10 Minute Stretching Sequence to do Everyday!

Stretching is usually bottom of everyone’s health list, but it should be at the top! Holding a pose from 10-30 seconds can significantly improve range of motion around your joints. While the best time to stretch is when muscles are warm—say, after a walk or a workout—stretching is so beneficial that whenever you can squeeze it in, you should. Use the following routine to get started. Try to hold each stretch for as long as it takes to breathe five to six slow, deep breaths.

Chest Opener
Muscles targeted: chest, shoulders

Directions:

Stand facing a corner of a room. With your arms at your sides and elbows bent at about shoulder height, press one palm into each wall while staggering your feet behind you.

Slowly lean inward, pressing your chest towards the wall until you feel a stretch in your chest.

Hold without allowing your forearms or hands to move.

Glute Bridge
Muscles targeted: glutes, quads, core

Directions:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet as close to your pelvis as possible.

Press down through your heels and lift your pelvis off the floor.

Continue lifting until your body makes a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (your shoulders should still be on the floor). Keep your knees in line with your feet.

Hold at the top before lowering back down.

Figure-Four Stretch
Muscles targeted: piriformis (a gluteal muscle)

Directions:

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet pressed into the ground.

Cross your left ankle over your right knee, and then reach your hands around your right thigh.

Pull your right thigh towards you (keeping your upper body on the floor). Hold, then repeat on the other side.

Seated Stretch
Muscles targeted: spinal flexors, obliques

Directions:

 Sit with legs extended straight in front of you.

Cross your right leg over your left, planting your right foot outside your left knee.

Twist to the right, placing your left elbow outside your right knee, and look over your shoulder. Hold, then repeat on other side.

Straight-Leg Pull
Muscles targeted: hamstrings

Directions:

Lie on your back with both legs flat against the ground.

Lift your right leg up off the ground, placing your hands behind your right thigh.

Keeping your right leg straight, pull it towards your chest as far as you can. Hold, then repeat on other side.

Pancake Stretch
Muscles targeted: Hip extensors, adductors

Directions:

Sit on the ground with your legs straight and in the shape of the letter “V.”

Hinge forward at the hips and reach your torso towards your toes, getting your upper body as close to the floor as possible between your outstretched legs. Hold, and then walk your arms back toward your body to sit back up.

Calf Stretch Against Wall
Muscles targeted: calves

Directions:

Standing near a wall, place the toes of your right foot on the base of the wall.

Lean in towards the wall, feeling the stretch in your calf.  Make sure not to bend your back leg—only go as far as you can while keeping it straight.

Hold, then repeat on other side.

Should I use ice or heat?

Ice in the first 24 to 72 hours

As a general rule, it is best to apply cold therapy to your lower back in the first 24 to 72 hours following your lower back injury. The application of cold therapy can minimize your inflammation and swelling—which in turn may reduce your pain. In addition, ice can decrease your tissue damage and numb your sore tissues.

There are numerous options for cold therapy, including a frozen bag of vegetables, frozen gel packs, and a frozen towel. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to note the following precautions:

*To avoid ice burn, place a cloth between your skin and whichever source of cold you select.

*Apply cold therapy for no more than 20 minutes at a time. You can apply cold therapy 8 to 10 times per 24 hour period.

Use heat to encourage healing

After your initial swelling and inflammation has subsided, heat therapy can be utilized to encourage healing in your lower back. The application of heat therapy stimulates blood flow to the area, which brings restorative oxygen and nutrients. Additionally, heat can inhibit the transmission of pain signals to your brain and decrease your stiffness.

What about chronic lower back pain?

The simple answer is that there is no right answer. Finding the balance between cold and heat therapy for chronic lower back pain is a process of trial and error—and what might work for one patient may not for another. But when it comes to exercise, many people with chronic back pain find heat therapy helps to warm up their muscles beforehand, while cold therapy helps with pain and inflammation afterwards.

Additionally, if you do suffer from extended or chronic lower back pain make sure to receive care from a qualified medical professional. Relying on self-care for too long may make your back pain worse.

Proadjuster

How can anything so gentle change my spin? 

The Proadjuster utilizes a precise oscillating force with uninterrupted motion. It is able to increase the mobility of the spinal segment by reducing fixation or enabling motion in the abnormal areas. In other words, the Proadjuster is “unsticking” the joint. Have you ever seen a woodpecker tapping into a tree? Hard to imagine that they can go through some of the hardest wood and the Proadjuster is similar to that, comfortable to the human body ad results in a nice change to joint and tissue health. 

Who is it for? 

The Proadjuster is very comfortable for patients of all ages due to the fact that there is no application of manual rotation or thrusting forces. Thus, this greatly reduces any issues associated with osteoporosis conditions or other concerns that aggressive manual techniques might not properly address. 

