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Chiropractic care is not just about fixing the problem, but also about learning and understanding the kinetics of your body to help prevent its return. Miller Chiropractic Wellness encourages you to be an informed patient to help aid and speed your recovery process.

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No individuals, including those under our active care, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related condition. Diagnosis and treatment of all health conditions should only be performed by the doctor or other licensed health care professional.

Posted by: admin in Monthly Newsletter on April 1st, 2013

Dear Friends and Patients,

The season is fast approaching when young and old alike will spend more and  more hours in sports and activities that require good health for energy, muscular coordination, and general well-being.  As the weather turns warmer, everyone from children to adults will spend more time outdoors and will participate with enthusiasm in bike riding, tennis, golf, walking, jogging, spring softball leagues, or any number of other activities.  So, as you approach this active season,  have you taken time to consider the adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”

Periodic  chiropractic examinations and adjustments can preserve health and aid in preventing the time-consuming process of restoring lost health.  A little time wisely spent now can be much better than much time painfully spent later trying to recover from an injury resulting from a sudden spill or mishap while having fun.

Most families follow the practice of regular dental and medical checkups, but are they receiving the spinal care they should have?  On a daily basis there is increased mental and physical strain on our nerves and muscular systems, causing minor displacements which can develop into aches, pains, and fatigue.  Chiropractic adjustments correct spinal displacements and release vital nerve energy the body must have to remain active and keep that healthy, happy feeling.  Good spinal health is essential to that overall feeling of well-being.

Yours for better health naturally,

Dr. William A. Miller

FOR THAT VIBRANT, HEALTHY FEELING, SEE YOUR CHIROPRACTOR REGULARLY!

BIKE FIT BASICS*

     Whether you ride on-road or off-road, pedal casually or competively, it’s important to pay close attention to how your bicycle fits your body.  A properly fitted bike will allow you to ride comfortably and safely, avoid injury, and produce more power, so you can go faster with the same or less effort.  In general, when fitting a bicycle, there are five basic components to consider.

     1.  Frame size is not necessarily dependent on your height.  It is more a matter of leg length and should be easily straddled with both feet flat on the ground with an inch or two of clearance for a road or hybrid bike and about four inches of clearance for a mountain bike.

     2.  Saddle height should be set so that your knee is slightly bent when the pedal is at its lowest position and the ball of your foot is on the pedal.  A  saddle, or seat, that is too high or too low can cause pain and lead to injuries of the back and knees.

     3.  Saddle position can be checked by sitting on your bicycle (hold onto a friend or a stationary object) and  rotating the pedals until they are horizontal to the ground.  Your forward knee should be directly over the respective pedal axle when the ball of your foot is on the pedal.

     4.  Saddle tilt can be gauged simply by feel or by using a carpenter’s level and should generally be level with the ground.  If the saddle tips too much in either direction, pressure will be placed on your arms, shoulders and lower back.

     5.  Handlebar position and distance is mostly a matter of personal preference because it affects shoulder, neck and back comfort.  Typically, handlebars are positioned higher for comfort (a more upright riding positon) and lower for improved aerodynamics.

ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET!

     A bicycle crash can happen at any time;  however, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, a properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent.  The following are tips to help ensure the correct helment fit: 

  •      The helmet should be level on the head and must cover the forehead.
  •      The Y of the straps should meet just below the ear.
  •      The chin strap should be snug against the chin so that when you open the mouth very wide, the helmet pulls down a little.
  •      Put your palm on the front of the helmet and push up and back.  If it moves more than an inch, more fitting is required.
  •      Shake your head around.  If the helmet dislodges, work on the strap adjustments. 
  •      Do not wear a hat under the helmet.
  •      All helmets sold in bike shops must be approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and should carry a CPSC sticker.

 

HAPPY AND SAFE RIDING! 

JOGGING WITH BABY*

     If you wish to go for a jog and bring your child along for the ride, the baby jogger is your best option.  A baby jogger is a rolling pushcart that a parent can jog behind, using handlebars to maneuver.  Here are some rules of thumb to consider:

  •      Make sure the handlebars of the jogger are both large and adjustable so that they fit comfortably into your hands for complete control.  They should be kept as upright as possible.  
  •      Handbrakes and a locking mechanism are a necessity.
  •      Look for a jogger with a good shoulder harness to keep the child secure.
  •      Large, bicycle tires offer more control and stability. 
  •      A screen over the front of the jogger adds to its safety by deflecting stray flying objects.
  •      Jog only on smooth surfaces.

 

THINK CHIROPRACTIC!

*(Reprinted all or in part with the permission of the American Chiropractic Association) 

 

Posted by: admin in Monthly Newsletter on March 20th, 2013

Dear Patients and Friends,

When springtime arrives, we welcome with great relief, Nature’s renewal of the earth, but the flowers, trees, and grass don’t just burst forth overnight.  They take time making the transition from cold winter dormancy to the warmth of the next season.  The same holds true for our bodies and how they respond to chiropractic care.  Recovery and “new life” doesn’t just happen overnight.  It is impossible to predict exactly how long a patient will take to regain health through chiropractic care.

