How Chiropractic Helps Hypertension & High Blood Pressure

Are you struggling with high blood pressure? It’s becoming more and more common as around 70 million North Americans suffer from hypertension. This equates to one-third of the adult population and it starts with 1 in 3 North Americans having higher than normal blood pressure readings. 

In addition to this epidemic, 1 in 5 adults don’t even realize they have it since there aren’t really symptoms that would advise them otherwise. Unless you are getting regular physicals, you may not realize you are suffering from this. Take a look at how chiropractic care can help you treat or avoid hypertension.

All about blood pressure and risks of hypertension

Blood pressure refers to blood pumping into your body’s arteries each time your heart beats. The pressure part of thing is the force of the blood being pushed against the walls of your arteries. You can get a blood pressure reading from your doctor which will show you your systolic and diastolic readings.

The systolic or top number is used to measure the pressure in the artier from your heart beating, while the diastolic is the bottom number showing the pressure in the arteries between beats. You want a reading that stays within normal levels of 120 over 180 or lower.

If your reading is 120-139 over 80-89, you are in prehypertension levels. If your blood pressure shows 140-159 over 90-99, you have hypertension stage 1, while those in hypertension stage 2 would have a reading of 160 over 100 or higher. Emergency care would be required at hypertension crisis of 180 over 110 or higher.

What causes some to experience hypertension? It’s a common condition that is dangerous and fatal, being the primary cause of nearly 1,000 deaths per day, according to the CDC. High blood pressure causes other dangerous conditions, including first heart attack, first stroke, kidney failure, and chronic heart failure.

In fact, 70% of adults will have their first heart attack with hypertension and that same number of adults will get chronic heart failure from high blood pressure, but a whopping 80% will have their first stroke due to their high blood pressure.

How to treat high blood pressure

The biggest question many have is how to treat high blood pressure if you suspect you may have it. There are prescription medicines you can take to control hypertension, but the medicines can have a strong effect on the body during treatment and after coming off of the medicine. There are natural ways to cure your high blood pressure that will allow you to avoid the medicine, but you have to put the work in to do it.

The natural methods to control hypertension would be to lower your blood pressure through lifestyle changes and chiropractic care. When you have too high of a sodium intake, drink too much alcohol, smoke, and have too much caffeine, you are contributing to high blood pressure.

The biggest causes behind it are being overweight and not exercising regularly, along with high levels of stress. Making changes to reduce your weight and bad habits, while incorporating regular chiropractic care can offer you a natural remedy to your hypertension. Chiropractic spinal adjustments to the atlas vertebra, the first bone in your neck, located at the base of the skull, have been shown to decrease hypertension in as little as eight weeks of care. 

You don’t have to run to your family doctor for prescription drugs when you learn you have high blood pressure. Make lifestyle change and work with your chiropractor so that your body can naturally heal itself.

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Avoiding Back Pain from a Desk Job

We’ve all been there. Working at a computer for too long is bound to cause a backache. One of the reasons could be that computer tasks are rarely a quick ordeal and it’s easy to sit at one for hours on end.

Most people are working at a computer for their job or find themselves completing a lot of daily tasks on a computer, whether it’s paying bills, working on the budget, or shopping for a gift for a loved one. There are already enough things in life trying to work against your back health, so don’t let your computer work be one of them. Here is a look at how to avoid back pain from your desk job in the future.

Facing the facts

You may be tempted to believe that you can avoid back pain because you’ve purchased a really great chair or that the pain you have is related to your mattress or fitness routine. Back pain from computer pain is common and not going anywhere, but you can lessen the damage and even prevent it all together.

Start with an ergonomics assessment of your current setup to see how badly you are being affected and be willing to accept the fact that computer work and desk jobs are going to cause you back pain unless you go out of your way to avoid.

Complete an assessment to see if that is the cause of the back pain by simply checking to see if you have to reach your elbow more than 90 degrees to use your mouse and keyboard. Leaning forward in the chair towards the screen or using a chair that isn’t adjustable could be the main source of your problems.

