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Monthly Archives: May 2020

OMEGA-3 . . . What Inflammation?

omega 3

OMEGA-3 . . . What Inflammation?

Inflammation is the most underrated health problem in the United States. Today, more Americans are suffering from inflammation than ever before. Inflammation has become the underlying root cause of the majority of health conditions we are seeing in the modern day. Research has shown that chronic, prolonged inflammation is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain.

As a chiropractor, I see patients with chronic pain every day, and we all know that opiate drugs are not the solution. Data has shown that over 100 million American adults live in chronic pain. It is extremely important for us to know how to manage inflammation to provide a better solution for pain syndromes.

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How Sugar Has Ruined America

sugar

How Sugar Has Ruined America

Sugar seems to be everywhere nowadays; almost all food products contain some type of artificial or additive sugars. In fact, companies add sugar to their products to increase sales. This is because America is addicted to sugar. The average American consumes up to 100g of sugar a day — the equivalent of three sodas. Although soda is becoming less accessible in schools, they are being replaced by sports drinks which are essentially sugar-water with just as high sugar content.

So we like sweet things. What now?

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The Benefits of Chiropractic to Kids with ADHD

Kids are normally energetic and playful. They’re like cute balls of energy that just cannot stop going around but no matter how we grow tired of looking after them so they won’t get hurt, we just can’t stop. The love that we feel for our kids keeps us going. But what happens when we notice that our kids may be different from the rest? When they become hyperactive, over-sensitive, lack focus, find difficulty in processing any information, and tend to be less mature than the other kids who share the same age?

According to a National 2016 Parent Survey, about 6.1 million children are diagnosed with ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is the most common neurodevelopmental childhood disorder. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, managing impulsive behaviors, and can be overly active. 

Although there is no known cure yet for ADHD, just like the large majority of diagnoses, there are studies that show the positive effects of Chiropractic care in curbing the symptoms and improving quality of life. A study at Duke University Medical Center has shown that children diagnosed with ADHD and were treated by Chiropractors showed significant improvement during the school year compared to those who were not treated. These results indicate the positive effects of Chiropractic Care to Children with ADHD.  

There is nothing that can make us stop loving our children. Kids, no matter what they are are heaven-sent and we want to give them the best of everything including the best available healthcare. And here’s what they deserve- a chiropractic evaluation and necessary spinal adjustments.  Here’s why:

  • Improves Focus – There are a lot of things that those who are diagnosed with ADHD are irritated about. They can be the texture and coarseness of food, the tags on their clothes, and the list goes on. Proper management of the spine and nerve system through specific chiropractic care together with other programs like exercise, training, sports, and counseling can help reduce sensitivity, irritability and more ideal perception of the environment. This means, better attention span as they will grow more patient and will not be easily distracted by the things or factors that irritate them.
  • Addresses Behavioral Issues – Being defiant and having aggressive behavior are two of the things that are common to kids with ADHD. They, compared to other children, refuse to follow instructions and have emotional outbursts especially when they are asked to do something challenging or things that they don’t like doing like going to bed or eating dinner or staying still.  Spinal adjustments by hand help to restore the optimal function of the nerve system and permit the body to more accurately perceive and adapt to its internal and external environments.  ADHD is known as a central nervous system disorder numerous case studies and some smaller scale studies have demonstrated the benefits that children with ADHD have experienced by having a healthier spine. Behavior problems may arise when there is tension and stress in the nervous system that can be caused by childhood events like birth, falls, and even sports. The effects of the nerve system tension can cause them to behave erratically, be overly sensitive, and have meltdowns even without enough reason. Chiropractic care, through gentle spinal adjustments, turns down the triggers by calming the nervous system and allowing it to self-organize, self-regulate and self-heal more optimally. The result – a child who behaves at a different level!
  • Helps in Brain Development – The nerve system consists of the brain, spinal cord that is protected by the spine, and 31 pairs of spinal nerves in charge of coordinating all structures and functions in the body.  The brain sends trillions of very specific messages out to the body and back every minute. Brain-body communication is essential to brain development.  Roger Sperry was a Nobel Prize winner and he found through his research that 90% of the stimulation and nutrition of the brain comes from proper movement of the spine.  In other words…the spine is the engine of the brain!  When the spine does not function properly, it can cause the entire system to perform poorly.  Structural shifts in the spine may stop the neurons (brain cells) from making new connections or good quality connections that are required for learning.  Specific analysis and spinal adjustments by hand to the areas of the spine that need them remove obstructions from a developing child’s nerve system and liberate optimal health. Children need a healthy nervous system to grow into healthy adults and regular chiropractic care for kids enhances the brain-body connection.  The science and research behind Chiropractic’s ability to improve brain function continues to take shape through new studies and validate the millions of lives that have already been enhanced through application of the fundamental principle that the body works optimally with a good nerve supply.
  • Helps Kids Function Better – Research published in 2010 has observed a clear connection between brain function and chiropractic care. The chiropractic adjustment led to improved body and brain coordination by restoring balance to the nervous system. It yielded a positive result with kids showing more control and calmness and a greater ability to perform.  Brain enhancements and improved hormone function await kids who suffer from ADHD and more research needs to be done to further explain how so many parents report improvements in their children’s quality of life through chiropractic care.  By addressing the function of a child, from a neurological standpoint, as opposed to learning how to rid the body of symptoms, children are given the opportunity to achieve new levels of health and be all they were created to be through a healthy spine and nerve system.

