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.

 

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.