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3 Key Ways Runners Can Benefit from Chiropractic Care

Running is one of Americans' favorite forms of exercise. The reasons for its popularity are simple — it can be done almost anywhere, takes no special equipment, and burns lots of calories. Running also offers a great many health benefits such as weight control, decreased blood pressure and cholesterol, and relief from stress.

Everything with running is fabulous, right up until the time you hear a snap, crack, or pop. The downside of all the wonderful benefits is that running causes its share of injuries to the body.

The Ohio State Chiropractic Association presents an alarming statistic that two-thirds of runners will be injured in some way. Tendonitis, shin splints, ankle sprains, hip pain, and knee strains are a few of the many injuries brought on or exacerbated by a regular running routine.

What is a runner to do?

It's important to take common sense precautions to not get injured in the first place. Purchasing high quality shoes and respecting the body's limits are two excellent choices.

Another great choice is committing to chiropractic care. Regular runners can reap many positive results from visiting a chiropractor. Three big benefits chiropractic care offers for runners are the following:

Increased Range of Motion

Loose and relaxed joints allow for greater flexibility and movement, all of which benefit a runner's gait and time. A study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found evidence that a chiropractic treatment regimen increased mobility in the hips over time.

While chiropractic care does not guarantee an individual will experience an increase in speed, unrestricted joints and better range of motion will definitely help a person move more freely and stand a better chance of avoiding running injuries.

Decreased Healing Time for Injuries

Unfortunately, runners frequently deal with injuries, some of which take weeks or months to heal. For dedicated runners, a serious injury is terrible news.

The first action for runners after they have been injured is to stop running so it can heal. Most runners do not want to risk losing the stamina that interrupting their routine brings on.

Chiropractors can work with runners who have injured themselves from the repetitive motion of running regularly. By using chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors can promote healing in the body as a whole. Runners love this because they want to get back to hoofing it as quickly as possible.

Minimized Instances of Becoming Injured

A spine out of alignment can cause other parts of the body to be weaker and more susceptible to injury. One part of the body compensating for another that is off kilter is one common way runners end up hurt.

Chiropractic treatment helps to keep the spine in alignment, which can have a ripple effect through the body. Regular adjustments can reduce the negative impact the jarring motion of running has on a person's body, and help avoid running-relating injuries on the front end.

Running is a popular exercise routine for many, and yields a multitude of positive results to a person's health and well-being. By taking proper steps to minimize the chance of injury, runners can enjoy the good points running brings to the table and steer clear of the bad.

Chiropractic care can be an effective part of making certain your body is in prime running condition and resistant to injury. If a person ends up dealing with an injury, chiropractic treatment may be able to boost healing time.

Ready! Set! Go!

If you are a runner and would like to talk further about the benefits chiropractic care offers you, contact us today for a consultation.

 

Three Types of Low Back Pain

How Chiropractic Care Eases the Three Most Common Types of Back Pain

Do you suffer with back pain? Well, you’re not alone. According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work, and the second most common reason for visiting a doctor (only behind upper respiratory infections). Why is back pain so common? There is more than one answer to that question. A large number of back pain patients suffer because of the following three reasons:

They have suffered a back injury

Individuals can hurt their backs by lifting heavy objects, overexerting themselves, or moving the wrong way. The muscles and ligaments in the back can be twisted and damaged. Back pain that is the result of a recent injury is called acute pain, meaning it comes on suddenly. Acute pain is usually temporary, so when the injury heals, the pain lessens or disappears completely. Over the counter medications such as analgesics, topical creams, and anti-inflammatory drugs help manage back pain caused from an injury but don’t necessary fix the problem. Chiropractic care is another way to lessen acute pain and feel more comfortable. By adjusting the spine, chiropractors can relax the muscles, and relieve acute pain faster than simply "suffering through" the injury.

They battle a medical condition or illness

Unfortunately, there are several illnesses that can cause back pain. Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, inflammatory diseases of the joints, and scoliosis are some of the common conditions that cause back pain. Because the conditions create pain that lasts longer periods of time, this type of pain is considered to be chronic pain. Chronic pain is an entirely different animal than acute pain, and patients who suffer with it often look for options outside of traditional medication. Chiropractic care is an excellent choice in dealing with chronic back pain. Adjustments to the spine can promote healing in all areas of a person's body, as well as provide relief from the pain. Chiropractic care for medical conditions sometimes takes a bit longer to show results, so the patient must be committed to the treatment plan the chiropractor suggests in order to enjoy the maximum benefits of chiropractic.

