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.

 

Keep Stress Headaches in Check This Holiday

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It’s the holiday season, and that means lots of merriment around decorating the house, watching movies with the kids, and attending family gatherings and festive parties. Unfortunately it also means crowded shopping malls, lots of time with the in-laws, late nights at parties, rich food, special alcoholic beverages, and overall just trying to fit a lot of extra holiday events into an already crowded daily schedule. The holidays might be a time of joy, but they’re also a time for stress headaches.

As many as 9 out of 10 people suffer from headaches, and the overwhelming majority of headaches are related to stress and tension. Tension headaches manifest as a dull ache, tightness, or pressure around the forehead and neck. They can be caused by poor posture, sitting at a desk for long periods of time, not getting enough sleep, or anxiety and emotional stress. With everything there is to do during the holiday season, poor sleep habits and high levels of stress are a common factor.

If you suffer from tension headaches during the holiday season or any time of the year, you might consider chiropractic care. Research shows that chiropractic care is an effective treatment for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. “Spinal manipulation alleviates stress to the system and helps normalize spinal function, restoring essential spinal curves,” said Scott Foster, D.C.

Chiropractic care for headaches includes more than spinal manipulation. Here at Foster Chiropractic, we will help you with tips to improve your posture, to help prevent future headaches. We also look at your nutrition plan to help encourage a healthy lifestyle that is hopefully headache-free.

Other tips to help reduce your chances of getting stress headaches this holiday season include:

  • If you’re having to sit at a desk or a sewing machine for long periods of time, take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch.
  • Try to get regular sleep, keeping to the same routine of going to bed and getting up on weekends that you do during the week.
  • Don’t skip meals, even if you’re out shopping.
  • Keep up your regular exercise routine.
  • Be okay with saying no to keep your commitments manageable.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The Problem is Not Your Wrist

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We take for granted just how much work our hands and wrists do every day. Typing, texting, opening doors and driving a car - these extremities are very busy all day long. But for people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, simple daily tasks such as buttoning a shirt or lifting a plate of food become painful.

More than 8 million Americans are affected with carpal tunnel syndrome each year, and with symptoms showing up more often in women between the ages of 40-70. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. This nerve runs from the forearm to the hand through a small area called the carpal tunnel. When experiencing pressure, a person will often have weakness, tingling and even numbness in the wrist and fingers.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Many factors put you at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome:.

·      Repetitive motion is a big cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, and is most often seen in the workplace. People who do jobs that require all-day driving, a lot of typing, working with small tools or instruments, packing and loading objects or writing will find they’re at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.

·      Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism or diabetes can cause swelling that can put pressure on the nerves and lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

·      Pregnancy is another risk factor leading to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Relieving the Pain

Once diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, patients might find relief from simple things such as reducing the amount of repetitive work being done, taking frequent rest breaks, putting ice packs on the area for 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day or wearing a splint to relieve the pressure.

If those measures fail, it is time to seek medical treatment. Many people opt for surgery, but studies show that in 75 percent of cases of carpal tunnel syndrome treated with surgery, symptoms return within two years. Research has found that many times this pain and weakness is caused by problems with the alignment of the neck, which isn’t fixed with surgery.

Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive approach to treating carpal tunnel syndrome. At Foster Chiropractic Sports & Wellness, we are proud to be able to offer services that treat extremities, as Dr. Scott Foster is one of the only area chiropractors certified to adjust extremities. A chiropractic approach to treating carpal tunnel syndrome will first focus on the wrist and arm to relieve the pain, and then will work on any issues in the neck that might be causing undue pressure. We will also recommend home exercises to help with the pain.

As with many types of pain, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also important. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol can also help avoid symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you are suffering from pain or weakness in your wrists and hands, call us today. We can help you get back to all of your normal activities and live pain free.

Getting Back to Basics for National Chiropractic Health Month

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This month we celebrate National Chiropractic Health Month, a designation set aside to help promote chiropractic health and raise awareness within the public of the many benefits this practice and philosophy can bring.

