More Than Just Backs and Necks
by Will Forrester
The other day I was having lunch with two dear friends, and one of them asked me if I was still going to see Dr. Ranicki. I enthusiastically said that yes indeed I was. This prompted the other one to ask me why I was still going. I simply said that I have never felt better, and continuing to go seems to help me stay near optimum health as far as I can tell.
I said, “For instance, I used to battle sinus problems
on a near constant basis. I was always taking Sudafed or Clairitin D or something for sinus headaches. And then periodically I would get sinus infections. Since I have been going to Dr. Ranicki those problems are basically gone.”
I could tell that she didn’t quite follow me. I could tell she was wondering what in the world spinal adjustments would have to do with sinus problems. So I elaborated. I didn’t begin going to Dr. Ranicki for help with my sinuses. As I’ve written about before, I was battling some very painful sciatica. Whenever you go see Dr. Ranicki for an adjustment, he always asks how you are doing and has a conversation with you while he is doing the adjustment. During that time he offers a world of helpful health and wellness advice. During the course of one of my visits—this was after my sciatica had begun to improve some and I was beginning to really believe in the value of chiropractic care, Dr. Ranicki unlocked a key for understanding chiropractic for me.
He said, “Will, you were experiencing severe pain in your leg, but you understand that actually there was nothing actually wrong with your leg. The problem was in your lower back, where your spine was being pinched. Even though the actual problem was in your back, it caused your leg to become extremely tight, so much so that the muscles would not even work properly.
“If a problem in your spine can make it where leg muscles do not respond and work as they should, wouldn’t it logically follow that other parts of your body could also be harmed if they were not communicating well with the central nervous system? What if, instead of the nerves going to your leg that were not working well, what if they were nerves to your kidneys or to your heart or to your lungs? Can you see how spinal adjustments can have an affect on all sorts of organs of the body, more than just the mechanical structure?” I don’t know why, but on that day it dawned on me how chiropractic might serve to help all sorts of health problems one might experience.
I think more than anything else, this is why for the past two years I have just felt so very much better than I had the previous thirty-four years of my life. It’s not just that I experience less lower back or leg pain. I have fewer headaches. I threw all my sinus medicine away. I don’t need it anymore. Do I get a sniffle from time to time? Sure. But it sure doesn’t seem to linger on, and I have absolutely no interest in hitting the medicine aisle anytime soon.
Are You Sitting Down?
by Will Forrester
Are you sitting down? Seriously, are you sitting down right now as you read this?
Well, if you’re a typical American, you are. We Americans love our chairs. We like them big and comfortable and we even put things like “lazy” in the name of some of our chairs. We are big on comfort. And you know what a lot of typical Americans experience as well? Back pain. And the more we sit, and the longer hours that we typically work, and the more we stare at screens (usually while sitting), the more back pain we experience.
Yes, there has been many improvements done in the types of chairs available so that we sit with better posture, but in some ways those comfortable or
ergonomically designed chairs can actually work against us. Because we can sit LONGER and still “feel comfortable.”
Comfortable. Sitting. A lot. Sometimes all morning. Or even all day. But what feels good in the short term can lead to massive back pain later. We know heavy lifting and car wrecks and carrying too much weight contribute to experiencing lower back pain, but did you know that sitting too much is bad for your back? “Sitting puts nearly twice the stress on the spine as standing; slouching while you sit increases the pressure even more. That's because hunching forward pushes the back into a convex or C shape.”
“Yeah, but with my job, I have to sit a lot.”
Really? According to whom? Increasingly employers are recognizing the need for their employees to be able to perform at optimum levels, and most businesses are more than willing to accommodate people who want to do their work well while also maintaining optimum health. And you can do it.
But like any change, at first it can be touch. You have to break the habit of wanting to sit all the time. So, are there ways you could “fool yourself” into having to get up periodically as part of your work?
One thing I have done is gotten a cordless phone at work, and if possible I take my phone calls while walking outside with a pad and paper to take notes. I’m walking while I’m working. Other times I put my laptop on a higher surface so I can work while standing for part of the morning. Not only do I feel much better at the end of the day, but I’m also actually getting more done! My brain feels like it is firing on all cylinders as I allow myself the ability to experience more natural movement during the day rather than simply sitting.
So… are you still sitting down? Why not move around? Your back doesn’t get and stay healthy by being in one position all day long, particularly not sitting. We were meant to be on the move. So get up and get busy!
