Can Adjustments Improve Overall Health?

Chiropractors are experts in health and wellness particularly because of their training, but especially because of their philosophy of health care. Chiropractic is a vitalistic philosophy that understands that the lack of disease does not mean that you’re healthy. There is a spectrum of wellness that goes from disease to wellness and in the traditional medical model you’re either sick or you’re not sick.

The chiropractic really understands that there are shades of grey in between and that we really strive to get the body to function optimally to adapt to its environment optimally. This way you can maintain homeostasis and perfect health. When you go to a medical doctor, they’ll do an examination and they’ll do a bunch of tests and at the end of it, they’ll let you know whether you’re sick or not. And if you’re sick they’ll treat you. And everybody who has the disease you have, gets the same treatment. If you’re not sick they say come back next year and we’ll see if you’re sick next year.

Chiropractors have a much more vitalistic philosophy of health that really is sophisticated. Chiropractic looks at the structure of the body and relates that to how the body is functioning.  We can give very general nutritional advice to patients so that they can maintain optimal weight and optimal nutrition focusing on a Whole Foods diet. we talk to our patients about the importance of enough sleep and doing certain mind-body techniques so that they can recover from stress on an ongoing basis. The founder of chiropractic famously once said “the power that created the body can heal the body” and the answer to this question is yes chiropractic can absolutely increase overall wellness and health you.

For more information on how chiropractic can help you achieve optimal health, feel free to schedule a consultation with Thornton Chiropractors.

Back to School and Backs

Back-to-School-and-Backs

The smell of a new box of crayons.  Sharp pencils.  Fresh erasers. A new locker combination.  A new dorm room.

It’s back-to-school time, and that means trips to school, scraped knees, books, back packs, and school sports. The activity can be great for you and the kids, but heavy backpacks and bad posture can end up hurting your kid’s backs.  But how to navigate this growing concern straight out of the gate?

Backpacks

First, find a good backpack! It should be light, snug and comfortable to wear. It should be made of vinyl or canvas, with two wide padded shoulder straps and a waist strap. All straps should be used and adjusted so that the pack is snug against the wearer’s back and not “falling away” from the body.

Second, a quality backpack is only as good as the way it is packed! Heaviest objects should be packed close to the body (books, pencil cases) and any bumpy, odd-shaped objects placed on the outside, away from the back (lunch boxes, water bottles, sports gear).

Moving Boxes

Moving your kids into their college dorm room or new apartment? Lifting heavy boxes can give you back pain. Tape the boxes so that they are sturdy and the contents do not shift while being handled.  Before lifting, make sure that you have balanced footing and good grip (boxes with handles are ideal).

Face your work. Stand so that your nose, hips and toes are facing forward. Keep the object as close to your body as possible and bend from the hips and knees.

Studying

Hit the books but help your back! When it’s time to study or read, use a book stand so that your book is at eye level. This will reduce the amount of strain on your neck and shoulders from having your book lay flat.

Sports

Returning back to school sports after some time off during the summer? Remember that your body may not have moved and performed in that sport in a while and will need extra time to warm up.  Warm up for a minimum of 10-15 minutes before playing. The warm up should involve simple movements that “simulate” your sport and get the heart rate up. Always stretch after your sport.

In Class

Sitting in class with good posture will reduce the strain on your neck, shoulders and low back. It will also help keep you attentive during class! Sit with your shoulders back, chin tucked in and a gentle “C curve” in your low back. Don’t arch your lower back or slump forward. Your ears, shoulders and hips should be in a straight line. Make use of your breaks! Between classes stand up, walk around and stretch.

Preventing Alzheimer’s with Lifestyle Changes

Image credited to Max Pixel 

It is safe to say that Alzheimer’s disease research is in a state of crisis. For the past two decades, over 73,000 research articles have been published, averaging 100 papers per day, yet little clinical progress has been made. The reason a cure may be impossible is because lost cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s disease patients are due to fatally damaged neuronal networks, and dead nerve cells cannot be brought back to life.

Consequently, replacement with new brain cells— even if it were technically possible, cannot be done without creating a new personal identity. One may live, but is it really a cure if one’s personality is lost forever? Developing drugs that try to clear out the plaques from advanced degenerated brain tissue makes about as much sense as bulldozing tombstones from graveyards in an attempt to raise the dead.

Even if drug companies figured out how to stop further disease progression, many Alzheimer’s victims might not choose to live without recognizing family, friends, or themselves in a mirror. Thus, prevention of Alzheimer’s may be the key.

Preventing Alzheimer’s with Lifestyle Changes

Just as a heart attack or stroke can be significantly prevented, one can think of Alzheimer’s dementia as a ‘‘mind attack.” Mind attack, like heart attacks or strokes, needs to be prevented by controlling vascular risk factors, like high blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, controlling that chronic brain hypoperfusion, the lack of adequate blood flow to the brain over the years before the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, which means a healthy diet, physical exercise, and mental exercise.

