Author Archives: Lourdes Santos
Author Archives: Lourdes Santos
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.Continue reading
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?
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:
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.
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?
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.
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.
Text Neck Symptoms and Diagnosis
Text Neck Treatment and Prevention
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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:
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.
Stress is an inevitable part of our lives. From your child’s school stress to your accumulated work stress, we deal with these things every single day. However, over the past month, our stress levels have become significantly higher with the global pandemic we’re facing.
It is paramount for us to discuss the effects of stress right now. We need to be aware of the impact of stress on our bodies and find out how we can best respond to it. The better we are at handling stress, the more capable we are at coping with our current situation.
What stress really is
Stress is simply your body’s response when changes occur. It can be positive when it makes us alert, motivated, and ready to avoid danger. But it can also be negative when you face continuous challenges and there is no relief between stressors.
This kind of negative stress happens when life events surpass your ability to cope. Our body’s sympathetic nervous system responds with an increased level of cortisol, a stress hormone that causes inflammation. It is this kind of stress that needs to be addressed and managed well. Although our “fight or flight” response is crucial for survival, it can be damaging to the body when active for a prolonged period of time.
Effects of stress on your immune system
1. It lowers your ability to fight infection.
Stress lowers your lymphocyte count, which is the white blood cells that help your body fight off an infection. When you have a low lymphocyte count, your body’s defence is weakened and you become more susceptible to viruses. Given our current circumstances, this is the last thing you need!
This has been proven scientifically as well. A study done in the early 1980s by psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, and immunologist Ronald Glaser, PhD, showed that the immunity of students went down every year under the stress of a three-day exam period.
2. It causes depression.
Increased stress causes depression and anxiety. This leads to higher inflammation levels which can lead to an over-worked immune system that would otherwise be able to protect you.
A study was done in 2002 by Lyanne McGuire, PhD, of John Hopkins School of Medicine with Kiecolt-Glaser and Glaser, showing that chronic and sub-clinical mild depression may suppress an older person’s immune system. It also revealed that the key immune factor was not the severity of the depression but the duration! This means that the longer you are depressed, the more immuno-compromised you will be.
3. It can lead to harmful behaviors.
Prolonged stress response results in a condition we know as distress. This is a negative stress reaction that can lead to harmful behaviors. Distressed people may resort to compulsive use of substances or engage in behaviors that they believe can help them reduce their stress.
This can include drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and even food. It may also lead someone to excessive gambling, shopping, sex, or internet use. However, these behaviors do not provide the relaxed state that people are looking for. It only leaves them more stressed and thus causes more problems. This often leaves the distressed person trapped in a vicious cycle.
Coping with stress
Now that we’ve seen the harmful effects of stress, it is important that we know how to manage it especially during this time when we have stressors everywhere.
Stress is something that can be managed. It is vital that you recognize your stressors, avoid them, and do something that will counter the stress you’re feeling. Stay connected with your loved ones especially during this time. Whether you’re experiencing mild or chronic stress, it’s important that you cope with the help of people around you.
The foods you eat have a significant effect on your general health and wellbeing. This fact is common knowledge – and probably the anthem of several doctors worldwide. But can your diet affect specific conditions – like joint inflammation? This is one of the most common questions asked by people suffering from or prone to joint pain and inflammation.
The truth is, your food choices strongly influence the rate at which your body retains fluids and inflammation results from the accumulation of these fluids. Knowing the foods to include in your diet and those to avoid is vital to keeping a healthy, inflammation-free body.
Although there are medical treatments for joint inflammation, research shows that including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet significantly reduces the chances of developing the issue. These anti-inflammatory foods can equally help prevent and control several other health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even heart disease, so adding them to your diet is a win-win.
An anti-inflammatory diet is made up of foods with high levels of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Your diet should contain fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, beans, fish, and healthy oils. Whole grains and well-processed foods should be part of meals too. Some foods high in anti-oxidants include apples, berries, cherries, spinach, walnuts, almonds, sweet potatoes, brown rice, beans, and artichokes.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats, meaning that our body is not able to produce them. They possess anti-inflammatory properties and have shown to increase HDL cholesterol. Examples of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids include omega-3 fatty acid fortified eggs and milk, fish oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, ground flax, salmon, and pumpkin seeds.
Spices like turmeric and ginger have also been shown to have some anti-inflammatory properties.
Although there’s no magical diet to stop joint inflammation, these anti-inflammatory foods go a long way in preventing or relieving pain and swelling in joints.
Some foods can increase the possibility of developing joint inflammations when added to your diet. They include:
Fried foods may contain an advanced glycation end product (AGE), which can cause a release of cytokines in the body when consumed. These cytokines are inflammatory markers and will eventually cause inflammation. So, consider reducing your intake of fried foods.
Food substances high in sugar like baked pastries, candies, sugary drinks, processed foods, and desserts can also trigger the release of cytokines in the body and should be avoided. Refined carbohydrates like white rice, white bread, and many more have also been shown to have similar effects in the body. It would help to reduce consumption of such foods.
Generally, saturated fats are solid at room temperature, and they are in food substances like cheese, butter, pizza, and red meat. These foods – as well as vegetable oils and dairy products – contain omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids help control metabolism and increase brain functions, but they’re also inflammatory markers in the body. As a result, saturated fats and dairy products should not be removed entirely from your diet. Instead, they should be controlled and alternated with foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. The optimal ratio of Omega-6 and Omega-3 is 4:1 but the average American has been found to be as high as 20:1.
