Taking the Pain Out of Gardening

On May 29, 2012, in Pain, by Total Athleticare

          Recently, we had a patient come into our clinic with terrible lower back pain after a weekend filled with gardening and yard work. It is very common for us to see patients that are sore and in pain after gardening. To help prevent some of that soreness we have gathered several different tips to […]

          Recently, we had a patient come into our clinic with terrible lower back pain after a weekend filled with gardening and yard work. It is very common for us to see patients that are sore and in pain after gardening. To help prevent some of that soreness we have gathered several different tips to help you enjoy gardening without the pain afterwards.

         First, it is important before any physical activity to warm up. Before you start digging in the dirt, try some light arm movements or a brisk walk around the block to loosen your muscles. It is also important to know your strengths and limitations. Don’t overexert yourself because there is a lot of yard work; break up the work into small tasks and take breaks between each task.

          Once it’s time to begin the work, use these guidelines to ensure your gardening is as enjoyable and relaxing as you’d like it to be!

  • Avoid bending over repeatedly while standing to perform ground-level work like weeding. Get down closer to the task by kneeling or sitting on the ground or a gardening bench, rather than bending and twisting from the waist.
  • Don’t work too long in one position, especially one that is awkward or unusual. This can reduce circulation, restrict mobility, and promote strain injuries.
  • Lift dirt and plants by letting your arms, legs and thighs carry the load: bend and straighten at the knees instead of the back and hips.
  • Carry objects close to your body. Keeping the load close to your center of gravity reduces the risk of straining your neck and back. Try to handle smaller, more manageable loads at a time.
  • Switch hands frequently when doing prolonged raking, hoeing or digging actions. Repetitive motion on one side can bring on pain, including muscle spasms in the neck, shoulder and lower back.
  • Don’t overexpose yourself to long periods in the sun. Utilize protective measures for your head and skin, drink plenty of fluids, and take frequent breaks.

As always, if you do find yourself in some pain after gardening and yard work call our clinic and have our staff help alleviate your aches.

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Help! My Purse is Weighing Me Down

On May 17, 2012, in Pain, by Total Athleticare

Ladies, if you are like most of our female patients, you are probably carrying around a handbag or purse that is too heavy for you. The average woman is carrying a purse that weighs the equivalent to two newborns! By carrying a purse that weighs 10-15 pounds you are at risk for back pain, neck […]

Ladies, if you are like most of our female patients, you are probably carrying around a handbag or purse that is too heavy for you. The average woman is carrying a purse that weighs the equivalent to two newborns!

By carrying a purse that weighs 10-15 pounds you are at risk for back pain, neck pain, headaches, or shoulder pain—or a combination of all these symptoms! The constant workout that carrying a heavy bag creates can strain your muscles and cause severe pain. You can also throw your body out of alignment trying to compensate for the weight of your bag.

But don’t clear your closet of all your bags just yet. We’ve got some helpful tips to prevent the pain associated with heavy bags:

*The most obvious fix—clean out your purse! I know ladies, easier said than done. Try to get in the habit of cleaning out your purse every night when you get home. This can eliminate clutter from accumulating in your bag and help you drop the extra weight.  

*Your purse should weigh no more than 10% of your body weight.

* Choose a bag that has a wide, flat, cushy strap. Avoid round or chain straps that dig into your shoulder.

*Switch the side you carry your bag on.

*Walk with correct posture, keeping your head up and your shoulders back. Slouching and carry a heavy bag can only make things worse.

*Don’t wait to get treatment for your pain!

You can avoid further injury to your muscles by seeing Dr. Schuster or Dr. Barreyro along with one of our talented massage therapists.

 

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Acupuncture Approaches

On May 12, 2012, in Therapy Methods, by Total Athleticare

At Total Athleticare we use two types of acupuncture to treat pain, traditional Chinese acupuncture and biomedical acupuncture. Biomedical Acupuncture The biomedical acupuncture model — aka western acupuncture or dry needling — is based on 21st century understanding of human anatomy and pathophysiology. It is also based on modern scientific research into the mechanism of […]

At Total Athleticare we use two types of acupuncture to treat pain,
traditional Chinese acupuncture and biomedical acupuncture.

