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Developing a Healthy Child

Developing a Healthy Child

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

 

“It takes a village to raise a child.” You’ve probably heard that quote in the past, and there is a lot of truth behind it. During childhood and adolescence, our bodies and minds grow at an unprecedented rate and set the foundation for the rest of our life. Our development is forged through the challenges and new experiences we encounter growing up. Top researchers have discovered that our experiences around food, movement and exercise play a massive role in our future health and even our susceptibility to disease processes as we age!

 

Why it Matters:

 

Developing a healthy child isn’t easy. The ease of modern living includes everything from food delivery to instant downloads of the latest video games. Yet, if you’re like me, there still never seems to be enough time!  It can be challenging to encourage healthy habits for ourselves and our kids. However, a little bit of effort today can pay huge dividends down the road. The number of children in the past 20 years who are now classified as overweight or obese has skyrocketed and, as a result, many of the medical conditions which were typically associated with adults have now afflict our kids.

  • Eating healthy and staying physically active can help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
  • Researchers have found that sugar is tied to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity.
  • Encouraging healthy habits around food and physical activity early in life can help your child live a longer, healthier life.

Next Steps:

If you’ve struggled with successfully developing healthy habits around exercise and eating in your home, let us know. We have a variety of resources we would be happy to share. We believe that a “village” of community members who are proactive about health and wellness can make a huge difference in the growth and development of our children, leading to happier and healthier lives!

Science Source:

Preventing Chronic Disease Through Improving Food and Activity Environments. Childhood Obesity 2014

Prolonged Poor Posture, Is It Really That Bad?

Growing Up With Good Posture

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

 

“Sit up straight!” We’ve all heard it (or said it) a million times, but many people aren’t aware that poor posture as a kid can create health challenges later in life. Rounded shoulders (scapular protrusion), swayback (lumbar hyperlordosis) and a hunched upper back (thoracic hyperkyphosis) are all postural imbalances that place a tremendous amount of stress on the spine. The muscles supporting your spine consequently must work harder to support your body weight which can result in pain. These types of abnormal postures have been linked to everything from depression to decreases in energy and headaches to carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Why it Matters:

Poor posture is usually caused by what kids aren’t doing instead of what they are doing. If your child is on their phone or playing a game on their tablet, they probably may not be moving and stretching very often. One of the most important things you can do to encourage good posture is to set a timer and have them stretch and change positions every 15 minutes. This will allow their spine, muscles and joints to decompress and reset. By breaking the pattern of poor posture, you can help reduce the likelihood of your child experiencing pain.

  • Over 50% of children display the clinical signs of abnormal posture.
  • Excessive weight and decreased physical activity are risk factors for postural issues.
  • Setting aside daily times for physical play can help support stronger muscles and improved posture.

Next Steps:

If your child is suffering from back pain, neck pain or headaches, postural issues may likely be part of the cause. Next time you’re in the office, ask us for a quick posture screen for your child. We would be happy to let you know how they can improve their posture and reduce the risk of future aches and pains!

Science Source:

Prevalence of postural deviations and associated factors in children and adolescents: a cross-sectional study. Fisioterapia em Movimento 2016

How Heavy is That Backpack

How Heavy Is That Backpack?

Backpack

 

Bottom Line:

Even though an iPad can store an entire library worth of books, most kids still trudge to and from school each day carrying an oversized and overweight backpack filled with heavy textbooks. While it may not seem like a big deal, recent studies have shown that carrying the weight of a typical backpack is one of the top reasons for kids to have back pain.

Why it Matters:

A vast majority of kids wear backpacks every day that weigh 15 lbs. or more. That’s a heavy backpack! Over time, the stress of the load can result in back pain, a rounding of the shoulders and postural changes. The spinal compression caused by heavy backpacks often has kids leaning forward to compensate, which begins a vicious cycle of postural issues, compensation and pain.

