Hello, everyone! It’s Dr. Bob with Lowcountry Chiropractic. I hope all of you are doing well and staying safe! As we approach the end of fall and the beginning of winter, it’s almost time to give thanks for this year. Many of us don’t enjoy the prospect of growing older. We would rather keep turning the same age year after year. But growing older means growing wiser, too. Instead of succumbing to the stiffness and soreness associated with advanced age, I’m here to tell you there’s a reward for sticking to a healthy lifestyle and it’s not too late to start! When you take care of your body, your body takes care of you. And, while we cannot control some of the effects of aging, we can certainly do our part to slow down the process. My goal is for my patients to remain limber and spry into the later decades of their life, as this mobility adds to their quality of life. In today’s post, we’ll discuss what happens to the human spine over time, as well as a few ways you can help your back stay strong for many years to come. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, read on!
There are many reasons for chronic back pain. Pregnant women cite their baby bumps for not being able to sleep well, while others cite poor posture and spinal diseases. After a certain point however, many of us simply say, “I’m just getting old.” Age is considered the catch-all for a laundry list of ailments, but the truth is: There are plenty of sixty-year-olds who beat out thirty-year-olds in terms of mobility. How is that?
First, we must understand what happens to our backs as we age. Similar to a car with hundreds of thousands of miles, our bodies accumulate wear and tear over the course of our lives. Consider the nights you spent struggling to sleep on a poor mattress, the heavy book bag you carried all through school, the pronounced slouch you took when working at your desk for hours. These habits take their toll after a while.
The spine is composed of vertebrae--small bones which stack on top of one another--and discs--the jelly-centered in-between bits which absorb shock and keep our vertebrae from rubbing together as we move. Unfortunately, our discs are rubbed down throughout our lifetimes, resulting in pain from colliding vertebrae. Unlike tires on a car, these discs have no warranty. As the discs wear down, our spinal cord is compressed, putting pressure on the sixty-two nerves which branch off from our spine and causing pain.
During our first ten years of life, discal degeneration begins. Minor tears and fissures in our spinal tissue can contribute to discal herniation (when the jelly-like interior of a disk slips through a crack in the hard outer shell), which is a precursor to radiculopathy (a pinched nerve root). Radiculopathy is common in young adults.
Car accidents and their resulting whiplash, in addition to broken bones, can accelerate the formation of arthritis in the affected joints. Arthritis can then affect the junctions in our spine where our vertebrae meet, causing further irritation.
As we age, we struggle to absorb the necessary level of calcium and other vital nutrients, which results in weakened bones or osteoporosis. We become more prone to bone breaks and fractures. Osteoporosis can lead to bone remodeling and even rotatory deformities. A study in the Menopause Review found women experience a noted increase in back pain when undergoing perimenopause and menopause. Lower back pain is the most common health problem contributing to disability in older adults, with as many as 70% of those aged sixty-five and above reporting they suffer from LBP. All of these things contribute to the stark reality of many elderly, who live in near constant back pain, with limited mobility.
Returning to the car analogy: How do you care for your vehicle to ensure you’ll be able to drive as many miles as possible, as comfortably as possible? Well, you change the oil. You buy the best grade of gas. You put air in the tires and fix minor issues as soon as they appear. In this way, you can be fairly sure your car puts out the maximum amount of mileage. In the same way, when you take care of your body, you can reduce (or slow) some of the degenerative effects of aging.
One of the ways you can “take your body to the shop” is exercise. Research shows exercise is the reason certain older people experience less health problems as they age. In addition to girding the spine and staving off conditions like degenerative disc disease, exercise can help keep away a host of other ailments, including depression and anxiety. A study conducted to assess the effect of exercise on the elderly (who were already afflicted with lower back pain), yielded significant results. The conclusion was simple: “Strengthening exercise is a beneficial treatment for older people with LBP in reducing pain intensity, disability, and improved functional performances.”
While you need not sign up for a gym membership, you’ll want to dedicate equal focus to strength training as you do to cardio. Exercises which target the core and back muscles will help support your spine in its everyday activities. Another study showed an eight-week flexibility training program was able to improve the range of motion of elderly women. If you aren’t sure where to begin or you have not been active for many months, start by stretching. As your muscles acclimate to daily use, you’ll start to crave further movement. As well, stretching can help prevent injuries once you do start exercising vigorously.
