Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic Care: Can It Really Help You Live Pain Free?

There are plenty of people who say that chiropractic made a significant difference in their lives, relieving pain and increasing mobility. Still, some skeptics want scientific proof that it helps with managing pain and, in many cases, eliminating it altogether. While chiropractic patient testimonies are great, included here is a collection of cold, hard, facts – scientific studies on chiropractic care and its effectiveness in treating pain.

Systematic review of evaluations of chiropractic care for pain management.

This review, published in August 2016, examined six randomized controlled trials and three full economic evaluations to determine the effectiveness of chiropractic care as compared to exercise therapy, physical therapy, and medical care. Chiropractic care was found to be comparable to or better than all three of these, particularly when managing pain.

They found “moderate evidence” that showed chiropractic care is just as effective as physical therapy. The evidence in the other areas was limited, but still gave chiropractic high marks.

Spinal manipulation for treating low back pain is as effective as more traditional treatments.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health studied several clinical trials and reviews regarding chiropractic care. Time and again, chiropractic was found to be at least as effective as other pain reducing interventions.

Chiropractic patients can have more days of being pain free while avoiding surgery, invasive medical procedures, and medications that have harmful side effects. In one study, they found that chiropractic care is as effective as or better than more conventional medical care for as many as 18 months.

Chiropractic patients are less likely to use prescription pain killers like opioids.

James “Jim” Whedon, DC, MS, is a researcher at the Southern California University of Health Sciences, and is co-chair of the Research Working Group of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health. He examined the records of 33,000 adults in the New Hampshire All Payer Claims Database who registered as experiencing lower back pain. A little more than a third of those received chiropractic care. Of that group, only 38 percent had one or more prescriptions for an opioid, but that number jumped to 61 percent in the group who did not receive chiropractic care.

Upon examination of the related circumstances, Whedon concluded that the chiropractic patients were 57 percent less likely to fill an opioid prescription. This is a testament to the effectiveness of using chiropractic for pain relief.

Overwhelming research shows that chiropractic care is usually the best option when treating pain.

The American Chiropractic Association summarizes a number of studies and research findings that support the use of chiropractic care for pain. These studies recommended chiropractic as a safer, effective alternative to pharmaceuticals.

Others advocate incorporating chiropractic care with physical therapy and exercise for optimal results. One study (Goertz et al. (2013), Spine) asserts that using chiropractic manipulative therapy along with standard medical care provides a “significant advantage for decreasing pain and improving physical function…” Others shows that it reduced the chances of the patient having to undergo surgery and could manage their pain without drugs.

The evidence is overwhelming. Yes, regular chiropractic care can really help a person to live pain free. It also helps to follow the chiropractor’s recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and diet as well as taking any supplements that he or she advises.

While spinal manipulation is a big part of chiropractic care, it isn’t the only part. The chiropractor may recommend special stretches to do in between sessions or special supplements that can help the body to heal. That is what makes chiropractic so effective; it treats the entire body, not just the symptoms.

Start living pain free! Give us a call at (780)455-2112 to schedule your assessment with one of our wellness chiropractic doctors! Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic.

Low Back

How the Feet, Knees & Hips Affect the Low Back

If you have low back pain, or have had it, you are not alone. Experts estimate that around 80% of people will experience some type of back problem as some point in their lives. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 lists low back pain as the number one cause of disability worldwide. The good news is the majority of back pain is mechanical in origin or is not organic. This means that infection, cancer, fracture, inflammatory arthritis, and other serious conditions are not the cause. In fact, you may benefit by looking to your feet, knees and hips as the culprits.

The spine is the foundation for the body, supporting the spinal cord and the limbs. When there is a problem with any of the limbs it can affect the spine and vice versa. The intricate network of tendons, ligaments and nerves work together within the incredible machine that is the human body.

How the Feet Affect the Low Back

When there are problems with the feet, it can cause problems through the legs and all the way to the spine. This can cause the ankle to pronate, meaning it rolls inward. This alters the way the bones of the foot line up which extends through the tibia, or shin bone.

This can cause a condition called knock knees and it can change the way the entire body is aligned. This puts the body out of balance, destabilizing the spine, and can even cause the pelvis to tilt to one side or the other. When you are walking or standing, the stress caused by the misalignment it can create a domino effect, causing or contributing to low back pain.

