Chiro

Olympic Athletes and Chiropractic Care

Posted on August 3, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro, Chiropractic, Massage, Olympics, Specials | Tags: , , , , |

Olympic Athletes & Chiropractic Care                                                      Washington Times – July 23, 2012

There is probably no group of athletes who stretch the brain and body like the gymnast.

McKayla Maroney, the 2011 World Vault Champion, was injured in St. Louis, Missouri on June 8, 2012, during a pre-meet warm up during her floor routine. She did three flips in the air, landed on her back, and hit her head so hard that her nasal bone fractured and she was left with a severe concussion.

Because this injury was of this magnitude she had to meet with the Olympic medical board to assess her ability to compete at the national team Olympic trials.

She was referred to Dr. Shad Groves’ office who was able to assess McKayla using functional neurology examination procedures and found equilibrium imbalances, eye tracking imbalances and nystagmus, and muscle weakness in her arm. After he gathered this information he performed specific neurological procedures using arm movements, eye re-patterning exercises, video-based opto-kinetics, and head movements as treatment and therapy.

The next day, Tuesday June 19, 2012, McKayla was evaluated by the Olympic medical board to assess her post-concussive state and determine if she would attend the Olympic trials in San Jose, California. During this evaluation McKayla not only showed normal improvements in her strength, but she did not show any eye tracking problems and had completely restored the balance in her vestibular system.

But even better, she was given specific exercises based upon her neurological evaluation to perform as on-going therapy provided by Dr. Groves. She is now one of five on the U.S. Olympic team representing the United States in London.

The popularity of chiropractic has grown around the world. Every athlete is looking for an edge and they are finding that chiropractic offers a hands-on, drug-free advantage. Athletes are finely tuned humans and when one seemingly insignificant part of their physiology is not performing correctly they lose function; adding time or shortening distances to their event.

What is the difference between you and a world class Olympic athlete? You are an athlete whether you admit to it or not. You are meant to move freely and function without interference. You may find yourself functioning less than you once did. For that reason, advanced chiropractic programs are developing new ways to:

-Reduce motor reaction times
-Increase stability of the body
-Increase coordination of movements
-Increase oxygen transportation and usage
-Reduce bio mechanical joint position errors
-Performing person-specific neurological exercise regimes
-Provide a lifetime of physiological and neurologic care

As you watch the London Olympics notice how these world-class athletes use their bodies whether they are on land, in the water, or flying through the air. Every movement, every breath, and every system of their body is working in synchronized coordination to propel themselves through space. Notice how similar or dissimilar you are to them. It’s all about degrees of performance.  Let the games begin.

Keep Young Athletes Healthy and Fit

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities. Although being part of a football, soccer or Little League team is an important rite of passage for many children, parents and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body-conditioning needed for preventing injuries on and off the playing field.

“The majority, if not all, sports are good, provided that the child prepares appropriately,” says Dr. Timothy Ray, a member of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness. “Without proper preparation, playing any sport can turn into a bad experience. There are structural and physical developmental issues that need to be taken into consideration before children undertake certain sports.”

Highly competitive sports such as football, gymnastics and wrestling follow rigorous training schedules that can be potentially dangerous to an adolescent or teenager. The best advice for parents who have young athletes in the family is to help them prepare their bodies and to learn to protect themselves from sports related injuries before they happen.

“Proper warm up, stretching and strength-training exercises are essential for kids involved in sports, but many kids learn improper stretching or weight-lifting techniques, making them more susceptible to injury,” says Dr. Steve Horwitz, an ACA member from Silver Spring, Md., and former member of the U.S. Summer Olympic medical team. “Parents need to work with their kids and make sure they receive the proper sports training.”

“Young athletes should begin with a slow jog as a general warm-up, followed by a sport-specific warm-up. They should then stretch all the major muscle groups,” says Dr. Horwitz. “Kids need to be instructed in appropriate exercises for each sport to prevent injuries.”

