An estimated 7% of us will see a doctor for back pain this year. Some have called back pain in North America an epidemic; and once you have it, you’re likely to get it again. Back pain interferes with work, with sport, with social activities, and with all aspects of life. What can you do to protect yourself and your family?
There are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself. Smoking is one risk factor for low back pain. The theory is that smoking damages the blood supply to the spinal discs and related structures in a manner similar to smoking’s effects on coronary arteries (the arteries that supply your heart with nutrition). Want to decrease your risk for back problems? Stop smoking, today.
Another pair of risk factors for low back pain go hand in hand: a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. Whether you sit all day at work, or just don’t get enough exercise during your day, you have the power to make a difference in your health. Physical fitness, including both aerobic exercise such as walking or tennis and training of balance and strength using activities like yoga, can decrease your risk for back pain.
Consult with your doctor before launching into an exercise program, but remember: Though physical activity carries risks, physical inactivity may carry even higher risks for most people. By creating what’s called a “caloric deficit” you can lose weight, stay trim, and decrease the load on your spine. Don’t forget healthy diet, including proper hydration with pure water. Spinal discs are up to 90% water, so care for them well by remembering you are what you eat… and what you drink, too.
There’s always a fad when it comes to health care, and back pain is no exception. Spinal surgery is generally viewed as an intervention of last resort for most back pain. As far as magic pills for back pain, they strike out too. One intervention that has long been a part of the back pain conversation has been spinal manipulation. Doctors of chiropractic are the primary providers of spinal manipulation in North America. Though research has shown that non-chiropractors can achieve “very modest benefits” for their patients when receiving limited training in spinal manipulation, doctors of chiropractic must complete a program of approximately 5000 hours before passing rigorous licensing examinations before Virginia’s Board of Medicine grants a license to practice. That training allows them to pair a diagnosis of your problem with a specific intervention designed not only to help you get out of pain, but to help you live better with less down-time and more time to live the life you want.
A recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine listed one primary intervention for acute low back pain that does not respond to self-care: spinal manipulation. Though the initial article suggested acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as part of initial care, medical physicians themselves disagree that these drugs have value for low back pain, with one expert referring to an “obvious lack [emphasis added] of evidence” that these drugs actually help.8 Most sources agree on one thing: That chiropractic is safe. For most patients, it’s also highly effective for back pain. Doctors of chiropractic may in fact be practicing the best “medicine” out there when it comes to low back pain.
Medicine is defined as the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. While chiropractors are highly proficient when it comes to the spine, good “medicine” requires good prevention. Doctors of chiropractic are trained to advise you on improving your life and helping you to control some of the risk factors for back problems.
For more information about health and well-being, give us a call 757-220-8552 to schedule an appointment today.
Know anyone that would benefit from seeing a chiropractor and walking out with better posture and all the health benefits that go along with it? Send your mom, dad, spouse, kids, friends, next door neighbor, coworkers, and even your mailman in for a posture screening today!
7 Secret Health Benefits of Good Posture
Technically a fruit, which makes it perfect as a summer treat, fresh garden tomatoes are considered a vegetable. Highly versatile, you can toss them into a salad, slice them onto a sandwich or burger, or turn them into an incredible sauce for pasta or tortillas. The ways to use tomatoes are only second in abundance to the varieties of tomatoes that are available around the globe. They are usually red when they mature, but interestingly, tomatoes are also yellow, orange, green and PURPLE!
Nutritionally, tomatoes are nearly 95% water. Low in calories, these little super foods are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is also a powerful antioxidant. Potassium helps to control blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease. Vitamin K1 (or phylloquinone) helps blood coagulation and bone health. Tomatoes also contain one of the B-vitamins, Folate (B9), which is essential for pregnant women.
Another great thing to know about tomatoes is that the vitamins and benefits can vary widely between the different types of tomatoes and can also vary according to when the tomatoes are grown and picked. Lycopene, Beta-Carotene, and Naringenin are fantastic nutrients that help with inflammation and great skin. As the tomatoes begin to ripen, the green compound (chlorophyll) begins to degrade and the compounds begin to change.
