Helping you get rid of your pain so you can live life again!
As I was driving through the parking lot today I noticed people racing through to get to the next store and get the best parking place. People were running in front of cars, cars were driving 30 mph in the parking lot, it was crazy! Traffic was backed up for a half-mile in all directions. What a pain in the neck! Everyone I saw looked terribly stressed!
You might be asking what this has to do with headaches and neck pain. We have had more than the normal amount of patients complaining of neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches over the past few weeks. These were problems they did not have just a month or so ago. What is causing this and what should they do about it?
First of all, this is a very stressful time of year. Our schedules are packed and our margins are full. Secondly, this is the time of year that people’s sugar, fat, and overall caloric intake go up, which increases inflammation. To make things worse, exercise gets pushed off until tomorrow. And you know what they say about tomorrow… People also tend to miss their chiropractic and massage appointments which adds to the problem.
So, how do people reverse this holiday stress cycle? It’s simple to explain, harder to do, but still very doable! Let’s go through it step by step:
1) Limit the mad foods to one/day. Instead of eating a whole plate of fudge, peanut brittle, etc., eat one piece and then just walk away. You won’t even think about it after five minutes. This beats the sick feeling you have after eating a whole plate.
2) Get up! Regardless of how late the Christmas party was, or how much you ate and/or drank, get up at your normal time. Make sure you get at least 20 min. of exercise each day. Sure, it’s hard and you won’t feel like it, but it will make the rest of your day much better. It’s ONLY 20 minutes!
3) Breath… Doing #1 and #2 will already decrease the holiday stress effects on your body tremendously, but it’s still the season and you still have to deal with everyone else who didn’t get up early to exercise, ate tons of junk, and are flat out mad at the world. These are the people cutting you off, hollering obscenities, and giving you the not so friendly gestures. No matter how much exercise you did this morning and how well you’ve eaten all day, this can still raise your blood pressure and give you a headache. Best thing to do now is breath! Take a really deep breath in and hold for about ten seconds, then exhale slowly. Do this 5-10 times and you’ll feel a lot better. Trust me, I’ve done this myself today already.
4) Take care of your Master Control System. Now is the time to make sure you are getting your spine adjusted. Chiropractic adjustments are very effective at reducing headaches, neck pain, and stress. Besides that, adjustments can suppress the negative effects of stress. So many patients have sighed in relief after their adjustment the past few weeks and said, “Man I needed that today.” By by neck pain and headache!
5) Take some time to relax with a massage. Not only does massage therapy feel good, but it also reduces muscle spasms, pain, and inflammation. Let your body take a break and have some time to heal from the daily stresses.
So there you have it. Holiday stress can cause neck pain and headaches, but now you know how to reduce, or even beat, that nagging pain.
The human body has 29 core muscles located in the back, abdomen and pelvis regions. They help to give a person a stable center of gravity, while helping in controlling movements, supporting whole of the back and giving out a semblance of stability.
These core muscles form the foundation on which the movement of the body is based. Strong core muscles tend to resist injury and form a protective cushion for the whole spinal column.
However, weak core muscles can cause a person to develop a poor posture, pain all over the body, and make the individual more prone to injuries from everyday activities.
Exercise on a regular basis can make these muscles stronger, but it is necessary to get the posture right before getting on with the exercises.
Good posture not only makes a person look attractive, but it does wonders for the overall skeletal structure. Chiropractic practice pays a lot of attention to proper posture. Correct posture will ensure that a person’s muscles, organs along with joints and bones are in their correct, natural positions.
A bad posture can result in a lot of problems for the body, following are examples of a poor posture:
- Drooping shoulders
- Head or neck held forward
- Lower back arching too much
- Sitting with a wallet in the back pocket
- Phone receiver being held between neck and shoulder
- Drooping forward while sitting
These postures must always be avoided.
The person should lie on the back with knees bent. Then the abdominal muscles should be contracted while the person slowly raises the hips off the floor then holding the position for around 10 seconds.
The hips should then be lowered to the floor and the same method repeated again.
The person should get down on their hands and knees while keeping the head and neck aligned with their back. The core muscles are then contracted; one arm raised meanwhile raising the opposite leg.
