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Many people decide to go and see a chiropractor only when they feel pain at the back or neck, but they forget that these are not the only signs that prove one must see a chiropractor. In fact, there are many other signs that our body shows that calls for one to go and get a check-up from a chiropractor. Here are signs that should alert you that you need to visit a chiropractor.
1. You have chronic headaches and migraines
Headaches arise from several issues. Most familiar to this is the muscle tension that originates from the neck. Primary headaches occur due to joint irritation as well as muscle tension. Also, the sedentary lifestyle that many people choose to live. But, with the help of chiropractic adjustments it can help reduce the tensions that arise in your head. Remember too that headaches are different and before choosing to get the treatment of chiropractic it is essential you consult with your doctor first.
2. You experience sudden sharp pains
If you ever experience sudden severe acute pain, then you need to consider another option. Severe pain is a sign that something is not ok with your body. Perhaps you need a spinal adjustment to assist balance your body to allow your ligaments, tendons and muscles move in their right position.
3. Pain Medication
While a lot of people don’t know how beneficial chiropractors are, they indeed don’t depend on drugs to ensure that you remain healthy. Instead, they solely depend on results to treat the origin of the problem. If you are fond of taking pain medication so that you function okay then it’s time to think of walking to see a chiropractor for a natural treatment.
4. Lower back pain
We have suffered from lower back pain at one point in our lives. Probably you know how uncomfortable and painful it feels. Sometimes the pain doesn’t persist but it comes and disappears on its own. There are few possible explanations for this condition. If you fear that the pain might lead to a worse situation then it’s good to get the help of a chiropractic.
5. You experience chronic pain in the muscles or joints
The pain you experience in the muscles and joints might just be as a result of a muscle alignment issue. So, stop taking those painkillers. Our bodies are designed to function as one and if there is a problem with a single part then the entire body system is affected. Chiropractors are trained to help align all your body parts in their correct position so that it can work as designed.
6. Involved in a car accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, whether it’s a minor injury or you weren’t hurt, you must see a chiropractor. Any damage that you might have got via the crash might not show up immediately; instead, it might get worse the longer you stay. Even if you aren’t sure whether you need to see a chiropractor, it’s crucial to get a check-up.
Don’t forget that a chiropractor is there to help you determine what pain can be dangerous and what can’t be. If you have questions related to pain or you need to get the services of chiropractic, consult Decuypere & Family Wellness Chiropractor.
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Fiber is known to have many health benefits, particularly related to maintaining a good digestive system. A new study suggests that it may have even broader impacts on health and aging. A study of 1,600 adults were looked at and 250 of them had successful aging- a term described as being free of a variety of major diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer. People who had a higher level of eating fiber had a 79 percent increase in successful aging versus the comparator. It is an interesting finding which could lead to changes down the road in how we look at nutrition and aging.
While this is still a preliminary study and more robust data is needed before making a conclusion one way or another, it validates the importance of getting enough fiber in your diet. If you need to increase your fiber intake, try to look to fruits and vegetables first, but if you feel like fiber is still lacking, there are a number of supplements that you can buy over the counter that will help with this- including Fiber One and Metamucil. There are also a number of snacks now on the market with added fiber- these can also be used to supplement your natural intake of fiber (just make sure those snacks don’t contain too much sugar, fat, or other unwanted attributes!)
It is still unclear which mechanism the fiber played in the anti-aging activity and if it was statistically significant. It is possible that some of the impact was due to weight loss which can be caused by fiber as the body can have increased satiety from the increased fiber intake. Some confounders were also not looked at- including exercise and sleep habits. For these reasons, more studies and perhaps more robust designs (such as randomized controlled trials) are needed in order to really draw conclusions that can be applied to individual therapeutic decision-making.
Healthy living is a very important part of ensuring health aging. While this data is too early to really act upon, there are a number of other more proven things that you can do in order to ensure that you age as appropriate and live the healthiest lifestyle possible. Amongst these lifestyle choices are making sure that you get enough exercise (at least 15 minutes a day for five days a week, 30 minutes or more a day if possible) and making sure you eat healthy and well-balanced meals. When it comes to your diet you want to make sure you eat plenty of veggies and fruits as well as a good amount of protein while limiting fats, oils, processed foods, and bad carbs- especially sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Beyond exercising and eating well, make sure you get a good night’s sleep every day and try to keep a consistent sleep schedule as much as possible (sleep hygiene can be a very important part of good mental health). Do these fundamental things and you are sure to live a healthy and well lifestyle.
