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David Nahali, DC | Blog
Orlando Chiropractor|Are Vegetarians Really Any Healthier Than People Who Eat Meat?
9/9/13
There are many different reasons why people may choose to become vegetarian, ranging from personal issues to ethical or environmental concerns. Some people stop eating meat for health reasons, and others just don't like the way it tastes. For meat-eaters who are primarily interested in becoming vegetarian to improve their overall health, what does the science say? Are vegetarians really any healthier than people who eat meat?
The results of a recent study of over 70,000 Seventh Day Adventists published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that the male vegetarians in the group had a 12% lower risk of death from any cause than the meat eaters. Interestingly, the study found that a vegetarian diet did not seem to benefit women any more than a meat-based one, and there was no greater protection against cancer in either group. The researchers noted that vegetarians tend to exercise more, be thinner and smoke and drink less than those who eat meat. They naturally eat far more healthy fruits and vegetables than meat eaters, which provide plenty of disease-fighting vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Although eating less meat is a good idea for just about everyone, just removing all meat from your diet does not guarantee good health. Vegetarians must ensure that they are receiving sufficient amounts of the vitamins and minerals that are difficult to find in a non-meat diet, such as zinc, vitamin B12 and iron. Although iron can be found in vegetables as well, it is non-heme iron, a form that is not as easily absorbed as the heme iron in meat. You can technically be a vegetarian by eating a meal of French fries, a coke and a chocolate chip cookie, but that is not healthier than a meal consisting of a moderate amount of lean grass-fed beef, broccoli and a small glass of red wine.
In general, the meat itself is not the only issue when it comes to the health of meat-eaters. It is also the items that accompany it that tend to contribute to nutritional problems. Take, for instance, a hamburger. Most red meat comes from animals that have been raised on large factory farms where they are given hormones and antibiotics. That's one unhealthy element of meat right there that can be eliminated by eating grass-fed organic meat, which must not receive any of these chemicals. Then that same burger is usually accompanied by highly processed and/or fried carbohydrates such as burger buns, mashed potatoes or chips, and a large sugary soda.
More current studies are finding that refined carbohydrates are causing the most chronic disease in our culture. Native cultures that have a high intake of fat and/or meat (such as the Masai and the Inuits) actually have lower rates of heart disease and diabetes than our culture, which eats less meat and saturated fat, but far more carbohydrates.
There is little doubt that eating less meat would be better for both our health and the health of the planet. But becoming vegetarian will not necessarily improve your health any more than eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and eliminating refined carbohydrates.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Best Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis
9/9/13
Plantar fasciitis can cause more inconvenience than almost any other type of ligament inflammation, since the injured ligament is put to use every time you take a step. This means that resting it is difficult and recovery is prone to setbacks. The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your heel to the ball of your foot. When extra stress is placed on it, or if it is stretched in an irregular manner, it can become inflamed and cause pain in your heel. Luckily, it does not have to become a chronic condition and can be managed with some extra care and specific exercises.
First of all, you should be aware of the types of exercise that make the condition worse. Anything that involves using your foot in a repetitive motion that involves force against a hard surface should be avoided, such as running and jogging.
People who are at greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis are those who have either flat feet ("fallen arches") or high arches, and whose foot tends to roll inward (overpronation). These all contribute to a weakness in the foot, so strengthening the foot muscles is particularly important for these people. Other factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis are short and tight calf muscles, standing for long periods of time, particularly in improper footwear, and being overweight, which puts undue strain on the bottom of the sole.
Stretching the Achilles tendon (which attaches your calf muscle to your heel) is important, as tightness here can keep you from flexing your foot freely, putting more strain on the plantar fascia. And the plantar fascia itself should be stretched gently on a regular basis as well to keep inflammation from becoming a problem. These both tend to tighten overnight, which is why those with plantar fasciitis tend to find their condition worse first thing in the morning when taking their first few steps from bed.
Following are some simple exercises you can do to help treat plantar fasciitis:
* Sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, loop a towel or belt around the ball of your foot and pull back slowly until you feel a good pull in your calf muscle. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Repeat with the other leg.
* Stand facing a wall at about arm's length and lunge forward with one leg while keeping the other behind you with the heel flat on the floor. You should feel the stretch in the calf muscle. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch to the other leg. Repeat the sequence a few times a day.
* To stretch the plantar fascia, use a wall or stair to press the bottom your toes against so that they extend upward, while the ball of your foot remains touching the floor. Hold for 45-60 seconds on each foot and repeat twice. Sports doctors recommend this be done twice a day.
Massaging the plantar fascia by rolling your foot slowly back and forth over a rolling pin or drink can for a few minutes each day can also help to relieve plantar fasciitis.
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Orlando Chiropractor|Look Who Else Uses Chiropractic Care: Ironman Triathletes
9/9/13
Regarded as one of the most difficult endurance sporting events in the world, the Ironman Triathlon motto is "Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life." Since 1978, when the first Ironman Triathlon was held in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii, dozens more have been added worldwide, increasing the opportunity for athletes around the world to compete. Needless to say, the Ironman triathletes who qualify for one of these races need to be at the top of their game, and chiropractic care is a major asset to keeping them in the competition.
The Ironman Triathlon World Championship is held every year in Kona, and most athletes qualify for a slot by being among the top finishers in their age bracket at one of the worldwide competitions. Chiropractors are always on hand to treat injuries and remove obstacles that may impede an athlete's performance. A range of techniques may be used, including standard chiropractic adjustments and the Active Release Technique (ART). ART therapy is a form of soft tissue therapy that is especially useful for repetitive stress injuries that cause muscle adhesions, a common form of injury in triathletes.
Lisa Walker, a woman in her early 50s from Edmonds, WA, credits Florida chiropractor Dr. Dan with allowing her to compete in the World Championships. "I met Dr. Dan in the ART tent the week before the race. I had issues with both shoulders and my right foot. Dan fixed me up so well I went back two more times just to see him about the issue. I really appreciated what he did for me because it gave me back my confidence in both swimming and my run. This was my 4th time in Kona and I ended up with a 7th place AG finish, a personal record (PR) and a Boston marathon qualifying time by 11 minutes on the run."
Chiropractor Sebastian Gonzales from Huntington Beach, CA, also travels to the World Championships in Kona each year to be on a team that treats over 600 athletes with ART. Gonzales says "Most of these athletes train from 10 to 20 hours a week up until this race and many of them are highly prone to overuse training injuries, and a 24 hour plane fight doesn't help! Some athletes come in with minor issues and others come to the Active Release tent with hopes of being completely fixed the week of the race."
Gonzales added "Granted we all have great success with fixing training injuries in our respective practices, but the value of ART lies in the performance and injury prevention aspects. Within minutes, a provider can watch you run and figure out potential issues with gait leading to decreased race performance. I tell my athletes if you want a PR, you need to incorporate specific soft tissue care like ART into your regimen."

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Orlando Chiropractor|The Bright Side of Aging
9/9/13
Our culture places a lot of value on maintaining our youth for as long as possible. But no matter how hard you try and how many products you buy that guarantee you a more youthful appearance, we all eventually grow old. But getting older does not necessarily mean that life is all downhill from the age of 30. There are considerable benefits-both mental and emotional-to be gained from growing older.
Our younger brain may be speedier and have better short-term memory, but as we age our brains become much better at problem-solving and dealing with complex tasks. A youthful brain can't see the forest for the trees. Older people may not be able to see each tree as clearly, but they're often better at finding their way out of the forest. The Seattle Longitudinal Study followed 6,000 people for over 40 years and tracked their mental abilities. The study found that people between ages 40 and 60 performed better on inductive reasoning, vocabulary and spatial orientation tests than those in their 20s.
We also become happier as we age. Research has shown that this is due in part to the action of the area of the brain called the amygdala, which is responsible for our emotional stability. When shown photos of positive events, brain scans showed the amygdala of both young people in their 20s and older people in their 70s lit up equally. However, when shown pictures of negative events, only the amygdala of the young people showed much activity. Older people are better at regulating anger and other negative emotions. According to Dr. Gene D. Cohen, director of the center on aging, health and humanities at George Washington University, "The highs may be just as high, but the lows are not as low."
As we grow older, we also care less about what others think of us and are more comfortable in our own skins. We are not as concerned about fitting in or meeting other people's expectations about what it is to be successful, which reduces the amount of stress in our lives. Studies have shown that levels of stress drop significantly after age 50.
While health-wise, our bodies may begin to develop some problems, there are still some benefits to aging. Although people over age 65 are at greater risk of contracting the normal seasonal flu, they are also less likely to contract the more serious flu pandemics than those who are younger. Scientists explain that the immune system of older people "remembers" having been exposed to these viruses earlier in life and is able to defend against them, whereas younger people have not had the benefit of years of exposure during which they can build up immunity.
Older people are more stable and secure and have usually built up a sufficient amount of money to live comfortably. They do not have the demands of work and children, and gain considerable satisfaction from mentoring others. Karl Pillemer, a sociologist from Cornell University, who interviewed over 1,200 older people for his book, 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans, said "We have a seriously negative stereotype of the 70s and beyond, and that stereotype is typically incorrect." He explained that the elderly people he interviewed were more likely to "describe the last five or ten years as the happiest years of their lives."

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Orlando Chiropractor|Can Losing Weight Really Help Reduce Back Pain?
9/9/13
If you suffer from back pain and are more than 10 pounds above your ideal weight, losing that weight may significantly reduce the amount of pain you are experiencing. According to Dr. Andre Panagos, co-director of The Spine Center at New York's Presbyterian Hospital, "Although research on weight loss and back pain is minimal, in my clinic, every single person who loses a significant amount of weight finds their pain to be significantly improved."
The muscles, tendons and ligaments that work to keep the spine upright and aligned can be put under a great deal more stress when there is more weight for them to support. Even simple everyday tasks such as reaching over to put an item on your pantry shelf can be harder on your back when those supporting muscles have extra weight to maneuver. Losing weight reduces the extra strain on your spinal muscles.
Although no studies have conclusively shown that being overweight is the cause of back pain, being overweight or obese can contribute to back pain in a couple of ways. First, for those who are overweight, short periods of exercise often cause fatigue, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, which can discourage people from exercising. This can indirectly cause pain in the back because inactivity and lack of exercise are major contributors to back pain. Insufficient exercise leaves your back muscles, stiff, weak and out of condition. Second, excess weight, particularly around the stomach, pulls the pelvis forward and causes an excess curvature in the vertebrae of the lower back, causing pain and stress on the muscles and supporting structures of the back.
Another way in which excess weight can contribute to back pain is by the development of sciatica or piriformis syndrome caused by a herniated disc. When vertebral discs have to carry an excess load, they can become herniated. Imagine each vertebral disc as a small water balloon. The more weight that presses down on it, the more it bulges, sometimes tearing and losing fluid. This can cause the space between the vertebrae to narrow, leading to possible nerve compression.
Extra body weight can also cause arthritis of the spine. The American Obesity Association advises that weight loss can lower the risk of osteoarthritis, as those with a body mass index (BMI) more than 25 are at greater risk of the disease.
If you are overweight, consider starting a low-impact exercise program to slowly and gently lose weight. Walking, swimming, or other forms of water exercise can be a way of exercising that will not stress your muscles, tendons and ligaments while giving you the physical activity you need to get you started on the road to weight loss. Studies have shown that sticking with a regular exercise program can help to reduce episodes of back pain and prevent or lessen any future episodes.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Can Losing Weight Really Help Reduce Back Pain?
9/9/13
If you suffer from back pain and are more than 10 pounds above your ideal weight, losing that weight may significantly reduce the amount of pain you are experiencing. According to Dr. Andre Panagos, co-director of The Spine Center at New York's Presbyterian Hospital, "Although research on weight loss and back pain is minimal, in my clinic, every single person who loses a significant amount of weight finds their pain to be significantly improved."
The muscles, tendons and ligaments that work to keep the spine upright and aligned can be put under a great deal more stress when there is more weight for them to support. Even simple everyday tasks such as reaching over to put an item on your pantry shelf can be harder on your back when those supporting muscles have extra weight to maneuver. Losing weight reduces the extra strain on your spinal muscles.
Although no studies have conclusively shown that being overweight is the cause of back pain, being overweight or obese can contribute to back pain in a couple of ways. First, for those who are overweight, short periods of exercise often cause fatigue, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, which can discourage people from exercising. This can indirectly cause pain in the back because inactivity and lack of exercise are major contributors to back pain. Insufficient exercise leaves your back muscles, stiff, weak and out of condition. Second, excess weight, particularly around the stomach, pulls the pelvis forward and causes an excess curvature in the vertebrae of the lower back, causing pain and stress on the muscles and supporting structures of the back.
Another way in which excess weight can contribute to back pain is by the development of sciatica or piriformis syndrome caused by a herniated disc. When vertebral discs have to carry an excess load, they can become herniated. Imagine each vertebral disc as a small water balloon. The more weight that presses down on it, the more it bulges, sometimes tearing and losing fluid. This can cause the space between the vertebrae to narrow, leading to possible nerve compression.
Extra body weight can also cause arthritis of the spine. The American Obesity Association advises that weight loss can lower the risk of osteoarthritis, as those with a body mass index (BMI) more than 25 are at greater risk of the disease.
If you are overweight, consider starting a low-impact exercise program to slowly and gently lose weight. Walking, swimming, or other forms of water exercise can be a way of exercising that will not stress your muscles, tendons and ligaments while giving you the physical activity you need to get you started on the road to weight loss. Studies have shown that sticking with a regular exercise program can help to reduce episodes of back pain and prevent or lessen any future episodes.
Orlando Chiropractor|The Science Behind No-Carb and Low-Carb Diets
9/3/13
Our earliest Paleolithic ancestors naturally followed a low-carb diet, since we hadn't yet learned how to cultivate grains. They relied primarily on protein and fat to keep them going until about 10,000 years ago when modern humans developed agriculture. If a diet high in protein and fat had not been healthy for our ancestors, they would likely not have survived to their genes on to future generations.
Fast forward to today. Type 2 diabetes is now one of the most common chronic diseases in the western world. Many researchers believe our excessive consumption of carbohydrates has something to do with it. Every time you eat a piece of bread or a plate of pasta, or drink a sugar-laden soft drink, it causes insulin to surge in response to the sharp rise in blood sugar. After a while your pancreas has had enough.
Scientist and dietitian Jeffrey S. Volek, author of the book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable, says "At least half the adults in this country and a growing number of adolescents have some degree of insulin resistance. Someone who is resistant to insulin is intolerant to carbohydrates to some extent. So we believe that reducing carbohydrate intake is the most effective way to address the disease."
A string of research studies performed over the past 50 years has found no association between the consumption of natural saturated fat (such as that in butter and eggs) and cardiovascular disease. In fact, some studies show that those who do not get enough saturated fat in their diet actually have a higher rate of death from heart disease. What studies seem to be pointing to as the culprit in heart disease is the consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates.
In regard to weight loss, at least 18 published studies have shown that people on low-carb diets experience greater weight loss than those on either a low-fat or low-calorie diet. The insulin that is released when carbohydrates are consumed signals the body to store that carb energy as body fat. If protein and fat are eaten instead, blood sugar remains more even and the calories consumed are burned directly for fuel.
Studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol, raise levels of good cholesterol, reduce PCOS, irritable bowel syndrome, GERD, diabetes and heart disease. Given all these positive effects, and the research supporting it, it's somewhat surprising that not more of the medical establishment has championed the low-carb diet. But old habits are hard to break, and there are now growing numbers of physicians talking to their patients about the benefits of a low-carb diet. Volek says "There is a need to get this message out to people because it is such a powerful tool and it is completely underutilized. That is what we are trying to get across to people. This is something that can literally save lives."

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Orlando Chiropractor|More Good News About Walking: It's Good for Lower Back Pain Too!
9/3/13
Lower back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints. It's also one of the most common reasons that people visit their doctor or chiropractor. An estimated 60-80 percent of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. But luckily, exercise can help prevent or alleviate the condition, and a recent study has shown that it does not need to involve anything more complicated than walking briskly.
Dr. Michal Katz-Leurer and her colleague Ilana Shnayderman from Tel Aviv University conducted a study on 52 sedentary people aged 18-65 with chronic lower back pain. The volunteers were divided into two groups: the "walking" group and the "exercise" group. The walking group was instructed to walk for 20 minutes on a treadmill twice a week, switching to 40 minutes per session as their strength increased. The exercise group was assigned specific back strengthening exercises to be performed twice a week. Both groups carried out these activities for six weeks.
The researchers' results, which were published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation, found that significant improvements had been made in both groups, regardless of the type of exercise they had practiced. This is good news for people who do not have the equipment or budget to afford professional strength training classes. All it requires is getting out for a brisk walk. Dr. Katz-Leurer said that their study confirmed that walking is "as effective as treatment that could have been received in the clinic."
The research shows that active walking (as opposed to simply strolling) engages the same muscles that are used with targeted exercise. The reason why you may find that your back hurts after a day at a museum or when browsing the shops is that walking slowly causes the spine and supporting muscles to be under constant pressure. The compressive pressure on the lower back when strolling is about two and a half times your body weight and the spine does not move much. However, even though the lower back experiences the same amount of compressive pressure when walking fast, there is a cyclical effect on the muscles supporting the back that relieves the static pressure, particularly if you swing your arms as you walk. Dr. Katz-Leurer noted that a walking program encourages people to live a healthier lifestyle overall and that it can help to alleviate the aches and pains we experience as we age. She added that walking is a low-impact activity that lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, improves brain function and boosts the immune system. So take some time each week to get out for a brisk walk and it may improve your general health and significantly improve any chronic pain in your lower back.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Keys to Strengthening Your Immune System
9/3/13
We are bombarded daily with all sorts of microbes that can cause illness. Interestingly, if we are exposed to a wide range of these microbes as children, studies have shown that we will have a lower risk of asthma and allergies as well as a stronger immune system. There are a number of factors that influence the health of our immune system, including diet, stress, exercise and aging. Following are some strategies you can use to help strengthen your immune system.Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables - These are high in the vitamins, minerals and trace elements you need to help keep you healthy, particularly those high in vitamin C (red bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, citrus fruits) and zinc (nuts, seeds, wheat germ).
Reduce stress - Chronic stress has been shown to inhibit the production of interleukins and cytokines, which are responsible for stimulating the action of white blood cells. Chronic stress also causes the stress hormone cortisol to be continually released into the bloodstream, which in the long term suppresses the production of pathogen-fighting T cells and antibodies. Get out in the sun - Insufficient vitamin D has been linked to greater susceptibility to infection. Approximately one out of three Americans is deficient in vitamin D. Try to get out in the sun in the summer months wearing minimal clothing and no sunscreen for 5 to 10 minutes two or three times a week between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. This will provide you with sufficient vitamin D without increasing your risk of skin cancer. You can also take a supplement in the winter months or if you live in a place without much sun. Get sufficient sleep - Sleep deprivation increases inflammation and inhibits the immune response. One study found that people who habitually slept less than seven hours each night were nearly three times more likely to catch a cold than people who slept eight hours or more.Exercise - Moderate exercise has been shown to decrease stress and boost the immune system. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise each day, such as a brisk walk, raises the body's levels of leukocytes, which are cells that help guard against infection.
Eat probiotics - Perhaps even more important than antibiotics in the fight against infection are probiotics, beneficial bacteria that live in the gut and upper respiratory tract. They boost the immune system by encouraging the production of certain T cells. You can find probiotics in yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, or you can take a probiotic supplement.
Avoid sugar - Even 100 grams of sugar, the equivalent of a 24-oz soda, depresses your immune system by reducing the ability of white blood cells to combat bacteria. This effect can last for a few hours after sugar ingestion, so if you are trying to stay healthy, keep away from the sweets!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Summer Sad Explained
9/3/13
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in winter is a widely-known phenomenon. There is less sunlight during winter days, which affects the serotonin ("happy" hormones) produced in response to light striking our pineal gland, causing depression and listlessness. But not many people are aware that SAD has a summer equivalent as well. Studies performed on people in countries near the equator have found that their populations often suffer from SAD in the summer months. But what can be its cause?
For some people, the seasonal change to summer can cause depression, agitation and irritability. Although it is thought to affect only 1% of the population, it is a real phenomenon nevertheless. Not everyone is happy with hot temperatures, and many people suffer through the increased heat and humidity. It becomes more difficult to sleep, many suffer a loss of appetite and/or just don't want to cook in hot, steamy weather. They may exercise less because of the heat and spend hours in an air-conditioned living room watching TV because it's too hot to do anything else. We are also very much creatures of habit, and any change to our daily routine and circadian rhythms (which are responsible for the sleep-wake cycle) can upset our balance. In summer the kids are home, families often go to sleep and wake up at different times and have a whole new daily routine. In the midst of all that, many Americans and Europeans choose to take their annual vacation during these months, which further upsets their regular schedules (as pleasant as that interruption usually is). Your habits of sleep, work and meals can change radically in the summer months.Then there's the issue of body image. In the cooler months, those of us who do not still maintain the body of an active 20-year-old can cover up our various bumps and bulges in loose sweaters. Not so in the summer. Even a modest bathing suit at the beach reveals more than many of us would like. And many people starve themselves in an effort to get their "bikini body" back for their two-week holiday by the sea, adding to the stress their body must endure.Finally, the financial strain that a summer vacation puts on the budget can also take its toll. In addition, many working parents have to pay for childcare in the summer, or have to fork out a significant sum for camp, so summer is not always the best time for a family financially, increasing stress and rates of summer depression. And for families who can't afford either childcare option, three solid months of having the kids at home all day can drive even the most patient parent up a wall.To combat summer depression, there are a number of things you can do. First, be sure you give yourself sufficient sleep and exercise. It's tempting to stay up later than usual in the summer months, but remember that 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night are necessary in order to function at your best. If it's too hot to exercise, try exercising late at night or early in the morning before things heat up. You can also join an air-conditioned gym for a couple of months until things cool down. Eat a sensible, balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, which help to keep you hydrated while providing important nutrients. Don't try to lose a bunch of weight all at once. Planning ahead is your best option, as you can put away a little money every month toward your summer holiday and can also gradually lose any excess weight before beach season without putting stress on your body. Finally, plan to do something fun. Call a friend to come over and join you to share a movie in your air-conditioned house or go out for exotic cocktails with your partner. The good news is that summer depression can be prevented or managed with a just little advance planning.
Those who suffer from summer SAD often find that the symptoms disappear with the return of fall and a more "normal" lifestyle rhythm.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is "Radiating Pain" and How Can Chiropractic Help?
9/3/13
If you have ever had a case of sciatica, in which pain seems to start in your lower back or hip and radiate down your leg to your foot, you have suffered an example of what is referred to as "radiating pain." The medical term for pain the starts in one area and travels to another is radiculitis, and although it is not the most common form of nerve pain, it causes a lot of misery for those who suffer from it.
True radiating pain is usually the result of a nerve or nerve root in the spinal cord being subject to pressure of some sort, whether through inflammation, injury or spinal subluxation. For example, a herniated disk may create radiating pain because it has bulged out of its normal place and may impinge on a nerve root extending from the spinal cord.
The nerves that run the length of the spinal cord from neck to tailbone and branch out to the left and right are called the radicular nerves. When these are injured or compressed they are more likely to radiate pain than the other types of nerves in our body. If there is a neck injury, for example, pain may radiate down the arm to the fingertips. The pain of something like tendonitis, however, is from pressure on the nerves in the elbow and forearm and does not generally radiate. Some people think they have radiating pain, but the pain is instead often just due to myofascial trigger points that cause a more diffuse pain that seems to radiate out from one area. This is caused by tense muscles and scar tissue that has built up trapping nerves in the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Chiropractors are expert at treating radiating pain. Your chiropractor will first take a thorough history, examine you, and may order diagnostic tests such as an x-ray or an MRI to determine if your problem may be due to a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or another condition that is not apparent from a physical examination.
A chiropractic adjustment can address any spinal misalignments that may be impinging on spinal nerves, taking the pressure off the nerve and reducing pain. In addition, many chiropractors utilize additional therapies that can free trapped nerves, such as the Active Release Technique (ART). A chiropractic ART therapist will be able to break up the fibrous adhesions and scar tissue that has built up in the soft tissue, freeing trapped nerves.
So if you are suffering from radiating pain, do not hesitate to consult with your chiropractor, who will be able to diagnose the cause of the problem and offer effective drug-free therapies to heal the condition.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Making Weight Loss a Public Health Challenge: Does It Really Work?
8/26/13
Obesity, and the chronic diseases that accompany it, cost both individuals and the government a lot in terms of both health and money. So it's not surprising that a growing number of public health initiatives have tried to help curb the obesity epidemic in local communities. Unfortunately, most have been relatively unsuccessful. Why is this and what can be done about it? Given our culture, it is quite easy to gain weight, but not so simple to lose it. We are encouraged to eat for all sorts of reasons that are not related to providing our body with nutrients, such as office birthday parties, celebrating a team win, or even eating as a way of combating stress and depression. Fat- and sugar-laden comfort foods are very popular in depressed economic times. Our culture also encourages constant snacking. We snack in the car, at work, while walking down the street, and mindlessly while sitting in front of the TV. Slimmer cultures do not snack like this (or at all). Add to this the fact that many of us feel an urge to eat huge portions at restaurants so we'll feel like we're getting our money's worth, and you soon have a population with a major obesity problem. Although exercise is important to maintaining good health, using it as the main tool in your weight loss arsenal is often ineffective, and the amount of exercise you have to do in order to lose weight is considerable. And let's face it-most people simply don't enjoy exercising for the sake of exercising.
A number of cities, such as Boston, MA and Corpus Christi, TX (America's Fattest City, according to Men's Health magazine) have tried to implement weight loss challenges, but they have had a tough time reaching their targets. Boston challenged its residents to lose a collective one million pounds in a year, but achieved less than a tenth of that number by year's end. Louisville, KY, tried to get its population to lose a collective 100,000 pounds in 6 months, but only managed 6,000. They tried free exercise classes and boot camps, but daily life got in the way of most programs. Louisville made greater strides in reducing obesity by building bike paths, making healthier food more accessible in low income areas and requiring some restaurants to put calorie counts on their menus.
Scientific studies increasingly suggest that weight gain and weight loss may not just be a simple matter of calories in and calories out. Dieting and exercising alone have usually proven to be ineffective in terms of long-term weight loss for most people. When people stop exercising as much and go back to eating normally, the weight eventually creeps back. It's proven very difficult for most people to create new healthy lifestyle habits that successfully replace the old unhealthy ones.
One major problem is that the foods most common in the typical Western diet can create metabolic changes that hinder attempts at weight loss. Fat, sugar, and salt are present in large amounts and they're not usually easy to spot. Processed foods and restaurant meals pose a particular challenge.
To make any significant dent in obesity rates, more information and ongoing public education will be necessary. But they're only one part of the solution. It will also require a real change in individuals' own priorities and personal motivation. If history is any guide, it is very difficult or impossible to MAKE someone change if they don't really want to, even when healthier choices are made readily available. The fact that healthier menu options at mainstream eating establishments (not "foodie" specialty places) often sell poorly and that even reasonably priced fruit and vegetables are frequently passed by in favor of Twinkies and soda tell this part of the story. So does the recent public backlash against attempts to regulate serving size. Eating is deeply cultural and changes in eating patterns come hard.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Overview of Chiropractic Specializations
8/26/13
Many Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are not only trained in standard chiropractic adjustment techniques, but also specialize in other areas as well. Like medical doctors, DCs increasingly choose to specialize in order to better treat their patients. According to Robert E. Dubro, DC, DACBOH, DABCO, president of the American Board of Chiropractic Specialties, "After graduating from chiropractic college, you have the basic skill set to treat patients presenting with average, everyday complaints and injuries. In general, you do not yet have the expertise to treat highly chronic illnesses and injuries or specific, complex occupational, sports or traumatic injuries. Specialty training is an important path to that kind of expertise." Following is an overview of the different chiropractic diplomate specializations accredited by the American Chiropractic Association.
Chiropractic Diagnostic Imaging (DACBR) Specialist - Has additional training in interpreting diagnostic imaging results such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds.
Chiropractic Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation (DACRB) Specialist - Has had extensive postgraduate training in physiologic therapeutics and rehabilitation to better treat injuries that may have resulted from an accident or a sports injury.
Chiropractic Acupuncture (DABCA) Specialist - Treats a wide variety of health conditions that include all body systems and tissues and focuses special attention on the relationship between the spine, nervous system, and the meridian system.
Chiropractic Nutrition (DACBN/CBCN) Specialist - Is trained to encourage and promote a more
advanced knowledge and use of nutrition in the practice of chiropractic for the maintenance of health and the prevention of disease.
Chiropractic Diagnosis and Management of Internal Disorders (DABCI) Specialist - Is trained as a holistic primary care physician specializing in modern medical diagnosis, functional medicine, and natural therapeutics.
Chiropractic Orthopedist (DACO/DABCO) Specialist - Has special knowledge of both the normal function and diseases of the bones, joints, capsules, discs, muscles, ligaments, tendons, their complete neurological components, referred organ systems and contiguous tissues, and is able to diagnose and treat the conditions related to them.
Chiropractic Clinical Neurologist (DACAN/DACNB) Specialist - Is a DC specially trained in the clinical evaluation and treatment of conditions involving the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP/DACBSP) Specialist - Is trained in chiropractic sports medicine and exercise science in order to treat sports injuries, enhance athletic performance and promote physical fitness.
Chiropractic Pediatrician (DICCP) Specialist - As children can benefit from chiropractic, but their musculoskeletal system has different needs than that of an adult, a DICCP has received special training in pediatrics to meet the chiropractic healthcare needs of children.
Chiropractic Occupational Health (DACBOH) Specialist - A DC trained in health care diagnosis and treatment choices for workplace neuromusculoskeletal injuries who is able to provide a broad range of work-related injury and illness prevention services for employee populations.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Building Eye-Hand Coordination
8/26/13
We first begin to learn eye-hand coordination (sometimes also called hand-eye coordination) when we are infants, with the greatest amount of development occurring during childhood. But it is never too late to improve eye-hand coordination skills. It is important to maintain this function as we age, since it is central to so many of our daily tasks, such as driving or chopping vegetables.
According to a study published in the journal Communication Research, playing video games for as little as 20 minutes can improve your eye-hand coordination. Researchers found that college students who played video games for 20 minutes using a special controller demonstrated nearly twice the accuracy in shooting at a real target as the students who did not play the video game first.
Improved eye-hand coordination can help when fast reaction times are needed, such as when driving a car or playing with children. It can increase productivity at work and is useful for leisure activities as well, such as reading music and computer gaming. Following are a few activities that you can practice that will allow you to improve your eye-hand coordination.
Play video games - Either online or using a console like a Wii, playing video games that require a sensitive touch and precise timing has been shown to improve accuracy skills.
Do some coloring - Grab some markers or crayons and a coloring book and color away. Our hands are beginning to lose their fine motor coordination abilities now that more and more of us use a keyboard to write. Coloring will help to preserve those fine motor skills.
Play a racquet sport - Any sport involving a racquet and ball will help to improve your eye-hand coordination, in addition to it being a great aerobic workout! You have to react quickly to your opponent's moves and quickly judge where they will hit the ball.
Take up juggling - Start juggling two balls from hand to hand, then gradually introduce a third (and even a fourth if you can manage it). It will improve both coordination and focus.
Do a jigsaw puzzle - Useful for improving both eye-hand coordination and reasoning, a jigsaw puzzle is a fun way to hone these skills, particularly if it is a 3D puzzle.
Play catch - A great activity that can help improve both your and your child's hand-eye accuracy, a simple game of catch using a tennis ball or other type of small ball is a great way of sharpening your skills while spending time with your kids.
Create something - Doing crafts such as model building and knitting can be creative ways of improving your eye-hand coordination, and you'll have something to show for it to boot!


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Orlando Chiropractor|Falls Among Seniors: What You Should Know
8/26/13
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three adults over the age of 65 has a fall in any given year. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for adults in this age range, as well as the most common cause of trauma-related hospital admissions. More than 1.6 million older adults go to the emergency room for fall-related injuries each year in the United States. Whether you are above the age of 65, or you care for someone who is, knowing how to prevent a fall could help you save a life.
There are several risk factors that you can address to help prevent a fall. The first factor is a lack of physical activity. As adults grow older it becomes difficult to exercise on a regular basis. This leads to a decrease in strength and a loss of bone flexibility and mass. All of these factors can make falls more likely and injuries more severe.
Fortunately, there are ways for older adults to stay active. Regular exercise is the best place to start. Fifteen minutes of an exercise designed to increase bone and muscle strength should be done every other day. This can be as simple as taking a walk or going for a swim a few times a week.
The risk of falls increases when seniors do not take adequate time to carry out daily activities. It is important to stay safe and to take your time when bending over and when lifting things. Be sure to recover your balance first before taking a step when getting out of bed or a chair.
Seniors on medications may find that their balance is impaired and their mental alertness is reduced. Some medications can cause a drop in blood pressure while you are standing up, throwing you off balance. Be sure to understand all of the side effects of your medications, and be clear with your doctor about any fears you have about your balance. He or she may be able to reduce your dosage to help keep the side effects under control.
Environmental hazards are one of the biggest risk factors for senior falls. These hazards can include items on the floor that are easy to trip on, loose rugs, unsteady furniture, and poor lighting.
To reduce the risk of environmental factors causing a fall, take time to walk through the house to locate any potential hazards. Rugs can be secured with nonskid tape and throw rugs can be removed altogether. Furniture should be kept in good repair and clutter should be kept to a minimum. Finally, consider having grab bars installed to help you get up and down securely.
Falls among seniors can be frightening, but there are steps that you can take to help prevent them. By being cautious and staying in good health, seniors can increase their chances of avoiding harmful falls.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is a "Back Spasm"?
8/26/13
A back spasm can occur when the muscles supporting the spinal column, particularly those in the lower back, become overworked. If the muscles suddenly contract near the nerve roots around the spinal cord, this condition can be extremely painful.
Muscles that are overstretched or worked more than usual can become tender and inflamed. The pain may first become noticeable when you are twisting your back, or are pushing or pulling something, particularly if you are moving something heavy. Sudden movements in particular are likely to trigger back spasms. Playing golf, for example, in which the back twists quickly as the golfer swings, can cause the back to spasm. Weightlifting, baseball and football are other sports that carry a higher risk of back spasm. Even something as seemingly safe as gardening can cause back spasms, since it usually involves bending and turning. If the activity is not stopped immediately, the spasms are likely to get worse.
Among other things that can increase your risk of suffering a back spasm are:
* Weak stomach muscles
* Tight hamstrings
* A tipped pelvis
* Lordosis (an exceptional curvature of the lumbar spine)
* A back condition such as spondylolysis, arthritis or spinal stenosis

Typical back spasm treatments usually involve resting the back first, then-as it heals-strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Bed rest is not usually recommended for the long term, as it can actually hinder the healing of the back. You should try to keep active, but be sure not to put any strain on the back muscles. While resting, experts recommend that you lie on your back on the floor with a pillow under your knees, or with your knees bent and your legs resting on a chair. Acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen are often recommended in the first days, though they should not be taken on an extended basis due to the damage they can do to your stomach and liver. You can also apply heat for 20 to 30 minutes at a time to help soothe sore back muscles.
When your back has sufficiently healed, you can slowly begin to introduce more movement. A visit to your chiropractor is always a good idea, as he or she can remove any spinal subluxations that may be causing muscle imbalances and can suggest exercises you can do to strengthen the core muscles in the trunk (not only the back, but the abdomen as well) that are so vital in supporting the spinal column as it moves in different directions. Stretching the hamstrings and psoas muscles can also help by reducing the tightness that often develops from spending long hours in a sitting position, and that often contribute to the likelihood of muscle spasms.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is a "Hydromassage" and What Can It Do for You?
8/19/13
The principle behind hydromassage is that it combines the benefits of massage with the therapeutic use of warm water. Hot tubs are a simple example of this principle, but HydroMassage is more targeted. HydroMassage uses the pressure of warm water to help relax muscles, increase circulation and relieve muscle tension and pain.
Traditional hydromassage therapy is centuries old. In fact, it was a popular form of musculoskeletal treatment in Greek and Roman times. The Roman baths were a place where you could enjoy the benefits of a soak in warm mineral waters along with a massage treatment. The benefits of hydromassage were rediscovered in the 1960s, and this form of therapy has been gaining popularity ever since. The technology, however, has changed significantly since Roman times, and now you don't even need to immerse yourself in water to receive the benefits this form of therapy can provide.
Some chiropractors use a modern HydroMassage water massage bed in their practice. This is a hands-off form of massage that is received while fully clothed (apart from taking off your shoes). You lie on top of the HydroMassage bed and use the attached touchscreen to choose the program you want, much as you would in a Jacuzzi. However, the options for the HydroMassage bed are much greater. It begins by sending a powerful wave of warm water down the length of your body. The touchscreen allows you to program the pressure and location of the waves for a fully customizable massage.
A HydroMassage session typically lasts from 15 to 30 minutes. Among its benefits are that it doesn't involve disrobing or the use of messy oils, and it doesn't take too much time out of your day. You are in charge of the speed and intensity of the massage and can target it to wherever you feel it is needed most, including your upper or lower back, calves or feet. The touchscreen also allows you to do other things while receiving your massage, such as listen to music, watch a movie, read a book or surf the internet.
Some of the health benefits you may enjoy from having a HydroMassage include the following:
* Increased range of motion
* Increased joint flexibility
* Increased circulation
* Lower blood pressure
* Tension headache relief
* Better quality sleep
* Increased oxygen absorption
* Relief from pain associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, pregnancy, tendonitis, and other conditions
* Faster recovery from athletic workouts
* Reduced stress and increased sense of wellbeing
HydroMassage beds have become very popular for a variety of reasons. They can be used either as a supplement to traditional massage or as an alternative, depending on each patient's health goals and personal preferences. If you're interested in learning whether a HydroMassage might be for you, just ask your local chiropractor. You may find it an easy and affordable way to relax and rejuvenate!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Look Who Else Uses Chiropractic Care: Mixed Martial Arts (Mma) Fighters
8/19/13
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact sport that combines techniques from a range of different martial arts. It allows for such techniques as grappling and striking, combining the moves of boxing and wrestling, among others. The sport can involve techniques from Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, judo, karate, kickboxing, muai Thai and taekwondo.
The strikes and holds involved in MMA are rough on the musculoskeletal system and (no surprise) frequently cause injuries, particularly to the neck and spine. A 4-month study of four MMA tournaments found that of the 427 respondents to a survey, there had been 103 cases of cervical neck injury, five requiring hospitalization and causing a neurological deficit. The examining physicians describe these types of injuries as similar to those of whiplash. Life-threatening injuries to the central nervous system are common. Blows to the head can cause a hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck, causing a sprain or strain to the neck region and varying neurological problems.
In a sport that so frequently causes misalignment of the spine and joint injury, it is especially important to take advantage of the benefits of chiropractic care. MMA athletes find that chiropractic improves their balance, coordination and strength due to the improved neurological signaling that an aligned spine provides. They find that reaction times improve and it gives them an edge on the competition.
Former professional boxer Evander Holyfield said, "I do believe in Chiropractic. I found that going to a Chiropractor three times a week helps my performance. Once I drove 20 miles to see a chiropractor before a fight. I have to have my adjustment before I get in the ring. The majority of boxers go to get that edge."
According to Frank Shamrock, former UFC light heavyweight champion and MMA fighter, "When I was 16 in high school I started playing basketball and my right leg went numb and started to drag slightly behind me. I went to the regular MD who did x-rays and told me that I had broken my back at an early stage of my life, that I would need immediate surgery, and I'd have pain and limited mobility for the rest of my life. So, being the highly holistic and active person I am, I went and saw a chiropractor." Shamrock added, "I've been seeing chiropractic for 16 years now. It has been the change in my life that has allowed me to participate in professional athletics and to achieve six world championships ... I believe in chiropractic."

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Orlando Chiropractor|Is There Really Such a Thing as "Positive Stress"?
8/19/13
Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist? When the going gets tough, the optimists among you can take heart-new research that has found that viewing stress positively can be of benefit to both the mind and body.
When the brain perceives stress (either physical or psychological), it reacts by releasing cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine to prepare the body for a "fight or flight" response. Fortunately for us, this response is not triggered in most people today as frequently as it once was or for the same kinds of reasons. After all, relatively few of us are in life-threatening situations on a regular basis. Today's "modern" stresses are more likely to be caused by wrestling with the IRS, trying to escape a traffic jam or competing with a coworker for a promotion.
It is interesting to note that stress, in itself, is not necessarily a negative thing. It is how we perceive it that makes it either good or bad for us. This is a hopeful discovery, as most people have only limited control over how much stress they experience. The everyday stresses of modern life are difficult to escape. But if we can train our minds to view them as a challenge rather than a threat, it could actually help to bring about better health.
Scientists from a handful of universities, including Yale University and Columbia University, examined the effects of stress on 300 investment bankers who had just emerged from a round of layoffs (I know it's difficult to feel bad for the stress of investment bankers, but stay with me here). In the study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, scientists divided the participants into two groups, and tried to alter the perception of half of them to view stress as debilitating and the other half to view it as an enhancement.
The first half of the participants were shown videos of people succumbing to stress. The other half were shown videos of people meeting challenges, such as sports figures accomplishing a difficult goal. The results showed that those who had a more optimistic view of stress had fewer health problems, including headaches and muscle pain, and performed better at work than the pessimistic group. In addition, levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) were lower in those who viewed stress as potentially enhancing.
There is actually a term for positive stress, called eustress, which was coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye in the 1970s. It has been proven that stress in moderation improves cognitive performance and improves memory. Good stress involves the kind of challenges where we feel that we are in control and are accomplishing something. It boosts the immune system and can improve heart function. So eliminating all stress from our lives is probably not a good idea.
The stress to watch out for is the chronic, long-term emotional stress, which causes stress hormones to remain at persistently high levels, leading to many chronic ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure and depression.
However, viewing certain stressors as challenges rather than threats can be a positive thing and can help ensure that you have a healthy, satisfying and exciting life.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Therapy Methods - Spinal Decompression Therapy
8/19/13
Spinal decompression therapy is a treatment option for people with long-term back pain, sciatica, leg pain, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, numbness and other conditions that have not responded to initial treatments such as manipulation and physical therapy. All of these conditions may be the result of compressive forces on your vertebrae, which can cause spinal misalignment and compressed discs.
Compressed discs can lead to herniation or bulging of the discs, thus pressure on the nerves. In addition to the pressure and compression, the nerve itself may not be able to receive the nutrients it needs to heal and work properly. Often, surgery is used to decompress the spine, which is invasive, painful, and carries significant risks. Medications to reduce pain are also often used, but they do not treat the source of the pain and only mask it.
Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive, non-surgical alternative that offers gentle spinal decompression through the use of specially designed, FDA-approved equipment. Prior to treatment, patients are thoroughly examined both manually and through the use of imaging technology in order to determine which spinal discs are compressed, and if the treatment is suitable and has a high likelihood of success.
Patients are placed on a decompression table in a comfortable posture that depends on which area of the back needs treatment. The treatment applies a specific force to the compressed discs, and a computer alternates the decompression force with relaxation periods. Usually, there is a series of 15 one-minute alternating decompression and relaxation cycles, for an individual treatment time of 30 minutes. This process serves to gently elongate the spine and to create a vacuum that pulls the disc back into its proper location and shape within the vertebrae. Realigning the discs in this manner can reduce pain and promote healing. However, it may take up to 20 treatments for complete relief.
Not everyone is a good candidate for spinal decompression therapy. Research has shown it to be very effective for some patients but not for others, and it is not entirely clear which people it will work best on. Therefore, it is important to work carefully with your chiropractor to be sure you have a good chance of successful treatment. Your chiropractor may precede each treatment with soft tissue muscle work to reduce the body's natural reflex reaction and prepare the muscles for the traction forces. He or she will also work with other health professionals as needed to determine the precise nature of your back pain and the type of treatments that are most likely to resolve your pain at its source.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic for Chronic Back Pain
8/19/13
About a third of the millions of people who make appointments with chiropractors every year seek relief from back pain. Back pain can be acute, meaning it happens suddenly, lasts 6 weeks or less and often clears up on its own; or back pain can be chronic, meaning it comes on gradually and lasts 3 months or more. Chronic back pain can be particularly debilitating and can limit movement and mobility.
Traditional treatments for back pain include medication, physical therapy, surgery or steroid injections. While these treatments may provide symptomatic relief, they do not address the root cause of the pain. They can also be painful and expensive to carry out.
The foundation of chiropractic care for chronic back pain is the understanding that misaligned vertebrae can cause the pain. This misalignment can result in many additional problems, such as headaches, body pains and impaired joint mobility. Chiropractic treatment aims to restore alignment to the vertebrae, returning natural health to the spine and all the body parts the spinal nerves serve.
Chiropractors believe in the body's natural ability to heal itself. Chiropractic care avoids medications and their possible side effects, and it also avoids surgery. As an example of the differences in treatment, surgeons may remove a herniated disk from the spine in order to relieve pressure on the nerves, while chiropractors use non-invasive spinal manipulation to achieve the same result.
Your chiropractor will treat your chronic pain based on the vertebral misalignments found in your body. A quick, sudden force is applied to the appropriate vertebrae in order to restore the motion of the joint. Another common treatment for chronic pain is known as the flexion-distraction technique. This treatment involves a special table that stretches the spine. It is particularly effective in treating injuries to the discs that have been the cause of long-term back pain.
Chronic back pain will probably also require additional treatments such as massage, exercise, and perhaps physical therapy. A good chiropractor will work with other health professionals as needed to ensure you get the best possible treatment for your pain. He or she will also look at the entire picture of your life, including your diet, health habits, medical history, family history, and other conditions you may have. This approach is holistic and has a better chance of eliminating the root cause of your chronic back pain than traditional treatments that only work on the symptoms.
Every body is different. If you have questions about this article or whether chiropractic is an appropriate choice for your specific situation, please ask. We are here to help!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Obesity Facts and Figures
8/19/13
Obesity is fast becoming the number one health problem in the world, contributing to an increased risk of other diseases and putting a strain on national health budgets. Following are some interesting facts and figures related to obesity:
* About 17% of medical costs in the US are due to obesity and its related diseases, totaling an estimated $168 billion per year.
* Obesity adds about $2,800 to a person's medical bills annually.
* An estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the US each year are caused by obesity.
* One third of US adults are obese, indicating a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
* If an 18-year-old remains obese throughout their adulthood, it will cost them $550,000.
* 80% of cases of Type 2 diabetes are related to obesity. The rate of diabetes has doubled in eight states since 1995.
* 70% of heart disease is obesity-related.
* Low-income women are more likely to become obese than high-income women. Over 33% of people earning less than $15,000 annually are obese, as opposed to a 24.6% rate of obesity in those earning $50,000 or more.
* The highest rates of obesity are found among non-Hispanic African Americans (44.1%), followed by Mexican-Americans (39.3%), Hispanics (37.9%) and non-Hispanic whites (32.6%). Asians have the lowest rate of obesity at 16.7%.
* In the last 30 years childhood obesity has tripled, from 6.5% in children aged 6 to 11 years to 19.6% today. The obesity rate in teenagers aged 12 to 19 years has increased from 5% to 18.1%.
* Of children who are overweight at age 10-15, 80% will be obese as adults.
* As a percentage of the population, the US has the highest number of obese people (33.9%), followed by Mexico (24%), the UK (23%), Slovakia (22.4) and Greece (22%).
* College graduates have an obesity rate of 20.8%, which is lower than the 29.5% rate of those who have only graduated high school.
* Obesity begins to decline after age 60. The population of those over age 69 has an obesity rate of 20.5%.
* The rate of obesity is increasing in the US. In 2007 only one state had an overall obesity rate of over 30%. In 2011, 12 states had a greater than 30% obesity rate.
* 40% of obese Americans aged 50 to 84 have osteoarthritis of the knee, caused by the wear and tear to the joints from excess weight stress. One extra pound of weight is equivalent to four pounds of stress on the knee.
Good health is a combination of many factors including your nutrition, preventative care, appropriate corrective care and the small choices you make every day in the course of living. If you have questions about this article, your general or spinal health, please ask. We are here to help!

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Coffee Affects Your Health
8/19/13
We seem to hear different things from the medical community every few years about either the positive or negative effect that coffee has on our health. So what is the most current information? Is coffee good or bad for your health? The answer, in short, is that it's a little of both.
Too much coffee can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure, anxiety and upset stomach, in addition to its ability to become addictive. And don't forget that added cream and sugar contribute to weight gain. For example, a 24-ounce Starbucks venti double chocolate chip frappucino contains a mind-boggling 520 calories!
Despite these drawbacks, moderate coffee consumption can actually have a protective effect, helping to reduce your risk of many problems, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, liver cancer, gallstones and Type 2 diabetes, to name a few. It can also lower the risk of stroke in women.
Current research has indicated that there is no increased risk of heart disease or cancer from moderate coffee drinking. The studies done earlier that reached that conclusion were flawed in that they did not take into consideration other lifestyle habits that went along with increased coffee drinking, such as smoking and lack of exercise, two major causes of these diseases. In fact, coffee has been shown to protect against many kinds of cancer.
A recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that there was a 25 percent reduction in cases of endometrial cancer in women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day. Scientists believe this may be due to the fact that coffee has the ability to lower concentrations of free estradiol and insulin, in addition to the cancer-fighting effect of coffee's antioxidant phenols.
Even a few cups of coffee every day can cut men's risk of developing prostate cancer by 30 percent, with those consuming six cups of coffee a day reducing their risk of a dangerous form of the cancer by a whopping 60 percent.
Coffee also reduces your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma by up to 20 percent, according to scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who drink coffee (four cups per day) have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than those who drink no coffee at all.
It is recommended that you get no more than 500-600 mg of caffeine intake per day, the equivalent of about 6 to 8 cups of brewed coffee. Obviously, the amount of caffeine in a cup of espresso will be more than that in the equivalent amount drip coffee.
The key point to keep in mind is to consume coffee in moderate amounts, especially if you are pregnant. But all in all, the benefits of coffee consumption far outweigh the risks for most people, so grab a café grande and drink up!
Nutrition is a very complex and our understanding of it is constantly evolving. If you have questions about your current nutrition or supplement plan, please ask. We are here to help!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Choosing the Right Lumbar Support
8/19/13
Lumbar back support products are designed to help prevent neck and back pain, which can lead to pain in other parts of the body as well. Many of these products are pillows or cushions that offer additional support when you are seated for long periods of time.
The lumbar region of the spine is usually referred to as the lower back. It is the area just above your tailbone and below the thoracic (middle back) region. The lumbar area includes your spine and all the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding your spine. If your ligaments are pulled or torn, you will experience a lumbar sprain or strain, which can lead to muscle spasms and significant pain in your lower back.
What can cause lumbar sprains and strains? Poor posture, poor lifting technique, obesity, and other health-related factors can contribute. In fact, sitting for long periods without lumbar support can itself aggravate lumbar pain. Finally, one of the greatest contributors to back pain is using the wrong type of chair for your body. Surfaces that are too hard or too soft do not encourage proper posture and do not provide adequate support for your back.
Usually all that is required to relieve lower back pain is sufficient rest, but most of us are unable to rest for long enough to overcome lumbar problems. So preventing these problems with a good lumbar support is essential, especially if you spend significant amounts of time sitting down.
The first step to choosing the right lumbar support is to ensure that it fits perfectly in the chair you spend the most time in. An even better option is to choose an ergonomically designed chair that includes a built-in lumbar support, or an individual lumbar support that is specifically designed to be used with your chair. "One size fits all" lumbar support products rarely provide any benefits and should be avoided.
Make sure you test the product in the store before you buy it. If you can, sit with the lumbar support for at least 15 minutes to see if it feels good or aggravates back pain. The best lumbar supports are adjustable, so you can fit it to the chair's height. Ergonomic chairs with lumbar supports included usually allow you to adjust the height and width of the support. Adjustable separate supports are particularly useful if you use more than one chair throughout the day.
Good health is a combination of many factors including your nutrition, preventative care, appropriate corrective care and the small choices you make every day in the course of living. If you have questions about this article, your general or spinal health, please ask. We are here to help!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
8/19/13
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), named from the carpal bones in the wrist that form a tunnel around the nerve leading to the hand, is an injury usually caused by repetitive and forceful movements that result in swelling around the tendons and pinching of the median nerve, causing painful tingling, lack of muscle strength and control in the hand, and pain shooting from the hand up to the shoulder. CTS is a risk to most workers, such as those who work on the computer and also store and assembly line workers, who receive micro-traumas to their hands and wrists on a daily basis due to awkward positioning, forceful and repetitive movements, and stressful activity.
The usual treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can extend to heavy medication and surgery, however there are alternative methods of treatment that can alleviate the symptoms and effects arising from CTS. Chiropractic treatment for CTS has been studied against conventional non-surgical medical treatment and was found to be effective. This offers an alternative to sufferers who are intolerant to ibuprofen, or those who simply wish to avoid treating with medication.
The median nerve in the wrist, which when trapped causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, connects to the spinal cord through the openings in the bones in the areas around the lower neck. If these bones in the spinal cord lose their ordinary position or motion, this can cause problems in the wrists or fingers. Through chiropractic treatment, these bones can be reset to the correct position and can help to treat CTS.
If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is detected early, then surgery can be avoided, and chiropractic treatment is the leading method of non-surgical treatment. Chiropractic treatment usually involves various methods, with a combination of rest, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation, including:
* By chiropractic manipulation therapy of the elbow and upper spine, where the joint's soft tissue undergoes manipulation;
* Nutritional supplements in the diet such as B6, a vitamin that has had long-term promotion in its treatment of CTS;
* Electro-acupuncture treatment; bracing, a technique that has had extensive success, by limiting extension and flexion in the hand, and with compression on the median nerve may encourage recovery and ease the swelling in the tendons;
* Exercises for the wrist and hand designed to encourage recovery;
* Reassessing the ergonomics of the work place to minimize stress the best way as possible.
Recent studies concluded that using manual therapy intervention such as soft tissue mobilization (STM) has been found to help improve the signs and symptoms of CTS, with improvements to nerve conduction latencies, wrist strength and motion.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can become a serious health problem, and if left too long may require surgery. If it's caught early, then chiropractic treatment is an effective, drug-free method to ease the symptoms and pains caused by CTS, and provide long-term relief from CTS.
Every body is different. If you have questions about this article or whether chiropractic is an appropriate choice for your specific situation, please ask. We are here to help!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Patients' Satisfaction with Chiropractic Care
8/19/13
When it comes to making important choices about treatment options for back pain, it's worth looking at the experiences of others who have found something that works. In recent years, the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center has surveyed the magazine's subscribers to do just that. In April and May 2009, Consumer Reports released some of its findings publicly. A summary appears below.

About the Survey Participants

* More than 14,000 participants who had suffered from lower-back pain in the prior year but had never had back surgery.
* More than half reported that pain severely limited their daily routine for a week or longer.
* Many reported that pain interfered with sleep, sex and efforts to maintain a healthy weight.
* 88% reported that the pain recurred through the year.
* Most had tried five or six different treatments.

How Respondents Ranked the Healthcare Providers Who Had Treated Them

Healthcare Provider
Percent Who Were Highly Satisfied With Treatment and Advice*
Chiropractor
59%
Physical Therapist+
55%
Acupuncturist
53%
Physician, Specialist
44%
Physician, Primary Care
34%*Defined as either Completely Satisfied or Very Satisfied.
+Difference in ranking for Physical Therapist and Acupuncturist were not statistically significant.


How Respondents Ranked Selected Back Pain Therapies

Therapy
Percentage Who Reported that the Therapy Helped a Lot
Chiropractic Manipulation
58%
Prescription Drugs
45%
Over-the-Counter Drugs
22%
In July 2011, Consumer Reports published an updated report describing how Americans use alternative approaches to healthcare as well as their experience with various therapies and their providers. Chiropractic care once again was reported to be the most popular approach to back pain relief and was ranked most highly in terms of patient satisfaction.

Your Doctor of Chiropractic can help relieve back pain and restore mobility by using a drug-free, hands-on technique called "spinal manipulation" or "chiropractic adjustment". He or she may also use other manual therapies, such as massage, to complement this primary treatment. In addition, many chiropractors are skilled in designing exercise and nutrition programs for their patients that will help their bodies resist injury and function properly. By focusing on both immediate pain relief and the underlying causes of back pain, your chiropractor can help you achieve a healthier overall lifestyle.

Every body is different. If you have questions about this article or whether chiropractic is an appropriate choice for your specific situation, please ask. We are here to help!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Are We Kidding Ourselves When It Comes to Our Health?
8/19/13
Almost all adults are aware that healthy habits such as eating right, getting regular exercise, getting sufficient sleep and reducing stress are the keys to reducing the risk of disease. However, there's plenty of evidence that large numbers of people lie to themselves and to their health care practitioner about how healthy a lifestyle they actually have. These little white lifestyle lies may not seem to be particularly importance, but lying to your doctor can actually cause more harm to your health than you may realize.
The problem is that many people are too embarrassed to admit to their doctor that they do things like eat a fast food diet, smoke, use recreational drugs, overindulge in alcohol and practice risky sexual behaviors. And many just want to avoid the sort of nagging conversations that they believe will happen when their physician learns about these behaviors. Janie Hoffman, who lied to her doctor about quitting smoking (and who has since quit) said, "I'm not stupid and everyone knows that smoking is bad, but who wants to hear a lecture?" Almost half of the people surveyed in a WebMD study admitted that they either lied or stretched the truth when speaking with their doctor. And this is only the number of people that admit it.
Omitting information, either intentionally or not, can cause problems. Even something as seemingly innocent as not telling your doctor about a supplement you are taking can lead to serious consequences. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that approximately 1 in 25 people were at risk of potentially harmful drug interactions due to mixing prescription drugs with over-the-counter remedies. Many people don't think that taking an aspirin or a dietary supplement such as gingko biloba in combination with their prescription could cause any problems, but-in some cases-the harmful effects can range from mild to life-threatening.
If you don't give your doctor accurate information, you may end up with a prescription that is wrong for you, which can cause even more health problems. For instance, if you tell your doctor that you are taking your blood pressure medications as prescribed when you aren't, and you still have high blood pressure, he or she is likely to increase the dose or change it in a way that makes the situation worse. Likewise, if you say you are dieting and exercising when in fact you spend your days sitting in front of the TV with a box of donuts, your doctor may call for unnecessary tests to figure out why you're not losing any weight.
Doctors and their patients also do not see eye to eye on the actual state of their health and lifestyle habits. About a third of Americans give themselves an "A" grade on factors such as eating right, exercising, getting a good night's sleep and avoiding stress, while over 90% of their physicians give them a "C" grade on the same factors.
It's important to remember that your doctor does not ask questions about your lifestyle to judge you. He or she simply wants to be sure you get the best health care they can provide. Dr. Andrew Carroll from the Renaissance Medical Group in Chandler, AZ, said "I think drinking and drug abuse are the two things that people most often tend not to be honest about." He continued, "If patients know they're doing something wrong, they don't tell us because they don't want to get a lecture. But we're not the cops. We're not going to bust anybody."

