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Slumping doesn’t cause heart burn, right?

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Here at the office we’ve spent a few weeks talking about digestion. Digestive problems are very common and all too often we only focus exclusively on food. We worry about what foods upset digestion and what foods and nutrients help. But many times we over look an obvious cause: Poor posture.
Digestive issues that may result from poor posture include gas, abdominal pain and bloating
Digestive symptoms that may arise from poor posture can include gas, bloating, and even mild abdominal pain. In fact, one study analyzed the influence of body posture on intestinal transit of gas, finding that maintaining an upright posture favours gas evacuation in individuals with gas retention – such as those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
While it’s true you can eat in any position, like grabbing a meal on the go in the car, snacking while laying on the couch, lunch at work while hunched over the computer or standing around the kitchen (think all those family gatherings). It has been proven that eating in an upright, seated position is best. It also seems the most conducive for allowing digestive juices and blood to flow to through the digestive tract. If you think about it, our bodies weren’t built to be hunched over the kitchen table with our necks sticking forward all the time. When we have poor posture and fall into that hunched forward mold we can run into problems beyond just digestive problems, such as back and neck pain.
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In other words put down the phone, step away from the computer and slow down while you enjoy a healthy meal. Enjoying them seated with your shoulders down and back while maintaining a neutral neck can benefit the digestive process (read more).
 

 

 

Digestive symptoms that may arise from poor posture can include gas, bloating, and even mild abdominal pain. In fact, one study analyzed the influence of body posture on intestinal transit of gas, finding that maintaining an upright posture favours gas evacuation in individuals with gas retention – such as those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

 

 

Human bodies aren’t adapted to hunching over in a chair with our necks sticking forward all day. Our circulatory systems and muscle structures just aren’t built for it. When we try to cram our bodies into that mold, we get all kinds of problems, including back pain, mobility issues, and less-obvious consequences like digestive problems.  So while there are many causes of

Poor posture digestion
Abdominal compartment syndrome
Malabsorption, poor posture compresses gi  tract, bloating, gas, heartburn, shortness breathing, not to mention makes you fatter than you really are.
Poor posture decrease blood flow to internal organs, severely cases can cause tissue death.
True or false loss of lumbar curve,  increases symptoms of acid reflux? This is true.  Poor posture where your head and shoulders drift forward can cause or aggravate symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.  This can happen by putting additional pressure on the stomach and abdominal cavity.
The loss of normal posture puts significant stress on the body and results in symptoms mentioned above.

Abnormal nerve function, affecting digestion?

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Our nervous system is very complex. It’s a collection of nerves and specialized cells known as neurons that transmit signals between different parts of the body (read more). The questions is: Can abnormal nerve function affect digestion?

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Yes, abnormal nerve function anywhere in the spine can alter digestion. If abnormal messages are sent to the brain, then the brain can activate the bodies fight or flight response.  The fight or light response is the system in your body that keeps you safe in dangerous situations, like running from a bear.  The fight or flight response stops bodily functions that are not necessary in an emergency such as digestion.  In a normal situation that is not stressful, the digestive system sends signals to the brain and the brains response is what causes digestive enzymes and muscle contraction.  In stressful situations this is inhibited.

Did you know that abnormal nerve function in your lumbar can make muscles compress the abdomen, causing abnormal digestion and discomfort? It’s true! All of the muscle around your stomach are controlled by the brain.  Abnormal nerve function can greatly affect digestion and discomfort.

Are spinal problems aggravating digestive problems in infants like acid reflux more commonly found closer to the baby’s head or closer to the baby’s lower back? Typically if an infant comes to the office having troubles with acid reflux, it’s more common that the spinal problem would be closer to the baby’s head.

Location-specific problems from the spine with digestion:
Neck – Trouble swallowing.
Thoracic – Unable to expand lungs, puffiness, fullness, pressure on abdominal cavity.
Lumbar -  Trouble moving food through digestive tract, reflux.

Chiropractic care’s primary focus is on restoring and maintaining the health of your nerves, muscles and joints. Adjustments can help to restore normal movement, ease pain and prompt higher function of your brain and nervous system. With that being said, do you believe that chiropractic care is a treatment for digestive problems?