No two people are alike and recovery depends on various factors, such as age of patient, how much damage has been done to the body, how long the disorder has existed, and the extent of the patient’s cooperation.  Health may not be restored immediately following the correction of nerve interference.  It may take Nature weeks or sometimes months to rejuvenate worn out cells and tissues after chiropractic care begins.  So patients should not allow any temporary discouragement to preclude the ultimate opportunity to regain complete health.

Nature works in man much the same as it does in plants.  If a plant is withering and dying from the need for water, it does not immediately blossom forth in all its splendor when it is watered.  In the process of getting well, time is an important element to the body.  As long as nerve interference is corrected and remains absent, reconstruction in the body will go on.  From there, it is up to the “power within.”

Yours for better health, naturally,

Dr. William A. Miller

Chiropractic Relieves Pain, Restores Health & Prolongs Life!

Treating Sport Injuries*

The most common type of sports injuries are sprains and strains of the extremities.  The tissues involved-muscles, tendons and ligaments-have varying degrees of tensile and elastic properties, making them important for proper function relative to specific actions.  While prevention is the best way to approach sports injuries, properly executed acute care and management are key to effective treatment.  There is an acronym to help us remember what to do:  PRICE.

P-Protection is critical to reducing injuries from becoming more serious, not only from the sport, but from daily activities.  You may require a brace, support belt or any assistive device necessary to protect and aid the body during normal activities to reduce further injury.

R-Rest is necessary to give time for the stages of healing to occur without further injuring the tissue.  During the rest phase our bodies repair the damage from participation, training and conditioning so that we can recover.

I-Ice is the most important step in reducing swelling, in addition to the analgesic effect of the cold.  This should be done for at least 10 to 20 minutes and should be repeated as necessary for at least 24 to 72 hours post-injury.  Make sure the ice is not directly on the skin.

C-Compression is important for reducing edema from the inflammatory response, which can lead to further damage of tissues as a result of continued stretching and tearing.  Compression can be done by use of an elastic bandage to decrease swelling, but you need to check often to make sure it’s not too tight.

E-Elevation is the final concept to aid in reducing swelling to help speed healing.  By elevating the body part above the level of the heart, you aid in drainage of fluids from the inflamed tissues and reduce the damage from overloading injured tissue.*

*(Reprinted with the permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

Spring Gardening Tips

Let your legs and arms do the work instead of your back when you take on those gardening activities this spring.  If you take the necessary precautions, aches and pains and serious injury can be avoided.  Weekend gardeners who have been physically inactive during the winter months, can be especially vulnerable to injury.

When you are lifting dirt and debris, let your arms, legs and thighs carry the load, and don’t try to handle too much at a time.  This should help strengthen the muscles and make your yard work easier at the same time.  Other good safety tips include:

1.  Warm up with a brisk walk and some gentle stretching to loosen and warm up your muscles and increase your musculoskeletal system’s flexibility.

2.  Don’t  do too much work the first day.  If you are primarily a weekend gardener, pace yourself because you may use muscles that you ordinarily would not.

3.  When weeding or working on low plants, kneeling or getting down on your hands and knees is better than bending and twisting from the waist.  Don’t stand and bend from the waist repeatedly.

4.  Keep your back straight when you stand up from a sitting or crouched position.

5.  Use long-handled tools to keep you from bending while raking, digging, or mowing.  Don’t stoop when pushing a wheelbarrow.

6.  Switch hands frequently when doing prolonged raking, hoeing, or digging.  Repetitive motion on one side can bring on low-back and shoulder spasms.

7.  Don’t work too long in one position, especially one that is awkward or unusual.  This can cause muscle imbalance.

8.  Carry only manageable loads.  If a load is too heavy, get help or divide it into smaller loads.

9.  Hold or carry objects close to your body so as not  to risk straining your neck and lower back or losing your balance.

10.  Don’t stay in the sun for prolonged periods without protection.  Take frequent breaks and drink lots of water and wear a hat.

And, most importantly, be regular with your  chiropractic checkups!

Posted by: admin in Monthly Newsletter on February 10th, 2013

Dear Friends and Patients:

February is Heart Month and a good time to look at our habits and make certain we are giving our hearts the best possible chance to serve us long and well.  It is an anatomical fact that branches of spinal nerves distribute to the heart.  Physiology teaches that those spinal nerve branches influence the rate and force of the heart beat as well as circulation of blood through the coronary arteries.

Chiropractic research shows that nerve interference, by irritation, pressure, or abrasion, causes disease in the organ, gland, or tissue at the terminal end of the nerve.  A large insurance company discovered that policy holders who were placed under chiropractic care after suffering heart attacks,  lived longer and enjoyed better health.