Why it’s hard to avoid

The main reason that people struggle to avoid back pain when working at a computer or a desk job is that it’s easy to forget to take breaks. Unless you are aware of your fitness needs day in and out, you are likely sitting at a computer for hours on end, only stopping for a restroom break or lunch. For some, even their desk chair lacks an arm rest to allow for any kind of break and rest. It’s important to take breaks not only for your back, but also for your eyes that are staring at a screen, your skin that craves sunlight, and your hands that type and click.

How to prevent this problem

If you’re ready to make a change and avoid back pain in the future at your desk job or during computer work, start by getting the proper chair that will help with you ergonomically. Start sitting up straighter at your desk and change your muscle activation patterns. Make sure you are working on good joint function in the spine using your nervous system, so that you can avoid spasms or flaccidity when your spine is in need of support.

The best thing you can do is to see your chiropractor regularly for an adjustment. Your adjustments will make sure your spine is moving better, the tension is lessened on your nervous system, and to find out if you are damaging your back without realizing it. Your chiropractor can adjust you in order to allow you to sit up with better posture for longer periods of time without becoming tired as quickly.

You can’t avoid back pain with your desk job, but you can make a huge difference by becoming aware of what harms your back and taking the steps to prevent and treat pain. Use this guide to make sure you are staying safe in front of the computer.

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Essential Tremors – How Chiropractic can Help

There are many types of tremors that vary in origin and severity. The most common type is known as an essential tremor (ET) or benign tremor which occurs in approximately 3 to 4 people for every 100 and targets individuals that are 60 years of age and older. ET is characterized by postural and/or kinetic tremors which, over time, decrease in amplitude and increase in frequency.

ET treatments are extremely limited for several reasons. The epidemiology and pathology of ET requires deeper investigation considering that ET is misdiagnosed up to 50% of the time and only one pharmaceutical drug has been FDA approved as of 2009. Moreover, some medications that are available for individuals with ETs are used to treat other conditions such as seizures and hypertension and only 30% to 50% of these patients respond to them.

Researchers are seeking alternative interventions in the treatment of ET of which one is chiropractic care. Take this case study for example: A 38 year old male with tremors in his upper extremity sought chiropractic help. The patient explained that the tremors began 15 years prior and had no distinct origin. These tremors were impeding everyday life activities such as writing and lifting beverages which diminished his quality of life. In an effort to relieve symptoms, the patient underwent chiropractic evaluation which revealed the presence nerve interference and a subsequent need for chiropractic intervention.

The patient’s treatment plan consisted of 21 visits over the course of 5 and a half months that utilized various hand instruments, pressure adjustments, and a maneuver known as the ‘toggle set.’ After merely one adjustment, the patient reported improvements in his symptoms. More specifically, he was able to move his right hand in a ‘cup raising’ motion towards his mouth with minimal display of tremors. The completion of his treatment plan resulted in the following improvements: 75% improvement in tremors in both arms, 99% improvement in tremors in the head, 90% improvement his low back pain, and 60% improvement in his quality of life.

Berner, N., & Kustarz, K. (2013). Reduction of Essential Tremors in a 38 Year Old Male
Undergoing Chiropractic Care for the Reduction of Vertebral Subluxation: A Case Report.

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Top 5 Things To Know About Chiropractic Treatment

If you are visiting a chiropractor for the first time, you may not know what to expect. You’ve heard great things but you’re not really sure why people see chiropractors or why this treatment is different or better than seeing a physician. Chiropractic treatment results can be wonderful for your body and they can help to heal issues in an all-natural approach.

There are no age limits to receiving this type of care and it can go hand-in-hand with the care from your physician. You will benefit going to the chiropractor on a regular basis, knowing that the care you give your body at home correlates to the level of benefits you can get from your chiropractor at his or her office. Take a look at the top five things you may not have known about chiropractic treatment and why you should make your first appointment.

