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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!

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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

Treating a Frozen Shoulder – Should You See a Chiropractor?

Posted on: June 8th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Treating a Frozen Shoulder – Should You See a Chiropractor?Frozen shoulder can be a terribly discomforting and debilitating ailment. The two most prevalent symptoms include shoulder pain and stiffness which hinders free range motion. Unfortunately, the issue is fairly likely to happen in a lot of adults at one point or another in their lives, especially if they do a lot of physically taxing work. Diabetics are at especially high risk for the ailment as their disease comes with a host of neuropathic and other issues.

Some people have found help and effectiveness in chiropractic solutions. Chiropractors say that they focus on the causes of the frozen shoulder as opposed to the symptoms, which are the target of some forms of traditional medicine- namely pain medications and muscle relaxers. Pro-chiropractic arguments say that chiropractic care can help treat the root causes and even prevent future occurences of frozen shoulder and other musculoskeletal issues.

One of the ways that chiropractors can help is by offering lifestyle changes which help the patient control the disease and prevent it by making changes to their regular lives- often in the form of exercise, but also diet, etc. The control of other diseases can also be very important, especially when it comes to chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It should be noted that traditional medicine also offers lifestyle change advice which is many times the first-line treatment option in medical guidelines. The best treatment is likely to be a combination of things and be provided potentially by multiple providers including physical therapists. The important thing for the patient is to make sure that all of the providers are on the same page in order to avoid duplicate therapies or contradictory treatments.

Some of the things that are specific to chiropractors include TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. In this procedure, electrical current is applied to key locations around the body. The science behind this is not concrete and much is still unknown, but it is thought to release endorphins in the body, a natural substance which can help reduce the symptoms of pain. Heat and cold stimulation can also be a part of the process. Some chiropractors are also licensed acupuncturists and may employ techniques from that art in treatment.

Chiropractic historically and today believes strongly in spinal alignment as a cause and driver of much disease. With this, chiropractors may help correct issues with spinal alignment that may improve other conditions including frozen shoulder.

The end goal for any treatment regime is to improve symptoms and improve patients’ lives by reducing the impact the disease or condition has on them. When it comes to frozen shoulder, prevention is a very important part of this. With some the methods described above and a few others (including patients to rest as that is very important) chiropractic care may help you move on with you life and past frozen shoulder. Some exercises which chiropractors can teach you may help you reduce the likelihood of having the same issue in the future, thus saving you future discomfort and likely money as well.

Image credit: Alice Day

Vitamin D, a Necessity for Strong Bones

Posted on: May 18th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Vitamin D, a Necessity for Strong BonesGetting enough Vitamin D is a very important part of having good bone health and in turn, being a healthy person overall. While we often hear the importance of vitamin D stressed for children due to their growing bones, it is important to note that it is still very important in adults and especially in women, who become naturally at higher risk for bone diseases such as osteoporosis after they go through menopause. Thankfully, there are many different ways to ensure that you get enough vitamin D to keeps your bones strong and healthy throughout life.

Getting direct sunlight actually allows your body to produce its own vitamin D. Getting some exercise outside can be a great way to boost your vitamin D levels. Of course take caution and make sure you do not get sunburned or dehydrated, but sunlight can often be a good thing too! Then of course there are dietary options. It is best to talk to a pharmacist or doctor (or other healthcare professional; perhaps even a chiropractor) to figure out how much is best for you if you go that route.

Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin as was originally thought (and which led to the misnomer). It is actually a hormone which guides several processes within the body including the formation and maintenance of strong bones. Ensuring adequate intake is especially for children as they grow and women post-menopause. This is because other hormonal changes (namely estrogen) leads to reduced hormonal support of bones as a woman ages and puts them at risk of less dense or even brittle bones which can lead to fractures and other injuries. This is why women are often started on supplements past a certain age.

Aside from the impact on bones, vitamin D can be important for other bodily processes including your immune system and muscle health. So don’t put off talking to your doctor about your vitamin D levels and potentially getting them tested if your doctor thinks you are at risk. It is always better to find out about deficiencies before you actually suffer a grueling event that lands you in the hospital.

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Microwaves and Nutrients

Posted on: May 5th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Microwaves and NutrientsWe all know that it is important to have a diet rich in nutrients with foods like vegetables and protein-heavy components. We also know that the raw form of many foods, namely vegetables, are often choc-full of vitamins and minerals that are very important. One question that is often forgotten or asked but not answered is whether a particular form of food preparation will nullify or reduce any of these benefits prior to consumption. Microwaving is an especially popular cooking option that may change the chemical structure of foods and as a result potentially change the nutritional impact on the body. But it is not all bad and this effect certainly isn’t to the point where it makes eating healthy foods cooked via the microwave lose their benefit altogether.

While the microwave can degrade certain vitamins like vitamin C and B12, others are not affected or potentially even strengthened, such as some antioxidants which are “freed” as the proteins that bind them denature in the high temperatures of the microwave. These free antioxidants can then have a larger impact on the person consuming them. A recently Harvard Health Letter actually suggests that the best cooking methods are the ones that quickly heat up food and cook them for the shortest amount of time- traits that the microwave often has.

