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Tips for a Healthy Spine

Tips for a Healthy Spine


A healthy spine is an often overlooked and essential part of a healthy lifestyle. People who suffer from back pain, particularly if it is long-term, are generally less healthy than those who do not. In fact, back pain costs are staggering not only financially, but also in terms of lost time from work and because of psychosocial problems that arise during the healing process associated with long-term back pain.

Unfortunately, approximately 80-90% of the population suffers from spinal pain at some point. People who are overweight or obese, and who smoke, lift heavy objects, or had a previous episode of back pain, are more likely to experience back pain.

Because so many people suffer from spine pain, it’s important for you to try to keep your spine as healthy as possible. Following simple posture, lifting, and healthy lifestyle guidelines can help you keep your back in good shape. One of the best things you can do for your spine is to get regularly adjusted. If you are in need of an adjustment, be sure to call our office at 406-652-3553 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Oblander. In the meantime, here are some good ways to take care of your spine:

The American Chiropractic Association recommends the following spinal health tips:

Standing

• When standing, keep one foot slightly in front of the other, with your knees slightly bent. This position helps to take the pressure off your low back.

• Do not stand bent forward at the waist for prolonged periods of time. The muscles in your low back become deconditioned in this position, which may lead to pain.

Lifting

• At all times, avoid twisting while lifting. Twisting is one of the most dangerous movements for your —spine, especially while lifting.

• If the item is too heavy to lift, pushing it is easier on your back than pulling it. Whenever possible, use your legs, not your back or upper body, to push the item.

• If you must lift a heavy item, get someone to help you.

Sitting

• Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips, with your head up and back straight.

• Avoid rolling your shoulders forward (slouching).

• Try to maintain the natural curve in your low back.

Reaching and Bending

• When reaching for something above shoulder level, stand on a stool. Straining to reach such objects may

not only hurt your mid-back and neck, but it can also bring on shoulder problems.

• Do NOT bend over at the waist to pick up items from the floor or a table.

• Instead, kneel down on one knee, as close as possible to the item you are lifting, with the other foot flat on the floor and pick the item up.

• Or bend at the knees, keep the item close to your body, and lift with your legs, not your back.

Carrying

• When carrying objects, particularly if they are heavy, keep them as close to your body as possible.

• Carrying two small objects—one in each hand—is often easier to handle than one large one.

Healthy Diet and Exercise

• While the proverbial jury is still out, we suspect that extra weight puts undue strain on your spine. Keep within 10 lbs. of your ideal weight for a healthier back.

• “Beer belly” is likely the worst culprit, as it puts unwanted pressure on the muscles, ligaments and ten- dons in your low back.

• The most efficient and effective way to reduce weight is by eating a sensible diet and exercising regularly.

• Consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, particularly if you have a health condition.

Sleeping

• Sleeping on your back puts approximately 50 pounds of pressure on your spine. Other positions may be better

.
• Placing a pillow under your knees while lying on your

back cuts the pressure on your spine roughly in half.

• Lying on your side with a pillow between your ——– knees may also reduce the pressure on your back.

• Never sleep in a position that causes a portion of —- your spine to hurt. Most often, your body will tell you what position is best.

Quit Smoking

Smokers have more spine pain than nonsmokers, and they also heal more slowly when they have an episode of back pain because the chemicals in tobacco smoke restrict the flow of blood to the tissues in and around your spine.

While following these instructions is no guarantee that you’ll be free from back pain for your entire life, it can certainly reduce your risk of developing it. These simple steps will help you keep your spine in good shape, making you a healthier, happier person.

Lawrence H. Wyatt, DC, DACBR, FICC, Professor, Division Of Clinical Sciences, Texas Chiropractic College, Writer

Nataliya Schetchikova, PHD, Editor

This health article was shared from the following website: http://www.chiroworkscarecenter.com/documents/Articles/ACA_healthy_spine.pdf

