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Don’t Let Computer Use Be A Pain In The Neck

Posted by on 2:23 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Who do you know who works at a computer all day long? Think about that for a minute. Perhaps you’ve got quite the list! And maybe you’re one of “those people” who have a desk job and utilize a computer screen for 8 or more hours daily. If so, don’t let computer use be a pain in the neck.

It can be easy to experience neck stiffness if you sit in a fixed position for a long period of time. Indeed, working at a desk can lead to neck and back pain. The monitor could be too far away, too low, too high, too small, or too dim. And when that happens, your posture suffers. You end up bending your neck in such a way that your head is exerting too much force on your neck. Your joints and muscles get strained. Your breathing suffers, and, in the end, even your mood is affected– and not for the better!

You should think about ergonomics– the efficiency and comfort level associated with a workstation. There are certain desk chairs that are ergonomically designed to lessen your neck/back strain… and there are things to think about when it comes to where you sit and how you sit. For instance, is the monitor positioned so you’re not straining to see things on it? Are the mouse and keyboard in a position so you’re not reaching up to use them? Does the chair you sit in/on allow you to maintain the normal curves in your spine? When seated, do your feet touch the ground as they should? These are all things to consider when sitting for long periods of time at a desk job.

In order to support good health and posture, you should make sure to get up from your seated position every half hour or so. Perhaps set a timer to remind you to get out of your seat and move around. Take a walk if you can. Stretch and loosen up your muscles. Look at something else for a couple minutes so you’re not always having your eyes on the screen for hours on end. And, if possible, create a standing workstation. These are all good ways to avoid neck and back strain at work!

“Squash” Poor Nutrition This Winter

Posted by on 2:22 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Oh how the months fly by… and when winter comes, it’s time to consider eating winter squash because of its many health benefits. Not only is winter squash delicious, but it’s also easy to store and to prepare, too.

Winter squash are actually squash varieties which are harvested in the fall. These are some of the darker varieties such as pumpkin, spaghetti squash, acorn squash and butternut squash.
All have shells, which make them harder to cut/peel, but also contribute to their longer storage life.

So why bother eating winter squash? Well, if you want to reduce the risk of arthritis, cancer, diabetes and/or heart disease, squash helps!

Winter squash is nutritious, and contains high levels of both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene (which converts to Vitamin A). Meanwhile, squash is a good source of Vitamin C (especially important in the winter) as well as antioxidant/anti-inflammatory compounds. Did you know winter squash contains polysaccharides which help regulate blood sugar? Nice! And, to top it off, winter squash is a good source of fiber– something most people could use more of, right?

Now if you’re not that familiar with winter squash, here’s the deal: it can be baked, boiled or steamed. If you’re looking for the quickest and healthiest way to prepare it, steam the squash. When you do, it needs to have been peeled with the seeds removed; Cut the squash into cube pieces. Steaming squash takes about 7 minutes. If you choose to bake it, instead, there’s no need to peel the squash. Take off the ends, cut the squash in half (lengthwise down the middle), use a fork to pierce the meat a few times, and then bake it in the oven ‘til it’s tender. After it comes out of the oven, you can remove the seeds and skin if you’d like.

Squash seeds are a healthy snack. You can prepare them the way you would prepare pumpkin seeds. Just keep in mind that seeds need to be separated from the pulp before baking.

If you’re looking for the healthiest of winter squash, choose acorn squash, which is rich in folate, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Managing COPD Naturally

Posted by on 2:15 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

How’s your breathing? If you’ve been experiencing shortness of breath, chest tightening, coughing and/or wheezing, you may have a condition that falls under the umbrella term of “COPD,” aka Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Those with COPD might have asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema. No matter what your problem is called, one thing’s for sure: having trouble breathing can make for difficult days.

For those with breathing disorders, consider chiropractic care. A chiropractor can help improve your body mechanics, allowing for increased chest expansion and flexibility. In other words, chiropractic adjustments can help you breathe better. If and when your lungs have more movement, they can take in more air. Chiropractic care improves lung function and also allows people to increase their exercise performance.

If you or someone you know has lung disease, what are some treatment options? Medications and lung transplants are options, but if you don’t want to be on pills and you don’t want to go under the knife in a surgery, consider chiropractic treatments as an alternative. Studies have been conducted on people with lung disease to see what helped most… and those who combined soft tissue therapy, manipulation and exercise did the best. They were able to walk longer distances with better lung capacity.

