Spinal health is central to your overall wellbeing. If your vertebrae are misaligned or subluxated, then your body cannot operate at full capacity. The nerves that flow from your brain through your spinal cord to the rest of your body will be impeded. While maintaining overall body health and wellness is important, it should all begin with a dedication to keeping your spine aligned. Below is a list of some of the factors that directly influence spinal health.

  1. Body strength. It’s recommended that all adults engage in at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, including strength, cardio, and endurance. But core muscle strength is particularly beneficial in supporting and protecting your spine. If you are not already doing so, consider starting a consistent exercise routine and strength training regimen.
  2. Sleep position. Depending on your preferred sleeping position, you may be lying in a way that puts unnecessary strain on your spine. If you sleep on your back, make sure you have a flatter pillow that doesn’t push your neck forward. If sleeping on your side, ensure your pillow is thicker so as to hold your head perpendicular to your shoulders.
  3. How many hours per day do you sit for work? Does that chair, and your workstation in general, support your body and its unique shape and size? And how about your shoes? Do they support you when you’re on your feet? Everyone is different, and the tools we use should reflect and support these differences. Such ergonomic considerations should always be kept in mind.
  4. Your posture, whether sitting or standing, is a direct reflection of your spinal health. Maintaining a healthy spine will positivity influence your posture, and maintaining an upright posture will lead to a healthier spine. It’s a positive feedback loop that begins with the conscious decision to focus on adjusting the curvature of your spine.
  5. Chiropractic care. Chiropractic care focuses all its time and energy on correcting your spine. A vertebra out of place can cause blocked or pinched nerves. Through regular appointments and minor adjustments, chiropractors can treat subluxated vertebrae that may have been knocked out of place. Even if you’re feeling well, chiropractic adjustments can be preventative as well as prescriptive.

There are numerous factors that go into maintaining a strong, healthy spine. Living a safe and active lifestyle is a wonderful way to do this. If you’re looking for a chiropractor, Wirth Chiropractic is located in Greenville, NC. Contact us today, or drop by our office and schedule an appointment during our regular operating hours!

Your spine is constructed of a series of small bones, collectively known as vertebrae. Your vertebrae are strong and flexible but sometimes prone to damage. These bones surround and protect your spinal cord, which acts as the information highway of your nervous system. The spinal cord passes through each bone, through an opening known as the foramina. Spinal stenosis begins when the foramina narrow or close. This, of course, leaves less room for the nerves that pass through the opening. As the opening narrows, the nerves are compressed, which leads to many uncomfortable symptoms.

There are a number of factors that may cause the foramina to shrink. Many stem from some form of inflammation or other abnormality. For example, as we grow older and our vertebral cartilage begins to wear out, the bones are left unprotected and will start to rub together. The resulting inflammation, along with any other abnormal formations, can easily block or reshape the foramina. This is one of the reasons spinal stenosis is most common in adults over 50 years old, unless you have a history of injury or birth defects.

But what are the symptoms of spinal stenosis? If you have pain concentrated in your neck or lower back, this may be reason for concern. These are the most common areas affected by the onset of spinal stenosis. Be on the lookout for signs of numbness or weakness. Because spinal stenosis puts a significant amount of pressure on your spinal cord, your nervous system will likely be affected, and you may notice a sudden decrease in your motor skills.

So, what are your treatment options? There are painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication that will help alleviate some of the pressure on your spinal cord. You could also simply avoid strenuous or otherwise physically taxing activities that cause flair-ups. However, these are only short-term solutions to the problem. Physical therapy and chiropractic care may help slow or stop the foramina from narrowing any further. A combination of the two could potentially even reverse the process and correct your spinal health.

If you’re worried you might have spinal stenosis, make an appointment with a chiropractor. Not only is chiropractic care preventative of future injury and spinal abnormality, but it can be used as a treatment for your current health issues. Wirth Chiropractic would be thrilled to meet with you and get you started on the path to recovery. Call and make an appointment with us today!

