Seward Office

The Gonstead System of Chiropractic

Gonstead System of Chiropractic

What's so special about the Gonstead System?

You'll hear us talk about the Gonstead method or system. What is this, and what makes it unique?

The Gonstead System was developed by Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead, known as the “chiropractor's chiropractor.” He practiced chiropractic from 1923 until 1978. Several things make his system unique:

  • It is thorough. The doctors use a variety of means to examine your spine in order to determine where your problem areas are.
  • It is specific. X-rays are used to see exactly which vertebrae are out of alignment. An instrument called a Nervoscope detects increased heat along the spine, which indicates inflammation and nerve pressure. The chiropractor uses his fingers and hands to feel for swelling and tenderness along the spine, and will visually identify changes in posture and movement which could be indicative of problems.
  • It is precise. Unlike other chiropractors, Gonstead chiropractors adjust with their hands directly on the patient's back, which prevents mistakes that can occur by adjusting through clothing.

Gonstead chiropractors only perform adjustments by hand. They will not use other tools to adjust the spine. Nor do they practice anything such as acupuncture or massage. However, we do have a licensed massage therapist in our office who is highly recommended by our doctors.

If you have any questions about the Gonstead system or how we practice in our office, stop in or call us at 402-646-2020. Visit the Gonstead Seminar website or gonstead.com for more information.

Babies and Chiropractic: At What Age are Adjustments Beneficial?

babies & chiropractic Do babies need to get adjustments?

Absolutely! The process of being born can be extremely extremely hard on a baby's neck and spine, causing subluxations which can result in other symptoms early in the baby's life. If a vacuum or forceps are used, that can cause even more damage to Baby's spine. Even babies born via Cesarean section can benefit from an adjustment a few days after birth.

As Baby grows, other new experiences can cause damage to the spine. Holding up the head, sitting up, crawling, standing and walking, can all affect Baby's spine. Babies should have a chiropractic checkup at each of these milestones. Learning to walk can be especially damaging to the spine, as Baby falls often during that process.

Many conditions common to newborns can be helped by chiropractic: colic, difficulty eating, ear infections, allergies, projectile vomiting, etc. These conditions are often the result of a subluxation in baby's spine. Chiropractic can help relieve these conditions without the use of drugs or surgery.

Check out the photos in our waiting room of some of our tiniest patients! We have many patients under a year old who have been coming to us for most of their lives so far. Dr. Hackbart and Dr. Folkers have adjusted some babies as young as just a few days old. We love seeing these tiny ones grow up healthy and happy!

No matter the size of the person, the health of the spine is vitally important!

Flu Adjustments: Keep Healthy Without a Flu Shot

flu adjustments

Flu Adjustments

What is a flu adjustment and how do you get one? A flu adjustment is given by a chiropractor and can be received at our office. Unlike the flu shot that has potential for harmful side effects, the flu adjustment is safe for people of any age, and has no harmful side effects.

The reason flu adjustments work and can help reduce your chances of getting the flu or flu-like symptoms is by improving your body's own ability to fight off the viruses. This is done by strengthening your own immune system by improving the function of your nervous system. Chiropractors are trained and specialize in removing nerve pressure from your body, allowing your immune system to function optimally.

Chiropractic is based on three major principles, outlined below. By understanding these principles you will see how an adjustment from a chiropractor can boost your immune system and decrease your chances of getting the flu.

Principle 1: Your body is self-healing and self-regulating, and is doing so constantly.

Principle 2: Your brain controls everything in your body through your nerves.

Principle 3: If there is disruption in the communication between the brain, nerves and body, it cannot heal and regulate properly.

The first principle states that a healthy person's body has the potential to self-heal and self-regulate. If a person gets the cold or flu, the body will fight off and heal itself of the bacteria or virus. The body is also continually regulating itself. It constantly regulates blood pressure, digestion, immune function, breathing, heart rate, etc. without you having to think about any of those processes.

