As I was expertly showing my secretary how I do a headstand, I thought about how much better I felt from doing yoga. For those of you who come in my office, those weird marks about eye level in the hallway make sense now. Just to finish stroking my ego… I no longer need the wall. Yoga has become very popular and has been given credit for tons of health benefits. Your Woodbridge, Dale City VA Chiropractor wants to share some of them with you.
According to studies published in Yoga Journal, more than 16 million Americans engage in yoga, and nearly one person in every eight describes themselves as “very” or “extremely” interested in this ancient practice.
The benefits of yoga are impressive. If you’re considering adding a yoga routine into your life, here are some of the advantages you can expect to receive:
It’s a great way to increase balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance.
It’s a wonderful way to complement a standard workout by complementing repetitive training motions.
It’s a great way to calm the mind.
It’s a perfect exercise for people of all fitness levels.
It’s an effective way to help lower blood pressure.
It helps bring awareness to negative thoughts and fears.
It increases “mindfulness.”
How Chiropractic Care Heals
The benefits of regular chiropractic care are almost too numerous to list; however, it’s very effective for treating the following conditions:
Neck and back pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Pain in the arms, wrists, feet, and ankles
High blood pressure
Many other health problems
Combining Yoga and Chiropractic Care
I often think of yoga and chiropractic care as the peanut butter and jelly of complementary care. Although they’re both very different methods of treatment, they combine to create a healthy treat that almost everyone can enjoy.
These two treatment methods work well together because chiropractic treatment is used to enhance the function of the neurological system by improving the relationship of the spine with the rest of the body. Once the spine is realigned, then yoga can support the strengthening of the supporting muscles through a series of poses which improve both strength and posture. Different yoga poses work to calm the central nervous system and to increase the spine’s range of motion.
The benefits don’t end on the physical level. Proponents of yoga and chiropractic care are as equally focused on the advantages that these treatments provide for the mind as well as the body. Many alternative and complementary therapies share the philosophy that total wellness can only be achieved by treating mind, body and soul.
Yoga and chiropractic care are two separate philosophies that both work to better the mind, body and soul. When combined, these two methods of healthcare work together to make us stronger, more flexible and happier.
Talk to your chiropractor about yoga. Your chiropractic team knows how valuable yoga is for your health and will be able to answer any questions that you may have.
Sleep sounds like such an easy thing! Why not I am tired and laying down and sleeping should be so easy! But for a lot of people it isn’t. It is also the first thing we sacrifice when we get busy. The thing we can’t overlook is how important it is for our bodies! We need it in order to function and be productive. We also need it so we can heal. Your Woodbridge, Dale City VA chiropractor has a few tips that may help you get more sleep.
Sleep is something we all need! It is never over looked but sometimes can be neglected or even hard to get! But how we feel and how we act is greatly dependent on getting enough sleep! Doroski Chiropractic Neurology in the Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia area has some tips for you that may help.
An old Chinese proverb states, “Only when one cannot sleep does one know how long the night is.” Anyone who’s ever experienced an occasional bout with insomnia—and that’s most of us—can relate to this all too well.
In fact, surveys have shown that between 40 and 60 percent of the general population has trouble sleeping. Daily stress and worries, pressures from job and family, body aches and pains caused by uncomfortable beds or pillows, and a host of other issues can keep a person from getting enough quality sleep.
Sleep is critical to good health and functioning, so lack of it is a serious matter. “Sleep is one of the most important functions of the brain,” says Frederick R. Carrick, DC, PhD, president of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Neurology. Through it, our bodies recharge and renew for the next day’s challenges.
As wellness experts, doctors of chiropractic can provide patients with a different approach to their sleeping problems— without the use of sleeping pills, which leave many people in a mental haze the next morning. To start, here are a few helpful tips they would recommend for the sleepless in Seattle (or any city, for that matter):
Exercise regularly. Exercising in the morning is best, but if you must exercise in the evening, do so at least two or three hours before bedtime. Any later, and your increased heart rate can interfere with your sleep.
Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, colas and tea—try to avoid them altogether late in the day and near bedtime. In addition, for each cup of caffeinated beverages you drink each day, drink an equal amount of water.
If you have trouble sleeping and then get thirsty, drink tap water at room temperature (cold water may disturb the digestive system).
Eat an early dinner. Eating after 6 p.m. may interfere with sleep as your body works to digest the food you’ve eaten.
Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. The routine will help your body know when it is time to rest.
Keep your bedroom at a cool, comfortable temperature and try to make it as dark as possible when you’re ready for bed.
Creating a comfortable place to sleep by choosing the correct mattress and pillow is also essential to getting the quality sleep that your body needs to function at its best.
A mattress, for instance, should support the body’s weight evenly and allow the spine to stay in its natural alignment. Choosing the right one is a personal matter.
“There are a wide variety of comfort preferences. It’s very subjective,” says Brian Darcy, operations manager for Springwall, the manufacturer of premium-quality Chiropractic® sleep sets that ACA has endorsed for the past 38 years.
But regardless of whether you like your mattress firm or soft, give it a good trial run before you buy. Darcy recommends lying down on a mattress for a minimum of three to five minutes to get a good feel. Sitting on it simply won’t do.
Useful mattress facts…
A mattress should provide uniform support from head to toe. If there are gaps between your body and your mattress (such as at the waist), you’re not getting the full support that you need.
If you do have back pain and your mattress is too soft, you might want to firm up the support of your mattress by placing a board underneath it. But do this just until the pain goes away; such firmness is not good for “routine” sleeping.
Every few months, turn your mattress clockwise, or upside down, so that body indentations are kept to a minimum. It’s also good to rotate the mattress frame every so often to reduce wear and tear.
If you’re waking up uncomfortable, it may be time for a new mattress. There is no standard life span for a mattress; it all depends on the kind of usage it gets.
Be aware that changes in your life can signal the need for a new mattress. For example, if you’ve lost or gained a lot of weight, if a medical condition has changed the way you sleep, or even if you have changed partners, it could mean that it’s time to find a new mattress that will accommodate those changes and help you sleep more soundly.
If you’re not in the market for a new mattress, and your current mattress is too firm, you can soften it up by putting a 1- to 2-inch-thick padding on top of it – usually available at mattress and bedding stores.
Next, pillow talk…
After investing in a quality mattress, don’t forget to choose an equally supportive pillow, advises Peter Mckay, DC, who is in private practice in San Diego and also works as a consultant for Innovative Choices, the maker of the Therapeutica Pillow-another ACA-endorsed product. “People will spend thousands of dollars on a mattress and then skimp on a pillow that doesn’t support their head and neck properly,” he observes. A good pillow will keep the cervical (neck) section of the spine aligned with the thoracic and lumbar (chest and lower back) sections. “[The sections] move together and should be supported together.”
When choosing a pillow, be selective. When lying on your side, your head and neck should remain level with your mid and lower spine. When lying on your back, your head and neck should remain level with your upper back and spine. In other words, your pillow should not be so thick that it causes your head and neck to be propped up or angled sharply away from your body.
Be wary of pillows that are made out of mushy foam materials. The weight of your head can displace this kind of foam, leaving little support. Choose firmer foam and materials that press back and support the head.
If you find yourself sleeping on your side with one hand propped under your pillow, that’s a clue that you’re not getting the support you need from that pillow.
There is no such thing as a universal fit when it comes to pillows. Find one that is consistent with the shape and size of your body.
If you continue to experience pain and discomfort at night or have difficulty falling asleep, visit your doctor of chiropractic. Doctors of chiropractic are trained to treat spinal problems that can interfere with a restful night’s sleep. They can also offer nutritional and ergonomic advice that can help improve the quality of your sleep.