The hygiene of the heart definitely involves spinal hygiene, and one of the rules of spinal hygiene is to arrange for periodic examinations.  Total Health must be our aim in preventing heart disease…or any disease.  Chiropractic care is always aimed at Total Health by keeping the nervous system free and clear through adjustments.

If you are acquainted with a victim of heart disease, give him or her the information you have just read.  Take care of your own Total Health by visiting your Doctor of Chiropractic regularly!

Yours for better health, naturally,

Dr. William A. Miller

Keep on Keeping Well!  Develop the Once-A-Month Chiropractic Check-Up Habit! 

THE HEART

When normal, the heart beats from 65 to 80 times a minute, pumping a total of 500 gallons of blood a day.  During a normal lifetime the heart beats 2,500,000,000 times and pumps a total of nearly 15,000,000 gallons.

The heart must function continually and consistently 24 hours a day in order for the body to enjoy maximum health.   Of all the organs in the body, the heart does the most actual physical work.  It is the great pump of the circulatory system that forces blood to even the smallest parts of the body, delivering oxygen and life-giving food to every cell and tissue of every organ so that it may function properly.

Though we are unaware of it, brain power and nerve energy must precede the contraction of the heart muscles.  This vital nerve energy is directed through the spinal column by the brain and can be reduced by pressure or impingement of nerve fibers.  Regular chiropractic care and spinal adjustments will correct displaced vertebrae, release nerve pressure, and restore impaired function of the heart.

You can help reduce your risk of heart attack by doing these things:

1.  Watch your diet. Most researchers agree that a diet rich in saturated fats and cholesterol increase your chances of heart attack.

2.  Keep your weight normal. If you’re 30% over normal weight, you run twice the risk of heart attack in middle age.

3.  Keep physically fit. Exercise regularly and moderately.  Activities that exercise the leg muscles are especially good.

4.  Don’t smoke. Heavy cigarette smokers get coronary heart disease at a rate two or three times higher than non-smokers.

5.  See your chiropractor regularly.*

HEALTHY AGING

The number of people living longer is increasing dramatically.  An estimated 4.2 million U.S. residents now fall into the age group of the “oldest old” – 85 years and older – with more than 40,000 having reached the age of 100.  Evidence suggests, however, that good genes are only a small part of the longevity puzzle.  In fact, researchers now believe that chronic illness is not an inevitable consequence of aging, but that it results more often from lifestyle choices that we’re perfectly free to reject.  Follow this advice for health aging:

  • Embrace a positive attitude – positive emotions may affect overall health through improving the immune function indirectly.
  • Challenge your mind – consider mentally challenging activities such as crossword puzzles or learning a new language.
  • Limit stress – humor, meditation, exercise, and optimism are good ways to naturally reduce stress and relieve tension.
  • Stay connected – social contacts may encourage us to take better care of ourselves or help us get through difficult times.
  • Embrace exercise – find fun ways to stay in shape and feel good, such as dancing, gardening, cutting the grass, swimming, walking or jogging.
  • Make healthy diet choices – choose whole natural foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, good (unsaturated) fats such as nuts, legumes, and healthy sources of protein (white meat, fish and eggs).

Choose quality health care – be sure that your health care provider supports various approaches to health care to present you with the safest and most effective treatment options available, and that he or she encourages you to be responsible for your health and involves you in decisions regarding your care.*

*(Reprinted with permission from the American Chiropractic Association)

CHIROPRACTIC ADDS YEARS TO LIFE AND LIFE TO YEARS!

Posted by: admin in Articles on February 1st, 2013

Each year Americans spend millions of dollars on travel, for business and pleasure.  All too often we are so tired from the traveling that it may be hours or days until we’re back on our feet .  No matter how you travel, you can arrive at your destination refreshed, relaxed and ready to go.

Don’t spend all your time sitting and looking out the window.  Get up and stretch as often as you can.  This will loosen muscles and prevent strain.  If you go by car or bus, take advantage of the rest stops.  Go outside, take a breath of fresh air, walk around.

If you’re planning a trip, a doctor of chiropractic can give you sound advice on staying comfortable.  If you’re back from a trip and feeling stiff, a chiropractic examination should be done to determine where your problems may be and how they can be corrected.

The Strain of Sitting

Whether travelling alone on business or on the way to a sunny resort with the family, long hours in a car or on an airplane can leave anyone stressed, tired, stiff and sore.  Prolonged sitting can wreak havoc on your body.  Even if you travel in a comfortable car or fly first class, certain pressures and forces from awkward positions can restrict the blood flow, building up pressure in the blood vessels, especially in your lower legs.

Treat travel as an athletic event.  Warm up before settling into a car or plane, and cool down once you reach your destination.  Take a brisk walk to stretch your hamstring and calf muscles.

