Monday, August 22, 2016

Backpacks and Back Pain in Kids

Would you believe about two-thirds of kids have back pain? It’s true. In one study, 64% of kids complained of back pain. One common reason for this is that backpacks are too heavy. 

How heavy is too heavy? A researcher asked 3,500 students in a study and found that carrying more than 20% of their body weight in a backpack led to more back problems.

If your child is having back pain, weigh their backpack with their books in it. If it’s more than 20% of their body weight, take out some books. You can also try a rolling backpack. If your child protests, call our office at (909) 598-2111. I can see if their spine is in line and write a note to their school for a locker or extra set of books.

To Prevent Injuring Your Child’s Back...

  • Use rolling backpacks. (Yeah, I know. No one wants to be the nerd with a rolling backpack but it works.)
  • Wear backpacks on both shoulders.
  • Pull the shoulder straps snug.

  • Choose backpacks ending above the waist, with padded shoulder straps and a belt.

  • Place heavier books closest to the back.

  • Bend your knees when lifting the backpack.

  • Carry only what's necessary each day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Benefits of Strength Training

A growing body of research shows that working out with weights has health benefits beyond bulking up muscles and strengthening bones. Studies are finding that more lean muscle mass gives an older person better cognitive function, reduces depression, boosts good cholesterol, and helps lower the risk of diabetes.

When we hit middle age, muscle mass gradually diminishes by up to about 1% a year in a process called sarcopenia. Since muscle is our largest metabolically active organ, strengthening the muscles has a ripple effect throughout the body

Some studies have shown that moderate to intense strength training not only builds skeletal muscle but increases bone density as well.

Strength training helps your heart in ways that cardio exercise can’t. During cardio, the heart loads up with blood and pumps it out to the rest of the body. As a result the heart gets more efficient at pumping. During resistance training, muscles generate more force. The heart's forceful contraction pushes the blood out and the muscles grow. The result is a stronger heart, not just one that's more efficient at pumping.

Another big advantage of working out with weights is improving glucose metabolism, which can reduce the risk of diabetes. Strength training boosts the number of proteins that take glucose out of the blood and transport it into the skeletal muscle, giving the muscles more energy and lowering overall blood-glucose levels.

The brain may get a boost from the body's extra muscle as well. A 2010 study in Archives of Internal Medicine found that women ages 65 to 75 who did resistance training sessions once or twice a week over the course of a year improved their cognitive performance, while those who focused on balance and tone training declined slightly.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is probably the most common therapy we use at the office. EMS is the contraction of muscles by using external electrical impulses. The type of impulses used can create different effects including decreased muscle tightness and reduction of pain. 

EMS reduces muscle spasm by rapidly contracting muscles faster than the body can by itself. The fastest muscles in the body are the ones that move the eyelids, but even those can contract only about 12 times a second. EMS contracts the muscles at 150 times a second. This causes muscle fatigue and after about ten minutes, relaxation of the muscles. Once the muscles are relaxed, pain is reduced and range of motion is increased.  Used in this way, EMS is great for relieving muscle spasms or tension.  It also makes it easier to adjust people so we typically do this before we adjust our patients.

Now for the dirty little secrets…

Dirty Little Secret 1   TENS units and EMS units are really the same thing.

TENS units are those portable units that you can carry around with you. They are small enough to fit in a pocket. They actually use a slightly different current than EMS but most new TENS units have settings that can be changed to function almost exactly like EMS units. The only difference is that they may be slightly less comfortable than our big machines

Dirty Little Secret 2   TENS units are not really that expensive.

They go on sale every couple of months and I usually get some in case patients want to buy them. We have them for $50 and it includes the pads.

Dirty Little Secret 3   TENS units really aren’t that much different than the big machines we use.

Our machines might be a little bit more powerful but not by much.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kids, Backpacks and Back Pain

It’s back to school time and a lot of kids are starting to have back pain. In one study, 64% of kids reported back pain. The main culprit?  A backpack that is too heavy. 

