Facet Syndrome

A common cause of back pain is a condition called facet syndrome.  First, let us understand what a facet is and what its job is to help your spine stay strong.

Facet joints are located on the back part of the spine and each vertebra has 2 sets, one on each side. A facet joint is the part of the vertebra that helps with movement and motion.  These joints are shaped differently in different parts of the spine and allow for one vertebra to move with the one above and below it.  Part of their job is to limit extension (bending backwards) and rotation (twisting). They provide stability of the spine.

These joints are controlled by the muscles of your spine and have a close relationship with these muscles.  Did you know your muscles are controlled by the nerves of the spine?  Your muscles, joints and nerves all have to work together to keep you healthy.

FacetAn injured facet joint can become inflamed and cause pain, stiffness and soreness.  These injuries can be from a direct injury such as a fall or micro–trauma.  Micro-trauma is usually a result of repetitive injuries or doing the same motion over and over many times.  A facet injury may make it difficult to sit at a computer or watch TV.  It may be painful to bend or lift.  You might experience stiffness in the morning when trying to get out of bed.

If one of the facet joints is not functioning properly, pain and dysfunction can be a result.  The pain level often depends on the severity of the injury or lack of motion to the facet joint.

A very successful treatment of facet syndrome is a chiropractic adjustment to help restore normal motion of the facet joint.  This gentle technique is the most effective way to help the injured joint heal.  In some cases an adjustment is necessary to help relieve any muscle irritation or spasm.  A home exercise program may be prescribed to help strengthen the surrounding muscles so they can support the facet joint and help prevent re-injury.

As always, Chiropractors advocate dealing with the underlying neurological, mechanical and muscular problems.  If you or a loved one are suffering with back pain, chiropractic care is waiting to help.

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What Everyone Should Know about Massage

We asked our massage therapists to compile a list of frequently asked questions they get asked about massage therapy all the time!

You can also learn more about Massage Therapists!

  • What is a knot and Why do I have them?
    • A knot is your muscle fibers contraction to protect an underlying inflamed nerve. This inflamed nerve is caused by a subluxation (misalignment) of a joint. This joint could be in your neck, shoulder, back, hip, the list goes on and on.
  • Why does pressure from a massage release the knots?
    • Pressure from massage helps free up those contracted muscle fibers. A knot is similar to your “check engine” light in your car. The knot is signaling to your body that something deeper is going on in the body, aka a subluxation.
  • Why do I feel sluggish after a massage?
    • When you feel a bit sluggish or slow after a massage, that means you reached the deep relaxation point. This cues your body to into a deep relaxation state and when your body comes out of this state, you can feel a bit sluggish. During this time your body has lowered stress hormones and increased the feel good hormones.
  • How many sessions/massages do I need to “fix the problem”?
    • It depends. Various variables affect your body and how it can respond to massage treatment. How much water do you consume? Do you exercise? What does your posture look like at work? Are you recovering from an injury? What does your diet look like? The list of questions goes on and on.

Have any questions that aren’t on the list? Let us know!

Check out the different types of massages we offer!

Health Benefits of Being Grateful

We learn the importance of saying “thank you” as we grow up and are taught this habit because it’s “good manners.” This childhood lesson is extremely powerful and goes beyond being polite. There are so many health benefits of showing gratitude and that is what the month of November is about…Gratitude!

  • Gratitude helps you sleep better! Instead of lying in bed, thinking about worries, stress, and anxiety, think about what you’re thankful for! Mentally make a list of things you’re grateful for and it can help induce a relaxation response, causing you to drift off to sleep!
  • Gratefulness is linked with optimism, which is linked to a better immune system! A study from University of Utah stated that stressed-out law students who were optimistic had more immune-boostinSmilingFamily02-18-2011----g blood cells than students who were pessimistic.
  • Improves psychological health! Gratitude reduces toxic emotions like envy, frustration, and regret. Gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
  • Gratitude improves self-esteem! It’s able to reduce social comparisons. Grateful people are able to appreciate the accomplishments of others rather than become resentful and as a result they don’t compare themselves to others as often.
  • Reduces stress! Feeling grateful has a positive impact on helping people deal with everyday problems, including stress.
  • Improves overall health! Gratitude helps lower blood pressure and improves cardiac health. It can result in experiencing fewer aches and pains!

 

8 Tips for a Fresh Fall Start

The temperature drops, the leaves change color, and we think of the holidays to come. Fall is a great time to find a fresh start for ourselves and our health! Here are some tips to help you get a good fresh start!

  1. Enjoy fresh fall produce. Fall is a great time to enjoy a variety of vegetables. Pumpkin and squash are full of potassium and vitamin A.
  2. Stay well rested. Time changes during the fall season can be hard to manage. It’s recommended that you modify your sleep patterns to the outside environment. This will keep you alert in the morning and sleepy hikingat night.
  3. Re-energize with exercise! Try a nature walk through the woods and admire the fall colors. Take a hike through an apple orchard or pumpkin patch.
  4. Get your spine checked. Boost your immune system to avoid colds and flus by maintaining spinal health with a chiropractic adjustment!
  5. De-stress with friends. Plan a weekend to take a break and strengthen friendships. You can even plan an exercise together to motivate each other!
  6. Remember to stretch. It’s cold outside, which means muscles can be tight. Before doing fall clean up take time to stretch your back, arms, and legs.
  7. Focus on finances. With holiday season approaching, we tend to forget to watch how much we spend. Start watching your spending by preparing a budget to avoid financial stress.
  8. Have fun! No matter what your day brings, remember to smile and enjoy the good things! Be thankful for the great things that surround you everyday!

