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3 Things to Know About Tailbone Injuries

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3 Things to Know About Tailbone Injuries

While the tailbone is made of strong, mostly fused bones, the area can be extremely sensitive. If you’ve ever injured this portion of your spine, you probably know it from the pain you experienced. While tailbone injuries can be serious, they can also be addressed by a Rochester Hills chiropractor to help you overcome symptoms and avoid permanent damage. If you are considering having a tailbone injury looked at, you may be interested to learn more about the coccyx and how it can be injured.

The Tailbone Is Not Always Fused

When someone references the tailbone, they are generally referring to the coccyx, which sits at the bottom portion of your sacral spine. The term tailbone is a reference to the vestigial tail of your spine, not an actual tail like you may see on an animal.

The tailbone is made of 3 to 5 vertebrae. For many years, it was believed that these vertebrae were always fused together so that there was no movement between them. But it is now known that the entire coccyx is not one solid bone, but there is some limited movement. This can protect against some injuries, but it does not change the fact that this area of the spine is more rigid than others.

Tailbone Injuries Can Happen Easily

The most common tailbone injury is falling down a set of stairs, landing directly on your bottom and your tailbone. This can cause an immediate sharp pain that may radiate outwards. A similar sensation can be caused by any sudden trauma to the lower back, like a car accident or a sports injury.

Tailbones are also susceptible to stress injuries caused by longer-term patterns rather than a single incident. Sitting for prolonged periods of time, repetitive motions while sitting like riding a bicycle, or pregnancy and childbirth can all put stress on the tailbone and ultimately cause an injury.

It is also possible for other conditions to impact the tailbone. Local infections, injuries to other parts of the spine, and tumors are all commonly linked to tailbone pain. Bone spurs and compressed nerve roots in the area are also potential causes.

Chiropractors Can Offer Relief

When any part of the spine is injured, it can impact the nervous system, leading to pain and other issues. If you are struggling with this pain, the team at Vitality Precision Chiropractic can help. Dr. Thomas Madigan and Dr. Brendan Shanahan will work to determine the cause of your pain and create a care plan designed to offer relief and optimal healing. By focusing on your overall spinal alignment and ensuring any injuries are addressed, chiropractic care is a great way to find relief from tailbone pain. Call today to schedule your consultation.

Should You Ice or Heat a New Injury?

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Should You Ice or Heat a New Injury?

In the face of an injury, your first goal is likely to find relief in any form. This can come in the form of whatever you have on hand – ice, heat, pain medication, or anything else. While relieving pain is important, there is an ideal way to address injuries, which often depends on the type of injury, location, and severity. It’s important to understand not only when ice or heat is appropriate, but also when an injury requires more care from a Rochester Hills chiropractor or another medical professional.

Icing a New Injury

Ice is many people’s first thought to relieve pain because of the numbing effect caused by the coldness. But ice is best used in the immediate aftermath of an injury, or the first few days of it occurring. The numbing is helpful, but the real reason ice is helpful is that the cold shrinks your blood vessels in that area, which can reduce swelling and bleeding, as well as helping with muscle spasms.

It is important to use ice appropriately to avoid more injury. The general recommendation is early and often, but never for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. You should never apply ice directly to the skin – instead, use a towel or piece of fabric to act as a barrier around the ice pack.

If you don’t have an ice pack, a good option is always to use a bag of frozen peas or something similar, or to wrap ice cubes in a wet towel.

Using Heat on an Injury

In contrast, a new injury should generally not be treated with heat. The warmth will relax and loosen tissues, which can stimulate blood flow and cause more bleeding or swelling. It also won’t minimize pain in the immediate aftermath. In fact, using heat right after an injury can increase or worsen pain and actually prevent healing.

The better application for heat is before certain activities to avoid an injury by loosening muscles and relieving tension. After an injury has begun to heal and swelling isn’t present, heat can help with aches and pains and can be used as a part of recovery.

