Chiropractic care effectively and naturally treats a multitude of conditions and diseases. The overall premise is to return the body to its natural alignment by removing subluxations, which takes care of the root cause of many problems.
Spinal adjustments, however, aren’t necessarily the Holy Grail for total health. It’s essential for chiropractic patients to also make adjustments in their everyday lives. By doing so, they’ll maximize the effects of their chiropractic treatments, and experience better overall health in general.
Nutrition is one of the biggest factors and plays a large role in a patient’s recovery. The old adage “you are what you eat” is true. Feeding the body with vital vitamins and minerals promotes growth and healing. Filling up on fried, fatty foods does the opposite.
Let’s look at four nutritional tips every chiropractic patient should follow:
Watch your calories
Individuals recovering from spinal or other injuries heal quicker when they avoid carrying excess weight. This is especially true if the injury has sidelined them from normal physical exercise.
Choose lean cuts of meat and fresh fruits and vegetables, and practice portion control. A diet with few excess calories offers the dual benefit of helping you avoid packing on the pounds, and helping you heal faster.
Pay attention to calcium intake
Bones need calcium for strength, so it should be a priority to consume foods that are rich with it. According to healthconsciousness.com, the four most calcium-rich foods are dark leafy greens, low-fat cheese, milk, and yogurt.
If you are visiting a chiropractor for issues or conditions concerning your bones or nerves, he or she may recommend that you introduce these foods into your diet as soon as possible.
Make protein a priority
Muscle injuries are one of the most popular reasons for chiropractic visits. Protein helps build and heal muscle tissue, helping it to renew itself back to a pre-injury state.
If your daily intake of protein is low, it can hinder the healing process and stand in the way of chiropractic visits giving you the maximum results. Fish and lean meats are the foods that offer the highest protein.
Other vegetarian options are tofu, soy beans, eggs, milk, and nuts. Help your muscles rebuild and heal by adding high protein foods into every meal menu.
Why do most of us view water drinking with dread? Its not that bad! If you wish to promote healing, it’s imperative to drink enough water every day.
Water provides an entire slew of benefits, from transporting those important nutrients to where they need to be, to flushing harmful toxins out of the body. Aim for eight glasses of water a day, and try to drink it throughout the day.
Getting into this habit will boost overall health, and promote healing of injuries and other medical conditions.
While it’s a smart goal to try to ingest all the nutrients you need through food and drink, supplements are available to bridge the gap. Before beginning a supplement regimen, talk to you chiropractor for recommendations on the type and dosage that will aid and improve your unique situation.
You may also want to download a smartphone app to track your daily intake of calories, calcium, protein and liquid. There are many available, one being My Fitness Pal.
Easy and free to use, this is a powerful tool to keep you on the right nutritional track.
Making the commitment to chiropractic treatment is a big step in the right direction for your overall health and well-being. Incorporate these nutritional tips to your daily routine in order to get the most out of your chiropractic care.
Parents of children suffering from ear infections are all too familiar with this cry. Tugging at their ears, crying, and trouble sleeping are all signs of an ear infection in your little one.
Children are more susceptible to ear infections than adults because of their smaller Eustachian tubes, and their less effective immune systems. Unfortunately, chronic ear infections can quickly become a painful, ongoing problem.
Parents have a variety of options at their disposal to treat their child’s ear infections. Drops, antibiotics, and ventilation tubes placed by surgical procedure are all commonly used treatments for chronic infections. Chiropractic care is another option available and is rapidly gaining acceptance and popularity for the effective treatment of ear infections.
According to HealthyChild.com, ear infections are the reason for 35% of pediatrician visits, and ear pain is the number one reason a child visits a chiropractor. Children who suffer from recurring ear infections benefit from chiropractic care in several ways that are not available through other, more traditional forms of treatment.
Here are a few of the benefits chiropractic care offer for ear infections are:
It is non-invasive
Unlike the surgical procedure that is often used to combat ear infections by inserting tubes in the child’s ears, chiropractic adjustments provide a non-invasive form of treatment.
