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Is sleep really important?

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Yes, You Should Continue With Chiropractic Care in The Winter

The cold, damp air during the fall and winter often exacerbates joint and muscle pain – so yes, you should continue with chiropractic care in the winter!

Maintaining your best health means doing what you can to prevent injuries, decrease pain, and promote recovery. Whether you are just not feeling like yourself, recovering from a fall, have a recent injury or arthritis, or are living with chronic pain, we are here to help you all year round. 

How Chiropractic Can Help

We can help treat falls on ice and slick surfaces, snow sports injuries, and other joint and muscle stiffness and pain, whether as your primary source of treatment or in accompaniment to traditional medicine.

How does an Chiropractic help?

  • Joint pain is often exacerbated by cold, wet weather. This can be a result of joint fluid moving less freely, making the joints stiffer and causing pain during movement. In addition, muscles contract with the cold and become less freely moveable. Chiropractic adjustments allow your muscles to loosen and relax, your joints to release, and the fluid within to move freely, and most of all, help to prevent and reduce pain.
  • Winter sports injuries: Injury prevention and recovery often involve several modes of treatment, from traditional medicine to preventive care. You can help to loosen up before a snowboarding or ski trip with an initial trip to us. If you do get injured, chiropractic care can help you heal faster and with less discomfort. Chiropractic care helps the body heal naturally without invasive procedures or medicine. Your adjustments can help with misalignments and can be a great addition to other medical treatments after a fall or impact.
  • When you are comfortable, you sleep better. Adequate sleep is paramount in maintaining the parts of your body that promote overall wellness. When you get the rest you need, this affects your mood, alertness, and ability to maintain safe practices. 

Keep Us at The Top of Your Winter Wellness List!

We care about how you manage through the winter months. Whether you are a snow lover or a snow avoider, simply being cold or damp can make you feel sluggish, sore, and unmotivated. 

As an essential part of your healthcare team, we want to ensure you maintain optimal health and wellness all year. So, yes! You should absolutely continue with Chiropractic care in the winter!

 

Your Sleep Affects Your Health More Than You May Believe

As a member of your healthcare team, I would be remiss if I did not ask questions about your sleep habits. After all, your sleep affects your health more than you may believe. Your sleep quality is essential to how your body repairs itself, metabolism, joint and bone health, and mood.

There are many variables to consider regarding how well you do or don’t sleep, but in the interest of sticking with one – we will evaluate the mattress you are sleeping on.

Beyond the price tag, there are things to consider when making this critical purchase. 

Sore Neck or Back?

Waking up with a sore neck or back will directly impact whether you make it to work on time or at all. Unexpected stiffness or pain can make the simplest tasks feel impossible. The mattress quality can significantly predict how well you maintain your musculoskeletal and joint health while you sleep.

Here are a few things you should remember when deciding to make a mattress purchase: 

When Should A Mattress Be Replaced?

This is a simple one. Before you wake up with sore or aching muscles. If you have turned your mattress a few times and noticed worn areas or cannot seem comfortable, it is time. Typically, ten years is the time to replace a mattress, but again – if you are feeling sore on an older mattress, start shopping around.

A medium-firm mattress is often the most beneficial for those with chronic low back pain. Sticking with a medium-firm mattress has been shown to decrease pain, improve sleep, and generally support your spine better than alternatives. 

Generally speaking, the standing posture of your spine should mimic that of your sleeping position. With this in mind, custom-made mattresses are often the best in reducing pain. 

Alternatively, on the opposite side of the spectrum, soft mattresses decrease excessive force on your joints – but can promote sagging of the hips that causes hip and back pain. 

A New Mattress is An Important Purchase

Purchasing a mattress should be just as important as buying a car. It would help if you saw it, tested it out, lay on it, rolled over, and adjusted it to ensure it fits you correctly. With so many options, I suggest you do your research and take the time to explore the specific features you may require. Even better, ask us for tips on what to look for in relation to your body’s needs. 

Your Quality of Sleep is Affecting Your Health

Sleep quality can significantly impact your quality of life, and that cost should be considered as a predictor of how well you will invest in your health. Sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in your productivity at work, the number of sick days used, and increased injuries due to delayed responses and accuracy. Consider the lost wages as a result of not sleeping well. 

Your Sleep Matters to Us

If you are taking care of one aspect of your joint and body health by maintaining your Chiropractic care, making adjustments to improve your overall sleep is a piece of this puzzle. 

Your body heals when you sleep well, and this is the time it takes to rejuvenate itself so you can feel your best. Take your time and research to ensure you provide your body with the best sleep conditions you can.

In the meantime, take care and let us know of any questions.

 

Neck and Hip Pain – What Can You Do About It?

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What is Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) ?

Femoroacetabular impingement, commonly referred to as FAI, is a condition of the hip joint caused by a misalignment in the bony structures that make up the hip. The friction from FAI between these bones causes inflammation, stiffness, and pain. Fortunately, several treatments are available for FAI, including therapies designed by your Chiropractic team. 

low back painThe following explains how we can help treat femoroacetabular impingement.

Femoroacetabular impingement occurs when the two primary hip joint bones—the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum (hip socket)—are not properly aligned. This misalignment can cause friction between these two bones, leading to damage over time.

Common symptoms of FAI include pain in the groin or buttocks area, decreased range of motion in the hips, stiffness in the hips or thighs, and difficulty standing after sitting for prolonged periods.

The original cause of FAI is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some researchers believe that the risk of FAI is increased by significant athletic activity before a child’s bones mature and that contact sports may worsen hip impingement. FAI is more commonly seen in men who have lived athletic lives since childhood.

Once FAI has become a factor in your health, it is not reversible. However, with appropriate and early treatment, you can slow the progression of this painful condition. 

How Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractors specialize in treating musculoskeletal conditions like FAI through spinal adjustments and soft tissue treatment. Through these methods, we can help to reduce inflammation and restore proper alignment. The result is an improved range of motion and reduced pain caused by femoroacetabular impingement. In addition to spinal adjustments and soft tissue treatments, we may also recommend lifestyle changes, including diet modifications or exercise routines that can help alleviate symptoms associated with FAI.

FAI is a Painful but Treatable Condition, Not to Worry!

Femoroacetabular Impingement is painful; however, it is treatable with proper Chiropractic care. Chiropractic care effectively reduces inflammation caused by this condition while restoring proper alignment to improve the range of motion and reduce associated pain. 

If you think you may have femoroacetabular impingement, give us a call to set up a Chiropractic spinal examination.

 

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a spinal condition caused by the narrowing of the spaces within your spine that lend to a safe passageway for your spinal cord. The effects of spinal stenosis lead to compression of the nerve roots. This can cause numbness, pain, and weakness in your neck, legs, or arms. In some more complicated cases, it can even make it difficult to stand or walk for extended periods of time. 

Neck PainThe good news is a Chiropractor can help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with spinal stenosis. The following explains what spinal stenosis is and how Chiropractors like myself can help treat it.

What is the Cause of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is generally caused by age-related wear and tear on the spine, leading to degeneration over time. These age-related conditions include arthritis, herniated discs, bone spurs, or thickened ligaments that compress the nerves in the spinal column. Spinal stenosis occurs most commonly among those over 50 years old but can also appear in younger individuals. It’s also more likely to occur in people who have had back surgery or who are genetically predisposed to this condition. If there are people in your family who have experienced spinal stenosis, there is a chance you may experience the same.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic care is one of the best ways to treat spinal stenosis because it focuses on relieving pressure on the nerves while improving your spine’s mobility and flexibility. Spinal adjustments help improve your range of motion and reduce pain while helping you strengthen your core muscles with stretching and strengthening exercises. We may also recommend lifestyle changes such as losing weight (if necessary) to further reduce stress on your spine. Additionally, we will advise you on proper posture techniques to minimize the strain on your back, particularly while standing or sitting down for prolonged periods.

Spinal stenosis is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition that affects tens of thousands. Still, it does not have to be debilitating. With Chiropractic care, you can find relief from your symptoms without resorting to medications or surgery. 

Recent Spinal Stenosis Diagnosis

If you have been recently diagnosed through imaging with spinal stenosis, reach out to us and set up a time for us to investigate how we can help you reduce the adverse effects. And, while there is no cure for spinal stenosis, you can undoubtedly remain ahead of symptoms and prevent further pain.

Fun Ways To Survive The Winter Season

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Chiropractic Tips To Survive Winter

The temperature is dropping, and the damp, cooler weather can mean many things to our bodies. The excitement of winter activities like ice skating and tobogganing begins. For some, there are winter fairs and markets. Others prepare for the holidays and spend time indoors with loved ones and warm blankets. Whatever your winter activity or inactivity, there is always a reason to ensure you regularly visit your us. 

Here are a handful of reasons you should not skip your chiropractic care in the winter:

Brisk Temperatures Cause Many to Be Sedentary

Hibernating is for the bears, not people. It does us a disservice to be ultra-active in the warm months only to undo our fitness all winter. It can take more work to muster up the motivation to get out and exercise. Putting on weight can add extra stress to your joints and lead to difficulties in repairing injuries that can happen when the snow and ice take over. Regular adjustments can help you to remain limber, and we can help you stay on top of your physical fitness. Whether it’s accountability or new ways to move your body indoors, visiting us in preparation for the winter months will benefit your overall health. 

Whatever You do, Don’t Wait for an Injury

Ultimately, the goal should be regular chiropractic visits as a part of your everyday health routine. Being proactive with your health will always be the best course of action. Preventative health care will save you money and time away from work and family and improve your quality of life. Preventative care in place of waiting for an injury is the best health care. We are here to help you with this every step of the way.

A Safer Way to Enjoy Winter

You don’t have to love winter, and you don’t even have to like winter, but we want you to have the tools to be safe and healthy. Whatever your winter activities consist of, even if it’s binge-watching television, we want you to be comfortable and pain-free. Finding ways to fit physical fitness into your days is essential. Finding ways to prevent injuries is crucial if you’re an active winter person. Adjustments (and lots of water) will keep your joints lubricated and moving freely.

If Chiropractic care isn’t a regular component of your care, contact us for a Chiropractic assessment. You wouldn’t drive a car that hasn’t had a winter tune-up (I hope, anyway). Make sure you are putting the same maintenance into your body.

Winter Hiking Tips

Winter is upon us; if you’re like me, it’s an exciting time of year. So many winter activities will require you to be outdoors in the fresh air. However, hiking requires very little equipment and will satisfy the need to move your body with little skill. Going on a winter hike is a perfect way to improve your mood and boost your mental wellness.

Here are my top winter hiking tips:

Let someone know where you plan to hike. Tell someone where you’ll be and how long you plan to be out. Please share your location. It’s unlikely you will get lost, or things will go awry, but it is better to be safe than sorry. It is a quick and straightforward solution, especially when sharing your location and checking in with a friend or family member.

Hike during the daylight hours. With short days in winter, you must plan accordingly. Start your hike early and choose a trail you can complete in daylight hours. Try to find a hike in the sun, as it will be significantly warmer than any other trail. On windy days, look for hikes at lower elevations in the trees to block the moving air.

Keep your electronic devices warm. Your device batteries will run out of energy faster in the cold weather. To avoid losing navigation or your ability to contact others, carry a charger and keep your devices as warm as possible.

Use a wide-mouth thermos or water bottle. Carrying warm liquids and water with you is a must. A wide-mouth container will The cold air is dry, and you can become dehydrated just as quickly as you can in the warmer weather. Remember, you will work up a sweat under all those layers!