While the science is not established to really push one side without question, it is apparent that there are pros and con to heating food via the microwave and using different forms of cooking are probably the best way to go about maintaining a healthy diet. One of the downsides associated with microwaves is also the uneven cooking, which can often lead to nutrients and proteins being degraded in the ultra-hot part of the food and not at the cooler parts. This may lead the cooker to mix the food and then reheat it, leading to an overall loss in nutrients. This can be gotten around by making sure that foods do not get too cooked at once. By splitting up microwave cooking times into several bits (for example five, one minute cooking time periods as opposed to one five minute cook) and mixing the food or rotating it may help in avoiding the issues with uneven cooking and the impact it has on nutrition. Overall, it seems safe to say that microwaves can have very different impacts on our nutritional needs and the science on eating optimally with them is still emerging.

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Chiropractic Help for Headaches

Posted on: April 21st, 2015 by owner No Comments

Chiropractic Help for HeadachesGetting proper care for headaches can be crucial for long-run control. Headaches can be fickle and extremely unpleasant things and while there is no surefire way to avoid them at all costs, there are many different solutions that can help reduce the likelihood of them and when they do happen, to reduce the discomfort and pain. There are a number of medications available and medical procedures that may help with headaches depending on the type and cause. Many of these come with many risks including unwanted side effects and high cost. Other options for headaches include a number of chiropractic options via your local chiropractor.

Chiropractors may be able to help with a variety of different types of headache including tension, sinus, toxic, cluster, and migraine headaches. Tension headaches are the most common of these with almost 80 percent of Americans suffering from them.  A chiropractic professional may be able to help reduce pressure that leads to this type of pain. There are also a number of allopathic remedies available. Toxic headaches are caused by toxins and may be cured or helped with various homeopathic detoxification remedies, although the science is not very strong on that.  It is important to understand what exactly might be causing the headache and to try to treat that if a treatment exists. Sinus headaches are often accompanied by the common cold or other ailments and may be treatment with some remedies like a vaporizer. Cluster headaches are likely the scariest or most painful of the bunch as they really target one area of the head and the pressure can be intense. Thankfully they are the least common, but for those who do suffer from them better management of the biological clock as guided by a chiropractor may help reduce the incidence in the longer run. The last type of headache is the migraine. They are a very painful and discomforting form of ailment that millions of people suffer from. Migraine headaches may have some homeopathic solutions, but avoiding triggers (these vary amongst patients but common ones include bright lights, loud noises, certain smells, etc.) can help as well.

There are many different homeopathic formulas available that may help treat the various types of headaches. Treatment options include things for the headaches themselves as well as tangential problems that may exacerbate the head pain. Given the large variety of options, seeing a chiropractic professional is likely the best course of action. The best treatment for most people will likely involve a combination of procedural intervention, medicine, and potentially some alternative remedies as well. It should also be noted that there are a number of treatments in traditional allopathic medicine for many of these headache types. It is best to talk with a professional (or potentially multiple professionals including both homeopathic and allopathic) about your personal history and needs before going with one option. Each option whether via a chiropractor or a traditional medical specialist, comes with its benefits and risks, so it is important to weigh those based on personal needs and preferences.

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Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Posted on: April 6th, 2015 by owner No Comments

Benefits of Chiropractic CareChiropractic care is an underrated and less discussed area in modern healthcare. Most people think that such care is limited to those who have back pain, but this common misconception is far from the truth! While pain and other issues of the back are certainly areas in which a chiropractor may be able to help, he or she can also help with a number of other ailments including headaches, digestive issues, and immune-related problems. The greatest thing about it is that chiropractors offer up potential solutions that are not based around medications which often come with unwanted and unpleasant side effects.

Many headaches are caused due to issues with the soft tissues in your neck (cervicogenic) and can be helped by a variety of physical techniques and therapy options that chiropractors are trained on. Tension headaches and migraines along with neck headaches are amongst the most common and can also be treated through chiropractic care. And this is great news for patients who frequently get these headaches because it offers another option at a disease that can otherwise be very inconvenient and potentially even debilitating. Chiropractic care is also a good option in this space because the medications available through more traditional care are not tremendously effective and many patients find themselves struggling to control the pain even after trying many different types and versions of medications. There are many studies that support the effectiveness of chiropractic care in reducing headache pain via spinal manipulation. The literature specifically has shown reductions in headache intensity, frequency, as well as duration.

An even less intuitive area in which chiropractic care offers patients solutions is with issues of the digestive system. The various organs associated with digestion are actually amongst the most innervated by neurons in the entire body outside of the brain. The high bundles of neurons and the many messages being sent and processed in the area are often referred to as the “digestive brain”. The digestive brain is connected to the spinal cord where nerve tissue communicates with the central nervous system. When there are issues with the spinal cord, this messaging system can have issues. This is where chiropractors can help- by fixing alignment and other issues of the spinal cord, downstream effects can include improved messaging between the central nervous system and the digestive brain. There have been published case reports that support this.

The large involvement of nerves in regulating inflammatory and other cells also makes the immune impact of the spinal cord significant. As a result, this is yet another area where a chiropractor can help with issues. And really even this can be extended to any other ailment within the body that is tied in some way to the nervous system. So while chiropractors can certainly help patients with back pain, they can often also treat or guide patients in a number of other seemingly unrelated (but usually not actually unrelated) ailments. In being able to do this, they can be a part of an effective holistic approach to healthcare.

Image credit: Lisa Young