As a chiropractor I see patients suffering from headaches literally every week.  Often when I ask what precipitated the headaches or if there is a certain cause they are aware of the answer is “No, it just came out of nowhere.” Or the famous “I must have slept wrong”.

 

Now anyone who suffers from regular headaches knows just how debilitating the pain can be.  And the awful feeling when the headache continues for not just a day but multiple days in a row. They almost seem to get worse and worse until finally the person breaks down and takes medication or in the case of the people who come see me, get the neck adjusted.

 

In almost every single case of headaches I see the neck exam reveals joints in the neck are painful to the touch, are not moving properly and often refer pain up into the head.  This is the resulting injury from a subluxation, or a joint in the neck that is out of alignment and therefore causing abnormal movement of the joints in the neck.

 

When a joint is not working properly it puts undue stress on not only the joint involved but the muscles in the neck and in upper back and head.  When the condition persists over days, weeks or months it gradually worsens until one day the headache “just comes out of nowhere.” The seeds of the headache have been growing for quite some time but have just now started to present with actual symptoms.

 

Most people will have some degree of subluxation in the spine after 2-3 weeks from their last adjustment, assuming they are being adjusted at all. If the condition remains untreated after about 8 weeks (2 months) some of the damage to the spine from the lack of normal motion can become permanent.  This can present as degeneration of cartilage between the joints, thinning of the disc between the actual vertebrae or the accumulation of calcium deposits where there is bone pressing on bone which eventually becomes arthritis.

 

The headaches are simply a beacon that something is not right and needs correcting.  Regular chiropractic care corrects spinal subluxations that lead to the accumulation of wear and tear on the spinal joints that ultimately results in the headaches. Addressing this underlying issue not only resolves the headaches but sets the person up for a healthy spine now and in the future.

Smoothies have long been one of the easiest and healthiest things to make for breakfast. Usually they have greens, some berries or other fruit but this recipe is anything but ordinary and is super healthy.

 

Oh and did I mention this smoothie is seriously healthy? It supplies vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fat and the goodness of cinnamon and nutmeg. This time of year its a great breakfast or quick meal to not only taste great but give your immune system a nice boost so you don’t get sick.

 

It’s great weather your looking to sooth an irritated gut lining, add fiber or make an easy meal replacement shake.  It also works well for keto dieters provided you don’t go too high on the pumpkin.

 

Also, it’s very easy to make. It literally takes 1-2 minutes.  All you need is some canned pumpkin, coconut milk, nutmeg and cinnamon and a little water.

 

The Recipe

1/2 cup pumpkin

1/3 cup whole coconut milk

1 cup water

3-4 dashes each of cinnamon and nutmeg

Place all ingredients in blender and pulse until smooth.

 

That’s it! Just blend and enjoy!

 

Its cold out. Its flu season. Some days it feels like almost everyone is fighting a cold, cough or sore throat. Its times like this people crave… hot soup!

 

While many commercial soups are absolutely loaded with sodium, artificial flavors and sometimes questionable meat sources home made soups tend to be much healthier and much more flavorful making them a much more desirable option than normal canned soups.

 

This year try this simple (it literally takes 10 minutes to make) and healthy soup that warm you up while providing your body with all the nutrients it needs to fight off those nasty bugs all season long.

 

Ingredients:

1 can of butternut squash

4 cups chicken bone broth

2 tablespoons of ghee or virgin coconut oil

¼ onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

 

How to Make:

Add the ghee or coconut oil to medium heated pan.  When oil is hot (2-3 minutes) and fully melted add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add ½ cup of the bone broth to mixture. Transfer mixture to a blender, Nutra bullet or other blender. Pulse mixture until smooth.

 

Meanwhile, add the can of squash and remaining broth to pan and whisk until smooth. Now, add the onion/garlic mixture to squash and broth and continue mixing until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

*I recommend Redmond REAL salt.  It is available in most grocery stores.  This is salt mined in Utah out of an ancient salt deposit.  It has a much higher mineral content than normal salt.

