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.

Work-Related Back Pain

Posted by on 7:03 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

People spend a lot of their waking hours at work. Whether it’s in an office, at their own home, or in a factory setting, one thing they all have in common is this: work-related pain. It happens to the best of us, doesn’t it?

What are some major reasons people experience work-related pain? Heavy lifting is a culprit, as well as having to perform repetitive movements all day. Perhaps the number one problem at work is this: sitting at a desk all day in one stiff position. All too often, people sit and stare at a screen, barely moving their necks. Then they get neck pain. Or they slouch and feel back pain. Maybe their legs go numb. Or they get carpal tunnel syndrome from the way they type at a keyboard. Of course there’s eye strain, too. My goodness, work-related pain is easy to get these days!

If you exert too much force on your back, lifting heavy things and moving them around, you can feel the pain afterward. If you twist and rotate your spine you can injure your back. And if you don’t do much activity during the day, even that can contribute to back pain and other problems. Also, think about your posture– if it’s “not good,” then expect pain.

How can you combat work-related pain? For starters, adjust your diet. You need to start taking better care of yourself on a daily basis. That means less candy bars and soda pop from the machines or fridges at work. Replace junk food and sugary drinks with veggies and water. Also, take breaks from sitting all day. Get up and move around every 20 minutes or so. Walk to the bathroom, the water cooler, other people’s desks, or wherever just to get your legs and arms moving. Any chance you get to get some aerobic exercise during the work day– take it! If your employer offers tai chi, yoga or other exercise classes/options, utilize them.

Did you know you should be getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity? Combine that with strength training, such as lifting weights, and your body will be in better shape both at work and at home.

In general, to prevent work-related pain or injury, you need to pay attention to your posture, lift things properly, modify repetitive tasks to reduce strain, and do what it takes to stretch muscles and remove tension whenever you can.

If something’s really bothering you, make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic for chiropractic care.

Marvelous Mushrooms

Posted by on 7:01 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

At Lakewoods Chiropractic we love to share information on nutrition with people. The healthier a person eats, the better they’ll ultimately feel.

Mushrooms are a food that should not be ignored. Did you know that mushrooms have been actually used as medicine in some cultures for centuries? The ancient Egyptians called mushrooms “the plant of immortality.” Indeed, mushrooms are good and nutritious for you.

If you’ve heard of the term “superfood,” know this: mushrooms are a superfood. Edible mushrooms can be used to prevent and treat health conditions as well as improve overall health. Low in calories, mushrooms give people both fiber and protein. Plus, they’re loaded with vitamins B and D and other good nutrients like selenium, potassium and copper. Did you know they’re also loaded with more antioxidants than a lot of colorful fruits and veggies? No wonder mushrooms are considered a superfood!

Do you want to boost your immune system? Eat shiitake mushrooms daily. Want to reduce inflammation in your body? Eat common white button mushrooms. Want to treat obesity? Mushrooms alter your gut bacteria in a positive way, helping you fight fat! And eating mushrooms regularly can also help prevent respiratory infections.

If you’ve never really eaten mushrooms in your diet and you’re wondering “where do I start?” then here are some names to look for at the local grocery store: porcini, golden oyster, pioppino, lion’s mane, maitake, and the aforementioned shiitake. These mushrooms will give you lots of nutrients and antioxidants.

For those who want to try an experiment to lose weight, feel better, and bring your blood pressure/cholesterol down, try this: replace some of the meat you eat with mushrooms instead. Over the course of a couple months you’ll start to notice that you feel healthier.

At Lakewoods Chiropractic, we care about educating people with valuable, useful information in an effort to help them live healthier, happier lives. One of the main things you can do to change how you look and feel is to adjust your eating and drinking habits. Some simple steps, like choosing water instead of soda pop, and eating more mushrooms and less red meat, are ways you can not only take a couple pounds off, but also start to feel more alive. What we put into ourselves can either weigh us down or give us energy to take on each day. At Lakewoods, we want to see people’s lives transformed through improved nutrition and more.

Avoid Injury On The Soccer Field

Posted by on 6:59 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

What is the most popular sport for children and young people to play these days? If you guessed soccer, you’re right! In fact, soccer (or football as it’s known outside of the United States) is the world’s most popular sport with over 250 million players. Nearly a million young people in American high schools play soccer each year.

