Diet for a Herniated Disc – Heal through Nutrition

images (19)Chiropractic treatment plans also include diets for herniated discs. A herniated disc is a back condition that occurs when one of the spongy discs that cushion the vertebrae breaks open or bulges. The condition is also known as a ruptured or slipped disc.

As discussed the spine is made up of 24 moveable vertebrae each of which is separated by a soft tissue like shock absorbers that are known as discs.  A traumatized disc inflames painfully. If it is left as it is it can often lead to disc degeneration or bulging. This can irritate the sensitive nerves that pass through the spinal column and is where the pain is at its absolute worst.

While a herniated disc can occur in any part of the spine it is more common in the back. You can prevent yourself from ever having to suffer from a herniated disc if you include the following in your diet –

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids have the ability to form collagen which the body uses to prevent or repair any damage to cartilage or discs that is caused by inflammation.

Glucosamine Sulfate

This nutrient is naturally found in the body and is important for the repair and maintenance of collagen which is the primary component of discs. It needs glucosamine sulfate to create the chemicals that it needs to repair cartilage, ligaments, tendons and synovial fluid that bathe the spinal joints and occurs naturally in the body.

Fiber

Include this nutrient in your diet and you will do your digestion a huge favor. Fiber smoothens out the digestive process and prevents any strain on discs that may place pressure on the abdomen. It also heals the spine at the cellular level. Super foods that contain fiber include shellfish such as crab, fish, prawns and oysters. Other food items that are rich in fiber include fruits and veggies such as beets, stewed or fresh tomatoes, red peppers, black as well as blueberries. Soy products such as tofu, soy cheese and soy milk also contain a high amount of the protein.

Every type of food you consume impacts your health. Give your body the chance to heal faster by watching what you eat. Your back will be better off for it and prevent any herniated disc from cramping (pun intended) your style.

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Computer Ergonomics

images (18)Ergonomics is a field which is fast becoming popular, because of its focus on designing and providing working spaces and stations, suitable and convenient for humans. The need for ergonomically fit furniture and work environment has become tenfold, because of the highly competitive and stressful work requirements in the industry these days. Absence of ergonomics at work and home puts strain on individuals and they tire out easily. The different muscular pains and strains contracted because of a stressful working environment are treated efficiently by chiropractors.

Computer and Ergonomics

Many individuals spend a major portion of their day working on computers in the office or at home. The long hours spent in front of computers and laptops have a harmful effect on the physical health of an individual, causing different musculoskeletal disorders.

Such individuals run a high risk of contracting back aches, neck pains, shoulder and arm aches and carpal tunnel problems. These medical conditions are very painful and hamper the work of the individual, both at home and in the office.

Ergonomically designed furniture and working environments are specifically constructed with an eye to provide a suitable and stress free work surrounding to individuals, which minimizes the risk of contracting various muscular strains, which ultimately affect the efficiency of an individual.

Individuals experience physical strains, while working on computers, because of their negligence in maintaining a suitable body posture, which results in pains in the back, neck and shoulders. Computers need to be placed in a suitable way to facilitate working, without any strain.

Different musculoskeletal disorders are contracted by individuals, who work on computers and laptops, for long periods of time, without ergonomically fit desk spaces and laptop stands. Computers and laptops need to be positioned according to the ergonomics specified guidelines, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and body posture.

The absence of ergonomically designed computer desk spaces and furniture, results in different painful medical conditions, like:

Carpal Tunnel: The median nerve in the wrist contracts, due to over exertion, which results in a tingling and sometimes numb sensation in the thumb, index and ring finger. In extreme cases, the patient experiences great pain and swelling which requires a few weeks of healing time.

Repetitive Strain Injury: Caused by repeated tasks and forceful exertions, in which the body experiences pain in the back, neck and shoulder area. In some cases, this might also affect the legs and thighs of an individual.

Bursitis: It is a condition which involves the inflammation of the bursa, a sac filled with lubricating fluid which facilitates in movement. It is a very painful condition for the affected individual.

By using ergonomically fit furniture and computer desk spaces, individuals can reduce the risk of contracting different painful strains and muscular disorders. Chiropractors provide effective treatments to the individuals suffering from different musculoskeletal problems.

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Achilles Tendon Sport Injuries And Chiropractic Treatment

800px-03042012Ccm_gamosuma_juvenilA231Professional athletes and individuals with a specific sport hobby suffer from a multitude of different injuries, contracted during the course of their activities. Some popular sports like football, soccer, baseball, golf, hiking, basketball, etc., while highly enjoyable, involve extensive exertions which result in various sports injuries in players. Chiropractic has become a popular mode of treatment for the different sports injuries and medical conditions, like Achilles Tendon injury, dislocated shoulder and spinal alignment.

What Is Achilles Tendon Injury?