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We had a little fun here, while regular chiropractic care can help between the brain and nervous system, it isn’t a treatment for digestive problems.
Your digestive problems can be caused by nutrition problems such as:
Lack of fiber
Processed food
Dehydration
Alcohol
Caffeine
Tobacco
Here are some easy things to cut back on or eliminate from your diet for increased digestive health:
Alcohol - One of the reasons people do not feel well after alcohol use is dehydration.  Make sure you drink enough water. The process of metabolizing alcohol requires nutrients.  As the liver decreases its supply of these nutrients, the blood stream is called upon to replenish the supply. As a result, body cells are deprived of critical nutrients and normal body functions suffer. Drinking alcohol can lead to nutrient deficiencies like zinc, Vitamin C, magnesium and particularly the B-complex vitamins, which are especially vulnerable to alcohol use (read more).
Caffeine - Caffeine has a diuretic effect and speeds elimination of various vitamins and minerals essential to health.  In addition drink water throughout the day to offset the loss of water from caffeinated drinks such as coffee.   Specifically, potassium, zinc, magnesium, B-complex, and vitamin C are quickly excreted with caffeine intake. Deficiency of these nutrients, especially the B-complex vitamins and magnesium, can also increases anxiety and decreases mental performance (read more).
Tobacco -Tobacco users can have poor circulation which can lead to poor digestion.  Researchers have concluded that levels of vitamin C are for the most part, lower in the blood of smokers vs. non-smokers. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, that also has beneficial effects on the heart and other organs (read more).

If you had to guess what is the most common deficiency in the American diet, what would you say? Is your first guess fiber? If so, you’re correct! A healthy fiber recommendation is 25- 30 grams per day. Many Americans are shocked to find that they are only getting between 8 and 15 grams per day. Low fiber can result in constipation/digestive issues. If you are low in fiber add it into your diet gradually.  Going from 5 grams of fiber to 30 is large jump and not recommended in a short period of time.  Between cutting back on alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and adding fiber into your diet you should be on the road for improved digestive health!

 

 

 

 


Chiropractor’s don’t really do that, right?

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While there are many strange rumors about Chiropractic care, some of them are actually true.  For example: Do Chiropractor’s all adjust (the gentle impulse that resets the nerve and the joint) the same. This is False.  Chiropractic has a variety of techniques used to adjust patients. This can depend on which college the Chiropractor graduated from among other factors. If you received an adjustment that was different than what you were expecting, feel free to ask about a different technique or you can call other offices to find what you’re looking for.   If you think you have Chiropractic all figured out, read below and test your knowledge.

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True or False.  Chiropractors want you dependent on them so you have to keep coming back, after all once you go to a Chiropractor you always have to go, right?  False.  At our office we give you the play book on how to keep your spine healthy when you have healed up.  Whether or not you follow the recommendations to keep your spine healthy is up to you.  Like your Dentist tells you-brush and floss your teeth.  Its similar with your spine-corrective exercises and stretching will go a long way in keeping your spine healthy, if you do them.

True or False.  Every time you have back pain, it is a Chiropractic issue.  False. Chiropractic adjustments are highly effective when the problem comes from the spine. While doing an exam, x-rays or scans a Chiropractor can pick up signs of cancer, fractures or infections. Cancer, infections or fractures are not Chiropractic issues and you would be referred to another provider for co-management.  Exams not only tell your Chiropractor about spine and nerve issues, they also tell whether or not Chiropractic is safe for you.

Did you know that like medical doctors, Chiropractors can vary in specialty? Veterinary Chiropractic, Pediatric Chiropractic and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD, or jaw clicking, locking or pain conditions) are just a few examples of specialties within the Chiropractic field.

True or False.  Recent back pain can be caused by events years earlier. True.  Many times Chiropractors will see a patient for back pain that started several days ago.  However on their x-ray we see evidence of severe degeneration or old compression fractures, which tell the Chiropractor this has been present for years.  In some cases especially in toddlers, difficulty walking, vision or hearing problems (ear infections) can be predisposed from birth trauma. Even a so-called normal delivery can cause trauma. It is estimated that 80% of children born in hospitals have abnormal shifts in the spine from delivery.

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True or False. Arthritis is caused by old age and doesn’t cause issues in 20 year olds.  False.  Did you know that after a joint stops moving correctly, markers of arthritis can be measured in 7-10 days.  This is common in athletes as well as people who sit most of the day.  Keep your spine moving correctly if you want to slow down arthritis formation.

