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Chiropractic Care Can Improve Respiratory Function

Chiropractic Care Can Improve Respiratory Function

Chiropractic Can Help Asthma, COPD and More…

The World Health Organization reports that some of the most common chronic respiratory diseases include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary hypertension, the last of which is high blood pressure in the arteries connecting the heart and lungs.

Though some of these conditions can be passed down through genetics, lifestyle factors play a role as well, with risks rising with increased exposure to cigarette smoke, high levels of air pollution, and chemicals and other toxins found in various work or home environments. Obviously, your genes are your genes and removing these types of environmental toxins can go a long way to avoiding the development of lung-based diseases. Find out how Chiropractic care plays a positive roll.

A Study Shows Regular Chiropractic Visits Can Help!

One study has discovered that another way to keep your lungs breathing easier is with regular chiropractic visits. In September of 2016, the Journal of Physical Therapy Science published a study involving 30 subjects between the ages of 20 and 38 who were not currently being treated for any type of respiratory issue, nor were they experiencing any pain in their thoracic region. One-half were randomly assigned to an experimental group, which is the group that received actual spinal manipulation therapy. The remainders were assigned to the control, receiving sham treatments instead.

Procedure:

At the onset of the study, each subject’s respiratory function was tested and recorded. Approximately ten minutes later, depending on which group they were in, they either received high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation directed to the thoracic area of the spine or sham chiropractic. Follow-up respiratory testing occurred immediately following the actual or sham treatment session.

After studying the lung-function data collected, researchers noted that the experimental group, which is the group that received actual chiropractic, had “significantly increased” their forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second. The group that received the sham treatments experienced no difference in their respiratory function at all.

Findings:

These findings suggests that chiropractic care likely plays a more important role in healthy lung function than most people realize. This information may be helpful to patients who are already experiencing chronic respiratory issues and looking for relief, but it may also work to reduce the likelihood of lung-related diseases in the first place.

As the COPD Foundation states, generally speaking, “once lung function is gone, it is gone for good.” That’s why they recommend engaging in activities which can maximize lung capacity. These include: getting some type of regular exercise, performing physically demanding exercises during the times when it’s easier to breathe, and staying indoors when extreme temperatures are expected or pollution is high.

 

Reference

Shin, DC, Lee, YW.. The immediate effects of spinal thoracic manipulation on respiratory functions. Journal of Physical Therapy Science; 28(9):2547-2549. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.2547

 

 

Chiropractic Care and Professional Baseball: The Philadelphia Phillies and Dr. Michael Tancredi

Chiropractic Care and Professional Baseball: The Philadelphia Phillies and Dr. Michael Tancredi

When it comes to helping elite athletes prevent and recover from injuries—as well as achieve peak performance—chiropractic care can offer many advantages. That’s why large numbers of professional and college sports teams throughout the U.S. have turned to chiropractors over the past decade. The Philadelphia Phillies is one such team, and Dr. Michael Tancredi is one such chiropractor. As a Doctor of Chiropractic, a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, an Active Release Technique Instructor and Practitioner, and a certified athletic trainer, Dr. Tancredi clearly understands the valuable role that chiropractic care can play in keeping teams healthy and performing at their best.

By almost any measure, Dr. Tancredi has had a long and successful career in sports medicine. He has worked extensively with the Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies, and Villanova University. While Dr. Tancredi has accomplished a great deal in his professional life (and he continues to work with patients through his practice in Broomall, Pennsylvania), he is perhaps best known as the chiropractor who went all the way to the 2008 World Series as a consultant with the Philadelphia Phillies. From 2008 through 2010, he was a chiropractor and Active Release Technique provider for the team.

Cole Hamels, a member of the 2008 Phillies team, has been very vocal about the difference chiropractic care has made for him. “Being introduced to chiropractic care has definitely helped my game. When you add it with a lot of the physical therapy exercises and the in-game exercises, I think it just prevents a lot of injury. I went through a lot of injury in my career, and the first time I actually was introduced to chiropractic care, it pretty much kept me on the field. It’s something that helps me feel much better when I’m on the field and off the field.”