Another key indicator of overall health is diet. Being overweight can contribute to back pain. According to a study conducted last year, those in the study with spinal pain had significantly poorer diets than those without. Those individuals with a healthy diet were 24% less likely to report spinal pain. Similarly, while fruit, whole grains, and dairy intake were associated with 20-26% lowered likelihood to experience chronic pain, added sugars in an individual’s diet were associated with a 49% increase in likelihood to experience chronic spinal pain. Without proper nutrients, structures within the body are unable to heal and restore themselves. Of course, a balanced diet will be recommended by any physician. However, if you aim to maintain a healthy spine, you’ll want to hone in on a few essential vitamins and minerals.
The first of these essentials is calcium. Calcium is one of the means of ensuring bone mass into our old age. A deficiency in calcium is one of the main contributors to brittle, weak bones. Calcium can be found in dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheeses. Dark, leafy greens and oily, fatty fish are also great sources. Additionally, almonds, oranges, tofu, and black strap molasses can help you reach your daily calcium intake goal. To absorb calcium, your body also needs vitamin D. Usually, these two supplements are paired together to ensure proper absorption. However, vitamin D can also be found in egg yolks, canned salmon with bones, and sunlight.
Calcium alone does not produce strong bones. To gain strong bones, you’ll also need magnesium. Magnesium is responsible for facilitating over 300 biochemical reactions within the body, as well as helping to form the matrix of our bones. Unfortunately, if this necessary magnesium cannot be found in our blood, our body will steal the mineral from our bones. If you are deficient in magnesium, you may experience cramps or muscle spasms often. The muscles which support and hold the spine are also susceptible to this tension. Seek magnesium in dark greens, dark chocolate, bananas, avocados, cashews, Brazil nuts, whole grains, and supplements.
Finally, there’s the benefits of seeking regular chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can treat chronic conditions and pain, but its uses are better served in preventing chronic conditions and pain. When left untreated, subluxations within the spine can worsen and disrupt our quality of life. When left for long periods--years and decades--these subluxations become limitations in movement and pain points.
Aging isn’t linear. It doesn’t happen all at once, either. Instead, numerous factors play into how someone ages, including: stress, diet, sleep, environment, socioeconomic status, access to healthcare, and more. Having access to chiropractic care, which was specifically created to care for the spine, surely impacts the aging process of those receiving treatment. Since the spine houses so many essential nerves, its health is a fundamental prerequisite for the health of the rest of the body. Regular chiropractic care is associated with lower levels of pain, especially pain related to the neck and back. Not only can chiropractic care help alleviate back pain in elderly patients, it can assist in maintaining the mobility of younger spines, as well.
These tips are for those who take their long-term health seriously and would like to be able to continue flipping cartwheels into their old age. (Or, learn how to flip cartwheels in their old age.) There’s no rule in any book which says older individuals must live with back pain and lessened mobility. We here at Lowcountry Chiropractic are here to help. Send us a quick email or a phone call and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. It’s my job to perform a thorough analysis of your situation and develop a plan for ensuring you garner as many “miles” as possible from your back. I hope this information was helpful to you! I look forward to seeing you and remember: I’m Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
Chiropractic care is an excellent form of care for everyone at every age! Today we're going to be talking about chiropractic care for children!
Welcome back to the blog, readers! I'm Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic! I hope you are all doing well out there, and that you're staying healthy and safe! Today we are going to be expanding on the idea that chiropractic care is beneficial for everyone at every stage in their lives. We've recently talked about the many benefits that chiropractic care offers to the elderly, and today we are going to turn the tables and talk about the benefits of chiropractic care for our children and younger generations. While their bodies are growing and developing, who better to have their brain function and their immune systems strengthened with chiropractic care than our children?
When it comes to the goal of any chiropractor, it comes down to going beyond fixing the many ailments that can be connected to poor alignment and a subluxation. We care for your back, which is connected to the nervous system and your brain. The brain controls every operation in our bodies. While we are thrilled that chiropractic care can help so many different things, our goal is to ensure that the body's nervous system has every chance to work as efficiently and effectively as it can!
CHILDREN AND CHIROPRACTIC CARE
Many might think children don't need chiropractic care. Their bodies are brand new, healthy, and they haven't had to carry the weight and stress that adulthood and time can bring. While this is true, even before they're born, children can experience stress on their nervous system. These nerve irritations or subluxations are a part of everyday life. You've watched a child learning how to roll themselves over, hold up their heads for the first time, learn how to walk, and take their first stumbles and falls. Imagine the stress that puts on their developing nervous system. Subluxations can occur from bad posture, sleeping on their tummies, remaining in one position for a prolonged period, knocks and falls, and much more. Stress can be put on the nervous system before a child is even born. This can happen due to being in an award position in the uterus, restriction of movement, or birth complications like fast or very slow labor or cesarean delivery.