 

I like making a batch of soup and then eating is over the nest 2-3 days.  It’s loaded with healthy ingredients that boost your immune system, are easy to digest yet still has plenty of protein and healthy fat (bone broth has 9g of protein per cup) to nourish your body.  You can also make modifications easily. Try adding ginger, turmeric or other spices to vary the flavor. You can also add chicken or other meats too.

There is a great quote that if your health problems disappear on vacation, then your body isn’t the problem. Your life is.

 

Stress is a very real part of modern life and experts now believe it contributes or causes something like 90% of all disease.  Think about that for minute.  Stress is the underlying cause of virtually all disease. Things I see almost weekly are headaches caused by stress, aches and pains flared up from stress and just overall body soreness for no real reason (Hint: It’s probably stress).

 

So how does stress cause so many negative effects? Well its easy really.  Seriously think in your mind of three people you know right now who have zero stress, are never worried, have no lingering health concerns and who never or rarely complains about life.  Did you even get to 1?

 

The truth is everyone is stressed out. TOO stressed out. As a society we have become stressed to the point where virtually everyone has some stress related condition and it’s getting worse, not better.

 

It works like this.  The body can be in either fight or flight stress mode, or it can be in relaxed wine and dine mode. There is no in between.  This served us well when the main stress was avoiding getting eaten or capturing dinner. But now in modern life? Not so good since you can’t fight a bill, a deadline or a family problem and then its just over.  The question “what if?” leads people down the road of hypothetical possibilities that can trigger a stress reaction. This leads many people into a cycle of stress reactions caused by thoughts.

 

This is important because the moment the body enters stress mode digestion comes to a halt, healing of tissue is stopped, the normal replenishing of hormones and enzymes stops. The body is ready for it’s emergency and when nothing happens it more or less stays in fight or flight mode until the next event happens.  If you don’t watch your body and take steps to relax frequently during the day you run the risk of being in an almost perpetual state of fight or flight which leads the to gradual but steady breakdown of body systems.

 

This is why de-stressing is so important. You can eat all the organic produce and exercise daily but if you are always stressed, you go to sleep stressed, you wake up stressed you are only delaying the inevitable.  If you want to experience true health you will need to start to assess the stress in your own life. What people or events trigger a stress reaction? How easily to thoughts turn to worries that become a chronic stress for you? What steps can you take to reduce stress in your life?

 

If you can’t answer these questions bring it up to me at your next chiropractic visit (Fun fact: chiropractic helps reduce stress by improving the functioning of the entire body).  I can help you assess your personal stress levels. We can begin to look at natural ways for you to lower stress and make changes in your life that will facilitate lower stress levels.

If you have ever had a pinched nerve believe me, you knew it.  Of all the many musculoskeletal conditions I have treated in my almost 10 years of clinical practice few conditions present with as much pain and ability to disrupt a person’s day to day life.

 

Pinched nerves commonly occur in the spine where a misaligned vertebra, called a subluxation, puts pressure on the nerve root. The nerve root is simply where the nerve exits the spinal cord and becomes a peripheral nerve. They can range in severity from relatively minor to severe.

 

The spine is a complex system of joints which allow us remarkable freedom of movement. As such however it can also cause many different problems when things don’t work the way they are supposed to. So how do you determine if you do in fact have a pinched nerve?

 

In my experience the top three things to look for which distinguish a pinched nerve from other problems in the spine are

 

Shooting Pain- when pain shoots down the arms or legs on either or both sides from the spine chances are very good you are experiencing a pinched nerve.  The nerves that exit the spine in the lower neck/upper back and the low back merge once they leave the spine to form the nerves in the arms and legs. This is why problems in the neck or back can cause the shooting pain down the arms or legs.

 

Muscular Weakness- one of the places the nerves serve in the body is the muscles.  If a nerve is being pinched it is akin to stepping on a garden hose to stymie its flow. In similar fashion when a nerve is pinched the full signal from the brain to the muscle is diminished and muscle weakness can be the result.