They have made poor lifestyle choices

Decisions we make can affect our health, either negatively or positively. Being overweight, avoiding an exercise routine, and smoking can result in health issues that cause back pain.

  • Additional weight puts extra stress on an individual's back that can eventually cause pain.
  • Smoking is a habit that has many negative consequences, including increasing the chances for back pain. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), smoking can cause a lack of nutrients which affects the back's discs. In addition, people who smoke tend to heal slower, so smoking can actually increase the length of time a person must endure back pain.
  • Exercise increases a person's strength in muscles and tendons, and a sedentary lifestyle weakens a person's body, often bringing on back pain, as well as other health issues.

Chiropractic care can assist in lessening a patients back pain, which then hopefully leads to better lifestyle choices. Feeling better often prompts patients to embark on a fitness routine, eat healthier, and quit smoking. Exercise regimens that include strength training can positively impact a person's health in a number of ways, including back pain reduction. Millions of people struggle with back pain on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to treat both the symptoms and the underlying causes here at Elite Chiropractic. Chiropractic care either by itself or in a combination with other treatments is one of the best choices available today. Please feel free to comment or ask questions to Dr. Matt Kelly.

 

Healthy Chocolate!

February is National Heart Month! We hope you’re celebrating with chocolate! Of course, not all chocolate is created equal. Do you know what to look for when buying “good” chocolate? Here are a few tips:

1) Dark chocolate is better (sorry milk chocolate lovers!). Look for 70% or higher cacao content. Cacao is the plant chocolate is harvested from, and a higher percentage means more antioxidants, which is a major reason to eat chocolate in the first place. Also, there is often a higher mineral content present in dark chocolate, as it tends to be less refined. Pure cacao is an excellent source of magnesium.

2) Try raw cacao powder in smoothies, or purchase an inexpensive ice cream maker, and try making your own chocolate ice cream at home! Pure, raw cacao is not very sweet, so try adding stevia for a yummy sugar-free treat!

3) Avoid products containing cocoa “processed with alkali.” This process basically denatures any nutrient value. Unfortunately, this is the type of chocolate found in most major grocery store brands. Try a gourmet or natural food store to find quality chocolate.

4) If you have a dairy allergy, or are simply trying to avoid excess animal fats, you can still enjoy chocolate! There are many dairy-free chocolates, and in fact quality dark chocolate does not usually contain milk or dairy. Also note, cocoa butter is not a dairy product, so if you see this on the ingredient label, it does not refer to a milk or dairy-derived food.

Below is a homemade chocolate ice cream recipe to try. I’ve personally made it with a Cuisinart ice cream maker, with yummy results! We’d love to hear your recipe ideas—post them to our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EliteChiroMason.

Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream

2 cups cream, milk, OR 1 can coconut milk

2 eggs (organic, pastured eggs recommended)

1/4 – 1/2  cup sweetener (date palm sugar, sucanat) OR 2t. stevia for sugar-free version

1/2 t. vanilla

1-2 T. raw cacao powder, or 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Blend ingredients on high. Chill in a cup or bowl for 1 hour in freezer (my ice cream maker doesn’t say this is required, but I’ve found better results doing this step.)

Pour into pre-frozen ice cream maker, and run machine for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!!

Yours in Health,

Drs. Nick & Delphine Deignan

Elite Chiropractic

513-770-0534

www.elitechiromason.com

www.facebook.com/EliteChiroMason

3143 Western Row Rd.

Mason, OH 45039

 

 

Fitness Refresh

The holidays are over, and spring seems years away. While some push full steam ahead towards their 2013 health and fitness goals, maybe you are among the group who’s best laid plans are beginning to fade, and motivation has fizzled. Here are some ideas to freshen up your routine so you’re more likely to follow through on your path to optimal health:

Simply change up your routine once or twice a week. Your body will naturally accommodate the activities you demand of it, which in the case of weight loss or strength training is not beneficial. A fitness “plateau” occurs when the body has become used to a workout and doesn’t respond with the same level of results as it has in the past. To avoid this, try circuit training (alternate 1-2 min increments of cardiovascular exercise such as walking, biking, etc.. with 2-5 min. of strength training.) Alternatively, choose different activities for various days of the week. A cross-training approach is not only beneficial for athletes, but it decreases the likelihood of injury and keeps workouts interesting.

