Monday, April 30, 2012

We've Made Some Big Changes!

In case you missed it, we’ve made some big changes at the Chiropractic Wellness Center.  First off, we’ve expanded our office hours!  We’ve added more evening and morning hours to help make it more convenient for you.  Our new hours are:

Monday: 8:00 am-12:00 pm & 3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Tuesday: 8:00 am-12:00 pm & 3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Wednesday: 8:00 am-12:00 pm & 3:00 pm-6:00 pm

Friday: 8:00 am-12:00 pm & 3:00 pm-5:00 pm

Also, we’ve taken on a massage therapy intern from Heritage College.  Greg McCole will be with us through June to complete his degree before becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist.  While we have him, we’ll be able to offer full body massages at great “student prices”.  Just $20 for a 30 Minute Full Body Massage, $30 for a 1 Hour Full Body Massage, and a package of four 1 Hour Massages is just $100!

And maybe best of all, through June we’ll be celebrating “Stress Free Fridays!”  All of our active (and inactive!) practice members can come in to the office on Fridays and get a FREE Chair Massage to make sure you start the weekend off right!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Better Brainpower

Recent research has shown that you can actually improve your I.Q by up to 20 points over four years. How can you do it? Here’s 12 easy ways to get started!

1. Play Words With Friends: Studies have shown that playing word puzzles can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

2. Get Some Exercise: In one study, the thinking ability of subjects was tested and re-tested after running on a treadmill for thirty minutes. The follow-up tests showed an increase in the speed of decision making and an increase in the accuracy of the responses.

3. Learn A New Language: Mastering a second language gives your prefrontal cortex a workout. This can affect decision making and emotions.

4. Join A Knitting Circle: Grab those needles and get to work on a scarf for Grandma. Refining your motor skills can help improve cognitive ability.

5. Play Violent Videogames: Numerous studies have found that videogames can quicken reaction time, improve multitasking, and reduce hostile feelings after performing a stressful task.

6. Hydrate: There are a host of different reasons that you should drink more water and now add another one. Dehydration can force your brain to work harder and can reduce its planning ability.

7. Become An Expert: Master a task you really enjoy doing and your brain will perform more efficiently when you do it. This can then translate to your brains ability to do other tasks more efficiently as well.

8. Drink Coffee: Women who drank four cups of coffee a day were less likely to suffer from depression than women that drank just one cup a week. Other studies have shown that coffee can also bolster short term memory.

9. Zone Out: A group of studies suggest that “zoning out”. especially when you don’t realize you’re doing it, allows the brain to work on “big picture” thinking.

10. Time Yourself: Using a timer to limit your work to 25 minute “batches” followed by a short break helps to improve mental agility, making you more productive while you work.

11. Eat Some Yogurt: Pro-biotics can help your digestion and some studies on mice suggest that they are good for your brain too. The mice who ate them handled anxiety better and showed increased activity in sections of the brain handling emotions and memory.

12. Check Out the Denver Art Museum: Visiting a museum and viewing art has been shown to reduce stress, letting you focus more clearly on the things that really matter.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

7 Reasons Your Back Hurts… and What To Do About It.

1. You Smoke.
A recent study on smoking and low back pain examined 1,337 physicians who graduated from Johns Hopkins University and found that a history of smoking was associated with an increased incidence of lower back pain. The study concluded that development of lower back pain was possibly due to the damage that smoking does to the vascular structure of the joints and discs in the spine. They think it may also cause Cancer but I digress.

Solution: Quit smoking. It may not be easy but pretty much everyone in your life and every organ in your body will thank you.

2. You’re Lazy.
What do eating dinner, your job, and watching TV have in common? You’re sitting during pretty much all of them. Long hours of sitting results in weak and inflexible abdominal and spinal muscles, a.k.a. the core muscles. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, until you have to shovel the driveway, pull the skis off the roof rack, or try and kick a home run playing kegball.

Solution: Get off your butt. If you have a desk job, every 30 to 40 minutes get up and move. Even if it’s just getting up to stretch or walk around your desk, it will help. Exercising 3 to 4 times a week will strengthen the core muscles around your spine and reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes. It also helps you avoid reason number 3.

3. You’re Fat.
The American Journal of Epidemiology found overweight people were more likely to suffer from both chronic lower back pain and flares of back pain more often than non-overweight people. Increased lower back pain may be aggravated even more by people with a “beer belly” due to the excess weight pulling the pelvis forward and causing increased strain on the lower back.

Solution: Again, pretty basic solution, lose some weight. If Atkins, the Paleo Diet, Weight Watchers, the South Beach Diet, and 50 million other eating plans have you confused, start with something simple: Burn more calories than you take in. This means eat less and move more. It may not turn you in to Mr. Olympia but it’s a start and that’s half the battle.