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is "Long-Term Health Care"?
8/19/13
Long-term health care, most commonly referred to as long-term care (LTC) is comprised of both medical and non-medical services provided to those who are unable to take care of themselves. Although LTC is most commonly used by the elderly, long term care may also be necessary for people of any age who are either chronically ill or disabled. Many have trouble dressing and bathing themselves, need assistance to use the bathroom or require help preparing regular meals. And with an aging population, LTC is becoming an increasingly important issue.
In 2006, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that 6 million Americans needed the assistance of LTC services. This number is expected to increase to 12 million by 2020. According to a study performed by the US Department of Health and Human Services, 40 percent of the population who reach 65 years of age will enter a nursing home at some point in their lives.
There is a wide range of both in-home and out-of-home care services, depending on your particular needs and your budget. They include the following:
* Day programs - These offer meals, social interaction and activities outside the home for people who do not need 24-hour care. Some provide round-trip transportation to the care center in addition to minor medical services, such as checking blood pressure or helping with administering medications.
* Senior housing - Rental apartments for seniors who do not need much medical care. These facilities may include meals, housekeeping, transportation and activities.
* Home care - For help with personal needs at home such as bathing and dressing. Meal preparation, housekeeping and shopping are also sometimes done. Basic medical care can be provided by home health nurses.
* Assisted living - Housing facilities for those with disabilities who are not able to live independently, but who do not require 24-hour care. They receive assistance with daily living activities, and some facilities have additional amenities such as on-site beauty shops.
* Continuing-care retirement community - Features several care levels in one setting, allowing residents to move from one level to another as their needs change. This includes senior housing for the relatively healthy, assisted living for those who have difficulty with daily activities, and 24-hour nursing care for those who cannot be independent.
* Nursing homes - Round-the-clock nursing care for those unable to care for themselves and end-of-life care. Residents receive help eating, dressing, bathing and going to the toilet, as well as basic medical care and physical rehabilitation.
The cost of LTC is not insignificant, and many people are under the mistaken impression that Medicare will pay their LTC costs. In fact, Medicare only pays for short-term skilled services or rehabilitative care that is medically necessary. It does not pay for care in the long-term or for help with activities of daily living, which is what the majority of people actually need. To pay for this, you will likely need a private payment plan such as a reverse mortgage or special long-term care insurance. However, this is not something that can be arranged for at the last minute, so the ability to pay for LTC does require advance planning.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Meditation and Your Health-What the Science Says
8/19/13
Researchers have found in study after study that meditation can offer both mental and physical health benefits. Doctors and integrative health programs increasingly prescribe meditation techniques alongside traditional treatments to achieve a wide range of health goals, from increasing immunity to lowering high blood pressure and reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. On the surface of things, meditation would seem to offer a variety of benefits-if it actually works. After all, it's non-invasive, drug-free, and costs nothing. So how effective is it?
Approximately 500 clinical trials have been performed on the health effects of meditation, of which about 40 have been long-term studies. Short-term studies have found that meditation may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, and that it improves memory and general cognitive functioning.
Of the long-term studies, a nine-year study of African-Americans with heart disease found that those who regularly practiced Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day had a 48% lower risk of stroke, heart attack or death than those who had only receive health education. They reported significantly less stress and had 5mmHg lower systolic blood pressure.
Two studies from Ohio State University found that meditation was effective against cancer. The first showed that breast cancer survivors had a lower recurrence of the disease with the daily practice of relaxation meditation. The second found that meditation increased the elderly subjects' "killer cells," providing more resistance to viruses and tumors.
Meditation has also been found to cause epigenetic changes by helping to maintain telomere length. Telomeres are the protective sheaths at the ends of our chromosomes, which become shorter as we age, increasing the risk of dementia, heart disease and cancer. A study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry showed a 43% greater increase in activity of the enzyme that regulates telomere length in those who meditated as opposed to those who just listened to relaxing music.
Those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome will be glad to learn that meditating twice daily can significantly reduce symptoms of constipation, bloating and diarrhea. It has also been shown to reduce depression and impart a general sense of calm.
Scientists believe that one of the major benefits of meditation is that it lowers stress. Stress causes the release of hormones such as cortisol, which stimulates the "fight or flight" response, increasing blood pressure and stress on the arterial walls. Although one of the roles of cortisol is to control inflammation in the body, with prolonged exposure to it (which is what happens with chronic stress), the body eventually becomes unresponsive to the hormone. Despite the adrenals pumping out more cortisol to try to keep up, inflammation continues to increase. By lowering stress, inflammation is reduced throughout the body, resulting in a reduction in the symptoms of chronic disease.
The practice of meditation is a simple one that anyone can perform once or twice a day for 10-15 minutes sessions. Sit comfortably cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your spine straight. With eyes open or closed, simply bring your attention to your breath and notice it as it comes in and goes out. When your mind begins to wander (which it always will), just bring your attention back to the breath. Some find it useful to focus on each part of the body, mentally relaxing each muscle as you focus on it.
While there's growing awareness among the general public that meditation can significantly improve people's quality of life, there's also plenty of evidence that meditation can offer specific physical and mental health benefits. If you're interested in learning more, we encourage you to call or visit our office!

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Orlando Chiro|Why Shoulder Joints Are Especially Vulnerable and What You Can Do to Prevent Injuries
8/19/13
The healthy shoulder joint allows us to move our arms a full 270 degrees in range, which no other joint can do. When you consider the shoulder's range of motion and its complexity, it's no wonder that this joint is particularly prone to injury. However, there are some steps you can take to help prevent shoulder damage.
The anatomy of the shoulder involves not only the ball-and-socket type glenohumeral joint that most people are familiar with (which allows for a wide range of movement), but three other joints as well, all supported by tendons and ligaments. These four joints are composed of the glenohumeral, scapulothoracic, acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints. The two clavicular joints are not very mobile, so injuries to these are often the cause of shoulder complaints. But because the glenohumeral and scapulothoracic joints have such a wide range of motion, the supporting tendons and ligaments are more prone to injury.
The shoulder is susceptible to two types of injury: overuse injury and traumatic injury. Overuse injuries are common in athletes and workers who practice repetitive motions that involve the shoulder, particularly activities where the shoulder is raised above the head. These activities include tennis, swimming, weightlifting, pitching, construction work, house painting, and even gardening. Bursitis and tendinitis are the most common overuse injuries of the shoulder. Symptoms include shoulder pain, weakness, and a loss of range of motion. Symptoms may be worse at night and when using the shoulder for overhead activity.
Traumatic injury of the shoulder typically occurs due to a fall or blow to the shoulder, which often happens in the course of contact sports. These can cause a sprain or strain to the supporting tendons and ligaments of the shoulder, rotator cuff tears and dislocation of the shoulder.
The best way to prevent a shoulder injury is to strengthen the upper body. An upper body exercise program can help the shoulder achieve the strength and flexibility needed to be able to hold up to repetitive motion and withstand the force of impact. Some simple exercises you can do at home twice a day to improve strength and flexibility include the following:
* Basic strengthening - Attach a length of elastic tubing to a doorknob and gently pull it toward your body. Hold for five seconds and repeat five times with each arm.
* Shoulder press-ups - Sit upright in a chair that has an armrest, with your feet flat on the floor. Use your arms to slowly raise yourself from the chair. Hold for a count of five and repeat five times.
* Wall push-ups - Stand two or three feet from a wall, facing it with your hands on the wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Perform a push-up against the wall five times.
* Shoulder Rotation - Bring your fingertips to the top of your shoulders with your elbows pointing out to the sides. Slowly start drawing "circles" with your elbows, starting with small rotations and gradually becoming larger. Once you have done them clockwise, then switch to doing counter-clockwise circles.
Your chiropractor can recommend additional shoulder-strengthening exercises for you to practice at home. Done correctly, these will reduce the likelihood that you will suffer an injury to your shoulder joint.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Fitness Lessons from the Dance Studio
8/15/13
For those who want to get fit, but find the thought of working out at a gym about as appealing as a root canal, dancing may be the answer. Dancing is a fun way to get off the couch and exercise without it actually feeling like work (most of the time, anyway). People who dance regularly point out that it can help you manage your weight, maintain your flexibility and improve your coordination. Plus it's a social activity, so you can make new friends or enjoy old ones while you're at it!
The TV show "Dancing with the Stars" has contributed to a sort of popular renaissance for ballroom dancing in the U.S. Dance classes teaching tango, foxtrot and salsa are quick to fill up, and the demand is growing. But did you know that, entertainment value aside, dancing may also have more health benefits-physically and mentally-than most people realize?
Dancing has been found to boost memory and help reduce your risk of dementia as you age, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The part of the brain responsible for memory, the hippocampus, normally shrinks as we grow older. Those who dance show greater volume in the hippocampus. Of 11 physical activities included in the study, only dancing reduced dementia risk.
According to Dr. Joe Verghese, a professor at New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, "Dance, in many ways, is a complex activity. It's not just purely physical." Although the exercise itself increases blood flow to the brain, dancing also involves having to memorize steps, anticipate your partner's moves, and is a very social form of exercise.
Dancing can also relieve stress and reduce depression. The social contact that happens during dance lessons and at dance events allows you to meet new people who can become part of your support network. It has been shown to increase energy levels as well.
Dancing is a great way to get cardiovascular exercise, and it may provide even greater benefits than the cardio you get at the gym. An Italian study found that the patients with cardiovascular disease who started waltzing on a regular basis had healthier hearts, better breathing, and a more improved quality of life than patients who walked on a treadmill or biked for exercise.
Those interested in losing weight can also look to dancing. A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that people who enrolled in a dance training program lost as much weight and increased their aerobic power as much as those who practiced biking or jogging.
Tango, which is enjoying one of the largest resurgences in ballroom dancing, can help improve your balance. Tango requires dancers to have good posture and balance while quickly executing complicated movements that often require rapid changes in direction.
Don't worry if you feel you have two left feet. Most people can significantly improve their dancing ability with just a little practice. And it's important not to be too critical of yourself. There are a lot of beginners out there, many of whom feel unsure about their dancing. Just relax and have fun with it, and you will find the improvement in your fitness a nice side benefit!


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Orlando Chiropractor|History of the 2,000-Calorie Diet
8/15/13
We've all seen these sentences on a nutrition label: "Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs." But what exactly do they mean? How did the FDA arrive at 2,000 calories as being the average daily caloric intake need for such a varied population? The short answer is that the FDA never actually did. The 2,000-calorie benchmark has a very specific purpose, and the number is somewhat arbitrary.
When developing mandatory food labeling 20 years ago, the FDA decided there needed to be some standard by which to judge the nutritional content or contribution of the labeled food. According to nutritionist Marion Nestle, there is no real scientific basis for the FDA's decision to use the 2,000-calorie benchmark.
The FDA based their choice on the results of self-reported USDA consumption surveys in which women reported taking in an average of 1,600 and 2,200 calories per day, men between 2,000 and 3,000 calories daily, and children between 1,800 and 2,500 daily calories. Obviously, these very different ranges would have taken up too much space on a nutrition label, so the FDA proposed taking an average, which came out to 2,350 calories per day, and asked for people to submit comments on this proposal.
Despite the fact that experiments had shown that 2,350 calories per day was not a sufficient number for either the average man or woman to maintain a stable weight, most of the commentators felt that 2,350 calories per day was too high. Nutritionists felt that this number would encourage greater food consumption in a population already struggling with obesity. They proposed a 2000-calorie diet as a good rounded number that was in line with many widely-utilized food plans and that people could calculate easily. It was also approximately the number of daily calories required for post-menopausal women, the group likeliest to gain weight.
A survey conducted by of over 10,500 users found that for women, 2,000 calories per day was about right. However, it was significantly too little for men. The average man required about 2,700 calories per day, and nearly 20% of men required more than 3,000 calories daily to maintain their weight.
The problem with accurately judging daily caloric needs for each individual is that people's bodies have very different sizes and compositions, and that activity levels are far from uniform from person to person. A basic guide to follow is that a moderately active adult who exercises for 30 to 60 minutes three times a week should take in around 15 calories per pound of body weight if they want to maintain their current weight. For example, if you are a 140-pound woman who is moderately active, you would require 2,100 calories per day (15 x 140). If you want to lose weight, figure fewer calories per pound, and to gain weight, use more calories per pound.
Ultimately, calories are not the final answer in the quest to lose weight. The body metabolizes different foods in different ways, and taking in 200 calories of sugar will affect your weight far more than 200 calories of protein or complex carbohydrates. Also, not many people actually count the calories they take in each day, which is not a bad thing. The point is to eat healthy, unprocessed food in reasonable quantities and get some regular exercise if you want to keep at a healthy weight.


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Orlando Chiropractor|How Safe Is Your House's Plumbing?
8/15/13
When we think about safety hazards in the home, most of us probably don't give our house's plumbing a second thought. Certainly, it doesn't seem to pose the kinds of immediate risks that your home's electrical or natural gas delivery systems do. However, if something goes wrong with your hot water heater, pipes, valves or faucets, it can lead to serious damage.
Some of that damage might be obvious-a ceiling collapsing from a water leak in a second-story bathroom, for example--but other damage might not be so apparent. Slow leaks can cause rot and mold. They can also put your home's electrical wiring and gas lines at risk. These potential problems aside, some materials used in the plumbing of older homes may also present health concerns for the people for the people living there. Following are some ways to avoid possible plumbing-related health hazards in your home and to ensure that your plumbing system is safe.
* Your hot water heater should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent you and your family from being burned. There should also be an automatic anti-scald feature built into each shower head to prevent water from getting too hot.
* Hot water heaters can be gas, electric, oil or propane types. If using a gas or propane hot water heater, it should be properly vented with either direct venting or power venting. This is important to avoid the buildup in your home of poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide (CO) that are the result of gas combustion. You can buy a carbon monoxide inspection kit from your local home improvement store to periodically check CO levels, or have a professional come to do it for you. CO emissions should not be higher than 5ppm near the water heater, and exhaust emissions should not register higher than 100ppm, apart from the first 30 seconds after starting up.
* If you seem to be paying for more water than you are using, you may have a leak. Look for signs of leaks such as rust, water marks and buckling. Check under sinks, and under and around your water heater, washing machine and dishwasher to pinpoint the source of the leak.
* The main shut-off valve for water to the building should be easily accessible in case a pipe bursts so that your home is not flooded.
* Lead pipes in an older home are not the only potential source of toxic exposure. Brass fittings can also be a problem. A study done by researchers at Virginia Tech found that some brass products used in plumbing systems leached hazardous levels of lead into drinking water. Brass is a copper alloy that contains a number of other metals, including lead. To reduce your risk of excessive lead intake, consider replacing any brass fittings or fixtures with those that use a safer alternative such as copper or plastic materials.
* Your plumbing materials, such as piping, should be marked with the code "NSF-PW" or "NSF-61." This indicates that the materials are certified according to the NSF/ANSI Standard 61 guidelines for the safety of materials that come into contact with potable water. If it does not have this code, or is marked as "NSF-DWV," it should not be used for any potable water instillations.
Keeping these few plumbing safety tips in mind will help to ensure that your home is safe and comfortable for you and your family.


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Orlando Chiropractor|Benefits of Onsite Chiropractic Care
8/15/13
Chiropractic care provides a number of benefits for the people who choose to take advantage of it. Recent studies show that chiropractic care is more effective than medicine in relieving neck pain. Studies also show that including chiropractic care in an integrated healthcare approach can lead to a reduction in pharmaceutical costs and hospital admissions.
There is no denying that chiropractic care is beneficial, but does it have a place in on-site clinics? A recent study suggests that it might. A study conducted by Cerner Health Clinic in Kansas City, MO has found evidence that chiropractic services found in on-site health centers can lead to benefits for both employees and employers.
The study compared a group of patients who received chiropractic care at an off-site clinic against those who received care at an on-site clinic. Their results showed that the convenience of having on-site care led to more employees substituting chiropractic care for medical care. This led to fewer physical therapy visits and outpatient visits, saving employees time and money.
The study also shows that employees who take advantage of on-site chiropractic care may use fewer medical resources. Chiropractic care is comprised of conservative, non-invasive treatments, and patients undergoing this type of care may be able to avoid more costly surgery and hospitalization. Employers whose employees can receive on-site medical care may also benefit from a reduction in indirect costs, since healthy employees use fewer sick days and are more productive while they are at work. For example, think of an employee who receives medication to address a back ache. The pain reliever may impact his ability to think clearly and do his job to the best of his ability. Alternatively, he could have the problem addressed by a chiropractor and return to his desk clear headed and ready to work.
Finally, on-site chiropractic care can lead to a boost in morale that benefits both employees and employers. Employees will appreciate having convenient access to effective health care, resulting in a more positive work environment. Employers will enjoy improved relationships with their employees and benefit from increased productivity.
On-site chiropractic care can lead to a number of benefits for both employees and employers. The quality care that a chiropractor can give will help keep employees feeling at their best, allowing business to run smoothly and productively.


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Orlando Chiropractor|Water Retention: Why Does It Happen and Is It Dangerous?
8/15/13
If you wake up in the morning and suddenly find yourself having a difficult time putting your ring on your finger because it's puffed up like a Ball Park Frank, there might be a good reason. It might be the salty soy sauce from the Chinese meal you had the night before. Water retention (also called fluid retention) is a common condition, particularly among women. It can be triggered by a number of things, including salt, hot weather and hormonal changes. But it could also occasionally indicate something more serious.
It is normal for fluid to slowly leak from the bloodstream into the body's tissues. This fluid is rich in nutrients and oxygen to support our cells. After the cells have taken what they need, the fluid is normally reabsorbed into the bloodstream via the capillaries. However, if there is not the right amount of pressure in the capillaries, the water does not get absorbed into the bloodstream and fluid can begin to accumulate in the tissues. If you have a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time, it is common for fluid to pool in the lower legs and ankles.
There are a number of common causes for retaining water. One cause can be a slowdown or blockage in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of small tubes that are designed to drain fluids from the tissues. An excessive amount of fluid can overwhelm the system, with fluid backing up in the tissues, much like what happens in a traffic jam.
Because salt attracts water, a salty meal can make you retain water. Shifting hormone levels can trigger it as well, which is why pregnancy, birth control pills, and the hormonal shifts that occur just prior to a woman's period can cause excessive water retention.
Less commonly, water retention may be due to an underlying medical condition. This includes heart failure, kidney disease, liver disease and lung disease. If you find that water retention is becoming a chronic problem, you should consult with your physician to rule out more serious underlying medical causes.
Once you have pinpointed the cause of your water retention, you and your doctor can decide on an appropriate treatment. The typical Western diet contains excessive amounts of salt, particularly in processed foods. Reducing your intake of these foods can help to reduce water retention. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, try to rest periodically with your feet up, and wear support stockings. An increase of your intake of Vitamin B5 and B6 may help remove fluids from your tissues. And, surprising as this may sound, drink more water! The body tends to hold on to water if it is not well hydrated, so the more you drink, the more fluid your body will release from the tissues

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Orlando Chiropractor|Benefits of Zinc
8/15/13
Zinc is the second-most common mineral in the human body (after iron) and is found in every one of our cells. It plays a vital role in many of the body's functions, so ensuring that you get enough zinc in your diet is important. It is essential for helping the body to heal and for the maintenance of a healthy immune system. It is also important is supporting the senses (taste, sight and smell), blood clotting and healthy thyroid function.
Zinc is one of the most important minerals for fertility and general reproductive health. It is necessary for proper levels of testosterone in men and the maintenance of a healthy libido. The mineral also plays a key role in the healthy development of sperm, and abundant levels of zinc have been shown to be protective of the prostate, reducing the risk of prostate cancer. The belief that oysters have aphrodisiac properties actually does have some basis in truth. Oysters have one of the highest concentrations of zinc of any food. In women it regulates estrogen and progesterone and supports the proper maturation of the egg in preparation for fertilization.
Ensuring you have an adequate level of zinc can help reduce your risk of insulin sensitivity, one of the precursors to diabetes. It supports T-cell function, which boosts the immune system when the body is under attack by bacteria and viruses.
Zinc deficiency is not common in the developed world, but those with anorexia, alcoholics, the elderly and anyone with a malabsorption syndrome such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease is at higher risk. Zinc deficiency symptoms include frequent colds, poor wound healing, poor growth, loss of appetite, weight loss, dermatitis, psoriasis, hair loss, white spots on the nails, night blindness and depression.
Following is the recommended daily intake of zinc for different age groups:
Infants birth - 6 months: 2 mg/day
Infants 7 - 12 months: 3 mg/day
Children 1 - 3 years: 3 mg/day
Children 4 - 8 years: 5 mg/day
Children 9 - 13 years: 8 mg/day
Adolescent boys 14 - 18 years: 11 mg/day
Adolescent girls 14 - 18 years: 9 mg/day
Men 19 years and older: 11 mg/day
Women 19 years and older: 8 mg/day
Pregnant women 14 - 18 years: 12 mg/day
Pregnant women 19 years and older: 11 mg/day
Breastfeeding women 14 - 18 years: 13 mg/day
Breastfeeding women over 18 years: 12 mg/day
Children should never be given zinc supplements without first consulting with a pediatrician. If supplements are necessary, a copper supplement should be taken as well, as a high intake of zinc can deplete levels of copper.
You should be able to get adequate zinc from eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in whole foods. The body absorbs between 20% and 40% of the zinc present in food. The best sources of zinc are oysters, red meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, cheese, legumes (such as soybeans, black-eyed peas and peanuts), cooked greens and seeds (such as pumpkin and sunflower).

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Orlando Chiropractor|Tips for Raising More Active Kids
8/15/13
With rates of childhood obesity at epidemic levels, there has been a greater push to get children to eat healthier and be more active. Diet is an important part of raising healthy children, but so is exercise. Unfortunately, many areas of the country have had their educational budgets cut to the point where physical education programs are being sharply reduced or even eliminated. Many schools are also shortening recess periods in an effort to increase instruction time. Combine these developments with the fact that many kids get little or no physical activity at home, and it's easy to see why exercise has become a focus in the effort to curb childhood obesity rates.
Frances Berg, an expert in childhood obesity, says "Because young children naturally move around a lot, many people assume they are getting all the physical activity they need. But today TV and videos often keep them still for longer periods than parents realize." And any parent knows how difficult it can be to tear kids away from the TV or computer. The trick is to make the alternatives interesting for them. Berg says, "Physical activity should be a fun part of daily life and never forced. If children begin to associate being active with having fun, they're more likely to stay active as they grow up." Following are a few tips for raising more active kids.
* Limit electronics- Time sitting in front of the TV or computer should be limited. Children should spend no more than an hour or two of each day with these devices. One way of keeping them active while playing a video game is to invest in a Wii, which at least gets them up and moving.
* Start a garden - Gardening is very active work, and kids love to watch the seeds they planted grow.
* Walk or bike to school - It's a great way of getting exercise at least twice a day, and you don't have to worry about getting stuck in traffic! It's also a good time to hear about your child's concerns or talk about how their day went.
* Wash the car together - Kids love playing around with water and suds, and in the end you'll have a clean car too.
* Take a hike - Pack a healthy picnic lunch and go for a hike with your kids. You can make it more interesting for them by having them be on the lookout for certain birds or animals as you hike.
* Dance around the house - Put some music on while preparing dinner and dance around the kitchen with your kids.
* Throw a ball or Frisbee - Not only will it provide fun exercise, it will build eye-hand coordination as well.
* Set a good example - Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park far from the entrance to a store, etc. This will get your kids in the habit of being more active.
Encouraging your children to be more active will help to burn off the excess energy they have, making them happier and more able to focus during quiet times. It will also help them build healthier lifestyle habits for the future!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Bursitis Causes and Treatment Options
8/15/13
Bodily movement is assisted by over 150 fluid-filled sacs called bursae. Bursae help to cushion your bones, ligaments, and tendons as they move against each other. When in good health these bursae ensure that your joins have a full range of motion. However, these sacs can become swollen and irritated, creating a condition known as bursitis.
The most common cause of bursitis is overuse of the joint. Repetitive movements can irritate the bursae, leading to pain, swelling, and tenderness. Common movements that may lead to bursitis are extensive kneeling (scrubbing the floor or laying carpet, for example), lifting heavy objects (lifting a bag of groceries into the car), and athletic injuries (an aggressive tennis swing). These movements cause the sac to fill with fluids. The resulting swelling puts pressure on the tissue around the sac, causing pain and tenderness.
Other less-common causes of bursitis include gout and infection. Gout crystals can form in the elbow, causing pain and inflammation. Bursae in the knee and elbow lie just below the skin. This leaves them vulnerable to puncture injuries, which can lead to infection.
People become more susceptible to bursitis as they age. Because the shoulder is the most used joint in the body, it is the place where it is most likely to be felt. People over the age of 65 should be especially cautious when carrying out activities that put stress on the shoulder joint.
Treating bursitis begins with conservative measures. Because bursitis due to injury and repetitive movement often goes away on its own, these treatments focus on relieving pain and making the sufferer more comfortable. Treatments for this situation include ice packs, rest, and over the counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers (such as Aleve or Advil).
In more severe cases, a physician may inject a corticosteroid into the inflamed sac. He or she may also use a needle to draw fluid out of the bursae, relieving pressure and quickly reducing pain. In very rare cases of persistent bursitis, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the problematic bursa.
Part of bursitis treatment is giving the body enough rest to heal the inflamed bursae. Patients should be careful not to overuse the affected area. Immobilization is best, as is getting plenty of rest. After the swelling and pain have receded, patients should be careful in how they treat the problematic area to reduce the chances of the problem recurring.
Bursitis can be painful, but for most people the discomfort will fade with time and rest. If the pain lasts for more than a week or two, or if it becomes so intense that you cannot carry out your daily activities, consult with your doctor.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Look Who Else Uses Chiropractic Care: Beach Volleyball Players
8/15/13
For a sport with a relatively short history (it began in Southern California in the 1930s), beach volleyball has become immensely popular in the U.S. and around the world. So much so that the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was founded in 1983 to promote the sport and its athletes, and it became an official sport of the Olympic Games in 1996.
The AVP has always recognized that playing on an uneven surface puts a great deal of strain on the bodies of even well-conditioned athletes. So in order to help reduce the risk of injury and prolong players' careers, the AVP hired a chiropractor named Tim Brown as its first Director of Sports Medicine. Another chiropractic physician named G. Douglas Andersen took over this role a couple of years later. It has become standard practice for a team chiropractor, along with all the necessary adjusting equipment, to accompany the team across the country to each competition on the AVP tour.
Chiropractor Allen M. Manison regularly works with beach volleyball players. He says, "When one considers volleyball injuries, usually the shoulder is the region that gets blamed most. This makes sense as we usually envision volleyball players 'spiking' the ball. The rotator cuff and other structures of the shoulder take a beating from the high force and movement that is required of the shoulder." However, other parts of the body are prone to injury as well. Manison says "I have seen more neck, knee, hip, low back, toe, foot, ankle, and elbow injuries than I would've ever imagined! Shoulder injuries are actually about half of the way down on the list of injuries."
Manison continued, "The beach volleyball game involves tremendous stresses on the body. First, it's two people per each side of the net, so each athlete has to cover large areas in very short periods of time. Second, the athletes are throwing their bodies around in sand, which certainly does not help with movement. Third, although the sand gives way, the athletes are barefoot and are not getting lots of support for the aggressive maneuvers they are making while they play. Fourth, there is sometimes very little rest as winning teams need to keep playing, and without enough rest and recovery, the risk for injury is increased."
April Ross, a US Olympic Team beach volleyball player, appreciated the benefits of growing up with chiropractic in her home. She said, "I've worked with a lot of chiropractors in my career as a professional beach volleyball player and I grew up having one as my dad, so I think my standards are pretty high! ... It's always pleasant going in for an adjustment. I get a lot of whiplash diving around in the sand and as long as I get in regularly to see [her chiropractor] Dr. Callotta I'm able to deal with it so that I can continue to compete. I don't know what I would do without her. Now that I am heading to the Olympics I'm counting on her to keep me healthy and ready to win the gold!" (Editor's note: She did win a silver medal!)
Lisa Rutledge, a professional beach volleyball player had this to say about her chiropractor: "I see Dr. J for chiropractic work about 2 to 3 times a week, and honestly, if I could go more, I would. I play beach volleyball and it takes a serious toll on your body. I'm traveling all over the world - I'm going to Moscow, to Rome, to Korea - and 20-hour flights are not fun. So when I get back my body is just out of alignment, it feels weird, it just doesn't feel right. So as soon as I get off the plane I book my appointment with Dr. J and I get my adjustment and I feel 100 times better. It really does wonders for your body."

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Orlando Chiropractor|The Benefits of Potassium
8/15/13
As the third most common mineral in the body, potassium is responsible for supporting a wide range of bodily activities. Without sufficient potassium, the heart, brain, kidneys and muscles would not function properly. However, the Western diet's preponderance of processed foods has created a population with a growing risk of potassium deficiency.
Potassium is an electrolyte that is crucial to the body's electrical circuitry so that proper signals are conducted to and from the brain and between cells. It works in conjunction with the minerals sodium, calcium, chloride and magnesium. Simply moving a muscle requires potassium. Potassium helps to regulate the heart, which is triggered by potassium to contract, squeezing blood through the body a hundred thousand times each day.
In addition to keeping our muscles and heart in good working condition, potassium is also responsible for healthy bone maintenance, protecting against osteoporosis, reducing high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and helping the kidneys to filter blood. It can also reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and keeps the body's water levels balanced.
The recommended daily intake of potassium is as follows:
Infants birth - 6 months: 400 mg/day
Infants 7 - 12 months: 700 mg/day
Children 1 -3 years: 3,000 mg/day
Children 4 - 8 years: 3,800 mg/day
Children 9 - 13 years: 4,500 mg/day
Adolescents and Adults 19 years and older: 4,700 mg/day
Breastfeeding women: 5,100 mg/day
Most Americans are potassium deficient. "Relying on convenience and restaurant foods and not eating enough fruits and vegetables is why so many people don't get enough potassium. Fresh and lightly processed foods, including dairy and meat, have the most potassium," according to registered dietitian, Marla Heller.
An excess of sodium in the diet (which is common among Americans) can increase the amount of potassium you need. Others at risk of potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) are those who experience diarrhea, vomiting, malabsorption syndromes (such as Crohn's disease) and excessive sweating. Alcoholics, smokers, drug users, athletes (or anyone who uses their muscles excessively), and those who use diuretics are also prone to hypokalemia. Symptoms include irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, irritability, chronic diarrhea, weakness and stomach problems.
Food sources abundant in potassium are meat, poultry, fish (cod, salmon, and flounder), dairy products, legumes and fruits and vegetables (particularly bananas, citrus, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes and green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard). Cooking destroys potassium, so try to eat potassium-rich foods either raw or minimally cooked (lightly steamed or roasted).

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Orlando Chiropractor|Cleansing: What Does the Science Really Say?
8/15/13
Cleansing, sometimes also referred to as detoxification, has been all the rage in recent years among those interested in alternative medicine. The theory is that the body accumulates toxins from the environment in the form of pollution, processed foods and food additives (and even sometimes toxins created by the body itself), so a "body cleanse" or "detox" is necessary to rid ourselves of these harmful toxins. Those who promote detox programs have developed special diets along with a host of (often costly). Colon cleanses are another form of body detoxification that is popular in some alternative medicine circles. But scientific evidence shows that special cleansing regimes do not provide any additional health benefits, and in some cases may even be dangerous.
A noted epidemiologist from the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Frank Sacks, says of cleansing, "There is no basis in human biology that indicates we need fasting or any other detox formula to detoxify the body because we have our own internal organs and immune system that take care of excreting toxins." Our bodies are expert at getting rid of unwanted substances.
Colon cleansing dates back to the days of ancient Egypt where it was thought that material in the intestines could poison the body. This theory became popular again in the late 19th century when the term "autointoxication" was coined, which led to resurgence in the use of enemas in perfectly healthy people. However, a study performed by Dr. Ranit Mishori and colleagues at Washington D.C.'s Georgetown University found that colon cleanses could actually be harmful for many people, causing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
First of all, there is no way by which toxins can be absorbed into the blood through the colon. Almost all nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestine, and any toxins that have been excreted by the liver and kidneys is efficiently expelled in the urine and feces. Meanwhile, injecting fluid into the colon in the form of an enema or colonic on a regular basis not only does not aid your body in clearing toxins, but it can remove beneficial bacteria, in addition to robbing your body of much-needed electrolytes. Also, regular colon cleanses can interfere with your body's ability to create normal bowel movements, so you become dependent on enemas.
Most doctors agree that fasting or pursuing an extreme detox diet is detrimental to long-term health. The body starved of nutrients does not operate efficiently, and will go into conservation mode. This means that your metabolism will slow down and any of the water weight you lost in the initial days of the diet (very little of the weight lost in fasting is fat) will come back in the form of accumulated fat once you start eating again, as your body will be burning fewer calories.
There is no doubt that eating processed foods filled with chemical additives and preservatives is not good for health. But you don't need to go on a special detox diet to improve your health. Simply drink plenty of water and substitute fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, moderate amounts of fish and organic meat for the processed foods you are now eating. Your body will take care of getting rid of any toxins you may have ingested and you will be healthier without having to spend money for a special diet that makes you feel miserable and could even be harmful to your health.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Occupational Health and Safety: Tips for Construction Workers
8/15/13
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were 721 fatal accidents on construction sites in 2011, accounting for 17.5% of all worker fatalities that year. The leading causes of death to workers on construction sites were falls, electrocution, being struck by an object and becoming trapped. OSHA estimates that by eliminating these four primary causes, approximately 400 lives would be saved every year. And it's not just worksite accidents that can be dangerous to construction workers' health-bad ergonomics and exposure to toxic materials can also pose risks. Following are some health tips for construction workers to help avoid these hazards.
To reduce falls from scaffolds, ladders and roofs:
* Be sure you are trained in the proper use of all equipment and ensure that equipment is thoroughly inspected before each shift.
* Check that the weight placed on ladders and scaffolding does not exceed the recommended limits.
* Do not step or sit on a skylight if you are working on a roof, as there is a chance that it may not bear your weight.
* Check for unsecure shingles or roof tiles that can cause you to lose your footing.
* Placing safety netting below any roof openings can save someone's life in the event of a fall.
To avoid electrocution:
* Be sure to turn off the power before working on any electrical equipment.
* Wear insulated rubber gloves and boots when working in wet or damp conditions.
* All electrical cords should have grounding plugs and any frayed cords should be replaced.
* Ensure that equipment such as ladders and scaffolds never come within 10 feet of electrical power lines.
To avoid toxic materials:
* Wear protective equipment when working on sites that may contain lead paint. Bridges, tunnels and elevated highways were all commonly painted with lead-based materials. Have your blood tested periodically to ensure that levels of lead in your blood are within normal range.
* Wear a face mask to keep from breathing in toxic fumes when working with tar or asphalt to reduce skin, eye and respiratory irritation.
* When working around stonecutting, paint, lacquer or asbestos you should wear a respirator.
To avoid ergonomic injuries:
* When lifting, be sure to bend your knees and keep your hips and shoulders aligned. Do not round your back or twist when lifting, as it may cause a back injury.
* Make sure your tool belt is balanced. Extra weight on one side of the belt can pull your body out of alignment, increasing the risk of injury.
* Sit on a sturdy stool when working at lower levels rather than kneeling or squatting.
* Choose ergonomic tools that are light and properly balanced
* Keep your wrists in a neutral position when working rather than having them flexed forward or backward. This will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Pros and Cons of Drinking Fruit Juice
8/15/13
Look on any supermarket's shelves these days and you'll see a huge variety of fruit juices, far more than were ever seen in our parents' day. Orange juice (or occasionally grapefruit, apple or tomato juice) was the juice that typically appeared on most American breakfast tables. Now, it is possible to get juices in all manner of combinations, including such exotic fruits as mango, guava, pomegranate, goji berry and more. And although many of these juices have a healthy serving of vitamins and minerals, they also may have their fair share of calories and sugar. So is fruit juice good for us or not? Following are some of the pros and cons of drinking fruit juice.
Pros:
Easy way to get fruit - One 4-ounce glass of fruit juice counts for one full serving of fruit, so if you are too rushed to eat an apple you can down some juice. While fruit juice does not contain the fiber that makes eating the whole fruit so healthy, it is still better than getting no fruit at all.
Good source of vitamins and antioxidants - One glass of orange or grapefruit juice can supply more than your daily requirement of vitamin C, boosting your immune system and providing you with free-radical-fighting antioxidants. It is also an excellent source of folic acid (which prevents birth defects and is good for heart health) and potassium (which helps to regulate blood pressure).
Cons:
High in calories - Pam Birkenfeld, as pediatric nutritionist at New York's Nassau University Medical Center says, "Parents tend to think that because fruit juice is fat-free and comes from nature, it's OK. But what they often don't realize is that it is a very concentrated source of calories that generally does not fill you up, just out." There is an average of 140 calories in an 8-ounce glass of fruit juice. If you consume a few glasses each day, those calories can add up. In contrast, an orange has only about 60 calories.
High in sugar - Our increased consumption of sugar has been implicated as being a major contributor to the skyrocketing rates of obesity observed in the Western world. Studies have shown that children who are overweight drink 65 percent more sugary juices than children of normal weight. Some juices contain more sugar that sweetened soft drinks. Grape juice, for example, has 50 percent more sugar than Coca Cola.
Bad for your teeth - One study found an 84% reduction in the hardness of tooth enamel after drinking orange juice for just five days. Researchers believe other juices may have a similar effect, as their acidity is similar. Tooth decay and cavities in children as young as two or three years old have become commonplace, and dentists point to the increased intake of fruit juice as the cause. The combination of acid and sugar is the perfect storm for tooth decay. Experts advise that children drink fruit juice no more than once a day, and instead drink milk or water. If fruit juice is taken, it can be watered down to dilute the acid concentration.
By weighing these pros and cons you can decide for yourself how much juice you and your family should drink to get the benefits of drinking fruit juice while minimizing the drawbacks.

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Orlando Chiropractor|"Exercise" Versus "Lifestyle Activity": How Active Are You-Really?
8/15/13
If you are like most people, working out just for the sake of working out does not really appeal (although there are many dedicated gym buffs who couldn't live without their daily workouts!). We all know that it's important to exercise regularly if we want to live a long and healthy life. However, if you find the idea of trotting along on a treadmill for 15 minutes and then spending half an hour of working out on Nautilus machines to be about as exciting as a trip to the dentist, then this article is for you!
Experts recommend that we get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week to stay in shape. But many people find taking this much exercise at once (or in three 50-minute stretches) too daunting. The good news is that a recent study conducted by researchers at Boston University that was published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that bouts of exercise lasting less than 10 minutes a couple of times daily, such as the kind you get when cleaning the house, were sufficient to meet your weekly exercise needs.
Over 2,000 participants were included in the study, more than half of whom were overweight. Motion detectors were attached to each of the subjects for eight days, and an average of half the participants met their weekly exercise quota of 150 minutes. The average participant met his or her quota with exercise that lasted less than 10 minutes at a time. The types of exercise ranged from moderate (heavy cleaning, walking briskly and sports such as golf and badminton) to vigorous (running, hiking, shoveling and farm work).
As long as the participants met their 150-minute per week quota, no matter the length of their exercise, they had lower body mass index, smaller waists, lower triglycerides and better cholesterol levels than those who did not meet the quota. Assistant professor at Boston University's School of Medicine, Nicole Glazer, says "But this study really speaks to the idea that some activity is better than nothing. Parking a little bit farther away, getting off the bus one stop early-all of these little things can add up and are related to a healthier profile."
For years, researchers have studied the effects of exercise from practicing sports or visiting the gym. However, according to Glazer, "This idea of lifestyle activity is one that is under-measured in research studies." Activities such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, using a push mower instead of a riding mower, etc. can add up to a significant amount of energy expenditure. Experts still stress that it's important to also get in some traditional forms of exercise and not merely replace it with lifestyle activity. Still, any exercise is useful.
"The levels of sedentary behavior in this country are alarming. So the concern that someone's going to stop exercising and instead just get off the bus a stop earlier, that's not my concern," Glazer says. "The real concern is, is this a stepping-stone? Is this the way we can get inactive people to do any sort of activity? People will come up with any excuse to not exercise. I don't need to worry about my giving them one. They'll be able to think of something."

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Orlando Chiropractor|Hiccups Explained
8/15/13
Everyone has had hiccups at one time or another. The ability to hiccup begins at a very early age. Fetuses of less than 28 weeks have been shown to hiccup, and this ability continues throughout childhood and into old age. It is believed to be one of the evolutionary remnants of our amphibian origins. Amphibians have a simple motor reflex similar to hiccupping in order to draw air and water across their gills. In the human fetus, the neural pathways that create hiccups are the precursors of the ones used for the development of lung ventilation.
The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle lying beneath the lungs that separates the abdomen from the chest cavity. When the diaphragm involuntarily contracts, there is a quick intake of breath accompanied by a near simultaneous snapping shut of the vocal cords, which is what causes the characteristic "hic" sound of the hiccup. A hiccup is also sometimes referred to as a sigultus or a synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF).
Hiccups occur singly or in groups, and groups of hiccups occur in regular rhythm. Although hiccups usually last only a few minutes, there are instances in which it can continue for longer periods. If you have hiccups that last longer than 48 hours, you should consult with your physician, as it is may be an indication of an underlying illness. Eighty percent of chronic hiccups are due to a physical cause, and the remaining 20 percent may have psychological origins.
According to Guinness World Records, the record for the longest attack of hiccups belongs to the late Charles Osborne, who began hiccupping in 1922 when weighing a hog. They continued for 68 years, finally stopping in 1990, the year before his death.
There are a number of different causes of hiccups, including:
* Eating or drinking too quickly, or drinking carbonated beverages, which introduces air into the stomach
* Eating spicy or fatty food, which can irritate the diaphragm, causing it to spasm
* Medications such as those to treat acid reflux and anti-anxiety drugs
* Smoking
* Irritation of the nerves in the head, neck or chest
* Abdominal surgery
* Central nervous system disorders
* Stokes and brain tumors
* Mental disorders
Increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the blood has been shown to inhibit hiccups, thus the origin of some of the hiccup "cures" that are reputed to work. Possible cures for hiccups include the following:
* Hold your breath and count slowly to 10, then gradually exhale
* Breathe into a paper bag or into your cupped hands for a minute
* Sip a glass of water, taking small, quick gulps
* Eat a spoonful of honey or peanut butter
* Gargle with water
Hiccups are usually a passing irritation that makes speaking and eating inconvenient. However, in most cases they will disappear unaided in just a few minutes.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Spotlight on Massage and Lower Back Pain
8/15/13
According to the National Institutes of Health, lower back pain is the second most common form of chronic pain after headaches. Experts estimate that approximately 80% of Americans will seek help for low back pain at some point during their lives. Public health officials and insurers estimate that Americans spend $50 billion each year on treatments that are often ineffective. The standard treatment for lower back pain is to take muscle relaxants, painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications, along with physical therapy and back exercises. However, few medical interventions relieve pain reliably, and continuing to take painkillers on a long-term basis is not advised. Massage, on the other hand, has been found to be an effective way of dealing with back pain on a regular basis.
Treatment for lower back pain accounts for approximately a third of all visits to a massage therapist. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that patients suffering from lower back pain of unknown origin were helped more by massage than by conventional medical treatment. Of 401 total study participants, 133 received traditional medical care with no massage, 132 received structural massage (which addresses particular muscular and skeletal structures that cause pain) and 36 received relaxation massage (a general form of massage, such as Swedish, intended for overall relaxation).
Participants in the massage groups received one hour-long massage once a week for 10 weeks. All participants completed a questionnaire at the beginning of the study, then again at 10 weeks, 24 weeks and a year after the beginning of the study to report on their perceived pain. Both kinds of massage groups reported greater pain relief and ease of motion after 10 weeks of treatment than the medical group.
An average of 37% of the patients in the massage groups reported that their pain was almost or completely gone, while only 4% of the usual care group reported similar results. This was also the case at 26 weeks. However, at the one-year mark, the benefits to all groups were about equal. The type of massage used did not seem to matter, with both massage groups experiencing comparable levels of pain relief. The massage groups were less likely to report having used medication for their back pain after the 10 weeks of intervention, and they also reported having spent fewer days in bed and had lost fewer days of work or school than those in the usual care group.
Dr. Richard A. Deyo, professor of family medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland says of the study, "I think this trial is good news in the sense that it suggests that massage is a useful option that helps some substantial fraction of these patients. Like in most other treatments, this is not a slam dunk, and it's not like a cure, but it's something that seems to offer a significant benefit for a substantial number of patients." Deyo sees massage as a way of people being able to break out of the pain-inactivity cycle. He notes, "I don't see massage as the final solution, I see it as maybe a helpful step toward getting people more active."

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Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic Care in the Workplace: Trucking
8/15/13
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, truck drivers top the list of professionals who lose the most time from work due to work-related injury. There are approximately 2.5 million long-haul truck drivers licensed in the US, and musculoskeletal injuries are the greatest problem, particularly lower back pain.
Truck driving is literally back-breaking work-and this isn't just because of the long hours sitting behind the wheel. First of all, truck drivers are exposed to continual vibration and bouncing, which can cause trauma to the muscles, tendons, joints and nerves of the entire musculoskeletal system. Add to this the loading and unloading of heavy items from the truck, and attaching and detaching the trailer and you have the perfect recipe for developing a work-related injury. Even getting out of the cab can be problematic, as one of the most common causes of injuries to the upper extremities in truck drivers comes from slipping off the truck step and grabbing the hand bar to keep from falling. This causes damage to the A/C joint, elbow and rotator cuff.
For truckers, getting chiropractic care can mean the difference between staying comfortably on the road and being laid up in bed for days at a time with back pain and other injuries. Luckily, more chiropractors are setting up offices at truck stops across the country, which allows truckers to get chiropractic treatment while they are on the road.
Dr. Jerry Singh established a chiropractic office at the 230 truck stop in Woodstock, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, Canada, because he saw an unmet need. Although chiropractic services at truck stops are becoming more common in the US, Singh's practice was the first in Canada. He says that it makes sense for trucking companies to ensure that their drivers get chiropractic care. "Drivers who are healthy actually 'drive' a trucking company towards an inevitable increase in productivity, decreased missed workdays, diminished WSIB claims and a generally happier work force," Singh said. "The bottom line is clear - a healthier corporate mindset for prevention will translate into healthier profits."
Trucker Erwin Daugherty takes advantage of chiropractic services whenever he can. Daugherty said "I'd visit a chiropractor weekly if I could." The convenience of having a chiropractor at a truck stop makes a big difference. He has located a number of chiropractic offices along his route and says, "If I simply get lucky and locate one that's near to a truck stop, I'll place them in my cellular phone and say, 'Hey, I'm on my way.'" A number of chiropractic offices are open during a wide range of hours in order to accommodate truckers' round-the-clock schedules.
Singh says, "Back pain is a physically, emotionally and financially miserable condition. Drivers and employers must be seriously proactive about health and take necessary steps for improvement and pain relief," and chiropractic care can play a major part.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Are Alkaline Water Products and Do They Provide Any Real Health Benefits?
8/15/13
So-called "alkaline" water products are being promoted by their manufacturers and some health gurus as the answer to health problems ranging from indigestion to cancer. They claim that those with high body acidity are at an increased risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones, among other medical problems, and an alkaline diet can help you to lose weight, slow aging, cure arthritis and treat diabetes. But does this recent fad hold up to scientific scrutiny?
The pH level in our blood controls the speed of our body's critical biochemical reactions. A low pH is considered acidic, whereas a high pH is considered alkaline. Our pH varies throughout the body, but it's the blood that must maintain a relatively stable pH level. The body works hard to ensure that the blood remains at an average pH level of about 7.4, which is on the alkaline side. If our blood becomes too acidic, calcium is removed from our bones and other tissues in order to ensure a healthy pH balance.
However, although studies have shown that eating acid-promoting foods such as meat and processed foods will raise the level of acid in our urine, there is no scientific evidence that eating or drinking alkaline products has any effect on altering our blood acidity. If our blood becomes too acidic, the excess acid is excreted via the kidneys (thus the acidic urine), and more acid in the urine just means that your kidneys are doing their job.
Tanis Fenton, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Calgary in Alberta, has found that alkaline products have no effect on either bone health or cancer. In a study on alkalinity and bone health, published in Nutrition Journal, Fenton and a team of researchers reviewed 238 studies looking for a link between an alkaline diet and bone health, and found none. She also was involved in another study that found an alkaline diet was not effective for either the prevention or treatment of cancer.
Scientists agree that the pH of water has no effect on the acidity of the blood or of the body's cells, so there is no need to spend money on alkaline water products. The emphasis that the alkaline diet places on eating more fruits and vegetables is a good one. However, experts warn that cutting out meat and dairy may lead to other health problems, as they are among the easiest ways of getting necessary nutrients such as protein, calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. In addition, physicians warn that those who have kidney disease be wary of an alkaline diet because levels of potassium, sodium and phosphorus can build up to dangerous levels.
Ultimately, your body's acidity or alkalinity is not what determines good health. Simply eating a wide variety of whole foods and avoiding processed foods and sugar will ensure you get the optimal health from your diet.

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Is It Possible to Lose Weight in Some Areas of Your Body Without Losing Weight in Others?
8/15/13
Many people have weight management issues, not only the overweight or obese. In many cases, it's the way their excess weight is distributed that bothers them. Some people have body proportions in which their upper body is of normal weight, but they store excess fat in their hips and thighs. Or they have thin arms and legs, but sport a "pot belly." It would be wonderful if we could target weight loss to these particular areas, but is such a thing actually possible?
For the most part, targeted weight loss is a myth. A wide array of fitness programs and exercise machines claim to be able to target certain areas, such as giving you six-pack abs in place of your jelly belly. However, science shows that targeting exercise to the area you would like to slim down is mostly ineffective. In fact, too much exercise may interfere with your ability to lose weight at all. Some people's metabolism will go into calorie conservation mode when exercising vigorously for a long period of time, in an attempt to conserve resources. Those stomach crunches are good for strengthening and toning your abdominal muscles under the fat, but it will not reduce the amount of fat in the belly area.
A study performed by researchers at the University of Connecticut assessed the amount of subcutaneous fat in the arms of 104 participants before and after a 12-week resistance training program. Their non-dominant arm was selectively exercised during the study, and at the end of 12 weeks, the fat lost was found to have occurred equally throughout the body rather than being concentrated around the trained arm. Because of the way that stored fat is chemically mobilized, the energy that comes from our fat is released from fat cells that are located throughout the body. However, even though fat is burned equally from all parts of the body, certain factors influence where that fat is stored in the first place.
Genetics do play a role in whether you will store fat in your thighs, in your belly or elsewhere. For example, in most cases where people are pear-shaped (fat stored in hips, thighs and buttocks), it is likely due to genetic factors. Fat that is stored primarily in the abdominal region is most often due to stress. A Yale study found that even naturally slim women were likely to have belly fat if they were stressed on a regular basis. Stress activates the hormone cortisol, which has more receptors in abdominal fat than in the fat in other areas of the body. So if that is your problem area, aim to reduce stress levels. Meditation, yoga and light exercise are good stress reducers and may positively affect your waistline.
Your best bet to reduce fat in problem areas is to eat a balanced diet that stresses whole, unrefined foods that will moderate your blood sugar so that fewer calories are stored as fat. And if you exercise moderately on a regular basis, your target areas will slowly begin to slim down.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What's Inside the Average American Medicine Cabinet? and What Should Be.
8/15/13
Take a look inside the average American's medicine cabinet and you are likely to find out-of-date prescription medications, half-used bottles of lotion, some painkillers and a box of Band-Aids. Some of these are useful, and some should have been disposed of long ago. Along with the annual maintenance that you perform on your smoke detector, your medicine cabinet should have a thorough evaluation and clean-out once a year as well.
Many minor health issues can be treated at home, saving you and your doctor unnecessary time and expense. The key is to be sure that what you have on hand is effective for treating your problem. Medicines lose their effectiveness over time, so any medicine that is beyond its expiration date should be discarded. Do not flush medicines down the toilet or dispose of them in the trash, as they can make their way into the water system, which is becoming an increasing problem for water treatment facilities. Instead, drop off expired medicines at your local pharmacy, where they will dispose of them safely.
Experts advise that the following items should be staples in any medicine cabinet:
Painkillers - It is useful to have a few different types on hand, to treat different types of pain. Aspirin is best for general pain relief and to reduce fever, acetaminophen is easier on the stomach and good for children (who should not take aspirin due to the danger of Reye's syndrome), and ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory useful for treating muscle cramps, sprains and arthritis pain. None of these should be taken in large amounts, as they can harm the liver.
Antihistamine/Decongestant - For itching, sneezing and congestion due to colds and allergies.
Cold and flu remedies - To reduce the aches, pain and fever of a cold or flu.
Cough medicine - Can be either a suppressant (to reduce coughing) or an expectorant (to loosen phlegm and make coughing more productive). However, FDA pediatricians warn that cough medicine should not be given to children under 6 years of age because of the potential for severe harmful side effects. Studies have found that honey is actually more effective than most cough medicines in reducing coughing. Honey, however, should not be given to children under one year of age because of the risk of infant botulism.
Gastrointestinal remedies - To treat indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea and nausea. Pepto-Bismol and some type of antacid are useful items to have on hand.
First aid kit - To treat minor injuries, a basic first aid kit should contain Band-Aids, sterile dressing, medical tape, tweezers, eyewash, antiseptic cream, an ace bandage and a thermometer.
Your bathroom is not the best place to keep medications, as the heat and moisture from the shower can speed their deterioration. A better choice is to keep them in a cool, dark, dry place such as in a linen closet. By keeping your medicine cabinet well-stocked and up-to-date, you may be able to save yourself a trip to the doctor.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic Care in the Workplace: the Information Technology Sector
8/15/13
Increasing numbers of companies are realizing the positive impact that on-site wellness programs have on their health care costs. An article from the American Journal of Health Promotions noted that, for every dollar that a company invested in a company wellness program, they generally received a return of between $2.13 and $10.10. Not a bad investment! An estimated 75% of companies in the Fortune 500 have a wellness program, as do 81% of companies with 50 employees or more.
Having wellness services such as chiropractic care in the workplace is particularly useful for companies specializing in IT Services and Computer Programming. Long hours spent in front of a computer under conditions of high stress are commonplace at these companies. They must deliver products on tight deadlines, and it is not unusual for IT workers to still be at it late at night. So much extended sitting puts a strain on the musculoskeletal system and the body in general.
Sabre Holdings, the parent company of has taken the proactive approach to healthcare by incorporating an on-site chiropractor into their company's wellness program. The CEO of Sabre Holdings, Sam Gilliland, runs marathons in his spare time and credits chiropractic care with keeping him running and keeping his company's health care costs to a minimum. He says that for every dollar invested, his company has saved about three dollars.
Jennifer Korba, a Sabre employee who has been in a wheelchair for 26 years, uses the on-site chiropractic care to keep her overworked arms in good shape. She attributes the on-site therapy with keeping her off the operating table. Chiropractors are expert at treating conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, and back and neck pain are particular specialties. On-site chiropractic care can keep employees healthy and pain-free, reducing work hours lost to illness and recovery time.
Companies in the information technology sector need to attract the best and brightest employees, and having an on-site chiropractor is one of the benefits they offer to be sure they attract the cream of the crop. Google's Mountain View, CA, campus offers their employees on-site chiropractors as well as physical therapists, masseuses and doctors to help keep their workers in top mental and physical condition. A company is only as good as its workers, and some of the success enjoyed by Google and Sabre may be due to the care they take with the well-being of their employees by providing them with on-site chiropractic care and other wellness services.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Top 7 Exercises for More Core Muscle Strength
8/15/13
Sitting for long periods of time has a detrimental effect on our "core" muscles. These are the muscles responsible for keeping us upright and allowing us to twist and bend without falling over. It is important to keep these muscles strengthened in order to avoid chronic low back pain and injuries that may result from lifting heavy objects. The stronger your core, the less prone you are to injury. The following seven core muscle exercises are particularly good for strengthening these muscles. Hold each pose (except for the bicycle ab crunch) for at least 10 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
Superman - Lie face-down on the floor with your arms straight out in front of you and your knees together. Simultaneously lift your arms, upper chest and legs off the floor, balancing on your pelvis.
Bridge - Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, as close to your buttocks as possible, with your arms close to your sides. Contracting your abdominal muscles, raise your hips toward the ceiling until a straight line is formed between your knees and neck.
Modified V-sit - Start while seated on the floor with your knees bent in front of you and feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly on your hands and lift your feet off the floor so you are balanced on your buttocks (making a sort of square root symbol), then hold your arms straight out in front of you, on each side of your knees. Once you have gained some experience, you can work up to straightening your legs so you form a "V."
Plank - Lie on your stomach with your elbows close to your sides and directly under the shoulders, with palms down and hands facing forward. Keeping your legs straight, lift your entire torso and hips off the floor, balancing on your toes and forearms. Your head should be parallel with your spine, looking at the floor.
Side plank - Start by lying on your side, resting on your forearm and on the outside of your foot, with one foot on the other. Placing your elbow directly beneath your shoulder, align your head with your spine while keeping your hips and knee in contact with the floor. Lift your hips and knees off the floor, keeping your upper arm flat against your side and balancing on your forearm and foot. For a greater challenge, raise up onto your hand and stretch your upper arm out, forming a leaning "T."
Bird dog - On your hands and knees, place your hands directly below your shoulders, while aligning your head and neck with your back. Stretch your left arm out in front of you, parallel to the floor, while extending your right leg straight out behind you, being sure not to arch your lower back. Repeat with opposite arm and leg.
Bicycle ab crunch - Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head. Curl your body forward, like performing a crunch, bringing your left knee towards your right elbow while extending your right leg out, lifted slightly off the floor. Keeping your shoulders off the floor, switch your crunch to right knee and left elbow, while extending the left leg. Keep alternating from left to right for about a minute.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Superfoods: Science or Marketing?
8/15/13
There is no medical definition for a "superfood". Food manufacturers are eager to use the word to promote sales of their products that contain traces of supposed superfoods such as blueberries, pomegranates and chocolate. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a superfood as "a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being." However, there are no set criteria about what makes a food nutrient-rich. Most superfoods are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients relative to other foods. However, if you were to eat only one of these superfoods to the exclusion of all else, you would be seriously deficient in many of the nutrients your body needs in order to stay healthy. So what exactly is the science behind the idea of superfoods?
While we would like to believe that if we eat certain foods we can stave off illness and keep aging at bay, the truth is that it's not so easy. Although there is no doubt that a diet consisting primarily of fruits and vegetables is one of the keys to healthy longevity, it is also what you don't eat and do that is important. For instance, if you eat a breakfast of blueberries and pomegranates in a bowl of oatmeal, along with a cup of green tea, that does not mean that your health will improve overall if for lunch you have a bucket of fried chicken, French fries and a 64-ounce Coke, followed by a cigarette.
The majority of scientific studies indicating that there may be some positive health effects associated with the nutrients contained in certain foods were conducted in a laboratory. In general, high levels of nutrients are used in these studies-usually far more than what can be consumed in a normal diet. For instance, the compound resveratrol that studies have shown to be heart-healthy and to guard against prostate cancer is found in grape skins only in very small amounts. So although "the French paradox" (why the French have low rates of heart disease despite a rich diet) is often partially attributed to the regular consumption of red wine, in fact, you would have to drink 40 liters of wine a day to get the same amount that was shown to benefit the health of mice in these studies.
The positive results of studies performed in test tubes on a few human cells and studies performed on mice do not necessarily translate into health benefits for the wider population. The effect of a single nutrient on human health is difficult to pinpoint, as we all eat a combination of foods. Some nutritional benefits may only occur in the presence of other nutrients in the same food, or even in a different food eaten at the same time. Iron absorption, for example, is boosted when a food rich in vitamin C is eaten at the same time.
The best nutritional advice someone can follow if they're interested in maintaining good health is to eat a wide range of whole foods, and (even more importantly) to avoid foods that are bad for you such as processed foods and hydrogenated oils. As the European Food Information Council advises, "A diet based on a variety of nutritious foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, remains the best way to ensure a balanced nutrient intake for optimal health."

