Getting Bent Out of Shape 

by Will Forrester

I was zipping along the interstate when I saw the brake lights ahead. It was nighttime, and the traffic was pretty heavy. I could tell we were going to be stopping quickly—probably a wreck up ahead. But when I looked in my rear-view mirror to see if the people behind me were going to stop, I had a split second to recognize I was about to be in a wreck myself. A big one. I could tell it was a heavy duty pickup truck barreling behind me. Turns out they were hauling a heavy trailer and there was no way they could have stopped in time. They creamed me and then I hit the car in front of me, and off we went. It was a miracle nobody was hurt, especially me. My car was barely recognizable, but the front and rear ends smashed in. 

The next day I had a friend drive me to the lot where my car had been taken so I could retrieve a few things I had missed the night before. I was unbelievably sore—I felt like I had new muscles I was not previously aware of all acting like I’d done a major workout. But everything seemed to be working fine. My friend was shocked to see the terrible damage. She even noticed that the driver’s seat was bent. You could easily see that the frame of the seat in which I was sitting had been bent. But I was fine. I never even bothered to go to a doctor. And I was young at the time, in my early twenties. I used to just bounce back from everything. So, no, I don’t have any hard evidence that the car accident that had enough force to bend the seat in which I was sitting didn’t manage to do any major damage to my bodily structure as well. But how I do wish I had gotten things checked out at the time. I was a long way from considering chiropractic at that time. 

I guess it was about eight years later when severe sciatic pain drove me to make an appointment with Dr. Ranicki in Pooler, and when I came back to get the results of my initial evaluation, the results were not good. Even with my untrained eyes, I could easily see that my spine had major problems. Again, the problematic places in my lower back and in my neck could have come from any number of causes. I was overweight, I slouched when sitting, I didn’t stretch much, and I used to crack my neck and back on my own in ways that likely weren’t helpful. But I have to wonder if that severe impact from that car accident so many years earlier hadn’t caused lasting damage that, if addressed early, could have prevent years of gradual and increasing pain. 

If you’re in the Pooler area and have had a car accident lately (or not so recently) and are experiencing neck or back problems, whether it’s pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling, or any combination of those symptoms, I want to urge you not to make the same mistake I did. I know we’ve all seen the jokes about people who make a big deal about neck and back problems after accidents just to try to scam people out of money, and I’m sure we’ve had enough of those personal injury lawyer commercials. But don’t let people who take advantage of car accidents for personal gain deter you from making sure you are okay after an accident. It’s not about money, it’s about your long-term health, which of course will have financial repercussions. 

The force of even a minor car accident can cause major problems in the spine which can definitely be helped by chiropractic care. If left untreated, the damage can become more problematic over time, so why not schedule an evaluation today! If your car is bent out of shape, chances are you’re going to at least get it fixed enough so it can run, or else you’ll get a new one. Shouldn’t you give at least as good care to your physical body as you would your auto body? Stop by Ranicki Chiropractic in Pooler or give us a call and schedule an appointment.
 
We all want to give that perfect gift for that special someone, right? Okay, maybe you have someone who is “hard to buy for.” They say thank you, but you can tell they are trying hard not to roll their eyes at one more “attempt” to get them something they really, truly want. Maybe you’ve become a bit of a Grinch over the years because you don’t think you can really afford something that will make that special someone beam when they open your gift. 

What if I were to tell you that we have a gift idea that will serve as a DOUBLE GIFT. It will make their day when they open it, and then it will make their day on another day when they redeem it. This, my friends, is called a double win! 

What is this clever gift idea, you ask? Why, a massage of course! Maybe you yourself have never gotten one, maybe you think it’s a little bit self-indulgent or silly or a waste of money. Well, trust me, it’s none of those things. A massage is an incredibly healthy way to reduce stress, bring that body, mind and spirit back into alignment, and do something that folks seem to have a harder and harder time doing these days… RELAX. 

If you’ve never even thought about getting a massage, check out our website to see the incredible packages we have – all sorts of great deals this time of year. But even if this is just for someone else, I guarantee that you will not get one of those looks when they open the present this time. They won’t have to shrug and say to themselves, “Well, it’s the thought that counts.” And this won’t be one of those gift cards that just lies in a drawer collecting dust, either! 

That’s when this gift becomes a double gift. You’ll make their day when you give it, and you’ll really 
make their day when they come and enjoy that incredible massages offered by Skylar at Dr. Ranicki’s 
Creating Wellness Center. As hectic and crazy as life can be, can you think of a better gift than literally taking some stress away from a special person in your life? This really is a gift that will keep on giving.
 
