to a lot of problems in newborns, such as physical malformations, heart problems, low birth weight, pulmonary hypertension, and an increase in the likelyhood to give birth to a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  This evidence scares me, so I wanted to present moms with a more natural option of treatment to go along with their support groups, light therapy, and psychotherapy.

So what typically causes depression anyway?  One of the recurring themes I have been reading in my research is that chronic inflammation is the culprit. According to studies found in JAMA (1) (2), “Higher levels of inflammation dramatically increase the risk of developing depression.  And the higher the levels of inflammatory marks, the worse the depression.”  In more detail, inflammatory cytokines (inflammation) increase the breakdown of serotonin, which means our impression should not be that depressed people are unable to make enough serotonin.  The problem with depression is that a chronic inflammatory state is associated with a loss of normal serotonin levels.  This means that one of the major natural treatments for depression would be to reduce chronic inflammation.

One way to reduce inflammation is encourage patients to exercise more.  Studies have shown that exercise can be as effective as Zoloft.  Exercise naturally increases serotonin levels and decreases cortisol (inflammatory) levels.  Another way to help reduce inflammation is adequate sleep, around 8 hours a night, which is essential in allowing your body the time to heal and rejuvenate for the next day.  Your body and mind will then have a better chance at handling the next day’s stressors more effectively.  Next, you can  reduce inflammation by consuming a diet of anti-inflammatory foods such as lots of dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, collared greens, broccoli, cabbage) and adding anti-inflammatory spices to your meals (turmeric, curcumin, cayenne pepper, ginger, oregano, curry, basil, coriander, cumin).  The more vegetables you add to your diet the better.  Almonds, walnuts, and cashews are also anti-inflammatory.  You can add teas to your diet as well (ginger, herbal rest tea or sleepy time tea, white tea, etc) Basically you want to stay away from processed foods with sugar or grains.  According to research, people that consumed a Mediterranean-type diet, rich in healthy, anti-inflammatory fats and proteins, enjoy significantly lower rates of depression.  Next, make sure you are taking your prenatal multivitamin, probiotics, magnesium (150 mg), fish oil (2 grams), and vitamin D3 (400o IUs).  All of these supplements have been shown to reduce inflammation.   Lastly, chiropractic adjustments are another added benefit.  Not only do the adjustments cause you to be in less pain, but it will also elevate your mood because you will feel better and be able to do more things that you like to do.

Resources and/or further reading:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Diastasis Recti

Ever since having Harper, I have struggled to get my abdominal strength back.  I knew there was something I was missing so when my husband came across this book I was excited to read it.  If you have been diagnosed with a Diastasis Recti or know someone that has this book is definitely for you.  You can find it on Amazon, titled Diastasis Recti by Katy Bowman.  The book explains what it is and gives you stretches and exercises starting from beginner and going all the way to expert.  Below is a short summary of what you will find.  I hope you get as much out of it as I did!

What is it?

It is the unnatural distance (meaning abnormal to you) of the right and/or left halves of the rectus abdominus (abs) from the midline.   Usually caused by the stretching of the linea alba, which is a ligament that holds all the muscles in place in the abdomen and it runs from the rib cage all the way down to your pelvis.  To be clear a DR is not simply just a separating of muscle, but a whole body issue that lead to the symptom of your abdomen separating.

What can cause it?

Most commonly a DR is a result of pregnancy.  Not all women get it, and there are varying degrees of separation.  It can also be a result of muscular imbalances, weak muscles, tight muscles or poor body posture as a whole.  Another reason for DR’s to occur is an increase in intra-abdominal fat.

What can you do to correct a Diastastis Recti?

One of the main things Katy repeats in the book is that it is a whole body issue.  You need to treat it that way and really go back to the basics of simple stretches before getting into the more complex exercises to strengthen, which was what I was doing wrong.  I was trying to get into the exercises right off the bat, not realizing my posture was incorrect during the moves which was leading to more issues and not helping correct the problem.

