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Here are some tips for keeping your neck and back safe this spring

Keeping Your Back Safe While Gardening

If you love to garden, you’ve likely suffered a backache or two from maintaining your garden beds. It can be a multiple-season routine, depending on what you are planting or trying to grow, which means your back is regularly getting put under stress from bending over and over again. For others, they are doing most of the work during just one season of the year, which means their back may not be used to this type of labor.

While a few backaches may not seem like a big deal, you are actually putting your back in danger when you work in the garden improperly. Take a look at these few steps you can take to protect your back while gardening this year and what to do for that nasty back pain you hope you won’t experience.

Don’t wait for garden season to prepare your back

One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they will sit around on the couch during the cold seasons and then start doing work in the garden out of nowhere when the weather warms back up. The problem with this is that your back is not used to this kind of manual labor that can take up to 12 hours a day of work.

When you keep up a fitness routine during the winter season that keeps your back strong, working on your garden beds is suddenly not so different than the usual routine. Make sure you are exercising and spending less time on the couch over the winter in order to keep up your back strength during the warmer months of gardening.

Make sure you take breaks

Another common mistake among those that end up with back pain from gardening is that they get so into what they are working on, that they forget to take breaks. It’s important that every half hour you take a break. Try to schedule the work you need to do in 30 minute increments with breaks to stretch, sit down, and rehydrate. You won’t feel decent if you work at it non-stop all day or weekend and then try to resume your daily activity.

Help with muscle confusion by varying tasks

Just like a fitness instructor would tell you, muscle confusion during a workout or gardening session is great for toning the body and giving your muscles a rest. When you keep your tasks varied during gardening, it will help you to avoid hurting yourself. Don’t spend your whole day bending over to pick your weeds, but take some of that time to squat while pulling the weeds, dig while pulling, and other times bending. Your back will get a break and you’ll rely on other muscles to get you through the tasks.

Bring in some help

Lastly, when you see neighbor kids interested in what you’re doing, consider hiring them for a little bit of help. It will be a great bonding experience, a chance for the kids to learn about hard work, and an inexpensive way for you while a child would love a chance to earn some money. You won’t be dealing with back pain all week and you might get the work done in half the time.

Don’t allow the gardening season to put your back in danger. Make sure to end your sessions with a short walk to active your muscles and loosen things up, and then schedule a visit to your chiropractor for an adjustment before and after the work. You’ll feel better and you won’t harm your back during this year’s gardening season.

 

How to Prevent Neck Pain During Cycling

Getting pain from a cycling session can be frustrating. You are trying to improve your skill and you end up with neck pain, putting you out for the next cycling day. Neck pain from this sport is really common and is usually caused from weak muscles or poor posture.

It’s not hard to overuse your muscles and injuring yourself. Sometimes it’s just a matter of choosing a better bike fit or changing your posture just slightly. You don’t have to give up your favorite hobby due to that neck pain you keep getting. Use this guide to determine what’s causing your neck pain and learn how to prevent it going forward.

What could be causing the pain?

While neck pain and injury is common from cycling, it can be frustrating if you’re not sure what is causing it. There are a few possible causes to your problem and solutions to these problems. The first may be that you are unaware of prevention methods that would help you avoid the neck pain or numbness, such as properly fitting bikes, the right equipment, or not stretching the right areas. Having the wrong alignment or forgetting to stretch after being stiff for too long can cause serious injury after prolonged periods of time.

About bike fit

Getting properly fitted for your bike is one of the most important things you could do for regular cycling. If you don’t have a good bike fit, it might be that your frame is too big or small for you. the handlebars may be too wide or narrow or your stem may need to be adjusted to be just shorter or longer than it is now. This all affects your posture for a long cycling session. Working with a professional could help you to make tiny adjustments that will help you prevent pain and numbness.

You’ll also want to make sure your posture allows your shoulder blades to be engaged and held back away from ears. Your head shouldn’t be cocked back too far either. Make sure your bike gloves have padding for the bike you are using to avoid hand numbness and add tape to your handle bars if you ride on roads.

Learn proper stretching

You may find that you don’t have any pain until a couple of hours after cycling, which could mean that it’s more of a weak muscle issue. Not having strong enough muscles to support your head’s weight for a long period of time could be the reason for your pain.