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In today’s bustling economy and demanding work-force, more and more Americans are not getting anywhere near adequate sleep, complain of insomnia, restless syndromes, and in turn are not properly energized or ‘fully away’ for studies, work, and other activities. This directly impacts the health, in a multitude of negative ways. In fact, according to the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as half of all Americans are not well-rested on a daily basis. This is a very concerning statistic, and in turn negatively impacts not only the national, but also the global workforce, and how effective such systems, government, NGO, and other company-workers perform.
Fighting restlessness does not have to be an impossible problem to cope with or treat. In fact, as opposed to relying on over-the-counter drugs or “natural substances” or occurring chemicals in the body, such as Melatonin, there are a few rather “easy” life changes that you can make and begin to experience the positive changes from almost immediately. Let’s take a look at some of the most common unhealthy habits that are more often than not, responsible for a lack of sleep, or total-loss of rest when combined.
Alcohol and Sleep
Contrary to popular belief, that handful of beers, multiple glasses of wine, or shots you might take before sleep are in-fact not so good for your health, nor are they positive for more consistent sleeping routines–and results. In fact, once alcohol wears off, it has been scientifically proven to interrupt and destroy sleep, specifically the REM process, and chemically alters your body both temporarily and permanently in a multitude of negative ways—in particular the brain. So, consider doing a bit less drinking and a lot more preparation and sleeping—your body deserves it!
Consistent Schedule and Eating
Believe it or not, including via your biological clock, you are more than capable and often do it without notice—to control, program, and condition your mind and body for a sort of ‘sleep-routine’ on a daily basis. In fact, overeating, not eating enough, and unhealthy or excessive snacking before or near sleep has shown to negatively impact the body’s ability to begin winding down, adequately prepare for rest, and in turn negatively impact your health—or ‘recharge’.
Stop the Naps and Know When it’s time to Sleep
Unhealthy habits or patterns of napping in the day time or early evening can easily disrupt, disable, and destroy healthy sleeping patterns or the ability to sleep. Scientifically, at maximum, a 30 minute nap is more than adequate for a fast ‘recharge’. Anything longer then this, is indeed, counterintuitive to your total energy levels and sleep schedule.
Lastly, consider the benefits and practicality behind initiating and following a standard bed-time routine on a regular basis. Don’t confuse your body and brain by keeping lights on, playing on the computer, etc. In fact, even running and glancing—not even fully watching—a television can make it nearly impossible to fall asleep, as all of the aforementioned activities or decisions either directly interfere with, or demand processing by the brain which should otherwise have been focused on resting and sleep.
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Sciatica is a painful condition that is just as discomforting as the name sounds. It involves the sciatic nerve, which is the largest in the body. This nerve, which runs from the bottom of the spinal cord to the hip and along the thigh, can undergo inflammation in certain conditions which can be a menacing experience for patients. Sciatica is often a cause of severe lower back pain and can greatly damper activities of daily living.
It is really the nerve compression in this area that causes the burning sensations for the patients. Some sufferers describe the sensation as almost electric or like burning. It can be aggravated from things as little as a tiny cough or from activities such as bending or lifting even to the extent that those are done just in the normal course of a day. Thousands of people suffer from sciatica and struggle without many great options. Medications only help cover the pain, are not very effective, can be quite costly (and a hassle to get via the prescription system), and may also come with many unwanted side effects.
One intervention that has shown some promise at combating sciatica is massage therapy. Trained professionals such as chiropractors can help decrease the pain or even remove it (and prevent future cases) by doing certain massage and manipulation techniques which may actually help reduce the inflammation in the lower back and in turn improve function. A chiropractic professional is trained in dealing with nerve pain and the many things that can cause it. They can also help come up with a solution that works holistically and really gives the patient the maximal return for any given intervention.
Beyond massages, chiropractors may be able to offer up other advice that will help reduce issues with sciatica. In particular, hot and cold compresses can help with reducing the inflammation if utilized properly. Furthermore, a chiropractic professional may be able to do certain spinal adjustments which help reduce interference of the sciatic nerve with other parts of the body and in turn reduce the pain signals which travel up to the brain and tell a patient that something is wrong. Sciatica is a very complex and multi-factorial disorder, but chiropractors are well equipped to decipher the various moving parts and to come up with a solution that is right for each individual. If you are suffering from sciatica consider making an appointment with your chiropractor today.
