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.

Men: Time to take control of your health

Summer is as good a time as any for men of all ages to take control of their health. With June being National Men’s Health Month, it’s a great reminder that simple health steps can make a huge difference in the lives of men.
First, some facts:
— Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for men of all races, with the most commonly diagnosed cancers being prostate, lung, colon and bladder, according to the Center for Disease Control.
— The leading causes of death in men include: Heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, diabetes, suicide, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Now, some good news: In most of these cases, there is a lot you or the men in your lives can do to prevent, monitor and/or control these health issues. By doing so, you or the men in your life increase their life expectancy and can feel exceptionally better in the process.
Unfortunately, men are 24 percent less likely to than women to see a doctor for help, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
It’s time to end that trend and get healthy.

Prevention
The top causes of death in men – heart disease and many cancers – can often either be prevented and/or treated so long as they are diagnosed early.
Men should begin having their cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly at age 35 and even earlier if he has diabetes, a family history of heart disease and smokes.
By the way, stop smoking, it’s one of the main contributors to a variety of health problems — namely heart disease and lung cancer. If high blood pressure and/or cholesterol are detected, it’s also a good idea to be checked for diabetes, which can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and nervous system damage.
Also, men should start being tested for prostate and colon cancers as early as 45 and certainly by 50.
Men should also make a major effort to:
– Stay or get physically active;
– Make healthy food choices;
– Maintain a healthy weight;
– Drink in moderation;
– And manage stress effectively.

Monitor
Once you’ve taken the steps to begin preventing these health issues – say, by losing weight or quitting smoking – it’s important you don’t back off. Talk to your health care provider about how often you should be screened for many of these issues. Also, continue to maintain an active lifestyle and a solid diet.
If you are diagnosed with a disorder or disease or your doctor finds you’re on your way toward one, work hard to adjust your lifestyle and stay on top of the issue through the steps your healthcare provider plans out for you.
Don’t ignore the issue because whatever it is, it won’t go away or be kept at bay on its own. You need to take control of the issue and fight it as best you can.

The key to good health often boils down to a simple habit: Awareness. Don’t ignore issues that crop up and make sure you are staying on top of any problems that arise.
June isn’t the only month we should all be more aware of our own health, but it can act as a good reminder or trigger to get the ball rolling.

Want another way you can help your body? See a chiropractor. Low back pain affects 31 million people in America each year and ranks as the leading cause of disability worldwide. At Allison Family Chiropractic, Dr. Allison has exceptional skills for diagnosing and treating many physical ailments we all battle every day. Contact him to make an appointment today at 419-991-0713.

Stats on back pain, chiropractic treatment

We’ve written extensively about the many issues chiropractors see and treat on a regular basis. But when confronted with the sheer numbers of what people fight daily and how chiropractic care helps them, it paints a pretty staggering but interesting picture.
Here are 23 stats to back pain issues worldwide and how chiropractic care helps ease spinal and health issues:

1) 31 million Americans experience low-back pain each year.
2) 62 million adults worldwide report low-back pain per year.
3) Low back pain is the leading cause of worldwide disability.
4) 50 percent of all working Americans have back pain annually.
5) 80 percent of the population experiences a back problem during his or her life.
6) Back pain is a leading cause of missed work.
7) Back pain is the second most common reason for doctor’s visits.
8) $86 billion is spent on back pain each year.
9) Nearly $30 billion in productivity is lost each year from chronic back pain.
10) More than $6.5 billion is spent on pharmaceutical sales for spinal conditions each year.
11) 32.3 million adults report neck or cervical pain.

Regular chiropractic care has been shown to:
12) Reduce hospital visits by 60 percent.
13) Reduce days in the hospital by 59 percent.
14) Reduce outpatient surgery by 62 percent.
15) Reduce pharmaceutical costs by 85 percent.
16) Reduce back pain in pregnant women by up to 84 percent.

Meanwhile:
17) More than 20 millions American seek chiropractic care each year.
18) 60 percent of those people are female.
19) Chiropractic adjustments are performed on average 1 million times each business day in the U.S.
20) Chiropractic care has been around for more than 100 years.
21) 58 percent of the people who use chiropractic care cite it as essential to a health care/insurance plan.
22) Patients save 45-55 percent more money when they see a chiropractor for treatment instead of a medical doctor.
23) Nine out of 10 chiropractic users believe their treatment is effective.

If you still aren’t convinced about the importance chiropractic care could play in your life, check out an earlier article about why you might want to give it a chance today.

And when it’s time to begin chiropractic treatment, consider Allison Family Chiropractic. Dr. Allison’s safe, effective care has been shown to help patients dealing with everything from back and neck pain to migraines to asthma to allergies, scoliosis and any number of physical conditions. Contact Allison Family Chiropractic today at 419-991-0713 or click here for our online contact form.

(Sources: American Chiropractic Association; the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapy; acatoday.org)

Carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Anyone who has ever experienced carpal tunnel syndrome will tell you it’s no joke. Months with tingling or numbness in your hand and wrist can suddenly be broken up by sharp, shooting pains up your arm during work or the middle of the night.
This progressive and painful condition essentially happens when the median nerve in the wrist becomes compressed. For more on the causes, symptoms and statistics associated with carpal tunnel, check out our previous blog on the topic.
The symptoms normally develop gradually and can improve and even stop because of rest or a change in activity. However, in many cases these symptoms become a significant problem that leads to loss of work, money and workman’s compensation payments.
The good news is proper diagnosis and treatment normally alleviates the pains and restores strength in the hand(s) and wrist(s).

