How Chiropractic Care Can Help You Enjoy the Winter
Chiropractic care is vital during the winter. As the days get colder and the nights get longer, people can and will experience a wide variety of cold-related symptoms. While adjusting the thermostat or burrowing under the blankets can relieve symptoms, it’s only temporary. Thankfully, chiropractors can relieve some of the most common ailments during winter.
Cold and Flu-Related Symptoms
Sometimes going to the pharmacy isn’t enough. For some flu and cold sufferers, joint or muscle pain can linger five to seven days after initial exposure. If you have aches and pains that won’t go away, consider adding a chiropractor to your treatment plan. Chiropractic adjustments, a series of painless movements that realign your spine, can alleviate lasting flu symptoms.
Additionally, regular visits to your chiropractor can bolster your immune system and prevent illness. Subluxations and misalignments along the spine can cause your immune system to malfunction – meaning you’re more vulnerable to seasonal maladies. Visiting your local chiropractor for periodic adjustments can protect you and your family from common illnesses throughout winter.
Joint Pain and Stiffness
As it turns out, there is a scientific reason why your joints act up before a storm: according to thejoint.com, as the temperature drops, barometric pressure causes the fluid between our joints to move less freely. As a result, when the temperature hits 30 or lower, our joints become stiff or even painful. This effect is more pronounced in the elderly population and those who suffer from chronic pain.
Thankfully, regular visits to the chiropractor can alleviate joint pain and stiffness. Through gentle movements and adjustments, chiropractors can help the fluid in your joints move freely. The expert team at Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic can help relieve your joint paint throughout the colder months.
Several studies have shown that chiropractic care can alleviate the symptoms of depression. While depression can affect everyone no matter the time of the year, a lack of sunlight may lead to SAD or seasonal affective disorder. Thankfully, increased blood flow and mobility improvement can help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Additionally, by performing a series of slow, gentle movements, chiropractors can relieve stress and, in turn, reduce anxiety and depression.
The winter months are well-known for an abundance of food. But all those delicious holidays treats come with a price – weight gain. While you likely won’t experience drastic weight gain during the holidays (Americans put on 1-2 pounds over the holiday season), the added weight can cause unnecessary strain on your joints. In turn, this leads to unnecessary joint pain and more weight gain.
If you or a loved one have weight-related joint pain, book a chiropractic appointment today! Regular chiropractic appointments are an investment in yourself and your future. Traveling to and from appointments will keep you moving, while regular treatment will relieve joint pain and encourage movement.
Ready to book an appointment? Head over to the Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic’s page to schedule with us today! Dr. Hartle and his team can usually see patients the same day they call.
Chronic vs Acute Pain: How Chiropractors Help
Chiropractors are well-versed in treating pain. Whether it’s back, neck, or spinal complications, chiropractors correct ailments throughout the body. However, not all pain is temporary. Chronic pain, which the NHS defines as “persistent pain that carries on for twelve weeks” and resists medication, is a serious condition that causes unnecessary suffering. On the other hand, acute pain lasts less than three months and is typically the result of an injury. While chronic and acute pain can be debilitating, both conditions can be treated.
Chronic vs Acute Pain: What’s the Difference?
Before discussing how chiropractors treat different types of pain, we must understand the difference between chronic and acute pain. Chronic pain is constant: it can last for weeks, months, and even years. Caused by several factors, including, but not limited to poor posture, traumatic injury, spinal issues, and more, chronic pain lasts long after injuries have healed. Examples of chronic pain include:
- Lower back pain
- Cancer pain
- Arthritis pain
- Nerve damage
Acute pain, according to WebMD, “starts suddenly and usually feels sharp.” Unlike chronic pain, acute pain can last moments or even months. While acute pain normally signals an injury, it disappears after the injury has healed. Acute injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
If left untreated, acute pain can become chronic pain.
How Chiropractors Treat Acute and Chronic Pain
For those who suffer from prolonged pain, there is hope. There is a wide variety of medical and holistic treatments available to help treat pain. If you’ve exhausted all your medical options, chiropractic treatment may be right for you.
Chiropractors are well-versed in treating different types of chronic pain. First, your chiropractor will perform a physical assessment to local the pain. Next, they’ll develop a treatment plan. The most popular remedy for chronic pain is a spinal adjustment – a series of firm movements that apply pressure to vertebrae. For other issues, chiropractors may use the flexion-distraction technique (most commonly used for whiplash injuries) or instrument-assisted manipulation. As the name suggests, your chiropractor will use a small, hand-held instrument to apply gentle pressure to stretch soft tissue. This, in turn, will relieve pain.
Chiropractors treat chronic pain and acute pain similarly. To treat acute pain, a chiropractor will first perform a physical assessment. Next, they’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan. Your treatment will depend on your symptoms: for example, those suffering from subluxation or joint restriction as a result of a fracture should undergo a Gonstead chiropractic evaluation. Patients with burn scars may benefit from massage therapy, which controls the development of scar tissue and helps burn victims heal more quickly.
Allen County Family & Sports Chiropractic treats both acute and chronic pain using proven, natural methods. To help manage your pain, schedule an appointment with us today. Dr. Michael Hartle and his team of experts can usually see you the same day you call.
