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wallet-in-back-pocket

Wallets and Phones: May Be the Source of Your Pain

Backpacks: Choosing Wisely for Your Child’s Well BeingToday we hear a lot about ergonomic chairs, and desks. We practice good posture to keep us looking good. And then we wreck it all by putting fat wallets or a cell phone in our back pocket!

When you sit on a wallet or cell phone, it causes your pelvis to be higher on one side than the other. This causes extra stress throughout your entire spine, including the muscles and nerves that run up your back. The stress can be the cause of many complaints:  back pain, neck pain, sciatica, or headaches, to name a few.

No matter how good your posture is, or how well designed your office furniture is, if you are sitting on a wallet or phone all day long, it will cause pain. If you are getting chiropractic adjustments, it can also limit the effectiveness of the adjustments.

Wallets and Phones: The Solution

The best solution is to put wallets and phones in your front pocket or carry them in some other way. Your back will thank you!

See also:

IImage by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

old-man-walking

Osteoporosis: How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Osteoporosis is a diagnosis that many of us fear as we age. It causes our bones to become weak and brittle. Just a minor stressor such as coughing or bending can cause a fracture. This happens when our old bone tissue is being broken down and removed faster than new tissue is being produced. Osteoporosis also affects the spine, hips, and wrists the most, but it can affect other weight-bearing bones as well, such as the pelvis or femur.

Some of the first signs of osteoporosis:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Noticing getting shorter
  • More stooped posture
  • Bones quick to fracture

Exercises for Osteoporosis

One of the biggest causes of osteoporosis is a lack of exercise. To decrease the likelihood of osteoporosis developing, weight-bearing exercises are the best, combined with a healthy, nutritious diet. Exercise is always easier to do if you enjoy it. These are some good activities to try:

  • Hiking
  • Brisk walking
  • Jogging
  • Step aerobics
  • Climbing stairs
  • Tennis (or any racquet sport)
  • Jumping rope

Nutrition for Osteoporosis

Good nutrition will help make bones stronger. The big nutrient for bones is, of course, calcium. Vitamin D is important because it helps the body use calcium. Then potassium and magnesium are important because they help the body use Vitamin D. These are some good foods that are high in these nutrients:

  • Dark greens such as bok choy, kale, and spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grapefruit and other citrus fruits
  • Figs
  • Canned salmon (canned is actually best because the bones are included0
  • Almond butter

As with any health issue, contact your health professional first. No diet or exercise program is the best for everyone. You need to find what is best for you. If you would like to see how Nutrition Response Testing or Functional Medicine can help you, please give us a call at 864-963-9304. We would love to help you.

See also:

More Than Back Pain: 6 Other Reasons for Chiropractic Care

Osteoporosis: Some Tips to Help

Image by Myriam Zilles at Pixabay

water-in-fruit

Could Dehydration Be Contributing to Your Back Pain?

All around us we hear about the danger of dehydration and the importance of drinking plenty of water. But did you know all the problems that dehydration can cause? Here are some of them:

 

  • Impaired brain function
  • Cramping of legs and feet
  • Dry skin
  • Increased fatigue
  • Limited mobility
  • Headaches
  • Decreased flexibility

 

Looking at this from a chiropractic standpoint, some of these issues directly affect the spine. Between each of our vertebrae, we have a small disc which is designed to cushion the bones. It allows us to bend our spine without those bones rubbing against one another. The center of this disc is filled with nearly 75% water. As we go about our daily activities, we are constantly putting pressure on those discs (due to gravity). When those discs are compressed, some of the water is squeezed out. This is natural. However, if we don’t rehydrate our bodies, then this water is not able to be replaced properly. This leads to back pain, limited mobility, and an increased risk of back injuries.

 

Avoiding Dehydration

 

So one cause of back pain can be as simple as not getting enough fluids. Water is the best option, but if you don’t like the taste of water, try adding lemon. Or try a few raspberries or other fruit with a sprig of mint in sparkling water for a change.

 

High-water content fruits and vegetables are also good. Some that top the list are watermelon and other melons, oranges, grapefruit, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and Romaine lettuce.

 

It was once thought that coffee and tea, since they have a diuretic effect, are not good; however recent studies have shown that the hydrating effect of these beverages outweighs the diuretic effect.

 

Dehydration can have more far-reaching consequences than we might see at first. So be sure to get those liquids for–amongst other things–a healthy spine!

 

See also: http://maronewellness.com/back-pain-overlooked-cause/

http://maronewellness.com/which-plastics-are-safe-for-food-and-drinking/

Balance-ball

7 Reasons Why a Balance Ball Chair Is Good for Your Spine

Many of us spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk. And many of us experience a good deal of back and neck pain as well as headaches during that time. One reason is because those who design office chairs are not building them to fit our bodies; they are thinking of them as furniture to fit a particular “look.” Add to that the keyboard and monitor heights which are typically not appropriate for the user, and you have a perfect opportunity for spine issues to creep in.

