“How often should I get an adjustment?”

I get asked this question frequently. My answer varies from time to time, but usually sounds like this. “It depends. Everyone is different.” What do I mean by this answer? Let’s break it down…

Chiropractic care is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ healthcare model. By this I mean, not everyone is the same, has the same job, does the same activity (or inactivity), etc. Therefore, each person may need a different approach, adjustment, treatment plan, etc.

So here is my simplified wellness approach:

Ages 0-5 years: Quarterly (every 3 months/4x per year)

  • This age group is developing at a fast pace (physically and mentally). It is important to ensure that kids are reaching their milestones and are not becoming developmentally delayed (thus, putting them at a higher risk of being uncoordinated, or developing ADHD, ADD, ASD, etc.). This age group is also an active one; full of falling downs, wrestling, and bumps and bruises. In fact, studies show that approximately 80% of newborns have a spinal misalignment immediately following the birth process. These little ones respond very quickly to chiropractic care.

Ages 5-18 years: Quarterly (every 3 months/4x per year)

  • This age group is “supposed to be” an active one. With kids sitting in school for long periods of time, P.E. being cut out of a lot of public schools, and sports only being offered to a limited group of students, chiropractic care is a must. Whether your child is sediment (forming poor postural habits) OR athletic (being plagued by sports injuries), it is better to address these issues early on before they become chronic.

Ages 18+: Monthly – Quarterly

  • Frequency of visits in this age group varies widely, and is mostly dependent on their activity/career. People who sit for extended periods throughout the day will usually have poor postural habits that lead to pain (M-Q). Those with a more active lifestyle are at a higher risk of traumatic injuries that cause pain (Q). Young parents are likely to have both traumatic injuries and poor postural habits (M). The older population is likely to be sediment and have other complicating factors like chronic diseases that will prolong healing (M).

Health Saving Tip: See your chiropractor as soon as the signs and symptoms appear. Do NOT wait to see if they go away on their own.  *The brain will adapt > relieving the pain without removing the problem > creating a muscle imbalance (weak, tight, or tender muscles) > creates joint misalignment > allows for improper motion > arthritis and degeneration of the joint.

Money Saving Tip: Bigger Problems = Longer Treatment = More Expensive.

6f27be5ea4f5531e67d15217bab30851

Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome

The most common cause of lateral knee pain. itbs

ITBS is a condition that most commonly occurs in runners. The IT-Band is actually a thick band of tissue that is called fascia. Several muscles in the hip and thigh region attach to this thick band and can increase the stress and strain on the tissue. The ITB attaches to the patella (knee cap) and the lower leg, right below the outside of the knee.

So what causes ITBS?

• Most commonly, it is due to a weakness in the hip abductors (gluteus maximus and medius). It may also be caused by other biomechanical influences such as over-pronation of the foot, and excessive force that occurs as the foot strikes the pavement.

What are the symptoms of ITBS?

• The symptoms of ITBS differ. There may be a sharp or burning pain anywhere along the ITB, or most commonly, the lateral/outside surface of the knee that goes away with rest. If left un-addressed, the pain may be present more frequently with walking, and eventually there is tenderness along the entire ITB.

How can it be treated?

• Initially, ice and stretching may relieve most symptoms. Using a foam roller may also be beneficial in relieving trigger points and areas of tightness within the ITB. To insure that the condition does not progress, or get worse, the cause should be addressed. This means strengthening exercises for the hip abductors!

Many doctors only treat the symptoms, or the ITB itself. If the Glutes are not strengthened the condition will eventually get worse. I suggest asking a professional, trained in rehabilitation, such as a chiropractor or physical therapist for help with this condition. You will definitely find relief faster!

Below are pictures of common exercises that would be recommended.

clam
Photo Source: Thera-bandacademy.com

Above shows a ‘clam’ exercise: Start by laying on your side with legs bent at a 90 degree angle. Bring the ankles, knees, and hips together. Using a resistance band, bring the knees apart while keeping the heels together.  Do this 10-15 times and repeat on the other side. (Be sure not to roll your torso forwards or backwards while opening the knees).

glute
Photo Source: rehabexercise.org

The exercise (shown above) works by standing on an uneven surface and drawing the hip up, bringing the lower foot off the floor.

This exercise can be modified, to be done on even ground utilizing an exercise ball against the wall. Stand sideways with the side of your hip against the ball. Bend the knee (the one against the ball) to bring your foot off the ground. Raise and lower your opposite hip to move the ball up and down the wall. (If you have a lack of coordination or a loss of balance, do not perform the standing exercise.)

*Ask your rehab professional for assistance first, to insure you are doing the exercise correctly, before doing these on your own.

The Not-So-Sweet Truth About Soda

Soda accounts for more than 1/4 of all other drinks consumed in the U.S. Even though soft drinks may “taste good” they are not good for our bodies. Soda can cause, and put us more at risk for numerous health issues.