When Ice and Heat Aren’t Enough

Many injuries will require more attention than just icing, heating, or any other home remedies. For example, a herniated disc cannot be fixed by simply relieving pain at home. If your injury may be serious, or icing and heating does not relieve symptoms within a short period of time, it is important to reach out to a professional.

Dr. Thomas Madigan and Dr. Brendan Shanahan will evaluate each injury to determine what treatment is needed for healing and to create a plan of care around that. We may also share with you at-home techniques for relieving pain between adjustments, like ice and heat, to help you be proactive about your care. No injury is too small for the team at Vitality Precision Chiropractic, so it is always better to err on the side of caution and contact us today to schedule your consultation!

4 Things to Know About Range of Motion

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4 Things to Know About Range of Motion

If you’ve ever worked with a chiropractor or physical therapist, you may have heard them talk about improving your range of motion. But what exactly does that mean? Range of motion refers to the flexibility and ease of movement within our bodies that most of us take for granted every day. Illness or injury can greatly impact range of motion in many different joints, which is when you may realize just how important it is. That’s why Rochester Hills chiropractors Dr. Brendan Shanahan and Dr. Thomas Madigan are dedicated to teaching the community about range of motion and restoring it when needed.

Range of Motion Can Be Measured

Range of motion can sometimes be assessed by simply watching a movement or by how we feel about our own flexibility. But professionally, it can be measured through a proper assessment of movement near a specific joint or body part. In addition to showing flexibility, any pain during this movement will also be taken into account. When evaluating you during a first appointment, Dr. Thomas Madigan or Dr. Brendan Shanahan may ask you to perform certain movements to achieve these measurements.

It Affects All Activities Athletes tend to focus on their range of motion, but it’s not just their sports that require it. Everything we do on a daily basis, from brushing our teeth to eating a meal, requires movement in our joints that depend on an adequate range of motion. Only when there is a problem do we notice how crucial these movements are and how much they can help or hinder us each day.

You Can Lose Range of Motion

There are a number of reasons that a person could lose range of motion. For some, simply aging or becoming sedentary is enough to cause some loss of movement over time. Others may suffer from medical conditions like Cerebral Palsy or some forms of arthritis that lead to the loss of range of motion, which can be proactively managed with care at Vitality Precision Chiropractic.

Range of motion may be lost more suddenly when there is an injury. In addition to injuries that directly cause problems with movement, this can also be cyclical. If a person is in pain, stiff, or has a dislocated joint, they may move less, which ultimately creates less opportunity for range of motion to be used. This limited range of motion leaves you more prone to future injuries and more long-term issues with range of motion.



Even in a person with no injury or health condition, a chiropractor can help to retain and improve range of motion. The adjustments that chiropractors perform can both prevent and heal issues and misalignments that may cause a loss of range of motion, or even help the body be better protected against injury.

Not only can chiropractors like those at Vitality Precision Chiropractic identify the cause of these issues, but they also can improve movement through a personalized care plan. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment and begin regaining your range of motion.

What Is Neuroplasticity?

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What Is Neuroplasticity?

Have you heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well, we can’t speak for dogs, but research has proven that this saying is not accurate when it comes to us humans. And that’s great news!

For decades, it was believed that our brains were fixed, rigid, and un-malleable, meaning they couldn’t change. Essentially, scientists thought that once your brain was wired a certain way, it would be that way forever. But neuroscience has explored the possibility of our brains being “plastic,” or changeable, and they have found that our brains are extremely capable of changing and rewiring over time. This means that old habits and hang-ups that you’ve been stuck with for years can be overcome! It means that negative thought processes that have kept you stuck can actually be changed, and it means you can train your brain to be healthier and stronger.

What Does Neuroplasticity Mean for Us?

With ever-increasing numbers of people struggling with mental health, the fact that our brains can change and adapt is hugely significant. When you experience something externally, you often have an internal response based on your brain’s wiring. Think of it this way: You hear a song while you’re in a store. The song reminds you of an old relationship that wasn’t healthy and positive in any way. The song takes you back to that relationship and all the feelings it gave you, such as inadequacy, being unwanted, and being treated poorly. Suddenly, you feel worthless and awful—all because of a song. You didn’t go to that place on purpose, but an external stimulus (in this case, the song) took you there because of your brain’s wiring.

