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Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 | 0 comments

What To Do About That MIGRAINE Pain

At Back To Life Chiropractic, Dr. John Koc focuses on migraine treatment designed to relieve and prevent your migraine pain with a natural, safe and drug-free approach.
Fact: In the United States, more than 37 million people suffer from migraines. Almost 15% of adults in the U.S. population have migraines, and 2-3 million migraine suffers are chronic.
Get Some Relief:
  • A QUIET SPOT – Migraines can increase your sensitivity to light and sound. Try to relax alone in a dark, quiet room.
  • TEMPERATURE THERAPY – Apply hot or cold compresses to your head or neck. Use an ice pack to numb and dull the oncoming pain. Use a hot moist wash cloth or warm bath to relax already tense muscles.
  • GENTLE MASSAGE – Apply gentle pressure to your scalp or temples. Alleviate muscle tension with a shoulder or neck massage.
  • A LITTLE CAFFEINE – In small amounts, caffeine alone can relieve migraine pain in the early stage.

Learn About Prevention

  • CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS – A chiropractic adjustment is the specific application of forces to facilitate the body’s correction of spinal misalignments. In a clinical trial, 72% of migraine sufferers reported substantial improvement with chiropractic treatment.

How it helps: Muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp can be serious triggers for migraines, and may be at the root of the pain. Chiropractic adjustments correct the misalignments in your spine and help alleviate the stress on your system.
If you or anyone you know suffers from migraine pain, please call Dr. John at (480) 703-1834 for your appointment today!
  • EXERCISE – Exercise has long been recommended to migraine sufferers, and there’s evidence to support the theory that physical activity appears to help prevent migraines.
How it helps: Regular, gentle exercise helps to reduce tension and ward off stress, a well-known trigger for many migraine sufferers. Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, which act as a mild sedative. Beware that intense exercise can actually trigger rather than prevent migraine, so don’t overdo it!
  • RIBOFLAVIN (vitamin B2) – Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is found in certain foods and supplements. It helps protect cells from oxidative damage and is involved in energy production.
How it helps: Riboflavin is an effective preventive treatment for migraines. It has been widely reported to significantly reduce the incidence of migraine headaches when consumed at high levels (about 400mg per day).
Best food sources: Liver, lean beef, lamb, venison, whole grains, yogurt, low-fat milk, eggs, almonds, asparagus, broccoli, and spinach. Store food away from light, which destroys riboflavin.
  • MAGNESIUM – Because our bodies can’t make magnesium, we must rely on dietary and/or supplement sources to get it (and magnesium deficiency has been directly linked to migraines).
How it helps: Magnesium helps relax nerves and muscles and transmits nerve impulses throughout the body and brain. In addition, magnesium helps prevent nerves from becoming overexcited. In short, this mineral aids in the prevention and reduction of migraines.
Best food sources: Pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, amaranth, quinoa, soybeans, and black beans.
  • COENZYME Q10 (CoQ10) – Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant nutrient that’s especially important in blood vessel health. Our bodies are able to make CoQ10, and we can also get it from dietary and supplement sources.

How it helps: CoQ10 increases blood flow to the brain, improves circulation, and protects cells from oxidative damage. It also helps stabilize blood sugar; low blood sugar is a major trigger for many migraine sufferers.



  • OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS – Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory substances that are abundant in many food sources, especially fish, nuts, and seeds.
How it helps: Omega-3 fatty acids protect brain cells and reduce inflammation, which may help to reduce the pain, frequency and duration of migraine headaches.
Best food sources: Wild Alaskan salmon, tuna, herring (not pickled herring), mackerel, rainbow trout, halibut, Pacific oysters, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
Note: Please consult with your professional healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
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Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 | 0 comments

Crack, Click, Pop!

