“Text Neck”: Is It A Real Problem?

Smartphones and Spinal Health

Smartphones are far more common today than ever before, and now are commonly in the hands of children and teenagers. Texting is overtaking calling and more time is spent on smartphones than anywhere else. For an average of 2-4 hours a day, millions of people around the world stare at their iPhones and Androids. Many people are starting to realize that with this advancement in technology there could also be some consequences that are going unseen. Many people are questioning whether looking down for such prolonged periods of time could be the cause of some common issues in adults as well as our teenagers.

The average human head typically weighs around 12 pounds, but as the head moves forward more stress and added weight get put on the cervical spine (the neck). Research shows that up to 60 pounds of stress can be placed on the spine as the head moves forward. Many surgeons are calling for a change, realizing that this added stress to the neck of teenagers and adults can cause early wear and tear, degeneration, and even surgery to the neck.

On average smartphone users spend 2 to 4 hours a day on their phone. This means 14 to 28 hours a week are spent with stress on the spine. This repetitive stress can actually change the shape and curvature of the neck leading to significant issues on health and the nervous system. The neck should have a 40-degree curve, forming a C shape. As stress is placed on the neck from the head going forward, it can start to straighten and over time, if allowed to progress, can start curving the opposite direction. This over time can place excessive stress on the discs, causing herniations and early degeneration.

Chiropractic Interventions

The latest technology is being used by Chiropractors today to determine if “text neck” is affecting in the nervous system as well. This technology uses Surface EMG and Thermography to determine the level of stress being placed on the nervous system.

This has become an increasingly common problem amongst teenagers, leading to increased incidences of migraines, headaches, inattention, trouble focusing, neck pain, poor posture, as well as other issues.

This change in curvature and increased stress on the spine can lead to serious health and neurological concerns as well, especially in children and teenagers. Experts believe it can lead to headaches, migraines, ADHD, neurological issues, depression, and even heart disease.

Technology has come a long way and we need to be ready to adapt to some of the consequences of this new technology. It’s important to make sure you and your child are staying current on regular spinal examinations/corrections from your Chiropractor to make sure you do not incur stress and damage to your spine and nervous system. It’s also important to make sure you are maintaining good posture throughout your day and doing the proper exercises to counteract the stress of poor posture. Make sure to sit tall, pull the shoulders back, and tighten your core.

Have you ever heard of spine transplant? Neither have I so make sure you take care of the one you have. If damage is done to the spine it can take months and in the worst cases over a year to correct the damage done. Even though this problem is correctable, waiting until you have a problem can do more harm than good. Your Chiropractor can analyze your X-rays and examine your spine to determine the health of your spine and nervous system.

Have you and your child checked by a Chiropractor to determine if you or your child are suffering from “text neck” — call our office for an appointment today!

Chiropractic Fights the Flu

Gaining Notoriety and Fame

Did you know that Chiropractic originally gained its notoriety and fame not from back pain and neck pain, but from the flu?

In 1918, America was hit by one of the worst flu epidemics ever recorded. Many people lost their lives. A review of medical records showed a group of 50 doctors had seen 4953 people for treatment of the flu. Of those 4953 people 274 died. It was a scary time to get the flu.

However out in Davenport, Iowa there was a lot of buzz going around about a group of Chiropractors who were treating patients for the flu. 150 Chiropractors saw 1635 people for the flu and only recorded 1 death. Word quickly spread about Chiropractors helping people to combat disease.

Chiropractic very rapidly rose to establish license in many states for it’s efficacy in help people combat disease.

So how in the world did Chiropractic help people with the flu?

Chiropractors understand you don’t treat the seed; you treat the soil. You don’t treat the flu; you treat the body. There is a very integral relationship between the immune system and the nervous system. Hence the budding new research called “Neuro-Immunology.”

Chiropractors understand the nervous system controls and coordinates everything. By removing the road blocks and stress on the nervous system, we restore and enhance optimal function of the nervous system, giving the individual an immune boost.

Are you in need of an “Immune Boost?”

Get started today. Call [PRACTICE PHONE] to get Help!