 

Numbness, Tingling or Burning in the Extremities- Pain caused by nerve injury is different than muscle or other soft tissue injury.  Instead of aching pain nerve pain commonly manifests as numb, tingling or burning pain.  If you have ever struck your “funny bone” you know what this can feel like. The funny bone is not a bone at all but the relatively unprotected ulnar nerve.  Upon striking it you also probably experienced the other 2 types of symptoms listed above, shooting pain and weakness as well.

 

 

What do you about it?

 

While medical treatments such as steroids and injections are sometimes use these simply mask the problem, which is physical in nature.  In cases of pinched nerves chiropractic is the treatment of choice since it removes the cause of the problem, the misaligned bones pressing on the nerves.  Expect treatment for a condition such as this to last up to several weeks depending on the severity of the condition when treatment is started.  Also, icing the affected areas of the spine can be beneficial. Be consistent with your treatment plan and adopt a maintenance policy once healed and you should be able to resume a pain free life.

Contrary to popular belief your back does not usually just “go out”. Like one moment its fine and the next there is a problem.  While it is possible for a traumatic injury to cause a subluxation (bone out of place) which then needs correction with chiropractic care the normal route is much more subtle.

Have you ever noticed that you and people you know well have certain spots in the neck or back that you consider your trouble spots? Maybe it’s the neck being tight causing headaches, or maybe a lower back that’s always “going out” on you and causing pain. Regardless of the area the underlying cause of these problems is not a mysterious “going out” of the back. Rather, it is the accumulation of small repetitive stresses on the spine through posture, repetitive movements at work or home and repetitive postures such as sitting at a desk or driving a car.

Here’s the key

It builds up slowly.  Let’s say you start a new job. Suddenly you are required to sit for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. In addition you are on the phone most of the time and have your neck tilted to hold the phone on your shoulder several hours a day.  Within a few weeks you develop lower back pain and occasional headaches that were not a common occurrence prior to taking the job.

 

Notice how the problem did not start on Day 1 at the new job. It took time to build up. This is the case in most of the people I help treat.  Something they do regularly slowly caused the bones in the areas being stressed to slowly get out of place. As this progressed the connective tissue surrounding the joint becomes irritated from the stress of the bone being out of alignment. Eventually it is out far enough that the nerve is irritated as well and the muscle tightens up.

 

Once the nerve is irritated and the muscle is guarding the area, which the body perceives as an injury, this is when the gateway opens to real problems. Chronic pain develops. Joints being to wear out. Disc injury becomes more of a possibility over time.  It’s a slow process that wears down the body and the only way to correct the issue is chiropractic care.

 

This misalignment of joints is the primary cause of countless cases of headaches, backaches, sciatica, shoulder problems, numbness in hands and feet and so many more.  It can even cause low energy, weakened immune system function and problems with digestion and many other things because the nerves exiting the spine don’t just go the muscles. They go to the organs as well.

The Take Away Point

This is the reason chiropractic care is so important.  It’s not all about pain relief. It’s about addressing something while it’s still a small problem and preventing it from becoming a big problem. Or in some cases, taking care of a big problem and then making sure it never comes back.  If your reading this and its be a while since your last adjustment or worse yet, if you have never been adjusted pick up your phone, fire up your computer, do whatever you need to do but get and see your chiropractor and start back on the path to living as health a life as possible.

Want Less Stress? Start With These 3 Things

Stress. It’s today hot button word in the health world.  By now you’ve probably heard about how frequent stress leads to chronic inflammation which is at the cause of many of todays biggest health challenges.

These problems can range from heart disease to chronic headaches but what many conditions have in common is that chronic stress is the common denominator.

Reducing stress takes more than just taking it easy after work or school.  You need to make some serious life style changes. The modern world is stressful from work deadlines to family relationships the next stressful event is just around the corner. So how do you start to de-stress your life?

This article looks at the basics.  In my experience, both professional and personal, these are the first 3 things to do in order to begin to destress your life.

