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For the majority of us who work in office and at desk jobs, we spend a great deal of time sitting down. While sitting for most of the day seems pretty low risk compared to other occupational hazards, sitting in the same position all the time can stress the structures of the spine, and may result in injuries to the back, neck and even the wrist. It is important to find an office chair that is ergonomically designed to support the lower back and promote good posture. An ergonomic chair cannot only prevent injury and pain in the back, but it also maximizes your function at work. When looking for the right ergonomic chair for you, it is important to find one suited to your needs. With so many ergonomic office chairs on the market, it’s important to research them, since there is no single chair that could be labeled the “best.” There are specific features that should be considered when looking for a desk chair, such as adjustable seat height.
Your feet should be flat on the floor with your thighs at a horizontal position, and your arms should be even with the height of the desk. Having an adjustable armrest is also beneficial, since users can rest their arms and relax their shoulders, which can eliminate significant tension while working. You should also look for a chair with a seat that has sufficient width and depth to support any user. While working, you should be able to sit with your back resting against the back of the chair. In addition, the back should also be adjustable in its tilt forward and backwards. One big issue about working at a desk all day is that many chairs are not designed to support the lower back. Support for our lumbar spine, or our lower back, is very important. Our spinal curvature has an inward curve in the lumber spine, and sitting for too long without supporting it will lead to slouching and straining the structures of the lower spine.
An ergonomic chair must offer lumber support and adjustment, so the user can fit the chair to the inward curve of the lower back. Additional things to also consider are the seat material: is it comfy? An ergonomic chair with a swivel on the chair can help you reach different areas of your desk without strain. After researching the properties of the ergonomic chairs on the market, you need to consider your specific job and what functions you need to perform. Consider your priorities and properties you need for your ergonomic chair. Once you’ve decided on the chair for you, explore stores to try the chairs out. See if they’re comfortable and meet your needs. Shop around, both online and off to make sure you get the best price and quality out there. You might also want to consider alternative ergonomic chairs, such as kneeling or saddle chairs and even the exercise ball chair.
References Used:  http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/office-chair-ergonomic-chair-alternatives-traditional-office-chairs Accessed October 2011  http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-an-Ergonomic-Office-Chair Accessed October 2011  http://www.officechairadvice.com/ Accessed October 2011
Chiropractic BioPhysics® is a more systematic, comprehensive and scientific approach to chiropractic medicine. One of the main goals for overall health is attaining improved postural alignment, and the chiropractic techniques behind CBP® can help to attain that. But what exactly is Chiropractic BioPhysics®? The name originates from the concept of applying physics to biology in chiropractic medicine. CBP® practitioners still use standard chiropractic joint adjustments, but they also implement specific techniques such as Mirror Image®, meaning opposite position, postural adjustments, spinal exercises and tractions.
The promise of CBP® is a chiropractic treatment offering longer-term and more permanent relief for patients. The technique has taken 25 years to develop, and was started in the 1980s by Dr. D. Harrison. Currently, CBP® is the fastest growing chiropractic technique, mostly due to its foundation in scientific research and its highly cited success rate in curing various ailments and illnesses associated with spinal misalignment. The procedure was developed so that the alignment of the spine and posture can be treated in a non-invasive manner. Using CBP® can help, not only in correcting faulty alignments, but also in reversing previous problems associated with spinal misalignment. The ultimate goal is permanent rehabilitation. In order to practice as a CBP® chiropractor, the doctors must complete five Chiropractic BioPhysics® seminars and pass both a written and practical examination. Once they have met the above criteria, they become distinguished fellows. This extra training is one of the ways a CBP® chiropractor differs from a normal one. A chiropractor using the CBP® method is able to act both as a regular chiropractor and as a specialist with a broader outlook. Chiropractic BioPhysics® is strongly evidence-based.
