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Do You Have Valley Fever?

Do You Have Valley Fever? How Can You Tell?

There are around 10,000 cases of Valley Fever each year in this country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So why don’t hear much about it? Part of the reason the public so poorly understands it is the symptoms mimic that of a cold or flu, so often it goes untreated. The key to knowing if you have valley fever or not is understanding what it is and how it affects you.

 

What is Valley Fever?

Although it probably feels like a cold or flu bug, valley fever is a fungal infection, medically known as coccidioidomycosis. People who live in the southwestern United States, specifically Arizona or California, have a higher risk of exposure to the fungus.

 

Why Does the Southwestern US have a Greater Risk?

The fungus that causes valley fever thrives in the dry, desert-like soil found in Arizona, California, the south-central regions of Washington state along with parts of Mexico and Central America. People there can breathe in the fungus, exposing the lungs to the infection.

Inhaling the fungus from soil is the only way to contract this illness, as well. Unlike the cold or flu, it is not passed from person to person or even from animal to person. The wind can pick up spores from the fungus, though and blow them hundreds of miles from their source.

 

What are the Symptoms of Valley Fever?

The symptoms of this infection make it difficult to spot. They are similar to many illnesses including infectious diseases like influenza. Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • A cough
  • Fever
  • A headache
  • Night Sweats
  • Joint pain

Some people also develop a rash on their upper body or legs. If you look at other illnesses like the common cold, for example, you see why there is confusion.

Symptoms of a cold include:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • A headache
  • Body aches
  • Sinus pain

There are just enough similarities that people can have valley fever and never know it. The common cold, though, and the flu are bacterial infections while valley fever comes from a fungus.

Valley fever can also be chronic and lead to complications like nodules in the lungs. People with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of chronic valley fever.

 

How is Valley Fever Diagnosed and Treated?

Valley fever is tough to diagnose. The only sure way is to look for the organisms in a sputum sample. In some cases, the body may develop antibodies, as well, and those are detectable in the blood.

Treatment is a combination of rest and antifungal medications. The downside is antifungal drugs can have unpleasant side effects like nausea or diarrhea. Not getting treatment, though, can lead to complications like the disseminated disease. With this condition, the fungus spreads to other areas of the body leading to abscesses, lesions on the bone and heart inflammation.

 

The possible complications of valley fever mean you don’t want to ignore it. Backfit has offices throughout Arizona and can offer a complimentary assessment or set you up with a general practitioner for evaluation. Contact Backfit today to make an appointment.

Cold vs Allergies: What’s the Difference?

How to Tell the Difference Between Cold vs Allergies

‘Tis the season for sniffling, runny noses and coughing. If you’re like most adults, you expect to have a cold or two at some point during the cooler months. What isn’t as clearcut is whether you or your child is too sick to go to work or to school. One source of confusion is that it can be difficult to tell if you are dealing with a cold, allergies or something else altogether. Here’s how to tell the difference between a cold vs allergies.

 

What Symptoms do Colds and Allergies Share?

The common cold and allergies cause several of the same symptoms which makes diagnosis challenging. Post-nasal drip, sneezing, reddened eyes, runny nose, and sore throat are all common symptoms that both conditions share. Coughing and nasal congestion are also often experienced by people who have either a common cold or allergies.

In some cases, a symptom like a sore throat can be experienced with both a cold and allergies. It’s more commonly found in those who have a cold though. Another way to tell if you or your loved one has a cold or an allergy is the duration of the symptoms. For most people, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) colds last for about one week to 10 days.

Colds are often thought of a cold weather problem, but they can develop during any time of the year. Currently, more than 200 subtypes of cold viruses have been identified. Rhinovirus is the most prevalent of these. These viruses are very contagious and can easily be transmitted from person to person — even without direct contact. The most common source of transmission is through droplets that become airborne by the sick person sneezing or coughing.

 

Differences Between Colds and Allergies

If you are suffering from an allergy, chances are that you noticed that your symptoms came on quickly. The symptoms of a common cold usually come on gradually over the course of a day or two. Allergies also tend to last longer than colds. In fact, if you are allergic to airborne substances, such as pollen or ragweed, you might find yourself suffering from symptoms for the entire season.

While colds and allergies share many of the same symptoms, you’re more likely to have allergies if your eyes are watery and itchy or if you have eczema. Unlike a cold, allergies aren’t contagious. Your body perceives a certain substance to be harmful so it releases compounds in an effort to fight it.

Histamine is one such compound that your body releases in reaction to an allergen. While the primary purpose of histamine is to fight off the invading substances and protect your body, it also causes many of the common allergy symptoms that can make you miserable.

 

Allergies don’t have to make you miserable this fall. Allergy testing can narrow the allergens your body is reacting to, making it easier to devise a treatment plan. Contact BackFit Health & Spine to schedule your complimentary assessment or for allergy testing.

Seasonal Allergies in Phoenix: What You Should Know

What You Should Know About Seasonal Allergies in Phoenix, AZ

Seasonal allergies are a thing no matter what part of the country you live, but in Phoenix, they can be especially problematic. Arizona offers the perfect environment for a runny nose, terrible head pain, congestion and sinus problems. It’s the combination of desert air that likes to blow around a bit and native greenery that has most Phoenix residents suffering. What else should know about those seasonal allergies Phoenix?

The Allergy Triggers

One of the most critical bits of knowledge one can have about life in Phoenix is the allergy triggers. Here are four you need to understand.

 

1. Dust

The most obvious culprit for seasonal allergies is dust. The Phoenix area is dry with little rain. Add things like highway construction, unpaved rural roads, and their world-famous dust storms, and you see why this allergen tops the list.

What can you do about the dust problem in Phoenix? For one thing, keep the windows closed. For most people, that’s not hard to do given the hot temperatures in the city.

Keeping things at home tidy and dust free would be another important step. For most allergy sufferers, hardwood floors and daily vacuuming helps, as well as changing air conditioning filters regularly.

 

2. Air Pollution

Air pollution is a growing problem in most states including Arizona. Phoenix, however, rests in a valley and that means dirty air tends to hang over the city for days at a time. It can bring with it eye irritation and sore throats, as well, as the usual seasonal allergy symptoms like sinus pain and headaches.

The trick to avoiding air pollution is to stay indoors as much as possible, especially on days when they predict poor air quality. For severe allergic reactions, it might help to wear a face mask with a filter when outside. Make sure your home has the right air filters, as well.

 

3. Mulberry Trees

There are many pollen producing trees that are native to Phoenix and some imported from other states, too. One of the worst around is the Mulberry tree. It delivers incredibly allergenic pollen and can cause reactions like pink eye, difficulty breathing and nasal congestion.

Mulberry trees tend to be short, not exceeding more than 50 feet. The leaves can be lobed with a serrated edge. Of course, as the name suggests, there may be berries, too. They start as white or green and then mature to be dark purple or black.

 

4. Mesquite

The dry weather of Phoenix makes mesquite a popular landscaping choice. This tree is low to the ground and usually oddly shaped with a slight lean. It can produce pods and flowers, as well, generally in the spring and summer.

There isn’t much you can do about the trees in Phoenix if they are triggering your seasonal allergies. When avoiding triggers isn’t possible then it might be necessary to get allergy shots and prescription medication.

 

Treating Seasonal Allergies

Things you do at home can help manage allergy symptoms like rinsing your sinuses with saline or salt water. Over-the-counter medications can help, as well.

For many residents in Phoenix, it’s important to figure out exactly what the trigger is and that means allergy testing. A physician can test for 50 allergens specific to Arizona and pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. After that test, your doctor will tell you if you are a good candidate for allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy.

 

If you have seasonal allergies, visit one of the many BackFit locations in Phoenix and around the state. Contact BackFit today to make an appointment for a complimentary assessment or allergy testing and treatment.

Panic Attack vs Heart Attack – Do You Know the Difference?

Panic Attack vs Heart Attack

Unfortunately, having a panic attack and experiencing a heart attack can feel very similar.  While they do often present symptoms that are alike, be assured that they are two very different occurrences. If you find yourself or a loved one exhibiting any of these scary symptoms, it can be a very stressful situation to deal with.  Knowing the how to tell the difference between a panic attack vs heart attack can save you a great deal of stress and possibly even save a life.

 

If you think you may be experiencing a heart attack, please seek emergency medical attention.

 

Heart Attacks

According to the American Heart Association, a heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is blocked. This happens when the coronary arteries that supply the heart with blood become harder and thicker over time from a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and plaque. When this plaque breaks, a blood clot forms that blocks the blood flow, and a heart attack occurs. Heart attacks can be life-threatening.

 

Panic Attacks

A panic attack is a symptom of panic disorder, one of the most treatable of the anxiety disorders. They often happen without warning and can cause extreme fear and nervousness for at least 10 minutes or more.  Although there is no exact cause of panic disorder, researchers relate it to the combination of certain environmental and biological conditions such as family history, extreme stress, and alcohol/drug abuse. Panic attacks are not life-threatening.

 

Panic Attack vs Heart Attack – The Similarities

The symptoms of a panic attack can present themselves in the same way symptoms of a heart attack do, often creating confusion about whether it is actually a panic attack vs heart attack.  Here are some of the symptoms that might occur during both:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations/chest pain
  • Dizziness/vertigo
  • Numbness of hands and feet
  • Sweating
  • Sense of doom

If you are unsure, seek immediate emergency medical attention. Since heart attacks can be deadly, it is always best to assume you are having a heart attack.

 

Panic Attack vs Heart Attack – The Differences

Although the symptoms may present the same for a panic attack and heart attacks, there are differences that enable you to distinguish the two. Here are some of the main differences to be aware of:

  • Chest Pain – When having a heart attack, a person will experience escalating chest pain that becomes severe within only a few minutes, while anxiety attack chest pain feels like a sharp/stabbing short-lived pain that lasts only a few seconds.
  • Exertion of Energy – Heart attack pain is typically caused by exertion such as exercising or working, while anxiety attack pain usually occurs while at rest.
  • Deep Breathing – One way to determine if you are having a panic attack vs heart attack is to take deep breaths. You can “deep-breathe” your way out of a panic attack, but you absolutely cannot breathe your way out of a heart attack. When symptoms occur, take deep breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth several times. If it is a panic attack, you will calm down, if it is a heart attack, it will be painful.
  • Constant Pain -Constant pain, pressure, or aching in the chest area are signs that you are having a heart attack. Pain also radiates from the chest to other areas like the left arm, abdomen, back, shoulders, neck, and jaw. Panic attack pain is typically is located in just one small area and changes when you change positions.

 

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

You may be surprised to learn that chiropractic care can help relieve anxiety attacks. The team at BackFit Health + Spine in Phoenix, Arizona will work to find the root cause of your symptoms. They will help you manage those frightening anxiety attack symptoms without the harmful side effects caused by medication. By lowering your blood pressure and stress levels via chiropractic adjustments, patients have seen significant improvement is anxiety attack symptoms and are able to lead a more fulfilling life. Contact BackFit Health + Spine for a complimentary assessment to get relief from anxiety attacks today.

Why You Should Go See a Doctor About Your Chest Pain

Go See a Doctor About Your Chest Pain

Does chest pain automatically mean a heart attack? It is easy to think that when you experience chest discomfort but there are different causes of chest pain, and many have nothing to do with the heart muscle. It is also just as easy to think it can’t be a heart attack because you’re healthy and young but that’s not true either. The fact is heart attack symptoms vary from person to person, too. All that indicates you need to see a doctor about your chest pain and not make excuses. Consider four reasons people use to try to avoid going to a doctor when they have chest pain.

 

1. The pain will probably go away.

Pain that fades over time does not rule out heart problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. Often heart-related chest pain does go away for a while and then comes back again later. The pain may also vary in intensity, so it’s still there, but you don’t feel it as much making it easier to ignore.

It’s important to keep in mind that myocardial infarction, the clinical name for a heart attack, is not the only thing that could be wrong with the heart muscle, too, which might explain the change in your pain level.

Chest pain can be from:

  • Angina – An indication of reduced blood flow to the heart and often the precursor to a heart attack.
  • Aortic dissection – The main artery leading up to the heart begins to split apart causing pain. An aortic dissection is just as a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical intervention.
  • Pericarditis – Pericarditis means there is inflammation in the sac around the heart.

The only way to rule out these potentially deadly medical problems is to see a doctor or go to the emergency room.

 

2. It can’t be my heart; I’m too young.

Age is a risk factor for heart attacks because older people develop heart disease. There are other reasons that people have heart attacks, though, so the young are still at risk. For example, firefighters have a high risk of heart attack due to physical exertion.

Some other risk factors for a heart attack include:

  • Blood clot either from a medical problem or trauma
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Family history
  • Congenital defect
  • Drug use
  • High blood pressure

Age increases your risk but young, physically fit people do still have heart attacks.

 

3. It is probably just gas.

That might be true, but even so, you still need to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. There are digestive issues that can lead to chest pain that can be serious, too, like pancreatitis, gallbladder disease or GERD.

Stomach and heart problems are not the only things that cause chest pain, either. That pain might be due to another life-threatening medical problem such as:

  • Pulmonary embolism – A blood clot in the lungs
  • Pneumothorax – Collapsed lung
  • Pleurisy – Inflammation of the membranes around the lungs
  • Pneumonia – Infection of the lungs

They all require medical treatment.

 

4. I don’t have the time right now.

It does take time to see a doctor but chances are the chest pain is slowing you down more than you realize, anyway. There may be other symptoms with the chest pain that you are not taking into account, too, like:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

There maybe radiating pain, too, in the shoulders, jaw or arms. That pain is distracting and can make it hard to think clearly. On top of all that, there is the underlying sense of panic that maybe you are having a heart attack and you might die or not be able to support yourself and family anymore. Fear is paralyzing whether you realize it or not. By going to the doctor, you can figure out what is causing your pain and go from there.

 

Of course, a heart attack is the worse case scenario when it comes to chest pain. Once you rule out the serious problems, the most likely cause is muscle strain. Contact BackFit today for a complimentary assessment and get the answer you need about your chest pain.

What Causes Migraines and How to Get Relief

What Causes Migraines?

If you or a family member suffers from migraines, you know how painful and debilitating they can be. So much, in fact, they are known to be the worst type of headache one can experience. A migraine headache can cause intense pain, which is often accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and vomiting. But what causes migraines? These headaches are no joke, and the triggers may be different for everyone. There are some solutions though that can give you relief from migraines and help you get rid of the pain and experience a better quality of life!

 

Do You know What Causes Migraine Headaches and the Triggers to Avoid?

When you are experiencing the pain associated with a migraine headache, you may not be aware of what caused it. In many cases, most people do not know much more than the fact that they have a pounding headache that just won’t go away. Typically, a migraine headache occurs when the blood vessels in the brain constrict, then immediately dilate. This rapid increase in blood pressure is what causes migraines intense pain. Although the exact cause of migraines is not completely understood, it is known that genetics as well as certain environmental factors, or triggers, seem to play a role. These migraine headache triggers can be different for each person, but there are common ones that are to be noted.

 

Common Migraine Headache Triggers

Physical or Emotional Stress

According to the American Headache Society, four out of five people with migraines report stress as a trigger. Research indicates this may occur due to changes in the level of serotonin in the brain, which helps regulate pain.

Hormones

Hormones can have a huge effect on migraines, especially in women. Fluctuations in estrogen is a common trigger, and women often report these painful headaches before or during their periods, when estrogen levels drop.

Misaligned Bones of the Neck and Back

Misaligned neck and back bones from whiplash and other injuries can affect the nerves and blood vessels in the head and neck, causing pain associated with migraines.

Sensory Stimuli and Environmental Causes

Bright light, glare from the sun, loud sounds, and strong smells like secondhand smoke, perfume, and chemicals are culprits.  

Food and Drinks

Eating or drinking specific foods can be a migraine trigger for some people. Here are some foods that are known to trigger migraine headaches:

  • Aged Cheese and Meats – The nitrates in aged meats like salami and cheddar cheese can trigger migraines for some.
  • Salty Foods – Eating salty foods can make you dehydrated, which can cause migraine headaches.
  • Food Additives – Common food additives such as MSG and aspartame, found in many prepared foods such as store-bought salad dressings and BBQ sauce, as well as diet sodas, and Chinese food, can trigger migraine headaches.   
  • Drinks – The tannins, sulfate preservatives, and other contaminants in alcoholic beverages can cause migraines, especially in wine, caffeinated beverages, and diet sodas.
  • Food Sensitivities – If you have a food sensitivity, your body is unable to process the food you’re eating properly. Sometimes, this results in a migraine. You may want to look into food sensitivity testing in order to eliminate this common migraine trigger.

 

Get Migraine Relief

Chiropractic care is usually very effective for  relieving the pain and treating the structural causes of migraine headaches. BackFit Health + Spine in Phoenix, Arizona offers a revolutionary migraine treatment protocol. The whole team will work together to provide lasting pain relief for those who suffer from migraine headaches and will get to the root of what causes migraines.  Have you tried chiropractic care for your migraines and headaches? It just may offer the migraine solution you are looking for! Contact one of our Arizona locations of BackFit Health + Spine today for a complimentary assessment for the relief of migraine headaches.

Surprising Migraine Remedies

How to Get Rid of a Migraine

While both a migraine and a headache cause pain, a migraine also includes other symptoms that can make even the most routine daily tasks nearly impossible to carry out. Because of this, many sufferers will try any suggestion for how to get rid of a migraine. Sitting in a dark room and popping over-the-counter painkillers is the standard treatment for migraines. For some people, though, this regime doesn’t work well. Others don’t relish medicating themselves. Below are some surprising ways that could help relieve pain from a migraine.

 

Surprising Migraine Remedies

1. Daith Piercings

According to Medical News Today, daith piercings are being increasingly popular as an alternative treatment for migraines. This piercing goes through the ear’s innermost fold. Though further research is needed, it’s thought that this piercing helps with migraine pain because the same area of the ear is used with success during acupuncture.

2. Diet

It should come as no surprise that the foods you eat could affect the severity and frequency of your migraines. Because everyone is different, it’s important to keep a food diary so you can learn about any trigger foods. Common trigger foods include processed foods, chocolate, dried fruits and alcohol — to name just a few.

Caffeine is one of those compounds that affects different people in different ways. Some people might find relief from their migraines when they ingest a little bit of caffeine. For others, having too much caffeine could trigger a migraine. In your food diary, it’s helpful to note the amount you’ve had so you can track your body’s reactions to it.

3. Peppermint Oil

During a triple-blind, randomized study conducted over the course of a year Nemazee Hospital’s neurology clinic, the 35 patients experienced better relief from their migraine nausea, light sensitivity and pain when they used peppermint oil. The group that had a methol solution applied to their foreheads and temples had more effective pain relief than the placebo group.

4. Yoga

From April through June 2012, researchers at the Physiology Research Center at Iran’s University of Medical Sciences in Isfahan studied the effects of yoga on migraines. The study divided thirty-two women with a history of migraines into two groups. Both groups were given medication, but the second group, the “yoga group,” also received 12 weeks of yoga. The women who had the yoga training experienced a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of their migraines.

We do not recommend yoga as a primary method to treat migraines. However, there is enough evidence for it to be a great idea for complementary therapy.  

 

Still now sure about how to get rid of a migraine? BackFit Health + Spine provides comprehensive pain management services that are designed to be both holistic and proactive. In addition to offering a customized treatment plan designed to help manage and alleviate your migraine pain, BackFit Health + Spine also offers emergency chiropractic services when you have flare-ups. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary assessment and see how we can help improve your quality of life!

Am I Having Migraines? Or something else?

Am I Having a Migraine? Common Migraine Symptoms

You know you have a headache, but do you actually have a migraine? What’s the difference? It’s a question that comes up a lot, especially from people who have chronic head pain. Migraines are not that well understood, so it makes sense that you might be trying to figure out if you have them and why? Consider five migraine symptoms that might help you determine if you have migraine attacks.

1. Constipation

Most people already know the obvious migraine symptoms migraine like nausea, head pain and sensitivity to light so this one might surprise you. Constipation is often a sign of an approaching migraine. It occurs during what doctors call the prodrome, the time about one or two days before the migraine attack. It’s the subtle symptoms like this one that can help confirm that your headaches are indeed migraines.

2. Pins and Needles

The pins and needles sensation typically occurs as part of the aura. Not everyone who gets migraines has an aura, but it can start a few hours before the attack or a few minutes. The pins and needles feeling will be in either your arms or legs. It might be on one side or both, too. It will feel like that limb fell asleep and is now coming back alive.

3. Increased Urination

The need to pee a lot is another potential sign of an impending migraine. It can also happen after the pain subsides or even during the attack. It’s important to keep track of things that you notice before during and after a headache not only to figure out the warning signs but to look for migraine triggers, too, such as:

  • Stress
  • Strong smells
  • Food additives
  • Being overtired
  • Not sleeping well
  • Bright lights
  • New medication
  • Missing meals
  • Cigarette smoke

If it does seem like you are heading to the bathroom a lot, write it down and anything else you notice just in case there is a migraine in your immediate future.  

4. Confusion

It is common to feel brain fog and confusion post migraine in the period referred to as the post-drome. It typically lasts for about 24 hours after the pain stops. You will likely feel drained at the same time or even feel abnormally happy and energetic. These are all signs that you’ve experienced a migraine.

5. Weird Food Cravings

Strange eating habits can be part of the predrome, too. It’s not clear why this happens, but it’s possible your body is trying to ward off the attack. You might crave coffee even if you are not a fan, for example, because caffeine is a treatment for a migraine and can stop an attack at times. Chocolate is another possibility, according to Everyday Health. There is some indication that cocoa might help protect you from a migraine. Be careful though – food sensitivities have been known to cause migraines. If you have a sensitivity or allergy to the food you are craving, you may be perpetuating your symptoms. 

 

It’s important to keep in mind that no two people experience migraines in the same way. Your sister might see bright lights before hers, but you don’t have those. Also, remember that not all headaches are clinical migraines. Things like muscle tension and neck pain can also cause a headache. If you are experiencing headaches or other migraine symptoms, contact BackFit for a complimentary assessment to find out why.

Six Common Types of Headaches, Symptoms and Treatments

Six Common Types of Headaches, Symptoms and Treatments

Do you have a headache? You are not alone. Headaches are one of the most common conditions of the nervous system, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In fact, about half of all adults have had a headache at least once in the past year. While all headaches may seem the same, there are actually several types of headaches.

6  Common Headache Types

1. Tension type headaches

Tension type headaches are one of the most common types of headaches. They cause discomfort and tenderness in your face, neck, head and shoulders. You might also feel pressure behind your eyes and sensitivity to light and sound. Tension type headaches are often the result of stress, anxiety, depression and other factors that cause the muscles of your head, neck and shoulders to tense up. This tightness can start in your shoulders then spread up into your neck and head to cause headache.

Applying ice or heat to the affected muscles can alleviate the pain of tension type headaches. Chiropractic care can help melt away muscle tension.

 

2. Migraines

Migraines are the result of inflammation and dilation of blood vessels. Migraine symptoms include throbbing pain on just one side of the head. You may have a heightened sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. Nausea and vomiting are also common alongside the headache pain of migraine.

This is one of the types of headaches you do not want to ignore. Treatment for migraines includes non-prescription or prescription pain relievers, nerve pain medications and therapies, such as spinal manipulation that focuses on aligning the bones of the upper neck.

 

3. Sinus headaches

Sinus headaches are the result of sinusitis, which is a swelling of the sinuses due to a sinus infection or allergy. Head pain from sinus headaches may range from mild to moderate. Symptoms of sinus headaches include dull throbbing around the eyes, cheeks and forehead. Nasal congestion and runny nose may occur.

Treatment for sinus headaches includes over-the-counter pain relievers and nasal decongestants.

 

4. Secondary headache

A secondary headache is the result of something else, such as a head injury or caffeine withdrawal. Injury can cause misalignment between the individual bones of the spine, known as subluxations, which pinch the nerves responsible for sensation, movement and blood flow to your head. Misalignments can also cause muscles soft tissue strain leading to secondary headache. The symptoms of a secondary headache depend on the location of the injury.

Treatment for secondary headaches usually consists of treatment for the underlying cause and pain relievers. Chiropractic care can correct subluxations and ease soft tissue strains to alleviate many secondary headache symptoms.

 

5. Rebound headache

You may experience a rebound headache if you have been taking pain relievers for a long time to alleviate a chronic headache. Also known as medication overuse headaches, can result from taking painkillers every day for more than 15 days in a month. Symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, sleep problems, and restlessness, anxiety or nervousness. The only treatment for a rebound headache is to stop taking the medication that started it. Symptoms fade within one to three weeks.

 

6. Head injury headaches

Even minor bumps and blows to the head can result in head injury headaches. Symptoms may develop immediately after the injury, or head injury headaches may develop weeks or months later, which make them difficult to diagnose. These headaches can occur daily; they can also persist for weeks or months. Treatment includes pain relievers and treatment for the underlying injury.

 

Chiropractic care can help alleviate head injury headaches and other kinds of headaches. BackFit Health + Spine has a full medical staff that includes a chiropractor, physician, family nurse practitioner and physical therapist that can diagnose, treat, monitor and even help prevent all sorts of headaches.

For more information and a complementary assessment, contact BackFit today.

Common Athletic Injuries and What to Do About Them

Athletic Injuries

Athletic injuries can range in severity and you may not know you’ve actually hurt yourself until the next day when the adrenaline is gone. While simple injuries can be easily treated at home, if you have any doubts, you should immediately contact your doctor.

 

Different Types of Athletic Injuries

Different types of sports will result in different types of injuries. For example, a basketball player has a much higher risk of tearing a tendon or ligament, than a golfer. Someone who plays golf may be more prone to injuries like tendonitis that result in long-term, chronic pain.

  • Strains and Sprains – Sports that require you to run, pivot, or jump increase your risk of sprains or strains. These injuries involve the overextension of muscles, tendons or ligaments, For mild cases, R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) may be effective self-care. Physical therapy is a great way to maintain range of motion and strengthen the injured area. If the injury is severe,  you will want to seek medical attention to ensure the joint is properly stabilized to allow for sufficient healing.
  • Ligament Tears – Ligament tears often occur in the knee and are common in sports like baseball and football. Hyperflexion of the joint can result in not only anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, but other types of damage that may require surgery to repair. Self-care includes using the R.I.C.E. method and staying off the joint as much as possible until it heals. If the injury appears to be severe, seek medical attention immediately to prevent injuring the area further. Stress fractures are common sports injuries that mistaken for ligament tears and sprains. Don’t take chances! Visit your doctor!
  • Tendonitis – Tendonitis is caused by performing the same movements over and over again. Pitchers, golfers, and tennis players often experience this type of injury in the elbow or shoulder joints. Again, R.I.C.E. and physical therapy are excellent for self-care, but if the pain continues to worsen after a few days, you will need to see a doctor. This ensures there are no tears or serious damage to the ligaments or tendons.

 

Signs You May Have a Serious Injury

Pain and inflammation are the first signs of an injury. If you notice grinding in the joint (especially the knee), the damage may be more extensive than just a pulled muscle. In most cases, a mild injury will begin to feel better after a day or two. If the pain continues to worsen or you notice that your range of motion has dramatically decreased, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Any time that you don’t notice improvement, there is a risk of serious damage. Instead of putting it off and hoping the injury heals itself, you will want to seek medical treatment.

Why You Should Consider Stem Cell Therapy

Stem Cell Therapy As An Alternative to Surgery

In the past, certain injuries almost always required surgery if healing did not occur as desired. Many people try to avoid surgery because of its cost and the fact that they may have an extensive recovery time resulting in time off of work. Others simply don’t want to be operated on. With the introduction of stem cell therapy, people now have a viable option that can sometimes eliminate the need for surgery.

 

Stem Cell Therapy Explained

Stem cell therapy involves using the body’s own stem cells to create new tissue to replace damaged tissues within an injured area of the body. Stem cells are like blank slates that pick up the characteristics of the cells around them. As they grow, they take the place of injured or damaged cells. By rejuvenating tissues in this manner, chronic pain can be minimized and your quality of life improved dramatically.

 

The Pros of Stem Cell Therapy

Just like most types of medical treatment, stem cell therapy has its pros and cons. It may not work as well if you have an injury that has resulted in extensive damage to your joint. For injuries that result in chronic, long-term pain, stem cell therapy may offer the relief that other procedures may not.

  • Uses Your Own Cells – Stem cells therapy uses cells harvested from your own body. They can be found in your bones, liver, blood, and skeletal muscles. Once they are harvested, they are added to a matrix that is injected directly into the injured area. They will then take on the characteristics of the damaged cells, promoting new, healthier cell growth.
  • Offers The Body What It Needs To Heal – By replacing the damaged cells, new tissues are formed that are healthier and stronger. This means less pain and discomfort. As the rejuvenated tissue continues to grow and duplicate itself, the joint becomes stronger and more resilient.
  • May Require Multiple Treatments – The one main drawback concerning stem cell therapy is that it can take several treatments to establish enough new tissue to correct the damaged caused by the injury. In some cases, maintenance treatments may be needed once or twice a year to ensure the rejuvenation continues to take place.

An injury can be a traumatic experience. Stem cell therapy gives your body the opportunity to recover without surgery. When combined with physical therapy, massage therapy, and various types of self-care, your pain and suffering can be greatly diminished in a few short weeks.

 

When Should You Consider Stem Cell Therapy?

If you suffered an injury that has resulted in chronic pain and you have been told surgery may be an option, talk to your doctor about the possibility of stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy offers a unique opportunity to allow the body to heal itself using its own cells and tissues.

Contact your doctor and ask what options are available to you. If stem cell therapy is mentioned, learn as much as you can so you can make an informed decision. Surgery is not the only option any longer. Stem cell therapy offers many benefits without having to damage additional tissues. It truly is an option worth looking into!

Don’t have a doctor? Visit us at BackFit!

Is Surgery My Only Option?

Alternatives to Surgery

Any injury is painful but with proper self-care and regular visits to your doctor, you may be able to avoid surgery. There are several alternatives to surgery that will allow you to heal quickly and efficiently while at the same time making you stronger and more resilient.

 

Do I Really Need Surgery?

When you experience an injury, several questions go through your head. Do you need surgery? Will your injury heal sufficiently without it? Can I even afford the cost of an extensive surgical procedure? The questions you really need to ask yourself is what alternatives to surgery are available and how can they benefit my particular injury? It’s a given that injuries like ACL tears or a damaged meniscus may require surgery to fix the problem. Injuries like tendonitis, hyperflexion of the knee, or a severe sprain, may heal themselves when the right treatment options are applied.

 

What Are My Alternatives?

There are several alternatives to having surgery. In some cases, surgery may not only prolong your recovery, it may cause other problems with more long-term repercussions. A few of the alternatives that you can explore include:

  • Chiropractic/Massage Therapy – When used in conjunction with one another chiropractic care and massage therapy work together to bring the body back into balance. Chiropractic supports skeletal balance while massage therapy strengthens the muscles and allows them to hold the bony structure together in its natural position.
  • Physical Therapy – Physical therapy uses a variety of exercises, including swimming, stretching, and strength training, to gradually build the body back up to where it was prior to the injury. By slowly strengthening the damaged tissues, you will begin to regain your range of motion, mobility, and flexibility.
  • Pain Management – For injuries that require an extended healing time, like ligament tears and tendonitis, a pain management program is needed. This includes eating anti-inflammatory foods that reduce swelling in the joints, exercises that help to promote healing, and medications that allow you to remain comfortable and active.
  • Stem Cell Therapy – Stem cell therapy, also known as regenerative medicine, is also an alternative to certain surgeries like knee replacements. It can be on the pricier side but it can be worth it if done well.

For many doctors and primary health care providers, surgery is a last resort to be used only when other methods fail.

 

Working Hand In Hand With Your Physician

Any time you have an injury, it’s important that you work hand in hand with your physician. By using the treatment options offered by your physician and combining those with regular self-care methods, your healing will progress smoothly and surgery will not have to be considered. Always follow your doctor’s orders and let them know of any changes in your injury. By working together, you will be able to successfully treat your injury and get back to performing your daily routine in a short period of time. Don’t wait to call your doctor! Have your injury evaluated so you can get back on track as soon as possible.

Don’t know where to start? Schedule a complimentary consultation at BackFit so we can figure something out together (:

Should Parents Let Their Children Play Football?

Should Parents Let Their Child Play Football Pros And Cons

Football is a favorite high school sport. Kids love to play but parents sometimes cringe at the risk of injury or the cost for some of the equipment. The fact is, for many, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Children who play football learn the value of being part of a team as well as gaining physical strength and agility.

 

The Parents’ Decision

As a parent, you have to make the decisions that will protect your child from danger. You must also be willing to let them grow and learn on their own. Football is a sport that provides children with many unique opportunities. They are included in a team environment and encouraged to participate within the group. When your child comes to you and asks if they can play football, you need to think about all of the options before you give an answer. For many children, football allows them to grow in ways that other activities may not.

 

Benefits and Risks

Football offers both benefits and risks. In the end, it’s up to you as the parent to choose which one bears more weight in terms of keeping your child balanced and healthy.

  • Benefits – Aside from being part of a team, football offers a structured environment for your child to learn to follow rules and take a leadership role in helping other kids excel. Football also gives your child an opportunity to gain strength and agility on a physical level. They become problem solvers and skilled athletes.
  • Risks – Because football is a contact sport, the risk of injury is much higher than with other high school sports. Football requires a commitment on behalf of the parents and the child in terms of time and money. Some equipment must be purchased by the parents. When it comes to time, your child may spend several hours a day participating in football-related activities.

Where football is concerned, coaches take as many precautions as possible to keep their players safe. Student-athletes are provided with the equipment they need to stay safe and injury free. Athletes are also given the knowledge they need to play the game in a safe, but competitive manner.

 

If An Injury Occurs

When your child plays football, there will always be a risk of injury. Even if every precaution is taken, a sprained ankle or hyper-flexed knee, can sideline your child and take them out of the game. It’s important that you make sure injuries received on the field are evaluated by your doctor in a timely fashion. This allows your child to get the care they need and return to the game in the shortest amount of time as possible. Don’t have a doctor? Contact us at BackFit!

Why Are There So Many Different Types of Doctors?

Types of Doctors

In the medical field, there are as many different types of doctors as there are ailments. Choosing the right doctor can be a challenge, especially if you aren’t really sure what is wrong with you. Making an appointment with your primary care physician or chiropractor is a good place to start.

 

Do You Need A Doctor?

When you start to feel under the weather or have experienced an injury, you need to make a choice between visiting your doctor and trying to treat yourself at home. If you have the symptoms of a cold and it doesn’t get better over the next few days, odds are you should make an appointment with your doctor to make sure it’s nothing serious. The same is true with a minor injury.  Monitor the injury for a few days and if it doesn’t improve or the swelling worsens and your mobility decreases, contact your doctor and schedule an appointment.

 

What Type of Doctor Do You Need?

There are several types of doctors that are available to help you if you need medical treatment. A few of the different types of doctors include:

  • General or primary care doctors – It can be hard to describe what a primary care doctor is because they can cover such a broad range of symptoms. General or primary care doctors work with people of all ages and provide a more generalized form of care. They treat many of the most common illnesses, including colds, influenza, minor injuries, and allergies.
  • Chiropractors – There are many reasons to try chiropractic care. Chiropractors offer specialized care for the musculoskeletal system, as well as other parts of the body. They work with physical therapists, massage therapists, and provide a level of holistic care that other doctors may not be able to.
  • Sports doctors – Sports doctors work mainly with injuries that are sports-related or are similar to those that would be experienced by an athlete. They also work with massage therapists and physical therapists to make sure their patient is able to regain their strength and as much range of motion as possible.
  • Gastroenterologists – Gastroenterologists work with the digestive tract and can treat many conditions that are related to diet and the lack of proper nutrition. They are able to maximize the efficiency of the gastrointestinal tract so the body receives the nutrients it needs to function properly.

 

When Should You Seek Treatment?

