I regularly inform my patients of the great benefits of taking a stroll. Many people are aware of the connection between walking and losing weight. The more calories you burn, the more weight will fall off. That thought pattern has changed over recent years, but you still lose calories with walking. But are there other benefits to walking? The answer is a very big YES!! (sorry for the all caps, but you get the emphasis)

Studies have shown that walking for 20 minutes a day 5 times a week will decrease your risk of most fatal diseases. That includes diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. 20 minutes a day is very doable.

Walking a total of 6 miles a week has also been shown to slow the rate of mental decline. The study showed that by walking just 6 miles a week, the human brain actually quits shrinking, or shrinks at a slower rate. This action resulted in lower risk of Alzheimers disease.

Walking also increases your “happy” brain chemicals in return relieving mild levels of anxiety and giving an overall feeling of relaxation.

Walking has been shown to lower the risk of glaucoma.

As a weight-bearing exercise, walking helps increase the density of bones, helping to fight osteoporosis and lower the risk of hip fractures.

Walking has been shown to help alleviate back pain, or just about any joint pain in the body. There are neurotransmitters in the body that help fight off pain and walking helps to increase the production of these pain fighting neurotransmitters.

Walking has also been shown to help make breathing easier, by opening up the airways.

Did I miss anything. I know this may not be the best season, but there are still the changing leaves and many good places to go walking on weekends. Go do a couple laps around the block during lunch or before dinner. Take the dog for a walk further than the end of the driveway or join a gym for the winter season.

healthylivin’

Circle City Chiropractic

Indianapolis, IN 46250

http://www.circlecitychiro.com

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs of the body, and literally attacks the organs and tissues of the body. Lupus will typically target joints, skin, blood cells, kidneys, heart, and the lungs. Since the disease attacks some of the vital organs of the body it can be a life-threatening disease. Lupus typically affects women between the ages of 15-40. Lupus seems to affect African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians at a higher incidence. Other risk factors include certain drugs taken over an extended amount of time (ask your medical doctor about your medications if you have any concerns), history of Epstein-Barr virus episodes, smoking cigarettes, and certain chemicals seem to an affect (mercury and silica). Symptoms can be minimal and limited to flares or severe and constant. Usual symptoms include: fatigue, fever, unexplained weight loss or gain, hair loss, skin lesions, face rash, joint problems (stiffness, pain, inflamed, decreased range of motion), behavioral changes, forgetfulness, white and blue fingers or toes, mouth sores, dry eyes, and on and on. Lupus can be pretty self limiting and have a major affect on quality of life.

When a diagnoses is made by your health care professional treatment is based off the severity of the symptoms. Traditional drug therapies include NSAID’s, anti-malarial drugs (helps with symptoms, but no link to malaria), corticosteroids (which over an extended amount of time can cause secondary problems), and if symptoms become severe enough immunosuppresants can be used. There currently are clinical trials ongoing that are looking for more efficient ways and lower levels of side effects to help treat lupus. As the cause of lupus isn’t fully understood current treatments are aimed at decreasing symptoms.

As most medications have some sort of side effects (mild or severe) many people aren’t able to take certain prescription treatments or just refuse to due so because of the side effects. This is where chiropractic fits in the equation very well. Chiropractic is a conservative and natural therapy that has been shown to be very safe. Chiropractic can be utilized as an additional therapy to help moderate some symptoms associated with lupus. Chiropractors focus on manipulation on the joints of the body (typically the spine, but research has shown manipulation of joints to be very effective with most joint problems) to restore joint and neurological function. When joint function is restored; movement is easier, joint pain and inflammation decrease, surrounding muscles and tissues relax and are less tender, and certain neurological mechanisms work more efficient. Case studies have shown chiropractic to be beneficial in regulating pain, fatigue, and stiffness-adding to higher quality of life. Early research shows chiropractic manipulations potential effects on regulating key hormones and having a positive effect on regulating inflammation in relation to the nervous system, which is promising in relation to arthritic and inflammatory conditions. As this research is still minimal, the role of chiropractic isn’t completely understood in relation to lupus and other inflammatory conditions, but chiropractic is a good and highly useful therapy to help with lupus symptoms.

Other factors that have a positive role in managing lupus include daily exercise (30 minutes daily- split up if needed) avoidance of sunlight and other sources of UV rays (certain lighting), adequate rest, proper diet (lower fat intake and healthier fats), fish oils, and vitamins C,D, and E. Current research is showing positive outcomes with a hormone called DHEA, it seems to lower overall symptoms with lupus sufferers. DHEA can be found as a supplement, but should be regulated by a knowledgable healthcare professional due to potential drug interactions.

The best approach to treating lupus and its symptoms is a mix of traditional and complementary (integrative medicine) treatments. This approach can help find the best management with the fewest side effects allowing for the highest quality of life possible for those afflicted not just with lupus, but with many arthritic or inflammatory conditions.

