No matter whether you want to lose weight or just want to stay fit, running is a great form of exercise. Just an hour of rigorous running is more than enough to stay in shape. Of course, you need to build your stamina over a period of time, so you can do more on the track. Runners often make mistakes with regards to their form, and injuries are not uncommon either. If you are a runner, you should consider seeing a chiropractor. In this post, we will talk about a few aspects that are worth paying attention to.Types of InjuriesAs a runner, you may face two kinds of injuries - overtraining injuries and traumatic injuries. The latter is related to an accident or an unexpected trauma. For example, if you fell on the track while running, you may end up with a sprained knee or a broken bone. On the contrary, injuries that are related to overtraining are more common. In this case, you may have pain in your knee, ankles, feet and other parts of the body, just because you ran more than your body could take. Most serious runners have a tendency to push themselves, and therefore, injuries related to overtraining is more common. Do I need a Chiropractor?A running chiropractor specializes in treating injuries that are common to runners. Many sports chiropractors may also offer treatment and help for runners. They know the mistakes that you might be making on the track, especially if you have frequent injuries. Also, they can help in treating injuries that are related to unexpected trauma or accidents. Chiropractors use a number of different techniques and varied types of manual adjustments, which are extremely useful in reducing pain and overall body stress. You will see a vast difference in your form and fitness with regular sessions, especially if you choose to visit a clinic every couple of weeks.Knowing The BenefitsAs a runner, you may get a number of benefits by visiting a chiropractor. They help in reducing the stress and physical strain that the body undergoes during runner. They also guide runners on avoiding the mistakes related to the form, so that they don't get injured on the go. Also, running chiropractors are great at reducing the recovery time after a traumatic injury. As required, they may use a number of alternative therapies, so that the body starts healing on its own, but without being heavily dependent on medicines and drugs. Chiropractors help runners in doing better, even when they are not in the best of their form. If you want to know more about chiropractic care for runners, you should make an appointment with a leading clinic in your area to know more. Don't shy away from asking questions when you meet your chiropractor for the first time. Chiropractic Leadership Alliance
A Chiropractor Can Help With Chronic Back Pain
Chiropractic Leadership Alliance Before I begin, let me give you a little insight to where my perspective on the healing comes from. By training, I'm a scientist. I am really good at looking at issues critically and deciphering facts and problems based on factual evidence and sound theories. At the same time, I always had an interest in alternative medicine and while I lived in Seattle for 5 years, I had the chance to experience directly and learn various healing modalities such as naturopathic physician care, acupuncture, homeopathy, Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET). Some of my knowledge comes from being the inquisitive patient, some comes from discussions with students of Bastyr College of Naturopathic medicine who I befriended while in Seattle. While in Seattle I also took several classes on Reiki, and became a Reiki Master/Teacher and hence I have the insiders perspective on how energy healing works and what it can and can't do.I am a strong advocate of alternative therapies in conjunction with or sometimes instead of traditional medicine. However, recently, I have been really bothered by practices of chiropractors (some not all) and I feel that there are many out there that take advantage of the general lack of understanding of how the human body works in patients to keep their businesses going. I write this article with the goal to educate moms on the good, the bad, and the ugly associated with chiropractic care, especially as many chiropractors now advocate for 'maintenance care' not only for adults but also for children.As you will see below, I do believe that chiropractic adjustments can be very useful, especially when they are performed as part of the whole body healing, but unfortunately, when done in isolation, chiropractic adjustments often only set you up on a path of going, and going, and going back to your chiropractor for more treatments, rather than getting well.The work of a chiropractor is to manipulate the spine to remove misalignments. Misalignments in the spine are often referred to as subluxations. Traditional chiropractic philosophy is based on the belief that misalignments in the spine are the root cause of illness. Hence they remove the misalignments in the spine with the hope that the illness will go away as well. The idea behind this theory is that all body