(781) 659-1518 ~ Norwell, MA
(781) 871-8833 ~ Abington, MA
  • Advanced Chiropractic Care

    Serving Massachusetts & Rhode Island
    Over 25 years of experience
    Advanced diagnostic and clinical care

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  • Spinal Injury Treatment

    Treating neuromuscular
    mechanical, structural and
    orthopedic injuries of the spine  


  • Comprehensive Treatments

    Training and facilities to provide you with a wide range of treatments.

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  • Comprehensive Spinal Diagnosis

    Versed in the lastest in diagnosis and treatment techniques.

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CHIRO-ASSOCIATES dedicated to helping you achieve your health objectives. Our chiropractors are well trained and focused on getting you moving forward! Chiro-Associates has been serving the South Shore of Massachusetts since 1984.
The practice was begun by Dr. Bernard T. Brannigan. Over the past 25 years Dr. Brannigan has been honored with serving over five thousand patients. This has given him a remarkable opportunity for the development of skills and experience. We have been fortunate to become a destination in our communities for neck, back and sports injuries. The practice continues to grow strong through referrals from our patients.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for browsing our web site and hope you will find this site helpful in learning more about Chiro-Associates.

Contact us for an appointment right now. We will get you booked at one of our offices within 2 business days.

With two offices located in Norwell and Abington, Massachusetts Chiro-associates is dedicated to helping you achieve your health objectives. Our offices serve the towns of...



Norwell Clinic - (781) 659-1518

252 Main Street, Route 123, Norwell, MA 02061
norwell office
Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 1:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Tuesday, Thursday - 7:00 am - 11:30 am, Saturday - 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Abington Clinic - (781) 871-8833

265 Washington St, Route 18, Abington, MA 02351
Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 7:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday - 1:00 pm - 6:30 pm, Saturday - 9:00 am – 11:00 am

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Chronic Pain and Depression 

girl hand on back painPain serves an important function in our lives. When you suffer an acute injury, pain warns you to stop the activity that is causing the injury and tells you to take care of the affected body part. 

Chronic pain, on the other hand, persists for weeks, months, or even years. Some people, often older adults, suffer from chronic pain without any definable past injury or signs of body damage. Common chronic pain can be caused by headaches, the low back, and arthritis. Unfortunately, there is scant objective evidence or physical findings to explain such pain. 

Until recently, some doctors who could not find a physical cause for a person’s pain simply suggested that it was imaginary— “all in your head.” This is unfortunate because we know that all pain is real and not imagined, except in the most extreme cases of psychosis. Emerging scientific evidence is demonstrating that the nerves in the spinal cord of patients with chronic pain undergo structural changes. 

man headackPsychological and social issues often amplify the effects of chronic pain. For example, people with chronic pain frequently report a wide range of limitations in family and social roles, such as the inability to perform household or workplace chores, take care of children, or engage in leisure activities. In turn, spouses, children, and co-workers often have to take over these responsibilities. Such changes often lead to depression, agitation, resentment, and anger for the pain patient and to stress and strain in family and other social relationships.

How is depression involved with chronic pain?

Depression is the most common emotion associated with chronic pain. It is thought to be 3 to 4 times more common in people with chronic pain than in the general population. In addition, 30 to 80% of people with chronic pain will have some type of depression. The combination of chronic pain and depression is often associated with greater disability than either depression or chronic pain alone.

People with chronic pain and depression suffer dramatic changes in their physical, mental, and social well-being—and in their quality of life. Such people often find it difficult to sleep, are easily agitated, cannot perform their normal activities of daily living, cannot concentrate, and are often unable to perform their duties at work. This constellation of disabilities starts a vicious cycle—pain leads to more depression, which leads to more chronic pain. In some cases, the depression occurs before the pain.

chart back pain depression

Until recently, we believed that bed rest after an injury was important for recovery. This has likely resulted in many chronic pain syndromes. Avoiding performing activities that a person believes will cause pain only makes his or her condition worse in many cases

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the common signs and symptoms of chronic pain include:

