How To Dismiss Tech Neck in 6 Easy Steps

How to Dismiss Tech Neck in 6 Easy Steps | dr chris mascetta

Chances are that within the last few days, at some point, your neck has had some sort of pain or discomfort. You have also probably noticed that this neck pain has been coming on more frequently than it used to.   A couple of years ago, you might’ve gotten a little stiffness in your neck after sleeping in a weird position or on a bad mattress. But now…now you notice that there isn’t a day that goes by that you aren’t finding yourself rubbing your sore neck! You’re probably thinking, “Why YES! That’s exactly what’s going on! My neck hurts all the time! Why is this happening?” Most likely, you have become victim to something that is used so much and so frequently, that you probably have no idea how much harm it is actually causing you. Something you are constantly using in some way or another without the least hint that it’s altering your posture and affecting muscles and nerves in your body. So what is this unknown, pain-causing culprit?   The answer is a simple one…technology! That’s right. The cause of that achy neck is none other than your phone or tablet that you are constantly using to keep up with everything from the Kardashians to your work email. Chiropractic physicians are quite aware and have been paying attention to this most recent trend in our society. This epidemic of constant, chronic neck pain has become such a regular occurrence in chiropractic offices, it has been labeled “tech neck.” Tech Neck is the pain you experience from the strain in your neck of constantly leaning forward while looking at your phone, tablet, or any other technological device.   This strain on your neck is the result of the weight of your head pulling the muscles in your neck forward and causing a significant amount of tension to be put on your spine.  Your body is an amazingly constructed machine. The natural curves designed in the spine are made to hold your head with no strain, provided that the posture of your body stays aligned properly.   Being that your head weighs about 10-12 pounds, this is pretty remarkable. However, with every degree forward your head is tilted, that 10 pounds of weight become a bigger burden to support.   Staring down at your phone or tablet at a 60-degree angle puts a significant amount of pressure on your spine to hold your head up. That 10 pound becomes more like 50-60 pounds.   Now, imagine staring down at your phone or tablet for a couple of hours with 60 pounds around your neck. That’s the equivalent of stacking two cinder blocks on each shoulder and carrying them around all day! So, now you’re probably thinking, “Wow! That’s a lot of weight!” It sure is a lot of weight. Way too much for the muscles in your neck to have to hold up!  It’s no wonder your neck hurts and you feel exhausted at the end of the day! You’ve probably carried enough bricks around to build the foundation of a house! Are you wondering what you can do to stop this terrible neck pain and prevent it from getting worse? Well friend, here’s what you need to do. Below is a very simple list of steps that, if you follow, the weight on your neck and shoulders will be lifted…literally! Step 1: Pay Attention to Pain…and Put Your PHONE Down! Let’s just go ahead and state the obvious. Now that you understand what’s causing your neck pain, you know what you need to do. Put it down. When you start to feel that first little twinge of ache come on, stop what you are doing and listen to what your body is saying. It’s telling you it’s tired of carrying those cinder blocks and it needs a break!   Pain is your warning that an injury is coming. The stronger the pain, the worse the injury. Paying attention to that first twinge in your neck and shoulders could prevent you from developing a more serious and permanent injury!   When you put the phone down, you will feel relief almost immediately.   So, now you’re thinking, “What? I’m on my phone all the time! There’s no way I can just put it down! Alright, so limiting the time you spend on your phone is an excellent way to avoid tech neck altogether. Having set times for breaks while using your device is key. A good rule to follow is that for every 30 minutes you spend on your phone or tablet, spend 3 minutes with the device down! Get up and move around on a regular basis. This will give your cervical muscles, or neck muscles, time to relax without fatiguing from supporting all the weight for long periods of time. Step 2: STOP Looking Down. Raise that Device UP! Again, with the obvious. You may notice that once the fatigue of the muscles in your neck starts to set in, you automatically will look up. Your body, that wonderful machine, needs to relieve the pressure that is being put on your spine from all the weight. By keeping devices at eye level, the tension of the neck musculature will be lessened.   Constantly looking down will cause the natural lordosis or inward curvature of the neck to straighten over time. This curvature is important because it not only allows for the weight of the head to be supported, but it also allows for the vertebrae, or bones in the neck, to articulate properly and allow for proper blood flow to the brain to occur. Your cervical lordotic curve also works with the other curves in the spine to allow you to stand and walk without using a great deal of energy from your muscles. When this curve begins to straighten, or worse, reverse, degenerative changes occur to the bones, the discs that work as shock absorbers between the bones also start to wear out, and the

