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.
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 email@example.com for a free spinal screening.
Yours in healthcare
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 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.
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.
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
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?
- 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.
- 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
The aging process unfortunately comes for everyone, a major concern however is especially for women and their bone health. Through aging there are many risks and one of them is osteoporosis (porous bone) also known as a disease of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue.
Osteopenia and Osteoporosis put women in danger of bone fractures, in particular hip fractures. One way to combat and slow the effects of Osteoporosis is through calcium supplementation. Calcium is important for women who have family members with issues of bone tissue loss and low bone mass. Calcium is required on a regular daily basis, not only for healthy bones but also for healthy teeth, proper function of the heart, muscles and nerves in the body. The body cannot produce calcium, it must be consumed through food and supplements. There are many good sources of calcium that can help us avoid bone health issues later in life.
Some of the best sources of calcium include nuts such as almonds and cashews. A reasonable source of calcium can also be found in dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and milk. Dark leafy vegetables such as broccoli and asparagus can also be consumed for more calcium in your everyday diet. Be sure to also eat enough protein and include additional calcium in your diet. Protein is by itself a critical component of bones, making up a quarter of their total mass and roughly half of their volume. If you are interested in taking supplements of calcium, talk to your Chiropractor about which dose is best for your age range. If you wanting to know immediateky you can visit this site:
Post-menopausal woman have decreased levels of Estrogen and this decreased levels can further worsen their Osteoporosis condition. It is crucial that all women over the age of 50 do some form of resistance training to increase their tone and their overall bone mass. It is the body’s protective mechanism known as ‘Wollfs Law’ bone in a healthy person or animal will adapt to the loads under which it is placed. If loading on a particular bone increases, the bone will remodel itself over time to become stronger to resist that sort of loading. If you wanting to know which resistance trainers to use here in Marbella, Spain we strongly encourage all our clients to have a free consultation with our affiliated Personal Trainers at MFit Marbella (www.mfitmarbella.com).
Yours in Healthcare
We all dream of living a life where we can eat anything and everything we desire without it affecting our health. All these shake and unrealistic weight loss diets are popping up left, right and centre with more and more people buying into ‘Quick Fix’ diets. The reality is, you CAN eat food AND still be healthy. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be restricted and your meals certainly don’t have to resemble a Rabbits dinner. There are simple and quick ways to nourish your body and lower your calorie intake without compromising on taste.
A lot of our habits with food are in our mind set towards food. We think we need heavy, starchy meals in order to feel full. As much as carbohydrates are a vital part of our day to day nutrients, there are so many ways to eat them without having the heavy stuff! Complex carbohydrates and food containing high levels of refined sugar, salt and sodium often leave us feeling weak and bloated.
Here are a few tips on healthy food swaps you can make with your day to day meals.
- Spaghetti Vs Courghetti – What’s not to about love spaghetti/pasta/lasagne? It is delicious and great to have… In moderation. Studies have found when making the swap from spaghetti to courghetti, that it wasn’t actually the spaghetti people were craving. It was the feeling of having spaghetti alongside the popular dishes, such as bolognaise. Try swapping your pasta/spaghetti for spiralized courgette or butternut squash the next time you are having a craving for Italian food, and swap your lasagne sheets for sliced aubergine or courgette. It is much lower in calories and higher in Fibre. Upping your fibre is great for fat loss and vegetables are naturally much lower in carbohydrates.
- White Rice Vs Cauliflower Rice – OK, you’re avoiding white rice in favour of brown, but are you ready for the next level? Try riced cauliflower or broccoli instead. This trend has gained widespread popularity, with major brands and supermarkets selling their own version.When grated finely into rice like texture, these healthy vegetables take on the delightful, fluffy texture of rice and provide a neutral flavour profile that supports any dish you’d usually make with rice. If you’re counting calories, the count on a cup of cauliflower rice is a slim 25, while a cup of cooked brown rice has 218 calories. This clever swap is a great way to include more veggies in your diet while continuing to make the dishes you love. Give it a go!
- Crisps and dip Vs Sliced Vegetables and homemade dips – Snacks! We all love snacking, but let’s face it once those Pringles have been popped, there is definitely no stopping! When you’re craving a salty, fatty snack like crisps and dip, reach for hummus and veggies instead. Veggies provide the crunch you need without the high calories, sodium and fat of fried crisps. Creamy dips with fatty bases find a satisfying replacement in rich, creamy hummus. The chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, in hummus are full of health benefits, and research has shown they support heart health, liver function, low cholesterol and more. Start by making your own dips, hummus is quick and easy to make!