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Much Sleep Is Too Much?
8/15/13
We all know how important it is to get a good night's sleep and the detrimental effect on our health if we get too little of it. However, it is also possible to get too much sleep, and this may be even worse than getting too little. Sleeping too much has been shown to be a possible indication of underlying health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, low thyroid and obstructive sleep apnea, and is liked to an increased risk of early death.
Everyone's need for sleep differs, and there are good reasons for occasionally having to sleep more, such as during periods of high stress or illness. But on average, experts suggest that the optimum amount of sleep to get on a regular basis is between 7 and 9 hours a day. One study showed that those who slept between 9 and 10 hours per night were 21% more likely to become obese over a period of 6 years than those who slept between 7 and 8 hours a night. Another study of 72,000 women found that those who slept between 9 and 11 hours a night had a 38% greater likelihood of coronary heart disease than those who slept 8 hours.
Depression and low socioeconomic status have also been linked with sleeping too much, so it may be that oversleeping is one of the symptoms of these conditions rather than being a cause of the detrimental health effects associated with oversleeping. People with these conditions are less likely to seek or be able to afford health care, so any underlying health problems may not be discovered and treated.
When underlying health and mental problems have been ruled out, people who still feel a strong need to sleep for 70 hours or more per week have what is called primary hypersomnia. Many with hypersomnia go undiagnosed, as it often develops in the teenage years and can be attributed to typical teenage behavior. A study was performed by researchers at Atlanta's Emory University on people with this condition. The researchers found that one of the major factors implicated in hypersomnia is the presence of a certain substance in the person's cerebrospinal fluid that acts much in the same way as a sleeping pill. Emory researcher Andrew Jenkins said, "We know why you're sleepy-your brain is sedating itself." It is typical for people with hypersomnia to simultaneously experience low levels of energy, anxiety and memory problems, in addition to extreme sleepiness throughout the day that is generally not relieved by napping.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes the sufferer to stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep, keeping them from getting to the stage of restful, restorative sleep that is necessary for proper physical and mental functioning during the day. Some prescription medications and the overuse of alcohol can also lead to oversleeping.
If you find yourself consistently sleeping more than 9 hours a day and are also sleepy throughout the day, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your oversleeping.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Are Blood Clots and When Are They Dangerous?
8/15/13
The ability for blood to clot evolved as a mechanism for keeping us from bleeding to death when we receive minor injuries. People with the genetic condition hemophilia lack the substance in their blood that spurs it to clot. This can lead to death at a young age due to hemorrhage. When we first receive a cut, platelets in our blood collect at the site to form a temporary barrier. Then these platelets send out chemical signals that cause the blood's clotting factors to replace the platelets with fibrin, which is tougher and more durable than the platelet barrier. When the bleeding is sufficiently stopped, anti-clotting proteins are then released that stop the clot from growing larger and spreading.
However, sometimes blood clots develop in an abnormal fashion or break off and travel to other parts of the body where they can cause serious medical problems, such as a stroke or heart attack. More than one in every thousand people develops a venous thrombosis (blood clot in a vein), which may prove fatal. The aging population and increased immobility due to lack of exercise and obesity have served to contribute to ever increasing rates of venous thrombosis. A study reported in the American Journal of Hematology predicts rates of venous thrombosis to more than double by 2050.
Clots are most likely to form when the flow of blood through the veins is slowed, such as when sitting in a chair for long periods of time, or when confined to bed. Those at greater risk for developing blood clots are the elderly, smokers, those who have recently had surgery to the hips or knees, pregnant women, women who use oral contraceptives or HRT, and those who are immobile due to illness, travel or surgery. Long plane flights are a well-known contributor to episodes of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), due to the extended periods of immobility imposed on passengers.
Symptoms of a clot are relatively obvious. Because a clot in a limb blocks the drainage of blood, the limb becomes swollen and reddish or purple and the skin becomes tight and shiny in appearance. If the clot is not dealt with in a speedy fashion, part of it can break off and travel through the circulatory system, where it can block a blood vessel in the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE). Symptoms of a PE include chest pain and shortness of breath, although some people do not exhibit these symptoms.
In order to help prevent blood clots, there are a few precautions you can take. If you will be traveling or immobile for long periods of time, be sure to increase your intake of water. This has been shown to help keep blood flowing. Take frequent breaks for exercise, if possible. Even if confined to a chair, you can practice some simple leg exercises such as flexes and stretches. Finally, you can invest in specially-designed compression stockings that can help to support the flow of blood through the veins.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Might Breath Analysis Change the Future of Diagnostic Tests?
8/15/13
Imagine having diagnostic tests taken that were painless, fast, less expensive than a blood test, and could easily be performed multiple times, even while exercising or sleeping. Scientists have been developing devices that can do just that by measuring certain components in the breath. Although it may seem more like something in a scene from Star Trek, the possibility of this type of test becoming a reality is just around the corner. Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, Dr. Christina Davis, from the University of California, Davis, says “The field is at the point where we'll start to see some exciting developments in the next one to four years.”
Much the same as a fingerprint, everyone has a unique “breath signature” that can identify a whole array of compounds, including oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, proteins, peptides, DNA, antibodies and volatile organic compounds that are formed during certain of the body’s metabolic processes, and which may indicate the presence of disease. By being able to identify the thousands of chemical compounds exhaled in a person’s breath, a tool such as a mass spectrometer can help to diagnose a host of disease conditions such as diabetes, asthma, tuberculosis, gastrointestinal problems, and liver and kidney disease. Raed A. Dweik, the pulmonary vascular program director at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute says, “Anything you can have a blood test for, there is potentially a breath test for, as long as there is a volatile component.”
Although current forms of mass spectrometry have a billion times greater sensitivity than the devices used by the police to measure blood alcohol levels and can measure and determine which specific volatile organic compounds are contained in the breath, they are still cumbersome and expensive. Therefore, scientists are exploring ways of developing devices that use sensor arrays, which are smaller and less expensive and can detect certain scents in much the same way that dogs can pinpoint specific smells. The only drawback is that they must be trained, as dogs are, in what sorts of things that they should be looking for.
Dr. Peter Mazzone, the director of the lung cancer program at the Respiratory Institute at the Cleveland Clinic says, “My vision is being able to say, ‘This is a 60-year old with emphysema who smoked for 30 years—what's the chance of there being cancer there?’ But we have to teach the device what it looks like first.”
The benefits to this technology would be many, including reducing the number of biopsies performed. Researchers believe that breath analyses can be used in conjunction with CT scans to keep more extensive and costly tests to a minimum, however, there is still work to be done in organizing more clinical trials so that these breath tests can be validated and standardized. Dr. Dweik notes, “For doctors and the FDA to buy into this concept, we have to tell them what we are smelling and why and how that compound is related to the disease process.”

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Orlando Chiropractor|Is Tea Healthier Than Coffee?
8/15/13
Seemingly every other day another study comes out that has found some additional health benefit to tea drinking. The list of diseases and conditions tea is believed to assist or prevent seemingly grows longer by the minute. On the other hand, coffee has been vilified for a number of years, in particular the caffeine it contains. But recently, new studies have shown that coffee is actually protective against some diseases and may be good for you in moderate amounts. So what is a person to think? If you have to choose between tea and coffee, which is the healthier choice?
Tea is rich in catechins, which are antioxidant polyphenols. These have been shown to reduce the action of free radicals in the body that cause damage to our cells. Tea is one of the highest sources of this type of antioxidant in the Western diet. Both black and green tea have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, and green has the added benefit of reducing cancers such as that of the breast and ovary. Green tea has three times the catechins of black tea.
Coffee, on the other hand, reduces your likelihood of contracting type 2 diabetes, which is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in the country. Studies have shown that drinking at least three cups of coffee a day can reduce inflammation in the body, lower glucose levels in the blood and improve the body's use of insulin. This is the case with either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, so caffeine is not the active ingredient that leads to these health benefits. It is the antioxidant chlorogenic acid that is thought to be the beneficial compound in coffee.
Both tea and coffee contain caffeine, with approximately 180 mg in an 8-ounce cup of coffee, 43 mg in the same amount of black tea, and 30 mg in green tea. If you are sensitive to caffeine, then you might want to stick to tea (or limit yourself to one small cup of coffee per day). High intake of caffeine can also deplete the calcium from your bones, and should be avoided by pregnant women due to an increased risk of miscarriage.
So both are good for you in one way or another. Drinking a little of each every day seems like a good solution if you want to achieve the greatest health benefits from a warm beverage. Just try to skip the sugar, as the sugar added to either coffee or tea can largely negate the benefits. Excess consumption of sugar is one of the leading causes of diabetes, and scientific research has found it to be a contributing factor to cancer and heart disease. Whether you choose coffee or tea, by drinking each in moderation remains the best approach to your overall health.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Inside the Teenage Brain
8/15/13
If you have ever wondered why the teenage years are so difficult for parents (and often the teens themselves) you need look no further than their brain. The brain undergoes rapid and profound development during the teen years, much more so than during most of childhood. It is a time when the areas of the brain involved in the calculation of risk, rewards and decision making go through increasingly major changes. This may explain why late adolescence (between ages 15 and 19) has a six times greater mortality rate than those in late childhood and early adolescence (between ages 10 and 14).
Research conducted by scientists using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) from early childhood through adulthood has mapped the many changes that the developing brain makes as it matures. They have found that the brain continues to develop into a person's early 20s, with the frontal lobes that are responsible for reasoning and problem-solving being developed last.
Although the teenage brain is more impulsive and willing to take risks, it is also dynamic, vulnerable and stimulated by positive feedback. The reason for this is that the reward centers in teenage brains are highly responsive, while at the same time, the region of the brain associated with self-control is still not developed fully.
Dr. Jay Giedd, Chief of Brain Imaging at the Child Psychiatry Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health, says "The most surprising thing has been how much the teen brain is changing. By age six, the brain is already 95 percent of its adult size. But the gray matter, or thinking part of the brain, continues to thicken throughout childhood as the brain cells get extra connections, much like a tree growing extra branches, twigs and roots."
Although the brain grows in gray matter significantly during childhood and early adolescence, the amount of gray matter actually begins to fall in mid-adolescence, which researchers say is a normal process of brain maturation.
Giedd says, "... the pruning-down phase is perhaps even more interesting, because our leading hypothesis for that is the "use it or lose it" principle. Those cells and connections that are used will survive and flourish. Those cells and connections that are not used will wither and die. So if a teen is doing music or sports or academics, those are the cells and connections that will be hard-wired. If they're lying on the couch or playing video games or MTV, those are the cells and connections that are going [to] survive."
Studies have shown that experiences early in life have a profound effect on the development of the teenage brain. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that children who received a lot of cognitive stimulation and parental nurturing had a brain with a thicker outer cortex, which is important in thinking and memory. Another long-term study from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London discovered that there were major structural changes in the areas of the teenage brain that relate to empathy.
Adults should perhaps give teenagers more of a break. As Giedd says, "It's sort of unfair to expect teens to have adult levels of organizational skills or decision-making before their brains are finished being built."

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Orlando Chiropractic|What Is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
8/15/13
One of the ways to treat people for morbid obesity is by performing gastric bypass surgery. Those with an excessive amount of fatty tissue are at far greater risk of a host of problems such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, osteoarthritis and chronic back pain. Gastric bypass surgery significantly reduces the volume of the stomach, which in turn alters both the psychological and physiological response to the food that gets put in it, restricting both the amount of food that is ingested and the number of calories it is able to absorb.
The first step in gastric bypass surgery is to reduce the size of the stomach. This is done by the surgeon dividing the stomach into two parts: a small upper pouch, and a larger "remnant" pouch below it. A section of the small intestine is then attached to the upper pouch (which is where the "bypass" part comes in), so food quickly fills the upper stomach and spends less time transiting the small intestine, where nutrients and calories are absorbed.
The reduction in stomach size by over 90% makes the patient feel fuller and they are satisfied faster, so they will eat less and not feel hungry as soon. Just a couple of tablespoons of food are enough to stretch the stomach sufficiently to stimulate its nerves to send a message to the brain that a large meal has been eaten. Additionally, the smaller upper pouch section of the stomach consists of tissue that is less prone to stretching than the lower portion, so it is not as likely to increase in volume and negate the effect of the surgery.
Despite feeling full, many people have a psychological desire to keep eating, but the effect of continuing to eat for someone who has had gastric bypass surgery is to become significantly uncomfortable, or even vomit, if the person does not stop eating or does not eat very slowly. Experts advise gastric bypass patients eat only two to three small meals daily and resist snacking between meals if they are to reap the greatest benefits of the surgery.
Gastric bypass surgery has been shown to be remarkably effective in reducing long-term mortality rates. There is an approximately 40% lower risk of death for those who have had a successful gastric bypass procedure compared to those who remain morbidly obese. The surgery is not without possible complications, however, and there is a 2% risk of surgery-related death within one month of surgery.
Gastric bypass patients are also advised to get counseling on how to establish healthy eating habits so they do not gain back the weight over time. Despite the risks involved, for certain people who are morbidly obese, gastric bypass surgery may reduce their long-term risk of death.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Being a Great Fitness Buddy
8/15/13
Studies have shown that one of the best ways to stick to your fitness regime is to have a reliable fitness partner. Being a fitness buddy means that someone else is counting on you to make them accountable for their workout, keep them inspired and ensure that they are not alone in their quest for fitness. To be a great fitness buddy you just need to keep a few basic guidelines in mind:
You should both have similar goals - If you are training for a place on the Olympic team and your fitness buddy just wants the occasional weekend workout, neither of you is likely to meet your goal. This does not mean that you have to share the same goal, but they should be relatively comparable. That way, you can encourage your partner to meet their goal while not losing sight of your own.
Find someone at a similar fitness level - Your fitness partner does not want to feel like they are being left behind if you are at a much higher level than they are. Similarly, choosing someone at a higher level may make them feel like they have to hold back. Having the same starting point is more motivating for you both.
Be reliable - Always show up when you say you are going to. Your fitness buddy will be more motivated knowing that he or she can count on you to be there for a scheduled workout. You should ideally have similar schedules so that your partner does not have to work around your previous commitments.
Don't hesitate to push your partner - It's natural to want to do as little work as possible to reach our goals. But encouraging your fitness buddy to push themselves a little farther than they might on their own can help them to reach their goals a little faster. Never push them beyond what they can safely do, but there is no harm in encouraging your partner to push beyond what they perceive are their limits, and they will be pleasantly surprised at how much they can accomplish that they never thought they could.
Keep focused - Help your partner to keep focused on his or her workout by ensuring that your mind does not wander off or become distracted by the cute guy or girl walking by in the gym.
Provide useful criticism - Do not hesitate to correct your workout partner if you feel he or she is using bad form or doing something unsafe. Part of the responsibility of being a great fitness buddy is ensuring that your fitness partner does not become injured during their workout and that they perform to the best of their ability.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Keys to Safer Painting-Products and Practices
8/15/13
Nothing cheers up a room like a new coat of paint, but it is important to keep in mind that paint can release harmful chemicals into the air you and your family breathe. Many of these chemicals have been shown to have detrimental effects on health. Luckily, we have come a long way since the days of lead-based paints, and more manufacturers are coming out with products that are both safer for human health and better for the environment. That said, there are still a few things you should keep in mind while working on any painting project so that you can give your living space a fresh new look while also reducing your risk of exposure to harmful pollutants.
There are two different types of paint on the market today: water-based paints and solvent-based paints. Most of the paints used for residential painting are water-based, which helps to reduce the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are given off. VOCs are solvents that are released into the air as paint dries, which in the short-term can cause headaches and dizziness, and which are suspected carcinogens. Solvent-based paints (also called oil-based paints) are what had been traditionally used to paint homes before the advent of improved water-based paints. The coverage of solvent-based paints was better and longer-lasting, but this is no longer necessarily the case. In addition, solvent-based paints not only contain more harmful chemicals such as benzene, but they are also highly flammable.
Although the US government requires that all paint have VOC levels no higher than 380 grams per liter (g/l) for most finishes, some manufacturers have voluntarily developed paint with much lower levels of VOCs. According to Consumer Reports, these include Glidden Evermore, Benjamin Moore Aura and True Value Easy Care paints, which have a VOC of 50 g/l. There have also been a few paints developed that claim to have zero VOCs, which include Mythic and Home Depot's Freshaire Choice, which has earned the Greenguard Environmental Institute's seal of approval. However, even these were shown to contain some level of VOCs when tested by Consumer Reports.
Some helpful tips for healthy painting:
* Before you begin painting, you should be sure to have the proper equipment. Invest in gloves, safety glasses or goggles and a dust mask, and be sure to wear sturdy, non-slip shoes when painting.
* If possible, paint the room a month before you plan to use it, since most VOCs will have evaporated by that time. Also, it is best to paint in the warmer and drier months when all windows can be fully open and lower levels of humidity will allow the paint to dry faster.
* The room should be as well-ventilated as possible while you are painting. Keep all doors and windows open, and if possible, mount a box fan in the window (facing outwards) to draw out fumes from the room. Any cross-ventilation you can create is useful.
* Take frequent breaks for fresh air, and stop painting if you develop a headache, watering eyes, dizziness or problems breathing.
* Children and people who have breathing problems should never be allowed in a freshly-painted room.
By taking these few extra precautions, you can safely enjoy the pleasures of your newly-painted home.

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Orlando Chiropractor|The Benefits of Calcium
8/15/13
Just about everyone has heard about the importance of calcium in maintaining strong bones and teeth. In fact, 99 percent of the calcium in our body is stored in our bones. However, the remaining one percent that is located in our blood and cells is just as important. It is necessary to maintain many of the body's vital functions, and if you do not get adequate calcium from your diet to keep the required amount in your blood, the mineral will be taken from your bones to meet the need.
Heart rhythm, muscle contraction, wound healing, blood clotting and transmission of messages between nerves and between cells are some of the important things that calcium facilitates. In addition to helping prevent osteoporosis, calcium may also reduce the risk of colon cancer, lower high blood pressure, reduce symptoms of PMS (bloating, food cravings, pain and mood swings) by 50 percent, and protect against breast cancer.
The recommended daily intake of calcium for different groups is as follows:
Infants 0-6 months: 210 mg/day
Infants 7-12 months: 270 mg/day
Children 1-3 years: 700 mg/day
Children 4-8 years: 1,000 mg/day
Adolescents 9-18 years: 1,300 mg/day
Adults 19-50 years: 1,000 mg/day
Adults 51+ years : 1,200 mg/day
Most signs of calcium deficiency do not appear until it has become a serious problem. Increased bone fractures are the most common sign. Severe calcium deficiency can cause tingling or numbness of the fingers, an abnormal heart rhythm and convulsions. However, these cases are rare. Most people are able to meet their daily calcium requirement through their diet, but supplementation may be recommended for some people. Those who drink large amounts of caffeinated beverages, soda or alcohol, and postmenopausal women may benefit from calcium supplements.
Taking too much calcium can also cause problems, so don't take any more than is appropriate for your age group. Excess calcium intake (most often by taking too many supplements) has been implicated in a higher risk of kidney stones, heart attack, stroke and hardening of the arteries.
Calcium is best absorbed when taken with a meal, along with vitamin D. Magnesium is also necessary for the proper integration of calcium into the bones, but it should be taken separately from when you take your calcium, as it (and iron) can interfere with calcium absorption. So take any magnesium and iron supplements at the opposite end of the day from when you take your calcium.
Foods highest in calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt, and dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens and bok choy. Other good sources of calcium are sardines, oysters, broccoli, almonds, Brussels sprouts and seaweed.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Dieting in the U.S.-A Statistical Snapshot of What Works and What Doesn't
8/15/13
If there is one thing that Americans are obsessed with, it's dieting. Just turn on any television and you are bombarded with ads for weight loss drinks, programs and foods that are guaranteed to have you looking slim and trim in a matter of weeks. But given the enormous amount of money spent on the quest for a smaller waistline (upwards of $69 billion each year), the growing obesity epidemic suggests that diets generally do not generally work.
Following are a few facts about dieting in the US:
* At any given time, 50% of women and 25% of men are on a diet.
* Dieters lose between 5% and 10% of their starting weight within the first six months, but 66% of them gain it back within a year, and 95% of them have regained all the weight they lost, and more, within 5 years.
* The average diet costs 50% more than what the average American spends on food each week.
* Between 40% and 60% of American high school girls are on a diet at any given time.
* Both men and women who participate in a formal weight loss program gain significantly more weight over a two-year period than those who do not participate in a formal program.
Dieting is actually unhealthy. Studies have shown that repeatedly gaining and losing weight causes damage to the immune system and increases rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke. This is not to say that there is nothing you can do to lose weight, but it's important to find a way of eating that does not involve dieting.
What does seem to work, according to the most recent research, is changing what we eat. In contrast to what we have heard for years, a calorie is not just a calorie. One calorie of sugar is not metabolized by the body in the same way as one calorie of broccoli. The first raises insulin levels, causing that calorie to be stored as fat, and the second does not, so it gets used as immediate energy, along with providing important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared the effects of three different types of diet consisting of the same number of calories: a standard low-fat diet (60% carbs, 20% protein, 20% fat), an ultra-low-carb (Atkins) diet (10% carbs, 30% protein, 60% fat) and a low-glycemic diet (40% carbs, 20% protein, 40% fat). The low-fat dieters fared worst. The Atkins dieters burned 350 more calories per day than the low-fat dieters, and those following the low-glycemic diet burned 150 more calories per day than their low-fat diet counterparts. However, the Atkins type diet causes inflammation and raises cortisol, which can damage the heart, so your best bet is to follow a diet consisting mostly of low-glycemic foods.
Although the percentage of carbs in the low-glycemic diet were just slightly less than those in the low-fat diet, those carbs consisted of vegetables, fruit, legumes and minimally processed grains, whereas the low-fat diet included processed foods. Processed foods have had many of the compounds removed (such as fiber) that slow the release of sugar into the blood. A diet consisting of whole foods, minimally processed grains and moderate amounts of fat is still delicious, and you won't have to feel that you are starving yourself. Over time you will find that you are slowly losing weight, and in a way that is healthy and more likely to become permanent.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Dehydration Nation? How Much Water Do We Really Need?
8/15/13
Americans drink over 9 billion gallons of bottled water each year, up from 5 billion in 2001. However, most Americans still believe that they go through life chronically dehydrated. At least, that is what we have been led to believe by certain experts and bottled water companies who have suggested that everyone drink eight glasses of water a day for the sake of their health. However, that advice has no basis in scientific evidence, according to Scottish physician Dr. Margaret McCartney, who says that the need to drink that much water to prevent dehydration is "not only nonsense, but is thoroughly debunked nonsense."
It is easy to find articles all over the Internet on the health benefits of drinking more water. From better skin to weight loss, all manner of health improvements have been attributed to drinking eight glasses of water a day. But according to Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, a nephrologist at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, who looked for evidence to support these health claims, "We found that there really is no evidence that drinking more water makes you perform better. It doesn't reduce appetite, it doesn't lead to long-term weight loss, and it can't possibly improve your complexion. It won't clear your body of toxins or reduce headaches."
The idea that if you are thirsty then you are already dehydrated has no basis in fact. The human body is well designed to manage its water needs, and if you drink when you are thirsty, then you are likely getting enough fluids. Goldfarb notes, "Thirst is a highly developed sensation, powerfully motivated. When you're thirsty, all you want to do is drink. But being thirsty doesn't mean you are ill at this point or dehydrated to the point that there are consequences."
Another myth is that coffee, tea and soft drinks cannot be counted in the amount of fluids you take in each day. We get thirst-satiating fluids not only from these beverages, but also from other things we eat, such as fruits and vegetables, many of which have a relatively high water content. Excess caffeine and sugar intake from various beverages can affect health negatively, which is why physicians do not advise these in place of water, but they do contribute to the amount of fluids you get each day.
Those who should be more concerned about drinking sufficient amounts of water are athletes and those who work at jobs that require a lot of physical activity, as water is lost through sweating. But the average person who sits at a desk most of the day and commutes by car to and from work is not at high risk of dehydration. All you need to do is to drink water when you are thirsty (and tap water is just as good, despite what the bottled water companies will tell you).

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Orlando Chiropractor|Kids, Carpets and Chemicals - Should You Be Worried?
8/15/13
There are few surfaces that babies and toddlers touch more often than carpets. After all, they are a warm, soft surface for children to crawl on and provide some cushioning for when they inevitably fall over before learning to walk. However, that same carpeting may be causing more harm than it seems.
Young children crawling around have a lot of contact with carpeted surfaces and play with toys that often go from carpet to mouth. The chemical toxins that the carpet itself contains, in addition to any household dust it retains, can contribute to a number of health problems in growing children, given their small body size and immature immune systems.
Toxic chemical emissions from new carpet are not a new problem. There have been thousands of cases of people falling ill when new carpeting was installed in their homes, schools or workplaces, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has tried to discover the reasons for people experiencing irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, fatigue and rashes that new carpeting seemed to cause.
Thus far, no single chemical has been pinpointed as the culprit. However, hundreds of different known toxic chemicals are involved in the production of carpeting. Some of these include benzene (a carcinogen), xylene and toluene (neurotoxins) and styrene (a known carcinogen). They are used in the production of the carpet fibers themselves, the adhesive that glues the fibers to the backing, the dyeing, flameproofing, stainproofing and mothproofing of the carpet, and even in the glue that attaches them to the floor.
Unfortunately, if you thought you might be safe in laying down an old antique carpet that is free of those chemicals, your children still may not be free from the effects of contamination. Researchers have found that common household dust contains traces of lead, combustion byproducts and pesticides in levels that could be considered unsafe for children. In fact, some homes have been found to have more toxic dust indoors than in the outdoor surrounding soil.
Experts advise that there are a few things you can do to keep the amount of toxic dust on your carpets to a minimum:
* By using a high-quality doormat, a 1997 study found that the tracking of pesticides into the home can be reduced by 25%, and the reduction in overall carpet dust by 33%.
* Removing your shoes at the door and wearing house slippers results in 10 times less household dust than in homes where shoes are worn.
* As dust mites thrive in high humidity, the allergies and asthma caused by dust mites that accumulate in carpets can be mitigated by reducing the amount of humidity in your home. Use a dehumidifier in rooms where your children come into frequent contact with the carpet.
* Consider installing plain wood or tile floors where you can use area rugs that can be removed periodically for a thorough cleaning.
* Vacuum weekly with a powerhead vacuum equipped with a dirt sensor and a high-efficiency HEPA filter.
* If you do decide to install a carpet, the best choice is a stitched wool carpet that has not been glued or treated with stain guard. Use carpet staples or hook and loop fastening strips to attach it to the floor in place of glue.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is Rem Sleep and Why Is It Important?
8/15/13
Our sleep cycle is separated into two main components: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep (NREM). We cycle between the two all night, with four stages of NREM sleep preceding one stage of REM sleep. NREM sleep is the stage at which our body repairs itself, energy is replenished and our immune system is boosted. A complete cycle of sleep takes between 90 and 110 minutes in total, with approximately a quarter of that time being spent in REM sleep. It is also the stage during which dreaming almost always takes place. Scientists are still trying to discover the extent to which REM sleep affects our health and mental well-being, but they do know that REM sleep is important for the development of creativity and problem solving ability, and is how we learn to adapt to our world.
REM sleep was first formally observed by the scientists Aserinsky and Kleitman in the 1950s, who noted the rapid, jerky movements of the eyes through closed lids, as if the sleeper were seeing something, and noticed that breathing and heart rate increased. Another feature of REM sleep is that the voluntary muscle groups become temporarily paralyzed by the base of the brain "shutting off" the neurons in our spinal cord so we do not act out the dreams we are experiencing as we sleep. The electroencephalogram (EEG) that was attached to the sleepers showed levels of brain activity nearly identical to those who were awake. Contrary to what was previously believed about sleep as being a state in which the brain slows down, during REM sleep, the brain is actually very active. Why may this be?
According to French scientist Michel Jouvet, REM sleep is also a way of programming our brain to adapt to the world around us. Much as a computer can be reprogrammed when it is off-line, Jouvet believes our brain can take information it has received during the day and program the central nervous system to organize or maintain instinctive behavior.
The percentage of time spent in REM sleep is the greatest among babies and children. Babies can spend as much as 50% of their sleep time in the REM stage. And while it has been thought that the dreams we experience during REM sleep are a consolidation of the memories that we have experienced during the previous day, babies in the womb (who experts believe have few or no real world memories) spend most of their sleep time in a state of REM.
Professor of psychiatry emeritus at Harvard University, J. Allan Hobson, says of the purpose of REM sleep, "It's a reinforcement of basic knowledge-knowledge that precedes any waking-state learning: how to be a person, how to be an ego, how to exist in a space, how to move in a space, how to feel. It's not environmental memory; it's genetic memory."

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Orlando Chiropractor|Is It True that Heavy Weight Training Makes You Less Flexible?
8/14/13
One of the most common myths about heavy weight training is that it will make you less flexible. Many of us have an image in our mind of a typical bulked up bodybuilder who can barely manage to turn his head to the left or right. However, if weight training is performed correctly, incorporating a full range of motion, heavy weight training can actually enhance your flexibility.
This misconception about weight training leading to inflexibility has remained tenaciously in people's minds, despite the fact that studies as long ago as the 1960s and 1970s proved otherwise. Later studies have confirmed that properly performed strength training exercises serve to increase flexibility rather than reduce it.
A 2002 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research evaluated the effect on flexibility of a 10-week resistance training program on a group of 11 elderly female subjects. The control group consisted of eight elderly women who were physically inactive. The women's level of flexibility was assessed by a sit-and-reach test performed both before and after the 10-week training period. Using resistance machines, the women in the training group performed eight different strength training exercises (seated row, seated biceps curl, seated triceps press, shoulder press, chest press, calf press, abdominal crunch and leg press) without performing any flexibility exercise. The study found that the training group women had achieved an average increase of 13% more flexibility over the control group by the end of the training program.
Another study, published the following year in the same journal, found that flexibility was greater in subjects who used light weights (1-3 pounds) on their wrists and ankles during a 10-week training program than the control group who used no weights while training. They surpassed the control group in five out of ten flexibility measures, including left and right neck rotation, knee flexion, hip extension and ankle dorsiflexion.
To maintain good flexibility while training with weights, learn to vary your workouts so that you do not repeat the same actions over and over. This will encourage your muscles to keep from shortening and becoming less flexible. Weight training exercises should involve the full range of motion in order to build strength while maintaining flexibility.
Experts advise that you perform some stretches after your workout (never before, as it can temporarily weaken your muscles) in order to stretch and lengthen any muscles that may have become shortened during training. The more flexible you are, the more weight you can handle without increasing your risk of injury. Ease gradually into each stretch, being sure not to bounce, which can cause small tears in the muscle that will be replaced by scar tissue, reducing your flexibility.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Spinal Health at the Gym-Form Matters!
8/14/13
Whether you are an athlete training for competition or someone who visits the gym regularly just to keep fit, protecting your back and spine from injuries during workouts is important. A large-scale University of Arkansas study found that after injuries to the hand, injuries to areas ranging from the neck to the lower back were the most common type of gym-related injuries.
Back injuries at the gym are more common today due to the large amounts of time we spend sitting at a desk or hunched over a computer. According to personal trainer Justin Price, a specialist in functional fitness and corrective exercise, "If someone is rounded throughout the day in their upper back, and then they go to the gym and do an overhead shoulder lift standing, their upper back cannot extend properly. They straighten and arch upward from their lower back, which has a nervous breakdown because it's getting all the stress."
Price suggests that in order to avoid injury you consider getting a personal trainer who can show you the proper way of performing exercises and using equipment. The most important way to maintain good spinal health is to strengthen your core muscles. These are the muscles that lend strength and support to the spine, and which tend to become weakened with long periods of sitting. Following are a few tips on how to use proper form when exercising or lifting weights in the gym.
Tighten your gluteus muscles - When performing a squat, deadlift, or during pushups, be sure to squeeze your glutes. This ensures that the muscles connecting your lumbar and sacral areas are locked so your hips and lower back move as a single unit. Otherwise there is a tendency for the lower back to curve, with the vertebral discs being exposed to more stress than they are designed to handle.
Tighten your abs - So as to keep your spine from arching too much in either direction, tighten your abdominal muscles like you are preparing to be punched in the stomach. This will provide stability to the spine as you bend and lift.
Pull your shoulders down and back - A rounded upper back is one of the leading causes of back injury. It increases pressure on the front side of the vertebral disks, increasing the risk of disc herniation.
Keep hips and shoulders aligned - Back injuries happen more often when twisting and bending. Ensure that your hips and shoulders move as one unit. If you need to change direction, lead with the hips and the shoulders will follow. If you lead first with the shoulders, the hips tend to fall behind, too late to keep from overstraining the low back muscles.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Are Nutraceuticals?
8/14/13
Many people are becoming disillusioned with a 21st century pharmaceutical industry that promotes taking a different drug for every ailment from anxiety to zits. Others question the drug approval process used by the FDA and are bothered by the fact that safety studies are performed by the pharmaceutical companies themselves. They point out that the long-term effects of new medications are often uncertain even after testing, and that the negative side effects can be serious.
At the same time, researchers and clinicians continue to discover new links between what we eat and drink and our overall health and well-being. Even among the general public, the fundamental importance of nutrition is becoming clearer and clearer as we face a growing number of so-called "lifestyle diseases" that are caused (at least in part) by the type, quality and amount of food that we eat.
So it's not surprising that scientists are trying to improve our understanding of food and to make its benefits more accessible to more people. As this happens, it seems likely that we will find ourselves turning to "nutraceuticals" to prevent or treat our illnesses, even if we've never heard that word before or don't know what it means.
Dr. Stephen DeFelice, from the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine, first coined the term nutraceutical (sometimes also spelled nutriceutical) in 1989. He defined it as meaning "food, or parts of food, that provide medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease." This definition includes not only special fortified foods, but also herbal products, dietary supplements, genetically modified foods and foods processed to include specific nutrients.
Studies have shown that some nutraceuticals are indeed effective in promoting certain health benefits. However, the regulation of some of these substances is inconsistent, and not every nutraceutical product claiming to have health benefits can actually support those claims. For instance, the vitamin D added to milk that has been proven to help prevent rickets in children (once a widespread problem) can be considered a nutraceutical. So can the active cultures in some types of yogurt. But the claim that raspberry ketones will help you lose weight, as touted by the popular Dr. Oz, is tenuous at best. So it may be a nutraceutical without the health benefit.
Nevertheless, some nutraceuticals are considerably better for your health than taking a drug. Cultures the world over have been using natural food and herbal remedies for centuries, often with great results and no negative side effects. It is important, however, to judge which are safe to take, and in which amounts.
Just because a food or supplement is "natural" does not necessarily mean it is safe for you. It is important to consult with a health professional as to which nutraceuticals may be right for your particular condition and check to ensure that the manufacturer has used quality ingredients in the production of the nutraceutical. Because these products are largely unregulated, the ability to enforce standards (in particular, the source and amount of active ingredient) is more limited than what we're accustomed to in the world of pharmaceuticals. So if you're taking horsetail to help with your hair growth, some supplements may contain 7% and some 10%. Differences like this can make matter a lot when it comes to effectiveness and safety depending on the nutriceutical involved.
It is generally healthiest to get the nutrients you need by following a varied diet rich in whole foods. However, if this is not possible, neutraceuticals may be the next best thing and may help you to avoid the health risks and expense associated with pharmaceuticals.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Fitness Club Membership in the Us: What the Numbers Tell Us
8/14/13
If you are thinking about joining a fitness club to get in shape, you are not alone. Over 50 million Americans belong to a health club, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), and the numbers are rising by approximately 10 percent every year. And it's no surprise, with more people becoming health-conscious and doing what they can to reduce their risk of obesity and heart disease, which go hand-in-hand with a sedentary lifestyle. Following are a few interesting facts regarding fitness club membership in the US.
* The average fitness club member will go to the gym twice a week.
* The primary reason why people do not join a fitness club or quit their membership is that they feel it is too expensive. The average monthly cost of a fitness club membership is $55, and of that amount, $39 of it is wasted because the average member doesn't use it. Amazingly, an estimated 67% to 80% of those with a gym membership never use it at all.
* There are nearly 30,000 health clubs throughout the US, which generate over $21 billion in combined revenue each year.
* Approximately a fifth of those with a fitness club membership are over age 55. The primary reason why 90% of them join a gym is that they are concerned about staying healthy, whereas the primary cause for 16-20 year-olds is to feel better about themselves. More gyms are now offering age-specific programs to accommodate the needs of different age groups.
* The greater your income, the more time you spend at the gym. A study of 1,600 fitness club members found that those members earning the least money went to the gym for one hour per week, whereas members with the highest incomes were at the gym for three hours per week.
* A few studies have found that the reason people go to the gym is not necessarily for fitness. Fully half of fitness club members go to the gym to meet with friends and look for potential dates. The gym may be an effective way to meet a partner, as a study conducted on 2,000 members of one gym found that over 10% of the members were living with someone they had met at the gym.
* In 1999, 4 million Americans used a personal trainer at the gym. This number had increased to 6.5 million in 2012.
* According to IHRSA, the top 10 fitness club activities, in order of preference, are stair-climbing machines, yoga, low impact aerobics, stationary cycling, abdominal machines, stretching, elliptical trainers, resistance machines, treadmills and free weights (hand weights, dumbbells and barbells).

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Orlando Chiropractor|Top 10 Stretches for All-Around Flexibility
8/14/13
Stretching is important to maintaining flexibility. If you study animals such as cats and dogs, you will notice that they stretch on a frequent basis to keep their muscles supple and limber. Stretching helps to maintain a good range of motion and can help prevent you from muscle injuries such as sprains and strains. Following are our top 10 stretches for all-around flexibility.
1. Knee-to-chest stretch - While lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, bring one knee up to your chest and hold it there with your hands. Repeat with the other leg. This stretches the muscles in your lower back, relieving tension.
2. Piriformis stretch - Again, lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, bring your outer left ankle to rest on your right knee. Then slowly pull the right knee in toward the chest with your hands clasped behind your lower right thigh. Repeat with the other leg. This stretches the outer thigh and buttock muscles.
3. Hamstring stretch - Lying on your back with your legs stretched out in front of you, lift one leg off the floor while holding the back of your thigh with clasped hands, keeping the leg slightly bent at the knee. Pull until your leg is at a 90° angle with your body. Repeat on other side.
4. Side stretch - Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, stretch your left arm over your head and slowly bend over to the right until you feel the stretch in your left side that should extend from your left hip all the way to your wrist. Repeat on the other side. This improves mobility in your rib cage and improves overall flexibility.
5. Overhead triceps stretch - Raise both arms above your head with elbows bent and hands just touching your upper back. With your left hand, pull your right elbow back until you feel the stretch in the back of your right arm. Repeat on the other side.
6. Chest and biceps stretch - Standing next to a wall, raise your bent arm to shoulder height and place your forearm flat against the wall. Slowly turn your body away from the wall while keeping your forearm stationary, until you feel the stretch in your chest and upper arm. Repeat on the other side.
7. Calf stretch - Standing about two feet from a wall, place your hands against the wall and extend one leg back, putting your heel flat on the floor and bending your other leg. Repeat with other leg.
8. Quadriceps stretch - While standing, bend one leg back at the knee, then grab and hold your ankle, with your foot pulled as close to the back of the thigh as possible. You can grasp a chair or use the wall for balance, if necessary.
9. Hip stretch - Making sure that your knee is adequately cushioned, go down on one knee, with your other leg in front of you bent at a 90° angle. Push slightly forward with your hips, which stretches the hip flexors. Be sure to keep the forward knee above your ankle.
10. Lateral stretch - While grasping a pole or other secure stationary object with both hands at about waist height, bend your knees and lean back until your weight is supported by your arms. This will stretch your upper back and shoulders.
For best results, these stretches should be performed when your body is warm. If you just want to stretch without having exercised first, experts suggest that you at least warm up for 10 or 15 minutes first to avoid the risk of injury. Hold each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Ease in and out of stretches slowly and breathe normally throughout your stretching routine. Be sure not to bounce as you stretch, as it can cause small tears to your muscles.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Spring Cleaning Health Tips
8/14/13
Spring is just around the corner, and it's a perfect time to open up the windows in your house, let in some fresh air and give the whole place a good scrub. But you should also be aware of some of the possible health hazards involved in getting your place spic and span. You don't want to be breathing harmful chemicals, and it's a good idea to remove any health hazards that may be lurking in seemingly innocent areas of your house. Instead of using chemical-laden cleaning products, try to use simple non-toxic cleaners include vinegar, baking soda and water in varying combinations. They are just as effective for many jobs and will not expose you to harmful fumes. Read on for some healthy spring cleaning tips!
For sparkling windowsFar better than commercial glass cleaner, this window washing solution is non-toxic and leaves no streaks: Combine 1/4 cup of vinegar, 2 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish detergent in a spray bottle, and voila! You've got window cleaning solution that will cut through the waxy buildup of years' worth of cleaning products, leaving your windows crystal clear. More tips:
* Try to clean your windows on an overcast day. Sun shining directly on windows can dry the washing solution too fast and you end up with streaks.
* Use either a rubber squeegee to remove the solution, or use newspaper. Dry newspaper will not leave streaks or wipe marks the way that paper towels can.
* When removing the washing solution, use vertical strokes on one side of the window and horizontal strokes on the other. That way, if you leave a streak or two it is easier to figure out which side of the glass the streak is on.
To clean a toilet
Pour about 1/4 cup of white vinegar into the toilet bowl and put some vinegar in a spray bottle to spray the sides of the bowl. Add a sprinkling of baking soda, let it sit for 5 minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush as usual. To remove hard water marks from the bowl, add two cups of vinegar to the water in the bowl and leave it overnight to dissolve the marks.
Remove the dust
Dust is heaven for dust mites, which can trigger allergies and make life generally uncomfortable. Old wool sweaters or fabric make good dust cloths, as they will pick up dust easier than other cleaning cloths. At the same time, replace air conditioning and heating filters so they do not serve to redistribute the dust and other airborne allergens around your newly clean house.
Get rid of mold and mildew
Provoking allergic reactions and worsening asthma, mold and mildew are constant enemies in areas of your home that remain warm and damp for extended periods of time. The most effective non-toxic mold remover is tea tree oil. Mix two teaspoons of tea tree oil with two cups of water and use it in a spray bottle on any mold or mildew. The scent will dissipate in a few days, but if it is too strong for your taste, straight vinegar works almost as well, killing 84 percent of mold spores. You can add a few drops of your essential oil of choice if you do not wish your bathroom to smell like a salad for a few hours.
To clean sinks, counters and bathroom tile
A mixture of one part baking soda, two parts vinegar and four parts water makes a good scouring cream for these surfaces. One of the most germ-laden locations is your kitchen sink, so give this an extra scrub with straight vinegar every so often to kill pathogens.
To clean and polish wood surfacesUse a solution made of equal parts lemon juice and olive oil. Rub in and let it dry.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Vertigo Causes and Treatment Options
8/14/13
If you've ever felt the sensation of spinning or that the world is spinning around you, you've experienced what is sometimes called vertigo. It is most often due to a problem with the inner ear. The vestibular system in our inner ear is responsible for keeping us aware of where we are located in space. The vestibulocochlear nerve sends signals to the brain about our body's balance and position, and if this system is disturbed in any way, vertigo is often the result.
In addition to the spinning sensation, symptoms of vertigo include feelings of nausea, vomiting, sweating, difficulty standing, feeling unbalanced, headache, ringing in the ears or hearing loss, and abnormal or jerking eye movements.
Among the most common causes of vertigo are the following:
* Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) - Probably the most common cause of vertigo, particularly in those over age 60, BPPV is due to calcium carbonate particles called canaliths becoming dislodged and irritating the inner ear.
* Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis - Infections of the inner ear that are often due to a virus cause inflammation in the area of the vestibulocochlear nerve, sending inaccurate signals to the brain about the body's position. This is why people with inner ear infections are often dizzy or walk in an unsteady manner.
* Ménière's disease - A chronic inner ear disorder with symptoms including dizziness, tinnitus and hearing loss that can come and go.
* Migraine headaches - Vestibular migraines are migraines with vertigo involved, and those with balance disorders often have a family history of migraines.
* Stroke, tumor or multiple sclerosis - These are much less common causes of vertigo, involving problems with the brain and central nervous system.
One of the simplest treatments for BPPV is something known as a canalith repositioning procedure. This procedure moves the calcium particles out from the inner ear's sensing tubes and into a different part of the inner ear where they cause no harm and are safely absorbed. Doctors, chiropractors and other therapists who are familiar with the procedure can perform the procedure in a matter of minutes.
One of the most commonly used of the procedures is called the Epley Maneuver. This treatment involves the patient lying on his or her back on a bed or table. The patient's head should be hanging slightly over the edge and tilted 45 degrees toward the problem ear. The physician then moves the patient's head into four different positions for a couple of minutes each until it is tilted 90 degrees toward the other ear. This procedure has been found to cure vertigo from BPPV approximately 90% of the time.
Vertigo due to inner ear infections will usually clear up once the infection is gone. Medicines are sometimes prescribed to help reduce symptoms of vertigo that are related to migraines or Ménière's disease.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Look Who Else Uses Chiropractic: Olympic Athletes
8/14/13
Chiropractic care has become such an indispensable tool for athletes to keep performing at their best and to reduce the time that it takes to heal from injuries that 28 Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) were employed in the Olympic polyclinic during the 2012 Olympic Games in London. This was in addition to 27 other team DCs who traveled with their nations' teams, not to mention individual athletes' chiropractors. Some of the greatest athletes of all time attribute a large part of their success to the chiropractic care they receive.
Dan O'Brien, after winning three consecutive world titles in the decathlon, went on to win a gold medal in decathlon at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He said, "If I could put a percentage value on it, I think I compete eight to ten percent better from regular chiropractic care. I think that is how much of a benefit it is - if not more. If it wasn't for chiropractic, I wouldn't have won the gold medal." He continued, "Every track and field athlete that I have ever met has seen a chiropractor at one time or another. In track and field, it is absolutely essential. Chiropractic care is one of the things I think that no one has denied or refuted." O'Brien added, "You obviously can't compete at your fullest if you're not in alignment. And your body can't heal if your back is not in alignment. It was the holistic idea that I liked about chiropractic and that is what track and field is about."
During an interview in the August 2012 issue of Details magazine, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who has received the most (22) Olympic medals of all time, noted that he receives Graston technique treatments to keep him in top form. Phelps said, "My trainer, Keenan [Robinson], uses Graston tools, these little metal crowbars. He carves them into my shoulder blades, my back, my knee, my hamstrings-wherever I'm really tight-to loosen things up. It's pretty intense."
Elite cyclist Bradley Wiggins has won the most medals of any British Olympic athlete and is the first British winner of the Tour de France. He has nothing but praise for his chiropractor, Matt Rabin. Some months before the 2012 Olympic Games, Wiggins said, "I first started working with Matt at the end of 2008 following my success at the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics. After years of struggling with minor niggles that I had learned to live with, and having never really found the answer to my problems despite having sought numerous treatment options with no great success, I went to see Matt."
Wiggins continued, "From my first session with him I had great results that were not short lived. That followed up with regular sessions I saw improvements that I had never seen before and that reflected in the way my body held up on a day to day basis which eventually saw me achieve 4th place in the 2009 Tour de France under his supervision." He added, "Matt will undoubtedly remain an integral part of my medical support in the forthcoming seasons and lead up to the London 2012 Olympic Games."
If the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, used chiropractic to keep him a step in front of his competitors at the 2012 Olympic Games, perhaps you should too!

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Orlando Chirporactor|Why Some Foods Just Make Us Feel Better
8/14/13
There is a reason why you reach for the chocolate when you are feeling depressed. Scientists have been studying the connection between food and mood for a number of years, and they have found that the foods we eat have a definite influence on the state of our mood. After all, foods are essentially chemicals when broken down by the body's digestive processes, and those chemicals all have some influence on the brain. The neurotransmitters most responsible for mood (such as serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine) are all affected by what we eat.
Our feelings can be affected by foods in other ways as well. Something as simple as fluctuations in the level of our blood sugar can make a big difference mood-wise. Low blood sugar can make you feel tired and irritable, but too much sugar at once in our bloodstream can make you hyper. Sticking to a low-glycemic diet, in which the sugars from food are released slowly into the bloodstream, can keep your mood on a more even keel.
Carbohydrates may help to boost your mood (which is why we crave "comfort foods" like macaroni and cheese). Carbohydrates (such as those in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains) assist in the production and absorption of tryptophan into the brain. With the assistance of B-vitamins, tryptophan is important for the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can boost mood. A study performed by scientists at Arizona State University found that a very low-carb diet caused feelings of fatigue and discouraged overweight subjects from exercising. Just be sure to avoid simple carbohydrates such as foods containing refined flour and refined sugar, as they will just spike your blood sugar and cause a subsequent energy and mood crash.
The consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to help to ward off depression and reduce anger and irritability. Researchers believe that omega-3s enhance the pathways of important neurotransmitters. Study subjects who suffered from depression were found to have low levels of omega-3. Eating fatty fish three times a week, such as sardines, mackerel, herring and salmon, can help you get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acid.
Just as there are foods you should eat to improve your mood, there also foods you should avoid eating. In addition to refined foods, you should avoid excessive consumption of foods containing caffeine, alcohol, hydrogenated oils and artificial additives. These all have been shown to contribute to anxiety, depression and difficulty concentrating.
Foods high in vitamin D (fortified milk, sardines) and selenium (seafood, beans, nuts, seeds, legumes, lean meat and whole grains) can also boost feelings of happiness. A little dark chocolate would not go amiss either. Just a small amount (1.4 oz) of dark chocolate can reduce cortisol and catecholamines, the stress hormones. Just don't overdo it, as too much sugar can negate chocolate's beneficial effects.

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Orlando Chiropracor|How to Maintain and Improve Your Memory
8/14/13
No matter how old you are, you've probably already had what is commonly referred to as "a senior moment". It's not the least bit unusual to occasionally misplace your car keys or walk into a room and forget what you went there for.
While this sort of thing is not necessarily a sign of declining memory, some types of cognitive ability do seem to decline naturally as we age. Experts have examined how the brain's functions change as we age and have found that practicing certain behaviors can help you maintain and improve your memory as you get older.
Similar to exercising your body on a regular basis to keep it in shape, exercising your mind appears to help maintain cognitive ability. A study conducted by Dr. Joe Verghese and published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the more cognitively stimulating leisure activities that were performed by older adults, the less their risk of dementia. Those who played board games, read, played a musical instrument or danced, for instance, were 63% less likely to develop dementia than those who did not. Other studies have found that the more time people spend learning something, the lower their risk of dementia. Those who know two or more languages develop Alzheimer's over four years later on average than those who know only one language.
Following are some activities that may help to maintain your cognitive ability:
* Join a book club
* Do crossword puzzles
* Learn a new language
* Play new board games
* Play chess or bridge
* Take an online course
* Go to lectures in your community
* Learn how to play a musical instrument
* Learn how to dance
Studies have shown that what you eat and how much you exercise also have a lot to do with your risk of Alzheimer's or other types of dementia. One study found that walking 30 minutes a day for six months significantly improves cognitive ability. And people who do weight training in addition to aerobic exercise benefit more greatly than those who only perform one type of exercise.
Certain foods feed the brain and have been shown to help improve memory and general brain function. A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can contribute greatly to maintaining a good memory. Increase your intake of fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and herring, and add an array of colorful vegetables to your plate. Bright red, orange, purple and yellow vegetables are particularly high in antioxidants. Also, studies have found that drinking alcohol in moderation improves the brain's ability to form and maintain memory, which was not the case for those who either abstained or drank heavily.
Not only can we maintain our cognitive ability as we age, there are ways of improving it as well. The more you use your brain, the more cognitive pathways that are developed and the better your memory becomes. Following are a few tips on how to improve your memory:
* Involve all your senses when learning. The more senses that are involved when learning a new thing, the easier it is to remember. One study found that people who were shown a series of images along with a smell were better able to remember the images, even when the smell was not present.
* Repeat what you want to remember. Speaking information out loud or writing it down helps to cement it in the brain. For example, if you are meeting a new person, repeat their name as you greet them: "So Daniel, how do you know Trish?"
* Repeat things over time. Review information you need to memorize at increasingly longer intervals: first every hour, then every several hours, then every few days. The information will stay in your memory better than if you study it intensively in a short period of time.
* Create mnemonics. Using acronyms to remember information can be helpful. For instance, RICE for acute injuries: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Often Does Private Insurance Cover Chiropractic?
8/14/13
Many people benefit from chiropractic care every year, and chiropractic care is frequently covered by private insurance companies. This is a very good thing, since it allows individuals and families who otherwise might not be in a financial position to afford treatment to get the help they need. However, insurers often place significant limitations on where, how often, how long and for what types of conditions they will cover chiropractic care. And with the new insurance mandates coming into effect with President Obama's health care reform plan, nothing is yet certain in terms of chiropractic coverage.
Approximately 44.6 million Americans suffer from musculoskeletal disorders, and we spend $262.7 billion each year treating them. Chiropractic has been shown to be effective in both preventing and treating musculoskeletal problems, which can save the health care industry (and its consumers) billions of dollars.
Unfortunately, insurance companies in the US are more often purveyors of "sickness care" than "health care". The proven benefits of providing preventative health care for policy holders have been almost completely ignored by the insurance industry. This is especially unfortunate now, since nothing works better than preventative care (including regular chiropractic adjustments) at keeping overall health care costs down. The result is that many insurance companies will pay for a limited number of visits to the chiropractor only if the treatments relate to a specific injury or condition. Anything supplementary to that must be paid directly by the patient.
For now, the best way to find out how much of your chiropractic care will be covered by your insurance company is to contact them directly and ask them to specify exactly what is covered. As mentioned above, many insurance companies will also limit either the dollar amount they will pay for chiropractic services or the number of visits. Many HMOs also require that you go to a chiropractor in their network. PPOs, on the other hand, often pay up to 80 percent of chiropractic fees for providers outside their network. Whatever type of health care plan you happen to have, though, you should always check with your insurer to be sure about coverage.
If you are interested in seeing a particular chiropractor, call their office and ask about the insurance they take. They can tell you if your insurance covers treatments, and to what extent you can expect your care to be paid by insurance. Many chiropractors will also work with you to establish a payment plan so you can still receive the benefits of chiropractic care, even if your insurance company will not cover it.
If you have any questions about insurance or payment types we accept, please call or visit our office. We'll be happy to help!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Recovering from a Broken Bone
8/14/13
For most people, recovering from a broken bone is an exercise in patience. For an active person, being told that you have to significantly reduce or cease activity in order to let the bone heal is tantamount to torture. However, there are a few things you can do to help speed the healing process so you can get back to your normal activities as soon as possible.
Stop taking NSAIDs for pain relief - When cells are damaged in a fracture, large amounts of prostaglandins are released. This is what causes the pain you feel, but it's also are instrumental in the early stages of tissue repair. In order to alleviate pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs stop the action of prostaglandins. This means that it's a good idea to stop taking these as soon as possible after suffering a broken bone. Alternatively, you could take a non-NSAID pain medication such as acetaminophen for pain relief, as it does not have the same effect on prostaglandins.
Stop smoking - The broken bones of people who smoke take longer to heal. Smoking reduces blood flow, thus reducing the amount of nutrients and oxygen getting to the injury site. The chemicals released in the blood from smoking damage the cells that form bone and can significantly increase healing time or can prevent complete healing altogether.
Get more calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K - These vitamins and minerals are all integral to healthy bone growth. We have all heard about how important calcium is in the diet, but if you take a lot of calcium without accompanying it with magnesium and vitamins D and K, much of that calcium will not be absorbed by your bones. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens and Swiss chard are among the best sources of not only calcium, but magnesium and vitamin K as well. If you live in a sunny climate, you can get a good supply of vitamin D by sitting in the sun for 15-20 minutes a day with arms and legs exposed and using no sunblock. For those who live in less sun-drenched locations (and those of us waiting out the winter months), you can get vitamin D from fortified milk products or you can take a vitamin D supplement.
Cut down on sugar and caffeine intake - Caffeine and sugar both increase the excretion of calcium from the bones by 25-50 percent. So lay off the coffee and doughnuts for a while!
Increase your protein intake - Nearly half of the compounds that make up your bones are comprised of protein. In order to give your bones the building blocks they need to speed healing and minimize further bone loss, incorporate more healthy protein into your diet, such as beans, nuts and fish or chicken.
If you keep these simple tips in mind, you may find yourself up and about before you know it!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Does Having Pets Really Strengthen Your Immune System?
8/14/13
Many have fond memories of the family dog coming trotting up when they were a toddler and giving them a big lick on the face. Although parents (and children alike) may have run off shouting "Ugh, dog germs!" like Lucy in the Peanuts comic strip, those "dog germs" may have led to the development of a stronger immune system.
A recent Finnish study performed by researchers at Kuopio University Hospital found that babies who grow up in a home that has a pet are less likely to get coughs and colds in their first year of life than their counterparts who live in pet-free homes. Lead author of the study, Dr. Eija Bergroth, a pediatrician at the university, said, "We think the exposure to pets somehow matures the immune system so when the child meets the microbes, he might be better prepared for them." Researchers believe that the dander that pets shed and the microbes that they bring in from outdoors prime babies' newly-forming immune systems, teaching them to fend off allergies, bacteria and viruses.
Previous studies had found a link between the presence of pets in a baby's home and a lower risk of allergies. And in a study performed on mice, exposure to household dust from a home in which a dog lived prevented a common respiratory virus that has been linked to the development of childhood asthma.
Researchers from the Finnish study, published in the journal Pediatrics, followed the health of 397 Finnish children during their first year of life. Parents recorded the state of their child's health on a weekly basis, including any runny noses, coughing and ear infections. They also noted if the child took any antibiotics. The results of the study found that children with pets in the home had a 44% lower risk of contracting an ear infection and were 29% less likely to be prescribed antibiotics, when compared with babies from pet-free homes.
The type of pet in the home did make a difference in how likely babies were to become ill during their first year. Dogs in the home were associated with a 31% lower risk of illness in the first year, whereas the presence of cats in the home was associated with only a 6% improvement in risk. The greatest benefit was from outdoor pets (those that were not restricted only to the indoors), as they brought in a wider array of microbes on their fur.
According to researchers, early exposure to pets seems to be the key in developing greater resistance to microbes, as it is the time that a child's immune system is learning to differentiate friendly from unfriendly microbes, and by getting a wide array of these in small amounts, babies' immune systems become well-trained early on.
This article is for the exclusive use of Best Chiropractic Articles Members. Members have full private label rights to use this (and many other great articles) on their own websites, blogs, social media pages or print publications.
Membership details are available at best-chiropractic-articles/.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Anatomy of the "Core" Muscles
8/14/13
The "core muscles," which are the muscles responsible for giving us strength and stability when bending or twisting, can essentially be broken down into seven different sets: the rectus abdominis, the external obliques, the internal obliques, the transversus abdominis, the multifidus, the quadratus lumborum and the lumbar erector spinae. Each of these sets of muscles performs a different function, as follows:
Rectus abdominis - Responsible for flexing and rotating the trunk, the rectus abdominis is the set of muscles made famous by the term "six pack" abs. The muscle extends out from the xiphoid process and adjacent costal cartilages, and attaches to the pubic bone at the crest and symphysis.
External obliques - These contribute to spinal stability and allow the trunk to flex and bend toward the side. They also enable the trunk to rotate toward the opposite side of the body. It begins at the front lateral part of the lower seven ribs, and attaches at the pubic tubercle, the linea alba and the front part of the iliac crest.
Internal obliques - Provide stability to the spine and allow for the flexion and rotation of the trunk toward the same side of the body. It originates from the inguinal ligament, the thoracolumbar fascia and the anterior iliac crest, and attaches at the linea alba and lower four ribs.
Transversus abdominis - Plays a key role in trunk stabilization and compresses the abdominal wall. It starts at the thoracolumbar fascia, the lower six costal cartilages and the iliac crest, and attaches at the middle of the linea alba.
Multifidus - Stabilizes and allows for the rotation and flexion of the spine by supporting the vertebral joints. They begin at the posterior sacrum, the superior iliac spine, the mamillary processes of the lumbar vertebrae, the transverse processes of the thoracic vertebrae and the articular processes of the cerebral vertebrae. Each connects at the spinous processes of the vertebrae, two to four bones above where they originate.
Quadratus lumborum - Connects the spine to the pelvis and is responsible for movements related to bending and twisting the spine in relation to the pelvis, such as bending while rotating. It begins at the top of the iliac crest, and attaches to the top of the lumbar spine and the lowest ribs.
Lumbar erector spinae - These are long muscles that allow the spine to extend, bend and twist. They extend from the lumbar spine to the neck. They begin at the iliac crest, the sacrum, the lower seven ribs, and the spinous and transverse processes of the thoracic vertebrae, and attach at the angles of the ribs, the transverse processes of the vertebrae and the base of the skull.
This article is for the exclusive use of Best Chiropractic Articles Members. Members have full private label rights to use this (and many other great articles) on their own websites, blogs, social media pages or print publications.

