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Good Morning Everyone!
Do you see what I see? The sun's finally coming out and I think it's here to stay! (Until we get that random April snowstorm) Things are warming up, the lilies are popping up out of the ground, and the grass is getting green too! With this warmer weather, we also see more people out walking their dogs, going on runs, and soaking up that vitamin D!
If you live in Iowa, Minnesota, anywhere where the winters drag on for 5 months or so, most likely, your vitamin D levels are severely lacking right about now and that can be a problem when it comes to healthy living.
Vitamin D is especially important for 3 main reasons. It promotes calcium absorption. It is needed for bone growth and reformation. It plays an important role in immune function. Plus it can have positive effects on your mood, increases energy, decreases chronic pain, symptoms from autoimmune disorders like fibromyalgia, and muscle pain. The list goes on but these are some of the highlights.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means, it builds up in your body when you over consume it so you have it when you under consume it. You can find it in foods like salmon, tuna, or fortified foods like milk or cereal, but mostly, you get Vitamin D from exposure to UVB rays from the sun. The UVB rays convert cutaneous 7-dehydrocholesterol in your skin to previtamin D3 which in turn converts to Vitamin D. There's your microbiology lesson for the day =) BUT, it can be dangerous at high levels of intake and too much sun exposure is also bad for your skin, especially for those of you with light skin! So where do you start? Do you supplement or do you get outside and go for a walk?
It's best if you start out getting your Vitamin D levels checked (a simple blood test) if you are concerned you are not getting enough in your diet and or your sun exposure is lacking....especially if you are having any issues like osteoporosis, muscle pain, fatigue, etc. If you're like me, the thought of getting outside for more than 30 minutes without sunscreen brings back painful sunburn memories. I'm also not always the best about getting my greens in and fish is just not my thing..so I turn to supplementation.
Adults and teens should get about 600 International Units or 15 micrograms per day, or about 6 glasses of milk per day. (I take a 1000 IU supplement about every other day). Your personal Vitamin D needs can vary based off of your age, breastfeeding mothers, or depending on what type of medications you may take, so consult with your medical or chiropractic physician before starting a supplement.
As always, Dr. Bird and Dr. Schany can help answer any questions you might have so feel free to give us a call or ask us about supplementation at your next visit! Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!
First off, thank you to everyone who read our last blog post...WOW! It was awesome to see how many people and how far it reached..isn't the internet pretty cool? =)
Back to why you're here...how to treat your tight muscles. This is an incredibly common problem and thankfully there are a ton of different treatments to try to help you find relief!
First up, take a look at your nutrition. How's your calcium/magnesium intake? What about B vitamins and the ever important vitamin D? Potassium? Better yet, do you take a multivitamin? More often than not, your muscles and body are depleted in nutrients that they need to help you feel good. All these vitamins are really important in maintaining a good muscle tone and they all work together to do so. Children and pregnant women need different daily doses so it is best to consult with a physician before adding individual supplements to your diet. When looking for a supplement, make sure the ingredients are clearly on the label so you can avoid any unwanted ingredients, Standard Process is one of Dr. Schany's favorite brands. It is also a good idea to try to eat whole foods high in certain vitamins rather than taking a supplement.
Next up, hydration. Chances are, you are not getting enough water in your diet, not tea or coffee, or pop, but plain jane H2O. Take your weight in pounds, divide by 2, and the total should be how many ounces of water you drink...per day. It may seem like a lot but your body needs all this to help you feel your very best.
Next, we'll get a little deeper. What have you tried for your tight muscles? Chiropractic or Acupuncture? What about heat, ice, or massage? Or do you stretch and exercise? Chiropractic adjustments help align the spine and joints in the body, allowing muscle tension to relax. We also try to use various therapies like ultrasound, muscle stimulation, and laser to help relax muscles as well as helping the body to heal faster with increased circulation to the sore area. Using Acupuncture, you can balance the body and normalize energy in the muscles and organs. Dr. Schany will also use some cupping, gua sha, or adhesion breaking to work on scar tissue and restore normal motion to tight muscles and joints. Starting an exercise and stretching regimen is also a useful way to loosen tight muscles. Although you may feel sore from starting a new exercise routine, after a few days, your muscles will thank you as they get the chance to release built up lactic acid that makes you feel tight.
This is a lot of information to take in all at once, which is why Dr. Bird and Dr. Schany are here to help with any questions that pop up. They have a variety of tools in their belt to help get down to the root of the cause as to why you feel so stiff and sore all the time! Give us a call and we can help you get started on the path to recovery! Have a great Wednesday everyone!
Emmetsburg Chiropractic is starting a new blog page! We are going to be posting about different questions we receive, topics we think are important to educate our patients, and just daily tidbits to contribute to your healthy life! We are by no means professional writers and do our best to provide you with the most up to date research and information. That being said, please feel free to comment and contribute to our discussions whenever you want! =)
So, back to basics...we're starting this blog out with the basics of Chiropractic and Acupuncture care! What are they, why do they work, what are they like? We get these questions all the time! So here's the gist.....
What is Chiropractic? According to the Oxford dictionary, it is:
a system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.
Also, what is Acupuncture? Again, according to the Oxford dictionary, it is:
2. a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the West.
So that was pretty simple. I wanted the most simple response and went straight to the source. I promise I won't just copy and paste this entire post. =) Now, why do they work?
When a Chiropractor performs an adjustment to the spine or extremity, proper joint motion is restored. With that proper motion and alignment, the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles are freed from any kind of interference that was causing problems in that area. So things like pain, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling...they all stop...or at least that's the idea. Other sources of stress like tension, poor posture, poor nutrition, injury, emotional stress, and etc., sometimes prolong the healing, so the results are not always immediate, but when they are, I think I can speak for everyone and say it's truly amazing what the spine can do when this source of stress or interference is removed and the body has the best chance to perform at its optimal level!
Now on to Acupuncture..why does it work? This is a little harder to explain but there must be something to it if it's stuck around for the past 2,500 years. The body, has all kinds of patterns, or meridians, in the body. When these meridians become blocked or disrupted, disease follows. Whether that be an autoimmune condition, pain from an injury, poor circulation, the energy that flows in these meridians gets stuck and the body becomes unbalanced. The Acupuncturist then stimulates points along the meridian to release the energy and balance the body so you will see things like improved immune function, decrease of pain, increased circulation, etc.
What are they like?
Chiropractic adjustments vary between Chiropractors. They are not meant to be painful, but sometimes tight muscles or injuries to the area being adjusted, make it feel painful. These adjustments usually have some popping or cracking noises that follow the adjustment, which are completely normal. Depending on the patient, some adjustments take a lot force but most take almost no force at all, especially for the elderly and pediatric patients. Most feel a lot of relief after an adjustment and notice an immediate change in the amount of motion they now have to the joint or a decrease in symptoms.
Acupuncture is also not meant to be painful. Patients feel the initial prick but once the needle is inserted, you don't feel anything. However, it is hard not to hit a single nerve or capillary so sometimes there is a little soreness once the needle is inserted. If that happens, the acupuncturist just takes the needle out and reinserts it close by the original point. We have also had people report a slight tingling or buzzing feeling, a feeling of emotional release, or even cold extremities when the needles are inserted and they are relaxing for a period of time afterwards. All these sensations are to be expected as that energy in the body is accessed and allowed to move in whatever way it needs to.
We hope this clears up any questions you have about these areas but if there is anything you want to ask to further your knowledge, please comment below or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thanks for reading and stay warm!