So how do you know when you should seek medical treatment? Anytime you have concerns about your health or the extent of an injury, call your doctor and schedule an appointment. There are times when even a minor illness can turn into something more serious. A fever that lasts longer than 48 hours is nothing to sneeze at. An injury that doesn’t start to improve after the first two or three days needs to be looked at by a medical professional.

 

Never take chances with your health. If you are unsure of what type of doctor you need to see, start with a general practitioner or a chiropractor. They can give you the answers you need and guide you in the right direction. The doctors are out there, it’s up to you to take the first step and find out what type of doctor will provide you with the treatment you need. Don’t know what you need?

Schedule a complimentary consultation with BackFit so we can figure it out together.

Will a Torn Knee Ligament Heal Itself?

Will A Torn Ligament Heal Itself?

A ligament is an extremely strong and resilient piece of tissue. It can be pulled and stretched without damage if properly conditioned. If it is overextended, however, it can tear causing extreme pain and inflammation, along with reduced mobility.

 

What Causes A Ligament To Tear?

Ligaments are made from strong connective tissues that are somewhat rigid but still flexible. Stretching a ligament often occurs when you pivot or overextend a joint. If a ligament is stretched to the point where a tear occurs, your healing time may be twice as long. Ligaments do not have the same blood supply as muscles or tendons meaning they can take much longer to heal.

 

Do You Need Treatment Or Not?

Minor injuries to ligaments my only require self-care, but any injury that affects your mobility or range of motion should be evaluated by a doctor.

  • Lack of blood flow to the injured area – Cartilage and ligaments are made of connective tissue. They contain very few blood vessels which limit their ability to receive the nutrients they need to heal.
  • Connective tissues can easily be re-injured – When a ligament is stretched, it can remain weak for several weeks, even months. As long as the injury is healing, it’s important to keep the joint as stable as possible to prevent re-injuring the area.
  • A complete tear may require surgery – A complete tear rarely heals itself. If your doctor identifies a complete tear, they may recommend arthroscopic surgery to repair the damage.

 

Treatment Options For Torn Ligaments

Minor ligament tears are characterized by intense pain, inflammation, and stiffness within the joint. If a tear is mild, self-care may be all that’s needed. Moderate tears may require the joint to be stabilized using a brace or wrap. Severe tears often require surgery in which the ligament is removed and replaced with a surrogate material. In some cases, stem cell therapy may speed up the healing process.

 

Extra Tips

After any type of surgical procedure, your healing will depend on the type of self-care you perform. This can mean using the R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method or attending physical therapy on a regular basis. It may also mean wearing a brace to make sure the joint remains stabilized at all times. Ligaments take longer to heal and although they may heal on their own with time, it’s best to seek medical attention to make sure the injured area heals correctly without a lot of excessive scarring.

 

With proper medical attention, you can also reduce your risk of re-injuring the area and prevent chronic pain from becoming a constant problem. If you feel you have an injury that requires medical attention, don’t take chances by letting it heal on its own. Visit your doctor to find out exactly what has happened. If a ligament is torn, the medical attention you receive will speed up the recovery process and ensure the injury heals as it should.

Don’t have a doctor? Try BackFit! See our complete list of locations here.

Food Sensitivity Blood Tests — Which One is Best?

Are There Different Types of Food Sensitivity Tests?

If you are experiencing symptoms of a food sensitivity but are not sure which food is causing your discomfort, it may be time for a food sensitivity test. These tests can take many forms and it may be difficult to discern which of the different types of food sensitivity tests is best for you.  If you are curious about how to test for food sensitivities, the following information will give you a good idea.

 

Elimination Diets

An elimination diet may be a good place to start if you think you may have a food sensitivity.  In order to do an elimination diet, you need to remove any possible offending foods and then reintroduce them one at a time. By only testing one food at a time, it is much easier to find out which foods are causing the uncomfortable symptoms.

Since it is difficult to truly eliminate common foods like gluten and dairy, it can take several weeks to identify just one sensitivity, especially if you are not 100% in control of the food you are eating. Gluten can be found in a wide variety of foods including breads, pastas and cereals, so it is important to check labels when buying snacks from the grocery store. It can also be found in places you wouldn’t expect, since wheat is often used as a thickening ingredient in many sauces, so be careful when going out to eat. It is also important to note that many gluten-free foods will become contaminated if they are fried in the same deep fryer as something containing gluten, like breaded chicken. And that’s just gluten. Dairy, egg and soy can also be tricky to eliminate. In order to use an elimination diet as a food sensitivity test, it is important to eliminate ALL foods that might be causing you problems. Need help eliminating foods? Check out our cooking ingredient substitution chart

Elimination diets are effective, but the time they take makes them inconvenient. They also limit the types of foods a person can eat making it difficult to plan meals or, in some cases, get the nutrients they need on a daily basis. While this type of test may work well for an adult or an infant, it may not be appropriate for children, especially if immediate results are needed.

 

Skin Prick Tests (Scratch tests)

Another common form of allergy test is the skin prick or scratch test where a small scratch is placed on the arm or back and a small drop of allergen is placed upon it. If the skin becomes red and irritated, you are allergic to the substance. Most of these tests are placed on the back to prevent cross-reactivity or contamination, although some testing can be done on the arm or forearm. Many skin prick tests can test for a full panel of foods at once.

While this type of test is extremely effective and offers visible results, the patient must lay still for very long periods of time and must have enough self control to keep themselves from scratching the test site. Depending on the number of allergens being tested, the process can take up to 90 minutes or longer to complete. This type of test would not be ideal for children.

 

Blood Tests

The final form of food sensitivity testing is a blood test. To perform this test, your doctor will draw blood from you and then send it to a lab to examine how your blood reacts to certain foods. When a food sensitivity is present, the results of the test will show elevated levels of IgG antibodies. These antibodies are produced when the body is reacting to an infection or what it perceives to be an infection. Immunoglobulin antibodies are also what is present in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. An autoimmune disorder causes the body’s immune system to attack healthy tissues in the body.

Blood tests are, by far, the easiest type of food sensitivity test since little to no effort is required from the patient. A single finger poke will produce enough blood to perform the test and only takes a few seconds to perform. Some labs can perform a full food panel test from a very small amount of blood. Unlike the skin prick or scratch test that can take 90 minutes or longer, this type of test is ideal for small children who may become restless or uncomfortable easily.

 

The symptoms of food sensitivities are often confused with Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other conditions that affect the gut. In order to determine if your symptoms are caused by food sensitivities or one of those diseases, it is important to weigh the pros and cons between the different types of food sensitivity testing and choose the test that is best for you. The key is to use appropriate testing methods that are both accurate and effective. 

 

Ready to get tested? Schedule a complimentary consultation today!

Seasonal Allergies and Food Sensitivities: Are They Related?

Are Food Sensitivities Affecting My Seasonal Allergies?

Are food sensitivities affecting my seasonal allergies? Yes, and no. Research has shown that at least one-third of those who suffer from seasonal allergies also have oral allergy syndrome (OAS). 

What is Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS)?

Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) is also called pollen-food syndrome, a name that describes the condition. It’s caused by allergens that your body recognizes because of the pollen and other proteins in foods such as raw vegetables, fruits and some tree nuts.

Surprisingly to some people, they find that they might be able to eat the same vegetables and fruits that bothered them when eaten raw if they are cooked. This is because the proteins in these foods are changed during the heating process and the body’s immune system doesn’t recognize the food any longer. The same is often true if the food is frozen or canned as well.

 

What are the Effects of Seasonal Allergies and Food Sensitivities?

While not every person who has seasonal allergies will also have food sensitivities, the food eaten is linked to a particular allergy. For example, if a person has an allergy to ragweed and they eat certain melons, including cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew, sunflower seeds, banana, sunflower seeds, cucumbers and zucchini.

There is no particular order or sequence in regards to OAS. An individual might have a reaction while eating only one food that then grows to include others at a later date. The opposite could also be true as well with a person only allergic to one or two foods within a category.

 

What are the Symptoms of OAS?

The symptoms of OAS are usually centered on one area and don’t spread beyond the mouth. Some symptoms include swelling of the tongue, lips, throat and mouth, itchy mouth and scratchy throat. Some people might also experience itchy ears. Treatment is often not necessary as symptoms typically disappear once the fruit or vegetable is removed from the mouth.

 

Treating Seasonal Allergies

Symptoms of both OAS and of  mild seasonal allergies can often be addressed with an antihistamine. Though these offer quick relief, they only tend to last for a few hours. An antihistamine is a good choice for people who get itchy skin, water and itchy eyes or hives when they are exposed to pollen. A daily medication like Claritin often has fewer side effects, but it has to be taken each day during the season. For symptoms that are more bothersome, a nasal corticosteroid can be used.

Prevention is important as well. Allergy sufferers should try to stay indoors on those days when pollen counts are elevated. Avoid those foods that are known to cause issues and reduce or eliminate processed foods, sugar and salt. They can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.

For the correct diagnosis, it’s important to visit a medical professional. In some cases, an allergist might be needed as well. While some people can be diagnosed through their history, others require allergy testing.

 

Ready to get tested? Schedule a complimentary food sensitivity consultation today.

Cooking Ingredient Substitution Chart

This Cooking Ingredient Substitution Chart Might Be Useful If You Have Food Sensitivities

A cooking ingredient substitution chart will help you cook nutritious meals that won’t cause stomach upset. You can make your own by doing a little research and finding foods that fit into your particular diet. But why make your own when you can use ours?

Food Sensitivity Basics

Food sensitivities are caused by a reaction within your digestive tract, unlike an allergy which is an immune response. A food sensitivity may be the result of your body not producing a specific enzyme, being sensitive to food additives and preservatives, or a reaction to medications or other pharmaceuticals or other chemicals. Reactions can range from bloating, intense pain, diarrhea, gas, and inflammation.

Common Foods and Their Replacements

There are many foods that are known to cause food sensitivity. Many have replacements that can be used in their place that won’t cause a reaction. A few of the most common include the following.

  • Dairy products – 1 cup of sour cream can be replaced with a cup of plain yogurt when a recipe calls for sour cream as a thickener. 1/2 cup of evaporated milk can be replaced with 1/2 cup of lactose-free milk and a small amount of granulated sugar. A 1/2 cup of butter can be replaced with a slightly less amount of margarine when an ingredient substitution is necessary. If you have questions about the differences between food allergies and food sensitivities, check here.
  • Sugar or artificial sweeteners – Stevia is a natural sweetener that is 70 times sweeter than regular table sugar. Honey can also be used. If you don’t mind your product being darker in color, you can swap 2/3 cup granulated sugar for 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses.
  • Eggs – If a person has a sensitivity to fresh eggs, powdered eggs can be used mixed with a small amount of boiling water. Some people are sensitive to the yolks, while others cannot tolerate the whites. Because powdered eggs are processed and (in some cases, divided into yolks and whiles, you may be able to use them as an alternative. For baking, you can create an egg substitute by combining one teaspoon baking powder with one tablespoon vinegar, and one tablespoon of water (or any other liquid). Always consult with your physician if you have any concerns.
  • Gluten – Foods that contain gluten can be replaced with other grains that do not. Rice, corn, potato, and soy can all be used to create breads and dough for pastries and other foods. Many children who are sensitive to gluten can consume rice and soy products, such as cereals and biscuits.

When you or your child is diagnosed with food sensitivities, the first thing you should do is to learn what foods are causing the concerns. Once you understand the cause, you can then find replacement foods to help keep their diet nutritious and full of flavor. Using ingredient substitutions can also help to prevent the symptoms of food sensitivities, while still being full of flavor and nutritional support. These substitutions can be easily made and prevent your child from losing weight if a food sensitivity is discovered.

Not sure if you have a food sensitivity? Schedule a complimentary food sensitivity consultation today!

Can You Develop a Food Sensitivity Later in Life?

Can You Develop a Food Intolerance Later in Life?

The answer to the above question is a resounding yes! Though scientists aren’t sure why some adults develop an intolerance to a food that they used to ingest without an issue. In other cases, an adult may have had a food allergy as a child and outgrown it. Later in life, that intolerance could reappear.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology stated that up to four percent of adults are impacted by food allergies. Furthermore, they also noted that symptoms of a food sensitivity can happen at any age. It’s also possible to suddenly become intolerant of a food that you’ve been eating all your life.

Your Immune System

It’s important to note here that there’s a difference between food sensitivities and a food allergy. The first one usually causes discomfort but not severe symptoms. A food allergy, however, can lead to symptoms that are severe enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room and can even be life-threatening. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimated that about 30,000 people in the United States head to the emergency room for treatment for food allergies while approximately 200 people die.

To make things even more challenging, some people might find that their bodies have an immune reaction because of things that you breathe in like tree pollen. If you have such an allergy, it’s more likely that you’ll develop a reaction to other tree products as well such as tree nuts, fruits or vegetable.

Symptoms of a Food Intolerance or Allergy

An allergic reaction is nearly always quick, happening within just a few minutes after eating. If you have an intolerance to a particular food, you’re likely to have gas or bloating after eating the offending food. A food allergy, however, can cause more severe symptoms like coughing, hives, rash, vomiting, swelling of the tongue and lips, itchiness and shortness of breath. In the most severe cases, you could go into anaphylactic shock which is a life-threatening reaction. If your throat begins to tighten or you experience other severe symptoms, it’s important to go to the nearest emergency room immediately and without delay.

If you have any kind of unusual reaction after eating, it’s important to try to figure out what you’re allergic to. Instead, after receiving emergency care, if necessary, make an appointment to see your regular doctor.

Allergy or Aging Symptom?

It possible that an allergy could result in symptoms that you might otherwise associate with getting older. Though it depends on the particular person, symptoms like fatigue and sore muscles can actually be the body’s reaction to an allergen.

One common food allergy symptom is fatigue that’s caused by inflammation in the sinus cavity. Another is muscle soreness due to the increased levels of histamine throughout your body. Although you probably think that soreness and fatigue are inevitable as you age, it’s a good idea to speak to a doctor about your symptoms to rule out any other potential causes.

Think you may have a food sensitivity? Find out for sure at BackFit. We can do a full panel of sensitivity testing with just a finger prick!

Do You Know the Difference? Food Sensitivity Vs. Allergy

Food Sensitivity Vs. Allergy — What Exactly Are the Differences?

While many foods might not agree with different people, there are some major differences between food sensitivities and food allergies. The more you know about a food sensitivity vs allergy, the better informed decisions you can make about seeking help for your condition. You’ll also better understand how to get it treated.

 

What is a Food Sensitivity?

A food sensitivity is typically a digestive response to the foods you eat. It represents an intolerance to certain foods. Many people are sensitive to a variety of offending food choices including:

  • Dairy products (Often in the form of lactose intolerance)
  • Eggs
  • Shellfish
  • Wheat

These sensitivities do not produce an anaphylactic response, which is the primary indication of an allergic reaction. An anaphylactic is a severe reaction that must be treated right away. 

 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Food Sensitivity?

When the sensitivities of food intolerances manifest themselves, they present primarily as stomach upsets or other digestive problems. The odds are good that it’s a food sensitivity issues rather than an allergic reaction to food if it upsets your stomach. Symptoms may include:

  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Nausea

The symptoms of a food sensitivity, while uncomfortable, are not usually life threatening.

 

What is a Food Allergy?

A food allergy can be a life-threatening condition. It is an anaphylactic reaction that involves the immune system in a reaction to food. The following items are among the most common foods to trigger an allergic reaction among the general population:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans

People who have Celiac disease have the unique misfortune of often experiencing both allergic reaction symptoms and digestive symptoms indicative of food sensitivities. About four percent of adults and five percent of children in the U.S. have a food allergy,  according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Food Allergy?

When it comes to food allergies, symptoms may vary from person to person. They typically include one or more of the following:

  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling in the mouth

In severe instances, a food allergy can lead to death. If someone is experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction to food, it is best to seek medical help right away, especially if swelling affects the airways or the person is having difficulty breathing. This is the case even if they’ve never experienced a severe reaction before.

 

Is It Possible to Develop a Food Allergy and a Food Sensitivity Later in Life?

According to Mayo Clinic, most food allergies manifest during childhood, though they may develop at any time in life. Some adults develop allergies to foods they’ve consumed their entire lives without adverse reactions. Some children will outgrow food allergies over time.

Food intolerances or sensitivities are much the same with some people developing sudden intolerances later in life. Sometimes, it’s the result of an unhealthy diet. Other times, it may be a medical condition that brings it on. Your body’s response to stress or anxiety might be a culprit. Lastly, having a family history of food allergies or food sensitivities may be the causal factor.

One other possible explanation is that some people don’t even realize they have food sensitivities until they’ve taken a break from eating certain foods for a while, and then resume eating them. Not sure how to cut out certain foods? Check out our cooking ingredient substitution chart. 

 

Whether you suffer from a food sensitivity or life-threatening food allergies, it’s important to learn more about the foods you consume. You should know the role they play in your overall health and wellbeing. Not sure which foods you’re reacting to? schedule a complimentary food sensitivity consultation today! 

What Are The Common Food Sensitivity Symptoms in Children?

Food Sensitivity Symptoms

Allergic reactions to food tend to jump out at you and be easy to spot. Sensitivities, though, escalate over time and are much harder to pinpoint. It’s easy to get the two confused, too. (Want a more in depth comparison, read this.) Food sensitivities are subtle but just as unpleasant and dangerous. Understanding the symptoms can help parents spot common food intolerances in kids.

Food Allergy vs Food Sensitivity

An allergy means there is an immune system response to the food causing inflammation like hives or skin rashes and even difficulty breathing. Food sensitivities have no immune system response, so the symptoms appear over time. They also may not happen every time a child eats that food.

Lactose intolerance, for example, is a sensitivity to milk and other kinds of dairy. Children who are lactose intolerant can sometimes ingest some milk without having a reaction. Why? This particular sensitivity is the result of a missing enzyme, one that allows them to fully lactose. A little bit of milk not completely broken down doesn’t cause a severe enough reaction for you to notice.

Food allergies can be immediately life-threatening. Food sensitivities, on the other hand, take longer to resolve and may cause problems over time like damage to the intestines. Both food allergies and sensitivities require your child to avoid eating certain foods like milk, peanuts, soy or wheat to avoid getting the symptoms.

It is not always easy to tell what food is causing the reaction, though. Many parents use an elimination diet to see what foods might be lead to symptoms that indicate a sensitivity. The key to making that work is being able to identify the symptoms.

Common Food Sensitivity Symptoms in Children

The symptoms of a food sensitivity vary based on what’s causing it, but there are some common factors to consider. The most obvious is a stomach ache. Food intolerances mean your child has trouble digesting something and that leaves them with an upset stomach and other digestive issues like:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Irritable bowels
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Failure to thrive

The symptoms don’t stop there, though. Kids with food sensitivities can also develop behavioral problems and developmental issues like:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • ADHD or difficulty focusing
  • Bed wetting

Some reactions mimic a food allergy by producing symptoms like:

  • Skin irritations
  • Hives
  • Fatigue
  • Joint and muscle pain

The variety of symptoms make figuring out if your child is sensitive to food a bit of a guessing game. Once you do identify the trigger food causing the reaction, there are things you can do to help them adjust.

 

Learning to Live with Food Sensitivities

If your child has dietary limitations, it can be hard for them. Finding ways to help them cope will make the transition easier. For example:

  • Get your child involved in finding out what food is causing the problem. Make a game out of the elimination diet so it’s fun.
  • Make sure the whole family all eats the same foods.
  • Look for new, fun recipes to support the diet change.
  • Educate teachers and caregivers, so they are aware of the sensitivity, too. This way there is no accidental exposure to a trigger food.

Food sensitivities are not fun no matter what your age. For kids, though, it’s a real blow to find out you are different in any way. Figuring out what is causing the symptoms is the first step in making food sensitivities easier for kids.

 

Ready to get tested? Schedule a complimentary food sensitivity consultation today! At BackFit Health, we can do an entire food panel with just a finger prick.

 

Source

https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/g20442112/do-you-have-a-food-sensitivity/?slide=5

https://www.amymyersmd.com/2014/05/10-signs-your-child-has-a-food-sensitivity-and-what-to-do-about-it/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/expert-answers/food-allergy/faq-20058538

Best Ways to Stay Active This Summer

Summer is here and it’s the perfect time of year to get outdoors and have some fun. The sun is warm and the days are longer, but you don’t want to make the mistake of simply laying around the pool or on the beach. If you’re trying to lose weight or simply trying to improve your fitness, moving more is important and summer is the perfect time to do it. Here are some of the best things you can do to make sure you stay active this summer to reach your fitness goals.

Start Tracking Your Steps

Staying active to maintain or lose weight this summer isn’t just about building in 30 minutes of exercise every day – it’s also about finding small ways to be active throughout your day. Whether it’s taking the stairs, walking around your office during lunch, or parking further from the store, find ways to move more this summer. Tracking your steps can help you make sure you’re getting enough physical activity. Aim for at least 10,000 steps a day.

Remember That Housework and Chores Count

Doing housework and both indoor and outdoor chores burn calories too. Whether you’re mopping floors, gardening, or washing your vehicles, you’re getting active, which is essential for weight loss. Plan some active chores into your day regularly to boost your activity level this summer.

Take Your Exercise Routine Outdoors

During the winter months it’s often tougher to do things outdoors, so make sure that you take advantage of the warm days of summer and take your exercise routine outdoors. Nearly any type of home workout can be moved outdoors. If you love yoga, head to a park or in your backyard with your yoga mat. If you normally walk on a treadmill, do some brisk walking on local trails or simply around your neighborhood. Even strength building routines can be taken outdoors. Simply use bodyweight exercises and build muscle anywhere while you’re outdoors.

Stay Active with Some Group Activities

Group activities offer a great way to stay active during the summer. They’re not only a lot of fun, but they keep you accountable. Join a volleyball league, meet friends at a tennis court, or plan weekend hiking trips with a group of buddies. Even a great game of pick-up on the basketball court will get everyone moving and burning calories. Another benefit – not only does exercise help control your blood pressure, but time socializing with friends helps lower blood pressure, too.

Skip the Food Festivals for a Fitness Festival

Food festivals and music festivals are all big events in the summer months. Hit too many food festivals and it’s easy to tank up on more good food than you need. To add more activity to your summer, skip those food festivals and try a fitness festival instead. Outdoor bootcamps, yoga festivals, and surfing festivals abound during the summer, so head to one and enjoy getting active while you enjoy the festival spirit.

How Do Sports Affect Our Bodies Long Term

Kids who start playing sports at a young age get into the habit of exercising on a regular basis. This alone, offers long-term benefits as long as they continue on with the habit after their athletic years are over. Many young athletes receive injuries during participation in contact sports. Meniscus tears, ligament injuries, strains, and sprains are common. Most don’t have long-term effects if they are promptly treated and the athlete allows ample recovery time.

The Benefits Of Playing Sports

Playing sports at any age offers benefits if proper care is taken not to sustain an injury. Regular athletic activity improves cardiovascular health and helps the body maintain both flexibility and range of motion. The longer you actually participate in regular athletic activity, the healthier your body is. Regular exercise boosts the immune system and also improves your mental outlook. The competitive nature of sports keeps your mind sharp, allowing you to think more clearly.

Long-Term Effects

The more years you play, the longer your benefits will last. Participating in an athletic activity will prevent both muscle and bone loss as you age. If you experience sports-related injuries, your recovery time is much shorter if you’ve played for several years and your body is in top shape. Repeated injuries from overuse and taking too many chances, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect. If you want to reap the rewards of playing sports, the key is to take care of yourself during those years. The healthier you are when you leave the field, the longer the benefits will last.

Preventing Injuries

If you are a seasoned athlete who has played for many years, you know firsthand how important it is to stay in the best shape possible. This means taking care of your body, getting enough rest, and never pushing yourself so hard you end up with a serious injury. Know your body. Accept your limits and play within those parameters. Avoiding injury is the key to maintaining the health benefits of exercise for as long as possible.

Whether you play a contact sport or a less competitive one, the key is minimizing your risk of injury while staying as healthy as possible at all times. Accomplish those two things and you will reap the benefits of playing sports for many years to come. Choose a sport, have fun, and always take care of yourself in the process.

What Is Osteoarthritis: Symptoms and Treatments

There are many forms of arthritis that can cause pain and swelling in the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA) are the two most common types. As the joint begins to deteriorate, the ends of the bones can start to rub together causing intense pain and stiffness. Over time, the chronic pain can become debilitating and have an adverse effect on your overall quality of life and ability to care for yourself.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, and is most commonly caused by joint damage that is the result of an injury or deterioration of the bone due to a chronic health condition. A joint injury can limit your range of motion, allowing scar to tissue to form. Athletes are at an increased risk for developing osteoarthritis and bone spurs due to the excessive wear and tear on their joints. As the condition progresses, osteoarthritis pain can become so severe that it affects your flexibility and your ability to move freely.

Symptoms

There are several symptoms associated with osteoarthritis including:

  • Pain that ranges from dull and throbbing to intense and sharp
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Inflammation
  • Stiffness
  • Grating or sandy feeling within the joint
  • Reduced flexibility

Pain is often more severe at night or after a long period of immobility.

Treatment Options

Osteoarthritis can’t be cured, but the pain and discomfort associated with it can be effectively managed. Over the counter pain medications can relieve pain and discomfort and minimize the inflammation. Simple lifestyle changes can also help to relieve pain and slow down the progression of the disease.  If you’re overweight, weight loss and regular exercise can also help to reduce pain and help you to remain active. Reducing your risk factors by eating a healthy diet and getting adequate rest is also recommended.

Who Is At Risk?

Individuals with osteoporosis and degenerative bone conditions are also at an increased risk for developing osteoarthritis. Having a family history of arthritis of any kind can also increase your risk. Individuals who are overweight may develop osteoarthritis over time simply because of the increased stress and strain on their joints.

Even though you have risk factors that make osteoarthritis a possibility, you can protect yourself to a degree by eating a healthy diet, managing your weight, and exercising on a regular basis. If you’re athletically inclined use braces and wraps to support and protect your joints. Make sure to get adequate amounts of rest and use supplements to ensure you get enough calcium and other nutrients to support good bone health.

What is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine is a term you hear a lot these days because it is cutting-edge science that is advancing quickly and offering hope to many. Regenerative medicine involves evidence-based treatment modalities that heal damaged tissue but how does it work?

What is Regenerative Medicine?

Chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, diabetes and autoimmune diseases leave damaged joints, muscle and even organs in their wake. Regenerative medicine prompts the body to heal itself using advanced techniques like stem cell therapy. The goal is to stimulate tissue repair instead of just masking pain or slowing the progression of a disease. Although regenerative medicine is still an expanding field of study, it provides a natural healing process potentially more effective than most treatment options.

How Does Regenerative Medicine Work?

There are many different fields that fall under the umbrella term of regenerative medicine such as:

Tissue engineering and biomaterials

  • Cellular therapies
  • Medical devices
  • Artificial organs

It sounds very new-age but the truth is medical science has been using regenerative medicine for decades — organ and bone marrow transplants, bone grafting and skin transplantation. In fact, the first recorded transplant occurred centuries ago. Advancements in this science, however; have opened new avenues of research with improved patient outcomes. Many of these treatment plans use the patient’s own stem cells to promote healing and create a long-term solution for repair.

How are Stem Cells Used in Regenerative Medicine?

One of the more exciting fields of study uses stem cells — cells that are still developing and not yet assigned a type. In other words, these cells are blank templates that can differentiate into whatever is needed such as bone, muscle, skin and even nerve or brain cells. Stem cells are the heart of many types of regenerative medicine because they stimulate repair without the risk of rejection like you can see in transplant procedures.

In most treatments, the stem cell harvest comes directly from the patient, either from fat or skin, and then is changed in a lab to focus on the diseased area before being injected back into the body. The changed cells go to the injury site and treat it, making this a form of self-repair.

Even as the research continues for revolutionary fields like tissue engineering and stem cell therapy, the potential is clear. Regenerative medicine might be the answer to everything from cancer to spinal repair. It could potentially offer hope to those suffering from degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis and the joint damage done by osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also offer new approaches to treating chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Put simply, regenerative medicine means promise for those in need of hope.

If you want to learn more about regenerative medicine, give us a call to see if you qualify for this specialized treatment.

What Causes Osteoarthritis and Who Can Develop It

There are several different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis happens to be the most common type of arthritis. This type of arthritis occurs when there’s wear and tear on the protective cartilage on the ends of bones, and over time it wears down. This lets your bones rub together when you move. The friction that occurs when joints rub together can cause joint pain and stiffness, as well as inflammation, tenderness, and loss of flexibility. While osteoarthritis most common affects weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees, it can also affect the hands, spine, and other joints.

What Causes Osteoarthritis?

The actual cause of osteoarthritis is the wear and tear that occurs to the cartilage cushioning the ends of your bones. It deteriorates over time. This cartilage is a type of slippery, firm tissue that allows your joints to move smoothly. When this tissue wears away, you have a rough surface that makes it harder to move joints, or it can completely wear away. This can leave bones rubbing together, which can cause pain.

The Risk Factors

Certain factors can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis, including:

  • Obesity – Carrying around extra weight can increase your risk of osteoarthritis. When you weigh more, it puts more stress on your weight-bearing joints. Fat tissue can also produce proteins that can increase inflammation around the joints. Weight loss can reduce your risk.
  • Old Age – Your risk of this type of arthritis goes up as you age.
  • Previous Joint Injuries – If you’ve had previous joint injuries, such as sports injuries or accident injuries, you have a higher risk of osteoarthritis. Your risk is higher, even if it seems these injuries have healed.
  • Genetics – Different genetic traits can make you more likely to develop osteoarthritis as you age. If your parents had the disease, you have a higher risk of developing it yourself.
  • Gender – Studies show that women have a higher risk of developing this type of arthritis.
  • Certain Occupations – Certain occupations that require repetitive motions like kneeling, climbing stairs, squatting, or physical labor can increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Knees, hips, and hands are most commonly affected by osteoarthritis that’s occupation-related.
  • Other Health Conditions – Other health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, joint deformities, bone disorders, and some metabolic disorders can result in an increased risk of osteoarthritis.

Since osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, it grows worse over time. Osteoarthritis pain may become severe enough to make it difficult to complete everyday tasks. While there isn’t a cure, many different treatments are available to maintain mobility and relieve pain. Early treatment is essential and means you’ll spend more time enjoying life and less time living with pain.

5 Amazing Facts About Musculoskeletal Ultrasounds

Musculoskeletal ultrasounds can be effectively used in conjunction with MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) to help healthcare providers identify specific injuries associated with the joints and their components. This imaging technique shows the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and various other connective tissues throughout the body. By correctly identifying an injury, a doctor can create a personalized treatment plan that addresses each patient’s individual needs.

What Is Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?

A musculoskeletal ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the interior structures of the body. Much like an ultrasound that is used to show parents the face of their unborn child, an MSK ultrasound can show doctors the parts of the body that make up a shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, or other joint anywhere in the body. It produces pictures of both the soft tissues as well as the harder, more durable tissues, such as bone and cartilage.

Can Effectively Help Doctors Diagnose Joint Injuries

An MSK or diagnostic ultrasound can show damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It can be especially helpful when diagnosing injuries to the Achilles tendon or locating a rotator cuff tear. By being able to look inside the soft tissues and through the connective tissue, your healthcare provider can identify even the smallest tears or breaks.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasounds Are Painless and Non-invasive

MSK ultrasounds are one of many imaging modalities that are non-invasive and virtually painless. There are no incisions to be made and no injections are needed to numb or prepare the area for the procedure.

An MSK Ultrasound Can Detect Fluid Buildup And Blood Within the Joint

Because an MSK ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce the pictures, these imaging tests can show both blood flow and fluid buildup in and around the affected joint.

An MSK Ultrasound Provides A Better Image Than An X-ray

An MSK ultrasound produces a much better image with greater detail than a simple X-ray. The additional information this type of imaging test offers allows for a higher degree of accuracy when making a diagnosis.

Can Identify Nerve, Tendon, and Ligament Damage

While an X-ray mainly shows damage to the bones and connective tissues, an MSK ultrasound shows damage sustained by the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and even the fascia. It can also show varying degrees of nerve damage that may not otherwise be detected. When combined with an MRI, an MSK ultrasound shows a complete and accurate view of the injury.

Musculoskeletal ultrasounds are effective tools in terms of giving doctors the tools they need to accurately diagnose joint injuries. They provide valuable information that may not have been uncovered without a laparoscopic procedure. Using this type of imaging and diagnostic tool gives doctors an advantage and allows them to offer their patients the best treatment options possible.

Is Chronic Knee Pain Keeping Your From Your Weight Loss Journey

Chronic knee pain can limit your mobility making it difficult to remain active, exercise regularly, or even lose weight.

Chronic knee pain can cause you to lead a more sedentary lifestyle, resulting in a vicious circle of decreased activity, weight gain, and increased pain and discomfort. Chronic knee pain has many causes, but it can be effectively treated allowing you to get yourself back on track.

Common Causes of Chronic Knee Pain

There are many things that can contribute to the cause of chronic knee pain. A knee injury, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, degenerative bone disease, and the wear and tear of aging are all contributors. A torn anterior cruciate ligament or patellar tendon can occur during a slip and fall accident. These kinds of injuries take time to heal and can lead to further, long-term complications if not treated immediately.

How Chronic Knee Pain Reduces Quality of Life

Chronic knee pain can make it difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time. For someone who is otherwise active, this can dramatically reduce their quality of life. If the pain isn’t addressed, the person may become more sedentary leading to stiff joints that may contribute to the vicious cycle. Inactivity can lead to even more stiffness and inflammation that will increase the level of their pain. This can eventually lead to weight gain and further complications with the knees and other joints.

Chronic Knee Pain and Exercise

Remaining active through regular exercise will actually help to keep chronic pain under control. The more a person moves and keeps their joints flexible, the more blood flow the area will receive. Improving circulation means that the damaged areas will get the oxygen and nutrients they need to heal. With additional treatment to address the cause of the chronic pain, the person will be able to continue to remain active. Swimming and regular exercise will prevent weight gain and keep the joints from being stiff and painful.

Treatments for Chronic Knee Pain

Knee replacement procedures may be an option for chronic knee pain, but they are accompanied by a risk of infection. If a person wants to put off major surgery, they can treat their chronic pain with ice compresses, anti-inflammatory/pain medication, and regular exercise trying to remain as active as possible. Physical therapy is a preferred option. At Backfit Health + Spine, we offer many therapeutic treatments at our very own Treatment Center.

Chronic knee pain can be debilitating. Identifying the cause of the pain and treating the condition accordingly will allow the person to remain active. This will help them to maintain an ideal weight and improve their quality of life. Schedule your consultation today.

How Food Sensitivity Can Affect Weight Loss

Food sensitivities can disrupt the efficiency of your digestive tract making weight loss a never-ending struggle.

In the United States, obesity has become a major health concern. It can be difficult to lose the weight once it becomes a problem. One of the things that many people are looking into is the connection between food sensitivities and excessive weight gain.

The production of Immunoglobulin E, or IgE antibodies during an allergic reaction have been found to cause inflammation. When associated with food sensitivities, this can result in a disruption of the digestive tract. Gas bloating, stomach cramps, and celiac disease are common.

What is Food Sensitivity?

Food sensitivity, or a food allergy, can be caused by eating certain foods or because of changes in the body brought on by medications or illnesses. A food allergy such as lactose intolerance can begin to occur over time or if someone dramatically changes their diet.

Offending foods, also known as trigger foods, can cause inflammation throughout the digestive tract, minimizing its efficiency and making weight loss almost impossible. Food additives that are commonly found in processed foods can lead to brain fog, joint pain, flatulence, bloating, and the inability to fully digest foods and utilize the nutrients.

Symptoms of Food Sensitivities

Food intolerances and sensitivities are commonly diagnosed by the symptoms they produce. A short list of symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Hives
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Anaphylaxis (This is a life-threatening allergic reaction in which a person’s airway begins to swell shut.)