Secondly, not only do you have to stretch and do exercises, but you have to eat healthy as well.  Nutrition is the building blocks of health.  We can exercise until we are blue in the face, but if we eat like crap or do not take care of our bodies, the exercises and stretches are worthless.

Lastly, our society has become extremely sedentary.  We need to get up more and move.  If we have to sit, we need to learn how to sit better. We constantly hear all day long that I don’t sit much, but if you really think about it you probably are more sedentary than not.   For example, we sit when we commute to and from work, when we watch TV or read a book, when we are eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner, using the internet, going to the bathroom, and when we are sleeping just to name a few!

Here are three stretches that Katy suggests to start with:

  1. Floor Angels – AKA snow angel, you want to keep your palms up with your elbows slightly bent.  Do not go any higher than what you can do with your ribs down on the ground!  Do this exercise 10 times moving slowly and making sure your ribs are in contact with the ground at all times!
  2. Windmill Stretch – Starting on your back, bring your knee up toward your chest and then roll your entire body to the left, until your knee rests on the ground.  Without hyperextending the elbow, reach your right hand, arm, and shoulder blade up toward the ceiling and away from the spine.  Slowly drop your arm as far as you can without thrusting your ribcage.  (move your arm between 12-6)  Do this 10-15 times and then repeat on the other side.
  3. Doorway walkthrough – if you can reach the top of the door way, hold both arms up above you for 20-60 seconds.  If you can’t reach do a single-armed version of this exercise, doing one arm at a time on the right and left side of a doorway.  (Make sure your elbows are pointing straight ahead)

With the first two stretches, you need to make sure your ribs are in contact with the floor at all times.  You do not want any gap in between the ribs and the floor. What she recommends is to prop your head up with bolsters(rolled up towels) until you ribs are in contact with the floor and as you do the exercises you will notice that you need less and less of a bolster.

Again, I can’t state how great this book was.  I have been doing these stretches for a week and I already notice a difference.  Check it out for even more details and exercises to help correct your Diastasis Recti.  If you have any questions or are wondering if you are doing any stretches or exercises correctly, come into the office and I will be happy to help!

 

 

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Chiropractic care in pregnancy is an essential ingredient to your prenatal care choices.  Preexisting but unnoticed imbalances in your spine and pelvis become stressed during pregnancy.  These pronounced discomforts make it difficult to perform routine daily activities.

A large percent of all pregnant women experience back discomfort and/or pain during pregnancy.  This is due to the rapid growth of the baby and interferences to your body’s normal structural adaptations to that growth.

Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can relieve and even prevent the common discomforts experienced in pregnancy.   There are no known contraindications to chiropractic care during pregnancy.  Chiropractic is a safe, natural, and effective treatment for you to feel your best during pregnancy and be ready for your best birth!

Here are a list of complaints we commonly treat during pregnancy:

  • Mid Back Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Headaches
  • Leg Pain
  • Muscle Pain
  • Lower Abdominal stretching pain
  • Breech Baby (Webster Technique)
  • Rib Pain/Costochondritis
  • Ankle/Foot Pain
  • Supportive Taping Procedures for the growing belly
  • SI joint pain

Aside from helping with the discomforts of pregnancy, there are three main reasons why every pregnant woman should see a chiropractor:

  1. Chiropractic Care helps provide structural balance and stability for the mother, resulting in a more comfortable pregnancy.
  2. Research studies have shown that pregnant mothers under chiropractic care during their pregnancy tend to have a shorter labor with less medical interventions. “A retrospective review of statistics reported that primigravida women who seek chiropractic care throughout gestation have, on average, a 25% shorter labor time whereas multiparous women who seek chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy have, on average, 31% shorter labor times.”
  3. By supporting better function in the mother’s body, chiropractic care can help to create a healthier and more comfortable in-utero  environment for the newborn, helping them to get a better start to life.  In fact, research suggests that there is a strong link between the baby’s experience in the in-utero environment and his or her lifelong health potential.

For further reading on Chiropractic  care during pregnancy visit these sites below: