25 Tips To Avoid Insomnia

If you have problems sleeping, try some of these methods!

1. Listen to relaxing music. White noise and nature sounds can be quite relaxing and serve as meditation before going to sleep.

2. Avoid snacks right before bed especially grains and sugars. Raises in blood sugar can inhibit your sleep. Then when your sugar level drops, it may wake you up and give you difficulty in falling back asleep.

3. Try to sleep in complete darkness if possible. Light can disrupt your pineal gland which produces melatonin and seratonin.

4. If you wake up at night to go to the bathroom, make sure there is as little light as possible. It will keep melatonin levels at the right levels and get you back to sleep. Wearing eye covers helps too!

5. If possible, take the television out of the bedroom and if you do have television, refrain from watching it an hour before bed. Television stimulates the brain and it will take longer to fall asleep.

6. Since the feet have less circulation than the rest of the body, wear socks to bed. Studies have shown that if your feet are cold, it disturbs your sleep.

7. Read a relaxing book before bed. No thrillers or high drama novels.

8. Alarm clocks should be somewhat soothing but still wake you up. Having a loud sound wake you up is stressful to your body. There are alarms that mimick the sunset and the light increases gradually waking you up smoothly. If that is not your style, then how about a CD or radio station that plays classical music, jazz or blues. These tend to be soothing yet stimulating enough to wake you up.

9. Writing your ideas down on paper to get them out of your system. Writing down your thoughts allows you to relax and get back to sleep.

10. Get to bed as early as possible. Did you know that our systems, particularly the adrenals, recharge and recover during the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m? The gallbladder dumps toxins during this time as well.

11. Check the EMFs (electro-magnetic fields) in your room. High levels caused by radios, cell phones and electronics can interrupt the pineal gland which has a direct effect on Melatonin and Seratonin. There are gauss meters that check the levels. Keep unnecessary electronics off or out of the bedroom if possible.

12. Don’t have your heat on above 70 degrees. If you are too hot, it will wake you up and be difficult to fall asleep.

13. Eating a high protein treat before a few hours before bed raises melatonin and serotonin levels.

14. Try to keep prescription medication at low levels. Many drugs have insomnia as a side effect.

15. Avoid caffeine.

16. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol prevents deep stages of sleep so it may cause you to wake up easily.

17. Stay fit. Being overweight increases your chances for sleep apnea.

18. Avoid foods that may cause you to become congested or cause gas.

19. Avoid drinking beverages within 2 hours of bedtime. Drinking fluids right before bed will cause you to get up and go to the bathroom and disrupt your sleep. Also make sure to go to the bathroom right before bed. This decreases your chances of waking up in the middle of the night.

20. Take a hot bath or sit in a sauna before going to bed.

21. Keep the alarm clock away from your view. If it is pointing toward you and you are a light sleeper, you will look at it and disrupt your sleep.

22. If you are menopausal or peri-menopausal, hormonal changes may cause problems. You may need to consult a nutritionalist to help you eat foods to regulate your hormones or seek out a endocrinologist who specializes in women’s health.

23. Stay consistent with your bedtime. It keeps your body in a rhythm and it becomes routine and easy.

24. Exercising for 30 minutes regularly. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you are a morning person.

25. If you have tried all of these tips but still have problems, you may want to get your adrenals checked by your medical doctor. Adrenal stress causes insomnia.

4 Great Ice Cream Tips

Warm weather is here and that means ICE CREAM!  Here are a few tips to watch calories if you want to indulge:

Tip 1:
Pick frozen yogurt instead of ice cream!  You still get the ice cream taste but with less calories.

Tip 2:
Avoid additional toppings. These add calories to your ice treat.  If you have to have a topping, pick sprinkles instead of peanut butter cups, cookies, brownies.

Tip 3:
Order fruit options like sorbet or sherbert.  These still have a high calorie content but lower fat.

Tip 4:
Order a cup of ice cream over a cone.  The cone is added calories and every calorie counts!

Hope this helps you to make the right decision when eating ice cream on a hot summer day!

What Is The Cracking Sound With An Adjustment?

Cracking or popping is caused by a mixture of synovial fluid located in the joint, friction and gas.  The sound happens when the gas (mostly carbon dioxide) is released from the joint.

Just think about when you get a package in the mail.  Often times there is bubble wrap in the box to protect your stereo, television etc.  When you press into the bubble (friction), it makes a popping sound.  That is pretty much like the pressure a joint gets with an adjustment.  No breaking of bone, no smashing bones, just a release of gas.  After the “pop” happens, the joint will not make a noise again until the gases come back into the joint.  That is why once you hear a pop, another one can not be repeated.

