Our Chiropractic Blog

From time to time we post articles we believe are of interest to our patients. It may focus on the latest ways to treat neck and back pain, or offer information on ways to stay healthy and improve your well-being. Sometimes we just like sharing our thoughts on a newsworthy topic. If you’d like to read our latest posts, please register to receive Garland Chiropractor’s, Dr. James Mixon’s RSS feed, or check back often to catch up on recent chiropractic blog articles. If you find what we’ve written helpful and would like to share the word, please like us on Facebook or bookmark a post!

Spinal Decompression Therapy: Non-Invasive Treatment for Sciatica

Few people make it through life without experiencing  some level of back pain. It’s inherent to the way we live our lives. Ever get down on your knees to pull a weed or plant flowers? How about lifting a child? Do you often carry in bags of groceries? Dragging out a full trash can takes effort!

Sooner or later furniture is going to be rearranged or removed to the curb. Or maybe you’ll climb a ladder to hang a picture or paint a wall.  Life is ripe with opportunities to hurt your back!

How many of us take time to  stretch or warm up their muscles before engaging in the typical activities daily life requires? One wrong reach or lift or movement can stain your back and—whoa! Pain!image of woman with sciatica pain

Often this is muscle pain that can be eased by an ice pack or a OTC pain remedy. But this article explores the more debilitating and agonizing back pain those simple remedies can’t resolve. When a condition related to the spine itself is the problem, such as a herniated disc or sciatica, what can you do to stop the pain?

Garland Chiropractor Dr. James Mixon offers an option that can help you deal with spinal pain that’s a result of a bulging or herniated disc.

Let’s take a look at Spinal Decompression Therapy for Sciatica and how it may be your answer to relief.

Serious Spinal Pain from a Herniated or Bulging Disc

Disc herniation can be a degeneration related to age, but it can also be caused by lifting injuries, strain, or other trauma. A herniated or bulging disc is a tear in the disc’s fibrous ring that lets the spine’s spongy inner material jut out between the outer rings. Pain results when inflammatory chemical mediators are released. This is serious enough that for many people back surgery may be required.

Another cause of back pain is sciatica, which occurs when the soft material bulging from the disc presses against a nerve, pinching or irritating it.nSciatica pain specifically relates to a pain that extends from the lower back down into the leg.

Painful Symptoms

Symptoms of a herniated disc you shouldn’t ignore:

  • Pins-and-needles or numbness down one leg, extending from the buttock, down the thigh to the knee. Sometimes the pain can reach clear to the ankle or foot.
  • Weak muscles in one or both legs.
  • Pain in the front of your thigh.
  • Severe muscle pain or spasms.

Sciatica pain symptoms:

  • Lower back and/or hip pain.
  • Rear or leg pain that gets worse when you sit.
  • Weakness or numbness that makes it difficult to move your leg or foot.
  • An annoyingly constant pain on one side of the rear.
  • A distracting burning or prickling feeling down the leg.
  • A shooting pain that makes it really hard to stand up.

Spinal Decompression for Sciatica – An Option for Relief

Fortunately, there are non-surgical options available! Spinal Decompression Therapy (SDT) non-invasive, and far less expensive than surgery. It doesn’t require drugs and you remain fully clothed for the procedure. .

As a long time Garland Chiropractor, Dr. Mixon offers years of experience with diagnosing and working to correct spinal conditions such as herniated discs and sciatica. He will recommend Spinal Decompression Therapy if he feels it is the best treatment to relieve your painful situation.

What is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Decompressing the spine provides an injured disc with a healing environment. Stretching the spine reduces the pressure and allows the protruded spinal material back inside the disc, opening it to the body’s restorative nutrients. With repeated treatments, the damaged disc has the opportunity to heal naturally.

