Monday, January 28, 2013

Is Smoking Increasing Your Back Pain?

According to the findings published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, one of the best pain relief options for back pain patients is to quit smoking. Patients with back pain who quit smoking may experience a decrease in back pain, as well as an improved outcome from back surgery.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York reported that smoking is a “modifiable risk factor” for people suffering from chronic pain.  According to their study, “smokers have reported an increased magnitude of pain when compared with nonsmokers.” In addition, earlier research noted people that quit smoking had less pain after spinal surgery and returned to work sooner than people that did not quit smoking.

If you currently are a smoker and suffering from back pain, consider this: Comparing quitters with current smokers, those who quit smoking were twice as likely to report a decrease in their back pain and those who had never smoked had a significant decrease in the likelihood of claiming disability from their back pain compared to current smokers.

Of course, chiropractic has over 100 years of proven results in relieving back pain.  If you are suffering from back, neck or shoulder pain, don't hesitate to call and schedule a free consultation to see if our office can help.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chiropractic's 'Unintended' Consequences...

Chiropractic is attractive because its side effects are largely positive effects.

Virtually every intervention can have an "unintended consequence" or "adverse reaction", even chiropractic.

Fortunately, these are overwhelming positive, even if unintended. Such as the patient whose allergies improve after receiving chiropractic care for headaches. Or the patient whose indigestion disappears after receiving chiropractic care for back pain. Or the expectant mother whose restored fertility seems to have coincided with her chiropractic care for low back pain. You know the list.

The danger when seeing these frequent associations is to make the leap that chiropractic treats allergies, indigestion and fertility. Of course chiropractic doesn't treat anything. However with a revived nervous system, just about anything is possible. Even the relief of headaches and back pain.

If you'd like to experience some of the 'unexpected benefits' of chiropractic, call and schedule an appointment today! (303) 463-0722.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fight the Winter ‘Blues’

Are the long nights and cold days getting you down? Seasonal affective disorder, or appropriately, SAD, is a mood disorder characterized by feelings of sadness or depression during the winter months in otherwise mentally healthy people.  If you're suffering from SAD, you may find yourself sleeping longer, lacking energy and experiencing depression.

The good news is there are ways to fight the "winter blues," as SAD has been called, without taking medication; here are three natural ways to help put a smile back on your face so you can enjoy the holiday season.

Show me the light!
Evidence suggests light (or lack thereof) during the winter months can contribute to depressive symptoms. Why light? Because  light affects serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate mood, emotions and behavior. Less sunlight in the winter months can mean less serotonin, which can cause problems with energy and mood.

The solution: Try to get outdoors as much as possible when weather permits, particularly during sunny winter days. Think about it from more than a biochemical perspective: Being outside on a sunny day always seems to make people feel better compared to sitting inside.

Try a little D
Vitamin D, that is, levels of which are also affected by lack of available sunlight during the winter months. Several studies correlate low vitamin D levels with seasonal affective disorder in particular. What's more, vitamin D production is the lowest during the winter months because the sun is the primary source. Less sunlight (and less time spent outdoors in general) equals less vitamin D production.

The solution: If you can't get outside often during the winter (or year-round due to your occupation), make sure to take a daily vitamin D supplement to ensure your body is getting the D it needs to defend against mood problems – not to mention a host of other health problems linked to low levels.

Make a move
Take winter out of the discussion for a minute and think about any time of the year. What happens when you don't exercise regularly? How do you feel as the weeks go by without physical activity? For many people, lack of physical activity can mimic symptoms of SAD: low energy levels, depression, etc.

The solution: Make time to exercise this winter. Go to the gym when the weather's bad or enjoy the fresh air and exercise outdoors when it's not too cold.  Indoors or outdoors, make physical activity a priority and you'll feel better and look better.

The bottom line is that this winter doesn't have to be a SAD one, regardless of your circumstances. By adopting these and other strategies, you can help fight the winter blues and improve your health at the same time. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic for additional information.