Wear layers and have icers for your boots. We all know that layers are a must when spending significant time outdoors in the winter. Layers from your head to your gloves to your socks are great. Hand warmers to prevent frostbite and icers for your boots will allow you to hike safely, particularly when the ground is icy. Collapsible hiking poles are perfect for unexpected icy patches or ice hiding under layers of snow.

Check the weather and trail reports before you leave your home. If there is a chance of snow, you know how quickly the environment and visibility can change. Road and trail conditions require your attention before you embark on your hike.

Ensure your car maintenance is up to date. The last thing you want is to get back to your car for it to either be buried in snow or it won’t start. Does your vehicle have a first aid kit, an emergency kit, and blankets? Is there adequate gas in the tank? Do you have windshield wiper fluid? Your car’s maintenance is as essential as maintaining your body’s ability to take the hike.

Final recommendation – come in and receive regular Chiropractic adjustments. Regular adjustments will allow your body to work optimally, which is the key to preventative care.

Winter hikes are a favourite pastime. Taking in the little daylight we get during this time of year, along with the fresh, is a simple but effective way to prevent becoming sedentary and will provide the perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep.

Until next time, I hope these winter hiking tips help. Happy hiking!

 

Tips to Avoid Fall Yard Cleanup Injuries

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Avoid Injuries During Fall Yard Cleanup

Every year, we see an influx of patients who have injured themselves while completing their annual fall yard cleanup. Pruning trees, cleaning gutters, raking leaves, and general bending and lifting can create a perfect environment for back injuries, strains, sprains, or falls. The general use of leaf blowers, rakes, ladders, and carrying heavy bags requires a thoughtful plan to prevent injuries, and you know, as Chiropractors, we like to focus on prevention!

So, we’ve created a short list can help you make preventative choices. However, we encourage you to see schedule an appointment with us before you begin any heavy end-of-season yard work to develop a plan best suited to you.

  1. Stretch. Remaining limber is always your first line of defense. Stretch your shoulders, back, wrists, and neck for a few minutes. These areas are the most susceptible to yard work-related injuries. 
  2. Hydrate. As the weather becomes cooler or cooler compared to a scorching summer, you may not feel the same need to stay hydrated. Hydrating will prevent dizziness and help your joints and muscles remain malleable while working.
  3. Dress for the occasion. Fall weather is unpredictable, so check the weather report before planning your tasks. Wear comfortable clothing that you won’t overheat in. Light layers work best, and ensuring long sleeves and pants will help protect you from bugs. Closed-toed shoes are a must (for obvious reasons) and work/garden gloves to protect your hands. 
  4. Do you have protective gear? Sunscreen is item number one on this list; too many people lose sight of UV rays as the weather changes. Glasses or goggles, depending on what tasks you are taking care of, along with back, knee, or wrist braces, are helpful. And don’t forget the earplugs if you are using blowers or chainsaws. 
  5. Ergonomics and posture. Good posture often begins in the store when you are purchasing your equipment. Choose rakes, shovels, blowers, etc., that are comfortable for you. Be mindful of your posture, and avoid hunching over or lifting by bending your waist. Always lift at the knees, using the strongest parts of your legs to lift items. Ensure you are using both sides of your body equally if you can; this can help prevent extra soreness or overworking muscles on one side.
  6. Be careful when using a ladder. If using a ladder to remove leaves and debris from your gutters, make sure it’s sturdy with no loose screws or hinges. Be sure to place it on a firm, level surface, and it’s full double. Check it is fully open and locked. Wear shoes with nonslip soles when climbing, and ask someone to hold the ladder in place if you can. Always face toward the ladder when climbing and descending, and never sit or stand above the level indicated by the manufacturer.

When You’re Finished

Call an appointment for a Chiropractic adjustment when your yardwork is complete. Year-round maintenance doesn’t just apply to your yard; it also applies to your body!

Injury Prevention Starts With Maintaining Mobility

The chillier weather is upon us, which means many folks will either be switching up their activities to accommodate ice and snow or remaining indoors and possibly becoming increasingly more sedentary as winter emerges. However, if you aren’t attempting to keep moving, you could risk your long-term overall health. Suppose you are switching up your activities to accommodate the ice and snow. In that case, injuries can be imminent if you aren’t prepared.

We do not suggest you begin training to run marathons (unless this is what you desire). Still, to remain healthy, we must monitor what we put into our bodies and how we stay as physically fit as possible.

Stretching Is A Must

Even if you are in a position to move around for some of the day, your body requires stretching. Long periods of sitting or standing will affect our circulation; this can cause a deterioration of muscle mass, ultimately affecting systems of your body.

Occasionally we suggest yoga, but we’d error on the side of caution when choosing an online class that is appropriate for you. Without instructors who can watch your form and make suggestions to eliminate the possibility of injury, this is one we wouldn’t necessarily recommend for those with compromised mobility. However, if you don’t fall into this category, starting with an online or in-person beginner program can be a great start to something you may love. 

If yoga has yet to be on your list of things to try, continuing with light stretches throughout the day is highly recommended. Remember that your form is equally as crucial as the stretch itself, so take your time and make sure you are breathing through it and that it feels right. Stretches should feel like more of a relief than painful. Stretching too much can cause very sore muscles and may cause you to want to give up.

Online Workouts

If being online has become your go-to, there is a workout for every body type, goal, and injury. The past bunch of years have normalized online workouts and access to personal trainers. You can now workout with your favorite celebrity, neighbor, friends, and even a personal trainer.

Home Gym Or No Home Gym

Whether you do or you don’t. This should not be a barrier to an exercise program. Using household items as substitutes is a perfect alternative to traditional hand weights.

What are good alternatives?

