Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

January 30, 2019

Sleep Loss Heightens Pain Sensitivity and Dulls Brain’s Painkilling Response

new research

It is well known that chiropractic care will decrease pain symptoms (and others). It is equally well known that once you have less pain, you sleep better. Now researchers are looking more closely at that connection: you are going to feel pain more when you get less sleep.

For patients with neck pain, back pain and headaches, the cycle usually goes like this: first less pain; then more and better sleep; then better energy levels; then higher levels of activity.

The message from this new research is clear: get out of pain; get your sleep. Get your sleep and get out of pain.

The message of chiropractic care is also clear. We can help!



October 25, 2017

“I had no idea chiropractic was covered by insurance.”

That from today’s new patient. If you know anyone suffering from back pain, neck pain, or headaches (or knee pain, or shoulder pain, or… or…), you would be doing them a great service to mention that chiropractic might help them.

A chiropractic patient is qualified as a chiropractic patient because they need chiropractic care, not because of their complaints, or lack of complaints.

We look for a condition that is often no painful – it will likely eventually become painful. It may be painful, it may not. The condition we look for and attempt to prevent, correct, or manage is a progressive condition: it will get worse if it is left uncared for. It will lead to degenerative changes, eventually. And this process will lead to disease labels.

If a patient waits too long, there may be little that chiropractic care can do. But you will not know that without an examination, and usually a trial of care.

And if someone you know, work with or are related to is suffering, does have the condition that chiropractors look for and correct, and does not get chiropractic care, there is a good chance that, symptom relief or not, they will still have that condition afterwards. By this I mean medication, physical therapy, massage, may give symptomatic relief; if may not correct the underlying condition causing the symptoms.

It is an old story. We who have been telling it for decades tend to assume everyone knows it. But like insurance coverage, which has been standard for chiropractic care since the early 70’s, not everyone knows.

You need to tell them.

October 11, 2016

Why the Variable-Height Work Stations Don’t Always Solve The Problem


(Variable Height!)

I was talking today with a patient about her new variable-height work station and I realized why they don’t always work out that well. Don’t get me wrong, they are a good idea and I support using them.

Here’s the thing, if your posture and the way you relate to (1) the floor, (2) your chair, (3) your keyboard, and (4) your monitor is faulty, and you now stand up but still relate poorly in all but one of those respects, how much better off are you, really?

Up, down, or in between, the work station has to relate to the human’s normal, healthy, correct, posture and alignment or it isn’t doing much good.

I haven’t studied all the newest variable-height work stations but here is what they need to do to accommodate humans: and this applies to both the standing and the sitting postures, they aren’t really that different, except for the chair dynamics.

First, how to stand: the human needs to know how. Someone should teach them. I have offered, and am available (this applies to all that follows and more of course, since it is what I have been Blogging about for the past six years).

(Second: the only thing that changes with sitting is: the human should know how to sit. Someone should teach them…blah, blah, blah.)

As a matter of principle, it makes sense to me that the v-h work station should then match the normally aligned human: if the human bends their elbows to about ninety degrees they should find their keyboard and mouse right under their hands. The humans shoulders, chest, and spinal alignment should not have to change to accommodate the v-h station: if you have to lean forward, hunch, or reach, you loose.

The monitor needs to be positioned so that with the head in neutral and the eyes tracking down gentle angle, the monitor is right there: no goosenecking allowed; and certainly no nose-in-the-air posture like you see all day on the road (look at the driver’s on your left and right the next time you are stopped at a light and you will know what I mean.)

So, in order for the v-h work station to achieve all of this for you it has to be designed so that each component moves independently up, down, forward and back. Anything other than that and you will be trying to adapt to your v-h work station in the same ways you have been trying to adapt to your dest now. If it aint right it aint right.

August 26, 2016

101 Benefits of Exercise.85


Research overwhelmingly shows that regular exercise lowers the risk for many diseases, enhances the functioning of virtually every physiological system in the human body and improves psychological well-being.

85. Helps to relieve and prevent “migraine headache attacks.”

I will be Posting a benefit every day – well, most days – from a list put together by Dr. Dave Phillips, M.D. He is an M.D. from Atlanta, GA who specializes in Sports Medicine. As a former All-American swimmer he knows a few things about exercise. He is also on the JuicePlus+ Health Advisory Board. He is also all over YouTube doing videos on JuicePlus+, exercise, and other health-related topics.

