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Research Shows Chiropractic May Alleviate ADHD

Posted by on 10:16 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

You’ve probably heard of the term ADHD, but did you know it stands for “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?” Today, ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children. It typically starts during childhood and can continue into adulthood. Those with ADHD typically have trouble paying attention. They’re hyperactive, unable to control their impulses, and seemingly unorganized. More boys than girls get diagnosed with ADHD.

If you were to walk into a kids’ classroom and talk to a teacher, he or she could tell you there are certain students who are easily distracted, don’t appear to be listening, don’t follow directions/finish tasks and don’t “sit still.” These students also talk a lot, are always moving their bodies, fidgeting, interrupting others and not “waiting their turn.” These are the ADHD kids, and there are plenty of them.

What are parents to do when their kids exhibit symptoms/behaviors like this? Do they give them a certain medication? Send them to behavioral therapy? Adjust their diets? What about chiropractic treatment?

Interestingly, there’s a theory that an imbalance in muscle tone causes an imbalance in brain activity. Thus, if and when a chiropractor adjusts an ADHD patient’s spine, balance gets restored to the brain. Another idea involves a chiropractor aligning the bones of the skull. If/when the skull bones are misaligned, it’s thought that unequal pressure on different parts of the brain cause the brain to work improperly.

For parents who are looking for alternative treatments for their kids’ ADHD, chiropractors can help. In addition to using their hands to make spinal adjustments to ensure proper nerve flow, chiropractors suggest eliminating sugar, preservatives, food dyes and additives from their patients’ diets, as well as any foods laden with pesticides and herbicides. The more natural, unprocessed foods eaten, the healthier their bodies and minds will be.

A chiropractor offers drug-free care for people who don’t like or want to take pills. Should you or your child suffer with ADHD, know that there is help available to get it “under control.”

To make an appointment at Lakewoods Chiropractic concerning ADHD, please call 651-464-0800.

Celebrate Without Stress

Posted by on 10:18 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Emotional stress at holiday time can manifest as pain in the body. So, if you’re worried about having to get together with certain relatives you don’t want to see in person or you’re worried about making sure to buy, wrap and deliver “all the presents to all those people” on time, you might be experiencing low back pain, migraine headaches, etc.

How, then, can you celebrate the holidays without stress? Here’s some advice…

First, simplify your life this month. If you had/have “things to do” for every single day of the month written on your calendar, go through those things and decide which events you can miss. Cross some things off the calendar. If things “come up at the last minute” and you can respectfully decline invitations, do so, because there is such a thing as doing too much in too little time. It’s important to make time to “just chill” this month. Even the Bible advocates people take one day a week to rest.

Next, lower your expectations this season and do less than you usually do. Instead of going “all out” decorating the house, keep it simple. Put up one little table top tree instead of three hulking 6-footers. Suggest the family eat together at a restaurant rather than gather at your place, forcing you to clean, cook, etc. Just send cards to those who send them to you first. Decide to stay home rather than travel far away for get-togethers this year. Hire a plow service/snow shoveler instead of doing it yourself.

Also, minimize time with people you don’t like. If there’s a family get together and Uncle Joe or Aunt Lou drive you nuts talking about politics and religion, plan ahead to have an excuse to leave at a certain time before the discussion turns sour. Or spend time in another room in the house or venue, away from the people who annoy you. And if certain relatives make your blood boil, don’t even attend get-togethers where they’ll be this season!

Finally, and this is some great advice: give yourself permission to not have to be perfect. Sure, you might want to be seen as the person who can do it all, have it all, and post the “picture perfect” scenes on social media, but realize this: nobody’s perfect and you don’t have to pretend you are!

Whenever you feel like the holidays are stressing you out, do something fun to relieve the tension and/or take a nap.

The Chiropractic Approach to Ending Migraine Pain

Posted by on 5:53 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

There are headaches and then there are migraines. If you’ve ever experienced migraines, you know that they’re the kind of head pain that can totally negatively affect your everyday life.

