Cervical Dystonia

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

Cervical dystonia is also referred to as spasmodic torticollis or a severe “crick” in the neck. These are all names for a painful condition in which the neck muscles spasm and contract. Chronic cervical dystonia can cause debilitating pain and difficulty performing daily activities and self care.



Back & Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.


Single knee to chest. Lay on back, bend 1 knee and put foot on the floor. Bend the other knee, wrap hands on top of bent knee and gently pull knee to chest. Repeat 10 times on both sides.

Both knees to chest. Lay on back, bend both knees, and gently pull to chest. Hold 10-30 seconds.

Child’s pose. Knees on the floor. Touch your big toes together and gently sit back on your heels. Exhale and lay your torso down on or between your thighs.

AVOID: Crunches, sit-ups and activities that involve twisting & heavy lifting. I.e. golf, tennis, weight lifting, contact sports, & extended cycling rides.


Causes of Back Pain


Back pain/discomfort is in the top 3 reasons a person will see a medical doctor and the number 1 reason a person will see a chiropractor. Back pain is clearly a problem that affects a lot of people. This article is to give you a better understanding of what can cause back pain. Understanding what causes back pain can help us to prevent and relieve back pain.

Below is a list of common back pain causes:

  • Muscle Strain
  • Ligament Sprain
  • Lumbar herniated disc.
  • Degenerative disc disease / Osteoarthritis
  • Facet joint dysfunction
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Muscle strains and ligament sprains are the most common reasons for back pain. If a muscle or ligament is overstretched and tears, even just a little bit, it can cause pain. The more tearing there is, the more severe the sprain/strain. A sprain/strain will cause pain with movement and often has swelling and tenderness associated with it.

Common causes of sprain/strain:

  • Fall or injury
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive motions

A herniated disc causes significant pain because the disc between the vertebrae pushes on the nearby nerve root. Any pressure on the nerve can cause pain, numbness, tingling and/or weakness. Because the pressure is on the root of the nerve, the pain can travel (radiating pain) all the way to the ends of the extremity (hands and feet) that the nerve goes to. The radiation can also be felt on any part of the extremity (front, side or back). The amount of pressure on the nerve determines how severe the symptoms will be. The more pressure, the more severe the symptoms. If the disc ruptures, the jelly-like center of the disc leaks out and coats the nerve. This will result in severe and often debilitating pain.

Degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease and degeneration are synonyms. They mean the same thing. The space between the vertebrae is getting closer together. The closer the bones get together the more damage happens to the joint. The more damage, the more symptoms. Mild degeneration can cause discomfort, stiffness in the joints, and tightness in the surrounding muscles. As degeneration progresses the symptoms worsen. Severe degeneration can cause pain, pressure on nerves (which can cause numbness, tingling, burning, weakness), inflammation, and decreased ability to move the degenerated area.

Facet joint dysfunction is caused when the facets (joints of the vertebrae) are irritated by a physical stress. Most common symptoms are tenderness over the affected area, muscle tightness and difficulty standing up straight. More severe cases also present radiating pain (pain that travels). Facet radiation is often less extended than a herniated disc. Facet radiating pain is often closer to the spine and along the back of the body. For example, facet joint dysfunction in the low back could cause radiation into the buttocks and down the back of the leg, often not going past the knee. Facet joint dysfunction in the neck could cause radiating pain into the shoulders and down the back of the arms, often not going past the elbow.


Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is when one or both of the sacroiliac (SI joints) become irritated. The SI joint is where the sacrum connects to the pelvis. This joint is designed to absorb shock between the upper and lower body. If this joint (or joints) become inflamed or irritated the pain is typically felt in the back, hip and/or groin area. If the joint is stiff or not moving properly, the pain is usually one sided, into the buttocks and sometimes mimics sciatica and the pain is felt down the leg.

Trauma, fracture, infection, tumor, autoimmune disorders, congenital disorders, etc… can also cause back pain. It is important to have a trained specialist help identify the cause of your back pain so that you can get the proper treatment.

In some cases, an exam and orthopedic tests can identify the cause. Other cases may require imaging, such as x-ray, MRI or CT scan. Occasionally, blood work may be necessary to identify the cause.

In Summary: Back pain has many causes and the treatment differs with each cause. The doctors at Total Health Chiropractic can perform exams, orthopedic tests and x-rays to help determine the cause of your pain and/or your next step to find relief.

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.




10 Snacks to Keep You Hydrated


Since your body needs water to function, it is important to stay hydrated. Water is the best way to hydrate your body. Foods can also contribute to your water intake and help keep you hydrated. The below foods contain a large percentage of water and will help to hydrate your body.



Water is used to help protect your muscles, lubricate your joints, regulate your body temperature, aid in digestion, fight infection… and the list goes on. Your body uses water every day. Every minute. Every second. More than needing water to be healthy, we need water to survive.

Each person is different and requires a different amount of water to stay hydrated. Assuming you do not have a medical condition that limits your water intake, it is advised to consume a minimum ½ of of our body weight in ounces of water each day.


A person weighing 180 pounds should consume a minimum of 90 ounces of water each day.

The below are common foods that DEHYDRATE you. If you choose to consume any of the below items, it might be a good idea to drink water afterwards.


  • Salty snacks
  • Soda (diet, regular, sugar free, etc..)
  • Energy drinks
  • Caffeine

In summary: Staying properly hydrated is vital to your health. Drinking water AND eating the right foods will will help to keep you hydrated and healthy.

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.


How Habits Relate to Your Posture

Is your Posture Genetic or Learned


There is a difference between a habit and a genetic disorder, including when it comes to your posture.  A habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.  Like tying your shoe, brushing your teeth, driving, etc. A genetic disorder is a disease that is caused by an abnormality in an individual’s DNA.