  • Large bottles of liquid detergent are great because they have handles, and you could easily use two at a time, provided they have the same amount of liquid in them. 
  • A bag of potatoes is a standard 10 lbs. This is easy to assess, and the bags are easily manipulated, so there is less likelihood of dropping them and causing injury.
  • A backpack with cans inside is an excellent use of weight when doing squats or lunges, and the weight will remain evenly distributed. 
  • Cans of paint are great for bicep curls.

In addition, recommend an inexpensive set of good-quality loop resistance bands. They often come with an insert with exercises that can be done while watching your form, typically used to prevent injuries.

There are several great videos on YouTube that will show you how to use them efficiently. The great thing about these bands is that you can work almost every muscle safely and effectively.

Get Out There

If you have begun to slow down, return to the gym or your local pool to resume or begin an exercise routine.

Ultimately, there is little reason to remain sedentary. As always, beginning something new can be intimidating or challenging for some, but if you combine it with the ability to start in the privacy of your own home, it can be appealing. Home gyms are a great alternative to attending busy local public gyms.

Whether it’s the occasional stretch, a daily walk, or continuing to work out with your gym community – anything is an excellent alternative to sitting and wishing you were more active. 

When you feel better physically, you will always feel better mentally. So keep it moving!

Contact us to ensure you are maintaining optimal health with proper form, adjustments, and overseeing your general physical health.

 

Care for Neck Pain, and helpful tips for heading back to the Gym

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Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

Neck pain is one of the most common reasons we see patients. Your neck, also called the cervical spine, contains many small vertebrae that support the weight of your head while supporting the connection between your brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. Your neck is strong, but its delicate structure and flexibility make it susceptible to strain and injury. 

The biomechanics of everyday living contribute to the wear and tear of your cervical spine, so even prolonged sitting, accidents, falls, normal aging, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, poor posture, repetitive movements, and blows to the head can lead to chronic pain and headaches.

Chiropractic Care

Seeing a chiropractor about your neck pain is essential in correcting an injury. During your visit, we will ask you a series of questions and perform an exam to locate the source of your pain. We will ask about your current symptoms and if you have already tried to alleviate the pain alone. A few of these questions may include:

  • When did the pain start?
  • Does the pain travel to other parts of your body?
  • Are there movements that reduce the pain?
  • Are there movements that make the pain worse?
  • What measures have you taken to reduce the pain already?

A portion of the exam will also include a physical component where we will observe your range of motion, posture, and physical condition so they can note any movements that cause you pain. We will also examine your spine to note any curvature and alignment and for tight muscles or spasms.

In some cases, there may be a request for additional imaging tests like an x-ray, an MRI, an EMG, or a CAT scan to check for bone spurs, fractures, arthritis, herniations, bulging discs, or nerve damage before moving forward with a treatment plan. There are instances where treatments are out of the chiropractic scope of practice, like surgeries or medications, and you’ll be directed to your medical physician. 

Neck Adjustments

When your treatment is in the scope of chiropractic care, cervical adjustments are given to help improve mobility and to restore the range of motion. These cervical adjustments will also increase movement in the adjoining muscles. Typically, patients notice improved mobility, reduced pain, soreness, and stiffness. 

Additionally, we may include additional treatments depending on your profile and the best-case planning for your needs. This may consist of massage therapy, rehabilitative services, or exercise.

Next Steps

Although neck pain is a common reason we see patients, each person has individualized needs that require an individualized treatment plan. If you are experiencing neck pain, talk to us to assess whether we can help you have an improved standard of living. Neck pain doesn’t have to be a part of aging, nor should it be tolerated until it “resolves itself.”

 

Getting Back Into The Gym

We all start the new year with good intentions. We want to write more, learn something new, pick up a new hobby, or get into the best shape of our life. But for many of us, something changes and we fall right back into old habits and routines. Going to the gym the first month of the year looks very different than going to the gym the ninth month of the year. So, what is the best way to get back into the gym?

If you have fallen back into old habits and feel inclined to wait until the first day of the new year, then we are here to tell you that the best time to get back into taking care of your body is now. This does not mean jumping right back into a tough routine, but easing back into maintaining a moderate level of activity should be the goal. 

Ease Back Into a Workout Regimen

New year’s resolutions can be great. They also create a type of urgency that is challenging to maintain. When it comes time to create new habits or routines, the best way to do this is slowly. Managing your expectations is key. Start by going to the gym once a week for 30-45 minutes, or join a class. Building your motivation over time will allow you to develop the discipline you need to maintain new routines. As you already know, the more you workout, the better you feel and the more likely it is that will want to continue to feel good. The frequency will seemingly increase on it’s own, as will the progress you will see and feel in your body. 

Hitting the gym hard from day one is never recommended by chiropractors because of the potential for injuries. But small, incremental changes are something we stand behind!

What About Nutrition?

Changing your body composition starts in the kitchen. Consuming high nutrient foods, water, and supplements will give your body what it needs to feel good. Feeling good is the ultimate goal, and your gut health plays a big part in managing your moods and sleep. Plus, the better you feel the more likely it is that you will maintain your workout routine.

Something is Better Than Nothing

Moving your body once  a week is better than not moving it at all. Don’t allow competing with others discourage you from making healthier choices for yourself. Take your time and enjoy the process of getting to know what works for you. Many people lose their footing once they have had a few interrupted weeks, then never get back to regular workouts. This does not have to be your story.

Visit Us

Regular Chiropractic care will allow you to ensure you are using proper form and increasing your activity levels at a reasonable rate. Adjustments will ensure your body is able to perform at its peak!

 

Are High-Heel Shoes Good? Acute vs. Chronic Pain.

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5 Things Your Chiropractor Wants You to Know About High-Heel Shoes

Something many people agree on is that high-heeled shoes are attractive. They make your legs look longer, the muscles look a little more defined, and they create that little sway when we walk in them.

