If you're looking for Scoliosis relief in Prior Lake, Dr. Pietrek knows how you feel. It's been said that scoliosis is a perpetual, downward trending condition that only gets worse as you age. But that may not be true.

Diagnosed in the 8th grade, scoliosis pain hadn't become a problem until his freshman football season the following year. Sharp right-sided mid-back pain started limiting him in sports, and affected his concentration and academic performance.

"I was always really shifty in my seat," Dr. Pietrek noted, saying that he was always trying to find a comfortable position in his chair at school because of the worsening curves of his scoliosis.

"What I want to say is, that right now, I'm glad I put all my eggs into this one basket. The method of chiropractic I've received for the last 24 years has been nothing short of amazing, and that's why I've made it my life's work. I love working with scoliosis sufferers and, because of my own experience, it brings out the best in what I do."

If you're in the Prior Lake / Savage area and you suffer from scoliosis - pain and/or your curves are getting worse and you'd like a second opinion and to find out what results are possible, then check out this in-depth report: https://www.priorlakespinalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Free-Scoliosis-Report.pdf

Whether you have a son or daughter that has recently been screened at school, or if you've known that you've had scoliosis for some time and you're concerned that it's getting worse, there may be help and it might not be as difficult as you think. You don't need to go to the chiropractor every week for life, you may not need to do any rigorous home-based stretching programs or physical therapy...the problem may be sourced in an imbalance in the top of your spine.

You see, the side-most part of the brainstem controls the tone of the musculature that goes down your spine, just like a string puppet. When the top is out of tune, reflexes get sent down your spine to compensate for this and shift your body's weight. This is all so that your eyes can stay level with the horizon because, if they don't, then your equilibrium gets thrown off. That's why your body inherently adapts by causing one leg to get longer and the other to get shorter; one hip going higher and one dropping lower; same thing with the shoulders, PLUS a compression and twisting of the whole spine.

Dr. Pietrek says that in most cases of "idiopathic scoliosis", this is the main culprit.

How Dr. Pietrek goes about correcting for this problem requires a detailed look. Usually, the paperwork, consultation, examination and X-raying times takes about one hour. Commonly, you are dismissed at that point, and asked to come back after the X-rays have been analyzed and all the findings have been put together.

Read more: Scoliosis Relief in Prior Lake: A Chiropractor's Own Success Story

If you're looking for Fibromyalgia relief in Prior Lake, then you have probably already been looking for relief for quite some time. The chronic nature of this condition has left experts scratching their heads as to what causes it, and whether or not there is really any affirmative diagnosis for it. Still, some feel that Fibromyalgia Syndrome is just a waste basket term that describes a chronic pain syndrome that really has no known cause or cure as of yet.

When we break down the term "Fibromyalgia", we notice there are three parts: 'My' for muscle; 'Fibro' for connective tissues, which include the fascia or connective tissue envelope that houses the muscles; and 'Algia', which simply means pain.

Most of the 18 sore spots throughout the body associated with Fibromyalgia occur in the neck and shoulders. Because of this, it is critically important that this area of the spine is not overlooked when it comes to the possibility of a structure-function relationship between the function of the upper spine and nerve tissue.

Most people with Fibromyalgia have gone to or at least considered seeing a chiropractor to help relieve their Fibromyalgia symptoms. Yet some are afraid to go because they believe they indeed have a problem in their upper neck and they do not want to have their spine twisted as part of their treatment.

When the head and neck are subjected to stress from injury or bad postural habits, it can cause the spine to lock into a stressed position. The spine dissipates the tension from the neck down to the rest of the spine since it's so important for the head and eyes to maintain their upright position relative to gravity. This is so that you have a sense of normal from which to function, even if it's adaptive normal.

Prior Lake Spinal Care's chiropractic method has a proven track record of helping folks with Fibromyalgia pain. Here's a demonstration of how Dr. Pietrek has helped someone with upper neck and shoulder pain:

As you can see, the spinal adjustment performed at our office is very gentle. This is because we know the shapes of the vertebrae and they exact type of misalignment. We have found that palpation (doctor's feel) and generalized X-rays do not give sufficient information as to what may be happening alignment and dysfunction-wise in the upper neck. Everything we do here is based on precision and accuracy.