Proper nutrition and hydration are also extremely vital. “While an ordinary person may need to drink eight to 10 8-ounce glasses of water each day, athletes need to drink even more than that for proper absorption. Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day. Also, eating a healthy meal two to four hours before a practice or a game and another within one to two hours after a game or practice allows for proper replenishment and refuels the body,” adds Dr. Horwitz.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

  • Wear the proper equipment. Certain contact sports, such as football and hockey, can be dangerous if the equipment is not properly fitted. Make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads and shoes fit your child or adolescent. Talk to your child’s coach or trainer if the equipment is damaged.
  • Eat healthy meals. Make sure your young athlete is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals. Avoid high-fat foods, such as candy bars and fast food. At home, provide fruit rather than cookies, and vegetables rather than potato chips.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Certain sports, such as gymnastics, wrestling and figure skating, may require your young athlete to follow strict dietary rules. Be sure your child does not feel pressured into being too thin and that he/she understands that proper nutrition and caloric intake is needed for optimal performance and endurance.
  • Drink water. Hydration is a key element to optimal fitness. Teenage athletes should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Younger athletes should drink five to eight 8-ounce glasses of water.
  • Drink milk. Make sure your child has enough calcium included in his/her diet. For children over 2 years of age, ACA recommends 1 percent or skim milk rather than whole milk. Milk is essential for healthy bones and reduces the risk of joint and muscle related injuries.
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Sports drinks are a good source of replenishment for those kids engaged in long duration sports, such as track and field.
  • Follow a warm-up routine. Be sure your child or his/her coach includes a warm-up and stretching session before every practice, game or meet. A slow jog, jumping rope and/or lifting small weights reduces the risk of torn or ripped muscles. Flexibility is key when pushing to score that extra goal or make that critical play.
  • Take vitamins daily. A multi-vitamin and Vitamin C are good choices for the young athlete. Vitamin B and amino acids may help reduce the pain from contact sports. Thiamine can help promote healing. Also consider Vitamin A to strengthen scar tissue.
  • Avoid trendy supplements. Kids under the age of 18 should avoid the use of performance-enhancing supplements, such as creatine. Instead, they should ask their coach or trainer to include weekly weight training and body-conditioning sessions in their workout.
  • Get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for the young athlete. Lack of sleep and rest can decrease performance. Sluggishness, irritability and loss of interest could indicate that your child is fatigued.

Chiropractic Care Can Help  Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention to young athletes.

 

Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies   Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 12-14 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda (aluminum free)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs
1 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (substitute carob chips)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the applesauce and mix until combined. Stir in the raisins.

3. Slowly add the dry ingredients into liquid ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the oats, quinoa, and chocolate chips.

4. Spoon about a tablespoon of dough onto a large baking sheet. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies are just barely set. Remove cookies from baking sheet and cool on a wire cooling rack.

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NY Times Post on Neck Pain and Chiropractic Treatment

Posted on July 5, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro, Chiropractic, Neck, Specials |

Just read an article published by the NY Times in January on how Chiropractic care of neck pain was better at reducing pain than taking medication, like aspirin or ibuprofen.  Read the article, then come see us for your Neck Pain, or any other pain you might be experiencing, and ask us about our specials.

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http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/for-neck-pain-chiropractic-and-exercise-are-better-than-drugs/

Source: NY Times, January 3, 2012

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Chiropractic and Neck Pain: Conservative Care of Cervical Pain, Injury

Posted on July 1, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro, Chiropractic, Massage, Neck, Specials | Tags: , , , |

Your neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.

The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear. Neck pain can be very bothersome, and it can have a variety of causes.

Here are some of the most typical causes of neck pain:

Injury and Accidents: A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction is known as whiplash. The sudden “whipping” motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash.

Growing Older: Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease directly affect the spine.

  • Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion.
  • Spinal stenosis causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, compressing and trapping nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally.
  • Degenerative disc disease can cause reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral discs. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm.

Daily Life: Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms.

Chiropractic Care of Neck Pain
During your visit, your doctor of chiropractic will perform exams to locate the source of your pain and will ask you questions about your current symptoms and remedies you may have already tried. For example:

  • When did the pain start?
  • What have you done for your neck pain?
  • Does the pain radiate or travel to other parts of your body?
  • Does anything reduce the pain or make it worse?

Your doctor of chiropractic will also do physical and neurological exams. In the physical exam, your doctor will observe your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, noting movement that causes pain. Your doctor will feel your spine, note its curvature and alignment, and feel for muscle spasm. A check of your shoulder area is also in order. During the neurological exam, your doctor will test your reflexes, muscle strength, other nerve changes, and pain spread.

