Monday, March 19, 2018

How Sitting Can Ruin Your Back

Bottom Line: Our bodies are designed to move! Many of us however, are trapped commuting to work or spending long hours at a desk staring at a computer screen. For all of the advantages of the modern world, we have noticed an increase in sedentary tendencies.  Shockingly, this mostly sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a vast array of disease. Researchers have found too much sitting each day is as dangerous as smoking! Yes, it’s true. Too much time sitting may be one of our most challenging health epidemics.

Why it Matters: Long hours of sitting each day wreak havoc on the muscles and support system of your low back. The deep stabilizing muscles of your low back atrophy and your hamstrings shorten, or become tight. When your spine doesn’t have strong stabilizing muscles, you are more likely to have an injury. After an injury, many of us slow down our activity even more. It’s a vicious cycle! But, you have the power to stop this cycle with a combination of chiropractic care and exercise. Here are a few pointers:

- Too much sitting is now considered as dangerous as smoking

- Our bodies are designed to move

- Sedentary lifestyles can lead to a vast array of diseases, but exercise and chiropractic can halt many of these challenges

Next Steps: Considering the dangers of too much sitting, you should take every opportunity you can to stay active throughout the day. Standing desks are a fantastic way to change positions and keep your back healthy while still getting work done on the computer. Also, taking short breaks each hour to stretch or walk around the office is a great way to increase your energy level and engage the muscles supporting your low back. If you're technologically savvy, there are even wearable devices available you can program to give you a small vibration as a reminder that it’s time to stand up and to get moving!

Science Source:

Traditional and Emerging Lifestyle Risk Behaviors and All-Cause Mortality in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: Evidence from a Large Population-Based Australian Cohort. December 2015

Monday, March 12, 2018

Bad Disc Slowing You Down?

Bottom Line: Spinal discs play an essential role in your low back, acting as small shock absorbers and giving you the ability to move in many different directions. Your discs are comprised of two major parts- an outer ring of cartilage which provides support and a jelly-like center that facilities motion. As age and injuries catch up with us, the disc can herniate. A herniated disc is when the middle (the jelly) of the disc breaks through the outer wall irritating a spinal nerve and causing severe pain in your back or leg. Researchers have found this most often occurs between the ages of 35-50.

Why it Matters: Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered from pain caused by a herniated, slipped, or bulging disc. The pain can be so intense that many people think surgery is the only way to correct it. Well, we have good news. Research has shown people who choose chiropractic adjustments had the same amount of relief as those who chose surgery! And what about those medications that mask the pain but fail to correct the problem? Well, research has shown chiropractic adjustment to be significantly better than many of the common drugs prescribed for back pain.  Here are some take away points:

- Top-research journal, SPINE, has recommended the use of adjustments for back pain

- Adjustments were shown to provide significantly more relief than medications

- Adjustments have been shown to be just as effective as surgery for taking care of herniated discs

Next Steps: Your spinal discs stay healthy by having strong muscular support and a full range of motion. Keep your spine stabilizing muscles healthy by committing to daily exercise. And what about maintaining a full range of motion? It’s easy! Chiropractic adjustments gently and effective help restore proper range of motion in your neck, mid-back, and low back.  When your spine is moving well with appropriate support- you are going to be feeling great!

Science Source:

Spinal High-Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation in Acute Nonspecific Low Back Pain. SPINE. 2013

Manipulation or Microdiskectomy for Sciatica? A Prospective Randomized Clinical Study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2010

Monday, March 5, 2018

Back Facts to Keep You Active

Bottom Line: Nothing can slow you down faster than a bad back. It can be difficult to exercise, play sports, or even get to the grocery store when your back hurts. Age, lack of exercise, excess weight, improper lifting, and too many hours sitting can all result in low back pain. Research has shown that over 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life. The good news is that researchers have also found that chiropractic care can not only help get you back on track after an injury, but could also help prevent future episodes of low back pain from occurring.

