Back pain is one of the most common and most troublesome problems that people experience. Eight out of 10 individuals will struggle with back pain during some point in their life, the US National Library of Medicine reports. Low and chronic back pain can be aggravated by many triggers. Mechanical stress, excessive strain, muscle weakness, poor sleeping position, lack of exercise and excessive weight could all contribute to making the situation worse.
The good news is that chiropractic ranks among the most popular and effective treatment options available today for back pain. Through the chiropractic adjustment, chiropractors not only help ease the pain but also work toward correcting the problem. Spinal adjustments can deliver even better results when combined with weight loss.
In today’s blog, we’ll exam the following:
- How Obesity and Back Pain are Related
- How Weight Loss Helps Reduce Back Pain
- Improving Back Health through Chiropractic
How Obesity and Back Pain are Related
Individuals that are classified as overweight or obese are much more likely to experience back pain than people that aren’t according to the American Obesity Association.
Obesity prevents individuals from engaging in everyday physical activities, as well as healthy exercises. These are essential for strengthening the core muscles. A stronger core can take some of the burden away from the back, thus making back pain less likely.
In addition, the spinal cord becomes excessively burdened in the case of obese individuals. This is because it’s trying to compensate for the additional weight, which can cause tilting and uneven stress. Also, a person’s center of gravity will shift when overweight causing even more stress on the spine. Both of these can contribute to serious and chronic back pain. Thus the reason obesity is one of the most prominent aggravating factors in the case of lower back pain.
How Weight Loss Helps Reduce Back Pain
According to weight loss experts and chiropractors, weight loss can contribute to partial or complete reduction in the back pain symptoms. The research on the connection between weight loss and back pain is still insufficient but numerous practitioners report that they’ve seen cases of patients experiencing drastic reduction in pain after losing weight.
Obviously, this occurs because the extra weight is taken off the spine. As a result, the spine doesn’t experience further stress, which will slow down increased degeneration in the spine. Also, with decreased stress on the spine, your chiropractic adjustment and realigning of the vertebral column will have a more lasting impact.
According to the American Spine Society, individuals that stay within 10 pounds of their ideal weight are the ones least likely to experience spinal problems, particularly chronic lower back pain.
Trying to lose weight can be very overwhelming. It is important to have a strong support system. Dr. Marjorie at Hope Chiropractic would love the opportunity to discuss your goals and help you in your journey toward better health and nutritional choices.
Improving Back Health through Chiropractic Care and Physical Activity
The combination of exercise and chiropractic care can produce noticeable, long-term improvements in spinal health.
Besides aiding in weight loss, exercise is also great for strengthening the core muscles and guaranteeing a proper distribution of the body’s weight throughout the spine. Stronger muscles, less weight and better posture will provide long-term benefits for chiropractic patients that suffer from back pain.
If you need more pointers on how to incorporate weight loss and exercise in your daily routine, Dr. Bryan and Dr. Marjorie are here to help. We look forward to discussing an array of healthy choices with through chiropractic care, exercises, and nutritional tips! We even have a walking group you can join!
In today’s fast-paced society, we’re bombarded with various forms of stress that can wreck havoc on our immune systems. Chiropractors are particularly interested in helping their chiropractic patients overcome these stressors in order to maintain a healthy and balanced life. Outside of the chiropractic adjustment, let’s take a look at three nutritional tips that will help chiropractic patients boost their immune system.
Chiropractic patients’ immune systems run their best when subluxations, also known as vertebral misalignments, are corrected. However, a proper diet can’t be ignored. By combining both forces, your immune system is better equipped to ward off many contaminants that try to invade the body through normal day-to-day activity.
Nutritional Tip #1 — Get Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known for strengthening bones and teeth by helping the body absorb calcium. People who get too little vitamin D may develop soft, thin, and brittle bones, a condition known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
But did you know that it is also known to offer sufficient protection against a wide range of illnesses and chronic diseases like cancer? In addition, it improves the body’s natural response to bacterial infections like tuberculosis and helps to increase the production of antimicrobial peptides which are very important in boosting the immunity.
Since each patient’s health situation is different, ask your chiropractor how much vitamin D you need for optimal health.
Nutritional Tip #2 — Get Your Veggies
In culinary terms, vegetables are edible plants or their parts, intended for cooking or eating raw. You can quickly find what foods are in the vegetable group by visiting ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts produce chemicals that are known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and boost the body’s immune system. One great way to make sure you’re getting all of your vegetables for the day is through juicing or using vegetables in smoothies. If you’re new to juicing, check out this great resource on juicing vegetables.