Eating tomatoes regularly has been linked to a reduction of cancer, heart disease, and shows incredible benefits of skin health.
To help you get to know the benefits of eating tomatoes (especially straight from your summer garden!), here is one of our favorite family recipes here at Pinto Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, your favorite Chiropractor in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Fresh Tomato & Mozzarella Salad
3 cups cherry tomatoes
½ pound fresh mozzarella (Ciliegine mozzarella is already cherry sized and makes a great display)
½ cup torn basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Himalayan Pink Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy. You can let this salad rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend…if you can wait that long!
Work. It’s a part of modern adult life, and it can be a pain—literally. Neck pain, back pain, wrist pain, headaches, obesity, and worse—all can be related to your work habits. What is ergonomics, and how can that science help you get your daily work done, without compromising your health? Here are some facts and tips, courtesy of the Unified Virginia Chiropractic Association.
Work ErgonomicsYour employer has strong incentives to keep you healthy and pain-free at work. No, not just for safety – but to keep you on the job, focused and productive. A study of American workers demonstrated that 13% had decreased on-the-job productivity due to common pain conditions such as arthritis, back pain, headaches, and “other musculoskeletal” conditions (carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains/strains, etc.). As many as 5.4% of all workers suffered decreased on-the-job productivity due to headaches, with back pain not far behind.
Employers and employees alike take heart. Your doctor of chiropractic, with the aid of modern technology and a few simple adaptations, can help decrease, limit, or avoid pain in your body and your wallet.
Be Active as You Sit
The body was designed to move. Despite what mom may have said, sitting up straight for prolonged periods is not good for you. A reclined position and regular postural shifts help eliminate strain, muscle fatigue and back pain. NOTE: If your chair has a recline tension control – and modern ergonomic chairs often do — adjust it so the backrest supports you in both upright and reclined positions.
Avoid Chair Locks
Do not use a recline lock or limiter if your chair is outfitted with one. These devices restrict movement required for spinal nutrition. Motion is life, for both humans and their spines.
Position your mouse close to the keyboard or over the numeric keypad to minimize reaching. Avoid anchoring your wrist on the desk. Instead, glide the heel of your palm over the mousing surface and use your entire arm to mouse.
No, we don’t mean to stop staring angrily at co-workers! You’ll be more productive, and better off, if you position a task light to the side opposite your writing hand. Shine it on paper documents, but away from computer monitors, to reduce glare and potential eyestrain.
Doctors of chiropractic have extensive specialty training in the human frame and nervous system. They’re ideal partners for employers and employees alike who wish to maximize productivity, minimize on-the-job injury, and create a healthier society. Work with a doctor of chiropractic to optimize body mechanics, minimize or eliminate residuals of weaknesses and imbalances and injuries, and learn the rules that allow you to avoid injury and be more effective.
Our role is to help you feel better, heal better, and live better. If you're ready to work toward living a pain-free life, schedule an appointment and ask us how we can help. Call us at 757-220-8552 to schedule an appointment today.
Neck pain is one of the most common complaints for everyone. The neck is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body because it supports the full weight of the head, making any injury instantly intense. Stiffness and immobility effects the entire body and can last for a long time if left untreated.
Your cervical spine connects your brain stem to your spinal cord. It is an area rich in blood vessels and other soft tissue, such as ligament and tendons. Neck pain is slightly less common than back pain, but no less important or treatable.
Many of us refer to neck pain as "kinks" or "pulls" when we wake up with shooting pain or aching struggles that radiate into our heads or down our arms. These pains are signs of sprains in the soft tissue and muscles within the neck. The cause could be the result of an accident or from poor posture. There are many reasons why neck pain occurs, and the treatment is as individual as the person struggling with the pain.
