Neck Injuries Impact Overall Health

Posted by on 6:36 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Neck injuries can occur for any number of reasons, including a person’s involvement in sports or the fact that they sit so rigidly staring at a computer or phone screen for a dozen hours daily.

When there’s pain, it may feel like a “kink” or “stiffness.” Pain can cause a headache, as well as even more pain that spreads to the shoulders, arms and/or upper back. Usually, neck pain is more pronounced on one side.

The neck is made up of vertebrae, which include the bones and joints of the cervical spine. Then there are discs that separate the cervical vertebrae. They absorb shock as you move. Add in the muscles and ligaments in your neck– they hold the cervical spine together. If any of these parts are strained, you’ve got problems. For instance, neck muscles may spasm. Neck joints may experience inflammation. If so, you’ve got pain. Ugh.

Did you know that neck and shoulder pain so commonly overlap that there’s a name for it? It’s called “shneck pain.” Basically, your neck and shoulder are connected by multiple nerve pathways. Sometimes the brain can’t trace pain pathways back to the source so what you think is neck pain is really shoulder pain or vice versa. It’s a good idea to have a professional chiropractor examine you to determine what’s truly going on.

Now here’s where it gets even more interesting: neck problems can affect other parts of your body. You might also experience arm or leg weakness/numbness. Some people also experience loss of bladder/bowel control, and in some rare cases they lose the ability to walk. If you have an infection in your neck, you might also experience a headache, fever, skin redness, nausea, and vomiting.

Have you felt a tingling in your limbs? Do you have difficulty swallowing? What about problems with motor control? If so, your neck problem is turning out to be a whole body problem. It can become serious and immobilizing if left untreated.

In most cases, a visit to the chiropractor can help relieve the pain you have in your neck, which will then calm down the rest of your body. Therefore, please make an appointment to see Dr. Gerard at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN; call 651-464-0800.

Chiropractic: Not Just For Backs

Posted by on 6:34 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

If you ask most people what a chiropractor does, they’ll say, “They fix bad backs.” While that is true, chiropractors do a lot more, actually. They’re more than just back fixers… for instance, chiropractors can help people improve their immune response and get fewer colds.

Immune response is defined as the reaction of cells and fluids of the body to the presence of a substance which is not recognized as a constituent of the body itself. Basically, your body, when working well, fights off troublemakers, “bad guys,” infections, and diseases– thankfully!

For years chiropractors have noticed their patients demonstrating improvements of complaints related to immune problems. Those who receive regular chiropractic care report less frequent/less severe colds. If they do get a cold, they recover quickly. Meanwhile, if they have allergy symptoms, they’re lessened or disappear altogether. And other respiratory problems aren’t “as bad” for those who see a chiropractor. Thanks to “hands-on” treatment involving spinal adjustments and such, people’s inner body parts are put into their proper place– “alignment”– so they can function properly. When a person’s systems are all working as they should, they feel better!

Besides a person’s back, what are some other parts of the body chiropractors work on in order to relieve pain? At Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN, Dr. Gerard works on the neck and shoulders. He also deals with arm pain and numbness, as well as arthritis and fibromyalgia. He even works with patients who have asthma, allergies and ear infections. Do you suffer from headaches or sciatica or other bothersome pains? You should try chiropractic care– a natural way to heal and feel better.

If you’re into health and wellness, and you don’t want to automatically resort to pills, prescriptions and drugs to feel better, then consider chiropractic care. Dr. Gerard and staff work with you to help figure out what’s going on and how it can be treated effectively, safely, and fairly quickly. It’s not uncommon for a person to walk out of the office feeling completely better after just one visit!

Make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic of Forest Lake, MN, today; call us at 651-464-0800.

Preventing Heartburn Naturally

Posted by on 6:32 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

If you have bad heartburn and ask your doctor for a prescription, you’re likely to get a “proton pump inhibitor (PPI)” drug. About 15 million Americans use PPIs and it’s a $10 billion business!

