Daylight Savings Time ended almost two weeks ago but our internal clocks may not have adjusted yet. With the sun setting before 5 o’clock, many of us feel the urge to tuck into bed earlier but we then experience a restless night. Whether you have a sleep issue, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, or would just like to improve your sleep quality, the chiropractic care provided by Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life in Longmont can help!
Chiropractic Care Shown to Improve Sleep
After a chiropractic adjustment,
- 1/3 of adults report an immediate improvement in their sleep*
- 40% of infants also experience deeper sleep*
After an acupuncture treatment,
- Insomnia and sleep apnea decreases
- Patients feel less anxious, which leads to better sleep
The main way chiropractic care can lead to more restorative sleep is by reducing pain, increasing blood flow and promoting relaxation through spinal adjustments. Diagnosing and treating a spinal misalignment will bring about immediate relief of a patient’s neck or back pain or headaches. Another significant benefit of seeking chiropractic care to address poor sleep is that it is a natural approach, unlike the potentially harmful side effects of sleeping pills.
Besides in-office treatments, a chiropractor will also discuss a patient’s sleeping position, mattress and pillow to see if any changes in those areas would help improve their sleep. A chiropractic pillow, also called a cervical pillow, is shaped to ensure that your spine maintains its neutral alignment. They are either designed to be filled with air or water, or sculpted out of memory foam. Most chiropractic pillows are contoured to cradle your neck in the proper position when sleeping on your back, but some can be used when lying on your side. In general, chiropractors don’t recommend sleeping on your stomach.
If you are tossing and turning at night, make an appointment at the Cafe of Life in Longmont to discuss what type of chiropractic care can improve your sleep and overall health!
*Source: National Sleep Foundation
The cold weather comes and goes at this time of year but, unfortunately, the cold and flu season is here to stay for awhile. You might be wondering how to prevent catching your coworker’s bug or how to increase your children’s’ immunity at school. Regular visits to Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life in Longmont for preventative chiropractic care will help boost your immunity to increase your defense against catching viruses this winter.
Preventative Chiropractic Care Boosts Immunity
In the December 2016 article “Perspectives on Chiropractic and Immunity” in Pathways to Family Wellness, people who received regular chiropractic care (at least monthly) got fewer infections and benefited from a:
- 60.2% decrease in hospital admissions
- 59% decrease in hospital stay durations
- 62% decrease in outpatient surgeries
- 85% decrease in pharmaceutical costs
Dr. Matthew McCoy, editor of The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health-Chiropractic, states “Through research we know that chiropractic has beneficial effects on immunoglobulins, B-lymphocytes, pulmonary function and other immune system processes.” One example is a study where blood was drawn from patients 15 minutes before a spinal manipulation to the middle back and again 15 minutes after the adjustment. Patricia Brennan, Ph.D., found that response of polymorphonuclear neutrophils, or white blood cells, in attacking viruses and bacteria was significantly higher after the chiropractic adjustment.
These studies prove what inherently makes sense: since the nervous system controls the function of the immune system, any interference in its performance will negatively affect our ability to destroy invading microbes. So if a vertebra is out of alignment and impeding the communication of our nervous system, it stands to reason that our immunity will also be impaired. Receiving preventative chiropractic care all year round, but especially during cold and flu season, will keep your immunity functioning at optimal levels so make an appointment today at the Cafe of Life in Longmont!
You may have seen in our series of Facebook posts chronicling the cupping experience of Andy Johnson of Farmstrong Coaching that Christa planned to use a technique called dry needling on him next. If you haven’t heard of this treatment option or wonder how it differs from acupuncture, we will explain all that and more in this post! Christa at the Cafe of Life in Longmont offers many effective and safe alternative therapies such as dry needling, acupuncture and cupping to help restore your optimal health.
What is Dry Needling?
Also known as intramuscular manual therapy, dry needling is a technique to treat myofascial pain by inserting needles into trigger points in muscle. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, or APTA,, “A trigger point is a taut band of skeletal muscle located within a larger muscle group,… and touching a trigger point may cause pain to other parts of the body.” Using thin filiform needles allows tissues that are not accessible via exterior manipulation, such as through massage, to be treated.
