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Archives for July 2011
Over the past decade I have had the privilege of being a chiropractor in Seattle, WA. In this time I have had the privilege to truly understand the pain, discomfort, and poor health that many people go through on a daily basis. This has led many on a path of health professionals, pain killers, and surgical consultations. By the time they enter a chiropractors office they are often at their wits end, and have lost all hope.
The truly astonishing part is that many patients have a few issues in common, and in my experience they relate to a poor ergonomic environment at home or work. I am sure we are all familiar with workplace ergonomics, and the importance of having an ideal workstation to reduce the stress on our bodies. However, I thought it would be an excellent idea to tell you the 3 most common corrections that a person can make so they can end up seeing a chiropractor for superior wellness care and not urgent care.
The following are the top 3 ergonomic corrections to avoid seeing a chiropractor:
Correct the height of your screen
This seems like a no-brainer, but everyday I see people coming in with acute and chronic neck pain that is caused by screen that is at the improper height or angle. By now, most companies have attempted to correct this issue, since we have been hearing about it since the mid 1990â€™s, but there is one caveat.
We now spend so much time on laptops, iPadâ€™s, and smart phones that we havenâ€™t stopped to consider the damage this is doing to our posture. This in turn has caused a major increase in the loss of a natural cervical curve which can be directly related to acute and chronic pain, as well as degenerative joint disease. That is not something anyone wants.
It is important to pay attention to the amount of time spent looking down towards a screen, and choosing to either cut back the time spent, or allocate time during the day to get adjusted and doing traction therapy to help balance the muscles and ligaments.
One seat does not fit all
One of the biggest misconceptions about a quality, often time expensive, chair is that they should help everyone the same way. Nothing could be further from the truth. In my professional experience consulting for companies and offices around Seattle, the chair should be chosen to fit each individual person.
Many people have structural problems with their spine, including loss of lumbar curvature, while others have a swayback and each needs a different support. Simply buying a nice looking chair with a lumbar addition might actually cause more harm over time. In some workplace environments it was necessary to bring in kneeling chairs with no back support whatsoever, and advising some executives to sit on exercise balls to help stabilize their condition.
What ever the case, it is important to consider each individual. This not only leads to a happier employee, but can lead to less down time and higher productivity, so it is definitely a wise investment.
Stretching your upper back the proper way
When a person comes into my office complaining of upper thoracic or rear shoulder pain, they are often in charge of causing the majority of their discomfort. In my experience, the type of stretching they have been attempting to reduce their own symptoms is actually causing more harm than good.
If you are familiar with the bending forward while dangling your arm forward to â€œstretchâ€ or pull the area of discomfort in your upper back or scapula, you are guilty of this. This motion may create a sensation, but that does not mean it is good for you. This motion actually irritates the muscle, nerve, and origin/insertion of each muscle. Over time, this will create a constant, chronic irritation.
If a person suffering from this discomfort would like to do better, stretching the opposite way is the correct action. This includes retraining the brain to understand proper posture, and strengthening the muscles in between the shoulder blades. Squeezing the should blades together for 30-60 seconds multiple times a day over the span of 30-60 days can have a significant impact in reducing the symptoms.
While all of the suggestions are good, it is still imperative to see the appropriate health professional for your condition. Chiropractic adjustments can play an important role in the natural correction and function of the body, as well as relieving pain and discomfort. With that being said, these suggestions can help you end up in a position where you are strictly seeking care by choice, and do no feel like it is the only thing getting you through the day.
Also you could try a inversion table to stretch and relieve your back pain today
Best of Luck!
About the author: Dr. Graeme Gibson, D.C. has been a practicing Seattle chiropractor since graduation from Life Chiropractic College West in 2001. When he is not at his practice he enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and writing about health. If you would like to read more from Dr. Gibson, follow his chiropractor blog.
Fat is bad for you. It will cause high cholesterol, high blood pressure and essentially lead to heart problems.
These are words we hear all the time, leading us to believe that all fat is bad for us. People begin to avoid anything that has the word â€œfatâ€ on the food label. What they need to learn is that not all fat is bad. It is actually a very important nutrient our bodies need to function. We need it to absorb nutrients, provide us with energy, keep us warm and for several other reasons.
There are numerous types of fats, a reason why it is hard to keep them all straight and easier to just avoid them all in general. But that is a mindset that some individuals need to change to improve their overall health. Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated and trans fats are of the fats we see on food labels. While saturated and trans fats should be avoided, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats should be emphasized.
Monounsaturated fats can be found in nuts, avocado, canola and olive oil. They are extremely beneficial for health because they lower total cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol (â€œgoodâ€ cholesterol). Low cholesterol is important for heart health. It is also known that these fats can help with weight loss. The best part is that you donâ€™t need to eat a ton of monounsaturated fat containing foods to receive the benefitsâ€”a serving size will provide you with optimal nutrition.
Polyunsaturated fats also aid in lowering cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids belong to this group, and can be found in oils that come from seafood. They can decrease oneâ€™s risk for developing coronary artery disease, irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure. Polyunsaturated fatty acids can also be found in plant-based foods and oils that come from corn, soy and sunflower seeds. Having a diet rich in these fats may decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes .
Saturated fats come from animal sources (meat, dairy products). They do the complete opposite of what unsaturated fats do to our bodies. They raise cholesterol levels and increase oneâ€™s risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. These are what contribute to weight gain and are increasingly becoming a problem because of fast food.
Trans fats are a huge concern. They are different because they usually do not occur in foods naturallyâ€”they are man made during food processing. The reason for this is to improve shelf lives and make foods easier to cook. However, they also increase total blood cholesterol levels and decrease HDL levels (â€œgoodâ€ cholesterol). This significantly increases oneâ€™s risk for heart problems, obesity and diabetes.
Soâ€¦now you know the differences between the fats. But how do you change your diet to increase your consumption of healthy fats and decrease unhealthy fats? The best way is to check and compare food labels. Instead of cooking with oils high in saturated and trans fats like palm oil or vegetable shortening, use canola, olive or flax seed oil. They are much higher in healthy fats and lower in unhealthy fats. Try your hardest to avoid processed, packaged foods as they are the most likely to contain trans fats. Choose lower fat versions of dairy products. For example, choose skim milk instead of whole milk.
Making small changes to your diet can make a big difference. Remember that just because a food contains fat doesnâ€™t necessarily mean itâ€™s unhealthy. Your body needs fat to function. Keep your fat consumption healthy and consistent and you wonâ€™t have any problems with weight gain/loss.
Brianna Elliott is a third year dietetics student and an author at PSCLife.com – the wise consumer’s choice for buying Cosamin ASU joint and muscle supplement. Brianna has grown a passion for nutrition during her years of studying and thinks it is interesting and important to learn about the differences between the types of fats. There are so many people out there looking for answers as to how to lose weight, lower their cholesterol, etcâ€¦and increasing their intake of healthy fats could actually be the answer!
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