Nourish Your Brain

Nourish Your Brain

The aging process takes enough of a toll on the human body without having the mind share the same fate. As we age, the brain is susceptible to various degenerative processes, from simple lapses in memory and concentration to outright cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep your brain healthy into your golden years. Here are three brain boosters to keep you on your mental toes:

Feed It: Your brain needs sound nutrition to function optimally. The outer membrane of brain cells requires a constant supply of fatty acids. That’s where omega-3s can help (Omega 3-6-9). Choline, a B vitamin present in high amounts in eggs, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, wheat germ and tofu, may also be important for brain neurotransmitter function while benefiting mood and mental performance. Fish, such as pilchards, tuna and salmon are also considered good brain food.

Exercise It: Research suggests consistent physical activity can help people maintain memory and cognitive function as they age. According to at least one study, the exercise necessary to achieve brain benefits involved simple activities such as walking, gardening, cooking and cleaning. Another recent study showed that after a year of lifting weights twice a week, elderly women performed significantly better on tests of mental processing compared to women who participated in a balancing and toning program instead

Challenge It: In a sense, if you don’t challenge your brain, stagnation can set in, leading to all sorts of problems over time. The solution is simple, research suggests: challenge your brain. How? Try crossword puzzles, chess, word problems or other strategies to keep your brain alert and engaged. Try not to let technological conveniences (calculators are a great example) replace using your mind to figure things out.

The moral is simple: Take care of your mind and your mind will do the same for you.

Yours in Healthcare

CostaSpine

Dangers of School

Dangers of School

Are you aware of what is in your child’s school bag, how much it weighs, or how that weight is affecting their neck, shoulders, back and spine? Well as a parent it is something you should be aware of. Recent studies show that kids are carrying excessive loads to and from school, and the consequences of this weight on their structural development.

For example, a 2003 study in The Spine Journal found a significant correlation between the incidence of lower back pain among schoolchildren (ages 12-18) and both the weight of their school bags / backpacks and the amount of time these were used. Some of the school bags were extremely heavy; 18.9 percent of the students surveyed carried school bags / backpacks that weighed more than 20 percent of the student’s body weight. A further study, published in the same journal a year earlier, four of five children said their “bags” were heavy, and two-thirds said they felt fatigue when carrying theirs. The study also showed that lifetime prevalence of low back pain was related to the amount of time children carried backpacks on their shoulders. Not very good news, is it? So, what can you do as a parent to help your child in this regard? Here are a few simple suggestions:

  • Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 10 percent of their body weight.
  • Also ensure that it doesn’t hang more than 10 cms below their waistline.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. The straps should be adjustable so the school bag can be easily fitted to your child’s body.

Improper school bag or backpack use is an important but often-overlooked cause of back pain. Your Chiropractor can evaluate your child’s school bag and provide additional suggestions on how to ensure your child goes to and from school every day without putting their spine at risk.

Your Health Excelled

Getting to the Point of Acupuncture

Getting to the Point of Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an old Chinese treatment that has been proven to be very effective and beneficial for many conditions including migraines, acute or chronic pain and can also assist with infertility issues. In recent years it has also been used to reduce fine lines, increase elasticity in the face and seen as a natural alternative to Botox.

During the treatment an overall picture of the body’s health will be taken into account by taking the pulses and looking at the tongue.  Very fine needles will then be inserted into the body and face, concentrating on the acupuncture points and muscles.  Clients who have received facial acupuncture have reported improvement in the skins elasticity, the appearance of fine lines, with a more refreshed and revitalized look.

As the treatment works on the whole body then further benefits can be experienced including, improved sleep, and a overall improvement in wellbeing.

A course of treatments are usually recommended to really reap the benefits with sessions recommended at least twice a month for the first couple of moths followed up with monthly sessions to maintain.

“The treatment itself is actually relaxing. It helps to plump up my cheeks, deep lines were less obvious. Tones and brightens my skin.”

Prices start from 65 euros

For a free consultation or to find out more information please contract CostaSpine, this special will be running from the 12th of February to the 16th of February. Don’t delay and get your booking secured now on info@costaspine.com

Your Health Excelled

CostaSpine

Whiplash and its Hidden Dangers

Whiplash and its Hidden Dangers

Whiplash is a non-medical term describing a wide variety of injuries to the neck caused when the neck is violently thrusted in one direction and then another, creating a whip-like movement. These type of injuries are most commonly experienced by people who are involved in car vehicle accidents, but also not limited from falls, sports injuries, work injuries, and other incidents.

Whiplash injuries most often result in sprain-strain of the Cervical spine (neck). Most commonly the ligaments that help support, protect, and restrict excessive movements of the vertebrae are torn, which is called a sprain. The joints in the back of the spine, called the facet joints, are covered by ligaments called facet capsules, which seem to be particularly susceptible to whiplash injury. The discs between the vertebrae, which are essentially ligaments, can be torn, potentially causing a disc herniation

Furthermore the muscles and tendons are strained—stretched beyond their normal limits, which causes the muscle to tear. The nerve roots between the vertebrae may also be stretched and become inflamed. Even though it is very rare, vertebrae can be fractured and/or dislocated in a whiplash injury.

