Gearing up for Back to School

Back pain is pervasive among American adults, however it is not uncommon among children and teens either. In a new and disturbing trend, young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has previously reported that backpack-related injuries sent more than 7,000 people to the emergency room in one year’s time.

What Can You Do To Help Prevent This?
ACA offers the following tips to help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the students in your household.

  • Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.
  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.
  • Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your child’s shoulders.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter hand-out materials or workbooks.
  • Although the use of rollerpacks – or backpacks on wheels – has become popular in recent years, ACA is now recommending that they be used cautiously and on a limited basis by only those students who are not physically able to carry a backpack. Some school districts have begun banning the use of rollerpacks because they clutter hallways, resulting in dangerous trips and falls.

Mental Health and Chiropractic

Most often people associate chiropractic care with aches and pains of daily life or a chronic nagging pain that they need relief from. Chiropractic care is so much more than that. Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we wanted to show you how chiropractic plays a large role in keeping our mind sharp and as healthy as possible. 

Decreases Mind-Clouding Pain

One reason that chiropractic care can help mental health is by decreasing any physical pain that may be clouding the mind. As anyone with chronic pain can attest to, this discomfort can have a serious impact on mood and mental health. As the spine becomes aligned and pain decreases, anxiety and depression sprouting from pain are proven to lessen throughout treatment.

Decreases Chronic Pain, a Common Cause of Depression

When chronic pain is a part of your daily life, not only is it hard to focus but suddenly you are no longer feeling well enough to be social and take part in activities you once loved. Studies have proven that depression occurs at a rate of three to four times higher in those with chronic pain when compared to their healthier peers. The cycle of chronic pain and depression can continue on and on unless it is broken. Regular chiropractic adjustments have proven to decrease pain, depression and anxiety and allow for a healthier (mentally and physically) existence.

Changes Misalignments Which Impact the Nervous System

Our moods are regulated by our body’s chemistry. This chemistry in your organs as well as your brain is all regulated by the nervous system. Misalignment of the spine (specifically the first, second or third vertebrae) can cause pressure in the area of the brain steam which can cause interference neurologically and chemically.  Often people turn to medications that are used to alter their brain chemistry but those looking for a non-medication therapy often find that re-aligning these vertebrae can do wonders for their mental state.


Natural Remedies for Ear Infections in Children

Ear infections are a very important topic. This is commonly the condition that starts children down the antibiotic path of which is hard to switch them back to natural remedies. Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton, D.C.  states in his blog, “Not all ear infections are baby-ear-infection-ear-painactually infected ears, or even infections. Children’s Eustachian tubes (ear canals) are not slanted down like those like adults. Their canals are straight across or horizontal, making it hard for your baby to get much help from gravity to move the fluid from the lymph nodes and the ears into the throat and out of their body.”

So, what do you do if your child is fussy and having issues with one or both of their ears? Are there things you can do besides medication? Absolutely!

Manage Fluid:

  1. Chiropractic Adjustments – If the bones in the top of your baby’s neck become restricted, the muscles around that area cannot contract and work correctly. If the muscles don’t contract correctly, then the body has a hard time flushing out the fluid in the ear canals. Gentle adjustments to this area help to reduce spasms and reestablish normal motion to a restricted area.
  2. Essential Oil Therapy – In our office we use Young Living Essential Oils and have used them for years. The oils are amazing because they work fantastically with children because they soak directly into the skin (topical) or are absorbed and used through inhalation (if diffused). Never put the oils directly in your child’s ear. Some oils to use are Lemon, Melrose, Lavender, and Copaiba.

Immune Boosters:

  1. Probiotics – the stomach and digestive tract play a huge role in immune function. Probiotics are a good bacteria that help regulate, support, and protect your system.
  2. Thymex – This product is made by Standard Process that helps to boost immunity by stimulating the thymus glad.
  3. Thieves Oil – This oil, manufactured by Young Living, is key to boosting immunity and helping fight infection. Use this on the bottoms of your child’s feet and diffuse it in their room while their asleep to further boost their system!



Chiropractic and Ear Infections

Chiropractic Adjustments and Ear Infections

Ear pain is the number one reason for child visits to chiropractors. Many chiropractors believe that there is a strong link between the birthing process and recurrent ear infection, also known as otitis media. During the birthing process, cervical (neck) vertebrae can become misaligned, disrupting nerve function, which can affect the Eustachian tube. This may lead to fluid buildup in the middle ear and cause otitis media.

Antibiotics, the usual treatment, are not always effective and may even lead to a recurrance of ear infections. Many children are dealing with a continuing cycle of repeat ear infections, which lands them back at the pediatrician for more antibiotics.

