Dr. Michael Horowitz's Spinal Health Tips

Over the years I've developed an important list of points worthy of sharing. These are called my Spinal Health Tips & something that can make a difference in how you feel day to day.

  • Chiropractic isn't just for those in pain. Chiropractic helps prevent problems from developing, keeps you in proper spinal alignment, flexible, mobile & functioning at your best.


  • Sleep is essential to feeling good, healing & dealing with various forms of stress. Are you getting 7-8hr of sleep per night?


  • Mattress selection is important. Though personal choice comes into play, a medium to firm mattress tends to offer the greatest amount of support. Water beds, air mattresses & futons offer next to no support. If you wake up in the morning with back stiffness, it may be time to evaluate your mattress.


  • Pillow options are endless. You can spend $4 or $400, either extreme is a bad choice. The pillow is there to support you while lying on your back (neck lordosis support) or side (shoulder breadth support). Too many pillows or too few can aggravate the joints & muscles of the neck. A contour pillow made of high density memory foam or water pillow can be great options. Stiff neck in the morning? It may be time to evaluate which pillow you've been using.


  • Sleep Posture makes a big difference on how you feel in the morning. Sleeping on your stomach, though may feel comfortable, is the worst possible position. The stress on your low back & neck muscles/joints while sleeping on your stomach are immense. Best positions are side or back. The right mattress/pillow can make all the difference in encouraging propler sleep posture.


  • Sitting has been proven in studies to be perhaps one of the most stressful positions for the low back, especially when healing from an injury. In the world we live sitting is not an option so proper sitting posture can make a big difference. Also frequent breaks, stretching & a regular post-work activity routine can make all the difference.


  • Crossing Legs while sitting is one of the most common things I see. Do we do it because of habit, cause it's comfortable, cause it's polite? Crossing your legs (ankle or hamstring on thigh) places a significant amount of asymmetrical stress in the low back & pelvis. This can lead to misalignment which can lead to pain & discomfort. Avoid crossing your legs & twisting your body while sitting & at work.


  • 90-degree Rule: when sitting at a computer or desk consider that the angle between the ankle, knee, hip & elbow joints shoulder be 90-degrees (at a right angle to each other). This places the least amount of stress in these joints and allows you to leave that seated posture with more freedom & a less stiff achy sensation.


  • Laptops - great technological invention but horrible for posture. Screen and keyboard are inches a part. There is no possible way to use a keyboard for more than 2-3hrs without placing a significant amount of stress on the neck, shoulders & spine (remote or plug in keyboards can help).


  • Telephone/Cell Phones are all great inventions that we use everyday. If you're using a phone without a headset for more than 1-hr/day there is a good chance you are experiencing chronic headaches or neck/shoulder stiffness. A headset can make a huge difference. Bluetooth or earpiece connection can save you from experiencing pain, discomfort & irritation!


  • DRUGS - take it from a son on a pharmacist, I realize there is a drug for every symptom you could imagine. And in some of these cases the prescribed medication is essential to the treatment & healing of that symptom or condition. Where my concern comes in is where people "pop pills" for every ache, pain & discomfort they have thinking that those drugs are actually healing the problem. From the musculoskeletal system (muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, neves) drugs most often mask the symptom. They don't treat the cause of that symptom. This causes a lot of concern for a chiropractor who's role is to help find the SOURCE & treat that source of the problem. Take is easy on your stomach, kidneys & liver (organs that get beat up badly by drugs).. find the source & the symptoms will be solved.


  • Mouse issues: ever feel that right (or left) sided shoulder blade ache/pain? Ever wonder where it came from? Consider the use of the mouse. How many times a day do you reach forward towards that mouse in the process of using your computer? The further the mouse is from your hand the more stress & pressure that gets placed through that joint. Chiropractic can help! So can using keyboard shortcuts & keeping the mouse closer to your body.


  • Headaches are quite common in todays world and although there are many difference sources that cause headaches, studies have found the close to 70% of headaches are classified as "tension headaches". This means accumulated stress builds up in the muscles & joints of the spine leading to spine misalignment, muscular hypertonicity (tight muscles) and the pinched nerve. Result - headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, shoulder pain, poor concentration, fatigue, irritability, etc. What's an affective way to treat this problem? Chiropractic & massage therapy to reduce accumulated stress/tension and restore proper nerve function & joint mechanics.


  • 8-12 pounds: the average head weights 8-12 pounds, equivalent to a watermelon or bowling ball. No wonder so many people exerience headaches, neck & back tension throughout the day. Consider your posture... if your "heavy" head is tilted forward while reading, writing or working on the computer, that's a lot of weight for the muscles of the neck & shoulder to have to endure. Eventually something has to give. It's usually a muscle, tendon, ligament, joint & nerve. Viola - pain & discomfort. Chiropractic can help! So can improved position & posture!


  • Symmetry in an Asymmetrical World: consider that for the most part our bodies are build symmetrical (two hands, two feet). But the world we live in a far from symmetrical. We become left or right handed, left or right foot dominant, we carry things asymmetrically (purse, groceries), we play asymmetrically (golf, tennis, softball, etc), we work asymmetrically (phone, mouse, writing), we drive asymmetrically, etc. If we live asymmetrically then eventually we will cary stress asymmetrically. This world we live in encourages misalignment of the spine & accumualtion of stress/tension in our muscles.


  • Arthritis/DDD/DJD
  • 5 Shock Absorbing Systmes of the Body
  • Prevention & Maintenance
  • Spinal Hygiene for Dental Hygiene
  • Flat Feet, Fallen Arches
  • Orthotic Inserts
  • Orthotic Shoes

Vancouver Chiropractic Lingo

What is Chiropractic?