Before you get out the heels for everyday living, having these five facts about heels is essential.

  1. Heels will shorten your calf muscles. They can make them short and compact, which is a part of the appeal. But mechanically, this can cause problems like plantar fasciitis and can put too much pressure on the ball of your foot, causing pain. To ensure you do your best to prevent long-term issues, stretch your Achilles, peroneal muscles, and calf muscles. This can be done quickly and discreetly by simply taking the shoe off, pointing your toes down and up, and gently rolling your ankles. The goal is to avoid permanent changes to your muscles and your gait.
  2. Keep your time in heels to a minimum. Prolonged wear should be considered; the longer you wear high heels, the more damage will be done. If heels are a must for a prolonged period, consider bringing flats or runners to change into if the chance arises to switch footwear.
  3. Heels change your posture. Your body was not mechanically designed to carry the brunt of your weight on the ball of your foot. Wearing heels changes the alignment of your spine because the mechanics of your feet and legs are altered, and your body is trying to maintain balance. Be mindful of your posture while wearing heels, with your shoulders, back, and abdomen tucked in, and an attempt at evenly distributing your weight onto your entire foot – without losing balance, of course!
  4. Heels cause bunions. No, I’m not kidding. Wearing heels can cause bulges at the base of your big toe, which can be painful. Suppose you have ever experienced a bunion or bunion removal. In that case, I’m sure you’ll consider how much time you spend in heels.
  5. Heels with straps are better than heels without straps. If wearing heels is a must, it is much better to settle into a pair with straps to avoid the work your feet need to put into keeping the shoe on your foot. According to some of my patients, this unnatural tensing of the foot can be quite painful.

Comfortable Footwear is Aesthetic

Choosing comfort and practicality is always a good look. The cause of many injuries that chiropractors see are the result of choosing the way they look over comfort.

I am not suggesting you show up at a wedding in sneakers, but consider how much time you spend unnecessarily in heels. When you don’t wear heels, be sure to have access to supportive footwear for the occasion or activity. Ensure you incorporate foot and ankle stretches and exercise in your routine, and when/if possible, go for walks on the sand. The soft surface of sand causes your body to use more muscles, thus creating a stronger foundation for your feet and ankles to support your body.

I hope these five things your chiropractor wants you to know about high heel shoes have helped you to consider your practices when you do indulge.

A Chiropractic Guide to Acute vs. Chronic Pain

Unfortunately, experiencing pain is a part of life. Your chiropractor has likely seen everything from stubbed toes to broken bones, headaches, to concussions. More importantly, do you know the differences between acute and chronic pain and when to consult a healthcare provider concerning either?

Acute Pain

Acute pain occurs when we hurt ourselves or experience headaches, arthritis, or broken bones. Acute pain is normal, and it is our body’s way of alerting us that something is wrong or an injury has occurred. These instances of pain can be mild or excruciating. Still, the key is that the pain gets better over time until it improves completely.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain occurs when the pain does not go away, dissipate or improve over time. The pain is the illness. Diagnosis can take time and is often following months or years of pain. Chronic pain can become so debilitating that it can alter the nervous system, creating a greater sensitivity (or fear) to pain. Some examples of chronic pain include arthritis, sciatica, endometriosis, or fibromyalgia.

An Easy Way to Tell The Difference

Acute pain can develop into chronic pain, like when a broken bone does not heal correctly, causing long-term pain. In addition, some conditions naturally will become progressively worse over time, leading to chronic pain that was once acute and easier to manage. This is why preventative methods of managing pain are essential to our well-being.

Not every progressive condition can be managed in a way that prevents chronic pain. Still, there are certainly ways we can work to prevent further injury or the progression of painful symptoms in some instances.

Pain Management

One of the main components of chiropractic care is to minimize the use of pain medication when injuries are sustained. Being proactive in preventing pain is our goal, but treating pain with adjustments and movement is just as important. When pain medications are used to mask pain, the root cause of the pain is often left unaddressed.

Of course, in cases where the pain is preventing the person from being able to function through their day-to-day life, medication is required. However, the root cause still must be addressed to move away from the use of pain medication.

Chiropractic is Here to Help

Whether your pain is acute or chronic, your we can help you to develop a reasonable plan to move away from medication and move toward healing the actual cause of the pain. We are here to offer assessment, adjustment, and a well-rounded approach to healing with the least amount of unnatural or unhealthy intervention. Pain medication certainly has its benefits but is not designed for long-term use. The risk of dependency is a genuine concern, and side effects can be, at the very least, uncomfortable.

If you are someone who suffers from pain, acute or chronic, book an assessment with us to develop a plan toward a pain-free (or at least pain-reduced) life.

What’s best to do after an adjustment and tips for water activity

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Adjustment Aftercare

If you are someone who has been considering seeing a chiropractor for an adjustment, but you want more information on what to expect of yourself?

Then keep reading…

Many suggestions are simple. Once you read through this, they could be considered common-sense recommendations; however, if you have never experienced an adjustment, this information will undoubtedly be new.

These tips are great even if you have not had an adjustment, but you will be glad you stopped by for a quick read when you decide to have one.

Following an Adjustment

Remain as active as you normally would. Immediately following an adjustment is not the time to start a new sport or dive into a heavy workout, but remaining sedentary when you are an active person can cause your muscles to tighten. In other words, you can feel stiff if you don’t resume an average or moderate amount of movement.

Drink lots of water. Hydration is always a recommendation, but remaining hydrated after an adjustment will allow your body the environment it needs to fall into its new alignment.

Be mindful of your posture. Many people arrive at the chiropractor for spine health and poor posture adjustments. After an adjustment, be aware of your posture and avoid slouching or long periods of standing without keeping your abdominal muscles tight.