The big question is how heavy is too heavy? A research article shed some light on this. The researcher quizzed 3,500 students and found out that those students that carried more than 20% of their body weight in a backpack had more back problems.

If your child is having back problems, weigh their backpack with their books in it. If it’s more than 20% of their body weight, try to take out some books. You can also get a rolling backpack. If that doesn’t work, call the office and bring them in for an evaluation. I can see if their spine is in line and also write a note to their school for a locker of extra set of books if necessary.

To Prevent Injuring Your Child’s Back
·        Use rolling backpacks.
·        Choose backpacks ending above the waist, with padded shoulder straps and a belt.
·        Wear backpacks on both shoulders.
·        Pull the shoulder straps snug.
·        Place heavier books closest to the back.
·        Bend your knees when lifting the backpack.
·        Get a second set of schoolbooks to keep at home.
Carry only what's necessary each day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How Much Should You Exercise

The American College of Sports Medicine has exercise guidelines for healthy adults.  The guidelines are based on current research to help people maintain good health.

Aerobic exercise - Aerobic exercise has an additive effect.  Cardiovascular benefits gained in three 10 minute exercise bouts are almost the same as those from one 30 minute exercise bout.  The recommendation is that people should perform aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week at 50%-85% of maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. Unfit people can exercise at 40% of their maximum heart rate.  Exercise should be done at least 30 minutes.  Ten minute bouts of exercise can be accumulated throughout the day.

Resistance training - Several studies show that one set of 8-15 repetitions provides nearly the same strength and endurance increases as three sets. People younger than 50 should work the major muscle groups two or three days a week with weight loads that allow 8-12 repetitions. Those older than 50 should resistance train two or three days a week with weight loads that allow 10-15 repetitions.

These recommendations should be considered a minimum amount of exercise that should be performed every week.  More exercise is better.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Update on Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate

Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate are popular supplements for the treatment of arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. (the most common type) Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical found in the human body. It is used by the body to produce a variety of other chemicals that are involved in building tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and the fluid that lubricates the joints.

Joints are cushioned by the fluid and cartilage that surround them. In some people with osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down and becomes thin. This results in more joint friction, pain, and stiffness. Researchers think that taking glucosamine supplements may either increase the cartilage and fluid surrounding joints or help prevent breakdown of these substances, or maybe both.

A lot of good research article show that Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate helps people with arthritis. However, one recent very good study showed that it did not help. I’m still recommending that patients take Glucosamine and Chondroitin for arthritis but that may change if there are some more negative studies.

Glucosamine does have some interactions with drugs. You should not take Glucosamine if you are taking Warfarin (Coumadin). There are several reports showing that taking glucosamine sulfate with or without chondroitin increases the effect of Warfarin, making blood clotting even slower. This can cause bruising and bleeding that can be serious. Glucosamine may also reduce the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy drugs so don’t take it if you are undergoing chemotherapy.

I recommend that people go to Costco or Sam’s Club to pick up this supplement because it is inexpensive and the quality is good.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Community Party on April 28 - Free and You're Invited!

Every year we have a party to thank our patients and our community for supporting our Chiropractic office. We are hosting our annual party on April 28 from 5 PM to 7 PM. Everyone that comes will get a prize. We also have a grand prize that we are giving a way. It is a netbook computer. We will be serving hot dogs and other side dishes and there will be cake.

I'll be giving away free first visits to any new patients that sign up at the party. This includes the initial examination and the first treatment. This is just our way of saying thanks to everyone.

We are also sponsoring a health fair. The following people have confirmed for the fair.

West Covina Smiles will do free dental evaluations.
Johnny Hudson from Basic Training will do free physical assessments.
Massage therapy by our very own massage therapist Liz
Deborah Minniefield will show us how to cook healthy with Tupperware
Total Resources will sell low-cost first aid and earthquake kits

We are working on a couple more people for the party.

For all you business owners, this will be the Regional Chamber of Commerce mixer for April.

We look for to seeing everyone there.