- Shop Bought Granola Bars Vs Homemade Granola Bars – If you’re on-the-go, there’s a good chance granola bars seriously simplify your life. (Hellooo, easy breakfast.) Thing is, shop-bought bars that look healthy are often loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and lacking in nutrients. Avoid the excess, refined sugar and empty calories with homemade granola bars where YOU control the ingredients. On the run? Wrap individual bars with parchment paper and tie them with string for easy portability. No time to waste on baking? If you are local to Marbella, our fellow Costa Spiner is the creator of all things sweet but healthy! Check her page, Balanced Bites Marbella on Instagram and Facebook for all things homemade, healthy and designed to give you the right balance of nutrients. Don’t give in to the sugary, quick fixes! They will always leave you feeling drained, and are, in all honesty just no good for you.
- Coffee Vs Herbal Tea – How often do you hear yourself saying, “I can’t live without coffee!” Monday mornings may call for a LARGE coffee—with a double shot of espresso. By 11 a.m., you get the jitters. By 2 p.m., you need another cup, and so the dependence on coffee carries on through the week. One unfortunate side effect of coffee is the crash, which can keep you from getting much done around the 2 p.m. slump. So, what can you do? Try Chai or green tea. Replacing your usual coffee with tea may give you a boost without the crash. Chai, has enough caffeine to keep you alert while boasting a long list of health benefits to kick start your day. Green tea is also packed with a list of health benefits. Yes, if you drink a cup of green tea every day, you are receiving a relatively small dose of caffeine compared to coffee, but Green Tea is said to help prevent cancer, lower your cholesterol and help aid weight loss. Try first by lowering your coffee intake and replacing it with a tea. We are not saying you have to go cold turkey with coffee, but reducing it could be very beneficial to you in the long term! And you never know, this small step could lead to you giving it up completely!
We hope these simple swaps have been helpful to you! Be sure to contact us at CostaSpine should you require any further help on becoming the healthiest version of you.Ask our expert Justine who is the owner of Balanced Bites for any other healthy alternatives.
Yours in Healthcare
Posture is something we always hear about and how essential it is for good health. We are familiar and are able to distinguish between poor postures when we see it. Poor posture does not happen overnight nor are we born with poor posture it is formed as a result of bad habits carried out over years. Only a few well educated and healthy people really grasp the importance of such a trivial daily activity.
Ok, so what is this posture?
It is a position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Great posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity. Without posture and the muscles that control it, we would simply fall to the ground.
Normally, posture is maintained through our subconscious, as our brain contracts muscles and we don’t even have to think about it. Numerous muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, are crucially important in ensuring we have great posture. While the ligaments help to hold the skeleton together, these postural muscles, when functioning properly, prevent the forces of gravity from pushing us over. Postural muscles also maintain our posture and balance during movement.
Is it really that important to have good posture?
Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in correct anatomical positions that places the least strain on supporting muscles, bones, joints and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. So individuals who carry themselves with good posture will tend to suffer less with generalized aches and pains due to the fact the forces are dispersed correctly through human body.
To maintain proper posture, you need to have adequate muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion in the spine and other body regions, as well as efficient postural muscles that are balanced on both sides of the spine. In addition, you must recognize your postural habits at home and in the workplace and work to correct them, if necessary.
Surely I will be fine if my posture is just OK?
The answer is NO, a number of things contribute to bad posture-most commonly, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, high-heeled shoes; tight clothing; poor eye-sight and limited health and wellness knowledge. In addition, decreased flexibility, a poorly designed ergonomic work station, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor body positioning. So do everything in your power now to fix atleast one of these habitual flaws, and keep adding one every 2 weeks, HOMEWORK!!
How do I sit properly?
- Feet must reach the floor and must refrain from crossing legs.
- Your feet must be slightly in front of your knees.
- Maintain a small space between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
- One’s knees should be in-line with your hips or slightly below.
- Lumbar support cushions are crucially important or if your chair is specially designed for this purpose to aid your low back and support your Lumbar Lordosis.