  • Pain beyond 6 months after an injury
  • Allodynia—pain from stimuli which are not normally painful and/or pain that occurs other than in the stimulated area
  • Hyperpathia—increased pain from stimuli that are normally painful
  • Hypersensation—being overly sensitive to pain
  • Signs of major clinical depression will occur daily for 2 weeks or more, and often include many of the following:
  • A predominant feeling of sadness; feeling blue, hopeless, or irritable, often with crying spells
  • Changes in appetite or weight (loss or gain) and/or sleep (too much or too little
  • Poor concentration or memory
  • Feeling restless or fatigued
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, including sex
  • Feeling of worthlessness and/or guilt

What is the treatment for chronic pain and depression?

The first step in coping with chronic pain is to determine its cause, if possible. Addressing the problem will help the pain subside. In other cases, especially when the pain is chronic, you should try to keep the chronic pain from being the entire focus of your life.

Stay active and do not avoid activities that cause pain simply because they cause pain. The amount and type of activity should be directed by your doctor, so that activities that might actually cause more harm are avoided.

you are leaving painRelaxation training, hypnosis, biofeedback, and guided imagery, can help you cope with chronic pain. Cognitive therapy can also help patients recognize destructive patterns of emotion and behavior and help them modify or replace such behaviors and thoughts with more reasonable or supportive ones.

Distraction (redirecting your attention away from chronic pain), imagery (going to your “happy place”), and dissociation (detaching yourself from the chronic pain) can be useful.

Involving your family with your recovery may be quite helpful, according to recent scientific evidence.

Feel free to discuss these or other techniques with your doctor of chiropractic. He or she may suggest some simple techniques that may work for you or may refer you to another health care provider for more in-depth training in these techniques.

You don't have to live with pain!  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   We can help.


Health comes to each of us by taking the responsibility to make and act upon the choice to improve our diet, exercise daily, and maintain a positive attitude. Yet when illness or injury strikes, we also owe it to ourselves to resist the easy or popular choices portrayed by the media. We must seek out the most conservative care first. 

Men’s average testosterone levels have been dropping by at least 1 percent a year, according to a 2006 study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Testosterone appears to decline naturally with aging, but internal belly fat depresses the hormone further, especially in obese men. Drugs like steroids and opiates also lower testosterone, and it’s suspected that chemicals like Bisphenol A (or BPA, commonly found in plastic food containers) and diseases like Type 2 diabetes play a role as well.


Stand tall, chest open, shoulders relaxed, and head up   

Bad-and-good-postureClinical testosterone deficiency, which is variously defined as lower than 220 to 350 nanograms of testosterone per deciliter of blood serum, can cause men to lose sex drive and fertility. Their bone density often declines, and they may feel tired and experience hot flashes and sweats.

But “low T,” as the condition has been labeled, isn’t nearly as common as the drug ads for prescription testosterone would have you believe. Pharmaceutical companies have seized on the decline in testosterone levels as pathological and applicable to every man. They aim to convince men that common effects of aging like slowing down a bit and feeling less sexual actually constitute a new disease, and that they need a prescription to cure it. This is a seductive message for many men, who just want to feel better than they do, and want to give it a shot, literally.

The problem is that prescription testosterone doesn’t just give your T level a boost: it may also increase your risk of heart attack. It can add huge numbers of red blood cells to your bloodstream and shrink your testes. In some men, it increases aggression and irritability. Children who accidentally come in contact with the hormone can develop unwanted pubic hair and genital changes. Last week, a large study published in the journal PLoS ONE found that, within three months, taking the hormone doubled the rate of heart attacks in men 65 and older, as well as in younger men who had heart disease. The Food and Drug Administration has begun an investigation.

                   YOGA POWER POSE                             

men yoga poseThe number of testosterone prescriptions given to American men has tripled since 2001. Used clinically since 1937 and approved by the F.D.A. since 1953, testosterone is now administered in at least five forms, including patches, gels and injections. Sales of all testosterone-boosting drugs are estimated to have been $2 billion in 2012, and are projected to hit $5 billion by 2017.