This treatment option works well because a little one’s spine may be moved out of alignment from the birthing process, or from any number of spills he or she makes learning to walk, run, or navigate stairs. An experienced chiropractor can map out a treatment plan that includes gentle adjustments of the child’s neck and spine. The goal is to decrease fluid build up within the ear canals that bring on ear infections and pain.
It is a painless option of treatment
The last thing parents want in any medical treatment is to cause their child more pain. A negative experience at a doctor’s office can create a fear that lasts for years to come.
Children with ear infections have nothing to fear from visiting a chiropractor. During a chiropractic visit, the child will participate in adjustments that are pain free. The treatments will be able to reduce the pain in a short amount of time in many instances, and reduce the chance of dealing with another ear infection down the road.
It treats the underlying cause
Other options of treatment may decrease the symptoms of an ear infection, but never get to the actual root issue. Chiropractic care strives to return the body in its entirety to its normal function.
This is the main building block concept for chiropractic in general. By re-aligning the spine, the body as a whole can be healthier and more resistant to infection and disease. Chiropractic care helps adjust the child’s body back to a normal state, thus providing a way for it to heal itself and fight off future ear (and other) infections better than simply using drops and antibiotics.
If your child is susceptible to ear infections, there are steps you can take to minimize the chances of an occurrence in the first place. Frequent hand washing to prevent the spread of germs and avoiding cigarette smoke are two simple ways to combat ear infections.
Chiropractic treatment continues to show promise in treating the underlying issues that cause a child to suffer from ear infections. If you are looking for a treatment that is pain free, not intimidating to the child, and an alternative to invasive surgery, enlisting the help of a chiropractor is a fantastic option.
So if your child is experiencing chronic ear infections, give us a call. Dr. Austrager is here to help!
Dr. Howard Austrager, a board certified chiropractic neurologist, has been helping local children with ear infections at his chiropractic office in Framingham for the past 16 years. He has helped all of his children avoid getting ear infections. Visit www.metrowestspineclinic.com or call 508-620-1585 for more information.
We all know and understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. Some individuals do quite nicely at managing their pounds with seemingly little effort, while other struggle constantly.
A recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 78 million American adults suffer from obesity. A person who has sustained an injury or suffers from an illness that affects their back, hips, knees or ankles are especially susceptible to weight gain, because they must deal with limited mobility and the stress of daily pain.
Striving to stay in the ideal weight range for your body type and height provides a variety of health benefits such as adding less pressure on your back and joints, and increasing your range of motion. Patients who receive chiropractic care often enjoy increased healing by pursuing weight loss.
Successfully fight the battle of the bulge with these four handy weight loss tips to amplify the effectiveness of chiropractic care.
First, start small
Replace a couple of negative behaviors with positive ones, and commit to making them stick. Great examples of these are substituting water for soft drinks, eating a high-protein breakfast, or changing out your nightly bowl of ice cream with yogurt.
Simply removing 100 calories a day adds up to a 10 pound weight loss over a year’s time. Small modifications offer the dual benefits of being easier to implement while still showing results.
Next, keep a journal
Write down every bite you eat along with the portion size. Listing your food intake provides accountability, which may keep you from noshing on that third slice of pizza or super-sizing those fries.
It also arms you with important intel that will be helpful throughout your weight loss journey. If you hit a plateau, read back through the journal to see what you may have changed over time that caused the scales to stall.
And speaking of scales….
Don’t live and cry by the scales
Often, dieters weigh every day and are elated or depressed based on the number on the scales. That’s a roller coaster way to live, and those emotions can cause calorie laden binges!
Plus, daily weighing is not accurate, as fluctuations in water weight are common. Weigh once a week at the most, at roughly the same time each day. A weekly routine gives you a good idea of your success without the stressful up and down of daily weighing.
Decrease your sedentary ways
Even if you are dealing with an injury or medical condition that limits the ability to exercise, you can still probably be less sedentary than you are now. Again, simplicity is the key.
Walk into the bank instead of using the drive through window, stand up to fold clothes instead of sitting down, and take periodic breaks at your desk to stand for a bit.