organs are connected to the spine through nerves. If there is misalignment in the spine, it will cause a problem with the nerves and then other organs connected to them. If you consider long term chiropractic care for yourself or your family, be sure that this theory of all illness originating from spine misalignments resonates with you. It doesn't with me. Here is why.The spine connects to joints, then to muscles and ligaments that support the spine and its structure. If there is a problem within the spine, the muscles in the close proximity to the spine misalignment (and often not only in that region) will also be affected. Typically some muscles will become overly tight and some will become weak, as muscles work in pairs. This is what's commonly referred to a muscle imbalance. In addition to the musculoskeletal system in your body, there is a biochemical system, and an emotional system. The biochemical system includes your blood chemistry, hormones, vitamins, minerals, and hence this system is vital to your well-being. Emotions, including moods and attitudes have also been shown to contribute to and to aid illnesses. The musculoskeletal, the biochemical, and the emotional systems within our body are very intimately connected to create our well-being or sickness. If we become ill, all of these systems will be affected and disease will manifest in all. I think it's naive to believe that all disease starts from the spine. For example, if you never go out in the sun and eventually become Vitamin D deficient, it is likely that you will develop problems in your spine since Vitamin D deficiency leads to muscles weakness. This in turn will likely lead to spine misalignments. Similarly, severe emotional trauma, never addressed properly, over time may lead to sickness which will likely cause some spine misalignment. I believe that it's correct to say that most illness will manifest itself in the spine, but that is not the same as saying that all illness originates in the spine. One thing to keep in mind is that the somewhat simplistic philosophy behind chiropractic and illness was developed at time when people had no choice but to eat minimally processed foods from local sources, before there were any chemicals in the environment, and at a time before drugs, vaccinations, and other environmental factors were impacting our health. In our modern society, there are other factors that contribute to creating illness, which must be addressed. In my opinion, removing the cause of the illness is the best approach for curing it. Finding the cause of the illness is often the tricky part. This is where a doctor with a broad range of expertise and education is most helpful. Ideally, the physician you pick as your doctor is familiar with how disease manifests itself in the musculoskeletal system, as well as in the biochemical and emotional system. Such a physician can best determine how to get all these systems back into balance.Chiropractic treatments have the best chance of curing problems most directly related to disturbances in the musculoskeletal system of the body. Many joint, and muscle pains can be aided by chiropractic manipulation. The question is, whether the pain will stay away. If the treatment is for an injury such as back pain due to someone lifting a heavy object in awkward manner, one to several chiropractic adjustments will usually get rid of the pain for good. The reason is that the cause of the pain was the spinal misalignment, and once removed, the patient is usually pain free.What about chronic pain though? Moms often develop neck and shoulder pain from nursing and carrying their children. Lower back pain and sciatica are also quite common. All chiropractors happily address these conditions, but how they are addressed varies greatly between chiropractors.It is a very common chiropractic practice to manipulate the spine to try to get it back to its proper alignment, and ask the patient to come back multiple times in a week, often for long periods of time. The reason for the multiple return visits is not addressing the cause of the spine misalignment. If the cause of the problem is not removed, few hours to a few days after the adjustment, the spine slowly returns to its previous state.Why? Because the muscles that are tight are pulling it in the direction of previous misalignment and the weak muscles can't support the corrected structure. So the patient goes back to the chiropractor, and the process is repeated. 