You can be healthier: this is list of ways exercise affects the body; think of them as motivational if you like.

February 11, 2016

101 Benefits of Exercise.8


Research overwhelmingly shows that regular exercise lowers the risk for many diseases, enhances the functioning of virtually every physiological system in the human body and improves psychological well-being.

8. Can help relieve the pain of tension headaches.

(This might be a good time to think of the “industrial athlete” point of view in the prevention of job-releated injuries.) I have been focused on that here for the past five years: if you are interested search this Blog for related terms.

I will Posting a benefit every day from a list put together by Dr. Dave Phillips, M.D. He is an M.D. from Atlanta, GA who specializes in Sports Medicine. As a former All-American swimmer he knows a few things about exercise. He is also on the JuicePlus+ Health Advisory Board. He is also all over YouTube doing videos on JuicePlus+, exercise, and other health-related topics.

I hope this list of benefits of exercise is of help to you.

November 12, 2015

“I haven’t had one since… it’s nice not having those headaches.”


Comments from a patient who had been adjusted a grand total of two times in two days. She went from three weeks of severe headaches (9-10 out of 10 severity) to “No headaches since, neck [pain] is much better, low back still hurts.”

May 20, 2015

The First Breakthrough Chiropractic Visit

When patients present for chiropractic care they almost always have a problem they want our help with. We talk. We examine. We talk some more.

Then we do what we do. And wait for the result.

During all the earlier talking we, both the patient and I, get a sense of how long it will take to get some or all of the results that the patient wants. My job is to (1) help the patient understand their condition (Here is where we insert the whole conversation about them holding on to pain as their “problem” and us trying to educate them that their real problem is what causes their pain, but that’s not what this Post is about – them getting that is the Second Breakthrough:-), and (2) give them reasonable expectations about results, usually relief from pain.

Sometimes it takes a while for the patient to experience enough relief to believe that they have made the right choice in coming here; sometimes they leave before they get to that point (having the expectation that it would happen before it did). But if they stay. If they do what we recommend. If I can do my job well enough. And if their daily life isn’t too hard on them… they always get the results.

Yesterday a new patient – he has been seen only a half dozen times or so – came in. It was that visit where the patient says, “I really am feeling definitely better, and have since my last visit.” It’s a great visit, I wanted to share it with you:-)

At this point I have to reiterate to the patient that they are not really out of the woods: healing has barely begun. Here we enter an entirely new phase of the relationship, if not care. That’s the subject of another Post. This Post is about that Breakthrough visit.

The message to the person considering chiropractic care or those who have tried it and decided it didn’t work for them after a bad experience is: almost always that visit comes within a couple of weeks of care and several visits. It may take that long, it may take longer, but it doesn’t take months (usually). And if you are going to be a big exception to the rule, that should all be obvious to both doctor and patient on day one – and discussed.

November 25, 2014

Alarming Research? Posture? Texting? Say It Isn’t So…

Old news is new news. If you align yourself poorly with gravity and spent time that way, bad stuff happens.

That graphic is a great one. It conveys – and the research puts the numbers to it – the effect of what we call Forward Head Posture (FHP). FHP is the single most common postural distortion we see in patients with back, neck, headache and shoulder pain complaints (remember Sitting Is The New Smoking?).

Not easy to fix when it been established over decades, and devastating to the biomechanics of movement as well as standing and sitting, this condition is a sign that there is a serious process going on – with or without the pain that will eventually accompany it.

FHP is an obvious outward sign of a complicated (complex) dysfunctional process that involves not just isolated alignment but also compensatory skeletal changes, reflex and other neurological changes, tissues changes (inflammation), and muscular changes (spasm and contracture) that lead to degenerative changes (arthritis), and a myriad of complaints and conditions.

Best to prevent it if possible, correct it early when you can, and address all the aspects of it if it’s well developed if you can’t, won’t or don’t prevent or catch it early. We can help. Call 425.348.5207.

November 14, 2014

Now this is the way it should work, kinda…

A patient goes into their medial doctor and says, “I have been really dizzy for a week.”

The medical doctor says, “You should go see your Chiropractor.”

That was the story for the second patient that I saw today.

I mentioned that she hadn’t been in for over a year and a half, and might have stopped by a little earlier. No need to mention that she should have thought to come in herself when she got dizzy – given her history (this isn’t the first time).

