Pregnant Moms Love Chiropractic

Question:  How helpful is chiropractic for a pregnant mom with low-back pain?

Answer:  Chiropractic care is a mom’s best friend.  Besides helping allow a comfortable pain-free pregnancy, gentle chiropractic adjustments can make for a smooth delivery by assisting the baby into its optimal positioning for birth.

It is essential for an expecting mom to maintain a healthy nervous system because she is not only maintaining her own health, but also building another human being and their nervous system.

Many expectant moms seek the care of chiropractors due to low-back pain which is the number one symptom first time moms find themselves coming to our office.  Most of the moms to be that are in their second or any additional pregnancy usually come in because they are experienced in understanding the value of not only removing pain and symptoms but have had such overwhelming improvement in their health and well-being that they want to make sure their growing fetus gets every opportunity to develop without interference.

Low-back pain can occur due to the change in the weight bearing in the front of the body as the uterus expands and your belly enlarges.  For every 10 pounds of weight gained, 150 pounds of pressure is put onto the lower back.  So, if a woman gains 20 pounds that’s 300 pounds of pressure on the low back.  A pregnant mom wants to avoid drugs and chemicals in her system that could irritate or harm her baby so chiropractic is a perfect drug-free alternative.  The biomechanics of the spine changes drastically during pregnancy.  A woman’s joints become much more elastic and there is more instability and any previous misalignments become exacerbated.  If there is a misalignment in the pelvis, that will cause the uterus to have an imbalance, which will affect the baby’s position.  Every pregnant woman I have ever treated has had at least one misalignment initially.

Chiropractors agree that it is important to follow up the delivery of the baby with continued chiropractic visits for both mother and child.

Quote of the week:  “A good disc position lends itself to a good disposition.”

Dr. Steven J. Pollack

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Early Detection of Postural Changes in Children Allows Proper Growth

baby chiropractic

Pediatric Chiropractic

Q:  I am concerned about my infant’s spine growing straight.  What can I do to make sure he develops properly?

A:  As a parent, you can be extremely helpful in observing postural changes in your children.  At birth, observation of symmetry of an infant’s skull, pelvis and extremities can indicate potential growth and development problems.

There are basically 4 critical stages of weight bearing adjustment after birth that a parent should be aware of.  The first stage is when the infant initially raises their own head (approximately 2 to 3 months) and starts to arch the neck in an attempt to develop it’s 1st curve in the cervical spine. Look for excessive lateral tilting to one side or responding to stimulus by always rotating or bending the head to the same side.

The second critical stage of weight bearing is crawling. The cross crawl mechanism of moving opposite arms and legs forward and then backwards, is a vital developmental action of the brain in coordinating body movement. Greater than 80% of one side of your brain controls the opposite side of the body.  The cross crawl action of the baby develops brain-body coordination as well as stimulates growth of your child’s nervous system.  An improper cross-crawl mechanism in infants deters nervous system function, growth and co-ordination.  Observer your infant for proper opposition movement, dragging of one or both legs, pulling with just upper or lower extremities.  The problem may only be a pelvic or upperback subluxation (misaligned vertebra creating nerve pressure) which can be corrected with chiropractic care.

The third phase of weight bearing and postural change is at (3 to 6 months) when an infant begins to pull itself up and put weight onto legs and then their low back, creating the second lordotic curve.

Patents can observe for the same changes they would see in the cervical spine and a tendency to let all the weight go to one leg.  You may notice they constantly fall to one side. Observe the crease created by the buttock while they lay on their stomach.  Does it deviate dramatically to the left or right.  This can indicate imbalance in the pelvic bones.

The fourth and final critical stage of weight bearing for an infant occurs when they start to walk.  An Early stage of walking means falling often.  This is part of learning. We don’t just get on a bike and start to ride.  Your child learns from each attempt they make.  Do not assist your toddler, especially with walking devices. Once again, these interrupt brain to body coordination and may prematurely put weight bearing on hip, leg and low back joints.  Be patient and observe for excessive falling to one side, toes pointing out (externally) or in (internally) on one or both sides, knees turned in or out.  Also, observe for constant falling forward or backward.  These could all indicate improper growth plate development, proprioceptive ability or joint dysfunctions.