- Keep the tension out of your shoulders along with ensuring your forearms are parallel to the ground.
- Take regular breaks from sitting, 4x body weight goes through your disc’s when sitting (food for thought).
How do I stand properly?
- Ensure your weight is primarily dispersed through the balls of your feet.
- Avoid you’re your knee’s being locked, keep them slightly bent.
- Ensure your feet are about shoulder-width apart.
- Let your arms hang down naturally by your side.
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled downwards and backwards.
- Engage your core (pull your stomach in).
- Keep your ears in-line with the middle of your shoulders
What is the proper lying position?
- Make sure your mattress is right for you. While a firm mattress is generally recommended, some people find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain. Your comfort is important.
- Always sleep with a pillow and this pillow plays a crucial role in filling the gap between the shoulders and the neck to keep perfect anatomical alignment.
- DO NOT sleep on your stomach.
- If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs.
- If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees.
Can I correct my poor posture?
Of course you can but please take into consideration, that long-standing postural problems will typically take longer to address than short-lived ones, as often the joints and muscles have adapted to your long-standing incorrect posture. Being aware of your own posture and knowing what the correct posture should look like, this will subconsciously help you develop great posture. Everything is about practice and persistence, implement the above tips and tools I have given above and you are already taking the correct steps to Excel your Health.
For anything you are unsure of, contact CostaSpine and our D.C will do his best to assist you and educate you on how to attain great posture.
Yours in Healthcare
The acronym PRICE (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) has been at the corner stone of acute soft tissue damage (ligaments; muscles and tendons). This form of management has served us well over the years. By implementing this vast array of treatment modalities it has shown through subjective findings to have a significant effect on the healing process, however there is no high quality empirical research showing this conclusion. Furthermore the typical use of anti-inflammatory (NSAID’s) medication straight after an injury, causes the area to bleed more and will lead to further inflammation and swelling. The reason for this is that NSAID’s has COX 2 inhibitors within it and this causes a reduction of platelet aggregation and decreased vasoconstriction and thus causes further swelling and thus decreasing the healing rate.
Protection and rest following an injury is still crucially important during the initial healing process. Immobility can never be over-looked, due to the fact all injuries are an over-extension of a joint which damages either your ligament or tendon. So limiting that joint movement and securing it, in its optimal anatomical position will allow the ligaments to knit in its correct shortened state. But, rest should be of limited duration and restricted to immediately after trauma. Longer periods of unloading are harmful and produce adverse changes to tissue biomechanics and morphology. So it is crucial that you seek medical advice as it is a fine balancing act between immobility and activity. Progressive mechanical loading is more likely to restore the strength and morphological characteristics of collagenous tissue.
Ice; compression and elevation (ICE) are the other basic principles of early treatment. Most research has focused on the analgesic effect of icing or the associated skin or intramuscular temperature changes; a recent randomized controlled trial by ‘Prins and colleagues’, which examined the effectiveness of ice on recovery from acute muscle tear, is the first of its kind, showing that the use of ice is not beneficial for people who receive cryotherapy. Clinical studies into compression are also lacking, and much of its rationale is extrapolated from research relating to deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis and lymphoedema management; there is little clinical research on elevation.
The difficult clinical challenge is finding the balance between loading and unloading during tissue healing. If tissues are stressed too aggressively after injury, the mechanical insult may cause re-bleeding or further damage. Protection of vulnerable tissues therefore remains an important principle. But, too much emphasis creates a default mindset that loading has no place in acute management. Rest may be harmful and inhibits recovery. The secret is to find the ‘optimal loading’.
Optimal loading means replacing rest with a balanced and incremental rehabilitation program where early activity encourages early recovery. Injuries vary so there is no single one size fits all strategy or dosage. A loading strategy should reflect the unique mechanical stresses placed upon the injured tissue during functional activities, which varies across tissue type and anatomical region. For example, a muscle injury to the lower limb has cyclic loading through normal ambulation. The upper limb may require additional cyclic load to be factored into the rehabilitation program in order to maximise mechanical stimulus.
POLICE, a new acronym, which represents protection, optimal loading, ice compression and elevation, is not simply a formula but a reminder to clinicians and patients to think differently and seek out new and innovative strategies for safe and effective loading in acute soft tissue injury management. Optimal loading is an umbrella term for any mechano-therapy intervention and includes a wide range of manual techniques currently available at CostaSpine; indeed the term may include manual techniques such as massage refined to maximise the mechano-effect. Paradoxically, strapping, crutches, braces and supports, traditionally associated with rest, may have a greater role in adjusting and regulating optimal loading in the early stages of rehabilitation.