Many patients go so long between chiropractic visits that they forget where to go or where they last went to get relief (These patients use chiropractic care for relief only… by definition:-) She had first come in in 2011 and after a half dozen visits got great relief from her chronic severe headaches. Since that time she may make in annually, but not always. She isn’t quite a “typical” patient, but she is not at all unusual either (though most have back or neck pain, of course).

Reminds me of a patient that doctor Thompson used to talk about who would have headaches so bad that she would end up admitted into the hospital. Each time (for at least three occasions) she got clear to the point of being in the hospital (it would take a month or more of doctors visits, regular drugs, etc.) before she remembered that getting adjusted always took care of her headaches.

January 20, 2014

Another “They wanted me to keep coming back” story



It’s got to be the most common criticism of the chiropractic profession: a patient starts care, gets the relief they seek, then stereotypes any chiropractor who suggests that they continue care beyond the relief of symptoms as “bad” in whatever terms they prefer. The typical patient discontinues care after their symptoms have subsided enough to allow them to get by. Then they return or go somewhere else when their symptoms return months or years later.

There’s been a string of those new patient stories this past week or two (the new patient has a story about some prior chiropractor whom they have left, and a criticism of that prior chiropractor for recommending that they continue care). So I thought I would weigh in with a few thoughts.

First off, just to get it out of the way, there are offices where the primary objective is sell what they have to sell – more adjustments – and not helping patients so much. If you have had any recent experience with any health care facility of any type, at least in this area, you know that that isn’t unique to chiropractic practice. It’s always up to you to figure out whether your providers fairly balance your interests with their own – not easy for some I know, but still it’s up to you.

It’s a very delicate balance helping people achieve whatever health goal they pursue (pain relief is usually first on the list), having them understand the nature of their condition, and offering a way to prevent the relapse and chronic (painless) dysfunction that will be followed by degeneration and disease (usually accompanied by plenty of pain).

It isn’t our job to decide what your priorities are; sometimes investing in spinal health is trumped by other things once you are out of pain. We doctors need to understand that and I do.

It is our job to try and have you understand your condition completely, to recommend only the care you need once we figure that out, and to try and help you appreciate the true value of a healthy lifestyle.

We have to be Ok with your decision, though, whatever it is. It isn’t a failure on our part when you decide to use chiropractic like an aspirin, necessarily. Given your circumstances at the time, you make the best decision you can.

But please don’t hold it against us because we care about your future health enough to encourage you to take better care of yourself while you are still reasonably young (maybe), reasonably fit and healthy (or not), and still able to do the things that will help you avoid future problems. Those things include getting adjusted, doing exercises, and maybe feeding your body the nutrients it needs to fully recover, heal and stay healed. It may include other things.

If your condition has progressed. If neglect has lead to you needing a lot of care to get a little result. If the need for ongoing care just to keep you comfortable is the best anyone can do, well, then that’s what it is. Many people in chronic pain due to damage that is beyond full repair need ongoing care. They manage as best they can and often do well: they just need to do more to take care of themselves than others.

Of course the issue, beyond means and a few others, is trust. There isn’t much of that around these days. Those who can’t be trusted trade in fear – you don’t need an example from me, look all around at conventional as well as alternative health care. They also trade in the very same communication strategies and tactics that those who can be trusted use – they are often fabulous sales people. So a patient who is hoping for help is vulnerable and often victimized by the very professionals who are supposed to offer solutions, and act like professionals. That’s a shame.

It’s also a shame that once people have been victimized enough by enough professionals, they become skeptical and suspicious. In this case, that process, aided by the propaganda of our adversaries in mainstream medicine, has lead to a general impression among much of the public that, “you will have to keep coming back.” Nonsense. We work for you (so does your medic the the way).

I say it’s a shame because I am familiar with your options, and the current state of affairs in the world of back pain, for example.

Here is a recommendation: communicate.

That’s how you will find out if the doctor you see is a good match for you.

We get along really well with our patients (who get along really well with us) because eventually they figure out that we are going to offer what we thing they need, and what will best serve them. It takes a little time, and not every patient follows our recommendations. We gain trust by first getting patients out of pain as quickly and affordably as possible. Then we do the very best we can to help patients get a full understanding of their condition, and we offer to help them prevent relapse and/or worsening, and find health.

We aren’t here to wear you down until you do it our way. We are hear to help you with what you want when you want it, and offer you options.

November 27, 2013

A Safety Reminder For the Holidays


Yesterday the last patient of the day left the office long after dark. I left a few minutes behind him and his small child.

