How to Alleviate Back Pain Between Chiropractic Appointments

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

Back pain can prevent you from doing everyday activities. Even if you’re seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis, you may still experience pain in between visits. While taking over the counter painkillers is always an option, this should be a last resort. Let’s take a look at some ways to alleviate back pain in between chiropractic appointments.

Light Exercise

This may seem ridiculous when you’re in pain, but some light exercise might actually alleviate any pain you’re feeling in your back. Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it, a short walk or some gentle yoga can go a long way to loosen tight muscles and get your blood flowing which can help ease pain. Regular exercise can also prevent tight muscles that lead to back pain.

Heat and Ice Packs

Studies have shown that heat and cold packs can be just as effective as over the counter pain medication. Ice is most beneficial directly after an injury or muscle strain since it relieves inflammation and has a numbing effect. Remember never to apply ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. Heat is best for tight or stiff muscles and can work especially well on the lower back. Try experimenting with a small electric heating pad on different areas on your back. Using one before bed can also help improve the quality of your sleep.

Stretching

Regular stretching can make an immense difference in pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. Specific stretches for each muscle group are most effective when they’re held for about 30 seconds at a time. Never go past your threshold, just push the stretch to where it feels slightly uncomfortable yet effective. Stretching regularly can also prevent future pain.

Pain Creams

There are several natural pain creams available that help temporarily relieves symptoms you may be experiencing by providing a hot or cold sensation on the skin.

Try these at home remedies if you’re having back pain.

How Your Shoes May Tie Into Your Back Pain

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

If you’re experiencing back pain, there could be several different factors causing it. One that you may not be considering is the shoes you wear. We’ve always heard that high heeled shoes can be bad for your back, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Let’s take a closer look at how your shoes may tie into your back pain.

Feet are the Foundation

Your feet are the foundation of your body. They support you when you walk and bear the weight of every step. To support your foundation, you should be wearing proper footwear. The way you move your feet and legs has a profound effect on your spine, so if for example, you don’t have proper arch support, it could lead to pain in your back or hips.

Proper Support

Walking around in flip-flops all summer may sound appealing, but the thin rubber or foam soles barely provide any support at all and can lead to major long-term issues with your back. Supportive shoes do not have to mean expensively customized footwear. A well-made pair of sneakers that fit you well and feel comfortable is adequate to give you proper support.

Pay Attention to Your Arch

The arch of your foot needs to be supported to prevent back pain. There are three general types of foot arch- low, neutral or high. Have your chiropractor tell you which type you have and look for shoes made to support that specific arch.

Inserts and Insoles

An inexpensive way to add extra support to your shoes is to purchase specialty inserts or insoles to provide arch support and comfort. There are several different kinds for every type of foot arch and activity level. Talk to your chiropractor about what kinds would work for you.

If you’ve been experiencing unexplained back pain, talk to your chiropractor about your shoes. You may be surprised about how much they tie into your pain.

Tips to Improve Your Posture at Work

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

Your posture affects your spine health. It could be the culprit for the pain you may be having in your back, neck or shoulders. When you work at an office, sitting at a desk most of the day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Luckily, there are some easy ways to break those bad habits and improve your posture at work. 

Keep Your Ears Aligned with Your Shoulders

It is easy to push your neck forward or downwards while you’re looking at your computer screen or smartphone. Remembering to keep your ears parallel to your shoulders so you can gently correct your neck posture during the day will help make this a permanent thing.

Don’t Cross Your Legs

Crossing your legs while sitting at your desk is a common habit that most of us have. But sitting for long periods with your legs crossed can lead to problems with your knees, hips or lower back. The proper way to sit is with your feet flat on the floor. If this is uncomfortable for you, try propping your feet up on a few books.

Shoulders Up, Chest Out

Sitting with your shoulders up and your chest pressed forward allows your spine to stay in its proper alignment. Try doing shoulder shrug exercises during the day while you’re sitting to make this a familiar posture.

Use a Lumbar Pillow

If you still can’t seem to get into the habit of sitting up straight, a lumbar support pillow might help. This small pillow goes on your chair right at the small of your back and forces your body into the proper position for correct spinal alignment. A rolled-up towel can work in a pinch until you’re able to get a pillow.

Stretch

Making it a habit to get up and stretch your neck, shoulders and back at least every hour can go a long way to improving your posture and preventing pain. 

