9 Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

9 Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Did you know that there is actually a day to celebrate eating Vegetables?! June 17th is National Eat Your Vegetables Day as part of Fruit and Vegetable Month. One morning on the radio, I heard the DJs bemoaning the fact that we’re supposed to eat 9 servings of fruit and vegetables a day and how hard that is to accomplish. While this seemed silly to me, it turns out that most Americans are in this camp.

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What you need to know about a "Pinched Nerve"

What you need to know about a "Pinched Nerve"

A "pinched nerve" refers to a condition in which a nerve is compressed by surrounding tissue, such as ligament, cartilage, tendon or bone. The term "pinched nerve" is not a standard medical expression, but it's an intuitive expression that almost anyone will understand.  And frankly it's a term I don't love.  The "better" term to use in my chiropractic world is "Subluxation". 

You see, the spinal cord radiates down from the brain, down your spine and where the nerves start is all the little "off-ramps" from the spine to all other parts of the body. Signals are sent from and to the brain along these neuro-superhighways, and if a nerve is compressed/pinched/SUBLUXATED, it will interfere with proper signal transmission.

After the subluxation has been there for a LONG time it will manifest as pain, not only at the site of compression, but also radiating from that point to surrounding parts of the body - including the organs. The reason why I say "a long time" is because only 90-95% of the nerve system transmits pain, depending on which research article you are reading. Once that misalignment of the spine (aka subluxation) has pinched nerves long enough is when you get that grey-cloud- day when the back pain shows up.  As the subluxation gets more "pinchy" and chronic with time it often turns into a deadening ache or sensitivity along your arms (aka cervical radiculopathy) or legs (the notorious sciatica). Any pain of this sort is a warning signal that there is a problem that should be treated right away!  Like last week!

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In Your 30s or 40s? Why a Balance Test Makes Good Sense

In Your 30s or 40s? Why a Balance Test Makes Good Sense

Falls are serious business. In fact, they're the leading cause of injury for those over the age of 65. Every year, one in three adults age 65 and older sustain slips and falls, which results in injuries such as hip fractures and head trauma, thus greatly increasing the risk of death.

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The New Science of Slips and Falls: What the Research Tells Us

The New Science of Slips and Falls: What the Research Tells Us

While we've all seen the old banana peel skit, slips and trips in the real world are no laughing matter. Simply falling to the floor or pavement from an upright position causes a great many serious injuries, and even deaths, each year. No one really knows for certain how many falls could actually be prevented, but the topic is of growing interest to a wide variety of people, from public health officials, designers, architects and community planners to business owners, workplace supervisors and employees. Senior citizens are perhaps the most at risk.

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Fitness Standards for Adults: Here's What They're Good For

Fitness Standards for Adults: Here's What They're Good For

President John F. Kennedy once said, "Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity." Since July 16, 1955, the American government has shown at least a political interest in the health of Americans. Under President Eisenhower, the President's Council on Youth Fitness established a beachhead against the lagging health of American youth compared with citizens of other countries. Military officers in World War II complained that their recruits were out of shape. Perhaps Eisenhower's program was meant to help reverse that condition. However, it wasn't until President Kennedy that the Commander-in-Chief took an active role in promoting standards and committing resources to them.

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Best Exercises for Hip Health and Mobility

Best Exercises for Hip Health and Mobility

When it comes to ease-of-movement, problems with our hips usually take a back seat to other joint problems that become more obvious as our musculoskeletal system ages. In particular, our back and knees are prone to problems that can restrict our activities and cause chronic pain. However, the health of our hips is actually crucially important in ensuring that we maintain mobility into old age because they are the center around which the forces of movement revolve. Pain in both our back and our knees is often due to decreased hip mobility.

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Can Losing Weight Really Help Reduce Back Pain?

Can Losing Weight Really Help Reduce Back Pain?

If you suffer from back pain and are more than 10 pounds above your ideal weight, losing that weight may significantly reduce the amount of pain you are experiencing. According to Dr. Andre Panagos, co-director of The Spine Center at New York's Presbyterian Hospital, "In my clinic, every single person who loses a significant amount of weight finds their pain to be significantly improved."

The muscles, tendons and ligaments that work to keep the spine upright and aligned can be put under a great deal more stress when there is more weight for them to support. Even simple everyday tasks such as reaching over to put an item on your pantry shelf can be harder on your back when those supporting muscles have extra weight to maneuver. Losing weight reduces the extra strain on your spinal muscles.

