Sitting at a Desk Is No Excuse for Poor Ergonomics and Posture

Man with poor posture at deskIn a recent post, I talked about how “text neck” is becoming an epidemic in our country. More and more people spend hours each day with their head down, staring at their smartphones and tablets. The farther you tilt your head forward, the more strain you create on your neck.

Text neck is just one example of how poor ergonomics and posture can lead to musculoskeletal pain and tension, which most commonly occur around the base of the skull, the temples, the upper shoulders, between the shoulder blades, and the lower back.

This is the result of what we call mechanical distortion in the human body. As Nobel Prize winner Roger Sperry said, the more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism, and healing. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Are You and Your Kids Becoming Part of the Text Neck Epidemic?

Text neck treatmentNext time you walk outside or down the hall at work, notice how many people are hunched over while they walk or sit, or even when they’re carrying on a conversation. If you were to go to a college campus or high school, you would probably find most kids with their heads down.

It’s not that everyone is trying to hide or slouching because they’re sad. They’re just obsessed with the smartphones, tablets and other gadgets that they just received as holiday gifts.

They’re emailing, texting, chatting, posting on social media, playing video games, checking the weather, getting caught up on the news, and doing everything else that mobile applications make it possible to do from the palm of their hand.

Here’s the problem. When you tilt your head forward, you increase the gravitational pull on a delicate area of the spine. The more you tilt your head forward, the heavier the load, and the more strain you put on your neck and the muscles that support it. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

How Carlos Got Back to Throwing Heat, and the Value of Integrated Therapy

Proodian healthcare Patient Success StoryI don’t claim to be a scout for a big league baseball team. But when I encounter a young man like Carlos, who at the time was 6-foot-6 and threw a baseball 90 miles per hour as a 17-year-old, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he could hear his name called at some point in a Major League Baseball draft.

Carlos came to Natural Healthcare Center in April of 2015 with pain in his hip and the lower right side of his back. Our integrated treatment plan included chiropractic care, physical therapy and sports nutrition counseling. The pain went away, but it would return when Carlos resumed the high level of activity that’s normal for serious athletes.

We sent Carlos to have an MRI, which revealed a herniated disc and a bulging disc. We dug deeper into our integrated toolshed of services and treated Carlos with the Cox Technic system of spinal decompression and pain management. We also continued with chiropractic care and nutrition, and focused his physical therapy on lumbar core stabilization.

Today, Carlos is fully rehabbed, training for his senior season, and throwing heat. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Understanding Diagnostic Imaging, Part 2

Dr. Proodian checking xrayIn Part 1 of this post, I discussed what diagnostic imaging is and what it does – a test that provides a doctor with a window into the body so we can diagnose and gather information about a person’s health and recommend the right treatment.

I also discussed three of the most common types of diagnostic imaging ordered by doctors – x-ray, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Here are three more tests that doctors use to pinpoint the cause of our health issues.

Diagnostic Ultrasound

While x-rays, CT scans and MRI use electromagnetic and radio waves to create images of the inside of the body, diagnostic ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves. Also called sonography, ultrasound exams typically use a sonar device outside of the body, although some require a device to be place inside the body.

Most of us associate ultrasound with pregnancy. It enables doctors to see a pregnant woman’s uterus and ovaries and monitor the health and growth of the baby. However, diagnostic ultrasound can also be used to diagnose gallbladder disease and some forms of cancer, discover irregularities in the genitals and prostate, evaluate a lump in the breast, or assess blood flow. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Understanding Diagnostic Imaging, Part 1

Dr. Proodian checking xrayDiagnostic imaging is one of those terms that can cause anxiety in a lot of people. They figure that a doctor would only order such a test if there was a serious problem. However, it’s important to keep in mind that diagnostic imaging will just rule out certain conditions just as often as it detects a problem.

Let’s start by clarifying what diagnostic imaging is and does. Diagnostic imaging is a test that allows a doctor to look inside your body. Much can be learned through medical history, visual exams and blood testing, but doctors often need to look deeper to find out what’s going on.

Diagnostic imaging is a tool that allows us to do just that. As the name suggests, diagnostic imaging helps us diagnose and gather information about a person’s condition and determine the most effective treatment.

Here are some of the most common types of diagnostic imaging: Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

What’s the Difference between a Migraine and a Headache?

Headache or MigraineNine out of 10 Americans get headaches. Some headaches are worse than others. When a headache is really bad, many people assume it’s a migraine. But before you start popping pills, it’s important to try to figure out what kind of headache you have.

A headache involves dull, unpleasant pain or pressure that can occur on both sides of the head or specific areas, like the forehead, temples, or the back of the neck. There are dozens of causes of headaches – far too many to mention in a single blog post. Some of the most common types of headaches include:

  • Tension headaches, caused by stress, anxiety, muscle strains and other factors
  • Cluster headaches, which typically occur on one side of the head and are often accompanied by common cold symptoms like a runny nose, nasal congestion or watery eyes.
  • Sinus headaches, which often come with a sinus infection

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

An Overlooked Safety Issue as Kids Head Back to School

Backpack safetyAs a father of five, I’ve had dozens of conversations with my kids about different safety issues over the years. We’ve talked about riding bikes safely, crossing the street, seatbelts, strangers, drugs and alcohol, good nutrition, fire safety, playground safety and other topics that always come to the forefront as kids go back to school.

