“How many visits will this take?” This is a very fair question to ask, and one of the most common questions or concerns we get from patients. While you should at least be able to feel a difference after a few visits—or sometimes right away—most problems took a long time to develop and will also take time to heal. Just like a marriage or career, the most rewarding things take time and effort. Your health is no exception.
There are several issues that can send your spinal health in the wrong direction, but there is hope for every situation! Here are a few thoughts on how we approach the road to recovery.
Have you ever heard of creep? In chiropractic terms, creep is the slow stretching and weakening of ligaments that can occur over time, which usually leads to chronic pain. This is another reason why pain relief doesn’t occur right away with chiropractic adjustments. Not only do your vertebra need to be adjusted closer to their necessary position, but the ligaments have to hold that vertebra in position too.
The areas that we focus on and adjust usually have spinal ligament damage by the time a typical patient comes in, and we can’t reverse that all at once. We have to make sure that we put that vertebra in place and give the body time to heal those ligaments. Unfortunately, these ligaments usually won’t ever completely heal back to 100% tensile strength.
If you feel pain, there is a very good chance that there is inflammation in that area. Inflammation is a natural process that is very necessary in the beginning—or acute—stages of an injury. If something in the injury isn’t corrected, such as joint position, faulty movement patterns, etc., inflammation tends to linger and can cause tissue damage. This damage can then lead to scar tissue that makes things even more complicated to heal quickly.
Here’s a good metaphor I like to tell patients to illustrate this concept. If you dropped a massive boulder on your foot it would hurt pretty badly, correct? If someone took that boulder off of your foot would the pain go away with the boulder? Of course not. But now that the boulder is gone, you can start healing.
Sometimes gradual improvement can be frustrating when you want instantaneous relief, but be patient and stay the course! It might be a little harder to take time out of your schedule to come in multiple times, but what is more important than your health? Invest in yourself now, and over time it will pay off! Yes, it takes money, time, and effort to keep good health now, but it costs even more to make up for lost time once it is failing.
Come in to get checked if it has been a while. We love to see you (period!), but love it more when you are smiling and skipping to us instead and frowning and crawling in.
With love always,
It is winter, and those who come to see me at Stout Chiropractic clinic know that I am not all too enthusiastic about the cold, ice, or snow. I’m not a total Grinch though, I promise! I think the snow is beautiful—from my cozy view indoors—and I love all of the lights. I love family coming together to enjoy food and drinks and share gifts. If you can bear the cold, winter can be the most wonderful time of the year!
Winter, however, has its own unique stresses that can ruin anyone’s spirits and put metaphorical coal in your stockings. Here are 5 safe winter practices for your body and mind.
Protect your back and whole body with safe practices on wintry surfaces. If you have any suspicion that the ground is icy: TAKE SMALL, SHORT STRIDES. Even if you’re late, it’s better to take it slow and steady than risk a bad fall.
Ice under snow is a particular risk, because your feet can slip out from under you with no warning. People usually take longer strides in deeper snow, and they expect the ground to have more traction underneath the snow.
Also, be sure to wear winter appropriate shoes that are heavier and have sufficient traction on the bottoms. This is not an alternative to short steps though. Heavier boots with good traction will reduce your chances of falling. Be sure to do both for a successfully safe winter.
Remember that mental health is a core part of full-body well being. The holidays are meant to be a time to reflect on giving and cherishing moments with your loved ones. This is a beautiful thing, but it can also lead to unnecessary added stress and anxiety. If you were out during black Friday at some of the big box stores, you wouldn’t know that this is a time for giving and being kind to others. Even if people are simply seeking the best gifts at the cheapest prices for their loved ones, is it really worth enduring all the stress?
I think that giving is all about the thought, and it should itself be an enjoyable experience. That may mean going with a friend, alone, or early morning/late at night when fewer customers are around. Think ahead and make the necessary plans.
Don’t forget that diet (what you put into your body) is an important part of your health. Eggnog, hot apple cider, gingerbread cookies, fruit cakes, iced sugar cookies, candied yams, candied ham, etc. I think you get the picture. Holiday foods are FULL of sugar. Excess sugar is one of the worse things for your overall health. It has been linked to depression, cancer, and tumor progression and growth, heart disease, and of course, weight gain.
Cutting out sugar can do wonders for your mental and physical health. And even if you can’t cut out sugar entirely, that’s no reason to throw in the towel! Simply be aware and make conscious decisions about when and what you choose to indulge. Moderation is key.
While you should always practice safe driving, the snow brings a whole new level of instability to your travels. This makes it even more vital to make sure everyone you are riding with is buckled up and fastened in safely. This is also not the time to realize your brakes and/or tires need to be changed. Take care of those if you have not done so already.
Also, with New Year’s Eve just around the corner, please do not drink and drive! Know your limit and don’t even get close to it if you have to drive. Ride with someone who plans on not drinking or call a cab, Lyft, or Uber. There are too many options rather than take that chance. A DUI, injury, or death will surely put you out of the holiday spirit.
Last note on driving, it is a good idea to keep a thick blanket in your car if you are taking a long road trip in the winter and/or snowstorm. If you are stranded for whatever reason and your car won’t start, the blanket could keep you warm enough a little longer before help arrives.
With snow comes shoveling, and believe it or not, shoveling snow is a moderately intense work-out! Consider the following tips to protect your back, muscles, and joints while shoveling snow properly:
At the end of the day, this season is supposed to be a time for taking it easy, loving your family, and reflecting back on all of the prior year’s accomplishments and memories. If you keep these tips in mind over this holiday season, you will be welcoming 2019 in good spirits and health!
If, despite your best efforts, you still end up with tension or back pain, we are here for you! We’re happy to help get you adjusted and better able to adapt to these physically and mentally stressful times. Be safe and happy holidays from all of us at Stout Chiropractic!
What does depression look like? What kind of visual do you get when you think of someone who is depressed? What feeling do you get when you are around someone who is depressed? What does someone who is depressed sound like when they talk or interact with you? Chances are very high that you can answer these questions easily because you have dealt with a close friend or relative being depressed or have been depressed yourself. According to WHO (world health organization) more than 300 million people have depression globally and it is the number one leading cause of disability in the world! So does that sound like a bunch of big babies to you? That’s not what science says. We may not know the exact reason or cause of depression, but I believe that depends on each individual person.