6 Surprising Ways Chiropractic Can Help Your Health

Most people associate a trip to the chiropractor with helping relieve back pain or headaches. But chiropractic care is much more than that! At Foster Chiropractic we practice a holistic approach, and our attention to overall health and wellness, coupled with chiropractic care, can help with many different things that affect your health. Here are just a few.

ADHD. As kids head back to school, many who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder find it hard to concentrate. Many times parents resort to medication to help their kids focus. Chiropractic care can also help. Aligning the spine helps foster effective nerve flow, restoring balance the mind and body.

Bedwetting. Chiropractic alignments can help with the nerves that control the organs of the urinary system, helping prevent bedwetting in children. A study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that in a study of 171 children, one quarter of them showed a 50 percent decrease in incidence of bedwetting when under chiropractic care.

TMJ. People who suffer from TMJ have jaw pain that affects their daily life and can lead to grinding teeth and even arthritis. A chiropractor can help align the jaw to alleviate pain, as well as helping give options for daily living that will help decrease symptoms. Many of our patients get their jaws adjusted in the office prior to getting a mouth guard as well. It's important that dental devices reinforce correct jaw positioning. 

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Ease the Pain of Childbirth. When women are pregnant, sometimes the weight gain can lead to instability and increased back pain. As medication options are limited, chiropractic care is often turned to, and the alignments can help improve the position of the back and decrease pain. Newborns with colic and gas are commonly treated in our office to provide baby relief, and give parents some sleep.

Digestive Issues. It’s pretty easy to see from the examples listed above that the spine and the nervous system play a part in all bodily systems. Therefore it makes sense that misalignment of the nerves can affect the digestive system. It can cause an increase in acid production that leads to heartburn and indigestion. Chiropractic care will help alleviate symptoms, and consultations with the chiropractor can also help provide healthier lifestyle choices for overall better health.

Boost Immunity. In addition to eating those blueberries and drinking green tea, a trip to the chiropractor can help fight off disease. Aligning the spinal and keeping the nerves in top working order frees up the immune system to fight off intruders.

The list goes on and on as you can see, chiropractic care helps people feel better in many different ways. We’re not here to focus totally on back pain. Dr.  Scott Foster is not only certified to treat extremities as well, but his holistic approach to wellness helps improve the well being of his patients in all facets of their life. Make a consultation today to see how we can help you feel better and stay active. Get adjusted to feeling great!

Treating Injuries: When to Use Heat or Ice or Both

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The long days of summer make it easy to get outside and to be active. Weekend hikes with the family, a round of golf at the club, tennis with friends after work, and even a leisurely stroll fill up the hours before sunset. But all of that increased activity can also lead to more chances for injuries or even just stiff muscles. A sprained ankle from hiking, sore muscles from the tennis serve you haven’t practiced since last summer, or a aching feet from a walk in flip flops can have you sitting on the sidelines. The key to getting back out doing the things you love quickly is practicing smart first aid tactics. 

For most simple sports injuries like sprained ankles and sore muscles, we automatically reach for an ice pack or heating pad. But which one do you use when, and what is the proper way to use it?

Cold Therapy

Reach for that ice pack immediately after an injury to reduce swelling and inflammation. Cold therapy works by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the injured area, which can reduce swelling and inflammation, as well as reducing the amount of pain. Cold therapy is recommended for sprains, bruises and muscle tears.

Ice packs work well for cold treatments, but it’s just as easy to use a Ziploc bag of crushed ice or even a bag of frozen peas or corn. Just don’t put the ice directly on your skin. Cover the pack with a towel to make it more comfortable.

Place ice on the injured area about 15 minutes, then remove for 15 minutes and repeat every hour. Ice therapy is often recommended at the onset of the injury, for the first 24-48 hours.

Heat Therapy

The time to reach for the heating pad is when you’re experiencing pain from sore or tight muscles rather than an acute injury. The heat expands blood vessels, allowing for increased circulation and oxygen flow to the area. This will help relax sore muscles. 

Use heat the same way you would with ice therapy, applying it to the area in pain for limited amounts of time. You can use a heating pad or even just a hot, wet towel to provide relief.

Combining Therapies

Sometimes it works to alternate hot and cold therapies. After the first 3-5 days, when acute swelling has gone down, you might choose to alternate hot and cold, ten minutes each. This has the effect of increasing the circulation to the area when the heating pad is in use, and then the ice pack constricts the vessels and allows the injured area to use the nutrient rich blood to heal the area.