The second principle identifies what controls your body, and that is the brain. It is the control center that coordinates every function and receives every sensation of your body. This process is only possible if the message from the brain can reach the different organs and parts of your body by way of the nerves.

The third principle is simple. If you disrupt the communication between the brain and the body it weakens, limits or hinders the body's ability to heal and regulate, including how it fights off viruses and bacteria. The good news is that if a chiropractor can remove the disruption, the body has a better ability to heal and function. With a proper functioning nervous system, the body will have a better potential to fight off viruses and bacteria quickly and easily. This is a flu adjustment!

Flu adjustments are specific adjustments given by chiropractors to the area of the spine where there is disruption in the lines of communication reducing the body’s ability to fight of the flu virus due to a decreased immune system. Once the pressure is removed and the nerve is allowed time to heal, the function will be restored to the immune system. With an optimal functioning nervous system, principle one will take effect and the body will have the potential to fight off the virus on its own without any intervention.

Allergies and Chiropractic: A Natural Way to Find Relief

allergies and chiropractic a natural way to find relief

Allergies: a result of an unhealthy immune system

Millions of people suffer from allergies of various kinds: allergies to food, to dust, to pollen, to pet dander, etc. Allergies happen when the body's immune system overreacts to one of these things, called allergens, and "produces too many neutralizing chemicals (especially histamines) to counteract it" (Koren, 2013). Simply put, allergies happen because of an overreacting immune system--one that's not working properly.

The medical approach

As with most disorders and diseases, regular doctors will only treat the symptoms of allergies. There is no cure for allergies in orthodox medicine, only treatment of the symptoms (Koren, 2013). Typical allergy treatment includes over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines. Antihistamine is a drug that blocks histamines, which cause runny eyes, sneezing, itchiness, redness, and other allergy symptoms.

The problem with antihistamines is that they can come with a variety of side effects, including upset stomach and nausea, dry mouth, nose and throat, dizziness, headaches, among others. Extended use of antihistamines (such as in treatment of chronic allergies) can cause liver damage over the long term.

The chiropractic approach

People who suffer from allergies have been finding relief in chiropractic care for decades. (See some testimonials below from our own patients who have had relief from allergy symptoms thanks to chiropractic.)

Not a treatment of the problem, but of the cause

"The goal of chiropractic care is to locate and correct a serious type of spine and nervous system stress called the subluxation" (Koren, 2013). When the nervous system is relieved of the stress caused by pinched nerves in the spine, it is free to function optimally. A healthy body is able to neutralize allergens instead of overreacting to their presence in the body. Koren quotes Dr. Kurt Donsback, saying "A healthy body is capable of neutralizing these toxic substances and a body which has malfunctioning defense mechanisms cannot. The emphasis on allergies must be on building a healthy body, not on trying to use evasive tactics by eliminating all the allergens" (Donsback, 1980, quotes in Koren, 2013).

If you or a family member suffer from any food allergies (wheat, milk, peanuts, etc.) you know how frustrating it can be to make sure you don't come into contact with any of those allergens which could potentially cause devastating allergic reactions. If you rely on drugs to keep your allergies at bay, or have a restricted diet as a result of food allergies, try chiropractic care.

Still not convinced? Read these testimonials from patients who found relief from allergies through chiropractic:

From Ryan Coufal:

For the past 10 years I've had sinus and allergy problems. It seemed I was allergic to everything in Nebraska – mold, pollen, dust. Outside activities left me with cold-like symptoms and exhaustion. I took allergy shots for three years, and about every kind of allergy medication available. I had between five and eight sinus infections each year. I was prescribed antibiotics so often that I grew resistant to the medications; some had no effect on me at all.

Since getting adjustments from Dr. Hackbart, I haven't used my allergy medicine once! I can mow a lawn, work out and exercise. He was straightforward and talked with me extensively about how changes in my lifestyle would help improve my health.

