Stronger, faster, healthier: Chiropractic help for runners

Running takes its toll on the body.
Whether you’re a pro or a recreational runner; whether you’re training for a 5K, a 10K, a marathon, or just put in a few miles on the treadmill during the week, your body absorbs a pretty good pounding. And you’ll feel the constant impact up and down your body – day and night, running and resting.
But you can address those pains and aches with regular chiropractic care, and not only will you feel better, it has been shown to help runners in other ways, such as:
– Improved coordination;
– Better reaction times;
– Increased balance;
– Heightened focus;
– Strengthening muscles.
Most runners who regularly visit a chiropractor will testify to the benefits, but for a really strong advocate consider 2014 Boston Marathon champ and Silver Medalist Meb Keflezighi. In an article by Dynamic Chiropractic, Keflezighi discusses how important his Doctor of Chiropractic is to his recovery and therapy.

How it works

Whether you’re concerned with preventing injuries, optimal performance or quick recovery, the key is proper alignment of the spine and pelvis. Runners constantly experience general problems such as pain in your feet, shoulders and lower back and pinched nerves. More specifically, some of the regular injuries consist of hip bursitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, knee patella problems and plantar fasciitis.
Whether runners know it or not, many of these issues begin from misalignment. A misaligned spine puts undue tension on one part of the body while proper alignment distributes stress and pressure evenly.
Often, before your chiropractor can deal with any specific injuries, he will first make sure you’re spine and pelvis are aligned correctly to avoid future strains and injuries. Then, your DC can focus on a specific area for treatment.
Also, alignments allow runners their full range of motion, helping them perform at a better level.

Tips to stay aligned

Obviously, seeing your chiropractor on a regular basis is the best way to keep your body running at full speed. But there are some things you can do on a regular basis to maintain correct alignment.
Always warm up and stretch. Along with traditional stretches, arm swings, neck and waist rotations and lunges are great warm-ups.
Train your core. Add some core exercises to your daily routine. Your abdominals are your stabilizing muscles and therefore crucial to endurance and feeling good.
Avoid training errors. Make sure shoes are replaced on a regular basis and try to switch between shoes every so often. Vary your running surfaces and avoid slanted surfaces when possible.
Mind your daily routine. You can get your alignment off-kilter when not running also. Maybe it’s your sleeping position – sleeping on your back is the best – or your chair at work. If you don’t have an ergonomic chair, try to vary your posture every 30 minutes and stand up and stretch each hour or two. Be mindful throughout the day of tendencies that may be causing your form to slip.

Keeping these tips top of mind during your training will do wonders for how you feel and perform in all of your upcoming races. The key is to regularly visit your DC, stay aligned and get great advice for how to stay that way throughout your regimen.

At Allison Family Chiropractic, we have an excellent track record of helping athletes of all ages and skill levels with injury prevention, treatment and overall success. Contact us today at 419-991-0713 to schedule an appointment or to get your questions answered.

Chiropractic care for children and babies

If you could address the health needs of your children in a natural way with proven results, you’d do it, right? Chiropractic care does just that, however, many parents are still hesitant to take their children to a chiropractor.
However, studies and statistics show that chiropractic care is not only a safe option for children but is incredibly effective. And a growing number of parents who want natural forms of health care are gravitating to chiropractic facilities.

A safe option
As earlier stated, there are many recorded studies that show the safety of chiropractic care. But if numbers don’t necessarily convince you, consider this: The force used to adjust an infant is the same amount of force used to test the ripeness of a tomato. Children are more than capable of handling that, and probably more so.
But why would children need chiropractic care? Well, as children grow they go through growth spurts. As the skeleton grows it is very important the muscles and joints are in balance. Also, as the nervous system matures it is critical that the millions of nerves in the brain and spinal cord develop correctly. Regular chiropractic care makes sure all of this happens in an optimal way.

When should you bring them?
Children can literally begin chiropractic care the moment their born, and it’s actually recommended. The process of being born is very strenuous on mother and child, so seeing a chiropractor as early as possible is a great way to get the body in its best possible alignment.
Once a child is brought in, the doctor will know how often he or she should come back based on their needs. Generally, it is recommended children see a chiropractor every three months in the first year of life and every six to 12 months in following years.

