You’ve been in the car or the plane for hours, your back is aching and your legs are stiff and sore; you can’t wait to stand up and get moving again. We’ve all been there. This summer, plan for a pain-free travel experience by making small changes that can make a big difference in how you feel.
"Prolonged sitting causes a buildup of pressure in the blood vessels in your lower legs, which causes soreness" explains Scott Bautch, DC, president of the ACA Council on Occupational Health. “Simple moves, such as stretching or contracting and relaxing your muscles, can increase blood flow.”
“Treat travel like an athletic event,” he suggests. “Warm up before getting into a car or on the plane, and cool down once you reach your destination. For example, taking a short, brisk walk to stretch your hamstring and calf muscles before and after a long trip can help prevent problems.”
Consider these additional tips for healthier travels:
Travel by Car
Take rest breaks and take the opportunity to move around to refresh yourself. Never underestimate the potential consequences of fatigue to yourself, your passengers and other drivers. Get out and move aroundYour spine is designed to move. Sitting in one position in a car will stiffen up your back muscles and can lead to achiness and possibly muscle spasm. If possible, plan ahead for to schedule stops—ideally every 30 minutes—and get out of the car so you can move around and stretch. Movement stimulates blood circulation, which brings nutrients and oxygen to your lower back.
In between exercise stops, try to move a little in your seat. Even 10 seconds of movement and stretching is better than sitting still. At a minimum adjust your seat and change your position slightly every 15 to 20 minutes. Pump your ankles to keep the blood flowing and provide a slight stretch in your hamstring muscles . Any movement that is safe to do in the car will help you out.
Bring along a cold pack
If you have back pain, it may be a good idea to bring an ice pack or cold pack along in the car with you.
Most back pain is accompanied by inflammation. Applying a cold pack can reduce the inflammation and numb sore tissues. Please remember to always use a towel or another protective barrier to avoid ice burn.
Here are some options:
Real Food Not Junk
Everyone knows that gas station hot dogs and liters of sugary sodas aren’t good for us but that doesn’t stop us from consuming them, especially while on a long road trip. People travel thousands of miles for the holidays and stopping at fast food restaurants seems like the best idea when you just want to get wherever you’re going in the fastest way possible.
While junk food doesn’t make you feel good and can cause indigestion, did you know it could also cause other forms of pain? If you eat well most of the time but suddenly introduce your body to food of the junk variety your systems could reject it in curious ways. A healthy diet for a healthy person keeps the body’s insulin levels regulated naturally. When you add a sudden influx of unhealthy food the body goes into overtime producing insulin that can cause inflammation, aches, and pain. Imagine what junk food does to a person over an extended period of time.Not only will this snack bag keep you fueled, but it will also help you resist the temptation to stop for less healthy food options on the road. Be sure, however, to make sure that your snack options are healthy and not sugar loaded, particularly if you have kids joining you on this road trip. Healthy snack options might include string cheese, rice cakes, nuts, and apple slices. Don’t neglect your hydration either– bring a cooler packed with plenty of water.
Travel by Airplane
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR POSTURE
Don't have your wallet, cell phone, or anything else in your back pocket, as that may throw your spine out of alignment.
Reduce reaching for the steering wheel, which places more stress on the lumbar spine, neck, shoulder, and wrists. Instead, sit as close to the steering wheel as possible without compromising your safety.
Sit up straight with your knees slightly higher than your hips, and keep your chin pulled in so that your head sits straight on top of your spine.
Make sure that your back is aligned against the back of your seat. For most people, this means adding extra support to the car seat. There are many specialized cushions and pillows that can help with sciatica pain or lower back pain . Commonly available cushions can be gel-filled made of memory foam materials. You can also use a small pillow or roll up a scarf and place it between your lower back and the seat to support the contour of the inward curve in your lower back. Here at Chiropractic Associates in Paris, Texas we have a wonderful lumbar support pillow that we recommend for your long summer trips!