Basically, chest wall impairment is a factor in the prognosis of COPD and/or lung disease. A chiropractor works to reduce this impairment. Visiting a chiropractor can result in increased joint mobility and decreased muscle tension. These two things can contribute to reducing chest wall rigidity– and then a person can breathe easier.

If you want to naturally improve your lungs, don’t smoke… or stop smoking. In addition, take deeper breaths, exercise in order to breathe harder on occasion, and avoid exposure to pollutants as best you can. Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, you still develop breathing problems.

In Forest Lake, MN, people with breathing issues should make an appointment to see Dr. Gerard and staff at Lakewoods Chiropractic. Please call 651-464-0800 or email info@lakewoodschiropractic.com for more information.

Chiropractic For Hypertension

Posted by on 12:16 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Do you or someone you know suffer from high blood pressure, aka hypertension? It’s a common condition where the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it could cause health problems such as heart disease or stroke. Typically, people use pills to lower their blood pressure, but for those who want to avoid medications, there’s chiropractic care for reducing hypertension.

Chiropractic adjustments made to the thoracic spine with the assistance of instruments can help change a person’s pulse rate. In a study with 290 adult participants, those who had instrument-assisted spinal adjustments made to their upper thoracic region experienced a decrease in both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure of about 7 percent.

Indeed, chiropractic care helps people’s musculoskeletal system and can be good for the heart, too. So often people immediately think they need a pill to “fix” their problem, but there are natural ways for the body to heal and improve itself, such as chiropractic care.

If you want to avoid the costly reliance on medication that may or may not work for reducing your high blood pressure, consider chiropractic care at Lakewoods as an alternative. Furthermore, as a person adjusts their diet, eating healthier, and exercising more, good things happen with their blood pressure. A chiropractor can encourage you to “get on the right track” with those things. It’s not unusual for a chiropractor to offer some nutritional counseling and show patients good exercises to do at home in order to feel better all over!

Want to kickstart the lowering of your blood pressure today? Then it’s time to get rid of a diet high in salt, fat and/or cholesterol. All those things contribute to hypertension. With the help of your chiropractor, who can be your cheerleader and guide in making some adjustments in your life, you can feel much better and avoid problems associated with chronic high blood pressure.

Tired of having hypertension? Want a drug-free solution? Make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN. Lakewoods Chiropractic is located at 255 Highway 97 (#2A) in Forest Lake. Please call 651-464-0800 or email info@lakewoodschiropractic.com for more info.

The GutOBrain Axis

Posted by on 12:14 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

How’s your brain connected to your gut? Well, did you know you’ve got a “little brain” in your gut? Scientists call it the “enteric nervous system (ENS)” and it contains some 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract. It goes from your esophagus to your rectum!

Unlike the brain in your head, the ENS controls digestion. It’s in charge of things like swallowing and breaking down food. Meanwhile, it communicates with the brain in your head. It can send out signals to your central nervous system to help trigger mood changes.

Do you or someone you know suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)? For those who do, it means constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, bloating and pain… all things that interfere with normal everyday life. Those with IBS tend to also suffer from depression and anxiety. Perhaps this is due to the link between the ENS and the brain in the head. Because a person’s bowel isn’t working well, the brain tells the body to feel depressed or anxious. It’s an interesting theory, right?

While some people choose pills (antidepressants) to deal with their IBS, there’s an alternative: chiropractic care. A chiropractor manipulates the spine and other parts of a person’s nervous system in order to remove nerve interferences and make sure “everything’s lined up as it should be.” Imagine your insides as being a series of highways. Sometimes there are traffic jams or roadblocks, and you feel pain… A chiropractor uses his or her hands or an instrument to reset those highways so messages can get where they need to go without problems.

So, if you want to improve the communications between the brain in your head and the brain in your gut to help relieve symptoms of IBS and other digestive issues, consider making an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN. Lakewoods Chiropractic is located at 255 Highway 97 (#2A) in Forest Lake. Please call 651-464-0800 or email info@lakewoodschiropractic.com for more info.

Is Fear Taking Over Your Life?

Posted by on 12:13 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

For some people, they’re naturally nervous, fearful or anxious. And, thankfully, they can find ways to calm down. Some choose to play sports like tennis or golf. Others get lost in their hobbies like putting puzzles together, HO train layouts, or collecting dolls or Matchbox cars. Still, with the coronavirus pandemic having overtaken the media, and the world, this year, more and more people are living in fear on a daily basis.