People have missed important life events like weddings and funerals because their migraine headaches have been so painful. While they would have liked to gone out and been with people and socialized, the migraine caused them to stop in their tracks, want to turn the world off, and go back to bed.

Typically, migraines are chronic, periodic and recurring. The pain is categorized as “throbbing” or “pulsating.” It can be around the temple and/or eye, particularly bothering one side of the head. People with migraines report blurred vision, seeing spots, brain fog, and numbness. A short migraine lasts about two hours, while a long one could occur for three long, long days. In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, add light and sound sensitivities, fatigue, irritability, nausea and more.

So what’s happening when migraines occur? Research concludes that there’s an instability of blood vessels such that blood circulation to the head is disturbed, resulting in pain. Migraines can be brought on by things like dental problems, stress, hormonal changes, constipation, allergies, and dehydration.

Some migraine sufferers believe that Vitamin B3, Gingko Biloba and CoQ10 can help improve blood flow to the brain. Others insist that visiting their chiropractor regularly, for chiropractic adjustments, helps relieve the pain. Over time, some people who’ve had migraines for years can attest that regular visits to the chiropractor have made them migraine-free!

For those with migraine issues, here are some general tips… you’ll want to make sure your gut is healthy so eating foods with “probiotics” is a good idea. Make sure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet. The less sugar you take in, as well as artificial sweeteners, the better you’ll be. If you’ve never been an exerciser, now’s the time to make regular-yet-moderate exercise part of your lifestyle. Reducing stress, improving sleep, sitting/standing with correct posture, and drinking plenty of water are all great ways to lessen the chance of migraines as well as ways of feeling better overall.

Forward Head Posture

Posted by on 5:52 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Have you heard of “text neck?” It’s what happens when a person uses their smartphone so much that the natural curve of the neck changes, lurching forward to adjust for all those times a person looks down at their phone screens. Basically, people are putting increased stress on their necks thanks to looking at smartphones for hours on end everyday. Do you know what happens with text neck? More weight is put on the joints of the neck, and instead of the neck having its natural curve, it can straighten out or reverse or generally get “out of whack.” You might have text neck right now and not even realize it.

Besides looking down at smartphones and tablets, there’s also neck pain for people who sit at computers for 8+ hours daily. Think about it: sitting at a desk, staring at a screen, causes the head to come forward, the shoulders to come forward, and the muscles of a person’s neck and back to stretch. Meanwhile, the muscles of the chest are shortened and tightened. This is a recipe for disaster. Normally the head should be in line with the spine, directly over the shoulders. However, if the head is jutting forward “all day,” then weight is not evenly distributed throughout the joints.

People who look at screens for long periods of time everyday often end up at the chiropractor’s office. Because their muscles are working overtime to support the head, they tend to get neck and upper back pain.

What can be done about text neck? Well, for starters, a person could start limiting their time looking at screens. Do you really need to check your phone for ten hours a day? Probably not. Even taking little breaks from screens helps– instead of sitting in the same position for an hour without moving, get up and walk around every fifteen minutes. Move your head and neck and shoulders around to loosen them up. This helps! Tucking your chin to your chest, looking up to the ceiling and bending your head both ways down toward your shoulders are good things to do every once in awhile.

Finally, for people who suffer with chronic neck pain, a visit to the chiropractor’s office can be a godsend. Chiropractic adjustments can be made to help reduce muscular tension and restore the normal joint function.

Spinal Problems Reduce Blood Flow to the Brain

Posted by on 5:50 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

If something’s not quite right with your spine, you’re going to have problems. Chiropractors work to set your spine correctly so you don’t have those problems. However, not everyone knows to go to a chiropractor and get their spines aligned– some people don’t even realize that they have spinal problems to begin with.