A complimentary branch of the healing arts. An alternative to drugs & surgery for the treatment & prevention of pain & discomfort. An art, a science and a philosophy of healthcare whereby the symptom is not merely treated but rather the source of the problem is sought out and corrected.

What are the 7-Habits of Highly Healthy People

1. Exercise
2. Nutrition
3. PMA = Positive Mental Attitude
4. R&R = Rest & Relaxation (& Rejuvenation)
5. L&L&F = Love, Laughter & Friendship
6. Stress Management
7. Spinal Hygiene - a flexible spine & powerful nervous system

What is S/T/D/P?

Stress (physical, chemical & emotional) is absorbed into the body in the form of Tension which can be seen in the muscles, the spine and other soft tissues of the body. Tolerated Tension over time leads to Discomfort &/or Pain . The red-light is on & patients are often motivated at this point to take action - but where should they turn? Consider Chiropractic as one of the most effective, safest & enjoyable ways of returning to better health. Meet Dr. Michael!

What is Spinal Hygiene?

Spinal Hygiene is very much like Dental Hygiene, just applied to the spine instead of the teeth. At a young age we are taught & encouraged to brush our teeth, floss and see our dentist for regular check-ups. This is dental hygiene. Unfortunately very few of us are taught how important taking care of your spine & nervous system is. Spinal Hygiene encourages an active lifestyle through exercise, stretching & regular chiropractic "tune-ups" to prevent small aches & pains from becoming big ones. Practice Spinal Hygiene with Dr. Michael Horowitz.

Health Care vs Sick Care

Do we really have a Health Care System or is truly a Sick Care System? Consider where the majority of our resources go - to the treatment of symptoms & disease. What if our government invested in true health. Keeping it's population healthy before problems arise, rather than trying to medicate the symptoms. Chiropractic is based on the premise that through lifestyle decisions we can live a healthy productive life - symptom free!

Vancouver Registered Massage Therapy

Meet Michealla Redeker, Terri Green, Derek Wone & Laura Schroeder - members of our power team. A registered massage therapist is not just a massus, they are highly trained & very knowledgeable on topics relating to soft tissue injury & repair through their craft - soft tissue therapy. Experience a therapeutic or relaxation message 6-days a week with our team.

Ease vs Dis-Ease

The body works in a state of EASE or DIS-EASE. When every cell, tissue & organ in the body are functioning as they should body is in a state of EASE. Conversely when there is a breakdown - for example a mis-aligned spine putting pressure on the nervous system - the cells, tissues & organs of the body do not function at 100% capacity and thus are in a state of dis-ease. Inevitable Dis-Ease in time becomes DISEASE - and this in Chiropractic we try to prevent.

Dentistry vs Chiropractic

3 Phases of Care

Chiropractic care is often broken down into 3 phases of care: Initial Intensive Care = emphasis on treating/managing the symptoms. Corrective Care = continuing the re-educational process where the spine "learns" to better hold the adjustments & flexibility is maintained & posture is improved. Lastly there is Wellness Care = tune-ups to prevent accumulated stress/tension from creating mis-alignment & inflexibility. The length of time a patient is in any of these 3 phases of care depends on age, healing & length of time the problem has been around.

4 Phases of Degeneration (Arthritis)

Did you know that chiropractic is not just about treating symptoms. There are some humongous long term benefits to preventative/maintenance chiropractic care. Why do some people develop arthritis of the spine while others do not. Genetics do play a factor as it would in heart disease & cancer. Yet lifestyle & more specifically SPINAL STRESS which does not get released, over time can lead to the wear & tear of spinal joints (facet joints). This is one of the reasons your chiropractor encourages you to come back for tune-ups. Once arthritis sets in it takes a whole lot more work to correct the problem then to prevent it. Do not practice SPINAL NEGLECT. It's not a good idea!

America on Drugs

Why yes, there is a pill for every ailment. And yes, the all mighty pharmaceutical industry wants us to consume their products. You have options thought. You can "prescribe" to the pop-a-pill allopathic formula for "health" or you can have chiropractic & affiliated professions

The scapula (shoulder blade) - 17 things to remember

Did you know that 17 different muscles either begin or end (origin, insertion) on your shoulder blade? Please don't ask me to name them but if you do, I would! This is why when you feel pain in & around your shoulder - COMPENSATION is inevitable. Don't pop-a-pill. Get that looked at by Dr. Michael Horowitz or one of our RMT's.


They say that 60% of all headaches are "tension" headaches. These are caused by excess stress/tension absorbed in the muscles & spine in the neck. Believe me when I say that headaches are not caused by the lack of Advil in our bloodstream. Have your neck treated by a chiropractor or massage therapist for best results. Let them help you get to the root cause of the problem!

Ice is Nice

Dr. Michael Horowitz recommends ICE upon any new (acute) injury. This includes the 3-week period after any injury where tissue is damaged and notable inflammation is seen. Ice creates the ideal physiological response

Scar Tissue

Every injury heals with the laying down of scar tissue. This is the bodies natural response. Here's the problem - scar tissue provides support but does not provide functionality. In other words after an injury if the body does not heal efficiently excess scar tissue will be laid down & this may cause a "weak-link" down the road. Moral of the story is have your injury assessed and treated by a chiropractor.

Catch 24 - the spinal column

The spinal column is made up of 24 movable bones called vertebrae. Catch 24 implies that stress/tension can create mis-alignment, spinal congestion, fixation or subluxation. This is what chiropractors like Dr. Michael Horowitz look for.