How to Prepare for Your First Chiropractic Appointment

Back Pain Chiropractor Point Pleasant

Congratulations, you’ve decided to start chiropractic care. This is a decision that will positively impact your life and overall health. You may be feeling a little nervous or apprehensive if you’ve never been to a chiropractor’s office before. There’s no need to be. Here’s how to prepare for your first chiropractic appointment.

Have Health Information Ready

On your first visit, your chiropractor will have you fill out paperwork regarding your medical history and any specific pain or injuries you want to address. Make sure you are able to describe your pain, when it started and what physical activities or movements trigger it. Also, be prepared to list any current medical conditions and the doctors who are treating it. Your chiropractor likes to have as much information as possible regarding your physical health so that they can formulate an effective plan.

Dress Comfortably

During your first chiropractic appointment, you’ll undergo a physical exam which could include range of motion testing, muscle tone evaluation, and posture checks. Loose or workout type clothing makes all these things easier and more comfortable for you.

Be Prepared for Diagnostic Testing

Your first chiropractic visit may include diagnostic testing such as x-rays. Don’t be alarmed if your chiropractor suggests an x-ray. This doesn’t mean they suspect any spinal injuries or broken bones. It’s so that they can view your spinal alignment and make more specific care plans catered to your body and needs.

Be Prepared to Put in the Work

Once your chiropractor makes a diagnosis, they’ll come up with a plan to address your pain or specific issues. This could include frequent visits and “homework,” which may consist of specific exercises or stretches that you should be doing in addition to coming to your appointments. Committing to the plan will help you get the most out of your appointments.

Your first chiropractic appointment is nothing to fear; you’re on your way to living pain-free.

 

Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Chiropractor Point Pleasant

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS for short, is often caused by repetitive use of the hand or wrist. Sustaining an injury to your hand or wrist can cause the bones within these joints to become misaligned, which can also increase the likelihood of CTS. People who spend their day working with computers, power tools, or other occupations that rely on constant hand movement are more prone to Carpal Tunnel, however it can develop over time for any person.

Symptoms
While Carpal Tunnel may not be obvious at first, it often starts with the slow development of a tingling or numbness in the hand, which can also alternate with a painful, burning sensation. As CTS progresses, these sensations may worsen to overall hand weakness or loss of grip and a difficulty sleeping through the night as the pain in the hand and wrist can become severe enough to wake you up.

Medical Treatment of CTS
A wrist brace is often recommended for those suffering from Carpal Tunnel as it helps keep the wrist in a neutral position and relieves some of the pressure from the nerves. A doctor may also recommend an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce the swelling and alleviate some pain, however these medications do not treat the root cause of the issue. If symptoms of CTS are too severe or cannot be controlled by these measures, surgery is often required. Due to the nature of the procedure and how often we rely on our hands, the surgery may need to be repeated after a few years.

Chiropractic Procedures for CTS
It may not seem like an obvious solution for Carpal Tunnel, but recent research has shown that some cases respond favorably to a series of chiropractic procedures. These include adjustments to realign the wrist bones, traction, and selected physical therapies. When performed in office by a Chiropractor, these can help reduce pressure on the compressed median nerve and allow your wrist to heal naturally without the need for repetitive surgery.

It is important not to ignore the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as they can become debilitating as the condition goes on. If you are suffering from numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hand or wrist, make an appointment today for a chiropractic evaluation.

How Chiropractic Procedures Helps Pinched Nerves

Back Pain Chiropractor Pinched Nerves Point Pleasant

If you’ve ever felt a sharp, intense, sudden pain in your body that seems to be coming from a nerve, you may have diagnosed yourself with a “pinched” nerve. While the pain experienced is often comparable to the feeling of being pinched, the condition we are actually talking about is what a chiropractor calls a “vertebral subluxation complex” or a subluxation.

How Do Nerves Get “Pinched”
Nerves branch off from your spinal cord through openings between the vertebrae and run all the way to your fingers and toes. They are responsible for our ability to see, hear, touch, taste, smell and also regulate important body functions such as breathing, our heart rate, blood pressure and digestion among other things. While the spinal cord works to protect our nerves, if any of the spinal bones (vertebrae) are misaligned, they can impinge, irritate, compress or stretch the nerves. This misalignment is what a chiropractor refers to as a vertebral subluxation and can be caused by a variety of things including stress on the vertebrae, bad posture, a poor sleeping position, emotional stress, or a combination of factors. A subluxation may not be a sudden occurrence, it can on set gradually over time until it begins to produce discomfort.