So, is your posture something you are born with or do your habits develop your posture. Although both genetics and habits will play a role for most people, our habits have the biggest impact on what our posture looks like.

Let’s take a look at 3 very basic daily postures.  We are in these postures whether we are at home, at work, or on vacation. Do you habitually perform these 3 basic postures correctly? See chart below to do a Posture Check.

3 Basic Daily Postures:

1. Sitting

2. Standing

3. Sleeping


Whether you have good posture or poor posture, you can use the above Posture Check to create habits that will have a positive impact on your posture.  

In summary: Your daily habits have the biggest impact on your posture.

“When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!”

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.


How to Keep Your Brain Healthy

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.



  • Can read 1,000 words per minute.  
  • Can perform 38 thousand-trillion operations per second.
  • Receives & sends nerve impulses at 250mph.

The body was given the ability to learn.  It can act upon subtle information.  It can take hints from nature about how to get rid of infections and restore balance.  Chiropractic care supports your brain and helps the body heal, naturally.

Your brain controls every single function in your body. We call this the brain/body connection.  Your brain is connected to your body with nerves. This connection controls your movement, your heart to pump, your lungs to breath, your liver to filter, your eyes to see… everything.  

Your brain/body connection works to improve your immune system too.  Did you ever wonder why you get a fever or why you cough?

  • Fever:  Your brain will tell your body to raise it’s temperature to slow the growth of infection.  This gives our body an edge to fight infection, naturally.
  • Cough:  Your brain will tell your body to cough to get rid of germs, toxins and bacteria.  

Your brain/body connection creates human beings!

If you press or pinch a nerve, you slow or stop the brain body connection.  Chiropractic adjustments take pressure off of nerves so that your body can function properly.

It is also important to feed your brain nutritious foods. Check out this nutritious smoothie for brain support.

BrainBerry Smoothie

Fast Fact:  Blueberries improve brain function.  Walnuts support the development of brain cells.


2-3 cups of coconut water

1 fresh ripe banana

1 ½ cups frozen blueberries

½ cup frozen raspberries

¼ cup raw walnuts


1. Combine ingredients in a blender.

1. Blend until smooth.

In summary:

Keep your brain/body connection working in prime condition with chiropractic adjustments and nutritious foods.

“When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!”

FREE Consultation for New Patients


TOTAL HEALTH CHIROPRACTIC  is Tennessee’s largest chiropractic group


(423) 517-7000         totalhealthchiro.info



Tennessee’s largest chiropractic group has found a breakthrough combination of treatments that relieves chronic headaches and migraines.

The doctors at Total Health Chiropractic have been helping patients prevent and relieve headaches for over 20 years.  This year however, they have discovered a combination of two treatments that is resulting in significant headache relief for chronic headache sufferers.

The treatment consists of a specific chiropractic adjustment to the C1 vertebrae AND dry needling to the muscle spasms of the surrounding areas.

One doctor stated that “headaches are common… not normal.”  She went on to say that “headaches are of the 3 most common reasons people seek our help and we were determined to provide relief.”  Over the past 20+ years in practice, this group of chiropractors has helped many to manage or relieve their headaches completely.

The doctors at Total Health Chiropractic want all of their patients to find relief from headaches and migraines.  They have used different treatments and combinations of treatments to help the patients find relief.  There were still however, a small group of patients that were still suffering from headaches and migraines despite the treatment.  These patients had challenging cases and needed additional help.   They found that a combination of a chiropractic adjustment to the C1 vertebrae AND dry needling to the muscle spasms of the surrounding areas provided the relief they were looking for.

The combination of the adjustment and dry needling takes about 15-30 minutes and can only be performed by trained and licensed chiropractors who are also certified in dry needling.  The doctors at the Downtown, Hixson, Fort O., East Brainerd, East Ridge and Ooltewah locations are licensed in both chiropractic and dry needling and are qualified to perform these treatments.  Since these doctors are certified in both chiropractic and dry needling, they are able to perform both treatments.

Headaches and migraines are common, but they are not normal.  If you would like to see if this treatment might be able to help you, the specific offices above at Total Health Chiropractic offer a free consultation.

Total Health Chiropractic

(423) 517-7000


Snack Your Fat Away

health snacks

By Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

There are countless diets, apps, pills and even surgeries to help us lose weight.  Being overweight can drain us emotionally and physically causing headaches, neck pain, back pain, anxiety, poor posture and even depression.  This blog is not a diet, an app, a pill or a surgery.  This blog is about using Snacks as Tools to help you to manage your weight, mood, and hunger.   

Snacks as tools:

Keep in mind that you will typically feel hungry within 5 hours of your last meal. With that said, prepare ahead of time for your next meal or snack.  This way you have a healthy, energy filled food ready to eat when your body needs fuel.  

Packing one or several of the below snacks will equip you with the ‘tools’ you need to happily get through the day in a healthy way.

Snacks to eat when you are TIRED



Green tea



Snacks to eat when you are HUNGRY


Coconut yogurt

Hummus and carrots


Hard boiled egg

Snacks to eat when you are GROUCHY



Ginger tea


Snacks to eat when you are having trouble falling ASLEEP

Herbal tea (no caffeine)


Tart cherries

Turkey bites

Snacks to eat when you are BORED

Words… feed your mind instead.  When we are bored, our brain needs to be fed, not our stomach. Compile motivating or interesting magazines, books, and photos.  Keep these near the kitchen, so that if you get bored and head to the kitchen, you can grab something to feed your brain instead.

In summary, snacks can be used as tools to manage your weight, your mood and your pain.

“When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!”

Total Health Chiropractic

529 N. Market St., Chattanooga, TN 37405

(423) 517-7000