Spinal Manipulation for Back Pain

Spinal Manipulation for Back PainMillions 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.

Image credit: Lightwave Stock Media

Posted in Back Pain, Chiropractic, Chiropractic, Healthy living | Leave a comment

Go For a Run, It May Change Your Life

Go For a Run, It May Change Your LifeRunning can be a tremendous benefit to your health in a number of ways. People who run regularly report much better health outcomes including improved physical function and better mental wellbeing. Specifically, running regularly can actually help out your knees as long as you do it responsibly (stretch, don’t overdo it, etc.) as it can help strengthen muscles and bones. It can also help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight which is of crucial importance in order to stave off a number of chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, both which take the lives of many millions of people every year. Running can be a great equalizer and help reduce some of the effects of the the stressful lives we may live.

In addition to the physical benefits, running will help clear your mind and in turn, reduce stress. Can’t get that issue from work or that fight you had with a loved one off your mind? Go for a run! It may surprise you how much your attitude shifts and your thinking becomes clearer afterwards. It will likely also help with your memory and confidence in general. Several studies confirm the mental effects of running as your blood circulation improves and you really get some positive changes in your physical function. Doing it regularly enough may even lengthen your life as suggested in a large 2014 study which found that those who ran daily even for just five to ten minutes outlived those who did not run at all by an average of three years. So time is no excuse either- everyone has at least a few minutes to run (30 minutes of physical activity daily is really optimal if possible, but there are exceptions and this can matter on a lot of things).

Overall, the benefits of running are undeniable, especially when combined with a healthy diet and good sleep every night. If you have trouble running, it is perfectly okay to walk or to build up to running- what matters most is that you get physical activity rather than not. And running is certainly something you can build up to and get better at over time as long as you can get into a routine and stick with it. It may take some discipline to get started, but if you do start and stick with it for a few months, your body and mind will certainly thank you!

Image credit: maridav

Posted in Health, Healthy living, Wellness | Leave a comment

Chiropractic Solutions for Migraine Management

Chiropractic Solutions for Migraine ManagementMillions of Americans suffer from chronic migraines. If you do not, chances are you have a family member or friends that do. And it can really be a serious disease that costs the country billions of dollars in lost productivity every year. People who suffer from the condition know that it is often a very fickle disease with no cure and one that can be very hard to manage even with prescription medications and other traditional techniques.

While a number of drugs exist to help curtail the effect of migraines, there are not any solutions that are perfectly effective and there are even fewer that offer much prophylactic reward. One area in the treatment of migraines that is often overlooked is chiropractic. The alternative form of health can often help sufferers tackle some of the potential root causes of migraines which may not only limit the severity of the headaches, but may prevent them altogether.

The way a chiropractor can help with a migraine is by helping correct musculoskeletal abnormalities that may be causing pressure on certain nerves which can lead to pain. This is especially true in the neck and shoulder region- areas where migraine sufferers often have tenseness and sometimes even pain. Spinal manipulation done by a trained chiropractor has been looked at in a large number of case studies with reports of success ranging. Whether it is effective for you will really depend on your body and you particular disease modality.

Aside from physical manipulation, a chiropractor may be able to counsel patients on how to avoid migraines. There are a number of triggering factors which can lead to or worsen migraines that sufferers should be aware of and avoid as possible. Common triggers include things like excess light, things that strain the eyes, certain sounds, loud sounds, alcohol, caffeine, and certain foods. Using a holistic approach of physical procedures, counseling, and assessment of other risk factors and potential solutions, a chiropractor can be a solid staple in an effective healthcare team consisting of other providers such as primary care doctors in order to help patients attain the greatest chances of relief from their migraines and reduction in the chance of developing further ones. Look up your local chiropractor to see what solutions he may be able to offer and what experience he has in the disease state- you may be surprised with just how much he can do!

Image credit:  Kurhan

Posted in Chiropractic, Chropractor, Migraine | Leave a comment

Alternative Wellness Programs for Children

Alternative Wellness Programs for ChildrenOne 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.

Image credit: filmfoto

Posted in Alternative Treatment, Chiropractic, Chiropractic, Health, Wellness | Tagged | Leave a comment

Can Chiropractic Adjustments Reverse Heart Disease?

Can Chiropractic Adjustments Reverse Heart Disease?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.

Image credit: rangizzz

Posted in Chiropractic, Chropractor, Health | Leave a comment

Muscular weakness linked to headaches

Tension headaches-123rf-28130786_s (1)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.

Image credit: citalliance

Posted in Chiropractic, Chiropractic, Neck Pain, Tension headaches | Leave a comment

YOUR workout and the best path to body and mind recovery!

YOUR workout and the best path to body and mind recovery!After a long workout, let alone a long week, your body and mind crave much-needed nutrients that are commonly depleted from your everyday activities and intense workouts!

Take into consideration the value of recommended steps to give your body the energy and nutrients it needs…

Why Whey

Burning the amount of protein that we do on average through a workout not only depletes us of current protein in the body, but also much needed sugars and other very important naturally chemicals, such as Lactoferrin. This is especially important, as it naturally supports the immune system, which can be commonly depleted of strength during a workout as we are burning more than just fats and calories. Consider the value of the healthy fats (and sugars) included in Whey Protein, and whip yourself up a shake!

Eggs inside and out

In a recent study by Dietitian Leah Mark, M.S., C.D.N., C.P.T it’s expressed that although eggs have just 70 calories each, they also include all nine necessary amino acids for muscle (protein) recovery, synthesis, and growth promotion. It has also been found that the yolk on the inside of the Egg is of equal value, as it posses at least 50% of desirable nutrients and proteins. While consuming too much yolk can cause blood and heart problems, cholesterol troubles can be averted and a healthy diet ensued with a controlled daily or bi-daily consumption of eggs.

