Chiropractic After Back Surgery? 
by Will Forrester 

“How long will the surgery last?” 
“It should take about an hour.” 

Sometimes I wish that they wouldn’t give time estimates on surgeries, because the longer the wait, the more I seem to worry. The surgery took over three hours, and then there was a lot of recovery time before my friend could get back to see her husband. She was a nervous wreck before finally getting a report that her husband’s serious back surgery had gone well. 

Her husband was the friend of mine I wrote about previous who was battling severe lower back pain and sciatica (KNOCK ON WOOD ARTICLE). His pain had finally progressed to the point that he felt surgery was needed. He was not interested in chiropractic care and remains generally opposed to seeing one because of personal bias he has. And that’s sad to me, because before the surgery I have no doubt he could have gotten significant relief if not total recovery from the struggles he was having. Yes, he had accumulated a lot of back problems through years of overuse, abuse, poor diet, bad posture, et cetera, but it’s never too late to begin to bring healing and make lifestyle changes. What’s also sad to me is that even after his back surgery, chiropractic care could help him in tremendously important ways. 

Why You Should Get Chiropractic Care AFTER Neck or Back Surgery


Some people wrongly believe that chiropractic care is only for those who forgo other types of back treatments that are out there. This just isn’t true. Chiropractic care is important for one’s overall health regardless of what previous medical issues or treatments you have received. 

Depending on the type of surgery you may have had, your results may be more limited, but in no way should you think that you should therefore forgo all chiropractic care. Here’s why:

1. Your Back is Probably More Fragile Than Before
If you have gone under the knife, you have had damage done to your muscles that support the back 
and neck. This will take time to heal. And your neck or back will now be adjusting to whatever surgical changes were made. It will be more prone to shifting around, not less. Chiropractic care is essential to help the body stay in an aligned state. 

2. Your Immune System Is Down
Surgery places massive stress on the body. Your body is a remarkable organism which works to heal itself, and the trauma of surgery kicks the immune system into high gear. Therefore you are prone to more illness and infection as you recover. Did you know that chiropractic adjustments give your immune system a boost? How cool is that? If you have had surgery of any kind, particularly back surgery, you owe it to your body to “get its back” and get adjustments so your immune system can be improved as you heal and recover. 

3. Now Is the Time for New Habits
Surgery is a time when many people make major life changes. Many people finally start eating right 
and exercising after they have open heart surgery. It’s a wake up call, and it should be. If you’ve had to 
have major back surgery, you need to know that many, many people wind up going back under the knife within a few years. This is so unfortunate, because surgery and more surgery is not inevitable, even if you have had back problems your whole life. If you had to have back surgery, why not make this the moment in your life when you make some lifestyle changes so that you keep your back in good shape… for life. 

A FINAL CAUTION: If you have had neck or back surgery and are seeking chiropractic care, it is CRITICAL that you find a chiropractor who does thorough evaluations and x-rays so that you can receive precise adjustments that keep you aligned and don’t harm any work that has been done. You wouldn’t go to a surgeon who didn’t look at x-rays, would you? The same is true for getting chiropractic care. Stop by Ranicki Chiropractic and Wellness Center for a thorough health evaluation.
 
Five Reasons to Try Chiropractic in 2014

by Will Forrester

A few years ago my family and I stumbled onto chiropractic care, and we’ve never felt better. If you’re looking to get healthier, feel better, or just want some relief from a problematic area, here’s five reasons to try chiropractic care in 2014: 

1. Neck and Back Pain Slows You Down and Makes You Miserable. If you’re reading this blog then chances are you’ve got some neck or back pain. That’s what drives most people to investigate chiropractic care in the first place. And that’s a good thing—because it works. It’s a New Year. Would you like to finally get some real, tangible relief in that neck or that back that is giving you trouble? Regardless of how bad of shape you think you may be in, chiropractic care can certainly improve if not significantly improve your functioning. Imagine getting to go for a whole day, or a whole week without back or neck pain? That’s a New Year’s Resolution we can help you actually reach. 

2. You’ll Have WAY Fewer HeadachesMaybe you’re not thinking about headaches now, or maybe you’ve got a splitting migraine as you read this. Either way, most people have occasional headaches or even chronic problems. Did you know most headaches are tension and stress related, many times due to neck tension. Guess what? You get some good chiropractic care, and studies show you will have fewer and less severe headaches. Some of our patients literally don’t get headaches anymore. 

3. Your Nervous System Affects EVERYTHING. Chiropractic is actually about aligning the spine, in other words, the central nervous system. Yes, we help align bones as well, but the magic is that your nervous system carries all that information back and forth so your body can repair and heal itself. When you’re out of alignment, it’s like a computer that has all sorts of bugs and maybe even had coffee spilled on the keyboard a time or two. It just doesn’t run as fast as it should and gets locked up sometimes. At Ranicki Chiropracitic, we want your nervous system to function as smoothly as a brand new Mac laptop (or PC if that’s your preference)! When your body is communicating well, all your internal organs will work more smoothly. We have lost count of the number of patients who initially came in for help with a back or neck problem, but after receiving care found that their acid reflux or asthma or kidney or hormonal problems or depression also significantly improved. 