How the Knees Affect the Low Back

One thing to remember when assessing pain in the body is that where it hurts may not be the source of the problem. It could be a symptom. Because of this, knee pain could be caused by a problem with your back and back pain could be caused by a problem with your knees.

It is important to take this type of pain at more than face value and do a little investigating to find the cause. That is why chiropractic is so beneficial in these situations.

If you see a chiropractor for your knee or back pain, he or she will assess your issues, talk to you about the pain you are experiencing and help you get to the root of your problem so that you can treat it and, in turn, help correct other associated issues. Knees connect the foot and spine so problems that affect the feet and ankles as well as the spine will very likely affect the knees and hips as well.

How the Hips Affect the Low Back

Muscle imbalances in the hip, such as tight hip flexors, can cause low back pain – or at least contribute to it. When the hip flexor muscles are too tight, is causes what is known as an anterior pelvic tilt.

In other words, the muscles cause an anterior pull on the pelvis. This affect posture and throws the entire lower body out of alignment. It can also affect the knees and feet if left untreated.

Hip flexors can become too tight if the person sits for extended periods of time or engages in activities like cycling and jogging. A chiropractor can guide you through exercises that will help release the tight muscles and stop the micro spasms that occur as a result.

He or she will also assess your knees, feet, and ankles to ensure that the issue has not through them out of alignment as well. Correcting the cause of the problem will often correct the associated issues and resolve the pain allowing you to return to your normal activities.

Visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic! Call (780)455-2112 to schedule your chiropractic assessment today!

Exercise Fitness

What Is The Difference Between Anaerobic & Aerobic Exercise

Exercise is an important part of good health. It can help with weight loss and plays a crucial role in preventing many chronic health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Regular exercise has also been shown to help with depression and anxiety. There is just something about getting your body moving and your blood pumping. It is what nature intended; as humans, we are supposed to be active. The more active you are, the better you will look and feel – and the healthier you will be.

There are many different types of exercise out there, though. It seems that everyone has “system” or some slick, branded fitness routine that is guaranteed to work. The thing is, the old-fashioned way is best. Cardio, the type of exercise that raises your heartrate and gets your blood pumping is actually categorized by aerobic and anaerobic. Understanding the similarities and differences will help you round out your workout for better results.

What is Aerobic Exercise?

Aerobic exercise involves low to high intensity physical exercise. The movements are oxygen infused, relying on the oxygen to meet the demands of the activity. Typically, exercises that are light to moderate intensity fall under aerobic:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • Jogging
  • Running

These activities can be performed for longer. In fact, many experts advise that an aerobic exercise workout is better when done for an extended period of time; at least 18 to 20 minutes. For instance, a person can walk on a treadmill for 20 to 30 minutes, then cycle for the same amount of time. This is sufficient for raising the heartrate and increasing metabolism.

Aerobic exercise was first introduced in the 1960s by doctor and Air Force Colonel, Kenneth Cooper. He created the Cooper Institute in 1970, which focused on preventive medicine, centered around education and research. The workout became very popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s as a class workout but over time has expanded to become a significant part of gym workouts all over the world.

What is Anaerobic Exercise?

Anaerobic exercise is high intensity physical exercise. Where aerobic builds endurance, anaerobic is more like a sprint, building power, speed and strength. It increases muscle mass and improves performance. It lasts from several seconds to around 2 minutes. Engaging in physical activity for longer than 2 minutes becomes more aerobic in nature. Types of anaerobic exercise include:

  • Jump rope
  • Cycling sprints
  • Running sprints
  • Swimming sprints
  • Heavy weight training

Anaerobic activities are often interspersed with aerobic activities in interval training for maximum effect.

Levels of Intensity

Aerobic and anaerobic exercise can be combined to create a highly effective workout. It can involve increasing the intensity of an aerobic exercise, or it can mean changing from an aerobic activity to an anaerobic activity.

For instance, you may jog for five minutes, then sprint for two, and jog for five more minutes. Another option is to switch up the activities. Walk on a treadmill for seven minutes, do a cycle sprint for two minutes, row for seven minutes, and jump rope for two minutes. The combinations are endless and you can customize it for your favorite exercises or to accommodate physical limitations.