 
 

When you go to the chiropractor, you expect the physician to correct your spine and promote healthy posture. The physician does this primarily through a series of adjustments. You may have heard them called manipulations, but that term is technically incorrect. You may be thinking, aren’t they the same thing? Aren’t the two terms interchangeable? Generally speaking, yes. They do mean roughly the same thing. But there’s an important distinction between the two that chiropractors feel is important to highlight.

First, manipulation and adjustment may or may not have any overlap at all. You might say that spinal adjustment is a specific category of manipulation. On the other hand, some claim that you can go to the chiropractor and receive an adjustment that does not technically involve manipulation. The key differences are focus and intent.

Manipulation is a general term that equates to “loosening” for the purpose of mobility and comfort. It’s usually accompanied by some audible sound, a popping or cracking that indicates the release of gasses. So when you pop your knuckles, or when you stand up to stretch and hear your neck crack, that might be considered manipulation.

Adjustment, on the other hand, is a hyper-focused and intentional form of manipulation. It involves targeting individual vertebrae, identifying signs of subluxation, and correcting them in a way that promotes healing and growth. There’s no wild guesswork or random pressing on your spine to see what might pop into place. It’s precise and intentional. Some say that adjustments are not technically a form of manipulation because manipulations always involve auditory cues. Whether this is tru or not depends on your definition of manipulation.

Think of the difference between manipulation and adjustment as the difference between a broad- and fine-tipped brush. Broad brushes are good for covering large areas quickly, spreading color with speed and efficiency. But fine brushes are used for detailed artwork, such as intricate portraits and landscapes. The fine brush clearly requires a lot more skill and knowledge to master. So it is with chiropractic.

Anyone can stand up and stretch and hear a pop or crack from one of their limbs, even from their spine. But a chiropractor will quickly identify the precise problem areas and work to correct them with small, non-intrusive adjustments. If you’re having back pain, headaches, or generally decreased quality of life, consider making an appointment. Call Wirth Chiropractic today!

 
 

Car accidents can range in severity from mild fender benders to major crashes or collisions. Just like their car, the driver can sustain any number of injuries to his or her body. Even with built-in safety precautions, such as seatbelts and airbags, drivers and passengers do not often escape automobile accidents completely unscathed. Here is a list of some of the most common injuries to watch out for if you or a loved one ever find yourself in this position.

-Bruises, cuts, and scrapes. These are probably some of the most common injuries. Shattered glass or a sharp bump against the dashboard can cause mild abrasions. They aren’t typically life-threatening, but they can be painful, sometimes causing discomfort and tenderness for days after the event.

  • -Neck. A sudden stop or jolt of the vehicle can often lead to neck injuries, including whiplash. The sensitive nerves, muscles, and bones that surround and support your neck are easily traumatized.
  • -Head. An accident may be forceful enough to cause the driver's head to hit the steering wheel or the headrest. Head trauma can range in severity, but it is always uncomfortable. Concussions are particularly common for the more severe blows.
  • -Wrists and hands. As the driver, both hands sit in front of you on the steering wheel. An accident can cause damage to the bones and tendons in your wrists or hands. This can range from simple scrapes and bruises to more serious wrist hyperextension. Your wrist is only meant to flex so far: roughly perpendicular to your arm. Hyperextension occurs when the hand is violently forced to stretch further than naturally capable.
  • -Fractured bones. Fractures occur when the bone is struck with something more dense and less brittle than the bone itself. This makes the driver particularly vulnerable, surrounded by the steering wheel and gear shift. Nevertheless, fractures can affect passengers in the front and back seats as well.
  • -Spinal cord. The spinal cord is surrounded and protected by the vertebrae of the spine. Even so, traumatic automobile accidents can lead to spinal cord damage. As the nerve center of your entire body, the most severe injuries can even lead to partial or complete paralysis.
  • -Herniated disc and subluxation. The nerve discs that sit between and cushion the vertebrae can be damaged or irritated. A herniated disc is one that has become swollen. Herniated discs cause discomfort in the patient and can lead to problems in other areas of the body. A chiropractic adjustment will help alleviate the pressure and correct any spinal subluxations (misaligned vertebrae).

