One of the Best Things You Can Buy Yourself

Everyday I get asked a question, “Doc, what can I do to help myself at home?”Exercise Ball

I have to tell you, I LOVE that question.

See, coming to see someone like me is like entering into a partnership. I help you in the office, you help you at home.

As you can probably imagine, it does not always work out that way. You get home with the best of intentions and then work needs something, dinner needs to get made, and before you know it, it’s 11:00 and you wonder where the day went. Before you know it you are back in my office a few days later telling me that you felt good for a day or so but now it is back. My goal is to give you a simple solution that you can do at home in a short period of time.

The number one thing that you can do at home is work on your core.

Now there is a common misconception is that the core is only abs. While the abs are part of it, your core is made up of: abs, legs, buttocks and low back.

If you want to get serious about protecting your spine and preserving all of the awesome work that I do, yes I know how that sounds, then I strongly recommend that you consider buying yourself an exercise ball. Take a look at this one from Amazon. Exercise Ball -Professional Grade Anti Burst Tested with Hand Pump- Supports 2200lbs- Includes Workout Guide Access- 75cm Balance Balls

As for sizes, 65cm is the norm for most people. Smaller people can go with the 55 and larger people can go with the 75. If you need help deciding, let me know and I will help you pick the proper size.

There are not many body parts that you cannot strengthen on an exercise ball. From stability work for your core, to stretching muscles, to strength and flexibility, the exercise ball is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can buy.

While you are getting the ball, I would strongly recommend a Core work out book as well. This book, also sold on Amazon Balance Ball: Core Cross Train comes very highly recommended.

If you are not sure about what this ball looks like, or want to try it out, stop by the office and you can try mine.

The moral of the story is, the more we can do at home, the more we can protect our investments in the most important thing in the world …. you!

Some Common Sense on Bacon

BreakfastRemember when eggs caused high cholesterol?

Or eating late at night was going to make you fat?

The latest health scare craze is bacon.

Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) released a study that put bacon in the same cancer causing category as cigarrettes.

Yes, that is right, eating bacon is as bad for you as smoking cigarettes. Because that makes sense right?

Let’s take a look at the numbers behind the frenzy.

If you smoke cigarettes, your chance of getting lung cancer goes up 2500%. That’s a lot.

If you eat two slices of bacon everyday, your chance of getting colorectal cancer goes up 18%. That sounds like a lot.

Given the incidence of colorectal cancer runs around 5%, eating that bacon raises your chance to about 6%.

Look, I am not advocating that you eat bacon everyday. Let’s be sensible here.

While it is not OK to have a BLT everyday, having bacon every now and then is certainly nothing to stress about. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the anxiety over eating a few slices of bacon every now and then, is more damaging then eating the bacon.

I’ll see you at brunch!

6 Pieces of Health Advice For College Students

As the summer winds down and college students start heading back to school, I want to share some time tested health tips that will help students with their studies:

  1. Get Your Rest. School is hard. Trying to study, write papers, and pay attention in class is tough when you are exhausted. Try a short 20 minute nap in the middle of the day. It will get you hours of clarity later on in the day.
  2. Drink Water. Dehydration is huge. Rule of thumb is to drink half of your weight in ounces. That means a 150 pound male would need 75 ounces of water per day.
  3. Exercise. Keeping yourself fit helps your body run with more efficiency. More efficiency means less time getting homework done. Less time getting homework done is a good thing.
  4. Mix in a Salad. While the double cheesburger pizza with a side of Kung Pao Chicken sounds like a good idea at midnight, it is not. With that said, things do happen. Today’s college caf is like a gourmet restaurant. Make great use of the salad bar, your body and brain will thank you.
  5. Practice Good Posture. Take a look around the classroom. See all those people slumped over their desks? Do me a favor and give them my card, they will need me soon. Good posture gives you energy and brightens your mood. These are good things. Don’t sit all slumped over and whatever you do, do not spend all of your time looking down at your phone; hold that thing up a bit!
  6. Visit Your Favorite Chiropractor When Home. What did you expect me to tell you! In all seriousness, periodic spinal checkups can help keep little nagging issues from becoming major problems.

Lastly, and this is not a health tip, have fun. College is an incredible time to learn, explore and make life long friends. Get out there and enjoy it!

Case of the Month August 2015

FootballAs a chiropractor and long time hockey coach, I have always enjoyed helping athletes. Whether it be the athlete that is looking to increase their bodies ability to perform or help an athlete get back to competition quicker, athletes truly understand the relationship between their body and performance.

In our quest to get our athletes bigger, stronger and faster, there has been a significant increase in concussions over the last 10 years. From 2002 to 2012 the number of reported concussions doubled to 3.8 million!

When an athlete gets concussed, there is often a component of the injury that involves the cervical spine or neck.

In my experience, when an athlete suffers a concussion from being hit, there is a subsequent shifting in the athletes structure, particularly in the upper mid back and neck area.

Once that area has shifted secondary conditions including, muscle spasm, neck pain, headaches and a general feeling of “off” may frequently occur.

This was the case with a young athlete that presented in my office earlier this month.

This patient was playing a sport and collided with another player. The patient immediately did not feel well; reporting neck pain, shoulder pain and a headache.

The patient was smartly held out of competition and reported to my office when the neck and shoulder pain did not get better.

After careful examination I determined there were a couple of areas where the spine had shifted and we got to work improving these areas. One note of interest; the patients balance was severely compromised as they were not able to stand with their eyes closed without significantly swaying both side to side and front to back.

After the first week of care, the patient reported that their neck and shoulder pain had decreased by 75%! While I was really happy with that, what was awesome was seeing their balance issues get resolved.

Within two weeks, all symptoms had resided and the balance had returned to normal.