What can conditions can chiropractors address?
Chiropractic care has consistently been shown to help children who deal with many conditions while improving general health. Some of the conditions chiropractors regularly improve include:
Asthma
Allergies
ADHD
Autism
Ear infections
Colds
Colic
Constipation
Scoliosis
Bed-wetting
Sports Injuries
And plenty more…

profileDr. Zach Allison has a fantastic record of helping children with many of these issues get and stay healthy through his chiropractic care techniques. His healthy, natural care techniques have served the Lima, Shawnee and Spencerville, Ohio area for many years. For an appointment or to discuss how his methods can benefit you and your family, call 419-991-0713 or stop by our office today at 3643 Shawnee Road, Lima, OH 45806.

Be safe, not sorry while being active this winter

Just because the temperature drops and the snow falls doesn’t mean you want to, or even can, spend the whole winter indoors.
Whether you love skiing, ice hockey, skating or simply have to get outside to shovel snow, the winter months can be a fun time of year. Unfortunately, the activities we love outside can also be dangerous ones. From slipping on driveways to not dressing properly to straining your back and spraining your ankles, winter can be an injury-prone time of year if you aren’t prepared.
For all activities, it’s important you understand that cold muscles are more susceptible to injuries. Why? Freezing weather causes a myriad of problems if you don’t dress for it. The cold can increase joint problems, leading to intense pain. Meanwhile, muscles and blood vessels contract to conserve the body’s heat, thus decreasing the blood supply to extremities.
What’s that mean? Basically, that inhibits the function of your muscles, especially if you’re not in great shape. So, making sure your body is in good condition for outdoor activities is important. Not only that, you should always warm up before you go out.
The American Chiropractic Association recommends always dressing in warm, flexible layers of cold no matter what activity you are about to do, especially if it involves shoveling. Also, make sure you wear boots with good tread. Spread salt or kitty litter in high traffic areas for solid traction. And if you do fall, try to land on your side or buttocks.

Shoveling can be a pretty dangerous activity for the musculoskeletal system. Make sure you follow these ACA tips to avoid problems.
– Listen to weather forecasts so you can get up early enough to shovel in the morning.
– Use an ergonomic shovel with a curved handle or adjustable handle length.
– Use a snow blower if you can and use your legs to push. Keep your back upright.
– Stretch! Shoveling is more of a grueling exercise than some people realize, so make sure you’re muscles are ready for the work.
– Push the snow straight ahead, walking into a snow bank. Don’t throw it, avoid sudden twisting or turning. Don’t lift any loads that are too heavy.
– Bend at the knees and the let the muscles of your arms and leg do the work.
– Take breaks and avoid fatigue, which leads to injury.
– If you feel chest pain, get really tired or short of breath, stop and call a doctor.

If you’re doing a sport or going out to have some fun, you should do a 15-20 minute warm-up of some kind. Start with something light like jogging or walking for 5-10 minutes then stretch the muscles you’ll be working for at least 30 seconds apiece.
Then, depending on the activity, you should do specific warm-ups to target the right muscles. Check out this article from the ACA (http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=89) for more specifics.
The article suggests:
For skiing: Do 10-to-15 squats
For skating: Do lunges.
For sledding: Do knee-to-chest stretches.
And make sure you perform some cool-down stretches after each sport.
Also, it’s a good idea to know your surroundings. Identify trees, ice patches, open water, rocks, fences and slippery surfaces so you know what to avoid.

Whatever the activity is, when you are finished make sure you don’t ignore any soreness you may feel. Ice sore muscles for 20 minutes then stop for a few hours. Repeat this over the next few days.

profileIf the soreness continues, it’s time to see a chiropractor.
Don’t have one? How about Allison Family Chiropractic? Call us today at 419-991-0713 or stop by our office at 3643 Shawnee Road in Lima, OH 45806.