In some instances, your chiropractor might order tests to help diagnose your condition. An x-ray can show narrowed disc space, fractures, bone spurs, or arthritis. A computerized axial tomography scan (a CT or CAT scan) or a magnetic resonance imaging test (an MRI) can show bulging discs and herniation. If nerve damage is suspected, your doctor may order a special test called electromyography (an EMG) to measure how quickly your nerves respond.

Chiropractors are conservative care doctors; their scope of practice does not include the use of drugs or surgery. If your chiropractor diagnoses a condition outside of this conservative scope, such as a neck fracture or an indication of an organic disease, he or she will refer you to the appropriate medical physician or specialist. He or she may also ask for permission to inform your family physician of the care you are receiving to ensure that your chiropractic care and medical care are properly coordinated.

Neck Adjustments
A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness.

Of course, your chiropractor will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your personal needs. In addition to manipulation, the treatment plan may include mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises, or something else.

Research Supporting Chiropractic Care
One of the most recent reviews of scientific literature found evidence that patients with chronic neck pain enrolled in clinical trials reported significant improvement following chiropractic spinal manipulation.

Delicious Smoothie for all ages

Ingredients

  • 6-8 ounce Organic carrot or orange juice
  • 1 cup Organic frozen berries
  • 1 cup Organic spinach or kale
  • 1/2 Organic apple
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Directions: In a sturdy blender, blend all ingredients in a smooth consistency. Pour over crushed ice for a healthy breakfast or a daytime snack.

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Keep Young Athletes Healthy and Fit

Posted on June 2, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro, Fitness, Massage, Specials | Tags: , , , , |

Keep Young Athletes Healthy and Fit

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities. Although being part of a football, soccer or Little League team is an important rite of passage for many children, parents and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body-conditioning needed for preventing injuries on and off the playing field.

“The majority, if not all, sports are good, provided that the child prepares appropriately,” says Dr. Timothy Ray, a member of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness. “Without proper preparation, playing any sport can turn into a bad experience. There are structural and physical developmental issues that need to be taken into consideration before children undertake certain sports.”

Highly competitive sports such as football, gymnastics and wrestling follow rigorous training schedules that can be potentially dangerous to an adolescent or teenager. The best advice for parents who have young athletes in the family is to help them prepare their bodies and to learn to protect themselves from sports related injuries before they happen.

“Proper warm up, stretching and strength-training exercises are essential for kids involved in sports, but many kids learn improper stretching or weight-lifting techniques, making them more susceptible to injury,” says Dr. Steve Horwitz, an ACA member from Silver Spring, Md., and former member of the U.S. Summer Olympic medical team. “Parents need to work with their kids and make sure they receive the proper sports training.”

“Young athletes should begin with a slow jog as a general warm-up, followed by a sport-specific warm-up. They should then stretch all the major muscle groups,” says Dr. Horwitz. “Kids need to be instructed in appropriate exercises for each sport to prevent injuries.”

Proper nutrition and hydration are also extremely vital. “While an ordinary person may need to drink eight to 10 8-ounce glasses of water each day, athletes need to drink even more than that for proper absorption. Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day. Also, eating a healthy meal two to four hours before a practice or a game and another within one to two hours after a game or practice allows for proper replenishment and refuels the body,” adds Dr. Horwitz.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

  • Wear the proper equipment. Certain contact sports, such as football and hockey, can be dangerous if the equipment is not properly fitted. Make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads and shoes fit your child or adolescent. Talk to your child’s coach or trainer if the equipment is damaged.
  • Eat healthy meals. Make sure your young athlete is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals. Avoid high-fat foods, such as candy bars and fast food. At home, provide fruit rather than cookies, and vegetables rather than potato chips.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Certain sports, such as gymnastics, wrestling and figure skating, may require your young athlete to follow strict dietary rules. Be sure your child does not feel pressured into being too thin and that he/she understands that proper nutrition and caloric intake is needed for optimal performance and endurance.
  • Drink water. Hydration is a key element to optimal fitness. Teenage athletes should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Younger athletes should drink five to eight 8-ounce glasses of water.
  • Drink milk. Make sure your child has enough calcium included in his/her diet. For children over 2 years of age, ACA recommends 1 percent or skim milk rather than whole milk. Milk is essential for healthy bones and reduces the risk of joint and muscle related injuries.
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Sports drinks are a good source of replenishment for those kids engaged in long duration sports, such as track and field.
  • Follow a warm-up routine. Be sure your child or his/her coach includes a warm-up and stretching session before every practice, game or meet. A slow jog, jumping rope and/or lifting small weights reduces the risk of torn or ripped muscles. Flexibility is key when pushing to score that extra goal or make that critical play.
  • Take vitamins daily. A multi-vitamin and Vitamin C are good choices for the young athlete. Vitamin B and amino acids may help reduce the pain from contact sports. Thiamine can help promote healing. Also consider Vitamin A to strengthen scar tissue.
  • Avoid trendy supplements. Kids under the age of 18 should avoid the use of performance-enhancing supplements, such as creatine. Instead, they should ask their coach or trainer to include weekly weight training and body-conditioning sessions in their workout.
  • Get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for the young athlete. Lack of sleep and rest can decrease performance. Sluggishness, irritability and loss of interest could indicate that your child is fatigued.

