Regular chiropractic care, eating a healthy diet, taking vitamin supplements, keeping your weight under control and stress management are all part of an overall wellness lifestyle that, if followed, results in a longer, healthier and pain-free life. Here are a list of basic tips to help you maintain a healthier, more vibrant body.
Regular Chiropractic Care
The chiropractic approach to healthcare is holistic, meaning that it addresses your overall health. Numerous studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care is one of the most effective treatments for back pain, neck pain, headaches, whiplash, sports injuries and many other types of musculoskeletal problems. It has even been shown to be effective in reducing high blood pressure, decreasing the frequency of childhood ear infections (otitis media) and improving the symptoms of asthma.
Chiropractic is so much more than simply a means of relieving pain. Ultimately, the goal of the chiropractic treatment is to restore the body to its natural state of optimal health. In order to accomplish this, chiropractors use a variety of treatment methods, including manual adjustments, massage, trigger point therapy, nutrition, exercise rehabilitation, and massage, as well as counseling on lifestyle issues that impact your health. Since the body has a remarkable ability to heal itself and to maintain its own health, my primary focus is simply to remove those things which interfere with the body’s normal healing ability.
Chiropractors understand that within each of us is an innate wisdom, a health energy, that will express itself as perfect health and well-being if we simply allow it to. Therefore, the focus of chiropractic care is simply to remove any physiological blocks to the proper expression of the body’s innate wisdom. Once these subluxations are removed, health is the natural consequence.
Just like continuing an exercise program and eating well in order to sustain the benefits of exercise and proper diet, it is necessary to continue chiropractic care to ensure the health of your musculoskeletal system. When you make routine chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle, you avoid many of the aches and pains that so many people suffer through, your joints will last longer and you will be able to engage in more of the activities you love.
Many years ago, dentists convinced everyone that the best time to go to the dentist is before your teeth hurt – that routine dental care will help your teeth remain healthy for a long time. It is important to remember that, just like your teeth, your spine experiences normal wear and tear – you walk, drive, sit, lift, sleep and bend. Regular chiropractic care can help you feel better, move with more freedom, and stay healthier throughout your lifetime. Although you can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care even if you are only treated for a short time, the real benefits come into play when you make chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle.
Maintain Good Posture
Poor posture creates a lot of stress on your spine and chronic muscle tension, leading to pain and stiffness. This happens because the weight of your upper body must be supported by your back muscles instead of the bones of your spine. The further your posture deviates from normal, the greater the stress on your back and the more pain that you will experience.
To illustrate this idea, think about carrying a briefcase. If you had to carry your briefcase with your arms outstretched in front of you, it would not take long before the muscles of your shoulders would be completely exhausted. This is because carrying the briefcase far away from the center of your body places an undue stress on your shoulder muscles. If you held the same briefcase down at your side, your muscles would not fatigue as quickly because the briefcase is closer to the center of your body and the weight is, therefore, supported by the bones of the skeleton, rather than the muscles.
At Align Health, we will evaluate your posture and make recommendations on how to make simple improvements to your work station to help you maintain correct posture throughout the day.
Reduce Your Stress
Modern life is full of pressure, stress and frustration. Worrying about your job security, being overworked, driving in rush-hour traffic, arguing with your spouse – all these create stress. According to a recent survey by the American Psychology Association, fifty-four percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their everyday lives and two-thirds of Americans say they are likely to seek help for stress.
You may feel physical stress as the result of too much to do, not enough sleep, a poor diet or the effects of an illness. Stress can also be mental: when you worry about money, a loved one’s illness, retirement, or experience an emotionally devastating event, such as the death of a spouse or being fired from work.
However, much of our stress comes from less dramatic everyday responsibilities. Obligations and pressures which are both physical and mental are not always obvious to us. In response to these daily strains your body automatically increases blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and blood flow to your muscles. This response is intended to help your body react quickly and effectively to a high-pressure situation.
After decades of research, it is clear that the negative effects associated with stress are real. Although you may not always be able to avoid stressful situations, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the effect that stress has on your body. The first is relaxation. Learning to relax doesn’t have to be difficult. You can learn about specific techniques for stress reduction in the Stress Reduction section of this website.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Most people know that excessive body weight contributes to the development of a number of conditions, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer. However, it may also be a major contributing factor for the development of low back pain. The spine is designed to carry a certain amount of body weight. When it is exposed to the excess pressure of being overweight, the spine becomes stressed and, over time, can suffer structural damage. Being overweight significantly contributes to symptoms associated with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), degenerative disc disease (DDD), spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.
In addition to back pain, those who are overweight may suffer from fatigue, as well as difficulty breathing and shortness of breath during short periods of exercise. If the fatigue and shortness of breath causes one to avoid activity and exercise, then this can indirectly lead to back pain as lack of exercise contributes to many common forms of back pain.
If you are currently overweight and suffer from low back pain, talk to your doctor about effective ways to lose weight. Not only will your back pain improve, but you will decrease your risk of most major degenerative diseases at the same time.