In conclusion, chiropractic care has many wonderful benefits that can help children with ADHD.  Parents have reported that their children’s behaviors have been managed and can definitely be improved. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or if you are concerned that your child has this condition, you can consult with a chiropractor who focuses on objectively assessing your child’s spine, its relationship to the current state of their nerve system, and how course of care might be necessary to achieve healthier balance between their brain and body.

What is “Text Neck” and How Can You Prevent your Kids from Having it?

What is “Text Neck” and How Can You Prevent your Kids from Having it?

What is “Text Neck” and How Can You Prevent Your Kids from Having it?

In today’s modern world, people spend a lot of time on their phones. This is due to the fact that almost everything can now be accessed in a touch of a button – from booking tickets, paying bills, shopping, ordering food, groceries, and you name it the mobile phone has it. We just can’t get the thing out of our sight as it’s considered a necessity nowadays, not only for communication but as well as entertainment. 

The same goes for our kids. This generation has its eyes always glued on screens as it’s ingrained in every part of their lives – from education to socialization. Usually, there won’t be so much noise when they’re on their gadgets – that is, until they start to experience the symptoms of what is being referred to as “Text Neck”.

So, what is a Text Neck?

It was the US Chiropractor, DL Fishman, who coined the modern-day term “Text Neck” to describe repeated stress injury and pain in the neck resulting from excessive watching or texting on handheld devices for a long period of time. The term is also called “Turtle Neck Posture” or “Anterior Head Syndrome.”

According to Dr. Chris Tomshack, founder, and CEO of HealthSource, “The weight of the human head is 10 to 11 pounds, but flexed forward, that’s leveraged to 50 to 60 pounds of pressure. Our necks are not big enough to handle that much pressure continuously for any significant amount of time. After a while, the muscles that surround your neck get strained.”

How would you know if your child is already experiencing Text Neck?

  1. Pain – It can be in one spot and can be stabbing or intense or it may be a general achiness or soreness that covers a broader region such as spanning from the bottom of the neck and into the shoulders.
  2. Radiating pain – can often be radiation of pain into the shoulders and arms.
  3. Muscular Weaknesses
  4. Headache – Can occur with a stiff neck. Muscles at the base of the neck could go into spasm and become painful, or pain could also be referred from the neck up into the head. Excessive amounts of time looking at screens, regardless of posture, may also increase the risk for eyestrain and headache.
  5. Stiff Neck – Usually a result of a strain or sprain and is characterized by soreness and the difficulty moving the neck, especially when trying to move the head to the side. This can be accompanied by shoulder or arm pain, headache and neck pain.

Prevention is better than cure, they say. Here are some tips you can do to keep your child from experiencing it.

1. Practice Good Posture  – It is amazing to know how a small device can offer a huge variety of entertainment that will make you and your kids forget about time and not notice that you have been slouching in the same position for hours on end, which is an absolute recipe for disaster. Always remind your kids to sit up straight, keep their head, neck, and shoulder in a neutral position, and when using the phone, hold it at eye level and refrain from looking down.  If they do look down, be sure that they look down with eyes, not the head. This is to avoid putting too much pressure on the bones, joints, discs, muscles and most importantly the nerves.