How Much Money You Can Save From Losing Weight at Different Ages

How Much Money You Can Save From Losing Weight at Different Ages

Today we are sharing an article from Forbes magazine on how losing weight can save you money. Just ask our doc – Dr. Greg Oblander, losing weight saves you more than just money. Think that you are doomed to all of the health woes and diseases that have plagued your parents and grandparents? Would it surprise you to know that genetics only affect about 5% of health issues? Yup, it’s true. Our health is mainly determined by our health and lifestyle choices. Love that Big Mac? Well…it doesn’t love you! Today’s article cites a report that estimates that losing weight will save the average person at least $10,000 over a lifetime. We think that estimate is way low. (Think cost of cancer treatment, heart surgery, escalating medical costs). Money issues aside, how much is it worth to you to not have chronic pain, joint issues, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer…and the list goes on? Deciding now to get rid of extra weight and adopt the habit of exercise and eating real food will save you both health woes and money! An added bonus is that you will learn a greater degree of self-discipline! If you would like to change your lifestyle habits and/or lose weight, we can help! Call our Oblander Chiropractic office at 406-652-3553 and schedule your free consultation!

Please enjoy today’s article from Forbes magazine:

Losing weight can save you money over your lifetime.

Want another reason to lose weight? How about making your wallet heavier? In our study just published in the journal Obesity, we showed how much money that losing weight can save at any age, whether you are Millennial at 20 years old or a member of the Greatest Generation at 80 years old.

Five members of our Global Obesity Prevention Center (GOPC) at Johns Hopkins University (Saeideh Fallah-Fini, Atif Adam, Lawrence J. Cheskin, Sarah M. Bartsch and I) developed a computational model that simulated an adult at different starting ages and weights and calculated what could happen to the person’s weight, health and associated costs over time for the rest of his or her life. (Dr. Fallah-Fini is also an Assistant Professor of Engineering at the California State Polytechnic University.) Think of this model as a virtual person whom we can follow like a friend while the person ages.

For example, a simulated person could start as overweight at age 20 and then with each passing simulated year of the person’s life gain or lose weight and develop different types of chronic weight-related conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, just like a real person. The simulation would continue until the person died from either age-related causes or a weight-related condition such as having a fatal heart attack.

At the end of the simulation, we could then tabulate the amount of medical costs that occurred (e.g., hospitalizations and medications for stroke) and the amount of productivity losses that resulted (e.g., lost salary from being disabled or missing days of work for hospitalizations, clinic visits, falling ill or passing away early). By running the model with different starting weights (e.g., within the ideal body weight range) and then comparing the results, we could then see how medical costs and productivity losses may change with losing or gaining weight.

The model utilized data from a variety of sources such as the Coronary Artery Disease Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) studies, the Framingham Heart Study (FRS), the Northern Manhattan Stroke cohort study, the National Cancer Institute database, the National Health Interview Survey, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dr. Adam played a major role in assembling and analyzing all of this data to help construct the model.

On average, going from obesity to normal weight, a 20-year-old could save a net present value of more than $28,000 throughout their lifetime, a 40-year-old more than $30,000, a 50-year-old more than $36,000, a 60-year-old more than $34,000, a 70-year-old more than $29,000 and an 80-year-old more than $16,000.

Going from overweight to an ideal weight range could save more than $10,000 at any age from 20 to 80, peaking at age 60 ($18,604). It may be that “love don’t cost a thing,” but obesity or being overweight certainly do.

In nearly all situations, at least half of these costs are from productivity losses (lost salary). In many cases, productivity losses constituted as high as nearly two-thirds of the costs. Since we used median wages, if you make much more, then losing weight could save you substantially more than the numbers we reported.

These numbers actually may be underestimates because the model focused on just a handful of major weight-related health conditions. We didn’t account for costs associated with a number of other weight-related issues such as joint problems and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Extra weight not only hits you in the gut, but potentially in the heart, the brain, the liver, the kidneys and other parts of the body, and also the wallet.

And since we are all connected with each other via taxes (assuming that you pay taxes), insurance premiums (assuming that you pay for insurance) and the economy (assuming that you are a person and not a wombat), extra weight for someone else also may end up hitting your wallet, too.

Today’s article is shared from the following website: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/09/27/how-much-money-you-can-save-from-losing-weight-at-different-ages/#7a2e40295c2a

 

Why Sugar is So Hard to Resist

Why Sugar is So Hard to Resist

Sugar is in almost everything we eat. In the typical western diet, enough sugar has been added to food products to bring our consumption of the sweet stuff up to 22.7 teaspoons per day. It is added to processed foods to extend shelf life and enhance flavor and texture. While we know that sugar contributes to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, it’s still hard to resist. Why? Much of the answer to that question has to do with the way humans have evolved to survive in times of scarcity. 