Once walking, the spine and weight bearing joints will grow in response to the stress put on them.  Scoliosis (lateral curvature of the spine) can be observed by a parent by having their child bend at the waist letting their arms dangling in from of them.  Observe from behind your child looking directly up their spine.  Any dramatic asymmetries of large muscle bulked higher on either side could indicate scoliosis.

As the twig bends so does the tree.  As the spine grows it will deviate around these imbalances and could create severe cosmetic as well as organic encroachment in the future.

The beauty of nature for children is that the body wants to grow straight and be healthy.  Should some postural imbalances be detected, have your child checked by a heath professional preferably a chiropractor that specializes in the spinal bio mechanics.  Many conditions do correct themselves but for the ones that don’t, early detection and correction can prevent a lifetime of problems.  Treatment for children is usually gentle and brief.  You can direct questions to Dr. Steven J. Pollack at 732-244-0222

Quote of the Week:  “We cannot direct the wind…but we can adjust the sails.”      Author Unknown

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Spinal Decompression Not A Last Resort

Spinal Decompression Treatment Should Never be the Last Resort

Degenerative Disc and Spinal Decompression

X-ray of Degenerative Disc

When individuals suffer from neck or back pain, they will seek whatever treatment they think will get them out of discomfort the fastest. That is why pain medications are so popular.  Wishing to get out of all of the discomfort quickly is pretty natural, but frequently they sacrifice dealing with the cause of the pain. Yes, it is possible to get pain relief without remedying what triggered the onset of pain. If relief is all that they seek there is a high chance that a persistent painful condition will become a constant.  I have come to understand that acute and persistent discomfort have a lot in common. The underlying source for these conditions typically goes neglected while efforts are made to just be free of the pain.

A recent study suggests that a lot of individuals simply want out of pain as rapidly as possible and want to return to where they were before the pain. The genuine problem could be this attitude, they wish they could go back. They strongly desire to return to when they did not hurt. Exactly what makes them think that back is great? Back is exactly what got them to where they are now, in pain. They must wish to go forward. Treatments that don’t fix the issue, that simply mask the pain, are heading backwards. If you have chronic back pain you probably have degenerated disc. However, degenerated discs are not limited to persistent conditions. If the treatment you are getting is not directed at enhancing the wellness of that disc, you are moving in a backward direction.

How do you move ahead? You find a treatment that tries to alter the cause of the issue, not simply cover up the discomfort. In my opinion, non-surgical spinal decompression does just that, it changes a major cause of back and neck discomfort, the deterioration of the intervertebral disc. The worst aspect of non-surgical spinal decompression is that it seems to be used only in chronic cases when the backward treatments have failed. I long for a world when people are first evaluated for non-surgical spinal decompression before these backward treatments are utilized.

An example of what I experience often… About a month ago a girl in her 20’s came to my offices with back pain that she had since September. She had actually been in a car accident and she had seen many differenct physicians and specialists, and had even

gotten all sorts of treatments for 7 months. She had durations of improvement, however kept having the pain return, then none of the treatments were giving her any relief at all. She rated her pain on a scale of 0-10 to be at around a 4 or 5 and on a scale for “handicap due to discomfort”, she scored a 48, significant acute pain to cause impairment. The worst part was that she was never referred for an MRI till April, where it was found that her discs had been injured, with one of them mildly herniated. She had gotten 7 months of treatment that was not actually directed at the disc trouble. If you are thinking that this is uncommon, you are incorrect! She has now had one month of non-surgical spinal decompression and her pain ratings are 50 % better. Getting the appropriate treatment takes you forward.

How can you get started with Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Contact our office at (732) 244-0222 to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Pollack to determine your specific and unique situation. Medical Evaluation and Diagnostic testing procedures should be performed prior to beginning any treatment in order to determine the most effective process. After carefully studying your case history and exam findings, the Dr. Pollack will sit down and explain his recommended plan of action for you. After answering any questions you may have about the recommended plan, you may begin your care.