2. Take a break – Too much of something is indeed bad enough including the excessive use of phones. Letting your kids take a break from using their phones may really be challenging especially if being on the phone all the time has already become a habit that’s hard for them or even you to break. But if you come to think of it, this is the most effective way to prevent them from experiencing symptoms as this, in the first place is the cause.  And you might as well check these techniques in encouraging them to put down their gadgets once and for all.

  • Spend some family time – Coming up with activities that you as a family can enjoy would really help. It doesn’t matter if you prefer playing monopoly or doing sports that you like – swimming, baseball, walking or anything that would help you bond while diverting their attention
  • Set Rules – Set rules and be firm about it even when your kids show tantrums. It will only be difficult at first but once they realize that they don’t have a choice because rule is rule, they will just eventually follow it.
  •  Act as a role model – Walk the talk. You can’t force your kids to take a break from using their phone if you are not doing it yourself. The best way to encourage them is to model the behavior.

3.       Arch and Stretch and Practice Neck Exercises – Neck and shoulder rolls can release the tension caused by bending down while using your gadget. Getting up and walking every hour can help in avoiding the strain on your back and neck. Avoid prolonged static postures and holding devices for a long duration.  Finally, practice standing a foot away from the way, put your hands on the wall, lean your chest toward the wall and look up towards the sky by extending your neck.  Hold for 30 seconds and do several times throughout the day.

The bottom line is, you must know how to set limits and be firm with it, especially if it involves your kids. You want them to have fun without compromising their health, which is the goal of every parent.

References:

Text Neck Symptoms and Diagnosis

https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/text-neck-symptoms-and-diagnosis

https://aaptiv.com/magazine/effects-text-neck

Text Neck Treatment and Prevention

https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/text-neck-treatment-and-prevention

How Chiropractic Can Help Improve Your Child’s Behavior

how chiropractic can improve your child's behavior

We all want our children to enjoy their time being kids – to have fun playing with friends, have patience in learning, and have the enthusiasm to discover things on their own. But all these can be challenging when they develop poor behavior that just might affect their capability to connect with people around them. 

In 2011, roughly 1 in every 10 US school-aged children were diagnosed with ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect children’s success at school including their relationships with the people in their environment. Therefore, most parents choose the fast and most convenient way – to medicate. Although there may be some benefits to using medications to treat symptoms, there may also be side effects ranging from being mild to significant. These include sleeping problems, moodiness and irritability, decreased appetite, fatigue, and the list goes on. Another is the risk of overmedication – children who are dependent on medications typically overmedicate when they become adults and these can lead to health problems or worse, addiction in later life.

Below are three of some of the many reasons why a healthy spine and nerve system through specific chiropractic can help your child overcome behavioral challenges:


  • Chiropractic to Correct Subluxations to Optimize Body Functions

Chiropractic focuses on the spine and nervous system without applying medications or using invasive surgery. Referred to as the “central nervous system”, the brains and the spinal cord work together to control and coordinate our functions – walk and talk, our automatic body functions – breathe and digest food – and even our senses, emotions, thoughts, and memory.  This means that when your child’s spine shifts, instead of protecting the delicate spinal cord and nerves, it can actually obstruct the communication between your child’s brain and their body’s systems, therefore affecting both their physical function as well as their brain’s ability to accurately perceive the environment and properly adapt to it. 

What Chiropractic care does is to correct vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments interfering with the nerve system) to optimize body functions. Thus, chiropractic care does not only apply to kids showing ADHD symptoms, but to all kids!  We all know it’s natural for kids to be naturally curious and tend to be hyperactive at times as well. They run, jump, discover things on their own, and sometimes injure themselves.  But by properly managing their spine and nerve system and making their body more stress-resilient to the environment and injuries through Structural Chiropractic Care, they can be back to being happy kids again.