  • Up to 30% of kids may suffer from back pain due to carrying a heavy backpack.
  • Limiting the total weight of the backpack to less than 10% of your child’s body weight is recommended.
  • Instruct your child to wear their backpack with both shoulder straps fit snugly, so the backpack isn’t carried below the waistline.

Next Steps:

Kids typically choose their backpack based on what makes them look cool. We recommend taking a second look and making sure the straps are wide and padded, the size is appropriate (and not too big) and that it has compartments to help distribute the load. If your child has pain, numbness, or tingling, give us a call. We would be happy to help get them back on track!

Science Source:

Backpack weight and back pain reduction: effect of an intervention in adolescents. Pediatric Research 2018

Tech Neck

Tech Neck

Tech neck

 

 

 

Bottom Line:

Smartphones and tablets have quickly become a part of our everyday life. Many kids spend hours per day messaging with friends and playing the latest games. Often, it’s done with their neck bent forward, shoulders rounded, and arms holding the phone up in front of their eyes. New research has shown this type of awkward position can lead to a painful condition called “Tech Neck.”

Why it Matters:

Recently, Scientific Reports published a shocking paper which found a “horn” growing off the back of the head of kids who spent a great deal of time on their cell phones and tablets. This extreme variation of Tech Neck is suspected to be caused by constant pressure placed on the back of the head (the occiput) when the head is bent forward and chin is tucked. The excessive force can result in calcification of the soft tissue, which can start to look like a “horn” growing out of the back of the head! Did you know…

  • Kids may be spending up to 1400 hours per year in positions that cause tech neck.
  • Even 15 degrees of forward tilt can triple the weight of the head and stress on the spine.
  • Taking a break from mobile devices every 15 minutes can help reduce the likelihood of neck pain and headaches.

Next Steps:

Spending time on your favorite devices doesn’t mean that you start growing horns tomorrow. However, it does give an example of how and why we need to be smart about our posture and positioning when using our mobile devices. Encouraging your children to take a break and stretch is one of the best (and easiest) ways to break the bad habits that can lead to Tech Neck. If you have any questions, just ask!

Science Source:

Prominent exostosis projecting from the occipital squama more substantial and prevalent in young adult than older age groups. Scientific Reports 2018

Finding Lasting Relief From Disc Herniations

Finding Lasting Relief From Disc Herniations

Bottom Line:

So, you’ve suffered a disc herniation, and it’s causing severe pain. Do you need an injection or surgery? What type of doctor should you see? Can a Chiropractor make it…worse? These are all common thoughts that may race through your mind after you’ve experienced a spinal injury. First, take a deep breath and relax. Leading research journals have shown that you made a smart decision by choosing Chiropractic care. Many leading health organizations are now recommending Chiropractic as a top choice to find relief from disc herniations. To learn why keep reading…

 

Why it Matters:

Studies have shown that over 90% of people with a lumbar disc herniation that were treated with spinal adjustments improved within 3 months, and 88% improved within 1 year.  Perhaps even more impressive was another study, which indicated that, for disc herniations in the neck, 86% of people found relief with Chiropractic adjustments compared with less the 50% of people who underwent a spinal injection. We continue to learn that, most of the time, the benefits of medications, injections, and surgery just don’t outweigh the risks.

  • Top healthcare organizations recommend taking a conservative approach to care, such as Chiropractic. Medications, injections, and surgery should only be used as a last resort.
  • In a recent study, researchers found that over 90% of patients with a lumbar disc herniation improved within the first 3 months of receiving Chiropractic adjustments.
  • Over 35% more people with cervical disc herniations found relief with Chiropractic adjustments than with spinal injections.

Next Steps:

Discovering the most up-to-date Research That Matters is part of our practice. We focus on using this research and combining it with our clinical expertise and experience to provide you with the best care possible. So, if you are suffering from a disc injury, please know that you’re in the right place, and we are grateful you have trusted us with your recovery.

Science Source(s):

Outcomes of acute and chronic patients with magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed symptomatic lumbar disc herniations receiving high-velocity, low-amplitude, spinal manipulative therapy: a prospective observational cohort study with one-year follow-up.

