Chiropractic Adjustments Benefits Joints in the Extremities

Posted by on 8:37 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

An extremity is a limb or appendage of the body, and with regards to chiropractic adjustments, we’re primarily talking about the hands and the feet.

While most people think of chiropractors dealing with bad backs, the truth is that chiropractors can and do work on many regions of the body to promote optimal function, including the extremities.

Most times, people who play sports on a regular basis need adjustments on certain joints and areas. For instance, tennis players often visit chiropractors to deal with pain in their hands and fingers. Sports that use the hands and feet in an intense and repetitive way put great strains on the joints in the extremities.

Arthritis, especially in older people, often manifests in the extremities.

Chiropractors use manual adjustments on the joints of the extremities to decrease inflammation and ultimately increase the range of motion. Feet, ankles, hands and wrists can all be “worked on” by a chiropractor in order to stimulate blood flow, reduce wear and tear, and, overall, help relieve pain and make them feel much better.

In the body, everything is connected. So, if one part of the body isn’t functioning properly, other parts have to compensate. If you’ve got pain in one ankle, you’ll end up shifting your weight when you walk and then putting more and more pressure on the other ankle. This is do-able for the short-term, but it’s not a long-term solution to the problem. A chiropractor seeks to fix your problem area such that your body can be in proper alignment and good working order. When everything is in its right place, then the body doesn’t have to overcompensate, which leads to misalignments.

If you experience cold extremities, that’s usually the result of poor circulation. High blood pressure, obesity, arterial blockage, poor heart function and stress can all lead to the constriction of blood vessels, which, in turn, means poor circulation. Chiropractic manipulation and other natural approaches, including massage and acupressure, have helped many patients relieve stress and, ultimately, improved circulation in/to their hands and feet.

Do you suffer from cold feet or cold hands? Do you have pain in your wrists and/or ankles? How do your fingers feel? Is one of them numb? These are things you should discuss with your chiropractor. Please call Lakewoods Chiropractic to make an appointment at 651-464-0800.

Focus on Prevention This Father’s Day

Posted by on 8:34 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Father’s Day is June 16. It’s a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in society.

If you’re a dad or you know someone who is a dad, you know that dads take on a lot of stress and responsibilities for their families. They worry about things like paying the bills, cutting the grass, taking out the garbage, and, of course, raising decent, healthy, happy kids.

One of the main reasons a dad sees a chiropractor is because his lower back hurts. And this is usually because he’s been picking up his kid or kids and putting them over his head, twirling them around like a human amusement park ride, and/or wrestling on the floor with all sorts of twists and contortions.

How can dads play with their kids in a way that doesn’t bother their joints, muscles, and backs? Well, think of the body like a cold rubber band. If it’s frozen, it snaps. But if it’s warm, it works well. The same is true for a dad bod… So before you pick up a crying baby or your heavy 8-year-old, do some squats or walk up and down the stairs. This will get your blood flowing, and help your body get ready and warmed up to handle dealing with little ones.

What about slouching? Most dads do this, and it’s not helpful. Poor posture often means a visit to the chiropractor. That said, dads should make an effort to slouch less in life. Office jobs mean sitting in one position for hours, right? Dads should get up from their desks and walk around every 20-30 minutes, moving their bodies. This can prevent pain! At a desk, take a deep breath and push your shoulders down and your chest out.

Dads deal with a lot of things. Therefore, they should prepare their body for a variable load. Doing different kinds of exercises with weights helps dads prepare for dealing with 2-year-olds and kids in general. Do planks, deadlifts, lunges and work your core to strengthen it.

Finally, know your limits. While most dads try to impress everyone around them, sometimes there are activities just not worth doing because they will result in pain. If you want to prevent pain, avoid doing things that cause it.

How to Develop a Wellness Attitude

Posted by on 8:33 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

One of the main reasons people visit chiropractors is because they want to feel better. Whether they have pain in their neck, shoulders, back or elsewhere, the hope is that a chiropractor can help relieve that pain through manual adjustments. It’s a natural way to deal with problems in the body.