The main aim of chiropractic care is offering a natural, drug-free way of achieving optimal health while increasing brain and body function. Chiropractic medicine equally involves supporting and enhancing the proper functioning of the body’s immune and nervous system.
So, while changing your diet may address the cause of your joint inflammation, chiropractic care helps to treat and rectify its effects.
A chiropractor checks for any obstruction – called vertebral subluxations – that may be causing blockage or nerve pressure along your spine and removes it by applying gentle pressure to vital parts of the body. This simple adjustment to your spine will help your body biomechanics return to normal and reduce any inflammation significantly.
According to reports from a recent study, having frequent chiropractic treatments can help significantly reduce the level at which your body produces inflammatory markers like cytokines.
There’s a direct line of connection between diet and joint inflammation. It is advisable to adopt a healthy diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods to help reduce the occurrence and effects of joint swelling and pain. However, for the best possible results and relief, we advise that you combine a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants with proper chiropractic treatment.
Do not allow joint inflammation to get the best of you. Give us a call at (925)255-5805 or schedule an appointment for an evaluation examination and treatment plan.
Chiropractic care has come a long way from being known as a treatment for neuromuscular disorders to being used by professional and amateur athletes for their advanced preventive care and overall wellness.
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), 90% of all world-class athletes use chiropractic care to prevent injuries and increase their performance potential. If your favorite athlete benefits from chiropractic care, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t!
Today we’re giving you 8 reasons why chiropractic care can help improve your athleticism. We are going to look at how you can boost your athletic ability with the help of your trusted chiropractor.
Chiropractic care makes your muscles stronger. Studies have shown that athletes who practice chiropractic care are stronger than those who don’t. If you keep your body properly aligned, each muscle can do what it is designed to do. Hence, they don’t compensate for weak areas. This lessens the stress on your other muscles, allowing them to perform efficiently and making them stronger over time.
Whether you’re an athlete or just an ordinary Joe who loves to exercise, you have the tendency to put extra pressure on your body when engaging in intense physical activities. This can create problems in your movement and spinal alignment. Chiropractic care can improve your range of motion by removing the stiffness and pain in your joints. Spinal alignment also allows your joints and muscles to work more efficiently.
Even world-renowned boxer Evander Holyfield needed his regular alignment saying, “I have to have an adjustment before I go into the ring. I do believe in chiropractic. I found that going to a Chiropractor three times a week helps my performance. The majority of boxers go to get that edge.”
Since chiropractic care focuses on spinal manipulation, chiropractors can align your spine to reduce the pain on your neck, back, and joints. It also restores and improves joint function while decreasing inflammation and pain. Chiropractic care can also reduce soreness after a workout, making your feel refreshed.
Your spinal column anchors your muscles and by extension, your joints. Hence, whatever stresses and impacts your spine can affect the rest of your body. This ultimately affects your physical performance. Your chiropractor can alleviate these stressors and clear your imbalances. This results in a healthier spine, which means better body weight support and better overall performance.
Michael Jordan, considered by many as the greatest NBA player of all time credits chiropractic care for his improved athleticism saying, “I didn’t know how much I could improve until I started seeing a chiropractor. I’ve improved leaps and bounds, both mentally and physically.”
Adjustments that are done during chiropractic care help relax your muscles and correct the vertebrae that may have shifted during a strenuous activity. As your muscles relax, necessary body fluids are directed to your spinal area, allowing oxygen and other essential nutrients to be directed towards the injured part. Alignments and soft tissue manipulation also help increase elasticity, flexibility, and strength during recovery.
As mentioned earlier, chiropractic care is originally used for treating neuromuscular disorders. Thus, it is an excellent option for treating major and minor injuries. Chiropractic care helps enhance blood circulation through muscle relaxation and spinal manipulation. It heals joint pains and spinal pains.
Dallas Cowboys icon and one of the best running backs in the NFL, Emmitt Smith, credits his chiropractor for his regular recovery. He said, “I go see the chiropractor when I get bent out of shape on Sundays. Playing in a football game is like being in 30-40 car accidents.”
It is paramount that your muscles get to relax after engaging in highly athletic activities. Chiropractic care relaxes them through careful massaging of pressure points which enhances blood flow throughout the body. It also relieves pressure on stressed areas, allowing you to experience unique relaxation that recharges your body.
Most people would settle for non-invasive treatments. Athletes, in particular, are very careful with the drugs they use. Thus, it comes as no surprise that they prefer therapeutic treatments like chiropractic care because of its safety and efficacy. More importantly, it does not have harmful side effects on the body. Being non-invasive, chiropractic care also allows you to get back into action quicker, unlike invasive procedures which give your body a longer time to recover.
Multi-awarded bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger has promoted chiropractic care throughout his career, crediting it for his success as an athlete. He even promoted it as a governor of California, “We’ve got to let the people know that there is a necessity—it’s not even an option; it’s a necessity—to have a chiropractor. As much as it is a necessity to have a dentist. If you have a dentist for the family, you should have a chiropractor for the family.”
These are just some of the many ways that chiropractic care can boost your athletic ability. With consistency, you will get the best results for your body including increased strength, better performance, and faster recovery.
Set an appointment today with a trusted, professional chiropractor. Your road to peak athleticism begins today!