Have you not gone out of your house in months? Have you had to have groceries delivered? Do you worry about touching things without sanitizing your hands? Did you decide to give up handshakes and hugs?

This pandemic is the pits! It’s making even confident people question what’s going on, how long this will last, and what will happen in the future. Indeed, not knowing the outcome of “all this” makes many people have sleepless nights. Are we, as a society, more miserable than a few months ago? Definitely! We can’t travel like we used to. We can’t go to certain places because they’re closed. And we may know people who have died from the virus. It’s awful.

That said, are you letting fear take over your life? If so, that’s not good for your health. When your body is consistently in a state of fear and anxiety, your brain releases stress hormones on a regular basis. This can result in headaches, dizziness and depression. When your body responds to a threat it releases adrenaline and cortisol– and if it’s doing that a lot, lately, then you’re likely to gain weight. You’re also likely to experience heart palpitations and chest pain as well as nausea, diarrhea and other digestive issues. Being worried all the time can also mess up your immune system and respiratory system as well.

Social isolation is not good. Have you been feeling depressed lately? Do you have frequent headaches and muscle tension? Chances are that fear and anxiety are overwhelming you, not only mentally but physically, too. Therefore, consider getting some help. If you need to relax, make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN. The chiropractor can find places in your body where there’s tension and help release it, taking some of your pain away. Chiropractors help the body heal itself. And it’s always good to talk to someone about the fear and stress you’re experiencing– sometimes just verbally sharing what’s going on with you can help calm your nerves.

Lakewoods Chiropractic is located at 255 Highway 97 (#2A) in Forest Lake. Please call 651-464-0800 or email info@lakewoodschiropractic.com for more info.

Losing Weight May Prevent Back Pain

Posted by on 12:11 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

If you’re like most people, last New Year’s Eve you vowed to lose weight this year. How’s that going? Most people are seemingly heavier than before, especially thanks to the coronavirus pandemic which has caused much of the U.S. population to stay indoors, in their homes, holed up for months.

Sheltering in place has led to weight gain of up to 16 pounds for 76 percent of Americans, according to a study commissioned by Nutrisystem. It has been harder to stay physically active and maintain a “normal” meal schedule thanks to the bad news people keep getting via their smartphones, computers and TVs. Everyday it seems like something else is wrong with the world, and it’s causing people to eat to cope with all the fear and anxiety the world has these days.

Did you know that according to a CDC Adult Obesity Facts page, 42 percent of Americans are obese? When a person’s weight is higher than what’s considered healthy for their given height then they’re overweight or obese. “Body Mass Index,” or BMI, is used to screen for this… and, for example, an adult who is 5’9” and weighs 169 to 202 pounds with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. If he or she weighs 203 pounds or more with a BMI over 30, that’s considered obese.

Does obesity correlate with musculoskeletal pain, and, more specifically, back pain? It sure does! By having a “belly” or “tummy” that sticks out you’re adding strain to your muscles and ligaments in the back– they have to work overtime to support the fat in the front. When a person is obese, the body has to compensate for the weight whereas the spine can become titled and stressed unevenly. It’s not unusual for overweight/obese people to have back pain because their spine isn’t supporting them like it should– and there could be an unnatural curvature of the spine thanks to the added weight.

Excess weight tends to pull the pelvis forward; It strains the lower back. It can also lead to a herniated disc and sciatica. Excess weight can also exacerbate arthritic pain.

So what can be done about this? If you’re overweight/obese and have a high BMI, it’s time to lose some weight. As you lose weight around your midsection, you should have less back pain. How do you know if you need to lose weight? If you’re a woman with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches or a man with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches, it makes sense to think about losing weight. Chiropractic care can help your body “right itself,” aligning your spine and accelerating weight loss thanks to the accountability of checking in with your doctor regularly.

Need help losing weight and getting rid of your back pain? Make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN. Call 651-464-0800 or email info@lakewoodschiropractic.com today.

Spine-friendly Tips For New Moms

Posted by on 3:30 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

If you’re a new mom you can’t avoid baby lifting and feeding. Over the course of the first year your child could end up weighing 30 pounds, and then you have to worry about diaper bags, car seats, strollers and other supplies. That’s a heavy load to bear!