Fall means football, flu season, and that last stretch of pleasant weather before winter kicks in. Days are getting shorter, temperatures are getting cooler, and as the holidays approach, it’s a tempting time to slip out of exercise routines and pack on the pounds.
This guide provides helpful tips to promote health and wellness throughout the season.
Weather Change and Your Body
A change in weather can also mean a shift in the way your body’s muscles and bones feel—and sound! The Arthritis Foundation reports that a drop in temperature or barometric pressure can definitely correspond to an increase in arthritis pain and pressure inside joints.
Watch the Weather Report
Thunderstorms that come with fall weather also bring about pollutants such as pollen, smoke and mold, which can aggravate allergy suffers. Additionally, the foundation found that 50 to 80 percent of people who suffer from migraines get them more when weather changes. Patricia Prince, M.D. performed a two-year study of migraine sufferers in 2004. She asked them to document their migraine patterns over that time and then she compared them to National Weather Service records. She found, according to the foundation, that about half of the study participants got migraines that coincided with weather changes.
Acupuncture can provide relief and ease allergies. Acupuncture may be used to compliment your current allergy fighting routine or can be used alone. It can even help strengthen the body and prevent reactions to allergens in the first place. Unlike antihistamines and decongestants, acupuncture is free of side effects, such as drowsiness and immune system suppression.
Prioritize Physical Activity
Take advantage of the sunlight and try exercising outside as much as possible. You’ll get a boost of disease-fighting vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin,” which is harder to come by naturally as winter approaches and the days grow ever shorter. Research shows that it’s easier to focus on activities while you’re outdoors, so you may be more likely to keep up with a fitness program if it’s taking place outside.
With after-school activities, holidays, and busy weekends, finding time to work out can be a challenge, especially if you have younger children. Try breaking up your workout into a few mini sessions throughout the day. Try taking a walk at lunch. A few minutes of stretching in the morning before leaving for work can make it easier to fit fitness in around the day’s activities.
Recruiting a friend as a workout buddy can keep you accountable to each other. A gym partner can motivate you to show up for your workout instead of putting it off.
It is possible to keep yourself healthier during the winter months. Here are some tips to help you keep as healthy as possible:
It goes without saying, if you are running a high fever for an extended period of time, are becoming dehydrated or are feeling the ‘effects’ of a serious flu episode, seek medical attention immediately.
Maintain Good Nutrition
With such a variety in season, eating well as the leaves turn doesn’t have to be a chore. These seasonal fruits and veggies tend to be hearty, filling foods that can satisfy your hunger during colder weather.
While a fridge and pantry stocked with seasonal produce is a great start, fall also brings an array of eating habits to watch out for.
From tailgating at football games to the Thanksgiving table, the temptation to overeat is everywhere. You don’t have to cut out all the bad stuff entirely, but watch your portions and try eating more of the healthier foods at the spread. Try to eat half a plate of fruits and veggies and leave the other half for everything else.
Avoid empty, liquid calories like soda and alcohol as much as possible and limit your holiday treats to gatherings. Halloween candy and sugary food gifts are common this time of year. Don’t keep seasonal cookies and candies around the house, where you’re more likely to munch on them.
Athletes can experience many different benefits from receiving chiropractic care. Not only can adjustments help when treating injuries from high-impact sports such as wrestling, football, and hockey, but they offer other benefits as well. It’s been shown that high-impact sports can place the same amount of strain on the body as an auto collision. Athletes getting routine adjustments may notice improved athletic performance, improved range of motion (especially in endurance athletes), better flexibility, increased blood flow, and may suffer from fewer injuries. Because spinal adjustments will reduce the irritation of the nerve roots between the vertebrae, the healing time from minor injuries can be shortened, improving performance.