 

Is Sitting Harmful for your Health?

It has been said that sitting is the new smoking. It has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and early death. But with most of us logging hours at desk jobs (and recovering from hard workouts with Netflix binges), can it really be that bad?
Yes, indeed!!

When you are in an improper, slouched, or seated posture for extended periods of time, there are physiological changes in the body. In addition to the proven disease risks, things start to lock up. Tissues can weaken and the effects can be degenerative.

It is similar to the idea of time spent in a cast: when muscle tissue is continually immobile, it shortens and shrinks over time and weakens.

Movement brings hydration and nutrients to the tissue and activity keeps it healthy, so even though our jobs and evolving mobile technologies are making us more prone to sit and press buttons, we need to think actively and sit actively.

Image result for person slouching in chair

 

In other words, don’t just get up for breaks, but rather do things that will keep your tissues mobile and fluid throughout your day and life. Spending 8+ hours at your desk doesn’t have to ruin your body.

 

 

Add these five daily movements to your routine:

  1. Roll your feet: Feet can really stiffen up when you sit for long periods. Take a couple breaks during your day and roll each foot on a massage ball or small frozen water bottle.
  2. Do some wall squats: Sit with your shoulder blades and lower back against a wall, hips and knees at a 90-degree angle. Hold for a minute, then return to a standing position, and do 3 reps.
  3. Stretch into a lunge: Constant sitting shortens the hip flexors, so you need to stretch the musculature of the hips and quads. Step your left leg for-ward into a 90-degree lunge, allowing the right knee to hover over the ground behind you. Then switch legs. Try to work this in 3-4 times a day.
  4. Reverse your rotation: During prolonged sitting, we tend to collapse inward, rounding our shoulders and jutting our necks out and forward. To reverse this, move to the edge of your chair and sit on your tailbone. Leaving your arms at your sides, open your chest and rotate your hands out, letting your shoulders move back. At the same time, widen your hips by rotating your feet out. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  5. Extend your back: Stand and place the palms of your hands at your lower back to lock out your lumbar spine and prevent over extension. Then gently lean back as far as you comfortably can. Do 10 reps once or twice a day.

If you want more tips like these or are looking for help reaching your fitness goals, talk our exercise specialist today! 320-253-5650

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Kids!

Why do millions of parents bring their children to Doctors of Chiropractic every year?  Is it only for when your child is hurting or for highly dramatic health conditions?

Not at all!  More parents are bringing their children to chiropractors for day-to-day health concerns such as colds, sore throats, ear infections, fevers, colic, asthma, tonsillitis, allergies, bed-wetting, infections, pains, falls, stomach-aches, and the hundred and one little and big things children go through as they grow up.

An increase in childhood diseases and illnesses is another reason that families are searching for natural healthcare options, such as chiropractic care, for their children.

Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for children’s health issues that are associated with the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.  Gentle chiropractic care helps to provide a drug-free treatment option to those young individuals to help resolve and prevent a wide range of health problems.too old or young

Recent research by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) found spinal manipulative therapy safe and successful in treating children of all ages.  Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to fit a child’s size, weight, and unique spinal condition.  They are both gentle and specific to the child’s developing spinal structures.

Why chiropractic care?

Just look at a life under 18 years of age.  There are acute injuries and traumas that can cause spinal damage.  Are your children involved in sports?  Do these activities cause trauma or repetitive motions that may affect proper biomechanics and cause the body to function less than optimally?  Is birth trauma involved or perhaps a family history of a disease process you would like to prevent?

Parents surveyed by the ICPA reported behavioral improvement for kids who saw a chiropractor, as well as improved sleep and stronger immune systems.  Encouraging good lifelong health habits is one of chiropractic’s best benefits for kids.

Spinal manipulation for children as young as newborn babies is an alternative treatment for discomfort of colic and other digestive disorders as well.  And the list of benefits goes on and on…my children have been treated since minutes after their births and how fortunate they have been to receive the long lasting benefits of chiropractic care.

If it has been over 6 months since your child has been checked, now is the time to ensure their health! Give your chiropractor a call to get them adjusted today!

 

The Importance of Sleep

Our bodies require regular long periods of sleep to restore and rejuvenate all processes within the body. Sleep also helps us grow and develop, repair tissues, synthesize and regulate hormones, and strengthen immunity. When people don’t get enough good quality sleep, they struggle with concentration, memory, attention, productivity, emotional and behavioral stability, and ability to fight disease.

bad-sleep

Many adults and children struggle with getting enough sleep and making sure those hours are good quality sleep. As chiropractors, we can assess a few different components that can improve these patterns to allow the body its healthy sleep cycle.

Chiropractors can assess the body’s musculoskeletal system to address any  mechanical issues that may be interrupting sleep.  When the spine is out of alignment, also known as a subluxation, stress is put on different areas of the body which can lead to muscle tension and nerve inflammation. This doesn’t allow the body to fully relax and as a result, we can wake up feeling tired, restless, and uncomfortable.

When the spinal segments that sit directly below the base of the skull become out of alignment, our brain chemistry can be negatively effected. The brain is what manufactures the hormones that help us fall asleep and control healthy sleep patterns. When the nerves between the brain and the very top of the spinal cord are disrupted, the release of these important sleep hormones are disrupted as well.

With the help of chiropractic care, chiropractors can correct these misalignments with simple adjustments for both you and your children. We can give recommendations for proper sleeping positions, your mattress, and proper pillows to prevent subluxations from continuously reoccurring.

If you or anyone in your family is struggling with getting good quality sleep, give us a call and schedule an appointment with one of our chiropractors!