Saturday, January 17, 2009

Getting Proper Rest...Another Key Element To Staying Healthy And Pain Free!

A few blog posts ago I talked about the 5 things you must do to improve and maintain your health. Here they are again: 1) Eat right 2) Exercise 3) manage their stress level 4) Get proper rest 5) maximize their nervous system potential by getting their spine checked.

Since I got on the subject of sleep in the last post, today I'm going to talk about number four on the list - Get Proper Rest.

Getting a good nights sleep is very important because your body actually does a lot of it’s healing during this time. There are thousands of cellular reactions taking place in your body every second that need to happen. Without rest your body starts breaking down – from the cellular level to the organ level to the tissue level. What this means in plain English is: everything in the body from your insides to your outsides will suffer.

Think about how you function when you need sleep. It becomes tough to concentrate, reflexes are slower, you may irritable. So if you noticeably are not functioning like you should be this will take it’s toll on the body.

Why do many people not get good rest or sleep. Often its their eating habits. It can be work. It can be because of back or neck pain or some other health issue. It could even be environmental factors.

Six to eight hours sleep for the majority seems to be the norm, and if you read the study I mentioned last post, closer to 7 hours is better. Do not eat preferably 3-4 hours before going to bed. I’m a big proponent of water but don’t drink it right before bed or you may find yourself waking up to go to the bathroom more. Try to avoid being on the computer immediately before bed. Also, let your body wind down at least 30 minutes before bed. This means, avoid exercise, working on the computer, and any stressful things right before bed.

Lastly, for optimum sleep, have a room that's very suitable for just that. Have a comfy setting, complete darkness, comfortable temperature, and preferabley no TV running!

And don't forget #5 on the list - Getting Your spine checked. A healthy, aligned spine will enable you to sleep more comfortably, without waking up during the night with back pain, neck pain, or tingling hands and feet, and without feeling stiff and fatigued the next morning.

If you or someone you know isn't getting adequate rest
because of their back or neck problems -
We may be able to help with Chiropractic or Spinal Decompression.
Call our office in Glastonbury as soon as possible at 633-8756.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting Your 8 hours of Sleep is the Key to Staying Way from the Common Cold

A recent study showed that the Exposure to rhinovirus is more likely to lead to the development of a cold in people who have less than 7 hours' sleep each night compared to their better-rested counterparts
A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that the Exposure to rhinovirus is more likely to lead to the development of a cold in people who have less than 7 hours' sleep each night compared to their better-rested counterparts.

Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and colleagues conducted a study of 153 healthy subjects, aged 21 to 55 years, who recorded their sleep habits for 14 days before they were quarantined and exposed to a rhinovirus. They were then observed for signs of a common cold.

Subjects who reported getting less than seven hours of sleep a night had a 2.94 times higher risk of developing a cold after exposure to rhinovirus compared with their counterparts who had at least eight hours' sleep, the investigators found. Those with less than 92 percent sleep efficiency were 5.5 times more likely to develop a cold than those with sleep efficiency of 98 percent or above, the researchers report.

"These relationships could not be explained by differences in pre-challenge virus-specific antibody titers, demographics, season of the year, body mass, socioeconomic status, psychological variables or health practices," the authors concluded. "The percentage of days feeling rested was not associated with colds."

Source Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(1):62-67. Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to the Common Cold- Sheldon Cohen, PhD; William J. Doyle, PhD; Cuneyt M. Alper, MD; Denise Janicki-Deverts, PhD; Ronald B. Turner, MD

As we weather the upcoming winter storms, we have to make sure to take care of bodies during this cold season. Exercising, getting enough sleep, and getting our spines adjusted is important in making sure that we are functioning at our optimal level. Visit CT Spine and Disc Center LLC in Glastonbury CT to get your spine checked.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Low Back Pain And Its Many Causes!!!

Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common complaints presenting to our Glastonbury office and remains one of the most challenging conditions to manage because there are so many causes of LBP. Some of the causes include the obvious such as over lifting, over use activities such as sports injuries (bowling, golfing, skiing, tennis, football, etc.), raking leaves, shoveling snow, and more. Frequently, work related strains are the primary cause of LBP due to the constant, persistent and awkward positions frequently required in many jobs, especially in repetitive motion assembly line work.

