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.