A person’s health is, of course, physical, but also mental. Your body and mind are connected. Therefore, in order to improve your overall health, you should strive to develop a wellness attitude.

What is wellness? It’s the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal. What is attitude? It’s a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something. It’s typically reflected in a person’s behavior.

There are certain things you can do to develop a wellness attitude.

First, consider the 80/20 approach to life. Most people, when they want to be healthier, decide to eat nothing but healthy foods and exercise like there’s no tomorrow. But that’s too intense! Instead, consider taking the 80/20 approach, whereas you make healthy food/drink choices 80 percent of the time for 5 or 6 days a week and “do what you want” the other 20 percent of the week. This way, you’re still able to enjoy the things you like, such as beer and pizza. You’re not totally denying yourself. But, because you’ve got a goal in mind to eat “better” 80 percent of your week, you’re going to improve your overall health. Eating healthy means choosing foods that aren’t high in calories. It means choosing higher-protein snacks. It means avoiding sugary processed foods. So, for 6 days a week, eat things like carrots, peppers, yogurt, nuts, and turkey. Then on day 7, allow yourself some leeway, and eat cookies, pastries, etc.

Next, set small, achievable goals. Rather than saying, “I need to lose 20 pounds this month!” you should say, “I’m going to work to lose 3 pounds this month.” That’s more realistic.

In order to develop a wellness attitude, start thinking about your time and decide to manage it more efficiently. What are you doing with your time to feel better about you and your life? Make a list of priorities and then assign weights to them– what’s high priority? What’s low? For instance, “going to the gym to swim at their pool” could be high-priority such that, in your mind, you’ve got it down on the calendar for Tuesdays and Thursdays at Noon. That’s do-able. What’s low priority? Maybe “going to the bar to drink with friends.”

Take some time to think about how you spend your time and what you do with your mind and body… if you smoke, do whatever it takes to quit. If you don’t exercise, now’s the time to get some accountability and actually exercise– having a friend or a coach who you “check in with” or who “directs” you can help with this.

Finally, to develop a wellness attitude, commit to “me time” where you clean yourself well (washing your hands, your hair, etc.), sleep/rest, stretch, dance, read the Bible or an inspirational book, pray, meditate, etc. Oh, and see your chiropractor regularly, so that your body is in alignment and can function optimally.

Can Chiropractic Adjustments Improve Well-Being?

Posted by on 8:08 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Chiropractic doctors check for a misalignment of the bones in a person’s spine. A misalignment puts pressure on the nerves that control everything in your body, resulting in pain. Chiropractors use hands-on manipulation to naturally correct misalignments such that patients don’t have to resort to using pills for pain relief.

Do chiropractic adjustments help improve a person’s well-being? Definitely. Chiropractors physically manipulate bodies to promote musculoskeletal alignment. When “everything is in its rightful and proper place,” then a patient’s mobility, ability and strength improves. Having a properly aligned spinal cord improves a person’s immune system function, too.

Most people who visit doctors have in their minds what they want doctors to hear, but most doctors don’t do that great a job at listening to their patients. They like treating symptoms rather than conditions. A chiropractor, though, is oftentimes a better listener– someone who is willing to truly listen to what a patient describes and then work with them to improve their overall condition. In a way, you could describe chiropractic care as “getting to the root of the problem,” rather than a medical doctor’s gruff way of “prescribing a pill for the symptom.” If that’s not enough to cause someone to take a second and think, “This is a better approach to my health and well-being,” then what is?

Pills and surgeries often bring with them more problems… harsh side effects, long term negative changes in the body, and/or a diminished quality of life after “care.” A chiropractor, however, helps patients achieve their wellness goals naturally, without the risk of long-term side effects, toxins and chemicals.

If you’re someone who has constant back pain, life can be difficult. The same goes for chronic neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, etc. Pain messes with a person’s well-being. Chiropractors are in the business of relieving people’s pain. When this occurs, patients feel like they have a new lease on life. “It doesn’t hurt like it used to,” they’ll say with a smile. “And now I can do what I want to do, again. Yes!”