Stiffness and pain of the neck are the most common symptoms of a whiplash accident. Symptoms may also commonly be seen in the front and back of the neck. Turning the head often makes the pain and discomfort worse. Headache, predominately at the base of the skull, is also a common symptom, seen in more than two thirds of patients. These headaches may be one-sided (unilateral) or experienced on both sides (bilateral). In addition, the pain and stiffness may extend down into the shoulders and arms, upper back, and even the upper chest.

Following the musculoskeletal symptoms, a few patients also experience: nausea; blurred vision; dizziness and difficulty swallowing. While these symptoms are disconcerting, in most instances they disappear within a very short period of time. However if they continue, it is incredibly important to inform your doctor that they are not resolving. Vertigo (the sensation of the room spinning) and ringing in the ears may also be seen. Some unusual symptoms patients complain about are: irritability, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms are usually the first to disappear after a whiplash injury.

Another important and interesting aspect of whiplash is that the signs and symptoms often do not develop until 2 to 48 hours after the injury. The other big factor is the long term damage whiplash injuries cause and that is often due to disc injuries. These symptoms can normally present months or even years after the initial motor vehicle accident.

Whiplash treatable?

Active Rest:

An important aspect of whiplash management is for the patient to stay active, unless there is some serious injury that requires immobilization. Patients should not be afraid to move and be active, within reason. In addition, your doctor will often prescribe an exercise program. It is particularly important to follow this program as prescribed, so that you can achieve the best long-term benefits.

Chiropractic Manipulation/Mobilization and Physical Therapy

Ice and/or heat are often used to help control pain and reduce the muscle spasm that results from whiplash injuries. Other physical therapy modalities, such as electrical stimulation; ultrasound; ischaemic compression (soft tissue) and or dry needling, may provide some short-term relief. Spinal manipulation but more commonly mobilization techniques is the best initial treatment modality provided by a Chiropractor to treat whiplash.

If you have any signs or symptoms which have been mentioned in the above article please feel free to contact us on info@costaspine.com for a free spinal screening.

Yours in healthcare

CostaSpine

Selecting an Athletic Shoe for You

Selecting an Athletic Shoe for You

Often people will choose fashion over functionality when buying athletic shoes. Always over-looking the fact that poor-fitting shoes can thus cause pain throughout the body. Reason being footwear plays such a critical role in the function of joints and bones. It is essential that runners and athletes choose the right shoe which will help prevent pain in your back, hips, knees, and feet.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect shoe for everyone as we are all unique—feet are all different, every shoe has different features, and overall comfort is a very personal and subjective decision. For this reason, it is recommended that you first determine your foot type: normal, flat, or high-arched.

Normal Foot

Normal feet have a usual-sized arch and will leave a wet footprint that has a flare, but shows the connection between the forefoot and heel by a broad band. A normal foot will heel strike on the outside of the heel and it rolls slightly inward to absorb shock.

Preferred shoes: Stability shoes with a slightly curved shape.

Flat Foot

This type of foot has a no or a low arch and leaves a print that looks like the whole sole of the foot. It usually implies an over-pronated foot—one that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls excessively inward (pronates). Over time, this can cause overuse injuries.

Best shoes: Motion-control shoes or high-stability shoes with firm midsoles. These shoes must be fairly resistant to twisting or bending. We strongly recommend to stay away from highly cushioned, highly curved shoes, which lack stability features.

High-Arched Foot

The high-arched foot leaves a print showing a very narrow band—or no band at all—between the forefoot and the heel. A curved, highly arched foot is generally supinated or under-pronated. Reason being the foot doesn’t pronate enough, usually it’s not an effective shock absorber.

Best shoes: Cushioned shoes with plenty of flexibility to encourage foot motion. Avoid motion-control or stability shoes, which reduce foot mobility.

When buying shoes try implementing the following rules:

  • Match the shoe to the sport: Choose a shoe specific for the activity in which you will participate. Running shoes are predominately made to absorb shock as the heel strikes the ground. In contrast, tennis shoes provide more side-to-side stability. Walking shoes allow the foot to roll and push off naturally during walking, and they usually have a fairly rigid arch, a well-cushioned sole, and a stiff heel support for stability.
  • Ideally if you can shop at specialty stores that specialize in athletic shoes: Employees at these stores are often trained to recommend a shoe that best matches your stride pattern and foot type (explained above).
  • Look for your shoe late in the day: If possible, shop for shoes in the afternoon or after a workout. This is normally when your feet are generally at their largest. Remember when you shop bring a pair of socks which you will normally wear during exercise, and if you use orthotic devices for postural support, make sure you wear them when trying on shoes.
  • Ensure your feet are measured every time: It’s important to have the length and width of both feet measured when shopping for shoes. Reason being as one gets older usually one foot is slightly bigger than the other. Another good tip from Podiatrists is that your feet should be measured when you are weight-bearing, because the foot elongates and flattens when you stand, affecting the measurement and the fit of the shoe.
  • Make sure the shoe fits correctly: Choose shoes for their fit, not by the size you’ve worn in the past. The shoe should fit with an index finger’s width between the end of the shoe and the longest toe. The toe box should have adequate room and not feel tight. The heel of your foot should fit snugly against the back of the shoe without sliding up or down as you walk or run. If possible, keep the shoe on for 10 minutes to make sure it remains comfortable.

