Take care of those little aches before they become big ones

You slipped and twisted something, but not too badly, while cleaning the bathroom. You wrenched a shoulder while walking the dog. You did something to your back – you’re not sure what – while cleaning the garage. You had no time to take care of those annoying little injuries because you had to shop, to decorate, to spruce up the house, to cook.  Now it’s 2010 and you still ache. It’s time to take care of those annoying little injuries before they become bigger and more destructive to your health.

So say Timothy and Angela Bortz of Brevard Chiropractic & Injury Center in Rockledge.

“The holidays are infamous. A lot of people shop with pain they’ve just ignored because they think they don’t have time to take care of it,” marketing director Angela Bortz says. “There are sports injuries, slip-and-falls, injuries related to auto accidents; all kinds of injuries people are likely to get and ignore at the end of the year. Someone will think he or she has a bruise and it’s going to go away, or that if they take a Tylenol, it will be fine.”

“What people don’t realize is that the joints become misaligned and stretch (connective tissue) out of position. The result is that the pain becomes worse,” adds Timothy Bortz, a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa, who owns the practice.

Bortz, who formerly practiced in Wisconsin, says the best approach is the “whole person approach” meaning that doctor and patient should be aware of underlying causes to physical problems, some of which may not even result in early symptoms. He describes treatment as “appropriate interventions and lifestyle adjustments,” and his practice offers corrective exercise, lifestyle advice, nutritional counseling and physiotherapy in addition to spinal and posture screenings and traditional chiropractic techniques.

The Bortzes advise making those calls for care as soon as possible.

“We get pretty busy early in the new year because everybody’s resolutions are about their health,” Angie Bortz says. “We try to help them keep them.”

I. What to look for

Things to look for when seeking chiropractic help, according to chiropractor Timothy Bortz:

1. Emphasis on wellness, meaning preventive measures – Be sure the practitioner sees problems that do not yet show symptoms.

2. Nutrition counseling – Even if the practice does not do counseling in-house, it should have the capability and willingness to refer patients to professionals, as Bortz does.

3. Exercise – Specialty exercises are important for building muscle strength and avoiding, as well as helping to solve, injuries.