This is because the trapezius muscles along your neck and shoulder attached to the base of your head are tensed for a long period of time, and it causes your muscles to lack in blood oxygen from the lack of blood flow to the area. When you experience muscle spasms and other pain, this is the reason behind it. Simply remembering to strengthen and stretch this area is the perfect way to relieve this problem.

Proper stretching includes doing:

  • Chin tucks in a neutral position
  • Right and left head rotations to stretch the neck
  • Right and left lateral flexion of your neck to the shoulder
  • Extension by tilting your head back to stretch the back of the neck
  • Flexion of the neck while standing or sitting upright to stretch the muscles in the back of your neck

If you aren’t using all of the gear you need, have a bike that is just slightly off, or forget to strengthen your muscles, you could end up with pain and numbness when you cycle. Make sure to check all of these items out before cycling again to make sure you are keeping your body healthy and strong.

 

Can Kids Benefit from a Chiropractor?

Even though you go to the chiropractor regularly, you may have never thought to take the kids in for their own appointment, did you? You may be surprised to learn that kids can actually benefit greatly from chiropractic care, just like adults do, and that starting them off early is a great way to keep them healthy and balanced.

Not only can your chiropractor help relieve an injury or illness, but your kids can benefit by getting immune system support, taking advantage of preventative care, and help with problems like colic or recovering from birth trauma. Take a look at these scenarios where your child can see an improvement after visiting the chiropractor.

Preventative care

Speaking of preventative care, this is another key reason that the chiropractor can help your children thrive, just like you can experience as an adult. Rather than trying to treat sick children, it’s easier to take them to the chiropractor and give them a stronger body that will improve their chances of fighting off illness before it affects them. Stop thinking of a chiropractor as the fixer of a problem, but think of them more as the doctor that helps you before something happens in order to maintain your health.

Birth and beginning of life care

Have you ever wondered if there was a natural way to help with your baby’s postnatal care? The chiropractor is another great source for this area of things, specifically when it comes to birth trauma recovery and issues with colic.

While the bird may be hard on mom and a colicky baby can be a challenge, these things take a toll on baby too. The physical stress of birth on an infant can sometimes cause physical injury for an infant, but sometimes not knowing if there is an injury can make things worse.

A chiropractic evaluation can help you to see if your baby was injured during birth or is healing properly after the experience. If you find you have a colicky baby, chiropractic care is proven to improve the crying behavior of infants.

Getting immune system support

Kids tend to get sick often, especially being around other kids at school where germs are everywhere. Having a way to get some extra immune system support is a great way to fight off a cold or fever, or simply try to avoid catching it from others.

Having the kids visit a chiropractor is a great preventative practice for cold and flu season since the chances of catching a cold, cough, or fever is higher for kids. Chiropractors notice improvement in kids’ immune systems after getting regular adjustments.

Kids can enjoy fewer missed days of school since chiropractors are reporting quicker recovery times or patients that aren’t getting the cold or flu at all. This is likely because your chiropractor is keeping your nervous system and immune systems working optimally, and because the lymph nodes have an easier time carrying the immune cells through the musculoskeletal system of the body.

Injuries

You may have already been doing this but if you haven’t, keep in mind that chiropractic care is great for kids that have fallen or have become injured. Treating an injury or fall is common for chiropractors, but you should remember these other areas where a chiropractor can help too. Even if your child hasn’t broken an arm, you may want to take your child in to be sure there wasn’t a small trauma that is less noticeable. An adjustment can be sure that things are in place and working properly.

If you’ve ever wondered if your kids can benefit from chiropractic care, wait no further to take them in. children of all ages can see big benefits from the chiropractor and they don’t need to have an ailment before they go in for a visit.

 

Chiropractic helps kids and seniors, and 7 ways to keep motivated

Health-E-News February 2017
empowering you to optimal health

 

Chiropractic helps young child suffering from chronic constipation, daily vomiting and leg pains

If you or your child suffers from constipation and have tried traditional medical approaches without success, Chiropractic care can help.