With neuroplasticity, we’ve learned that you can rewire those thought patterns. It takes work, but you could work through some exercises and mindfulness to reassociate that song with feelings of freedom, confidence in who you are, and being loved in your current relationships. When you work toward rewiring your thought patterns, your brain physically changes, and in the future when those external stimuli present themselves, your brain will take you straight to the new thoughts of positivity.

This means that we can take any negative thought or experience and train our brain to approach it and respond to it differently. There are countless books, podcasts, websites, and apps all designed to help you do this. Additionally, things like playing challenging video games, learning a new language, playing an instrument, traveling, and exercising can all help strengthen your brain to improve its ability to adapt and develop.

In addition to embracing neuroplasticity to improve your life, chiropractic care can help your brain thrive and make all your health-related efforts go further. Dr. Brendan Shanahan and Dr. Thomas Madigan are Rochester Hills chiropractors who are committed to improving your overall health and wellness. Contact them at Vitality Precision Chiropractic and schedule your appointment today.

Neuralgia and Chiropractic Care

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Neuralgia and Chiropractic Care

Neuralgia is a general term for nerve pain. Nerve pain can be caused by many things, from autoimmune disorders that attack the nerve fibers themselves to compression that pinches a nerve and inhibits normal function. Regardless of the cause, there are few treatment options for neuralgia. Some use medications, but those often have serious and unpleasant side effects. And even if those medications don’t have enormous side effects, any given medication for neuralgia is only effective in a portion of the patients who take them. This means you may need to try multiple medications before you find one that will work for you and relieve your pain, and it will be even more of a struggle to find one without negative side effects, such as difficulty thinking and weight gain.

Signs You Might Have Neuralgia

· Intermittent burning pain that is sharp and stabbing

· Constant background pain in a particular area that is burning and sharp

· Numbness and tingling in the surrounding area or limb

· Weakness in the region or limb

· Changes in color in the region or limb

Pain with neuralgia is different than other forms of pain and is best described as that awful pain one has when the humerus (the funny bone) hits just right on a solid surface or how a limb feels after it has been asleep for too long. The pain is almost electrical in sensation, and that makes sense considering nerves send signals to the brain using minute electrical signals that travel from the site of injury along the nerve highway.

Neuralgia-associated pain can be intermittent or constant and is often times both, with a low grade of background pain mixed in with flares of severe pain. Some forms are so severe that they can be debilitating and result in significant emotional and physical distress. Others are mild and tolerable, rearing up from time to time but not impairing the individual overall. Regardless of the intensity or frequency, pain is a stressful thing to endure long-term and should be addressed promptly.

How Chiropractic Can Help Neuralgia

How can your Rochester Hills chiropractors, Dr. Thomas Madigan and Dr. Brendan Shanahan, help restore you to health and well-being if you have neuralgia?

Neuralgias are a result of some kind of injury, illness, or compression of a nerve. Chiropractors learn early on that even small deviations from ideal alignment in the spine can cause significant pain and consequences in one’s health. They understand that by correcting these misalignments and easing the body back into a healthy shape, they can also help people regain their health. Even better, by providing treatment to the root cause, they are able to truly correct the disorder rather than masking it with medications. To get your evaluation and get back on the road to well-being, contact Vitality Precision Chiropractic today.

Childhood Experiences Can Bring About Health Concerns in Adulthood

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Childhood Experiences Can Bring About Health Concerns in Adulthood

During childhood, our brains are growing and forming, and we’re learning about the world around us and how we fit in that world. Unfortunately, for some children, it is also a time of stress and deprivation that can lead to a lifetime of complications with their mental and physical health. The phenomenon of adverse childhood events and the impact on adult health is well researched and understood by many to be a predictor of illness later in life. Preventing adverse childhood events could save 1.9 million Americans from heart disease and 21 million Americans from depression.