The cause can also be as simple as standing on 2 feet versus 4 feet. Studies show when 2 legged and 4 legged animals are compared, arthritis starts in the 3rd vs. the 6th decade of life, respectively due to the vertical load placed on the biped or 2-legged animal. In spite of this, after sharing this information with patients, I have not been successful in convincing them to start walking on all fours! Because we are a 2-legged species, addressing a short leg can have significant benefits to any spinal condition. This is because a short leg of only 5mm (1/4 inch) can result in a drop in the pelvis resulting in crooked foundation that the spine sits on, creating a curvature in the spine. This places stress on the spinal components including the spinal cord and nerves and can contribute or be the actual cause of not only Lpw Back Pain, but also problems higher in the spine including neck pain and headaches!

Many times, a satisfying outcome is not achieved until I address the leg length issue by the use of heel or a combination of heel and sole lifts. If a leg is short, the effects at the top – that is, the neck and head, are dramatically affected. In one case, treatment to the neck and head had little effect on his headaches and only after placing a heel lift in one shoe and arch support in both shoes did he feel significantly improved.The Doctors At CT Spine and Disc Cemter Specialize In Low Back Pain

In most cases, treatment addressing the entire body from the feet up yields the most satisfying results. Also, secondary issues such as diet, stress management, home treatments including exercises, can be very important in the successful management of back pain. In many patients, a combination of chiropractic, leg length correction, and nutritional management including the use of vitamin and herbs resulted in the best approach results.

Usually, offering the patient advice on the methods of applying ice, modifying/reducing bending/ lifting activities, as well as performing the chiropractic treatment will satisfy the majority of patients. However, in some cases, co-management with other allied health care providers is necessary, especially where there is a slow response in the initial acute stage of LBP. If these less common cases should occur, the combination of chiropractic and primary care yields the best results.

In our Central CT Clinic, we offer a multidimensional, holistic approach to the treatment of low back pain so that a positive, satisfying outcome is achieved. We also incorporate the latest, most up to date treatment methods such as Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Heat vs Ice for Lower Back Pain Relief?

Hello everyone, Happy New Year 2009; Wishing everyone a wonderful healthy new year ahead !

Today I want to discuss one techinque for lower back pain relief that I often get asked about. Heat or ice for Lower Back Pain?

The good news is that they both can be good and they are all natural. So no side effects like medication.

To get the best results use ice when there is inflammation. This is often hot, red and feels tender. Areas are usually inflammed when they are initially injured or re-aggravated.

Heat works very well to loosen an area. So, couple of days after the initial injury when inflammation has disippated from using ice, use heat. For the ara to heal completely it may take weeks. With the use of heat to now keep the muscles loose and increase blood flow you can often get better much sooner.

Ice is often used after a football injuryHere's an example: If you watch football, you'll notice before the game most players are wearing extra clothing like sweats or sports pants and jackets. This keeps their backs, legs, and arms heated and warm. After the game often they're sore especially if they injured an area they'll have ice packs on thier back or knee, etc..This is because the area is often strained and inflammed.

The same holds true for someone with a back injury. Use ice to decrease the inflammation and back pain. If you continue to work or do physical activity you can heat your back to loosen the muscles before you begin your activity. The ice and hot packs we recommend patients are often shaped specially for certain parts of the back.

Here is a Hot and Cold Pack for the Lower Back- 10
For example, if you are icing or heating your lower back, use a larger ice pack that is 10"x13", square in shape. For your neck area, use a 6" x 20" ice pack that is shaped with a special pouch area to cover your neck area. There is also a special ice pack for your neck and upper back, with dimensions of 9" x 16" trisectional ice/heat pack- it had two side flaps for your shoulders to better coverage. Just keep in mind tha this ice pack will be a little heavier than the cervical or lumbar ice pack.

To get rid of your low back pain once and for all look into this advanced new technology we use at our office called Spinal Decompression.

Dr. Matt Bellinger
CT Spine and Disc Center LLC

Photo Credits: Flickr Monstershaq2000

Addtional Resources:
Hot and Cold Therapy for Lower Back Pain Relief- Ice/Heat Packs for Pain Relief


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