Ask your chiropractor about any limitations you need to follow, and request stretching exercises as your personal situation permits. Moving more on a daily basis will aid in shedding those extra pounds and keeping them off long-term.
It’s important for individuals to maintain a normal weight range in order to enjoy a healthy life. Chiropractic patients benefit even more from shedding those extra pounds.
By committing to a healthier lifestyle with fewer pounds to carry around, individuals with back and joint injuries will see greater positive impact from their chiropractic visits. Over time, the combination of a leaner body and chiropractic care will bring greater mobility, less pain, and a decreased chance for re-injury to the patient.
Pregnancy is an exciting, precious time in a woman’s life, full of new experiences. Unfortunately, the baby’s development brings about bodily changes that often wreak havoc on the back and joints, and end up causing pain. These issues also frequently cause issues during delivery, and increase the time it takes for the body to recover post-pregnancy.
Expectant moms benefit from chiropractic care in a number of ways. Here are five key ways chiropractic care helps alleviate the toll pregnancy takes on a woman’s body.
#1: Chiropractic keeps the spine in alignment.
Pregnancy adds significant additional weight to a woman’s body in a short amount of time. This change bears on the spine, frequently pulling it out of alignment.
When this happens, the pain can be quite severe. Chiropractic care during pregnancy works to keep the spine in alignment and all supporting tendons working optimally, to be better prepared and able to adequately support the extra weight.
#2: Chiropractic reduces need for pain relievers.
Most times, individuals experiencing moderate pain pop a couple of over the counter pain relievers and think nothing of it. However, pregnant women strive to avoid medications when possible.
Chiropractic adjustments decrease the underlying issues that cause pain, so the patient relies less on medications. Experiencing less pain as well as eliminating the need for pain killers is a win-win situation for expectant mothers.
#3: Chiropractic strengthens and repairs joints.
Pregnancy really beats up an expectant mothers joints. Chiropractic care for expectant mothers is a productive way to minimize the effect the large, protruding abdomen has on her hips, legs, and ankles.
Treating the body as a whole, chiropractic treatment works to strengthen the body and promotes healing of injured or strained areas.
#4: Chiropractic helps achieve pelvic alignment.
An aligned pelvis is critical to the birthing process, and increases the chances of being able to give birth naturally. According to the American Pregnancy Association,
“When the pelvis is misaligned it may reduce the amount of room available for the developing baby. This restriction is called intrauterine constraint. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. This can affect the mother’s ability to have a natural, non-invasive birth.”
An experienced chiropractor can effectively align the pelvis before delivery, so the mother is able to deliver with little incident.
#5: Chiropractic increases the body’s ability to bounce back.
Let’s face it, every pregnant woman thinks “will I ever fit in the clingy red dress again?” The healthier and stronger a woman’s body is before and during pregnancy, the easier it is to get back into shape once the baby is born. Eating right and safely exercising are effective ways to accomplish this.
Chiropractic care is also a valuable component to fitness. Expectant mothers who choose chiropractic enjoy better posture, less pain, and increased mobility, especially late in the third trimester.
This allows them to maintain exercise routines and be active longer than those suffering from back pain and achy joints. After the delivery, it’s easier to get back into a fitness routine, and into that red dress, if the new mother’s joints, back, and hips are aligned and functioning properly.
Chiropractic care can serve to reduce pain and increase the overall heath of expectant mothers, letting her relax and focus on the more pleasant aspects of pregnancy. Expecting women who commit to chiropractic care can look forward to a stronger body, the chances of a smoother delivery, and an easier recovery after the baby comes.
Dr. Howard Austrager, a board certified chiropractic neurologist, has been helping local pregnant women with their aches and pains at his chiropractic office in Framingham for the past 16 years. He has helped his wife deliver their children faster and with little or no pain during pregnancy for all three of his children. Visit www.metrowestspineclinic.com or call 508-620-1585 for more information.
According to the Mayo Clinic, sciatica can best be described as “most commonly occurring when a herniated disk or a bone spur on the spine compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.”