Membership details are available at best-chiropractic-articles/.


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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is a "Runner's High"?
8/14/13
While the sense of accomplishment is certainly significant, there must be other reasons why long-distance runners endure the exhaustion, pain and injuries that frequently come with their sport. One reason may be the "runner's high" that many of these endurance athletes feel while on the road, trail or track. This phrase refers to a sensation of euphoria that runners often experience during or after a strenuous workout.
Runners aren't the only ones familiar with this euphoria, though. Swimmers, cyclists and rowers have also reported feeling it. Many sports that involve repetitive, rhythmic movements have been found to produce similar highs, according to researchers.
The President of the American Society for Exercise Physiologists, Dr. Jesse Pittsley, says "Psychologically, runners may experience euphoria, a feeling of being invincible, a reduced state of discomfort or pain, and even a loss in sense of time while running." There had been some disagreement among scientists for years about what caused this phenomenon, but a German study finally pinpointed the source of runner's high as being primarily due to a surge in endorphins. Endorphins are naturally-occurring opiates that the body produces in response to stress.
This theory had been controversial because the endorphins released during the stress response are released into the bloodstream, but researchers could not find evidence that these could travel to the brain. Finally, technological advances in neuroscience allowed researchers in Germany to confirm that there were indeed endorphins that flooded the brain in response to a strenuous run. Their findings were eventually published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.
Dr. Henning Boecker of the University of Bonn and his colleagues recruited ten distance runners and told them that the opiate receptors in their brains were being studied. There was no mention made of endorphins or the runner's high. PET scans were performed on each subject both before and after a two-hour run, and a psychological test was given to assess their mood before and after the run.
The results of the study showed that there was a significant increase in endorphins in the brain after the run, particularly in the areas of the brain associated with mood regulation: the prefrontal and limbic regions. According to Dr. Boecker, these are the same areas that are activated "when you hear music that gives you a chill of euphoria, like Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3."
Researchers are now working to see if distance runners experience greater pain tolerance. Some runners have had heart attacks and stress fractures and managed to keep running. "There are studies that showed enhanced pain tolerance in runners. You have to give higher pain stimuli before they say, 'O.K., this hurts,'" Boecker said.
Although a runner's high may be primarily due to chemicals in the brain, there are also clear health benefits associated with sustained aerobic exercise-not to mention the satisfaction of having completed a personal challenge-that contribute greatly to feelings of euphoria. Registered dietician Rick Hall, an advisory board member of the Arizona Governor's Council on Health, Physical Fitness, and Sports says "There is no better feeling than raising your hands as you cross the finish line of a 26.2 mile course to the sound of hundreds of spectators cheering.


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Orlando Chiropractor|Overview of Mineral Nutrients
8/14/13
No one should underestimate the importance of getting adequate minerals in our daily diet. Composed of metals and other inorganic compounds, minerals are just as important as vitamins when it comes to the proper functioning of the human body's systems. And since the body cannot produce its own minerals, we must get them from the food we eat.

While many common minerals, such as calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium are required in larger amounts, others are only necessary in trace amounts. However, modern farming practices have depleted the soil of some of these important trace minerals, resulting in a greater risk of mineral deficiencies in the overall population. A 1992 study found that the mineral content of soil in the U.S. was 86% lower than it had been a century before.

Minerals are needed in order for our body's enzymes to work and to facilitate the transport of nutrients across cell membranes. Without minerals, our cells would essentially starve. Minerals are responsible for proper conduction of nerve impulses, for the contraction and relaxation of muscle tissue, and they help regulate tissue growth.
Following is a short overview of some of the most important minerals for our health:
* Calcium supports bone formation, muscles, the heart and the digestive system. A persistent feeling of "pins and needles" may indicate a calcium deficiency. Other symptoms include rashes and muscle cramps. Magnesium is necessary for the proper absorption of calcium.
* Copper helps the intestines in the absorption of iron from food. Copper deficiency sometimes leads to anemia, as low copper intake makes iron absorption far more difficult.
* Iodine is key to the production of thyroid hormones, particularly thyroxine. Seafood and seaweed are the best sources of iodine. In areas where seafood is scarce, governments often add iodine to salt or other foods. Iodine deficiency can cause goiter and mental problems.
* Iron is particularly important to red blood cells, as it allows our blood to transport oxygen. Insufficiency iron in the diet leads to anemia, whereas too much iron can cause serious liver problems.
* Magnesium is used mainly by the bones and teeth. Although it is necessary for calcium absorption, many people do not get enough of this mineral. Low levels of magnesium can cause weakness and muscle cramps, and a severe deficiency can cause cardiac arrhythmia.
* Manganese is used for enzyme production, and is also important for wound healing. Those with low levels of manganese heal very slowly.
* Molybdenum is needed in trace amounts for the development of the nervous system, waste processing by the kidneys, and cellular energy production.
* Phosphorus is a major component of teeth and bones and plays a key role in the body's system of energy storage. It is also integral to many of the body's chemical reactions.
* Potassium works with sodium in the regulation of the body's energy supply. It also supports the nervous and digestive systems. Muscle cramps and high blood pressure are the most common deficiency symptoms.
* Selenium is most important for the health of the thyroid gland, the heart and cartilage. Low levels of selenium can lead to thyroid disease.
* Sodium helps to regulate the body's energy supply and supports the nervous and digestive systems. Too little sodium can cause headaches, nausea and confusion, whereas too much sodium causes weakness, lethargy and edema.
* Zinc is important for the production of healthy sperm and is necessary for several liver functions. A lack of zinc causes sensory problems as well as hair loss and skin lesions.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Should You Get a Radon Detector for Your Home?
8/14/13
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), almost one out of every 15 homes in the United States has elevated levels of radon. Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is the result of the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. It is undetectable to humans without the aid of a specialized detection device. The effects of chronic radon gas inhalation are significant. The EPA estimates that about 20,000 deaths from lung cancer each year are due to radon gas inhalation, second only to the effects of cigarette smoking.
Radon rises up from the ground and seeps into your home via small cracks and holes in the foundation. No matter the age or condition of your home, radon can seep into it through gaps around service pipes, cracks in solid floors and walls, through construction joints and even through the water supply. Elevated levels of radon have been found in homes in every state in the U.S. The EPA advises that every home be tested for radon below the third floor.
Luckily, radon testing is relatively simple and inexpensive, particularly with a do-it-yourself testing kit that can be purchased online or at a home improvement store. For a little more money, you can hire a professional radon detection service that will measure the radon levels in your home and provide solutions for bringing radon down to a safe level. Radon in the air is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). Any measurement below 4 pCi/L is considered to pose a low level of risk.
There are two different types of radon tests you can perform: short-term and long-term. Short-term tests last between two and 90 days, depending on the test. A long-term test remains in your home for over 90 days. As radon levels fluctuate throughout the year, a short-term test may not give you an accurate measurement of your annual radon exposure. However, the EPA recommends that you start with a short-term test. It this first test detects a radon level at or above 4 pCi/L, a second short-term test or a long-term test is used for confirmation. If the level of radon detected is particularly high on the first test, it is best that the second test is short-term in case action needs to be taken quickly. Otherwise, a long-term test will provide you with a more accurate measurement.
If your home has high levels of radon, the EPA recommends that you hire a certified contractor who specializes in radon mitigation, since reducing radon levels requires special skills, technical knowledge and equipment. The size of your home and the type of foundation will determine the kind of radon mitigation system that will likely work best in your situation. While the cost of radon mitigation averages about $1,200, the reduced risk of lung cancer for you and your family is certainly worth it!

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Can I Do to Make My Chiropractic Treatments Even More Effective?
8/14/13
A regular visit to your chiropractor is one of the best things you can do to eliminate chronic back and neck pain and to maintain flexibility and range of motion. Your chiropractor will design a treatment plan specific to your particular needs that will include not only chiropractic adjustments, but also suggestions for appropriate exercises and nutritional changes you can make that will enhance the effectiveness of your treatments. There are a few things that everyone can do to make their chiropractic treatments even more effective.
Be specific about your symptoms - In order for your chiropractor to recommend the most effective therapy or combination of therapies for your particular situation, you need to be as specific as possible about your symptoms. Since chiropractic is a holistic form of healing (meaning that all aspects of a person's health and lifestyle are taken into consideration when developing a treatment plan), it's important to mention every symptom you have. This is true even if you feel that some of your symptoms may be unrelated or insignificant. Based on what you tell your chiropractor as well as diagnostic tests performed in the office, he or she will be able to decide which types of treatment may be most appropriate for your condition. Treatment plans may include chiropractic adjustments, joint mobilization, soft tissue techniques, therapeutic exercise and nutritional changes as well as other types of specialized therapies.
Keep moving - One of the main aims of chiropractic care is to maintain flexibility and range of motion. As the old saying goes, "Use it or lose it." Chiropractic has been shown to be most effective when combined with regular exercise, and the effects of treatment last longer. Muscle strengthening and stretching exercises will provide the necessary support to the spine that will help to keep it from going out of alignment as easily. By following your chiropractor's exercise suggestions between adjustments, your function will be restored more quickly, and you will gain confidence in your ability to move in ways that would have been too painful before your chiropractic treatment. With your newly enhanced flexibility, try to get out on a walk, hike or bike ride.
Consider massage - Therapeutic massage is often used in conjunction with chiropractic care. It shares with chiropractic the desire to enhance the circulation of blood and fluids and to restore the free flow of nerve impulses. Massage can break up adhesions in the fascia that keep your muscles from moving properly. Massage can also help to release muscle tension and warm up the areas around a spinal subluxation, making your joints more pliable and easier to adjust. However, keep in mind that not all chiropractors agree about the relative benefits massage before an adjustment. Some chiropractors prefer to get an accurate picture of your normal physiological state prior to performing an adjustment, so be sure to check with your own chiropractor before having a pre-adjustment massage.
Incorporating these suggestions into your regular chiropractic treatment regime can help you to make the most of each adjustment and make a significant impact on your quality of life.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Should You Get a Radon Detector for Your Home?
8/13/13
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), almost one out of every 15 homes in the United States has elevated levels of radon. Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is the result of the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. It is undetectable to humans without the aid of a specialized detection device. The effects of chronic radon gas inhalation are significant. The EPA estimates that about 20,000 deaths from lung cancer each year are due to radon gas inhalation, second only to the effects of cigarette smoking.
Radon rises up from the ground and seeps into your home via small cracks and holes in the foundation. No matter the age or condition of your home, radon can seep into it through gaps around service pipes, cracks in solid floors and walls, through construction joints and even through the water supply. Elevated levels of radon have been found in homes in every state in the U.S. The EPA advises that every home be tested for radon below the third floor.
Luckily, radon testing is relatively simple and inexpensive, particularly with a do-it-yourself testing kit that can be purchased online or at a home improvement store. For a little more money, you can hire a professional radon detection service that will measure the radon levels in your home and provide solutions for bringing radon down to a safe level. Radon in the air is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). Any measurement below 4 pCi/L is considered to pose a low level of risk.
There are two different types of radon tests you can perform: short-term and long-term. Short-term tests last between two and 90 days, depending on the test. A long-term test remains in your home for over 90 days. As radon levels fluctuate throughout the year, a short-term test may not give you an accurate measurement of your annual radon exposure. However, the EPA recommends that you start with a short-term test. It this first test detects a radon level at or above 4 pCi/L, a second short-term test or a long-term test is used for confirmation. If the level of radon detected is particularly high on the first test, it is best that the second test is short-term in case action needs to be taken quickly. Otherwise, a long-term test will provide you with a more accurate measurement.
If your home has high levels of radon, the EPA recommends that you hire a certified contractor who specializes in radon mitigation, since reducing radon levels requires special skills, technical knowledge and equipment. The size of your home and the type of foundation will determine the kind of radon mitigation system that will likely work best in your situation. While the cost of radon mitigation averages about $1,200, the reduced risk of lung cancer for you and your family is certainly worth it!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Better Workouts in Less Time
8/13/13
Almost everyone is pressed for time these days, and squeezing a workout into your day is often not easy to do. However, it is possible to learn some ways of exercising more efficiently so you get a better workout in less time. Following are a few tips on getting the most out of your workouts.
Exercise both your upper and lower body at the same time - This allows you to not only save time, but also burn more calories. Use hand-held weights and pump your arms hard while running and walking, or use a rowing machine that causes you to give both upper and lower body a good workout.
Do high-intensity interval training - Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, found that shorter but more intense workouts were far more effective than longer workouts of lower intensity. Professor Martin Gibala was the lead author of a two-week study that analyzed the workouts of healthy middle-aged men who performed six sessions of high-intensity interval training for 20 minutes each. Each session consisted of 10 intervals at 90 percent intensity lasting one minute each, with a minute of rest between each interval. The results matched or were better than those from participants who practiced traditional aerobic exercise for longer lengths of time.
Gibala says, "The participants showed dramatic improvement in their exercise capacity. Before, maybe they could ride a bike pretty intensely for 25 minutes. After those two weeks, they could ride it for 50 minutes." Some exercises that lend themselves well to this type of training are the elliptical machine, rowing machine, bicycling and sprinting. Do one minute of intense exercise at 90 percent of your capacity for one minute, then rest for one minute. Repeat this sequence ten times for a 20-minute workout and you're done!
Vary your workouts - Studies have shown that the body becomes more efficient at a particular type of exercise if it is done repeatedly, so if you want to burn more calories, vary the exercises you do. Physical trainer Dino Novak says, "When the body is doing a set rhythm, it expends less energy than when it's forced into multiple movements." He advises, "For example, instead of just going for a run, do sprints -- and then stop, start, turn, twist. Add motion and movement into your activity and you'll literally keep your body expending the maximum energy."
Listen to fast music - According to the results of a study performed by scientists at the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, subjects who listened to fast music while working out pedaled an exercise bicycle faster and achieved a faster heart rate than when they listened to slow music. So crank up the tunes!

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Orlando Chiropractic|The Role of Sodium in Your Diet
8/13/13
Most people get far too much sodium in their diet. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the adult intake of sodium averaged 3,466 mg per day. Perhaps even more disturbingly, children were not far behind at a daily 3,387 mg. Both of these numbers have become cause for concern in the healthcare community because they are considerably higher than the government's recommended daily intake of 2,300 mg. The high intake of sodium can cause high blood pressure and raise your risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Nevertheless, eating too little salt can be just as bad.
A Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study found that low-salt diets are not only ineffective in preventing high blood pressure, but they may also make it more likely for people on the diet to die from a stroke or heart attack. Similar findings appeared in a 2006 study that was published in the American Journal of Medicine, in which a low-salt diet was associated with a significant increase in the rate of heart attacks. In addition, scientists found that restricting sodium may encourage insulin resistance, thus increasing the risk of diabetes.
However, there are some populations that do need to maintain a sodium intake as low as about 1500mg per day. This includes children, the elderly and anyone with hypertension or heart disease. Considering the excessive amounts of sodium in the typical American diet, this may be much more difficult than it seems.
Most American diets (and increasingly those in the rest of the developed world) consist of processed food and meals from fast food restaurants, which is where the majority of dietary sodium can be found. Interestingly, only about 10% of our daily intake of sodium originates from the salt shaker on the table or in home cooking. Manufacturers add sodium to processed foods in order to increase flavor and extend shelf life.
Most of the sodium found in prepared foods is pure sodium chloride, which is essentially the same as refined table salt, only food manufacturers use larger amounts of it. All salt originates from evaporated seawater, which consists mostly of sodium chloride. But seawater that has simply been evaporated also leaves behind trace elements of other important minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium that processing strips away. The refining process not only removes important trace elements, traces of other substances are added during the refining process, such as ammonium citrate, sodium ferrocyanide, aluminum silicate and bleaching agents.

Sodium, in combination with the important minerals mentioned above, is vital to the body's proper functioning, allowing our muscles to move and our hearts to keep beating. It also helps the body maintain a healthy balance of fluids and allows us to think clearly. If we sweat to the point of dehydration, it is important not only to take in enough water, but to take in some salt as well in order to replace lost electrolytes.
So you want to be sure to keep your intake of salt within recommended limits, while using salt that has been processed as little as possible. Unrefined sea salt (particularly Celtic sea salt, gray salt and Himalayan sea salt) contains up to 90 different trace elements. Also, unrefined salt contains less sodium (typically 85%-90% as opposed to 98%) and tastes far more flavorful, allowing you to use less of it for the same effect.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Look Who Else Uses Chiropractic: Professional Tennis Players
8/13/13
There are about 800 professional tennis players in the U.S. who regularly play in competitions sanctioned by the US Tennis Association (USTA). Dr. David E. Stude, a chiropractor and professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota, estimates that up to 65 percent of them suffer at least one tennis-related injury. Although tennis elbow gets the most press among tennis-related injuries, chiropractors assert that they actually see more injuries to the lower extremities, as these are the areas that absorb the force created by the arm swinging the racket. Tightness in the shoulder blades of professional tennis players can lead to muscle pain and headaches, which chiropractic care can help to relieve.
Many professional tennis players make sure a chiropractor is available to them during tournaments to help keep them in top shape throughout a game that can sometimes last for several hours. Some of the top tennis players in the world are regularly treated by a chiropractor, including Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray said of his chiropractor, "Jean-Pierre (Bruyere) has been helping my game for years."
At the 2011 Men's US Open Tennis Championship, Serbian player Novak Djokovic was battling Rafael Nadal in the final. During the last set, he was experiencing enough lumbar pain to ask for a 10-minute medical time-out, during which he received chiropractic treatment. He walked back onto the court a renewed man, and went on to win the set and the championship.
According to Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam Women's Tennis champion, "Chiropractic gives me the flexibility I need to keep me in the game."
Ivan Lendl, a former number-one ranked tennis player and winner of eight Grand Slam singles titles, believes in the power of chiropractic care. He said, "I feel that chiropractic adjustments help to prevent injury.... I try to go twice a week to a chiropractor, sometimes even more during big tournaments. I feel I am much more tuned-up with an adjustment. I support chiropractic very much. I think it is great for sports. I think it's great for anyone!"
Retired professional tennis player and coach Martina Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam singles titles during her career, and believes chiropractic helped her to achieve this. Navratilova said, "A chiropractor was instrumental in putting my body back together. Alternative therapies will play a bigger role in our lives. After all, people like what works."
More professional tennis players are getting on board with chiropractic each year, following in the footsteps of such greats as Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Tracy Austin and Billie Jean King, all of whom have enjoyed the advantage that chiropractic care brought to their game. It may help to improve your game too!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Is Organic Food Really More Nutritious?
8/13/13
There is no question that organic food costs more than conventionally grown food, and organic has long been out of reach for many consumers due to higher prices at the market. But if you have the money to fork out, is the extra that you are spending worth it? The bottom line is that it depends to some extent on the reason why you are buying organic in the first place. If it is because you believe it is more nutritious, then recent research suggests that you may just as well buy conventionally grown produce. But if you are concerned about pesticide intake and conventionally grown agriculture's effect on the environment, in addition to avoiding GMOs (genetically modified organisms), then your money is well spent.
A recent meta-study performed by researchers at California's Stanford University published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that their analysis of 223 studies performed on food evaluating nutrient and contamination levels "lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods." However, they did conclude that "Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria." Only 17 of the included studies had been performed on humans, the longest of these lasting for only two years. The long-term effect of one type of food compared with another has yet to be established.
There have been many criticisms of this study, one of the most relevant being that researchers did not define what they meant by "significant" in terms of health benefits. In terms of detectible pesticide residues, conventional produce had an average of 38%, and conventionally grown produce, 7%. However, the researchers did not take into account the type of pesticides and their individual impact on health. It's also important to note that the amount of pesticide contamination is not the only factor to be considered. Charles Benbrook, from the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University says, "Pesticide dietary risk is a function of many factors, including the number of residues, their levels, and pesticide toxicity."
In fact, studies that have followed young children from the earliest days of their mothers' pregnancies through the first few years of childhood have found that exposure to pesticide residues from the beginning of pregnancy can have a significant effect on a child's development. The children of women who consumed organic food during pregnancy and who ate it throughout childhood had a lower risk of birth defects, eczema, autism, learning and neurobehavioral problems.
Benbrook's commentary letter on the study, also published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, stated that "I recently completed an assessment of relative pesticide health risks from residues in six important fruits-strawberries, apples, grapes, blueberries, pears, and peaches. Using the latest data from USDA's Pesticide Data Program (USDA, 2012) on these foods, I found that the overall pesticide risk level in the conventional brands was 17.5 times higher than in the organic brands.... The differences translate into a 94% reduction in health risk from the selection of organic brands."
Essentially, it's what you are not getting in your organic produce that you are paying extra for. If your budget is limited, it might pay to take some time to discover which items of produce are likely to be highest in pesticide residues and buy organic forms of that produce. The rest of your produce can be conventionally grown, and there are many local farmers who basically grow their crops in an organic manner but are not certified, which can save you some money.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Anger and Your Health
8/13/13
Emotions can have a powerful influence on our health, and anger may be one of the most destructive emotions we have. The results of a meta-analysis of 44 studies that was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that individuals who were initially healthy but who experienced anger on a regular basis had a greater risk of heart disease. They also found that angry subjects who already had heart disease had worse outcomes.
Moderate amounts of anger from time to time do not adversely affect health, and experts agree that bottling up anger is just as destructive to our health as ranting and raging. Intense anger experienced on a frequent basis, however, is another matter.
Dr. Laura Kubzansky, MPH, who is an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, has studied the effects of emotions and stress on cardiovascular disease. She said, "Being able to tell people that you're angry can be extremely functional." But those who rage at others and who throw things or hit walls may have an increased risk of heart disease, as may people who suppress their rage. Kubzansky says, "Either end of the continuum is problematic."
Scientists believe that it is the release of stress hormones in response to anger that damages the cardiovascular system. Intense anger floods the body with adrenaline and cortisol, which can cause wear and tear on the cardiovascular system when it becomes a chronic condition. Anger can also increase the risk of atherosclerosis. Anger causes the heart to pump harder, raises blood pressure, constricts blood vessels and releases higher levels of glucose into the blood, which can cause damage to the walls of your arteries in the form of fatty plaque buildup.
The continual flow of stress hormones can lead to other health problems as well, such as increased anxiety, depression, insomnia, digestive problems, headaches, skin problems and stroke. Learning how to manage your anger appropriately can lead to positive improvements in your health.
Both explosions of anger and repressing anger are damaging to yourself and others. However, there are constructive ways of dealing with rage that can provide you with a safe and healthy outlet for your feelings:
* Accept that you feel angry - Many people keep their anger under wraps because they believe it is "bad" to feel that way, or perhaps they have experienced anger from a parent or spouse and have vowed they will never be like that. Feeling anger is perfectly normal, and expressing it in a healthy way is not destructive to you or to others.
* Take time out - If you feel that you are losing control of your anger, remove yourself from the situation for a while until you calm down. Take slow, deep breaths and go for a walk, if possible.
* Get regular exercise - Exercising or practicing a sport is a great way to release steam and keep your emotions at a more even level.
* Learn to relax - Consider taking a class in yoga and/or meditation to help you achieve a greater state of overall calm.
* Talk to someone - Discussing your feelings of anger with a counselor or therapist is a good way of addressing underlying issues that may be contributing to your feelings of anger.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Close-Up on Active Workstations
8/13/13
The health hazards inherent in sitting for hours at a time are becoming increasingly well documented, even if those hours are sandwiched between bouts of serious exercise. Long time periods spent sitting increase your risk of chronic neck and back pain, obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Two recent studies published in The British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that the more time subjects spent sitting, the shorter their lifespan, regardless of if they exercised regularly. So what is an office worker who is required to spend hours at a desk to do? One option that has been gaining some followers is to use "active workstations."
Mayo Clinic researcher Dr. James A. Levine has been studying the effects of inactivity for 15 years, beginning at a time when this area of research was something of a novelty. "But it's totally mainstream now. There's been an explosion of research in this area, because the health care cost implications are so enormous," Levine says.
Active workstations allow you to stand and sometimes even walk while working at your computer. Another popular item is the inflatable "stability ball," which is similar to an exercise ball. When the user sits on it, the effort to remain upright and stable on the ball theoretically keeps the muscles of the back and abdomen more active than when sitting in a chair.
There is now more demand for workstations that adjust to accommodate the worker either sitting or standing. Some have even been developed with a treadmill so you can walk while writing the annual report. There has been a fivefold increase in sales over the past five years in adjustable desks and treadmill desks, according to manufacturer Steelcase, which caters to the high end of the workstation market.
While active workstations may help to get you moving, they have their downsides as well. One is the increased levels of inaccuracy that show up in the work you are doing. Eleven medical transcriptionists were observed during a 2011 Mayo Clinic study to determine the benefits of active workstations. The researchers found that accuracy and typing speed were 16% lower when walking than when sitting. Another study performed by researchers at the University of Tennessee found that cognitive function such as problem solving and fine motor skills such as dragging and dropping and clicking with a computer mouse deteriorated by 11% while walking on a treadmill. And of workers who stand all day, 83% have a greater risk of chronic vein problems.
Many workers report low back pain from both the treadmill and stability ball. A 2009 Dutch study found that while the stability ball produced 33% more "trunk motion," it also produced a greater amount of compression to the vertebrae. In addition, a similar British study found that those who used a stability ball had no better posture than fellow workers who sat in a chair all day.
Here's the good news. You don't need an active workstation to reduce the number of hours of continual sitting you do. It's relatively easy to incorporate more movement into your everyday work activities. For example, put your wastebasket on the opposite side of the room, use a cordless phone so you can walk around while talking, walk over to a colleague's desk instead of calling them on the phone or sending an e-mail, or even just do a few stretches at your desk. This will increase the benefits you get from movement without the downsides of using an active workstation.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Are Bones Made and How Do They Grow?
8/13/13
Each of the 206 bones in your body is constantly undergoing a process of breakdown and renewal, even if you have never suffered a broken bone in your life. Your entire skeleton is completely replaced approximately every 10 years. The construction of bone tissue begins when we are a fetus in the womb, and continues until we die. Our genetics and both the nutrients we receive before we are born and those we get through our diet in our youth have a major influence on the strength and endurance of our skeletal system.
Fetal cartilage is the precursor to bone growth, and is transformed into bone in a process called ossification. The fetal cartilage attracts the minerals calcium and phosphorus, which cover the cartilage cells. The fetal cartilage cells soon die off, leaving small holes through which blood vessels can grow. Osteoblasts, the specialized cells responsible for bone growth, travel to the developing bone via these tiny blood vessels. There they produce the collagen fibers that are the structure over which bone is formed, and attract the calcium with which the fibers are covered. Osteoblasts eventually transform into osteocytes, which become part of the calcium mix that helps to reinforce the collagen fibers and strengthen the bone.
Osteoclasts are the cells responsible for breaking down and removing old bone tissue, leaving small chambers that allow marrow to form. The small holes osteoclasts create are why this particular part of the bone is called spongy bone. Although it is hard, spongy bone resembles a common kitchen sponge. In our youth, the osteoblasts outnumber the osteoclasts, so we have a net gain of bone growth. This is when the growth of bone is referred to as modeling. Bone continues to grow until approximately our mid-20s, at which point we have reached our greatest bone density.
From our mid-20s on, our bones are in a constant process of remodeling. At this point, the osteoblasts can no longer keep up with the osteoclasts. While bone is continually being rebuilt, no supplemental bone is being added, so we can begin to lose bone density. Even though our bodies no longer add to our stock of spongy bone tissue after our mid-20s, we can still continue to add bone to the outer layer of our bones, called compact bone. Compact bone accounts for about 80 percent of our bone mass and protects the more fragile spongy bone inside. Although compact bone is considerably denser than spongy bone, it still has tiny channels for blood vessels and nerves to pass through.
Our spongy bone is filled with two types of marrow, red and yellow. Red bone marrow is responsible for the creation of our red and white blood cells and the platelets that are necessary for clotting in order to stop bleeding when we are injured. Yellow bone marrow consists mostly of fat cells and is more common in our long bones, such as the femur.
A healthy diet with adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K, along with a little regular weight-bearing exercise, will help ensure that you maintain the greatest bone density possible as you age, and will help protect against the danger of fractures due to osteoporosis.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Look Who Else Uses Chiropractic: Elite Gymnasts
8/13/13
Gymnastics is among the most difficult sports and among the most demanding in terms of stresses placed on the body's musculoskeletal system. Both overuse injuries and acute injuries are common among these athletes due to the enormous strain placed on the joints, tendons and ligaments. Gymnastics is the second-leading cause of traumatic sports injuries in female athletes (just behind cheerleading), according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. This may be due to the increasing level of competition and the more advanced (and riskier) acrobatics that come with it. A significant amount of force is placed on the spine in the many bends, flips and twists that gymnastics involves. Chiropractic care has helped many gymnasts recover from injuries far more quickly than with conventional care alone, returning them speedily to competition.
McKayla Maroney, the 2011 World Vault Champion, had been injured during the pre-Olympic trials in June 2012 during a pre-meet warm-up. She had landed on her back during a flip, hitting her head hard enough to receive a concussion and fracture her nasal bone. She had to get approval from the Olympic medical board to be allowed to compete in the national team trials. The day before her assessment, she was treated by chiropractic neurologist, Dr. Shad Groves, who assessed her neurological function and performed targeted neurological treatments to restore McKayla's equilibrium. Despite the post-injury problems she had sustained, including problems with eye-tracking, muscle weakness and lack of balance, the Olympic medical board evaluation the day after her treatment by Dr. Groves found normal balance, improvements in her muscle strength, and no eye-tracking problems. She successfully completed the Olympic team trials and went on to become one of the five gymnasts to be included on the U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team, going on to win a silver medal on vault at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and helping her team win gold.
McKayla's mother, Erin Maroney, said of her daughter's chiropractic care, "My daughter, McKayla, is an elite gymnast and spends 8 hours per day in the gym 6 days per week. She was constantly in pain due to the rigorous exercise and injuries, which are common at this level of gymnastics competition. [Chiropractor] Dr. Armstrong uses low-force chiropractic, nutrition, and Class IV Laser Therapy when treating McKayla and our family. The results are simply incredible!"
Kyla Ross, another member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team who also placed first in the all-around at the 2009 Visa Championships, is another enthusiastic chiropractic patient who is treated by Dr. Armstrong. Kyla's mother, Kiana Ross, says, "Kyla was having constant pain in both heels and had been misdiagnosed by several doctors over the course of 2 1/2 years. None of these doctors could find the cause of Kyla's problem. During her initial examination, Dr. Armstrong immediately found that Kyla had a spinal cord impingement in her lower back that was causing her heel pain. He was able to relieve the pain after a couple of visits with chiropractic and the K-Laser and the pain never returned."
Gymnasts both male and female can benefit from regular chiropractic care. Your chiropractor can keep your body in alignment and treat any misalignments before they become a problem and interfere with your performance.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Do Multivitamins Reduce Heart Attack Risk?
8/13/13
Some past research had suggested that vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin D may be helpful in preventing the development of cardiovascular disease. This led to many people adopting the use of a daily multivitamin as a precaution against suffering a heart attack. Over half of the American population takes at least one vitamin regularly, and approximately 40 percent report taking a multivitamin every day. However, recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has indicated that multivitamins are not effective in reducing the risk of heart attack in men.
The National Institutes of Health funded the Physicians Health Study II, which involved following 14,641 male physicians, ages 50 and older, for over 11 years on average. When the study began, over 700 subjects already had heart disease. Half were given a daily multivitamin to take, and the other half were given an identical-looking placebo.
During the course of the study, researchers recorded any cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart attack and death from heart disease. Both groups showed similar numbers of cardiovascular events and although there were slightly fewer deaths related to heart attack, the difference was not statistically significant.
It's worth mentioning that there were a number of drawbacks to the choice of subjects for this study. The study participants were all physicians, who tend to be healthier, wealthier and more educated on average, so scientists cannot know if multivitamins may be of benefit to those who do not have those advantages. Physicians are among the people least likely to be suffering from a vitamin deficiency. Additionally, this study was performed exclusively on men, so how women may react to taking a daily multivitamin is unknown.
One issue discussed widely by researchers in their observations about multivitamins is that many people use them in place of making healthy lifestyle choices. In an editorial related to the study, Dr. Eva Lonn, professor of cardiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, said, "Many people with heart disease risk factors or previous [cardiovascular disease] events lead sedentary lifestyles, eat processed or fast foods, continue to smoke, and stop taking lifesaving prescribed medications, but purchase and regularly use vitamins and other dietary supplements, in the hope that this approach will prevent a future [heart attack] or stroke." Howard Sesso, an author of the study and associate professor at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston said, "Many people take vitamins as a crutch. There's no substitute for a heart-healthy diet and exercise."
The researchers did not find any evidence that multivitamins were detrimental to heart health and they stressed that their study only examined the effect of multivitamins on cardiovascular disease. Multivitamins may be useful in guarding against other diseases such as cancer and osteoporosis. However, your best bet for optimal heart health is doing as the researchers suggested by eating a healthy diet and getting a sufficient amount of regular exercise. That is the surest way to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic and Addiction
8/12/13
It is ironic that chiropractic-a health care methodology that is committed to being drug-free-is being utilized more and more as an effective treatment for the ravages of addiction. Addiction is a major public health problem these days, with the National Institutes for Health (NIH) estimating that 15% of Americans can be classified as "problem drinkers" or alcoholics, and that 1 in 10 Americans are either addicted to or in recovery from the use of illegal drugs. And the problem of drug addiction is far from being limited to illegal drugs; the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that millions of Americans meet abuse or dependence criteria for prescription opioids and painkillers used to treat their chronic pain. Add to alcohol and drugs other mainstream sources of addiction (smoking and gambling for example), and it becomes quite clear that addiction is a broad problem that negatively affects the lives of those addicted and their families as well as society at large.
Let's talk for a minute just about substance abuse. Whether the source of the addiction is alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs the reasons people have for taking them in the first place are remarkably consistent, and based on feelings of dis-ease. People are in such pain - physical pain as the result of injury or disease, or emotional pain as the result of psychological trauma or mental illness - that they turn to these addictive substances to dull their ever-present pain and just "get through the day." And while there are conditions for which powerful opioid painkillers can be legitimately prescribed, the continued use of them can be as debilitating as the illegal drugs, and can wreak havoc on people's overall physical and mental health.
Chiropractic care is increasingly being shown to be remarkably effective at eliminating the dependency that such individuals have on these addictive substances, and at helping them to live alcohol- and drug-free lives. Chiropractic does this by often eliminating some or all of the chronic pain that caused the person to resort to drugs or alcohol in the first place, easing the levels of physical aches and pains that cause a person to crave prescription medication or seek to self-medicate.
But because chiropractic care is above all holistic and designed to improve all aspects of a person's life simultaneously, chiropractic treatment can also relieve psychological pain and mental distress, and enable people to re-achieve a sense of well-being. On a physical level, the spinal adjustment received during chiropractic care have been shown to release endorphins and other "feel good" chemicals in the brain, and thus to directly improve the sense of well-being. When the spine is in proper alignment, powerful chemicals known as neurotransmitters are released in their intended order and amount, resulting in positive mental states. One recent study published in the journal Medical Psychiatry found that when a 30-day addiction recovery program was supplemented with frequent chiropractic adjustments, the subjects achieved an unprecedented 100% success rate with the program.
Chiropractic care is safe, effective, and long-lasting, helping people's bodies to heal in a holistic manner. Having this alternative means that they don't need to resort to the use of prescription drugs, alcohol or illegal drugs to suppress their pain and feelings of dis-ease. So if you or someone you know and love is struggling with addiction issues of any kind, please look into the benefits that professional chiropractic care could bring to their recovery.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is Myofascial Tissue?
8/12/13
Myofascial tissue is a type of thin, strong, fibrous connective tissue that extends throughout your body to provide support and protection to your muscles and bones. Myofascial tissue fibers are made up of collagen and elastin fibers that are arranged in a web-like structure and that are suspended in a fluid called ground substance. With a tensile strength of more than 2000 pounds, it provides a strong support for the muscles, while at the same time allowing for flexibility. You can think of myofascial tissue as being similar to a mesh bag that contains your groceries. It is pliable, and can expand and contract as the contents of the bag change. It envelops your body like a wet suit, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.
Dr. Janet Travell first used the term myofascial in the 1940s in reference to problems with musculoskeletal pain and what are called trigger points. Travell is the author of Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, a seminal reference work for practitioners of trigger point therapy. Myofascial release involves the use of a practitioner's elbows, knuckles or other tools to slowly stretch out the tightened myofascial tissue, thus removing knots and adhesions.
Healthy myofascial tissue is soft and relaxed, however, trauma and inflammation to the tissue can cause it to become tight and more rigid, and knots or adhesions can develop in the tissue that can cause a restriction in motion and lead to the development of "trigger points" that can cause pain anywhere in the body. Chronic neck and back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, difficulty breathing and reduced flexibility may all be due to a problem in the myofascial tissue.
Trauma from whiplash, a fall, the effects of surgery or chronic bad posture are some of the things that can contribute to myofascial pain syndrome. But it's not just physical stress such as injury and illness that can cause the myofascial tissues to tighten. Emotional stress can have the same effect. This tightening can cause increased pressure on the muscles, nerves and organs that leads to chronic pain.
Many chiropractors are trained in myofascial release therapy, which can relieve pain from many conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, headaches and fibromyalgia. They will stretch and loosen the tightened fascia that are restricting blood flow to the area, which will increase circulation and lymphatic drainage and take the pressure off nerves that have been compressed at trigger points.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Look Who Else Uses Chiropractic: Professional Football
8/12/13
Professional football teams recognize the value that having regular chiropractic care affords their players. All of the 32 teams in the National Football League (NFL) use the services of a chiropractor for treating and preventing injuries to team members.
Dr. Spencer H. Baron, a team chiropractor for the Miami Dolphins and past president of the Professional Football Chiropractic Society, said, "The robust need for chiropractic care in the NFL has been deeply driven by the players' desire for peak physical conditioning and not simply for injuries. From the earliest years of full contact football, their bodies are subject to structural stress that doctors of chiropractic are specially trained to care for. Many DCs who provide their services to professional athletes travel with their respective teams throughout the season, treating players up until game time, during the game and sometimes immediately following."
A number of professional football players are staunch advocates for chiropractic care and the ability it gives them to perform at their peak.
Emmitt Smith, a former NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals and NFL all-time record holder for rushing, dealt with a lot of hamstring problems during a tough season in 1994. He related how he had some difficult questions to answer: "'Do I need to get more rest? Do I need to eat better? Do I need a little more training? How can I take care of my body better? Do I need to find a Chiropractor?' It was time for me to invest in me." Smith added, "I found a specialist that's really good in balancing out my body to make sure my hips are rotated right, and my body is functioning properly."
Smith continued, "I remember somebody telling me that what I put myself in during the games is like having a car wreck every Sunday. It's against the norm. You can find yourself in awkward positions. That stuff takes its toll. But if you take advantage of the health care, balance your body back out, put it back where it's supposed to be, you function better, and you recover faster." He said about chiropractic, "You can have a Ferrari body, but your wheels need balancing. I felt if I took care of my body, I could still function when I got older."
Chiropractic apparently served Smith well in helping him maintain function and flexibility, because after his retirement in 2004 he went on to win the third season of Dancing With the Stars, teamed with professional dancer Cheryl Burke.
Other professional footballers have expressed their appreciation for chiropractic care as well. Joe Montana, who possesses three Super Bowl MVPs and was named Player of the Year in 1990, was so appreciative of chiropractic that he agreed to become the spokesperson for chiropractic in the state of California, saying "Chiropractic has been a big part of my game. Chiropractic care works for me."
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore is another chiropractic devotee. He said, "Not only did my chiropractor get me back on the field, but he helped me to stay on the field. My body just feels much better overall because of the care I've gotten."
Three-time Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice, a former wide receiver with the San Francisco 49ers said, "I believe in chiropractic, and I know that it works. You probably know about my long and successful career in football. I'm flattered by the testimonials to my durability. Football is a very rough and vigorous sport. Chiropractic was the key to keeping me in the game."

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Orlando Chiropractor|Is It Really Healthier to Live in the Country?
8/12/13
Some decades ago, there was no question that living in the country was healthier than living in the city. Most cities had high levels of crime, pollution and infectious diseases, whereas the fresh country air, open spaces and lack of traffic in rural areas was considered the idyllic way to live. In certain ways, this is still true. However, many cities have cleaned up over the years and there may be real downsides to living in a remote location.
It turns out that city dwellers now tend to live lives that are both longer and healthier than their country-dwelling counterparts. According to the report County Health Rankings, which evaluates the health factors and outcomes in the US county by county, those who reside in rural areas are more likely to be sedentary, obese and smoke cigarettes than those who live in a city. Related to this are higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke in country dwellers.
On the surface, it does not seem to make a lot of sense. Surely, those who live in the country have better access to clean air, a wide range of outdoor activities, and farm-fresh foods to put on their table. However, just because there is easy access to these things does not mean that the people living there use them or can afford them.
It is true that city dwellers have to deal with higher levels of pollution and violent crime than those in the country. And they also have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases, alcoholism, depression and low birth weight babies. Nevertheless, they are less likely to suffer a premature death and rate their own overall health as better than those who live in the country rate theirs.
As much as both city and country dwellers make fun of suburbanites, those who live in the suburbs may end up having the last laugh. They have better health overall than either city or country dwellers, with less violent crime, low levels of sexually transmitted disease and higher birth weight babies.
The key factor in the rankings seems to relate to the level of education attained and the average annual household income. Average income was $53,000 in cities, $60,000 in the suburbs, and only $39,000 in most rural locations. This can make a big difference in access to health care and healthy foods. In addition, 25% of the US population lives in rural areas while only 10% of the country's physicians serve those areas.
One health benefit that still apparently still comes with living in a country setting is lower rates of allergies and asthma in children. The wider variety of microorganisms that live there helps to build a stronger immune system. City dwellers also are at greater risk of mental health problems, with 21% more anxiety disorders and 39% more mood disorders than those who live in the country. Experts believe this is due to the higher daily levels of stress that city dwellers have to deal with.
Both city and country locations have positive and negative things to recommend them. The bottom line is to live where you feel most comfortable. Some city dwellers feel incredibly uncomfortable in the country and even the sound of crickets drives them nuts. Many country dwellers could not imagine trying to live in a city. In the end, if you live in the place you feel most at home you will more likely find yourself living a happy and healthy life.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is Cupping?
8/12/13
Cupping is an ancient practice dating back to early Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures. It was one of the most popular healing methods used by the ancient Egyptians.
Cupping involves placing a heated cup, most commonly made of glass or ceramic, over a certain area of the skin to produce suction. This suction is intended to increase blood flow to the area in order to speed healing. Cupping is practiced by a variety of alternative medicine practitioners, and its effectiveness is variable, according to scientific studies.
There are two basic forms of cupping: dry cupping and wet cupping. In dry cupping, a flammable substance such as alcohol, paper or herbs, is placed in a 1- to 3-inch cup and is set on fire. The flames are extinguished, and the heated cup is immediately placed upside-down on the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it causes the skin beneath it to be suctioned. More modern cupping equipment can be used to create suction by use of a vacuum pump, thus avoiding the possible danger of burns from contact with a heated cup.
Wet cupping incorporates the practice of medicinal bleeding. A small, shallow incision or scratch is made to the skin with a scalpel before cupping, and the suction caused by the cupping helps to draw out the blood. It is a practice popular in Muslim cultures and is also commonly used in Finnish saunas.
Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) use cupping to relieve respiratory diseases such as colds, bronchitis and pneumonia, and believe it is useful in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.
A meta-analysis of cupping published in the journal PLoS One in 2012 found that cupping may be effective for certain conditions. A total of 135 studies on cupping therapy that had been published between 1992 and 2010 were reviewed by Chinese and Australian researchers. Their results showed that, when combined with other therapies such as acupuncture or medication, cupping could be effective in treating a variety of diseases. These included cervical spondylosis, herpes zoster, facial paralysis and acne.
Although cupping is a relatively safe procedure, side effects may include bruising, burns, skin infection and mild discomfort. It can best be used in combination with other holistic therapies, such as acupuncture and chiropractic. However, cupping should not be used as a substitute for conventional treatment of any condition. Researchers note that more and larger studies need to be performed in order to properly evaluate the effectiveness of cupping in the treatment of disease.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Are "Pins and Needles"?
8/12/13
Everyone has experienced the sensation of "pins and needles" in their limbs at one point or another in their lives. It is a very common occurrence characterized by a sensation of tingling, pricking, burning or numbness in the extremities, commonly referred to as having a limb that has "fallen asleep." Its medical term is paresthesia, and in most people it is a temporary condition. However, some people experience this feeling on a regular basis. This can be an indicator of several underlying medical conditions, some serious and some less so.
Pins and needles happens most often when prolonged pressure is applied to the arms or legs (such as when kneeling on the ground). This in turn applies pressure on the nerves and reduces the supply of blood to the limbs. The pressure and lack of blood inhibits the nerves from sending messages to the brain. Then when you change positions the pressure on the nerves is released and blood flow returns to normal. This results in messages from the nerves flooding the brain, causing the pricking and tingling sensation we're all familiar with.
Chronic paresthesia is due to a problem with neuron function. There can be many causes for this, ranging from a vitamin deficiency to an autoimmune disease. It can also be caused by a pinched nerve or an injury to the nerves from disease or accident. Paresthesia is common in the elderly, who often have reduced circulation in conjunction with a tendency toward vitamin B12 deficiency. As B12 must be absorbed by the gut, its absorption becomes more difficult as we age and our digestive enzymes are not as strong as they once were.
Among other conditions that a pins and needles sensation may indicate are diabetes, alcoholism, compressed nerves, carpal tunnel syndrome, spinal disc herniation, menopause, heavy metal poisoning, anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) and lupus.
The sensation of pins and needles usually goes away by itself, but if you find yourself experiencing paresthesia on a regular basis, consult with your physician. There are a range of different treatments, depending on the cause. A pinched nerve and carpal tunnel syndrome can often be effectively treated by a chiropractor. Vitamin B12 deficiency may be addressed through dietary changes, supplements or injections. Together, you and your doctor can decide upon the best course of treatment based on the specifics of your situation.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Why Does Back Pain Tend to Recur?
8/12/13
In a recent Consumer Reports survey, 88% of more than 14,000 subscribers who had lower back pain indicated that it had recurred during the prior 12 months. While other academic studies suggest that recurrence may be somewhat less widespread-perhaps affecting between a third and half of all back pain sufferers-it's very clear that many people experience back pain as a recurring problem.
Professor Doune Macdonald and fellow researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane were interested in learning why some people experienced a recurrence of their back pain while others did not. Their investigation found an association between recurrence of low back pain and altered muscle activity in the deep muscle fibers of the lumbar spine. These muscles are also referred to as your "core" muscles, the ones that are most targeted in Pilates training. Your core muscles give strength, balance and stability to the back, and consist of muscles in the lower back, abdomen and pelvis.
The most important of the core muscles for the stability of your back are the multifidus. These run along the length of the spine and help to take some of the pressure off the vertebral discs so that weight is more evenly distributed along the length of the back. When working properly, the multifidus muscles are activated even before any movement takes place, so as to protect the spine against injury from a sudden load of weight (such as when lifting a heavy box or bending over to tie your shoes).
According to a study published in the journal Pain in 2009, Macdonald and colleagues found that the multifidus muscles showed later activation in those with recurrent low back pain than in the backs of healthy subjects. Any delay in muscle activation can be a potential problem, as a sudden loading of weight on the spine when it is unprepared can lead to abnormal bending and twisting of the spine, increasing the risk of injury.
Possessing strong multifidus muscles is one of the obvious solutions to preventing the occurrence of low back pain. However, part of the problem is that once this set of muscles has been injured, the multifidus tends to atrophy due to disuse while the patient is healing. Prolonged bed rest is one of the worst ways to recover from low back pain because it encourages the multifidus to atrophy even further.
Chiropractic care that includes rehabilitation exercises and spinal adjustments has been shown to improve the function of the multifidus muscles. Your chiropractor can suggest exercises you can do at home that will strengthen your core muscles in between adjustments. The adjustments themselves will align your spine so that it functions properly and will not put excess strain on the supporting multifidus, thus reducing the likelihood of a recurrence of low back pain.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Are Food Cravings? Is Your Body Really Trying to Tell You Something?
8/12/13
For some years, researchers had believed that having cravings for a particular type of food may be an indication that you are missing a particular nutrient in your diet. For example, if you crave red meat then you may have an iron deficiency, or if you crave ice cream you must need calcium. Studies have shown, however, that cravings have nothing to do with a nutritional deficiency, but are actually caused by chemical signals in the brain. Nutritionist Karen Ansel says, "If cravings were an indicator of nutritional deficiency, we'd all crave fruits and vegetables. The fact that we all want high carb, high fat comfort foods, along with the research, is a pretty good indicator that cravings aren't related to deficiencies." Yes--it's really all in your head.
When you crave a food, the same reward centers in the brain that are responsible for drug and alcohol addiction are more active: the hippocampus (memory), the insula (emotion and perception) and the caudate (memory and learning). These areas are all very receptive to dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are responsible for feeling relaxed and calm and which spur reward-driven learning. The reason you crave things such as ice cream, potato chips and chocolate is that these items are full of fat and/or sugar. Both fat and sugar are involved in an increased production of serotonin and other chemicals that make us feel good.
There is a large societal aspect to cravings as well. For instance, women in Japan tend to crave sushi and only 6 percent of Egyptian women say they crave chocolate. Approximately half of American women claim that their cravings for chocolate reach a peak just before their period. However, research has found no correlation between fluctuations in women's hormones and cravings. In fact, postmenopausal women do not report a large reduction in cravings from their premenopausal levels.
Studies have found that the more people try to deny their cravings, the greater the craving they have for the forbidden food. Researchers suggest that it is better to give in to the craving in a controlled way rather than denying yourself altogether. Just be sure to restrict what you consume to a reasonable amount. If your dopamine receptors are constantly bombarded with high-fat and high-sugar foods (or drugs and alcohol), they shut down to prevent an overload. This makes your cravings even greater and you end up eating more in an attempt get the same reward, but you never really feel satisfied.
Exercise and distraction are two good ways to reduce food cravings. One study found that a morning workout can reduce your cravings for the whole day. Smelling a non-food item can also help. Keep a small vial of your favorite perfume with you when a craving comes on and take a whiff when the craving hits you. It will occupy the aroma receptors that are involved in food cravings.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is a "Sleep Study"?
8/12/13
Most of us have had trouble sleeping at one time or another. Under some circumstances, this is perfectly normal. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, difficulty falling asleep or sleeping poorly is a problem that needs to be addressed. Chronic sleep disorders can lead to an increase in your risk of accidents and reduced job performance. They can also increase the likelihood of developing adverse health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Your doctor may suggest that you undergo a sleep study in order to see what is at the root of your sleep problems.
Here are just a few of the problems that sleep studies are meant to diagnose:
* Sleep apnea - A condition that occurs when a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or more at a time while asleep. There may be a problem in the way brain signals are sent to the muscles responsible for breathing, or there could be some obstruction or narrowing of the breathing pathway.
* Nighttime insomnia - Possibly due to stress, hunger, depression or physical discomfort.
* Periodic limb movement disorder - Where the legs, feet or arms twitch repeatedly during sleep.
* Nighttime behavior problems - Includes sleepwalking, bedwetting and night terrors.
* Problems staying awake during the day - For example, those with narcolepsy.
* Problems sleeping during the day - If you work at night or in shifts, this can be an issue.
* Problems with your stages of sleep - Each night you should normally have four to five cycles of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). A sleep study can determine if there is an abnormality in this pattern.

There are four common types of sleep studies that may be used:
Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) - Determines how long it takes you to fall asleep and if you enter into the REM stage of sleep.
Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) - Determines if you can stay awake during your normal hours of wakefulness.
Polysomnogram - Records different body functions as you sleep, including blood levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide, eye movement, brain activity, breathing rhythm and rate, heart rhythm and rate, snoring, how air moves through your nose and mouth, belly and chest movement and general muscle movement.
Actigraphy - A device worn on the wrist similar to a watch that measures your movements both while asleep and while awake. It is used in cases where there is a problem with a person's body clock.
A sleep study is commonly performed either in a hospital's sleep lab or in a specialized facility. However, a sleep study can sometimes be performed in your home as well. Electrodes will be painlessly attached to your skin to record information as you sleep so as to determine where your sleep problem may lie. Although many people think they may not be able to sleep in such a situation, most have surprisingly little trouble falling asleep. Consult with your doctor if you think a sleep study may be of use.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is "Referred Pain"?
8/12/13
"Referred pain" can be a perplexing phenomenon for anyone who experiences it. Referred pain is what happens when you feel pain in an area of your body that is not actually the original source of the pain signals. The most common example of referred pain is when pain is felt in the left arm, neck or jaw of a person suffering a heart attack, while they often have no feelings of pain in the chest area itself.
It's important to note that referred pain is different from radiating pain, in which the pain felt in one area travels down a nerve, causing pain along the length of the nerve. This is often the case with sciatica, where pain originates in the lower back and radiates down the leg.
Researchers are still not exactly sure what causes referred pain. Some experts believe that it is due to a mix-up in nerve messaging. The central nervous system (CNS) is constantly receiving a barrage of different messages from different parts of the body. These messages may get mixed up somewhere along the path between the place where the irritated nerve is signaling and the spinal cord or brain where pain signals are processed. With an extensive network of interconnected sensory nerves that serve the same region of the body, such as the nerves of the lower back, thighs and hips, it may be more common for signals to get mixed up than you might imagine.
Although referred pain is usually felt as painful, it can also cause feelings of numbness, tingling or the sensation of pins and needles. Another example of referred pain is a tension headache, in which headache pain is due to an irritation of the nerves in the neck.
Referred pain tends not to cross sides of the body. In other words, if the pain signals are originating in the liver or gallbladder (which are on the right side of the body), you may feel pain in your right shoulder. If the signals originate in the pancreas (on the left of the body), you may feel pain in your left shoulder, etc.
Chiropractic adjustments can address the source of the referred pain, leading to long-term pain relief. Nerves in the area of the spinal cord that are irritated due to a spinal misalignment (subluxation) can be a cause of referred pain. When your chiropractor adjusts your spine, he or she removes the source of irritation, thus providing relief. Your chiropractor is knowledgeable about which tests can be performed to determine the underlying cause of your pain (whether direct or referred), and can treat it accordingly.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Look Who Else Uses Chiropractic: Professional Basketball
8/12/13
Did you know that most of the teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) now have a team chiropractor? This is because they understand the advantage that chiropractic care gives to their players in the prevention and treatment of injuries on the court.
Following are comments from some of the greatest players in basketball about what chiropractic has done for their careers and for their health.
Michael Jordan, 6-time NBA Champion, 6-Time Final MVP and 5-Time NBA MVP, said of chiropractic, "I didn't know how much I could improve until I started seeing a chiropractor. Since I've been in chiropractic, I've improved by leaps and bounds, both mentally and physically."
Derrick Rose, a former NBA all-star point guard for the Chicago Bulls who was named Most Valuable Player, is also a fan of chiropractic. Rose explained how chiropractic treatment was effective in allowing him to recover from back spasms that were severe enough to keep him off the court. In an ESPN interview, Rose said, "The whole week I was seeing a great chiropractor, (Dr.) Stuart Yoss. He did a great job on getting me back." Rose had been forced to miss five games, the most in his career, but after his chiropractic care he returned to the court in top shape.
According to Gerald Wilkins, former NBA Guard with the New York Knicks, "My shooting has improved because of chiropractic. I feel more balanced and have more coordination and control. Since I have been under chiropractic care, I have improved by leaps and bounds."
A former point guard for the Utah Jazz, John Stockton was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996. In a 2002 interview, Stockton attributed his continued success on the basketball court at the age of 40 to "a good chiropractor." Stockton said, "I'm not a good enough expert on what that (chiropractic) entails, but it's not just adjustments. It's balancing muscles and overall health. It's been great for me, and for my family."
Dr. Craig Buhler, who was the team chiropractor for the Utah Jazz for 26 years, and who treated Stockton, said "Chiropractic care helps to give a team and athlete a competitive advantage in whatever sport they participate in. Specifically, it helps to enhance endurance levels, assist in the recovery from many structural injuries and achieve overall peak performance. By including chiropractic into an athlete's regular health practices, one is able to maximize training and optimize functional balance and skill."
Buhler added, "A collaboration of several healthcare professionals is key to caring for elite sporting teams. Chiropractic is an essential component to this healthcare team and, as it continues to become more apparent, athletes are recognizing the value it has for accomplishing their goals of staying in the game and playing at their best."