Biomedical Acupuncture

The biomedical acupuncture model — aka western acupuncture or dry needling — is based on 21st century understanding of human anatomy and pathophysiology. It is also based on modern scientific research into the mechanism of acupuncture. When utilizing a biomedical acupuncture approach, needles are placed in a local area of pain or injury. The insertion of needles into soft tissue creates microscopic stimulation of the physiologic processes in the body and promotes a local healing response in the tissue.  The insertion of acupuncture needles also cause the release of endorphins, cortisone (the body’s own anti-inflammatory drug), and serotonin (a calming, mood elevator).  Dry needling also stimulates neural pathways which blocks pain by disrupting pain messages being sent to the central nervous system.

Traditional Chinese Acupuncture

In Chinese acupuncture, the body is treated as a whole that is composed of several systems of function called meridians. The yin meridians are solid: spleen, kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart, and the yang meridians are hollow: intestines, bladder, and stomach.  The body can suffer from discomfort, pain and illness when these systems are not in balance.  Chinese medicine defines health to be a balance of yin and yang and illness to be an unmoving or blocked system. This method of acupuncture is used to treat over 40 different conditions, to unblock the meridians. Some of these conditions include acute and chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, depression, smoking, weight loss, ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, digestive disorders, and skin conditions. The needles are placed along the meridians on the body. Acupuncture isn’t just about knowing where the meridian points are, it is knowing where the patient needs them to go, with what depth, in what direction and for what length of time.

Want more information?

Our chiropractic physicians are certified acupuncturists and can thoroughly discuss which method of acupuncture is appropriate for your condition. We can offer a complimentary consultation to answer any questions you might have about acupuncture or any service we provide.

Call our clinic at 847-706-9600 to schedule your appointment today.

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When is it best to use ice or heat?

On May 11, 2012, in Therapy Methods, by Total Athleticare

 Many people get confused as to when to use ice and when to use heat. Here’s the common rule… ICE JOINTS, HEAT MUSCLES… ICE ACUTE, HEAT CHRONIC Here’s a chart that can help you better understand when, how, and how long to use either heat or ice: WHEN TO USE: Ice- Use ice after an […]

 Many people get confused as to when to use ice and when to use heat. Here’s the common rule…
ICE JOINTS, HEAT MUSCLES… ICE ACUTE, HEAT CHRONIC

Here’s a chart that can help you better understand
when, how, and how long to use either heat or ice:

WHEN TO USE:
Ice-
Use ice after an acute injury, like ankle or knee sprains or after activities that irritate a chronic injury like shin splints or sciatica.

Heat- Use heat before activities that irritate chronic injuries such as muscle strains. Heat can help loosen tissues and relax injured areas.

HOW TO USE IT:
Ice-
  Directly apply ice to an injured area or use an ice bath. Never use ice on an area with decreased circulation.

Heat-
Moist heat is best. Place a washcloth under hot tap water and then apply to the injured area.

FOR HOW LONG:
Ice-
15 minutes on, 45 minutes off. Repeat that cycle at least 3 times. Leaving it on longer doesn’t do any good.

Heat- 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off. Never fall asleep with heat on, you could burn your skin.

One common mistake people make is using a dry heating pad, do not do this!
Always use moist heat.

Please feel free to call us anytime at the office with questions at
847-706-9600.

 

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Welcome to our new Schaumburg Clinic!

On February 21, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Total Athleticare

Come check out our new clinic at 999 Plaza Drive, Suite 115, Schaumburg, IL 60173  

Come check out our new clinic at 999 Plaza Drive, Suite 115, Schaumburg, IL 60173

 

 

Common Myths About Pain

On November 23, 2011, in Pain, by Total Athleticare

When you see people in discomfort as regularly as we do, you have to come to grips with pain; what it is and the purpose behind it. Pain actually plays an extremely important role in the body. Read on — you may never look at pain the same way again. Pain is the great communicator. […]

When you see people in discomfort as regularly as we do, you have to come to grips with pain; what it is and the purpose behind it. Pain actually plays an extremely important role in the body. Read on — you may never look at pain the same way again.