Chiropractic Care Can Help

Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition and injury prevention to young athletes.

Little Dippers Snacks

Scooping up dips turns mere eating into interactive food fun. And who says kids shouldn’t play with their food, especially if it means they’ll end up eating more fruits and veggies?

Persian Cucumber Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 1 (32 ounce) container plain yogurt
  • 3 English cucumbers, peeled and cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Directions: In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, and shallot. Season with dill, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Apple Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions: Stir together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is smooth.

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What Is Causing the Asthma Epidemic?

Posted on May 8, 2012. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro | Tags: , , , , , , |

In the United States, asthma cases have increased by more than 60 percent since the early 1980s, and asthma-related deaths have doubled to 5,000 a year. What is causing the asthma epidemic and what can we do to stem the tide? A recent series of articles in the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association (JACA) delves into this question and offers advice from doctors of chiropractic and allergists who have helped control asthma symptoms in many patients.

People in their 30s and older can remember that when they were young, it was very unusual for even one child in school to have asthma. School children now often know several kids with asthma in a single class. The rapid increase in the number of young people with asthma was brought home to Dr. Scott Bautch, past president of the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) Council on Occupational Health, when he went to a football game with his 13-year-old son: “Someone on the field had a breathing problem. It was hard to see whose son it was, and 15 parents ran to the field with inhalers.”

So far, researchers don’t know why cases of asthma are increasing at such an alarming rate. They hypothesize that a combination of genetics and some non-hereditary factors — such as increased environmental exposure to potential allergens — play a role. “Thirty years ago, Windex was the only cleaning solvent used by a few people. Now, we have a special cleaning solvent for every object,” says Dr. Bautch. “In addition, furniture and carpets are produced with formaldehyde as a preservative, and people breathe it,” he says.

Decreased air quality is coupled with the allergy-friendly modern house design, says Dr. William E. Walsh, MD, FACC, an allergist practicing in Minnesota: “Fifty years ago we lived in old, drafty houses, and the breeze dried and freshened the air, and cleared out mold and other allergens. Nowadays, our super-insulated houses don’t breathe adequately. Making basements into a living space increases mold exposure because mold grows in any basement.”

Food has become another source of exposure to allergens. “Food manufacturers put more preservatives in foods now to store them longer,” says Dr. Bautch. Researchers hypothesize that an increase in vaccinations, cesarean births, and antibiotic intake may be playing a role, too.

Asthma is a chronic disease; it can’t be cured—only controlled. For best treatment results, both the primary care physician and an asthma specialist, such as an allergist or pulmonologist, should be involved. According to experts interviewed for the article, the treatment program, in addition to medication intake, should include reducing exposure to the substances that induce acute episodes and identifying specific allergens that affect the patient.

Allergens aren’t the only culprit. Stress factors—such as moving to a new home, or changing jobs—may induce or aggravate asthma attacks. Even emotional expressions such as fear, anger, frustration, hard crying, or laughing can cause an attack as well. To reduce the patient’s stress level and improve the patient’s quality of life, alternative treatments should be incorporated into the treatment program. Various relaxation techniques, such as biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and stress management, as well as massage, chiropractic manipulation, breathing exercises, and acupuncture can be helpful.

A multi-site clinical trial on chiropractic management of asthma is underway in Australia. “The preliminary data are very encouraging. Chiropractic patients are showing decreases in physical asthma symptoms and cortisol levels,” says Dr. Anthony Rosner, director of education and research for the Foundation of Chiropractic Education and Research.

