Category Archives for "Posture"

Best Pillow for Sleeping

Patients often ask me what pillow is the best one. There are so many to select from I can give you the tools to know what is best for you. First, if you sleep on your stomach, DON'T! Sleeping on your stomach torques your neck and you're asking for problems. So the pillow I recommend can help with that.

If you sleep entirely on your side, this pillow isn't for you. For those who are entirely side sleepers, simply use a pillow (or two) to make sure your head is parallel to the floor (perpendicular to your shoulders). Also, a pillow between your knees is best to support low back.

If your sleep on your side and back OR if you sleep only on your back, this pillow is for you. It offers support for your neck while keeping your head in a "posture neutral position", meaning your head is in line with your upper back rather than your head being lifted up by the pillow.

Here is the best head pillow I have found. I've gone through around 15 different pillows and I keep coming back to this one. Mostly all of my patients love it and it lasts a few years without deforming. So click on this AMAZON link to purchase it rather than sleeping on your flat, non-supportive pillow or that memory foam pillow that looks like it cradles your head, but really doesn't.

Also, here is the knee pillow I find to work well too.

Telemetry for the Spine

Often I am asked is there a stress on my spine and nervous system how come I don’t feel it? The answer to that is because only approximately 10% of the nerve fibers in your body are designed for the perception of pain. But that does not make it any less easy in understanding what type of self-care or self check one can do to learn a little bit more about the nature of the stress on one’s spine and nervous system. 

When I was in chiropractic school we used to joke about the idea saying “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a button or an indicator on one’s forehead that said tilt” to alert a person when they look in the mirror in the morning that they have spinal tension or what we call vertebral subluxation. What we need is some form of telemetry, an indicator to us on the outside of what’s happening on the inside. We do have scanning technology in our office called the Insight millennium which does assess the spine and nervous system for various forms of stress that can result in ill health. However that is not something one can use at home or when out of the office. There are certain forms of biofeedback to use so one can evaluate their spine to look at a few specific markers. I went over that on a previous blog called the DIY Spinal Exam

Think about it, if there was a spaceship that NASA was sending into space it would have mechanisms of assessing on the ground. I’m sure that NASCAR has the same thing for their cars to make sure they are functioning properly. It is impractical to have something like that so I said fine that would be hooked up to one’s body as there are to machines.

So the short of it is that you should look at your range of motion. Turn your head left and right, laterally flex your head left and right, and flex your head forward and back. If you feel any stress or discomfort even slight tension on one side versus the other you may be in need of a spinal evaluation. This really mean that you will need to be adjusted. However it is one component to evaluation that we might do and if you do feel discomfort I would urge you to have your spine checked by a license chiropractor.

In fact if you want to help friend or family member you can do this assessment with them where you can visually see possibly the deficiency movement. This also can be done for the low back by bending forward, backwards, and side to side.

If you have any questions on how to do this please feel free to respond to this blog or to contact me directly at 610-935-5900.

DIY Spine Exam

I know spinal  hygiene can be confusing and that chiropractic care is also often a pool of misinformation in the public eye.  It is for this reason I created this brief video to show you a hands on way to assess spinal motion and get a sense if you would need a chiropractor.

If you notice restriction or discomfort, I urge you not to wait.  However, the absence of pain or the lack of awareness or decreased motion doesn’t necessarily mean your spine is fine.  It takes a doctor of chiropractic to properly assess the functional state of your spine.

How it done in our practice:

First, we review your health history.  Then we have a consultation, followed by a comprehensive examination if warranted.  The examination consists of the following:

  • Posture
  • Range of motion
  • Specific orthopedic and neurological tests if needed
  • Static and motion palpation of your spine
  • A chiropractic neuro-spinal assessment assessing for vertebral subluxation
  • State of the art computerized technological spinal assessment using the Insight Millenniu

I hope you gained some value from watching the video above.

Elevated desks help take a stand for healthy living

As quoted from the Pottstown Mercury Newspaper on October 25, 2015, Elevated desks help take a stand for healthy living:

Dr. Jeff Snyder, president of Snyder Family Chiropractic in Upper Providence, said sitting for long periods of time puts a lot of stress on the spine. People that are inactive during their work day, like truck drivers for example, tend to have lower back issues, he said. Snyder said the majority of his patients with desk jobs come in complaining of neck or back pain.

Extensive sitting can also cause something called forward head posture, which is when the head leans forward past the shoulders more than it should. The position has adverse effects on the curve of the neck and spine, Snyder said.

“There’s no question that we are not designed for sitting eight hours a day,” he said adding that people should be up and moving to stay healthy. “There are no doubt benefits to using a standing desk.”