BLOG 248 CHIROPRACTORS
Relief from back pain might mean a trip to the chiropractor for some people. In fact, 22 million Americans visit the chiropractor each year. Different causes can send a person to this type of medical practice including car accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Although most people might go for back pain, other pains that need relief occur in the neck, legs, arms, chronic headaches.
A chiropractor uses what is called hands-on spinal manipulation. The idea is to properly align the body’s musculoskeletal system. When the spin is in alignment, healing can occur, and this is an alternative to medication or surgery. Most of the time tissue has been injured that is causing loss of mobility and range of motion. This tissue damage might be the result of a fall, lifting with little back support, repetitive stress, or some type of trauma. This form of treatment is called alternative. Through this manipulation, the tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, and connective tissue can find pain relief.
A chiropractor will attend 4 years of chiropractic school. Upon completion, they will be awarded the title “DC” next to their name. Their type of treatment is generally considered safe. The chiropractor will perform a physical examination on a patient and discuss medical history. Then treatment will involve manual adjustments to the affected areas. The chiropractor uses sudden force to help the area have improved range of motion.
It is not advised that persons with spinal cord compression, arthritis, who use blood-thinning medications, or who have osteoporosis, should use a chiropractor’s help. A chiropractor is a health care professional who can help treat neuromuscular disorders, but explaining medical history is important in order to avoid further injury. Their goal is to preserve the structural integrity of the spine. This form of treatment can be complimentary to other forms. If a chiropractor thinks additional forms of treatment are necessary, they will refer accordingly.
Low back pain can vary in severity. Most of the time it is non-specific in the lumbar spine and can be treated. There is no exact cause. Nerves can be problematic if one is pinched or compressed. Other potentially serious causes include infections, tumors, joint infection, prolonged bleeding, or artificial joint problems.
Pain can be intolerable and so uncomfortable that a person must seek help. Imagine if a rib was popped out of place. One’s primary doctor might not be able to address this, and surgery certainly is not always necessary, so someone like a chiropractor can alleviate this pain. Each case is different and each person recovers on their own time based on the frequency and necessity of treatment.
BLOG 247 HOW WEATHER AFFECTS THE BODY
Remember when quirky Aunt Sally used to say, “My knees are hurting, must be a storm coming”?? In our adult lives, we now might relate to her wives’ tale. There may actually be truth to her statement. When barometric pressure changes in our body, weather forecasting becomes our new super power. Feeling increased pain before the weather changes is actually quite common in people with arthritis and chronic pain. Knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists are the popular trouble zones. When mother nature cries, so too can our joints.
There are a couple theories that might explain this. Barometric pressure (air pressure) seems to be the common denominator. This is the weight of the atmosphere around us. Think of what happens to the body when you go up on an airplane. You feel different sensations due to the change of air pressure.
Our joints are like a balloon. High pressure makes the joint push against the body and the tissues aren’t able to expand. When this pressure drops, which is what happens before rain, hail, or snow, there is less air and pressure on the body. This causes the tissues to start to expand. We feel this pressure sensation as the tissues put pressure on the joints. The cold weather causes our muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stiffen up. Synovium is the lining of our joints which have nerves at their ends. The nerves become especially sensitive post-surgery, if you have arthritis or fibromyalgia, or if you have had an injury. Think back to the plane. Just like in the airplane, where the pressure in cabin is less, this can result in swollen feet.
Another theory is that the change in humidity and temperature might affect the pressure in our brain. From this, our pain receptors are affected and not doing their blocking job. This aligns with the theory that people with migraines experience weather related headaches.
This does not mean that people with this pressure meter of pain can be alleviated by living in an ideal climate. Even the most minute changes can affect someone. Your body adapts wherever it goes. Warmth can help joint pain, so when it is cold dressing in layers and using a heating pad can be helpful. Loosen up those joints through exercise, because the combination of stiff and cold joints, only worsens the problem. The winter month is not a time to stay cooped up. Those joints need blood flow to ward off pain.
Fortunately, weather related pain is temporary. It comes and goes. We aren’t mother nature, so the weather is not in our control. How we manage our pain is. There a medications, creams, pads, and such, but just walking in place (movement in its simplest form), will help alleviate this condition. Use movement for joint pain relief come rain or shine. Use your weather super powers wisely, and be proactive about protecting your joints from pain.
BLOG 246 QUITTING SMOKING
Quitting smoking is a battle many cigarette users face when attempting to stop cold turkey or even reduce the number of smoke breaks per day. Smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S., but nicotine users are certainly addicted and hooked. Smoking kills more than 480,000 people per year. It Is estimated that 14% of U.S. adults are smokers. Of these, 75% of them smoke every single day. Ages 25-65 seem to be the target group most involved. American Indian and Alaska Native are the highest race/ethnicity that smokes.
There are several different ways to try to quit smoking. Some people have mad multiple attempts, revisiting the addiction after stopping for some time. Some people are able to make up their mind and walk away forever. Our brains are wired differently so finding a solution might be a task of trial and error unit habit is finally eliminated.
1. Quitting cold turkey: Only about 5-7% of people are able to do this on their own without any type of help. About 90% of people attempt to quit smoking without the use of therapy, medicine, or different aids.
2. Nicotine replacement therapy: There are many types on the market. These include patches, gums, inhalers, and sprays. The catch is that the person is trying to quit their addiction to nicotine itself, so sometimes changing for a different form doesn’t make the craving and desire for nicotine any less.