While pain may bring you in, the problem may have been there for a while

It may seem strange that when you start feeling pain in your body that it doesn’t mean the issue is just beginning. Likely, the pain you’re feeling is a result of a problem that has been plaguing you for weeks, months, or even years.

Since your body is so adaptive and self-healing, it may have been fighting off the pain before you even experienced symptoms. While the pain may bring you into a chiropractor, you may not have known your issue has been plaguing you long before the pain started.

Treatments can be tailored to you

You may not have realized that chiropractic treatments can be specific to the patient and to the issue. All of your adjustments can vary for personalized care. Just like you and your pain is unique, your chiropractic care can be tailored to an individual plan that meets your needs. This means that when you have a problem area that needs specific care, it’s easier to figure out the root of the cause with your chiropractor.

You have to do some of the work from home

While adjustments will make you feel better and get your body functioning properly again, you won’t see the best results unless you do the work at home. This means that you need to take care of your body through rest, hydration, good nutrition, exercise, and reducing your stress. Doing this while getting regular visits to help the nervous system work correctly is the key to a healthy body.

Any age can be helped

You may be surprised to hear that people of any age can see a chiropractor and benefit from the treatments. It’s not just meant for adults or the young; a chiropractor can help newborn babies to senior citizens. Adjusting techniques are tailored depending on your individual issue, along with your size and weight.

It’s helping the body help itself

While it may seem like these natural remedies are too good to be true, it’s really all about helping the body to help itself. This isn’t a magical fix; it’s a method of making the body regain its health and wellness again. Chiropractic care works to help the nervous system function optimally for healing and self-regulation.

If you’ve ever wondered why people go the chiropractor or if it could help you, these five things to know about chiropractic treatment may explain it better!

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Fighting Your Allergies with Diet

Do you suffer from allergies? You’ve likely tried all of the medicine under the sun and maybe even avoided leaving the house on the days when allergies have got you feeling under the weather. What you may not have known is that sometimes your diet can actually improve your allergy situation.

Eating certain foods actually can work as an all-natural treatment for allergy symptoms, just like seeing your chiropractor can help fight ailments that you would normally get a prescription for. Take a look at a few foods you may want to try next time you suffer from allergies and want to skip the prescription drugs.

Fish with omega-3’s

You may think to avoid fatty foods, but fatty foods aren’t the problem. In fact, fatty fish is actually great for your body and for fighting allergies. Make sure to incorporate fatty fish in your diet to gain the omega-3 that you need to decrease allergic reactions. This could include Atlantic mackerel, freshwater salmon, or Alaskan salmon.

Kefir

If you’re not currently getting probiotics in your diet, make sure to start enjoying kefir for your gut’s health and improvement of the body’s allergic response. This yogurt-based beverage can be found at the grocery or a health food store and works to improve the healthy bacteria in your gut to improve digestion and reduce allergies.

Garlic

Who doesn’t love garlic? Did you know that garlic actually works to improve your immune system while you’re just enjoying this delicious addition to your lunch or dinner? Add garlic to your veggies, in a soup, or to your steak to create an amazing flavor and actually benefit your body simultaneously. Fresh garlic will decrease your body’s allergic reactions by strengthening your immune system.

Collard Greens

Leafy greens in your daily salad are a great way to get your daily vegetable needs met, but make sure you make it with collard greens included. This leafy green is great for blocking histamines because it’s rich in carotenoids. You can sauté them in olive oil or include them in a green smoothie.

Green Tea

When you’re craving a hot tea in the morning, choose green tea with a squeeze of lemon. Not only does this help with weight loss, but it contains antihistamines for fighting off allergies. It’s a great way to start the day.

Pineapple

Do you love pineapple in the summertime or on top of your pizza? Choose it regularly to get the allergy-fighting benefits that come with it. This superfood contains an active ingredient called bromelain, which works to relive inflammation in the enzymes through its function of being an irritation suppressant.