You’d assume PPIs are safe, right? Research has found that some people who take PPIs are likely to experience chronic kidney disease and/or kidney failure, among other health issues. If you or someone you know has taken/is taking “Prilosec,” “Nexium,” or “Prevacid,” you’re taking medications that aim to reduce the production of gastric acid… thus reducing the heartburn that acid can cause. Mild side effects can include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, dizziness, itching, and flatulence in the short term. If you take no more than three 14-day treatment courses in a one-year time period, you should be okay according to FDA recommendations. However, if you are on PPIs for a long time, problems can occur.

Because PPIs block the creation of gastric acids in the stomach, they also essentially block the absorption of minerals into the body. The result? Kidney problems! Other potential problems include dementia, pneumonia, and bone fractures. Yikes.

When people experience heartburn, they usually have “acid reflux,” whereas acidic gastric fluid flows backward into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn. In other words, the acidic fluid is going where it shouldn’t go. Besides PPIs, drug companies make tons of money on antacids (like Tums, Maalox, Rolaids and Mylanta) and H-2 receptor blockers (like Pepcid AC and Zantac). While drugs can cover up the symptom(s), what about a natural way to heal heartburn?

Chiropractic care can help heal your heartburn troubles. A chiropractor, for instance, might treat your hiatal hernia, which is when the top part of your stomach “pops through” your diaphragm. When this happens, the diaphragm muscle pinches the top part of your stomach which can lead to reflux. Your chiropractor can reduce the hiatal hernia and eliminate reflux with hands-on adjustments. Also, there’s the manipulation of the spine. Adjustments can be made to your upper back to “reconnect” the broken nerve supply to the esophagus and stomach, which will help you heal.

Want to get rid of painful, annoying heartburn through chiropractic care? Make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic of Forest Lake, MN, today; call us at 651-464-0800.

Stress and Health

Posted by on 6:30 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

One way the word “stress” is defined is this: “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”

What are some things that cause a person to be “stressed out?” It can be pressure on the job from the boss or co-workers or customers. It can be financial difficulties, such as “How am I going to pay my rent this month? Will I be homeless?” Stress can come from relationship troubles. Watching TV, listening to the radio, and seeing/hearing constant “bad news” from the media can cause stress. And, of course, health crises are stressful. Meanwhile, stress is exacerbated by poor nutrition (such as pizza and soda pop for most meals everyday) and sleep deprivation (getting four hours of sleep a night versus a more normal eight)…

Chiropractors regularly see people who are experiencing stressful situations in their lives. Oftentimes patients’ minds are exhausted and their bodies feel bad.

Did you know stress activates the body’s “fight-or-flight” response? Your brain rouses your sympathetic nervous system. When that happens, heart rate, blood volume and blood pressure increase. Blood is diverted away from your digestive system and limbs. Meanwhile, your adrenal glands send out adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine– too much of which over time messes with one’s health!

When a person gets stressed they often contract their muscles– they get “tight.” The spine becomes locked in an abnormal position. Then the body’s nervous system doesn’t function properly. When that happens, expect slower healing and an impaired immune response.

Stress is bad for a person in so many ways. It often leads to weight gain. Stressed out people typically don’t sleep well, they don’t exercise, and they turn to junk food and sugary drinks or cigarettes to deal with the tension.

Can a chiropractor help someone deal with stress in their life? Definitely. First they’ll put the spine into proper alignment which will help the nervous system do its job sending messages throughout the body. Then they’ll make chiropractic adjustments on the body to help relieve muscle tension. In addition, irritated spinal nerves will be soothed and blood circulation will improve. This, in turn, tells the brain to turn off the “fight-or-flight” response. Even simple things like postural changes, deep-tissue massage and nutritional supplementation can be part of a chiropractor’s tool box to help people de-stress.

Want to reduce your blood pressure and more? Need help combating stress? Make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic of Forest Lake, MN, today; call us at 651-464-0800.

Adolescents and Back Pain

Posted by on 7:13 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

While back pain is typically associated with adults, elderly people and pregnant women, it’s not that unusual for teens these days to experience it as well.