Symptomatic, Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Confirmed Cervical Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative-Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated With Either Imaging-Guided Indirect Cervical Nerve Root Injections or Spinal Manipulative Therapy.

Headaches Every Day? Read this…

Headaches Every Day? Read this...

Headaches picture

 

 

Bottom Line:

 

Life can be busy and stressful. Sound familiar? If so, you may likely start experiencing headaches more frequently, and they may be more severe. Chronic headaches are a good indication that your body needs attention, whether that’s related to a lack of quality sleep, nutritional challenges or even postural issues, all of which can contribute to a developing a vicious cycle of daily headaches.

Why it Matters: 

Those daily headaches are a signal from your body that something needs to change. While researchers have struggled to place an exact cause on every type of headache, they have discovered an array of risk factors that can lead to the development of chronic headaches. The foods you eat, the stress in your life, and even how you move your body and spine, can either increase or decrease the likelihood of experiencing headaches.

  • Your brain doesn't actually have any nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. Headaches are felt by the tissues that support your brain, head and neck.
  • Researchers have discovered a close link between what you eat & your stress and hormone levels and how they can impact the probability of developing chronic headaches.
  • A balanced diet, consistent sleeping patterns and Chiropractic care have all been shown to decrease the likelihood of developing chronic headaches.

Next Steps:

Those daily headaches aren't something you "have to live with." Top research publications indicate that Chiropractic care provides 50% more relief from headaches without the risky side effects typically associated with drugs and medications. To learn more, tune into our weekly video series, Research That Matters TV or reach out. We’re happy to answer your questions!

Science Source:

Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. SPINE 2010

How to Find Natural Relief From Headaches

How to Find Natural Relief From Headaches

Headache relief

 

 

Bottom Line:

Finding natural relief from your headaches doesn't mean you need to join a food co-op and start eating granola with every meal. Natural (or organic) healthcare solutions are now being recommended by many leading healthcare organizations because of the associated reduction in dangerous side-effects and high rates of patient satisfaction following treatment.

Why it Matters:

Three of the most effective natural solutions for reducing the frequency and severity of headaches include Magnesium, Chiropractic care, and B-vitamins. Taking a Magnesium supplement has the potential to reduce the occurrence of migraine headaches without any of the side-effects typically associated with painkillers, and if stress is a significant factor in your headaches, B-vitamins may be a natural fit for relief. Additionally, Chiropractic care helps to correct the postural changes and muscle tension which are a couple of the leading causes of migraine headaches. That's what I call a winning trifecta!

  • Magnesium: low levels of magnesium have been reported as a risk factor for developing migraine headaches.
  • B-Vitamins: these powerful vitamins have the potential to help reduce stress and improve mood which are essential factors when finding relief from headaches.
  • Chiropractic: researchers have discovered a reduction in the frequency, severity and duration of headaches for individuals under Chiropractic care.

Next Steps:

As you can see, finding natural relief from headaches can be easy. Imagine what would your life would be like if you could reduce or eliminate your chronic headaches! Save this info – better yet, share it with your friends and family. When it’s time for your next adjustment or you have questions about any of these natural solutions for headache relief, just ask!

Science Source(s):

Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. Journal of Neural Transmission. 2012 | The effect of 90-day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress. Human Psychopharmacology. 2011 | Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache: a single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial. BMC Central. 2017

The Top 3 Causes of Headaches

The Top 3 Causes of Headaches

The Top 3 Causes of Headaches (a)

 

 

Bottom Line:

A variety of factors can cause headaches. The good news is that many of these are lifestyle factors and habits and patterns that you can control. By understanding a few of the most common causes of headaches, you will have the information you need to make those key changes and to get on your way to finding lasting relief!