Identifying the foods that cause these types of reactions is essential. If a food sensitivity is noticed, it’s important to notify a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

How Food Sensitivities Affect Weight Loss

Food sensitivities cause inflammation throughout the digestive tract. When the digestive tract is disturbed in any way, it becomes less efficient. While the calories are easily absorbed, the nutrients may be lost before they can be utilized. This means an excessive amount of calories are taken, but the body doesn’t get the nutrition it needs to create energy and maintain a balanced metabolism.

People who are trying to lose weight but struggling to lose even a few pounds should talk to their healthcare professional about the possibility of food sensitivities. Many people have them, but their symptoms are so mild, they ignore the possibility. If a food sensitivity is discovered, avoiding those foods will reduce the inflammation and help to get your digestive tract back on the right path. Creating a healthier, personalized diet may be just what they need to begin their weight loss journey.

Get in touch with Backfit Health + Spine, our food sensitivity intolerance testing services can help determine what foods you may be intolerant to and set you on the road to better health in no time.

How Athletic Injuries Impact Your Body, Even Years Later

Playing any sport, from baseball to football, comes with a high physical demand that can put you at risk for experiencing athletic injuries. Along with the injury comes the frustration of downtime and rehabilitation to get back to the sport you love. However, you may not be thinking about how your injuries are going to affect you later in life. Many common sports injuries can have long-term impacts on your body, even long after the injury has healed.

Common Sports Injuries

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, injuries are very common. Some of the most common injuries experienced by athletes include:

  • Strains and Sprains (groin pull/sprain, sprained ankle, hamstring strain, hip flexor strain)s
  • Patellofemoral Syndromes
  • Concussions
  • ACL Tears
  • Shoulder Injuries (dislocations, sprains and strains, misalignments, ligament tears)s
  • Tennis Elbows
  • Stress Fractures
  • Shin Splints

What Happens if You Don’t Get Sports Injuries Treated

Torn ligaments and cartilage are very common injuries for athletes, and unfortunately, these injuries increase the likelihood that athletes will deal with arthritis as they grow older. When protective cartilage cushioning the bones and joints wear down, bones can rub together, causing arthritis. This results in difficulty moving the joint, swelling, and pain. An ACL tear or other ligament tears can increase the stress on joints, resulting in the earlier onset of arthritis.

Treatments for Athletic Injuries

For common, mild sports injuries, the PRICE method of treatment can help you begin healing faster. This method includes:

PProtect – Make sure you protect yourself from further injury by keeping the injured area protected by a pad, crutch, or splint.
RRestrict – Activity needs to be restricted to keep the injury from getting worse.
IIce – Apply ice right away. It works as an anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and inflammation.
CCompression – Using an elastic bandage for compression can reduce the swelling.
EElevation – Keeping the injury elevated above your heart can also reduce the swelling.

While the PRICE method is a great option for common, mild injuries, serious injuries need proper treatment. If you suspect an injury, make sure you’re evaluated by a medical professional. More serious injuries may require treatments like physical therapy, therapeutic treatments, or even surgery if the injury is severe.

Sports injuries don’t just impact your body today – they have the potential to impact your body for life. Make sure you get the best possible treatment immediately to reduce the long-term consequences of athletic injuries. Contact our team at Backfit Health + Spine to schedule your complimentary injury assessment and get back to your healthy self.

4 Best Exercises To Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles

The muscles that form the pelvic floor serve many purposes. They are responsible for supporting the internal organs and help facilitate bowel movements and the voiding of urine. During pregnancy, the pelvic floor also supports the uterus. The pelvic floor, or diaphragm, works much like the diaphragm that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity. Over time, the muscles that form this partition can become weak. This can lead to several conditions such as incontinence, prolapsed bladder, prolapsed uterus, and blockages of the large intestine.

Benefits of Having a Strong Pelvic Floor

Keeping the pelvic floor strong and well-toned helps to hold the organs located in the abdominal cavity in place so they can function more efficiently. If the bladder begins to prolapse or the muscles that hold it in place start to weaken, it can lead to involuntary incontinence or bladder leakage. Using exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles can reduce your risk of these types of health conditions.

Exercises to Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles

There are many exercises you can do to strengthen and tone the muscles of your pelvic floor. Four of the best are:

Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises are performed by sitting in a chair with your knees bent and gently rolling your hips forward and then back (can be performed almost anywhere).

Squats

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and move to a squat position and then back up. Add weights to your hands to create more resistance, resulting in stronger muscles. Start with five pounds.

Butt Bridge

Lay flat on your back with your knees bent, lift your hips into the air while clenching your glute muscles

Split Tabletop

Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and calves parallel to the floor, keeping your knees bent spread your legs as far as they can go and bring them back to center

Excess weight and multiple pregnancies can lead to the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. Performing these exercises on a daily basis will result in a strong, well-toned pelvic floor. It will also reduce your risk of many of the complications that result from these muscles losing their strength. Pelvic floor muscles only take a few minutes out of your day and can help you maintain a higher quality of life without the fear of incontinence.

How To Manage Lower Back Pain In Men

Chronic low back pain can be debilitating and have a negative impact on a man’s quality of life. For as uncomfortable as back pain can be, there are several treatment options that can be used to minimize pain and inflammation that is often associated with injury and disease.

In order to make sure you receive the best care possible, imaging tests and bone scans are sometimes used to help healthcare professionals make an accurate diagnosis. Once an accurate diagnosis has been reached, a detailed treatment plan can be created that controls pain and discomfort while putting you back on the road to recovery.

Causes of Lower Back Pain in Men

Health conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and herniated discs are common causes of back pain. Long-term pain located in the lumbar portion of the spine can also be caused by heavy lifting, high levels of stress, sitting at a desk for several hours a day, poor posture.

Lifting lighter loads and taking time to relax every day are two ways to minimize low back pain. When it comes to the physical aspect of symptoms, exercising regularly and remembering to sit up straight instead of slouching are also beneficial. Take things slow and try not to overwhelm yourself with activity. Give your body a chance to rest between activities.

Lower Back Pain Treatment Options

While reducing your risk factors is one way to help relieve your pain and discomfort, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and deep tissue massage can also help. A chiropractic adjustment and massage therapy session compliment one another. While the adjustment returns the bones and muscles to their original position, massage therapy works the soft tissues, increasing strength and improving circulation to the area. Physical therapy introduces exercises and stretches to maintain flexibility and improve range of motion. Aquatic therapy is often used to help the body regain strength without putting an excessive amount of pressure on the injured or affected area.

Both men and women suffer from chronic, long-term lower back pain. Men, often-times, will try to work through the pain and may actually make their condition or injury worse. It’s important that once a diagnosis is in place, that you always follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to reducing your level of activity and performing exercises that will not aggravate the injury. It’s also vital that you maintain your physical therapy appointments as scheduled and continue to receive your chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy as directed by your chiropractor.

Schedule your appointment with Backfit Health + Spine today and receive a complimentary consultation with our chiropractic team.

10 Weight Loss Secrets to Help Your Summer Slim Down

Summer will be here soon, and it’s the perfect time to think about getting your body in the best shape possible. It’s not all about looking great on the beach. You also want to feel like your best self as you take on summer fun. While it will take a bit of work and determination, you can take off a few pounds so you feel your best this summer.

Here Are Our Best Weight Loss Secrets

Losing weight doesn’t have to be hard. It’s all about putting together a lot of small changes to see big results. Here are some of the best weight loss secrets that can help you slim down for summer.

1. Drink Plenty of Water

You probably know that you need to skip the sugary sodas and coffee drinks that are packed with calories and sugar. However, it’s also about what you are drinking. It’s important to drink plenty of water every day. Drinking plenty of water keeps you hydrated and helps keep you feeling full. It’s also important for flushing out fat. Consider adding lemon and other fruit to your water to enhance taste.

2. Eat Slowly and Pay Attention to Feelings of Fullness

Start savoring your food and eating slowly. You’ll quickly find that you eat less at meals. Pay attention to feelings of fullness too. When you feel full, stop eating. You’ll cut calories big time by simply slowing down, enjoying your food, and stopping when you’re full.

3. Have Healthy Snacks on Hand

You can snack and still lose weight – you just have to choose healthy snacks. When you feel hungry and you need a quick pick-me-up, you’ll grab whatever is handy. Make sure you have healthy snacks handy so you make healthy snack choices.

4. Consider Food Sensitivity Testing

If you have food allergies or sensitivities, eating those foods could keep your body from losing weight. If you’re trying to eat right and the scale won’t budge, consider food sensitivity testing. Some food allergies and sensitivities can cause weight gain and other problems. Testing can help you learn which foods you need to eliminate to see results.

5. Exercise Smarter Not More

You don’t have to log hour-long cardio sessions to see results. You’re busy, so try exercising smarter. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) takes less time but significantly increases your calorie burn to help you torch fat.

6. Add Strength Training

Don’t shy away from strength training. Building muscle helps increase your metabolism and it also helps you achieve that toned, sleek look that you want when you hit the beach this summer.

7. Figure Out Where Extra Calories are Coming From

Sometimes it’s the small extras that are sabotaging your weight loss. Peanut butter, mayonnaise, and other condiments can add big calories. When you’re tracking calories, make sure you’re tracking everything – even the small things.

8. Log Plenty of Sleep

Start skimping on sleep and you’re more likely to make poor food choices. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to reach for simple carbs for a quick boost. Start sleeping more and you’ll see results around your middle.

9. Taste the Rainbow

Eating right shouldn’t be boring. Aim to eat fruits and veggies of all colors. Eating a rainbow of colors ensures you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients that are important to the way your body functions.

10. Allow Yourself a Treat

You’re working hard to lose weight, but you need to allow yourself a treat from time to time. If you never let yourself indulge, it’ll be tougher to stick with your healthy eating plan. Enjoy a treat, but don’t overdo it. You’ll be more likely to stay with your diet when you give yourself a little leeway now and then.

Our weight loss approach focuses on long-term changes, rather than a “quick fix” diet that starves the body. Many weight loss programs fail because these programs focus only on instant results, rather than helping patients make the permanent lifestyle changes necessary to maintain their weight loss for years to come. Contact our team today to schedule your complimentary weight loss consultation.

Consider Massage Therapy To Improve Mental Health

To be fully healthy, your body and mind must be in balance. In today’s stressful world, this can be difficult. Massage therapy is just one way to reconnect the mind with the body and begin the process of restoring balance. The improved circulation provides oxygen and nutrients to the brain, while fueling the muscles and keeping the soft tissues pliable. By keeping the body moving and active, the brain receives the stimulation it needs to function more efficiently.

What Is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is the manual manipulation of the soft tissues of the body. It involves the movement of the joints and the stimulation of the circulatory system. Massaging the soft tissues flushes toxins from the body, increases range of motion, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, and allows you to remain flexible. Deep tissue massage strengthens the muscles and connective tissues and relieves muscle tension. The body is given the opportunity to relax and the mind soon follows.

Reduce Stress

Swedish massage techniques are soft and smooth. They gently relax the body, encouraging you to be calm and let go of the stress that has built up throughout the day. As the mind becomes more overwhelmed, the muscles begin to tighten resulting in headaches, stiffness in the neck and inflammation in the joint.

The more stress a person feels, the tighter their muscles become. The muscle tension can become so bad you may be prescribed muscle relaxants to help relieve your pain and discomfort. This can result in even more health conditions that require medication. Medications can have side effects. When you visit a massage therapist, ask what type of massage will work best to reduce your stress and calm your mind.

Relax the Body and Mind

Clinical trials have shown that massage therapists who use sports massage and other massage therapy techniques can effectively reduce pain, relax the body and calm the mind. As the tenseness begins to leave the muscles, the person’s mind will begin to relax as well. The benefits of therapeutic touch extend far beyond simple massage. It has been proven that touch can ease the mind and allow a person to feel more relaxed and at ease.

Mental Clarity and Improved Focus

When the body is free from pain and discomfort, the mind is able to function more efficiently. This improves mental clarity and focus. Massage therapy restores balance to both the body and the mind, allowing them to function together. Massage therapy’s ability to increase circulation provides the brain with additional oxygen making it easier to process information and respond more quickly during times of stress.

Healthcare practitioners and massage therapists are learning the importance of balance between all aspects of the body. The body functions more efficiently and the person is able to think more clearly and respond to situations with clarity and focus. Our team of professional and experienced massage therapists want to help you relax both your body and mind. Contact us today to schedule your massage appointment!

Healthy Ways To Lose Weight: They Do Exist!

Are you one of the many people in Phoenix who has tried to lose weight and found that success is simply elusive? Perhaps you tried the starvation diet that involved you skipping meals only to find yourself gorging on food later that night because your hunger was so overwhelming. Or maybe you attempted to cut out entire food groups but you found yourself fantasizing about eating exactly what you were depriving yourself of so often that you were miserable. In spite of what you might believe, there are healthy ways to lose weight.

Healthy Ways to Lose Weight

It’s important to remember that these are not always methods of losing weight quickly. Just like the weight appeared over time, so it might also take time to disappear. In fact, it’s much healthier to gradually lose weight than to quickly drop a great deal only to gain it back in just a short time.

If you’re trying to lose weight, keep in mind that you need to burn more calories — preferably by upping your physical activity — and you’ll be well on your way to success. Some other weight loss tips that are easy to implement include the following:

Make Protein a Priority

Women need about 46 grams of protein a day while men need about 56. Because it takes the body more energy and time to digest protein, you feel full longer and burn calories too.

Eat Breakfast Every Day

Even though you’ve heard it a million times, there’s truth behind your mother’s urgings to eat a good breakfast. If you don’t, you’ll be more tempted by high-calorie foods later. Adding water to your morning routine is also a great way to kickstart your metabolism. A good tip to drinking more water would be to add flavored water into your day.

Aim For 30 Grams of Fiber Per Day

According to the results of an American Heart Association (AHA) study, one group was instructed to eat 30 grams of fiber a day while the other was placed on a diet with strict limits on the amounts of sugar, calories, and saturated fat were consumed. After three months, both groups not only lost weight but also improve their heart health.

Take Your Coffee Black

he American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that showed that a cup of coffee could jumpstart metabolism by 12 percent for the next three hours. But, be aware of those added flavored creamers, sugars, and milk. These coffee additions sneak up on calorie intake.

Add Exercise To Your Daily Routine

Adding exercise to your daily routine is the best way to enhance your weight loss journey. Whether it be a quick 15-minute walk or a two-hour gym session, every little bit of exercise helps and keeps you healthy.

Let Backfit Health + Spine partner with you on a healthy weight loss journey and see how good you feel and look.

Why You Should Be Cautious About Phoenix Allergies

Springtime in Phoenix means that allergy season has arrived. Given the climate in Phoenix, some allergens, such as pollen, pollution and dust, can be present all year round. Once spring arrives though, grass, weed, and tree pollination begin in full force. These — along with an increase in the pollen count — can cause a spike in the allergies experienced by people in the Phoenix area.

What’s Causing Your Phoenix Allergies?

If you suffer from allergies, you are undoubtedly familiar with the familiar symptoms that come along with them: runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, watery eyes, headaches, and more. What you might not be as clear about is exactly what you’re allergic to. Not surprisingly, the type of tree, grass, or weed that you’re allergic to can cause different symptoms that can help you narrow down the cause.

  • Ash: An ornamental tree that can grow quite large, the ash is commonly used throughout Phoenix as an ornamental. Not only is ash a very active pollinator itself, its pollen also cross-reacts with highly-allergenic olive pollen. If ash pollen is what you’re allergic to, chances are that you’ll experience symptoms such as sinus pain and breathing problems in addition to the common symptoms noted above.
  • Ragweed: Responsible for the most seasonal allergies, ragweed causes symptoms like swollen eyelids, hives, coughing, itchy ears, wheezing and an itchy throat in those people who are sensitive to the perennial weed.
  • Mesquite: A plant that’s well suited for the Phoenix climate because it requires little maintenance or water, mesquite nevertheless is responsible for a host of miserable allergic symptoms. These can include asthma, contact dermatitis, conjunctivitis and nasal inflammation.
  • Mulberry: A deciduous tree, mulberry has a significant role in the rise the pollen counts found in Phoenix the last few decades. This is because the tree produces a great deal of pollen that is highly allergenic. In addition to coughing, sneezing, fatigue and conjunctivitis, you might also experience asthma if you’re allergic to mulberry.
  • Bermuda Grass: Often found in fields, golf course, lawns and parks across Phoenix, Bermuda grass is well suited to the area’s climate. It is also an extremely allergenic grass and can cause sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.

Other Allergens

Because the city lies in a valley — and it doesn’t get much rain or wind — pollutants such as ozone, particulates, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide can often settle in the air. This can cause allergic reactions such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and fatigue.

If you find yourself heading to the pharmacy to try yet another over-the-counter medication that doesn’t really work, consider taking a more natural approach instead. Contact us at Backfit Health + Spine and learn natural and balanced ways to get through allergy season in Phoenix.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Seasonal Allergies

In the United States, millions of people suffer from seasonal allergies. Weed pollen, grass pollen, ragweed pollen, and mold spores are common allergens that trigger seasonal allergies. Pollen levels are the highest in the spring and fall causing you to have a runny nose, watery eyes, and uncontrollable fits of sneezing and coughing.

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies are at their worst when pollen levels and dust are the highest. During the spring, plants begin the yearly process of growing and reproducing. This involves the release of pollen. Trees, grasses, and pollen produce plant all year during their active cycles. Not everyone is allergic to pollen. Some people may be allergic to pet dander or mold spores. Being allergic to one allergen can actually trigger an allergic response to other allergens.

Common Myths About Allergies

There are many myths associated with seasonal allergies. A few of the most common include:

  • Allergies don’t develop after you’ve reached adulthood. This is untrue. Allergies don’t always start in childhood.
  • Moving to Arizona (or any drier climate) will cure your allergies. Not true. You will experience an allergic reaction anywhere pollen can be found.
  • Allergies and asthma are unrelated. The fact is, severe allergies can trigger an allergy asthma attack.
  • You should only take allergy medicine after symptoms appear. Not true. Taking an allergy medication prior to your symptoms appearing will reduce the severity of the attack.
  • Allergy shots are the only long-term solution. Sublingual tablets and allergy serums are now offered as part of a long-term treatment plan for treating seasonal allergies such as hay fever and other allergens.

Allergies can be more severe at certain times of the year no matter where you live. When allergies become a problem, it’s important that skin tests or other diagnostic procedures be used to determine what your particular allergens are.

Treating Allergies Successfully

Seasonal allergies can be successfully treated through the use of immunotherapy and preventive measures. Using HEPA filters in your HVAC system and in air filters throughout your home will reduce the number of airborne contaminants you are exposed with throughout the year. Using an air conditioner can also help, especially during the hottest months of the summer.

With the use of over the counter medications and the various treatment options offered by your doctor, you can alleviate your symptoms and live as close to a normal life as possible. The immunotherapy treatment options that were originally in the form of allergy shots, can now be received in sublingual tablets and serums in more precise dosages.

If you begin to experience allergy symptoms and are unsure of what is going on, schedule an appointment with Backfit Health + Spine. Our allergy testing will give you the answers you need and indicate what your allergens are allowing the doctor to create an effective treatment plan.

Get in Touch With The Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy serves several purposes. There are many different types of massage with each one offering slightly different results. Massage has been used for centuries to relieve stress, reduce inflammation, and hasten the healing process, but the benefits don’t stop there. It also helps to balance the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the body.

The Benefits of Massage Therapy

The health benefits of massage therapy extend far beyond the physical body. The mind is also affected, allowing for mental clarity and improved focus. A licensed massage therapist can participate in clinical trials and has knowledge of many health care practices that can benefit her patient.

Different Types of Massage

The benefits of massage therapy vary depending on the type of massage. Swedish massage uses lighter strokes and is more relaxing and mentally soothing for individuals who have high levels of stress. Sports massage isn’t used for a specific health condition, but is more suited for athletes who are trying to keep their body in excellent physical condition possible. Therapeutic massage works well for many chronic conditions.

The Mind-Body Connection

When massage therapy is used to help the client relax, stress is worked out of the muscles allowing them to relax and release the toxins that build up due to day-to-day activity. As the toxins are flushed from the body, more nutrients are able to be circulated throughout the body. This strengthens the connection between the mind and body allowing you to focus more effectively and your body to function more efficiently on all levels.

Enhancing the Healing Process

Each massage technique can elicit a healing response that affects the body in different ways. A massage session normally lasts between an hour and an hour and a half, during which time the therapist manipulates the soft tissues of the body. The ultimate goal of massage therapy is to alleviate muscle tension, reduce pain, and improve circulation throughout the body. Improved circulation helps to lower high blood pressure. One of the main benefits of massage therapy is what it offers in terms of healing and recovery after an injury.

Strengthening the Body

Deep tissue massage strengthens the musculoskeletal system, boosts the immune system, and can even relieve chronic low back pain. Deep tissue, therapeutic, and sports massage work deeply into the tissues of the body, breaking up deposits and ensuring the muscles get the nutrients they need. A single, one-hour session of massage produces the same amount of exercise as one hour spent in the gym.

The benefits of massage therapy are long lasting and strengthen the body physically, mentally, and emotionally. Backfit Health + Spine has many qualified, professional massage therapists who are eager to get you feeling your best self. If you have questions concerning the benefits of massage therapy, contact our team today!

Weight Loss Programs For Women To Get Ready For Summer

It’s time to transform your body for summer! Whether you want to tone up or start to lose weight, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Making positive lifestyle changes is the first step in losing the weight and keeping it off on a long-term basis. An effective weight loss plan not only gives you the tools you need to be successful, it helps you establish new patterns and behaviors that make the results longer lasting.

Weight Loss Programs for Women

Weight Watchers and other diet plans have the right idea, but they will go nowhere unless you make a conscious choice to change your eating and exercise habits. Losing weight is not difficult if you put a dedicated effort into the process and follow the simple rule of weight loss. Your calorie intake must be less than the number of calories you burn on a daily basis. Portion control and eliminating poor food choices from your diet are also important elements of an effective weight loss program.

Meal Plans

Choose a meal plan that provides you with the number of calories you need for your body to function at its best. This will be different for everyone so it’s important to remember that weight loss is not a “one-size-fits-all” adventure. Choose a diet plan that includes several small meals each day. This allows for sustained levels of energy that will eliminate cravings between meals.

Physical Activity

In addition to changing how you eat and what you eat, you must also increase your level of physical activity. Try to walk or perform some type of exercise every day, even if it is only for a few minutes. The following exercises are easy to do and can be included in your daily routine:

  • Walk around the block
  • Swim a few laps in the pool or simply walk across the pool
  • Dance while you clean your house
  • Stretch for a minute or two every time you stand up or leave the room
  • Do leg lifts while you are sitting in your office chair or are watching television

A few minutes every day may not seem like a lot, but it will add up over time.

Meal Replacement

If you want to make sure you are getting all of the nutrients you need, use a meal replacement shake or drink once a day. You can use it in the morning or as a midday snack when your energy begins to fade. It will give you a boost and provide you with the nutrition you need on a daily basis.

If you are looking for a weight loss program for women that will allow you to lose weight and tone up your muscles, you need to find one that meets your needs. Before you choose a program, you need to set some goals and make a list of things you need to improve, such as your diet, amount of time you spend exercising, and the types of activity you enjoy. Backfit Health + Spine can help you kickstart your weight-loss journey with our weight-loss programs. Contact our team today to make the positive changes and weight will become a thing of the past.

Therapeutic Treatment Vs. Surgical Procedures For Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a common problem that not only limits the ability to work and play, but it can affect your mental health as well. If you live with chronic pain, you know how draining it can be. There are many options available for the treatment of chronic pain today, so there is absolutely no reason you should not seek help to get the relief you deserve.

Treatment Options for Chronic Pain

When it comes to choosing the treatment options available for chronic pain, it is important to address the pain itself as well as the recovery process. When comparing the options of various surgical procedures versus therapeutic treatment options, there are many differences to consider. Surgical procedures for chronic pain management can often be expensive. They can also require the use of dangerous and addictive prescription drugs to manage post-surgical pain.

In addition, surgery for chronic pain requires a long recovery period. The costs associated with surgery and the recovery process can be too much for many people to handle. Recovery from surgery often includes loss of work and quality time with family and friends. This can be a huge burden. In addition, even successful surgical procedures may need to be repeated years down the line if the pain returns.

Reasons To Choose Therapeutic Treatment Over Surgery

  • Little to no recovery time as well as a prescription-free way for relief
  • Team approach that deals with the short and long term relief, for a lifetime recovery plan
  • Combines the knowledge and skill of medical providers, chiropractic physicians, and physical therapists to reach the desired goal of the relief of chronic pain
  • Your physical and mental health are improved, offering an overall better quality of life

Therapeutic treatment addresses the cause of the chronic pain and relief is earned through physical therapy, manipulation, and massage therapy. The treatment also addresses the patient’s lifestyle and looks at their daily activity and nutrition to create a unique plan for their chronic pain relief recovery process.

So, Who Can Help?

Our dedicated team at Backfit Health + Spine includes a staff that work well together to help you get back to feeling like your old self again. The goal is to provide relief from pain and improve the quality of life for all patients. Our team is knowledgeable and educates patients to help you improve their range of motion and help them eliminate activities that would cause pain or injury in the future.

Knowing the options is crucial to help you make the right decision for your chronic pain treatment. Although surgery and therapeutic treatment options may both offer similar results in the short term, a therapeutic treatment approach offers patients a better long-term relief plan and a better quality of life.

What Are the Most Common Signs of Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies are common in both spring and fall. Budding trees and fresh blooming flowers are often signals to stock up on tissues, over the counter remedies, and eye drops. If you find yourself looking for the first signs of seasonal allergies, you might want to learn about what allergens are out there and what you can do to reduce the severity of your symptoms.

What Are The Most Common Seasonal Allergens?

While molds, dust, and pet dander are prevalent throughout the year, seasonal allergies only occur during times of the year when plants, bushes, and trees pollinate. Most plants and trees produce pollen in order to reproduce. Pollen counts often rise at night, that’s why many people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during pollen season. When the pollen from trees and flowering plants combine with the other types of allergens found in your home, the severity of your symptoms can escalate making it difficult to breathe or sleep.

What Are The Most Common Signs Of Seasonal Allergies?

The most common signs of seasonal allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Itching, irritated eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinus headaches
  • Sore throat

You may have one or two symptoms, while others have them all. This will depend on what antibodies your body has created. When allergens enter your nose, mouth or eyes, histamine is released by the body to help flush them back out. Your nose begins to run and your eyes will water until the allergens are gone.

If you are highly allergic, your symptoms will be more severe than for someone who is only mildly sensitive. Either way, it can affect your quality of life, disrupting your sleep and causing you to feel tired and run down.

What Is The Best Way To Treat Seasonal Allergies?

Grocery and drug store counters are full of over the counter remedies. Some take care of one or two seasonal allergy symptoms, while others take care of wide range of them. Most have side effects, like drowsiness or possible dizziness. Some medications must be taken at least two or three times a day for you to continue to be symptom-free. With so many formulations available, it can be hard to choose the one that’s right for your particular symptoms.

There are many natural remedies that can be used to effectively treat many of your allergy symptoms. Chamomile tea can be used to soothe a sore throat while using raw honey from local beekeepers can help your body build the antibodies it needs to reduce your allergy symptoms.

If you suffer relentlessly from seasonal allergy symptoms, pay a visit to Backfit Health + Spine. We can provide you with healthy treatment options that won’t be accompanied by nasty side effects. To effectively combat seasonal allergy symptoms, you need to bring your body into a more natural balance. Eat healthy, live healthy and exercise often are simple concepts that will help you reduce your symptoms and regain the quality of life you desire.

Which Chronic Pain Treatment is Right For You

Chronic pain refers to pain that lasts for more than just a few months and, if you have it, it’s important to find the best treatment option to manage it. Left untreated, chronic pain can be a disabling condition that interferes with both your ability to work and your quality of life.

There are many factors that go into figuring out what chronic pain treatment is right. Consider some of the different things that you and the doctor will take into account when creating a pain management plan and the options available.

What is Causing Your Pain?

The doctor will want to identify your pain type and then develop a treatment plan based on the pain symptoms, so it starts with asking you a few questions:

  • How long have you had this pain?
  • Can you rate the pain on a scale of one to 10
  • How would you describe the pain? Is it cramping or does it feel more like a stabbing kind of pain?
  • Where do you feel the pain?

From there, you can get an idea of what is causing your pain and how to manage it. Different pain signals respond to different treatment options.

What are the Treatment Options for Chronic Pain?

There Are Drug Options

Most likely the best way to treat your chronic pain is by combining several different treatment options. It might start with drug therapy. Medications prescribed for pain generally fall into one of these categories:

  • NSAIDS — This would include over the counter drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Acetaminophen – That’s Tylenol
  • Antidepressants — They can improve sleep and alleviate some kinds of pain
  • Anti-seizure medications — Used for nerve injuries
  • Steroids — To reduce swelling
  • Muscle Relaxants — Used more for injuries than chronic pain management

In some situations, medication is provided, not as a pill but in another form. For example:

  • A nerve root block targets the nerve pathway in the spine to eliminate pain that doesn’t respond to other medication
  • Epidural steroid injections are effective for back problems
  • Trigger point injections loosen tight muscles that can cause chronic pain

Radiofrequency Neuroablation?

With radiofrequency neuroablation, the doctor uses heat to target problem nerves. A special kind of needle is put near the misbehaving nerve. The tip of the needle heats up and zaps the problem away.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a long-term approach to managing pain and usually recommended along with a drug therapy plan. The right exercises improve the muscles enough to make the pain go away for good.

Alternative Pain Management Options

Along with taking a medical approach to managing your pain, the doctor might suggest some alternative treatments that can help you deal with the pain. Something like a chiropractic massage can relax the muscles that knot up and trigger pain. Combined with other treatment options like a low-dose steroid injection or nerve block, massage therapy helps keep pain in check.

What About Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care begins with effective pain relief and then works to correct the underlying problem to eliminate the pain altogether. Chiropractic manipulations are a practical choice for many types of chronic pain.

If you live in Arizona and suffer from chronic pain, help is just down the street. BackFit Spine + Health has offices throughout the state and specializes in chronic pain management. Give us a call to schedule an appointment and find out what we can do to help you get relief from your pain.

Spring Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Spring is the time of year when everyone is rushing to get outside. Spring athletic programs are gearing up for the first season, while parents and trainers are trying to find everything their kids will need to play competitively.

It’s important for athletes to start training before the season starts so their body is ready for the strenuous activity that lies ahead. Training before the season will strengthen the body and improve flexibility, lowering the risk of possible injury.

Common Sports Injuries

There are many different types of sports injuries, some being more serious than others. Sprained ankles and pulled muscles are often the most commonly reported sports-related injuries no matter what sport is being played. Tendonitis, ACL tears, and shin splints are also common.

Stress fractures and the growth of scar tissue can also have an impact on your level of athletic performance. If you have received a sports related injury, it’s essential that you follow your athletic trainer’s orders so you don’t return to play too soon and re-injure the area.

The Importance of Warming Up

Before beginning any type of athletic activity, be it exercising or actually competing, you should warm up your body. Stretching is a common warm up activity that gets the blood flowing and warms up the muscles. Muscles that are forced to perform while they are still “cold” are more likely to be strained, and sometimes even torn. Warming up the muscles provides them with the nutrients and oxygen they need to perform efficiently, reducing the risk of tears and strains.

Use the Right Equipment

It’s also important to use the right equipment when you take the field. Proper fitting shoes will prevent tripping and will allow your legs to move more efficiently without placing strain on the ankles and feet. If your position requires the use of special equipment like a mask or headgear, make sure that everything fits securely. Wearing gloves may allow you to get a better grip and to handle a bat or racket more efficiently.

Preventing Common Sports Injuries

One of the best ways to prevent any type of sports injury is to always be mindful of what you are doing. Keeping your mind in the game allows you to see what’s going on around you. Injury prevention starts with knowing what risks are present and learning to avoid them. Orthopedists who practice sports medicine often see injuries in athletes who weren’t concentrating and made common mistakes during a play. After an injury physical therapy and strengthening exercises can often keep an athlete from re-injuring themselves. This is especially true if they continue to exercise after their regular therapy is over.

Whether you have suffered a complete tear or are dealing with the effects of scar tissue, you should always try to keep your body strong and healthy. Using strengthening exercises throughout the year will ensure you are ready when the spring season rolls around. Flexibility and range of motion must be properly maintained throughout the year if you plan on keeping sports-related injuries to a minimum. Our team at Backfit Health + Spine is ready to help you get sport ready, no matter what season. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary assessment and see how we can help.

Consider an Allergy Serum to Reduce Your Symptoms

Allergies can cause uncomfortable symptoms that can affect your quality of life. Allergy shots or immunotherapy is one of the best ways to bring allergy symptoms under control. Now, studies are available that show allergy/serums may be just as effective at controlling your symptoms as the shots. Allergy serum is a non-invasive, convenient way to manage your allergy symptoms.

What is an Allergy Serum?

An allergy serum is made using small particles of the allergens in question. Drops of the serum are placed under the tongue once each day until a maintenance dose is reached. The maintenance dose is then taken each day until a new formulation is needed. Allergy serums work in much the same way as allergy shots only without the painful injections and without the constant trips to and from the doctor’s office.

Are Drops as Effective as Shots?

Many studies were performed in Europe that involved 5,131 participants who used allergy serums instead of the injections. Researchers from Johns Hopkins evaluated the results of those studies and determined that the overall findings showed that the use of serums produced the same effects as the injections. Sublingual immunotherapy has been a viable option for immunotherapy injections in Europe for almost 20 years. Even though sublingual immunotherapy, or allergy serums, have been proven to be effective in Europe, the FDA is still studying them in the United States.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Allergy Drops?

Allergy serums offer a variety of benefits over the traditional immunotherapy injections. When serums are used, there is no need to travel to and from your doctor’s office or spend the usual 15 to 30 minutes waiting in the lobby to determine whether or not you will have a reaction. The drops are sublingual which means they can easily be placed under the tongue where they are absorbed by the soft tissues and sent directly into the bloodstream. Serums have fewer reactions than their injectable counterparts and are easy to administer on the go. The drops can be taken at any time during the day, but should be taken at the same time each day.

The use of sublingual immunotherapy has been a common practice in the recent years. At Backfit Health + Spine, we offer Allervision allergy serum drops to our patients. We want you to avoid the hassle of multiple visits and painful shots. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and stop the suffering from seasonal allergies.

Are Seasonal Allergies Causing Your Sore Throat?

Seasonal allergies can make you miserable. They can disrupt your sleep and make you feel tired and worn out during the day. As your allergies worsen, you may begin to feel like your coming down with a cold. A raw, scratchy throat may be one of the first signs that your allergies are flaring up. For many people, sneezing and a runny nose will often lead to other symptoms that include a sore throat and sinus infection.

The Effects of Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies cause a variety of symptoms. Because the body is constantly fighting the allergens it’s exposed to, several things can begin to happen. Since plants and trees pollinate at night, your sleep can be interrupted causing you to be tired and lethargic throughout the day.

Constant exposure to allergens can also make you more susceptible to cold and flu viruses. Your risk of bacterial, sinus infections may also be excessively high. The longer you suffer from seasonal allergies, the more likely you are to experience a sore, irritated throat.

What Causes A Sore Throat?

Seasonal allergies can cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms including sinus congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, and a sore throat. When the body releases histamine, it also produces excessive fluid and mucus to help flush out the allergens that are causing the problem. What the body doesn’t expel through the nose or by coughing drains down into the throat causing it to become sore and irritated. The more sinus drainage you have, the more severe your sore throat will be.

How Can I Treat It?

The best way to treat a sore throat caused by other seasonal allergy symptoms is to control those symptoms. Once you know what causes your allergy symptoms, you have several options available to you. You can use over the counter medications that are formulated to handle the symptoms you’re experiencing and provide you with short-term relief. You can also learn about immunotherapy which helps your body to create the antibodies it needs to fight off the effects of the allergens.

