inflammation

Understanding Inflammation

Your body employs a number of powerful biological responses to keep you alive and healthy. Some of these responses can be triggered without much notice, but others are difficult to ignore. One of these more obvious responses is inflammation. Inflammation has an important role to play in the body’s ability to heal, but in some situations it can become problematic. Read on to understand more about this important function.

What is Inflammation?

When your body undergoes an injury or encounters an infection or irritant, it uses inflammation to aid in the healing process. The body releases chemical substances into the tissue around the injury or infection, which allows blood more access to the problematic area. The skin around the inflamed area often grows red and might feel warm to the touch. Inflammation can also cause pain as the released chemicals stimulate nerve endings and make the area more sensitive. This sensitivity prompts you to give the injured area plenty of rest, helping to improve the body’s ability to heal.

Inflammation Gone Awry

In the short term, inflammation provides a valuable service. However, inflammation can become chronic, meaning that it can last for months or even years. Chronic inflammation can occur if the body’s natural systems fail to address the root cause of the inflammatory response, or if the immune response mistakenly starts to attack healthy tissue. This type of inflammation plays a role in a variety of chronic conditions, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. Inflammation can also interfere with your life by causing congestion, fatigue, high blood pressure, allergies, and weight gain.

While everyone experiences inflammation from time to time in response to injury or irritation, some lifestyle factors can make you more prone to unnecessary inflammation. A study conducted by the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia found that sleep deprivation raises the body’s levels of inflammatory markers, substances in the blood that show that inflammation is present. People who are overweight and obese also tend to show higher levels of these markers. However, a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, found that postmenopausal women who were overweight or obese showed a measurable decrease in inflammation markers when they lost 5% of their body weight.

Keeping Inflammation Under Control

If you believe you are suffering from uncontrolled inflammation, check in with your primary care provider to rule out any life-threatening conditions. Then, schedule a time to talk with your chiropractor. A 2010 study by the University of Quebec at Montreal found evidence that chiropractic manipulation can cause inflammation markers to normalize. A chiropractor can also make lifestyle suggestions to help make sure your diet, exercise and sleep levels support a healthy inflammation response.

Inflammation is a very good thing in the right circumstances, but it can cause many problems in the wrong ones. There are solutions, however, so there is no need to keep living with painful chronic inflammation.

Walking for Fun, Fitness and (Yes!) Back Pain Relief

Walking: it’s a simple activity, but its benefits are enormous. Adding a daily walk to your routine improves your mood, helps you stay in shape and can even help to relieve back pain. Read on to learn a little more about this simple and accessible type of exercise.

Walking for Fun

Most first-time exercisers find walking to be an enjoyable activity that’s easy to get into. After all, all you need to startwalking is a good pair of shoes and a sidewalk. There’s none of the impact of running or field sports, and it’s easy to adjust your pace to stay comfortable. Bring along some music or walk with a friend, and walking quickly becomes fun.

Scientific research supports this fact. A 1984 study found that volunteers who were asked to describe the severity of problems in their lives assessed their problems as less severe after a ten minute walk. Another study conducted by the University of Edinburgh found that spending time in nature helps to reduce stress, making outdoor walking a natural mood-enhancer.

Walking for Fitness

Walking is an effective way to improve your health. The American Heart Association explains that walking for thirty minutes a day can help to improve your blood sugar and blood pressure levels, reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes, and breast cancer, and improve your blood lipid profile. The extra calories burned also makes walking a great way to manage weight, helping to prevent the broader health issues associated with obesity. Walking at a faster pace and for longer periods can enhance these benefits.

Walking for Back Pain

Many people who suffer from chronic back pain find that walking is therapeutic. Because it is a low-impact form of exercise, it is easy to engage in even for people with chronic pain. Regular walking helps to strengthen muscles in the core, legs, and hips, improving the stability of the spine. When combined with regular stretching, walking can help to improve your range of motion, reducing the risk of future injury. Finally, walking improves circulation, ensuring that the structures surrounding the spine receive adequate nutrition. All of these benefits can help to reduce persistent back pain.