3. Behavioral therapy: This involves working with a counselor to address triggers that make the person want to smoke. These might include emotions or situations. Together, a plan of attack can be created to know what to do when these circumstances arise.
4. Medication: Chantix and Bupropion can be prescribed to help with withdrawl and cravings.
Of course the first few days are going to be difficult. Change of any type adds an element of uncertainty and a withdrawal from something that once was. It becomes important to avoid situations, triggers, or places, that could create a desire to want to reach for a cigarette. It is extremely important to succumb to cravings. Allowing yourself to have that cigarette when the want is so strong, only tricks your brain that permission is granted, and it is okay to keep smoking. Send the right message from the start for long term success. Reward yourself for hitting milestones such as going one week with none. Stay active and busy and get out. Don’t let boredom and too much time let cigarettes lurk in your mind. Of course much of this can be considered easier said then done and for many cigarette smokers they have heard it all before.
Change is possible. Quitting is possible. Think of all the positives and remember your health is a priority and shouldn’t be compromised to the power of nicotine addiction.
BLOG 245 DYSLEXIA
Dyslexia is a type of reading disorder that involves difficulty reading, despite level of intelligence. This might include difficulty spelling, writing words, how fast a person can read, and pronouncing words. Most of the time, these troubles will become noticed at school. This can translate into difficulty writing and spelling. There are more than 3 million cases of dyslexia in the US each year.
This disability effects the part of the brain that processes language. There is no cure, but treatment can involve tutoring and special education intervention. Early warning signs, prior to school age, might include late talking, difficulty with nursing rhymes, confusing words, and learning words slowly. Once in school, the disability become more apparent. Reading level ability typically tests well below the expected age. There might be difficulty with pronunciation, problems spelling, and avoiding activities that involve reading. The key is early diagnosis so that the troubleshooting can take place.
There is no direct cause for dyslexia, but there are associated risk factors. These might include family history with this and other learning disabilities, premature or low birth weight, and exposure during pregnancy to drugs, alcohol, or infection.
When left untreated, the person can have problems that continue into adulthood. This might include overall trouble learning. The person feels at a constant disadvantage to their peers. This can lead to social problems. The person might have low self-esteem, anxiety, and feel the need to withdrawal from friends, family, and teachers. Later in life this can affect job selection and schooling.
A doctor will diagnose dyslexia using a number of approaches. These might include vision and hearing testing. There may be a set of educational tests. Psychological testing might be performed. Discussing home life might also take place.
Teachers can use a number of techniques to help. These might include phonics which is understanding word’s sounds and meanings, reading comprehension, working on vocabulary words, and working on phenomes (the sounds of words). Schools in the United States actually have a legal obligation to create an individualized learning plan for students with dyslexia. Parents should become involved and practice reading with the child, reading aloud, and setting an example for reading.
Given the right resources a person can still succeed with dyslexia. Reading may never become easy, but can be improved given the skills and resources to make progress and overall improve quality of life. Reading might feel like a game of catching up for a person with this condition, but catering to other strengths and learning abilities can help a person still excel in life, despite having dyslexia.
BLOG 244 DEODORANT
Deodorants are applied to the arm pits, feet, and other body parts to prevent body odor (BO) from making its smelly presence. Their purpose is to eliminate odor and control sweat near the underarms. When a person excessively sweats, using an antiperspirant might be a consideration. The primary difference between these two sweaty choices is that deodorant covers up body odor, while antiperspirants slow down sweat production. Our armpits have two sweat glands which are called the apocrine and eccrine. The apocrine glands are the type that produce the smell by carrying fats, protein, and sweat to the skin’s surface. These fats and proteins mixed up, then basically turn into a smelly bacteria. The eccrine glands are the primary sweat producers to cool down the body. They release water and sweat. These glands normally don’t develop until puberty, so this time period is the start of B.O. for many as they start to change. In the U.S., deodorants are actually regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Sweat is the fluid of our body’s air conditioning system. Sweating is a normal occurrence, but sometimes in a hot environment, during exercise, or from stress, a person might sweat much more. For example, physical activity can stimulate the sweat glands producing a fluid that the cells carry and travel to the surface of the skin. When a person is sweating extra, the body is just really trying to cool itself down.
Around the 1950s, body odor became socially inappropriate. This started the deodorant market that preyed on people’s insecurities to avoid smelling bad. Now, we have options on the shelves including sticks, roll-ons, and sprays. There are a number of fragrances too.
Deodorant doesn’t prevent sweating. It is the smell blocker that tries to target the fats and proteins that have become bacteria. Antiperspirants prevent sweating. When there is no sweat, there is no bacteria, which means there is no smell. The aluminum and zirconium in this product plug up the sweat glands. There are many rumors that antiperspirants prevent the body from naturally releasing toxins. This back up has been said to be linked to cancer. This has not be proven.
Most of us put this product on after the morning shower. Different recommendations say morning, others say night before bed to clog the pores when they are less active. Which variety a person chooses might be trial and error to see which one most effectively fights B.O. Some people (men) have vary hairy arm pits, some people just sweat more, and others don’t want any residue left under the arm. Whichever the pick, body odor is a personal hygiene taboo. Cover up the smell or slow down the sweating rate. We tend to keep buying the type that works best for us and personal preference (like scent) does influence our buying choices. Just be sure to roll or spray on your BO blocker of choice for your health and happiness and those in your vicinity haha.