Fibromyalgia Relief in Prior Lake
Prior Lake Fibromyalgia Relief
Fibromyalgia Syndrome Relief Prior Lake Minnesota
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Relief in Prior Lake MN

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition which often includes (in addition to chronic pain) mental clarity issues, fatigue and digestive difficulty. Unfortunately, there are no all-in-one solutions. Yet there are only a few potential causes of Fibromyalgia, like many medical conditions. Don't be frustrated if you haven't found the help you need yet. There are potentially genetic causes, pathologic causes, neurohormonal causes, autoimmune causes as well as structural causes. The latter is what we specialize in at Prior Lake Spinal Care.

If you or someone you know is looking for Fibromyalgia relief and you haven't tried this form of chiropractic yet, then it's worth a try! Simply call or text 952-444-6030.

The NUCCA adjustment is not an ordinary chiropractic adjustment.

Continuing with our theme of using my kids' storybooks and the universally-accepted life lessons they contain, our attention is called to the word "force". The function of force is highlighted in principle #10 of the 33 principles chiropractic was built on, so it's actually quite relevant to a discussion about how the spine gets thrown out of balance AND how it's best corrected. Here goes...

“Cluck!” said a chicken, and her chick said “Peep!”  “Maaa!” said a goat.  Blue said, “Beep!”

“HONK” yelled a dump truck.  “Coming through!  I’ve big important things to do!  I haven’t got time to pass the day with every duck along the way!”

NUCCA Adjustment

The dump truck gets stuck in the mud and then needs the help of all the animals and the little blue truck he just yelled at. 

Nothing gets done without something called “force”.  Margaret Mead said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” 

In Mead’s message, thoughtfulness and commitment is what changes the world.

Gravity is a force.  Hate can be a force.  Love is a force.  I’m sure you can think of others.  Basically force precedes the motion, and motion is what gets things done.

The spinal adjustment is also a force, gently moving the vertebrae back into position and connecting inborn intelligence with the physical molecules that make up you. The spinal column’s purpose is to protect your spinal cord, but when the alignment and mechanics in the spine are off, the very vertebrae which are meant to protect the nerves now cause an interference in the body signals transmitted along those same nerves, thus limiting the expression of your body’s vital regulatory forces.  NUCCA accomplishes this as specifically (and gently) as possible.

Isn’t it cool that it really is that SIMPLE?

It wasn’t mere calories and muscles from the animals that pushed the dump truck out of the mud.  It was compassion.  Remember, force precedes motion just like gravity is there before you drop your keys.

“Nothing happens until something moves.” - Albert Einstein

How to Learn More About the NUCCA Adjustment

To learn more about the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association and Dr. James Pietrek's unique approach, please visit the NUCCA website here. To learn more about Upper Cervical Chiropractic in more of a general sense, please visit the advocate awareness site here.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Pietrek in Prior Lake, see our contact page here.

You know the story...the pig who built the brick house was the smart one because the Big Bad Wolf couldn’t blow his house down.

When we think of a column, we may think of a Roman pillar. A pillar can be likened to a brick house, as in the story of The 3 Little Pigs.

Is the Spina a Column

There is a foundational problem with viewing the spine as a column or a brick wall though. Brick walls and columns don't have to bend down and tie their shoes. A brick house doesn’t need to put babies into car seats or bend over the sink to wash dishes.

When the spine turns into a brick-like structure or a true “column”, we have a name for this—it’s called arthritis. 

Arthritis, as we get older, leads to balance problems and stiffness and an increased risk and fear of a very real wolf:  the fear loss of coordination and balance which leads to accidental falls. 

A healthy spine is more like a tensegrity bridge (also known as tensegral or suspensory), which is more like the design of the new Saint Anthony Bridge, which replaced the one that collapsed in Minneapolis back in 2007. 

Struts and cables help the new bridge move and be flexible while being durable and light-weight.

Every bridge has it’s limits, but it would be nice to have some obvious warning signs. Sadly, the old bridge had some warning signs....but they weren't very obvious.

Thankfully, the spine’s sailboat-like assembly with many of the cables connected to the struts at the top of the head and neck will SHOW obvious signs of impending break down and when we may be at risk of giving way like a bridge.

Prior Lake Chiropractic Office Views the Spine Differently

Spinal adjustments at Prior Lake Spinal Care are likened to tuning a guitar - NOT repositioning Jenga Blocks within a confined spinal clumn.

It’s gentle and it needs to be done from the top because this is where the neurological control center is. Additionally, it’s the terminal/original point of much of our muscle and ligamentous framework.

To use a concrete layer's analogy, they Keystone's shape and position is the most important part of the archway. It's the main engineering concept behind the longevity of the Roman Coliseum and interior support structures of the Egyptian Pyramids.