The staff at Hackbart Chiropractic genuinely care about my personal well-being and have worked around my busy schedule to get me in for my appointments. I previously thought chiropractic care was only for joints and muscles. I couldn't have been more wrong, it has changed my health entirely!

From Kathy Hartmann:

For the past 12 years I've had sinus and allergy problems. I've also suffered from pain in my right side, fatigue, headaches and dizziness. I couldn't even move my neck to see behind me.

I tried many things in hope of some relief - I had surgery on my sinuses 9 years ago, allergy shots weekly, took allergy medications, and took antibiotics for sinus infections. But since seeing Dr. Hackbart, my allergies and headaches are gone! I can actually turn my head to see behind me, and I'm no longer suffering from dizziness and fatigue!

My mobility is better and I am sleeping much better through the night. I wake up feeling good! My family had been after me for years to give chiropractic a chance and I regret not coming in sooner. You should give him a try! It will change your life for the better. And the staff was wonderful, friendly and very welcoming!

 

Happy 2014.5: Make the second half count!

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Happy 2014.5!

Struggling with your New Year's resolutions this year? Make the second half of the year count!

Welcome to 2014.5: your second chance to keep your New Year's resolutions! Listen to our most recent teleseminar for tips and ideas to make the most of the rest of this year.

[audio mp3="http://hackbartchiropractic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Happy2014_5.mp3"][/audio]

Healing Digestive Disorders with Chiropractic

healing digestive disorders with chiropractic

The Digestive System

Like all the body's systems (respiratory, circulatory, reproductive, nervous, and others), the digestive system is made up of several organs which work together to accomplish a task. The job of the digestive system is to break down food so the body can absorb energy and nutrients from that food, and remove from the body whatever the body can't digest or doesn't need.

Each organ in the digestive system (the throat, esophagus, stomach, and intestines) is connected to the brain via nerves which pass through the spinal column, just like every other organ in the body. If any of those nerves is pinched due to a vertebral subluxation (vertebrae which are out of place), the signals between the organ and the brain will be disrupted or prevented entirely. This can cause a host of problems and conditions.

Types of digestive disorders:

Various digestive disorders include: dyspepsia (chronic stomachache), ulcers (stomach acid burning through the lining of the stomach and intestines), heartburn (stomach acid escaping up into the esophagus), gastritis (inflammation of the stomach walls), chronic constipation (difficulty eliminating the bowels). These are some of the most common digestive disorders.

A medical doctor's approach to treating these disorders seems simple: prescribe a drug and solve the problem. But most drugs don't solve the cause of the disorder. They cover the symptoms.

Pain is not always a bad thing. If you have a headache, that can be a sign of pinched muscles or nerves, dehydration, or sleep deprivation. When you touch something hot you feel pain because your nerves send your brain a signal: something is wrong. Fix it!

The same is true with digestive discomfort of all kinds. A stomachache is a sign that something is wrong. Either there is something in your digestive system that shouldn't be there (food that doesn't agree with you, a bacterial infection or virus), or something isn't working right. The brain and the organ aren't communicating the way they should be.

This is where chiropractic comes in.

A chiropractic approach to treating digestive orders

  • Get to the source of the problem. Chiropractors will examine the spine to see where there are pinched nerves. They will also help the patient determine if a lifestyle habit could be causing the problem, such as overuse of alcohol, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise or dehydration. Instead of using drugs to cover symptoms, chiropractic looks for the root cause of the problem and seeks to solve it.
  • Correct vertebral subluxations. When an out-of-place vertebra (or more than one) are the cause of the problem, chiropractic care solves that! Regular adjustments are necessary for keeping all the body's systems working the way they were designed to.
  • Increase water consumption and avoid dehydration. Especially in older patients, dehydration can be a problem because the sense of thirst can diminish with age. The digestive tract needs plenty of water to move food through it, and water is essential for the body to absorb energy and nutrients into the bloodstream. Dehydration can cause constipation, ulcers, colitis and dyspepsia.
  • Improve diet and remove foods that trigger digestive issues. Many people's digestive problems are simply a result of a poor diet. A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with plenty of whole grains, healthy fats and protein, will ensure the digestive system works optimally. An overabundance of sugar-rich foods, spicy foods, or greasy foods (made with unhealthy fats) can cause chronic digestive issues. Try improving your diet, eating less fast food and processed foods, and see if that helps your digestive system.