In an Airplane

  • Stand up straight and feel the normal “S” curve of your spine.  Then use rolled-up pillows or blankets to maintain that curve when you sit.  Tuck a pillow behind your back just above the beltline and put another pillow across the gap between our neck and the headrest.  If the seat is hollowed from wear, use folded blankets to raise your buttocks.
  • Check all bags heavier than 5 to 10 percent of your body weight.  While lifting your bags, stand in front of the overhead compartment.  Do not lift your bags over your head,  rotate your spine or turn or twist your head and neck in the process.
  • When pushing your belongings under the seat, do not force the object with an awkward motion using your legs, feet or arms.  This may cause muscle strain or spasms in the upper thighs and lower back muscles.  Instead, sit in your seat, and gently guide your bags under the seat directly in front of you with your hands and feet.
  • While seated, change your position occasionally to improve circulation and avoid leg cramps.  Bring your legs in and move your knees up and down.  Prop your legs up on a book or a bag under your seat.

Travel by Car

  • Sit as close to the steering wheel as comfortably possible, with knees slightly higher than your hips.
  • Using a back support may reduce the incidence of low-back strain and pain.  The widest part of the support should be between the bottom of your rib cage and your waistline.
  • Take rest breaks to avoid fatigue.  Exercise your legs to reduce the risk of swelling, fatigue, or discomfort.  Open your toes as wide as you can, and count to 10.  Count to five while you tighten your calf muscles, then your thigh muscles, then your gluteal muscles.  Roll your shoulders forward and back.
  • Loosen and tighten your grip on the steering wheel to improve hand circulation and decrease muscle fatigue in the arms and hands.
  • While always being careful to keep your eyes on the road, vary your focal point while driving to reduce the risk of eye fatigue and tension headaches.

 The Bottom Line

If you follow these simple steps, you can enjoy pain free, safe travel.  If you do experience pain and stress from travel, doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to diagnose and treat problems of the spine and nervous system.*

*(Reprinted with permission of The American Chiropractic Association)

Posted by: admin in Articles on February 1st, 2013

Pain serves an important function in our lives.  When you suffer an acute injury, pain warns you to stop the activity that is causing the injury and tells you to take care of the affected body part.  Chronic pain, on the other hand, persists for weeks, months, or even years.  Some people, often older adults, suffer from chronic pain without any definable past injury or signs of body damage.  Common chronic pain can be caused by many conditions including, but not limited to, headaches, low back problems, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.

Until recently, some doctors who could not find a physical cause for a person’s pain simply suggested that it was imaginary–”all in your head.”  This is unfortunate because we know that all pain is real and not imagined, except in the most extreme cases of psyshosis.  Emerging scientific evidence is demonstrating that the nerves in the spinal cord of patients with chronic pain undergo structural changes.

Psychological and social issues often amplify the effects of chronic pain.  For example, people with chronic pain frequently report a wide range of limitations in family and social roles, such as the inability to perform household or workplace chores, taking care of children, or engaging in leisure activities.  In turn, spouses, children, and co-workers often have to take over these responsibilities.  Such changes often lead to depression, agitation, resentment, and anger for the pain patient and to stress and strain in family and other social relationships.

How is depression involved with chronic pain?

Depression is the most common emotion associated with chronic pain.   It is thought to be 3 to 4 times more common in people with chronic pain than in the general population.  In addition, 30% to 80% of people with chronic pain will have some type of depression.  The combination of chronic pain and depression is often associated with greater disability than either depression or chronic pain alone.

People with chronic pain and depression suffer dramatic changes in their physical, mental, and social well-being and in their quality of life.  Such people often find it difficult to sleep, are easily agitated, cannot perform their normal activities of daily living, cannot concentrate, and are often unable to perform their duties at awork.  This constellation of disabilitites starts a vicious cycle in that pain leads to more depression, which leads to more chronic pain.  In some cases, the depression occurs before the pain.

Until recently, we believed that bed rest after an injury was important for recovery.  This has likely resulted in many chronic pain syndromes.  Avoiding performing activities that a person believes will cause pain only makes his or her condition worse in many cases.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the common signs and symptoms of chronic pain include:

  • Pain beyond 6 months after an injury
  • Allodynia-pain from stimuli which are not normally painful and/or pain that occurs other than in the stimulated area
  • Hyperpathia-increased pain from stimuli that are normally painful
  • Hypersensation-being overly sensitive to pain

Some major clinical depression will occur daily for 2 weeks or more, and often include many of the following:

  • A predominant feeling of sadness-feeling blue, hopeless, or irritable, often with crying spells
  • Changes in appetite or weight (loss or gain) and/or sleep (too much or too little)
  • Poor concentration or memory
  • Feeling restless or fatigued
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, including sex
  • Feeling of worthlessness and/or guilt

It may help to stay active and to not avoid activities that cause pain simply because they cause pain.  The amount and type of activity should be directed by your doctor, so that activities that might actually cause more harm are avoided.  Relaxation training, hypnosis, biofeedback, and guided imagery can help you cope with chronic pain.  Cognitive therapy can also help patients recognize destructive patterns of emotion and behavior and help them modify or replace such behaviors and thoughts with more reasonable or supportive ones.  Distraction (redirecting your attention away from chronic pain), imagery (going to your “happy place”), and disassociation (detaching yourself from the chronic pain) can be useful.  Involoving your family with your recovery may be quite helpful, according to recent scientific evidence.

