Tag Archives: Exercise

Road Trip Tips

Road trips are hard on the body.Sitting still for long periods causes some problems for your back.These problems can normally be repaired with a good nights sleep.However, you rarely get a good night’s sleep on road trips.When you’re sleeping on a strange bed, no matter what kind of bed it is, it’s not yours.But not to worry as long as you eat right, you’re body will be able to cope with these difficulties.Oh, that’s right; when you’re traveling you will probably be eating out, and unable to control a vast majority of your food preparation.

Honestly though, even if you are in good condition road trips will take a toll on your body. Here are some tips from your chiropractor to make your next road trip a little better. First and foremost get adjusted before you go if you are able. You know these trips are going to be hard on your body. It is good to give your self the best start possible. Sitting for a long period will be much easier if you are aligned properly.

Try to sit in a good posture. There are many posture aids for your car, and I recommend a few of them, but if time and money don’t permit, a good thick towel will mold to just about any position that you need.Putting something at the small of your back will help you to remember to sit properly.

From: Road Trip America

Take healthy snacks. I know it’s so much easier to grab some prepackaged junk or candy to eat in the car, but with a little preparation time you can be more awake, alert and pleasant. Try sliced vegetables or fruit. With your body sitting still so much you don’t need a whole lot of calories, but you still need energy. Vegetables will give you that energy without making you feel sluggish. Additionally, if you have children traveling with you, you can avoid the wild sugar induced mood swings. The same goes for drinks; water is what your body needs.

You’re not going to be able to take your bed with you, but there are some things that you can do to get a better nights sleep.Most hotels have a gym of some kind, and if you’re going to be watching TV before bed anyway you might as well do it on the treadmill, or bike.I prefer being outside.This will tire you out as well as giving your joints a chance to get the nutrients they need.You don’t need to go all out but even a short 15 minute stroll is going to be better than nothing.

When you get home from your trip make sure that you have an appointment scheduled with your chiropractor, and massage therapist. You want to be back in pre-trip shape or better as soon as possible, and these people are the ones to make it happen.

Computer Users and Chiropractic

I did tech support  before becoming a chiropractor.  I know how hard it can be on the body.  We often talk about having a cushy office job.  If any of you have ever tried it then you know that doing nothing for a long period of time can be very hard, emotionally, mentally, and physically.  Perhaps even harder than an active job.  Office workers will often sit for 8 hours straight.  This can lead to structural weakness in our bodies.  Especially when we do it with poor posture.

Office workers often experience low back pain caused by normal daily activities because the ligaments in their low back have stretched to accommodate the slouch, and are therefore not able to handle regular activities.  They also often get upper back or neck pain from poorly set up work stations leading to poor posture.  Arm symptoms include tingling, numbness and pain.  Often over diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms may develop.  These are some of the more common symptoms related to office workers.

These problems are not without solution.  And the solution is relatively easy, it just takes effort.  Don’t sit in the same position for more than 20 minutes.  Stand up every half hour at least for 5 minutes.  You don’t have to exercise, though that would be great.  Set a timer to remind you.  Stretch before and after your shift, your arms and wrists, your back and legs. Do a full 10 minutes of something to get you moving again.

Talk to your boss to see if he will allow time for this kind of thing.  I promise if he’s a good boss and you don’t abuse it he’ll be happy to have a healthy and more productive worker.  You may even implement a company wide policy.  Your company may even have reduced rates for workers compensation coverage for doing it.  If your employer is hesitant invite a local chiropractor to come talk about the benefits of a program like this to the company.  Companies loose millions each year because of back pain.  Time off, unproductive time, etc…

If it’s too late, and you already have these symptoms, your chiropractor can help.  It’s all about function, and a chiropractor can help restore that function, so that you can get back to living life.

Once I Start – I Can’t Stop

You’ve heard it before.  It might be nice for me if it were true. Then I’d never need to find new patients.

People worry that once they go to see a chiropractor they’ll need to go for the rest of their life. They hear stories about people having gone to the chiropractor and being told that they need to come in twice a week for months and then even when they’re “cured” they’ll still need to come back every month or so. There is also the fear that perhaps this joint popping is addictive. Both of these myths, like all myths and stereotypes, have a basis in reality. Let me explain the reality and perhaps address where the myths came from.

First of all, there are people who may “need” to see a chiropractor the rest of their lives. Usually they are people with irreversible chronic injuries or illnesses who require care on a regular basis to improve their standard of living. I once had a wonderful patient with MLS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). She had serious pain all day every day. When she received treatment from me it relieved her pain for a little while. This enabled her to function better for what she had left of her life. It also enabled her medical doctor to reduce the amount of medication that she took. It was a joy to treat her. As a side note, for some reason after starting chiropractic care, the progression of her illness began to slow. She lived years longer than expected. I know of many patients who get chiropractic care like this. Cancer patients, patients with degenerative conditions, etc. In these situations chiropractic care can be a life saver and they look forward to the visits even if they are twice a week for the rest of their life.

The argument could be made that we are all breaking down and need regular wellness/preventative care to improve our standard of living. I won’t argue that. I recommend to all of my patients some sort of regular care, but convincing an otherwise healthy patient to come and see me every week is not my style. Elite athletes have proven this idea though. When Tiger Woods gets adjusted he’s not horribly out of sorts, he’s just looking for that extra 2 yards that having a finely tuned body is going to give him. Every one can be improved upon, but most of us aren’t looking for an extra 2 yards or that split second in a race. Perhaps we should be.