What are some of the causes of back pain in teens? They can experience muscular sprain and strain thanks to their poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and carrying heavy school bags.

Think about all the times you see teens glued to their cellphones. They’re hunched over, holding onto their phones as if they were the most important thing in the world. When they’re not bent down looking at screens in front of them, they’re often sitting at desks looking at computer screens or at home watching TV. Is it any wonder that today’s teens are packing on pounds? They don’t move their bodies much, and they’re always “on screens.” It’s no wonder there are more teens with back problems today than in the past.

Some teens experience back pain because they have medical conditions, such as Scoliosis or disc herniations. Other “big word” problems they **could** have include Scheuermann’s disease, Spondylolisthesis, Osteoid osteomas, Osteomyelitis, Pyelonephritis, Ewing’s sarcoma, or Sickle Cell anemia.

Of the aforementioned conditions, consider Scheuermann’s disease, which is a problem with spine alignment. Basically, there’s a growth disorder of the vertebrae producing a humpback curvature leading to middle back pain. How about Spondylolisthesis, aka a slipped vertebra? This occurs at the base of the spine when one vertebra shifts on the one below it resulting in instability of the spine. When this happens, a spinal fusion surgery is usually needed. Then there’s Spondylolysis, a stress fracture of the vertebra. For teens, this often occurs when they’re participating in sports like swimming, gymnastics or football. Back pain is compounded by pain in the buttocks and legs.

Perhaps the most well known back pain issue for teens, though, is Scoliosis, which is defined as a lateral curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine. Those with this condition may lean heavily on one side with uneven shoulders, a prominent shoulder blade, an uneven waist.

If you’re a teen or the parent of a teen and suspect something is wrong with your back, consider making an appointment with Lakewoods Chiropractic. Please call the office at 651-464-0800. Chiropractic care has helped many teens find relief from their back pain.

The Shocking Truth About Back Pain Prescription Drugs

Posted by on 7:15 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Do you have back pain? Have you been asked by a doctor to take OxyContin, Percocet, or Vicodin in order to feel better? If so, you should know that these back pain prescription drugs are typically synthetic derivatives of the narcotic morphine. And their side effects can be… rough, to say the least. Basically, a lot of people are taking opioids to feel better, but the problem is they become addicted to them and could very easily overdose, leading to… death. In 2016, for instance, overdoses accounted for some 42,000 deaths across the country. And in 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared opioid abuse to be a public health emergency.

Besides death, opioid use can cause nausea, vomiting, and constipation in the short term. Over time, it can lead to depression, liver damage, brain damage (due to hypoxia, resulting from respiratory depression) and sexual dysfunction.

The worst thing about opioid use, though, is how easy it is to become dependent on the pills just to get through everyday life. Once you start, it’s hard to stop, right? Opioids are addictive. If and when you’re told you can’t have anymore, what are you likely to do? You might try and steal money to fund your habit. You might try and steal drugs from others you know. Relationships might break down thanks to your new personality. Work performance will suffer, which ends up, typically, resulting in financial problems. So, the drug that was supposed to make your back pain feel better ends up ruining your whole life. You become someone you’re not– stealing, lying, and doing whatever it takes to get more pills. One overdose and you’re dead. This is not good, at all!

So what’s a person with back pain to do? Some take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like Motrin, Advil or Excedrin. These drugs help decrease inflammation and swelling. They can also cause digestive problems like nausea, diarrhea, heartburn and stomach pain. Other potential risks can include internal bleeding, ulcers, heart problems and kidney damage.

Others rely on acetaminophen, commonly sold under the brand Tylenol, which works well for managing mild/moderate pain. What’s a risk of taking acetaminophen? It can damage your liver if taken in high doses. You shouldn’t take more than 3,000 milligrams daily.

Non-drug treatments for back pain can include ice, massage, exercise, physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. If you want to avoid taking opioids and other drugs for back pain relief, please call Lakewoods Chiropractic and schedule an appointment. The number is 651-464-0800.

Is Chiropractic Safe?