How to Reach your Health Goals in the New Year

reach your health goals in 2021 | Dr Chris Mascetta | Ridgefield CT Chiropractor

January 1st, the time of year gym memberships soar, diet pills fly off the shelves, and your social media feed is filled with “how to lose weight” advice, and supplements that “guarantee instant results.”  Considering the decline of gym memberships drops drastically by February and cuts in half by May, how do you keep your goals? How do you make it all twelve months without dropping the ball on your health goals for the new year?   Thankfully, there are some great things you can do to help you reach your goals! We all want to feel our best and reach our goals, start and end this next year right!  Call us today and we will be happy to help you not only feel your best, but help you set and reach your goals.

How to hit Your Goals This Year (Without Pain!)

back pain goals | dr chris mascetta | ridgefield chiropractic and wellness center

Did you know that, worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability? When it’s severe, it can prevent people from engaging in work and leisure activities, creating a pronounced negative impact on quality of life, and making it hard to enjoy the things you used to love. Back pain is also one of the most common reasons people miss work, and accounts for more than 264 million missed work days annually! As if this weren’t enough, about 80% of all Americans will experience back pain in their lives, and most of these cases will not be caused by a serious condition like a fracture. This means that millions of people each year suffer preventable chiropractic pain that can have a major impact on their quality of life and happiness. Are you one of them? If so, there’s good news on the horizon: you don’t have to live this way. We’re here to tell you that, this year, you can hit your goals – whatever they may be – without struggling with chiropractic pain and discomfort. Here’s what you need to know. The Origins of Chiropractic Pain Back pain is one of the most common things that sends people to the chiropractor, but how does it happen? Here’s what the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has to say about the origins of back pain: “The vast majority of low back pain is mechanical in nature. In many cases, low back pain is associated with spondylosis, a term that refers to the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:   Sprains and strains account for most acute back pain. Sprains are caused by overstretching or tearing ligaments, and strains are tears in tendon or muscle. Both can occur from twisting or lifting something improperly, lifting something too heavy, or overstretching. Such movements may also trigger spasms in back muscles, which can also be painful. Intervertebral disc degeneration is one of the most common mechanical causes of low back pain, and it occurs when the usually rubbery discs lose integrity as a normal process of aging. In a healthy back, intervertebral discs provide height and allow bending, flexion, and torsion of the lower back. As the discs deteriorate, they lose their cushioning ability. Herniated or ruptured discs can occur when the intervertebral discs become compressed and bulge outward (herniation) or rupture, causing low back pain. Radiculopathy is a condition caused by compression, inflammation and/or injury to a spinal nerve root. Pressure on the nerve root results in pain, numbness, or a tingling sensation that travels or radiates to other areas of the body that are served by that nerve. Radiculopathy may occur when spinal stenosis or a herniated or ruptured disc compresses the nerve root. Sciatica is a form of radiculopathy caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, the large nerve that travels through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg. This compression causes shock-like or burning low back pain combined with pain through the buttocks and down one leg, occasionally reaching the foot. In the most extreme cases, when the nerve is pinched between the disc and the adjacent bone, the symptoms may involve not only pain, but numbness and muscle weakness in the leg because of interrupted nerve signaling. The condition may also be caused by a tumor or cyst that presses on the sciatic nerve or its roots. Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra of the lower spine slips out of place, pinching the nerves exiting the spinal column. A traumatic injury, such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall can injure tendons, ligaments or muscle resulting in low back pain. Traumatic injury may also cause the spine to become overly compressed, which in turn can cause an intervertebral disc to rupture or herniate, exerting pressure on any of the nerves rooted to the spinal cord. When spinal nerves become compressed and irritated, back pain and sciatica may result. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that can cause pain or numbness with walking and over time leads to leg weakness and sensory loss. Skeletal irregularities include scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that does not usually cause pain until middle age; lordosis, an abnormally accentuated arch in the lower back; and other congenital anomalies of the spine.   Low back pain is rarely related to serious underlying conditions, but when these conditions do occur, they require immediate medical attention.” 3 Ways a Chiropractor can Help you Resolve Back Pain If you’ve never been to a chiropractor before, you likely have some questions about how the process will work to provide pain relief for your muscles and joints. Here are the top three ways chiropractors work with your body to provide a pain-free experience, both now and in the future: 1. Soft Tissue Therapy Some chiropractic work focuses expressly on the soft tissues of your body. In this kind of treatment, the chiropractor will work to help you relax, and to treat tight and sore muscles that are holding your misalignments in place. Soft tissue therapy may include tactics like manual release therapy, which involves stretching the muscle while also applying pressure, instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy, which uses a tool to apply pressure and sweep over the affected area, and trigger point therapy, which applies direct pressure to tense areas of a muscle. This is a helpful therapy for anyone interested in living a pain-free life this upcoming year. 2. Manual Therapy Manual therapy focuses on restoring movement to parts of the body that are locked up or present immobilized. Chiropractors utilize these treatment techniques when a joint needs to regain mobility. Most chiropractors will either use joint mobilization tactics (which include slow, gentle stretches of the affected

