Help Ease Chronic Lower Back Pain from Wearing Painful Shoes with Shoe Orthotics

Back pain is one of the most common complaints amongst people, especially those that are middle-aged or older. Our backs handle a lot of our weight and a lot of strain that we put on them daily, from walking or standing with poor posture to hunching your back to work at a computer. We’ve all seen the endless lists of potential remedies or preventative measures that never seem to help. Researchers have set out to fill this void in medical research and find something to help relieve your ever-present back pain. The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation published a study in 2017 that researched the effects of orthotics on patients’ lower back pain.

The Study

Researchers split up 225 subjects (all adults that suffer from lower back pain) into three different research groups, one of which, of course, being a control group with which to compare the others. Each group was studied for six-weeks’ time.

Research Group 1
Each member of the first group was given shoe orthotics that were made custom for them and asked to wear them for six weeks. They were monitored as to the relief they experienced in their lower back pain and, after six weeks, were compared with the other two groups.

Research Group 2
The members of the next research group were given orthotics as well, but they also received an additional treatment: chiropractic manipulation. They underwent many of these procedures and received soft tissue massages, completing the treatment by alternating ice and heat packs on the lower back. This was done for six weeks before being compared to the control group and the other manipulated group.

Research Group 3
The last group received no orthotics or treatment whatsoever. They served as the control group and still showed signs of placebo effects.

Results
Both groups that received orthotics reported significantly less pain in their lower back, with Group 2 indicating the most significant positive change. However, the control group that received no treatment whatsoever, also reported a substantial decrease in their back pain, raising questions about the level of placebo effect these groups experienced. It has been proven, however, that using orthotics can not only correct gait issues, but could also alleviate dysfunctional movements that worsen the pains in the lower back and can help restore the symmetry in your body. Orthotic usage corrects the issue.

While researchers say that custom orthotics will help significantly improve your back pain, the orthotics you can purchase at retail stores or pharmacies will work better than no orthotics at all. The APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) recommends that you take your shoes with you when you purchase orthotics to ensure the perfect fit. You should make sure to get orthotics with the correct amount of support to accommodate your daily activity. It’s encouraged that you consult with a podiatrist before you pick an orthotic, but especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation as the wrong orthotic in this case could make the problem far worse.

Six Ways to Keep Your Holidays Healthy and Fun!

When it comes to eating healthy, holidays are the worst time even to try. With family get-together caulked-full of calories, to eating fast food while shopping, the months of November and December are some of the hardest of healthy-living. No matter how discouraging it seems, don’t totally kick nutrition out the door this year – we’ve put together a list of six simple ways that you can enjoy the holiday season without completely giving up.

  1. Trick Your Brain. While you may head to the table ready to eat the entire turkey, you’re really not as hungry as you think. Before you load a huge plate down with food, consider taking a smaller plate and just putting a lot of food on it. The smaller plate will seem like it has a ton of food while actually sporting only half the calories of a regular- sized plate. You can do the same thing with drinks by using tall glasses that hold fewer
    ounces. Your mind thinks you’ve had the regular amount, and it will pass the news on to your stomach!
  2. Get Some Sleep! Yes, the holidays are stressful, and there doesn’t seem to be time enough to think about napping, but it’s important to get a full seven-hours sleep a day. The less you sleep, the more you eat, and calorie-loaded foods will be more attractive when you’re tired.
  3. Eat Before the Meal. It sounds crazy, but you might consider eating before you head off to the big meal. Healthy foods such as fruits and veggies can help calm your appetite and keep you from totally stuffing your face at the dinner.
  4. Take Time to Chew. Sometimes, eating at family get-togethers can become a race to see who can pack in the most food the fastest. Aunt Edith’s famous chocolate pie? Sure I’ll take another slice…just like me woof this one down first! Take time actually to enjoy your meal by chewing slowly. Not only will this give your food time to digest, but it’s another trick that makes you feel stuffed even when you’re not.
  5. Make Good Choices. Strangely enough, the foods that you put on your plate first are the ones you will eat the most of. Before you grab for the macaroni and cheese, head for the low-calorie veggie tray first. It may not seem like the most attractive food, but your waistline will thank you!
  6. Add Some Nutrition to the Meal. If you’re going to eat with friends or family, talk to the host about bringing along a healthy dish. Most chefs are happy to have something extra at the meal and would welcome a low-calorie dish that goes along with what they are serving. While you can still enjoy the other food, your healthy dish will ensure you that there is something nutritious available for your main course.