If you have a son or daughter playing sports and they get a concussion, please make sure you have them evaluated by your chiropractor. You may be surprised at how much they can help.

 

Contest of the Month

It is contest time!!!

Email or post the answers to these 3 questions for a chance to win a $25 gift card to Marshall’s Farm on Harrington Ave.

Question 1. What is the longest word in the dictionary. It is not what you think it is!

Question 2. Throw away the outside and cook the inside. The eat the outside and throw away the inside. What are you eating?

Question 3. What is the only part of the human body that cannot repair itself?

Good luck with the questions. Comment below or email the answers here!

Texting While Walking

Girl TextingWhile most of us are aware that you are not allowed to text and drive, a couple of new studies are now looking at the effect of texting while walking.

Did you know that London has put bumpers on light posts on city streets due to people walking into them while texting on their phones? How about text lanes on staircases at Utah Valley State. While the latter was done as a bit of a joke, this is actually becoming a serious issue.

While we understand the dangers of tripping, falling down stairs or walking into things, only until recently did we look at the effect texting and walking had on our posture and gait.

According to a study out of the University of Queensland, texting and walking alters not just your posture but also your balance. In their study they found that the subjects heads were assuming a flexed or tucked chin position. Anyone that has been in my office knows that I am an absolute nut about keeping your head from that flexed position.

Another study, this time at Texas A&M, looked at how we actually walk. They took participants and gave them three tasks: 1. Walk Normal 2. Walk while texting 3. Walk while texting and being distracted by a math problem.

Want to guess which of the scenarios produced slower walking, shorter strides, and an inability to walk in a straight line? Let me help you, it wasn’t the first one.

An altered gait can have severe consequences on your legs, hips and most importantly your spine.

As texting becomes more integrated in our lives, lets be smart about how and when we are doing it. Definitely not while driving and let’s give some consideration to limiting it while we are walking around.

The Worst Position To Put Your Spine In

Bending in a fieldHere in the Northeast, halfway through January we thought we were going to have a mild and easy winter.

Mother Nature had other ideas.

In a short period of time, we got a record amount of snow. Truly a crazy amount.

With all of this snow came the inevitable shoveling, an activity that is not the best for your low back to say the least.

Now that the snow has cleared, people are starting to think about gardening and once again shoveling may come into play.

Here is my issue with shoveling…the worst position that you can put your back in is bending forward and twisting or side bending.

Please allow for a brief anatomy lesson.

As a chiropractor, I work with peoples’ structure to maintain proper weight distribution within their spine. We strive for 50/50 weight distribution between the right and left with 50/50 distribution from front to back.

When we bend forward, the weight shifts to the front of the spine. When we bend to a side, the weight shifts to that side. The body is designed to handle those singular movements.

The problem comes in when we combine the two.

When we bend forward and twist or side bend, all of the weight goes onto 25% of the spine. This creates tremendous pressure within the discs of the low back.

Eventually that pressure has to go somewhere and more often than not it results in a shifting of the structure which then leads to a whole host of secondary conditions, with back pain being at the top of the list.

It may also lead to the disc breaking open, also called a herniation, and that has another whole host of secondary conditions, with sciatica being at the top of that list.

As you get older, you must limit the amount of time you spend bending and twisting. The sad reality is as we age our discs dry out and can handle less pressure. The more we bend and twist/side bend, the higher our chances are of shifting our structure or worse, blowing out a disc.

If you have been spending a lot of time in less than ideal positions, email or call us and we can discuss strategies to help you stay upright and pain free.

 

 

Monthly Contest

It is contest time!

Answer the following questions correctly and you will be entered into our contest to win a $25 gift certificate to Brine’s Sporting Goods in Concord center.

1. Let’s start with a math question… Use 4 9’s in a math equation that equals 100.

2. What four letter sport is played all around the world and begins with a T?

3. What is the strongest muscle in the body? (Think small!)

Click here to email us, or comment below to enter the contest and Good Luck!

Monthly Contest

It is contest time!

Answer these three questions correctly and get entered in our drawing for a $25 gift card to Marshall’s Farm on Harrington Ave in West Concord Ma.

Question 1. What 5 letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

Question 2. How do you write 23 using only 2’s?

Question 3. Which of Santa’s reindeer are named after an animal.

 

In order for you to get your gift card before the holiday season is over, we will close the drawing on December 20th.

 

Please leave your answers below or email them to us here.

 

Good Luck!!!

Case of the Month July 2014

Car Accident

Have you ever been in a fender bender? Ever notice how sore you are afterwards?

I have a patient that we will call Pat. Pat was involved in an auto accident recently where she was driving, stopped for traffic and a car hit her from behind going close to 40 MPH.

After the accident Pat reported loss of hearing, headaches, vision problems, neck pain, shoulder pain and arm pain. Needless to say Pat was not feeling good and went to the hospital to get everything checked out. Once cleared from there Pat came to see me in the hopes that I would be able to help her.

I discovered that her neck and midback were completely stuck and swollen, not uncommon after a bad auto accident. Her range of motion was limited to almost zero in every range with extreme pain in every direction.

I got to work by adjusting Pat’s thoracic and cervical spine. After the adjustments, I had Pat do range of motion exercises, posture specific stretching and iced both areas. Within one week, Pat was reporting that she was feeling much better. What I was the most excited about was the 50% improvement in range of motion. 50% in one week! (Yes I know, but for me it is the little things.)

As the weeks went by Pat reported that she was moving and feeling better than she had in a long time, even before the accident. The coolest part of all of this was her focus level.

Prior to the accident Pat told me she had a hard time focusing on tasks for any period of time.

Within 3 weeks Pat felt she was getting more done at work in a shorter period of time. Talk about the brain body connection! When you remove the interference from the body, the brain knows what to do!