Treatment outcomes from previous patients are tabulated into guidelines that inform the treatment plans of new patients. When working with a CBP® chiropractor expect to see lots of rulers, protractor, charts and diagrams. Be accurately depicting the current spinal position and the forces acting on it, the doctor can develop a set of corrective exercise to restore proper alignment. For example, if you carry your head too far forward, the CBP® chiropractor may have you work on strengthening the muscles in the back of the neck so that they can exert a stronger pulling force. If you carry your body weight too far to forward or to one side (not directly over your heels), the CBP® chiropractor will have you do mirror image-style exercises over-exaggerating the position in the opposition direction in hopes of training the body to adopt a neutral, centered position. Chiropractic BioPhysics® is where physics meets anatomy. It is a new and promising field for systematically correcting posture based on an understanding of the multiple forces acting on your spine.
References Used:  http://cbppatient.com/learn-chiropractic-care/introduction-to-chiropractic/ Accessed October 2011  http://www.idealspine.com/ Accessed October 2011
Fibromyalgia is a condition with no known medical cure. It is characterized by chronic and debilitating pain all over the body, and heightened pain under pressure. Its symptoms can cause patients to suffer from widespread pain, poor sleep, chronic tiredness and even depression. The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown. Some theories cite that the patient’s low pain threshold may be attributed to increased sensitivity in the brain to pain signals.  Other possible causes could be a genetic predisposition ; stress; the disruption of normal dopamine related neurotransmission ; abnormal serotonin levels  and deficient growth hormone secretion . While there is currently no cure for the condition, its symptoms can be alleviated by chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic treatment uses manipulation, which is a technique involving short and quick thrusts to the vertebrae in the spine to shift vertebrae back into their correct position. The treatment found in chiropractic care is based on the idea that illnesses and pain in the body arise from misalignments in the body’s skeletal structure.
In order for the body to function healthily, the spine and the skeletal structure need to be set in the correct position – otherwise problems like chronic pain can arise. Fibromyalgia causes numerous, tender points to occur all over the body, including back and neck pain and leg cramps. As a result of these symptoms, sufferers of fibromyalgia have sought treatment from chiropractors. Because the adjustments made during treatment help to restore the posture of the skeletal system, many sufferers find that treatment can help to reduce a significant amount of pain. Some fibromyalgia sufferers experience a condition known as cervical spinal stenosis, which results in compression of the spine’s meninges, which are the coverings of the upper spine. This can result in debilitating pain all over the body.
A chiropractor may be able to help with cervical spinal stenosis by adjusting the spine around the head and neck, releasing this compression and eliminating the symptoms attributed to it. The effectiveness of chiropractic care has been studied in sufferers of fibromyalgia , where patients were asked which method of treatment, medical or alternative, helped the best with their condition. The majority voted for chiropractic treatment. In addition, the effectiveness was tested by using spinal manipulation to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms, and after 15 treatments, results concluded that patients had reduced fatigue and pain as well as improved sleep quality. While fibromyalgia sufferers continue to look for a cure, it is great to know that there are ways to alleviate the symptoms and live a more normal life. If you or someone you know suffers from undiagnosed chronic pain or fibromyalgia, please share this article with them and encourage them to get a chiropractic consultation.
References Used:  http://edition.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/fibromyalgia/DS00079.html Accessed September 2011  Buskila D, Sarzi-Puttini P (2006). “Biology and therapy of fibromyalgia. Genetic aspects of fibromyalgia syndrome”. Arthritis Res Ther. 8 (5): 218. doi:10.1186/ar2005. PMC 1779444. PMID 16887010.  Cervenka S, Pålhagen SE, Comley RA et al. (August 2006). “Support for dopaminergic hypoactivity in restless legs syndrome: a PET study on D2-receptor binding”. Brain 129 (Pt 8): 2017–28.doi:10.1093/brain/awl163. PMID 16816393. Retrieved 2008-05-21.  Moldofsky H, Scarisbrick P, England R, Smythe H (1975).”Musculoskeletal symptoms and non-REM sleep disturbance in patients with “fibrositis syndrome” and healthy subjects”. Psychosom Med 37(4): 341–51. PMID 169541. Retrieved 2008-05-21.  Anderberg UM, Liu Z, Berglund L, Nyberg F (1999). “Elevated plasma levels of neuropeptide Y in female fibromyalgia patients”. Eur J Pain 3 (1): 19–30.  http://www.fibromyalgia-symptoms.org/fibromyalgia_chiropractic.html Accessed September 2011
Concussions arise from an injury to the tissues or blood vessels in the brain. These can occur when the soft tissues are pressed against the bone of the skull, resulting from an impact or blow to the head experienced during a fall or from sports injury. They can also occur from being forcefully shaken. Mild concussions in childhood are common and often are not a cause for serious health concern. However there are rare cases of childhood concussion that should not be taken lightly and it’s important to know what symptoms need to be looked for.
