Spring is just around the corner. For some, the change in weather brings anticipation of sunny days, school breaks, family vacations and outdoor activities. However, if you are one of the 35 million people in the United States who suffers from seasonal allergies and sinus problems, you may find this change to be unpleasant or even painful Your itchy, drippy nose and watery eyes are all the proof you need to know that yes, spring has arrived.
Allergies are a disorder of the immune system. A typically non-harmful substance – pollen – causes your immune system to overreact and initiates a response to neutralize and flush out the allergen. The result of this overreaction is inflammation, itching, runny nose and eyes, sneezing and diarrhea, just to name a few.
As if that isn’t bad enough, allergies become a risk factor for sinus problems. Sinuses are eight hollow spaces found in the bones of your forehead, cheeks and temples. These spaces are responsible for draining mucous and helping trap foreign particles. When they become inflamed, they are unable to drain properly, which leads to buildup, pressure and possible infection.
I’m sure some of you are asking “Why me? Why do I suffer while my husband, wife, kids, or friends get to enjoy this beautiful weather?” Well, there are a few things that can make you more susceptible to allergies.
These include a family history of food allergies and eczema, exposure to excessive stress and/or second-hand smoke, eating a poor diet, lack of exercise and dehydration. I know you can’t change your family history, but here are a few tips that may make the change in seasons a little more bearable.
Avoid stress and start exercising. Excessive stress and lack of physical activity have one thing in common: they both wreak havoc on your body. It is important to incorporate routines into your daily activities that can battle this. Try prayer, meditation, yoga and or aerobic exercise.
Improve your diet. Try adding Vitamin C, Omega 3's, probiotics and super foods to your diet. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can be found in supplements and in most fruits and vegetables - especially red/yellow bell peppers, dark green leafy vegetables (kale/collards), broccoli, kiwi, berries, and citrus fruits. Vitamin C fights inflammation that triggers allergies.
Omega 3's are an essential fatty acid that is unable to be produced by your body. Therefore, you must supplement your diet by eating fish, fish oil supplements, walnuts, and flax seeds. A recent study suggested that Omega 3's can counter the specific type of inflammation associated with allergies.
Probiotics can also be a wonderful addition to your daily diet. Probiotic literally means "for life" and when ingested in adequate amounts, it can provide many health benefits. Yogurt is the most well known probiotic but you can also try sauerkraut, sourdough bread and/or supplements. In my opinion it's much more beneficial and easier to digest probiotics, Omega 3's, and Vitamin C through eating real food products and it will also steer you into a healthy overall diet.
Super food is a term used to describe foods that are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. Eating them may reduce the risk of chronic disease, and prolong life, and people who eat more of them are healthier and thinner than those who don't. Here are a few that should definitely be mixed into your diet: almonds, blueberries, avocados, quinoa, apricots, asparagus, beets, garlic, ginger and spinach.
Boost your immune system: the immune system is the body's defense against infections and other foreign invaders.
Keeping your immune system strong is essential to staying healthy. Of course a clean diet, exercise and stress reduction are the mainstays of a healthy lifestyle but here are a few other things you can do to boost your immune system this spring.
Sleep at least 8 hours a night, socialize more, get your Vitamin D from the sun, and see your local chiropractor for optimal spine/nervous system function.
Well, the holidays are here. It’s time for busy party schedules filled with platters of aged cheeses and smoked meats, festive cocktails, desserts and stress. Lots and lots of stress.
Let’s face it, the holidays are a painful time for many people. For migraine and headache sufferers, they can be an absolute minefield. Trigger foods take center stage, stress levels spike and regular sleep patterns are out the window. Even winter weather fluctuations increase your chances of developing head and neck pain.
But that doesn’t mean you are resigned to a blue holiday season this year. If you’re vigilant about your lifestyle habits, there are ways you can help manage your pain.
Here are five healthy habits that should be in every migraine and headache sufferers toolkit.
1. Keep a headache diary
Migraine and headache triggers vary widely from person to person, so the best way to identify your triggers is to keep a headache diary. Each time you have a headache, take notes down of anything you can think of that may have triggered it. Some triggers can be changes in sleep, skipping meals, over eating, dehydration, alcohol consumption, and/or stress. Over time, you will discover patterns in your diary that can help you determine what you need to avoid. Some trigger foods to be avoided include aged cheeses, processed meats, peanuts, pickled foods, alcohol (especially red wine), bread and crackers containing cheese, chicken livers and other organ meats, potato chips, caffeinated beverages, and anything with MSG (monosodium glutamate).
2. Consider shopping online
For shopaholics, the days between Black Friday and New Year’s Day are like the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras rolled into one. But shopping malls and Wal-Mart can be a trigger wonderland for people with migraines and headaches. If you’re worried a holiday shopping spree might make your condition worse, you can find everything you need (and then some) online. This can also save you time and money because you can do it from home and your gifts can be shipped directly.
Just walking into the mall to do some holiday shopping can be a challenge for many people. You are sprayed with perfume (an odor trigger), surrounded by lots of chaos (a sound trigger), exposed to fluorescent lights (a bright light trigger) and then may grab lunch at the food court where foods are often rich in MSG (a food trigger). These things can all contribute to how headaches start so try and avoid them.
3. Manage stress
Stress is a major trigger for migraine and headache sufferers, and the holiday season can cause anxiety levels to skyrocket.
