Recent Posts

Portland, ME Chiropractic Beats Massage for Cervicogenic Headaches

We see a lot of men and women with headaches in our Portland, ME office, and Dr. Jay Woodward & Dr. Abby Power have been able to aid many of them. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that half of all adults deal with some manner of headache disorder, so this really isn’t surprising. One of the most common kinds of headaches which our patients experience is cervicogenic headache which, happily, chiropractic can commonly help.

What is a Cervicogenic Headache?

A cervicogenic headache is one that comes from issues in the cervical spine. It can be generated by an issue with either the spine itself (particularly, the vertebrae, joints, or discs), or it may be caused by a problem in the muscles and tendons of your neck. This dysfunction in your spine creates compaction or irritation of the spinal nerves, which can bring about headache pain.

How can you tell if the headache you are struggling with is a cervicogenic headache? Other than receiving a diagnosis from a healthcare specialist, a frequent symptom of cervicogenic headaches is tenderness or pain in your neck. This is sometimes associated with pain in the back of your head or between your shoulder blades.

How Chiropractic Helps with Cervicogenic Headaches

Considering cervicogenic headaches will not go away until whatever problem is triggering them is corrected, it is important to receive treatment as opposed to just trying to "wait it out." Chiropractic care is an effective solution, and one that can provide a considerable amount of headache pain relief.

In one study circulated in Chiropractic & Osteopathy, researchers looked at 80 people who had recurrent cervicogenic headaches. Fifty percent were given chiropractic care and the other half engaged in light massage therapy. Each participant was examined 12 and 24 weeks after the procedures and it was discovered that chiropractic delivered the best results.

In particular, this study found that chiropractic adjustments gave patients greater pain relief and decreased the number of headaches that occurred. Moreover, it also minimized the disability that resulted from these painful headaches.

To find out what Dr. Jay Woodward & Dr. Abby Power can do for you and your headache pain, call us today. We'll do our best to get you the pain relief you deserve!


  • Haas M, Schneider M, Vavrek D. Illustrating risk difference and number needed to treat from a randomized controlled trial of spinal manipulation for cervicogenic headache. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010 18(9).
  • World Health Organization. (2012, October). Headache disorders. Retrieved from

Chiropractic Better Than Drugs for Back Pain

Chiropractic More Effective than Drugs for Back Pain

Here in our Portland, ME practice, Dr. Jay Woodward & Dr. Abby Power has helped several people recover from back problems. If you are struggling with back pain, you've most likely been tempted to take some medications to decrease the pain. You should know that research indicates that chiropractic is oftentimes a better approach than drugs when it comes to alleviating this particular type of problem.

In a 2013 report published in the journal Spine researchers included 101 men and women who had experienced back pain for at least two days. Each one was then designated to one of three groups. The first group, which consisted of 37 patients, received chiropractic care and a placebo of the non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac. The second group of 38 individuals received sham chiropractic adjustments and the actual drug. The third group of 25 individuals served as the control as those individuals received sham chiropractic care and also received the placebo, thus having no real treatment at all.

All of the people who received some form of real treatment, whether through chiropractic or the medication, fared better than the control patients who had no real care. However, when the two active groups were compared to each other, the people who received chiropractic had improvements that were "significantly better" than those who took the drug diclofenac.

Natural Healing with Chiropractic

Because chiropractic care is non-invasive and involves no use of medication, it helps enhance healing without undesirable side effects. For example, anti-inflammatory drugs can result in ulcers, heart problems, and other serious health complications. Plus, the benefits of chiropractic last longer as it's purpose designed to correct the source of the problem, not just treat the symptoms.

If you're ready to address your back pain naturally, then chiropractic care is for you. Schedule an appointment in our Portland, ME office with Dr. Jay Woodward & Dr. Abby Power today at (207) 781-7911. We'll help relieve your back problems in a healthy way!


von Heymann WJ, Schloemer P, Timm J, Muehlbauer B. Spinal high-velocity low amplitude manipulation in acute nonspecific low back pain: a double-blind randomized controlled trial in comparison with diclofenac and placebo. Spine 2013;38(7):540-548.


