Has Your Chiro Ever Said “You don’t need adjusted today?”

When I was in chiropractic school trying to figure out HOW I wanted to adjust people, I had to ask myself some pretty hard questions. One burning question that always went through my mind was “How do I know that I NEED an adjustment?!” It seemed like you could walk into any chiropractic office on any given day, get adjusted, walk down the street to another chiro, get adjusted, and you could repeat that ALL DAY LONG! If an adjustment is helping to correct the problem, then why would every single chiropractor in that string of visits tell me I need an adjustment?! That makes you wonder: Are they lying to me? Did the first adjustment not do its job? Am I really THAT messed up?! I have to think that patients think this way, too….unless I am the only crazy one.😉 I did not feel comfortable with assessment methods that did not allow for the possibility that someone could NOT need an adjustment. There are absolutely moments in time when the body is doing a perfectly good job on its own and needs no intervention at all!

I had a patient come in yesterday that did not need adjusted after I did my assessment. It was “gold star” moment on their chart! Believe it or not, that patient was EXCITED to see that their body was holding their adjustment, and it was a good sign that they can go a longer time frame between adjustments! That is the entire goal in the adjusting process. I WANT your body to be adapting to the environment on its own, without assistance. However, if I did not have good, sound, objective measures to help me determine that, then I would probably just adjust you every single time I saw you! That’s often what gives chiropractors a bad name in terms of people thinking that they have to go five million times over the next 10 years.

While treating people in clinic, I worked really hard to find methods of evaluation that would allow me to KNOW when their nervous system was failing to adapt. There were times when I would see patients multiple times before they ever got a single adjustment. As a student trying to get my adjustment numbers in, that could be frustrating; however, I was positive that they were not being over-adjusted and that I was not influencing the nervous system when it was already doing a great job! I think it was important for me to develop that skill because it would be absurd for me to adjust every single person that walks into my office, every visit, and assume that they “needed” it. The body is an amazing creation, and most of the time, it doesn’t take much to put it on the right path for healthy function.

Having said that, there are tons of things that contribute to whether you need adjusted: posture, diet, work, stress, etc. If these sources of stress to the body are not kept in balance, then you probably need adjusted more often. Poor posture breeds bad patterns in your neurology, therefore, you are reinforcing a bad pattern in your body for 23 hours and 55 minutes when I only get 5 minutes to have an influence. What you decide to do in your own time makes a much bigger difference in how healthy you are, if you need adjusted, and how good you feel. Adjustments are meant to supplement a healthy lifestyle when the body needs a little help adapting. If you get both hips, both sides of the neck, 2 areas in the midback, etc adjusted EVERY SINGLE time you walk into the chiro’s office, I have to wonder if you needed every single area adjusted?

This is simply food for thought. I love chiropractic. I love adjusting people. However, I do find that people respond better to care when they are ONLY getting adjusted WHAT they need adjusted, WHEN it needs adjusted. People’s body’s have patterns, so it is very feasible that you will often need similar spots adjusted….just probably not every single time. Most people have no idea if their chiropractor is evaluating whether they need adjusted because it happens without you knowing it most of the time! They check your leg lengths, they may scan temperature, they may have you perform actions in order to elicit response. It is all part of determining whether or not a patient needs adjusted. However, it is also our job to address the underlying issues if someone is constantly needing adjusted. There is a reason that you are not holding your adjustment, and it could be anything from work to diet. These issues need addressed or you are just using chiropractic like an expensive aspirin. YOU have the biggest impact on your health and your chiropractor is simply there to help you along the way, not do it for you.

Headaches and Migraines: Exploring the Cause and Solution

I was recently asked to write an article covering headaches and migraines. When I posted this suggestion, there was a number of people that also wanted this article! I didn’t think this was that big of a topic, but apparently, we have people who need help with this! So, first things first: I am a chiropractor that practices functional medicine. That means that while my doctorate is in manual medicine, I have spent a lot of years focusing on things outside of adjustments such as herbal therapy, nutrition, lifestyle medicine, and supplementation for restoring health. Why not pharmaceuticals? Because I found all too often that prescription and OTC medications were really good at symptomatic relief, but lacked in their ability to really get rid of the underlying issues. Add side effects on top of that, and I just feel more confident in my ability to RESOLVE a patient’s issue without the use of medications. Now that you have a little background on my philosophies, let’s talk about headaches and migraines.

What’s the difference between a headache and a migraine?
A LOT! A headache is annoying, painful, and while it is pain in the head, it is not a intense or debilitating as migraine. For the purpose of this post, we will classify migraines as severely disabling headaches. Migraines are often accompanied by something called an aura or a feeling of fog that denotes it’s onset. These patients also have light sensitivity, they may feel very nauseous, and it is very difficult for them to complete simple daily tasks while one is occurring. While this is awful, the really awful part is that this can last for hours or days! This makes life pretty difficult while you are experiencing a migraine, and that is why many people will turn to prescriptions when this happens. At that point, you will do whatever it takes to get relief and be able to accomplish daily responsibilities.

