Pain After Taking Down Decorations?

pain after taking down holiday decorations

The holiday season is behind us, and those festive lights and decorations are coming down. These decorations often require lots of bending and lifting and climbing. If you’re not careful, all this unusually strenuous activity can be harmful to your body, particularly your neck, back, and shoulders. So, how can you keep yourself healthy and free of injury through it all? Let’s take a look at some common ailments that are a result of putting away holiday decorations.

First, back and neck strains. When lifting heavy things such as boxes or large decorative items, it can be easy to throw your back out and damage your spine. Plant your feet shoulder width apart, squat and bend slightly at the waist, then lift with your legs. This will ensure that your back is not exposed to excess strain, which could lead to a herniated disc.

Second, one that could cause severe injury, falls. Some lights and decorations require a ladder to reach high places. Whether it’s indoors or outside, it's important to have the ladder firmly situated on the ground, and have the assistance of someone to hold the base of the ladder. We also see injury from falls due to toys and decorations on the ground that cause a hazard. 

Third, injuries sustained due to fatigue and lack of rest. The holidays, while a festive and empowering time of year, can also be a source of stress. This stress wears on your body and can make you more injury-prone and sore. Remember to pace yourself and get plenty of rest. If you’re on a deadline, map out a schedule ahead of time and plan to accomplish a bit every day. Trying to get everything done in a single day or weekend is unproductive and unsafe.

Finally, consider wearing a back brace while decorating for the holidays. This reinforcement will help to support your spine and improve overall posture. Combined with proper lifting techniques, a back brace will ensure your safety and wellbeing, even when moving heavy items around the house.

These injuries are unfortunately common during the holiday season. If you’ve suffered an injury to the spine and you’re in pain, consider scheduling an appointment with us here at DiBella Chiropractic Center. Swing by our Gastonia office today or give us a call and get yourself on the path to healing!

Common Winter Sports Injuries

winter sports

For those that strive to maintain a year-round active lifestyle, winter is the perfect time to get in some exercise and participate in a variety of unique sports. There are so many exciting opportunities that simply aren’t always available in the warm summer months. From skiing and snowboarding to figure skating and curling, the possibilities are virtually endless. But a word of caution to winter athletes: although you may be surrounded by a thick blanket of snow (or artificial snow), injuries can and do still occur with alarming frequency. Read on for a list of common sports injuries to avoid this winter.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury. Among the most common injuries that occur when participating in winter sports is the traumatic brain injury (TBI). Perhaps the best and most well-known example of a TBI is a concussion, although there are many different types.
  • Sprains & Fractures. During the winter time, even walking can be treacherous on the frozen ground. High-speed and high-skill events only add to the risk of a turned ankle or a broken bone.
  • Skier’s Thumb. Skiers rely on their hands to grip the ski poles and keep their balance. This constant tension can put strain on the soft ligament connecting your thumb and your palm. In extreme cases, a slip can even tear or puncture the tissue.
  • Knee Injury When one falls to the ground, they’re most likely to try and catch themselves and lend not heir knee. Your kneecap is very fragile and sensitive to sudden impact. A bad fall could shatter or dislocate the knee, if not properly protected.
  • Dislocated Bones. Some winter sports involve the potential for falls or collisions (snowboarding, hockey, etc.) A high-velocity impact can jolt the skeleton, causing bones to move and shift out of their proper place.
  • Spinal Injury. Much like a dislocated shoulder or knee, the spine is vulnerable to violent impact or strain. The vertebrae that make up your spine can buckle and shift out of alignment, leading to pain and long-term health problems.

There are several things you can do to prevent serious injury: take breaks, stay in shape, never attempt anything alone, and keep an eye on the weather to avoid getting caught in a blizzard. Of course, accidents happen. If you’ve suffered an injury, we welcome you to come in for a consultation here at DiBella Chiropractic. Chiropractic care focuses on holistic health and can correct spinal misalignments resulting from sports injuries. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. In the meantime, stay safe out there!

Sports & Pinched Nerves

sports injury

The temperature is dropping, the leaves are falling from the trees, and everyone is settling in to root for their favorite sports teams. Whether you’re an active participant on the field or you just prefer to watch, another sports season is upon us! Like any strenuous physical activity, it’s important to understand and accept the risks before engaging.