Many times resting from your normal activities and concentrating on proper hot or cold therapy will have you feeling better quickly. If you have questions about whether ice or heat is the appropriate home treatment, call our office for guidance. Chiropractic treatment is often a good option for helping alleviate sports injuries  - from neck/back pain to knee, foot and shoulder pain. If you have an injury or pain that is keeping you on the sidelines, call Foster Chiropractic for a consultation. We can help you get back in top shape to enjoy all the activities you love in the summer.

When The Doctor Becomes The Patient

Anyone who has visited our office knows that Dr. Foster and his family practice a very healthy lifestyle. “We’re that type of family,” says Broocks Foster, Scott’s wife. “We eat grilled chicken and lots of vegetables and salads, and stay away from sodas and desserts.” Not only that, but Scott also walks miles each day helping people at his practice, and can often be found out on the golf course in free time.

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It was a total shock when, in the middle of the night on July 1, 2016, Broocks awoke to find Scott unable to communicate and realized he was having a stroke. “It was beyond comprehension,” Broocks says. “How could this man, a husband and father, a health provider, and in such good shape, leave the house under the strobe of ambulance light?”

Luckily Scott was taken to the hospital quickly and immediately received stroke care procedures. He initially suffered typical stroke symptoms, being unable to walk and communicate, but after four days in the intensive care unit at the hospital he began showing miraculous signs of recovery. “He went from right-side weakness and slurred speech to walking independently and nearly normal speech in just a matter of days,” Broocks shares.

With no family history or medical history of high cholesterol, initially the cause of the stroke was a mystery. But the doctors were able to link Scott’s stroke to sleep apnea. 

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where the airway is blocked briefly and repeatedly. It causes interrupted sleep which leads to daytime fatigue, and oxygen starvation, which can lead to serious issues such as high blood pressure, chronic heart failure and stroke. The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that over 22 million Americanssuffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed.

It is important to get treated for sleep apnea, as treatment will not only help you feel better and be more energetic during the day but can also help with the other cardiac-related issues. Most of the time sleep apnea is diagnosed through a sleep study. Treatment options include using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine while sleeping, or a dental appliance.

Chiropractic care can also help with sleep apnea. Adjustments to relax muscles can help promote proper breathing. And paying attention to a healthy lifestyle will also help with feeling better, both day and night. 

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or feel you might be having symptoms, come in for a consultation with Dr. Foster. As someone who has first-hand experience, Dr. Foster is ready to help address the symptoms and help you find a path to better health. We can help work with you to find the right treatments and get feeling better with more energy to do the things you want to do in your life!

Flip Flops: Proceed with Caution

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Now that the warm weather is here to stay, summer fashions are on full display. Guys and girls are moving out the boots and tennis shoes to sport flip flops and sandals. Flip flops used to be relegated to the beach or the pool, but are now footwear staples, worn at work, play and every occasion, everywhere.

As with many shoe choices, flip flops don’t come without a cost. And that cost is a lot higher than the $4 you paid for them at your favorite shopping center. An Auburn study found flip flops alter the gait of the person wearing them. The fact that they’re held on to your foot by just a thin strap between your toes means your toes work harder to grip with each step, and the loose back adds to the feeling of instability. This makes a person’s stride more halted, with smaller steps and more pressure on the ball of the foot than the heel. The change in gait can lead to pain in the feet, hips, and lower back.

Other issues caused by flip flops include:

·      Tendonitis caused by over gripping that leads to overuse of the muscles

·      Stress fractures from repetitive trauma sustained from lack of shock absorption in the shoe

·      Plantar fasciitis from lack of arch support.

Shoes are to the body like tires are to a car. Alignment, support, and ride quality of your shoes are all important in keeping you on the road of health.

Don’t Throw Your Flip Flops Away Yet

While flip flops can cause many problems, there’s no need to completely deny yourself the enjoyment of wearing them. Pick a pair you really like and make sure to wear those to the pool or the beach. Nothing is better when it comes to shoes that you can slip off quickly to jump in the water. 

It also helps to pay a little more to get a good flip flop. Choose something with some arch support to help alleviate foot pain. You could also look for flip flops with leather or other soft materials to alleviate blisters. For small children, choose a flip flop that has a strap on the back to help with stability. For some options search online for orthotic flip flops.

If you love your flip flops but are suffering for style’s sake, take this opportunity to re-think your wardrobe. Come in to Foster Chiropractic today for a foot evaluation and get some recommendations about what’s best. 