March Press Release: Autism

Vitality Family Chiropractic: How Chiropractic Can Help Children With Autism Recover Naturally

(Westlake Village, CA). January 6th 2015–Autism has been receiving tremendous amounts of attention in recent years. The CDC announced Autism rates had increased dramatically from 1 in 150 in 2002 to 1 in every 68 children being affected in 2010 – only 8 years later. Further, the CDC stated that rates are expected to continually increase. Healthcare professionals are still unsure as to the cause behind Autism, as well as the course of treatment. Knowing this, many parents are taking it upon themselves to determine the best treatment for their child.

Most parents wouldn’t think to bring their children to see a Chiropractor, but Vitality Family Chiropractic, located in Westlake Village, CA, is full of children. “I’m not really ‘treating’ them,” says Dr Brady, “I’m not trying to change them at all. My goal is to remove barriers that are inhibiting their body from healing and functioning at its fullest potential. This often results in better sleep habits, decreased sensitivities, better gut health, and more controlled behaviors.”

Many leading professionals agree that Autism can cause permanent neurological damage, but Dr Brady refuses to put a constraint on how children with Autism can recover. One mother writes in her testimonial, “We can’t say enough about the healing that Dr. Brady has brought, not only for our daughter, but us as well. When our now 4 year old daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we were desperate to find ways to help her overcome some of her obstacles…but I can honestly say that in the six months we’ve been seeing Dr. Brady, he has made an incredible improvement in all our lives.”

How does it work? Dr Brady says, “By helping restore proper neurological function, we help children to perceive and adapt to their world better. What I look for are subluxations in the spine, particularly in the upper neck which houses the brainstem – an extremely important neurological center. A subluxation can create a series of physiological and neurological changes leading to a build up of inflammation and stress within the Central Nervous System. Every child is unique and different, therefore our care changes to best suit each particular child.”

Dr Brady regularly provides a free workshop for the community called the Perfect Storm Workshop, which walks parents through many of the physiological and neurological changes in Autism. It also gives parents action steps on neurological healing that have helped many of his patients and families. The next workshop takes place in April for Autism Awareness Month. While it does take time, Dr Brady has helped many children get off medications, restore healthy digestive function, have stronger immune systems, and better behaviors.

Dr Brady Salcido practices at Vitality Family Chiropractic in Westlake Village, CA. To register for the next Perfect Storm Workshop or for information visit www.govitalityfamily.com.

Know Your Scans: Your Thermography Scan

The first assessment we perform is our Thermography Scan. This is the first in a series of three scans we may perform.

Our nervous system, our “master control system” is the main controller of all heat distribution in the body. By using this infrared thermography we can assess your spine and nervous system for areas where heat distribution has been altered, giving us a much clearer picture of where subluxations may be.

Typically the scan should be all white bars. This tells us that heat is being distributed equally on both sides. If you see bars of green, blue, or red that’s demonstrating areas of mild, moderate, to tremendous stress and inflammation on the spine and nervous system, which is not good.

You may have received a Nervous System Chart showing the areas of spine, what areas of the nervous system is protected in that area, as well as what common effects can be seen if subluxations are present in those areas. Note the correlation between the areas of the spine that show altered colors (green, blue, or red) and the nervous system chart you were given to see if areas correlate to the symptoms you may be having.

It’s important to note that areas with 2 or more consecutive colored bars together indicate significant levels of stress on the spine and nervous system. Areas that have reached levels of red indicate that the subluxation is much more mature and has been there quite awhile.

It’s also very important to note that symptoms do NOT need to be present for the scanning technology to pick up alterations in heat distribution. Most of the time symptoms are the last thing to show up and the first thing to leave. This test gets the root cause of the issue, which is your body’s inability to heal and correct the problem due to subluxations in your nervous system.

The thermal scan is great tool for understanding how subluxations have affected specific areas of stress on the spine and nervous system. Our other assessments can help us achieve a much broader and global understanding how subluxations have been affected your entire body as well as your health.

Know Your Scans: Your SEMG Scan

The second assessment we perform is our Surface ElectroMyoGraphy (SEMG) scans. These scans are completely harmless, pain-free, and radiation free. This scans uses highly sensitive sensors that are placed along the spine to analyze the efficiency of the nervous system.