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How Can Chiropractic Care Help Children?

I am a pediatric-based chiropractor and after more than 30 years of practice I am still amazed that the public is uninformed about the amazing success of chiropractic with children.

Children respond faster and more efficiently than adults. They have not established an overabundance of stress comparable to an adult. Stress and overtaxing of our nervous systems comes in many forms, including mental, chemical, physical, family, relationships, jobs etc. Children are too young to have all of these complications and compiled stressors. Finding their irritations and causes of vertebral subluxations – interference to nerve supply due to vertebra moving out of their normal position – is easier because there are not layers of other problems covering the primary irritation. Vertebral subluxations in children are more cause and effect and, once corrected, respond with an immediate change or improved sense of well-being.

Most of our children patients ask their parents to get adjusted and love coming to us because they know how much better they feel, and they would rather get adjusted than take medications. Children have a special sense of what is safe and good, and when they express a true attraction to a good cause a parent should not ignore them, just as when they sense that something is not safe.

Mounting scientific evidence suggests that chiropractic care can be a natural management option for children suffering from such common conditions as otitis media (middle ear infection), colic, nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting), asthma, neurological disorders (such as epilepsy, autism, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), headache, and many others.

The medical community is finally opening their eyes and letting go of their egos with the realization that there is significant benefit in working with chiropractors to allow their pediatric patients every option in getting healthier naturally.

Chiropractic is not the cure all for every ailment limiting a child’s health but it is an excellent and safe way to get your child’s general health condition evaluated.

Dr. Pollack, director of the Pollack Health and Wellness Center, has been in practice for 31 years. He is a founding member of the ICPA – International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and CPP – Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics. For more information on how chiropractic can help you and your loved ones, visit our website at or call us at 732-244-0222 to set up an appointment.

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Headaches and Doctors of Chiropractic

Looking for a Headache Remedy?

headache and chiropractorsBefore looking for a headache cure, you should know the source of the headache. Spinal manipulations have proved to decrease the severity and frequency of headaches, because they generally are due to a misaligned spine. Poor posture or bodily injury can force your back out of place and stress the nerves. These nerves can send painful impulses to the muscle groups that surround the neck and caused a headache. The spinal manipulations straighten your spine and relax the muscles.
There are several types of headaches; inclusive of tension, migraine and cervicogenic. Most people experience the tension headache, consisting of moderate pain on both sides of the head. It is often described as a force that is squeezing your head causing the discomfort. Migraines tend to be more intense and are usually described as a throbbing pain. Often times a migraine can caused nausea, loss of appetite, and in some cases vision troubles. If you get migraine headaches often, keep a record of the food you eat daily. You might notice that your headaches are caused due to specific foods. The cervicogenic headache is related to the spine and is the caused of most tension type headaches.

headache remedyOnly some headaches are caused by spinal misalignments but you should consult your chiropractor before you begin any treatments. Sometimes caffeine, not enough nutrients, stress, allergies, menstruation, or poor sleep habits can caused headaches. In most cases of reoccurring headaches the location of the pain is able to clue you into a more severe ailment. A headache located above your right eye could indicate a liver problem. Pain at the top of your head could indicate a kidney ailment or hypertension. If you experience pain at the back of the neck, high stress levels probably caused the headache.
Your chiropractor will conduct physical, orthopedic and neurological tests to reveal the health of your spine. A palpation test can check for irregularities in the spine that may be the cause of your headaches. Occasionally an x-ray is necessary. Your chiropractor may consult with additional medical health experts if the test findings dictate further exams.
Looking for a Headache Remedy?Chiropractors do not administer medications or recommend surgery (rarely a treatment for headaches), but instead have had great success relieving the pain connected with headaches. Using aspirin every day as a headache remedy will lead to higher doses and even more severe headaches as time passes by. The medication taken for today’s headache could give you one tomorrow and the days after. Chiropractic has actually been extremely successful in dealing with cervicogenic headaches. A chiropractor’s ability to align spinal abnormalities minimizes the forces contributing to headache pain. Other hands-on practices such as massage and heat therapy could be a valuable headache remedy.
For information on how a chiropractor can treat this condition, please click to request a Free Chiropractic Exam.