Feel free to discuss these or other techniques with your doctor of chiropractic.  He or she may suggest some simple techniques that may work for you or may refer you to another health care provider for more in-depth training in these techniques.*

*(Reprinted with the permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

 

What is the treatment for chronic pain and depression?

The first step in coping with chronic pain is to determine its cause, is possible.  Addressing the problem will help the pain subside.  In other cases, especially when the pain is chronic, you should try to keep the chronic pain from being the entire focus of your life.

 

Posted by: admin in Monthly Newsletter on January 8th, 2013

Dear Patients and Friends,

Your spinal column participates in all major movements of the body–reaching, stooping, and bending (whether to one side, backward, or forward).  Even in movements of the arms and legs the spinal column is involved in aiding the muscles attached to the spinal column that move them.   It is also a great body balancing mechanism as it bends when you bend and permits the pelvis to shift in maintaining body balance and can sometimes be distorted by your daily work habits.  It shares the shock of all great impacts to the body, whether at work or play, in collisions, falls or other accidents.  When you give consideration to these facts and to the fact that spinal nerves are affected by vertebral misalignments and because they influence the health of all body organs, the importance of chiropractic examinations becomes obvious because of the health risk of neglecting these examinations.

The chiropractor examines the spinal column and finds which of the spinal vertebrae are out of place, and by a system of skilled adjustments, puts them back in proper alignment again.  With this accomplished, nature does the real work of healing.

It is important that you and all your family have regular chiropractic checkups.  By doing this, spinal problems can be detected in the early stages and corrected, allowing the free flow of nerve energy to keep you in maximum health.

Yours for better health naturally,

Dr. William A. Miller

Chiropractic and Good Health–A Winning Combination!

Migraine Headaches

     Headaches are one of the most common health problems around.  They can be so-called nervous headaches, sinus headaches, eye-strain headaches, indigestion headaches, or the very severe migraine headaches.

     A good night’s sleep might cure some of them, but the migraine headache is an entirely different matter.  It can be characterized by:  severe pain, usually to one side of the head, distorted vision, nausea, complete disability during an attack, and an inability to withstand light or even the slightest noise.  If these symptoms have been a frequent occurrence in your life, you should go to your chiropractor for a spinal checkup.

     The immediate pain of a migraine headache is caused by a spasm of certain blood vessels of the brain.  This spasm causes a congestion of blood within the blood vessels and thus the typical throbbing migraine pain.  Research and experience by doctors of chiropractic have revealed that interference to the nerves supplying the blood vessels is the cause of blood vessel spasm.  The nerve interference, in turn, is caused by spinal distortion.

     You might not recall any incidents in which your spine received an impact that might have caused displacement of the vertebrae.  Many times these go unnoticed, but they can still cause problems.  Your chiropractor is a specialist in locating and correcting spinal distortion.  By means of gentle manipulation, the offending vertebrae can be restored to their correct position, relieving nerve interference and allowing the nerves to operate normally.

     If you are having problems with headaches of any type, see your chiropractor for relief.

In 2013, Resolve to See Your Chiropractor for Regular Spinal Checkups!

Take Special Care During Cold Weather Exercise

     Exercising outdoors in cold weather can be exhilarating.  There are some special considerations to remember for cold-weather exercise:

  • Don’t overdress.  Exercise raises body temperature significantly and can make you feel 30 degrees warmer.  Wear several thin layers of loose-fitting clothing.
  • Middle layer should be thermal underwear made of a fabric that draws sweat away from your body.
  • Outer jacket should be water and wind resistant.
  • Zippers makes clothes more adaptable for controlling the amount of air you let in or for removing quickly.  Mittens are warmer than gloves. 
  • Headgear is important to prevent heat loss from the top of your head.  Shoes need to be of good traction.
  • Drink fluids before, during and after exercise.  Skip alcohol and caffeine as they are dehydrating.

Have a Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year!

Posted by: admin in Articles on January 4th, 2013

A Chiropractic Approach to Osteoporosis

Being able to move without pain or other limitations is extremely important in maintaining an acceptable quality of life, particularly as the mean age in society is moving upward.  A common cause for being admitted to an assisted living facility is due to morbidity and immobilization from osteoporosis.  In this widespread disorder, the bones weaken and become brittle as a result of demineralization and increased bone resorption rates.