Yes, the holidays bring along a lot of festive meals and some very unhealthy eating choices; however, you don’t have to entirely give up on your plans to get in shape. By using the six tips listed above, you can continue to enjoy the fun while staying on course for a healthier new year!

Your Phone May Be Hurting Your Neck

The scornful remarks about teenagers being “glued” to their cell phones have been circling for ages – it’s hard to find a teenager who isn’t either talking, texting, or playing on their phone. However, as wireless devices grow in popularity, it isn’t just teenagers who are turning to them on a daily basis. In 2013, a study found that 91% of adults in the United States own a cell phone…and we’re just as addicted to them as the kids. On average, a young woman will spend ten hours using her phone each day. That’s right…ten hours! Before you get too disgusted, take a minute to consider your own cell phone use; if we’re honest, we all spend a lot of time typing, browsing, and playing on our devices.

Whether you use your phone to connect with family members through texts and messages, keep up with business matters through email, do research for school, or just play some fun games, doctors now have sobering news: Too much time with your cell phone could be bad for your neck!

How Cell Phones Can Damage Your Body

The Chief of Spine Surgery with New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, stepped forward to explain how cell phones are damaging necks and what can be done about it. According to Dr. Hansraj, the average person’s neck weighs about eleven pounds – while this seems like a lot of weight to carry around on your neck and cervical spine, it gets worse when you’re not standing with good posture.
Cell phone use causes people to naturally lean forward outside of their regular, healthy posture. Even a head that is leaned only slightly forward makes it weight more than twice as much, putting around 27 pounds of pressure on your neck. Do you get a little closer to your phone? Guess what – that puts even more pressure on your neck. If you lean forward at a 45-degree angle, which is not even as far as many people lean to look at
their phones, your head will put almost 50 pounds of pressure on your neck and back.

businessman holding a phone and her neck with painHow Much Phone Time is Too Much?

Understandably, the more you use your phone, the more damaging the effects will be on your neck. Before you breathe a sigh of relief because you only use your phone an hour or two a day, it’s important to remember that any amount of cell phone use can cause side effects. Even if you only text or check your email for short periods of time, there may still be repercussions for years to come.

What You Can Do

Before you lock away your cell phone and live like you’re in the 90’s, there are several things that you can do to help. First, you need to be aware of how you stand when using your device; rather than lowering your head to meet your phone, raise your device so that it is eye-level when in use. Secondly, try to cut back on your phone use – while any amount can damage your neck, the more time you spend with your head leaning forward,the worse your neck will be hurt. Last, set up a visit with your chiropractor for an adjustment. A chiropractor can help you by putting your neck back in place and reversing some of the damage from cell phone use.

Chiropractic: Choice for Headache Relief

 

According to the American Chiropractic Association, nearly 9 out of 10 Americans fall victim to painful and sometimes severe headaches. There is a smaller percentage of Americans who have headaches that are considered incredibly severe. Severe headaches are sometimes triggered by motion, food, a specific light source, noise, tense, etc. Sometimes these types of difficult headaches can keep people from doing everyday daily tasks, even having the overwhelming need to skip work or school.

Having a pain in your head so severe can make even the simple daily tasks seem like the hardest ones. Even little struggles seem excessive when sensitivity to light, food, or any kind of motion stops you from living your best life.

