Dietary Tips

3829063385_8e46d16540_oA Good Diet Equals Healthy Living

In order to live a healthy lifestyle, there are some essential nutrients which need to be present in your diet. A good chiropractor will also include a diet plan in his treatments to reduce the risk of disease. Here are some dietary tips you can use to improve your health.

Avoid Junk Food

Avoid junk foods with low nutritional values and additives such as artificial flavoring and coloring, as most of them contain chemicals that your body isn’t familiar with and can cause certain problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and irritable bowel movements.

Eat Foods with Good Nutritional Values

Let’s suppose a person has a calorie requirement of 1600 calories a day. He can either get these calories from healthy foods with good nutritional values, such as beans, vegetables or salads, or he can get them through unhealthy foods such as bagels, donuts or junk food. The calorie requirement is the same but he would be getting a more nutritious diet by choosing the former option, thus making him healthier.

Add Unrefined and Uncooked Foods in Your Diet

Natural foods contain relatively more nutrients as compared to their refined counterparts. For example, refined flour lacks the fiber and other nutrients that whole grain contains. Cooking can also destroy many of the beneficial nutrients in food, so it is important to add some raw fruits and vegetables in your diet to balance out the nutrient requirement.

Avoid Fried Food Items

Though they may seem tempting, a high consumption of fried foods can directly lead to certain health problems such as high cholesterol and heart problems. If you live a busy lifestyle which doesn’t give you time to exercise, fried foods can also cause obesity.

Don’t Use Too Much Salt and Sugar 

Too much salt results in high blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of developing health problems. High levels of sugar can also increase the risk of diabetes. Try to reduce the amount of salt or sugar you use in food items.

Ask Your Chiropractor for Advice

As most chiropractors have information on nutritional requirements, you can ask your chiropractor to advise you further on what you should include and what you should exclude from your diet. A chiropractor can also formulate you a proper diet plan which you can follow to stay healthy.

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How Lack of Exercise Affects Health

The_'weigh'_he_was_--_weightloss_at_GuantanamoA lack of exercise results in numerous health problems, starting from seemingly harmless weight gain to cardiovascular diseases and a much higher chance of suffering a stroke.  Research has concluded that as many people die because of the effects of lack of exercise as the number that die from smoking.

This is why chiropractic exercises are strongly recommended to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle and avoid all complications that can lead up to a stroke.

The following problems can occur due to lack of exercise:

1. Obesity

Obesity is one of the major effects of a lack of exercise.  Various health problems can surface due to obesity such as diabetes, breathing issues, high blood pressure and a far greater risk of suffering a heart attack.

Besides the physical effects, many psychological effects also accompany obese people.  Low self-esteem that leads to depression can be a devastating experience.

It is no doubt that obesity can result from genetic factors, but a lack of exercise is usually a major reason.

2. High Blood Pressure

Being overweight can lead to hypertension.  The blood vessels clog up which restricts blood flow.  Hypertension exposes a person to various other risks, such as heart attack, kidney failure and many other ailments.  A hypertensive individual is more likely to develop diabetes.

3. Decline in Brain Function

Exercise helps in increasing the flow of blood to the brain, while lack of exercise does the opposite.  A brain that is deprived of blood cannot function normally as it would otherwise.  The brain can also physically shrink due to the lack of blood supply – a research states that this ‘shrinkage’ can be avoided and mental abilities can be enhanced by regular exercise.

4. Reduction in Strength of Bones and Muscles

A sedentary lifestyle can weaken the bones and muscles, thus exposing an individual to a greater chance of injury as well as diseases such as arthritis.  Lack of exercise can make a person more prone to fractures in case of a fall along with knee-joint and hip problems later on.

5. Increased Chances of Developing Cancer

Research was carried over several years and the results show an increased chance of cancer from a lack of exercise.  Also, people who were physically fit when they developed cancer had a far greater chance of survival than those who had led a sedentary lifestyle.

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Preventing Osteoporosis through a Proper Diet

SONY DSCDiet and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease which thins bone density, leading to weaker bones and a higher risk of herniated disks, which can causes back problems such as Sciatica. Osteoporosis can be very tough to endure, as there is no proper cure for it besides chiropractic, and even then some patients may not respond positively due to the damage done. Therefore, chiropractors advise that a proper diet should be followed, as it can improve bone and muscle density, consequently reducing the chances of Osteoporosis.

The Proper Diet

There are some nutrients in the diet that can help you improve the quality of your bone structure. Vitamin D for example, found in flaxseed and fish oil, strengthens your bones and makes them less susceptible to diseases. However, other substances present in food, such as phytates, can reduce your body’s ability to absorb calcium. Here are some examples of foods that can affect bone health.

