Chiropractic medicine specializes in the musculoskeletal system. It treats the whole body because if one area of the body is inflamed, swollen, out of place, or damaged, it affects other areas. Chiropractic’s goals are to bring the body back into balance and get it functioning at an optimal level. Achieving overall health and wellness requires an individual’s body to be at its appropriate weight.
Obesity and Pain
Chronic pain and obesity are linked, according to various studies. Individuals dealing with chronic pain are more likely to become obese, and those who are obese have an increased risk of developing a chronic pain condition. Research studies also show that individuals that lose weight have a reduction to complete alleviation of pain.
The Pain Gain Cycle
The goal is to break the cycle. When an individual is dealing with pain symptoms, eating foods high in sugars and starches can be comforting. However, unhealthy food is fueling the pain and causing inflammation. Back pain commonly occurs in individuals that are obese. Chiropractic helps kickstart the weight loss process by relieving pain naturally and safely.
Spinal Alignment and Weight Loss
Spinal alignments go beyond relieving pain to help with weight loss. Adjustments improve the body’s ability to burn fat and maintain overall health. A spine that is out of alignment can affect the nerve pathways of the central nervous system and the communication signals affecting nearly every aspect of the body. Problems with the central nervous system can affect how the whole body burns fat and the metabolic system.
Spinal misalignments can affect the body’s hormone regulation. These hormones include those for breaking down foods during digestion. Affected hormones can contribute to weight gain and prevent weight loss. Chiropractic corrects the nerve’s pathways, allowing for proper hormone regulation, which can help with weight loss.
Pain Relief and Exercise
Exercise is pivotal to losing weight, building muscle, and maintaining health. The problem for overweight individuals is that they are in too much pain to exercise. With back pain, just walking a quarter of a mile can become excruciating, and this is where chiropractic care for pain relief comes in. When managing pain through chiropractic, individuals can exercise regularly.
Nutrition and Lifestyle
The whole body is a unit where everything affects something else. Chiropractors are becoming or teaming up with certified nutritionists and health coaches. Part of a treatment plan includes nutritional recommendations personalized to individual needs and weight loss goals. They also recommend:
Whole Body Composition
Weight Loss and Cheat Meals/Days
A cheat day or meal every once in a while will not undo weeks and months of regular workouts and eating healthy. Cheat days can help individuals stay motivated for the long term. But this does not mean getting carried away and going on a bender or making cheat days a routine. The goal is to develop healthy eating habits that become the norm while decreasing the craving for junk food. Changing body composition and losing weight is a long-term journey, but done correctly and with support turns into a healthy body.
DeMaria, Anthony, et al. “A weight loss program in a chiropractic practice: a retrospective analysis.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice vol. 20,2 (2014): 125-9. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2013.11.007
James M Whedon, DC, MS, Andrew W J Toler, MS, Louis A Kazal, MD, Serena Bezdjian, Ph.D., Justin M Goehl, DC, MS, Jay Greenstein, DC, Impact of Chiropractic Care on Use of Prescription Opioids in Patients with Spinal Pain, Pain Medicine, Volume 21, Issue 12, December 2020, Pages 3567–3573, https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnaa014
Okifuji, Akiko, and Bradford D Hare. “The association between chronic pain and obesity.” Journal of pain research vol. 8 399-408. 14 Jul. 2015, doi:10.2147/JPR.S55598
Most if not all of us have probably used heat and/or ice on a sprain, strain, or sore area of the body. Having a pinched nerve, however, has a different feeling than a sprain or strain. Chiropractic treatment for a pinched nerve is recommended, but if the pain isn’t too bad, then home care can work. Which is better for a pinched nerve, heat or ice? Both. Using heat and ice helps reduce swelling, increases blood flow to the area, and relaxes the muscles around the pinched nerve. The objective is to know when to use ice and/or heat.
Applying Heat on a Pinched Nerve
Applying heat on a pinched nerve is fine. The general guideline for a pinched nerve is to use heat only after the pain has subsided/reduced.
When pain presents or flares up, use ice before using heat.
Do not apply heat to the area directly after applying ice.
Wait 30 minutes to an hour.
Keep the heat on the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.
Take a minimum 30-minute break between sessions.
If the heat helps, make the heat moderate and use it on the area for an hour or more.
Extended heat therapy is beneficial for severe pain from a pinched nerve.
The equivalent is like soaking in a hot bath.
Heat for a Pinched Nerve Benefits
Heat soothes and relaxes both the muscles and the mind.
Heat increases healing abilities by circulating new blood to the injured/affected area, helping to flush toxins away.
Decreases tension and spasms in the muscles.
Increases the range of motion in the joints.
When Not To Use Heat Therapy
It can be dangerous for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Conditions include:
Managing rheumatoid arthritis is an ongoing balancing act. Flare-ups can still present despite following the rheumatologist’s lifestyle instructions, proper medication use, and a well-maintained RA plan. Monitoring daily activities can help minimize the chances of experiencing episodes.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-Ups
A rheumatoid arthritis flare-up is a short-term escalation of arthritis symptoms. A flare-up can go away within a day or can persist for several weeks or months. A flare-up usually involves joint stiffness and pain but can also present as any symptoms worsening. If the flare-up is severe, it can affect the ability to perform regular everyday activities.
Symptoms can vary, and not every person experiences the same. Most individuals describe flare-ups with a sudden increase in:
Limited joint mobility
Symptoms that feel like the flu.
Frequency and severity can also vary.
Back Pain Symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many joints. It is the inflammation of a joint’s synovial membrane. These include the facet joints in the spine. The most commonplace in the spine affected by rheumatoid arthritis is the upper neck, around the base of the skull. The joints at the top of the neck get inflamed and can become unstable or form abnormal tissue that sticks out and compress the spinal cord.