Constipation is defined as the difficulty or delays in defecation. It has been found to affect 30% of children between the ages 6-12 years old annually. The problem can first appear early at the ages of 2-4 years old and can last from several days to weeks. The causes of constipation can vary from a poor diet, lack of exercise, food allergies, spinal cord problems or irritable bowel syndrome. Other symptoms that may occur with constipation is painful defecations, small and hard stools and/or vomiting.

In this case study, a 6 year old boy was brought to see a Chiropractor seeking an alternative approach to his health-related issues, the primary issues including constipation and leg pain and secondary issues including vomiting, weight and appetite loss. The child has been experiencing these issues since the age of 2 and it was noted that the child has missed 45 days of school per year due to the pain. During an endoscopic examination, it was revealed that a small stomach ulcer was present. Prior to consulting chiropractic care, the child first visited a medical physician that suggested of change in diet and intake in more fluids would solve the child’s constipation. However, the child’s condition was more severe than expected and at the age of 4, he was provided medical prescriptions. Although medication assisted in the child experiencing bowel movements, it was described as being “hard and painful”. It was only at the age of 6 that the child was consulted to chiropractic care.

During the physical examination, it visually evident that there the child suffered from poor posture as his head tilted to the right and his right shoulder was elevated. After the consultation, the child was adjusted 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Multiple techniques such as the Diversified Technique and HVLA-type adjustments were used. Within the first week of chiropractic care, the child reported daily bowel movements that were no longer painful. After seeing much improvements, the child withdrew from the medication, had gained weight and had an increased appetite and no longer had leg pains.

Mills, M. & Alcantara, J. (2013). Resolution of Severe Constipation, Vomiting and Leg Pain in a Child Undergoing Subluxation Based Chiropractic Care: A Case Report. Journal Of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health – Chiropractic4, 4(2)

 

Chiropractic care significantly improved an older male subject’s anxiety and hypertension.

If you or anyone you know suffers from hypertension and/or anxiety, chiropractic care has been shown to significantly reduce both conditions.

 

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses among individuals in North America. These anxiety disorders are associated with dread or fear about certain events in the future. This anxiety can essentially take over one’s thoughts and emotions and find it difficult to concentrate, sleep and experience irritability and muscle tension. Hypertension is an accumulation of high blood pressure over a longer period of time. A correlation between hypertension and anxiety has been shown. Both conditions are generally treated with medical prescriptions and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

The person that was studied in this case was a 60-year-old male who suffered from both anxiety and hypertension. He was also reported to have a severe automobile accident 10 years prior to starting chiropractic care. He used to resort to drugs and alcohol at a younger age to deal with his anxiety. However, he had stopped this and got help from a medical doctor, who prescribed him medicine that would reduce his anxiety that he has been taking for over 20 years.

This individual began chiropractic care (Thompson Technique) at 60 years old. It was noted after a physical exam that the patient had multiple subluxations at all three levels of the spine. The patient received chiropractic care twice a week for a total of six months. He reported extraordinary results, his blood pressure had dropped significantly and after consulting with his medical doctor he was in good enough condition to stop the use of the prescribed drugs.

Prater-Manor, S., Clifton, E., & York, A. (2015). Resolution of Anxiety & Hypertension in a 60-Year-Old Male Following Subluxation Based Chiropractic Care: A Case Study & Review of the Literature. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research.

 

7 Ways to Continue Your 2017 Fitness Goals

It’s now January and it’s time to start those fitness goals you set for yourself during your new year’s resolutions! It’s an exciting time to take on the challenge and make this change. What better time than the start of 2017 to make sure you get yourself in shape, healthy, and ready for warmer weather?

Most people that look great in the summer worked for it the winter before, making no time like the present to get started. How do you get in the workout spirit when the weather’s cold, the holidays are over, and you’re craving a beach vacation? Use these seven tips to kick start your 2017 fitness goals knowing that you’ll feel great in that swimsuit when it’s time for that beach vacation later this year!

Go shopping

While you were excited about those fitness goals when you wrote them down, you may not be feeling the excitement now. The hardest part about this process will be actually getting started and one way to make the process exciting from the start is to go shopping for some new workout gear. Get rid of your old baggy t-shirts and worn out running shoes; it’s time go shopping.