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Depression can be a terrible disease and one that thousands of people nationwide suffer from, some chronically. The thing with depression is that there can be many factors which can cause it or help exacerbate its effects including the dim light of winter. The common treatments for depression include counseling and a slew of anti-depressive medications, many of which still do not have great effectiveness data. They are still probably the first line option that most people should try (your primary care doctor or a specialist should really be making the decision), but for many, these options will end in treatment failure.
Unfortunately, we are still in the early stages of really understanding the brain and the diseases that impact it, so we don’t yet have great solutions to treat diseases like depression. That does not mean, however, that there are not many options which can be tried and have shown effectiveness in various groups. One potential therapy for the disease that is growing in popularity is light therapy. Given that the darkness of winter can cause seasonal depression, it may be possible that exposure to light has the opposite impact. A small study done in Canada has produced these results and will surely drive future research in the arena.
Light therapy was superior to placebo in this study, with the most effectiveness being seen in the light therapy plus antidepressant group of the study. The antidepressant used in this study was fluoxetine 20mg, one of the most common antidepressants that is regularly prescribed. The light therapy consisted of exposure to a fluorescent light box for 30 minutes each morning. Given that this can easily be simulated by other means, it may be a cheap option that can be added on to initial depression therapy at a relatively low cost and without many additional side effects, etc. If it turns out that it can even improve a small subset of the population’s disease, there is huge potential for this intervention given the cost-benefit assessment. If you are suffering from depression and have not had any success with conventional treatments (or are currently on traditional medications), you may want to ask your doctor if you can try some form of light therapy to help with your disease.
Light therapy is just the latest in what is hopefully a long line of innovations in the treatment of depression as we learn more about the biology of the brain and depression.
Many people don’t realize it, but in addition to the many hormonal and chemical changes that a woman goes through during pregnancy, back pains and challenges are also most prevalent before pregnancy.
Why the back ‘bends’
Throughout the course of pregnancy a woman will begin to (indirectly and sometimes unnoticed at first) lean forward as her lower back muscles and ligaments become weakened by the changes and positioning of the uterus, in combination with the added weight of a growing baby.
The weight of the baby will also cause stress on both a woman’s glutes and hamstrings—which is why Yoga and personal (safe) fitness comes so highly recommended for women during pregnancy of all stages.
In combination with lower back and abdominal pain, the chemical changes of pregnancy also cause muscles to become more ‘relaxed’ or loose, especially the ligaments, and in turn leave a pregnant woman even more susceptible to injury and unwanted risks or weaknesses in many common areas throughout the body, but especially the back.
Where a Chiropractor comes in
While nearly all chiropractors should already be well versed and educated on treating pregnant women and their body, some are more experienced than others. Some chiropractic’s specialize in treating women specifically during and post-pregnancy.
Chiropractors can be trusted to effectively treat and rejuvenate a pregnant woman’s physical health and help alleviate pains through reputable forms of treatment.
These treatments range from stretching exercises, back, leg, neck, and arm adjustments—all the way to the massaging and loosening of key trouble areas during pregnancy such as the quadratus lumborum and piriformis muscles.
These muscles play vital roles in flexibility and mobility, and again with the added weight of a baby inside of you, it becomes more and more difficult, as well as straining, to complete one’s daily routine in such condition without strengthening and recovery exercises.
Chiropractors aim to treat muscle pain and help manage it right at its source through soft tissue exercises and conditioning.
For pregnant women, this often originates around the uterus during pregnancy. In fact, that’s why there are so many common cases of pregnant women with sacroiliac joint troubles or pubic symphysis.
These conditions not only worsen on their own if left untreated, but can also pose both a great challenge and threat to your pregnancy.
A woman wants to be physically as strong as possible, and in the best shape before going into labor. Her muscles, ligaments, and uterus muscles should all be well prepared for the incredible high velocity of pain, stretching, and challenges that it will soon undertake.
Why Pregnancy and Chiropractic’s go Hand-in-Hand
One of the biggest and understandably most credible reasons that chiropractic treatment is popular amongst pregnant women is due to its more or less ‘holistic approach’. Although some basic machines or mechanisms for stretching the body or simple (OTC) topical medications might be applied, in comparison to other standard medical professionals, chiropractor’s approach treating people in general, but especially pregnant women, with the utmost ‘holistic’ or natural, safe, and easy approaches and treatment for pain management and prevention.