Dealing With “Pinched” Nerves
Since a vertebral subluxation is not always a painful condition, there is a chance that you are currently enduring one! For this reason, it is important to see a chiropractor for periodic checkups of your spine. These trained professionals can help correct a subluxation before it becomes painful and help guide you in stretches and lifestyle changes to help protect your spine. The common course of action for a subluxation is a regular schedule of spinal adjustments and check-ups to gently realign your spine and help release your “pinched” nerves.

While the process of an adjustment may seem daunting to someone who has never visited a chiropractor, you can rest assured that millions of adjustments are completed each year and many individuals swear by their chiropractic office!

How The Chiropractor Can Help Your Migraines

Chiropractor Health Migraines Point Pleasant

Migraines are one of the most frustrating health issues you can experience. They are quite common as well. According to Migraine.com, more than 38 million Americans experience migraines on a regular basis. A migraine is defined as an intensely painful headache accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, dizziness and sensitivity to light and sound. Although there are many different theories as to what causes migraines, chiropractic care has been shown to lessen the severity and frequency. Let’s take a closer look at how the chiropractor can help your migraines.

Many Migraines Start in the Neck

Spinal adjustments have been shown to provide almost immediate relief or improvement in the severity of a headache or a migraine. This is because most migraines are caused by subluxations, or misalignments, in the spine. Most of these pain-causing subluxations are found in the cervical spine – the neck. A subluxation in the neck causes nerve and muscle irritation and inflammation, leading to migraines. After a chiropractic adjustment, your cervical vertebrae will be properly aligned, taking the pressure off your nerves and muscles, thus relieving the migraine.

Poor Posture Contributes to Subluxations

Since subluxations lead to migraines, improving your posture can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Your chiropractor not only reduces the frequency and severity of your migraines with adjustments, but they also will show you exercises and stretches to help improve your posture throughout the day. They may also put you on an exercise plan to strengthen your core muscles, which can help maintain a healthy spine.

Lifestyle is a Factor

Your chiropractor can also help educate you on lifestyle choices that may be affecting your migraines. Poor diet, lack of exercise and other unhealthy habits could be contributing to your migraines. You chiropractor can help get you on a track to healing, along with recommending a regular schedule of adjustments.

The chiropractor is a valuable resource if you suffer from migraines and an essential factor in your recovery.

Tips to Protect Your Back During Exercise

Back Pain Chiropractor Health Point Pleasant

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to workout not only effectively, but safely. It’s very easy to hurt your back, especially if you already have back problems. Here are some tips to protect your back during exercise.

Strengthen Your Core

You’ve probably heard this from your chiropractor before, but it is a very important tip to remember. Strengthening your core muscles, the ones located in your abdomen, will help support your lower back muscles. Your lower back muscles can easily be injured during strength training exercises if you don’t have a strong core.

Correct Posture

Slouching or curving your back during workouts puts unnecessary strain on your back which can lead to muscle injury. Be sure you have a long straight back during workouts. Be sure to mimic your trainer’s posture if you’re exercising in a class setting or watching a workout program at home.

Don’t Use Too Much Weight

When doing weight training exercises, it’s imperative not to use more weight than you can handle. Always start small and build up weights over time. If it feels like too much, it probably is. Weight training can be very effective to build strong muscles as well as to lose weight, but be sure you’re doing it safely.

Stretch Before AND After a Workout

There’s a reason you hear personal trainers and chiropractors reminding you to stretch over and over again. It’s so important! Stretching loosens and warms your muscles so that they’re ready to withstand the stress of exercise. You should be stretching before a workout to prepare your muscles, and after to give your muscles a chance to cool down before regular activity. Sudden aerobic activity on muscles that haven’t been stretched can lead to injury.

Using these tips will help protect your back during exercise. Don’t forget to see your chiropractor regularly while following a workout program. A healthy spine is the best way to prevent back injuries.

Why You Should See A Chiropractor for Back Pain

Back Pain Chiropractor Health Point Pleasant

Back pain is frustrating. It’s not only an inconvenience but it also can put a damper on your lifestyle, making it hard to enjoy your favorite things. Thankfully there are effective ways to reduce your back pain, ones that don’t include taking dangerous and potentially addicting pain medication. If you’re a chronic back pain sufferer, you may have friends and family that recommend seeing a chiropractor, but does it really help? Here is why you should see a chiropractor for your back pain.