It is important to eat a variety of vegetables every day. If you have a difficult time getting vegetables in your daily diet a whole food supplement could help you bridge the gap in your diet. We recommend Juice Plus. For more information, please visit drbutler.juiceplus.com
Nutritional Tip #3 — Avoid/Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Most chiropractic patients are health-conscious. However, new chiropractic patients may be oblivious to the entire concept since our society is geared more toward sickness care instead of true healthcare. Regardless, maintaining a healthy diet is absolutely essential to maintaining a strong immune system. One way to do this is by avoiding or reducing alcohol consumption.
Why? Because research has proven that alcohol can cause immunodeficiencies that, in return, can make you more susceptible to tuberculosis, bacterial pneumonia and many other communicable diseases.
In addition, the use of alcohol is linked to cancer. Although many people in our society consume it for recreational purposes, it is important to note that alcohol can deplete you of essentials vitamins and minerals. Therefore, less alcohol consumption translates into a stronger immune system.
If you would like more information, visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s website to learn more about alcohol facts and statistics.
To discover more nutritional tips that will help you build a stronger immune system, make sure you talk to your chiropractor. If you’ve never been to one, give us a call at Hope Chiropractic. Dr. Bryan or Dr. Marjorie would love to help guide you toward a more healthy lifestyle through safe and effective chiropractic care!
Although chiropractic is dedicated to finding and correcting vertebral subluxations (also known as spinal misalignments), many patients seek chiropractic care to alleviate pain and other health-related symptoms. One condition that chiropractic patients seek relief from is consistent low back pain.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any give time. Even though low back pain plagues many people, finding the exact cause can be a challenge. However, chiropractors are spinal specialists that are trained extremely well to not only help alleviate your pain but also find the cause of the problem.
As you seek help from your local chiropractor, you’ll want to keep the following things in mind:
Prevention Is Key
Prevention is often the best cure for low back pain. When a patient sees a chiropractor, they’ll not only find relief for the low back pain they’re experiencing, but they’ll also learn ways to prevent such pain in the future. By using proper exercise and ergonomic techniques, they can ease their pain before it even starts. Amazing results are easily obtained simply by patients listening to the instructions given by their chiropractor.
Treatment Options Are Available
Fortunately, there are many treatment options for low back pain. Based off of the diagnosis provided by your Doctor of Chiropractic, he or she will be able to suggest the ones that will benefit you the most. These treatments may include one or more of the following:
- Spinal adjustments delivered either by hand or instrument like an Activator
- Hot or cold compresses
- Physical therapy modalities like Interferential Therapy or TENS
- Massage Therapy or some other form of soft tissue work
- Spinal decompression therapy
Getting Relief From Your Pain
If you were prescribed pain medication by a medical doctor before seeing your chiropractor, it may still be required to help reduce your pain levels. However, the good news is that you may be able to decrease your pain medication quicker than usual as spinal misalignments are corrected, nerve compression is alleviated and inflammation is reduced. That alone is well worth the investment of time and money to see your local chiropractor.
Rehab through Exercise and Core Stability
As your care progresses from pain relief to rehabilitation of the spine, your chiropractor may recommend certain exercises to help strengthen your core muscles which, in return, will help stabilize and protect your lower back. Typically, these exercises can be performed at home as long as you understand how to do them without re-aggravating your original complaint. Once you’ve been educated on their purpose and know how to perform them correctly, you’ll be able to do them at home in conjunction with the spinal adjustments you receive at the office during maintenance care. If you have specific questions about exercises that would be beneficial for your spine, ask Dr. Bryan or Dr. Marjorie at your next appointment.
Surgery May Be Avoided
Depending on your condition, you may be able to avoid surgery if you choose to see a chiropractor before your injuries or pain become worse. In some instances, a chiropractor can help you to avoid surgery entirely by helping correct the problem instead of just masking it through pain relief.
The key is to make sure you follow the recommendations of your chiropractor after a thorough consultation and examination are performed. Part of the examination procedures may require X-rays or MRIs. These not only benefit the chiropractor when he or she is developing your treatment plan but will also give you the peace of mind that the problem will be found.
The bottom line is that a chiropractor is the ideal professional to consult with for any unexplained pain in the musculoskeletal system. They’re not only well-qualified to treat conditions like low back pain but also achieve great results in a very affordable and effective manner. If you or a loved one are suffering from low back pain, gives us a call at Hope Chiropractic. We’re here to help!
