When the temperature starts to cool, a lot of us become aware of how the weather can affect our wellbeing–emotionally, mentally, and physically. If you struggle with joint pain or are diagnosed with arthritis, you might know just how the cold can easily lead to painful and achy joints. As chiropractors, many of our patients come in during the winter due to increased joint pain and stiffness. It is a common belief that those with troublesome joints may be able to predict the weather, but where does this come from, and is it true?
Does The Weather Affect Joint Pain?
Unfortunately, there are no studies that prove arthritis or joint can predict the weather. However, there is enough evidence to prove that your condition can become inflamed or irritated by colder weather. We have a few ideas as to where this myth may have come from.
During colder weather, the barometric pressure drops and can cause your joints to expand and place additional pressure on surrounding nerves inflaming your condition. Additionally, when the temperature drops, fluid can become more viscous making it difficult for them to flow freely preventing them from working properly which may increase sensitivity and pain. People are also often less active in colder weather making joints likely to stiffen.
Signs of Joint Inflammation
- Grinding or cracking sound
- Increased stiffness
- Limited motion
- Pain in the joint
- Redness, swelling, or tenderness around the joint
- Weakness and instability
Can Chiropractic Care Help?
If your joint pain is caused by damage over time due to joint misalignment, poor posture, or overworking of the joint, then chiropractic care can help. Chiropractic manipulations and soft tissue therapies can reduce joint restrictions and misalignments which can help to remove painful symptoms, reduce inflammation, and restore your range of motion.
It is important to note though that we cannot restore the damage that is already done or the loss of cartilage. During your consultation, we will determine the cause of your joint pain and decide what form of treatment is right for you.
What Can You Do?
While no one can control the weather, there are a few tips you can take to limit your risk of joint pain due to cold weather. Keep yourself as warm as possible with layers of clothing and compression garments. If it’s cold outside, opt for gentle indoor exercises and stretches to keep your joints mobile and loose during the winter.
The colder weather is just one of the many stressors that may cause chronic pain, fatigue, and joint discomfort. By visiting our office regularly for treatment, we can reduce and prevent severe aching joints this winter. For more information on how we can help you combat the cold and our services or to schedule an appointment, contact Natural Health Center of Clifton today.
October is finally here–and that means it is National Chiropractic Health Month! During this month, we join hundreds of practices across the nation in encouraging the public to seek out the benefits of chiropractic care, and this year’s theme is “Keep Moving!”.
We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many of us in our ability to venture outside of the house and be active. Lack of physical activity can impact not only our physical health but also our mental and emotional health. Over the last two years, many have discovered just how beneficial daily movement and exercise can be to our overall health and feeling of well-being.
Keep Moving Campaign
This year our campaign is all about movement and how important daily exercise is to our health and wellbeing. You may wonder how this connects to chiropractic care… As experts in utilizing a drug-free, whole-person approach to your health, the condition of your bones and muscles is important. Lack of movement and physical activity may lead to weight gain and increase your risk of joint pain, injuries, cardiovascular health problems, and other musculoskeletal conditions.
An Active Approach
Daily physical activity strengthens your bones, muscles, and joints while improving your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Here are some tips you can use to get you moving throughout the day!
Exercises for the Workplace
When in the office, we understand it can be difficult to exercise, but there are ways of strengthening your body. Remember to sit straight with both feet on the ground, as this helps you maintain good posture and evenly distribute your weight across your body preventing muscle pain and inflammation. Keep your head at an even position by moving your screen to eye level. This will prevent you from straining your neck.
Take small exercise breaks throughout the day. Every 20 minutes would be great even for light stretching. Other ways to increase movement in the workplace include using the stairs, gently shaking out your limbs, rolling your shoulders and ankles, and stretching your back throughout the day.
Studies show that being outdoors and interacting with nature does lower stress levels, reduce anxiety, and enhance your mental and emotional wellbeing. Exercising outdoors is a great way to get the best of both worlds.
Popular outdoor activities to do during the fall include nature walks, running along forest trails, hiking in local areas, and recreational sports such as football, soccer, and basketball. Be mindful of your body and rest when necessary. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, we encourage you to consult with your doctor about healthy ways to exercise and increase movement.