 

  1. Get Enough Sleep– American is chronically sleep deficient. Sleep is when your body repairs damage and if you are not sleeping at least 7-8 hours a night your body is slowly losing the wear and tear battle with life.

 

  1. Exercise– Seriously. Just get up and move. Anything will do as long as you break a sweat and get the heart pumping. Walking, running, lifting weights, yoga, or any other activity you enjoy. Do it at least 4 times a week. Exercise reduces stress, improves sleep and improves muscle tone and volume which all help reduce inflammation.

 

  1. Chiropractic Care– Get your spine checked at least twice a month. Our day to day activities place stress on the spine which causes subluxations, which are bones out of place putting stress on the nervous system. Over time this leads to chronic muscle tightness, muscle soreness and can progress to symptoms like headaches, tingling in the arms and legs, chronic pain in the back, and many more. It never ceases to amaze me how much better people feel once they start chiropractic care. Often subluxations being small and get worse in such a way that most people don’t even realize how compromised their spine is.

 

These are the 3 things I recommend starting with. They are simple to start doing and will give the biggest initial boost in energy and overall health. Still not sure how to begin? Call me at Arvold Chiropractic and I will help you get going. Start now because the longer stress goes on unaddressed the bigger the problems become.

Chiropractic care is awesome because it eliminates the underlying cause of many conditions, subluxations.  A subluxation is simply when a bone or joint in the body is out of place and putting stress on the muscle, tendon and ligaments in the area (which causes pain) and pinching the nerves exiting the spine in that area (which causes decreased function).

Subluxations typically cause pain in the area they are and can also cause headaches, upset stomachs, heart palpitations, sciatic pain and shoulder pain just to name a few.  If the condition is caused by a subluxation then all the pain medication, physical therapy, or drug treatments won’t do much but offer temporary relief.

So how common are subluxations? Extremely common. The spine is a dynamic structure and unless you sit on the couch all day you have a subluxation in your spine right now. Actually even if you sit on the couch all day you still have subluxations from all the extra pressure sitting puts on the lumbar spine!  The situation is similar do dentistry in that almost every time you go to the dentist you have some areas in the teeth that are starting to look or feel like a potential cavity is forming.  The spine is the same way. The question is to what degree is the subluxation a problem?

Because we know that there are areas of the spine developing problems all the time anybody who cares about the health of their spine should receive 1-2 adjustments per month. This keeps the spinal joints functioning as normally as possible which slows down and prevents the formation of arthritis and degenerative disc disease, both of which become extremely problematic later in life if not addressed when a person is much younger.

So how do you get the most out of your chiropractic visits? As a practicing doctor who myself gets adjusted 2-4 times per month these are my recommendations.

 

First, come in and get adjusted BEFORE you have a problem.  Nip it in the bud when its just a minor problem instead of waiting until you can’t not come in because of pain, weakness or some other symptom.  This is so easy and yet many people wait until the problem is severe before taking action. This is a big mistake!

 

Second, be consistent. Set up a plan so you don’t miss your visits.  Once you feel good (which you will with regular chiropractic care) it’s easy to sluff off and miss appointments. Before long your right back where you started. Be Consistent and you will get so much more out your chiropractic visits.

There you have it. The simple way to get the most out of your chiropractic care.  Our office is a life-long, family based practice so if it’s been a while, or you know the kids need a tune up or you actually have an active problem call us today to schedule and appointment.  We are here to help.

Here is another article by Sandy Kopecky. This little gem is about finding out what works for you and making it… SUSTAINABLE!  Fads come and go but in the end its all about making health work for you.  Whether its chiropractic care, exercise, diet or whatever it is it won’t do you much good if your not consistent.

 

This is how you find sustainable health.

 

In this instant gratification world, commitment seems to have gone by the wayside for many.

 

We have so much information at our fingertips that leaves us with our head whirling like a toy top that spins out of control.

 

So what do we do…what information do we listen to….or more importantly…who do we listen to?

