Chiropractic Care for Back Pain

Posted on: November 17th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Chiropractic Care for Back PainDo you suffer from back pain? Is the pain keeping you from doing your job properly or even from partaking in daily activities of living? You are not alone. The ailment plagues many, many people all around the world and of many different backgrounds and ages. It is a very common ailment but one that does not have a ton of effective options unfortunately. There are, however, numerous things that could be tried and different things really do work for different people. This is largely because back pain is a general manifestation which can result from a number of different root issues. These include but are not limited to nerve issues, muscle or ligament problems, or spinal misalignments.

These issues can arise from a number of behaviorally as well as other issues. Acute trauma such as that from car accidents or other physical injuries can often be a cause of pain anywhere including the back. These are pretty hard to avoid, but certain precautions depending on what you are doing (e.g. wearing a seatbelt in the car or appropriate safety gear when doing things which pose risks) can help reduce the risk of permanent injury.

Poor posture is another cause- one that is easier to do something about. It is important to work on keeping your correct posture by forming good habits. Part of this includes realizing what activities you do where your posture is especially bad and either avoiding them or trying to change something when you do them (e.g. stand instead of sit) and see if that helps you become more aware of the issue and in turn correct it.

Poor lifting habits are a third cause of back pain and one that can be especially common with males. Here it is all about just learning to do things the right way (e.g. lift with your legs, not your back) and stretching before you try to lift something that is heavy.

If you do develop back pain, solutions can vary greatly and some people may not find anything that works, but the key is really to keep trying things if the pain is really that bad. There are some medications that help with pain, but these are often just short-term remedies and sometimes can have many unwanted side effects. It is really better to try to manage the pain by other means including mediation or relaxation, techniques to reduce stress on the painful body parts, and warm or cold compresses. For more serious cases it may be a good idea to seek professional care.

While a traditional medical professional such as a doctor may be helpful, there are many other options as well. A physical therapist can help with some types of issues, especially when they are muscle based. Another option that is sometimes overlooked is chiropractic care. Chiropractors are trained to help with issues of the spine and joints and often deal with many patients suffering from back pain. If you have tried different options and still suffer from back pain, consider reaching out to your local chiropractor to see what they might be able to do for you!

Image credit: Mauricio Jordan De Souza Coelho

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Posted on: October 27th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Health Benefits of PumpkinWith the fall and Halloween seasons here, everyone is thinking pumpkins once more. From the local coffee shop to the microbrewery to the grocery store, pumpkins are everywhere and in all sorts of delicious drinks and foods. Luckily for us, pumpkins have quite a good amount of health benefits, making them (at least on their own) a healthy food choice (now remember that things consumed with pumpkins may not be healthy and it is important to be able to differentiate between pumpkin dishes that are healthy and are not). Pumpkins are after all a vegetable full of many vitamins and other good things.

Specifically, they are high in fiber and low in calories making them excellent choices for gastrointestinal health. This combo also is especially good in those trying to lose weight or not gain it as pumpkin can be filling without having the number of calories that an equal amount of other foods may contain. Fiber aids by slowing digestion making us feel full for a longer amount of time.

The low glycemic index food is a good source of food without too much sugar, making it a good option for diabetics and again those looking to lose weight. In addition, they may help lower bad cholesterol (also known as LDL), particular if you eat the seeds (a fun tip: pumpkin seeds can be toasted and lightly salted, making them a fun snack to enjoy that can also be healthy). Some studies suggest the seeds may also help people feel better, but further study is needed to really make that claim.

Pumpkins also contain the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is what gives them that distinct orange color. Beta-carotene is a component of vitamin A and can help with eye health and younger looking skin. They also contain other vitamins as most vegetables do and can help you fulfill your vegetable serving requirements per the national nutrition guidelines. They also provide a good amount of energy even compared to other vegetables due to their high potassium content.