I see tons of patients who have been bounced around for Doctor to Doctor before finally being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Some have suffered for years before they finally get diagnosed. And then once they are diagnosed the treatment is sometimes more frustrating than waiting for the diagnosis. There are plenty of treatments out there for people and most don’t involve just taking a pill and hoping for the best. Your Woodbridge, Dale City VAChiropractor wants to help speed you along with the diagnosis.
Widespread pain in all 4 quadrants of the body for a minimum of 3 months; and
Tenderness or pain in at least 11 tender points when pressure is applied. These tender points cluster around the neck, shoulder, chest, hip, knee, and elbow regions.
Some fibromyalgia experts say, however, that many people may still have fibromyalgia with fewer than 11 tender points if they have widespread pain and several other common symptoms, including:
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Cognitive or memory impairment
Malaise and muscle pain after exertion
Numbness and tingling sensations
Skin and chemical sensitivities
Correct Diagnosis Is Key
Correct diagnosis of fibromyalgia is very elusive, so if you are diagnosed with the disorder—or suspect that you have it—seek the opinion of more than 1 health care provider. Other conditions may create fibromyalgia—like pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. Ruling other conditions out first is very important.
In addition to clinical evaluation that will assess possible causes of your pain, your doctor may need to order blood work to determine if you have:
Other rheumatic diseases
Allergies and nutritional deficiencies
Disorders that cause pain, fatigue, and other fibromyalgia-like symptoms.
If the tests show that you have 1 of these conditions, treatment will focus on addressing that problem first. If your pain is caused by a muscle or joint condition, chiropractic care may help relieve it more effectively than other therapies.
If no underlying cause for your symptoms can be identified, you may have classic fibromyalgia. The traditional allopathic approach includes a prescription of prednisone, anti-inflammatory agents, antidepressants, sleep medications, and muscle relaxants. These temporarily relieve the symptoms, but they do produce side effects. If you prefer a natural approach, the following suggestions may be helpful:
Studies have shown that a combination of 300 to 600 mg of magnesium per day, along with malic acid, may significantly reduce may significantly reduce the number of tender points and the pain felt at those that remain. B vitamins may also be helpful.
Eating more omega-3 fatty acids and fewer saturated fats has shown promise in fibromyalgia patients. Limit red meat and saturated fats and increase the amounts of omega-3 fatty acids by including fish, flax, and walnut oils in your diet. Fatty acid deficiencies can interfere with the nervous system and brain function, resulting in depression and poor memory and concentration.
Improving the quality of sleep can help reduce fatigue. Watch your caffeine intake, especially before going to bed. Reduce TV and computer time. If you watch TV in the evening, choose relaxing, funny programs instead of programs with violent or disturbing content. Ask your doctor of chiropractic for other natural ways to help you sleep better.
Stress-managing strategies can also help address anxiety or depression issues. Cognitive therapy has been shown helpful in relieving fibromyalgia patients’ negative emotions and depression by changing their perception of themselves and attitudes toward others.
A traditional gym-based or aerobic exercise program may exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms and is not recommended. Instead, yoga, Pilates, or tai chi—which offer mild stretching, relaxation, and breathing techniques—may work better than vigorous exercise.
Studies have shown that acupuncture is another effective, conservative approach to treating fibromyalgia symptoms and many doctors of chiropractic offer this service right in their offices.
Chiropractic care has consistently ranked as one of the therapeutic approaches that offer the most relief for the fibromyalgia patient. Your doctor of chiropractic can also include massage therapy, ultrasound and electrical stimulation in the treatment program, which may help relieve stress, pain, and other symptoms.
Your doctor of chiropractic has the knowledge, training, and expertise to help you understand your problem and, in many cases, to manage it successfully. Remember, however, that the treatment program can be successful only with your active participation. If your doctor of chiropractic feels that he or she cannot help you, you will be directed to another health care provider.
I get asked a lot by my patients what age is it ok to have your child adjusted. I never really thought about an age and I am not sure there is a specific age. There are a fair amount of studies pointing out the benefits of child adjusting so I usually tell my patients any age works. Especially with the stuff kids have to carry for school and the terrible video game postures. Your Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia Chiropractor has some information for those who may be trying to decide about having their kids adjusted.