Walking might be an effective way for you to manage your own back discomfort while achieving a range of other health and wellness goals. Consult your chiropractor to learn more. Your chiropractor will help determine the root cause of your discomfort or pain and can recommend a personalized treatment plan (including specific lifestyle changes) to relieve it.

Many people of all ages and levels of general fitness have discovered the benefits of regular walking. Even though it may not be the most glamorous form of exercise, walking still ranks as among the most beneficial. Take advantage of this low-impact, low-cost physical activity today to feel healthier, happier and more comfortable!

What Is a “Subluxation”?

Subluxations are the primary reason for visiting your chiropractor. A subluxation occurs when one or more of the Subluxationspinal vertebrae move out of position due to injury, stress or chemical imbalances. This can put pressure on the spinal nerves, causing them irritation, and resulting in pain. Your chiropractor can locate these subluxations and gently realign your spinal vertebrae to remove the pressure on your spinal nerves.

There is more to a subluxation, however, than simply the vertebrae moving out of place. Chiropractors refer to the state of subluxation as a vertebral subluxation complex (VSC). This refers to five different components of a subluxation that are affecting your body at the same time. These include the following conditions:

  • Kinesiopathology – The loss of correct vertebral positioning in relation to the vertebrae above and below. This makes it difficult to bend and turn.
  • Neuropathology – An irritation or injury to the spine’s nerve roots due to stretching, compression or chemical irritation from neighboring spinal structures. This disruption to the nerves can cause problems elsewhere in the body.
  • Myopathology – Pathological changes to the muscles supporting the spine, which includes spasms, weakness, hypertonicity, muscle atrophy, fibrosis and inappropriate functioning. The scar tissue that results from these conditions results in more frequent subluxations that require adjustment.
  • Histopathology – Pathological changes to the spinal tissues, which can cause bone spurs and other abnormal bone growth from the vertebrae and their joints, as well as adhesions and fibrosis of the spinal muscles and ligaments, inflammation, swelling, and dehydration, bulging, tearing and degeneration of the spinal discs.
  • Pathophysiology – The biochemical abnormalities that take place in the region of the spine, such as biochemical waste products and inflammatory biochemicals coming from injured tissues.

Among the signs that you may have a subluxation are neck and back pain, soreness or stiffness, headache, joint pain, muscles spasms, and numbness, pain or tingling in the extremities.

A number of things can cause VSC, including auto accidents, alcohol, chemical imbalances, improper lifting, repetitive motion, bad posture, emotional stress and extended periods of sitting. When a person has VSC, it leads to considerable changes in the soft tissue in the area of the spine and also in the other tissues and organs of the body due to the disruption of proper nerve impulses coming from and returning to the spinal cord.

Your chiropractor will be able to detect where these subluxations are in your spine and correct them with a spinal adjustment either using only their hands or assisted by a hand-held instrument to deliver a quick and gentle correction to the misaligned vertebrae. Correcting these misalignments sometimes takes a little time, as the tissues need to adjust to the new correct positioning of the vertebrae.

Escondido Chiropractic Care: How to Prevent Knee Injuries

By some measures, your knees are your body’s largest joints, but they are also the ones most likely to be injured. More than 11 million men and women over the age of forty visit doctors every year due to knee joint pain. Taking care of your knees helps to make sure these vital joints continue to work smoothly and comfortably so that you can continue to live an active lifestyle.

5 Steps to Healthier Knees

Step 1: Stay Active, but Don’t Overdo It. If you don’t put in the time and effort it takes to keep your knees moving, knee carethey can start to stiffen, leading to discomfort and increasing your risk of injury. At the same time, dramatically increasing your levels of activity (particularly if you haven’t been physically active for a while) can cause knee injuries from repetitive strain. If you have never followed an exercise routine, ease into this type of activity slowly. If you work out hard on a regular basis, make sure to include rest days to give your knees a break.

