Sunday, February 19, 2006

Back Pain

Back pain is the fourth most common ailment in the United States. As a matter of fact, a person in the USA has an 80% chance of having back pain in their lifetime. It is also one of the most common reasons for a hospital Emergency Room visit. The most common cause of back pain is a strained muscle. A back muscle strain causes the muscles to tighten, which then pull on the spinal bones. The result is a spinal misalignment that leads to muscle imbalance, poor flexibility and soft tissue injuries. The most common symptoms are discomfort ranging from mild, dull ache to a constant sharp pain. Some episodes are so bad the person may be incapacitated. For chronic or severe pain, a visit to the chiropractor will balance the spinal muscles and align the spinal bones, this relaxes the muscle and allows the strain to heal. To prevent back pain, the best solution is regular exercise and preventative spinal adjustments. Exercise keeps the muscles strong. The stronger the muscle, the less chance of strain. Spinal adjustments on a preventative basis, undo all of the daily muscular stress along the spine which over time leads to misalignment and spinal instabilities.

Thought for the Week: " We take light for granted. We think of nothing walking into a dark room and flipping on a switch, expecting the room to be as bright as day. If we had never seen it before we might be surprised. But it becomes a normal act of every day life. The same is true with a proper functioning body. We don't go to bed at night and say, " My lungs really worked well today." We don't usually lay on the pillow and reflect how our heart has beaten 103,680 times during the course of the day. We take health, like light for granted. It is only when the two are gone we begin to act."------Joseph Stauss, DC

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps feel like an increasingly, tightening knot in a muscle. Muscle cramps most commonly occur in the calves, feet, abdomen and thighs. The muscle contracts and squeezes until you scream. If the muscle does not relax, neither does the pain. When a cramp occurs, the trick is to do the opposite action with the muscle. For example, when the calf cramps, the foot extends. To ease the cramp, pull the foot or toes toward the body. This stretches the muscle. Most muscle cramps occur from a mineral imbalance or deficiency. An imbalance or lack of calcium, magnesium and potassium are usually the culprits. A lack of Vitamin B can also contribute. Eat foods high in these minerals, like yogurt, green vegetables, whole grains, nuts and apples, bananas and tomatoes. Electrolyte drinks will help in the short term, but are not good to rely on because of their high sugar content and artificial ingredients.

Thought for the Week: "One man with courage makes a majority." -- Andrew Jackson

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Scratchy, Horse Throats

Sore throats can occur with a cold or the flu. Sometimes they are just there because of dry air in the house or overuse of the vocal chords. ( Think screaming and cheering at a concert or sporting event.) The bottom line is that sore throats are one irritation that you would prefer not to have. Most sore throats are related to colds or flu and are viruses. Antibiotics do not help these sore throats at all, ever. Strep throat is bacterial and usually has a fever above 101, swollen glands, joint aches and difficulty breathing or swallowing. If the body is not healing strep throat, it is time to visit the doctor. To ease sore throat discomfort, gargle with 1 tablespoon of applecider vinegar mixed in 6oz of water. Swallow the last mouthfull. Place a humidifier in your room to moisten the air. A steamy shower, relaxes the throat muscles. Breath salt air. This works perfectly if you live by the sea. If not, purchase an all natural salt mist spray. The salt drips down the throat, increasing humidity there. In addition, drink lots of water, take extra vitamin C and try zinc lozenges. These few tips should make swallowing a whole lot easier.

Chiropractically speaking, spinal adjustments improve nerve flow, increasing immune system function. The white blood cell increase, that comes along with the spinal adjustment, will help to rid the body of any virus or infection.

Thought of the Week: "Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die." ----Joe Lewis
This legendary Boxer's quote seems to tell us to take care of ourselves and stay healthy with pro-active health care.