“Doctors of chiropractic can give a full-scale evaluation to asthma patients; assess their physical and neurological status, their lifestyle, diet, and stressors; and help the patients increase motor coordination, and improve the work of respiratory and gut muscles to increase the quality of life,” says Dr. Gail Henry, a chiropractic neurologist, who practices in Houston, Texas. “Doctors of chiropractic can be a great addition to the healthcare team treating the asthma patient.”

Asthma experts offer the following tips for asthma patients:

  • Use air filters to help clean air in your home.
  • Cover mattresses and pillows with dust covers and use hypoallergenic bed clothing to reduce exposure to dust mites.
  • If your condition is getting worse, get checked for viral respiratory infections and different medical conditions, such as flu, rhinitis, sinusitis, and gastroesophageal reflux. When those are treated and eliminated, asthma symptoms improve. Endocrine factors, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and thyroid disease, may exacerbate asthma, as well.
  • Some medications—aspirin; beta-blockers, including eye drops; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc.—can also precipitate or aggravate asthma symptoms.
  • If your asthma is exercise-induced, an individually prescribed exercise program carefully chosen under the guidance of your primary health care provider or doctor of chiropractic should be incorporated into the treatment plan.
  • Avoid sulfites or monosodium glutamate (MSG) in foods. Since both additives are used in a wide variety of foods, carefully read processed food labels and choose MSG-free foods when eating out.
  • Choose a more vegetarian-type diet. Animal proteins found in meat include arachidonic acid—a precursor for inflammation.
  • Include foods with omega-3 fatty acids in the diet—such as fish or fish oil.
  • Supplement with vitamin C, which helps reduce allergic reactions and wheezing symptoms.
  • To reduce stress in your children, spend quality time with them and limit their exposure to TV programs that include violence.

Pull Your Weeds, Not Your Back, When Gardening

As springtime approaches, weather warms up and leaves turn green, many people will spend more time outside planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. Gardening can provide a great workout, but with all the bending, twisting, reaching and pulling, your body may not be ready for exercise of the garden variety.

Gardening can be enjoyable, but it is important to stretch your muscles before reaching for your gardening tools. The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb.

A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity,” said Dr. Scott Bautch of the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. “Performing simple stretches during these periods will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness.”

To make gardening as fun and enjoyable as possible, it is important to prepare your body for this type of physical activity. The following stretches will help to alleviate muscle pain after a day spent in your garden.

Garden Fitness Stretches

  • Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the no pain, no gain rule. Stretching should not be painful. While sitting, prop your heel on a stool or step, keeping the knees straight. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
  • Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
  • While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
  • Do the “Hug your best friend.” Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.

Finally, be aware of your body technique, body form and correct posture while gardening. Kneel, don’t bend, and alternate your stance and movements as often as possible to keep the muscles and body balanced.

When the Bulbs Are Planted…
If you already feel muscle aches and pains and did not complete the warm-up and cool-down stretches, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Apply a cold pack on the area of pain for the first 48 hours or apply a heat pack after 48 hours, and consider chiropractic care.

Quinoa with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, and rinse under cold, running water until the water no longer foams. Bring the quinoa, salt, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Once done, stir in the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley to serve.

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Don’t Take Arthritis Lying Down

Posted on April 10, 2012. Filed under: Chiro | Tags: , , , |

Years ago, doctors hardly ever told rheumatoid arthritis patients to “go take a hike” or “go for a swim.” Arthritis was considered an inherent part of the aging process and a signal to a patient that it’s time to slow down. But that is not so anymore. Recent research and clinical findings show that there is much more to life for arthritis patients than the traditional recommendation of bed rest and drug therapy. 


What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The word “arthritis” means “joint inflammation” and is often used in reference to rheumatic diseases. Rheumatic diseases include more than 100 conditions, including gout, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and many more. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a rheumatic disease, affecting about 1 percent of the U.S. population (about 2.1 million people). Although rheumatoid arthritis often begins in middle age and is more frequent in the older generation, it can also start at a young age.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, tenderness, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in the affected joints.
  • Fatigue, sometimes fever, and a general sense of not feeling well.
  • Pain and stiffness lasts for more than 30 minutes after a long rest.
  • The condition is symmetrical, i.e. if one hand is affected, the other one is, too.
  • Most common areas are wrists and finger joints closest to the hand
  • Neck, shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, ankle, and feet joints can also be affected.
  • Mild or moderate arthritis have periods of worsening symptoms (flares) and periods of remissions, when the patient feels better.
  • The disease can last for years and affect internal organs, not just the joints.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that mostly affects cartilage, which is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. It allows bones to glide over each other as well as absorb shock of movement. In osteoarthritis, the top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away, allowing bones under the cartilage to rub together. The rubbing causes pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint. Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape and bone spurs may grow on the edges of the joint. Bits of bone or cartilage can break off and float inside the joint space, which causes more pain and damage.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis causes joint pain after repetitive motion, with reduced range of motion.
  • Common symptoms are swelling, stiffness, pain and creaking of the affected joints.
  • Pain and stiffness of the joints can occur after long periods of inactivity, i.e. sitting in a theater and worsens later in the day.
  • Most common affected areas are knees, shoulders, hips and hands.