 Taking a nice big yawn, and tired of hearing that
CrAcK, click, POP?
Does your jaw constantly hurt or feel like it’s been locked out of place?  Do you get headaches, earaches, or have a hard time simply chewing your food?  Then you probably have a common disorder called TMD.
TMD (commonly know as TMJ or TMJD) is a painful disorder that effects the chewing muscles and joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull.
The clicking noise occurs when part of your jaw bone is not in the proper fitted position. As you open your mouth, and the bone passes over the ridge, it will cause a click or pop when your jaw locks.
The grinding or crunching noises occur when there is bone on bone contact within the joint. If the articular disk is completely out of place or has worn through, the jawbone will move on its hinge, but in direct contact with the skull. Ouch!
Although TMD is the second most commonly occurring musculoskeletal condition resulting in pain and disability, only about half of the people with TMD will seek treatment. Most people think that they either have to simply suffer through the pain of TMD or go through the emotional and financial stress of surgery. It’s not true!  
Chiropractic care for the your TMJ disorder can ease pain by correcting the misalignment between your spine and nervous system. Chiropractic can be effective at reducing your pain associated with your TMD because rather than changing your diet or modifying your teeth, it naturally relaxes your muscles, adjusts your joints and uses specific trigger points to accurately re-position your jaw. When done successfully, Chiropractic will not only relieve your pain in the short run, but it can actually help prevent your TMD pain from returning!
USE MOIST HEAT: Moist heat from a heat pack or a hot water bottle wrapped in a warm, moist towel can improve function and reduce pain.
ICE IT: Icing your jaw for 10-15 can decrease inflammation and also numb pain and promote healing.
ENJOY A SOFT DIET: Eating soft or blended foods allow the jaw to rest temporarily. Don’t stretch your jaw for foods like corn on the cob or apples!
EXERCISE YOUR JAW: Slow, gentle jaw exercises may help increase jaw mobility.
RELAX: Deep, slow breathing enhances relaxation and can help reduce pain. Some find yoga, massage and meditation helpful in reducing stress and aiding relaxation.
SIDE SLEEP: Try sleeping on your side with a pillow for support between your shoulder and neck.
GUIDE YOUR YAWN: Use your fist to support your chin as you yawn to prevent damage to the joint and to prevent your jaw from locking open.
Do you know someone else who suffers from TMD?  Forward this along!
Call now for your complimentary consult  and end your suffering now!! (480) 703-1834
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Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 | 0 comments

TED Back Pain Exercise

We’ve heard a lot lately about the risks of Yoga.

Often people take parts of Tai chi or Yoga, reconfigure a few things and then offer it as their own: Tai chi chin is an example. It can be a way of offering a small piece of the discipline; it can either be done well or not.

Here is a great example of doing it well from the world of Yoga. As it relates to back pain, it doesn’t get much better. Take a look.

(Foreword by The Everette Chiropractic Center)


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Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 | 0 comments

Why Do We Practice Yoga?

Have you ever asked yourself why you’re really practicing yoga?

By Richard Rosen

Most beginning students will tell you they got into yoga to alleviate back pain, relieve stress, or become more flexible—fairly simple responses. I started my own practice after reading that yoga asanas are the best form of exercise ever devised; that belief kept me going for several years.

But the reasons you practice might not be as straightforward as they seem. It’s entirely possible that after closely examining your innermost motives, you’ll find nothing more than a hankering for looser hamstrings—but don’t bet on it. Yoga is full of surprising twists and turns.

It’s no secret that we often do things for reasons we’re totally unaware of; sometimes our unconscious motives become clear only after a good deal of self-reflection. So it’s important to realize that questioning the intent of our practice inevitably leads us to inquire about the meaning of our life as well. We could just as pertinently ask: Why am I really alive?

At the outset, it’s natural to assume that our practice and our life are totally separate, that we practice for an hour or so a day and then forget about it. But after a while, the two inevitably begin to merge. As Sri Aurobindo, the great 20th-century Indian sage and progenitor of Integral Yoga, reminds us, “All life is yoga.”

In Aurobindo’s view, yoga is threaded through the warp and weft of our very existence, and in effect it chooses us. We practice yoga because we really don’t have any other choice. Of course, we do decide what form our practice takes—we can go off and live alone in a cave andmeditate, or we can stay at home, raise a family, and root for the Yankees. Performed with the proper attitude, each of our everyday actions can be an asana, each breath a pranayama, each thought (or space between two successive thoughts) a seed for meditation.

Read the rest of this article at YogaJournal

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Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 | 0 comments

Getting Treated for Torticollis (Twisted Neck)

Torticollis is a term used to describe a handful of conditions affecting the neck.  They look similar but have different causes.  Torticollis typically involves a tilt of the head, reduced range of motion and sharp pain in the back of the neck.  Often the patient can turn their head one way, with limitation and have restricted lateral flexion as well.

What Is Torticollis?

Torticollis is a form of dystonia (prolonged muscle contractions) in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily causing the head to turn. Torticollis may occur without known cause (idiopathic), be genetic (inherited), or be acquired secondary to damage to the nervous system or muscles. It may develop in childhood or adulthood.

Congenital torticollis (present at birth) may be caused by malpositioning of the head in the uterus, or be prenatal injury of the muscles or blood supply in the neck. Torticollis is a condition that may cause mild neck discomfort in infants and affects approximately 2% of newborns. There is no way to prevent this condition, it is a result of the position of the baby in-utero, too little amniotic fluid, trauma at birth or lack of space while in-utero. An infant will exhibit symptoms that include the head and neck tilted to one side. Although it looks uncomfortable, torticollis produces no severe pain. Generally, torticollis will not be noticed immediately as a newborn will have a typically wobbly head. Within the first week to the first few months, however, the condition will become more noticeable and may be diagnosed by a pediatrician.

What Causes Congenital Torticollis?

