Raise your hand if you struggle with neck pain or tightness at least once a month…(every hand in the country raises). How commonly do we hear “Ugh I must have slept wrong on my neck last night” or “I always get headaches, it’s just normal for me”? Way too often! And I am here to tell you neck pain and headaches ARE NOT NORMAL. Under no circumstances should we just accept pain and discomfort and chalk it up as “getting older” or “being out of shape”. If you have a problem, fix it! But how do we fix something without knowing what causes it? Let’s fix that ;)
3 most common causes of neck pain
1. Sitting all day. Like most, we spend a majority of our day sitting at a desk and computer. This means our shoulder are slouched, our middle back is hunched over, our arms are in front of our bodies, and you head is at least 2 inches farther forward than it is supposed to be. Well no wonder we have tight, stiff necks once we reach quitting time. Seated posture puts our spine in the opposite curvatures it’s designed to have. God intended for us to be active, on our feet constantly, and originally chasing saber tooth tigers for dinner. But as our society has evolved, along with the hunting and gathering process, we are reversing the structure of our spines without even knowing it.
2. Sleeping on your side, stomach, or with a pillow. We may not be able to change the fact that our jobs involve terrible posture all day long, but changing the positions you sleep in at night is totally in our control. This is a solid 7-8 hour (hopefully) block of opportunity that we could be taking advantage of to reset our spines’ curvatures and give those muscles a chance to relax from the long day’s work. But typically we are doing one of 3 things: If you are sleeping on your side, this curves your neck either to the right or left depending on how thick your pillow is and what your side of choice is. This is basically inducing a scoliosis curve to your neck which we all know is no good. For you horrid stomach sleepers, your head is turned one way or another the entire time so one side of your neck’s muscles are extremely tight while the others are receiving an 8 hour stretch all night. Plus when you rotate your head to a side, it actually compresses the artery on that side that feeds your brain. So you are also affecting the amount of oxygen your brain receives all night too. Maybe that’s why you’re waking up still feeling fatigued and not rested. Just saying! And maybe you are trying to be a star chiro patient and are sleeping on your back. But if you are using a pillow, you are putting your head in that forward carriage that you maintain all day long while sitting. So save those pillows for decoration and ditch them when it’s actually time to sleep!
3. Forward head posture. Our head is meant to be centered over our body because it is heavy! Your hole in your ear (external auditory meatus) should line up with the seam on your shirt’s sleeve. Whether you are sitting, standing, or sleeping, this is where your head belongs for everything to function at its maximum capacity. So having it 1 to 2 or even 3 inches in front of that center makes our head much heavier (thanks physics) and causes an immense amount of stress on the muscles working to hold our head up. Fun fact: for every 1 inch your head is forward of your center, it become 10lbs heavier. No wonder your neck is stiff and tight! And when that forward head carriage occurs, it once again, presses on those vital arteries that supply our brain, thus causing the famous headache. Headaches are not from a lack of Excedrin or ibuprofen in our system. It is literally our brain warning us that something is wrong before anything to serious progresses. But what do we do?? We just slap a Band-Aid on it with ibuprofen and continue on our day. See where we go wrong with listening to our body?
Feel a little more informed now on why your neck and shoulders are so stiff and achy at the end of the day or when you wake up in the morning? But I am sure you’re now wondering, “What do I do about it!?!” Dr. Hester and I put together a series of videos to further explain neck pain and also to give you some at-home tips along with what we offer here in the office to not just get rid of the neck pain and headaches, but to truly FIX the structural issues causing the discomfort. So head over to Facebook now to check out those blockbusters ;) Pretty sure we have a Grammy on the way!
If you or your colleague in the cubicle next to you, are struggling with neck pain, make an appointment with us today! 623.551.6677. The longer you wait, the worse it will get, and the lengthier the treatment process will be. Don’t let procrastination be the thief of your health!
So today’s topic is HIGH CHOLESTEROL. If you’re male and over 50, I would be willing to bet you are on some kind of medication for your cholesterol, which is called a statin. You ate too much bacon as a kid, right? Well I have some good news for you, high cholesterol can be an easy fix, thank goodness, because once I start telling you about all of the side effects statins bring, you will be ready to make a change!
I think it is important to understand cholesterol and its function in our bodies first before discussing how to lower it. 80% of our cholesterol in our bodies is produced BY OUR BODY. That is how important cholesterol is! And this process takes place in our liver. Now the other 20% comes from what we are eating and most of the time, it is terrible stuff that either adds too much cholesterol beyond the 20% or is the wrong kind of cholesterol that our body needs.