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Does Love Heal?

As many of my readers and patients may know, I was writing articles and answering my reader’s health and wellness questions in a local newspaper a few years ago.  I have since stopped, as time was shorter with the growth of my practice.  However, I was walking down memory lane a while back and I found this question from a reader that I had responded to and published years ago.

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I thought it appropriate to share this with you and help you celebrate one of my favorite holidays.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love Pops

Does Love Heal?

“Love Heals”

Q: It is Valentine’s Day this week and I have a question. I have seen it on TV and heard it from everyone, but is it just a cliché, or true, that “love heals”?

A:  This sounds like a question for “Dear Abbey”, not me.  I will do my best to reply in the vein of the physiological effects rather than psychological effects love has on us.

Physiologically when we feel better or loved we have a better immune system to fight disease and illness.  Studies done on pre-mature babies in incubators displayed marked recovery and response time for the newborns that were touched and had time spent with them as opposed to those not touched.

We also know those elevated feelings of love, joy and happiness are in direct proportion to balanced serotonin levels in the brain, which give us happiness levels. When serotonin levels are disturbed or are on a roller coaster of peaks and valleys, we can get emotionally depressed or general malaise.

We secrete endorphins when in love (our natural painkillers), therefore the cliché
“lovers feel no pain”. We secrete adrenaline when in love. Adrenaline is the natural glandular secretion for the production of energy. When in love we can’t get enough out of life and our tone levels and expectations abound with excitement. We don’t not need any special elixirs, caffeine or energy supplements when in love.  Love is mother nature’s natural high.

Clinically, I observe patients in love and see an abundance of life in them.  They walk with an ora of glow of bright light surrounding them.  There is no substitute for love’s effects on healing.  The love of a pet or a child can cure and ailing soul.

In my personal and professional opinion, love heals everything and is the omnipotent force behind all living things.

I am not “Dear Abbey”, but I think she would agree that “ Love Heals”. Don’t ever stop giving or receiving love. Happy Valentines Day.


The Beatles

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What is a Pinched Nerve? Doctor in Beachwood Explains…

Many patients talk about having pinched nerves, but what exactly is a pinched nerve?  It is imperative to understand a few things about the spinal cord and the nerves that can be “pinched” when answering this question.

spine and nervesBrain to the Spinal Cord
Extending from the brain and into the appendages, nerves relay messages to our skin or our muscles.    The nerve that extends from the spine into the legs or arms is referred to as a peripheral nerve. These peripheral nerves are really clusters of millions of nerve fibers that extend from the spinal cord and branch out to other parts of the body such as the skin and muscles.  In other words, peripheral nerves enable your muscles to move and your skin to feel sensations.

Nerves are Signal Messengers to the Body
A peripheral nerve can be compared to a fiber-optic cable, multiple fibers enclosed in a casing. Each fiber can be though of as a microscopic garden hose.  The green encasing of the hose is a fine membrane that allows a static electrical charge to travel to and from the brain.  Inside the hose, fluids are being transported from the nerve cell body that aids in nourishing and replenishing the constant changing components of the green encasing (membrane).

If the fiber-optic cable (nerve) is pinched, the flow up and down the inside of the hose is reduced or blocked, meaning fluids (nutrients) stop flowing. Eventually, the green casing (membrane) starts to lose its ability to send tiny electrical charges and the nerve fiber could eventually die. When enough garden hoses (fibers) stop working, a muscle may not contract and numbness of the skin may occur.

Causes of a Pinched Nerve
Very often, a common place for pinched (compressed) nerves is the carpal tunnel. This is a very narrow area, through which the median nerve as well as all the finger flexor tendons have to pass to the hand.

