Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Backpack Safety Tips

Much to children's disdain, it's time to go back to school. Do you know what's in your child's backpack, how much it weighs, or how that weight is affecting their neck, shoulders, back and spine? You need to know, because studies suggest far too many children are carrying far too heavy loads to and from school, and with serious consequences.

For example, a 2003 study in Spine found a significant relationship between the incidence of lower back pain among schoolchildren (ages 12-18) and both the weight of their backpacks and the amount of time the backpacks were used. Some backpacks were inordinately heavy; 18.9 percent of the students surveyed carried backpacks that weighed more than 20 percent of the student's body weight when full.

In another study, published in the same journal a year earlier, four out of five children said their backpacks were heavy, and two-thirds said they felt fatigue when carrying theirs. The study also showed that lifetime prevalence of low back pain was related to the amount of time children carried backpacks on their shoulders.

Not very good news, is it? So, what can you do as a parent to help your children in this regard? Here are a few simple suggestions courtesy of National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Ill.:

* Make sure your child's backpack weighs no more than 10 percent of their body weight.

* Also ensure that it doesn't hang more than 4 inches below their waistline.

* Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. The straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be easily fitted to your child's body.

Improper backpack use is an important but often-overlooked cause of back pain. Your chiropractor can evaluate your child's backpack and provide additional suggestions on how to ensure your child goes to and from school every day without putting their spine at risk of injury. If your child does develop aches or pains from carrying too much in their backpack, bring them into the office for a tune-up! Children respond quickly to chiropractic adjustments and often one or two adjustments is all that it takes to get them feeling 100% again!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Your Health and the Germ Theory

Years ago, Louis Pasteur “discovered” the “germ theory,” promoted it, sold it, and the rest is history! He exposed the world to something that has never been forgotten. The gist of that theory?

That germs “cause” disease and that exposure to germs makes a person sick. What matters is the presence of germs - they cause disease – it’s just that simple… and actually it’s just that wrong!

Ironically, the father of the germ theory died in September of 1895, the same month and year of the first chiropractic adjustment!

Here’s something that most people never read about. Even on his deathbed, Pasteur stated that it was NOT germs that caused diseases, but rather the ‘environment’ (body) in which the germs were found --- that contributed to the cause of disease.

In other words – there had to be “fertile soil” for a germ “seed” to grow and manifest itself into a disease.

Today people are starting to understand that their children need exposure to germs to gain appropriate, ‘natural’ immunity when they are young. I hate to tell you this, but GERMS are everywhere. In fact, many believe that the increase in ‘childhood allergies and asthma’ may be a by-product of our over-sanitization by “germophobic” parents!

When doctors give us antibiotics that only attack the symptoms of disease, we are actually ‘fighting the body’s natural lines of defense’, and making it harder for us and our children to ‘heal properly’.

When we allow our children’s bodies to heal themselves, we enable them to become more resilient and far more capable of resisting the onslaught of germs in the future.

So…what we need to focus on as parents is keeping our children’s immune systems (as well as our own) functioning properly, so germs don’t find a willing host in which to thrive. You can compare this to the life of a car.

Why do some cars end up in the junkyard while others get collector plates and look brand new for decades? Some people go out of their way to maintain their cars to the best of their ability while others just run them into the ground. Eventually they just give out and are taken to the junkyard.

As parents and adults, we need to maintain the function of our bodies by providing ourselves with proper nutrition, sound sleep, exercise (even if it’s just a short walk), and optimal nerve supply to the immune system with regular chiropractic care.