Even if you have never stepped foot onto a court before, you may end up with tennis elbow. Occurring along the muscle that allows extension of the wrist, it is a painful condition that can linger for weeks or months.
Previously, tennis elbow primarily showed up in athletes. Due to the increased interest in physical fitness, tennis elbow is being found in everyday exercisers, as well as people who perform work-related repetitive motion.
Tennis elbow presents several symptoms. Pain will occur on the outside of the elbow an inch or so down from the bony part.
There may also be pain when the individual tries to extend the hand and fingers against resistance. Extreme weakness in the wrist is another symptom.
I have been diagnosed with tennis elbow. Now what?
Tennis elbow is often difficult to diagnose, which can delay treatment. A correct diagnosis of tennis elbow is the first step towards being able to treat the condition and rehab the afflicted area. From there, a variety of treatments for tennis elbow are available.
Passive remedies like rest, ice, and arm braces are critical components to healing tennis elbow. Take measures to reduce the movements that aggravate the pain, and use ice at regular intervals to help minimize pain and inflammation.
An arm brace supports and stabilizes the area to promote healing. These remedies assist greatly in treating the condition, especially in the beginning.
Active remedies consist of stretching and strengthening exercises, and are vital aspects of improving the condition. Individuals suffering from tennis elbow should begin an exercise regimen as soon as the pain allows.
Follow a doctor’s recommendation for the rehabilitative program exercises. The goal is to build strength.
An individual dealing with tennis elbow may utilize a variety of medicinal remedies to manage pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter pain relievers and steroid injections are commonly used to treat the condition. Following doctor’s orders when taking medications is strongly recommended.
Untraditional remedies also provide vast improvements in tennis elbow, and these treatments have gained favor in the last few years due to their effectiveness. Regimens of massage therapy and acupuncture work on small areas contributing to the condition, and make significant strides in pain reduction and promote the body’s restorative healing process.
Another remedy that offers strong benefits to treating tennis elbow is chiropractic care. A chiropractor assesses the condition, then lays out a plan to promote healing.
Treatment often includes working to align the bones and treating the surrounding joints so they function at maximum capacity, and can “take up the slack” of the injured area while it heals. Chiropractic care serves the dual purpose of treating the condition directly, and healing the areas around the injury so that the body continues to strengthen and renew.
In a very small number of cases, the only remedy for tennis elbow is surgery. This is considered as the last straw, once all other forms of treatment have been exhausted.
The best way to treat tennis elbow is to avoid it in the first place. Be sure to stretch before exercising, consistently perform strengthening exercises, employ correct techniques and proper equipment during physical activity, and don’t overexert your arms (this goes for your entire body, by the way) during physical activity.
If you are diagnosed with tennis elbow, it’s essential to understand the variety of treatment options available. The best course is often a blend of more than one remedy. Chiropractic care should be part of your healing process, as it helps decrease pain, reduce healing time, and offers a non-medicinal approach to treating the body as a whole.
Dr. Howard Austrager, an avid tennis player and board certified chiropractic neurologist, has been helping local residents with tennis elbow at his chiropractic office in Framingham for the past 16 years. Visit www.metrowestspineclinic.com or call 508-620-1585 for more information.
As experienced chiropractors, we like answering the questions we receive from our patients. A common inquiry is “what is the difference between a sprain and a strain?” Sprains and strains are injuries to the musculoskeletal system that are commonly diagnosed conditions, and are two separate issues people frequently mix up. We will attempt to explain away some of the confusion today.
Let’s look at three ways sprains and strains differ from each other.
1. Sprains and strains afflict different parts of the body.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH), a sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament which provides joint stability. A strain is a stretch or tear of a muscle or tendon in the area where it is turning into a muscle.
2. Sprains and strains are most often caused from different actions.
Falling or twisting the wrong way typically causes a sprain, because the movement forces a joint into an awkward position and ends up stretching or tearing the ligament. Twisting an ankle, falling down the stairs, or trying to catch yourself on an icy walkway are all ways to end up with a sprain.
A strain often results from overexertion or trauma, and repetitive movement. Lifting an item that is too heavy, jumping into an exercise routine that is too strenuous, or performing repetitive movements in either a sport or work are ways an individual can end up suffering from a strain.