Get enough sleep. Sleep allows your body to recuperate. Ensuring you get a long, restful sleep will ensure your body has a break to rest and settle into its adjusted state. Some people report feeling soreness following an adjustment, so avoid sleeping on your stomach, worsening the soreness. Instead, sleep on your back or side with a pillow between your knees to maintain the spine’s alignment.

Use ice intermittently for soreness. Ice is perfect for reducing swelling and for providing pain relief. Use it in 20-minute intervals to ensure you don’t injure your skin and use a barrier like a dishtowel.

Your chiropractor will likely give you some stretches to do at home. Chiropractic care is a holistic method with many dimensions concerning adjustments. Your chiropractor often recommends stretches and light exercises to help your adjustments and healing.

Equally as Important

Do your best not to be sedentary after your adjustments; if you must sit for long periods, ensure you get up and move around every 20 minutes. It is also recommended that you do not participate in anything that will cause you to make explosive movements, like boxing, heavy weightlifting, or contact sports.

Many of these suggestions are simple, but every person is different, and their bodies will react differently to chiropractic adjustments. Whatever the case is for you, these recommendations will ensure you get the most out of your chiropractic adjustment experience.

I hope I have been answering your questions about chiropractic care. My goal is to remove the mystery and to allow you to make an informed decision about your circle of medical and holistic care!

Until next time, be safe and enjoy the warmer weather we have been getting!

 

Water Activity Injury Prevention

If you live near water, being active in water is a great way to enjoy the summer. From swimming to kayaking and canoeing to paddle boarding, local lakes and rivers are certainly a family favorite during the warm months.

Water safety is the most critical factor when we plan to engage in water activities. But aside from safety, here are some tips on preventing musculoskeletal injuries when on the water:

Being on the water has a calming effect on most people. The light waves, the sounds, and the crisp air can be meditative, even. These low-impact activities are excellent ways to improve your strength, stamina, flexibility, and mental sharpness.

Water activities can increase your heart health without too much friction on your joints, muscles, and ligaments—the paddling motion paired with the balance required to tone almost your entire body, particularly your core.

Aside from wearing a lifejacket, there are other safety precautions to consider. Here are some ways to help you prevent seeing me for these or similar reasons:

Proper form when paddling is a big one. Refraining from overextending your arms and straining your shoulders will promote adequate paddling posture. Using your core and upper back instead of just your arms will help maintain a good paddling cadence while preventing strain on your shoulders, back, and neck.

Keep your body aligned and limber. Ensure your spine is not misaligned to compensate for poor paddling form. This will prevent disc issues, strains, and joint pain. The most common injuries I see in my practice are rotator cuff pain, wrist strain, disc prolapse, shoulder dislocation, and tendon inflammation. All of these ailments are preventable with education and practice!

Stretching to warm up and afterward. I can never say enough about light stretching. Not only will it allow your muscles to remain flexible, stretching helps to prevent soreness post-activity.

Stay hydrated and eat light meals. Being on the water all day sometimes makes us forget to hydrate and eat. A nutritious diet and drinking water are a must when it comes to maintaining muscle and joint health. Heavy or salty meals can lead to cramping and dehydration.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy the summer months outdoors and on the water. Being in nature is the best way to relieve stress, appreciate the moment, and achieve our best sleep.

To ensure you prioritize your health, talk to us about water activity safety and how to best prevent injuries. And remember, overconsumption of alcohol and water activities don’t mix.

Prevention is always the first line of defense. If you have any questions or want more information on proper paddling form when engaged in water activities, do ask us.

 

Benefits of Chiropractic Care and Summer Gardening Tips

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The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

There is a common misconception that Chiropractic care is used to relieve issues of the spine only. Chiropractic adjustments are additionally used to alleviate the pain of injuries to your bones, connective tissue, joints, cartilage, and muscles.

Some of the most common areas of relief through Chiropractic care include:

Back pain. Chiropractic treatment for back pain is used to avoid surgery and further injury and to relieve pain while improving the range of motion.

Neck pain. The increased use of computers, tablets, and phones has led to increased rates of neck pain. To decrease neck pain, your Chiropractor can provide spinal adjustments and treatments through exercises and stretches. Your treatment may also include education about the importance of an ergonomic workspace.

A reduction in the use of opioid pain relievers. Chronic pain can quickly become both physically and psychologically debilitating. However, the overuse of opioids can have catastrophic effects long term. We will work with you to provide pain relief solutions that do not include the use of prescription medications.

Improves posture. Chiropractic treatments are often used to correct poor posture. There are many instances where poor posture can exacerbate back pain, neck pain, and chronic headaches or migraines.

Improved incidents of headaches. People who suffer from chronic headaches often say they would try anything to relieve their pain. Chiropractic care and massage therapy can significantly reduce the number and severity of headaches over time. In particular, headaches caused by neck tension or misalignment.

Improved sleep. Something as seemingly simple as an adjustment can help you to sleep better. Spinal misalignment causes a host of issues with pain, discomfort, rest, and relaxation.

Many more benefits of chiropractic care have yet to be mentioned but will be discussed further in upcoming blogs.

Overall, Chiropractic care is a multifaceted model that will complement other health care models to reduce the use of pain medications and side effects. To discover if Chiropractic care is for you, contact us today.

Summer Gardening Tips

As a Chiropractor, I often see an influx of seasonal-related injuries in patients. The summer comes with many potential sprains, strains, and breaks; however, many of these are gardening-related injuries.

Gardening Brings Joy

Gardening can bring joy and healthy productivity to our lives, so I would never suggest eliminating it. Gardening season does arrive with increased incidents of neck strain and back injuries, mainly due to overexertion and repetitive movements.

Taking care of your back, neck, and overall body before and after gardening can significantly affect your health. Plus, you cannot maintain a beautiful garden with injuries!