If you’ve fallen victim to these types of headaches but don’t like to take medication to relieve the pain, then perhaps a more natural approach is what you need. Did you know a chiropractor can relieve more than back stress? There are tons of nerves in your neck, back, feet, etc. that could be adding to your severe headaches. If you haven’t yet tried relieving the pain this way, it’s time to take a dive in a chiropractic approach.

A chiropractor can offer you a drug-free headache relief in many ways. Many headaches caused by tension are considered primary and could easily be relieved. A cluster of headaches together cause migraines and those may be caused by anything listed above. It’s important to know you are certainly not alone in these painful episodes. Many people find themselves having them once a week and some even daily. Why is it acceptable to live in this manner? There is a drug-free solution to your painful headaches.  

Chiropractic headache treatments are typically among the most relaxing environments at any chiropractic office. Your chiropractic physician can give you a series of treatments to relieve your headaches. Spinal manipulation is performed to release tension, increase blood flow, and allow muscles to relax which inevitably eases headaches.  It may only take a few sessions for you to completely feel the release you’ve been hoping for. Even after the first session, many clients proved to feel much better almost instantly. There’s no harm in trying, right?

Those dull and tension-filled headaches you have often could directly be tied to the tension and knots you’re harboring in your upper back and lower neck region. Don’t allow this type of pain to tread on, especially if it can easily be treated with some chiropractic adjustments.

If the chiropractor, after a series of painless tests, sees the reasons behind your headaches may be because of a poor diet, he or she can also help you nutritionally and offer dietary assistance as well. The nutritional treatment is unique to each client, every time. You can be rest assured your dietary plan is completely customized to your needs, after all, everyone has their own individual needs.

Take a chance on chiropractic help for your severe headaches, you may be missing out on the answer you have been waiting for all along.

 

Chiropractic Patients Enjoy Faster Recovery and Spend Less Money

 

It’s no secret that thousands of Americans complain about back pain, it always seems to be the topic of discussion. In a 2012 study, it was proved that on a yearly average, nearly $635 billion dollars is spent on pain management. An incredibly high percentage of that is narrowed down to back pain management.

If you find yourself constantly needing to stretch, or rub your neck or back to quickly help ease back pain, you’re not alone. It’s us, the people with the office jobs who lean over to see our computer screens closer for 8 hours in a day. Where can this pain end? Is there a drug-free solution?

These days, millions of people opt for a cleaner approach and have decided to ditch the hard-core drugs for a better solution; a chiropractic solution. A cheaper and cleaner alternative for a back pain-free life. Back pain can be caused in many ways, and mostly in a multitude of ways. No back pain is ever the same, we are all individual in that sense but feel pain nonetheless.

Back pain is caused by strained back muscles or tension build up in your upper back or lower-neck regions, or the more popular, lower back regions. These causes come from poor posture, straining of the neck while looking down at a phone screen, worn out joints from age or injury and so on.

With back pain, so common in our society and with many factors adding to this pain, why hasn’t the chiropractic approach reached its popularity yet? Truth is, it’s hard to assume that anything other than hard drugs could take away such a severe pain. Chiropractors, however, go straight to the source and relieve the tension built up in our necks and backs. They do this by adjusting the needed area to increase mobility of the joints, properly align the spine, and increase blood to flow to the tension-filled muscles. It’s near instant relief, and you will find you will less likely need any further assistance from prescription drugs. This saves time and money!

There are other ways you can alleviate your pain, to keep it from going too extreme.

  • A healthy diet is always key to total body health, yes, this includes your back.
  • Regular stretching is highly recommended by any physician, activating your muscles and keeping them moving keeps blood flowing.
  • Use ice packs to reduce inflammation and numb the pain, for a quick fix.
  • Pay attention to how you sit at your desk, are you leaning? How do you stand, do you slouch? These are key components to watch for when trying to relieve your back pain. Keep your back straight.
  • Not an avid gym goer? Then maybe you should try. Staying active is the key to keeping your muscles and joints active and healthy, this gives ample room for blood flow and allows no room for back pain.