For those unfamiliar with the game, soccer involves two teams of eleven players each kicking a spherical ball around, trying to score goals at each end. The objective? To move the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal, getting more points than the other team during the allotted time.

What makes soccer unique? Well, players aren’t allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it’s in play. Only the goalkeepers can do that, within the penalty area. Therefore, soccer players use their feet to move the ball around– or any other part of their body, such as the head… as long as they don’t use their hands and arms, then they’re playing by the rules of the game.

Should soccer players utilize regular chiropractic care to help their game? Definitely. Ultimately, chiropractic care is meant to make a person’s nervous system function at its best. Therefore, chiropractic care can and will help with any problems or issues a soccer player is experiencing with their low back, neck, spine or pelvis. If and when a player is having pain in their body, they cannot perform as well in a game. Their joints might not have the range of motion needed to play properly. And, it’s hard to play soccer with a “bad knee.” Therefore, chiropractic care adjustments help to alleviate nervous system issues in the body. With regular chiropractic care, a young soccer player can restore normal range of motion if needed, and keep their nervous system functioning as intended.

Since soccer involves a lot of kicking, any player who has a chiropractor work on their low back and pelvis is more likely to see an increase in their kicking speed than those who don’t have any chiropractic care. Indeed, studies have been done to test this out, and it works like a charm.

Do you or someone you know play soccer in/near Forest Lake, MN? Get the competitive advantage with regular chiropractic care from Lakewoods; call 651-464-0800 to schedule an appointment today.

Chiropractic Helps Golfers

Posted by on 7:54 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Golf is a game played on a large, open-air course, in which a small, hard ball is struck with a club into a series of small holes in the ground. The object of the game is to use the fewest possible strokes to complete the course. Millions of people golf and love it. It can be frustrating, challenging, and even annoying at times, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting to improve their score and, if they’re lucky, score a “hole in one!”

Many golfers often experience pain in their bodies. Perhaps it’s the way they use their clubs to hit the ball. They might be swinging in such a way that aggravates various parts of their body– most commonly their lower backs, right?

Swinging a golf club uses a lot of muscles. When one muscle is a little “off” and cannot keep up with the others, then the others must overcompensate– and pain occurs. It’s not unusual for golfers to experience subluxations, which are misalignments, to the spine. If the spine is “off,” then a person’s poor posture can lead to poor performance and injuries. Chiropractors can use their hands to make manual adjustments to the spine, in order to get it back to its proper positioning in the body.

Golf is a repetitive sport– all those repeated swings can lead to muscle and joint strains. Thus, it should be no surprise that professional golfers often make chiropractic care a part of their regimen– even people like Tiger Woods. Amateur golfers would be wise to utilize the services of a chiropractor, too, in order to get their body into tip-top shape. There are certain exercises a chiropractor can show a golfer to help condition them for the specific demands of the sport.

Some of the key problem areas for golfers, besides the back, include the elbows (bent during the downswing, becoming hyperextended), hips, neck and wrists. Obviously, it’s no fun to be in pain while golfing.

If you’re a golfer in Minnesota and you’d appreciate smart chiropractic care from Dr. Gerard at Lakewoods Chiropractic, please call 651-464-0800 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment.

Drug Free Approach to Preventing Headaches

Posted by on 7:52 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Is what you eat/consume really related to having headaches? Most people assume there are some headache triggers, involving caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, cheese and artificial sweeteners as chief culprits. These could be triggers, but research doesn’t actually have the power to statistically, definitively say, “Yes, you got a headache because you ate ______.” Other possible headache triggers might include exposure to histamines, nitrites or the amino acid tyramine.

So, if you wanted to try an experiment to reduce/prevent headaches, try eliminating one or more foods/drinks that you think might be causing them, and see how it goes. You might, for instance, want to adapt to a low histamine diet. Or decide to try an anti-inflammatory diet, thereby reducing your intake of foods with omega-6 fats, while increasing your intake of omega-3s and monounsaturated fats.

How about this: eat more nuts, avocados, fish, olive oil, flax and hemp. Eat less corn, soy, veggie oil and processed foods made with these ingredients.

If you want to prevent headaches, make sure you’re not dehydrated. Drink plenty of water daily. Don’t skip meals. And do what it takes so you don’t experience the effects of low blood sugar.

Finally, practice yoga, relaxation techniques, and stress reduction whenever possible, as drug-free ways to prevent headaches.

If and when you do experience headaches and you need some drug-free remedies to beat headache pain, there are some safe ways to achieve this.