Shoulder Pain & Chiropractic

We treat many patients suffering from shoulder pain in the Greater Portland area, and it is a problem reported by many auto collision patients. There are two basic causes of shoulder pain. Watch this video to learn more:

The first is direct injury to the shoulder during the collision. If your shoulder strikes something directly, it can injure the joint capsule. In addition, if you are clenching the steering wheel firmly during a rear-end impact, your torso can lag behind the car, placing stress on your wrists and shoulders.

The second cause of shoulder pain is not so direct and can be more challenging to diagnose. Injury to the neck or spine can create pressure on the nerve fibers that travel from the spine to your shoulder, arm, and hands. This can be puzzling, as the pain or numbness is experienced in one part of your body, while the problem is actually in your spine.

Chiropractic care is a tried and tested, reliable way to help men and women with shoulder problems, and we've been helping these types of injuries in Portland, ME since 1994.

If you've been in a car wreck and have signs of shoulder injury, Drs. Jay Woodward & Abby Power is here to help. We can help identify the underlying source of your problem and formulate a treatment plan to help you restore your health. We've helped many people in Portland, ME improve from these types of problems.

Call our office today at (207) 781-7911 for a consultation or for more information.


Chiropractic Wellness in Portland, ME

Most people think of chiropractic care as an effective way to treat back pain. Although this is true, numerous research papers show that chiropractic can alleviate a wide variety of other health problems, while promoting general health and wellness.

The research indicates that chiropractic care can be helpful for scoliosis, osteoarthritis, radiating pain, pregnancy-related health issues, hypertension, sports wellness, fibromyalgia, decreasing stress hormones, and even enhancing immunity!

While dozens of studies have examined the many advantages of chiropractic adjustments, the best way to discover the benefits is to try it out yourself! So take the plunge and learn how chiropractic care can promote your whole body well-being today.

We help people in Falmouth and Portland, ME get back to health.

Call our office at (207) 781-7911 for an appointment!


Putting Your Own Needs First

Too busy to live a healthy life?It's so easy to get caught up in the "busy-ness" that comes with the holiday season. Errands, shopping, get-togethers, decorating, the kids' concerts, parties and/or games -- all pull us in many directions at the same time.  This doesn't leave much time to take care of our own needs, which leads us to start believing that the busy-ness IS the  most important thing - the top priority.

But what about your health and well-being?  It's tempting to respond with “Later,” or "I'll be able to take care of myself once this craziness is over."

Of course, you’ve heard that now familiar analogy: "Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” In other words, you can’t help someone else if you don't take care of yourself first.

But a lot of us know for a fact that this isn't true. We've gone years putting others before ourselves - because of jobs, family situations, or simply because of what life has handed us.  So, we may be convinced that we can do this occasionally without any real consequences down the line. Or worse yet, that we can do it indefinitely.

The fact is, we haven't really gotten away with anything. Our bodies took the brunt of that self-neglect. And we may not know this until our bodies can’t adapt to the stress anymore and let us know… sometimes in no uncertain terms.

This "Later" response is helpful to your mind and, frankly, may relieve mental stress temporarily, but your body doesn't understand the delay.  It still needs what it needs - balance, ease, alignment – to function at its best.

The fact is, if we're “full up” with stress, eventually our bodies start drawing from our reserves and this creates a health deficiency.

Let me share an example...

Last year, New Year's Eve was on a Monday. Now, in any given week, I may care for maybe one patient who is in severe pain. Yet, that one morning, I cared for many.  Most said "I don't know what I did."  There was no physical injury, just an increase in stress.  Most of them took days or weeks to fully recover.  This required a temporary increase in the frequency of their chiropractic adjustments and  in some cases, required visits to their family doctor, massages and time off from work, as well. These are the consequences of the sharp increase of stress that the holidays can inflict, particularly when one has been neglecting their own self care to begin with.

