Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stretches For Your Neck--Levator Scapulae Muscle

The Levator Scapulae Muscle

The Levator Scapulae Muscle is always involved in neck and shoulder pain because it attaches to the neck on the first four cervical vertebrae and shoulder on the scapula. The translation of the name of this muscle literally means to "lift the scapula." This muscle is also involved with whiplash injuries.

How To Stretch the Levator Scapulae

1.) Pull arm (behind you) to side
2.) Bend head straight down towards floor
3.) Bend head to side you are pulling
4.) While holding positions 2 and 3, rotate head to floor of side you are pulling
5.) Hold for 20 seconds, do not bounceRepeat 1 through

My next Blog will teach you how to stretch your anterior scalenes or "star-gazing" muscles.

Please check out for more information.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stretches for Your Neck--Trapezius Stretch

Getting into a daily habit of stretching will keep you out of trouble. I see many cases of neck and shoulder pain that could be drastically improved with simple stretching. I am going to teach you 6 of the best stretches I could find for your neck. I like these stretches because they do a great job of isolating the many muscles in your neck. I only teach one stretch at a time to my patients. I would rather make sure you know exactly what to do so you will be able to use these stretches for years to come.

So, the first stretch is the Trapezius Stretch:

The Trapezius Muscle goes from the top of your neck down to the middle of your back and out to your shoulder on both sides of your back. This muscle is the most superficial, which means it is closest to your skin. If you touch the area between your neck and shoulders, you are probably touching the Trapezius Muscle. This muscle frequently gets tight when you are stressed or angry. If you sit at a desk looking at a computer for most of the day and have poor posture, then the trapezius muscle will be affected.

How to Stretch the Trapezius Muscle:

1) Pull arm (behind you) to side
2) Bend head to side you are pulling
3) Rotate head to opposite ceiling hold for 20 seconds
4) Repeat 1 through 3 for opposite side

My next Blog will teach you how to stretch the Levator Scapulae Muscle, which is ALWAYS involved in neck pain.....

Please go to for more info.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Detoxification Program

Detox programs are all the rage right now. However, they have been around early in our history and in many cultures. We as humans are not as healthy as we were 50 years ago. The air we breathe, the pesticides in our food, and the chemicals in our environment are decreasing our quality of life. Toxins are the bad guys that are converted to free radicals in our bodies.

It is the liver's job to get rid of all the toxins that we are constantly exposed to on a daily basis. However, these days the liver is over burdened. Toxins are brought to the liver where they go through 2 phases that make them harmless. After this process in the liver, they are simply excreted from your body.

What happens is that the liver gets backed up. When the liver is backed up it desperately stores these toxins or free radicals into our fat. Then when we burn a little more energy than normal and use our fat stores, the toxins are released into the blood stream where they attack our organs. This causes our body to undergo oxidative stress, which some theorize can lead to cancer.

The idea of a detoxification program is the cleanse the liver to make it more efficient. Supplements are used to release all of the junk that is backed up into the liver. Other supplements, known as antioxidants, find these free radicals and turn them into the harmless substances they were supposed to be in the first place. Antioxidants are the good guys and free radicals are the bad guys.

It is important to put as little load on the liver as possible while it is being cleaned out. Therefore, a strict diet must be followed. There are many different types of programs that are recommended. Some involve only liquids over a short period of time. I prefer a less demanding program that allows a reasonable variety of foods. You just follow the plan for a longer amount of time.

I have to warn you. If you decide to undergo a detox program, you will probably lose weight and be healthier. Your skin will probably clear up, your aches and pains will decrease, and over time you will have more energy. The first 2 weeks are usually not very fun, but once you get over the hump, you will probably suffer some of the above side effects.