Try a new activity, especially if you belong to a gym that includes classes as part of your membership. Yoga, Pilates, or dance-based classes are great ways to fine-tune core strength. You might also enjoy them!

Play outside with your family. Even sledding and making snow angels can provide some cardiovascular benefit! Exercise tends to be “muscle-specific,” so every activity uses a certain combination of muscles. A new type of exercise forces you to concentrate more, and offers the body a new challenge.

If you feel tired one day, don’t push yourself. Honor your body’s signals and stick to walking or light stretching. If the feeling continues, it’s worth a discussion with your doctor, but an occasional “off” day is normal, and may indicate a need for rest.

Stretch before and after physical activity. This helps to reduce the risk of injury, but you may also find you’ll get more out of your workout. Here is a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfXrYhg10tE demonstrating “active” stretching, which is a great way to warm up before any physical activity. Active or dynamic stretches increase blood flow and prepare muscles for exercise. Passive or static stretches are usually better for “warm” muscles, or after a workout.

Regardless of your level of activity, it can be challenging to keep your workout fresh and interesting. Keeping yourself surrounded with like-minded friends will keep you mentally engaged, and help you discover new exercises. We'd love to hear your suggestions, and swap ideas!

Yours In Health,

Drs. Nick & Delphine Deignan

3143 Western Row Rd.

Mason, OH 45039

513-770-0534

 

Detox Your Life

January is a popular time for new diets, general health improvements, and exercise plans. Often included in these plans is a ‘detox,’ or detoxification program. I know this is a word that’s thrown around a lot, without a lot of explanation. This post is for you: what exactly is detoxification, and why is it important to my health?

Detoxification, according to Webster’s dictionary, means “to remove a toxic substance,” or “to free from an intoxicating or an addictive substance in the body or from dependence on or addiction to such a substance.” Now you may not think of yourself as “toxic,” but an addictive substance could refer to something as ‘harmless’ as sugar or caffeine.  Furthermore, in examining the labels of the foods you eat and the hygiene products you wear/use, there may be a long list of chemical ingredients of which you can’t pronounce. These are chemicals that can potentially remain in our bodies for long periods of time, and slowly and silently pollute our organs, cause weight gain, slow our body’s systems, and deplete us of nutrients and the ability to function optimally.

Because of our constant chemical exposure, and potential overload, detoxification may be a worthwhile means to occasionally cleanse and purify our bodies. Benefits of a detox may include: weight loss, relief from allergies/chemical sensitivities, improved muscle/joint function, increased energy, stamina, and mental clarity, and better quality sleep.

Some may wonder why detoxification programs have only recently gained publicity. The reality is that people have used herbs and food to detoxify their bodies for hundreds if not thousands of years, but the blatant truth is that our world today is practically overflowing with chemicals and pollutants, as compared to even 20-30 years ago, let alone 2-300 years ago.  Therefore, more people are making a specific effort to ensure proper elimination of toxins so that their bodies can continue to support optimal wellness and a healthy weight.

Personally I suggest a detox program 2-4 times per year. If you are exposed to minimal chemicals (eating and using 80%+ organic, chemical-free foods and products) and have no health issues, you can probably get away with detoxifying twice per year. However, if you experience multiple chronic illness symptoms (allergies, fibromyalgia, chemical sensitivities, arthritis, unexplained weight gain, digestive disturbances, etc…) a seasonal detoxification program might be advantageous, at least until the symptoms are minimal or eliminated. Of course, it is important to work with your health care provider to ensure any weight loss or detoxification program is done properly and safely.

We will be focusing on proper detoxification and weight loss throughout the month of January, because we know it’s on the minds of many patients as we begin a new year. This is a fresh opportunity to re-focus your health and wellness goals! Please let us know how we can help you along your journey!