A nerve can also be pinched as it exits the spinal column by a bulging disc, herniated disc, or even bone spurs that form from spinal arthritis.

pinched nerve

Irregardless of where the nerve is compressed, in the neck or carpal tunnel, the patient often will experience symptoms of numbness in the hand, mainly because the brain does not know how to distinguish between the beginning, middle, or end of a nerve.  It only knows that it is not getting signals from the hand, and so numbness begins.  This is the basis of referred pain.

Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve in the Neck or Low Back
Pain that radiates down the leg is indicative of a pinched nerve in the low back.  Here again, the symptoms the person experiences seem to be traveling into the leg along the usual path.

Pinched nerves is often accompanied by muscle spasm in the back that are really quite painful.

Occasionally, a pinched nerve has symptoms like numbness and weakness in the arm or leg without pain.  Other symptoms include burning and tingling in the area, hot/cold or “electrical” sensation.

Pinched Nerve Treatments

If during the course of the day, you have developed pain, or if you woke up feeling like you may have pinched a nerve, there are some options for self-care before you seek chiropractic attention.

It’s possible that the pain is being caused by a muscle spasm that’s applying pressure on the nerve.  Try, for example:

  • relaxing the muscles
  • treat with alternating heat and ice therapy on the affected area:,switching between them every 20 minutes.  Remember to always wrap the heat or ice packs in a towel before applying them to the skin.
  • take a hot shower
  • lay down and place a rolled up towel under your neck
  • use a handheld massager
  • get a massage

You can also keep your body and joints moving to relieve pain from a pinched nerve.  These techniques can help:

  • range of motion stretches and movements: do some simple neck rolls if the pinched nerve feels like it is located in your neck. If you want to work on your lower back, refer to this article for exercises and stretches.  Stretching your body releases endorphins in response to the movement that can provide pain relief.
  • lay down on the couch and pull your knees up towards your chest.
  • take a light stroll.

If your pain persists more than a couple of days, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Very few patients end up needing surgery for pinched nerves; for most of them, non-surgical treatments work to relieve their pain.

For more about Dr. Steven Pollack, visit Pollack Health and Wellness, located in Beachwood, NJ, or visit us online.

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6 Signs That You Need Physical Therapy

sports injury therapyPhysical Therapy – Should You Pursue it?

It’s an athlete’s greatest worry: you begin your run, when suddenly, your calf feels as if some creature jumped up and bit you.  Instinctively you think you’ve torn a muscle.  The great news is that with rehabilitation and rest, you’ll be back in your running shoes pretty quickly. Sometimes though, injuries are not so easy to diagnose and can be a little more difficult to treat.  For instance, that annoying ache in your right glute or the pain in your left knee that begins 30 – 40 minutes into every training session.

So, what are the telltale signs of a serious injury that requires a visit to a physical therapist?

Noticeable differences in stamina or visible changes in appearance

  • Athletes are very in tune with their bodies, and know when something is noticeably different.  For example, you notice that your left arm is not pulling as hard as the right at the end of swim training; or maybe your wrist or elbow is visibly swollen and sore after playing a few rounds of tennis.

Pain cannot be managed by medication

  • Part of the expectation of being an endurance athlete is managing aches and pains.  If your usual OTC pain relief or anti-inflammatory drugs are not managing the pain, you should get that checked out.

Pain is acute

  • If your pain is a dull and achy pain, it is likely that it is treatable with icing and rest.  However, for pain that is sharp and centralized, that can be an indicator of a more serious injury that may need treatment from a physical therapist; such as a muscle pull or stress fracture.

Pain that persists after a few days of icing and rest

  • As with any pain or ache, the best thing for immediate care is to take a few days off from the sport that caused the injury, treating it with ice several times a day for 20 minutes each time.  If after a few days of treating the affected area the pain persists, it’s very likely you need to see a physical therapist.

Dull pain that keeps reoccurring

  • Most often, aches and pain subside after a few days with rest and icing the area.  Pain that lingers should be treated by a physical therapist, as the pain can’t get better until the the underlying injury is addressed.

A traumatic event

  • Muscle tears and broken bones are easy to spot, as they are brought on by one traumatic event.   However, if you roll your ankle and it swells up or, after swimming, you slipped and fell on your way out of the pool, you’ll want to go in and get it checked out.