When you suffer from joint or muscle pain, it is important to work on maintaining as much flexibility as possible. The more flexible you are, the less likely you will be to further injure yourself. One of the best ways to improve your flexibility is by stretching before you are active.
However, you need to warm up your muscles before you stretch. If you stretch first, you can actually injure yourself by pushing your joints too far. Spend a few minutes doing some light activity before you stretch. This can be as simple as a brisk walk or some basic calisthenics.
If you have been seeing a chiropractor, he or she may be able to recommend some stretches for you. Otherwise, you can use some of these techniques. There are two basic forms of stretching, static and dynamic.
Static Stretching vs. Dynamic Stretching
Static stretches involve holding a position for a certain period of time to loosen up your muscles. These tend to be what most people think of when they think about stretching. However, dynamic stretches are also important. With these, you move parts of your body to work on your flexibility.
Many of the most effective stretches for back pain can be done at home. For example, lie on your back with your knees bent. Grasp one knee in both hands and pull it up towards your chest. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then lower the knee to the starting pose. Repeat with the other knee. You can also do both knees at the same time.
A similar stretch begins in the same position as the previous one. However, instead of lifting your knee to your chest, roll both legs to one side so that your knees are as close to the floor as possible. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and then roll to the other side.
Another common stretch we recommend comes from yoga and is known as the “cat pose.” Get down on the floor on your hands and knees, with your hands underneath your shoulders. First, let your abdomen drop down towards the floor. Then, reverse this movement by arching your back. Repeat this cycle three to five times.
More dynamic stretches can also be good for your muscle pain. Try doing handwalks to stretch your shoulders and abdominal muscles. Stand up straight and slowly lower your hands towards the floor. Walk your hands out in front of you until you are as far down as you can go. Then walk your hands back to the starting position.
A final stretch that can help your back muscles is known as the “scorpion.” Lie face-down and stretch your arms out to the sides. First, slowly move your right foot towards your left arm. Then, move your left foot towards your right arm. Make sure to move in a slow and controlled fashion.
When you are suffering from muscle or joint pain, it is a good idea to stretch both in the morning and the evening. By incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, you can avoid many common injuries.
If you need help with your joint or muscle pain, please give us a call at Hope Chiropractic so that we can schedule an appointment for you with Dr. Marjorie and Dr. Bryan.
If you are among the 45 million Americans who suffer headaches regularly, you are undoubtedly familiar with the traditional methods that people use to treat them, including taking some type of over the counter medication that is supposed to eliminate the pain and reduce any associated swelling. There are many other types of treatment that you may have attempted as well, including taking pharmaceutical concoctions designed to treat pain. However, none of these solutions provide permanent relief that addresses the problem at the core.
In the past few decades, there have been an increasing number of patients throughout the country that have begun to seek alternative forms of therapy for all types of conditions, including headaches. One form of treatment that is very promising for physical as well as other types of pain is chiropractic.
This form of alternative care has been used successfully for over a hundred years and has become a regular part of the American healthcare delivery system.
When a person goes to school to learn about chiropractic, they begin by studying the human anatomy in great detail, just like other medical professionals. However, in addition to looking at how all of the parts work together physically, their training primarily revolves around the diagnosis and treatment of misalignments in the spine known as subluxations.
Theses subluxations compress nerve tissue that affects organ function, soft tissue like muscle, ligaments and tendons and can eventually manifest as other health problems if not treated.
Once the nerves are disrupted pain can result. While it usually manifests itself as physical pain, this is not always the case. In some instances, the person may experience difficulties with sleep, fatigue, anxiety, digestive challenges, or other routine habits.
On the first visit at Hope Chiropractic, a review of previous health issues will be completed, a thorough exam including x-rays (if needed) will be done to determine what types of nerve blockage may be occurring. We will listen to you attentively and make an assessment, including determining what types of treatment will best suit your needs.
In the case of headaches, the patient usually has misalignment (subluxations) in the cervical spine. This may be accompanied by muscles that are unduly tight in the neck, shoulders and nearby areas. Pressure on the nerves may cause sharp stabbing pains or there may be a continual dull throb in the region.
At Hope Chiropractic, we will assess the area and then move forward with treatment known as a chiropractic adjustment in order to relieve the pressure and pain. The relief can be instantaneous, with an increase in positive symptoms for the following few hours.
