Have Fun Gardening But Be Careful

Spring is here in the northeastern US. While planting of gardens is still over a month away many people will be getting the bug to get their yards and gardens ready. Many of us are excited to be able to get outside after having had a long, cold, snowy, dark winter. However, we should exercise some caution as we take up our outdoor activities. This article will discuss precautions we can practice to enjoy a healthy, happy start to our out-of-the-house ventures.

As a practicing chiropractor of over 36 years, I try to let my patients know that many of the yard and garden tasks they will undertake require the use of muscles and joints that haven’t been used for several months. For instance, a lot of twigs and branches from surrounding trees have fallen in the yard. It will require raking and bending at the waist and knees to pick up and remove these objects. Rather than clean the entire yard all at once and risk injuring the lower back, it would be more prudent to spread the work over several days and pace our activity so as to not overtax ourselves.

Similarly, many will be rushing to the garden centers to pick up bags of mulch to spread throughout the yard. Something to consider is that there are varying sizes of mulch bags. It is better to purchase more smaller bags than to try and carry fewer, heavier ones. Also, many of the garden stores will load bags into your car for you, if you request, thus saving your back and muscles unnecessary strain.

If you choose to have the mulch delivered to your yard you do save yourself a trip to the store, but you will be responsible for spreading the mulch to the appropriate areas. Again, it is better to take several days, utilizing shorter sessions to be safe. Better yet why not hire a landscaping person to take on especially heavy work, leaving lighter, less taxing work for yourself.

In addition, be careful when cleaning brush, weeds and wooden areas for poison ivy and poison oak. It’s no fun to have to spend days or weeks applying repeated applications of calamine lotion for skin sensitivities.

I always have to remind myself that the sun gets much stronger at this time of year. I pull out my bottles of sunscreen from the closet anytime I expect to be outside for more than a few minutes. I also will put a hat on for further sun protection.

We’re all looking forward to spending more time outdoors. It’s wonderful for our mental and physical health. Lift up your spirits, but not too much else!

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Can I Get Relief From Headaches Without Medications

Having been a chiropractor for the past 37 years I get many questions from patients. One question I received recently was from a woman in her early 30s who had suffered from tension headaches for nearly a decade. Her headaches were frequent, occurring several times per week. Unless she took an over-the-counter headache medication the discomfort could persist for many hours.

Another patient who spent a lot of his workday at a computer also experienced frequent stress related headaches. When he initially came to my office to be checked he related that he also needed to take anti-inflammatory medication to gain some relief of his condition.

Both these patients sought chiropractic care because they had heard that safe, gentle, treatment by a chiropractor could help them gain relief from headaches, naturally, without the use of medications. Both of them asked me: “Can I get relief from headaches without medications?”

After I had examined both of them, I was pleased to tell them: “Yes, your case will allow me to provide you with chiropractic care that will provide relief of your headaches.”

This article will provide information about a specific type of headache called, tension headaches. It will discuss what causes this condition and how natural chiropractic care can help with relief for this very common health problem.

There are various kinds of headaches that exist. It is estimated that half the population of the United States experiences some type of recurring headache. Experts have determined that approximately 25% of those suffering from this malady have problems with nerves in the upper part of the spine. The spinal bones of the neck are also called the cervical vertebrae. The joints of the cervical vertebrae and the upper sets of spinal nerves in that area can commonly be irritated if there is improper alignment or movement of the cervical vertebrae.

When this happens, it can trigger a tension or stress headache. One of my patients jokingly called them “headache nerves.” If she developed headache discomfort, she would call my office to tell me she was coming in to have her headache nerves taken care of.

To help her, and others who experience tension headaches, I will evaluate the alignment and motion of the upper cervical vertebrae. This is done by using my hands to feel vertebral movement and alignment. Frequently, I will also examine the area by taking some special x-rays to observe the upper vertebrae of the spine.

If there is a problem in this area it is just a matter of providing chiropractic care to treat the problem. The method of treatment a chiropractor utilizes is called manipulation. Manipulation may also be termed the chiropractic adjustment. This is a gentle, safe therapy for managing headache pain. A chiropractic adjustment involves a quick, mild movement of the doctor’s hands to bring about realignment of abnormally positioned cervical vertebrae. It is very safe and typically brings a good deal of pain relief to the patient.

The majority of patients suffering from tension headaches resulting from problems with nerves and joints of the upper cervical spine can obtain headache relief of this common, but very annoying condition with chiropractic care.

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Low Back Pain Can Impair Balance

Low Back Pain Can Impair Balance

Many people with balance problems may not associate chronic lower back pain as a contributor to their impaired balance. This article will discuss the correlation between back discomfort and steadiness on one’s feet. It will also introduce recent research about how treatment of the back can actually help improve stability.

Back discomfort is ubiquitous. It is known that 80% of all people in the United States will have had a significant episode of lower back pain by age 40. Some back problems are acute, which means it occurs once and then disappears. However, others back conditions are what are called chronic. Chronic conditions are those that are constant or are ones that recur very frequently.

Painful chronic back conditions tend to cause people to react so as to protect and guard their pain. As a practicing chiropractor of over 36 years, I often have people come into my office who are suffering with pain of the back who say they are: “crooked, twisted, kinked or bent.” In essence, what they are telling me is that they are walking and standing with an abnormal posture. This is because their body is guarding and compensating for their painful back. We’ve all seen people who are hunched forward at the waist or are leaning to one side because of their back problem.

Our normal balance is a product of several factors. Our eyes and the balance mechanism of our ears send messages to the brain to help with normal equilibrium. We all know that if we close our eyes, we are more unsteady. Likewise, if our head is submerged in cold water at a pool or lake it can affect the ears mechanism of balance and cause us to have temporary balance problems.

Another factor that provides balance information to our brain is sensory information from nerve endings in all of our joints. The word “proprioception” is a term that describes the body’s ability to sense movement and balance. The joints of our feet, hips and pelvis and lower back are especially significant in helping our brain process information that leads to proper balance. If these joints are injured, proprioception problems may occur. Since chronic pain of the back can cause impaired proprioception, these people are more likely to be unsteady on their feet and significantly more at risk for falls.

A scientific study in the journal Frontiers In Neurology, December 2020 noted that examination of 151 adults of varying ages with or without chronic lower back pain revealed that chronic back problems and advancing age are risk factors for reduced proprioception.

Fortunately, doctors of chiropractic are trained to diagnose and treat these disorders. Often, a chiropractor can help relieve back discomfort by realigning malpositioned spinal vertebrae and pelvic bones. Once the joints of the lower back are in proper alignment normal proprioception can occur and people feel a significant improvement in their balance. Chiropractors are the preeminent professionals trained to diagnose and treat physical, mechanical alignment problems of the spine and pelvis. Most patients who go to chiropractors find that having chiropractic treatment is a safe, pleasant experience because it corrects the spinal misalignment, relieves lower back pain and can help achieve improved or normal balance.

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