Don’t Crack Your Own Neck In Front of Your Chiropractor
by Will Forrester

I’m not gonna lie, I love the feeling of that “pop” when my neck or my back “cracks.” I can still remember cracking my own back for the first time. In high school, I had this friend who started cracking his own back, and I thought it looked bizarre, but like most teenagers, I figured if someone else was doing it, I’d better try, too, right? So I did. Thus began a habit of cracking my own back which lasted for years. 

I remember the back thing, but I can’t recall when I started cracking my own neck. But talk about a great feeling! Honestly, as I’m typing this post, I’m now having to resist the urge to just reach up under my chin and twist to get that nice pop that will relieve some of that tension. Did I mention it’s been a stressful day and it’s late in the afternoon? 

After I’d been seeing Dr. Ranicki for a few weeks, one day right after he had finished my adjustment, I got up from the table and stood up. As Dr. Ranicki was making notes on my chart, I casually cracked my own neck. RIGHT in front of him. He looked up at me and said, alarmingly, “What are you doing???”

Here’s the funny thing – I had developed such an unconscious habit that I honestly didn’t even realize I had done it. I said, “What are you talking about?” 

“You just cracked your own neck right after I got finished adjusting you. You’re basically undoing the work I just did. Don’t do that.” 

I think my first thought was, “What’s the difference between you adjusting it and me cracking it just a bit?” Thankfully, before I could utter those words out loud, Dr. Ranicki explained, “Listen, if you had a toothache, would you buy your own drill set and fix your own cavity? I wouldn’t recommend you or 
anyone I cared about do their own dental work. In the same way, I wouldn’t recommend you adjusting your own neck. Trust me, this is why you are coming to me.”

A chiropractor like Dr. Ranicki has the training and skill to isolate just the problem areas and give just
the right amount of pressure needed to correct any subluxations that exist. When you or I just—on our own—casually give our neck a good crack, we are almost assuredly overextending ligaments and, over time, doing great damage to the health and stability of the neck. If you are feeling stress and wanting to relieve some tension, check out this great video Dr. Rancki posted about how to get some relief without doing the dangerous cracking. And obviously, nothing will help you more with overall neck health (not to mention the health benefits associated) than stopping by for an evaluation from Dr. Ranicki.
 
Leg Pain Relief in Pooler 
by Will Forrester

I’m a fairly young guy and have always been relatively healthy. I try to keep in shape but let me be honest I’ve always been a “once every few weeks” rather than “three or four times each week” kind of guy when it comes to exercise. But, if I wanted to go for a short run, even three or four miles, I could usually do that. Yeah, I’d be sore for a day or two, but I have always basically been able to do what I want. That is until a few years ago. I started experiencing leg pain. Just in my right leg. But worse than the usual soreness from out-of-shape calf muscles

At first I just tried to stretch a little more than I had been, but my right calf was REALLY tight, way worse than I had ever experienced before. And no matter how much I stretched, I felt like it wasn’t really doing much to help loosen up the muscle at all. I was taking Advil, then taking it more frequently, then I was taking the maximum dosage. Tried Aleve. But when the medicine wore off, the pain was back. It would ease up during the day, but at night it got to be unbearable. I was waking up at 5am in massive pain. Then waking up at 4am. Then 3am. And only in the right leg

I had never heard of sciatica before. Well, that’s what it was. The sciatic nerve was being pinched, and it was causing me to experience excruciating leg pain, only in one leg (which is typical of sciatica). 
If you’re experiencing leg pain of any kind, I hope you will do what I did and make an appointment with Dr. Steve Ranicki in Pooler, GA. Ranicki Chiropractic has an amazing team, and Dr. Ranicki is an encyclopedia of health and wellness knowledge. And he is an expert chiropractor. Before you look for medicines or injections or contemplate having surgery, please take the time to research how chiropractic care can improve and likely correct entirely any problems with leg pain you are experiencing. 

Back in 2011, I was waking up in pain. I was limping to work. I was wondering why I was battling health limitations at a seemingly young age. Today, after seeing Dr. Ranicki, I feel younger than I ever have. I can hop, skip, or jump to work if I want to. Life is good. No more leg pain.
 