For starters, you actually take a moderate dose of caffeine, and this will constrict your blood vessels that go to the head. If you don’t want caffeine in your body, just use an icepack– applying it to the areas that hurt. The cold helps restrict blood vessels and relieve pain.

Aerobic exercise is another way to relieve headache pain. Doing exercises helps stimulate pain-reducing neurotransmitters, so utilize that stationary bike that has been used to hang drying laundry.

Do you like Gatorade? It’s a good drink to ward off headaches because it quickly rehydrates you, boosting your blood sugar too.

And if you don’t mind massage, enjoy the feel of someone else massaging your temples, neck and scalp to get the blood flowing and make you feel good.

Many headache sufferers feel better after visiting their chiropractor. Lakewoods Chiropractic has indeed helped many people lessen or get rid of their headache problems over time.

Multitasking Mania

Posted by on 7:50 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

When a person deals with more than one task at the same time, it’s called multitasking. Moms are typical multitaskers, especially with little kids. For example, a mom might be cooking a meal on the stove while also helping her toddler put on pants and talking on the phone with a friend, all the while her husband is asking her about dinner details. Or a person who is reading this on a computer screen or smartphone screen might also be “kind of” watching a TV show while engaging in a conversation with another person in the room, simultaneously. Most people multitask these days, but is it good for us? Some neuroscientists think not.

According to scholarly study of multitasking done by neuroscientists, multitasking ruins productivity, causes mistakes, and impedes creative thought. Why is this? The human brain isn’t that well built for multitasking, even though the average person assumes it is. Research shows that the brain can only hold little bits of information in the mind during a single moment. Bombard it with multiple bits of info and it becomes overwhelmed.

Basically, if we were to think of ourselves as computers with cameras, we’re always looking around at our surroundings and processing information. Doing this requires mental energy. Focusing on one thing is good, but trying to focus on multiple things– at once–causes the brain to refocus, backtrack and fix errors. All of this backtracking and switching thoughts is like leading the brain into a series of rooms but just for a few seconds– not getting enough time or focus to truly explore one particular room. Thus, it’s harder to think creatively when the brain is multitasking.

Interestingly, most people will say, “Well, maybe this is true for other people, but I am GREAT at multitasking.” They are just rationalizing it, trying to convince themselves that they’re somehow superhuman.

Can you stop multitasking using sheer willpower alone? No, because new information is all around us. That said, you can choose to put away your devices, turn off others, and take mental breaks for your own good. Just because you have a smartphone doesn’t mean you have to watch it all the time. And just because you subscribe to Netflix doesn’t mean you have to binge watch whole seasons of shows while doing other things, such as eating dinner or having conversations with family members in the room.

Perhaps the best advice to multitaskers is this: get yourself out of multitasking situations by deciding to take a quick break from “the chaos.” Get up and physically move around. Take deep breaths. Increasing blood flow to the brain can help you restore focus.

Drug Free Approach to Prevent Gout

Posted by on 7:49 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

What is gout? It’s a form of arthritis where the body reacts to irritating crystal deposits in the joints. Gout typically involves intense pain in a joint, which could be in the big toe, knees, ankles, elbows, thumbs or fingers. Gout feels like a painful “attack” that surprises a person, coming unexpectedly. While the pain usually subsides after a couple days, gout can recur at any time.

About 8 million Americans deal with gout, with more men getting it than women. Rare for children and young adults, gout usually occurs between the ages of 30 and 50; Women are more likely to get gout after menopause.

Who’s most likely to get gout? Those who are overweight or have high blood pressure. Therefore, if you want to avoid gout, do whatever it takes to lose weight and lower your blood pressure.

Gout is brought on by an excess of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is produced in the body, but it also comes from a person’s diet. Normally, extra uric acid leaves the body through urine. However, sometimes the body makes too much uric acid and/or fails to get rid of excess uric acid through urination… and then crystals of “monosodium urate” form in a person’s joints/tendons, causing inflammation, swelling, redness, and pain. People get gout.

To prevent gout there are several things you can do. For starters, cut down your intake of alcohol– beer included. Other drinks to avoid are those sweetened with fructose (fruit sugar). In essence, drink more water. Also, if you tend to eat huge amounts of meat (bacon) or seafood (mussels, sardines), cut down on those as well. And, just as you’d expect to hear, it’s important to exercise regularly, which will help you lose weight. If your body is at a healthy weight, such that you’re not obese, then you reduce your risk of gout.

