Archive for November 2016
Healthy Hips: The Load Bearing Joints of Happiness
The health of your hips is vastly important
Strong and mobile hip joints are not only crucial for athletic performance and agility, but also for the initiation of basic daily movements including rotating and lifting. Unfortunately, more people than ever are shifting these responsibilities of the hips onto the lower back which is a curse for wellness: the muscles in the hips are firing less than they should and the lower back is assuming more burden than it should. A lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting may just be the most formidable foe that our hips must face.
The hip flexors are a group of muscles that allow for range of motion in the lower body and help us to bend at the hip without pain. When we sit a lot, these muscles lock into a shortened position and become tight; the act of sitting literally conditions the hip flexor muscles to remain shorter, meaning that when they are called upon to perform basic actions, these tight muscles are suddenly stretched too violently and pain or injury can ensue.
If modern life is going to pit our hips against more egregious odds than ever, then protecting and preserving the health of our hips necessitates a more proactive response than ever. This is a question of biomechanics, and solving the pain, stiffness and potential for injury that comes with compromised hip joints requires knowledge of how our body can work in unison. Targeted strengthening and stretching is a great way to restore lost mobility and begin the process of releasing tight hip flexors. Chiropractic adjustment is great for restoring spinal balance in the lower back, reducing nerve irritation and improving range of motion. At Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center, we support healthy hips and pain-free lower backs by teaching awareness; give our office in Milpitas a call to schedule an appointment today!
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.
Staying Fit in the Winter Months
Winter is often the time when people throw their personal fitness gains out the window, exercising less and eating more than any time of the year. It is most likely linked to the shorter daylight hours, which leave people with a small window of time between the end of work and dusk in which to get outside and exercise in considerably colder weather. So a winter fitness plan necessitates some shifts, both in attitude and activity; for example, waking up early and fitting in a bit of exercise before work, or breaking up your activities into smaller chunks of time throughout the day. However you do it, the important part is that you do it! Remember, that 30 minutes a day is all it takes!
- Running in the winter can be fun, given the appropriate equipment that keeps you warm!
- Go to the gym, or make a home gym: make a plan that fits your budget constraints. While the gym is a great place to get guided instruction, there is plenty to be reaped from fitness DVDs, blogs and YouTube!
- Nutrition: worth repeating to focus on vegetables and fruits, even if you consume extra calories in the form of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
- Playtime: make it fun; get out in the snow and sled or make snow angels.
- If all else fails, take a walk: by yourself, with the family or the dog, 30 minutes of brisk walking is enough to get your body moving, the heart rate slightly higher and muscles moving minimally.
Exercise is also important during winter because it keeps up the health of the immune system which is important for people who don’t like being bedridden by the common cold or seasonal flu! At Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center, we urge you to not lose sight of why you made those fitness gains during summer in the first place. Cold weather should not make you soft, but it should make you adjust. If you need help getting enthused about working out during winter and keeping the stress of the season off your back, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.
Spinal Health Awareness: An Action Plan
Spinal health doesn’t need some arbitrary “Awareness Day” or week or month; the truth is, wherever you are, whenever you can, it is always worth improving your spinal health. At Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center, we believe that one of the best ways to enjoy a long life is with a healthy back, but we also know that modern life stacks the odds against those who try to keep it healthy! In truth, modern lifespans are now exceeding the shelf warranty of our spines, so it is going to take extra, concerted effort to keep our spines healthy into old age.
Spinal health is fluid: it doesn’t “start” when you wake up, or “stop” when you go to sleep. Throughout the day and night, we must be cognizant of posture and listen to our body when it sends signals of pain or stiffness to the brain.
- Let’s begin with the morning. Don’t just jump out of bed; instead, set the tone for a day full of back health by using your arms to slowly support you into a sitting position, before swinging your legs to the floor and standing up.
- If you can find the time after your morning shower, do a few gentle stretches to ease the muscles of your back and body into the swing of the day. Even 5 minutes of gentle stretching will limber your body against the rigors of a day that for many of us is spent sedentary.
- Throughout the day, remain aware: If you feel your head creeping forward, or your shoulders scrunching together, then correct! Keep your shoulders back and relaxed, your head centered over your spine and your eyes facing forward, so that the neck follows: it should never be down or up for a consistent period of time!
- Avoid sitting for too long in one go and break the monotony by taking micro-breaks: 2 minutes of brisk walking to the water fountain, or 2 minutes of deep breathing and stretching.
- Try stretching before bed. It influences relaxation by releasing tension from muscles and gets you ready to sleep deeply.
It’s time to wake up. Feel that constant ache or stiffness in your lower back? Don’t accept it as normal! Call our office and schedule an appointment today so we can establish a baseline of health for your back.
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.
Chronic pain is a scourge and a national health concern: it is responsible for disabling more people in the United States than cancer or heart disease. And while statistics are alarmingly effective at establishing the scope of the problem, they also divorce us from the human element: people suffering from chronic pain are living degraded lives and they deserve much better!
Pain is, essentially, the body’s way of letting you know something is wrong through nerve signalling. It generally falls under two categories, acute and chronic, though acute pain can evolve into chronic pain if left alone long enough. And while acute pain can usually be rooted out and vanquished in a matter of weeks or months, chronic pain can exist independent of injury and can persist psychogenically, affecting both the physical and emotional experience of the sufferer.
At Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center, we strive to be a resource for people suffering from chronic pain. Everything we do is in support of you living a better life, and that starts with less pain. Here are some ways we can influence pain management on a daily basis:
- Drinking water: stay hydrated sans calories, sodium and caffeine.
- Keeping inflammation down: through diet and exercise, it is crucial to limit the amount of inflammation that regularly wracks your body.
- Regular stretching and strengthening: don’t let your muscles waste away. The less you use them, the more likely they are to cause you stiffness and pain.
- Learning posture: if you must sit for hours at a time, you need to be doing it in a way that doesn’t cause excessive harm or pain.
- Learning how to breathe again: to capture all the oxygen you need and expel all the CO2 so that every cell in your body can work in unison in support of YOU!
Come talk to us! Along with the chiropractic treatment we provide, we will help you devise a holistic lifestyle plan that fits seamlessly into your daily routine and keeps you smiling.
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.
Super Foods, from a Chiropractor’s Perspective
As a chiropractor and a true believer in holistic wellness, we love the power of nutrition for helping people feel better naturally. There is more information than ever on the web, especially clickbait articles on social media that do not convey the true essence of nutrition: it’s impact on well-being. Because many of our patients are facing musculoskeletal problems that exhibit a similar pool of symptoms and are derived from a similar pool of causes, we focus on nutrition that supports the following: lowering inflammation, increasing circulation, strengthening muscle and connective tissue and building healthier bones. When combined with regular chiropractic attention, cardiovascular exercise, stretching and strengthening, you can make amazing improvements in the health of your back. Here is a list of superfoods, as designated by your Milpitas chiropractor:
- Coldwater fish: herring, mackerel, trout, halibut, sardines, sea bass and of course, salmon. What’s your favorite fish? Chances are it is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which are good for fighting inflammation. Other sources of omega-3: flax and chia seeds, enriched eggs, avocados
- Dark chocolate
- Cayenne pepper
- Stir fry anyone?
- Green leafy vegetables
- Focus on dairy
- Protein, preferably of the lean variety
- Lean beef
Whatever your health ambitions, there is a way that diet can be used to augment your chances of success. At our office in the bay area, we support natural methods of feeling better; in this respect, nutrition and chiropractic overlap. If you have been languishing with chronic pain, it is time to correct the root cause so that you can focus on feeling better with factors that are within your control, such as diet. To catalyze this process, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.
We are there for your Neck
The stiff neck club can be quite a bleak group to be a part of, but if certain statistics are to be believed, up to 45% of the American working public are affected by pain-in-the-neck syndrome. While indiscriminate back pain is probably more widespread, neck pain is, by it’s nature, quite serious and something that should be managed closely and properly.
The plain fact is, being a human would be amazingly difficult if you could not move your neck. Every time you needed to look at something, you would have to turn your entire body. And while this is an exercise in hyperbole, humans continue to pursue activities which contribute to stiff, sore necks and neglect activities that preserve flexibility and range of motion. There are many virulent factors that can contribute to a sore neck, including: posture, level of activity, proclivity for stretching, pillow quality, the adhesion of scar tissue or something more obscure such as stress. Some of the ways we help include:
- Treating muscle strain: the levator scapula is a muscle that connects the shoulder to the cervical spine and is controlled by nerves exiting between C3 and C4; the sedentary nature of the office encourages this muscle to tighten and if it becomes strained, it can cause pain. We treat strained muscles with trigger point therapy and massage to release the tension.
- Treating pinched nerves: we use gentle adjustments to correct any nerve impingement that may be occurring in the cervical region, restoring nerve function and improving range of motion in the process.
- Treating Facet Joint Syndrome: when the small facet joints of the vertebra become pressurized, headache, muscle spasm and neck or back pain can follow.
It’s time we wake up and begin to take posture and the health of our necks seriously to prevent an old age of pain and dysfunction. At Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center, we have the tools to help you succeed and we would love to share them with you so call our office in Milpitas to schedule an appointment today!
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.
Smoking’s Role in Muscle Tension
Asking why people smoke is opening a can of worms that can be hard to understand given modern science, readily available information and public perception that seems to contradict any of its perceived benefits. Regardless, smokers persist for myriad reasons. One misconception, that is used as a reason to perpetuate the habit or addiction is that smoking somehow, “relieves tension,” despite there being clear, clinical evidence that suggests the exact opposite.
While it may alleviate tension for the length of time the cigarette is smoked, the long term effect is one of accumulating toxicity that leads to muscle tension. Yes, nicotine is storied for its analgesic properties, but it is also storied for contributing to elevated levels of both carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the bloodstream. This is dangerous when you combine it with the oxygen repression that comes with smoking; decreased oxygen levels lead to lactic acid build up which directly creates muscle tension. So yes, you may be masking the pain you are consequently creating.
At Family Chiropractic & Natural Healing Center, we can defintively say that one of the easiest ways to living a better life across the board begins with quitting smoking. We help you find a penchant for exercise and, consequently, well-being that will override the short term gratification of a cigarette. There is well-supported evidence that suggests many of the negative of smoking can be reversed after quitting and we would like to help you in this endeavor starting today; call our office to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Gregory Lind, D.C.