How Vitamin D Supports the Skeletal System

The human body needs vitamin D in order to build strong muscles and bones. When the body does not get enough vitamin D, it is not able to absorb calcium effectively. This makes it very important for good bone health. Children who do not get adequate vitamin D develop rickets, a condition that causes weak bones, deformities in the skeleton, and a stooped posture. 

What is Vitamin D?

Most people believe that vitamin D is a vitamin; it isn’t. It is actually a hormone. A vitamin is a nutrient that the human body requires but is unable to produce. This means that it can only be obtained through supplements and food.

However, the body is able to manufacture vitamin D. When the skin is exposed to the appropriate sunlight, the body begins a process that produces vitamin D. It should also be noted that vitamin D plays a part in a strong immune system and can prevent certain chronic diseases in older adults.

There are supplements for people who do not produce enough vitamin D or who do not get adequate amounts in the food that they eat (fish liver oils, certain fish, and egg yolks are good sources). Children and adults typically do not get enough from their foods and activities. People spend a great deal of time indoors with adults at work and children at school. The emergence of digital devices and video games has managed to keep children inside as they engage in these activities.

Vitamin D is not measured in milligrams like many other supplements, but in International Units (IU) instead. Research has caused the daily recommended allowance for vitamin D to increase over the years, and the current recommendation is 400 IU. It has been determined that this amount is the most beneficial in promoting healthy bones.

The Role of the Skeletal System

The skeletal system has several functions. The first and most obvious is that it is the structural support for the body. It also protects vital organs.

For instance, the skull protects the brain and the rib cage protects the lungs and heart. It is also an anchor point for muscle so it helps with mobility. The red bone marrow provides illness fighting white blood cells, as well as red blood cells. Calcium is stored in the marrow, as is phosphorous. Certain minerals and fats are stored in the yellow marrow which is found in the long bones of the body.

How Vitamin D Benefits the Skeletal System

Getting enough vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is a bone building mineral. In addition to that task, it also promotes good muscle health.

Stronger muscles can work much more effectively in protecting the muscles and supporting the skeletal system. This can help with joint health as well. Older people who have adequate vitamin D do not fall down as often and people of all ages have fewer broken bones.

Results of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is a serious condition mainly due to its essential role in the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Muscle weakness and bone pain are two common symptoms, but are typically seen in more severe cases.

A simple blood test can check for vitamin D levels – and it should be checked regularly. Even “minor” cases of low vitamin D (those without any symptoms) have been linked to some serious health conditions including:

  • Certain cancers
  • Asthma – often severe, especially in children
  • Cognitive impairment, especially in older adults
  • Increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease

Vitamin D is generally very accessible. You can get it through foods and sunlight or via a supplement. People who may have some trouble getting adequate amounts are those who have limited exposure to sunlight, fail to consume the necessary levels of the vitamin, and people who have dark skin. If you think that you may have low vitamin D, it is best to talk to your doctor so you can come up with a plan to get your body back in balance.

How Chiropractic Helps People Who Suffer from Plantar Fasciitis

Feet are important. When you consider what your feet go through, taking 8,000 steps over the course of a day, according to the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association (IPMA), it’s easy to see how 75 percent of all Americans will have some type of foot pain at some point in their lives. Plantar fasciitis is a common and very painful foot condition that can become chronic if not treated. It is also a condition that responds very well to chiropractic care. 

Plantar Fasciitis Explained

Plantar fasciitis is caused when the ligament that connects your toes to your heel (the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed, swollen, and weak. This causes the bottom of your foot or heel to hurt when you walk or stand, especially when you first wake or after sitting for a long time.

The pain tends to be sharp and stabbing. It is the most common cause of heel pain and is more prevalent among middle aged people. However, anyone can get it at any age, especially people who spend a lot of time on their feet.

How Chiropractic helps Plantar Fasciitis

Chiropractic care is a very effective treatment for plantar fasciitis as well as the pain that is caused by the condition. Chiropractic for plantar fasciitis involves a very precise technique that involves adjustments to the feet and ankles as well as spinal alignment. This provides several benefits.

Reduces Stress in the Plantar Fascia – When a ligament is inflamed or stressed the tissue can develop very small tears that cause the pain of plantar fasciitis. Chiropractic adjustments made to the heel and foot take the pressure off of the plantar fascia, allowing it to relax.

Promotes Healing – When the stress on the plantar fascia is reduced through these chiropractic adjustments, the foot can begin to heal. The chiropractor may also recommend specific exercises that stretch the ligament and help it heal. They may also advise the patient of lifestyle changes as well as nutritional adjustments that can help with the pain and condition.

Provides Effective Pain Management – Chiropractic is a very effective way to manage pain throughout the body. Spinal adjustments allow better communication between the brain and nerves, allowing the central nervous system to function more effectively. Condition specific adjustments speak to the root of the problem, not just the symptoms. This means a more effective form of pain management that is longer lasting.