Step 2: Manage Your Weight. Every extra pound you carry puts additional pressure on your knees. A study conducted by Stephen P. Messier of Wake Forest University found that losing even a small amount of weight can significantly decrease your risk of arthritis in the knees. If knee pain makes it difficult for you to lose weight through exercise, try using a stationary bike or elliptical machine to reduce the impact on your joints.

Step 3: Build Muscle around Your Knees. The muscles that surround and support your knees also help to absorb shock. Strengthening your hamstrings and your quadriceps will help give your knees the backup they need. Talk to your chiropractor or a personal trainer for ideas on the best ways to strengthen these muscles.

Step 4: Don’t Forget to Stretch. While the muscles around the knees do need to be strong, they also need to be flexible. Regular stretching helps to keep these muscles from pulling the knee out of alignment.

Step 5: Don’t Ignore Pain. If your knee is painful, swollen, or making unusual noises, check in with a doctor as soon as possible. These symptoms can be a sign of damaged cartilage, an issue that can be corrected with early intervention. Trying to “push through” pain without knowing what is causing it puts you at risk of knee injuries, so never hesitate to consult with a professional if you think there might be a problem.

Escondido Chiropractic Care and Your Knees

Chiropractic care is a vital resource when it comes to knee problems and for keeping it healthy. As your Escondido chiropractor, we will take the time to examine and evaluate your joints, muscles, posture and biomechanics to determine the root cause of any discomfort. We will then recommend and perform manual techniques for knee pain relief and will help you to bring your body back into alignment. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your lifestyle, alternative knee pain treatment, and receive recommendations on changes that you can make to continue to improve your knees’ health.

Taking good care of your knees takes commitment, but the rewards are well worth it over the long haul. Talk to your chiropractor today to learn more!

Can the Use of Mobile Devices Cause Neck and Shoulder Pain?

Whether you’re an Apple fan, an Android lover or a hardcore Microsoft user, there’s no denying the popularity of tablet computers. The numbers speak for themselves-technology market analysts estimate that over 200 million of them are sold in the US each year. Even if you don’t follow the latest tech trends, you know that mobile devices-principally phones and tablets-are a regular feature around town. From coffee shops and supermarkets to airports and train platforms, they seem to be everywhere. Plus a growing number of businesses are beginning to equip their sales and service staff as well as their executive teams with them. They’re even finding their way into hospitals and doctor’s offices!

But while tablets certainly have their benefits, new research suggests that they also have their drawbacks when it comes to musculoskeletal health. It has already been shown that frequent texting on your mobile phone can cause problems with neck pain (the so-called “text neck” epidemic), but those who use their tablet for everything from work-related applications to just surfing the internet and watching full-length movies may be in for even more pain. The anecdotal evidence is already starting to show up in the waiting rooms of chiropractic offices around the country, and researchers at leading universities are beginning to seriously study the ergonomics and health risks of tablet use.

The results of a study published in Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation found that the use of tablet computers was associated with greater head and neck flexion than traditional desktop computers and that placing the tablet higher on a table and using a case to put the tablet at a more optimal angle could help prevent neck and shoulder problems.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Microsoft Corporation studied 15 volunteers who were regular users of tablet computers. The subjects performed simulated tasks on an Apple iPad2 and a Motorola Xoom, during which the posture of the head and neck, the subjects’ gaze angle and gaze distance were measured by a three-dimensional infrared motion analysis system. They surfed the internet, wrote e-mails, watched movies and played video games.

Each tablet came with its own proprietary case that enabled users to set the tablet at different angles. The Apple case allowed for 15° and 73° tilt angles, while the Motorola case allowed angles of 45° and 63°. Greater flexion of the neck was found with the iPad2 when used in its case. Not surprisingly, tablets set at the least perpendicular angle caused greater neck and head flexion than when the subjects used a desktop or laptop computer. Head and neck posture only began to approach a neutral position when the tablets were set in their cases at the Table-Movie angle at which they were closest to perpendicular.