Chiropractic and Massage together

Massage therapy and chiropractic care are both fantastic treatments for relieving pain, restoring mobility, and increasing overall health. When used together, these compatible therapies extend the health and wellness benefits of each treatment, benefiting the patient in a variety of ways. Massage therapy deals with the soft tissues, where chiropractic focuses on the nervous system, the musculoskeletal structure, and hard tissues. Knowing how these treatments work together can greatly improve your musculoskeletal function, thus improving your overall health.

Massage Prepares the Muscles for Chiropractic Adjustments

Massage therapy focuses on manipulating the soft tissues like muscles, tendons, and ligaments by improving circulation and blood flow that warms these soft tissues, causing them to loosen and relax. To do this, our experienced therapists apply light, moderate, or deep rhythmic hand and arm movements that help alleviate muscle pain and ache, while increasing flexibility. Using a variety of massage techniques, therapeutic massage improves circulation, decreases muscle tension and stiffness, and promotes relaxation. Increasing circulation delivers oxygen and nutrients that stimulate healthy muscle function, which promotes healing, reduces pain, and can prevent future injuries. This process helps muscles dispose of lactic acid that gathers in our muscles, often causing painful muscle spasms and stiffness. Additionally, massage therapists often incorporate stretching, herbal remedies, and aromatherapy into their treatments. A therapist’s healing touch encourages relaxation, while decreasing muscle ache associated with tension and spasms, leaving you feeling less tense and rejuvenated.

Chiropractic Before or After Massage

While massage therapy focuses on the soft tissues, chiropractic care centers on the nervous system and musculoskeletal dysfunction related to hard tissues like the spine, bones, and joints. Because these hard tissues are surrounded by muscles, tendons, and ligaments, tight muscles pull joints out of alignment. Warming, loosening, and relaxing the soft tissues before a chiropractic adjustment helps the bone structures adjust more easily, as tight muscles can sometimes make it difficult to manipulate hard tissues. Because chiropractors perform more extensive physical examinations, make medical diagnoses, order x-rays, MRIs, and other tests, they can help massage therapists identify and treat specific musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Receiving chiropractic care either before or after a therapeutic massage increases the effectiveness of both treatments, improving range of motion, promoting faster healing, extending the length of both treatment benefits, and improving overall function.

Chiropractic for Children

Why do my kids need chiropractic?

A child encounters many physical stresses during their growing years. The resulting problems in children’s spines can occur at almost any point in their development and growth. Since significant spinal trauma can occur at, or prior to birth, many parents elect to have their newborn’s spine checked right after birth. Many developmental milestones such as learning to hold up the head, sitting upright, crawling, and walking are all activities that are affected by spinal alignment and are important times to have a child checked by a chiropractor. Additionally, falls, sports injuries, playground bumps, heavy school bags and sitting all day in the classroom are all physical stresses to the growing child’s spine and nervous system.

How can I tell if my child has spinal problems?

Unless a child has an obvious problem it can be difficult for a parent to recognize when a child’s spine is not working correctly. There are some signs which can indicate spinal problems. These include:

  • disturbed sleeping patterns

  • breastfeeding difficulties in the very young

  • restricted head or neck movement to one side

  • one shoulder higher than the other

Common childhood disorders can also be linked with spinal dysfunction, these include:

  • recurrent ear infections

  • persistent sore throats and colds

  • colic/reflux

  • asthma

  • scoliosis

  • headaches

  • bedwetting and/or constipation

  • growing pains

  • ADHD

One of the most common reasons for parents to seek chiropractic care for their child is physical trauma from an injury of some sort. The spinal misalignments that may occur at the time of the injury will not necessarily result in immediate pain or symptoms. In addition to physical stress, parents should be aware that emotional and chemical stress affect the child’s nervous system and may also warrant a spinal check up.

Massage and its benefits

What is massage?

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are many different types of massage, including what is offered at our office.

  • Deep massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.

Benefits of massage

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and integrative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension.

Some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety

  • Digestive disorders

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Headaches

  • Insomnia related to stress

  • Myofascial pain syndrome

  • Soft tissue strains or injuries

  • Sports injuries

  • Temporomandibular joint pain

What you can expect during a massage

In a typical massage therapy session, you undress or wear loose-fitting clothing. Undress only to the point that you’re comfortable. You generally lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet. You can also have a massage while sitting in a chair, fully clothed. Your massage therapist should perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.

Depending on preference, your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. Tell your massage therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients. If a massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It’s likely to be uncomfortable while your massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.

At our office, massage therapy session start at one hour sessions and up.  No matter what kind of massage you choose, you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage.

Myths about Chiropractic

Myth: Having an adjustment by a chiropractor is not safe.
Truth: According to studies, a chiropractic adjustment can be safer than most day-to-day activities like stargazing, having your hair washed, and more.