Too many doctors are now writing testosterone prescriptions without even measuring the patient’s hormone levels, much less re-testing for confirmation and adjusting the dose after prescription. Up to a quarter of these prescriptions are dispensed without a blood test.  From a psychological perspective, this isn’t helping men. From a medical perspective, it’s devastating. In addition to the cardiac risks, prescription T can mean a permanent shut-off in men’s own, albeit diminished, testosterone production. In other words, once you start, you may well be hooked for life.


 Leg muscle weight bearing exercises include; Leg presses,

Lunges, Leg Extension, Leg Curls and Modified leg squats

squat weight lifting

Today's Medicare program has several different parts.  As a beneficiary, you are probabley aware of Part A (hospitalization, in-patient) Part B (outpatient, fee-for-service), Part C (called "Medicare Advantage": HMOs, PPOs, special needs plans and private-fee-for service), and Part D (the stand-alone prescription drug plan. 

The prescription drug benefit that Congress passed in 2003 allows beneficiaries to access the benefit in one of two ways: 1) by subscribing to a Part D plan or 2) by joining a Part C plan. Each year beneficiaries can shift their Medicare coverage during enrollment periods.

Joining a Part C plan significantly restructures the administration of many of your Medicare-guaranteed services, not just your prescription drug benefit. For example, historically, government reports indicate that most Medicare HMOsdo not provide chiropractic services.

Before signing up with any Part C Medicare Advantage plan, be sure to ask the following:

  • Does the plan have doctors of chiropractic available in its network? Many plans claim to have chiropractic services "available" but actually never or rarely provide them - or claim to provide them throught the services of non-chiropractors.   
  • Is your preferred doctor of chiropractic in the network?
  • What are the actual HMO or plan statistics concerning the numbers of participants receiving chiropractic care from chiropractors and what is the average length of treatment?  Many conditions require chiropractic treatment over a length of time - one or a few allowed services may have no or minimal effect.
  • What is the co-pay for a chiropractic visit in the plan? In many Medicare Advantage plans, doctors of chiropractic are classified as specialists, which can mean a co-pay of $30 or more for each visit; often a significant change for beneficiaries used to receiving chiropractic care through Medicare Part B.

Remember, Medicare beneficiaries have the right to receive chiropractic care. Consider the preceding material carefully before signing up for any Part C Medicare Advantage plans.

Passive stretches help facilitate movement in the affected muscle or joint. Stretches should be held for 15 to 30 seconds, allowing the muscles to gradually relax and lengthen. Stretches should never cause pain nor should you feel tingling in the extremities. Stop immediately if you experience any discomfort.

hamstringHamstring Stretch

Lie on your back with both legs straight. Bend one leg at the knee and extend one leg straight up in the air. Loop a towel over the arch of the lifted foot, and gently pull on the towel as you push against it with your foot; you should feel a stretch in the back of the thigh. Hold 30 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3 times per leg. This stretch may be performed several times per day.


Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis muscle runs through the buttock and can contribute to back and leg pain. To stretch this muscle, lie on the back and cross one leg over the other; gently pull the knee toward the chest until a  stretch is felt in the buttock area. Hold 30 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3 times. This stretch may be performed several times per day.



back stretch

Back Stretch

Lie on your stomach. Use your arms to push your upper body off the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Let your back relax and sag. Repeat. This stretch may be performed several times per day.

The human body strives to maintain balance between the amount of water that we lose vs. what we take in. Thirst is the body’s way to tell us we need water. When the body has too little fluid, it also reduces water loss by making our urine more concentrated. Generally speaking, most of our water loss occurs through breathing, sweating, urination and bowel movements. Abnormalities in any of these functions—for example, diarrhea—can profoundly affectthe balance of our hydration.