However, we don’t just focus on relieving symptoms but rather correcting the problem; therefore, additional treatments will follow to help correct the cause. In addition, we will take the time to educate you on the importance of chiropractic, especially if you’ve never been to one before.
If you need further help with your headaches or are ready to see how beneficial chiropractic care can be to your overall health, please give us a call so that you can schedule an appointment at Hope Chiropractic with Dr. Bryan and Dr. Marjorie.
Chiropractic care is designed to alleviate pain and restore the body to its natural balance. For chiropractors, injury prevention is key for a healthy body. Good practices combined with solid exercises creates toned muscles that protect the body and spine from harm. While each patient receives exercise instructions for their specific condition, the following exercise tips for chiropractic patients apply to everyone.
Do Take Time To Warm Up Before Exercising
Before starting any exercises, it’s important to warm up. A series of dynamic moves will boost your heart rate and heat up the muscles that you will be using during your work out.
Select whole body movements such as leg lunges paired with arm motion or walk in place while raising and lowering your arms. Once you’ve warmed up, you can safely stretch without risk of injury.
Introduce Ergonomics Into Your Home And Work Space
One of the most important exercise tips for chiropractic patients is to take steps to keep your body in alignment as you move through your day. In the workplace, check with an ergonomics consultant to ensure proper positioning, especially if you spend most of the day seated or doing repetitive tasks. If you do not have access to an ergonomics consultant, feel free to ask Dr. Marjorie or Dr. Bryan for advice if you have questions about your workspace.
A comfortable chair reduces muscle strain and prevents injury. Make sure that your feet sit firmly on the floor and that lumbar support is in place. At home, you should have a good mattress and supportive furniture.
Choose The Right Shoes
Before you buy your next pair of shoes, check for stability, flexibility, and comfort. During your test drive, make sure that the shoes feel firmly in place as you move through your entire range of motion for a stable gait during wear.
Footwear should be flexible enough to give easily at the base of the toe for a smooth gait, and there should be cushioning at all the right places with plenty of room for the toes to move. Shoes that properly fit your feet means that your walk will be more natural and healthy during exercise and in daily motion.
Sit And Stand With Posture In Mind
Perhaps the biggest reason that these exercise tips for chiropractic patients are so important is that strong and flexible muscles will help you have good posture. Be mindful of the following as you move through your day:
- When sitting, your feet should be on the floor, your shoulders should be relaxed, and your forearms should remain parallel with the ground.
- If you will be standing for a time, make sure that you maintain posture by tucking your stomach muscles in.
- When standing for an especially long period of time, be sure to shift your weight from one foot to the other and from the heels to the toes and back again.
These simple tips for maintaining good posture will passively work your muscles and result in a healthier spine.
Passive Stretches For Large Muscles
Finally, it is important to target large muscle groups with passive exercises. Use your weight to slowly stretch your hamstrings, your piriformis, and your entire back. Passive stretching is gentle and relieves stress points that cause back pain. These gentle exercises provide a great deal of relief and are easily adjusted to suit your current ability. If you have questions about stretching these muscle groups, please ask us to show you the next time you are in the office.
Are you a car owner? I bet you didn’t think that being a car owner could teach you a lesson about health. It can! Any car owner knows that if your car is out of alignment, the tires will wear unevenly. What you may not realize is your shocks, struts, springs, and ball joints are also being stressed. All of these parts of the car are being abnormally worn and torn, as well. Replacing the tires will not fix the problem. Driving the car less often, slower, or in a different fashion will not stop the wear and tear either. The longer we have the misalignment and the more severe it becomes, the greater the wear and tear becomes on the car and the more expensive it will likely cost to fix it. We, as car owners, chose to keep our cars aligned. Why? Perhaps you do for your safety, to save money in the long run, or to keep your car running longer.
We, like cars, are subject to the same rules. A misaligned spine will change the biomechanics of your body. In other words, it affects the way your arms, legs, and all the joints of your body function and how they move. Any misalignment in your spine will abnormally wear and tear the discs in the spine, the knee joint, hip joint, shoulder joint, and other weight bearing joints. The biggest and most important difference is that you cannot replace joints of the body like you can the joints in a car. Have you had your spine checked for proper alignment?
Call us today and make that first step!
Your body needs plants. It’s not just maybe needs or sometimes needs them; your body needs a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. There are vital phytonutrients found in plants that you cannot get in any other food. Your liver, for example, relies on key components from plants in order to appropriately detox the body and digest food properly. Some of the biggest challenges we hear from people when it comes to trying to increase plant based nutrition is it’s boring, not flavorful, and takes too much time to prepare.
