How Chiropractic Helps Infantile Colic

If you have ever cared for an infant with colic, you know how frustrating and helpless it can make you feel. It is so hard to see a little one in such obvious discomfort and you can’t help them no matter what you do. When you have a baby who experiences frequent colic it can be heartbreaking. An infant is so small and they can’t tell you where it hurts or what is wrong; all they can do is cry. 

Chiropractic has been proven to help with infantile colic. It can soothe fussy babies and ease the nerves of frazzled parents. Some moms and dads may be a little ambivalent about the idea of having a chiropractor “work” on their baby, but the benefits are incredible – and baby’s comfort is definitely worth it.

What is colic?

Colic is a condition that has frustrated parents since the beginning of time. The most prevalent symptom is the severe distress that occurs over predictable periods of time. It is labeled colic when there is no obvious underlying condition that could cause the distress, and occurs in babies that are newborn to 3 months (sometimes up to 6 months), healthy and well fed.

The bouts of crying and distress can last hours, days, or even weeks. Often it seems that there is no way to comfort the baby or provide relief. Symptoms of colic include:

  • Crying that does not seem to have a reason
  • Crying that is intense and indicates obvious distress
  • Crying that occurs at predictable times
  • Changes in posture that include tense abdominal muscles, clenched fists, and curled legs.

What to expect when you take your infant to a chiropractor

Some parents may balk at taking their infant to a chiropractor, their minds filled with images of the stereotypical snap, crackle, and pop that is so often associated with the practice. However, infant chiropractic is different and much milder. Chiropractic adjustments for infants are very gentle.

The chiropractor will use his fingers to gently apply pressure to areas on the back and neck. Most babies completely relax as the doctor corrects the misalignments – some even fall peacefully asleep. When you are choosing a chiropractor for your baby, ask if he or she is experienced in working with babies.

How chiropractic to treat colic works

Childbirth is not a gentle experience. As the baby’s tiny body is compressed and stretched as it is emerging into the world, it can cause the vertebrae of the neck and back to become misaligned. If the delivery included vacuum extraction, forceps, or prolonged pushing, or other things that doctors or midwives must do to assist in delivery, the chances that the baby will experience misalignment are very good.

When these misalignments, called vertebral dysfunctions, are significant enough, it can impede on how well other major systems in the body are able to function. Digestion is one area that can be greatly impacted and when digestion of formula or breastmilk is compromised it can be the cause of major distress and discomfort for the baby. This can lead to episodes of colic.

Studies that support how chiropractic helps infantile colic

There have been several studies that explores the efficacy of chiropractic for colic. The majority of this research has shown that it is a very effective treatment.

A 1999 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported that spinal manipulation for colic is a very effective treatment for the condition. Babies treated using chiropractic experienced a decrease in crying by 67 percent. Babies who received medication experienced a decrease in crying by 38 percent. Another study showed similar results. Chiropractic improved crying behavior in babies that had colic.

Chiropractic is an effective, gentle, and drug free way to treat colic. Babies can thrive and be free of distress and discomfort while mom and dad can get some much needed sleep – and peace of mind.

How Chiropractic Benefits Senior Citizens

The aging process can usher in a variety of conditions and health issues that are confined (mostly) to the elderly. Chronic pain, arthritis, loss of mobility, and other issues can occur as a person get older, but senior citizens are finding that chiropractic provides some great benefits for the older demographic. 

Better Range of Motion

Regular chiropractic care has been shown to increase spinal range of motion as well as in the extremities. Limited range of motion can occur due to age or inactivity – sometimes a combination of the two.

Having the ability to move easier has many great benefits. It allows seniors to more actively engage with their environment. They can get on their hands and knees to work in the garden, bend down to pick up grandchildren, and improve leisure activities like golfing. Increased range of motion is one of the most common (and appreciated!) benefits of chiropractic treatment.

Decreased Degeneration of Joints

When the spine is misaligned it can lead to other parts of the body becoming misaligned as well. This can lead to unusual and unnatural wearing of the joints. Over time, the joints can become worn down, painful, and cause difficulty in mobility and flexibility.

Chiropractic care is a very effective treatment for decreasing the degeneration of the spine and even other joints. When the body is in proper alignment it no longer has to adapt through postural compensation. This reduces stress on the spine and joints while relieving pain and restoring mobility.