Would you believe me if I told you that chiropractors are actually not bone doctors? It’s true, a chiropractor’s primary focus is restoring normal nerve function. Subtle changes in alignment cause problems for nerves communicating with the brain.

True or False.  The way you move says a lot about you.  True.  How a patient sits, walks, and get out a chair tell the Chiropractor quite a bit of information about the patients spine.  Are your shoulders even?  Do you lean forward when you walk?  Does you head drift forward past your shoulders when you sit?  These are things Chiropractors notice right away and help correct.

 

 

 


A solution or opioids?

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Why were opioids recommended over solutions that were safe, effective, and non-addictive?  Most of us can say we know someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis, or at the very least we have all heard of it. Unfortunately opioids were recommended over solutions including; Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy.

Do you know what the big difference between the opioid epidemic of the 1970′s and now?  the 1970′s epidemic was caused by an increase in illegal heroin distribution.   Today’s crisis, we now know was caused by misleading pharmaceutical advertising. There were studies done in which low risk of addiction was demonstrated.  These medications turned out to be more addictive.

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Do you know what the most common reason for an opioid drug prescription is? Most of us would guess back pain, right? It’s true, non cancerous chronic back pain was the top reason for prescribing opioids.

We are at the point now where we not only have to solve the pain problem, but also solve the addiction problem. Many states are actually suing drug makers, and expanding access to chiropractic care. This is because chiropractic care is a safe, effective, and non additive solution.

Did you know that it also makes a difference who you see first for your back pain? For example, if you see a surgeon for your back pain, the likelihood of having surgery is 42.7%.  If you see a chiropractor first, that percentage goes down to 1.5%! Chiropractic also has the highest customer satisfaction level too, surpassing prescriptions, therapy and surgery. The satisfaction rate with chiropractic is 83%. With such a high satisfaction rate, it’s no wonder that our military had the largest expansion of access for chiropractic this year!  The


Autistic child? Consider their spine

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Children being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is rising significantly.  The diagnosis per the CDC is 1 in 68 children.  A massive increase since the year 2000, which was 6.7 per 1,000 kids.   While there is more research coming out with regard to the cause of ASD, we are focusing on behavioral challenges for children with this diagnosis.

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Compared to a child without a ASD diagnosis, people on the Autism Spectrum have significantly more brain activity.  The synapses, nerve cell to nerve cell connections, are not organized on large pathways but are instead connected with many small connections.

One of the reasons autistic children have trouble learning is that they are receiving too much information to the brain. It’s also true that many children with ASD suffer from anxiety.  Another cause of anxiety can be due to abnormal nerve communication from the spine to the brain.  Abnormal nerve communication from joints in the spine are perceived in the brain as irritation.  Irritation in the brain can make day to day communication much more difficult.  Case studies of children with ASD, receiving Chiropractic care, have demonstrated improvements in eye contact, communication, mood and physical ability.

Do you think it’s true or false that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder often have less control of their posture.  This is actually true!  Poor postural control puts people with ASD at higher risk for spine and nerve problems compared to the general population.

What percentage of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder demonstrated improvement following chiropractic care for symptoms that are not pain related?

13%
28%
56%
78%

The answer here is a remarkable, 78%!

Children with Autism under Chiropractic care improved with eye contact, communication, mood and physical ability!

 


senses trivia

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What are the five senses?
Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.

Which one of your five senses is the fastest in the body? Your overall fastest sense is your sense of touch because it doesn’t need to travel up to the brain. Your sense of touch is complicated. This is because it relates your sense of balance and your reflexes which do not always go to the brain for approval before a reaction. An example of this is when you touch your hand to the hot stove. Ever notice that your hand moves before you realized it was hot? This is because your reflexes do not need that brain approval for reaction. Your other senses: sight, hearing, smell and taste do travel to the brain and out of those, hearing is the quickest.

Which sense requires the most brain power? Your sense of feeling and balance requires the most power, it’s estimated that up to 90% of your brain’s computing power is spent keeping your body up right, holding up against gravity.

If you had to guess, how many different smells can the human nose detect?

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The human nose can detect 10,000 different odors!

True or false – A woman’s sense of smell is greatly increased during pregnancy? This is true. The are several theories, one is that morning sickness can increase sense of smell due to nausea, another is  protection for the unborn child. A heightened sense of smell could help protect the baby from toxins or infection. While we’re talking about pregnant women, did you ever notice that pregnant women can have strange cravings, I am sure you did. But, have you ever thought of why? Many people believe this is because the woman may have a mineral or nutrient deficiency that is provided in a specific food. So a craving for pickles might mean she is in need of sodium.