Cauliflower

If you don’t already incorporate cauliflower into your diet, make sure to start doing so. Cauliflower is a great vegetable option whether you want a raw snack, a grilled entrée, or an alternative to your mashed potatoes.

Choose cauliflower more often to benefit from its allergy-fighting properties, which are to combat symptoms by blocking your immune system cells from releasing histamines through the quercetin. Without histamines causing your allergy symptoms, you’ll be breathing easier and enjoying other great health benefits from this excellent vegetable.

If you didn’t know it before, food can heal all kinds of things in your body. Allow it to heal your allergies too, so that you can heal the body from feeling the effects of allergies once and for all.

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Resolution of Loss of smell and taste of 64 year old woman

Chiropractic is known to helps some people with rather unique health challenges, and here is such a case:

Anosmia is described as loss of smell and ageusia is described the loss of taste. One of the most common causes of smell and taste disorder is a previous injury to the head and/or neck. The olfactory system and gustatory system are responsible for providing the sense of smell and taste Although the loss of either sense is not life threating, it can have a significant impact on the quality of life.

In this case study, a 64 year old woman is presented to chiropractic care with complaints of neck pain, right sided knee pain, anosmia and aguesia. The patient reported having anosmia and ageuisa for 9 months prior to the visit. The chiropractic examination revealed asymmetry and decreased range of motion in the cervical spine. The patient care plan consisted of upper cervical adjustments for three months.

After each adjustment, there was no report of adverse symptoms other than mild soreness in the area of the correction. The patient noted that improvements and positive changes throughout the course of care. By the third month the patient noted the anosmia and ageusia had completely resolved.

This case study shows the successful resolution of anosmia and aguesia following upper cervical chiropractic care.

Blom, G. (2014). Resolution of Anosmia and Ageusia Following Knee Chest Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic Care: A Case Report. Journal of Upper Cervical– Chiropractic4 (1)

If you or a loved one suffers from the loss of smell (anosmia) or taste (ageusia), share this study with them and let them know chiropractic can help.

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Which Foods Contain the Most and Least Pesticides?

Conventionally grown, non-organic fruits and vegetables almost always contain pesticides. Many people have switched to an all-organic or nearly all-organic diet to avoid putting these toxic chemicals in their body. However, eating organic isn’t always easy.

Sometimes, it’s hard to find your favorite fruits and vegetables in the organic form. Other times, it’s hard to rationalize spending the higher price for the organic item. Here’s a look at the fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of pesticides and the lowest amount of pesticides when grown conventionally.

Highest Levels of Pesticides

The foods on this list should be avoided at all cost, unless bought organic. These fruits and vegetables contain the highest levels of pesticides. Every year, the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit advocate for the environment, publishes a list of the foods containing the highest levels of pesticides. This year’s list includes:

  • Strawberries
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Apples
  • Nectarines
  • Cherries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers

Strawberries may be the worst on the list. An article published on the EWG website stated, “Nearly all strawberry samples – 98 percent – tested by federal officials had detectable pesticide residues. Forty percent had residues of 10 or more pesticides and some had residues of 17 different pesticides.”

Lowest Levels of Pesticides

The foods with the lowest levels of pesticides were also published as a list by EWG. This list contains foods testing positive for four or less types of pesticide and many for one or less. The list includes:

  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Mango
  • Kiwi
  • Asparagus
  • Onion
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Papaya
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe

All of these foods are relatively safe to buy in their conventional form.

Harm of Pesticides

Pesticides have been linked to many issues in the human body. Remember, these are poisons used to kill bugs and other pests. If you were to buy a pesticide for your own garden, you’d quickly realize these products are littered with warnings.

Pesticides may cause many illnesses in humans. They have been linked to headaches, nausea, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption and even cancer. Avoiding foods laced with pesticides is one of the best ways to keep your body clean and healthy.