Pain Relief

Chiropractic has long been recognized for its effectiveness in providing drug free pain relief for everything from back pain to headaches to arthritis. While pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs only suppress the symptoms, chiropractic addresses the root of the problem.

Spinal alignments and other chiropractic techniques help to relieve pain for a variety of issues, not just back and neck pain. What’s more, chiropractic does not have the undesirable, sometimes dangerous side effects that drugs can.

Overall Better Health and Well-Being

Proper spinal alignment can greatly benefit a person’s health, well-being, and even their mood. It allows them to become more active so they get exercise. They sleep better and have more energy.

An aligned spine also lets them more fully engage with their family, friends, and the world. They can get out and do things they were once unable to do and when they are active and happier, the entire body benefits.

Improved Coordination and Balance

The aging process can have a significant impact on a person’s balance and coordination. This can have a variety of causes including degenerative changes to the spine, typically in the neck area. Injury to this area is another culprit.

There are special receptors that reside along the cervical spine in the rear of the joints. These receptors work to send vital messages to the brain regarding coordination and balance. When the spine and especially the neck are out of alignment, it can hinder how these receptors send and receive messages to the brain. The result is a condition called loss of proprioception, or sense of body awareness.

As the condition progresses, the patient relies on vision to determine the location of their feet, legs, and other limbs. The worse it gets, the less able the patient is in compensating and can become prone to falling.

Injuries from falling are one of the most common reasons elderly people visit emergency departments each year. Chiropractic can help realign the neck and spine, allowing the messages to move much easier, thus restoring balance and coordination.

Prevents Seniors from being Confined to Nursing Homes

Seniors who are regular chiropractic patients are more likely to engage in exercise that is more strenuous. They are more active, have fewer injuries, and are basically happier and more positive.

The more active and mobile seniors are, the less likely they are to be placed in a nursing home due to medical conditions or the “typical” aging issues. Simply put, chiropractic for seniors changes the way many people look at aging – and places it in a much more positive, active light.

How Magnesium Helps Soothe Sore Muscles

Everyone has stiff, sore muscles now and then. From overdoing it at the gym to sleeping in an awkward position, there are many reasons you might feel some muscular aches and pains. Some medical conditions or illnesses can also cause soreness. Several studies have found a remarkable, effective, inexpensive cure that is natural and safe – magnesium. 

Pain – It’s all in your Head

Well, it’s in your brain, anyway. A chemical in the brain, NMDA, is responsible for pain. When this brain chemical is overly stimulated, the body experiences pain. The way the brain processes pain in an individual determines how that person will experience it and manage it.

There are very few medications that deal directly with NMDA, balancing it and decreasing its production. However, the side effects of these drugs are usually significant and undesirable. Magnesium has been found to calm production of NMDA without causing the side effects or toxicity. What’s more, magnesium is very inexpensive. It is far cheaper than pharmaceuticals at just pennies a dose. One drawback is that the FDA has not yet put its stamp of approval on the mineral that is often called the “gateway to health.”

Clinical Studies find Magnesium is an Effective way to Relieve Pain

A study published in The Journal of Physiology in October 2010, explores the effectiveness of magnesium in decreasing nerve pain. The study, conducted on rats, found a strong link between magnesium deficiency and pain. In fact, that authors of the study suggest that pain is increased, or the sensitivity to pain is increased, due to magnesium deficiency.

As people are moving away from fresh foods, processed foods are becoming more prevalent. While processed foods offer easy, quick preparation and gratification, the trade-off has been a significant decrease in nutrition, leaving most people magnesium deficient. However, adding a magnesium supplement that provides 250 to 500 mg of the mineral will not only eliminate the deficiency, but decrease the pain as well. This usually happens surprisingly quickly – after only a few weeks you will notice a definite difference.

Other Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium has a wide range of uses and benefits for the entire body. It has long been used to treat indigestion as well as constipation when taken by mouth. For heartburn and indigestion, magnesium hydroxide has been noted as the fastest acting. It is also given to pregnant women to treat high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia). When given as a shot or by IV, magnesium helps lower blood pressure during pregnancy. It is also the treatment of choice for eclampsia because it reduces the risk of seizures that accompany the condition.