4. You’ll Have More EnergyAnd when your bodily systems are all working together more smoothly, you know what happens? YOU FEEL AWESOME! Have we discovered the fountain of youth? Well, not exactly, but the truth is that most Americans are way more tired and worn down physically than they should be at their age. Chiropractic care will serve as a boost to your energy level as you put into practice other healthy life habits. What if 2014 was the year that you actually felt like getting out of bed, going after life with gusto because you knew you had the energy to tackle whatever was before you? 

5. The Adjustments Really Do Feel GreatWhy should you give chiropractic a try this year? If you really need another reason, here’s one more. The adjustments really do feel great! Now if you’re in severe pain starting out, you might not get that “ahhh” feeling initially. But give us a few weeks, and you’ll see why more and more Americans love their chiropractor. They know how to help relieve tension and stress in a way that’s going to help you for years to come. 

6. The Atmosphere at Ranicki Chiropractic Is Peaceful and PositiveOkay, I know we said 5 Reasons, but I can’t resist giving you one more reason. If you haven’t stopped by Ranicki Chiropractic and Wellness Center, you owe it to yourself this year to at least come by and meet Dr. Ranicki and the incredible wellness team. They are super friendly, always positive and helpful, and the atmosphere they have created is a breath of fresh air. It’s one of the highlights of my week to get to lie on the adjustment table, hear the aquarium water bubbling, listen to gentle meditative music that calms my spirit, and then get to chat with the amazing staff. They never fail to offer a smile, an encouraging word, and positive advice for how to get and remain healthy. If you want to have an awesome 2014, get into an environment like Ranicki Chiropractic where you’re going to be motivated to be your best self. And get some people on your team like Dr. Ranicki who will make you want to stay on the path to true health and wellness.
 
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.
 
My First Massage

by Will Forrester 

I think I was on a romantic weekend getaway when I had my first massage – one of those couples massages where you’re in the same room. I was crazy nervous, not used to being mostly unclothed in front of strangers, and also sharing this experience with my new bride. At first I was chatting away nervously with the massage therapists, peppering them with lots of questions, till finally my lovely wife gave me a kind look as if to say, “It’s time to relax and be quiet now.” 

Before the massage therapist got to work, she asked if there was anything in particular I had been struggling with. I said no, I was doing pretty well, not too much tension or anything. It was only a few minutes into the massage when both my therapist and I realized that I was at best fooling myself and at worst lying! I was UNBELIEVABLY tense! I can’t remember the exact conversation, but she began to ask me if I had been experiencing a lot of stress lately. I honestly didn’t know what to say. I thought I had been doing pretty well with life, but even I could tell that my muscles were in rough shape. I needed a lot of work. 

The therapist also helped me notice some PAIN in my hip. I had a tremendous knot, and when she hit it, I flinched a bit at first. “Oh yeah, I guess I have had some pain in my hip from time to time. I guess I didn’t think about that.” 

Quite honestly I don’t remember much else about my first experience with a professional massage therapist, other than I felt like I could melt into a puddle of relaxation afterwards, and that I was completely out of touch with how stressed I was and how it was affecting my body. 

When somebody asks YOU how you are doing, what do you usually think about when answering that question? If you’re like I was, you think about how you’re thinking mentally and feeling emotionally. But how are you doing physically? How much stress and tension are you carrying in your muscles? The truth is, how you are doing physically, emotionally, and mentally really can’t be separated. If you’re mentally and emotionally stressed, you’re going to feel it physically. And if you get some relief physically, it’s going to help you out mentally and emotionally as well. 

Now is a perfect time to do yourself or your friends and family a favor. There is a new massage therapist right here in Pooler at Dr. Ranicki’s Creating Wellness Center. The holidays can sometimes be hectic and even stressful, so why not give yourself an early present and relieve some tension? Or you can knock one of those gifts you need to buy off the list. Come on…who doesn’t want a massage gift certificate?
 
Paying Attention

by Will Forrester

I had been seeing Dr. Ranicki for a couple of months and had already begun to experience pretty significant improvement. And of course I was loving coming for my regular adjustments. I would share with my family the health and wellness related info I would learn from Dr. Ranicki, and finally I began to drag my family along to see Dr. Ranicki and see what all the fuss was about.

At the time my youngest daughter was not really crawling yet, and definitely not walking. She was approaching ten months old at the time. Rather than crawl, she had found a way of moving across the floor that I can only describe as bizarre. Since birth my daughter had nearly 360 degree rotation in her hip sockets. In other words, her legs appeared to be really, really flexible! It was not unusual for her to sit in a manner that she was sitting doing “a split.” And rather than doing traditional crawling, she would move herself forward not on her knees but by moving herself forward, doing a split, then bring her legs forward, then doing another split. It’s hard to explain. It was like she was doing the breaststroke, but with her legs. She could bring them completely forward then pull her body up. It looked strange.