Using this List for your Diet

The best way to incorporate this list of foods into your diet, if you’re trying to eat organically, is to print it out and take it grocery shopping with you. If the food is listed on the high pesticide list only buy it in the organic form. If it’s on the low pesticide list, buy it in either the organic or conventional form.

This list will also become very handy when you create your grocery list. If you don’t want to refer to the list at the grocery store, simply mark an “O” next to the items you MUST buy in organic form. This will give you a quick reference at the store to ensure you’re not buying produce covered in poison.

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Chiropractic helps those with Fibromyalgia

If you or a loved one suffers from fibromyalgia, chiropractic care may be right for you. Fibromyalgia is the most common cause of widespread pain. Women are more 10 to 20 times more likely to have fibromyalgia than men. Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic diffuse pain that is longer than 3 months accompanied by 11 of 18 soft tissue tender points. The condition is frequently associated with stiffness, fatigue, lack of sleep, paresthesia, headaches, dysmenorrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. The treatments of the condition are unknown. However some treatment plans have included: prescription of low-dose antidepressant medications, light aerobic exercise and cognitive behavioural therapy.

In this case study, a 64 year old female is presented to chiropractic care with previous diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The woman had been diagnosed 6 years prior to presentation. Other complaints included sleep apnea, loss of coordination, glaucoma, and degenerative disk disease. She also had state complaints of arthritis, depressed, photophobia, indigestion, changes in her bowel habits, frequent urination, sinusitis, allergies, muscle pain and high cholesterol and hypertension. She could not walk long distances without assistance and described her neck and upper back pain as moderate. She described the low back pain as severe and shoulder pain as mild.

The patient’s care plan consisted of 3 visits a week for one month and then 2 visits a week for two months. At the first reassessment, the patient has state that her neck, shoulder, middle back pain had improved as well as her eye sight. During her second reassessment, she reported having much more energy and strength as she was able to stand and walk for a longer period of time with no pain. The patient is still currently under care measures of the patient’s progress and improvements and still being monitored.

The progress of this case study shows an improvement of a patients suffering from fibromyalgia with upper cervical chiropractic care.

Bennett, C. (2012). Improvement in a Patient with Fibromyalgia Following Knee Upper Cervical Specific Care: A Case Report. Journal Of Pediatric Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic4, 4 (2)

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How to Prevent Neck Pain During Cycling

Getting pain from a cycling session can be frustrating. You are trying to improve your skill and you end up with neck pain, putting you out for the next cycling day. Neck pain from this sport is really common and is usually caused from weak muscles or poor posture.

It’s not hard to overuse your muscles and injuring yourself. Sometimes it’s just a matter of choosing a better bike fit or changing your posture just slightly. You don’t have to give up your favorite hobby due to that neck pain you keep getting. Use this guide to determine what’s causing your neck pain and learn how to prevent it going forward.

What could be causing the pain?

While neck pain and injury is common from cycling, it can be frustrating if you’re not sure what is causing it. There are a few possible causes to your problem and solutions to these problems. The first may be that you are unaware of prevention methods that would help you avoid the neck pain or numbness, such as properly fitting bikes, the right equipment, or not stretching the right areas. Having the wrong alignment or forgetting to stretch after being stiff for too long can cause serious injury after prolonged periods of time.

About bike fit

Getting properly fitted for your bike is one of the most important things you could do for regular cycling. If you don’t have a good bike fit, it might be that your frame is too big or small for you. the handlebars may be too wide or narrow or your stem may need to be adjusted to be just shorter or longer than it is now. This all affects your posture for a long cycling session. Working with a professional could help you to make tiny adjustments that will help you prevent pain and numbness.

You’ll also want to make sure your posture allows your shoulder blades to be engaged and held back away from ears. Your head shouldn’t be cocked back too far either. Make sure your bike gloves have padding for the bike you are using to avoid hand numbness and add tape to your handle bars if you ride on roads.