If you don’t want to worry about the side effects that certain medications cause, you can also try herbal supplements and teas that formulated to soothe your symptoms and help you get the rest you need.

When you start to experience the first signs of your seasonal allergies, start to strengthen your immune system. Begin eating healthier foods and using herbal supplements that contain antibacterials and antivirals. This will reduce your risk of coming down with a cold. It may also reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms as well. Contact our team at Backfit Health + Spine for a complimentary allergy assessment. We look forward to putting together a treatment plan customized for each individual patient!

What Are The Most Common Knee Injuries?

The knee joint is one of the largest, most complex, and most important joints in the body. It connects your shinbone to the thigh bone, facilitates movement and bending, and helps support your body’s weight. Since the joint is so complex, it is susceptible to injury due to wear and tear and its vulnerable components. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common knee injuries, how they happen, and the treatment needed to address them.

The 5 Most Common Knee Injuries

1. Knee Dislocations

When the bones of the knee get out of place, this is known as a knee dislocation. This may happen after a trauma like a high-speed impact or fall. Twisting the knee with the foot firmly on the ground can result in dislocation, too. Relocation is necessary for a knee dislocation. In some cases, the kneecap will correct itself on its own. In other cases, a doctor may need to relocate the knee. After dislocation, it usually takes around six weeks to heal fully.

2. Knee Fractures

The patella, or kneecap, protects and shields the knee joint. However, if there’s a direct trauma to the front of your knee from a sports injury or a fall, then the kneecap can be fractured. Kneecap fractures are one of the most common knee injuries, and these injuries are usually treated with immobilization. In some cases, surgery may be needed to correct the problem.

3. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries

Often referred to as the ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament is a ligament that joins the lower and upper leg bones together, stabilizing the knee. Twisting the leg or over extending the leg forward can result in an ACL tear. ACL injuries are very common and they account for around 40% of sports injuries. These injuries can range from small tears in the ACL to a complete tear of the ligament.

The treatment for ACL injuries will vary depending on the extent of injury. Some serious ACL injuries require surgery, and physical therapy is often used to help individuals return to normal activities after an ACL injury.

4. Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) Injuries

Sometimes called the PCL, the posterior cruciate ligament connects the shinbone and the femur, preventing the shinbone from moving too far backwards. It’s located at the back of your knee. Landing on a bent knee or other types of trauma to the knee can result in an injury to the PCL. If the PCL alone is damaged, then nonsurgical treatment can generally be used. However, if the injury results in a PCL injury along with other injuries, surgery may be needed.

5. Meniscal Tears

The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that’s shaped like a wedge and it acts like a cushion between the femur and tibia bones that come together at the knee joint. Squatting or twisting the knee can result in a tear of the meniscus.

This injury is very common in sports that require a lot of jumping, such as soccer or volleyball, as well as contact sports that may require a quick change in direction, such as football. In some cases, degeneration that occurs with aging can result in a tear of the meniscus, particularly in individuals who have arthritis. Depending on the severity of the tear and injury, surgery may be needed.

Although knee injuries are very common, with proper treatment and the addition of physical therapy, many people are able to recover and get back to their normal activities. If you’ve injured your knee, contact our team today to see how we can help you relieve pain and improve your quality of life.

What Causes Knee Pain?

People of any age can deal with knee pain from time to time. Pain in the knee can be caused by medical conditions, such as arthritis, or an injury to the knee. While knee pain often responds very well to rest and self-care at home, sometimes more drastic interventions are needed, such as physical therapy.

The Most Common Causes of Pain

Wondering what causes knee pain? Some of the most common knee problems include runner’s knee, sprained ligaments, meniscus tears, tendinitis, and lack of use. Here’s a look at some of the other common problems that may result in knee pain.

  • Kneecap Dislocation – When the kneecap slides out of its normal position, it’s known as a dislocation, and this often results in swelling and knee pain.
  • Bursitis – The bursa is the sac holding fluid under the skin right above the joint, and it works to prevent friction when you move the joint. Falls, repetitive kneeling or bending, and overuse may irritate the bursa on your kneecap, resulting in swelling and knee pain.
  • Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is known as “wear and tear” arthritis, and it’s a common cause of knee pain in people over the age of 50. It may cause your knee to swell or ache when you are active, and it may cause stiffness as well.
  • IT Band Syndrome – Your iliotibial (IT) band is a tough piece of tissue running from the hip all the way to the outer part of the knee. If you are very active, sometimes it can become inflamed. When this occurs, it results in pain on the outside of your knee. IT band syndrome is very common among runners who regularly run downhill.
  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome – Muscle tightness, alignment issues with the legs, and muscle imbalances can cause this problem. It may make the knee suddenly buckle and can cause a lot of pain. This syndrome is more common in women.
  • Patellar Tendinitis – Patellar tendinitis occurs when one of the tendons connecting your kneecap to the shin becomes inflamed. Over exercising can cause the inflammation and soreness. It’s often referred to as “jumper’s knee” since repetitive jumping is commonly the cause.
  • Meniscal Tear – Injury to the knee may result in a rip to the cartilage. The rough edges of the cartilage sometimes stick in the joint causing swelling and knee pain. Sometimes when you’re active, it may even feel like the knee is “catching.”

Many different things can cause knee pain, and not all knee pain requires treatment. However, some cause of knee pain can result in serious disability or joint damage if left untreated.

While it’s impossible to completely prevent knee pain, some methods to prevent injury and joint deterioration include being in good shape when playing sports, exercising smart, and keeping the extra pounds off. If you’re dealing with knee pain that won’t resolve on its own, consider seeing your doctor or a physical therapist to find the root cause of your pain.

A Guide To Knee Injury Prevention

Knee injuries are a common complaint from patients at our BackFit Health + Spine offices. Knee pain is typically related to an injury which can cause ligament sprains, chronic issues such as tendonitis, or repetitive motions such as those that athletes use that can put excess stress on the knee.

Fortunately, there are a variety of knee injury prevention tactics that can help you avoid a painful situation in the future. Here are some tips to help you maintain healthy knees and avoid unnecessary injuries.

How to Avoid Knee Injuries

Use Proper Exercise and Techniques

Be sure to choose an activity that works well for your body. Avoid exercises that require the excessive use of the legs if you already have existing knee issues. For example, swimming is a better form of exercise than running for those concerned about knee injuries. Also, be sure to start your exercise regime slowly and take a day off between routines to avoid pain. Alternating workout routines and using proper technique can also help you avoid injuries.

Watch Your Weight

Carrying extra weight can cause extra stress on your knees and increases your chances for knee injuries. Maintaining a healthy weight for your body size and age can significantly decrease the chance of knee injuries and is a good way to practice knee injury prevention.

Always Warm Up

Athletes or those who exercise on a regular basis are at risk for over-training, which can cause a knee injury. It is crucial to warm up before exercising which includes stretching the front and back thigh muscles to decrease the amount of tension in your tendons and reduce pressure on your knees. Never begin exercising without warming up your muscles beforehand.

Wear Proper Safety Equipment

When engaging in recreational activities such as roller skating and soccer where knee injuries are common, be sure to always wear the proper safety equipment like knee guards to avoid knee pain.

Weight Train for Leg Strength

Working out with weights can strengthen leg muscles and provide better support for your knees. Regular weight workouts with your legs is the perfect solution to help you avoid knee injuries now and in the future.

Wear the Right Shoes

Do not underestimate the importance of wearing the right shoes when knee injury prevention is your goal. Avoid wearing high heels for extended periods of time and instead choose shoes with a good fit and lots of support. This will help insure proper balance and leg alignment which is crucial in preventing knee injuries.

The experienced team at BackFit Health + Spine offers a road to health and wellness through pain management to improve the quality of life for all patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your knee injury for fast relief.

The Different Types of Knee Pain and What They Mean

There are several different types of knee pain. You start by describing the type of pain you’re dealing with and then work to find the cause. Once you know the type of knee pain you’re dealing with, you will be able to find a treatment plan that relieves your discomfort. The right treatment plan will get you back on track when it comes to healing and maintaining your regular level of activity. Each type of knee pain exhibits specific characteristics that will help you identify its cause.

Three Different Types of Knee Pain

Acute Knee Pain

Acute knee pain is primarily caused by an injury to the knee or any of its components. Ligament or cartilage injuries are the most common and can take several weeks to fully heal. In some cases, if the damage is severe, surgery may be required to repair the damage.

An ACL or meniscus tear can cause intense pain and inflammation, limiting your movement and restricting range of motion, even after it has fully healed. Sports injuries or injuries sustained in a fall are often responsible for acute pain in the knee and other joints in the legs. If you’ve experienced an injury, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a rehabilitation center to get it checked out.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is often the result of a chronic or degenerative disease that affects the joints. Arthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis are all common causes of chronic pain. While some conditions are also characterized by inflammation, chronic pain can be the most debilitating factor.

Living with this type of constant pain can lead to depression and inactivity that only serves to make the condition worse. If you begin to experience a dull, constant ache that lasts longer than six consecutive months, you are experiencing “chronic” or long-term pain and should seek medical attention to uncover the exact cause.

Stiffness and General Discomfort

Inactivity can lead to mild joint pain and stiffness that goes away once you begin to exercise. As a person ages, the joints can begin to deteriorate. The meniscus can begin to lose fluid and the muscles and connective tissues can begin to tighten resulting in a dull ache that gradually begins to disappear once you begin to move around. Regular exercise, walking, swimming, and stretching can help to keep your joints flexible and maintain your mobility.

If you begin to experience any type of knee pain, identify the characteristics and try to determine what may be causing your discomfort. If it’s simply a lack of activity, move around more and see if that relieves the problem. If you think you may have injured your knee or are experiencing symptoms associated with a chronic condition, visit Backfit Health + Spine. We put together customized treatment plans that help relieve your pain and help you to get back into the swing of things.

What is a Facet Joint Injection?

What is a Facet Joint?

A facet joint, sometimes called a Z-joint, is a synovial joint that sits between two adjacent vertebrae — the bones that make up the spine. The facet joints add stability to the back and help protect the underlying nerves from injury.

When these joints swell, they can cause neck pain and another discomfort. In some cases, the damage to the facet joint may be a symptom of a degenerative disc disease.

A Facet Joint Injection

A facet joint injection allows the introduction of medication into the problem joint for pain management. It is a very common procedure typically done without sedation using a fluoroscope for guidance.

What Should I Expect?

At the beginning of the facet joint injection procedure, the patient lies face down on a table. A member of staff cleans the skin around the area before the doctor applies a numbing medication. The fluoroscope provides direction as a small needle is inserted into the problem joint. A contrast dye allows the doctor to confirm the needle is where it should be prior to the introduction of the medication to the joint.

Typically, the medication does two things:

  • Provides pain relief
  • Reduces inflammation

The whole process takes just a few minutes and the patient feels relief very quickly.

What Happens After The Injection?

The patient rests for about 30 minutes. During this time, the physicians will do movement tests to make sure the medication is helping. For example, a patient that couldn’t bend a certain way prior to treatment is asked to repeat the movement to see if it still causes pain.

The patient might notice their back feels numb for a couple hours after the facet joint injection. This is just the local anesthetic wearing off and the medication beginning to provide relief.

The recovery period is short. Since the procedure is done in the office, patients go home the same day. Unless there is a complication, most can return to work the day after the treatment.

Does The Facet Injection Hurt?

The staff does everything possible to make the patient comfortable and reduce the pain. This injection does involve putting a needle into deep tissue, though, so there may be some discomfort. The doctor uses a local anesthetic to numb the area, so mostly the patient just feels pressure, not actual pain.

Who is a Candidate for a Facet Joint Injection?

The doctor will order an x-ray of the patient’s back to determine if the facet joints appear diseased. Facet joint injections work well if the joints have obvious signs of arthritis or thickening. This is not the right treatment for someone who has typically healthy joints. It is reserved for chronic pain of the back and neck.

If you suffer from chronic pain in the back or neck, come into BackFit Health + Spine for a complete assessment to see if you would benefit from a facet joint injection.

What Does a Pain Management Doctor Do?

If you suffer from acute or chronic pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Whether your pain is caused by an accidental injury, back sprain, or even an existing illness, the pain can last for weeks or even years. Most people turn to their primary care physician for relief, but often find themselves still struggling with daily pain and discomfort. If so, it may be time to get a referral from your doctor and consider a consultation with a pain management specialist to help improve quality of life and help you finally get the relief you deserve. So, what does a pain management doctor do that’s different from your family doctor? You just may be surprised at how they can help.

Common Chronic Pain Issues

  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Back and Neck Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Muscle Pain
  • Sciatic Pain
  • Nerve and Joint Pain
  • Leg Pain
  • Illness Associated Pain

How a Pain Management Specialist Can Help

A pain management specialist is a physician that has undergone special training to help patients with different types of pain. These professionals evaluate, diagnose, and treat a variety of different types of pain including acute pain, chronic pain, and pain from illnesses.

Our team at BackFit Health + Spine specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of pain-oriented disorders. Our experienced chiropractors and physical therapists work with patients to help control their pain, so they can feel more like their normal selves and live pain free. Our pain management doctors utilize a combination of physical medicine and rehabilitation to help you feel better and create an effective treatment plan to reduce, relieve, or manage your pain without surgery or prescription medication.

Since pain management specialists are concerned with improving the overall quality of life for their patients, they focus on a full body approach versus just one part of the body. Our team at BackFit Health + Spine focuses on reducing pain and improving the functionality of our patients, as well as educating them on how they can take charge of their own health with proper exercise, diet, and the use of helpful therapies and treatments to ease their pain.

Get the Pain Relief You Deserve

Our experienced chiropractors and physical therapists at BackFit Health + Spine will work together to find the source of your pain and create a treatment plan to help you feel better and improve your quality of life. Call our office today to schedule an appointment so you can start feeling better as soon as possible.

Common Back Pain Causes

Many Americans live with some varying degree of back pain, and any back pain is too much pain to have to deal with.

Our sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating and lack of exercise put us in a terrible predisposition to struggle with pain. Back pain comes in all forms, whether it flares up immediately because of an injury or develops slowly over time. Poor posture tends to be the biggest culprit, followed by age, weight, and accidents that can cause us to suffer. Whether you sit behind a computer all day or work in a warehouse, everyday life can be difficult to manage when dealing with any back pain at all. Chiropractic care can be a lifesaver and help with several back-related pain issues. If you live with any pain at all, you owe it to yourself to try chiropractic treatment for back pain.

Here are some of the most common back-related ailments and the benefits of chiropractic care.

Sciatica

Spine pain, man with backache and ache in the neck, black and white photo with red backbone, isolated on white background

This is one of the most common back issues that Americans struggle with daily. It usually starts with a disk issue in the lower back (often herniated) and when a vertebra wears down or slips out of place, that pressure causes the soft disk to push on the sciatic nerve. This nerve is the longest in the body and starts in the lower spine and runs down to each foot. The symptoms often include pain that radiates from the lower back down one or both legs with the distance down the leg varying. The pain can range from a mild ache to sharp and severe, while numbness, tingling, and weakness are common as well. Chiropractic care is often the best solution when over-the-counter, and home remedies fail to work for long periods of time.

Neck Pain/Headaches

Many Americans suffer from neck strain and headaches that are brought on by poor posture day in and day out. Staring at a computer screen all day with improper ergonomics puts a great deal of stress on the muscles and joints in the neck and supporting areas. The human head weighs roughly 10lbs, and when we sit with poor posture, the pressure that is created can cause serious problems ranging from subluxations of the vertebrae to muscle spasms. Seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis can help minimize the pain caused by our sedentary lifestyles. While the long-term fix to these problems in posture correction with the help of consistent chiropractic adjustments.  

Low Back Pain

Caused by a variety of reasons, low back pain is often just considered a part of life due to the how common it is. Even just sleeping in the wrong position at night can cause a misalignment of the spine resulting in pain. Dull, sharp, chronic or acute, low back pain knows no limits and can affect anyone. Whether the cause of pain is muscular or skeletal, a good chiropractor can find the root of the problem and correct the abnormalities and get you back to living pain-free.

Shoulder/Hip/Knee

Young man in casual office shirt having hip pain (Focus on hips)

Not all back pain is caused from the spine, sometimes the major joints of the hips, knees, and shoulders can be out of place. Misaligned hips can put a strain on the low back muscles causing pain. Knees can force the body to compromise and stress the spine, while shoulders can do the same with the upper back. A chiropractor will recognize the cause of the problem if it stems from the surrounding joints and corrects the issues.

Any back pain can be debilitating, and with many simple solutions available, you owe it to yourself to correct the problem instead of living with it. At BackFit Health+Spine, we specialize in proven chiropractic care that helps our patients get back to living their lives to the fullest pain-free. To learn more about the options available to you at any of our seven Valley locations, visit http://backfit1.wpengine.com/chiropractor/.

How to Restore a Healthy Neck Curve

Bad daily habits affect our natural neck curves, but there are a number of good daily habit to restore a straightened cervical spine.

How to get the natural curve back in your neck:Woman checking back posture

  • Keep items out of the back pocket. This sounds small, but repetitively twisting and reaching back for items like a phone or wallet in the back pocket creates a chronic imbalance. Keep small possession in your front pockets or in a carrying parcel.
  • Switch your purse occasionally. If you carry a heavy purse or bag on one shoulder every day, try rotating throughout the day or switching during the week. Over time, you will wear one side of the body down. Try wearing a backpack or cross-chest support for a more balanced support, instead.
  • Keep your shoulders back at all times. Ears should always be lined up vertically with your shoulders.
  • Visit your chiropractor for X-rays of your cervical spine, so you know when and where you are facing changes or problems. Come up with a plan for remedy together.
  • Set your workspace up to be conducive to a straight neck spine. Position your monitor to be directly in front of you, three inches above eye level. Feet rest flat on the ground beneath you and shoulders are back. Take breaks every 45 minutes not only to circulate blood flow, but to reevaluate and resettle into your sitting posture.
  • Avoid looking down at your screen. This includes your phone! It feels silly, but hold your phone out in front of you to read, or proper yourself against a chair or pillow to avoid looking down at the content.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach – this leaves no choice for the neck but to be twisted and lifting out of alignment. Repeatedly sleeping on your stomach causes changes in spinal curvatures.

Visit our incredible chiropractors at BackFit Health + Spine to learn more about your natural neck curve and how to preserve it.

 

11 Ways to Strengthen your Spine

The spine is the backbone of the healthy, optimally functioning body, so keeping it strong is essential to good health.

Contrary to common belief, back exercises are not the only way to keep your spine healthy. As all muscles in the body work in complementary systems, a strong core is mainly responsible for a safe back. Additionally, lifestyle changes and habits have a huge impact on the spine.

Try these simple, chiropractor-recommended spine health tips and exercises to keep your spine safe, strong and clear of injury in the future.

  1. Make exercise your lifestyle. Exercise can be more in motion than the daily trip to the gym. Thread habits into your daily routine that work strengthening and stretching the hamstrings, abdominal and back muscles.
  2. Think about what you eat. Everything you put in your body affects your body. Whenever possible, limit foods to those found naturally in nature and avoid anything processed. Some foods are healthy for the spine, specifically those with high calcium and vitamin content.
  3. Evaluate how you sit. Along the spine, we have sensitive spinal nerves that can be damaged if we don’t maintain good posture that supports our natural curves. You don’t need to sit identically to your peers, but you do need to sit with a disciplined posture that compliments your spinal curves.  
  4. Meditate. At first, meditating might not feel great. Overtime and in small increments of improvement, it will become easier to sit, to focus on calm, positive imagery and eventually to sit and talk erectly naturally and without pain.
  5. Exercise in the water. Water eliminates the force of gravity, making it easier to exercise without the stress of extra force on the body.
  6. Take walks. Walking strengthens the core, which directly works to keep the spine erect with little effort, allowing all fluids to travel as necessary. Walking is a low impact exercise, but if you have sustained a back injury, ask your chiropractor to sign off on the exercise.
  7. Lift weights safely. Weightlifting can be extremely beneficial to the body when executed properly. The way you lift weights can make your back stronger (and keep your spine safe), or it can compromise the body. Keep your chest forward as you bend your knees and lead with the hips, not the shoulders.
  8. Opt for massage therapy whenever possible. Some types of back pain can be alleviated through massage, as the treatment soothes sore muscles and improves blood circulation. Getting consistent massages improves long-term spinal range and health, so even if you are not experiencing back pain or injury, massages have a wealth of health benefits to your body.  
  9. If you smoke, quit! Smoking causes damage to the spinal disc and joint vascular structures, leading to degenerative spinal disorders.
  10. Use heat therapy to soothe the pain. Use a heating pad or wrap on the areas around your spine (especially around those areas with pain). The heat will increase blood flow, making it easier for necessary nutrients to serve the targeted, painful areas.
  11. Position your pillow for your sleep. Everybody has a different natural curve in their neck, so everybody needs to sleep a bit differently. Determine your natural curve and find a pillow that accommodates the sleeping style. You might want to ask your chiropractor for recommendations to make sure you are sleeping safely.

Schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable physicians at BackFit Spine + Health. Learn more spine care tips, exercises, and modes of wellness to keep your spine healthy and strong.

Everything You Need to Know About Bulging Disc Therapy

Bulging disc treatment is necessary when patients’ intervertebral discs – the fibrous, gel-filled shock absorbers that line and cushion the spine – get out of place and begin to protrude.

What is a protruding disc?

A bulging or protruding disc occurs as a result of chronic poor posture or injury. Healthy discs sit in line the spine’s vertebrae. When sudden injury jerks the body out of alignment, the discs become dislodged or compressed, causing the fibrous material encasing each disc to thin and bulge, usually laterally. As the material slips out, it protrudes, hence its protruding disc name.

Are protruding discs painful?

Bulging discs do not always cause pain, but this doesn’t mean they should be left alone. If left untreated, the herniated disc’s fibrous shell can crack and seep out some of its jelly-like fluid, causing the protrusion to worsen, press harder on the nerves and cause significant pain.

How do I treat a bulging disc?

Several options are available for treating bulging discs; these the five we offer at BackFit Health + Spine:

  • Chiropractic care. When you see a chiropractor for bulging disc, you will receive spinal realignments that relieve disc pressure and pinched nerves.
  • Non-surgical spinal decompression. Rehabilitate the spine by using targeted traction to reshape the bulging or herniated discs.
  • Massage therapy. Massage therapy can relieve pain from muscle tightness caused by the protruding discs and create a softer space for the spine to heal.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy for herniated discs focuses on strengthening the core to keep the spine from overcompensating when it is injured.

If you are suffering from a bulging disc, come into BackFit Spine + Health. Our experienced chiropractors will assess your condition, determine the necessary remedy and work with you to get you back on your feet in a healthy, optimal life.

 

Food Sensitivity: What to Look For

Food allergies are everywhere. One person may have severe reactions from just being around peanuts while another may be allergic to dairy. These manifest in noticeable, often visible, symptoms that can be dangerous. What many people do not know, however, is that commonly consumed foods can be bad for them. Understanding what to look for with food sensitivity symptoms can make all the difference.

Here are some of the most common symptoms displayed when a person is sensitive to specific foods:

  1. Headaches and Moodiness –Natural opiates are found in grain, sugar and dairy products and can manifest in withdrawal symptoms when no longer consumed.
  2. Cravings – In response to consuming foods your body is sensitive to, antibodies are created to break it down. When the antibodies build up without consuming the food, you begin to crave it. This period lasts 3-4 days, typically.
  3. Fatigue – Regularly eating foods that your body cannot properly digest to receive energy from will result in consistent low energy levels.
  4. Joint Pain – One surprising symptom may be pain. Foods that have GMOs, antibiotics and pesticides can cause inflammatory responses in the body and lead to joint pain.
  5. Bad Skin – Your skin condition is likely an indicator of an imbalance internally. Dairy is known to increase acne, and other skin irritations can be caused by food sensitivity. Slowly eliminate suspected foods and allow your body to adjust to each before making the final decision.

Self-diagnosing is an option but consider a food intolerance test, food allergy testing or food sensitivity testing. Contact BackFit Health + Spine today to become a patient and find out once and for all which foods are bad for you. Our team of doctors will perform simple blood tests to determine the foods to avoid or decrease consumption of. We are devoted to improving the lives of all patients, from chiropractic care to food allergy testing.

Chiropractic Care VS. Physical Therapy

If you’ve ever experienced having your back out of alignment, odds are you’ve already seen a chiropractor. Chiropractic treatment for back pain is very common and can bring immediate results. When it comes to other problems or rehabilitation, you likely think of a physical therapist as the first choice. What you might not know is that these two professions share some techniques and can be used for much more than commonly known.

This article’s goal is to shed light on both chiropractors and physical therapists to help you make the right choice about which one to see when you’re experiencing back pain.  

In broad terms, a physical therapist is a health care professional that focuses on how mobility is affected by problems in the body. They aim to help people maintain or restore movement and function of their body with the goal to increase overall health and quality of life. One common task of a physical therapist is to rehabilitate an individual following a surgery or major injury. Whether the issue is knee pain or decreased mobility from hip issues, a trained physical therapist has the expertise and equipment to return the patient to full health.

Chiropractors, on the other hand, treat musculoskeletal and nervous system issues. They typically deal with the spine but have been trained to assist with other areas of the body and promote general health through their techniques. Alleviation of spinal discomfort, neck issues, and hip pain are typical results of chiropractic care. Chiropractors, as you may well know, manipulate the patient’s spine to restore optimal function of various systems in the body. Spinal subluxations are corrected and the chiropractor re-balances the patient’s neuro-musculoskeletal system to alleviate pain and restore proper function. Joints, muscles and the nervous system all can benefit from expert chiropractic care.

In regards to their treatment, a patient in need of manual therapy and exercise to alleviate issues will seek a physical therapist. Physiotherapy for back pain is one option. Pain and any form of dysfunction with joints or muscles can be healed through physical therapy. The therapist will construct a comprehensive program that often uses both exercises and manual techniques. With long-term health in mind, these techniques can take a couple of weeks to show the benefits, but strength and flexibility will increase. Quick fixes are not always possible with the human body so keep this in mind if electing to receive physical therapy.

Chiropractic doctors are certified to diagnose most medical conditions but typically focus on vertebral subluxations. Musculoskeletal conditions that affect movement/function are the most commonly diagnosed issues by physical therapists.

Not to be overlooked is that both professionals can use heat, ultrasound and massage therapy to treat patients. Patients typically benefit greatly from treatments that use a mixture of both. Immediate relief comes from manipulations and physical techniques while long-term healing is promoted by exercise and mobility focused plans. Discussing the issue with your healthcare professional will help them to develop the ideal plan.

If you require emergency chiropractic services or are looking to heal a lingering issue, contact our team at BackFit Health + Spine to receive treatment from our expert chiropractic team. Expertly trained to diagnose and effectively treat numerous issues and disorders, our professionals are second to none. The combined approach brings both chiropractic benefits and physical therapy benefits to the patient. Immediate relief and improved long-term function/mobility can be yours. Decrease your risk of pain and illness by scheduling an appointment today. http://backfit1.wpengine.com

11 Effective Treatments for Sciatica

Sciatica is one of the most common diagnoses for leg pain. The condition is triggered when a nerve is pinched in the lower back. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower spine all the way down each length of the legs to the feet. When the nerve gets pinched in the lower back, the entire lower half of the body is affected.

How does the nerve get pinched?

Typically, a disk cracks and enlarges into the spinal canal. If the herniated disk bulge is large enough, the sciatic nerve gets pinched.

Many patients describe the pain associated with their sciatica as intolerable, which is why so many chiropractors and physicians have worked to establish reliable sciatica pain relief.

Patients opt for a certain sciatica treatment based on pain severity, physician recommendation, lifestyle, and rehabilitation goals.

Here are 11 Effective Treatments for Sciatica:

  1. Chiropractic Care. Spinal manipulation by a chiropractor can relieve pain associated with sciatica and bring patients back to optimal physical mobility and health. Chiropractors assess other parts of the body that could be affecting the cause of sciatica so that once patients are relieved from pain, they are healed and healthy for the long run.
  2. Acupuncture. Acupuncture works on the meridian lines of energy, applying needle pressure into affected areas in order to reduce inflammation, clear energy blockages and relieve pain.
  3. Yoga. Yoga has a number of benefits that relieve pain and restore mobility. Working with a private yoga instructor ensures proper alignment and special modifications for sciatica. If you attend a standard class, be sure to let your instructor know you have sciatica so that you can get custom modifications and alternative postural instruction throughout the class.
  4. Massage. Trigger-point therapy is the most useful type of massage as it applies pressure to areas of inflammation in the lower back. Other massages can also relieve pressure and increase blood flow to stimulate healing.
  5. Topical Treatments. Try a topical treatment such as St. John’s wort oil, an anti-inflammatory oil. Applying the oil topically two to three times a day allows the treatment to seep into the skin and get to affected muscles. Talk to your physician about topical oils and creams; there is a wide variety available to sciatica patients.
  6. Ice or Heat. The sciatic nerve is burrowed deep within the body, so while heat and ice cannot provide pain relief, they can signal help from the body to the affected area.
  7. Devil’s Claw. Devil’s claw is a potent herbal medication that acts as an anti-inflammatory. It is not recommended for patients on blood-thinning medications.
  8. Pain Relievers/Muscle Relaxants. Pain relievers and muscle relaxants might be prescribed to alleviate the pain associated with muscles spasms triggered by a pinched nerve.
  9. Epidural Steroid Injections. Epidural steroid injections are reserved for severe cases of pain after other treatments have been attempted without results. An x-ray monitor guides a steroid injection toward the sciatic nerve to reduce the proximate inflammation.
  10. Exercise and Physical Therapy. Increasing blood flow to the bulging disk and sciatic nerve is essential for keeping the affected area clear of chemical congestion, which causes the inflammation. Moving sounds like a last interest to sciatica patients, but even walking for 20 minutes a day will keep you healthier. Ask your chiropractor about a custom physical therapy plan.
  11. Surgery. As a last resort, surgery might be the only solution for symptom relief.

If you are experiencing leg pain and think it might be sciatica, schedule an appointment with the premier chiropractor in Chandler AZ, BackFit Spine + Health.

What to Do After You’ve Been Injured at Work

Work injuries are common and can be triggered by a number of scenarios. Usually, injuries to the neck and back occur during heavy lifting and unpredicted movements.

However, many injuries are sustained over long periods of time due to repetitive motion and poor postural habits at work. If you are experiencing pain in your neck or back but cannot quite place where the injury might have come from, it could be work-related.

The most common causes of pain from a workplace injury:

  • Typing
  • Yanking
  • Raising
  • Running
  • Resting in bad posture

Even though some of these actions are habitual and seemingly harmless, pressure can build up on ligaments and muscles and eventually, on your bones. This is why some patients do not notice the pain right away.

Will the pain from a workplace injury go away on its own?

If you practice safe posture and movement technique, you can likely rebuild a healthier body on your own. For many patients, the pain is lingering, returning every few weeks or months. Scheduling an appointment for chiropractic pain management can relieve the body of sustained pressure and restore your motion to full range.

How does the chiropractor treat the pain?

Treatment depends on the types of injury and severity of pain. In moderate cases, our chiropractors treat the pressure with warm and cold compresses. In extreme cases, we will discuss physical therapy and possibly surgery.

At BackFit Health + Spine, we are committed to assessing each patient comprehensively and working with you on a flexible schedule to bring your body back to optimal health.

If you have been injured at work or suspect you’ve sustained an injury at work from bad postural habits, reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.

Can Peripheral Neuropathy Be Treated?

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a nerve disorder that affects the brain. Specifically, it affects the communication between the nerve network in the brain and parts of the body, usually starting with the hands and feet.

What do peripheral nerves do?

The peripheral nerves carry messages from the body to the brain, signaling heat, chill or pain to which the brain can reply with a response signal and send the necessary support. When these communication pathways are inactive, signals cannot get to the brain for help, nor can proper functioning be actualized in the body part in need.

Not all cases of PN are the same.

Peripheral neuropathy varies from subtle to severe. Depending on the extent of damage to the nerve(s), neuropathy might manifest as acute, meaning the symptoms come on suddenly and escalate quickly. In cases where the nerves are not as severely damaged, the neuropathy is considered chronic, and symptoms reach their devastating potential over a period of time.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy:

  • Burning sensation
  • Hand/feet numbness or pain
  • Electric sensation or pain
  • Pain when walking
  • Legs cramping
  • Difficulty sleeping due to leg or foot discomfort
  • Weakening muscles
  • Poor balance
  • Prickling sensation in hands and feet

Most patients with PN observe symptoms first in the hands and feet, but if left untreated, the effects of PN travel to the fingers, arms, and legs.

What are the causes of peripheral neuropathy?

A number of causes are attributed to PN. Amongst the most common are:

  • Drug use
  • Diabetes
  • Shingles
  • Kidney failure
  • Vitamin deficiency

Can PN be treated?

In many cases, peripheral neuropathy can be treated, sometimes eliminating the associated pain and inflammation entirely. Patients can also work with our chiropractors to prevent PN from developing. Candidates for preventative PN care might include patients with diabetes or previous kidney problems.

How does BackFit Health + Spine treat PN?

Before understanding treatments, it’s necessary to understand that there are different types of nerves that can be affected by PN: sensory, motor and autonomic.

The chiropractor will perform an assessment to determine which nerves are unresponsive or sending misinformed signals. All symptoms, family medical history details and work/lifestyle habits will be thoroughly reviewed during patient analysis. A range of tests are then given to better comprehend the level of pain.

Once the chiropractor has a comprehensive understanding of your case of PN, including cause and severity, a specific treatment plan will be developed to alleviate the pain and hopefully eliminate the cause of the PN.

At BackFit Health + Spine, we use Combine Electro-Chemical Treatment (CET), an innovative protocol that treats PN pain. CET focuses directly on the underlying cause, stimulating nerve growth to lessen or rid the pain and inflammation causing distress in the body.

CET is performed in two types of procedures: Electric Signal Therapy (EST) and nerve block.

In EST, a wave generator sends specific wave signals to the affected areas. EST is reserved for severe neuromuscular pain and PN.

Nerve Block

A nerve block is performed before EST, preparing the patient for the treatment.  A local anesthetic relieves the immediate pain, improves blood flow to targeted areas and reduces active nerve capacity during EST.

If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of PN, schedule an appointment with BackFit Health + Spine immediately. Our chiropractors will administer the proper assessment, and if you appear to be suffering from PN, we can get you started you on the appropriate peripheral neuropathy treatment. Peripheral neuropathy is a serious malfunctioning of the body, and it’s one that we are fighting back against, one patient at a time.

Celebrate Fall Festival with BackFit Health + Spine

Are you looking for a fun way to celebrate the change in season and a way to give back to the community?

Bring your family and join BackFit Health + Spine for the 2017 Fall Festival.

Tickets sold will raise money for The 100 Club of Arizona, our state’s 501(c)(3) which operates to serve and support the men and women standing courageously behind the badge.

The 100 Club

The 100 Club provides assistance to statewide public safety agencies, officers, EMT/Paramedics and the families of each. Running charitable efforts for nearly 50 years, The 100 Club’s rewards support all city, county, state, federal and tribal departments that help protect Arizona citizen.

Donations generated go toward rebuilding families and organizations when tragedy strikes, safety enhancement stipends, peer support for heroes, scholarships for higher education and funding for the H.E.R.O.S program, which provides relief in times of critical need.

All tickets purchased are tax-deductible. Throughout the last five decades, The 100 Club of Arizona has provided over $100 million to over 1,200 agencies, officers, firefighters and families of public safety.

The Giveaway

Ticket purchases will automatically enter participants into a two-night stay giveaway at Arizona Grand Resort.