Both high-impact and low-impact athletes can benefit from routine spinal adjustments. For high-impact athletes, it increases performance and flexibility and lowers the risk for injury; for low-impact athletes (golfers, tennis players, and bowlers), routine adj
THE SHOULDER AND ROTATOR CUFF
The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the human body. We are able to reach over our head, behind our back, and across the front of our body. This extreme motion in the shoulder can lead to shoulder injuries rather easily. The shoulder joint is very shallow and is held together mostly by ligaments. The muscles surrounding the shoulder are what actually give it most of its stability and strength. The rotator cuff is a group of small muscles that hold the humerus, the bone in the upper arm, against the shoulder joint. Several muscles in the upper chest and upper back stabilize the shoulder even further by ensuring smooth and even motion of the shoulder.
Fall and Winter is coming and so is cold and flu season! Colds can be irritating and flu can be dangerous, so at Chiropractic Associates, we do our best to help our patients avoid illnesses and stay healthy. Using a variety of natural methods, we can help our patients build up their immune system and improve their ability to fight off sickness!
SPINAL ADJUSTMENT AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Spinal adjustment is the primary method of treatment that chiropractors use to help patients get healthy and stay healthy. Spinal adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, is done by realigning the vertebrae to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. This technique works in a variety of ways to boost the effectiveness of the immune system. Spinal adjustment helps the body regulate hormones like cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone the body produces in response to stress. Cortisol can inhibit the immune system, which is part of why stress can cause illness. By controlling production of this hormone, spinal adjustment can help the body stay healthy.
Spinal adjustment also helps the immune system by eliminating subluxations. A subluxation is a condition caused by compression of the spinal column in the vertebrae. Subluxations can cause signals from the brain to misfire, resulting in physical dysfunction, leading to a variety of illnesses and diseases. By correcting subluxations, chiropractors can improve the body’s ability to heal itself and fight off illnesses.
SPINAL ADJUSTMENT TO SPEED RECOVERY
Even when illness strikes, spinal adjustment can help speed up the recovery process. Some patients hesitate to come to the chiropractic clinic when they’re not feeling well. We encourage patients suffering from a cold or flu to come in if they’re feeling up to it, because we can help expedite their recovery.
Spinal adjustment isn’t the only method that chiropractors use to boost the immune system. At Choice Chiropractic, we use a variety of natural techniques to keep our patients healthy.
Why Chiropractic Care Should Be in Your Back-To-School Preparations
It’s almost that time of year again, school is starting up again throughout Texas!The summer is winding down, athletics are winding up, and school will be back in session any day. While this obviously brings some excitement, it can also bring a bit of anxiety. But the more prepared you are, the easier the process of going back to school feels for everyone. In the midst of all of the preparations such as buying supplies, picking out new clothes, and tending to busy schedules, it can be easy to forget about one of the most important aspects of preparing for school: Your health. To get a jumpstart on a healthy school year, take a look at these reasons to make chiropractic care a part of your routine.
Because Books are Heavy
It’s a rite of passage for kids: A fresh, colorful new backpack to start off the school year. While there’s no doubt that using a backpack makes carrying books easier, there’s some debate about whether a heavy backpack is harmful to a child’s health, potentially causing chronic back pain or back injuries.When kids go back to school, they come home with backpacks full of heavy books and supplies. A heavy bag might cause or exacerbate misalignments of the spine. These misalignments can cause pain and discomfort that won’t go away until the misalignments are corrected. This is where chiropractors may be able to step in and make a big difference.
Children who habitually carry heavy or unbalanced backpacks may develop the following conditions:
BACKPACK SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN
Here are 10 tips for parents and children to help avoid back pain:
Because Germs Will Be Rampant
Because the spine is a part of the central nervous system, its health greatly affects every system in the body, including the immune system. The healthier the spine, the healthier the CNS, and the healthier the immune system. When kids go back to school, they’ll be exposed to all sorts of new germs and illnesses. By getting regular chiropractic care, you may help keep the immune system boosted, and germs far away.
Because It Starts the Year Off Right
Starting off the school year on the right foot may make or break the entire year. Beginning the year with chiropractic care may help you begin with better health, a more comfortable body, and a bit more flexibility, both physically and mentally. Because this sort of care can make you feel generally better and improve overall health, it’s a great way to get your school year started and your health on the right path.