Even if you don’t own a home gym, you can still exercise at home. There are many virtual classes or online exercise routines you can follow to help you exercise in the comfort of your home. Though it is recommended that adults get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise a day, don’t feel pressured to do it all at once. Even raking the leaves outside can contribute to your daily movement!
Regular exercise reduces the stress on your ligaments and joints minimizing the chance of injury, muscle strain, and muscular pain. This month, though we are encouraging patients to get out and move, it is important to note there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to exercise so take time to find the right combination of activities that work for you. Remember, the key is to sit less and move more so that you can live a healthy life. We are here to help you get a head start on better health and wellness by getting you moving. For more information on our chiropractic services and how we can help you or to schedule an appointment, contact the Natural Health Center of Clifton today.
Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints we diagnose and treat as chiropractors. A cause of low back pain that can be easily missed is sacroiliitis! This month we’d like to show how chiropractic care can help to alleviate pain and restore function and mobility to those diagnosed with sacroiliitis.
What is Sacroiliitis?
Sacroiliitis refers to inflammation of one or both sacroiliac joints also known as SI joints. These sacroiliac joints connect the lower part of your spine (sacrum) to your pelvis. Anytime you take a step, lift your leg, extend, or move your legs, you utilize your sacroiliac joints.
There are a variety of factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing sacroiliitis, including:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Traumatic injury
The pain associated with sacroiliitis stems from inflammation and irritation of the sacroiliac joint. Symptoms include:
- Pain in the lower back, hips, buttocks, legs, and feet
- Pain that worsens have after periods of standing or sitting
- Pain felt with weight-bearing activities
- Stiffness in the hips and lower back
In cases of infection, fever may also be a symptom of sacroiliitis.
Can We Help?
As chiropractors, we pride ourselves on utilizing your body’s healing processes to relieve pain that stems from joint inflammation, dysfunction, and misalignment. During your consultation, we will evaluate your symptoms, conduct a physical exam, and perform any necessary tests to determine which treatment options will be ideal for your condition and lifestyle.
We specialize in a variety of non-surgical treatment methods for sacroiliitis, including:
- Chiropractic Adjustment- If a misalignment is the cause of your condition, manual or machine-assisted chiropractic adjustments can help to realign joints causing pressure and pain within your body.
- Heat and Ice Therapy- Using heating packs can help stimulate strong circulation in the area which will supply the joint with much-needed healing and pain relief nutrients. Ice or cold packs will reduce swelling and inflammation to alleviate pain.
- Rest- Rest allows your body time to heal from activities that may worsen your condition while also reducing inflammation.
- Therapeutic Massage- Massage is a direct method of relaxing tight muscles which also increases blood flow to the area and assists in muscle and soft tissue healing and recovery.
- Physical Therapy- We can recommend exercises and stretches that will strengthen your muscles and joints, keep your body flexible, and restore your range of motion while reducing swelling and pain.
During your consultation, we will conduct a variety of tests to determine your diagnosis and work with you to tailor your treatment to your unique needs and goals. If you believe you are suffering from sacroiliitis or would like to schedule an appointment, contact the Natural Health Center of Clifton today.
It’s that time of year! Whether you are preparing a child for the upcoming school year or yourself, sitting at a desk all day, being hunched over a computer, or craning your neck while doing homework–school can put a strain on your body. Here are some chiropractic tips to help make this back-to-school season a happy and healthy one.
Ouch! Back To School Pain
Back pain is a common complaint in our office from adults, but in recent years it has also become a common concern for many children and teenagers. The influx in cases has recently been connected to the use of heavily packed backpacks and spending hours looking at a computer or hand-held device during the school year.
Backpacks have long been a health concern as carrying an overweight bag improperly can create several concerning health conditions such as poor posture, muscle strain, joint pain, and headaches. The common use of technology with computers, tablets, and phones can also impact your spinal health as it causes you to crane your neck and put pressure on your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Wearing Your Backpack Right
No one wants to carry a heavy backpack every day but choosing the right bag and carrying it properly can help you avoid pain and injury. It is not unheard of for patients to experience upper shoulder pain, low back pain, neck pain, and even headaches from an improperly worn or heavy backpack.