Why it Matters:

Ironically, one of the most common causes of headaches is the medication usually prescribed to treat headaches. In fact, overuse of many over the counter medications is a leading factor in a refractory (or bounce-back) headache, which is why pills may not be the best option for care. Many tension headaches get their start with repetitive motion and poor posture while sitting or standing at work. Keeping your shoulders back and your spine in proper alignment throughout the day can help prevent future episodes. And finally, most of the good stuff like coffee, cheese, alcohol and meats have substances that can cause headaches. You don't need to eliminate them, but we recommend having a watchful eye towards moderation.

  • Medications: many commonly prescribed pain-relieving medications (including those prescribed for headache relief) list headaches as a top side effect!
  • Foods: coffee, cheese, alcohol and many types of meat contain substances that can contribute to headaches.
  • Posture: forward head posture caused by long hours sitting or standing at work is a primary factor in the development of tension and cervicogenic headaches.

Next Steps:

Do you see anything in that top 3 list that may be contributing to your headaches? Taking proactive steps by improving your posture and ergonomics at work, moderating the foods which cause headaches, or asking your medical doctor about the side effects of medications and potentially finding alternative treatment options may help you reduce the frequency, severity, and impact headaches are having in your life. If you have any questions, we’re also happy to lend a hand and an ear!

 

Science Source:

Medications and Substances Causing Headache. Medlink: Neurology. 2017

Headache Types, The Facts You Need to Know

Headache Types: The Facts You Need to Know

 

 

Bottom Line:

 

Death, taxes, and…headaches? Almost everyone will experience a headache at some point in their life, and over 50% of people will deal with the effects of headaches in a given year. Fortunately, headaches are rarely life-threatening. However, for people dealing with chronic headaches…they can dramatically impact your quality of life.

 

Why it Matters:

The International Headache Society has classified over 150 different types of headaches. The most common are migraines, tension and cluster headaches. Knowing what kind of headache you’re dealing with is the first step towards finding the best plan of care to find relief.

  • Migraine: sensitivity to light and sound is common during migraine headaches, and approx. 1/3rd of people will experience an aura before the onset of a migraine.
  • Tension: almost everyone will experience a tension headache during their life. Stress, anxiety, dehydration, and even posture, can trigger a tension headache.
  • Cluster: affecting more men than women, cluster headaches causes severe pain behind or around the eye and can last anywhere between 15 minutes to 3 hours!

Next Steps:

Now that you've identified your headache type, we can start to unpack the root cause. Next week, we'll cover the top 3 causes of headaches so you will be able to take your first steps towards prevention. Often a few simple changes in your daily routine have the potential to reduce or eliminate chronic headaches for good! And if you have questions in the meantime, just ask!

Science Source:

Mayo Clinic. Headache. 2018

Your Body is Designed to Move

Your Body is Designed to Move

 

 

Bottom Line:

Your body is built to move. Every spinal disc and joint is designed to help you sit, stand, run and well…move! Your discs are soft enough to flex as you bend forward and back. The spinal facet joints slide as your turn and twist. The ligament-connected spinal bones keep you supported as your muscles push and pull. It’s an incredibly strong and resilient system when you stop and think about it!

 

 

Why it Matters:

New research has started to give us a glimpse at just how important movement is in our life. For example, movement of the spine has been shown to stimulate and accelerate the healing process. In fact, movement is so crucial in the healing process that even people who have spine surgery are encouraged to get up and to move as quickly as possible after surgery.

 

  • All the bones, muscles, ligaments and joints of your spine are specially designed to support movement.
  • Movement of the individual segments of your spine can affect how you heal.
  • Blood flow, strength, and flexibility are all enhanced through movement.

Next Steps:

I believe that encouraging healthy movement and activity is part of my job as your Chiropractor. If you have any questions about stretches, exercises or other ways you can pro-actively stay healthy, ask! Have you ever heard that old saying “you don’t get old then stiff, you get stiff then old?” We want to help you stay young by helping you keep your spine and body moving better!

Science Source:

Comparative Clinical Effectiveness of Nonsurgical Treatment Methods in Patients With Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2019