A promising study published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics indicated that there’s a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolutions of ear infections. 332 children with chronic ear infections participated in the study. Each child, ranging from 27 days to 5 years, was given a series of chiropractic adjustments. The results showed that close to 80% of the children did not experience another ear infection within the six month period.  

Who do you know that is dealing with ear infections or sinus issues? Chiropractic care can help their body function the way it was designed and help them heal from these issues!



Arthritis and Chiropractic Care


Do you or someone you know suffer with arthritis?  Arthritis is typically considered to be incurable, the standard medical response has been to simply prescribe medications to reduce the symptoms. This does nothing to heal the body, but it covers up the issue.
However, the good news is that substantial evidence now shows that the pain and disability caused by arthritis can be alleviated, and even prevented through diet and alternative therapies. 
Chiropractic is becoming a popular, drug free treatment for arthritis that has been proven to be highly effective. When the case of osteoarthritis is diagnosed, it could actually be caused from misalignment, or subluxation of vertebrae and joints.
Chiropractic can restore range of motion and free the body from pain!


Headaches & Chiropractic Care

headache-1lIf you have a headache, you’re not alone. 9 out of 10 American’s suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause delibitating pain and nausea.
What do you do when you have a headache? Grit your teeth, grin and bear it, lie down, pop a pill and hope it goes away?


A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC found that spinal adjustments resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that orignate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.


Gratitude Tree


For the whole month of November, our office will have a Gratitude Tree for you to practice what you are thankful for. When you stop in for your adjustment, make sure to place a leaf on the tree and reflect on the many blessings we have! Read what others have to say as well! 

This is a great thing to practice even on a daily basis – have you read our article about A Dose of Gratitude and how to incorporate that into your daily life?


Adjust Your Thinking and Health


Join the millions of Americans who have not only found relief from back pain, but also a pathway to wellness with chiropractic’s natural, drug-free approach to healthcare.

Your spinal column, made up of 24 independent movable vertebrae, is what allows your body to move, twist, and bend through every motion of your busy day. It also encases and protects the delicate nerve tissue that carries every communication between your brain and body. This is why we believe the first step to a healthy and active lifestyle is a healthy spine, free of subluxation.

What is a Subluxation?

1. A misalignment of the one or several vertebrae causing interference of nerve flow from the brain to the body.

When two or more vertebrae aren’t working together properly, it is known as a subluxation. Subluxations can cause you to experience pain, discomfort, decreased mobility, or many other symptoms. These misalignments often go unnoticed even while causing major miscommunication between your brain and body.

If a subluxation prevents the nervous system from functioning properly, it will eventually lead to symptoms such as pain, decreased immunity, headaches, etc. These symptoms are your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong. Unfortunately, by the time pain and symptoms appear the problem may have been present for months, even years. Once there is a subluxation, it can also start effecting whatever organs that area of the spinal nerves innervate. Subluxations can cause sickness and disease along with different pain issues. The great news is that you can help prevent these types of symptoms with routine chiropractic care.

Among other benefits, chiropractic can help with:
– Headaches
– Back and neck conditions
– Leg, knee, foot, and ankle pain
– Bursitis
– Arthritis
– Arm, wrist, shoulder or elbow pain
– Sinus and ear infections
– Allergies and asthma
– Stress and tension disorders
– Chronic disorders and pain

Chiropractors promote ongoing wellness by removing subluxations, enabling your body’s powerful ability to heal itself. With regular adjustments, chiropractic also offers a host of health benefits beyond preventative care, and is vital for keeping your body balanced, flexible and feeling it’s best. Everyone, from growing children to active seniors, can benefit from regular chiropractic care.


Welcome to Our Blog

Welcome TreeHello and Welcome to the Family First Health Center Blog. Let me welcome you by saying that we are delighted that you have found our practice! We hope that you will find our blog helpful in the coming months and years to aid you in your every day health and lifestyle.
At Family First Health Center our mission is to educate and adjust as many families as possible toward optimal health through natural chiropractic care.
You may be wondering how chiropractic care can help you feel your best every day. What is it that Chiropractors do that will help the pain you are experiencing?:
Chiropractors locate and correct subluxations, a condition that damages, nerves, muscles, fascia, meninges and other tissues.  Subluxations cause joints to “freeze” or lose normal movement, causing damage to the involved area.
Interested in meeting Dr. Brent or Dr. Monique by scheduling an appointment? 
Our office staff will gladly assist you in setting up an appointment and verifying your insurance. We strive to provide health care for individuals and families with and without health coverage. Our ultimate goal is to provide quality comprehensive care, one patient at a time. 
For our office hours, directions and telephone number please refer back to our website at:
Keep an eye out on here for future updates about how to keep a healthy spine and useful health information as well as events at our office and throughout Shallotte.