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Health News and Tips


Beware of the Paraben

Parabens are substances found in various items that we use on our body and put in our body, which include deodorants, antiperspirants, lotions, sunscreen, shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics/make-up, shaving gel, pharmaceutical drugs, toothpaste and food additives.  These parabens are hormone disrupters and can be carcinogenic (cancer causing).  Stay away from products that contain any of these ingredients; methylparaben, ethyl paraben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, and E216.

Perils of the Sedentary Lifestyle 

Mesenchymal stems cells can either be deposited as fat or bone cells.  The more

sedentary one is, the more that the mesenchymal cells will deposit as fat.  This will congest areas that are meant for healthy bone marrow.  In turn, your body can produce less good quality blood.  However, exercise promotes these mesenchymal cells to turn into bone cells, which can help your body use more oxygen and fight off infections.

Natural Chiropractic Care vs. Pain Medication

The results are in! According to an article published in the January 2012 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine, Chiropractic care was significantly more effective in short term and long term pain relief than pain medication.  Short term care (12 weeks) offered tremendous relief; 82% experienced greater than 50% improvemnt, 57% experienced greater than 75% improvement, and 32% experienced a full recovery.  Long term care reigned supreme as well, with 81% of patients having greater than 50% improvment.  In conclusion, don't just mask the pain with the use of NSAIDs and other pain medications, but actually get the problem corrected.  Chiropractic is your answer to get to the root cause of a condition and treat it accordingly. 


Maintenance is Crucial

Chiropractic care is a natural way to alleviate pain, but continued chiropractic care (maintenance care) offers so much more.   Health Insurance companies consistently deny physician reimbursements for any type of treatment that is considered maintenance or preventative.  Here are the facts with chiropractic maintenance care from a RAND Corporation study about patients who received this type of careā€¦
- less instances of hospitalizations
- less use of nursing homes
- more likely to engage in regular exercise
- threefold savings of mean annual expenditures on health care
- increased productivity and decreased disabilities
- less surgeries and injuries

Invest in your health and seek out chiropractic maintenance care and demand your health insurance to cover this important form of therapy. 



Proper Sleep Ergonomics to Avoid Aches and Pains

Poor sleeping ergonomics can affect the quality of your sleep and poor quality sleep is proven to negatively impact your health.  Sleeping should be a time when our bodies rest and recuperate.  However, some sleeping postures can cause more stress on our joints and negative effect our sleeping pattern.  The ideal sleeping posture is on your side with your knees drawn slightly towards your chest.  A full length body pillow may be used to maintain balance and comfort.  If you sleep on your back, place a pillow underneath your legs to maintain proper lumbar spine curve.  Stomach sleeping places a lot of stress on the neck, which can cause nerve compression, muscular imbalance and pain in the cervical spine.  If this position can't possibly be avoided, place a pillow underneath the pelvis and lower abdomen and try to sleep without a head pillow.  Also, turn the mattress over every few months.  If possible, replace the mattress every 5-7 years.  A proper ergonomic pillow should be used to align the neck with the rest of spine. 


Avoiding Text Neck

According to the Census Bureau, approximately 110 billion text messages were sent in December 2008.  Advancing technology might make tasks and communication easier but our bodies pay the price.  Text neck, which is a neck strain induced by prolonged usage of mobile devices, is an example of how a repetitive poor texting posture can cause damage.  It causes us to be hunched over in which our neck tends to droop forward and our shoulders to round forward.  This can be avoided by sitting up straight, bring the shoulder back and chest out.  Bring the phone up in front of your eyes to avoid hunching forward.  If sitting, rest forearms on a solid surface, like a desk.  Try to minimize the duration of texting and email.  Stretch out the wrist and forearms and perform chest stretches to avoid chronic poor posture and muscle fatigue. 




Natick Days Celebration

Align Spine Chiropractic & Wellness co-sponsors the 13th Annual Natick Days, which was held on 9/10/11. Natick Days is a festival of entertainment that celebrates our community by providing fundraising opportunities for Natick youth groups and non-profit organizations, and highlights the work of Natick's service organizations. This year's Natick Days was extraordinary. The weather was pristine and the turnout was 8,000 plus! Hats off to the Natick Days Steering Committee which allowed the town to celebrate in such a special way.


Running Sneakers vs Minimalist shoes/barefoot

We have been told by many healthcare professionals and running advocates that it is important to have a well designed shoe that has support and can absorb shock. However, there has been a different wave of thinking when it comes to footwear. The premise behind the less shoe, the better, is that the less material on our feet, the more stimulation we received. That stimulation triggers the use of intrinsic muscles, ligaments, mechanoreceptors and proprioceptors in our feet more than cushioned feet. This extra stimulation is what many believe creates optimal functionality in our feet. The research comes to a mixed conclusion about which is ideal. However, a gradual transition must be made to minimalist shoes or barefoot because tendonitis, metatarsal stress fractures, sprains, strains, and other overuse injuries can occur. Start by walking with minimalist shoes or barefoot and gradually progress to short runs. Be aware of the running surface and inclement weather. Be prepared for blisters, calluses, and stop immediately if any pain is experienced.