Ask your doctor about how a chiropractor could help you with your severe back pain. If you haven’t yet tried this healthier approach, you may be missing out on the great decision of your life. Your back will thank you.  

Are Sedentary Lifestyles Leading to More Back Pain?

We commonly associate back pain with injuries – but are we right to do so? While it’s certainly true that people can injure their backs lifting heavy objects or in accidents, evidence is mounting that sitting still
could be even worse for your back than previously realized.

What Does Sitting Have to Do with Back Pain?
Sitting down seems to be a benign activity, but it’s not. As we grow increasingly attached to our computers, tablets, and smart phones, we also spend less time moving our bodies. And it turns out that all that sitting has affected our health. People who move around a lot tend to have better posture than people who don’t. Good posture relies on muscle tone and fitness. People who have a low percentage of muscle in their bodies may lack the strength to keep their backs straight while they sit. The fact that we spend so much of our time hunched over electronic devices hasn’t helped, either. In fact, 2008 marked the coining of a new phrase to describe the wear and tear caused by this phenomenon. It’s called Text Neck, and it could be turning into an epidemic. The human head weighs 12 pounds, but when we curve our necks downward to peer at a screen, the pressure on our spines increases dramatically. Over time, repeated stress on the cervical spine can lead to spinal degeneration and chronic pain.

The Solution is Simple

The solution to our sedentary problem is a simple one. Here are some tips to help you reduce the back pain caused by sitting

  1. Sit up straight with your back against your seat, your shoulders touching the backrest, and your knees lower than your hips. Your feet should be flat on the ground and your elbows should be at a comfortable angle.
  2. Align your computer screen so it is even with your eyebrows. This position ensures that you won’t have to strain your neck or spine to look at the screen.
  3. Take frequent breaks. When you sit for hours at a time, your spine compresses and pain may be the result. By standing up, stretching, or even walking around, you give your back a break.
  4. Get more exercise. You don’t have to exercise every day, but even walking or Yoga can help elongate your spine and reduce pain.

We all have to sit sometimes, but if you sit too much your spine may end up paying the price. Using these simple tips can help you keep your spine in the proper alignment and reduce the risk that you’ll end up with a chronic pain problem.

October is Chiropractic Healthcare Month

Chiropractic medicine is one of the least invasive and most effective ways to treat chronic pain. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way of managing pain without prescription drugs or surgery.

October is Chiropractic Health Care Month. Every year, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) uses the month of October to educate the public about the benefits of chiropractic treatment for chronic pain and spinal issues.

This year, their focus is “Back to Basics,” with the intention of reminding the public of the importance of maintaining good spinal health throughout their lives.

What Does Back to Basics Mean?

Getting back to basics for the ACA means educating people about the important role that spinal health plays in their everyday lives. People who do physical labor must be careful not to hurt their backs, but people in sedentary jobs are at risk, too.

The “Back to Basics” campaign is designed to emphasize simple methods of maintaining good spinal health, preventing spinal injuries, and getting the proper nutrition to live a healthy life.

Chiropractic doctors focus on a holistic approach to healing, preferring non-invasive methods of treating pain. The practice of chiropractic medicine is not new, but now more medical doctors are recommending non-drug treatments for pain, including chiropractic treatments.

New Guidelines for the Use of Opioid Drugs for Pain

As awareness of the growing opioid epidemic increases, a growing number of doctors are hesitant to prescribe pain medication for their patients. Instead, they’re recommending non-invasive treatments that eschew drugs.

The Joint Commission, an organization that accredits all major hospitals in the United States, recently released new guidelines regarding the treatment of pain that will go into effect in January, 2018.

Specifically, they said that hospitals must provide non-drug pain treatments to their patients. They have also provided guidelines for the safe prescription and use of opioid drugs.