Speaking of smell, how much of our taste is actually our sense of smell?  80%. That’s probably why as kids we all plugged our nose when eating our peas and beans!

How does this all relate to our spine? Can any of your senses be affected by abnormal joint position in the spine? The answer is yes, ALL our senses can be affected by abnormal joint position.  Abnormal position can impact your fight-or-flight response. Your fight-or-flight response can dull or heighten specific senses depending on your state. An example of this, how much do you care about your sense of taste when you’re running from a bear? I am going to guess, not very much, right? In this situation your body recognizes that your sense of taste is not important and it dulls that. Whereas your sense of balance and coordination would be heightened.


Pesky Pesticides

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T/F – Organic fruits and vegetables have higher nutritional value?
F – While there is a difference with the pesticides between organic and non-organic fruits and vegetables, studies have shown that the nutritional value is actually the same.

Why do you think it’s important for us to know about, and avoid pesticides?
Pesticides are designed to kill “pests”, but some pesticides can also cause health effects in people. The likelihood of developing health effects depends on the type of pesticide and other chemicals that are in the product you are using, as well as the amount you are exposed to and how long or often you are exposed.

  • Some short term effects of pesticide poisoning include: Nausea & Vomiting, Diarrhea, Loss of consciousness, Seizures, Coughing and sore throat and weakness.
  • Long term: Pesticides have been linked to cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, sterility and developmental disorders.

 

Researchers have created a list of the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” to help consumers know when they should buy organic and when it is unnecessary.

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If you had to guess which fruits or vegetables were the worst offenders for pesticides, which would you guess?
– A general rule of thumb is if you eat the skin, and fruit/vegetable has  thinner skin, chances are that it has a higher pesticide count. These are known as the “dirty dozen”
         Think: Apples, Peaches, Peppers, Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, Strawberries and Spinach to name a  few.

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Fruits and vegetables with thick skin, or vegetables that you peel tend to have fewer pesticides. These would be on the “Clean 15” list.
      Think: Avocado, Onions, Pineapples, Oranges, Sweetcorn, Kiwi, Mango and Grapefruit.

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The fruits and vegetables on “The Dirty Dozen” list, when conventionally grown, tested positive for at least 47 different chemicals, with some testing positive for as many as 67.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic.


Pain can slow you down…but why?

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We’ve all been slowed down by pain, right? But have you ever stopped and thought about why?

What is the purpose of pain?
Contrary to what you may believe, the purpose of pain isn’t to annoy you, although slowing down might be a good idea. The goal of pain is to keep you alive. Pain lets you know that you have tissue damage, which could end up ultimately being fatal. It’s a good warning system.

Is having a high pain tolerance a good or bad thing?
-Unfortunately people who can only feel high levels of pain are less likely to change their behavior. This can allow more tissue to be damaged which might lead to disability or ultimately death. In rare cases  kids are born without the ability to feel pain. They often have shorter life spans. Think of a child with a small infection on a cut or scrape. Normally you address the infection because you feel pain and inflammation. Without feeling these symptoms, that infection could be fatal.
-Other times, some people’s definition of a high pain tolerance actually means that they ignore pain. This is also unhealthy. Ignoring pain can create some severe mental and physical health problems.

Speaking of mental health problems, what do you think can occur from ignoring pain? Depression and anxiety are the most common. Also you are more likely to have to smoke cigarettes, vape, or have a drug or alcohol problem.

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Along with mental problems, what physical problems are caused by ignoring pain? Digestive disorders, ulcers, acid re-flux and GERD are common. Sleep disorders such as insomnia or frequently waking up can occur as well.

Tissue damage in your body does more than just send pain signals to the brain. Tissue damage also sends messages of irritation, but not signals that you can physically feel. This can cause the brain to behave in a state of stress. Long term stress in the brain can lead to abnormal function of the heart, digestive tract, and hormones. If you know someone that has been ignoring their pain or have been covering it up with medication, let them know that it’s best to find out why the pain is there and correct the cause of the issue.

 

 


Allergy

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Spring is in the air.