Diagnosis
If you have any of the symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s important you see a doctor early to get a clear diagnosis.
The doctor will check on the patterns associated with your symptoms, which will illustrate if it is indeed a carpal tunnel issue or something else.
Carpal tunnel patients often experience problems when gripping something or during the night. Also, because the median nerve does not affect all the parts of the hand, other tests can exclude carpal tunnel syndrome as the issue.
During the examination, the doctor will test feeling in your fingers and strength in your hand. Also, tapping or pressing on the median nerve can trigger the symptoms if indeed it is CTS.
Doctors will perform further tests and x-rays to see if the problem is something else.
 X-rays can indicate arthritis, fractures, etc.
 Electromyography evaluates electrical activity in your muscles and can determine any damage to muscles or if other conditions.
 Nerve conduction is similar in that small shocks are sent through the median nerve to gauge if impulses are slowed through the carpal tunnel.

In some cases, a doctor may want a patient to see a neurologist or specialists trained in other areas of the nervous system to see if the issue is a symptom of arthritis or a mental disorder.

Treatments
Once carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed, it should be addressed immediately under a doctor’s supervision.

Normally, the first treatments include resting the affected hand/wrist followed by splinting and avoiding any activity that will contribute to the symptoms. Also, cold packs can be used to reduce swelling.
Aspirin, ibuprofen and other pain relievers can help in the short run while certain steroids and vitamin supplements may also be prescribed.
Certain stretches and strength exercises can also help CTS sufferers. Physical and occupational therapists are also often helpful in working with patients to alleviate symptoms.

If the symptoms last for more than six months, surgery is often necessary. In fact, carpal tunnel release is one of the most common procedures in the U.S. according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Though there are different procedures available, all involve reducing pressure on the median nerve by severing the band of tissue around the wrist. A local anesthesia is used and normally doesn’t require an overnight stay in a hospital.
Full recovery can take months and physical therapy is often essential in helping the patient gain back strength in the wrist.

Prevention
To avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, workers can do everything from wear splints to take more breaks to stretching exercises to adhering to proper ergonomics techniques.
Employers can develop programs and make sure workplace conditions are ideal to help employees avoid future CTS problems.

It turns out chiropractic care is also often sited as a way to not only help prevent and diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, but can also help reduce pain and increase wrist and hand strength among patients who suffer from CTS.
If you experience any of these symptoms or have concerns about developing carpal tunnel syndrome, call Dr. Zach Allison today at 419-991-0713 or stop by our office at 3643 Shawnee Road in Lima, Ohio. At Allison Family Chiropractic we help people combat pain and get back to work every day.

(Sources: WebMD, The Mayo Clinic)

5 reasons to try chiropractic care in 2015

Many people enter a new year with a giant list of resolutions, goals and things they’d like to try in the next 12 months.
A lot of those items tend to tie back to being healthier and living a better life. One simple way everyone can do that is simply by regularly visiting a chiropractor.
But if chiropractic care is something you haven’t considered, or you’re hesitant about it, don’t be. Now is the time to visit a chiropractor and get on a plan.
Why?
Chiropractor stretching woman's arm
Statistics show Americans spend $50 billion each year on back pain, according to the American Chiropractic Association. And back pain is also one of the most common reasons for missed work and doctor’s visits.
But studies show those who regularly visit a chiropractor miss significantly less work time, experience more back pain relief and spend much less money each year than those who go to a medical doctor.

So what exactly would you get from regular visits to the chiropractor?

1) Pain Prevention
Each day the wear and tear on your body may seem minor but it adds up. The stress and rigors we all go through, especially those who have physically demanding jobs, can harm our musculoskeletal systems and that leads to more serious injuries and illnesses. Along those same lines, your overall posture has a big impact on the way your body functions. By aligning your spine properly, chiropractic care improves your stance, curvatures and any turning that may be harming how you carry yourself.

2) Optimal performance
Regular chiropractic care has been shown to increase oxygenation, improve circulation, reduce muscle spasms, improve flexibility, decrease lactic acid and help the body work efficiently to deliver nutrients to cells, thus aiding recovery.

3) Manage Stress and fight pain/symptoms
Hectic and stressful lives impact our overall well-being. Keeping your muscular, nervous and skeletal systems in line and balanced eradicates the tenseness we all feel and helps you manage stress in a positive way.
Back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain can often be alleviated by adjusting the spine, which can also target pain in the hips, knees, headaches and other pains throughout the body.
Chiropractic care also helps those who have sciatica, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and fibromyalgia.

4) Improve brain function, mood, focus
Studies show chiropractic adjustments can boost the Central Nervous System, which improves overall brain function. A study by the International Research and Philosophy Symposium showed EEG scans found improvement in balance and activity within the brain due to chiropractic adjustments.
Chiropractic care also helps balance body chemistry, which improves chemical imbalances that cause depression and ADHD.

5) Boost your immune system
Subluxations in the nervous system can disrupt the immune system, hindering its abilities to fight injuries and infections. Simply put, adjustments help the immune system work smoothly in many ways. Another help to the immune system is better sleep quality, which can be disrupted from aches and pains or even stress. Chiropractic care pinpoints these issues and allows your body to sleep better, which improves your immune system and allows your body to work efficiently.

profileChiropractic care has numerous benefits to your body in the short- and long-term. So if one of your goals for 2015 is to get a more fit and healthy body, make sure regular visits to a chiropractor tops your list of resolutions.
And if you aren’t sure where to start exactly, call Allison Family Chiropractic at 419-991-0713 to make an appointment today. We’d love to discuss any questions you may have about what we do and the benefits you’ll see from our care.

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.