No matter the sport, whether it’s football, basketball, soccer, or golf, there is always a risk of injury. Some are more severe than others, especially when it comes to contact sports. But one of the more common (and less-frequently addressed) ailments is a pinched nerve. Anyone can suffer from a pinched nerve, but the high physical strain of active sports can exacerbate the issue and cause more frequent bouts of pain.

What causes pinched nerves? Not surprisingly, the condition is precisely what it sounds like. A pinched nerve occurs when your nerve is compressed by the surrounding bone, muscle, or other tissues. This may happen as a result of displacement or inflammation, both of which can occur when participating in physically demanding activities such as sports. Consider the repetitive motion of swinging a golf club, or the constant violent jostling that happens regularly in tackle football. These things can easily cause a pinched nerve.

Now that we know the root cause, we’ll turn our attention to symptoms. How do you know if you’re suffering from pinched nerve? Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms that manifest as a result of a pinched nerve:

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Pins and needles
  • Numbness or loss of sensation
  • Muscle weakness

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, then you might have a pinched nerve. If the symptoms last for more than a few days, seek medical help to find relief.

How are pinched nerves treated? Often, patience and rest are the two most important factors in the recovery process. But chiropractic care can expedite the process and provide you with an opportunity to prevent further injury. Non-invasive chiropractic adjustments will relieve the pressure on your spine and bring it back to proper alignment. This is especially critical for those who engage in frequent intense physical activity, such as athletes.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a pinched nerve, try chiropractic first. We would love to have you here at DiBella Chiropractic Center. Contact us or swing by our offices in Gastonia to make an appointment today!

Is Chiropractic Cost-Effective?

cost-effective therapy

Is chiropractic safe? Is it effective? How exactly does it work? What kinds of pains and ailments can be cured under chiropractic care? These are the kinds of things many patients want to know when first getting to know the practice. But there’s another question that’s just as important and often sits at the forefront of a person’s mind: What about cost? Is chiropractic care cost-effective, especially in comparison to other medical treatments available? Is it even worth it in the long run to try chiropractic first? These are fair questions, so let’s take a closer look and address them individually.

First of all, let’s get a baseline for comparison by looking at the cost of a single chiropractic session. Depending on your insurance coverage (and many plans do include chiropractic care), an appointment can set you back anywhere from $30 to several hundred dollars. Keep in mind that many chiropractic offices offer a free consultation to get acquainted with the physician and get a feel for the state of your spine. During this time, the chiropractor will typically walk you through what they do, how they do it, and what kinds of therapies you would need to be in optimal health.

If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before, they often prescribe a set of unobtrusive therapies, in addition to the manual spinal adjustment. As you begin treatment, you will go to the office 3-5 times per week. This number decreases in frequency as you continue in your journey. Eventually, you may decide to go just once per month for maintenance therapy and readjustment.

That may seem like a lot, but consider the one major difference between chiropractic and other medical treatments: Chiropractic focuses on correcting the root of the problem (spinal misalignment) while medical treatment is often simply a temporary fix. Even surgeries, which can cost thousands of dollars, are intrusive and unnecessary when you consider the cheaper and less-intrusive alternative. Chiropractic can have you feeling better naturally, with no medication and no surgeries. In fact, you may even find yourself feeling more alive and more energized than ever before.

So, is chiropractic cost-effective? Is it worth it in the long run? Absolutely! Invest in yourself and your health today. Find a chiropractor near you and schedule a consultation to get started, or visit us here at DiBella Chiropractic Center in Gastonia. We’d love to have you!