Treating yourself to some great new kicks, your favorite new sports bra, and comfortable clothes that fit you well will make working out more comfortable and enjoyable. The best part is that it will be easy to feel the pounds coming off when you notice these same clothes start to fit differently in a few month after you’ve put the work in. Then you can go shopping again when you’re ready for some new gear!

Talk to a trainer

Perhaps you struggle with motivation or knowing how to work out properly. It’s a great time to work with a trainer to get in shape and to do it safely. Many gyms offer free trainers with your membership and in other cases, you could hire a trainer that helps you train outdoors or accompanies you to the gym.

You may even like the idea of fitness classes where you are following the lead of an instructor, like CrossFit, yoga, Pilates, cycling, or a fitness boot camp. Sometimes it takes the push of a leader to help you through the motions and be available for questions.

Grab a partner

Do you have more fun working out when you have a friend to join you? It’s a great time to recruit a workout buddy to make working out fun. You could even grab a whole group that works out together or grab a few friends to take a class together. Friends will not only make it more fun, but they’ll keep you motivated and excited about your next gym day.

Change your diet

If you’re in the process of learning about healthier food options, start with small changes while you get the hang of things. Swap out your fries for a salad, your pancakes for eggs and sausage, and remove as much sugar from your diet as possible. Once you start to learn about healthier options, you’ll find that your favorite breads, pastas, and hamburgers can be substituted for better options too.

Increase the water

While you’re increasing your exercise and cutting from your diet, make sure you are hydrating more than ever. Sometimes when you’re hungry, it’s your body telling you that you’re actually dehydrated. Bring water with you to your workouts and be sure to drink water before meals and when you wake up in the morning.

Set reasonable goal

Take a look at your goals to make sure you’ve set realistic ones in the first place. It’s important to set achievable goals so that you can meat different milestones throughout the process. Committing to working out 7 days per week doesn’t give your body a rest while once per week may be too little to meet your goals.

Committing to a certain weight by a certain date may be a challenge too. Focus on meeting your fitness and healthy eating goals and watch the weight change and muscles improve naturally without a deadline or unhealthy tactics.

Technology is your friend

Lastly, a great trick that many are using these days is getting technology involved in their goals. Using online trackers like MyFitnessPal will help you to track your food and burnt calories. Get a wearable device that will help you track your heart rate, calories burnt, and even your sleep. Seeing weight loss or progress in your workout time will keep you motivated too.

It’s a hard time of year to be motivated in anything but you can do it with a few tricks. Try these seven ways to get you started to meet your 2017 goals!

 

 

 

 

Chiropractic Care and Ear Infections

How Chiropractic Care Helps Ear Aches

Many parents bring their children into our office asking us to treat their ear infections. My first response is that the purpose of chiropractic care is not the treatment of conditions or diseases; rather, it is the restoration of normal body function. I explain that as chiropractors, we work with the nervous system via gentle spinal adjustments. We reduce stress related interference to the nervous system, thereby enhancing all overall body function. I further explain that all systems of the body—muscular, glandular, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, eliminatory, hormonal and immunological—depend on the optimal function of the nervous system. With chiropractic, we focus on nerve system function to enhance all the body’s systems.Because many parents are unaware of the variety of options available for the treatment of ear infections, I continue, “As a parent, you have some choices to make. You can either treat the ear infection, or not—that’s your right as a parent. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a watch-and-wait approach, because the evidence-based research about antibiotics is showing that not only are they ineffective at treating ear infections, but they will actually lead to repeated ear infections in your child.

As a parent, you can choose to treat or not to treat. “If you do choose to treat, you again have some options. You can treat the ear infections allopathically (the typical medical/ drug route) or naturally. If you choose to go the usual route to a pediatrician, she may take a watch-and-wait approach.

More likely, she will prescribe an antibiotic. If, however, you would prefer to treat the ear infections more naturally, there are several options for you to consider. A naturopath will explore herbs and nutrition; a homeopath will assess your child for a specific remedy; an acupuncturist will work with specific meridian points for healing.

“It is so important that you as a parent realize you have choices, and the right to make these choices for your family.