If you would like to try chiropractic care, visit with chiropractors at Chiropractic Associates. At Chiropractic Associates we have affordable pricing that makes getting care easier than ever. Before your kids go back to school, get them on a path to wellness that can last all year long. Check out Chiropractic Associates as soon as today for quality care and a great addition to your back-to-school preparations.
DID YOU KNOW that structural shifts in the spine can happen from the birth process?
A typical birth can place 60-90 lbs of force onto an infant’s head and neck. While most children are okay, these shifts have been associated with colic, constipation, sleep issues and trouble feeding. Early check ups can help prevent structural shifts from becoming a chronic problem.
For newborns and infants, the path to good health begins with a natural drug-free approach. Well, chiropractic care provides just that. Like adults, newborns and infants can benefit in a variety of ways from spinal alignment through chiropractic adjustments. Let’s not forget they were curled up in a tiny ball for nine months being sloshed around while Mom went about her life -- so you’d be a little out of alignment, too! Here are a few things to look for.
Nothing starts your day off better than getting a good night's SLEEP ! And sleeping with the right pillow can help.
"Pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge," says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Beauty Sleep : Look Younger, Lose Weight , and Feel Great Through Better Sleep .
"A bad pillow won't be the cause of any of these problems, but using the incorrect pillow can certainly exacerbate many of the underlying problems linked to these symptoms , and it certainly can keep you from getting a good night's rest," says Hecht, the co-chief of spine surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.
Is it time to buy a new pillow? Experts say the general rule is to buy a pillow every 12 to 18 months. After two years, it's definitely got to go.
The use of computers in virtually every home, school and workplace environment has given rise to a host of related injuries affecting an unprecedented number of people worldwide
Without even realizing it, people often sit for hours a day hunched over a desk or in front of a computer, with their heads held forward for extended periods of time. Over time, this unnatural position places significant stress on the head, neck, shoulders and back, causing a condition known as Sitting-Down Syndrome. This condition has prompted an exponential increase in the number of people suffering from a variety of ailments that include:
When seated for extended periods of time, muscles contract and eventually become tighter and shorter, placing undue stress on other muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. In an unconscious effort to relieve the pain caused by this condition, your body compensates in a way that weakens your muscles even further. In turn, this repetitive condition leads to even more pain and suffering unless this cycle is interrupted and corrected.
Here are some simple thing to help you through your day!
Sitting on your wallet, in the car or at your desk, obviously also will give you temporarily a crooked spine, because it raises one side of the pelvis. Only slightly you may say, but believe you me, it's significant.
| When sitting on your wallet...
That curvature is only temporary, obviously; only whilst sitting on your back pocket wallet but you can see how a scoliosis, whether for a few moments or permanent, reaches up into the cervical spine. It can and does play havoc with your spine causing headaches and a variety of spinal complaints that continue long after you get out of the car.
In a lateral shift your pelvis or hips will be misaligned causing a high hip on one side and low hip on the other side. This might give you the appearance of one leg being shorter than the other or give you chronic low back pain with or without pain in your gluteus and down your leg. One of the ways we measure and evaluate for lateral shifts is by checking to see if you carry your weight evenly on both legs. Often times people initially have weight balance discrepancies in the 10-15 lbs range and not be able to feel it. If you can imagine the extra wear and tear that happens if your car is out of alignment, you can imagine the extra wear and tear on your body that a lateral shift can cause over time.
When you sit on your wallet or phone you are essentially inducing a lateral shift in your spine. Over time, the repetitive stress of basically sitting on a wedge will induce a more permeant shift in your spine that will stay even after you are no longer on the wedge/ wallet. This happens as the muscles of your lower body being to tighten and adapt to this new structure.
We recommend keeping your wallet in your front pocket and taking it out of your pockets when you are driving or at work. Life has enough stress to throw at us without us consciously contributing to our shift.