Monthly Archives: April 2011

Neck Pain with Arm Numbness

Patients that have shoulder and arm numbness express that it can be very frustrating. Pain may also be accompanied with it as well. If you suffer from neck pain, shoulder tension & pain with arm numbness, there is hope for getting this turned around. Many times, this trio is found in workers sitting in front of a computer all day.

It appears that long days of sitting with the head slightly forward looking at a computer monitor creates tightropes out of the shoulder muscle region. Such chronic strain leads to hardening and scarring of these muscle groups much like wearing a tight shoe can create callouses.

It is the hardening and swelling of this tissue which can diminish the size of the canal where the arm nerves are trying to run. This creates nerve impingement and thus the downstream effects like arm numbness and pain.

As a Tulsa chiropractor, I’ve seen that chiropractic care including specific adjustments to the lower neck and upper back segments, along with deep tissue muscle release techniques will help this condition.

There is a very high success rate on improving the tension/pain/numbness trio. In some cases, other conditions may need to be ruled out as well.

If you suffer from this type of condition, call our Tulsa chiropractic office at (918) 481-9200 and we’ll help you set up a consultation for us to take at your unique condition.

Dr. Michael Lau, D.C.
Tulsa Chiropractor

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center

6130 S Maplewood Ave # D, Tulsa,  OK 74136

Shoulder Pains Associated with Computer Work

As a chiropractor in Tulsa, I see patients present with tight shoulder muscles on a daily basis.  This tension is compounded by a sedentary lifestyle sitting in front of a computer.  The head forward posture that is often employed during a hard day at work in front of the computer puts excess strain on the muscles in the back of the neck.

Normally, our heads should be directly above our shoulders.  Too often, while at work, our head will translate forward to look at the computer monitor.  This is a lot like holding a bowling ball out in front of you – it gets heavier to hold.  The result is extra strain on the muscles in the back of the neck – causing them to act like “guide-wires”.  Over time, these strained muscles will harden and become tense.

A chiropractor will often use plenty of muscle work during the adjustment session to begin to reduce/reverse the muscle adhesions and splinting.  A chiropractic adjustment will also improve tissue flexibility in the area and ensure that the spinal mechanics are not being restricted by the tight muscles.

This type of pain scenario can also be associated with injuries where the muscles are splinting like auto accident injuries, whiplash and sports injuries.

Those with tight shoulder muscles should also be on the look-out for symptoms of arm tingling, etc. that can be linked to an entrapment of nerve tissue in the shoulder and neck area due to excessive neck/shoulder muscle tension.

Dr. Michael Lau

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center

6130 S Maplewood Ste D

Tulsa, OK  74133

7 Ideas for Pain Reduction

There are several theories on what creates pain in our bodies.  As a Tulsa chiropractor, the type that I am focusing on today is the achy pain that is created by restriction/tightness in our joints.  A good percentage of the back pain, neck pain, etc. that we treat in our office can be traced to ‘fixated’, ‘stuck’ or misaligned joints that are not moving well.

Here’s 7 Ideas to Help with Those Aches and Pains:

1)  Go for a Walk – Exercise is even more important as we get older because our body wants to stiffen up.  One of the best exercises for your lower back is walking, so get out and walk today!  It’s springtime!

2)  Reduce Your Intake of Sugar – Sugar is very inflammatory.  It’s loaded in most processed foods, soft drinks, sweets, etc. Whenever we consume too much of this inflammatory substance, our aches and pains are more likely to bother us.  Want even faster results?  – google ‘anti-inflammatory’ diets and see that a diet higher in fruits / vegies, lean meats, fish, raw nuts and seeds and less ‘white’ food / processed food are good at reducing body inflammation levels which trigger pain.

3)  Get a Massage – Our soft tissues around our body tend to get ‘tight’ and our muscles will often splint.  This splinting can create trigger points in our muscles which can create referred pain.  Additionally, our tight muscles fight against our joints in restricting normal joint play which can further cause our achy pains.

4)  Engage in Stretching / Yoga – If you are dealing with chronic lower back pain, chances are that your hamstrings are tight.  Additionally, glut muscles are also usually engaged with tension – all of which leads to mechanical problems which lead to pain in the back.  Our upper body needs stretching as well.

5)  Try Ice – Put away the electric heating pad.  Better yet, throw it away or save it for your pet.  Dry heat such as the electric heating pad tend to feel great while it’s on but when you take away the heat, the pain can come back with a vengence.  I am big fan of icing the affected area for 14-20 minutes.  This will reduce inflammation.

6)  Balance Exercises – I’ve found that standing on one leg to work on balance will help fire postural muscles that aid with spinal stability.  Lift you knee up for 5-7 seconds and hold, then alternate.  This is a good starter to help build better balance and stability.  Down the road, employ the use of wobble or rocker boards (be careful – start slow and have something nearby to help balance) to add higher difficulty.  After a few weeks of 5 minutes a day, our posture muscles start to become more stable and can help with pain reduction.  The above is most appropriate for lower back issues.

7) Joint Mobilization – There is much hope in restoring motion to joints that have pain.  A study comparing recovery rates from injuries sustained by baseball players and hockey players found that hockey players had a much quicker overall recovery from injuries with less pain.  Scientists seem to think that as a general rule, hockey players have a much higher rate of body mobility with continually moving versus baseball players who tend to be more sedentary.  Joint mobility is important for joint health and helps to block pain.  Joint mobilization and manipulation (whether by hand or instrument) is an effective means to reduce pain.

Disclaimer – the above ideas are not meant for clients who are known to have systemic inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders, etc.  Consult with your chiropractor or primary care doctor before implementing a self-guided home exercise program.

Dr. Michael Lau, D.C.

Ste D, 6130 South Maplewood Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74136

(918) 481-9200 ‎

Organic Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening

Recently I was inspired by others who have studied square foot gardening to give it a try myself.  We didn’t seem to have much success with gardening while I was growing up – partially because our work duties on the farm rarely made it to the garden area as we focused on the large field crops.

Usually, about half way through the summer when the weeds had overtaken the garden, my dad would hook up the shredder to his tractor and drive over the garden a few times to completely mow it down.  No more weeds, no more garden.  Good idea, but not enough time delegated to it.

Frankly, it wasn’t my favorite thing – pulling weeds.  There were so many.  I know that sounds lazy, but trust me, there were tons of them.

The beautiful thing about square foot gardening is that you plant the garden in an elevated planter.  This reduces weeds, insects, animals, etc. from being as big of a problem.  Additionally, if you do it right, you can easily access the garden right in front of you without the excessive bending that is not as easy to do and hard on the back – I am a chiropractor – we think of these things.

One of the things that attracted me to this style of gardening besides being easier to reach, less bugs, less problems is the very organized layout.  It lends towards maximized efficiency.  Each square foot garden is marked off with either twine (as in mine pictured above) or with wooden slats.  There is a book that can be purchased that has great recommendations on types of vegies to plant and how many per square.

We’ll see how this summer goes.  My daughters have all wanted to pitch in and manage their own ‘squares’.  I am hoping that they will see the fruit of their labors and learn something from it as well.  You can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.  I’ll try to keep things posted here occasionally.

– Dr. Michael Lau

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center

6130 S Maplewood Ave # D,

Tulsa, OK 74136

(918) 481-9200 ‎

Natural Health & Chiropractic Center
6130 S Maplewood Ave # D
Tulsa OK 74136
United States