Stress & Your Health
Check out this amazing description of how stress impacts your body and overall health at:
DO YOU NEED CHIROPRACTIC? TAKE THIS QUIZ:
1. Do your joints “click”?
2. Do you have leg, knee, buttock or hip pain?
3. Do you have low back weakness or pain?
4. Do you have neck pain?
5. Do you have headaches?
6. Have you been in a car accident?
Many people suffering from these disorders have turned to a different approach to health care; chiropractic. Chiropractic care treats a spinal problem called the vertebral subluxation complex. A subluxation describes what happen when spinal bones lose their normal position and motion from stress, trauma, or chemical imbalances. This is a common and serious condition identified by its five parts or categories:
SPINAL KINESIOPATHOLOGY (Abnormal Spinal Joint Movement) – This is a fancy way of saying the bones of the spine have lost their normal motion and position. It restricts your ability to turn and bend. It sets in motion the other four components.
NEUROPATHOPHYSIOLOGY (Abnormal Nerve Function) – Improper spinal function can choke, stretch, or irritate delicate nerve tissue. The resulting nervous system dysfunction can cause symptoms elsewhere in the body.
MYOPATHOLOGY (Abnormal Muscle Tone) – Muscles supporting the spine can weaken, atrophy or become tight and go into spasm. The resulting scar tissue changes muscle tone, requiring repeated spinal adjustments.
HISTOPATHOLOGY (Abnormal Chemical Balance) – A rise in temperature and a buildup of cellular chemical bi-products from an increase in blood and lymph supplies result in swelling and inflammation. Discs can bulge, herniated, tear or degenerate. Other soft tissues many suffer permanent damage.
PATHOPHYSIOLOGY (Permanent Changes) – Bone spurs and other abnormal bony growths attempt to fuse malfunctioning spinal joints. This spinal decay, scar tissue and long-term nerve dysfunction can cause other systems of the body to malfunction.
If any of the above concerns describe you or others you know, give McGraw Family Chiropractic & Wellness a call and see how we can help maximize your overall health!
Stress wears us out physically and emotionally. A majority of the patients we see every day tell us they believe that the problems they are experiencing are due to being stressed out.
Stress on our bodies does cause physical harm. The link between stress and heart disease, respiratory conditions like asthma, intestinal problems, and menstrual difficulties is well recognized. Also, common headaches and migraines can be brought on or worsened by stress. Stress can also aggravate existing health problems. For example, it often exaggerates the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Emotional problems like anxiety and depression are frequently stress-related.
How do we counteract the affects of stress? A healthy lifestyle is, of course, necessary. This means a healthy diet and plenty of rest. However, the next best thing you can do to relieve the effects of stress is exercise! Exercise relieves stress in several ways and, according to a Surgeon General, provides the following benefits:
• Reduces the risk of dying prematurely
• Reduces the risk of dying of heart disease
• Reduces the risk of developing diabetes
• Helps reduce the risk of developing colon cancer
• Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
• Helps control weight
• Helps build and maintain health bones, muscles, and joints
• Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling
• Promotes psychological well-being
If you need help with how to deal with stresses in your life, reach out to us at McGraw Family Chiropractic & Wellness today!
Proper Sleeping Posture for ‘Brain Drain’
With a need to rest and recharge, human beings spend one-third of their lives in bed over the course of the lifespan. Proper sleep posture helps to prevent neck pain and back pain. In addition to preventing common musculoskeletal issues, did you know your sleep posture impacts ‘Brain Drain’?
What is ‘Brain Drain’?
‘Brain Drain’ refers to the glymphatic pathway, which is a functional waste clearance system for the central nervous system. The glymphatic pathway is similar to the lymphatic system of the body in reducing waste to promote good health.
According to Benviste (2016) “the glymphatic system consists of a brain wide pathway that facilitates the exchange of CSF with interstitial fluid to clear interstitial waste from the brain parenchyma. The waste is moved into perivenous pathways and ultimately cleared via cervical lymphatic vessels.”
The glymphatic pathway expedites clearance of waste, including soluble amyloid(A) to prevent amyloid plaques from accumulating in the brain. Researchers have shown that patients suffering from chronic impairment of glymphatic pathway function due to traumatic brain injury are vulnerable to tau aggregation and the onset of neurodegeneration. These patients have an increased chance of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (Iliff et al., 2014).
Put simply, the glymphatic system eliminates brain waste to prevent diseases of the central nervous system such as dementia.
Sleep Posture and the Glymphatic System
Transport through this pathway is controlled by the brain’s arousal level, making sleep hygiene important to the glymphatic system. During sleep the brain’s interstitial space volume expands compared to its size during wakefulness or arousal. Increased interstitial space with sleep results in faster waste removal.