She had seen more than one quality pediatrician since birth, and all had noticed and remarked on how flexible she was in her hips. And the comment that everyone would always make was, “She’ll make a great ballerina one day!”

When we would come see Dr. Ranicki, usually my daughter would just stay in her carrier or in one of our arms, but one day we put her down on the floor and she proceeded to do her strange hip crawl thingie. I will never forget the look on Dr. Ranicki’s face when he saw her do it. He was shocked.

“What is that?” he asked.

“Oh yeah, she’s really flexible! I guess she’ll be a great ballerina one day!” we rattled off our usual comments.

But I could clearly see Dr. Ranicki was concerned. He explained that was she was doing was not normal, and to be so “flexible” was actually not a good thing at all. He asked if we minded if he checked her out. I can’t remember just what he did as he began to examine her, but he was very quickly able to see that she had some serious hip problems that, if not corrected, could seriously affect her ability to crawl and walk normally.

He had our attention.

Then Dr. Ranicki laid even more bad news on us. He explained that crawling is one of the first developmental milestones which is critical for brain development, because it requires both hemispheres of the brain to work in tandem, the right side of the brain causing the left arms and legs to move, while the left brain causing the right arms and legs to move. He had my wife and I hold our daughters arms and legs as she lay on her back. Then he asked us to simulate what crawling would look like. I would bring one leg up while holding the other leg straight, and my wife would do the same with her arms.

It was amazing. As we “forced” our daughter to do crawling motions while lying on her back, I could feel her muscles resist these basic movements, because her brain was having trouble making her arms and legs work the way they need to in order to crawl. I could see what Dr. Ranicki meant. This wasn’t just a hip problem. This was going to mean harming her brain development, and who knows what that might mean for her down the road.

We began to get our daughter adjusted for the first time, and we did some physical exercises with her at home throughout the day. Her progress was phenomenal. In only a few short weeks she was crawling on her own, and very soon after that she was pulling up and walking.

What is so frustrating is that she had been seen by very competent physicians who had not been terribly concerned about her odd hip flexibility. But Dr. Ranicki was present and aware enough to pick up on what was a huge problem that needed immediate attention even though he was actually busy seeing other patients.

I can’t promise that you might experience such dramatic results for you or a family member in such a short period of time, but I can definitely promise you this: Dr. Ranicki is alert, aware, trained, and fully present to whatever symptoms or health problems you may be experiencing—whether you are aware of them yet or not. He pays attention, and let’s be honest, it’s nice to get attention from time to time.


 
Don’t Just Dull the Headache Pain…
…Get Rid of the CAUSE of the Headache! 

Isn’t it the worst when you feel a headache coming on? Maybe it’s when you wake up, and you just feel rotten and your head is throbbing from the moment you wake up. Or maybe it comes on midmorning due to stress or something you’ve eaten. Sometimes we will tell ourselves it’s from too much or too little caffeine. Or sinus pressure. Oh and did we mention stress? Maybe we slept wrong or just had a terrible night of sleep in general. Or some combination of the above. 

Then there are those of us who suffer from regular, frequent, or even chronic headaches. We try all sorts of strategies to feel better and have probably tried most of the OTC medicines and maybe even a few prescription options. But when you feel that headache or migraine coming on, all you really want to do is find a dark room and crawl in bed. The fact is, there are a lot of causes for headaches, and many treatments. But before you go reaching for the medicine bottle first, check out this quote from a Scottish medical journal recommending the diagnosis and treatment of headaches: 

Clinicians should be aware that patients using any acute or symptomatic headache treatment are at risk of medication overuse headache. Patients with migraine, frequent headache and those using opioid-containing medications or overusing triptans are at most risk. Medication overuse results in the development of chronic daily headache. Stopping the overused medication usually results in improvement in headache frequency and severity. The risks of medication overuse headache should be discussed with all patients when initiating acute treatment for migraine.1

Yes, there is even a diagnosis for headaches known as “medication overuse headaches.” Once again, when we start by treating the symptom (headache pain), rather than looking for the cause (neck tension, poor diet, poor sleep habits) and treating them, we can and generally do make matters worse. In fact, the number one way to effectively treat and cure the occasional, frequent, regular, or even chronic headaches is through neck and spinal manipulation. Numerous evidence-based studies point to chiropractic care as the most effective way to solve most headache problems. And in this case the only known side effect is… you might feel even better than you expected! 

1. http://www.sign.ac.uk/pdf/sign107.pdf Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (November 2008). Diagnosis and management of headache in adults. Edinburgh. ISBN 978-1-905813-39-1.
 
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.