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!

Chiropractic and Immune System Health

Most people know that chiropractic care focuses on spinal health and alignment. What you may not know, however, is why chiropractors advocate for spinal health and alignment. It has to do with overall health and the role your spine plays in the functions of your body.

Your body operates on a series of complex and interconnected systems including, but not limited to, the skeletal, muscular, respiratory, digestive, nervous, and immune systems. The spinal cord, housed within the vertebrae of your spinal column, is directly linked to your brain, which single-handedly controls and operates these systems. The spinal cord is a kind of information highway, linking your brain to the rest of the body through a series of branching nerve pathways.

The goal of chiropractic is to keep your spine in tip-top condition to avoid any complications. Subluxation is the misalignment of the bones (vertebrae) that make up your spine. This misalignment can put unnecessary pressure on your spinal cord, leading to pain, discomfort, headaches, and even indigestion or decreased immunity. When your spinal cord is blocked or hindered in any way by the structures surrounding it, the nerve pathways are interrupted as well, and the information traveling from the brain to the rest of your body cannot flow freely.

The immune system is responsible for protecting your body from bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other malevolent intruders. It’s your body’s line of defense against the outside world, performing tasks such as

  • creating and releasing white blood cells to attack any pathogenic substances in the body,
  • operating the lymphatic system to filter out germs and prevent them from spreading throughout the body, and
  • regulating the acidic levels of your body (particularly along the digestive tract) to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

When your immune system is not operating at full capacity, then your body is left defenseless against pathogens that may cause harm. In this way, chiropractic care acts as a preventative measure against sickness and disease. A chiropractor will make small, non-invasive manipulations to the vertebrae, gently guiding them back into their correct alignment. With an unobstructed spinal cord, information can flow much quicker and your body can respond much faster to any potential threats. By correcting your spinal health, you’re caring for your overall health as well.

So make an appointment with your local chiropractor today! If you live in the Gastonia area, we here at DiBella Chiropractic Center would love to have you join our family. Contact us and get started on the path to wellness!

How Chiropractic Assists Weight Loss

Chiropractic health centers around good spinal health. We believe that healthy living starts with healthy vertebrae. At chiropractic offices, people are often told that this form of therapy is excellent for overall health. But many people may not fully understand just how far-reaching the effects of subluxation (misaligned vertebrae) can go.

Not only does subluxation cause back, shoulder, and leg pain, but it can actually interrupt or hinder the natural processes of your body. Your nervous system, your digestive system, your immune system, and many others are all at risk if the signals cannot properly travel from the brain to the rest of the body.

One little-known benefit of chiropractic care is an increased ability to lose weight. If you or someone you know has ever tried losing weight, you know how difficult it can be. You’ve tried special diets, rigorous workout regimens, and even seen specialists on how to shed those extra pounds. But have you considered making an appointment with a chiropractor? It may seem unorthodox, but let us give you the facts:

  • Through chiropractic adjustments, your spine will be relieved of pressure from subluxations and herniated discs. You’ll begin to see that your pain will decrease and lessen with time, and you’ll find yourself growing more energetic and less stiff. All these things combined can be the perfect motivation to continue your exercises. They should be much easier and, therefore, you should be able to do them with increased frequency and precision.
  • As mentioned above, chiropractic care can have profound effects on the body and its involuntary processes. This includes digestion. Perhaps your digestive system isn’t operating at full capacity. If that’s the case, a regular treatment schedule with consistent adjustments can work wonders. You’ll find your body working at a higher efficiency.
  • Although chiropractors focus primarily on the spine, they typically have a more holistic knowledge of overall health than you may realize. Consult your chiropractor on the best exercises to perform at home. Ideally, these will help you correct your posture while also building and toning muscle. They may also have extensive knowledge on dietary needs and restrictions, and they might help you build an eating plan that matches your weight-loss goals.