Humans exhibit different body postures during sleep, which may also affect waste removal. Therefore, not only the level of consciousness, but also body posture, might affect CSF–interstitial fluid (ISF) exchange efficiency throughout the night.
Researchers confirmed that glymphatic transport and clearance was superior in the lateral and supine sleeping positions. The researchers proposed that sleeping on your side has evolved to optimize waste removal during sleep and that posture is considered ideal for glymphatic transport.
The lateral sleeping position is also advantageous for your posture. To optimize ‘Brain Drain’ and to prevent musculoskeletal pain, consider the importance of your sleeping posture. Sleeping on your side with a small pillow between your legs is considered the ideal sleeping position.
This posture habit can greatly impact your health. Remember, it’s Posture by Design, Not by Circumstance.
References: American Posture Institute
Do you get headaches? If so, you are not alone. A United States study reported that 27.3% of females and 13.9% of males suffer from severe headaches. Another study found that in one year, headaches in the U.S. resulted in 74.2 million days of restricted work activity, costing an estimated $1.4 billion in lost productivity. Headaches are one of the most common reasons that people seek both medical and chiropractic treatment. Even so, headaches are so common that some people think that getting a headache is a normal part of life. NOT TRUE! Headaches are a sign that something is wrong.
The two broad categories of chronic recurrent headaches are migraine and tension types. Of these, tension headaches are the most common, accounting for 85.5% of all headaches. The pain of tension headaches is usually described as between mild and moderate and happen 2 to 3 times more frequently that migraine headaches. Neck and upper back stiffness are also associated with tension headaches.
Clinical studies on headaches patients have found changes in electrical muscle activity, reduced range of motion, muscle spasm and tenderness along the cervical spine (neck). Many problems in the neck resulting from injury, recurring work strain, stress and possible joint degeneration, can lead to head pain.
When bones of the spine lose their normal position or motion, sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head can be affected. When spinal nerves and related tissues are stretched or irritated they can produce throbbing headaches. Aspirin and other medications may cover up these warning signs, but do not correct the underlying structural cause.
Many people find pain relief and correction of the structural cause of their headaches with chiropractic care. In fact, headaches are the 2nd most common complaint chiropractors doctors see in their offices. If a spinal exam reveals reduced range of motion, loss of normal spine curves or mechanical restrictions, chiropractic care should be considered. Respected medical studies have found that over 80% of all headache sufferers have joint abnormalities in the neck. Further study has revealed chiropractic treatment to be more effective and have fewer side effects than medicine. If you have headaches, loss of motion or neck and shoulder pain, feel free to give us a call at McGraw Family Chiropractic & Wellness to find out if chiropractic care can help you.
3 Tips to Prevent Postural Fatigue at Work
Do you feel fatigued at work? Whether you show up tired in the mornings or have an afternoon lull of lethargy, postural fatigue may be affecting your work performance.
Did you know that proper posture can help you prevent and overcome fatigue? How you present yourself at work can actually improve your work performance and overall job satisfaction.
Posture Alters Resting State in the Brain
Neuroimaging shows that upright versus supine posture increases widespread high-frequency oscillatory activity and alertness within the brain. Researchers show a significant influence of posture on brain dynamics and brain activity.
Put simply, when you have upright posture, you are more alert and have a higher level of brain activity. Think about it, if you consciously hold your body upright with proper posture you feel more energized, versus slumping low in your chair with little energy.
Try it right now. Sit up straight, tighten your core, take nice deep breaths and feel how your body in proper posture is bounding with high energy! Now slouch your shoulders forward, bring your hips forward and sit low in your chair. Do you feel how slouching leads to a work-related narcosis?
Self Perceived Fatigue Changes Your Posture
Interestingly, researchers have shown that even the perception of fatigue changes your posture. They also showed that poor posture was a predecessor to low back pain. Meaning that poor posture not only deprives your body of energy, but it also predisposes you to work-related pain and injuries.
This research article evaluated the postural changes that occur at work in response to fatigue. They discovered that as workers had the perception of fatigue, they have postural changes, then resulting in low back pain.
One of the most critical risk factors contributing to injury of the low back is posture, specifically of the torso. Workers’ self-selected postures were quantified in terms of maximum torso flexion and lumbar spine position. Changes in posture were evaluated as a function of time, heart rate and perception of fatigue showing that fatigue was related to poor postural alignment.
3 Tips to Prevent Postural Fatigue at Work
You can beat postural fatigue at work with these three easy-to-implement tips!