The person should lie on their stomach with the palms facing down. They should then slowly start to rise off the floor while resting on toes and elbows. The back should be kept as flat as possible, core muscles in a contracted position and held for at least 12 seconds before lowering themselves to the floor.
In this exercise, the individual is to lie on the back with their knees bent and the feet should be flat on the floor. While keeping the shoulders flat on the floor, they should let their knees fall slowly towards the left. After returning the legs back to the original starting point, the same action should be repeated.
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It is estimated that at least 50% individuals in the industrialized world suffer from some kind of back problem, most notably due to a poor or inadequate seat design. How we sit all day in front of our workstations has a marked impact on the overall health of our spine. As a result of bad posture, the lumbar region in the back bone is what takes the most pounding. Here’s what you need to know, and many chiropractors will stand by it.
There is no universal seat that’s designed to accommodate every single person. But there are a number or ergonomic factors that come into play when we’re talking seat design. These generally work well for the average person.
Seat height should be set in a way so as to support a knee angle of 90 degrees. This takes undue stress off the thighs and buttocks. A chair that’s too high will increase the pressure at the underside of the knees, reducing blood flow and increasing unnecessary pressure on the nerve.
A chair that’s too low places pressure on the ischial tuberosities – this is where the upper thigh originates in the gluteus maximus region. Normally, the glutes cover them in the upright position, but they are exposed and at an ergonomic disadvantage when we’re sitting.
Optimal seat depth is recommended at 16.5”; between 14” and 18.5” for adjustable seats.
You should avoid hard seats. Seat pan contouring and cushioning should be designed in a way so that pressure is distributed over a larger area and the pelvis rotates forward – this encourages better posture.
Ideal seat cushioning is about 2” thick. The cushioning needs to be firmer and thicker in the back, while being less firm and thinner at the front. Too much cushioning and your body is going to sink into the chair, restricting movement. A soft chair may be very welcoming and comfortable at first, but it goes against basic ergonomic sense; as the body sinks, blood flow is reduced and skin temperature rises as you experience more compression under the thighs. At the end of the day – more discomfort.
A seat width that’s between 20” and 23” generally works well.
An ideal seat angle helps you maintain good contact with the backrest; a 5 to 10 degree angle is good.
There many more ergonomic factors related to optimal seating, and these are just some of them at a glance. A good chiropractor can help you determine exactly what type of chair best suits your body type.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: FreedomChair.jpg
Chiropractors are part of America’s third largest primary healthcare profession. With hundreds in each state, it is evident that finding the right one is a rather difficult task. Fortunately, it is not impossible either. Here are 5 factors you should look for on your search for the right chiropractor.
1 – Reputation
The most important factor to analyze when searching through a list of recommended chiropractors is their reputation. Even with years of experience, some chiropractors do not prove as beneficial as others. When it comes to sports injuries, ensure that you choose only a highly reputable chiropractor, evident by a number of positive online reviews.
2 – Experience
A chiropractor may come highly recommended and they may have a reputation as being a great chiropractor. However, if you have visited multiple chiropractors before, with little positive result, it may be a good idea to choose a more experienced chiropractor. With more experience, your chiropractor will know about a deal of problems and hence can help you better than others.
3 – Locality
Of course, locality is an important factor when choosing from your list of chiropractors. With the busy schedule most people have, the last thing anyone needs is to travel for an hour to reach the chiropractor. As such, unless they are one of the best chiropractors in the state, area or country, always select a chiropractor that is close by.
4 – Availability
Considering the nature of their work, chiropractors can be unavailable at many times. If you need to have your sports injuries examined on a weekly basis, it would be unwise to select a chiropractor that is available only once a week. Why? Because with the load they have, setting up an appointment will be difficult.
5 – Services
Last but not least, when selecting from a large list of recommended chiropractors, ensure that you select one that offers a number of services. While you may require a chiropractor for sports injuries, it is wise to have one for other problems too such as back and neck pain.
By analyzing the 5 factors above, selecting the right chiropractor will no longer be a difficult task. However, ensure that you spend ample time on each factor, ensuring that the chiropractor you choose has the right blend of the above 5 factors. Never pick a chiropractor who excels in just one factor.
Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Crunches.jpg