What does Chiropractic cover?

Chiropractors frequently treat individuals with problems, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disk conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. However, the scope of conditions that chiropractors manage or provide care for is not limited to the common pains and problems listed above. Chiropractors also have the training to treat a variety of conditions such as allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, sleeping disorders and many others as new research is developed.

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Long Term Effects of Low-Carb Diets Unknown

In the first studies to target the popular Atkins Diet, researchers out of Denmark suggest that replacing carbohydrates with fatty foods is safe – at least for the first six months.  Any longer, and according to the researchers, dieters are on their own.  Scientists at a university in Denmark concluded that although the diet seems to promote “weight loss without hunger” in the short term, its future effects on a low-carb dieter’s health and prevention of disease are unknown.

Even though the low-carbohydrate diet’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, with millions of books about the plan sold and even fast food restaurant menus being made more compliant to the diet, there have been few studies done to determine the long-term effects if the diet on people’s health.  The Danish researchers looked at three well conducted studies that assigned dieters to either the Atkins Diet or a traditional low-fat, low-calorie diet.  Results suggested that participants on the Atkins Diet lost more weight during the first three to six months than the more traditional dieters, however, at the one-year mark, both sets of participants had lost the same amount of weight.

Surprisingly, the Atkins dieters improved their cholesterol levels, even though they consumed more fat.  Researchers attributed this to the greater weight loss early on in the diet.  Combining low-carb with high-protein intake may further decrease the appetite through the monotony of a smaller selection of foods making people feel satiated.

Some experts have concerns about the lack of any long-term studies of the Atkins Diet and fear that research may not catch up with the mainstream use of low-carb plans in time to find out its real effects.  In the long term, some experts speculate that the Atkins Diet may lead to bone and kidney problems, along with negative effects on cholesterol. Following the diet is recommended under the supervision of a physician, as not everyone can safely follow its “one size fits all” approach to weight loss.

A point of interest . . . Dr. Atkins, the developer of the Atkins Diet, was rumored to have suffered from heart disease and hypertension prior to his death last year at the age of 72. This has left some wondering just how healthy his diet actually is over a lifetime.

 

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Exercise and Diet – Equally Important?

The U.S. is in an enormous health crisis:  More than two-thirds of Americans are over-weight and one-third suffer from obesity.

Contrary to popular belief, being thin does not equate with being healthy. And, while regular exercise can balance some of the harmful health consequences of being overweight, it cannot remove them entirely.  That’s why, according to studies, weight AND activity levels are strong predictors of living a long and healthy life.  The healthiest people are those who are BOTH thin AND physically active.

Researchers conducted a study involving female nurses in order to determine the affect of both exercise and weight on health.  These are the findings:

  • Obese, inactive women had a 2.5 times higher mortality rate than lean, active women.
  • Active women (despite being obese) were twice as likely to die prematurely than lean, active women.
  • Lean women who exercised less than 3.5 hours a week increased their risk of premature death by 55%, compared to women who worked out more often.
  • Obese women who worked out for at least 3.5 hours a week had a 91% higher death rate than lean women who exercised similarly.
  • The premature death rate was 142 times greater for obese, inactive women.

Physical activity definitely does help improve overall health, but excess weight can have a number of significant health risks that can outweigh the benefits of exercise.  Being obese triples the risk of heart disease, and increases the chance of developing diabetes tenfold.

Clearly, exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand. Adequate physical activity AND proper diet CAN help improve health conditions, lower the risk for disease, and help you live a long life full of energy and passion.  Limiting your intake of fatty, processed, or sugary foods and replacing them with fresh, lean, whole foods is a good place to start improving your nutrition.  When implementing more exercise into your life, you must consider the proper length of time, frequency, and intensity of the physical activity.

Exercise and eating right should fit naturally into your daily life.  Dr. Dan can coach you on the right things to get you started on your path to fitness and health.

 

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Exercise News – Keeping Athletic Kids Healthy and Fit

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities.  Although being part of a football, soccer, or little league team is an important rite of passage for many kids, parents, and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body conditioning needed for preventing injuries, on and off the playing field.

There are structural and physical developmental tissues that need to be taken into consideration before children undertake certain sports.  The best advice for parents who have young athletes in the family is to help them prepare their bodies and to learn to protect themselves from sports-related injuries before they happen.

“Proper warm up and stretching are essential for kids involved in sports, but many kids learn improper stretching techniques, making them more susceptible to injury,” says Dr. Steve Horwitz (Chiropractic Physician).  “Parents need to work with their kids and make sure they receive the proper sports training.  Young athletes should begin with a slow jog to warm up the legs and arms and stretch all the major muscle groups,” says Dr, Horwitz.  “Kids involved in football, baseball, gymnastics, and swimming should develop a routine that includes strengthening exercises for the abdomen, the low-back muscles, arms and shoulders.”

