• Back to the Basics

    When a new patient starts treatment with us at Healthsource we always give them the world class experience that we give to all of our patients. Our goal is to get our patients out of pain and reach an overall good bill of health. While chiropractic adjustments and manual therapy are greatly important for a healthy mind, body, and spirit; therapeutic exercises are just as important. Exercise is very beneficial in assisting with getting out of pain and strengthening our bodies to make them stronger. A high percentage of our patients have tightness and pain in their neck and shoulders. Most of these issues are caused by work with being at a desk for hours, having bad posture, and from daily life activities. Everyday I assist our patients with their posture, shoulder positioning, and stretches to help get them out of pain as well as strengthen these areas so these painful issues subside. The basic exercises I begin all patients with are the Brueggar position, neck drawers, trap stretch, levator scapulae stretch. Combination of all these exercises together increase range of motion, increase flexibility, relieves muscle tension, and helps strengthen the neck and shoulders. Doing these basic exercises at least once a day everyday will help increase the healing process and the sooner you will be out of pain. When you come into the office we want you to always do your exercises, and I will progress you more as the healing process gets better. When you are not in the office it is very important that you still do some of the basic exercises I teach you at home so you continue to better yourself as a whole so you can reach that place of no pain. I have included a video of some of the basic exercises and stretches for neck and shoulders. Enjoy the video and get your “Exercise On!”

    If you are interested in a complimentary exam and check up call the closest HealthSource location and we’ll be happy to schedule some time with the Doctor!

  • Nerve vs Muscle

    If you have back stiffness, neck discomfort or maybe leg discomfort, the issue could be originating from nerve irritation . People regularly mistakenly blame the muscles for discomfort or numbness in a limb when in fact the issues results from a nerve. Unless the nerve is treated by someone, like a chiropractor, the symptoms will persist as treating only the muscle is treating a spinoff of the nerve irritation in relation to a misalignment or injury of the spine. The main signs of nerve irritation are discomfort, insensibility, tingling and numbness.

    The trapped nerve is the most common sort of nerve irritation and happens when a nerve exits the spine it can become pinched between 2 bones or maybe compressed by a bulging or otherwise unhealthy disk. Stenosis can also cause pinched nerves which is a bony overgrowth that shrinks the exit canal for spinal nerves. A chiropractor can use the location of the pain to find the source of the pinching. Pinching in the neck can cause tingling or agony in the shoulders, arms and hands and pinching in the back, like sciatica, can cause pain or tingling in the legs and feet. Certain types of adjustments will be used dependent on the cause of the trapped nerve.

    The trapped nerve is a nerve that has become stuck to surrounding soft tissue such as muscles or ligaments and is mostly the result of repeated motion. So how can this happen? When a repeated motion happens, the rubbing of the nerve against the more delicate tissue can lay down scar tissue and cause the nerve to stick to the tissue. Persistent muscle contraction can also have a similar effect. Both situations deprive the delicate tissue of oxygen and cause the scar tissue to form and the sticking process to worsen.

    One thing to notice is that occasionally these wounds can be forming for years before symptoms become agonizing enough to cause concern. This is similar to a cavity decaying over time.

    Because these kinds of nerve irritation can be painful and cause lasting damage it is very important to consult a chiropractor as quickly as symptoms happen and not just presume that the issue originates with the muscle. Nerve irritation can adversely affect your life and relief does exist.

    Call HealthSource Chattanooga to set up an appointment now at Shallowford Office 423.475.6438 or our Northshore Office 423.475.6464

  • One for the Athlete

    It is undeniable that most people can benefit greatly by seeing a chiropractor – from infancy to adulthood. For an athlete, however, it can mean the difference between winning and losing, especially if they want to avoid injury and continue to achieve optimal athletic performance throughout their lives.

    Chiropractic is the philosophy, art and science that concerning the restoration of optimal health by maintaining a correctly functioning nervous system. Spinal issues can occur from automobile accidents, bad posture, improper lifting, sleeping or sitting habits. Even the simple act of sneezing can cause the vertebra to become misaligned. Regular adjustments from your chiropractor will allow your body to do what it has always naturally done-promote vitality, strengthen and heal itself, without surgery or drugs.

    Football athletes, however, consistently suffer from physical stress from sudden falls and hard-hitting jars, causing subluxations of the spine. Subluxations are a slight dislocation or malfunctioning spinal column which disturb and irritate blood vessels and nerve roots that branch out of the vertebrae. The chiropractor will manipulate these spinal subluxations back into position. Additional physical therapy may be required if there are injured tendons, joints, muscles and ligaments.