This marks a significant change from the way pain was treated just a few years ago. Patients are learning that chiropractic treatments can provide real and lasting relief from pain because chiropractors identify the root cause of pain and treat it instead of masking the pain with drugs – and that means that patients don’t have to deal with the unpleasant side effects and risk of addiction that come with prolonged use of pain medication.

David Herd, DC, is the president of the ACA. He points out, “Almost everyone experiences back pain at some point in their lives, and more people are becoming interested in non-drug approaches to treatment.” Throughout the month of October, the ACA will be educating the public about the benefits of chiropractic care and injury prevention. You can visit their website to learn more.

Pet Chiropractics: A Growing Trend to Treat Our Furry Friends

The basic idea behind chiropractic treatment is that if your spine is out of alignment, it can’t work correctly.  This can cause irritation of the nerves, or spinal cord and consequently can irritate the brain stem.  Therefore, any animal with a nervous system be it dogs, cats, rabbits or humans, will benefit from treatment by someone who knows how.

The nervous system is the main system that allows every muscle and organ in the body to function properly. Realignment of the skeletal structure allows the nervous system to function naturally.  In doing this, Chiropractors offer an additional way to support the healing process of almost any disease.

A Growing Concept

Veterinary Chiropractic Centers are becoming more and more common and many Veterinary Clinics are beginning to add Chiropractic care to their menu of services.  With the development of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) as a certifying body, the industry itself has also become more regulated.  

What To Look for in Your Pet

There are symptoms that may suggest your pet could benefit from specialized care.

The most common warning signs tend toward the physical symptoms such as limping, refusal to climb stairs or into furniture, or in more extreme cases, the development of seizures.

There also can be indications based on a change of behavior. For example, if a dog is usually happy, full of energy or very well-behaved and overnight becomes shy, or begins to misbehave,  this may be a sign of an illness or a reaction to a change in the perceived family structure.  However, if nothing has changed within the household, like the introduction of a new pet, person or baby and any screening for illnesses come back negative, there may be a reason to consider a Chiropractic evaluation.

Cases Where Therapy Worked to Avoid Severe Conditions

Individual cases where Chiropractic treatment was used showed outstanding results.  

These include one patient who was able to avoid additional surgery for herniated disc repair and regained the ability to walk by undergoing 6 Chiropractic treatments instead. Another pet was able to skip any surgeries at all and reverse the paralysis that had taken hold in the rear legs.

Now, before you start scouring Google or Yelp for your nearest Pet Chiropractic Clinic, keep in mind that a chiropractor is not a substitute for your pet’s regular veterinarian. Always consult your pet’s Doctor first before pursuing Pet Chiropractic services.

How Your Chiropractor Can Treat Carpal Tunnel Pain

Most of us have heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  Since the use of home computers has become the norm, more and more people find they are suffering from this condition on one level or another.  

The carpal tunnel is a band of fibrous tissue located on the front side of the wrist. It contains the blood vessels, nerves, and tendons that are required for the hand to function properly. The Syndrome is caused by inflammation or damage to the tissues, or when pressure on the area constricts the arteries and nerves. The most common symptoms of this repetitive stress injury include tingling, numbness, pain in the wrists or hands and a weakening in the middle or index fingers, and thumb.

While most people think of chiropractic treatments as being designed for neck and back problems, it is, in fact, a whole-body wellness practice.  This makes it an effective and non-invasive way to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Chiropractic Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are four primary ways that chiropractors treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. These common treatments have shown to be very effective in treating the condition as a whole.

Adjustments

It all comes back to the spine.  When not in alignment, there are a number of issues that can occur, including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Your chiropractor will work to realign the spine to its correct position. Then, if needed, make adjustments to other areas of the body being affected,  like the arms and wrists.

Ultrasound Therapy

Not just for seeing your baby for the first time, this technology is also used by chiropractors for the purpose of treating chiropractic conditions.  The device creates focused sound waves that penetrate deep into the body’s tissues. The effects include a reduction of inflammation and pain and the relaxation of the muscles. This treatment may be used singularly or in conjunction with other chiropractic treatments.