After an automobile accident, be sure to check yourself for signs of the above injuries. Make an appointment with a doctor or chiropractor if you have questions or concerns.
 
 

Have you begun to dread bedtime? Maybe you know what’s coming: the sleepless nights, the restless tossing and turning in your bed. It’s exhausting, and you’re beginning to wonder how you make it through the days with both eyes open. There are several ways to prepare yourself for a good night’s rest. Focus on your bedroom environment and your body as you try these tips for a better sleep.

  • 1) Prioritize comfort. Comfort is essential to deep and cleansing sleep. If you’re not comfortable, sleep may be shallow, or it may not come at all. First, focus on the bedding. Make sure your sheets are clean and season-appropriate. For example, don’t use flannel in the warm summer months, and make sure you have a heavy blanket or comforter in the cold winter months. Regulating your home’s temperature can also help relieve extreme weather and keep you comfortable. Finally, ensure your environment is dark and quiet. Close the door to your bedroom if needed, or wear a sleep mask to block any ambient light coming through your window.
  • 2) Keep a regular schedule. Whether you realize it or not, your body tries to regulate and maintain a daily schedule. This is known as your “circadian rhythm.” These natural schedules can be changed and adjusted slightly, but maintaining a strict bedtime will work wonders for your body. A regular bedtime signals consistency, allowing your body time to wind down automatically before your head even hits the pillow.
  • 3) Relax and unplug. Allow yourself a set period before bedtime to relax and enjoy some time to yourself. Read a book, listen to music, meditate, stretch, or try any number of other peaceful activities. Do your best to refrain from viewing screens before bed. This includes television, phones, tablets, and any other mobile devices. These devices emit blue light, which tampers with your body’s natural ability to fall asleep.
  • 4) Exercise. Exercise right before bed can actually be detrimental to your sleep, causing you to be more awake and more alert than you might be otherwise. But exercise during the day can tire out your body, making it easier to fall asleep later. Go for a run, do some yoga, or lift weights. A good balance of cardio and muscle-building activities will ensure a deep sleep while also keeping you fit and healthy.

5) Eat early. The closer to bedtime that you eat or drink, the more likely you are to have acid reflux or need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. These can cause discomfort and interrupt your natural sleep patterns. Set a cutoff time a certain number of hours before bed. After this set time, you can no longer eat or drink (except maybe water). This means NO midnight snacking. But don’t worry, it will be worth it for a good night’s sleep!
 
 

Maintenance is a crucial part of vehicle ownership. The safety of you and your passengers is entirely dependent on the state of the machine. Cars and trucks are equipped with buttons, levers, signals, and other features that were designed to keep people safe on the roads. These, in addition to the primary driving functions, require a bit of upkeep. Even if it’s only testing your lights or changing the windshield wipers, do your part to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape and ready for the road.

  1. 1) Test the lights. This is the first and perhaps the most simple automobile check you can do. The best part is you can accomplish it yourself at home without any professional knowledge. We use lights to signal other drivers, to let them know we’re changing lanes or turning or braking. If these lights are broken or the bulb is burnt out, you pose a threat to the people around you, especially at night. To check your lights, engage the various functions (brake, blinker, yield, etc.) and see if the bulbs behave as expected. If you find that one or more of your lights is not lit, identify the problem and replace as needed.
  2. 2) Maintain appropriate tire pressure. The weight of your entire vehicle rests on its tires. Without the proper amount of air pressure, the entire vehicle could be thrown off balance and cause the tire to wear out faster than normal. Not only does this ultimately cost more money to replace, but it is dangerous and can lead to flats and blowouts.
  3. 3) Replace windshield wipers. Wiper blades wear out after some time of use. When it seems like your wipers are no longer efficiently removing the water from your windshield, it may be time to replace the blades. You want to avoid getting caught in a torrential downpour with subpar windshield wipers.
  4. 4) Get the brakes inspected. Needless to say, this is one of the most important maintenance operations. The inspection itself will likely have to be done by a trained professional. Brakes also wear out after an extended period of use. If you notice that your brakes are not as effective or responsive, it may be time to get them checked. For your safety, be sure to do this as soon as possible.
  5. 5) Change the oil. Motor oil helps the engine run smoothly, removing and transferring heat and dirt to ensure smooth operation. As the oil gets older, it becomes less effective. It is recommended that you change the oil in your vehicle roughy every 3000 miles traveled. This will help keep your engine running smooth and clean.