This scan is an incredible tool for analyzing the nervous system. A spine out of balance puts abnormal tension on your nervous system and will show up on our EMG scan.

We will use the same grading scale as we did on the thermal scan with white bars being most desirable on both sides of the spine. We also want to see a pear shaped pattern to the scan. The reason for this being that as we move down the spine we reach the areas of the core and our vital organs, which need more nerve supply in those areas than others. So when looking at our scans these are important qualities to look for.

Anytime we see bars that are green, blue, or red these indicates areas of mild, moderate, or tremendous levels of stress on the nervous system. The other color we may see is areas of yellow bars. Typically we find this toward the middle of scan. This indicates areas of exhaustion in the nervous system, which tells us that those areas have been working so hard that they can no longer keep up with daily demands. This is very common with patients who suffer with chronic fatigue, who inevitable end up experiencing greater amounts of energy as we restore proper function in those areas.

These are the critical components that we look for when analyzing your SEMG scans. Again, look to your Nerve Chart to see where areas of stress or fatigue may correlate to chart.

It’s important to know that every scan is different and our care for each of our practice members is different.

During your restoration care phase your scans may appear “worse” or you might see more colors than before. This is normal and can be a very good thing. You see the goal of these scans is to truly understand how your body has been able to cope and adapt to the stresses of life, whether they be physical, chemical, or emotional. As we go through our restoration phase, we may “unpack” stress and the spine and nervous system start to change and adapt. This can lead to increased amounts of energy in the system.

You will also see 3 numbers on the right side of your scans. These are some quantitative values to help us monitor your progress as well. Pattern and Symmetry scores tell us how is the balance and symmetry of the nervous system. The more balance we have the better. We don’t want to drive our car on just one side and our body is no different. For both these values we want to see 70 and above.

The other value you will see is Total Energy. Total energy tells us how efficient your nervous system is. This value we want to see as close as we can get to 100. Imagine you are driving on the free at 65 mph but your RPMs are close to 9000. Your car is wasting tons of energy to get the job done and working much harder than normal to do the job. You want your car running at 1-2000 RPMs so your car can run more efficiently.

The higher your total energy is, the more energy your body is having to use to get the job done. The more energy your body is wasting the less energy your body has to do everyday activities. This can lead to increased fatigue and more overall stress.

When the body feels this increased stress it drives your nervous system toward increased sympathetic activity. Sympathetic activity is the “fight or flight” or stress side of your central nervous system. This side is only intended for short periods of time as needed. When the sympathetic nervous system is engaged it can lower immune system activity, decrease adaptability, decrease adequate sleep, increase blood pressure, and wreak havoc on your health.

The Top 6 Stretches For Sciatica and Low Back Pain

Sciatica is becoming a common issue for many adults, but just because it’s common does not mean that it’s normal. Before trying to deal with sciatica on our own, be sure to consult you Chiropractor, who can help get to the root cause of where the sciatica is stemming from.

Often times the root cause ends up coming from the nerve roots in the low back, typically from repetitive stress of sitting and other causes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: These stretches are not a method to cure sciatica, these stretches help support corrective adjustments, to facilitate the healing process and removing any unnecessary stress and tension from the lower back. Consult with your Chiropractic Doctor to determine the cause behind your sciatica.

This will hopefully become a tool for you as you go through your corrective care process to speed up your recovery and allow your adjustments to set better.


1. The Hamstring Stretch

You may choose to either lie on the ground or stay upright. I suggest using a towel or band to wrap around the ball of your foot to increase the stretch. Bring leg up or prop leg on a chair or couch and lean forward while pulling on the towel or band.

IMPORTANT TIPS: Keep a straight spine the entire time. The goal is to stretch the hamstring, not to see if you can touch your toes. There’s a difference! The key is to lean into the stretch and use the band to increase the stretch. Yes, you may feel this in the calf. There is a band of tissue called fascia connected your glutes, hamstrings, and calves together.

Time: Hold for 30 seconds each side, remembering to breath deeply throughout the stretch. As you breathe out, increase the stretch as you feel comfortable.