Sweet potatoes the super food

A recent study by nutritionist Dallas Hartwig, M.S., P.T. shows us that not only do sweet potatoes provide us a reliable source of healthy fats, but also provide glycogen (our bodies natural energy reserves) which restores and balances out sugar intake and control within our bodies. Along with fiber, sweet potatoes provide the necessary amounts of vitamin A and 26 grams of carbs that our bodies can use for energy—equivalent to three days worth!

Avocados

We receive healthy carbs, healthy fats, and promote muscle repair through the consumption of avocados and it’s nutrients. A statement by sports nutritionist Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., M.A., R.D., C.S.S.D. and author of Slim Down Now demonstrated how consuming avocados regularly provides our body much needed muscle repair nutrients such as Vitamins B, E, and A.

Cherry juice

Muscle damage is expected from intense workouts, and the immune system takes a hit when we push our body to the limits. A recent publishing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine demonstrated that individuals who consumed upwards of 24 Oz of tart cherry juice on a regular basis is contributing around the equivalency of 120 cherries to promote muscle repair, growth, and a strengthened immune system.

Green tea

In addition to Cherry Juice, consider the antioxidants power behind Green Tea, and it’s fat burning, energy boosting elements in adding it to your diet. Hot or cold, the caffeine helps to provide a form of pre-workout element.

Chocolate milk

Consider the health benefits, immune system building, bone promoting, and high mark protein contents of consuming Chocolate Milk and take your body to the top with it’s valuable healthy fats and carbs post-workout.

Image credit: Antonio Munoz Palomares

Posted in Health, Nutrients | Leave a comment

Trust the chiropractor with curing neck pain

Most people resort to consuming pain killers on suffering moderate or acute pain. In fact, there are no such side effects of pain killer when they are taken once or twice in a long while. However, such people who have chronic pain neck pain should consult the medical practitioner instead of popping self prescribed medicines. The doctor prescribes medicines and this is often for a very long period. These sleep inducing pain killers inflict harm when continued for a greater period and are not without side effects. In most cases they cause addiction and often tolerance. Moreover, these medicines only mask the problems.

More number of research and studies are being taken out to study the effect of chiropractic treatment and it has been found out that chiropractor provides greater relief to pains. A study had been carried out for 12 weeks in 2012 which showed that 55% of people who regularly received chiropractic treatment had their pains reduced by 75%, whereas only 33% of those upon medication found relief. Regular exercises when combined with chiropractic adjustments can offer a faster and better relief than the harmful analgesics.

The research further showed that those who continued going to the chiropractor even after that experienced greater relief whereas those continuing with medication had their dosages increased to obtain the same outcome as before. This indicates a greater harm to the entire body. The chiropractic care consists in reaching to the root-cause of the problem and attempting to fix it instead of masking it like the usual drug therapies.

Posted in Chiropractic, Chropractor, Neck Pain | Leave a comment

Things coming in one’s way of weight reduction

The weight loss efforts can be put into some serious risk, if they fail in staying faithful to themselves regarding their food decisions and motivations.

People always try to “inject” themselves with the fact that they are fully aware of the quantity of food they are taking in. People think they are having food only when nature calls, but the truth is that the excess eating is a result of maintaining social obligation or emotional fulfilment.

Weight loss efforts can be put into serious jeopardy by binge drinking. A number of heavy drinkers try to suggest the fact that they know their drinking limit. They should adopt the prcatise of moderate drinking regularly, instead of overflowing themselves in one singlular “session”.

Many believe that a proper balanced diet is being maintained by them, when the actual picture suggests heavy consumption of junk foods.

Another picture drawn by a number of people is that of consuming small meals in large numbers every day. But the truth is one ends up eating several numbers of large meals instead. To help themselves with this, one can maintain a food booklet where they can keep a note of their meals and the number of times they had consumed them on a given day. This will reflect the reasons that are restricting one in achieving their desired results.

The process also goes same for the exercise freaks, who considers themselves to be at the liberty of eating anything and in any quantity.

Posted in Chiropractic, Chiropractic, Weight loss | Leave a comment

Good Chiropractors provide nutritional counseling

nutritional healthThe work of a chiropractor is generally summarized as performing certain adjustments in body so that pain is relieved while also making the body more comfortable. Though this is what a chiropractor does, it does not entirely define his work. The work of a responsible chiropractor would lie in taking care of the complete body. This implies that the chiropractors should also concern themselves with providing,

There is more usefulness of chiropractic treatment which is not limited to just making a shapely body. It keeps the body in good posture and reduces pain. However, it cannot completely take care of your body, especially when the nutritional intake is not proper. It is thus that when treating a person, a responsible chiropractor provides nutritional counseling because fulfilling the nutritional needs is the key to leading a healthy life.

The chiropractor looks into the nutritional needs of the individual and makes for the latter a nutritional plan taking into account the health status. Nutritional imbalance can cause such major diseases as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, etc. In fact, the chiropractic treatments are often considered less powerful in keeping body fit and are often ranked below the traditional medicine. But, it is the wrong evaluation of the advantages of the treatment and when done properly would not require dependency on the more traditional medicine, that again, is not without side effects. Chiropractic treatment is capable in improving  the overall condition of health when coupled with perfect nutritional counseling.

Posted in Chiropractic, Chropractor | Leave a comment