May 2017 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» Survival Tips for Standing in Line This Holiday Season
» Leaning While Texting May Result in Health Problems
» Painkillers Should Not Be Kept Within Reach of Small Children
» Dangers of Energy Drinks

Survival Tips for Standing in Line This Holiday Season  

The holiday season is here and with it comes lots of reasons for good cheer…but it can also bring added demands and stress for our bodies. Whether you're shopping for presents, waiting to pick up the perfect dessert or checking out a holiday performance, chances are you'll spend a good deal of time standing in line this season.  The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers the following tips to help you avoid muscle cramps, neck stiffness and back pain while waiting in line.  First, dress the part. If you're planning to spend the day shopping or strolling around town checking out the holiday displays, wear comfortable, supportive shoes—not high heels. It's also a good idea to dress in layers so that you will be comfortable going from outdoors to indoors, and vise-versa. And leave huge shoulder bags at home; bring only those items that are necessary for your day—wallet, keys, cell phone—and consider carrying a fanny pack or a backpack rather than a one-shoulder purse.  Once you're actually in line, there are several stretches that you can do to keep your legs from cramping and your back from aching. Start with your toes and work your way up:

  • Spread your toes out as wide as you can and hold for a few seconds and then bring them back to neutral.
  • Stand on one foot while you rotate the opposite ankle and then switch legs.
  • To stretch your calves, lean forward on your toes keeping your legs straight.
  • Bend your knees a little bit, just 5 to 10 degrees, and then straighten them.     
  • Tighten the muscles in your thighs and bottom and hold for 5 seconds and then release.
  • Tuck your butt underneath while sticking your bellybutton out then switch and stick your butt out. This pelvic tilt can be a very small movement, but it is great for taking the pressure off your lower back.    
  • Roll your shoulders backwards several times and then push your shoulder blades together to stretch out your chest.    
  • Open your hands as wide as you can and then gently close them.    
  • In addition to stretching, shift your weight and alter your stance every 3 to 5 minutes to give your body a postural break.

Author:American Chiropractic Association
Source:American Chiropractic Association. November 03, 2010.
Copyright:American Chiropractic Association 2010


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Leaning While Texting May Result in Health Problems  

Recent increases in the number of patients suffering from upper-back and neck pain may be related to poor posture during prolonged smartphone use. Many young people are reporting herniated disks and alignment problems. As these health issues more so typically affect middle-aged and elderly people, the new surge of problems in youth may have to do with the way the neck bends when a person is texting. The normal curvature of the neck is reversed when people look down, such as when using and viewing a phone. Overtime, continuation of this unnatural position leads to stresses and imbalances in the supporting tissues of the neck and upper back. Pain, soreness, fatigue and even reversal of the normal curvature of the neck and upper back can occur. Given that some young people text for hours a day, it’s no wonder experts are seeing an increase in neck and back issues.  Studies show the problem is present mainly when people use mobile devices, as using laptops doesn’t require any abnormal or unnatural posture. The 45-degree angle many people hold their neck at while texting on mobile devices can lead to issues which may become even worse if the person is sitting. This impact on the back worsens at higher flexed postures. With a 15-degree flex, the head (which weighs roughly 10-12 pounds) can feel over twice as heavy. The stress increase on the spine can lead to a 60-degree flex feeling like an additional 60 pounds of pressure. There is a serious concern among professionals about the effects this will have on young people.   Fortunately, doctors of chiropractic are specifically trained to evaluate and treat neck and back issues. If you or a loved one is suffering from neck and/or back issues including those that may be related to the use of a phone, book a no obligation consultation today!

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:The Spine Journal, online March 20, 2017.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Painkillers Should Not Be Kept Within Reach of Small Children  

Most homes carry some type of pain relievers. More specifically, opioids like hydrocodone and codeine are common across the country. Unfortunately, these medicines aren’t always kept out of the reach of small children.  Roughly a third of adults store prescription opioid mediation in cabinets with locks. Less than 10 percent of adults with kids and teenagers recall storing these substances properly.  Researchers have noted a near doubling of hospitalization rates for issues related to medicine over the past few decades. While some parents may feel that they know their children well enough to pass on locking up these substances, the prevalence of these medicines in the home warrants safe and secure storage.  A survey conducted with adults who consume these medicines relievers within the past year and who had kids in the home revealed that a third of those with children under 7 said they secured their medicine. That number was slashed by roughly two-thirds when it comes to households with teens, and less than one-third of families with both kids and teens used lockable storage for their medicine. Adults with young kids were usually more concerned about the medicine being accessed, while those with teens were less likely to view this as a concern.  The use of this medication has skyrocketed in the US in recent years, with most opioid medication being used for post-surgery pain.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Pediatrics, online February 23, 2017.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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Dangers of Energy Drinks  

According to a new study, consuming enough energy drink can lead to certain concerning characteristics in heart function and blood pressure outside of those seen solely from caffeine.  Energy drinks are extremely popular with hundreds of versions currently available for sale. Unfortunately, these beverages have become associated with emergency-room visits and even death. While the makers of energy drinks claim that the products pose no more dangers than those related to caffeine, the evidence does not necessarily reflect this assertion. Caffeine in certain doses is considered normal by the FDA. For example, approximately 400 mg of caffeine can be found in about five cups of coffee. While the dangers of energy drinks are usually related to their caffeine content, it is the other ingredients which may pose the risk. The physical changes in a group of subjects (both male and female) were observed after the subjects had consumed an energy drink and a caffeinated beverage that lacked the other types of ingredients energy drinks are known for. These additional ingredients include 4 ounces of sugar, taurine, B vitamins, and other contents found in brand-name energy drinks like Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, and Monster. The results showed certain concerning cardiovascular changes including an increase in blood pressure after the consumption of energy drinks. Be smart and play it safe. If you choose to consume energy drinks, do so in moderation and ensure you do not suffer from any sort of cardiovascular conditions or issues or other health ailments that could result in a visit to the emergency room or worse.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Journal of the American Heart Association, online April 26, 2017.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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