Although our bodies are quite adaptable, they become weaker over the winter months if you become sedentary. In turn, when the weather gets warmer, your body can have difficulty keeping up with your new activities, like gardening. Any excess weight gained over the winter can add extra pressure on your joints, making the transition to gardening even more challenging.

There are several things you can do to ensure you are gardening-ready, including:

Being prepared. When you have set aside the big weekend to get your garden going, please ensure you are hydrated, have stretched, wear appropriate clothing, and have the knee pads, wrist guards, and other tools you will require. Safety is the key; you cannot be safe if you are unprepared.

Have your garden design mapped out before you begin. Will you have raised beds? Strategically placed perennials? Sun/Shade-loving plants? Designing your garden before you begin will help alleviate the need to move plants around.

When possible, have heavy items like soil and mulch delivered to your home, and have a wheelbarrow available to move them. Be sure to use the proper techniques for transporting heaving items by bending at the knees and avoiding twisting motions. Do you have another person to help? Have them on standby for times you feel you may overexert yourself.

Keep your body relaxed. We can become tense when we constantly lift items and move around to complete tasks. Tension can cause us to develop extra strain on our muscles, leading to potential injuries. Every 30 minutes, do a body check, relax your shoulders, unclench your jaw, and shake your arms around to loosen up.

Enjoy your creation! Gardening is a creative endeavor for most, so take the time to admire your work along the way.

Finally, you already know that as a Chiropractor advising you to stretch before and after, wearing sun protection, and drinking lots of water is a must. Injuries, sunburns, and dehydration are no joke, and they are certainly no fun.

Neck and back injuries can reoccur, so if you have had prior injuries, it is essential to follow the advice we provide. Remember, it is always better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our bodies.

Until next time, happy and safe gardening! And if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us.

Is a crooked spine ok, and what is the best exercise?

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Being Crooked Isn’t Always Bad

How many of us were told to stand up straight when we were young? While it’s always a good idea to maintain proper posture, many people have the false idea that the spine is always straight.

Your spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae. They interlock to form your spinal column, and can be divided into different unique regions:

– The cervical spine. With a slight inward curve, this spinal curve is in your neck, at the topmost part of the spinal column.
– The thoracic spine. This region curves outward, forming a C-shape. It is located between your neck and abs, named for the thorax.
– The lumbar spine. This area curves inward, like the cervical spine. It is responsible for connecting your abs to your lower body.
– The sacrum. At the base of the lumbar, this connects to your pelvis.
– The coccyx. Just below the sacrum is the coccyx, which is responsible for bearing quite a bit of weight.

Each of these regions has its own unique jobs in supporting your body’s health. The spine is meant to take pressure, weight and force while keeping the body balanced, whether you’re still or moving. This balance is helped along by the spine’s curves – a vital part of keeping you functioning as you should be.

While most people have the idea that the spine should be straight, it curves if you view it from the side, also called a lateral view.

When any of the above-mentioned curves are exaggerated, it can lead to pain and dysfunction. Others who have issues with their spinal curves may not be experiencing any symptoms at all, but may further down the road.

What Causes Abnormal Curves?

The most common type of abnormal curve is known as scoliosis. Often affecting children (though it can be found in adults as well). If your spine’s curvature is abnormal even when viewed from the front or side, it can be an indication of scoliosis.

In the spine, there are several reasons that abnormal curves may exist. Many health problems can contribute to these problems. These may include poor posture, development in utero, arthritis, osteoporosis and obesity.

If you have concerns about your spinal curves, it’s a good idea to book a Chiropractic assessment. As practitioners who focus on helping people live more actively and free from pain, Chiropractors can assess your spinal column and determine if you may benefit from further care. The range of conditions a Chiropractor can treat includes neck pain, back pain, arthritis, certain types of headaches, injuries and more. A Chiropractor assesses your spine, muscles, and nervous system to identify any potential problems and advise you on their best advice to make sure your spinal column stays in great shape. Call us today to book a Chiropractic Spinal Assessment.

 

Which Type of Exercise Is Truly Best?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a single person in the whole world who isn’t aware of the benefits of exercise. What are you doing to stay active? Whether you enjoy biking, walking, weight training, getting out in your garden or chasing after kids and grandkids, there are numerous reasons to move your body regularly.

Physical activity is beneficial for everyone, even older adults that may feel limited in their abilities. Even if you’re not currently exercising as much as you would like to, there are exercises for every age and ability.

But how do you know which is the best to do? Plenty of people swear by their jogging routine, or are avid cyclists. To understand which exercise is going to pack the most punch for your health, it’s important to discuss the types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.

Endurance. This is probably what comes to mind when you think of the word “exercise.” Often referred to as aerobics or cardio, endurance exercise involves increasing your breathing and heart rate. How’s your endurance? THink about the last time you walked up a flight of stairs. If it was a struggle, you may need to work on your endurance.

Some ideas for endurance exercise are walking, swimming, joggling, dancing or signing up for an aerobics class.

Strength. Strength exercises are often overlooked, particularly by the older population who may think they’re not able to do strength exercises. That couldn’t be more incorrect! There are strength exercises appropriate for all abilities. Because we lose muscle mass as we age, strength training is vital at all ages and stages of life. You can build that muscle back and feel more able and confident in your daily tasks. Plus, stronger muscles will stimulate bone growth, lower blood sugar, assist with weight control, reduce pain and improve balance and posture.

If you’re not certain where to begin, consider visiting a health professional who can design a strength training program that is right for you.

Balance. When you do regular balance exercises, you can prevent injury from occurring and feel steadier on your feet. You can take classes such as tai chi to improve your balance. Or a health professional can assess you, then create a tailored balance exercise program that will target your specific problems.

Balance exercises include standing on one foot, walking heel to toe or walking on uneven surfaces. Be sure that you are prepared to give these a try so that you don’t tax your body or cause injury.

