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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Category Archives: Healthy Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle

Summer ends, yard work begins!!

Well, I trust everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend and hope there wasn’t much labor involved. I know I tried to avoid anything laborious. The weather was wonderful and I did spend time outside in the yard doing semi-laborious things. Did you know fall is the time of year when there are a rash of back injuries due to yard work? In fact, this time of year tends to be second only to spring, for gardening or yard, clean-up-type, back injuries. Bending and lifting are the two main culprits that increase the risk of back issues. Tight hamstrings play a big roll in back problems with the guys however women are also susceptible. When bending forward, you must always try to hinge at the hips and avoid any significant time with the lower back rounded forward, especially with bending only partially. Forward bending distorts the fibers of the disc and can cause pain even if only performed for a short time. Enjoy your yard and the outdoors, be careful, and if you injure your back, call your chiropractor…they will help!!

Forward head carry is bad…!!

Well I hope everyone still has their eye sight after the last eclipse passed through. It is already a week later and people are still talking about it. I thought it was very cool. Speaking of sight, our eyes contribute to neck motion, in that, if you catch something out of the corner of your eye, you will generally turn your head to look toward that object. Computers and cell phones are two technologies that contribute to neck issues, especially relative to posture. Most computer neck problems are head positioning issues by which the head is generally held forward of the neck and shoulder regions. It is what my profession calls a forward head carry. This is a terrible position for the neck to be in considering it is holding up an 8-10 pound head. This places extreme stress on the tissues of the neck to support a heavy head in less than optimal position. This injures the muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints of the neck as well as putting significant stress on the discs of the spine. Next time we will discuss a remedy for forward head carry!!

Diet soda…Uhhmmm…..NO…!!

I hope everyone enjoyed the total eclipse viewing, if indeed you were one of those lucky enough to experience it. I admit I did view it though some old x-ray film, however at very brief glimpses. Must say it was very cool..! Speaking of things not so cool, I read an article that discussed how bad diet soda is for us. A study out of a Swedish medical university found that consuming only 2 cans of diet soda twice a day increases you risk of heart failure by a whopping 23%. This study was focused on men who drank diet soda and the results were even worse than those who drank regular soda. On top of that bad news is another study from the American Heart Association, that found those who drank daily diet soda were at 3 times the risk of dementia and stroke. I’m not much for drinking pop/soda but even that information would give me pause if I did. I hope this helps someone reconsider their beverage choices! Spread the word…!

Save a back!! Stop the pain!!

Back pain is so common among people it has its own talking points. Did you ever get into a conversation with someone only to end up comparing back pain stories? Well, here is a quick exercise that can help. Bending or twisting are the two motions most my patients perform that contributed to their back injury. Here is a simple exercise to help you bend properly, and save your back, it is called a “hip hinge”. You will need a broom. Begin by standing with feet shoulder width apart. Place the broom along the spine, holding the top of the broom against the back of your head and the base of the broom against your butt. Now hinge at the hips and flex forward but keep the broom in contact with the head and rear end. You should be hinging at the hips without rounding the lower back. You might feel some pulling in the hamstrings. Stop when the broom pulls away from the head or butt. Practice this enough so that you can do a hip hinge for almost any bending activity. It can literally save your spine.

Sleep & Clothing Size

We have had had some spectacular weather the last week or so in our area. It makes sleeping so much nicer. Did you know that lack of sleep may be one of the culprits for that expanding waist line? A new study out of Great Britain suggests that insufficient sleep may cause you to go up a waist size. Those who averaged 6 hours sleep a night had waists that were about 1.2 inches larger than those that slept around 9 hours a night. Those with less sleep also weighed more. The theory is that less sleep causes an imbalance between two hormones that tell you when to eat and when to stop. Less sleep may upset that balance, making you eat more. Sleeping less also seems to be tied to slower metabolism. Thus, less sleep combines two factors that may contribute to the perfect storm toward weight gain and increased waist size!!.

Short and quick exercises add up!!

For the avid exerciser, walking is probably under appreciated, especially if they are into harder or more strenuous workouts. As I often make note of exercise information, another new research article from the University of Colorado demonstrated with a group of couch potato office workers, that 6 bouts of brisk walking at 5 minutes per session throughout the day, was more effective than a 30 minute daily gym-type workout for overall health. This included improving mood and decreasing fatigue. Even if you have never been one to exercise much or at all, you can improve your overall health with the most minimum of effort!!

Do something! Just not too little or too much!

I talked about how exercise effects our immune system. Did you know that several studies have shown that when elite runners or rowers were exercising at their peak, around competition time, there was an “impressive increase” in respiratory infections? On the flip side, other studies have shown that frequent brisk walking can reduce the number of sick days by over half within 3-4 months. The ‘too-little exerciser” or the “extreme exerciser” can both be at a higher risk for infections.  Moderate exercising, even a brisk walk, can make a profound positive impact on your health. Any physical activity can help. Don’t wait, it’s as simple as that!!

Shut down sooner!!

Did you ever wonder if working all those long work days and weeks are paying off health wise?  Those long hours may pay off financially, however there is growing evidence that they may be raising your risk of atrial fibrillation. A-fib is an irregular and often rapid heartbeat that can cause blood clots and other complications. A huge study of more than 85,000 men and women found that those who worked at least 55 hours per week were 40% more likely to develop a heart complication of atrial fibrillation compared to workers who only worked 35-40 hours per week.  Only 10% of those in the study had pre-existing heart conditions prior to the study.  Though our brain tells us to shut down at the end of the work day, our heart may be telling us the same thing!!

Knee pain & steroids

Have you ever had a steroid injection for knee pain from osteoarthritis?  You might have been better off with a saline (salt water) injection. A new study reports that steroid injections did not improve pain or function scores for those who got them (compared to saline group) and in fact may accelerate the breakdown of the cartilage compared with saline injections.  Between the two groups in the study, there was no difference with pain at any time across the two groups. The only major difference was that the steroid group showed a loss of cartilage compared to the saline group.  The researchers suggest using steroid injections for flair ups of osteoarthritis pain but not as an “long-term treatment strategy”!

Forget “low fat” & “heart healthy”

Wow, what weather we have had in our area.  Hope everyone and their vehicles and houses made out ok.  Lots of tree damage and hail damage.  Speaking of damage, did you know that many years ago one doctor decided that dietary fat was what caused heart disease?  This ideology was then sanctioned by the WHO.  They determined that animal fat and cholesterol in our diet was the culprit.  Did you know that 75% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol?  The more our society has tried to lower cholesterol and trim the fat, the worse heart disease in this country has gotten.  Talk about damage! The enemy is sugar, and foods labeled “low fat” and “heart healthy.”  These foods equate to significantly more sugar in the diet and perpetuate inflammation within our bodies.  Those are the factors that increase the risk of heart disease.  We must eliminate most processed foods from the diet, read the labels, stay informed.  It might help you avoid meds such as Lisinopril, Metoprolol, Norvasc, Diuril.