Several potential flare-up triggers include:
Not getting enough sleep
Excessive physical activity and/or exercise
Repetitive overuse injury
Airborne toxins can also be a trigger to a flare-up. Substances include chemicals like household cleaners. Switching to organic and environmentally safe cleaners can help. Airborne toxins are a concern in densely populated cities and areas that experience air pollution and smog. To minimize risks, staying indoors during times of poor air quality is recommended.
However, flare-ups can happen without an identifiable trigger. Certain foods can increase inflammation and could contribute to a flare-up, including:
Avoiding these foods and following a diet that has been developed to prevent symptoms will help significantly. The objective is to learn to identify an RA flare-up to moderate activities accordingly.
Managing any chronic medical condition is challenging, especially when trying to predict when a flare-up will happen. There is not a foolproof strategy for prevention, but advice that can help minimize the risks of an RA flare-up.
Understand that the disease can change over time. This means changes in medications and the need for multi-approach treatment. Learning healthy self-care techniques will go a long way in managing symptoms.
Metabolic processes, like energy production, and environmental pollution, can result in free radical production. These are highly reactive molecules that can damage the body’s cells and lead to oxidative stress. This can develop into a disease, including heart disease. The body has natural protective mechanisms to neutralize free radical molecules, including glutathione, which is the body’s top antioxidant. If glutathione becomes depleted because of increased free radicals, the body switches to dietary antioxidants from food as a secondary defense.
The hamstring muscles are three muscles in the back of the thigh. The sciatic nerve goes through or around and down the legs into the feet. Hamstring syndrome is a condition where injury or spasm apply pressure compressing the sciatic nerve.
The nerve can become pinched between the hamstring muscles and the pelvic bone or the band of tissue that connects the hamstring muscles.
This can cause discomfort, tingling, numbness, and pain down the back of the leg, hip, buttock, and into the foot.
Pain can present when sitting down or stretching the hamstrings.
Pain reduces when lying flat on the back.
This condition could be the result of wearing and tearing to the back muscles and hamstring muscles. It is often seen in individuals that play sports involving running, kicking, and/or jumping. But it can happen to anyone from some awkward leg motion causing the muscles to spasm that can twist around the sciatic nerve or pull on it, causing various symptoms. A doctor or chiropractor will diagnose the condition by examining the symptoms, physical activities, and leg. Most individuals diagnosed with hamstring syndrome report discomfort or pain where they sit down. The pain gradually worsens when performing physical activities, regularly sitting, and when flexing the knee. Hamstring syndrome usually gets better within a few weeks with proper rest and home care. A doctor or chiropractor will recommend exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles.
Ask the doctor or chiropractor about taking over-the-counter pain medication:
Acetaminophen – Tylenol
Ibuprofen – Advil, Motrin
Naproxen – Aleve
Read and follow all label instructions.
Use an ice pack on the pain area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.
Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for 3 days or until the swelling goes down.
After 2 or 3 days, if the swelling is gone, apply heat.
Use a warm water bottle, heating pad, or warm cloth over the area.
Avoid sitting if possible, unless it feels better than standing.
Take short walks to keep the muscles stretched.
Don’t do anything that causes symptoms to worsen.
Return to normal physical activities slowly.
If symptoms do not improve, then contact a doctor or chiropractor.
Caffeine falls under stimulants, or substances that excite the systems throughout the body.
Ingesting caffeine can cause the body to experience increased excitement, especially in the cardiovascular system.
This excitement causes the heart rate and blood pressure to rise
Then it lowers back down to baseline levels for most healthy individuals.
It is recommended to drink coffee in moderation, safe for individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.
de Ridder, Roel et al. “Neurodynamic sliders promote flexibility in tight hamstring syndrome.” European journal of sports science vol. 20,7 (2020): 973-980. doi:10.1080/17461391.2019.1675770
Matsuda, Dean K. “Editorial Commentary: Proximal Hamstring Syndrome: Another Pain in the Buttock.” Arthroscopy: the journal of arthroscopic & related surgery: official publication of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the International Arthroscopy Association vol. 34,1 (2018): 122-125. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2017.08.260
Park, Jung Wee et al. “Deep gluteal syndrome as a cause of posterior hip pain and sciatica-like pain.” The bone & joint journal vol. 102-B,5 (2020): 556-567. doi:10.1302/0301-620X.102B5.BJJ-2019-1212.R1
Chiropractic treatment/care is a recommended pain relief option for musculoskeletal automobile, sports, personal – injuries, strains, sprains, pain, and rehabilitation. An initial chiropractic examination is similar to a standard examination administered by health care providers. What an individual can expect at their first consultation includes:
The initial in-office clinical exam generally includes:
Patient History and Symptoms
The patient will be asked to fill out forms that can also be filled out online before the visit, saving a patient time if they so choose. This provides background information about symptoms and conditions in preparation for the in-person chiropractic consultation. Questions include:
Did the pain start as a result of an auto, sports, personal, work injury?
How did the pain start – activities, sports, work, etc.?
When did the pain start – a few days, weeks, months, years?
Where is the pain located?
Does the pain spread out to other areas?
Is the pain dull, sharp, burning, or throbbing?
Does the pain come and go, or is it constant?
What activities or body positions make it better and/or worse?
Patients are also asked to provide information on pre-existing medical conditions, family medical history if necessary, prior injuries, and previous and current treatments provided by other medical professionals.