Be sure to purchase a bag that has a padded back and wide, padded adjustable straps that will help prevent the weight from digging into pressure points. Though it may look cool to sling a backpack over one shoulder or to use a messenger style back, wearing both straps on your shoulders will evenly distribute the weight across your body to prevent muscle strain and fatigue. If your bag has a waist strap, using it can help to reduce the chance of back pain. Though a smaller backpack may seem appealing for your profile, your backpack should be proportionate to your body. The top of the bag shouldn’t be higher than your shoulders and the bottom should be above your hips.
Pack your bag strategically with the heaviest items close to the body and make use of the pockets with lighter and smaller items. Be mindful of the weight of your bag as well, it should not be more than 10% of your body. Heavy bags not only can be painful to carry but also cause you to lean forward and increase your risk for rounded hunched shoulders and affect the curvature of your spine.
Adjust Your Posture
It is no myth that our increasing dependence on technology has affected our day-to-day lives–but it also affects our posture. More patients are reporting wrist pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain. When you bend your neck to look downward, every inch can put 10 additional pounds on your neck, so it’s no surprise that people complain of neck pain or tense shoulders and upper back strain.
We recommend limiting your technology usage with a 15-minute break every hour, stretching regularly, and allowing your eyes to relax. Bring any mobile devices to eye level and adjust computer monitors so that you can sit up straight with your chest out and shoulders back comfortably with both feet on the ground. While you read, be sure to keep your head over your neck and shoulders and rest your back against the chair.
Before engaging in any strenuous activity, remember to warm up and stretch for at least 15 minutes to allow your body to become more limber and reduce your risk of muscle strain. Don’t forget to cool down afterward as well!
You can even learn some seated stretches to help relieve tension and aches while seated in class.
Remember sleep is your body’s time to heal and repair from the day-to-day stresses of life. Adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and children need even more. Getting a consistent good night’s rest can help lower stress levels, ease chronic inflammation, and allow your body to rejuvenate.
For better sleep, we recommend avoiding exercising, caffeine, and electronics at least an hour before bed to allow your eyes and mind to wind down. Darken the room and lower the temperature to create a restful environment, some patients may even use a white noise machine to block out any distractions. Making a sleep schedule that tells you when to wake up and get ready for bed can also help your body to establish a routine so that you can function at your best.
For more information on how to keep your back healthy during this school year or to schedule an appointment, contact Natural Health Center of Clifton today.
If you are an athlete, you understand the demands your sport can place on your body. Unfortunately, all sports present injury risks and an injury can set you back regardless of your skill level. Recent studies have shown that regular chiropractic care can help athletes recover from various injuries. Our chiropractors will diagnose and treat the source of your pain and create a full rehabilitation program designed to your unique needs so that you can get back in the game feeling your best.
Common Sports Injuries
Athletes can suffer from injuries due to impact, repetitive motion, improper form, overtraining, failure to warm up, and accidents that can happen in a variety of ways depending on the activity and sport. We can treat a variety of sports-related injuries and conditions including:
- Back pain
- Herniated discs
- Joint injuries
- Knee injuries
- Neck pain
- Pinched nerves
- Pulled muscles
- Shin splints
It is important to seek treatment even if you think the injury may be minor as many injuries are overlooked and treated with rest alone, increasing the odds that they will heal improperly and cause chronic pain later. If an injury is left untreated pain can spread to other areas that may not even be directly related to the injury itself as your body tries to compensate and rebalance itself.
How We Can Help
As chiropractors, we use a variety of non-invasive methods to help you find relief and get back to the sport you love.
Regular chiropractic adjustments can realign vertebrae and alleviate pain, soreness, and aches from sports injuries. When your spine is aligned, this can alleviate tension in the body caused by misalignments and decrease inflammation as well as allow your nervous system to function optimally.
Massage therapy can also be used to help relieve stiff muscles, improve blood flow, to accelerate pain relief and recovery. We can also advise on physical therapy stretches and exercises to help you regain mobility and function at full strength.
Here are some recommendations on how to best avoid injuries and complications in the future:
- Don’t exercise through pain. If it hurts, stop. Working out should feel challenging but not painful. Even when you are done, your body shouldn’t hurt, but feel mildly sore and invigorated.