One safety issue related to our kids that’s often overlooked is the issue of backpack safety. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries each year, and about 5,000 end up in the emergency room.

Kids often end up with pain in the upper back, neck and hips because they lean forward to carry heavy backpacks. Shoulders and knees can become tight and stiff. Musculoskeletal injuries can be aggravated. Kids can lose their balance and injure themselves or others.

The problem isn’t the backpacks themselves. In fact, backpacks represent a healthy way to carry weight because they’re designed to balance the load across the human body’s strongest muscles in the back and abdomen. The problems are related to heavy loads and improper use.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

How a Chiropractic Neurologist Diagnoses and Treats Vertigo

vertigoIn a previous post, I discussed how chiropractic neurology treats the body according to how the nervous system is performing. Dr. Kurt Hostnik, a board certified chiropractic neurologist, is uniquely trained to diagnose various conditions through a functional neurology exam, and then develop a conservative treatment plan based on what that exam reveals.

Vertigo is one of many conditions that can be correctly identified and treated by a chiropractic neurologist.

Vertigo is a feeling of dizziness, imbalance, lightheadedness or a spinning sensation in an otherwise stable environment.

There are two general types of vertigo. Central vertigo involves strokes, tumors, trauma and other conditions in the central nervous system. Peripheral vertigo is more common and primarily originates in the inner ear. Peripheral vertigo can be associated with tumors, trauma, infections, migraines and allergies.

Vertigo is typically a short-term problem, although one issue in the nervous system can lead to other issues. For example, a chronic issue on one side of your brain or body can create problems on the other side of your body or brain. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

What is Chiropractic Neurology?

Chiropractic NeurologyA lot of doctors try to sound smart or prove their worth by using big words and medical jargon. What they really end up doing is confusing their patients.

At Natural Healthcare Center, we try to keep it simple. Instead of using big words that require a medical dictionary to understand, we explain complex concepts in laymen’s terms. One of those concepts is chiropractic neurology.

Chiropractic neurology is a discipline of chiropractic care that treats the body based on how the nervous system is performing. Neurons process and transmit information through electrical and chemical signals in the human body. When you use a neuron, it sends a message to itself to make more protein and become stronger.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Simple Things You Can Do to Avoid Neck Pain

avoiding neck painWe have this 10- to 12-pound bowling ball, called the head, on the top of our bodies. This bowling ball is held up by a weak structure, called the neck, that isn’t designed to handle heavy strain.

It’s no wonder that so many people suffer from neck pain.

Neck pain is most commonly caused by the gradual weakening of the intrinsic muscles in the neck area. Intrinsic muscles are the ones that you don’t see in the mirror but they have a very important purpose – stabilizing the spine.

As I discussed in a previous post, these muscles are often weakened by forward head posture, which happens when the head drifts forward as we stare at computer monitors, look down at our mobile devices or hunch over the steering wheel. Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Keep Your Head Up! It’s Good for Your Health

good posture, sitting up straightFour natural curves can be found in the human spine. The curve in your neck is appropriately called the arc of life because those cervical vertebrae protect the brain stem and spinal nerves that affect the entire body. When we fail to maintain the correct curvature in our spine, we can lose half of our spinal strength.

A common cause of improper curvature in the spine is forward head posture, which occurs when the head is held forward.

I speak all the time about the importance of maintaining balance in the nutritional, physical and psychological components of the Triad of Health. I’ve discussed the consequences of hormonal imbalance. I’ve discussed how basic functional tests can help us assess our balance, stability, flexibility and strength.

We also need to balance our noggins above our bodies.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy, Comfortable Pregnancy

chiropractic during pregnancyI can picture the glare in the eyes of mothers as they read the title of this post. Comfortable pregnancy? There is no such thing! Spoken just like a man!

I will never claim to know what it’s like to be pregnant or that I can make all discomfort disappear. However, as a chiropractic physician for 20 years, and as a father who treated my own wife during five pregnancies, I’ve found great fulfillment in helping women remain as healthy, comfortable and stress-free as possible before, during and after their pregnancies.

A healthy pregnancy is the result of more than healthy eating, although nutrition takes on even greater importance in pregnant women. We need to address all three components of the Triad of Health during pregnancy – the physical, the nutritional and the psychological – through an integrated approach to wellness.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Thank You for 20 Years of Trust and Inspiration

Long Branch Chiropractor Dr. James ProodianGoing into my senior year as a pre-med student at Southern Connecticut State University, I was suffering from severe head pain. My nutrition professor sent me to see a chiropractor, who sent me to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for meningitis.