7 Reasons You Should Start Using Cold and Heat Therapy

dr chris mascetta | ice and heat therapy | chiropractor ridgefield ct

Most people enjoy taking a hot bath or shower or using a heating pad when they are in pain or after a long day or hard workout. Heat feels much better than cold or ice, given the choice most of us would choose to use heat therapy instead of cold therapy. However; both are essential in helping your body heal injuries and help you recover from hard workouts,here’s why you need both: Heat and cold therapy are great ways to help you feel your best and recover from a hard workout, a hard day, or an injury. If you have any questions on how to best use these practices in your life call us today!

9 Tips to Stay Active During the Winter Months

dr chris mascetta | stay active during winter | ridgefield chiropractor

When the weather outside is frightful, being inside can feel so delightful. The only issue with that approach? It keeps us sedentary and stationery, creating a whole host of health concerns ranging from weight gain to increased back, neck, and hip pain. So, what’s the answer? Is there a way to stay active during the winter without taking up arctic sports like ice climbing? Fortunately, the answer is yes. Here are nine of our favorite ways to get your heart rate up and keep your body healthy, even during the coldest months of the year.  9 Tips to Add Activity to Your Winters If you live in a cold environment, you know exactly how tough it can be to motivate yourself to do anything during the winter months. After all, who wants to leave the house when the thermometer hasn’t come up above zero?  This winter, try these nine tips to stay in shape without putting yourself at risk of frostbite: 1. Look for Indoor Activities First If you’re a member at a local gym or fitness center, take a look at their winter schedule. Many gyms do indoor boot camps or fitness course designed to cater to people who want to keep working out but don’t want to venture into the great outdoors. Not only are these courses a great way to stay in shape, but they’re also a fun way to try something new, meet new people, and improve your functional fitness.  2. Put Activities on the Calendar Each Sunday, sit down and plan out your week of activities. Put them in the calendar as if you were scheduling a meeting, and treat them with the same level of obligation. This serves two important purposes.  First of all, it requires you to be intentional about your weekly activities and to think about what you need to fit in if you’re trying to meet a weekly goal (a certain number of steps per week, for example, or total activity minutes). Secondly, it forces you to be creative and decreases the likelihood that you’ll run into a motivation slump and forget to work out.  3. Use Your High-Energy Hours to Your Advantage There are certain times of the day that you feel more active than others. Maybe you get up to power walk at 6 am all summer, but you can’t drag yourself out of bed before seven all winter long. Instead of fighting that, learn to work with it. Identify the times of the day when your energy levels are highest, and take advantage of them. Instead of trying to work out at the end of a workday, when you’re bone-tired, fit in a quick swim or a brisk hike in the morning hours, when you’re feeling energized and awake.  