When you hear the term “adverse childhood events,” or ACEs, you may think of major issues like witnessing a horrific murder or being abducted and held for ransom. What we do not typically think of is the daily stressors of living with a parent with mental illness or substance abuse disorder, not having enough food to eat every day, worrying about losing a home or actually being homeless, seeing a loved one abused, having a parent in prison or jail, or being sexually abused. There are many well validated tools for measuring the number of ACEs a person may have experienced and scaling the risk associated with those events.

So, what is happening the brain of those with ACEs? The brain itself is like a permanent hard drive of all the experiences we have ever had. Each experience is sensed by our bodies through our five senses and that data is transferred to the brain via the spinal column or cranial nerves. Once in the brain, our amygdala decides if that experience is good, bad, or somewhere in between. Anything that is stressful or that has caused us fear or anxiety will be recorded on the brain’s hard drive as a BAD experience. The next time we encounter that same experience, the brain will respond with a warning to run away and escape or to get ready for a fight. This is the sympathetic nervous system, or the flight or flight response, at work.

Unfortunately, the brain isn’t great at recognizing when the bad experience is happening versus when there are simply similarities to that experience. For example, imagine if you were a child watching cartoons when you were hungry with no food available. You may forever have the feelings of fear and anxiety at the sound of cartoons. This is a traumatic experience response, and it causes a release of hormones and neurochemicals that cause the same response we had initially, only to a non-threatening similar event. Over time, the higher levels of those hormones, like cortisol and norepinephrine, can cause a myriad of health concerns, from high blood pressure and heart disease to chronic pain and depression.

The higher the number of ACEs a person experiences, the higher their risk for mental and physical health disorders as an adult. This includes higher rates of painful conditions and disability, both issues that a skilled chiropractor can assist with through gentle adjustments that are designed to restore normal function to the nervous system. While a chiropractor cannot remove the memories of the original ACEs, they can help the body produce normal signals for the brain to process and the brain, in turn, to command the body appropriately. This is a root cause approach, to ameliorate the signaling that triggers the trauma response. Since pain is a known trigger for the sympathetic nervous system, reducing painful states can also reduce the overall flight or fight responses in the body. You can schedule an appointment today with Dr. Thomas Madigan or Dr. Brendan Shanahan at Vitality Precision Chiropractic in Rochester Hills, MI and get started on the path towards health.

Importance of Rest

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Importance of Rest


This time of year is notorious for being busy. Much of the busyness is fun—holiday parties, shopping for loved ones, and making family memories. But if you’re too busy and not getting enough rest, you won’t enjoy this magical time of year as thoroughly as you otherwise could. It’s always important to get enough rest to fuel your body and brain, but this time of year, rest can be even harder to come by, so it’s essential that you prioritize resting and taking care of yourself.

How Your Nervous System Plays a Role in Your Rest

You may think that getting enough rest is only about sleeping more, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Your ability to rest well depends on a lot of things, but one of the biggest is your nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system is the part of the central nervous system that regulates your body’s involuntary functions. It has two primary responses, the sympathetic and parasympathetic. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for your body’s ability to “rest and digest.” It allows you to slow down and actually get restorative rest to heal, rejuvenate, and relax.

If your spinal column has a misalignment, meaning that a vertebra is shifted out of alignment even slightly, it puts pressure on the spinal cord. This pressure can impede communication between the brain and body, and it can interrupt normal, healthy processes, like resting and sleeping. So while your body may be asleep, your sleep is not as restorative or refreshing as it could be. When Rochester Hills chiropractors Dr. Thomas Madigan and Dr. Brendan Shanahan adjust your spine and bring it back into proper alignment, it allows the nervous system to work better and can improve your overall sleep quality.

