Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Posture, more important than you think.

You know the person who is hunched over all the time, always looking at the floor. Their spine simply does not allow them to stand up straight. How does this happen? If your answer is osteoporosis, then you are only partially right.

The forward posture of the head is caused by years of stretching of the ligaments that support the spine. Yes, osteoporosis (the condition that causes bone weakened and small fractures throughout the spine) can be a major factor. But what most people do not realize is that forward posture is actually caused by repetitive micro trauma.

Small traumas throughout out the day that allows your ligaments to stretch. Maybe you drive all day flattening out the curves in the lower back or maybe you are hunched over a computer all day stressing and straining your neck. These stresses on your spine will eventually take its toll on your spine and result in poor posture.

The solution to aging gracefully is to have good habits and a very important habit is watching your posture.

Posture is not just about looking good. Abnormal posture is a serious health condition. The American Journal of Pain Management says that "posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture."

If you look in the mirror and see a shoulder low or your head jetting forward the process has begun. Stop it before it become permanent with chiropractic care, postural exercises and rehabilitation. Call our office for more information, simply exercising 5 minutes a day may make the biggest difference in your health.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Exercise Helps Make Insulin

Our bodies were made to move. Here is another story about the benefits of exercise, this time with sugar regulation, the great thing is the effects were seen after one week. Diabetics (or those who are on their way) have take note. - Dr. A

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Sedentary older people at risk of developing diabetes showed significant improvement in the function of their insulin-making beta cells after just one week of exercise, University of Michigan researchers found.

Beta cell function is known to decline with age, although it is not clear why, Drs. Cathie J. Bloem and Annette M. Chang explain in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

As people age, they may also become less sensitive to the blood sugar-regulating effects of insulin and develop impaired insulin secretion, the researchers add. And while short-term exercise boosts insulin sensitivity, it has not been clear how it might affect beta cell function.

To investigate, Bloem and Chang had 12 sedentary individuals aged 60 and older perform an hour-long workout every day for a week. The exercise sessions, consisting of stints on a treadmill, exercise bike and cross-training machine, required study participants to work out at 60 percent to 70 percent of their maximum heart rate capacity.

After the exercise period, study participants' sensitivity to insulin had increased by 53 percent, on average, while a measure of beta cell function called the disposition index had risen by 28 percent. However there were no changes in their fat mass, levels of fat in the blood, or other factors that might explain the effect of exercise on beta cells.

"Longer-term exercise training studies are required and are currently in progress to evaluate further exercise training effects on beta cell function in age-related glucose intolerance," the researchers note.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, February 2008.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Why are you walking on your knees?

I came across a guy named Ben last week who was walking on his knees. Yea, he decided that walking on his feet wasn't for him so he would bend his legs and actually walk on his knees. It turns out that by walking on his knees he didn't need to bend as much making his back feel better. He also noticed that his feet didn't hurt him like they use to.

Every few days Ben's knees started hurting so he would walk upright for that day. He would put ice on them and take some Tylenol, that always fixed it. Then back to the knees. He has been using his knee strategy for a few years and it's working out great. A great conversation starter.

It's too bad, Ben's knees are going to deteriorate and he is oblivious. Knees are not made to work that way.

I used this fictitious little story to help you get a glimpse into my world. I see people abusing their bodies everyday. I tell these real life "Bens" to "walk on their feet" but they are just fine taking a Tylenol every morning to "fix the problem".

Most spinal problems never have to be. With early education and proper maintenance, your spine should easily last 100 years. Unfortunately preventative maintenance of the spine is often lacking in our symptom based world.

So the next time you see someone "walking on their knees":
  • Bad posture
  • Lifting with their legs
  • Talking a Tylenol or other pain medication for pain that keeps coming back
Send them to your chiropractor.

Have a great weekend,
Dr. A

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Kitchen Oil Fire

A patient of ours sent me a link to this video. It's from a British fire safety awareness group. Very Interesting... Dr. A