According to Dr. David Sackett, the father of evidence-based medicine, there are three prongs to the evidence-based decision: clinical expertise, scientific research and patient preference. While chiropractic has more than 100 years of clinical expertise from which to draw, our profession is still quite young when it comes to its base of scientific research—a state that is even more so for one of our youngest subspecialties, chiropractic pediatrics. Dedicated researchers are working hard to fill in these gaps. Recent studies are beginning to confirm what our century of clinical experience has already shown—that chiropractic care for children is not only safe, but also effective for a variety of pediatric conditions.
Dr. Joyce Miller and her colleagues at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in the U.K. have contributed much to our knowledge of chiropractic pediatrics in the past few years. Here is a brief summary of some of their latest studies:
Safety study: Miller et al. examined 781 pediatric patients under three years of age (73.5 percent of whom were under 13 weeks) who received a total of 5,242 chiropractic treatments at a chiropractic teaching clinic in England between 2002 and 2004.¹ There were no serious adverse effects (reaction lasting >24 hours or needing hospital care) over the three-year study period. There were seven reported minor adverse effects, such as transient crying or interrupted sleep.
Nursing study: Miller et al. also performed a clinical case series of chiropractic care for 114 infants with hospital- or lactation-consultant-diagnosed nursing dysfunction.² The average age at first visit was three weeks. All infants in the study showed some improvement, with 78 percent able to exclusively breastfeed after two to five treatments within a two-week period.
Colic: Browning et al. performed a single-blinded randomized comparison trial of the effects of spinal manipulative therapy and occipito-sacral decompression therapy on infants with colic.³ Forty-three infants younger than eight weeks of age received two weeks of chiropractic care. Two weeks and four weeks after beginning treatment, the infants in both treatment groups cried significantly less and slept significantly more than prior to receiving chiropractic care.
Long-term sequelae of colic: Research has shown that children who were colicky as infants suffer from poor behavior and disturbed sleep as toddlers. Miller et al. performed a survey of parents of 117 such toddlers who had received chiropractic care as infants vs. 111 who had not received chiropractic care.4 They found the treated toddlers were twice as likely not to experience long-term sequelae of infantile colic, such as temper tantrums and frequent nocturnal waking. In other words, colicky infants who had received chiropractic care were twice as likely to sleep well and to experience fewer temper tantrums in their toddler years.
That is just a sampling of some of the great work that is being done by the dedicated and hard-working researchers focusing on chiropractic pediatrics.
Miller JE, Benfield K. Adverse effects of spinal manipulation therapy in children younger than 3 years: a retrospective study in a chiropractic teaching clinic. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2008;31(6):419-422.
Miller JE, Miller L, et al. Contribution of chiropractic therapy to resolving suboptimal breastfeeding: A case series of 114 infants. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32(8):670-674.
Browning M, Miller JE. Comparison of the short-term effects of chiropractic spinal manipulation and occipito-sacral decompression in the treatment of infant colic: A single-blinded, randomised, comparison trial. Clinical Chiropractic 2008;11(3):122-129.
Miller JE, Phillips HL. Long-term effects of infant colic: a survey comparison of chiropractic treatment and non-treatment groups. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009;32(8):635-638.
Now that all the snow is gone it is time to focus on the garden or flower beds. You know the area of your yard that while covered in snow you had all these plans for but now that it is uncovered you wish it was covered again. But procrastination time is over and time to get to work. Realistically gardening can be great exercise! Your Woodbridge, Dale City VA chiropractor has a few tips for you so you don’t get injured.
Gardening can be enjoyable, but it is important to stretch your muscles before reaching for your gardening tools. The back, upper legs, shoulders, and wrists are all major muscle groups affected when using your green thumb.