Torticollis is not a diagnosis but rather a sign of some other underlying disorder. Leading obstetric and pediatric medical journals states that most torticollis seen in new babies is due to birth trauma. Torticollis following birth stress will typically appear at birth or within the first several weeks following birth. Congenital torticollis is usually due to misalignment (subluxation) of the first few bones in the neck and/or injury to neck muscles resulting in a “knot or spasm” in one of the neck muscles. Birthing trauma is the most common cause of torticollis. These traumas are commonly found in a breech delivery and the use of forceps and/or vacuum extraction aids in the delivery process. Additionally, a prolonged abnormal position in the womb during pregnancy (intra-uterine constraint) can cause injury resulting in torticollis at birth or shortly thereafter. According to recent medical research, misalignment of spinal bones in the neck, known as subluxation, is responsible for up to 50% of congenital torticollis. The subluxation irritates nearby nerve structures and causes the muscle spasm and postural changes characteristic of torticollis.

Read the rest of this article at Georgia Chiropractic

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Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Is a heavy backpack weighing down your child?

In 2001 backpacks were the cause of 7,000 emergency room visits! In today’s school system, with heavy school books and overstuffed bags, many kids end up carrying over a quarter of their body weight on their backs (that’s equivalent to an 180 pound man carrying over 45 pounds on his back all day!). Backpack weight can cause muscle spasms, nerve and circulation problems, and severe neck and shoulder pain.

How does a backpack damage the spine? When a heavy weight, such as a backpack filled with books, is placed on the back, the weight’s force can pull a child backward. To compensate, a child may stoop forward at the hips or arch their back, which can cause the spine to compress unnaturally.

The many kids who wear their backpacks slung over just one shoulder (because of course, its the “cooler” way to wear a backpack) may end up trying to offset the extra weight by unintentionally leaning the other way. This can lead to the development of lower and upper back pain and strain on their shoulders and neck.

As well, backpacks with tight, thin straps that dig into the shoulders can interfere with circulation and nerves.

What to do? Dr. John offers complimentary backpack screening for kids of all ages during the month of August! Below are some other helpful tips on how to use a backpack safely!
Backpack Tips

Your child’s backpack should never weigh more than 10% of his or her body weight!

The backpack should never hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases weight on the shoulders.

Buy a backpack with multiple compartments. Multiple compartments can help to more evenly distribute the weight. Make sure that bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back, and try to place the heaviest items closest to the body.

Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps! Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.

The shoulder straps should be wide and padded. Straps that are too thin and too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.

Talk to your child’s teacher. If the backpack is still too heavy, ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter handout materials or workbooks.

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Yours In Health,
John J. Koc, D.C.
16429 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ. 85032
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Posted by on Aug 2, 2012 | 0 comments

How’s Your Pillow Posture?


People are rarely taught what position to sleep in or how many pillows to use. That’s because sleeping is innate. But have you ever taken a moment to assess your “pillow posture” (how your head is positioned while sleeping)? The position that’s most comfortable and “natural” for you might be creating preventable health problems…

How Many Pillows Should I Use?

Your head and neck should be lined up with the rest of your spine. Click here to see an example. This is quite difficult to achieve if you’re using multiple pillows. So sleep with just onepillow beneath your head. Make sure it’s thick enough to provide adequate alignment, but not so thick that it angles your head upward. Also make sure it’s not too thin, otherwise your head will tilt down when you’re lying on your side.

I recommend a firm low-loft latex pillow for most patients. These are neutral, affordable, and won’t break down like conventional fibers. High-loft pillows are tempting, but these are more suitable for people with broad shoulders. Here’s a picture of the difference.

An additional body pillow or separate knee pillow is fine to use as well. They’re not essential, but can help prevent you from rolling onto your stomach during the night. Here’s a contoured knee pillow for side sleepers, and here’s a bolstered knee wedge for back sleepers.

What Sleep Position is Best?

There are essentially three main sleeping positions – side, back, and stomach. While comfort is highly subjective, proper alignment isn’t. The best sleep position is one that promotes a balanced spine. Back and side sleeping can achieve this; stomach sleeping cannot. If you choose to sleep on your stomach, go for it, but you should know that over time this can cause damage to your spine and its supportive structures.

What Type of Damage?

Generally speaking, spinal damage can range anywhere from minor/moderate to severe. To avoid mass hysteria, I’m not suggesting that sleep position will cause severe problems like paralysis… But it can compound minor/moderate irritation and pre-existing spinal misalignments into measurable damage over time. I’m referring to things like hyper-mobile joints, muscle spasm, vertebral disc thinning, postural distortion and other arthritic changes.

This leads to chronic neck, back, or arm pain that can limit your ability to work and do the things you enjoy… Simple tasks like driving a car, swinging a golf club, and holding your baby can become quite uncomfortable. Here’s how to train yourself to quit.

What Does it Feel Like?

It’s tempting and logical to assume that you can feel the effects of spinal decay. While I wish that were true, it’s not always the case. The process can develop very quietly over 10-20 years (or longer) without any urgent symptoms. By the time a person finally decides to seek treatment, it may be too late. This type of decay is irreversible, so it’s important to take care of your spine while you still have options.

Read the rest of this article at CheckTheNeck

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