3. Sprains and strains generally affect different areas of the body.
Sprains occur at parts of the body that are injured when falling or suddenly twisting. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, ankle sprains alone number around 2 million each year.
Ankles, wrists, knees, and fingers are all areas that are frequently sprained. Strains, on the other hand, commonly occur in the back, shoulder, or hamstring, as both of these areas are affected by overexertion or repetitive movement.
Although sprains and strains are different injuries, they do have some similarities. This is most likely why people get them mixed up.
Let’s discuss a few commonalities of sprains and strains.
Both share common symptoms. Both injuries can bring on pain, swelling, and limited movement at the injury site. The pain can be moderate or intense, depending on the severity of the injury. Sprains and strains both benefit from ice packs, rest, and elevation.
They can require surgery. Most diagnosed strains and sprains heal on their own with time, but a serious tear can require surgery to repair. With both injuries, it’s important to visit a doctor if an individual experiences severe pain and swelling, and decreased mobility.
The benefits of seeing a chiropractor for both sprains and sprains are twofold. Chiropractic treatments promote healing of the injured area as well as help strengthen the areas around the injury to decrease the chance of future injuries.
Sprains and strains can sideline individuals from their activities, no matter if they are athletes or regular guys doing yard work. It’s vital to take steps to avoid sprains and strains in the first place.
Always properly stretch and avoid overexertion to prevent strains. Take pains to clear walkways and stairways to avoid falls or sudden twisting movements to decrease the risk of sprains.
If you end up with a strain or sprain, contact us for a consultation. We have extensive experience in working with patients suffering from sprains and strains.
Dr. Howard Austrager, a board certified chiropractic neurologist, has been helping local residents with sprains and strains, including whiplash from auto accident injuries, at his chiropractic office in Framingham for the past 16 years. Visit www.metrowestspineclinic.com or call 508-620-1585 for more information.
Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise, and offers many benefits. It can be done anywhere, it tones the lower body, and it burns a ton of calories. Pounding the pavement over time, however, can result in injuries to the knees, ankles, and hips.
Whether you run a few miles a week to keep the extra pounds off, or hoof it in several marathons a year, there is unfortunately a good chance you will get hurt at some point.
The first step to recovery if you injure yourself running is to give your body time to heal. A visit to the doctor, ice packs, and over the counter pain medication are all ways to treat an injury. However, one of the best ways runners can treat their injuries is by visiting a chiropractor.
If you are dealing with a running injury and think a chiropractor may be able to help you get back on your feet with less pain, you are most likely correct. Here are four important things to know about chiropractors and how runners can benefit from chiropractic care:
Chiropractors work on more than necks and backs
It’s a common misconception that a chiropractor’s sole purpose is to adjust their patients’ necks and backs. The entire body can benefit from a chiropractic manipulation. For example, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) states that knee pain is the most common running injury.
Chiropractors are often able to work with an injured knee and bring about a positive outcome. Strains, sprains, and other trauma to your body’s joints can be treated by a chiropractor. Soft tissue around the joints benefit from chiropractic treatment, which can greatly ease an injury to the ankle, knee, or hip.
Chiropractic promotes quicker healing of the injured area
From increasing blood flow to the hurt area to breaking up restrictions with manual manipulation, chiropractic treatment helps the body heal itself. Chiropractors view the body in its entirety, and may use manipulations and adjustments on other parts of the body to stimulate healing of the afflicted area.
Chiropractors assist in pain management
Running injuries can often cause great pain that lasts for weeks. Visiting a chiropractor can help reduce the severity of the pain and shorten the amount of time you experience pain. This is an especially attractive benefit for those who avoid taking medicine. Chiropractic care helps manage the discomfort and soreness associated with the injury, allowing the patient to rely less on drugs.
Chiropractic reduces the risk of getting re-injured
A common reason runners end up hurt is their bodies had something “out of whack” in the first place. Since chiropractors take the wellness of the body as a whole into consideration, they often work with runners to minimize the chance of re-injuring themselves or suffering a different injury. By making certain an individual’s body is in alignment and functioning properly, a chiropractor can help the runner feel comfortable moving back into the routine of running.