How chiropractic care treats concussions

Ready for a staggering number?
In any given year, statistics show a minimum of 300,000 sports-related concussions reported in the United States. And, the numbers are climbing.
The good news is because of these staggering numbers, the awareness of how dangerous head injuries are has brought a dramatic rise in athletic programs adopting procedures and guidelines for recognizing and treating these injuries. And it turns out prevention and proper treatment can go a long way in safely getting athletes back on the field.
Obviously, doctors and sports trainers are very important in helping diagnose and treat athletes immediately following a concussion.
But what about chiropractors?
Maybe a chiropractor isn’t the first place you would think to take an athlete dealing with a concussion or concussion symptoms, but maybe it should be.
In fact, chiropractors are often the first place patients are referred to following a head injury, whether from athletic competition, a car accident or a bad fall.
Chiropractors have extensive understanding of the central nervous system – the two main components of which are the brain and spinal cord. Keeping the central nervous system healthy is essential not just in everyday life but especially after a traumatic injury such as a concussion.
Chiropractors understand the many facets of head injuries along with the injuries that accompany them – from whiplash to neck strain to subluxation and muscle spasms. Those injuries may not necessarily get caught during a routine concussion evaluation but chiropractors are uniquely adept and looking for, finding and treating these injuries.

How they do it…

Chiropractors have specific assessment tools they use to evaluate and manage concussions. These assessments help them determine the severity of the symptoms. What are the physical signs? Is there a loss of balance or coordination? What are the overall cognitive assessments?
Also, are symptoms getting worse? Understanding everything from increasing headaches, vomiting, blurred vision and other neurological problems could indicate a larger problem or that the physical toll is getting worse.
These serious post-concussion symptoms can then be addressed and a proper game plan for treatment can be developed.

Additionally…

Concussions result from a direct blow to the head or neck, and that usually can cause misalignments of or damage to the spine. This often results in neck pains and headaches, which a chiropractor can relieve through detection, treatment/alignment and overall care. This not only alleviates the pain but can also prevent injuries in the future.
Once chiropractors have completed a thorough assessment of an athlete dealing with a concussion, he or she can help in additional ways. For instance, if symptoms warrant it, the chiropractor can refer the patient to neurologists for further tests or come up with their own treatment schedule.
Chiropractors are also a great resource to helping you understand guidelines to follow: Such as how quickly to return to sports, what types of medicines to avoid and what types of activities to avoid.

Concussions and head traumas have been known to lead to significant problems if misdiagnosed or handled improperly. Without proper diagnoses and testing, an athlete dealing with a concussion can experience a myriad of problems in the short- and long-term. Chiropractors can play a major role in making sure athletes return to their sport at the right time without further damage being done.
profile
When it comes to sports-related injuries such as concussions, back problems, knee problems and the like, Allison Family Chiropractic provides fantastic care for young athletes and families in the Lima, Spencerville and Shawnee area. Dr. Zach Allison’s understanding of sports-related needs can be a great benefit to keeping your athlete in optimal shape. Call us today at 419-991-0713 or fill out a contact form today http://allisonfamilychiropractic.com/contact-us/.

RESOURCES: Allison Family Chiropractic, Palmer College of Chiropractic, West Edmonton Family Chiropractic Studio.

How chiropractic care help athletes with knee problems

Knee injuries are one of the most common setbacks in sports. And a sports chiropractor can be your best friend in avoiding, or rehabbing that knee injury that can derail your season.

The knee is a complex stability joint that relies on ligaments and muscles. If there is pain in the knee, all the different components should be examined, and that includes everything from the lower back, the hip, the ankles, the pelvis and the foot.

Knee injuries can happen from wear and tear over time, or from sudden movements like twisting or cutting. Most knee injuries include Meniscal Tears, Bursitis, Fractures, Tendonitis, Osteoarthritis and Patellar Dislocation. Ligament tears, especially in the anterior cruciate ligament, are the most common in athletes, and strike women more often than men.

Chiropractors can be a big benefit to athletes by keeping, or restoring, alignment to the injured areas and other linked structures – the hips and lower back – that could be affected by the knee injury. They can also recommend physical therapy regimens and workout programs to help avoid, or rehabilitate knee injuries.

Spinal, hip misalignment
Because the knee is a major weight-bearing joint, it’s critical the lower back and spinal bones are all in good alignment.
Misaligned spinal bones can lead to a myriad of posture-related problems that could affect the hip and leg alignment. This often results in too much strain on the lower body, including the knees, which leads to knee injuries or chronic pain.