Proper nutrition and hydration are also extremely vital.  A student athlete may need to drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water for proper absorption.  Breakfast should be the most important meal of the day.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible.  The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training, and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

  • Eat healthy meals. Make sure your young athlete is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals.  Avoid high-fat foods, such as candy bars and fast food.  At home, provide fruit rather than cookies, and vegetables rather than potato chips.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Certain sports, such as gymnastics, wrestling, and figure skating, require your young athlete to follow strict dietary rules.  Be sure your child does not feel pressured into being too thin and that he/she understands proper nutrition and caloric intake is needed for optimal performance and endurance.
  • Drink water. Hydration is a key element to optimal fitness.  Teenage athletes should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.  Younger athletes should drink five to eight 8-ounce glasses of water.
  • Drink milk. Make sure your child has enough calcium included in his/her diet.  ACA recommends 1 percent or skim milk for children over 2 years old rather than whole milk because of its high fat content.  The calcium in milk is essential for healthy bones and reduces the risk of joint and muscle related injuries.
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Sports drinks are a good source of replenishment for those kids engaged in long-duration sports, such as track and field.
  • Follow a warm-up routine. Be sure your child or his/her coach includes a warm-up and stretching session before every practice, game or meet.  A slow jog, jumping rope and/or lifting small weights reduces the risk of torn or ripped muscles.  Flexibility becomes a preventive key when pushing to score that extra goal or make that critical play.
  • Avoid trendy supplements. Kids under the age of 18 should avoid the use of performance-enhanced supplements, such as creatine or other supplement pills.
  • Get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for the young athlete.  Lack of sleep and rest can catch up with the athlete and decrease performance.  Sluggishness, irritability and loss of interest could indicate that your child is fatigued.

Chiropractic Care Can Help . . . Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuormusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition, and injury prevention to young athletes.

 

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What a beautiful day we had in Wilmington, NC to close out the month of February! Looking forward to what March brings, springtime with all the yard work and aches and pains! Don’t forget to see your chiropractor!!!

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Benefits of Quitting Smoking

If quitting the smoking habit is on your New Year’s resolution list for 2011; the following facts from the American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help encourage you to follow through with your plan!

 

AFTER YOU QUIT

 

  • Within 20 minutes – your blood pressure and pulse rate drop to normal.
  • Within 8 hours – carbon monoxide levels in the blood drop to normal and oxygen levels rise to normal.  Smoker’s breath disappears.
  • Within 24 hours – chance of heart attack decreases.
  • Within 48 hours – nerve endings start re-growing.  Ability to taste and smell enhances.
  • Within 3 days – you’ll breathe easier.
  • Within 2 weeks to 3 months – circulation improves.  Walking becomes easier.  Lung function increases up to 30%.
  • Within 1 to 9 months – you’ll cough less.  Sinus congestion and shortness of breath decrease.  The cilia that sweep debris from your lungs will grow back.  You’ll feel more energetic.
  • Within 1 year – excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.
  • Within 2 years – your heart attack risk drops to near normal.
  • Within 5 years – lung cancer death rate for average former smoker (of one pack a day) decreases by almost half.  Stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.  Risk of mouth, throat, and esophageal cancers is half that of a smoker’s.
  • Within 10 years – lung cancer death rate is similar to that of a nonsmoker.  Pre-cancerous cells are replaced.  Risk of cancer of the bladder, kidneys, and pancreas decreases.
  • Within 15 years – risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker.

 

Congratulations on making the healthy choice to stop smoking!!!

 

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Antibiotic Use Linked to Asthma

More and more people are suffering from asthma these days, even though research shows that outdoor air pollutants are decreasing.  What’s the explanation for this disturbing trend? One possible answer may be just as disturbing.

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy examined the potential for antibiotic use in childhood contributes to the development of asthma.  A survey mailed to the parents of 612 grade-school students (5-10 years old) asked questions about antibiotic use and history of asthma in their children.

Results showed that children given antibiotics in their first year of life were over four times more likely to develop asthma symptoms than children who had never taken antibiotics.  This increased risk was evident even after the researchers accounted for potential variables such as gender, ethnicity, family size, family history of asthma, and parents’ smoking habits.  If asthma is linked to antibiotics, then it’s just another of many risk factors associated with antibiotic use.  As a parent, you may want to think twice before giving antibiotics to your children, especially if they’re not specifically required.  Always find out why your doctor is prescribing a particular medication, and ask if there are acceptable non-pharmacological alternatives available.  And get a second opinion — from your chiropractor.

Reference:  Journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy Vol. 29 pp766-71

 

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