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Chiropractic for Arthritis

Chiropractic for Arthritis

If you or someone you care about is suffering from arthritis, you should know that arthritis doesn't have to mean an end to an active lifestyle. Prior generations may have accepted the condition as an inevitable part of aging and been given a standard prescription of bed rest and drug therapies. However, today's health care professionals recognize that appropriate exercise and nutrition are also critical to managing arthritis effectively, and they can recommend a much wider range of treatment options. Your chiropractor can play an important role, not only in relieving pain, but also in helping patients with arthritis continue to live a more independent, active lifestyle.

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Chiropractic for Shoulder Pain

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Shoulder pain is a common complaint that patients present with to both primary care physicians and chiropractic practitioners. There are several underlying conditions that may cause discomfort in this area, many of which may be assisted by chiropractic treatment and manipulation. A proper diagnosis is important in order to determine what kind of treatment is indicated in each case.

Commonly observed causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Bursitis or tendinitis of the rotator cuff (inflammation of the shoulder joint, also called impingement syndrome, since the inflammation impinges on the ability of the shoulder to move fully)
  • Frozen shoulder (restriction of joint movement by the shoulder capsule, also known as adhesive capsulitis)
  • Rotator cuff tear (tearing of the shoulder tendons away from the bone). The rotator cuff refers to the group of four muscles and tendons that are responsible for moving the shoulder joint
  • Shoulder dislocation and shoulder instability (repeated dislocation, which may follow the initial occurrence as a result of the weakening and tearing of shoulder ligaments)
  • Synovitis (inflammation of the synovium that protects joint bones from rubbing together)
  • Calcific tendinitis (calcium deposits in the shoulder tendons)
  • Referred pain from the neck or elsewhere in the body
  • Arthritis (wearing away of shoulder cartilage)
  • Fractures

The precise nature of chiropractic treatment for shoulder pain depends on which of the above diagnoses is made by your practitioner, but will likely include some degree of manipulation to ensure correct spinal alignment (especially in the neck) and improved shoulder mobility and function. Additional measures such as heat and ice packs, stretching and strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory medication, rest and cortisone injections may also be discussed. Furthermore, your chiropractor will want to look at your overall health, diet and lifestyle to see if any improvements can be made to assist with your healing process. Signs that you should consult a chiropractor about your shoulder include the following:

  • Pain when carrying objects
  • Shoulder pain at night and when resting
  • Being unable to raise your arm
  • Pain that persists beyond a few days and is unimproved by rest and painkillers
  • Warmth, redness and/or swelling of the shoulder and/or fever, which may indicate infection
  • Bruising around the shoulder area

Chiropractors are specialist health care professionals who deal with shoulder pain on a daily basis.

 

 

Common Causes of Back Pain

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Understanding the cause of your back pain is the key to proper treatment. There are many different underlying conditions that cause back pain. The more common causes of back pain are described below. Don't try to make your own diagnosis. A trained chiropractor that deals with back pain complaints on a daily basis will know what to look for and what questions to ask you to determine the underlying cause.

  1. Muscle strains and muscle spasms are the most common cause of low back pain. Patients may or may not remember the initial event that triggered their muscle spasm. Back pain from muscle spasms can be incredibly painful and feel like nerve pain when the muscle tighten and twitch around a key nerve such as the sciatic nerve.
  2. A ruptured intervertebral disc, also called a herniated disc, is another common cause of back pain. The terms ruptured, herniated, slipped and bulging disc don't really have precise definitions to distinguish one from another and are often used somewhat interchangeably to describe protruding disc material. It is important to note that a large percent of the population is walking around with bulging discs that cause no symptoms, so not every herniated disc warrants treatment or intervention.
  3. Discogenic back pain is the result of damage to the intervertabral disc, but without disc herniation. Diagnosis of discogenic back pain may require the use of a discogram.
  4. Spinal stenosis causes a lot of back pain in the elderly. As we age, the spinal canal can become constricted from arthritis and other conditions. If the spinal canal becomes too tight, back pain can be the result.
  5. Arthritis most commonly affects joints such as the knees and fingers. However, arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the small joints of the spine. Arthritis of the spine can cause back pain with movement.
  6. Spondylolisthesis causes back pain because adjacent vertebra become unstable and begin to "slip." The most common cause of spondylolisthesis are degenerative changes causing loss of the normal stabilizing structures of the spinal column.

As stated earlier, backaches are hard to self-diagnose. The causes listed above are just a few of more common possibilities. If you suffer from acute or chronic backaches, consult a qualified chiropractor for a complete exam.