Posted by on 7:23 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

It’s estimated that some 40 million people visit chiropractors each year. While many people will tell you they’re highly satisfied with the health care they receive at their chiropractic appointments, some still might wonder, “But is it safe?”

At issue are popping sounds that can occur during visits. Some might worry that their chiropractor is cracking their bones and/or doing internal harm. Chiropractors do apply quick thrusts to your joints. When that happens, the popping sound is actually the audible release of gas from your spinal joints– it’s not bones cracking! While that sound might be a surprise, patients typically find the process gives them much needed relief.

Have you heard the idea that chiropractors “cause strokes?” Studies have been done proving that the association between a stroke and a chiropractic visit is no higher than visiting a general physician. In other words, you have as much likelihood of getting a stroke from a chiropractic visit as you do of being struck by lightning. The idea that chiropractors cause strokes is just not true.

Some worry that chiropractors aren’t safe because “they ended up doing this because they couldn’t get into medical school.” Did you know that both physicians and chiropractors train as primary care physicians? They start out with similar coursework. Later on, though, chiropractors focus on things like adjusting techniques and physiology. Furthermore, physicians typically end up giving patients drugs and/or surgery, whereas chiropractors go with the body’s natural healing ability. So, if you’re the kind of person who wants to avoid taking drugs and having a surgery, why not choose the more natural (and seemingly safer) approach a chiropractor takes?

If the source of your pain is related to soft tissues, muscles, tendons and/or ligaments, your best bet is chiropractic care. If and when the chiropractor discovers your problem might be deeper, such as a tumor, infection or disease, they’ll refer you to a medical doctor for treatment using conventional medicine and/or surgery. Chiropractors are all about natural healing when possible– but if other means are necessary, they’re going to refer you to someone else as needed.

When you’re looking for health care that puts an emphasis on prevention and treatments helping the body to heal itself, then chiropractic care makes sense as a safe and logical choice. Lakewoods Chiropractic of Forest Lake, MN, can be reached at 651-464-0800. Why not give chiropractic care a try?

Common Misconceptions About Whole Grains

Posted by on 7:25 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

What are some common misconceptions about whole grains?

First, some people think eating whole grains will make them fat. Surprise, surprise, though: eating whole grains can actually lower belly fat and help you lose weight over time. Basically, as long as you stick with whole grains rather than refined grains, you’re doing your “body mass” a favor.

Next, some think that all whole grains are the same. That’s not true. Grains have different flavors and benefits. Take, for instance, quinoa– with its anti-inflammatory properties, it can lead to weight loss and improved brain cell activity. How about millet? It’s considered the alkalizing grain. With its sweet taste, it can actually help calm your sugar cravings while supporting your spleen and pancreas. Do a little research and you’ll discover the wonderful diversity of whole grains.

One popular misconception about whole grains is that they taste bland and/or boring. Maybe you just need to try some of the lesser-known grains, like bulgar or teff, and/or mix different grains together. Try adding grains to sauces. Season them with herbs and spices. You can pair grains with other flavors to help enhance the overall taste.

Are you going gluten-free? Certain whole grains are gluten-free, including amaranth, quinoa, millet, rice and teff. Which grains contain gluten? That would be semolina, malt, bulgur, couscous, faro, matzo meal, panko, udon, durum, rye and barley, so avoid those if you’re eating gluten-free.

If you think refined grains are the same as whole grains, they’re not. Whole grains are essentially seeds full of nutrients… while refined grains have been stripped of a percentage of their nutrients.

Do you think whole grains cause inflammation? Yes, they eventually turn into a form of sugar when consumed, but studies have shown eating whole grains actually reduces inflammation. How about your blood pressure? Have your heard eating too many whole grains in your diet will give you high blood pressure? If you’re eating unprocessed whole grains, you don’t have to worry– they won’t mess with your blood pressure. In fact, they might actually help lower it.

If you don’t already incorporate whole grains into your daily diet, try adding some. Look for whole grain foods at your local grocery store, including good old whole grain, air-popped popcorn, a low calorie/high fiber snack.