Sadly for many of us, this means runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing. We’re morel likely to reach for a box of tissues than stop and smell the roses. Did you know that over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies? Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, and the most common with children.

Americans spend $18 billion annually on allergy related costs.

If our body is so smart, why do we even have these annoying allergies? The answer might surprise you. Historically, our immune system worked to keep us alive, and keep us out of danger. So itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing were a sign of a dangerous area, possibly of toxins in the air. Humans would avoid places that made them sick for obvious reasons. Now that seems a bit dated, but our bodies still work to expel those foreign bodies. Most of the time our immune system is reacting to foreign DNA. Have you even been in a musty basement that had mold? You probably noticed those annoying symptoms, this is a prime example of your body attempting to warn you of a dangerous situation.

True/False – Our body treats bacteria/viruses the same as allergies.  True, the key difference between allergies and infection is fever. Fever isn’t typically presented with allergies. One prevalent theory on why our bodies do this is based on the size of the foreign DNA. Pollen is actually quite large compared to our white blood cells, therefore we don’t try to kill it but rather eject it from our bodies with watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Viruses and bacteria are smaller, and our body attempts to kill it – this is when you notice a fever.

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So, do you think chiropractic care increases or decreases the immune response? This is actually a trick question, because depending on the person it can either increase or decrease the immune system. Chiropractic care moves your body closer to having a normal immune response. As an example, people with asthma have an over active immune system, so the purpose would be to help normalize nerve function between the lungs and the brain.

If you had to guess one household appliance which is present in households where studies have found an increased number of children with allergies, what would it be? Would you be surprised if I told you it was a dishwasher? I know, this is an appliance that most of us have, or grew up with! The theory is that our dishwashers are actually getting our dishes too clean. Kids aren’t building up the immunity to common household bacteria, so their immune system over-reacts to them all. Solution: Kids hand wash the dishes, sounds fair enough to me ;)

There are many other common activities that we do that might be affecting us.

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Chlorine in swimming pools and hot tubs – This is because breathing in the vapors inflames the airway. Contact lenses can trap smoke and pollen in the eye, so you may want to consider wearing glasses. Anything else from our everyday lives?

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Perfume, cologne and indoor air fresheners can also have an aggravate our allergies, too. They can irritate nasal passages and cause swelling, which makes breathing difficult.  Another activity which most of us could be guilty of are morning walks or jogs, the pollen count is higher before noon, so if you can put your run off until evening you may be doing your sinuses a favor.  On the flip side, not exercising can affect us too. This is because exercise temporarily dilates your nasal passages making it easier to breathe.

True/False – Patients with asthma who use Chiropractic Care had higher quality of life and use less medication. TRUE Chiropractic care can be very helpful in specific instances, but not every asthma patient will benefit from care as asthma can have multiple causes. An evaluation is important.

 

 


Can getting adjusted really help you dunk?

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If you play basketball, then you know the toll it can take on your body. Aches, pain, and injuries are part of the game right? It doesn’t have to be.

Although there are many injuries that commonly affect basketball players the most common are ankles, knees and fingers. Although not everyone has the same risk of injury. It might surprise you to know that a misalignment in your lower back increases your risk of a knee or ankle injury. This is something we regularly test for to keep our athletes at peak performance.

Whether it’s rolling an ankle, taking a hit scrambling for the ball, or getting stepped on, basketball players are prone to all kinds of injuries. For different types of ankle and foot injuries, a chiropractor can do ankle and foot adjustments. Adjusting the bones and muscles of the foot restore function, decrease inflammation and relieve pain . Apart from foot problems, basketball players are vulnerable to knee injuries. Repetitive knee movements, like jumping and changing direction, can wear down this body part as well as expose it to constant blunt forces from other players. Ligaments and tendons of the knee may also be damaged during competitive play.

Although both men and women experience injuries, they don’t always get injured the same way. Among basketball players who is more likely to have a knee injury? If you guessed female, you’re correct! Female basketball players have a higher risk of knee injury than men. If you have a female athlete in your family it is especially important for them to get their spine checked to reduce their risk of injury and keep them in the game.

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So can Chiropractic care really help you dunk a basketball? This is true, although there is a catch. Chiropractic care has been shown to increase athletes vertical jump height as well as increase their grip strength. Vertical jump height and grip strength are both necessary to a great dunk. The fine print is that you have to already be fairly close to the rim before chiropractic care, but it does give you an edge.

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