High Sodium Foods

Food items high in sodium can cause your body to lose calcium, which is essential in maintaining bone health. This can lead to weakening of bones, eventually resulting in bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Processed foods usually contain a high amount of sodium, so look for their nutritional values and avoid them if they have a high percentage of salt.

Legumes

Although it is true that beans and legumes contain a high amount of calcium, they also contain magnesium and phytates. You can reduce the amount of phytate by boiling the beans before the cooking them.

Wheat bran

Just like beans, wheat bran also contains a high amount of phytates, which reduce calcium absorption.

Caffeine

Similar to phytates, caffeine also interfere with the body’s absorption of calcium. The consumption of caffeine drinks such as tea, coffee or sodas should be moderated, if not completely avoided.

Alcohol

Research suggests that alcohol, among other health problems such as liver disease, can also contribute to loss in bone density.

Spinach

Spinach, though a very healthy source for other nutrients, shouldn’t be counted as a sole source for calcium as they contain oxalates, which doesn’t allow the body to absorb the calcium effectively.

High Protein foods

We all know Protein is good for our health, but too much protein in our diets can also cause our bodies to lose calcium. Eat meat and other high protein foods in moderation.

You may also contact a chiropractor who could recommend you nutritional supplements if you are lacking any of the basic nutrients required in the daily diet.

 

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The Bonus of Blueberries

9254525480_2074aa6e42_zEvery summer, blueberries become available throughout the country. They are native to North America and have been around for thousands of years. They’re not only good for blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes, but for many other uses as well.

Native Americans ate blueberries as food, pounded into dried meat to make pemmican for long journeys. They also used blueberries as a source of medicine. Aviators in the UK during WWII were found to have sharper eyesight after eating bilberry jam (a cousin to the blueberry) every morning for breakfast.

Not only are blueberries tasty and good for your eyes, they offer significant other benefits as well. We’re avoiding the use of the term “super food” but if we weren’t, blueberries would be high on that list.

Cancer. Most foods that are naturally blue or purple have an antioxidant called anthocyanins. These chemicals have some serious cancer-fighting power. In studies involving mice, cancer, and blueberries, the animals who were given blueberries were able fight off both prostate and liver cancer.

Bladder Health. Like cranberries, blueberries have a compound in them that prevent bacteria in the bladder from multiplying. Further, it keeps the bacteria from being able to attach to the wall of the bladder. They are especially effective against E. coli, which is often the culprit when it comes to bladder or urinary tract infections. The next time you have a UTI and are reluctant to pour one more glass of cranberry juice, stock up on some blueberries.

Brain Booster. Another compound in blueberries is the antioxidant called flavonoids. A recent study discovered that women who ate the most blueberries managed to stave off any mental decline as they aged by as much as two and a half years. To keep that memory going, munch on blueberries.

Artery Cleaner.

When our arteries become inflamed, they begin to collect material inside, becoming narrower, providing the potential for a full blockage that could result in a heart attack. Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatories and one study demonstrated that they can reduce the production of the proteins that promote arterial inflammation. Of special note to women, eating more blueberries reduces their chance of a heart attack by as much as thirty percent.

Improved Digestion. Move over probiotics, here come blueberries. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shared that a group of men had a wild blueberry drink every day for six weeks. There was a significant increase in the good bacteria that promotes better digestion and overall improved gut health. When your digestion works well, you generally enjoy improved health.

Enjoy your blueberries as an addition to muffins and pancakes, but branch out. Eat them alone, in smoothies, in salads, in meat stews. They don’t have to be included in a dessert to be enjoyed.

Photo Credit :
Reward for work: Blueberries
from @rsseattle via Flickr

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Choose Chiropractic Care for Healthier Living

Activator_II_adjustment_instrumentChiropractic care is a medical system that aims to eliminate the root of a problem rather than just suppressing the symptoms.  Chiropractors manipulate the spinal column along with other parts of the body with the aim of easing pain, promoting the body’s systems to naturally heal it along with prescribing exercise to eliminate postural problems.

This approach introduces a healthier lifestyle for an individual.

Chiropractic Treatment Techniques

Here are numerous chiropractic treatment techniques that are used in treating patients:

Activator

The activator is a device that is used to correct minor misalignments in the spine.  It sends a small impulse that is sufficient enough to move the vertebrae without causing any injury.

Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (BEST)

This is a non-forceful technique that is used to remove blocked energy in the body and allows it to heal itself.
Cox Flexion Distraction

This procedure is a safe alternate to back surgery and is designed to relieve lower back pain by altering the spinal column.  However, it is also used to treat disc herniation, stenosis, arm and neck pains as well as many other complications.
Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology gauges a muscles’ strength or weakness to find an illness.
Thompson Terminal Point

This technique utilizes a special drop table to adjust the full length of the spine.

Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT)

The SOT technique is designed to reduce and sometimes completely eliminate pain in the head, neck, spinal cord, TMJ as well as improve function of many organs.

 

 

Logan Basic Technique

The Logan technique applies a gentle and sustained pressure at the base of the spine, that corrects the balance of the spinal column and releases tension.
A gentle, sustained pressure is exerted at the base of the spine. Correcting the sacrum corrects the rest of the spine.

Nimmo Technique

Nimmo technique is designed to relieve people of their chronic pain, whether in the muscle system, nervous system or skeletal system.

Orthotics

Orthotics focuses design and construction of external devices that help in modifying the structure of the body, such as uneven leg length, incorrect spinal curvature and tilted pelvis.

Emphasis on Exercise

Chiropractors believe that physical exercise is essential for the well-being of the human body.  This is why they prescribe exercises that are easy to carry out at home.  These exercises aim at reducing or preventing obesity that is a major factor in causing heart diseases, diabetes and many other diseases.

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Chiropractic Care to Relieve Symptoms of Pregnancy

Pregnant_woman2A woman has to get used to the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy for 38 to 42 weeks. There are ways to relieve such pain through medication, but they can pose potential side effects on the mother and the child. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, has shown to have remarkably alleviated the symptoms of back problems associated with pregnancy. Therapy, nutrition and exercise are the basics of the treatment that makes chiropractic and pregnancy go hand in hand.

Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy

Chiropractic treatments are non-invasive and address the misalignment in the spine to alleviate pain. Studies have also shown chiropractic care to have no known side effects on pregnant woman and the innate child. It promotes development in the mother and the baby. The Webster Technique is commonly employed to treat pregnant women, as it tends to apply as less pressure on the abdomen as possible.

Common Symptoms of Pregnancy

Back pains are very common during pregnancy. Women put on extra weight during the period, thus increasing the pressure on the spine. This leads to nerve stress, which can halt the development of a child. Other common symptoms during pregnancy include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Morning sickness
  • Heartburn
  • Shortness of breath
  • High blood pressure
  • Swollen ankles
  • Hormonal changes

Complications That Can Arise

Dislocation of the vertebra, or better known as vertebral subluxation, can interrupt the nervous system and affect the ability of communication within a body. Subluxation can result in:

Nerve Tension – Muscles around the spine become tight and experience inflammation on areas with misalignment in the spine. This adds stress on the nerves, and these nerves lead to various parts and organs in the body, like muscles, glands and blood vessels. Neglecting nerve tension can cause degeneration in various body systems.

Body Imbalance – Subluxation in the neck can lead to head tilting on one side. The righting reflex in the brain causes lower cervical spine to bend on the opposite direction of the head tilt. This can cause one side of the pelvis to draw up, making one leg appear shorter than the other. The uneven distribution of weight puts more stress on the joints. Extremely painful for the mother, it may even cause problems for the baby to get into the right birthing position.

A visit to the chiropractor throughout pregnancy can help you get started with the treatment, and can make the pregnancy and delivery comfortable and faster.

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Postpartum Back Pain

One of the most common problems with late term pregnancy is low back pain. It starts out as an insignificant discomfort, growing day by day until the pain is almost constant. No sitting position provides relief, and even sleeping becomes uncomfortable. For many women, their pain is resolved upon delivery and they go home with their new baby with no memory of their pain. For other new moms, however, they find dealing with the changes a new baby brings to their household more challenging because their back pain remains unresolved, sometimes even intensified. It’s hard to be happy about your newly expanded family when you are dealing with chronic pain.

The Mayo Clinic developed the RUSI, otherwise known as the Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging device. This a radiation free physical therapy tool that allows the therapist to see which muscles are working and which ones are not. With back pain affecting between 50 and 75% of all women, the RUSI can be an important tool in their recovery.

Pain is generally triggered by having weak core muscles. Pregnancy complicates the situation in several ways. First, because there is decreased muscle tone and it is very difficult to exercise the abdominal muscles during late pregnancy, a woman’s core becomes noticeably weaker and less toned. The growing baby further weakens and sometimes even tears muscle tissue because the mother’s body can’t keep up with how quickly her child is developing. After delivery, the mother might seek assistance from a physical therapist to help her to strength her core muscles and the RUSI safely guides a physical therapist to help the new mom rebuild her core, strengthening and healing previously torn muscle.