A sprain of the muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the neck area usually causes acute neck pain. Vehicular accidents, repeated carrying of heavy items (such as luggage), or awkward sleeping positions are often the culprits. Most minor ligament or tendon injuries in the neck will subside with proper care, including rest, ice or heat application, and rehabilitation such as chiropractic care and physical therapy.
One common symptom of chronic neck pain is an ache that radiates down the arm, sometimes into the hands and fingers, accompanied by numbness or tingling. Foraminal stenosis, a condition caused by degenerative changes in the neck joints, involves a herniated disc or a pinched nerve. This in turn causes chronic neck pain.
Our goal is to make you feel great and enjoy a healthy life without the need for drugs or surgery. We look forward in helping to provide a healthy solution in dealing with your pain. We are here to help you feel better, heal better, and live better. Call now to see how Pinto Chiropractic & Rehabilitation in Williamsburg, Virginia, can help you.
Summertime means cookouts and the best summer treat that we all wait for…watermelon! Aside from being sweet and refreshing, watermelon has a host of benefits that your body will love. First, watermelon helps you stay hydrated. On hot summer days, this is a great way to be sure you are getting the fluids you need and be sure that your kids are staying properly hydrated! Watermelon lives up to its name by consisting of 92% water.
The nutrients of watermelon are incredible, especially when you consider how low in calories this incredible fruit is. One cup of watermelon is high in vitamins C and A, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins B1, B5, and B6. It is also high in carotenoids, beta-carotene and lycopene. Research has also found that the compounds in watermelon have anti-cancer effects on the body.
Watermelon helps to lower inflammation and may help with oxidative stress. Inflammation is linked to many chronic diseases, and the vitamin C and lycopene are responsible for the inflammatory effects on your body. Plus, being high in potassium and magnesium, along with citrulline (an amino acid) may also help reduce the pain associated with sore muscles.
Your skin and hair will thank you. Vitamin C helps your body generate collagen while vitamin A helps your body repair skin cells. The water and the high fiber content also add to the clear skin you will enjoy. The fiber keeps your digestive tract clean while the water helps to keep everything moving smoothly.
This incredible fruit is great for you and fun to eat. To help make this a fun summer treat, here is one of our favorite family recipes here at Pinto Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, your favorite Chiropractor in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Dice your watermelon and place it in the freezer overnight. It works best if you place it on a flat surface (like a cookie sheet) and cover. Then, drop your frozen watermelon cubes into a food processor, add your lime juice, and blend until it turns into a smooth sorbet.
Grab a spoon and enjoy! (oh wait! …you can dish it into a bowl first…but that is if you can wait!)
Proper chiropractic treatment of your body’s lumbar, or lower back, region, involves very little risk, and the rewards can be significant. In fact, a recent study by the Rand Corporation found that a serious adverse reaction from cervical (neck) manipulation may occur less than once in 1 million treatments. The American Chiropractic Association believes those odds are even greater-about one in every 2 million treatments-the same odds of dying in a commercial airline crash. A more recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found only a 1-in-5.85-million risk that a chiropractic adjustment of the neck may result in vertebral artery dissection.
Numerous studies throughout the world have shown that chiropractic treatment, including manipulative therapy and spinal adjustment, is both safe and effective for back pain. In 1994, the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research published its Clinical Practice Guidelines, which asserted that spinal manipulation was effective in reducing pain and speeding recovery among patients with acute low back symptoms without radiculopathy (nerve roots exit the spine and enter the body; if one of these roots is sick or injured in the area where it leaves the spine, it is called a radiculopathy).
A 1996 study in the journal Spine echoed that study, and found that patients who sought chiropractic care were more likely to feel that treatment was helpful, more likely to be satisfied with their care, and less likely to seek care from another provider for the same condition, compared to those who sought care from medical doctors.
Do not allow fear to keep you from experiencing optimal health through chiropractic care. Call today and start feeling better! Feel better, heal better, and live better through chiropractic care. Call today! 757-220-8552
Drs. Anne & Bob
Robert and Anne Pinto started their journey on July 17th, 1989 when they first opened their practice.