If you’re looking to improve both your mental and emotional well-being, you need to reduce or eliminate the problems your body is currently experiencing– problems that are hampering your lifestyle! Therefore, make an appointment with Dr. Jason Gerard at Lakewoods Chiropractic today by calling 651-464-0800. Let the healing begin!

Bright Is Best For Veggies

Posted by on 8:05 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

How’s your body feeling today? Do you get stomach pains? Joint pain? Headaches? Are you tired all the time? There are certain foods that cause inflammation in the body, and others which prevent and/or fight it.

What is inflammation? It’s part of the body’s immune response; it’s the body’s response to injury. If and when inflammation gets out of control, it can lead to chronic diseases. In other words, you don’t want too much inflammation in the body.

What are some foods that cause inflammation?

Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are two “big ones.” They’re ubiquitous today. In limited quantities, you should be fine, but if your diet consists mostly of sugar and high fructose corn syrup, you’re going to have inflammation and it’s going to be bad. Is it any wonder that more and more people are drinking less sugary soda pop and opting for plain old water instead? It’s for their own good. Foods high in sugar include candy, chocolate, cakes, doughnuts and pastries. Other foods that lead to inflammation problems include: french fries, white breads, pasta, some cereals, processed meat, and excessive alcohol consumption.

What are some foods that prevent/fight inflammation? You can’t go wrong with berries! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are so good for you. Do you like fish? Then eat more salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and anchovies. What about avocados and broccoli? These are excellent foods to prevent/fight inflammation– enjoy! Also, if you like peppers, mushrooms, grapes, tomatoes, and dark chocolate, eat up… these are anti-inflammatory foods that will help you become healthier.

Do you need help figuring out what to eat more of and what to eat less of? Most of us do! Did you know chiropractor Dr. Jason Gerard of Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN, can help you develop a healthier eating plan for your life? One of the reasons people fail in their diet is because they try to cut out everything they loved and just stick with “very healthy things” only– but that’s not sustainable. Why not have Dr. Gerard discuss options with you and come up with “little changes” that will end up bringing “big results” over time? Now’s the time to start thinking about what foods and drinks you put into your body everyday. By making some positive changes now, you’ll have less problems later in life.

The Latest Research On Depression And Exercise

Posted by on 8:03 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Feeling depressed? A lot of people are depressed these days. When someone feels depressed, what do they do? For some, they choose to ignore it and hope it goes away. They try and “work through it on their own.” Others go to doctors and ask for pills. Many Americans are on antidepressants. Some of the key names you might recognize include Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft. While these pills may help people, they also include a number of side effects– including some negative ones. Plus, do most people want to be “on pills” for a long time/the rest of their lives? No.

What about exercise? Could exercise be a decent alternative to taking pills to treat depression? Recent research shows that exercise is definitely a natural, healthy way to combat depression… Not only does regular exercise help protect against heart disease and diabetes, but it also improves sleep and lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, it’s a great idea to do high-intensity exercise to battle depression– that’s when the body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, giving people a “natural high.” Meanwhile, even low-intensity exercise can help make a person feel better over time. Proteins get released during and after exercise causing nerve cells to grow and make new connections. In turn, the brain functions better. Specifically, neuroscientists found that the hippocampus in the brain (the region that helps regulate mood) is smaller in people who are depressed. That said, when those people make exercise part of their daily regimen, exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus. Nerve cell connections are improved, and depression is relieved. So, in conclusion, exercise is great not just for your body and health, but brain and mood as well.

If you’re someone who hasn’t exercised before, it can be hard to start. “Where do I begin?” is a question most people ask themselves. Furthermore, they need someone or something to motivate them to actually do exercise. Did you know chiropractor Dr. Jason Gerard can help coach you in this regard? He’s the kind of guide who you can be accountable to, and he’s there for you to talk with, ask questions, and to push you out of your sedentary comfort zone. If you’ve been feeling depressed and suspect that exercise is a better choice than taking pills in order to feel better, then you should definitely schedule an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN. Dr. Gerard can help you develop an action plan and stick to it, such that exercise becomes a new habit that helps you!