Overall, pumpkin is a great choice when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Just be sure that you don’t couple it with too much butter, salt, sugar, or fat that may otherwise negate the benefits you get from the vegetable. Find healthy recipes to get the maximum benefit from pumpkins this holiday season and enjoy yourself while also meeting or exceeding your health goals.

Image credit: Frenchtowner (Wikipedia)

The Growth of Chiropractic Care

Posted on: October 13th, 2015 by owner No Comments

The Growth of Chiropractic CareChiropractic care has had an interesting history within the United States. It never quite kept up with traditional medical care in terms of popularity and even acceptability. Things may be changing as some recent data show that more Americans are choosing chiropractors to help them deal with certain ailments. A Gallup report on the matter shows that over 30 million, or ten percent, of the United States population has sought chiropractic care, especially when it came to relieving ailments like back and neck pain.

Previously studies estimated the percentage to be much lower- more around 20 percent, so if this poll stands true, it may really change the way we think about how Americans seek healthcare. One of the things that may be driving the growth in chiropractic visits is the relative access to these professionals. 31 percent of the people polled actually sought regular care from their chiropractor, while others opted just to go when they had symptoms such as pain. Those under 50 were more likely to visit a chiropractor for pain, further reinforcing the idea that there is a population trend towards more acceptability of chiropractic care (as younger people utilize these professionals more).

This is of course good news for chiropractors who believe they can really have a positive impact on many patients’ lives. With a minimum of 7 years of higher education, many chiropractors do go through a lot of training to get where they are and patients seem to be noticing the value that they can bring as part of a comprehensive care and support system. It is important to remember that chiropractic care should not replace your primary care doctor, but should instead be used as a supplement for certain ailments and issues. A doctor can help you better understand how a chiropractor on the team may better improve your outcomes in regards to overall health or management of specific conditions or diseases.

This new poll data is very encouraging to those in the chiropractic field but also reflects the strides that have been made over time. People are starting to realize the impact that a chiropractor can really have and they are starting to notice a difference in their lives from these visits. If you are unsure of what to do, you may want to stop by your local chiropractors office and set up an appointment to see what they can do for you.

Image source: Alexander Raths

Eating Healthy to Drive Weight Loss

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Eating Healthy to Drive Weight LossLosing weight can be an uphill battle as anyone who has struggled with weight issues can likely attest to. There are all sorts of crazy pills and alternative treatments out there, but many of them do not work because ultimately it comes down to net caloric intake. It takes effort and something more than fad diets to really lose weight and keep it off and it can be an incredibly hard thing to do.

Thankfully, there are supportive options for those looking to get and stay healthier. Positive messaging and coaching is a very important part of keeping a person on track, especially when they inevitable come to face those urges that strike us all. A trained professional such as a chiropractic professional or nutritionist can really be the kick in the arm that some people need to stay in the game. They can help coach you on your dietary habits, exercise regimens, and staying healthy in general. They can also be a great support system when you need it most.

As for the actual actions that they may suggest- along with eating fewer calories than you use, they will likely give some tips to make that possible by eliminating the most self-destructive behaviors like poor food choices or overeating. One good tip in that regard is to eat plenty of fiber and to drink lots of water. These things can keep your digestive health optimal and will likely also lead to less eating. It is especially good if the fiber can be derived from foods such as vegetables, but fiber supplements over the counter such as Metamucil are not a bad option either.

In addition to that, try to reduce your carbohydrate intake, especially when it comes to excess sugar in things like candy, sweets, and desserts. Bread and pizza are also not great options. When it comes to carbs, if you do want to eat them, try to stick with those that are healthier and have a lower glycemic index- things like sweet potatoes as opposed to regular potatoes.

One of the most important drivers of achieving weight loss is to eliminate temptation by only stocking your house with healthy foods. A chiropractor or dietician can help make healthy choices so that when you open the cupboard all you have are good options. They can also help you understand food labels in order to make better shopping choices. Good luck with your journey!

