NEW STUDY SHOWS PROMISE FOR ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

If you’ve ever had pain that lasts for several weeks, you may be surprised to know that you are not alone.

Not by a long shot. In a typical year, around 100 million adults in the United States have episodes of pain that that last for 12 or more weeks. Of those, 40 million are classified as in severe chronic pain.

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According to Dr. Jeff McQuaite, millions of people rely on pain medications to help them deal with these episodes, but those medications can have significant side effects — including, the risk of addiction. Because of that, a lot of pain sufferers have been investigating alternative methods of pain relief, including yoga, Tai Chi, and acupuncture, among others.

These methods have not been studied as thoroughly as traditional medicine strategies, but recently the results of a major study were released that were promising.  Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a team of researchers published their results in a leading medical journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, and here is what they found.

After studying the results of 150 U.S. clinical trials of non-drug therapies for chronic pain, Dr. Nahin and his team found there was evidence to conclude that yoga and acupuncture are effective for back pain. In addition, they found that acupuncture and tai chi have some beneficial effects for people with pain triggered by osteoarthritis of the knee.

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These are encouraging findings for people who are seeking non-drug solutions to chronic pain management, like those offered by a chiropractor in Central Bucks County and hopefully there will be more studies in the future that demonstrate even stronger links between these alternative therapies and pain relief.

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MAGNESIUM MAY HELP WITH MIGRAINES

Migraine headaches can be very debilitating, and even though millions of people suffer from them, there is no foolproof method for getting relief. Migraine sufferers try medications, herbal remedies, and various alternative therapies offered by a chiropractor in the area, but there is no single thing that works for everyone.

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Now, however, there is some evidence that magnesium supplements from a local chiropractor may help. According to Richard Lipton, M.D., vice chair of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a neurologist with the American Migraine Foundation, scientists think that migraine headaches may be related to a deficiency of the mineral magnesium. Studies have shown that during a migraine attack, people have low levels of magnesium in their bodies. In addition, magnesium is known to block certain neurotransmitters that cause a state of excitability in the brain, which has been theorized to be the cause of migraines.

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The results are not 100 percent conclusive, and more research needs to be done, but at this point some headache specialists are recommending  that people with a history of migraines take oral magnesium supplements, up to 500 mg a day. You can also get your magnesium from eating a healthy diet, of course — foods with a lot of magnesium include dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocados, and figs.

This is not an overnight cure, because it can take a month or more for magnesium levels to build up in the body. If you stick with it, though, you could lessen the frequency and intensity of your migraines, which is certainly a good reason to supplement your diet.

AROMATHERAPY FOR YOUR STRESS

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We live in an increasingly stressful world, and yet science tells us that stress can be bad for our health. Stress has been linked to a range of physical ailments, including hypertension, headaches, asthma, diabetes, depression, and anxiety, to name just a few.

There are many remedies for dealing with stress, and things like meditation, yoga, exercise, massage at your local chiropractor office and even a cup of herbal tea work for various people. Aromatherapy is another stress reliever, and many people swear by its calming properties.

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The aroma from essential oils is believed to penetrate cell membranes in the brain and reach the emotional centers quickly. Certain smells can trigger feelings of peace and serenity, and they can bring you back to calmer times in your life, which immediately slows your heartbeat and breathing, and makes your mind more peaceful.

There are many varieties of essential oils available, each with its own properties. The ones most commonly associated with stress relief are: Lavender, Patchouli, Citrus Oils, Clary Sage, and Ylang-Ylang.

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However, the very best way to find a good de-stressing oil is to simply sample it. Smell the oil, and pay attention to how it makes your body and mind feel. The ultimate test is how it affects you, not what the label says. Once you find an oil that works, purchase it from a Jamison chiropractor and put a few drops of it on a handkerchief. That way you can carry it around with you all day long, and pull it out for a sniff whenever you need to de-stress.

TIPS FOR BACK AND SHOULDER HEALTH

There’s no question that Americans lead sedentary lifestyles, and that we spend way too much time sitting in front of our computers and TVs, or hunched over our phones. Because of this, we can sometimes experience back and shoulder problems that cause pain and limit our mobility.

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Here are some tips for dealing with back and shoulder pain when it comes.

. Back pain. Sitting at a desk that is too low or too high can often cause strain on the back. The solution is to use ergonomically designed chairs and desks that you can adjust for the least amount of strain, but you should also make sure you get up and walk around at regular intervals throughout the day. Sitting for long periods has been proven to cause many health problems says a local chiropractor.  Another remedy is to strengthen your core muscles through planking-type exercises.

. Shoulder pain. Our shoulders are subject to a lot of stress in our daily movements, and they can be vulnerable to strain and injury. Regular stretching exercises for the shoulders and pectoral muscles will enhance shoulder rotation and lessen pain. Making sure your spine is flexible and mobile (which a warrington chiropractor treatment can do) will ease the pressure on the shoulders also. Certain exercises will help, including sub scapular pushups, side lying external shoulder rotations, and the woodchop, which is a cable exercise.