How is the stretching done? You lie down on a comfortable traction table located in the chiropractic office, and are strapped in place around the abdomen and under the ribcage. Based on Dr. Mixon’s diagnosis of your condition a personalized treatment plan is entered into a computer that operates the therapy bed. The therapy itself consists of a series of cycles that stretch your back gently but consistently. It lasts approximately 20 minutes, and the number of sessions required depends on the progress of your pain alleviation.

This is a simple therapy that allows the body to heal itself, rehydrating the damaged discs and bringing them back to a natural spongy condition. The treatment has benefited thousands of patients by providing a remarkable reduction in pain. The number of treatments needed is dependant on the individual patient’s requirements.

Who Shouldn’t Have Spinal Decompression?

  • Expectant mothers
  • People who have had fusion of the spine, or who have had spinal implants, especially an artificial disc
  • Patients who have had a failed back surgery.
  • Also considered poor candidates are people who have osteoporosis, spinal infections or tumors, or who use any kind of blood-thinning medications.

Final Words

Spinal Decompression Therapy is a treatment worth considering if you’re suffering from a herniated disc or sciatica. For suitable patients, this therapy is very effective. It’s non-invasive, doesn’t require drugs or injections, and it doesn’t take up much of your time!

Current patients of our Garland Chiropractic clinic already know that Dr. Mixon is a skilled and thorough chiropractor who focuses on helping people to achieve optimal health.  If you aren’t currently a patient, please contact Texas Spinal Health to learn if you’re a good candidate for Spinal Decompression Therapy.

Get rid of the pain and reclaim your freedom of movement!

Keeping Your Balance as You Age: 5 Simple Exercises for Seniors

Balance is important in every stage of your life. It allows you to walk with grace, easily see your surrounding and stay pointed in the right direction. Balance allows you to make automatic adjustments to your posture and stability during every activity.

exercising womenBalance is achieved via a set of  ‘sensorimotor control systems’, which includes input from your vision, touch, and vestibular system. The vestibular system involves equilibrium, motion, and spatial orientation. All that sensory input is directed to the muscles of your eyes and body.

Any one of those sensory components can be negatively affected by disease, Injury, certain prescription medications, or—that undeniable part of our life cycle—aging.

How Age Affects Balance

Balance problems as we age usually result from deteriorations in our sensory and muscular functions. After all, many people begin to exercising and move much less after middle age. Here are a few common reasons seniors are more susceptible to falls:

  • Vision decreases;
  • The legs and hips weaken, making walking difficult;
  • Spinal degeneration or the posture becomes poor and it’s difficult to stand up straight;
  • Often people can lift their feet like they used to, increasing the likelihood of stumbling;
  • Our reactions slow when we encounter a physical obstacle, which can cause a fall;
  • Prescription medicines can cause dizziness or affect balance;
  • Low blood pressure can cause light-headedness that increases the risk of falling.

For these reasons it’s a good idea for seniors to begin a gentle exercise program that addresses strength, endurance, and balance. Even a small amount of targeted exercise can help restore good balance.

Simple Exercises for Seniors

The main muscle groups should be exercised several days a week, including the legs and arms, shoulders, chest and abdomen.

Staying safe while retraining the balance system is critical. Before beginning any kind of physical program, check with your doctor to be certain you or your family member’s balance problems aren’t the result of disease or infection. Make sure you or your family member aren’t alone while performing these exercises. Start slowly! There’s no hurry and it will take time for balance to return.

• Single Limb Stance
This is an exercise for seniors that can be done with either a chair or a counter to hold onto. An armless chair from the kitchen or dining room is good. Wear shoes with a smooth bottom so they don’t catch on the floor.

This is an excellent exercise to strengthen the hips and ankles. Keep your body weight over your ankles as you stand with your feet together and your arms as your side. Steady yourself with one hand on the back of the chair, which should be placed a bit to the side and in front of you. Bend the knee of the leg that’s closest to the chair, raising your foot back behind you so you’re balancing on the other foot. Hold that position for 10 seconds, then move over and do the same thing with the other foot.

Work up to standing on one foot for a full minute, and lessen your need to use the chair (or counter) by eventually using only a finger, then letting go completely.