Image of Arizona Grand Resort

2017 Fall Festival Ticket Prices:

1 Ticket: $5

3 Tickets: $10

9 Tickets: $20

2017 Fall Festival Dates and Locations:

Saturday, November 4th

9am-1pm

Participating locations:

   Chandler

   Ocotillo

   Queen Creek

   Tempe

Friday, November 3rd

9am – 1pm

3pm – 6pm

Participating locations:

   Phoenix

Saturday, November 18th

9am – 1pm

Participating locations:

– Gilbert

Join our friendly staff at BackFit Health + Spine as we celebrate the fall. Get to know fellow clients and patients, share chiropractic health tips with the community and seize a beautiful opportunity to give back to those who continually place our safety over their own.

We’ll hope to see you out at one of our participating locations (see dates, times and locations above) for the 2017 Fall Festival.

Neck Pain: Physical Therapy and Other Options

Sometimes simple home interventions are enough to treat cervical disc disease, in which an abnormality in one or more discs that lie between the vertebrae cause neck pain. Often, though, it helps to see a physical therapist that can treat abnormalities, show you how to stretch and strengthen your neck and vertebrae, improve your posture, and prevent neck pain from recurring. You may also consider going to see a chiropractor. In the majority of people, certain exercises and manipulations used by these health care providers can help relieve discomfort and restore movement.

When you visit a physical therapist or chiropractor, you’ll first have a complete evaluation. He or she will assess how well you can move your neck. You may be asked about symptoms such as pain in the neck or between the shoulder blades, pain that radiates down the arm to the hand or fingers, or numbness or tingling in the shoulder or arm. Your strength, reflexes, and other potential sources of pain will be checked. The therapist or chiropractor will also assess joint function in your neck and back to identify limitations or dysfunctions that may contribute to your pain.

Stretch, Strengthen, and Straighten Up

There are several types of manipulations and exercises your physical therapist or chiropractor can use to relieve stiffness, strengthen the area, and restore normal function of the neck. Treatments such as cold or heat application, deep tissue massage, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound may be used prior to exercise

During physical therapy, you will practice a range of exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support your neck. You’ll also learn how to improve your posture and range of motion. To help you learn proper postures, the physical therapist might have you stand in front of a mirror while exercising so that you can see your mistakes and correct them.

Chiropractors use some of the same techniques as physical therapists. Gentle adjustments may help restore normal neck function and help alleviate pain. As with physical therapy, chiropractors manipulate the neck and thoracic joints to reduce stiffness, improve mobility, and increase the range of motion. These adjustments might be unsuitable and potentially risky for people with vascular problems in the neck, such as carotid artery stenosis, or advanced osteoarthritis.

Your physical therapist, chiropractor, or medical doctor should determine whether you are at risk of further injury from manipulations before treating you.

Neck Traction for Cervical Disc Disease

One technique used by physical therapists and chiropractors to provide pain relief and improve motion is cervical traction. Traction gently extends the neck, opening the spaces between the cervical vertebrae and temporarily alleviating pressure on the affected discs. Neck traction can either be done continuously or intermittently, alternating between short periods of pulling and resting.

It’s also possible to do cervical traction at home. There are pulley systems that you can hook up to a doorway, or devices that will enable you to perform cervical traction while lying down. It’s important if you do cervical traction on your own to first see your physical therapist or chiropractor to make sure that you buy the right equipment and learn how to set it up correctly.

Cervical Pillows and Collars for Cervical Disc Disease

Cervical pillows (neck pillows) are designed to partially immobilize the neck while you sleep. However, there is no research to support the effectiveness of cervical pillows. It’s a good idea to ask your physical therapist or chiropractor for a recommendation.

Soft cervical collars do not stabilize the neck as much as serve as a reminder to use good posture and range of motion techniques. Rigid cervical collars do immobilize the neck but are uncomfortable for long-term use.

 

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Heat Therapy for Your Sciatica Symptoms

Sciatica symptoms, like pain in your leg or numbness in your foot, can strike without warning.

By now, you probably know that heat therapy may help you find quick relief from these flare-ups. But you may be wondering how to apply heat therapy for your sciatica symptoms. Look no further; we have the answers for you below.

Where to apply heat therapy

It seems logical that you would apply heat to the location of your sciatica symptoms. For example, if you have searing pain in your calf, it would seem to make sense to apply heat therapy to this location.

But it is important to note that sciatica is not a medical diagnosis. Instead, sciatica refers to symptoms like pain, tingling, and numbness that radiate along your sciatic nerve. These symptoms are caused by an underlying lower back condition, which irritates or compresses one of your sciatic nerve roots.

So, as a general rule, it is best to apply heat therapy to your lower back, as this is the location of the nerve root that is pinched or irritated.

How to apply heat therapy

The first thing to know about heat therapy is that you want the temperature to be warm, not hot. If the temperature is too hot, you may suffer serious burns.

In part, the duration of your heat therapy session depends on the severity of your symptoms. If your flare-up is not severe, a 15 to 20 minute session may be enough. If your pain is acute, you may benefit from a 30 minute to 2 hour session. These sessions can be repeated several times throughout the day.

There are multiple options for heat therapy, including warm water bottles and electric blankets. Regardless of which option you choose, it is a smart idea to place a cloth barrier between your skin and the heat source.

When to apply heat therapy

As a general rule, cold therapy is typically applied for the first 2 to 7 days after the onset of your sciatica symptoms. After your acute pain has subsided, you can then apply heat therapy. But this is only a general guideline, and it is a good idea to experiment with heat and cold therapy to learn what works best for you.

While heat therapy may help you find quick relief from your symptoms, it is best used as part of a broader treatment plan that typically includes stretching and other targeted exercises.

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Top Reasons Why Pilates is Good for Your Health

The Pilates that we know today was originally developed by Joseph Pilates, who dedicated his entire life to improving physical and mental health during the early 20th century.

Today, Pilates is well-known across the globe and is a popular form of exercise for thousands of people.

In fact, the number of Americans who practice it regularly has exploded by over a sixfold from 1991 to 2005 (from 1.7 million to 11 million).

And it is still increasing to this day.

However, have you ever thought about its benefits and exactly what is Pilates good for?

Just for your convenience, we have listed a few health benefits of Pilates below.

1. Great for killer abs and core strength

Pilates really hits your core muscles (or ‘powerhouse’ as it is called in the Pilates world) and has positive effects on your lower back, abdomen, hip and pelvic muscles. Not only is a strong core essential for exercises but also for everyday tasks such as carrying heavy items and picking up objects you need to move or relocate.

As well as helping you to improve your physique, core training also helps to achieve those flat abs that we all crave for.

2. It is a good workout for your entire body

Even though the main focus is on your core strength, Pilates also plays a part in developing a full-body workout. It ensures that no specific muscle is overdeveloped and underdeveloped, giving you that perfect lean body you are looking for.

3. Perfect rehab for back pain

It’s not always guaranteed and certainly not a quick fix, but many people have seen their back pain gradually disappear after practicing Pilates. There is even a case study where a sufferer has visited 50 specialists only to find that Pilates has helped to cure her back pain.

4. Gives you a great backside

You will not find one specific exercise which solely benefits your backside. But with a whole-body Pilates workout, a major bonus is that every single exercise involves your backside in some way or form.

5. Improves your posture

Poor posture form, as a result of bad habits such as slouching at your desk and chair, can eventually cause backache, neck ache, headache, etc. The bad habits will result in asymmetrical muscle development, where some muscles are weaker than others. Pilates can help to strengthen those underdeveloped muscles and get rid of bad posture.

6. Places no pressure on your knees and joints

Since Pilates consists of slow and controlled movements, there is minimal impact on your joints. This is naturally ideal for those who cannot (or do not want to) take part in high-impact sports and exercises.

7. Pilates is for everyone

It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, fit or out of shape, flexible or not, Pilates is one of a handful of exercises which can benefit everyone.

8. Boosts your mental health and encourages you to improve your focus and concentration

Pilates helps to create a body & mind relationship, where concentration, focus, and meditation come together to help boost your mental health.

An important part of Pilates is that it pushes you to focus on your body, breathing and how they all work and move together. It is with focus and concentration that you are more likely to benefit from the exercise.

9. Improves sports performance

Many sportsmen and women find that their bodies are misaligned due to the one-sided nature of certain sports e.g. swinging a tennis racquet or golf clubs.

As Pilates helps to balance your body, develop muscular symmetry and align your posture, sportsmen and women find that Pilates can help reduce the likelihood of injuries.

10. Increases your flexibility

It was Joseph Pilates who said: “true flexibility can be achieved only when all muscles are uniformly developed.”

So rather than saying you can’t do Pilates because you are not flexible enough, you should actually participate in Pilates exercises to help improve your flexibility.

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Prevention of Basic Knee Injury

Prevention of knee injuries, whether acute (knee ligament sprains) or chronic (knee tendonitis, bursitis, or the management of arthritis) is a frequent question to any fitness and health practitioner.

Regardless of the exercise program or the age or gender of the participant, there are key points that should be addressed. First, a flexibility program incorporated into an exercise program is usually a good start. Second, a strength program (regardless of your current muscle strength) will typically work to prevent injury. Third, it is important, based on your level of fitness, any other surrounding health issues, or other previous injuries or current injuries or health issues that the correct exercises are chosen, and when they are, that overtraining is avoided. Lastly, as all of these are considered, make sure to consider proper equipment and technique. When in doubt, consult health and fitness experts or a sports medicine physician.

The following recommendations are designed for knee injury prevention, not performance enhancement.

Flexibility of the Hip and Thigh Musculature 


In any injury prevention program, flexibility or a stretching program of the surrounding muscles is crucial. The muscles most important for prevention of knee injuries are the hip and thigh muscles: the gluteals, hip adductors or groin muscles, and the knee flexors and extensors. There are countless stretching programs, but the basic guidelines of warming up prior to exercise still ring true: warm up until you “break a sweat,” stretch each muscle group two to three times and stretch after activity for your cool down. Stretching does not improve performance but will work to prevent injury and, as a general rule, is an absolute must if you have sustained an injury. Flexibility declines with age, so it is best to incorporate and maintain early on since flexibility can be difficult to regain.

Strengthening of the Hip, Thigh

As with any injury prevention program, strengthening of the muscles surrounding the knee is important. The muscles that should be the focus of a knee injury prevention program are the hip muscles: gluteus maximus or hip extensors; rectus femoris and iliopsoas or hip flexors; and the hip adductors. Also important are the knee joint, knee extensors (quadriceps group) and the knee flexors (hamstring group). Although these are the key muscles to focus on, many sources also recommend strength exercises for the lower-leg muscles such as the ankle plantarflexors and dorsiflexors.

To strengthen these areas, utilize weight machines or some other form of resistance exercise, such as sport cords or resistance tubing. Each exercise should focus on individual muscle groups and be performed in eight to 10 repetitions. Complete at least one set, increasing up to three sets, with at least 20 to 40 seconds of rest between each set. Focus on performing each exercise properly, not on doing a lot of exercises or lifting a great amount of weight.

Another second strength-training option is to use body-weight exercises such as squats, wall squats or lunges. These exercises can be done anywhere, require little space or equipment, and utilize multiple muscle groups. However, often maintaining proper form can be challenging, so use caution.

Avoid Overtraining, Regardless of Activity Choice


Overtraining is a concern with any activity, be it walking, running, swimming, or the plethora of other choices available to exercisers. The first step in avoiding knee overtraining is to choose your activity wisely to ensure it’s a good fit. For example, if you have many lower-leg problems, knee pain, or a history of back pain, a non-weight-bearing activity such as swimming may be a better choice than running. Then start slowly, with a day of rest between each exercise bout, and progress either by increasing the time of each exercise session or by adding a day of activity per week. For people who like variety, choosing different activities, often called crosstraining, is a good option. Choose a weight-bearing and a non-weight-bearing activity and alternate workouts. Regardless of the activity, be sure to use proper technique, particularly in technique-intense sports such as speed walking or swimming, and always get instruction if needed.

Sport-Specific Tips


Many activities have equipment guidelines and recommendations, and these recommendations can change frequently. For example, running shoes should be replaced approximately every 300 miles. The shoes’ shock absorption will typically not be adequate in the average runner after that mileage. Conversely, the use of walking or hiking poles has been shown to reduce impact and may be beneficial to walking or hiking, regardless of the terrain.

When in doubt, always check with a physician, fitness expert, or professional such as a physical therapist or certified athletic trainer to prevent an injury and ensure you are ready to begin your exercise program and prevent knee injury.

If you are one of the 100 million people in the U.S. who suffer from knee pain, you know how debilitating this chronic condition can be. You can achieve knee pain relief at our chiropractic care center.

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The Effects of Stress on Your Body

You’re sitting in traffic, late for an important meeting, watching the minutes tick away. Your hypothalamus, a tiny control tower in your brain, decides to send out the order: Send in the stress hormones! These stress hormones are the same ones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. Your heart races, your breath quickens, and your muscles ready for action. This response was designed to protect your body in an emergency by preparing you to react quickly. But when the stress response keeps firing, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk.

Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, war, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health. It can help you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.Yet if your stress response doesn’t stop firing, and these stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being. Symptoms of chronic stress include:

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • headaches
  • insomnia

Central nervous and endocrine systems

Your central nervous system (CNS) is in charge of your “fight or flight” response. In your brain, the hypothalamus gets the ball rolling, telling your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rev up your heartbeat and send blood rushing to the areas that need it most in an emergency, such as your muscles, heart, and other important organs.When the perceived fear is gone, the hypothalamus should tell all systems to go back to normal. If the CNS fails to return to normal, or if the stressor doesn’t go away, the response will continue.Chronic stress is also a factor in behaviors such as overeating or not eating enough, alcohol or drug abuse, and social withdrawal.

Respiratory and cardiovascular systems

Stress hormones affect your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. During the stress response, you breathe faster in an effort to quickly distribute oxygen-rich blood to your body. If you already have a breathing problem like asthma or emphysema, stress can make it even harder to breathe.Under stress, your heart also pumps faster. Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to constrict and divert more oxygen to your muscles so you’ll have more strength to take action. But this also raises your blood pressure.As a result, frequent or chronic stress will make your heart work too hard for too long. When your blood pressure rises, so do your risks for having a stroke or heart attack.

Digestive system

Under stress, your liver produces extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. If you’re under chronic stress, your body may not be able to keep up with this extra glucose surge. Chronic stress may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.The rush of hormones, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate can also upset your digestive system. You’re more likely to have heartburn or acid reflux thanks to an increase in stomach acid. Stress doesn’t cause ulcers (a bacterium called H. pylori often does), but it can increase your risk for them and cause existing ulcers to act up.Stress can also affect the way food moves through your body, leading to diarrhea or constipation. You might also experience nausea, vomiting, or a stomachache.

Muscular system

Your muscles tense up to protect themselves from injury when you’re stressed. They tend to release again once you relax, but if you’re constantly under stress, your muscles may not get the chance to relax. Tight muscles cause headaches, back and shoulder pain, and body aches. Over time, this can set off an unhealthy cycle as you stop exercising and turn to pain medication for relief.

Immune system

Stress stimulates the immune system, which can be a plus for immediate situations. This stimulation can help you avoid infections and heal wounds. But over time, stress hormones will weaken your immune system and reduce your body’s response to foreign invaders. People under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like the flu and the common cold, as well as other infections. Stress can also increase the time it takes you to recover from an illness or injury.

The treatments from BackFit Health + Spine’s Massage Therapy introduces us to the benefits of knowing how chiropractic treatment in conjunction with the techniques from a well-trained massage therapist, can help us with our pain management so that we aren’t facing these daily stresses and tensions within our bodies.

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Alternative Treatments to Opioids for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects more Americans than cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined. The most common solution to chronic pain is prescribed opioids, which can have a detrimental, addictive influence on patients’ lives. Opioids include fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and methadone.

Opioid health risk and medical crisis with a prescription painkiller addiction epidemic concept as a group of people running away from a dangerous falling bridge of pills as a medicine addict problem with 3D illustration elements.

Becoming addicted to opioids can take a serious toll on one’s livelihood, and the pain reliever itself does not combat the underlying issue, the root cause of the pain.

There are many natural, alternative healing methods for chronic pain, and a number of them can work to identify the patient’s underlying cause of discomfort. If you experience or have experienced pain for more than three months, consider the following natural pain relief options to start your journey towards a pain-free life:

Alternative Chronic Pain Therapy:

Chiropractic CareChiropractor stretches female patient neck muscles

Chronic pain syndrome is often traced to anatomical misalignments, commonly along the spine. The spinal column houses the central nervous system, which enables all of our bodily functioning and supports the health of our immune system.

Even a slight misalignment of the spine can throw the body out of balance and manifest in daily life as subtle, excruciating or chronic pain.

Another common cause of chronic pain is inflammation. A chiropractor can introduce you to joint therapy to relieve pain caused by inflammation.

Chiropractors assess the body holistically, meaning they look at all factors that could potentially be contributing the source of experienced pain. If you are under the negative effects of chronic pain, it might not be a matter of the spine, but a chiropractor will be able to narrow down the potential causes of your pain.

If an anatomical misalignment is identified, chiropractic care is non-invasive and has highly effective results amongst patients. Because chiropractors work with your injury in a comprehensive context, you will likely experience other benefits to your body, lifestyle, and overall health, too.

Massage TherapyPhysiotherapist giving back massage to a patient in clinic

Massaging deep and soft tissue alleviates chronic pain by loosening muscle tension and thoroughly relaxing muscle fibers that bunch up after overuse or high impact injury. Many patients report meditative, pain-killer-like effects after massages. This is because the body has its own natural pain relievers that get released as a masseuse properly applies pressure to muscles (especially neck pain relief).

Massages are beneficial to any sufferers of chronic pain, even those unaware of the source. Tight, weak or inadequately trained muscles can all lead to pain signals in the body. If those areas are not fleshed out, your body does not get a chance to recover. Give it this chance! Combine massage therapy with chiropractic for a more thorough (and possibly speedier) healing process.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has many benefits, one of which is the ongoing reduction of chronic pain. Acupuncture stems from the acupressure system, which focuses on the body’s meridian lines (or the pathways thought to conduct energy flow). Wherever there is buildup along these pathways, needles are inserted to release the pressure and the let energy flow smoothly again.

Acupuncture has great results in pain relief, and because of its use of the body’s energy system, it is also widely recognized for its mood boosting.

It’s important to remember that you have more options for natural back pain therapy other than opioids; chiropractic care, massage therapy, and acupuncture are just three examples.

Opioids are plaguing the lives of our peers, and there are ways around them. Please reach out to our doctors at Backfit Health + Spine if you or a loved one is in need of alternative care options. Chronic pain does not have to have control over your life, and we can identify additional ways to combat the source of injury, inflammation or misalignment.

Get in touch with us and book a consultation today.

Benefits of Ongoing Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care keeps the body healthy throughout your various stages in life. Whether you are battling chronic or acute pain or want to monitor your physical health as you change your lifestyle, ongoing care at our Chandler chiropractic care center offers many benefits.

  • Immune system boost. Studies show that patients who receive ongoing chiropractic health care have stronger immune systems than those who don’t partake and regular chiropractic care. The spinal column houses the central nervous system and keeps everything in the body running fluidly. The healthier the spine is, the stronger the body is to fight off infection and defend itself against potential attacks.
  • Less reliance on drugs. Because a healthy spine keeps the body naturally healthy and because ongoing chiropractic work relieves lower back and neck pain, patients see a significantly decreased need for and reliance on pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Fewer headaches. It might not be the first symptom you think a chiropractic physician relieves, but in fact, many patients see their chiropractor for chronic migraines and headaches. Generally, a few sessions are needed to illuminate the relief and ongoing sessions keep the headaches away, but many patients feel a difference after their first session.
  • Chronic pain reduction. Chronic pain results in the body from a number of causes, but it often manifests as discomfort in the lower back and neck. A chiropractor not only works to alleviate the pain that patients are feeling but also works to promote a healing environment in the body. The healthier the spine becomes, the more its surrounding systems can strengthen and promote an environment where pain cannot thrive. A chiropractor looks at a patient comprehensively, evaluating lifestyle, work conditions and existing health conditions to identify where changes can be made to build the body back to optimal health.

Relief from chronic pain caused by the following:Chronic pain

    • Back and neck conditions
    • Sleep disorders
    • Stress and tension disorders
    • Sciatica
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Arm and wrist pain
    • Arthritis
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Knee, foot and ankle pain
    • Bursitis10
  • Enhanced mood. Working with a chiropractic releases dopamine in the brain, a natural pain reliever, and mood booster. Spinal care always contributes to overall hormone balance, which helps ease depression and makes many patients feel happier.
  • Improved posture. Seeing a chiropractor constantly corrects your posture and makes it easier to maintain a healthy sitting position in you daily life. With so many sedentary jobs in the current day, regular chiropractic care can reduce 20 to 30 pounds of pressure of patients’ necks.
  • Injury prevention. Working with a chiropractor entails constant evaluation of the entire body. A chiropractor looks at health holistically, so all systems come under review throughout sessions. By identifying where one area of the body might be slipping and assigning an exercise to strengthen it, patients maintain steadier, stronger health and consequently avoid injury. You have probably heard reminders like, “lift with your legs,” which encourages people not to carry too much weight with the back. The spinal is a strong, but fragile system, and the more weight we expect it to hold, the more compromised it becomes. A chiropractor makes sure that the spine is in good condition for weight bearing exercises and that you know how to evenly distribute movement throughout the body to avoid injury.

The benefits of ongoing chiropractor care are many, and we are proud to provide the best chiropractor Chandler AZ services for you. Reach out to our team with any questions, and come in for a visit to get moving on your healthiest life, yet.

Tips On How To Straighten Spine Naturally

Spine health is one of the most recent health concerns in modern world. The spine may be damaged and distorted due to wrong sitting or standing position or slouching habit. Slouching is a bad pose, which is a result of sitting too much in front of the computer or a fashionable trend that the youth generation is adopting, but the ugly truth is that it is one of the main reasons that cause spinal problems. While most of us can find solutions to back pain problems by simply doing some good exercises at home, spinal problems are much more complicated. It is harder to cure and it can start as early as at the age of 29. The spine is one of the essential parts the central nerve system, which does the daily communication between your brain and your body’s parts. The unhealthy spine may cause disruption of the whole nerve system as well as produce numerous unexpected symptoms such as pain, numbness, uncontrollable arms and legs’ movement, breath crippling, impaired digestion and uncontrollable of the bowel and bladder. In this article, you will be exposed how to straighten spine naturally with exercises and tips to improve your spinal health effectively.

I. How To Straighten Spine Naturally – Common Problems Of Posture And Quick Solutions:

Slumping your shoulders does not just make you look like one of the human’s long-extinct ancestors, and if you do not stand up with proper posture, no exercise can give you the straight spine as desired. The reason is because, over time, incorrect posture leaves a serious toll on your back, knees, hips, and shoulders. Actually, it may lead to several structural flaws that contribute to joint and back pain, compromised muscles, and reduced flexibility – the major factors that can limit your ability to build strength and burn fat. However, you can deal with and eliminate all these matters and concerns by taking the easy test to check out if your posture is right, then making use of some great exercises to straighten spine and correct spine I am giving below to get your curves moving in the right direction, fix your back, and soothe any related pain. Here are some of the most common problems of posture and how you can fix them well right at home without making any mistake or meeting any difficulty.

1. Duck Feet:

This is the very first common problem related to human’s posture that many people are struggling with, and there are some good exercises to straighten back and improve this ugly posture that can be easily practiced at home.
The problem:

Your hip flexors and oblique muscles are weak.

How to fix:

With your feet resting on a stability ball, you will need to get into a pushup position. Then, tuck your knees while using the feet to roll the ball toward your body under the torso without rounding the lower back. After that, back to the starting position. Apply this exercise with 2 – 3 sets for 6 – 12 times on a daily basis for good results as desired.

Duck feet is really a terrible problem that affects not only your spine but also your whole posture. Fix it!

2. Pigeon Toes:

The matter:

Weak glutes (butt muscles)

How to fix:

With your heels together and your knees bent 90 degrees, lie on one side of your body. Keep your hips still while separating the knees as a clamshell and raising the top knee upward. Pause for 5 seconds, and then lower the knee to the starting position. Apply this exercise with 2 – 3 sets for 6 – 12 times on a daily basis for good results as desired.

This is actually a common problem of posture that affect the posture of your whole body, causing many related problems, such as incorrect spine form, so people who want to learn how to straighten spine naturally need to know this and learn carefully.

3. Elevated Shoulder:

The matter:

The muscle under your chest (run from the ribs to the shoulder blades) is weak.
How to fix:

In a chair, you will need to sit upright with two hands next to two sides of the hip, arms straight, and palms down on the seat. Push down on the chair with the hips lifting up off the seat without moving your arms; and keep the torso rising. Hold for 5 seconds. Apply this exercise with 2 – 3 sets for 6 – 12 times on a daily basis for good results as desired.

4. Anterior Pelvic Tilt:

This is also another common problem of human posture that people who want to have good and confident look without worrying about how to straighten spine or how to correct their posture in general should learn carefully.
The matter:

Tight hip flexors

How to fix:

With your knee bent and your right foot on the floor in front of your body, kneel on your left knee. Until you feel your left hip stretched, press forward. On your left side, tighten the butt muscles until you feel the front of your hip comfortably stretched. Use your left arm to reach upward and stretch it to the right side. Hold on for about 30 seconds. Apply this exercise with 3 sets for each side on a daily basis for good results as desired.

5. Rounded Shoulders:

This is also a common problem of posture that can also affect the form of your back and spine negatively, thus I recommend a wonderful out of the best exercises to straighten spine and improve the form of the shoulders greatly that people should try at home.
The matter:

Weakness in the middle and lower parts of your trapezius (the large muscle that spans your shoulders and back)
How to fix:

Lie your body with your face down on the floor, with each arm in the high-5 position at a 90-degree angle. By squeezing your shoulder blades together and pulling your shoulders back, raise both your two arms without changing your elbow angle. Hold for 5 seconds. Apply this exercise with 3 sets for each side on a daily basis for good results as desired.

6. Forward Head:

This is the last but also very serious problem of posture that people need to fix right away if they want to get better look and learn how to straighten spine and neck.
The matter:

Stiff muscles in the back of the neck
How to fix:

Moving your head only, while stretching the back of your neck, drop the chin down and in toward your sternum. Hold for 5 seconds. Apply this exercise with 3 sets for each side and repeat the exercise 10 times on a daily basis for good results as desired.

IIHow To Straighten Your Back And Spine – Simple Ways To Assess Your Posture:

Wear something that very fit your body and take 2 photos of your full body — one from the side and one from the front. Stand as tall as possible with your muscles relaxed and your feet hip-width apart. After that, refer to the fix-it plan to figure out the posture problems you and your body are facing.

•           Check out and find out whether or not you are duck-footed: if you see your toes pointing outward more than 10 degrees, your are getting this problem.

•           Check out the kneecaps: If they point inward, making your knees touch when the legs are straightened, you actually have to deal with the problem right away.

•           Check out your shoulders: they should not appear with one side higher than the other.

•           If you have a belly pooch (even if you are not fat or overweight with a little extra fat) and your hips tilt forward, while your lower spine is significantly arched, you are actually struggling with the anterior pelvic tilt problem but you do not know about it.

•           If you can see your shoulder blade, your back is actually too rounded.

•           Check out your ear: If it is in front of your shoulder’s middle point, your head is too far forward.

III. Some Good Postures That Can Help On How To Straighten Your Back Naturally:

As already mentioned and discussed, correcting poor postures is essential and crucial for determining where improvement is necessary. For example, when you sit in an office chair. Next, patients need to work on changing their routines and habits daily and thereby correcting the related areas. This will be able to help in improving and providing a great support to your back and over time it will help in decreasing back pain. You will need to spend some efforts and perseverance on doing this, and it seems to be a necessariness when it comes to a little unnatural support initially. Commonly, people might feel uncomfortable, and even sometimes they feel a little taller, but over time the new correct postures will seem to be more comfortable and natural.

Here are a few of good guidelines and tips on how to get in right postures and ergonomics and how to straighten your back naturally at home and at the workplace.

1. Sleeping Posture With Pillows And Mattresses:

  • If you sleep on the side, you should relatively have a flat pillow placed between your legs. This will help to keep your spine straight and aligned.
  • Consider putting under your neck with a rolled-up towel and a pillow under your knees to support your spine better.
  • Use a pillow to give your shoulders and head proper alignment and support.
  • Sleeping on the back or side is usually more comfortable for your back compared to sleeping on your tummy.
  • It is generally best for proper back to use a relatively firm mattress to support them, although individual preference is very crucial.
  • When you need to carry backpack along, avoid rounding your shoulders or leaning forward. If the weight feels like too much, you need to think about making use of a rolling backpack with wheels.
  • When carrying a purse or a backpack, remember to keep it as light as you can, and as much as possible balance the weight on your both sides, or alternate from side to side
  • If you need to carry something with one arm, remember to frequently switch your arms
  • Keep the object close to your chest when carrying what a large or heavy object
  • If it is needed to help in keeping good posture while lifting, you should get a supportive belt.
  • Use the large stomach and leg muscles for lifting instead of using your lower back
  • Always remember to bend at your knees, not your waist

3. Driving Posture:

  • The headrest should support your head’s middle point and area for keeping it upright. Tilt the headrest forward if you can so that you will be able to ensure that the head-to-headrest distance would not be more than 4 inches.
  • The seat needs to be a sufficient and suitable distance from the steering wheel to the pedals to avoid reaching or leaning forward
  • To get proper back support, you need to sit with your back firmly against the seat

4. Walking Posture:

  • Keep your both shoulders properly aligned with the rest of your body
  • Avoid pushing your head forward
  • Keep your head up and your eyes need to look straight ahead

This is also one of the best tips on how to straighten your back that I want to reveal in this entire article and want you and my other readers to learn and remember to apply for good!

5. Standing Posture:

  • With your shoulders and bottom touching the wall, stand against a hard wall. In this position, you should also keep the back of your head touching the wall – if it does not, your head is carried to far forward (anterior head carriage).
  • If you have to stand for a long time period, rock from heels to toes or shift weight from 1 foot to the other.
  • Stand tall straight with your shoulders upright
  • Ensure that your head is not pushed out forward yet square on top of the spine
  • Tuck your chin in a little so that you will be able to keep your head at the proper level
  • Avoid locking your knees
  • Allow your arms to naturally hang down the sides of your body
  • Keep your feet slightly apart, about shoulder-width
  • Stand not with weight on the heels yet with weight mostly on the balls of your feet,

6. Sitting Posture For Office Chairs:

This is also one of the best tips on how to straighten your back fast and naturally without having to practice any exercises to straighten spine that you and my other readers should consider making use as frequently as possible.

  • Do not sit in a single place for too long, even in an ergonomic office chair that provides good back support. You should stand up and walk around as well as stretching your hands, legs, and back as needed
  • Sit in the office chair with your shoulders straight
  • Keep both your feet flat on the floor. If there is a problem that your feet cannot reach the floor comfortably, you should make use of a footrest along with your office chair
  • You should keep your knees even with your hips or slightly higher than your hip when you are sitting in the office chair.
  • When you sit on an office chair at a desk, you should flex your arms at a 75 to 90 degree angle at your elbows. If this is not your exact case, you can adjust the office chair accordingly.
  • For long term sitting; for example, in an office chair, you need to make sure that the chair is designed ergonomically so that it can support your back properly and that it is a custom fit.
  • You need to make sure that your back would be aligned against the back of your office chair. Avoid leaning forward or slouching, especially when you have been sitting in the office chair for a long period of time and are feeling tired.

IV. Improve Spinal Health With The Best Exercises To Straighten Spine And Natural Tips On How To Straighten Your Back:

It is very necessary and important for anyone to remember and keep in mind that an overall reason leading bad posture is the tense of muscles, which would pull your body out of the alignment. There are a lot of certain effective exercises to straighten your spine that can help in stretching and relaxing the major and most important muscles of your back. Some people discover that meditation and any other form of mental healthy exercises could be very useful for relaxing the muscle system of human’s back. And, many people find out some remedies and activities like massage therapy, Tai Chi, yoga, and many other exercise routines that should be performed regularly, or treatments like osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation, etc. to be useful with both posture improvement and awareness, and muscle relaxation as well.

1. Open Shoulder Pose

This is the very first out of the best exercises to straighten spine and back that I would like to reveal in this section of the article to help you and any other readers who want to learn how to straighten spine naturally at home without making use of expensive yet harmful methods such as drugs, pills, or some medical intervention, or even a surgery.

Yoga is one of the most helpful exercises that many women are following. If you want to know how to straighten spine and find out the most bodyweight exercise at home, you can try to perform this pose.

  • You lay your belly on the ground.
  • Put your left arm for 90 degree from the body.
  • Face your palm up.
  • Press your right hand under the shoulder.
  • Bend your right knee and reach the right toe.
  • To reach your right arm to the ceiling, you can fall down your hand to the ground and keep it as long as you can.
  • Also, you can make your right hand touch the left and breathe well.
  • If you want to change the side, do it slowly.

2. Open Your Shoulder On The Blocks

This is very simple exercise that you can do at home because you do not have to prepare lots of materials or tools to support your exercises. Simply, you can put two blocks in front of you and put the elbows on those blocks. Stress your hands as the position of a prayer, release the head between two blocks and turn the prayer to the back. Keep this position for 10 breaths.

3. Straighten Spine With Arms

This movement requires the combination of the shoulder and arms and it also can imporove your flexibility

  • The beginning position is to kneel.
  • Next reach the left arm to the ceiling.
  • Bend the elbow until the left arm fall to the shoulders.
  • Get the right hand to reach the left elbow and deepen your shoulder, open it but do not push or press it.
  • Count for five breaths and lean the back slightly.
  • Change the hands and repeat the steps.

In fact, this is one of the best and most effective tips on how to straighten spine naturally that I would like to reveal in this entire article and want you and my readers to learn and make use as soon as possible!

4. Open Shoulder With Standing Pose

This exercise is also good for your spine and you should add into the tips of how to straighten spine with yoga poses.

  • Stand up.
  • Clasp the hands behind the sacrum, soften it through the knees and fold it forward.
  • You should stay this position for ten deep breaths.

5. Open Shoulder With Wall

  • Put the forearms on the wall and keep it parallel to the height of the lower shoulder.
  • Keep the shoulder and elbows far.
  • Step back to make your head relax between your arms.
  • Keep this position for 5 breaths.

6. Fish Pose

Wondering how to straighten spine quickly, you should try this pose at home. The steps are:

  • Sit down and put a medium-height block behind.
  • Now you can rest on the blocks and regulate the place you put on the body there until you feel comfortable. Make sure that your arms are also resting on it.
  • Keep this pose for five deep breaths.

In brief, practicing the fish pose is one of the simplest to apply yet most effective tips on how to straighten spine naturally and fast that I would like to reveal in this article and people who want to learn how to get taller need to learn and make use as soon as possible!

7. Needle Pose

  • Firstly, reach the left arm under the body and allow the left shoulder release to the floor.
  • Put your right hand over the head.
  • Keep the pose and breathe for 10 times.
  • Change the side and repeat the steps.

8. Twist Pose

This is also a good and health yoga exercise that can help people who want to learn how to straighten spine naturally at home without using any type of drugs, pills, and medications achieve their goal and dream of getting their back straight again, making them more confident when showing off in public and get more success in life.

Obviously, learning how to straighten spine naturally, along with eating foods, having healthy lifestyle, you need to have a good plan of exercises every day. This is another yoga pose we suggest you do.

  • Sit down and keep your legs long in front of you.
  • Bend the left knee and put the left food out of the right knee.
  • Hug the right arm around the left leg and put the left hand on the floor behind the sacrum.
  • Keep this position for 2 deep breaths and change the side.

9. Mountain Pose

It is a mistake if we do not list mountain pose in this article. That is very easy exercise to do at home and you can follow the instructions:

  • Stand tall; keep your feet hip wide apart and the toes point toward.
  • Cull the belly in toward the spine to help your lower back and curve it naturally.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • Mound the head on the top of your spine.
  • Keep the arms straight along with the body.