Chiropractic & PTSD

post-traumatic stress disorder

According to annual vehicle registration status counts, there are roughly 290 million vehicles in the United States alone. Employees commute to their jobs, school busses drive students to school and back, mail trucks and delivery vehicles transport letters and packages, and people use their vehicles to travel for practical, social, or entertainment purposes. Unfortunately, with this many vehicles on the road, accidents happen. Collisions can cause minor bumps, bruises, cuts, and scrapes, as well as more significant injuries, such as whiplash, concussions, or broken bones. But beyond the physical injuries, a vehicle accident can have lasting mental repercussions.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is very common among victims of a traffic accident. PTSD is a mental health condition that comes as a result of witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Whether the incident was a minor fender-bender or it resulted in a totaled vehicle, the effects can be the same. Symptoms include severe anxiety, flashbacks or visions of the inciting incident, and nightmares that center around other aspects or potential outcomes of the accident. The victim may be afraid to drive or even sit as a passenger in a vehicle. These thoughts and feelings are often unwanted and may be classified as “intrusive thoughts.” Intrusive thoughts can be quite debilitating and cause significant emotional distress if not addressed.

So what causes PTSD in collision victims, and how is it treated? The good news is that the root issue is not always entirely mental. Oftentimes, there’s a physiological reason for intrusive thoughts and increased anxiety. Studies have shown that patients who suffered from symptoms of PTSD also held an unusually large amount of stress in their neck. In fact, the accident led to an unhealthy stress management technique that damaged the tissues in the spine, potentially causing psychological problems.

Chiropractic care is a holistic form of alternative medicine. We focus on the spine and the nerves that run throughout. When your spine is properly aligned, you’ll enjoy the fullness of health and wellness. But when your vertebrae are misaligned (subluxated), this can lead to issues. Victims of a car accident would benefit from the gentle, non-invasive spinal adjustments administered by licensed chiropractors. These adjustments will guide the vertebrae and surrounding tissues back into alignment, soothing any symptoms of PTSD.

If you’re ever in a car accident, don’t wait! Seek professional help and make an appointment with your local chiropractor. They will advise you on how to move forward and how best to prevent the onset of PTSD. If you’re looking for a chiropractor, we invite you to join us her at DiBella Chiropractic Center in Gastonia. Drop by our offices during operating hours, or call us today to schedule a consultation!

Preventative Tips for Students

As summer vacation comes to an end, the start of a new school year is just around the corner. So whether your student is in Kindergarten, high school, or even college, now is the time to prep for the year ahead. Stores rejoice as they advertise sales on new backpacks, clothing, school supplies, and textbooks.

Besides the practical things, like those listed above, it’s important to remember your student’s health. Most schools include a structured physical education program, as well as some kind of unstructured leisure time for younger children (typically in the form of recess). Both of these offer students the opportunity to stretch, let off steam, and get some fresh air.

But what about when it comes to chiropractic health? How can you ensure your student’s spinal health and safety? Listed below are some tips and preventative measures to try out this school year:

  1. Wear supportive shoes. Believe it or not, your shoes can actually have a significant impact on your spine and your posture. Our feet have natural pads and arches that need to be supported. If they are not, it can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on our spinal column and every step can cause damage.
  2. Properly adjust your backpack. Backpacks are like mobile lockers. Students use them to carry books, supplies, and even personal items like food and mobile devices. But your body is not meant to carry so much weight without support. Many backpacks come with buckles and chest straps to alleviate the stress on your back and shoulders. Perhaps even more importantly, encourage your student to plan ahead and carry less in their backpacks.
  3. Stretch as often as possible. Beyond physical education and perhaps recess, students are sitting in class most of the day. Encourage them to maximize the time between class and stretch to promote healthy blood flow.
  4. Watch your posture. While sitting in class, it’s easy to let your posture slip and contort your spine into unhealthy positions. If your student ever finds themselves hunched over their desk, encourage them to do a quick reset: bring their shoulders up, back, and down.
  5. Schedule regular chiropractic appointments. As important as it is to self-monitor your posture and habits, nothing can substitute for a chiropractic adjustment. Be sure to maintain a regular schedule to keep your spine healthy, strong, and properly aligned.

As you and your students head into the new school year, don’t neglect your spinal health. If you’re on the hunt for a regular chiropractor, we invite you to come try DiBella Chiropractic Center. Our offices are located in Gastonia, NC. Swing by our offices to schedule and appointment, or call us for more information. We look forward to seeing you!