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Orlando Chiropractor|Auto Accident Folklore-Being Thrown Clear and Bracing for Impact
8/12/13
You have no doubt overheard someone at work or at a party telling his friends that he never wears a seat belt-and that he has some really good reasons. The story usually goes something like this: He heard from a buddy he knows that a friend of a friend who was not wearing a seat belt had a bad car accident and walked away from it because he was thrown clear of the car. This is one of the most pervasive car safety myths out there. And if you believe this myth, you could be setting yourself up for serious injury or death.
Although there are a small handful of cases in which someone has survived a car accident after being thrown from the car, this is a very rare occurrence. In fact, you actually have a 25 percent greater chance of being killed if thrown from the car. Just consider the physics of the situation. The force applied to your body when a collision occurs can be strong enough to propel you 150 feet, which is equivalent to about 15 car lengths. And you would not just be flying gracefully through the air either. First, your body may go crashing through the windshield, it may scrape along the rough asphalt for yards, and then you could end up getting crushed by your own car or someone else's. This is not to mention the other objects you may be hurled into when flung from the car. Statistics from a study performed by researchers at James Madison University show that the proper use of a seat belt reduces serious injuries from traffic accidents by 50 percent and fatalities by 60 to 70 percent. It's a simple thing that can protect your health and save your life-wear seat belts.
Another common myth is that bracing for impact causes more damage to your body, and that it's best to remain relaxed. Of course, actually having the ability to choose one way or another about bracing has a lot to do with how much time you have before impact. Many accidents occur in the blink of an eye, so suggesting that someone should "stay relaxed" has really limited practical value. However, the most current science indicates that if you have time, bracing for impact will likely reduce the amount of injury, particularly to tendons and ligaments.
One of the most common types of injury from an auto accident is whiplash, which occurs in about a third of all collisions. If you see a car approaching in your rear view mirror that you believe is going to collide with yours, the best thing to do is to press your body against the seatback, with your head pressed firmly against the head rest. This way you are less likely to suffer injuries to the ligaments in your neck, as your head will not be slammed back against the head rest, then flung forward.
Auto accidents are never pleasant, but by knowing the facts about auto safety you can help reduce your chances of sustaining a serious injury. If you do end up in an accident, it's always a good idea to get a medical evaluation promptly, even if you think you haven't suffered any significant injuries. Many auto injuries take time for their symptoms to become apparent or significant enough for victims to recognize how badly they may have been hurt. By the time the symptoms are obvious, the victim and his or her doctor may have lost a valuable opportunity to treat the underlying injuries. Please call or visit the office if you or someone in your family has recently been involved in an auto accident.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Do Chiropractors Measure Pain?
8/12/13
Measuring the amount of pain being experienced by a patient is an essential part of chiropractic assessment prior to treatment. However, unlike objective measures such as the degree of spinal curvature or the range of joint movement, the amount of pain cannot be determined directly, but is instead inferred from the patient themselves or from signs usually associated with it. These two methods-patient self-reporting and inference by examination-are the basic tools chiropractors will use to assess a patient's pain level.
While the degree of discomfort reported by a patient is an important guide, the subjective experience of pain means that each person will have a different level at which they call pain mild, moderate or extreme. Likewise, patients will all have varying degrees of verbal and physical reactions to different levels of soreness. Taken together, however, self-reporting and examination provide a combination of evidence which can be used to determine pain levels with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
Most chiropractors treating a patient will use an assessment form that asks about the kind of problem that the patient is currently experiencing and the amount of pain it is causing. A basic diagram of the body may also be used to mark locations and levels of pain. Further questions, either in the form of a questionnaire or through a patient interview, may be asked to ascertain the frequency of pain and the nature of movements and activities that may trigger pain or worsen it.
The level of perceived discomfort is often assessed using a pain scale in which the patient is asked to assign a figure to their experience such as from 0 (no pain) to 10 (extreme pain). Although such a scale will be subjective, most patients demonstrate a good deal of internal consistency when it comes to reporting relative pain levels. This means that patient-reporting using this type of pain scale can be useful in determining whether a condition is responding to treatment over time or getting worse, as well as in determining how pain levels fluctuate over the course of a day or in response to certain kinds of activity. In addition to the simple pain scale, there are several specially designed questionnaires that are also used to assess the degree of pain and disability associated with spinal injuries, such as the Quebec Back Pain Disability Scale.
Chiropractic assessment of a patient actually begins the moment the patient walks in the door. A skilled chiropractor can tell much about a condition and how much pain someone is in by their overall posture, how they walk, facial expressions of discomfort and involuntary verbalization. While being examined, palpation and movement of problem areas will often give rise to further articulation and tensing against painful movement, which provide further clues both to the location and degree of soreness. A chiropractor may use pain scales during the examination so that patients can communicate in a more focused way how much a certain movement or palpation hurts. Marking these pain levels on a chart provides a baseline measurement that a chiropractor can use to judge the effectiveness of treatment over time.
Although pain measurement is only one method of assessing both the degree of injury and success of treatment, it is an important one. Pain is both a clear sign that something is wrong and an impediment to normal daily activity. In contrast, a reduction in pain following chiropractic therapy increases feelings of wellbeing and provides subjective evidence of improvement. For the chiropractor too, this is an essential indication that they are doing something right. Together with other signs such as increased strength, range of movement and endurance, reduced pain is a welcome indicator that a patient is making progress.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Tension Headache Causes and Treatment Options
8/12/13
When your head feels like it's being squeezed in a vise, with pain radiating from the neck, the back of your head or your eyes, you may have what is referred to as a tension-type headache. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, accounting for approximately 90% of all occurrences. Experts estimate that between 30% and 80% of the US adult population suffers from the occasional tension headache. It is also possible to have chronic tension headaches, but this is experienced by only about 3% of the population.
Unlike migraines, tension headaches do not run in families. There is no single cause of tension headaches. Most are due to emotional or physical stress of some kind. Among some of these causes are:
* Insufficient or poor quality sleep
* Losing a job or beginning a new job
* Having recently had a baby
* Relationship problems with your partner
* Sports competitions
* Studying for school exams
* Being involved in too many activities
* Being overweight

Anxiety, fatigue, hunger and poor posture can also significantly contribute to the likelihood of a tension headache caused by tight muscles in the neck and scalp. Another possible source of some tension headaches may be the frequent or constant clenching of the teeth, which can cause chronic contraction of the muscles in the temples (which is why massaging this area sometimes brings some relief).
Those who suffer from chronic tension headaches tend to be people who suffer from stress on a daily basis. Women are the most common sufferers of these chronic headaches, which can vary in intensity throughout the day, but which always produce some level of pain. Chronic tension headaches are classified as those lasting for 15 days or more. Most commonly, chronic tension headaches last for 60 to 90 days.
Analgesics such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin are often used to treat the occasional tension headache. However, taking these on a long-term basis can cause what are referred to as medication overuse headaches (or rebound headaches), which are the third most common form of headache.
Stress reduction techniques can help prevent tension headaches. Making lifestyle changes such as getting more sleep, eating healthy food and getting regular exercise can help too. That said, it's important to understand that this type of headache is often the result of specific situations in our lives and the way our bodies react to them. This means that the way we deal with these root-cause situations (potentially including avoiding them in the first place or managing them in a different way) is often the key to making them less frequent or less severe.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Why Do My Muscles "Burn" After I Work Out?
8/12/13
A hard workout can be exhilarating and do wonders to increase your strength and endurance, but the post-workout muscle "burn," which typically peaks at between 24 and 72 hours after exercise can have an impact on your workout routine. Sore muscles are an inevitable result of exercising strenuously enough to build muscle.
Contrary to what many people believe, lactic acid is not the culprit in post-workout muscle soreness. Lactic acid is what is produced during the workout itself when you feel that burning sensation in your muscles. When your body is working at its greatest capacity, your muscles are not able to get enough oxygen to convert food to energy, causing lactic acid to be produced and built up in the muscle, leading to that burning feeling. However, tests done on the lactic acid content in muscles immediately after exercise has ceased shows that the lactic acid is quickly cleared from the system, so this is not what causes the soreness after your workout.
Instead, post-workout soreness is due to many small micro-tears in the muscle itself. This is a natural process that the body undergoes in order to build more muscle. The technical term for this muscle tenderness is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). For the two or three days it takes for your body to repair the muscle (and in the process build more muscle), you are likely to feel sore and less able to work out to your greatest capacity. This is why endurance athletes often design a workout routine where they have one vigorous workout interspersed with a couple of days of rest or light workouts. This gives their muscles adequate time to heal and build.
Although stretching before a workout is a good idea, it will not reduce your likelihood of experiencing DOMS. The best way to reduce post-workout muscle soreness is to build up gradually to a higher workout level. In most cases, however, it's unfortunately a "no pain, no gain" situation, and it is only by causing some minor muscle damage that you can really build muscle.
Some ways in which you can minimize the pain from your strenuous workout include treating yourself to a massage, icing the muscles, stretching, doing yoga and taking anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as ibuprofen. It is also important to stay active between strenuous workouts. Complete rest will only put you back at square one and you will lose the benefits you worked so hard to gain. Light exercise such as walking or swimming for no more than 30 minutes a day will improve circulation to your muscles, allowing them to recover more quickly.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Do Chiropractors Know if Your Spine Is Out of Alignment?
8/12/13
Having a misaligned spine (also called a spinal subluxation) can negatively affect your daily life in a number of ways. It can not only cause pain in the back and neck, but can also cause pain in the rest of the body because of the pressure that the misaligned vertebrae place on nerves in the spinal column. For example, many people suffer from sciatica (a condition in which pain can be felt shooting down the leg as far as the foot) due to a misaligned vertebral disc putting pressure on the spinal nerve roots. A chiropractor can diagnose if your pain is due to your spine being misaligned and can perform a spinal adjustment to restore proper alignment and range of movement, relieving pain.
Spinal subluxations are very common. They occur when one or more of your 24 bony vertebrae (most people actually have 33 vertebrae counting the nine that are fused to form the sacrum and coccyx) are pulled out of alignment with one another. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Among the most frequent contributors to spinal misalignment are an injury, a sudden jar, fall or trauma, bad posture, stress, inactivity, obesity, repetitive motions and lifting something improperly. When your spine becomes misaligned, your range of motion can become more restricted, with or without accompanying pain. Although spinal misalignments can happen quickly (usually in the case of an accident or acute injury), they can also occur over time due to weak postural muscles. This is often the case with those who sit at a desk for hours each day.
A chiropractor may use a variety of different diagnostic techniques to determine if your spine is out of alignment. Most chiropractors can easily spot a subluxation, as body posture reflects any misalignment. For example, when lying down, one leg will appear shorter than the other. When standing up, the body may lean to one side, or the head may tilt to the left or right. Also, one shoulder or hip may appear higher than the other, and the distribution of body weight may favor one foot or the other.
Other things that your chiropractor may do to determine if your spine is out of alignment are to check your range of motion (reduced range of motion usually indicates a misalignment), press along your spine (called palpation) to evaluate joint function, perform strength testing and look for changes in muscle tone. He or she may also order x-rays of the spine to be taken, so as to have a visual confirmation of your spinal subluxation.
Once the misalignment has been pinpointed, your chiropractor will perform a spinal adjustment that will move your vertebrae back into alignment, restoring correct posture and alleviating pain that may have been caused by the misalignment.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Well Does Chiropractic Care Relieve Back and Neck Pain?
8/12/13
If you have never considered going to a chiropractor to treat the pain in your neck or back, maybe you should. There are an increasing number of studies that confirm the effectiveness of chiropractic care in the treatment of back and neck pain, particularly in comparison with pain-relieving drugs.
According to a report published in the September 2011 issue of Consumer Reports, chiropractic treatment outperformed all other methods for treating back pain, including prescription medication. Of those reporting that a treatment "helped a lot" in the management of their back pain, 65% listed chiropractic (the highest rated treatment) as the most effective, as opposed to 53% for prescription medication. Other natural therapies were also useful (e.g. deep tissue massage helped 51% of patient a lot, yoga/pilates--49%, acupuncture--41%), but none approached the effectiveness of chiropractic care. Similar results were found for the treatment of neck pain (chiropractic--64%, prescription medication--49%). Results were based on the Consumer Reports National Research Center's 2010 Annual Questionnaire, analyzed by researchers from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.
In a study performed by researchers at Minnesota's Northwestern Health Sciences University, chiropractic care was more effective for treating neck pain than medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or narcotic pain relievers. The study, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, followed over 270 people with neck pain for about three months. These people were divided into three different treatment groups. The first group received chiropractic care, the second group was prescribed exercises to do at home and the third group was prescribed painkillers or muscle relaxers. Approximately 57% of the chiropractic group reported experiencing a reduction in pain of at least 75%, compared with 33% of those in the medication group.
Author of the study, Dr. Gert Bronfort, a research professor at the university, said that of the positive changes that had resulted from chiropractic treatment, "These changes were diminished over time, but they were still present. Even a year later, there were differences between the spinal manipulation and medication groups."
Another downside that the medication group experienced was that it was necessary to keep taking the painkillers. Dr. Bronfort said, "The people in the medication group kept on using a higher amount of medication more frequently throughout the follow-up period, up to a year later." One of the great benefits of chiropractic care is that it treats the source of the problem, leading to long-term pain relief, in comparison with painkillers that just mask the symptoms.
Research has found that the most benefit in the relief of neck and back pain comes from a combination of chiropractic care and exercises you do at home. Your chiropractor can suggest effective exercises that you can do at home in between adjustments that will work synergistically with your chiropractic care so that you can experience long-term relief from your back and neck pain.


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What Type of Glucosamine Supplement Is Best?
8/12/13
With the dozens of brands and different types of glucosamine supplements available, how do you know which is the most effective one to choose? The majority of glucosamine supplements on the market come with other substances included, such as chondroitin sulfate and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), which are advertised as making glucosamine more effective. However, in recent years, there have been a host of scientific studies performed on the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of glucosamine in treating joint pain, and the studies have revealed that not all glucosamine is the same.
Glucosamine supplements come in two different basic forms: glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. A number of meta-analyses that have examined the effectiveness of glucosamine alone have found that glucosamine hydrochloride was essentially no more effective than placebo in reducing joint pain, with or without the addition of chondroitin or other dietary supplements promoted for treating joint pain. However, in a number of studies, taking 1,500 mg of oral crystalline glucosamine sulfate has proven effective in relieving pain and stiffness in the joints, particularly in those who suffer from knee pain.
Presently, only a single pharmaceutical company (Rottapharm, marketed under the DONA(tm) brand in the US) manufactures crystalline glucosamine sulfate (using a patented process), so it seems likely that almost anything else you find on the shelves of your local health food store will be ineffective (apart from a possible placebo effect).
Two three-year studies reported that DONA(tm) crystalline glucosamine sulfate was an effective supplement. The first study, published in The Lancet in 2001, found that there was less joint space loss in those taking the glucosamine sulfate as compared with placebo. The second study, reported in JAMA's Archives of Internal Medicine in 2003,found similar results to the previous study and concluded that these results "suggest that glucosamine sulfate could be a disease modifying agent in osteoarthritis." It should be noted, however, that both of these studies were industry-funded, so there may be some bias involved in the results. That said, if you plan on giving glucosamine a try, DONA(tm) is the most likely form of glucosamine to be effective in relieving your joint pain.
Though some forms of glucosamine are synthesized from fermented corn, if you are vegan, crystalline glucosamine sulfate will not be for you, as it is made from shellfish exoskeletons and there are no alternatives currently manufactured. Those with shellfish allergies are in luck, however, as the manufacturer of DONA(tm) states that there is no problem for those with shellfish allergies taking their product, as it is chemically synthesized from highly purified chitin, which is not the allergen responsible for causing allergic reactions to shellfish. However, if you do have a shellfish allergy, it's always a good idea consult your doctor before taking glucosamine sulfate, just to be sure.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Frequently Should I Get Adjusted?
8/12/13
There is not one simple, one-size-fits-all answer to a question about how frequently a person should have a chiropractic adjustment. Each person's individual needs and overall health must be taken into account. That said, a reasonable short answer to this question is "whenever you have developed a spinal misalignment." However, knowing when this has occurred (as a subluxation can be completely painless) can be difficult.
For this reason, the best policy is to visit your chiropractor on a regular basis, much as you would visit a dentist to have your teeth cleaned from time to time so as to avoid cavities. But the frequency of adjustments is primarily based on your health and wellness goals, the severity of any specific issues and how quickly your body responds to treatment.
If you are a person who follows a healthy diet, gets adequate amounts of exercise and has a relatively stress-free life, then some chiropractors suggest a visit between once a month and semi-annually. This will allow your chiropractor to treat any emerging subluxations and get rid of them before they become a problem. If you wait until you have pain, it will likely take more chiropractic adjustments to heal the problem than if you had gone in for a periodic adjustment.
Dr. Greg Haitz from Rimrock Chiropractic in Grand Junction, CO, says "I can say from 10 years of experience in this profession that my regular once or twice a month patients rarely have much going on and seem to always be much healthier over all. They get sick less often [and] don't catch every bug that goes around. They have better spinal range of motion and they tend to not have accelerated spinal degeneration on their x-rays. What we do consistently makes the biggest impact in our health. [It] doesn't matter if it's brushing our teeth, daily exercise and stretching, eating well 85+% of the time or monthly chiropractic adjustments. Consistency is the key."
Certain circumstances, such as an injury or some type of trauma, may call for frequent adjustments at the beginning, gradually tapering off as you heal. For minor to moderate subluxations, a single treatment may be sufficient to relieve pain. However, the long-term success of the treatment also depends on how your body reacts to the adjustments. Some people's muscles, joints and ligaments are in excellent condition and once a misalignment has been corrected, they can go for months until needing another. Others, particularly in cases where there is a lot of stress on the body through repetitive motion, bad posture, bad muscle tone, etc., have to train their body to "hold" the alignment through periodic readjustments.
A consultation with your chiropractor can tell you the frequency of chiropractic adjustments that will provide you with the most benefit and will work with you to develop a treatment program that includes adjustments, lifestyle advice and exercises you can do at home to speed the healing process. Once healing has occurred, it may also benefit you to visit your chiropractor from time to time for a preventative adjustment to help you continue to remain pain-free.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is Traction and When Is It Appropriate?
8/12/13
Chiropractic traction (also called "vertebral traction", "spinal traction" or "cervical traction") is one of the most widely used and accepted treatments for spinal, muscle and skeletal pain is.
The term "traction" applies to the use of weights and other forces to treat skeletal and muscular disorders, pinched or compressed nerves and injuries to the joints, vertebrae, muscles and ligaments by stretching the muscles and ligaments and increasing the space between vertebrae. Chiropractic traction may also help to relieve the pain caused by herniated or bulging discs or by disc degenerative disorders.
There are two main types of chiropractic traction: manual and mechanical. The choice of traction depends on the amount of force necessary to provide a sufficient weight and pressure distraction. With manual traction, the chiropractor applies gentle manual pressure and tension (i.e., traction) to the patient's limbs and head to stretch the muscles and skeleton, and can even use the patient's own weight to provide additional traction, a technique known as inversion therapy.
When more force is needed than can be provided with regular manual traction, the chiropractor employs more complex cervical traction systems. Traction tables can apply continuous or intermittent traction while combining heat, vibration and massage. These tables can also be computer-controlled so as to provide exact pressure and apply appropriately gentle variations in pressure. One of the advantages of mechanical traction is that in many cases the patient can continue the therapy with the use of home traction units. Once the patient has been instructed on the proper use of these home devices, the patient can improve their own posture and spinal alignment by regular use of these machines. However, home traction should not be performed without a doctor's approval and should preferably be supervised by a qualified therapist.
Both forms of traction are helpful for reducing or relieving the constant pressure that certain muscle groups and parts of the skeleton endure, either from normal day-to-day living or from injuries and disease. Chiropractic therapeutic traction is not appropriate for patients with serious bone conditions such as osteoporosis, osteomyelitis and bone cancer, or with heart disease and spinal cord diseases. It is also not appropriate for those with spinal fractures or arthritis. However, for patients whose conditions are due to spinal issues, minor to moderate muscle spasms, over- or under-stressed muscles and joints and minor injuries, chiropractic traction may provide short-term pain relief (this may be especially true for sciatica patients), increased vascular and lymphatic flow, increased muscle tone (flexibility and strength) and balance.
Remember that this type of treatment should only be considered following careful examination and diagnosis, and that it should be professionally supervised to ensure safety and effectiveness. If you're wondering whether some form of traction might be appropriate for you, please contact our office for an appointment.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Can Chiropractic Help Improve My Circulation?
8/12/13
Many people think of chiropractors as only "back doctors". Although it is true that chiropractors spend a good part of their day treating neck and back pain, the whole body benefits from regular chiropractic care. One of the body's systems that may improve with chiropractic care is the circulatory system.
Blood flow to the brain, as most people can imagine, is critically important. Nausea, dizziness, fainting and migraine headaches can be caused by reduced cerebral blood flow (called hypoperfusion). Reduced circulation can damage your brain's cells, due to the reduction of nutrients and oxygen. Decreased blood flow can also lead to an increased risk of cell death, stroke and dementia. Cerebral hypoperfusion may cause other disorders as well, including hearing, visual and spatial problems.
A recent study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics has shown that there is an association between vertebral subluxations, neck pain and cerebral hypoperfusion. The study was performed on 45 people who had chronic upper back pain, neck pain, or both. The study subjects were examined and assessed for neck pain by using a standard scale, the Neck Disability Index (NDI). Subjects' brains were then scanned using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), which creates imaging of the brain's blood flow. Patients were also examined to determine the number of vertebrae that were out of alignment.
Subjects were consequently put into one of three groups, based on their NDI scores: mild, moderate and severe. The mild group (14 people) showed normal blood circulation in all eight regions of the brain. The moderate group (16 people) had a 20% to 35% reduction in brain circulation, most of which happened in the frontal and parietal zones of the brain. The severe group (15 people) showed a decrease in blood flow to the brain of 30% to 45%, also primarily in the frontal and parietal zones. The parietal zone is responsible for vision and spatial sense and the frontal zone is responsible for controlling voluntary motor coordination and regulates dopamine sensitivity, which is important for memory and maintaining mental health.
When a chiropractor performs a spinal adjustment, pressure is removed from the nerves and messages between the nerves and brain regarding blood flow are allowed to move smoothly again. By correcting these vertebral subluxations, your chiropractor can help to restore healthy circulation to the brain.
Chiropractors also often employ heat therapy, massage therapy and ultrasound in their practice, which increase circulation. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to penetrate the tissue up to five inches below the skin's surface, increasing circulation that reduces swelling and brings added oxygen and nutrients to the painful area.
Good circulation is important at any age and-as studies have shown-the better your circulation, the healthier you will be overall. Your chiropractor can help ensure that you get adequate blood flow to your brain and your entire body.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Your Best Options for Purifying Water at Home and on the Go
8/12/13
Whether you find yourself in a disaster situation or are just enjoying camping out in the wilderness far from modern conveniences, having access to pure water is a vital necessity. We can survive for weeks without food, but only for a few days without water. Even if you are surrounded by it, it is possible to be in a situation where ingesting it may be a dangerous prospect. As the saying goes, "water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink." Untreated water may contain disease-causing bacteria that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes death. If you do not have bottled water handy but you have access to a water source, here we provide you with the tools you need to make it safe to drink, whether at home or on the go.
Boiling
The simplest method of purifying water is to boil it, particularly if you are at home and have access to a working stove. This will rid the water of any viruses or bacteria that can cause serious illnesses, particularly to children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Diseases such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium, dysentery and hepatitis can be contracted through drinking contaminated water. Pour the water into a clean heatproof vessel and boil it for a minimum of five minutes to ensure that all the pathogens are killed. The water will have a flat taste due to the oxygen having been boiled out of it, but this can be reintroduced by pouring it back and forth between two vessels or simply shaking it up in a closed bottle.
Chemical Purification
Pharmacies sell water purification products that consist of chemicals that will destroy harmful microorganisms. They are available either in liquid or tablet form and contain chemicals such as iodine, potassium permanganate, chlorine and halazone. Use two drops or tablets per quart of water and wait at least 30 minutes before you drink it. Iodine can leave an unpleasant taste in the water, which can be removed with the addition of some vitamin C (ascorbic acid). However, this should be added only after the iodine has been allowed to do its work, as vitamin C interferes with the action of iodine. A couple of drops of regular household bleach per quart of water will also work in a pinch, just be sure the bleach is less than a year old, as it degrades with time and old bleach may not be sufficiently effective. Be sure never to use "color safe" or scented bleach.
Filters
A portable hand-held water filter is especially handy if you're on the go. Look for a filter with a pore-size efficiency less than 0.4 microns in order to remove bacteria as well as protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Unless you buy the EPA-certified First Need water filter manufactured by General Ecology (which is expensive), your filter should also include some chemical purification such as iodine to kill any viruses that may be present in the water. This is particularly important if you are traveling in countries in which water contamination from raw sewage is a danger.
Whichever method you choose, it pays to purify any water you drink it. It may take some time, but staying healthy and disease-free is definitely worth the effort.
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Orlando Chiropractor|Why Playing Is Important at Any Age
8/12/13
It was Plato who said "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." Play is important not only for children, but for adults too. All work and no play may "make Jack a dull boy", but it also makes Jack a worse corporate manager. According to a number of studies, those whose lives don't include play have an increased risk of mental health issues, diseases related to stress, addiction and violence.
Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play says, "What do most Nobel Laureates, innovative entrepreneurs, artists and performers, well-adjusted children, happy couples and families, and the most successfully adapted mammals have in common? They play enthusiastically throughout their lives." As we get older, however, we encounter barriers to playing. We not only have far less time to play, given the demands of work and family, but play is often frowned upon by our peers, who feel we should not be "goofing off" during the day when we have important responsibilities to meet. Nevertheless, play is as important to our long-term wellbeing as sleep, eating well and exercising.
Brown has researched the role of play in our lives and points out that most serial killers were deprived of play as children. Play stimulates the areas of the brain responsible for memory and clarity. It also encourages the development of creative strategies for dealing with problems. Play can help make you more productive and innovative at work too. When a problem comes up at work, studies have shown that those who take time out to play a quick game of basketball in the company parking lot or who take a break with colleagues to go out for a few laughs come back feeling refreshed and can approach the problem from a different perspective.
Play is also important to keeping relationships new and interesting. Couples who play together develop better communication skills, foster a greater sense of trust and increase their ability to cooperate. Play stimulates the area of the brain that processes emotions, allowing us to deal with stress in a constructive way rather than taking it out on our partner.
Children are often discouraged from roughhousing on the playground, but research has shown that this is actually an important means of developing social skills. The practice it provides in give-and-take allows children to hone problem-solving skills that will be necessary for them to use as they get older. Studies performed on rats showed that rats prevented from playing in a rough-and-tumble manner when they are young more often develop significant social problems when they reached adulthood and many are never able to mate.
No matter what your age, take some time each day to play and rediscover the joy and energy that play brings to your life.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Recognizing the Signs of Hypothermia
8/12/13
Most of us know that our normal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C), and that if an adult's temperature goes above about 104°F (40°C) there is a serious risk of brain damage or death. However, many often do not realize that a core body temperature lower than 95°F (35°C) can have equally devastating consequences. When this happens due to a person being exposed to cold temperatures or when their metabolism does not produce enough heat, they have what is called hypothermia.
The hypothalamus is the part of the brain responsible for regulating body temperature. When it recognizes that there has been a change in the temperature of the external environment, the hypothalamus sends the necessary signals to either heat or cool the body in order to maintain a core temperature of around 98.6°F. Many people consistently have a somewhat higher or lower body temperature than this, but a degree or so in either direction is not considered abnormal. If the body is getting too hot, the hypothalamus sends the signal to sweat, whereas if the body is losing too much heat, it commands our muscles to shiver in order to generate more heat.
However, there are conditions in which the body cannot generate enough heat to keep itself warm. Infants and the elderly are at greater risk of hypothermia, as they have less of an ability to generate heat. When hypothermia happens, blood is shunted away from the extremities in an attempt to keep the organs warm. If the body temperature continues to fall, organs such as the liver and kidneys begin to shut down as the blood is redirected to protect the heart and brain. With no outside intervention to warm the body, death will eventually occur.
One of the main problems with hypothermia is that the person experiencing it may not be aware of the problem until it is too late. Hypothermia is a condition that develops gradually, with thinking and reasoning slowing to a point where the person experiencing it is not aware that their mental function is impaired.
All body processes begin to slow down as the body's temperature drops. Some of the first symptoms are hunger and nausea. Apathy soon follows, followed by lethargy, confusion and slurred speech. The person may then lie down, lose consciousness and fall into a coma. One of the most unusual symptoms of hypothermia is that the affected person may remove all of his or her clothes before losing consciousness. Brain function ceases when the body reaches a core temperature of 68°F (20°C).
Most hypothermia is a result of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures with inadequate protection. Being immersed in cold water brings on hypothermia very quickly. If a person with hypothermia has been found, move the person into a warm sheltered place out of the wind, remove any wet clothing and call emergency services. Give the person warm, dry clothing that preferably also covers the head. Apply warm (not hot!) compresses to the neck, chest and groin area, and cover the person with blankets or use body-to-body contact to begin the process of re-warming.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Obesity and Cancer - the Latest Research
8/12/13
The healthcare community has known for some time that obesity significantly raises the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes, one of the most common chronic diseases in the developed world. But now scientists have found that obesity is also linked to the development of cancer. A recent study published in the journal Cancer Research has shown that the cells that create fat (adipose stromal cells) are the same ones that help supply nutrients and oxygen to cancerous tumors.
Obesity is the second-leading cause of cancer after smoking, according to experts from the World Cancer Research Fund. Researchers claim that obesity increases the risk of at least nine different types of cancer, including that of the breast, bowel, prostate, ovary, uterus, kidney, pancreas, gall bladder and esophagus.
There were 1.4 billion obese individuals worldwide in 2008, according to the World Health Organization, and the numbers have been climbing steadily since then. Statistics show that those who are obese have far worse prognoses for cancer survival than their leaner counterparts.
According to lead author of the study, Mikhail Kolonin, Ph.D., associate professor at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, adipose stromal cells are fat progenitor cells. This means that they are a type of stem cell that can become different kinds of cells. In this case, they are recruited by a tumor to help feed it.
Kolonin and researchers performed the experiment on two groups of mice: one set of test subjects was fat and the other obese. Both sets of mice were fed the same diet. However, tumors grew faster in the obese mice. Researchers noted considerably more adipose stromal cells in the obese mice, so they explored the mechanisms that may have been responsible.
The scientists found that tumors emit a signal that attracts adipose stromal cells. These cells then either became fat cells in the tumor or turned into cells that became part of the network of blood vessels that supplied oxygen and nutrients to the tumor.
Dr. Kolonin said, "Our data provide the first in vivo evidence of recruitment of cells from endogenous fat tissue to tumors. The fact that these cells are present in tumors is still an emerging concept. We have shown that not only are they present, but they are also functional and affect tumor growth. Identifying the signals that cause these cells to be recruited to tumors and finding ways to block them might provide a new avenue of cancer treatment."
This experiment was important in that it demonstrated that obesity in itself-not only poor diet and lack of exercise-may be a major contributor to cancer.


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Orlando Chiropractor|The Link Between Dha and Memory
8/12/13
For some time now, nutritionist have recommended that we eat fish on a regular basis in order to get sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (specifically DHA and EPA). Not only are these nutrients good for the circulatory system, but they have also been proven to boost brain function, including both cognitive function and memory. Until fairly recently, scientists have not understood the mechanism by which omega-3 provides these effects.
A study to be published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism by researchers at the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada found a specific link between docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and memory.
The researchers fed one group of mice a diet supplemented with DHA and fed a second group a normal, healthy diet with no DHA supplementation. When the mice that received DHA supplements were examined later, it was found that the part of their brain responsible for short-term and long-term memory, the hippocampus, contained levels of DHA nearly 30 percent higher than their counterparts in the control group. The cells in the hippocampus communicated better with each other and relayed messages more efficiently in the mice supplemented with DHA.
Yves Sauvé, co-author of the study, said the researchers were interested in learning what it was about fish intake that improved memory. He remarked, "What we discovered is that memory cells in the hippocampus could communicate better with each other and better relay messages when DHA levels in that region of the brain were higher. This could explain why memory improves on a high-DHA diet."
This study and others have noted that the body stores DHA in the brain, which is likely the reason why an increased intake of omega-3 is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. The early stages of the disease first affect the hippocampus. Researchers have discovered that DHA is vital to the brain development of fetuses and young children. It then seems to become important again as we age-brains with lower amounts of DHA have been shown to be smaller in volume.
Since the body does not produce its own DHA, experts recommend that people eat oily fish (such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and anchovies) twice a week and that they consider taking a fish oil supplement containing DHA and EPA once a day. By getting enough DHA as an adult, it's possible that you'll be able to enjoy your later years a bit more and have an easier time remembering where you left your car keys!

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Much Sleep Do People Really Need?
8/12/13
There is no short, simple answer to the question of how much sleep people really need. Our requirement differs depending on our age and individual needs. For instance, preschool-aged children (3 to 5 years) need between 11 and 13 hours of sleep per night. On the other hand, the elderly may sleep for only three or four hours at a time, with their sleep taken both at night and during the day. What is not in question is that most people do not get enough sleep for their needs. Researchers estimate that approximately 10 percent of Americans are chronically sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation is associated with a higher incidence of accidents, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and psychiatric problems such as depression. Sleep specialists Donna L. Arand and Michael H. Bonnet say, "There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and can result in injury or death. In this light, the most common-sense 'first, do no harm' medical advice would be to avoid sleep deprivation." But what exactly is sleep deprivation?
Everyone has a night or two when their sleep may be disturbed due to illness, being awoken by noise or the room being too warm, for example. The National Sleep Foundation says there are two different factors at work in determining if you will be sleep deprived or not: your basal sleep need (what you require for functioning at your best) and your sleep debt (the accumulation of lost sleep). Let us say, for instance, that you get your required eight hours of basal sleep for three nights in a row. You might imagine that sleep deprivation should not be an issue. However, you may still find yourself feeling sleepy and unable to concentrate. Despite having slept well during the prior three nights, you may still have a sleep debt to "pay off" from the nights before that.
To make things even more complicated, it is also possible to get too much sleep. Researchers have found that sleep regularly lasting nine hours or more is associated with an increased rate of illness, accidents and death. Depression and low socioeconomic status are two factors related to sleeping for long periods of time.
Two surveys taken by the American Cancer Society that included over a million adult participants found that those who slept seven hours a night had a lower risk of mortality in the following 6 years than those who slept either more or less. All else equal, experts suggest that for most healthy adults, getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night is ideal.
To judge for yourself the amount of sleep that is right for you, assess how you respond to different amounts of sleep. Some people function better on less sleep and some need more than eight hours to feel at their best. If you believe you are consistently not getting enough sleep, speak with your physician. He or she will be able to give you some advice about how to increase the quantity and quality of sleep you get. It is definitely worth the effort since getting the right amount of sleep can significantly improve your overall quality of life.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Pregnancy and Sciatica
8/12/13
Pregnancy involves a broad range of rapid changes to a woman's physiology, including changes that can vary widely from one woman to the next. Sciatica is a common symptom associated with pregnancy and is caused by pressure or injury to the sciatic nerve. The common signs of sciatica are weakness, tingling, numbness and burning pain in the legs, back and buttocks.
As the fetus grows inside the mother's womb, the uterus expands and occasionally places pressure against the sciatic nerve in the lower spinal column. This pressure can become especially evident during the third trimester as the baby begins to shift toward the proper birthing position. The baby can end up resting directly upon the nerve, creating significant pain.
Approximately half of all pregnant women who suffer from sciatica recover within six weeks of childbirth and almost all (90%) recover within 3 months, although there is a small percentage for whom the pain continues for much longer.
Due to the dangers of taking painkillers and other medication during pregnancy, physicians generally recommend not taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen. Instead, there are a number of exercises and other options to help relieve the pain of sciatica before and after childbirth.
* Take frequent rests and avoid spending too much time on your feet.
* Avoid wearing heeled shoes that may jar your spine. Soft, flat shoes may be preferable, but if they don't help, try other types of shoes with different types of heel support.
* Avoid lifting or carrying heavy objects, but if you absolutely have to, be sure to bend from your knees and maintain a straight back.
* Place heat or ice packs on the location of the pain. Use ice for the first couple of days and then heat after that.
* Take a warm bath. The heat will help soothe the pain and the buoyancy will take the pressure off.
* Alternative therapy such as chiropractic care or prenatal massage (by a trained and licensed therapist) can also provide relief.
* Low impact physical activities such as swimming and prenatal yoga can help stretch the body and readjust the baby's position, thus taking the pressure off the nerve and reducing the pain.

If the sciatica persists during labor, then the range of positions available for delivery may be limited due to the additional pain. If you suspect that this may become an issue for you, one alternative may be to ask the hospital or other facility to make a birthing pool available for your delivery as this will provide a warm and buoyant medium for reducing the pressure and pain.
Sciatica is generally a temporary discomfort for pregnant women, one that lasts not much longer than the pregnancy itself, and can be treated naturally without risk to the baby or mother.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Does Chiropractic Help Increase Range of Motion and Flexibility?
8/12/13
When we're younger, it's easy to take our extensive range of motion and flexibility for granted. But as we age, a number of health conditions and the cumulative effects of wear and tear can affect our ability to move the way we used to. When this happens it can be difficult to carry on the activities of daily life. Even things as simple as picking something up off the floor or tying your shoes can be challenging activities when your movements are curtailed. Luckily, regular chiropractic care can help increase both range of motion and flexibility.
A study performed in 2001 by researchers at the Phillip Chiropractic Research Centre of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic adjustments increased range of motion in the 105 patients who participated in the study. There were three phases of this study, in which each of the participants was given no adjustments, fake adjustments or true adjustments. In each phase, the patients who were given the true adjustments showed a significant improvement in range of motion, which was not the case for the other two groups.
A decrease in range of motion and flexibility can result in a downward spiral of disability. An injury or degenerative condition can cause pain, swelling and stiffness, limiting flexibility and range of motion. So we avoid activities that involve the affected body parts, either consciously or unconsciously. This then becomes a classic case of "use it or lose it". Without regular exercise, the muscles and joints stiffen, adhesions and scar tissue can form, and mobility is further reduced. Eventually, a person can become completely incapacitated.
A chiropractor uses spinal adjustments and manipulations to other parts of the body to realign the bones and joints so as to reduce pain, restore range of motion, and improve flexibility, balance and coordination. These adjustments may be performed manually, or other techniques may be used to increase circulation and improve function, such as ultrasound, trigger point therapy and electrical stimulation. Your chiropractor can also recommend specific exercises that can be done at home to increase your strength and flexibility so that you're able to maintain and build upon the gains from your chiropractic adjustments.
Many people restrict their activities due to back pain, which is the most common complaint of those who enter a chiropractor's office. Regular chiropractic care can reduce or eliminate the source of your back and joint pain, allowing you to resume your normal activities and to remain more flexible into your golden years.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Do Raspberry Ketones Really Help You Lose Weight?
8/12/13
After receiving a big media boost from Dr. Oz (the popular television and radio health expert), raspberry ketones have become the new rage among some people looking to lose weight. But what exactly are they, and is there really any evidence that they could help you slim down?
Raspberry ketones are a natural phenol produced by raspberries that gives them their particular scent. A study conducted by Japanese scientists in 2005 found that rats that were given raspberry ketones showed an increased ability to burn fat. However, subsequent research has not confirmed that they are effective in burning fat in humans, and Dr. Oz's claim to the contrary may be far-fetched.
The raspberry ketone study was funded by a Japanese company that had been developing a diet product that is no longer being produced. For 10 weeks, researchers fed four groups of mice either a high-fat diet alone or a high-fat diet with the addition of different amounts of raspberry ketones (0.5%, 1% or 2%). Those fed the ketones in an amount equal to as much as two percent of their body weight gained less weight than those fed the high-fat diet alone.
However, some experts stress that this study consisted of only 6 male mice in each of the four groups (why no female mice were included is a mystery). So given this small number of test subjects, there just isn't really a lot of evidence here to support the idea that the substance is an effective weight-loss supplement.
As yet, there have also been no significant studies carried out on humans that confirm the theory that raspberry ketones cause weight loss. Catherine Ulbricht, one of the members of a group of scientists who evaluate natural therapies, the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, says "It has not been well studied or well proven in the data we've uncovered to this point."
Laboratory studies have found that isolated fat cells from mice show increased adiponectin production when in the presence of raspberry ketones and norepinephrine, a hormone that breaks down fat. Adiponectin has been associated with increased fat-burning ability and is able to redistribute fat from unhealthy places on the body such as around the liver and abdomen (the infamous "spare tire") to healthier areas such as the hips and thighs. The greater the amount of adiponectin in the body, the less body fat there seems to be. Naturally slim people have been shown to have high levels of adiponectin. It is a compound similar to synephrine and capsaicin, whose actions promote the breakdown of fat. With the addition of the raspberry ketones, more fat was broken down than in the presence of norepinephrine alone. This again has only been shown in laboratory studies and has not been demonstrated in humans.
Exercise, however, is far more effective than raspberry ketones in raising levels of adiponectin. And it's proven. Only two or three sessions of moderately intense exercise are enough to raise adiponectin by 260%. Far better to save the money you would spend on raspberry ketone supplements (up to $68 a month)and get more exercise. Not only can this exercise help you reduce your weight, it may also reduce your risk of other chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Fluoride in Our Water: Is There Reason to Be Concerned?
8/12/13
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in groundwater throughout the country. In the 1940s, researchers observed that those areas with the highest amount of natural fluoride in the water had significantly lower rates of dental caries. Scientists found that adding fluoride to water a level of 1 mg per liter (which has since been reduced to 0.7 mg/L) was optimal for preventing tooth decay, and public water systems throughout the US began adding fluoride to the water supply. Today, approximately 72 percent of the population lives in areas where the water is fluoridated. However, significant controversy has sprung up in recent decades over whether the benefits outweigh the risks of this practice.
There seems to be no question that a certain amount of fluoride helps to protect our teeth. Fluoride has been shown to reduce dental cavities by 18%-40%. However, fluoride is not without its dangers. And since the mineral also shows up in places other than the drinking water supply, there is some evidence that some people may be getting too much of it.
A large number of other items (in food and elsewhere) already contain fluoride in varying levels. For instance, a 12-oz. Coke contains .353 mg of fluoride, a head of iceberg lettuce can contain 1.8 mg of fluoride and black tea can contains a whopping 9 mg/L of fluoride! One of the reasons for this is the fact that conventional farming commonly uses pesticides containing sodium aluminum fluoride. This is a very sticky pesticide that resists washing unless you are using a rather strong scrub brush. In addition, much of the water used in agriculture has been fluoridated. Add to this the amount of fluoride contained in toothpaste and mouthwash and you can receive significantly more than the optimal recommended amount of fluoride for the day.
Numerous studies have shown that there is no association between fluoride and cancer when fluoride is taken in small amounts. However, larger amounts of fluoride can lead to skeletal fluorosis, a condition causing damage and pain in bones and joints. Excessive fluoride has been shown to increase bone fractures, particularly hip fractures in older women, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Other research suggest a link between larger amounts of fluoride and an increase in the incidence of dental fluorosis in children (cosmetic pitting of the tooth enamel).
Considering how much fluoride we might take in on any given day, it may seem unnecessary to fluoridate the water supply. And as opponents of the practice point out, there is no way of controlling exactly how much fluoride each person actually takes in each day. Those who drink greater amounts of water get far more than those who don't, and children are likely to get far more fluoride in relation to their weight than adults. There is also the issue of essentially force-medicating an entire population. Most countries in continental Europe have banned the practice of water fluoridation due to the combination of unsettled science and moral ambiguity, even some who had tried it for some years.
If you are concerned that you may be getting too much fluoride in your water, you can opt for water that is either distilled or processed by reverse osmosis. Conventional home water filters such as the Brita or Pur will not remove fluoride. Most bottled water is also fluoridated, so be sure to read the label to ensure it is either distilled or has received reverse osmosis.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Does It Mean to Be "Double Jointed" and Is It Dangerous?
8/12/13
If you have ever seen a contortionist in a circus or know someone who can bend their thumb back far enough to touch their wrist, you have seen an example of someone who is double-jointed. However, the term "double-jointed" is actually something of a misnomer, since the super-flexible person you saw most likely has the exact same number of joints as those of us who are less stretchy. The medical term for this condition is hypermobility, and approximately four to seven percent of the general population has at least one joint that is considered hypermobile.
Hypermobility describes a situation in which the joints and their supporting tendons and ligaments are far more flexible than usual. This can be due to a number of different causes. Flexibility normally varies depending on age and activity. For example, a 20-year-old is usually more flexible than someone who is 75 years of age. Our connective tissue changes over the years, becoming more inflexible due to the chemical changes and tiny tears it incurs over the course of life. Also, those who use their bodies for performance, such as athletes and dancers, tend to be more flexible than the general population.
Hypermobility tends to run in families, suggesting that it may be at least partially genetic. The shape of your bone ends determines to some extent how far your joints can bend. Those with shallow sockets can bend joints farther. Lack of muscle tone also allows joints to bend more. Pregnant women commonly are more flexible due to the hormone relaxin that the body produces to make the pelvis more flexible in preparation for childbirth. Although these are relatively harmless causes, hypermobility can also be an indication of more serious underlying diseases. Marfan's syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are associated with hypermobility. Hypermobility can also contribute to the development of osteoarthritis.
Marfan's syndrome is a genetic condition involving the development of abnormal connective tissue, such as in the tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, cartilage and bones. Leaky heart valves, poor eyesight (due to weakness in the ligaments supporting the lens) and ruptured blood vessels are common problems associated with this disease. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is also a genetic disease with symptoms similar to Marfan's. Easy bruising, scoliosis and slack skin are other symptoms common to this disease.
Although hypermobility is not necessarily dangerous in itself, it can cause a number of problems. Joint pain, back pain, muscle pain, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia are all common complaints among those who are double jointed. Treatment includes the use of joint supports, strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory pain medications and visits to a physiotherapist or chiropractor.
Due to the ease with which people with hypermobility can find their joints out of alignment, regular visits to a chiropractor for an adjustment can help reduce pain and lower the likelihood of further damage. Your chiropractor can also recommend the best exercises to use for strengthening the joint area.

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Orlando Chiropractor| X-Rays, Ct Scans, Ultrasounds, Mris and Pet Scans... Oh My
8/12/13
Next year celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first medical use of X-rays. In the century since William Coolidge first designed an X-ray tube for medical purposes, the science and art of imaging has made quantum leaps. Physicians and their patients now have an alphabet soup of options to choose from when it comes to diagnostic imagery that can help them visualize the body's internal anatomy without invasive exploratory surgeries.
Modern day X-ray devices still follow the same scientific principles as the first X-ray machines but implement a broad range of safety features to protect patients from the harmful effects of radiation exposure. X-rays are electromagnetic radiation waves that are absorbed or deflected by materials at different rates. Human tissue allows most of the rays to pass through, whereas bone and other more solid parts of the anatomy absorb or deflect significantly more rays. This allows an X-ray-sensitive film or detector placed on the opposite side of the body to produce a high-quality monochrome image of the interior of the body. Due to the damaging effects of X-rays, an X-ray picture is a single instant exposure and therefore captures static images of the interior.
Computed Axial Tomography (CAT or simply CT) expands upon the principle of regular X-ray machines by moving the X-ray beam around the patient, thereby scanning the body from numerous angles. A computer then constructs a 3-D image from the resulting scans.
Ultrasound devices apply a somewhat similar procedure but use far safer sound waves. With the transmitter and detector built into the same, easy-to-handle wand, it allows for real-time views of the body's interior that can be adjusted and redirected as needed. Ultrasound devices deliver safe, high-frequency sound (i.e., ultrasound) waves that bounce off the target as they encounter changes in density. These waves are picked up by the detector and are converted into images by the computer.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) employs a complex combination of extremely powerful magnets and radio frequencies. These create resonances in the atoms that make up the tissues being examined to produce a highly detailed, slice-by-slice series of images of the inner body. Injectable contrast medium is often used to enhance certain areas of interest. Although there are currently no known side-effects of exposure to high-intensity magnetic fields and few from the injectable contrast medium, the powerful magnetic fields require strict precautions due to the danger posed by metal objects within or around the patient as they are being scanned. If these objects are magnetic, they will tear loose and may injure the patient.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanners create images by detecting the radiation given off by substances containing radioactive particles that are injected into patients just before scanning. PET scanners have a donut-shaped housing that contains a circular gamma ray detector that is attached to a computer. The detector picks up the radiation as the patient is moved through the housing on a table, and the computer translates the data into slice-by-slice images of the areas containing the radioactive substance.
These imaging devices have helped to remove much of the uncertainty from the diagnosis and treatment of internal injuries and conditions. When used appropriately, imaging analysis can significantly improve a patient's chances of survival and reduce the cost of treatment.

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Linking Toxicity to Sickness
8/12/13
Although the skyrocketing rates of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes may be in large part due to poor diet and lack of exercise, these aren't necessarily the only explanations. Dr. Jerome Ruzzin, a researcher from the University of Bergen in Norway, believes that the presence of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) is a major contributor to metabolic diseases.
POPs are everywhere, even in some of what would be considered the healthiest of environments. POPs are chemical toxins that are transported through the environment by wind and water and which are difficult to contain in one area. Most people are familiar with the POPs dioxin, PCBs and DDT. These toxic chemicals are used in the production of pesticides, herbicides and paints as well as in a variety of manufacturing processes.
While the EPA has set what staff scientists consider to be safe limits on POPs in the foods we eat, part of the problem is that these toxins actually accumulate in a process termed "biomagnification". This means that tiny amounts of toxins are ingested at the bottom of the food chain by algae, which are then consumed by progressively larger predators, resulting in an accumulation and potential concentration of toxins as they're passed up the food chain. By the time it reaches our dinner table, food can contain significant amounts of these toxins.
This process of biomagnification is the reason why people (particularly pregnant women) are advised to eat fatty fish no more than two times a week. Although the omega-3 in fatty fish is very healthy, the mercury levels in the same fish can be dangerous when eaten in larger quantities.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition being diagnosed in increasing numbers of people. This is a condition in which obesity, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and low levels of "good" HDL cholesterol combine and contribute to a significantly greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Ruzzin says of the dramatic increase in metabolic syndrome, "Many studies now indicate that persistent organic pollutants play a major role. Today's adults are the first generation to experience serious health problems from these substances. If we do not take this challenge seriously, there is every reason to be concerned about the coming generations as well."
Even if POPs are considered to be at safe levels when taken individually, they can lead to a hazardous "cocktail effect" when combined with other POPs or other dangerous substances. This cocktail effect can in turn wreak havoc with the body's metabolism. A 2006 study found that those with high levels of POPs in their body were 38 times more likely to be insulin resistant than those with low levels of POPs.
"Current threshold values for pollutants are probably too high," notes Ruzzin, "which means that the regulatory framework needs changing. Food producers need to eliminate hazardous substances to a far greater extent than they do at present, and we consumers need more information about the kinds of chemicals we could be ingesting with their food products."

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Orlando Chiropractor|Health Benefits of Resveratrol: the "Magic Ingredient" in Red Wine?
8/12/13
Given the relatively small number of human studies done on resveratrol, the amount of media hype about the health benefits of this substance is staggering.
What is it? Resveratrol is the polyphenol that has become most commonly associated with the benefits of drinking red wine. It is found in red and purple grapes (although the actual amount is relatively small), as well as in berries such as cranberries and blueberries, and even in things such as peanuts and the roots of the invasive plant Japanese knotweed.
Resveratrol has become the darling of the "pop a pill to improve your health" advocates and has captured a growing share of the health supplement market. Its supposed benefits range from preventing cancer and reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes to slowing the aging process. However, what most people do not know is that the majority of scientific studies performed on resveratrol has been done in vitro (in a lab dish) or have been performed on animals in a laboratory. There have been few completed human studies, as most are either in process or are just beginning.
Resveratrol is a compound that plants produce to help them ward off pathogens such as bacteria, fungus and mold. Although resveratrol was first identified by Japanese plant scientists in the 1930s, the "discovery" of resveratrol can be traced back to a 1992 study by researchers at Cornell University who were trying to solve the mystery of "The French Paradox." This was the observation that the French, who often smoked and ate a diet high in saturated fat, still somehow had a lower-than-average rate of heart disease. Some researchers theorized that it was the resveratrol in the ubiquitous wine at almost every French dinner table that was responsible for the paradox.
However, this theory begins to seem less likely when you consider how much wine someone would actually have to drink in order to consume a meaningful amount of resveratrol. A person would need to drink the equivalent of 667 bottles of red wine to equal the amount of resveratrol that has been used in human studies. Health experts have recently posited that the French paradox is more likely due to the fact that the French eat far less trans-fat, sugar and hydrogenated oil than their American counterparts. Not coincidentally, it's these substances that are increasingly being targeted as the main promoters of diet-related heart disease.
One of the most recent studies on resveratrol was performed by researchers at the Laboratory of Obesity and Aging Research at the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Published in the February 2012 issue of the journal Cell, the researchers found that resveratrol's health benefits were likely due to their inhibitory effect on a certain protein (PDE4) related to the energy regulation of cells. The scientists discovered that when another PDE4 inhibitor was given to the mice in the study, the mice exhibited the same health benefits as when they were given resveratrol. As resveratrol has been shown to react negatively with some other proteins, scientists are interested in further developing the more stable PDE4 inhibitors.
The bottom line is that the proven benefits of resveratrol are negligible at this stage of research, and its side effects have not yet been adequately evaluated in human studies. Most studies on wine drinking have confirmed that drinking wine in moderation has a positive effect on health, but that is likely due to factors other than its resveratrol content.

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What Are Steroid Injections and When Are They Appropriate?
8/12/13
Steroids are organic compounds that are produced naturally in the human body. They're also produced by other animals, plants and fungi. Within humans, steroids are used to produce several different hormones that are important to the body's proper functioning.
Outside of natural human physiology, there are also drugs called anabolic steroids, whose purpose is to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance. Athletes and trainers in high-level amateur and professional sports sometimes turn to steroids to get an unfair edge over the competition. Most official sports organizations disapprove strongly of this practice (regarding it as cheating) and many maintain education and testing programs to discourage it.
Finally, steroids can also be manufactured for use in medicine. Perhaps the most commonly used steroid injections are those used to treat pain-corticosteroids.
Natural corticosteroids are produced by the body's adrenal glands and are responsible for governing the stress response (fight or flight). They also play an important role in maintaining a healthy immune response and for the metabolism of protein and carbohydrates. But the key condition it regulates is inflammation. This is the reason why steroid injections are so popular among those suffering from chronic pain.
Corticosteroids are not actually painkillers. Their action is merely to reduce inflammation, which, in turn, usually helps to reduce pain for some weeks. Two types of steroid injection are commonly used for pain relief: epidural and articular. In an epidural steroid injection, the steroid is injected into the base of the spinal column between the dura (the protective covering of the spinal cord) and the vertebrae.
An articular steroid injection, as the name implies, is when the drug is injected into the shoulder, knee, hip or ankle. It can also be injected into smaller joints such as those in the hand and foot. This should be done at a frequency of once every two to four weeks for a period of up to three months only. The effect can usually be felt within a few days, with relief lasting for a number of weeks. With physical therapy such as chiropractic care, many people can experience a significant reduction in pain or be pain-free after a course of steroid injections.
The best candidates for receiving steroid injections are those patients who have had severe, persistent pain in the neck, back, arm or leg that has not responded to more conservative treatments (such as physical therapy, massage and anti-inflammatory drugs) for some weeks. Epidural steroid injections have become more common in cases involving sciatica, herniated disc, spondylolysis, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. These injections can also be useful in treating cases of bursitis and tendonitis.
In cases of lower back pain, however, studies have found that steroids are often no better than a placebo. Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safer and likely more effective form of treatment. If you do decide to give steroid injections a try in an attempt to manage your pain, you should at least consider combining it with chiropractic care. If the steroids are able to reduce your pain in the short term, regular chiropractic adjustments can help to reduce the likelihood the pain will return again in the future.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Are Reflexes and How Do They Work?
8/12/13
Many of us probably recall our childhood visits to the pediatrician. And some of us might even remember being amused and surprised when the doctor used a little hammer to tap just below our knee and our lower leg jumped in response ALL BY ITSELF!
Later in life, we may have learned that physicians use this simple test to judge the health of our nervous system. Even more specifically, we may have learned that they use it to test one of our many reflexes-the patellar or knee-jerk reflex.
But what exactly are reflexes? In medical terms, a reflex is described as a "sensorimotor arc". This arc occurs when a sensory receptor neuron (such as a pain receptor in the skin) receives a stimulus and sends a signal to a motor neuron in the central nervous system (spinal cord). The motor neuron then sends a response to the proper effector (a muscle or gland) without needing to involve the brain. So our body's reaction occurs automatically without us having to think about it consciously.
Our reflexes come into play in a variety of ways and serve a variety of purposes from our earliest days. Newborn babies have a considerably larger number of reflexes than adults. These reflexes evolved over time to help ensure the survival of the infant. Rooting, sucking and hand-to-mouth movements are all reflexive in a baby so that the infant is more likely to get enough food.
Adults have reflexes too, but some are obvious and some are not. For example, reflexes help us maintain our body's internal temperature. If the body is exposed to cold, it shivers to maintain a core temperature of 98.6°F. If it's hot outside, the body sweats to keep itself from overheating. We also depend on our reflexes to maintain our body's position and balance. Our muscles have a constant awareness of their shape. When the muscle changes shape by stretching, an automatic signal is sent to adjust the muscle shape to maintain our posture. It is a signal that happens so quickly that we are not aware of the continual adjustments our muscles are making in order to keep us upright.
There are countless other examples. Our pupils dilate in the presence of low light. We blink when debris is flying toward our eyes. Our mouths water at the scent of food cooking. Some reflex reactions are more dramatic, such as pulling your hand back quickly when you touch a hot surface, ducking to avoid a blow and extending your hands to brace for a fall.
A doctor may perform reflex testing if he or she suspects any nerve damage. Reflex testing can be used to help determine the presence of a spinal cord injury or neuromuscular disease. Different parts of the body can be gently struck with a mallet, and the type of response points to the type of damage. A response that is absent or weak can indicate peripheral neuropathy, motor neuron disease or muscle disease. Conversely, an excessive response may indicate damage to the spinal cord above the area responsible for hyperactivity. A response that is different on each side of the body (one knee reacts more or less than the other, for instance), may be an indication of the early onset of a degenerative nerve disease or an acute trauma.
Our reflexes can provide a useful window into the health of our nervous system. And the next time you get a checkup at the doctor you will know what that little hammer is for!

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Orlando Chiropractor|How Does Chiropractic Help Relieve Pain?
8/12/13
The impetus for many people to seek chiropractic help is acute or chronic pain, most commonly in the lower back or neck and shoulders. Although patients want the chiropractor to help with the underlying problem, lessening their pain is a very important part of allowing them to get on with life in some degree of comfort.
Chiropractic treatment for pain rests on the principle that healing will occur as a natural function of the body once it is in correct alignment. Conversely, misalignment will lead to excess strain and wear on the body, resulting in pain. Misalignment can occur over time as the result of bad posture, repetitive activities (such as performing certain sports or occupations) and degenerative disease. It may also happen suddenly due to trauma from a road accident, a fall or a particular sports injury.
In addition to pain relief, chiropractic treatment aims to restore natural functioning and range of motion to the problem area. In practice, the two go hand-in-hand. Pain occurs in the shoulder, for example, because of a lack of movement from an injury or strain, and once this is treated, the shoulder will be both pain-free and able to move normally.
The body is comprised of many muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, all of which have the potential to cause pain when stressed or damaged. Muscle strain and spasm can occur on its own or as the result of a postural problem. In the latter case, a spasm may not only be causing pain but may also prevent the body from returning to its natural alignment. Soft tissue massage is used by chiropractors to ease muscle spasms and relax the spine back into position. At this point, pain should be considerably lessened, if not relieved completely.
If soft tissue massage alone is insufficient, spinal manipulation will often be used to correct any underlying postural problems. Manipulation helps the spine and joints to resume their natural position and eases the muscle strain associated with being out of balance, thus relieving pain. Trapped nerves, which may also cause considerable pain (as in the case of sciatica), are often released through spinal manipulation.
Some painful injuries may require time to heal, such as shoulder rotator cuff injuries and slipped discs. In these cases, spinal manipulation and soft tissue massage are important in order to give the injury the best possible conditions for repair to take place. Patients will often involuntarily tense their muscles around an area of pain, which can both prolong the healing time and increase their discomfort. In these cases, chiropractic treatment is important to both relieve the pain felt by the patient and to promote natural healing in the affected area.
Although spinal manipulation and soft tissue massage are very helpful in the treatment of both acute and chronic pain, sometimes additional measures may be needed for short-term pain control. In these cases, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications may be considered to provide pain relief for the patient until sufficient healing has taken place. Whereas the ultimate aim of chiropractic care is to restore function to the body, relieving pain is an important part of treatment and your chiropractor will do their utmost to provide relief.