POLICE should make us think more about research into designing rehabilitation strategies that are appropriate to the nature and severity of injury in different sports and activities. If the primary principle of treatment is to restore the histological and mechanical properties of injured soft tissue, optimal loading may indeed be sport specific. The challenge is in determining what is ‘optimal’ in terms of the dosage, nature and timing.
Yours in Healthcare
Arthritis has always been considered to be part of the aging process, along with indicating to the patient that he cannot be as active as he/she would want to be. This however has changed. As new research and science has found ways to slow this degenerative disease down. The usual remedy for arthritis was bed rest but it is now shown increased bed rest can hasten the progression of the disease.
What Is Arthritis (other clinical names: Osteoarthritis; Degenerative Joint Disease; Spondylosis and Scelorsis)
“Arthritis” basically means “joint inflammation”. Although arthritis often begins in middle age and is more frequent in the older generation, it can also start at a young age where serious trauma has occurred at that particular joint. A simple and non- technical description of arthritis is basically when bone starts rubbing against bone. Either through joint dysfunction and irregular movement or due to the fact that every joint is lined with cartilage and when this cartilage starts to wear thin, inevitably bone will then articulate on bone. This is when intra-articular loose bodies will occur and the following signs and symptoms will begin to show:
- Tender, warm, and swollen joints usually early morning or late at night
- Pain and stiffness lasts for more than 30 minutes after a long rest.
- It will usually occur around joints where there has been previous injury and/ or trauma to the area.
- The condition is asymmetrical.
- The wrist and finger joints closest to the hand are most frequently affected. However, the neck, hip, elbow, knee, shoulder, ankle, and feet joints can also be affected.
- Loss of flexibility
- Grating sensation, you may hear or feel this sensation when that particular joint is moving
- Cosmetic deformities
Reason for the pain is the body detects damage within the joint and pumps large amount of synovial fluid into the joint space. So the pain is most noticeable after long periods of immobility. So when the joint starts to articulate, the fluid is very distended and pushes on the joint capsule. As the fluid starts to disperse itself the pain starts to alleviate as there is now less pressure within in the joint, reason being why your pain gets better after 20-30 minutes of activity
Should Arthritic Patients Exercise?
Exercise is crucial in successful arthritis management and treatment. It ensures healthy and strong muscles, joint mobility, flexibility, endurance, and helps control weight. Rest, on the other hand, helps to decrease active joint inflammation, pain, and fatigue. For best results, arthritis patients need a good balance between the two: more rest during the active phase of arthritis, and more exercise during remission. For patients suffering with severe arthritis, none loading bearing exercises would be the best such as aqua aerobics; swimming; elliptical trainer; ect. The following exercises are most frequently recommended for patients with mild to moderate arthritis:
- Range-of-motion exercises, e.g. dynamic stretching and easy- flowing movements (yoga or pilates) help maintain normal joint movement and increase joint flexibility. Can be done daily and should be done at least every other day.
- Strengthening exercises, e.g. weight lifting (this include your body weighted exercises) help improve muscle strength, which is important to support and protect joints affected by arthritis. Should be done every other day, unless pain and swelling are severe.
- Aerobic or endurance exercises, e.g. walking, bicycle riding, and swimming help improve the cardiovascular system and muscle tone and control weight. Swimming is especially valuable because of its minimal risk of stress injuries and low impact on the body. Should be done for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week unless pain and swelling are severe.
Nutrition for the Arthritic Patient:
Some foods and nutritional supplements can be helpful in managing arthritis:
- Research shows that the best nutrition to aid cartilage production and slow would be a combination of the these 4 essential components: Glucosamine; Chondroitin; MSM and Hyaluronic acid (GOOD NEWS CostaSpine NOW STOCKS THE LATEST OF THESE PRODUCTS)
- Fatty-acid supplements: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Several studies point to the effectiveness of these fatty acid supplements in reducing joint pain and swelling, and lessening reliance on corticosteroids.
- Deep-sea fish, such as salmon, tuna, herring, and halibut, are sources of EPA and DHA. GLA is found in very few food sources, such as black currants.