 

Is it our friend that swears by that shake she is drinking that she is losing all that weight?  Is it by someone in your “newsfeed” that keeps popping up telling you how healthy they have become by doing this_______?

Is it by something you goggled and it just has to be true…because that is what this “site” states!

 

The funny thing is that many of us believe (or want to believe) that we are doing something healthy.

 

One important element is missing …the realm of taking committed action towards themselves and their lives that is sustainable without the yo-yo effect.

 

If you want to manifest a better life whether it be weight loss, taking control of your thoughts, or that your body is functioning at the best level, the first thing you need to manifest is a strong commitment and seek out those that can actually help you on this journey.

 

Without commitment, you’re pretty much done as soon as you start to feel frustrated or as soon as your initial enthusiasm or excitement wears off.

 

If you want to learn more, please feel free to contact me or Dr. Austin.

By now you have probably heard of turmeric. This potent root has been heralded for its numerous health benefits. Some of these are reducing inflammation, increasing the anti-oxidant potential of the body and reducing the likely-hood of heart attacks and cancer.

 

It’s a wonderful addition to any kitchen and along with its health boosting properties it also adds a delicious spice to many dishes.  I have been cooking with turmeric for years and below are 3 of my favorite ways to add this spice into meals.

 

Scrambled Eggs with Curry Powder

Turmeric is the base spice of curry, an Indian spice mixture that imparts a warm, slightly spicy flavor to many foods.  To add it in with scrambled eggs simple add a teaspoon of curry powder to 4-6 eggs in the pan and scramble like normal. You can add peppers, onions, mushrooms, nitrate free bacon or any other ingredients you normally add to your scrambled eggs. The flavor is not overpowering and adds a mild sweetness and warmth to the dish.

 

Bone Broth w/ Turmeric or Curry powder

This incredibly easy to prepare broth mixture tastes great and delivers a dose of protein and micro nutrients including magnesium and potassium.  When mixed with a few dashes of either turmeric or curry powder you can add not only the delicious flavor of the spices but also the numerous health benefits as well.

 

*Bone broth itself is pretty bland.  I usually add Redmond REAL salt to mine with the turmeric or curry.  This salt is incredible and comes right from a mine in Utah. Its completely unprocessed and contains trace micronutrients not found in normal table salt.

 

Beef or Chicken Stir Fry with Curry or Turmeric

The next time you make a stir fry try adding a tablespoon or either curry or turmeric powder.  Just add it during the last minute or 2 of cooking and stir vigorously to mix the spice into the meat and veggie mixture.  If you are a fan of Indian cooking you will absolutely love this addition to an already delicious meal.  Making sure to cook the curry or turmeric a bit releases some of the flavor into the food and makes for a savory and healthy meal.

 

These recipes are just the tip of the iceberg as ar as using turmeric in your cooking. Experiment and try out different amounts, spice mixtures and foods to mix it with.  My many years of working with food and helping people change their diet to enhance health are always available to you.  In addition to my blog I offer functional medicine, nutritional counseling and chiropractic services. Call us if you need any help in any of these areas.

Arvold Chiropractic Blog

Headaches: Getting to the Root Cause

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As a chiropractor I see patients suffering from headaches literally every week.  Often when I ask what precipitated the headaches or if there is a certain cause they are aware of the answer is “No, it just came out of … Continue reading

Try This Pumpkin Pie Smoothie for Breakfast!

Row of fresh pumpkin coconut smoothies shooters on orange polka dot napkins and straws sitting on wooden table

Smoothies have long been one of the easiest and healthiest things to make for breakfast. Usually they have greens, some berries or other fruit but this recipe is anything but ordinary and is super healthy.   Oh and did I … Continue reading

Souper Power Your Immune System With This Easy To Make Soup

Bowl with pumpkin soup and and baked butternut squash

Its cold out. Its flu season. Some days it feels like almost everyone is fighting a cold, cough or sore throat. Its times like this people crave… hot soup!   While many commercial soups are absolutely loaded with sodium, artificial … Continue reading