The potential number of Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented or reduced every year in the United States if we could just reduce diabetes rates 10%…25%, because diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.  So is high blood pressure, obesity, depression, not exercising your body, smoking, not exercising your brain. Altogether, a small reduction in all these risk factors could potentially prevent hundreds of thousands of devastated families. If modifiable factors such as diet were found conclusively to modulate the risk of Alzheimer’s disease to the degree suggested by this research, then we would all indeed rejoice at the implications.

So while there is no cure as of yet, we should try to take every health precaution necessary to reduce the risks!  For more articles on health tips, please sign up for our newsletter.  Interested in speaking with us personally?  Give us a call or schedule a consultation.  We would love the opportunity to help you out!

Does An Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away?

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? That’s a public health message that’s been around since 1866, but is it true? You don’t know until you put it to the test. The “Association Between Apple Consumption and Physician Visits,” published in the AMA’s internal medicine journal. Objective: To examine the relationship between eating an apple a day and keeping the doctor away. Promoted by the lay media and powerful special interest groups, including the US Apple Association, so powerful that Big Apple recently spent a whopping $7,000 lobbying politicians? The beneficial effects of apple consumption may include a facilitation of weight loss, protection of the brain, cancer suppression, a reduction in asthma symptoms, improved cardiovascular health.

So, apple consumers ought to require less medical care, right? “Although some may jest, considering the relatively low cost of apples, a prescription for apple consumption could potentially reduce national health care spending if the aphorism holds true.” So, they compared daily apple eaters to non-apple eaters, and asked if they had been to the doctor in the last year, been hospitalized, seen a shrink or took a prescription medication within the last month. 8,000 individuals surveyed and only about 1 out of 10 reported eating an apple over the last 24 hours, and the evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. So, maybe it takes more than an apple a day.

Maybe we need to center our whole diet around plant foods. However, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications. So, maybe the proverb should be updated to clarify that, if anything, apple eating may help keep the pharmacist away. But, hey, based on the average medical prescription cost, the difference in annual prescription medication cost per capita between apple eaters and non-apple eaters could be hundreds of dollars. So, if all US adults were apple eaters, we could save nearly $50 billion. Of course, if you factor in the cost of the apples themselves, we’d only get a net savings of like $19 billion.

If this all seems a bit tongue-in-cheek apple polishing, you’ll note this was published suspiciously close to April Fool’s day. And, indeed, this was in the tradition of the British Medical Journal’s annual Christmas issue that features scientifically rigorous yet light-hearted research, which itself took on the apple issue to model the effects on stroke and heart attack mortality of all older adults being prescribed either a cholesterol-lowering statin drug or an apple a day. Basically, they took studies like this where you see this nice dose response where the more fruit you eat, the lower your stroke risk appears to fall— and similar data for heart disease— compared to the known drug effect, and concluded that prescribing an apple a day is likely to have a similar effect on population stroke and heart attack mortality as giving everyone statin drugs instead.

And, hey, apples only have good side effects. Choosing apples rather than statins may avoid more than a thousand excess cases of muscle damage, and more than 12,000 excess diabetes diagnoses, because statins increase the risk of diabetes. And this was in the UK. I mean here in the US, one would expect five times those numbers, though ironically, the cost of apples is likely to be greater than those of statin drugs. I mean like Generic Lipitor is like 20 cents a day. So, yes, with similar reductions in mortality, the 150-year-old health promotion message of an apple a day is able to match modern medicine and is likely to have fewer side effects. But apples are a few pennies a day more expensive, not to mention the increased time and difficulty associated with consuming an apple compared to a statin.

This was just some food for thought brought to you by Thornton Chiropractor.  So please sign up to our newsletter or give us a call regarding our New Patient Special!

4 Reasons To Visit A Chiropractor-Even if your back doesn’t hurt

People visit chiropractors everyday for different reasons and chiropractic offers many benefits beyond treating back pain, neck pain, or headaches. I’m going to share with you some of the lesser-known benefits of chiropractic care and why you should visit a chiropractor even if your back doesn’t hurt.

Reason #1: Improved Sleep
I hear far too often that many people want to sleep better and to wake up feeling refreshed. They’re not sleeping well due to pain, stress, and overall body aches. Your bed is NOT the problem. Before you spend thousands on a new bed, you should consult Thornton Chiropractor. You’re not sleeping well and you’re tossing and turning because of aches and pains and the stress levels that you have. Your body just can’t get comfortable and you never get that deep sleep that you need.

You will see soon after beginning care that you will sleep more deeply. Wake up feeling more refreshed and experience an overall increase in health and wellness. Waking up tired really really stinks and your day isn’t going to start off very well, especially if you need a pot of coffee just to get going. By the end of the day all you want to do is sit on the couch and be left alone because you’re so tired. And that isn’t healthy either!