Spotting the problem
Chiropractors take a close look at a patient’s medical history and perform thorough physical exams for an accurate diagnosis. They’ll also examine all the anatomical components – the knee joint, the back, hips, etc. – to see what influence they are having on the knee.
Pain can often be from structures in the lower back and pelvis, leading into the knee. Also, if joints in the lower limbs aren’t working well it can increase the stress on the knee joint. A chiropractor can spot this, treat it, and ward off future injuries while improving the long-term health of the knee along with other parts of the body critical in athletics.

The next steps
Once they’ve done a thorough examination, chiropractors can help patients in many ways. First, they can normalize the joint function through manipulation and mobilization techniques to the knee and surrounding joints. This increases movement, helps overall function and reduces the pain.
They can also recommend rehab programs, exercises for strength and flexibility, icing, stretching and other therapies and different braces to help on a regular basis.

Sports chiropractors understand how each ligament and muscle affects the other. Through proper alignment and thorough examinations, a chiropractor can make sure your knees and other areas of your body are in prime shape to stay competing or get back into game immediately.

If it’s time to see Dr. Allison about an appointment for either you or a member of the family, get started by downloading our free “consent for treatment” form today. And when it’s time to contact us for an appointment, call us at 419-991-0713 or stop by our office at 3643 Shawnee Road in Lima, Ohio.

Prevent knee injuries in three ways

High school and college athletes across the nation have started training camps as fall sports seasons quickly head our way.
And while these athletes are honing their skills and getting in shape, many may be fearing a season-hampering injury rather than focusing on ways to prevent them. And one of the most frequent and dangerous injuries all athletes face are knee injuries.
All athletes in all sports can experience knee problems, whether it be from running, cutting and sharp lateral movements, heavy lifting or activities that are strenuous on the legs.
Knee injuries can come all of a sudden or they can creep up on you. In either case, the keys to preventing knee injuries is to listen to your body, strengthen the muscles around the knees and making sure you are in fantastic shape.
One important thing to understand about the knee, according to an article in Men’s Health, is that “the knee is a stable joint that functions and exists directly between two very mobile joints – the hip and the foot.” That means, if the foot or hip loses mobility the knee starts moving in different motions, which can lead to injuries.

Strength Training
When trying to prevent knee injuries, it’s important to focus on strengthening the hips, thighs and muscles around the ankles. Core stabilization exercises – planks, bridges, glute raises, etc. – are excellent at hitting multiple muscles in critical areas. Squats, lunges, wall sits, calve raises and other leg exercises.
These exercises can be done with weights, resistance bands or on your own. The important thing to keep in mind is using proper form to strengthen the areas you are targeting while not damaging ligaments or muscles.

Flexibility
Along with strengthening the correct areas of the leg, a flexibility and stretching program are very important. Again, the most important areas to stretch are the gluteals, hip abductors or groin muscles, knee flexors and knee extensors.
Make sure you stretch each of these areas two to three times prior to working out or competing, and when you warm up, break a sweat.
While stretching may not necessarily help with a performance, it goes a long way in preventing injuries.

Don’t train too much
Over-training is a major concern with regard to knee injuries. Again, if your hips, thighs or ankles are having any problems or are over-trained, it can cause knees to react incorrectly or overcompensate for tired muscles in other areas.
Also, if you have pains, a history of leg or back problems, or any lower-leg problems, make sure you are paying attention to these issues and not pushing yourself too hard.
Be sure to alternate workouts to help your training regimen while not over-exerting yourself. If you normally use weight-bearing exercises, go a day without weights. Use cross-training exercises: If you do heavy running, try a non-impact exercise like cycling. Changing it up may help you stave on a knee injury when your legs aren’t top-notch on a given day.

Finally…
Whether you are competing in an endurance sport, a sport that requires quick cutting or lateral movements or heavy lifting, be sure you understand the effect it will have on your knees. This is very important in choosing equipment that is going to help you avoid injuries. Knee pads, stabilizers, the right pair of shoes, ankle braces and the like can go a long way in helping keep you upright and healthy.
If you’re not sure what to wear, check with your school’s athletic trainer, a physician or a fitness expert.
profile
Want more help? Allison Family Chiropractic is highly experienced in helping athletes prevent and recover from all types of injuries. Give us a call today (419) 991-0713 or email him at allizac@hotmail.com to schedule an appointment. Dr. Allison serves the Lima, Shawnee and Spencerville, Ohio area.

