Thursday, April 2, 2009

Activator Technique and Osteoporosis

A great technique used to adjust patients that have low bone density or osteoporosis is the Activator Technique. The Activator is a tool that delivers a light, specific force to the vertebrae in your low back that are mis-aligned.

It is gentle, safe if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia, and effective in restoring proper function to the nerves. Pain and stiffness in your joints will decrease over a series of adjustments. For more information about the Activator Technique, please visit

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Intersegmental Traction

Intersegmental Traction is a therapy that is offered at Carter Chiropractic and Wellness. Intersegmental traction mobilizes and stretches each individual joint in the spine. This helps increase your range of motion and relax your muscles. Intersegmental traction also helps with misalignments, fixations, restrictions, and/or subluxations in your spine.
Intersegmental traction is a very popular treatment modality. Nicknamed the roller table, all the patient has to do is lay on the table facing up. A large, smooth roller will slowly and gently travel up and down the spine. It is a very comfortable and relaxing treatment, especially if you are having neck, mid, and/or low back pain and stiffness in your joints.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Heavy Purses Can Cause Back Pain

Large purses look great and are very popular, but carrying a heavy purse can lead to misalignments in your neck, mid back, and low back that could cause pain, soreness, stiffness and chronic problems. A good rule of thumb is that purses or brief cases should not be more than 5 % of your body weight. This means that a 100 pound women should be carrying a purse that weighs less than 5 pounds, and a 200 pound man should be carrying a brief case that weighs less than 10 pounds.

Put your purse on your shoulder and take a look in the mirror. Does one shoulder look higher than the other? If it does, imagine standing in a line for 20 minutes with your purse on your shoulder. I hope you agree that this is going to put some stress on your muscles and spine.

Please visit for more information on Dr. Susan Carter and Carter Chiropractic and Wellness.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

High Heels and Low Back Pain--My Four Hour Rule

I love to wear high heels just as much as every women out there, but there is a problem. Wearing high heels causes misaligments in your feet that lead to misalignments in your low back that lead to severe low back pain over time. When you wear high heels your feet are in constant flexion, which increases the curve in your low back. Imagine how the constant pressure wears out your low back.

The experts recommend you should not wear high heels for more than 2 hours at a time. I have developed a compromise that is actually effective. I call it the Four Hour Rule. Do not wear high heels for more than four hours at a time. These four hours would best be spent when you are socializing and want to dress up. If you must wear high heels for that morning presentation in the office, bring a pair of flats with good support with you to change into.

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I have to dedicate this Blog to one of my awesome patients that is in severe low back pain and continues to wear her heels. She is such a great dresser, and my mission is to convince her to wear flats during the day:)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stretches for Your Neck--The Sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM)

The Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Muscle is a big name for a muscle that starts behind your ear and ends up attaching to your chest. If you have ever head of someone who has "wry neck", then this muscle is definitely involved. The SCM can also get injured in whiplash injuries in car accidents.

How to stretch the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle:

1.) Lay on your back on a surface, for example, your bed.
2.) Let your head slightly hang off of the edge.

3.) Rotate your head as far as you can towards the floor.

4.) You should feel a stretch in the front of your neck.

5.) Hold for 20 seconds.

6.) Repeat for the opposite side.

These are 6 great stretches for your neck that stretch all the major muscles and many more. Doing these stretches on a regular basis will keep your neck in great shape.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stretches for Your Neck--Suboccipital Stretch

The subocciptial muscles are a group of muscles known as the "headache muscles." The suboccipital muscles are a group of muscles that include the rectis capitus posterior major and minor and the obliquus capitus superior and inferior. When these muscles get tight, they can refer pain from the back of your head to your temples. Three out of the four of these muscles start at the back of your head and attach to the upper vertebrae in your neck. These are not the easiest muscles to stretch because they are so small.
If you feel a headache starting, sometimes it helps to press the 2 bumps at the back of your head that these muscle attach to for 60 seconds with your index fingers. This may help to relieve the headache.
I found a good pic of the suboccipital muscles from

How to stretch the suboccipital muscles:
1.) Sit down with good posture.
2.) Tuck your chin down into your neck.
3.) Find the 2 bumps on the back of your head and touch them with your fingers.
4.)Push up towards the ceiling.
5.) Hold for 20 seconds.

Pleased stay tuned for my next Blog to learn how to stretch a muscle that strarts behind your ear and ends up at the front of your chest.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stretches For Your Neck--Posterior Scalene Muscle

Your posterior scalene muscle starts at the neck at the C4-C6 levels and attaches to your second rib. It will get tight or damaged in whiplash injuries. Also, a chain of lymph nodes lies under your posterior and other scalene muscles. When you get sick, like when you have a cold, you might notice a bump under these muscles, which could be an enlarged lymph node.

How To Stretch The Posterior Scalene:

1.) Bend head down towards floor
2.) Keeping head bent down, bend head to side
3.) Hold for 20 seconds
4.) Repeat for opposite side

The next Blog will teach you how the stretch the suboccipital or "headache" muscles.

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