Myth: Prescription drugs, including the non-prescription variety, are safe to use.
Truth: Having a negative reaction to a prescription medication is common, and it’s listed within the top three causes of death in the United States. Chiropractic care offers an alternative to these drugs and can provide therapeutic relief from several ailments.

Myth: After you’ve seen a chiropractor once, you’ll need to go back all of the time.
Truth: In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we recommend having regular adjustments. However, we do not put pressure on our patients to return, and the choice to continue is completely their own.

Myth: Chiropractic care does not actually work or is not that effective.
Truth: Chiropractic specialists across the U.S. have helped millions of patients suffering from various ailments. Several celebrities and athletes including Tiger Woods, Christie Brinkley, and countless others have benefitted from chiropractic care.

Myth: Kids should not see a chiropractor and do not need adjustments.
Truth: Chiropractic care is safe for all children of every age, starting from infancy and up to the teenage years.

Myth: The bumps and injuries my kids get throughout childhood are harmless.
Truth: An OSHA study estimates that a child may experience up to 1,500 traumas to the spine before their fifth birthday. If a child regularly sees a chiropractor, the adverse effects of these traumas may be minimized or corrected.

Myth: A chiropractic care specialist isn’t actually a doctor.
Truth: While in school, future chiropractors receive 4,485 hours of college classroom instruction while medical students receive around 4,248 hours.

Myth: Doing self-adjustments at home are safe and can help me.
Truth: A self-adjustment may appear to work due to the short period of relief, but it is actually just a false sense of treatment that has not fixed the underlying problem. In some cases, it may lead to an arthritic condition.

Myth: The sounds you hear during an adjustment are the sound of your bones rubbing together.
Truth: The sound is actually CO2 gas from inside the spine being released. When this occurs, a popping noise can be heard during an adjustment. AFC Physical Medicine & Chiropractic Care Centers now offers a noise-free treatment option.

Myth: Chiropractic care can become costly.
Truth: Several insurance companies, including Medicare, can cover chiropractic adjustments. These health insurers are aware of the statistical benefits of preventative care compared to other treatment options like prescription medication and surgery.

America’s addiction to prescription drugs

One common theme that is seen by your Gainesville chiropractor, Dr. Hudson,  among patients is a desire to get out of pain while avoiding the use of either over-the-counter drugs or prescription medications. The over use of pain killers has been a steady and growing problem in our country. This is one problem chiropractic patients typically want to avoid. The number of people addicted to prescription opioids as well as the number of overdoses related to their use are on the rise and reaching alarming levels. So what can be done?

Many people are introduced to opioids as pain management following surgical procedures. There is a growing movement in the medical field to try to limit the number of opioids. For instance the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia in Nashville has been one such institution that is looking to reduce the use of opioids by using a nerve block technique rather than traditional drugs during surgical procedures. No doubt it will take time for techniques such as this to gain traction and spread through the medical community, but it is encouraging none the less to see the advancement of new techniques aimed at curbing the problems associated with over use of opioids.

Obviously chiropractic care is not a cure all but it is a choice made by a great many patients for acute and chronic pain. Are you looking to get relief from back pain without taking drugs that only mask the symptoms but don’t address the underlying cause? If so maybe chiropractic is for you. Diet, regular exercise and chiropractic care can all be part of your healthy lifestyle. So don’t live with nagging pain. Don’t put off taking care of yourself! Call and schedule with your local Gainesville chiropractor today. Get on the path of living a healthy lifestyle without pain today.

Nighttime light giving you the Blues?

It seems we learn everyday about something new that can affect our health and wellbeing. For instance, did you know that according to many studies and Harvard Medical School nighttime light from artificial sources can significantly affect our health and mood? Not only can artificial light negatively impact our health but blue light has the greatest detrimental impact.

Nighttime light exposure has been linked to many diseases such as sleep disorders, diabetes and even cancers. Why you ask? It seems that exposure to nighttime light can suppress the production of melatonin which can throw of the circadian rhythms, body’s clock, making it difficult to fall asleep when you should.

What can you do to help cut down on this light exposure or minimize it’s affect? Much of our exposure comes from use of our electronic devices such as computers, phones or tablets. The screens on these devices use flat panel technology like many power efficient bulbs that produce that skews to the blue side of the spectrum. If you can’t give up your devices consider using an app that can color shift your screen color at night to reduce exposure to blue light. Apple’s latest version of iOS has a similar feature built in that can color shift the display once the sun sets. If you work at night and can’t avoid exposure, experts also suggest using a pair of glasses that filter out blue light or using red lights.

Living a healthy lifestyle includes so much, but we can now add limiting nighttime light exposure to the list. While we are always learning something new it is also important to remember what we already know.

Living a healthy lifestyle is made up of many things like eating a healthy balanced diet, regular exercise and of course good spinal health. For the later of course don’t wait call today and schedule to see your local Gainesville chiropractor. Get on the road to a wellness lifestyle that keeps your body working as efficiently as possible.