Yours in Health,

Drs. Nick & Delphine Deignan

Elite Chiropractic

513-770-0534

www.elitechiromason.com

www.facebook.com/EliteChiroMason

3143 Western Row Rd.

Mason, OH 45039

 

 

Virtual Injuries

Who knew we’d live in a day where a top concern of the medical community would be “Wii knee” and “Blackberry thumb.” The terms are somewhat funny, but these are real problems for the 21st century patient. In some cases, PDA-related injuries are becoming workers’ comp issues because employees are so often communicating on-the-go. Because I know Santa brought some of you new smartphones, gaming systems, tablets, and other high-tech gadgets, here are some tips for ergonomic electronic use:

• Return urgent messages only, with a smartphone or PDA, to spare your thumbs from overuse. The repetitive, unnatural motion of texting can cause tendonitis or bursitis, and can become a chronic issue over time.

• Sit up straight, and preferably in a chair that provides low-back support. Hunched shoulders and a forward-leaning head put unnecessary pressure on the cervical spine, which can cause tension, subluxation, and pain.

• Keep your wrists as straight as possible when using a game controller or PDA; avoid tilting or holding your wrists in a bent position.

• Rest your elbows while texting or gaming if possible. Holding your arms at your sides can cause shoulder and neck tension.

• Position the TV at eye level when gaming, to avoid eye and neck strain. If you can’t move it up or down, change your own position (standing or sitting on a high-back chair or stool).

• Start slowly and take breaks, especially if you are new to Wii. It may seem laughable, but to go from being inactive to playing hours of Wii Fit can cause injury just as regular athletic activities can.

We hope you enjoy your new toys, but remember these tips to avoid “virtual injuries” and stay healthy so you can enjoy friends, family, and maybe some relaxation during the holidays!

Yours in Health,

Drs. Nick & Delphine Deignan

Elite Chiropractic

513-770-0534

www.elitechiromason.com

www.facebook.com/EliteChiroMason

3143 Western Row Rd.

Mason, OH 45039

 

Healthy Holiday Spine

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, there is much to be easily neglected when it comes to health, including basic spine care. Lifting heavy, awkward boxes, putting up decorations, extensive shopping, holding and playing with kids, and participating in extraneous activities outside of your normal schedule can all contribute to one of the top medical complaints in the United States: low back pain.

Here are a few reminders to keep your spine merry and bright:

• Lift with your legs (not your back). This means lowering your body vertically, keeping the object close to your body. Do not bend over at your waist to lift a child, box, or even a turkey from the oven!

• Use a step stool to deck the halls with boughs of holly. Reaching too far beyond your natural ability can cause back pain later.

• Stretch before performing any activity you don’t normally do. Hold stretches for 15-30 seconds.  Also, if you don’t have time to exercise, try to at least make time for stretching to prevent future injuries and maintain flexibility.

• Ladies-leave your Santa-bag-sized purse at home when shopping for long periods! Opt for something smaller to avoid shoulder, neck, and back pain.

• If you experience pain, apply ice for 20 minutes. Wait at least 20 minutes before re-applying. Repeat several times a day as needed for relief. We also have Bio-Freeze available in our office, which helps to ease inflammation and “cool” muscle tension. If you’re in a pinch and our office is closed, there is an “over-the-counter” version available in some drugstores now as well.

We want you to enjoy the holiday season as it was meant to be, so please don’t hesitate to ask us about any concerns or questions you have regarding your health. We always hope you remain pain and stress-free, but remember we are here to help through the holidays if you need an adjustment or massage!

Drs. Nick & Delphine Deignan

Elite Chiropractic

513-770-0534

www.elitechiromason.com

www.facebook.com/EliteChiroMason

3143 Western Row Rd.

Mason, OH 45039

 

Tis the Season to Focus on Health!

This time of year can be stressful for multiple reasons. Activities, fundraisers, parties, year-end deadlines, school functions, and athletic competitions all seem to come to a head this time of year! Also, finding the perfect gift for the right price, for everyone on your list is no small task…especially if you procrastinate like some! However, be sure to enjoy the season, and take some time to relax.  Here are a few holiday-inspired tips for taking care of your spine, nervous system, and overall health:

1)  Stay hydrated. Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day. An additional 8 oz. of water is required to compensate for any cup of coffee, soda, or alcohol you may consume.

2)  Treat holiday shopping like an athletic event. Stretch, hydrate, wear comfortable shoes, and take frequent breaks to ensure you don’t become overly stressed or tired.

3)  Stand at a counter or sit at a table to wrap gifts. Avoid sitting on the floor—this typically leads to poor posture, and potential back strain.