Ergonomic tips to help you at the office

No matter how old you are, if you work at a sit-down job in an office environment, your workspace can either be helping or hurting you throughout the day.
Poor ergonomics can lead to all types of health issues: From neck pain, to back pain, to vision damage to carpal tunnel syndrome. But proper ergonomics go beyond being comfortable.
Here’s how your workspace can be set up to help you stay healthy in the long run.

Office Ergonomics1) How are you sitting?
All hail the chair! This is easily the most important piece of equipment for your health.
— Make sure your chair has good lumbar support, if not use a pillow or a rolled up towel to gain it.
— Make sure the chair is lowered until your feet are easily supported on the ground.
— If the seat is too deep for proper support, use a pillow to make up the difference.
— Seat depth should have “one to three fingers’ space between the front of the chair and the back of the knee,” according to the ACA.
— The seat angle should be about a 105-degree angle. You don’t want to sit too upright or too far back.
— Armrests should be one inch below the forearms.

2) Monitor your monitor
The American Chiropractor’s Association has some fantastic ideas for how to place your computer monitor so it doesn’t damage your vision or strain your neck.
First, you want to be able to view the monitor with your head in a “straight-forward position without the chin pointing up or down.” if you don’t wear glasses or wear single-vision glasses, make sure “the top of the glass screen is at eye height.” This allows you to gaze down on the screen at the correct angle. If you wear bifocals, ask your optometrist about a good angle for your screen.
Also, make sure your screen is about an arm’s length away and avoid regularly turning your head from one side to the other to view things. This can cause damage to your neck and muscle imbalances that add up over time and become injuries.
3) The keys to the keyboard
Most people are lined up wrong for their keyboards because the keyboards themselves are lined up wrong, with a number pad and mouse on the right, meaning you have to reach too far to use the mouse. The solution is either use a keyboard with the number pad on the left or use the mouth on the left so the distance to both is the same. Also, make sure your bellybutton is lined up with the “B” key, according to the ACA.
Two other good tips are to use keyboards with adjustable angles and a keyboard tray so you aren’t constantly reaching up to type.
4) Take breaks and switch it up
Working diligently for hours on end may look great to your co-workers or boss, but you need to break up the tension this creates. The ACA recommends:
— 15-second breaks each hour to shake out your arms
— Look away from your screen regularly and focus on something “20 feet away” to help your eye muscles
— Get up and move around, fax or copy something to get away from your desk.
— Switch in different tasks to break up staring into your computer and typing. Make some phone calls or meet with co-workers just to spread things around.

These tips are great ways to make sure your body isn’t falling into unhealthy habits. The fact is, poor ergonomics can lead to many health problems on a daily basis — neck pain, back pain, vision problems, headaches — and long-term issues — carpal tunnel, heart problems, worker’s compensation.

profileAt Allison Family Chiropractic, we’re dedicated to making sure you and your family members feel healthy on a daily basis, not just through our treatments but by giving you great information on a regular basis. Be sure to give us a call for an appointment at 419-991-0713 or stop by today.

Scoliosis diagnosis, treatments and help

In order to help spread understanding about scoliosis during June’s National Scoliosis Awareness Month, here are some facts to get you started on understanding what it is exactly:

—     Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine of more than 10 degrees, the curve resembles an S or a C.

—     It affects 5 to 7 million people in the United States and typically affects girls more than boys.

—     Scoliosis can develop at any time but typically happens to children between the ages of 10-15, generally during the growth spurt just before puberty.

—     According to the American Chiropractic Association, the cause is unknown in more than 80 percent of the cases. There does seem to be a genetic link, however, and in other cases, “trauma, neurological diseases and tumors” are responsible.

But what can be done about scoliosis?

DIAGNOSIS AND OBSERVATION: Identifying a child has a scoliosis curvature is the key. Some symptoms include one prominent shoulder blade, uneven hips or a shift in the waist to one side. Because changes might go unnoticed and there may not be pain associated with it, sometimes teachers and friends may be the first to notice. If any problems are noticed, it’s a good idea to see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Scoliosis can be identified with the Adam’s Forward Bending Test, X-rays and neurological tests.