Psychosocial Factors And Back Pain

Posted by on 7:59 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

The word “psychosocial” is a fancy word that some people use to describe various factors that can relate to a person’s physical health. For instance, depression, hopelessness, stress, anger/hostility, and feeling out of control are examples of psychosocial factors… and some of these things may influence how a person feels, specifically related to their aches and pains.

Take, for instance, depression. Is a depressed person more likely to feel pain? Perhaps. Depression might cause pain, and pain might cause depression– it can become a vicious cycle. Though it’s not clearly understood “why,” research has shown that people with depression often suffer with physical problems such as back pain and/or headaches. Over time, a person feels worse– they get “worn down” and “moody.” If they’re bothered by chronic pain, that can lead to more problems, like trouble sleeping and a more stressful life. If the pain is “so bad,” a person might not exercise like they used to/wanted to, and they might give up doing the social activities or hobbies they liked. Furthermore, this mix of problems can lower a person’s self-esteem to the point where they lose friends, lose interest in work, and suffer financial setbacks, too.

When a person is stressed, they manifest that stress in their body– usually they experience tension, stiffness, and, yes, back pain. If and when a person is stressed out to the point where they’re keeping their back muscles tighter than they should be, they’ll experience a variety of aches and pains.

Did you know that some people think back pain is a somatic symptom created by the unconscious to distract a person from emotional issues they want to repress? Think about it this way– if you’re an angry person but you’re not allowing yourself to express that anger (through something healthy like a kickboxing class or swimming), your back pain could be the direct result of the rage within you having nowhere to release!

Psychosocial factors can definitely play a role in back pain. If you think you might be going through some tough things like depression or stress, consider meeting with a chiropractor. Dr. Jason Gerard of Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN, can help you find solutions to such problems with the intent to relieve your pain naturally.

Drug Free Approaches To Headache Prevention

Posted by on 10:24 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Most people who get a lot of headaches rely on pills to take away the pain. Ask around and you’re likely going to hear, “I take Ibuprofen every time I get a headache.” But what about taking a drug-free approach to headache prevention?

Consider why you might be getting headaches in the first place. Oftentimes it has to do with what you put into your body. What do you regularly eat and drink? Some things that trigger headaches include caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, cheese, and foods/drinks made with artificial sweeteners. Avoiding these things can lessen or eliminate the number of/severity of headaches you experience. Meanwhile, other headache triggers can include foods high in histamines, tyramine and/or nitrates. Read more labels, be more aware of what the ingredients are in the foods and drinks you consume, and avoid the ones that seem to bother you the most.

Another drug-free approach to headache prevention is the anti-inflammatory diet. Basically, increase your intake of foods containing monounsaturated fats and omega-3s. Reduce your intake of foods with omega-6 fats. Practically-speaking, eat more avocados, nuts, olive oil and fish and eat less corn, soy and vegetable oils (and processed foods containing these things).

Do you skip meals? If so, don’t do that. When you skip meals, low blood sugar and dehydration can bring on headaches. If you ever see people who carry water bottles around with them everywhere they go, they’re on to something good– staying well hydrated during the day! Meanwhile, when you’ve got to pee, go to the bathroom rather than holding it or else risk suffering with a headache.

Other ways to prevent or lessen headaches include taking time out of your day to stretch, relax, and do exercises such as yoga to help get the blood flowing and/or applying a cold ice pack to the spot on your head where it hurts. You might also consider regular visits to Lakewoods Chiropractic as chiropractic care regularly aids in the prevention of and reduction of headaches; call 651-464-0800 to make an appointment or email [email protected] Lakewoods Chiropractic, of Forest Lake, MN, is conveniently located at 255 Highway 97 in Suite #2A.