At our chiropractic office, we know that palpation (feeling) of the upper neck vertebrae is totally unreliable when it comes to determining how the top two vertebrae have misaligned. (Van Roy P., Caboor D., DeBoelpaep S., Barbaix E., Clarys JP., Left-Right Asymmetries and Other Common Anatomical Variants of the First Cervical Vertebrae. Part I: Left-Right Asymmetries in C1 Vertebrae. Manipulative Therapy, 1997;
2(1):24-36 / Jende A., Peterson CK., Valididty of Static Palpation as an Indicator of Atlas Transverse Process Asymmetry. European Journal of Chiropractic, 1997; 45:35-42)
.

Just like a Keystone, effectively adjusting the top vertebrae in the neck requires an intimate knowledge of the shapes of the joint structures even before considering they may have misaligned and need to be re-aligned. This is "key" when it comes to delivering the most STABLE spinal adjustment possible.

To learn more about the chiropractic methodology at Prior Lake Spinal Care, please visit the NUCCA website here or the Upper Cervical Awareness website here.

To set up a free consultation over the phone or in person with Dr. Pietrek, please visit our contact page here.

You may have heard of the gag reflex.  Not the kind you may get from watching a despicable act play out on TV in the form of unsportsmanlike conduct, but the kind you SHOULD get when the medical doctor sticks a tongue depressor on the back of your tongue.

A healthy gag reflex not only means you're less likely to choke (survival value), but it also could mean that you have a strong immune system.

Brainstem nerve cell bodies are what these two things have in common.

The connection is simple. The brainstem sends the nerve signals to the muscles of the soft palate, larynx and pharynx, tongue, and swallowing & airway functions.

On another branch of the tree, a separate communication line goes to a relay station in the brainstem that controls most of our immune system.

When the brainstem doesn't fire or function properly and there is a lacking or absent gag flex or deficient immune system, studies show that oftentimes this is due to improper nerve signal firing at the level of the brainstem.

Upper cervical chiropractic (NUCCA) helps improve health and function by freeing up the nerve flow that can be restricted as a result of a misalignment of the tiny vertebra at the top of the spine known as the atlas or C1 vertebra. To learn more about NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association), click here. Also see this website dedicated to Upper Cervical Awareness.

Vagus Nerve Function and Upper Cervical Chiropractic

At Prior Lake Spinal Care, we specialize in the detection and correction of this small (yet large!) problem in the human condition.

When it comes to misalignments in the top of the spine, we know that small problems are large. Just like pollution in the headwaters of a river can affect the downstream water quality, we know that side slip and especially rotational misalignments of the Atlas (C1 vertebra) and Axis (C2 vertebra) can negatively impact the efficiency of the health and healing messages being transmitted along of the Vagus Nerves (you have two of them) which travel from every major organ of your body down to the first part of the large intestine.

To visit with Dr. Pietrek and learn more about his chiropractic, how it may optimize Vagus Nerve transmission and help your body move better, please visit our contact page here.

We need to breathe anyway, and it's one of the fastest ways to alter our physiology when we need to, so why not learn to do it a little more effectively?!? Better breathing, like upper cervical chiropractic care, starts at the top.

Carbon dioxide is just a  waste product of breathing in oxygen, right? 

Not so! In fact, the experts say that carbon dioxide loosens the bond between oxygen and hemoglobin within our red blood cells.

So, as long as we have to breathe anyway, let’s try to do it a little better so that we can have better tissue repair and better fuel supply for our brain.

When we breathe too fast and too shallow (usually mouth breathing) it directs the incoming air toward our chest and we expel  the carbon dioxide too fast. This makes it so that the oxygen doesn’t get into our tissues as well.   Here are three tips…

See our YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi56SSkkRpQ for pacer video in which Dr. Pietrek plays notes on guitar, to the tempo of this formula, so you know when to breathe in and out. The goal is to pace your breaths accurately without thinking about it so much.

Better Breathing is Regulated by the Vagus Nerve

The Vagus Nerve ("The Wandering Nerve" in Greek) is Cranial Nerve #10 and exits from the brain at the level of the brain stem. This nerve plays a large factor in one's health because it controls much of the function of every organ of your body from the heart and lungs down to the first part of the large intestine.

As such, spinal imbalances in the top of the spine can alter the performance of the Vagus Nerve, which may result in limited function or poor health.

Upper Cervical (upper neck) based chiropractic care is an effective means for feeling great as well as optimizing function and healing.