Kids Need Chiropractic, Too

Posted by on 7:06 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Have you considered chiropractic care for your child? Lakewoods Chiropractic of Forest Lake, MN, works with people of all ages, including kids. But some parents might ask, “Why do my kids even need chiropractic care?” Good question.

During a child’s growing years their bodies change. A lot. One day they’re short and the next they’re tall. Boys start to grow hair in places they didn’t used to have hair. Girls get their first period. Hormones play a major role in how a child develops into an adult. During the formative years, it makes sense for children to reap the benefits of regular chiropractic care, which helps keep their spine in alignment and take away pain they might be experiencing– pain associated with “growing pains.” As a body gets bigger, it’s easy for things inside the body to “fall out of place.” Chiropractors check for that sort of thing, and then gently help push things back into place as needed.

Consider newborns– little babies often experience problems like colic, reflux, allergies and infections, many of which can be attributed to nervous system irritation. If they have spinal or cranial misalignments, a chiropractor can used hands-on adjustments to correct those, making the baby feel better. Many parents have brought their babies to chiropractors to help get them to stop crying so much. If you’ve ever had a crying baby in your care, who seemed to be suffering from some sort of pain, you know how important it is to help bring them relief! Chiropractors can help crying babies settle down and feel better.

Young children tend to fall down often. They get sports injuries. Carrying around heavy backpacks and/or bumping into people and objects on playgrounds or wherever can also put stress on a child’s spine and nervous system. Therefore, it makes sense for children to have a chiropractor check them out every once in a while and see what needs adjusting.

Chiropractic care for kids is pretty much painless. A touch of a finger or hand on the problem area can help that area heal effectively, alleviating the sensitivity the child is annoyed by.
Some of the things chiropractic care helps a child deal with include recurring ear infections, persistent coughs, asthma, scoliosis, headaches and even bedwetting.

If you have a child in your care, bring them to Lakewoods Chiropractic; make an appointment today by calling 651-464-0800.

Fall Into Fitness: How Chiropractic Boosts Athletic Performance

Posted by on 7:04 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Are you an athlete who wants a competitive advantage? Or are you someone who just wants to be more fit? Chiropractic care can help boost your fitness level so that you’re stronger and have better endurance.

Basically, if your spine is aligned properly, it’s “all systems go.” You can “fire on all cylinders.” However, if your spine is out of whack, then it’s as if your body is being held back by itself; it cannot function at its peak. A chiropractor spends time making sure your spine is aligned in such a way that your muscles function well and your motor-control is in tip-top shape. Want to see your range of motion increase? Want to feel more coordinated, with better balance? All of these things are what chiropractors help you achieve through regular chiropractic care.

When you exercise, you’re typically breaking muscle tissues. Hence you feel weaker right after a workout. That said, if you eat protein and other nutritious foods your body is going to repair itself such that your muscles grow bigger and stronger. All of those weightlifters at the gym are seeking bigger biceps on their arms, because having those “guns” shows other people, “Hey, look at me, I am strong!” That’s a good thing.

Sometimes people who exercise a lot tend to overdo it. They might experience pain because they weren’t lifting weights with a proper form. Or maybe they just spent too much time doing something over and over to the point where their fatigue overwhelmed parts of their body. Oftentimes, exercisers injure the tendons and ligaments which connect muscles to bones/bones to bones. Chiropractic care can help an exerciser’s body recover from overtraining.

What are some signs you’re working out too much/too hard? If you have poor sleep, feel irritable often, have gained weight unexpectedly, have lost an interest in sex, and/or feel “brain fog” often, you might be overdoing it. Basically, your body needs time to sleep and to “recover” from exercise sessions. Meanwhile, chiropractic can help with recovery, as well as putting things back where they belong inside the body in case you inadvertently moved them “out of place” causing yourself pain.

Lakewoods Chiropractic works with many Forest Lake residents regarding their fitness goals– helping them relieve pain while making strides to become stronger, quicker and more energetic. Make an appointment with Lakewoods today if you want to boost your fitness level.