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Orlando Chiropractor|Walking Your Way to Fitness: the Latest Research
8/12/13
You do not need to join a gym to increase fitness. Walking is one type of exercise that is free and available to anyone possessing a sturdy pair of shoes. It is a low-impact form of exercise that is appropriate for all age groups and levels of fitness. Whether you've been a couch potato for years or are the fittest person on your block, walking for 30 minutes a day can provide you with a wide range of health benefits.
Research has shown that those who walk regularly have reduced rates of heart disease, asthma, osteoporosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. It also improves circulation, increases bone strength and reduces cholesterol. Walking can also be one of the easiest forms of exercise to fit into your day for those who are pressed for time.
Julia Valentour, MS, an exercise physiologist and program coordinator at the American Council on Exercise (ACE) says, "Exercise doesn't have to be hard to be effective. The recommended 30 minutes can be broken up into two 15-minute sessions or even three 10-minute sessions, making it easy to weave into a busy lifestyle." One of the many benefits of walking is that it can be done nearly anywhere. Whether you live in the country or the city, you can always find places to walk.
Experts suggest you start slowly and gradually build up to walking farther and faster. If you have been inactive for a while, start walking three times a week at a strolling speed for 20 minutes. Slowly work your way up to five times a week for 30 minutes. You will have to walk at more than strolling speed to begin receiving health benefits. Walk fast enough to raise your heart rate, to the point where you can say a few words comfortably without gasping but are not able to sing a song.
Walking is great for overall health, but those who want to lose some weight can benefit too. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, walking at a reasonable rate of three miles per hour burns 221 calories an hour, and walking at a brisk four miles an hour burns 334 calories per hour.
There are a number of things you can do to help motivate yourself to walk regularly:
Buy a pedometer - You should aim to walk a total of 10,000 steps a day, and a pedometer can help you keep track of exactly how many steps you have taken. Most people normally walk between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day. You'll be amazed at how many more steps you can add to your total by adopting some simple practices to increase the amount you walk. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk the kids to school and park farther from the entrance to shops. Compete with yourself each day to see if you can improve your performance of the day before.
Listen to music or podcasts as you walk - It's a great way of helping the time fly and it provides a nice soundtrack to the things you pass along the way. You can even learn a new language as you walk!
Enlist a walking buddy - When two people commit to a walking regimen, neither person wants to let the other down, so it's more difficult to skip that day's exercise.
Find online support - is a free program designed by the American Heart Association to help people get started on a walking program. Their online offerings include activity and nutrition tracking, a monthly newsletter with recipes and health tips and a way of connecting with others doing the same thing.
Walking is fun and it has many health benefits and no drawbacks, so get started today on the path to better health!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Seasonal Affective Disorder (Sad): Warning Signs and Treatment Options
8/12/13
If you find yourself becoming depressed, increasingly irritable and suffering from more bouts of insomnia as winter approaches, you may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Your risk of having this condition increases the further you get from the equator. The prevalence of SAD is estimated to be only 1.4 percent in Florida, but jumps to 9.7 percent in New Hampshire. Although it is not listed as a mental disorder in itself, it is categorized as a specific type of depression.
Dr. Norman Rosenthal was the first researcher to study and name this phenomenon, motivated by his desire to understand what caused his depression in the long dark days of the northern winters. Rosenthal and colleagues conducted a placebo-controlled study of SAD that used light therapy, which was found to be effective in alleviating some of the symptoms of SAD.
Although the exact cause of SAD is not fully understood, scientists believe that the hypothalamus is negatively affected by the relative lack of sunlight in more northern latitudes (or more southern latitudes for people in the southern hemisphere). The hypothalamus regulates our circadian rhythm and produces the hormones that influence sleep, mood and appetite.
Some of the most common warning signs of seasonal affective disorder include:
* Depression (primarily between September and April, peaking in December through February)
* Irritability and/or anxiety
* Sleeping more than usual and feeling drowsy during the day
* Cravings for carbohydrates such as bread and pasta
* Eating more (and gaining weight)
* Lack of energy
* Inability to concentrate

There are a few different treatments for SAD, most of which are effective. The most common form of treatment (with no adverse side effects) is light therapy. For this treatment, you have to sit in front of a special light box for a minimum of half an hour every day. The light box features a bright full-spectrum bulb that simulates the wavelengths of sunlight and is far brighter than any incandescent bulb. It's a simple treatment, but it's not convenient for many people, as you must do it every day until the season changes, or you risk the return of your depression.
Here are some other treatment options:
* Antidepressants, typically serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are effective but can have side effects such as insomnia, nausea, diarrhea and decreased libido
* Cognitive behavior therapy, which trains people to become aware of their negative thought patterns and teaches them how to replace them with more positive ones
* Exercising for as little as 20 minutes, which has been shown to significantly boost mood
* Getting outside more often, since the fresh air and sunlight can make a positive difference in how you feel

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Orlando Chiropractor|The Acid-Osteoporosis Connection
8/12/13
Researchers have frequently noted that osteoporosis (low bone density) is rare in Japan and other Asian countries where dairy consumption is low, and most common in the west where we have a love affair with cheese, butter and cream. Since calcium is a primary component of both bones and milk, and calcium supplements are routinely prescribed as a treatment for osteoporosis, why should this be so?
One theory of why Asian bones are so much healthier than those of people in the west is that they eat a low acid diet. In Asian cooking, foods that produce little acid in the body such as fruit and vegetables, form a much greater proportion of the diet than meats, cereals and dairy products that break down into acidic by-products.
Although we think of bones as one of the most solid parts of our body, they are actually in a continual process of being broken down and rebuilt. Either breaking down too quickly or building up too slowly is going to have a detrimental effect on bone density. In addition to providing the body's skeletal foundation, our bones also play a pivotal role in regulating the pH of the blood. If the blood becomes too acid, then calcium is taken from the bones in order restore the acid-alkaline balance. So regardless of how much calcium we are consuming, if our blood becomes too acid, calcium will be lost from the bones and put us at a much greater risk of osteoporosis.
The idea that a low acid (alkaline) diet can lead to good health has been around since the 19th century, when scientists noticed that a more meat-based diet led to more acidic urine. The theory has been more widely explored over the last hundred years and championed by alternative health practitioners as a way of preventing and curing heart disease, cancer, obesity and many other common and severe ailments. It has not been without criticism, however, and conventional medical thinking gives little credence to the theory. The American Institute for Cancer Research has also stated that changing the pH level of the whole body to provide a less acidic environment for cancer cells to flourish is "virtually impossible".
A paper published in 2001 by the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging supported the low acid diet in reducing the loss of bone density in older adults, but other studies have not been so positive. Furthermore, the most recent scientific analysis of the current evidence on the metabolic role of acidic ions published in Nutrition Journal in 2009 concluded that an increase in acid-forming foods did not lead to an increase in the loss of calcium or breakdown of bone. In fact, increased acidic metabolites in the form of phosphates actually seemed to reduce calcium loss through urine.
So, although the low-acid diet is still advocated as a way of potentially preventing and slowing the development of osteoporosis, the jury is still out as to whether there is good evidence behind it. Until an acid-osteoporosis connection is definitively established, eating a balanced diet, getting some regular weight-bearing exercise and reducing tobacco and alcohol consumption is the best route to improving bone density.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic Care Improves Pregnancy-Related Pelvic Pain
8/12/13
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), commonly referred to as pelvic pain, is a condition that is growing more common among pregnant women, either due to increasing maternal age or to the condition simply being diagnosed more frequently. The pain is due to excessive movement of the bones that make up the pubic symphysis, which are the two bones that meet at the front of the pelvic girdle and are connected by a joint made of cartilage and supported by ligaments.
During pregnancy, a woman's body secretes increased amounts of the hormone relaxin, which makes cartilage, ligaments and other soft tissues more flexible in preparation for childbirth. There is normally a 4-5 mm gap between the bones of the pubic symphysis. However, that space can increase another 2-3 mm during pregnancy, often causing both pelvic pain and pain in the lower back and sacroiliac. Over 30 percent of women are reported as suffering from some form of SPD during pregnancy, with approximately 7 percent continuing to experience pain post-partum.
Symptoms of SPD include shooting pain in the pubic symphysis area (which often radiates to the abdomen, lower back and upper leg), pain on movement, a waddling gait and swelling in the pubic area. The pain can range from mild to debilitating, and the condition can interfere with normal daily activities such as bending, lifting the leg and getting up from a chair.
A recent study published in The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association has reported that conservative chiropractic care can reduce pain from pregnancy-related SPD, increase mobility and improve function.
Dr. Emily R. Howell of Ashbridge's Health Center in Toronto studied two cases of women at 30 weeks of pregnancy (35 and 33 years of age) who reported severe SPD (including pain in the lower back and sacroiliac, respectively) and who received conservative chiropractic management. Treatment included side-lying mobilizations, instrument-assisted adjustments to the pubic symphysis, pelvic blocks, use of a pregnancy support belt and soft tissue therapy. Both patients were also given tips and exercises they could perform at home, which included stretches, pelvic floor exercises, using a pillow between the knees during sleep and getting up and moving around periodically. Post-partum exercises were suggested to help restore muscular strength, improve control and encourage pelvic stability.
Both women reported relief from chiropractic treatment during their pregnancy and the tips they used at home. Long-term follow-up evaluation post-partum found that the patient with SPD and low back pain had no more pain from SPD, with some low back pain related to a subsequent knee injury. The second woman reported being nearly pain-free, apart from a rare re-occurrence of some mild pelvic pain.
Chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment option for dealing with pelvic pain during pregnancy that is drug-free and has been proven to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life both during and after pregnancy.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Salt: the Latest "Stealth Threat" to Children's Health
8/12/13
It's not that surprising that a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that children were eating almost as much salt as adults every day. Whether it's McDonald's Chicken McNuggets (540 mg per 6-piece serving) or a serving of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (560 mg), the foods that many parents find most convenient and palatable to feed their children contain very high amounts of sodium. And it's leading to an increase in rates of high blood pressure at an early age.
The CDC study examined the sodium intake of 6,235 children between the ages of 8 and 18. The study subjects had their blood pressure measured, their weight taken, and they provided detailed information about what they ate each day, from which researchers calculated their sodium intake. The children were found to eat an average of 3,387 mg of sodium every day, only slightly below the adult average of 3,466 mg per day, which itself is far above the government's recommended daily intake of 2,300 mg.
Approximately 15 percent of the children were found to have either pre-hypertension (slightly elevated blood pressure that is the precursor to hypertension) or high blood pressure. Obese children who ate the most salt were three times more likely to have high blood pressure than children with low sodium intake. High blood pressure is a major contributor to the incidence of heart disease and stroke, and when combined with obesity, it significantly raises the risk of contracting these diseases.
The typical American diet is full of processed food, which is where much of the sodium is concentrated. Only about 10 percent of our daily sodium intake comes from the salt shaker. Food manufacturers add sodium to their products to increase their flavor and extend shelf life, and this done whether that food is for adults or children. Oscar Meyer's Lunchables contain 870 mg of sodium, more than a third of the recommended daily salt intake.
The best way to protect your children from getting too much sodium in their diet is to avoid feeding them processed food, whether it's packaged snacks or fast food. Have cut-up fresh fruit or veggies like carrot sticks on hand for when they come home, and keep snacking to a minimum. The more meals you cook from fresh ingredients the better. Preparing fresh foods for your children's meal does not have to be labor-intensive and it will guarantee that your child is not one of the 15 percent who is at greatest risk of contracting a chronic disease before they reach adulthood.
While it is important to keep the sodium from processed foods to a minimum, you should also be sure you do not cut too much salt from your child's diet. Salt is integral to the healthy functioning of the body, but buying a different kind of salt may help reduce your sodium intake. Almost all salt in processed food is refined, meaning that it is pure sodium chloride that has had the potassium, magnesium, calcium and other trace minerals stripped from it. It's precisely these trace minerals (that are not removed in unrefined salts such as celtic sea salt or gray salt) that add significantly more flavor, which allows you to use less of it to achieve the same effect.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Circadian Rhythms: What They Mean for Your Health, Happiness and Performance
8/12/13
If you want to be in top form for that important meeting with a new client, it's probably best not to arrange it for 2:00 in the afternoon. Likewise, training for a marathon is not a good idea first thing in the morning if you want to reduce your risk of injury.
Our circadian rhythm (commonly referred to as our body clock) plays a large part in how we perform the various tasks that fill our lives from day to day. While it is nearly impossible for most of us to schedule our obligations such as jobs, childcare, and daily errands to accommodate our body clock, we can still make small changes that will help us be healthier, happier and more productive.
So when is the best time to do certain things? Here's a short list:
Work - Different kinds of work each have an optimal time of day. If you want to be sharp in your analytical thinking, late morning is best, peaking at around 10 am. Our body temperature is lowest at about 5 am and gradually rises as the morning progresses, along with alertness and cognitive ability. To jump-start this process, taking a warm shower first thing in the morning can help you become more alert earlier in the day. Just be sure such tasks are finished by noon, when alertness begins to drop off.
However, if you need to solve a problem, the best time for creative thinking is in the evening when we begin to tire, according to Mareike Wieth, assistant professor of psychological sciences at Michigan's Albion College and an author of a study published in the journal Thinking and Reasoning. The study found that when subjects were required to solve problems requiring either analytical thinking or creative thinking, they solved the problems that required creativity far better at the time of day when they were not at their peak.
Naps - Many cultures in Europe have followed the tradition of the afternoon "siesta" for centuries, and for good reason. We are naturally sleepy around 2 pm, so if you are able to take a nap around that time, it could help you be more alert for the rest of the day. Studies have shown that a one-hour nap can boost alertness for the following 10 hours. And a study performed on pilots found that a nap of about half an hour boosted performance by 34% and enhanced general alertness by 54%. However, try to keep naps to 45 minutes or less, as if you sleep longer than that you may enter into slow-wave sleep, which can leave you feeling groggy and disoriented for up to half an hour after you wake.
Studying - While it may be tempting to study late at night when it seems you have the most time, learning is best accomplished in the morning when cognitive activity is at its peak. However, reviewing material you have already learned is done best just before going to bed. Research has shown that sleeping after a task is performed improves recall.
Exercise - Physical performance is most enhanced and the risk of injury minimized between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm each day. In addition, the lungs perform at 17.6% greater efficiency at 5:00 pm and muscle strength is 6% higher between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm than at other times of day.
Eating - If you would like to ensure you do not become obese, try limiting your eating times to when you are most alert and active. In a study involving two groups of mice who were all given the same diet and amount of food, researchers found that mice who were allowed to eat at all times of day became obese, had contracted diabetes and liver disease, and had cholesterol levels twice as high as mice who only ate during an 8-hour period when they were most active. So it's best to eat your largest meal at midday and have a light supper early in the evening.

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Orlando Chiropractor|High Blood Pressure Facts and Fiction
8/12/13
High blood pressure (hypertension) is widespread, affecting approximately 25% of the population. If the condition remains untreated, it can lead to more serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
However, there are many myths about high blood pressure in the popular press. So in the following paragraphs we'll separate fiction from fact to provide you with a more accurate understanding of this common health problem.
Fiction: The lower your blood pressure, the better.
Fact: Low blood pressure can also lead to health problems. It can cause dizziness or fainting, increasing your risk of falls, and (if it is severe), can even lead to shock and death.
Fiction: Young people do not need to have their blood pressure checked.
Fact: While young people are at lower risk, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advises that everyone have their blood pressure checked from the age of 18.
Fiction: High blood pressure always has symptoms.
Fact: This is not necessarily the case. While some experience sweating, nervousness and sleep disturbances, approximately one in three adult Americans with high blood pressure have it and are not aware of it. This is the reason hypertension is sometimes called "the silent killer".
Fiction: Blood pressure is only high because you are at the doctor's office.
Fact: Many people get nervous while at the doctor's office, which can raise blood pressure levels. However, repeated high readings should be an indication that it is not a situational condition. Home blood pressure monitors are now easily obtainable. So take your measurements at home a few times and then share the results with your doctor.
Fiction: If you have high cholesterol, you must have high blood pressure.
Fact: Although the risk factors for both are often the same (poor diet, lack of exercise, etc.), having one does not necessarily mean you have the other. You should have both your blood pressure and cholesterol checked periodically to ensure that you do not have either.
Fiction: Women do not need to worry about getting high blood pressure.
Fact: Although middle-aged men are more likely to have high blood pressure than women, the numbers begin to even out after a woman reaches menopause. In fact, African-American women over age 65 have the highest rate of high blood pressure. Other women at higher risk are those with a history of the disease in their family, those who are on birth control pills, those who are pregnant, and those who are overweight.
Fiction: Over-the-counter medications are always safe for those with high blood pressure.
Fact: Decongestants can both interfere with blood pressure medications and raise blood pressure. If you are looking for cold and flu remedies, ensure that they do not contain decongestants.
Fiction: Insulin injections cause high blood pressure.
Fact: It was once believed that people taking insulin were at greater risk of hardened arteries and high blood pressure, but this idea has since been disproved.
Fiction: As your blood pressure improves, it's all right to stop taking your blood pressure medication.
Fact: It is never a good idea to stop taking your blood pressure medication until you have consulted with your doctor. Suddenly stopping your medication can cause your blood pressure to spike suddenly, stressing the heart, causing an irregular heartbeat and increasing your risk of a heart attack. It can also cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness and insomnia. If you decide to discontinue taking your medication, do so slowly, and always under a doctor's supervision.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Core Strength: What It Is and Why It Matters
8/12/13
Core strength is a concept often talked about in health centers, gyms and yoga studios but what is it and why does it matter?
In human beings, the majority of movement originates from the lower part of the torso (the lumbar spine and abdomen). This is the part of the body that tenses first and keeps the body balanced during running, lifting, twisting and other normal day-to-day movements. Strength in this region is a basic building block from which to develop power in other areas of the body and is fundamental to maintaining good posture and spinal alignment.
Anatomically speaking, the core region of the body consists of the lower back, abdomen, pelvis and diaphragm. The main muscle groups include the transversus abdominus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis and erector spinae. It is these muscles that often need strengthening due to the fact that on a daily basis most of us are far less active than our ancestors who worked at more physically demanding jobs.
We've known about the importance of core strength for a long time. Yoga and Pilates teachers, martial artists and qi gong practitioners all move from the same center of gravity and balance in the core region and view this area as the nexus of human power and energy. They stress the importance of strengthening the core through breathing exercises and meditation as well as physical movement. Since the core region of the body contains the diaphragm, ease of breathing is both a sign and result of good core strength. Back pain, on the other hand, may well be a sign that core strength needs to be improved.
For those who practice sports, proper alignment is particularly important to prevent injuries during physical exertion. If the core muscles are not strong enough to support the spine during movement, then other muscle groups will be used to perform the action with a much greater risk of damage. The rest of us also need to be conscious of our core strength since we all engage in strenuous action at various points in our lives (lifting boxes, running to catch a bus, playfully swinging a child, etc.).
While chiropractors are always willing to help patients in need of treatment, the ultimate goal of chiropractic care is for everyone to have the best possible spinal health. Good core strength definitely contributes to that, whether you are otherwise healthy or have an ongoing postural problem. If you want to improve your spinal health and posture and reduce your chance of injury, working on core strength through a balanced program of exercise is a very good, and inexpensive, way of going about it.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Why Having Good Posture Matters and What You Can Do About It
8/12/13
How many times did we hear from our parents when we were children, "sit up straight"? Our parents were not telling us to do this merely to keep us from looking like a boiled noodle. Good posture is important for a variety of health reasons as well. It helps us to breathe properly, increases concentration, reduces the risk of neck and back pain and increases our sense of well-being.
And yet most people have bad posture. It is not surprising, given how many hours we spend sitting at a desk. Both bad ergonomics and the number of hours spent sitting without getting up and moving around has led to an epidemic of bad posture - and subsequently many cases of back and neck pain.
According to Dr. Roger Sperry, who received a Nobel Prize for brain research, "The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism and healing." Proper posture opens the airways and expands the rib cage, allowing us to breathe more deeply. Our lung capacity is reduced by as much as 30% when we slouch. A brain receiving its full measure of oxygen is more powerful and has a better ability to concentrate. Your muscles and organs will also benefit from added oxygen, giving you more energy.
Poor posture also makes you tire more easily. Our skeletal system was designed to perform optimally when we are in the correct posture. The spine takes the majority of the weight-bearing stress both when we are moving and sitting. However, bad posture moves the weight to areas of the skeleton that were not designed to take a great amount of force. This makes our muscles, tendons and ligaments work harder to keep us upright and puts excessive stress on less sturdy parts of our bones and joints. Over time, bad posture causes changes to the spine that can become permanent, constricting nerves and blood vessels and leading to chronic pain.
Studies have shown that people experiencing depression felt markedly better when their posture improved, and it also increases self-confidence. A study by researchers at Ohio State University instructed subjects to sit up straight or to slouch. Of those who sat up straight, "Their confident, upright posture gave them more confidence in their own thoughts, whether they were positive or negative," according to co-author of the study, Richard Perry, a professor of psychology at the university.
If you have proper posture you should be able to draw a straight line down from the earlobe through the shoulder, hip, knee and mid-ankle. Your chin should be parallel with the floor. Most people's heads jut forward due to crouching over laptops and hand-held devices like mobile phones and tablets. When the head juts only an inch forward from the spine it essentially doubles the amount of head weight the musculoskeletal system must absorb.
To help maintain your posture throughout the day, choose an office chair that is ergonomically designed, with extra support for the lower back. You should also get up and move around regularly throughout the day. Furthermore, it's important to strengthen your core muscles, which help to promote good posture. Yoga and Pilates are good forms of exercise for overall stretching and strengthening and will enable you to maintain good posture.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Do Back Support Belts Really Help Prevent Injuries?
8/12/13
Many people work in professions that require them to lift heavy objects on a regular basis. Baggage handlers and construction workers, for instance, are increasingly working with the help of a back support belt in the belief that using it can reduce the likelihood of a back injury. In fact, many companies require it of their workers so as to reduce the number of days spent out of work recovering from an injury. But are back support belts really effective? The experts are skeptical.
Reducing the number of back injuries is an important goal. Almost 20% of all illnesses and injuries in the workplace are due to an injury to the back. The cost of treating these injuries is estimated at between 20 and 50 billion dollars each year. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is responsible for workplace safety, has researched the subject extensively by examining the available scientific literature on the effectiveness of back belts. Based on their staff's research and analysis, NIOSH believes that companies should favor instituting sound ergonomic programs as opposed to the use of back belts for preventing injury.
Back belts (also referred to as abdominal belts or back supports) are being purchased in greater numbers than ever. However, after examining the evidence, NIOSH found there was no support for the claim that the use of back belts prevents back injuries in those who have never suffered a back injury. In fact, in many cases it may promote injuries to the back.
A study performed by researchers at Ohio State University found that people were just as likely to injure their backs while wearing a support belt as when they were not wearing one. The study subjects wore one of three different kinds of back belts: elastic, leather or orthotic. The elastic belt lightened the load on the subjects' back by only 10%. The other two belts were found to have no effect whatsoever. Professor William Marras, lead author of the study said, "You can lift about 20 percent more weight when you wear a back belt, but that doesn't mean that you have 20 percent more protection on your spine. So you may try to lift more than you can handle and hurt yourself."
Dr. Chad Henriksen, a chiropractor specializing in issues related to health in the workplace, feels that support belts can weaken the back. "Too often, employees will wear the back support throughout an entire eight-hour workday," Henriksen says, "and in that situation, I think we're getting some de-conditioning of the muscles in the lumbar spine which sets them up for back troubles later on." Regular use of support belts also raises blood pressure, which can be an issue for those with hypertension.
Unless you have suffered a back injury that requires the use of a back support belt for rehabilitation, it is better to avoid them and instead learn the proper techniques for lifting heavy objects. You can also employ the use of hand trucks, chutes, slides and hoists to help take a greater part of the load off your back.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Eat Your Tomatoes to Enjoy the Health Benefits of Lycopene
8/12/13
The substance responsible for giving deep red fruits and vegetables their color is a carotenoid called lycopene. Like other carotenoids, it is an antioxidant that works to destroy cell-damaging free radicals. However, it is better than other carotenoids in maintaining the integrity of our cell membranes, making them more effective in allowing nutrients to enter, removing waste and preventing the invasion of bacteria and toxins. This means they can play a greater role in reducing the risk of disease. Of all the red fruits and vegetables, tomatoes are the number one source of lycopene, particularly if they have been processed.
Researchers say they are discovering more health benefits to lycopene all the time. It has long been known to protect against heart disease and cancer, particularly cancer of the prostate. A Harvard study found that men who ate foods containing cooked tomatoes (such as tomato sauce) twice a week or more had a 20% lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Furthermore, during a recent conference at Virginia Technical Institute that was sponsored by the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy, scientists reported that lycopene can protect against the sun's damaging UV rays-the ones that promote skin cancer. Experts note that, while sunscreens work on the outside to keep skin from being damaged, lycopene protects skin from the inside. Only one cup of tomatoes per day is needed to reduce sun damage by up to 35%.
Scientists have discovered the mechanism by which lycopene interferes in the development of cancer-it keeps cancer cells from connecting to a blood supply. Lycopene appears to keep cancer cells from linking to the endothelial cells that are necessary to create blood vessels through which it can feed itself.
Lycopene's usefulness in helping to prevent bone loss is also impressive. Our bones are always in a process of breaking down and re-forming, but with the help of lycopene, the rate of bone formation exceeds that of bone loss, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
To get the greatest benefit from the lycopene in tomatoes, be sure to eat tomatoes that have been cooked or processed. Tomatoes that have been canned, frozen, cooked in sauce or turned into a juice are great examples. Cooking breaks down the tomato's cell walls, releasing more lycopene than is available when the tomato is eaten raw. In addition, tomato products should be eaten with a little fat (such as olive oil) since lycopene is fat-soluble and absorption is improved in the presence of some fat.
Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, another potent antioxidant, and contain folate, niacin and vitamin B6, which contribute to lowering the risk of heart disease. And drinking a glass of tomato juice every day has been shown to reduce levels of a substance called TNF-alpha by up to 34%. TNF-alpha is a cytokine that causes inflammation, which is linked to a number of chronic diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease.
Although watermelon and pink grapefruit also contain some lycopene, the amount in tomatoes exceeds those by more than tenfold. So eat more tomatoes and enjoy the benefits of better health!

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Orlando Chiropractor|Why We Shrink as We Get Older
8/12/13
If you've ever noticed that the car ahead of you in traffic seems to be driving itself, there's a good chance that the person driving it is elderly.
Shrinking in height as we age is quite normal, and some people start to get shorter starting at about the age of 30. Only about 20% of the population does not noticeably shrink, which is due to a combination of good genetics and a healthy lifestyle.
Not only do we shrink with age, but our height also varies considerably each day, by up to three-quarters of an inch. The vertebral discs that are sandwiched between the vertebrae, and which act as shock absorbers for the spine, are composed of up to 88% water. In the course of our daily activities, this water is slowly squeezed out of these discs every time the spine moves. Then when we are lying down at night in bed and pressure is taken off the discs, the disks reabsorb the expelled water, similar to a sponge. So it's likely you are somewhat taller when you first get up in the morning than you are at the end of the day.
With age, a number of degenerative processes can interfere with keeping the vertebral discs properly hydrated, causing them to become less pliable. In addition, bone degeneration can contribute to the gradual collapse of the vertebrae, particularly in the upper back, which causes what's referred to as "dowager's hump," that can take some inches off your height.
Studies have found that men lose and average of 1.2 inches in height between the ages of 30 and 70, and 2 inches in total by age 80. By comparison, women lose 2 inches in height between age 30 and 70 and a total of 3 inches by age 80.
While genetics plays the largest role in how much you shrink as you age, lifestyle choices can make a significant difference as well. Those who smoke, are obese, have diabetes, get little aerobic exercise, drink excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine and who do not follow a healthy diet are at greater risk of losing a significant amount of height as they age.
And while losing some height as we age is normal, losing too much over a short period of time can be an indicator of a more serious health condition. It is not unusual to shrink in height by a quarter inch to a third of an inch each decade after the age of 40. However, if you are a man between the ages of 45 and 65 and notice that you are shrinking, you should see your doctor. Rapid loss of height in men can be an indicator of heart disease and can suggest they are at greater risk of a fracture of the spine or hip. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that men who lose two or more inches within two years after age 70 have a 54% greater risk of a hip fracture, and women have a 21% greater risk.
Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that men who had shrunk 1.2 inches or more over a 20-year span had a 46% greater likelihood of heart disease and were 64% more likely to die from any cause.
The best way to help preserve your height is to eat a balanced diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D) and to get plenty of exercise, particularly weight-bearing exercise (which includes walking and running), which helps to keep bones strong.

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Orlando Chiropractor|What Is "Brown Fat" and How Is It Different from "White Fat"?
8/12/13
While many of us struggle to keep the amount of fat in our bodies to a minimum, there is one type of fat that we may want to encourage more of. Brown fat (also called brown adipose tissue) is our friend in that it has the ability to burn calories at a great rate, particularly when it is stimulated by exposure to cold temperatures.
As opposed to white fat, whose purpose is to store calories, brown fat essentially sucks white fat from the body to use for fuel, leading to a reduction in overall body fat. Researchers are now looking into ways of stimulating the body to replace white fat with brown.
Both human babies and animals are born with a significant amount of brown fat in the body. In infants it is concentrated around the upper back and trunk area to provide insulation and heat-generating activity to keep an infant warm, as they do not have the ability to shiver to generate heat. It was originally thought that this type of fat was no longer present in adulthood, but researchers have found residual amounts that are activated when people are exposed to cold and when they exercise.
Interestingly, those who are obese have been shown to have little or no brown fat. It appears in the greatest amounts in people who are thin, which is perhaps why they are slender in the first place. Women have more brown fat than men, and young people have more than older people. It can increase the metabolism by up to 80 percent and generates warmth. The presence of brown fat can be seen around the lower neck, the clavicle and along the spine on a PET scan when the subject is put in a cold room.
Until very recently, researchers did not know what particular mechanism caused the brown fat to be activated. However, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have discovered a protein that spurs brown fat into action. Dr. Yuriy Kirichok, associate professor of physiology, and colleagues found that the protein called uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) causes the mitochondria in the cells of brown fat to burn energy and generate heat. There are more mitochondria in brown fat cells than in the body's other cells (including white fat cells), so theyf have greater potential for energy burning.
Those who have low levels of brown fat have also been shown to have low bone mineral density. Dr. Clifford Rosen, professor of medicine at Boston's Tufts University School of Medicine was shocked by the state of the bones in his mouse study subjects. "The animals have the worst bone density we have ever seen," he said. "I see osteoporotic bones all the time, but, oh my God, these are the extreme."
So brown fat has the possibility of not only aiding in weight loss, but may also aid in maintaining good bone health. Researchers still have a lot of work to do, but they intend to take what they have discovered about brown fat and develop therapies that may be able to help people generate more of their own brown fat in the future.

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Orlando Chiropractor|A Quick Guide to Your Body's Connective Tissue
8/12/13
Connective tissue is one of the four basic tissue types that comprise the human body. The other three types are epilethial tissue (skin and internal lining), nervous tissue and muscle tissue.
As the name suggests, the purpose of connective tissue is to connect and support other parts of the body. Certain types, such as adipose (fatty) tissue are also used to store energy. Connective tissue is both more fibrous and diverse than other tissue types, ranging in consistency from a gel-like structure to being hard like bones.
Unlike most other kinds of cells, which are directly attached to each other, individual cells of connective tissue are scattered throughout an extracellular matrix of what is called ground substance. Ground substance is a clear viscous fluid that fixes water and collagen fibers so they are held together in the extracellular space. The matrix is produced by fibroblast cells and is comprised of three kinds of fibers that work together to support the cells and provide strength: collagen, elastic fibers and reticular fibers. Collagen alone comprises more than a quarter of the total protein in the body.
Connective tissue is subdivided into three subtypes:
1. Embryonic connective tissue. As the name suggests, embryonic connective tissue is formed in the embryo, and this is the tissue from which all other connective tissue arises.
2. Proper (or mature) connective tissue. Proper connective tissue can be referred to as either "loose' or "dense" depending on its structure.

Areolar and adipose tissue are both examples of loose connective tissue. Together they form the subcutaneous layer of the skin that attaches our skin to the tissues and organs underneath and which also insulates the body against changes in temperature. Reticular connective tissue is also classified as loose and consists of interweaving reticular fibers. Reticular connective tissue provides support and structure in the spleen, liver and lymph nodes.

Dense connective tissue can be regular, irregular or elastic. Regular dense connective tissue consists of neatly arranged bundles of collagen fibers, which provide this tissue with the great strength that is needed in our ligaments and tendons. Irregular dense connective tissue is also strong, but in all directions rather than just one. It is found in the dermis of the skin and pericardium (the supportive sac which encloses the heart). Elastic connective tissue is dominated by elastin fibers and is found in the parts of the body that need tissue with an ability to stretch, such as the lungs and arteries.
3. Special connective tissue (including cartilage, blood, hemapoetic (blood-producing) tissue, bone and lymphatic tissue).

Cartilage and bone are special connective tissues that provide more solid structure to parts of the body. Bone is harder and tougher than cartilage, but both can resist a considerable amount of stress.

Lymphatic tissue and blood are the fluid types of special connective tissue. The function of blood in transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide to cells is well known. Lymphatic fluid has a role in draining excess fluid from the body, supporting the immune response and aiding in the transport of certain dietary fats and fat-soluble nutrients.

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Orlando Chiropractor|The Latest Research on Restricted-Calorie Diets
8/12/13
The notion that a restricted-calorie diet can increase our lifespan has been around since an experiment that was done on rats in 1934. During this experiment, rats were fed a diet that contained an adequate allowance of all key nutrients but a sharply reduced number of calories. These rats lived twice as long as the rats in a control group with a normal caloric intake.
These startling results led to additional experiments with rhesus monkeys in the 1980s, and they eventual inspired the "Longevity Diet," a book that was published in 2005 advocating the health benefits of a restricted-calorie diet.
Two major studies examining the effects of restricted-calorie diets were conducted by the University of Wisconsin and the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Researchers chose Rhesus monkeys as the experimental subjects due to their greater similarity to humans (in terms of genetics, physiology and lifespan) than the rodents used in earlier experiments.
The initial results of both studies were promising. The University of Wisconsin study found that after 20 years, the calorie-restricted monkeys had a lower incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases related to aging, and only half died as a result of age-related illness, as opposed to 80 percent of the free-eating monkeys. In 2006, researchers from the NIA study reported that the restricted-calorie diet monkeys also appeared to have younger-acting immune systems. However, the benefits of a restricted-calorie diet have been thrown into question more recently with the release of the final findings of the NIA's experiment. These were reported in the journal Nature in August 2012.
According to one of the NIA's lead researchers, Julie Mattison, the results of their experiment found that "the calorie-restricted monkeys lived no longer than the other monkeys." The oldest monkeys in both the experimental and control groups had the same rates of heart disease, tumors and general age-related deterioration. Although the restricted-calorie monkeys did show evidence of lower triglycerides and better cholesterol levels, this did not translate into living any longer.
Even those monkeys who began calorie restriction early in life showed no edge over their more gluttonous peers. In fact, there was only a slight benefit to those monkeys who began calorie restriction later in life. Those who began it early died more often of causes unrelated to aging. So how is this discrepancy explained?
One possible answer may be that there were some major flaws in the Wisconsin study. The diet fed to the control group monkeys was completely unrestricted, meaning they could eat as much as they wanted to. In addition, it contained seven times the amount of table sugar as the diet fed to the NIA control group. This was an attempt to simulate the typical American diet, in which sugar accounts for 28 percent of calories. Essentially, the control group monkeys were fed a typical unhealthy American diet (the kind that is contributing to the obesity epidemic), which would lead anyone-monkey or human-to an earlier death. The monkeys in the NIA study control group were fed a balanced diet of a fixed amount of food, so they were not allowed to overeat. In addition, the Wisconsin study results did not include the many monkeys who died from conditions unrelated to aging, which would likely have affected the results' statistical validity
Extreme diets of any kind can lead to a variety of health problems. The bottom line for those who seek to live as long and healthy a life as possible is to eat a wide range of whole, fresh foods in moderation and avoid as much sugar, refined flour and hydrogenated oil as you can, while getting a moderate amount of exercise.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Balance and Aging
8/12/13
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of death related to injury among the elderly, and over a third of those aged 65 and older fall every year. Problems with balance are not uncommon in older adults and are one of the primary reasons they seek consultation with a doctor. This is not surprising, since balance issues can seriously affect the activities of everyday living, such as walking, getting up from a chair, navigating stairs and bending over.
Balance disorders in older people are often due to inner ear problems. These include:
* Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Tiny particles of calcium called otoconia break free in the inner ear and hit the inner ear's sensors, which are responsible for telling you where you are in space, creating a sensation of dizziness and an intense feeling of vertigo when you change position.
* Labyrinthitis. A swelling and irritation of the inner ear.
* Menière's Disease. An inner ear disorder characterized by low-pitched tinnitus, vertigo, intermittent hearing loss (it comes and goes) and a feeling of fullness in the ear.
Loss of balance can also be a result of vision problems such as macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Cardiac problems, low blood sugar and some medications can also lead to a loss of balance.
Dr. Neil Cherian, from the Neurological Center for Pain at the Cleveland Clinic, specializing in tinnitus, dizziness, and vestibular and balance disorders says, "As you age, common disorders such as vision loss, arthritis, and a diminished number of nerve endings in the feet can negatively affect your balance."
Our vestibular system is what keeps us from falling over. It is a system of fluid-filled tubes that work with specialized nerves in the inner ear to tell the brain what position we are in. As we age, that system can begin to break down. Both blood flow and the number of nerves in the inner ear begin to decline after age 55. However, certain activities can help to preserve your sense of balance and allow you to maintain your agility into older age.
"Cardiovascular workouts like hiking and climbing can help maintain and even improve your equilibrium," Dr. Cherian notes. Joint mobility and muscle strength are necessary in order to keep in balance, and many seniors struggle with limited mobility and arthritis. However, there are activities that improve and strengthen these abilities and are appropriate for seniors, such as Tai Chi, yoga, water aerobics, dancing and gardening, all of which can help to keep your sense of balance honed. Your local senior center, recreation center or health club will usually offer a variety of activities geared toward older adults.
Following are some exercises to help maintain balance that can be practiced at home:
* Stand with your back to a wall, with your heels about 8 inches from it. Lift the balls of your feet off the ground as high as you can and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

* Using the back of a chair, a railing or wall to steady yourself, move up and down on the balls of your feet. Repeat as many times as you can. When you begin to feel steadier, try the exercise standing on one leg at a time.

* Practice walking up and down stairs to strengthen you thigh and hip muscles.

* Repeatedly getting up from a chair can also strengthen hip and thigh muscles. Try to use your hand as little as possible when doing this for the greatest benefit.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Sprains and Strains: What Are They and What's the Difference?
8/12/13
Most people are understandably confused about what constitutes a sprain and what constitutes a strain. Both injuries cause pain and can interfere with your ability to move. The difference is really quite small: a strain involves injury to a muscle or tendon and a sprain involves injury to a ligament.
Tendons are the type of connective tissue that attaches your muscles to your bones. Strains happen when a tendon or muscle becomes overstretched or excessively stressed, losing much of its ability to contract, either during an acute injury or over time. If the injury happens over a length of time, it is referred to as an overuse injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive use of a keyboard is an example of this type of strain injury. Symptoms of a strain injury include weakness, local pain or tenderness and muscle spasms. One of the most common kinds of strain injury occurs when people hurt their back muscles by trying to lift something that is too heavy in an improper manner (by lifting with the back instead of the legs).
Ligaments (the connective tissue that attaches two bones to each other at a joint) are intended to help support the movement of a joint only in specific directions. For instance, the joint at your knee is a hinge that allows for forward and backward movement, though in normal situations it only allows for very limited side-to-side movement at the joint. Sprains occur when a ligament either stretches excessively, tears or completely separates due to acute stress that puts the joint out of place and subsequently injures the ligament. Symptoms of a sprain are more outwardly obvious, involving swelling, bruising, pain and instability around the joint.
Both sprains and strains are placed into one of three categories based on severity:
Grade I. A minor injury to the muscle, tendon or ligament involving a slight overstretching or minor tearing.
Grade II. A moderate injury to the muscle, tendon or ligament in which the tissue is partially torn but still connected.
Grade III. A severe injury to the muscle, tendon or ligament that involves a complete rupture of the affected tissue.
A physician should be consulted in the case of a severe sprain or strain. Treatment for mild to moderate cases of both types of injuries is the same: RICE.
R is for Rest. Do not move the injured part for two or three days after the injury.
I is for Ice. Apply ice to the sprain or strain for 10-20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours for the first 3 days.
C is for Compression. Wrap the injury lightly but firmly in a compression bandage to support the joint and help keep swelling down.
E is for Elevation. Keep the injury elevated to reduce swelling.
Sprains take longer to heal than strains, as ligaments have less blood supply than tendons and muscles. The severity of the injury obviously also influences the amount of recovery time needed. A Grade I sprain generally heals within 1 to 3 weeks while a Grade II sprain heals within 6 to 8 weeks and a Grade III sprain can take up to a year to heal.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Is Chiropractic Safe During or After Pregnancy?
8/12/13
Low back pain is a common complaint among pregnant and post-partum women due to the extra weight they carry during the nine months of gestation. For this reason, it is not at all surprising that many pregnant women and new mothers seek chiropractic treatment to relieve their discomfort. However, we believe that women who are expecting or who have recently given birth should seek the advice of their physician anytime they are considering any sort of medical treatment at this point in their lives. Chiropractic care is no different.
What does science have to say about the safety of chiropractic adjustments for women before and after having a child? Three North American chiropractors reviewed the literature to look for evidence of adverse reactions to spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) in both pregnant and post-partum women (post-partum here being defined as up to six weeks following childbirth). In their research, they identified two appropriate review articles and five study papers. Four of these papers were case reports and the fifth was a cohort inquiry.
The four case reports all detailed some adverse effects in pregnant and post-partum women following SMT. Reported complications following treatment included memory loss and cerebellar problems, serious circulation difficulties (blood clots and blocked arteries), swelling, neck pain and numbness. Two of the reports also listed hematomas among the observed side-effects.
The cohort study reported that only three of 78 pregnant and post-partum patients described any form of adverse reaction to SMT. In all three cases, the adverse reaction was an increased level of pain, which resolved in less than one week with no additional complications. Both of the review articles noted the general absence of reported adverse effects following spinal manipulation carried out on pregnant and post-partum women.
Given the number of pregnant and post-partum patients treated by chiropractors, it is reasonable to conclude that the low number of reports of adverse reactions indicates that SMT is likely safe to perform on women in this condition. Although there may be a number of unreported post-treatment complications, this seems unlikely. It is also worth adding that spinal manipulation in patients outside of this treatment group may also infrequently cause increased levels of pain and other issues. The relatively low number and severity of post-treatment problems observed in the cohort study also add weight to the overall argument in favor of the safety of SMT during and immediately following pregnancy.
Provided that SMT is performed within the usual therapeutic guidelines, the existing evidence suggests that the benefits of reduced pain and a potentially easier delivery are likely to outweigh the risk of complications for pregnant and post-partum women. While additional studies (and improved reporting of problems following treatment) would be beneficial, there is no reason to believe that future findings will contradict the overall conclusion that SMT is safe to carry out on pregnant and post-partum patients.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Smoking Linked to Chronic Pain in Women
8/12/13
If you need yet another good reason to quit smoking for good, here it is. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky has found that women who smoke may be at greater risk of suffering from chronic pain than those who do not.
Researchers surveyed over 6000 women (18 years of age or older and living in Kentucky), asking them (1) whether they smoked and (2) if they suffered from any of the following conditions: chronic head pain, chronic neck pain, chronic back pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, joint pain, nerve problems and pain all over their body. A statistical analysis of their responses suggested that women who currently smoked or who had smoked previously were more likely to report having at least one symptom of chronic pain than women who had never smoked. Those who smoked daily were 104 percent more likely to suffer from chronic pain. Occasional smokers were 68 percent more likely. Even former smokers were at 20 percent greater risk of chronic pain.
Study results revealed that chronic pain was more strongly associated with a daily smoking habit than older age, low academic achievement, obesity or living in a county in Appalachia.
Co-author of the study, Dr. David Mannino, a pulmonary physician from the UK College of Public Health, suggested that the study results could represent something of a "chicken and egg" scenario. He explained, "This study shows a strong relationship between heavy smoking and chronic pain in women, but what is the direction of this association? Does smoking cause more chronic pain, or do more women take up smoking as a coping mechanism for experiencing chronic pain?"
Since acute pain is a protective response to some sort of injury, Mannino hypothesized that women smokers may have experienced an acute pain that then developed into chronic pain because their normal mechanisms of protection had been damaged by smoke exposure.
Another co-author of the study, Dr. Leslie Crofford, director of the Center for the Advancement of Women's Health, noted that it would be a good idea for researchers to now investigate if there is a link between smoking, psychopathology, quitting smoking and how chronic pain is managed.
Crofford says, "Our results show there is a dose-response relationship between smoking classification and chronic pain syndromes. It's possible that patients experiencing chronic pain could benefit from smoking cessation treatment in addition to the treatment for their pain. Similarly, it's possible that appropriate treatment of chronic pain could increase a smoker's chances of successfully quitting. Right now, more research is needed on these interventions."
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Orlando Chiropractor|Can Vitamin C Really Help Your Immune System?
8/12/13
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is the most commonly used supplement of all the recommended daily vitamins, and it's no wonder. In the 1970s Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling promoted the idea that mega-doses of vitamin C could be used for a number of health benefits, including prevention of the common cold. This possibility naturally had very wide appeal, since a great many people suffer through a cold on a semi-regular basis. We're particularly vulnerable during the winter months, when we're stuck indoors with other people who have been infected with the cold virus.
Pauling also promoted the idea that high doses of vitamin C could be effective in treating heart disease and in reducing the risk of infection and cancer. However, since Pauling's death in 1994 there has been some controversy as to whether high doses of vitamin C really have a positive effect on the immune system.
Scientists do agree that the regular intake of moderate doses of vitamin C (equal to about 200 mg per day) can lessen the severity and shorten the duration of the common cold. However, they also agree that vitamin C does not generally lower the likelihood of being infected by the cold virus. There is a notable exception for one part of the population, though. It has been shown that vitamin C does cut the incidence of colds in half for people involved in intensive physical activities, such as professional skiers and marathon runners.
What about the idea of mega-doses? A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that any vitamin C taken in excess of saturation (that is, beyond the point where the body can absorb and make use of it) is essentially useless and ends up being excreted in the urine. However, it's also worth mentioning that all mainstream research on vitamin C had been undertaken using small to moderate doses.
Drs. Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts decided to investigate the issue further and examined the NIH study in detail as well as clinical reports and independent scientific reports covering a 50-year period. In their analysis, they found evidence for the usefulness of vitamin C in boosting the immune system and in treating cancer and heart disease. They also questioned the validity of the NIH findings, noting that the NIH measured levels of vitamin C only in the blood and in white blood cells, which are the cells that are first in line to absorb vitamin C in the body. Hickey and Roberts suggest that the NIH did not take into account how the other cells in the body utilize vitamin C, especially given the large amount of clinical evidence as to its effectiveness.
Since vitamin C is found abundantly in a wide range of fruits and vegetables and is inexpensive to manufacture, the pharmaceutical companies do not have great interest in paying for large-scale studies on the effect of large doses of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been demonstrated to increase the production of antibodies and white blood cells and to increase levels of interferon, a substance that helps protect cells from invasion from viruses. Its antioxidant activity aids in keeping cells healthy so they are better able to guard against disease.
If you are interested in exploring the benefits of vitamin C, it can be found in greatest amounts in citrus fruit, bell peppers (particularly the red peppers), strawberries, broccoli and green leafy vegetables. Supplements are also widely available, and many nutritionists suggest that it's best to take 250-500 mg of these twice a day with meals rather than taking your daily dose all at once.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Adjusting Instrument Is as Effective as Manual Therapy in Chiropractic
8/12/13
If you've ever visited a chiropractor's office, the chances are good that you've seen a device that looks like the ones pictured here. And you may have been curious about what it is and why it's used.
The Activator Adjusting Instrument (AAI) is a hand-held tool that is used to provide low impact, high-speed chiropractic adjustment to specific areas of the body. As an alternative to hands-on manipulation, many chiropractors believe it is particularly useful in treating patients who are anxious about receiving manual treatment, including young children and the elderly.
The use of instruments in treating musculoskeletal conditions has a very long history (it's been prevalent for more than a century). However, some patients might wonder whether the AAI treatment is as effective as the hands-on alternatives. What does the research say about the effectiveness of AAI treatment as a chiropractic intervention? Since over half of all American chiropractors report using AAI treatment in their clinical practice, we thought we'd share some of the clinical evidence with you.
A team of researchers led by Tiffany Huggins conducted an analysis of previously published studies that examined chiropractic treatment using the AAI. Their approach included a search for papers in which the AAI was used either alone or as part of the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique (AMCT). The AMCT is a system of diagnosis and treatment involving the comparison of bilateral leg lengths as a measure of postural complications. Only eight studies were ultimately considered relevant and robust enough to include in the team's review. This was because many prior papers on the subject of the AAI addressed either its history or its diagnostic use, neither of which was related to the researchers' investigation.
The team's systematic review of the eight qualifying clinical studies was unequivocal in demonstrating that AAI treatment provided meaningful and statistically significant benefits to patients for a range of musculoskeletal disorders. In studies that compared AAI interventions with manual manipulation, hands-on treatment was found to be no more effective than that observed with AAI use.
Use of AAI treatment is thought to be particularly effective in working with patients who have fragile bones (those with osteoporosis, for example) as well as patients who are anxious about joint cavitation ("cracking") or being touched by others. While it's worth mentioning that no particular study has demonstrated that using the AAI is safer than manual manipulation, the reassurance it provides to certain types of patients may lead to greater clinical effectiveness when used appropriately.
The team's systemic review found that AAI treatment is just as effective as more traditional hands-on approaches, and the researchers concluded that there is no reason why it should not be included as part of mainstream chiropractic care. However, the study's authors were careful to point out the limitations of their own work, including the small number of clinical reports available for analysis. More investigation into the use of AAI treatment for different conditions would be very helpful to build a greater evidence base for effective clinical use of this instrument.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Can Chiropractic Care Help You Recover from Back Surgery?
8/12/13
Luckily, surgery is only necessary in a relatively small number of cases involving back problems. Non-invasive methods such as chiropractic care are available for treating a wide range of spinal conditions, including back pain, sciatica and herniated discs. However, in some severe cases, particularly those involving fractured vertebrae, scoliosis, kyphosis, and when degenerative disc disease has progressed to a point where the spinal nerves are being compressed and causing constant pain, surgery may be necessary.
Many people ask, "How long does recovery from spinal surgery take?" The answer varies greatly depending on the extent of the surgery and the techniques used as well as the general physical condition and behavior of the patient. Recovery time can range anywhere from two weeks to a year, with the average being about 12 weeks. However, there are some things you can do to help speed recovery, including receiving chiropractic care.
While regular chiropractic care can help keep you off the operating table in the first place, it can also help you to recover from back surgery if it does become necessary. Despite what you may think, visiting a chiropractor after back surgery does not have to be a cause for anxiety. Licensed chiropractors are among the most experienced healthcare professionals when it comes to treating spinal problems of all types. They will give you a thorough examination to assess your particular situation before beginning any kind of treatment. This examination will usually involve taking a detailed medical history, doing a careful physical evaluation and (where appropriate) ordering diagnostic imaging such as an x-ray or MRI.
Chiropractic care may not be appropriate for some time following certain types of procedures. For example, a spinal fusion surgery should generally be allowed to heal for a year before having chiropractic treatment. Consult with your surgeon and chiropractor about the best timing to begin chiropractic manipulation. As patients who have had spinal fusions often continue to experience pain post-surgery, they in particular may benefit from chiropractic care provided it is delivered at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner.
A case report that was published in the Journal of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists in 2009 noted that those patients who reported pain after spinal fusion surgery found relief with a combination of distraction decompression and spinal adjustment therapies. If you have had spinal fusion surgery, check to be sure your chiropractor can use non-rotational methods of spinal manipulation to treat you.
Chiropractic care for back surgery that does not involve spinal fusion is also a good idea. After your back has had some time to recover, it's important to get it moving again, and your chiropractor can help to relax the muscles and realign vertebrae that may have become misaligned from surgery or in the days of recovery following. Chiropractic adjustments can help to stimulate the flow of fluids to the spinal area, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the spinal tissues and carrying away waste material in order to speed healing.
Your chiropractor can also provide you with exercises you can do at home to strengthen your back and core muscles that will allow you to get back to your normal life more quickly and help to keep you from having to undergo any further back surgeries.

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Orlando Chiropractor|How to Practice Yoga Safely
8/8/13
Many people see yoga as being a calm, peaceful form of exercise (which it is) that does not put any stress on the body (which it definitely can). The truth is that yoga is very good exercise, and may be particularly useful for individuals who have difficulty practicing other forms of exercise because of pain in their knees, hips or back. Part of the reason that yoga is good for just about everyone is that it stretches and strengthens muscles without putting excessive strain on the joints. However, it is possible to be injured by practicing yoga if you are not properly prepared, do not follow the correct technique or attempt to do things beyond your body's current ability.
Yoga is becoming more popular every year due to its proven benefits for both the body and mind. That said, the growing number of people practicing yoga is also leading to an inevitable increase in the number of people getting hurt doing it. Let's put this in proper perspective and then talk about what we can do to practice safer yoga:
In 2007, there were about 5,500 yoga-related injuries treated by a doctor or hospital in 2007. Since roughly 15.8 million people were practicing yoga that year, we can estimate an injury rate of 3.5 people out of every 10,000. That compares with an injury rate of about 15 per 10,000 in weight training and 39 in golf. So-relatively speaking-yoga very unlikely to land you in an emergency room or doctor's office. Nevertheless, there are certain things to keep in mind while practicing yoga to help ensure you do not become one of those 3.5 in every 10,000 who are injured...
Some poses (called asanas) require a certain amount of skill to be practiced safely. A good yoga teacher will stress the importance of not doing more than you feel comfortable with and will be able to offer alternative forms of the same pose that can provide you with many of the same benefits of the more advanced pose while allowing you not to strain anything. As you advance in your practice, you can gradually work up to the formal pose once the appropriate muscles have been adequately strengthened.
If you are just beginning to practice yoga, enroll in a beginner's course and choose a simple form of yoga (such as Hatha or Iyengar) that emphasizes the proper alignment of each pose. Jumping directly into something more demanding like Bikram or Vinyasa yoga may increase your risk of injury because these more complex forms will not allow you enough time to learn the correct postures or for your body to adapt to them. In these more advanced forms of yoga, the emphasis is often placed on achieving a smooth flow from one pose to another (sometimes in a hot room) in what can be a very complex sequence of movements. Clearly this is something you'll be much better prepared for if you've first become proficient in the poses themselves.
The key to practicing safe yoga is to be in tune with your body and listen to what it is telling you. While yoga should cause your muscles to stretch and work, you should stop immediately if you feel you are straining excessively or if any pose creates pain. That's the time to do a less vigorous form of the pose or to simply rest in child pose (lying face-down on the floor with your knees to your chin and your arms stretched in front of you or with your hands at your ankles).
If you have any type of injury, be sure to tell your yoga teacher before class begins so that he or she can demonstrate variations of the poses that take your limitations into account. Practicing yoga is a great way to reduce stress while strengthening your entire body, increasing flexibility and improving your overall sense of well-being. And by practicing it safely, you'll be able to enjoy these benefits for years to come.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Best Fast Food Menu Options
8/8/13
Given everything we've read about the supersized "unhappy meals" served at America's fast food chains (high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar, high-sodium, etc.), most of us who are interested in healthy eating would probably prefer to avoid these restaurants altogether. But sometimes we honestly can't. We're on the road, with or without our kids, and there's not a healthy option in sight. Or we're in an airport waiting for our flight and we've got to choose from among McDonalds, Starbucks, KFC, or Taco Bell for our nourishment. What's a health-conscious consumer to do?
First, don't panic. There are healthier choices at these restaurants, if you know what to look for and what to avoid. In the "avoid" category, it goes without saying that if you're concerned about calories you'll avoid the supersized Coke(r) (410 calories) and the Triple Whopper with Cheese (1,230 calories, 82 grams of which are fat). You'll also skip the large order of fries (487 calories, 25 grams of fat). In the "look for instead" category, the following restaurant-by-restaurant list may provide a few suggestions, gleaned from health experts:
* McDonalds. Instead of the Big Mac Meal, consider the Grilled Chicken and Bacon Salad, with balsamic vinegar dressing. You'll save 546 calories and 30 grams of fat. Try the 4-piece Chicken McNuggets at 220 calories, or the basic hamburger at 260 calories. Add a Side Salad with Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette for only 60 calories more.

* KFC. Instead of their Original Recipe Meal, order the Brazier Twister Wrap with grilled (as opposed to fried) chicken, and skip the "special sauce." You'll save 546 calories and 30 grams of fat. Or have a simple Original Recipe Drumstick at only 140 calories. Add a serving of Potato Salad at 180 calories or Cole Slaw at 190 calories.

* Starbucks. Skip the Toasted Club Sandwich and choose the Chicken and Tomato Sandwich instead, and you also skip 324 extra calories. For dessert, order their Strawberry Blueberry Yogurt Parfait, at only 290 calories.

* Subway. Their Veggie Delite sandwich has 229 calories less than their BMT sandwich. If you need meat, try the Roast Beef sandwich, with wheat bread and apple slices, for a total of only 335 calories. Or order the Turkey Breast sandwich at 360 calories.

* Burger King. Pass on the Whopper with Cheese Meal and instead order the Chili Chicken Wrap. Throw in an order of Apple Fries, and your meal is still under 365 calories. A Whopper Jr. only racks up 300 calories against your daily total.

* Taco Bell. The Fresco Style Crunchy Taco contains only 150 calories and 7 grams of fat; the Fresco Style Grilled Steak Soft Taco 170 calories and 5 grams of fat.

* Pizza Hut. Two slices of the 12-inch Fit 'n Delicious Pizza with chicken, red onion, and green pepper comes in at 340 calories, and 9 grams of fat.