A chiropractic examination includes:
Certain orthopedic and neurological tests can also be used. These include:
Range of motion
Based on the medical history and physical exam results, diagnostic studies could help reveal pathologies and identify structural abnormalities to diagnose more accurately. X-rays are the most commonly used during an initial chiropractic exam and are used to:
Diagnose recent trauma
Diagnose bone fractures
Study spinal deformities
An MRI scan is recommended for soft tissue damage like a herniated disc, torn muscle/s, or nerve compression.
Patient Diagnosis after the Chiropractic Exam
All the findings from the medical history, physical exam, and diagnostic tests help the chiropractor form a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is established, the chiropractor will discuss personalized treatment options.
Many factors can contribute to heart disease, and research has pointed to inflammation caused by obesity as one of the most significant factors to its development. The main contributor is cytokines produced by excess body fat. Cytokinescause inflammation in the walls of the arteries causing damage and increasing pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the vessels. High blood pressure means that the heart is not pumping blood effectively, and the heart begins to enlarge. An enlarged heart is a significant risk factor that can lead to heart failure if interventions are not taken to repair the damage.
Jenkins HJ, Downie AS, French SD. Current evidence for spinal x-ray use in the chiropractic profession. Chiropr Man Therap. 2018; 26:48.
Wang, Zhaoxia, and Tomohiro Nakayama. “Inflammation, a link between obesity and cardiovascular disease.” Mediators of inflammation vol. 2010 (2010): 535918. doi:10.1155/2010/535918
Weeks, William B et al. “Public Perceptions of Doctors of Chiropractic: Results of a National Survey and Examination of Variation According to Respondents’ Likelihood to Use Chiropractic, Experience With Chiropractic, and Chiropractic Supply in Local Health Care Markets.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 38,8 (2015): 533-44. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2015.08.001
Relaxing the low back muscles. The low back supports the weight of the upper body and provides mobility. The lumbar spine/low back is a complex structure of interconnecting:
All work together to provide support, strength, and flexibility.
However, this complex structure is highly susceptible to injury and pain. The muscles in the low back support the spinal column and are responsible for flexing, rotating the hips when walking. The nerves in the low back supply sensation and power the muscles in the pelvis, legs, and feet. The most common acute low back pain cases are brought on from injury to the:
The body also reacts to injury by triggering an inflammatory response. Inflammation can cause severe pain. The key is relaxing the muscles and keeping them loose.
Lower back pain causes
The most common cause is muscle spasms, which can be triggered by:
Quick awkward movements like twisting, reaching, and/or bending at the wrong angle can set off pain symptoms.
If the same back muscles are getting strained and/or pulled continuously, this could indicate an underlying problem with a misaligned vertebra.
Correct improper postures
Improper posture and body positioning eventually present with discomfort and pain. Individuals are constantly hunched over and slumped in front of computers and devices, along with sitting with crossed legs, sleeping on a non-supportive mattress, and there is a perfect recipe for low back pain. Adjusting sitting, desk, and computer ergonomics and using smart devices with posture awareness will go a long way to correct improper posture.
Cramped or pulled muscles need time to recover. Too much rest or being completely inactive makes sense but is not recommended. Light movement keeps the blood flowing, especially in and around the injured/sore area. This increases healing and shortens recovery time. Just some light walking is recommended. Getting up and moving while relaxing around the house will get the muscles back in shape.
Benefits of collagen
Collagen generates a protective barrier effect on the intestinal mucosa that lines the digestive tract. One study found that collagen supplementation protects against the breakdown of the intestinal wall after a burn injury. A lack of collagen from aging or other factors could impair the structure of the intestinal mucosa. This could lead to digestive problems like leaky gut syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome.
Joint Health and Mobility
Collagen provides structure and cushion in the joints. As the body ages, the cushion wears down, and joint mobility decreases. This increases the risk of injury. Taking collagen supplements can help improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions.
Finta, Regina et al. “The effect of diaphragm training on lumbar stabilizer muscles: a new concept for improving segmental stability in the case of low back pain.” Journal of pain research vol. 11 3031-3045. 28 Nov. 2018, doi:10.2147/JPR.S181610
Lugo, James P et al. “Efficacy and tolerability of an undenatured type II collagen supplement in modulating knee osteoarthritis symptoms: a multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Nutrition journal vol. 15 14. 29 Jan. 2016, doi:10.1186/s12937-016-0130-8
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Pain: Hope Through Research. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Hope-Through-Research/Pain-Hope-Through-Research. June 9, 2017.
High school football takes a toll on the body. The sport can cause all kinds of injuries that can range from mild – severe. Areas that are commonly injured include:
Chiropractic has become a medically recommended form of treatment and rehabilitation for these injuries but also injury prevention. Today all NFL teams utilize a chiropractic team for players and staff. College teams are also discovering the benefits that chiropractic offers. There are significant benefits that high school football players can attain from chiropractic care.
A chiropractic adjustment, technically known as chiropractic manipulative treatment/CMT, is a primary therapy in sports medicine. It helps to increase flexibility and minimize or eliminate pain during motion/movement. Adjustments have been shown to improve athletic performance.
Athletes who regularly use chiropractic experience a decline in sports-related injuries.
Treatment increases flexibility and mobility, allowing for optimal agility that has been linked to preventing injuries. This is because the body is relaxed and stays loose, even when tackled, instead of tensing up, which is a major contributor to strains and injuries.
Chiropractic adjustments also help increase muscular strength, making the body stronger, and more resistant to injury. It has been shown to promote strength in the muscles after a few sessions effectively. The strengthened muscles also help avoid injury by being able to withstand the hits and recover faster. The strengthened body also helps to increase endurance and stamina.
