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Neck Doctor NJ

The “Text Neck” Epidemic

The “Text Neck” Epidemic
By Dr. Sonia Marques

We have all been guilty of looking down at our phones or tablets for long periods of time and feeling a stiffness and discomfort in our necks as a result of it. Most of the time we aren’t even aware of how much time is passing by, but our bodies are certainly feeling the impact of our actions. Our technology-driven society has led to a common and ubiquitous condition coined “text neck,” or chronic flexion malposition of the head and neck. For some, this means limited range of motion and stiffness, but for many others the restriction is painful. Patients may also present with symptoms in the upper back and shoulders, as well as reporting headaches, altered vision and fatigue.

Long term consequences of progressive text neck syndrome include rounding of the shoulders, a rounded hump-like upper and mid back and eventually reduced respiratory volume. These postural changes include anterior head carriage, which is when the chin juts forward. Anterior head carriage increases the weight and stress to our necks and upper backs. A normal neutral head posture of 0 degrees correlates to 10-12 lbs of weight on our necks, whereas 45 degrees of forward head posture correlates to 49 lbs of weight to our necks! Essentially, a forward head posture of 3-5 inches adds hundreds of pounds of stress to the neck throughout the day. Years of this added stress greatly increases the potential for cervical disc herniations, as well as degenerative joint disease and degenerative disc disease of the neck and upper spine. Of particular concern is the long-term effects of text neck on children and adolescents who have grown up with this technology since infancy and oftentimes exceed the recommended daily amounts of screen time.

A study published in the May 2017 issue of Surgical Neurology International Journal concluded that “Musculoskeletal neck pain is a common multifactorial disease in children and adolescents, implying that there are numerous risk factors contributing to its development. Bending the head, neck, and shoulders over cell phones and handheld devices, along with distorted neck positioning when sitting, studying, and watching television, can lead to incrementally increased stresses in the cervical spine area. These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries. Other developmental, medical, psychological, and social complications are also of concern.

While it is nearly impossible to avoid the habits and technologies that cause these issues, young individuals should make an effort to perform activities with a neutral spine and to avoid neck flexion for hours each day. Most times, children and adolescents do not know they could be doing serious long-term damage to their bodies because the short-term effects are not as noticeable. It is only later in life that the effects can seriously affect the quality of life. This increases fears that younger people, who are society’s biggest users of smartphones and tablets, could be facing a future of pain and disability, or even taking years off of their life expectancy.

Assessment of postural anomalies and evaluation of spinal and muscle dysfunction allows the chiropractor to determine the best course for corrective action. Corrections may include active release therapy of dysfunctional muscles, soft tissue release, joint mobilizations, manual traction, as well as rehabilitative stretching and strengthening exercises and ergonomic and supportive care. Raising awareness on the consequences of musculoskeletal neck pain and providing methods of prevention of treatment is the key to managing “text neck” in both kids and adults. Although smart phones, tablets and laptops will always be necessary parts of our lives, we can certainly minimize their negative effects to ourselves and to our families.

Children's Neurologists in NJ

What is Functional Neurology for Children?

What is Functional Neurology for Children?
by Dr. Marc Funderlich
April 1, 2019

Functional Neurologists who work with children take a different approach to brain-based conditions than standard Medical Pediatric Neurologists. Medical Neurology specializes in detecting tissue damage on imaging, deals with the acute care phase of traumatic brain injuries for infants and prescribes medications to change brain chemistry. In general, this approach is designed to cover up any weakness in your children brain. As Functional Neurologists, we look at the brain from a completely different perspective.

Our job is to find the things interfering with your child’s natural brain development and remove them. While this sounds easy, it is a complex process that takes time and dedication! The best way to start is by examining your child’s brain using developmental reflexes, physical tests, computer tests, and eye movements. After this exam we are able to determine if your child’s brain is immature for their age. A mismatch between brain development and actual age can lead to a disconnection in your child’s school, social, or sports performance! Once we have object evidence of your child’s disconnection, we need to figure out why that disconnection exists. Normally we do comprehensive blood work in conjunction with specialized immune testing. This allows us to see any underlying reasons why your child’s brain is not on track. Common reasons for developmental delay include in utero stress, pathogens, chemical exposure, autoimmunity, iron deficiency and inflammation. The brain needs several things for optimal development. The three things that are a must for your brain are energy, oxygen and stimulation and we deal with all of them here at Core Therapies. We use Laser Therapy and Nutrition for energy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for oxygen, and Directed Neurologic Rehabilitation for brain stimulation.

We believe that even if your child has not been diagnosed with something such as ADHD, Genetic Disorder, Seizure, Stroke, Autism, or a Developmental Delay it is still worth having your child checked. All too often parents are told that an infant missing or lagging on milestones is acceptable, that there is nothing to do to help this along. This is not true. We hear stories every day of parents being told to just wait and watch when in fact there are things that can be done. If you’d like more information about our Functional Neurology work with children, please reach out to me at drmarc@coretherapies.net.

Some FAQs about Functional Neurology at Core Therapies

Q: What age ranges do you work with?
A: Our youngest patient is 2 weeks old and we do see some teens. For intervention to work best, pre-
puberty is recommended and the earlier the better.

Q: Is there anything invasive while you work with my child?
A: No, there is nothing invasive during regular Functional Neurology sessions. Any blood draw we
request would be the most invasive part. Sometimes we can use a saliva test instead.

Q: Do you do screens on “healthy children”?
A: Yes, it is best to screen early and often for both brain development and blood chemistry!

