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Gardening Hints and Tips

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Now that spring is finally here, you’re no doubt going to spend time planting bulbs, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds.
From when the gardening season begins in spring and until the end of the summer chiropractors have an influx of patients with back pain caused by over-zealous gardening.

Gardening is surprisingly hard on the body, particularly your lower back. It’s an enjoyable activity for many, but it’s important to treat it like a workout and stretch your muscles beforehand.

Consider some of these helpful tips to help you prevent back pain and other injuries when gardening.

– Warm up before you garden. A 10 minute brisk walk and stretches for the spine and limbs are good ways to warm up.
– Practice good posture. Always bend at the knees and keep your back straight when you pick something up. Never twist your body.
– Take breaks— 15 minutes for every hour — and stretch! Rest and hydrate!
– Switch up your activities. Do a little pruning, then digging, then maybe some weeding. The key is to vary your tasks frequently so that you’re not performing any repetitive motions for a long period of time.
– When you have to get down on the ground for work, consider a kneeling pad or better yet, a kneeler with arms to help you get back up.
– Keep a container full of your tools close by when you’re on your knees. You’ll have everything within arm’s reach so there’s less getting up and down.
– Choose tools with long handles so you don’t have to bend as much.
– Hire help. For heavier jobs, it can be worth getting some help!
– End your gardening session with some gentle backward bending of your low back, a short walk and light stretching, similar to stretches done before starting.

If despite your best efforts, you end up with pain after gardening, call a chiropractor to schedule an appointment.

Chiropractic for Runners

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Maybe you’ve never thought about chiropractic care. After all, as a regular runner, you’re pretty healthy. You’ve never sustained any lasting injuries and you don’t feel constant pain. What would be the point in seeing a chiropractor?

You’re not alone in your thought process. Athletes and non-athletes alike assume that chiropractic care is only beneficial if you are experiencing pain. Not so. In fact, many athletes and sports teams employ the services of a chiropractor on a regular basis. “Why,” you ask? Well, the answer is simple, really. It is much easier to keep a healthy person healthy than it is to treat a person already in pain.

Ideally, if you had perfect alignment, your body could handle almost anything. However, few people, if any, have perfect body alignment. While running, the musculoskeletal system may absorb up to 250-300% of the runner’s weight on the heel strike, and this exerts stress on the body. Additional issues in the feet, like flat feet or high arches, can also contribute to the problem. Running can put you at very high risk for conditions ranging anywhere from pain in the feet, shoulders, and lower back, to pinched nerves and sciatic pain.

Of course, the problems don’t occur overnight. Alignment problems take time to develop. It takes even longer for the pain to set in. Once you actually start feeling pain from your alignment issues, you are already in pretty poor shape. Now, instead of preventing injuries, your chiropractor will have to help repair injuries. While it doesn’t have to be this way, it is sadly all too common.

In preventive cases, a chiropractor can give a good overall evaluation, teaching the patient how to prevent injuries and maintain good alignment – thereby reducing the chance of injury. For those looking for preventive treatment, your chiropractor can help assess and evaluate your condition by offering scans of your feet, testing for strength imbalances and an analysis of your posture. In addition, the chiropractor can also suggest a program suited to your needs to prevent injury in the future.

If you are a runner and you have never seen a chiropractor, now is the best time to start taking advantage of chiropractic care.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Do you have tingling, numbness or pain in the hand, fingers and wrist?

The Carpal Tunnel is in your wrist. Your carpal (wrist) bones form a tunnel-like structure—the carpal tunnel—through which pass nine tendons and one nerve— the median nerve. CTS occurs when the median nerve is irritated.

If the carpal (wrist) bones are moved out of their normal position they will compress the Carpal Tunnel where the median nerve and artery run through. If this is the case, a chiropractor can adjust the wrist bone back to its normal position and relieve the pressure on the nerve. If the pressure on the nerve is relieved, the symptoms improve, and the patient has a solution to their problem.

It is common for a chiropractor to examine the elbow, shoulder and neck joints as well as the wrist. These joints are all found on the distribution pathway of the median nerve as it exits the spinal cord and makes its way to the hand. Compression of the nerve along this path can also produce symptoms in the wrist and hand.

In many cases the wrist isn’t the cause of the problem but a neck problem is the root of the nerve irritation and requires a chiropractic adjustment. Surgery performed on the wrist will then be pointless and ineffective as the cause isn’t addressed properly.

One research study found that 57% of patients still have recurring numbness, tingling sensations and/or pain within 6-years following the surgery (Source: Nancollas, et al, 1995. J. Hand Surgery).

Surgery should always be a last resort! Try chiropractic first!

 
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