Many people struggle while trying to stay healthy through the winter months. Winter places more stress on our immune systems. We are faced with more indoor confinement requiring closer proximity to people and viruses. Lack of natural sunlight can reduce our body’s ability to be as strong as possible.
However we don’t have to remain helpless to the elements during winter. There are four simple secrets that you can utilize to be much healthier this winter than in the past. These steps are not expensive and will make you much stronger and resistive to illness.
1. Place a Humidifier in Your Bedroom
During the winter months most of us are exposed to some form of dry heat utilized in keeping our homes and workplaces warm. This may be gas or electric heat. Unfortunately these forms of energy do not allow for proper moisture and humidity in our living and working environments. It is helpful to have a humidifier on your furnace. But for many people this is not enough. Buying a small, portable humidifier and placing it in your bedroom is an excellent way to create added humidity while we are sleeping. These are usually inexpensive and can be bought at any of the big box stores.
2. Use a Sinus Rinse Before Bedtime
Our sinuses are a first line of defense for our body’s immune systems. The sinuses not only filter dust and particles and warm the air but create a barrier to airborne bacteria and viruses. The sinus membranes must have just the right amount of moisture. Since the winter month’s air has a lower humidity level our work and home moisture content is reduced. After a month or two sinus membranes can get irritated and become drier. Many people experience nosebleeds during the winter and can attest to this phenomenon.
By using a sinus rinse before bedtime the sinuses can be moistened and kept healthy. This is usually a very simple process. I personally use a product called Neil Med sinus rinse which is simply a small plastic squeeze bottle, filled with lukewarm water and a pre-made saline packet. By squirting the water solution up each nostril while standing over a sink the sinuses can be rinsed and moistened. This will make the sinus membranes healthy and strong and help make us more comfortable through the winter.
3. Take Probiotics Supplements
The stomach and the intestinal track are also a very important part of our immune system. The fluids we drink and the foods we eat may contain bacteria and viruses which can attack our immune systems. Normally, there are “good bacteria” in our digestive systems which create chemicals that break down foreign viruses and bacteria. To help ensure that we have plenty of good bacteria in our gut we can take probiotic nutritional supplements. These contain millions of the good type of bacteria and can be taken like a vitamin. Taking these several times a week, or even daily, helps to strengthen this part of our body’s defense mechanism.
4. Have Regular Chiropractic Adjustments
While most people realize that chiropractic care can help with neck pain and back pain, adjustments given by a chiropractor will also help the entire nervous system to remain free of interference and irritation. If the nervous system is healthy it can direct the immune system to work at its optimum level. When the nervous system and the immune system are working at peak performance our body will have the ultimate ability to resist the stresses and demands winter places on us.
We don’t have to accept being unhealthy during winter. We have to take additional steps so as to not succumb to the causes of illness. This winter be proactive in your approach to having a healthy, enjoyable winter season by following these simple, inexpensive secrets.
What was your condition? “I had constant shooting neck pain including stiffness in my neck muscles.”
What steps had you previously taken to get help? “Ice therapy and extreme whining, neither of which were effective.”
How were you referred to chiropractic? “I had previous experience with chiropractic treatment many years ago.”
In your words, what did the chiropractor do? “Dr. Schofield began a schedule of adjustments in conjunction with a home stretching program. I have followed up with periodic adjustments to ensure previous symptoms do not return.”
What are your hobbies and interests? “Travel softball, and very poor attemps at golf.”
How has chiropractic helped your hobbies and interests? “I am now able to complete a full range of motion, and I now can focus on my activites instead of the pain I used to experience.”
How has chiropractic helped other aspects of your life? “The biggest compliment I can give to Dr. Schofield is that I can live my life without having to be aware of neck pain or stiffness. Additionally, my improved posture and back strength have given me a more healthy and professional appearance.”
Words of encouragement to others? “Prior to visiting Dr. Schofield, I was constantly aware of the pain and stiffness in my neck. After my initial treatments and subsequent maintenance adjustments, I have not experienced any of the symptoms that used to be an everyday part of life. The many benefits of Chiropractic far outweigh the minimal time and effort needed for treatment.”
Law enforcement officers are a uniquely positioned profession in many ways. We all know that they are exposed to many risk factors. But few of us are aware that police officers tend to have an increased risk of lower back pain. This article will discuss the prevalence, cause and management of lower back pain of law first responders.
A recent study in the February 2017 edition of the Spine research journal looked at lower back pain in members of the profession of policing. Questionnaires completed by 3589 law enforcement officers revealed that almost 70% reported lower back pain symptoms in the last 12 months. Almost 97% of them felt the presence of their lower back pain was partially or totally linked to their work in the police force. Nearly 30% of the respondents lived with chronic lower back pain. These officers were more likely to report a reduction of work activities and lost workdays in the past year due to their pain.
