Photos by Kelly Sue Photography
SUBLUXATION…not a word you hear every day, but a word which defines a problem affecting much of the population, and whose effects can impact one’s health daily. Subluxation is dealt with every day at Huntsville Physical Medicine, formerly known as Huntsville Chiropractic Center, the practice established in 1980 by Dr. Gregory Peter. The practice expanded in 2013 and went through a name change to better portray the array of services offered.
Dr. Peter grew up in St. Francis, Kansas, and graduated in 1979 from Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, Texas, where he earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Two friends, graduates of Sam Houston State University, suggested he establish his practice in the beautiful and charming city of Huntsville, and following their wise suggestion, his business has thrived and grown to be the vibrant practice he had envisioned. It has given him great satisfaction to see patients who, when first arriving for their initial treatment with the aid of a wheelchair, walker, or cane, can almost always eliminate that device over a period of time and treatments.
Dr. Peter has received recognition in Texas Monthly magazine as one of the top chiropractors in the Houston area, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Chiropractic Association. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, golfing, and playing with his grandchildren.
Dr. Peter, his Associate Dr. William Woodward, Nurse Practitioner Kelle Harper, Physician Assistant Lee Bonner, and staff are prepared to help you combat the painful and debilitating effects this condition may bring to bear upon your outlook, your activities, and your well-being. Subluxation is a slight misalignment or distortion of your structural system, including your spine, that affects your discs, nerves, ligaments and, ultimately, your entire body. It can cause immediate discomfort or pain, or can silently become problematic over time, and be responsible for a myriad of health issues. The primary treatment for subluxation is spinal adjustment, although many other procedures are performed as well. Huntsville Physical Medicine offers examinations and diagnosis as a first step toward correcting the problem and providing relief of agonizing and debilitating pain.
Chiropractic care is one of the safest treatments there is. No drugs are needed, and many times patients can eliminate medications they were on when first entering treatment. As Dr. Peter explains, “When the vertebrae and discs are lined up properly, there is no interference. When alignment is off, interference occurs. This interference in a nerve pain fiber causes pain; if in a muscle, then muscle cramping, spasms, or weakness will occur. The nervous system is important. It runs the body. The better it works, the healthier a person can be.” Only 10% of the nervous system perceives pain, which means that your body can undergo a great amount of stress before it gets the message that damage is being done. Pain is the last thing that shows up and the first thing that goes away in most conditions. Typically, a problem could be present for years, but by the time the patient is aware of the problem, it could be quite advanced. He further suggests these problems can be eliminated before the pain sets in. This can be done through regular maintenance care, such as one does through dental check-ups, thereby finding and fixing problems before they become debilitating and painful. In fact, in chiropractic, many times the best analysis can be made when the patient is feeling good.
Physical medicine was incorporated into the practice beginning in 2013 with the addition of both a Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant. This has enabled the treatment of joint, knee, and shoulder problems. “After adding the treatment of our medical staff, I have seen quicker results in several cases,” remarks Dr. Peter. Treatment of neuropathy issues has also been met with remarkable success, including diabetic neuropathy and post chemotherapy. These conditions and treatments can result in burning pain, numbness, and tingling in the extremities and manifest in other uncomfortable or painful side effects due to damaged nerves. In many cases, the patient has tried to control this pain with opioid drugs. With correct treatment, many patients can eliminate their dependency on these drugs. As Dr. Peter explained, “Ninety-one people die each day of opioid drug abuse, more than die in car wrecks. If we could treat these people, maybe that number could be reduced.”
A medical weight loss program is available as well. This involves lifestyle counseling, and dietary supplements may be prescribed. As Dr. Peter states, “We can help you get the weight off, but your lifestyle must change to keep it off. Our professional counseling in this area of health can put you on the road to continued success with your goals.”
Another topic of concern is the effect of poor posture on one’s health. This is becoming more evident today and is an area that chiropractic can help with. Poor posture can adversely affect body functions that manifest symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, blood pressure issues, backache, and decreased lung capacity. Many of these can be moderated or eliminated by good posture. One of the most common postural problems is forward head pressure, FHP. One culprit in FHP is the weight of heavy backpacks many children carry to school throughout the year. Carrying a heavy backpack causes the child to stretch his or her neck forward to counterbalance the weight. This causes an unnatural stress upon the spine, and when this stress occurs daily, health problems can result. Tips to prevent poor posture and its consequences include:
Be examined and x-rayed, if necessary, by a chiropractor to identify the exact measurements of your FHP. An individualized corrective care program will be established, and practical solutions given to maintain good posture during specific and ongoing activities.
Place your computer monitor at a height where the top third of the screen is even with your eyes and the screen is 18-24 inches from your face.
Every 20-30 minutes, sit up straight and pull the neck and head back over the shoulders. Hold for a count of 3 and do 15-20 reps.
At home, lie face down on the floor and extend your head and shoulders up, while pinching your shoulder blades together. Hold for a count of 3 and do 15-20 reps.
Support your back with a support pillow when sitting or driving which allows the head and neck to remain over the shoulders.
A backpack should weigh no more than 15% of a child’s weight. A backpack should never be worn over one shoulder, and the use of a waist belt is recommended. A new type of backpack with an air bladder has been shown to significantly reduce weight without a belt.
Huntsville Physical Medicine offers an array of services that will provide you and your family the on-going care to maintain healthy lifestyles. Dr. Peter, Dr. Woodward, and the friendly staff at Huntsville Physical Medicine urge you to take the first step toward better health today. For an appointment or more information about chiropractic care and other services offered, contact Dr. Peter’s office at (936) 291-2111. Huntsville Physical Medicine is located at 901 Normal Park, Suite 201.