This year’s theme for National Chiropractic Health Month is “Back to Basics,” focusing on back health and providing tips and strategies for people who suffer from back pain. Throughout the month, we here at Foster Chiropractic will join with the American Chiropractic Association to spread the word about proper back health through tips and exercises, as well as emphasizing the benefits of chiropractic treatment.

While treating pain and discomfort through physical manipulation is a centuries-old practice, it wasn’t until Daniel David Palmer developed the philosophy, art and science of chiropractic care in 1895 that the profession became defined. Since then, the people who choose to study chiropractic care learn many techniques to help patients relieve pain through manipulation, preventative exercises, nutrition and lifestyle counseling, rather than prescriptions or surgery.

There is no better time than now to emphasize the importance of pain treatments that stay away from prescriptions, as our nation faces an opioid epidemic of drug related deaths from both prescription drug abuse and the abuse of heroin. The numbers show just how close to home this crisis hits, as Forsyth County showed the largest percent of increase in opioid related deaths of any metropolitan area in North Carolina in the last 10 years, with 53 reported deaths in 2015.

According to the ACA, “Back pain is one of the most prevalent and disabling conditions worldwide and one of the most common conditions for which doctors prescribe opioid pain medications. As the overuse and abuse of prescription opioid painkillers in the United States remains a top public health problem, it is essential for health care consumers and providers to understand that spinal manipulation and other conservative approaches can treat musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain effectively and safely.”

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If you suffer from back aches and pains, we encourage you to call for an appointment here today. Through treatment and rehab, we can help you improve your lifestyle choices and find better health and enjoy all the activities you used to, pain free.

In addition, you can check out the Healthy Back Tips video from the ACA, and pay attention to your posture in everyday life. Whether sitting at a desk, standing in front of a classroom, or using your smartphone, good posture and proper alignment goes a long way in keeping you functioning at top shape and pain free.

Chiropractic Tips for Staying in Top Running Condition

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Now that you’re ready to run, check out some of the 5Ks scheduled around our area this fall! Registering for a race is a good way to set an exercise goal as well as support a good cause.

Pilot Mountain 5K

Oct 7

Ardmore rah!

October 21

Fury 5K

Oct. 21 at Forsyth Country Day School

Mission 5K

Nov. 4

Whether you’ve been running for years, or you have just started training for a 5K, this time of year is a great time to get outside and rack up some miles. The cooler temperatures and lower humidity make you feel like you could run for miles. But it never fails, once you get in a good routine, running on a regular basis, the aches and pains start up. Most of the common running injuries are caused by overuse, from repeated force over time. You can also suffer from aches and pains if you dramatically increase your running regimen.

Common complaints of runners often include:

Runner’s Knee. This is pain behind the knee cap that occurs when the knee is out of alignment.

Plantar Fasciitis. Inflammation in the bottom of the foot.

Shin splints. Pain in the front or inside of the lower legs.

If you’re suffering from any of these, call us at Foster Chiropractic Sports & Wellness for a consultation. With proper alignment and our suggestions on good running form, you can help ease the pain and also prevent future pain and injuries.

In addition to a visit to the chiropractor, there are a few other things you can do to help keep running injuries at bay.

Stretch. Muscles respond better to the stress exercise puts on them when they’ve been warmed up, and stretching keeps the muscles flexible so muscles and joints are operating at their full range of motion. Check out Healthline for some good stretching suggestions.

Be sure to warm up and cool down. Starting your exercise at full speed can lead to pulled muscles or strain on joints. To make sure you’re taking things at the right pace, start out with a few minutes of walking to get the body ready for more intense exercise.

Replace your shoes regularly. You’ll see recommendations to switch out your shoes after 500 or 600 miles. The important thing is to make sure your shoes are still in good condition and you’re getting support when you run.

Add in strength training. Switching up your exercise routine to do strength training sometimes, such as squats and ab workouts, can help reduce injury when running. The exercises strengthen the muscles around the knees and hips, helping provide more support and lessening the chance of injury.