• Eye Tracking
The exercises below helps the eyes track, and assists in the visual and vestibular systems, which in turns improves postural stability.

If you get dizzy while doing the exercise below, stop, sit, take a drink of water and look straight ahead until you feel better.

Begin by bending your elbow and holding your thumb in front of your face. It’s as simple as that. Now, move your thumb to the right, tracking it with your eyes until you can’t see it. Don’t move your head! Move your thumb back to the left until you can’t see it. Lift your thumb up, drop it down—track only with the eyes and not your head.

Now hold your thumb at arm’s length. Repeat the tracking exercise; this time follow the movements of your thumb with your eyes and your head.

Clock reach
This exercise is to designed to improve standing balance by strengthening hip and ankle muscles. It will also add motion range to the upper body and shoulders. Hold onto a chair to avoid a fall. If you want to add to the workout, use a one pound wrist weight.

As you hold onto the chair with your left hand, visualize a giant clock at your right side. Think of the 12, 3, and 6 o’clock positions. Stand tall, lift your right leg and balance on your left leg. Bring your right arm up to the 12 o’clock point then circle your arm back to the 3 o’clock. Don’t reach back too far because it might strain your shoulder. Now go to the 6 o’clock position. Repeat on the other side.

Staggered Stance
This is to strengthen the ankles so they can help keep the center of gravity, which improves standing balance. Remember your chair!

Start with your feet together and hands at your sides. Step forward on the right foot and stand that way for 10 seconds. Now alternate by placing the other foot in front of you. If you need more accuracy, put tape on the floor to guide your feet. To make it more difficult, close your eyes. Or try twisting at the waist. For a really big challenge, do it standing on a pillow.
And don’t do it alone!

• Knee Marching
One final exercise. This is a mild cardio exercise that also addresses leg weakness and helps your ‘moving’ balance.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and arms at your sides. Lift one knee as high as you can and still be comfortable. Lower that leg and lift the other knee. You’re marching in place. Repeat the knee lifts 20 times on each side. Keep the chair or counter close.

Older people can achieve better balance and reduce their risk of falling by faithfully working to improve the strength in their ankles and hips, and by moving their arms to build flexibility in the upper body and shoulders. These 5 simple exercises for seniors will help you do just that.

If you would like to learn about our customized programs of exercise rehab, please contact Texas Spine & Wellness. Our doctors can help you achieve your goals and feel your best!

Chiropractic Treatment and Your Immune System -Natural Ways to treat Allergies and Sinus Problems

Sinus problems and allergies are often treated with medicines, antihistamines and cold remedies, but surprisingly, chiropractic treatment may also play a role in improving allergies. It may sound strange, but recently it’s been learned that there is a direct link between the immune system and the nervous system. If your body is performing at its optimum level then your immune system will be stronger and therefore can prevent infections and disease more easily.

image of a man with sinus problemWhether you have sinus problems, are allergic to pet dander, foods, or are unable to successfully fight off infections, an improved immune system will help. By making strategic adjustments to your neck and spine, our Garland chiropractor can reduce the stresses on your body and help the nervous system operate more effectively.

Although many allergy sufferers rely on over the counter medicines to treat their symptoms, this may not always be the best choice for your body. Over time, traditional medicines can create inflammation within the liver. In addition to fine tuning your body with chiropractic treatment, there are a number of other natural ways you can help your body fight off allergies and sinus congestion.