Image credit: Marti Sans

Chiropractic Help for Your Back Pain

Posted on: September 14th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Chiropractic Help for Your Back PainDo you suffer from back pain? If so, you are far from alone. Millions of Americans suffer from the effects of aching backs with a wide range of severity in how it impacts ones daily activities. There are a number of things that play into back pain and can aggravate it or make it better. It is important to tackle all of these or as many of these factors as possible if you are someone who suffers from back pain or you have a family history of it, which may put you at risk for the future.

The first factor that you need to focus on is simple: food. It is very important to stick to a healthy diet in order to maintain good back health as well as good health in general. Access to healthy foods is often available, but unfortunately access to unhealthy foods often seems even great and even more convenient. With fast food on every corner and quick ready made options packing the shelves at the supermarket, it is easy to just grab something easy on the go. But in the end, your body and back may pay. This is why it is important to take the time to get the foods that will really help you live a better life- eating plenty of vegetables and fruits and limiting the amount of sugar, salt, fats, and foods in high cholesterol that you consume. Add some foods that are high in antioxidants to get an extra boost of energy and to fight degenerative illnesses. Freshness is very important.

Beyond food, it is important to get a certain amount of physical activity everyday or on the majority of days at least. This amount can vary by person, so it may be important to talk to your healthcare provider on what is best for you, but generally 30 minutes a day, five days a week is a good minimum for most people.

Once you have a solid diet and exercise plan in place, you will see much better results. Getting started is often the hardest part. If you need help in getting these things in place to improve your life and set yourself free from (or at least reduce) the effects of back pain, chiropractic help can be a great thing to help you get along your way. Chiropractors are trained to help you make good living choices that will impact your back and body. Consider talking to your local chiropractor as well as doctor and see what can be done for you!

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How to Live an Active Lifestyle and Be Healthy

Posted on: August 31st, 2015 by owner No Comments

Active Lifestyle and Being HealthyOne of the most important parts of being healthy is to live an active lifestyle. There are countless studies that show the benefit of eating right and exercising. Exercising is not only good for the physical body, but also helps your mental state as well. It can help you reduce your stress levels and allow you to focus better on the tasks at hand. So how do you go about creating or starting on a regimen that will not only keep you active but is something that you can maintain over time?

It all comes down to routine. Forming healthy habits is a large part of getting and staying healthy. It takes commitment, no doubt. But there are some tricks that may make it easier to get on a healthy routine. When it comes to being active, there are many, many options available. Finding the right regimen for you in terms of what you enjoy and find most rewarding is extremely important. Once you find the right plan, it is important to listen to your body as you proceed and adjust your routine accordingly.

In addition to getting on the right exercise routine, it is important to have a good diet that supplements those gains. Getting the right amount of vegetables, fruits, and other necessities is very important in maintaining a body that functions the way that it is supposed to. Furthermore, it is important to both exercise and eat right. Eating poorly while exercising or eating well with no exercise can both be poor recipes for a healthy lifestyle. You really need a good plan that you can keep up with for both and they should really work synergistically if utilized properly. A chiropractor may help you with advice or even in setting up your action plans for both a healthy diet and to increase your physical activity.

He or she may also be able to help you come up with the optimal regimen by giving you tips on how to avoid injuries, catered to your medical history. Regular visits may help stop problems before they happen and can increase the likelihood that you stick to your activity regimen. Workups by a chiropractic professional may also help you increase flexibility and mobility, helping stave off injuries in the process as well. These visits often help patients with posture thereby reducing pain and increasing productivity at work.

Staying healthy can be complicated and at times hard. Having a chiropractic professional by your side can help you accomplish your goals by giving you support throughout the process of getting and staying healthy.  They can also help you avoid any risks that may cause injuries or lead to discomfort in your daily activities of living. Check out your local professionals online and schedule an appointment or two to see what they can do for you. You might be surprised at how you can turn your life around with just a little help. Because in the end nothing is more important in your life than your health!