For more information on Detox Programs and Dr. Susan Carter, please visit

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Ultrasound therapy is another great therapy that is used in a chiropractic office. What makes ultrasound so great is how deep it's effect can go to create healing. Ultrasound works by using sound waves that penetrate deep to the area of injury. Different settings allow treatment of acute, sub-acute, and chronic injuries. Blood flow increases and new nutrients are brought to start healing. Inflammation and pain are decreased and range of motion is increased. Ultrasound is a great treatment option for arthritis, neuromas, adhesive scars, and many other conditions.
The procedure is easy. The area of skin needs to be exposed so sometimes you will be asked to wear a gown to protect your clothing, and all jewelry needs to be removed. Sound waves are delivered through a wand and a gel is used to transmit the sounds waves. You should not feel anything other than some slight warmth and the gel being spread around in a circular motion. The only occasional problem is the gel makes a mess:), but it worth how much better you feel.
For more information on Dr. Susan Carter and Carter Chiropractic and Wellness, please visit

Electrical Stimulation

I have many treatments available to help patients who are in pain. A common treatment used in a Chiropractic office is Electrical Stimulation or Interferential Current. Sticky pads are placed on areas of muscle spasm that contribute to low back pain. A light current is administered through wires into the pads. It feels really good, and hot moist heat packs or ice are placed on top of the pads depending on the condition. When your muscles are tight or in spasm, they are inflammed. Electrical stimulation works your muscles at a sub-cellular level (you won't feel this) until your muscles fatigue and give up. When your muscles give up, the inflammation drains from the muscle. Inflammation takes up space and puts pressure on your nerves, which causes pain. Electrical stimulation also interferes with nerve conduction velocity, which is the rate at which you feel pain signals from the brain. It slows it down and therefore reduces the amount of pain you are feeling.

Please check out for more treatments offered.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cold Laser and Sinus Problems

I recently purchased an Erchonia Cold Laser ( to use in my practice. It has been amazing! Cold Laser is a beam of coherent light. Coherent light is light that completely focuses in the same direction and wavelength. When light is able to focus in harmony it is very powerful. Cold laser works at a wavelength of 635 nanometers. Within that wavelength, I can program different frequency combinations that have therapeutic effects. The light goes through the skin layers and into the cell membrane. At the cell membrane, which is like the gate to get into the cell, the light from the laser (which is the 635 nanometer light with specific frequency combinations within), alters cell membrane permeability or opens the gate for the cell membrane. When the cell membrane is easier to enter, specific enzyme cascades are able to get into the cell, which creates healing effects. Some of the effects are decreased pain and inflammation and increased range of motion.

Cold Laser is different than Hot Laser. Hot Lasers use a wavelength of 800 nanometers or above, they have a thermal effect. They are used to cut and cauterize tissue. When you hear of Laser Surgery, they are referring to Hot Lasers. Cold Laser is used to stimulate tissue, not destroy it.

I found a sinus treatment protocol thanks to my husband. We were married last November, and a couple of weeks before the wedding he came down with a bad sinus infection. He went to the doctor and was prescribed antibiotics and a steroid nose spray. The antibiotics helped with the infection, but he was still congested in his sinuses after the steroid nose spray ran out. I was too busy with wedding preparations to notice, but he started using Afrin a daily basis because he was congested. The doctor suggested Afrin, but did warn him not to use it on a long term basis. Three months later, he was complaining that he could not taste or smell very well. He finally got my attention.

I found a sinus protocol for the Erchonia Cold Laser. I treated him 3 times a week for 3 weeks. It is a very easy and quick treatment. Cold Laser is painless. Cold Laser has been around for 26 years and not one side effect has been reported since it has been in use. I purchased my Cold Laser from a company called Erchonia because it was the first laser to gain FDA approval in 2002 and again in 2007.

Back to my husband, he did great with treatment. He is no longer using Afrin and he can taste and smell again. I feel like a bad wife for not paying attention to this in the first place:)

Word got out about how well my husband did with Cold Laser Treatment for his sinus problems and several people wanted me to use the protocol on them. Results have been remarkable. All have seen decreased congestion, decreased sinus pain, and decreased sinus pressure. They describe that their sinuses "drain" as early as a half hour to a day later after the treatment. They also report that they feel air in their sinus passages, which a lot of people with chronic sinus problems do not feel.

For more information on Carter Chiropractic and Wellness and Dr. Susan Carter, please visit

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dr. Susan Carter, Chiropractor, Naples, FL, Background Continued

Blogging is really fun. I have to thank my great friend, Shannon Lefevre, for introducing me to this new world. Of course, since I am new at this, I accidentally posted the first blog before I was finished.