Why it Matters: Your spine is a marvel of engineering and design. Curves in your neck, mid-back, and low back distribute the load of gravity just like Roman architecture. The spinal discs act as a natural shock absorption system that is both strong and flexible. And winding its way through it all is our spinal cord and nerve roots- the magnificent communication system within our body. Keeping your back healthy is much more important than just avoiding aches and pains. A stable and supported back is essential to maintaining a high quality of life. Here are a few take away points:

- The nervous system is protected and housed within your spinal column as it travels to and from your brain to body

- Back pain is often caused by the muscles or discs of the spine

- Chiropractic care has been shown to help over 90% of people find relief from back pain while also providing a statistically significant improvement in function

Next Steps: Doctors can assess the “health” of your spine through x-ray and a physical exam looking at range of motion, strength, and posture. By periodically checking your spine, we can help you take a pro-active approach to your spinal health. Research has shown that maintenance chiropractic care can help evaluate, detect, and prevent future episodes of low back pain. And, as you now know, spinal health is directly associated with living your best life!

Science Source:

A Nonsurgical Approach to the Management of Patients with Lumbar Radiculopathy Secondary to Herniated Disk: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study with Follow-Up. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2009
Does Maintained Spinal Manipulation Therapy for Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain Result in Better Long-Term Outcome? SPINE. 2011

Monday, February 26, 2018

Staying Well with Chiropractic Care

Bottom Line: Back pain, neck pain, and headaches. Maybe that’s how you discovered chiropractic care. The research supporting chiropractic adjustments as the top choice to reduce pain and increase function for those body signals is overwhelming. But, what’s even more exciting is the research showcasing how chiropractic adjustments may be able to do much more. Emerging research has begun to show that chiropractic care can impact your immune system, helping it function at a higher level.  In other words, chiropractic care may not only be able to help you get well, but it also may be able to help you stay well!

Why it Matters: Recent research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can reduce the production of inflammatory mediators. With less inflammatory mediators you feel better, with less pain. Why does it matter? Well, inflammation, and the creation of inflammatory mediators is part of your immune system.  The autonomic nervous system is made up of two divisions- the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The parasympathetic nervous system is in charge of rest and recovery. Your sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the fight or flight response. When your sympathetic nervous system is activated, your immune system isn’t able to rest and recover very well. Recently, new research indicated that chiropractic adjustments can reduce sympathetic nerve activity. When your stress response is lowered, your immune system can better fight off sickness.

- Adjustments can reduce inflammatory mediators, which can provide pain relief

- Research has shown adjustments to decrease our sympathetic nerve activity

- Relaxation of neck tension after an adjustment is common, helping you feel better

Next Steps: Many people start chiropractic care to get their life back from pain. But, preliminary research has shown that adjustments may have an impact on your immune function as well. Patients frequently tell us that since the start of their chiropractic care they get sick less often, and it looks as though the research is starting to prove it. If you have a friend or loved one who seems to get sick quite often, take this study and share it with them. It may be their first step towards a healthier immune system!

Science Source:

Enhanced phagocytic cell respiratory burst induced by spinal manipulation: potential role of substance P. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. September 1991
Spinal Manipulative Therapy Reduces Inflammatory Cytokines but Not Substance P Production in Normal Subjects. January 2006
Interleukin 2-regulated in vitro antibody production following a single spinal manipulative treatment in normal subjects. Chiropractic & Osteopathy. September 2010
Glucose Metabolic Changes in the Brain and Muscles of Patients with Nonspecific Neck Pain Treated by Spinal Manipulation Therapy. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017

Monday, February 19, 2018

Move Your Way to a Better Immune System

Bottom Line: The simplest way to boost your immunity? Exercise! Fortunately, you don’t need to be a marathon runner to take advantage of the benefits of exercise. By taking a daily walk or following a simple exercise routine, you can feel better, more energized, and strengthen your immune system. If you work at a desk, it can be a little more challenging to stay active during the day. Use a standing desk or take a brisk walk during your lunch break to stay healthier and feel more energized throughout the day.