Take Care of Your Feet for Overall Health

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April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, a designation set by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) to help educate the public on the importance of foot health. Here at Foster Chiropractic, we are proud to join the association in celebrating this month. After all, your feet are an important tool in your overall mobility and balance. From the moment your feet hit the floor in the morning to the time you get back in bed at night, your feet are on the move, getting you from one point to another, which makes it crucial to keep your feet healthy and pain-free.

Aching Feet: The Cause of More Pain

Many people suffer from some type of foot pain. This pain can take many forms:

  • Neuropathy: Numbness or tingling in the foot or extremities due to poor circulation.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Heel pain caused by inflammation of the band of tissues that runs along the bottom of your foot.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: Inflammation of the tendon that runs down the back of your leg. 

It’s bad enough when your feet hurt. It makes every step painful. But aching feet also cause us to compensate in our movements, trying to avoid putting weight on the foot that might be painful, which then leads to pain in other parts of the body. For example, someone who suffers from plantar fasciitis might avoid leaning back on their heels, which causes an irregular gain and leads to hip and back pain. 

Problems Even When Your Feet Don’t Hurt

Many people suffer from knee, hip, back or neck pain due to problems with the feet, and it’s obvious why you have back pain if you’re compensating for something like the pain of plantar fasciitis. But people can also have pain-free feet, yet suffer from a condition which leads to further pain. For example, people who have weak arches that don’t support their feet well for proper alignment might find themselves suffering from back pain. Other types of misalignment among the 26 bones within the foot can lead to compensation in posture or movements in ways that cause bad posture or poor mobility, which leads to pain in various parts of the body.

Taking Care of the Problems, from Head to Toe

Whether you’re experiencing neck and back pain or specifically foot pain, a visit to the chiropractor can help you relieve your symptoms and prevent further pain. As a chiropractor certified in extremities, Dr. Scott Foster is especially in-tune with foot issues that can lead to further pain. 

One of the treatments often suggested for foot pain is ART (active release therapy), which is an advanced form of massage therapy that will help with the alignment of the many bones in the foot and ankle. This type of therapy is beneficial for those who are currently suffering from foot pain.

Another aspect of treatment is to examine the feet with a 3D Body ViewR Imaging Unit from Foot Levelers. This tool allows Dr. Foster to identify any problems that might be causing foot pain or pain in other parts of the body. Once the cause of the pain is pinpointed, we can make an orthotic to help alleviate the pain. For example, if the problem is pronation, or weak arches, an orthotic that provides extra support can improve your posture and help ease pain throughout the body.

Take advantage of National Foot Health Awareness Month to be sure your feet are getting all the support they need to support your body. Make an appointment with Foster Chiropractic today to have your feet and posture examined and make sure you’re living as pain-free as possible.

CoULD IT ALL BE IN MY JAW?

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At the best of times, our bodies work like well-oiled machines. We don’t even have to think about the movements our joints make to get us through daily life, from knees bending as we walk to our jaws opening and shutting when we chew and talk. But for people who suffer from TMJ, the simple act of chewing or even talking can cause pain in the jaw, ear aches or headaches, or neck pain.

TMJ is the common acronym people use when referring to temporomandibular joint disorders. You might also see it referred to as TMD. This is when the temporomandibular joint, the connecting point between the jaw and the skull, becomes painful or swollen. The exact cause of TMJ can often be hard to determine, as there are many factors that can contribute to this pain. Some causes include:

·      Grinding or clenching teeth, which puts pressure on the joint

·      An injury to the jaw

·      Arthritis in the joint

·      Stress, causing teeth to clench

When it comes to treating TMJ, there are many options. Over-the-counter pain medications or the use of moist hot or cold packs can help relieve symptoms. Chiropractic treatment is also an option for people suffering from TMJ. At Foster Chiropractic, we take a holistic approach to healing, a method that is helpful with TMJ.

The first step in chiropractic treatment of TMJ is to help get the jaw working properly. If the cartilage in the joint is worn down from excessive grinding, the joint can become misaligned. Chiropractic care can relieve the tension on this area. It might even be that poor posture or spinal misalignment is contributing to TMJ, and getting everything back in line will help relieve the pain.

In addition to the work at the office, we will suggest patients do jaw exercises at home to help strengthen the joint and reduce stress. We’ll also work with you to modify certain habits that might be leading to TMJ pain. Things like clenching teeth, biting nails and excessive chewing can all contribute to TMJ. Understanding what causes the pain, being aware of your habits and alleviating the stress that might lead to those habits can all help reduce the occurrence of TMJ.