How is it different from Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine while dry needling was developed from research and is part of Western medical practice.
Why get Dry Needling?
Again, according to the APTA, “Preliminary research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, and normalizes dysfunctions of the motor end plates, sites at which nerve impulses are transmitted to muscles.” If you have recently been injured, dry needling can speed up your recovery. Dry needling also relieves pain and improves patients’ range of motion.
Dry needling is usually part of a larger treatment plan developed by the Cafe of Life team to best meet your individual needs. There are so many gentle yet effective alternative therapies to the standard prescriptions or surgical recommendations, and the Cafe of Life offers a wide variety from different types of massage to dry needling to the zone chiropractic system- call us today to start on your path towards vibrant health!
Fall has officially arrived: the temperatures are cooler, pumpkin spice lattes have returned and the leaves have started to change colors! And although beautiful, dealing with falling leaves involves a lot of twisting, bending and lifting that could cause back or neck strain. Should you sustain an injury this fall, your Longmont chiropractor at the Cafe of Life will customize a treatment plan to restore your health quickly!
Tips to Prevent Fall Injury from Your Longmont Chiropractor
- Use an alternating split stance when raking. Stand with one foot in front of the other for a few minutes and then change foot position.
- Bend at the knees when picking up anything large or heavy. To avoid straining your back, make leaf piles smaller and be sure not to bend at your waist.
- When mowing or raking, try to maintain good posture by standing straight with your shoulders slightly back. Also push with your whole body instead of just your arms and back when mowing.
- For balance and to prevent muscle fatigue, switch sides as often as possible when using equipment for extended periods of time.
- Wear supportive shoes with good arch support to minimize back strain and purchase ergonomic tools when possible.
The American Chiropractic Association cautions the “repetitive motion that your body undergoes when using such [yard] equipment can create a host of mechanical problems within the body.” Yanking the cord of a mower over and over, twisting again and again to rake up leaves and hunching down to pull weeds can all cause back or neck pain or even muscle tears or a sprain. Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life in Longmont is an experienced chiropractor who offers multiple treatment options, including adjustments, stretching exercises, and laser therapy to restore and maintain your optimal health!
Depending on the severity and reason behind your neck or back pain, spinal traction is one of many effective chiropractic treatments that can alleviate your pain and restore your health! Specifically designed to create space between discs, traction is very beneficial for patients with compressed spines due to various degenerative conditions, and has negligible risk or side effects. If you are seeking a conservative way to relieve back pain, Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life in Longmont has years of experience administering spinal traction and other beneficial spinal decompression treatments.
Manual spinal traction is accomplished solely by the chiropractor using their hands to elongate sections of the spine by pushing and stretching surrounding muscles. This type of traction is most effective for cases of mild spinal compression. Mechanical spinal traction is more common and better suited for patients with moderate to severe compression. During mechanical traction treatment, patients lie on their back with a strap around their waist as an anchor from which the machine will slowly stretch their spine. This process is very gentle and alleviates pain caused by compressed discs by moving vertebrae back into correct alignment and spacing.
Conditions that Benefit from Chiropractic Spinal Traction
- Herniated or bulging disc
- Spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spaces between discs
- Arthritis of the spine
- Spondylosis, or spinal degeneration
- Spondylosisthesis, or forward slip of a vertebra
- Degenerative disc disease
Benefits may be maximized and pain relief extended when spinal traction is combined with other forms of physical therapy and by wearing a brace after treatment. If you are suffering from neck or back pain, contact the Cafe of Life in Longmont to see if spinal traction would be a beneficial part of a custom treatment plan to restore your proper alignment and ideal health!
Our hips are central in most of our daily movements from simply walking upright to running, bearing weight to jumping. Since we depend on our hips for so much of our mobility, pain in this region can be debilitating but chiropractic care can help! According to a 2010 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 60% of sciatica patients felt their pain was reduced enough to not need surgery after receiving chiropractic care.* If you are suffering from hip pain, Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life in Longmont will thoroughly diagnose the route of the problem and tailor a personal treatment plan of effective chiropractic care to restore your mobility and optimal health.