    Speedier recoveries are an added benefit when sports injuries do occur. Studies show that reaction time is ramped up by as much as 16.7 percent for the well-adjusted athlete, to those who do not have regular spinal adjustments. Just ask Tiger Woods. He states he has been seeing his chiropractor throughout his entire life when he swings his clubs the wrong way.

    Compare an athlete’s body to that of a well-oiled, sleek racecar versus a sedan. Although the sedan needs routine maintenance checks, the racecar is going to need special care and recurrent tune-ups to continue to perform favorably. When the athlete’s spine is finely tuned and in complete alignment, every piston is firing perfectly.

    Whether it is on or off-season, athletes use chiropractic care extensively for that competitive advantage and edge, before they suffer numerous sports injuries to their spine. Chiropractors and the world of sports make the perfect team.

  • Body Talk 101: Common Sense

    The Human body is an incredible, complex, and amazingly designed machine. But sometimes, it’s helpful to take a more simplistic approach to understanding how our body works. Hence the title of today’s blog “Body Talk 101: Common Sense.” Let’s jump right into it shall we?

    So lets see what exactly I mean by “common sense.” Here’s a great example: What happens when you commit to a weight training/exercise program for several weeks? You start to see muscle building in your body correct? Well why is that? Is it magic? Is the secret potion for muscles heavy weights, sweat, and a treadmill? No, of course it isn’t. So why then do our muscles get bigger and stronger from exercise? It’s because our body has a need to have muscles. And that is the exact same reason why those muscles will disappear when we stop exercising/stop using them: our body no longer has a need to keep them around. Isn’t that pretty simple? This “common sense” understanding is applicable to different areas of how our body functions as well. Let’s look at another example of our body using common sense, also involving (you guessed it) muscles! If one sits all day, and certain muscles are always in a shortened or “tight” position, would our common sense-using body tend to keep those muscles tight or loose? Correct, they would stay tight! Why? Because our body is “used” to them being that way, and therefore will tend to keep them that way.

    And therein lies the benefit of not just exercise, but all healthy practices in life. Do you want to experience this common sense principle first hand? Let me ask you a question. Do you drink almost entirely water during the day? If you answered no, then start doing that today, for one week, and I guarantee that by the end of that week you will crave water throughout the day. Why do you not crave water now? Simple: your body is “used” to not having water, and you have not been giving it water. So then, why should your body send you signals to drink water if it knows you aren’t going to do it? Common sense people! But if we start giving our body those good things it craves, it will start sending you signals to keep it up!

    What about your bones and joints? Do they just hurt “becasue?” No!! Our body only hurts when something isn’t how it’s supposed to be. If you have a back, neck, or joint pain, that is your body telling you “Hey, something isn’t right here!” So if you are experiencing any of those things, come by our office for a free exam, x-rays, and consultation with one of our Doctors today! Listen to your body!

  • The Underrated Importance of Posture

    We have all heard as children the old cliche to sit up straight and have good posture. We all most likely ignored it as annoying or something only adults have to do, or tried to do it till we got bored or forgot. Either way it was a short lived thing at best and no one showed us how to properly employ “Good Posture”.

    Since no real importance was put on knowing how to achieve good posture and no one ever explained what it was for most us if you are like me payed much attention except when trying to look good in adult gatherings.

    Today as our bodies have aged we no longer heal and repair as we did when we were younger thus our bodies have more wear and tear, more aches and pains and low and behold we feel the effects of ignoring good posture all these years. The worst part is unless someone has told us we most likely didn’t even realize it was the bad posture that did the most to do us in.

    With the human body sustaining 14.7 psi(pounds of pressure, per square inch) of surface area it takes a beating daily. Proper and safe posture puts our bodies in the right position for our joints to safely handle all the pressure gravity is putting on it.

    If that had been explained with proper visuals as kids maybe we would all have been using better posture for years instead of developing muscle and bone issues and imbalances over our adult years. It is much harder to develop the muscle memory needed to keep good posture in our “old age”.

    With hard work and dedication to our health and well being we can reverse much of the damage we have done to ourselves as children and learn the muscle memory needed to more easily do what we need to do to be safe and healthy at work and at play.

    The point of this musing is to explain the purpose of posture in our adult lives and in the lives of our friends, family, and children. Educating the younger generations in the things we missed at their age can help them avoid the aches and pains we have given ourselves over the years and hopefully help usher in better health and well being for those that come after us.

    Musings for health from

    Ariel Baker LMT at Health Source