5, 10, 20, 40, sometimes 60 times, usually 1 to 3 times a week over a course of weeks. Then once a week, then once a month. After all those adjustments, it is possible that the muscles over time slowly adapt into the new corrected shape from the repeated adjustments, but typically if treatment is stopped, the spine will go back to the misalignment as the cause of the problem was never addressed by the chiropractic practitioner. Many moms I know have chronic neck or lower back pain, and all feel better after visiting a chiropractor. The problem is that they need to keep seeing the chiropractor in order to feel better.The underlying reason for chronic pain is often postural patterns (such as forward rounded shoulders from computer use) and muscle imbalances (strong quadriceps and weak hamstrings in runners or after pregnancy). That's only part of the picture though. Spine misalignment can also be caused by and exacerbated by a food allergy, such as dairy intolerance, or vitamin deficiency. The misalignments due to these factors can be as severe as from chronic postural patterns. Chiropractic adjustments will keep making the patient feel better after every adjustment, however if the cause is never addressed, the problem will keep coming back. In these examples, it would make most sense to address the cause of the illness (vitamin D deficiency or dairy intolerance) rather than the symptom (spine misalignment).A good chiropractor should be able to determine what the cause of the muscle imbalance and/or spine misalignment is, whether it is purely structural or whether there is an underlying problem such as a nutrient deficiency, a food sensitivity, a toxic overload, or a hormonal imbalance. This takes not only a good chiropractor but an inquisitive mind set as well as good doctoring skills. These are not taught in all chiropractic schools, and the good chiropractors have usually had lots of other training, for example in applied kinesiology.Hence in my view, chiropractic adjustments are useful to address some musculoskeletal issues. For sure, for acute injuries to the system. When it comes to chronic pain though, the key to getting rid of the issue is addressing the cause. A practitioner who understands how the body works will use a combination of spinal manipulation with physical therapy to address tight and weak muscles, and offer a plan on removing the cause of the ailment (postural habits, etc). This would be similar to the work of a physical therapist skilled in spinal manipulation. Often however even that is not enough. A chiropractor with a firm belief that removing spine misalignments is all that is needed to treat a person will likely keep a person with a vitamin deficiency or a food allergy in treatment for months (and be unsuccessful). I think that is plain ignorant. To treat a person, all aspects of the body have to be considered and for that a holistic practitioner acknowledging the whole body approach to healing is needed. A good chiropractor will recognize the limitation of his or her work and will refer a patient to someone else if spinal manipulation is not producing lasting results. Long term Chiropractic CareMany chiropractors think that regular spinal manipulations are necessary to stay healthy. After all, in their minds, all disease originates in the spine, and hence small misalignments should be frequently removed for optimal health. It is not clear to me whether these chiropractors actually believe this or whether they simply understand that they will have clients for life, as long as the client believes that he or she should see the chiropractor once a month for optimal health. Of course, services are not limited to adults. Many chiropractors now offer a family package and start adjusting children from infancy; For maintenance: once a month for the rest of their lives.Maintenance may be a good idea a couple times a year or after accidents to prevent the problem of "as the twig is bent, so grows the tree". However, there is more to good maintenance healthcare than adjusting. The biochemical and emotional systems also need maintenance, and typically people with more balanced chemical and emotional systems will need less adjustments to stay feeling good. A good alternative to using a chiropractor for health maintenance is using a practitioner who can address the full spectrum of healthcare and preventive maintenance, such as a Naturopathic Doctor also trained in physical medicine.In summary:The good: chiropractic manipulation can be extremely helpful in reducing or removing pain, often chronic.The bad: Typical chiropractors address only the structural component of the problem. Some will often guidance on how to stretch and strengthen affected muscle groups to help the spine in alignment. Most do not tackle the chemical/hormonal aspect of the problem which are often the hidden cause of spinal misalignments. There is also an emotional aspect of spinal alignments which is rarely addressed.The ugly: Chiropractors often set up their practice with the intention of keeping the clients coming and coming and coming. It's not uncommon to see packages of 60 to 80 visits sold upfront: not only for you - but for your entire family, whether they are ill or not!Optimal Solution: Finding a practitioner who understands the relationship between the musculoskeletal, biochemical, and emotional systems in your body, and can get to the cause of your problem. This can be a holistic chiropractor, naturopathic doctor trained in spinal manipulation, or perhaps a chiropractor who's also an acupuncturist.What truly differentiates doctors of chiropractic from any other healthcare professionals is the fact that chiropractors are the only professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat what are called spinal subluxations. The word "subluxation" comes from the Latin words meaning "somewhat or slight" (sub) and "to dislocate" (luxate). So the term 'vertebral subluxation' literally means a slight dislocation or misalignment of the bones in the spine.When a subluxation occurs, a chiropractor can correct the misaligned bone and allow it to return to its proper position. This procedure is appropriately called an adjustment, and the adjustment enables the body to heal. The chiropractic adjustment is a quick thrust applied to a vertebra for the purpose of correcting its position, movement or both. Adjustments are often accompanied by an audible release of gas that sounds like a "crack." The sound sometimes shocks people a little bit the first couple times they get adjusted, but the sensation is usually relieving. Occasionally, minor discomfort is experienced, especially if the surrounding muscles are in spasm or the patient tenses up during the chiropractic procedure. There are times when the audible "cracking" does not occur. This is often due to either significant muscle tightness or that the patient may be having a hard time relaxing during their adjustments. However, the chiropractic adjustment is still important. The leak is fixed. The wiring is fixed. Information is flowing again. To keep the wiring fixed and the information flowing, several adjustments over a course of time may be necessary, in addition to massage, physical therapy, stretching exercises, or strengthening exercises. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurence is just as important as the initial remedy.There are actually five components that contribute to the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC).Bone Component-where the vertebra is either out of position, not moving properly, or are undergoing degeneration. This frequently leads to a narrowin of the spaces between the bones through which the nerves pass; often resulting in irritation or impingement of the nerve itself. Nervous Component-is the disruption of the normal flow of energy along the nerve fibers, causing the messages traveling along the nerves to become distorted. The result is that all of the tissues that are fed by those nerves receive distorted signals from the brain and, consequently, are not able to function normally. Over time, this can lead to a whole host of conditions, such as peptic ulcers, constipation and other organ system dysfunction.Muscular Component-since nerves control the muscles that help hold the vertebrae in place, muscles have to be considered to be an integral part of the vertebral subluxation complex. In fact, muscles both affect, and are affected by the VSC. A subluxation can irritate a nerve, the irritated nerve can cause a muscle to spasm, the spasmed muscle pulls the attached vertebrae further out of place, which then further irritates the nerve and you have a vicious cycle. It is no wonder that very few subluxations just go away by themselves.Soft Tissue Component-the VSC will also affect the surrounding tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and other tissues as the misaligned vertebrae tug and squeeze the connective tissue with tremendous force. Over time, the soft tissues can become stretched out or scarred, leaving the spine with either a permanent instability or restriction. Chemical Component-is the change in the chemistry of the body due to the VSC. Most often, the chemical changes, such as the release of a class of chemicals called "kinins," are pro-inflammatory; meaning that they increase inflammation in the affected area.These changes get progressively worse over time if they are not treated correctly, leading to chronic pain, inflammation, arthritis, muscle trigger points, the formation of bone spurs, loss of movement, as well as muscle weakness and spasm. Chiropractors have known the dangers of the vertebral subluxation complex ever since the birth of the profession. More and more scientific research is demonstrating the tremendous detrimental impact that subluxation have on the tissue of the body. In order to be truly healthy, it is vital that your nervous system be functioning free of interference from subluxations. Chiropractors are the only health professionals trained in the detection, location, and correction of the vertebral subluxation complex through chiropractic care.