Did you know there’s such a thing as “cerebral hypoperfusion?” That’s a fancy way to say a person’s experiencing a drop in blood flow to the brain. As you’d imagine, if your brain’s not getting enough blood, that’s a bad thing. After all, blood carries oxygen and nutrients to your brain. If you’re not getting enough blood up there, you’re bound to feel nauseous, faint and/or dizzy.

Should you have cerebral hypoperfusion you’re at a greater risk for dementia and/or a stroke. It should be noted that this condition is sometimes associated with migraine headaches.

When your brain’s not getting an adequate supply of blood, you’re likely to have a problem paying attention to people. You might be experiencing “brain fog” aka “cognitive impairment.” In other words, you get fuzzy thinking and can’t seem to think like a normal person would think.

A study found that cerebral hypoperfusion may be associated with neck pain and vertebral subluxations. A vertebral subluxation is the result of spinal bones with improper motion or position affecting nerve communications between your brain and your body. It’s a stress response.

In layman’s terms, if your spine isn’t functioning well, then messages to the brain may not be working well, either. A problem with your spine– a subluxation–could be messing with your spine’s communication with the brain specifically regarding the regulation of blood flow.

Think of your spine like a switch. Sometimes it’s turned on and other times it’s turned off. If it’s going to do its job, the switch needs to be in the “on” position. Chiropractors use hand manipulation and chiropractic techniques to ensure that your spine is “on” rather than “off.” The rest of your body has a hard time working properly if the spine is “off!”

Suffice it to say you could potentially benefit from chiropractic care in order to improve blood flow to your brain, if that’s something that concerns you. Dr. Gerard can explain this in person– make an appointment with him by calling Lakewoods Chiropractic at 651-464-0800.

Acne: A Natural Approach

Posted by on 5:49 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Many people get acne. Pimples are seemingly ubiquitous. Teenagers, especially, have to battle acne, which is often deemed unsightly and embarrassing. No one wants a giant red zit on their nose, especially when prom season rolls around, right?

What are some causes of acne? For starters, there’s puberty, when a kid’s hormones are on overdrive. Then there’s premenstrual acne, which many women deal with on a monthly basis. Sometimes oral contraceptives can contribute to the development of acne, as well as hormonal imbalances, candida, certain drugs, allergies and even stress.

Underneath the skin we all have hair follicles and oil-producing sebaceous glands. Acne occurs when there’s a problem in these areas– the hair follicles aren’t getting rid of dead cells quickly and/or the glands are producing too much oil that’s clogging one’s pores. Here’s where it gets interesting: when dead cells stick to a hair follicle full of sebum (an oily, waxy substance) guess what happens? This becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. And then you get pimples full of pus. When a pimple pops (opens up), then the pus is let loose. Pus is actually a thick yellowish or greenish opaque liquid produced in infected tissue, consisting of dead white blood cells and bacteria with tissue debris and serum. Yeah, it’s gross. People do not like having acne!

What are some ways to avoid developing acne? You can avoid taking in too much sugar and/or processed foods while eating more foods rich in zinc. Best of all, drink as much water as possible a day as possible, which helps “flush out” your system(s). It’s a good idea to limit your intake of dairy products. As for your skin, you can minimize oiliness by using a mild astringent such as witch hazel on it. Steaming your skin helps open up the pores and calm down irritated skin.

Interestingly, some people visit the chiropractor for help with their acne flare-ups. Chiropractic care involves correcting any nerve interference such that affected organs are essentially “calmed down.” Spinal adjustments can free up affected nerves making them function better, which, in turn, lessens a person’s problems with acne.

Office Ergonomics

Posted by on 6:16 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

You’ve probably heard the term “ergonomics” before, but if you’re like most people you’re not quite sure what it is or what it means. Simply put, ergonomics is the science of fitting a workplace to the user’s needs. It’s meant to reduce discomfort while increasing productivity and efficiency.

What are some examples of office ergonomics that you might not think about everyday, but nonetheless affect your working environment…and your body?