The general symptoms of concussion are varied, and depend on the severity of the injury and the individual themselves. Possible symptoms include dizziness, loss of consciousness and seizures. The latter two symptoms indicate a severe case of concussion (although a loss of consciousness itself may not be dangerous if short lived ). However, symptoms that appear later could also be danger signs. A very common symptom experienced after a concussion is headache  that may be mild to moderate in intensity. A blow to your child’s head could also cause changes in their mood , such as crankiness and loss of interest in favorite items . The way a child plays or works at school may be affected. After a concussion, a child may forget things or have difficulties in thinking , with possible short-term memory loss. Drowsiness and reduced energy are also common. Concussion may be dangerous, because some of the symptoms are so mild that they are difficult to notice – some children act normal, even if they don’t feel normal. Concussion makes it difficult to detect the symptoms in your child, unless they tell you they’re feeling strange. Ask your child if they have any of the symptoms, and make sure to observe them closely for a few weeks.
Your child is at increased risk if they have experienced previous head injury, are taking a blood thinning medicine, suffer bleeding disorders, are under one year old, have other neurological problems, have difficulty walking or are active in high contact sports. If your child is harder to wake up than normal, shows worsened symptoms, won’t stop crying, doesn’t eat well, has worsening headaches or symptoms that have lasted longer than six weeks, then contact your doctor or caregiver. If your child shows a change in personality, bleeds out of the ears or nose, has trouble recognizing people, or vomits repeatedly, go to the emergency room. For seizures, unequal pupil size and longer-term unconsciousness, dial 911 . Irrespective of advice you get on the internet or by phone, if you have any doubt in your mind about your child’s health after a head injury, seek the help of a professional. You know your child best!
References used:  Cantu RC (2006). “An overview of concussion consensus statements since 2000″ (PDF). Neurosurgical Focus 21 (4:E3): 1–6. Kushner D (1998). “Mild Traumatic brain injury: Toward understanding manifestations and treatment”. Archives of Internal Medicine 158 (15): 1617–1624.  Heegaard W, Biros M (2007). “Traumatic brain injury”. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America 25 (3): 655–678, viii.  Mayo Clinic Staff (2007). “Concussion”. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 2008-01-10.  http://www.drugs.com/cg/concussion-in-children.html Accessed October 2011
Becoming a chiropractor is no easy feat. The training to become a practicing chiropractor is akin to traditional medical doctors and involves years of academic training and hours of patient contact work. In order to work professionally, a chiropractor must undertake a long period of academic training and a certain number of hours of internship before they are offered a license to practice. In general, chiropractors get a first professional degree, otherwise known as a second entry, in chiropractic treatment. Ordinarily, the general route to become a chiropractor involves a four-year undergraduate degree as a pre-requisite to apply for the degree in chiropractic medicine. There are three possible ways to become a qualified chiropractor according to the World Health Organization (WHO) .
The first path involves one to four years of prior training in basic sciences at university, then followed by a followed by a four-year full-time program in chiropractic medicine. One can also take an academic degree, called the Doctor in Chiropractic (DC) program, a five-year integrated bachelor degree and a first professional degree, if one wants to follow the path of directly becoming a chiropractor early in their academic career. There is also a more conventional route of completing a BSc in Chiropractic medicine and followed then by a two to three year’s masters, or MSc, in Chiropractic studies. While the academic requirements above are the minimum, in countries where chiropractic practitioners are more established, the standards to practice are quite high. However, no matter what educational route is followed, a prospective chiropractor must meet the requirements of 4200 student and teacher contact hours, during the four years of their education, which includes 1000 hours of supervised clinical training . Some health professionals with advanced clinical degrees, such as medical doctors or those who have studied medicine, wish to transition into chiropractic practice. They are only required to undertake 2200 hours of contact hours to meet both the educational and clinical requirements.