* Wendy's. This chain's basic hamburger (the Wendy's Jr.) is as surprisingly low-cal as the McDonalds version, serving up only 280 calories and 9 grams of fat.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Applied Kinesiology Found to Benefit Chiropractic Patients with Urinary Incontinence
8/8/13
Two American chiropractors have used applied kinesiology (AK) to aid the treatment of 21 patients experiencing urinary incontinence (UI), with considerable success. Applied Kinesiology is a technique that uses the strength of a particular muscle (often a muscle in the arm) to diagnose problems in certain organs or in other parts of the body. The practitioner places pressure on whichever of the patient's muscles that corresponds the particular part of the body being assessed, and the amount of resistance it gives determines if there is a problem in that area.
Urinary incontinence affects 10% of men and 40% of women at some point in their lives, with women being particularly susceptible to UI following childbirth. Current evidence suggests that weakness in the pelvic floor muscles, which leads to UI, can result from problems in other areas of the pelvis or lumbar spine as well as weakness in the pelvic floor itself. Chiropractic manipulation may thus be of considerable benefit in correcting these problems with a concomitant improvement in the symptoms of UI.
Chiropractors Scott Cuthbert and Anthony Rossner assessed patients who had UI by using AK muscle testing to determine the presence and location of musculoskeletal disorders in the lumbar or pelvic regions. The precise nature of the problem was then assessed by physical examination. Muscle testing was again used to guide chiropractic manipulation treatment. Interventions that improved muscle strength were continued, and those that failed to do so were not pursued. Patients were seen for up to thirteen treatments, and for no more than six weeks.
All of the patients treated experienced an improvement in UI symptoms, with nearly half (ten out of 21) reporting complete resolution of their condition following treatment. It is particularly significant that ten of the patients had presented with long-standing symptoms of UI (at least five years, but greater than 40 years in two cases!). Annual check-ups for at least two years confirmed that these improvements were maintained post-treatment.
In addition to positively demonstrating the benefit of using muscle testing techniques to aid with chiropractic diagnosis, this research is important in showing the relationship between UI symptoms and musculoskeletal weakness in parts of the lower back and pelvis. A particular observation here was that the restricted breathing noted in many patients due to trauma to the diaphragm (and other muscle groups associated with inhalation such as the rectus abdominus and oblique abdominal muscles) was also found to impact on urinary continence.
This study suggests that combination of AK and chiropractic manipulation of the lower back and pelvis may be very helpful for patients with UI symptoms. Please call us or visit our office with any questions.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Shoulder Arthritis Causes and Treatment Options
8/8/13
While we generally think of arthritis as being associated with old age, shoulder arthritis is not uncommon among younger people as well. Any injury to the shoulder, such as a dislocation or a fracture, can eventually lead to shoulder arthritis.
The shoulder consists of two main joints. The first is the glenohumoral joint. This is a ball-and-socket joint in which the head of the upper arm (humerus) fits into the glenoid cavity of the scapula (shoulder blade). The second is the acromioclavicular. This joint is formed by the meeting of the collarbone (clavicle) with the top of the scapula (acromion).
Hyaline cartilage located on the ends of these bones generally allows for movement of the arm in the socket without friction, but a loss of cartilage here can cause the bones to rub against each other. Although not as common as arthritis in other parts of the body, shoulder arthritis can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating. The principal symptom of shoulder arthritis is steadily worsening pain, especially when the arm is moved. However, patients with this condition are also likely to experience considerable stiffness in the joint and weakness at the shoulder. Sleeping may become difficult as the condition worsens, especially on the most affected side.
Shoulder arthritis may be caused by any of the following:
1. Osteoarthritis. This is the degenerative wearing of cartilage, especially at the acromioclavicular joint.
2. Loss of cartilage through acute traumatic injury to the shoulder, such as from a car accident, particularly when there has been a tear to the rotator cuff.
3. Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own cartilage.
Both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis are more prevalent in older people (osteoarthritis in particular tends to occur in those over age 50). It's not surprising that the overall incidence of shoulder arthritis is increasing as the general population ages.
Initial management of shoulder arthritis is usually non-surgical. Possible treatment options include:
• Chiropractic care
• Targeted exercise programs to increase shoulder mobility
• Heat and ice treatment
• Nutritional supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which build cartilage and can slow joint degeneration
• Rest and shoulder immobilization
• Modifying shoulder movements to minimize irritation
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
• Corticosteroid injections and other medications may be used in the case of rheumatoid arthritis
The National Arthritis Foundation reports that regular chiropractic care can help prevent the damage caused by arthritis. Chiropractic treatment can help reduce pain and restore movement and increase range of motion in the shoulder joint.
In severe cases, surgery for shoulder arthritis can help to reduce pain and improve motion if non-surgical treatments are no longer working. Glenohumeral surgery can consist of either replacing just the head of the humerus with a prosthesis (hemiarthroplasty) or replacing the entire joint (both the humeral head and glenoid cavity, a total shoulder arthroplasty).


Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|The Ideal Emergency First Aid Kit for Your Car
8/8/13
Every car should have a well-stocked first aid kit so that you and your family can be prepared for common injuries and emergencies. It should be stored in a location in the car that is away from the reach of small children but is easily accessible if needed. Most sources recommend that the first aid kit be in its own container so that the contents are safe and don't roll around. You can buy a prepared first aid kit or buy a common plastic toolbox and assemble your own.
Whether you buy a prepared first aid kit and supplement it with additional items or choose the do-it-yourself route, we hope you'll find the recommendations below helpful. Our list has been compiled from sources such as the American Red Cross, the Mayo Clinic, and other organizations concerned with the safety of autos and the families who travel in them. That means you should probably consider each item a pretty strong common-sense candidate for inclusion in your own car's first aid kit:
Emergency Items
* A cellular phone, so you can summon the police or emergency services (many sources list this as the most important item you should have at all times)
* A list of emergency phone numbers, including your family doctor, local hospital, AAA or other emergency road service provider, and local poison control centers
* Medical history and consent forms for each member of the family
* Small waterproof flashlight, with extra batteries
* One blanket or space blanket
* Candles and matches
* Duct tape (you can fix almost anything with duct tape)

Basic Medical Necessities
* First Aid instruction manual
* Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
* Adhesive cloth tape
* Rolled bandages in various sizes
* Sterile gauze pads in various sizes
* Triangular bandage
* Antibiotic ointment and antiseptic wipe packets
* Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
* Soap or hand sanitizer
* Scissors and tweezers
* One non-glass, non-mercury oral thermometer

Medications
* Aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen
* Aloe vera gel (for burns and sunburn)
* Anti-diarrhea medication
* Calamine lotion (for poison ivy or other skin irritations)
* Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream
* Over-the-counter oral antihistamines
* Personal non-expiring medications used by you or your family
* If you or your kids are allergic or asthmatic, drugs to treat an attack

Items for Children
* Children's aspirin or acetaminophen
* Disposable diapers if your kids need them
* Child-safe insect repellent and sunscreen

Items for Pets
* The pet's health records
* An extra leash
* A small plastic or folding bowl for water


Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Does It Matter Where I Get My Probiotics? Aren't They All the Same?
8/8/13
Our intestines contain over 400 species of microorganism that help with the digestive process and prevent the growth of harmful pathogens in the bowel. Keeping our internal ecology in order is therefore very important, but a number of factors can upset the balance of organisms such as unhealthy eating, age, illness and certain medications.
Probiotics (also known as good or friendly bacteria) are live microorganisms that are similar to those found in the digestive tract. Examples include bacteria from the genus Lactobacillus (such as L. acidophilus and L. casei) and Bifidobacterium (e.g. B. infantalis and B. animalis). Ingesting probiotics in live yogurt (yogurt containing good bacteria) or as a dietary supplement is commonly thought to have a beneficial effect on the intestines by maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Advertising reinforces this idea.
Probiotic supplements from a number of different manufacturers can be found in most health food stores at a variety of prices. The question is, do some of these work better than others or should we just buy the cheapest brand and be done with it? Are they effective at all? On the other hand, might it be better to consume probiotics in another form altogether, such as live yogurt or probiotic fruit juice? Probiotics also occur naturally in other foods such as miso, kefir and fermented soy products. What's the truth?
Let's start with yogurt. It has been suggested that live yogurt is actually a very ineffective source of probiotics, as the presence of micro-organisms is at a relatively low dose and they have no protection to ensure that they survive the less than friendly stomach acids to actually make it as far as the bowel. The effect of other natural probiotic foods is thought to be similarly minimal in impact.
Given that the gut contains over 100 trillion microorganisms, it needs a pretty large number of probiotic microbes to have any effect at all on the internal ecology of the bowel. For this reason, low-strength probiotic supplements containing less than 10 million CFU (colony forming units) of bacteria are thought to be just as unhelpful as yogurt or other natural foods, unless the supplement is either enterically coated or contains acid-resistant bacteria, both of which help survival in the stomach.
The CFU number of a probiotic supplement is a good general guide as to how effective it might be, but other factors are also important. A single-strain supplement (containing just a single probiotic species) will not be able to work anywhere near as effectively as one containing multiple strains of good bacteria.
However, it is not necessarily the case that a supplement containing more strains will be better than one containing fewer, since each additional strain is present in proportionally lower numbers. Recent studies suggest that between three and seven strains are optimal for effectiveness, and any species present in numbers fewer than 2 million CFU are pretty much a waste of space. In addition, some species of good bacteria are themselves ineffective. Strains from the genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are thought to be the most reliable. Some strains of Saccharmyces , such as S. boulardi, may also be effective.
In addition to buying a quality supplement in the first place, there are some other things you can do to improve the effectiveness of your probiotic. First, always keep your probiotics in the refrigerator. Second, consume foods known as prebiotics that improve the growth of good bacteria. Prebiotics include the amino acids lysine and methionine, which are found in proteins such as whey and fish, and galactose, which is a constituent of dairy products and sugar beets.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Fighting Back Against Insomnia
8/8/13
Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Or do you find yourself wide awake at three in the morning staring up at the ceiling and wondering if you'll fall back to sleep at all before your alarm goes off? If you answered "yes", you are not alone. Research has shown that up to 50 percent of the population suffers from sleep problems, with up to a third having struggled with it for at least a year.
The average adult requires a little over 8 hours of sleep each day. However, very few people are able to manage that with lives that are more hectic than ever. Jobs, children and other obligations require us to be up with the birds and to go to bed far later than we would if we were following our own biological rhythm. A disruption to our circadian rhythm, which governs our hormone production, body temperature and sleep, can lead to insomnia.
We need adequate, restful sleep in order to perform at our best. Prolonged insomnia can cause mental fuzziness and interfere with how you perform your daily activities. It also increases your risk of depression, headaches, auto accidents, and can lead to substance abuse. Of course, worrying about the lack of sleep you are getting rarely helps you get more sleep! Stress, anxiety, and widespread use of coffee and alcohol are some of the greatest contributors to insomnia.
Learning how to manage stress effectively is one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a good night's sleep, and making some changes to your lifestyle may make a difference in the number of hours of sleep you get. Following are some strategies you can use:
* Get regular exercise before dinner, which can help put your body in a restful state by bedtime. Just be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime, as this will likely make you restless.
* Try to get out in the late afternoon sun as often as possible to stimulate melatonin release, which will help get your circadian rhythm back on track.
* Use stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation and Tai Chi, which are great ways to help teach your mind and body to relax.
* Caffeine and smoking keep the body stimulated. Try to avoid them from mid-afternoon on, and keep your consumption of alcohol to a minimum.
* Eat a small snack of protein with a complex carbohydrate just before bed, such as peanut butter on a whole-grain cracker. It can keep your blood sugar from dipping too low and waking you up in the night.
* Keep to the same sleeping and waking schedule every day and don't change it by more than an hour on weekends.
* Avoid television or computer use at least an hour before bedtime, as it stimulates the brain, making it difficult to fall asleep.
* Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.
* If you are lying awake for more than about 20 minutes, get up and go sit in another dimly lit room until you feel sleepy.

These strategies have proven useful for many people in getting them back to a regular sleeping rhythm. Give them a try - they may help you too!

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic Rehabilitation Significantly Helps Scoliosis Patients
8/8/13
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spinal column appears curved rather than straight when viewed from the back. Symptoms include pain, restricted upper body movement and, in more severe cases, increased pressure on the heart and lungs. The misalignment of the vertebrae that is associated with scoliosis tends to worsen with age due to an asymmetric degeneration of the spine that is produced by the abnormal curvature. This means that effective early management of the condition is important. As yet, however, there have been few published studies of exercise and rehabilitation programs specifically designed to help patients with scoliosis.
Michigan chiropractor Mark Morningstar assessed the progress of 28 patients after chiropractic treatment for scoliosis and a six-month follow-up program of remedial exercise and rehabilitation techniques. The specific therapeutic interventions used by each patient at home were based on Active Reflex Correction in 3 Dimensions (ARC3D) and included the use of corrective weights, exercises that rotate the upper body, and foam blocks to bring the spine back into alignment.
Six months after the initial treatment, patients exhibited an average improvement of 10 degrees in spinal curvature from a mean curvature of 44 degrees prior to treatment. Twenty-two of the 28 participants in the study were observed to have improved spinal alignment, with the remaining six receiving no apparent benefit. Without treatment, the angle of curvature would be expected to remain broadly similar, as it did in the six unimproved patients, or even to increase. Patient ratings of pain were recorded to have fallen by an average of 39 percent based on the Quadruple Numeric Pain Scale (QNPS) questionnaire when measured at six months after initial treatment, and by a further 21 percent at the 24-month follow-up. The Functional Rating Index (FRI) of disability similarly fell from a baseline average of 60 percent to 30 percent at the six-month check, and 18 percent at 24 months. A spirometer was used to measure the lung capacity of all patients before and after treatment, and a 7percent mean increase was observed at six months, with no further improvement 18 months later.
Improvements in curvature, pain and disability tended to be greatest in patients who began the study with the least severe condition. Patients presenting with double major curvature (an S rather than C-shaped spine) received no benefit in spinal curvature from the treatment, but even they experienced a reduction in pain and disability.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Hyperlordosis Causes and Treatment Options
8/8/13
Our spine is normally curved, in order to reduce shock and distribute weight evenly along the length of the back. However, in hyperlordosis (sometimes simply called lordosis and commonly known as “swayback”) the natural lordotic curves in the spine become overly pronounced, causing pain and sometimes spasms in the lumbar muscles. Though hyperlordosis most often occurs in the lumbar region of the back, it can also appear in the cervical spine.
There are a few different causes of lordosis. It can be congenital, occurring during fetal development when a significant difference develops between the thickness of the front and back parts of the cervical discs. The condition often worsens at puberty and is not obvious until the person reaches their early 20s. Pregnant women often experience this condition, as the weight of the baby pulls on the lower back. Spondylolisthesis, where one vertebra slips over another, can also contribute to this disorder. Hyperlordosis can occur in older adults due to arthritis or spinal degeneration, though in most adults it is perhaps most often due to an imbalance in muscle strength and length in the lumbar and hip regions.
Chiropractic care may help reduce lower back pain from hyperlordosis, and your chiropractor may use spinal manipulation to reduce pain and help restore motion. But unless the condition is severe enough to require surgery (which usually involves spinal fusion), stretching and specific rehab exercises are the most common treatment to correct hyperlordosis.
Hyperlordosis due to muscle imbalance involves four sets of muscles, two sets of which are too tight and two sets which are weak and need tightening: the trunk extensors and hip flexors (particularly the iliopsoas muscles) need stretching, and the abdominal muscles and hip extensors (primarily the hamstrings and gluteus maximus) need strengthening. The following exercises are helpful in stretching or strengthening the appropriate muscle groups:
To stretch the hip flexors: Get down on one knee, with your hips over the knee on the floor and your other leg in front of you with the knee centered over the foot. Then gently move your hips forward until you feel a stretch extending from your inner hip to your thigh. Hold the position for about 30 seconds and repeat three to five times. Repeat the stretch with the alternate knee on the floor.
To stretch the lower back: Lie on your back and bring your knees up to your chest. Wrap your arms around your knees, pull them in toward your back as far as you can and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat three to five times.
To strengthen the abdomen: Do these abdominal crunches by lying on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then, with your hands on your thighs, lift your head and upper shoulders slightly off the floor. Repeat for as many reps as is comfortable, then rest for a minute and repeat the same number of reps twice (three sets of 10 reps, for example).
To strengthen the gluteus maximus: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your hands stretched out toward your feet. Gradually lift your hips off the floor until the line between your knees and shoulders is straight. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Nasa’S Plant Shopping List
8/8/13
Indoor air quality is becoming an increasingly important issue these days, with the increase in pollutants not only from the outside environment, but also from common items inside your home, such as carpets, furniture made with particle board, household cleaning products, paint and even air fresheners. So what can you do to help ensure that the air you and your family breathe every day is as clean as possible? Plants are actually excellent air purifiers, and NASA has come up with a list of the best ones for absorbing harmful gases and helping to keep the air in your home fresh.
In a 2-year study conducted by NASA in partnership with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, researchers found that many common ornamental household plants were highly effective at removing indoor air pollution and combating what is known as “sick building syndrome,” the symptoms of which are irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and skin, and general flu-like symptoms. Some of the gases and airborne microbes these plants are found to be effective at removing are formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, trichloroethylene and mold.
Many of the 15 plants they tested were able to remove up to 87 percent of indoor air pollution in only 24 hours. The plants included in the study were:
• Hedera helix – English ivy
• Chlorophytum comosum – Spider plant
• Epipiremnum aureum – Golden pothos
• Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’  – Peace lily
• Aglaonema modestum – Chinese evergreen
• Chamaedorea sefritzii – Bamboo or reed palm
• Sansevieria trifasciata – Snake plant
• Philodendron scandens ‘oxycardium’– Heartleaf philodendron
• Philodendron selloum – Selloum philodendron
• Philodendron domesticum – Elephant ear philodendron
• Dracaena marginata – Red-edged dracaena
• Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’ – Cornstalk dracaena
• Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’ – Janet Craig dracaena
• Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’– Warneck dracaena
• Ficus benjamina – Weeping fig

According to lead NASA researcher Dr. Bill Wolverton, who conducted the study and has written a book on the subject called, How to Grow Fresh Air—50 Houseplants that Purify Your Home or Office, the houseplants that are most effective at removing pollutants with the least amount of care are the peace lily, areca palm, lady palm, ficus alii and golden pathos. These not only cleanse the air, but also add a healthy amount of humidity to the environment.
In addition to improving the decor, homes filled with houseplants have been found to have between 50 and 60 percent fewer bacteria and mold spores. English ivy is a particularly good mold remover, eliminating up to 60 percent of mold in the area in only 6 hours.
In order to optimally purify the air in your home, it is suggested that you allow for 1-2 plants in an 8 to 10-inch pot for every 100 square feet of living space. Be aware that some plant leaves are toxic, in case you have animals or young children. Plants can be a quick, beautiful and natural solution to reducing the effect of air pollutants in your home.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropracor|Nutrition Food Label Lies
8/8/13
Do you ever find yourself in the supermarket, confused when trying to decide which are actually the healthy foods and which only claim to be? For example, being a fan of blueberries, the other day I found myself perusing a box of Blueberry Pancake Mix. On the cover was a photo of ripe, luscious blueberries, under which was the text, "Bursting with blueberry flavor." Curious, I turned over the box and looked at the actual ingredients, to find a slightly different claim in tiny letters – "Artificially Flavored" – and an explanation that the "blueberries" in the mix were in fact dextrose, flour, cellulose gum and other chemicals, injected with blue dye #1 and #2.
Unfortunately, this was not an extraordinary experience; it happens to most of us every shopping day. The claims made for the foods we eat on their labels are not always truthful. Truth be told, some of them are outright lies. The fault lies in the reluctance of agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to come up with food labeling standards that are actually meaningful, and thus useful. Manufacturers are free to use phrases like "Lightly Sweetened" for foods that contain up to 100 grams of added sugar, because that particular phrase is not regulated by the FDA. They are also free to use phrases like "Made With Real Fruit" under photos of real fruit, when none of those fruits are used in the actual product, only tiny amounts of some other fruit juice.
So how do we, as consumers, protect ourselves from labeling that isn't telling the whole truth? Some of the following hints may help to raise your awareness of claims to be wary of.
• "Natural" – The FDA has no formal definition of this term, and so basically any manufacturer or food provider can put it on their labels.

• "Low-Calorie" – The first thing you should do when you see this claim on a food's packaging is to read the actual nutrition label, to find out what the calorie count per serving really is. For example, a bottle of flavored "vitamin water" lists its calorie count as 50 calories per serving, but fails to tell you that the bottle contains 2.5 "servings," so the calorie count per bottle is much higher.

• "Serving Size" – This is a key item to look for when analyzing nutrition claims. If you read the fine print on a package of Doritos, you discover that the manufacturer's idea of a "serving size" is 11 chips. When was the last time you limited yourself to 11 tortilla chips while watching a football game?

• "Made With Whole Grains" and "A Good Source Of Fiber" – Neither of these terms are regulated by the FDA, and thus are basically meaningless. The product may contain only trace amounts of whole grains, with the balance provided by highly refined corn flour. And the "fiber" may be provided by fiber additives that do not have the nutritive value of the fiber found in real grains and vegetables.

• "No Trans Fats" – Most of us who are trying to eat more healthy foods are aware that trans fats are bad. What we are not as aware of is that the same people who put this buzzphrase on their labels have merely replaced the trans fats with partially hydrogenated oils, which are similarly bad. Also any product with less than 0.5 grams of trans-fat is legally able to say it contains no trans-fat.

On the plus side, there are terms that are regulated and meaningful, such as "Certified Organic." In the U.S., this means that the farm or ranch must have been herbicide-free and pesticide-free for three years. The bottom line is that the buyer must beware. The only way to be sure is to educate yourself on how to read the nutrition label on the back of the package, and learn to decipher their often equally-confusing information.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes and Treatment Options
8/8/13
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) affects about one in a thousand people (mostly women) each year, and is caused by the median nerve being compressed as it runs through the carpal tunnel, a ligament that is located in the wrist. The tendons that control finger movement all run through the carpal tunnel, so when they become inflamed and swollen the amount of space is reduced, putting increased pressure on the median nerve.
In many cases, the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is not clear. There are some theories as to why women tend to suffer from CTS more than men. One is that they have smaller wrist bones, and thus a smaller space through which the tendons can pass. Another is that, as it is more common during pregnancy and around menopause, hormonal shifts may be a causative factor.
Some people may have a genetic predisposition for CTS. Approximately one out of four people has a close family member who has also has the disorder. Trauma or an injury to the wrist may trigger CTS, such as a sprained or broken wrist. The vibration of power tools or heavy machinery, for instance a rotary sander, can sometimes trigger CTS.
Those who have jobs involving repetitive movements of the arm are more likely to contract carpal tunnel syndrome, such as workers on an assembly line, carpenters, violinists, etc. Interestingly, though long-term computer use was previously thought to contribute to CTS, there is now conflicting information about the relationship between keyboarding and CTS. Some studies, such as one from 2007 published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, have found that those who use a keyboard intensively at work actually have a significantly lower risk of developing CTS.
Some leisure activities can contribute to the risk of CTS as well, including knitting, golfing and anything else that requires you to grip items in your hands for long periods of time.
Among the most commonly recommended treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome are using a wrist splint, resting the wrist, taking pain relievers and physical therapy. If begun within three months of the first signs of CTS, a wrist splint can be a very effective treatment. This can be worn either all day or only overnight, and takes the pressure off your wrist, allowing it to rest and giving your tendons a chance to recover. Chiropractors and physical therapists can physically manipulate the wrist to relieve pain and teach you specific rehab exercises to do at home to help strengthen the wrist and hand.
You may read about surgical options for treating carpal tunnel syndrome, but these should be considered or as a last resort after non-invasive therapies have failed. Treatment of CTS has been evolving rapidly across the last few years so it is important to visit a provider that keeps current on CTS treatment research and treats carpal tunnel patients on a regular basis.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Look Who Else Uses Chiropractic: Arnold Schwarzenegger
8/8/13
Long before his days as governor of California, and even before his acting career, Arnold Schwarzenegger was a bodybuilding champion who could boast 13 world titles. And as any world-class bodybuilder can tell you, the sport is hard on your musculoskeletal system. Schwarzenegger was lucky enough to have his first encounter with chiropractic when he was training in the 1970s, and he has been a fervent supporter ever since.
Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding workout partner, Franco Columbu, began attending chiropractic college during the time they were training together. "Franco would go very intensely to chiropractic college every day," Schwarzenegger said. "He worked on me all the time. During the course of his education he got incredibly good with both the theoretical and the practical [elements of adjusting] ... every time I had an injury, I could call Franco ... I would get an adjustment, three or four, and the problem would be gone. So you know, when you see that happening in your own body, that with chiropractic you will be 100 percent, it's just fantastic."
Schwarzenegger continued, "I am very fortunate to have, so to speak, my in-house chiropractor, Dr. Franco Colombu, as my own personal chiropractor. He adjusts my wife, my kids, me, everybody gets an adjustment. And we feel always great when Franco leaves." And "... every time that I had a problem with an elbow injury, shoulder injury, or back injury, he was always right there with the adjustments. This is the way I found out the best way of going is to use chiropractors, not only after injuries, but also before injury."
In relation to some people's skepticism about chiropractic's ability to treat pain without pain relievers, Schwarzenegger said, "They say, 'I can't believe that this can make me feel better just like that, without a shot, without drugs...' It is amazing, and that is what is unbelievable for people. I have seen first-hand how it works."
As an example of how quickly and effectively a chiropractic adjustment can treat pain, Schwarzenegger related a story about a recent skiing trip: "I was really feeling something was wrong with my back. I felt even more pain at ten o'clock that night. So I called a chiropractor. By 10:30 the [chiropractor] was over at my house adjusting me ... the next day I was fine and skiing again. These are the kinds of things when you experience them you feel great about this profession."
Schwarzenegger has benefited from chiropractic so much during his life that he encourages everyone to make chiropractic care a regular part of their health care regime. Addressing chiropractors at the International Chiropractors Association's 7th Symposium on Natural Fitness, he said, "We've got to let the people know that there is a necessity, it's not even an option, it's a necessity to have a chiropractor. As much as it is a necessity to have a dentist, if you have a dentist for the family, you should have your chiropractor for the family....That's why I always will be traveling ... all over the world, talking highly about the profession of chiropractic. You chiropractic doctors are really miracle workers.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Diet and the Hyperactive Child
8/8/13
Having a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be a challenging-and sometimes heartbreaking-experience, and it's one that affects many families. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million children in America have been diagnosed with the condition. Approximately 9.5% of children between ages 4 and 17 have at some point in their lives been diagnosed with ADHD, which has increased 5.5% on average each year between 2003 and 2007.
Why the sudden upsurge in the prevalence of ADHD? A few years ago, a number of studies found a strong association between ADHD and diet, and there was a strong push to try treating ADHD with diet modification. This approach has met with very mixed results. In the end, no conclusive evidence was found of a direct cause-and-effect link between specific dietary factors and ADHD. As a result of the contradictory and inconclusive data, diet modification lost a lot of its support within the medical community as a possible treatment. However, that started to change with the 2007 publication of a seminal British study now commonly referred to as the "Southampton Study".
In the Southampton Study, a drink containing a mixture of artificial food coloring and the preservative sodium benzoate was found to aggravate hyperactivity in three-year-olds and did the same thing to a lesser extent in eight- to nine-year-olds. A 2010 study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry found similar results, and suggested that children made more hyperactive by food additives were likely to have problems with the genes that regulate histamine release (in response to potential allergens). In February 2011, another follow-up study was published in the prestigious journal The Lancet, which found that nearly two-thirds of the children who were following an elimination diet (in which food additives were eliminated in favor of fresh grains, meats, vegetables, and fruit) experienced significant reduction of their symptoms of hyperactivity and defiant behavior.
This research was strong enough to restart discussions about the possible role of food additives in causing or aggravating ADHD, and has led to the British government requesting that manufacturers remove most food dyes from their products. The European Union now requires warning labels on products that contain any of six food dyes that "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children."
There has been a recent resurgence in interest in "elimination diets" as a possible approach to treating ADHD. Even though they may not work for all children with ADHD, they may work in a significant enough percentage of cases to warrant their use. Basically, such a diet consists of eating more protein (meat, eggs, cheese, nuts, etc.), eating fewer simple carbohydrates (candies, corn syrup, breads made from white flour, etc.) and eating more complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits). Proponents of such diets also recommend taking supplements of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and a general vitamin supplement.
The real "elimination" part of the diet involves trying to remove from it ingredients or food additives suspected of causing or aggravating ADHD to see if not eating them results in fewer symptoms. These additives include sodium benzoate and food dyes Yellow Nos. 5, 6 and 10, Red Nos. 3 and 40, and Blue Nos. 1 and 2.
Naturally, if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, consult with a qualified physician before trying any type of elimination diet. He or she may be able to perform tests to help determine which dietary changes might be the most beneficial.

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Orlando Chiropractor|Task Force Recommends Against Psa-Based Screening for Prostate Cancer
8/8/13
Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men after skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during his lifetime. The risk increases with age, with 80 percent of cases being diagnosed in men over age 65. In fact-if they live long enough-almost all men will eventually develop prostate cancer. It is generally slow-growing and most men will die (usually from some other cause) without ever knowing they had it.
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is what is most commonly used to screen for prostate cancer. However, the usefulness of this test in relation to how many lives it actually saves has been disputed for the last few years. In May 2012, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its final recommendations regarding PSA screening and now recommends that all men do not get routinely screened for prostate cancer.
The recommendation, which was published in the journal of the American College of Physicians, the Annals of Internal Medicine, is based on evidence that the harm that results from PSA testing outweighs the benefits received, regardless of age. Obviously, the goal of cancer screening of any type is to save lives. However, the results of U.S. trials showed no reduction in mortality with PSA screening, and European trials showed a reduction of only approximately one in a thousand men aged 55 to 69 years. In addition, PSA screening was associated with considerable harm.
In nearly 90 percent of cases in which men were diagnosed with prostate cancer by a PSA screening, early treatment using surgery, radiation or androgen deprivation therapy was performed. This often leaves men incontinent, suffering from erectile dysfunction and sometimes bowel dysfunction for the remainder of their lives. Furthermore, up to five in 1,000 men will die within one month of prostate cancer surgery.
The Task Force's recommendation, however, does not please everyone. Dr. Henry Lynch, Director of the Hereditary Cancer Center at Creighton University (co-author of an editorial accompanying the recommendation) believes that the advice will return men to a time when prostate cancer was discovered at a more dangerous, advanced and incurable stage. It also does not take into account screening for younger men and men at higher risk. Lynch noted, "My colleagues and I strongly believe that the Task Force recommendations should not be used as justification by insurers, including Medicare, to deny diagnosis of prostate cancer to the male population at risk."
However, in the view of Otis W. Brawley, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, many men have had prostate cancer detected that may never have progressed significantly in their lifetime, leading to unnecessary intervention. Brawley said, "Many people have a blind faith in early detection of cancer and subsequent aggressive medical intervention whenever cancer is found. There is little appreciation of the harms that screening and medical interventions can cause."

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What Is Acoustic Compression Therapy and How Can It Help Me?
8/7/13
Acoustic Compression Therapy (ACT) is also sometimes referred to as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) and refers to the use of focused ultrasound waves to treat both acute and chronic pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
A strong wave of short duration that travels faster than the speed of sound is generated by a specialized machine and penetrates deep into the body's tissues to stimulate cellular healing processes. It works by first stimulating the nerves around the painful area to the point that their activity begins to diminish, sending fewer pain signals to the brain. Then-over time-it operates as what is referred to as a "gate control mechanism" in which the signals being sent by the machine override the pain signals sent to the brain.
Some chiropractors use acoustic compression therapy in the course of their practice. In addition to reducing pain, it has also been shown to reduce inflammation, a condition which in itself can trigger pain. ACT increases circulation to the area being treated, which helps to bring more oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues and speeds healing.
Acoustic compression therapy was first discovered in the early 1990s when similar technology was used to dissolve kidney stones. Patients noticed that pain they had in areas unrelated to the kidneys being treated was reduced after treatment, and researchers began to explore other healing benefits of ultrasound.
Acoustic compression therapy is sometimes used as a form of Trigger Point Therapy. This involves directing the sound waves to specific points on the body where tense muscles or muscle groups have caused nerve irritation, which may be triggering pain elsewhere in the body. Your chiropractor can precisely control both the breadth and depth of the waves, which is often impossible to do with manual treatment, particularly in sensitive areas that have been injured or which may overreact to manual therapy. Waves can be directed to penetrate the body's tissues anywhere from 1 mm to 30 mm, with frequencies up to 8 Hz.
Acoustic compression therapy is a gentle form of treatment for musculoskeletal pain that will not irritate the skin or bruise tissues. There are no significant side effects to treatment, and it is safe for most individuals (though it is not appropriate for people with bleeding disorders and pregnant women). It is a form of therapy that is particularly useful in treating, among other things:
* Neck, back and shoulder pain
* Repetitive stress injuries
* Foot and heel pain, such as plantar fasciitis
* Tennis elbow
* Golfer's elbow
* Hip, knee and leg pain
* Adhesions and other strains to soft tissue
* Shoulder pain
* Bursitis

If you have questions about acoustic compression therapy and whether it may be helpful in your treatment, please call or visit our office.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What Are "Low-Force Techniques" and When Are They Appropriate?
8/7/13
Most chiropractic manipulation is done using the "high velocity, low amplitude" (HVLA) approach, which consists of quick, short movements to bring the spinal column back into alignment. However, there are times when other methods may be more appropriate.
Patients who have suffered recent trauma and elderly patients are two common examples. So are young children and those who are new to chiropractic treatment. Whenever a patient's body may be fragile or a patient is particularly nervous about receiving a chiropractic adjustment, low-force techniques reduce the likelihood of accidental injury and may make treatment more effective by minimizing the defensive tensing of muscles.
Palpation is a technique which uses the hands to assess the degree of tension and range of motion in a patient. In many cases, the chiropractor will take the joint to the furthest end of movement but by then it may already be causing pain. Chiropractors practicing low-force palpations feel for the first barrier to movement and stop there, which is gentler for the patient.
Similar to low-force palpation, low-force adjusting begins slowly in order to find the minimum force needed to make the desired adjustment rather than immediately using full force. Low force adjustments do not give the same "buzz" to patients as HVLA techniques (which often cause neural receptors in the joint to fire), but this is not always a bad thing. This is especially true for those who are especially sensitive or already in a state of nervous tension or excitement.
Low-force techniques also include soft tissue methods such as post-isometric relaxation, which involves gently contracting a target muscle for a short time (5-10 seconds) while the patient resists it. Following the resisted contraction there is a 10-15 second period in which contraction is "switched-off" and the muscle can be manually lengthened with little resistance. Myofascial release is another low-force technique that is routinely used by chiropractors and other manual therapists to passively relax and lengthen muscle tissue through palpation and massage. Trigger point therapy, which focuses on identifying and stimulating specific points of muscular tightness to produce a relaxation response and release of tension, is also low in force but still very effective.
Although low-force techniques are particularly appropriate for patients who have recently experienced trauma and for patients who are especially sensitive, nervous or excited, there also may be other times when they are preferable to HVLA adjustments and other full-force techniques. If you're wondering whether chiropractic care may be right for you or have questions about our approach to care, please call or visit our office. We'll be happy to help!

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Orlando Chiropractor|What We Can Learn from How Other Countries Eat
8/7/13
When it comes to world cuisine, there's broad agreement that the "modern" Western diet is one of the worst for our health. Fast food cooked in hydrogenated oils and snacks that are laden with salt and sugar make up much of the typical American's diet. The way many of us eat has been a major contributor to high rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
So where should we be looking for tips to healthier eating? The good news is that we can learn a lot from the traditional cuisines in other parts of the world. Studies have shown that populations in places like Japan, India and countries around the Mediterranean Sea have far lower rates of these diseases, due in part to the health of their cuisine.
By world cuisine, we do not mean the Americanized form that has been adopted by fast food companies such as Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. Traditional Mexican and Italian dishes can be very healthy and, unlike items on the menu at these restaurants, they do not rely heavily on cheese as a main ingredient. Following are some of the health benefits of different cuisines from around the world.
Japanese - The Japanese have the lowest obesity rate (3%) and the highest life expectancy in the world. And this is not due to genetics. When the Japanese move to the West and begin to consume a Western diet, their obesity rates quickly become comparable to ours. Their diet is based on rice, lots of different vegetables and fatty fish. Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which has been shown to have health benefits for both the cardiovascular system and the brain, warding off diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's.
Indian - The greatest advantage to Indian cuisine is its use of spices. Some dishes are hot, but not all of them. The blend of spices used in Indian dishes, such as turmeric, ginger and cumin, not only impart incredible flavor and aroma to each dish, but may also provide a variety of health benefits. Turmeric is perhaps the king of Indian spices-it is a staple in any Indian household in much the same way that salt and pepper are in the Western world. It has a popular reputation for protecting against cancer and may ease symptoms of arthritis.
Mediterranean - This includes cuisines from Greece, Spain, Italy and southern France. Its main benefit is that it contains large amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits, along with healthy fats such as olive oil. Although some would not consider duck or goose fat healthy, the French (who consume more of this fat than anyone else) have among the lowest rates of heart disease in the world. Mediterranean cuisine also has a greater reliance on fish for protein, rather than meat and cheese, which are eaten in much smaller quantities. This cuisine is chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that protect against cancer and heart disease.
Mexican - Real Mexican food combines basic, healthy ingredients that give the body everything it needs nutritionally (beans, rice and corn are the staples). Many dishes allow for a slow release of carbohydrates into the system, lowering blood sugar and in some cases even reversing diabetes. Many of the dishes also feature heart-healthy tomatoes and chili peppers.
So pick up a cookbook of traditional recipes from some of these countries and give them a try. They'll add some variety to your weekly menu PLUS they may help improve your health!

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Health Benefits of Swimming
8/7/13
Swimming isn't just fun. It's also an excellent way to increase your fitness, help control your weight and improve your overall mood. Plus, swimming is exercise that people of any age and physical ability can enjoy. It's easy on the musculoskeletal system while at the same time providing a good aerobic workout.
The governing body for all swimming-related activities in Britain (called the ASA) compiled a report of scientific findings from all over the world on the health benefits of swimming. Researchers have found that swimming regularly reduces men's risk of dying early by a staggering 50 percent in comparison with those who run, walk or do no physical activity. Experts estimate that just two and a half hours per week of swimming can significantly reduce your risk of chronic disease.
A good all-around exercise, swimming involves both aerobic activity and working against resistance. Unlike most aerobic activities, however, swimming involves little in the way of jarring impact (like the shocks and jolts involved with running) and doesn't require you to support your full body weight while doing it. When submerged up to your neck in water, your body weight is effectively reduced by 90 percent. As a result, overweight and obese people can get a good workout without placing large amounts of painful stress on the lower body's muscles and joints. This removes a common deterrent to exercise for a large (and growing) part of the population and suggests that swimming could be an attractive option for people trying to manage their weight.
Arthritis sufferers or those with musculoskeletal injuries can also benefit from swimming, since studies have shown that it improves range of motion without causing a worsening of symptoms such as pain and stiffness. In fact, according to the UK's Chief Medical Officer, swimming as a form of exercise (as opposed to running or practicing other impact sports) can reduce your risk of osteoarthritis.
Beyond increasing fitness levels and helping to manage weight, swimming may provide a variety of other health benefits:
* Studies performed on people suffering from fibromyalgia have found that exercise performed in a warm pool reduced anxiety and depression and caused an improvement in mood.
* For older adults, swimming has been shown to improve quality of life and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Post-menopausal women in particular are at increased risk of bone loss, and swimming provides a safe and effective form of the resistance exercise that is needed to maintain bone density.
* Pregnant women find that swimming strengthens their shoulder and abdominal muscles, which are put under increased stress during pregnancy. Obstetricians recommend swimming as a good form of exercise for most pregnant women, as it provides them with temporary relief from the extra weight they are carrying.
It's hard to exaggerate the potential fitness benefits of swimming. Swimming helps to build cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance. It tones your muscles and helps to maintain healthy heart and lung function. It also improves flexibility, reduces blood pressure and alleviates stress. Whether in a community pool, at a nearby lake or in the ocean, swimming offers an ideal way for most people to keep fit that's also easy on the body's musculoskeletal system.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Is Chiropractic Safe for Older People?
8/7/13
As a nation, America is getting older. According to an article in Harvard Magazine, 3,000 people turn 65 every day, and the number of senior citizens is growing at more than twice the rate of the general population. But just because we're getting older, that doesn't mean that we have to feel older.
Chiropractic care is not only safe for the vast majority of seniors, it is also a completely appropriate medical treatment for the kinds of health problems that an aging population faces. Many changes may take place as we get older-our muscles, spinal discs, facet joints and ligaments become less hydrated, weaker, and less able to withstand normal stresses. For many older people, these changes can result in pain as well as reduced strength and range of motion.
In addition to suffering from chronic pain, senior often become more susceptible to injuries as their bones become more brittle and their balance and coordination begin to deteriorate. At least one in four elderly people per year experiences a fall, which can aggravate existing spinal injuries or create new ones. So what can chiropractic offer the elderly?
First, it can provide a safe, non-surgical approach to spinal care, free of both invasive procedures and potentially dangerous medications. Doctors of Chiropractic use proven, gentle techniques of adjustment, manipulation and stretching to realign displaced joints and muscles. This in turn reduces pain and helps restore flexibility and ease of movement.
One recent study compared two types of chiropractic manipulation in 240 men and women over the age of 55: high-velocity low amplitude manipulations versus low-velocity variable amplitude manipulations. The researchers found that the chiropractic techniques produced superior results in relieving chronic lower back pain when compared to traditional conservative medical care. Not only was chiropractic care found to be more effective in relieving lower back pain, the researchers also concluded that the two approaches (the first producing the "cracking" sound often heard during chiropractic manipulations, the second not) were equally useful. Even better, no adverse effects were recorded.
This study is important because it points out that chiropractic care can be tailored to some extent to the age and preferences of the individual patient. While some patients prefer the "cracking" approach and others prefer a more gentle technique, they're both effective when skillfully applied. This is very good news! Every individual's situation is unique, and it's good to know that chiropractors and their patients (including seniors) have many choices when it comes to treatment.
Also, it's important to remember that chiropractic care isn't limited to spinal adjustments. Modern chiropractic focuses on improving the patient's overall state of health and well-being in addition to addressing specific problems. Most chiropractors today can offer advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle choices that is tailored to the specific needs of their patients, whether young or old.
Safe, effective chiropractic care can clearly play a key role in restoring or maintaining spinal function. It can also help promote general health, mobility, endurance and vitality at any age. If you have questions about whether chiropractic care is right for you or someone close to you, please call or visit our office.

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Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What Is "Instrument Adjusting"?
8/7/13
High velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) adjustments are a common form of chiropractic manipulation. Although chiropractic adjustments are usually carried out by hand, instrument adjusting has become an increasingly popular method of manipulation in chiropractic treatment. In fact, instrument adjusting is now the most commonly used chiropractic technique after manual spinal manipulation. A wide variety of professional adjustment instruments are available on the market, ranging from mechanical spring-loaded models to high-tech, electrically powered brands. These are held by hand to administer force to the precise area of treatment.
Chiropractic adjustment instruments are designed to provide fast and targeted adjustments to a patient at around 100 times the speed of a manual adjustment. Whereas manual adjustment will vary depending on the precise force of the practitioner, adjustment instruments can be set to deliver the same impact on each adjustment. Further, the small tip of adjustment instruments can be targeted much more precisely than human hands. In addition to these advantages, adjustment instruments do not cause the popping and cracking sounds that typically accompany manual manipulation, which makes them particularly useful when treating nervous patients such as children and seniors.
Being treated with an adjustment instrument has been described as feeling like a light tapping on the treated area. The treatment is usually painless, and patients often report reduced pain and greater mobility following adjustment. There is also evidence to suggest that instrument adjusting may lead to fewer painful side-effects than manual manipulation. The precision of adjustment instruments can be used to move spinal vertebrae without disturbing adjacent muscles, which results in less pain for the patient. In addition to being better for patients, using adjuster instruments reduces the physical impact of practice on chiropractors who can-ironically-suffer from carpal tunnel and postural problems brought about from frequent daily applications of manual treatment to patients.
Although the research on the use of adjustment instruments is still in its infancy, several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of this form of treatment for a wide range of musculoskeletal problems. The fact that it has found widespread acceptance in modern chiropractic therapy suggests that many chiropractors themselves have become convinced of the practical use of mechanical adjustment, and that it is likely to remain a core part of chiropractic treatment for the foreseeable future.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What Causes Headaches and How Can Chiropractic Help?
8/7/13
Headaches are one of the most common types of pain that people experience on a regular basis. Researchers estimate that nine out of ten Americans suffer from headache pain at some point, helping to put the sales of pain medication through the roof.
Both the frequency and severity of headaches vary greatly from individual to individual. They range from occasional to near-constant and from mild to throbbing. Some are bad enough to cause nausea and become debilitating, keeping the sufferer from being able to work and enjoy leisure activities. Although painkillers are usually the first resort for those suffering from a headache, chiropractic care can help lessen both the incidence and severity of this condition.
The largest percentage of headaches (approximately 95%) fall into a category referred to as "primary headaches". These are typically caused by tension in the muscles in the neck area or a misalignment (subluxation) of the neck vertebrae. A primary headache refers to the kind of headache that is not a symptom of some other underlying illness. According to Dr. George McClelland, a chiropractor in Virginia, "Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache."
The root cause of headaches due to both tension and misalignment is nerve irritation. The nerve fibers at the base of the neck that connect with the spinal cord and brain become irritated due to muscle tension or to misaligned vertebrae pressing on the spinal cord. A study performed by researchers at the University of Maryland found that there was a link between tension in the muscles at the base of the neck and headache pain.
In a study conducted by the New Zealand government, the majority of those suffering recurrent headaches from spinal misalignment found that their headaches were relieved by chiropractic manipulation, and many were found to still be pain-free in the two-year follow-up. A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulation such as that used by chiropractors is more effective and longer-lasting for treating tension headaches than the use of commonly prescribed pain medication.
Your chiropractor can perform a thorough examination to identify the cause of your headache pain. Depending on your specific circumstances, he or she may then perform a chiropractic adjustment to take the pressure off irritated nerves, easing headache pain. Your chiropractor can also offer recommendations as to diet, exercise and ergonomics, along with proper posture and relaxation techniques to keep neck tension to a minimum.
Dr. McLelland says, "Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways - not just back pain. They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems."

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
The Ideal Emergency First Aid Kit for Your Car
8/7/13
Every car should have a well-stocked first aid kit so that you and your family can be prepared for common injuries and emergencies. It should be stored in a location in the car that is away from the reach of small children but is easily accessible if needed. Most sources recommend that the first aid kit be in its own container so that the contents are safe and don't roll around. You can buy a prepared first aid kit or buy a common plastic toolbox and assemble your own.
Whether you buy a prepared first aid kit and supplement it with additional items or choose the do-it-yourself route, we hope you'll find the recommendations below helpful. Our list has been compiled from sources such as the American Red Cross, the Mayo Clinic, and other organizations concerned with the safety of autos and the families who travel in them. That means you should probably consider each item a pretty strong common-sense candidate for inclusion in your own car's first aid kit:
Emergency Items
* A cellular phone, so you can summon the police or emergency services (many sources list this as the most important item you should have at all times)
* A list of emergency phone numbers, including your family doctor, local hospital, AAA or other emergency road service provider, and local poison control centers
* Medical history and consent forms for each member of the family
* Small waterproof flashlight, with extra batteries
* One blanket or space blanket
* Candles and matches
* Duct tape (you can fix almost anything with duct tape)

Basic Medical Necessities
* First Aid instruction manual
* Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
* Adhesive cloth tape
* Rolled bandages in various sizes
* Sterile gauze pads in various sizes
* Triangular bandage
* Antibiotic ointment and antiseptic wipe packets
* Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
* Soap or hand sanitizer
* Scissors and tweezers
* One non-glass, non-mercury oral thermometer

Medications
* Aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen
* Aloe vera gel (for burns and sunburn)
* Anti-diarrhea medication
* Calamine lotion (for poison ivy or other skin irritations)
* Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream
* Over-the-counter oral antihistamines
* Personal non-expiring medications used by you or your family
* If you or your kids are allergic or asthmatic, drugs to treat an attack

Items for Children
* Children's aspirin or acetaminophen
* Disposable diapers if your kids need them
* Child-safe insect repellent and sunscreen

Items for Pets
* The pet's health records
* An extra leash
* A small plastic or folding bowl for water

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Does It Matter Where I Get My Probiotics? Aren't They All the Same?
8/7/13
Our intestines contain over 400 species of microorganism that help with the digestive process and prevent the growth of harmful pathogens in the bowel. Keeping our internal ecology in order is therefore very important, but a number of factors can upset the balance of organisms such as unhealthy eating, age, illness and certain medications.
Probiotics (also known as good or friendly bacteria) are live microorganisms that are similar to those found in the digestive tract. Examples include bacteria from the genus Lactobacillus (such as L. acidophilus and L. casei) and Bifidobacterium (e.g. B. infantalis and B. animalis). Ingesting probiotics in live yogurt (yogurt containing good bacteria) or as a dietary supplement is commonly thought to have a beneficial effect on the intestines by maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Advertising reinforces this idea.
Probiotic supplements from a number of different manufacturers can be found in most health food stores at a variety of prices. The question is, do some of these work better than others or should we just buy the cheapest brand and be done with it? Are they effective at all? On the other hand, might it be better to consume probiotics in another form altogether, such as live yogurt or probiotic fruit juice? Probiotics also occur naturally in other foods such as miso, kefir and fermented soy products. What's the truth?
Let's start with yogurt. It has been suggested that live yogurt is actually a very ineffective source of probiotics, as the presence of micro-organisms is at a relatively low dose and they have no protection to ensure that they survive the less than friendly stomach acids to actually make it as far as the bowel. The effect of other natural probiotic foods is thought to be similarly minimal in impact.
Given that the gut contains over 100 trillion microorganisms, it needs a pretty large number of probiotic microbes to have any effect at all on the internal ecology of the bowel. For this reason, low-strength probiotic supplements containing less than 10 million CFU (colony forming units) of bacteria are thought to be just as unhelpful as yogurt or other natural foods, unless the supplement is either enterically coated or contains acid-resistant bacteria, both of which help survival in the stomach.
The CFU number of a probiotic supplement is a good general guide as to how effective it might be, but other factors are also important. A single-strain supplement (containing just a single probiotic species) will not be able to work anywhere near as effectively as one containing multiple strains of good bacteria.
However, it is not necessarily the case that a supplement containing more strains will be better than one containing fewer, since each additional strain is present in proportionally lower numbers. Recent studies suggest that between three and seven strains are optimal for effectiveness, and any species present in numbers fewer than 2 million CFU are pretty much a waste of space. In addition, some species of good bacteria are themselves ineffective. Strains from the genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are thought to be the most reliable. Some strains of Saccharmyces , such as S. boulardi, may also be effective.
In addition to buying a quality supplement in the first place, there are some other things you can do to improve the effectiveness of your probiotic. First, always keep your probiotics in the refrigerator. Second, consume foods known as prebiotics that improve the growth of good bacteria. Prebiotics include the amino acids lysine and methionine, which are found in proteins such as whey and fish, and galactose, which is a constituent of dairy products and sugar beets.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Fighting Back Against Insomnia
8/7/13
Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Or do you find yourself wide awake at three in the morning staring up at the ceiling and wondering if you'll fall back to sleep at all before your alarm goes off? If you answered "yes", you are not alone. Research has shown that up to 50 percent of the population suffers from sleep problems, with up to a third having struggled with it for at least a year.
The average adult requires a little over 8 hours of sleep each day. However, very few people are able to manage that with lives that are more hectic than ever. Jobs, children and other obligations require us to be up with the birds and to go to bed far later than we would if we were following our own biological rhythm. A disruption to our circadian rhythm, which governs our hormone production, body temperature and sleep, can lead to insomnia.
We need adequate, restful sleep in order to perform at our best. Prolonged insomnia can cause mental fuzziness and interfere with how you perform your daily activities. It also increases your risk of depression, headaches, auto accidents, and can lead to substance abuse. Of course, worrying about the lack of sleep you are getting rarely helps you get more sleep! Stress, anxiety, and widespread use of coffee and alcohol are some of the greatest contributors to insomnia.
Learning how to manage stress effectively is one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a good night's sleep, and making some changes to your lifestyle may make a difference in the number of hours of sleep you get. Following are some strategies you can use:
* Get regular exercise before dinner, which can help put your body in a restful state by bedtime. Just be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime, as this will likely make you restless.
* Try to get out in the late afternoon sun as often as possible to stimulate melatonin release, which will help get your circadian rhythm back on track.
* Use stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation and Tai Chi, which are great ways to help teach your mind and body to relax.
* Caffeine and smoking keep the body stimulated. Try to avoid them from mid-afternoon on, and keep your consumption of alcohol to a minimum.
* Eat a small snack of protein with a complex carbohydrate just before bed, such as peanut butter on a whole-grain cracker. It can keep your blood sugar from dipping too low and waking you up in the night.
* Keep to the same sleeping and waking schedule every day and don't change it by more than an hour on weekends.
* Avoid television or computer use at least an hour before bedtime, as it stimulates the brain, making it difficult to fall asleep.
* Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.
* If you are lying awake for more than about 20 minutes, get up and go sit in another dimly lit room until you feel sleepy.

These strategies have proven useful for many people in getting them back to a regular sleeping rhythm. Give them a try - they may help you too!

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Should You Have a Bone Density Test?
8/7/13
Osteoporosis is one of the most prevalent conditions among older people. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, one in two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-induced fracture at some point in their lives.
A loss of bone mass becomes more common as we age, causing bones to become more brittle and increasing the risk of a fracture or break. Many fractures that occur are asymptomatic. However, some may cause shooting pain or chronic pain in areas such as the back, where a fracture will only be evident on imaging tests. A bone density test can be a very useful tool for helping to keep your chances of having a fracture to a minimum.
There are a few good reasons why you may want to have a bone density test. First, it can tell you if you have osteoporosis or if your bones are weak before you experience a break or fracture; second, it can predict the likelihood of you experiencing a break in the future; and third, it can measure if your bone density is getting better or worse based on any actions you are taking (such as medications or exercise).
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that people who are likely to be at greater risk for osteoporosis have a bone density test done. You should consider having one if any of the following descriptions apply to you:
* You are a woman age 65 or older
* You are a postmenopausal women under age 65 with risk factors
* You are a women of menopausal age with risk factors
* You are a man age 70 or older
* You are a man between the ages of 50 and 69 with risk factors
* You have broken a bone after the age of 50
* An x-ray has shown a break or bone loss in your spine
* You have back pain that may indicate a break
* You have lost 1/2 inch or more of height in one year
* You have lost 1 1/2 inches from your full grown height

The bone density test uses a DXA machine (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) to measure the density of bone in your hip and spine, and occasionally other bones, depending on your particular situation. The density of the hip and spine is measured because these are the bones most likely to break with osteoporosis, and because breaks in these areas are also among the most debilitating. The test is painless and non-invasive and is performed with the patient fully clothed. It takes about 15 minutes and the level of radiation from the machine is minimal.
If you feel you fit into any of the at-risk categories above, it may be beneficial for you to have a bone density test done so you and your health provider can develop strategies to reduce your chances of breaking or fracturing a bone.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What Is Spinal Decompression Therapy?
8/7/13
Spinal decompression therapy is a treatment option for people with long-term back pain, sciatica, leg pain, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, numbness and other conditions that have not responded to initial treatments such as manipulation and physical therapy. All of these conditions may be the result of compressive forces on your vertebrae, which can cause spinal misalignment and compressed discs.
Compressed discs can lead to herniation or bulging of the discs, thus pressure on the nerves. In addition to the pressure and compression, the nerve itself may not be able to receive the nutrients it needs to heal and work properly. Often, surgery is used to decompress the spine, which is invasive, painful, and carries significant risks. Medications to reduce pain are also often used, but they do not treat the source of the pain and only mask it.
Spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive, non-surgical alternative that offers gentle spinal decompression through the use of specially designed, FDA-approved equipment. Prior to treatment, patients are thoroughly examined both manually and through the use of imaging technology in order to determine which spinal discs are compressed, and if the treatment is suitable and has a high likelihood of success.
Patients are placed on a decompression table in a comfortable posture that depends on which area of the back needs treatment. The treatment applies a specific force to the compressed discs, and a computer alternates the decompression force with relaxation periods. Usually, there is a series of 15 one-minute alternating decompression and relaxation cycles, for an individual treatment time of 30 minutes. This process serves to gently elongate the spine and to create a vacuum that pulls the disc back into its proper location and shape within the vertebrae. Realigning the discs in this manner can reduce pain and promote healing. However, it may take up to 20 treatments for complete relief.
Not everyone is a good candidate for spinal decompression therapy. Research has shown it to be very effective for some patients but not for others, and it is not entirely clear which people it will work best on. Therefore, it is important to work carefully with your chiropractor to be sure you have a good chance of successful treatment. Your chiropractor may precede each treatment with soft tissue muscle work to reduce the body’s natural reflex reaction and prepare the muscles for the traction forces. He or she will also work with other health professionals as needed to determine the precise nature of your back pain and the type of treatments that are most likely to resolve your pain at its source.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
What Causes Aging?
8/7/13
Aging is influenced by our genes, environment, and lifestyle. By the time we reach middle and old age, these factors have had time to make a significant impact on our health. Some of these influences may be positive, others negative. Everyone ages, of course, but we do not all age in the same way or at the same rate. While much of the aging process remains a mystery, we are learning more about it all the time. Most importantly, we’ve learned that our chronological age has little do with our biological age.
The environment affects our health, particularly where we live and work. Our exposure to the sun, infectious diseases and toxic chemicals are important factors as well. Lifestyle choices such as the food we eat, the drinks and drugs we consume, how much we exercise and how much we sleep can all play a factor in our rate of aging. What scientists cannot tell us yet is which of these has more influence than the others, because that varies from individual to individual. Part of the reason for this variation is genetic.
Genes are powerful predictors of longevity – but there is more to the story. Family history definitely influences your health and how long you will live, but through your own choices you can make a difference in the power of genetic predisposition. You can affect your own longevity positively or negatively, to some degree. New genetic tests make it possible to know if you are predisposed to breast cancer, for example. Some women who are predisposed to breast cancer then choose to have their breasts removed to lower the chances of acquiring the condition.
Diet and exercise can play significant roles in health and longevity. According to current research, it is never too late to start eating better or exercising and reap the benefits. Even elderly people can see a significant improvement in their health and well-being and a reduction in the incidence of some diseases by starting on a balanced eating and exercise program suitable for their age and health status. No matter your age, maintaining a healthy weight and a moderate level of fitness will give you a far better chance of long life than someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle.
Smoking is another significant predictor of disease and death. Any smoker who quits reduces their chances of having a heart attack.
As you can see, there is no “magic bullet” to stop or reverse the aging process. However by examining our family history, lifestyle and environment, and by making thoughtful choices every day of our lives, we can affect the chances that we will succumb to diseases and disability early or late in our lives.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Gardening and Your Back
8/7/13
Gardening is hard work! It can put quite a strain on your muscles, especially those in your back. If you don’t garden regularly, be sure to start slowly and work your way up to longer gardening sessions. Here are some suggestions for making the most of your garden while treating your back with care.
First, be sure to warm up your back muscles with some stretching before you go out, particularly in colder weather. Gardening may involve significant reaching and twisting, so perform some of those moves gently indoors before heading out. Be sure to keep water nearby and to take breaks often. If you start to feel any pain, stop and rest. Otherwise, you risk injuring your back and making it impossible for you to do anything at all in your garden.

Garden Layout
• Use mulch on the surface of your garden and avoid leaving bare spots. This will reduce weeds and help the soil retain moisture, so you don’t have to water as often.
• Use raised flowerbeds, which are both attractive and help reduce the need to bend down. You can grow vines and other trailing plants around the edges.
• Make sure your flowerbeds are narrow enough that you don’t have to reach too far over them.

Plants
• Remember that slow-growing shrubs are less trouble to maintain than perennials or annuals.
• Use fruit trees grown on dwarf rootstocks. This will allow you to pick fruit at a reasonable height.
• Consider ground-covering plants to keep weeds under control. Weeding is hard on the back due to all the bending over.

Tools
• Use forks and trowels with long handles, and other tools with extenders to reduce your need to reach.
• Make sure your pruners and loppers are sharp and have ratchet systems. Cutting will be easier and there will be less strain on your back and shoulders.
• Get a holster for secateurs and attach it to your belt, so you don’t have to keep reaching down to pick them up.
• Avoid heavy watering cans for irrigation. If you use a can, only fill it half way.

