All posts in Chiropractic Care

What IS Chiropractic?

Let’s take a refresher look at chiropractic, shall we?

First, let’s talk about what chiropractic is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, chiropractic is,

A system of noninvasive therapy which holds that certain musculoskeletal disorders result from nervous system dysfunction arising from misalignment of the spine and joints and that focuses treatment especially on the manual adjustment or manipulation of the spinal vertebrae.

The Palmer College of Chiropractic says,

Chiropractic is a health-care profession that focuses on the spine and other joints of the body, and their connection to the nervous system. The word “chiropractic” means “to be done by hand.” Chiropractors use adjustments to restore joint function and support the nervous system. They help patients maintain optimal health while avoiding unnecessary drugs or surgery. An estimated 50 million Americans see a chiropractor each year.

And finally, the American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as,

A health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Next, we’ll take a look at what chiropractors do!

 

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Chiropractic: Good for Your Heart?

We all know high blood pressure is a bad thing. Having it increases your risk factor for heart disease and stroke, which are two of the major causes of death.

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high.

There are multiple ways to treat high blood pressure. These include regular exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight.

However, rather than do those things, many, many people instead turn to medication to keep their blood pressure under control.

But! A visit to your chiropractor may also be an effective way to control your blood pressure.

A recent study serves as the latest evidence that chiropractic adjustments may improve blood pressure in the short term. It found that specific instrument-assisted adjustments to the thoracic spine positively affected blood pressure. It also had a positive impact on pulse rate and classification of high blood pressure compared to placebo manipulation or no intervention.

In addition to being good for your back, for your ears, for your headaches, for your anxiety and stress, chiropractic care may also be good for your heart!

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Massages Are Better for You Than You Might Think

Yes, massages feel fantastic. They’re rejuvenating and relaxing and all-around terrific.

But did you know they’re actually really, REALLY good for you?

It’s true!

There’s not shortage of science to back us up. They ease muscle soreness after a trip to the gym AND they reduce stress, among many other benefits. For example, one study found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol dropped 31% following a rubdown, while levels of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin increased roughly 30%.

Pain reduction, along with depression relief, is one of the benefits that research has most consistently linked to massage.

While having access to a professional masseuse is ideal, research on different forms of self-massage, including foam rolling, have found that giving yourself a good kneading can reduce muscle soreness and improve pain symptoms, even among people with osteoarthritis.

Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep-it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest.

“Massage promotes relaxation and sleep in those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy,” says Lisa Marie de Miranda, registered massage therapist and kinesiologist at Paleolife Massage Therapy.

Also, massages help infants sleep more, cry less and be less stressed, according to research from the University of Warwick.

“Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress,” says Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist, kinesiologist and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Toronto. “More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck.”

Desk workers, beware. More advanced forms of postural stress “show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting.”

Luckily, massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job-as long as you schedule a regular massage.

Oh, and hey – have you heard that Case Chiropractic is now offering massages? 🙂

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Lower Back Pain Relief

We’re finally digging out from beneath tons of snow over here in the Southeast. Between all of the sledding, snowman-making and shoveling, having some pain in the lower back woudn’t be unusual. But if you do, what can be done about it?

You may feel like resting, but if your lower back is bothering you, it’s actually good to keep moving!

Avoid activities like toe-touching, which can put greater stress on the disks and ligaments in your spine. They can also overstretch lower back muscles and hamstrings.

Instead, try partial crunches which can help strengthen your back and stomach muscles. Don’t do a full sit-up, though, as they can put a lot of pressure on the discs in your spine.

Hamstring stretches are also really good for you, but leg lifts, because, if you have a weak core, this exercise can make back pain worse.

Wall-sits are also really good for helping your lower back. Ever done one? If not, here’s how:

Stand 10 to 12 inches from the wall, then lean back until your back is flat against the wall. Slowly slide down until your knees are slightly bent, pressing your lower back into the wall. Hold for a count of 10, then carefully slide back up the wall.

Pelvic tilts are also a good, low impact way to strengthen your muscles. To do them, lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor. Tighten your stomach by contracting it as though you were preparing for a punch. You’ll feel your back pressing into the floor, and your hips and pelvis rocking back. Hold for 10 seconds while breathing in and out smoothly.

But, of course, the best thing to do for back pain – especially the kind that won’t quit – is call a reputable chiropractor. We happen to know a good one!

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Cold Weather is Here – Be Prepared!

Baby, it’s cold outside! And right now, it’s really, really cold! Most of the United States is experiencing a brutal cold snap. In fact, just today, all 50 states — including Hawaii — at least one place recorded a temperature below 32 degrees.

That’s cold!!

But what does that mean for your body?

Cold temperatures place physiological stresses on the body. However, the more healthy and fit you are, the more easily your body can cope with these stresses.

Regardless of how fit you are, when temps hit 50 degrees, blood vessels narrow to reduce blood flow near the body’s surface. Sometimes those narrowed blood vessels dilate and burst, which causes redness. It can also numb your hands. 

Then, when temperatures 45 degrees and lower, cold and dry air creates challenges for your lungs. The dry air also causes your nose wants to moisturize, but it often runs when it’s working overtime.

Below 32 degrees is where things can get really nasty because your interior body temperature will begin to drop.

Your body may begin to shake as a result of oscillatory muscular activity, hypothermia can kick in and you can even get frostbite. Like we said – nasty!

So, stay indoors as much as possible when the temperatures are this frigid and if you need to go out, make sure you BUNDLE UP!

Use layers to stay warm!  This doesn’t simply mean lots of layers, but layers for specific purposes. You’ll need a close fitting base layer to wick away sweat if there is any physical exertion taking place. Then you should add insulating mid layers and a looser fitting wind or waterproof outer layer.

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