Many high school players use chiropractic to ease the general pain that comes from general practice and games. Adjustments and massage are highly effective for pain management and alleviate headaches, especially those that come from constant impact to the head and neck. It helps to alleviate soreness, stiffness, and pain from the entire body.
Athletes often experience athletic pubalgia. This is one of the most common causes of injury-related groin pain. Chiropractic can relieve the discomfort within 8 weeks in combination with rehabilitative stretches and exercises. Chiropractic plays a critical role in whole-body care, pain relief and keeps the body operating and performing at the highest level.
When an individual overwhelms their body’s ability to excrete water and waste products consumed, water intoxication can develop. Water intoxication causes disturbances in the body’s electrolyte balance. This can cause a life-threatening condition known as hyponatremia. With a rapid decrease in the sodium levels in the blood, relative to the amount of water, symptoms can develop rapidly:
If left untreated, later symptoms can develop into:
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Shane, Eric R et al. “Sports chiropractic management of concussions using the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 symptom scoring, serial examinations, and graded return to play protocol: a retrospective case series.” Journal of chiropractic medicine vol. 12,4 (2013): 252-9. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2013.08.001
Individuals don’t like to read the warning signs of their spinal health, saying to themselves the pain will go away. Individuals will feel their back seize up or sting for a moment and then goes back to normal. The body is doing its job to warn you that something is not right. This is where choices come into play:
Ignore the warning because the tingling or pain went away.
Pay attention to the warning before more damage is done.
This is where waiting, hoping that it will resolve on its own, is not recommended. This is because something did happen but did not fully present, like a loose part that is still functioning. However, time, movement, or action, can throw the body off balance and create all kinds of health issues.
Paying attention to the Warning Signs
The body is always adapting to the internal and external environments. For example, external adaptation is sweating during a hot summer day. The body adapts to the heat by sweating to cool down and bring down the temperature. An example of internal adaptation is the spine has been slowly shifting out of alignment. The muscles that support the spine have been adapting to this shifting. However, it is not the ideal adaptation situation as some muscles over/under stretch while others under/over-contract to compensate, causing pain. The body gets stressed out physically, with possible damage occurring. This is where an individual knows something is not right and needs to listen to their body.
A spine that is misaligned/subluxated does not move properly or function correctly. Improper movement damages the spinal:
The spinal cord and nerves transmit and receive all the vital information the body needs to function. These include:
A misaligned spine can hurt or cause symptoms for a split second. The effects of an untreated misaligned spine can affect an individual for life. If you have experienced any of these or other warning signs, contact a chiropractor. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic will help assess your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan.
Work On Goals One at A Time
To reach goals faster, it’s best to target one goal at a time. How to decide which goal to begin with:
Fat Loss First
This goal is best for individuals whose body compositions have a high body fat percentage and high overall weight.
Lean Body Mass First
Individuals may want to begin by increasing Lean Body Mass if they are skinny fat. Skinny fat means the individual is not overweight but has low amounts of Lean Body Mass and high amounts of Fat Mass.
Resistance training to build muscle will likely bring down Fat Mass as well. Increasing Lean Body Mass will increase the calorie needed by the body to maintain itself. This increased calorie need can lead to the body acquiring energy by burning extra fat. The calories burned in resistance training also speed up fat loss. Everyone is different in how the body responds to programs targeting fat and those designed to build muscle. Consult with our health coach, nutritionist, and fitness chiropractic team with any questions you may have.
Optimal nervous system health is the key to maximum body function and overall health. Individuals don’t really think about their nervous system until symptoms from injury, disease, or nerve problems present. The nervous system consists of billions of neurons that connect/network the brain with the rest of the body.
Nervous System Health
All of the body’s systems, organs, and tissues have nerves attached to them. The brain engages with this network to control and coordinate bodily functions. Functions include:
Every function the body performs requires brain-body communication through the nervous system. The brain communicates with the nervous system to regulate the body to the environment it is in. For example:
If it’s hot, the body sweats.
If it’s cold, the body shivers.
If there is danger, the fight or flight response activates.
All are directed by the brain transmitting signals and messages through the nervous system.
Optimal body function means that all bodily functions are normal, active, and healthy. Everything is working as it should. When the body functions at less than 100%, it can develop into more serious problems little by little. Like a vehicle that starts making a little sound that seems like nothing, then after a few days, weeks, months, it becomes a massive popping, grinding, starting, stopping, emergency, when vital information that regulates function gets lost in transmission from the brain to the body, health declines.
Flowing Spinal Highway
The vital information/communication between the brain and the body flow through the spinal column. The super information highway/spinal cord travels down the spinal column. Branching off the spinal cord are spinal nerve roots that go to every system, organ, and tissue in the body. The spinal bones are lined up like an electrical conduit channel for the spinal cord. The vertebrae should be lined up and move properly, allowing optimal blood and nerve circulation without any obstruction or interference.
When the spine shifts out of place, creating misalignment, moving properly becomes hindered, causing discomfort and pain, along with the vital communication needed to regulate maximum function not able to get through. This leads to malfunction within the body and decreases health and well-being. Spinal misalignment that interferes with nerve message transmission is called a vertebral subluxation.Chiropractic healthcare professionals are trained to detect and correct spinal subluxations. They realign the spine’s bones to restore nervous system health and internal communication for proper body function.
Prebiotics Can Help With
Inflammation is a normal function of the immune system; however, chronic inflammation can cause damage to the body. Chronic inflammation is associated with:
Other diseases and conditions.
Having a balance of healthy gut microbiota helps decrease chronic inflammation and the risk of disease.