Pain Caused by Misalignment

Misalignments of the spine, or subluxations, put strain and pressure on the surrounding muscles and nerves which leads to back pain. Your chiropractor will x-ray your spine to find the exact location of your spinal subluxations so they can be adjusted accordingly. Adjustments will be used to correct the misalignments. The frequency of adjustments will depend on the unique plan recommended by your chiropractor, but they may be needed as often as three to four times a week for a period of time. Once your chiropractor starts to see improvement in your spine, the adjustments can be less frequent.

Guided Stretches and Exercises Will Help Too

Along with regular adjustments, your chiropractor will instruct you to do different stretches and exercises, some done with equipment at their office, to help aid the realignment of your spine. Strengthening other muscles, especially ones in your core, will help to support the muscles of the back which will alleviate some your back pain.

Education on Lifestyle Changes

Certain lifestyle choices could be contributing to your back pain, such as lack of exercise or a poor diet. Your chiropractor will help you come up with a plan to make better choices that will help improve the severity or frequency of your back pain.

Seeing a chiropractor for back pain is a smart choice. Chiropractors will look at the different factors that may be causing your pain and come up with a customized adjustment plan specifically for you.

 

How Often You Should Get A Chiropractic Adjustment

Chiropractor Health Point Pleasant

Seeing a chiropractor regularly is essential for a healthy lifestyle. But how often should you be going? Your chiropractor will be able to determine the best stretching regiments for you, depending on many different factors. Let’s take a closer look at how often you should be getting chiropractic adjustments.

There Are No Quick Fixes

A healthy spine is not something that can be achieved overnight, especially if you’re new to chiropractic work. An adjustment can indeed provide immediate relief, but without re-teaching your spine through realignment, it will quickly go back to the way it was, and you will keep experiencing the same symptoms. Adjustments should be done on a regular basis, especially if you have an acute injury or problem. Your chiropractor may recommend adjustments as often as 3 or 4 times a week for a period of a few months, and then taper off to “maintenance” adjustments once a week or once a month. The stretching regiments are always tailored to your specific needs. Your x-rays, activity level and lifestyle are always factored into your specific plan.

Do Your “Homework”

It’s important to remember that you are responsible for your health. While adjustments from a chiropractor will certainly help your body heal and stay on track, if you are still participating in unhealthy habits, like a poor diet or no exercise, you can expect to have the same problems again. If your chiropractor gives you exercises or stretches to do at home in between visits, do them. They are a part of your custom stretching regiments and meant to help your spinal alignment improve with the help of your adjustments.

How often you should be getting spinal adjustments really depends on what your chiropractor recommends. So be sure to keep all your appointments and follow your chiropractor’s advice so that you’re getting the most out of every adjustment. A healthy spine is possible; it just takes some dedication.

 

Busting Myths and Telling the Truth About Cholesterol

Cholesterol Health

I’m sure either yourself or someone you know has mentioned something about there cholesterol whether it was too high and there doctor said they needed medication or they checked out ok. Some folks will say they don’t want to take any medication and instead will choose to watch their diet maybe exercise a little more.  But what is the best approach.  First of all let’s understand what cholesterol is any what are the right numbers.   Cholesterol is an alcohol produced in the liver and in most human cells. It actually plays many vital roles in maintain good health.  Here are some of the important functions:

  • A precursor (building block) to hormones that help us manage stress and protect the body against heart disease and cancer
  • Helps our body produce Vitamin D which is needed for healthy bones, a healthy nervous system and immune system
  • Helps burn fats in our bodies
  • Helps produce serotonin the “feel good” chemical in our brains, so helps with depression
  • Cholesterol rich foods are very important in the growing years to ensure proper development of the brain and nervous system.
  • Dietary cholesterol plays an important role in maintaining the health of the intestinal wall. A vegetarian diet low in cholesterol can often lead to leaky gut syndrome and other intestinal disorders.

Normal used to be 220 now lowered to 200 talk about lowering to 180.  Every time they lower it millions more people are now qualified for the drug.

Drugs have a place but not every person taking 10 or more drugs for an ongoing basis for the rest of their lives.

The problem arises when cholesterol levels get too high and they can, because it does heighten the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke so I don’t want to belittle the fact about high cholesterol I think the debate becomes what is too high what is the real number and what do you do about it when it does.  Not been proven to cause heart attack.

What do we do natural to lower our cholesterol levels?

Average somewhere in 200.  Bad is 240.  220 or below is the sweet spot. Anything under 220 really should not be prescribing medication.

Drugs are the easy way out for the patient, however your body pays a price for it.  Here are just some of the scary side effects that come with most of the statin drugs for cholesterol.