Reason #2:  Improved Digestion
Common digestive problems such as IBS, constipation, and reflux are often tied to factors such as high stress levels, a poor diet, and poor posture. In counteracting these conditions, studies support the use of chiropractic adjustments to help.

Reason #3:  Decreased Stress
A combination of factors seem to be responsible for chiropractic stress relief benefits which include increased relaxation, decreased muscle tension, and improved circulation. Chiropractors know that by adjusting the spine we help reduce physical stress on your body and improve the function of your central nervous system.

Reason #4:  Boosting Your Immune System
There is evidence to support that chiropractic treatment boosts your immune system because the nervous system and immune system are so tightly interlinked. This is not a new concept either.  If you want to see some interesting facts, Google chiropractic and the influenza epidemic of 1918.  As you can see there are many conditions that respond to chiropractic. If you’re seeking a more natural way to relieve stress, boost your immune system, improve digestion, or just sleep better contact Thornton Chiropractor. Chiropractic is the way to go!

Tips for Parents Of Picky Eaters

Does this sound familiar: “when I go to the grocery store, I know there are five hundred kinds of vegetables and fruit, but I buy the same three all the time.” About one third of parents say their child is a picky eater and, in many cases, it’s nothing to worry about.  The behavior is one of the few ways children can exert an influence on their parents and caregivers and that’s through eating or not eating. It’s a natural stage of developing some independence. But there are some things parents can do. Introducing a variety of foods in the toddler ages are crucial because it is such a short window of time. When children get older, it’s hard to accept new flavors. Parents also need to keep in mind that kids are more tuned in to their satiety cues than adults. Also, a child’s appetite will fluctuate at various stages. We are so used to seeing our portion sizes, that as adults we forget that kids have a smaller tummy and they don’t need as much food.

That means don’t bribe them into eating that extra bite by promising a cookie. When approaching mealtime, we recommend a division of responsibilities. Parents decide what, when, and where to eat and children decide whether to eat and how much. It can help to involve a child in preparing meals, but don’t cook them a separate meal. One family meal, no short order cooking.  If you’re concerned with your child’s growth, be sure to consult your physician. Seek their advice to make sure your child is getting the nutrients they need and to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to a change in growth.  And unless your health care provider gives you specific instruction otherwise, rely on healthy food options instead of supplements!

For more information on healthy tips, be sure to sign up to for our newsletter.  Interested in speaking with us, contact us to schedule a consultation!

sleep-thornton

Get Better Sleep This Spring

Spring is a time of growth and progress, but it is also a time for seasonal joint pain. Changes in temperature, humidity, and air pressure can affect your joints and cause you to feel pain, especially if you have prior injuries or arthritis. Plus, overlooked minor injuries from the winter ski season can quickly lead to chronic pain. Sleep is a necessity for injury recovery, pain management, and overall health, but it can be hard to rest if you have the wrong sleeping environment. Here are some ways to fall asleep faster this spring in order to better manage your pain:

Control the Humidity

Humidity rises slightly in springtime, especially with increased seasonal rainfall. A more humid environment makes it feel warmer than it actually is and can affect your ability to self-regulate your temperature at night. Managing your home’s humidity to about 30-50% can help prevent night sweats, congestion, and worsening of allergies. This can be accomplished with an air conditioner or a dehumidifier.

Take Control of Your Allergies and Asthma

Allergies can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Itchy eyes, sneezing, and trouble breathing are all symptoms that can prevent you from getting the rest that you need. Seasonal allergies and asthma can both be made worse by pollen in the air this spring. If you suffer from these conditions, discuss how to best manage your symptoms with your doctor, and consider chiropractic care for asthma. In addition to medication and treatment, reducing exposure to pollen and other allergens can drastically reduce symptoms and help your home feel more comfortable. Avoid opening your bedroom windows on high pollen days; you can check the pollen forecast on most weather websites. Keeping your home clean will also make a big impact on your symptoms, and therefore, your sleep. Taking a shower after coming inside, using an air purifier, and changing your clothes before sitting or lying in bed can all make a difference. Allergens will accumulate on soft surfaces in your bedroom, so use a pillow that you can wash and vacuum surfaces that you can’t, such as couch cushions.

Get a Massage

Massage therapy is a great way to relax, reduce pain, and decrease stress. Many people report that they get more restful sleep after getting a massage. The benefits are both physical and psychological. Whether it is once in a while or as part of a larger treatment plan, consider finding a massage therapist to help bring you into spring the right way and help you get a better night’s sleep.

Give your body the rest it needs this spring by setting up an ideal sleeping environment and managing chronic pain. Don’t ignore injuries from winter – get ahead of your pain and enjoy the season of wellness. Contact Thornton Chiropractors to schedule an appointment today!