For starters, how are desks arranged? Do people sit or stand at them? How high off the ground are the desks in the office? Are desk chairs adjustable? How are computer monitors arranged? Are people looking up or down at them all day? Or straight ahead? Ergonomics take questions like these into account, with the intent to make an office space comfortable for people’s bodies and their movements throughout the day.

If an office is designed well for the people who use it then people are able to maintain their flexibility and strength. They’re not putting too much stress on their muscles, ligaments, bones and joints if they work in a strategically-designed, ergonomically-correct environment.

At the heart of office ergonomics are two key things: posture and movement. Did you know that the human body can only tolerate staying in one position for about twenty minutes? After that, it can get mildly uncomfortable to downright painful. That’s why so many people feel the need to cross and uncross their legs, turn their heads to the sides now and then, and, when possible, get up and stretch throughout the day. When a person is forced to sit in one awkward position for a time that’s longer than 20 minutes, such as an airplane ride or at the local movie theater, they can easily develop back, neck, shoulder, leg and arm pains. You’ve probably experienced this for yourself!

Similarly, standing too long in one position can be rough on the body. Anyone who has ever stood in one spot on a concrete floor for more than twenty minutes without being able to move inevitably complained of back pain.

Here’s the deal: when your body is stuck in a prolonged static posture your soft tissues elasticity decreases. Stress takes over and you get uncomfortable.

It’s no wonder, then, that chiropractors encourage office workers to pay attention to their posture during the day, as well as their movements. For instance, sometimes all it takes is one person reminding another that they need to get up out of their seat and take a little walk in order to help that person feel better by loosening up.

Indeed, people are encouraged to move around often at office jobs in order to combat fatigue as well as to stretch. Smart ergonomics ultimately helps prevent workplace injuries and keeps people healthy and happy.

Chiropractic and Sciatica

Posted by on 6:48 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Have you ever felt a sharp pain that almost felt like an electric shock running up and down your leg? Moving that leg caused the pain to intensify, right? Certain areas of the leg hurt worse than others, and did you use the words “numb” and/or “tingling” to describe the experience? If so, you had (or have) sciatica. It could be the result of a ruptured or herniated intervertebral disc, the narrowing of your bony spinal canal, degenerative arthritis of the spine, or, perhaps, an infection or even a tumor. Whatever is causing the pain, it hurts so bad that you don’t know what to do with yourself.

Your sciatic nerve happens to be the biggest, longest nerve in your body. It runs from your lower back to your toes, and when the nerve is irritated, you’ll feel debilitating pain in places like your legs, buttocks, back and/or feet. Besides pain, you might feel numbness or a burning sensation. Sciatica is not pleasant. It can prevent you from doing normal, everyday tasks.

Generally, sciatica tends to affect people between the ages of 30 and 50. Women who are pregnant may experience sciatica because the baby in the womb is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. It’s most common in the second and third trimesters.

Thankfully, chiropractic care helps many people deal with their sciatica. Using hand manipulation on the lower back, a chiropractor is able to relieve pressure on your nerve and adjust bones that are not in their proper position. If, for instance, you have what’s known as a “bulging disc,” the chiropractor manipulates it in order to relieve nerve pain.

It’s not unusual for athletes to experience sciatica, especially because they use their bodies in a rigorous way, adding stress to their joints and muscles more often than people who are mostly sedentary. A chiropractor’s job is to smooth muscles out and/or adjust joints, relieving the pinched nerve.

Rather than resorting to medication for your sciatic pain, consider a visit to Lakewoods Chiropractic. Dr. Gerard can help provide natural relief for your sciatica. Please call 651-464-0800 to make an appointment.

Planning a Natural Childbirth

Posted by on 3:49 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

For women who like to keep things “all natural,” giving birth the natural way is a popular choice. Rather than have a C-section, going natural means having the baby without resorting to medication, even when it’s painful.