Image credit: Edyta Pawlowska
Millions of Americans suffer from back pain with only temporary and mild relief from pain killers (which come with lots of potential side effects). These patients often struggle to even get through everyday tasks of their lives like going grocery shopping or doing household chores. There just are not too many options out there for these patients at this time. Thankfully, it appears as though some new alternatives may be on the horizon, especially if future studies can validate their impact.
Some patients report finding relief from alternative treatments including some procedural techniques such as spinal manipulation. Chiropractors and physical therapists can sometimes do certain manipulations of the spine which may help patients cope, sometimes even with longer term effects than that seen with medications. Sometimes referred to SMT (spinal manipulation therapy), it is notable that not all patients report benefit from it. There are some newer studies that suggest it may help though and for those who have suffered from back pain for a long time, any new options are often welcome.
Specifically the manipulations done by chiropractic professionals seem to help with spinal disc hydration as well as spinal stiffness. It is still unclear why the treatment only works for some and not others, but that may have to do with the etiology of the pain as well as individual natural differences within people. A much larger study is needed to really drive any strong clinical conclusions around the treatment. A large randomized trial would be the optimal study design to really measure the impact and get such procedures more recognition within traditional medicine. Future research will also look at the specifics of spinal manipulation and what procedures seem to have higher efficacy than others.
If you are interested in getting more help for your back pain, consider talking to your local chiropractor and see what they suggest. It is usually advised to also let your primary care doctor know as they may be able to work together to get you a better solution. Also the primary care doctor will know your history and can advise for or against any recommendations made by the chiropractor, giving a more holistic care solution for you. You may even find a mix of various treatments and procedures to be optimal for you as different medications and spinal manipulations may work by different mechanisms which can have a sort of synergy when used together.
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One area that the fast-growing alternative wellness space has not focused on in marketing campaigns to date is pediatric care. Despite this, there is a large and growing body of young people who are practicing various natural remedies to remain fit and treat their health issues. Over ten percent of all children under the age of 18 practice yoga, see a chiropractor, take natural supplements such as fish oil, or use another form of alternative treatment according to a recent survey. Amongst these supplements such as fish oil, flaxseed-based products, various herb capsules, and probiotics are the most popular.
The high rate of use, especially of professionals such as chiropractors, was surprising to some within the field given the relative healthiness of the pediatric population relative to their adult counterparts. Some of the surprise has translated into a push to do more- increased research in pediatrics, especially with some of the supplements, to ensure safety and perhaps efficacy. Things like dosing can be especially tricky in kids as most healthcare professionals know. Beyond that, the survey results are an interesting glimpse into what newer generations might look towards and how they might utilize various forms of care.
The largest driver of pediatric use of alternative and complementary options seems to be parental use. Children whose parents use alternative therapies are five times as likely to use them themselves, especially as they get older and witness their parents’ choices and better understand them. Teenagers are especially likely to turn to alternative treatments based on parental use.
An interesting aside that is relevant to the discussion is that the definitions of alternative treatments are constantly changing, which do have an impact on surveys and results such as these. Many in medicine have seen a shift that suggests a blurring of the lines between traditional medicine and alternative medicine, which may turn out to have unwanted side effects as people have more trouble differentiating what is what and what is backed by evidence and what is not. This is where healthcare providers and alternative practitioners such as chiropractors will have a growing role- in patient education in this regard.
Some allopathic doctors have questioned the new study results due to the inclusion of certain products labeled as alternative treatments. Namely, fish oil is one that has raised some eyebrows because that is a product that is regularly recommended in traditional medicine for those with lipid abnormalities. There are even a couple of FDA-approved prescription products in the United States which are fish oil. Including these as alternative treatment might be misleading, throwing the numbers off in turn, especially because they constituted a significant portion of use. More research is likely needed to really get down to where the trends are in natural product use amongst young people. Future studies may focus more on strict definition of natural products and greater stratification of types of natural products used. Either way, it is undeniable that things appear to be changing and the healthcare and wellness space continues to evolve as new information comes out.
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It may sound like a crazy question and well it may be, but some recent chiropractic case studies have some interesting suggestions. Published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, some new cases showed correlation between chiropractic adjustments and improvements in heart disease. While case studies are not very high on the evidence hierarchy in science, these reports may be reasons for further study that justifies such claims.