The achilles tendon is one of the longest tendons in the body, which is stretched from the heel to the calf muscles of the human body. It assists in the engagement of different activities which require movement and flexible physical activity.

The Achilles tendon is used by sports athletes and enthusiasts for practicing and playing the different strenuous sports, like football, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, running, etc. Over-exertion on the Achilles tendon results in swelling and pain in the tendon which hampers an athlete from engaging in different sports activities. If too much pressure and exertion is put on the tendon, it causes it to tear partially or completely rupture.

Symptoms 

An injured Achilles tendon becomes swollen and causes acute pain whenever the leg is stretched. The patient feels stiffness and tenderness in the affected area, which makes it difficult to engage in different everyday activities. If the tendon completely ruptures, then the patient experiences excruciating pain, and is unable to move around.

If an athlete experiences difficulty in flexing his legs or pointing his toes, he might have a partial or complete rupture in the Achilles tendon. Prompt medical attention is required for the diagnosis and treatment of the Achilles tendon injury, before the patient suffers more acute damage due to movement or strain.

Treatment 

Achilles tendon injury requires prompt treatment from medical professionals to ensure that the affected area does not suffer further damage. A patient with a ruptured or injured tendon is required to rest his leg and apply ice to ease the swelling. Patients are also advised to use an elastic bandage on the leg to keep the swelling down.

Anti-inflammatory pills can be prescribed which tend to bring down the swelling of the tendon, and different exercises are advised for keeping the tendon in shape. But chiropractic treatment is quickly becoming the preferred mode to heal sports injuries, especially Achilles tendon injury.

 

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Types of Back pain

Posterior_view_of_lumbar_region_for_electrostimulation_electrode_placementAs any good chiropractor would tell you, there is no single cause of back pain. This is because back pain can occur due to various reasons, and affect different areas. It is important that you have an understanding of the nature of your ailment before going to the chiropractor for treatment.

Location Of The Pain

Back pain is classified in two categories, depending on where the pain occurs.

Upper Back Pain

Pain in the upper back, shoulders or neck is termed as upper back pain. There can be certain causes of upper back pain, such as stretched tendons or damaged ligaments due to strenuous physical work. Upper back pains aren’t as common as lower back pains, and can be treated by taking pain relievers such as Paracetamol or by visiting a Chiropractor.

Lower Back Pain

Like the name suggests, lower back pains are directed at the base of the back, and occur due to the overstretching of muscles in the lower back or direct injury to that area. This pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as lifting something heavy or bending in an awkward position. Treatment for lower back pains is the same as for upper back pains.

Duration Of The Pain

Besides location, pain can also be classified according to duration.

Acute Back Pain

A short term pain, lasting from a few days to weeks, is called an acute back pain. There may be numerous causes of this pain, the most common being blunt trauma caused by Ankylosing spondilytis, arthritis or other medical conditions.

The symptoms of this pain can range from muscular aches and incorrect posture to shooting pains in the buttocks and back of the legs. Acute back pain can lead to serious problems, but is generally harmless, and most people tend to let it heal itself.

Chronic Back Pain

If the pain lasts for more than 3 months, it is termed as chronic back pain. The cause of chronic back pain can rarely be determined without the help of a Chiropractor or other medical professional. This long term pain gets progressively worse with time; immediate treatment is necessary to prevent further complications.

Now that you know what type of back pain you suffer from, you can act on them by looking up for home treatments online, or doing exercises which may stimulate the back. It is also recommended that you visit your nearest chiropractor who could suggest you treatment options.

 

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Causes of Back Pain

10418151535_d230e6de16Back pain may occur due to various reasons; be it a sports injury, pulling a heavy object or a fall/ injury to the spine. If you are suffering from back pain, it would be wise to have a look at some of the common risk factors and causes of back pain before going to the chiropractor.

Risk Factors

The risk of back pain varies in different individuals, depending on their lifestyle. People who work in a mentally stressful job, smoke or go through strenuous physical work are more susceptible to back pain than those who don’t. Other factors such as pregnancy, anxiety, depression and obesity can also lead to this condition. Age is also a factor, as older individuals are at a higher risk than younger ones.

Causes Of Back Pain

Strain

The most common cause of back pain is strained muscles and ligaments, which may be a result of lifting something heavy or a sudden awkward movement. It can also be caused by improper posture due to a bad mattress or sitting position.

Structural Problems

The human body is a complex structure composed of bones, muscle, ligaments and joints. A fault in any of these can cause numerous problems, including back pain. Some particular structural problems that may affect the back are as follows:

Arthritis

Arthritis can cause various joint problems in the hips and lower back.

Bulging And Ruptured Disks

The vertebra in our spine is cushioned by a disk, so a ruptured disk would result in more pressure on the nerves, resulting in back aches. A bulging disk would put even more pressure on the nerves.

Sciatica

A bulging disk can also press on a nerve in the spine, causing a shooting pain through the buttocks and down the legs.

