The Relationship Between Sleep Deprivation and Your Back Pain

July 18, 2018 | Amy Highland

Does your back hurt regularly? Do you find that it interferes with your sleep? Many people with chronic back pain also complain about feeling tired, especially when their backs are acting up. In fact, some may find that they struggle to sleep at all when their pain is bad. Others may be able to fall asleep, but staying asleep all night proves difficult.

Getting into a bad cycle with sleep and pain is easy. Your pain may cause you to have difficulty sleeping, but then that lack of sleep can cause you to struggle with the pain. This cycle can get worse and worse unless you do something to intervene. Here’s what you need to know about sleep deprivation and back pain.

Back Pain Causes Sleep Deprivation

If you have chronic lower back pain, that actually seems to cause problems with your sleep. Researchers studied 32 patients, 16 who had chronic back pain and 16 who did not. The ones with back pain reported issues sleeping on almost every scale. Their sleep quality was lower, and they qualified as having clinical insomnia; they also struggled more to fall asleep, to stay asleep, and to go back to sleep after awakening during the night when compared with those without back pain.

If this sounds like you, there are a few things you might be able to do to get better sleep.

  • Make sure your bedroom is both dark and silent. Both light and noise will keep you from falling to sleep and will awaken you from sleep. While these disruptions don’t address your back pain directly, eliminating light and noise may minimize nighttime wakings.
  • Get a mattress designed for people with back pain. It may surprise you, but a mattress that correctly supports your spine can go far towards helping you sleep better. You may not see changes overnight, but, after a few weeks, you may notice that your back hurts less and you aren’t as tired as you used to be.

Sleep and Pain Tolerance

Researchers have also found that sleeping better improves pain tolerance, while poor sleep lowers it. This finding means that, while your back pain may be the same every day, you will be better able to deal with it when you are well-rested. In fact, you may feel like you actually have less pain when you have gotten enough sleep.

Is this true for you? Find out by tracking your pain with your sleep. Note how many hours you sleep and how bad your pain is the next day. Do this for several days, and you may find patterns and discover how much sleep you need to manage your pain well.

Back pain and sleep issues go hand-in-hand, but you don’t have to suffer from either one. There are ways to fight back against both so that you can sleep better and feel less pain. If you aren’t sure how to get help with either issue, talk to a professional and come up with a plan today.

Life Extension

January 15, 2018 | Dr. Shannon Turek

  1. 1) Spending time in nature
  2. 2) The right diet
  3. 3) Exercise
  4. 4) Occasional fasting
  5. 5) Keep moving after work
  6. 6) Stop watching so much TV
  7. 7) Surround yourself with friends
  8. 8) Be a lifelong learner
  9. 9) Eat hot peppers
  10. 10) Volunteer
  11. 11) Go to church

Number 8 is one of my favorite natural life extenders. I love to continue to learn so that I can help better myself and also my patients.

Call us today if you would like to add chiropractic care to help extend your life!

Hangover the Healthy Way

January 9, 2018

Many people will indulge themselves in alcohol on New Years Eve. There is nothing wrong with that until they drink too much. Here are some Do’s and Dont’s for treating a hang over.

Be safe this New Years Eve and make good decisions!

Eat a healthy meal with protein and complex carbohydrates.
Replenish electrolytes by drinking kefir, drinking coconut water or eating fresh watermelon.
Take a nap.
Take a walk or go to the gym.
Call 911 if you see someone who is unconscious after drinking.

Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) as it can cause severe liver problems when it mixes with alcohol.
Drive or operate machinery or tools as balance and coordination are diminished.
Rehydrate with conventional sports drinks.
Don’t load up on a heavy, greasy meal.

5 Tips for Healthy Holiday Shopping

December 22, 2017 | Dr. Shannon Turek, D.C.

1. Eat before you leave the house. If you make yourself and your family a healthy meal before you head out to go shopping it will help prevent you from grabbing that high calorie food found at the food court. Better-yet, it will help reduce your chances of going through the drive-thru of the closest fast-food restaurant. Eating a healthy meal will also help boost your energy, which is what you will need for all of the walking you will be doing.

2. Pack healthy snacks for you and for your family.
Packing healthy snacks will help reduce your hunger frustration “hangry”. By having healthy snacks on hand, you will be less likely to buy an unhealthy snack when you are out and about. Protein bars are good to have on hand, or even a sandwich.

3. Be careful what you drink.
Keeping water on hand is a great idea, not only to save you money, but to prevent you from buying a calorie-packed, sugar-loaded frozen drink. If you need a pick-me-up, go for the sugar-free green tea instead.

4. Get a cart.
Avoid carrying numerous shopping bags in your hands or on your shoulders, this alters your posture and can lead to pain by the end of your day. Put all of your shopping items in a cart and push. Pushing a cart that is loaded up with items is a good way to get resistance as you walk, which can help burn more calories and maintain your posture.

5. Wear good shoes.
Wearing proper foot-wear is best when planning on walking a lot. Proper shoes will help provide support and reduce pain and problems in the feet, ankles, knees and hips.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 19, 2017 | Dr. Shannon Turek, D.C.

During the holidays, many of us bake cookies either for cookie exchange parties or to enjoy and eat with our friends and family

I found this recipe for a healthy version of Chocolate Chip Cookies without the butter, white flour or refined white sugar.