Acupuncture

Several studies have shown that this ancient practice can alleviate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and heal the injured nerves.  Resulting nerve conduction studies and ultrasonic imaging tests have been conclusive to show acupuncture does work to heal the nerves. Your Chiropractor will be able to advise you on whether this option is right for you.

Wrist Supports

These supports are designed to keep the wrist properly aligned with the rest of the arm, resulting in the reduction of compression due to excess pressure. Most often used as a preventative treatment, they are typically used by people whose work involves the harmful repetitive movements that can cause issues to begin. Use can also be in conjunction with regular chiropractic treatments as the ones mentioned above to aid in preventing the condition to develop.

There are also exercises and dietary habits that can assist.  Your Chiropractor may suggest one or more in an effort to keep you from experiencing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other conditions. Proper treatment from a professional can result in relief of symptoms and promote healing without the use of medications or surgery.

Does Chiropractic Care Reduce the Need for Opioid Prescriptions?

River North - Chicago, IL - Opioid prescription use continues to rise each year. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the percentage of patients getting drug therapy is a whopping 75%. The problem with this is that medications simply mask symptoms rather than help to treat the condition entirely. An alternative for taking opioid prescriptions is chiropractic care. More and more people are seeking treatments from a chiropractor to treat symptoms usually treated with prescription medications.

Opioid prescription use has become an epidemic problem. Although there is a purpose behind these treatments, being over prescribed has only encouraged risks for addiction. Chiropractors never prescribe medications. Chiropractic care can help patients experience immediate relief. Opioids usually have a long list of negative effects and side effects that can leave patients feeling worse than prior to taking them. Prescription medications also can leave lasting negative impacts on the brain. National Institute on Drug Abuse states that “Stimulants such as Ritalin achieve their effects by acting on the same neurotransmitter systems as cocaine. Opioid pain relievers such as OxyContin attach to the same cell receptors targeted by illegal opioids like heroin.” Even when used under direct recommendations, opioids can still negatively cause impacts to your health.

In contrast to medication use, a chiropractor can provide treatments for the following
conditions, all without the negative side effects of toxic medications:

  • Back pain
  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Asthma
  • Joint and Muscle pain
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Whiplash
  • Sciatica

Seeking chiropractic care is a more holistic and effective alternative to traditional western medicine treatments. Opioid medications typically used to treat these conditions will only mask their symptoms, allowing the condition to remain in the body and potentially get worse. A chiropractor will work to find the root of the condition and treat it with effective methods, rather than just treating the symptoms. Symptoms only occur as a result of the condition being present. Chiropractors get rid of the problem. Over time, patients will spend a lot of money in health care trying to treat their conditions with opioids, medications that only provide temporary relief, if not more damage to their bodies. Chiropractic care can save patients time and money by curing them of their conditions altogether.

The Illinois Chiropractic Society was able to negotiate the following during the 2017 Legislative Session, “The bill now clarifies the ability for various healthcare providers, including chiropractic physicians, to practice telemedicine in Illinois.” The bill also addressed the ability for a chiropractor to be able to treat an emancipated minor for services. Passes like this show that people understand the need and benefits of these treatments. 

Chiropractors provide patients with a more hands-on and manipulative treatment that does not involve ingestion of toxic opioid medications. Chiropractic care is also beneficial and safe for people of all ages, which makes it more accessible. It is safe and non-invasive and more preferred among patients. As people become more aware of all the ways they inadvertently ingest more toxins in their bodies, they are also becoming more aware of healthier alternatives to get rid of those toxins. Chiropractors are well-educated and licensed to practice health care that is directly related to muscles, joints, spine and ligaments. They are medical professionals who can provide you with the confidence that you will be receiving effective and safe treatment.

Reaves Chiropractic