What’s wrong with my prescriptions for migraines?
The prescription medications used to treat migraines are often chemicals who’s original purpose had nothing to do with migraines. They may be blood pressure medication, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and even your favorite wrinkle treatment known as BOTOX. These medications do “alright” at best for making a patient able to tolerate and function during an episode, and may impact frequency for some, but they certainly don’t treat migraines. These medications all come with their own set of side effects that under longterm use may require another medication to address the side effect of the migraine medication. This is nothing new in the pharmaceutical world, and before you know it, you are a customer buying 5 medications when you thought you started with a simple problem.

What causes headaches and migraines?
There are so many sources of etiology for this type of issue that it’s hard to treat for that reason. If you haven’t done your due diligence digging around for the culprit, you will never find the root cause. Root causes that I see being most common for MIGRAINES are:

  • food sensitivities (especially things like gluten, lactose, and eggs)
  • diet sweeteners (check labels for sucralose, aspartame, truvia, equal, etc)
  • caffeine (coffee, soda, chocolate all have caffeine and this can be a trigger for those that don’t metabolize it well)
  • hormones (especially when progesterone is low or women find migraines cyclical to their menstrual cycle)
  • stress (this is a seriously overlooked trigger for tons of health issues)
  • magnesium deficiency
  • underactive mitochondria due to chronic diseases such as autoimmunity, cancer, or chronic infection

Root causes I see being most common for HEADACHES are:

  • postural issues
  • cervical subluxations
  • blood sugar issues
  • blood pressure issues
  • stress
  • eye sight issues

So, the first step in diagnosis and treatment is deciding if you suffer from a HEADACHE or a MIGRAINE.  If you suffer from headaches, then often times, they can easily resolve with:

  • visiting your chiropractor for an adjustment (this fixes misalignments that cause nerve discomfort causing headaches)
  • visit your massage therapist (muscle tension can occur from poor posture or subluxations and soft tissue work especially on the suboccipitals can work wonders.  Just tell your massage therapist to work on your cranium, jaw, suboccipitals, and muscles that elevate the shoulders)
  • ergonomics (position your desk, move frequently, and don’t look down at your phone constantly)
  • eat balanced meals low in refined carbs (this will help keep blood sugar stable)
  • check your blood pressure (identify if this throbbing is coming from how hard your heart is pumping)
  • adopt stress relief techniques like going for a walk, doing yoga, reading, enjoying hobbies
  • talk to an essential oil rep that can point you in the direction of a diffuser and use lavender specifically
  • get your eyes checked (if you find yourself squinting a lot or if you notice most headaches are in the afternoon it could be because of screen time)

If you suffer from migraines, then it may take some digging to find the cause.  You may want to consider the following testing or supplementation:

  • supplement with magnesium (300mg/day) (you could incorporate Epsom salt soaks too for transdermal absorption)
  • eliminate common allergens from your diet (I would start with gluten, dairy, and eggs)
  • remove all diet foods and MSG from your diet
  • get your hormones checked (especially if you are a woman or notice they have a pattern around your period)
  • supplement with nutrients targeted at helping your mitochondria function (this could be especially helpful for those with a concurrent chronic infection.

Hopefully this answered some of your questions!  There are tons of things you can do to self-treat headaches, but if they persist beyond those efforts, then I suggest finding good doctors to work with!  This is an area where alternative medicine shines and you will never regret going that route.  If you find you need further direction on your case, I would be happy to set up a consult or point in the direction of someone near to you that I trust!

*feel free to call or text 574-635-5808 to set up a 30-min phone consult: $75

*feel free to email angela@angelalucterhand.com to set up a consult or request links to the products I would recommend to my patients.





Back to the Homeland

lady of chiro
Last week, I traveled back to Palmer College of Chiropractic for their 100th Homecoming…and continuing education credits. I bring back things from every trip, experience, class, etc. that I ever do. So, I only saw it fit that I share some of the ideas, goodies, and experiences that I brought back this time around.

10. I now know my tuition dollars outfitted the upcoming classes with ALL NEW CHAIRS! Their spines will thank past generations upon graduation!
9. I got to empathize with those who sit all day for work. Never….ever….again. Beg, plead, and cry for a standing work station!
8. Redband Coffee. Everyday, buy some for home, appreciate every drop.
7. I love seeing old friends! Make the time do it more, people!
6. Thank God for Crossfit. Walking up that Brady St. hill every day reminded me just how steep it is!
5. After a round of antibiotics, your gut takes 3-4 months to repair. Take your probiotics the entire time! (and you get what you pay for…so ask someone knowledgeable which ones to take!)
4. Your nervous system and immune system function TOGETHER. There’s new connections coming forth that show that relationship. Get adjusted when you are sick.
3. Chiropractic care is producing modern miracles everyday. Give it a shot.
2. What I do with nutrition is pretty unique and amazing. (and my patients are pretty lucky. ;) )
1. Part of my purpose on earth is to help other people be the best version of themselves, and therefore, part of my mission is to be the best I possibly can at what I do. Your health is essential for the platform for YOUR mission. You must take care of your body, and I am grateful to be someone who can help maximize the potential of the human body.