Gastrointestinal Diseases and Conditions
Prebiotics also ferment in the colon producing short-chain fatty acids. These provide energy for the colon’s epithelial cells that line and protect the colon. Prebiotics increase the protection provided by the epithelial cells, reducing the risk for gastrointestinal conditions like:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome – IBS
Prebiotics can also reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions.
The central nervous system is also known as the brain and spinal cord. However, many do not know about the enteric nervous system, which includes the gastrointestinal tract. The link between the enteric and central nervous systems involves cognitive and emotional functions. Prebiotics increase and promote healthy gut microbiota to help manage:
Certain psychological disorders
Cerdó, Tomás et al. “Probiotic, Prebiotic, and Brain Development.” Nutrients vol. 9,11 1247. 14 Nov. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9111247
Chu, Eric Chun Pu, and Michelle Ng. “Long-term relief from tension-type headache and major depression following chiropractic treatment.” Journal of family medicine and primary care vol. 7,3 (2018): 629-631. doi:10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_68_18
Kiani, Aysha Karim et al. “Neurobiological basis of chiropractic manipulative treatment of the spine in the care of major depression.” Acta bio-medica : Atenei Parmensis vol. 91,13-S e2020006. 9 Nov. 2020, doi:10.23750/abm.v91i13-S.10536
Maltese, Paolo Enrico et al. “Molecular foundations of chiropractic therapy.” Acta bio-medica : Atenei Parmensis vol. 90,10-S 93-102. 30 Sep. 2019, doi:10.23750/abm.v90i10-S.8768
Wirth, Brigitte et al. “Neurophysiological Effects of High Velocity and Low Amplitude Spinal Manipulation in Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Humans: A Systematic Literature Review.” Spine vol. 44,15 (2019): E914-E926. doi:10.1097/BRS.0000000000003013
Going camping for an extended weekend can be exciting and fearful for individuals with back pain. Being in nature is exhilarating, setting up tents with the family, fishing, and hitting the backpacking trails. For those that struggle with back and/or neck pain or conditions that cause pain, the objective is to be prepared for the worst. The weather, steep hills, physical activities, sitting in chairs that are not spine supportive, and sleeping on hard ground can contribute to all kinds of back issues. There are adjustments and modifications, as well as, tools to help the experience remain pain-free and be highly enjoyable.
Camping Back Pain
Not everyone with back pain or conditions that cause pain will struggle with camping out. There are individuals that prefer an ultra-firm sleeping surface like the ground as it provides their spine with the necessary support. Research has found that medium to fully firm mattresses and surfaces are the least to cause back pain. Many individuals go mattress-free a few nights a week and report that it helps reduce their pain.
Mattresses that are too soft sink in too much, provide no support to the spine that leads to spinal problems and more aches, and pains.
Sciatica from pinched nerves can become irritated or flare up when sleeping on the ground.
Individuals with arthritis in the spinal joints can present with stiffness and more pain.
Use hiking polesfor support and avoid carrying backpacks or bags, as they add strain to the spine.
There are quality air mattresses and sleeping pads designed for pain symptoms and conditions.
Do a little research and see what options are available. Overall, aim for equipment that is sturdy and supportive. Listen to your body, follow a doctor or chiropractor’s advice, and enjoy nature.
Individuals can keep track of their food choices by logging their food intake into a personal food journal. This is where food choices and calorie intake can be examined, analyzed, and learned from. A study showed that individuals who diligently track their food and calorie intake had a greater amount of weight loss. For those that want to lose body fat, the body needs to be in a caloric deficit. After a week of logging meals, snacks, and drinks, an individual is in a better position to correct and adjust a weight loss plan. For example, journaling helps with:
Most comfortable sleeping: Sleep Health. (December 2015) “Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; a systematic review of controlled trials.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352721815001400
Muscle tension in the neck is a common musculoskeletal disorder. The neck is made up of flexible muscles that support the weight of the head. The muscles can experience injury and irritation from overuse and poor posture habits. Worn joints or compressed nerves can cause neck pain, but muscle spasms or soft tissue injuries commonly cause neck tension. Neck tension can present suddenly or progress slowly. Sleeping in an awkward position or straining the neck while engaged/involved in some activity can cause muscles to tense up. Chronic neck tension that comes and goes over the course of weeks or months could have a cause that goes unnoticed, like teeth grinding or being in a hunched position for extended periods.
Symptoms of neck tension
Symptoms can come on suddenly or progressively. These include:
Turning the head is difficult
Discomfort and/or pain worsens with certain positions
Because the neck can move in many directions, there are various causes of tension in the neck. These include:
Repetitive motion or overuse injuries
Individuals whose work requires repetitive movements like scanning objects, looking up and behind constantly can strain the muscles.
An adult’s head weighs 10 to 11 pounds. If the weight is not properly distributed and supported with a healthy posture, the neck muscles have to work harder, causing strain.
Computer workstation habits
Individuals that sit at a desk or workstation for most of the day or night can develop hunching habits that they may overlook. This can definitely cause neck muscles to strain.
Constantly looking down at the phone is a common cause of tension in the neck and text neck.
When individuals grind or clench their teeth, pressure is placed on the muscles in the neck and jaw. This pressure strains the muscles, causing pain. There are exercises to promote more relaxed jaw muscles.
Physical activities and sports
Working out in a way that engages the neck muscles or whipping the head around during a game or some physical activity can cause minor neck injury and strain.
Sleep position habits
When sleeping, the head and neck should be aligned with the rest of the body. Using large pillows that elevate the neck too much can cause tension to build up while sleeping.
Heavy purses, backpacks, shoulder bags
Lifting and carrying any heavy object can throw the body out of alignment. This can cause strain on one side of the neck, building tension.