A warm-up and cool-down period is as important in gardening as it is for any other physical activity,” says Dr. Scott Bautch, a member of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) Council on Occupational Health. “Performing simple stretches during these periods will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness.”
To make gardening as fun and enjoyable as possible, it is important to prepare your body for this type of physical activity. The following stretches will help to alleviate muscle pain after a day spent in your garden.
Garden Fitness Stretches
Before stretching for any activity, breathe in and out, slowly and rhythmically; do not bounce or jerk your body, and stretch as far and as comfortably as you can. Do not follow the “no pain, no gain” rule. Stretching should not be painful.
While sitting, stretch your leg out in front of you, knee straight, and prop your heel on a step. Then lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, or the hamstring muscle. Hold this position for 15 seconds. Do this once more and repeat with the other leg.
Stand up, balance yourself, and grab the front of your ankle from behind. Pull your heel towards your buttocks and hold the position for 15 seconds. Do this again and repeat with the other leg.
While standing, weave your fingers together above your head with the palms up. Lean to one side for 10 seconds, then to the other. Repeat this stretch three times.
Do the “Hug your best friend” stretch. Wrap your arms around yourself and rotate to one side, stretching as far as you can comfortably go. Hold for 10 seconds and reverse. Repeat two or three times.
Finally, be aware of your body technique, body form and correct posture while gardening. Kneel, don’t bend, and alternate your stance and movements as often as possible to keep the muscles and body balanced
After the Bulbs Are Planted
If you feel muscle aches and pains after your day in the garden, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Apply a cold pack on the area of pain for the first 48 hours or apply a heat pack after 48 hours, and consider seeking the services of a doctor of chiropractic in your area.
Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. While best known for their expertise in treating the musculoskeletal system and their use of spinal manipulation, DCs have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.
As a chiropractor in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area I get asked by my patients about what to eat all the time. Diet is a funny thing! Making huge changes all at once almost never works. I try to encourage my patients to make little changes over the course of months. Even if that means we start at one big mac instead of two for lunch. Trying to come in and make radical changes almost always leads to failure. Here are a few good things to try to slowly improve your eating habits.
Healthy Dietary Choices
Eat more raw foods. Cooking and canning destroys much of the nutrition in foods. With the exception of canned tomatoes, which have been shown to help prevent prostate cancer, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables generally have more natural vitamins and minerals.
Select organically grown foods when possible, because they have lower amounts of toxic elements, such as pesticides and heavy metals.
Consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, nuts and some fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber. High-fiber diets can help prevent digestive disorders, heart disease and colon cancer.
Eat out more sparingly. Food preparation methods in restaurants often involve high amounts—and the wrong types—of fat and sugar.
Brown-bag your lunch to control your fat and sugar intake while adding nutritious fruits, vegetables and grains.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Don’t substitute coffee, tea and soft drinks for water.
Limit your intake of alcohol, and quit smoking. Drinking alcohol excessively and/or smoking hinder your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Research shows that a good vegetarian diet as part of a comprehensive health program can help prevent heart disease, cancer and other diseases. However, fried foods, hydrogenated fats and commercial meat substitutes may contain more sugar and fat than a meat-eater would consume. If you are considering a vegetarian diet, keep the following tips in mind:
Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes to consume a wide range of nutrients.
Consume fortified foods or take supplements, such as vitamin B12, to obtain the nutrients you no longer get from animal-based products.
Children, pregnant and breast-feeding women, and people recovering from illness should consult their healthcare practitioners before eliminating animal products from their diet.
While dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular, they are not substitutes for foods, nor can a person sustain good health simply by taking vitamin and mineral supplements. When taken properly, however, supplements can play an important role in achieving maximum health.
Since supplements are just an added source of nutrients, consume dark green vegetables, oils, nuts and seeds, which are sources of magnesium, fatty acids and many other vitamins and minerals.
Don’t “self-prescribe.” Consult your doctor of chiropractic to determine what supplements are best for you, especially if you have symptoms such as headaches, chronic fatigue or cardiac problems.