We all know the importance of a healthy back and nervous system that chiropractic care can deliver, and we know that children deserve this care just as much as adults! Introducing chiropractic care to children at a young age can put them on a course of having a very healthy lifestyle. While many still might believe that chiropractic care is only for adults, it can be even more important for a chiropractor to care for and check on your children due to spurts of rapid growth, changes in their bodies, and development. Also know that chiropractic care for children, while it might be a new idea for some parents, it is not a new idea overall and has been around for some time. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), many parents have feared how their children would respond to treatments and if they were safe. Over the years, many health professionals have sided with these parents. At the same time, doctors of chiropractic have been spending years trying to teach and assure parents that treatments are safe. Any injury or pain resulting from a chiropractic treatment was connected to underlying pathologies. Thanks to these studies and years of hard work, more parents and health professionals have gotten on board with chiropractic care.
It is recommended that chiropractors do a very thorough examination and speak with parents about their medical history and their child's before treatment begins. Also, just like I mentioned in my previous blog about elderly chiropractic care, an infant would never receive the same kind of care that an adult would. Their treatment would be adjusted to their needs and age to promote the utmost safety and care! Also, don't forget that chiropractic care is non-invasive and its foundations are based on effective and gentle adjustment techniques that are safe and have been well tested. Remember my blog late last year where I discussed the many myths chiropractors have to constantly disprove? The biggest one is that chiropractors are not real doctors. We busted that myth! Your child's care and health are very important and will be in very confident hands any time they are in a chiropractor's office.
What do you remember about your childhood? Before every smart device took over, we were outside running, jumping, climbing, swinging, and playing every game and sport we could think of. This also meant a lot of stumbles, falls, and accidents. They're still learning, still understanding their balance and coordination, and they haven't fallen enough yet to understand the full consequences of their actions. Their bodies respond to these incidents and can carry and hold tension and subluxations just like an adult's body. Chiropractic care can help realign their spine and joints, which is incredibly important as a child grows. These subluxations, remember, can get in the way of the brain functioning and communicating to the body as it should. In a body that is growing and changing every day, they need these connections and communications to make sure the best decisions are made for their health and development. Also, remember that chiropractic care is an excellent way to avoid the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications. According to the ACA, one of the most common reasons why parents take their children to a chiropractor is to help with the care and management of chronic ear infections, instead of them taking a plethora of antibiotics.
Children and adults have the same joints, but they aren't fully formed in a child's body right away. Due to this, as I mentioned above, treatment will be specifically tailored to their little bodies. The adjustments will be done faster and with much less force, due to their increased flexibility in the developing joints and that they are much smaller. Instead of manipulating joints as chiropractic care can do for adult bodies, chiropractic care helps mobilize the joints in a child's body. When it comes to infants and in utero, it's even more tailored. For babies, many common issues include sleep problems, issues with nursing, colic, torticollis, and plagiocephaly. Chiropractic care has shown drastic improvement with each of these issues, along with helping or preventing any long-term effects.
In utero, treatments can help prevent any sort of constraint. If the baby moves in a certain way, they can remain in that one position for several months. Wouldn't that be uncomfortable for you too? According to the ACA, "the goal of treatments is to restore motion to the joints and balance the tissues to keep everything as biomechanically even as possible. Taking the tension off from day one can help allow for optimal growth and development."
TOP REASONS AND BENEFITS OF TAKING YOUR CHILD TO A CHIROPRACTOR
Your child's health is in your hands while they are growing and learning! I hope this blog helped explain why chiropractic care is so beneficial for children and to assure you that it is safe. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out. If you would like to talk about your child's chiropractic care, please reach out as well! Until next time I'm Dr. Bob and I've got your back covered!
Cholesterol is something we should all take very seriously, but there is still a lot of misinformation out there about it that we need to understand. Today Dr. Bob will be debunking some of the most common myths about cholesterol with the help of Dr. Joseph Mercola.
Hey everybody! It's Dr. Bob Salamon here with Lowcountry Chiropractic. I hope everyone out there is doing well and staying healthy. Today, we are going to be talking about cholesterol. I first want to say that this information that I am sharing with you comes from Dr. Joseph Mercola, and he is awesome. He has some great information about all kinds of health issues. I encourage you to visit his website, www.mercola.com. He is an osteopathic doctor and has a very natural and holistic medical approach to his work. This information comes from an article he wrote in April of 2016, and I want to give total credit and props to him for this information and inspiration of this blog. I have taken some notes and wanted to share them with you. The topic of the article is cholesterol myths that you shouldn't believe.