Reduces the Risk of Further Injury – When a person has a condition like plantar fasciitis, they will often adjust their gait in an effort to avoid the pain. This puts stress on other parts of the body and can lead to back pain, sore joints, strained muscles, and other problems. Chiropractic’s whole body approach helps the person realign their body properly so that they stand and walk properly. This helps them avoid further injury and discomfort.

Chiropractic is a Good Complement to Other Treatments

While chiropractic can be an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis on its own, it is also a very good complement to other treatments for the condition. Patients may use chiropractic in conjunction with physical therapy, massage, and even injections to manage the pain and treat the condition. It can also help with speeding healing and helping to provide better mobility.

Plantar fasciitis can take several months to heal, but by adding chiropractic treatments to your recovery plan, you can feel better faster while more effectively managing your pain. Regular chiropractic treatments can also keep the condition from becoming chronic. By working with your chiropractor and following their recommendations, you can reduce your pain and shorten your healing time.

7 Ways Chiropractic Benefits Children

Chiropractic is traditionally considered by many to be a treatment for adults. However, research shows that the treatment can be very beneficial for children. It can make birth easier and help give babies a healthy start in life. Young children can benefit from many of the childhood conditions that chiropractic helps treat. If you haven’t thought about chiropractic are for your child, take a look at these benefits of treatment; bet you’ll be convinced. 

Promote overall good health and wellness

A properly aligned spine promotes good posture which promotes better health. However, it doesn’t stop there. When the spine is properly aligned the neural pathways are clear, allowing the central nervous system to function as it should. Additionally, the whole body approach that chiropractic takes helps provide a good foundation for healthy eating and regular exercise in children.

Help treat asthma, colic, and other childhood issues

There are numerous studies that show chiropractic is a viable treatment option for a variety of childhood conditions and illnesses. Chiropractic for asthma has long been discussed and is being embraced by more and more parents as well as the medical community as people are seeing first hand that it really works. There have also been studies that show chiropractic for colic is a very effective remedy, particularly for chronic colic in babies.

Help treat birth trauma

Birth trauma occurs more often than many people realize. It is typically only recognized or acknowledged when it is significant and causes severe damage or distortions. Some experts regard it as an underpublicized problem which means it is an undertreated problem.

Some studies show that using chiropractic to treat birth trauma can be very beneficial for the child. It addresses musculoskeletal injuries as well as problems with the brain stem and spinal cord caused by birth trauma.

Boost immunity

A flu epidemic in 1917 and 1918 was killing people – but the chiropractic patients were coming out much better than those who did not receive chiropractic treatments. They had a 5% death rate while those who were under chiropractic care had a .25% death rate. That is significant.

Regular chiropractic care can help boost immunity in children and adults. The spine plays a major part in health and the immune system. The body is better able to fight off infection, and if that isn’t enough to convince you it is also very effective in treating allergies.

Treat ADHD/ADD

Chiropractic does not “treat” ADHD/ADD but its positive effects on children who have been diagnosed with this condition has been documented in several studies. There have also been findings that suggest chiropractic may be more effective than medication.

Children who undergo chiropractic for ADHD have exhibited improvement in behavior and parental ratings of the child’s hyperactivity have also improved.

Aid in resolving breastfeeding issues

Several studies have shown that chiropractic helps resolve breastfeeding problems in babies. Babies who have trouble latching on or staying on the breast and other problems can lead to breastfeeding failure. These studies assert that the outcome doesn’t have to be complete failure.

The birthing process can be very difficult on a baby, particularly when the baby is large or has large shoulders and traction is required to birth the child. Chiropractic care can help realign the baby’s spine so they are more comfortable during feeding and have better flexibility.

Decrease risk of injury

The bones of babies and toddlers are more flexible than adult bones but they can still sustain injury. Regular chiropractic care helps keep the ligaments and joints supple which, in turn, helps prevent injury. This is particularly beneficial once the child becomes more mobile and begins turning over, sitting up, crawling, pulling up, and walking. It can help the child transition to each of these phases much easier and smoother.

So there you have it… 7 ways chiropractic benefits children. Ready to get your family started under chiropractic care? Then give us a call today!

5 Benefits of Walking That Every Chiropractic Patient Should Know

The case for walking in order to achieve better health is not new. Doctors and fitness experts have been touting its benefits for decades. When you walk, you engage more than 200 muscles – this includes your pelvis and spine. This makes it an exceptional complement to chiropractic treatment. However, if you aren’t convinced, these five compelling reasons that chiropractic patients should walk are sure to win you over. 

Help with Weight Management and Weight Loss

When you are carrying around excess weight it can lead to back pain and impaired mobility. Fat around your middle, especially in the stomach area, throws your body off balance. There is extra weight in front and it pulls that portion of your body forward, causing a swayback effect.

The pain in the lower back that is caused by this pressure can be excruciating. Over the long term this can cause damage to your spine and cause misalignment. While girdles or slings may help, the permanent remedy is to lose the weight. Walking is an excellent, low impact exercise that helps you lose weight, stay active, and stay healthy.