- Exercise at the proper level. If you are a beginner, start slowly and steadily. This will make you stronger at a faster pace than trying to run fast right away.
- Proper form and equipment use is important, so it’s always best to consult with a professional. Improper form leads to injury and is a waste of your exercise. Quality, not quantity, will get you results.
- Remember to stretch before and after working out and to always warm up beforehand. This will help lengthen your muscles so they can become more limber.
- Vary your workouts and take time to rest between them. You shouldn’t exercise the same muscles, in the same manner, every day. Exercise tears down muscles and it is the healing that makes them grow stronger!
If you are suffering from a sports-related injury and would like help on the path to recovery, we are here for you! Our chiropractors will evaluate your needs and develop a treatment plan based on your sport and condition so that you can heal naturally and get back onto the field as soon as possible without further complication. For more information on how we can help with sports-related injuries or to schedule a consultation, contact the Natural Health Center of Clifton today.
June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month. During this month, we would like to raise awareness about this condition and how as chiropractors we can help those who struggle with this condition.
What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is a common spinal condition in which the vertebrae rotate causing the spine to curve abnormally. The degree of curvature varies based on the patient and can range from very minor misalignment to almost an S-shaped or C-shaped curve. For patients with minor conditions, symptoms may not be severe or need treatment. However, scoliosis can progress without observation and treatment and can become a debilitating condition significantly impacting ones’ day-to-day life. The increasing curvature can begin to impact muscle function, movement, and restrict breathing.
Many cases occur during growth spurts in puberty, but other causes can include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or be the result of a congenital condition present at birth. Though commonly associated with teenagers or children, adults can develop this condition later in life as they age.
Signs & Symptoms
The physical signs of scoliosis can include the following:
- Chronic back pain or muscle spasms
- Difficult breathing
- One hip higher than the other
- One shoulder blade may appear more forward than the other
- Uneven shoulders
In severe cases, due to the curvature of the spine, the rib cage may appear prominent on one side more than the other.
Diagnosis begins with a full review of medical history, followed by a thorough physical examination. A neurological exam may also be conducted to check for muscle weakness or abnormal reflexes. Imaging tests such as X-rays are the most accurate way to fully diagnose a patient with scoliosis. A positive diagnosis is confirmed with a curve greater than 10 degrees. A significant curve is considered between 25 to 30 degrees, and a curve exceeding 45 to 50 degrees is seen as severe.
For those with minor scoliosis symptoms, treatment may consist of monitoring the condition with X-rays to check that the curve isn’t worsening, physical therapy, and bracing to help straighten the spine and support proper curvature.
For patients with mild to moderate scoliosis, chiropractic care can be an ideal treatment option to help relieve symptoms and assist in correcting posture.
How We Can Help
It is important to note that chiropractic care cannot cure scoliosis, but when combined with your doctor’s treatment plan can help to adjust your overall spinal alignment and posture to decrease painful symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
Scoliosis is an unnatural curvature of the spine, which can place strain on the muscles, nerves, and soft tissues around the spine. Chiropractic care can be used to help realign the spine and decrease strain and pressure on those soft tissues to reduce pain and inflammation in the area. By increasing joint mobility and improving nervous system function, your body has a better ability to manage and relieve symptoms caused by scoliosis.
Chiropractic care for scoliosis is a long-term treatment option as patients will need routine adjustments to gain the most from treatment. Your chiropractor will work with your other healthcare team members to ensure you are receiving the best care and that the prescribed treatment plan is working.
At first, treatment may be several times a week in the office for spinal adjustments. At-home exercises, stretches, bracing techniques, and physical therapy may also be recommended to you. Many patients report feeling significantly better after the first week of treatment, over time additional benefits include reduced pain and inflammation, improved range of motion and flexibility, and the ability to resume normal activities that were hindered by scoliosis symptoms leading to an overall better quality of life.
If you are struggling with the symptoms of scoliosis, chiropractic care may be the right treatment option for you. Our experienced chiropractic team can help reduce pain and discomfort along your spine. For more information on how we can help with scoliosis or to schedule a consultation, contact the Natural Health Center of Clifton today.