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Circle City Chiropractic

Indianapolis, IN 46250

http://www.circlecitychiro.com

Previously I have gone over what fibromyalgia is and some potential warning signs and preventative behaviors. This information will focus on ways to treat fibromyalgia. Therapies that have been successful in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia include manual therapies (chiropractic, massage, osteopathy, physical therapy), cognitive therapy, acupuncture, exercise (aerobic, tai-chi, yoga), medications, supplementations, diet, etc. For the main purpose of this article we will focus on the more convservative/natural methods.

There is no single “best” treatment, so trying a balanced approach of therapies seems to be the best method of finding out which treatments don’t work. There is more evidence out right now pointing to physical exertion as an effective way to help alleviate some pain and fatigue. The exact reason this works, isn’t currently known, but many studies show that walking, light aerobic exercise, swimming, tai-chi, yoga, pilates, resistance training, etc has a significant effect for the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Acupuncture has also gotten more research to help show its benefits to the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Studies show that acupuncture helps alleviate pain, fatigue, and “fibro fog.” In this area acupressure can also get some credit as it is similar and gets similar results. Acupuncture is getting more and more attention for its health applications in modern medicine.

Massage/soft tissue therapy has also been shown to help with regulating the symptoms of fibromyalgia in is the sense of lowering pain levels, increased sleep, decreasing fatigue, and helping break the “fibro fog.”

Supplementation is getting more research done on its benefit for pain syndromes and depression. Recently SAM-e, an amino acid, has gotten more attention for helping with depression which is often associated with fibro sufferers. Other supplementations include magnesium, 5-HTP (precursor to seretonin), and melatonin have gotten some attention, but the research is lacking, but again it may work for certain patients so these are worth a try if other solutions are lacking. Omega-3’s and acetyl L-carnitine have both been shown to assist in symptom control as well.

Since there is a direct link between depression and fibromyalgia, cognitive therapy with a licensed pyschologist is another method of treatment, that has been shown to give great relief for the symptoms of fibro. This gets back the “chicken or the egg” discussion of the cause of fibromyalgia, but staying on track this type of treatment is very beneficial too many who suffer.

Chiropratic/osteopathic manipulation is another therapy that has garnered attention through research and patient response. The effect behind the manipulation is still up for debate, but the results are there and many people will benefit from this type of care. Generally relief of pain, decreased number of tender points, increased levels of energy and quality of life, increased sleep, lower feelings of anxiety and depression are benefits seen from those who find successful treatment with manipulation.

Generally the best approach is to test the waters and find what works best for the individual. Some will benefit from the use of medication, but there is still a high percentage that do not find satisfactory results from pills. As a practicing chiropractor the best advice for those who are looking for an alternative or more natural approach to treatment would be to include a balanced approach. Include a combination to increase results : chiropractic manipulation, exercise, supplementation, massage, and/or acupuncture. If depression is a part of the equation seeking a mental health care professional is another important avenue to seek.

Hopefully in the future the causes of fibromyalgia will be better understood so an optimal approach can be established for treatment. Until then searching out the best treatments is combining a balanced approach is the best approach.

healthylivin’

Circle City Chiropractic

Indianapolis, IN 46250

http://www.circlecitychiro.com

Studies over the past decade have shown a connection between taking Vitamin C and lowering of blood pressure. The mechanism/or reason that it works is uncertain and there is still more that needs to be studied. The simple basis of the findings is that a dosage of 500mg per day of Vit C over an extended amount of time ( 30 days) was shown to decrease blood pressure by 10 points (mmHg) on average. These results were only demonstrated on people with high blood pressure, not those who were considered healthy.

The implications of these studies brings about a couple of different point of views and possible need for further studies. First: vitamin C should be considered for as a therapy for high blood pressure, and a natural approach to help people who are close to high blood pressure. Second: it should be considered that this dosage of vitamin C can be used it a preventative aspect. If people who have a risk of high blood pressure or who are close to having high blood pressure would use this approach to help lower there blood pressure, before the use of medication is considered or required.

More research is starting to show the tremendous benefits of Vitamin C from increased immune function, faster wound healing, etc. etc. . Daily intake of vitamin C should be considered for everyone to help with overall health.

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Circle City Chiropractic
Indianapolis, 46250
Indianapolis-Chiropractor

Over the past week the British gov’t made a public announcement asking the citizens of its country to take care of themselves. This is a very novel idea that apparently offends some people. Now we are not in England, but the same concept will fit in almost any western country. Soaring rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, metabolic disorders, dementia, arthritis, heart disease, etc., etc., are the current health trend is western civilizations. All these diseases can be avoided with simple lifestyle choices, and new research even shows us how to live longer. Exercise, healthy eating, controling stress, social interaction, and finding avenues in life that bring satisfaction will lead to a better life mentally, physically, emotionally, and physiologically.