Why Get A Chiropractic Evaluation After A Motor Vehicle Collision

Posted by on 10:21 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Why should someone visit a chiropractor after they’ve been in a car crash? Typically, a car crash jolts a person’s body in a sudden and forced way, which could cause injury to the neck or back. However, symptoms of these problems might not manifest until several days later. That said, a chiropractor is the right person to treat “invisible injuries,” especially the kind stemming from a car crash, “right away.” In other words, don’t put off seeing a chiropractor for weeks or months after a crash– get attention quickly to fix the problems before they get out of hand and you’re in excruciating pain.

What are some of the invisible injuries associated with car crashes which chiropractors treat? Well, there’s whiplash, which can include headaches, nausea, soreness, dizziness and, of course, pain in the neck (and or shoulders/upper back). To avoid long-term pain, see a chiropractor right after a car crash. He or she can adjust your bones, muscles and tissues to relieve whatever’s “out of whack.”

Speaking of chiropractors and car crashes, did you know micro-tears can occur in ligaments and muscles? This is the reason accident victims feel sore even if X-rays “look normal.” A chiropractor makes spinal manipulations to realign the spinal column in order to reduce inflammation and pain naturally. This “without drugs” approach surely beats having to take all sorts of pills and drugs!

A chiropractor’s care after a car crash will ultimately help reduce scar tissue, pain in the body, and improve or restore a person’s range of motion. Your body wants to heal itself naturally– sometimes it just needs the healing hands of a chiropractor to “kickstart” the process.

Finally, if you need to file an insurance claim after a crash, it’s a good idea to see a chiropractor who will then record all your injuries and write up a report detailing what he or she found wrong with you.

In Forest Lake, MN, the chiropractor to visit immediately after a car crash is Dr. Jason Gerard at Lakewoods Chiropractic, located at 255 Highway 97 in Suite #2A. Please call the office at 651-464-0800 or email [email protected] to schedule your appointment.

Eat Smart for Healthy Weight

Posted by on 10:18 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

There comes a time in most people’s lives when they look at the scale and shake their heads almost in disbelief. “Wait, how much does that say?” is usually said out loud, in a frustrated and exasperated tone.

What do you do when you reach “the highest weight” you’ve ever been? If you’re like most people, you panic a little. Then you decide, “I am not going to stay this weight. I am determined to lose weight.”

Here are two words to think about over and over as you challenge yourself to lose weight: “eat smart.”

When you want to get to your healthy weight, you can eat smart in order to lose pounds.

First, consider what you currently eat and drink every day. Literally make a list of all the things you put into your mouth and then take a good, long look at that list.

Next, start to come up with substitutions for things. For example, instead of eating M&Ms, try blueberries. Instead of eating french fries, order broccoli as your side when you get dinner at a restaurant. Replace soda pop like Coke and Pepsi with carbonated flavored water. Ideally, you’ll want to find foods/drinks that both “fill you up” and have “fewer calories” than what you used to consume.

Also, in order to eat smart, consider “when you eat” and “quantities you eat.” For instance, a lot of people skip breakfast, but that’s not a good idea. Their body is literally starving for food in the morning after a long night’s sleep. Make a new habit of starting everyday with a healthy breakfast that includes one or two protein-rich eggs, a “superfood.” Meanwhile, try to keep the time you eat each meal fairly consistent everyday. Have three to five healthy meals a day and limit your snacking in between meals. If there’s a particular food you love to eat but you know it’ll pack on pounds, then try eating less of it– so, for instance, eat three Hershey kisses instead of 20 at a time– three should be just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth craving(s)! Oh, and avoid eating foods after 8 at night if you can.

Finally, get someone in your corner to serve as your accountability person during this process. Could that someone be your chiropractor at Lakewoods? Most certainly yes! It’s so helpful to have someone to “check in” with on a regular basis, which helps hold you accountable as you make positive changes in your life. When you eat smart, you ultimately move your body toward its healthy weight.