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.

Headaches are a very common complaint that millions of people suffer from. The causes of headaches are numerous and can include

-toxicity (i.e. air pollution)

-chronic stress

-tight muscles

-food allergies

-physical trauma

-eye strain

 

However common these are there is something much more common at the root of many headaches… misaligned spinal vertebra.

 

This is referred to as a subluxation.

 

A spinal vertebra being misaligned causes headaches in 3 ways.

 

-Pinches nerves that supply the neck muscles thereby reducing the function of the muscles in the neck.

 

-Putting additional strain on the muscles in the neck to compensate for the misalignment.

 

-Irritates the joint capsule (soft tissue holding joints together) of the involved joints.

 

These three things combined lead to tension headaches and also contribute to migraine headaches.  By addressing the misaligned vertebra with chiropractic adjustments the bones are returned to their natural alignment and headaches are improved or resolved entirely.

 

If you have regular headaches consider scheduling an appointment with a chiropractor today. It could be the best thing you ever do for your headaches.

 

 

This week we have a special blog post from Glenwood City trainer and wellness coach Sandy Kopecky.  Sandy regularly works with people to not only increase their strength and endurance but also to help stabilize shoulders, low backs, necks and more. This blog post focuses on ways to stabilize the back and she shares 3 simple exercises she recommends to reduce back pain.

From Sandy…

 

Back Pain….Here are my Top Three Back Exercises that I use in my Training Classes with great success.  Remember the point of these three is not to get stronger, but to build endurance and control of your spine.

  1. The Bird-Dog

This exercise involves the core muscles, back muscles and even the glutes!

~~To start get on the floor on your hands and knees in a quadruped position. Make sure that your back is relatively flat.

~~Raise your left arm forwards and at the same time extend your right leg straight back.

~~Raise your arm and leg until they are in line with your torso. To increase activation of your back muscles even more during this exercise, you can clench the fist of the arm you’re raising,

~~I suggest start with 1- 20 sec hold and switch to the other side and repeat. If you feel sharp pain in back drop leg slightly.

2. Child’s Pose (this is one of my favorites)

There are so many benefits to this…it helps relieve stress, stretches the hips and thighs….Plus Child pose gently stretches the low back, massages and tones the abdominal organs, and stimulates digestion and elimination.  ***Not recommended if you have severe knee injuries or if you are in your third trimester of pregnancy.***

~~Begin on all fours. Exhale and lower the hips to the heels and forehead to the floor. Have the knees together or if more comfortable, spread the knees slightly apart.

~~The arms can be overhead with the palms on the floor, the palms or fists can be stacked under the forehead, or the arms can be along side the body with the palms up.

~~Breathe slowly and deeply, actively pressing the belly against the thighs on the inhale.

~~Breathe and hold for 4-12 breaths.

~~To release: place the palms under the shoulders and slowly inhale up to a seated position.

3. Seated Knee to Chest Stretch

This is especially helpful for those that cannot get on the floor AND for the office workers sitting all day.

~~While sitting in a chair (please make sure the chair is stable), raise one knee as if you are marching until you can reach it with your hands.

~~Use both hands to pull the bent knee up toward your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the lower back and back of the hip.

~~Your hands can be on top of your knee or behind your knee for comfort.

~~Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, then repeat 3-5 times on each side.

 

Added Tips:

Changing positions, taking breaks, and walking are still great ways to relieve strain, but performing the stretches explained in this article will improve your flexibility and may help reduce your risk for back pain….and of course scheduling adjustments with Dr. Austin will help keep your back pain free.

 

Sandra Kopecky:  Personal Trainer/Wellness Mindset Coach

Sandy’s Health & Wellness Studio

Power Packed Snacks!

Having a mid day energy drop?  Rather than reaching for a coffee, soda or sugar laden snack why not have something loaded with nutrients your body needs AND tastes great? It’s incredibly easy to bring these portable, delicious and absolutely nutrient packed snacks to work, on the road or anywhere else you find yourself needing a nutritious snack.

Peanut Butter and Raw Cocoa Nibs

Of all the power snacks out there this one is probably my favorite.  Just take 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of raw cocoa nibs over it. Never heard of raw cocoa nibs? They are raw fragments of cocoa beans, the magic ingredient in chocolate! Raw cocoa has significant amounts of magnesium, iron, fiber and enough healthy fat to help you feel full and energized after eating it.  Peanut butter? Well, it just tastes great when mixed with chocolate and supplies some protein to help you feel full longer so you aren’t temped to reach for another snack a few hours later.

Blueberries and Chia Seeds with Coconut Yogurt

Soak 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in about 3 tablespoons of water for 30 minutes. Then just mix the berries, seeds and as much coconut yogurt as you want.  Blueberries are chock full of antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber and are excellent for healing the gut if you have digestive issues.  Chia seeds offer omega 3 fatty acids to combat inflammation, protein and fiber as well as magnesium and other minerals that are essential to overall good health. The coconut yogurt adds flavor and some probiotics which are needed to properly absorb nutrients. This power snack is a bodies best friend so eat early and often!

Ants on a Log

You knew this one was coming right? Actually this kid favorite is a perfect snack for grownups on the run too.  Just cut a few sticks of celery into thirds, spread on either almond butter or peanut butter and stick a few raisins into the nut butter.  Celery is a powerfully androgenic veggie (it promotes muscle growth). It also helps the body flush out toxins that accumulate from air pollution and other environmental toxins.  The nut butter provides protein and fat which helps you feel full longer. Raisins are an overlooked super food. They have plenty of boron, which is used in the bodies energy pathways, and have resveratrol, the super phytonutrient in red grapes that has been shown to promote cardiovascular health.

These snacks are some of my go to eats when I’m busy, stressed or otherwise just need an energy boost.  Try them out and don’t be afraid to tinker with the recipes! Let me know you have any energy boosting snacks you love. It’s always good to hear what other people are up to!

Arvold Chiropractic Blog

How Stress Breaks Down Health

stress therapy and management helps in relaxation reduce tension and relief negativity become relaxed not stressed reduction of negative vibes destressing trough meditation and concentration

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 … Continue reading

Is it a Pinched Nerve? 3 Telltale Signs to Look For

pinched nerve, 3D rendering, a red waving flag

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 … Continue reading

The BIGGEST Mistake People Make With Chiropractic

Businessman about to slip on a banana peel. Digital illustration.

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) … Continue reading