Flexibility. When you have to stretch, for example to reach something on the ground, do you feel a pull at your muscles? When we age, our tendons and muscles become less flexible. Muscles may shorten, increasing the risk of pain and lack of mobility. Stretching your muscles regularly will make them more flexible and lengthen them, reducing pain and the risk of an injury occurring.

There are stretches for each area of the body. Be sure, however, not to push yourself into pain. That can lead to bigger problems, so carefully monitor how you feel when stretching.

So, what should someone do to stay optimally healthy? Don’t limit yourself to a single type of activity. Try to find one of each of the four categories you enjoy and rotate the type of exercise you get on a daily basis!

Can you really enjoy spring cleaning? First go for a walk!

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5 Ways to Enjoy Spring Cleaning

It is time to purge, open the windows and get into those hard-to-reach corners. What’s spring cleaning without moving furniture and getting right in there?

We’ve been waiting many long months to reopen our homes to the fresh air, the sounds of nature, and the ability to clear out that built-up clutter. But injuries, particularly back injuries, are prevalent during this time of year. The injuries brought on by lifting, twisting, and tripping are the ones that can have long recovery times, so how can you prevent them?

Create a To-Do List

Patients that the desire to do it all at once can leave them scrambling to complete the many tasks they have started. Sticking to a list and completing one task at a time will allow you to remain organized and sure of your surroundings. Working in one area of the home at a time will allow you comfortably declutter and clean to completion. This makes it less likely to be tripping over cords or losing track of time.

Warm-Up

You may be thinking, “warm-up to clean the house?”.

Yes, the bending, moving, lifting, and scrubbing can have you – at the very least – feeling sore the next day. But injuries are more likely to occur if you have stiff muscles. Take a walk around the house, do a few simple stretches, and get your muscles warm and blood circulating to your extremities.

Keep Your Abs Tight

Simply keeping your abs tight throughout the cleaning process will give you a great ab workout and help support your back while moving and lifting items. Many back injuries occur due to poor form when moving, lifting, or getting up out of awkward positions. However, having a solid core will help prevent these injuries by keeping your musculoskeletal system firmly in place.

Use Your Legs, Not Your Back

Instead of bending at the waist, use your legs and squat or lunge! Squat while cleaning the bottoms of windows and mirrors. When cleaning the tub or picking items up off the floor, squat and bend at the knees when reaching for objects, lunge while vacuuming or weeding the garden – both of which are great for your shoulders and arms.

Clean More Than Your Home

Spring cleaning isn’t just about the physical aspect of cleaning and purging either. Cleaning up your eating habits and routine is a great way to get back on track after the long winter months. Getting into a better sleeping routine is a sure way to have you feeling and looking better. And making movement a crucial part of your daily routine will help you keep your body agile and in shape – so you can proactively prevent injuries.

Your home is an excellent place to start, but don’t forget to include the rest of your life. Make sure you have your Chiropractic appointments scheduled into your routine and be sure to make fitness a part of this equation.

Enjoy Yourself

Enjoy yourself by putting on your favorite music or podcast. Make sure you enlist family members to help out with these tasks, so you don’t become overburdened with house/yard work. Tasks can be easily divided up and categorized per age group when involving children, especially if you can turn it into a game!

Life is better when it is decluttered, the fresh air flows, and we feel like we have accomplished something!

 

Get the Most From Your Walks: A Chiropractic Approach

More people are choosing to walk as a primary source of movement. Spending time outdoors has become a standard form of self-care, and smart devices with built-in pedometers have made tracking walking distance an easy way to chart progress.

Walking is a great way to maintain mobility, improve your mood and get some much-needed cardiovascular work that many of us are missing.

The Walking/Chiropractic Connection

A common misconception about walking is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. The truth is, even with walking, form and footwear matter. Yes, walking is something we take for granted; it is something many of us do mindlessly to get around. As a chiropractor, I will share that walking for many people requires some thought about posture, core stability, gait, and footwear.

Walking is a perfect way to regulate and improve your sleep, mood, how you feel about your body, and stress levels; it supports a healthy immune system and can help develop a relationship with nature!

How Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic care has many benefits, but our primary focus is ensuring you are preventing pain, stiffness, and injuries. Pain relief is a close second.

Improving your mobility and flexibility will help to loosen up tight muscles because flexible muscles are less likely to result in pain or injuries. This is done when you and your chiropractor discuss your walking goals, examine your gait, and develop a plan that includes stretching and exercise to ensure your walks are as beneficial as possible. The rest is up to you. Following this plan will ensure you remain pain-free while maximizing the benefits of your walks.

Pain relief is another focus of this work, particularly if you experience poor posture or a weak core. Unfortunately, walking can affect your back and hips if your spine is out of alignment, so regular adjustments are necessary.

Walking has many benefits that affect your circulatory system and organs and releases endorphins. Setting and achieving goals also releases endorphins. Tracking steps or distance and achieving daily and weekly goals will add to the feelings of happiness and accomplishment that come with moving your body.

How Much Walking is Recommended?

This depends entirely on your level of fitness and ability. Some people walk a scheduled 30 minutes before or after work, others walk during a time-limited lunch break, while others enjoy walking in the neighborhood with the family. The general rule of thumb is that at least 30 minutes a day of walking can help reduce the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If mobility is an issue, I would suggest starting at less than 30 minutes but working your way towards that goal if possible.

Otherwise, getting in a solid 60-minute walk a day can help you feel stronger and could help to melt some extra weight off. You’ll be pleased with your results if you are mindful of your posture and have well-fitted sneakers to ensure you get the most out of your walk.

Either way, any amount of movement is better than no movement. Don’t restrict yourself!

If you have any questions about your walking routine, contact us and find out what we can do to help you maximize your results!