Pain is the great communicator. When you experience pain, it’s a signal that something is wrong in the body. Things are out of balance, nerves are being irritated, muscles are strained, and organs aren’t functioning properly. While your first impulse is most likely to do whatever is necessary to alleviate the pain, you must first consider the message the body is sending. Your pain is a clue to a deeper problem. Taking a pill or smoothing on a lotion isn’t correcting the problem; it’s just covering it up temporarily, making it bearable, and allowing the issue to worsen as time passes. Your pain is sending you an important message; listen to it.

Does common mean normal? Often during a new patient’s examination I’ll question them further on various symptoms they may be experiencing based on my findings. The conversation often goes something like this:

Me: “Do you ever experience headaches?”
Patient: “Well, yes, but no more than normal?”

I understand that headaches are a common complaint (Note: They don’t have to be). However, please don’t confuse “common” with “normal”. While pain is a natural response from the body to alert you of a problem, being in pain is not normal and for most isn’t something that needs to be endured, tolerated or managed.

No pain equals health. Sorry, but the absence of pain doesn’t mean you’re free of structural or functional disturbances that require attention. 90% of our nervous system is programmed for function, 10% is programmed to detect and feel pain. Being pain-free may simply mean you don’t have sensory pain nerves being triggered at this time. Serious back and neck issues can go on for years creating permanent damage without pain or symptom just like cavities, heart disease, and cancer often do. Don’t assume because there is no pain that your body is functioning optimally. A regular schedule of chiropractic adjustments is the only way to ensure your spine is aligned and your body is experiencing peak performance.

The nervous system is the key to living pain-free. Your nervous system is what registers and transmits pain messages. Your nervous system is also the primary director of your entire physical and mental/emotional functioning. It allows you to perceive and respond to your environment.

Your spinal cord and nerves travel through and anchor into your spine for protection. Injuries and excessive stresses distort your spine and alter your nervous system communication. This sabotages your health, sometimes silently and other times painfully. It is extremely important not to put your focus on whether you feel pain or not, but rather to get your spinal structure and nerve system function evaluated as early in life as possible, as well as whenever you have pain or illness. And, once you know your condition, follow through with any necessary corrections to restore function so you can return to optimal self-regulation and healing.

Is it ever too late? The bad news is, it’s often later than you think when it comes to your health status and your ability to turn around a condition that has been building serious momentum in the wrong direction for a long time. We’ve had many patients with chronic issues assume they could and should be able to be restored to a healthy pain-free state within days to a couple of weeks (with their limited few insurance-paid visits). The good news is, we’ve had as many with those same conditions assume that it was too late to get better, only to be pleasantly surprised (and relieved).

As we like to say, “The impossible just takes a little longer”. If you or someone you know is suffering with pain, thinking they’ve tried everything, they have another option — to visit our office for a complete evaluation so we can seek the source of the pain and offer a natural and long-lasting solution. Please share this article with everyone you know who is suffering with pain using any of the social media buttons below.

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Nutritional Facts at the Supermarket

On November 23, 2011, in Nutrition, by Total Athleticare

I like to promote good nutrition in the office. Many times getting the proper nutrition is what makes someone get better quickly or prolongs their condition, either through supplementation or changing things around in their diet. So patients ask me “What do you eat?” Well, my diet isn’t perfect, but I strive to make good […]

I like to promote good nutrition in the office. Many times getting the proper nutrition is what makes someone get better quickly or prolongs their condition, either through supplementation or changing things around in their diet. So patients ask me “What do you eat?” Well, my diet isn’t perfect, but I strive to make good choices when I buy food. So to give you an idea what it’s like, I’ll take you on a tour of the supermarket. Grab a cart and let’s go!

First we’ll start by picking up our protein sources. Now, avoid the person on our right giving out free samples of sausage with the hope that we’ll buy some. Sausage is high in fat, sodium and nitrates. These are no good, so let’s go pick up some fish. Go get some salmon, tilapia and tuna. Not only is fish a good source of protein but we’ll get our omega-3 fatty acids from them. (Let’s just assume that money is not an issue and we are buying everything at full price).

Next let’s get some skinless, boneless chicken breast. Eight pieces should do. Organic or not? I’ll talk about that in a minute.

