The Medication-Free Path to Lower Blood Pressure

chiropractor Oklahoma City The Medication Free Path to Lower Blood PressureHypertension, often called the silent killer, happens when a person’s blood pressure is over 140/90. Hypertension strains the heart, the blood vessels, kidneys as well as other organs. This person is at increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks and stroke. Most adults are on medication for elevated blood pressure. Here are a few suggestions to help manage your blood pressure so that you might be able to reduce your medication or dispense with it entirely.

1. Lose Weight. For those of you who are at your target weight, ignore this section. Everyone else will be delighted to know that losing just 10% of your existing body weight can lower your blood pressure enough to require an adjustment in your medication. Losing 20% yields even greater benefits.

2. Breathe. Right, I know, we all breathe. But do we all breathe properly? The fact is, we don’t. Because of our constantly elevated stress levels and the need to constantly be on high alert, we breathe rapidly and with only our upper lungs. Rarely do we breathe deeply enough to expand our diaphragm and really stretch out our lower lungs. When we take deep, slow, controlled breaths, there is a reduction in the stress hormones that trigger renin production in our liver. Renin is an enzyme that rises our blood pressure. By regularly practicing deep breathing, we can naturally lower our blood pressure. Not only do we get the benefit of a lower blood pressure, we achieve an overall calming effect. Practicing yoga breathing techniques, called pranayama, can yield remarkable results in terms of stress reduction and reduced blood pressure.

3. Sunlight. Spending time in the sun produces nitric oxide which relaxes our blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely. This reduces blood pressure and can eventually lower one’s risk of a heart attack. Exercise caution, however, when the temperatures are extremely high as this can raise your blood pressure.

4. Walking the dog. Spending time with a pet and taking walks together has been proven to reduce blood pressure and feelings of stress. Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day provides the necessary effect. Whenever possible, try to walk in nature, away from cars, buildings, and traffic whenever possible. The blood pressure reduction benefit is especially good when walking near a body of water like a lake, river, or ocean.

5. Music soothes. Many people have used music to manage their emotions, so it comes as no surprise that listening to music can lower blood pressure as well. The Netherland Heart journal published a study that reported lowered blood pressure in people who regularly played an instrument or listened to music.

Try one or all of these natural blood pressure lowering techniques to improve your health and reduce your dependence on medication to keep you healthy.

Photo Credit : Project 366 #98: 070412 The Pressure’s Off from Pete
via Flickr

Read To Your Children – Doctor’s Orders

chiropractor Oklahoma City Read To Your Children   Doctor’s OrdersA recent release from the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that it would ask all pediatricians to recommend that parents read aloud to their children on a daily basis. Obviously this promotes literacy, but it also helps the child develop social/emotional skills.

Not only is reading to your child an enjoyable experience, it strengthens the parent/child relationship. For this reason alone, pediatricians will now be encouraging parents to read to their children at all their regular checkups.

This seems to be an obvious part of rearing a child, that time-honored tradition of reading bedtime stories. But statistics show that fewer than 50% of all children are read to on a regular basis. More than 30% of children entering kindergarten without the necessary language skills they need to learn how to read.

The lack of daily reading crosses the line between low-income families and high-income families. While children of low income families are less likely to be read to, the surprise was that children of high-income families enter school almost equally unprepared.

Time is the most common excuse given for not reading to children. Of all resources available to us today, time seems to be the most limited. And yet, the importance of developing a child’s literacy abilities from an early age suggests that we make time for our children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics plans to include the literacy program be included in the training of new pediatricians in pediatric residency programs. And there is a call to include high quality reading material, making them available during routine care visits.

According to Dr. Pamela High, a pediatrician and professor at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, parents need to hit the “5 Rs” as part of their young children’s routine:

1. Reading regularly to young children.
2. Rhyming, singing and cuddling.
3. Routines and regular times for meals and sleep.
4. Rewarding children for their efforts to promote self-esteem.
5. Relationship development.

Reading to your child should be a fun and enjoyable experience for you both. Choose books that you both enjoy. Laugh together at the funny rhymes and pictures. Encourage your child to repeat key words and phrases that recur throughout the book. Even ten minutes a day will make a difference in your child’s future.