Like other professionals in the medical professions, a practicing chiropractor must be licensed in the State they wish to practice in. While the laws in different countries and various states may differ, in order to obtain a chiropractic license, all candidates must meet the above academic requirements. In addition, they must complete a 12-month clinical internship or a certain number of continuing education credits . A license is granted following successful completion of all the State and National Board exams. References:  http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/traditional/Chiro-Guidelines.pdf Accessed October 2011  http://www.californiachiropractic.com/doctor/chiropractor/14L/california-chiropractors/license-requirements.htm Accessed October 2011  http://www.wichiro.org/Chiropractic_Examining_Board.htm Accessed October 2011
Comparing the Risks: Spinal Manipulation versus Back Surgery
While most people seeking medical care for back or neck pain recognize that they may have treatment options (often including chiropractic care and surgery), many do not understand the potential benefits and risks associated with those choices. Patients who ask family, friends or coworkers for advice all too often hear secondhand stories about healthcare “miracles” or “nightmares” experienced by a friend’s uncle, a wife’s boss or a father’s golfing buddy. The clinical facts—on the other hand—are often less accessible to the average person and tend to leave a smaller impression. However, for those who want a broader perspective on their treatment options, there are several high-quality research resources available. The American Journal of Medicine and Spine (among others) have featured information on the risks involved with surgery and spinal manipulation.
Headline: Both Surgery and Manipulation Present Risks Patients who are suffering with neck pain and considering both surgery and chiropractic treatment should be aware of the risks and discuss them openly with their healthcare providers. In the case of any surgery, there may be serious complications from anesthesia, excessive bleeding, blood clots that lead to pulmonary embolism and infection. These general risks are added to the more specific risks of surgery on the spine. These may include a dural tear (the dura surrounds the spinal cord and a tear can cause leaking of cerebrospinal fluid), spinal cord injury and persistent or increased pain from an unsuccessful procedure. Spinal manipulation may also cause dangerous complications. Spinal manipulation has been associated with disc herniation, cauda equina syndrome (pain, weakness or loss of bladder and bowel function) and vertebrobasilar accident (a tear in a major artery of the neck). These complications can be just as serious as the complications associated with surgery. If similarly severe complications may result from either course of treatment, how can a patient weigh the risk of each option? Managing risk isn’t just about understanding “worst-case”-type scenarios, it’s also about understanding how likely these and other complications are to occur.
This is where some additional research findings can help. How Frequently Do Serious Complications Actually Occur? In April 2010, the journal Spine (published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) included an article that summarized the incidence of adverse events in spinal surgery based on the authors’ review and analysis of the existing literature. They found complication rates for spinal surgery ranging from 5% to 19%. Similarly, the American Journal of Medicine in 2002 published the results of a study that examined the incidence of serious adverse events for spinal manipulation. By comparison, researchers involved in that work reported complication rates ranging from one out of every 400,000 manipulations to one out of every two million. So now we can see that the risk of a serious adverse event from spinal manipulation is extremely low relative to the risk posed by surgery. That’s one reason that the Mayo Clinic and many other reliable healthcare organizations around the world consider spinal manipulation very safe when performed by someone trained and licensed to provide this type of chiropractic care.
Whenever we talk about risk, it’s always important to remember that almost everything we do can be ‘associated’ with some type of adverse event. Driving a car, handling scissors, and even eating dinner can all lead to serious complications. The best way to handle these risks, including the risks of spinal manipulation, is to understand them and keep them in perspective. Healthcare providers are uniquely qualified to help you do that. If you or someone you care about is interested in chiropractic care—including its potential benefits and risks—please call our office to make an appointment.