Knock on Wood
by Will Forrester
The other day I was driving down the road with a friend who clearly is experiencing a lot of lower back pain. As I’ve written before, I used to battle frequent lower back pain, but have been relieved from it through chiropractic care. So I asked him what he was doing to try to relieve his pain. He was wearing a back support brace, taking some pain medicine, and doing some back exercises someone had recommended for him. And he was getting to the point of considering surgery.
I really felt bad for him, because he was clearly in a lot of pain. I told him about my sciatica (see link) and how it had driven me to seek chiropractic care. About how a critical turning point in me getting better was when I *stopped* taking pain medicine and
instead began letting my body, through pain, tell me when I was pushing too hard, needing to stand up or sit down or whatever. I tried to ever-so-delicately ask if he thought taking pain medicine might be allowing him to further aggravate his back injury.
I could tell he was completely following the logic of what I was saying. But he didn’t really want to accept it.
“But what if I want to go fishing and do things with my kids? Isn’t it better to take the pain medicine so I could do those things?”
I wanted to say, “And if your back keeps getting worse, do you really think there will be enough medicine to allow you to move around at all?”
But before I could make another attempt at getting him to consider chiropractic for himself, he asked me, “So how has your back been? Does it ever bother you?”
“Nope, I feel great,” I replied.
“Knock on wood, right?” He said.
In other words, my friend was suggesting that what I was doing and the fact that my back feels terrific amounted to luck. I know many, many people resist investigating chiropractic care for a number of reasons. But honestly, whatever barriers you might have to getting your lower back pain, or neck pain, or whatever checked out, can you at least follow the logic my friend adamantly refused to admit to seeing? If you just take pain medicine, you are only masking the pain. If you do steroid injections, again, you are not solving the problem that is causing the pain or numbness or whatever, you are simply making it possible to continue to do physical activities that will ultimately continue to aggravate and worsen the site causing the problems.
It reminds me of one this quote: “Successful people are the luckiest people in the world. Just ask any failure.” Of course, if you ask a successful person, he will probably admit to experiencing some luck, but most success is dependent upon a lot of hard work and good decisions. If you’re seriously hurting, you have got to know that just one good night’s sleep is not going to be enough. You won’t “get lucky” and start feeling better. But you can get better, maybe even completely better. Without meds. Without surgery.
You know what? As good as I feel, I do feel like the lucky one. But I know it wasn’t just luck
Job Stress and Lower Back Pain
by Will Forrester
1. Does you experience lower back pain?
2. Do you have a stressful job?
For me, the answer used to be, yes and yes. Well, I still have a stressful job, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I came to Ranicki Chiropractic as a patient at first because of sciatica, but what I had forgotten until I started paying more attention to my body and how I was doing was that I regularly battled lower back pain. And I was pretty certain it was stress-related. Because when I had a more stressful day at the office, my back would hurt. And over time I would notice it, this pattern. Now I would assume that it probably had to do with sitting too much or standing with poor posture or something like that, but deep down I knew the truth: when I was stressed I experienced more lower back pain.
What I love about Dr. Ranicki is that at each visit, while making his assessment and making chiropractic adjustments, he is always asking great questions. Frequently he has asked me how I was doing and the answer was, “I’m pretty stressed.” Then he follows up with more questions about why I am stressed. Sometimes I don’t want to face up to all the reasons I really might be stressed!
But then he gives helpful advice on how to reduce physical, chemical, and emotional stressors in my
life. And it has been amazing! Am I still stressed sometimes? Absolutely, but not nearly as I was before. And even better—RARELY do I experience lower back pain anymore. And I used to battle it weekly. Taking Dr. Ranicki’s advice, not just on posture, but on diet, exercise, and how to face some stressful work situations, I have become much, much happier in my work, less stressed, and therefore, experiencing less lower back pain. And this really shouldn’t be surprising to me, because research indicates that one of the leading indicators of lower back pain is job satisfaction.
So if you’re experiencing some lower back pain or stress at work (or just with life in general), why not contact Ranicki Chiropractic and Wellness and start working on both! Dr. Ranicki gives more than just great adjustments. He offers great advice on how to live well.
Neck Pain Relief: The Results Speak For Themselves
Many people remain skeptical of chiropractic care for a variety of reasons. One rationale that is often raised against chiropractic is that it is not scientifically verified or verifiable, or that there’s just no evidence-based proof. This just is not true. Because when you have neck pain, what you are looking for is RESULTS.
So check out these results from a study done by members of the medical research community themselves (published in The Annals of Internal Medicine):1 Chiropractic care achieves far better results for relieving neck pain than using medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, or even narcotics.