I opened Carter Chiropractic and Wellness in October 2008. My website with my practice information is I am a graduate of National University of Health Sciences in Chicago, Illinois.

After graduation from Chiropractic School, I started my first position at Allied Health and Chiropractic located at Lutheran Hospital. As I described in my first blog, I loved working in a hospital environment. This experience helped me to see how, as a Chiropractor, I could offer an alternative approach to patients suffering from spine related issues. I see myself on the dividing line between the alternative world and the medical world. I am able to determine if patients can benefit from conservative care and I will tell the patient if I feel they need further opinions and testing because their condition is more advanced.

After practicing at Allied Health and Chiropractic for over 2 years, I decided to move to Ypsilanti Michigan. I took a position at Belleville Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Belleville Michigan as a Chiropractic Associate. Dr. Harold Gable was the head Chiropractic Physician in the practice. I really enjoyed learning from him because he had a completely different perspective than what I had learned in Chiropractic School and at Allied Health and Chiropractic. Dr. Gable believed that misalignment in the spine caused most of the health problems in the body, and adjusting a patient would correct them over time. He did not use many physical therapy modalities. It was amazing to see him at work. He helped so many people, and through adjusting alone the patients healed.

Moving to Florida was always my goal. I have family all along the west coast, and I loved visiting them growing up. Florida administers it's own state board exam, which would be the fifth set of boards I have taken. Florida's test is rumored to be the most difficult board exam to pass in the United States for Chiropractic. I had a great time studying for it, and I passed it with flying colors. I also was able to meet many smart and talented Chiropractor's in the process.

After earning my Florida State Chiropractic License, I decided to work at Naples Chiropractic Center. This was a unique challenge because I had to basically start my own practice within someone else's practice. I did not realize how much fun it was going to be also. I learned a lot. Dr. Homayoun Bidabadi was the owner of the practice. He is very knowlegdable in the area of nutrition, and he taught me so much about how important nutrition is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid diseases. I implemented his nutritional suggestions in my lifestyle, and I have never been healthier. He influenced me to start learning more about nutrition, and I have begun the process of earning my Diplomate in Nutrition through the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

As my patient base in Naples grew over a couple of years, I decided that I needed my own space to be able to open more hours to serve their needs better. The Orion Bank Centre on Immokalee Road was a great place to start. My practice is in a great location in North Naples near Greentree Plaza. There is plenty of parking in the back of the building, and easy elevator access to my office for people who are having difficulty walking in because they are in severe pain. I have implemented the latest treatment and administrative technology, which I will decribe further in more detail.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My name is Dr. Susan Carter, a Chiropractor, who recently opened my own practice. I would like to introduce myself to the Naples, FL community.

My name is Dr. Susan Carter, and I am a Chiropractic Physician. I recently opened my own practice in Naples, Florida in October 2008. I married Billy Carter in November 2008. My maiden name is Dr. Susan Jankowski, which some of my patients may know me as. The name of my new practice is Carter Chiropractic and Wellness. Check out my website:

I have been practicing for over 5 years. I attended Chiropractic School at National University of Health Sciences in Chicago, Illinois. After graduation from Chiropractic School, I returned home to Cleveland, Ohio to take a position as a Chiropractic Associate at Allied Health and Chiropractic at Lutheran Hospital working with Dr. Ty Dahodwala. Lutheran Hospital is home to Cleveland Orthopedic and Spine Hospital, and Lutheran Hospital is also part of the Cleveland Clinic Health System. The opportunity to work as a Chiropractor in a hospital practice was awesome. I really found the environment to be cooperative and welcoming. I was able to gain some experience as a Chiropractic Physician while collaborating with other medical practitioners (including spine surgeons, physical therapists, occupational therapist, hand and upper extremity surgeons) in a patients care. This opportunity gave me an education and appreciation for all of the options available to treat spinal conditions and the common symptoms that arise from spinal conditions such as neck pain, headaches, mid back pain, shoulder pain, decreased range of motion in the neck, low back pain, leg pain, numbness and tingling in the hands and/or feet, and sciatica to name a few.