Chiropractic Patients Return to Work Faster

According to the Worker's Compensation board in Alberta, Canada, on the job back injuries, alone, account for 25% of lost-time claims. They found that patient who sought chiropractic care for their injuries returned to work faster and at a cheaper cost for treatment when compared to other interventions. Chiropractic care reduced premium cost for benefits for Worker's Compensation and increased productivity. The Worker's Compensation Board-Alberta also indicated that chiropractic care is the most consistent and cost-effective treatment per claim. In addition to doing damage control for injuries, a chiropractor should be sought out beforehand, in order to prevent future injuries and maintain optimal health.



Disk Herniations

     Intervertebral disks acts as shock absorbers and maintain optimal movement in the spinal column. Think of the disk as a jelly donut; the soft center or the jelly (known as the nucleus pulposus) is encased by a harder exterior (known as the annulus fibrous). A disk herniation occurs when some of that jelly pops through or out of the exterior shell. The nucleus pulposus material can impingement on spinal nerves or the spinal cord. Symptoms include local pain, shooting pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, and if complications arise with numbness around groin or loss of bowel/bladder control, go to the ER. However, if there are no complications, a chiropractor can by increasing joint movement and help to relocate the nucleus pulposus inside the disk through spinal manipulations. A chiropractor can also use nutritional counseling in order decrease inflammation caused by the disk herniation. Co-management is important with acupuncture and massage therapy for pain management and maintain range of motion. Disk herniation can be caused by repetitive overuse injuries, trauma, improper lifting or strain, and degenerative disk disease. See a chiropractor before a disk herniation has occurred for prevention adjustments and avoidance techniques.


Poor Posture Begets Poor Health - Part 3 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is narrowing of the space in the carpal tunnel that the median nerve runs through to supply the rest of the hand. When there is a median nerve impingement, numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness can be experienced in the hand. This can be caused by a variety of ways, which includes poor computer ergonomics, wrist injuries, and other overuse injuries. A chiropractor can help by going through ergonomics training, adjusting the joints in wrist to allow for more movement in the carpal tunnel, and prescribe rehabilitation exercises for the wrist.



Poor Posture Begets Poor Health - Part 2 Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is a narrowing of space around or compression of the nerves in the neck (nerve roots and brachial plexus) and the subclavian artery. These nerves and artery trunk supplies your entire arm. When these structures are impinged, they can cause pain, numbness, weakness and poor circulation. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can be caused by a number of factors including poor posture. A chiropractor can address these issues by stretching the short, tightened muscles, rehabbing the neck and back to a proper posture, addressing ergonomics, and adjusting the joints in the neck and the back to allow better movement and posture.

Poor Posture Begets Poor Health - Part 1 Anterior Head Carriage

Anterior head carriage is caused by poor sitting and standing posture in which the head has translated forward. This happens during a slouching posture or craning the neck forward to stare at computers screens and what not. Anterior head carriage can cause headaches, tight neck musculature, decrease range of motion, increased pressure on spinal nerves and increased pressure on the discs in the neck region, which predisposes that area to degenerative joint disease and degenerative disc disease. Chiropractors can offer effective treatment to improve joint dysfunction (decreasing subluxations) and posture, in order to regain optimal health.


Cell Phone Use Possibly Carcinogenic

             The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is affiliated with the World Health Organization, released a statement that cell phone use might be carcinogenic to humans. The  agency classifies cell phone use in category 2B (possibly harmful to humans), which is the samecategory as pesticides like DDT and gasoline engine exhaust. The agency states that heavy cell phone use is a causative agent of a specific brain tumor called a glioma. The research studies stating that correlation are controversial and some even call it inconclusive. However, it would be best to err on the side of caution. If you are a heavy cell phone user, consider using the speakerphone option or Bluetooth technology. By doing so, the radiation emitted from the cell phone is not near your brain. Be sure that you are having a healthy and nutritious diet that includes high antioxidant and water consumptions.


Advice for Osteoarthritis Patients

            According to the Arthritis Foundation, Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease affects 27 million Americans and is the cause for 632,000 joint replacements a year. Causative agents include sports injuries, obesity, aging and general immobility or hypomobility in joints. Osteoarthritis can cause joint stiffness, joint stiffness and joint pain. Preventative measures and coping strategies include eating a nutritious diet, proper supplementation, topical pain relievers, hot or cold packs, losing weight and most of all movement. This includes stretching and low impact exercises designed to increase joint mobility. Also, specific joint movement can be achieved through chiropractic care which helps include joint mobility and decrease joint stiffness and pain.




Headache Triggers

            There are a myriad of causes for headaches that include benign and malignant causes or conditions. I decided to mention a few in particular that are easier to avoid and rectify. Some triggers  include obesity, personality traits (rigidity, reserve, obsessiveness), a let-down or rest period after timesof great stress, paint fumes, dehydration, skipping meals, high caffeine consumption, inactivity, sleep deprivation, foods rich in Magnesium, medications, weather changes, allergies, and artificial food additives. Other triggers/conditions that can be treated through chiropractic treatment include abnormal motion or joint dysfunction in the joints of the neck, tight musculature of the head and neck, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. A chiropractor can also help decrease the frequency and severity of headaches by nutritional counseling and recognizing your particular triggers and recommending a treatment plan.

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