Getting Enough Rest

You know it’s important to get enough rest, but the impact it has on your health cannot be overlooked. Getting enough rest leads to improved digestion, lower blood pressure, improved healing, less stress, less pain, and more. Being well-rested can give you a better outlook on life and challenges, and it helps your body be better prepared to fight off illness, stress, and injuries. Chronic fatigue and chronic stress can compound, adding a slew of health problems and causing even more stress and exhaustion. It’s important to deal with anything that comes your way as promptly and efficiently as possible so that you can work toward healing and wellness.

If you feel exhausted much of the time, it’s possible you’re suffering from poor sleep quality due to a spinal misalignment. Get in touch with the doctors at Vitality Precision Chiropractic to learn more about how chiropractic care can help you get better rest and improve your overall health and wellness. Contact Dr. Thomas Madigan and Dr. Brendan Shanahan today to schedule your consultation.

5 Reasons You Need a Chiropractor If You Work A Lot

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5 Reasons You Need a Chiropractor If You Work A Lot

Everything you do in life takes a toll on your body, whether you’re sitting most of the time, doing manual labor, or constantly on your feet. Each different profession will require different things from your body, and it’s in your best interest—both short-term and long-term—to help your body out and keep it comfortable and healthy day in and day out. No matter what you do for a living or what kind of lifestyle habits you have, everyone can benefit from chiropractic care. Here are five reasons specific to your working lifestyle.

It Helps with Posture

We all know posture matters, but did you know that poor posture can impact not only your spinal health, but also the function of your central nervous system? If you sit at a computer, stand at a cash register, or hunker over tools all day, you know that posture can impact your well-being and comfort a great deal. Chiropractic can help improve your posture and make your working conditions more comfortable.

It Helps Your Body Heal Faster

If you get sick or injured, you need to heal quickly to get back to work and back to your normal life. Chiropractic care can help your immune system work better, restoring health and healing no matter what you’re facing.

It Helps You Avoid Sickness

Just as healing is improved, your immune system is strengthened with chiropractic care. It helps your body work better to fight off illnesses and keeps you healthier. This means you can be more productive at work and won’t have to miss time off due to sicknesses.

It Reduces Pain

Pain is common, but it doesn’t have to be normal. Whether you’re dealing with back pain, headaches, sciatica, joint pain, or something else, chiropractic care can help. Because it impacts the function of your central nervous system, it does far more than rid you of musculoskeletal issues (although it can do that too). Pain from sitting, standing, hunching over, repetitive motions, and more can all be addressed naturally with chiropractic care.

It Improves Stamina

Your ability to do your job well may be based on your level of endurance and commitment to following through on a task. Chiropractic care can improve your stamina and focus, allowing you to thrive in your current position. You will be able to withstand more, both physically and mentally, which can result in improved job performance and positive things in your career.

If you want to learn more about how chiropractic care can help you in your working lifestyle, contact the team at Vitality Precision Chiropractic in Rochester Hills. Dr. Brendan Shanahan and Dr. Thomas Madigan

are passionate about serving the local community with neurologically based chiropractic care that benefits people of all ages.

6 Reasons Your Young Athlete Needs Chiropractic Care

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Whether you’ve got a teenage superstar soccer player or a rookie five-year-old baseball slugger, young athletes have different physical needs than other kids. In order to keep them healthy and active for many years to come, it’s important to get your young athlete under chiropractic care. Here are six reasons to get started today.

It Helps with Mobility

Range of motion, joint mobility, and muscle flexibility are hugely important for all athletes, but even more so for those who are still growing. As young bodies move quickly through the motions their sports require, they need to be able to adapt and stay as mobile as possible with each movement. Chiropractic care allows joints to stay lubricated and enhances mobility throughout the entire body.

It Helps with Agility and Speed

When the spine is aligned, the body is in balance. A balanced body can move faster and quicker than an unbalanced one with spinal alignments. Whether your child has had a recent injury, a big fall, or is simply a little rough and tumble, if they are a young athlete, they likely have at least one misalignment of the spine. Restoring proper alignment, balance, and nervous system function will naturally improve their agility and speed, allowing them to thrive within their sport.

