5 Ways to Keep Your Spine Healthy

When it comes to our health, typically we think of eating healthy, exercising and getting spineplenty of sleep. But what about the health of our spine? After all, it does protect one of the most important systems of the body, the nervous system.

The nervous system controls every other system in the body from muscle movement to breathing. So what can we do to keep our spine in tip top shape?

Massage Therapy

Not only are massages good for relaxation for the mind, but also for the muscles of the body. Muscles around the spine can become tight and pull on the vertebrae of the spine, causing irritation of the spinal cord which can result in pain and disruption of other body systems.

Chiropractic Care

Subluxations, also known as misalignments, occur throughout the spine and joints of the body. These misalignments can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in pain, headaches, tingling, digestion issues, etc. Chiropractors correct misalignments to promote good nervous system health.

Stop Smoking

Smokers tend to have more back pain than nonsmokers and for longer periods of time. Smokers heal at a slower rate when they have an episode of back pain because the chemicals in tobacco smoke restrict the flow of blood to the tissues in and around the spine.

Good Posture

While sitting at your desk, keep in mind good posture techniques to avoid lack of circulation, muscle tension, and headaches. (Here are some posture tips for at work!)When carrying or lifting things, use your knees instead of bending down at the
waist.

bad-sleepWe often forget to think about our posture while we are sleeping. The best position for your spine is when you lay on your side. Put a pillow between your legs or knees to reduce pressure on the lower back, plus it helps better align the neck. Check to see if your pillow has enough support for your head and neck to avoid headaches.

Exercising

Yes, exercising is good for your spinal health! People who are overweight tend to have more spinal dysfunction due to more pressure applied to the spine and a shift in center of gravity. Try to stretch your back muscles regularly to avoid tight muscles, which will help reduce subluxations. Having good back and core strength helps promote good posture.

If you have more questions about spinal health ask one of our doctors!

Balance Your Body With Orthotics

The joints and muscles of the body function most efficiently when they are in physical balance. When foot imbalance is present, there is a negative impact on the knees, hips, pelvis, and the spine.  This may lead to symptoms of knee pain, arch pain, hip pain, or lower back pain.

Your feet are the foundation of your body.  They support you when you stand, walk, or run.  They help protect your spine, bones and soft tissues from damaging stress as you move around.

The foot is constructed with three arches, which when properly maintained give exceptional supportive strength.  These three arches form a supporting vault that distributes the entire weight of the body.foot

A loss of arch height will cause a flattening and rolling in of the foot.  This malpositioning of the foot is termed pronation and is seen when the ankle starts to fall inward, no longer sitting directly over the foot. Because everything is connected, the bones of the leg also inwardly rotate.

This increased pressure on the medial arch of the foot and can cause heel pain or irritation to the connective tissue along the bottom of the foot leading to plantar fascitis.

Excessive rotation of the bones of the leg will cause unnecessary stresses on the knee as well as twisting of the pelvis and spine.  If the pronation is more prevalent on one side, there can be a resultant unleveling of the pelvis.  Tilting of the pelvis places tension on the muscles and connective tissues, which can eventually lead to back problems.

To correct imbalances in the feet, we will often recommend custom molded foot orthotics.  Placing orthotics in your shoes is similar to placing a shim under a wobbly table: it adds support to eliminate unwanted motion in the entire structure.

Placing the correct support under the foot helps restore the fallen arch, decrease pronation, eliminate rotation to the leg, and take stress off the joints of the lower back and pelvis. By stabilizing and balancing your feet, orthotics enhance your body’s performance and efficiency, reduce pain, and contribute to your total body wellness.

Weeding Out Back Pain

When the weather starts to warm up after months of cold and snow, many people like to get outside and start doing activities such as gardening, planting, and mowing the lawn. We often find gardening to be relaxing and healing, but all of the lifting, bending, and twisting can cause aches and pains into the neck and back, especially if you are doing them improperly.

As you start putting on your gloves and digging out your lawn equipment, it’s important to keep in mind that injuries can occur. Injuries can also occur from weeding, lifting too much, and mowing the lawn with a push mower.

Weeding the garden can seem like a never ending job and can easily cause your back muscles to fatigue quickly. One way to prevent the muscles from tiring so quickly can include sitting on a bucket or the ground with a wide base of support. It is also important to remember to support your back when reaching for weeds. Try to keep your spine long and avoid hunching forward in the same position for too long. Remember to take frequent breaks and alternate which arm you are using to balance the muscles being used.picture12

Lifting heavy bags of soil, tools or other materials for gardening can also cause strains on your back. Use wagons and carts with wheels to carry the weight. This will ease the stress on your back from carrying heavy items and lifting them improperly.

When you are lifting, make sure you bend at the hips and knees instead of the waist. The hips and knees are better equipped to carry a heavy load instead of the back. This will help prevent low back injuries from occurring.

Before you do any gardening or yard work, make sure you stretch and prepare your body for these activities. Always be aware of your posture and body form when you are gardening and know your limitations.

If you follow these tips and still have some aches and pains, seeing a chiropractor can help with these symptoms. Chiropractic care will help heal injuries and will get you back into the garden and the yard again. Doctors of chiropractic can help evaluate the imbalances in your spine and muscles that occur from gardening and can help lead you to a healthier life.

Chiropractic treatment can range from ice or heat, ultrasound therapy, electrical muscle stimulation, and adjustments of the spine or extremities. We may include a specific exercise program to help prevent injury, work on stretching and strengthening the muscles and/or focus on correcting and maintain proper posture.