Better Mobility and Flexibility

As we age we become less flexible and we don’t have the mobility of youth. As you walk, your circulation increases and that helps improve flexibility and mobility.

Add a little light stretching to the mix, along with regular chiropractic treatments and you will have a much better range of motion. Your posture will improve and you will reduce your chance of injury during physical activity. All this greatly enhances your spinal health making walking a great complement to chiropractic care.

Relief of Back Pain

Back pain is one of the top reasons that Americans miss work and worldwide it is the number one cause of disability. It is also expensive. Each year, Americans spend upwards of $50 billion trying to escape back pain.

Walking is recommended by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) to help ease back pain. It is a very good, low impact exercise that helps you manage your weight and stay active – excess weight can cause your back to hurt. Walking helps relieve back pain, but it can help to prevent it as well. Even walking for just 30 minutes a day 3 to 5 times a week is beneficial.

Spinal Disk Rehydration

There are small, fluid filled disks that lie between each vertebrae, acting as a cushion. As you move about during the day, gravity and certain movements cause your spinal disks to compress, squeezing the water out of them. This can lead to back pain and mobility issues.

The increased circulation from walking helps to force water into this area and the disks absorb that water and are rehydrated. This allows them to continue doing what they are supposed to – act as shock absorbers for your spine. It also helps if you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Improved Circulation

Good circulation is integral to spinal health as well as a properly functioning central nervous system. When you walk it increases your circulation allowing your blood to carry vital nutrients to your spine, organs, and your entire body. The soft tissues are enriched and nourished as toxins are flushed out.

Another benefit of this increased circulation is a decrease in blood pressure. It brings your body into balance so your muscles, ligaments, and joints are nourished. This, in turn, helps to make your chiropractic treatments more productive and beneficial.

Walking is beneficial for whole body wellness. It can help you reduce your risk of many serious health conditions including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. It is also great for giving you a mental health boost and make you less prone to osteoporosis. So commit to walking just 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week. You will be astounded at the difference it will make.

How Chiropractic Helps Those That Suffer from Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome is a very common injury among runners. If it is diagnosed early and treatment commences immediately the chances of it becoming a chronic condition are reduced. It responds very well to chiropractic since it involves the pelvis and related muscles. When pelvic mechanics are not functioning properly the muscle don’t work efficiently which hinders flexibility and mobility. This can lead to tight muscles which may inhibit motion and cause pain. Chiropractic adjustments have been proven to help with the condition. 

What is the Iliotibial Band?

The Iliotibial Band, or fasciae latae, is the outer casing of muscle that extends along the outer thigh, from the top of the hip to the outside of the knee. Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when that casing becomes thickened. It is flexed or tight when you stand; it is what keeps your let straight, allowing the larger thigh muscle to rest.

There are two primary muscles that are involved in iliotibial band syndrome, the buttock muscle, or gluteus maximus, and the tensor fasciae latae muscles. Sometimes Iliotibial Band Syndrome is referred to Tensor Fasciae Latae Syndrome and the two terms can be used interchangeably.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome Defined

As the iliotibial band thickens it pulls in the area where it connects to the knee. This results in knee pain due to the application of too much pressure on the bursa. The bursa then becomes swollen, inflamed, and painful. During activity, such as running on an incline, the glutes are heavily involved.

The other end of the iliotibial band is inserted at the glutes so as the band tightens from this activity, it can trigger iliotibial band syndrome pain. Repeated activity further aggravates it, as does running on tight indoor tracks or uneven roads as well as having collapsed arches or running it inferior or worn out running shoes.

Symptoms of Iliotibial Band Syndrome

There are several symptoms that can be used to diagnose iliotibial band syndrome. Lateral knee pain (pain on the outside of the knee) is a primary symptom and often used as a key diagnostic tool. Few conditions involve lateral knee pain. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain that worsens after running, particularly after running on an incline, climbing stairs, or climbing hills
  • There may not be any pain until you do something that aggravates it like climbing a hill.
  • The pain may not begin until you are mid-way through a run.
  • The pain can be intense and debilitating.
  • It can accompany a snapping hip, which occurs when the muscles that cross the outer hip may click or snap while running or walking.
  • The pain may be present along the lateral thigh without incorporating the knee, but it is only in very rare instances that it is concentrated on the gluteal or hip muscles.

Iliotibial band syndrome is often attributed to over training. This can mean suddenly increasing hill repeats or doubling your mileage.

Treatments for Iliotibial Band Syndrome

If your iliotibial band syndrome is caused by a problem with pelvic function, relieving the pain from the condition can be difficult. Stretching is not likely to bring relief – and if it does it won’t last long. If the pain from iliotibial band syndrome lasts for more than two weeks even if you are only stretching, your regular exercise routine, and ice and you don’t see much improvement, a chiropractor can help.

Even if the pain is located in the knee, the problem could originate in the pelvis. A chiropractor can assess your condition, check to see that your pelvis is functioning properly. If it isn’t, spinal adjustments and other chiropractic treatments can bring the body back into alignment and make the pelvis more functional.

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