If you suffer from chronic (or even occasional) digestive disorders or problems, try chiropractic care before you try drugs. Chiropractic will help improve the health of your whole body, and you won't be stuck with taking medicine the rest of your life!

 

Source:

Koren, Tedd D.C. (2012). Digestion, Heartburn and Ulcers (pamphlet). TFL Koren Publications Inc.

Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

Most expectant mothers understand the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, and supplements during pregnancy, as well as avoiding alcohol, smoking and certain medications. However, many pregnant mothers may be unaware of the benefits chiropractic care can provide before, during and after pregnancy. chiropractic care and pregnancy

Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

Before:

When trying to conceive, it is important to keep all the organs working properly, especially those pertaining to reproduction. Dads-to-be can benefit from chiropractic for this reason as well. Obviously maintaining a healthy diet and, if necessary, taking appropriate supplements are important when trying to conceive. But if any nerves leading to the reproductive organs are pinched at all, fertility will be negatively affected. (Read more in this post about how and why this works.) In this way chiropractic can help improve fertility and chances of becoming pregnant.

Chiropractic also helps prepare the mother's body for carrying a growing baby. A woman's body goes through myriad changes during pregnancy. Chiropractic care will keep her at optimum health by keeping her spine in alignment, and a healthy mother means a healthy baby.

During:

Chiropractic will correct vertebral subluxations (out-of-place vertebrae) that often occur during pregnancy. This happens when the mother's lower back will get pulled forward as her abdomen grows. To compensate, the mid-back and shoulders pull back, and the neck and head tilt forward. All of this can mean backaches and headaches for the mother-to-be. Chiropractic care keeps the spine in place, relieving the mother of many aches and pains.

Regular adjustments can help decrease morning sickness, back pain associated with a growing belly, and keep mother and baby healthier. A healthy spine allows the immune system to function at its best, which means the baby's immune system (intimately connected with the mother's) will be stronger as well.

Chiropractic also often shortens labor time and can decrease amount of labor pain, since a pelvis which is properly aligned makes enough room for baby to grow and be delivered more easily.

Chiropractic care is so safe that it can continue up till the day of delivery, and the mother may choose to be adjusted during labor, according to the discretion of her doctor and chiropractor.

After:

As the mother's belly returns to a normal position, chiropractic helps her spine return to its normal position. Adjustments can help curb back pain from nursing, carrying baby, and normal wear-and-tear from the work of caring for a newborn.

Keep baby healthy and make sure he or she gets adjusted too, as soon as possible after birth (see our post on Kids and Chiropractic).

Chiropractic care is for everyone, and that includes expectant mothers! If you received chiropractic care during pregnancy, please comment below with your experience. We'd love to hear your story!

Source:

French, Matt D.C. (2007). The Gonstead Difference: Pregnancy (pamphlet). Chirodesign, LLC.

Up, Up and Away: A Teleseminar for Kids

Check out the "Up, Up and Away" teleseminar and listen to it with your kids! Hackbart Chiropractic Kids Super Hero Club Image - Hackbart Chiropractic Seward NE

What do you think makes these Superheroes so SUPER?

Is it because of their superhero masks?

Or their superhero capes?

Or the fact that they can fly?!

Nope – although flying does sound pretty super.

They’re super because they followed the tips in our “Up, Up, and Away” teleseminar for kids.

This teleseminar is for parents and their kids to listen to together!

Click the "play" button below to listen.