4. You Spend Too Much Time Behind The Wheel.
Vibration experienced during long hours driving trucks, buses, and heavy machinery can cause the muscles of the lower back to fatigue. That, combined with increased pressure on the discs of the spine from being in a seated position can cause the discs in the lower back to “creep” backwards, bulging toward the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots. If this goes on long enough, small cracks can form in the disc, weakening it and setting the stage for a “blown disc” (more commonly called a herniation).

Solution(s): If your job requires long hours of driving, make sure your vehicle has a high quality seat to dampen the vibration. Periodic breaks from sitting and driving can help prevent some problems. Also, just as importantly, after driving for long periods, walk around for a few minutes before loading or unloading your vehicle.

5. You’re Doing It Wrong.
It may not be a surprise but using poor body mechanics is one of the fastest ways to wreck your lower back. Lifting with the back and twisting causes torsion in the spine. This puts the structures of the spine in their weakest position and can easily lead to injury. Unfortunately, aside from work, swinging a golf club, softball bat, or tennis racquet also requires a lot of bending and twisting.

Solution: Bend with the knees, not with the back, and always keep your feet pointed in the direction you’re working (no twisting). Also, shot-gunning a beer before the game does not count as a warm up. Take the time to loosen up those tight muscles in the legs and lower back before you attempt to relive your “glory days”. And yes, you can use #5 as a reason to spring for those lessons with the club pro.

6. You Sleep on Your Stomach.
When lying on your stomach, your head and neck will turn to one side which isn‘t that bad, until you stay in that position for a few hours. Imagine moving your computer monitor 70 or 80 degrees to the right of your keyboard, now re-type the entire Penske file. How’s your neck feel? Lying on your stomach also increases the lordosis (forward curve) of the lower back, stressing the spine and causing that stiff and sore feeling you have when you get out of bed.

Solution: Train yourself to sleep on your side or back. Using a good quality cervical pillow and a pillow between your knees will help keep you from rolling on to your stomach. It may take some time to get in the habit of a new sleeping position but if you stick with it, your neck will thank you.

7. You‘re Out of Whack.
Being a chiropractor, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention spinal dysfunction (chiropractors call this a subluxation) as a common cause of back and neck pain. Spinal subluxations can result from a slip and fall, auto accidents, or even simply doing the same thing over and over again. When a vertebrae becomes subluxated, it becomes “locked” outside of its normal position. This causes inflammation of the joints and capsules associated with that vertebrae. When a joint become irritated or inflamed, the muscles around it will tighten to protect it from further injury. The muscle tightness and joint inflammation combine to cause pain and a loss of motion to that area. If these are severe enough, they can also irritate the nearby spinal nerves resulting in conditions like Sciatica or headaches.

Solution: Once again, a simple answer, go see a chiropractor and get adjusted. Chiropractors specialize in finding and adjusting the areas of the spine that aren’t working properly. Chiropractic adjustments are safe and typically result in a rapid improvement of your ache or pain.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

10 Reasons Parents Take Healthy Children To Chiropractors

Some adults may wonder why more and more people are taking their children to see chiropractors. That’s a good question and the answer is simple: whether we have a large, full grown spine or a little, growing one, if that spine is not functioning properly, our bodies won’t work the way they’re supposed to.

The second question then, would be “Why would a kids spine not work correctly?”

Spinal dysfunction (or vertebral subluxations) occurs as a part of normal daily life. Typical causes in children are from physical stressors like falls while learning to walk or off of playground equipment or collisions on the soccer field or basketball court. It is also important to keep in mind that the nervous system of a child isn’t fully developed until they’re in their late teens. That is why children can take a fall that would knock you or I senseless, and they pop back up and head off again. It’s not that they’re not injured, their body just isn’t good at telling the brain about it.

When soft tissue like joints, ligaments, and capsules are injured, they will heal whether you treat them or not. The problem is that an untreated soft tissue injury will heal like a scab on a cut, becoming thick and fibrotic, unable to bend and flex properly. These injuries are often the beginning of the “bad” knee, shoulder, or lower back that many people suffer from later in life.

Because the developing spine doesn’t send “pain” signals very well, children don’t frequently complain of back and neck pain. Instead, they suffer from things like colic or irritability, an inability to suckle and breastfeed, poor sleep, developmental delays, digestion issues, asthma, behavioral problems, low energy, inability to concentrate, headaches, etc – the list is endless. In fact, regardless of what the end result or symptom may be, all roads lead back to the nervous system – to the body’s ability to self-regulate and function at a peak level.

This leads to… 10 reasons parents take their kids to see a chiropractor:

1. To prevent spinal problems later in life.
2. To enhance their child’s overall health and wellbeing.
3. To strengthen the immune system and reduce the incidence of colds and ear-aches.
4. To help with colic and “Irritable Baby Syndrome“.
5. To help with asthma and allergies.
6. To improve spinal posture.
7. To improve their child’s ability to concentrate.
8. To assist with behavioral disorders and enhance emotional well-being.
9. To help alleviate digestive problems.
10. To assist with bed-wetting and sleep issues.

Please contact our office and schedule a FREE Consultation and Exam to see if your child could benefit from a Chiropractic adjustment.