Health Benefits

Aerobic and anaerobic exercise have been shown to help prevent certain types of cancer, like breast cancer and colon cancer with just 30 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day. Exercise has also been shown to prevent osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and it even improves cognitive function.

Find ways to incorporate some aerobic and anaerobic exercise into your fitness routine at least several times a week. It is how you get healthy, stay healthy, and feel better.

Visit www.ocwc.ca for more health, wellness and fitness tips!

Ulcerative Colitis, Chiropractic

How Chiropractic Helps Patients Who Suffer From Ulcerative Colitis

Most people don’t think of chiropractic to treat conditions that do not involve the spine, but study after study shows it is effective in treating a wide variety of health issues. Ulcerative colitis seems to have no real connection with the spine, yet patients and researches alike are touting the effectiveness of chiropractic care to treat the condition. This is due, in part to chiropractic’s approach to whole body wellness, but spinal alignments are incorporated into the care as well. Bottom line, chiropractic care is extremely effective in treating uncreative colitis and many patients are finding relief from their symptoms and discomfort.

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes ulcers (sores) and inflammation in the rectum and colon. Typically, only the sigmoid colon (the lower portion of the colon) is affected, along with the rectum.

However, the entire colon can be affected and the percentage of the colon that is affected tends to coincide with the disease’s severity of the symptoms. While ulcerative colitis can affect people of any age, the majority of people who are diagnosed with it are younger than 30 years old.

Researchers are not certain what causes ulcerative colitis, but many believe that it occurs when the body’s immune system over reacts to bacteria that naturally occurs within the body, specifically in the digestive tract. There also seems to be a genetic predisposition for the disease; it tends to run in families.

What are the Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?

The type and severity of symptoms that present with ulcerative colitis depend upon how advanced or severe depends on which area of the colon is affected and how severe the condition is. The symptoms may subside or disappear for several weeks at a time (there are some patient reports stating they had no symptoms for years), then they return. About half the people with ulcerative colitis experience mild effects.

The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Diarrhea – This is the most common symptom. The diarrhea may have pus or blood in it, but it is possible to have blood in the stool and not have the ability to see it. In severe cases, the urge to go to the restroom to empty the colon may come on suddenly and powerfully. It may happen after a meal or after eating certain foods. Other times there may be no discernable pattern; it can happen at any time, even waking the patient out of a dead sleep.
  • Pain – The most common type of pain with ulcerative colitis is in the belly and may feel somewhat cramping. However, some patients report joint soreness and photophobia (sensitivity to light) accompanied by eye pain.
  • Nausea – The cramping can cause nausea, as well as the condition itself.
  • Fatigue – The other symptoms such as pain and nausea can cause fatigue, but effects of the disease such as swelling in the colon and bleeding in the colon that depletes the body of red blood cells can also cause extreme tiredness.
  • Dehydration – This can be caused by the diarrhea.
  • Weight loss – Caused by the diarrhea and loss of appetite. The body may not be able to adequately absorb the nutrition from foods due to the disease, so weight loss and malnutrition follow.
  • Sores – Mouth and skin sores may form as well as rashes.

What Treatments are Available for Ulcerative Colitis?

Different people are affected differently when they are battling ulcerative colitis. Patients with mild symptoms may be able to take an over the counter medication that treats diarrhea.

The majority of patients with the disease take prescription medications that help decrease the immune response in the body. Lifestyle changes may also work. If the disease is very severe, the patient may need to undergo surgery and have their colon removed.

Chiropractic for Ulcerative Colitis

Many patients turn to chiropractic care to treat ulcerative colitis. When the body is out of alignment, it can hinder the function of the organs and other parts of the body. By realigning the spine and pelvis, the chiropractor can help the patient lessen or completely alleviate their symptoms.

The whole body health approach that chiropractic promotes can also help with recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and diet modifications. Many patients who get regular chiropractic care for their ulcerative colitis report a significant decrease in symptoms and often the complete elimination of them.

visit www.ocwc.ca to learn more about our clinic and doctors! Phone (780)455-2112 to schedule your chiropractic assessment.