Back Pain RELIEF
by Will Forrester 

Years ago I used to experience some pretty terrible back pain. Right in the middle of my lower back, particularly on stressful days at work, by the end of the day I would be looking for opportunities to get alone and try to stretch it out, put some heat on it, something. And I was used to it. I always told myself it was because I was really stressed and out of shape. Of course, when I would try to get in shape, the throbbing would get even worse… for a while. If I stuck with the exercise regimen, I would notice it would improve slightly. Which would only confirm would I (wrongly) believed, that I just needed more exercise – even though exercise wasn’t completely eradicating the problem. Oh, and I also took Advil and Aleve and other meds like that. I guess I figured this was just what people who worked out did. 

This went on for a few years, and interestingly, my back pain improved a bit on its own. I didn’t notice it so much anymore – only when I exercised, which was less regularly, so I didn’t have to deal with the pain. Not good. Finally my back problems shifted I supposed and I began experiencing sciatica. 

Which finally drove me to investigating chiropractic care for the first time. As I’ve written previously, my sciatica improved in short order. In the process of getting treatment, I began to actually experience back pain from time to time again – my back problem had become so severe that I was actually numb—this was why my pain had seemingly gotten better! In fact, I was in danger of having very severe back problems which would only get progressively worse. 

And today, my back pain is no longer an issue. I can exercise all I want. I never--NEVER—have to (or want to) take any pain killers or anti-inflammatories any longer. I don’t need them. 

If you are in the Pooler area, I would highly recommend making an appointment to see Dr. Ranicki for an evaluation. How I wish I could have gotten help for my back pain years ago, rather than allowing the places where my spine was misaligned to continue untreated for so long! But even if you, like me, have endured back pain for a long, long time, it’s never too late to begin to bring some actual relief to the sites where the pain is coming from! It’s so much better than just popping a pill to tell your brain to pretend the throbbing or ache it is feeling isn’t there.
 
How’s Your Ride? 
Will Forrester 

Do you remember your first car? Even better, do you remember the freedom that driving your own car gave you? The exhilaration of being able to go where you want to go whenever you want (as long as you have gas money, of course!). There really is nothing quite like a fine automobile and what it can do for your soul.

We Americans love our cars. We spend a lot of money on them. Have you ever tried to think of how much money you have invested in these things that transport us around from place to place? When you think about gas, insurance, repairs, and of course the amount of cash you have to save up to buy one (or the size of those monthly payments!), we invest a LOT of time and energy and money into our mechanical transportation. 


But there is something even more important that we travel around in than our cars and trucks. Every one of us travels around in a body. You have yours and I have mine. And you’ve probably already heard the fascinating statistics on how quickly the cells in our bodies replace themselves. You have entirely new skin every thirty days. Other parts take months or years to replicate themselves. But the “you” that you’re traveling around in now—regardless of how long you’ve been alive--your body is only around ten years old. Crazy, huh? Kinda makes you wish you could go back and eat a few more salads over the past ten years, right? Because what we are eating today, our regular eating habits now, will directly impact how young we look and feel as our body replaces itself. 

But I have kind of a weird question for you. Who are you? If your body is always replacing itself, then who is the “you” that is traveling around in that body? Because we retain memories and experiences and wisdom gained for more than ten years. Yet the body we travel in is constantly in flux. Of course, scientists and philosophers disagree on what the essence of who we actually are is. Some believe we have an eternal soul. Some believe we’re just synapses firing in our brains. Some believe we have a spiritual essence of some sort. We can all disagree and discuss this forever. 

My question is, regardless of what you believe about what the essence of *you* really is… how are you taking care of *you*? And whether you believe you have a soul or a spirit or are just entirely organic matter, I think we can all agree that for however long we have here on earth, we are intimately connected to this body we are traveling around in. You can’t really separate how *you* are doing and feeling from how your body is doing and feeling. 


So how are you? Really. 
How is your body? Really? 
Are you healthy? 

Are you happy? 
Are you as healthy as you really want to be? 
Are you as healthy as you believe you can be? 

Maybe you’re not a total car nut. Maybe you never spent hours waxing your first car like so many did as a teenager. But most of us, car fiends or not, invest a lot of thought, time, energy and money into what we use for transportation, because we know it’s important to get where we need to go, and it’s also important how you feel when you’re “on the journey.” Getting there is half the fun when it comes to driving, so we want a nice, clean car if we can afford it.


At Ranicki Chiropractic Wellness Center, they offer many services to help keep your body running smoothly. Visit the website, or drop by their office for more information. 
 
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 painAnd 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 healthAnd 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!
 
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.”


2
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. 

 

1
 http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1033256
2
 http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/for-neck-pain-chiropractic-and-exercise-are-better-than-drugs/ 

 
Sick Care vs. Stay Well
Will Forrester

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.