So, now after learning this information, there is no reason to fear of the sound right?  Well, if you are afraid of the sound, there are other methods of moving the joint that don’t involve a popping sound and most chiropractors will accommodate you if you are don’t like the sound.

What Is A Disc Herniation?

A herniated disc results in symptoms of back pain, leg pain and/or weakness of the legs.

What consists of the disc?
The disc lies between each vertabrae of the spinal column.  The outside of the disc (annulus fibrosis) is rigid and can take the pressure of gravity on the spine but can rip when there is excessive twisting.  The inner part of the disc (nucleus pulposus) which is gel like leaks out of the tear and puts pressure on the nerves exiting the bone.  This causes pain, numbness, tingling in the areas supplied by those nerves.

What causes the disc to herniate?
It happen with a fall or accident or can occur over time with stress to the spine.  Many people live with a herniated disc but it is when the nerve is irritated and swells that it begins to cause symptoms.

What other symptoms can occur with a disc problem?
1. Shocks that shoot down the leg, arm or back
2.Tingling and numbness
3. Pins and needles
4. Bowel or bladder dysfunction (this may be a cauda equina syndrome which may be an emergency if associated with numbness in the groin area)

How is a disc diagnosed?

A thorough examination is performed and if treatment is performed with no improvement, an MRI is recommended.

What can chiropractic do?

Chiropractic has a high success rate with herniations.  We are proficient with moving the bones in the proper alignment and freeing up the nerve.  We also give exercises to patients to strengthen the core.   As mentioned above, people can live with a herniation as long as there is no stress to cause inflammation.  We can keep the body healthy and moving properly making sure that the herniation does not swell and cause symptoms.

Is It Normal For My Child To Have Chronic Pain?

Kids are resilient!  Remember when you were a kid?  You could fall down, scrape your knee and it wouldn’t bother you a bit.  How many times did you fall learning how to walk, ride a bike, or just strain yourself during physical education class?

Kids are small and flexible so doesn’t it make sense that a bone may be moved out of place? Sometimes the body can take care of itself and put the bones back to where they belong, but sometimes the body may need some help.  One warning sign is a child with long term pain.  The body is saying there is something wrong

If your child has chronic pain, it usually means there is a problem and is not normal.  Abdominal pain could mean many different things and it would be a good idea to see a medical doctor to make sure it is not appendicitis or a serious condition.  If your child is experiencing musculo-skeletal problems then there may be a fracture, tear or bio-mechanical problem that needs to be addressed.

After ruling out a fracture or serious problem, chiropractors can analyze and examine your child to make sure that they are functioning properly and are not pulling or straining ligaments, tendons and bones in their bodies.  We are experts in body mechanics and can promote healthy posture, alignment and function.   Starting early in life being aware of your body will lead to a long, vibrant and happy life with limited stress and injury.

Chiropractic is safe for everyone, even kids. We offer gentle ways of allowing the bones to go back and stay where they belong.  We can help keep your child happy, healthy and loving life!

Is Carrying A Backpack Good For My Child?

Kids carry heavy backpacks with school supplies.  Many times the backpack is carried over one shoulder pulling on one side of the neck.  This causes one shoulder to be higher than the other.  This can start to cause postural problems, headaches and neck pain.  Also, because the load is so heavy, kids often bend over pushing their head forward causing more stress on the neck and shoulders.   Research has come back showing that kids backpacks can be up to 30% of their body weight.  That is pretty heavy and to carry this load several days a week can have some huge affects on the body!

Prolonged stress on the back not only causes upper back and neck problems but lower back problems because of the strain on the spinal column.  Posture can be greatly affected because children are still very flexible and growing.  Please choose ergonomic backpacks that put less stress on the back and shoulders and ALWAYS have both straps around the shoulders to prevent unnecessary stress on the body.  This will enable your child to have a fighting chance against postural problems in the future!

Here are some things to look for when buying a backpack:

– Padded backs to help reduce pressure on shoulders, arms and back.

– Belts for the hip and chest to aide in proper weight distribution.

– Multiple compartments so that items can be placed in the pack with better balance and distribution plus keeping them secure and easy to access.

– Stabilizing compression straps on the sides and bottom to help secure and compress the contents.

– Reflective patches to increase pre-dawn or night safety.

Hope this helps!

Pain in back of knee may be a Baker’s Cyst

Q: What is a Baker’s Cyst?

A: A Bakers Cyst is a fluid growth that occurs on the back of the knee. It can become hard and very painful.  A Baker’s Cyst can occur in children and adults.

Q: How does it happen?

