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Injured at Work? How Chiropractic Can Help

In 2014, there were 2.8 million occupational injuries. This crossed all industries, but 75 percent were in those that provided a service.

These injuries can lead to time lost at work, decrease in production, depression, and temporary (or permanent) disability. These injuries can be caused by slip and fall, vehicle collisions, electrocution, struck by hazards, and caught in or between accidents. However, work related injury can also be caused by sitting at a desk or hunched over a computer for extended periods of time. Chiropractic has been shown to help workers who have been injured on the job, so they can return to work faster. 

Common Occupational Injuries

Occupational injuries are vast and varied with a host of causes and many different symptoms. They can range from minor annoyances to significant damage that can lead to temporary or permanent disability. Some may require surgery while others require extended physical therapy, braces, and intensive medical treatments.

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome – This injury is caused by flexing the shoulder, carrying loads on your shoulders, and extending your arms above shoulder height for a prolonged period of time. It is marked by swelling, pain, dull ache, weakness, or a burning sensation in the affected area.
  • Elbow tendonitis (Epicondylitis) – This injury is caused by forceful or repeated forearm rotation while simultaneously bending the wrist. It is marked by swelling, dull ache, pain, burning, and weakness in the affected area.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – This injury can be caused by several things including vibratory tools, repetitive motion, and secondary factors. It is marked by numbness, pain, tingling, wasting of muscles at the thumb base, and burning.
  • DeQuervain’s disease – This injury is caused by forceful gripping and repetitive hand twisting. It is marked by pain at the thumb base.
  • Tendonitis/tenosynovitis – This injury is caused by sustained hyperextension of the knee, repetitive motion, and prolonged load overuse. It is marked by numbness, pain, and swelling in the hands.
  • Back and neck pain – This injury can have a wide variety of causes from repetitive motion to accident to improper equipment. It is the most common work related injury.

Preventing Workplace Injuries

While a few work related injuries are unavoidable, many can be prevented with a little extra attention and care. The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following practices to reduce the risk of a workplace injury.

  • Get regular exercise. This helps prevent back injuries by keeping your body strong, fit, and flexible.
  • If you do desk work, get a chair that fits you. This means that there should be two inches between the backs of your knees and the front edge of the seat. Your knees should be level with your hips or slightly below, never higher.
  • When doing computer work, use a foot rest for support and keep your knees between a 90 degree and 120-degree angle.
  • If your job requires you to sit for extended periods of time, take breaks at least every two hours to walk and stretch.
  • When you lift something heavy or awkward, don’t bend over to do it. Bend at your knees and hips, squatting as you pick up the object and let your legs do the work and keeping the object close to your body while your back remains straight. Do not let your body twist while you are trying to lift.

Of course, you should also follow all recommended and required safety guidelines for your workstation and place of employment.

Chiropractic for Workplace Injuries

Chiropractic care can help speed your recovery, improve your posture, and restore your mobility and strength. Through various chiropractic techniques, many of the occupational injuries listed here can be effectively treated. Chiropractic is a proven method for managing pain for the back and neck, but it has also been proven to be very beneficial for conditions like carpal tunnel, elbow tendonitis, and knee injuries.

Chiropractic’s whole body approach helps injured workers not only manage their pain and help heal their injury through adjustments, it can also help with soft tissue rehabilitation and other noninvasive therapies that improve range of motion. In short, chiropractic can help workers get back to work faster so less time is lost from work and the financial impact is greatly decreased.

How Posture Affects Your Health

Your mother always said don’t slouch – turns out she was right. And she has science to back it up. Your posture can have a profound effect on your health. Walking or sitting with a hunched back has been linked to a variety of health issues. 

What’s more, poor posture can cause your body’s structure to change, leading to misalignment. While everyone slips a bit in the posture department now and then, the real damage occurs when it becomes a habit. In fact, you could be damaging your health with bad posture and not even realize it. Here are five ways that posture mistakes can harm your health.

Pain in the neck, back, and shoulders

Sitting in a slouched or hunched over position, drooping your shoulders, or rounding out your spine while standing or sitting can cause pain in your neck, back, and shoulders. Many people who work with computers as a regular part of their jobs experience this to some degree.

That is because the majority of workers do not have their computer monitors at the appropriate height, causing them to spend hours a day hunched over their keyboard. People who spend a lot of time on their smartphone and mobile devices experience text neck, which is caused by this type of poor posture.

Increased depression and stress

The connection between posture and mood has long been established. People who walk slouched over tend to feel more depressed and have a poorer self-image.

When you are slouched, you are restricting blood flow throughout your body, inhibiting proper oxygenation of your cells, and crowding your organs so that they are not able to function at an optimum level. If your spine or body is out of alignment, it can slow the neural processes that keep your body functioning as it should. When all these things are going on, your mood will definitely be affected, especially if you aren’t as active as you should be.

Pain and weakness in the lower back, hips, knees, and ankles

This posture problem is common in people who are obese and pregnant women. The added weight causes the body to shift in unnatural positions in order to support it.

This postural problem can also be the result of inappropriate footwear. Feet are important! Take care of them by wearing shoes with good support. This can cause flat feet and cause the ankles to roll.

The calf muscles will tighten and your knees may even rotate inward. You can experience plantar fasciitis, pain in your toes, heel spurs, bunions, and hip problems. Weight loss can help and pregnant women can benefit from a pregnancy sling or pregnancy girdle to support the added girth.

Digestion problems

Sitting in a hunched position crunches up everything inside, including your intestines. This will slow things down considerably, leading to constipation and even hemorrhoids.

The human body was designed to remain in a certain position so that all organs can function as they should. When things are out of alignment it can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and even acid reflux. Practicing good posture can make all the difference in a lot of things. Poor digestion can lead to obesity.

Spinal misalignment leading to many health issues

When your spine is out of line it can cause headaches, dizziness, and a host of other issues. It puts your body under stress so even the normal processes like blood flow and organ function are thrown off kilter. When your body isn’t working as it should the risk of serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension are increased.

Many people don’t make the connection between good posture with a properly aligned spine and better health, but it is definitely there. Posture may seem simple, like it’s not that big of a deal, but when it is practiced on an ongoing basis, it can be detrimental to your health. It isn’t worth the risk; not when the fix is as simple as sitting up straight.

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.

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