Photo Credit : Read to Me, from BenSpark via Flickr

Practicing Empathy

Climbing the corporate ladder seems to require traits of ruthlessness and lack of compassion or empathy for those who are stepped on or crushed on the way to the top. But it isn’t always necessary to hurt others for personal gain. Certainly, being a pushover isn’t going to get you the recognition you desire from the person set to promote someone to the next level. But neither is throwing everyone under the bus just to get what you want.

Empathy means having an understanding of what it’s like to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Atticus Finch, an attorney in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird regularly taught his children to practice empathy; to have the ability to share in and understand the emotions and feelings of other people. Having empathy is a skill you can practice by looking at this from the perspective of another person.

There are quite a few benefits to developing an empathetic side to your personality. Empathetic people are very effective communicators because they listen very closely to the words of the person they’re talking to. This also makes them a welcome addition to any kind of a group project because they find it easier to create connections with people, thereby securing greater levels of cooperation in seeing the project through to completion.

If you have been ignoring your ability to be empathetic, you may find that your relationships are suffering. Instead of coming home and finding fault with your spouse or partner for undone tasks around the house. Try to look at it from your partner’s perspective. Perhaps the project at work requires your partner to spend long hours at it, coming home after dark, making it impossible to continue the outdoor painting that had begun last weekend. Or your youngest child has been at home sick forcing the child’s mother to work from home and care for the patient all while trying to maintain some control over the household chores.

Let’s get back to the ladder climber at work. An effective manager in today’s world needs to have an excellent understanding of other people, particularly in today’s more globalized economy. A study found that managers who were able to empathize with their people had happier and much more productive employees. In this way, managers create a dream team of people who are motivated, talented, and best of all loyal to them.

The key to being empathetic at work is to find a balance between being a pushover who everyone takes advantage of and being the jerk who intends to get to the top no matter how many women and children he has to walk on to get there. There is a happy medium.

Understanding Ergonomics – How Seat Design Plays a Vital Role

chiropractor Oklahoma City Understanding Ergonomics – How Seat Design Plays a Vital RoleIt is estimated that at least 50% individuals in the industrialized world suffer from some kind of back problem, most notably due to a poor or inadequate seat design. How we sit all day in front of our workstations has a marked impact on the overall health of our spine. As a result of bad posture, the lumbar region in the back bone is what takes the most pounding. Here’s what you need to know, and many chiropractors will stand by it.

There is no universal seat that’s designed to accommodate every single person. But there are a number or ergonomic factors that come into play when we’re talking seat design. These generally work well for the average person.

Seat height should be set in a way so as to support a knee angle of 90 degrees. This takes undue stress off the thighs and buttocks. A chair that’s too high will increase the pressure at the underside of the knees, reducing blood flow and increasing unnecessary pressure on the nerve.

A chair that’s too low places pressure on the ischial tuberosities – this is where the upper thigh originates in the gluteus maximus region. Normally, the glutes cover them in the upright position, but they are exposed and at an ergonomic disadvantage when we’re sitting.

Optimal seat depth is recommended at 16.5”; between 14” and 18.5” for adjustable seats.

You should avoid hard seats. Seat pan contouring and cushioning should be designed in a way so that pressure is distributed over a larger area and the pelvis rotates forward – this encourages better posture.

Ideal seat cushioning is about 2” thick. The cushioning needs to be firmer and thicker in the back, while being less firm and thinner at the front. Too much cushioning and your body is going to sink into the chair, restricting movement. A soft chair may be very welcoming and comfortable at first, but it goes against basic ergonomic sense; as the body sinks, blood flow is reduced and skin temperature rises as you experience more compression under the thighs. At the end of the day – more discomfort.

A seat width that’s between 20” and 23” generally works well.

An ideal seat angle helps you maintain good contact with the backrest; a 5 to 10 degree angle is good.

There many more ergonomic factors related to optimal seating, and these are just some of them at a glance. A good chiropractor can help you determine exactly what type of chair best suits your body type.

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Kids and Chiropractic Care: How It Can Benefit Them

chiropractor Oklahoma City Kids and Chiropractic Care: How It Can Benefit ThemChiropractic care deals with the spinal column’s important relationship in creating harmony throughout the body.  It works on the principle that even a slight maladjustment in the spinal column can create problems for the individual.  The backbone is home to the nervous system and fine tuning of vertebrae can have enormous effects in reducing pain and help in healing.