References Dekutoski, MD, M. B., Norvell, PhD, D. C., Dettori, PhD, J. R., Fehlings, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS, M.G., & Chapman, MD, J. R. (2010). Surgeon Perceptions and Reported Complications in Spine Surgery. Spine, 35(9S). Retrieved August 31, 2011, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721611 Staff, M. C. (n.d.). Chiropractic adjustment: Risks – MayoClinic.com. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved August 31, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chiropractic-adjustment/MY01107/DSECTION=risks Stevinson, MS, C., & Ernst, MD, PhD, E. (2002). Risks Associated With Spinal Manipulation. The American Journal of Medicine, 112(7), 566-571. Retrieved August 31, 2011, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002934302010689
Shortening the Road to Recovery After an Automobile Injury:Your Chiropractor Can Help.
Description: C:UsersadminDesktopauto_accident-200-300.jpgIt’s a great success story that most of us probably haven’t heard very much about.America’s roads have become far safer across the past 20 years.By just about any measure, travelers are much less likely to be injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident than they were in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Fast Facts:Motor Vehicle Accidents by the Numbers
Vehicle Miles Driven.Americans traveled 2,172 billion miles in 1991 and 2,979 billion miles in 2009.That’s a 37% increase.
Motor Vehicle Accidents.During the same 1991-2009 period, the number of accidents on U.S. roads actually decreased by 10%, dropping from 6,117,000 to 5,505,000.So even though we’re traveling more miles, we’re having fewer accidents.
Occupant Fatalities.The number of motor vehicle occupants killed in accidents during 1991 was 31,934. That number declined by 23% to 24,474 in 2009.The fatality rate per 1,000 accidents dropped from 5.2 to 4.4 persons.That means that when we do have an accident, it’s become less likely that someone traveling in the vehicle will be killed.
Occupant Injuries.The statistics show an even more positive trend with respect to injuries.The number of occupants injured in accidents fell 29% from 2,850,000 in 1991 to 2,011,000 in 2009.The injury rate per 1,000 accidents declined from 465.9 persons to 365.3.Simply put, our motor vehicle accidents seem to be injuring fewer drivers and passengers when they do occur.
It’s likely that this general trend toward safer roads is being driven by a combination of factors.It could be the way we’re driving that’s producing fewer, less serious crashes.It could be the way our roads are designed, maintained or policed.It could also be the active and passive safety features now included in many of our vehicles.But whatever the reasons, we can all agree that this is good (if under-reported) news for our nation’s travelers.
But What if I’m One of the Two Million Unlucky Ones this Year?
As encouraging as this trend is, it obviously means little to you if you or someone you care about is actually injured in a car accident.Even in cases where drivers and passengers walk away from a wreck believing they’re “uninjured”, accidents can have profound, long-lasting health consequences for those involved.It’s not uncommon for some types of symptoms to appear only gradually days or weeks after the event itself, delaying effective diagnosis and treatment.Symptoms may also come and go intermittently, making it more difficult to associate them with the accident.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to safeguard your health and improve your chances of a more rapid, complete recovery following an auto accident.Clinical studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care can shorten recovery time and decrease the amount of permanent physical damage sustained in a collision.
Take Care of First Things First.
Always address any life-threatening injuries first.If you experience (or have reason to suspect) significant bleeding or bruising, broken bones, internal pain, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness, or shock, you should seek immediate help from healthcare professionals who specialize in treating trauma injuries.
Recognize Signs that You May Be at Increased Risk of Developing Chronic Problems.
Be sure to tell your doctor if any of the following warning signs apply:
* A prior history of back, neck or shoulder problems (including previous injury). * Distinct numbness, tingling or pain immediately following an accident. * Increased muscle tension or reduced range of motion after the crash. * You were involved in a rear-end collision. * Your head was turned at the moment of impact. * You have symptoms that don’t resolve or that become generalized.
Visit your Chiropractor as Soon as Possible After an Accident.
Do this even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt very badly.Research has shown that early intervention in the form of chiropractic adjustment, massage and supervised exercise and stretching programs can make a big difference in longer-term function.
Activity encourages blood flow to the injured area and promotes healing.It also helps prevent or reduce scar tissue formation and maintain range of motion.
Strengthen the Affected Area(s) as Directed by your Chiropractor.