Pick up some nuts. Almonds, walnuts or macadamia are good choices. You will get protein from them and they also have a better ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Other nuts are not as good for you.

Next, let’s go to the diary section. Avoid the person on your left with cheese and cracker samples. The crackers are simple carbohydrates which will elevate insulin levels and the cheese will elevate your cholesterol levels and prolong inflammation in your body. Dairy! Pick up some yogurt. No, not the supreme double caramel chocolate with fruit on the bottom. Pick up the plain, organic yogurt with nothing in it.

On to the fruit and vegetable section. You need something to put in the yogurt right? Let’s get some fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. These are anti-oxidants and have an anti-inflammatory effects as well as anti-ulcer and anti-histaminic effect. They also stabilize the membranes of blood vessels. Don’t forget apples, red grapes and watermelon. These are all great, apples and grapes can be carried along with you to eat throughout the day or snack on. Now we need to get some vegetables so we can steam and eat them with our fish or make a salad. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and peas (in the pod) are also great anti-oxidants, have a low glycemic index, and are good sources of fiber. Broccoli has vitamin C and D in it. I also recommend some Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and celery. Romaine lettuce is filled with vitamins and nutrients that are not found in iceberg lettuce. Therefore it’s a good source of fiber and vitamins. Tomatoes have lycopene which has been associated with good prostate health.

Alright, let’s get some complex carbohydrates! I prefer to get foods with low glycemic indexes. The glycemic index is affiliated with insulin production and blood sugar levels. Low glycemic foods tend to be better for you because there is no spike in blood sugar levels. Let’s pick up some yams and white potatoes. Yes, white potatoes have a lower glycemic index then other complex carbs. Make sure that you eat white potatoes with meat. The acidic nature of the meat will be buffered when you ingest the more “basic” potato and also lower the glycemic number when eaten together. Brown rice is much better than white rice because the brown protective seed coating is where the nutrients come from. Think of white rice as the iceberg lettuce of complex carbs.

Before we leave this area make sure to get some eggs. Whole eggs are nutritious. The egg protein is some of the best and is necessary for cell rebuilding. Don’t worry about the cholesterol. There is a difference between good and bad cholesterol. French fries are a source of bad cholesterol because of the oil that is used. The cholesterol from the eggs is natural. Besides, all of the fresh fruits and vegetables that you are getting have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Atherosclerosis caused by cholesterol has been associated with inflammation in the blood vessels.

O.K., now we can have a little fun. Let’s go to the alcohol section. Put down that 30 pack of Schlitz!! Instead get the dark stout beer. Dark beer has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body as well. Inflammation has been associated with many diseases including diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. Pick up a couple of bottles of red wine for the same reason I just mentioned. A glass of wine at dinner is good for you. Almost done!

Go to the candy section. Put some Twix, peanut butter cups and M & M’s in the cart… if you want diabetes, weight gain and a weakened immune system. The only candy you should be eating is dark chocolate. Be careful, some candies say dark chocolate on the label because they put very little of it in the recipe but most of it is milk chocolate. You have to buy dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa or more. It should be stated on the front or the fine print on the back of the wrapper. Dark chocolate is not as sweet as milk chocolate and has a bitter-like taste to it.

Let’s pick up some of those smaller items that we need. Oatmeal-get the slow cooking kind, it’s a better source of fiber. Get olive oil to cook with, it’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Green tea, not the stuff in the bottles. Get the tea bags and you can add lemon for taste as needed. Stevia- it’s an herbal sugar substitute. You can use it to put on your oatmeal in the morning or the green tea. Should you buy organic or not? Well if you eat fruity pebbles with chocolate milk, doughnuts and a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast, eating natural, good food that is not organic is still a lot better then that junk. If you are eating the things I just mentioned and you want to be even healthier, buy organic.

So here’s what a day might look like: breakfast- 4 whole eggs, scrambled, ½ cup of oatmeal with cinnamon or Stevia mixed in, fresh fruit and green tea. Lunch- grilled chicken breast, baked potato, mixed vegetables. Dinner- fish, brown rice and mixed vegetables with a glass of wine. Snack throughout the day on almonds, grapes and dark chocolate.

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