Myth #1 Cholesterol Is Bad!
We always hear about how high cholesterol will cause heart disease. That is not exactly the case. Get this fact! The liver makes three-quarters of the cholesterol that exists in your body. Now if your liver is making cholesterol, would your liver make something that is bad for you? I wouldn't think so! That's really the case. The body actually needs cholesterol, and it is very important for several reasons.
Myth #2 High cholesterol is caused by a bad diet.
The reality of it is that only about 20% of your cholesterol is related to the food that you eat, making 80% of the cholesterol found in your body genetic. It has to do more with the liver's inability to get rid of excess cholesterol in people who are genetically inclined to produce more cholesterol. So, it's not really what we eat; a lot of it is genetic! We need to look at someone's genetics, study them, and pay attention to their family's medical history before placing blame on anything else.
What is a healthy cholesterol level? The bottom line is that a healthy level varies by person. Your medical doctor will usually say that you have to have cholesterol under 200 and your LDL levels (the bad cholesterol) need to be under 100. In all honestly, these levels vary by person. There are some ratios and measurements that are much more accurate than total cholesterol. Total cholesterol is really not a good indicator of heart health. What is a good measure is the ratio of HDL (the good cholesterol) in your body divided by the total cholesterol. That number should be greater than 24% and is a great measure of whether you're in the right range of heart health.
The second measurement is to look at your triglyceride levels, or the levels of fat circulating in your bloodstream. The triglycerides divided by the total cholesterol should be under 2 for a healthy heart. Another good way to measure heart health is to look at the fasting insulin levels in your body. If you're eating a lot of refined sugars, your body produces more insulin, which is there to take the sugar out of your bloodstream. Elevated insulin levels are bad because they promote fat accumulation in your body. An indicator of heart disease is the accumulation of fat in your body, especially belly fat.
More Things To Consider For Measuring Heart Health
Myth #3 Margarine is better for you than butter.
This is a myth because it has been proven that vegetable-based oils are bad for you; they increase the bad levels of LDLs in your body, and can cause heart problems. What you want to be doing instead is to eat more animal-based fats (eggs and butter) rather than plant-based fats. Omega 3 fats are also a great example of fats to eat and are found in fish.
The last thing we are going to talk about is statin drugs. These are the drugs that are used to control cholesterol levels in your body. In general, they're not very effective. In fact, studies have shown that they only benefit about 1% of the population that takes them. They also deplete your coenzyme Q10 levels in your body. This material is responsible for energy production throughout your body, helping it work and function properly. If you don't have enough coenzyme Q10, you won't have enough energy production for your body to work as it needs to. Your heart needs an extreme amount of energy to function, so lower levels of coenzyme q10 can lead to heart disease.
What are the healthy non-prescription ways to treat your cholesterol and heart disease?
I hope all of this information helps! Again, special thanks to Dr. Mercola for this incredible information. I hope you've learned something new today that you didn't know beforehand, and I hope you can apply it to your everyday health. If you're having trouble with any aspect of your health, please contact us! We would love to give you some advice and possibly get you started with chiropractic care! Until next time, I am Dr. Bob and I've got your back covered.
To read the full article I based this whole blog off of, please follow the link below!
Chiropractic care is safe and effective for everyone at every stage in their lives. Today, we will be discussing chiropractic care for the elderly; benefits, safety, and common myths!
Hello everyone, it's Dr. Bob Salamon here with Lowcountry Chiropractic! Welcome back to the blog. I hope you are continuing to stay healthy and well out there, and I hope you've started to take the advice I discussed in my last blog to heart. Making those healthy additions in your life can make all the difference, keep you healthy, make you feel good, and so much more! Always know that I'm here to answer your questions or to schedule you for a consultation; just give us a call or shoot us an email!
Today, I wanted to turn the tables and talk about chiropractic care for a certain age group. I've mentioned before that the myths and misinformation about chiropractic care can get in the way of individuals receiving life-changing treatment that can improve their overall quality of life. I hear these excuses and reasonings why individuals shouldn't get care all the time; I'm too young it's not safe, I'm too old it's not safe, I'm pregnant so it's not safe, I'm not in pain so I don't need chiropractic care. All of these reasons are incorrect. Today, I want to discuss and talk about chiropractic care for the elderly.
I hope all of this helps! Please know we are here for you at any stage of your life and can help you at any stage of your life. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to come in for a consultation give us a call! Stay healthy and safe, readers! Until next time, I'm Dr. Bob and I've got your back covered!
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