This is also one of the best exercises to straighten spine and tips on how to straighten spine naturally proper for both men and women that I want to list down in this section of the entire article.

10. Good Posture Is Significant

Well, I can’t blame everyone for not maintaining a good posture since bad pose such as slouching is unquestionably a major factor that contribute to your spinal problem. Sometimes, we unintentionally slouch due to long hour working in front of the computer or sitting in the office for too long. Slouching will give us temporary comfort and relaxation but we can literally notice that at the same time, it is giving us spinal problems. At this point, you may come up with a question that what defines a good posture. The definition is very important because you yourself can fix your spinal problem by making your body adapt to correct posture.

A correct posture is when your head and ears are parallel to the shoulders, your shoulders blades are retracted a bit while your back and spinal are straightened up. The correct posture will lighten the spinal stress and help you avoid back pain problems.

The experts from San Francisco State University have discovered the interrelationship between poor posture and depression, while many researchers have proven that stooping and slouching are significantly associated with a bunch of diseases such as heart burn, depression, overweight, and respiratory functions.

So, how to straighten spine naturally? By correcting your posture, you can automatically gain a lot of benefits such as taller appearance, deeper breath, elevate your overall energy and enhance your body performance.

11. Deep Breathing Can Give An Unexpected Result

Nobody knows that a breathing exercise can give your spine a miracle effect. Well, if you have ever done Yoga exercises, you may be familiar with this. Deep breathing exercise will allow the nerves to function more effectively in the spinal channels. You can start this exercise by placing your hand on your abdominal area and pay attention to the elasticity of your stomach as you inhale and exhale. You can do this exercise daily and as much as possible because it is easy, simple as it does not give any side effects.

12. Exercises That Help You Strengthen Your Core And Joints

Another thing that people who want to learn how to straighten spine naturally and fast at home should do for good is practicing exercises to straighten spine on a regular basis. This is actually one of the most useful tips on how to straighten your back that almost everyone in the world knows and do not skip!

Workouts and exercises daily are all you need for a strong spine. If you are a busy type, just 10 minutes of spine strengthening exercises every day will solve your spinal problems. Exercises such as neck stretch, bending can dramatically improve your spinal health. If you have a personal trainer, I guess he may also ask you to perform some exercises with weights, which are proven to give you better spinal health within 1 month. I recommend you to try out those exercises such as downward dog, or push up. The downward dog exercise requires you to open up your chest and stretch your spine while push up exercise does not only strengthen your spine but also add muscle on your arms and shoulders.

Let me introduce to you 3 handy spine strengthening exercises, that you can practice anywhere you like. The exercises aim to strengthen the core muscle groups that hold the spine straight and support the nervous system along the spine. These muscle groups are located in the upper back, lower back, as well as sides of your spine and they, are called the erector spine muscles. Before we learn the exercise, I have one important reminder for those people, who are suffering from osteoporosis. Please do not bend your spine forward because it will add more pressure on your spine.

13. Exercise 1 – Neck Press Against Resistance

  • Lie your body on a mattress with a pillow under head.
  • Bend the head down to straighten the spine. Don’t bend too much, only stop as long as you can feel a mild stretch down your spine.
  • Chin is tucked in and head facing upward.
  • Hold the pose for 5 seconds and then relax for 3-4 seconds.
  • Repeat these for 10 times until your neck muscles get tired.
  • You can do this 2-3 times daily.
  • You need to focus while doing this exercise because any jerk or sudden movement may render you sprained.
  • Once you are familiar with this exercise, you will find it easy to handle.

In fact, this is also one of the most interesting and useful tips on how to straighten spine naturally at home that people should not look down but remember to learn and make use for good!

14. Exercise 2 – Strengthening Extensor Muscles

  • You begin the exercise with standing posture.
  • Place the rubber ball behind your upper back.
  • Distance your feet away from the wall to achieve body balance.
  • Use your feet and legs to push your body against the wall while keeping your spine and hips in the same position.
  • The anchor point acts as a pivot as being shown in the pictures.
  • Hold the pose for 5 seconds and take a break for 2 seconds after that.
  • You can repeat this exercise for 20 times every day

This is also a good tip on how to straighten spine naturally at home that is simple to follow yet will bring about good results as desired within a very short time period so that people should not skip but try to learn and practice it on a regular basis to achieve straight spine and back after all.

15. Exercise 3 – Chest Raises From Prone

  • This is an advanced exercise that you may take quite sometimes to be able to do it. Well but if you are able to lie on your stomach easily, you are qualified to do this one.
  • You start the exercise by lying on the floor face down supported by your stomach.
  • If you encounter difficulty in lifting your head, I recommend that you may put a pillow under the abdominal area. It will make it easier to lift the head up.
  • While keeping the head and shoulder straight, you can slowly lift up the head and hold that pose for 5 seconds.
  • Rest for 2 seconds and repeat the exercise.
  • I know many of you still can’t lift the head and chest up even with the help of the pillow. My advice is to keep trying because you are just not familiar with the exercise yet.

16. Good Diet Makes A Difference

Another out of the best and most necessary to know tips on how to straighten spine naturally and fast at home for both men and women at all ages that I would like to introduce in this entire article is following a healthy and proper diet.

The spine health always remains a mystery to many people as they may think that exercise is the only way to enhance the spinal strength. Well, that is just so wrong because a good diet plays a key role in giving your spine necessary nutrition and nourishment.  A perfect example of how a good diet should be a meal that consists of lean proteins, fresh fruits, vegetables as well as healthy fat. The diet also gives you side benefits such as lean muscle and good immune system. Besides, if you really care about your spinal health, I recommend you to go for supplementary products such as multivitamin tablets, which come with B-complex and Omega-3s formula. These formulas are scientifically proven to give you a decent release of spinal pain.

17. Get Some Exposures To The Sun Every Day

Somewhat I can say the effect of the sun on the spine is magical but I know many of you out there do not know about this fact. The sunlight contains energy which is proven to rejuvenate your body as well as stimulate your body to stand up straight. Additionally, the sunlight is a rich source of vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones. That means through the body manufacturing process, your spinal column should get an adequate amount of vitamin D under the sunlight exposure. You are recommended to spend 10-20 minutes in sunlight daily.

18. Schedule Your Sleep

Another out of the most wonderful yet also simplest tips on how to straighten spine naturally at home for both men and women at all ages that I really want to provide in this article is that you just need to sleep soundly and in a certain time every day and avoid getting sleep disorders.

Sleep is another fundamental factor that contributes to spinal health. Research shows that inadequate sleep may trigger the cause of neck and back problems. The strength of the bone, as well as the whole body energy level, depends very much on whether you have enough sleep. An amount of 6-8 hour of sleeping is highly recommended. People who have a poor sleeping routine potentially have a lot more relates to spine and nerve system diseases.

The sleeping position is also a factor that cannot be overlooked. In fact, wrong sleeping positions can easily lead to spine problem as it may add more pressure on your spine. I recommend you to stick with soldier or freefall sleeping positions consistently since these 2 sleeping positions will give you the most comfort and relaxation.

If you are not familiar with those suggested sleeping positions, we recommend that you should take sometimes to design a proper sleeping sanctuary and include features such as good air conditioner or special doors and windows that provide light elimination and sound insulation. You may think of getting good sleeping gears such as pillow and good mattress to get adequate support on your back.

  • Free fall sleeping position
  • Soldier sleeping position

19. Meditation – Add Salt To Your Spine Strengthening Process

In fact, this is the last but very important tip on how to straighten spine naturally at home for both men and women at all ages that I would like to reveal in this entire article and want you and my other readers to learn and make use for good! In fact, this is one of the best exercises to straighten spine that everyone should learn and apply as soon as possible.

Besides common benefits that meditation can bring to you such as improve your productivity, increase your alertness, rejuvenate your body and prolong life, there is one another benefit, which is not well known by many people. It can help you straighten up your spine. It is because when people engage in deep meditation, they tend to focus on their core and somehow straighten their spine.

One more thing that you and my other readers should do after reading my writing today and learning the natural tips on how to straighten spine faster and natural is that you should spend time reading another similar article that also reveals the best tips on how to straighten your back and achieve better appearance by dealing with some common back pain problems – the How To Treat Back Pain And Some Common Spine Related Condition Naturally At Home article. This is actually a writing revealing a wonderful gathering of many useful and safe tips, tricks, home remedies, tips, and techniques people can make use at home that helps anyone who wants to learn how to straighten spine naturally to achieve good results as desired. The methods released in this recommended article are very simple to follow and proven 100% natural, as well as safe for people at all age without requiring for any type of expensive yet possibly dangerous drugs, pills, or medications. In fact, the home remedies, tips, and techniques that this article introduces will help you get desired results without causing any side effect that can harm your health and within a very short period of time. Therefore, you should spend time this article and allow it to help you.

SOURCE

Is Vegetarian Diet Good For Weight Loss?

The largest study ever to compare the obesity rates of those eating plant-based diets was published in North America. Meat eaters topped the charts with an average body mass index (BMI) of 28.8—close to being obese. Flexitarians (people who ate meat more on a weekly basis rather than daily) did better at a BMI of 27.3 but were still overweight. With a BMI of 26.3, pesco-vegetarians (people who avoid all meat except fish) did better still. Even U.S. vegetarians tend to be marginally overweight, coming in at 25.7. The only dietary group found to be of ideal weight were those eating strictly plant-based (the “vegans”), whose BMI averaged 23.6.

People who had once eaten vegetarian diets but then started to consume meat at least once a week were found in one study to experience a 146 percent increase in odds of heart disease, a 152 percent increase in stroke, a 166 percent increase in diabetes, and a 231 percent increase in odds for weight gain.

But vegetarians may suffer high rates of chronic disease if they eat a lot of processed foods. Take India, for example, where rates of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and stroke have increased far faster than might have been expected given its relatively small increase in per-capita meat consumption. This has been blamed in part on the apparent shift from brown rice to white and substitution of other refined carbohydrates, packaged snacks, and fast-food products for India’s traditional staples of lentils, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

The dividing line between health-promoting and disease-promoting foods may be less plant- versus animal-sourced foods and more whole plant foods versus most everything else.

A dietary quality index was developed that simply reflects the percentage of calories people derive from nutrient-rich, unprocessed plant foods on a scale of 0 to 100. The higher the score, the more body fat may be lost over time and the lower the risk may be of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides. The standard American diet was found to rate 11 out of 100. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates, 32 percent of our calories come from animal foods, 57 percent from processed plant foods, and only 11 percent from whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. That means on a scale of one to ten, the American diet would rate about a one.

SOURCE

Top Reasons to Try Chiropractic Care

We, as Americans, partake in a very sedentary lifestyle and there are various causes to blame. Everything from the ability to order groceries and have them delivered to our door to being able to run a large company from the comfort of a couch and a laptop. Even sitting at a desk and performing computer work has become an extremely popular job for millions of individuals. As we age and become less and less active (due to work, health or by choice), our bodies suffer. Our weight increases, our cardiovascular and other health aspects deteriorate and even our joints and spine take a toll due to the way of life in our society. Don’t get me wrong, there still is a portion of the population that remains diligently active and health-conscious that will develop such problems. Until rather recently (in terms of medical history), chiropractic care has been somewhat overshadowed by traditional western medicine. More and more research comes out what seems like daily of just how important chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulations can be for not only localized issues but for overall health.

Top Reasons to Seek Chiropractic Care

Drug-Free Treatment

Our healthcare system and society are dominated by large pharmaceutical companies that aim to provide the public with quick fixes for every health condition imaginable. Pills, creams, injections and worse are readily available for those entrusting their health to traditional western medicine. However, for those seeking a drug-free alternative approach to a wide variety of health conditions, chiropractic care can provide solutions to much more than just spine problems.

Causes, Not Just Symptoms

Not only is chiropractic care a drug-free treatment approach, the causes of the problems are identified and treated, not just the symptoms. You will be amazed to find out just how many common health conditions (internal, skeletal or muscular) can be addressed through chiropractic care. Due to the spine being the protective structure for the spinal cord (super highway of the central nervous system), everything runs through it and can be impacted if anything it out of alignment. So instead of taking a pill that only treats the symptoms or masks the problem, give chiropractic manipulations a try.

Low Back and Neck Pain

Poor posture, bad workplace ergonomics and/or extended hours spent seated are all common causes of low back and neck pain. Spending 40+ hours a week working at a desk, staring at a computer screen can wreak havoc on the spine and neck. Of course, there are other causes for these pains like car accidents, genetics, age and so on, but they all can be helped through chiropractic care. Muscles and joints can become tired, injured or just gradually become misaligned and all can cause pain, discomfort and impact our daily lives.

Other Conditions Treated

Sciatica

Headaches (Tension or Migraine)

Colic and Ear Infections

Neurological Conditions

Blood Pressure

Scoliosis

Shoulder/Hip Mobility

And More

At BackFit Health+Spine, we focus on improving your overall health to reduce the risk of pain, injuries, and illnesses. With locations throughout the Valley, we strive to provide the very best chiropractic care for those seeking:

  • Pain Prevention
  • Symptom/Cause Treatment
  • Management/Solutions for Developed Conditions

Our incredible medical staff can provide our patients with allergy treatment, nutrition, weight loss, pain management, and pain prevention at each of our locations. Why live with your pain and discomfort any longer? Take the first step today towards improving your overall health and visit the nearest BackFit location to you. Visit http://backfit1.wpengine.com/contact-us/ today to request an appointment.

Understanding Sprains and Strains – the Basics

What Are Sprains and Strains?

Sprains and strains, from twisted ankles to aching backs, are among the most common injuries. A sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments, the tough, fibrous bands of tissue that connect bones to one another at a joint. A strain is a stretching or tearing of a tendon or muscle tissue, commonly called a pulled muscle.

Given adequate time and rest, most sprained joints or strained muscles will heal themselves. But severe tearing or complete rupture of the affected tissues usually requires surgical repair. And the damage caused by a sprain can leave the bones in the affected joint improperly aligned, or the ligaments so stretched and weakened that the joint is particularly vulnerable to future injury.

What Causes Sprains and Strains?

A sprain occurs when a ligament stretches or tears. A strain is a stretch or tears in a muscle or tendon. Anything that places sudden or unaccustomed stress on joints or muscles may cause a sprain or strain. Falls, lifting heavy objects, and the exertion of an unfamiliar sport, knocking a joint out of position and overstretching the supporting ligaments or muscles, are common culprits. Chronic overuse of a joint can also lead to stretching of ligaments, chronic inflammation, or chronic irritation of a muscle tendon. Being overweight, inactive, or in poor physical condition boosts the likelihood of injury. Improperly warming up and not stretching muscles before intense physical activity can also result in injury.

Don’t wait! Receive exceptional auto injury care at BackFit Health + Spine car accident chiropractor clinic.

 

American Chiropractic History of Treatment for Back Pain and Neck Pain

Since its inception in 1895, chiropractic has provided treatment for patients with back pain, neck pain, and headache. Throughout American chiropractic history, some chiropractors have claimed a relationship among the spine, nervous system and brain as essential to one’s health and have held that structural imbalances within the spine can affect functioning with the spinal cord, nerves, muscles, bones, and joints of the body.

Over the years, based on evidence from the scientific literature, chiropractic physicians have increasingly focused on the evidence-based treatment of spine-related disorders as well as other musculoskeletal problems.

Chiropractic treatment has traditionally been based on spinal manipulation, which generally involves applying a manual, controlled force into joints that have become restricted by tissue injury with the purpose of restoring the joint’s mobility, alleviating related pain and tightness, and allowing the tissues to heal.

While spinal manipulation has become more specialized since its earliest applications in chiropractic care, it has remained one of the most commonly used chiropractic treatments of a profession that does not prescribe medication or perform surgery.

However, as chiropractic doctors have evolved with the emerging evidence as to the most effective approaches to back pain, neck pain and headaches, they have embraced a variety of evidence-based treatment approaches.

A number of chiropractors have obtained additional degrees such as Ph.D.’s and have begun to investigate the effects of manipulation as well as other treatments provided by chiropractors.

Spinal Manipulation in American Chiropractic History

Spinal manipulation was not invented by a chiropractor, nor is it even a new or recent method. Manipulation of the spine dates back to the beginning of recorded time, with Hippocrates once noting it as a key to treating diseases.

Spinal manipulation is often associated with chiropractic care because of a man named Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer, the founder of chiropractic in the United States. Prior to the 20th century, Palmer maintained an interest in the spine’s role on health and began to study its anatomy, learn more about the use of spinal manipulation in ancient times, and teach himself how to manipulate the spine,

In 1895, Palmer was approached by a janitor who was deaf in one ear. Palmer theorized that the condition was likely related to the spine, possibly a displaced vertebra.

According to many historical accounts, Palmer examined the man’s back, noticed a bump near the spine, and manipulated the area. The hands-on adjustment was reported by Palmer to quickly restore the man’s hearing.5 This event is considered the start of chiropractic history.

A combination of the Greek words “cheir” (hand) and praktos (“done”), chiropractic means “Done by Hand”,6 although it is important to note that modern spinal manipulation has expanded beyond just hands-based adjustments.

In 1907, Palmer added the term “subluxation” to the chiropractic vocabulary.7 Palmer explained “subluxations” in terms of the spinal vertebrae and joints putting pressure on the nerves, thus impairing functioning, and then detailed how spinal adjustments could be used to reduce subluxation and improve patient symptoms.5

Subluxation is still used today by some chiropractors to describe specific misalignments of the spinal vertebrae and joints and to determine appropriate treatment options. Other terminology currently in use includes manipulative lesion, spinal dysfunction, or joint dysfunction.

At least one chiropractic school (National University of Health Sciences) has begun to refer to the term “subluxation” from a historical perspective only.

American Chiropractic History in the 20th and 21st Century

In 1897, Palmer founded the Palmer School of Chiropractic (which still exists today) to teach students about chiropractic principles and train them in chiropractic manipulation.

Palmer’s son Bartlett Joshua (B.J.) further developed and promoted chiropractic in the first half of the 20th century. B.J. Palmer not only provided training in chiropractic but aided in the education of both the medical community and the general public on the profession.

During this time, chiropractic gradually grew in popularity for patients seeking alternatives to traditional treatments using drugs, and its core principles slowly gained more acceptance with continued research.

By the late 20th century, chiropractic emerged as one of the most popular and accessible forms of health care.

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Understand Whiplash and How It’s Treated

What people typically associate whiplash with is not always correct. Yes, a car accident where your head is thrown forward and backward can cause whiplash but the term itself applies broadly to a neck sprain or strain. More medical terms under the category of neck injuries are hyperextension and hyperflexion. The former occurs when the neck is whipped backwards while the latter is opposite.

Car accidents are not the only cause of the injury; complications from sports, falling or being shaken can lead to whiplash.

The whiplash injury is not always immediate with showing its symptoms. It may show up immediately but more commonly it will take days, weeks and possibly months to fully surface. This is important to remember because although you may feel fine after an incident that would likely cause such an injury, it is critical to monitor it and contact your doctor. If left untreated, there can be more serious, long-term issues that arise regarding your spinal health. On the more serious side, disc degeneration can be sped up and osteoarthritis may develop. When it comes to your spine, it is better to be on the safe side so consult your doctor and chiropractor following a potential injury – even if you do not have neck pain/stiffness and/or tightness of the shoulders.

One option is to consult a chiropractor about the possible whiplash treatment options. Surgery may be required for the more serious cases but non-surgical whiplash therapy can provide total healing. A chiropractor, with every appointment, examines the entirety of the spine so if other areas have been affected they will be detected. Restrictions in the movement in the spine, intervertebral disc injury, spasms and ligament complications will be looked for. Common techniques for diagnosis are either employing motion and static palpation involving touch, or simply feeling for tightness and tenderness. For a more complete picture of your spinal health and possibility of injury, your chiropractor will assess your walk, spinal alignment and posture to see the overall health. It is also possible that they will request an x-ray or MRI of your spine to narrow down possible culprits of your discomfort. Previous injuries or degeneration will be detected to cross off possible causes.

Whiplash treatment is based upon the different stages of the injury. In the initial (acute) phase, a chiropractor will focus on bringing the inflammation down via stretching or ultrasound. Do not be surprised if they ask you to apply an ice pack or neck support for a brief period of time to assist in the healing process. With progression away from an inflamed neck, the chiropractor will use gentle manipulations to bring normal motion back to the neck’s spinal joints.

Three specific whiplash injury treatments are as follows:

  • Specific spinal manipulation – once the affected joints are discovered, a gentle thrusting technique will be applied to stretch the soft tissue and stimulate the nervous system
  • Instrument-assisted manipulation – with the help of an instrument, thrusting is not necessary. Force is applied to the spine in a manner safe for older patients
  • Flexion-distraction technique – the whiplash injury may have created a bulging or herniated disc and this hands-on method targets that. A slow, pumping action on the disc is used rather than spinal direct force.

Now that you more fully understand whiplash, the treatment options, and severity if left unchecked, contact BackFit Health+Spine today for a consultation. Their expert staff will provide exceptional care and possibly save you from surgery. With locations throughout the Valley, visit http://backfit1.wpengine.com/contact-us/ to schedule your appointment and find the nearest BackFit Health+Spine to you.

Development of the Field of Physical Therapy

The field of physical therapy in modern times was established in Britain in the latter part of the 19th century. Shortly thereafter American orthopedic surgeons treating crippled and deformed children began employing young women trained in massage, remedial exercise, and physical education. Frequent and intense outbreaks of poliomyelitis, particularly the great epidemic of 1916 in the mid-Atlantic and New England states, promoted the application of physical therapy techniques and the further recruitment of women as assistants in the treatment of patients. The First World War was the major turning point in the institutionalization of physical therapy. Women were recruited to assist orthopedic surgeons in restoring physical function to injured soldiers. In 1918 they were assigned to the newly formed Division of Special Hospitals and Physical Reconstruction in the U.S. Army’s Office of the Surgeon General. These “Reconstruction Aides” served in a civilian capacity in military hospitals both in the U.S. and overseas. The first school of physical therapy was established at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C., after the outbreak of World War I, and 14 additional schools were established soon afterward. The first was at Teachers College, Columbia University. The largest was at Reed College in Eugene, Oregon. Before the end of the war, the schools and colleges had trained almost 2000 women, about 300 of whom served overseas.

The recognized success of physical therapy techniques in the treatment and rehabilitation of the wounded ensured the continued growth of the field. After the war, the efforts that had gone toward restoring and maintaining a fighting force was redirected toward restoring and maintaining a working force in a growing industrial society. In addition, the treatment of crippled children was still a humanitarian concern. Several groups of Reconstruction Aides formed local associations and in 1921 a national organization, the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association was formed. The name was changed the following year to the American Physiotherapy Association to reflect the inclusion of qualified men (two joined in 1923). In 1947 the name was changed once more to the American Physical Therapy Association.

The American Physiotherapy Association began with 245 members in 1921 and to grew to about 1,000 members by the end of the 1930s. With the advent of World War II and a nationwide polio epidemic during the 1940s and 1950s, physical therapists were in greater demand than ever before. The American Physiotherapy Association’s membership swelled to 3,000 by 1946, and the number of physical therapy education programs across the United States increased from 16 to 39. The U.S. Congress passed legislation in late December 1942 authorizing the inclusion of physical therapists in the Medical Department of the Army, thereby granting them military status during the war. By June 1946 over 680 physical therapists had seen overseas duty and the largest number on duty overseas at any one time was 570.

In its earliest days, physical therapy was an occupation consisting almost entirely of women acting in a supportive role to physicians. The American Physical Therapy Association defined physical therapists as “educated trained assistants to the members of the established medical profession” guided by policy to “practice only under the prescription of a licensed physician.” The subordinate role was clear from the start – one of the original objectives of the American Women’s Physical Therapeutic Association was “to make available efficiently trained women to the medical profession.”

Similar to developments in the nursing profession, leaders in the field of physical therapy sought to professionalize the occupation through the establishment of national organizations. Furthermore, the establishment of state registration and licensing laws, higher and uniform training standards, and the formation of academic programs based in colleges and universities rather than in hospital schools further drove the field toward a more professional status.

Physical therapists have evolved over the years from physician’s assistants to autonomous health care practitioners. Though still a female-dominant field – approximately 2/3 of the members of the APTA are women – physical therapists now often serve as the entry point in the health care system for evaluation, treatment, preventive programs, and consultation.

What to Do and See in the Phoenix Area

If you had only one day in Phoenix, what would you do or see? Believe it or not, I get asked this question fairly often. Interesting to ponder, but impossible to answer. There are just too many factors. Will there be children along? Do you like to walk or drive? Is it summer or winter? Do you like museums or shopping? Greater Phoenix has so much to offer. There are so many options—how do I recommend just one or two attractions or activities?

We have picked out couple destinations/activities that I think are unique or not to be missed when visiting the Phoenix area. You’d never get these done in even a week, but some attractions will appeal to you more than others. Visiting when it’s hot outside? The selections I’ve marked with a double asterisk (**) are indoor, cool, and comfortable. The others may not be appropriate in the summer heat, or only if you are able to visit very early in the morning. They are all suitable for both adults and children, but some may be more kid-oriented than others.

One more thing. These places of interest are not listed in any particular order. It was tough enough to come up with only 20, so please don’t make me rank them!

Heard Museum**

Every major city and most minor ones have museums. The Heard Museum is unique, however, not only in the exhibits that are displayed but the style and grace with which it displays them.

I never tire of visiting the Heard Museum, with its more than 32,000 pieces of cultural and fine art. There are permanent exhibits, like the famous Barry Goldwater collection of Kachina Dolls, as well as special exhibit year-round. Some of the special annual events include the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest which is held each February, and the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market each March.

Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden has one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants. It is one of only 44 botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. At the Desert Botanical Garden, you will find 50 acres of beautiful outdoor exhibits. Home to 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world, there is no finer place to enjoy desert beauty than the Desert Botanical Garden. The Garden is located in Papago Park in Central Phoenix.

Chase Field and University of Phoenix Stadium**

Chase Field was the first baseball facility in the world to combine a retractable roof, air conditioning, and a natural turf field. Chase Field’s retractable roof can be closed in less than 5 minutes! If you are a baseball fan, a visit to this state-of-art facility will be a special treat. If you aren’t that interested in going to an Arizona Diamondbacks game, or if one isn’t scheduled when you’ll be in town, you can still see the stadium.

Just go to lunch or dinner at Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill, open 363 days a year. If the Arizona Diamondbacks are playing that day, you have to call them to buy tickets to eat there. Chase Field is located in downtown Phoenix. There’s a light rail station nearby. What? You say it isn’t baseball season? On the other side of town, the Arizona Cardinals play NFL football at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. That’s also where the Fiesta Bowl is played, as well as the Super Bowl when it is our turn. It is another amazing and unique facility, and, yes, you can take a tour even when it isn’t football season.

Musical Instrument Museum**

In North Phoenix, we have an amazing destination for music lovers, world culture enthusiasts, and people who just plain enjoy listening and learning.

It’s a colorful and impressively designed major collection of musical instruments from all over the world, complete with audio vignettes for your listening pleasure. MIM is a place for all ages. If you’d rather sit in one place and be entertained, MIM also has a concert hall where they present musical performers from around the world. There’s not a museum like this one anywhere else, and it’s always on my list for visitors to the area. As for locals, you have an advantage, because you can go whenever you please—it will take a couple of visits to see the whole museum at a reasonable pace.

Climb Piestewa Peak or Camelback Mountain

Piestewa Peak, formerly known as Squaw Peak, is part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. The elevation of Piestewa Peak is 2,608 feet; the total elevation gain for the Summit Trail is 1,190 feet. That might not sound high, but hikers of all levels can get a great workout climbing this mountain, and get a great view of the city when they get to the top. If you decide to hike the Summit Trail, though, you won’t be alone. According to the City of Phoenix. it is one of the most heavily used trails in the nation with 4,000 to 10,000 hikers per week. Dogs and bicycles are not permitted on the Summit Trail. Camelback Mountain has two major trails. Neither one is especially long, but they are considered moderate to difficult hikes. Echo Canyon is the most popular and is steeper. Cholla Trail is not as steep, but rockier.

Scottsdale Art Walk

There are more than 100 art galleries in Scottsdale. You can enjoy Scottsdale ArtWalks every Thursday evening, year-round (except on Thanksgiving) from 7 to 9 p.m. Each week, Scottsdale Gallery Association members host special exhibits, many with artist receptions, and join together for an informal come-and-go “open house” throughout the district. Casual and eclectic, it’s a great time to visit the galleries and learn about featured artists. Several times per year, the Scottsdale Gallery Association holds Special Event ArtWalks with live music along the streets and special themed events.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum, an Arizona State Park, brings together plants from the Earth’s many and varied deserts and dry lands. Approximately 3,200 different desert plants can be found within the arboretum, and most of them can be seen along the 1.5-mile main trail. During wildflower season, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is especially beautiful, displaying all the wonderful colors of the desert. Are you a bird lover? More than 250 species of birds have been recorded at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Arizona Capitol Museum**

I don’t know exactly why this museum doesn’t get more attention—I love this place and it’s free! There’s no better way to learn about the history of Arizona, from territorial days, through the creation of the state, and into the current century. Visit the first Governor’s Office, the original Congressional chamber, and other cool places. This museum is located in the government complex near Downtown Phoenix. It’s actually right next door to our current House and Senate buildings. While you are there, stop across the street and walk around Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza with memorials to various historical figures, individuals, and organizations, as well as a 9-11 Memorial.

Drive Apache Trail**

The Apache Trail will be one of the most memorable drives you’ll ever take. Your adventure will begin in Apache Junction, about 25 miles east of downtown Phoenix. The 46 miles between Apache Junction and Roosevelt Lake provides not only the most scenic part of the trip but also the most challenging driving. Please don’t close your eyes! Along the way, you’ll pass (or you can stop) at the Lost Dutchman State Park, Goldfield Ghost Town, Saguaro Lake, the Canyon Lake Recreation Area, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam site, and the Tonto National Monument. The Apache Trail has been designated a USFS Scenic Byway by the U.S. Forest Service, as well as an Arizona Scenic Historic Byway. It’s a great day trip! Seriously, if you are a nervous driver or passenger, this drive might not be for you.

Tovrea Castle

In the middle of Phoenix, atop a hill, there sits a building that looks something like a wedding cake. For many years people drove by, wondering what that building was all about. After the City of Phoenix purchased it, they developed it so that your questions could be answered. You can take a tour of the grounds and the building, learn about the families that lived here and discover how they influenced the history of Phoenix.

South Mountain Park

At over 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park and Preserve often is considered the largest municipal park in the country. There are more than 50 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. Dobbins Lookout, at 2,330 feet, is the highest point in the park accessible by trail. If you aren’t into hiking, biking or riding, you can simply drive to Dobbins Point to get a fantastic view of the Valley of the Sun. It’s just over 5 miles from Central Avenue to Dobbins Lookout.

Butterfly Wonderland**

Many cities have places where you can see and walk among butterflies. Our own Desert Botanical Garden even has a butterfly garden, once in the spring and once in the fall. What makes this place unique is that it is the largest butterfly atrium in the United States. Grab the kids, bring the camera and check out the thousands of pretty little flying insects. Butterfly Wonderland is located in North Scottsdale.

 

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5 Ways to Keep Your Spine Healthy and Happy

Whether it’s a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or strained muscles, it can take some time to diagnose and treat the causes of back pain. And all the while, you’re trying to navigate health insurance, work and family life, and everyday stressors—all while dealing with your back pain.

This blog is written to highlight a few fairly simple things you can do to help achieve some level of comfort and pain relief.

5 simple tips to help keep your spine as healthy as possible:

1. Let your spine really rest while sleeping.

While you’re lying down, all the structures in your spine that have worked hard all day finally have an opportunity to relax and be rejuvenated. To make the most of this time, you need a mattress and pillows that allow your spine to rest in a supported and comfortable way.

Your choice of mattress and pillow is largely based on personal preference, your preferred sleep positions, and your specific back or neck problem.

As long as you’re choosing a mattress to ensure the best support and sleeping position for your condition, there are many available types of mattresses can be helpful.

2. Exercise your core to strengthen abs and back muscles.

Your core muscles—your lower back and abdominal muscles—need to be strong and supple in order to support your spine and take pressure off your lower back.

Unfortunately, for most of us, our core muscles are rarely used during everyday activities; they need to be toned through specific, targeted exercises. These exercises are simple and can be performed in 20 to 30 minutes as part of a daily routine.

3. Your shoes need to support your spine.

Whether you’re walking for exercise or just to get where you’re going, the shoes you wear play an important role in supporting your lower back. Good shoes provide a supportive base that helps the spine and body remain in alignment. For example, make sure the area of the shoe that fits the back of your heels is snug, but not overly tight, as a good fit in the heel prevents over-pronation or supination—or too much rolling of the foot to the outside or inside.

4. Enjoy the benefits of massage.

Did you know that massage has a number of therapeutic benefits in addition to general stress relief? A good massage will help increase endorphins—the body’s natural painkiller—in your bloodstream, which in turn may allow you cut back on pain medications. Massage can also encourage blood flow, which in turn brings healing nutrients to the affected area and can speed healing.

While it’s not the same as going to a massage therapist, having a massage chair in your home can be a practical and easy way to get some of the benefits of a Shiatsu or Swedish massage.

5. Practice good ergonomics while sitting—and limit total sitting time.

The discs in your lower spine are loaded 3 times more while sitting than standing, so long periods of sitting can create or aggravate a painful back condition. Moreover, when sitting at a desk and/or looking at a computer screen, our natural tendency is to slouch and lean forward, stressing our lumbar discs even more.

Choosing the right office chair and practicing good posture while seated play an important role in promoting good posture and supporting the natural curves of your back.

It’s also important to do whatever you can to avoid sitting for long periods. Get up to stretch and walk around every 20 to 30 minutes, try working at a standup desk for at least part of the day, or get up and pace around when talking on the phone. The spine is meant to move to stay healthy, and movement fuels the spine with healthy nutrients.

The topics covered here are simple ways to help support your spine and overall back health. Even when you are in serious pain and are undergoing extensive medical treatments, we encourage you to try to remember the simple things you can do for your back—even small changes can help with the healing process over time.

SOURCE

 

5 Foods You Should Be Eating For Your Best Body – Inside and Out

Choosing nutritious foods helps your health in two ways. First, a diet packed with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats helps you feel fuller on fewer calories, which is key in keeping your weight in check. Plus, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds in foods offer unique health boons. Keep your body looking its best—inside and out—with these five foods.

                                                                     1. Green Beans

Fillingreen-beansg up on green beans, and other high-fiber foods can help you prevent weight gain or even promote weight loss—without dieting—suggests new research in The Journal of Nutrition. Researchers found that women who increased their fiber intake generally lost weight while women who decreased the fiber in their diets gained. The scientists boiled the findings into a single weight-loss formula: boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories consumed resulted in losing about 4 1/2 pounds over the course of the study. Try it for yourself. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day, aim to increase your fiber by 16 grams. Raspberries, chickpeas, and strawberries can also help you get your fill.

 

 

 

salmon

2. Salmon

The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish—such as salmon and tuna—can boost your skin’s defenses against UV damage. In a study published earlier this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that those who ate a little more than 5 ounces of omega-3-rich fish each week decreased the development of precancerous skin lesions by almost 30 percent. Scientists think the omega-3s act as a shield, protecting cell walls from free-radical damage.

 

 

blueberries

3. Blueberries

Eating just under a cup of mixed berries (such as red raspberries, strawberries, blueberries) daily for 8 weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure—two positives when it comes to heart health—according to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The diverse range of polyphenols—health-promoting plant compounds that include anthocyanins and ellagic acid—provided by the mix of berries is likely responsible for the observed benefits.