What should I do to stay properly hydrated?  We really don’t know the exact answer to this question because fluid requirements vary from person to person— and from day to day. For example, infants need more liquids than adults because their bodies maintain a higher water content and their systems do not provide water balance that’s as good as what’s found in adults’ bodies. The general guidelines for hydration are:

  • Numerous studies investigating water balance have demonstrated that the minimal water requirements of inactive adults who live in normal temperate climates are approximately 1 to 3.1 liters (or 34 to 105.4 oz.) a day. This amount should adequately replace estimated minimum respiratory, urinary, fecal, and insensible water losses.
  • A general guide for replacing water loss is 1 liter (34 ounces) of fluid for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) lost, or 2 cups (16 ounces) for every pound lost.
  • In more physically active individuals, the amount of water intake necessary to maintain proper hydration varies between 2 to 16 liters per day, depending on the activity and the individual. Physically active individuals are not necessarily athletes. Farm workers, heavy laborers, and the like naturally have higher needs for water.
  • If you are planning a strenuous physical activity, drink approximately 2 to 3 cups of cold water 2 hours before activity. Drink 1 cup approximately 10-15 minutes before the activity or during your warm-up. During the activity, drink 3 to 4 cups of water every hour of activity, or 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes. After the activity, you should rapidly replace the fluids that you lost within 2 hours. You should drink approximately 16-24 ounces of water for every pound lost during the activity.
Invest in your Wellbeing      

invest pic

Food for Thought:   Ultimately your health depends on how well you take care of yourself throughout your life, regardless whether insurance (or anyone else) contributes to your needs.  There is a consequence for taking your health for granted or ignoring the needs of your body. It’s much more cost effective addressing small problems early on than/then waiting until health issues reach a crisis level.

You do not have to do anything the rest of your life.  It is your choice whether you brush your teeth, cut your hair, change the oil in your car, mow the lawn, feed the dog, or take care of your spine and nerve system.  All responsibilities have effort and/or costs associated with performing them.  If being strong, flexible, balanced, and energetic are important to you, then nurture your health.  From your first breath to your last… laugh a lot, exercise, eat well and include chiropractic in your life.  Recognize there are many returns for investing in your health over the course of your life.  Participate in your care for as long as you wish, it’s entirely your decision. Spinal health is one of the things that need to be maintained indefinatly.


lap womanWhen the human body is submerged in water, it automatically becomes lighter. When immersed to the waist, your body bears just 50 percent of its weight; dunk yourself to the chest and that number reduces to around 25 to 35 percent; with water all the way to the neck, you only have to bear 10 percent of your own weight. The other 90 percent is handled by the pool.  

The Arthritis Foundation in its recommendation for the right types of exercise for people with arthritis suggests excercises that stretch and strengthen muscles and include  an aerobic workout.  A few laps in the pool combine all three! This means that the pool provides an ideal place to work stiff muscles and sore joints, especially if you're overweight or suffer from arthritis. If the pool is heated the warm water can help loosen stiff joints. In fact, people with rheumatoid arthritis receive greater benefits to their health after participating in hydrotherapy than with other activities. It's also been proven that water-based exercise improves the use of affected joints and decreases pain from osteoarthritis [source: CDC).

Swimming is a great way to increase muscular strength and muscle tone -- especially compared to several other aerobic exercises. Swimming puts the body through a broad range of motion that helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible. To improve your flexibility beyond the natural gains you'll make by swimming, you might also want to finish your pool workout with a series of gentle stretches. The support of the water should help you maintain positions involving tricky balance -- such as a quadriceps stretch -- for longer periods of time. 


Because swimming is an aerobic exercise, it serves to strengthen the heart, not only helping it to become stronger, but making it more efficient in pumping -- which leads to better blood flow throughout your body. Research also shows that aerobic exercise can combat the body's inflammatory response as well. If that's not enough to get you moving in the pool, the American Heart Association reports that just 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as swimming, can reduce coronary heart disease by 30 to 40 percent. Additionally, an analysis by the Annuals of Internal Medicine showed that regular aerobic exercise could reduce blood pressure [source: Bobalik].

swim older

Swimming is recognized as one of the biggest calorie burners. The exact number of calories you burn, of course, depends on your own physiology and the intensity with which you exercise, but as a general rule, for every 10 minutes of swimming: the breast stroke will burn 60 calories; the backstroke torches 80; the freestyle lights up 100; and the butterfly stroke incinerates an impressive 150.To boost the calorie-burning component of swimming, consider using intervals in which you work your hardest for short bursts and then recover. One way to structure this kind of workout would be to swim 50 yards (45.7 meters) then rest for 10 seconds, then 100 yards (91.4 meters) with a 10-second rest, then 150 yards (137.1 meters) -- all the way up to 300 yards (274.3 meters) with rests in between. When you reach 300 yards, reverse the pattern [source: Petterson].