Just because you must stay at a desk doesn’t mean you have to deal with these issues, however. Recently some designers have developed chairs that can alleviate many of these concerns. The chair consists of an balance ball in a stationary base. (The ball may also be known as a stability ball, yoga ball, Swiss ball, or physioball.) If a full chair will not work for you, a balance wedge or disk that sits on the seat of your chair is another alternative. The downside of the balance ball chairs and disks is that they need to be re-inflated periodically and have a weight limit of 300 pounds. However, the benefits may outweigh those issues. These are some of the benefits that researchers are finding.

 

Balance Ball Benefits

  • Engages Your Core Muscles

Because the balance ball is not stationary, it forces you to keep making small movements to stay balanced. This movement engages the core muscles of your back, abdomen, and pelvic floor.

 

  • Improves Posture

As you build those core muscles, your posture will  improve. When your head, spine, and pelvis are all in alignment, you will both look better and feel better.

 

  • Increases Circulation

Because you are constantly moving, circulation is improved.

 

  • Relieves Back Pain

As your core muscles become stronger, you will be less likely to slouch as you get tired. In fact, the chair makes slouching at a desk almost impossible.

 

  • Gives You an Opportunity for Mini Exercise Breaks

If you have opportunities to take little breaks in your work day, you can use the balance ball in or out of its frame to provide a quick chance for some good exercise.

 

  • Helps You to Maintain Focus

We work better when we are not sitting completely still. There is a pathway in our nervous system between the area that controls movement/balance and the area that controls our ability to focus. Studies show that the bit of movement we get from sitting on a balance ball increases our attentiveness and focus.

 

  • Helps Children with Attention Deficit

Researchers are finding that students who have ADD, ADHD, a sensory processing disorder, or those who just need to fidget are helped by these chairs because the chairs give the students a “productive” outlet for that need to move. When they are moving, they are also better able to focus.

 

No chair can provide all the movement that we need. We still need to engage the larger muscles of our extremities, which we can do only by walking or stretching. A good rule of thumb is to get up and move about at least once every hour. No chair is perfect for everyone, but a balance ball chair can be a good option for many people.

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/childs-posture-5-tips-help-improve/

http://maronewellness.com/a-forgotten-source-of-support-while-you-work/

Good-laptop-use

Laptop Use: 6 Tips to Keep You Healthy

Laptops are an essential part of daily life these days, however they can also be a source of neck pain, back pain, and hand strain. The very aspects of the laptop that make them so useful—its small size and compact keyboard and screen all in one—are what also make it so difficult to use without putting strain on our bodies. If we move the laptop high enough to see it without having to scrunch down, the keyboard will be too high for our hands to use well. If the keyboard is at a good height, the screen will be so low we might find ourselves bending over and scrunching down to get a good look at it.

 

Laptop Tips

There are several things you can do to make a laptop work while still saving your body in the process.

 

  1. Sit up with your spine straight and head balanced. Then look out at the horizon. Move your eyes down to meet the screen, not your neck. Tilt the screen of the laptop until you can see it well without having to bend your neck or hunch your shoulders in order to see it.
  2. Move the laptop far enough away from your body so that your arms aren’t pulling backward in order to use the keyboard. Be sure your arms are able to hang freely from the shoulders without tension.
  3. Use a book to raise the laptop a little closer to eye level. (Put it under the back half of the computer to raise it at a slight angle.)
  4. Place the laptop on enough books to raise the screen up to eye level. Then attach an external keyboard and place it at a height which will allow your arms to remain parallel with the floor as you work.
  5. If you wear glasses, be sure that you adjust them to fit you, not the other way around. Sometimes we can create neck pain by adjusting our necks so we can see through our glasses rather than adjusting our glasses so they are where they need to be for us to see the screen.
  6. If you find that sitting causes pain, you may want to try standing as you work. A kitchen countertop may be just the right height. Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet to avoid strain on your back.

 

Work is so much easier if we’re comfortable while we’re doing it! We’d love to hear from you. Let us know which tips have been the most helpful!

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/arranging-a-childs-computer-station-for-good-posture/

http://maronewellness.com/what-do-you-look-like-when-you-use-your-phone-or-tablet/

http://maronewellness.com/i-pad-hand-the-new-technology-syndrome/

http://maronewellness.com/taking-care-of-that-not-so-furry-mouse/

http://maronewellness.com/how-do-you-use-your-hands-at-the-computer/

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

 

Pain While Driving? More Tips to Help

Because of the way car seats are made, it is very easy for us to curl our torsos as we sit at the steering wheel, and the weight of our body ends up being supported by our tailbone. But the tailbone is not designed to carry that weight. Our “sit bones”—the ones that are shaped like rockers and that can be felt underneath you when you are sitting—are the bones that are supposed to be holding us up.

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What Do You Look Like When You Use Your Phone or Tablet?

Have you ever watched someone else using a cell phone? Was their posture good or poor? Most likely it was quite poor. When we get focused on a phone or tablet, we tend to want to create some “private space.” To do that, we pull our heads and necks forward and curl our upper body into a ball to get that private feeling. If someone is talking on the phone, they may also be hunching their shoulder up to cradle the phone next to their ear.

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