  • In severe osteoarthritis, complete loss of the cartilage cushion causes friction between bones, causing pain even at rest or pain with limited motion.
  • It is common for patients to have this disease for years with intermittent pain.

Should Arthritis Patients Exercise?

Exercise is critical in successful arthritis management. It helps maintain healthy and strong muscles, joint mobility, flexibility, endurance, and helps control weight. Rest, on the other hand, helps to decrease active joint inflammation, pain, and fatigue. For best results, arthritis patients need a good balance between the two: more rest during the active phase of arthritis, i.e. pain & inflammation, and more exercise during remission phase.

The following exercises are most frequently recommended for patients with arthritis:

Type of Exercise

Benefits

Frequency of Exercise

  1. Range-of-motion exercises, e.g. stretching and dance
  2. Help maintain normal joint movement and increase joint flexibility.
  3. Can be done daily and should be done at least every other day.
  4. Strengthening exercises, e.g. weight lifting
  5. Help improve muscle strength, which is important to support and protect joints affected by arthritis.
  6. Should be done every other day, unless pain and swelling are severe.
  7. Aerobic or endurance exercises, e.g. walking, bicycle riding, and swimming
  8. Help improve the cardiovascular system and muscle tone and control weight. Swimming is especially valuable because of its minimal risk of stress injuries and low impact on the body.
  9. Should be done for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week unless pain and swelling are severe.

Please consult your physician before starting any exercises.

Nutrition for Arthritis Patients:

Arthritis medications help suppress the immune system and slow the progression of the disease, however there is significant evidence that nutrition plays a role in controlling the inflammation, and possibly slowing the progression of arthritis. Supplements including fatty-acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) help reduce joint pain & swelling, lessening reliance on corticosteroids.4, 5. Extracts of natural spices such as turmeric, ginger & garlic are also available as supplements, Foods to include in your diet:

  • Deep-sea & oily fish, such as salmon, tuna, herring, trout, mackerel, sardines, and halibut, are sources of EPA and DHA.

  • Turmeric contains curcuminoid extract, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which provides relief of joint inflammation and pain.

  • Other anti-inflammatory foods are apples, garlic, ginger & nettle leaf extract which are very beneficial in painful joints.

  • Veggies high in Vitamin A & C, i.e. brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.

  • Fruits high in Vitamin C are kiwi, mango, cantaloupe melon, peaches, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries & black currants.

  • Pulses and Grains such as brown rice, lentils & chick peas are good for pain.

  • Nuts and Seeds high in Vitamin E & Omega fatty acids include almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin and sunflower. Make sure you only use unsalted seeds and nuts and avoid dry roasted nuts.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Red meat i.e. beef, lamb, goat and pork

  • Nightshade veggies i.e. tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplants, red peppers and tobacco.

  • Dairy products or by-products such as cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt, butter & margarine.

  • Sugar and foods containing sugar such as chocolate, syrup and honey.

  • Beverages & foods containing, alcohol, tea, coffee, soft drinks & cocoa (caffeinated or decaffeinated).

  • Avoid wax covered fruits and citrus fruit. Organic fruits & veggies are encouraged.

  • Flour and bran made from white wheat, cereal binders, fillers, protein, wheat starch or edible starch.
  • Other foods such as salt, pepper and vinegar may exasperate flare-ups.

A good arthritis diet does not need to be boring. Use your imagination in preparing foods to get variety in flavors and taste. 

How can Chiropractors help?

If you suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis or Osteoarthritis, your doctor of chiropractic can help you plan an individualized exercise program that will:

  • Help you restore the lost range of motion to your joints.
  • Improve your flexibility and endurance.
  • Increase your muscle tone and strength.