Your safety is important, and maintaining your vehicle will keep you from unnecessary cost or injury. Take it in for regular check-ups to get a professional inspection and more detailed analysis of your vehicle’s overall health.
 

Take Home Message of the Week - 4/19/21

Take Home Message of the Week

 

This week I wanted to talk to you about old injuries. Many of us have problems that cause pain that are directly connected to old incidents, such as car accidents, that never had proper medical attention. This pain may be the result of treatments that didn't work right, while others are because the original injury was never even looked at by medical professionals. Whatever the reason for the pain, it can stay with you for the rest of your life. This is not an uncommon experience. Whether the issue originated in a lack of insurance or you simply didn't realize you were hurt until it was too late, the result is the same: pain. This often becomes chronic and can flair up at any time.

Old injuries are extremely tricky to work with, because your body is good at finding ways to compensate for weakness in a specific area. This may mean dense scar tissue or strengthening muscles around the site of the injury but no rehabilitation to the actual location of the injury. There may be permanent weakness in the area, or any number of other issues. No matter what type of old injury you have, chiropractic care can help to ease some of the pain and damage that was done.

The biggest problem with old injuries is that they are already “healed”, so they probably won’t get back to the way they were before the incident unless extensive work is done. Many times when you hear of a hospital or doctor re- breaking a bone, this is why. It must be broken a second time to fix it due to the fact that it healed incorrectly the first time. Even if the injury didn't heal right, chiropractic care may be able to help relax the muscles around the area or strengthen the body to help get you back to being able to use it effectively. This can also help to relieve the pain that often accompanies these older injuries, which is often another hurdle with issues like these.

If you have an old injury that didn't heal quite right, stop by Wirth Chiropractic to see how we can help. We will do everything in our power to make sure that you are able to comfortably recover, so give us a call, and make an appointment today!

Spring is here, and that means we see a lot of rain. Rain brings blossoming flowers and vibrant greenery. It can be relaxing, or can dampen your mood. But one thing is for sure, it doesn't make for ideal driving conditions. Heavy rainfall hinders vision (not to mention the droplets on the windshield) and makes the asphalt slippery, making it harder to stop. It always seems like people drive either way too fast for the wet conditions or far too slow, which poses its own threats. Getting a smooth and uneventful drive in the rain often seems like a miracle, and it is unfortunately common to see an uptick in the amount of car crashes when the weather is less than ideal. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to help reduce your risk of injury.

One of the best things that you can do to keep yourself safe while driving in the rain is turning on your headlights. Most states, including North Carolina, have a law stating that if your wipers are on, your lights must be as well. This can help other drivers on the road see you so that they aren't pulling out in front of you or merging into your lane. Also, it is important to go a responsible speed and make sure to leave ample space between your car and the one you're trailing. If there were to be a reason to put on the breaks, you'll have more time to slow down. Use your turn signals earlier than usual so that the other drivers on the road know what to expect from you. It can also be a good idea to wait a second or two when the stop light ahead of you turns green; there could be drivers increasing their speed to get through the light, and this could cause more serious injury.

If you were injured in a car accident, call Wirth Chiropractic today. We can help you with your pain levels, even if they are the result of old injuries that may not have healed correctly. We know how much a car crash can sideline you, but we are certain we can get you back to feeling great in no time!