Magnesium, given intravenously, is effective in treating torsades de pointes, a type of irregular heartbeat. Additionally, it is believed to help these other conditions:

  • Angina
  • Asthma
  • Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Cluster Headaches
  • Colon and Rectal Cancer
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • High Cholesterol
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Various types of pain including nerve damage associated with certain cancers, pain after surgery, pain after hysterectomy, and chest pain.

A healthy diet, regular exercise, and reducing the stress in your life will also help with your pain management. When your body is properly nourished it functions at a more optimal level, meaning not just less pain, but better management of it. Exercise causes your brain to produce endorphins which not only minimize pain, but also boost your mood.

Stress can make you more sensitive to pain, causing you to feel it more and experience it on a more intense level. It decreases your ability to tolerate pain and manage it. Even learning relaxation techniques and breathing exercises can help you better manage stress that you may not be able to eliminate completely. Adding magnesium to your diet can help improve your overall wellbeing as well as decrease your pain.

Foods That Fight Inflammation Caused by Arthritis

Arthritis pain can be debilitating. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), between the years of 2010 and 2012, an estimated 22.7 percent, or 52.5 million, adults in the United States alone were diagnosed by a doctor with arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, or fibromyalgia – annually. Also during that time, almost 50 percent of adults 65 or older were diagnosed with arthritis. It is estimated that by the year 2040, 78 million Americans ranging in age from 18 years old to 85-year-old will be diagnosed with arthritis. What’s more, nearly 1 in every 250 (around 294,000) children in the U.S. under 18 years old suffer from a form of arthritis or rheumatic condition. 

A Case for Healthy Eating

As medications and treatments get more expensive and drugs have significant unpleasant (and sometimes horrifying) side effects, more people are looking toward natural ways to treat their arthritis pain. In most cases they need look no further than the foods that they eat. While there is not nutritional magic bullet, studies have shown that getting the right nutrition from certain foods can help to minimize inflammation and pain that comes from arthritis. It can also help with your overall health and influence the symptoms as well as progression of conditions that may be related to arthritis.

There are certain foods that act as anti-inflammatories while other can increase inflammation. Arthritis sufferers who learn what foods to eat and which ones to avoid can enjoy better pain management, improved mobility, a more active lifestyle, and a more positive outlook on life. These foods provide great benefits for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, gout, and other forms of inflammation caused by arthritis.

Foods that Fight Arthritis Inflammation

Different types of foods seem to affect different types of arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation offers some very good guidelines on dietary recommendations for arthritis sufferers based on their type of arthritis.

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals, and antioxidants have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. These types of foods are the core of the Mediterranean style diet which consists of olive oil, fish, fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds, and nuts. It should be stressed that choosing fresh foods in these categories is best. The key is to select foods that are as minimally processed as possible and contain no additives or preservatives. This means that most canned foods should be excluded. However, many supermarkets now have olive bars and other fresh, healthier food options that direct consumers away from processed, unhealthy food items. Fiber also plays a significant part in reducing arthritic inflammation.

Specific foods to incorporate into your diet to combat arthritis pain include:

  • Salmon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Green tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Wild and brown rice
  • Barley
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Tart cherries
  • Berries – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage

Foods that Increase Arthritis Inflammation

Just as there are foods that help alleviate arthritis pain, there are also foods that increase it. The Arthritis Foundation offers advice on foods that should be avoided by arthritis sufferers as they have been shown to increase pain and inflammation.

  • Sugar – Read the labels! Anything ingredient that ends in “ose” is a form of sugar. This includes sucrose and fructose.
  • Saturated fat – Cheese, pizza, red meat, pasta dishes, full fat dairy
  • Trans fats – Processed snack foods, cookies, crackers, stick margarine, fast food, donuts, fried foods, frozen breakfast products
  • Omega 6 fatty acids – Corn oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, mayonnaise, vegetable oil, many salad dressings
  • Refined carbs – Crackers, rolls, bread, white potatoes, white rice
  • MSG – A food additive found in soy sauce and many Asian prepared foods, deli meats, prepared soups, salad dressings
  • Gluten and casein – Dairy and wheat foods, whey protein, rye, and wheat
  • Aspartame – Most diet sodas, artificial sweeteners, many “diet” or “sugar free” products
  • Alcohol

Paying attention to what you put into your body will not only help you better manage pain and inflammation, it will also help you feel better both physically and emotionally. A healthy, fresh diet can literally change your life.

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