How Long Do Shoes Last?

After purchasing a pair of athletic shoes, don’t run them into the ground. While estimates vary as to when the best time to replace old shoes is, most experts agree that between 300 and 500 miles is optimal. In fact, most shoes should be replaced even before they begin to show signs of moderate wear. Once shoes show wear, especially in the cushioning layer called the mid-sole, they also begin to lose their shock absorption. Failure to replace worn shoes is a common cause of injuries like shin splints, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis.

Yours in Healthcare

CostaSpine

Pregnancy Tips for Expecting Mothers

Pregnancy Tips for Expecting Mothers

As many new mothers can attest, the muscle strains of pregnancy are very real and can be more than just a nuisance. The average weight gain of 10 to 15 kilograms, combined with the increased stress placed on the body by the baby, may result in severe discomfort. Studies have found that about half of all expectant mothers will develop low-back pain at some point during their pregnancies. This is especially true during late pregnancy, when the baby’s head presses down on a woman’s back, legs, and buttocks, irritating her sciatic nerve. And for those who already suffer from low-back pain, the problem can become even worse.

During pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity almost immediately begins to shift forward to the front of her pelvis. Although a woman’s sacrum-or posterior section of the pelvis-has enough depth to enable her to carry a baby, the displaced weight still increases the stress on her joints. As the baby grows in size, the woman’s weight is projected even farther forward, and the curvature of her lower back is increased, placing extra stress on the spinal disks. In compensation, the normal curvature of the upper spine increases, as well.

While these changes sound dramatic, pregnancy hormones help loosen the ligaments attached to the pelvic bones. But even these natural changes designed to accommodate the growing baby can result in postural imbalances, making pregnant women prone to having awkward trips and falls.

What Can You Do?

Exercise

  • Safe exercise during pregnancy can help strengthen your muscles and prevent discomfort. Try exercising at least three times a week, gently stretching before and after exercise. If you weren’t active before your pregnancy, check with your doctor before starting or continuing any exercise.
  • Walking, swimming, and stationary cycling are relatively safe cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women because they do not require jerking or bouncing movements. Jogging can be safe for women who were avid runners before becoming pregnant-if done carefully and under a doctor’s supervision.
  • Be sure to exercise in an area with secure footing to minimize the likelihood of falls. Your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute during exercise. Strenuous activity should last no more than 15 minutes at a time.
  • Stop your exercise routine immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding, dizziness, nausea, weakness, blurred vision, increased swelling, or heart palpitations

Health and Safety

  • Wear flat, sensible shoes. High or chunky heels can exacerbate postural imbalances and make you less steady on your feet, especially as your pregnancy progresses.
  • When picking up children, bend from the knees, not the waist. And never turn your head when you lift. Avoid picking up heavy objects, if possible.
  • Get plenty of rest. Pamper yourself and ask for help if you need it. Take a nap if you’re tired, or lie down and elevate your feet for a few moments when you need a break.

Pregnancy Ergonomics: Your Bed and Desk

  • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees to take pressure off your lower back. Full-length “body pillows” or “pregnancy wedges” may be helpful. Lying on your left side allows unobstructed blood flow and helps your kidneys flush waste from your body.
  • If you have to sit at a computer for long hours, make your workstation ergonomically correct. Position the computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below your eye level, and place your feet on a small footrest to take pressure off your legs and feet. Take periodic breaks every 30 minutes with a quick walk around the office.

Nutrition

  • Eat small meals or snacks every four to five hours-rather than the usual three large meals-to help keep nausea or extreme hunger at bay. Snack on crackers or yogurt-bland foods high in carbohydrates and protein. Keep saltines in your desk drawer or purse to help stave off waves of “morning sickness.”
  • Supplementing with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day before and during pregnancy has been shown to decrease the risk of neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida. Check with your doctor before taking any vitamin or herbal supplement to make sure it’s safety for you and the baby.

How Can Your Doctor of Chiropractic Help?

Before you become pregnant, your doctor of chiropractic can detect any imbalances in the pelvis or elsewhere in your body that could contribute to pregnancy discomfort or possible neuromusculoskeletal problems after childbirth.

Many pregnant women have found that chiropractic adjustments provide relief from the increased low-back pain brought on by pregnancy. Chiropractic manipulation is safe for the pregnant woman and her baby and can be especially attractive to those who are trying to avoid medications in treating their back pain. Doctors of chiropractic can also offer nutrition, ergonomic, and exercise advice to help a woman enjoy a healthy pregnancy.

Chiropractic care can also help after childbirth. In the eight weeks following labor and delivery, the ligaments that loosened during pregnancy begin to tighten up again. Ideally, joint problems brought on during pregnancy from improper lifting or reaching should be treated before the ligaments return to their pre-pregnancy state-to prevent muscle tension, headaches, rib discomfort, and shoulder problems.

Yours in healthcare

CostaSpine