The researchers recommended that tablet users place the devices on a table and at the steepest viewing angle possible to avoid neck and shoulder pain. However, they cautioned that this configuration might cause problems for the arms and wrists, which in this configuration are not optimally placed for input. This of course can lead to its own set of musculoskeletal problems in the extremities. So the simple fact of the matter is that tablet ergonomics involve some tough compromises or tradeoffs for users. A position that’s ideal for viewing is troublesome for typing and gestures and vice-versa.
For many people, tablet computers have become an indispensable part of work and home life (for better or for worse). If you’re one of these people and can’t conceive of either giving up your iPad or reducing the number of hours you spend using it, then it’s very important to develop good ergonomic habits that minimize musculoskeletal stress and have the smallest impact on your posture. You should also consider seeing your chiropractor on a regular basis. Chiropractic care has been shown to be more effective in treating neck and shoulder pain than using pain medication. A chiropractic adjustment can realign neck vertebrae and take the pressure off compressed nerves, bringing relief in a gentle, natural manner and allowing you to use your tablet more comfortably. In addition to addressing the problems you already have, your chiropractor will also be able to offer specific ergonomic advice to help prevent them from recurring or becoming chronic.

We’re here to help! Whether you have specific concerns about a musculoskeletal problem or more general health and wellness questions, we encourage you to call or visit our office today!

FREE Posture Evaluation and Chiropractic Exam at Rassel Chiropractic

Bring your Friends and your Backpacks and Join us, Wednesday, September 21!

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Rassel Chiropractic Center will be hosting a Backpack Check Up on Wednesday, September 21st 2016 at 6:oo pm.

Our Doctors will be checking kid’s postures and fit of their backpacks to help ensure healthy spines and development. Each child will be checked individually so make sure to bring your family, friends and relatives and their backpacks!

Healthy snacks will be provided along with a list of healthy lunch recipes and a chance to win an Amazon fire tablet!

SPACE IS LIMITED.

PLEASE SIGNUP HERE TO RSVP!

Backpack Check Includes:

Posture Check

Backpack Size-up

Open discussion with Parents

Healthy Snacks

Healthy Lunch Recipes

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FREE Posture Evaluation and Chiropractic Exam for kids up to 18 years of age from September 22 – October 7, 2016!

Migraine Headaches

Without medication, injections, botox or surgery, you can overcome or greatly reduced migraine headaches. It’s possible by correcting the underlying cause of migraines that most health care professionals overlook. This cause of migraines puts pressure on the brainstem, nerves, and vertebral arteries. The only way to correct it is with a very gentle, very safe, very specific procedure. This isn’t the case for “everyone”, but those that have this problem are getting their life back once we correct this underlying problem.

 
Please watch the short video below to find out how this all works.

Rassel Chiropractic Center's updated office hours

Updated Office Hours

In an effort to better serve you, we have updated our office hours. Effective tomorrow, March 16, we’re open from 8am to 6pm (Monday-Friday), and 8-9:30am (Saturday).

To schedule your wellness appointment or for any other inquiries, call 760-489-0303 today.

Rassel Chiropractic Center's updated office hours

Get Limber for Golf

The golf courses are calling your name – but before you head out for a morning of 18 holes, we want you to think about your pre-golf game. We’ve seen quite a few golfers in our office, so in light of this, we thought a blog post about warming up for golf and keeping your body ready for the game would be helpful.

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You Don’t Need To Be In Pain

No one wants to be in pain, but so many people are living with constant and daily pain. The most common sources of pain are back, pinched nerve, or headaches. All three are very treatable and with some attention from us and some new daily routines, you can be on your way to living a pain-free life.

While every person is different, there are a few things you can do now to help lessen the pain you’re in. Of course, we do want to see you so we can give you a complete assessment and develop a full treatment plan that will have you feeling 100%.

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