  • Chiropractic as an effective tool to retain positive neuroplasticity

In the 1990s, scientists discovered brain plasticity or otherwise known as “neuroplasticity” which is the ability of the brain to change throughout life. The human brain can reorganize itself by forming new connections between neurons. Aside from genetic and environmental factors, how the person lives, or his actions can also affect plasticity- including an injury. When the spine starts to shift from optimal position, stress is transferred to the supply system it houses. Bulging or slipping discs can hinder lymphatic and nervous pathways; stenosis of the spine can restrict nerve and blood flow; and, the longer these systems are negatively affected, the more the brain is deprived.

Linking the goal of chiropractic versus neuroplasticity, studies have been conducted to learn how chiropractic can be considered as a tool to maintain positive neuroplasticity including a study presented at the International Research and Philosophy Symposium held at Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic. The mental activity of 100 participants was monitored through electroencephalograms (EEG). Brain functions showed improvement after Chiropractic care!  Also, in a study published in 2016 in the Journal Neural Plasticity by Holt, Haavik, Murphy, and colleagues, they have revealed that adjusting the spine changes brain function. It was later studied and confirmed by an independent medical researcher.

  • Chiropractic as Practical Solution for your child’s behavioral issues

There are still a lot of ongoing studies learning about how chiropractic affects neurobehavior and neurodevelopment in children, and for many years, there have been an overwhelming amount of case reports and Chiropractors have received overwhelming feedback from parents that their children are showing significant improvement in behavior, sleep and even becoming more stress-resilient and better able to manage environmental challenges.

As parents, we only want the best for our kids. Seeing them thrive on their full potential would be a sight to behold. Each kid deserves only the best, and that includes the best treatment if needed. That is what Chiropractic Care can offer: a practical, drug-free, and non-invasive solution for your children’s needs. 

May 2, 2020

Best Practices to Prevent Neck Pain

BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT NECK PAIN

Best Practices to Prevent Neck Pain

Everyone looks forward to dusk, because this is the moment you can rest and free your mind of the day’s activities. It feels bad when sleeping becomes a problem, especially when you wake up with neck pain. No one wants to be scared to sleep because of the thought of always waking up with neck pain, and this is the reason that the best avoidance mechanism is essential.

Neck pain is not only a problem of the aged, but the younger population now complains of severe neck pain. Most of the causes can be avoided, and we have outlined several steps to take to avoid being a victim of neck pain.

COMMON CAUSES OF NECK PAIN

  • SLEEPING POSTURE: This is the most common cause of neck pain because most people are unaware of the perfect posture to keep while sleeping. The reason is that most individuals, especially the younger generation, tend to sleep off while pressing their phones or seeing a movie. So it is hard to determine a particular posture. This is the leading cause of avoidable neck pain that we have today.

  • CHOICE OF PILLOW: There are different pillow manufacturers, but not everyone is good for you. Some of the pillows that we rest our heads on while sleeping will only harm our neck muscles and cause it to strain or become stiff, hence causing pain when we wake up.

  • SLEEPING PROBLEMS: Research has it that up to 5% of the people in a particular population experience pain in their bodies because of different sleeping problems. For some, it is a problem of finding it hard to sleep, for some other ones, they complain of waking up at intervals, having unsettled minds, or bad dreams while sleeping. All these do not help the body to achieve the purpose of relaxation while sleeping, which can lead to muscular pain, including neck pain.

  • DAY POSTURE: This is another problem that is common to almost everyone; the way you posture your body while you are carrying out all the activities during the day is essential. Careless body carriage or neck positioning while pressing your phone, watching the TV, or even taking a walk can cause neck pain, which might not manifest until after you wake up from your sleep.

STEPS TO TAKE TO AVOID NECK PAIN

There are various steps you can take to avoid neck pain and enjoy better sleep, some of which include:

  • Sleep on your side or back instead of lying on your stomach while sleeping. When you lie on your stomach, you will stress your neck muscles because you have to position your neck to a particular side all through the night, and this can cause neck pain. You also stress your backbone, and you can damage your spinal cord if you keep this posture consistently for years.

  • Choose a feather or memory-foam pillow and avoid a pillow that is too hard or firm. A feather pillow will help keep your head in a good position all night has your head can sink into the pillow without affecting your neck muscles. A memory-foam pillow also follows the contour of your head and neck region, making sleeping easier. The feather pillow should be changed annually because it would have lost its strength by then.