Five Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a standard method of relaxation. When picturing massage, it’s easy to envision scenes of soothing music, aromatherapy candles, and the melting of your worries. Although this is undoubtedly true, there are many more benefits of massage that are less obvious but just as helpful.
Massage Therapy for Everyone
Before we dive into these five advantages, it’s important to note that massage therapy is beneficial for everyone in many different ways. Regardless of age, physicality, job, gender identity, race, and more, massage is a great option that targets an array of issues. Some techniques are even specific to certain demographics, such as children, athletes, or those suffering physical injuries.
Benefit One: Stress Reduction
Let’s start with the prominent perk—stress reduction. It’s the reason why many people choose to begin massage therapy. Studies show that relaxation techniques in massage cause an observable reaction in the brain. These methods result in increased endorphins, as well as heightened levels of both serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are all associated with the feeling of happiness and can help alleviate anxiety. Massage can also decrease cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for the stress we feel.
Benefit Two: Injury Healing and Prevention
A lot of patients turn to the benefits of massage because of an injury. When damage occurs to your body, especially with muscle, joints, and ligaments, specialized massage therapy can help. Strategic pressure and movement can enhance the healing process for sustained injuries by releasing muscle tightness, reducing swelling, and decreasing scar tissue. This technique is a common practice in sports chiropractic care.
Massage can also support the body in preventing future damage by increasing blood flow, lubrication, and stretching in muscles. Your body is “looser,” which enhances your range of motion. When this happens, injury is less likely to occur because your body can move better.
Benefit Three: Reduce Acute and Chronic Pain
The rhythmic motion along muscles works out what we call “knots,” which are tense muscle fibers. They can also contain a buildup of fascial tissue, which can cause something called a “trigger point.” At first, this muscle tightness can feel like small bits of pain, known as acute. But over time, that pain can become more frequent and even start to impact you chronically. By releasing these triggers, the accumulation of connective tissue dissipates, and your muscles are more loose and agile.
Benefit Four: Improved Circulation
As mentioned above, the rhythmic motion of massage increases blood flow in the body. When your blood is flowing more freely, that improves circulation. There are lots of benefits of massage therapy, but this one takes precedence. Poor circulation is responsible for various symptoms, including fatigue, digestive problems, cognitive decline, joint pain, swelling, numbness, and more. Addressing circulation issues can significantly improve your health.
Benefit Five: Enhance Immune System
Lastly, as massage improves circulation, that blood flow also enhances immune system function. Massage therapy can flush out toxins and increase the white blood cell activity in our bodies. Both of these results support immune functionality, but white blood cells are the ones that fight disease and can even lower cortisol.
Five Ways Massage Therapy Will Help You
Massage therapy is a widespread technique of holistic medicine, one that often complements other treatment methods. In chiropractic care, for example, massage is an excellent partner to regular adjustments. It uses pressure to manipulate the body’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Patients see relief with reduced stress and pain in trouble areas.
There are many different kinds of massage therapy, all that work towards a similar end goal by practicing different techniques. Each type delivers various benefits, so let’s look at the most common forms of massage.
Swedish massage is a popular style that is the most gentle on the body and promotes relaxation. Therapists use long strokes and circular movements to press into the muscle and skin. The pressure tends to stay on the surface, as the primary goal of a Swedish massage is to relax and reduce mental stress.
Although most patients who request a Swedish massage are looking for an hour of relaxation and stress relief, the technique has other benefits as well. The movements can treat minor muscle tension that tends to accumulate with everyday activities, such as sitting at a computer all day. Thanks to the relief of muscle strain, many patients leave their session feeling lighter, more buoyant, and with a sense of renewed energy.
Deep Tissue Massage
If you want to relax but also reap the muscular benefits, you can upgrade to a deep tissue massage. Using similar techniques of a Swedish massage (long strokes and circular movements), therapists apply more pressure to access the deeper muscles in the body. By reaching the deep layers of the inner muscles, this form of massage therapy can heal chronic or injury-related pain.
If you’re an athlete, you can benefit from sports massage. Using distinct strokes and techniques, this form of massage therapy helps to alleviate pain from past sports injuries, as well as work with the muscles to prevent future issues. The pressure will vary depending on each patient’s unique situation, but the end goal is the same: to reduce pain, increase mobility and flexibility, and prevent injury.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage focuses specifically on clusters of deep, tight muscle fibers. When these fibers connect deep into the muscle, it can cause chronic pain and reduce mobility. Therapists use bouts of prolonged pressure and short, circular movements to separate the connective tissues and fibers. Patients often feel a “popping” or “melting” sensation as the tight knot is released.
Besides the benefits of relaxation, stress management, pain relief, and sports-injury prevention, there are many other advantages to massage therapy. With regular practice, massage can relieve anxiety and stress, and therefore help reduce stress-related ailments such as insomnia. Many patients find relief with diseases such as digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome.
Further, massage therapy has emotional and mental health benefits, as well. Taking the time to care for yourself with relaxing treatments gives patients a feeling of comfort and connection to their bodies. Massage can boost mood and sense of self, which can increase happiness, productivity, and focus.