These are mild to moderate headaches that typically affect the forehead. However, these types of headaches can cause neck tension and tenderness.
Making simple adjustments can help relieve, manage, and prevent tension in the neck and shoulders. These include:
Consider a standing desk. Adjust the workstation so that proper posture along with comfort is maintained. Try different adjustments like the height of the chair, desk, and computer.
Be aware of body posture.
Stay aware of the body’s posture when sitting and standing. Keep the ears, shoulders, and hips in a straight line. Consider phone posture reminders and devicesto check in with how you’re holding yourself throughout the day.
Gently pull your head to the right, so the ear almost touches the shoulder.
Hold for 30 seconds
Repeat on the opposite side.
The Immune System
The Immune System is essential in maintaining health. Its objective is to:
Neutralize pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria that enter the body and threaten homeostasis.
Eliminate harmful substances from the environment.
Fight against cells that cause illnesses like cancer.
Innate and adaptive immune processes.
The innate system includes exterior defenses, like the skin, proteins, and white blood cells.
Any organisms that escape the first line of defense have to then face the adaptive system. This is made up of T and B cells.
The adaptive immune system is constantly adapting and evolving to identify changes in pathogens change over time.
These systems work together to provide resistance and the elimination of long-term survival of infectious agents in the body.
Chaplin, David D. “Overview of the immune response.” The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology vol. 125,2 Suppl 2 (2010): S3-23. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2009.12.980
Hawk, Cheryl et al. “Best Practices for Chiropractic Management of Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 26,10 (2020): 884-901. doi:10.1089/acm.2020.0181
Hughes, Stephen Fôn et al. “The role of phagocytic leukocytes following flexible ureterorenoscopy, for the treatment of kidney stones: an observational, clinical pilots-study.” European journal of medical research vol. 25,1 68. 11 Dec. 2020, doi:10.1186/s40001-020-00466-7
Scoliosis causes the spinal curvature to go sideways and can cause various symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is scoliosis hip pain. This happens because the spine’s curvature can pull the hips out of alignment, causing one side to be raised higher than the other. A result of this is one hip begins to take on more weight. This overloads the hip causing strain, soreness, aches, and pain, especially after standing or walking.
Scoliosis Hip Pain
Idiopathic scoliosis typically occurs in children, but often there are no pain symptoms. This type of scoliosis can go on unnoticed and undiagnosed for years even until adulthood. When the spine stops growing, even a small scoliosis curve can cause hip pain. The hip pain varies but generally presents with:
Pain that increases with activity like walking, running, standing for a long time.
Stiffness with combined pain after sitting or lying down for a long time.
The type of scoliosis – degenerative or idiopathic.
Bodyweight. Individuals that are obese are more likely to have severe hip pain because of the added weight.
Activity level. Physical activity can cause the pain to worsen.
It varies from person to person.
The Higher Hip
When scoliosis has progressed enough, the curvature and uneven hips are pretty apparent. However, only around 10% of scoliosis cases get this far. If the curvature is minimal, which is usually the case, trying to determine which hip is higher usually requires medical assistance.
The hip that presents with pain is generally the one taking on more weight.
This causes the muscles to fatigue faster and places added stress on that hip joint.
A way to tell which hip is higher stand on bare feet in front of a mirror holding a piece of yarn, or string with both hands.
Place the heel of each hand on the corresponding hip bone.
The string will be tilted if the hips are uneven or will be straight if they are not.
Hip pain caused by scoliosis is most common in adults. However, it is not the only cause of hip pain. Unless diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, individuals may be suffering from de novo scoliosis or degenerative scoliosis.
De Novo/Degenerative Scoliosis
As the body ages, the spinal discs between the vertebrae begin to wear down. The worn-down discs can cause the spine to develop a sideways curve, that can pull the hips out of alignment. Studies are showing that this type of scoliosis is widespread. Loss of bone density can be a contributor to scoliosis in older adults. Bone density loss from menopause means women are more susceptible than men. Past the age of 70, both men and women lose on average, the same amount of bone density. There are effective integrative, natural treatment therapies that incorporate:
Scoliosis Hip Exercises
For uneven hips, there are exercises to help relieve pain and strengthen weak muscles.
Lie on the back with both legs straight out.
Lift the right leg
Using the hands pull the knee toward you, keeping the foot pointed up.
Pull the knee to your chest as far as you can without causing discomfort or pain.
With the right hand, reach toward the left foot, touching if possible.
Return to the original position.
With the left hand, reach toward the right foot.
Repeat 6 to 8 times.
If misaligned and uneven hips are causing pain, chiropractic care for scoliosis is recommended. Spine and hip realignments help relieve pain, stretch the muscles, and corrects posture. One study showed that multi-approach chiropractic for adult scoliosis was found to be beneficial even two years after treatment was finished. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can help with recommending nutrition and lifestyle tips. Instead of just treating symptoms, our team helps manage the cause.
Body Analysis for Disease Prevention
Early identification of disease is imperative for developing the proper treatment plan. Testing can help improve long-term health outcomes. Testing is made easy with the data being easily implemented into patient management software. A comprehensive printout is ready for engaging and educating patients in understanding health risk management and reduction. In 60 seconds, an InBody Test will generate easy-to-understand, accurate, and objective measurements to evaluate potential disease risk. Medical providers can use the InBody to:
Monitor muscle, and visceral fat to provide an accurate measure of health risk.
Monitor muscle distribution to determine specific health risks related to diseases.
Identify fluid imbalances associated with certain diseases.
Track changes for effective long-term risk identification and reduction.