Dr. Gert Bronfort, an author of the study and research professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota had this to say about the “surprising” results from this neck pain research study: “The people in the medication group kept on using a higher amount of medication more frequently throughout the follow-up period, up to a year later… If you’re taking medication over a long time, then we’re running into more systemic side effects like gastrointestinal problems.”
If you’re experiencing neck pain, whether it is something that has just started bothering you or
something you’ve tried for months or even years to deal with, why not give chiropractic care a try first (or even second or third if you’ve already tried other, less effective avenues)? Increasingly when research is done, the results are showing that chiropractic works and the side effects are that you even feel better in other ways you didn’t anticipate! With medicine, well, you can read the fine print to read about the proven side effects from those options – and we are learning about more and more side effects all the time. (Hey men, you might want to check out this latest known side effect from taking Advil.)
So do the research and see if you think chiropractic will help you with your neck pain.
But we all know the best results we are all looking for when we are in pain. Feeling better. Those
are the kind of results that speak for themselves, and that’s what we are all about at Ranicki
Chiropractic and Wellness. Give us a call to set up an appointment to see how we can help you feel better.
Sick Care vs. Stay Well
This time of year used to wreak havoc on my sinuses. Allergy season. I would start getting that headache and get that tickly feeling in my throat, and I wouldn’t waste any time. I would head right over to my local pharmacy or grocery store and hit the section just like this display below.
And if you’re like me, you’ve tried some or all of these medicines. They all make miraculous claims, and some do seem to help with symptoms for a while. And they also tend to make competing promises on how much or little they will affect you “on the side.” People even intentionally take these medicines to help them stay awake or go to sleep, because that is how they function.
But a funny thing has happened to me since I started receiving chiropractic care and implementing some of the health and wellness suggestions from Dr. Ranicki. I don’t take these medicines anymore.
It’s not like I ever decided to stop taking sinus medicines, decongestants, antihistamines and the like. I just don’t need them anymore. I still live in the same house. I still breathe the same air. Yes, cutting the grass still makes me sneezy for a day, but it doesn’t turn into a sinus infection anymore.
I used to buy huge quantities of these medicines, and I went through them like candy. The other day I decided to clean out my medicine drawer and I realized that every bit of my medicine had now expired. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll have to replace them.
What makes me sick today isn’t allergies, thanks to chiropractic care. What makes me sick is the advertisement at the top of that display pictured above. It says, “Stay well.”
Stay well. Really? Am I supposed to believe that if I’m well and want to stay that way through “allergy season,” I need to purchase and begin taking medicines, which are proven to cause other health problems when taken over long periods of time? Are we really to believe that people who look and seem to be as happy and healthy as this couple pictured here are happy and healthy because they take allergy medicines?
Of course we know this is all just marketing, but marketing is powerful. We call the medical and pharmaceutical industry “health care,” when in fact it is and should be called “sick care.”
I definitely did not look for a chiropractor because I had sinus problems or allergy problems. But I know the truth. I used to spend a lot of money on Sudafed and the like, and now I can spend that money on things that actually keep me healthy and happy… things that help me to STAY WELL.
It seems that when you’re actually well, you don’t need quite so much medicine. Stop by Ranicki Chiropractic and Wellness to learn how you can get well and even stay well or visit their website. Even through allergy season.
How Excruciating Sciatic Pain Led Me to Chiropractic Care
by Will Forrester
I’ll never forget it was just before Thanksgiving when the pain in my leg started getting really noticeable. Found myself favoring one leg, walking slightly funny. Just thought I was sore, maybe having calf trouble. Then I started waking up early in the morning, and my right leg would be hurting really badly. Then I was waking up feeling like it was on fire. Just one leg. Just the right one. Then I began waking up earlier in the morning. Waking up at 5am. Waking up at 4am. Then 3am. I would just have to get up, writhing in pain, trying like crazy to stretch what was the worst pain I could ever remember enduring.
This was weird. So I did what any young adult would do. I looked it up online. I suppose I had heard people complain about their sciatic nerve before, but I never paid attention. Didn’t concern me. Well, now I was paying attention. Pain has a way of focusing the mind on one thing: solve this problem. Get rid of this pain. I was taking Advil. Then I started taking more Advil. After several days I was taking the maximum recommended daily dosage and still not getting much relief.