While it is often thought of as an older person’s disease, osteoporosis can strike at any age and starts a chain reaction of poor quality of life, loss of mobility, pain and ultimately death.  The good news is that it can be addressed and reversed in the early and even some later stages.  Chiropractors are well positioned to assist people with this disease through a natural approach.

An estimated 44 million Americans are afflicted with osteoporosis.  The disease affects 55 percent of the people 50 years and older and often leads to fractures.  Approximately one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.  In 2005, osteoporosis was responsible for more than 2 million fractures, costing an estimated $19 billion, and is expected to rise to 30 billion by 2025.  In 2007, more people died from osteoporosis-related injuries than from ovarian and breast cancer.

Even more worrisome is the evidence of osteoporosis in pre-menopausal, younger women who frequently dieted in their teens and 20′s.  Many of these young women did not have substantial nutrition to build and maintain healthy bones or deposit sufficient mineral content to get them through aduthood and childbearing years.  Combining this with the growing baby boomer generation just starting to become seniors, the statistical data point to an epidemic that requires the attention of the chiropractic community.  The problem of osteoporosis is significant and will continue to grow.

Osteoporosis Prevention

Compared to other life-threatening conditions, osteoporosis prevention is simple, affordable, and easy to implement.  Undertaking the rsponsibility of educating the public about osteoporosis, as well as recommended natural treatment approaches, should be a major part of the chiropractic message.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) lists five simple steps for an individual to optimize bone health and prevention:

1.   Engage in regular weight-bearing exercise.

2.   Get the daily recommended amounts of calcium and Vitamin D.

3.    Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.

4.    Have a bone density test, and take medication when appropriate.

5.    Talk with your health care provider about bone health.

The great news from these guidelines above is that osteoporosis is a preventable disease.  Most significant is that each of these steps falls squarely into the field of chiropractic.  As the NOS and its research have shown, a sensible approach to treating osteoporosis is a combination of early detection, weight-bearing exercise, implementing lifestyle changes that promote bone growth, proper nutritional support, and adding pharmaceutical intervention in more advanced cases.

Preventing osteoporosis can be as simple as staying up-to-date on your bone density tests.  If it has been over a year since you’ve had the test and you have any of the risk factors of osteoporosis, then a bone density test would be the next step.

Bone mineral density (BMD) tests are simple, cost effective and non-invasive.  They measure bone density quickly and accurately in various sites of the body.  Virtually every hospital or radiology clinic has modern, safe equipment and accepts referrals from chiropractors.  Most BMD tests are also fully covered and even recommended by many health insurance companies.  It is also helpful to interpret bone-related hormone levels via blood analysis.  Many of these can be accomplished with pinprick blood kits in lieu of blood draws and are therefore avaliable for the DC to perform.

Treating Osteoporosis

Once diagnosed with osteoporosis, the patient should start with weight-bearing exercise, as an initial form of treatment.  Weight-bearing exercise can be done in many forms including exercise bands, free weights and a variety of resistance machines.   Whole body vibration (WBV) is a form of weight-bearing exercise that has been particularly well documented to benefit bone growth.

WBV is a safe, effective and affordable form of in-office treatment exercise and rehabilitation.  With very few contraindications, WBV has a very high compliance rating because of its ease of use.  The vertical displacement of the WBV platforms creates sufficient micro-contractions of the muscles to exercise and strengthen the muscles and bones.  A minimum of 3 to 5 mm vertical displacement at a frequency of 20Hz and 50 Hz is the recommended unit requirement.  By using specific static and dynamic exercise patterns, chiropractors can incorporate WBV as part of their osteoporosis treatment programs.

Weight-bearing exercises like WBV are particularly effective for osteoporosis when combined with proper nutritional supplementation.  Many of the supplement companies in the chiropractic world offer various combinations of nutrients as osteorosis supplements.  At a minimum, an osteoporotic supplement should include vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but other natural products can provide synergistic benefits as well.

Along with early dectection, exercise and nutrition, lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation and reducing alcohol consumption, are important components of addressing osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis represents a huge problem facing the American public.  Take the time to learn more about preventing and treating osteoporosis before any symptoms begin to show up.*

*(Reprinted with permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

 

Posted by: admin in Monthly Newsletter on December 22nd, 2012

Dear Patients and Friends,

The holiday season is once again upon us, a time for joy, counting our blessings, and gathering with family and friends.  It is a time full of good cheer, but can also be a time of added stress.  It’s fun to get into the holiday spirit and participate in all the festive activities surrounding us this time of year, but the added demands of the season can also stress the capabilities of our bodies.  Remember to take care of yourself.  Try these tips for handling the holidays in a healthy, happy way:

  • The combination of physical exertion and emotional stress can increase your back pain.  Remember to lift heavy objects with your legs, remove unnecessary items from your heavy purse and stretch your muscles before and after any chore or activity.
  • Manage your stress better so it doesn’t affect your holiday fun.  Try thinking positively, using aromatherapy or drinking tea or getting a massage.
  • Treat travel as an athletic event.  Warm up before sitting in a car or on a plane, and cool down once you’ve reached your destination.  While seated, vary your position occasionally to improve circulation and to avoid leg cramps.
  • With all of the parties, shopping, decorating, and baking, sleep often takes a backseat during the holidays, but sleep is critical to good health and functioning.  Exercise regularly, limit your intake of caffiene, and keep your bedroom at a cool, comfortable temperature to help your body get the rest that it needs.*

Don’t let a painful back interfere with your holiday pleasure.  Remember to seek  help from your chiropractor if you are plagued by back pain from overdoing or straining during the holidays!

Yours for better health naturally,

Dr. William A. Miller

Enjoy a Happy, Healthy Holiday With Regular Chiropractic Care!

Preparation for Outdoor Winter Activities Prevents Injury

Winter recreational activities and chores can pose problems for the outdoor enthusiast whose body is not in condition.  Ice skating, skiing and sledding can cause painful muscle spasms, strains or tears if you’re not in shape.  Snow shoveling, climbing over snow banks, slipping on sidewalks and wearing the wrong kinds of clothing can cause spasms, strains, and strains.

Simply walking outside in the freezing weather without layers of warm clothing can intensify older joint problems and cause a great deal of pain.  As muscles and blood vessels contract to conserve the body’s heat, the blood suppy to the extremities is reduced.  This lowers the functional capacity of many muscles, potentially causing injury.  Simply put, a 15-minute warm-up routine will make your time outdoors much more pleasant and safe.

Shoveling: Listen to weather forecasts so you can schedule enough time for exercise before beginning.  Layer clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.  Do some warm-up stretching before grabbing that snow shovel.  Try to shovel only a few inches of snow at a time to keep up with a heavy snowfall so that you are not faced with shoveling a deep snowfall all at once.  Push the snow straight ahead and try not to throw it.  Walk it to the snow bank. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.  Bend your knees to lift and let your legs and arms do the work, not your back.  Take frequent breaks to take the strain off your muscles because a fatigued body is asking for injury.  Stop if you feel chest pain or have shortness of breath and seek immediate professional help.

Skiing: Do 10 to 15 squats.  Stand with legs shoulder width apart, knees aligned over your feet.  Slowly lower your buttocks as you bend your knees over your feet.  Stand up straight again.

Ice  Skating: Do several lunges.  Take a moderately advanced step with one foot.  Let your back knee come down to the floor while keeping your shoulders in position over your hips.  Repeat the process with your other foot.

Sledding: Do knee-to-chest stretches to fight compression injuries caused by repetitive bouncing over the snow.  Either sitting or lying on your back, pull your knees to your chest and hold for up to 30 seconds.

After any of these activities, if you are sore, apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take if off for a couple of hours.  Repeat a couple of times each day over the next day or two.  If your continue to feel soreness or pain, it may be time to visit your Chiropractor.*

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with good health and abundant happiness!

*(Reprinted in part with permission of the American Chiropractic Association).

Posted by: admin in Monthly Newsletter on November 7th, 2012

Dear Patients and Friends:

Thanksgiving is therapy for the heart, and at this time of year, we want take a few minutes to reflect on the many blessings that have come our way.  We are conscious of such blessings and privileges and cannot recount these for long without feeling true Thanksgiving of the heart.

It’s good to make a Thanksgiving list and we’d like to share our list with you.

  • We are thankful for family and friends and home.
  • We are thankful for the memories of other Thanksgiving seasons.
  • Most especially, for all of you, our patients.  We are grateful that you have given us the opportunity to serve you and share in the privilege of your healing.
  • And we thank you for sharing your good news with others so that they, too, may enjoy improved health through chiropractic.

Yours for better health naturally,

Dr. William A. Miller

We Wish You and Your Family a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Understanding Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The thoracic outlet is a small space between the collarbone (clavicle) and the first rib.  Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is a group of disorders that involve compression, or irritation of the nerves, blood vessels, or veins in the thoracic outlet.  This can cause pain in the shoulders and neck and numbness in the fingers.

What are the Causes?

The cause of the compression can vary and may include:

1.  Anatomical defects:  Inherited defects present at birth, including a cervical rib-an extra rib located above the first rib-or an abnormally tight fibrous band connecting the spine to the rib.

2.  Poor posture:  Drooping the shoulders or holding the head in a forward position can cause compression in the thoracic outlet.

3.  Trauma:  A traumatic event, such as a car accident, can cause internal changes that then compress the nerves in the thoracic outlet.