How to reduce digging
If you spread compost and fertilizer or manure over a flowerbed surface in the late autumn, the soil has time to settle before spring planting. Worms will take organic matter into the soil and you won’t have to dig so much. This approach requires initial digging to level the soil and remove weeds, but over time you will be able to dig less and less. Many gardeners feel that this method is better than traditional “double digging” because it leaves the soil structure intact. Contact a specialist at your local gardening center for more details on this back-saving approach to gardening.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic for Spinal Stenosis
8/7/13
Spinal stenosis occurs when the spaces in the spinal column narrow, putting pressure on the spinal cord and associated nerves. Spinal stenosis usually involves one or more of the three main spinal areas: the spinal canal in the center of the vertebral column, the canals located at the roots of spinal cord nerves, or the spaces between the vertebrae through which nerves leave the spine and go to the rest of the body. The condition is most commonly acquired due to degenerative conditions of the spine, including normal aging, or it can be inherited.
Depending on the location of the stenosis, different areas of the body may be affected. Stenosis on the lower part of the spinal cord can cause pain or numbness in the legs, while pressure on the upper part of the spinal cord can cause similar problems in the shoulders. The condition most commonly affects men and women over 50 years of age. However, it may also occur in younger people who have been injured or have conditions that result in a narrowing of the spinal canal, such as achondroplasia (dwarfism).
Diagnosis of spinal stenosis may be made through taking a medical history, thorough physical examination, and imaging tests such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans. While there is no cure for spinal stenosis, traditional treatment may involve medications and/or surgery. Surgery is invasive, expensive and painful, and the medications may have significant side effects. In addition, medications often don’t do anything to resolve the cause of the pain; they simply mask it.
Chiropractic treatment for spinal stenosis avoids both medications and surgery. It is based on the idea that restricted spinal movement can result in pain and dysfunction. Chiropractic manipulation (adjustments) may be used to restore movement and function. Spinal decompression therapy, a treatment in which the bones of the spine are gently pulled apart using traction, can also be used to treat spinal stenosis. By increasing the space between the vertebrae, pressure on the nerves can be relieved and pain significantly reduced.
The degree of success of chiropractic treatment for spinal stenosis depends on many factors, including the patient’s age, the length of time the stenosis has been present, and the presence of concurrent conditions that may complicate diagnosis, treatment or rehabilitation. A good chiropractor will work with other health care professionals as needed to ensure that you get the most holistic and best possible care for your specific symptoms.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractic|Buying the Right Exercise Ball
8/7/13
Exercise balls can be used to treat back pain and are effective in preventing, reducing and rehabilitating lower back pain in particular. Exercise balls are a wonderful addition to the fitness arsenal, but to get the most out of using one you must choose the right size ball for you. An excellent way to ensure you get the right ball is to schedule a personal consultation with a fitness and rehab professional. However, since that is not always possible, the following are some general guidelines these professionals have developed to help you choose a ball.
There are typically five different diameters of exercise balls to choose from, in centimeters: 45, 55, 65, 75 and 85 cm. They are each designed to fit a certain body type. Your height is not the only determining factor in terms of ball size; your weight and body composition are also considerations.
Be sure the various balls are inflated and available for you to test before purchase. Sit upright on the ball, ensure that your feet are flat on the floor and that your weight is evenly distributed. Your knees should be level with your pelvis, or just slightly lower. This position is key because you want an angle of 90 or greater at the knees and hips, to avoid stressing either of these pivot points. Your ears, shoulders and pelvis should form a vertical line, without your body leaning in any direction to maintain stability. You can check this alignment by gently bouncing up and down.
In general, people 5’ and shorter do best with the 45 cm balls, and people 6’8” and taller do best with the 85 cm balls. If you are heavier than average, you will compress the ball further when sitting on it. Therefore you should consider buying the next ball size up in order to ensure you have the 90-degree angle or greater for your knees and hips.
Also remember that you can adjust the ball somewhat yourself. For example, if the angle of your hips and knees is much greater than 90 degrees, you can deflate the ball a little. This can be useful if you are out of shape and/or new to using an exercise ball, as the flatter ball will be more stable and easier to use. However if you are in better shape or are more experienced with exercise balls, a flatter ball will be less effective at training your back muscles to improve their balancing and stabilizing abilities. If you initially buy a ball and deflate it, you can always add more air later to increase the difficulty level and train your muscles further.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
The Benefits of Folate
8/7/13
Folic acid is synthesized from folate (also called vitamin B9 or folacin), which plays a crucial role in a number of body functions, particularly in the proper development of the fetus from the first days of conception.
Physicians advise that all women of childbearing age take a regular folic acid supplement since 50% of pregnancies are unplanned, and as the neural tube, from which the infant’s nervous system will develop, is one of the first things to develop in a fetus. Often, by the time a woman realizes she is pregnant, much of that important development is already done. Women who are deficient in folate risk giving birth to infants who are low in birth weight or due to neural tube defects have a spinal malfomation, such as spina bifida, or other neurological disorders.

Folic acid is so important that it is one of the vitamins that the FDA requires be added to fortified foods such as bread, flour, breakfast cereals, pasta and rice. Since this requirement was enacted in 1998, the rate of neural tube defects has decreased 26%.
Folate is also crucial to proper cell growth. DNA and RNA, the building blocks of all our cells, rely on folate to develop properly, and folate has been found to help prevent the changes in DNA that can lead to the development of cancerous cells. It also aids in the healthy formation of red blood cells, which is necessary in order to avoid anemia.
Folate helps keep homocysteine levels in the blood low, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, aids in the proper functioning of your nerves through the synthesis of neurotransmitters, and helps prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis-related bone fractures.
Signs of folate deficiency include: insomnia, depression, irritability, muscle fatigue, sore tongue, diarrhea, gingivitis and mental fuzziness.
Some good natural sources of folate include: green leafy vegetables such as spinach and collard greens; beans and legumes such as lentils and peas; and fruit and fruit juices, particularly tomato juice and orange juice. Liver is also an excellent source, and cooking it does not easily destroy its folate, which can be the case when cooking vegetables. To maintain the greatest amount of folate in your vegetables, either eat them raw or cook them for as short a time as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that adults get 400 mcg of folic acid every day, either through their diet or by taking a dietary supplement. If pregnant, that amount should be raised to 600 mcg daily, and 500 mcg every day for women who are breastfeeding.

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Orlando Chiropractor|The Benefits of a Cervical Pillow
8/7/13
Can your pillow really make a difference in your health and how you feel during the day? Absolutely. Cervical pillows are specially designed ergonomic supports for your neck. They hold it in the proper position during sleep, while also cradling the head and shoulders. It is important that your neck and head are at proper angles when you are lying down, in order to avoid strain and pain in the morning. Depending on how you sleep (on your back, side, or stomach), the proper angles for your head and neck will vary. You will want a cervical pillow that rises to the level of the neck and compresses where the head rests.
Cervical pillows are usually made with memory foam, which is excellent at compressing and decompressing around your neck and head. Memory foam provides superior ergonomic support and an excellent night’s sleep.
You’ll want to choose the right cervical pillow for you, based on how you sleep and on your personal preferences. Several options are available:
• Cradle Pillows: This type of pillow distributes the weight of your head evenly with the goal of reducing pressure on your neck and spine. It is also good for maintaining proper breathing alignment and preventing snoring.
• Neck Pillows: Neck pillows are designed to provide support to the natural curve of your neck, and are best for those who sleep on their side or on their back. These pillows come in a variety of sizes to provide comfort to a wide range of body types.
• Side Pillows: These pillows have a curved edge that is higher on the side and lower in the middle. This design provides proper neck alignment. Side pillows cradle the upper vertebrae because of the front edge, which is tilted forward. This frontal curve also offers space for your shoulders and provides extra comfort to this area.
• Cervical Rolls: Cervical rolls can be used in several places on the body: under the neck, under the head (offering superior back alignment), under the knees (good for lower back problems) and behind the back to support the lumbar region.
• Comfort Pillows: These pillows are more like traditional pillows in their shape and feel, for those who prefer that kind of support. However they provide better ergonomic support than a traditional pillow.

To choose the best pillow, think about how you sleep most often. If you are a side sleeper, you’ll benefit most from side pillows, cervical rolls, and neck pillows. For back sleepers, try cradle pillows, neck pillows and comfort pillows. Whatever pillow you choose, avoid buying a pillow that is too small or too large as that may reduce the pillow’s ability to provide the support you need.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Phases of Spinal Degeneration
8/7/13
The spine can be thought of as a mechanical device that needs proper care and maintenance. The better you care for your spine, the longer it will operate without problems. However, it will wear out faster if neglected.
As we age, we all develop some degree of spinal degeneration – it is unavoidable. However, some people have more or fewer symptoms, depending on individual variation, genetics, overall health status and concurrent health issues. As the population ages, spinal degeneration and its complications will become a bigger and bigger problem, causing greater disability. The need for expert care for the spine as we get older will only grow.
Each stage of spinal degeneration has certain characteristics most patients can see and understand. These stages are explained below.

Spinal Degeneration – Stage I
Spinal degeneration begins with changes that occur inside the intervertebral disc. These changes include a loss of disc volume due to fluid loss. If there are concurrent diseases involved in the degeneration, it may progress faster than when only age-related. Either way, degeneration at this stage may or may not cause symptoms, but can lead to pain, spinal stenosis and joint problems. Physical changes include a loss of disc height, mild approximation of spinal joins and spinal segment dysfunction.

Stage II
Stage II involves the loss of normal curvature of the spine, as revealed through bone scans. The space between discs narrows moderately to severely, and discs may bulge from between the bones. Joint surfaces become rougher and bone spurs may appear at the spinal joints. There may be notable dysfunction of spinal segments, resulting in instability.

Stage III
Stage III can involve significant losses of normal spinal curvature. The discs degenerate profoundly and the space between discs narrows even further. The discs herniate and bone spurs are common. This stage may be associated with spinal stenosis, or a narrowing of the spinal column, which can create pressure on the spinal cord. Segment dysfunction progresses and may lead to degenerative fusion, also known as ankylosis, in which spinal vertebrae cement together.
Chiropractors are experts in evaluation and care of the spine. They are qualified to provide appropriate preventive care and treatment to help restore and maintain normal spinal alignment and functioning. While some degree of spinal degeneration cannot be avoided as we age, regular and proper chiropractic care can slow the progress of the process, prevent new problems from appearing and provide symptom relief.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Alcohol and Your Health
8/7/13
The effect of alcohol consumption on your health can be either positive or negative, depending on the amount you drink. Like most things, moderation is the key to getting the greatest benefits from alcohol. Those who drink moderately generally live longer and in better health than those who either abstain completely or drink heavily.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), moderate drinking lowers your risk of heart disease by 40 to 60 percent. And people who normally consume one or two drinks daily have the lowest rate of mortality, according to the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association. The mortality rates of those who have suffered a heart attack are 32 percent lower than those of abstainers. The moderate consumption of alcohol leads to a lower incidence of strokes and can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, osteoporosis and prostate problems.
A European study found greater arterial elasticity in volunteers who had a drink of beer, wine or spirits each day, compared to those who were abstainers. In another study of over 18,000 men from the Physicians Health Study, those who increased the number of drinks they consumed from one to six per week showed a 29 percent lower risk of contracting cardiovascular disease. This was also found to be useful to diabetics, who achieved a 58 percent reduction in heart disease risk by consuming an alcoholic drink every day.
Alcohol has been shown to increase your “good” HDL cholesterol while reducing your “bad” LDL cholesterol, in addition to decreasing clotting and increasing blood flow to your heart. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the risk of stroke to be cut in half for those who take two alcoholic beverages per day.
A standard drink is considered to be one:
• 12-ounce bottle or can of beer
• 5-ounce glass of wine
• 1 ½ ounce serving of distilled spirits (the equivalent of a shot glass)
“Moderate” drinking is considered to be the consumption of one to three alcoholic drinks per day, depending on your body size. Less than that provides only minimal health benefits and more than that leads to a number of health problems, including liver disease, cirrhosis, cancer, high blood pressure and depression. The over-consumption of alcohol is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide, according to a study in The Lancet.
Of course, those who are pregnant, suffering from alcoholism or have adverse reactions to alcohol should abstain, as the benefits do not outweigh the risks. But for most healthy adults, moderate alcohol consumption will help them live longer and healthier lives.

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Orlando Chiropractor|The Importance of Hand Washing
8/7/13
In previous centuries, the importance of hand washing was not understood, and led to the needless deaths of many millions of people. When performed properly, hand washing is by far the most effective way to reduce the spread of communicable diseases.
Up to 25% of women in the 19th century died in childbirth from childbed fever (peurperal sepsis), a disease subsequently found to be caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, which was inadvertently transmitted to the mothers on the hands of the doctors attending them. When hand washing was instituted in the delivery room, the rate of death dropped to less than 1%.
Washing your hands after using the toilet or changing a diaper is of utmost importance, as the ingestion of even the smallest amount of fecal matter can cause serious illness from deadly pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella, giardiasis and hepatitis A, among others.
Viruses can also be spread via the hands when they come into contact with infectious respiratory secretions, such as after coughing, sneezing, shaking hands with someone or touching an object that has been in the proximity of someone who is ill, then touching the face, particularly the nose, eyes or mouth. This is one of the primary ways of transmitting the virus that causes the common cold.
Those who handle food should routinely wash their hands, not only after using the toilet, but also after touching raw meat, fish or poultry, as the microbes present on uncooked food can cause gastrointestinal infections that can range anywhere from mild to severe.
Other instances in which you should wash your hands are after handling garbage, handling animals or animal waste, visiting or caring for an ill person, or if the hands show visible dirt.
To wash your hands properly you need only two things: soap and clean, running water. If these two are not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has a minimum 60% alcohol content.
Before washing your hands, remove all rings and other jewelry. Using warm, running water, wet your hands thoroughly, then apply enough soap to work up a nice lather. Keeping your hands out of the water, rub them together, being sure to scrub both the front and backs of your hands, including your wrists, and also washing between the fingers and under the nails. Do this for 20 seconds, then rinse completely under the running water. Turn off the taps with a paper towel and dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or air dryer.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Recognizing Signs of Depression
8/7/13
Just about everyone will experience depression at some point in their life. Depression affects about 10 percent of the US population each year, which amounts to 18.8 million people. The World Health Organization indicates that by 2020 depression will be the second leading cause of death after heart disease. Therefore, it is important to recognize the possible signs of depression as early as possible so effective treatment options can be found.
There are three different classifications for clinical depression. These include: Major depression, which interferes with your ability to perform normal daily activities such as eating, sleeping, working and your ability to enjoy activities; Dysthymia, which symptoms are not as severe, but persist on a chronic low-level for extended periods of time and interfere with normal enjoyment of life; and Bipolar Disorder, in which depression alternates with feelings of elation and increased activity.
There are many symptoms of depression, which may be expressed not only a psychological level, but on a physical and social level as well. Some of the most common symptoms are:

Psychological
• Losing interest in things you previously enjoyed
• Feeling anxious and irritable
• Feelings of hopelessness
• Overwhelming feelings of sadness
• Suicidal thoughts
• Reduced interest in sex
• Frequent crying
• Difficulty concentrating
• Feelings of inadequacy or self-loathing

Physical
• Insomnia or frequent waking (can also sometimes be sleeping excessively)
• Lack of energy
• Decreased appetite and weight (though could sometimes be an increase)
• Constipation
• Aches and pains of unknown origin
• Frequent headaches and/or flu-like symptoms
• Stomach or digestive upset

Social
• Lack of interest in socializing
• Problems with coworkers or boss
• Problems with partner or family members

Feeling sad or depressed is a normal expression in times of increased stress or bereavement and does not require the same treatment. Feelings of stress or sadness after you have lost a job or your relationship has ended is quite normal. However, if these feelings or any of the symptoms listed above persist for two weeks or longer, you may be clinically depressed and should seek help from a mental health professional.
Depression can strike anyone, regardless of their gender, age or socioeconomic status. Women tend to suffer from it more than men (12% and 7%, respectively), and surprisingly, even children are increasingly found to be suffering from depression. A study conducted by Harvard University found the rate of depression among children was increasing by 23% annually, the greatest increase of any age group.
There are a number of effective treatments, and if you suffer from depression you are not alone. A good mental health professional can help you choose the right treatment that can make your depression a thing of the past.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Do I Need to Keep Seeing My Chiropractor After the Pain Is Gone?
8/7/13
It is good news that your pain is gone. Chiropractic practitioners are experts at detecting, correcting, and preventing spinal misalignments, which can quickly provide pain relief. However, there are two important reasons to return to your chiropractor even though you are feeling better.
First, the underlying problem may not yet be completely corrected. While you may temporarily feel better, if your spine is still structurally misaligned, it will silently continue to degrade. The longer a misalignment has to degrade, the more seriously it affects your body. Your symptoms may return and may be even worse than before. This could cause damage to your spinal structure, in addition to the part of the body that the particular spinal area serves.
It’s not that different from taking medicines. Many people are prescribed a medicine and then take it just until the pain stops. However, this still leaves some of the damaging microbes in the body; in fact it leaves the strongest ones, which then multiply and cause further illness. You will want to be sure that your treatment has completely eliminated the underlying misalignment, and that the process has been able to restore your body’s natural function before you determine that treatment is complete.
Another reason to return to the chiropractor is because they do not just treat existing problems, they provide excellent preventive care. Regular visits to the chiropractor can prevent new subluxations from occurring, and can catch early ones soon enough to halt or reverse the process. Your chiropractor will work with you to determine the most appropriate frequency of periodic spinal adjustments and regular examinations, based on the severity of your current subluxations and your general state of health.
It is also important to remember that subluxations may not cause symptoms. They may begin at birth and lead to later disease or dysfunction. Regular contact with a chiropractor can keep you on top of your health in such a way that problems and symptoms are less likely to develop. Even (or perhaps especially) children can benefit, as their spines are still growing and problems later in life can be avoided with proper spinal alignment during youth.
Finally, since chiropractic treatment is all-natural and avoids medicines or invasive procedures, there is no reason not to continue to have regular chiropractic care. Good chiropractors provide a holistic approach to diagnosing and treating your health, and are not afraid to refer to you to another kind of specialist should you need one.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic for Hip Pain
8/7/13
Your hips and legs support your entire body. They provide stability, strength, mobility, and flexibility. Misalignment or subluxation of the spine can cause both hip and leg pain by irritating the nerves and creating muscle spasms. As these areas of the body receive nearly continuous usage, they can suffer a great deal of stress. In fact, hip pain may be mistaken for back pain, due to the connections between the pelvis and the spine. A chiropractor is likely to be able to treat your hip pain if it is the result of a misalignment in your spine.
The thighbone (or femur) connects with the hipbone (pelvis) in a ball and socket joint. There is a cushion of cartilage between the bones that helps prevent wear. However, eventually the cartilage itself wears down, which can lead to swelling and pain. Arthritis is the typical result. Pain can also occur due to sprains or fractures, which usually only happen to older people who have osteoporosis. Sprains and fractures result in limited mobility, stiffness and swelling.
Another common cause of hip pain is sitting for long periods of time, as well as poor posture. Sitting and posture problems can lead to a slipped intervertebral disc or leakage of the contents of the disc through small cracks, resulting in pressure on the tissues. This usually leads to pain in the hips and legs. Sciatica can occur when the disc presses against the spinal nerve, and can lead to weakness and numbness in the legs. In severe cases, surgery is required to remove the leaked disc material and relieve the pressure.
Chiropractors can treat some kinds of hip pain without surgery or medications. They cannot reverse age-related arthritis, but they can help slow the progress of the disease and delay possible surgeries. The first thing your chiropractor will do is determine the reasons for your hip pain, because some conditions, such as fractures or metastatic disease, will need to be referred to another kind of health care professional. Most other kinds of hip pain can be treated through manipulations and spinal adjustments. In addition to adjustments, your chiropractor will recommend appropriate exercises to help rehabilitate the hip joint and stabilize the misaligned components. He or she will also work with you on posture, work habits (such as sitting posture and ergonomic office furniture), and perhaps even diet to resolve the root causes of your hip pain.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
What Is Chiropractic Cold Laser Therapy?
8/7/13
Cold laser therapy (also called Low Level Laser Therapy or LLLT) involves the use of light (a specific wavelength and frequency of coherent light, generated from a low-wattage therapeutic laser) to stimulate the body's cells and cause them to accelerate the healing process. The therapeutic use of lasers (LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is not a new idea; they have been used to stimulate healing since 1967.
The term "cold laser" refers to the specific wavelength of light used, which is usually in the 630 nm to 980 nm ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. This wavelength allows for the least energy to be absorbed by surface tissue (meaning that the patient does not experience any sensation of heat or warming), while allowing the healing properties of the light to facilitate wound and tissue healing. Low-level laser therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation and accelerate the body's own healing mechanisms. When cells are exposed to laser light, cell functions are stimulated, improving immune system function, increasing collagen synthesis and enhancing tissue regeneration.
In chiropractic practice, cold laser therapy has been show to be effective in treating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. The use of laser therapy also accelerates the healing of connective tissue disorders such as sprains, strains and tendonitis, and has proven effective in reducing or managing chronic or acute pain in the neck, thoracic regions or lower back. Lasers have also been used to effectively treat muscle injuries or bruises, and neurological injuries such as herniated or ruptured discs. Chiropractors also commonly use laser therapy to increase the patient's range of motion, and to build or increase the strength of damaged muscle tissue. In many cases the use of cold laser therapy has cut rehabilitation time following an injury in half.
Obvious benefits of cold laser therapy over drugs or surgery are that it is safe, pain- and drug- free, non-invasive, and has no known side effects. The results are quickly perceived by patients, and laser therapy can be used immediately after an injury. Cold laser therapy has also been studied in over 3000 clinical trials, with proven clinical results. If you are interested in finding out whether it could be of benefit to treat your conditions, consult with your chiropractor.

Resources:
• content_css.cfm?CID=4124
• mpacms/dc/article.php?id=41529

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic for Tennis Players
8/6/13
Approximately 65% of the 15 million tennis players in the United States sustain at least one injury per year. Tennis is a sport that involves repetitive motions and ballistic movements. As such, the sport can create both local and systemic stresses on the body. For example, hard foot plants are associated with foot, ankle, and knee stress, but can also affect one entire side of the body, because of side-to-side forces and twisting motions. Continuous start and stop motions, accelerating and decelerating, overhead serves, and ground strokes can put significant stress on the knees, back, ankles, elbows and shoulders.
As you can imagine, injuries are common, even with highly-trained players. The most common injuries in tennis players occur in the lower extremities, such as twisted ankles, Achilles tendonitis, “tennis leg”, which affects the gastrocnemius or calf muscle, and infrapatellar tendonitis, or “jumper’s knee”. One of the greatest causes of these injuries is rapid deceleration during the game. Tennis players put great force in one direction, and they suddenly have to stop it. That effort can lead to injury, in part because most tennis training techniques focus on acceleration, not deceleration. Tennis elbow is another common tennis injury, as well as injuries to the rotator cuff of the shoulder, and lower back pain. The tennis racquet can travel at up to 300 miles per hour over a very short distance. Throwing the racquet overhead extends and stretches the shoulder muscles excessively over time, causing an imbalance in the shoulders.
Chiropractic treatment for tennis players focuses on both prevention and treatment of these injuries. Chiropractic care is an excellent choice for tennis players. Adjustments can be made regularly to prevent injury and are effective in treating problems as well. These adjustments may include manipulations of the neck, knee, spine, shoulder, ankle, and elbow. Additional treatments might include stretching exercises, laser therapy, massage, ultrasound, hot/cold treatments, and light therapy.
A chiropractor can also provide advice on proper shoes, movement mechanics, racquet size and selection, playing surfaces and support braces. A qualified practitioner can help tennis players play the game better, prevent injury, rehabilitate an existing injury, and get back on the court again.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
6 Tips for Healthy-Looking Skin
8/5/13
We all want to look young and beautiful, no matter what our age, and keeping your skin in good condition goes a long way toward that goal. There are a number of things you can do to keep your skin looking supple and glowing that don’t involve expensive treatments or surgery!
1) Drink more water¬– This may be the number one tip in achieving healthy-looking skin. Controlled climates such as homes and offices with heat and air conditioning tend to be very drying to the skin. Most people are actually chronically dehydrated, and this leads to an increased in lines and wrinkles, much as a grape becomes a raisin! Optimally, you should drink between 2 and 3 liters of water every day, which will make your tissues more plump and resilient, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. If you can’t stomach that much water, other beverages are fine, but beware of any that contain lots of sugar or caffeine, as an excess of these substances is not good for your health.
2) Cleanse and exfoliate – At the end of the day, after being subjected to the elements, including sun, wind, climate, etc. (not to mention makeup), you need to give your skin a good cleanse. Dead cells can accumulate on the skin’s surface, making it look dull and lifeless. Start by removing all makeup with a gentle cleanser, such as a little plain yogurt on a cotton ball, which removes makeup without the use of harsh chemicals. Then treat it to a light apricot kernel scrub, which can remove those dead cells and expose the fresh ones underneath.
3) Eat healthy – A diet high in fruits and vegetables, particularly the ones with high amounts of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, and low in sugar, unhealthy fats and processed foods, has been shown to promote younger looking skin. Red peppers, strawberries and avocados are among the foods highest in antioxidants and healthy fats.
4) Wear protective clothing – We all know that too much sun exposure is bad, exposing our skin to damage from free radicals. Chemicals in some commercial sunscreens can be almost as bad for you as too much sun and keep you from getting an adequate amount of vitamin D to boot! The best option is to wear protective clothing as much as possible. This includes long-sleeved shirts and hats with wide brims.
5) Moisturize – One way to keep your skin from drying out is to apply a good moisturizer once in the morning and again before bed, after your cleansing routine. Look for a moisturizer that does not contain any SLS (sodium lauryl/lauryth sulfate) or parabens, neither of which are good for you. The best are those containing olive oil, aloe or vitamin E.
6) Quit Smoking – The increased number of wrinkles that appear on the faces of smokers is yet another reason to quit. Smoking constricts the tiny blood vessels that supply oxygen and important nutrients that nourish the skin. It also damages the collagen and elastin that keep skin strong and elastic.


Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What Is the Sacro-Occipital Technique (Sot)?
8/5/13
The Sacro-Occipital Technique (also referred to as SOT) is a commonly used chiropractic technique developed by osteopath and chiropractor Major Bertrand DeJarnette. The name refers to the sacrum or "tail bone" (the last major bone of the spinal column) and the occiput or base of the skull. The technique is based on normalizing the relationship between these two ends of the spinal column. SOT is practiced by an estimated 49% of chiropractors.

The Sacro-Occipital Technique itself is performed by analyzing the condition of the patient's spine in three positions – vertical, prone (lying face down), and supine (lying face up). The SOT practitioner then analyzes the nerve health and flow of cerebro-spinal fluid from the brain to the spine, and makes adjustments to improve this flow. During this process the practitioner may palpate the skull to make adjustments to the actual cranial bones, while simultaneously massaging or "pumping" various vertebrae to remove blockages that could interfere with cerebro-spinal fluid flow. The SOT practitioner often uses the weight of the patient's own body to correct abnormalities in the body. For example, treatment may involve placing wedge-shaped foam cushions under certain parts of the body to realign the pelvis as the patient reclines on them.

Like other chiropractic techniques, SOT seeks to correct abnormalities in the spine that produce back, arm, and leg pain, headaches, and dizziness. Patients suffering from migraines, neck and shoulder pain, fatigue and nervous disorders can benefit immediately from Sacro-Occipital manipulation. However the main goal of a chiropractic SOT treatment is not to eliminate or reduce pain, it is to normalize the function of the brain and spinal cord, which constitute the central nervous system. The Sacro-Occipital Technique seeks to improve the overall transmission of nerve impulses from the brain down the spine and to other areas of the body.

Equal emphasis is placed in SOT treatment on the proper positioning of the pelvis. The spine and skull, shoulders and arms are supported above the pelvis, and the legs and feet are supported below. Thus an improperly aligned pelvis can cause postural irregularities, problems with normal functioning of the skull and jaw, and muscular dysfunction. As the name sacro-occipital implies, SOT treatment focuses on both ends of the spine, because they are so interrelated. By correcting imbalances both in the skull and in the pelvis, communication is improved along the entire spinal column.

Resources:
• 05RB/BCC/11d.html
• faq.php?cat=chirotechniques&id=7
• services/sacro-occipital-technique.php
• sacro-occipital-technique.html


Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What Is Degenerative Disc Disease?
8/5/13
Degenerative disc disease is misnomer, because it’s not really a disease. It is a term that refers to the normal changes in the spine as we age. In particular, it refers to the deterioration of our spinal discs, which are the soft, cushiony discs between our bony vertebrae.

Spinal discs are like shock absorbers, in that they separate the bones and allow the spine to bend, twist, and flex. Degenerative disc disease usually occurs in the lumbar region of the spine (lower back) and the cervical region (neck). It results in

1) The breakdown of cartilage, also known as osteoarthritis
2) The bulging of discs, also known as disc herniation, and
3) The narrowing of the spinal canal, also known as spinal stenosis.

These conditions can lead to pain and nerve problems, due to pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.

The cause of degenerative disc disease is aging. Aging leads to a loss of fluid in the discs, making them more brittle and less flexible. They also become thinner, which brings the vertebrae closer together. In addition, small cracks or tears in the discs may cause leakage of the jellylike material inside. This causes bulging, breaking, or fragmenting of the discs.

Degenerative disc disease does not affect everyone the same way and at the same rate. It is usually worse among smokers and those who do heavy physical labor that taxes the spine. People who are overweight and obese tend to have worse symptoms as well. A sudden injury can also initiate the process of deterioration.

When the discs between the vertebrae get thinner, there is less cushion for the spine and it loses stability. In response, the body generates bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, which can cause pain due to pressure on the spinal nerves. The pain may be felt in the back or the neck, depending on the person and the location of the degeneration. Discs that are affected in the neck region can lead to pain in the arms or neck, while affected discs in the lumbar or lower region can lead to leg, back, or buttock pain.

Your doctor or chiropractor can diagnose degenerative disc disease through the use of a physical examination and a medical history. He or she will look for areas of tenderness, range of motion, pain, numbness, reflexes, and any additional conditions such as fractures or infections. Imaging tests are not particularly useful for degenerative disc disease. Treatment usually includes ice or heat, anti-inflammatory medications, and rest. Stretches and physical therapy are often recommended. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the damaged disc(s).

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
The Benefits of Riboflavin
8/5/13
Like the other B-vitamins, riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2), plays a key role in the production of energy and the maintenance of metabolism. Its distinctive characteristic is its bright yellow fluorescent color, which can often be seen in the urine of those taking supplements of the vitamin, the excess of which is excreted through the kidneys. And because only small amounts of it are stored in the liver and kidneys, regular intake must be received through the diet.

Working together with an enzyme, riboflavin helps to break down homocysteine. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood are related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and bone fractures. Vitamin B2 works with different enzymes to help in the creation of some of the other B-vitamins such as B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine) and B1 (thiamine), and also aids the optimal utilization of iron and folic acid.

Riboflavin also works as an antioxidant by helping in the recycling of glutathione, a molecule that neutralizes the effects of dangerous free radicals that damage the body’s cells and DNA, accelerating the aging process and increasing your risk of cancer. It is also useful to our cells by helping them in the most efficient use of oxygen and in encouraging healthy cell growth.

Recent studies have found that supplementing with vitamin B2 may help those who suffer from migraines. According to a study published in the European Journal of Neurology, 23 migraine sufferers were given 400 mg. of riboflavin every day for three months and recorded the frequency, duration and intensity of their migraines during this period. The results showed the number of migraines to be reduced by half, from an average of four per month to two, and were shorter in duration, though their intensity was unchanged.

Deficiency in riboflavin is not common, but is more apt to be found in alcoholics, women taking birth control pills, the chronically ill and the elderly. Some signs of riboflavin deficiency are swollen tongue, skin cracks, particularly around the corners of the mouth, weakness, sore throat, hair loss, blurred vision, cataracts, and light sensitivity.

The best dietary sources of riboflavin are meat, dark green leafy vegetables, whole or fortified grains, mushrooms and dairy products. The recommended daily allowance is 1.3 mg per day for adults. Though not sensitive to heat, acid or oxidation, riboflavin is easily destroyed by exposure to light, so be sure to buy dairy products such as milk or yogurt in opaque containers.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|How to Properly Fit Your Bicycle Helmet
8/5/13
You can get your bicycle helmet in different sizes, just like a hat. Once you’ve got the proper size, there are a few steps to take to ensure it fits your head correctly for the safest ride.
1. Measure your head to get an idea of the appropriate size, and ask the specialist at the bike shop for a helmet. Place the helmet on top of your head and ensure it doesn’t move from side to side. Most new helmets include sizing pads to help make sure it fits securely. You can move and exchange the pads to make it as comfortable as possible. For children’s helmets, you may wish to remove the padding as he or she grows. If your helmet includes a “universal fit ring”, you will be able to adjust the ring for a good fit.
2. Ensure the helmet rests in a level position on your head, and that you can place one or two fingers between your eyebrow and the helmet.
3. The left buckle should be centered under the chin. You can usually pull the chin straps from the back to either shorten or lengthen them. You may wish to do this with the helmet off to make it easier.
4. You’ll want the straps to create a V shape in front of and slightly below the ears.
5. Buckle the chinstrap fairly snugly, and tighten so that you can place one finger under the strap. If you open your mouth wide, the helmet should pull down on your head. If it doesn’t, you need to tighten the chinstrap.
6. If the helmet slips back more than two fingers above your eyebrow, shorten the front strap and test it again. If it slips forward towards the eyes, tighten the back strap and re-buckle. Finally, all four straps need to go through the rubber band to prevent the buckle from slipping.

Keep in mind:
• A well-fitted helmet can reduce your risk of injury by up to 85%.
• Choose helmets that are certified by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Older helmets may also have a seal from ASTM, Snell, or ANSI. These are also acceptable; just be sure it has the seal.
• If you have a crash or a damaged helmet, or if you have outgrown it, replace it.
• Your helmet should feel comfortable.
• It should cover your forehead.
• It must be worn every time you ride to really protect you.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Choosing the Right Lumbar Support
8/5/13
Lumbar back support products are designed to help prevent neck and back pain, which can lead to pain in other parts of the body as well. Many of these products are pillows or cushions that offer additional support when you are seated for long periods of time.
The lumbar region of the spine is usually referred to as the lower back. It is the area just above your tailbone and below the thoracic (middle back) region. The lumbar area includes your spine and all the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding your spine. If your ligaments are pulled or torn, you will experience a lumbar sprain or strain, which can lead to muscle spasms and significant pain in your lower back.
What can cause lumbar sprains and strains? Poor posture, poor lifting technique, obesity, and other health-related factors can contribute. In fact, sitting for long periods without lumbar support can itself aggravate lumbar pain. Finally, one of the greatest contributors to back pain is using the wrong type of chair for your body. Surfaces that are too hard or too soft do not encourage proper posture and do not provide adequate support for your back.
Usually all that is required to relieve lower back pain is sufficient rest, but most of us are unable to rest for long enough to overcome lumbar problems. So preventing these problems with a good lumbar support is essential, especially if you spend significant amounts of time sitting down.
The first step to choosing the right lumbar support is to ensure that it fits perfectly in the chair you spend the most time in. An even better option is to choose an ergonomically designed chair that includes a built-in lumbar support, or an individual lumbar support that is specifically designed to be used with your chair. “One size fits all” lumbar support products rarely provide any benefits and should be avoided.
Make sure you test the product in the store before you buy it. If you can, sit with the lumbar support for at least 15 minutes to see if it feels good or aggravates back pain. The best lumbar supports are adjustable, so you can fit it to the chair’s height. Ergonomic chairs with lumbar supports included usually allow you to adjust the height and width of the support. Adjustable separate supports are particularly useful if you use more than one chair throughout the day.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What Is the Active Release Technique (Art)?
8/5/13
The Active Release Technique (ART, also referred to as the Active Release Techniques) is a system of movement-based massage treatment developed and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. He teaches this system, which involves over 500 treatment movements or protocols, to health care professionals worldwide to certify them as ART practitioners.

ART is different from traditional chiropractic manipulations in that it focuses on hands-on massage and repair of soft tissue, to alleviate conditions caused by strain and overuse. Overused muscles can change in many ways. They can develop acute tears or small tears (micro-trauma) in muscle tissue that cause the muscles to suffer from lack of oxygen (hypoxia). This can cause a buildup of scar tissue in the affected areas. As scar tissue increases, muscles actually shorten and become less flexible, causing a restricted range of motion, pain, or strength loss. Nerves can also become trapped, resulting in symptoms of numbness, weakness, or tingling.

An ART session combines examination with treatment. ART practitioners use their hands to assess the texture, flexibility, and range of movement in muscle tissue, tendons, and ligaments. Using gentle hand pressure, they then utilize the ART protocols to massage the soft tissue with stretching motions to break up fibrous adhesions and restore normal functionality. In some ART sessions, the patient's muscles and tissues are manipulated by the practitioner; in others, the patient is asked to move the affected areas while pressure is applied to them. The goal is to restore normal movement and ease pressure on entrapped nerves or blood vessels.

Many conditions can be successfully treated using ART, such as back pain, headaches, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, "tennis elbow," spinal pain, tendonitis, sciatica, shin splints, and recurring sprains and strains. A study performed at Vanderbilt University determined that "the results supporting the efficacy of ART have been significant enough to support the treatment as a viable alternative method for treating soft-tissue injuries and pain."

Training and certification as an ART practitioner is provided to chiropractors and other health care professionals by Dr. Leahy's organization and through New York Chiropractic College. Courses are provided on Upper and Lower Extremity conditions, Spinal problems, Long Tract Nerve Entrapment, and Diagnosis / Active Palpation. Students must attend all required hands-on workshops and pass an examination to become certified. Practitioners must also attend follow-up courses and be periodically retested to maintain the credential.

Resources:

• art.html
• 2008/ART.htm

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Understanding Why Over-Prescription of Antibiotics Is a Problem
8/5/13
When you or someone you love is sick, whether from the flu or bronchitis or any number of illnesses, the most pressing thought is towards recovering as fast and as fully as possible.

In the battle against the bug, antibiotics have often been the sword with which to vanquish the microscopic beasties. Even those people that hold out against using medication and let their own immune systems attempt to triumph often succumb to the perceived “instant cure” that antibiotics seem to offer. What they don’t realize is that many of those who fall sick, take antibiotics, and then promptly recover, would have recovered even had they not taken antibiotics and just waited a few more days. We tend to self-diagnose, often incorrectly, and seek the cure before confirming the cause of the illness. Bronchitis, for example, can be caused by both bacteria and viruses.

Unfortunately, the abuse and misuse of antibiotics, which include over-prescription and failure to complete antibiotic treatment, have led to a rise in superbugs, bacteria that are resistant to all currently available antibiotic treatments. Recently, reports have been issued from European hospitals stating that there has been a frightening rise in superbugs in hospitals, leading to untreatable infections.

The biggest problem with antibiotics has been and still is their over-prescription. They are often prescribed for illnesses that are entirely viral based, such as the flu and colds, making the antibiotics nothing more than placebos against these infections.

Many people don’t understand that antibiotics do not work against viruses. As the name implies, antibiotics work against bacteria, not viruses. Like most living things, bacteria also evolve and as antibiotics kill off the susceptible colonies, resistant colonies expand to fill the space left behind. The more antibiotics are used, the faster the spread of more resistant colonies.

But why do doctors, who surely are aware of the consequences of this scenario, over-prescribe antibiotics? Part of the answer lies in the pressure exerted by the patient on the doctor. A physician is often overloaded with sick patients, especially in the winter when infection rates rise significantly. Patients often demand antibiotics, having experienced rapid recovery under bacterial infections and believing the same will occur with the current infection. Doctors will often prescribe what the patients want rather than what they need, in order to placate the patient and not have to spend too much time on each patient.

The speed of bacterial evolution caused by over-prescription of antibiotics is currently outstripping the speed with which new antibiotics are developed, which will lead to a catastrophic epidemic of untreatable superbugs. More sensible prescription and more appropriate use of antibiotics is essential if we are to keep up and stay healthy.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|The Dirtiest Places in Your House
8/5/13
Before setting off on a cleaning frenzy, it’s important to understand that note all germs are created equal. The germs you may find on your keyboard, while numerous, may not be as dangerous as the few isolated germs found on the toilet seat or in your washer.

The major zones of filth in the average person’s home are
1. The kitchen sink (and sponges)
2. The toilet
3. The bathtub
4. The washer
5. The phone
6. The trash bin

The kitchen sink is one of the dirtiest places in the house, if not the most, with over half a million bacteria living per square inch in the drain. The combination of food residues, small pools of warm water and wet sponges provides ideal growth opportunities for a host of bacteria.

Recent studies have shown that the toilet, which was thought to be a haven for a multitude of germs, is in fact relatively germ-free. Unfortunately, the few germs that are found there are of the more virulent type, generally E. coli.

As for the bathroom, one would think that the place where one goes to get clean would be clean itself. However, most bathtubs and shower floors are left damp and warm after use, ideal environments for staphylococcus bacteria.

The washer is for most people another unexpected place to find germs. However, most clothes are not washed at temperatures that would kill germs and few washing machine detergents are designed as germicides. Soiled underwear not washed separately can spread E. coli to the entire load.

Electronics that are handled regularly, such as phone, keyboards and mice, have a propensity for letting bacteria survive for relatively long periods of time. Since they regularly come into contact with hands, which are perfect carriers for a multitude of germs, they provide excellent residences for a host of bacteria.

Lastly trash bins, whether indoors or outdoors, provide sheltered conditions and residues for bacteria to grown on. As people tend to avoid cleaning them as often as they should, trash receptacles become perfect locations for germs.

Most breeding grounds for germs can be eliminated with a simple rule: Keep it dry. More effective, cheaper and safer than slathering on anti-bacterial cleaners, dryness can kill virtually all of the germs populating your house. Be disciplined about wiping down your sinks and tubs, eliminating any pools of water, however small. Dry out your sponges fully and wipe down your phones and keyboards on a monthly basis. For those areas were E. Coli is a risk, use small amounts of bleach to kill the bacteria and wash underwear separately.

Most importantly of all, don’t over disinfect as this may cause more serious risks to your health. Living in an aseptic environment is far more damaging that living with a host of generally mild bacteria.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|The Benefits of Niacin
8/5/13
Niacin (also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid), is one of the water-soluble B-complex vitamins that provides a range of health benefits, including reducing your level of “bad” LDL cholesterol while raising your level of “good” HDL cholesterol. The body uses niacin, as it does the other B vitamins, to convert food into energy and maintain a healthy nervous system. Niacin also plays a key role in the metabolism of fats, including the synthesis of such fat-based hormones as androgens, estrogens, progestins and stress-related hormones.

The benefit of niacin to healthy brain function has been demonstrated by a study showing its effectiveness in helping protect against age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study on nearly four thousand elderly residents of a Chicago community. Over a period of almost six years, the residents’ dietary data was collected and cognitive assessments were conducted. The results found a definite positive correlation between niacin intake and reduction in mental impairment.

A derivative of niacin, niacinamide, is often useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. William Kaufman has been studying the use of niacinamide in the treatment of arthritis since the 1950s and writes of its benefits, “It measurably improves joint mobility, muscle strength, decreases fatigability. It increases maximal muscle working capacity, reduces or completely eliminates arthritic joint pain.”

As the body is unable to absorb more than 250 mg of niacinamide at a time, it is more effective to take smaller does more often (perhaps every one to three hours) than one large dose per day. It is estimated that nearly 70 percent of arthritis patients will experience increased joint mobility after four weeks of treatment.

Though niacin deficiency is uncommon, it tends to occur most often in populations that suffer from poverty, malnourishment or chronic alcoholism. This deficiency can lead to a disease called pellagra, in which the patient suffers from dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia. A severe lack of niacin can be deadly, if left untreated. Populations who use corn products (such as cornmeal) as the main staple of their diet often suffer from pellagra, as the niacin in corn is not easily absorbed by the body. Interestingly, adding limestone during cooking (often just by cooking food in high calcium content water) helps to make the vitamin bio-available, and Native Americans have incorporated ash from their cooking fires into their corn-based dishes for generations.

The recommended daily intake of niacin is 14-16 mg per day for adults, which can be easily achieved from eating a balanced diet. The food sources highest in niacin are yeast, meat, poultry, tuna, salmon, whole grain cereals, legumes and seeds. Other good sources are green leafy vegetables, coffee, tea and milk.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Chiropractic Care for Elbow Pain
8/5/13
Chiropractic care can be an excellent choice for relief of elbow pain. Not only does chiropractic care avoid the use of medications or surgeries, it aims to address the source of the pain as well as treat the symptoms. By actually fixing the structural components of your elbow (bones, muscles, etc.), you can experience both pain relief and prevention of future elbow problems.

There are three bones involved in the elbow joint: the radius (forearm), ulna (lower arm) and humerus (upper arm). The ball and socket style joint allows us to move the arm in a variety of ways, such as when we do bicep curls or when we turn the arm from palm facing down to palm facing up. The complexity of this joint means there are plenty of opportunities for strain and injury, irritation or inflammation. Usually pain in the elbow is caused by some combination of overuse, overexertion, genetic makeup and/or degenerative disease.

Common elbow conditions that can be treated by chiropractors include tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and bursitis. Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a kind of tendonitis that results from overuse of the muscles and tendons that connect the forearm muscles. The repetitive motion of tennis can lead to this condition and usually causes a small amount of pain at first. The pain gradually increases and can make shaking hands or squeezing objects difficult. It is unlikely to go away on its own, and chiropractic treatment will likely include rest and ice, exercises, massage, and joint manipulation.

Golfer’s elbow is similar to tennis elbow, but instead of the back or outside of the elbow, the condition usually affects the inside of the elbow. It is usually caused by repetitive stress from golf maneuvers, although golfer’s elbow can also arise from one violent swing. In addition to golfers, other people who use their elbows in a similar manner to golfers, such as carpenters, can experience this particular pain. Treatment for golfer’s elbow is very similar to that for tennis elbow.

Bursitis refers to inflammation or injury to the bursae, which are our joints’ shock absorbers. The elbow bursa is located at the end of the elbow, between the bones and loose skin. Bursitis is usually caused by trauma, prolonged pressure such as leaning on a desk, infection, or medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. If left untreated, pain and difficulty moving the elbow can result. The usual treatment for bursitis is ice and ultrasound.

As you can see, chiropractors have much to offer those with elbow pain. Consult your chiropractor to find out how to best evaluate, treat, and relieve common elbow conditions.

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What to Look for When Shopping for a Mattress
8/5/13
These days, there are a wide variety of mattress options to choose from. In addition to the familiar innerspring mattresses, you now can opt for memory foam, latex foam, air, futons and waterbeds. One type of mattress is not inherently better than any other, and all can provide the proper support your body needs. The key is in carefully reviewing the available options, testing each kind out, and determining the right mattress type and style for your preferences and your body.

If you have a specific health problem, particularly a problem with your back or spine, you should check with your physician or health care provider about the kind of mattress that might be best for you. That will help narrow your choices.

Many people assume waterbeds are better than other kinds of mattresses because of the lack of pressure points and the fact that a waterbed conforms to the shape of your body. It is also nice to be able to adjust the temperature of the bed based on the season. However, waterbeds are expensive, require heaters, they may leak, and they are not good at isolating movement. If you are sensitive to motion in bed, a waterbed is probably not the right choice for you. Some rented homes and apartments place restrictions on the use of waterbeds as well.

In terms of typical mattresses, the most important thing to consider is proper sleeping posture. When you are lying on your side, your waist should be supported by the mattress and your shoulders and hips should sink in. That way your spine is in the same position while lying down as it is when standing up. No matter what the mattress is made of, if it is too firm or too soft you may not achieve proper spinal alignment. One special note for heavier people is that a firmer mattress often provides better support. Another consideration is movement isolation. If you sleep with a partner, go with him or her to the mattress store to test out how much the mattress transfers movement across the bed.

In fact, testing a variety of mattresses is critical. Some experts suggest you need to test out 30 mattresses to get a proper idea of your needs! One good way to get exposure to lots of mattress types is to ask friends and family if they are happy with their bed. If so, test it out yourself in their home. That way you don’t have to go to 30 stores to try out all the available mattresses. Stay on the mattress for at least 15 minutes, 5 minutes on each side of your body.

As you are exploring your options, remember that mattresses are often significantly marked up and then discounted during sales. Ask the salesperson about a comfort guarantee, and get the details in writing. That way if you end up unhappy with the mattress, you can return it or exchange it for a better one.

Resources:
• mattress-reviews/how-to-buy-a-mattress
• guide/mattress-construction.html

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|What Is the Cox Flexion Distraction Technique?
8/5/13
The Cox Flexion Distraction Technique (also referred to as the Cox® Technic) was developed by Dr. James M. Cox as a gentle, non-force adjustment procedure to help the spine heal naturally. It is based on principles of both chiropractic and osteopathy, a combination that often provides fast relief from low back and leg pain, without the need for surgery.

The goal of Flexion Distraction is to decompress the vertebrae by applying gentle stretching or traction to the lower spine. The Cox Flexion Distraction technique is performed on a special table (designed by Dr. Cox), which has moving parts to effectively separate the different parts of the spine. The Cox Table has movable sections to separately support the head and legs, allowing the patient to flex in many directions and thus extend the spine. The combination of this special adjustment table and very gentle pressure utilizes flexion-distraction and decompression to increase the disc height between vertebrae, decompressing the spinal column and restoring the spinal joints to their proper alignment and range of motion. The chiropractor can adjust the different sections of the table to neutralize the effects of gravity and then apply gentle pressure to the affected areas as they move through a more normal range of motion. Movements are repetitive and usually slow, without any quick thrusts or undue pressure.

The technique has been found to:
• reduce intradisc pressure
• widen the spinal canal
• improve range of motion in spinal joints and in arms, legs, and shoulders
• improve posture
• reduce pressure on spinal nerves
• increase circulation
• improve nerve communication

The Cox Flexion Distraction Technique is utilized by an estimated 56% of chiropractors, and has been successfully used to treat pain in the lower back, legs, neck, and arms. It can also reduce the pain of herniated, slipped, or ruptured discs, sciatica, and other conditions. Because of its gentle, non-force nature, is often used with patients who are recovering from spinal surgery or who are in rehabilitation. Not only is the process pain-free, many patients report that they find the procedure pleasant, and relaxing. The technique has become recognized as an effective methodology for relieving pain, often without the need for spinal surgery.

Resources:

• en/flexion-distraction.html
• articles/how-the-cox-flexion-distraction-works-in-chiropractic-therapy-1901.html


Orlando Spinal Aid Center
What Is a Ccsp (Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician)?
8/5/13
Once a chiropractic doctor has completed his or her studies successfully, there are a number of specialty programs available as post-graduate study. Since many chiropractors work with athletes and are involved in sports medicine, a number of these programs are related to the sports, athletics, and physical fitness industry. One of the most respected of these programs is the Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) certificate.

The American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians, a private non-profit organization, has as its mission, “To promote the highest standards of excellence and clinical competence for chiropractors specializing in sports medicine and physical fitness.” Certifications through this organization are designed to assess and objectively measure the professional knowledge and competence of chiropractic doctors, physicians, and practitioners involved in the specialty of chiropractic sports medicine.

The American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) as meeting NCAA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. The NCCA is the accrediting organization for the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA), and there are only 78 organizations that have received and maintained NCCA accreditation. Applicants for the CCSP certificate must complete a minimum of 100 hours of post-graduate chiropractic study and demonstrate an acceptable level of understanding and knowledge in all subject areas. Topics of study include upper and lower extremity conditions and diagnoses, concussion, diagnostic imaging, female athletic considerations, diabetic athletes, exercise physiology, medial legal aspects, coaching, biomechanics, strength training, sports nutrition, sports psychology, emergency procedures, taping and bracing, extremity adjusting, case studies, and more, depending on the University or college offering the CCSP program.

Once the classwork is completed doctors must take and pass a comprehensive written examination. If practitioners wish to study beyond the CCSP certificate, there is the DACBSP certification, which stands for Diplomate American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians. This program requires an additional minimum of 200 class hours of study. Doctors have a timeframe of 3 years within which they must complete the program requirements, which include a written examination, a practical examination, a practical experience requirement and a written requirement project.

Both the CCSP and DACBSP have continuing education requirements in order to maintain certification, and all candidates and certificate holders must maintain current CPR certification.

Resources:
• index.htm
• pdf/CCSP%20Candidate%20Handbook2009.pdf
• CCSP/

Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|The Benefits of Vitamin B6
8/5/13
Vitamin B6 (also known as pyridoxine) is another of the water-soluble B-complex vitamins, involved in a number of important functions, including the body’s metabolic activity. It metabolizes sugars, fats and amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Another important function is its role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, and in the creation of DNA, heme (part of red blood cells) and the phospholipids that make up our cell membranes.
Without sufficient B6 we would not be able to process carbohydrates properly. Our bodies require that the glycogen in our muscle cells be broken down so as to provide us with energy, and vitamin B6 plays a key role in this breakdown. This can be especially important for athletes who require increased strength and endurance. It is also an essential vitamin for tissue repair. Another of the benefits of vitamin B6 is that it helps control excessive inflammation.
Because of its use in healthy brain and nerve function, it also helps to regulate mood. It is important for the development of serotonin and norepinephrine, hormones that help guard against depression, and has been used to treat both Alzheimer’s and general memory loss.
Vitamin B6 works in conjunction with folic acid and vitamin B12 to help keep homocysteine levels low. Elevated homocysteine is linked to a number of diseases, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and stroke. It has been successfully used in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome and premenstrual syndrome, and has been shown to help prevent attacks of asthma by lowering histamine levels in the blood.
The major dietary sources of B6 are meat, eggs, liver, fish, whole grains, legumes (peas and beans), potatoes, brewer’s yeast, avocados and dairy foods. Due to its water-solubility, it can’t be stored in the body’s fat cells, so we need to ingest it on a regular basis. And as B6 is necessary in order to break down proteins, the more protein you eat, the more B6 you need.
Although a deficiency in vitamin B6 is not common, it can lead to anemia, feelings of numbness or pins-and-needles in hands and feet, a sore red tongue, and confusion, depression and irritability. This deficiency is most often found in alcoholics and those with chronic fatigue syndrome or women who use oral contraceptives.
It is recommended that adults get 1.6 mg per day of vitamin B6 for optimal functioning. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding require more, about 2 mg per day. Because it naturally occurs in a wide range of foods it’s not likely you will need a supplement if you eat well. However, it may be useful if you suffer from one of the conditions noted above, for which a doctor can give you a recommended dosage.


Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Have High Blood Pressure? Check Your Mercury Levels
8/5/13
“Mercury toxicity should be evaluated in any patient with hypertension, coronary heart disease, cerebral vascular disease, cerebrovascular accident, or other vascular disease.” This was the conclusion of an August 2011 study that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.
For those of you lucky enough to not know the term, hypertension is the medical name for high-blood pressure. About one out of every three adults in the United States has high blood pressure (National Center for Health Statistics, 2008) so the odds are that at least one of your parents or grandparents is affected. Or, perhaps it you that has high blood pressure? Either way, this is a study you’ll want to know about since it clearly connects how mercury toxicity (which can be tested for and reduced) can manifest itself as hypertension and other vascular diseases.
Most research studies you hear about on the evening news or popular science programs are full of data and statistics. These types of studies are typically trying to correlate two facts – such as people with higher mercury exposure have greater incidence of heart disease – and may go future to try to establish causation. However, statistical methods don’t ever really settle the causation question. For that we need biochemistry.
Biochemistry is all about understanding the different pathways that nutrients (and toxins) travel in our bodies. This particular study looked at the many internal processes that mercury interferes with in order to establish a biochemical basis for the resulting symptoms - hypertension and coronary heart disease. Here’s what they found.
Mercury:
1. Inactivates many reactions that depend on sulfer-containing enzymes
2. Inactivates many sulfer-containing antioxidants
3. Substitutes itself for zinc, copper and other trace minerals in certain reactions
As a result:
1. Mitochondria – the energy powerhouses of the cell – malfunction
2. The body’s oxidative defenses are diminished increasing oxidative stress and inflammation
Which manifests in the body as:
1. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
2. Coronary heart disease
3. Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
4. Cardiac arrhythmias
5. Atherosclerosis
6. Renal dysfunction, and
7. Proteinuria
Even if you didn’t follow any of the preceding couple paragraphs, you can appreciate the need to ‘connect-the-dots’ between cellular-level processes and downstream diseases. This study connected the dots between high levels of mercury and the many downstream disease states listed. A brilliant piece of work!
So, what should you do if you have hypertension or other types of coronary heart disease? The study authors advise testing for acute or chronic mercury toxicity. Modern mercury toxicity tests are done using urine, blood, hair and toenail samples so they are minimally invasive and results come back fairly quickly.
Bibliography

Houston, M. (2011, August). Role of mercury toxicity in hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Journal of Clinical Hypertension, 13(8), 621-7.
National Center for Health Statistics. (2008). Retrieved August 12, 2011, from Centers for Disease Control: nchs/data/hus/hus08.pdf



Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Common Causes of Back Pain
8/5/13
Understanding the cause of your back pain is the key to proper treatment. There are many different underlying conditions that cause back pain. The more common causes of back pain are described below. Don’t try to make your own diagnosis. A trained chiropractor that deals with back pain complaints on a daily basis will know what to look for and what questions to ask you to determine the underlying cause.
1. Muscle strains and muscle spasms are the most common cause of low back pain. Patients may or may not remember the initial event that triggered their muscle spasm. Back pain from muscle spasms can be incredibly painful and feel like nerve pain when the muscle tighten and twitch around a key nerve such as the sciatic nerve.
2. A ruptured intervertebral disc, also called a herniated disc, is another common cause of back pain. The terms ruptured, herniated, slipped and bulging disc don’t really have precise definitions to distinguish one from another and are often used somewhat interchangeably to describe protruding disc material. It is important to note that a large percent of the population is walking around with bulging discs that cause no symptoms, so not every herniated disc warrants treatment or intervention.
3. Discogenic back pain is the result of damage to the intervertabral disc, but without disc herniation. Diagnosis of discogenic back pain may require the use of a discogram.
4. Spinal stenosis causes a lot of back pain in the elderly. As we age, the spinal canal can become constricted from arthritis and other conditions. If the spinal canal becomes too tight, back pain can be the result.
5. Arthritis most commonly affects joints such as the knees and fingers. However, arthritis can affect any joint in the body, including the small joints of the spine. Arthritis of the spine can cause back pain with movement.
6. Spondylolisthesis causes back pain because adjacent vertebra become unstable and begin to "slip." The most common cause of spondylolisthesis are degenerative changes causing loss of the normal stabilizing structures of the spinal column.
As stated earlier, backaches are hard to self-diagnose. The causes listed above are just a few of more common possibilities. If you suffer from acute or chronic backaches, consult a qualified chiropractor for a complete exam.


Orlando Spinal Aid Center
Orlando Chiropractor|Are You Sitting Properly?
8/5/13
If you are an office worker you probably spend at least six or seven hours a day sitting on the job. Add more time sitting in the car, at dinner and lounging with some late night TV and the total hours of sitting rockets up to somewhere around ten hours.
When is the last time you thought about how you sit?
Probably never or a long, long time ago.
Promise yourself that you’ll take a critical look at how you sit after you read this article. If you are sitting and reading this online, go ahead and freeze right now and really think about how you are sitting. Compare your sitting position to this checklist:

Proper Sitting Posture Checklist

• Sit with your legs uncrossed with ankles in front of the knees.
• Place both feet firmly on the floor. Get yourself a footrest if your feet don’t reach.
• Your knees should be lower than your hips and the back of your knees should not touch the seat.
• If your chair has an adjustable backrest, move it to support the arch in your low back. If you don’t have a backrest, ask your employer about getting one or invest in it yourself.
• Get up and move around every hour. Take a break from sitting even if you cannot stop working. Make a phone call standing up or close your office door and lie down for a few minutes on your stomach. At the very least, shift your sitting position occasionally.

Why Sitting Posture is Important

Good posture is important for long term health and disease prevention just like daily tooth brushing. And, similar to tooth brushing, habits are formed early and can be hard to break later in life.
Good sitting posture reduces the stress and strain on ligaments. Ligaments are responsible for holding the joints together, so ligament stresses can make you prone to joint injuries. Proper posture also reduces muscle fatigue. When muscles are able to work efficiently they use less energy and don’t get tired as easily. Abnormal motions or positions that are repeated over and over again on a daily basis are contributors to degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
Most adults would readily agree that posture is important. Most of that group would also admit that they don’t actively think about posture…it just happens. For the next 30 days, make an effort to really think about your posture and pause a couple times per day to compare your current position to the checklist provided above. It takes about 30 days of focus to break an old habit or develop a new one, so if you concentrate on your sitting posture for 30 days, you’ll be well on your way to a lifetime of better musculoskeletal health.
As always, if you need a recommendation for a good chair or back rest, ask any member of our team.


Orlando Spinal Aid Center