Our modern lifestyle is definitely causing more pain and discomfort in certain parts of our bodies, and we need to pay attention to these signals and address them in order to get relief before the problem gets worse and wreaks havoc on our daily life.

KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAIN AND SORENESS

“No pain no gain” is a popular slogan among people who exercise regularly, and of course it means that in order to get the maximum benefit from an exercise program you need to push your body a little, maybe endure a little discomfort to reach your goals.

However, a lot of people think that “no pain no gain” means they need to ignore their body’s warning signs. Pain is the way our bodies tell us that something is wrong, and it’s never a good idea to ignore pain.

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Soreness is another matter, of course. It’s common to experience some muscle aching and soreness when you try a new exercise, or push your body in ways that it’s not used to. People who exercise regularly are familiar with soreness, and they know it will go away with time.

Distinguishing between soreness and pain is an important skill, and you should know how to tell them apart. Here are two ways you can do that.

. Pain feels different. A pain response is sharper and more intense than soreness. Pain can make you suck in your breath, bite your lip, or stop you in your tracks with its intensity. Soreness is much easier to deal with, and is usually nothing more than a dull, throbbing achiness.

. Pain lasts longer. Soreness from a workout will go away in a couple of days — pain will not. If you’re still getting sharp pain three days after a workout, it’s time to see your best local chiropractor.

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One more thing: don’t have the mistaken idea that if you visit your doctor about your pain, he or she will forbid you from exercising. In many cases a Jamison chiropractor will simply tell you to change your exercise routine, not stop it altogether, to see if the pain goes away.

The important thing is not to ignore pain when you feel it, because that can only lead to bigger problems.

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EXERCISE EARLIER TO PREVENT DECLINE

January 25, 2017 Leave a comment

We humans are great procrastinators, especially when it comes to exercise. We have good intentions, but life gets in the way, and we end up putting off our exercise programs till next week, next month, or next year. The most crowded month of the year in most gyms is January, when people make their New Year’s resolutions to exercise more and to get into healthy habits.

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The attendance steadily drops each month (with a small spike before bathing suit season in the summer), and it’s because people find lots of reasons to stop working out as the year goes on. The sad fact is that as long as we feel reasonably healthy, we aren’t motivated to exercise. Lots of people think they’ll start later in life, when they have more health problems that could be addressed with exercise.

But that’s a mistake. The reason is that physical declines start earlier than you think, according to a new Duke Health study shared by a Doylestown chiropractor.

This study, which looked at a group of U.S. adults ranging in age from their 30s to 100, both male and female, found that in basic tests of strength, balance, and endurance, people showed signs of physical decline much earlier than previously thought. People in their 50s struggled with their ability to stand on one leg for a minute, or to stand up repeatedly from a chair over a period of 30 seconds. These were just two of the exercises measured, and by the decade of the 60s the majority of the subjects were showing some evidence of physical decline, even if it was minor.

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The conclusion? That people should start regular exercise programs and see their local chiropractor sooner than later, to fight that physical decline. The best approach is to start young, before your physical skills have eroded.

So, get out there and exercise!

DO YOU HAVE PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME?

January 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Millions of people suffer from sciatica, which is an irritation of the longest nerve in the human body, the sciatic nerve. There are many different causes of sciatica (a herniated disk, arthritis, etc.), but one of the most overlooked ones is piriformis syndrome says a local chiropractor.

The piriformis is a muscle in the gluteal region and the sciatic nerve runs right through it. When the piriformis muscle gets tight, it can compress the sciatic nerve, causing tingling, numbness or even pain.

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The piriformis can get tight from overuse, which happens when they have to help out because the larger glute muscles aren’t engaging when you run or do other types of exercise. The best way to relieve this situation, according to a Doylestown Chiropractor is to activate the muscles in the hip and pelvis area, which will take pressure off the sciatic nerve.
Here are a couple of simple exercises that will help you do that.
1. Piriformis Release. Sit on the floor with a lacrosse ball under one glute muscle, and put your weight on the ball. Extend your legs, but bend the corresponding leg (e.g., if the ball is under the right glute, bend the right leg). Point the knee toward the ceiling, and keep that foot on the floor. Rotate your leg from one side to the other. Repeat for up to two minutes, then switch sides.
2. Glute Step-Backs. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, move one leg backward, trying to keep your knees at 90-degree angles. There are three variations of this, and you should do 15 repetitions on each side for each variation:
A. Keep shoulders square and face forward while you do the movement.
B. Rotate your upper body toward front leg while you do the movement.
C. While facing forward, tilt your body to the side opposite from the front leg.