hungerfordchiropractic

Hungerford Chiropractic Announces Free Vitamin D This Cold and Flu Season

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You may have heard our office talk about Vitamin D before, in fact you may have heard it several times over the past years. What we’ve noticed over the years is that even though our patients know how important Vitamin D is, very few patients  were taking it.

We wanted to make it easy for our patients to access a high quality source of Vitamin D, so we’ve decided to give it away at our office. During the first few weeks of January, 2019 our office will be giving Vitamin D to our patients to not only correct Vitamin D deficiency, but also to help protect them from Viruses like Influenza,  Bacterial infections like food poisoning, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Brittle bones such as Osteoporosis and increased chronic pain.

To see our full press release regarding this giveaway read below:

Grand Rapids, MI – Locally owned Hungerford Chiropractic announced today that it will be giving away Vitamin D supplements to their patients. International researchers have concluded that Vitamin D deficiency is a serious problem that many people know about but are not taking steps to correct.

Hungerford Chiropractic’s goal is to increase Vitamin D deficiency awareness and to reduce health problems associated with its deficiency. Problems with low Vitamin D levels include: infections by Viruses like Influenza, Bacterial infections like food poisoning, Depression including Seasonal Affective Disorder, Brittle bones such as Osteoporosis, and increased chronic pain.

Dr. Hungerford stated “We found that even with knowledge of the deficiency, few patients would buy Vitamin D and use it consistently. We wanted to inform our patients on the risks of the deficiency, reduce barriers to obtaining Vitamin D, as well as to make it easy to use.”

Each patient will receive a free, easy to use dropper form of Vitamin D3. Their gift will also contain instructions with adult and child dosing, and a reminder to take the vitamin once a day with food to ensure absorption.

About Hungerford Chiropractic

Hungerford Chiropractic opened its doors in Grand Rapids in 2012 and is owned by Doctor of Chiropractic, Daniel Hungerford. It has enjoyed 6 years as an independent healthcare company improving the lives of their patients in the Standale, Walker area.

Hungerford Chiropractic continues to keep patients healthy and improve their quality of life by utilizing specific Chiropractic care, Nutrition and Structural Rehab.

 


consussion

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Direct head trauma, whiplash and falls are some of the most common things people think of when talking about a concussion. We've also all heard of concussions with sports. In fact between 2001 and 2009, according to the CDC an estimated 173,285 people under the age of 19 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for concussions related to sports (read more). What would you guess are the sports with the highest rates of concussion?



Football
Men's Hockey
Girl's soccer
Boy's lacrosse
Girl's lacrosse
Girl's basketball

What area of the spine is most mobile, least stable? Top of the neck

If a force is strong enough to damage the brain, what effect would that force have on the spine? Misalignment swelling, decrease blood flow.

Post concussion symptoms can last for weeks months or years depending on severity and healthcare. Symptoms can last for just seconds or can linger.  Ignoring problems is worst approach.

Signs or symptoms:
Dizziness
Poor concentration
Headaches
Neck pain
Brain fog
Blurred vision
Ringing in ears
Slurred Speech
Sensitivity to light
Sensitivity to noise
Memory Loss

True/False:  Correcting spinal misalignment after a concussion decreases brain inflammation? This is true. "It is important to understand how the brain and body communicate in order to understand why post-concussion syndrome can have such long lasting effects. The brainstem is the body's information highway. The area where it connects to the spinal cord is extremely small. It runs through the two bones of the upper neck  called the atlas or axis or C1 and C2.

These bones make up the upper cervical spine and are responsible for holding the head in proper balance over the body. Even if those bones are misaligned by a 1/4 of a millimeter, communication to the brain and body can be distorted. This leads to a number of health problems throughout the entire body." (read more)
 

Moving

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You’re moving, great news, right? While there is excitement with moving, relocating can also be highly stressful not only financially, but on your body as well. Especially when you do it yourself.

We all have boxes of hidden treasures that we’ve collected over the years. Boxes of books, knick-knacks, old magazines, dishes and other things that make for heavy lifting. Lifting heavy boxes and bulky furniture is enough to wear anyone down. That’s why it’s important to remember spine health during your move.

Back injuries can be very common during moves, the following are common mistakes people make during the moving process that can be avoided.

Mistakes people make when moving that irritate the spine:

Not warming up prior to lift: Cold muscles are prone to injuries. Before carrying boxes, stretch your arms, legs and hips to  warm up your body muscles and get them ready for a physically demanding day. Do stretches that mimic the muscle movements you’ll make when moving. Also take breaks through-out the day to stretch your muscles and hydrate.

Over lifting with back, bend twist: It’s important to know your limits when it coming to lifting boxes and heavy furniture. Beyond just knowing your limits, also be sure to use good body mechanics and ask a friend for help with heavy boxes and furniture.

Poor sleep: We’ve all been there, right? The night before you stayed up late to get those last kitchen cupboards empty, and stayed awake in bed mentally going through your checklist for moving day. As hard as it might be, be sure to get a full nights sleep prior to moving day.

Not stretching post activity: It’s important to stretch and stay active to keep blood flowing through your muscles.

Over relying on caffeine: So you didn’t get those eight ours of sleep, did you? Relying on caffeine to get you through the day isn’t a great idea. Relying on caffeine too much can have negative impacts on your body. Coffee, rather the caffeine in coffee can contribute to the build up of stress. Not to mention that “high levels of caffeine can affect your mood, leaving you angry.” (read more)

Extended driving: Unfortunately back pain and driving often go hand in hand. Prolonged periods of sitting in the same position with poor driving ergonomics can take a toll on your body. To prevent back pain from the long drive try to maintain a healthy posture as your drive. Adjust mirrors so there isn’t strain on your neck to use them. Considering using a lumbar support cushion and take regular breaks from driving.

 


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


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.

cherry-food-fresh-890507

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.

abundance-bunch-citrus-351707

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.

 

 


Posture

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A while back when we talked about stress, we spoke about how many people who are stressed may have bad posture. We had a few patients ask us: What are some tips for improving posture? We talked so much about the results of bad posture and what can cause it, but we realized we didn’t address how to fix it. We wanted something that would easy and comfortable for anyone, but quick enough that most of us could find time in our day.

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Here are four easy steps to improve your posture.

1. 90% of readers will not do this step. Set an alarm in your phone for spinal hygiene 1x per day, 7 days a week. You spend 5 minutes a day taking care of your teeth, the least you can do is spend 5 minutes taking care of your spine.

2. Spinal Hygiene in 5 minutes a day.
a. Cat/cow – on all fours, arch back up and down slowly for 2 minutes
b. Stretch front of neck (both sides) for 30 seconds each
c. Kneeling stretch for upper thigh (hip flexors) (both sides) for 30 seconds each
d. Chest stretch (Pectoral muscles) stretch (both sides) for 30 seconds each

3. Have a good Chiropractor in your corner. Similar to having a good dental health expert or a tax expert this practical. A good Chiropractor can steer you clear of bad habits and answers questions you might have.
a. Friendly reminders on spinal hygiene
b. Questions answered correctly and quickly

4. See step 1 and make sure the reminder is in your phone 🙂

At our office, we printed these steps out for patients to put on their fridge as a gentle reminder. So feel free to print this post to bookmark it. One of the better strategies is to perform these exercises when you brush your teeth. Then you can do two healthy things in just 10 minutes a day. Feel free to add more activity as you become more aware of your spine. In the first 90 days just focus on setting these activities as a habit, your awareness of your posture will improve as you get more used to the activities.


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.