What is Massage Therapy
Have you ever had a massage? If not, we recommend you schedule a “self-care Sunday” in your near future. Massages are great for stress reduction and relaxation. However, they can be more than that when massage therapy is brought into the mix.
What is a Massage?
In general, a message is a trained professional who puts degrees of pressure on the soft tissues in your body—things like your muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and skin. There are dozens of types of massages, including the famous Swedish massage or even a deep tissue massage. Each has a goal; for example, the deep tissue will put higher levels of pressure and movement to reach the muscles and tissues deep in your body.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is a type of massage. In this massage technique, a massage therapist will use therapeutic massage techniques to reduce or eliminate chronic low back pain, stress, and other issues.
The effectiveness of massage therapy is strange and not wholly understood – even if accepted. Massage therapy falls into the alternative part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s not what people usually think of when they think of medicine, but it works nonetheless.
How Does Massage Therapy Help?
Our bodies are amazing machines – completely stopped in their tracks by stress and pain. However, what may surprise you is the effect stress has on healing and the body. While a massage will never cure a cancer patient, it can help them to reduce their stress and pain.
Go back to a regular massage for a moment. When you get any type of massage, the goal is to relax and stretch your muscles. This process often makes people fall asleep – the first sign they are distressing.
Now, massage therapy is done by trained doctors who understand various health conditions and risks. Variations like the sports massage can focus on getting your relaxed and recuperate before a big game. At the same time, other types can heal, reduce the stress and pain of cancer, heart disease, and stomach problems.
Is It an Effective Treatment?
That depends on what you plan to achieve from the treatment. If you want to mend broken bones or heal health issues, no. However, if you’re going to reduce stress, increase flexibility, and – in some cases – reduce pain, then the answer is yes.
Modern health care is more than accepting of the benefits of massage therapy. In addition, it’s got plenty of good with minimal side effects that usually pass, revealing overall increases in health and wellness.
Similar to Chiropractic Care
In many ways, getting a massage is a lot like going to the chiropractor (after all, you’re reading this blog!) Massage therapists and chiropractors understand the body and how each muscle is connected to the bones and tissues around it. Using this understanding, we can manipulate your skeleton and help you feel better.
Visit us today!
Introduction to Massage
Massage and bodywork have been used, in one form or another, for thousands of years to promote health and well being. The Chinese culture has practiced ‘Amma’ techniques since around 3000 B.C., as the Cong Fou of Tao-Tse attests. In the Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda, Tshanpau has been used since about 1800 B.C.
In the West, we find them integrated into rehabilitation programs, but also (and often) these practices are helpful in a large variety of other situations, such as comforting prenatal mothers-to-be, as palliative care for hospice patients, or for general relaxation and decrease in stress levels, as examples. I think massage therapy should be a vital and useful part of every individual’s overall health routine.
Practicing as a massage therapist for 15 years, I have had the privilege to be a part of thousands of clients individual health protocols. In one such case, I was working with a client who had some range of motion restriction and pain when raising their right arm overhead. This client had seen a few other bodyworkers, but the cause of the issue was elusive. As it turns out, after a functional assessment of that shoulder, as well as palpation of the muscles connected to it, we discovered that the client had a range of motion restrictions in the right pectoralis minor, as well as the latissimus dorsi, anterior deltoid, and biceps brachii. In this case, the patient’s history showed an old exercise injury, with muscular and fascial scar tissue present.
We decided to proceed with a protocol that involved contrast (hot/cold) therapy, a daily stretching routine, functional exercises, as well as some deep scar tissue massage work. This type of massage is more goal-oriented, and tends to not be the most comfortable modality. The client understood this and stayed faithful to the protocol, knowing that the results would follow. After 1 month, the client showed an increase in range of motion of more than +50% compared to the initial assessment, and by month two, had improved that to +80%. When we reassessed the client at the 3 month mark, they had nearly ALL of the range of motion restored, and were substantially stronger in the previously weaker/restricted muscles.
This was certainly a situation where immediate pain was present, but this is not always the case. In my practice, I also use massage and bodywork to help athlete’s muscular and nervous systems prepare for competition, to recuperate afterwards, to facilitate lymph movement in the reduction of swelling, to improve overall blood and interstitial fluid flow, etc.
Keep in mind, not all benefits of massage or bodywork are physical. Psychological and neurological benefits have also been reported in many studies. One of the more famous studies on the need for massage therapy and it’s emotional ramifications was conducted by a pediatrician named Dr. Fritz Talbot. He concluded that human beings are creatures that NEED human contact and touch to thrive.
There are times where I have found that massage is needed in a more short-term, symptomatic situation, such as in the case of a calf cramp or minor headache. In other cases, clients may require long-term treatment, such as athletes who need to keep fluid and flexible, or those gaining in years who just want to keep as mobile and ambulatory as possible.
From the very first session, massage can (and should be) customizable to YOUR individual needs. I have seen many clients who simply needed to “walk out feeling better than when they walked in”. In my practice, I strive to be flexible enough to suit as many needs as I may. I look forward to seeing you in the near future!