Exercise and stretching programs are designed to help prevent future injuries and are an important part of a balanced treatment plan.
An auto accident can affect your health (and your lifestyle) for years if you don’t receive the proper treatment.So if you or someone you care about has been injured in a collision, please call our office and make an appointment today.Chiropractic care can help put your recovery in the fast lane!
References and Resources
A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Crash Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System.Traffic Safety Facts 2009 Early Edition.U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safey Administration.Accessed August 2011. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811402EE.pdf
Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Guide to Diseases and Conditions: Whiplash and Alternative Medicine.Accessed August 2011. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/whiplash/DS01037/DSECTION=alternative-medicine
Berglund A, et. al., The influence of prognostic factors on neck pain intensity, disability, anxiety and depression over a 2-year period in subjects with acute whiplash injury.Pain.December 2006.
Jull G, et. al.,Does the Presence of Sensory Hypersensitivity Influence Outcomes of Physical Rehabilitation for Chronic Pain?A preliminary RCT.Pain.May 2007.
Karnezis IA, et. al., Factors Affecting the Timing of Recovery from Whiplash Neck Injuries:Study of a Cohort of 134 Patients Pursuing Litigation.Archives of Orthopeadic and Trauma Surgery.October 2007.
Peolsson M, et. al., Generalized Pain is Associated with More Negative Consequences than Local or Regional Pain:A Study of Chronic Whiplash-Associated Disorder.Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine.April 2007.
Rosenfeld M., et. al., Active Intervention in Patients with Whiplash-Associated Disorders Improves Long-Term Prognosis.Spine.November 2003.
Sterling M., et. al., Physical and Psychological Factors Maintain Long-Term Predictive Capacity Post-Whiplash Injury.Pain.May 2006.
The latest in performance footwear isn’t on display at America’s elite university track programs.Nor will you find it on the pitch at professional soccer games.You won’t see it on the baseball diamond, basketball court or football field either.Why not?Because the most recent innovation in athletic shoes (at least among a small but growing community of hardcore running enthusiasts) is… not wearing any at all!
The Reasons Behind the “Back to Basics” Movement
For a majority of runners either considering or actively experimenting with barefoot running, it’s not about trying to rediscover their inner caveman.Rather, these individuals are looking for ways to improve comfort, reduce wear and tear on their bodies and add years to their running lives.A 2009 bestselling book called “Born to Run”, written by Christopher McDougall, evangelizes barefoot running and ties many of our species’ running-related maladies to the use of shoes.But does running barefoot actually solve the problem?And do the obvious risks outweigh the potential benefits?
What Does Science Say About Running Barefoot?
The idea is controversial among medical researchers and healthcare providers as well as among runners themselves.At the center of the debate is our understanding of the musculoskeletal system and the biomechanics of running, and it’s fair to say that the evidence today doesn’t point clearly in one direction or the other.In fact, the leading researchers on the topic at Harvard University’s Skeletal Biology Lab are careful to point out that none of the information they present is meant to answer questions about how people should run and whether running barefoot or with shoes is any more likely to cause(or prevent) any particular type of injury.So if you’re thinking about adopting the barefoot running lifestyle yourself, it’s worth considering a handful of points about which there seems to be some general agreement:
1.We run much differently when we wear shoes.For example, long-time shoe wearers (that’s most Americans) tend to take longer strides and land further back on the foot, producing a harder heel strike that would be uncomfortable or painful without shoes.Shoe wearers also generally lean forward more.By contrast, experienced barefoot runners are far more likely to have a forefoot or midfoot strike and will tend to run in a more upright position.
2.The differences in running style mean that impacts and stresses are distributed and absorbed differently by the body.Research suggests that the hard heel strike creates a higher-frequency impact that tends to move upward through a runner’s bones, while the lower-frequency impact of landing on the forefoot travels through the muscles and soft tissue.
3.The fact that most Americans wear shoes from an early age means that our bodies adapt to it.And we probably adapt in a couple of different ways.Not only do we learn to move differently when we have shoes to absorb the impact and protect us from cuts and scrapes, we also strengthen (or weaken) different parts of our bodies in the process.If you’ve “grown up” running in modern athletic shoes (which enable long strides and hard heel strikes), it’s unlikely that your feet and calves have the same muscle strength as a those of an experienced barefoot runner.It’s also unlikely that you have the same sorts of calluses.