4. Dress Appropriately If you are going to venture outside, make sure you’re dressed for the elements. This means investing in high-quality layers that allow you the freedom to move and the warmth to stay out for as long as you want. For best results, look for active layers that wick moisture away from the body and keep you warm. Use a base layer, insulative layer, and top layer and carry a backpack or bag with you to stash the additional layers when you don’t need them any longer.  5. Bring a Buddy It’s hard enough to get outside during the winter, but it can be quite a bit easier when you bring a friend along. This winter, grab a buddy and try something new. Nordic skiing, for example, is an excellent, low-impact activity that provides some cardio and strength-training all at once. If you don’t want to invest in new equipment, head to your local sports store to rent a setup for the day. What better way to stay active than to try something new? 6. Go for a Walk Love walking but hate risking life and limb on sheets of ice? Take your walks indoors during the winter months. Even the most bare-bones fitness centers have a few treadmills, and it’s easy to hammer out a few miles after work or during your lunch break, If you’re one of the many people who gets bored on a treadmill bring your favorite podcast, book, or TV show with you and treat your exercise window as a time to double-up on the things you love.  7. Sign up for Holiday Runs Most communities do easy “fun runs” around the holidays. These runs – usually in the form of 5K walk/run races – are a great way to get outside and be active, without taking it to the nines. For a great experience, grab a few friends or your family, bundle up, and get out there! Bonus – most of these races send their proceeds directly to charity.  8. Adjust Your Expectations For many people, activity levels naturally dip a bit in the winter, and that’s not always something to be worried about. Instead of treating your workout regimen like a requirement, allow yourself some flexibility.  For example, trade your morning run for a brisk walk, or swap an outdoor HIIT class for yoga. It’s all about balance during the winter months, and committing to that philosophy will help you stay healthy and injury-free. Even if you start small, the most important thing is simply to start.  9. Take the Stairs Every little bit counts when it comes to staying active during the winter. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk the three blocks to the local corner store instead of driving, or do some air squats in your living room. It’s the little things that combine to make up a healthy life.  Welcome to Your Most Active Winter Yet Winter doesn’t mean the end of your regular activities. Instead, follow the tips in this post to make this winter your most active, healthy season yet! Need a skilled chiropractor to partner with you during the journey? Contact our offices to schedule your appointment today!

Why You Should Ride Your Bike to Work

Ridgefield Chiropractor | Dr Chris Mascetta

The average American spends half of their day sitting, and it’s even worse for those who have a long daily commute. Sitting that often can be detrimental to your health, the good news is that there are ways to combat sitting so much! One great way to help yourself out is riding your bike to work everyday, here’s how: Take charge of your health today and take that bike to and from work, if you have any pain or hesitation about cycling call our office today and we would be happy to help you cycle pain free!

