Frequently Asked Questions: Pregnancy and Chiropractic Care

I get asked many of the same questions by potential patients. I don’t know if it’s the official start of summer or what it is but I’ve had more women than ever ask me if it’s safe to be adjusted while pregnant.

Having just celebrated my youngest’s 1st birthday I remember when my wife was pregnant with all three of my kids. Though I would never tell you her pregnancy and labor were pain free or easy, she has told everyone she knows that having chiropractic care throughout her pregnancy made such a difference.

So can YOU see a Chiropractor if you’re pregnant?

Absolutely! Everyone can benefit from a chiropractic adjustment. Whether it’s a newborn, 90-year-old or a woman in any stage of pregnancy, everyone benefits! The individual plan for a pregnant woman will take into account her age, weight, stage of pregnancy and condition of health. Many pregnant mothers find chiropractic adjustments not only help with pregnancy discomfort but can also smooth the delivery process for her and her baby. This is what one of my clients had to say about my care during her pregnancy:

“For my first pregnancy I didn’t use chiropractic care at all. I ate well and got exercise but hadn’t heard about all the benefits chiropractic could have for me and my baby. I had back pain most of my pregnancy and for the last trimester had radiating sciatica pain that left me bedridden many days. During labor I pushed for 3 hours because my son wasn’t in a great position for birth. For my second pregnancy I also ate well and exercised but this time I added in regular visits with Dr. Dawson. I have no back pain, no sciatic nerve pain and when it came to my labor-I pushed 2 times and delivered a healthy daughter! Nothing changed between the pregnancies other than I incorporated Dr. Dawson’s excellent chiropractic care into my health plan and it made a HUGE difference. I am so grateful I did and would recommend it to anyone considering becoming pregnant or who is currently pregnant as well.” -Jessie

So in short, yes! You can absolutely be adjusted while pregnant and it’s been proven to help alleviate many common pregnancy issues. If you have any specific questions about your pregnancy, give the office a call and I’ll be happy to answer them. 515-967-3007

-Dr. Dawson

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Staying Injury Free When Starting a New Workout Routine

“I just started working out and I hurt myself!” is a common phrase uttered by patients of mine looking to get healthier this year. Often my patients are just like the majority of Americans.

We sit in our car on the way to work, walk a few steps to sit in our chair at our desks during work. On a good day we might walk around a bit at lunch but for the most part we sit during lunch and then again after lunch as well. We sit in our cars on the way home, sit down to eat dinner and then to decompress after our long days we sit and binge watch our favorite TV shows.

This happens day in and day out.

It catches up with us at some point and we decide to join a gym. This is a great first step but often within the first week people new to fitness experience an injury that sets back their progress.

There are a few reasons for this but today I’ll just be addressing one. When we sit all day, some muscles become shortened while others become lengthened. It messes with your biomechanics. Then we workout, stress our system with improper biomechanics and bam- your low back hurts. Or your shoulder, or your neck. You get the idea.

How do we fix this problem when most of us have to sit through the whole day?

  • Get up every hour to get a drink/bathroom break. When you get up do a few stretches like toe touches to relieve pain in your lower back. Or bring your hands behind your back to stretch your pectoral muscles-these are the muscles that get shortened when you’re hunched over a computer all day and can lead to upper back pain or tightness.
  • 10 min walk during lunch. It may not seem like a lot but it can really help to not only keep you healthy but also keep you pain free. Just a few minutes every day can stretch out and engage the muscles that atrophy when sitting for long periods of time. Plus, it’s been proven to make you more productive when you get back to work because it clears out all the mental cobwebs as well!
  • Make a goal to do something active before sitting down at night watching TV. The weather is nicer so make it a family thing! Go for a walk around your neighborhood or walk to the park and push your kids. If you don’t have a family, ask a friend or walk with your dog. They would both appreciate that!
  • If you decide to start a workout program, start slow with proper mechanics. If you have questions on how to do a specific lift, ask someone at your gym if there is a wellness coach that can just walk you through the equipment and how it all works. Or ask me! I would love to get your started on a plan that will get you healthy and active and keep you that way for a long time!

Most importantly, if you do experience pain come in right away. The worst thing you can do when starting a new exercise routine is to ignore your body’s signals that something isn’t right. If you come in right away we can figure out the problem that might have you just sitting a day or two out. If you continue to push through the pain there’s a chance you can do lasting or permanent damage that would require even longer rest.

But take a minute to celebrate that you are doing it! You deserve to be healthy so congratulations on making that first step and joining the gym! Good luck!

How to Prevent Injury in Baseball and Softball Players.

 

I have had an influx of patients recently coming in with complaints of pain and tingle sensations of the arm. These baseball and softball players really just want to know how to prevent injury so that they can get back on the field feeling great.