Chiropractors: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Chiropractic Leadership Alliance It is the practice of helping people who have musculoskeletal problems.This is mainly achieved by manipulating the joint or muscle in the problem area and as in my case some years ago relieving what was a very painful hip joint that had decided to stick in a certain position which made it rather difficult to walk.The chiropractor listened to what I had to say about my symptoms with a lot of understanding and empathy. He then looked at the troubled area, pushed and prodded very delicately asked me to lie on my side, the one which didn't hurt, and then he gently manoeuvred my hip from side to side and with a gentle "nudge" clicked my hip back into place with a slight ugh from me.A friend of mine who is a Chiropractor in Doncaster asked me how long ago that was so I told him it was back in 1996 when I was working in Guernsey. He said that was just about the time alternative healing was starting to be recognised by the main health authorities. Chiropractors are specially trained people having first studied physiology, anatomy, neurology, orthopaedics, physiotherapy, nutrition and many other subjects too numerous to list here.They also study how to manipulate joints especially the spine as most of us at some time or another suffer from some form of back trouble.These courses usually take up to 4 years to complete and ends with a degree in chiropractics (Doctor of Chiropractic).Before a chiropractor is able to treat a patient he or she must first get an accurate diagnosis of the patients' problem, by talking to them and asking questions about the symptoms, how the patient came to have the problem in the first place. They should also have a good knowledge of the medical history of the patient, if there are ongoing medical issues or medications being taken.A majority of treatments are mainly to do with lower back pain which affect 4 out of 5 people and a good chiropractor can also help with issues to do with a pain in the neck (no, not the husband or wife) and also help relieve persistent headaches. Osteoarthritis sufferers have been known to benefit from slight manipulation by a chiropractor.Anyone suffering with knee injuries, ankle or foot pain and sports injury can benefit from going to a good chiropractic clinic.You do not have to wait until you have a serious problem to visit a chiropractors clinic, most practices deal with preventative treatment as well.As well as the usual manipulation of the joint and muscles some chiropractors use heat, massage and acupuncture to help relieve the stress and strain people suffer. Chiropractors can also advise patients on matters to do with nutrition, life style and exercise but they are not allowed to prescribe any medication or do surgery.It is always advisable to consult and inform your family doctor when you are thinking of visiting a chiropractor if they haven't already pointed you in the direction of one.Always check to see if the practitioner has the Doctor of Chiropractic certificate displayed somewhere in their clinic building, usually behind reception. Plus, are they registered with British Chiropractic Association.Be aware that there are people out there posing as "qualified" chiropractic practitioners.Subluxations maybe a new word, as you probably have not heard your family physician mention this word. The first time I heard this word is when I had chiropractic treatment. Anyway, subluxation is the combination of two Latin words "sub", which means a bit or fairly and "luxare", which means "to displace". Chiropractors used the word vertebral subluxation to refer to any improper alignment in our spine. They believe that these subluxations cause diseases; however, if this will be adjusted, the spine will get to functional normally and healing will follow.What causes subluxations?Vertebral subluxations are attributed to 5 factors. The muscular factor. Keeping our spine upright are our muscles, which are controlled by our nerves. When a nerve gets pressure, muscle spasm can ensue. The vertebrae that are attached to the triggered muscle are dragged out its place and this further leads for the nerve to be irritated. When not properly diagnosed and treated, this will continue and this explains the reason why the dislocations or the subluxations stay in place.The bone factor. This is best illustrated when the vertebra is misaligned, not functioning appropriately or is starting to deteriorate. When this happens, the gaps amid our bones where the nerves pass are contracted. This leads the nerves to be irritated.The nervous factor. This pertains to the interruption of the regular energy flow down our nerve fibers leading to the distortion of the messages along our nerves. Due to the wrong signals received by our tissues, the latter will not work properly. If untreated, this can give way to other health conditions like constipation, peptic ulcers and disturbances in the organ system.The chemical factor. This pertains to the changes in our body chemistry brought about by vertebral subluxations. This happens when the body releases the chemical "kinins". These chemicals augment the soreness in the affected spot. The soft tissue factor. The nearby ligaments, tendons, blood supply and tissues are affected by the subluxations. If this is not treated immediately, it can lead to permanent spine flux.All of the above factors can lead to unceasing pain, arthritis, soreness, loss of motion, osteophyte and muscle instability and shudders.Chiropractors remove these subluxations to motivate your body to heal itself. When the nervous system is free from any subluxations, it will work properly paving your road to wellness. Chiropractors are the only health professionals who can managed subluxations via chiropractic adjustments.