Regular chiropractic treatments can be a huge help in identifying if the spine is curving and to what extent. Chiropractors can discuss family history, traumatic injuries and symptoms with you to help determine a diagnosis. They can also recommend orthopedic specialists and doctors. Chiropractors can also observe if a mild form of scoliosis, a curve less than 60 degrees, is getting worse over time.

In fact, in most cases the best treatment is careful observation to make sure a mild form doesn’t develop into something worse.

BRACING: Normally, bracing is used for younger patients who are still maturing. If the curve is 25 to 40 degrees, an orthopedic brace is recommended. And while it won’t reverse or cure scoliosis, it will help stop the curve from getting worse.

SURGERY: Severe scoliosis can affect the functions of the heart, lungs and other vital organs. As scoliosis progresses and becomes severe, a spinal fusion is performed. This is normally reserved for after the patient’s bones have stopped growing. If a child has a severe situation, a metal rod can be attached to the top and bottom of the spine.

MANIPULATION: The vast majority of scoliosis cases are considered mild and those affected can lead normal lives. According to an article by the Chiropractic Community, treatments such as spinal manipulation, exercise and even electrical muscle stimulation are advocated. These therapies may not reduce scoliosis but they won’t make the curvature worse. What chiropractic care has been shown to help with is easing any pain associated with it and as earlier stated, it can help with observing how a curvature is progressing.

profile

Allison Family Chiropractic is dedicated to helping both children and adults lead the happiest and healthiest lives possible. By understanding the body from the inside out, we can identify issues such as scoliosis at a young age and make sure those affected by it get the proper care required. Call us today at 419-991-0713 or email to allizac@hotmail.com to schedule an appointment. We serve the Lima, Shawnee and Spencerville, Ohio area.

 

Understanding scoliosis: Diagnosis and severity

June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month, which was created specifically to help the public understand what scoliosis is, its’ societal prevalence and the importance of early detection.

In honor of this month, we’re here to give you a basic understanding of scoliosis: What it is, the symptoms, the causes and risk factors.

WHAT IT IS: Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine, it resembles an S or a C. It often occurs during the growth spurt that hits before puberty. According to the Mayo Clinic, the cause of most cases is unknown, however it does tend to run in families. Cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy have been known to cause it along with injuries or infections of the spine and other birth defects that may hurt the development of the spine.

SYMPTOMS: If you are a parent, some signs to look for to identify scoliosis include uneven shoulders, one shoulder blade appearing more prominent than the other, an uneven waist and one hip higher than the other, according to the Mayo Clinic. Sometimes these symptoms are mild and there is no pain, so detection may be difficult. If you see any of these symptoms, however, contact your doctor.

SEVERITY: While severe scoliosis can be disabling, most cases are mild. However, if the situation goes undetected a child can develop spinal deformities that become more severe the older he or she gets. Once scoliosis is detected, it should be monitored closely to see if the curve is getting worse. Generally, children with mild scoliosis will be fine as adults but it can lead to other problems such as:

—     Heart and lung problems. If the spine is severely deformed it can cause the rib cage to push into the lungs and heart, which can cause both to function improperly.

—     Future problems. Adults who experienced scoliosis as a child have higher issues of chronic neck and back pain.

—     Appearances. According to the Mayo Clinic, “As scoliosis worsens, it can cause more noticeable changes — including unlevel shoulders, prominent ribs, uneven hips, and a shift of the waist and trunk to the side. Individuals with scoliosis often become self-conscious about their appearance.”

TREATMENTS: For mild scoliosis, treatment might not be necessary though children should be monitored. Other children may need to wear a brace to stop the curve from getting worse. For especially bad situations, surgery may be needed to straighten the spine.

Chiropractic help has also been shown to help those suffering from scoliosis in many ways. Not only do chiropractors help detect the issue sooner in young patients, but they can ease the pain associated with it in children and adults who suffered with it.

Dr. Allison adjusting a baby - child adjustment servicesAllison Family Chiropractic has an excellent track record of helping children develop into healthy adults. And if you want to have your children checked for scoliosis or are interested in how chiropractic care can help your children deal with issues such as asthma, allergies, back pain or other problems contact us today by email at allizac@hotmail.com or by calling 419-991-0713. We serve the Lima, Shawnee and Spencerville, Ohio area.