Stress in the workplace is a serious issue. Working is rewarding, but it can become a cause for major stress as well. Studies have shown that more than 40% of workers find their job to be a workplace stressor. Stress takes a toll on the body both mentally and physically. Numerous factors can result in being stressed. This includes:
Working for long hours regularly
Large amounts of work to complete
Workplace Stress Can Hurt The Body
Workplace stress fatigues and agitates the body and can cause major health issues. These include:
Fast food and junk food can bring temporary/false relief, but eating poorly regularly will increase stress in the body. The food does not supply the body with the nutrients it needs to get large amounts of work done. Individuals get a quick jolt of energy then crash rapidly and feel worse creating an unhealthy cycle. To help manage stress, some of the best foods include:
Adjustments can be helpful to manage workplace stress. The benefits are able to release tension throughout the body and increase flexibility. Chiropractic can improve blood circulation which can reduce symptoms caused by hypertension and nerve damage. Some chiropractic techniques used include:
This can improve how the body responds to stress. Keeping the body stress-free while working will help to be more productive, and encouraged to live healthier. The nervous system is responsible for adapting to the environment, especially a stressful environment. A properly aligned spine and nervous system allow the body to manage stress better.
High blood pressure and diabetes prevention
Living a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of chronic diseases, that includes diabetes and hypertension. Too much:
Lack or no physical activity
These are all factors that can affect overall health and longevity.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intense aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of intense aerobic activity. Moderate-intense activities include:
Triathlon training involves running, biking, and swimming. This much fitness training takes a toll on the body. Pulled hamstrings, twisted ankles, and sore heels are common, but triathlon training can also cause or worsen back pain. Because the back muscles are connected to many other muscles, certain types of movement after a tough training session can present with back pain. There was an Ironman triathlete study that found that 90% of the athletes suffered some form of soft-tissue injury during training, with 70% reporting low back pain and/or sciatica. A 2020 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found that 14% of recreational half-marathon runners presented with low-back pain.
Triathlon Training Hard on the Back
High-impact activities/exercises, constant repetitive motion, places a heavy pounding on the body that impacts the joints and spine. Using improper techniques will aggravate any issues. The stresses applied from repetitive motions, and poor form can lead to the joints breaking down. If new to intense training the muscles might not be strong enough yet, which could also cause back pain and injury. The back stabilizer muscles tend to get neglected in the training, but these muscles support the structures in the midline, spine, and joints. Strengthening the:
Ensures stability of the spine and joints from all the wear and tear.
Training and Overtraining Errors
Even veteran athletes can make mistakes during their training that can lead to sore backs. The biggest mistake individuals make during triathlon training is that they only swim, bike, and run. Training for the specific sport/s is important; but weight lifting, core strengthening, and flexibility training are just as important. Proper rest can become neglected as the individual wants to get in as much training as possible that often gets overlooked, leading to overuse injuries. However, rest is a vital part of training to allow the body to fully recover and operate at full and optimal potential.
Preventing and Avoiding Back Pain When Training
How to sidestep back pain altogether during training includes:
A healthy lifestyle includes proper sleep cycles and is even more important during training. The mental aspects a triathlon competition can create require proper rest. Fatigue can also lead to poor technique/form, placing excess stress on the joints and the spine, leading to injury.
Muscles need to maintain flexibility to preserve function and recovery ability. After a training session stretching and working on flexibility will help with overall performance. Stretching should be done after activity when the muscles are warm, and the fibers can be stretched/elongated for optimal recovery.
Having a solid body foundation is the objective. Everything is balanced with strong muscles supporting healthy bones. Specific exercises that target the multifidus muscles. These are the body’s back brace. Strengthening these muscles will help prevent spinal injury/s. Back-strengthening exercises include:
Plan rest days no matter what. Pushing through will not make the body stronger or able to perform better, and could cause performance to decrease leading to injury. This does not mean sleeping all day, but engaging in active recovery where the body gets the rest it needs while still maintaining fitness. Active recovery includes:
Allows for a thorough recovery and enhances training.
Proper form and technique can really make the difference between staying injury-free and injury/s. Using the right form promotes healthy function. It could help to have gait, swim stroke, and bike techniques evaluated by a professional to ensure that proper form is being utilized.
Stop if the body signals one to stop. This is why the body feels pain. It is the internal mechanism that tells the individual something is wrong. It is not recommended to follow the phrases train through the pain, and no pain, no gain. Individuals are recommended to:
Always pay attention if pain presents and does not go away after exercising or warming up.
Pain that limits function.
Pain that interferes with daily activities.
These could significantly exacerbate a spinal injury and should be checked by a doctor.
Rest and Recovery
During rest and recovery, the body goes back to normal or homeostasis. This is the body’s resting rate or normal phase. The body is always trying to go back to homeostasis. This is done by:
Maintaining core temperature
Blood pressure stable
When exercising/training, the homeostasis phase is disturbed, meaning the body needs a period of rest to return to normal. The process of homeostasis uses a lot of energy, which results in an abundant amount of calories burned. After exercise, there is an increase in excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. The body uses up more oxygen during recovery than it does before or during exercise. This increase results in burned calories and strong muscles. The most important part of recovery is the rebuilding of muscle. When working out, especially resistance training, tiny tears are made in the muscle fibers. For the tiny tears to turn into growing muscles, they need to repair themselves. This happens during rest. Apart from the physiological benefits, rest helps prevent injury caused by overuse and assists in healing when injuries do occur. Time off helps with mental health as well to refocus, reassess, and apply what has been learned. What rest and recovery can do for the body includes:
Burn massive calories
Refuels the muscles
Improves mental health and motivation
American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation/Association of Academic Physiatrists. (October 2014) “Efficacy of Aerobic Exercise for Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Meta-Analysis” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266682158_Efficacy_of_Aerobic_Exercise_for_Treatment_of_Chronic_Low_Back_Pain_A_Meta-Analysis
Stretch Before and After Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. (Winter 2003) “Changes in low back pain in a long-distance runner after stretching the iliotibial band” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899346707600718
A motorcyclist has an increased risk of injury every time they get on their bike and get on the road. There is no barrier to protect them in the case of a crash or accident. Because of this, motorcycle injuries sustained can be life-changing. The most common injuries that motorcycle riders sustain and suffer when involved in accidents and crashes tend to be related to high traffic, speed, distracted drivers, and construction. This means that most common motorcycle accidents and crash injuries are severe.