Kids and chiropractic care have a very important relation – as kids grow, their body experiences a lot of physical stresses.  Any slight problems in the spine can restrict their growth and even cause severe problems.

Due to the curved position which the baby adopts when growing in the womb, many complications can arise at or after birth.  For this reason, a lot of parents get their newborn’s spine checked by a chiropractor.

Other health-related complaints in newborns include difficulty in breast-feeding, sleep problems, reflux and infections that can be linked to the nervous system of the baby.  These problems are the result of misaligned spine which may have resulted either due to the pre-birth curved position of the fetus, or due to the stresses incurred during delivery.

A chiropractor starts off by examining kids and their spines.  A lot of parents are worried about the baby’s delicate body being subjected to the forces required during the adjustments.  What they don’t realize that many chiropractors are specialists in treating kids.  They have the right skills and the touch of delicacy required in handling babies.

Nevertheless, spinal adjustments for kids – especially newborns – require very gentle pressures using only fingers.

Chiropractic care for kids is absolutely painless.  The kid may be sensitive to the touch at points where there is an injury – apart from that, there is no need to worry about pain.

A kid’s spine is far more responsive than that of an adult.  Only a few minor adjustments are required to get rid of any abnormality.  The complete time required for all chiropractic care sessions would depend on how long the problem has persisted for.

Kids have far less chances of suffering any injuries during the spinal adjustment procedure.  A study by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) revealed that only a few children from a figure of more than ten thousand experienced some sort of minor discomfort.

Therefore, it is extremely safe to have kids go through chiropractic care to ensure they do not have any kind of spinal issues while they grow up to become healthy adults.

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Cervical Herniated Disc – Disc Injuries and Chiropractic Care

chiropractor Oklahoma City Cervical Herniated Disc   Disc Injuries and Chiropractic CareIndividuals, engaged in strenuous everyday tasks of lifting and shifting heavy loads, and operating machines and computers for long hours on end, run a high risk of experiencing spinal disc injuries. Injuries in the spine or neck region tend to cause extreme pain and hindrance in the movement of the back or neck. Cervical herniated disc is a medical condition in which the patient feels excruciating pain in the neck, due to a slipped disc. Chiropractors provide invasive treatment methods for relieving the pain in the neck and spinal areas of the body.

What Is A Cervical Herniated Disc?

It is a medical condition, in which the individual suffers from extreme pain in the neck, and sometimes shoulder region, due to a slipped disc or pressure on a nerve. Cervical herniated disc injuries are less common than a lumbar herniated disc, which affects the lower region of the body. A cervical herniated disc condition is in the neck region of the body.

The 7 applicable vertebra of the spine are termed as C1 to C7, in a descending manner, for medical convenience. Between every two vertebra, a disc is located which serves as shock absorbers for the spine. The exertion and pressure on the neck and spine of the body causes swelling or bulging of the disc which might in extreme cases, even cause the disc to rupture, resulting in severe disc injuries.

The swelling and bulging of the disc exerts pressure on the nerves, which results in extreme pain in the neck and back region, hampering movement of the affected individual. A slipped disc or cervical herniated disc in the vertebra segment of C4 to C5 causes nerve root impingement, which results in pain in the upper shoulder or arm, hindering movement. Any swelling in the cervical segment of C5 to C6 results in weakening the front arm muscles, also called biceps, and causes a numbing and tingling pain in the wrist. It is the most common area in which a cervical herniated disc condition occurs.

The herniation of the discs in the C6 to C7 vertebra results in creating painful sensations in the back muscles of the arm, also called triceps,  which extends all over the hand, causing pain up to the fingers. Any disc herniation in the C7 to T1 region, results in affecting the control and grip of the hand, with a tingling pain and numb sensation throughout.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care and treatment methods are highly effective for different musculoskeletal disorders and spinal disc injuries, experienced by individuals because of over exertion and engagement in strenuous activities. Chiropractors provide services for joint and muscle adjustment and pain relief.