Having the ability to add years to one’s life, but not following through with that is hard to fathom. Imagine having the decision to add 5-10 healthy years to a lifespan (not sitting in a wheel chair barely able to breathe) and deciding it isn’t the right choice. As a logical, idea forging human being it should be an easy choice, but with people content with the status quo, things won’t change. As things stand now our nation will be 75% overweight by the year 2015. The military forces have stated that due the poor health and physical status of our youth they are having a harder time findind adequate recruits. That is disturbing, when we aren’t able to adequately defend our country because we don’t have enough healthy people!

Health is a privilege that we are born with and if not maintained it will wither over time. Ask any elderly American what they wish they still had from their youth, and health and quality of life will be in the top 2. We have the knowledge and ability to have a longer and better life for ourselves, and people in there 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, even 70’s can start living a healthier life and still see long term changes for the better.

It is an individual choice that we all get to make, hopefully people take responsibility for their lives and realize the power they hold in themselves.

healthylivin

Circle City Chiropractic
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Local-Chiropractor

Shoulder injuries are one of the most common injuries that people sustain while playing sports, exercising, doing yard work, or from just being clumsy. A very common shoulder injury is an AC sprain which is typically from falling on the shoulder, falling on the hand, or from an impact to the shoulder. It is an injury that heals over an extended amount of time (normally 4-8 weeks) and sometimes surgery is required.

Shoulder injury

One of the most common reasons people seek chiropractic and medical attention is car accidents. With the amounts of force involved the potential injuries are very significant and can even be deadly. That is on the extreme end of the spectrum. The more common associated injuries will be soft tissue injuries, or whiplash.

Whiplash is an injury that is the result of your body trying to protect itself. This sounds counterproductive, but the muscles in your head, neck, upper back, chest, and shoulders will contract when the sudden violent back and forth motion is applied to the head. The sheer force of the head flinging forward and backwards is enough to cause tearing of the mentioned muscles, tearing of ligaments and discs, breaking of bones, injury to major organs, etc.

Typically a person injuried in a car accident is taken to the hospital for an exam to see if there is any internal trauma or major skeletal problems. If nothing is found the injuried person may be given pain medication and anti-inflammatories, and told to follow up in a few weeks or a month.
There normally will be soft tissue injury, the injury to the muscles, ligaments, and discs that are expected to heal on their own. This normally is not the case and the average person is left with chronic pain, chronic headaches, shoulder issues, and other lingering issues that can go on for months, years, even decades.

These areas of soft tissue injury is where a chiropractor is very experienced and may be the best option for treatment. The relationship between the nervous system and the muscles and joints is very involved and needs to have just the right treatment. There is no protocol for a person injuried in car accidents as everyone and every accident is unique. A doctor of chiropractic will take x-rays if needed, check the functionality of the neck, back, and other joints involved and their relationship to the presenting symptoms. Understanding the cause of the symptoms will allow the treating chiropractor to find and solve to underlying problem, not just treat the symptoms.

The treatment time depends on the severity of the injuries and the underlying problems. Some patients may only need treatment for a couple of weeks and some may need a couple months of treatment to fully treat the problem. The cost of this treatment is normally covered by the car insurance whether the driver is at fault or not at fault, as this is part of what the monthly payments are covering.

Car accidents happen all the time and people are injuried. This type of injury shouldn’t be left alone to wait out, because the person could waiting a long time.

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Circle City Chiropractic
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Indianapolis-chiropractor

The practice of Tai Chi in people who have been diagnosed with arthritis of the knee is being studied pretty heavy right now and the results are positive. Osteoarthritis in the knee is a common problem in adults starting in the 40’s and 50’s. The symptoms are pain in the knees, inability to function (perform daily tasks), and overall inactivity. The secondary effects of loss of function can lead or increase risk of weight gain, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, etc.

The recent studies have shown improvement in decreased pain, increased function, lower levels of depression, increased self care, and an overall improvement in quality of life. Theses studies show that with increased evidence of higher quality of life by means other than a pill or surgery, people really are in control of their own lives.

healthylivin’

Circle City Chiropractic
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Indianapolis-Chiropractor

There has been a new term coined over the past year or so, which you will be hearing a lot of over the next couple of months/years and not in a good way. What are obesogens?

Well there are three kinds:

Fish oils now can add another notch to its bed post, fighting breast cancer. In a recent study done on women over an extended number of years, it was seen that women who took fish oil daily had a 33% less chance of having breast cancer. With the statistics (National Cancer Institute) that 210,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,000 will die from it. Divide those numbers by one third and there are possibly 70,000 fewer cases of breast cancer a year and 13,000 fewer deaths a year due to breast cancer.

The study was done in Seattle on 35,000 women (postmenopausal) between the ages of 50 and 75. The study had 8 years of follow up and the stat of 32% less cancer (invasive ductal breast cancer/ the most common type) was associated with regular use of omega 3’s, EPA, and DHA.

This is just another study to show the amazing benefits of fish oils and all the natural agents found in the world.

healthylivin’

Circle City Chiropractic
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Indianapolis-Chiropractor