Also known as road burn. This is a type of burn that is caused when the body’s skin gets badly scraped and shredded from the road. This often happens when a rider is thrown from the motorcycle skidding down the road before coming to a stop. Road rash can happen on any part of the body. For motorcyclists, it is common on the legs, hands, arms, and back. It can be excruciating even though the injury is not considered fatal, complications and overlapping injuries can develop. This is usually in the form of infections that can affect mobility and flexibility issues that can require further medical intervention and rehabilitation. In severe cases, it can require skin grafts. Depending on the severity it can leave permanent scarring. Treatment often includes antibiotics, bandage dressings, burn soothing and disinfectant creams.
Fractures and Broken Bones
When a motorcycle and a vehicle collide, it is very common for the motorcyclist to get thrown or knocked off with intense force. When the rider hits the ground, the impact alone can cause fractures and breaks. If the rider lands at an awkward angle this can definitely cause a fracture or break. Broken bones can happen anywhere on the body, but are most commonly sustained in the arms and legs. Broken ribs are also common and usually occur when the motorcyclist gets hit or falls hard. Motorcycle endorsement classes emphasize the ATGATT system that stands for All The Gear, All The Time. This means wearing motorcyclist protective clothing and ankle-high boots. Ankle injuries and fractures are commonly sustained from operating a motorcycle.
Spinal Cord Injuries
If the spinal cord gets injured or damaged the results can be devastating. Depending on the area of the injury, an individual might not be able to walk, use their arms, or move at all. Spinal cord injuries tend to happen when the motorcyclist gets thrown hard or up in the air landing hard on their neck, back, or the body gets pierced by an object. Spine fractures often happen when the rider gets pinned or crushed between vehicles and objects. This can cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
Traumatic Brain Injury
This is one of the most serious injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash. Traumatic brain injury – TBI is when the brain sustains trauma. These injuries usually happen when a motorcyclist is involved in an accident and is not wearing a helmet, their head hits an object forcefully, the head is shaken violently back and forth, or if the skull gets punctured. Around 15% of motorcyclists involved in accidents that receive medical treatment are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. When a person sustains a TBI, they can develop physical and cognitive deficits. Depending on the severity, brain injuries can be treated with surgery, traction, and rehabilitation, but can have lifelong effects.
Organ Injury and Damage
Intense and forceful impacts can cause internal organ damage. Internal bleeding is common in motorcycle accidents. This can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated. Injuries that prove to be fatal, more than three-quarters are caused by traumatic brain injury.
Our experienced team of accident physical therapists and chiropractic team will review the details of the collision, medical treatments and develop a thorough rehabilitation plan. Call our team today and let us help you put your life back together.
Breakfast and Mental Health
Beyond an individual’s physical health, breakfast can significantly impact mood and mental health. According to a 2018 study, a healthy high-quality breakfast has been shown to reduce stress and depression in adolescents. Breakfast nutritional quality was based on individual responses to the following questions:
Do you have cereal or other grain-based products bread, toast, etc?
Do you have some type of dairy product for breakfast?
Do you have commercially baked goods like biscuits or pastries for breakfast?
If a participant stated they consumed commercially baked goods and did not eat bread/toast/cereal or dairy products for breakfast, this was considered a poor quality breakfast. Avoiding commercially baked goods altogether and eating whole bread, healthy cereals, and/or dairy products was considered a good quality breakfast. Choosing grain-based foods along with dairy products was considered healthy because these foods provide a wide range of nutrients. Healthy cereals can provide:
Results found that individuals that ate healthy quality breakfasts had:
Reduced mental distress
Reduced depressive symptoms
Increased positive mood
Improved quality of life
Alicioğlu, Banu et al. “Motosiklet kazalarina bağli yaralanmalar” [Injuries associated with motorcycle accidents]. Acta orthopaedica et traumatologica turcica vol. 42,2 (2008): 106-11.
Araujo, Miguel et al. “Effectiveness of interventions to prevent motorcycle injuries: a systematic review of the literature.” International journal of injury control and safety promotion vol. 24,3 (2017): 406-422. doi:10.1080/17457300.2016.1224901
Dupaix, John P et al. “A Comparison of Skeletal Injuries Arising from Moped and Motorcycle Collisions.” Hawai’i journal of health & social welfare vol. 78,10 (2019): 311-315.
Elsemesmani, Hussein et al. “Association Between Trauma Center Level and Outcomes of Adult Patients with Motorcycle Crash-Related Injuries in the United States.” The Journal of emergency medicine vol. 59,4 (2020): 499-507. doi:10.1016/j.jemermed.2020.06.018
Peng, Yinan et al. “Universal Motorcycle Helmet Laws to Reduce Injuries: A Community Guide Systematic Review.” American journal of preventive medicine vol. 52,6 (2017): 820-832. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2016.11.030
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