With that in mind, if you’re thinking of having a natural childbirth, you should get into the mental state of mind that says, “Yes, I am ready for this!” Therefore, you should do research, consult with others who’ve done it, and know full well what to expect.

Since labor is quite an intensive experience, you should prepare your body for it. Eating a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, and getting regular exercise will help keep your body strong. You can also do yoga, meditation, and stretching, as well as meet with a chiropractor like Dr. Gerard at Lakewoods Chiropractic weekly in order to de-stress your body during your pregnancy. Chiropractic care has been a godsend for many ladies, helping relieve pain on the joints caused by carrying extra weight, for example.

Pregnant moms who want to have a natural birth should find a doula– a professionally trained birth attendant– as well as a midwife to help deliver the baby. Midwives are health care providers while doulas are more like childbirth coaches. Both can help a woman through the process of giving birth. Actually, having a doula has been found to reduce a woman’s need for pain meds, epidurals, forcep or vacuum assisted births, and C-sections. Some positives that come from having a doula as a coach include lower blood pressure during labor, lower pain during the birthing process, higher maternal self esteem and higher breastfeeding success. You can find a doula via www.doulamatch.net.

If you want to increase your “chance” of having a natural birth, some of the main things to concentrate on during pregnancy and right before giving birth include movement, relaxation and patience. For example, movement will help ease tension and take your mind off pain. Gravity and mobility combine to help move your baby into the birth canal. Relaxation methods, like meditation and rhythmic breathing, can calm you down so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. As for patience, giving birth is a marathon rather than a sprint. Prepare yourself to take plenty of time– usually several hours– for the whole thing to happen. Have some things to keep you entertained, hydrated, and at ease for the time when the baby’s “almost ready.”

Drug-Free Management of Arthritis

Posted by on 5:09 pm in Blog, Chiropractic, Forest Lake Chiro | 0 comments

Nobody wants arthritis, yet too many people have it. It’s estimated that 40 to 50 million Americans have some form of arthritis. Chances are you or someone you know in Minnesota deals with it daily.

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and while arthritis can affect people of all ages, arthritic pain is most common in people over the age of 65. It also tends to be more common in women than men as well as in people who are obese.

With arthritis, a person may see and feel swelling and/or redness from inflammation. Joint pain is often found in the hands and knees. They may experience feeling “stiff” in places they don’t want to be stiff. Of course this interferes with normal everyday life. For some, arthritic pain causes them to miss out on social events, such as playing with grandkids or going to a birthday party, because the pain hurts so bad.

Could you take medications for arthritis? Sure. But they come with side effects. Take, for instance, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These can cause edema (where your feet swell up), heartburn, upset stomach (to the point of developing stomach ulcers), an increased risk of blood clots, and possibly even heart attacks and/or a stroke. Not good, eh?

Some people with arthritis use DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) which can increase their susceptibility to infection and make their stomachs upset. For those who resort to cortiocosteroids (which are cortisone-like medicines), bone loss, cataracts, elevated blood sugar levels and an increased appetite are just some of their side effects.

Instead of using drugs to battle arthritis, people should consider consistent, preventative chiropractic care.

While chiropractic care may not be able to “cure” arthritis, it comes in handy because it can help prevent the damage arthritis creates. For instance, if you have a joint that becomes fixated and out of alignment, it’ll start to grind, causing inflammation. Left untreated, you’ll be in pain! However, with a chiropractor using hand manipulation to “unstick” a joint that wants to be fixated, then you won’t get micro-tears in your joint/disc. Therefore, the chiropractic care slows down or stops joint/disc deterioration.

Chiropractic care has helped many arthritis sufferers feel better over time. Best of all, it doesn’t require taking pills that may have negative side effects. Chiropractors are natural healers.

Time is of the essence with arthritis. Make an appointment to see Dr. Gerard at Lakewoods Chiropractic; call 651-464-0800.