- Turmeric, a spice that’s used to make curry dishes, may also be helpful. A 95 percent curcuminoid extract has been shown to significantly inhibit the inflammatory cascade and provide relief of joint inflammation and pain.
- Ginger extract has been shown to be beneficial in terms of inflammation.
- A vegetarian or low-allergen diet can help with the management of arthritis as well.
The benefits and risks of most of these agents are being researched. Before taking any dietary supplement, especially if you are using medication to control your condition, consult with your health care provider.
What Can Your Doctor of Chiropractic Do?
If you suffer from arthritis, your doctor of Chiropractic can help you plan an individualized exercise program that will:
- Help you restore the lost range of motion to your joints.
- Improve your flexibility and endurance.
- Increase your muscle tone and strength.
Chiropractors can also give you nutrition and supplementation advice that can be helpful in controlling and reducing joint inflammation.
Through the specialized exercise program and nutrition supplements your body will be performing at its’ optimum so therefore have the ability to strengthen the joints and muscles effected by the arthritis.
Yours in healthcare
Appearing your best might not always be the best thing for you. Today’s society is all about extreme fashion along with being style conscious. Unfortunately, clothing designers and stylists aim to be visually appealing but they are not always practical or even comfortable in their approach.
The desire of people to mimic models and their runway ‘walk’ along with all their accessories could lead to leg, back, and spine or neck problems. Women tend to wear high heels to complement an outfit, not for comfort. However do not realize that these shoes can cause serious discomfort in their feet and can also exacerbate back pain. High heels disrupt the balanced position of a person’s body. When a person wears high heels, a new dynamic equilibrium occurs.
Essentially, wearing high heels for a prolonged period of time increases the normal forward curve of the back and causes the pelvis to tip forward. This alters the normal configuration of the pelvis and spine necessary for the body to maintain a center of gravity.
The legs are the foundation of the musculoskeletal system, and a person standing flat-footed or bare-footed would be completely balanced. During standing, the hamstrings are taut and both parts of the pelvis are stabilized so that the support is normal. When wearing high heels, you encourage the hamstring muscles to shorten along with the whole posterior chain. It is imperative to take the necessary time to choose the correct footwear, ask your Chiropractor to determine if you have a neutral foot, pronated foot or a supinated foot as this information will help you choose the correct comfortable footwear. To avoid atrophy of the hamstring, please ensure you do regular stretching of your hamstring and calf to counter-act the poor biomechanics along with strength training exercises of the leg, if you persist with wearing high heels..
Women and men alike need to avoid tight fitting clothing. Reason being clothes that are too tight throw a person off-balance, and simple daily tasks such as bending, sitting and walking become extremely difficult. Furthermore incredibly tight clothing can also cut off circulation to certain parts of your body and blood flow is crucial for a human body to function efficiently.
Another popular fashion item is handbags, briefcases and unilateral (on one side) sling bags. Women and men tend to carry too many items in these bags, and are often not aware of the potential health risks associated with carrying an excessive amount of “stuff.” Carrying any bag unilaterally with a weight-more than 10 percent of your own body weight-can cause improper balance, thus leading to dysfunction. The person carrying the bag will raise the one shoulder to subconsciously guard against the weight, holding the other shoulder immobile. This results in the unnatural counterbalance movement of one shoulder and little control over the movements of the arms and legs. Even worse, the spine curves toward the shoulder. So when choosing bags, try and decrease the weight of each bag, along with trying to find a bag that allows you to carry it on both shoulders, might not be very fashionable but much more effective and ergonomically friendlier. If you insist on using a unilateral bag, please ensure you keep switching it from one side of your body to the other.
Many people also tend to carry their wallets, personal identification and car keys in their back pocket. When this individuals sit down for an extended period the weight distribution of their pelvis will be thrown out of sync, thus again leading to further dysfunction. This dysfunction won’t cause pain initially, however after months of compensation the body will start to develop aches and pains due to the poor biomechanics which you have installed.
Stylists; designers and fashion guru’s tend to be more interested about the way something appears rather than the way it feels. Listen to your body. One of the most important aspects of being in style and looking your best is to ensure first and foremost your health and wellness is not affected through whatever outfit or accessory you want to be wearing, “There is no such wealth as health”.
Stay classy, yours in healthcare