4.Just because we’ve walked and run in shoes for most of our lives doesn’t mean we can’t do something different, but it does mean that we should be smart about making a change.The last thing you want to do is to inadvertently increase the risk of some types of injury in the course of trying to prevent others (upping the odds of sprains, strains and tendonitis to reduce the likelihood of stress fractures, for instance).It takes time for a runner to adjust his or her form and for the body to make its own adjustments.For this reason, it’s important to make a gradual change and pay close attention to your running technique.Your own body will provide some feedback on your progress, but education and common sense should play a central role in helping you set appropriate goals and expectations.
5.Whether you choose to run in shoes or to run barefoot, good form matters.And it matters a lot.Countless coaches and trainers have gone on the record saying that bad form contributes to more running-related injuries than any other single factor.Dr. Daniel Lieberman recently provided a wonderful quote to Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times:
“Humans may have been built to run barefoot, but we did not evolve to run barefoot with bad form.”
If you’re a runner looking for a healthier approach–especially if you are experiencing pain or have a history of injury, your chiropractic physician can help!As experts in diagnosing, treating (and, even better, preventing) muscular and skeletal problems, chiropractors use a variety of proven techniques to relieve pain, promote healing and improve performance.Best of all, they can help keep you running at your best!Call our office today to make an appointment.
References & Resources
Lieberman, D., et. al.,Biomechanics of Foot Strikes & Applications to Running Barefoot or in Minimal Footwear.Harvard University Skeletal Biology Lab.Accessed August 2011. http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/
McDougall, Christopher, “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” 2009.
Reynolds, Gretchen,”Are We Built to Run Barefoot?”.The New York Times.June 8, 2011.Accessed August 2011. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/are-we-built-to-run-barefoot/
As of the time this article is being written — Yes you can use your FSA account to pay for chiropractic services.
Bear in mind that exactly what is and is not eligible inside a Flexible Spending Account is ultimately determined by the IRS.The rules covering FSAs can and do change year-to-year and there is some gray area which is open for interpretation.
The relevant IRS publications to consult for all the details are Publication 969: Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans and Publication 502: Medical and Dental Expenses. You can find both of these online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf and http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf
This article isn’t intended to provide tax advice or address your specific situation, but it will give you a broad overview and direct you to resources where you can learn more. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, here is what consumers should know.
IRS Publication 502 clearly states – “*You can include in medical expenses fees you pay to a chiropractor for medical care.*” This rather short statement covers the core things we do such as exams, diagnostic tests and spinal adjustments.Good news for you!
It also states that *”You can include in medical expenses amounts paid for transportation primarily for, and essential to, medical care.”* This includes gas for your own car and also public transportation fees you pay in order to come to our office. Just keep track of your mileage, commuting routes or receipts in a log book.
The IRS draws a distinction between ‘medical care’ and general health. Most purchases intended to keep you healthy or enhance your health don’t qualify. This includes nutritional supplements, exercise equipment and health club memberships. Weight loss programs also don’t qualify unless you are under medical supervision for a disorder such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease where weight loss is part of the disease treatment program.
Note that there are two players for every FSA plan — the IRS and the benefits company providing the plan. In most cases the benefits company will allow everything the IRS allows, but some may have additional restrictions of their own. If in doubt about whether a specific service we provide is eligible, consult your corporate benefits administrator.
Your Child’s Health:Having the Right Backpack and Using It Correctly Now May Prevent Big Problems Later
Healthcare researchers and providers alike are growing increasingly concerned that American kids are suffering from back pain earlier in their lives and in larger numbers than ever before.And experts closest to the problem believe that overweight, improperly designed, and misused backpacks may be a big part of the reason why.