[audio mp3="http://hackbartchiropractic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/upupandaway.mp3"][/audio]

Summertime Chiropractic Care

summertime chiro care
summertime chiro care

Summer: a time for family vacations, visits to the pool, lemonade stands, suntans, and-- chiropractic visits?

Yes! Chiropractic care is needed during the summer as well as during the rest of the year, if not more! Special summer activities can get your spine out of misalignment. If you're in the car or plane for a family vacation (and if you're lucky enough to be able to sleep on long trips), just think about the strange positions your neck and back is in! An adjustment is always a good idea post-vacation.

image via morguefile.com
image via morguefile.com

Summer work can also be hard on your back, whether you're digging in the garden, mowing the lawn, or working on the farm.

As for your children, they'll be participating in summer sports, playing outside, and probably at least as active as they are during the school year. Bring your kids with you to get adjusted so they can stay healthy while they play and relax during the summer months!

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file0001506844893

Keep your back healthy this summer with these tips:

  • Focus on keeping your posture straight, whether standing, sitting, or lying down.
  • Be careful when lifting heavy objects. Use your legs, not your back.
  • Stretch before and after exercising (and make sure your kids do the same).
  • For long car trips, get a neck pillow so you can sleep comfortably without hurting your neck. On a car trip, stop to stretch and walk around every couple hours. On plane trips, get out of your seat every hour or two (if it's safe to do so) to stretch and move around.
  • Don't let the dog days of summer keep you from exercise! Swimming and walking are easy, pleasant, and not damaging to your back.
  • Continue to get adequate sleep (7-9 hours for adults) and eat healthfully (always essential!) to keep your whole body in optimum health.
  • See your chiropractor for regular adjustments!

This summer, keep yourself and your whole family healthy and happy with chiropractic!

Kids and Chiropractic

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Kids need chiropractic, too!

Children need regular chiropractic care for many of the same reasons adults do: injury, poor posture, and wear and tear on their spine from daily activities. But chiropractic care is a little different with children.

Many adults need chiropractic to help heal problems that have been developing over time--some since their childhood.

It is easier to create healthy kids than to fix unhealthy adults!

Starting children with chiropractic early in life helps keep them healthy so they have less problems as an adult.

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Both Dr. Hackbart and Dr. Folkers see patients of all ages! Whether you're 9 months or 90, chiropractic can benefit you.

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Like brushing teeth to prevent cavities, eating well, and getting enough sleep, chiropractic is another healthy habit to encourage in your children. Start them off right to prevent problems when they're older.

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And yes, it's important to start them early! Elijah (below) has been seeing Dr. Hackbart since he was just a few weeks old. Dr. Hackbart adjusted his own children within days or even hours of their birth.

Why is this important? Well, the experience of being born can be very traumatic for infants' spines. Their necks get twisted and backs get bent as they travel through the birth canal, and that's after 9 months of being curled up in the womb! If your baby was born with the help of forceps or a vacuum (which puts a lot of pressure on the spine), they'll be in even greater need of an adjustment soon after birth.

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If possible, the new mother and baby should both come in for an adjustment as soon as the mother is up and about. Pregnancy is tough on a mom's spine, too, and she needs chiropractic as much as her baby. (But that's a topic for a future post!)

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Like these families, yours should make regular visits to the chiropractor a family thing! We have small-person-sized chairs in the waiting room, along with books and toys, to entertain younger patients. Dr. Hackbart is a dad of 5 and Dr. Folkers is a soon-to-be dad, and they both love working with kids and families.

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Chiropractic care is as necessary and important for kids as it is for their parents. If your children, or some kids you know, haven't been to see the chiropractor, now is the time to change that! Stop in the office or give us a call (402-646-2020) today!

 

Why Chiropractic Makes Sense

why chiropractic makes sense

It's hard to understand the benefits of chiropractic care if you don't understand how the human body works. The whole body is connected. It was designed to be able to heal itself from injury and infection. But the body can't heal itself if the connections between the brain and the organs and muscles--nerves--aren't functioning properly. That's where chiropractic comes in: it helps keep those connections working the way they were designed to.