Causes of lower back pain in the police community are from a variety of factors.
Many in law enforcement are required to spend long hours driving in vehicles. As these vehicles are used for longer periods by different drivers the driver’s seats start to break down. The upholstery may become unevenly compacted. If this is the case the driver will be sitting in an unbalanced awkward position for many hours. When this occurs it places physical stress on the lower back and the joints of the pelvis.
Another cause of lower back pain is due to the sheer physicality of the job. Police enforcement officials are required to physically chase suspects, climb over and around obstacles and restrain offenders. At times, a police officer is the first person to arrive at a medical emergency and may have to be in a posturally demanding position to administer CPR, resuscitation, stopping blood loss or moving a victim from a hazard. Inevitably, again, physical stress occurs to the lower back.
A sometimes overlooked cause of back pain is the officers duty belt. A duty belt is worn around the upper hips and not only holds a firearm but many other items such as handcuffs, a baton, a radio, a TASER and a pouch for latex gloves. Duty belts can be heavy, awkward to wear and apply mechanical stress to the lower back.
There are certainly other causes of stress to the lower back but one gets the overall idea with the examples mentioned.
Whatever the cause of the injury and complaint a physical solution and care from a chiropractor can generally be of help to a physical problem. Chiropractors focus on helping patients who have lower back pain. Many back conditions are caused by misalignments and improper movements of the bones of the spine and the pelvis. Chiropractors can assess the police officer during a physical examination and determine if realignment by the chiropractor performing a chiropractic adjustment will help in the correction of the cause of the lower back pain.
Chiropractors are experts at treating injuries of the lower back. Many law enforcement officers who have developed lower back ailments due to their line of work have been helped by chiropractors. In addition, many police officers see chiropractors on an ongoing basis for maintenance care to avoid experiencing an injury and to enjoy a long healthy career.
Our bodies can be in one of these conditions: 1) healthy, 2) unhealthy, or 3) sick. We all know that being healthy means we have no pain or symptoms and that our bodies are working 100% all of the time. But you might ask what is the difference between the latter two?
My definition of unhealthy is the state in which we feel no symptoms but our bodies are not functioning 100%. The definition of being sick is when we feel pain and/or notice our bodies are working improperly and functioning at less than 100%.
An illustration of this might be three types of visits to a dentist’s office. A type one visit would be a check-up where the patient feels no pain and the dentist tells the patient everything looks fine–that person’s teeth are healthy. In visit type two, the patient feels no pain but the dentist discovers some decay in the tooth and puts a filling in the cavity. That tooth was in an unhealthy state but wasn’t bad enough to create pain. Visit type three would be when a patient is in pain and calls the dentist to make an appointment and the dentist finds a cavity that had become bad enough to irritate the tooth’s nerve. The tooth is in a condition of sickness. But to get to the point of becoming sick, that tooth had to be unhealthy first.
Another example might be a heart attack. Many people have no clue that they have heart problems until the actual pain from a heart attack occurs. But obviously their hearts had to be in a state of unhealthiness first.
As a chiropractor, most people I see come to me initially in a state of sickness. They are in pain and seek treatment for their pain. However, in most cases, their bodies had to go through a period of unhealthiness to get to the point of being sick. In most cases, their spines became more and more misaligned. In the early stages of their condition, even though they had no pain, their nervous systems had some low-grade irritation.
The problem with being in an unhealthy state is that a person’s body isn’t functioning at 100% and isn’t operating as well as it should. This may lead to that person having a low energy level and being chronically tired. He or she may not sleep well and may be more susceptible to colds, infections, and illness.
Being unhealthy affects our lives. Job and school performance may suffer if a person is fatigued. Relationships may be strained because one person is “sick and tired” of the other person being “sick and tired.” Even our recreational and vacation periods may suffer if we don’t have the energy we should. Who wants to be tired while on vacation?
Subsequently, it is usually just a matter of time until an unhealthy body with no pain deteriorates to being a sick body with pain.
Chiropractic approaches health from the inside out by accessing our body’s inborn intelligence to maintain our health from within. Just as our inborn intelligence knows how to create the body, it also knows how to heal the body.
Chiropractic helps remove nerve interference caused by misalignments of the spine (called subluxations) which can reduce the flow of nerve energy to all parts of the body. Making this correction is the natural way to health and well-being according to chiropractic. And after a century of successful healing, we know that we must be doing something right.