  • Hypernatremia – causes myelin sheaths (needed for the nervous system to function properly) to lose integrity. This could lead to neurological diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Obesity – one soda per day can increase childhood obesity by 60%.
  • Caffeine dependence – caffeine drinkers may experience headaches, a rise in blood pressure, irritability, & stomach problems. (Some diet sodas contain 2x the amount of caffeine as regulate sodas.)
  • Tooth decay (periodontal disease) – the acids in soft drinks start dissolving tooth enamel within 20 minutes.
  • Osteoporosis (weakened bones) – because of the amount of phosphorous found in soft drinks, ingesting it decreases calcium absorption in our bodies.
  • Cancer – Soft drink companies use PET (polyethylene terephthalate) for bottling. Even though there may be trace amounts that we ingest, it is shown to cause cancer. Brain tumors have also been found in people who regularly ingest soda, possibly linked to the aspartame sweetener (found mostly in diet sodas). 1 liter of the sweetener can produce 56mg of methanol, a poison. If multiple soft drinks are ingested up to 250mg of methanol can be produced which is 32 times the EPA limit. Thus causing illness or death by methanol poisoning.

As of April 2010, the average American drinks 20 oz. of soda per day, making it the #1 source of calories in our diets or 7% of the average person’s calorie intake.

2 or more sodas per day = 1lb of weight gain per week = 52lbs of weight gain per year.

According to the National Soft Drink Association, Americans consume 1/2 gallon per person per day & 160 gallons per person per year. Soda is sold nationwide in 60% of all middle & high schools.

These are some scary statistics. Soda industry is obviously a large contributor to some of today’s leading chronic diseases. Soda does not affect everyone in the same way. If you choose to drink soda, do so in moderation.

Quick Tip: Try a healthier alternative. Add your favorite fruit juice to ginger ale or try an IZZE drink (contains fruit juice and carbonation).

Here are a few great sources for more information on how soda affects our health:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1829363/

http://www.therealbears.org/sodafacts101.pdf

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/10/119431/sugared-soda-consumption-cell-aging-associated-new-study

The National Sugar Rush: A Look At America’s Soda Consumption
Presented By: Please Include Attribution to InsuranceQuotes.org With This Graphic

Brugger’s Posture

Here is the last, but certainly not least, postural exercise to ward off the dreaded Forward Head & Shoulders posture.

Brugger’s posture not only strengthens your muscles, it promotes stability, and relaxes the tight muscles that is caused by postural stress as well.

bruegger1-3__120407_143409It looks pretty simple right?

1. Sit with your butt at the edge of a chair.
2. Spread your legs apart slightly.
3. Turn your toes out slightly.
4. Tilt your pelvis forward & Iift your chest up, thus increasing the curve of your lower back.
5. Straighten your neck by bringing your chin back (giving you the attractive double chin that you’ve always wanted).
6. Turn the palms of your hands forward.
7. Straighten and extend your arms.

You can hold this position for 10 seconds at a time, or do several repetitions.

This can be done using a resistance band or even sitting on an exercise ball to make it more difficult.

*You should always consult your health practitioner (Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, etc.) before adding new activities, to decrease the risk of injury.

Pectoral Stretch

There are plenty of exercises to decrease Forward Head & Shoulders. So here is a great stretch to add to your routine!
When the pectoral muscles become tight, they tend to pull the shoulders forward and inward. This can cause all sorts of painful symptoms from neck pain to pain that radiates down your arm.

There are several easy ways to stretch these muscles. You may opt to use a door frame by placing one or both forearms against the frame, keeping your upper arms and elbows at 90 degree angles. Then, slightly lean forward through the door way. Pretty simple!
doorwaystretchOr, if you prefer a more gentle method, try lying on your back with your arms out at your sides with elbows at 90 degree angles and your palms facing upward. (If your arms do not touch the floor in this position, you may want to use a pillow under your arms until it becomes more comfortable.)

Scapular Retraction Exercise

Here is another great exercise to go along with your routine to eliminate that Forward Head & Shoulders posture.

The muscles that are needing attention with this exercise are the rhomboids, lower trapezius and the serratus anterior muscles. These muscles are particularly weak in people who have this posture abnormality. When these muscle become weak, it allows the upper trapezius and levator scapulae muscles to become tight, or overworked. This can cause the scapula to “flare out” or “wing”, or create muscular “knots” or “trigger points” to form in the upper back.
SRTo perform this exercise, sit or stand in an upright position. Then, squeeze your shoulder blades together and draw them down wards (as if you were putting them in your back pockets).

This exercise can be modified by using a resistance band (by securing the middle of the band to the wall/door and then using the ends of the band in each hand).

Similar exercises to promote scapular retraction are seated rows, flyes, and bruegger’s posture.

*Although this is a simple exercise, it can be easily performed wrong. Please visit a motion specialist (Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, Fitness Trainer etc.) when adding new exercises to you routine. They can help you to properly perform these exercises and modify them based on your needs!