Working together with your dentist or physician, we can create a treatment plan that works for you. “When my dentist recognized my teeth grinding was leading to TMJ that caused me to have migraines, he referred me to Dr. Foster,” said one of our patients, K. Smith. “I would have never guessed the TMJ that caused my migraines could have been fixed by my chiropractor, but thanks to the teamwork between my dentist and Dr. Foster, I am not pain free in my jaw and have no more migraines.”

If you are suffering from pain or swelling from TMJ, call Foster Chiropractic for a consultation. 

Improve Your Heart Health with Chiropractic Adjustments

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February is American Heart Month, and it seems fitting that in the month where we celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday, symbolized by beautiful red hearts, that we also focus on the health of our hearts. This vital organ is what keeps blood and oxygen flowing through our bodies, and at Foster Chiropractic, Sports & Wellness we encourage everyone to focus on heart health for improved quality of life.

American Heart Month was first observed in 1964, as a way to bring awareness to heart disease and educate the public on risk prevention, and the need for this designation remains strong today. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in America. And not only are some 11 percent of all Americans living with the diagnosis of heart disease, almost half of Americans have at least one of the risk factors: diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity or alcohol abuse.

There are many things you can do to help reduce your risk of heart disease, from improving your diet and decreasing sodium intake to getting regular exercise. But did you know a chiropractic adjustment can also help reduce the risk of heart disease?

Chiropractic is based on research that the nervous system is responsible for maintaining the body’s health. When functioning properly, this system helps transmit information from the brain to parts of the body. Also, blood vessels throughout the body are connected to the central nervous system. Chiropractic care positively impacts the nerves, and can be an effective form of cardiac disease prevention. Studies have shown that receiving chiropractic adjustment can:

·      Significantly lower blood pressure and anxiety levels

·      Improve cholesterol levels

·      Improve heart rate

·      Decrease chest pain

Here at Foster Chiropractic, Sports & Wellness, we believe in a holistic approach to health and well-being. In addition to office treatments, we will work with you on diet and exercise modifications to help ensure your risks of heart disease are reduced in as many ways as possible. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with heart disease, or just want to add further preventative care to your regimen, call us today for a consultation.

 

 

Boost Your Immunity with a Chiropractic Care

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Now that it’s January, we’re right in the middle of cold and flu season. If you’re at work or school, you’re sure to be around people who are coughing and sneezing and shooting virus particles out into the air all around you. And while no one wants to get sick, you definitely don’t want to get the flu. The body aches and fever will send you straight to bed, and the fatigue can last for days even after the worst of the symptoms subside.

Here at Foster Chiropractic, we believe the best way to stay healthy is to incorporate things in your daily life that will boost your immune system and help your body ward off viruses. One of those at the top of our list is visiting your chiropractor.

Did you know that a chiropractic adjustment can improve your body’s immune system? Research published in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia showed that patients who received an adjustment had an immune response significantly higher than before treatment. Also, people who come in with colds, sore throats or sinus congestion will often report speedier recovery after a chiropractic adjustment. Recent research shows that the subluxation that occurs during chiropractic correction can aid the immune responses of the body by reducing nerve interference.

In addition to regular visits to the chiropractor, there are some other things you can incorporate into your daily life to help fend off colds and flu.

Wash your hands. Just like you learned in kindergarten, wash your hands before every meal. But you’ll also want to be sure to wash your hands after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper, handling trash, preparing food, caring for a sick person or blowing your own nose. And be sure you’re doing it right, lather up for at least 20 seconds and scrub well everywhere, including the backs of your hands and between your fingers.

Stock up on super foods. It’s important to eat a healthy diet year-round, keeping sugar and sodium at a minimum. But there are some “super foods” that can add a little extra boost to your immune system. Incorporating foods and ingredients such as garlic, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, and blueberries can help ward off colds and other viruses. This is just a short list, bright-colored berries, citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C and all leafy green vegetables can also be included.

Regular exercise. Studies show that regular exercise helps boost the immune system and maybe even helps cut down the number of colds you might get. It might be hard to keep up your running routine in the winter, when the days are short and pretty cold. But it’s better for your body if you don’t give up on your workouts. Find a gym to join or an exercise routine you enjoy at home. Even just a daily walk with the dog will help get your heart pumping.

If you’d like to learn more about ways to live a healthier lifestyle, or you’re interested in scheduling a chiropractic adjustment to boost your immunity, call Foster Chiropractic today. We put a priority on healthy living, and want to improve the health of everyone in the Triad.