Health is trending for 2022
What is more important than your health in 2022? Trending aside, this new year is awash with possibilites for improving your health on a holistic scale. At our office we are concerned with two parts of holistic wellness:
- Preventative Healthcare
- Musculoskeletal Medicine
We focus on using natural modalities to improve your body’s innate capacity for healing, to help you look, feel and function better at any age. The truth is, musculoskeletal disorders are on the rise in the USA. From an aging society, to more jobs shifting into sedentary settings, the odds are more stacked against us than ever when it comes to taking care of our physical health. No matter how you look at it, there is simply no excuse for not taking better care of yourself this new year.
Christmas has a way of hampering people's fitness progress
Nowhere is this more evident than in our spines! The most important things we can do for our spines are:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Maintain a reasonable level of activity
- Avoid inflammation
- Practice good posture
The holiday season puts all of this in jeopardy; studies show that activity levels among the population reach their lowest during December. Add in the fact that we tend to eat more food and you have a formula for weight gain and back pain that few of us can afford. The final picture is of someone relaxing on the couch, posture unsupported, wincing from back pain inside while they outwardly smile. If this is you, read on to find out how we can help you use the positive energy of the holiday season to effect powerful changes in your spinal health.
Holiday foods are filled with inflammation-causing agents
This might not be what you want to hear right before the holiday baking season kicks into full swing. And it certainly doesn't make for great conversation around the baking table. But if you suffer from back pain, it is worth carrying a dose of awareness with you into each meal. After all, other people can enjoy the fruits of your labor- but abstaining from the majority of inflammatory foods will do your back innumerable benefit.
Keep inflammation out of your holiday plans
Any list of inflammatory foods begins with sugar and saturated fat, staple ingredients of many holiday recipes. Other common Christmas time ingredients that cause inflammation include:
- Refined flour
- Artificial sweeteners
You may not want to think of the holidays as being inflammatory-filled, but the diet certainly suggests such a trend. Protect yourself this holiday season by thinking about what you put into each recipe; many traditional recipes can be upgraded to anti-inflammatory variants. And you always have the power of choice to say no to another alcoholic beverage or another cupcake!
We are concerned with the health of your spine over holiday foods
They may taste good, but the inflammation that they cause can have your back reeling. Think of every bite as a cost-benefit analysis- if it is actually going to hurt your back, it may be best to abstain. And if you are suffering from inflammation, ice is your best friend! Maintaining range of motion and activity levels are also important ways of combatting inflammation. Unfortunately, the holidays are the time of year we exercise the least. Try to maintain reasonable levels of movement and if you are still struggling with distracting back pain, give our office a call to schedule an appointment. We are standing by to help you with all your spine-related problems this holiday season!
Why does spinal decompression feel so good?
Spinal traction is a type of decompression therapy that we provide that is designed to relieve pressure on the spine. Through our everyday activities, we submit our spines to compressive forces that move vertebrae out of alignment, threaten spinal joints and cause overall degradation. As you get older, these compressive forces compound and lead to more serious conditions including sciatica, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and other painful conditions. Spinal traction is designed to combat the compression!
Your neck is a densely packed powerhouse of muscles
However, these muscles are among the most neglected in the body when it comes to gym time, and they rarely come in for attention unless they are causing problems. This is problematic for a number of reasons: first, an increasing number of us work jobs that require us to sit for hours on end, encouraging stiffness and pain in the neck. Second, ignoring the neck can leave you vulnerable to cervical spinal conditions that will develop later from a lack of strength in the supporting muscles and poor posture. I'm not saying you need to train each muscle of the neck individually, but we should treat it as a fairly important group of muscles to be exercised regularly.
The relationship your neck has with pain
Think of how many times you move your neck in a day- it is probably impossible to even get close to an accurate estimate as 90% of neck movements are subconscious. Looking up, down, to the side, and over your shoulder; chewing your food and holding your head upright. Many of the muscles in the neck connect to the upper back and have implications in the mechanics of shoulder movement. What this mosaic shows is that, with weak muscles, your neck is vulnerable to a lot of movements and the worst malefactor is no movement at all.
It's time to turn your neck into a bundle of strength
At our office in we have a plan to turn your neck into something more: a network of muscles that support the head, connect it to the body with proper mechanics, and allow for an extensive range of movement without causing pain or stiffness. It is important to realize that your neck can actually work as an agent for you- to prevent the onset of spinal conditions and pain related to a desk-heavy lifestyle. Give our office a call to find out how we can start strengthening the neck today.