Causes of Hip Pain Relieved with Chiropractic Care
- Inflammation: There are two main areas where the hip joint can become inflamed: the socket, or acetabulum, and the sac outside the hip, bursitis. Either injury or illness can cause these areas to swell and fill with blood or fluid but bursitis is often from overuse as well.
- Osteoarthritis: The most common type of hip pain in older adults, osteoarthritis causes the hip joint to deteriorate and lose cartilage.
- Injury: Unfortunately, another frequent cause of severe hip pain for older adults is a fracture or dislocation due to poor balance and brittle bones. Significant bruising or a sprain from a fall can also result in intense hip pain even if the bone was not affected.
- Overuse: The cartilage, tendons, ligaments and muscles of our bodies can only withstand so much wear and tear before they start to break down. With how much our hips endure, it is no surprise that they become stressed at one point or another.
- Referred Pain: Although not the source itself, patients often describe pain in their hips stemming from another location such as the sciatic nerve in sciatica. Hip pain often accompanies a hernia or a problem with the sacroiliac joints that connect the sacrum to the iliac bones as well.
Chiropractic care to address hip pain could include adjustments, massage therapy, physical therapy exercises, stretching and advice on posture. All treatment plans will aim to relieve hip pain but will differ based on whether the underlying goal is to strengthen weak muscles, stop spasms, improve mobility or reduce inflammation. Come into the Cafe of Life in Longmont for Dr. Jess to assess your individual situation and develop a program of chiropractic care that will be most effective in relieving your hip pain.
Kids are heading back to school and starting back up into many different sports. Whether your children prefer soccer, football, cross country, tennis, martial arts, volleyball, cheer or gymnastics, they are all susceptible to injury while practicing their favorite sport. Dr. Jess with the Cafe of Life in Longmont is a youth sports chiropractor who has years of experience and expertise in treating young athlete’s injuries and helping prevent them.
According to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, “Injuries to children’s spines are not unique to contact sports like football or martial arts. They are also seen in non-contact sports like gymnastics and competitive cheerleading.” It is important for youth sports chiropractors to be aware of the common injuries associated with each type of sport to properly diagnose and design the most effective treatment plan. For example, a head impact will effect the lower cervical portion of the spine, and a fall on the buttocks could impact the spine anywhere from T-9 to L2.
A study conducted by T.K. Videman, M.D., with the University of Helsinki, found that facet joints will start to degenerate in just 5-7 days when their normal range of movement is restricted. When joints were fixed in place for 5 weeks, 18 months of care was necessary for restoring optimal motion. This example illustrates why it is critical to have young athletes examined by a specialized chiropractor as soon as possible after an injury!
Regular chiropractic care for youth athletes will help minimize injuries leading to vertebral subluxations or other inury-prone joints specific to their sport of choice. As a highly-trained and experienced youth sports chiropractor, Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life in Longmont looks forward to working with your child to keep them in the game this season!
It’s almost time to send the kids back to school and with all the supplies requested by schools, you might be concerned about how heavy their backpacks will be! Preventing back pain and growth problems in their children is a high priority for parents, and one that Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life shares as a fellow parent, which is why she is passionate about providing excellent chiropractic care for children.
The American Chiropractic Association, or ACA, attributes overloaded backpacks as a contributing factor in young children’s back pain. According to studies conducted in France, “the longer a child wears a backpack, the longer it takes for a curvature or deformity of the spine to correct itself.” The ACA suggests regular chiropractic care for children and provides the following suggestions for preventing problems due to a heavy backpack.
- Buy a backpack with wide, padded straps and urge your child to wear both of them. Carrying it on one shoulder causes weight to be shifted to one side and increases the chances of neck and shoulder pain or spasms.
- Choose a backpack with adjustable shoulder straps so it can be worn close to the body. A loose backpack is more likely to cause spinal misalignment and low-back pain.