To learn about upper cervical chiropractic, please visit the Upper Cervical Awareness site here. To learn more about the chiropractic method Dr. Pietrek practices at Prior Lake Spinal Care, please visit the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association here. To schedule a free consult with Dr. Pietrek, please see our contact page here.

Prior Lake Chiropractor, Dr. James Pietrek, loves reading children's books with his two kids. There's usually one simple yet important lesson we can all glean from each one.

In the children’s book The Dot, Vashti is a girl who does not yet know that she is creative.

In art class, all she could bring herself to do was to draw a dot in the center of her paper. Her teacher had her sign her “masterpiece” and then the teacher set her work in a beautiful gold frame right behind her desk. Every time Vashti walked by she thought to herself “I can draw a better dot than that!”

Curt Thompson, M.D. has done an in-depth study of the brain and has concluded that the prefrontal cortex is what makes us unique from other living beings. He says that this is where the ENERGY of the mind and the INFORMATION in the mind join together, and that’s where we get our creativity and ability to appreciate creative works.

Vashti’s dots/artwork continued to improve and made quite a splash at the school’s art show. In fact, a little boy came up to Vashti and said that he really admired her work and he wished he could draw as well her.

Vashti handed him a blank piece of paper and said “Show me”. He said “Me? Not me, I couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler.” Again, she said “Show me.”

The boy took the paper and pencil and his hand shook as he started to draw. Vashti looked at the boy’s squiggle and said “Now, sign it.”

Chiropractic in Prior Lake is About More than Just Back Aches

Chiropractic principle number 5 says that we have an inborn intelligence which maintains the vital force and allows us to make use of our educated brain and physical shell.

Upper cervical chiropractic care helps to ensure that the relationship of force and matter is free of interference so that you can not only get out of pain but also be more creative and appreciate creativity.

To learn more about Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care, please visit Upper Cervical Awareness or NUCCA.org.

To schedule a free consult with Dr. Pietrek at Prior Lake Spinal Care, please visit this page.

Dr. James Pietrek, Prior Lake Chiropractor, says that our bodies are designed to heal. Health is the entity, just like light. You don't try to eliminate disease, just like you don't try to eliminate darkness. You simply turn on the light.

"If a bumbly old bee stung him right on the knee….you would have a giraffe and half with a rat in his hat looking cute in a suit with a rose on his nose and a bee on his knee.” - A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein

Imagine: You go for a nice long walk all by yourself. You enjoy the cool breeze or the warm sun and as you get to your front step, you notice a perfect circular arrangement of leaves right on your doorstep. 15 leaves just laying there in a perfect circle. You look around but there’s nobody there.

You go inside and you ask your spouse/roommate/kids “What’s the deal with the leaves on the doorstep?” They all deny knowing anything about it. But you’re smart and whether you get to the bottom of this, you have good reason to believe someone’s messing with you.

Since we’re born with intelligence, we have the ability to recognize intelligent activity.

William Demski says that we recognize design when we observe a highly improbable event which follows a recognizable pattern. For example, a cliff in the Black Hills of South Dakota is a highly improbable event. Miles of gently rolling hills with a sudden drop off certainly doesn’t happen every few feet of terrain. But if you’re walking along for weeks and all of a sudden you see what looks like the faces of four former US Presidents, now you have both a highly improbable event with a recognizable pattern.

Freeway systems and the central nervous system follow a predictable pattern as well. If you’re in a car and you start in Oceanside and 50 minutes later you’re in San Juan Capistrano, then it is a safe bet that you drove on I-15.

In the central nervous system, did you know that in order for us to touch C1/Atlas and immediately change your posture, then we also had to influence (a positive influence) on the hippocampus (learning center), amygdala (stress response center) and hypothalamus (hormonal system chief regulator) of your brain as well?

It’s true! That’s how you’re wired. Pattern recognition is a method in forensics and in a child’s cognitive development. And pattern ARRANGEMENT is chiropractic principle #21: The mission of innate intelligence. The mission of innate intelligence is to maintain the material of the body of a “living thing” in active organization. “If you gave him a shoe and he stepped in some glue...you would have a giraffe and half with a rat in his hat looking cute in a suit with a rose on his nose and a bee on his knee with some glue on his shoe.”

Prior Lake Chiropractor Loves being back in His Home State

As you can see, the roads mentioned above reference places in Southern California. Dr. Pietrek chose "re-start" in Prior Lake because of it's proximity to family and because of the nearby lakes and more room to have fun outdoors.