In summary, the chiropractor can be an excellent source of knowledge when it comes to losing weight. Be sure to ask your physician during your next appointment. If you’re looking for a chiropractor to call home, we would love to have you with us here at DiBella Chiropractic Center. Drop by our Gastonia offices, or give us a call and make an appointment today!

Long-Term Effects of Occupational Injuries

Whether you work in an office or on the floor of a manufacturing facility, all employees are at risk of occupational injuries. When you consider workplace injuries, you may immediately have visions of falling from high places or getting caught in the heavy machinery. But not all injuries are quite that drastic, and many happen over longer periods of time. What you do, and how you go about doing what you do, can have long-term effects on your health. Your body may not show signs of trauma right away, but extended periods of strenuous activity may have negative consequences.

For example, consider how you sit at your desk while working. You probably sit in a standard office chair and look at your computer screen a great deal throughout the course of a typical day. Is that chair supporting the entire length of your spine, especially your lower back? At what angle is your computer monitor set? Do you find yourself constantly having to position your neck up or down to view the screen? Can you comfortably reach everything on your desk without repeated stretching?

These questions will highlight the ergonomics of your workspace, particularly those that need adjustment. Perhaps you need to find a new desk chair that better supports your back. Perhaps you can rearrange your desk so that everything is within arm’s reach. Perhaps you can adjust the angle of your computer screen so it’s at eye level. All of these things will reduce fatigue and alleviate any repetitive motions that may cause long-term damage to your body.

But what if you work a more active job? What if you spend your days moving, lifting, carrying, climbing, or such other strenuous activity? Then you are even more at risk for a potentially serious injury. The important thing to remember is not to push your body beyond its limitations. Practice safe lifting techniques, don’t try to carry more than you can handle, and be especially careful around high places and heavy machinery.

No matter how much we might try to minimize the impact on our bodies, we tend to fall out of alignment anyway. After all, a body in use needs a tune up now and then. Consult your physician for more tips on how to protect yourself in the workplace, and consider making an appointment with your local chiropractor or here with us at DiBella Chiropractic Center. Correcting the alignment of your spine will ensure less pain and a greater quality of life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

How Proper Breathing Can Help Your Posture

Your posture and the alignment of your spine is crucial to the overall health of your body. When you think of ways to keep your posture in check, perhaps you imagine walking, standing, and sitting with your back upright and your shoulders pulled back. While this is good, there are other ways of maintaining a good posture that you may not have considered. Breathing, for example, is just as vital to the strength and stability of your spine as holding yourself upright.

So, how exactly does breathing help to improve posture? Before we answer that question, we need to understand what happens when you breathe. As you inhale, your lungs expand to fill and lift your ribcage. This causes your spine to extend, increasing the space between the vertebrae and releasing any pressure built up between the bones of your spine. Such movement will cause a kind of reset as your spine returns to a more neutral position. In this way, breathing can actually reinforce and correct the natural curvature of your spine.

The key is to breathe deeply. Shallow breaths won’t do much good, but breathing too deeply can cause strain, and you might injure yourself by trying too hard. Try some exercises and yoga poses to encourage deeper breathing and maximize the health benefits. Below is a list containing some routines to get you started.

  • First and most simply, sit in a comfortable upright position and bring focus to your breathing. Concentrate on elongating your spine and begin breathing at regular intervals: inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, and exhale for four counts.
  • Second, begin standing in neutral position. Inhale and raise your arms straight above your head so you feel a nice stretch along the sides of your body. Exhale and bring your arms back to your sides. Try to control your breathing so that it and the motion of your arms are perfectly synchronized.
  • Finally, acquire a yoga block, a pillow, or a rolled up towel. Lay flat on the floor and place the wedge under your back below your shoulder blades. Spread your arms and place them on the floor beside you. This position will help to open up your chest and expand your lung capacity. Now lie still and breathe deep for several minutes.

Set aside some time every day and focus on your breathing. Your spine will thank you! If you’re looking for a chiropractor in the Gastonia area, consider making DiBella Chiropractic Center your home. Contact us or drop by our offices to make an appointment and get started today!

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