Up Against the Wall: How to Break Up Your Day so You Feel Great

Dr Chris Mascetta | Ridgefield Chiropractor

Think you have to get up at 5 am to be uber-productive? Think again! Sure, some high-performers rise at the crack of dawn and like doing so, but that’s not the only way to enjoy streamlined, simplified, enjoyable days. In this post, we’re going to share a few top tips to break up your days for maximum physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Let’s dive in! The Origin of the 8-Hour Workday Before we talk about productivity, let’s talk about why it’s so hard to attain it in our current, 9-5 workday structure.  Once upon a time, workdays routinely ran 10-12 hours, if not longer. American society was primarily agricultural, and people did have to rise at 4, or 5 am to create enough hours in the day to get everything done.  In 1914, however, Ford Motor Company came along and tipped things on their head. To boost productivity and increase morale, Ford doubled its employees’ wages and reduced the length of their shifts to just eight hours. Why? Here’s how BitBounce describes it: “Ford found that its workers’ productivity increased when they had longer to recuperate. The idea soon caught on, and the rest is history. But as business moved into the information age, a problem emerged: people can’t work productively on intellectual tasks for eight hours straight. In fact, research indicates that during a typical eight hour day, office workers generally spend less than three hours working productively. Hence, the working day is once again poised for massive disruption. Companies, governments, and policy-makers are actively researching ways to increase productivity, and this is generating some surprising statistics.” While this shift was a humane one almost 200 years ago, it holds little relevance to our modern work structure. Today, the majority of U.S. employees work in cubicles rather than assembly lines, and the fact that work structure is that it simply doesn’t take as long.  In 2016, Forbes called the 8-hour workday “outdated and ineffective,” and we tend to agree. The 8-hour workday is not the most productive way to work, but it’s often unavoidable. That said, it pays to get creative about how you structure your day so that you can squeeze as much productivity as possible out of each hour.  4 Smart Ways to Optimize Your Day, so You Feel Your Best Even if you have to be in the office for eight hours a day, you do have some control over how you use those house. Here are our top tips: 1. Identify Your Peak Energy Hours Some people are at their best in terms of focus and productivity in the morning, while others peak in the afternoon. No matter what works for you, it’s critical to identify the times when you feel most alert and active, and then optimize around that. For example, if you know that you’re awake and alert around 9 am, plan to front-load your day with your most demanding tasks. This is a great time to schedule meetings, deep project work and reading, research, and anything else that requires you to give 100% of yourself. That way, you can plan your administrative and less-demanding tasks for later in the day, when your energy dips. 2. Utilize Time-Blocking While “time-blocking” has been around for years, Elon Musk put it on the map a few years ago, when he touted it as his method for incredible productivity.  Time blocking is a pretty simple process. It works like this: you take a look at your day and break your activities down into designated “blocks” of time. Here’s how Forbes describes it: “For example, instead of checking your emails throughout the day, you set a block of time, let’s from 8:00 am to 8:30 am, to clear your inbox and respond to messages. Once your inbox is at zero, you move on to the next task. The key to time blocking is organizing the tasks that need to be completed and then set aside a specific timeframe to focus only on those items. This prevents multitasking and interruptions from dictating your day. As a result, you’ll cross off items from your to-do-list faster, and you’ll be more productive.” Time blocking is critical for a few reasons. First of all, it keeps even the busiest days from sliding into chaos. When you have ample time allotted to everything on your calendar, you know you have space to get it done.  Additionally, it saves you the stress of multi-tasking and project-switching, which is a major killer of productivity. According to recent studies, juggling even three tasks at a time (phone calls, email, and research, for example) results in a loss of 20% of productive time for each task, and a whopping 40% loss of overall productive time, thanks to context switching.  3. Get Away From Your Desk When you have a break, get away from your desk, phone, and all other screens. Instead, grab a book and head outside. Not only will the fresh air energize you and help you beat the mid-afternoon slump, but taking regular breaks from your desk boosts engagement and creativity.  According to a survey conducted by Tork, upwards of 90% of American employees say that taking lunch breaks helps them feel refreshed and ready to get creative when they return to their desk.  4. Take Care of Yourself Good self-care goes beyond time management. To be your most productive self, make sure you’re taking care of your body, as well.  Eat healthy, nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day to prevent blood sugar dips, drink plenty of water (bring a refillable bottle to your desk to stay hydrated), get plenty of exercise, and see your chiropractor regularly. While these seem like small things, they can go a long way to help you feel your best.  Your Most Productive Days Start Here Stop slogging through days where you don’t feel like you get anything done. These simple tips will help you optimize your days and feel your best throughout. Need a bit of