After recovering from such a serious condition, I decided to go back to that chiropractic office to do my internship on my way to degrees in public health and nutrition while preparing for my MCATs.

That experience opened my eyes and allowed me to see the kind of doctor I wanted to become.

I didn’t want to work in a hospital, and I didn’t want to prescribe medication for the rest of my life. In other words, I didn’t want to be a traditional, specialized doctor who focused on disease management and treating symptoms, believed the body and mind are separate, and remained emotionally detached from his patients.

I wanted to be a doctor who treated the patient as a whole, based on a true understanding of the connection between body and mind. I wanted to help people live healthier lifestyles by focusing on diet, lifestyle and preventive measures instead of simply treating disease. I wanted to be a partner in the healing process, providing not only medical treatment, but the genuine care and empathy that’s critical to physical and emotional healing.

So I went off to chiropractic school knowing only that one chiropractor from my internship, Dr. Michael Cocco. I went to the same school as he did – New York Chiropractic College. It’s hard to believe that I graduated 20 years ago this week.

Even after graduating from chiropractic school with a background in public health and nutrition, I still wasn’t sure how my career or practice would evolve. I had that notebook doodle of the type of facility I wanted to build – a large building with lots of windows, preferably near the ocean, where I could offer the kind of comprehensive care that would make it a true health and wellness facility.

Looking back on 20 years spent taking risks, spending money, working for other people, launching Natural Healthcare Center, educating audiences in the thousands, having a radio show and having five children, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life. With your support, I’ve been able to remain true to my core values, never letting insurance carriers or finances dictate or change how I deliver patient care.

I understand that every time you walk into a doctor’s office, you’re putting supreme trust in the doctor, and I thank you for trusting me with your health and well-being. Outside of my relationship with God and my wife and kids, there is nothing more important to me on this planet than my patients and audience.

This 20-year road has been constantly evolving, and I’m nowhere near being done. I’m always in school, always learning. Healthcare and medicine are changing so rapidly right now as the national movement towards true healthcare and away from sick care is being embraced by more and more people.  I’m excited to be part of that movement, and I’m determined to help as many people as possible ride this wave and take back their health.

Again, I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to be part of your lives for 20 great years as a Doctor of Chiropractic and Health Educator. A special thank you to my mom for the loans and never-ending support, and to my wife, Stacy, for being everything to me and so much more than anyone could ask for. I look forward to making 2014 the best year yet!

Sincerely,

James Proodian

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

How Beatrice Changed Her Life: A NHC Success Story

Proodian healthcare Patient Success StoryLast week, I told you about Denise, who suffered from pain and swelling in her ankles and struggled with her weight for more than 40 years before coming to see us at Natural Healthcare Center.

By committing herself to a wellness program designed by Dr. Coetzee and myself, Denise changed her life. She no longer experiences pain or swelling in her ankles, and her weight is under control, which has reduced her chance of stroke, heart attack and type II diabetes. Denise is happier and more confident than ever.

As we continue to wind down 2013, the year of the family, I’d like to share another Natural Healthcare Center success story from Dr. Kurt Hostnik, our Clinical Director and board-certified chiropractic neurologist, experienced in successfully treating conditions like tinnitus, vertigo, inner ear imbalances and dizziness.

Chiropractic neurology, also called functional neurology, is the study of the nervous system – the brain, spinal cord and nerves – from a physiologic perspective. A medical neurologist will commonly prescribe medication to treat symptoms of a nervous system disorder. On the other hand, a chiropractic neurologist will typically prescribe therapy, based on knowledge of how the brain impacts joint and muscular disorders, to restore or improve function that has been affected by a nervous system disorder.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Shoulder Pain: Surgery is the Exception, Not the Rule

When you stop and think about it, the shoulder is an amazing part of the body. It enables us to do everything from throwing a baseball, to washing our hair in the shower, to giving our kids a place to sit during a parade. Our shoulders also play a role in keeping us balanced and steady as we walk, run and sit.

The shoulder is a very movable joint with a wide range of motion that allows you to move your arms frontward, backward, up, down and around in circles. With this mobility and range of motion comes a greater vulnerability to injury, so we need to maintain our shoulders with regular stretching and exercise as well as proper bio-mechanics in daily life.

Performing the stretches illustrated in the photos below on a regular basis will help you maintain flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder. If you have a chronic shoulder condition or recently suffered an injury in the shoulder area, please consult your physician before performing these or any exercises.

shoulder collage

Stretches performed by Dr. Justin of West End Physical therapy

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About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.

Chiropractic and Acupuncture: A Natural Approach to Treating Headaches

If you’re like most people, when you get a headache, your gut reaction is to find relief in the medicine cabinet. More specifically, you look for relief from a pill, the magic bullet that gets rid of pain.

Part of our job is to introduce you to treatments that you may not have previously considered. Both chiropractic and acupuncture are natural alternatives to treating headaches without the side effects of some over-the-counter or prescription medications.

Continue reading

About Dr. James Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.