Our ancestors who had developed a taste for sugar were able to add to their body fat, which helped to keep them alive during periods of famine. This in turn allowed them to pass their sweet-loving genes on to their progeny. A study conducted by researchers at Washington University found that we are programmed from birth to crave sweet things. Human breast milk is very sweet due to the concentration of the sugar lactose, so from day one we learn to develop a sweet tooth.  

One study showed how even the mere expectation of sugar can affect our cognitive ability. Scientists found that when study subjects swished sugar water around in their mouths and then spit it out, they performed better on cognitive tests than the subjects who had swished water that had been artificially sweetened. And there is a good reason why sugar is addictive. Eating sugar prompts the release of the hormone serotonin from the same area of the brain that responds to heroin and cocaine, inducing a feeling of happiness and euphoria.  

It’s not always obvious where sugar is hiding in the foods we eat. While our consumption of table sugar is down, the amount added to processed foods is increasing. Many people are surprised to find how much sugar is added to such things as bologna (1.18 tsp. per 4 slices), ketchup (1.77 tsp. per 3 tbsp.) and low-fat fruit yogurt (6.16 tsp.). A couple of spoons of barbecue sauce have about as much sugar as a glazed donut! Add in the sugars typically contained in soups, sauces and breads, and it’s easy to see why obesity is becoming such an epidemic. The more we get, the more we want. A sudden rush of sugar spurs the release of insulin, which causes the infamous “sugar crash” and makes us crave even more to combat it. 

However, it is possible to overcome an addiction to sugar, just as it’s possible to overcome an addiction to any other substance. Gradually use less where you can, such as in coffee or tea and in your breakfast cereal. You can also reduce or eliminate your consumption of soda (including artificially sweetened soda, which still makes you crave the sweet taste) and water down any fruit juices you may drink. After a while, your body does adjust to the taste. After a few months, if you suddenly are given coffee with sugar in it, you may find it tastes odd. Try to avoid buying store-bought desserts, and if you make your own, reduce the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. Many baked goods can use unsweetened applesauce as a substitute for 2/3 of the sugar required. 

Our society has made it difficult to resist sugar, but it’s not impossible, and the less sugar you eat, the better it will be for your overall health.  

At Oblander Chiropractic, we are working hard to help our patients live lives of health and wellness.  As a part of that effort, we are going to be sharing recipes that replace refined sugar with natural sugars. Be sure to watch our posts for those recipes!

 

What is REM Sleep and Why is it Important?

What is REM Sleep and Why is it Important?

Our sleep cycle is separated into two main components: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep (NREM). We cycle between the two all night, with four stages of NREM sleep preceding one stage of REM sleep. NREM sleep is the stage at which our body repairs itself, energy is replenished and our immune system is boosted. A complete cycle of sleep takes between 90 and 110 minutes in total, with approximately a quarter of that time being spent in REM sleep. It is also the stage during which dreaming almost always takes place. Scientists are still trying to discover the extent to which REM sleep affects our health and mental well-being, but they do know that REM sleep is important for the development of creativity and problem solving ability, and is how we learn to adapt to our world.

REM sleep was first formally observed by the scientists Aserinsky and Kleitman in the 1950s, who noted the rapid, jerky movements of the eyes through closed lids, as if the sleeper were seeing something, and noticed that breathing and heart rate increased. Another feature of REM sleep is that the voluntary muscle groups become temporarily paralyzed by the base of the brain “shutting off” the neurons in our spinal cord so we do not act out the dreams we are experiencing as we sleep. The electroencephalogram (EEG) that was attached to the sleepers showed levels of brain activity nearly identical to those who were awake. Contrary to what was previously believed about sleep as being a state in which the brain slows down, during REM sleep, the brain is actually very active. Why may this be?

According to French scientist Michel Jouvet, REM sleep is also a way of programming our brain to adapt to the world around us. Much as a computer can be reprogrammed when it is off-line, Jouvet believes our brain can take information it has received during the day and program the central nervous system to organize or maintain instinctive behavior.