Inflammation of pancreas, jaundice, severe liver damage and caner, nervous system, insomnia, damage to nerves in hands and feet, tremors, symptoms mimicking lupus, loss of sexual desire, impotence, permanent organ damage and sometimes even death

And most of the drugs strop your body from making it.

Unlike what we have been led to believe, cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease. It is a potent antioxidant that helps protect against free radicals in the blood, and it is a repair substance that helps heal arterial damage. However, cholesterol that is damaged by exposure to heat and oxygen becomes oxidized and can promote injury to the arterial walls as well as chronic build up of plaque in the arteries. Foods with damaged cholesterol include powdered eggs, milk, and meat that has been heated to high temperatures through cooking methods such as frying.

Though doctors love to throw statins and other drugs at people with high cholesterol, an improvement in diet is a far safer and more effective long-term solution to the problem. Most whole foods are likely to reduce LDL and total cholesterol to some degree, but the foods listed below are especially effective in this regard.

Oatmeal

Few foods can beat oatmeal at reducing cholesterol. This traditional breakfast food is packed with soluble fiber which, according to an extensive 19-year study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, can lower cholesterol and the risk of coronary heart disease.
Organic, unsweetened oatmeal is easy to purchase online or in health food stores and is best consumed in the morning.

Avocados

Avocados are one of the best fruits to consume for treating high cholesterol. They’re also rich in a plant chemical called beta-sitosterol, which suppresses cholesterol absorption in the intestine.

Fish

Fish has always been regarded as good for the heart, and we now understand why: Its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids are proven to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots and decrease total and LDL cholesterol. (The fish richest in omega-3 acids (including EPA and DHA) are salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, sardines and herring. For obvious reasons, it’s best to avoid fish from the Pacific Ocean these days.

Walnuts

Though they are best-known for improving brain function, walnuts also excel at lowering cholesterol.
Other nuts rich in beneficial, cholesterol-lowering fats include almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and pecans. Like all fruits, nuts are best eaten raw for maximum benefits

Getting adjusted regular to keep internal organs and digestion working better.   Just like exercise will help improve your liver and gallbladder.  Good digestion will help improve the balance of wellness in your body.

Has it been a while since you received a chiropractic adjustment, or if your symptoms return and you experience pain or discomfort for more than 48 hours, we recommend coming back in to see us.  We can usually get you in immediately by calling 732-899-0016. 

Don’t Kill The Messenger

Children Health

After listening to a parent describe their regimen of Tylenol (Acetaminophen)  and Motrin (Ibuprofen) to help bring down their sick kids fever, I would like to discuss a common problem we all deal with especially around this time. Our children getting sick or more importantly our children getting a fever.

It always amazes me no matter how educated the parent is or accomplished in their field of study, they suddenly throw out common sense or their own innate ability when it comes to a sick kid. Especially if it is their first child. We have all seen the ads on TV of the parent going through different levels of safety and security with each child the first second something falls to the ground it gets dropped into boiling water while the last kid practically eats off the floor. There is truth to some degree, we all do this. But what I find most troubling is the lack of education, or should I say disinformation, when it comes to getting our kid over a cold. First of all, a great majority of the time a fever is not only a good thing but one of the best things to help your child get well. A very small percentage of a children’s fever can be deadly and medical help is needed, but in these cases the children have an underlying problem and as a parent you will know if your child falls into this case.

If we just stop for a minute and think about why is your child or yourself for that matter getting a fever in the first place? If you really have no idea or you think it is a symptom of being sick, then please listen up. A fever is not a symptom of a cold but instead a reaction by your body, being the great self healing mechanism it is, in order to begin killing off the virus.

How, you ask? While your body really likes to be at 98.6 degrees it can survive just fine for a period of time at a little higher like 102 degrees or even 104 degrees. And guess what absolutely can  not live in that warm temperature? You guessed it – the virus that is attacking your body. So a fever is actually created by your body as one of the first levels of defense to begin attacking the virus and getting you back to health. And what do we all run to do? Kill the fever. Why? Because we all have been taught a fever is bad. Go buy a fever reducer. Like a fire keeping away the lions or keeping you warm and someone puts it out. That adds insult to injury.  The Tylenol or Motrin begins attacking your child’s liver as well. If you really think about it, it is amazing that our kids are able to recover at all. So next time a fever comes calling why not try to build up your child’s natural defense instead of destroying it?

Stay tuned to our blog to find out how to help build up your defenses naturally.

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