A: A cyst starts to grow when there is a biomechanical problem adding stress to the joint such as with walking, running, standing and/or posture. It is also called a Popliteal Cyst.  Pulling of the muscles, tendons and ligaments can form swelling and then the cyst will start to form.

Q: What are the symptoms of Baker’s Cysts?

A: Symptoms of Baker’s Cysts can include:

  1. swelling behind the knee which can get to to size of a golf ball
  2. Difficulty and pressure on the joint when bending the knee. This pressure can go all the way down the calf muscle.
  3. Pain and tenderness after exercising

Q: What can be done to help alleviate a baker’s cyst?

A: Rest is the number one way of relieving problems with the cyst. Inflammation will go down and the fluid in the cyst will start to alleviate. Braces can also be worn to reduce the stress on the joint and prevent bad body mechanics which start to build the cyst back up again.

If given time to heal and stress is taken off of the joint, the cyst will get rid of its fluid and disappear.  Did you know that there is a 40% chance that a cyst removed by surgery will reoccur. That is a pretty high percentage!  So, if you can bear it, give it some time to take care of itself instead of opting for invasive surgery.  Once your tissues are cut open, there will be scar tissue left over and it may be hard to recuperate.

It is also important to alleviate the bio-mechanical problem.  It can be caused by uneven leg length, foot problems, tight muscles which add stress to the knee joint, trauma to the knee joint.  Taking care of the cause the cyst occurrence is key.   This will avoid a lot of unnecessary pain and irritation.

Chest Pain Could Be A Rib Out Of Place

Most people are amazed to find out that the ribs are not directly attached to the vertebrae.  There is tissue between the rib and vertebrae which allows them to move and expand when we breathe. When a rib is not in the right place, it will inflame causing pain and discomfort.

So, what does it feel like when a rib is out?

When a rib is out of alignment, pain can occur in the front of you chest, side or upper to mid back.  In the case of a rib out in front of out chest, it may sometimes feel like you are having a heart attack.  Many patients check into the emergency room only to find out that cardiac or pulmonary problems are ruled out.  If this occurs, it is probably a rib out of place.  I personally have had a rib out of place in the front from boxing and I can say from experience that it can be a bit scary until you know that you are not having a heart attack.

If a rib is out in the back, pin point pain will occur in the upper/lower back or side, especially when breathing.

So, what can be done?

A chiropractor can find the rib easily with a “hands on” assessment.   After finding the problem and guiding the rib back in place, the rib will stay in place and the tissues and nerves around the area will heal which will stop the pain.

Ribs are overlooked by many health practitioners but I have seen several patients with pain that just won’t go away and they are unsure what is causing the problem.
After finding a rib that is out of place and correcting it I have gotten amazing results!  The patient can normally get fast relief and reassurance that they do not have a serious health problem.

What Is The 80/20 Rule?

When discussing the 80/20 Rule it is pretty simple:

Eat healthy foods 80% of the week, and eat unhealthy foods for the last 20%.  Most people in the United States do the opposite.  20% unhealthy and 80% healthy.  This is why obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancers have increased.

A healthy diet should contain the following:

  1. Sufficient amounts of proteins (meat, fish, and eggs)
  2. Carbohydrates (bread, starch, pasta, rice)
  3. Fruits and Vegetables (these contain great vitamins and produce fiber
  4. Fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds)

Drinking a lot of water is key too!  It keeps you full and our body consists mostly of water so if we lose water we need to add it back into our system.  There are plenty of diets out there that are good for you.  If you like fast food, there is the “dash diet”.  There are also plenty of guides for diabetes, high blood pressure and Gastrointestinal issues.

Good luck and happy eating!

Physical Therapy Or Chiropractic?

When someone is injured in a car accident, injured at work or during an athletic event rehabilitation is necessary.  In most cases when this happens, they usually see a medical doctor.  During their visit they are often referred to a physical therapist for exercises.  Physical Therapy is a great way to condition your muscles and body after an injury but making sure the body is moving and aligned correctly so exercises can work at its capacity is key for faster healing. Lets look at how chiropractic can help facilitate health and help with injuries.

As a chiropractor, I offer soft tissue relief and rehabilitation, exercises, physiotherapy and musculo-skeletal relief.   Combining several techniques and formats help with quicker results.

At my office, I offer a long term solution to get you healthy and functioning at your highest level.  After your pain has subsided and your bones and tissues are stabilized, you will begin an exercise program that will keep you healthy.  You just have to stick to it!

Give us a call if you have had an auto injury, hurt yourself during a sporting event or have any physical complaint. We can give you a consultation right over the phone to see if it would be beneficial for you to come in for treatment or visit another facilitator.