Thursday, March 25, 2010

Get Rid of Neck Pain

In general, there is no one cause of neck pain that applies to every patient. If you have chronic neck pain, you may have received a diagnosis of disc herniation, whiplash, strain, sprain or something else. Regardless, most of these conditions have one thing in common: Certain muscles are affected, and these are the muscles we need to target before progressing to more challenging exercises or activities.

There are certain muscles in the neck that are designed to help us maintain our normal and healthy curve of the spine. In addition, these muscles are designed to hold our head up all day. The technical names of these muscles are the longus capitus and longus colli, more commonly known as the deep neck flexors. They are the muscles that attach to the front of your spine. Because they're located deep in the front of the neck, we often ignore them.

In people with chronic neck pain, these muscles are often fatigued a lot quicker than in people without neck pain. That means other muscles pick up the slack and begin working harder. The muscles that begin working harder are the ones we generally end up stretching. Have you ever noticed that when you stretch stiff muscles, they feel good for a short period of time, only to get tight again? The thing is, if you don't address the other muscles, the ones that get fatigued and gradually stop working, then your stretching program will not work as well. All these muscles need to be in "balance."

The best way to see if your deep neck flexors fatigue is to try and lift your head off the ground when you are lying down. The technique is simple: Simply tuck your chin in to your chest and lift your head off the ground, and then attempt to hold it there for 10 seconds. If the neck begins shaking, or your chin is unable to stay tucked in, your deep flexors are fatigued and need to be addressed. For most people with chronic neck pain, this can be a difficult exercise. That's why you can begin your exercise program by doing simple chin tucks while sitting or standing.

Simply tucking your chin in and holding it until you fatigue will help reactivate these muscles. You can start with 12 repetitions of this exercise, working your way up to three sets of 12 repetitions each. Ensure you take adequate rest (several minutes) in between each set.

Once you get comfortable with basic sitting/standing chin tucks, you can try doing the exercise lying down. The goal is to be able to do it 12 times, holding each one until you fatigue. The next goal is to work your way up to three sets of 12 repetitions, with rest in between each set. Then work your way to three sets of 15 repetitions and then three sets of 20 repetitions. Remember, this is a marathon, not a race. The goal is to increase the endurance of your muscles rather than their strength. Your neck is designed to carry the weight of your head all day, not to lift trains or buses! That's why building up endurance should be your first priority.

Neck pain is an all-too-common condition that can prove debilitating if left untreated. If you are experiencing neck pain (or headaches!) call 303-463-0722 and schedule an appointment today!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tips for Preventing Acne at Any Age

From sweet 16 to fabulous 40 and beyond, acne is a condition that affects almost everyone at some time in their lives. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 85 percent of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 develop the condition, and some people continue to be affected into their forties and fifties.

It‘s important to remember that acne has both internal and external causes. However, there are some basic precautions you can take to help prevent breakouts. Here are some tips for people of any age who want to keep their skin clear: Don‘t pick, pop or squeeze, or otherwise mess with your skin. Squeezing blemishes or whiteheads can lead to infection or scarring and almost always makes the acne you have worse. Wash your pillowcase often and always use clean face towels.

Dirty towels and pillowcases can harbor bacteria and germs that can make acne worse. Be sure to pull your hair away from your skin when you sleep. Try to shower as soon as possible after your workout since sweat combined with skin oil scan trap dirt and bacteria in your pores.

Don‘t go to bed with makeup on, it can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Make sure to clean cosmetic brushes regularly in soapy water and throw out old, contaminated makeup. Use topical treatments anywhere that you tend to get breakouts -- don't just spot-treat existing pimples. The pore-clogging process happens two to three weeks before any blemish becomes visible on the skin.

Exercising regularly can help reduce stress and it increases blood circulation and oxygen penetration to the skin, which may help to prevent acne. Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day to help 'detoxify' the body from the inside out. By taking these simple precautions, most people can reduce the occurrence of acne.

There are also a variety of products available to help in healing or preventing breakouts. However, consumers should be careful about what they choose to use. Most acne prevention products either don‘t work very well or have side effects. Male and female bodies and hormonal compositions are different, and you have to address those differences when you are treating acne.

Seek professional help if your acne is beyond the norm. Otherwise, look for gentle, natural over-the-counter medications.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DIY Ergonomics

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, in 2008 work-related musculoskeletal disorders accounted for almost one third of all workers’ compensation claims (317,440 claims to be exact!) Each claim resulted in an average of 10 days out of work for the injured person and cost employers millions of dollars.

Here are a few easy tips you can use to make your work place a safer and more comfortable place.

Practice good posture

  • Sit with shoulders relaxed—not elevated, hunched or rotated. Keep elbows close to your sides and bent at about a 90 degree angle.
  • Wrists should be kept straight—which usually requires them not to rest on the laptop keyboard or the edge of the desk.
  • Carrying a laptop and other supplies around each day is hard on the body. Swap a shoulder bag for one that will distribute the weight of the load evenly.