 

 

 

watermelon

4. Watermelon

Research shows that eating foods that are full of water, such as watermelon, helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories. (Interestingly enough, drinking water alongside foods doesn’t have the safe effect.) At 92 percent water, watermelon is a good source of vitamin C. When it’s the red variety (some are orange or yellow), it also has lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease and some types of cancer. Other foods that are made mostly of water include cucumbers (95 percent), salad greens (90 percent) and strawberries (91 percent).

 

 

tomatoes

5. Tomatoes

Eating more vitamin-C rich foods, such as oranges, tomatoes, strawberries and broccoli, may be a secret to smoother skin. Research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition links consuming plenty of vitamin C-rich foods with youthful skin. The findings suggest that a higher intake of vitamin C from foods is associated with a lower risk of having wrinkled skin and age-related skin dryness in middle-age women. Vitamin C’s youthful effects on skin may be due to its antioxidant properties, which help protect against ultraviolet rays, and its role in keeping skin firm via collagen synthesis, say the researchers.

 

 

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If you have tried and failed to lose weight before, don’t give up. Our weight loss program really works. Contact our medical weight loss team today!!

What Causes Migraine and Chronic Migraine?

Migraine headache symptoms

Anyone who has experienced a migraine knows they’re painful. These intense headaches can cause:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sensitivity to sounds
  • sensitivity to smells
  • sensitivity to light
  • changes in vision

If you experience sporadic migraines, the headache and symptoms may last only a day or two. If you suffer from chronic migraines symptoms may occur 15 days or more each month.

What causes migraines?

Migraine headaches are a bit of a mystery. Researchers have identified possible causes, but they don’t have a definitive explanation. Potential theories include:

  • An underlying central nervous disorder may set off a migraine episode when triggered.
  • Irregularities in the brain’s blood vessel system, or vascular system, may cause migraines.
  • A genetic predisposition may cause  migraines
  • Abnormalities of brain chemicals and nerve pathways may cause migraine episodes.

What can trigger a migraine

Unfortunately, scientists have yet to identify a cause. The best way to avoid migraines is to avoid what starts them in the first place. Migraine trigger are unique to each person, and it’s not uncommon for a person to have several migraine triggers. The most common migraine triggers include:

Food

Salty foods or aged foods, such as cheese and salami, may cause migraine headaches. Highly processed foods can also trigger a migraine.

Skipping meals

People with a history of migraines shouldn’t skip meals or fast unless it’s done under a doctor’s supervision.

Drink

Alcohol and caffeine may cause these headaches.

Preservatives and sweeteners

Some artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, can trigger a migraine. The popular preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG) can, as well. Read labels to avoid them.

Sensory stimulation

Unusually bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells, may set off a migraine headache; flashlights, bright sun, perfume, paint, and cigarette smoke, are all common triggers.

Hormonal changes

Hormone shifts are a common migraine trigger for women. Many women report developing migraine headaches right before or even during their period. Others report hormone-induced migraines during pregnancy or menopause. That’s because estrogen levels change during these time and can trigger a migraine episode.

Hormone medications

Medications, such as birth control and hormone replacement therapies, can trigger or worsen a migraine. However, in some cases, these medicines can actually reduce a woman’s migraine headaches.

Other medications

Vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can trigger a migraine.

Stress

Constant mental stress can cause migraines. Home life and work life are two of the most common sources of stress and can damage your mind and body if you can’t control it effectively.

Physical stress

Extreme exercise, physical exertion, and even sexual activity can trigger migraine headaches.

Sleep cycle changes

If you’re not getting regular, routine sleep, you may experience more migraines. Don’t bother trying to “make up” for lost sleep on the weekends, either. Too much sleep is just as likely to cause a headache as too little.

Weather changes

What Mother Nature is doing outside may affect how you feel on the inside. Changes in weather and shifts in barometric pressure can trigger a migraine.

Factors that increase your risk for migraines

Not everyone exposed to migraine triggers will develop a headache. However, some people are more sensitive to them. Several risk factors can help predict who is more prone to having migraine headaches. These risk factors include:

Age

Migraines can first appear at any age. However, most people will experience their first migraine during adolescence. According to the Mayo Clinic, migraines usually improve after age 30.

Family history

If a close family member has migraines, you’re more likely to have them. In fact, 90 percent of migraine patients have a family history of migraines. Parents are the best predictor of your risk. If one or both of your parents have a history of migraines, your risk is higher.

Gender

During childhood, boys experience migraine headaches more than girls. After puberty, however, women are three times more likely to have migraines than men.

Talk to a doctor

Make an appointment with a doctor if you are having migraines. They can diagnose the underlying condition if there is one, and prescribe treatments.

Contact us by calling 602-900-9485 to schedule an appointment at our location in Phoenix or schedule an appointment in one of the following locations closest to you GilbertTempeChandlerMesaQueen Creek or Chandler-Ocotillo. We look forward to helping you find relief!

 

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Insufficient sleep may be adding to your waistline

Adults who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

The findings showed that people who were sleeping on average around six hours a night had a waist measurement that was 3cm greater than individuals who were getting nine hours of sleep a night. And shorter sleepers were heavier too.

The results strengthen the evidence that insufficient sleep could contribute to the development of metabolic diseases such as diabetes — major health challenges facing the NHS.

The study – led by Dr. Laura Hardie, Reader in Molecular Epidemiology at the University of Leeds – not only looked at the links between sleep duration, diet, and weight, but also other indicators of overall metabolic health such as blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and thyroid function.

The study involved 1,615 adults who reported how long they slept and kept records of food intake. Participants had blood samples were taken and their weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure recorded.

The researchers looked at the associations between how long people were sleeping and these key biological parameters.

The research team, from the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine and the School of Food Science and Nutrition, reported their findings in the journal PLoS One.

Obesity has doubled

Greg Potter, one of the Leeds researchers, said “The number of people with obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980.

“Obesity contributes to the development of many diseases, most notably type 2 diabetes. Understanding why people gain weight has crucial implications for public health.”

Shorter sleep was also linked to reduced levels of HDL cholesterol in the participants’ blood-another factor that can cause health problems. HDL cholesterol is ‘good’ cholesterol that helps remove ‘bad’ fat from the circulation. In doing so, high HDL cholesterol levels protect against conditions such as heart disease.

Interestingly, the study did not find any relationship between shortened sleep and a less healthy diet — a fact that surprised the researchers. Other studies have suggested that shortened sleep can lead to poor dietary choices.

The research was a snapshot of the associations between sleep duration and measurements of metabolic health. It was not designed to assess the impact of chronic poor sleep over time, and whether that leads to disease.

Importance of getting enough sleep

Dr. Hardie said: “Because we found that adults who reported sleeping less than their peers were more likely to be overweight or obese, our findings highlight the importance of getting enough sleep.

“How much sleep we need differs between people, but the current consensus is that seven to nine hours is best for most adults.”

 

If you are struggling to lose weight, our approach to medical weight loss is based on sound scientific research and patient-proven strategies that really work – not fad diets that leave you hungry, cranky and weighing more than when you started! Contact us BackFit Health + Spine

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What Is Spinal Manipulation?

Could “cracking your back” be the solution for backaches and headaches? The answer is yes, claim advocates of spinal manipulation.

Spinal manipulation, also called spinal manipulative therapy or manual therapy, combines moving and jolting joints, massage, exercise, and physical therapy. It’s designed to relieve pressure on joints, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function. It’s often used to treat back, neck, shoulder, and headache pain. Chiropractors use it to treat other disorders too, such as menstrual pain and sinus problems.

Today, spinal manipulation is used in both Western and traditional Asian medicine. In North America, it’s usually performed by chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, and physical and occupational therapists.

A Long History

Forms of manipulative therapy have been used for thousands of years in many parts of the world, including Indonesia, Asia, India, Russia, and Norway. Writings from China in 2700 B.C. and from Greece in 1500 B.C. mention manipulating the spine and legs to ease back pain. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who is viewed as the founder of medicine as a rational science, describes manipulative techniques in his writings.

Spinal manipulation gained and lost favor with physicians many times through the mid-1800s. It was viewed as a practice of folk healers, called bone setters, whose successes were attributed to luck.

How Current Methods Evolved

Modern spinal manipulation traces its roots to nineteenth century America. Disillusioned by the deaths of his three children, a doctor named Andrew Taylor Still developed the theory that diseases were caused by displaced bones and muscles interfering with the body’s circulatory system. He turned to spinal manipulation as a non-drug, holistic method of correcting body imbalances and restoring health. In doing so, he became the father of modern osteopathy.

Daniel David Palmer developed the theory that diseases were caused by spinal misalignments, or subluxations, that block the transmission of the body’s own healing power through the nervous system. His theories would eventually form the basis of chiropractic medicine.

What Does It Involve?

There are over 100 types of spinal adjustments used by chiropractors worldwide. Some use force and twisting (spinal manipulation), while others techniques are more gentle (spinal mobilization). In addition, practitioners use ice and heat therapy, electric stimulation, traction devices that stretch the spine, and ultrasound for deep tissue heating. Most procedures are done on a padded, adjustable table. Parts of the table can be dropped as an adjustment is being done, adding different forces to the movement.

Does It Work?

Measuring the effectiveness of spinal manipulation is difficult because it doesn’t lend itself to traditional studies. A 2007 study found spinal manipulation to be moderately effective in easing chronic low back pain lasting four or more weeks. Researchers said it was also slightly to moderately effective in easing the acute low back pain that lasted less than four weeks. Another study showed that six weeks of mobilization treatments helped treat neck pain in almost 70 percent of participants.

Is It Safe?

Spinal adjustment is usually safe when it’s performed by someone trained and licensed to deliver the care. Serious complications are rare but can include herniated disks, compressed nerves, and even a stroke after neck manipulation.

 

SOURCE

 

Chronic Knee Pain: Causes & Symptoms

What is chronic knee pain?

Chronic knee pain is long-term pain, swelling, or sensitivity in one or both knees. The cause of your knee pain can determine the symptoms you experience. Many conditions can cause or contribute to chronic knee pain, and many treatments exist. Each person’s experience with chronic knee pain will be different.

What causes chronic knee pain?

Temporary knee pain is different from chronic knee pain. Many people experience temporary knee pain as a result of an injury or accident. Chronic knee pain rarely goes away without treatment, and it isn’t always attributable to one incident. It’s most often the result of several causes or conditions.

Physical conditions or diseases can cause knee pain. These include:

  • osteoarthritis: pain, inflammation, and joint destruction caused by degeneration and deterioration of the joint
  • tendinitis: pain in the front of the knee that is made worse when climbing, taking stairs, or walking up an incline
  • bursitis: inflammation caused by repeated overuse or injury of the knee
  • chondromalacia patella: damaged cartilage under the kneecap
  • gout: arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid
  • Baker’s cyst: a buildup of synovial fluid (fluid that lubricates the joint) behind the knee
  • rheumatoid arthritis (RA): a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder that causes painful swelling and can eventually cause joint deformity and bone erosion
  • dislocation: dislocation of the kneecap most often the result of trauma
  • meniscus tear: a rupture in one or more of the cartilage in the knee
  • torn ligament: tear in one of the four ligaments in the knee — the most commonly injured ligament is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • bone tumors: osteosarcoma (second most prevalent bone cancer), most commonly occurs in the knee

Factors that may make chronic knee pain worse:

  • injuries to the structure of the knee can cause bleeding and swelling and can create a chronic problem over time if not treated properly
  • sprains and strains
  • overuse
  • infection
  • bad posture and form when doing physical activity
  • not warming up or cooling down before or after physical activity
  • improperly stretching the muscles

Who is at risk for chronic knee pain?

People who are overweight or obese are at a greater risk for knee problems. For every pound that you are overweight, your knee must absorb an extra 4 pounds of pressure when you walk, run, or climb stairs.

Other factors that increase your risk for chronic knee pain include:

  • age
  • previous injuries or trauma
  • athletic activity or physical exercise

What are the symptoms of chronic knee pain?

The symptoms of chronic knee pain are different for each person, and the cause for the knee pain often affects how the pain feels. Chronic knee pain may present as a:

  • constant ache
  • sharp, shooting pain when in use
  • dull burning discomfort

You may also experience chronic swelling and pain when the knee is touched.

Diagnosing chronic knee pain

Each possible cause of chronic knee pain requires different diagnostic tests. These include blood work, physical examination, X-rays, CT scan or MRI, and other imaging tests. The condition your doctor thinks you have will determine the types of tests you will undergo to see what’s causing your chronic knee pain.

Treating chronic knee pain

Each underlying cause of chronic knee pain has a specific type of treatment. These treatments may include:

Bursitis, a common cause of knee pain, is treated in the following ways:

Ice the knee for 15 minutes once an hour for three or four hours. Do not apply the ice directly to the knee; instead, cover your knee with a cotton towel. Place ice in a plastic zip-close bag, and then place the bag on the towel.

Wear cushioned, flat shoes that support your feet and don’t exacerbate your pain.

Avoid sleeping on your side. Use pillows positioned on either side of your body to prevent you from rolling onto your side. When lying on your side, keep a pillow between your knees.

Stay seated when possible. If you have to stand, avoid hard surfaces and keep your weight equally divided on both legs.

Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.

What is the long-term outlook for chronic knee pain?

Some knee pain, especially pain caused by osteoarthritis, will likely be permanent. That’s because the structure of the knee is damaged. Without surgery or another type of extensive treatment, you’ll continue to feel pain, inflammation, and swelling in your knee.

The long-term outlook for chronic knee pain involves managing pain, preventing flare-ups, and working to reduce irritation to the knee.

How can chronic knee pain be prevented?

You can prevent some, but not all, of the possible causes of knee pain. But you can’t prevent chronic knee pain. There are things you can do to alleviate the pain.

If your chronic knee pain gets worse because of overuse or tends to be the most painful after physical activity, you can make lifestyle changes to help treat the pain. These approaches include:

  • Warm up before exercise. Stretch your quadriceps and hamstrings before and after exercise.
  • Try low-impact exercises. Instead of tennis or running, give swimming or bicycling a shot. Or mix low-impact exercises with high-impact exercises to give your knees a break.
  • Lose weight.
  • Walk down hills. Running puts extra force on your knee. Instead of running down an incline, walk.
  • Stick to paved surfaces. Rough roads or pocked walkways may be hazardous to your knee’s health. Stick to smooth, paved surfaces like a track or walking area.
  • Get support. Shoe inserts can help treat foot or gait problems that may be contributing to knee pain.
  • Replace your running shoes frequently to ensure they still have proper support and cushioning.

SOURCE

13 Foods That Are Good for High Blood Pressure

What is hypertension?

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, refers to the pressure of blood against your artery walls. Over time, high blood pressure can cause blood vessel damage that leads to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and other problems. Hypertension is sometimes called the silent killer because it produces no symptoms and can go unnoticed — and untreated — for years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 75 million Americans have high blood pressure. Many risk factors for high blood pressure are out of your control, such as age, family history, gender, and race. But there are also factors you can control, such as exercise and diet. A diet that can help control blood pressure is rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber and lower in sodium.

Read on to learn which foods can help you fight hypertension.

1. Leafy greens

Potassium helps your kidneys get rid of more sodium through your urine. This, in turn, lowers your blood pressure.

Leafy greens, which are high in potassium, include:

  • romaine lettuce
  • arugula
  • kale
  • turnip greens
  • collard greens
  • spinach
  • beet greens
  • Swiss chard

Canned vegetables often have added sodium. But frozen vegetables contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, and they’re easier to store. You can also blend these veggies with bananas and nut milk for a healthy, sweet green juice.

2. Berries

Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids. One study found that consuming these compounds might prevent hypertension and help lower blood pressure.

Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are easy to add to your diet. You can put them on your cereal or granola in the morning, or keep frozen berries on hand for a quick and healthy dessert.

3. Red beets

Beets are high in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Researchers also found that the nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.

You can juice your own beets or simply cook and eat the whole root. Beetroot is delicious when roasted or added to stir-fries and stews. You can also bake them into chips. Be careful when handling beets — the juice can stain your hands and clothes.

4. Skim milk and yogurt

Skim milk is an excellent source of calcium and is low in fat. These are both important elements of a diet for lowering blood pressure. You can also opt for yogurt if you don’t like milk.

According to the American Heart Association, women who ate five or more servings of yogurt a week experienced a 20 percent reduction in their risk of developing high blood pressure.

Try incorporating granola, almond slivers, and fruits into your yogurt for extra heart-healthy benefits. When buying yogurt, be sure to check for added sugar. The lower the sugar quantity per serving, the better.

5. Oatmeal

Oatmeal fits the bill for a high-fiber, low-fat, and low-sodium way to lower your blood pressure. Eating oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to fuel up for the day.

Overnight oats are a popular breakfast option. To make them, soak 1/2 cup of rolled oats and 1/2 cup of nut milk in a jar. In the morning, stir and add berries, granola, and cinnamon to taste.

6. Bananas

Eating foods that are rich in potassium is better than taking supplements. Slice a banana into your cereal or oatmeal for a potassium-rich addition. You can also take one to go along with a boiled egg for a quick breakfast or snack.

7. Salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3s

Fish are a great source of lean protein. Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides. In addition to these fish sources, trout contains vitamin D. Foods rarely contain vitamin D, and this hormone-like vitamin has properties that can lower blood pressure.

One benefit of preparing fish is that it’s easy to flavor and cook. To try it, place a fillet of salmon in parchment paper and season with herbs, lemon, and olive oil. Bake the fish in a preheated oven at 450°F for 12-15 minutes.

8. Seeds

Unsalted seeds are high in potassium, magnesium, and other minerals are known to reduce blood pressure. Enjoy ¼ a cup of sunflower, pumpkin, or squash seeds as a snack between meals.

9. Garlic and herbs

One review notes that garlic can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries, to reduce blood pressure.

Incorporating flavorful herbs and spices into your daily diet can also help you cut back on your salt intake. Examples of herbs and spices you can add include basil, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, and more.

10. Dark chocolate

A 2015 study found that eating dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The study suggests that up to 100 grams per day of dark chocolate may be associated with a lower risk of CVD.

Dark chocolate contains more than 60 percent cocoa solids and has less sugar than regular chocolate. You can add dark chocolate to yogurt or eat it with fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, as a healthy dessert.

11. Pistachios

Pistachios are a healthy way to decrease blood pressure by reducing peripheral vascular resistance, or blood vessel tightening, and heart rate. One study found that a diet with one serving of pistachios a day helps reduce blood pressure.

You can incorporate pistachios into your diet by adding them to crusts, pesto sauces, and salads, or by eating them plain as a snack.

12. Olive oil

Olive oil is an example of a healthy fat. It contains polyphenols, which are inflammation-fighting compounds that can help reduce blood pressure.

Olive oil can help you meet your two to three daily servings of fat as part of the DASH diet (see below for more about this diet). It’s also a great alternative to canola oil, butter, or commercial salad dressing.

13. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a healthy fruit that you can enjoy raw or as a juice. One study concluded that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice once a day for four weeks helps lower blood pressure over the short term.

Pomegranate juice is tasty with a healthy breakfast. Be sure to check the sugar content in store-bought juices, as the added sugars can negate the health benefits.

The bottom line

Through a heart-healthy diet, you can reduce your risks for hypertension and promote good health overall.

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Regular Massage Benefits

If you’ve ever had a massage, you know it is pleasant and relaxing. You may not have realized it can also have physical and emotional benefits if it is done regularly. There are several types of massage, from deep-tissue therapies to gentle Swedish treatments. They don’t replace medical treatment, but they can benefit your body and mind if you have them done on an ongoing basis.

Pain Relief

Regular massages help with pain management. The therapist can concentrate on stiff muscles and specific problem areas, loosening them and increasing blood circulation. This temporarily relieves pain from sports injuries, arthritis, and other conditions. You may not need as much pain medication if you get massages regularly.

Immune System Support

Many studies have shown regular messages support immune system function and decrease stress-related hormones that can lower immunity. For example, New Jersey researchers found college students who were stressed about an upcoming exam had better immune system function and less anxiety when they received a message.

Fibromyalgia Relief

Studies at the Touch Research Institutes in Miami showed that massage relieves fibromyalgia-related pain. The Journal of Clinical Rheumatology reports massage therapy lowered stress hormones, anxiety and depression in fibromyalgia sufferers and worked more quickly than transcutaneous electrical stimulation.

Stress Management

Regular massages are an effective stress- management technique. Stress is often caused by being overcommitted and overwhelmed with home, work, and family obligations. A weekly or bi-weekly massage forces you to take time out for yourself for a pleasurable, relaxing activity.

Management of Emotional Disorders

Massage therapy can help you to manage emotional disorders such as depression or anxiety as part of an overall treatment plan. Massage is soothing, nurturing and relaxing. It can improve your state of mind if you concentrate on releasing negative thoughts during the treatment. You can incorporate visualization exercises in which you picture yourself in pleasant surroundings during the massage.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Tiffany Field, executive director of the Touch Research Institutes (TRI) in Miami, discovered massage can improve ADHD symptoms in teenagers. Adolescents who received ten or 15-minute massages for 10 consecutive days all showed positive changes. They felt happier and their teachers reported better behavior. Other TRI studies have shown that youngsters with ADHD benefit from twice-monthly massage therapy.

SOURCE

How to Avoid Back Injuries

A lower back injury is not the only cause of lower back pain. Repetitive stress and poor posture can be detrimental to the spine by inducing muscle strain and problems with the soft tissue. The lower spine has only five motion segments, so it’s no surprise that over time, they get worn down.

What are some habits you can practice to avoid lower back pain? Let’s take a look.

  • Be wary when traveling. Traveling long distances in cramped little settings is everything but comfortable. The body starts to ache and complain when it’s been stationary for too long. Pay attention to these cues! You’re not weak, your body is trying to signal discomfort and potential injury. If you’re on a road trip, make stops to get out and walk or do some lunges. If you’re on the plane, be that passenger who takes frequent strolls down the aisle- you’ll thank yourself later.
  • Correct posture. Incorrect posture requires the back to do more work, as it has to protect itself from the lack of support you are providing. Keep your shoulders back, set and your core tightened. Check yourself out when you walk my windows- can you look a little straighter?
  • Exercise your core. This is so important! The world works to achieve equilibrium, and the body compensates when one muscle group is weaker than another. A strong core combats an overworking back. Think of the entire middle section being utilized to lift, to twist, to keep your organs nestled inside nice and safe. They must work in tandem. If your core is weak, the back does all the heavy lifting. So help your lower back’s muscle groups and get that six pack. If that’s too lofty a goal, no need to worry. Any exercise is good for your lower spine- going up and down the stairs, walking outside, or sitting on an exercise ball (more difficult than it sounds).
  • Keep general health in tip-top condition. Health is the best defense against all aging setbacks and injuries. Make lifestyle adjustments and health improvements whenever possible. Drink plenty of water, move often and eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
  • Lift heavy objects correctly. If and when you have to lift remember- use your legs! Don’t dump all the weight and strain into the lower back. Let your legs that have so diligently carried you through your life provide some additional support.
  • Practice athletic integrity. It doesn’t matter how strong or fit you are, new activities and physical forms jeopardize the body if not done correctly. Even if you are a triathlete and think a yoga class will be a synch, be careful moving into each posture. Correct form- no matter how easy it looks- is the only way to practice athletics safely.
  • Stretch the hamstrings

Tight hamstrings leave little wiggle room for the lower back to solicit help when moving, lifting, twisting or bending. Flexible hamstrings provide additional support to the lower back muscles. If you are already experiencing lower back pain, be careful with which hamstring stretches you choose. It’s best to consult your physician, PT or chiropractor on which stretches to practice.

A preventative measure can make a world of a difference when it comes to back treatment. Whether you struggle with sciatica or face no symptoms of pain, do yourself a favor and take these cautionary measures. If you need more intensive care and treatment for your pain, come see us at BackFit Health + Spine.

What Is Spinal Decompression & How Does It Work?

What is spinal decompression?

Back decompression is a nonsurgical therapy used to alleviate back and/or leg pain. Spinal decompression treatment involves used a traction table to stretch the spine so that pinched nerves or bulging discs can return to their appropriate place.

Traction and decompression create a conducive healing environment for bulging and herniated discs that tend to cause pain in the back and legs. Decompression creates space in the spine, relieving intra discs of pressure, allowing any bulging material to return to its respective space. By taking pressure off the discs, the material has a chance to breathe, to slow and to accept nutrients necessary for its healing.

How does decompression therapy work?

In a controlled setting, a chiropractor uses a traction table to intermittently and consistently stretch and relax the spine. During the intervals of additional space, bulging material is brought back into the disc and a passageway for healing nutrients is created to the spine’s misalignments can heal.

When patients undergo lumbar spine decompression therapy, they lie face down on the table and get harnessed in around the hips. The harness attaches to the lower table near the feet; this part of the table will slide back and forth, subtly, to create the sensation of relaxation and physically introduce new space into the spine. Some therapies have patients lie facing up- leave it up to your chiropractor to determine which method is best for your healing.

What can I expect from decompression therapy?

Except to sign up for 15-30 treatments, each at 30-45 minutes, depending on the chiropractor’s suggested. The treatments should be completed in a four to six-week span.

The chiropractor might apply additional treatments during your sessions, such as cold therapy, heat therapy, ultrasound or electric stimulation.

Some insurance providers cover traction therapy, but it varies plan to plan. Make sure to check with your provider or switch to a carrier that can help cover the costs.

Are there any precautions to take during therapy?

  • Drink extra water during your treatment period
  • Rest often
  • Consult your chiropractor about nutritional supplements
  • Complement your program with appropriated at-home exercises  

Who are the ideal candidates for spinal decompression?

  • Patients with sciatica, back pain or neck pain caused by herniated, bulging or degenerated disc(s)

Who should not receive spinal decompression?

  • Pregnant women
  • Patients with failed back surgery
  • Patients with spinal fusions
  • Patients with vertebrae fractures
  • Patients with artificial discs or other spinal implants

Herniated discs can cause severe discomfort. If left untreated, they can impact one’s livelihood. If you experience pain in the lower limbs or tingling and numbness through the shoulders and arms, it’s important to see your physician or chiropractor right away. These tell-tales are not immediate signs that you have a bulging disc, but they’re reliable indicators that something is not functioning as it’s supposed to. In the event of bulging material, it is likely that you can remedy the situation without resorting to surgery.

At BackFit Spine + Health, we believe passionately in assessing the body from a holistic point of view. We get to know your work habits, your life style, your posture tendencies, your diet and your stresses. We evaluate your spinal health by looking at the entire body and your entire life.

If spinal decompression is the most appropriate treatment for you, we will be here to guide you through every session, and we will work with you to create an optimal exercise or physical therapy rehabilitation program to supplement the therapy. Your spinal health is so important, don’t take it for granted or assume any lingering pain will pass. Come in and see us, and get the best chiropractic care in AZ.  

Do You Have a Bulging Disc in Your Lower Back?

Bulging discs are common in adults and often associated with lower back and leg pain. Most often, the discs herniate (bulge out of place) in the lower back, also called the lumbar spine. Sometimes, discs bulge near the cervical spine.

Although leg and lower back pain are not alone sufficient to assume you have a bulging disc, you should pay special attention to the following symptoms:

  • Weakness

Muscles that receive signals and energy from the respective disc’s nerves will begin to weaken. Notice if you are developing tendencies of stumbling or failed capacity to lift and hold weight or objects.

  • Arm and leg pain

Herniation in the lower spine can manifest as pain in the lower body, specifically the buttocks, thighs, calves, and feet. Herniation near the neck can manifest as pain in the upper body, including the shoulders and arms. In both cases, you might notice intensified pain upon twists or coughing.

  • Numbness

The same areas that get affected by muscle weakness might experience a sensation of tingling or numbness. Do not avoid these tell-tale signs of a herniated disc!

Again, these are the common symptoms of bulging discs; they are not alone enough to diagnose a herniated disc. Bugling spinal discs can only be diagnosed by an MRI. If you experience pain in the arms and legs, and it is accompanied by numbness or tingling, it’s time to see a doctor and get an MRI.

Here are additional disc insights to bear in mind when diagnosing your lumbar health:

  • Some bulging of discs is normal and nothing about which to be concerned. Throughout the day, the water content discs fluctuate. Depending on when you get your MRI, the spine might show some natural filling of fluid, making it appear that discs are bulging, even if only slightly.
  • The body is compromised when a disc is injured enough to obstruct its nerve tissue. When the nerve tissue is affected, its attached muscles and function will be affected, resulting in larger issues in the body. If the bulging disc is not imposing on any nerves, it might not be problematic in the patient.

What causes my discs to bulge?

  • Age-related disc degeneration is the most common cause of herniation. As the body gets older, discs lose their water content. Without protective fluid, the discs are left without great flexibility and become subject to rupturing.
  • Lifting from the back instead of from the legs and thighs can severely increase your likelihood of herniated discs.   
  • Overweight patients are prone to placing too much stress on the discs, causing them to slip.
  • Some patients with herniation are burdened by genetics that presents a predisposition to developing bulging discs.
  • Occupation-based disc herniation is also common; if your job requires you to lift and twist often, you might develop this condition.

What are my options for bulging disc treatment?

  • Avoid heavy lifting, jumping, bending and sitting for too long at a time
  • Eliminate processed foods from the diet
  • Practice bulging disc exercises. Try lying on the back and tucking the knees into the chest or take an assisted bridge position for a few breaths at a time.
  • Consider using an inversion therapy table- you will want to ask your chiropractor about this option.

If you think you might have a bulging disc or bulging discs, don’t hesitate to come and see one of our specialists at BackFit Spine + Health. We can readily assess your spinal health and determine the course of action to take to keep you feeling healthy and limber.

The Role of Micronutrients in Sports Nutrition

INDIVIDUALIZED NUTRITION for the ATHLETE

From a nutritional standpoint, the athlete’s focus should include both macronutrients – protein for muscle rebuilding, carbohydrates for energy renewal, fats for nerve function – as well as the critically important micronutrients – which are the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids your body needs to function optimally every day and over a lifetime.
We are all biochemically unique, and several factors affect our personal micro nutrient needs – age, lifestyle, intensity of physical training, prescription drug usage, past and present illnesses or injuries, absorption rate, genetics and more. The “normal” amount of each micronutrient varies from athlete to athlete, and even in the same athlete depending on circumstances in his or her life.
SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing measures 33 vitamins and minerals in your body, but goes even further – it measures functional, long-term levels within the cell, which means SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing evaluates how well your body actually utilizes each nutrient.

DEMAND, SYNERGY, and BALANCE of MICRONUTRIENTS

The athlete’s need for micronutrients may fluctuate wildly depending on the intensity and duration of training. Even with a superb diet, deficiencies often exist. For example, higher levels of folate and vitamin B12 are needed to repair damaged cells as well as to synthesize new ones, especially red blood cells. Mineral depletion is common after strenuous activity. Plus, micronutrients work synergistically – the status of one affects the function of another. Vitamin C replenishes the antioxidant glutathione. Vitamin A is better absorbed in the presence of oleic acid. Vitamin D and calcium only protect bones when both are present. And although athletes may have higher requirements for some nutrients, a “more is better” approach can be dangerous when applied indiscriminately. Too much zinc ingestion can induce a copper deficiency, for example. Over-supplementation with antioxidants can actually have a pro-oxidant (harmful) effect. Nutrients need to be balanced. Targeted supplementation and personalized nutrition is key.

MUSCLE RECOVERY and FATIGUE

The speed in which major muscles recover after an intense workout is largely dependent on the body’s nutritional reserve. Supplementation with vitamin C can reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and decreases levels of an enzyme (creatine kinase) associated with damaged muscle. Supplementation with the amino acid carnitine yields similar results: less muscle soreness and fewer biochemical indications of tissue damage after physical exertion.
In addition to repairing muscle tissue post-workout, micronutrients also delay muscle fatigue during workouts. Supplementation with the amino acids asparagine and carnitine increase the capacity for muscles to utilize free fatty acids and spare glycogen, thus improving endurance. In one animal study, time to exhaustion was increased by 40% in the supplemented group. Nutrients benefit more than skeletal muscle. A study on female runners demonstrated that folic acid improves vascular function. Clinically, this meant that folic acid improved the smooth muscle function of their arteries leading to better blood flow during training.

CELLULAR ENERGY PRODUCTION

Inside every muscle cell, there is a “cellular powerhouse” known to biologists as a mitochondrion, whose primary function is to generate energy. Although smaller than a cell, the mitochondria need copious amounts of micronutrients to power the muscles, nerves, and heart. Lacking even a single micronutrient can compromise the efficiency with which the mitochondria fuel muscles. For the athlete, this means decreased endurance or strength. Powerful nutrients like carnitine, lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10 are critical cofactors specific to the mitochondrial function. Many B vitamins – biotin, B1, B2, B3, and B6 – directly impact energy pathways in the mitochondria. Vitamin E protects ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the energy “currency” of our bodies, while vitamin A maintains cellular equilibrium when energy production ramps up.

Vitamin K helps harness the energy once it is created. Clinical nutrition vitamins and minerals such as magnesium are needed to activate the entire energy production process. The implication is clear: correct deficiencies to optimize energy metabolism. Ultimately, this improves gross motor function like muscle contraction and power.

MINIMIZING OXIDATIVE STRESS

Intense physical training generates substantial oxidative stress. Maximizing antioxidant status in athletes is critical in order to heal post-workout damage. Antioxidants such as vitamin C and cysteine prevent exercise induced damage to cells. Vitamin E reduces lipid peroxidation (protects cell membranes) during strenuous exercise and decreases the amount of damaging compounds in the blood called isoprostanes, which are formed during times of high oxidative stress. Antioxidants play multiple roles. A study on elite athletes showed that in addition to protecting cells from damage, supplementation with vitamin E influences mineral metabolism. Men who took 300mg of vitamin E daily maintained higher levels of chromium, manganese, copper, zinc, and calcium after training than a similar but un-supplemented group.

SpectraCell’s Spectrox™ test measures total antioxidant function giving the athlete a picture of how well his or her body is responding to the exercise-induced stress that occurs. When male runners were monitored using SpectraCell’s Spectrox™ test, results showed a dramatic decrease in antioxidant function after running at max speed for 20 minutes daily. The Spectrox™ score enables the athlete to monitor cellular “wear and tear” and develop an appropriate supplementation regimen based on the results.

OMEGA-3 FATS for CONCUSSION PROTECTION

For athletes, the threat of concussion is real. One particular nutrient – DHA – which is a type of fatty acid, protects against concussion. Although concussion is usually associated with swelling and bleeding in the brain, tearing of neurons and their connecting fibers is also a major component of traumatic brain injury that occurs so often in athletes. And although the moment of impact often causes much of the physical damage to nerve tissue, we now know that this damage also sets off a cascade of events in the brain that continues to damage nerve tissue after the initial trauma. DHA stimulates the growth of healthy neuronal tissue in response to injury. Omega-3 fats also decrease cell death in the brain, reduce oxidative stress caused by the injury and enhances the activity of antioxidant enzymes needed for healing. Clinically, this has been demonstrated in animal studies. After an induced brain injury, rats given DHA supplements had less evidence of tissue damage than did their non-supplemented counterparts.

The effects of omega-3 supplements for athletes go beyond concussion protection. Studies show omega-3 fats can improve lung capacity, reaction time and mood in athletes. In addition, muscle soreness is decreased in those with higher Omega-3 levels. Given the link between oxidative stress and pain, these results are not unexpected, since omega-3 fats have powerful pain reducing effects in other tissues besides muscle.

IMMUNITY and HORMONE REGULATION in the ATHLETE

The amino acid glutamine is synthesized in skeletal muscles. Evidence suggests that while moderate exercise is associated with improved glutamine function, exhaustive training programs induce glutamine deficiency, resulting in decreased immunity. Nutrients affect hormone levels as well. A study on men during intensive weight training for two weeks showed that supplementation with a form of the amino acid serine (phosphatidylserine) decreased post-exercise cortisol levels, reduced muscle soreness and minimized psychological depression that often accompanies overtraining.