As I was getting into my truck I saw that he was about to pull out onto Evergreen Way right at the light in front of Fred Meyer. Worse than that he was taking a left turn.

It was sad for me to see and I watched and waited to make sure that he made it. There was plenty of traffic and it took him longer than most people like to wait (think patience).

He did make it. But not safely.

What he didn’t know is that the previous day there had been a serious two-car collision at that intersection. What he also didn’t know is that from now until the end of the year between that light and the next light going north there will be many car crashes – there always are this time of year. (They occur at one light or the other, or in the turn lane between the two lights somewhere.)

I tell everyone who will listen how dangerous that spot is. Safety starts with awareness. My patient didn’t realize what a high risk move he was making.

If you are a patient, please don’t use that entrance/exit!! There are several other ways to get into and out of our parking lot, all of them are much much safer. Coming from the south on Evergreen Way (so that it’s a simple right turn) is the only time it is safe to use that entrance.

Coming from the north on Evergreen Way either use the entrance further north (just past Banner Bank), or better yet, turn left at the light on Casino, then right onto 7th and right onto Holly and come in behind the office. That’s the safest. (Ask me if you don’t understand this approach.)

In nearly 26 years we have never had a patient injured in a car crash coming or going from our office. We don’t want to start now. Please, please, please be safe.

And have a great Thanksgiving!!!

P.S. – BTW, we will be closed on Friday for the holiday.

August 20, 2013

Could You Take A Hard Fall?

Filed under: Back pain, General Health & Wellness — Tags: , , , , , — doctordilday @ 2:26 pm
InnerSpace Caves in Texas

InnerSpace Caves in Texas

While in Austin last week the three of us took a tour of the Inner Space Caves, a series of limestone caves that runs for miles in all directions just 50 feet or so below the surface.

I didn’t size up our tour group of about twenty people but later when I looked them over I realized that predicting the weak link would not have been hard.

We slowly descended into the dimly lit cave guided by an enthusiastic 20-something who warned us about hitting our heads on the sometimes low ceiling. Inside the temperature was in the mid-seventies, the humidity was the same – so it was damp, the floor was wet.

In places where the eight foot wide trail dipped down there were rugs placed on the ground, the kind you get at Costco to put outside the front door of a business. I didn’t see how they were attached but when I stepped on the first several I made sure that it wouldn’t slip: they were secure.

The floor was otherwise uneven, wet rock. I was wearing toe shoes with rubber bottoms so I was aware that I needed to be careful on the steeper parts of the path where I could not walk on the rug.

Halfway into the 20 minute descent I noticed a commotion up ahead. A 60-something grandmother with her daughter and granddaughter had nearly fallen. All the usual words were said, and then they moved on. The woman had on tennis shoes. The good support and wide base would have been a great choice any place but here; the hard rubber bottoms were even slicker than mine because they were so hard. She was average height but obese, clearly “out of shape” and she was wearing bifocal glasses.

While mentally doing the math on how many heath conditions this woman likely has (and therefore how many prescriptions – think side effects like dizziness), and how poor her balance probably is under the best of conditions (most people have no idea how poor their balance is), I watched her from behind for a while, and noticed how much difficulty she was really having. Embarrassment likely kept her from asking for more help, and she assured her daughter that she was Ok more than once. I don’t think anyone else even noticed, but I positioned myself next to her just in case. (I don’t like First Aid – after the fact – heroics at all which is one reason I pay attention in situations like this in the first place.)

The daughter was up ahead a ways with the granddaughter when the woman finally fell. Catching her so that she didn’t hit the ground, I suggested that the daughter take a hold of her as they walked so that she could provide some support. She didn’t let go until we were all the way back out of the cave, so I stopped paying attention. It all happened in less than ten seconds and we didn’t make much of a fuss so, again, few people noticed. The guide didn’t.

Slowly we descended. On the way out the 20-something guide continued what was a normal walking pace for him. It was all up hill though, and others were not so spry, including the 60-something woman who had stability issues. Several people were winded.

I asked the guide how often they have to call the aid car for people touring the cave who have trouble of one kind or another. He said that they don’t call the aid car too often, but that they have a tram that they send down to bring people up now and then (what else could he say, right?). I’ll bet they do.

The poor light, the wet slippery floor, the hard bottom rubber tennis shoes, and the distinct lack of awareness all conspired to make this woman’s tour a seriously dangerous event. I was happy to be useful and glad that she wasn’t a fall statistic that day.

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