It Lessens the Risk of Injury

Healthier bodies and joints mean fewer injuries. When the body is working optimally, it can adapt to potentially dangerous situations better and avoid injury more successfully. Additionally, with a balanced spine comes improved mobility and agility, as mentioned above, and that reduces the risk of injury as well.

It Speeds up Healing

If your child does get injured or suffer from a sickness, chiropractic can help their body heal faster. When the spine is aligned, the central nervous system is able to communicate better, allowing the body to self-heal from the inside out, bringing about improved health and function of every aspect of the body.

It Gives Them More Return on Their Workouts

You want every minute of your child’s hard work to bring about positive results, and chiropractic care will give them more bang for their buck. The healthier they are and the more balanced their entire body is, the more they will get out of their workouts, practices, and games or performances.

It Makes Them Healthier

Finally, chiropractic care makes young athletes healthier. It improves the health and function of every joint, muscle, tendon, and ligament in their bodies, and it helps their immune system, respiratory

system, digestive system, and more work better. This brings about improved all-around health and allows them to play more and compete harder.

If you have a young athlete who would love any of the benefits above in their quest for greatness in their sport, contact Dr. Brendan Shanahan and Dr. Thomas Madigan at Vitality Precision Chiropractic. They proudly serve the Rochester Hills community and would love the chance to show you the benefits of chiropractic firsthand.

Four Things You Need to Know About Sitting Disease

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Four Things You Need to Know About Sitting Disease

Have you ever heard of sitting disease? It’s a relatively new term and condition, but it is wreaking havoc on the health of Americans. At Vitality Precision Chiropractic, our Rochester Hills chiropractors are passionate about educating the community about healthy habits and optimizing their spinal health, and so we want to shed some light on sitting disease. Here are four things you need to know.

Sitting Disease Is About a Sedentary Lifestyle

Living a sedentary lifestyle is defined as being active for fewer than three hours per day. If you fall into this category, you’re well on your way to sitting disease. It’s essentially an umbrella term that covers the implications of living an inactive lifestyle.

Your Activity Level Outside of Sitting Is Kind of Irrelevant

This is one of the craziest things about sitting disease—it doesn’t matter what you’re doing in those three hours of activity per day. You could be running non-stop, doing CrossFit, or wrestling alligators—moving for fewer than three hours per day brings about the same implications on your health no matter what you do during your active time. This means that gym rats who work out religiously for 2 hours per day but sit the entire rest of the day are not free from the dangers of sitting disease.

Sitting Disease Leads to Tons of Chronic Illnesses

Did you know that America spends twice as much money on healthcare as any other country but is still ranked first in chronic diseases, obesity, and diabetes? The CDC has claimed that nearly 40% of the top five causes of death are preventable, largely with diet and exercise changes. But still, around 54% of kids are diagnosed with a chronic disease, and around 60% of adults are diagnosed with a chronic illness that they will likely never recover from. Many of these illnesses are linked to sedentary lifestyles, such as heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, varicose veins, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.

Your Spine Plays a Role in Sedentary Lifestyle Health Challenges

Living a sedentary lifestyle clearly affects your health negatively because of the lack of movement and exercise. But sitting itself can cause problems in your spine, and those problems then lead to more problems. Even if you have great posture, when you sit for long periods of time, your necessary spinal curves (the ones that go front to back and can be seen from the side) are impacted, making them either too curved or not curved enough. Your body longs for balance, so improper posture pulls your muscles and spinal vertebrae out of alignment, putting pressure on the spinal cord and impeding the function of your central nervous system.

It’s clear that sitting disease is a dangerous thing, and it needs to be addressed. Do what you can to stay active and move frequently throughout the day, and be sure to visit your Rochester Hills chiropractors, Dr. Brendan Shanahan and Dr. Thomas Madigan, for additional support in improving your health. Contact the team at Vitality Precision Chiropractic today to learn more and schedule an appointment.

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