A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH

Since so many nutrients are needed to keep our amazingly complex bodies functioning properly, a comprehensive assessment of your nutritional status is key. SpectraCell’s micronutrient testing evaluates every nutrient referenced here and more.

By SpectraCell Laboratories

Whiplash: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

Whiplash, also called neck sprain or neck strain, is an injury to the neck. Whiplash is characterized by a collection of symptoms that occur following damage to the neck. In whiplash, the intervertebral joints (located between vertebrae), discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged.

What Causes Whiplash?

Whiplash is caused by an abrupt backward and/or forward jerking motion of the head, often as a result of a car accident.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Symptoms of whiplash may be delayed for 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. However, people who experience whiplash may develop one or more of the following symptoms, usually within the first few days after the injury:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • Low back pain
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability, sleep disturbances, fatigue

How Is Whiplash Diagnosed?

In most cases, injuries are to the soft tissues such as the discs, muscles, and ligaments, and cannot be seen on standard X-rays. Specialized imaging tests, such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be required to diagnose damage to the discs, muscles or ligaments that could be causing the symptoms of whiplash.

How Is Whiplash Treated?

Pain relief medications, along with gentle exercises, physical therapy, traction, massage, heat, ice, injections and ultrasound, all have been helpful for patients.

In the past, whiplash injuries were often treated with immobilization in a cervical collar. However, the current trend is to encourage early movement instead of immobilization. Ice is often recommended for the first 24 hours, followed by gentle, active movement.

Backfit Health + Spine has the most professional chiropractors that perform whiplash injury treatment with the best care.

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Chiropractor Care: Beyond Back Pain

Most individuals think that chiropractors are only useful when they experience neck, back or low back pain and seek relief. However, chiropractic adjustments and treatments have been used for a variety of ailments and conditions, many that you’d never believe. Gone are the days of chiropractors only being utilized when patients have back pain. Instead, chiropractors are being used for proactive and reactive treatments that address issues far more widespread than just back pain. The methods used are drug-free and surgery-free alternatives to provide patients with a route to healing naturally. While drugs and other conventional “treatments” may only treat or mask the symptoms, while chiropractic treatment can fix the problem at the source. Here are the main benefits of that you can receive when you choose to see your chiropractor.

Drug-free Chiropractic Pain Management– in a world that is dominated by quick fix prescriptions for all ailments, it is promising to know that chiropractic care can be a comparable alternative to drug options when it comes to certain conditions. By focusing more on what the cause of the pain or disruption to the body is, chiropractors are able to offer a holistic approach to correcting the problems at the source instead just reducing the symptoms. This is often one of the main benefits that patients of chiropractic care list as the most important benefit.

Customizable Treatments

Instead of treating every patient with the same treatment, chiropractic care is unique in the fact that there are a variety of tools and techniques that can be utilized. In doing so, chiropractors are able to develop and apply customized treatment plans that fit each patient specifically. Not all patients are created equal and everyone is affected by things differently, so it is important to note that each treatment plan should be as unique as the patient.

Low Risk/Non-Invasive

The most common side effect of chiropractic treatment is muscle soreness that comes from the muscles readjusting to proper joint alignment following a chiropractic adjustment. Unlike the crazy side effects of many medications on the market today, chiropractic treatment results in minor side effects such as fatigue and headaches. Obviously, chiropractic treatment is non-invasive and only conducted on a superficial level, so there are inherently no risks or side effects that are associated with invasive treatments.

 

Improved Nervous System Functioning

When the spine or other structures are out of alignment, nerves can become pinched and their function is compromised. The nerves in our nervous system alert us of pain and control all systems in our body including our immune system. So, it is very common that various illnesses or symptoms can be alleviated through chiropractic adjustments. Making sure that the body is functioning properly at the core is crucial to allowing the rest of the body to function as normal.

Treatment for Other Conditions

Besides treatment for back and neck pain, adjustments can be extremely beneficial for alleviating other conditions such as:

  • Headaches
  • Ear infections
  • Arthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Asthma
  • Blood pressure
  • Posture
  • Stress
  • And More

 

Hopefully, it has become very evident that chiropractor for back pain is not the only reason to schedule your next appointment. At BackFit Health + Spine, we are committed to providing the very best chiropractic treatment for all your issues and conditions. You’ll find the very best chiropractors at each of our six Valley locations and be back to your normal life in no time with our customized treatments. Visit www.backfithealth.com/contact-us/ today to schedule your appointment with us and get rid of your aches and pains.

 

The Health Benefits of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a health technique used to cure people affected with pain due to some kind of illness, injury, or disability caused by exercise or wrong movement. It promotes health and fitness for a better well- being.

The therapy works on the science of movement. In addition to that, this practice helps people to expand their physical strength and overcome any kind of dysfunction caused by the pain. It is suitable for all ages, as it encourages patients to manage and recover from their illness and help them to remain independent after the treatment.

Physiotherapy profession is a degree-based profession that comes under healthcare. The Physiotherapists are skilled in figuring out the injury and treating them. Moreover, this treatment cures various ailments that are listed below:

  • It can cure strokes, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s that comes under Neurological disorders. In addition, it helps in treating patients with damaged spinal cord or brain resulting from trauma.
  • Orthopedic problems such as arthritis and amputations can be cured with the help of physiotherapy.
  • Musculoskeletal problems such as back and neck pain are treated with the help of physiotherapy.
  • Cardiovascular cases such as chronic heart diseases and rehabilitation after the heart attack is usually done by physiotherapy techniques.
  • Respiratory problems such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases can be cured with physiotherapy techniques.
  • Women’s health concerns through physiotherapy treatments involve pregnancy, breastfeeding, bedwetting, menopause, prolapsed, loss of bladder or bowel control, etc.
  • It helps in relieving patients with any kind of pain resulting from any treatment or injury.

Role of Physiotherapist

Physiotherapy is a profession based on science to ensure the well- being of the patient. It takes into consideration the general lifestyle of the patient. As this therapy involves direct participation by the patient, it ensures that the patients are sensitized through education, empowerment, and awareness in taking care of themselves. Thus, in turn, it helps them to recover faster. On the other hand, this treatment is beneficial all lifelong.

Physiotherapist cures back pain or sudden injury and manages the treatment of any kind of long-term medical conditions like asthma, childbirth, orthopedic, chronic pain, neurological, cardiorespiratory, etc. Besides, they also treat the sportsperson during an injury in the sporting event.

Physiotherapy Techniques

Various techniques come under physiotherapy, a variety of techniques are used depending on the nature of the injury. Let us have a look at some of the techniques: –

  • Manual manipulation- The movement of joints and soft tissues helps to improve the blood circulation, drained body fluid with this technique. It also helps in the relaxation of tight muscles or muscles with spasms.
  • Electrical nerve stimulation- In this technique small electrical current are applied to areas affected by the pain. This, in turn, blocks all the pain signals that are transferred to the brain. As a result, the patient is relieved from the pain.
  • Acupuncture- In this technique needles are used to minimize pain and functionally improve the muscles by releasing pain. The immune system and various body functions can be regulated with the use of this technique.
  • Demonstration- Making patients learn various movement patterns of the body to help them to recover by helping themselves.
  • Functional testing- This technique helps to determine the endurance and physical abilities of the patient.
  • Device provision- This involves prescription, fabrication, and application of the necessary equipment as required.

Physiotherapy has consistently increased over the years and many people opt for this physiotherapy treatment, as it is economical and the services are easily available. This technique, when applied on body improves the overall set up and in turn, makes the patient turn hale and hearty.

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3 Ways to Protect Your Joints and Avoid Injuries

Protect Your Joints and Avoid Injuries

No matter what type of training or sport you take on, it’s likely that you’ll have to think about your joints at some point. Even if you’re doing low-impact activities like yoga, cycling or swimming, repetitive movement coupled with less-than-ideal nutrition can cause significant problems later in joints like knees, wrists, and shoulders.

“Once you have an issue with your joints, it takes a while to rehab back to health, because you have to change your movement patterns and build up the muscles around the affected joint,” says Brad Leavelle, a Minneapolis-based physical therapist.

He notes that it’s much better to focus on prevention, if possible. Or, if you already have minor issues, to make recovery a priority so they don’t become major problems. Here are some strategies that can help:

 

STRENGTHEN MUSCLES AROUND THE JOINT

Avoid Injuries

 

Anyone who’s had surgery on a joint knows the drill: Before you go under the knife, you’re usually tasked with doing pre-surgical physical therapy to build up the muscles that surround and support the joint.

But you don’t have to wait until the joint is at that point to make muscle development a priority, Leavelle says. For example, to reduce the chance of knee strain, focus on exercises that strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings.

Those might be calf raises, step-ups, wall squats and hamstring curls. He suggests starting with bodyweight exercises before moving on to weights or machines. Strong quads, in particular, help stabilize your knee so it will be less affected by impact — like you’d find in running — or by twisting.

Sometimes, stretching is a more appropriate tactic, especially for joints like the wrists. Range-of-motion exercises done slowly and deliberately can lengthen tendons and muscles, creating a more supportive framework for joints.

 

USE YOUR PLATE TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION

Healthy food

Working your muscles to the point of fatigue helps to make them stronger, but it may also temporarily increase inflammation as your body rushes toward recovery. If your joints are weakened in any way, that amount of inflammation can be higher, because the body is trying to heal them.

Although some degree of inflammation is healthy, too much can become a problem.

Fortunately, there are numerous foods that can lower inflammation levels throughout your system, providing benefits not just for your joints, but also your thyroid, immune system and digestion. Choices like nuts, tart cherries, dark leafy greens, like kale, and fatty fish such as salmon. Also try turmeric and ginger, two spices that are particularly high in anti-inflammatory compounds.

 

BE MINDFUL — EVEN IN YOGA

Yoga

Although yoga is often used as a way to regain mobility and flexibility after injuries, the practice can also lead to joint problems if a yoga student is trying to do too much, too quickly, according to Dr. Dennis Cardone.

“Yoga can bring knee and wrist injuries, in particular, based on certain poses,” he says. For example, some students push themselves forward while in a plank position, which can tweak the wrists. Another pose, called a hero, calls for the student to sit with legs bent to either side and then lower back onto the floor.

He adds that any sport can have questionable moves that put joints at risk. To minimize them, he suggests paying very close attention to how you’re moving to make sure you’re using your muscles, not your joints. Also, if there’s even a moment of pinching, strain, pain or numbness in joints, back off immediately.

“Feeling challenged during a workout is good,” he says. “But feeling pain, especially in your joints, could set you up for problems. If you keep ignoring that pain, you could be creating a chronic issue.”

 

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Recreational things to do in San Tan Mountain

Have you visited one of our newest locations in Queen Creek? There are plenty of great things to do and see in the surrounding areas. San Tan Valley, for instance, is a reservoir of natural beauty.

Here are 5 events and things to do that will get you outdoors and in the fresh Arizonian air.

 

Sunset Photography Walk

Thursday, July 13, 2017
07:00 PM – 08:00 PM
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
Thursday – Short walk to explore some great vantage points for capturing a desert sunset. We’ll discuss some artistic elements that help create a great image and test different photo techniques. This is a great way to get acquainted with your standard digital or phone camera.
What to bring: Closed-toe shoes, water, camera. Meet at the Main Trailhead.

Lunchtime Learning – Monsoon Season

Thursday, July 13, 2017
01:00 PM – 02:00 PM
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
Thursday – Many people think of Arizona summer as being dry and hot. While that is true to a point, those who have lived here for a while also know that the desert summer is Monsoon Season. This is the time for intense thunderstorms, lightning, downpours, and haboobs.
Bring your lunch to this indoor discussion that explains how this weather pattern happens, why it is important for the desert and what you can do to “weather the storm”. Meet in the Nature Center.

Night Shredders Mountain Biking

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
08:00 PM – 10:00 PM
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
Wednesday – Welcome to the San Tan Bikes sponsored “Night Shredders”! If you’re looking for an adventure where your trail riding abilities will be challenged, then look no further than the Night Shredders. When you’re on a bike on the trail at night, every bump, dip, and shadow gives an extra pop of adrenaline. Darkness heightens your senses, sharpens your skills and makes you feel more alive. And isn’t that why you bike in the first place? Our policy, “No Rider Left Behind,” means we ride together in a group for safety reasons. It is mandatory to wear a helmet and please bring plenty of water, an extra tube, and tools to change a flat tire, and 2 sources of light; LED rechargeable lights with at least 650 lumen. Why? The desert gets very dark at night. Riders under 18-years of age must complete a Parental Consent form. Hope to see you on the trail soon.
Meet at the Flag Pole at 7:50 PM

All About Scorpions

Saturday, July 22, 2017
07:00 PM – 07:30 PM
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
The County Parks are getting Wet ‘n’ Wild this Summer!

Saturday – On a warm summer night, scouring the desert floor, the scorpions of San Tan look for their next meal.  But who are the “BIG 3” of San Tan?   Learn about the facts, myths, and reputation behind these mysterious creatures during a short presentation in the Nature Center. After the talk, we will give away a 4-Pack of tickets to Wet ‘n’ Wild Water Park!  And then, we’ll be ready to meet some scorpions face to face on trail during an exciting Scorpion Scavenger Hunt starting at 8 p.m. Maximum class size 50 participants.

Raffle tickets will be issued one per family. Must attend classroom program in full and be present to win.

 

Lunchtime Learning: Heat Safety

Thursday, July 27, 2017
01:00 PM – 02:00 PM
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
Thursday – Summer doesn’t mean that you need to pack away your hiking shoes and hide indoors. Hitting the trail early (really early!) is one way to get your workout in before the heat becomes dangerous. There are also other things you can do to prepare and protect yourself, including pre-hydration and wearing proper clothing and accessories. Bring your lunch to this indoor discussion that shares tips on how to have a successful summertime hike. Meet in the Nature Center.

The History of Massage Therapy

The Origins of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy history dates back thousands of years to ancient cultures that believed in its medical benefits. The first written records of massage therapy are found in China and Egypt.

2700 BCE: The first known Chinese text is called “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine.” This book was first published in English in 1949, but has become a staple in massage therapy training and is also often used as a textbook for teaching many other forms of alternative medicine such as acupuncture, acupressure, and herbology.

2500 BCE: Egyptian tomb paintings show that massage therapy was also a part of their medical tradition. Egyptians get the credit for pioneering reflexology. Their studies and traditions greatly influenced other cultures such as the Greeks and Romans.

1500 and 500 BCE: The first known written massage therapy traditions come from India, but practice may have actually originated around 3000 BCE or earlier. Hindus used the art of healing touch in the practice of Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word, translates to “life health” or “life science.” It is regarded as the basis of holistic medicine, combining meditation, relaxation, and aromatherapy.

 

Into the West

The early 1800s: It was from this early massage therapy history that the Swedish doctor, gymnast, and educator Per Henrik Ling developed a method of the movement known as the “Swedish Movement System.” This is regarded as the foundation for Swedish massage most commonly used in the West today.

Although the “Swedish Movement System” was developed by Ling, it was Dutchman Johan Georg Mezger who defined the basic hand strokes of Swedish massage.

Today the most common types of massage practiced in the western hemisphere are Swedish massage and the Japanese massage practice of Shiatsu.

 

Where the Industry Is Going

Considering the long history of massage, its incorporation into Western medicine is only in its infancy. The potential for growth and research of the healing properties of therapeutic massage and body work has gained great momentum over the last fifty years, and the public demand for massage therapy is at an all-time high.

As a preventative practice, therapeutic massage is used in spas, gyms and work places all over the country. Using massage therapy to promote balance and maintain internal and external health is something that is now a standard part of the North American lifestyle.

In the health care industry, massage is commonly used in hospitals, nursing homes, and birthing centers. It is also used in physical therapy and in chiropractic clinics to treat pain, increase circulation and expedite the healing of injured muscles.

The treatments from BackFit Health + Spine’s Massage Therapy introduces us to the benefits of knowing how chiropractic treatment in conjunction with the techniques from a well-trained massage therapist, can help us with our pain management so that we aren’t facing these daily stresses and tensions within our bodies.

 

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8 Steps to Improve Your Health

Health is not a black and white issue and nothing is set in stone when it comes to ways to improve your health.

But improving your health doesn’t have to be such a painful process and strict diets are not required in order to do so either.

So take a few minutes and consider these 10 steps.

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

1. Clean it Out

clean out fridge pantry

First things first, you have to prepare your home for a healthier you, so the first step you should take to improve your health is to clean out your fridge, pantry, and your freezer in order to get rid of foods you don’t plan on eating soon, or that aren’t in line with your health goals.

When it comes to what you should buy, stick to whole foods. This means fruits, veggies, greens, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), lean meats, and a few, select treats.

2. Feel Great With 8

eight hour sleeps

Getting 8 hours of sleep is so commonly recommended that most of us just let it go in one ear and out the other. But when it comes for one of the best ways to improve your health, getting adequate sleep each night is simply not optional. Your body must have at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night in order to operate at its best.

Some people actually need 8-9 hours in order to feel energetic the next day and function at their best which is no surprise when you consider how big of an effect sleep has on your overall health.

Sleep affects your hormones, digestion, and your weight so aside from your diet, getting enough rest each night should a top goal that you focus on when you’re looking to improve your health.

So if you’re consistently tired all day long or have trouble sleeping, be sure you look into these helpful tips to help you sleep better so you can start getting to bed on time and waking up more refreshed.

3. Balance Your Macros

eat balanced diet

Macronutrients are carbs, fat, and protein. They are the number one sources of fuel our bodies use to do various tasks to help us operate at our best.

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals which are also important, but micronutrients are found in all fruits, vegetables, greens, whole grains, nuts, and seeds which make them pretty easy to get enough of if you’re eating whole foods.

Macronutrients, on the other hand, tend to be an issue some people struggle with. An imbalance in your macros can lead to less than optimal health, so be sure you take a look at your diet to balance out your macros.

You don’t have to count your macros or go on a specific macro-friendly diet, but it’s still very helpful to be mindful of what you’re eating. And if you want to be more precise, counting macros can be very helpful.

So the answer is to start with whole foods and then take a closer look at what you’re eating each day.

4. Get Up and Move!

take a walk

Tackle your movement goals first thing in the day within the first hour you wake up. It won’t only help you feel more focused and energetic all day long but it also takes away the “I still have to workout” mentality that nags you the rest of the day when you postpone your activity time.

Set a goal to move for just 30 minutes each morning and do more if you wish.

Think you don’t have enough time? Along with getting that 8 hours of sleep you should be, you can adjust your sleep schedule to allow you an extra 45 minutes each morning to get dressed for your morning activity. You’ll be so glad you did, trust me.

5. Organize Your Life

organise your calendar

There are multiple resources that you can take advantage of to organize your life in less time, even on the go.

Even just using your Google Calendar can save you a huge amount of hassle each day and take away the “Did I forget to do something else important today?” panicked feeling.

As you become more organized and your life feels more structured, you’ll feel much less stressed and happier. This one change can benefit everything from your weight to your sleep health in the short-term and the long-term.

6. Limit Added Sugars

eat natural sugars

For natural sweetness, use real fruit or a natural sweetener with no calories made from plants such as monk fruit or stevia.

Some small amount of added sugar is fine, but make sure you stay mindful of how much you’re consuming. Those calories are easy to overeat and add up quickly.

Check the labels on these to make sure they only contain one ingredient (monk fruit or stevia).

7. Hydrate

stay hydrated

You can enjoy plain water, water with lemon or lime, or drink herbal tea to get enough water each day.

8. Learn to Enjoy Health

eat healthy

As you look for ways to improve your health, be sure to enjoy the process. Get excited about trying new healthy, whole foods and explore new cookbooks with the types of eating styles you’re interested in.

The key takeaway is to enjoy the process of becoming healthier, even if you have a few slip-ups from time to time or make a few mistakes. In just 30 days you’ll not only have a better handle on your health but also be happier doing so too!

 

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Chronic Pain: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment

Symptoms

  • Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer.
  • Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.

Diagnosis

  • Pain is a very personal and subjective experience. There is no test that can measure and locate pain with precision.  So, health professionals rely on the patient’s own description of the type, timing, and location of pain. Defining pain as sharp or dull, constant or on-and-off, or burning or aching may give the best clues to the cause of the pain. These descriptions are part of what is called the pain history, taken during the start of the evaluation of a patient with pain.
  • Since chronic pain may occur in a variety of locations in the body and for many different reasons, patients and their health professionals need to work together to identify the causes and symptoms of that pain and how it can be relieved.
  • Although technology can help health professionals form a diagnosis, the best treatment plans are tailored to the person, with input from healthcare team members, who each have different training backgrounds and understand chronic pain. The person with pain and his or her loved ones also must be actively involved in the treatment.

Treatment

With chronic pain, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve function, so the person can resume day-to-day activities. Patients and their healthcare providers have a number of options for the treatment of pain. Some are more effective than others. Whatever the treatment plan, it is important to remember that chronic pain usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed. The following treatments are among the most common ways to manage pain.

Medications, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, nerve blocks, or surgery are some treatments used for chronic pain. Less invasive psychotherapy, relaxation therapies, biofeedback, and behavior modification may also be used to treat chronic pain. These methods can be powerful and effective in some people. When it comes to chronic pain treatment, many people find adding complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) approaches can provide additional relief. These may include tai chi, acupuncture, meditation, massage therapies, and similar treatments.

Self-management of chronic pain holds great promise as a treatment approach. In self-management programs, the individual patient becomes an active participant in his or her pain treatment—engaging in problem-solving, pacing, decision-making, and taking actions to manage their pain. Although self-management programs can differ, they have some common features. Their approach is that the person living with pain needs help learning to think, feel, and do better, despite the persistence of pain. Improving communication with the healthcare provider is part of that empowerment.
Through NIH-supported research, starting successful self-management programs has reduced many barriers to effective pain management, regardless of the underlying conditions. Individuals who participate in these programs have significantly increased their ability to cope with pain. They improve their ability to be active, healthy, and involved members of their communities. In fact, new research suggests that the best self-management programs teach people different ways of thinking about and responding to pain, making their actions to relieve it more effective.

 

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Pain Management: Neck and Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder pain can be classified in many different ways. Some people experience only neck pain or only shoulder pain, while others experience pain in both areas.

What Causes Neck Pain?

Causes of neck pain include:

  • Abnormalities in the bone or joints
  • Trauma
  • Poor posture
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Tumors
  • Muscle strain

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with a large range of movement. Such a mobile joint tends to be more susceptible to injury. Shoulder pain can stem from one or more of the following causes:

  • Strains from overexertion
  • Tendonitis from overuse
  • Shoulder joint instability
  • Dislocation
  • Collar or upper arm bone fractures
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Pinched nerves (also called radiculopathy)

How Are Neck and Shoulder Pain Diagnosed?

  • X-rays: Plain X-rays can reveal narrowing of the space between two spinal bones, arthritis-like diseases, tumors, slipped discs, narrowing of the spinal canal, fractures, and instability of the spinal column.
  • MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging is a noninvasive procedure that can reveal the detail of neural (nerve-related) elements, as well as problems with the tendons and ligaments.
  • Myelography/CT scanning: This is sometimes used as an alternative to MRI.
  • Electrodiagnostic studies: Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) is sometimes used to diagnose neck and shoulder pain, arm pain, numbness, and tingling.

How Are Neck and Shoulder Pain Treated?

The treatment of soft tissue neck and shoulder pain often includes the use of anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn). Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also be recommended. Depending on the source of pain, drugs like muscle relaxers and even antidepressants might be helpful. Pain also may be treated with a local application of moist heat or ice. Local corticosteroid injections are often helpful for arthritis of the shoulder. For both neck and shoulder pain movement, exercises may help. For cases in which nerve roots or the spinal cord are involved, surgical procedures may be necessary. Your BackFit Health + Spine doctor can tell you which is the best course of treatment for you.

 

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Migraines: Symptoms, treatments, and causes

A migraine is a severe and painful headache. They can be preceded or accompanied by sensory warning signs, such as flashes of light, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.

The excruciating pain that migraines bring can last for hours or even days; migraines are a common problem in the United States

According to the American Migraine Association, they affect 36 million Americans; that’s about 12 percent of the population

Migraines can be preceded by an aura of sensory disturbances followed by a severe, often one-sided headache. The cause is still largely unknown and they tend to affect people aged 15-55.

Fast facts on migraines:

  • Some people who suffer from migraines can clearly identify triggers or factors that cause the headaches, such as allergies, light, and stress.
  • Some people get a warning symptom before the start of a migraine headache.
  • Many migraine sufferers can prevent a full-blown attack by recognizing and acting upon the warning signs.
  • Over-the-counter medications can eliminate or reduce pain, and specific medications can help some sufferers.
  • People who have severe attacks can take preventive medicines.

Symptoms of migraines

Symptoms of migraine can start a while before the headache, immediately before the headache, during the headache, and after the headache. Although not all migraines are the same, typical symptoms include:

  • Moderate to severe pain, usually confined to one side of the head, but can occur on either side of the head.
  • The pain is usually a severe, throbbing, pulsing pain.
  • Increasing pain during physical activity or when straining.
  • Inability to perform regular activities due to pain.
  • Feeling sick and physically vomiting.
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound, relieved by lying quietly in a darkened room.
  • Some people experience other symptoms such as sweating, temperature changes, stomach ache, and diarrhea.

Migraines with aura

For many migraine sufferers, the auras act as a warning, telling them that the headache is soon to come. However, many people do not experience auras. Auras are perceptual disturbances, such as:

  • Confusing thoughts or experiences.
  • The perception of strange, sparkling or flashing lights.
  • Zig-zag lines in the visual field.
  • Blind spots or blank patches in the vision.
  • Pins and needles in an arm or leg.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Stiffness in the shoulders, neck, or limbs.
  • Unpleasant smells.

If any migraine sufferer experiences unusual or worrying features that they do not normally have, then they should seek medical help rather than blaming the migraine.

If the following symptoms are unusual for the sufferer, they should not be ignored:

  • unusual severe headache
  • visual disturbance
  • loss of sensation
  • difficulties with speech

When migraines with aura affect vision, the patient may see things that are not there, such as transparent strings of objects, not see parts of the object in front of them, or even feel as if part of their field of vision appears, disappears, and then comes back again.

It is common for patients to describe the visual disturbance as similar to the sensation one has after being photographed with a very bright camera flash, especially if one walks into a darker room straight away.

Treatments for migraines

There is currently no single cure for a migraine; treatment is aimed at preventing a full-blown attack, and alleviating symptoms if they come.

Some lifestyle alterations might help reduce migraine frequency, including:

  • getting enough sleep
  • reducing stress
  • drinking plenty of water
  • avoiding certain foods
  • regular physical exercise

If the above changes do not alleviate the symptoms or frequency of migraines, then treatment and prevention focus on avoiding triggers, controlling symptoms, and taking medicines.

Migraine medication

There are many different types of migraine medication including:

Painkillers

Painkillers should be taken early rather than allowing the headache to develop.

Over-the-counter medications include:

  • naproxen
  • ibuprofen
  • acetaminophen

Other analgesics, like aspirin with caffeine and acetaminophen, can often stop a headache or substantially reduce pain.

Nausea treating (antiemetic) drugs

Metoclopramide may be used to control symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Serotonin agonists, such as sumatriptan, may also be prescribed for severe migraines or for migraines that are not responding to over-the-counter medications.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antidepressants such as tricyclics are prescribed to reduce migraine symptoms, although they are not approved in all countries for this purpose.

Ergots

Another class of treatments is called ergots, which are usually effective if administered at the first sign of a migraine.

Preventive medications

Migraine prevention begins with avoiding things that trigger the condition. The main goals of preventive therapies are to reduce the frequency, painfulness, and duration of migraine headaches and to increase the effectiveness of other therapies.

There are several categories of methods used to prevent a migraine, ranging from diet changes and exercise to prescription drugs; these include:

  • prescription beta blockers
  • anticonvulsants
  • antidepressants
  • gabapentin
  • botulinum toxin A (Botox)
  • herbs and vitamins such as cannabis, coenzyme Q10, feverfew, magnesium citrate, riboflavin, B-12, melatonin
  • spinal cord stimulator implantation
  • hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • vision correction
  • exercise, sleep, sexual activity
  • visualization and self-hypnosis
  • acupuncture

Some people find that special diets such as gluten-free can help. It is worth noting that some people can get a medication overuse headache (MOH) – or rebound a headache – when taking too many medications in an attempt to prevent a migraine.

Surgery

In the last decade, novel approaches the treatment of migraines have been developed. Botulinum toxin (Botox) injection and surgical decompression of the extracranial sensory branches of the trigeminal and cervical spinal nerves have been shown to reduce or eliminate migraines in patients who don’t respond to traditional medical management. This was highlighted in a review published in the journal Plastic and reconstructive surgery in 2014.

What causes migraine headaches?

The exact cause of migraine headaches is unknown; it is thought to be due to abnormal brain activity causing a temporary alteration in the nerve signals, chemicals, and blood flow in the brain.

How common are migraines?

A migraine and headache are leading causes of outpatient and emergency department visits; migraines remain an important public health problem, particularly among women during their reproductive years. This was highlighted in a large review of migraines published in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain.

The National Headache Foundation states that healthcare providers have properly diagnosed fewer than half of all migraine sufferers. Migraine is commonly misdiagnosed as tension-type headache or sinus headache.

Migraine triggers

Some people who suffer from migraines can clearly identify triggers or factors that cause the headaches, but many cannot. Potential migraine triggers include:

  • allergies and allergic reactions
  • bright lights, loud noises, flickering lights, smoky rooms, temperature changes, strong smells, and certain odors or perfumes
  • physical or emotional stress, tension, anxiety, depression, and excitement
  • physical triggers such as tiredness, jet lag, and exercise
  • changes in sleep patterns or irregular sleep
  • smoking or exposure to smoke
  • skipping meals or fasting causing low blood sugar
  • dehydration
  • alcohol
  • hormonal triggers such as menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills, and menopause
  • tension headaches
  • foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)
  • other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods
  • medication such as sleeping tablets, the contraceptive pill, and hormone replacement therapy

Triggers do not always cause migraines and avoiding triggers does not always prevent migraines.

How is a migraine diagnosed?

Migraine can be difficult to diagnose, and there are no specific tests to confirm the diagnosis. The International Headache Society recommends the “5, 4, 3, 2, 1 criteria” to diagnose migraines without aura.

This stands for:

  • 5 or more attacks.
  • 4 hours to 3 days in duration.
  • At least 2 of unilateral location, pulsating quality, moderate to severe pain, aggravation by, or avoidance of routine physical activity.
  • At least 1 additional symptom such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, or sensitivity to sound.

To help diagnose migraines, it can be useful to keep a diary of symptoms noting the time of onset, any triggers, how long the headache lasted, any preceding factors or aura and any other symptoms as well as the headache.

A headache diary is ideally used for a minimum of 8 weeks and should record:

  • The frequency, duration, and severity of headaches.
  • Any associated symptoms.
  • All prescribed and over-the-counter medications taken to relieve headaches and their effect.
  • Possible triggers.
  • Relationship of headaches to menstruation.

During the initial diagnosis of migraines, the doctor may suggest some tests to exclude other causes of a headache such as electroencephalography (EEG), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and spinal tap.

 

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What is Primary Care?

Primary care is the initial point of contact between a patient and the healthcare system that provides individuals with access to the information and resources they need for optimal health outcomes.

Primary healthcare professionals typically work with many different patients and have broad knowledge about various physical, psychological and social ailments that may affect their patients.

Aim of Primary Care

The main purpose of primary care is to improve the health of the public by providing easy access to medical care. It also focuses on the whole individual rather than on the illness of a specific organ, system or disease. It aims to improve their entire health and wellbeing by preventing or solving any health problems that may be present or potentially present.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are several key roles that primary care practitioners fulfill in their pursuit of this goal. These include:

  • Providing a wider coverage of health care
  • Preventing social disparities in health care
  • Organizing health services to meet health needs
  • Helping to make health and health care a part of public policy in every sphere
  • Helping to train leaders in effective health care
  • Increasing the level of participation by all those who have a stake in health, whether patients, physicians, public health workers, or those in the allied health services

Primary care practitioners are responsible for the ongoing health of their patients by preventing, diagnosing early and managing common health conditions. An important aspect of their work is making referrals to specialists as and when needed.

They are also in a unique position to understand and study the natural course of the disease, the family setting in which the patient is placed, and to treat and follow up chronic or recurrent health conditions.

Benefits and Challenges of Primary Care

When implemented correctly, primary care is very beneficial for the health of patients and also reduces the financial burden on the public health system. This is partly because of fewer hospitalizations and less need for secondary and tertiary healthcare services.

Other benefits of primary health care include:

  • Increased access to healthcare services
  • Improved quality of health care
  • Focus on preventive health
  • Early intervention to prevent health conditions from developing
  • Improved patient relationships
  • Reduced need for specialist care
  • Economic benefit in the form of several linked jobs

However, there are also several barriers that inhibit the benefits of primary care. A shortage of primary care physicians is a significant challenge, and the demand for new practitioners is currently growing at a faster rate than the supply. Additionally, the quality of care is variable between different practitioners, regions, and countries.

After-hours care is typically available in less than half of primary care centers.

Types of Primary Care Providers

There are various types of primary care providers who are responsible for the ongoing healthcare of patients. Each of them is capable of acting as the point of entry for the patient into the health system for advice or referrals.

  • Primary care physician
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Family practice doctor
  • Internal medicine doctor
  • Gynecologist
  • Obstetrician
  • Geriatrician
  • Pediatrician

Each of these practitioners typically has a certain patient group with which they are most suited. They have a deeper knowledge of the health conditions that commonly affect these patients.

The primary care physician or general practitioner is the most common type of primary healthcare provider, and has the most general knowledge of patient illnesses, along with the widest variability in their patients.

It is important to note that non-primary care physicians do not offer the same degree of comprehensive and ongoing care as they relate to particular medical specialties. Primary care providers who are not physicians do offer some services at first contacts, such as dietetic and lifestyle changes for diabetics and cardiac patients.

However, they function best as part of a team involved with primary health care.

Patient-Practitioner Relationship

The presence of trust between a primary care practitioner and the patient is important to maintain a strong relationship and get the most benefits from primary care. As the primary care practitioner is the point of entry for the public into the health system, patients should feel comfortable to discuss any signs or symptoms that they may be experiencing.

They should be free to share the complications and adverse effects of any treatment they are taking. They should also be ready to accept advice and recommendations from their practitioner accordingly.

It should be noted that each practitioner has a unique way of interacting with patients, and so individuals may need to try several physicians before finding one that they are happy and comfortable to work with on improving their health and wellbeing.

 

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Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain: What to Expect

Physical therapy is often one of the best choices you can make when you have long-term pain (also called chronic pain) or an injury. It can make you stronger and help you move and feel better.Ask your doctor to recommend a physical therapist. You’ll probably need a series of visits, and you should practice some of the exercises at home for the best results.

Physical therapists have a lot of training. Still, it’s a good idea to ask them about their experience in working with people who’ve had conditions like yours. You can also ask them how many sessions you’ll need.

How Does Physical Therapy Treat Pain?

Physical therapists are experts not only in treating pain but also its source. Yours will look for areas of weakness or stiffness that may be adding stress to the places that hurt.  And they will treat those areas with certain exercises to reduce pain and help you move better.

In a physical therapy session, you may do more than one of these things:

Low-impact aerobic training. These workouts will rev up your heart rate and still take it easy on your joints. For instance, you might walk fast or use a stationary bike to warm up, instead of running, before you do your strengthening exercises.

Strengthening exercises. You might use machines with your physical therapist’s office, resistance bands, or your own body weight (think lunges, squats, and push-ups). You may work on your core muscles (belly, glutes, and back), as well as other parts of your body.

Pain relief exercises. These moves target areas where you have pain, so you’re stronger and more flexible — which should make it easier to live your life.

Stretching. This will be gentle, and your therapist will make sure that you’re warmed up and you don’t stretch too far.

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