2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large organic egg
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar lightly packed
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 and 1/2 cups oat flour regular oats blended in a blender
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Optional: coarse sea salt

1) Take regular old fashioned oats or quick oats and blend them until they resemble a flour or powder in a blender or food processor.
2) Combine the vanilla extract, large egg, and brown sugar in a bowl. Melt the coconut oil and let it cool slightly before adding to the bowl. Beat everything together until just combined.
3) Stir in the oat flour (measured after blending NOT before), baking soda, cinnamon (scale this amount to taste preferences), and salt.
4) Stir until just combined and then fold in the dark chocolate chips.
5) Chill the dough for at least one hour.
6) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
7) Using a cookie scoop (and pack these in the scoop very tightly or they may crumble), scoop out balls of the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press a few more chocolate chips in the tops if desired.
8) Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.
9) Remove and allow to stay on the baking sheet for another 2 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely or they may crumble.

What is your sitting posture?

December 18, 2017 | Dr. Shannon Turek, D.C.

  • When sitting try not to sit for prolong periods of time.
  • Take mini breaks from sitting every 20 minutes.
  • When you sit make sure your lower back is touching the chair and your shoulders are not rolling forward.
  • Your knees and hips should be at 90 degrees.
  • Your feet should be touching the floor.

What is the Spine?

December 11, 2017 | Dr. Shannon Turek, D.C.

The spine is an integral part of the body. The spine is our backbone, which extends from the neck to the tailbone. The spine consists of 33 relatively small bones, called vertebrae.
The neck, also called the cervical spine, consists of 7 vertebrae. There are 12 vertebrae in the upper and mid-back (thoracic spine), and 5 in the low back, or lumbar spine. Five bones fuse together in the tailbone region to form the sacrum, and below that is the coccyx, formed by 4 bones.
The spine houses and protects the spinal cord, absorbing shock and allowing us to bend and twist. Hundreds of muscles, ligaments and tendons are attached to the spine, as well.


Coping with Holiday Stress

December 4, 2017 | Dr. Shannon Turek, D.C.

The holidays are a joyous time of year yet it can be filled with mixed emotions of excitement, anticipation, stress, anxiety, sadness and guilt.

The American Psychiatric Association provided 4 tips on how you can cope with holiday stress this season.

1) Don’t focus on having the “perfect” holiday.
Focus instead on having an enjoyable holiday, including time for relaxation.

2) Examine and then revise expectations.
Look at expectations you have of yourself and those you have of others. Do you expect that you have to create the perfect holiday and give the perfect gift? Do you expect others to give you the perfect gift? Do you expect your children or relatives to be on their best behavior at all times? If so, you will likely be disappointed. Things are rarely (if ever!) perfect. Having this mindset will make it more likely that you will run yourself ragged and end the season feeling exhausted and inadequate.

3) Avoid overspending.
Spending beyond you limits will only increase post-holiday stress. Where possible, consider giving homemade gifts, such as baked goods. They allow you to give something of yourself in a tangible way. If you’re worried about being able to afford gifts this holiday season, talk with your loved ones about the real meaning of the holidays for your family. Do things that are consistent with your religious and cultural traditions.

4) Don’t be afraid to say no.
Setting limits and cutting back on activities can be difficult. But overextending yourself can leave you stressed, exhausted and feeling resentful. It’s hard to have the “holiday spirit” when you feel that way.

Fact or Myth: Eating Turkey Makes You Tired

November 21, 2017 | Dr. Shannon Turek, D.C.

Turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is a component of serotonin, which gets converted into the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Poultry and other protein-rich foods contain tryptophan, not just our Thanksgiving turkey.

We cannot just blame the turkey, as our dinner plates are loaded with carbohydrates along with drinking alcohol. Eating large amounts of stuffing, potatoes, yams and casserole dishes that are packed with carbohydrates along with your turkey are the real cause of tiredness. Among other factors, consuming large amounts of carbohydrates causes a rapid spike in your blood sugar, which leads to a release of insulin resulting in a dip in blood sugar causing the “crash”.

Now, let’s not forget those alcoholic beverages that are enjoyed during Thanksgiving. Alcohol is a depressant and when combined with your plate full of turkey and carbohydrates you will most likely experience a feeling of sleepiness.

Bottom line is that eating your Thanksgiving Day turkey will not make you tired. Be mindful of all of your delicious side dishes and you can avoid the sluggish, drowsy feeling after dinner.

How you sleep can affect your spinal health

November 20, 2017 | Dr. Shannon Turek, D.C.

Avoid sleeping on your back or stomach. How do you sleep at night?

Call today to see how your sleep posture is affecting your spine! 561-419-6636

5 Health Benefits of Pumpkin

November 14, 2017 | Dr. Shannon Turek, D.C.

We all know that Fall is the start of pumpkin season, but did you know that there are health benefits of eating pumpkin besides drinking those delicious pumpkin lattes?

Pumpkins provide lots of vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese. Smaller, but significant amounts of vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus also are present. Pumpkins are also a great source of fiber.

  1. 1) Rich in Fiber to help with digestion.
  2. 2) Rich in Vitamin A, which is essential for eye health and skin health
  3. 3) Rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which can boost your immune system.
  4. 4) Beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A in the body is good for fighting cancer. May help lower your risk of prostate and lung cancer.
  5. 5) Pumpkin is beneficial to diabetics because it may help reduce blood glucose levels and increase the amount of insulin the body produces.

Enjoy the health benefits of pumpkin by trying this delicious

Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe.

  • 1 large banana
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 6 oz vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tbsp of almond milk
  • Add ice

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.



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