Patients who struggle with holiday headaches should start thinking about pain prevention early, ideally months before the holidays. Headache sufferers need this extra time to learn and master the necessary preventive care techniques before the stress-filled holidays hit. One of the best and most powerful words you can say that may keep you headache free is "no." Sometimes when everyone wants you to eat more, drink more, buy more, and or do more things that only increase your stress it's ok to say no.
4. Improve your lifestyle
Eating, drinking, sleeping and exercising are all key players that you need to keep control of during the holidays. If you read the "Fall Challenge" in the Fall Edition of the Robeson Living magazine you have a great understanding of how you can benefit from these things.
No matter what else is going on, you should eat regular meals throughout the day, including lots of green, leafy vegetables and a good amount of lean protein. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Drinking sufficient fluids (water), 2 to 3 liters per day, and avoiding caffeine, a potent migraine trigger, can make a significant difference.
Holiday stress can wreak havoc on good sleep patterns. Don’t let travel or late-night holiday festivities interfere with your sleep schedule. Continue to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. If you need to take a nap during the day aim for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Finally, resist the temptation to put your physical activity routine in the deep freeze once colder temperatures hit. You can reduce migraine frequency and severity by doing aerobic exercise at least three times a week for 30 to 40 minutes each session.
The holidays are a very special and stressful time of year, but you don’t have to accept migraines and headaches as an inevitable “gift” of the season. If you learn how to avoid trigger foods and situations, you’ll enjoy a much happier holiday.
5. Explore Chiropractic
Most chronic migraine and headache sufferers have either heard or read about how chiropractic treatments can help. We have had the pleasure of helping people get relief from headaches for over 40 years here at Beck and Blackley Chiropractic Clinic.
Second only to back pain, headaches are one of the most common conditions regularly managed by chiropractors. Over 230 peer-reviewed articles reference chiropractic’s ability to help cure, prevent and ease the burden of headaches and migraines in people all across the globe. A group trial found that 22 percent of people who had chiropractic treatment saw the number of attacks drop by 90 percent. In that same study, 49 percent said they had a significant reduction in pain intensity. Compared to most medical treatments, few interventions can initiate headache relief like chiropractic adjustments can.
The holiday season is here and we hope that these tips can help everyone have a stress and pain- free time of year. If you have any questions stop by one of our two offices for a free consultation with one of our doctors.
Skeletal muscle cramps can be described as either muscle fatigue cramps and/or a lack of electrolytes cramp (low sodium, low potassium, and/or low magnesium). Dehydration, poor diet, muscle weakness, overexertion, medication use (diuretics, beta blockers, stains), and/or a large change in body temperature (hot or cold) have all been shown to cause cramps. Other conditions that have cramps as a symptom can include: pregnancy, kidney disease, thyroid disease, restless-leg syndrome, varicose veins, and or multiple sclerosis.
Lets focus on the basic muscle cramp so that you know what to do, how to improve it, and how to prevent it. Cramps are involuntary spasms in muscles. They don't typically damage muscles but can be extremely painful and even debilitating. Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night with a sharp squeezing pain in the back of your leg or in your toes ---those are cramps!
In most cases a cramp is best treated by gently stretching the muscle tissue, massage, and/or applying an ice pack/cold compress. If you are fortunate enough to know a Doctor certified in Quantum Neurology they have specific protocols/techniques to relieve muscle cramps. I am a certified Quantum Neurologist at this time and Dr. Ryan Beck will be certified as of November 8, 2014.
I want to give you some tips that will help you keep your muscle cramps to a minimum. Lets start with making sure you drink plenty (at least 6-8 glasses per day) of water. Another beverage you should add to your diet if cramping is Gatorade but it's best to mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with water and I typically recommend it after exerting yourself in a sporting event or exercise activity. Supplementing Magnesium is a key factor when cramping or when trying to prevent cramping. Peter Gillham makes a great tasting supplement called Natural Calm and we have it at our offices.
Now here are a few alternative methods that have really worked on myself as well as many others. Research has shown that pickle juice can help and has high electrolyte properties. Apple cider vinegar, tonic water, and quinine all have positive effects on cramps.
It's always better to prepare for the worst and know what you need to have so that when that cramp decides to show up you'll be ready or if you take the right precautions it should rarely happen at all.
Here at Beck and Blackley, we pride ourselves on getting great results with carpal tunnel syndrome cases. Sometimes they are very simple and other times much more complex. However, it doesn't matter which case it is, conservative treatments should always be attempted before any surgical intervention is done.
Sue, 46-year-old nurse presented with numbness, tingling and weakness in both hands. The first 2 fingers on the right hand were severely numb and tingly. A thorough neurological and orthopedic examination was performed. The results showed a moderate loss in normal cervical (neck) range of motion and a moderate loss in right shoulder range of motion. Positive Phalen's Test. Positive Tinel's Median Nerve. Upon checking her cervical myotomes, (which means muscles that are controlled by nerves from the neck), I found that her C-5 (nerve) deltoid (muscle), C6 biceps, C7 triceps, & C8 finger flexors were ALL below the normal strength level. That being said, carpal tunnel syndrome can affect the entire upper extremity as it did with Sue.
We corrected and up regulated cervical myotomes with the use of Quantum Neurology, neurological rehabilitation, a GRT light, chiropractic and rapid release. Dr. Beck's shoulder protocol and an arthrostim were used in correcting her shoulder and neck range of motion.
This was a very conservative approach and worked extremely well. There's nothing better than helping a person with a complex pain syndrome especially when using a safe, effective, noninvasive treatment to do so.
Susan was ecstatic with the results! What a pleasure it is to be able to change lives without the use of drugs and surgery.