 

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Shoulder Sport Injuries and Chiropractic Care

chiropractor Oklahoma City Shoulder Sport Injuries and Chiropractic CareAthletes and sports enthusiasts suffer from different sports injuries, the most common one being shoulder injuries, contracted during the strenuous activities and efforts required during various sports. Chiropractors provide effective treatment methods to rid the patients of the pain and suffering of a shoulder injury.

How Are Shoulder Sports Injuries Contracted?

Shoulder sport injuries are contracted by professional athletes and individuals who pursue a certain sport as a hobby. The strenuous and exhausting practice procedures, along with the constant exertion on the body, result in acute muscular pains in the arm and shoulder regions, for the sports professionals. In extreme cases, the pain spreads throughout the entire arm, causing sore and stiff shoulder muscles and tingling pain up to the fingers.

The sports which require extensive physical effort like basketball, baseball, football, etc., require the players to engage in different repetitive movements, which sometimes cause shoulder sport injuries.

Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder injuries which are very common among sports athletes and professionals present certain symptoms and signs which help in the diagnosis of the form of injury. A patient with a shoulder pain which persists for a couple of days has a high risk of suffering from a shoulder injury which needs to be treated promptly.

Recurring episodes of shoulder pain is also a sign of a shoulder injury, while inability to carry objects highlights the extent of damage suffered by the shoulder of an individual. In extreme cases, the shoulder injury causes a deformity in the joint and damages the muscles of the shoulder, which leaves the individual in extreme pain.

Shoulder injuries also include bruises and swellings around joints or the arm region of the body, which results in stiff muscles that are difficult to move. In some cases, the patient suffers from a fever and swelling with an infection, if there is acute damage to the muscles and joints of the shoulder region. Some individuals also face difficulty in moving their injured shoulder and experience pain in the area throughout the day.

Treatment Options

Shoulder injuries require prompt and efficient medical treatment, carefully administered, to ensure that there are no further damages to the injured area. Rest and anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed by doctors to bring down the swelling in the shoulder. Various painkillers are prescribed which only serve to alleviate the pain for a short period of time. Chiropractors provide effective treatment for the shoulder sports injuries contracted by different individuals.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Mikko with dislocated should… by Aleksi Aaltonen

Risks of Leaving the Sciatica Untreated

chiropractor Oklahoma City Risks of Leaving the Sciatica UntreatedSciatica is very painful medical condition in which the patient experiences extreme pain and tingling sensations in his back, hip, legs and thighs. The pain is caused as a result of pressure exerted on the nerves, either due to any inflammation in the vertebra or the narrowing of the spinal canal. Piriformis syndrome, lumber spinal stenosis and spinal disc herniation are common causes of sciatica pain in individuals. Chiropractic treatment is highly effective for relieving the patients of the painful condition.

Why Is Prompt Identification And Treatment Important?

It is very important for patients to recognize the symptoms and seek professional medical assistance for their sciatica condition. The doctor takes prompt prescribed tests to identify the cause of the sciatica pain in order to focus his attention on the specific treatment required for the condition.

If a patient does not seek medical assistance for his sciatica problem, it may result in exaggerating his condition with the period of time. A number of possible problems can arise for the patient besides the continuous pain in the back and the hip region.

Permanent Nerve Damage

Patients who do not seek prompt medical help for their sciatica run a high risk of suffering from permanent nerve damage. In case of a permanent damage to the sciatica nerve, the patient will experience excruciating pain in the back and legs, which will not be alleviated to a satisfactory level, even with the use of pain relieving medication.

The different treatment methods like water and physical therapy become extremely painful for the patient because of his severe nerve damage.

Paralysis in the Affected Limb

The patient experiences a loss of feeling in the affected limb, which in some cases also leads to difficulty in movement, and ultimately paralysis. The affected leg becomes devoid of all sensation and movement, hampering the patient already troubled with the excruciating pain.

Loss of Bladder Control

Patients who do not get medical treatment for their sciatica problem can experience a loss of control in their bladder and bowels. This adds to the problems already faced by the patient while dealing with his sciatica condition.