The Impact of Truck Accidents

truck accident

Delivery trucks, semis, 18-wheelers, box trucks – they are everywhere! Approximately 70% of goods reach their location by truck. Unfortunately, there has been a 52% increase in truck accidents since 2009, and 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle accidents involve a truck. There are many reasons why these accidents occur, including driver fatigue and truck tire defect. 

 The passenger who has been involved in a truck accident will need a team of professionals to help with the mental, emotional and physical healing. A chiropractor is an excellent professional to have on the team. Chiropractors are trained by spending thousands of hours preparing to bringing healing to the nervous and musculoskeletal system. 

  • One common symptom following any vehicular accident is whiplash, which takes places when the head and neck are suddenly snapped forward and back upon impact. 
  • The hips and pelvis are very likely to be injured in a truck accident due to the intense force of a larger vehicle hitting a smaller one, thrusting the hip and pelvic area forward and striking part of the car’s interior. 
  • The impact itself or the restraint of the seatbelt, or a combination of both, can cause injuries to the shoulders such as dislocations, broken bones, torn rotator cuff and bursitis.  
  • Discs can become herniated after an impact injury. Discs are round, soft, and gel-like, and sit in between each vertebra in the spine. Herniation happens when the disc tears or leaks. The herniation causes pressure and pain in the surrounding nerves. This tends to occur most often in the neck and lower back portions of the spine. 
  • A concussion is caused by the brain bouncing back and forth after a blow to the head. In the event of a diagnosed concussion from the impact of a truck accident, chiropractic care can be of great benefit. Spinal adjustments are useful for healing after concussion and help the patient avoid the need for pain medications which only mask the symptoms of pain. 

Once the injured person has been thoroughly assessed and treated for any broken bones, concussions and internal injuries, the chiropractor can play a very important role in the management and treatment of soft tissue injury, misalignment, and overload to the nervous system from pain. The chiropractic adjustments and manipulations will assist greatly in overall body healing and can be instrumental in the prevention of long-term chronic pain caused by the injuries.  

If you have been the unfortunate victim of a vehicular accident, call us at DiBella Chiropractic. Even a low-speed fender bender can result in whiplash or other injuries. We will set up a full evaluation and talk about your treatment needs.

Benefits of E-Stim Therapy

The primary method of treatment used by chiropractors comes in the form of adjustments. The patients lie on the adjustment table and the chiropractor makes small, unobtrusive adjustments to the spine. This kind of therapy ensures that any subluxations are found and corrected before they begin causing symptoms in the patient.

But there are other forms of therapy in the chiropractor’s toolbox. One such example is electrical muscle stimulation. Unlike adjustments, electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) does not focus on the vertebrae of the spine, but rather on the muscles in your body. So how does it work? The chiropractor begins by placing electrodes on the target area. After they are attached and secured, a generator delivers a few mild electrical pulses to the muscles. This causes the muscles to contract, simulating the natural response elicited by brain signals.

What are the benefits of ESM? The reality is that ESM is good for several things, including recovery, pain management, training and strengthening. It is a preventative therapy as well as a prescriptive therapy. Sometimes patients come in with unbearable pain in their neck, shoulders, back, or another appendage. ESM can quickly alleviate painful symptoms and even battle inflammation simply by producing a series of electrical responses.

Not only that, but it can be used on patients recovering from a major illness or surgery. These people tend to have varying degrees of muscle atrophy. ESM can stimulate these muscles back to life, toning and priming them as the patient regains their strength. Similarly, athletes have been known to use this type of therapy to relax their muscles, gain strengths, and improve overall performance.

The good news is that EMS has very few risks or side effects. The low voltage of the electrical pulses ensures that the therapy is safe and painless. Patients may feel a slight contraction in the target area, almost like an involuntary muscular twitch. The worst that could happen is a bit of redness or irritation on site due to the electrode adhesive. Otherwise, the only risk would be to those who have pacemakers, implants, or those who are pregnant. If you’re curious about EMS and its benefits, talk to your doctor or chiropractor and get their professional opinion. Depending on your symptoms and their severity, you may be advised to undergo this therapy. Contact us here at DiBella Chiropractic to learn more about our practice and the therapies we offer our patients or book an appointment today!

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