As a pitcher, Hamels is particularly aware of the complex biomechanics involved in throwing a baseball, and recognizes how the larger muscle groups—not just the shoulder and elbow—must work together to perform well. “Your body starts from the ground up, and in order to pitch, you have to use everything. You have to have a good back in order to get the good torque. Most of your power comes from your core.”

It’s a challenge staying healthy through a 162-game regular season, and players at the elite major-league level do what they can to avoid injuries. Hamels recalls how chiropractic care became popular among his teammates and coaches. “It’s another way to help us get out on the field… We’ve seen more and more players start to go in to get adjustments, to get the ART. And I think that’s good for our whole team because you want them to be able to go out on the field every day because we’re very good at what we do, but you’re not going to help the team out when you’re not playing.”

In a brief interview published in ACA Today, Dr. Tancredi described his own experience with the Phillies and explained why chiropractic care is such a good fit for professional baseball. “It was a dream job and a dream season. The whole sports medicine staff was phenomenal. They were all really open to the benefits of chiropractic care. Athletes at this level rarely have an acute injury. However, a little hamstring pull can turn into a major problem when they have no time off. Baseball’s schedule is grueling in that the players are on the field 28 out of 30 days a month, so we have to do what we can to help them heal while keeping in mind the long-term consequences. Chiropractic has cut the injury rate; the players love it, the athletic trainers see how effective it is and the orthopedic surgeon is totally open to my suggestions—it’s a win-win situation.”

Whether you’re playing professionally or at an amateur level, baseball puts unique demands on the body’s musculoskeletal system, from asymmetrical movements (throwing and hitting) and extreme acceleration and deceleration to sudden impacts. Take it from the Phillies and Dr. Michael Tancredi, chiropractic care can help players stay healthy and perform at their best.

If you need to make chiropractic a part of your success protocol, be sure to give our office a call at 406-652-3553 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Oblander!

 

What is a “Pinched Nerve”?

What is a “Pinched Nerve”?

‘Tearing her hair out’ Metaphor or bad hair day

A “pinched nerve” refers to a condition in which a nerve is compressed by surrounding tissue, such as ligament, cartilage, tendon or bone. The term “pinched nerve” is not a standard medical expression, but it’s an intuitive expression that almost anyone will understand.

Nerves radiate from your brain, down your spine and to all other parts of the body. Signals are sent from and to the brain along the nerves, and if a nerve is compressed (“pinched”), it will interfere with proper signal transmission. Usually, this will manifest as pain, not only at the site of compression, but sometimes radiating from that point to surrounding parts of the body. Misalignment of the spine can result in pinched nerves that can give you back pain and even a deadening ache or sensitivity along your arms (cervical radiculopathy) or legs (sciatica).

Any pain of this sort is a warning signal that there is a problem that should be treated right away. Left untreated, pinched nerves can lead to a loss of the protective barrier around the nerves which could generate fluid buildup. And this fluid would create swelling, more pressure, more pain, and possibly scarring. When nerves have been scarred, they may no longer function properly.

Pain isn’t the only indication of a pinched nerve. Sometimes a compressed nerve will generate numbness or tingling, a burning or “pins and needles” sensation, or even weakness during certain activities.

Pinched nerves can occur more often when the following risk factors are involved:

  • Overuse—Repetitive actions such as movements during work or while involved in a hobby or sport.
  • Posture—Bad posture creates more pressure on the spine and the nerves traveling through it.
  • Gender—Women’s carpal tunnels are smaller and are at greater risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis—Inflammation of any kind can compress nerves, especially at the joints.
  • Obesity—Increased body weight can increase pressure on nerves throughout the body.
  • Bone spurs—Bone thickening (from conditions such as osteoarthritis) or trauma can lead to bone spurs that stiffen the spine and narrow the space through which the nerves pass.