A pressurized sciatica nerve causes severe pain, tingling and numbing sensations in the legs and thighs, and cramps along with fever. Patients should seek prompt medical assistance for the correct identification and treatment of sciatica before the condition becomes incurable. Chiropractic treatment is considered as very effective for the treatment of sciatica pain in individuals.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Leg pain by The Clear Communication People

How Lack of Exercise Affects Health

chiropractor Oklahoma City How Lack of Exercise Affects HealthA lack of exercise results in numerous health problems, starting from seemingly harmless weight gain to cardiovascular diseases and a much higher chance of suffering a stroke.  Research has concluded that as many people die because of the effects of lack of exercise as the number that die from smoking.

This is why chiropractic exercises are strongly recommended to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle and avoid all complications that can lead up to a stroke.

The following problems can occur due to lack of exercise:

1. Obesity

Obesity is one of the major effects of a lack of exercise.  Various health problems can surface due to obesity such as diabetes, breathing issues, high blood pressure and a far greater risk of suffering a heart attack.

Besides the physical effects, many psychological effects also accompany obese people.  Low self-esteem that leads to depression can be a devastating experience.

It is no doubt that obesity can result from genetic factors, but a lack of exercise is usually a major reason.

2. High Blood Pressure

Being overweight can lead to hypertension.  The blood vessels clog up which restricts blood flow.  Hypertension exposes a person to various other risks, such as heart attack, kidney failure and many other ailments.  A hypertensive individual is more likely to develop diabetes.

3. Decline in Brain Function

Exercise helps in increasing the flow of blood to the brain, while lack of exercise does the opposite.  A brain that is deprived of blood cannot function normally as it would otherwise.  The brain can also physically shrink due to the lack of blood supply – a research states that this ‘shrinkage’ can be avoided and mental abilities can be enhanced by regular exercise.

4. Reduction in Strength of Bones and Muscles

A sedentary lifestyle can weaken the bones and muscles, thus exposing an individual to a greater chance of injury as well as diseases such as arthritis.  Lack of exercise can make a person more prone to fractures in case of a fall along with knee-joint and hip problems later on.

5. Increased Chances of Developing Cancer

Research was carried over several years and the results show an increased chance of cancer from a lack of exercise.  Also, people who were physically fit when they developed cancer had a far greater chance of survival than those who had led a sedentary lifestyle.

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Treating Sprained Ankles with Chiropractic

chiropractor Oklahoma City Treating Sprained Ankles with ChiropracticSprained ankles are one of the most common sports injuries and can become a rather large hurdle in anyone’s life if left untreated. Moreover, the longer the injury is left untreated, the longer it will take to return to the sport. Fortunately, there is a quicker way around it: chiropractic treatment. By treating your injury with chiropractic rather than conventional methods, not only does your injury heal faster, but the affected area grows stronger.

Initial Analysis

The first step in any chiropractic treatment is to analyze the area and determine the degree of damage. In case of tears or any fracture, the person is usually sent to the hospital. It is important to note that if you do not know how to treat a sprain, we suggest you do not touch the sprained ankle until the swelling goes down. In case of severe pain, a hospital referral is recommended.

Reducing the Swelling

Just like many other sports injuries, a sprained ankle should be treated with an ice pack immediately. This will help reduce the swelling until you can reach proper medical help. In the case of a severe ankle sprain, the swelling does not go down very fast and, in order to recover faster, most people seek out chiropractic help.

Without using any drugs or any surgery, chiropractic reduces the swelling fast using chiropractic techniques such as ultrasound, Kinesio taping and light Graston.

Joint Manipulation

No chiropractic treatment will include joint manipulation until the swelling has gone down. Once it has, joint manipulation is usually performed. Here, the ankle is moved slowly in a variety of motions. This is done to increase blood circulation around the ankle and subsequently reduce recover time. This is usually done to properly gauge the level of damage to the ankle and check for any possible weaknesses.

Rehabilitation Training

Once the swelling has gone down and the ankle can move freely once again, it is important to place the person on the rehabilitation stage. During this stage of chiropractic, an expert trainer will help you do a range of motion extending exercises, usually without any sort of weight/resistance. However, in order to strengthen the body and the ankle, some resistance is placed after a while.

Sports injuries, particularly ankle sprains, can become a big problem for anyone, especially athletes. Fortunately, Chiropractic treatment helps the ankle heal faster but extends the ankle’s degree of movement, allowing it to move more freely than before. Finally, it helps prevent any further injuries.

Image used under Creative Commons Licensing: Homemade Ice Pack by Vince Viloria