Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How Using Your Smartphone is Really Stupid

You're probably reading this blog from your smart phone right now.  Stop and take a minute to evaluate your posture.  Chances are you are slumped with your shoulders rolled forward and your head hanging down, staring at that little screen somewhere around your navel; kind of like the pictures below.  Is your neck hurting right now?  If not, it will.

Chiropractor EncinoPeople are on their smart phones more and more these days; waiting on line at the market, standing in an elevator, or catching up on their TV shows during their lunch break.  We're texting, surfing, watching movies, and emailing constantly throughout the day.

Chiropractor Encino
In the last couple years I have noticed an increase in the number of patients complaining of neck pain.  I will never forget the day I came out to my waiting room and saw a family of four all slumping in their chairs bent over their respective handheld devices.  Want to guess what  I was treating the parents for?  Lucky the kids were not yet complaining of neck pain.
Chiropractor Encino
I always tell my patients that the best chiropractic or acupuncture treatment will do very little if you keep going back to doing what your were doing that brought you here in the first place.  In addition to treatment, I instruct my patients that when using their smart phones they must lift the device to eye level, roll their shoulders back and down, lift their chest, and avoid a protruding chin.  This posture keeps the neck in a much better position and will minimize strain on the muscles, tendons, ligament, and discs.  It's possible that for some people, adopting this posture will completely eliminate their neck pain.  If you have any questions or comments on this or any other blog entry I can always be reached by email at  Keep moving!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sleeping With Neck Pain

Patients with acute neck injuries are always complaining that sleeping has become almost too painful to tolerate.  I cannot over emphasize how important sleep is to a patient in pain.  I always say, rest is an essential component for repair.  I have found that the ideal position for getting those necessary Z's when your neck is killing you is on your back with a rolled up towel placed in the curve of your neck and no pillow underneath your head.
Patients with persistent or chronic neck pain always ask me if there is an ideal pillow I recommend.  I find it is very difficult to recommend a single pillow as each individual has different needs.  There are also so many pillow options available with different materials, varying thickness, and densities.  I suggest trying out as many pillows as you can in order to find the one that is most comfortable for you.

The underlying principal in avoiding a painful night is maintaining a neutral spine.  This means that the head should be properly aligned on the torso.  If you are predominately a side sleeper, usually a thicker pillow or a greater number of pillows would be required to achieve a neutral spine.  If you are a back sleeper, usually a thinner pillow or fewer pillows are best.  If you are a stomach sleeper, good luck!  A stomach sleeper spends the night with their head turned to one side or the other; this can lead to shortening of certain muscles and strain on the joints and ligaments of the neck resulting in pain.  If sleeping on your stomach is the only way you can count sheep (and I'm including myself in this category) I find it is best to tuck a pillow underneath the shoulder you look towards.  This angles your body slightly and will minimize how far you have to twist your neck while sleeping.  It's not ideal, but just like in parenting, "there's the right way to do things, and then there's the way it works for you."   Sweet dreams!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Active Care Spine Center teams up with Athletes Performance

Dr. Brian Gordon is excited to announce that he is now providing chiropractic and acupuncture services for Athletes Performance at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.  Athletes Performance is a center that provides training and therapy services for some of the most elite athletes in all of sports including athletes from the NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS, and the Olympics.  As Dr. Gordon extends his services to these professional athletes, he is still committed to maintaining his practice at the Active Care Spine Center in Encino, CA.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back pain and neck pain at its root

Neck pain and back pain are pervasive in our society with as many as 70-80% of people experiencing pain at any given time in their life.  There are many reasons why one may develop neck and back pain, but today I want to focus on the fact that much of our spinal discomfort comes from our lifestyle.  Our society is becoming more and more sedentary.  We spend less time moving and exercising today and more time sitting at work, sitting in the car going to work, and sitting at home after work.  All this sitting is causing a real pain in the butt.  Literally!

The godfather of rehab medicine, Dr. Janda referred to the chair as, "the curse of modern man."  Dr. Janda went on to detail two conditions called upper cross syndrome and lower cross syndrome.  These syndromes refer to a series of tight and weak muscles in the body that can result in excessive strain that often leads to neck pain, back pain, and headaches.  One way to avoid upper cross and lower cross syndrome is to keep moving.  Studies have shown that maintaining a position, like sitting, for more than 20 minutes puts a lot of stress on your muscles and joints and can result in pain and discomfort.  It has been shown that getting up to stretch for as little as 20 seconds can help to erase the strain of prolonged sitting.  Dr. Brugger, a neurologist, recommended a microbreak to alleviate stress and strain on the body.  Making this simple change in your daily routine can significantly reduce the daily aches and pains of a sedentary lifestyle.  I encourage all my patients to try this exercise.  Keep moving!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chiropractic Acupuncture Encino

I am excited to announce that the Active Care Spine Center now has its own blog.  The purpose of this blog is to inform patients, followers, and friends of Dr. Brian Gordon DC LAc and the Active Care Spine Center of interesting clinic events and news from the world of chiropractic, acupuncture, and health and wellness.  We hope you follow us here and on Facebook   We are also in the process of creating a youtube page where we will be uploading videos.  Check us out on, we have some awesome reviews from some very happy patients, and visit our website at   Keep moving!