Tension doesn't build up only in our minds; it builds up in our bodies, too. We may be so preoccupied with what's going on in our day-to-day that we simply don't notice and come to believe that tension has little to no short or long term effects. Because tension is on the back burner, whatever is making the loudest noise in our lives wins our attention instead 

How do you know tension is building in your body?  Signs include: tight shoulders, headaches, body pain anywhere including neck, back, knee or hip pain, or simply feeling “out of whack” or “off.”  The good news is that getting adjusted brings the tension down in your body, so your body adapts to and handles stress better. This in turn can help you avoid pain, injury or ill health 

So, when you're at our front desk looking at your calendar saying "That week is too crazy; there's no way I can get in here," please take this message to heart and reconsider. Schedule your adjustment. Assist others with their oxygen masks after yours is securely fastened.  You’re important, and we're here to help you put yourself first. That way you can show up healthy and balanced, not only during the holiday hustle and bustle, but also after the craziness is over.


Are you winning the stress game?

The Stress Game is played by everyone - moms and dads, kids and grandparents. The great news is everyone can win. But how do you know if you’re winning? To keep score, periodically ask yourself: Am I genuinely happy?

It’s that simple.

You see, stress can make you happy or it can make you miserable. Some challenges are stressful but rewarding. In fact, I know many people who get quite grumpy if they are not busy challenging themselves. But too much challenge and not enough stress release can also make you sick. As humans we need to be productive at some level, giving something, or doing something that we love.

So, how can you improve your chances of winning the Stress Game? 

First, recognize that stress can send your nervous system into defense mode - sometimes called the fight or flight response. When this happens for a short period of time it’s rarely a problem. But if the stress to your nervous system is too extreme or lasts too long, your body’s healing capacity can weaken or even shut down.

Creating health is important. By strengthening health reserves, you can improve over time, rather than decline. Chiropractors have known for over a century that a healthy spine and nervous system are critical for optimal health. Lifestyle choices also make a huge difference, to maintain that balance, here are six questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I eating good whole foods? The more refined the food the more nutrients are typically taken out. In extreme cases - white flour, sugar and rice, for example - virtually all of the vital nutrients have been stripped out. So favor organic foods, especially lots of alkalizing fruits and vegetables and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Am I hydrated? Your body is mostly water and needs water as its primary liquid.
  • Am I sleeping well? Adequate, uninterrupted sleep each night is essential for cell repair.
  • Have I exercised? Your body needs exercise that increases heart rate, promote muscle activity and balances your nervous system. Excellent exercises that achieve all three are swimming or walking.
  • How is my breathing? Breathing that activates the diaphragm can improve heart efficiency. Start by using your diaphragm, this breathing muscle enhances stress handling reserves and keeps the stress out of your shoulders. Push your belly out to breathe in and squeeze your belly to exhale. This may be tricky at first, but is well worth the effort.
  • What am I thinking about? Like a magnet, we tend to attract to us the things that reflect what we think or have strong feelings about.
  • Instead of wasting time and energy on what we cannot change, focus your thoughts on what you want from life.

In the Stress Game, sweet victory can be as simple as a smile and having fun. Give it a try.


The Stress Game

Greetings and welcome to Stress Game

Stress Relief in Portland, METhis evolving blog is designed to help you grow through stressful times. Currently, we have a couple of articles to help you think differently about stress. In the near future we will have more information, exercises and links to guide you to a new way of working with your life and the demands it places on you. 

We are available to assist you with this at Lifeworks Chiropractic Center in Falmouth, Maine. Helping individuals and families become more flexible, recover from stress and adapt more easily is our specialty. Feel free to call (207) 781-7911 to arrange a consultation to see if we can help.

Have Fun, 

Dr. Jay Woodward

Dr. Abby Power