*Short-Term Injuries and Longer-Term Concerns*
With an estimated 40 million school-age children carrying backpacks in America, it’s not surprising that there are some book bag-related injuries every year.Since 2000, the U.S. Product Safety Commission has reported that children and their backpacks make roughly 7,000 trips to the emergency room annually.However, many observers believe that the real toll is actually far higher since the vast majority of such injuries go unreported and many kids are treated by a family doctor or not treated at all.
While it is not clear how many acute injuries actually result from wearing backpacks as opposed to tripping over them or being hit by them, doctors who treat back problems regularly—especially chiropractic physicians—see worrying signs that heavier backpacks are setting the stage for more serious health issues in the future, including chronic back, neck and shoulder pain.Some chiropractors estimate that as many as 75% to 80% of the teenage patients they treat have postural problems directly related to overweight backpacks.
*Why the Heavier Bags?*
Across the past ten years, several factors have come together to increase the amount of weight young students are carrying in their book bags:
·Increases in the amount of homework being assigned to students at a younger age typically mean more heavy books carried between home and school.
·A trend toward removing lockers and individual desks from schools in many cases requires kids to carry all their belongings with them during the day.
·Reduced time between classes or fewer trips to the locker can mean heavier loads for students.
·Longer school days or increased participation in before-school and after-school activities often translates into more supplies and equipment as well as more time wearing the backpack.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that a backpack should not be any heavier than 15% of a child’s body weight.But as early as 2001, researchers at Simmons College in Massachusetts found that 55% of the 345 children they studied were carrying backpacks that exceeded the recommended weight limit, often by a substantial amount.One third of those students said that they had already experienced back pain.Today, the American Chiropractic Association advises parents to limit the weight of a child’s backpack to no more than 5% to 10% of body weight.
If you see any of the following signs, it may be time to lighten the load, help your child choose a different backpack or talk about how it’s being used.
·Pain in the back, neck, shoulders or knees
·Red marks left on shoulders by backpack straps
·Tingling or numbness in the arms
·Trouble getting the backpack on or off
·Bending forward or “hunching over” to shift weight from the shoulders to the back
*Choosing the Right Backpack and Using it Correctly*
A good quality backpack with proper ergonomic features doesn’t have to be expensive.They’re available at many sporting goods stores and discount outlets.Experts offer the following advice:
·Get the size and fit right first.The right backpack should fit between the top of your child’s shoulders and lower back.Bigger is not better, since having more space available creates the potential for a heavier backpack.
·Find one with shoulder straps that are wide, padded and adjustable.These distribute the weight more broadly across the shoulders and chest while allowing the backpack to be fitted snuggly to your child’s body.
·For older students, consider a backpack with chest straps and a hip belt.Chest straps and a hip belt redistribute weight even further and bring the pack closer to the wearer’s body.
·Look for a padded back that will add comfort and protection.
·Choose a backpack with multiple smaller compartments.These help distribute the weight inside the bag and keep it stable.
Once your child has the right bag, it’s just as important to encourage him or her to use it correctly.Chiropractors and physical therapists generally agree that means wearing it on both shoulders with the straps tightened so that it hangs no more than four inches below the waist.
*How Your Chiropractor Can Help*
Using a backpack should not cause any pain or discomfort under normal circumstances.If your child is showing signs of back, neck or should pain, we encourage you to call your chiropractic physician today. In addition to addressing any current problems that your child may be experiencing, your doctor of chiropractic can recommend an exercise program designed to strengthen muscles, and improve posture and coordination.He or she can also offer instruction about good nutrition and sleep habits that will support your child’s healthy development.
Doctors Give Advice to Parents on Selecting a Good Backpack for Their Children.Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.August 3, 2011.Accessed August 2011
ACA Offers Backpack Safety Checklist.American Chiropractic Association.August 28, 2007.Accessed August 2011
Protect Young Backs From Too Much Weight:Heavy Backpacks Cause Variety of Health Problems.NBC Home/Education.Accessed August 2011.
Avoid School Strain: Unstuff that BackPack.CNN Health.September 10, 2007.Accessed August 2011.
The Effect of Backpacks on the Lumbar Spine in Children: A Standing Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2010 Jan 1;35(1):83-8.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Diego, CA.Neuschwander, et. al.Accessed August 2011.