4)   DO NOT go to a party hungry! Eat before you go! I find this an easier rule to stick to than completely avoiding certain party snacks. If I go partially full, those “avoid” foods don’t look nearly as tempting, and I’m more likely to walk away with just a taste if I do decide to try them.

5)   Last but not least, visit your chiropractor regularly! This will of course keep your body properly aligned for holiday-specific activities, and any additional stress this time of year may bring.

6)  Make a snow angel, give a homemade gift, or cook something yummy to keep your spirits up and your blood pressure down.

Now that you’re informed and prepared for the upcoming holiday season, may the best shopper win!

 

Painless Leaf Raking

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year….until I have to rake leaves. It is such time-consuming, tedious hard work. Somehow, it is exhausting to gather and compile tiny little pieces of plant material! Just as infrequent exercise can cause spinal subluxation and muscle strain, a simple activity like raking can quietly wreak havoc on the body when it involves muscles that aren’t used on a regular basis. Hopefully you have a riding mower with a leaf bagger, but if not, here are some tips to save your back while raking:

1)   Drink water. It seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget when it’s cool outside. However, water is just as important to supporting healthy spinal tissue now as in the summer months.

2)  Stand up straight, keeping your head up and looking forward while mowing or raking.

3)  Bend at the knees, not the waist, even if just picking up piles of leaves. Back strain can occur simply by moving in an unnatural or awkward position, not just from lifting heavy objects.

4)  Use ergonomically designed tools when available.

5)  While raking, use a scissors stance to balance weight and encourage proper posture: right foot forward, left foot back for a few minutes. Then switch, putting your left foot forward, and right foot back.

6) If you pull a muscle or experience back pain, apply ice for 10-20 minutes, several times a day.

 

Back pain is extremely common, and one of the top reasons Americans seek out chiropractic treatment. In fact, up to 50% of working US citizens have experienced back pain this year. Please use these tips as a reminder of proper habits while tending to your yard, and don’t let back pain get you down!

 

Kids Vs. Sports

As much as we want our kids to stay active, and see them excel, doesn’t it sometimes feel like an uphill battle supporting their training regimen at home? There are so many things to remember, do, track, and provide! In the spirit of back-to-school, fall sports, and National Chiropractic Month, here are a few thoughts on keeping athletes healthy and strong:


1.  Eat and drink (real food)! Avoid the temptation of circling the drive-thru by stocking your bag (or your athlete’s) with healthful snacks. Aim for a mixed carb and protein snack 1 hour before practice. Smoothies are convenient if a blender is accessible. Try a handful of spinach, along with a scoop of high-quality, organic whey, soy, or plant protein powder, a banana, berries, and enough water to blend. You won’t taste the greens or have to slow down to eat a salad, but will still reap the benefits of all the strength-building minerals that greens offer! Other add-ins to try: chia seeds for Omega 3 fats and protein, or raw honey for added immunity benefits.

2. Avoid heavily caffeinated, sugary, or carbonated drinks. Sports drinks seem  to have all but replaced water on the playing field. They do serve a purpose, if a training regimen is intense, and over an hour in length. However, coconut water or watery fruits can work similarly without any chemicals or added sugar. Give it a try! If not, consume sports drinks “responsibly” (i.e. sparingly).

3. Supplement with vitamins and minerals, NOT performance-enhancing substances. Creatine might be all the rage among body-builders and pro athletes, but for a young athlete it is not usually recommended. A high-quality, organic multi-vitamin, along with a pinch of extra Vitamin C and a dash of B Vitamins are a good place to start.   Feel free to ask us for help with a nutrition/supplement plan if you have questions or aren’t sure what to buy.

Of course, getting adjusted regularly, sleeping, stretching, and exercising properly are other imperative aspects of a healthy training routine. Chiropractic adjustments can be performed on any extremity (not just the spine) and help the body both to recover from, and prepare for, competitions and practice by increasing blood flow to muscle tissue and aligning the skeleton. However, it’s so easy to skip over the nutrition piece because kids seem to run on anything we feed them, and are just so resilient!

Remind young athletes to be aware of how they feel after eating a certain snack at a certain time, not sleeping, or not stretching, etc… If they don’t already, they will eventually begin to realize how their choices affect their performance. Then you can feel good about making the extra effort to support a healthy training regimen on and off the field. Gooooooo team!