“Regardless of the choices you make, the chiropractic approach will improve your child’s inherent ability to function. Doesn’t it make sense to have your child function at an optimal level for healing no matter how (or if ) you choose to treat? We will assess your child’s spine, make the necessary adjustments to improve nerve system function and offer lifestyle suggestions to reduce nerve system stress for your child. We will also support any decision you make in your choice to treat the infection or not. This is your right as a parent, and we stand behind informed choice.”

It is important that parents realize the role chiropractic plays in whole-body wellness. So, too, is it important for parents to know, when reading the following testimonials, that chiropractic adjustments have allowed these children to express a greater state of health and wholeness, and that their systems were able to overcome repeated infections because neuro-immunology function was restored.

Chiropractic—The Best Thing We’ve Done!

I started taking my 2-year-old daughter to the chiropractor as a last resort. She had had monthly ear infections for about nine months. We had recently scheduled surgery for her to have tubes put in, but it just didn’t feel right to put her through surgery without exhausting all of our other options.

Taking her to a chiropractor was the best thing we could have done for her! We canceled her surgery, and she has not had one ear infection since we started going. It’s a miracle, especially since she has had a couple of colds that would have definitely turned into ear infections without chiropractic care. We took her to the chiropractor immediately after she came down with her last cold, and the cold was practically gone the next day. We have also seen an improvement in my daughter’s temperament since we started care. She gets sick less often, and seems more content overall. I recommend chiropractic for anyone wanting to improve his or her overall health and well-being.

Chiropractor: Dr Debra Bell
Location: Cary, NC

Watching Her Innate Power at Work

Our chiropractors have educated us that the body’s innate ability to heal itself can only work when subluxations (nerve interferences) are not present. That is why when my 3-yearold daughter, Anna, woke up and couldn’t open her eyes, like they were glued shut, I knew what had to be done. We brought her in to our chiropractor and within a couple of hours after just one adjustment, her eyes had cleared completely. It was amazing to watch Anna’s innate power at work! That power needed to be turned on again the next day. She worked just fine, but later that day, she developed an excruciating earache. I drove her to our chiropractor for another adjustment, and her earache was gone just a short while later. The pain never returned.

And now? We return for regular adjustments and always will. If your family is sick, don’t feel pressured by society to give them Tylenol, Motrin and antibiotics. Give them a gift from God…chiropractic.

Chiropractor: Dr Felicity Keough
Location: Englewood, FL


Goodbye to Drugs

Christopher was on his fourth round of antibiotics when I first brought him to the chiropractor. Since beginning chiropractic care, he has not had an ear infection! Before chiropractic, it would take him three weeks to get over a cold (no kidding), and the doctor would put him on so many meds, decongestants, antihistamines, cough suppressants and antibiotics. He hasn’t taken one prescription since beginning chiropractic care. I noticed changes immediately.

Chiropractor: Dr. Dennis Brown
Location: Atlantic Highlands, NJ


Committed to Lifetime Care

CJ was about 2½ years old when I hit the end of my rope with traditional medicine. We had gone to so many doctors, all of them poking him in order to give us their two cents. None of their advice had made a difference in the long-term healing of CJ’s most serious issues. He had GERD, chronic ear infections and reactive airway disease. The pediatrician put him on expensive medications, changed his formula and sent us home. As CJ grew, the reflux and ear infections got worse and the medications got stronger. The ear infections started to impair his hearing. At 14 months of age, he had ear tubes put in. I was told that things would get better. Twenty ear infections and about one year later, I received a fact sheet from one of my friends about chiropractic and ear infections.

I had gone for adjustments myself a few times and felt comfortable with this chiropractor, so I brought CJ in for an evaluation. CJ loved it from the first moment. The difference in him from when we walked in to when we left was indescribable. In a very short and happy time, CJ has gone from having weekly ear infections to NO ear infections. CJ and I are now committed to lifetime care! I feel like I have done a huge service for my son by not listening to people who do not understand. CJ has become a happier little person who no longer aches constantly. Go with your gut and make the commitment.

Chiropractor: Dr. Damien Ciasullo
Location: Philadelphia, PA

This article was originally written by Jeanne Ohm for Pathways to Family Wellness magazine.