In this blog, we want to give you an idea of a healthy, flavorful lunch option that is packed with nutrients. Plus it’s simple to prepare. Anyone can do it! You will want to set aside about 30-45 minutes on Sunday to prepare the food. And when it’s all said and done you will have your lunch packed for the week!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups of water
½ red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 tbsp olive oil
juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper, to taste
First, you will want to cook the quinoa. Boil 2 cups of water; add 1 cup of quinoa. Turn heat to low and cover for 15 minutes. Then, remove from heat and let the quinoa cool.
While you are cooking the quinoa, you will want chop the red onion, bell pepper and cucumber. Once the quinoa has cooled add all the ingredients together and stir until well mixed. The quinoa salad is a simple as that. Depending on what flavors you enjoy, you could add herbs or balsamic vinegar to the salad as well.
Next, you will want to prepare what you would like to pair with your quinoa salad. Hummus is delicious with this salad. You can buy store bought hummus of your choice. We like to add the hummus along with carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers slices. Tomatoes would be delicious too. The key is pairing it with veggies that you enjoy. If you go ahead and chop the veggies all at once on Sunday you can prepare containers or baggies with the veggies for each day. Life tends to get hectic once the week gets started, so by preparing the healthy foods in advance you will likely eat healthier throughout the week.
Have a healthy week and enjoy some plant based nutrition! Your body needs it.
We have the best patients at Hope Chiropractic! What fun we had last week providing healthy snacks in our office. Whether you grabbed an orange for your mid-morning snack, an apple to hold you over until dinner, or some delicious homemade granola to nibble on throughout the day, we hope you felt appreciated. We have gotten several requests for the recipe, so we are sharing it with you. It’s oh so good!
Homemade Granola Recipe
Heat oven to 300.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl:
2 c old fashion oats
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/2 c dried cherries
1/4 c sliced almonds
1/4 c sunflower seeds
2T pure maple syrup
1T +1t coconut oil
1/4 t vanilla
1 lg pinch of sea salt
Mix with hands- making sure coconut oil is totally dispersed.
Place on foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Store in air tight container.
We look forward to hearing how you like it! One of our favorite ingredients is the dried cherries. What’s yours? Enjoy!
Cold and Flu season is here! What are you doing to give your immune system an extra boost? While it is important to maintain a healthy immune system all year long, it is especially important during times when your immune system will be under additional stress. Below you will find 5 ways to start boosting your immune system today, so you can ensure a happy and healthy season ahead!
- Have your nervous system checked by a chiropractor. Since the nervous system is the master control system of the entire body, every other system in the body will suffer if the nervous system is operating at a less than optimal state. The nervous system and the immune system work closely together to allow you to respond and adapt to your environment, including the ability to fight off bad bacteria and viruses. Learn more about chiropractic and your health here.
- Eat more fruits and veggies. Much of what is found in the grocery store today is processed and packaged. It isn’t even real food, but we fall victim to it because it is quick and convenient. The old saying, “You are what we eat,” is true. The food you give your body will be used to produce the cells that make up your body. Your body deserves real food! It desires real food! I challenge you today to begin eating one raw fruit or veggie at every meal. Also, consider using a supplement to help bridge the nutritional gap in your diet. Juice Plus is a fantastic, research based, whole food supplement that is designed to do just that.
- Drink plenty of water. You should be drinking enough water to turn your urine a very light yellow color. Most people need about half of their body weight in ounces in water a day. Therefore, if you weigh 150 lbs, you would strive to drink about 75 ounces of water per day. The key is to drink it slowly throughout the day. Adequate water intake will aid in proper digestion and absorption as well as removing toxins from the body.
- Exercise regularly. Exercising boosts the production of macrophages in your body, which are the cells responsible for attacking bacteria. If you are currently not on a workout routine, start slow and simple. Walking for 20-30 minutes 3-5 days a week could be a good starting point, and the intensity and frequency can be adjusted as necessary. The key is to get into a consistent routine.
- Don’t sacrifice your sleep. Sleeping is extremely important and CANNOT be replaced by anything! The body is able to repair and heal at its best during sleep. You should strive for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If your sleep pattern doesn’t allow for adequate sleep, start going to bed 30 minutes earlier until you are able to get at least 7 hours consistently.