Image credit: Cathy Yeulet

Back Pain in Children and Chiropractic Care

Posted on: August 17th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Back Pain in Children and Chiropractic CareBack pain in children is a growing issue as too much weight in backpacks can drive unknowing children to damage their spines and bodies as they try to lug around a ton of books to and from school. Between textbooks, laptops, binders, and notebooks, the backpack continues to be stuffed with more and more weight to the detriment of these children. It is important for parents to make sure that children are not putting themselves at risk by carrying too much.

The American Chiropractic Association recommends a maximum backpack weight of 10 to 15 percent of the child’s weight. This weight is very often surpassed and can easily be so, especially in children who are skinny or even average weight. A study by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons showed that 58 percent of orthopedists had seen children for back related issues. Some of these children even end up in the emergency room due to pain and injuries to the back which can also hurt their long-term growth and wellbeing.

There are many tips and precautions that should be shared with your children in order to reduce the risk of serious injury associated with heavy backpacks. One of the simplest things to do is to tell your child to appropriately use their lockers (sometimes the extra time it takes to go to the locker is worth it rather than doing other things like socializing, etc.) and to teach them how to properly organize a backpack so that the weight is distributed as evenly as possible. Also it is important to teach them how to wear the backpack- including stressing the importance of wearing both straps at all times and to wear the backpack higher on the bag rather than letting it drag down despite whatever the fashion at the time might be in the schoolyard.

Beyond talking to child about it, it may be possible to talk to the teacher about excessive books or opting for a rolling backpack. Wide straps on backpacks are also better than narrow ones. It is important to monitor how your child’s posture is and how they walk with the backpack on from time to time to make sure that they are not being adversely impacted by extra weight. If there is an issue or you suspect there may be one developing, consider taking the child to a chiropractor as there are many chiropractic techniques to help strengthen the muscles and better posture in order to help avoid injury.

Image credit: Ivonne Wierink

Chiropractic Treatment for Migraines

Posted on: July 28th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Chiropractic Treatment for MigrainesMillions of people suffer from migraines and despite a number of drugs available and many home remedies, many patients still struggle to get the relief that they need to function normally. Many patients must go through several different treatment options before finding something that works for them and even then, a treatment that works once may not work every time. One less utilized option that is sometimes overlooked is chiropractic treatment. Through a combination of moving, stretching, and manipulation of the spine, a chiropractor can help migraine sufferers immediately feel relief that often lasts. They can recommend a number of exercises or simple solutions to improve spinal positioning which can further stave off migraines in the future.

Although there are not many large clinical trials or studies on chiropractic care in migraine treatment, a growing number of people have turned to the alternative treatment option with some decent results. One systematic review looked at a number of smaller studies and pooled them to have a total patient population over 2,600. The review suggested that chiropractic did have a positive impact on health outcomes in this space.

Having a migraine can be a terrible experience, but thankfully there are a number of different options from more traditional medical options and procedures to alternative and complimentary measures such as chiropractic care.

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How to Maintain a Healthy Spine

Posted on: July 14th, 2015 by owner No Comments

How to Maintain a Healthy SpineYour spine is crucial to who you are and what you do- literally. In addition to providing structural support for you to stand up straight and to do many of the daily actions of healthy human adults, a spine houses a number of parts of the central nervous system including the spinal cord, which is vital in order to perform many body functions. A spine is tied to almost anything you do, including some things that you do not think about doing and that your body does automatically. Spinal damage can be a tremendous setback and may potentially even be life-threatening.

Many people who are unhealthy, particularly those who have been obese for a very long time, are more prone to having spinal issues. Even then, the vast majority of people will suffer from spinal pain at one point or another over the course of their lives. Thankfully there are things that you can do including certain stretches and exercise which will help you reduce the likelihood of developing spinal pain or other issues.