  • Saline Rinse – Occasional use of a neti pot or a nasal irrigation bottle using a saline rinse can be helpful for many people to thin mucous secretions and aid drainage. We recommend using boiled water to make the saline solution, as it will help prevent contamination from potentially harmful bacteria that might be found in tap water. Please don’t ignore this recommendation as a few net pots users have suffered a fatal brain infection linked to the parasitic amoeba, Naegleria fowleri. You can follow this link for a demonstration on how to use a neti pot.
  • Homeopathy – This system of medicine has been around for more than 200 years. Developed in Germany, homeopathy is based upon a system of like treats like. To give you an simple example, if you were suffering from sleeplessness due to an overactive mind, a couple of cups of coffee drunk late at night might add to your distress. However, a homeopathic remedy, called coffea cruda, which uses infinitesimal doses of the original ingredient, can be used to calm and soothe the mind and promote peace, tranquility and rest. Although traditional science may dispute Homeopathy’s claims of success, we have found remedies to produce wonderful results for many of our patients. We stock several fine homeopathic remedies for both sinus and allergy conditions.
  • Herbal Supplements – Many herbs can be used to tone down or alleviate typical hay fever symptoms, such as stinging nettle, milk thistle, and yarrow. Our office stock products by Allergy research group, Standard process, Douglas Labs and NutraBiogeneis that combine natural ingredients with advanced science to deliver products that can help you get through allergy season with barely a sneeze!

2-A-DAYIn addition, it’s important to check your diet. Be sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Five to seven serving per days is ideal. This will help ensure you’re receiving a rich source of vitamins and mineral through your food. We also recommend supplementing your diet with a professional grade multivitamin, which can be found here.

To sum up, the Health Care professionals at Texas Spine and Wellness are more than just “back doctors”. In addition, to providing chiropractic treatment, our team of health care practitioners which includes an MD and nurse practitioner, can help your body get back on track in other ways. We also offer nutritional advice and recommendations on supplements to help your body work in a more harmonic way to fight disease, infections and allergies. Our doctors are always available to assist you when you need them.

Having a properly balanced and healthy lifestyle, in conjunction with regular chiropractic treatment, helps the body heal naturally and become aligned quicker and more easily.

Contact us today if you’re ready to start feeling your best.

5 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Help You Feel Your Best

Bad posture is one of the unfortunate results of a modern lifestyle. We sit working for hours at our computer screens, hunch over our cell phones and sit watching endless TV programs. Eventually, most of us will suffer from some sort of problem as the bones in our back and neck become misaligned after long periods spent in unhealthy positions. These bones are called vertebrae and one of their functions is to protect the nerves that run through them. When the vertebrae go out of alignment they put pressure on these nerves and reduce their ability to function properly. One of the first signs of a misaligned back is neck or back pain. Other joints in your body can also suffer from similar problems.

image of chiropractic careThe main role of a chiropractor is to keep your vertebrae in healthy alignment and reduce the problems that can occur. There are many ways that a chiropractor can help your well being, but I want to focus here on 5 important ways a chiropractor can help you feel your best.

1. Chiropractic care can alleviate pain quickly. It helps free up and relax muscles and joints that have become frozen and unable to function properly. Nerves that have become pinched in these misaligned joints can then relax, allowing for significant pain reduction.

2. Chiropractic treatment can improve the function of your immune system. Your body interacts in a complex way. Whenever any part of your body is not functioning well, the rest of your body is also affected. When nerves in your spine are under pressure, the function that they control in your body is impaired as well. Your immune system is connected intimately with your nervous system and it benefits your spine is correctly aligned. Your chiropractor can help.

3. Chiropractic care has been shown to result in more satisfied customers than those treated in hospitals. A three-year study in 1995 reported by the British Medical Journal, studied 741 people with low back pain. These people sought treatment from either a chiropractor or from hospital outpatient treatment. Their ages ranged from 18 to 64 years and it involved both men and women. At the end of the three-year study, it was found that those who received regular chiropractic treatment found more benefit in their treatment and were more satisfied with the outcome than those patients who attended the hospital outpatient clinics.

Chiropractic care can also reduce your need for pain relief medication. This allows you to reduce the chance of any unpleasant side effects that these medications can give.