Curvature Of The Spine

An unnatural curvature of the spine can cause the space around the spinal cord to narrow, causing back pains.

Osteoporosis

A vertebra fracture can be caused by the bones becoming more brittle.

Spinal Cancer

A growth or tumor on the spine may press against a nerve.

Infections

Infection of the nerves (shingles) and spine may also cause pains.

Cauda Equine Syndrome

The growth of nerve roots at the bottom of the spinal cord can cause a dull pain, as well as lack of feeling in the upper buttocks.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: There’s pain in my head by Stefan Neuweger

 

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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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.

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Reward for work: Blueberries
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Dangers of Spine Surgery: What Doctors Won’t Tell You

800px-Flickr_-_Official_U.S._Navy_Imagery_-_A_doctor_performs_surgery.Low back pain has become a very common occurrence nowadays with over 12 million Americans visiting their doctors with complaints of chronic back pain every year; while over a 100 million visit a chiropractor.

Problems with the spinal column can cause devastating effects on a person’s life. It deprives them of their mobility and flexibility.  Even everyday activities become a challenge in some cases.  With so many of such cases and the advancements in medical science, it is ironic to see a huge number of people being misdiagnosed and prescribed spinal surgery as the only treatment.

Spinal surgery itself carries around a 20% risk of a failure.  Failed spinal surgeries often result in no improvement, worsened pain, and sometimes, even death.

General Physicians, spine specialists and orthopedic surgeons have proven in many cases that they have no clue as to the root causes of back problems.  In a review of low back-pain causes, Andrew Frank, a physician in Rheumatology and Rehabilitation concluded ‘Up to 85% of patients with low back pain cannot be given a definitive diagnosis because of the poor associations between symptoms, signs, imaging results and pathological findings’ (BMJ, 3 April 1993).

Risks Associated with Specific Surgical Procedures

Apart from incorrect diagnoses, each type of spinal surgery procedure carries its own set of risks:

Laminectomy

A laminectomy requires removal of parts of a bone, bone spurs and ligaments from the back with the aim of relieving pressure on spine nerves.  This procedure can result in a less stable spine, leading to another surgery.

Spinal Fusion

A spinal fusion procedure is the most common type of surgery carried out for back pains.  A surgeon joins the vertebrae together to restrict movement between the spinal bones.  This in turn limits the stretching of spine nerves.

An incomplete fusion requires the patient to undergo another surgery.  Smoking on the other hand, increases the chances of an incomplete fusion to occur.

Foraminotomy

Foraminotomy requires a surgeon to remove a bone from the sides of the vertebrae in an attempt to widen the space for spine nerves.

This surgery can also cause the spine to lose stability.

Disc Replacement Surgery

A damaged spinal disc is removed and replaced by inserting an artificial disk.  The introduction of a foreign object into the body always carries a risk of dislocation or breaking, leading to a hardware fracture.

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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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Non-Specific Neck Pain and Chiropractic

images (5)What is Non Specific Neck Pain?

Everyone feels a certain amount of pain in the neck at some point in their life. There might be a sudden onset of sharp pain where you find yourself massaging your neck and wondering what exactly caused the sudden stinging neck pain.  Mostly the underlying cause is not a disease or a degenerative story; rather it is either bad posture or prolonged strain to the neck.

Symptoms of Non-Specific Neck Pain

Always remember that your neck supplies nerves to the shoulders, arms and hands. This means that any disruption in the neck can cause an equal amount of disruption in the areas that it transfers messages to. Analogically, when a route becomes dysfunctional on the road, it affects every trade that takes place via that route.

With stiffness in the neck, the pain is carried along to the aforementioned parts and can cause weakness, numbness and the like. These symptoms can hamper your everyday functioning. When the passageway for nerves is irritated, the messages carried forward to other parts of the body are distorted with painful signals. Hence, even though non-specific in nature, neck pain requires special attention.

Dealing with the Issue

Wondering why you should visit a chiropractic practitioner for a condition that is harmless? Well. The answer is that such sudden onset of pain can be dealt with under this practice. Under chiropractics, the purpose is not alleviation of neck pain but also providing guidance for preventing neck pain in future. The fact that posture and pain in neck are well connected in nature, your doctor can guide you to maintaining a good posture which will protect you against non specific neck pain.

Without the use of medicine, you can quickly be on the road to recovery with this method.  Utilizing the techniques of spine manipulation, a chiropractic practitioner will first locate the area of concern followed by a careful application of force on the spinal joints.

Why a Chiropractic Practitioner?

Several people believe that chiropractic is a pseudoscience and does not result in successful healing of your neck pain. On the contrary these doctors, if they feel you need attention from doctor with a different medical background, will recommend you further to another professional for proper treatment. Additionally, these doctors make you undergo thorough examinations before application of any spine related techniques.

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