4.  Repetitive activity:  Doing the same activity over and over can wear on the body’s tissues.  You may notice symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome if your job requires repetition of a movement, such as typing on a computer for extended periods, working on an assembly line, or stocking shelves and repeatedly lifting things above your head.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome, as well as their intensity, vary between individuals and depend on the location of the compression site.  When nerves are compressed, signs and symptoms often include:

  • Numbness or  tingling in the neck, shoulder, arm or fingers
  • An ache in the arm or hand
  • Weakening grip
  • Difficulty with fine-motor tasks

Compression of one or more veins or arteries can result in symptoms such as:

  • Bluish discoloration of the hand
  • Swelling or puffiness in the arm or hand
  • Coldness of hands or fingers
  • Throbbing lump near the collarbone (clavicle)
  • Deep pain in the neck and shoulder region that may increase at night
  • Arms and hands that are easily fatigued

How is it Diagnosed?

Because TOS doesn’t have unique symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose.  It is important to differentiate TOS from other conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder tendinitis and a herniated cervical disk.  A detailed health history and thorough physical examination are the most important components in establishing the diagnosis of TOS.  Your Doctor of Chiropractic may also recommend xrays, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), laboratory tests, or a nerve conduction velocity test if he or she suspects TOS.

How is it Treated?

In the vast majority of neurological TOS cases, a conservative, non-surgical approach to treatment is most effective, especially when the condition is diagnosed early.  A chiropractic treatment plan for TOS may include a mix of joint mobilization/manipulation, physical therapy modalities, home stretching exercises, and soft-tissue therapy.*  (Read the entire article on our website-www.millerchiropracticwellness.com).

Did You Know?

More than half of the U.S. soldiers medically evacuated from Iraq and treated at military pain treatment centers weren’t suffering from battle wounds, but for bad backs.  Today’s soldiers carry heavy body armor, serve long deployments in challenging terrains, sit in uncomfortable positions while riding in long convoys, sleep on notoriously ill-supporting Army cots and face the day-to-day stress of living in a war zone, all being the ultimate recipe for musculoskeletal injuries.

Once upon a time, military doctors treated a malady they called “rucksack palsy,” caused by carrying heavy backpacks for many miles.  Today’s soldiers still must carry heavy loads, including 30 pounds or more of body armor.  Hiking over challenging terrain, sitting in uncomfortable positions in long convoys and sleeping on sagging cots all help to contribute to the continual stain on the spines of our servicemen.  Intense vibration combined with poorly designed seats affect the low backs of helicopter pilots and air crews as well as lifting heavy ordinance onto the bomb racks of a wing or pushing aircraft around on a flight deck.  The G-forces experienced by jet pilots on a daily basis compress the spinal disks, and many complain of severe headaches and back pain.

Acceptance by the military medical establishment has been spotty at times, but chiropractors say the troops themselves have been quick to embrace chiropractic.  “We can hardly meet the demands.  We just take good care of our patients, get them better, and that speaks for itself.  We’ve never had to go out and look for business.  There’s always somebody waiting to get in here,”  says Dr. McKinney, McCullough’s care provider at Eglin Air Force Base, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and practicing at Eglin since 2003.*  (Read the entire article at www.ChiroVoice.org, ChiroHealth Newsletter, August 2010).

Develop the Once-A-Month Chiropractic Tune-Up Habit

*(reprinted in part with permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

Posted by: admin in Articles on November 7th, 2012

Understanding Your Body Mass Index

Body mass index, or BMI, is important to understanding the health consequences your weight has on your body.  Researchers have found that BMI can be directly related to a person’s risk for many diseases.  Because increased weight and obesity have such a profound effect on health, making it the leading cause in preventing many diseases, knowing your BMI is as important as understanding your cholesterol and blood pressure.

You can easily calculate your BMI using your weight and height with the following equation:

  • Multiply your weight x 704.
  • Square your height (in inches).
  • Divide your weight from step 1 by your height in step 2 to determine your BMI.

As an example, a woman weighing 155 pounds who is 5 feet 4 inches tall would calculate her BMI as follows:

  • 155 x 704 = 109120.
  • 64 inches2 = 4096.
  • 109120/4096 = a BMI of 26.6.

According to the World Health Organization, there are three categories of obesity:

  • BMI of 25 – 29.9:  grade 1 obesity (moderately overweight)
  • BMI of 30 – 39.9:  grade 2 obesity (severely overweight)
  • BMI of >40:  grade 3 obesity ( massive/morbid obesity)

A BMI of 27 or higher is associated with increased morbidity and mortality and is generally considered the point at which some form of treatment for obesity is required.  A BMI between 25 and 27 is considered a warning sign and may warrant intervention, especially in the presence of additional risk factors, such as diabetes or cardiovascular conditions.  To calculate you target BMI, use the following formula:

  • Desired BMI x height squared/704 = goal weight.*

*(Reprinted with permission of the American Chiropractic Association).

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