Click here to view a list of links to local public swimming areas.

We look forward to see you at the office!            

We at Chiro-Associates want to share with you that Chiropractic Care is a qualified covered benefit within your Health Savings Account.  Are you getting the most from your health savings account?    

pig hsa

Health Savings Accounts help our patients afford chiropractic care, even when it is excluded from their health insurance policy or if their plan has a high deductible.  More and more of our patients are discovering that having a HSA is saving them money on their chiropractic expenses.  All services provided by Chiro-Associates are qualified expenses and may be charged to your HSA.  Remember Health Savings Accounts are funded with tax free dollars and allow you to be in control of your own health-care costs.  HSA can help you afford chiropractic care at Chiro-Associates even when services are NOT a covered benefit within your health insurance policy.

yellow savings signNumerous research studies have shown that chiropractic care is beneficial and that it is more cost effective in treatment of low back pain and other common musculoskeletal conditions than the options offered by traditional Western medicine.  Chiropractic care also lowers your total health care costs by focusing on prevention, as well as on treatment of a acute condition or injury.  Studies also show that individuals who seek the care of a chiropractor on a regular basis are healthier, and generally, spend less on health care than those who do not.  

Thank you for choosing our practice to provide you with your chiropractic needs. Your concerns are very important to us and we want to assure you that it is our intent to give you the best care possible.  We are always working to balance both your clinical needs and concerns for cost effectiveness. Chiro-Associates is dedicated to helping you achieve your health objectives. 

For more information regarding Health Savings Accounts please visit our website @ or call our office should you have any questions.

Fish Oil & Omega-3 Supplements 


 Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are important for a number of functions in the body. The three principal omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The main sources of ALA in the U.S. diet are vegetable oils, particularly canola and soybean oils; flaxseed oil is richer in ALA than soybean and canola oils but is not commonly consumed. ALA can be converted, usually in small amounts, into EPA and DHA in the body. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna, are rich sources of EPA and DHA; leaner types of fish and shellfish provide smaller amounts.

Experts agree that fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids should be included in a heart-healthy diet. A 2012 systematic review concluded that the types of omega-3s found in fish and fish oil are modestly helpful in relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health.

We look forward to see you at the office!     

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  • Gordon from Abington

    Swore I would never go to a Chiropractor. When I was referred to one; I explained to my Physical Therapist that I did not know of a chiropractor. My therapist suggested that I see Dr. Bernard Brannigan with Chiro-Associates in Abington. She stated that Dr. Brannigan is a great chiropractor Read More
  • Karen from Scituate, MA

    Dr. Brannigan has been my chiropractor for the past 15 years. Chiropractic helps manage my pain so that I can work and walk. Dr. Brannigan does a fantastic job and I feel he is the best chiropractor on the South Shore.  If it was not for Dr. Brannigan I would Read More
  • Kathleen from Marshfield, MA

    I started going to Chiro-Associates for treatment with the Massage Therapist Lori Feeney for massage when I was pregnant. I continue to see Lori and Dr. Brannigan anytime I have issues with my back. The care is wonderful and the staff is so nice. I am very comfortable attending my Read More
  • Ilene from Weymouth

    Dr. Brannigan is an exceptional chiropractor with an expertise and passion for his work.  In my experience I would describe him as a healer; attentive to my specific needs. He develops a close rapport with his patients and makes me feel at ease with every visit.  What makes Dr. Brannigan stand out from other chiropractors; I Read More
  • Michelle from Abington, MA

    My first visit with Dr. Brannigan was back in October of 2010 with a neck injury after I had slipped and fell. Dr. Brannigan was able to accurately and quickly pinpoint where the pain was and implement a treatment plan personalized for me. He took the time to listen to Read More
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