1) Posture Reminders: Place a posture reminder at your desk to remind you to sit up straight and have proper posture while working. This will help you stay alert and to have better posture to prevent fatigue and back pain. For a Posture Reminder, you can place a sticker on your computer or at your desk that reminds you to ‘check your posture’ throughout the day.
2) Stand Up to Fatigue: To prevent fatigue and slumped posture, try standing up! If you have a stand up desk great, if not, what can you do while standing with your current workplace design? For example, can you plug in headphones to your phone and take a walk while talking on the phone? Can you stand up while doing data entry or doing afternoon staff meetings on your feet?
3) Take Frequent Posture Breaks: To prevent slouched shoulders take a posture break every hour for 30 seconds. To perform a Posture Break pull your shoulders and arms back, push your chest out, and drop your head back. Stretch in this position to reverse flexor dominant posture.
LOW BACK STRAIN
Low back or lumbosacral strain is a common diagnosis given to patients suffering from low back pain. A strain, by definition, means some type of injury involving the muscles.
There are two types of low back strains, acute and chronic. An acute back strain is usually the result of a traumatic injury like a fall or heavy lifting. The chronic back strain develops more slowly, over time; perhaps the result of poor posture, stressful repetitive activity or poor muscle tone. The person suffering an acute low back strain is usually aware that he or she did something wrong to hurt themselves. The cause of a chronic strain is not always so obvious.
The primary complaint of a lumbosacral strain will be aching or stiffness in the lower back. The pain may cover a wide area or might be localized. Bending forward or to one side seems to increase the pain, with rest making it better. Rather than the pain being in the middle or center of the back over the spine, it will feel like it is more off to the side.
Treatment for lumbosacral strain should include proper short-term rest, icing, stretching and a combined program of exercise, postural training and assessment of related spinal biomechanics.
The person suffering from low back pain should accept nothing less than a qualified physician with training and experience in each of these areas. By doing so, proper diagnosis and treatment can be expected, with a hopeful speedy recovery from pain and lack of function. If you or someone you care about is suffering from low back concerns, contact us at McGraw Family Chiropractic & Wellness and see how we can help you today!
EVIDENCE-BASED NON-SURGICAL STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY
By Candyce Rohde Posted August 18, 2016 In Health, Posture, Posture Analysis
“12 Weeks to Better Posture ™ is the best posture program, if everyone did it I would be out of a job” states Giovanni, a medical doctor who sought postural correction treatment for neck pain, tension headaches and cervical radiculopathy. The pain and tingling in Giovanni’s arm was interfering with his ability to perform surgery at work. Desperate to correct the problem Giovanni came to the American Posture Institute.
Forward Head Posture and Cervical Radiculopathy:
Postural distortion patterns of the Posture System lead to varying physiologic health consequences. When patients present with forward head posture, a misalignment of the positioning of posture quadrant 1 in relation to posture quadrant 2 is revealed. These patients commonly present with cervical spinal lesions of posture quadrant 1, which often result in symptoms of radiculopathy in the upper extremity of posture quadrant 2.
Research demonstrates that there is a direct correlation between reduction of the craniovertebral angle and increase of neck pain and disability. Patients who present with a smaller craniovertebral angle have a greater degree of forward head posture, causing more pressure to the cervical nerve roots, resulting in a greater level of neck pain disability (Ho Ting Yip et al., 2005).
Forward head posture increases the amount of pressure on the anatomy of the cervical spine. According to Caillet and Gross (1987) forward head posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the spine. To compensate for this additional pressure, the paravertebral musculature at the base of the neck becomes hypertonically contracted. Patients often associate the muscle tightness at the base of the neck with a stress related onset.
Non-surgical Treatment of Cervical Radiculopathy:
Forward head posture is a contributing factor of painful cervical radiculopathy. To manage symptoms associated with cervical radiculopathy, non-surgical treatment plans to correct forward head posture are considered clinically effective.
If you or others you care about are suffering from forward head posture and neck pain, contact us today at McGraw Family Chiropractic & Wellness, and make an appointment to see how we can help!
SLOUCHED SITTING MAKES YOU SICK: PROPER POSTURE KEEPS YOU HEALTHY
Many modern day workers spend the majority of their time seated. Sitting has been described as “the new smoking” due to the ill health effects associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Researchers have found that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing chronic disease such as various types of cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Sedentary behaviors are also linked to higher levels of depression in adults. Van Uffelen et al. (2010) conducted a research study evaluating the effects of sitting for more than 7 hours per day and symptoms of depression in women. They found that women who do not exercise and women who are seated for more than 7 hours per day are 47% more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression.
Women who sit for 7 hours per day and do not engage in physical activity are 3 times more likely to have depression than women who sit less than 4 hours per day.