Why it Matters: Exercise and movement can increase our immunity in many different ways. First, when we exercise, blood pumps through our body at a rapid rate. This helps white blood cells be absorbed into our body tissues more rapidly. White blood cells are an essential part of our immune system that fights disease. Also, exercising can reduce our stress hormones and stimulate the release of endorphins- helping you feel great! Finally, when we exercise and break a sweat, our body temperature rises. The increase in our body temperature can help fight infection and prevent bacteria from growing, similar to how a fever works.

- Exercise helps white blood cells circulate more rapidly to fight illness

- Movement of our body slows down the release of stress hormones

- Our body temperature rises during exercise which can help prevent bacteria from growing and fight infection

Next Steps: It’s stressful to be sick. So we encourage you to be proactive. By simply taking a walk during your lunch break, you can start preventing illness while strengthening your immune system. What’s even more exciting? A recent health survey found over 60% of the participants reported fewer colds since they began their exercise routine. Now that’s what I call a smart decision for your health.

Science Source:
Medline Plus. Exercise and Immunity. 2017
American College of Sports Medicine: "Exercise and the Common Cold." 2017
Harvard Health Publishing. Exercising to Relax. February 2011

Monday, February 12, 2018


Bottom Line: Believe it or not, getting sick is a body signal that your immune system is working! Yes, you read that correctly. Every single day you encounter bacteria that could make you sick. Fortunately, when you come into contact with these germs, your immune system kicks in and starts fighting them off without you ever knowing. On rare occasions, when your immune system isn’t functioning at 100%, your body will give you a signal- like a fever or a runny nose, that sickness may be on the way. But, what if there was research showcasing how you could make a few simple changes and not only decrease your likelihood of getting sick, but also strengthen your immune system?

Why it Matters: You probably know someone who almost never gets sick. Are they built with a superhuman immune system? Probably not. Most people who rarely get sick are taking pro-active steps to keep their immune system in tip-top shape. And when your immune system is functioning correctly- it can fight off almost anything that it comes in contact with. By making smart choices with your diet, staying active, and getting enough rest, you can ensure your immune system remains strong. Also, emerging research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can also improve our ability to stay well!

- Eat a healthy diet of vegetables and lean meats to boost your immune system

- Exercise daily to help your body (and mind) stay strong

- Stay adjusted to decrease stress and improve your overall well-being

Next Steps: February is the perfect time of year to take a few action steps and boost your immune system. A robust immune system will help you stay healthy and active, enjoying the things you love with the people you love.  And don’t forget to attend our upcoming health workshop where we will give you a custom-tailored plan to boost your immunity in 21 days!

Science Source:

Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Dec 2002
Medline Plus. Exercise and Immunity. 2017
Glucose Metabolic Changes in the Brain and Muscles of Patients with Nonspecific Neck Pain Treated by Spinal Manipulation Therapy. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017

Monday, February 5, 2018

Foods to Fight Colds

Bottom Line: Snowstorms, wind that cuts right through your coat, and a lack of available sunlight. Ah, the joys of winter! For many of us, winter means more time indoors, and a higher likelihood that we circulate germs that could cause us to become sick. When your ill, food is the last thing on your mind. Everything seems unappetizing when your nose is clogged, and you can’t taste a thing. But, by making healthy food choices, you can become stronger and speed up your recovery. Also, by maintaining a healthy diet, you can strengthen your immune system and perhaps even get sick less often.

Why it Matters: You’ve heard it before, but it’s true. Food is the fuel for your body. So give your digestive system a break and be sure to eat easily digestible, nutrition-dense foods. It will help your immune system stay strong. Here are a few ideas to get started.

- Bone broth contains minerals that can boost your immune system

- Probiotics found in yogurt can improve your sleep, digestion, and immunity

- Lean meats, especially those with omega-3 fatty acids, can reduce inflammation

Next Steps: A little planning can go a long way. Most of the time, we make poor choices when we are in a rush, or unprepared. And this often results in stopping by a restaurant or taking out food on the run.  Create a simple calendar highlighting your meals for the week. Healthy home-cooked meals will not only strengthen your immune system, but it can also help you save money!

Science Source:

Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Chest. Oct 2000
Probiotics and immune health. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. Oct 2011
Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Dec 2002