Learn proper stretching

You may find that you don’t have any pain until a couple of hours after cycling, which could mean that it’s more of a weak muscle issue. Not having strong enough muscles to support your head’s weight for a long period of time could be the reason for your pain.

This is because the trapezius muscles along your neck and shoulder attached to the base of your head are tensed for a long period of time, and it causes your muscles to lack in blood oxygen from the lack of blood flow to the area. When you experience muscle spasms and other pain, this is the reason behind it. Simply remembering to strengthen and stretch this area is the perfect way to relieve this problem.

Proper stretching includes doing:

  • Chin tucks in a neutral position
  • Right and left head rotations to stretch the neck
  • Right and left lateral flexion of your neck to the shoulder
  • Extension by tilting your head back to stretch the back of the neck
  • Flexion of the neck while standing or sitting upright to stretch the muscles in the back of your neck

If you aren’t using all of the gear you need, have a bike that is just slightly off, or forget to strengthen your muscles, you could end up with pain and numbness when you cycle. Make sure to check all of these items out before cycling again to make sure you are keeping your body healthy and strong.

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Can Chiropractic Treatment Help Pregnancy?

Pregnant women go through many changes during the time before baby arrives, from prenatal visits to diet changes. Visiting the doctor during pregnancy can allow for questions to be answered and baby to be checked on, and many women like to get more information on how to treat the pains that come with a growing belly and baby.

In addition to what the doctor may be able to provide, women whom are pregnant would benefit from chiropractic treatment in order to cure some of those aches and pains. Chiropractic care not only can offer some pain relief, but it can help keep baby in position in utero, while you benefit from your regular prenatal care. If you’ve ever wondered if it was safe to visit the chiropractor during pregnancy, here is a look at why it’s not only safe, but also a huge benefit to pregnant women.

Why chiropractic care is great for pregnancy

Since your chiropractor already works to keep your body in alignment and keeping your body’s functions working properly, it only makes sense that he or she would be able to assist in keeping baby healthy and aligned as well.

Your regular chiropractic care helps to keep regular aches and pains at bay, just like this care can do for a pregnant woman experiencing common pregnancy pains. When the body is aligned regularly, it allows for common pains like back pains, headaches, and fatigue to work itself out, but when a pregnant woman gets treatment from the chiropractor during a change in the body, it can work to reduce the pain associated with these changes during the nine months.

What does the chiropractor do for a pregnant woman?

Pregnancy causes many changes in the body, from changes in the curve of the back to the protrusion of the abdomen. Chiropractic care is a great way to ease symptoms of changes in the back and abdomen, as well as the ligaments, pelvis, and overall musculoskeletal system as your body grows. Keeping the pelvis aligned and balanced, just like you would for the tires of your car, allows for a better position for the baby when it’s time to delivery or as your car drives down the road.

Benefits for pregnant women and babies

Along with reducing the pain of pregnancy, you’ll find many benefits from chiropractic visits. It’s going to offer an overall maintenance of a healthy pregnancy, but its’ aslo going to reduce your labor and delivery time, control your morning sickness, and relieve pain in the back, neck, and joints. It has even shown to lower the chances of C-section. You’ll find relief from your lower back pain and all of this is done with a non-invasive non-pharmaceutical method.

The baby will benefit too. There is a technique that was developed called Webster’s Technique which was created by a chiropractor to help with reducing the effects of sacral subluxation, or a misalignment in the sacrum. This is found at the base of the spine between your pelvic bones, and the technique works to reduce the chances of joint dysfunction since the sacroiliac joints attach the pelvis and the sacrum. By relieving this musculoskeletal area which causes intrauterine constraint, the baby isl ess likely to be breach and need a C-section due to relief from Webster’s Technique.

If you weren’t sure about getting chiropractic treatment during your pregnancy, be sure to prioritize this natural option, alongside your regular doctor’s appointments, to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. 

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