sleep-apnea

Why You Need to See a Chiropractor for Sleep Apnea

Today we would like to address another frequently asked question that many of our patients have sought chiropractic help with. Sleep apnea. Well before we get started on whether chiropractic can help with sleep apnea, let’s go over the two most common reasons why people experience it.

The first reason that people experience sleep apnea is due to a compressive problem within the esophagus that happens when you lay down. It’s usually due to either overweight or excessive tissue softness. The second reason that sleep apnea can wind up occurring is due to a neurological issue. Now if you wind up having the compressive version and/or difficulty with obesity you can refer to our post on how chiropractic can help with obesity. If you’re concerned and think that you may be suffering from the neurological component here’s how chiropractic can help you.

How Chiropractic Can Help

In most cases, sleep control is regulated by a piece of the brain stem that’s going be the bottom portion of your brain. We’ve got a skull with the brain inside of it and then the spinal cord that comes down. The brain stem connects directly into the spinal cord. Now sometimes the portions of it can slip down through the foramen magnum in your skull and into the base of the cervical spine or neck.

When it does this we end up experiencing tension or stress in the cervical spine. This tension and stress can begins to happen from any sort of trauma within your neck. It can cause the change in positioning of the cervical curve from what it should look like at an ideal 42 degrees, to anything less than that or even reverse. The wrong way any of those changes puts tension on the spinal cord which can affect the upper cervical area and brain stem.

The Thornton Colorado Chiropractor Process

If that is triggering or contributing to the sleep apnea that you’ve been experiencing, visiting Thornton Chiropractors will be a massive help! We will assess and detect the curves positions and posture of your spine to make sure that they’re as close to the ideal state that they can be.  If they’re not, we develop a personalized program so that we can remodel your spine as effectively and as safely as possible avoiding surgery and/or drugs to help you regain your health.

If you have questions about sleep apnea, feel free to comment below.  I love to answer questions! If you think that you may be suffering from this form of sleep apnea,  let’s get together and find out what the true cause of the problem!

What Causes Nerve Stress?

When it comes to nerve stress and the benefits chiropractic care can have, we get questions regarding what actually causes nerve stress.   One big cause of nerve stress is physical trauma. Physical trauma could be from the birthing process, sports, riding a bike. Nerve stress can be caused by car accidents, repetitive motions at the office, long periods of sitting, improper lifting and everyday activities as well.

Physical Trauma

One of the most toughest injuries for the body to recover from are the ones that are repetitive; the ones that we encounter every single day. Poor posture caused by lounging around on the couch all day is another factor.  If you spend a lot of time sitting or laying on the couch, it can also lead to lack of muscle tone and inadequate nutrition. All of which can affect the spine and your overall health.

Stress

Then we know the big factor is lifestyle stress and it is getting more and more involved in our lives today. Researches studying the mind-body connection find there are many types of physical complaints that are related to poor health. Muscles in the soft tissue of the spine are commonly involved. Everything from deadlines, to financial worries, to traffic jams that cause stress can definitely affect the body and the mind.

Chemical Imbalances

And then, another way is chemical imbalances. The function of the nervous system can be affected by many types of drugs, alcohol and medication. Exposure to tobacco, a high fat diet, even a high protein diet…you know the body can only handle so much protein at one time and if you over eat, that will turn to fat as well. Environmental causes can have adverse effects on the body. Stress, negative thoughts, worry, getting emotionally upset can manifest themselves in the spine.

While we can’t control many of the stressors that occur in our lifestyle, chiropractic care can help to keep you healthy and relieve some of the stress on your body mentally and physically.  So contact your chiropractor.  If you don’t have one, contact Thornton Chiropractors.  We are happy to help!

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!

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!

eating-healthy

7 Tips to Make Eating Healthy Easier

It seems that people in general want to eat healthy, but they just don’t have enough time.  Sometimes we associate eating healthy with being expensive and we would like to dispel that thought.  Sure you can probably get a Big Mac or a burrito for less than you would buying groceries or items to prepare a meal.  However, if you plan and shop properly, it can be both convenient and affordable for you in the long run.  So here are 1o tips that will make eating healthy easier for you!

  1. Batch Meals. Make more than you need so you have leftovers.  You can freeze them or plan to eat them throughout the upcoming days.
  2. Make the same stuff over and over.  You don’t have to be a culinary chef or even start looking up special recipes.  Just make the same few things that you know you like to eat. This makes shopping a lot easier and you spend less time stressing about what you will need to get at the store. Now when making the same stuff over and over again, you can switch it up.  If you follow step one and batch your foods, you can mix and match your pre-planned meals! Maybe come up with a dozen things you like to prepare to eat and go from there.
  3. Drink your green.  Yes, drink your vegetables.  If you don’t have a blender, I would consider picking up one as it is going to make preparation a lot faster.  Don’t worry about a fancy high cost blender.  Really any blender will do; just drink your greens.
  4. You don’t have to LOVE everything you eat. You don’t have to like everything and you don’t have to always eat healthy. So just go easy on yourself. The important thing to remember is that you are trying and making an effort.  We all have our days where we aren’t feeling like eating a salad.  So don’t beat yourself up.
  5. Eat what you don’t have to count. What I mean by that is, eating things like quinoa and green vegetables in abundance really isn’t going to hurt your caloric intake.  It’s not like making sure you only eat one cupcake or counting how many calories are in a soda.  Start picking up healthy habits so you don’t have to focus on how many calories each food item has.That’s the stuff you want to eat.
  6. Shape the path.  Make it easy for you to stay on the path to eating healthy.  Get rid of the junk food in your house and keep it stocked with healthy snacks, which leads to tip number 7.
  7. Healthy snacks.  Get or make quick and easy healthy snacks.  The reason why most of us eat junk food is because it is already “processed” and packaged up for our convenience.  If you like dips, perhaps get hummus or a queso dip that you have on hand when hunger strikes.

Remember, stay positive and stay focused.  If you are trying to lose weight, maybe switch your thinking to “trying to gain health.”  Thinking of it in a positive light gives us a better attitude about doing something.  With eating healthy, the pounds will shed and you will have accomplished your goals and also given your body something to thank you for.  If you are having a hard time getting back on track and need some guidance with health and wellness, contact Thornton Colorado Chiropractors.  We are happy to help you out!

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!