So I called a friend who happened to be a doctor so I wouldn’t actually have to go to the doctor. My friend told me, “Well, it sounds like you have what I have had for a long time. Pain in one leg usually means a pinched sciatic nerve. And I hate to tell you, it won’t get much better. You’re probably going to have to get a steroid injection in your back to relieve it. You want to avoid surgery, but you’re probably looking at getting injections until those stop working and then you’ll be facing surgery.”
I was only 34. I really felt like I was too young to be having sciatic problems which were causing massive leg pain. Yes, I knew I was a bit overweight and out of shape and that couldn’t help, but still, I wasn’t that fat and I wasn’t that old.
Some other friends were noticing my limp and asking if I was okay, and so I told them what I was dealing with. I’ll never forget this young woman who boldly suggested I got to a chiropractor. I just chuckled and rolled my eyes. Yeah right. How many times have I heard that they can only offer a temporary fix and you’ll end up having to go to them for life and they really can’t fix it anyway. (Let’s forget for the moment how similar this description was to what my friend the medical doctor had said about the hope of traditional medicine solving my problem!)
I was hurting bad and getting worse. I really, really didn’t want to have to take more powerful pain medicine for a lot of reasons. And I sure didn’t want to have surgery, particularly at such a young age.
Did I mention my leg was in massive pain???
So I called the chiropractor. Even after my first visit, I had some lingering skepticism. I mean, this whole approach was just wildly different from what I had grown up with. But my pain was bad enough that I was willing to try.
At first I had to have frequent visits per week because my condition was really rough. I did feel like I was improving some, but not as quickly as I would like. And I was still popping Advil like they were going out of style. My chiropractor, Dr. Ranicki, convinced me that the sciatic pain I was feeling was actually my body telling me to do things differently. So by continuing to take the Advil, I wasn’t feeling the pain and was therefore probably aggravating the injury and healing more slowly.
So I made another bold decision. To just endure the sciatic pain, stick with chiropractic care, and stop taking the pain meds.
The results were amazing. In a matter of days I began to feel virtually no sciatic pain whatsoever. I began to feel better in other ways as well which I had not anticipated. But I’ll share about that more in another post.
For now, let me just say that if you’ve got pain in primarily one leg, it’s probably a pinched sciatic nerve. And it is a problem that chiropractic care is well suited to solve. Without drugs. Without surgery. You don’t have to keep hurting, and you could be feeling much better by making a few changes and lying on a table for a good adjustment. Trust me it’s worth it.
By the way, my friend the doctor? His back is now hurting him worse than ever. I can’t count the number of steroid injections he’s had since that conversation before Thanksgiving, and he’s looking at having major surgery soon.
Please visit the Ranicki Chiropractic Wellness Center's website to learn more about
I'm Olivia King
and I am the Community Outreach Coordinator for Ranicki Chiropractic. Part of my job is to go out into the community and let people know about Dr. Ranicki! I have created this QR Code which you can scan and it will take you to a page that entitles new patients to our Bodyworks Package. This is a $200 value that includes and consultation, chiropractic evaluation, and a report of findings. If you would like to take advantage of the offer please scan the QR code or you can go to o
. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Sometimes it feels good to tear down a wall. That’s what we’ve been doing here at Ranicki Chiropractic and Wellness. We’ve been “under construction” here lately, creating a hall where there wasn’t one before, opening up space, making our building the way we’ve always felt it should be. Since we moved in ten years ago, the building has served us well, but it just wasn’t exactly right. We made it work for as long as we could, and then we got to a point where we said, “Enough! Let’s do it. Let’s make this structure match the needs we have.”
Interestingly, that is what we do every day around here. Have you ever felt in your physical self that something just wasn’t quite right. Maybe you’ve gotten used to how you function, but what if…
…what if before you got the point where the building just needed to be “torn down” (so to speak), what if you decided to just see if a slight renovation might make the whole structure feel better and function like it was supposed to?
There is an “Ahhhhhh” feeling that comes when your body is in alignment, when all systems are functioning as they were intended. We see people every day for the first time who are experiencing multiple problems, but by knowing which “renovations” are necessary, it is amazing how quickly they can experience that “ahhhh” feeling again or even for the first time.
I’m not gonna lie, we are really excited about our building and the way it’s shaping up. It’s going to serve us even better now for years to come. But we’re even more excited about seeing how we can serve you, how we can help you function at your absolute best, the way you were designed to. But here’s the deal. At some point YOU have to decide to “take out that wall,” whatever that wall looks like. Why not make today the day you decide to renovate you?
-Dr. Steve Ranicki, DChttp://www.ranickichiropractic.com/