From Brain to Organ and Back

The nerves in your body send messages between the brain and your organs and muscles. Nerves need a clear path to send a correct signal: to tell a muscle to move, to tell organs to do their job, basically to keep your body running properly.

All nerves go back to the spinal cord and travel up to the brain from there. The spinal cord is protected by the spine: vertebrae (the bones of the spine) and inter-vertebral disks. If the vertebrae and disks are not lined up correctly (out of alignment), the nerves can become pinched, thus sending a faulty signal to the brain and/or the organ or muscle to which the nerve leads.

Below is an image illustrating this. This is a side view of the spine. You can see the herniated disk (red and "inflamed"), above the vertebra that is out of alignment. Between the two is the pinched nerve. Compare this to the normal disks and properly aligned vertebrae above and below, and the nerves which are free and not pinched.

spine diagram

Why Chiropractic Makes Sense

Many people visit a medical doctor for health problems such as headaches, digestive issues, allergies, and other ailments. These health issues can be caused not by something wrong with the organs of the body, but by incorrect signals between those organs and the brain resulting from pinched nerves in the spine.

This is how chiropractic care helps keep the whole body healthy. It keeps the nerves functioning the way they were designed to, so the rest of the body works the way it's supposed to.

A medical doctor doesn't always consider a pinched nerve to be a possible cause for health issues. Instead, they prescribe drugs to fix the problem, when those drugs may only mask the problem.

Consider as an example the problem of chronic constipation: a relatively minor problem, but frustrating and painful nonetheless. A doctor might prescribe a laxative to be taken daily, which can have other less-than-desirable side effects. A chiropractor will look for misaligned vertebrae in the area of the spine where the nerves are which lead to the intestine. (This is why x-rays are necessary in chiropractic care, so the doctor and patient can see where the problem areas are in the spine.) The chiropractor will also discuss nutrition with the patient in the example given, since a less-than-healthy diet might also be an underlying cause of constipation. Good nutrition and chiropractic care go hand-in-hand: but that's a topic for another article!

The Importance of Continued Care

A few adjustments may be enough to heal the spine to the point where the nerves and organs are functioning normally once again. But most people have habits and lifestyles that cause their spine to get misaligned on a regular basis. Injury, poor posture or already worn-down inter-vertebral disks make regular adjustments a necessity to keep the body functioning optimally.

Poor posture is something that can be remedied, simply by changing one's habits. (This will be discussed in greater detail in a future article!) But many people have disks that have been worn down over time, and those disks will never "grow back" to their original healthy state.

When a spine is affected by scoliosis, a condition many people have to some degree or another, the spine is bent or twisted. The disks of the spine with scoliosis are worn down where the spine is unnaturally curved. Several adjustments will help the spine get back in place where it should be. But because those disks are already worn, the vertebrae will slip back into the twisted or curved position. Thus to keep the nerves free and not pinched, regular adjustments are absolutely necessary.

No drugs will keep the spine aligned properly. No drugs can solve the problem of a pinched nerve. Drugs can help with many things, this is true, but if the cause of a problem is a pinched nerve, drugs will only cover the symptoms, not heal the actual problem.

This is why chiropractic makes sense!

Hackbart Chiropractic Massage NOW OPEN!

Mary Lostroh, Hackbart Chiropractic Massage Therapist
Mary Lostroh, Hackbart Chiropractic Massage Therapist

If you haven't met Mary Lostroh already through the front desk, stop in and say "Hi" and check out her new massage therapy room at our office! Mary is a Seward native who graduated from the Myotherapy Institute in Lincoln, NE in January.   Mary has a passion to help others. Serving others through massage therapy is one way to share hope, healing and health through the care that she provides with each session.  Give her a call today at 402-646-2020 and schedule an appointment!  Her hours are: Monday & Friday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Wednesdays 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.