 

When Your Phone is the Cause of Pain

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Let’s face it, we love our smartphones. These miniature computers have pretty much taken the place of phones, maps, watches and cameras. We do much more than just talk on the phone with them. We send emails, play games and even watch movies. But did you know that all that time on your phone might be causing you pain? Of course, we’ve all heard of the drawbacks of too much time on the phone, from the social aspects that we’re isolating ourselves and not talking with people like we used to, to the scare that cellphones cause brain tumors. Thankfully this isn’t backed by science. But it is true that overuse of smartphones leads to a condition called text neck, which can lead to neck, shoulder and back pain, and even headaches or a pinched nerve.

How Text Neck Happens

Text neck comes from the simple act of looking down at your phone. You might think that seems exaggerated, since human beings have looked down at things for year. After all, you don’t often hear of people experiencing excrutiating back pain from reading. Reading and texting do put us in the same type of hunched over posture. The difference is we’re now on our phones more hours a day than people usually read or write at a desk.

According to the Washington Post, smartphone users spend about 2-4 hours per day hunched over the phone, which adds up to 700-1,100 hours per year. An adult head weighs about 10-12 pounds. When you lean forward to look at your phone, the gravitational pull adds the equivalent of about 60 extra pounds on your spine.

Not only does this extra weight lead to pain and headaches, researchers are studying whether text neck could cause permanent damage to the cervical spine in growing children, leading to lifelong neck pain.

Avoiding Text Neck

Luckily, there are some ways to avoid suffering pain from extended use of your smartphone.

  • Avoid hunching over the phone by practicing good posture when you’re texting or playing games. Hold the phone up, or look down with your eyes and not your entire head.
  • Take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes to avoid long-term hunching.
  • Be aware of your posture at other times too, when you’re shopping, watching TV or driving.
  • Exercise regularly. Activities such as yoga or Pilates help improve the strength and flexibility of your back and shoulder muscles, making them better able to handle stress.

If you feel you’re already suffering from text neck, you might consider making an appointment for a consultation with Foster Chiropractic Sports and Wellness. We can work with you to ease your pain, improve your posture and give you exercises to strengthen your neck and back.

 

Taming Elbow Issues

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Whether your favorite place is the golf course or the tennis courts, summer is the time to be outdoors and playing. But sometimes those activities we love can also cause us pain. Both tennis and golf, with swinging rackets and clubs, put stress on the elbow. After all, there’s a reason for hearing people complain about Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow. Both are irritation and inflammation of the tendon, Tennis Elbow is the outer tendon and Golf Elbow is the inner tendon. Ironically, more golfers tend to suffer from Tennis Elbow than Golf Elbow!

Whichever ailment you suffer from, both can cause a lot of pain and keep you away from your favorite game. Here at Foster Chiropractic Sports & Wellness, our goal is to get you back out there on the course or the courts. As one of the few area chiropractors with certification as an Extremity Practitioner, we are especially equipped to help people suffering from either one of these conditions.

If you’re suffering from pain when you grip something, make a fist, or even shake hands with someone, you could have Tennis or Golf Elbow. Here’s what you can expect:

  • First, at your appointment with the chiropractor, Dr. Foster, we will examine your arm and make a diagnosis. Tennis and Golf Elbow often have symptoms of inflammation or irritation along with pain.
  • Once identified, these injuries can be treated with chiropractic adjustments and therapy.
  • You will also be advised to ice the injured area and perform exercises and stretches to build strength.
  • In addition to chiropractic adjustments, massage and acupuncture therapies are often successful ways of treating Tennis and Golf Elbow.
  • Finally, we recommend you take lessons from a professional to improve the technique of your swing. It’s always important to get to the root cause of the ailment so that you don’t continue doing the thing that caused your pain in the first place. Need us to recommend a professional – just ask!

In addition to our traditional chiropractic services, Foster Chiropractic Sports & Wellness is excited to offer cold laser therapy. We have a variety of ways to help ease your pain and get you back outside, playing your favorite sport. If you’re experiencing pain that is keeping you off your favorite golf course or the courts, give us a call today and set up an appointment.