2. Knee to Chest

The goal of this stretch is to release the tension in the glute muscles. Lie flat on your back, bringing your knee to your chest using your hands. Keep the other leg straight and flat on the floor.

IMPORTANT TIPS: Remember to keep a straight spine. Really keep the opposite leg flat and stretched out along the floor, this will help to increase the effectiveness of the stretch. If you cannot complete the stretch with a straight leg, then bend the outstretched knee. Keep head flat on floor

Time: Hold for 30 seconds each side, remembering to breathe deeply throughout the stretch.


3. The Iron Cross

The goal of this stretch is to release as much tension as possible from the muscles of the low back. If you are under corrective care it’s important not to “force” this stretch. Lie on your back with outstretched arms out to the side. Bend one knee and raise it to your chest, then let your knee fall to the opposite side of your body towards the floor.

You may use the arm of the opposite side (as seen in the picture) to increase in the picture above.

IMPORTANT TIPS: It’s crucial to keep your upper back as flat onto the floor as possible. This helps focus the stretch into the low back.

Time: Hold for 30 seconds each side, remembering to breathe deeply throughout the stretch.


4. Hip Flexor Stretch

The hip flexors attach directly to the lumbar spine. As they get tight they can pull on the low back and add tension and stress to the spine and therefore nervous system. The first step is to bend down into a seated lung position with one knee bent on the floor, while the other knee is bent with your foot on the floor (as seen in the picture).

Keep the foot (on the down knee) flat and stretched out on the floor (as seen in the picture). Initiate the stretch by moving your body forward, feeling the stretch in the groin.

IMPORTANT TIPS: Keep spine straight throughout the stretch while engaging your core as you move your body forward. Keep your chest up. The key is to move your pelvis forward and deeper into the stretch. The most important part to make this stretch effective is to keep your core tight and engaged, not letting your low back round as you stretch.

Time: Hold for 30 seconds each side, remembering to breathe, while keeping the core engaged.


5. Piriformis Stretch

You can perform this stretch while seated. Bring one foot up to rest above your knee. Your leg does not have to be parallel to the floor for the stretch to be effective. To initiate the stretch, lean your body forward, remembering to keep your chest up and spine straight. Feel the stretch in your bottom by your gluten and hips. To increase the stretch lean back, use your hands to place downward pressure on your raised knee, then re-engage the stretch. You should feel an increase in the stretch and will not be able to lean as far.

IMPORTANT TIPS: Make sure to keep a straight spine by keeping the chest up. Only place downward pressure on the knee through the stretch if you are flexible and you are not feeling a stretch.

Time: Hold for 30 seconds each side, remembering to breathe deeply into the stretch.


6. Child’s Pose

The child’s pose stretch may not seem like a stretch effective for sciatica, but it is incredibly effective at removing tension from muscles pulling on the spine. The stretch can help reduce some of the stress on the low back.To begin the stretch, start with both knees on the floor. Lean your body forward placing hands on the floor and push your hips back towards feet. Allow your head and chest to drop towards the floor. See the picture for positioning.

IMPORTANT TIPS: If you have knee trouble, the stretch can be performed while standing and using a table to place your hands up, slightly bending the knees, and pushing the hips back. It’s very important to breathe deeply into this stretch.

Time: Hold for 1 minute or more as you feel comfortable, remembering to breathe deeply into the stretch.

Ready to get to cause behind your low back pain or sciatica? Give us a call today

(805) 379-3653

Chiropractic and Ear Infections: A Closer Look at One of Our Cases

DISCLAIMER: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our patients.

I want to share an ear infection case we had with one of our little ones here in the office. For the purpose of this case study his name will be “Billy.”

Billy’s mom brought him into our office with ear infections in both ears. He had previously had 4 ear infections with antibiotics used after each subsequent ear infection. This was his fifth ear infection and his primary care physician had recommended that tubes be put in to prevent any further ear infections. Since his first ear infection, he could not go one month without getting the next ear infection.

As I start to dive deeper into the history, we discuss some of the other symptoms Billy is dealing with, mainly sinus congestion, but also swollen tonsils and mild chest congestion.

The birth history revealed that little Billy had a prolonged labor and delivery with pitocin and had suffered a few falls here and there as he was little. No colic or latching challenges but was otherwise fairly healthy.