One of the case studies involved a 54 year old man who had a history of myocardial infarction and angioplasty who was taking several medications but was still not well controlled. Apparently, after six months of chiropractic his numbers improved. Although no causal conclusion can be driven by this, it is an interesting correlation and one that should be studied further. It likely does not mean he can get off of his medications though, although chiropractic optimists may suggest that.
People who are pro chiropractic suggest that perhaps nerve interference due to misalignment, etc. may be throwing off the body’s homeostatic mechanisms to regulate itself thereby worsening certain conditions. The idea is that chiropractic adjustments can help offset these imbalances and potentially allow the body to better deal with some ailments internally. The view is controversial, however, as there is not much biological evidence that supports such a connection between nerve geography and lipid regulation within the body.
One thing that can be agreed upon is that finding the causes of cardiovascular disease and tackling those is very important. Whether spinal misalignment is one of those causes is yet to be seen. In this case, the chiropractor who the patient saw diagnosed the patient with vertebral subluxations in the neck, pelvis, and sacrum. He did his procedures to help correct the issue and a few months later routine blood work showed that there were improvements in LDL, HDL, and TGs. The patient also reported positive outcomes including improved mental and physical health and fewer complaints of musculoskeletal issues and pain.
Typical treatments in medicine for increased lipids include routine medications such as statins for cholesterol. There is also great emphasis placed on therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLCs) including eating diets which are low in cholesterol and fats and higher in fiber and protein. TLCs also include daily exercise include cardiovascular exercise if possible. Certain diets like the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet may help as well. These are likely to help a person get healthier in either case- chiropractic care or traditional.
With just one case study, there really is not much that can be said from an evidence based medicine standpoint. It will take much larger studies and ones that are randomized and controlled to really draw conclusions on this matter that can be trusted, but case studies like this are often the very initial building blocks that eventually lead to larger studies and more sound science to address our questions. It will be interesting to see where this goes because the implications may be titanic. Cardiovascular patients everywhere will likely be interested in any science that results of this.
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Tension headaches may be countered with strength training which may also lower the pain as claimed by a Danish study. Some researchers discovered that shoulder and neck muscles were almost 26% weak in individuals with normal tension headaches. Strength imbalances within muscle sets holding the head straighter were also seen. As per a chiro-physiotherapist from Danish Headache Centre, non pharmacological treatment of tension headache patients requires working towards in depth understanding of muscular-skeletal influence on these headaches.
Past studies reveal that muscular strength and weaknesses were related to tension headache noted Madsen along with his associates. More research work is required for determining if muscular weakness is either a reason or an effect of the commonest form of headache. People suffering from this headache get a feeling of an airtight band being wrapped on their head. However, it causes low pain compared to the one experienced out of migraines or cluster headaches which is felt on one side of head.
More often the cluster headaches come with running nose or sinus congestion but migraines lead to moderate or acute pain. The latter also causes throbbing, nausea, vomiting along with audio and light sensitivity. This study made a comparison of sixty adults suffering from tension headache with 30 healthier individuals. Patients had just experienced this headache for eight or even more days from 20 days with a maximum of three migraines.
When the participants leaned their own head backwards, the neck extensor muscles underwent testing. Similarly, as they had bent heads forward, the neck flexor muscles were thoroughly tested again. Trapezius muscle extending up to neck back through the shoulder was also tested in terms of strength. Healthier individuals of the study had up to 26% more powerful neck extension compared to individuals suffering tension headache. There existed only a marquee difference in the neck flexor groups. Consequently, in the healthier comparison group, extension and the flexion strength ratio was up to 12% high.
Madsen, a PHD student of South Denmark University discovered that whenever neck extension muscles seemed weak, stronger were the flexor muscles. It might be responsible for pulling their own heads forward. Healthier people had better shoulder strength on raising their arms either side. According to Madsen, the previous studies did reveal how frontal leaning heady postures and weak neck extension can be responsible for tension headache.
Madsen added that extensive use of laptops, tablets and computer in these years elevates the period of sitting by a protruding head posture. The exercises on shoulder strengthening have helped a great deal in lowering the neck pain with past studies. According to Dr. Diamond, there is an appearance of strength and mechanical issues in individuals with these tension headaches.
Tenderness and neck pain have been frequently complaining subject of these patients but the doctors are yet to have a clear cut understanding of the same. These patients tend to be dental hygienists, physical laborers, or even horseback riders at times. Their repetitive motions in workplace can lead to muscular problems. Dr Merle suggests working with a professional physical trainer or therapist for strengthening their core.
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