The next issue is having to come in SO MANY TIMES.Mercy Table

 

So the next time your chiropractor says they’ll need to see you about 15-20 times, smile, and say, “whew, that’s all?” And if someone ever tells you that you get addicted to chiropractic “pops” just tell them that you’re addicted to health, like you’re addicted to exercise, and healthy food. You know, once you start exercising you can’t stop without losing the benefits.

Exercise, the Other Modality

I have discussed some of the physiotherapy modalities that we use in our clinic.  I’d like to discuss a modality that most people don’t consider a modality, exercise.  Exercise when used in my clinic is usually used as a form of specific rehab with a specific goal in mind.  I will always recommend exercise as home care or a lifestyle change because your body heals faster when you’re in peak condition.  Exercise in my office though, will be used to improve balance, decrease recovery time, strengthen weak areas, or for motion retraining.

The most obvious example is the slumped shoulders that we all get from working on computers too much.  Your muscles in the front get strong and short, but your back muscles are stretched long and are weak.  We would do exercises to retrain that to normal.   As chiropractors we try to care for the whole body and get to the root cause of problems rather than just treating symptoms.  If you have a muscular imbalance that is causing your spine not to function properly a chiropractor would be remiss if he just adjusted the spine over and over without addressing the muscles causing the problem.  That is not to say that all spinal problems are cause by muscles, but it is hard to separate the two components.

Retraining exercises teach your brain how to use muscles and joints properly.  It takes time to break bad habits, but exercising properly along with adjustments will help much faster.  When you have improved enough, you should be able to maintain your health on your own with proper diet and fitness.  Life happens and you may need to come back for a little extra help, but one of my goals is to educate patients to take care of themselves.  Education is true preventative medicine.

Gold’s Gym Review

As promised I stopped by the Gold’s Gym near my office to take a look around.  The one thing that I found that I did like at Gold’s was that they had a neck machine.  It’s only at the facility by University Mall, no other Gold’s in the area.  This is the first gym I’ve ever seen one in.  So, if I have a neck rehab patient who needs a gym I know where to send them.

Beyond that however, I felt like a number at Gold’s.  At first they didn’t even want to let me in until I bought a memebership.  They didn’t seem to understand that someone might want to look around before getting a membership.  They told me I could come in if I had a free 1-day pass, but they weren’t willing to give me one. Finally after explaining what I was doing for the 4th time they finally let me look around after signing a waiver.

Beyond that complaint about the greeting, I found everything that I wanted in a gym for my patients.  They do have a pool and the back machines that I recommend for good back health.

As far as cost, I now have information from two gyms, but 24-Hour Fitness was substantially less than Gold’s Gym.  If you’re going to use a gym anyway then the money isn’t really a big deal to you.  If you were really worried about money you wouldn’t go to a gym.  They are expensive.  I’ll create a cost benefit post when I’m done with a few more gyms in the area.

So Many Drugs, So Little Time

I read an interesting article at TIME magazine’s website today, and it just came together with some of the other things that I have noticed recently.

My grandmother came and stayed with us about a month ago and I noticed that she had a bag full of medication, probably 10 different prescriptions each day.  I was shocked.  I don’t want to be taking that many pills when I get to be her age.

I was at the pharmacy the other day and observed that THERE ARE A LOT OF DRUGS.  That realization hit me as I stood at the counter to get some medication for my daughter.  As odd as it may be for a chiropractor, I’m not opposed to medication.  I work with medical doctors, and appreciate the amazing things drugs can do.  My family of 5 may fill 2 maybe 3 short term prescriptions per year.

I stood at the pharmacy in disbelief just running the numbers in my mind.  There were thousands of prescriptions waiting to be picked up that one day in this one pharmacy.  There are pharmacies in every grocery store.  I wondered how many drugs this city was taking.

Then came this article showing that over 50% of all Americans are on medications not just short term, but for chronic conditions.  WOW!  What has happened?  I took a look at some research to see.

In the last 50 years medication technology took off.  From 1900-1950 life expectancy increased about 30 years.  From 1950-2000 it increased about 5 years.  In 1950 5% of our GDP was spent on healthcare in 2007 it was 16%.  People are taking less responsibility for their own health, but spending more on it.  Medicine has nearly destroyed infectious disease, but now chronic and degenerative diseases have taken their place.  Perhaps pills have made us lazy, or at least had a hand in it.  We may never overcome our desire for a quick fix with improved medicine.

What did our fore bearers do?  They didn’t have all these drugs yet they still lived good full lives.  Happiness levels haven’t changed as long as they’ve been studied.  I’m not saying we should get rid of drugs.  I am saying that perhaps we shouldn’t use them as much.  That goes for chiropractic as well.  If people just lived better, we wouldn’t be in the shape we’re in.

You know the number one treatment for heart disease is diet and exercise.  Just because you can take a pill or get an adjustment (more info) to lower your blood pressure doesn’t mean you should get lazy.

Just imagine what our society would be like if we lived healthily and utilized healthcare advances.