Two things thought to reduce uric acid levels are Vitamin C (oranges, cherries) and coffee– while there’s no conclusive evidence for this, it’s generally assumed they can help.

Do you appreciate advice to help you eat/drink better and feel healthier? Lakewoods Chiropractic can help you “get on the right track” to looking and feeling better– make your appointment for chiropractic care today by calling 651-464-0800.

Whiplash injuries myths and truths

Posted by on 3:39 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Whiplash is usually associated with car crashes, whereas a person’s head jerked forward or backward suddenly and… pain resulted. Basically, with whiplash, that sudden force stretches and/or tears the muscles and tendons in a person’s neck, and that hurts!

What are some whiplash injury myths and truths?

Perhaps the main myth out there is that the vehicle’s speed of impact predicts the whiplash injury. You’d assume if the car or truck is going really fast, then automatically the whiplash injury will be more severe? That’s a myth. The speed of impact doesn’t matter. The truth is a person’s whiplash injury can be serious even with what others would consider a minor “fender bender.”

Another myth is that a person will feel whiplash symptoms right away after the accident. Honestly, it might take years before the pain starts in some cases. There’s even a name for this: “delayed onset whiplash associated disorder.” So, perhaps you were in a crash years ago but initially felt fine– but now, years later, you’ve got neck, head and shoulder pain? It could be that!

Here’s something that has been found to be true: if a person had their head turned to one side during a low speed crash, then they are less likely to develop whiplash. Interesting, right? So keep that in mind should you ever be put into that position– turning your head before impact could help prevent future problems. Posture matters when it comes to whiplash.

Chiropractors can really help people with whiplash injuries, which often involve subtle vertebral subluxations. Basically, with whiplash, spinal bones (vertebrae) may have become misaligned. The chiropractor’s job is to align them, thus taking away the pain and helping the nervous system return to normal.

If you or someone you know has been in a car accident, it’s a good idea to visit Dr. Gerard at Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN, for an evaluation. Whiplash not only can cause neck problems, but also bother both the back, and, indeed, the whole body, leading to cognitive and emotional problems. The sooner the body is checked and “adjusted” after the traumatic event, the better! Please call the Lakewoods clinic at 651-464-0800 to make an appointment.

Hot news about hot peppers

Posted by on 3:37 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Hot peppers are known for giving people a burning sensation, because, well, they’re hot, right? But what is it about peppers that makes them hot? It turns out they contain capsaicin, which is a molecular compound you’d also find in some popular pain-reliever pills. Capsaicin has no dietary content (such as calories or nutrients) but it gives the eater a “burning sensation.” Found in every part of the pepper except for the seed, capsaicin is thought to have many benefits.

Research has shown that capsaicin essentially calms painful nerves, muscles and joints. In Science Signaling, a peer-reviewed scientific weekly journal, Tibor Rohacs and a team of researchers from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School reported how a nerve mechanism is activated by capsaicin to block pain signals. Essentially, capsaicin works like a local analgesic.

Rohacs’ team looked at ion channels in sensory nerve terminals that respond to heat. They focused on the capsaicin receptor and concluded that the pain-causing, heat sensor ion channel does something to the nerves that, in the long run, silences or desensitizes them. So, in essence, capsaicin helps calm nerves, inhibiting mechanical pain. Of particular note was Rohacs conclusion that capsaicin works fast and robustly, with long lasting effects.

For now, if a person really wants to feel relief from capsaicin, they’d need it injected into them along with a local analgesic, though some people buy capsaicin creams and other over-the-counter medications to use for “some relief.” That said, maybe just adding hot peppers to one’s diet might “do the trick” in helping ease nerve pain?! It’s worth a try! By the way, the more capsaicin a pepper contains, the spicier it is.

If you’re looking to try peppers, look for these keywords: cayenne, jalapeno, habanero, and serrano– the most popular varieties of chili peppers. In the U.S., most peppers are imported from Mexico. You can eat them fresh, dried or powdered (known as paprika).

Eating peppers tends to give people an endorphin rush. People with neuropathic pain, arthritis, and itchy dermatological conditions stand to benefit most from eating hot peppers in whatever form they can tolerate. Some say hot peppers help with weight loss, too, by reducing calorie intake and even shrinking fat tissue.

The verdict? Eat more hot peppers for your overall health.