Flour, sugar, and bad oils are all stimulants that the liver uses to produce more cholesterol, which then increases our levels of inflammation. As I mentioned in a previous post, inflammation is the underlying cause of the majority of disease we are dying from today like heart attacks, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases, and so, so, so many more.
It has also been proven that increased body weight is associated with high cholesterol levels and increased risk of coronary heart disease. So obviously, if you cut out the foods that are causing the weight gain AND inflammation, then you will be able to lower your total cholesterol and LDL levels NATURALLY. No statins necessary.
I’m about to blow your mind with this next tidbit of info…it isn’t the eggs and bacon that are causing your cholesterol to be elevated. It is actually all of that flour, sugar, and bad oil you are consuming that is collecting in your arteries. So your potato chips, snack cakes, bread, and hot dogs. Which means you can keep your bacon, red meat, and eggs. You’re welcome!
Also, as I’m sure you’ve heard, you have GOOD cholesterol (HDL) and BAD cholesterol (LDL). These 2 numbers along with your triglycerides (free fatty acids in your blood) are then used to calculate your total cholesterol. Here is what that equation looks like:
LDL+HDL+(triglycerides/5)= Total Cholesterol
So when your Doc tells you your total cholesterol is high, it doesn’t take a math wiz to look at this equation and know that it might not necessarily be a bad thing like they make it seem. If your “good” cholesterol is high that will obviously raise the total cholesterol levels, which is a good thing. So do not be shocked if you look at your next blood results and see this number out of range. What matters is your HDL:LDL ratio. We want our HDL’s to be 10 times the amount of our LDL’s. If we achieve that, who cares what that total cholesterol is!
Now here is the next problem: Statins. Is it just me, or does that word look a lot like “Satan”? We’ll leave that alone for now ;) A statin drug is the medication they give you to “lower cholesterol”. But the ugly truth is they lower a lot more than your cholesterol and if you’re still eating crap, your cholesterol with still be high! Statins list the first side effect on the back of their bottles as Rhabdomyolysis. This means muscle cell death. Ever notice how grandpa now has chicken legs and struggles to get out of his recliner not to mention is constantly worried about falling and not being able to get up? Chances are he’s been on a statin for quite some time and his body is suffering the effects. Statins have also been tied to elevated rates of new onsets of Type II diabetes and frequent common colds too. Research has found an alarming correlation between statin users and mental decline to add on top of all of this and we won’t even get into the laundry list of vitamins and nutrients statins deplete your body of because you are no longer able to absorb them.
I think I’ve proven my point here. Between high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes, our society is being taken out fast. We have to be the change we want to see in this world. That is why we work so passionately here at Back to Health to help you make the lifestyle changes you NEED to live longer and healthier lives. Dr. Hester always uses the candle analogy to describe how our lives should be lived. We should burn nice and even, gradually getting older but still with a flame just as bright as day 1. Then one day, the flame simply goes out. We should not be spending the last 10, 15, or sometimes even 20 years of our lives in healthcare facilities dealing with dementia, cancer, or the inability to get ourselves to the bathroom on our own. We are doing it wrong people and it has to change. In the few short months I have been working for Dr. Hester, I have seen MULTIPLE lives changed with our help. Our 8 Weeks to Wellness program is the real deal! We attack every aspect of your life and alter it in a healthier direction. And the cool part is, we have actual numerical values we use to check your progress at the end. If your cholesterol numbers were high before the program, and we have your blood work re-tested afterwards and your cholesterol is no longer high, what more do you need to know!?! Same goes for Type II diabetes. You walk into our office with glucose levels off the chart, and after 8 Weeks to Wellness, what do you know, those numbers are now in a normal range. It works! All it takes is your commitment to live better. If you can give us that, we can do the rest. I encourage you to come learn more at our upcoming nutritional talk on cholesterol Tuesday evening, April 17, at 6:30pm. It will be held at The Crossroads Church in Anthem where there will be life changing information presented, I promise. There are limited seats available so sign up now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cholesterol-how-to-lower-your-risk-naturally-tickets-44765661298 or give us a call at 623.551.6677. Let’s get those last 10 years of your life back!
Info contributed by https://draxe.com/lipitor-side-effects/
Dr. Brian Hester, originally from Alabama, graduated from Life University in 1999 with his Doctorate of Chiropractic. He moved to Anthem, Arizona in 2003 and opened his wellness center. Dr. Hester's mission is to provide people in the North Phoenix area, with the tools they need to identify stressors in their life and the underlying causes of their health challenges. With Dr. Hester as a health partner, patients can make positive lifestyle changes and take control of their lives...... see more
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41930 N Venture Dr #110
Anthem, AZ 85086