Light Therapy NJ

The Healing Power of Light

The Healing Power of Light
by Dr. Jason Sonners

We are light sensitive beings. Our bodies convert sunlight into Vitamin D. UV rays can make our skin tan or burn. Dermatologists use light to treat precancerous cells or encourage skin peeling. In surgical centers, light can be used as a cutting tool. So why not use light as a therapeutic healing tool? We actually have a broad spectrum of laser and LED light devices with various uses and strengths at our disposal depending on what benefits we want to attain.

Most importantly, light can be used to attack inflammation in our bodies which, not properly treated, ultimately leads to many chronic illnesses. These include chronic pain, heart disease, stroke, cancer, further autoimmunity and many more. Whether we’re discussing trauma, concussion (TBI), or the varieties of arthritis and degenerative brain conditions: (Dementia, Alzheimer’s), we believe inflammation is a key factor causing the associated pain, brain fog, loss of normal function and decreased quality of life.

So at Core Therapies, we’ve decided to double down on that belief and bring new equipment and staff into our office to help us combat inflammation with every available tool. And that often begins with light! “Light Therapy” – or PhotoBioModulation Therapy (PBMT) – means using laser and/or LED light in order to help improve cellular function. In addition to fighting inflammation, light can be used therapeutically in an attempt to reduce pain, improve skin health and complexion, increase our ability to produce energy and much more. We now have a number of Light Therapy devices in our office: Class 2, 3 and 4 handheld lasers, Violet handheld laser, Far Infrared Sauna and the only full body PBMT Bed in New Jersey.  Here’s a little bit about each to give you the basics:  Class 2, 3 and 4 Handheld Lasers – These handheld lasers are used one-on-one in the treatment rooms. Depending on the issues we’re addressing, we would determine which light or laser device to employ. These pieces of equipment can be used to relieve muscle, joint and back pain, heal tendons and ligaments and even be used to promote healing after a stroke or concussion as well as other brain conditions.  Violet Handheld Laser – Violet light is used to help with acne, sinus and other skin- based or gastrointestinal infection/bacterial imbalances.  Far Infrared Sauna – Far infrared waves penetrate the body to activate our sweat glands. By using light and heat, the sauna helps cells detoxify and improves circulation.  Full Body Light Therapy – This is somewhat similar to the handheld devices, but in a full body treatment. It is used as a full body cellular recovery tool – an excellent way to boost whole body healing, promote exercise recovery, combat systemic inflammatory conditions and more.

We are committed to staying ahead of the curve and bringing our patients the newest, highest quality treatment options that are grounded deeply in proven methods of healing recovery. Please ask us questions if you’d like to know more or try some of our new pieces of equipment.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

When The Goal Outweighs The Craving

When the Goal Outweighs the Craving
by Dr. Meagan McGowan

I have notoriously struggled with goal setting and personal accountability. I believe somewhere in my blueprint, I was cyclically wired to remain personally accountable for only two weeks at a time. Along the journey I figured out that I am an Obliger (thank you The Four Tendencies). One of the greatest characteristics of Obligers is that they prefer to answer to someone, let another person help hold them accountable. When I stopped seeing this as a negative trait and welcomed it as a tool for personal growth, things changed. Reaching out to others, setting vulnerability aside, and working on clear communication has made a world of difference in self-exploration and growth.

Fast-forward to four months ago, one of these conversations needed to happen. Two months earlier, my mind and body were absolutely going through a shift that I could only imagine was hormonal in nature. At just over a year post partum, I lived with this supposed hormonal shift for two months, kept quiet trying to self analyze and figure out what was going on. When I was overcome with negative emotion and a mindset very unlike that of my own, I was scared and I knew it was time to reach out. Thankfully some of my closest friends are also some of my health care providers who I entrust with my health and the health of my family. In conversation, I shared the heaviness I was experiencing both physically and mentally. With open ears and a very open heart my friend suggested several things, including an approach to self-healing I had not yet fully grasped. Knowing that we both have tremendous respect for the body’s ability to heal, we agreed that spending some time really cleaning up some of its systems would benefit my overall state of health.

For the last four months my health conscious lifestyle has shifted a bit. It has taken on new challenges, happily, and a new perspective, a lot of which surrounds the idea of “food as fuel.“ The conversation in our house has changed as we self explore what works for us and what doesn’t. I have been intermittent fasting for three months, consciously shifting from needing food packed in my purse, diaper bag, car’s center console and for breaks between patients. This was a choice I made, with guidance, after my very vulnerable conversation. I read a lot and really wanted to understand why intermittent fasting is encouraged for some people. Above all, this was a chance to shift my body from being on the detrimental glucose roller-coaster, to getting back in touch with mindful eating. To allow my cells to really detox and rid themselves of toxins enough to rebuild stronger and better! I will happily share after only a few weeks of beginning intermittent fasting, closing down my eating window, and upping my fat consumption, I truly felt recharged. There has not been the slightest shift to negative thought in the last several months. My immune system has withstood some serious mommy snuggles of sick and very feverish kiddos. I have not had a single craving for sugar, which is just amazing given my relationship with that drug for all of my years! In the moments where the cookie trays are sitting there on a shiny pedestal, my mindset has again and again proven resilient. I felt confident to dive a little deeper, joining Drs. Sonners’ Stemnotic Solutions Program.

Right before the Program began, my husband and I had our blood drawn to truly measure the potential benefits of our efforts throughout the Program. I am excited to see where this takes us and how it will resonate with us as the weeks build. There has been an overall gratifying feeling with my acts of self-care. Cravings have subsided and goals have remained intact. As a family, our vision of food and its strong presence in our life is shifting. We are not eating any less or depriving ourselves, but we are changing the emotion around it. I think it is so important that we all remain open to changes in approaches to health. Whether initiated from a conversation, an experience, or from an educational platform, we constantly question and re-evaluate, always striving to be our healthiest and happiest.