The American Chiropractic Association has a few tips on their website which help people maintain a healthy spine. One of them is that when standing, to keep one foot slightly out of line with the other and to keep your knees slightly bent. This helps reduce the amount of pressure that is on your spine. Also do not bend forward at the waist as this can worsen or increase the likelihood of issues. When lifting it is important to make sure that you avoid twisting the spine. Pushing is always better than pulling as it is much safer and remember the old adage to use your legs and not your back. Getting help is always great too if you have the option. Also, stretching appropriately may help reduce risks of injury. It is also very important to have good posture when you are sitting down including trying to maintain a normal curvature of your back and keeping your knees slightly above your hip line. When you reach for something by bending do not bend at the waist- getting on your knees to pick up the object is a much safer option. Also, if possible try to use something like a stool or stepping ladder when trying to reach for something. When carrying something heavy keep it close to your body as opposed to using your arms to keep it away as that puts extra pressure on your back too.

In addition to these tips for how to carry yourself throughout the day it is important to exercise daily and to maintain a healthy diet and body weight. If an issue does arise a chiropractic professional may be able to help you, but the best thing is really to try to prevent the need to see a chiropractor as prevention is really the least painful way to remain healthy when it comes to any body system. Keep these tips in mind and check out the ACA website for more!

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Being A Mom Can Be A Pain In The Back

Posted on: June 22nd, 2015 by owner No Comments

Being A Mom Can Be A Pain In The BackPregnancy is a process of biology like no other. The body goes through so many chemical and stress related changes that the expectant mother has to be prepared for all sorts of contingencies. One of them is back pain.

A pregnant woman can put on the pounds. Lots of pounds. Sometimes as much as 50lbs or more. The weight can either be located mostly in the womb area of the abdomen, but also excess fat can be distributed to other parts of the body. Such weight gain causes stress on bones, joints, and the back. At some point during pregnancy, a woman can expect some back discomfort, some more than others.

To prevent this from occurring the mom to be has to plan ahead. Just laying around waiting for the blessed moment to occur will lead to a lifestyle of sedentary levels that can compromise far too many systems. She’ll lose muscle mas and bone density and more. The stress on the spine will gradually grow and it will get to the point where the simplest movement may cause problems leading to quite the uncomfortable situation.

First and foremost, talk to a doctor about an exercise regimen to keep fit during the pregnancy. Nothing too intensive. Walking is a great way to keep in shape as is swimming. Less impact and won’t disturb the developing baby too much. Stretching, yoga, all help in keeping tendons and ligaments and muscles in tune. The back will be thoroughly exercised and it will make everyday life a lot more liveable.

Nutrition is a huge key here. Never underestimate nutrition. Make sure the mom has a nutritious regimen prescribed by a professional. This will not only help the mother but the baby as well. It will keep the organs running right, bones and muscles strong, and provide the body with what it needs in a situation like this.

Rest is super important and how she rests is also as valuable. Getting enough quality rest allows the body to repair itself and in pregnancy, this is going for two, not just one. The bedding and furniture around should be able to support the body in a way that the back is not stressed. It’s a case by case basis and the mother should test to see what’s comfortable regarding their own height and weight. If she has a desk job, she might have to change her chair and desk furniture. There are ergo products out there for pregnancy and they may solve the problem from the start.

The at home mom can do her part with furniture around the home. Also the type of clothing and shoes. Flat shoes with good arch support will work superbly. High heels puts too much stress on he lower back. Rugs and flooring can help too. Perhaps a more plush rug to soften impact.

Daily work routines around the home and about should be done with the consideration of how much she has to reach and bend. Even if she’s tall or short, move commonly used items to a comfortable level. This will decrease the amount of bending and stretching that might cause awkward movements and put more strain on the back.

Most of all, look up a qualified chiropractic specialist. They usually cover all these items and can help prevent and remedy pregnancy back issues.

Image credit: Vadim Guzhva