Posts Tagged ‘Stress’


November 24, 2008

cervical-massageAs a Doctor of Chiropractic who specializes in stress-related headaches, neck and shoulder pain, 80% of my patients present with muscle tension, pain, and structural problems of or related to their spine.  All 100% of my patients could benefit from a reduction of stress in their lives, even if they present with an injury that had been caused by a fall or car accident.

Stress in small amounts can actually be beneficial.  Think about the last time you felt pressed for a deadline.  Most people will become more focused, work more diligently, and get more accomplished because they know they have to be finished by a certain time and date.  In this case, a deadline can be a beneficial stresses that acts to draw you closer to a goal or accomplishment.

Long-term stress can be very harmful to our bodies.  One deadline will not do the trick.  Most often, it is a combination of stressors that push us over our limits.  It’s the series of deadlines in the same week combined with the fact your child gets sick the morning of your big presentation.  You hadn’t eaten well for the past few weeks because you had to spend hours after work trying to meet the upcoming deadlines.  Your spouse is upset that you have been spending enough quality time together, and your mom called to say that she had to take your dad to the emergency room last night.  Can you relate?

In today’s society we live in a constant state of low anxiety.  It’s as if at any point in time one more stressor could push us over the limit.  You can feel your neck and shoulders feel tight.  They’ve been that way for so long that you don’t even notice it any more…until you are half way through your presentation.  You just dropped your pointer and go to pick it up…and it happens….a sharp, sheering pain from your neck shoots down your arm and you yelp in pain.  You finish your presentation and think this pain will go away soon.  Two weeks later, you are in my office.

Can stress really cause neck pain?  Shoulder pain?  Back pain?  Headaches?  Stomach problems?  Skin problems? Yes, Yes, and Yes!

What does chronic and uncontrolled stress do to my body? When we live with chronic stress our nervous system starts to change.  People begin to see physical symptoms instead of just feeling anxious and jittery or run down and depressed, they start to develop the first symptoms of chronic stress: chronic headaches and increased susceptibility to fight off infections.  Muscle tension increases and muscular imbalance can lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as a host of other problems.  Some individuals develop depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid problems, obesity, sexual dysfunction, or ulcers.  Not fun!

What can do to avoid stress-related headaches, neck, shoulder, and back pain? Stay active, learn good stretches, drink lots of water, eat healthy, meditate or use a relaxation technique you life daily, talk about what is bothering you with a friend or loved one.

I do suggest that if you have suffered with headaches, neck, shoulder, or back pain for more than three days, go to your chiropractor!

Once I come in to see you, Dr. Funk, what will you do to help me with my headaches, neck, shoulder or back pain?  I use a combination of soft-tissue techniques (similar to massage), spinal manipulation, stretching, and simple strengthening exercises. Each patient has a 30-minute treatment that is relaxing and therapeutic.  Patients who present with the conditions above can expect to see that their pain will subside in four to six visits.  The visits following will help to eliminate the cause that created the pain in the first place.


Stress Headaches

November 11, 2008

migraine-headache_1_1Stress headaches, or tension-type headaches, are the most common type of headache.  Surprisingly, as up to 78% of the general population will experience at tension-type headaches at some time during their lifetime.

Am I having a stress headache? Stress headaches are often the result of temporary stress, anxiety, fatigue or anger. Symptoms include a tight, band-like sensation around your head and spasms of the neck muscles and shoulders. Many stress headaches suffers experience pain and tightness just above the ears and at your temples.  Many times people experience temporary relief or exacerbation of their headaches when they press on certain points in their neck.

I heard stress headaches can occur every day. Some stress headache suffers have chronic tension-type headaches that can occur every day. A chronic tension-type headache is a condition where you have a stress headache on 15 days or greater every month. This type of headache is also called a chronic daily headache because many people have a headache every day.

When would I see my chiropractor for a stress headache instead of taking over-the-counter medications? I suggest if you are experiencing more than two stress headaches a week, you should visit your chiropractor.  Taking anti-inflammatories on a regular basis to eliminate headaches is masking the root of your problem: tight neck muscles, stress, and joint restrictions or misalignment can cause and aggravate your headaches.

Why do you treat stress headaches? Tension-type headaches are one of my specialties (and secretly, one of my favorite conditions to treat) because I personally suffer from them.  As a student in Chiropractic College I began experimenting with different techniques we were learning to treat my headaches.  After trying different treatments and practicing on patients and friends for months, a friend of mine showed me some soft tissue techniques he learned at his myofascial release seminar.  My headache was gone after his treatment when combined with spinal manipulation.  So, I kept trying it on everyone I could, and the treatment was helping more and more people.

How do you treat stress headaches in your practice, Dr. Funk? I use a combination of soft-tissue techniques (similar to massage), spinal manipulation, stretching, and simple strengthening exercises. Each patient has a 30-minute treatment that is relaxing and therapeutic.

Overcoming Stress: Giving Yourself Permission to Relax

September 4, 2008

A few months ago a local acupuncturist hurt her low back while she was gardening and approached me about a trade.  I had just started Tranquility Chiropractic Studio and was not used to hours of massage and manipulation.  Due to all the work, I had developed joint pain in my fingers, wrists, and elbows, so I agreed to come in for treatments.

The first day I went in for my acupuncture treatment, I marveled at her amazing office and assortment of herbal teas.  I sat down with a cup of cranberry tea and thumbed through her baby book (she specializes in fertility treatments) waiting for my initial consultation.

A few minutes later, the receptionist called my name and took me back to my room.  She gave me a hot towel to wipe my hands and feet and asked me to lie on a comfortable bed.  I relaxed for a few minutes and waited for my consultation…

By the third treatment, my joint pain had started to subside (minus the pain brought on by possibility that treatments could increase my fertility).  There was only one problem- IT WAS SO HARD FOR ME TO LIE AND RELAX FOR THE 45 MINUTE SESSION. I kept thinking about all the things I should be doing: filling out credentialing applications to become an in-network provider, harassing local businesses with my amazing fliers, cold-calling to set up my chair massages, dinner with my boyfriend that evening…  I just couldn’t get myself to relax!

That’s when it hit me…I needed to give myself permission to relax.  There was nothing else I should be doing at the moment.  I should be relaxing. At that moment with that realization, I was able to reconnect with the soft rise and fall of the ocean waves playing in the background- reconnect with steady in and out of my breath.  My heartbeat slowed, my mind relaxed, and I fell asleep.

Working Every Day To Take A Little Stress Out Of Your World!

Welcome to Tranquility Chiropractic Studio’s Blog!

August 23, 2008

Each post will provide the latest tips, techniques, and articles to help you relieve the effects of stress including: stress-related headaches, neck, and shoulder pain. Now the power to relax, soothe tired muscles, reduce stress-related headaches, and eliminate neck and shoulder pain is in your hands!

The founder of Tranquility Chiropractic Studio, Dr. Misty Funk, created a comprehensive clinic where patients could get treatment for stress-related conditions. As a complement to her clinic, Dr. Funk wants to offer education and motivation to relax in this stressful world we live in.

Dr. Funk is working everyday to take a little stress out of your world!