This approach is excellent in postpartum care as well as other people experiencing low back pain. The device helps develop core strength better than most other approaches because the therapist can see which muscles are being activated by a particular exercise and which ones are not. New exercises are then suggested. By exercising different abdominal muscles, a woman’s core strength improves. As with all situations surrounding pregnancy, be sure to check with your doctor before using the ultrasound approach to manage chronic postpartum back pain.

Nutrition and Diet for Scoliosis

150px-Blausen_0785_Scoliosis_01A chiropractor will advise a scoliosis patient to follow a specific type of diet. Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine bends to one side. The lower part of the spine is the most common area in which the condition occurs.

The condition is more prevalent in girls rather than boys and usually happens during puberty when the child experiences a growth spurt. Back specialists recommend an adequate amount of nutrition for children who suffer from the condition. The diet is meant to increase bone mass.

Since the condition is hereditary a proper diet might not prevent the onset of scoliosis. However foods that support bone mass are likely to prevent osteoporosis. In fact, according to the University of Washington Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine osteoporosis can actually worsen scoliosis since it can worsen the curve of the spine when the child reaches adulthood.

If your child suffers from scoliosis it is best that you enrich his/her diet with foods that contain vitamin D and Calcium. Not only do they increase bone mass, they also prevent osteoporosis.

Calcium

Children who suffer from scoliosis are recommended to consume between 1200 to 1500mg of calcium on a daily basis. Just make sure that any low fat sources of calcium do not contain high levels of saturated fats. For example, such a diet should contain food items such as skim cheese or yogurt.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps a person’s body absorb calcium. This is also why your mom nagged you about consuming milk on a daily basis. It is packed with the nutrient. Other sources of Vitamin D include saltwater fish, eggs, cod liver oil and cereal.

The nutrient phosphorous is also responsible for bone growth. The human body also uses phosphorus to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D and encourage proper absorption of calcium.

Vitamin E

Vitamin D and calcium aren’t the only nutrients that can prevent a case of scoliosis from getting worse. After all, a child who suffers from the condition will also need a healthy dose of Vitamin E everyday to build strong muscles to support a compromised spine.

Some of the best sources of the nutrient include liver walnuts, almonds, mayonnaise, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, safflower oil, olive oil and others.

Remember a child who suffers from scoliosis needs a diet that prevents his/her condition from getting worse especially after puberty.

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Lumbar Disc Condition

images (24)What is Lumbar Disc Herniation?

Structure

The backbone is comprised of several discs that are fixed between two vertebras. The spongy material can be compared to a jelly donut, which has an outer cover and is filled with a soft jelly on the inside. Similarly, a disk has a strong outer covering and a soft substance as a filling.

The Leak

Several times the outer coating of the disc is ruptured, causing an opening for the inner jelly like substance to seep out. Once out of its protective outer laying, the leaked material interferes with the normal functioning of the spinal nerves. The already narrow spacing of the spine, through which nerve roots runs, is narrowed further and puts pressure on the nearby nerves.

Lumbar Specific Herniation

Lumbar region is found in the lower back and is considered to be the strongest area of the spine. It is said to bear a large portion of the weight of the body. Sciatic nerve is said to be a conglomeration of nerve roots running down from the lumbar spine. Therefore, lumber disc injuries can cause pain in the legs and feet.

Symptoms

As the lumbar region is strongly associated with the leg and feet area, one of the significant signs of lumbar disc injuries includes pain in the legs. Another symptom common to this condition is the tingling sensation in the feet. Feet might also feel weak and numb at times following a lumbar disc herniation.

The lumber region falls in your lower back area, therefore lower back pain is another common sign and symptom. Almost every body part below the lumbar region easily gets affected by lower back disc injuries. A weak bladder or loss of control of bowel movement and pain in the buttocks are considered to be symptoms of this condition as well. Other common indications include muscle weakness, groin pain as well as atrophy.

Visiting a Chiropractor

Considered to provide a conservative treatment, chiropractors can alleviate lumbar disc injuries. A case study of a 26 year old man is a validation for the success of recovery associated with visiting a chiropractor.  Within a period of 90 days, the patient, who suffered from a lumbar herniated disc due to an athletic injury, completely recovered from the condition. Utilizing activator adjustment instrument (AAI), a controlled mechanical force was applied to the location of concern. A follow up after 12 months indicated successful long term recovery.

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