  • While sleeping on your side, you can place a pillow in-between your legs has this helps to keep your body in a straight profile while you are sleeping. You should also use a pillow that is designed in such a way that the neck region is higher than the head region. This way, your head will not bend to any side while you are sleeping.

  • During the day, ensure you keep a straight walking profile and avoid bending your back. You should also keep your phone at face level while using it; it is wrong to bend the neck while operating your phone as this can cause neck pain.

  • For those with underlying systemic diseases, it is essential to see a doctor for treatment.

Neck pain is not a good experience, and it can last for a long time if care is not taken. It also has a way of making an individual less productive, especially in the early hours of the day. Preventing is cheaper than the cure, and strict adherence to the measures above will make a difference.

May 2, 2020

Tips for Better Posture While Working From Home

Tips for Better Posture While Working From Home

Tips for Better Posture While Working From Home

Working from home is becoming an increasingly popular practice. There are a lot of aspects to consider when working from home in order to yield productivity and job success. While home ergonomics and home office environments play a big role in terms of productivity, it is important to note that everything starts with posture. Good posture not only looks better, it also increases energy, supports better breathing, improves circulation and puts less wear and tear on your joints. It’s an investment in both your appearance and health. On the other hand, bad posture can lead to chronic pain and other complications later down the road. And since working from home requires hours on end of sitting in front of a computer, it is easy to fall into bad posture practices. Here, we will be discussing different tips for better posture while working from home and how chiropractic care help posture

What is posture? 

Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity. Without posture and the muscles that control it, we would simply fall to the ground.

Normally, we do not consciously maintain normal posture. Instead, certain muscles do it for us, and we don’t even have to think about it. Several muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, are critically important in maintaining good posture. While the ligaments help to hold the skeleton together, these postural muscles, when functioning properly, prevent the forces of gravity from pushing us over forward. Postural muscles also maintain our posture and balance during movement.

Here are some tips you can do to improve your posture:

  • Do Not Slouch – Sitting or standing in place for long periods of time can be tiring, especially if you do not have the muscles in your back to support good posture. Nonetheless, that only means we have to be more conscious. Check your posture every 20 minutes and straighten your back. Slouching puts strain on your neck and can often lead to neck and shoulder pain.
  • Keep Everything Eye-Level – We often make the mistake of looking with our necks when we can just as easily look with our eyes. This is important to note especially if you are using a laptop as there is not much mobility in terms of leveling your monitor to be at eye level. Look down at your screen with your eyes, do not move your entire neck- this leads to neck strain and will allow you to fall into the habit of slouching.
  • Stretch – Do this before, after, and even during your work time. Stretching loosens any tensions you may be feeling in your muscles and allows you the flexibility to practice good posture. Getting up to stretch every hour or at 30-minute intervals acts as a buffer, not only for your posture but also for your mindset, allowing you to be more productive.
  • Feet flat on the floor – Your knees should not be too high or low above level with your hips. Your feet should be flat on the floor. With that being said, crossing your legs or anything other than having your feet flat on the floor leads to strain and complications on your backs, hips, and even causes a slight increase in blood pressure.
  • Hydration – Hydration can help your posture in different ways. For starters, hydration helps your muscles and tissues. Tensions in the back area can be significantly reduced simply through regular hydration. Hydration strengthens both the padding and discs in your spine. An added benefit of hydration is that you will be required to physically get up every time you need to take a drink or refill your water bottle.
  • Ergonomics – Good posture starts with you, but there is no harm in taking assistance from external tools. Placing a pillow between your back and the back of your chair can make all the difference when it comes to simply sitting straight. This acts as a cushion for your spine. The height of your appliances matters which includes your computer chair, your desk, and any other alternative external tools. The general rule of thumb to follow is that everything should be proportional. The best way to do so is to observe 90-degree angles at all your joints.

How chiropractors can help posture? 

One of the assessments a chiropractor will do is to check for postural imbalances. Perhaps you have one shoulder higher than the other or a tilted pelvis; these imbalances can have a serious impact on the body’s central nervous system. Once joint restriction and dysfunction have been improved through the adjustment, a chiropractor can assist you with proper posture, including recommending exercises to strengthen your core posture muscles and choosing proper postures during the activities to reduce the risk of injury.

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