I preceded to go through our exam on Billy, who was very nervous and crying, but I made sure to let him know that NOTHING ever hurts in our office and that Dr Brady is a certified “Tickled Doctor.” That calmed him down enough to get a good look at him, where I found a subluxation in his upper neck. A subluxation is a misalignment of one of the vertebrae in the spine that gets “stuck” in that position and starts to place stress on the nervous system, the master control system of our body. I also found one additional subluxation in his upper thoracic spine.

We confirmed our findings with our infrared thermal scans, which revealed higher levels of inflammation in his upper neck and upper back. Indicating his a subluxation in the very first bone in his spine.

When we look at our nerve chart or our “fuse box” chart, we can see that the upper cervical spine plays a large role in ear infections. For the brevity of this post will save the mire detailed science for ear infection page. Take a look at our ear infection page for a more in depth look at ear infections.

The upper thoracic or upper back contains centers for the upper respiratory system, which plays heavily into chronic ear infections.

We began our adjustments on Billy and used very gentle and specific adjustments using a tool that helps get the adjustment without having to hear a click or pop. It’s a gentle way to introduce kids to Chiropractic.

We also teach parents an easy lymphatic massage technique as well. Typically when the inner ears become filled with fluid it backs up into the lymph nodes and tonsils. This massage helps keep that fluid moving and gives the fluid from the inner ear a place to drain.

After the first series of adjustments I always tell parents to expect some sort of drainage or mucus build up. Sure enough for the first two weeks there was a LOT of drainage and mucus and he ended up getting sick towards the end. This is a really great sign. Here’s why…

When children are exposed to multiple rounds of antibiotics, there immune system is likely depleted and slow to respond, hence multiple ear infections. So to get an immune response from the body so quick is a great response!

After about a month of care the drainage finally ceased and what do you know, ears were clear. No fluid at all. After a few more weeks he got another ear infection. I know, seems counterproductive, but here’s what happened.

This was the first time he had gone over a month with an ear infection. Also because he had been exposed to multiple rounds of antibiotics, his immune system needs to rebuild, so recurrence can happen. However this time the fluid stayed for a couple days and was gone with no antibiotics.

Needless to say, the tube surgery is cancelled and he now can return to being a healthy boy.

Can Chiropractic Help My Breech Baby?

Where It All Begins

A regular phone call we receive goes something like this “I’m ___ weeks pregnant and I found out my baby is breech? Can Chiropractic help?”

The short answer is yes, Chiropractic may be able to help.

Babies that are in the breech position are flipped upside down with the buttocks down toward the pelvis and the head up towards the chest. It is not an ideal position for delivery and can make it difficult.

The predominant theory for why a baby turns breech is because there is less room in the womb due a condition know as intra uterine constraint (in-utero constraint). This condition occurs when the mothers uterus doesn’t open completely and gives the baby less room then normal to grow and develop. When the baby feels the stress of this it will turn to try and gain more room in the womb, which leads to the breech positioning.

Remember the uterus is a muscle and all muscles don’t act alone. They only do as they are told by the nervous system. When someone is stressed you can see the muscles of their body tense up, especially in the upper back and shoulders. However when we have neurological stress due to a condition called subluxation, a misalignment in the spine creating stress and tension on the nervous system, it does something very similar to the muscles of the uterus. When stress due to subluxations affect the nerves going to the uterus this can create tension in the muscles of the uterus and create in-utero constraint.

So Can Chiropractic Help Turn A Breech Baby?

Let me be clear, our goal as Chiropractors isn’t to turn your baby face down. This can happen as a byproduct of our care but it is not our goal. Our goal is to remove the stress on the nervous system that is creating tension in the uterus. In doing so our goal is to allow the uterus to open up as much as possible to allow the baby to turn face down again.

Dr Brady is ICPA certified in the Webster Technique. The webster technique is highly specialized for pregnant women, with a specific emphasis on sacrum, where the nerves that supply the uterus reside, and the pelvis.

Throughout your pregnancy Dr Brady will utilize the webster technique to ensure your have your best pregnancy possible!

Check out our video on pregnancy care.