Common Questions (and Answers!) about Acupuncture

Let’s start at the origins. Acupuncture has been practiced for hundreds of years, though not all in the same form. During the Stone Age, people used knifes and other sharp objects to relieve pain and disease. Warriors that were hit by arrows during battle noticed areas of relief in different parts of the body.funny_acupuncture

Monks noticed energy moving in specific areas of the body while they were meditating and eventually started recording these findings. Over time, the practice became modified and was researched in depth to bring the modern acupuncture we know and use today.

What does the treatment consist of?

A doctor will go over your health history (if they do not already know it) and assess what your health complaint is and where it’s located. From there, they choose the acupuncture points that will be beneficial for your care (they might ask you to change into shorts or a gown depending on the location). The doctor will use an alcohol pad to disinfect the area and tap the needle in the point.

Wait! Needles!? Yes needles, but acupuncture needles are TINY! They are only .25

 

mm thick, where the average sewing needle is 1 mm thick. There is very little to no pain at all when the doctor taps the needle into the point.acupuncture-needle-size-comparison
So how does acupuncture work? Let’s use a common condition that many people suffer from as an example. Headaches. There are many ways to get rid of a headache, including acupuncture! For example, here are three points that are used when treating headaches:

 

GB 20, Li 4, and Si 13. The letters stand for Gall Bladder, Large Intestine, and Small Intestine channels.

Where the numbers stand for certain points along that channel. Now these channels are used for specific reasons. Gall bladder and small intestine are used because of their location on the body. The large intestine channel is used because Li 4 is the strongest point for a condition that involves the upper body. Depending on the type of headache, other points may be used. If the headache is considered a “pounding headache” then the liver channel might be used because that channel helps control blood flow.

Treatment by acupuncture

Can pregnant women use acupuncture? YES! Acupuncture is a great natural treatment method for pregnancy pain and is safe for both mother and baby. Acupuncture can be used to help with pain and nausea associated with pregnancy. It can also be used to help with infertility issues.

 

What about children? There isn’t a specific age that is “too young” for acupuncture. If a child can sit still for 15-20 minutes then a doctor can perform acupuncture on them. Acupuncture is a helpful treatment for anxiety, depression, headaches, stomach pain or reflux, ADHD/ADD, and more.

Acupuncture is used for many different conditions like sinus allergies, depression, infertility, constipation, pain management, musculoskeletal disorders and more! It is a safe and natural way of treating health issues and goes hand in hand with chiropractic care!

Want to learn more about Acupuncture? Head to our website or read more in our blog!

Treating Low Back Pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints a chiropractic clinic will treat.  84% of adults will experience lower back pain sometime in their life.  This pain can decrease your quality of life by limiting what activities you can do and what activities you will have to avoid all together.

There may be a loss of income, disability issues and pain that causes mental fatigue.  Low back pain is not limited to adults.  Teenagers and children frequently experience lower back pain due to overuse (i.e. heavy backpacks) and strains/sprains from injuries caused by playing, falls and sports.

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There are many causes of lower back pain.  The lower back is comprised of bones, nerves, muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons as well as a strong blood supply.  These structures can be taxed by poor posture, overuse, pregnancy, weight, repetitive movements, injuries, prolonged sitting or standing in one place.

 

Chiropractic is a healthcare profession that is dedicated to non-surgical treatment of lower back pain.  Many studies have concluded that manual therapy (adjustments) are effective for the treatment of lower back pain, as well as lumbar herniated disc with radiculopathy (leg pain) and sacroiliac/pelvic pain among other conditions.

Chiropractic care is less expensive than medical care.  Chiropractic care is effective for patients with spinal degeneration.  Chiropractic provided better pain relief with chiropractic adjustments than with medical care and the list goes on. Compared to most treatment options, chiropractic care is among the best!

At Minser Chiropractic Clinic, we are dedicated to providing the best treatment options for your and your children’s health issues.  Let us help you overcome lower back pain and live a better, healthier life.  Yours for better health…..naturally!

 

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!