We can also give you nutrition and supplementation advice that can be helpful in managing and reducing joint inflammation. Feel free to call our office for more information about our nutritional supplements and customized plan specifically for your wellness needs.

Hot & Sweet Glazed Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups apricot nectar or jam
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (3/4 pound) salmon filet without skin

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven’s broiler, and grease a broiling pan.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together the apricot nectar, dried apricots, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until reduced by about half. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove 1/4 cup of the glaze for basting, and set the remaining aside.
  3. Place the salmon filet on the greased broiling pan, and brush with glaze. Broil 3 inches from the heat for 8 to 12 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Gently turn over once during cooking, and baste frequently during the last 4 minutes. Serve with remaining glaze.
  4. Enjoy!
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Back Pain…Not a Laughing Matter

Posted on March 1, 2012. Filed under: Chiro, Massage | Tags: , , , , , , , |

“Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet every rising sun with such sentiments of God’s goodness, as if you had seen it, and all things, new – created upon your account; and under the sense of so great a blessing.” …William Law

Back Pain Facts & Statistics
Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.

A few interesting facts about back pain:

  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain, and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.

What Causes Back Pain?
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems
Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today’s growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.
Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.
In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges you to make an informed choice about your back care. To learn more about how chiropractic manipulation may help you, contact our office.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
  • Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
  • Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
  • Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
  • Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.

Special Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • Homemade Mayonnaise: 2 egg yolks (room temperature), 1 clove garlic (pressed), 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 pinch salt, pepper (to taste), 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or to taste)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. To make the mayonnaise, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl with an electric mixer or hand blender. Slowly blend in the oil, one tablespoon at a time while mixing constantly. Continue to add oil until the consistency is a little thicker than regular mayonnaise. Pierce the garlic clove, and stir it around in the mixture until it releases its juice. Remove the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon at a time. Go slow, this will thin the mayonnaise a bit.
2. Place the eggs in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and cool. Peel off the shells, and cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks, and place them into a medium bowl. Place the egg whites on a serving plate.
3. To the yolks, add shallot, salmon, 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Mix until well blended. If the mixture seems dry, stir in more mayonnaise. Spoon into the egg white halves and chill or serve.

For further information on health, contact Ash Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic at 972-317-0680

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November Special

Posted on November 9, 2011. Filed under: Chiro, Massage, Specials | Tags: , , , , |

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – JFK (1917 – 1963)

Holiday Special: New Patient Consult, Exam, X-Ray 30-minute Massage Only $46.99 $310 Value, Over 80% off)  Please call 972-317-0680 to schedule your appointment today!


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October special for new patients!

Posted on October 5, 2011. Filed under: Acupuncture, Chiro, Specials | Tags: , , , |

October special for new patients! Ash Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic is offering a comprehensive chiropractic exam including x-rays for $100.00! That is $170.00 off the regular price.

Dr. Ash will:

  • Go over your patient health history – This will provide Dr. Ash with needed information concerning current health, medical issues and family medical history.
  • Conduct diagnostic studies to determine current spinal alignment and issues. – This will allow Dr. Ash to determine the current medical state of your body.
  • Conduct a Chiropractic Physical Examination – Dr. Ash will adjust your neck and spine to correct subluxations.
  • Create a diagnosis – Dr. Ash will go over your current medical condition, proposed treatment and length of treatment.
  • Develop a chiropractic treatment plan – Dr. Ash will explain your options for treatment as far as frequency and length of care.

This offer is for new patients and valid for the month of October. Refer a friend or family member and receive our referral bonus. Tell your friends and family members about us! Remember, life is how you feel AND function. Call us at 972-317-0680 and schedule your appointment today!  Most insurances are accepted.

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Headaches & Chiropractic Care

Posted on September 21, 2011. Filed under: Chiro | Tags: , , , |

 If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches.Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.

Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.

A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.

Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.

Headache Triggers

Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems.

Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.

“The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck,” says Dr. George B. McClelland, a doctor of chiropractic from Christiansburg, VA. “Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.”

What Can You Do?

The ACA suggests the following:

  • If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
  • Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
  • Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
  • Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic Do?

Dr. McClelland says your doctor of chiropractic may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:

  • Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.
  •  Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
  •  Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

 “Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways – not just back pain,” says Dr. McClelland. “They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.”

Dr. Ashraf Soomar-Kheraj

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