Give us a call to schedule your chiropractic appointment if you have any spring time pain. 320-253-5650

5 Tips to Avoid Golf Injuries

The warm weather season is finally here, and hopefully to stay awhile. With this warm weather we see the golf courses open and the golfers swarming to play the game! Whether you are an avid golfer or a beginner, it is important to know how to play without any pain.

Though golf is considered a low-impact sport, it doesn’t mean it is a sport where injuries do not happen. The most common injuries associated with golf are in lower back, elbow, wrist and shoulder. To enjoy an injury free, golf-filled summer, follow these tips:

  1. Use Proper Equipment– This means both your clubs as well as your shoes. Clubs that are properly fitted will help correct posture, technique, and alignment while reducing the risk of injury. Proper shoes are also important. Walking from hole to hole (or cart to hole) means you need good support for the rest of your body, starting with your feet. Not only does Minser Chiropractic Clinic offer custom fitted orthotics for work shoes and athletic shoes but they also come specifically for golfers!golfer
  2. Warm Up– Just like any other physical activity, warming up your muscles is extremely important. It reduces the risk of injury by generating blood flow and loosening the joints. Stretch out all areas of the body-arms, back, and legs to avoid injuries.
  3. Stop Immediately if You are Injured– Playing while injured, no matter how small the injury, can further aggravate your muscles, pain and cause more damage. Take a few days off to rest and recover.
  4. Use Proper Golfing Techniques– It’s important to watch your swing; not only to improve your game but to avoid injury. If you over-swing, you can create strain on your joints and spine causing lower back pain. Lift your clubs properly. Golf bags full of equipment are not light as a feather. Without proper mechanics, you can easily throw out your back by lifting your bag with your back instead of bending at the knees. Watch how you’re grabbing your golf bag to avoid injury.
  5. Get an Adjustment!– Chiropractic is known to help prevent injury, increase athletic ability, and speed up recovery from injuries.  Our doctors at Minser Chiropractic Clinic can give you more tips and at home exercises to help you improve your game and keep you out on the course.

Have more tips you want us to share? Connect with us and let us know!

7 Steps to Have Better Posture at Work

The Medical Definition of the word “posture”
is- the carriage of the body as a whole, the attitude of the body, or the position of the limbs (the arms and legs).Why should you have better posture? 

Your posture affects everything you do! How you walk, sit, move, breathe, and so much more! Better posture at work means increased productivity, more focused, less back pain, and less headaches.

Here are a few simple steps you can do to have better posture at work.

  1. Align Your Head – Rule of thumb is having your ears in line with your shoulders is proper posture for your head. Forward head posture can result in tight muscles in your neck and possibly headaches.
  2. Stretch Your Shoulders – Hunched desk posture leads to tightened chest muscles and restricted air ways. You can regularly stretch you shoulders to help relax your shoulder muscles.bigstock_closeup_of_female_hands_typing_21941885
  3. Look up! – Keep your monitor centered in front of your body. Adjust your chair or desk so you are not looking downward at your computer and to prevent neck strain.
  4. Don’t Slouch – Slouching also tightens your chest muscles and can reduce strength in your upper back muscles. Keeping your computer at eye level can help reduce slouching.
  5. Exercise and Stretch – Long hours sitting at a desk with little to no breaks can lead to shortened hip flexor muscles. Try to get exercise outside of work and stretch your hips at home. If you can, take walking breaks throughout the day.
  6. Keep Wrists Flat – Maintain a flat keyboard surface and keep your wrists about the keyboard when typing. Occasionally roll out your wrists to reduce tightness.
  7. Sit Upright & Move Your Feet – Crossing your legs at your desk can lead to poor circulation and misalignments in your spine. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and move your feet frequently in increase blood flow.

Have more questions about posture? Let us know!

What to do about Extremity Pain

hand-painLegs ache, arms are numb, fingers tingling, and you can’t feel your feet! You wonder what could be the cause of these symptoms and what you can do to get rid of them.

Did you know chiropractic can help treat extremity pain?

Most people think chiropractic is just a treatment for back pain, neck pain, and headaches, but chiropractors can do so much more! If it’s a joint, a chiropractor can adjust it!

That means your knee pain could be a result of a subluxation in your knee or hip instead of your low back. Your tingling fingers could mean a joint is off in your wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck or upper back!

There are cases where numbness, tingling, and lack of feeling in extremities are a sign that there could be a subluxation within the spine that is causing interference with the nerves. Another interference could be located in the extremity itself, i.e. elbow, ankle, shoulder, etc. A simple solution is a chiropractic adjustment!

Chiropractors are highly trained doctors that know not only how to treat the spine, but also extremities of the body. They are also trained in different adjusting techniques so they can effectively treat people of all ages and sizes. No one is too young or too old for an adjustment!

 

Tips for a Healthy Spine

spineA healthy spine is often overlooked and is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Approximately 80-90% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point in their lives. Because so many of us suffer from spine pain, it’s important for you to try to keep your spine as healthy as possible. The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following spinal health tips for you to do at home:

~Do not stand bent forward at the waist for prolonged periods of time. The muscles in your low back become deconditioned in this position, which may lead to pain.

~Avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous movements for your spine. If you must lift a heavy item, get someone to help you.

~Do NOT bend over at the waist to pick up items. Instead, kneel down on one knee, with the other foot flat on the floor, then pick up the item. You can also squat down and pick it up with an extended arm.

~Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees may reduce the pressure on your back while sleeping. Never sleep in a position that causes a portion of your spine to hurt. Sleeping on your stomach can cause a lot of rotation in your neck which can cause misalignments and pain.

~Spinal adjustments are a great way to prevent any future pain or misalignments and can help subside any current pain you are having. Chiropractic care, while mostly used for acute care, can also be used as a preventative care!