Other research shows that people who are sitting in front of their computers for 5 hours or more per day have an increased risk of developing mental illness, depression, and insomnia. Tetsuya (2003) concluded that mental health and sleep-related symptoms were significantly higher in the research group that spent 5 hours or more in front of a computer screen.
If modern day occupations require prolonged sitting, as a society, how can we preserve our health while performing necessary job related tasks? Vernikos (2005) states that it is not how many hours of sitting that’s bad for you; it is how often you interrupt that sitting position that is good for you. “It’s actually the change in posture that is the most powerful in terms of having a beneficial impact on your health, not the act of standing in and of itself” (Verkikos, 2005).
Although sitting is making you sick, proper posture habits will keep you healthy. Proper posture and frequent posture breaks are associated with better health, more alertness and focused attention, higher levels of productivity, and less fatigue.
5 Habits for Healthy Posture
• Take Frequent Posture Breaks: Posture breaks offset the force of gravity on your spine and supporting muscles. To perform a “Posture Break,” bring your shoulders and arms back, stick your chest out, and bring your head back with your eyes pointed up to the ceiling. This stretches your anti-gravity muscles and helps you have better seated posture. You can perform a posture break in your chair or standing. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds each hour of your workday.
• Sit Up Straight: Your spine should have an “S” shaped curvature, not a slouched “C” shape curve. If the spine rounds forward to a “C” shape focus on sitting up straight. If you feel fatigued maintaining proper upright posture, you can place a small cushion behind your lower back that will help to support the lumbar spine upright.
• Strengthen Your Core: Your “Core” musculature is the muscles that support your lower back and prevent injury when lifting or bending. A strong core is a supported spine; a weak core makes you more susceptible to back pain and injury. To strengthen your core, focus on doing exercises such as planks and side planks to work all regions of your core musculature. Avoid flexion exercises; instead focus on exercises that promote extension.
• Sit on an Exercise Ball: Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair that lacks spinal support is a great way to improve your posture. While seated on the ball you are engaging your core musculature throughout the day and building postural fitness to support your back and maintain proper posture. It is nearly impossible to slouch while sitting on an exercise ball, with weak posture you risk losing your balance.
• Design Your Workspace: Design your workspace to support proper posture while sitting. Make sure there is enough room to move around on the exercise ball and keep your most commonly used items with an arm’s reach away. Rotating your spine or reaching forward to grab items repetitively throughout the day can add additional stress to your lower back. Also, position your computer screen at eye level. When it is lower than eye level it is easier to have slouched posture with your neck and shoulders forward because you are looking down for a prolonged period of time.
By Krista Burns Posted November 28, 2016 In Sitting Makes You Sick
Tetsuya, N. (2003) Computers Put Workers at Risk for Mental Illness. The Telegraph, January, 2003.
van Uffelen JG, Wong J, Chau JY, van der Ploeg HP, Riphagen I, Healy GH, et al. (2010) Occupational sitting and health risks: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med 39: 379–388.Vernikos, J. (2011) Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. Quill Driver Books.
Tags: Sedentary Posture, Sitting, Sitting is the New Smoking
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a newly established syndrome that describes varying combination of symptoms including recurrent sore throats, low grade fever, lymph node swelling, headache, muscle and joint pain, intestinal discomfort, emotional distress and/or depression and loss of concentration. These symptoms must be present for 6 months or more.
Chronic fatigue and low energy are common complaints in modern life. Indeed, up to 24 percent of all people visiting the doctor say they always feel tired. Chronic fatigue and low energy can be triggered by many different factors. Understanding these influences is an important first step in solving the riddle. Some potential contributors to fatigue are listed below.
Research at the University of California and elsewhere, suggests that people with chronic fatigue are more likely to have a history of chronic antibiotic overuse as a child, adolescent or adult.
BLOOD SUGAR DISORDERS
The most common blood sugar disorders, diabetes and hypoglycemia, are both associated with fatigue.
Digestive problems are very common in modern cultures and may contribute to fatigue. When changes in the stomach acid, digestive enzymes, intestinal bacteria and other problems occur, it affects the fundamental way in which our food and nutrients are used.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic neck, shoulder, hip and back pain. Chronic fatigue is present in more than 90 percent of people with fibromyalgia.
Chronic fatigue may be a residual effect of an acute infection. It may also be the result of a chronic or hidden infection such as Epstein-Barr virus, Herpes virus or Cytomegalovirus.
THYROID AND ADRENAL PROBLEM
Both underactive and overactive thyroid can contribute to poor energy production. The adrenal glands produce important hormones which, when increased or depressed, can contribute to fatigue.
For more information on this or other health topics, including information about our services, go to www.mcgrawfamilywellness.com or call us at 952-432-1522.