9 Key Points of an ergonomic workspace design

ridgefield chiropractic and wellness center | ergonomic workspace design

Are you tired of dealing with aches and pains from sitting at your desk all day? An ergonomic workspace design can help. At Ridgefield Chiropractic, we understand the importance of proper ergonomics for both comfort and health. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 9 key points to consider when designing an ergonomic workspace. From chair height to monitor placement, these tips will help you create a workspace that promotes good posture and reduces the risk of injury. ADJUSTMENTS Make the following simple adjustments to help prevent injury.  Elbows close to your body and at 90 degrees. Keep wrists straight and avoid flexion of the wrists.  Shoulders are relaxed as opposed to hunch.  Hips, knees, and ankles are at 90 degrees while seated.  Feet flat on the ground or a footrest. For prolonged standing, consider using a mat on hard surfaces.  Head is upright and the ears are in alignment with the shoulders.  Eyes looking straight ahead without flexion forward or extension up. Consider the use of a laptop raiser with your laptop if necessary.  Seat length should be long enough to provide support beneath the thighs.  Backrest should be straight (not leaning back) with adequate lumbar support of the lower back.  Set up your desk to position frequently used items within a forearm’s length away, and less frequently used items within a stretched-out arm’s length away.  Ergonomic Factors That Should be Considered in Designing a Workspace Ergonomic factors to be considered in designing a workspace include the proper height of the chair and desk, monitor placement, keyboard and mouse placement, lighting, footrest, document holder, adjustability, comfort, and accessibility. These factors aim to promote proper posture, reduce stress on the body, and prevent injuries. It is important to have an ergonomic design that is adjustable to accommodate different users and tasks, and encourages movement and stretching to reduce muscle tension and fatigue. A well-designed ergonomic workspace can improve comfort, productivity, and overall well-being. 9 key points to consider when designing an ergonomic workspace Maintaining proper posture, reducing stress on the body, and preventing injuries can be possible with ergonomic workspace design is crucial. Here are 9 key points to consider when designing an ergonomic workspace: Proper height of the chair and desk: The chair and desk should be adjusted to the correct height to promote proper posture and reduce stress on the back and shoulders. Monitor placement: The monitor should be placed at a distance that allows the user to maintain a neutral neck position and at eye level. Keyboard and mouse placement: The keyboard and mouse should be placed at a comfortable distance and angle to reduce stress on the hands and wrists. Lighting: Adequate lighting is important to reduce eye strain and fatigue. Footrest: A footrest can help to promote proper posture and reduce stress on the legs and feet. Document holder: A document holder can help to reduce neck strain by allowing the user to keep documents at eye level. Adjustability: The workspace should be adjustable to accommodate different users and tasks. Comfort: The workspace should be comfortable and encourage movement and stretching to reduce muscle tension and fatigue. Accessibility: The workspace should be easily accessible and organized to reduce the need to reach or stretch. By considering these key points of ergonomic design, you can create a workspace that promotes proper posture, reduces stress on the body, and prevents injuries. You may consider visiting www.ridgefieldchiropractic.com for more information about ergonomic design and posture.

Postpartum Care and Recovery, Why You Should See a Chiropractor

postpartum care and chiropractic | Dr. Chris Mascetta | Ridgefield Chiropractic & Wellness Center

Having a baby is hard work, your body goes through so many changes to bring a new life into this world and those changes don’t stop after delivery. Any mother knows that postpartum recovery can be hard, the good news is that a few visits to your Chiropractor can help you recover faster and easier. We want to help you feel your best and be your best, being properly aligned will help with that and help you feel your best after delivery. Every mom deserves the best care and we look forward to helping you on your motherhood journey.

How Your Chiropractor Can Help Relieve Sinus Issues

Sinus Pain Relief with Chiropractic Care | Dr. Chris Mascetta

Sinus issues are no fun, depending on what area you live in and your allergies a lot of sinus sufferers go a decent part of the year dealing with sinus headaches, constant runny noses, and a constant stream of medicine.  The great part is that you have options, great natural options to help with those sinus issues. Seeing a Chiropractor, getting a massage, and using essential oils can really help sinus sufferers! There is good news for sinus sufferers, you can feel better and start to enjoy being outside during allergy season again! Don’t let your sinus problems control your life, call your Chiropractor today!