Nurses, employers should work together to reduce fatigue, it effects your mind...impaired problem solving and creativity, reduced comphrehension, reduced memory, and impaired sleep...(Susan Trossman, RN)...read more; The American Nurse, January/February 2015
When SCM becomes dysfunctional as a result of myofascial trigger points, whiplash-type injury, impact trauma in sports, or poor sleeping habits, it can wreak havoc on the movement system of the body.........Perry Nickelston, DC.............read more; Dynamic Chiropractic, February, 2015
Oh Weather Outside is Frightful; Tips to Protect Your Back This Winter Season
Donald Valentine, DC, MSW
As the snow begins to fall, you know you’ll have to get back into the annual routine of shoveling your driveways and sidewalks. How can the process of removing something so naturally beautiful, soft, and fluffy cause so much chaos in our bodies? Maybe it’s the weekend warrior approach, or maybe it’s the git’ er dun mentality that drives us up to and through any pain we feel? Or is it simply the monotony of push-lift-throw for a few hundred repetitions (multiple days in the week…I hope not this year) performed by an inadequately prepared body?
Each winter season people suffer from muscle fatigue, low back strain, vertebral disc damage, and even spinal fractures. Remember that shoveling can be as demanding as weightlifting or running on a treadmill. And as an interesting fact, according to a study at Cornell University on the Ergonomic Design of the Snow Shovel, the L5/S1 disc is the weakest link in the body motion chain during the task of lifting a heavy snow shovel. By the way, L5/S1 is the last disc at the base of your spine and it’s the one associated with dreaded sciatic pain. The point to make here is that the most severe injuries and pain incurred by snow shoveling are most likely to occur in the back region.
Now you are talking in my language. Chiropractors are back region specialists who can offer natural pain relieving treatment without the use of drugs or surgery. Anyone with low back pain should seek treatment options from a licensed chiropractor. The main method of treatment is hands-on work or manipulation of the spine, muscles, or soft tissue structures associated with the presenting complaint. I’ll save that for a later discussion.
But I digress, this article is about protecting backs from the burden of shoveling snow. Here are a few helpful tips to prepare you for the inevitable snow shovel routine:
• Warm Up: Muscles that are prepared to work are far less likely to get injured. Take some time to stretch your shoulders, legs, and back to prepare yourself for activity.
• Good Posture: Stand tall, think good posture. Avoid leaning forward and bending at the waist when lifting. Lift with your legs and maintain the natural curves in your spine!
• Choose Good Shovel: A push shovel is relatively safer than one designed for lifting. Choose your shovel size based on your strength. Choose plastic- it may not be as durable, but it is lighter that aluminum or steel. The ergonomic handles are a good choice. Snow can weigh over 20 pounds per shovel when compact and wet.
• Body Position and Leverage: Place your hands far enough apart to easily lift the shovel. Lift and dump the snow in front of you. Do not twist or throw over your shoulder.
• Pace: Move and shovel at a safe pace. Pay attention to how much you sweat and how hard you are breathing.
This list is by no means exhaustive, rather, it should highlight the broader goal of preparing your body to do hard work with less or no injury. And in the event that pain finds your body during this Winter season, do not hesitate to consider chiropractic as a natural remedy.
For more information or to set up an appointment
please contact S’eclairer. Phone: 724-468-3999
Whether a pain is a mild irritation lasting just moments or severe and lasting for weeks, months, or years, there is an inner instinct to seek a remedy for pain symptoms. As a natural healthcare practitioner, I must keep in mind that pain is an indicator, not a condition in itself. Think about it! The pain is the signal of some problem in one or more tissues in the body. The solution is determining what tissues, organs, and/or body systems are at fault and finding the most appropriate way to help it heal. If pain itself is managed alone, then the problem is never addressed.
Medical management of pain plays an important role when the pain affects the quality of life—basic self care, temperament, and regular daily activities. In this light, treating pain as a component of the condition is straight-forward.
As a chiropractor, I seek to solve the underlying prob-lem causing the pain by understanding the source. Once that is understood then, hands-on, manual therapies can safely begin. Treatment is an organized approach that can include one or more modalities that facilitate many levels of motion and healing processes, such as, traction, stretch-ing, trigger point therapy, deep tissue, myofascial, mobi-lization/ manipulation, exercise, and nutritional support.
The ultimate goal is safe, natural healing and to be vibrantly aware of our body’s capabilities versus having anxiety or dread over the mystery of pain. Discover the medicine of motion through chiropractic care!
Research confirms that services provided by chiroprac-tors are not only clinically effective but also cost-effective. In a recent article in JAMA, chiropractic care was suggested for the treatment of low back pain. To learn more about the benefits of chiropractic care, contact Donald L. Valentine, DC, MSW at S’eclairer by calling 724-468-3999.
Ref JAMA, Patient Page, April 24, 2010, Vol 309, No.16 Fam. Med.: 2013, Nov-Dec, 11(6) 527-35, http;//www.acatoday.org/press_css.cfm?CID=5185
The healing nature of touch has been realized for hundreds and even thousands of years as evidenced, for example, in ancient Greek, Chinese, and Hindu writings dating back as far as 3000 BC. From ancient times to present day, millions of people have and continue to seek the right kind of healing touch to relieve pain and illness. How does touch work to reduce pain and help the body heal? To answer this question we must first figure out what touch is. Touch is a form of stress. And its effect on a target tissue is a form of strain. The amount of strain depends on how hard one touches, in what direction the force is applied, and how much time the force is applied on a given tissue. Common stresses (aka touches) seen in manual therapy include joint manipulation, percussion, light contact, deep pressure, stroking, passive stretching and vibration. Just as healthy activity and exercise stretch and deform soft tissue structures, all forms of therapeutic touch appear to create physical changes in cellular structure consequently stimulating a cellular response mechanism. The target cell membranes can detect the mechanical forces and respond by altering cell shape, behavior, and produce chemical signals that can aid the target tissue (1). But what is even more interesting is that not only does the target tissue respond to the touch stress, but neighboring tissue cells outside of the touch field respond in a similar fashion through an intracellular communication pathway.
We now know that too little (or too much) movement can cause disorganization in collagen, loss of healthy cell structure, and on a macro level, muscular/tendon/ligament weakness and fibrosis. Ultimately the end result can be cell death if we do not move, or move too much (2). It appears we have yet another balancing act to manage. However, this intracellular connection and its requirement for movement and physical stress is why we need to stay active as much as we can.
Finding the exact form of therapeutic touching necessary for optimal tissue repair has not been an exact science as of yet. Some studies indicate a light touch whereas other studies suggest deep, aggressive methods. I think it is fair to say that there is an art to touch in the healing realm in that not every person can tolerate the same pressures as indicated in some techniques. In these cases, the practitioner must weigh the appropriateness of the procedure and apply the next effective approach. The bottom line though is that our bodies need physical movement to survive and that touch is and effective natural and nurturing intervention to facilitate our vitality.
1. Langevin HM, Bouffard NA, Badger GJ, et al. Dynamic fibroblast cytoskeletal response to subcutaneous tissue stretch ex vivo and in vivo. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 2005;288:C747-56.
2. Falanga V, Kirsner RS. Low oxygen stimulates proliferation of fibroblasts seeded as single cells. J Cell Physiol, 1993;154(3)506-10.