- Also look for a backpack with individualized compartments to aid in distributing weight and ensuring pointy objects are positioned away from their back.
- Position the backpack so it is not more than 4” below your child’s waist. If there is too much pressure on their shoulders, either from too heavy or too low of a load, then your child will lean forward to compensate and their posture will suffer.
- Most importantly, make sure their backpack weighs no more than 5-10% of your child’s body weight.
As you can see, almost every part of the muscular-skeletal system can be affected by backpacks from strained necks to tight shoulders, lower back pain, and sore hips and knees. With so many areas that could be injured from toting around a heavy backpack, regular chiropractic visits are so important to keep their spines aligned and support their optimal health! As a mom of school-age kids, Dr. Jess understands the parent’s perspective and places a high value on giving the best possible chiropractic care for children in her practice.
It is not hard to diagnose sciatica because the symptoms are very specific and pronounced. Sciatica is characterized by pain in one buttock and/or leg that is often described as a searing sharp or radiating pain with restricted mobility in the affected leg. Sciatica is actually a symptom of an underlying condition that the professional staff at the Cafe of Life in Longmont can help treat and thereby relieve sciatica pain with alternative therapies.
Alternative Treatments for Relieving Sciatica Pain
- Massage: There are many benefits of massage therapy that can also help with sciatica such as muscle relaxation, increased circulation and endorphin release. Neuromuscular massage therapy, or trigger point myotherapy, applies consistent pressure to a muscle spasm area in order to release stored lactic acid and restart proper blood flow.
- Acupuncture: Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recognized by the National Institutes of Health as an effective method in decreasing back pain, including sciatica pain. Acupuncture uses extremely-thin needles inserted near the problem area to open blocked energy pathways and restore well-being.
- Chiropractic: Since the sciatic nerve runs along the spine, any misalignment or bulging disc can put pressure on it and cause shooting pain. Adjustments to put the spine back into proper alignment should stop any irritation to the nerve.
Did you know the sciatic nerve is the largest in the body? And it is comprised of nerve roots stemming from each level of the lower spinal column? Since this is such a massive and widespread nerve, it makes sense that it has the potential to cause debilitating pain- don’t let that happen to you! If you are experiencing any sciatica symptoms, such as intense leg pain, numbness or weakness, come to the expert chiropractor, massage therapist and acupuncturist at the Cafe of Life in Longmont for relief of sciatica pain.
Although many golfers might believe that better equipment makes the most difference in their game, research has shown that a person’s conditioning and fitness level matters more. The extreme motion of the golf swing can also lead to injury if one is not in ideal shape. If you are suffering from a golf injury, or just want to improve your performance, Dr. Jess, the chiropractor at the Cafe of Life in Longmont, offers specialized treatment that can help.
In an article titled ‘Chiropractic and Golf‘ published by the American Chiropractic Association in January of 2016, the author states, “An extreme amount of compressive force – up to 10 times a person’s body weight – is exerted on the spine during the golf swing. Every joint involved in the swing is taken through its maximum range. If the body is not properly prepared to handle these forces, injury will eventually result.” Common complaints for golfers are elbow hyperextension and wrist injuries, as well as back, neck, shoulder and hip pain.
Chiropractic care will greatly reduce the chance of injury from repetitive swings and can also help improve your golf game by working on a patient’s stability, flexibility and joint mobility. The Physician’s Golf Injury Desk Reference, written by Jeff Blanchard, DC and pro golfer, outlines 14 areas of the body that are used during the golf swing and therefore susceptible to injury. Dr. Jess at the Cafe of Life in Longmont will evaluate patients who golf for flexibility and strength in potential problem areas and, if needed, develop a treatment plan involving in-office care as well as stabilizing and strengthening exercises to do at home. The goal is to maintain symmetrical posture in order to execute efficient motions that will not cause too much stress on joints during the golf swing.
Come into the Cafe of Life today to see how chiropractic care can help you golf pain-free, and maybe even improve your handicap!