Running is a great form of exercise and stress relief, and many people run for years without incident. However, it’s vital to take steps up front to minimize the chances of getting hurt, including choosing proper shoes, stretching beforehand, and avoiding overexertion.
If, however, you feel a twist, pop, or crack as you are out for your morning run or finishing your half marathon, know there are chiropractic treatment options available to you that will decrease pain, healing time, and the risk of re-injury. Just pick up the phone and give us a call. We’re here to help!
Dr. Howard Austrager, a board certified chiropractic neurologist, has been helping local runners with their aches and pains at his chiropractic office in Framingham for the past 16 years. Whether its your neck, back, shoulders, knees, ankles or other joints affected by running, we can help. Visit www.metrowestspineclinic.com or call 508-620-1585 for more information.
There are dangers in everyday life, from slipping in the shower to getting mowed down by the next door neighbor’s teenage driver. The risk doesn’t end once we are safely behind our desks, because… sitting is killing us!
Seriously, while not really trying to commit murder, our computer, desk, office chair and keyboard are not our friends. We spend hours each day sitting, typing, staring at the computer screen, and this inactivity is wreaking havoc on our health in a variety of ways.
First, most of us sit incorrectly
Goldilocks knew what she was doing when it came to carefully selecting the right chair. Most of us cause excess stress and pressure on our neck, shoulders, and back from the way we sit in our inadequate office chairs.
According to OSHA, a person who spends time at their computer needs to choose an adjustable chair that supports the back, buttocks, legs and arms. Be mindful of your posture throughout the day as well. An ergonomically adjusted chair minimizes the occurrences of awkward, strained positions that frequently cause injury.
Along with the way we sit, our office jobs are killing us because…
We have our desks laid out wrong
Even with a great chair, a desk that is the wrong height can cause a person to repetitively move and bend awkwardly during the day and injure themselves. Anyone who sits behind a desk needs to make certain it is the right height to comfortably reach the computer keyboard and all pertinent supplies are within a comfortable reach. Add a foot rest to decrease the stress on the lower back. Ergonomically positioning a desk offers greater comfort and less stress on a person’s body.
We also type wrong
Using the keyboard incorrectly can cause a ton of painful medical conditions from neck and back issues to carpal tunnel syndrome. The keyboard should sit at elbow height. Reduce the strain on your hands by keeping them in as natural a position as possible, holding your wrists up even with the backs of your hands. Avoid banging the keys by typing softly, which alleviates the stress on your fingers.
A computer mouse should be situated close to the keyboard, and it’s essential to keep the hand in a neutral position when using it. Avoid resting your hand on the mouse for an extended period of time.
Not taking breaks
According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting for long periods of time is linked to a variety of serious medical conditions from obesity to high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Sitting in the same position for hours can put pressure on and result in back and neck pain.
Break up sitting every 30 minutes by standing and walking around and stretching if possible. Even standing for a couple of minutes at a time lessens the impact of a sedentary job.
In addition to taking the initiative to build an ergonomic office space, choosing to participate in chiropractic care is a great way to help eliminate pain from back, shoulder, and neck strain. Chiropractic treatment involves adjusting the spine, along with other techniques, offering better alignment in particular and a stronger, healthier body in general. A long-term benefit of chiropractic care is a body that enjoys greater mobility and fewer aches and pains.
An ergonomic office setup is critical in maintaining good posture that minimizes strain and repetitive motion injuries. By investing in ergonomically tailored furniture and setting it up to suit your specific needs, you will lessen the harm an office job does to your body.
If you or a co-worker suffer from symptoms related to an improperly positioned workstation, give us a call. We can help get the symptoms under control as well as guide you toward a more healthier spine and working environment.
Dr. Howard Austrager, a board certified chiropractic neurologist, has been helping local residents with neck pain and stiffness at his chiropractic office in Framingham for the past 16 years. Visit www.metrowestspineclinic.com or call 508-620-1585 for more information.