That said, here are some spine-friendly tips to prevent back pain, sciatica and herniated discs…

When lifting a baby remember to use your knees in the process. Bend them so you’re squatting rather than bending from the waist. You should ideally keep your back straight and your feet hip-width apart while holding the baby close to your body. Use your legs to stand up rather than your back.

When feeding a baby, choose a chair that has back support so you can sit up straight rather than slouch. Bring the baby to your breast rather than bending over to the baby. If you use a feeding tray/high chair, remove the feeding tray before putting the baby in or out of the chair to make it easier on your back.

Instead of always carrying your baby in your arms without any additional support, you can get a baby carrier. Buy one that has wide and padded shoulder straps and a belt that goes around your hips to help distribute the weight. While some moms try carrying their child on their hip, that can overload their back muscles and cause pain. If you must do this, alternate between both sides to even out the load bearing.

What about car seats? Sit next to the car seat with your baby in your lap. Rotate your body to the side to put the baby in the seat. This is better than reaching into the car from a standing position at the door.

Finally, keep in mind that muscle strengthening exercises and proper posture will help prevent back pain. New moms should exercise when they get a chance. Perhaps there’s a moms’ club or group to join, locally, where women get together to exercise and/or talk about their issues. As a new mom, having some emotional support from other moms can really help.

Consider regular chiropractic care before and after your baby is born. Make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake. Call 651-464-0800 or email info@lakewoodschiropractic.com.

Choose Local Produce For Optimum Health

Posted by on 3:28 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Do you look for fresh foods at your local market? If so, you’re doing yourself a favor because local produce is good for a person’s health. When produce is grown locally, that means it was grown within a couple miles from the store or market where you’re shopping– rather than grown several time zones away in distant lands, perhaps across continents. Food coming from far away could easily get contaminated as it travels many, many miles.

Fruits and veggies lose their optimal nutritional value as soon as they are picked. The vitamins in them begin to decrease as they’re exposed to air, artificial lights and temperature changes. Oftentimes, food picked in a faraway country, such as Colombia or China, can “sit” for days before it’s delivered by boat, truck or other form of transport to the place where you buy it. Thus, you get the food when it’s not at its peak state. Local farms, however, are “just down the road,” so they can pick their crops one morning and have their produce to you later that afternoon– you can’t get much fresher than that!

Local produce doesn’t need to be artificially ripened using gases. It doesn’t need to travel thousands of miles to get to you, turning bland in the process. Instead, local produce has a high nutritional value and typically tastes delicious.

When you “buy local,” that’s better for the environment because the carbon footprint to get the food to you is much less than if it were flown from overseas. Furthermore, local produce helps preserve green space and farmland in your area. When it’s local, you’re supporting your local economy, too.

Looking for local produce near Forest Lake, MN? Try this site: https://www.localharvest.org/forest-lake-MN

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Posted by on 3:27 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Do you run for exercise? Do you play sports? If so, you might end up with a sports-related injury known as Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). It’s an overuse injury of the connective tissues located on the outer part of the thigh and knee. When you have pain and tenderness in this area, especially just above the knee, you might have ITBS. It’s a common cause of pain for runners and bicyclists.

If you were to look under your skin, you’d find the iliotibial band begins in the pelvis, runs down the outside part of the thigh, and then crosses the knee to attach into the top part of the shinbone. It’s a thick band of tissue that’s meant to stabilize the outside part of the knee through its range of motion. When it’s good, you don’t notice it; when it’s bad, you’re in pain!

Normally, when you flex your knee you don’t have pain. But if your iliotibial band experiences inflammation then pain can occur, typically along the outer aspect of your knee joint. If you don’t do anything about this, you’ll likely develop decreasing knee range of motion. If you can’t move your knee like you want to, then you can’t do the physical things you’re used to doing, and that decreases your quality of life.

Ever hear of a high school football player whose season is cut short because of knee issues? Or a runner who wishes he or she could run but the pain is just too much to bear near the knee? ITBS is no joke; It’s painful. That said, chiropractic care can help decrease the inflammation in order to decrease the pain. With good chiropractic care, ITBS can be dealt with so people can get back to doing the sports they love, like cycling and football.

If you’ve got pain near your knee, why not make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake? Call 651-464-0800 or email info@lakewoodschiropractic.com.