4. Chiropractic treatment can help reduce stress and depression. When you’re in pain and unable to move freely it can quickly become stressful and get in the way of your ability to function at school or work. It can also get in the way of personal relationships as you become more irritable. Compound this with difficulty sleeping due to discomfort, and your ability to cope is further lowered. As soon as you’re able to start a regimen of chiropractic care, you should see a reduction in stress levels and an improvement in your ability to function as a whole.

5. Chiropractic treatment is non-invasive and can treat both old and recent problems. Chiropractic care aims to help your body heal itself naturally. It does not rely on medication or surgical intervention to achieve this goal. While it is helpful to seek treatment as early as possible, treatment can be very helpful for long standing problems as well. Most people benefit from “maintenance” to deal with the general ‘wear and tear’ their bodies face over time. Regular appointments will also keep your boss happy as you’ll be less like to miss work days!

What to expect when you see our garland chiropractor for the first time

Texas Spine and Wellness is an integrated clinic where our team of health professionals work together as a team. Within our Garland chiropractic clinic, you’ll have access to the finest care with services ranging from exercise rehab and therapeutic massage to advanced solutions for knee and shoulder pain. Our team includes a medical doctor, chiropractors, a nurse practitioner, exercise physiologists and licensed massage therapists.

In short, our staff is fully equipped to help you regain strength, and range of motion while decreasing any pain you’re having. If you would like to learn about the many ways the staff at Texas Spine & Wellness can help you feel your best, contact our office at (972) 840-2520.

Tingling Hands and Fingers? It Could Be Thoracic Outlet Sydrome

Have you ever awakened with your hands tingling or numb? It’s an alarming sensation, as it often takes time to regain feeling. For some people the condition is more pronounced and affects them throughout the day.

Not every episode of tingling fingers or hands is a problem. Sometimes the symptoms are relatively harmless, and can be caused by something as simple as sleeping on your arm overnight or keeping your arm in a fixed position for too long.

Additionally, most people, at one time or another, have accidentally hit their “funny bone” near the elbow joint. This is simply a nerve plexus concentration area. While the blow can be painful and can cause arm or hand numbness, the sensation quickly dissipates as the nerve signals return to normal.

But for the majority of cases, tingling in the hands or fingers is caused by a compression of nerves in the chest area called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a fairly common problem that occurs when there’s not enough room for nerves and blood vessels to pass through the thoracic outlet, which is located between the base of the neck and the armpit.

It is important to understand there a wide variety of potential causes of tingling in the hands or fingers. For most people nerve compression in relatively benign. But there can be other causes, such as a herniated disc, shingles or herpes zoster infection, injury to the nerve from infection, migraines, diabetes,, lack of vitamin B-12, multiple sclerosis, radiation therapy, among others.

That’s why it’s important to consult with a chiropractor or your MD about chronic tingling and numbness in your hands and finger.

Simple treatments and exercise can provide relief

If you’re diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, a chiropractor can perform basic neck, shoulder, back and spinal manipulations to alleviate the nerve compression.

Routinely stretching the pectoral muscles will also help to relieve the problem. Here’s a simple exercise that can performed at home:

Stand in a corner of a room. Lift your arms so that your elbows are aligned slightly below your shoulders and your hands are facing forwards. Place one hand on either side of the corner.

Now lean forward slowly. You should feel a slight stretch in your pectoral (chest muscles). Hold that position for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times. Take a look at the picture below to understand the technique.

Perform this exercise twice daily for two weeks. Within a relatively short period of time you should notice improvement. If you feel any pain or discomfort in your shoulders, discontinue the exercise and contact your chiropractor or physical therapist.

Your chiropractor may also recommend using ice packs to relieve the inflammation, swelling, and numbness in your hands or arms.

To visit a chiropractor in Garland, contact us by phone at (972) 840-2520. Our clinic is medically directed, offers therapeutic massage, exercise rehab and the services of a nurse practitioner.

In addition to back pain treatment, our clinic specializes in treating patients with painful shoulders and SI joints and osteoarthritis of the knees.

Contact us at (972) 840-2520 to learn more about our advanced pain treatment programs.