Pull up a chair

  • Find a seat with lumbar support. It decreases the weight placed on your back when seated for long periods of time while supporting good lumbar posture.
  • Sit with your entire upper body upright or leaning slightly back.
  • Sit with your knees at the same level or slightly below the level of your hips. Feet should be slightly out in front of the knees and supported with a foot rest if necessary.

Get comfy

  • Ideal light levels for computer use are actually lower than the light required for reading. Keep overhead office lights slightly dim and use a desk lamp if you need extra light.
  • Keep space heaters and small fans on hand to allow yourself to adjust your workspace temperature as needed for maximum comfort and efficiency.

Don’t repeat

  • Take frequent breaks from repetitive tasks like typing, handwriting, using the mouse or using office equipment like staplers or anything with buttons.
  • Use pens with a large “Ergo” barrel to ease the task of writing.
  • Exercise your hand muscles and relax a bit between long periods spent typing or writing, by giving a stress ball a few squeezes from time to time.

If you do develop some ached or pains from your work don’t hesitate to come in and get checked for subluxations. The longer you wait to address these problems the longer they take to fix and that means a longer time before you feel better!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Arthritis Patients Turn to Chiropractic

The Annals of Internal Medicine published the results of a survey of 232 people who had arthritis and were under a rheumatologists care.

Of those who responded, 63% said they were using some form of "complementary care" as named by the study.

Of those people, 31% were using chiropractic.

These numbers may themselves be grossly under reported as only 45% of the patients told their doctor about using the other forms of care.

These reported numbers translate to over 19% of the public who are seeing a rheumatologist are also seeing a chiropractor.

And if less that half of the patients are telling their doctor about it, the actual number may be twice as high.

Personally, I thought the most impressive statistic was that 73% of those trying chiropractic… found it helpful. The reasons given why people said they tried the non-medical care was:

  1. To control pain.
  2. They heard it helps.
  3. It is safe.
  4. It has helped someone they know.
  5. Their prescription medication wasn't working.

Chiropractic Works! It’s just up to you, the patient to make sure you follow through with your care. You don’t stop going to the dentist because your teeth don’t hurt. You continue to have your teeth checked because you want them to last. Your spine is no different. Call 303-463-0722 to schedule an appointment and begin relieving your arthritis pain today!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How Chiropractic Started Ronald Reagan’s Radio Career

Ever since D.D. Palmer delivered the first chiropractic adjustment in 1895, chiropractors have been passionate educators. But probably none as passionate as the founder’s son himself, B.J. Palmer. Known as the “Developer of Chiropractic,” B.J. Palmer is often credited for chiropractic’s presence today.

As a wise businessman, lover of gadgetry, and an excellent communicator, Palmer saw something in the early days of radio that others did not. Simply its ability to communicate messages (chiropractic or otherwise) to a great number of people all at once. In fact, he is known for using an agricultural term “broadcasting” in reference to the radio. Palmer saw in radio a potential to “broadcast,” or spread, “message seeds” from a central location in a way that no other medium could match.

He purchased his first radio station, the WOC, in 1922. Although the call letters were arbitrarily assigned, he was quick to let everyone know that it stood for the “Wonders Of Chiropractic.” Operating atop the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, the “Wonders of Chiropractic” drew an estimated one million listeners and was credited as our nation’s first commercial radio station west of the Mississippi.

In the 1930’s, radio was so new that many Midwestern towns didn't even have a commercial station. After graduating from college, a young Ronald Reagan started out to begin a career in sports broadcasting. He started in the Chicago area… and was soundly rejected everywhere he went. As he was turned down at one station, he simply moved west to interview at another. He knew of two or three in the tri-cities area in Davenport, Iowa. He started with stations on the Illinois side of the Mississippi but struck out, then crossed the river into Iowa. His first stop was station W.O.C. in Davenport.

He promptly found out that he was a day late for interviewing for the open announcer spot. Fortunately, he convinced the program manager to hire him to announce the Iowa-Minnesota Homecoming game for “$5 and bus fare.“

In February of 1932 he received a call from WOC asking him to take on a position as one of their staff announcers. Unfortunately, Reagan proved to be a terrible announcer with a stiff and “wooden” delivery. Only after the station assigned someone to help with his on-air delivery did he really shine as an announcer.

Ronald Reagan’s really big break came when he was asked to announce the Drake Relays for WHO, another Palmer owned radio station in Des Moines, Iowa. A few weeks after this event, B.J. Palmer received a permit for a 50,000 watt clear channel station and WHO became one of the most powerful NBC stations in the country. Because of his reporting on the Drake Relays, Ronald Reagan was offered the post of sports announcer.

Ronald Reagan was an early proponent of chiropractic as both a patient and employee of B.J. Palmer. Since that time chiropractors have gone on to serve extensively to help everyone from movie stars in Hollywood to Olympic athletes in Vancouver!