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.