Ever since early in chiropractic college, and thanks to some late night conversations with a roommate, Dr. Pietrek became fascinated with the intricacies of the human body and spinal cord system. He believes there's no way the body could have been formed by chance, and that it's the same designer that allows one to respond to chiropractic care, equipping us with the resilience to heal and make long-term hormonal changes that are needed to enjoy a higher level of spinal stability.

In a nutshell, that's how he describes his work: spinal stability through specificity.

His objective with patients is ROI. Usually this means return on investment, but at Prior Lake Spinal Care, it means tapping into your body's inherent resilience in order to optimize (Optimus = the highest version of yourself) through Integrating our office systems and education, along with the location and manner in which we adjust the spine (often called "brain-to-body" connection).

Incidentally, this is one of the most resourceful things you can do, seeing as though we don't take anything out of you and we don't put anything into you. In a way, we like to think of that as a good ROI of your time and money.

If you'd like to learn more about Dr. Pietrek's unique chiropractic system, please visit the NUCCA website here. If you'd like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Pietrek in person or over the phone, please contact us here.

Prior Lake Chiropractor, Dr. James Pietrek, admits that he dropped a couple tears when reading this one. The Little Engine that Could's lesson on perseverance still rings loud and true.

Finally, the train reached the top of the mountain. "Hooray! Hooray!" cried all the dolls and toys. "Thank you little blue engine."

Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

You know, I'm of the opinion that pretty much everything in life has to do with chiropractic one way or another.....

The desire, the human will, to live (that's her name, Liv, making her YouTube debut), to be resilient, to grow, to heal, to self-preserve and to support our loved ones AND the feeling you might occasionally get on Saturday morning when you just wake up, desiring to do something CONSTRUCTIVE (before the urge comes to shut off the alarm clock and roll over).

These all remind me of chiropractic. See, there's an invisible, intangible yet undeniable FORCE that runs, controls regulates and heals your body 24/7 whether you're awake or asleep. Yet there are destructive things that are constantly breaking us down all the time.

The question is, are we going to OVERCOME or SUCCUMB? And that's why I like this story, "The Little Engine that Could", because it teaches us to persevere. "The little blue engine just smiled. And as she puffed down the mountain, she seemed to say "I thought, I thought I could, I thought I could."

Prior Lake Chiropractor NUCCA Chiropractic Procedure

There are hundreds of chiropractic techniques. The NUCCA procedure is an excellent way of restoring spinal balance for most people because it addresses the connection from brain to body, at the level of the brain stem.

We know that the top of the spine is the weakest link, it's neurolgically the most important, has the most unusual mechanics AND it's usually been misaligned the longest, when one considers the amount of pulling force often needed just to "pull" the baby through the birth canal.

It's the side most part of the brain stem that controls the tone of the muscles that anchor the lower back to the hips. Sort of like the lead engine pulls the weight of the rest of the cars across the track.

If you'd like to learn more about Dr. Pietrek's unique chiropractic methods in Prior Lake, MN, please visit the NUCCA website here. If you'd like to set up a free consult to discuss your health concerns either over the phone or knee to knee at his office, please visit here.

Searching for the right Prior Lake Chiropractor is not an easy task. Even our own patients, sometimes, just don't get it.

I know they're only joking. I'm on their side. 

It's counterintuitive that so much can be done by doing so little.  Hence, some call it "magic" or "voodoo". 

Here's a homemade video that should clear things up.

One more thing. Occam's Razor says that doing the least to accomplish the most will always be more powerful than doing lots of things and getting the same result. Learn more about Occam's Razor here.

Prior Lake Chiropractor's NUCCA Spinal Adjustment

In chiropractic jargon, NUCCA is called and "upper cervical (neck) technique", while methods are referred to as "sports technique", "Activator technique" or "full spine technique" to name a few. However, in my opinion "full spine" techniques are actually segmental techniques, whereas NUCCA is actually more full spine than theirs.

If I didn't get pain relief from a "full spine" technique, I wouldn't have chosen to become a chiropractor. Yet, even while seeing some of the best chiropractors in the state, my back kept getting worse until I discovered NUCCA. I still have the curves in my spine, but at least the top of my spine is positioned over the bottom, now that "I've gotten my head on straight" with the NUCCA work (see photo below).

To learn more about the NUCCA method, please visit here. To set up a free consult with Dr. Pietrek in the Prior Lake area, please visit our contact page here.

Busy individuals who seem to get a lot things done are resourceful. They know that in order to be "into great", they must integrate.

Prior Lake Chiropractor Discusses Scoliosis Pain Relief
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