I was at a conference this last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa hosted by ChiroClasses and they brought in some great speakers. The hosts of the event brought in two orthopedic doctors from Capital Orthopedics who were both great but one specialized in the upper extremity. He mentioned how baseball players today are having more shoulder and elbow problems and he is seeing it more frequently and at younger ages. I was going to write about this topic earlier but after hearing Dr. Yanish speak, it confirmed that I needed to talk about this now.

It’s become increasingly clear in the scientific community that the problem is overuse. Many of these young pitchers are pitching in multiple leagues, all year round, on underdeveloped bones and muscles. This causes both short term and long term damage.

So how do we prevent shoulder and elbow injuries?

-Come in to see me! Chiropractic care helps keep the body in alignment so there are no impingements that could be the cause of the injury. The nature of a throw is such that it naturally misaligns the body, so often an adjustment is all that is needed to get your player back in peak performance.

-Follow the proper pitch count and rest days between pitches. If your child is on multiple teams, it is your responsibility as a parent to keep track of these numbers!

-Proper warm up, stretches pre/post game. I will be posting great stretches and exercises for baseball and softball players to do before practice and games but until then, make sure your son or daughter has a sweatshirt on their throwing arm while sitting in the dugout. That helps to keep the joint warm and blood circulating throughout.

-Coaches, if a player on your team complains of shoulder/elbow pain while throwing, take it seriously and have the arm evaluated by myself or another medical professional. It’s better to be out a few games to let the arm heal than be out for a season or two down the road. Kids heal really quickly but even they can’t heal quickly with an extensive overuse injury.

-Lastly, after the season is over, take 4 months off of baseball or softball and play a different sport to give the arm a rest. I know there is so much pressure to play a single sport year ‘round, and Malcom Gladwell’s theory of 10,000 hours didn’t help any, but every bit of scientific evidence proves it is just not worth it. More often than not our kids are experiencing injuries not previously seen in athletes until their 30s or our young athletes are experiencing mental and emotional burnout. If your child really wants to play sports at a high level, encourage them to be the best all around athlete they can be-those players are essential for any coach!

If you have questions or comments feel free to call, comment or email, I would love to help. Check back here soon for stretches and exercises that will help increase strength and range of motion for your baseball or softball players.

-Dr. Dawson

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Wellness Wednesday Recipe-Nutrition Packed Oats

Everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day but if your mornings look anything like ours-they are usually rushed. It’s hard to find a nutrition packed breakfast that doesn’t require a lot of time but today I’m showing you a breakfast that takes less than 2 minutes, is full of nutritional benefits and tastes delicious.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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-Oats (gluten free optional)

-Peanut butter

-Maple syrup. Make sure it’s not one with high fructose corn syrup or high sugar content.

-Walnuts

-Chia seeds

-Flax seeds

-Choice of fruit (raspberries and blueberries pictured)

The walnuts and chia seeds provide an excellent source of all Omega 3 fatty acids and necessary antioxidants. The oats are a great source of fiber and have been shown to reduce blood pressure. Flax seeds are powerful anti-inflammatories that can also help lower the risk of heart attacks and certain kinds of cancer.

The best news though? It takes all of two minutes to reap these powerful health benefits. Just cook your oats with water, put a little maple syrup until desired consistency. Add a scoop of peanut butter, a teaspoon of each seed, a handful of walnuts. Sprinkle with fruit.

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Enjoy!

Dr. Dawson.

Frequently Asked Questions: Self Adjustments

I hear a lot of the same questions from patients and community members. I thought it would help to have a resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the Chiropractic industry to just address some of them here. If you have any you would like me to answer, leave a comment below or send me an email through the contact form. I would be happy to answer.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION #1: Is it ok to pop my own neck or back?

I get this question all the time from patients as well as other people in the community when they find out I’m a Chiropractor. Let us first look at what creates the popping sound.

The popping sound comes from gasses within your joints. When you take your neck or back to end range it creates pressure within the joint. When that pressure becomes too great, nitrogen gas is released which causes the “pop”.

There is also another noise you may hear. You may hear a clicking in some joints, most often the hips and knees. This could be due to tight muscles, misalignments, or structural damage.

So back to the original question: Is it bad to pop your own neck or back?

Answer: Yes!

Here’s why: When you twist your own neck and hear a “pop”, that noise is coming from the loose joints in your body. When you self adjust in this way, you are making the bones in your neck hypermobile, which is not good. As Chiropractors, we focus on the hypo-mobile joints-the ones that are stuck-and get them moving properly and in the right direction.

If you do self adjust, you need to do strengthening exercises to prevent the hypermobility and visit your Chiropractor so she/he can address the “stuck” joints.

Believe me, I understand how tempting it is to do it yourself. But in the same way self diagnosing from webMD is never a good idea, neither is self adjusting. Chiropractors spend years learning about proper alignment and adjustment so trust us to do the work for you!

Give Dawson Chiropractic a call to set up your appointment so that I can help with any stiffness that might be tempting you to self adjust.

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