Our physical therapy office located in the Pollack Health and Wellness Center, Beachwood NJ offers a variety of non-invasive treatment options.  If you are experiencing any of these telltale signs of injury that may require physical therapy, please call our offices. 732-244-8666.

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Thought for the Day: “Without health lif

Thought for the Day:
“Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering an image of death.” – Buddha

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Why Chiropractic Should be First Option for Back Pain

Chiropractor ConsultationPatients complaining of sciatica, excruciating back or neck pain, and shoulder pain are always coming in to see me as a “last resort”, when all other treatment options have been exhausted.  They have already consulted with their primary care physician, orthopedist, or have even tried to remedy their pain using rehab advice they found on Google search.  I always inevitably make a request to that patient, telling them “When you are feeling better, please tell your friends and family not save me as their last resort when they have a problem.  It always makes me wonder why people believe that their best and first option for back pain and musculo-skeletal recovery starts with the most extreme measure like surgery or medication.

Now, before I go on, I want to take a moment to discuss exactly what musculo-skeletal injuries I am talking about, because all of them are not the same and some need treatment from a doctor other than a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist.

If you hurt your wrist while playing basketball and are afraid that your wrist might be broken or that you may have torn a ligament, you should see an orthopedist. I’m not talking about injuries that happen through a traumatic accident or occurred in some other horrible incident. If you suspect something is broken or if blood was evident, I’m certainly not the doctor for you, and neither are my Chiropractic or Physical Therapist colleagues; at least until a definitive diagnosis using imagery can be made(x-ray, MRI, CT scan, etc.).

This is where most people are confused by the chiropractic profession.  Simply speaking, if you are suffering from pain or from a lack of motion for more than a week that is impacting your every day life negatively, Chiropractic Therapy or Physical Therapy is for you, whether you know how the pain started or not.

Of course, I will always want you to come in to see me, but, I advise that you see a professional in either field who you have heard good things about or who your research tells you is a good choice for your needs.  After all, not every Chiropractors treatment is the same, and the same is true for Physical Therapists.

Bad DentistMaybe you have already been to a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist and are thinking, “I’ve been to one of you doctors before and I just didn’t like it.”   Does that mean that you would never try another one???  What if the first Dentist you went to provided horrible and painful services? The next time you had a cavity, would you just fix it yourself?  Of course not.

All providers of specific expertise are not created equal.  In fact, think about that concept in regard to what you do for a living.  Do you think everyone in your position does it exactly the same, makes the same amount of money, or produces the same results?  If someone had a bad experience with one of your colleagues, should you be off the market for them too?  It’s really a matter of logic!  Ok, 3… 2… 1…. I’m back from my rant… Let us continue.

Back to the subject at hand, an orthopedic doctor is a superb option for serious musculo-skeletal injury treatment.  If surgery is absolutely needed, they can perform it with precision.  An MD is great for musculo-skeletal injuries as a referral doctor, they should point you in the right direction (although an MD will usually refer you to an Orthopedists for serious conditions or your couch for rest when injury is less serious).  Physical Therapists are a really good option for rehabilitative exercise after a debilitating injury or surgery; and they may be very effective when treating patients with chronic or acute pain conditions.  Chiropractic treatment is your first resort when mobility has been lost or becomes painful.

We are also effective in treating chronic or acute pain conditions and frequently manipulate the joints and soft tissues in order for you to regain natural motion.  If medication is not needed, which is usually the case for musculo-skeletal conditions (with the exception of controlling the pain associated with them), and if surgery is absolutely not needed, your best option for musculo-skeletal healthcare and treatment is a Chiropractor or a Physical Therapist.

If you are suffering from a condition that is limiting your movement, causing you pain, negatively impacting your daily life, stop waiting for it to go away just to let it come back again later. Go see your favorite Chiropractor or Physical Therapist.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Steve

Posted in Compressed Nerve, Herniated Discs, Migraines | Headache, Nutrition, Sciatica, T.M.J. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder | 2 Comments