Mainstream medicine frequently recommends drugs, including NSAIDs, oral corticosteroids, narcotics (for emergency, short-term pain relief) and steroid injections to treat the symptoms of a pinched nerve. The Mayo Clinic suggests that patients can sometimes recover within a few days or weeks from pinched nerves with rest and additional “conservative treatments.” Other mainstream medical treatments may include physical therapy, a splint to immobilize a limb to give it a bit of rest, or surgery.

A chiropractor specializes in nerve health and non-invasive methods of reducing pain and restoring proper function, including spinal adjustments and other treatments that take the pressure off the nerves without the need for drugs or surgery. Sometimes a single adjustment can lead to immediate relief. In other cases, repeat visits may be required for full recovery. If you or someone you care about is suffering from a pinched nerve, you should know that there are alternatives to drugs and surgery and that chiropractic care has proven effective in treating the source of the problem so it is less likely to recur in the future.

If you would like to be seen by Dr. Oblander for treatment of a pinched nerve or any other ailment, please call our office at 406-652-3553 to schedule an appointment.

 

Top 5 Ways to Warm-Up Before a Golf Game

Top 5 Ways to Warm-Up Before a Golf Game

danger-golf
danger-golf

If you don’t know better, golf can seem like a laid-back sport that carries little risk of physical injury other than being hit by a stray ball or having a foot run over by a speeding golf cart. But the truth is that a correct golf swing requires a great deal of balance, flexibility and core strength and that it can place a great deal of strain on the golfer’s back.

Unfortunately, many golfers don’t recognize the importance of warming up before teeing off until it’s too late. With more men and women playing golf than ever before, the incidence of golf-related back pain is also growing. Frequent play can aggravate chronic or intermittent low back pain that, in turn, can interfere with your ability to play golf. However, warming up before you play can go a long way to stop the cycle of golf and back pain. Not only can it keep you on the course, it can also improve the quality of your game.

Focus on Stretching and Taking Practice Swings

  • Trunk rotations allow you to warm-up the torso by mimicking the motion you will use to swing your club. Place a golf club across the back of your shoulders and slowly twist from left to right to stretch the torso and the shoulders. The lower body should remain stable with the movement taking place in the torso.
  • Stretch quadriceps by standing with a chair or bench behind you with your arms crossed over your chest. Bend your knee so that one foot is resting on the seat of the chair or bench. Squeeze your buttocks muscles to cause a contraction of the quadriceps (muscles in the front of the thigh). Follow the motions of your golf swing. Repeat on the other side.
  • Stretch your back by standing behind the back of a chair with your feet apart. Hold the back of the chair while keeping the back straight. Still holding the chair, drop your body down and pull it away from the chair to create a stretch near the armpits.
  • Sitting on a bench or chair, place the ankle from one leg on top of the thigh of the other leg. Use your forearm to push down on the bent leg. Lean forward to create a gentle stretch in your hip. Repeat on the other side.
  • Woodchops are a good golf warm-up because they reach the abs, legs and back. To perform these, stand holding a golf club straight up and down, perpendicular to the ground. Raise the club slowly over the head while holding your arms straight. Keep back slightly arched to stretch the chest. Next, bring the club down and between your knees while you go into a squatting position. Maintain a flat back and hold abs in throughout the stretch. Move slowly enough that it takes 30 seconds to complete the entire stretch.

Good Swing Mechanics For a Healthy Back and a Healthy Back for Good Swing Mechanics

It really does work both ways. Golf-related back pain is often the result of muscle sprains or strains that can be prevented with appropriate preparation and warm-ups. But poor swing mechanics will also take their toll over time—even for golfers who are relatively young and fit. Swings that are off-balance or that rely on the wrong muscle groups to generate power put players’ backs at risk. The reverse is also true—players who are nursing back injuries (and other types of injuries, for that matter) frequently compensate for them by making changes in their golf swing that hurt their performance and that may increase the risk of additional injuries.

Golfers of all skill levels can benefit from regular chiropractic care. Many chiropractic physicians have specialized training in biomechanics and some have made a particular study of golf performance and golf-related injuries. If you’re a golfer who’s interested in getting or staying healthy and improving your game, call or visit our office today!

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