The percentage of time spent in REM sleep is the greatest among babies and children. Babies can spend as much as 50% of their sleep time in the REM stage. And while it has been thought that the dreams we experience during REM sleep are a consolidation of the memories that we have experienced during the previous day, babies in the womb (who experts believe have few or no real world memories) spend most of their sleep time in a state of REM.

Professor of psychiatry emeritus at Harvard University, J. Allan Hobson, says of the purpose of REM sleep, “It’s a reinforcement of basic knowledge—knowledge that precedes any waking-state learning: how to be a person, how to be an ego, how to exist in a space, how to move in a space, how to feel. It’s not environmental memory; it’s genetic memory.”

 

9 Reasons to Lose Weight That Have Nothing to Do with Fitting into Your Skinny Jeans

9 Reasons to Lose Weight That Have Nothing to Do with Fitting into Your Skinny Jeans

Why teens should sit up straight

Why teens should sit up straight

How many times did you hear, “Sit up straight!” as a child? How many times have you said this to your own child? There’s  a reason behind that famous advice: poor posture early in life may lead to a number of back problems and pain later on. That’s why researchers conducted a study to better understand slouching in adolescents.

Researchers had 1,5092 adolescents complete questionnaires about their lifestyle and experience with back pain. Their sitting posture,  body mass index (BMI), and back-muscle endurance were also measured. Researchers discovered that boys were much more likely than girls to slouch. Watching TV, having a higher BMI, and having lower self-efficacy also increased a teen’s likelihood of slouching.

Teens who slouched also tended to have lower back-muscle endurance and non-neutral standing position. Some teens noticed their back pain increased while sitting, and those teens often had poorer scores on a child-behavior test.

These findings suggest that whether or not a child slouches isn’t simply about whether they remember to sit up straight. Encouraging healthy lifestyle habits and a strong self-esteem could also play a big role in helping your teen develop good posture. A doctor of chiropractic can evaluate your child’s sitting and standing posture to help them avoid future back pain.

O’Sullivan PB, Smith AJ, Beales DJ, Straker LM. “Association of Biopsychosocial Factors With Degree of Slump in Sitting Posture and Self-Report of Back Pain in Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study.” Physical Therapy 91.4 (2011): 470-83.

Unhealthy Lifestyle Linked to Headaches in Teens

Unhealthy Lifestyle Linked to Headaches in Teens

Most teens experience headaches at some point and many will suffer the debilitating impact of persistent headaches or migraines. Chronic headaches can prevent teens from engaging fully in school, work, and extracurricular activities. Yet little was known about what triggers headaches in teens until now.

A recent study indicated several lifestyle habits associated with migraine and tension headaches in teens. Researchers asked 1, 260 adolescents to fill out a survey on whether they had headaches and if so, the duration and type of headaches they experienced. Participants also responded to questions about their diet and lifestyle including:  their physical activity, consumption of alcoholic, nonalcoholic, and coffee beverages, eating patterns, and whether they smoked.

Nearly half of the teen surveyed had tension headaches, 10% had migraines, and 20% had a combination of the two.  A considerable amount of participants had unhealthy lifestyle habits like drinking, alcohol and skipping meals. However, 75% had never smoked and 43% didn’t drink coffee.

Researchers found that teens were more likely have migraines if they also drank alcohol, coffee, and/or had low levels of activity. Low physical activity was also associated with tension headaches. Teens that smoked were more likely to have a combination of tension and migraine headaches.

While the study indicates correlation rather than causation, the results do suggest strong links between unhealthy lifestyle and the presence of persistent headaches in adolescents. Researches recommended that further research be done to asses whether educational programs could influence teens’ behavior and experience with headaches. If you’re a teen with persistent headaches or someone you love is, consider consulting with a doctor of chiropractic about healthy lifestyle and nutritional choices that can prevent further pain.

Special Note: One of the best things you can do for headaches is see your chiropractor. Be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oblander if you or your child are having frequent headaches! You can call our office at 406-652-3553.

Fiore, Kristina. “Diet and Lifestyle Linked to Headaches in Teens.” Medpage Today. June 7, 2010. Accessed October 26, 2011. http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/Migraines/20521.

Milde-Busch A, et al “Associations of diet and lifestyle with headache in high-school students: results from a cross-sectional study” Headache 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2010.01706.x.

Article written by Michael Melton and shared from www.chironexus.net

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